Friday, 14 December 2012

Makeup on Celebrities

 Lauren Alaina here won something important at an awards show the other night. The poor thing's face does not match the rest of her body!
Her dress is pretty. Too bad about the mismatched skin. Maybe it was the lighting on the red carpet because she looked better in another shot I found:

You can tell the lighting is totally different because her dress looks like a more buttery yellow in this inside shot, whereas in the red carpet shot it's a brighter yellow.

Next time I hope her makeup artist bronzes her face more!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Avocado Oil

by Megs

Move over, Argan Oil, there is a new oil in town! And by "move over," I mean "make room because I love you both the same."

Argan Oil is my serum and night cream in one. But I did a little research on avocado oil and it is also extremely beneficial for your skin. It supports skin's natural elasticity. Awesome! My skin is not droopy, or saggy, or wrinkly. But I look at my 3 and a half year old's skin and think "Yep, this is what every beauty fiend is trying to achieve the look of! That is why the "beauty industry" is a mult-billion dollar one." My skin is never going to look like my toddler's skin. It just isn't, but if I take care of it, it can stay fresh and youthful looking for much longer...I hope!

Like Argan Oil, avocado oil (why is one capitalised and the other isn't? I don't know! It annoys me!) is not full of difficult to pronounce ingredients. It has just one ingredient - avocado oil. At night, after I smooth on my Argan Oil and let it absorb for a bit, I smooth on my avocado oil and let it absorb for a bit.

It is not only good for skin! It is also good for your hair! I oiled my hair last weekend. I have to admit, I was skeptical. I mean, I wash my hair to keep it from being oily. Isn't oiling it counterproductive? Not necessarily!  I mean, as long as you wash out the oil you'll get the moisturising benefits of it without the greasy look. I have extremely fine, delicate hair. It breaks off very easily, particularly in a dry, northern BC winter. After putting avocado oil in my hair and leaving it for about 15 minutes, then washing it out, then drying it (half air-drying, half blow-drying) my super-fine, breakable hair was flexible! It felt moisturised and my rampant flyaways were noticeably (to me) reduced. This is a new treatment I plan to add to my weekly beauty routine. I hope the more I do it, the more flexible my hair becomes and the less it breaks.

I bought Now Foods Avocado Oil from (because I love!) and unlike so many beauty products, you get a lot for a little! $7.49 for 118 mL. You use so little, it will last and last.

Full disclosure: I really don't like taking photos for this blog because I'm not very good at it. But I feel like finding photos online instead of taking them myself is kinda cheating. I kinda cheated this time because my own bottle of avocado oil is all oily & not as pretty as the one pictured.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Live Clean Daily Moisturiser

 by Min
I was so excited when I heard that Live Clean (which I usually accidentally pronounce as "live" as in "man alive") was coming out with a skin care line.  They are such an affordable and safe brand and I love their paraben and phthalate free shampoos and conditioners that smell just wonderful. The first product from their skincare line I bought was the Soothing Daily Moisturizer.  My sensitive skin was immediately tempted by the word "soothing" and it was a steal at $19 for 150ml.  That’s a whole lot of moisturiser! So I bought one for myself and one for an exchange that I was going to do. I was immediately disappointed because the texture is so thin.

Then I noticed a funny smell.  It was the smell of old, wet cloths. You know, that smell of humidity when your clothes have been sitting damp in the dryer for a week? (Not that I do that!) I thought that it must have been my towel.  The next day, I changed the towel (that didn't smell bad) and tried it again. That smell! I double checked my towel and it smelled fine.  A terrible, sinking feeling came over me as I re-opened the bottle and took a whiff. Yep, it was the moisturiser. I was so disappointed.  I am so disappointed.  I was looking forward to using this Canadian brand that I have enjoyed so far. Also, I had sent one for the exchange that I was doing and I hope that she didn't get the same problem.

I would not normally do anything but I feel that I have been robbed, not only of my money but of my Live Clean joy.  I called the company and I’m hoping that it’s just a bad batch. I’m still waiting to hear what they have to say. What about other Live Clean products? What are your experiences?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Korres Provitamin B5 and Rice Bran Mascara

By Megs

Doesn't it just sound like an awesome product? It has provitamin B5 and rice bran! It's not just any old mascara! It's healthy mascara! I was led to it by one of my fave beauty blogs, Brittany reviewed another Korres mascara called Korres Volcanic Minerals Volumizing Mascara. That review made me want to try Korres mascara. When I hit up the Sephora site, the Provitamin B5 and Rice Bran one was a little duo pack. Fun! So I bought it. I still love the name. I still love the idea of the vitamins and the rice bran! Do I love the mascara? Wellllllll, I wanted to. It is resoundingly OK. I have decent lashes - they're not the longest or the fullest or the...lashiest. But they're decent, and I'm happy with them. This Korres mascara is just fine on them. If I felt like my lashes needed all the length and volume that advertisers beat us over the head with, I would be really disappointed in this mascara. It coats my lashes. It doesn't add length for miles, or oodles of volume. It just coats them, makes them a bit blacker. I don't love this mascara, but I don't hate it either. I'll use it until it is gone, or expires (who am I kidding? I'll use it way past expiration!) and then I'll try something else. Maybe the Volcanic Minerals mascara...I probably should have just gone with that one in the first place!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Prodigy Hourglass Lipgloss

By Min
I don’t wear lip gloss or lipstick and my favorite lip product will probably always be the pot of blue Blistex Medex . One day, I had a passing thought that I should wear some sort of lip product in order to make my overall presentation of myself more polished.  My dry-looking lips were not doing anyone a favour - especially me!  So I asked Megan to find me a lip gloss and she found Prodigy Hourglass, $30. A little steep for a product that I usually don’t use but what the hell, a little extravagance once in a while doesn’t hurt anyone...really.  It comes in a funky looking package that fits inside your palm. I picked nude because I didn’t want to risk getting a colour that I would ultimately not end up wearing.  The first day that I wore it at work, everyone noticed.  I guess lips really can garner attention, wanted or otherwise. I like it because it’s not sticky and it doesn’t smell like fake candy or pineapples or chocolate.  The applicator is a bit awkward but I like the subtle colour. I don’t use it everyday because of the price and it also gets easily lost in my bag which makes it easy to forget. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

by Megs

A good friend of mine did my makeup for my wedding. Beforehand, we went shopping and spent an obscene amount of money on makeup. That was my introduction to smashbox primer. If you have never been introduced to smashbox primer, take charge and go meet it. Because you will become besties with it and never want to live without it. I promise. It feels so good, so smooth. I have tried other primers like Cover FX (Canadian!) which I found to be too greasy for me, and Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-Reversing Primer, which I wanted to love. (Doesn't it sound amazing? I love the "Oak Age-Reversing" title.) But it was too lotion-y and not primer-y enough for me. I wear smashbox primer, BB cream and foundation. That may sound like a lot but I believe that the more layers there are on my face, the more protection it is getting and also, my skin tone doesn't look even enough for me without all 3. I am getting low on smashbox primer, which is why I borrowed a photo from smashbox's site instead of taking a pic of my own tube. I will definitely always re-purchase my smashbox primer. It really does smooth everything out and make it easier to apply the next layer, be it BB cream, foundation or whatever you use. At $44 cad a tube, it's not cheap, but you only need a smaller-than-pea-sized bloblet for your face so a tube will last you awhile. 

I kind of want to try the More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting but it costs a bit more. I don't know if I want to take that gamble when I already love the regular primer so much. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting primer

By Min
When I received this product from Megs (who else?!), I wondered what it was. Since I don’t use foundation, I thought it was an odd present. But now I realize why she would get it for me.  First of all, the smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting $38 is a foundation primer.  Its very green colour helps diminish redness and evens out skin. The other colours such as lavender are for Asian skin tones and the apricot is to conceal eye-bags, sunspots and veins. Gosh, I really think I need them all! Anyway, it has a really nice feel and goes on silky smooth.  Once the foundation is on, the primer is supposed to help it set and stay in place.  I only wear a BB (beauty balm) under my eyes and cheeks. But the BB glides on like nobody’s business. It is really seamless and looks way better than the BB by itself. Apparently you can also use it by itself but I find that it's not fantastic on its own. I say it works best as a primer but maybe that’s because I have a lot of redness on my cheeks. I was really skeptical about this product but as soon as I used it, I changed my mind.  

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Toleriane Soothing Protective Skincare

By Min
I find it very scary going into the pharmacy because everything is so shiny and bright.  When I went to buy a new facial cream, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted but I was swayed by the Laroche-Posay representative present on that particular day.  I am not particularly partial to Laroche-Posay but when I say I have sensitive skin, the cosmeticians always point directly to that line.  So once again I tried a new product.  This time it’s Toleriane for $31.  I tried Toleriane Ultra and my skin broke out like it was 1997.  I chose the non-rich format because it was still summer at the time.  At first I thought that I should have gone with the rich formula because the cream felt so thin. However, my skin didn’t feel tight or like it was not hydrated enough.  It went on super smoothly and it made my skin feel immediately relieved and soft.  And though it is fragrance-free, I feel it has a nice scent.  This is the first Laroche-Posay product I have really enjoyed using. I even bought it again even though I wanted to try something else.  Next time I will try something new!

Monday, 22 October 2012


I only use "3 free" nail polish - polish that is free from DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde - and not tested on animals, of course. I found Zoya by scouring the internet for "natural nail polish." Of course, no nail polish is actually natural, it is composed of chemicals. But we can go a little safer and use "3 free." Lots of brands are "3 free" nowadays; it's not hard to find them. Zoya is by far my favourite brand. Why? I don't know. I can't say that the whole line is better than China Glaze, or OPI, or others. I just like Zoya best.

I got into nail art in the summer. My two downfalls are that I'm not artistic and I'm not actually very good at painting my nails. Patience has helped me get better (but not any more artistic) - a slower paint job will look better than a hurried one. These days I don't really have time to fool around with nail art, unfortunately. While I hate the word "dotticure," you kind of can't go wrong with one. They look so cute and are actually easy to do and hardly more time-consuming than just a normal polish job. I did these on Thanksgiving long weekend while at my parents'  house - lots more time to relax and paint my nails there.

Polishes used Deborah Lippman Hard Rock Hydrating Nail Hardener as the base, Zoya Dove as the grey base, China Glaze Recycle as the dots, Zoya Monica for the accent nail, Zoya Armor as the topcoat and Nicole by OPI drying drops.

Ombre Mani

Further to my love of nail polish and easy-to-do, non-time consuming nail art, I did an ombre mani recently. I am kind of excited that summer is over and now I can use my darker nail polishes, like greys and black, although I do love colour, bright, cheerful colour, and wear it whenever I can - clothes, shoes, makeup and nail polish, I generally opt for colour over neutrals. But I waited all summer to bring my grey polishes back out, I love grey nail polish - creams more than glitter.
From left to right, polishes used: Zoya Raven, China Glaze Recycle, Zoya Dove, OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Zoya Purity. Basecoat shown in top pic, Deborah Lippman Hard Rock Hydrating Nail Hardener and top coat Zoya Armor. 

You can't miss the red polish all over Raven - I had a catastrophe last Monday. I have this case that houses all my polishes. The handle is on the lid. While carrying it, the lid half-opened, causing me to drop the whole case. Myrta from the Sunshine set broke and got everywhere - I had only used it once! Something Sweet by China Glaze also broke and I had also only used it once! Now I need a new storage plan for my polishes. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

Biotherm Biocils

 by Min

When I bought my favorite mascara Shiseido Perfect Mascara (see my previous review), The salesperson asked if I wanted a make-up remover. I usually use my cleanser as a make-up remover and figured that she was just trying for a higher sale.  At the time, I felt that spending $30 for a mascara that  may not even work was enough so I ignored her comment.

When I tried to take off the mascara, it would not come off.  Oh dear! What was I to do? I had some leftover samples of some cream cleanser/make-up remover but it did a half-assed job and I resigned myself to the necessity of having to buy a real, paraben-free make-up remover.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Swap with Tattooed Tealady

by Megs
Sophia of Tattooed Tealady and I did a swap that was end of August/beginning of September. And it was awesome. I had so much fun shopping for her, buying Canadian products for her that she may not have had the chance to try otherwise (she is British). I learned that Annabelle is Canadian! I didn’t know that; they are now on my radar as a brand to try. I also learned that Annabelle and Marcelle are sister companies – Marcelle was the skincare side and Annabelle the cosmetic side although Marcelle does have some of its own makeup. In summary, the buying portion of the swap was lots of fun.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Neutrogena naturals fresh cleansing

 by Min

Going paraben-free is not always the cheapest option.  So, when I saw that Neutrogena launched a natural-line of face products, I gravitated toward it in the pharmacy.  I bought the fresh cleanser + make-up remover for under $10 - very reasonable, I felt.  First of all, I have to say that my relationship with Neutrogena is a rocky one.  We had a great time during university years, then the harshness of some of their cleansers turned on me and gave me mung.  Mung is puffy, hard, sand-paper-ish, red skin that hurts like a son-of a-gun.  It also doesn’t look very good.  So I tried the Neutrogena naturals fresh cleanser with apprehension.  I was having a massive reaction to something I had used but I thought it was getting better, even still, I decided to try the face wash right away. I continued to experience a reaction but I thought it was the Neutrogena product so I stopped using it after one day and I told Megs that I would send it to her.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Arbonne Clarifying Toner

 by Min

Megs is always trying to buy me something or another.  I think it makes her feel better about not visiting me (I live in Quebec and she lives in BC). So when I went to visit, I think she noticed all sorts of things about my skin that she wanted to fix.  As a result, I received Arbonne’s Clear Advantage $21, a clarifying toner.  I don’t break-out but I understand how she could have mistaken the imperfections for buttons (in French, they call zits, buttons.  Isn’t it cuter?)   I tried it anyway.  At first I only used it every other day because I was scared to have a reaction.  Furthermore, the list of ingredients takes up the whole backside of the box. Parabens are not the only scary stuff in products, they have nasty counterparts as well. The liquid itself is not clear but milky and it doesn’t sting.  Then after a week, I started using it every day and no reaction.  Phewf!  After a week, I started getting little white buttons.  Weird.  So I stopped using it for a couple of weeks.  When I tried it again, I got buttons again.  Coincidence? I think not.  I don’t have an acne problem so maybe this wasn’t the best toner for me.  On a positive note, if you do break out and have sensitive skin, this might very well work for you. Should I test it a third time? Or should I try another toner? Suggestions?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 40

by Megs

After falling so profoundly in love with Josie Maran Argan Oil, I was really excited to try the Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 40. It’s a broad spectrum SPF and I don’t totally understand what that means except that it’s the “good” kind of sunscreen.

Aside from being a ridiculously rich, jet-setting model, Josie Maran sounds like someone I have a lot in common with. She started her brand in order to make natural, chemical-free, safe beauty products available to women.

The Josie Maran website says this:

Friday, 5 October 2012

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

By Megs
OK, I definitely blame Sophia of Tattooed Tealady for my urge to purchase this blush for myself. She asked for one in the swap we did. Unfortunately, I either ordered the wrong colour or Sephora sent the wrong colour. Sophia asked for Tipsy and we got Dollface. Quite different colours, and I wanted to replicate Tipsy as closely as I could with another blush. So I went on a hunt throughout the interwebs, to learn why this tarte blush is so special and what I could find that would be slightly similar that I could possibly buy locally. Similar blushes? Nary a one. tarte is special, check out this page about Amazonian clay on tarte's site. The Amazonian baked clay they use is special. It’s good for your skin. It lasts 12 hours!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

eos Hand Lotion

By Megs 

I was introduced to eos this summer on every beauty blog I read, it seemed. All the beauty bloggers were talking about the eos lip balms. I can't use lip balms, although I admit to being sorely tempted by those cheery, brightly coloured spheres. I searched all over my immediate area for the Lemon Drop one for the swap I did with Sophia of Tattoed Tealady. No luck. I was like a maniac, checking every store that could possibly carry them. I actually don't know if they were ever even available in B.C. Sophia ended up getting one in Lemon Drop from someone else. That is the flavour I would have bought myself if I'd found it.

Anyway, reading about them lead me to wanting to know more about the brand. eos does not use parabens, phthalates, or test on animals! Yay!

Monday, 1 October 2012

What are Parabens?

by Megs
Parabens are preservatives. They are what keeps your shampoo, blush, mascara, shaving cream, deodorant - any beauty or hygiene product, really - looking and feeling the way it should for as long as it lasts. Parabens are cheap to produce and are effective at what they are supposed to do.

So, what is the problem with them? Well, they have been linked to cancer - specifically breast cancer in women. While it has not been definitively proven that parabens cause cancer, they mimic hormones and it is a fact that exposure to estrogen is closely linked to breast cancer. Incidence of breast cancer in men as well as testicular cancer are on the rise. If there is a chance that your body lotion or soap could be connected to cancer, do you really want to keep using it? I don't. There's a high rate of breast cancer in my family. If I can reduce my risk, even just a little, bit by avoiding parabens, why wouldn't I? Lots of companies are wising up to consumer demand and removing parabens. Paraben-free products are readily available. It's up to you to avoid them, all you have to do is read the ingredients!

I got my info here:

Friday, 28 September 2012

Juice Beauty Age Defy Green Apple

By Megs
I can't remember how I found Juice Beauty, but I did. And I'm glad I did. There's so many products of theirs I want to try, I had a hard time deciding where to begin. I went with skincare, and one of my main concerns, anti-aging. Most of their anti-aging products are these green apple ones. I opted for the kit, since it was an affordable way to try 5 products at once. I give anything I buy from anywhere in the US 2 weeks to arrive and Juice Beauty was right on time.

 Juice Beautybsays this about the kit: Brighten, lighten and tighten with an age-defying organic fruit acid complex and an antioxidant cocktail of peptides, DMAE, alpha lipoic acid, fat-soluble Vitamin C and CoQ10.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

e-sen-cia shampoo and conditioner

When you wash and condition your hair. It should feel clean, smell good and feel supple and smooth. This is not the case with e-sen-cia by Samy. I bought the white lotus barley and nettle hydrating shampoo and conditioner because it was on the liquidation shelf at Shoppers' and it looked super natural-looking and cool. Plus, it was at a steal at half the price $4.  So I bought several bottles of each.  Big mistake because now I'm stuck with it and this stuff stinks.  I mean really stinks!  It is sulfate and paraben-free and claims to use natural plant extracts but it is so foul that I dread having to take a shower.  After using the shampoo, my hair feels heavy and greasy.  And after using the conditioner, there is no soft-run-my-fingers-through-my-hair-feeling. The heavy residual feeling lasts and worsens over the course of two days. Terrible! I might not be able to stand it much longer. What is the worst smelling product that you have ever tried?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Makeup on Celebrities

By Megs 
As much as I love makeup for myself, on myself, I don't really notice it too much on other people in real life. And by that I mean, I don't notice it enough to have an opinion on it. The same is true of celebrities. Between you and me, I have a bit of a celebrity gossip addiction so I'm always reading the blogs and know who wore what and when. Blah, blah, blah whatever. However, in my daily gossip reading, I came across this unfortunate look on poor Julie Gonzalo here. In the thumbnail I was like "omg, what is with the eyes!?!" When I checked out the closer pic, I saw they're half smoky, half gold glitter. Separately, I love both those looks. Together? As seen here? Not so much. She is clearly lovely, and whomever did her makeup did a great job over the rest of her face. Her eyes just aren't working for me. What do you think? Am I way off? Is this "the look" and I'm just outta the loop on it? Weigh in, please.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

By Megs
I read about this eye cream here on The Paraben Free Princess. And I knew I had to try it. I was "eyeing" it (ha! see what I did there!?) on and missed out; they sold out. So I went to the source, 100% Pure's own site and did some window shopping that quickly turned into shopping shopping. I bought the eye cream (obviously; since that's what this review is about) and also needed a new serum so I ordered one. And bonus! I got a free, full sized body scrub, which I will review another time. The downer was that I ordered my eye cream and serum, got the confirmation email, and then got an email from 100% Pure saying they were sold out of the serum. Rather than refunding my money, they kept it as a credit for me to use on the site...and it was very easy for me to find something else there I wanted (the brightening night balm). They also gave me free shipping on both orders, yay!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Marcelle BB vs Missha BB

By Min

When I first read about BB (Beauty Balms), I was so excited!  It had originated in Asia and it was apparently the miraculous cure for uneven skin tone, imperfections and other nuisances. So immediately after reading this article in MacLeans I went and  bought the Marcelle BB for medium to dark skin, $18. This BB claims to be an 8 in 1 product.  You can find the eight benefits as reported from the Marcelle website here. Or read them here.

Marcelle BB Cream
-Evens out skin tone
-Offers immediate and long-term hydrating benefits
-Protects from premature aging and environmental stresses
-Promotes skin regeneration
-Matifies skin and controls shine
-Soothes and calms skins
-Minimizes the appearance of imperfections and pores
-Excellent make-up base provides anti-dull radiant complexion


By Megs
The more I read about this, the more I thought I should try one. At $25 usd a pop, they are not cheap. But they last, and they’re supposed to be the be-all, end-all way to apply foundation. I have to say, I was not sold the first few err several times I used it. So it applies foundation well. That is for sure. I just don’t know if it applies it any better than my fingers do. There’s definitely less makeup wasted the finger way – almost everything that is on my hand makes it onto my face. I really should get the beautyblender wet before I use it because then it will soak up less foundation. But I keep forgetting to do that! That is no fault of the sponge, obviously. I’ve used my fingers to apply foundation for years. Years and years – maybe almost as long as I’ve been wearing foundation. I have never used a brush to apply foundation. Maybe the beautyblender just does a way better job than the old foundation brush? It makes sense that it would do a better job than regular makeup sponges. They have angles. The beautyblender is round. Our faces are roundish. The two seem to go together better, no? I don’t know – that makes sense to me.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Shiseido Perfect Mascara

By Min
Finding the right mascara has always been a really difficult challenge for me. I have your typical Asian eyelashes; they are bone-straight and they give me raccoon eyes.  Since switching to paraben-free products, my mascara was one of the last products that got changed.  Even within the commercial brands, it was hard to find a mascara that would not flatten my eyelashes (once curled).  Then I tried Shiseido.  Can I call this an “Aha moment?”  Shiseido Perfect Mascara $30 that was formulated in Japan has changed my views on buying the cheap commercial brands at the drugstore (I did buy it at the drugstore but in the high-end section).

Weleda Skin Food

By Megs
I read a review of this on another beauty blog (forget which). I have really dry skin, and the climate in central BC where I live is dry, except in winter when it is extremely dry. I knew this product was something I needed to try. At first I didn’t like how it smells. But after using it a few times, I don’t dislike it. It’s kind of an acquired smell, I guess. And it is greasy. But it works. It is a thick, greasy cream that really moisturises. Weleda is a well-known brand for users of natural products. I paid $18.99 for 75 ml on (no shipping, though!) and I felt like the price was kinda high when I got it and saw the size of the tube. That seems to be the going rate, however, as on Weleda's site, it is $18.50. As I plan to use it only once a day I anticipate it lasting quite awhile.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Min’s Hypersensitive Skin

By Megs
I think I can say, with no hyperbole whatsoever, that Min has the most sensitive skin in the universe. I’m always on the hunt for products that I want her to try, and then I offer to buy them for her. She turns me down because she thinks I spend too much on beauty products and she’s right, I totally do. Anyway, the thing with sensitive skin is that when you have something that works for you, you don’t want to stray from it – totally understandable. I’ve come across these 2 products that I am just desperate for Min to try.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 (NC20)

By Megs
OK, so I got a beautyblender, which is really a review for another time. But I will say I wasn’t initially sold. I used it to apply my smashbox High Definition Healthy FX Foundation and was ambivalent. I also used it to apply benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow (a sample which may have been the wrong colour for my face). Last Thursday I actually had an evening out and used my new beautyblender to apply my MAC Studio Fix Fluid. I am so in love with that foundation! I don’t know why I ever strayed (oh yeah, I thought it might have parabens in it). But it was a learning experience.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Josie Maran Argan Oil

By Megs
I think…I think I’m in love. It may be a bit premature because we’ve only just met and I don’t want to jump into anything I could regret but…it really doesn’t feel like this is going anywhere but to a place of true love and happiness. Josie Maran’s Argan Oil is so far amazing. It came to my attention awhile ago, for some reason I thought it was good for finger splits (I don’t know where I got that because such info doesn’t exist anywhere, and I know because I’ve searched specifically for it) so I was planning on giving small bottles in xmas stockings to finger-split sufferers I know. Yes, I was planning xmas stocking stuffers in July!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Live Clean Shampoo & Conditioner

By Min

For as long as I can remember, I have always bought moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. The first paraben-free product that I bought was shampoo. Live Clean to be precise. Live Clean, a Canadian company, touts itself as "a unique eco-friendly beauty care line that delivers exceptional results using natural, plant based ingredients." (I always accidently pronounce it "live," rhyming with alive.)

Arbonne – RE9 Corrective Eye Cream and Revelâge On the Spot Brightener

By Megs

After my disappointment in the other RE9 products I tried, I’m not entirely sure why I decided to go for the Corrective Eye Cream. Well, I do, actually, I guess. My friend loves it.

I had been using a Clinique eye cream that came in a giftset, I think. I can’t even find it on their website so maybe it was older than I thought. And it was ok. The RE9 stuff is ok, too. I have no complaints. I don’t notice the citrus scent that I find off-putting in the other RE9 products I’ve tried. If you’ve tried and loved other RE9 products you will probably love this one, too. I don’t anticipate buying it again; there are too many other products out there I want to try!

Friday, 14 September 2012


By Megs
For years I used MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid in NC20 and loved it. Then when I started educating myself about parabens I got freaked out about it because MAC doesn’t list their ingredients on their website. So I figured it probably does have parabens in it (it doesn’t but so many cosmetics do). I went out and bought this (paraben free) smashbox foundation. I bought it in Shoppers and the customer service rep was busy so I picked out the shade myself. Their testers were old and not in good shape at all. Some I couldn’t even pump out they were so dried and gross – I guess that’s more a comment on that Shoppers than smashbox. That definitely hindered the ease of my purchase, though. I chose a colour and when I got it home it was orange.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Joe Fresh Cream Blush Peach

By Megs

I love Joe Fresh! My son wore Joe Fresh almost exclusively when he was a baby and into toddlerhood. I own a few items of Joe Fresh clothing myself. The price is great, the quality is great, and it is Canadian. What’s not to love, amirite? I decided to try out the makeup. Their website is not really informative about their beauty products – there’s next to no information there. However, one time I emailed them a question, I forget what it was, but the response was timely. The selection of makeup in my local store is good.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Laroche-Posay Physiological Water

By Min

I wanted to try a new face wash after a period of unforeseen redness and imperfections that riddled my face.  I had two bad experiences with Laroche-Posay products but to me they are like siren calls in the pharmacy.  I guess I’m either a sucker or a lunatic.  The Laroche-Posay Physiological Foaming Water, ($21 cad) is a limited time cleanser for sensitive skin, pretty fancy wording for a cleanser, methinks.  Apparently the cleanser is PH balanced for sensitive skin.  But, I still bought it. For some reason I wasn’t expecting it to foam so immediately after dispensing a large quantity in my hands, I quickly checked the ingredients.  There was sodium laureth sulfate.  At first my reaction was “Oh no.”

e.l.f. Studio Eyeliner & Shadow Stick

By Megs

e.l.f.says this about their Studio Eyeliner & Shadow Stick: Achieve color intensity for your eyes with twist-up ease - no sharpening required! Glide on the soft gel liner side to create dramatic definition to the eyes. The light-reflecting pigments help line the eye subtly but intensely for a fuller more enhanced effect. Use the smooth glide shadow stick side for soft highlighting color on the eyes to complement the liner for a polished and finished look. Perfect for creating an easy smoky eye!

And I say this: Yay!
An e.l.f. product I actually really like! I read an article awhile ago that said using black eyeliner adds 5 years to how old you look. Or something to that effect.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Kiss My Face Sheer Organic Shine Lip Gloss

By Megs

Kiss My Face is such a great natural company; they’ve been around a long time, which to me indicates they are successful because they make good products and also trustworthy.

I was poking around on (shout out to – awesome Canadian website with a really great selection of green and natural products and free shipping within Canada!) and came across their selection of Kiss My Face’s lip gloss. Another step in my life-long journey (and by life-long I mean the past year) to find the perfect, non-drying, moisturising lip gloss! It can be hard to buy makeup online. Not only are the photos an approximation of the actual colour, you can’t try before you buy. OK, so, again, this was before I decided to be brave and try more bright and fun colours on my lips so I opted for Pearl which looked kinda peachy with shine. When it arrived, I learned that’s the colour it actually is. I can’t remember what it cost, there’s another Sheer Organic Shine gloss (different colour) on right now for $7.99 so I’m reasonably sure that’s what I paid.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Laroche-Posay Toleriane Ultra

By Min

When I was on vacation, I received a whole mountain of samples so I sampled…all of them…all at the same time.  My face exploded like the fireworks on Canada Day!  Itchy, dry, scaly skin was the name of the game.  So I bought La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Ultra.  It comes in a fancy vacuum sealed tube to protect the contents from something or another.  However, it doesn’t come cheap at $30 plus taxes for a measly 40 ml. At first, it felt really good, but then I realized it was super greasy and not helping at all and probably  making the whole situation worse.  Little imperfections popped up all over my cheeks and mouth area.  It took me awhile to realize what was happening because I really thought that it couldn’t possibly be this product.  I thought my skin was really dry but not enough for Toleriane Ultra.  Furthermore, it smelt really chemically even though it doesn’t contain parabens etc.  This is the second product I’ve tried by Laroche-Posay and for the price, I was definitely not impressed. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Cliniderm Gentle Face Wash

By Min

I became interested in paraben-free products when I watched Chemerical by Andrew Nisker. The premise of the documentary is that everyday products are causing people to get sick; that these products were filled with carcinogenic chemicals and irritants and that ordinary people like you and I are none the wiser. So I try to live a paraben-free lifestyle. And try to convince my family, friends and anyone who will listen that they should really read the labels of their household and beauty products in an effort to avoid exposing themselves and their loved ones to dangerous chemicals unnecessarily.

smashbox Reflection – High Shine Lip Gloss

By Megs

I have dry lips. Or maybe they’re sensitive. Is that even a thing? I don’t know. I can’t use cheap lip gloss or lipstick or my lips will get chapped. I can’t use chapstick or lip balm or my lips will get chapped. There are very few products that will not dry out my lips and chap them. I live in northern BC. It is dry up here. It’s dry in summer and even drier in winter. When I found Lancome Juicy Tubes, my lips rejoiced. Lancome Juicy Tubes was my no fail, perfect, winner-take-all go-to for my picky lips. $20 a pop is kind of the going rate for a “good” lip product. Even at my brokest broke I was happy to pay it because I knew a tube could last 6 months at least. Always an animal lover, I was shocked to learn that some of my fave (non-beauty) products were tested on animals.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

e.l.f. Various Products

By Megs
Add caption
I recently got a huge haul of e.l.f. products. For $20. And like I said, it was difficult to fill my cart up with $20 worth of product because the prices are so low! Unfortunately, I did not take a pic of that haul when it arrived – I didn’t know at the time (last week) that I wanted to be a beauty blogger. So I was thinking about reviewing my new e.l.f. products, wondering which were my second faves after the awesomely awesome Nourishing Cuticle Pen. And I was like “The Lip Tints? Nope, don’t really like them. The matte nail polish top coat? Nope, don’t really like it. The All Over Color sticks?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

e.l.f. Nourishing Cuticle Pen

By Megs
I used to be a cuticle picker. And by “used to” I mean I stopped a couple of weeks ago. Dermatillomania, people. It’s real. I’ve recently got into nail art. Once you spend that ½ hour or so perfecting those nails, you don’t want to bumfle it all up by picking your cuticles. So I’ve stopped. But, having picked them half to death since high school, they had definitely seen better days. Burt’s Bees has a great lemon butter balm that I will review at some point. The cuticle product of my heart at the moment is e.l.f.’s Nourishing Cuticle Pen. I like me some beauty blogs. So I’d read about e.l.f. here and there, never come across it in this small town’s limited cosmetic choices so I looked it up. Omg! Do you even realise how ridiculously low priced e.l.f. cosmetics are?

Quo Eyelash Curler

By Min

When my Revlon eyelash curler broke, I scrambled to buy another.  I NEED an eyelash curler. It is an essential product in my life.  I did a bit of research to find a better eyelash curler because I have been using the same for over 20 years and though it wasn’t the best, I didn’t know any better.  Apparently the Shu Uemura IS the best and I wanted the best.  When I went to Shoppers (Pharmaprix in Quebec), they didn’t carry the Shu Uemura curler but the salesperson said, “We just received the new eyelash curler from Lancôme.”