Category: Skin Care Reviews

Spring Cleaning Face Masks Most Wanted

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Give your face a little TLC with these face masks that are just what you need.

lush-cup-o-coffee-face-and-body-mask

Lush Cup O’ Coffee Face And Body Mask

Bring your morning coffee into the shower with you courtesy of Lush. This new Face and Body Mask is amazing for revitalizing your skin. We already knew that coffee was great for increasing blood flow in the skin, so it’s no wonder that Lush would tap into this natural product. The main component is fresh coffee grounds, which is great for exfoliating. The addition of the agave syrup is sweet and moisturizing. It really makes my face feel and look amazing. It’s a huge added bonus that it smells like my morning cup of joe.

Acure_Facial_Mask

Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask

Freshen up that face the all-natural way with this great green mask from Acure. The main detoxifier in this little bottle is the green clay. It helps to pull out everything from your skin and leave it feeling full refreshed. This mask dries, but it doesn’t get so tight that it pulls or dries out your skin. Thanks to the addition of argan oil in the mask, my face feels moisturized after rinsed. My face feels oh so smooth. I didn’t even need to lather on moisturizer like I do after some masks. My face felt refreshed and looked perfect.

anti-wrinkle_oxygen_infusion_smoothing_mask

StriVectin Oxygen Infusion Smoothing Mask

Need a face mask that is undoubtedly different from anything you’ve ever used before? This Strivectin Oxygen Mask is so much fun to try. The foam goes on fairly smooth, but when it touches your skin the mask activates. The mask bubbles up against your skin and you can feel the little oxygen bubbles popping. It gives you a light exfoliation that leaves your face feeling very refreshed. There’s none of the drying out that you sometimes get with intensive masks. Just nice soft skin!

The Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water PackThe Estée Edit by Estée Lauder Pink Peony Overnight Water Mask

If you love masks but hate waiting, an overnight mask might be a good idea. The Pink Peony Overnight Water Mask does everything you want a moisturizing mask to do. It soaks into your skin really quickly but instead of waiting ten minutes to take it off, you go to sleep and wake up with soft, hydrated glowing skin. It has pink peony to soothe your skin and a goji berry, blueberry, cranberry and hyaluronic acid combination gives your skin energy and a long lasting boost of moisture. It also smells as great as it works. Why do the work when you can get results from just sleeping?

Most Wanted Dry Skin Relief

It’s almost the middle of April but in Toronto we still haven’t seen spring. Which means my skin is still a dry, itchy mess and hasn’t started it’s yearly transition into greasiness. I’ve come up with my five Most Wanted products that have made winter bearable for my skin.
Lotus Aroma Hand Soap in Pomelo Flower
Lotus Aroma Hand Soap Pomelo Flower
I wash my hands pretty constantly and while all anti-bacterial soaps are banned from my house, most regular soaps are still pretty drying. Lotus Aroma’s hand soap is almost gel like but lathers beautifully. It also cleans really well and doesn’t dry out my hands even a little bit. The Pomelo Flower scent is really light but still fruity and I really want to try the Jasmine and Grapefruit scent. There are so many good things in this soap, and all the bad has been taken out. But those lists are really long so if you’re interested, you can find out here.
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion De Rose Nourishing Creme
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion De Rose Nourishing Creme
We use so many things on our faces that usually they’re not quite as dry as the rest of us. But if you’re like me and get patchy areas, you need a really good face cream. Laura Mercier’s Nourishing Creme has Mango and Shea butters added into the cream to really get your face hydrated. The gorgeous rose scent is an added bonus.
Lush Dream Cream
Lush Dream Cream
I had somehow never used Dream Cream until this winter and now I’m hooked on this lightweight cult fave lotion. I was relieved that it doesn’t just smell like lavender and while it does take a while to absorb, I use this on my more sensitive skin areas, like my legs. This is one of those year round products that you’ll be able to use for any skin sensitivity like dryness or sunburns.
StriVectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask
StriVectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask
I love a good overnight mask and this new one from StriVectin is probably my favourite. While it dries pretty quickly, I usually apply it half an hour before I go to bed and I wake up with really soft skin. It also leaves me looking pretty radiant and it smells amazing. I love that I can get results when I’m sleeping.
L’Occitane Shea Ultra Rich Body Cream

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While anyone can use this cream, this is my hero product for anyone with super dry, itchy skin. Literally nothing else has worked as well for me. I was already a fan of L’Occitane’s Shea line (I went through the 150ml Shea Butter Hand Cream this winter alone) but I’d never tried the body cream. It fixed everything I put it on. Dry, scaly legs? Fixed. Rough Elbows? No problem. Any issue I could find with my skin, I could fix with this cream. And while it’s really thick, you only need a tiny little bit and it sinks in almost instantly. I’m going to start making sure I always have some in the house.

Hopefully spring shows up soon and gives our skin a break, but in the meantime at least we have some relief.

Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips

parissa brow wax

The idea of waxing my own eyebrows seemed ridiculous to me. I imagined all of the horror stories that you hear about accidentally waxing off too much of your eyebrows. I figured this was something better left to the pros. I liked having two full eyebrows.

Sometimes, you convince yourself to do crazy things in the name of beauty. Waxing my own eyebrows at home is one of those things I have convinced myself to do.

When I opened the box I felt instantly more relaxed. I feel like Parissa understands that this is a pretty stressful decision to make, so they have made it a bit less scary.

It all starts with the instructions. Since I was so nervous, I was sure to read it all! The instructions come full of great tips, picture guides and different shape options for your face. It made it all seem a little more achievable.

The next step was in the strips. The Parissa wax strips are very small. This means there is less chance for me to accidentally pull off half of my eyebrow. They are easy to cut apart and separate for use. The small size allows me to get it right beside my brow without getting too much. My outlook was better to take too little and have to use another strip than take off too much. I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t hurt, because waxing doesn’t feel great. But it’s no different than going to the salon.

The final step is to apply the oil, which only take a minute and soothes your tender skin.

I was shocked at how quick and easy it was. I don’t need a lot of work on my brows. If I did, I might not think this was such a seamless process. Parissa might have made me a convert. I don’t need to go to get my eyebrows done all of the time when I can do it at home in just a few minutes!

Biore Baking Soda Cleansers

biore baking soda face wash

Biore seems to always be thinking ahead to some new and exciting skin care innovation. This time it’s your trusty household baking soda. They have infused a line of face washes with this pantry staple. It makes me wonder what else I have been missing in the cupboard. I tried the Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser and the Biore Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub.

The Pore Cleanser has become my new daily face wash. I am undeniably hooked. The addition of the baking soda to this gel cleanser helps turn it from a regular face wash to a gentle exfoliator. You can feel the little granules cleaning your pores. It’s soft enough that you can easily use it as your everyday face wash. I found that my skin was noticeably fresher looking after I added this facewash into my routine.

biore baking soda powder

If you are looking for something more unique, look no further than the scrub. This scrub comes in powder form. Every time I looked at the bottle I was picturing those volcano science experiments you did in school. I was hoping that when it touched water, there would be some sort of volcanic eruption! While the results aren’t something out of Pompei, this Biore scrub does activate with the help of a little water. Apply the powder to your wet face to create a deeper scrub. You can keep adding water for a softer clean on the skin. This is exactly the product you want on your side when you want a little more scrub to your rub-a-dub-dub.

I have to say that when I received these products from Influenster I was excited to begin with, but I never dreamed the outcome would actual live up the hype in my head. I am pleased to say that it did!

Sweetease Waxing Kits

I am the worst at keeping regular salon appointments. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hair or waxing appointment. I am always a few weeks later than I should be. I save up my Sweetease Waxing Kits in case of emergency.  Sweetease has developed these little easy to use waxing kits for your legs, face and bikini area at home.

Using a Sweetease Waxing Kit is as easy as it sounds. The first step is to warm a strip between your hands. Don’t skimp on the warming time. You want to be sure that it’s very warm so the wax sticks. I found it helpful to sit on the strips that I wasn’t using yet to start warming them up early.
Sweetease Leg Waxing Kit
Next peel apart the wax strips slowly. If they aren’t warm enough, you won’t be able to get them apart. You will smell the delicious vanilla scent when you peel them apart.

Now press on the strips in the direction of the hair growth.

Make sure that they are good and stuck!  And rip them off quickly in the opposite direction quickly, just like they do in the spa. The success of how well they work depends on how long your hair growth is, how well you stuck it down, how well you ripped it off and your own hair texture.

Overall, it did a great job at getting the hair off. My only complaint is that to do my whole leg, it took quite a long time. I kept trying to find shortcuts to make it go quicker. Like I mentioned, I tried sitting on the strips to warm them. Because my hair is thin, I was also able to use some of the strips twice on the lighter areas.

I don’t think that I would ever use the Sweetease strips for my entire leg again, but they are perfect for touch ups when need be. You can use them on date night or vacation when you don’t have time for a full shave.

Most Wanted Face Products For Spring

Spring really does a number on my face. The dryness from winter isn’t gone yet and my allergies from all the growing things make my skin way more sensitive. That sensitivity causes more redness, which in turn results in me wearing more makeup than normal. It’s a vicious cycle but I’ve found some new products that are quickly becoming essentials in my spring face routine.
Hylamide Booster Series Sensitive Fix
Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster
I’ve tried so many things for redness that have done absolutely nothing for me. Imagine my surprise when I started using this Sensitive Fix Serum and saw results almost immediately. If I’m being good and actually using this twice a day, the redness in my skin reduces by a significant amount. It’s extremely lightweight and absorbs immediately without any stickiness. And if I’m feeling lazy, I mix some into my moisturizer. There also isn’t a heavy scent which is great for those who have really sensitive skin.
StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream
StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream
I’ve been pretty obsessed with StriVectin lately. There hasn’t been a single product I’ve tried that hasn’t done what it said it was going to. Granted, I don’t have a ton of skin issues and I’m not trying to get rid of wrinkles but I’m definitely working on preventative measures. The Multi-Action Restorative Cream is supposed to address fine lines, wrinkles, density, firmness, sagging, texture, dehydration, dullness, discoloration, clarity, resilience and enlarged pores. This cream looks really thick but it’s not and it sinks in fast. I’ve noticed a difference in the dehyration, dullness and enlarged pore camps, but I was looking for those. In general I’ve just noticed my skin looks better.
Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick
Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick
In the spring, I’m still looking for a creamy, hydrating foundation and Chubby In The Nude is definitely that. It also allows me to only cover the areas I need to. This is sheer to medium coverage so it’s extremely natural looking but if you’re looking for full coverage, you’ll want to skip this one. It blends into my skin tone really well and is really great for travel when you don’t want to deal with gloopy foundation.
Kat Von D Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer
Kat Von D Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer
I don’t think I have color issues on my eyelids but I do love the fact that this is the only Kat Von D foundation product that isn’t too dark on me. The fair shade is perfect for my skin tone and the crayon format makes it really easy to prime my eyes for shadow. Lock-It is kind of an understatement, once you apply shadow, it’s not moving. So if you want to blend, use my trick. Only apply this below your crease so you can blend above it.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
I love when products end up being multi-purpose. I was hesitant to try a primer oil because I wasn’t sure it would stick. I was partially right. I find when I use this with a super hydrating foundation, it feels like makeup is sliding off my face. But when I use it with something more dry, it’s perfect. I’ve also been using it on it’s own for a little glow and I mix it with a drop of concealer or foundation for a tinted moisturizer. It’s not greasy at all and is really, really hyrating. It might not be exactly what you’d expect from a Smashbox primer but I actually love how different it is.

Influenster Voxbox: L’Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Collection

L'Oreal Ultra Even Collection
It’s been almost a year since I’ve received an Influenster Voxbox and of the few I’ve tried I’ve had really great results. This time I received L’Oreal’s new Hydra-Total 5 skin care line. There are three variations to this collection; Ultra-Even, Ultra-Fresh and Ultra-Soothing. Of the three, the one I would’ve picked for my sensitive, combination skin would’ve been Ultra-Soothing, so I was a little skeptical when I received Ultra-Even. Yes, there are elements to it that make sense for my skin, I’d like to even out my skin and smooth it out a little but I wasn’t sure how well it would work on me. So, I’m going to write about them from worst to best.
Ultra-Even Moisturizer
L'Oreal Ultra Even Moisturizer
This cream is supposed to moisturize, even skin tone, reduce dark spots, illuminate and smooth. It’s one of the thickest creams I’ve ever tried but it doesn’t absorb very well. It’s also extremely white and left my very fair skin even paler (I didn’t know it was possible) and it stayed that way the morning after. I was asked repeatedly if I was feeling ok because I was so pale. The scent is pretty faint but the moisture level was awful, I had to put another moisturizer over it, the paleness stayed anyways. Because I’m so fair already, I can deal with looking slightly paler but I’d love to know if people with darker skin had the same issue.
Ultra-Even Toner
L'Oreal Ultra Even Toner
I’ve learned that alcohol-based toners are not my friend but since I was sent this collection to review as a whole, I couldn’t exactly leave this toner out. I wish I had, it burned quite a bit and made my skin feel really dry. It probably didn’t help that it’s paired with a scrub cleanser but I wasn’t about to try it with anything else. Too bad though, it smells amazing.
Ultra-Even Lotion
L'Oreal Ultra Even Lotion
This day moisturizer comes with SPF 20 and that’s pretty much the best thing I can say about it. Normally I would add another SPF with a moisturizer but I had to use so much of this lotion to get any kind of hydration that I was basically good on the sunscreen front. This lotion really did nothing for my skin and I really didn’t enjoy the scent.
Ultra-Even Scrub
L'Oreal Ultra Even Scrub
Now we finally get to the product I actually liked! This scrub did a great job exfoliating my skin. It has a really fresh, grapefruit scent and made my skin feel really clean without stripping it. It’s not too harsh for my sensitive skin but I probably wouldn’t use it every day.

I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed in this collection as a whole. Granted, this clearly wasn’t the right line for my skin but it’s very rare for me to absolutely hate a product, let alone three in a collection. Luckily the scrub was the saving grace but it wasn’t great enough to save everything.

February Makeup Most Wanted

Another month is gone, and even with one extra day February still seemed extra short this year. Regardless, I still found the time to discover a few hot new products that I am in love with!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer – I have almost said good bye to foundation these last few weeks thanks to this new concealer. This concealer is made specifically for erasing those dark circles under the eyes. It’s perfect for that, but it also works at concealing any other annoying spots on your face with perfect precision. I find it incredibly hard to find a concealer that I love and can depend on. This one is simple and effective in all the right ways.

Clarins Wonder Perfect MascaraClarins Wonder Perfect Mascara – I have tried a lot of bad mascaras lately. I thought about writing a post about all of the bad ones, but instead I’m going to celebrate the one great one! This new mascara has been my new favourite. Imagine long, thick, curled lashes every single day. It’s max colour and volume that is perfect for day or night!

Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes

Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes – Who needs regular face wash when you have these towels on hand? These Pond’s wipes are everything you want in a regular face wash, without having to worry about water and rinsing. They give a great clean that leaves my face feeling refreshed. They are also surprisingly moisturizing. I shouldn’t be too surprised though… it’s Pond’s after all. I love their baby powder soft scent too for a before bed clean.

Dove Quench Absolute Hair Care

Dove Quench Absolute Hair Care – This line doesn’t technically hit shelves until next month, but I need to tell you now so that you can rush to stores in March!!! I have tried Dove hair products before, but they didn’t leave a lasting memory. This new line though shocked me. In the shower, this Dove shampoo and conditioner didn’t seem like anything special, it was only after it dried that I was impressed. Time after time, this Dove hair line left my hair soft and moisturized. My curls were bouncy, and that never happens! Frizz was a distant memory. I see a future of soft beautiful hair, hopefully not just for me, but you too!

vichy-normaderm-3-in-1-cleanser-scrub-mask

Vichy Normaderm 3 In 1 Cleanser + Scrub + Mask – I already loved the Normaderm line. It’s my favourite of all of Vichy’s skin care products. Imagine my glee when Vichy added to the collection with a product that isn’t just a cleanser. It isn’t just a scrub. It isn’t just a mask either. It’s gentle enough to be able to be used regularly. You can also leave it on your face as a pore cleansing mask. When budgets are tight, this is the kind of smart products that one needs!

Products For A Cause With Lush And L’Occitane

Lush and L’Occitane are two companies that are known for giving back. Lush’s Charity Pot is a permanent product where the proceeds to go to different charities and L’Occitane has different causes they donate to each year. Right now, they each have a product out where the proceeds go to good causes. You’ll want to grab both of these before they run out!

Lush Hand Of Friendship Soap
Lush Hand Of Friendship Soap
Canada just accepted 25,000 Syrian refugees and 100% of the proceeds from Hand Of Friendship (minus taxes) will go to Lush’s Friendship Fund that supplies the relief to their most pressing needs. Hand Of Friendship is a sweet smelling (cherry blossom), highly moisturizing soap that lathers really well. I had to cut mine up to make it easier to use and I love the hand design so much I was really sad about it.

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm
Solidarity Balm Ultra Soft Balm
L’Occitane launched their Solidarity Balm just in time for Women’s Day on March 8th. 100% of the proceeds to this balm will finance NGO programs for women’s leadership in Burkina Faso with the support of the L’Occitane Foundation and it’s program ‘Women For Burkina.’ The balm itself it pretty amazing. Rose scented and full of Shea, this balm is perfect for lips, cuticles, hair or anywhere that your skin is dried out from winter. Considering it’s only $6, I’ll be stocking up on these.

I love when companies match products we’re going to buy anyways with giving us a chance to give back and these two are pretty amazing.

Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil

If I’m being totally honest, 80% of the time I take off makeup I use a cleansing cloth, or at least start with one. I love a good cleanser but I’m just really lazy. That said, my collection of cleansers and makeup removers is pretty astronomical and I was more than happy to try out Caudalie’s new Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil. I generally love Caudalie products and was expecting pretty good things.
Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil
Made with sunflower, castor, sweet almond and grape seed oils, this cleanser is completely natural and didn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all. I don’t really like the scent but it’s light enough that it doesn’t bother me too much. It left my skin feeling really soft and smooth and not dried out at all. I only use a light moisturizer after.

This oil is thinner than most I’ve tried and is really runny. I had to move fast to keep it all from running off my hand. Once I applied to it my face and added water though, it turned into a really soothing milk. The first time I tried this, I was wearing a full face of makeup and mascara that wasn’t waterproof but still gives me a really hard time when I take it off.

The oil did a great job getting my face makeup and lipstick off but my mascara did nothing but smear around my entire face. I tried using more to get the mascara off but eventually had to give up and use another product to get it to move.

Overall, I do love this cleansing oil but I would only use it again on bare skin or if I’m wearing makeup that’s generally easy to take off.