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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revie: Reviva Labs Light Skin Peel

Yesterday...okay I lied, the day before yesterday, I posted a review of Reviva Labs Makeup Primer and today I have up for review their classic Light Skin Peel. I call it a classic because it's been around since 1973! 

"In 1973 when Reviva Labs was established, the word “Exfoliation” was unknown in America. That was 38 years ago. It’s when Reviva Labs introduced the first non-chemical European Exfoliant to Health Food Stores, known as “Light Skin Peel”. It’s unique formula and blending remains unduplicated today." - from Reviva website

I think that says a lot a bout a product right there, that it can withstand the test of time. And, now that I've tried it out (and made everyone I know try it too) I can see why it has stuck around. If you are a frequent reader, you probably know I love a good mask and equally love a good exfoliation every now and then too, this product brings two of my skincare loves together into one quick and simple step. You don't even need water after it dries.

 Directions & Ingredients

in pot

on skin
"Peeling" is a European term for one of the most unique European items in the entire cosmetic field. THIS IS NOT A HARSH CHEMICAL PEEL. It doesn't "peel skin" as we know it, but gently lifts off more hardened, dried skin cells than can be achieved by scrubs or any other "exfoliating" product. Dead-cell accumulation prevents treatment products from penetrating and keeps skin tone from looking fresh and vibrant." -from product description
As you can see in the photo above, this peel has "bits" in it. In this case the "bits" are crushed almond, which ad in the exfoliation factor. To use this peel you simply slather it on and let it dry, once dry you peel if off. I learned not to apply it too thin or it gets a bit difficult to get it off. It only takes about five minutes to dry, which is faster than most of the peels and masks I've used in the past. As soon as you remove the mask you can see and feel the difference on your skin. My skin has a tendency to be dry, okay so it's almost always dry, but this peel removed the dull dead skin and left a smooth-less dry new skin behind. Now, I still have dry skin, but the peel really did improve the overall quality and texture of my skin. By using this as part of my "special" skincare routine, meaning my weekly treatments, I can see that I could really improve the look and feel of my skin more over time.

The only thing about this mask that I wasn't really into was the scent, it has a... well I don't really know how to describe it, but when you first apply it, it has an odd scent. Luckily it begins to dissipate pretty quickly once it starts to dry. Overall though, I am really happy with how this peel performed. 

Have you tried this product? What is your favourite peel/mask?

Disclaimer: This item was provided for review from the manufacturer. I am not affiliated with the brand, and was not paid for this review.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Reviva Labs Makeup Primer

In case I haven't said it enough, I have dry skin; so I can often run into issues with my skin getting drier throughout the day and ending up with a cakey mess on my face. That being said I try to find a moisturizer or primer (or both) to really prep my skin before I apply my foundation. 

That is where Reviva Labs Makeup Primer comes in. I was sent this product for review and I am so in love with it. I'll be honest I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not this was the right product for me, but I'm getting a head of myself. Reviva Lab's Makeup Primer is a silicone based primer that is free of any fragrance and is packed with all sorts of good things for your skin, like COQ10 (as a protective antioxidant) olive oil, vitamin D3 and vitamin A.

It's the inclusion of olive oil that initially had me wondering. Now, don't get me wrong, I know olive oil and plenty of other oils can really benefit your skin, I just wasn't so sure about putting it on my face.  Olive oil is a non-comedogenic- meaning it won't clog your pores- but I still wondered if it would bother my skin. Side note: Want to know more about which oils are best for your skin? See this handy chart.

The smoothest primer I've tried yet

The primer itself is a clear gel like consistency and is super smooth. It feels amazing on your skin, and one full pump does my whole face and neck. Yes, I said pump! The 1 oz. glass bottle as a good quality pump. I love when products have pumps, and I'll be sure to reuse this bottle when I finish this primer (It will be perfect to transfer foundation into.) As I said, this primer is super smooth and you can feel the difference on your skin immediately. When I applied my foundation, I noticed right away that it glided over my dry areas without getting cakey and dry looking. I usually have to be extra careful with my dry spots, but since I've started using this primer I don't have to think about them. Not only did this primer provide immediate results, I found that it made my setting powder apply better (since my skin wasn't as dry) and it kept my skin looking fresh throughout the day. Anyone with dry skin knows what can happen by the mid/end of the day: dry looking foundation that used to look good.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent primer. I can't say anything about whether or it can help those with oilier skin types or if it does much to help keep foundation from moving as it isn't a concern for me, but I will say that all dry skinned ladies should give this one a go. It's available from Reviva's website for $19.50 USD or in store at Whole Foods. I know I will most definitely be re-purchasing when I finish my current bottle.

Have you tried this product? What is your fave primer?

Disclaimer: This item was provided for review from the manufacturer. I am not affiliated with the brand, and was not paid for this review.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Sale Mini Haul

Last week I ordered a few items from Winnie of All Styled Up. I've had my eye one her blog sale for quite a while, but never ordered anything. When I spotted Boy Bait Cremesheen Glass at a pretty amazing price I figured it was the time to buy. I've put Boy Bait in my cart so many times and then ended up deleting it because it was a rather sheer colour. I also snagged Naked Frost Lipglass - from the All Ages, All Races, All Sexes collection. And, since my polish collection was lacking a black polish I snagged Nocturnelle - at $3 it was more like a steal really.

If you're Canadian and looking for a blog sale, I definately recommend Winnie. I say Canadian because  a lot of blog sales don't ship to us unless they are Canadian bloggers themselves. Prices were great, and shipping was crazy fast (less than 24 hours!) I even got a little gift with it (a MAC sponge). I didn't swatch anything since... well I'm being lazy, but if anyone wants to see anything leave a comment and I'll get right on it.

Do you know of any great blog sales? Do tell!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Week in Polish & Storage Woes

I was just inclined to start this with "Howdy!" I have no idea why, I don't think I've ever even said that... Anyway, how was everyone's week?  I am pleased to say mine was pretty good. After way too long searching I've gotten a job! Well, two actually. I'm so happy. Job 1 is as a freelance tech adviser and writer. I'll be working on setting up some various computer things for a communications/PR company and I'll also be writing health/beauty articles as an "expert friend" of the company site. It's work that I can pretty much do at home when I'm not at job 2. Job 2 is at a custom boat top shop and I'll be working in the office prepping and packing orders from the website and helping set up their new showroom.  Also, I'm one more Saturday away from being a certified teacher/trainer of adults. You may have noticed a lack of Friday and Saturday posts the past 6-7 weeks. I've had to get myself ready for class and the way too early mornings (6 am) so I skipped a few posts here and there. 

To celebrate a good week I picked up a few of my favourite things... nail polish! Okay, so I probably would have picked them up even if my week had been less than stellar, but that's not that important a detail. My haul included:
* Avon Speed Dry in Crystal Calm and Fusion
*MAC Nocturnelle
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Disco Ball, White On, and Mellow Yellow (these were only $1.97 at WalMart)
*Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Calypso Blue
*Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat (it's supposed to compare to Seche Vite)
*Wet n' Wild Fast Dry in Gray's Anatomy
*Revlon Copper Penny and Not So Blueberry (scented)

Any guesses as to how many are in there?

Of course, stay tuned for swatches. Since it's obvious I love me some nail polish, I have run into a bit of a storage issue... where to put it all. As you can see I currently store my stash in a bin inside of the bigger drawer of my roll away storage drawers. It isn't most optimal storage system, but a least everything is all in one place. I'd like to get some sort of rack, but they seem to be pretty expensive.

My Elf High Definition Powder and vintage deer (my dad made it) sit on top

I found this neat little Sterilite three drawer storage bin for $4.95 at the Bargain Store and am so in love with it I think I'll go back and get another one (they're stack-able) as you can see I've put my lipstick in the top drawer, squeeze tube in the second, and hard tube glosses in the bottom. I previously had them divided in orgainzer bins in a drawer in my rollaway, but I was running out of room in my powder/blush/ eyeshadow drawer so I'm happy to have the space to organize a bit better.

Do you have any ideas for storgage? How do you store your makeup and nail polish stash? I'd love to hear your tips!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

*CLOSED*Giveaway: Sigma Miss Taylor Retractable Kabuki!

You might have seen the review I posted of this cute little guy here, where I mentioned you'd get a chance to sang your own... did you see it? Well, now is that chance! One lucky reader will win their very own Miss Taylor Retractable Kabuki a $25 value.

Want to enter? I's easy!
  1. Follow my blog (new followers welcome!) -1 entry
  2. Leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favourite method to apply your foundation. Don't forget to include your email address or blog link so I can contact you if you win - 1 entry
That's it... unless you want a few extra entries...
  1. Follow @all_the_words (that's me) on twitter - 1 entry
  2. Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to mention @all_the_words and include this link:    please include link to your tweet in comment -2 entries
Winner will be chosen using on April 15th. Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Three Custom Colour Specialist Creme to Powder Blush

Have you ever heard of the brand Three Custom Color Specialists? No, I hadn't either, but about a month ago, Haute Look featured the brand and I got myself one of their creme to powder blushes.

Since I didn't know much (er...anything) about the brand I looked it up to discover that they reproduce discontinued colours for their customers- thus the "custom colour" aspect of their name. How neat is that? The blush that I got is Pink- no fancy names here. Pre-made shades of this product sell for $21.50 while custom colours go for $37.50. The shade I got is a pre-made which I got for $10.99 when it was featured on Haute Look. Of course, if you are Canadian, Haute Look isn't a huge money saver as shipping seems to end up costing the same amount (if not more) than the product. I had some credits, so in the end mine was free, but shipping was $10 + customs and all that fun stuff.

This luxurious formulation is appropriate for all skin types and can be applied with the fingers or a sponge. With the color wheel as our guide, we designed this broad range of shades to compliment all skin tones.


The first thing that I noticed about the pot that this blush comes in is that it not only has a swing open lid, but that it can be screwed into other blushes from the brand to create a little tower.

Top: blended out. Below: one swipe.

The blush itself is a slightly dusty shade of pink that looks like a natural rosey flush when applied. The shade is very pigmented and a little bit goes a long way. I like to apply creme blush with a stripling brush to blend it in, but because so little of this is needed I usually end up blending it out with my fingers. I have worn this a few times without setting with any powder - I usually don't set my creme blush-  but I have noticed it fades a bit. Usually after about 4-5 hours, so I've started setting it with a light dusting of translucent powder and it lasts a lot longer. That being said, I don't think that this product would work for those with oily skin since it would be more likely to fade and or disappear faster.

Overall I really like this blush and would recommend. Have you tried anything by this brand? What did you think?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Sigma Miss Taylor Retractable Kabuki

For the past week or so I switched out my regular foundation brush (Elf Stippling Brush) for Sigma's Miss Taylor Retractable Kabuki. I received this brush from Sigma for being part of their affiliate program and was really excited to be able to give it a try.

As I mentioned, I've been using an Elf Stippling Brush for my foundation, as I am a fan of the stipple and blend technique. I find that that application process is faster and more efficient than using your average foundation brush. The Sigma Miss Taylor is a retractable kabuki brush housed in a cute purple metal tube. I initially wondered if the size of the brush would affect how it performed, but it works perfectly.

As you can see in the photos above, the brush stows away into it's own little tube making it perfect for travel or on the go application. Also, this is a crazy dense brush! There bristles are not only super soft but there are a ton of them. Compared to my Elf Stipple Brush, the Miss Taylor must have three times the amount of bristles. That being said, I did find that this brush took quite a while to dry after being washed. I ended up standing it upside down on a towel for a few days to make sure the middle was dry before putting it away.

Look at all those bristles!

As for actual application, I love this brush! It works really well for stippling and especially blending. It blends product out to an almost airbrushed finish. Notice I didn't say foundation? That's because this little wonder brush can do it all: foundation, blush, highlight, powder whatever you can think of. I've been using mine for foundation and creme blush, it picks up just the right amount of creme blush and blends it out perfectly.

There really isn't much bad to say about this brush... you do have to hold down the part of the tube that slides up to cover the brush as it does move while stippling, but other than that this is a great little brush to have in your collection. Want your change to snag one? Check back soon for giveaway deatails!

Have you used this brush? Which Sigma brush is you fave?

Joe Fresh Cosmetics: Spring Sneak Peek

A few months ago- before Christmas I guess, I contacted the PR rep for Joe Fresh because I was having a hard time finding promo photos of their cosmetics when the new collections came out. The rep said she'd keep me up to date and she sure did. I received the promo shots a couple of weeks ago and a few sample items from the Spring/Summer shades!

Spring Nail Polish Shades from top left to right: Eggplant, Papaya, Seashell, Tin, Latte, Twilight, Mocha, Rainforest, and Marshmallow $4 each or 3/$10

My favourite item of the Joe Fresh Cosmetics line has always been the nail polish, so I was very excited to see what the new shades were and to be able to test out two of them. The shades I received were Eggplant and Seashell. The look of the new shades don't all say Spring/ Summer to me, but there are definitely a few that have caught my eye: Papya,Tin, Latte, Twilight, and Rainforest to be exact. Hopefully I'll be able to find them at my local RCSS. In case you were wondering, Joe Fresh products can be bought at any Loblaws store. Head here to find a location.

Eggplant- This shade surprised me a bit, it is darker than the type of shade I'd expect from a Spring collection, but it is definitely a great shade. It is a medium dusty purple creme that is unlike any of the gray purples I've seen anywhere else. I intended to get this post up sooner, but when I swatched this one I had to do all my nails, it just looked so good. The formula on this was great, two coats to perfection.

Seashell- At first glance this looks like a basic light creamy pink/peach/nude but it has the slightest hint of shimmer. The colour- while being hard to describe- is rather unique and looked really lovely on. This would be a great work neutral. The formula was a bit sheer on this one, this was three coats.

Joe Fresh Lipgloss in Lychee $8 and Joe Fresh Cream Lipstick in Tulip $6


The Spring/Summer collection also brings along a few new lip shades and a new range of sheer lip glosses- Pop Gloss $8, launching in April. I've tried the original gloss and love the quality, so I'll be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Out of the new gloss shades I received the shade Lychee, which to be honest scared me a little. Lychee is a bold strawberry toned coral. It is a very pretty shade, but not something I would usually go for. My on lip photo doesn't do the shade justice, but my camera doesn't do reds very well. My swatch is pretty close to the proper colour though. Anyway, the shade has a great pop of colour and shine while being pretty opaque.

Cream Lipstick in Tulip
I hate to sound like a broken record, but in tube, Tulip looked kind of scary too. Tulip looks like a vampy dark red shade in the tube, but on the lip it is a soft medium red creme that looks like it could be universally flattering. I don't really wear red lipsticks as I always find it looks funny on me, but this is the perfect shade. I love it! I will most definitely be wearing this one a lot. And at a mere $6 I'll be looking out for other shades to round out my small but growing lipstick collection.

I am definitely inspired to pick up a few more Joe Fresh items! Have you tried any of their products? What did you think?

P.S Any international readers interested in swapping for some Joe Fresh Products? I'd love to swap out for some Model's Own (UK) or brands that I don't have access to in Canada.

Disclosure: Items in this post were sent for consideration by PR. I was not compensated and all views are my own honest opinions.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day NOTD & MIni Giveaway Winners

Just a quick little nail of the day featuring OPI Jade is the New Black and Avon Electric Green (on ring finger) with a little rhinestone flower. I probably won't be sporting any green clothing today, so i thought I should at least do my nails.

And the part you're probably more interested in, the Avon Smooth Minerals mini giveaway winners.....
Marie of All Things Marie
Tonya of Mommy Musings

Congrats ladies! I'll be emailing you both sometime later today to get your mailing info.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I was playing around on Polyvore the other day and ended up with a green set that just happened to be perfect for a day like today. I was thinking a green manicure is in order as well...

Do you have any plans for St. Patrick's Day (ie. green beer)? I recommend Bailey's Irish Cream, but I might be just a tad biased.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Wants: Perricone MD

Dr. Perricone No Foundation Foundation $55 CAD from The Shopping Channel

I am totally guilty of watching infomercials at 3 am when I can't sleep or am just to stubborn to give in and go to sleep. But, as I have gotten older, I've found that there is one thing even better than infomercials: the Shopping Channel (or QVC or what not for you non Canadians)
The other day, the featured item (known as the Showstopper) was by Perricone MD so they had it on every few hours. I started watching and and discovered their No Foundation Foundation. From what the Perricone rep was saying it sounds like it is like a bb creme; wherein it evens skin tone and gives coverage all while being a moisturizer full of all sorts of good things. I want.
Super by Dr. Nicolas Perricone Hyper Hydrater $40 USD from Sephora

After seeing the No Foundation Foundation I saw a blog about Dr. Perricone's Super line (exclusive to Sephora) so of course I had to check that out too. I am seriously wanting the coconut water moisurizer. What they say: 

"This hyper hydrator leaves skin soft to the touch and smelling sweet. As light and refreshing as water from a freshly tapped coconut, this tropical topical treat contains MCT, natural esters found in coconuts that are easily absorbed to quench skin's thirst." - Sephora page

Maybe I'll have to get myself a few Dr. Perricone birthday gifts? We'll see... What are you wanting this find Wednesday evening?

P.S You still have a few hours left to enter for 1 of 2 tubes of Avon Smooth Minerals Mascara. Enter here!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: Raw Essentials Raw Vita Eye Serum

I know, that photo is all leaning tower of Pisa, but when it was editing the multiple photos I's taken it was the best... well aside from the whole crooked thing. Anyway, it works. As you can see today's review brings us Raw Essentials' Raw Vita Eye Serum.

To start, I have to be 100% honest here and say that I don't buy eye "treatments" or creams or the like. I just don't. Why? Because for the most part they're just glorified facial moisturizer in a cute little pot with a really big price tag. Don't trust me? Paula Begoun says that they are no different from facial moisturizers and that they are “a whim of the cosmetics industry designed to evoke the sale of two products when only one is needed.” There, right from the expert!

So, with that said, you're probably wondering why I'm even reviewing this product, I said I wouldn't buy them not that I wouldn't use them. Big difference. I recived this product in one of the Shopping Channel Mystery boxes, so of course I had to give it a try.

New Name, New Label

I know, still more before the actual review... sorry, but it is relevant, I swear. This is one tricky product to track down. When I received it, it came unboxed and has no info at all as to what it is supposed to do just this: "FOR BEST RESULTS: Gently smooth a fair amount of the serum over your eye contour area morning and night." Not too much to go on. Since I got mine from the Shopping Channel that is where I looked first. Nothing... a set with an eye roller product but nothing with the same name. So off to find the Raw Essentials website, turns out the brand is actually Raw Essentials by Carol Alt and they've redesigned the whole range of products and the name of the serum is now Night Time Anti Age Line Reducing Eye Serum. It's a shame it's such a short name. I figured this all out by comparing the ingredients and they are exactly the same. The directions are the same too, oddly enough they tell you to apply the Night Time serum in the morning and evening... really?

"Don't let your eyes give away your true age! Raw-Markable Vitamin A Eye Serum features an 84% pure aloe content to soothe and provide intensive hydration around your eyes. This is a targeted eye treatment that is specially developed to help reduce the appearance of puffy and tired eyes in mature and aging skin. The innovative roll-on packaging offers a cool, refreshing feeling upon application. Chemical-free - so it’s safe for all skin types." from product webpage
As for the actual product - I bet you never thought I'd actually get to this part, did you? I had some problems the first couple (okay more like 8-10) times I tired to use this: nothing would come out. The roller ball would sweep across and it would feel like something came out, since the metal is cooling on the under eye, but when I would go to tap the product on there was nothing. The tube was filled so full that nothing was coming out. I am guessing that is the problem. As you can see in the picture the level of product is still really high and I've been using this pretty religiously for a few weeks now. Once I was able to get the product out of the package, I was pretty pleased with it. It fells great on, a slightly gooey cooling feeling and it absorbs pretty quickly with no residue. While I don't fit the product's demographics- no aging mature skin, puffiness or lines, I do find the product to be moisturizing. I get dry skin around my eyes, eyebrows and where my uni-brow would be should I ever grow one, and I found that this product did help alleviate that (the dryness, not the whole growing a uni-brow thing.)

I know I said I'm not an eye product purchaser, I do appreciate this product due to the aloe content. Growing up my nan always had (and still does) have aloe plants, and before my mom killed hers, we had one too. Any skin related ailment was always treated with "Put some aloe on it, it works!" And while I hated the feel of it, it does. While I wouldn't purchase this product again, I will enjoy using the tube I have now.

Have you tried this product? What did you think? What is your favourite eye cream/treatment?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Dilemma Solved: Loose Button's Luxe Box

So, I know the tile sounds a bit odd, but I was watching youtube videos last night and came across something I'd never heard of: Birchbox. Colour me curious.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that mails out little boxes of deluxe samples right to your door for only $10! I  was all over that and was typing in my info, credit card in hand, when I realized they don't ship to Canada. Boo on them. I was super bummed, but I figured there had to be something for us Canadian gals right?

Indeed there is! Loose Button's Luxe Box saves the day! They offer the same service that Birchbox does, but they know where it's at and ship to Canada. For just $9.95 - it's even five cents cheaper than Birchbox!- you get a package of three to five deluxe beauty samples. It isn't a recurring delivery just yet, but based on what I've read in their FAQ they are still in the process of getting the service running. 

I've signed up already and will be eagerly awaiting an invite. Will you sign up? For my American friends, anyone get Birchbox? What do you think?

Sad Goodbyes...

Not my cat or my computer, but befittingly, all my cat on laptop photos are... well, on my laptop

My beloved laptop has died. It went in for a "routine" procedure and things went bad. Very bad. Tears have been shed, seriously, I cried. I felt a wee bit better when my dad told me to pick out a laptop and he'd get it for me, but at the same time I felt like the six year old who's goldfish died and is adamant that they do not want a replacement, they want fishy (or whatever a six year old would name a fish.) back.

I want Ted back! Yes, that was my computer's name. He was my first laptop love, and he will be remembered fondly for being there for me for my first college paper, my first not-so-legal download, my first blog. I will try not to think of the three (yes, three) hard drives it went through during our first year together (thank god for extended warranties) or the constant overheating, or that massive virus that lost me my "60% of my final grade" paper...

I bid you farewell my little Gateway. May you get unlimited bandwidth and endless memory in laptop heaven. All laptops go to heaven, don't they?

Any suggestions as to what I should get for my next laptop? I'd love an Apple, but they are just so bloody pricey.