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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Live Clean invigorating shampoo in review

Hey y'all, 

here to review Live Clean's green earth invigorating shampoo.  I picked this up at my campus pharmacy for $7.99.  You get 350 mL.  Check it:
This shampoo is sulfate free, paraben free and vegan approved.  So that's good.  I thought it did quite a good job:  my hair felt clean but not dry.  It looked shiny.  My scalp was happy.  It lathered well.  That being said, I was a little bored of this product by the end.  The scent is so blahhhhhhh.  Just a plain old shampoo smell.  The packaging is also sort of boring and minimalistic.  And yes, I do care about that.  

Will I repurchase?  Perhaps down the line.  The price point wasn't excellent, but it also wasn't terrible.  The results for my hair were good.  But it just wasn't a great, sensual experience for me in the shower.  This isn't the sort of product that I'm just dying to try again, you know?  

I'm giving a Body Shop shampoo a go next.  Stay tuned for my thoughts on that bad boy.


Monday, July 30, 2012

A face scrub worth spending money on?

Hey all, 

here with a finished product to review.  This time it's a face scrub.  Specifically, Burt's Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub.  It is bits of peach seed powder suspended in a creamy base. 

Scrub your skin peachy clean.

I (over) paid $14.99 for this at Shopper's Drugmart.  But the Canadian Burt's Bees website has it priced at $12.99.  Go figure, Shopper's would be a rip off.  Anyway, I used this every other day in the shower on my face for three months until it was gone.   That works out to $0.33 per use.

Well, I sort of liked using this product.  It had a nice, peachy smell.  I found the creamy base quite nice and softening on the skin.  In the shower anyway.  I read on makeupalley that people who applied this over this sink found that it left a residue.  Shower application is the way to go, people. 

Now, I wouldn't say this product was a miracle-worker in terms of exfoliation.  The peach exfoliator bits were rather few and far between.  I had to slop on quite a lot of product to get enough exfoliators on my face to feel like I was sloughing off all the dead skin cells which needed to be buffed away.  I also don't think this was a gentle exfoliator, because the peach bits were rough.  If you have sensitive skin I would avoid this.  

Would I repurchase this?  Nope!  I don't think that spending $60 a year on this for the rather minimal results would be worth it.  It was a pleasant product to use, but not worth the money.  

cheers everyone, 
clara xx

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reviewed: Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara

Hey everyone! This is another finished product review for Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara. I bought this about three months ago, for under $10. It's pretty raved about in the blogging world, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's pretty hard to tell when you've 'finished' a mascara, but I kind of go by when it stops performing the way it did the first time you used it.

Prestige, My Blackest Lashes

Unfortunately, it just didn't cut it for me. The formula is..hard to explain. It's feels heavy and maybe..wet? It most definitely gives you really dark, black lashes so the name is apt. But it FEELS like you're wearing mascara..which I personally do not like. I found that it could easily look clumpy  at the root of my lashes. Lengthwise, it didn't do anything spectacular for me but then again I don't really go for lengthening mascaras so that it didn't really matter. What I really disliked about it however, was the fact that is smudged like crazy. By the end of the day, or even just a few hours I'd have mascara smudged all underneath by eyes..even after I powdered there. Not cool. I would have to constantly check throughout the day to make sure I didn't look like a racoon. It would also kind of flake at times. Also not cool. 

Here it is after two coats. It looks 'fine' but I mostly hated how it felt on my lashes, and the smudginess that always followed application. 

I will not be repurchasing this mascara. On to the next one!

Deema xx 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Battle of the tinted moisturizers for combination skin

Hi everyone, 

lately I have been lusting after both the Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer and the new(ish) Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid foundation.  I want one of them (realistically I want both of them...and a lake house...).    But given that I am a student about to take on loans for post-grad professional school ($$) I decided to shop my stash and see if I could find something suitable there-in.  
(i) light, natural coverage
(ii) light feel
(iii) withstand heat + humidity and the excessively dewy look my skin takes on
(iv) no break outs, please
(v) offer at least spf 15 OR be mixable with my vichy spf 30 sunscreen
(vi) good colour match

Two contenders have emerged from my makeup bag.  
1.  Clinique Almost Makeup Tinted Moisturizer spf 15 in medium
2.  A combo of Vichy Dermablend  Corrective Foundation Fluide in the colour opal (you've seen me use this as a concealer) mixed with my Vichy sunscreen.

Here they are:
contender number 2 vichy dermablend + vichy sunscreen

clinique almost makeup


Well, let's talk about the clinique first.  A few things to note:

  • this product has been discontinued by clinique
  • it had a light, natural coverage
  • it did NOT feel light on, it felt OILY as hell. It never dried down.  Couldn't wait to take it off.
  • it did NOT withstand heat + humidity. It looked as oily as it felt.
  • it didn't break me out
  • it does offer spf 15, however its expiry date is rapidly approaching
  • it was a pretty good colour match, though a little dark
Let's next talk about the vichy mix:
  • it is still offered! 
  • it had a light, natural coverage if you work the proportions of foundation to lotion correctly
  • it feels light on the skin. It dries down nicely. Does not feel tacky.  In fact, I can barely feel it on hte skin
  • holds up well to heat and humidity! Good lasting power, doesn't become sticky. Doesn't fade.
  • not sure what the deal is on the spf here, since I ADD spf by mixing it with the foundation.  It's probably not the best for high sun exposure days.
  • excellent colour match
  • WILL flash back in photos (due to the titanium dioxide in the vichy sunscreen)
Here it is on the skin after 5 hours of wear in the hot hot sun:

with flash - and looking super pasty

with flash 

without flash

without flash

The choice here is obvious.  Vichy dermablend + sunscreen seems to be the way to go.  On days when I know I'm going to be in the sun a lot I think I'll stick with a good layer of sunscreen + a dusting of mineral foundation.  This is a nice combination though, and I love it for a base:  it is an excellent canvas for blush and bronzer.

The clinique was a loser for me.  Sadly it was a waste of money!  Back in 2010 when I bought it, I guess.  However, no one need experience this pain again seeing as it's been discontinued.  AVOID AVOID AVOID if you have combo/oily skin and come across it on amazon.  

All-in-all I think this was a good exercise in frugality.  Though I am (deeply) tempted by Estee Lauder invisible fluid makeup and/or Clinique stay matte makeup and/or Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer I think that this vichy blend is great!  I'm impressed and have saved myself the $35 I'd have spent on something new.

cheers everyone,
Clara xx

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reviewed: Nivea Pure and Natural Deodorant

This is not a finished product review, so I apologize. But guys, I couldn't finish this product. I just couldn't bear it any longer. This is the worst deodorant I have ever had the unfortunate experience of using. 
The culprit

I originally purchased this deodorant because I've been thinking about trying a natural deodorant, without aluminum and that other bad stuff.  So I saw this at the drug store, and since I usually like Nivea's products, I gave it a go. 

It's the deodorant stick version, not the roll on. Its not like a regular stick of kind of goes on 'wet.' Which wouldn't be so bad if it actually ever dried. Seriously. I would put this on and hours later, it felt soo sticky and gross. I didn't necessarily sweat with this deodorant, but it did not leave a pleasant smell when the going got rough if ya know what I mean. And its summer time y'all. That is bad news bears. I tried. I really tried. I would put this on way before my clothes, and let it kind of air dry- which sort of worked, but not really. And 24 hours- ya right. No. 

I was packing last week and when I saw how much was left, I just tossed it. I couldn't do it anymore. I'll take whatever bad things aluminum does to me, I'm going back to regular deodorant..unless someone can suggest an all natural deodorant that is actually legit? 

Deema xx 

Reviewed: The Body Shop Moringa Milk Body Lotion

Hey everyone, here's another finished product review. This time its the Body Shop's Moringa Milk Body Lotion, not to be confused with the Moringa Body Butter (read Clara's review of that here!) I bought this 250 mL bottle in May, so its lasted me about 2.5 months (using it twice a day). It retails for $12, BUT I always see sales at the Body Shop for buy one get one half off and the like. I do believe I paid full price for this product, however. Regardless, I think $12 for 2.5 months of use is not too shabby. 

The Body Shop Moringa Milk Body Lotion 
I think this is a really good lightweight spring/summer body lotion. I have dry/dehydrated skin all year round, but its obviously not as bad in the summer so this is just enough to keep my skin hydrated. I suspect that it would not suffice for my skin in the winter. It comes out like a spray, which was a little weird for me at first, but that is definitely not a negative. It sinks into my skin super fast, and it doesn't leave any stickiness behind. It is paraben-free. I love love loveee the scent, but I'm biased because I just really love floral scents. Not perfumy floral scents, but ones that smell natural and real. So if you are someone who is a little so-so with floral scents, I would not pick this one up. Two and a half months of using this twice daily, you really have to love the scent. So I'm glad that I did. 

I will definitely repurchase this product next spring. I'm going to give myself time to miss it because I did use the hell out of it the past few months. 

Deema xx 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A shower gel review, a shower gel revelation

Hi all, 

here again to review a finished product.  Today I finished up The Body Shop's Earth Lovers Apricot and Basil shower gel.  This product is regularly CDN $10, but I got two for $16.  You get 250mL.  Here she is:
Earth Lovers Apricot & Basil Shower Gel - Shower
Basically, I liked this shower gel.  It lathered well and was not drying.  It also didn't leave a residue on the skin.  The scent was delicately fruity, light and pleasant.  I like my shower gel with a bit more olfactory punch though, so this product didn't knock it out of the park in that respect.  It cleaned adequately. It is free of SLS and parabens.  

I guess mainly, through this experiment of trying to be a smart consumer and really examining the products I use everyday, I've realized some stuff about shower gel.  I go through it really fast!  I like ones that smell strong.  I don't like drying or sticky options.  Since I go through it quickly I'm still looking for a cheaper option.  $8 a month on shower gel isn't a responsible budgetary expenditure for me!  And since this one didn't smell FANTASTIC I won't repurchase.

clara xx    

Thursday, July 12, 2012

face of the week: healthy, glowing, pink cheeks

Hey everyone,
here again with a face of the week for you.  This week I decided to forego a crease colour entirely and focus on pink, glowing cheeks and polished eyes.  Here is the result:

not a whole lot going on with the eyes this week

really - just a single (gorgeous) shimmery shadow with

products used - see below for list + swatched

open sesame!

top: true pink (covergirl) middle: 2 (korres) bottom: browbone top right (wet n' wild comfort zone palette)
products used:
l'oreal bare naturale gentle mineral makeup 460 nude beige
maybelline age rewind eraser dark circles treatment concealer 60 brightener
covergirl cheekers blush 110 classic pink
clarins summer bronzing compact mosaique (limited ed. summer 2011)
clinique browkeeper honey

wet n' wild coloricon eyeshadow palette 738 comfort zone: upper right brownbone shade (LOVE. love more than patina!!)
mac paint pot bare study
korres eyeliner pencil 2
prestige mascara my blackest lashes 

Monday, July 9, 2012

FOTD: Purple Eyeliner + Brown Eyes (feat MAC, Urban Decay, Chanel, Stila and more!)

Here's a look I was wearing the other day when I wanted to spice up my makeup routine with a little bit of colour. I'm definitely more of a neutral kind of girl so the idea of colour on my eyelids generally scares me. But its summer, so I thought what they hey.  Although this could look amazing on any eye colour, I especially liked how it made my brown eyes pop. 

Here's a pretty easy way to rock some purple on the eyes.

The products: 

The look: 

On the face:
Foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua  in BA40 Beige Ambre-Desert
Under eyes: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Sand, Maybelline Age Rewind concealer (forgot to include it in the big group of pics, but y'all know what it looks like) and bareMinerals Multi Tasking Powder in Summer Bisque
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish in NC20
Bronzer: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer 
Highlight: Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
Blush: Stila Convertible Color in gladiola (LOVE- do not be scared of how it looks in the pan, it blends out beautifully!)
Brows: Milani Easybrow in 102 Dark Brown
Lips: MAC Fanfare

Eyes close-up:

On the eyes:
Lid: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 13
Lower Lash line (outer 3/4): Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Ransom
Lower Lash line (inner 1/4): MAC Eye Kohl in Ola Viola!
Lashes (top and bottom): Prestige My Blackest Lashes (I was too lazy to line by upper water line, so I just really smudged my mascara in there)

Swatched: MAC eye kohl in ola viola! (furthest on top)  UD 24/7 glide on pencil in ransom (directly below)
bottom, from left to right- milani easybrown in dark brown, stila convertible color in gladiola, MAC fanfare

How do you wear colour in the summer?? Let me know! 

Deema xx 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reviewed: A'kin Avocado & Calendula Re-Moisturizing Conditioner

Hey everyone, here's another finished product review! I found this conditioner at Winners (a department store in Canada), and although I had never heard of the brand  the bottle looked very intriguing. A'kin is an Australian brand and all of its products are free from sulfates, parabens, ethozylated and petrochemical cleansers, propylene gylcol, silicones, pthalates, DEA and artificial colours. It's also vegan, 100% natural botanical aromatherapy and formulated without animal ingredients or animal testing. So basically, a hippie's wet dream. This formula is for dry and long hair, which is right up my alley. 
here she is!

I bought the conditioner at $7.99 for 225 mL. Steep. Also, I'm not sure how readily available this is in Canada or the US unless you luck out and find it randomly at a Winners like I did. Seems to be easier to get if you live in the UK, or Australia. But basically anything can be bought online, so where there's a will, there's a way. 

On to the review..I freaking LOVED this conditioner. I loved everything about it. The scent? Divine. Definitely not a sweet, fruity, or floral scent though. Its hard to explain, but I loveee the smell of it. It is strong, and long lasting though so you have to love it if you want to buy a bottle. 

The formula? Amazing. It made my hair feel soft, healthy and fantastic. I could honestly feel a difference from the first time I used it.  

Would I repurchase? Yes! I actually went back to find it but it wasn't there (winners is so fickle!) but if I saw it again, I would probably stock up. I know it's not at cheap as buying pantene pro-v or whatever, but I honestly wash my hair every three days, and conditioner is so vital for maintaining my hair- I don't mind spending a little more. 

Deema xx 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Face of the week for summer feat. mac, tarte and stila

Hello all,

here with a face of the week for you.  This week I wanted to use the shimmery gold colour in my stila palette (champagne).  I paired it with a warm, matte colour in the crease and a dark brown liner.  I used the peachy-pink blush to correspondingly warm up the cheeks!  Here's the look:

the products I used


mac coffee, mac brownscript, stila champagne
And the products I used:
-l'oreal bare naturale gentle mineral makeup in 460 Nude Beige (love)
-maybelline instant age rewind eraser dark circles in 60 Brightener
-vichy dermablend cosmetique corrective fond de teint fluide in 15 Opal
-tarte amazonian clay blush in Glisten

-stila in the light palette in Champagne
-mac eyeshadow in Brownscript (amazing texture - love)
-mac eye pencil in Coffee
-clinique browkeeper in Honey
-prestige mascara in My Blackest Lashses

cheers everyone and Happy Canada Day!