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Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Naturally You herbal mint gentle exfoliating scrub

Hi all,

here with a finished body scrub to review.  I used up the Naturally You Gentle Exfoliating Scrub in the scent herbal mint.  Here is an image of the product:  

This bad boy contained 200 mL, cost $5.99 at Loblaws (a Canadian supermarket chain) and is found in the organic food section.  I used this every other day for a little under two months which works out to about $0.25 per use.  Pretty reasonable.  It was also paraben and SLS free.

Will I repurchase this product?  No.  The exfoliators in this were little pumice bits, which feel like sand.  They  were gritty and obviously didn't dissolve which I personally didn't like.  I think it'll be sugar or salt scrubs for me from now on.  The pumice bits were suspended in a creamy base (not an oily one) which did NOT smell like "herbal mint" but rather, like some sort of lemon cleaning product.  I generally hated that - but if I was super hot and grimy and gross then it did feel oddly satisfying to scrub away with something that smelled like Mr. Clean.  

This product did an average job of exfoliating - but I missed the essential oils, dissovling particals and delicious scents of scrubs I've used in the past.  This was not a holy grail scrub, but any means.

clara xx

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Horrible makeup removing towelettes? Finally done.

Hi everyone,

I've just finished up some very bad makeup removing cloths.  These ones came from Garnier and are called Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes.  Here is a pic of them:
Garnier Skin care Garnier Cleansers Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Why didn't I like these?
-They were super dry - lacking in physical product.  It's pretty hard to get off your makeup with so little product on each towelette.
-They didn't effectively remove eye makeup.  Whether due to a lack of moisture on the towelette, or simply due to a poor formula - these did not get eye makeup off.  How did I know?  I remove makeup first, then cleanse.  And let me tell you - when I splashed my face with water to prep it for cleansing, mascara went running everywhere.  
-They contain parabens
-Using cleansing clothes of any sort is economically foolish and environmentally wasteful.  Never again!

It also cost $7.99 for a measly pack of 25 at Shoppers Drug Mart.  Extortionate at 31 cents per use.  I will never buy these again.  I suggest you give these ones a skip, too.  

cheers everyone, 
clara xx

ps: I loathe the notion of makeup removing towelettes.  They're a giant money grab and I try to steer people away from them when I can.  If you buy a big bottle of Bioderma, that bad boy will last you so much longer.  The price per use is surely comparable, and you get the skin benefits of BIODERMA rather than garnier.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the ever-evasive nude nail for fair skin-tones SOLVED

Hi there, 

if you're like me (the deliberate, ruminating sort of shopper) then you'll likely have had just as tough a time finding the PERFECT nude nail colour.  Man, it's hard to do.  Why?  Because it's akin to finding the right foundation shade - it needs to be the perfect colour match AND have the right finish.  

Well, I think I've found the solution for people whose skin tone is neutral and light - not porcelain - we're talking like a mac NW20, make up forever HD 115, DiorSkin Nude 020, L'oreal True Match N2 kind of colour.  About the second lightest shade  for stuff at the drugstore.  Sally Hansen offers a line called "complete salon manicure" and the shade 220 Cafe au Lait is a pretty damn good nude for skin tones similar to mine. 

Here is the product:
sally hansen complete salon manicure 220 cafe au lait

Now, in terms of formula I can't say a whole lot.  Mainly because I'm not a nail care expert, nor have I finished this product.  That being said, the word on the street is that this line of polishes is excellent - one of the best you'll find at the drugstore.  

More nail shots!

indoor light

natural light
A final question - if any of you know of a good nail strengthener for peeling, weak (but not brittle, really) nails LET ME KNOW in the comments. As we can all clearly see, my nails are short and sad :(  

xx clara

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sexy, beachy hair for under a dime!

Hey everyone,

I was inspired by Deema's DIY rose and lavender water toner to try a little project of my own!  In honour of the summer solstice, I wanted to create beachy, natural-looking curls.  You know, goddess-esque.  So I looked into sea salt sprays.  My findings weren't great.  I wanted to try bumble and bumble surf spray but discovered it to cost $24 (US) for a mere 4floz.  Not happening.  Even drugstore alternatives seemed costly.  I decided to look up a recipe online and give it a go.  I found this one: LINK.

my creation

The recipe calls for salt, conditioner, gel and optional essential oil.  I had the salt and conditioner (and so do you I bet!) as well as the essential oil (verbena, in my case).  I purchased the gel - $2.99 aussie gel - and a 100ml spray bottle ($4.99 for two).  I mixed 100mL of tap water with half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of Suave conditioner, a blob of the gel and a few drops of the verbena oil.  I mixed them together by shaking the spray container.  Yes - that easy.

ingredients included these elements, water, and salt

I sprayed this on damp hair, scrunched and left to air-dry.  Here is the resulting hair (and I had slept in these curls - they held up amazingly!):  

Not amazing volume at the crown, but I got better curls and curl-retention with this product than with pricey salon products I've tried in the past.  I estimate the cost of this particular bottle was under a dime.  100ml of water from my tap - a penny? Maybe?   A blob of cheap gel - two pennies?  A bit of $1.99 conditioner - a penny.  And a few (optional) drops of perfume oil - maybe a nickle.  After my initial "costs" (gel, spray bottle - both of which will serve me for MILLIONS OF BATCHES OF THIS STUFF) I'd say that is damn good value for money, any way you slice it.  Give it a go!

clara xx 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reviewed: L'Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm

photo via
Here's another finished product review- one that was a long time in the making. You see, I bought this eye cream about a year and a half ago (maybe closer to two) when I was in L'Occitane. I asked the girl working there if they had anything for dark circles/under eye area because its always been a problem of mine. My eyes always seem to look so tired! Newsflash: this is not a good look on anyone. So she recommended this to me. I don't know what I was thinking, but I bought it then and there. No research, nothing! And this is an expensive eye cream- I'm not exactly sure how much I paid for it because you can't buy it on its own from the L'Occitane website but Sephora (US) has it for $45. That's a lot of money for 15mL of product.

Anyways, I used it like I was supposed to. Morning and night, I lightly patted the product with my ring finger to my under eyes. Guess what happened? My skin went so dry its ridiculous. Like DRY. It was unfortunate, to say the least. I tried to return it- they said no dice because I had put my grubby little fingers in it. And so, I stuck my $45 eye cream in a drawer and bid adieu.

Flash forward to a few months ago when I come across it again. I figure, its getting warmer so maybe my skin isn't so dry and sensitive right now. Also- I just used it at night. And I did that up until yesterday, when I scraped the last little bit away. Now, I know you aren't supposed to use skin care so long after you've opened/bought it. I get it, totally. But come on. Ain't nothing bad happened here. It's not the end of the world, and frankly, I wanted to get my money's worth.

So what did I actually think? It's a very light weight eye cream that absorbs into your skin pretty quickly. I didn't have any adverse effects this time around, so that was a relief. But all in all- this didn't do anything for my dark circles, or my bags. Like nothing. Zilch. Some mornings I woke up and thought that it had actually worked, but then I just realized that I had slept really well the previous couple of nights. Still have fine lines- I actually think they're increasing or getting more noticeable..which wtf! No parabens though! And the ingredient list reads like a dream. Also, the jar is really nice. I think I'm going to keep it and find some other purpose for it.

BUT- that's just not cutting it, considering the price point. And if I had used it like I was supposed to (twice a day) this would've been gone really fast. 15mL is a really small amount. I know L'Occitane is French and a big deal but that is just ridiculous. $45 for 15mL?? No thanks.

I would not repurchase. If you're thinking about it, get a sample first. Get five. KNOW you love it before you drop that dough.

Deema xx

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY: Rosewater Toner

Hey everyone! This post is a little different then our usual mix but I'm into DIY beauty so someone else must be too, right? One of the latest trends in the beauty world is rosewater toner- Lush Eau Roma Water Toner has been used by possible every beauty youtuber possible. So naturally, I was intrigued. I checked out the website which listed the ingredients: lavender water, rosewater, limonene and linalool (some 'liquids' that smell nice, and naturally occur in some essential oils), perfume, and methylparaben.

Hmm..that got me to thinking that: a) get out stupid parabens! and b) I can totally make this myself!

And so I did. It was SO easy..TOO easy. And you can do it too. Here's what you need:

1) Rosewater- duh. Okay, you can be all extra special and make this yourself by taking some distilled water and sticking some rose petals (with no chemicals on them, of course) in there for a few hours before draining them. OR you can just go buy some- its cheap. Here's a hint- go on to google, and search for any middle eastern/turkish grocery stores in your town. I will guarantee that you will find a bottle of rosewater there cheaper than any other store you look. I found a 600mL bottle for $3.99...

you COULD do this..or you could just buy it. it might actually be cheaper to buy it (roses are expensive!)

2) Any kind of nice smelling, essential oil- I used lavender oil. A 15mL bottle cost me $13.49 at the grocery store (organic aisles ftw!). It sounds expensive, but you only need a couple drops of this per batch of toner you make so it'll last a long time- no worries! Geranium oil would also be nice- but its almost double the price of lavender.

3) A spray bottle- I got a little one from Shoppers. You can use anything you like!

That's it!

Put some rosewater in the bottle. Add a 2-3 drops of lavender oil. Shake every time you use it. Done! Its so refreshing and it feels awesome to know that you stuck it to the beauty industry by not giving in. Lets be real- we all know toner is one big fraud. Especially those with alcohol in them. And guess what? Natural rosewater is actually really good for your skin. This toner leaves my skin feeling not only refreshed, but smoother and just generally better. It also smells amazing- so much winning.

Make small batches at a time, and keep it either refrigerated or in a cupboard away from the sun!

Also- don't be afraid to experiment with different stuff! I think I'm going to stick a couple fresh mint leaves in my toner next time!

Happy diy-ing!

Deema xx

Monday, June 18, 2012

Face of the week - dusty brown "savannah" inspired

Hey everyone,

yay for summer!  It's been hot an humid here in ontario and this has led me to wear more matte shades + a powder foundation.  This look reminds me of a dusty savannah - browns, well-blended.  The look:

what I used:


left: tattle tale, bottom bliss, middle sandstone, top vitamin pink
-l'oreal Bare Naturale gentle mineral makeup - 460 nude beige
-bobbi brown Creamy Concealer - cool sand
-maybelline instant age rewind eraser dark circles treatment concealer - 60 brightener
-clarins instant light blush - 01 vitamin pink (lim. ed. spring 2012)

-stila eyeshadow - bliss (in the light palette)
-stila eyeshadow - sandstone (in the light palette)
-benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow - tattle tale
-l'oreal carbon black Lineur Intense - carbon black
-prestige mascara - My Blackest Lashes
-clinique Brow Keeper - honey

I applied the mineral foundation using an ecotools kabuki (love).  I applied the clarins liquid blush over top without any issues.  For the eyes, I used the cream shadow as a base.  I swept the lighter brown e/s (in bliss) over the base and blended the dark, chocolatey brown into the crease (sandstone - love).  I liked wearing a liquid black liner with this look.

cheers everyone, hoping you're enjoying your own personal savannah this summer!

 clara xx 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

face of the week: urban decay naked, revlon, MUFE and more!

hey everyone! another face of the week...I've been wearing this look a lot to work. I think its a good way to look polished but not over done for the office. here are the products:

and applied!

marcelle BB cream in light-medium 
mac studio finish concealer in nc20 
maybelline age erase under eye circle concealer in medium 
estee lauder bronze goddess liquid bronzer 
avon true color blush in coral radiance

revlon colorburst lip gloss in 046 Sizzle Canicule (or is canicule french for sizzle? hmm..)

up close and personal: 

all over lid: MUFE acqua cream in 13 
in the crease and under neath: urban decay buck from the naked palette 
clinique brush cream on liner on the lash line with a slight flick 
prestige my blackest lashes

left to right: avon true color blush in coral radiance, urban decay buck, MUFE aqua cream in 13, revlon colorburst lip gloss in sizzle canicule 

have a good day everyone!

Deema xx

Thursday, June 14, 2012

grace farm organics Organic Shea Butter Lip Balm, in review

Hi all,

here with a finished product to review:  Grace Farm Organic's organic shea butter lip in the varietal "botanical healing".  The cost, according to the website is $3.00 (US).  Here is an image:
 Organic Shea Butter Lip Balm - Click Image to Close
Now, we all know that lip balm is important to me (I put it on waaaaay more diligently any of my lipsticks - even you, rouge coco shines).  My lips get DRY.  My favourite lip balm is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.  Did this lip balm compare?  NOPE.  It did nothing in terms of lasting moisture for the lips. It was as if I'd put on nothing.  Sadness. Underwhelming to say the least.  Take your big old three bucks and invest it some place else I'd say.  Like in Grace Farm Organic's lovely body scrubs!  Link to their site here.

Cheers everyone,

clara xx

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tashodi three butter body cream, in review

hello all,

here with a finished product to review for you.  This time it's a body butter, specifically Tashodi's three butter body cream in the scent japanese peppermint and lemongrass.  While this particular scent is no longer available, there are others.  Including an intriguing green coffee one. Here is the link to the product.  Tashodi is a Canadian company out of Toronto.  The butter costs $12.99 + shipping (free shipping on purchases of $50 or more) if you buy directly from them.  I personally picked up this butter for $6.99 at Winners.  I love you , Winners.  Here is a little pic:

The butter is paraben-free.  It contains lots of nice emollients including sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil and cocoa and shea butter.  The scent was pleasant and inoffensive - but has sadly been discontinued.  The texture of the product was thick and didn't sink in particularly well.  While I don't mind this one bit, you might.  I went through this rather quickly (under a month!).  That being said, the cost per use was a mere $0.26.  Not bad value for money if you ask me - at the Winners price point, anyway.  Tashodi claims to be a fair-trade oriented company...but I'm not sure what the story is on their body butters.

How well did this work though?  It was not as moisturizing as the Body Shop Moringa body butter (review here!).  However, it was more moisturizing than the Lavender Blue (review here!).  I found that, while it would feel buttery going on the feeling of moisture wouldn't LAST as long on the skin.  Not a moisture miracle worker, by any stretch of the imagination.  But sufficient for my needs.

Would I repurchase?  From Winners - yes.  I don't think I'd repurchase from the website however.  I'm torn though!  Because I'm interested in the other scents they offer.  I also like the ethos of the company (though, of course, I'd like to know more about it).  Was it my favourite body butter ever?  No - but mainly due to the scent falling a bit flat for me and the middling moisturizing.

cheers everyone


Saturday, June 9, 2012

face of the week feat. mac (lots and lots of mac) and some benefit

Hey everyone,
here again with a face of the week for you.  This week I tried to find ways to use a green (or antiquey gold depending on how you look at it) colour from l'oreal which I have.  I opted for this combo:


-maybelline instant age rewind eraser for dark circles - 60 brightener
-vichy dermablend cosmetique corrective - 15 opal
-mac mineralize skin finish natural - medium
-clarins bronzer - mosaique (lim, ed. 2011)
-mac blush - mocha (LOVE)

-benefit creaseless cream shadow - tattle tale
-mac eyeshadow - patina
-l'oreal eyeshadow quad - 320 greens (I just used the bottom left shade no. 3)
-mac pencil - coffee
-prestige mascara - my blackest lashes
-clinique browkeeper - honey

whatever lip product I wanted from my makeup bag!

the look:

and closed:

I swept the benefit creaseless cream shadow over the lid and then blended mac's patina over that.  I blended the green by l'oreal into the crease for definition.  I finished the eye with a brown liner (mac's coffee) and mascara.  And WOW the patina/creaseless cream shadow combo had amazing lasting power. 

something I realized this week: when you wear green shadow you must, MUST, take the time to get the redness out of your skin.  So my vichy concealer was working overtime!  Watch out and be sure to apply sunscreen as a sunburned lobster face would make the green eyeshadow pop.........a little too much.  A colour combo only santa would be into.

cheers everyone,


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lip products of June!

Hey everyone,

I'm rotating out the lipsticks in my makeup bag for some new, more summery shades.  I use these lip products on the daily and just apply on the go.  Simple, simple.  If I'm going out and am wearing a bold shade THEN I'll add that baby into my bag also.  But generally, my makeup bag lippies are all that I wear.

So this month I'll be wearing:

mac lipstick in angel (frost):

 revlon superlustrous lipstick in 674 coral berry (creme):

korres mandarin lip butter stick in purple:

buxom cream lipgloss in mudslide:

and here they are for comparison:
top to bottom: coral berry, angel, purple, mudslide

 I notice that the korres and the buxom look similar on the lips - but let me tell you, they FEEL different. Without going into a full-on review, I will say that the Buxom is tingly and gel-like.  The Korres is more balmy.  Anyway, I've left behind the spring lilacs and have embraced the summer corals.

cheers everyone,
clara xx

Monday, June 4, 2012

Swatched: MAC Sail La Vie Lipstick

Hey everyone, sorry this is a little late to the party but I picked up MAC's Sail La Vie from their recent Hey, Sailor! Collection a couple weeks ago so I thought I'd swatch it and show a couple pics of how it looks on me. This shade is sold out online, so hopefully you can still get it at MAC counters/stores because so far I love this lipstick! Here are some first impressions:

The colour is a bright orange with some red undertones, and when I say bright...I mean bright. MAC calls it a 'mid-tone' orange, but I don't know what they're smoking- it's bright. The shade is definitely on the warmer side- I love wearing it with a tan. There is no shimmer at all. It's a Satin finish, and it surprisingly wears for a long time. I wore this for about 8 hours, and I only touched up once because I wanted it to top up the brightness. It fades really nicely, especially if you really work it into your lips and blot blot blot! I will say this however: this is not the most moisturizing lipstick in the world. I find it a little drying, especially when I'm wearing it for a long time. Make sure to wear a lip balm underneath!

Some pics:
love love the packaging in this collection

Swatch: MAC Sail La Vie Lipstick

moi wearing my most sailor-esque shirt and Sail La Vie
maybe just me, but I ALWAYS have the urge to pull this face when wearing bright lips. super attractive, I know.

Happy shopping!
Deema xx

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Face of the week feat. mac, wet n' wild, clinique

Hey everyone!

here is a face of the week post for you.  Having a very bad hair day (looking at you, swartzkopf volume creme...) so just swatches for you today.  Anyway, here are the products I used:

And open!

The estee lauder pencil I forgot about:

estee lauder eyeliner in onyx, top mac highlight powder in crew, middle stila eyeshadow in bare, bottom wet n' wild eyeshadow in nutty

(top to bottom) mac crew, stila bare, wet n' wild nutty

Products used...
face -
bobbi brown creamy concealer in cool sand
maybelline instant age rewind under eye eraser in 60 brightener
mac mineralize skin finish natural in medium
mac blush (well, it's marketed as a highlight powder but yeah right) in crew (limited ed. 2012)
clarins bronzer in mosaique (limited ed. 2011)
clinique eyebrow keeper in honey (look at that stubby little guy! review coming soon)

eyes -
mac paint pot in bare study
stila eyeshadow, bare
wet n' wild eyeshadow in nutty (look at that pan!)
estee lauder double wear eyeliner in garnet (limited ed. 2012)
prestige my blackest lashes mascara

lips -
lip balm (always in my weekly "kit")
buxom cream gloss in mudslide (OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE)
mac lipstick in angel

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: The Body Shop Shea Body Scrub

Hey everyone, here's another finished product review. This body scrub comes from the Body Shop, and its 200mL, and it was $18 (I think I got it with some sort of promo, which they have on quite frequently). The tub lasted me about a month and a half. I'm not sure if I'm using it wrong (aka too much product with each use), but I thought it should have lasted longer.  Here's a pic:
Body Shop Shea Body Scrub via 

It says that it's made with Shea butter from Ghana, sugar from Paraguay, and organically soya oil from Brazil. So that's all good. Except for the fact that this also has parabens in it. I'm trying to steer away from them where I can help it, so that's a big no-no for me. If you don't really care about parabens however, this might be a good product for you.

The smell is pretty basic- it smells like shea butter (how surprising). I didn't necessarily love it, but I also didn't hate it or anything. It does indeed leave your skin feeling very nice and soft afterwards. In terms of an exfoliant, it is great at removing all of the dead skin. I never felt like it dried out my skin. I used it about once a week.

If you're reading all of this and you feel like you want to go out and buy this, I highly recommend trying (or at least smelling) the Brazil Nut Body Scrub. It smells absolutely divine. It almost made me break on the paraben ban- it's THAT good.

Despite all of the goodness, I won't be repurchasing this body scrub (damn you parabens!)

Deema xx