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    Beat dryness down under with Vagisil ProHydrate

    Vagisil x theNotice daily essentials

    *sponsored by Vagisil

    Try as we might, sometimes things downstairs just don’t go as smoothly as you may have hoped. That might apply to your actual, literal downstairs neighbours, but it can apply to the quivering quim downstairs, too.

    (I’m sorry, did I google a list of hilarious vagina euphemisms include in this post? You bet your mother-of-all-souls I did.)

    Vagisil ProHydrate water-based lubricant applicadtor review

    Why Vagisil ProHydrate is on my radar

    The Vagisil ProHydrate Natural Feel Moisturizing Gel is designed to relieve vaginal dryness. It’s a pretty personal topic for me, because despite the fact that I’m only 24, I experience it on a regular basis. I know that dryness is usually associated with post-menopausal women, but folks?

    Unless my vertical grimace is hiding something big from me, it’s not just something that affects menopausal women. Vaginal dryness can be caused by a lot of other things, including hormonal fluctuations, certain medications, and plain ‘ol stress.

    Vagisil ph balance wash

    Vagisil makes a range of products including a moisturizing gel/lubricant, a pH Balanced Wash (basically just a gentle soap for your down under), and an Extra Strength Anti-Itch Crème. Because they’re made by Vagisil, they’re pretty affordable and easy to find. I’d love to see the range expand to include glycerine-free options in the future, but for now, the accessibility alone more than grants Vagisil a mention.

    Vagisil ProHydrate is water-based and features no added estrogen, no perfumes, no dyes, and no preservatives. It’s silicone-, fragrance-, and paraben-free. However, I want to make sure to note that the formula does contain glycerine.

    Vagisil extra strength anti itch creme

    How I use Vagisil ProHydrate Natural Feel

    Vagisil ProHydrate is kind of a cross between a moisturizing serum and a personal lubricant. It’s made to function as both, and you can use it both ways.

    For those who experience dryness 24/7, Vagisil recommends that you use ProHydrate Natural Feel once every 3 days. The formula is water-based for instant relief, but it also contains hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture. (Just like in your facial skincare!)

    I use a lot of lube, but honestly? Sometimes, it’s just really damn nice not to have to stop, scramble, find the bottle, apply, and clean up. I use my Vagisil ProHydrate ahead of time if I want the option of getting caught up in the moment, and it does a stellar job of just hanging out until I need it.

    Vagisil ProHydrate Moisturizing Feel applicator

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    We-Vibe Tango review + budget bullet vibrators with Adam & Eve

    We-Vibe Tango review

    *sponsored by Adam & Eve

    The product: We-Vibe Tango Vibrator (and a few budget bullet vibrators)

    I’ve talked about the We-Vibe Tango before, but I did it with a not insubstantial amount of trepidation. Now, two years later, I’ve got a follow up review… Because the Tango has become one of my can’t-live-without-it toys.

    What makes the We-Vibe Tango worth it

    The Tango is a legend in the sex blogging community. It’s incredibly strong, quiet, and compact. I like to think of it as the gold standard that all other bullet vibrators compare themselves against: it’s the stronger, better, cooler older sibling who your parents have always loved more.

    We-Vibe Tango one in one out re-review

    I have my reservations about the We-Vibe Tango, because for all of its strengths, its battery life is seriously lacking. Like other We-Vibe toys, it can struggle to hold a charge, and usually only lasts about 60 minutes before running out of juice.

    But despite all of that, when my first We-Vibe Tango died on me last Christmas, I bought another one immediately. The vibrations on this toy are so good–so dependable–that I started getting orgasm-related anxiety without it. I made it about 3 weeks before caving and biting the bullet on a second Tango, even though I knew its battery life was going to be a little bit crap, too.

    We-Vibe Tango bullet vibrator review

    Other budget bullet vibrator options

    As amazing as the We-Vibe Tango is, however, it is pretty pricey. I think the price is worth it, but I know it doesn’t fit all budgets.

    I wanted to try out a few budget bullet vibrators from Adam & Eve for this post, but US/Canadian customs kept destroying my incoming parcels. So, as much as I would have liked to, I won’t be able to add firsthand accounts.

    Instead, here are a few budget bullet vibrators available at AdamandEve.com that are offered on a really great deal. The ones listed here are waterproof, and they’re 50% off one item plus free shipping in the US and Canada if you use the code NOTICE. (The “50% off one item” deal applies to about 90% of the site, but a few brands like We-Vibe are excluded.)

    Image HTML map generator

    About Adam & Eve

    Adam & Eve is a bit of an industry relic. They started out back in 1969 selling condoms by mail for founder Phil Harvey’s masters thesis, and officially set up shop the following year.

    Phil Harvey splits his time between Adam & Eve and DKT International, a non-profit organization that provides “family planning, health care, and sex materials to nine third-world countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” Over 20% of Adam & Eve’s profits each year are donated to charities including DKT, the Special Olympics, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    However: before you order your Tango or non-We-Vibe bullet, PLEASE NOTE that Adam & Eve still operates like an older sex toy shop. Their charitable work is very commendable, but they still sell toxic toys, offer non-discreet mailers, and list their toys under “for him” and “for her” – which doesn’t necessarily take the well-being of their consumer into mind.

    Adam & Eve is a leader in the sex toy industry, so I’ve been emailing the brand to voice my concerns about their gendered marketing tactics. If you’d like to help me encourage them to lead the pack in non-gendered marketing, tweet them at @adamandeve!

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    Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick review, swatches

    Maybelline color sensational lipstick review

    The products: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 560 Raw Chocolate (Matte), 575 Brown Blush (Matte), 790 Midnight Merlot (Bold), and 955 Espresso Exposed 

    I’ve been really into a brownish, creamy lip this year. There’s just something about a totally shimmer-free shade that does it for me: that luscious, “you don’t know what I’m up to or who I’ve killed” kind of look.

    I’ve worn Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks for years, and I’m happy to say that they’re still just as good as they were when they launched. The colour selection has a lot more vampy shades and neutrals now, and they still have the same slightly-tacky, comforting formula.

    Maybelline 955 Espresso Exposed Color Sensational swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Espresso Exposed” Color Sensational lipstick swatch

    The original Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick formula

    The typical Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick formula is relatively heavy. It has opaque coverage and a smooth application, but it’s also heavily scented.

    The original formula (used in 955 Espresso Exposed) is still my favourite of the bunch. It wears for about 3 hours before I need to touch up.

    Maybelline 560 Raw Chocolate matte lipstick swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Raw Chocolate” Color Sensational Matte lipstick swatch

    The Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick formula

    The Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick formula is a lot drier. It has a similar heaviness, but has a dry finish and applies more patchily. Unlike the original formula, I’d say that the mattes tend to be medium-opaque. 

    Maybelline 575 Brown Blush matte lipstick swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Brown Blush” Color Sensational Matte lipstick swatch

    I can wear the Maybelline matte formula for about an hour before it starts to get uncomfortable, and it needs to be touched up in 2 hours. (Or after a meal or snack, so like… every two hours anyways.)

    I tried the Maybelline Color Sensational Matte formula in 560 Raw Chocolate and 575 Brown Blush. The former was a little too orange for my complexion, but the latter is gorgeous. It’s a really mauvey, violet-based shade.

    Maybeline 790 Midnight Merlot swatch review photos

    Maybelline “Midnight Merlot” Color Sensational Bold lipstick swatch & stain

    The Maybelline Color Sensational Bold Lipstick formula

    Finally, I also tried the Maybelline Color Sensational Bold finish in 790 Midnight Merlot. It’s a beautiful shade, but I had a little more trouble with the formula.

    The Bold finish packs a lot of pigment, but it has more slip than the original formula. If you hate the tackiness of the original Color Sensationals, you may actually enjoy these.

    That being said, the Bolds do make for a beautiful stain – so much so that I took a swatch photo of Midnight Merlot’s stain, too.

    Maybelline Color Sensational in the nudes review

    The Maybelline Color Sensational verdict?

    It’s really no secret that I love an affordable find, and these definitely fit the bill. If you can put up with a strongly scented lipstick, I really think these are worth owning–especially 955 Espresso Exposed.

    Availability: $7.29 USD/$9.99 CAD at drugstores and mass market retailers.

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    Kenzo World perfume review (AKA Francis Kurkdjian, I am so over you.)

    Kenzo World eau de parfum review

    The product: Kenzo World Eau de Parfum

    It’s been a long time since the Kenzo world had a really big worldwide launch. Don’t get me wrong: their perfume house hasn’t been sitting idly by these last few years. But it has been pretty quiet in North America, and they’ve been focusing on localized launches and flankers.

    (Hey, does anyone know if Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Thé is still around? That stuff was gorgeous.)

    Kenzo World review

    The world of Kenzo

    This year, Kenzo’s relative silence is changing. They tapped Francis Kurkdjian for their latest project, Kenzo World (YES, REALLY. Hello, major star power). The new fragrance is intensely weird, and it’s Kenzo’s first fragrance created in collaboration between both their perfume and fashion houses.

    The fragrance’s TV spot (which really feels more like a movie trailer) packs a star-studded cast, from director Spike Jonze to dancer Margaret Qualley. You can watch it online, or you can catch it in virtual reality at select Sephora stores.

    Just like the scent, the fragrance seeks to push the boundaries, making the consumer feel just slightly disturbed. The bottle is equally strange: it features a little gem instead of a pupil, with rubber ribbed eyelashes. If you remove the lid, the top-down view is still an eye.

    My thoughts on Kenzo World

    As a perfume lover, I think that Kenzo could have gone much, much weirder with this perfume. It’s quite strong, but to my nose… It’s not that special.

    It pains me to say that, because I LOVE the messaging behind Kenzo World. I love the bottle, and I love how passionate its creators are about it. But it smells like a fast-fading mass-market perfume, not a boundary-pushing one.

    Kenzo World eye edp

    Kenzo World opens extremely sweet, backed onto heavy florals. Its key note is ambroxan, a highly contrastive ambergris derivative found in scents like Escentric 02.

    To be fair, this isn’t bad for a mass-market perfume, but it does smell a lot like every other “sweet, woodsy floral” out there. I am keenly reminded of both Thierry Mugler Angel Étoile des Rêves and My Burberry Black in this one (the latter which was also a Kurkdjian creation, and is a near-clone for this scent).

    Kenzo World perfume review

    The Kenzo World verdict?

    I’m a little disappointed in Kenzo World. Or, more accurately: I’m a little disappointed in Francis Kurkdjian. Kenzo created a fantastic concept for this scent, and I feel like he really dropped the ball on it. Yes, the house gets the final say, but this scent is more or less just a softer reworking of Kurkdjian’s My Burberry Black.

    If you like sweet floral-woods perfumes, then you’ll enjoy this one. It’s not to my tastes, but for a sweet woods perfume, it’s nice. (My partner loves it, and also really enjoyed the new Angel and My Burberry Black.) My only caveat is that it fades quickly for an Eau de Parfum, so be mindful and apply in layers.

    Availability: $87 USD/$105 CAD at Sephora. Kenzo World is available in select boutiques in Canada and Germany right now, and officially launches worldwide September 2017.

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    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster, Skin Booster review, swatches, photos

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster review less

    The products: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster in 01 Light Pink and Ultra HD Skin Booster

    Make Up For Ever is pretty well-known for their Ultra HD (and former HD) lines, and this season, that line is expanding. The brand is adding an Ultra HD Skin Booster, a Ultra HD Lip Booster in Clear and Light Pink, and two new powders to the range.

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster review, photos

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster in 01 Light Pink review ($23 USD/$29 CAD)

    The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster is a strange creature. It’s promoted as a lip serum, packaged like a lip oil, and hydrates like a light lip balm.

    I know I just knocked a lip oil, but the Ultra HD Lip Booster isn’t really an oil. It’s a hyaluronic acid-enriched lip serum that billets itself as a “multi-purpose lip product,” and it’s really just stellar. It feels like a really cushy lip balm or a totally non-sticky lipgloss.

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster 01 Light Pink swatches, review, photos

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster in 01 Light Pink – lip swatches in indirect sunlight

    The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster is pricey at $29 CAD, but despite that fact, I really like it. I enjoy everything about it, from the super-sheer pinky-mauve tint to the extra-comfy cushion applicator. (It’s kind of like a super-sized doe foot that never comes out of the container with too much product. You might recognize it from Clarins or Sephora lip and cheek products from the last few years.)

    Make Up For Ever billets the Ultra HD Lip Booster as a product that’s made “for prepping your lips for makeup application,” but it’s really excellent overtop a lip stain, too. It has a light “chemically” scent, but doesn’t give me a headache.

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster review

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster review ($41 USD/$51 CAD)

    I’m a little less crazy about the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster, but let me just say that I don’t mind its formula at all. It’s a really nice product in great packaging; I’m just not crazy about hyaluronic acid serums.

    The Ultra HD Skin Booster has a light, pleasant fragrance and a thin texture. It absorbs really quickly, and is made to be used after your moisturizer but 15 minutes before your primer. The formula features quite a bit of glycerine, so it does make your skin slightly tacky.

    MUFE Ultra HD Boosters review

    If you like a good hyaluronic acid serum, then this is worth a look. It doesn’t make a big difference for me (and I don’t personally find that it’s worth the money), but it’s the kind of product that will work for all skin types. It is pretty comfortable for me to use, especially in the short term, and does a great job of disguising dry patches if pressed into the skin following makeup application.

    I’ve read that this is the same packaging and formula as the discontinued Make Up For Ever HD Elixir, so if that was a favourite of yours, you’re in luck!

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster review light pink

    Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster in 01 Light Pink – review

    The verdict on the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Boosters?

    I enjoyed trying out the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Boosters, but I think they’re a little pricey for what they are: a liquid lip balm and a hyaluronic acid serum. That being said, they’re both great products, and they’re packaged just perfectly.

    For brand devotees, these are actually a pretty nice addition to the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD line. I’d say that both of them are -nice to-haves” that have worked their way into my daily rotation, but neither are must-haves for me (unlike some of the brand’s colour products).

    Availability: New permanent products available at Make Up For Ever and Sephora.

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