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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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!
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
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
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.
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.
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.
We’re in the midst of a warm winter, but that doesn’t mean the chill isn’t taking its toll on my skin. The latest way to moisturize seems to be with oils instead of cream. I tried four body oils to see which restored my soft summer skin.
Neutrogena Body Oil
Get a sleek and smooth moisturizing experience that is so versatile. Neutrogena’s version of this hot trend gives me so many options to use it in a variety of ways. I appreciate any product that makes it easier to work into my normal every day routine. You can moisturize onto dry skin, apply to damp skin after shower or bath to seal in moisture or add a few drops into your bath water for a soothing and relaxing experience. Unlike some other body oils, Neutrogena’s has a very light scent that gives you that clean smell without too many additives. Also unlike many other oils, this oil dries very quickly and doesn’t leave my skin or hands feeling greasy. You have no idea how happy that makes me!
Live Clean Skin Perfecting Dry Oil
With a mixture of many different all natural oils, Live Clean has done it again! They are quickly becoming one of my favourite brands. This time they have made a body oil that mot only moisturizes but also helps to reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks and skin tone. This is nothing new. There have been oils that make these claims for a long time, so we know this is something that works. I haven’t had the Live Clean oil long enough to prove this one also works, so I am trusting that it works. This oil is a bit greasier than some of the others available, but it dries quickly enough that it isn’t too bothersome.
Zaya Body Oil
Moisturize and enhance the skin with this natural oil that has a range of lovely ingredients to brighten your day. The best ingredient in this oil is the pink grapefruit oil. The citrus scent is undeniable in the oil and on the skin. It’s a really refreshing scent. It’s wonderful for a morning pick-me-up. There is also sweet almond oil to make it softening and a sweet scent. There are also a number of essential oils to help tone and tighten your skin and improve collagen production. The smell is also very sensual if I do say so myself and would be perfect for a romantic night in… if you know what I mean.
Caudalie Shaping & Firming Body Oil
Caudalie’s new line is all about helping you slim down including this new oil. It’s meant to firm and smooth your skin, with the bonus of adding a moisturizing skin to your skin. I haven’t been using it long enough yet to tell you if my skin is any tighter, but it does feel oh, so soft. The only problem is that it smells bad. After getting out of the shower with my skin smelling all nice, I don’t really want to apply this strange smelling oil. I do think some people will love the herbal smell, so don’t write it off entirely. This just isn’t the scent for me.
Oils are all the rage in beauty right now, so it was high time that we talked about the innovative oils from St. Tropez. Now your oil can moisturize and give you a bronze glow too thanks to the St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil and the Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil.
The oil is a great way to get a bronze glow without all of the commitment. You can also add some extra shimmer and shine to an existing tan (fake or real). If you have ever used a self-tanner then the luxe dry oil won’t be a surprise. You apply the oil in the exact same way using an applicator mitt on clean skin. It dries faster than most mousse tanners, so you can get dressed in just a few seconds.
You will get a glow with some golden shimmer right away. It lasts for about 10 days, but you can always reapply to extend your tan or darken it.
For your face, St. Tropez has kindly developed a similar, but lighter version of their oil. Using the mini applicator mitt, you apply this oil to your clean face. Be sure to wait a few minutes before applying any makeup or anything over top. You may not notice the colour on your face right away, but don’t rush to any conclusions. The facial oil is more subtle. It takes time to slowly tan the skin. We recommend waiting until the next day to reapply if you want something a darker.
Like the dry oil, once you have reached a golden hue that you are happy with, this oil tan will last for about 10 days.
I love the ease of this product. Because it’s lighter oil, it is really easy to apply without worrying about streaks. It’s also nice to know that it doesn’t go on too dark. I don’t want to be left with a dark tan that looks bad. This St. Tropez oil allows me to choose how dark my tan is.
I always look forward to any kind of holiday collection from Lush and considering how much I enjoyed their Valentine’s Day products last year, I was really happy they brought most of them back and added a few, even more pink products.
Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar
I was really happy they brought back Unicorn Horn, its super calming lavender and neroli scent is great and this one isn’t quite as sparkly as last year. It’s a really good size, so you’ll be able to break it up and get a few really bubbly baths out of it.
Prince Charming Shower Cream
Prince Charming is another returning product but instead of a shower gel, this year it’s a shower cream. From what I can tell, shower creams are pretty much the same as the gels, only a little more moisturizing. Either way, the delicious pomegranate-vanilla scent is the same and I’m going to be using this one pretty fast (and maybe stocking up on some more).
Roses All The Way Soap
I love anything with rose in it, so I was thrilled to get this soap. I wish it was part of the permanent line up. It’s on the creamier side of the Lush soaps and the shape is so pretty, but a little difficult to work with. I actually cut it up into chunks to make it easier to use but other than the shape, this is basically my ideal Lush soap. Soft, creamy and smelling like roses.
The Kiss Lip Gloss
The Kiss was released last year in a tub and I still have a little left, even though it expires soon. This year’s version is almost exactly the same but in a tube. It has the same super sweet almond and tangerine scent and flavour with a hint of pink and shimmer. This one feels a little grainy going on but it smooths out and feels really moisturizing. I adore the fact that it’s in a tube and I hope this is a trend that Lush continues. One of the reasons I don’t buy their lip balms is because of the tubs.
The Kiss Lip Scrub
While I love Lush’s Lip Scrubs, the only flavour I’ve ever liked is Mint Juleps. But now that I have The Kiss, I have another one to love. It’s a pretty similar mandarin scent as The Kiss lip gloss but it also has edible red hearts in it. It’s scrubby, but not harsh and leaves your lips feeling really soft. The combination of The Kiss Lip Scrub, followed by the lip gloss, is basically perfection.
While I really liked Lush’s Valentine’s collection last year, I’m full on in love with it this year. I just wish some of these products were permanent.
We could all use a little more comfort in our lives. L’Occitane is here to help with new products for soothing and comforting your skin during the driest and harshest skin season.
Replace your regular moisturizer with the L’Occitane Soothing Fluid. I’m not sure why it’s called a fluid. This is a moisturizer with a similar creamy formula as some of your other favourites. It’s here to both comfort and protect sensitive skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I don’t usually use these types of products, but I have to say this is really nice. This moisturizer is extra light and airy. It has a light powder scent that is, dare I say, comforting. It dries very quickly on the skin and leaves no residue or dewiness on my face. I love moisturizer that leaves no trace. I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t notice your moisturizer. That makes this product a winner in my books!
For the evening, we have the L’Occitane Comfort Oil. Oils are the biggest thing in moisturizing right now. Every brand is releasing an oil to add serious moisture to your skin. This product is 100% natural and perfect for all skin types.
While it says you can apply this oil morning and night, I find it a little too thick and oily for day time under my makeup. It leaves residue on your hands that you have to wash off. It’s ideal for applying before bed though to get your moisture while you sleep.
So curl up with L’Occitane this winter to get nice and cozy.
Obviously it’s important to exfoliate our skin all year round but with winter’s dryness comes dead skin, flaky patches and uneven skin tone. Luckily, I love a face scrub so I put together a list of my Most Wanted.
Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream With Microbeads
This gentle exfoliating cream gets the job done and takes it easy on your skin. You get a deep clean from the microbeads but Mimosa extract stops it from drying out your skin. It’s not too harsh for sensitive skin but I would use it less often than the twice a week they suggest.
Vichy Pureté Thermale Skin Renewing Screamy Scrub
This is probably what most people expect from a face scrub. A cream with new environmentally friendly Jojoba beads. It’s extremely gentle but does a great job of exfoliating. This is the one you could probably use more often without irritating your skin.
Laura Mercier Face Polish
I was really expecting this to be a little too harsh for my sensitive skin, it’s really grainy. But I didn’t have any redness or irritation. It did such a great job of clearing out my pores, I found blackheads I didn’t know were there.
Lush Ocean Salt Face And Body Scrub
This is such a classic product that I’m pretty sure anyone who loves Lush has tried it at least once. The salt, lime and vodka combination are fantastic for clearing out your skin and the avocado and coconut stops it from drying out your skin. Just a tip for anyone with sensitive skin, try a patch test first to see if you’ll react, salt can be irritating.
StriVectin Oxygen Infusion Smoothing Mask
When this product was suggested to me as an exfoliator, I was hugely skeptical. I’ve heard of scrubby masks but this one isn’t scrubby at all. It’s also the coolest mask I’ve ever tried. You apply the cream to your face, watch it foam up and while it dries into a clear film you can feel it get all the crap out of your pores. This has become my most recent obsession and it does such a great job, I was glowing when I rinsed it off.
There are obviously tons of other face scrubs out there, but to get a really good exfoliation, these are my picks.
Around six months ago I got to try Vichy’s Idéalia line and I was instantly in love with it. I’m still using the whole line and I’m on my second tub of Skin Sleep. I’m not someone who uses one skin care line from start to finish. I like to mix and match my products to what suits my skin the best or to what I’m in the mood for. But if I wanted to stick to one line exclusively, Idéalia is definitely missing some core products. While Vichy does carry other cleansers and toners, there aren’t any for Idéalia. But now there’s a day moisturizer.
I haven’t had Idéalia Day Care that long so I can’t really talk about long term effects, but the short term ones have been pretty fantastic. From the first time I used it I noticed my combination skin, that’s been extremely dried out by winter, was hydrated right away and stayed that way all day.
Idéalia Day Care has Kombucha from black tea and Vitamin E among it’s good for you ingredients and is supposed to address fine lines and pores while making your skin radiant. The radiance comes right away. My skin has been a lot more glowy (for lack of a better word) than usual. I don’t have a ton of fine lines so I can’t speak to how that part is going and while I haven’t noticed a major difference in my pores, I really haven’t been using it long enough to see real results but I have good expectations.
This cream is light enough for a day cream but strong enough to use at night if you wanted to. It also has the same delicious scent as Skin Sleep, which makes me really happy. Idéalia Day Care is a perfect addition to the Idéalia line. I’m just hoping they keep adding to this collection because this has quickly become of my staple skin care lines.