L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT review, photos | A gorgeous spring veil of iris

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Mother's Day review

The product: L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette

I was supposed to write about L’Occitane Roses et Reines for Mother’s Day this year. I was supposed to. That was the plan, and if I may say so myself, it was a good plan.

But then I was introduced to the newest member of La Collection de Grasse family, and all of my plans went out the window.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Collection de Grasse review

The story: This season, L’Occitane has brought irises back onto the fields of Grasse, using sustainable farming methods to grow this Tuscan flower in the heart of perfume country. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc pairs two different variations of irises to create a wonderfully light veil of spring freshness, bottled into lovely gold and blue-violet packaging.

“White iris from the Mediterranean contrast its evanescent sweetness with the intensity of the blue Iris pallida from Grasse.”   -L’Occitane

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc

The scent: I know I’ve said that L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia is my favourite from the line, but… I mean, this is gorgeous. It’s light and clean and really, really easy to wear, and it’s hard to overdo.

The brand says that this scent is “EVOCATIVE OF A halo of iridescent powder on a cheek flushed by the chill of morning,” and I have to say: they’re not that far off. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc isn’t really floral at all, and it feels very iridescent indeed; it opens with a crisp, sweet freshness and fades into something tart and woody that wears very close to the skin.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc review

My only complaint is that, as a really fresh-smelling Eau de Toilette, this one does fade quite quickly. But for something this fleetingly effervescent, I’m willing to make the trade.

TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant and citrus (orange blossom)

HEART NOTES: Iris, ylang-ylang, and peach

BASE NOTES: Iris, cedar, and white musk

L'Occitane Iris Bleu et Iris Blanc shower gel

Also new this season: Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc ancillaries (Body Milk, Shower Gel, and Perfumed Soap), which start at $8 CAD.

Additionally, look for new La Collection de Grasse hand creams; Jasmin & Bergamot, Néroli & Orchidée, and Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc will all be available for $12 CAD in lovely plastic packaging. (This is the L’Occitane formula with silicones, I’m afraid, but the new Roses et Reines hand cream is silicone-free, for those interested!)

L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse hand cream

The verdict?

Whether you’re looking for the perfect spring scent, you’re on the hunt for a happy, delicate fragrance to wear to the office, or you’re picking up a few treats for your mom this Mother’s Day, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one that you need to check out.

It’s very easy to wear and definitely not a “sexy” or edgy scent, but I think it’ll turn heads with its sheer, fruity-but-classy simplicity. You need this.

Availability: $75 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques and online beginning this May.

Keep reading! »

BISC Vol. 6 | Makeup & Skincare DOs and DON’Ts

Sunday, April 26, 2015

BISC6-group2

Makeup / Skincare DOs and DON’Ts

LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash

  1. When it comes to both makeup and skincare, DO know your own face and skin. Your skin type, skin tone, skin behaviour. Nobody knows your skin better than you.
  2. Do your own experiment – mix and match or layer different products. Layer different serums or mix foundation shades. Pull out your inner mad scientist but as a rule of thumb, refer number 1 first.
  3. Don’t be afraid to sample new skincare or new looks. When it comes to makeup especially, it’s more fun to try a variety of looks and explore your own features at the same time.

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

  1. DO treat all acne like face acne. (This is so, so important. I had back acne for years, and it all but disappeared when I started moisturizing my back.)
  2. DON’T try too many new things at once. It’s tempting, but too many new treatments at once can stress out your skin barrier and leave your skin really reactive!
  3. DO bend the rules. Makeup and skincare should be fun! And a little bathroom alchemy never hurt anyone.

SARA | Germany | Color Me Loud

  1. Don’t wear foundation which is too light or too dark compared to the tone of your neck. This one seems to be a common mistake, to the point that it is widely excepted by the brands, so they release their foundations in deeper shades in one part of the world and very light shade in the other. Try not to go with the trend, there is nothing less appealing than your face sticking out of your neck.
  2. Do test out skin care and foundation and actively ask for the shops to provide you with samples. This is especially important if you are going to spend a small fortune on the product. No samples, no purchase!
  3. Don’t (over)plug your eye brows. Later in life you might regret plugging them too much since they get ever more sparse each year.

bisc-vol5-grp2-authors

AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup

  1. Do emphasize your beauty but don’t conceal it. A lot of people will say that you put on makeup to hide the real you. Don’t. Use makeup to hide imperfections but play up your best features- beautiful eyes, prominent cheek bones, plump lips.
  2. Do step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Red lipstick is not for you? You won’t know until you try it on. Makeup is supposed to be fun, play with it.
  3. Do take good care of your skin. It’s the basis for all your makeup and if your skin isn’t well taken care of, no amount of makeup will cover it. Drink plenty of water, properly cleanse and moisturize your skin.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa

  1. Don’t pop or pick at your pimples to avoid acne scars!
  2. Do apply sunscreen religiously wherever there is sunlight, even when you are indoors.
  3. Don’t share your makeup, especially eye makeup, to prevent contamination and eye infection.

MIYU Beauty: A Sunday Well Spent Giveaway!

Friday, April 24, 2015

MIYU Beauty A Sunday Well Spent giveaway

My mom is not your stereotypical mom.

You can’t just get her flowers and bubble bath on Mother’s Day, and she’s happier with a hammer than a hammam, but even then… I mean, all moms deserve a little pampering. They put up with a lot from us young (and not so young) ‘uns, and everyone likes to get a little spoiled every now and then — no matter how practical and utilitarian they are.

MIYU Beauty giveaway review A Sunday Well Spent

Today, I have a really exciting giveaway for one of your moms (or yourself)! MIYU Beauty, who make those really pretty Beauty Essences and Teas that I reviewed last year, has offered to share one of their limited edition A Sunday Well Spent kits with a lucky reader of theNotice.

The kit ($100 value) is designed to de-stress even the busiest of moms, and includes:

A Sunday Well Spent MIYU Beauty

This giveaway is open to all readers of legal age (or with parental consent) in Canada & the US, and closes at midnight on May 3rd. To enter, just use the widget below!

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Images courtesy of MIYU Beauty.

Neutrogena Naturals vs Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Wipes review, comparison | The Make-Up Removing Wipe Showdown

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bioderma vs Neutrogena makeup removing wipes review

The products: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Make-Up Removing Wipes vs Bioderma Sensibio H2O (Créaline H2O) Dermatological Wipes

I’m not a makeup remover wipe kind of girl. But I will admit that they do have their appeal, and when these two packages of wipes landed on my desk at around the same time… I mean, I’d have to be a monster to not want to see how they measure up!

(Here’s how.)

!Neutrogena Naturals makeup wipes review

Neutrogena Naturals ($9.99 CAD/25 wipes)

Today’s first contender is a flashy new package of makeup wipes from Neutrogena. These are the brand’s first silicone-free wipes (finally!!!) and launched nationwide this March/April.

!Neutrogena makeup wipes review

They come generously soaked in green-apple-scented makeup remover, aren’t tested on animals, and are both bio-degradable and are made from fibres from sustainably-managed forests. They’re designed as a no-rinse way to remove face and eye makeup, and are formulated with Peruvian Tara Seed bionutrient to gently cleanse without any residue.

I have no idea what Peruvian Tara Seed is, but it sounds cool and I approve of anything that smells this crisp and uplifting.

Bioderma vs Neutrogena Naturals makeup remover wipes review comparison

Bioderma (left) vs Neutrogena Naturals (right) — wipes rubbed 5x over three different eyeliner formulas.

(Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil, Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense, and Annabelle Retractable Eyeliner)

!Neutrogena Naturals vs Bioderma makeup remover wipes review comparison

Bioderma (L) vs Neutrogena (R), scrubbed over the liners until nothing else would come off

The fast facts: 

  • $0.40/wipe
  • Paraben- and silicone-free
  • Smell AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS
  • 97% naturally derived
  • Double-sided smooth/bumpy texture

How they compare to the Bioderma wipes:

  • Not as soft and velvety
  • Remove makeup more quickly and effectively (I was really surprised about this, and actually ran three different tests to double check. The Neutrogena wipes won every single time!)

Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup wipes review

Bioderma Sensibio ($14.95 CAD/25 wipes)

Today’s second contender launched last fall from Bioderma (yes, that Bioderma). The Sensibio H2O wipes–which go by Créaline H2O overseas–are soaked in Bioderma micellar water and are made to cleanse and remove makeup on both the eyes and face.

(Note that these aren’t just saturated with the bottled Bioderma Sensibio water, though; this is a micellar water formulated specifically for these wipes.)

Bioderma Crealine H20 makeup wipes review

These are very gently fragranced (I think they smell kind of clinical and plasticky, honestly) and are very thick and soft.

Weirdly, my very favourite thing about these wipes is that they come in a really luxe, matte cherry package. It’s thicker and smoother than most wipes’ packaging, and it doesn’t crinkle as badly over time — so even 10 wipes in, the package still looks respectable and seals tightly.

The fast facts:

  • $0.59/wipe
  • Silicone-free
  • Great packaging
  • Thick, soft, velvety sheet texture

How they compare to the Neutrogena Naturals wipes:

  • Much more gentle (especially noticeable in the eye area, though both were a little prickly)
  • Leave skin feeling softer

!Neutrogena Naturals makeup removing wipes review texture

Neutrogena vs. Biodrma texture

The verdict?

I’m not a fan of using makeup removing/cleansing wipes everyday, but sometimes, the situation calls for them.

Both of these are great options, but honestly, I’d re-buy the Neutrogena wipes first. They’re a little bit rougher, but they do a better job of removing stubborn makeup… and they smell insanely (INSANELY) good!

Availability: The Neutrogena wipes are $7.49 USD/$9.99 CAD at drugstores across North America; the Bioderma wipes can be found at Murale and select drugstores across Canada for $14.95.

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review, photos – Gentle Radiance Cleanser (Airy Touch)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Conditioner review

The product: shu uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser Airy Touch

By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the giant, iconic Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils (oh, sorry, skin purifier cleansing oils), but did you know that Shu’s The Art of Hair line has a few cleansing oils in its lineup, too?

Yup. All of you cleansing oil fans can now oil cleanse your hair, too — and it is just as hysterically awesome as you’d expect.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review photos

The science: The Airy Touch Cleansing Oil Shampoo and Conditioners are formulated around the idea of onsen, the classic Japanese hot mineral-spring-water bath. To achieve this, both of the products are enriched with volcanic ferments sourced 2000 metres below sea level, and are formulated to leave the hair squeaky-clean and with an “airy touch” of volume. 

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser review

The formula: My favourite part about this Cleansing Oil Shampoo is that there is, in fact, something distinctly oily about it. It functions just like a normal shampoo (gentle, no oily residue, and a good amount of lather), but the formula is really silky. There’s no other way to put it — it just feels like a really luxe, thick, smooth, silky shampoo, and its texture is entirely unique.

Functionally, I think this one performs like a normal shampoo (maybe a touch more stripping than I was expecting), and just like with the face cleansing oils, you get a lot of bang for your buck. (I can easily shampoo my entire scalp with just one small pump from this giant bottle!)

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo 400 ml size review

The scent: One of the weird things that I’ve always liked about shu uemura is that their skincare and haircare products, for some reason, often have an actual, dedicated fragrance associated with them.

This one is scented with yuzu calm, which lists citrusy top notes, watery middle notes, and base notes of cedar, sage, and musk. Honestly, I don’t really think that it smells like yuzu, but I do like it! It smells like fancy shampoo; that’s the best I can do.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Airy Touch, conditioner review

The verdict?

I could’t try the yellow Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Conditioner due to its silicone content, but I’ve been using the Cleansing Oil Shampoo on and off for about a month, and I quite like it. 

For my dry skin and scalp, it’s a little too stripping to use every day, but it gives a good amount of volume — and its silky formula is quite a unique experience. If you’re really into textures (which you really should be; textures are great), then you definitely need to give this one a try!

Availability: $56 CAD/$57 USD for 400 ml at Shu Uemura – The Art of Hair (or $19 USD for a 75 ml travel size).

Keep reading! »

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