Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner - A Review

A few weeks ago, my lovely significant other complimented me on my skin. I thanked him, and then started babbling about what I've changed in my skin care routine which he gracefully listened to even if he had no idea what I was talking about. Truth is, I have never liked my skin very much. It's problematic - acne, blackheads, oiliness, scarring are usually the norm. However, about 6 months ago, I told myself I would start taking care of it better. And that new initiative started with the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner.

Recommended by the ever famous skincare/blogger/expert Caroline Hirons, I thought it would be exactly what my skin needed. I has glycolic, salicylic and tartaric acid - in other words, it's meant to exfoliate your skin chemically. Guys, this product is life changing. Since introducing acid toners into my skin care routine, my skin is so much nicer. I use other similar products than the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner in my skin care routine, but the Clarins is my favorite. Here's why:
  • It smells amazing. Some might not like fragrance in their products, but I love the scent of this toner. 
  • It doesn't make my skin feel oily or greasy. Sure, I only apply this a few times a week, at night, but I will never enjoy the gummy/oily feeling of some products on my skin. Either absorb, or go away. This toner skins in beautifully and faster than say, the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, also an acid toner. 
  • When I apply this at night, I wake up with refreshed skin. Refreshed is probably the best way I could describe it as "glowing" seems a bit excessive. But my skin generally looks really good the morning after application.
  • A little goes a long way. Seriously, a very small amount on a cotton pad is plenty.

I've used maybe... 1/4 of the bottle, and I've been using it regularly for about 6 months (and by regularly, I mean a couple times a week). Not bad! If you're looking to jump on the Acid Toner bandwagon, I highly suggest you give this product a try. It is quite pricey at $36, but oh so worth it. Don't forget, glycolic acid can make your skin sun sensitive, so use sunscreen!

Monday, June 22, 2015

MAC Lipstick Love: Call The Hairdresser

Let's be honest here, I have more lipsticks that I'll ever be able to use. Still, when one of those lipsticks, walks (rolls?!) into your life, you can't help but make it to the cash register. This is what happened with MAC's Call The Hairdresser.

To be honest, when I bought it, I had no idea what collection it was from - I sort of tune out MAC's new collections. There's many of them, I can't keep track! But a quick Google search indicates that the lipstick comes from the MAC is Beauty collection.

The lipstick is perfect in texture. Light and semi-glossy, but pigmented, and it wears off beautifully. It actually lasts quite a long time on the lips! Its lasting power surprised me as the lipstick is quite light and comfortable to wear. I still had most of my lipstick on my lunch, and considering I sip coffee and snack all morning at work, that's quite good!

The shade of this is beautiful pinky berry. It's a "my lips but sunburned" shade! Really though, if my lips were sunburned, they would probably be about the shade of this lipstick. It's quite natural looking on my colouring and compliment a lot of different makeup looks.

All and all, definitely a winner from MAC. My first MAC purchase in a year and it turned out to be quite a staple. MAC's still got it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush - Plum Pop and Melon Pop

Like seriously, who can resist this beautiful packaging. I know I didn't! I bought the Plum Pop colour a few months ago, and a couple weekends ago, while at Sephora picking out a blush for my mother, I saw that they came out with new colours. Aaaaand, I just had to get another one!

Plum Pop on left, and Melon Pop on the right. As you can see, my Plum Pop is well loved!

Clinique has never been a brand to be particularly innovative about their packaging. They've traditionally stuck to the basics for lipsticks, blushes and foundation. But lately, they seem to be having more fun  - the new Clinique Pop Lip Colour's tubes correspond to the colour of the lipstick, and the Chubby Sticks are also have the same concept. I seriously wonder how many people bought these blushes 100% because of the packaging. Probably a lot. They are damn cute.

I love that the lid is clear so you can see the beautiful pattern in the blush. The plastic is very sturdy, and the lid is easy to open and close.

The blushes are pigmented and the colors are gorgeous. I'm especially in love with Plum Pop - it gives such a healthy glow. I can see that Melon Pop will be my summer staple. The soft peachy colour will be perfect with a little BB Cream and mascara for light summer makeup. If I didn't have a million blushes already, I would most certainly buy a lot more shades!

Only tiny complaint about the range - while I was looking for a blush for my mom, I checked the Clinique blushes because I love my Plum Pop shade so much, to see if there was a neutral rosy colour. And there wasn't any! Most of the colours (if not all) have shimmer running through - some are heavier on the shimmer, others are lighter. But not a whole lot of them were appropriate for a more mature skin. And none of them were even close to the rosy shade we were looking for for my mom. Out of 12 shades, that's a bit of a bummer.

Still though, I can't help but think these blushes are excellent value for money. The Clinique Cheek Pop Blushes are $24 in Canada - not a bad price at all for such a beautifully packaged, pigmented product. And, if you're like me, buy them at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart for points!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo Review

I meant to write about this glorious product much sooner, but before I knew it, it was March, and, well, where did the time go?!

I love clarifying shampoos. I love that uber clean scalp feeling. It nice to actually feel it in your hair that all the product buildup is gone. That's the feeling I got from using the Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying shampoo.

First off, it smells of clean apples. I love the scent. I wasn't too sure I'd love it after it lingered in my hair, but truthfully, it smelled very fresh and reminded me of a particular green apple shampoos I used as a kid. Yum!

My hair felt very clean and smooth after using this shampoo. For a shampoo that doesn't contain sulfates, it worked very well - I've always had a hard time using shampoos without sulfates. While I know they are better for you (and the environment!) shampoos without sulfate never really work well with my extremely thick hair - I always seem to not get a good enough lather for a thorough wash and I was always left with oily patches in my hair. Not good. However, this shampoo didn't do that whatsoever - my whole head of hair was clean and smelled amazing. Even better, my hair was really soft and smooth after washing. I've tried other clarifying shampoos that were a little too drying for me - this one left my hair feeling ridiculously healthy! As a person who colors her hair pretty regularly, I've never found this shampoo to have any effect on my hair color - it's gentle as can be!

If you're looking for a great clarifying shampoo of the gentler variety, look no further than the Live Clean Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo. Seriously, I use this gem once every two weeks and it just livens up my hair!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Review

While I've tried tons of Make Up For Ever products, a product I've never tested of theirs is their eyeshadows. Make Up For Ever recently came out with eyeshadow duos and I was asked to test them out. I received the shades I-872 (shimmery pink) and M-846 (matte burgundy), colors both complimentary to my blue eyes.

First off the packaging: it comes in a plastic black case, and a clear lid. In classic Make Up For Ever fashion, this packaging is simple and practical. I love that you can immediately see the shades you're looking for through the clear lid. The packaging makes the shadows a great addition to any travel bag.

While the shadows may appear dry upon first inspection, they are actually very smooth and incredibly pigmented upon application. They blend easily on the lid. The shade on the left is a shimmery pinky beige shade, and the right is a deep burgundy-red matte shade. They balance each other well with one being shimmery and the other matte - perfect for a dramatic (and fall appropriate) smokey eye.

The shadows lasted all day on my lid with a my Make Up For Ever eyeshadow primer (which I always use). While I do find a deep burgundy a bit too intense for office makeup, I wore it anyway this past Monday with a bit of Satin Taupe from MAC on top and it looked amazing.

Luckily, if shimmery pink and burgundy don't float your boat, you can customize your own palettes. The range offers a choice of 210 shades and are available in singles, duos (like mine) or trios in a wide range of shades in finishes. Given the quality of the two shades I tested out, I'd say this is a product you don't want to miss out on!

* I have received this product for consideration, but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.