Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil, Ultra-Soothing Balm review, photos

    Bioderma Atoderm ultra-nourishing shower oil review

    The products: Bioderma Atoderm Huile de Douche (Ultra-Nourishing Anti-Irritation Shower Oil) and Atoderm Intensive Baume (Ultra-Soothing Balm)

    When you run a beauty blog, testing products is like constantly punishing your skin for things that it hasn’t done: a never-ending deluge of things that are too oily, too stripping, too scented, too anything.

    Which is why it’s always such a pleasure when I get to review Bioderma Atoderm products. Bioderma is a “sensible skincare” brand to begin with, but Atoderm is their range for “very dry to atopic sensitive skin” – AKA my skin exactly. Every single product in the Bioderma Atoderm range is designed to restore the skin’s hydrolipidic film, and they’re all just so gentle and lovely.

    Bioderma atoderm 2016 2017 review

    I honestly don’t have a lot to say about either of these products, and I think that’s great! It means that I have ZERO things that I’d like to change about either one, which is a rarity.

    The four Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gels are each made to target a different level of dryness. The original Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel is for dry skin, the Shower Cream is for very dry skin, this non-oily Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil ($19.90 CAD/1L) is for dry/very dry, irritated skin, and the Ultra-Rich Foaming Gel is for very dry to atopic skin.

    All four are also made for the whole family, so you can use them on the face, body, and scalp of newborns to adults! They’re lightly scented, and they lather nicely into a thin, easily washable lather.

    Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume review

    The Bioderma Ultra-Soothing Balm ($24.90 CAD/500 ml), on the other hand, is completely neutral. It’s godly. The formula has no scent, stickiness, or oiliness and it always does the job–my skin never feels itchy after I use it.

    My skin never feels like anything after I use it, actually, which I’m pretty sure is the highest compliment that you can give to a moisturizer. It just feels nice, smooth, and hydrated, even as a facial moisturizer. This is the most nourishing “everything moisturizer” in the Atoderm line (it’s formulated for atopic skin on the hands, body, and face), so maybe I’ve just been living my life wrong before now.

    All of the moisture. Give me allll of the moisture!!

    Bioderma Atoderm ultra-soothing balm moisturizer review

    The verdict?

    For no-nonsense drugstore skincare for very dry, atopic skin, you really can’t do better than Bioderma. Both of these products are gentle, affordable, and silicone-free, and I’m very much enjoying using them.

    If you’re on a budget, I’d opt for the Ultra-Soothing Baume before the Ultra-Nourishing Shower Oil – I saw more noticeable hydrating and soothing effects with it, and the effects were longer-lasting. Like the rest of the Atoderm line, it’s safe to use on the whole family, so give it a try if you have a little one whose skin is just extremely displeased with existing unprotected in the world!

    (I feel you, tiny human. I feel your pain.)

    Availability: Available at drugstores across Canada. New permanent products.

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    Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick collection review, swatches, photos

    Clinique x Crayola Mauvelous review

    The products: Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Pink Sherbert, Wild Strawberry, and Mauvelous and Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Red Violet.

    I love a good beauty collab, but this is the best I’ve ever seen. Clinique’s iconic Chubby Sticks have met their match with Crayola crayons, and the resultant Clinique Crayola collection is cute beyond words.

    The collection launches this month and encompasses 10 limited edition shades. Each nostalgic shade is inspired by one of Crayola’s most remembered colour names, for a pairing that just makes me want to scribble on the walls with joy.

    Clinique x Crayola Chubby Stick review photos swatches

    Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks ($17 USD/$21 CAD)

    I know I haven’t posted about Chubby Sticks in a while, but rest assured: the love is still there. I rely heavily on these mango and shea butter-loaded sheer sticks for my everyday “no makeup makeup,” and their scent-free colour gets me through the day.

    (Plus, I never have a mirror on me and I make really over-exaggerated facial expressions, so if a lip product isn’t sheer, it’s never going to make it to my go-to. You can’t blog if you get arrested for secretly being the Joker, folks.)

    Clinique x Crayola Pink Sherbert review

    There are seven limited edition Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick shades, and I have three of them to share with you today. (Sadly, I don’t remember any of these colour names from when I was a kid. Maybe my mom just didn’t buy the cool Crayola shades?)

    Pink Sherbert is a nigh-invisible baby pink, best for those who really want a crayon balm more than anything else. It’s nearly identical to the permanent Whoppin’ Watermelon, so you can skip it if you already own that.

    Clinique Crayola Pink Sherbert swatch review Chubby Stick

    Clinique Crayola Pink Sherbert Chubby Stick swatch, review

    Clinique Crayola Mauvelous swatch review Chubby Stick

    Clinique Crayola Mauvelous Chubby Stick swatch, review

    Mauvelous is the shade that I’ve been wearing the most, which makes sense: it’s an exact dupe for my favourite Chubby Stick ever, Super Strawberry. I love a mauve lip colour (read: pink and brown), and this one is just as flattering as expected.

    Wild Strawberry has more colour than Pink Sherbert but less than Mauvelous, and is closest to Two Ton Tomato from the permanent range.

    Clinique Crayola Wild Strawberry swatch review Chubby Stick

    Clinique Crayola Wild Strawberry Chubby Stick swatch, review

    Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick Intense ($17 USD/$21 CAD)

    The remaining three Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks feature the Chubby Stick Intense formula, which you may remember from my Clinique Chubby Stick Intense reviews when they launched.

    Bold, opaque, and creamy, the Intense formula offers great pigmentation with a non-drying formula, and Red Violet is absolutely lovely.

    Clinique Red Violet Crayola chubby swatch intense swatch review photos

    Clinique Crayola Red Violet Chubby Stick Intense lip swatches (indirect sunlight)

    Clinique Crayola Red Violet swatch review Chubby Stick Intense

    Clinique Crayola Red Violet Chubby Stick Intense swatch, review

    Unlike the rest of these shade names, I actually remember this one! It’s a standard shade in a 24-count box of Crayolas, so it feels the most like scribbling on your lips with a makeup crayon. It is identical to Clinique Grandest Grape (perm), so if you splurged on all of the Chubby Stick Intenses when they launched, you don’t need this one.

    If you didn’t, though, then this is my top Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick pick. It gives you the most “oomph” for your money, and it’s one of the core Crayola colours!

    Clinique x Crayola Red Violet chubby stick intense review


    The verdict?

    It’s not often that I get to say this, but I love Clinique Chubby Sticks just as much now as I did the day that they launched. They’re fun, playful, and wearable – but for those who like a lot of colour, there are also the Chubby Stick Intenses.

    The Clinique Crayola collection multiplies the joy of makeup with the nostalgia of scribbling outside of the lines as a child. (Okay, who am I kidding; inside the lines, very meticulously, likely while crying). My top pick from the 10-piece collection is Red Violet, a staple of the Crayola assorted pack and just as punchy as a lipstick as it was as a crayon.

    Availability: $17 USD/$21 CAD at Nordstrom, Sephora, and Clinique. An 8-piece mini set is also available for $49.50 USD. Limited edition January 2017.

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    Lovetica All Natural Hemp Lip Balm, Natural Deodorant review | Small Business Saturdays

    Lovetica hemp lip balm review

    *sponsored post

    The products: LOVETICA All Natural Hemp Oil Lip Balm Gift Set (Hemp, Peppermint, Lemon, and Mango) and “Be Gone” Natural Unisex Deodorant

    When it comes to natural beauty products, I can be tough to impress. I hold natural brands to the same standards as mainstream ones, and it’s not easy to get the same results with limited ingredients.

    LOVETICA, however, pulls it off with the ease of a ballet dancer. They’re a new cruelty-free Canadian brand based out of Toronto, and as I write this, they make only two products: a set of hemp oil lip balms and an unscented stick deodorant.

    Lovetica deodorant review unscented photos compariison

    Lovetica Natural Deodorant ($14.99 CAD)

    I need to begin this post by raving about Lovetica’s new Natural Deodorant, because it knocked my bloody socks off. I’ve spent all winter testing out different deodorants for my silicone-free beauty series, and so far, this has been the only 100% effective one.

    I’m not a smelly person, but lucky for theNotice, Boyfriend is. To put each deodorant through its paces, he wears each one to work for a week. Then, he gives each one a two-hour intensive test on Sundays by showering, applying, and heading to the gym.

    Lovetica all natural deodorant review

    Lovetica’s unscented, unisex deodorant is the only one that has left him totally B.O.-free after every single test. It has a stiffer texture than most indie deodorants so it’s easy to apply, and it works well for both my sensitive skin and his stinky armpits. This clear gel goes on invisibly and doesn’t make my underarms itch, which is a big step up from indie baking soda deodorants.

    I don’t know what makes this work so well, but whatever it is, it’s magical. I’m really feelin’ the packaging, too – it’s such a cheery way to start the day!

    Lovetica Hemp Oil lip balm set review

    Lovetica All Natural Hemp Oil Lip Balm Gift Set ($18.99 CAD for four)

    Lovetica’s flagship product is their hemp oil lip balm, which is only available in a set of four. They’re excellent lip balms, but I’d really like to see them available separately. You shouldn’t have to buy your lip balms in fours all the time, especially if you have one favourite scent (ahem, lemon) that you want to stock up on!

    Canadian lip balm review all natural Lovetica

    I have really dry skin, so I’m usually a fan of anything with hemp oil in it. These are no exception: they’re smooth, buttery, and very hydrating. (I’d peg them as more hydrating than Burt’s Bees or EOS, so they’re a good choice for those with chronically dry lips.)

    The hemp oil variation of these lip balms is essentially unscented and unflavoured, while the peppermint smells like sweet, tingly peppermint tea. The lemon lip balm is my favourite, with a zingy lemon scent (think lemon sorbet, not limoncello.) And, finally, the mango lip balm smells like the grown-up version of those fruity chapsticks that we all used to buy as kids–you know the ones.

    At $4.75 CAD each, these are cheaper than most all-natural lip balms, but they’re a treat to use. I love all four of the flavours in the set, and they’re both very hydrating and very “clean.”

    Lip balm is one of those products that usually ends up in your stomach in the end, so the cleaner, the better!

    Lovetica lemon hemp lip balm review

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    Sliquid H2O, Oceanics, Sassy, Swirl review: an intro to lube

    Sliquid review comparison

    All about lube

    Before I get started with a Sliquid lubricant review, I wanted to take a minute to talk about lube itself. As a sex blogger, a bottle of lube is like a tube of lip balm for me*, but not everyone uses it.

    The point of personal lubricants is to reduce friction and prevent tearing, which makes lube necessary for safer anal play (ideally something silicone-based) and advisable for use with silicone toys (ideally something water-based, as silicone lubricants can bond with and degrade silicone toys). They’re great for minimizing pain if you have vulvodynia, and they’re a handy aide for anyone who doesn’t produce a lot of their own natural lubrication.

    Needing or wanting to use lube during sex isn’t shameful, and it isn’t a sign that there’s something “wrong” with you. All bodies are different, and that’s okay!

    Body safe lube review

    Why Sliquid?

    I’ll tolerate a lot of “bad” ingredients in my makeup, but not in my lube. Because pink skin is so much thinner and more permeable than the skin that covers the rest of your body, anything you put on your genitals or in your mouth is going to absorb more quickly and at a higher rate than usual. (That’s why sublingual and suppository drugs work.)

    So, when it comes to my lube, I like to avoid parabens, petrochemicals, phenoxyethanol, and propylene glycol. I also avoid glycerin, which can convert into simple sugars in the vagina and cause yeast infections.

    Sliquid is my lube of choice because they’re a sex-positive company that formulates without any of these ingredients. They have clean, genderless packaging on all of their lubricants, and they’re widely available, making it easy to choose a body-safe lube every time.

    » Sliquid is available at all of my favourite sex toy retailers, including SheVibe, Come As You Are, and PinkCherry.

    Sliquid organics oceanics review comparison body safe lubricant

    Sliquid H2O vs Sassy vs Oceanics: which one is right for you?

    There are three main “plain” Sliquid water-based lubricants, and I’ve tried them all. (What? I’ve been planning this review for a long time.) My favourite of the bunch is Sliquid Organics Oceanics ($17.99 USD/$27 CAD/$22.99 CAD), which I find to be just a little more natural-feeling than Sliquid H20.

    Sliquid chart

    How these lube formulas compare in texture and feel

    Sliquid H2O personal lubricant review

    The lube that I typically purchase, however, is Sliquid H2O ($15.99 USD/$18.99 CAD). It’s the brand’s flagship product, and it’s usually a few dollars cheaper than the Organics. The difference between the two is practically imperceptible, so with the cost difference in mind, I’d recommend the H2O. (Unless, of course, organic is important to you!)

    Finally, Sliquid Sassy ($15.99 USD/$19.99 CADis the brand’s water-based lube designed for anal use, and it’s a little more plush than the other two. However, I find that the thicker texture makes it dry a little faster, so I’d actually opt for the silicone based/blended Silk, Silver, or Ride for anal play.

    Sliquid Swirl flavoured all natural lube review

    Fancy a flavoured lube? Try Sliquid Swirl

    One of the best things about Sliquid is that they make one heck of a flavoured lube. The flavoured Sliquid Swirl line (find it at SheVibe, CAYA, and PinkCherry) includes a wide range of subtle fruity flavours, each as tasty as the last.

    Sliquid Swirl lubes are glycerine-free and sweetened with a small amount of aspartame, so they never taste bitter. They’re almost identical in ingredients to the Sliquid H2O formula, but I’ve always felt like they dry out a little bit faster. My current partner doesn’t notice a difference between any of the different formulas, though, so perhaps it’s all in my head.

    I’m dying to try the new Swirl Tangerine Peach, but for now, my favourite Swirls are Green Apple (an excellent, lightly-flavoured sweet green apple taste that never gets old) and Pina Colada (a pineapple-y coconut that seems to fit just perfectly with group sex.)

    Sliquid Swirl flavoured lubricant review

    The verdict?

    Overall, I’m a big fan of Sliquid lubes. They’re the favourite brand of most sex bloggers, and their popularity makes them pretty easy to find. All Sliquid formulas are free of parabens and glycerine, so they’re body-safe, and the water-based formulas covered here are silicone-free and won’t stain your sheets.

    Of the bunch, my must-haves are Sliquid Organics Oceanics, H2O, and the Swirl Green Apple flavour!

    Availability: Sliquid can be found at SheVibe, Come As You ArePinkCherry, and most independent sex shops.

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    FaceOff Cloth review & comparison to microfibre cloths

    FaceOff Cloth review

    The product: FaceOff Cloth All-in-One Makeup Remover

    The trend of the moment may be silicone makeup sponges, but this week, I’ve been testing out microfibre face cloths. I have the FaceOff Cloth (“Your All-in-One Makeup Remover”), which is one of the more budget-friendly versions of this product: one cloth will run you $12.95 CAD.

    Faceoff all in one makeup remover cloth review

    How microfibre makeup removers work

    Just like in a regular cloth, each fibre in a microfibre cloth picks up particles of dirt, grime, and makeup, trapping them in the cloth. However, the fibres in microfibre cloths are, well, micro. They’re really bloody small, and the more fibers you have, the more surface area you’re working with – so the more thoroughly you can clean something in one swipe.

    These particles are then supposed to wash out easily with hot water, which relaxes the fibers slightly and un-traps the dirt. This is mostly true, but my cloth is definitely showing signs of staining.

    Swatches makeup remover before

    Swatches – before the cloth! They’re all long-wearing or waterproof products.

    How the FaceOff Cloth compares

    I tested the FaceOff cloth against two other cloths, all with the same products – a mix of eyeliners, lip liners, and lipsticks. My first cloth tested was just a regular cotton washcloth (Cl). It did the worst job of the bunch, barely removing any product at all.

    My second cloth was a microfibre with larger fibers (MF). I wanted to show the wide of variation between different cloths, so I went with a cheap cleaning microfibre. It did quite well, removing just as much makeup as the FaceOff Cloth, but with a little more friction needed.

    Finally, the last set of swatches was removed by the FaceOff Cloth (FO). It removed almost all of the makeup, with the least friction necessary. However, it wasn’t perfect; pigment stains were still left on my skin, and you can see in the photos how irritated my skin was afterwards.

    Microfiber makeup remvoer review after faceoff cloth

    Washcloth/microfibre/FaceOff Cloth

    My thoughts on the FaceOff Cloth

    The FaceOff Cloth worked a lot better than I expected it to, removing as much of my makeup as an oil-based makeup remover would. However, it’s still not something that I would purchase on my own – and for a very good reason.

    I have sensitive skin, and even though the FaceOff Cloth feels very soft to the touch, it’s way too aggressive for my skin. In order to remove my makeup with it, I have to wipe pretty firmly, and it leaves my skin feeling really raw each time. It’s the worst in my eye area, where my skin is left bright red and tender to the touch until the next day.

    This sensitivity makes sense, because a cloth can’t discern what’s makeup from what’s skin. Alongside all of the grime from the day, the FaceOff Cloth is removing all of my dead skin cells, and likely a few that aren’t quite ready to go yet, either.

    Microfiber makeup remover cloth review

    The verdict?

    As cool as removing my makeup with just a cloth is, I’m not a fan of the microfibre cleaning method. It’s even harsher on my skin than getting a chemical peel at a dermatologist’s office, and I shudder at the thought of doing that to my face every day. So, while the FaceOff Cloth does technically work, I wouldn’t recommend it. It would be way too easy to over-exfoliate your face with this cloth, which risks breaking down your skin’s natural lipid barrier and triggering the overproduction of sebum.

    If you must try a microfibre face cloth, I’d recommend looking them up on Amazon, where you can get the same quality of product for half the price. And hey – order yours in black to hide the staining.

    Availability: $12.95 CAD at FaceOff Cloth; on sale for $5 CAD at Showcase.