Category: Bath And Body

Makeup Most Wanted June 2018

It seems like the weather in Toronto went from winter to middle of summer in two days. As a result June was hot and sticky and the products I loved the most definitely reflected that.

Live Clean Mineral Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

Like my skin, my hair goes a little crazy in the summer. My roots get incredibly oily and itchy and my hair just dries out. Live Clean’s Rebalancing Shampoo has done a really good job of keeping my scalp itch free while moisturizing my ends. The combination of three mineral clays (Kaolin, Montmorillonite and Bentonite) along with apple cider, witch hazel and tea tree have really succeeded in balancing out my head where other products have failed. There’s a matching conditioner that I use along with it but the shampoo is really the star.

L’Occitane Citrus Verbena Moisturizing Body Foam

I really look forward to the new verbena products that L’Occitane releases every summer and this Moisturizing Body Foam might be my favourite yet. I’ve used a few body foams in the past but nothing that’s ever blown me away or seemed like more than a gimmick. L’Occitane’s version however is both cooling and extremely hydrating. It’s like a hair mousse in texture and a little goes a long way. The iconic L’Occitane verbena scent is perfect for summer (and keeps the bugs away) and it’s really easy to throw in a bag if you’re going to the beach or on a road trip.

Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick in Brunch

I’m generally a matte liquid lipstick person but in the summer I like things a little lighter. This lipstick has insane colour payoff, I got full coverage in one swipe and even when I blotted it down a bit, I still have a ton of colour. There are eight Color Intense shades but my favourite is Brunch, a tawny pink with a hint of coral that comes out when it blots down. Beautycounter calls this long wearing and while it’s a lot better than some creamy lipsticks, you’ll definitely have to reapply. That said, this lipstick is incredibly creamy and comfortable and there’s peppermint oil in it that keep your lips feeling cool. And I love that Beautycounter doesn’t have a whole lot of crap in their products.

Invisibobble Magic Mermaid in Ocean Tango

Onto another one of my all time favourite products. I love Invisibobble so much that I haven’t used another kind of hair tie in about a year. These keep my hair secure and I don’t get headaches from them like I do with other hair elastics. For the summer they’ve released the Magic Mermaid collection that changes colour in UV light. There are two shades; Ocean Tango (light blue to dark blue) and Coral Cha-Cha (pale pink to hot pink). I love the Ocean Tango colours and even though I can’t see it changing colour, it’s fun to know that it does.

Body Fantasies Hearts & Daisies

When the weather is hot, I tend to like a body spray over a perfume since they’re generally lighter. And just in time for summer, Body Fantasies have released Hearts & Daisies, a light, fruity and floral scent. With notes of green apple, pink peony, daisy and creamy woods, this is a great summer body spray.

The Body Shop Spas Of The World Most Wanted

Both of us recently had the chance to visit different Body Shop locations to get acquainted with their new products and to take some home to try out. Luckily both of us left with different products and it just so happened that we received items that both of us loved. Our most favourites so far are all in the ever growing Spas Of The World range, so we thought we’d do a post on our new Body Shop loves.

Alyssa’s picks

French Grape Seed Refining Body Scrub

I have really sensitive skin, so I’m always on the hunt for a good body scrub that will do the job and won’t tear up my skin. When I tried this scrub on my hand in the store I was amazed at how scrubby yet gentle it was. With a combination of French grape seed powder and sugar from Paraguay, you can really get that dead skin off without feeling like you scrubbed yourself raw. The scent, that I assume comes from the grape seeds, is amazingly fresh and because it’s got a creamy consistency, you can decide on the level of scrub you want. If I have a super dry area, I use a washcloth with the scrub to get really smooth skin. This is going to be a necessity for the next few months of shaving and waxing season and then in the winter when my skin gets flaky. One word of warning, this is way too strong for your face, so don’t try it.

Ethiopian Green Coffee Firming Body Cream

If you’re going to use a scrub, you’re going to need a good moisturizer after and this body cream is a match made in heaven with the French Grape Seed Scrub. I’m a coffee person, so I was already sold on this cream just by reading the name but it’s so much more than that. It’s a really lightweight cream that has Italian olive oil and Ethiopian green coffee that just melts into your skin and leaves you hydrated and smelling delicious but not greasy whatsoever. The consistency really surprised me because I usually find Body Shop moisturizers too heavy for me, but this one is absolutely perfect! It’s been a really long time since I’ve loved something from the Body Shop this month. I’ve already made a huge dent in the giant 350 ml tub and I already know I’ll be replacing it when it’s gone.

Stephanie’s picks

Tahitian Tiare Bath & Shower Oil-In-Gel

This body wash is so soft and silky. The oil-in-gel body wash is just the right consistency. Given the name, it’s understandable that you might worry that it would be too oily or even greasy. It’s just smooth on the skin. The scent is really faint and lush. There is a hint of florals, but I wouldn’t call it a floral aroma. There is coconut oil in it, but this isn’t another coconut body wash. After a couple of uses, I was surprised at how soft my skin was. It was undeniable.

Hawaiian Kukui Body Cream Moisturizer

This is the type of moisturizer that I associate with The Body Shop. It is thick and rich. In the past, body moisturizer from the body shop was always thick, but it didn’t absorb well into the skin. It always left some residue on my body. It feels like The Body Shop has corrected those mistakes with this cream. It still has the same thickness, but this time it really sinks into my skin. It works on even the toughest skin like elbows and knees.

Brazilian Cupuacu Exfoliating Scrub-In-Oil

I’ve used a lot of exfoliators, but none as gentle as this exfoliator. The sugar in this scrub is so fine that it works on everything from the sensitive parts to your rough spots. The oil is probably the most surprising part of this. It is better quality oil than a lot of the other drug store exfoliators that I’ve used. It leaves your skin feeling protected and highly moisturized. When paired with the other two products, it’s the perfect trio!

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm 2018

Happy International Women’s Day! I’ve started to really look forward to this day every year, not just because it’s all about celebrating women but also because it means L’Occitane’s Solidarity Balm is coming. Each year, L’Occitane releases a shea butter balm in a different scent for under $10 (it’s $7 CAD) and all the profits go towards women in Burkina Faso. This year the program for Women’s Leadership in Burkina Faso has three goals:

1. Writing a better future
L’OCCITANE has helped more than 10.000 women to learn how to read and write since 2008. It also supports the education of 450 girls for four years at secondary school.

2. Boosting ambitions
L’Occitane has allowed 8,000 women to benefit from micro-credit since 2009.

3. Revealing leadership
L’OCCITANE launched the “L’OCCITANE pour Elles” program, in 2016, to boost entrepreneur women’s actions and scale up their business.

The scent of the Solidarity Balm this year is apricot and while last year’s violet is still my favourite, this one is a really warm, happy scent. I literally use these balms on everything from cuticles to scrapes to random hair frizz. I currently have the cold from hell and I’ve been using on the chapped skin around my nose and my dried out lips. These last forever too. I still have a lot left of last year’s and even a little from the year before.

For $7, you’re going to want to stock up here, especially if you love this year’s apricot scent. So far I haven’t seen them repeat themselves scent wise. And you can help other women while you’re saving your own skin.

I can’t wait to see what scent comes out next year.

Nivea Body Oil

We’ve all known for years that body oil is great for you skin in so many ways. Nivea is finally joining this game with their own body oil. I feel like for the most part this category doesn’t have many big brand names, but instead cult products. It will be interesting to see how the Nivea Body Oil holds up in the long run.

Nivea’s Body Oil has a light perfumed scent. I do hope that they bring out an unscented version, because I would rather have more natural smelling oil.

Nevermind the smell though, because it’s more about the oil performance on the skin. I love that the bottle releases this body oil only a few drops at a time. There is minimal risk of pouring out too much. It goes on the skin really smooth. It dries much quicker than I expected. As long as you don’t use too much, it doesn’t even leave any type of residue on your skin and hands. It just leaves your skin with a natural looking glow.

I can’t speak to the effectiveness of reducing stretch marks or firming the skin. If it works like other body oils though, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Those are fairly common benefits of using oils.

Nivea impressed me with their Body Oil, but people already have their favourites, so I don’t know if they will be willing to make the switch.

Dove Shower Foam Quick Review

Dove has always made amazing skin care products that moisturize, cleanse and nourish your skin. I think that most of us would agree that we trust our skin with Dove. That’s what made this Dove Shower Foam so surprising. This soap is missing that extra soft and gentle skin care feel that I am so accustomed to with Dove soap. The foam feels thin and airy. I know that’s what it should feel like, but when applying it also feels too thin. It doesn’t spread well with your shower puff, so I need to use a lot of soap for just one shower. Post-shower this Dove soap made my skin feel dry. I still love Dove soap, but this one came up short.

Makeup Most Wanted June 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

I’ve used so many new products in the past month that this list could be massive. Which makes these five pretty great considering how much they stood out to me. June is always a weird month for my skin and considering how humid Toronto has been, it’s needed all the help it could get.

Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter

I’ve been using this body wash since winter, sometimes in other scents but mostly this one. The super creamy formula works for both winter AND summer. It’s really hydrating, doesn’t leave me sticky and just makes my skin feel really smooth. We have a couple body washes to test out but this is probably always going to be the one I buy when I run out. I particularly love the Shea Butter scent but there are really so many options.

Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes

I haven’t used a ton of Yes To products before, but I’m completely obsessed with these facial wipes. They might actually be the softest wipes I’ve ever used, but I guess that’s where the cotton comes in. Made with recycled cotton and cottonseed oil, these wipes are great for sensitive skin and for people who have a ton of allergies. There is a scent but it’s pretty faint and these get all my makeup and grime off. I definitely need to try more of this line.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Peach-Infused Highlighting Palette

I don’t do contouring or highlighting as a general rule. I’m so fair that all bronzers look muddy or dirty and most highlighters just make me shinier or disappear into the redness of my cheeks. So I was mainly using this palette for the peachy blush in the middle (my favourite blush shade right now). Until I decided to try contouring with it just to see. It worked! Sweet Peach Glow is officially the only palette that I can use for contouring. Both the highlighter and bronzer are subtle enough for my fair skin but are also buildable. Everything just looks natural. And it smells like peaches!

Vichy Mineral 89

If you’re like me and you live off of Vichy’s Thermal Water all summer, you definitely need to try this gel version. Vichy calls it a skin booster, I call it a refreshing gel version of the water. It’s basically just Vichy’s Thermal Water with some hyaluronic acid. A skin brightening, hydrating gel if you will. You can use it on literally any part of your face including the eye contour and lips. I tend to use it right after I wash my face, before I use anything else. You can use it with a cotton pad, but I use my fingers. I still use the spray throughout the day but I find this much more effective as part of a skin care routine.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Actively Hydrating Daily Lotion

Since my skin is a bi-polar version of combination, the moisturizer I use for my super dry skin in winter, does not work for my mostly oily skin in summer. This moisturizer is light enough to help my oily skin, while still balancing out my dry spots. It absorbs really quickly and is great for sensitive skin. It’s also fragrance-free for those of you who need it. This is a seriously great summer moisturizer for me.

Battle of the Natural Deodorants

I’ve been having some serious skin issues the past few years and it’s sent me on a search for aluminum-free deodorants that actually work. I don’t necessarily need to switch over to a natural deodorant but I figure it can’t hurt. I definitely have some criteria if I’m going to be spending more money though (natural deodorant is notoriously more expensive than traditional ones). It has to smell good, or at least keep me from smelling bad, it needs to last at least a couple hours and it needs to not cause more skin issues for me. I put three natural deodorants to the test and here’s how it all worked out.
Lafe’s Bliss Iris & Rose 

Scent: 2/5 Iris & Rose
Texture: 4/5 Smooth and easy to apply stick
Longevity: 2/5 4 hours max
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, GMO’s
Total score: 8/15
Where to buy: Lafe’s website

I didn’t get to choose the Lafe’s scent that I used and to be honest, it’s probably throwing off my opinion.While I love most rose products, this one just smells like old lady to me and while the scent lasts a really long time, the actual deodorant doesn’t hold up nearly as well. The texture and stick are nice enough that I would definitely try another scent and see if I like it better.

Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant

Scent: 5/5 Sweet Vanilla
Texture: 4/5 Cream to Powder roll-on stick
Longevity: 3.5/5 roughly 6 hours
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Gluten, Phthalates and it’s vegan
Total score: 12.5/15
Where to buy: Tarte.com, Sephora

I’ve loved Tarte makeup for years but I haven’t tried a ton of their skin care. When I heard they were bringing out a natural deodorant, I had to try it. It smells incredible but I wish the scent lasted a little longer. Some days I can still smell it after a couple hours and some days it disappears on me almost immediately. The star of this deodorant is the formula. It takes a second to dry down but once it does, it keeps me dry and stink free for hours. I still need to reapply on sweatier days but it’s definitely cute enough to keep in my purse.

Schmidt’s Rose & Vanilla Deodorant Pot

Scent: 4/5 Rose & Vanilla
Texture: 3/5 Cream to powder pot (spatula included)
Longevity: 3.5/5 depends on if you have a reaction to the baking soda
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, Parabens, Phthalates. It’s also vegan, gluten free and cruelty free
Total Score:10.5/15
Where to buy: Schmidt’s Naturals

I’ve never used a pot deodorant before and while I did have a couple of the Schmidt stick versions, this one interested me more. The rose scent in this one is much more to my liking but I did have a couple issues with it. This is the only deodorant of the three that’s baking soda based and my skin does not react well to it. While some people get rashes, I find that after a few hours, the scent turned on me and really became gross. To the point that I had to wash it off and put something else on. That said, it was much easier to apply than I expected and only ran into issues if I wanted to reapply and didn’t have a counter handy but I would definitely use this if they made it in their sensitive skin formula which doesn’t have baking soda in it. This could’ve been the winner for me, but my skin didn’t agree.

The verdict:

I had issues with the scents of both the Lafe’s and Schmidt’s deodorants for different reasons but the formulas themselves were decent. I just need to look into other options from both those companies. Tarte was the clear winner for me but at $18 CAD, it’s a little pricey. I’ll see how long one stick lasts and then decide if I’ll use it on a regular basis but I’m really liking it right now, so I think that it’s pretty likely I will.

It’s nice that we have so many more options for natural deodorant and if there’s another one you think we should try, let us know.

Brompton & Langley Hand Cream: Quick Review

If you are looking for a fun imported product that isn’t going to break the bank. Check out Brompton & Langley. I tried their Hand Cream and Body Wash with equally lovely results. This UK brand comes in soft scents like Sweet Pea Jasmine, Almond Milk and Vanilla Honeysuckle. The scents are really subtle, but leave your skin feeling soft and lush. They make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Spring Bath Products

Scrub off winter dry skin with these three bath products that will have you relaxing and soft in no time!

Lotus Aroma Bath & Body Wash Rose & Indian Geranium – If you love florals then this is the body wash for you. You can always count on Lotus Aroma for creating new scents that really fill up a room. This body wash is no different. The rose and geranium smell really surrounds you and makes you feel all girly and flowery. The scent doesn’t linger on your skin, which is a bit disappointing, but you still feel all lovely and clean.

Caress Body Wash – I didn’t think much of the Caress Body Wash when I saw them. I admit that I judged them because they are affordable (under $5) and available at value stores like Walmart. I tried the Silkening and Exfoliating soaps with pleasant results. The Silkening soaps are so soft and gentle on your skin. It’s hard to deny that your skin feels softer when you get out of the shower. Meanwhile the Exfoliating soap is gentle enough that you can exfoliate regularly, which is so important to stop dry winter skin.

Bleu Lavande Sea Salt Scrub – Unlike most sea salt scrubs, this one is all in. This scrub is packed full of salt to give you a serious exfoliation. The soft lavender scent also makes it perfect for those before bedtime showers. Your skin will feel smooth and soft and you will be relaxed.

At-Home Spa Day Most Wanted

Sometimes a girl just needs an at-home spa day for a little pampering with all of your favourite new bath, body and beauty products, candles and a glass of wine. Here are a few products to add to your supple for the perfect spa day at home:

Live Clean Dead Sea Salts – Soothe tired muscles on your at-home spa day with a long bath with these Live Clean Dead Sea Salts. They have Epsom salts, green tea extracts, aloe vera, Eucalyptus essential oils and Ginger. All of this combines for soothed muscles. The scent is strong, but really relaxing at the same time. It’s perfect for helping you forget that busy week.

Avon Foot Works Clay Mask – A spa day wouldn’t be complete without a little foot pampering. Short of having someone to give you a pedicure in your living room, this foot clay mask is the best thing to do. I’ve tried lots of clay masks for my face, but never for my feet. The feeling is pretty similar. Be sure that you are sitting somewhere good, because you won’t be able to walk around. You will need to clean your feet off wherever you are. The lavender smell is nice and relaxing while you wait. I didn’t expect much in the way of results, but my feet were very soft after just 10 minutes or so with this on.

Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set – You don’t usually get to pamper your lips, but it feels so good when you do. The Lip Smoother is a coconut exfoliator that will help clean up all of that dead skin from winter. The Lip Salve is an oil based balm that softens and moisturizes. It’s a nice treat for your lips to feel soften and fresh.

Claus Porto Soap Gift Box – This is the MOST beautiful soap that I’ve ever owned. The white box with the art deco logo is the first signal that you are in for a treat. No matter how many times I opened it to see the three soaps inside, I was never not in awe. The packaging for each of these German soaps is a work of art in itself. Almost too beautiful to use. When you have had your time with the box, be ready for a nice treat with this soft smelling soap in the tub. Spoil yourself, or someone that you love a lot, with these soaps for every occasion.

Skyn Iceland All Eyes On You Treatments – Skyn Iceland has some of my favourite eye products. They always make them nice and cooling and soothing so that my eyes feel relaxed. This set includes an Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Glacial Cleansing Cloths. This means you can pamper yourself with the gels now and have the cloths and pen for your regular everyday use.