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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review: Mario Badescu Glycolic Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion

8 oz. bottle $18

This is one of my favourite products ever. Yes, ever. I first bought this a year or so ago, and have used it steady and repurchased. OOH, ahhh! A third purchase! One repurchase tends to be a very rare thing for me little own a second. I just love this toner. Mario Badescu calls this a "cleansing lotion" but it's toner, and that is what I am going to call if for the purpose of this review.

The main star of this product is the glycolic acid. What is it you ask? Let the experts of Mario Bad. and co explain:

"A simple alpha hydroxy acid, Glycolic Acid is an exfoliating ingredient naturally derived from sugar cane that reduces the accumulation of dead skin cells that are associated with many skin conditions like acne and dullness. Glycolic Acid improves moisture levels in the skin and increases the ability of the skin to bind water due to its interaction with the skins Hyaluronic Acid."

Almost time for a refill!

I have had other products like this, mainly Dermaglow's Radiance Glycolic 10% Gentle Peel Solution, which at $50 is crazy, but I liked the MB product better. The MB toner is a mere 4% glycolic acid, but I found it to be stronger. That sounds so backwards, but with the MB product I felt that it did more for my skin than the Dermaglow. I have to mention the texture, the Dermaglow product is very gooey and on the thick side while the MB toner is what you would expect toner to be, your average liquid.

Ingredients, click for full size

"Oily, dull, congested skin will be refreshed and disinfected with daily use of this astringent. The powers of Citrus Extracts combined with 4% Glycolic Acid reduce the build-up of dead skin cells. Not recommended for acne-erupted skin." -MB website

Like any toner, I use this after my cleansing routine, which is pretty simple: I remove my makeup with a makeup remover wipe and then wash with the cleanser du jour. Then comes the toner. After essentially washing my face twice, this toner still manages to get rid of more "gunk". I don't think you will find a product that will get your face any cleaner than this. I won't lie though, this product is strong. If you have any "angry skin" (ie blemishes) this stuff will sting, a lot. Also, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to pass. I have read that some people dilute their product so it is gentler, but I can't say I would recommend that.

Over a prolonged use of this product, I have noticed definite changes in my skin: softer (glycolic acid makes your moisturizer absorb better), smoother, overall the texture has improved. My skin has lost the dull look, and overall just feels and looks refreshed and happy. Yes, this product makes my skin happy. You can quote my scientific findings if you wish. A great product!

P.S If you haven't already, go here to enter to win a Supper Sleuth's Murder Mystery Party!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: Avon ClearSkin Pore Penetrating Scrub

Anyone who reads my blog often, knows I love a good scrub, and I have to say that I am a sucker for scrubs. I will almost always find a reason to try a new one too. Oh, I spotted a hot chocolate body scrub at Zellers of all places, it smelled so good! I have to go back to get it. Anyhow, this is yet another Avon product that has been sitting on the "to blog" list for some time now, and I am finally getting to it.

A fine textured scrub that delivers

"Leaves skin feeling fresh & soft. Featuring pore firming technology and formulated with eucalyptus and witch hazel to cleanse and refresh. Lifts away pore clogging dirt and excess oil." -Avon

This product, being a scrub, spoke to me, but I was also drawn into it's "pore penetrating" claim. A someone with pores that are on the large side, I had to see if this scrub would do anything to prevent blackheads and keep my pores in line. This is a thick dry scrub, that doesn't look very scrubby or textured, but definitely delivers. Because this is a thick scrub you can get away with just a little bit and still get a good scrub. The texture of this feels very fine when on your fingers, but as you apply it to your face, you can feel a more intense scrub. It feel a bit like a salt scrub. I like that it feels like it is scrubbing, but is still not too harsh on your skin. This scrub also contains menthol, which leaves your skin feeling refreshed and minty cool. I never used to care for the cooling effect of face products, but his scrub has changed my opinion.

I am not a skin care expert, so I can't verify if this product has any ingredients that will actually "penetrate" pores, but I find that it does get in there and remove the gunk that clogs pores and eventually develops into blackheads. For $6.99 (on sale for $3.99 in the newest Avon book and here) this is a great scrub to have on hand. A definite re-purchase for me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Review: Mark For Goodness Face Moisturizer

Why do some products have crazy long names? This is actually Mark For Goodness Face Antioxidant Skin Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 with Blueberries and Dark Chocolate. That's a mouthful and a half. Anyhow, this is a moisturizer that I have been using for a while now, and thought it was time to share with everyone. I have a few posts lagging around that I hadn't gotten around to finishing, and it seems most of them are skin care products, so this week is unofficially skin care week.

I have to start off by saying how much I love the packaging of this moisturizer! Unlike your typical pot type packaging, this moisturizer has a dispensing top. I hate dipping my fingers into pots of things both for bacteria/ germ-y reasons, but also because it gets up under your finger nail and *bleck* Anyway, this pot has a lid, and an inner lid that you push down to dispense the product. Ingenious!

The dispensing top dispenses just the right amount based on how hard you push.

This particular Mark moisturizer is out of their collection of products geared towards dry skin. I fall more into combination skin, normal for the most part, but with major dry areas, so I figured this would be an alright option for me and I like that it has a good dose of SPF. The moisturizers (all varieties) retail for $20 and never seem to go on sale.

"If you're feeling protective about your skin, then try this oil free moisturizer that helps protect skin's natural beauty, and is packed with a powerful antioxidant combo of dark chocolate, blueberry extract, lemon fruit, European herb extract and Canadian willow herb extract, plus the all important SPF 30 to guard against the sun's damaging rays." - Mark.

The moisturizer itself is a tad on the thick side, but it isn't heavy. It absorbs quickly and does not leave an oily feel to your skin. It does not have any sort of "foodie" scent that might be implied by it's delicious sounding name. Overall I am pretty happy with this moisturizer, it does indeed do a great job on hydrating dry skin. My only issue is that if I use it on my entire face before bed, my non-dry spots (particularly my cheeks and forehead) are quite oily the next morning. I don't notice the oiliness so much during the day if I have makeup on though.

The packaging break down.

Of course there is one other downside to this product. The size. Not so much the size, but the tricky way they make you think that you are buying a normal size pot of moisturizer. When you get the pot it looks like the typical size pot facial moisturizers tend to come in. It isn't until you take a peek at how the pot's dispenser system works that you see the truth. There is a shelf about a half an inch into the pot, the other three quarters (more than that actually) is nothing but container. Sure, they tell you you are getting 1.7 fluid oz. of product, but the way that they went about packaging the product is a bit sneaky. For that reason, and the fact that the $20 price tag does not match the amount of product you get, I will most likely not repurchase this product, especially when you can pick up great drugstore brands for far less.

P.S If you haven't already, go here to enter to win a Supper Sleuth's Murder Mystery Party!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Avon Clearskin Blemish Clearing Spot Treatment

Blemish-busting gel formulated with salicylic acid and botanical extracts. This effective treatment with Blemish Busting technology leaves your complexion looking clearer.- Avon

I bought this a while ago, after seeing it on another blog and since it was on sale too, I had to give it a try. This is a pretty basic product, apply to angry skin. I hate most words used for blemishes, okay mostly just the word "zit" it makes my skin crawl. When I break out, and like most 20-somethings I only ever breakout under my jaw line /under chin area, I say I have a case of angry skin.

This product is from Avon's ClearSkin line, as opposed to their more clinical strength ClearSkin Professional line, which is supposed to rival ProActive. I find that a bit hard to believe though, seeing as this spot treatment contains 2% salicylic acid (the active blemish killing ingredient) and more expensive "professional" spot treatment contains the same amount.

So, this is a clear treatment, which I like more than the tinted ones. I can use my own concealer to cover what needs to be covered thanks. I will warn, that if you apply too much on one spot it will eventually dry and start to flake off of you ala a bad sunburn, fyi. When I first bought this I was lucky enough not to need it for some time (yay for clear skin!) Unfortunately my cystic friends came back. I first started using this hoping it would replace my former love Mario Badescu Drying Cream which lost it's magic for me. I don't know if my skin got used to it or if my pot had been kicking around for too long, but it stopped working.

I started using this as only a spot treatment, but found that it took two or three applications for it to really do anything. I now use it here and there and all over my "angry zone" as a kind of insurance policy when I suspect a flair up coming, or to speed the recovery of an angry attack. All in all this is an okay product which I would buy again to keep on stand-by, but there are stronger (5%) formulas on the market that I will likely try first to see which I prefer. Justine over at Productrater! did a great review of Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 5 which has peaked my interest. I may just have to try it out too.

Have you used this product? What did you think? Got any good recommendations?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crest 3D White Challenge & Review

Crest 3D White mouth wash and toothpaste

Last week I got a little brochure thing from Shopper's Drug Mart with info about Crest's 3D line of dental care, oh, and a sample, who doesn't love a sample? Anyway, it came with a few of those tempting bonus optimum points coupons and I ended up picking up the mouth wash and the toothpaste. I am a dork, and I really love trying new toothpastes. Yeah.The line also has tooth whitening strips, but I passed on those, they are expensive and they bother my teeth.

Inside my messy medicine cabinet where my toothbrushes and flosser live safely in a Pom Wonderful tea glass

Once I got it home and was reading the label, I was perplexed by their claim that their products can remove up to 80% of surface stains in 14 days. Really? I am going to "challenge" them, by using only 3D White toothpaste and mouthwash for just that, 14 days. This is in no way a challenge to me, it's not like I wasn't going to brush my teeth, but these two products will be my exclusive dental team.

Ground Rules:
  • I will brush a minimum of twice a day
  • I will use the same average manual toothbrush (as opposed to my electric)
  • I will not use any other dental product (excluding floss of course)
  • Challenge will begin today (Wed. Oct. 20th) and end two weeks from now on Wed. Nov. 3rd
Okay, so there aren't many rules. I also will take before and afters for you to judge my "findings." My teeth aren't terribly stained or discoloured, but they could be whiter, so we'll see just how dazzling they look in 14 days.

Grrr... sorry for the odd smile, but it's the best way to get a full view, and no laughing at my funny tooth line.

Since I used the products this morning, I thought that I might as well share my initial thoughts. We'll start with the mouthwash, or "oral rinse" as they call it...

Crest 3D White mouth wash is an alcohol free mouth wash that claims to whiten teeth, help protect against future stains, and kill bacteria that fight bad breath and interestingly contains the same whitening ingredient found in the 3D Whitestrips. Sounds pretty good. First off I have to say that I was going to be a more mild tasting mouthwash since it is alcohol free. Wrong. It starts off a bit more mellow, but since they say you should swish for 60 seconds, it does start to burn a bit. Oh, and don't put as much in your mouth as you normally would, it foams. As you swish, it starts to expand and froth and continues to foam up in your mouth after you spit, which feels a bit wrong. The foam left in your mouth is like the feeling you get after you take of tooth whitening strips, but without all that nasty aftertaste. Taste wise this was alright; minty fresh like any other mouthwash.

ooh, sparkly!

As for the toothpaste... it claims to contain micro lifting beads to lift and polish away surface stains, gentle foaming action to clean hard to reach places, plus (as if that wasn't enough) it strengthens enamel. And of course they state that it does all the other fun stuff one expects toothpaste to do (fight cavities, remove plaque, and refresh mouth.) This is a pretty blue sparkly gel like toothpaste. Look wise, no different than your average. The only real difference performance wise with this, is that it foams. Sure most toothpaste foams, but this stuff really expands like mad. I had toothpaste foam all over my face (think rabid blogger.) I will for sure have to remember to cut back on how much I put on my brush.

I'm not sold that I will see a major change in the colour of my teeth, but you never know.
Have you used this product yet? What did you think? Do you think I'll see results?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Yves Rocher Radiance Corrector Pen

Click for full size

Yves Rocher, my beauty vice... when that catalouge comes I am almost (okay always) tempted by something and end up ordering. Although, up until now I have never purchased any of Yves cosmetics. A month or so ago I noticed two products that caught my eye one being Perfect Primer (review soon) and this, the Stylo Correcteur Eclat (aka Radiance Corrector Pen) a corrector pen much like the adored YSL Touche Eclat. Of course the Yves Rocher version is half the price of the YSL version at $20, but I plucked mine at the intro price of $13. Not too shabby, but does it work?

I will admit that I do not own the YSL Touch Eclat, so there won't be a comparison here (sorry!) I will however break the product down and share my thoughts. First, and this is something I am sure most of you reading this know, this product is not a "concealer" it is an illuminator.

"A what?" it is designed to " illuminate the face and quickly and easily conceal signs of fatigue, areas of shadow and fine lines. A fluid, ultra-soft texture which conceals skin imperfections, thanks to its light diffusing effect." as put by the folks of Yves Rocher.

Brush tip

As is typical of this sort of product, the pen has a brush and the product is pumped into the tip via a little twist up thing. I have to note that the first time I used this I had a huge mess... the product was not coming out so I continued to click, figuring since it was new it would take a few clicks. Well, it is just slow to flow and I had a ton of it pouring out of the brush. Yeah, I now click it once and wait for it to flow. Patience. It works.

Swatched on my arm. Left- not blended, Right- blended

As you can see in the swatch above, the blob of un-blended product looks quite pink, but it does blend nicely. This product is only available in two shades Pink Glow (which I have) that is for pink based skin tones, and Beige Glow for more tan yellow toned skin tones. After I ordered this, I kept thinking about the name, and started to worry that it would have some sort of shimmer to it. The word "Glow" can be difficult to read sometimes. Anyhow, this product does not have any shimmer. I haven't seen the Beige Glow, so I can't say for certain, but it seems like you may be out of luck with this product if you have a darker skin tone. I am fairly, well, fair, and the colour works well for me, but I don't know if it would work on skin much darker. That seems to be one obvious downside compared to YSL's product is that they give you more shade options (YSL offers four shades.)

Unedited photo, without any product what so ever (ack, I look tired!)

Unedited photo, with only Radiance Corrector Pen applied

As you can see from my before and afters, there is a visible difference, but not a drastic one. Seeing as this is not meant to conceal, I can't judge the fact that you can still some discolouration, but as mentioned I do not have any other makeup on my face. This product does lighten the eye area and when used on makeup can give your eyes a bit of light, but I can't say that this is a product I "need." I will continue to use it, sure, but it probably won't be a re-purchase. I can see myself using this as a super light concealer on the days I don't wear makeup, but want a bit of a pick me up. It also works really well on the eyelid to give an even tone a works as an okay primer.

Have you used this product? What did you think? Do you have an alternative to YSL's Touch Eclat?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base

It is rare that I go into any store that sells cosmetics and come out empty handed, well except maybe the dollar store... anyway, I was in Shopper's Drug Mart the other day, on a non-cosmetic expedition, but stopped over into the teensy Benefit section to see if they carried Erase Paste (which they do not) and ended up in the L'Oreal section. I was drawn to the 2000 extra bonus points flag, and knew I had a $5 off coupon for this, and well you know how the rest goes.

If you read any type of magazine marketed to women, you probably have a sample of this. I have a few and honestly haven't even used one... I don't know, but aren't you supposed to, oh I don't know, try the sample before you buy it? I apparently don't roll that way.

This product is relatively expensive for a drug store brand at $17.99 for a 0.5 fl oz (15ml) pot, but considering that primers have been around for a while, this is one of the first drug store brands to have so much marketing and push behind it. I have a few primers that I am currently using, but I have to admit that seeing ads and what not for it everywhere have made me want to give it a try.

" Get the perfect skin texture, instantly and all day. Smoothes lines, hides pores, and banishes imperfections. The silky, lightweight formula glides onto skin leaving it velvety-smooth to the touch. The result- a unified matte finish that's flawless." -from box

It sure does make a lot of claims, but does it live up them?...

err... kind of. I don't know why, well, yes I know why, to sell product; but why cosmetic manufacturers think it is necessary to "bend" the truth on their products. This is a transparent product that will not "banish imperfections" it just won't. It does however provide the smoothest feel to your skin. It is a creme, mousse almost, with a spongey texture in the pot, that smooths on easily. It disappears when you blend it on, and really does leave you with soft perfect feeling skin, which makes your makeup apply even better. It helps makeup glide over dry skin easily, which is a major plus as I tend to have dry areas around my mouth and nose and hate when my makeup accentuates it. As for pore coverage, it isn't going to make you look poreless, but it does help your makeup smooth over visible pores easier, thus making large pores look less prominent.

I love the way this product makes my skin feel and am happy that I gave it a try. Compared to my current favourite primer by Isomers, I would happily save a bit of cash and switch to L'Oreal.

Have you tried this primer? What did you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review: Benefit Benetint

The other day I mentioned an amazing deal that I stumbled upon, and that deal happened to be Benefit's Benetint. I snagged mine for $5.99 in the clearance bin at my local Shopper's Drug Mart. Initially I was skeptical that either it was a tester (eww! I did not want the tester) or that it was in the clearance bin by accident, so I took it to the cosmetics sales rep and asked. No, it was not a tester and yes it was actually on sale. Score, considering it retails for $28 US.

While at the $6 price point I would be crazy not to try this product, I wasn't totally sure if it was the product for me. As a red stain, I wasn't too sure if it would be something I would get much wear out of or that it would look like a bad case of rosacia. I am pleased to say that I was wrong, but more on that later.

Benetint is Benefit's classic red lip and cheek stain, the bigger sister of Poisetint a pink cheek and lip stain. As you can see in the photo above, the bottle is pretty much the same as any nail polish and applies with the same type of brush. The bottle is on the small side, but since you only need a few drops it will last you for years. Fast factoid: this product was initially created for stripers to add a rosey flush to their nipples. Did you know that?

"The sexiest flush you can get from a bottle. Innocent yet provocative, our rose tinted cheek stain is see through colour that endured it all... even the thralls of passion."- from box.

Three drops of Benetint, applied as suggested

I have to say that I was intimidated when I first tried this, as I had no ieda as to how pigmented it would be, but it is sheer and I had to use an extra drop (the bottle/box suggests three) to get a nice rosy glow. I have pale skin so I didn't have to build it up much, but it could easily made darker by addingg a few more drops. While I am not one for red lips per-say, a little drop of this can be applied to make a lip stain. I liked that it wasn't a full red, but more of a "I just ate a cherry popsicle" or " I just ate strawberries" type of colour. Unfortunately, this product has a terrible taste, but it does wear away after a few seconds.

Can you spot the blending finger?

I am really happy with this product, it provides a nice natural flush of colour, and in case you were wondering, it blends over makeup (foundation) just as easily as it does on bare skin. There are no major downsides, but you do get left with a tinted blending finger, and if you aren't a fan of roses you miht not be into the smell as it does have a slight rose scent. Also, (and this might just be a fluke thing and affects the product in no way) all the printing is flaking off of my bottle. Now if only I can score HighBeam in the clearence bin too. A girl can dream...

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

Review: Mario Badescu Facial Spray

I have to say that I have loved pretty much everything that I have every used by Mario Badescu, so when I saw this in an email I didn't hesitate to try it. I didn't even read any reviews on it first. I know, I always like to read reviews before a beauty purchase. I will admit that the email listed this as one of "Martha's Faves." That Martha being Martha Stewart, who post prison sentence I used to dig.

Side note: Did you ever see the made for t.v movie about Martha in prison? The "prison" they used was actually the Lakeshore campus of Humber College (in Toronto.) I was in my first year of their Social Services program and we had our classes all jumbled to work around filming. It was weird to see how they made the building and rooms we had our classes in look like jail.

Anyway, back to the product... I had read about the similar MAC products MAC Fix and MAC Fix + Rose. I haven't tried either, but at $7 for the 4oz bottle ($12 for 8oz) I thought the Mario version was a less expensive way to try out such a similar product. If you haven't heard of/ or used a product like this, the concept is pretty simple: spray product on face. Yup, that is it. What does it do, exactly, is probably what you are thinking too...

"A refreshing, hydrating mist to use anywhere anytime. Simply formulated with fragrant Herbal Extracts and Rosewater for a pleasant, pick me up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. Spray your day and night creams for a boost of hydration or use it to set make-up or spray on dry hair throughout the day. Safe for all skin types. Gentle, non-irritating. " -from website

That pretty much says it all. I have to say that while I am not a fan rose scented anything, and yes this product does have a definite rose scent, that I am really liking this spray. I thought it sounded odd to spray a liquid over my makeup to set it, but it works! Having dry skin this product doesn't settle or dry like powder can, granted it isn't as long lasting a set as that which you would get with powder. For the best results, I do set with powder then set that with this spray. I also like to mist this on before I apply my makeup for a moisturizing pick me up. I find that my foundation glides on more evenly and easier.

The only thing I am not thrilled with about this product, besides the rose scent, is the packaging. The spray bottle that this comes in, is your standard plastic spray bottle, which works alright, but if you aren't careful you end up drowning yourself in product instead of getting a nice fine mist. It is best to apply with your eyes and mouth securely closed. Believe me, it isn't very tasty.

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review: Vapour Organic Beauty Elixir Lip Gloss

As you can see, I took a mini blog-cation. I have been so busy lately it is disgusting... and my little blog has suffered, but I have a few itmes lined up for the next while and am super excited about what I snagged on sale the other day. I'll give you a bit of a teaser: a Benefit item for $5.99. It totally made my day.

But, you'll have to wait to see that, for today I have a little (and yes it is little, both the post and the item) lip gloss that I have come to adore. I got this in "Enigma" a violet type plum shade, that Summer Beauty Bag the Shopping Channel had during the summer (go figure!) but just recently started using it.

"Elixir Lip Glosses help provide a shiny healthy pout. Your lips instantly feel moisturized and nourished. Elixir's non-petroleum gloss has been made possible by a completely non-chemical process that combines castor oil and beeswax in a new way to help create superior body and shine. Elixir Lip Glosses help revitalize, hydrate, and nourish with Vapour Organic Beauty's lip specific infusion. It contains Organic Lemon Balm, Myrrh, Iceland Moss, and Green Tea."- from website

First off, this gloss isn't sticky on your lips. Not even a bit. Granted, your hair will still stick in it. It is light in texture and on the sheer side, but adds enough colour that you can wear it on its own. The shade that I have is one that I would probably have chosen for myself, had I had that option, as I find that violet-mauve based shades work for me, but this wears less purple-y and more like a pink tinted with a touch of purple, which could be flattering on almost any skin tone. It has a sweet slightly fruity scent, but it isn't sweet to the taste, so no need to worry if you are prone to be a "licker." I have been wearing this gloss quite a bit lately, and while I like it a lot, my lips seem to be dry. I don't know if it is just my lips, or if the product is contributing to it.

While I got this as part of a kit, this gloss sells on the Vapour webiste for $20 US and is available from The Shopping Channel for $22.50 CAN. I find the price a tad steep, considering the tube is not as big as your average gloss. While I like this product, I can't see myself repurchasing it, but I would try other products by the brand.

Have you tried this gloss or anything by Vapour Beauty? What did you think?

Have you voted yet? It only takes seconds to register and you can enter for an Avon gift pack! *Note: to everyone who was/is having trouble voting, I don't know what to say as to what the problem was/is but thank you for trying and I appreciate every single one of you for doing so! And if you haven't voted, do it! Please!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

September Faves

Another month over, and another month closer to snow! Eeek! I am a fall fan, but am not so into winter, although I have had my eye on a super cute winter jacket. I can decided if I should just invest and get it and what colour to go for: red, totally my colour I look great in red, or black, the colour that goes with everything. Decisions, decisions.

Anyhow, it took me some real thought to pull together September's faves. I used a lot of different stuff, and really didn't buy that much... well yeah, I bought stuff, but I haven't gotten to use everything yet. That sounds terrible, but we all do it. Right?

Got2b Smooth Operator Smoothing Hairspray
I have to say that I am totally all over the place when if comes to my hair. I use about a thousand different things, but usually never the same thing for more than a week or two. My hair and I have issues, lets put it at that. Anyway, that being said, this is a great hairspray for a light, flexible hold. The can says it is for touchable styles, and that it offers de-frizzing too. I usually wear my hair down (I have long hair, btw) and pin my bangs to one side or up the middle, and this hair spray is perfect. It has enough hold to keep flyaways and little stay hairs down, but you can also spray your whole head without the fear of that sticky heavy look that extreme hold formulas can sometimes leave you with.

Yves Rocher Vanille Noire
I did a review of my mini bottle a while ago, but have since recieved the full size bottle that I ordered. I love this even more than when I originally wore it. It is a warm vanilla with only a hint of a sweet undertone. So perfect for the cooler months. I love it!

Pantene Intensive Restoration Treatment for Medium- Thick Hair
This is from Pantene's new Hair Solutions line and is part of the dry to moisturized group. My hair tends to be dry so I picked up the whole group of shampoo, conditioner and the treatment. At first, I didn't really think that this product was going to be anything other than conditioner in a square tub, as upon first glance it isn't very thick. I expect this sort of product to be really thick, but this one looks just like your regular old conditioner. I was so wrong. You let this sit on your hair for five minutes and rinse. I am so happy with this stuff! It makes my hair so smooth and manageable, and it smells pretty great too.

Joe Fresh Nail Polish in Nude
I have been on a super job hunting spree, and have been hand delivering my resumes as opposed to emailing and mailing them like I usually do, so I have been keeping my manicures rather tame. This is a perfect neutral, work type of colour as it is a nude with a touch more pink. I am waiting to hear back on a not too shabby job at the licensing office (aka DMV) which I admit is not the career path I was dreaming of, but could be interesting and maybe even fun opportunity. How many terrible license photos would I get to take? Wish me luck!

Barbie by Cake Solid Scentsability (solid perfume)
This is an older product, and totally not available anymore (booo!) but I found this in the back of a drawer and had to use it. I wish I had bought more of the line and not just this as the smell is fantastic! It is a lemony cake, with vanilla, caramel and almond... so good. I get compliments and confused looks from people when standing in lines at the bank, grocery store and what not, as they think they can smell cookies. It is totally drool worthy. If you are reading this Cake, bring it back!!

Almay Intense I-Colour Eyeliner in Purple Amethyst
Another older product, I think that this is from the line of products made to go with your eye colour, but I am not too certain as I didn't buy it. My mom got me this liner to get me to try something different. I am totally in a rut, eyeliner wise as I only wear black or brown with dark green, or a charcoal-y - deep gray making rare appearances. Although I have brown eyes, navy blue looks ridiculous on me. Unexplainable really. Anyhow, I thought that this colour would be too shocking, but I turns out to be the nicest rich purple. I love this shade and have been wearing it quite a bit with Benefit Creasless shadow in RSVP.

Joe Fresh Blush in Plum
A new fall blush that I have really come to love. It is just enough of a change from my usual bright pink hue. This blush is smooth and goes on beautifully. For more of my ramblings on it go here.

Have you used any of these products? What did you think? What were your faves of September?

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Mark Super Flip Colour Kit

Super Flip Colour Kit and box

I know, I proclaimed a freeze on all eyeshadow purchases here some time ago, but when I saw this little guy, I just had to try it. Anyway, it is half lip gloss so does it even count?

This palette is a new item that mark. is releasing in it's Holiday line up, and I was able to snag one before they came out in the books/website. This is one sleek little compact. I have to say that I usually don't buy this sort of "kit" type palette because there usually looks like too many colours I would never use, and I like to have control of what I get, but this one... well it didn't look too bad (more on the colour selection later.)

palette open

This palette comes in a very giftable silver box to match the palette top. It is so shiny you could use it for a mirror, but of course you don't have to as the palette does have a very good quality mirror inside. I was very impressed with the quality of the packaging. I am especially in awe over the super easy to read index on the bottom of the palette. I forgot to get a photo of it so you are out of luck, but they have been very nice to include an index of shade names. That is particularly nice of them because most of the eyeshadow and lip gloss shades in the kit can be bought in full size from mark.

In mid flip

Why is it called flip, you ask? Well then, my friends, this neat little guy well... it flips. One side has your nine eyeshadows while the other side has your six lip glosses and three lip colours (ie lip stick, just off the stick.) There is a little frame that goes around the pan area, and by lifting the bottom edge you can flip it over. It is pretty neat. I like to store it with the eyeshadows up, just because I think it will keep the lip products from drying out and keep them off of the mirror.

On to the goods!

Top row:
  • glitterati a shimmery silver, but no actual glitters, as the name would have you to believe
  • dusk a shimmery dark taupe with the tinyest silver shimmers and a hint of gray
  • cushy a shimmery creme colour, with a hint of gold
Middle row:
  • pool an aqua green with a hint of shimmer
  • java a medium coca colour with a hint of shimmer
  • fairy dust a medium golden shade with a tint of peach, very pretty
Bottom row:
  • sepia a matte deep brown
  • piccadilly a matte deep eggplant colour
  • edge a matte charcoal
Eyeshadows swatched on primer

The overall quality of these shadows is pretty good. Better than I was expecting actually... They are smooth and easy to apply with a brush. They have little to no fall out when applying, I say little only because the lighter shimmery top row shades did leave a little bit behind. The matte shades are a nice pigmentation, without being too pigmented and hard to blend. I like that you can get a range of depth depending on how much or little you blend them out. "Edge" in particular is a versatile shade as you can use it to give a bit more depth to a neutral look by applying it lightly, or build it up to a darker black tone for a smokey look.

I like how the palette is organized too, the top row are good for highlighting, the middle row are good as an all over eye shade and the bottom row make for good crease and liner shades. Pigmentation is much stronger than I expected which is always nice. When I first swatched a few shades on my arm I was seriously wondering about them, but a bit of primer and you have full colour pay off.

I have to give them applause for including the matte options, all too often you end up with a palette that is all shimmer and you end up needing other shadows to get a full look. With this, you have everything you need to create a full eye in one place. Selection wise, I can see myself using pretty much every colour, except pool (the aqua shade) it is a pretty colur in the pan, sure, but it isn't the type of colour for me.

On to the lips
Top row:
  • oops a cotton candy semi sheer lip gloss
  • bitten a plum semi sheer (it looks brown in these photos, but is a very nice plummy shade)
  • cutie a nude semi sheer gloss with a hint of pink
Middle row:
  • pop a shimmery fuchsia pink semi sheer gloss
  • wow a shimmery bronze semi sheer gloss
  • prima a shimmer taupe-y pink semi sheer gloss
Bottom row:
  • lucky a nude tone brown with a hint of mauve lip stick(very pretty on)
  • plush a true nude lip stick
  • wild a strawberry red lipstick, not as intense as it looks

Lip gloss and colours swatched on bare skin

I have to say that I am very impressed with the quality of the lip glosses and lip colours in this palette. I think everyone at some point has had a kit or palette that came with rock hard lip products that were mostly wax and good for absolutely nothing. Not a worry here. The glosses are very smooth and creamy. They apply really easily with a lip brush and you don't have to fight to get it out of the pan.

While I like the all of the colours in the palette I do with that some of the lip glosses had a bit more colour, particularly "oops"
and "cutie". The colour shows up, but a bit more would have been nice, since the shads themselves are perfect. The gloss is nice, it is only slightly sticky and lasts okay, but like most lip glosses you need to reapply more often to keep the colour there. I do have to add that the middle row looks super glittery in the pan, but on the lip is very natural and only a tad shimmery. The lip colours (or stick-less lip sticks) are very creamy and non drying, actually they feel like lip balm on. They have buildable coverage, and have a pretty good long lasting wear.

All in all I am quite pleased with this palette and can see myself using it a fair bit. It will be available in the mark magalog (campaign 22/23) for $20 and if you buy now you get a free "make it big" mascara. Will you be picking up this palette? What is your favourite "all in one" kit or palette?

*note: I received this item at a discount from the company, but my reviews are honest and all my own.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Aviva Community Fund & Giveaway

So, this post is a little different than the usual, okay a lot different. I have a favour to ask of all of you, my lovely followers and readers.

I am a volunteer at the Midland Area Reading Council (MARC.) They are a not for profit literacy group that provides tutors and classes and a whole range of services for anyone who needs it. Anyhow, they are competing in the Aviva Community Fund Competition to start up a new literacy initiative (full details here.) In order to stay in the competition, MARC needs your help.

How you can vote:
  1. Go to
  2. Click “Register Now” - type in your email address and make up a password
  3. Aviva will send you an email – just follow the link to finalize your registration
  4. Find MARC by clicking “Explore Ideas” – “Advanced Search” – “Submit” – click in “Keyword” and type 5872 – click “Submit”
  5. Click on project and then select "Vote Now"
  6. You are allowed to vote once per day, in each round.
So, I know what you are thinking, that sounds great and all, but I don't live in Midland, how will this benefit me? Well, it won't, not quite anyway, but I spend a lot of time volunteering with MARC as a tutor, a class instructor and run their e-bay site, so it means a lot to me if you could spare a few minutes. That and as a thank you for voting, I will be running a little draw. Register and vote, then leave me a comment on this post (with your email) for your chance to win an Avon prize pack. Anyone who votes is eligible (ie international readers.) Details of what you'll get when I announce a winner at the end of the Aviva competition. As per usual winner will be determined using

I have no real way to see if you have actually voted, but this is for charity, so please be truthful and lend your support.

Thanks a Million ladies!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review: Garnier Skin Renew "The Brusher" Gel-Cleanser

Wow, my posting has been very sporadic lately, I apologize. It was a very busy weeks, and I have to admit that I was ill prepared. I usually try to get my photos and editing done on the weekend them upload them to blogs that I can finish during the week. Well I didn't do that last weekend. Yes I learned my lesson! Tonight I plan on figuring out what my September faves were... I didn't even notice that it was October until the faves started popping up on blogs I read. On to the review, shall we?

This cleanser has been around for a while now, but it is one of the "newer" that I have seen. I snagged this at Real Canadian Superstore for $3 on the clearance table, which was pretty awesome considering regular price ranges from $8.99 - $11.99. I have no clue as to why it was on clearance though? Oh well, saved me some pennies!

The "brusher"

So, what makes this cleaner so special? The cleanser itself isn't really that different from your basic gel type cleanser, but the packaging... well that is where they get you. As you can see in the photo above this cleanser comes with a scrub brush attached to the top of the bottle.

How is it different?
"Manual cleansing is not always enough to reveal smoother skin. The Brusher Gel-Cleanser with it's innovative soft-flex gel-brush + a non-drying cleansing gel deeply cleanses and gently exfoliates to eliminate impurities, instnatly revealing, smoother, more even looking skin." -from package

I have been using this cleanser for a few weeks now, and like it. It is gentle on your skin and cleanses well, however I still like to use a makeup remover wipe to remove makeup before cleansing. This cleanser is non-drying, and leaves your face feeling refreshed, although, I have to say that I don't think the brush is necessary. It is alright, but unless you have super sensitive skin it will not replace a good exfoliator a few times a week.

Broken brush top. The cleanser wants to escape out the sides instead of into the brush.

I have noticed that it has become increasingly hard to get the product out of the packaging. To use the product you have to unscrew the brush to open the inner valve to allow the cleanser out the center of the brush, but when mine starting acting funny I realized the inner portion was broken. Now the cleanser tries to get out all over the place instead of just the centre of the brush. A tad frustrating considering I still have a half a bottle of product to use.

All in all this was an okay product, but I probably would not buy it again. Have you used this cleanser? What did you think?