Color Blast by Orly

Take a look at the swatches of these super-fab colours I found at the pharmacy on clearance (very rarely, if ever, will I pay for cosmetics at full-price).

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I paid $4.96 for each of these beautiful colours. The teal colour is called Electric Blue. Two coats is all I needed to make this colour look its best. I’m a major sucker for anything blue, green, or especially teal. Electric Blue is a gentle but stand out-ish cream-based colour, and for myself it is a colour I’d wear daily (because I’m a teal fanatic, I must have EVERY variation of teal on the market). The second colour is a gorgeous rich sapphire blue, called Twilight, that has speckles of holographic glitter in it. This is definitely a fancy and celebrational colour, that you’d wear when you’re feeling extra glitzy, or going somewhere special.

2013-01-22 19Here is a second pic, that shows off the glitter in the darker blue better.

Ignoring my horribly dry and Canadian-winter-abused cuticles, you can see the glitter and both colours are real pretty. The blue does need to be shaken up every time I apply a new coat, but I find that is a good habit to get into when using any nail lacquer.

I have typically only used Orly nail lacquer, but I have seen several Orly “subsidiary” brands, if you will. Definitely worth checking these out! I found them at Rexall for under $5, but I don’t think they are all that expensive at full price.

 

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MoroccanOil’s Body Soufflé: Better than their actual moroccan oil

Years back, a hairstylist used MoroccanOil brand moroccan oil on my hair. It seemed to make my hair all sorts of awesome. I’m not quite certain whether it was the flat iron, other products, or the oil, but they sure seemed certain that the oil should accept credit for my luxurious locks. Of course, the scheme here was to get me to buy the oil, which was insanely over-priced, and there was maybe a 5% change I could re-create the look at home.

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I did not purchase the MoroccanOil at that time, though I did at a later date. And yes, you can bet I was disappointed. It was over-priced, and didn’t do anything much for my hair. I much prefer coconut oil or olive oil, if I’m doing a treatment. If you’ve bought this and it has worked for you –  hi-fives all around. But don’t fall into the hype.

Onto a MoroccanOil product I do enjoy! This light and fluffy body soufflé (as they call it) has a very light and  warm scent, with a hint of jasmine. It isn’t the smell I really enjoy about this, but more the texture. It surprised me, because it goes on so light, yet moisturizes so well. The packaging is simply gorgeous, and looks great on a bathroom or bedroom vanity.  It moisturizes impressively well, and absorbs quickly. Unfortunately, I am unable to find the ingredients on Makeup Alley, or the MoroccanOil Website (aside from them mentioning it contains shea butter and moroccan oil).

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Try it for yourself!

Get ready for an intensive review.. of Acne.Org’s regimen!

I’ve ordered the bigger size of Acne.Org‘s skin care products, in order to specifically follow The Regimen, plus their AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). I had gone through most of my life acne-free (minus a zit here and there). And then last summer – BAM! Whether the boyfriend and I were doing too much makin’ out (he can grow some mean facial hair), or I started using a product that aggravated my skin, something happened to make my skin break out.  It hasn’t cleared up in any major sense since, though I have started benzoyl peroxide treatment, which has shown some promise so far. I’ll be doing a full review of their cleanser, moisturizer, benzyol peroxide, and AHA! I am so excited to receive these products – the review is going to be super fantabulous.

TIME FOR SOME ZIT ZAPPIN’!

Derma E & Yes To Carrots: A guy’s perspective!

I am asked by everyone how they ought to take care of their skin, and what would work for their particular skin type. Lately, I’m being asked by more men than women! I thought it would be great to get a male perspective on some of my favourite products, and since I’m 100% woman, I gave about a two week sample of two of said favourites to a male friend of mine. I sent him three questions to answer about the samples.

The products, as well as my thoughts on them, are as follows:

  • Derma E’s Very Clear Problem Skin Cleanser: It isn’t often that I purchase a product twice, but this cleanser works great when I use it twice a day, and leave it on for 5-10 minutes as a pseudo-mask at night. It is creamy, rich, cooling (because of the tea tree oil), and gets rid of blemishes better than any other cleanser or mask I have tried!

Currently on sale on Derma E’s website, for $12.50!

and

  • Yes To Carrots’ Repairing Night Cream: Such a light, yet hydrating cream! I bought this for under $15 at Shoppers, and it works so well with my dry skin (I use it as a day moisturizer and a night moisturizer), that I don’t even need to apply extra coconut oil or intensive moisturizer to my face for adequate hydration (as I most often do).

Click on the photo to learn more about this night cream!

And the questions, plus his answers:

1) What was your favourite thing about using each of these products?

Derma E Cleanser: “Other than its effects on my pimples, my favourite part would have to be the tea tree oil! At first, this cleanser smelled like something you would find at the Home Depot in the paint section (ha ha, good one, Jake!). I don’t mean this in a negative way because I actually like its smell. After the first night, I noticed this pimple yard below my bottom lip completely gone (not even exaggerating). I’ve never tried anything like this before and kind of thought it should have been illegal. Thankfully, it isn’t! I will surely be using this from now on and wished it were introduced to me ten years ago.”

Yes To Carrots Moisturizer: “I really enjoy the smell of this cream. It feels really thick which is exactly why I do not need to use a lot. Luckily it will last me a while! After cleaning my face and a good shave, applying this moisturizer makes me want to touch my face all day. I like how it isn’t shiny either so it’s hard to tell that I’m using anything at all. My face does get dry all year around and especially during winter so I am sold on this product!”

2) If you could change something about either of these products to improve them, what would it be?

Derma E Cleanser: “I’m pretty sure that I was using the right amount but I would not mind if the cleanser either bubbles up or just stays white just to let me know that all areas of my face have been covered while cleaning.”

Yes To Carrots Moisturizer: “I can’t really think of anything here. Smells great, feels great!”

3) Did you notice an improvement in the condition of your skin, and how it felt or looked?

“After using the two products together I have definitely noticed an improvement in my skin. I never really was into cleaning and taking care of my face before but after being introduced to these items, I won’t stop using them. I was skeptical at first and one should be until one gives it a fair shot.”

Jake has since purchased both of these products! As far as everything except shaving-related products, guys don’t have to stick to male-specific skin care lines to take care of their skin. It also doesn’t have to be expensive.

Expect more talk from willing male testers and reviewers soon!

Arbonne’s RE9 Collection

I wrote about Arbonne’s FC5 collection awhile back, as well as my experience hosting a party for myself and my mother. I had a sweet Arbonne representative named Denise (whose information I will post below, in case any of you are interested in placing Arbonne orders, and you have questions) come by, and pamper my mother and I on a lovely spring afternoon.

Let me please say, that while I do not think the entire FC5 collection was good for my skin type / preferences, there were a few items I did really enjoy. On top of that, their cruelty-free message and uncompromising ingredient standard far surpasses that of many cosmetic companies, and I have to commend them for that.

With that said, I bring you my thoughts and experience with their RE9 Collection! Here are the goodies I sampled:

  • Smoothing Facial Cleanser
  • Restorative Day Creme with SPF 20
  • Corrective Eye Creme
  • Regenerating Toner
  • Night Repair Creme
  • Intensive Renewal Serum

The entire line has a delightfully light and calming seabuckthorn-ish organge-creamsicle scent. I preferred this scent to the intense fruity pizzazz from the FC5 line. One of my favourite scents is lavender; I’m a grandmother at heart.

My favourite product from this collection has to be the Intensive Renewal Serum. This was a delightfully creamy serum that didn’t dry out my skin, and gave my skin such a soft texture. I am 29 (as of today – Happy Birthday to me!), so I’ve been told that I need to start looking at a line of skin care catering to anti-aging, but I find that most of these lines lack the intense hydration and attention to sensitive skin that my skin needs! I’m not quite sure if it was a coincidence or not, but I also broke out (and I don’t break out often), while testing out this line. I think lack of hydration was a major culprit.

I also enjoyed the Night Repair Creme, which did hydrate, but it was the least level of hydration that I’d prefer (I actually needed to use that during the day, because the Day Creme was not at all moisturizing enough).

The least favourite in this collection was the Smoothing Facial Cleanser. It wasn’t hydrating enough, and didn’t impress me (especially for the price!).

If your skin isn’t as extremely in need of hydration like mine, and you are interested in investing in an anti-aging line, I would definitely suggest RE9. This line is quite expensive, but if you’ve got the money to invest – go for it!

If you have any questions about Arbonne, their products, or want help placing an order, send the wonderful Arbonne representative Denise Wreford an email, at denisewreford@gmail.com. Her Sponsor ID is 115484888!

Boy, do these Clean Well!

I have gone wipe crazy!

While I don’t really like getting ripped off, I picked these up at a health food store local to me (one of the many). They were almost 50% off, so I couldn’t resist! Now, I’ve gotten really into wipes for so many things. They’re great for cleaning, but I was always looking for eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and ingredient-quality brands!

Notice how they say they work for hands and face – well boy, did I take advantage of that! They’re great for removing makeup, though I’d use them at most once a day on my face.

There is no alcohol in this product – so it will not dry out your skin like so many  skin care cleansers, toners, wipes, moisturizers, etc. And more, its antibacterial qualities will help even better with those blemishes, than a regular facial wipe.

The primary ingredient in these wipes, which provides the antibacterial germ killing property, is thymus vulagris oil, or, thyme (as we know from our mom’s kitchen)!  Here‘s some info on thyme’s benefits!

Wipes are convenient, and easy to use. This brand’s kid-friendly, moisturizing, and sensitive skin  formula has me sold!

Check out CleanWell’s site, to browse and purchase more of their classy-approved products!

Essie Nail Lacquer Long-Awaited Reviews!

It would be such a great thing if I was able to indulge in my beauty fetish on a 24/7 basis; putting most of my energy into writing about all the fun things that tickle my fancy, and that I’m sure tickle yours as well! Thank you to those who keep reading, and commenting! It inspires me to keep going.

Onto what you’ve been waiting for!

left to right: Sew Psyched, Smokin’ Hot, No More Film, E-nuf is E-nuf, and Turquoise & Caicos

I will be giving you a brief review of each of these Essie colours. As I had mentioned previously, I’ll be reviewing each product based on ease of application, how many coats required for best colour, how true the colour in the bottle is to the applied colour, longevity of the polishes, and drying time!

Sew Psyched #704: Two coats is all you need of this polish for maximum colour.  Essie’s site calls this colour a “cashmere-soft sage pewter”. I would never be able to come up with such an elaborate description, myself, but now that I think of it – that is so accurate! In simpler terms, I’d describe it as a dull green with grey tint. It applies very easily, and the consistency is not too thin or too thick. This colour lasted for 3 days on my nails without chipping, and I pick at my nails like nothing else! Love it! I will definitely buy this colour again. This is my most used Essie colour.

Smokin’ Hot # 700:  This colour is thinner in consistency than Sew Psyched, though two coats is still sufficient to achieve the best look. It is a delightful rich and creamy grey-ish brown. It lasted for about 4 days on my nails. This is another neutral that goes well with everything, but is so unique that it never fails to excite me each time I put it on. Win!

No More Film # 911:  This colour hails from Essie’s recent Resort 2012 Collection! I absolutely adore this intensely vivid creamy dark purple. The consistency is the same as the previous, although it is much more pigmented; with one layer, I was able to completely cover my nails. It felt awkward only using one coat, so I used two for safe measure. It lasted only 1 1/2 days before chipping, but I’m willing to give it many more chances before I decide whether I’ll buy it again or more.

E-nuf is E-nuf # 576:  Some may call it a deep orange, but I’d say it’s a beautifully bright coral colour. This polish burns so brightly (and by that I mean it’s intensely bright; I do not set my nail polish on fire), but it’s such a charismatic colour that I can’t help but keep going back to it. Two coats are all you need, though it is equally pigmented as No More Film. I had this colour on my nails for 4 days before it chipped. Consistency is similar to the others; it is very easy to apply. Will re-purchase!

Turquoise & Caicos #752: Teal is my absolutely favourite colour, and that includes (for the most part), any variation of aqua, or green-ish blue. I had eyed this polish for months at the store until I decided to buy it (ridiculous; I know!). I wish I could say this colour blew me away, but it didn’t. The problem was that it took at least 3 coats for the colour to become opaque and accurate to the colour in the bottle. And then took longer to try, hence more likely to screw up. It did stay on my nails, without chipping, for about 4 days. I still enjoy using it because it is such a refreshing and summery minty ocean colour that reminds me of days on the beach. I will probably not buy it again; I am still on the lookout for a colour like this that is more pigmented.

All of these Essie nail lacquers dried quickly (a couple of minutes) and evenly.

Love, love, love!

Now, if only I had a better camera (or iPhone 4s) to capture these colours better!

Underrated! Nail polishes that you will love!

I’ve had a mild nail polish obsession (I say mild because I can usually talk myself down to buying only two or three if there is a big sale) for the past few years or so. I remember when it began. I was searching for a pretty colour or two, and stumbled upon my old dried up and stale nail polish collection from my teens. None of it was wearable, and most resembled old trends (but crackle polish is back!), and I preferred to begin anew.

I have tried many brands, from low-end to high end. I definitely have my preferences, and today I would like to reveal to all of you my absolutely favourite brand of nail polish. They are my favourite because for several reasons: price, their polish consistency, ease of application, how long-lasting they are, and choice of colours. And of course, the most important thing: they must be cruelty-free!

There is much debate over whether it is okay for us cruelty-free supporters to buy from companies that used to test but no longer do, or if they did not test for most of their history but were recently bought out by a company that does, or if they have constantly gone back and forth with regards to their animal testing policy. I will support a company who used to test, and has changed their ways, but do not feel I could trust a company (Essie, for example, whose colour selection I absolutely love!) that was bought out by a company that is well-known for conducting animal testing. In that case, the company simply can no longer be trusted to maintain their test-free policy. Here is some information about L’Oreal’s purchase of Essie that I found on Fashionista.com. I do love Essie’s colour selection, as I mentioned, but am not a big fan of the nail polish it self (at least on me). It isn’t the easiest for application, and at $11.99 here per bottle, I definitely expect something better.

my humble nail polish collection (which includes Revlon, Essie, OPI, Orly, Nyx, NYC, GOSH, and Seche) - some polishes are from brands I no longer support, but did at the time because of their animal testing policy.

The brand I am currently raving about, and have been raving about to my friends and family since I started using it is not OPI (who I recently discovered was bought by a testing company – at this lovely blog), not Spa Ritual, not Revlon, not Zoya, but GOSH Cosmetics!

I purchased my first GOSH nail products from Shoppers Drug Mart (they are in their own section away from the other polishes) several months ago. There was an awesome sale that lasted for about 2-3 weeks ($5 per polish!), so I got my pick of polishes. I don’t have a ton of them yet, but I definitely took advantage of the $5 sale. While GOSH does not have a massive collection of colours like nail giants Essie, OPI, or Revlon, the colours they do have are gorgeous, and really stand out. Their polishes often only require one coat of polish, at most two! They dry very quickly, and and since I only have to apply one to two coats, I definitely find the polish stays on longer and is less likely to chip!

my GOSH polishes from left to right: #594 Miss Grey, #571 Wild Lilac, #60 Lambada, #550 Purple Heart, #540 Ocean, and #567 Metallic Green

I tend to prefer cream polishes over shimmer or glitter polishes, but GOSH has some unique shimmer colours. #540 Ocean, for example, is a majestic swirl of greens and blues, and really does remind me of the ocean. #550 Purple Heart reminds me of an oil slick. It has tones of purple, blue, and green, depending on how it is reflecting the light! My least favourite of the bunch would be #567 Metallic Green. It is a good quality polish, but I have not had the same urge to use it like I have the others!

On top of GOSH’s polishes being my absolute favourite, they are also formaldehyde, and toluene-free!

This picture really doesn't show how amazing the colour actually is..not to mention my sloppy nail painting job. LOVE THIS STUFF!

Thanks, GOSH! 🙂

Look for these symbols below to help you identify which products are not tested on animals!

PETA

Leaping Bunny

Skin care Superfruit Part 2

I’m going to dedicate this review to my favourite Sibu Beauty product. I was initially going to write about the following 2-3 samples that I had received, but I wanted to write about the products that I am most passionate about instead.

For more information on Sibu Beauty, please check out previous entries, or visit their website!

The item I want to talk about is the Sibu Beauty Face and Body Bar. They call it a facial soap on their website, but the packaging says it is for face and body.  I used it on my face and body, and boy do I love it! It’s got such a light scent (kind of citrus-sea buckthorn mix), and lathers quite nicely.

This product claims to: clean and condition skin, act as a natural astringent, inhibit bacterial growth, revitalize skin cells, promote tissue recovery and healing, and is suitable for all skin types.

This bar is great for removing makeup, exfoliating (must be the oatmeal they put in the bar!), and keeping my skin clear and clean. I love the feeling it leaves once I rinse my face, and it is a great way to exfoliate and cleanse your body as well! My skin has looked great (very minimal number of blemishes) since I started using Sibu’s products, and this face and body bar is by far one of my favourites.

Here is the delightfully short-ish list of ingredients: Coconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil, glycerin, purified water, oatmeal, sodium hydroxide, sea buckthorn puree, sorbitol, sorbitan oleate, fragrance orange/lemon, soybean protein, sea buckthorn leaves, titanium dioxide.

I can’t tell you what exactly the reason for the sorbitol, a sweetener, but now I am tempted to take a bite out of it. In case you’re curious, sorbitan oleate is used as an emulsifier in lotions and other products. Why titanium dioxide? I am not sure about that either, but here is an article for your reading pleasure about titanium dioxide. Aside from that bit of ingredient confusion, the others are pretty self-explanatory.

Another great thing about this product is the price! On Vitacost, the product is just about $6 a piece, and you can order a three-pack for $16.95 on Sibu Beauty’s website.

Overall, I really enjoy this product. It is a cheaply-priced cleanser that works very well for my face and body. I can use one side for exfoliating, and the other side is softer so can be used for daily cleansing. I definitely recommend this for someone who wants a multitasking cleanser that works on their body and face for cleansing and exfoliating. This also does not dry out my skin one bit – and it has my holy grail ingredient coconut oil in it!

Win!

Next, I will review Sibu Beauty’s Sea Buckthorn Daytime Facial Cream!

Skin care emerginC!

I received several emerginC products to test out and review! I hadn’t even requested them, and I love surprise skin care samples!

Here are the samples I received:

From left to right: emerginC’s Scientific Organics’ Kombucha Cleanser, Phytocell Cream, Phytocell Detox Mask

These products come from a skin care company called emerginC. The samples they sent me are from their Scientific Organics line. emerginC is a company that develops skin care products that are paraben-free, free of artificial colours and fragrances, free of animal testing and also animal ingredients. In other words – this company is right up my alley!

Unfortunately, I am not really able to give a full-fledged review on these products, since I was only given small samples. But I will give you a detailed explanation of what I think, and whether the products are something I would purchase or not.

So let’s get started with review, beginning with the Kombucha cleanser!

Kombucha Cleanser

This product is geared towards all skin types. On emerginC’s website, the product is said to be a “gentle, effective, deep cleanser…that helps remove environmental pollutants, excess oil and makeup without drying the skin”.

Here is a link to the full list of ingredients in the product, and here is the active ingredients in the product that are listed on their website:

Kombucha, grape stem cells, algae extract, glycerin, brightening complex with xylose and galactose from palmaria palmata, spirulina, green tea, white tea, aloe vera, maritime pine bark extract.

While I did not notice much of a lather with this cleanser, I loved the feel of it on my skin, and the light citrus scent (which I am sure is the grapefruit peel oil in the product). The scent just refreshes and wakes you up in the morning! It washes off easily, and after I pat my face dry, my skin retains an impressive level of moisture. It hasn’t caused any skin irritation or breakouts, and my skin is so soft after using it! I use it in the morning, so I was unable to try it with makeup removal. If I do (I’ve still got some left!), I will definitely report!

This cleanser runs at $34 (USD I believe?), which is mid-range to expensive cleanser, in my opinion. There really isn’t anything I dislike about this product. Whether a product lathers or not is not a determining factor in my purchasing it.  There are other products I could recommend that are cheaper, but healthy skin is definitely an investment. If you are willing to invest in your skin, then this would be a cleanser that I would recommend. Not to mention all the delicious and good-for-you ingredients they put in it!

Phytocell Cream

While I liked the Kombucha cleanser, I LOVE this cream. It is thick, very moisturizing, does not leave your skin with that dry-ish feeling after applying, and I have had no adverse reaction to it.

This cream has an age-fighting property to it, and contains “concentrated grape stem cells designed to help revitalize, protect, brighten and renew skin”. It is also designed for all skin types. For myself, who has dry and dehydrated skin, I require a moisturizer that is heavy enough to prevent dryness, but not so heavy that my skin feels like an oil slick in the morning.

They claim this cream “fights free-radical damage, hydrates, protects, and improves tone and texture”. While I can’t really comment on long-term benefits, it definitely does hydrate well, and my skin feels so soft after using it! I’ve had less redness around my nose, and less flaky skin around the same area too. I don’t know if that is a result of using this, but I’m sure it can’t hurt!

Here is a link to the full list of ingredients, and the active ingredients as listed on their website are:

Kombucha, grape stem cells, algae extract, glycerin, brightening complex with xylose and galactose from palmaria palmata, green tea, white tea, hydrating complex with glucose and xylitol, food grade seaweed.

This product will cost you $85 as listed on their website. For a moisturizer, this is quite expensive, and I would never be able to afford this (at least at this point in my life). If I had the money, however, I would totally buy it.

And I forgot to mention: it smells amazing. It has the same light citrus scent that the cleanser has. So refreshing and clean. LOVE IT!

Phytocell Detox Mask

Another product that is good for all skin types, this mask is described as a “French-green-clay-based ‘Detox’ mask designed to draw out impurities, nourish, soothe, brighten, fight free-radical damage and improve tone and texture”.

I love a good face mask, and I tried this one today for the first time. I like to do my masks from 1-2 times a week, depending on the mask and what it is designed to do. Doing these treatments on a regular basis can give your skin that extra glow you’ve been looking for.

It is recommended by emerginC to use this mask 1-3 times a week, and expect a result of “bright, healthy and detoxified with a radiant glow”.

I applied a thin layer to my face (after cleansing and steaming my face), and left it on for 15 minutes. Washing the mask off, I felt like my skin had become SO soft. It felt so good afterwards, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Here is the link to the complete list of ingredients in the mask, and here are the active ingredients:

French green clay, kombucha, grape stem cells, algae extract, glycerin, brightening complex with xylose and galactose from palmaria palmata, food grade seaweed.

It’s got the same smell as the previous two products, which I absolutely love.

At $50, it is expensive, but a mask is not something you use every day. With the mask and the cream, you only have to use a very small amount, so it will last you quite awhile – the mask even moreso!

All three of these products have been a delight to test out!

Their website has a “what’s best for MY skin?” section, where you can look up which emerginC products are best for your skin type. The primary active ingredient in their Scientific Organics line is kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is used to enhance immune system function, increase energy levels, and general well-being.

With regards to the skin, kombucha can help eliminate psoriasis, acne, dry skin, and other skin conditions because of its probiotic nature (similar to yoghurt).

Here is a site that conducted a survey, showing the results of over 600 people’s experiences consuming or using kombucha, and the positive effects it had on their health.

Your skin will drink it up!