Sunday, November 21, 2010

Aquafina FlavorSplash Lip Balm

I bought these lip balms in a three pack from WalMart for about $4 CDN, which included a 'bonus' tube of hydrating lip oil. The flavors included original, wild berry, and raspberry. The lip balms are formulated with jojoba oil, almond oil, and Vitamin E.

The lip balms are packaged in rectangular tubes, which are super fun and different. I enjoy pulling these chapsticks out and applying them because I like how the packaging is so original looking.

Upon application, the product leaves your lips with a cool, tingly sensation.

However, the smell is AWFUL. Even the flavored wild berry and raspberry ones are gag-tastic. It's like a combination of peppermint and pine trees and berries, and yet more disgusting than I'm sure that sounds. Putting the balm on, I try not to breathe in because the scent just about has me keeling over. It's not intolerable, but it's pretty gross, and I'd much rather prefer my lip balms to be smelling of cherries or watermelon or something of the like. Despite two of the three lip balms being scented, the added flavor of raspberry or wild berry does not seem to enhance or overpower the preexisting smell. In fact, the scents are very muted and almost indetectable - at least that's the case for me.

The balm is smooth and a moderate thickness. I'm one of those girls who really needs to slather on lip products, until they're built up to the maximum thickness I can tolerate on my lips. These lip balms require very little product (to me) to reach that desired thickness. They aren't sticky or heavy, but they coat my lips nicely.

I really love these lip balms. I feel that the balm coats my lips and starts locking in and infusing my lips with all the moisture they need. When they do wear off (from eating, drinking, passage of time...) I still find that my lips feel the remnants of the product long afterwards. My lips feel hydrated and soothed.

Included in the pack of three is also a bonus hydrating lip oil. The lip oil is also formulated with jojoba oil, almond oil, and vitamin E. It comes with a slant-tip applicator and squeeze tube. Upon first impression, the oil looks very much like a lip gloss, but when you apply it to your lips, it is the consistency between a lip gloss and an oil. It's not runny like your friendly kitchen olive oil, but it's not thick like a lipgloss. It's right smack-dab in the middle. However, it applies to the lips very glossy and shiny, mimicking a lip gloss. It gives your lips an even colder sensation than the lip balms, but I like this sensation almost better. It's very minty, and the oil seems to have more of a 'flavor' than the balms do - one that you can actually taste if you get it in your mouth. I really enjoy the lip oil. Not something for every day use, more like a special treatment for when your lips need a little extra TLC. It is very hydrating and you can feel it working immediately.

Overall, I really enjoy these products. I wasn't holding my breath for an 'amazing' product...but they really met and exceeded my expectations. Living in the frigid temperatures of my hometown (especially during the fall, winter, and spring) I definitely need the extra hydration - especially in the lip area. These definitely do the job :)

I give them 4 out of 5 stars.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wet N' Wild Walking on Eggshells Eyeshadow Trio

Wet N' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in "Walking on Eggshells" (380B), previously the Mega Eyes trio in "Egyptian Sands." I picked this up from WalMart for about $4-$5 CDN.

Wet N' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in "Walking on Eggshells" (380B)

Previously, Wet N' Wild Mega Eyes trio in "Egyptian Sands"

I don't recall when I first received the Wet N' Wild "Egyptian Sands" palette. All I remember is that it was a gift when I was like 12 or 13 years old. I didn't know anything about makeup and I didn't really wear makeup at all anyways - but I remember finding out that it was 'cool' to highlight your browbone when doing your makeup, so I used the shimmering white-gold color in the palette as my highlight shade - and it worked PERFECTLY. I never really used the other colors in the palette until I turned 18, and by that time, the highlight color in the palette had run out. *sad face* But I soon came to realize what a perfect NEUTRAL palette this was - for cheap!

Recently, Wet N' Wild did a huge repackaging and reformulation of their products. Sadly, my Egyptian Sands palette went with it. Except, not really. Wet N' Wild re-released the Egyptian Sands palette with the Color Icon Eyeshadow trios under the new name of "Walking on Eggshells." Don't be fooled though - they are the EXACT same product (despite looking different in the photos included above).

These eyeshadows are extremely 'creamy' and soft. They are very shimmery - not glittery - almost metallic because of the shimmer factor. They are moderately pigmented - the darker colors are more pigmented than the lighter colors. Each shade is imprinted with the place on the eye they are recommended to go (browbone, crease, eyelid). The browbone shade is a cream color - but shows up as a sheer white gold color. It makes a beautiful browbone, and facial highlighter. It is very shimmery, but almost comes off with sheen as opposed to looking like sparkly particles on your face. The eyelid color is caramel champagne shade, moderately pigmented, and very shimmery. On my skin tone, it adds only a little color - warming up my eyelid area more than anything, but works great as an all-over shadow color. The crease color is a deep bronze shade, also very shimmery. It is extremely pigmented in comparison to the other colors included in the palette.

Top row: No eyeshadow base
Bottom row: Urban Decay Primer Potion as base

Top row: No eyeshadow base
Bottom row: Urban Decay Primer Potion as base

When I want a more dramatic day look, but don't want the hassle of applying more than one shade to my lid, I just sweep the crease color all over my eye and blend the edges with a matte eyeshadow that is close to my skin color.

When used with an eyeshadow base, these colors blend SEAMLESSLY together. They compliment each other perfectly, and give the nicest wash of color over the lid.

I do not recommend using all three shades at the same time in one look - if you use the crease and eyelid shades, use a matte highlighter on the browbone. If you want to use the browbone shade as a highlighter, use more matte shadows on the lid. When used all together, these shades have a tendency to make it look like a shimmer bomb exploded on your eye.

However, if you've invested in a good eyeshadow base, these babies don't budge an inch. They are great quality for the price you pay, and last you FOREVER. They work perfectly for an everyday look - but I wouldn't recommend picking up this palette if you're looking for a deep, smokey evening look. This palette would be great for EVERYONE's skin tone, and really warms up the eye area, and adds shimmer to make the look extra special.

I highly recommend the Wet N' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in "Walking on Eggshells" (380B). Go out and BUY IT :)

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
* * * * *

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara

I have the L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara in Brown Black. I purchased it from WalMart for approximately $9-$10 CDN.

**Note: Just because this mascara does/does not work for me, doesn't mean that's the way it's going to work for's a game of trial-and-error for everyone, but these are just my thoughts and opinions on a product that did/did not work for me**

I was in the market for a new mascara - not necessarily a lengthening or volumizing formula, but I wanted a mascara that didn't dry out especially quickly, like my holy grail of mascaras, the CoverGirl LashBlast volume. I remembered having watched a review for the L'Oreal Clean Definition by pinkiecharm on YouTube, and trusting her high recommendations, splurged and picked up a tube.

The brush wand is not a fiber brush, like old school mascaras (back in the day), but rather a flexible silicone/plastic brush. The mascara claims to be 100% clump free, and to show 60% more length in your lashes. It is a lengthening formula that provides a natural look.

Upon trying the product, I was immediately disappointed.
The brush was extremely spikey, and hurt my lash line with each application - on my first application, I managed to stab myself in the eye with the wand - and let me tell you...the pain was indescribable. I mean, I've stabbed myself in the eye with the CoverGirl LashBlast wand, and countless other mascara wands (clutz that I am...) but this one hurt like you wouldn't believe.

In addition, I found the formula exceptionally clumpy - the prongs on the wand seemed to be too far apart on the brush to separate my lashes completely, and just applied too much product. I also found this mascara not to add any significant length to my, my eyelashes are long...but this mascara did not make them look crazy long...

I did enjoy the smooth, 'liquid-y' formula was not drying, and didn't make my eyelashes feel heavy or weighed down. After the mascara dried, my lashes (to the touch) were extremely soft and flexible, not crunchy and flakey. The color of the formula was unbelievable - very pigmented.

Overall...I don't like it. I don't appreciate the killer brush, and I don't appreciate the massive clumpage. If we could put the same formula in a different tube with a better brush - I would be ALL game. But since it's not, I will stick with my CoverGirl LashBlast Volume and keep my eyes peeled for the next best thing.

But for now, I give it 2 out of 5 stars.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tips for Eye Makeup Removal

Are you dropping money on expensive makeup removers? Are you tired of experimenting with makeup removers that don't work? Are you looking for a makeup remover that doesn't empty your wallet, and gives you more for the price you pay?

One solution: Vaseline.

Now okay. You're probably thinking - no way! I'm not putting Vaseline on my face to take off my makeup. And that's okay - you don't have to!

I only use Vaseline to take off my eye makeup. I take a marble-sized blob (for each eye) and apply it to a damp cloth (which is awful, I know...I've stained so many rags with my makeup escapades...) - maybe for you, you'd prefer a cotton pad, whatever suits your fancy - and I start working at my makeup...and let me tell you. Vaseline gets it ALL off.

It takes off your eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, primer - everything! In addition to being excellent at removing makeup, it's also moisturizing - rehydrating your eye area and actually making your eyelashes healthier too. I've noticed that since using Vaseline to take off my makeup, my eyelashes are softer and more resistant to breakage.

Vaseline is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores - so don't fret about that. It is dermatologist tested, and relieves dry skin and minor irritations.

One problem with Vaseline is - it's thick. Once you get it on your's exceptionally hard to take it off...this is why I suggest using it as a makeup remover AT NIGHT. In addition, if you get it in your eyes (which isn't recommended, but sometimes you can't help it...) it just collects in a goopy pile inside your bottom eyelid - which sounds disgusting, but I's not really as awful as it sounds. In the morning when you wake up, it will have collected in the inner corners of your eye, and you just wipe it off and get ready for your day. No harm, no foul.

In the evening, after removing the makeup from my eye area, I use a cleanser to get my foundation, concealer, and whatever else off my face area. I leave the Vaseline residue around my eye area, and go to bed. By the time I wake up in the morning, the Vaseline has absorbed into my skin, leaving my eyes hydrated and CLEAN!

So there is a quick tip for you on an affordable, yet efficient, eye makeup remover.

Enjoy your makeup free days!

Bonne Bell lipLITES

Shown left to right:
Cherry Berry Kiss, Strawberry Parfait, Angel Food Cake, Frosted Berry, Caramel Latte, Metallic Mocha, Vanilla Swirl, and Creme Brulee

I purchased my lipLITES from WalMart, Zellers, and Shoppers Drug Mart. They vary in price, depending on where you purchase them for approximately $3-$5 CDN. There is 7.7 mL of product in a tube, which comes with a doe-foot applicator.

I have collected these over a period of time, and was initially intrigued to purchase one after watching pinkiecharm, on YouTube, do a review of them: I immediately went out and purchased Caramel Latte.

And let me tell you - these babies are like, chapstick in a tube. Bonne Bell has a wide assortment of colors (and flavors) in the lipLITES line, and so it's easy to find a color or flavor for anyone.

The lipLITES are incredibly moisturizing for being a lipgloss. They are not especially sticky, but go on the lips smooth and creamy. Because of their lack of stickiness, these are not especially long-wearing lipglosses - do not expect them to stay perfectly shiny and unbudging on your lips - because they will disappear quickly. Each tube has its own unique scent AND flavor. The colors vary in pigmentation and finish.

(1) Cherry Berry Kiss -
This lipgloss smells like a cherry popsicle to me. It goes on extremely transparent. There is a slight cherry red tint to it, but not much. There is some shimmer particles in it - but they are very understated, almost unnoticeable, unless you're looking for them very closely - and even then, they are only visible in the tube. It is a very thin gloss, compared to the others - you do have to apply quite a lot to build up a heavy shine (if that's what you're going for). This gloss wears off quite easily, mostly absorbing into the lips and moisturizing them.

(2) Strawberry Parfait -
This lipgloss has your stereotypical strawberry scent - but it seems to me to be more of a believable 'strawberry' scent than your typical chapstick or other cosmetic product. It goes on your lips moderately opaque, as a milky baby rose pink. The color is exceptionally buildable. There are microscopic shimmers in it, but again, they do not show up on the lips very well. This is a longer lasting gloss, but still - don't expect a three hour wear out of it.

(3) Angel Food Cake -
Smells JUST like it's namesake. This lipgloss literally smells like someone shoved a whole angel food cake in the tube. It is my favorite gloss out of the bunch. This applies to the lips moderately opaque and has understated pink and blue shimmer. It is a bubblegum/Barbie pink color. This is also a longer lasting gloss.

(4) Frosted Berry -
Probably one of my least favorites of the bunch. It has a very berry flavor, though I cannot put my finger on exactly which ones. In the tube, this gloss seems to have an almost 'chunky' glitter in comparison to the others, but in application it goes on fairly sheer, and it isn't at all glittery or frosty as it is shimmery. It has pink and purple shimmer in it, and applies as a sheer magenta color. Like Cherry Berry Kiss, this is not a long lasting gloss.

(5) Caramel Latte -
My second favorite. This is THE perfect nude color, in my opinion. This smells like coffee. I've never had a 'latte' but I assume that it is fairly true (scent-wise) to its namesake. It does not smell like a really strong, black coffee, but rather a milky, sugary coffee drink, similar to our Tim Horton's Iced Caps. It applies moderately opaque nude camel brown color. It is shimmery - infused with green, pink, and brown shimmer that is understated. It is perfectly paired with a dark smokey eye look. It is relatively long-lasting (for this gloss line).

(6) Metallic Mocha -
Another least-favorite of mine. Metallic Mocha smells just like that...a mocha in a tube. It is an opaque milk chocolate brown color with understated silver shimmer. I do not like it because on my skin tone (fair...albino...what have you...) it appears muddy and unflattering. However, it is a long-lasting gloss in comparison to it's 'brothers and sisters.'

(7) Vanilla Swirl -
Has a very vanilla-y scent. Not like straight vanilla extract, but it's close. This is a frosty white-pink gloss, infused with green and purple shimmer. On the lips, this applies very opaque because of how frosty it is. Be careful with this one. However, this is exceptionally long lasting.

(8) Creme Brulée -
This smells JUST like creme brulée...or at least, the creme brulée I've had before. I find this scent extremely overpowering, and when I put it on my lips, it creates a smell barrier around my head so that others can smell it too. I find the smell slightly nauseating, and don't wear it very often, which is a shame because it is such a gorgeous gloss. It is an almost transparent nude color, there is virtually no color payoff for this gloss, but it also has green and purple shimmer in it. When on your lips, it definitely mutes the pigmentation of your lips - but doesn't wash you out like the Vanilla Swirl can. It's a really nice every day color, and has a decent wear.

All in all, these glosses are extremely good bang for your buck. Most have fairly good pigmentation, and all have exceptional flavors. At three bucks a pop, you're not really out all that much if you don't like them anyways. But for being incredibly moisturizing and pigmented at that kind of a price, I'd definitely say it's worth a try.

I would recommend Angel Food Cake, Caramel Latte, Cherry Berry Kiss, and Strawberry Parfait.

I give this product 4 out of 5 stars.
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St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub Exfoliating Oil-Free

I purchase St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub Exfoliating Oil-Free from WalMart (or drugstores) in the 300 mL tub for about $4-$6 CDN, depending on where you buy it. It claims to "deep [clean], instantly leaving skin smooth and glowing." It also states that it is non-irritating, dermatoligist tested, and made with 100% natural extracts.

Over the past two years, I've become a HUGE fan of exfoliating. It started during my second year at University - my friend, Lisa, used St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and I became curious about it. So I ended up trying it.

This particular scrub from St. Ives is very abrasive, in my opinion. It feels like tightly-packed, slightly moistened grains of sand. It has a smooth consistency, but is very grainy. Other exfoliants from St. Ives are more gentle - being more of a cream consistency with less exfoliating beads/grains. Do you ever come across those exfoliators where you end up with like, one bead, on your face, and you're trying to push that bead around to exfoliate your entire face? Ya. This particular scrub is not like that at all. You are hard pressed to find more of the cream in this product than the grains.

Personally, I like this kind of exfoliant. I can feel it doing its job - sloughing off dead skin and deep cleaning my pores to give my skin a polished look. When used with gentle circular rubbing motions, this scrub won't necessarily hurt, but it will be slightly uncomfortable initially - espeically around sensitive areas such as the nose and chin.

However, when you rinse your skin off - you look instantly renewed, refreshed, and revitalized - or at least, I do afterwards. Haha. This scrub leaves no area of your face untouched, and even when used with a gentle hand, will buff off that first layer of dead skin cells, revealing new, brighter skin underneath.

I find this scrub also very useful for my allergies. When I'm exposed to dog or cat dander/fur, my face breaks out like a crazy person. Oh boy. And my face flakes. I get this gimongo rash that just peels and peels and peels. I find this scrub especially useful for those allergic reactions, because I can get off some of that dead skin, without significantly irritating my rash underneath. I mean, don't get me wrong, rubbing grains all over a rash doesn't exactly feel pleasant, but it doesn't leave my face burning and sore - it just gets rid of the yucky flakes of dry skin lifting off my face.

I use a dollop about the size of a green grape over my entire face about once every two days. I use it in the shower in the morning, before I cleanse. Perhaps I shouldn't exfoliate that often, but it's what works for me.

I love the smell of this exfoliant, also. It's a fresh, sweet apricot scent - it's a heavier scent in the tub, but after you wash it off, the scent does not linger on the skin. The scrub itself is not at all moisturizing, so you will need to apply your regular moisturizer after using it.

The only thing I have to say is that my second tub had a very rancid smell to it after a few months, and I had to get rid of it and buy a new one. This was not true of my first or third tubs, so I'm thinking it was just one bad tub. Either way, it's something to watch out for.

I am on my third tub of this stuff, and I'm still loving it. Each tub lasts a substantial amount of time, even if you're using it every two days as I do. I highly recommend this to anyone who's looking for an easy way to deep-clean your pores and give your skin a fresh, revitalized look in a matter of minutes, with a price tag that won't break the bank. Again, if you're looking for something more gentle and less abrasive, check out St. Ives skin care line to find a scrub that's more gentle for your skin type.

I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

"Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting:
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
--Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

Herbal Essences: Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner

For moisturization.

I recently went to my parents' house for our Canadian Thanksgiving this year. My seventeen-year old sister was excited to share her new favorite product(s) with me - recently she had purchased Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo and conditioner. I tried it two separate times while at home, and was extremely elated with the results in such few uses. After trying it at my parents' house, I went out and bought myself some upon returning to my house - I paid about $3 CDN for a 300 mL bottle of the shampoo, and about $5-$6 CDN for 700 mL bottle of the conditioner at WalMart.

The product claims to quench thirsty hair with a fusion of orchid and coconut milk. It raves that it'll leave your hair silky and supple. Those are some pretty hefty claims for a mere drugstore hair cleanser.

Most often when I think of 'moisturizing' hair products, I think of greasy, flat, super-saturated tresses. I think of hair that takes eons to blow-dry because of all the heavy moisturizers in your hair, making it impossible to groom or maintain your 'do.' I most certainly did not expect such quick and amazing results as what I have gotten in the past...week.

First of all, both of these products smell like heaven. It is not a heavy scent, but rather a light one. There are heavier notes of the coconut than the fact, all I really smell is coconut, with a hint of floral sweetness - I suppose that would be the orchid. The smell of the shampoo lingers in your hair long after you've finished washing...however, after sleeping on it, the scent seems to have been smothered by my pillowcase and though my hair still smells 'clean'...(to me) it doesn't smell as delicious as it did just after washing.

Secondly, I have never considered my hair dry or 'parched.' Yes, it is curly, and a little frizzy at times - but never really 'dry.' However, this product proved me wrong on all accounts. My hair has never felt so healthy, never looked so luxurious, or felt this smooth. It moisturizes without being heavy. It doesn't feel like my hair strands are being suffocated by the product or weighed down by its benefits. My hair rinses clean of the product, but the benefits remain, and are felt for the whole day and even the day afterwards.

I have really been on a hair straightening kick lately, and while my hair will straighten, it has never held all day - even with heavy amounts of hairspray. HOWEVER, this shampoo and conditioner (used in conjunction) have changed my hair-straightening days forever. Not only does my hair hold the straightened style, I have less flyaways and frizz , and I barely require hairspray anymore.

Also, my hair does not get greasy anymore. Even the day after, my hair is soft, smooth, and healthy looking. It is not visibly greasy at the roots, and styles easily. Now don't get me wrong, it is still flatter than the day it was freshly washed...but it doesn't look gross.

Finally, I want to touch on the feel of my hair. If your hair could be as fluffy and soft as marshmallows, this is what this shampoo and conditioner do to my hair. It is so light and soft - it is indescribably wonderful.

If I had to recommend one of the products over the other, I'd suggest the conditioner. Both are extremely beneficial, and used together, they are SUPER! However, I'm not one to use conditioner - so I would recommend purchasing the conditioner to use on trial, before you commit to both the shampoo and the conditioner.

Now, this may not work for everyone like it works for me - everyone's body chemistry and hair styles/types are different. Maybe you don't need moisturized hair...but I would highly recommend this to everyone and anyone. All of you - run out and buy some now. Or at least pick up a 300 mL bottle of the conditioner and try it out - what could it hurt? And if you don't like it - send it my way ;)

I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

"Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting:
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
--Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment

This product claims to visibly reduce spots in 8 hours. It is a translucent gel that you use to spot-treat blemishes on the skin. It comes in a 0.5 oz tube, and recommends that you spot treat 2-3 times a day for optimal results.

I purchased this product for $9 CDN, which included a bonus tube of Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Clear Oil-Control Foaming Cleanser, from London Drugs.

I didn't have any expectations for either product, but was looking to try both in an attempt to find a new cleanser and (hopefully) spot treatment for acne. I have been using both products for approximately one month, but for now, I will just share my opinions of the spot treatment.

Originally, when I bought the product, I had a huge cystic zit in the middle of my eyebrows, up past the bridge of my nose. Cystic acne, for those of you who don't know, are infections under the skin. It is acne UNDER the skin, as a result, large nodules or cysts appear on top of the skin - they are nearly impossible to pop and are extremely painful.

So anyways, I bought this product and applied it to my blemish. It stings for a few seconds, because it contains 2% Salicylic Acid, but the pain quickly recedes. The gel absorbs quickly into the skin, depending on how heavily you layer it on - the more heavily you layer it, the longer it takes to absorb completely and will remain tacky on the skin for longer.

However, the claims that there is a visible reduction in your blemish eight hours later is a false claim. Eight hours later - there was no visible difference in my acne. I applied the gel again. And again, about 2 hours later. By the time I woke up the next morning, the only significant difference I could notice was the fact that my zit hurt substantially less than it had the day before. I kept applying the gel three to five times a day - and approximately 3-5 days after I started the treatment, my acne spot was virtually gone.

I have continued using this product for the entire month, and have kept coming up with similar results - especially during this past week, where I had a few more breakouts than normal. The treatment did not significantly speed up the healing process, to my knowledge. I would say, it sped up the repair of my skin about a day sooner than allowing the zit to go away au naturale would.

I also noticed that when you pop the zit first, and then apply the treatment, it takes the skin longer to repair itself than if you applied the treatment to an unbroken blemish.

All in all, I've concluded that this product is a waste of your money. I'm sure there are sigifnicantly more effective spot treatments out there - ones that give you better 'bang for your buck.' I wanted to love this product and have it become a staple in the upkeep of my skin, but it fell short of my lack of expectations.

I give it two out of five stars.

"Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting:
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
-- Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)