Category: Skin Care

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm 2017


Today is International Women’s Day and just like last year, L’Occitane has released another Solidarity Balm that goes right along with it. This year’s balm is Shea Butter Violet and it smells amazing. I was first introduced to the yearly Solidarity Balms last year with the rose scent. I literally use this stuff for everything; lips, cuticles, scrapes, chapped and broken skin. I haven’t found a limit to what I can use it for and I still haven’t finished last years. I love nearly anything rose scented so for me to love this violet scent even more in unprecedented.

What I love even more about the actual balm is that L’Occitane will use 100% of the profits to fund NGO’s projects to support women’s leadership in the world in partnership with UN Women and the L’Occitane Foundation. Not all of us can or will participate in women’s marches around the world but we can all try and spend $6 on this balm to try and support other women.

You’ll probably want to pick up more than one though because the Solidarity Balms are amazing and you’ll feel like you’ve contributed a little.

You can find the Solidarity Balms on sale on the L’Occitane website.

Volition Ultimate Anti-Aging Trio

If you are serious about moisturizer, I think that I’ve found the product for you. Volition has created a 3-piece moisturizing set that works year round, from day to night.

It all starts with the Dual Cream Base. This is their standard moisturizer. It makes for a nice and simple moisturizer. It isn’t scented. The texture and thickness is right in the middle. It’s moisturizing enough for the winter, but also thin enough to wear in the summer. It absorbs very quickly with a matte finish.

Now here is where it becomes advanced. This luxury skin care set from Volition comes with two special “ampoule” or liquid to be mixed with the moisturizer for more advanced benefits. They look the same, but act different.

The Day Active is full of wine extract, which sounds like the start of a great day. It has anti-aging benefits, collagen and moisture that will help plump up dry skin. The Night Active has more soothing ingredients like chamomile, rose hips and vitamin C that will soothe skin and brighten your complexion while you sleep.

The little droppers allow you to add your chosen active formula to the base moisturizer when needed for added benefits. You can add this to any moisturizer if you want, but right now it is only sold as a set from Volition. You have to get all three things.

Personally, this moisturizing set is a bit too advanced for me. I like my skin care more simple. That doesn’t mean it’s not for you. This trio is perfect for someone looking for the next step in skin care. You can really customized what you use and when for the perfect match.

Body Lotion Head-To-Head Part Two

When I said we were serious about our body lotion and skin care in the winter, I mean it.

Yes To Coconuts Dry Skin Head-To-Toe Hydrating Balm

Yes To Coconuts Dry Skin Head-To-Toe Hydrating Balm

Description: Take moisturizing to the next level with a super moisturizing balm that is for the most extreme dry and cracked skin. The Yes To line creates products that are also natural on top of everything else using natural ingredients the way they were meant to.

Look: This package looks pretty boring and unassuming. The little bronze package doesn’t look very exciting. The balm looks like margarine or maybe coconut oil. It doesn’t look very appealing.

Scent: It does have a coconut scent, but since it is a balm there is also a kind of waxy scent to it. It doesn’t have an overwhelming scent, but it is noticeable.

Feel: This is similar to coconut oil. It looks like a solid, but melts with your body heat to turn into more of an oil consistency when you apply it to your skin. Because of that, we agree that you should use it on only your most dry parts. It can be a bit greasy and oily for the rest of your body. It feels amazing on my feet. I can just slip my socks on after applying to keep the moisture close.

Cost: This might be the strong moisturizer that you can get for under $10. I think this is an investment piece that you should always keep handy, especially in the winter.

Volition Illuminating Body Milk

Volition Illuminating Body Milk

Description: I thought this was a regular moisturizer, but this product has little particles that help to illuminate the skin with a pearly glow, leaving your skin not only moisturized, but shimmering in the light as well.

Look: This box is really pretty. The cream in the box has such a shimmery pearly shine to it. When you open the jar, the cream itself isn’t really that pretty. It’s smooth, but looks so thick and chunky.

Scent: Somehow Volition made a body milk with no scent at all. I am not joking. I can’t smell anything at all. It’s really surprising. I truly expected it to smell all light with flowers and roses because of how it looked.

Feel: In the container it feels somewhere between a paste and a gel. It’s really weird. If you can get over the strange feel, it does smooth quickly when you apply it. This milk almost completely disappears when you apply it. The shimmer quality is really subtle. It’s the adult version of those shimmer creams. It’s just a bit of a healthy glow, as opposed to a shimmer in the light. It leaves my skin feeling soft, but not really moisturized. This is definitely a luxury product, once you have an intense moisturizer worked out.

Cost: This luxe product costs $35 for one jar, but think of it more as a splurge. It’s also a great gift for the girl who has everything.

Nivea Creme

Nivea Crème

Description: This classic Crème has been around for over 100 years! I would bet that there is a whole generation of people who haven’t tried it yet. There are so many other options on the market that sometimes a classic is overlooked. Nivea’s Crème is perfect for all skin types, ages and any part of the body.

Look: The all new Nivea Crème now comes in a blue tin that feels really iconic. It’s a great look. The white cream inside looks a bit like a paste.

Scent: Nivea’s cream smells more medicinal or clinical. It’s not overwhelming. When you apply it to your skin, you can’t even smell it at all. Perfect for people who are sensitive to strong smells.

Feel: This is the one cream where I feel almost instant results. My rough dry spots feel smoother without any residue left behind. Sometimes, you can’t beat a classic. Theirs is a reason Nivea has been making this product for so long.

Cost: A tin of Nivea’s Crème runs between $10 and $15, but this is kind of a household must have in my books. One tin will last a while, so it’s well worth the money.

Body Lotion Head-To-Head

In case you haven’t noticed, we are serious about winter skin care. On that note, we wanted to give you a deeper look at all of the body lotions, moisturizers and skin balms that have been making the rotation this winter to give you all the information that you need to make smart skin care decisions. From the packaging to the feel to the price, here is a look at some great body lotions for everyone any time of year!

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion

Description: This lightly scented lotion (which also comes in unscented) is ideal for the most sensitive of skin. It helps not only dry skin, but the driest, itchy skin. It’s made with their special oat formula that is meant especially for sensitive skin.

Look: It’s classically Aveeno. No surprises here. From the look of the bottle to the look of the cream.

Scent: I am surprised that this can be considered as gentle as a sensitive skin product, because the coconut smell is rich. If you love coconut, like me, then you will like it. But it’s not subtle.

Feel: This moisturizer is surprisingly thick when you spread it over your skin, because it doesn’t look any thicker than your regular moisturizer. It’s thick to spread and absorbs into the skin very slowly. It leaves my skin feeling still damp and a bit dewy for quite a long time after, which could be thought of as a curse or a blessing.

Cost: You can get a 354 mL bottle for about $10, which is a great deal when you think about how well this cream works. I used it on an itchy new tattoo and keep one on my desk at work, so it’s clearly a favourite!

Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion

Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion

Description: This moisturizer has pretty standard description of soothing rough skin and restoring your glow. It’s a mixture of cocoa butter and Vitamin E that will restore your skin back to good health.

Look: The bottle that I have is huge. It’s actually a bit overwhelming. This could be a lifetime supply of moisturizer, which is a little unnecessary. The lotion itself looks a bit thin, but fairly standard.

Scent: The smell of cocoa butter is so soothing and nice, isn’t it? If you agree, then you will love it too.

Feel: This moisturizer doesn’t apply as thin as it looks at first. It could have been a fluke, but on my skin it was really cooling. It applies thin and moisturizing and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tacky at all. I like that I can’t really feel it at all. I am just left with nice skin.

Cost: This big 21.1 oz bottle is under $10 in stores, so you can’t find a place to get more for your money. Overall, it’s a pretty standard and straight forward  moisturizer, so you can’t go wrong at that price.

Live Clean Moisturizing Body Lotion

Live Clean Moisturizing Body Lotion

Description: Who doesn’t want to help the earth while helping their skin? Live Clean’s lotion is packed full of natural ingredients and organics and doesn’t have any of the additives most products have. They also come in great scents with little added benefits from different ingredients.

Look: The packaging is clean and simple. The lotion looks simple. No tricks here.

Scent: The scents of the Live Clean collection can be hit or miss. They seriously depend on your tastes. Choose your scent carefully based on what you are in the mood for.

Feel: Live Clean’s moisturizer feels nice and smooth. They are fairly standard as far as moisturizer go. It works great on dry skin, but doesn’t last for hours. I find myself reapplying often when I use Live Clean lotion only.

Cost: Live Clean is amazing value for the money. It’s one of my favourite brands. You can’t go wrong with it. This moisturizer is a steal at just $6.

Korres Body Butter

Korres Body Butter

Description: Korres uses beautiful natural ingredients to help soften the skin and moisturize. They also use special oils that help improve elasticity and give better long term effects on your skin.

Look: The bottles of these body butters are beautifully designed with different colours and styles for each scent. The cream itself looks thinner than some intense body butters.

Scent: My Korres Body Butter is a beautiful jasmine scent. It’s fairly strong, but it’s more like perfume than just a moisturizer. It’s an advanced and complex scent. This isn’t a cheap throwaway smell that will hurt your senses.

Feel: Sometimes body butter can be too thick. It can leave a film or texture on your skin. Korres has created a body butter that is surprisingly light. It’s soft and leaves my skin feeling pampered.

Cost: At about $30, this is a more luxury cream, but you will get a more luxurious result. Be sure to find the scent that is right for you first, because it’s a bigger commitment.

Most Wanted Winter Skin Relief

My skin takes a serious beating in the winter. All the forced heat indoors and extreme dryness outside, I get extremely dry, cracked skin. Even the combination skin on my face dries out completely during winter. These products have saved my skin this year and given me some major relief from dryness.

Dr. Roebuck’s Ultimate Hydrating Serum
Dr. Roebuck's Ultimate Hydrating Serum
This serum has an almost gel-like texture and a few drops goes a long way. It absorbs into your skin instantly and doesn’t leave you with that greasy feel that you can get from some serums. I definitely feel a moisture boost when I use this one and when you add your moisturizer on top of it, it’s amazing. This is the only Dr. Roebuck’s product I’ve tried but I like it enough that I want to try more.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm
When this first showed up, I was convinced it would be too strong for my combination skin. I mean, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial was almost too strong for me and this sounded much richer. But I had a week where my skin was so dry, nothing I had was helping, so I tried this out and it worked. The texture is a little like butter, fairly thick and spreadable. But it absorbs much quicker than I expected. Plus the moisture lasted hours and hours. I don’t need to use anything else for a full 24 hours when I use this. I also didn’t have any issues with my sensitive skin and it didn’t make me break out, but if you’re concerned, get a sample first.
Aveeno Gentle Scent Skin Relief Body Wash and Lotion in Chamomile
Aveeno Gentle Scent Skin Relief Body Wash Chamomile
The skin on my body gets much more dry than the skin on my face and I’ve used numerous things over the years that didn’t really help. Aveeno’s Gentle Scents line comes in Chamomile and Coconut options and the Chamomile smells amazing. It’s not a strong scent but it’s really fresh. The body wash doesn’t make my skin feel stripped of moisture and is soap and dye free and allergy tested, so it doesn’t irritate my skin. The addition of Colloidal Oatmeal gives you a boost of moisture. The matching lotion has the same scent and absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy. The combination leaves my skin feeling hydrated and way less itchy.
L’Occitane Intensive Hand Balm
L'Occitane Intensive Hand Balm
I honestly don’t know how many L’Occitane hand creams I’ve gone through over the years and I was convinced that nothing would work better on my dry, cracked hands than their classic Shea Hand Cream. Well when this hand balm arrived, it was clear I was wrong. This is quite a bit stronger than the hand cream but not much thicker. It takes a little longer to absorb but in under a minute, I can go back to whatever I was doing. I find if I use this before I go to bed, I don’t have to use hand cream until the next afternoon and it’s healed the cracked skin in my hands and cuticles. It might be a couple dollars more than the regular hand cream but if winter is killing the skin on your hands, it’s worth the money. I would actually go so far as to say, if you only buy one thing for winter skin, L’Occitane’s Intensive Hand Balm is what you need.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes Quickie Review

pinkgrapefruit_cleansing_towelettes

I have loved a lot of face cleansers in my time, but none as much as these from Burt’s Bees. The grapefruit scent is so refreshing. My face feels just as clean as if I had used a regular face wash. Since it’s for normal to oily skin, it leaves my face feeling nice and dry. There is no residue or moisture leftover to clog my pores. My face is just dry and clean. The cleanser can’t stand up to strong waterproof makup, but it will remove any normal makeup and dirt from your average day.

Lierac Paris Moisturizers & Masks

Now is the time to discover moisturizing products from Lierac Paris ladies, because we can’t pretend that it isn’t winter any more. Cold temperatures are here and my skin is feeling it. Take the plunge and treat yourself to luxury from Lierac Paris.

hydragenist-moisturizing-cream-moisturizing-cream-oxygenating-re-plumping-reflexion-copy

I started my journey with Lierac Paris with the Hydragenist Moisture Cream. It has a light scent that won’t overwhelm you. I hate moisturizer that has too strong a smell, so this light rose was nice. The cream is meant for dry to very dry skin. It’s a treat for your face. It will leave you feeling softer and more moisturized almost instantly. You don’t have to wait for it to dry or absorb like some other moisturizers. You can get on with your day right away with softer skin.

magnificence-nuit-gel-in-balm-smoothing-detoxifying-wrinkles-firmness-radiance-reflexion-copy

Because everyone wants to wake up looking refreshed with smooth skin, I tried the Lierac Paris Magnificence Nuit Gel-In-Balm. You apply this cream before you go to sleep, so it can work overnight. Like the name suggests, it’s a cream that acts more like a gel. My skin loves gel based products, so it’s no surprise that I liked the feel of this cream. It left my face feeling still clean. So you don’t have to go to sleep with a face that feels like it’s covered in product.

premium-the-supreme-mask-absolute-anti-aging-reflexion-copy

Last, but not least, for ultimate moisturizing, I tried the Lierac Paris Premium The Supreme Mask. This is serious moisturizing! I’m not going to lie, this was too much for my face. I didn’t need this much moisture.You apply a thick layer of this cream on your face and just wipe it off after 5-10 minutes. You don’t wash it off like most other masks. This means that you are keeping a lot of that moisturizer on your face. If you have serious dry skin, I urge your to splurge on this product though. It packs a serious punch.

Holiday Most Wanted: Skin Care Gifts

Everyone’s skin suffers in the winter and a skin care gift is a fantastic way to take care of it.

REN x Kangan Arora Moroccan Rose Otto Duo
ren-x-kangan-arora-moroccan-rose-duo
Skin care experts teamed up with London based textile designer Kangan Arora to bring together some pretty great looking gifts. This Moroccan Rose Otto body wash and lotion will leave you clean, hydrated and smelling delicious all winter. It’s also great for sensitive skin.
Amopé Pedi Perfect Gift Set
amope_holiday_wet-dry
If you know someone whose feet need help but don’t go for pedicures, you need to get them this gift. It comes with a rechargable foot file, charger station, Daily Moisturizing Foot Cream, suction shower hook and an Amopé and Veet coupon book.  Since the foot file is waterproof, you can use it wet or dry, meaning there are no excuses not to use it. I wish I had about five of these lying around, I know some people who would love it.
Biotherm Aquasource Skin Perfection Holiday Set
biotherm-aquasource-skin-perfection-holiday-set
A lot of us have dry or oily skin with a ton of issues but if you’re shopping for someone with the covetable ‘normal’ skin, this Biotherm set is a great way to go. With an Aquasource Skin Perfection, Night Spa, Cleanser and Toner all in a holiday pouch, they’ll have everything they’ll need for soft, glowing skin.
Boscia Balanced To Pore-fection
boscia-balanced-to-pore-fection
I’m constantly trying to find products that’ll help minimize my pores and one of my holy grail items for that is Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask. I’ve been using it for years and it’s hands down my favourite. This gift set has that mask plus the Detoxifying Black Cleanser, White Charcoal Mattifying Makeup Setting Spray and Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel, all teaming up to whip my pores into shape. If you know someone who wants to minimize their pores or a teenager who might be a little self conscious, you might want this one.
Fresh Rose Skincare Ritual: Daily Essentials
fresh-rose-skincare-ritual-daily-essentials
Fresh’s Rose products have been cult faves for years when it comes to dry skin beauty junkies and their Soy Face Cleanser is also pretty legendary. This gift teams them up for an essential winter hydration boost. It includes the Soy Face Cleanser, Rose Hydrating Gel Eye Cream, Rose Face Mask and Rose Floral toner. Anyone would be happy with a gift of bright, hydrated skin!

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Collection

I’m getting older now and it’s finally time for me to start worrying about wrinkles. I have been using anti-wrinkle creams for years, but this collection from Nivea is one of my favourites so far.

I have to disclose that the collection isn’t all new. Nivea has given their collection a new look, which helped me discover it. I tried two products in the Nivea Q10 collection.

nivea-q10-plus-anti-wrinkle-collection-2

The Day Cream is a rich, thick moisturizer that is perfect for keeping your face protected all day long. After application my skin feels dewy and it absorbs well, just leaving the powdery scent behind.

nivea-q10-plus-anti-wrinkle-collection

The Replenishing Pearls Serum is a cooling gel serum that also leaves my skin feeling so soft.

I like that the pair are different consistencies. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy with too much moisturizer or sticky with gels. The products work perfectly in harmony. My skin, which can sometimes be prone to acne, loves this combo. I honestly can’t wait to try the rest of this line. It’s been a long time since I said that!

Origins Drink Up Intensive Quickie Review

origins-drink-up-intensive-overnight-mask
There’s nothing I love more in skin care than an overnight mask but a lot of them don’t work quite as well as I want them to. I’d never used anything from Origins before and we received the Breast Cancer Awareness version of their Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask a few months ago. We get so much skin care to review that this honestly stayed on my shelf until a couple weeks ago when I started getting my seasonal dry, scaly patches near my mouth. I tried about ten new products to help me get them cleared up with zero success and then I tried Drink Up Intensive.

This overnight mask felt a little different right away. It’s a little bit thicker than I’m used to and took a good twenty minutes to fully absorb (so wait a little while before you go to bed) but it smells amazing, like rose and apricots and felt soothing right away. I woke up with seriously radiant skin, so much that people kept telling me that my skin looked amazing. And those scaly patches? One application turned them into simple red patches and the more I use it, the better they get.

I’m really happy I tried Drink Up Intensive before winter gets into full swing because this mask is going to save my skin and I’m already wondering what other Origins products I’m missing out on.

If you want to try this mask, you can get the Breast Cancer Awareness version until December 31, 2016 and as part of the The Estée Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign, $5 off each one will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation up to $40,000.