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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reviewed: Lancome Bright Expert

This is a finished product review, but I do have to make a disclaimer that this wasn’t a full sized product. I got this deluxe sized sample when I bought something from Lancome a few months ago. This sat in the bag for a while before I thought to try it. It’s a decent size (15mL), and I’ve only been using a small amount at night (not twice a day like the bottle recommends) because I knew that this would be expensive and I wanted to make it last. So I made this 15mL sample last me about 6 months (I can't exactly remember when I started it, but I know it was probably mid-end of winter). I thought that it was all done in July because no more product would come out, but then I just cut open the bottle and put what was left in an old l'Occitane jar. I got another month's use out of that. I find that impressive, so excuse me while I just pat myself on the back. That being said, I feel myself licensed to give this a proper review, since I’ve used it for so long. Also, the full size is only 30mL so I guess it would last me a year if I were to repurchase it. That being is $75 (CDN…$70 US I believe). That is..expensive. Especially for my student budget. 

On to the review! This is a very light weight, 'almost feels like a gel'-like moisturizer. It absorbs into the skin pretty quickly, so you can put your moisturizer on top. I used it after cleansing and toning my face. I never had any issues with breakouts or skin irritation with it, even though it does have fragrance in it so that might be a problem for those with sensitive skin. It also has parabens..two kinds...eek! It has yeast extract and ellagic acid as its skin brightening ingredients; the efficacy of which has not yet been totally proven. And yet...
This product has done wonders for my skin. Right before bed, I put a very small amount (pea size) on the back of my hand and then dab my finger and put it on my acne scars (about three small areas on my face). If there is any left, I apply it to the rest of my face. In the morning my face looks brighter and more radiant. Also, my acne scars have really faded. This is literally the only product that has made any change at all with my acne scars, and  I’ve had them for years and have tried many different products. However, these results took time. The acne scars did not start to fade after the first use. I’ve used this for 6-6.5 months now.  And I just started to see a difference about 2-3 months ago. So patience here, is key.

That is why..I’m going to repurchase this in the full size. I know. I KNOW. It’s way too expensive. But I’m really happy with the current condition of my skin and I don’t want anything to change, so I’m going to bite the bullet and buy it. Also, I’ll continue to use it once a day..working out my costs to about $0.21 a use. Doable, I think. Maybe I’ll use my Shoppers Optimum Points…hmm..

Second disclaimer here... Just because this product worked for me, does not mean it will work for you. Your acne scars might not improve. I know, it sucks, but everyone’s skin is different and I would hate it if you paid full price for this on account of this review and then found that it did shit all. Just a quick google search or a peruse through the makeupalley reviews will show you that this is a slightly controversial product in terms of results.  So go to a Lancome counter and ask for a sample and see how it works for you. 

Deema xx

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another "products I regret buying" post

Hey hey, 

so I was cleaning out my cupboards today in preparation for a move and realized that now would be a good time to do a products I regret buying post - much like the wonderful Deema.

1.  got2b 2sexy voluptous volume mousse.  Oh boy.  I bought this four years ago and have probably a third of the bottle left.  This product does add some volume to the hair when you blowdry it through.  However, it's sticky.  And I like my LaCoupe root blast better anyway.  I'm throwing this out.
2. got2b defiant define+shine pommade.  Wow - didn't even put it together that these are both got2b products until just now.  Anyway, this pommade is waaaaaaaaay too sticky and thick (and oddly greasy) for my fine, wavy, longish hair.  If you're a man or boy or teenaged man-boy with shortish hair then maybe this would be for you.  OR if you're a super cool lady with short hair this might be for you too.  But for long-haired humans this is just not the way to go if texture is what you're after.  

3.  mac lipstick in Costa Chic.  Frosty.  Electric reddened peach.  tacky. as. hell.  I deeply regret this one.  Will back 2 mac it.  Such a shame.  I have neutral to cool undertones and boyyyyyyyyyyy does this look bad.  Though, in principle, this lipstick will almost certainly look tacky on anyone with all that frostiness and garishness going on.  

4.  Diorskin Nude natural glow hydrating makeup (aka foundation) in 020.  Oh this is a sad one. I paid $56 for this at Shoppers Drug Mart.  It has a beautiful finish and texture.  but OH MAN this oxidizes like crazy.  It just gets crazy dark and orange.  So sad.  The pump one mine also sucks.  It is stuck and I have to work the hell out of it to get at the remaining product (about a quarter of the bottle is left).  So sad :(
deerskin new nude foundation

5.  Cetaphil daily facial moisturizer with SPF 50.  GROSS.  this claims to be "non-greasy" and "non-comedogenic".'s greasy.  So, so greasy.  So horribly greasy. And it probably did break me out (but not terribly).  It left a white cast on the skin because it is primarily a mineral sunscreen.  It smells like sunscreen.  I paid $20 for this and it wasn't worth it at all.    
Cetaphil SPF 50

Nothing is worse than products you regret buying, if like me, you're on a tight budget.  As a student it feels baddddd to waste money on products that let me down, in the end.  


cheers everyone, 
clara xx

Yay or Nay? Suave Coconut Conditioner

Hey all, 

here today to review the conditioner that I have just finished.  It's the Suave naturals Tropical Coconut conditioner.  I picked this up for $1.99 at Food Basics.  It contains 444 mL.  It lasted me for four months.  Here it is:
picture from
This stuff.  Man.  Well, first off you cannot beat that price.  It's a steal.  I used this to condition my hair every other day, after shampooing.  I also used it as a shave cream.  Bargain!  In terms of a shave cream, I thought this was good.  It has a slick, silicone texture which prevented nicks very nicely.  It didn't "clog pores" or cause in-grown hairs, as I've heard some people claim about using conditioner as shave cream.  It isn't SUPER moisturizing on the legs, so use a shower oil and a lotion post-shave.  Conditioner-wise, I thought this was kind of poor.  I liked it more when my hair was shorter, at the beginning of the summer.  It certainly didn't weigh down my fine hair at that point. However, as my hair continues to grow, the ends become increasingly dry.  I didn't find that this did much for the dryness.  It did an adequate job of detangling (for extra help I'd add some Moroccan Oil to my hair before brushing).  I've been loading up on coconut oil before bed to add back moisture into my hair.  

I will say, I really liked the smell.  Faux coconut all the way!

Any suggestions for a better conditioner?

Clara xx

Monday, August 27, 2012

The It's Still Summer Series: dry shampoo

Hey all, 

here with a finished product to review.  And a summery one at that!  I've finished a can of Batiste's Dry Shampoo in "boho".  I paid $6.99 for this at Winners.  I've had it for nearly four months, and I use it whenever my hair is looking limp and/or oily.  Here it is:

I liked this.  I liked the scent.  It did a fairly good job of refreshing hair, though nothing compares to a good old fashioned shower. 

This is a great product to have in the summer.  I find that the combo of hot temperatures & humidity makes my hair get dirty faster.  AND let's not mess around here:  dirty hair smells like HAIR.  And god forbid one's hair should smell like hair!  A shot of batiste and a spritz of perfume at the root does the trick for me in the hot months.  Plus, if you can extend the time between washes by using dry shampoo then all the better: less water means less hair damage.  Yay for fewer haircuts!  I've actually gone a year without cutting my hair and I think it still looks passable.  Anyway, I digress....

I think batiste dry shampoo is good!  

cheers everyone, 
clara xx

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Products I Regret Buying

Since I’m not close to finishing anything at the moment, I thought I’d do a ‘products I regret buying’ post. I love watching these vids on youtube, because I think its so easy to just fall into the trap of buying stuff because someone else raves about them. Sometimes its hard to forget that products efficacy is not universal. What works for me or looks amazing on me is not going to work for you. And a lot of the time, its really expensive stuff and just a complete waste of my money. Usually the product just sits there in my drawer mocking me until I give up and either use it just to use it or throw it out.

1.       Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo in 30 Pomegranate Punk. Okay, this might be controversial, because apparently this product is God’s gift to the drugstore or whatever. Also, maybe its just this shade because everyone seems to love Bad to the Bronze and Tough as Taupe. BUT. Damn. This sucks! It creases like no other when worn alone, and this is supposed to be a base or a wear alone kind of product. So it definitely fails in that regard. If I put primer potion underneath it’ll last like 6 hours. Still no where near the 24 hour claim. The colour is really pretty, but its just annoying that I have to work so hard to make it last when that’s what it’s supposed to do. Again, it may just be this shade..but I’m not running out to buy the others to see if they’re any better.

2.       Prestige My Blackest Lashes (see my full review here!). I already talked about this, so I won’t repeat myself. This just has tons of hype, and it really doesn’t live up to it. Not that big of a regret because it’s a $10 mascara and I did use it up but stilllll.

3.       L'Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer in 864 Medium. Not a good concealer. Doesn’t have good coverage, doesn’t really ‘highlight’ or ‘illuminate’ well, nor does it have a good consistency. I really, really dislike this product, and I’m annoyed that its just sitting in my drawer. Am I using this wrong? I want to like it, but it just doesn’t do anything!!!

4.       Bourjois Illuminating Touch in 96 Rose universel. This is an okay highlighter, but you have to work pretty hard just to make it show up and noticeable. It’s not very pigmented. And you know how some highlighters are more glittery/shimmery, and others make you look like you’re kind of ‘glowing from within?’ This is definitely on the super shimmery side. This was the first highlighter I ever bought. Honestly, its not even that horrible but I just have much much better highlighters so this kind of gets relegated to the back.

5.       Revlon Lip Butter in 80 Strawberry Shortcake. This is also really well loved by the youtube/blogger world, but I just thought it was a so-so product. Once again, it could have been the shade but I just didn’t like the formula. I didn’t find it very moisturizing, and it just kind of sat on my lips. It also didn’t do my lips any favours if they were looking dry and gross (as they are want to do- ah, the joys of dry skin). This colour is a little too cool for me, so it didn’t look right. I’ve tried to wear this a lot but it just is not a fave of mine.

6.       Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Sand. Yup. I hate this. Yes, its creamy..that’s about it. It has so-so coverage, but the really issue is the way it sits on the skin. It just settles into every line (talking about under eyes here), so it looks incredibly weird and unflattering. I can’t really use it on blemishes either because it sits weird and doesn’t cover them at all. I think it actually makes them more noticeable. It doesn’t have long lasting power either, even when I use the powder that came with it. I know people like the colour correctors, but I will not waste my money (and it is expensive for a concealer!) on it again. I actually really liked this when I first bought it, but then I quickly realized that its just not up to par. I like my Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser much more for the under eye area.

7.       Diorskin Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Makeup in #21. I bought this a couple years ago (maybe even longer). I had some major issues with breakouts and I *thought* I needed a full coverage foundation to cover it all up (so, so stupid). So I went to the Shoppers Drug Mart and asked the lady at the counter to help me. This is what we came up with. To be fair to her, I told her that I wanted a full coverage foundation, and I was fully complacent in the colour selection. But I was clearly dumb- we’ve established that. I think the formula of this is actually nice, but its just way too heavy and full coverage. I prefer light to medium coverage. Also, the colour is way too yellow. I have yellow undertones, but this just makes me look sickly. Not a good look, if you were wondering. And this was expensive, I think it was around $50! I never use it anymore, which is a real waste. I wasn’t bamboozled into buying this, just my own ignorance..I clearly had no idea what I really needed or liked.

8. Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Micro Finish Cream  Blush in 13 Smooth Talker. This blush is actually really nice quality, consistency and blends amazingly. The only problem is the colour- which is actually a pretty huge problem. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get a pale, blue-based pink blush. I have yellow undertones in my skin. Ya- bad call. This makes me look like death. I bought this way before I realized that I needed warmer colours for my complexion (probably around the same time I bought that Dior foundation) and learn, I guess! Also- this cost like $30. So much money for something I've literally used 3 times. 

That’s really all I can think of right now! I really do try and research every product I want to buy so I don’t end up hating it, but these things happen! I am but human, after all.

Deema xx

Friday, August 24, 2012

PSA: Dry Scalps and Head & Shoulders

Can we talk about dry scalps for a second here? I know its not the most glamorous of topics, but this is real life! Having a dry scalp is one of the most uncomfortable and grossest feelings in the world. First of all its gets super itchy, and when you scratch…oh surpriiiise: hey there dandruff! How you been? Haven’t missed you at alll. Since no one wants the be the person with dandruff, awkwardly scratching away in the corner, I thought I’d share what I use for my dry, itchy scalp dilemma.

Head & Shoulders. I  think any formula will do, but I use the dry scalp formula. (I’ve also used the smooth and silky pink label, and it works just fine!)

You’re probably not surprised. And ya yaaa everyone thinks this is for their dads. But it legitimately works! I used this religiously a couple years back when my scalp was really dry and its was amazing. When I made the switch to paraben and sulfate free shampoo/conditioner, I thought I’d phase this one out. I hoped that its replacements would be moisturizing enough. Wrong! Well no, it was fine for a while actually. But recently I’ve been noticing my scalp has been super uncomfortable and itchy. Like, reallly itchy! So of course I did nothing for a couple weeks, hoping that it was just the change in weather and it would go away. Wrong. It definitely didn’t. So a few days ago I went and bought my beloved Head & Shoulders (just the conditioner) and used it after my regular conditioner. Worked like a charm. Already, the itchiness is gone. Those are results people! I can’t rave enough about this.

Now, I know the ingredients list is not top notch. It has two kinds of parabens, and a whole wack of slightly scary sounding chemicals but says that only a couple ingredients or of a ‘low health concern.’ Like Zinc Pyrithione, which is the active ingredient. It's apparently restricted for cosmetic use in Japan- fun fact?  Also- it has methylparaben in it. But you know what, fuck it. I do try to go paraben-free, but nothing else I’ve tried has helped my dry scalp. Maybe it was just my recent conditioners have been drying (except for the A'kin which I loved and can no longer find in stores unfortch) but this will just have to do until I find something that can replace it.

So gist of this post..if you have a dry, itchy scalp and aren’t extremely opposed to parabens in your conditioner..go buy yourself some Head & Shoulders!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The "it's still summer" series: OPI hot pink! swatched

Hey everyone, 

OPI hot pink! with Essie Turquoise and Caicos on ring finger

guess what?  It's still summer.  I'm going to do a series of posts which will be summery in feel for those who, like me, aren't ready for fall.  Here is a nail polish post which involves the ridiculous colour combo of Essie Turquoise and Caicos and OPI hot pink! (Exclamation point their's, not mine).  This post also reveals how terrible I am at doing my nails.  But hey, it's still summer so who cares?  

clara xx

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reviewed: LillyPilly Natural Tea Tree with Rosewood Hand and Body Creme

Another finished product review here. I recently finished this 150 mL bottle of LillyPilly Hand and Body Crème (though I primarily used it on my body). I started using it in July (about the second week) and its lasted me about a month and a half. I bought this bad boy for $4 from the clearance rack at Winners. I saw it on ebay for just under $20, so win win for me.

Okay, so I think this is moisturizes and hydrates my skin superbly. My skin feels amazing after using it. By the next day, I can still feel it somewhat, but I definitely need to reapply. It’s an Australian brand and its all natural I think- no parabens, silicones etc. So that’s reassuring as its sinking into my skin 1-2 times daily.

The downside is that I’m not in love with the scent. It’s subtle enough, so if you hate the strong scent of tea tree oil, this probably won’t make you want to vomit. But I prefer strong scents- if its going to say tea tree and rosewood I want to smell that distinctly. I hate wishy washy scents. And with a lotion I’m applying all over my body, I better love what I’m smelling. As well, this didn’t last me very long! I know I didn’t pay much, but if I had paid full price for this I would not be a happy camper.

All in all, I think this would be great if you a) didn’t need to use this very often, or if you just used it as a hand crème so it would last longer and b) don’t like strong herbal scents in lotions. Otherwise, it’s a touch too expensive for how much use I actually got out of it.

I’m trying a Korres Body Butter next! Wait for that review soon- but hopefully not too soon, that baby needs to last longer than this one!

Deema xx

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Favourite Summer Lip Products

Here are the lip products that I just keep going back to all summer

1. Maybelline Baby Lips in 05 Quenched. Somedays in the summer I just love me some plain, moisturized lips. Enter Baby Lips. Keeps my lips soft and looking good!

2.       Dior Addict Extreme in 574, Plaza. This is a beautiful, easy to wear bright pink. It looks dark in the tube, but you can sheer it out. You can also build it up into a really gorgeous colour that looks exactly like it does in the tube. It is soo flattering on my skin tone, especially with a tan (but I’ve worn it when I was pale as a ghost and it still looked good). This feels like a lip balm. It is incredible moisturizing and it lasts all day. On the pricey side..but worth every penny.

3.       Korres Liquid Lipstick, #28. This is currently my all time fave for summer. The formula is so cool. The product just sinks into your lips and feels amazing. It looks like a lipstick, feels like a stain. So so great. And this colour is gorgeous! I always get compliments when I wear it. It’s a bright magenta, I would say. It just screams summer, but its so easy to wear!

oh pale. I blame natural lighting for this. 

4.       Korres (again) Soft Touch Lip Pen in 44 Orange. LOVE. Not the most long lasting, but such a gorgeous peach colour. It also kind of changes on my lips? It deepens somehow..but either way it looks good. I always pair it with…

5.       Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Expose is a really pretty sheer peach gloss. I always wear it with the Korres lip pen to really bring out the peach. But sometimes I just wear it on its own for a nice sheer peach glow to my lips. Not very long lasting though. But not sticky, so there ya go.

Deema xx

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reviewed: The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream

I just recently finished the Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream. I bought this at the end of April (or maybe early May?), so it’s lasted me about 3.5 months. I got the 30mL size, but when I went on the website it only had the 100mL advertised. Odd? I don’t think I would like this in a 100mL version. It seems like it would a) be too big, because I just liked to stick this in my purse and b) too expensive! – it says its $20 online, which I personally don’t think its worth.

 I got this for free during some sort of promo. It has no parabens. It smells absolutely amazing. Whenever I put this on I just smell my hands and it's pure bliss. The packaging is okay, it comes in some sort of aluminum or tin tube. But, the cap is annoying. It’s a screw cap, but it can be hard to get back on especially when its full. When you first buy it, everytime you open the tube, product oozes out. That means you have to quickly put some on your hands and then quickly get the cap back on so you don’t waste any product. Annoying! That also takes a while to stop..only until it was almost done did I have to actually squeeze the tube to get product out. I feel like this would be a LOT more annoying if you got the 100mL size.

I have dry skin, but its really not very dry on my hands- especially not in the summer. This cream worked well for me- my hands always felt nice after application. I know some people say that it leaves a filmy substance  or residue on their skin, but I didn’t find that in my case. It absorbs well into the skin, not super fast but within a couple minutes I’m good to go. It’s not some miracle cream, it doesn’t leave my skin baby soft, but its not bad either. I think people with dry skin might need more moisture for the winter months. I might consider repurchasing this next spring (mainly for the amazing scent), but I’m definitely on the lookout for a better hand cream for my purse for the fall/winter!

I’d recommend trying it out if you can find the 30mL, otherwise I wouldn’t bother spending $20 on the 100mL. It also comes in a tub (like the body butters)- I’m intrigued by that because it looks like a richer formulation but still has the amazing scent. It might be the same product, but in a tub though. I guess the weird cap issue wouldn’t be there? If anyone has tried it let me know! 

Deema xx 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

lip products of august!

hey all, 

here are the lip products in my makeup bag this month.  For reference, they are Estee Lauder's crystal baby, Laura Mercier's hydratint in crimson, and Rimmel by Kate Moss's no. 5.  Voila!

estee lauder crystal baby

laura mercier crimson

Rimmel by Kate Moss number 5

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reviewed: Amir Argan Oil Shampoo (& Conditioner)

Hey erryone. Here’s another finished product review! Today it’s Amir Argan Oil Shampoo. I also used the conditioner from the same line, so I’ll include a mini review of that at the end. I bought this shampoo back in  April I think. It’s been a while. It cost me $14.99 from Winners. You can get the shampoo and conditioner on amazon for about $25. I went through about 2.5-3 bottles of conditioner in the time it took me to use up this 355mL bottle of shampoo, which just goes to show you how often I wash my hair (every 3 days), and how little product I need to use each time.

My hair is long, relatively thick, and wavy. Meaning, the only place I get oil in my hair is at the roots. The ends never, ever get oily. So when I shampoo, I only put a little bit of product at the crown, and whatever washes down to the tips is enough.

I though this shampoo was decent. It smells nice, but its not anything spectacular. And the scent didn’t last very long in my hair after the first day. It lathered well, considering it has no sulphates. Oh- and no parabens or silicones, so yay for that. Cleans my hair well enough, but obviously I wash my hair every 3 days so dry shampoo is definitely getting used up in there. I don’t know, my feelings towards this shampoo are just BLAH. Nothing spectacular. I actually liked it a lot at the beginning, but now I just don’t think its cutting it for me. And I think its drying out my hair a bit, which is a big no-no.

The conditioner I liked even less. It was not moisturizing at all for my dry hair. Smelled nicer than the shampoo, but not by much. Didn’t last nearly as long- but that says more about how much conditioner I use per hair washing.

If you have thin hair that doesn’t need much hydration, this may be one to check out. That being said, its expensive for a shampoo that doesn’t actually improve the texture of my hair or even smell amazing. I will not be repurchasing either the shampoo or conditioner again.

Why are good hair products SO hard to find?? WHY?

Deema xx 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

How I cover up my acne scars..or, how Real Techniques changed my perspective

Like many people, I suffer from acne scars. Acne scars are the WORST. They are annoying. They are dark. They are hard to cover up. It was a constant struggle for me to find a foundation that would cover them up but would still be a light coverage for the rest of my face. As you would guess, this is basically impossible. And every concealer seemed to just do nothing, and if I piled it on, it would just look cakey and gross. Constant dilemma for me.

Until one day I went to the US, found an Ulta, and bought the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush. This brush has literally changed the way I do my makeup.

I know it has been talked to hell on youtube and blogs, but guys! It’s for a good reason. This brush is AWESOME. It’s so densely packed, its like a little kabuki brush which lets you buff in your concealer perfectly and naturally. I use it with my MAC Studio Finish conealer (in NC20) for my acne scars. And it works.  Let me show you!

Products used: 

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, bare Minerals i.d multi-tasking powder, MAC Studio Finish in NC20, Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush and Setting Brush (which I really need to clean..damn)


booo, acne scars! boooooooooooooooo! 


this is with zero other makeup, btw. just the products mentioned in this post.

Here’s how I use it:
  1.         Apply moisturizer all over and primer (I'm using the Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, a deluxe      sample I got a while ago) 

2.       First I dab/push the concealer on to the scars using the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush without blending at all until I get them as covered as possible.

4.       Even if it not yet covered I go on to do the same for any other acne scars I have.
5.       Then I go back and repeat the process as many times as possible until I reach desired coverage.

6.       Set with a powder ( I use my bare minerals Multi Tasking Powder in Summer Bisque) using my Real Techniques Setting Brush. 

7.       Continue rest of makeup as normal.

Note how I made no mention of foundation. I’ve stopped using it. Foundation sucks in the summer anyways, so it’s a blessing. I never thought that I would be able to leave the house without foundation, but with my acne scars covered up I just don’t need it! For work and days out doing regular stuff, I don’t want a full face of makeup. I don’t want my skin to look airbrushed..its kind of odd to be shopping and look in a mirror and just see a completely made up face staring back at you. Going out, yes for sure. But during the day…the less, the better! That’s just me, though. I’d rather see the little imperfections that make me look normal and human.

But, if you love more coverage this would obviously work over foundation. But..give it a try without foundation first! It’s very freeing to be out and not wear any. My skin has also been looking and feeling so much better. I’ve had zero breakouts since I’ve been doing this. That’s a win-win situation right there, folks.

Happy concealing :) 

Deema xx