Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Something EVERY GAL should have in her Shower

Something that EVERY gal should have in her shower is a foot paddle/Pumice Stone. Giving the soles of your feet a quick 30-second scrub near the end of your shower, is a sure fire way to keep your feet in beautiful shape without having to book an appointment at the nail salon.

Just because it's winter-time, doesn't mean you should neglect your feet! It's much easier to KEEP them in great shape, than it is to fight at the last minute when spring arrives to get them there!

I think most beauty companies make them, so they are pretty easy to find. Your drugstore's nail aisle will have at least 2 or 3 brands of foot paddles for sale. The Body Shop makes them, Origins makes them, but the BEST ones are probably the ones you find at Beauty Supply stores, like the Dannyco brand foot paddles. Even a good ole Pumice Stone will do!

A good wooden foot paddle should last you quite some time, but even if you spring for one of the less expensive ones at your drug store, you will keep your footsies looking great!

Near the end of your shower, scrub the soles of your feet - paying close attention to the area on the balls of your feet, the bottom and sides of your big toes, and the heels. Feel for rough spots with your free hand, then gently massage them away with your foot paddle.

Also, when you are at the nail salon, DO NOT EVER let the manicurists take a razor blade to the soles of your feet. Shaving off the skin, makes it grow back thicker! It's less work for them to shave it vs. buffing it, so naturally they shave it! DO NOT let them!

Some of my favorite foot paddles include the wooden ones from Origins, Dannyco, and the cheapie Life Brand ones from Shoppers Drug Mart! Whatever you do, do not use the foot cutters that are disguised as foot paddles. Revlon just came out with one that even has a "Catch Basin" area, where the dead skin that is cut off is contained until you empty it out into the trash. YUCK!
Remember...CUTTING your skin will make it grow back thicker. So do your feet a favour, and buff away the dead skin in the shower with a handy foot paddle instead!

Shop Benefit Cosmetics for our Your Beauty Needs!

Monday, December 13, 2010

REVIEW: Philips SatinPerfect Epilator HP6570

I have been registered with BzzAgent.com for a few years now, and have reviewed various products for them...come to think of it, I think all of it has been food! FINALLY I received a vanity-related product to review. I was both excited and extremely nervous!

Most girls know what an epilator is...and the thought of it is mildly nerve-wrecking. It sounds painful and...dangerous!

If you dont know what an epilator is; it's an electronic device with a number of "pincers" attached...imagine 100 tweezers, constantly picking and plucking at your hairs, pulling them out by the root. These "pincers" are on a rotating device. Sounds scary, doesnt it?

The idea of epilating is very appealing. All girls I know want to remove their hairs by the root; it leaves you smoother, longer; hair grows back thinner and finer; and therefore stubble is reduced. But we're just afraid of the pain!

When I received my Philips SatinPerfect Epilator in the mail, I was VERY excited! I quickly opened up the box to read the instruction manual and to see what came with it!

The Epilator itself is pretty! It's white and shiny, with a pretty design around the On/Off button, an adapter (it doesnt run on batteries, only when plugged in), 2 additional performance caps, and the instruction manual.

So I turned it on. It sounded SCARY! It wasnt loud, but it wasnt quiet either. The ceramic tweezers whirred around and around. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and....placed the machine against my leg.

You are supposed to slowly run the epilator against the growth, up your leg, while your free hand pulls your skin up. It's kind of like when you are getting waxed...pulling your skin taut. Please dont skip this step, as it really helps your hairs to stand up and therefore make it easier to remove your hair, and it minimizes the pain you feel!

I have to be honest...at first it HURT! It was not an unbearable pain. It was definitely bearable, and with each stroke it actually hurt less and less. After a minute or two, it almost didnt hurt anymore! (the exception being the inside of my legs, below the knee - holy sensitive!)

My legs had not been shaved for about 2 or 3 days prior to my first use of the Philips SatinPerfect Epilator, so it was juuuust below an optimal level of hair growth, but it still pulled out a significant percentage of the hairs on my legs! I used it again the next day to remove some more hair.

I placed paper towels under my legs to catch the hair as it was falling...I wanted to see if it was breaking any hairs. And I couldnt believe it...not ONE SINGLE HAIR was broken - they had all been pulled out at the root! And my fear of being pinched or cut was completely unfounded - I didn't receive a single cut or pinch while using the Philips SatinPerfect Epilator.

Right now, I am not entirely hair-free, there is a tiny bit of stubble; these are the hairs that are just growing in. I will use it again tomorrow to remove some more hair. Even in the manual it said that the first few times you use it will be to remove growth that is coming in at different times. Based on the other reviews I read, women reported less of their hair coming in and with less stubble! I definitely look forward to that!

The beauty with this device is that if you are in need of wearing a skirt and cant let your hair grow for another day or two before epilating, you can just shave it off for the day...then let it re-grow before epilating!

One of the things I love about epilating as a form of hair removal is that you arent ripping off your skin, so ingrown hairs will be less of a concern! I still recommend you scrub well in the shower to minimize their occurence!

In the instruction manual, they recommend you use the SatinPerfect Epilator in the evening. You might get some redness, and if you do it at night, the redness will have disappeared by the morning.

I will continue to use this product as a means of hair removal for my legs! I'll definitely update you all again to let you know if my hair grows in more softly, what the stubble situation is, if I get ingrown hairs, etc.

I have to tell you though... so far, this has been an AWESOME product and I am so happy that I signed up with BzzAgent to review this epilator! At first I was PETRIFIED of this method of hair removal! I am soooo happy I tried it....and I think you should too!

I have $10 off coupons that are valid only in Canada. If you want to try this product and want a coupon, leave a comment with your email address and Ill get your address to mail it to you!

LIMITED-TIME OFFER Get free shipping on these select gifts. Enter promo code HOLIDAYSHIP at checkout.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

REVIEW: Yes to Cumbers! Shampoo & Conditioner

The good folks over at YES TO CARROTS came out with a shampoo and conditioner for those of us who want to protect hair colour from fading. So they came out with YES TO CUCUMBERS Shampoo and Conditioner (along with facial cleansing cloths, eye cream, masks, etc).

Because I absolutely adored the YES TO CARROTS shampoo and conditioner, I was really excited to try this one as well! The ingredients differed a little bit, there seemed to be less of the Dead Sea Mineral Mud as it was lower down on the ingredient list, but maybe thats just the way it appeared... either way, there was also Green Tea and all its antioxidants, Cucumber with its Vitamins A & C, Aloe Vera to hydrate, and its star ingredient, Centaurea Extract; a powerful ingredient that protects color-treated hair yet brightens and prevents brassiness.

That sounds really awesome.

It is a lovely shampoo and conditioner, I gotta say. But does it compare to the YES TO CARROTS? Not even close.

Not to say that this shampoo and conditioner arent good...its just that theyre not as good as the original YES TO CARROTS line.

After using this shampoo, I felt the need to double-wash. After using the conditioner, my hair still felt a tiny bit tangled. Out of the shower my hair looks and feels GREAT... it just doesnt feel right in the shower, compared to the YES TO CARROTS. My hair felt tangled and a bit coarse. I never got that feeling with the original YES TO CARROTS duo...

If you are really concerned about brassiness in your hair, or if you really colour your hair religiously, then I say give this baby a try! I think people with really fine hair would probably benefit the most from this very light feeling shampoo and conditioner.

I just wonder if people with seriously processed hair would want something thats RICHER and more moisturizing than this one.

Regardless, it is still a great shampoo and conditioner and definitely worth a try! If you have tried the YES TO CARROTS ones first, you may be underwhelmed by the YES TO CUCUMBERS line...

If you have tried both and feel differently, let me know!

LIMITED-TIME OFFER Get free shipping on these select gifts. Enter promo code HOLIDAYSHIP at checkout.

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Monday, November 29, 2010

REVIEW: Yes to Carrots! Shampoo & Conditioner

I finally decided to give YES TO CARROTS Shampoo and Conditioner a try, after it had been staring me down for MONTHS as I walked down the hair care aisle.
What first got me was its lack of SLS, that it was loaded with plant extracts and Dead Sea Mud and that it was missing Dimethicone, a silicone that gives the illusion of shine and health. It also looked like a really good value...what with that huge bottle going for $10 or less.

From the very first shampoo I have been IN LOVE!

The instructions indicate to leave the shampoo on your scalp after lathering. I thought it was weird, but figured, what the heck. So I left the shampoo on for a minute before rinsing it off. For a second I was dumbstruck... had I just shampooed my hair? Or was that conditioner? I was pretty sure it was shampoo....

Yes. My hair was THAT soft. So I placed a tiny bit of conditioner in the ends of my hair and massaged it up. I didnt leave it on...just rinsed it.

My hair was amazingly soft and shiny, right from the very first use!

Those with very fine hair might even skip the conditioner, Im not even joking!!!

If you havent tried this brand of shampoo and conditioner yet, I beg you to give it a try! This stuff is AMAZING, an awesome value for the size, and has far far far fewer chemicals than many of its counterparts in the hair care aisle where you buy your shampoo!

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Thursday, November 25, 2010

REVIEW: Shiseido The Skincare Instant Eye and Lip makeup remover

Some people don't like oily make-up removers because they worry about causing break-outs, which to a degree I find ludicrous because **NEWSFLASH** you're supposed to wash your face after you use a make-up remover...even if you have one of those non-oily ones.

Ever since I was very young and first dabbled in make-up (and therefore makeup removers), I had a minor obsession with minimizing exposure to oils. After all, thats what all the magazines said...back when I read YM and Cosmo. ha! Fast forward many years, and I love me some oils in my skincare routine.

Anyway, the one thing I discovered when I was very young, and that I've reitterated throughout the years is that non-oily make-up remover always made my lash line feel like it was on fire.

Has anyone else ever had that reaction?

And just in case you don't know me, I'm a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned gal who is allergic to pretty much... NOTHING! Having a burning reaction to make-up remover like that was mind boggling. After having experienced the same reaction to a multitude of non oily make up removers, I finally gave up on them.

The make up remover from Shiseido is a "dual-phased" product. This means that the oily mixture sits on top of the watery mixture, so you gotta give it a really good shake before you squirt some onto a cotton pad. Hold the lightly dampened cotton pad over your closed eyelid and hold for 5-10 "steamboats", then give it a gentle outward swipe.

Fold the cotton pad in half (dirty side in), look up to the ceiling, and wipe under your eye. Nobody likes that Britney-Spears-I'm-still-wearing-last-night's-makeup look.

Finish off with using your favorite cleanser, then serums/treatments and moisturizers.

I love its effectiveness and I love its scent! The fragrance is VERY mild, and if you check the ingredient list, it's actually the last ingredient. It didn't feel as intensely oily as the Lancome Bifacil (which is still one of my fave makeup removers), but it was JUST as effective.

The importance of using a good make up remover cannot be undermined. The skin around your eyes is ten times thinner than the skin anywhere else on your face, which is already much thinner than the skin on your body. Rubbing and tugging, and pulling and pushing at the delicate skin around your eyes can...AGE YOU! gah!

Price-wise, it'll run you about $30 and is well worth it, both for those of us who don't use it often, and for those of us who use it every day. A little goes a long way, so one bottle of it will you last a long time and put off your eye-lift for at least a decade.

Just kidding.

Kind of. :o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: SMASHBOX Halo Bronzer

If you havent heard of SMASHBOX's famous HALO line, then you've been living under a rock for quite a while now. They have these amazing mineral foundations that completely disappear on your skin to create the illusion that you REALLY do have perfectly incredible skin... but only if you're one of the 4 shades that it comes in - which unfortunately, 90% of the population won't fit into...

Are you listening SMASHBOX?!?! Its time to bring out another 2...or 8 shades in HALO. (says the girl who falls between Light and Medium).

All that aside... if you haven't tried their HALO Bronzer, you dont know what you're missing. It's perfectly matte, a most natural tanned-tone that suits most skin colours. My favorite part? Its utter lack of SHIMMERY SpArKlEs... My second favorite part is that under the little built-in blade, is a pretty much solid bit of mineral bronzer that you shave fresh for EVERY use! Plus the blade has a built-in anti-bacterial film so you have FRESH and CLEAN make-up everytime you use it.

It looks so natural on because YOU can decide where you will apply shimmer to highlight and define.

My favorite way to apply is to frame your face with it, blending it well into the hair line as you go. Apply a little extra at the temples, right on your cheekbones, and blend under your jaw line for a little extra definition. Make sure you finish with a tiny bit of blush on the apples of your cheeks for a most glowy finish! I recommend Smashbox's CHIFFON blush; a perfect peach tone that EVERYONE can wear!

It's about $45 in Canada, and is the size of THREE bronzers, so it's not only a fabulous product, its INCREDIBLY well-priced!


LIMITED-TIME OFFER Get free shipping on these select gifts. Enter promo code HOLIDAYSHIP at checkout.

Friday, November 19, 2010

REVIEW: Bourjois Volumizer Mascara

This is the coolest little contraption! At first glance it appears there are TWO brush wands inside this little tube, but upon further investigation, you realize that the same wand is pushed through a thicker hollow wand on the inside.

Check out the pics:

You have the mascara tube with TWO twist off tops. The first option is to screw off just "Step 1", the second option being to screw off "Step 2".
Step 1 gives you black eyelashes, long, full, feathery, natural. Did I say long and thick? but definitely more on the NATURAL side (if you consider big huge fluffy feathery mascara that makes your eyelashesh look like they've multiplied, "natural") :o)
Step 2 gives you big bad black eyelashes. The kind you wear out to a bar. Or a make-up counter, if you're a make-up artist. Or to work, if you loooooove big bad eyelashes.
When you pull the "Step 1" wand out, it goes through the extra tube that's attached to the "Step 2" lid, so the brush gets an extra-thorough "cleaning" of excess product. You get a super clean mascara wand, that deposits JUST the right amount of mascara, and NEVER with clumps.
I'm amazed that no one thought of this before!
"Step 2" gives you big thick eyelashes, but I've discovered a couple of things:
a) You can get crazy thick, but natural-looking eyelashes if you apply TWO coats of "Step 1"
b) You can get crazy thick, but natural-looking eyelashes if you apply "Step 2" first, and then comb it through with "Step 1" next.
c) Even though they guarantee "No Clumps", "Step 2" might still be too much for some people. I still like to wipe the mascara wand on the lip of the tube to remove excess product.
d) This is not for the demure...it only comes in BLACK. No brown available.
For a "prestige product" this mascara has an AMAZING price-point of $20. It competes with Dior's best mascaras ($31-$35), blows Lancome's classics out of the water ($31-$35) and is just a few bucks more than the great mascaras you can get from even L'Oreal ($13-$18).
It's only available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart and Murale in Canada, so I HIGHLY recommend you try this stuff!!! You'll love it!

Goddess Jewelry on ETSY

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

REVIEW: Neostrata Intense Eye Contour All-In-One Serum

I am in love!!!

I used to be scared of Retinol, and products containing Retinol, because nobody ever told me you have to start slowly with it. The first few times I used retinol-based products, I went full-steam ahead and applied it twice a day for 2 or 3 days until my face and eyes were so dry I thought I was going to die. Okay, not die. But you know what I mean....don't you?

The extremely sensitive may never be able to use Retinol, but truthfully, very few of us fall into that category. The extremely sensitive, if feeling adventurous, should probably use a FACIAL retinol product first to determine tolerance before moving onto an EYE AREA retinol product.

To me, that's just common sense... but in case you've misplaced yours, I thought I'd just let ya know. No offense. We're still buds, right?

Seeing that I now knew to start slowly, when I first got my little bottle of NeoStrata Intense Eye Contour All-in-One Serum, I started using it every other night for about 2 weeks. Then for the next week or 10 days I used it day and night, but still only every other day. Now I'm up to twice a day, every day. I still experience a little bit of dryness, but that's probably because I just started using it twice a day every day. At night, I apply straight Shea Butter overtop of the serum, and during the day I apply my Juice Beauty organic eye cream overtop, and sometimes Clinique's All About Eyes because it's so hydrating.

I've heard some people talk about how it's fine by itself, but I definitely recommend using a rich eye cream overtop. After all, having lots of moisture in your skin is the best way to slow down the aging process (oily skinned people age far slower than dry skinned folks).

I have to say, my eye area looks amazing! The dark circles seem to have faded a little bit and the tiny fine lines have disappeared ENTIRELY. No eye cream has ever been able to do this. I've had rich eye creams soften the lines...but no cream has ever ENTIRELY ELIMINATED MY LITTLE WRINKLES.

For someone who has more advanced aging around the eye area, NeoStrata's Intense Eye Contour All-in-One Serum will definitely help, but I don't know if it will remove ALL your lines. Either way, it is DEFINITELY worth a try because of the wonderful active ingredients in it.

The active ingredients in this light serum are 0.05% Retinol and 3% Matrixyl, a powerful pentapeptide that encourages collagen production. It also has an ingredient called "Eye Regener" at 2%, which reduces puffiness and increases firmness and tone. NeoStrata has also added a 7.5% blend of MDI complex, SabiWhite, and Cytobiol Lumin-Eye which all help to reduce dark circles.

I know I absolutely adore this product and have permanently added it to my twice-daily routine. Once this bottle runs out, I will DEFINITELY pick up a second!

A half-ounce air-tight pump is $45 and well worth it!

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

REVIEW: Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

I haven't worn anti-perspirant in YEARS. Even though "they" tell you that there's no direct link between anti-perspirants and breast cancer, I still think that "they" have a vested interest to tell us that. Our sweat glands are just far too close to our lymph nodes, to our breasts...and besides, we're MEANT to sweat. It's how our body regulates its internal temperature.

Oh, and a daily shower does WONDERS for preventing body odour. All that being said, that damp feeling when you start to sweat is a little bit unnerving. You can feel it, and then you start to wonder "Can you see it through my clothes?", "Do I smell?", "Will I smell?" and your imagination runs away with you.

Chances are, that you don't smell and you won't smell for at least a few hours. ;o) But I like to have a deodorant with a pretty smell handy in my purse in case I start to worry. One of the all-natural deodorants that I already own (and love) is the one from The Body Shop and this is the other one... LaVanila's The Healthy Deodorant. It comes in a few really lovely scents including Coconut Vanilla, Grapefruit Vanilla, and.... Pure Vanilla; my personal favorite!

It goes on with a creamy feeling, refreshing, and instantly drying. It's loaded with plant extracts and a really lovely all-natural scent. It's a bit pricey at $18USD, but well worth it! It takes quite some time to go through one, and it's free of Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Mineral Oil, Aluminum Salts, Phthalates, Silicones, Petrochemicals, etc.

I've only ever been able to find it at Sephora, but if you know of a different place to find it, please do let me know!


Sephora.com, Inc.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

BOGO sale at GoddessOfJewelry.etsy.com

To celebrate the FULL arrival of fall (I saw my breath last week) there's a Buy One Get One HALF OFF sale at http://www.goddessofjewelry.etsy.com/

The sale applies on any and every piece in the shoppe and, as always, the shipping is FREE!!!

Buy One Get One Half Off AND Free Shipping?!?!? How lucky for YOU!

Check it out at Goddess Jewelry and grab some earrings and necklaces, for yourself AND for your friends and family at Buy One Get One HALF OFF!!!


Monday, October 11, 2010

REVIEW: Almay One Coat dial up Mascara

I was running low on mascara...which is unheard of in this household. And I legitimately needed a new tube. Again, very strange as there's usually AT LEAST 2 or 3 tubes of mascara on-the-go.

I figured I might as well try a new mascara.

I remembered seeing the ads (and commercials) for a new mascara from Almay where you can turn the tube to adjust how big you want your lashes to go. I immediately figured that the tighter you wound the tube (to the 1), the tighter the excess wiper piece inside the rim would be wound; therby removing more of the mascara from the brush. If you turn it to 2 or 3, then the excess wiper inside would be opened up a bit more; allowing more of the mascara onto the tube.
It turned out I was right! That's exactly how the mascara works.

That's all I knew about the mascara, but I picked it up to try anyway. I didn't realize that it comes with a plastic-bristled brush. Personally I prefer the traditional metal-bristled mascaras (1 exception: CoverGirl's Lashblast Volume [the one in the orange tube] love that stuff!)

The first time I used it, I set the tube to "1" for my right eye, and "3" for my left eye. You could definitely see the difference! It wasn't pleasant though.

As far as plastic bristled brushes go, it wasn't the best. I definitely spent more time than usual per eye, combing the formula through as it went on a bit thickly. It took a good 2 minutes to get it nicely onto my right eye.

But once I set the tube to "3", it really went on clumpy. It took another 2 minutes to comb the formula through my eyelashes, but the end result wasn't pretty. The eyelashes were thickly coated in a style reminiscent of spider legs coming up out of my eyes. My lashes were fully clumped together. yikes. Very Tammy Faye Baker.

Also, it was difficult to wash off. The formula wasn't waterproof, but it required make up remover to get it off, which is one of my biggest pet peeves! Mascara should wash off easily with lots of splashings of water and your face cleanser...unless it's waterproof.

Despite this all, I used it again the next day. I left it at level "1" and still wasn't impressed with it. My last few forays into less expensive mascaras included Maybelline's le volume express (which was AWESOME), L'Oreal's Extra Volume Collagen (also awesome), and CoverGirl's LashBlast Volume (fantastic!).

I give Almay two-thumbs-up for a fantastic marketing venture and two-thumbs-down for the mascara!

This one, is going back to the store for a refund.

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

REVIEW: La Roche Posay Toleriane Creams

La Roche Posay is the #1 recommended brand by Dermatologists in Canada. And with good reason! They have a complete line of skincare that addresses every skin concern need for men, women, teenagers and children of all ages. They are famous for their body creams for extremely irritated and sensitive skins. Their products are soothing and loads of parents buy them for their small ones.

Today I'm talking about their TOLERIANE line of moisturizers. Their TOLERIANE line is meant for sensitive skins that are more on the oily side. There is a TOLERIANE FLUIDE, which is the lightest of all their moisturizers. Then there is the TOLERIANE, which is a bit richer. Then there's the TOLERIANE RICHE, which, as the name implies, is...well...rich! Despite the "RICHE" name, the lotion is still OIL-FREE! Actually all three are oil-free!

Feeling the three different textures is something you must do to really appreciate this line of moisturizers. The FLUIDE comes out like a cream, but as soon as you touch it, it feels like water on your skin! The regular TOLERIANE comes out like a light cream, and the RICHE comes out like a thick anti-aging cream. Such a range of textures!

The most amazing thing is that they're all oil-free! Glycerin is the active moisturizer in these 3 moisturizers. These creams are wonderful for increasing the water levels in your skin. Someone with acne is most likely using products like Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid which are meant to sop up the oil from your skin, with an unfortunate side-effect being that they also DEHYDRATE the skin.

Dehydrating the skin causes your brain to send more oil (it can't send more water)... so you create this vicious cycle of using harsh products to eliminate the oil, which causes your body to only make more oil! This moisturizer helps to break that cycle because it not only increases your skin's water levels, but because Glycerin is a HUMECTANT, so it continues to pull water out of the air all day long and into your skin.

Everyone, not just those with acne-prone skins can benefit from increasing the water levels in their skin!

The BEST BEST BEST part is the sheer lack of ingredients. The FLUIDE only has 14 ingredients, and the regular TOLERIANE cream only has TEN INGREDIENTS!

For someone with very sensitive skin, someone who's allergic, someone with redness and rosacea, this is a dream-come-true. It is almost impossible to have an allergic reaction to a product that has SO FEW INGREDIENTS! There are no fragrance, no colour, no parabens, no fillers. Every single ingredient in these creams plays an important role in it's moisturizing abilities.

The next time you're in a drug store, pick up any moisturizer from a brand who's commercials you see on TV. Just look at the sheer size of the ingredient list. It's not unusual to see that there are 40-50 ingredients. If you consider yourself sensitive, you might as well save yourself the trouble and go straight for the La Roche Posay TOLERIANE creams.

Even the "cheapy" drugstore brand creams are now selling for $25 and up. La Roche Posay's TOLERIANE CREAMS are $31 for 40mL(1.4oz) and are definitely worth it!

I don't know where you can get La Roche Posay in the United States, but in Canada it's available at every Shoppers Drug Mart. And you should definitely check it out soon!

Goddess Jewelry

La Roche Posay

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

REVIEW: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus

Not too long ago Clinique launched their latest product in the fight against aging: Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector. It promises, within 12-weeks, to provide an anti-aging and sun-damage-correcting effect 63% equivalent to a laser procedure.

This may seem hard to believe, and with good reason. Laser works by damaging your skin at a very deep level, which causes your skin to go into over-drive to repair this damage. The resulting repair results in skin that looks better than when you actually started. However, to get the most results, you need a series of laser treatments. 1) It ain't cheap. 2) It hurts! 3) It works*. Is it possible that a SERUM can provide 63% of these results at a fraction of the price, with none of the down-time, and with NONE OF THE PAIN?!?

(**ALWAYS ONLY go to a reputable anti-aging spa, that is presided over by a Doctor, and staffed by Nurses and Esthetic nurses using the LATEST in laser equipment. Failure to do so may cause in hyperpigmentation, burns, and scarring. NEVER try to save money where laser is concerned**)

Okay, back to Clinique:

There's a cocktail of good-for-you ingredients such as Vitamin C (powerful all-around-anti-ager), Ergothioneine (mushroom extract - antioxidant), Pomegranate extracts (antioxidant), retinol (vitamin a), sea whip extract (anti-inflammatory), Pinenadiol (encourages micro circulation), hyaluronic acid (intense moisturizer), and a host of peptides (encourage collagen production). It also includes 3 special enzymes that work to correct UV damage, absorb light to minimize damage from happening right now, and to correct DNA damage.

The thing that caught my attention on the ingredients list? The DIMETHICONE at the VERY TOP.

As I've said before and will continue to say, time and time again... I hate Dimethicone. It is an optical blurrer, it creates an optical illusion that your wrinkles have disappeared, and you should stay away from a product when it's one of the top few ingredients.

In this case, I digress. This product is LOADED with good-for-your-skin ingredients, and while the dimethicone provides an instant "wow, I look good" benefit, there are definitely long-term benefits to using this serum.
I've been using it under my moisturizer for about 3 weeks now, just 3 or 4 drops each use, and I gotta say, my skin is looking mighty good. My naso-labial fold is looking a bit softer, which is a big deal for me (it's my first real sign of aging - albeit it means I'm a happy person who loves to smile...)

Oh, and before I forget - YOU CAN USE THIS SERUM AROUND YOUR EYES TOO! This is the original reason I picked this product up; it's loaded with peptides and anti-oxidants, can be used on face, throat, and eyes and can be used day and night!

At $53.50 CDN and $44.50USD, it's a great buy!

BOGO at MadeYouLook Natural Skincare on ETSY

Monday, October 4, 2010

All Natural Skincare SALE!

If you're a lover of all things natural, or are looking for some alternatives in fun and flirty fragrances to chemical-laden store-bought goodies, head on over to ETSY to participate in an awesome, never been done before, BUY TWO GET ONE FREE SALE!

You can find MadeYouLook Natural Skincare at http://www.madeyoulookcosmetics.etsy.com/

For every 2 items you purchase, you may pick one (of an equal or lesser value) FOR FREE! Just include a note in the check-out process indicating which item you want for free. Do not "buy" the free item.

MadeYouLook Natural Skincare

Treat yourself, or start stocking up for Christmas (yes, I said it... CHRISTMAS)!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The importance of Water

I've said this before and I'll say it again... WATER is SUCH an important part of your beauty ritual. It's practically free (from your tap) and it's an indispensible part of your beauty routine.

What if I told you that water, when you drink it, will in:

60 seconds - hit your blood stream
3 minutes - get to your brain
10 minutes - reach your other organs
30 minutes - spread through your entire body.

Drink 6-8 cups of water EVERY DAY for the next 4 days, and report back...how does your skin look after 4 days of filling your body with fresh and clean water?

REVIEW: The Body Shop's new deodorants DeoDry

The other day I walked into The Body Shop to kill some time, so I started to pick up their product, one-by-one and reading their ingredients. Some of it was bad; Sodium Laureth Sulfate is the chief lathering agent in most of their cleansers, body washes, and shampoos (and SLS has been linked to Whale infertility), Dimethicone in their "anti-aging" skincare products (Dimethicone is an optical softener, blurring fine lines and making it look like the anti-aging skincare has an immediate effect...when, in fact, it does not), etc.

And then I happened upon their deodorants.
I stopped using Anti-Perspirant the year I got pregnant with my little one. It's been about 4 years now. I don't care what *they* say, but to me there's a link between anti-perspirant use and breast cancer.

Over the years I've used "The Rock", which is a crystal that prevents you from smelling... you wipe it on wet skin after you come out of the shower. It has anti-bacterial properties that prevent growth of the bacteria that can cause body odour. I've also used the lovely deodorants from LaVanila - they are amazing, but at $22 a bottle it's really really pricey.

And then I found this one from The Body Shop! They're liquids that roll-on (they also have stick versions), but the ingredient list on this one was SO NATURAL!!!! There's loads of essential oils, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Alcohol, and an ingredient called Perlite which is a natural "stone" that's ground super fine and absorbs moisture.

I've been using this one for about a week now and I gotta say, it's AMAZING! I didn't smell AT ALL! I didn't feel a ton of moisture (I'm not a big sweat-er anyway, unless I'm excercising), and the essential oils had a wicked "cooling" sensation upon application!

And at only $8 per package, it's an amazing value considering how natural it is! Also, they sell REFILLS at $6, and you're minimizing what goes into the recycling.

If you've been thinking about giving up anti-perspirant and making the switch to a deodorant that lets you sweat but doesn't make you feel like a caveman...then this is it! I highly recommend it!
WIN IT!!! Leave a comment here before Friday October 1st at midnight (EST) and I will randomly pick a winner to receive their choice of DeoDry deodorant from The Body Shop!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

REVIEW: Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express Mascara

I'd like to start off by saying the advertising for this mascara is just RIDICULOUS. Why do they use models who look like they're wearing 20 layers of false eyelashes, loads of black eyeliner, and have been photoshopped to the moon and back?

The public perception of what we, as women, are supposed to look like is so scewed that I'm scared for today's young girls. I don't know ANYONE who's eyelashes look like the models in ANY mascara ad, ever.

**okay, public service announcement over**

I love this mascara! I bought it because it was on sale for half price. Everyone who knows me, knows I'm a mascara junkie and I'm willing to pretty much try anything to make my eyelashes look bigger (RapidLash, anyone?).

Even at full price ($10) it's a steal. This mascara is AWESOME! It's got a very big brush, almost as big as Dior's Diorshow. The bristles are classic wire bristles, and because there are sooo many of them, no eyelash goes unpolished. The formula is shiny, not thick and goopy, and applies beautifully! I had super huge big black eyelashes with only one coat!

Oddly enough, the mascara smells really pretty! I didn't keep the packaging to see where "fragrance" lands in the ingredients list...but it was a pretty interesting surprise!

Here is a picture of me wearing Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express in Glam Black only on one eye...

Nevermind that I look cross-eyed...or that my eyebrows need grooming... the mascara is pretty awesome, isn't it? Have you ever tried this mascara? What do you think of it? If not, what's your favorite mascara?

Are you in need of pretty jewelry to go with your fab eyelashes? Check out Goddess Jewelry

Shop Benefit Cosmetics for our Your Beauty Needs!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Smashbox Targed Pore and Line Primer

OMG! I'm in love!

Smashbox, the geniuses who make the world's best foundation primer finally came out with a primer specifically for fine lines. Oh yeah, and large pores, but my concern here is more the fine lines!

I have these teeny tiny fine lines around my eyes and when I wear concealer, they slowly creep into the lines making me look 10 years older. I hate that.

I've tried so many different eye creams and primers, even ones that aren't meant for the eye area, in an effort to stop this concealer-creepage. The closest thing I've had that worked was the Roc epulse, but that felt SO drying around my eye area, that I've abandoned using that product.

This stuff actually works! Pores and fine lines instantly disappear. The best part is that it goes OVER TOP of your moisturizer, so you're not drying out your skin by sealing it in with silicones without moisture underneath.

But even then, this primer is loaded with moisture-rich ingredients like Shea Butter, Murumuru butter, Avocado Oil, Vitamin E, and Glycerin.

As soon as you apply it, fine lines disappear. Of course, this is an optical illusion due to the high concentrations of Dimethicone. When you wash the primer off, your fine lines will still be there. But the best part is... YOUR CONCEALER WILL STAY PUT!!! All day long. No joke!
Some other users have reported sensitivity (mild heat/tingling) when applying it to the eye area. The instructions actually say you can use it on Crow's feet, but I've rubbed it directly below my eye (inside the orbital bone) with ZERO sensitivity...

I haven't used this around my mouth yet, but I bet it would prevent my red lipstick from bleeding! Next time I do red lips, I'll try it and report back.

In the meantime, GOOD LUCK finding this stuff...it's pretty much sold out everywhere! But it's worth calling your local Smashbox retailer to put your name on a waiting list.

This stuff is GOLD!!!
Also, check out my natural skincare goodies at: www.MadeYouLookCosmetics.etsy.com

LIMITED-TIME OFFER Get free shipping on these select gifts. Enter promo code HOLIDAYSHIP at checkout.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Obsession: NeoStrata Toner

This toner is my obsession. I use it once a day to remove any left-over dirt/debris/oil/dead skin cells.

This is part of NeoStrata's "Acne" line-up, but I gotta tell you that anyone can use it. It's very low in alcohol content, somewhere around the 10% mark (unlike other cheap drugstore toners that can be as much as 90% alcohol!) so it's gentle even on dryer and more dehydrated skin types.
Its crowning glory isn't the low alcohol content, it's the 8% Glycolic Acid! So when I say it removes dead skin cells I really mean it!

The beauty of Glycolic Acid is that it makes all your other skincare work better! Your serums and moisturizers absorb better because they aren't fighting to get through layers of dead skin cells. Your skin glows instantly because it's brighter, more even toned, and smoother.

Also, pimples and zits don't just happen because you're oily. Oil alone doesn't cause pimples... but Oil holding onto dead skin cells are what clog pores and cause breakouts. So eliminate the dead skin cells, and therefore the breakouts, by using this toner!

Also, glycolic acid is a wonderful anti-aging product because as it thins your upper layers of skin, it thickens the deeper layers of skin because new cells are being pushed out faster - therefore flattening wrinkles, fine lines and...ACNE SCARS!

I recommend using it at night-time. It does thin your skin a bit, so any redness or irritation that may come along with it will be gone in a couple hours (at most). You can use it every day... I have been using this product as a replacement to the more expensive Peel Solution for a few weeks now and I LOVE IT! I'm totally hooked!

At $26 for a bottle of it (and you only use a slightly damp cotton pad) it's an amazing and effective all-around treatment for all skin types...

Monday, September 20, 2010

REVIEW: Roc Sublime Energy e-pulse eye

Since our bodies are huge masses of atoms, of energy, we are constantly creating energy. We are quite literally balls of electrical charges running all over the mass that is our body.

The people over at Johnson & Johnson (who own Roc) claim they have a cream that fuses together zinc and copper in E-PULSE, which "works by energizing ion-mineral conductors of zinc and copper that activate the skin’s natural process" and "When combined with the specially formulated Boosting Complex found in the crèmes, it increases the rapid flow of mineral ions to dramatically rejuvenate the look of skin."

When Roc first launched this product, I was beside myself! I was told that over the course of their research they discovered that wounds heal faster when this zinc/copper fusion was applied to it - because it allowed the electrical impulses in our skin to travel through the wound. Of course, this is not a claim that Roc makes, but apparently this is what led to the discovery of this zinc and copper fusion as an anti-aging product. This is a two-step product, comprised of a serum and a cream "activator"

I was really excited to get my hands on this product.

The first thing I noticed was that there was no zinc and copper fusion. If you look at the ingredients, zinc powder and copper powder are listed seperately.

The second thing I noticed was that that the E-PULSE concentrate (Step 1) has only 9 ingredients, and that Dimethicone (and its variants) comprise THREE of the first six ingredients. I would guess that it's 50% dimethicone, and if you felt its texture you would probably agree.

I was really disappointed. No wonder over 70% of women saw "instant" results! The Dimethicone is an optical softener, a "blurrer", a translucent line-filler!

Regardless... I thought I'd try it.

Two steps... first you put the E-PULSE concentrate on, and then you apply the "activator" over top. The concentrate is a strange grey colour... and the activator is loaded with sparkly light diffusers!

My eyes immediately looked firmer. My concealer also went on beautifully and didn't crease at all! However, my eye area felt dry. By the end of the day I couldn't wait to get my make-up off to load up on a rich eye-cream!

The next day I tried it again, but this time I put an eye cream underneath it. Bad idea - it caused the cream to "rice" and pile off my eye area. It was hideous! I had to wash my face and reapply my creams (without the E-PULSE).

Lesson learned. The E-PULSE is fantastic for if you need an INSTANT bit of line-filling and if you're okay with letting your eye area feel unmoisturized. But I wouldn't recommend it for every day use! Dry skin ages faster, and if your moisturizer isn't absorbing properly through the layer of dimethicone you're first putting on, then you're setting yourself up for fast aging!

I would recommend this for situations where you need a lift NOW, and then you turn into a pumpkin at midnight.

This stuff isn't cheap. It's over $60 for the eye treatment...and it's not a true anti-ager!

Roc's other eye creams (the retinol based ones) are AMAZING and are the true stuff of anti-aging-science. But I don't recommend the E-PULSE (which, btw, has SIX different parabens in it)


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