Wednesday, September 6, 2017

NeoStrata's New Acne Clear Line ~ Review

If you suffer from breakouts, you should check out NeoStrata's new Acne Clear line. Widely available at most major drugstores, this line will help treat active pimples while helping to prevent future breakouts. There are 2 different treatment options and today I'm sharing my thoughts on the system for severe acne.


The first step in any anti-acne routine is cleansing. NeoStata's Acne Clear Clarifying Gel Cleanser (200ml, $24.50 CAD) deep cleanses to wash away bacteria, oil and impurities. It's formulated with 2% salicylic acid to help dry up any active breakouts and unclog your pores to prevent future breakouts.


I love how clean my face feels after using this cleanser! I use it in the evening after oil cleansing and it leaves my face feeling deeply cleansed. A little goes a long way - which means this bottle will last a long time. Since my skin is prone to drying out, I only use this in the evening. If you have oily skin or have lots of breakouts I'd recommend using it twice daily.


The next step is applying NeoStrata's Acne Clear Clarifying Solution (200 ml, $29.50 CAD). Chemical exfoliation is key to treating and preventing acne. This clarifying solution contains both BHA (2% salicylic acid) as well as AHA (10% glycolic acid). In case you're not sure how BHA's and AHA's work here's a quick breakdown as found on NeoStrata's website .


GLYCOLIC ACID
The alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) of choice. Its small molecular size makes it effective in removing the build-up of dead cells on the surface of the skin. Has an ideal pH for better results.

SALICYLIC ACID 
A beta hydroxyl acid that dries and helps clear up acne pimples while reducing the severity of acne pimples, allowing skin to heal.

If you're new to using chemical exfoliants, its best to start slowly to build skin tolerance. Start by applying it at night, every other night, and gradually increase the frequency of applications. If you have severely problematic skin you can use it twice daily. If you have minimal breakouts or just want to prevent them, you can get away with applying it a few times a week. Alternatively, you can use it as a spot treatment. Always wear sunscreen when using AHA and BHA because they make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

I personally use it every other night and as a spot treatment because my skin tends to dry out fairly quickly. Even though I don't use it daily, the effects are still noticeable - smaller pores and reduced breakouts.


The final step is to apply NeoStrata's Acne Clear Acne Fluid Treatment (50 ml, $29 CAD). It helps to dry out pimples, absorb excess oil and minimize dilated pores. It also moisturizes leaving a shine-free finish, soothes skin and calms redness.

I don't know why, but I was expecting this to have more of a lotion texture seeing how it's the final step in this anti-acne routine. As the name suggests, it is indeed a fluid. Even though it is quite viscous, it feels very hydrating and that feeling lasts. It absorbs quickly and leaves my face looking calm and shine free. I only apply it once a day because my combo skin is prone to drying out when I use too much salicylic acid.

This anti-acne treatment plan has been helping my skin stay clear amidst the stress of moving so it gets a definite thumbs up from me!



You can find NeoStrata's Acne Clear range at most mass drugstores and online at well.ca




*press samples were provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Incoming! Dior Rouge Liquid & Double Rouge ~ Review + Swatches

Peter Philips (Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup) has revamped Dior's Iconic Dior Rouge lipstick in a big huge way and it's everything you've dreamed of and more! Meet Dior Rouge Liquid Lipstain and Dior Double Rouge 😍


"Laced with featherweight pigments that produce intense, vibrant colour that lasts up to 12 hours. Dior's first liquid lipstick is the next generation of liquid lipstick. A combination of wax, moisturizing oils, and setting agents make for a seamless, second-skin finish in one swipe."


Dior Rouge Liquid Lipstain ($43 CAD) is available in 29 shades (3 of which are Sephora exclusives) and three finishes (Rock Matte, Pop Satin and Electric Metal). Each shade boasts high impact colour, staying power and comfort. Optimum pigment dispersion reinforces colour intensity and each finish is formulated as follows:

- Matte effect: 2 to 7% pigments
- Satin effect: 1 to 3% pigments + 4 to 7% iridescence
- Metallic effect: 17 to 20% iridescence


When it comes to luxury packaging, Dior takes the cake. The sleek, navy tube has a vertical window that allows you to quickly view the shade as well as product usage. The wand is comfortable to hold and the doe foot applicator is by far the best I've ever used. There's a bowl shaped reservoir that holds just the right amount of lipstick and the tapered doe foot shape allows for precision lining and filling of the lips.


I have three shades (one from each finish category) and they are all very similar in formulation. They're definitely liquid lipstick, not a lipstain as the name suggests. It's important to note that they don't dry down completely which means that they will transfer. Having said that, they can hold their own when it comes to drinking and light snacking.



375 Spicy Metal is a stunning pink lipstick with a high-shine, metallic finish. It feels light on my lips and wears similar to a satin lipstick. Out of the three finishes I've tried, this one is the most pigmented, opaque and dries down the most (aka less transfer).



427 Delicate Satin is a light, peachy brown lipstick with a beautiful satin finish. It's incredibly comfortable to wear and gives off that 'my lips but better look'. From first application to end of the evening, this lipstick feels (and looks!) great.



424 Hypnotic Matte is a light, beige-brown nude with a pink undertone. It applies evenly, opaque and doesn't crack on my lips. It feels hydrating initially, but after extended wear it starts to feel a bit dry. Having said that, I don't feel the need to bathe in lip balm after wearing it.


Dior's Double Rouge ($43 CAD) is a dual-textured lipstick that has a highly pigmented matte outer ring with a metallic core. The concept is that the matte and metallic lipstick combine upon application to create a subtle ombré effect and an optical illusion of volume. It took up to 16 attempts to find the perfect balance for certain shades and 4 months to adjust the formula and perfect each stick.

Peter Philips created 4 colour families: fun and sophisticated reds, cheerful corals, electric purple pinks, and nudes. It's important to note that Double Rouge will not be available at Sephora.


Double Rouge is enclosed in the traditional Dior bullet packaging which is absolutely gorgeous. I was expecting these lipsticks to have a stark contrast when applied but thankfully they don't - the ombré effect is quite subtle and pretty. If you don't align the matte outer ring with the edges of your lips you won't get the ombré effect. Both of the shades I have feel very luxurious and comfortable on my lips.


429 Coup de Chic has a matte, rosy-nude outer ring with a soft pink mettalic inner core. When applied, the two combine to create a pinkish nude shade with a pearlescent finish. This shade is very light and feminine - I love it!



590 Dressed to Kill has a deep, matte burgundy outer ring with a champagne hued metallic core. When applied, the two combine to create a stunning wine red shade with a satin finish. I did find that when I tried to accentuate the ombré effect my lips looked a bit patchy as you can see in the photo. I had much better results when I forgo trying to ombré and just blended the two shades together.



You can find Dior's Double Rouge at Hudson's Bay, Beauty BOUTIQUE and Nordstrom or online at thebay.com and beautyBOUTIQUE.ca


You can find Dior's Rouge Liquid at Sephora, Hudson's Bay, Beauty BOUTIQUE and Nordstrom. Also available online at thebay.combeautyBOUTIQUE.ca and sephora.com




*Press samples were generously provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 25, 2017

St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion ~ Review

One of the hardest areas to (self) tan is my face. The majority of products are meant for body only and those that I've used on my face in the past have led to some pretty unreliable results or serious breakouts. Since I've had such luck with St. Tropez body products (review here and here), I thought I should give their facial products a try too!


"For the most iconic, natural, and healthy-looking tan, this lightweight, classic face lotion hydrates without blocking pores for a radiant golden glow. It’s streak-free, easy to apply, quick-drying, and non-sticky. The non-greasy formula creates a soft, smooth finish that’s perfect as a makeup base. Plus, it has no self tan smell, yet features a new mood-boosting fragrance. " /source/

St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion (50ml, $39) is formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates. It's tinted to ensure an easy application and it doesn't smell like DHA. It can be worn alone or under makeup as a base.


I decided to apply it before bedtime to give it some time to work it's magic. It was very easy to apply thanks to the colour guide and it dried to a satin-matte finish very quickly. When I woke up my face had a radiant glow with a hint of colour. Unfortunately, my face was still at least 3 shades lighter than my body. I decided to apply it again.


The second application gave me a bit more colour but that quickly disappeared in the evening when I washed my face. I applied it a third time, went to bed and woke up to the slightest hint of colour. Not wanting to throw in the towel just yet, I decided to get creative.

Since I was having such great results with St. Tropez's Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse (review here) , I figured why not mix that into the facial lotion? I added one dollop of mousse to the lotion, mixed and applied it to my face. I immediately noticed a difference! My face appeared much darker right after application and when I awoke in the morning, my face appeared much more tan.


The tan on my face doesn't last nearly as long as my body due to daily exfoliation, face masks and oil cleansing. In order to keep my glow, I have to apply St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion daily and every few days add in some of the Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse.

In my humble opinion, this facial lotion is better geared towards those who like a subtle tan or those looking to prolong their tan. If you want to look like you've spent a few weeks in the tropics, then it's not for you.



You can find St. Tropez products You can find St Tropez at Shoppers Drug Mart & beautyBOUTIQUE.ca, Murale, London Drugs & londondrugs.com, Hudson's Bay & thebay.com, Uniprix and Nordstrom



*This post features press samples sent to me for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

Summer might be coming to an end, but I'm not ready to say bye to my tan just yet. Even though I've been religiously applying sunscreen, I still managed to get a tan and I plan on keeping it!


St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse (120ml, $54) is a lightweight, easy-to-apply at home tanning mousse that self-adjusts to create a custom tan. It's formulated without parabens, sulfates and phtalates.

"For an iconic, natural, and healthy-looking tan, this newly formulated, lightweight classic mousse tailors to your individual skin tone, for that longest-lasting tan in one application. It’s streak-free, easy to apply, quick-drying, non-sticky with no transfer, and ultra-hydrating. Plus, it has no self tan smell, yet features a new mood-boosting fragrance. " /source


St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse is tinted to ensure even application. Although It doesn't smell like DHA when first applied, it's slightly noticeable a few hours after application.


I found it very easy to apply with a tanning mitt and my results were definitely streak-free.  I found that two full compressions of the pump was enough to cover each area of my body (2 for my calves, 2 per thigh, etc). It dries quickly so I was able to dress almost immediately after application.


You're not supposed to get wet for at least 4-8 hours after application so I applied it before bedtime. I found that one application gave me a light, natural looking tan but I'm all about being extra (and really bronzed!) so I decided to apply it again. 


After rinsing my body with water only, I applied a second coat staying away from problem areas (ankles, knees, wrists and elbows). I left it on the whole day and night. When I woke up I was much darker! My upper body was super dark due to the fact that I already had a natural tan. My legs weren't quite as dark as my upper body, so I went ahead and redid them. Although they don't completely match my upper torso, they're close enough!

I've had my tan on for just over a week and it still looks amazing! To help prolong it, I gently exfoliate every few days and moisturize with St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion (review on that here).

Tomorrow I'll be sharing how I tan my face with St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion so stay tuned for that!


You can find St. Tropez products You can find St Tropez at Shoppers Drug Mart & beautyBOUTIQUE.ca, Murale, London Drugs & londondrugs.com, Hudson's Bay & thebay.com, Uniprix and Nordstrom



*This post features press samples sent to me for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow ~ Comex Copper

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow, older sister of the crowd favourite Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, is an insanely beautiful foil-finish eyeshadow that will glam up any eye look.


"Create metal eyes that mesmerize with our Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow, a striking cream-to-powder shadow with a multidimensional metallic finish. Inspired by the runway, our one-of-a-kind formula is packed with rock-and-roll sparkle to achieve a variety of effects, from a light wash of shimmer to an opaque metallic finish. It also comes with a mini Stay All Day® Liquid Eye Primer & handy mixing tray... simply prime, combine and shine!" /source


Each Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow ($42) comes in a kit that includes (almost) everything you need to create beautiful foiled eye looks. In the kit you receive 1 shadow, 2 mixing plates and a mini Stay All Day Liquid Eye Primer. The only thing that's missing is a little spatula to remove the shadow from the pan. I usually use my nail or the end of a brush.


To make the shadow useable, simply add a dab of shadow, drop of primer and mix. The consistency depends on the ratio of shadow to primer you use; I find it ends up more liquid-y. As you mix it, you will notice varying sizes of foiled glitter.



I like to apply it with my finger or an angled eye liner brush. I'm sure a sponge tip applicator would work well too. It glides on easily and dries fairly quickly. Sometimes it will crease but it usually doesn't. It wears well and the fallout is minimal and to be expected - it's heavy on the glitter!


Although the price seems steep, the amount of shadow you use is so minimal, it will last quite a long time. I can foresee myself running out of the primer before the shadow.  I suspect that you could use Inglot's Duraline as a mixing medium if needed.



You can find Stila's Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in-store at Beauty BOUTIQUE and online at beautyBOUTIQUE.ca


Have you tried Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow? Are you a fan of foiled eyeshadow? Let's chat in the comment section below 👇



*This post features press samples sent to me for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Givenchy's Noir Interdit ~ A truly Innovative Mascara

As beautiful as false lashes are, they just aren't practical for daily use (for me at least). That's where good great mascara comes in.


Givenchy recently released Noir Interdit and It's unlike any mascara I've ever tried.  First of all the packaging - it's sleek, luxurious and totally glam. The tube has some weight to it, but it's still comfortable to hold and use.


One of the first things that I noticed about this mascara was that it smells - really good! I've never used a  mascara that had a discernible scent and I must admit, I love it! Now if that's not enough to pique your interest, meet the wand.


No, it's not broken. The comb swivels 90° to help lift, separate and lengthen eyelashes. Although it looks awkward to use, it's totally not!


Once you remove the wand from the tube you gently push the head of the brush against the tube and voila, you have your curved brush. Starting at the base of your lashes, zig-zag the comb up through your lashes. The unique wand combined with the formula creates a lash extension effect with buildable volume and no clumps. To build volume, rotate the comb to the standard position and comb through as you would with any traditional mascara.


I'm not wearing any eyeliner or eyeshadow (just a touch of concealer) in the before and after photos so that you can see the true effects of Noir Interdit. I took these photos the very first time I used the mascara.



My lashes nearly doubled in length with just one coat and I didn't experience any clumping. The Noir Interdit formula is easy to work with (not thick and not too thin) and it holds a curl for the whole day. If your lashes are straight like mine, I'd recommend using an eyelash curler prior to using this mascara (or any mascara).

In the photo I focused on building length since this mascara is marketed as a lengthening mascara. In subsequent uses I experimented with adding volume and I was able to add quite a bit by rotating the wand and applying a second coat.

I didn't experience any flaking or smudging wearing Noir Interdit and removal was fairly easy. Honestly, I'm impressed by Givenchy's Noir Interdit. If you love luxury beauty and long lashes as much as I do, than this mascara is totally for you!


You can purchase Givenchy's Noir Interdit in-store at Sephora and online at sephora.com for $38



*This post contains press samples

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick ~ Review + Swatches

Liquid lipstick is by far my favourite type of lipstick so when I heard that Bite Beauty was releasing a liquified version of their lipstick, I knew I had to have it!


Luckily for me (and my wallet) Influenster was kind enough to send me three complimentary shades to review plus the Line & Define Lip Primer. I received FlambĂ© (red), Éclair (pink) and Demi GlacĂ© (brown).


"The liquid lip gets redefined with this handcrafted, moisture-rich, high-pigment formula. Bite Beauty’s most nourishing lipstick, Amuse Bouche, gets liquified, while offering rich, high-impact color and a creamy, comfortable application that glides on with unprecedented precision. Created by hand in small batches, Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick is made with natural monoi butter and coconut oil, which melts at the temperature of your lips to glide on for ultimate wear and a satiny finish. With 12 modern, wearable shades you’ve never seen from Bite Beauty, this collection gives everyday lip color an unexpected twist." /source/


Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick is super moisturizing and wears comfortably. The demi-glaze finish is very flattering and lends to the hydrating feel of this lipstick. It's important to note that it's long wearing but not transfer proof; if you eat or drink it will come off.


Éclair and FlambĂ© were the most pigmented and applied the most evenly and opaque for me. I found Demi GlacĂ© a bit tricky to apply and at times appeared patchy. I'm not a huge fan of the shade either as it's just too dark for my taste. As far as wear goes, they last longer than a bullet style lipstick but not as long as a liquid matte. After 3 or 4 hours I need to touch up.   


I also received Bite Beauty's Line & Define Lip Primer in this VoxBox. It looks very similar to their CrĂšme Lip Crayon in size (review here) and it has a hint of mint in it which I love. It feels so hydrating and it smooths my lips out leaving them perfectly primed for lipstick.


You can find these and other products from Bite Beauty exclusively at Sephora and sephora.com


*I received these products complimentary for testing and review purposes but all opinions are my own. If you're not a member of Influenster yet and would like to join, feel free to use my referral link