Odacité Pomegranate + Rose Geranium serum oil review, photos | How one skincare brand changed my view on oils for good

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Odacite Pomegranate Rose Geranium serum oil review

The product: Odacité Pomegranate + Rose Geranium Facial Serum Concentrate

I’m not a facial oil kind of girl. That’s not to say that I haven’t tried any before (I have; recently, L’Occitane and Marie Veronique come to mind), but… I’ve never loved one before, you know? They always just feel too thin, or too greasy, or they don’t to enough for my dryness. I’ve always loved the idea of them, but we’ve never gotten along.

Until now.

Odacite skincare review The Detox Market

About Odacité

That in mind, I didn’t have very high hopes for this range, but Odacité proved me wrong in every way possible. Unlike other brands, Odacité focuses on freshness and ingredients, and their range of 18 oils are all super-potent, super-targeted, and made to compliment your skincare regimen, not replace it.

Perhaps coolest of all, Odacité labels feature an easy-to-reference “table of pure elements that tells you about your product in detail.

Odacité Table of Pure Elements

Po + R has an origin number of #CVG12GSa, which translates into: cold pressed virgin first ingredient (pomegranate oil) grown in Europe, specifically Germany; and a second ingredient (rose geranium) that’s grown without chemicals in South Africa.

The brand is also vegan and cruelty-free, and you won’t find any silicones, parabens, or artificial fragrances in any of their products.

Odacite Po + R facial serum concentrate oil review

Po + R = HG

I don’t toss the H-word (holy grail) around lightly, but guys, this stuff is amazing. It’s a super-thick oil that mixes into your regular moisturizer like a dream, and it’s insanely effective.

» At $27 & up, Odacité oils are a fantastic way to increase the efficacy of your fancy moisturizer while also stretching out its life by half!

If you’ve ever tried to mix anything into a heavy creme like German Nivea, you’ll know that it’s virtually impossible — the water-repellent cream just kind of slicks away the second ingredient. But, because this serum isn’t diluted with anything, it mixes easily into any type of moisturizer. I find what works best is cutting my regular amount of moisturizer in half, then adding 1-2 drops of Po + R.

Odacite Pomegranate Rose Geranium oil review

The resulting cream is rich, emollient, and super luxurious. I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have serious dehydration (Odacité makes 17 other oils that’ll be better suited to your skin type!), but for those looking for dry skin relief, this is a must-have.

I saw results with this oil literally within 24 hours, and they stick around. After a few days of constant use, stubborn dry patches will disappear, and your foundation will start applying like a dream — this stuff is so smooth and hydrating that it almost seems to prime your skin at the same time.

Full disclosure: I am possibly developing an allergy to something in this oil, so I’m not using it right now. The super-hydrating effects lasted for around 7-10 days before diminishing, though, which is crazy impressive!

Odacite facial serum concentrate review

The verdict?

I didn’t think I’d ever be a facial oil kind of gal, and to be honest, I’m still not — but I am now a HUGE fan of Odacité serum concentrates.

If you have tight skin and dry patches that you can’t seem to shake, you need this oil in your life. Pomegranate + Rose Geranium pairs heavy comfort with great hydration better than any product I’ve ever tried before, and it’ll “beef up” whatever moisturizer you’re currently using, be it high-end or budget. (It pairs well with Odacité’s own moisturizers, too!)

Availability: Po+R is $43 USD/$49 CAD at Odacité, The Detox Market CA (you can get these in person in Toronto), or The Detox Market US. The Facial Serum Concentrate range starts at $27 USD.

Keep reading! »

Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler review, before & after, and photos | Hair curling for dummies (with no risk of being eaten)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kiss Instawave Automatic Curler review

The product: Kiss InstaWave automatic curler

To all of you out there who are bad at curling your hair: you’ve heard of automatic curlers, right? The Conair Curl Secret (which I reviewed here for the Best Buy VIVA Blog) and the BaByliss Miracurl?

Well, this is like the lovechild of the creepy turtle-curler and the clamp-less curling wand, and it is beautiful.

Kiss Instawave review

How it works: The KISS InstaWave (yes, KISS like the nail brand) is the only product that I know of that functions quite like this, and it works by using a rotating base to feed your hair around a wand instead of using hidden mechanics to suck your hair into a Terror Shell™ of tangles.

Like the $200 BaByliss Miracurl, it can curl in either direction (the Curl Dial switch is also the “on” button, and will rotate the base when you press it), and you can switch directions without having to reload your hair onto the wand — you just grab some hair, put it by the base of the InstaWave, and let the iron do its thing.

Kiss InstaWave how to

Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler how to use

What’s really awesome about the InstaWave, though, is that its totally terror-free — and I tried my hardest to make it mess up. Because it curls everything around a curling wand instead of wrapping it up inside of a Cave of Doom, hairs going in the wrong direction will just get mussed up, instead of devoured and solidly knotted, and you can start your curl anywhere with zero risk of fish hooking.

It also shuts itself automatically after 90 minutes (you know, because house fires are scary) and has two heat settings, the highest being 420˚F. I use the lowest setting, and my hair takes 5-10 seconds per section to curl and the curl lasts all day.

Kiss Instawave review before after

The problem with the InstaWave: Okay, so here’s the deal. This baby is pretty much perfect, save for being a little heavy, but… it makes an audible, high-pitched squeal when plugged in. And the squealing only gets louder when you turn it on.*

So, you’re going to have to store this thing unplugged, and if you have auditory sensitivities (I do), it’s a bad choice for you right now. However, I’ve been assured that KISS Products is addressing this issue currently, so hopefully the InstaWaves will be properly silent by the end of the year!

Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler

The verdict?

If you want to try out an automatic curler, KISS is pretty much the only brand you should be looking at. The InstaWave is very affordable (other automatic curlers run at $130-$250), relatively lightweight, and both more versatile and easier to use than the shell-type models. 

However–and this is a big however–the cheap price tag comes at a cost. You’ll need to unplug your InstaWave after every use, and the squealing noise (similar to the noise a cheap battery charger will make) is unavoidable, at least for now. I liked this curler a lot more than the Conair Curl Secret, but if you can wait for the second run (which should be quieter), do!

Availability: $69.96 CAD/$74.39 USD at Walmart (CA) and Target (US), in stores and online.

Keep reading! »

Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals “Greys” 8-Pan Palette swatches, review, photos | Super sleek + super affordable, with a side of extra-super-awesome

Friday, February 13, 2015

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys Palette review

The product: Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette in Wear Everywhere Greys

This palette, you guys, is everything.

“Pretty. Simple. Overstuffed makeup bags everywhere are rejoicing.

Life is complicated. With Clinique, pretty is easy. Mistake proof combinations exist within every palette. Go matte, go shimmery, and get creative. There are no wrong answers.”

-Clinique, preachin’ the truth

The shades: Clinique is always great at telling you which shadows are what, and this palette is no exception. In Wear Everywhere Greys, you’ll find Fawn Satin (Matte, from the Seashell Pink duo), a pinky satin-matte; High Tea (Matte, LE), a lovely purpley taupe; Mushroom (Super Shimmer LE), a gorgeous taupe that is not the same as the one in the Nutcracker Act I eyeshadow palette (see it worn here); and Grey Matters (Matte, LE), a dark grey-brown.

Clinique Nutcracker Mushroom swatch vs Wear Everywhere Greys Mushroom

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite’s Mushroom (L) vs. the Wear Everywhere Greys’ Mushroom (R). You could have used ANY OTHER NAME, Clinique. Why would you do this.

Fifth comes the bright, white Sugar Cane (Soft Shimmer, permanent), then the neutral Silver Lining (Super Shimmer, permanent; not too blue!), both from the regular line. The palette finishes off with two insanely buttery liner/crease shades: Stormy (Soft Shimmer, LE), a gorgeous neutral-warm brown, and Stroke of Midnight (Matte, permanent), your standard soft black.

The formula: Clinique has played around with a lot of different eyeshadow formulations over the past couple of years, and while this palette doesn’t represent the very, very best of them, it’s still really good. Some of the shades feel a little dry in the pan (keep that in mind if you look at these in-store), but when you actually use them, they work perfectly — zero fall-down, easy to blend, and really well-pigmented.

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys review swatches 8 pan

Clinique Wear Everywhere Greys swatches

Clinique Greys 8 pan Neutrals palette review

With primer, I get all-day wear out of these (which is really rare for me). The buttery, pigmented Mattes and Soft Shimmers are the best performers in the palette, while the few Super Shimmers remind me a lot of Clinique’s old Colour Surge eyeshadows — they feel drier and almost gritty when swatched, but still apply really gently and smoothly to the lid.

Overall, this Wear Everywhere Neutrals palette is of excellent quality, and there are no poor performers in Greys that drag the rest down.

Clinique 8 pan palette Greys review Wear Everywhere Neutrals

Just the right size! And shades!

The verdict?

Okay, okay, okay: here is the most exciting part of this post. I don’t care if you wear a lot of eyeshadow or only very little, you need one of the Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals palettes, because they’re foolproof and only freakin’ $40!!!

Are these palettes perfect perfect? Eh, not technically — but if you want a monochromatic palette, these are your very best bet. They’ll leave you crease- and fallout-free, and strike the perfect balance between variety & simplicity. (Plus: $40!! And just as well-thought-out as the Shu Uemura Prêt-à-Palettes, which are more than twice the price!)

Availability: $36 USD/$40 CAD at Clinique counters & online.

Keep reading! »

Vixen Creations VixSkin Mustang in Fluor-a-Pink: review, photos | Give yourself the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. (EVER.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vixen VixSkin Mustang review art

The product: Vixen Creations VixSkin Mustang in Fluor-a-Pink

You know something is good–like, really, really good–when you can’t shut up about it when talking to your friends.

VixSkin is no exception.

Keep reading! (Warning: NSFW) »

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column, Vol. 1: Blogger Introduction

Sunday, February 8, 2015

bisc-ft-vol1

Happy Sunday, dear reader! Today, I have a little something special to share with you — ever since I shut down BBLL (I loved doing it, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule anymore), I’ve been hoping to find a new community of bloggers to exchange links with every now and then.

The lovely Jaa (from HelloJaa) solved this problem for me by asking me to be a part of her brand-new Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column, a super cool series that’s going to feature the bloggers you see below. Today, she’s put together a Blogger Introduction so we can all get acquainted with each blogger, their skin type, their makeup style, and their makeup bag staples!

I hope you enjoy the intro.

OUR PANEL OF SELECTED BLOGGERS

bisc-bloggers 2

- AGATA -

USA; Her and Makeup
Skin color and type: MAC NW20; normal
Makeup style: Smokey eyes with neutral brown shades, pink lips, pink and glowy cheeks
Makeup bag staples:  Mac Face and Body foundation, N2, Buxom Lash Waterproof mascara in Black, and Dior Addict Gloss in Princess

- ALICE -

Belgium; Alice Yeh
Skin color and type: MAC NC25; dry to normal
Makeup style: Fairly neutral with a natural smokey-eye
Makeup bag staples: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in shade 6.5 (The one foundation I rely on on bad skin days and big events. It guarantees great skin without failure. Thanks to it’s medium – buildable coverage, it blurs imperfections and creates a beautiful soft-focus look. It blends in so beautifully that even a magnifying mirror fails to detect it. I call it an Instagram filter in a bottle because that’s exactly what it is.), Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in shade Sepia Ink (Whilst I describe my make-up look to be rather neutral, I do have to confess that I haven’t been able to leave the house without a flick on the eyes. Bobbi Brown’s formula is hard to beat: it’s longwearing, smudge-free and budge-free. It applies so easily that it omits the need of cotton buds. Sepia Ink is a very dark ashy brown and wears beautifully day and night. I’ve caught myself to reach back to this time and time again.), and Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in shade Amazing Grace (A neutral lipstick hunt is generally just a wild-goose chase in my books because most of them are either too pink or too pale. Amazing Grace however is my current neutral lip love. The shade injects just the perfect amount of colour to perk up your complexion without being overly pink. Some people rock pink so naturally but I’m definitely not one of them. The formula rocks as well. It’s a creamy matte formula – yes you’ve read that well – that feels great on the lips and fades into the prettiest stain after having been displayed for a good few hours. There’s just nothing not to love.)

- DEE -

Canada; How Does Dee Do It
Skin color and type: NC 35-NC42 (depending on the time of year ); dry
Makeup style: Neutral with a pop of brights/colour
Makeup bag staples:  Nivea Lip Smoothie lip balm in Acai & Wild Apple (now called  Nivea Lip Care Kiss of Vitamin Swirl), Too Faced Teddy Berry lipstick, and Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach)

- ERIN -

USA; Clever Girl Reviews
Skin color and type: Ranges from N/NW 5 to 15 depending on the time of year; combination with Rosacea; it can veer very dry and dehydrated in winter
Makeup style: Softer looks for day, bolder looks for night
Makeup bag staples: Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin (I have bought at least 30 tubes since it came out), L’Oreal Voluminous Full Definition (20 – 40 tubes. I’ve lost count), and Armani Sheer Blush in #2 (this blush is worth every cent if you can find it)

- JAA -

USA/Thailand; Hello Jaa
Skin color and type: MAC NC30; combination
Makeup style: Smokey neutral
Makeup bag staples: Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Ocher, Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in Cruise, and Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper

Keep reading! »

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