Senna Powder Point 33 Brush review | The perfect bronzing brush for beginners

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Senna 33 brush review

The product: Senna Powder Point 33 brush (for bronzer, face powder)

I’ll be honest. The first time I tried this brush, it was with the Senna Brilliant Bronze bronzer/highlighters that it launched with — and, yeah, I didn’t love it. So after about a week of product testing, it got filed away, pushed into the back of a drawer for a while…

But then this week, I pulled it out again on a whim while testing a smoother, less shimmery bronzer. And it was amazing.

Senna Powder Point brush review

Pointed face brush review

Senna’s Powder Point brush has a comfortably large (but light) shimmering seafoam handle with a slightly wider ferrule, and a domed head that tapers off quite a bit at the tip. The effect of all of these things paired together is brilliant: this brush forces you to hold it far back from its head, and ensures that you get light, even pressure with every brush stroke. 

Honestly, I don’t know how I missed it the first time around: this is the perfect bronzing brush for beginners. With its loosely packed bristles and unique shape, it makes it almost impossible not to get an expertly-blended cheek with soft, diffuse edges. (And yes, if you’re guilty of over-applying face powders, it’ll help you get just the right amount of those, too.)

Senna Powder Point 33 review

I do think that the Powder Point brush is a little pricy for the quality of the build, but for anyone who really struggles with making their bronzer look natural, this is going to be your magic wand. It makes it easy to slowly build up product, and it blends as you go.

This brush is similar to the Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush and MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush, but it has a less pointed tip.

Senna Powder Point face brush review

The verdict?

Senna’s Powder Point 33 brush has your standard-issue natural-hair bristles, soft but not kitten-soft, and it’s not resistant to shedding — overall, its build is pretty standard. But its tapered design and well-proportioned handle are really something special, and if you give it a chance, this is a brush that will do all the work for you.

My verdict? Skip it if bronzing and powdering are easy for you; snap it up if you want a little help. I kid you not, I could bronze with my eyes closed with this baby. (This is a fact; I’ve done it.) (What? I get bored.)

Availability: $38 USD online or in-person at Senna boutiques. { store locator }

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Lush D’Fluff shaving soap, African Paradise body conditioner review, photos

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LUSH D'Fluff, African Paradise reviews

The products: LUSH D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap, African Paradise Body Conditioner

New this summer to the permanent LUSH range are D’Fluff and African Paradise, two cruelty-free, self-preserving products.

Read on to find out what I thought of them, and in the meantime, maybe you could try to find it within yourselves to forgive me for all the body products I’ve been writing about recently. I don’t know what’s up with that, dude.

LUSH D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap review

D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap ($9.95 CAD/70g)

Inspired by strawberry marshmallow fluff (is that a real thing?? can I eat it??), D’Fluff is just as pink and fluffy as you’d expect. It feels like some sort of foam; like space-food from the future or something, and is scented with strawberry and vanilla. I wasn’t crazy about the scent, but Ri loved it, so I guess it can really go either way!

LUSH D'Fluff review shaving cream

D’Fluff contains a ton of good stuff, from actual strawberries and egg whites to coconut oil and organic maple sugar. But, despite its cool texture and awesome ingredient list, I just couldn’t get on board with its formula, either. It’s pretty expensive at $9.95 CAD, and I found that I had to use a lot of product for each use — this pot would probably only last me a week, if I used it to shave my legs & underarms every day.

Cool as it is, I’d say skip D’Fluff, and opt for a good moisturizer instead. Followed up with African Paradise or pumpkin seed oil, I found that my skin felt just as soft shaving with good ‘ol bar soap as it does shaving with D’Fluff.

LUSH D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap ingredients: [EXPAND]

Water, Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Glycerine, Organic Rose Hip Oil, Cocoa Butter, Fresh Strawberries, Egg Whites, Fragrance, Maple Sugar, Vanilla Absolute, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Rose Absolute, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, Eugenol, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Red 27, Red 40. [/EXPAND]

LUSH African Paradise Body Conditioner review

African Paradise Body Conditioner ($39.50 CAD/250g)

Named for its African-sourced Fair Trade ingredients, this body conditioner (also called a “shower smoothie,” but thinking about drinking this really freaked me out) features shea buter & moringa oil from Ghana, plus aloe from Kenya. It’s the first in-shower moisturizer that I’ve tried, but I’m actually really liking it — which surprised me, because I wasn’t expecting it to do much for my super-dry skin!

LUSH African Paradise review in-shower moisturizer

Glycerine-sticky and heavily fragranced, Lush’s African Paradise Body Conditioner feels a little weird at first use. Once you rinse off (don’t scrub!) and towel dry, though, the formula suddenly makes sense — the perfect amount of product gets left behind, and you end up with soft, scented skin long into the night. It’s not as hydrating as an intensive moisturizer or body butter, but is super quick to apply and moisturizes about as well as your average drugstore lotion or body oil.

Worth noting too is that you actually need very little of this moisturizer for each use, so the 8.8 oz pot will go a long way. I’ve used this about twice as often as my little pot of D’Fluff, but while I’m halfway done the latter, I’ve barely made a dent in African Paradise.

LUSH African Paradise Body Conditioner ingredients:

Water, Glycerine, Almond Oil, Moringa Oil, Fresh Aloe Gel, Shea Butter, Stearic Acid, Marula Oil, Baobab Oil, Kalahari Melon Oil, Fragrance, Triethanolamine, Fresh Mango Juice, Cocoa Butter, Ylang Ylang Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Geranium Oil, Frangipani Absolute, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool.

What are your favourite in-shower moisturizers? And, more importantly: do food-like products freak you out a little?

I think the problem is that I don’t trust myself around them. Like, I’m scared that one day I’m going to let my guard down and accidentally maybe eat a little bit of them.

L’Occitane Frisson de Verveine review, photos: Ice Gel & Shower Gel

Saturday, August 9, 2014

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine review

The products: L’Occitane Frisson de Verveine Shower Gel & Cooling Foot Gel

It’s hard to find a good summer scent. Trust me; I know. The ones that are good never last, and the ones that last are always so heavy. And, ugh, don’t even get me started on how sticky-sweet and floral the summer heat can make feminine fragrances.

This summer, though, L’Occitane has solved the summer scent problem — in part. No one can make citrus and aquatic-family molecules linger for any longer, but this bright, genderless summer collection might be just what you need to get you through August. (I think it makes an especially appealing androgynous scent for women.)

L'Occitane shower gel review Frisson de Verveine

The scent: This stuff smells good. Like, so good that when my shower is over, I have a tendency to wander back into the bathroom (hot and humid as it is), just to stand by the shower and inhale for a moment. It smells like bright summer days, and like verbena, but it doesn’t have any of the hard edges that the original L’Occitane Verveine scent has — instead, it has soft edges with just the right amount of zest.

Frisson de Verveine reminds me of D&G Light Blue and Fresh Citron de Vigne, in feeling if not in its notes. An aptly-categorized unisex “aqueous citrus,” it’s light and very fresh, almost masculine and not at all “perfumey”. But, unlike Light Blue, it’s very unique — no one is going to sniff this on you and go, “oh yeah, I used to wear that in high school.”

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine review Fresh Shower Gel

L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine Ice Gel review

The Ice Gel: I found the collection’s Fresh Shower Gel ($32 CAD) to be a little drying, despite its gorgeous scent (use with a shower puff for maximum fragrance release!), but the cool-cred in this collection totally goes to the Ice Gel for Legs & Feet ($24 CAD). It’s actually a liquid, and has the coolest method of application — you roll the ball onto your skin while gently squeezing the tube to get just the right amount of product.

This is the only product I’ve ever owned with this type of packaging, and I love it. It’s easy to use, weirdly fun, and amounts to zero drips or drops. And the product inside is really good, too — while it doesn’t feel cooling on my feet (it does on my hands; I think my feet just aren’t sensitive enough), it’s surprisingly hydrating, and dries down quickly.

And yes, okay? Yes, I will admit to dabbing some of this onto my wrists as well. It just smells so good, you guys. I couldn’t help myself.

L'Occitane Ice Gel verveine review

The verdict?

L’Occitane’s fragrances outside of La Collection de Grasse don’t always wow me, but wow – this one did. The perfect aquatic-citrus for both men and women, Frisson de Verveine is as bright and watery as you could wish for on a hot summer day. 

But I’m going to recommend you don’t buy these two products, because I love the scent so much. Instead, I’m going to point you toward the line’s gorgeously bottled Frisson de Verveine Eau de Toilette ($56 CAD) and aerosolized Verbena Refreshing Mist ($12 CAD). This is a scent that deserves to be enjoyed both in and out of the shower.

Availability: The Frisson de Verveine range is available for a limited time at L’Occitane boutiques & online beginning this month.

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Annabelle Chai Eyeshadow Quad swatches, review, photos | Beautifully bronzed at the drugstore

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Annabelle Chai eyeshadow swatches review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai

This week is kicking my butt, you guys. It’s already Thursday and I’ve barely gotten out of bed because my abdominal muscles hurt so much – they’re so tender that touching them makes my head spin, which: never a good sign.

So, well, let’s talk makeup. I picked out a stellar product from one of my favourite lines today, and hopefully writing about it’ll help cheer me up a bit!

Annabelle eyeshadow quad review Chai

Annabelle Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai

The product: Chai Chai Chai includes four gorgeous, super-smooth eyeshadows that are a dream to apply and blend. They’re crazy pigmented for a drugstore product, and apply vividly even without primer, never crumbling or kicking up dust.

The top two shades are a little more frosty than the bottom two, and the chocolate brown (third swatch) is just divine — it’s rich and dense, even more-so over primer, with a beautiful, uninterrupted finish. The darkest brown is a little drier than the rest, but makes up for it with a smattering of silver shimmer that twinkles as you move about.

Annabelle Chai eyeshadow quad swatches

Annabelle Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Chai Chai, swatched dry on unprimed skin

What impressed me most about these shades, I think, was how wearable they are. Yes, the overall feeling of the palette is very bronze, but it’s not so warm that I couldn’t wear it around if I wanted to. (If you love metals or warm colours but can’t always pull them off, this might be a good one to try.)

And, if warm bronze isn’t your thing, these quads come in cooler options, too — stormy grey-blues, cooler taupes, mossy browns, and purple-pinks.

Annablle eyeshadow quad swatches - Chai Chai Chai

Annabelle Chai Chai Chai swatches

The packaging: Where this product flounders (just a little!!) is its packaging. Chai Chai Chai comes with two applicators that are really just too small to be of any use — “crapplicators,” if you will.

It’s also a really hard palette to get open, which is both a positive and a negative: on one hand, it can be frustrating, but on the other, I feel 100% confident just throwing this into my bag, because it’s definitely not going to spring open if jostled the wrong way.


Annabelle Chai Eyeshadow Quad review

The verdict?

Annabelle consistently proves itself to be one of the best budget brands out there, and this quad is no exception. While the particular colour palette of Chai Chai Chai was a little too warm for my preferences (though it worked ok with my colouring), I would absolutely recommend these quads if you’re looking for a great drugstore palette for day-to-day use or travel!

Availability: $10.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca & in most drugstores across Canada.

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Silicone-free creme foundations: an updated list

Monday, August 4, 2014

It’s taken me longer than I would have liked, but at long last: here is a new, updated version of theNotice’s silicone-free creme foundations list. It includes every creme foundation I could find (both solids and balms), but if you know of one I’ve missed, please leave me a comment — I’m sure I’ve missed many from international and indie brands! (Note: due to the volume of what’s available and the nature of shopping online, please only suggest indie brands/Etsy sellers if you can personally vouch for the brand/product!)

At the moment, I’m also working on updating my list of ‘cone-free liquid and powder foundations, and will tackle moisturizers once that’s done. (These lists take a lot of time to compile, so my apologies that they’re not updated more frequently. You may only see 20 products on a list, but I’ve likely gone through the ingredients of 5x that number to find the ‘cone-free ones!)

If you have any suggestions or requests for future lists, again, please let me know! (For instance: do you like this format? Is there another product category that you’d really like to see a list for?)

See more silicone-free beauty products here, and check out our old lists here


Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick ($44) { Sephora | Nordstrom }

Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Balm
Bobbi Brown Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm ($54)
Sephora | Nordstrom }
Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick ($28) { Sephora | Nordstrom }
Cover FX Total Cover
Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation ($42) { Sephora }
Elizabeth Arden Flawless FinishElizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Sponge-On Cream Makeup ($36.50) { Dillard’s | Macy’s } Iman Creme to Powder foundationIman Second to None Cream to Powder Foundation ($16) { Drugstore.com | Walgreen’s }
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer Makeup ($48) { Nordstrom }
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer CompactLaura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen ($45) { Sephora | Nordstrom | Space NK } Mally Beauty Ultimate PerformanceMally Ultimate Performance Professional Foundation ($40) { Ulta | Beauty.com }
MUFE Pan StickMake Up For Ever Pan Stick Foundation ($32) { AlconeCo } Max Factor Pan StikMax Factor Pan Stik Foundation ($9.93) { Amazon | Boots | Drugstore.com } Nvey Eco Creme Deluxe FoundationNvey Eco Cream Deluxe Flawless Finish Foundation ($30) { Ulta }
theBalm timeBalm FoundationtheBalm timeBalm Foundation ($28) { Nordstrom | Beauty.com }

Plus: here’s a list of theatre foundations that meet the bill. I’m a huge advocate for theatre makeup if you can sample it before buying (the shade selection is typically enormous, with plenty of colour adjusters), and many of their creme products are formulated without silicones. The price is always great, too — you use so little with all of these, and they’re usually less than $15 each!

To note, I haven’t shopped at any of these sites, but have heard great things about Beautylish, Camera Ready Cosmetics (CRC), and Alcone.

  • RCMA Makeup Color Process Foundation ($18) - Beautylish
  • Graftobian Hi Def Glamour Creme Foundation ($15.50) - CRC
  • Graftobian Theatrical Creme Foundation ($9.49) - CRC
  • Mehron Celebré Pro HD Foundation ($13.95) - AlconeCo
  • Kett Fixx Creme Compact Makeup ($15-30) - AlconeCoCRC - refillsKett
  • Viseart Teint Magistral Foundation ($42) - MuseBeauty
  • Ben Nye MediaPro HD Sheer Foundation ($22) - CRC
  • Joe Blasco Ultrabase Foundation ($27) - CRC
  • Kryolan Ultra Foundation 9002 ($13.50) CRC
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