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.”

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Arbonne SeaSource Detox Spa

By Megs
Multi-Level Management companies, or MLMs, have a different business plan than most retail companies (I think I mean “business plan”) in that they have no storefront space thus sell directly to the consumer via independent consultants. In beauty, there’s Avon, Mary Kay and Arbonne, to name a few. I found it hard (and by “hard” I mean there wasn’t one in the top 3 when I Googled it. I found one on, like, page 2) to find a trustworthy review on Arbonne’s products because those who sell it use it and love it.  Those who don’t use it say it’s too expensive. Or perhaps they used to sell it and became disenchanted with the company as often happens with independent consultants of MLMs.

Kiss My Face Ultra Hydrating Moisturizer

By Min

As long as I have my good friends; imperfections and redness, I will always be searching for the perfect combination of products.  Going paraben-free is not usually the cheapest option so I try to buy my products on special. And when it's on the liquidation shelf, I always buy a few. I had heard about Kiss My Face and had always wanted to try it. It had always seemed a little expensive but then a little luck came my way. The Under Age Ultra Hydrating Moisturizer was on special for $10 for 29ml. The usual price is probably around $20.  But, more importantly, I love it! 

Cliniderm Gentle Protective Lotion SPF 45

By Min

  Once upon a time, I had a clear and wonderful complexion.  I never had to wear foundation and I bought the cheapest face wash that was on special. Then, all hell broke loose…on my face. Now I’m marred with rosacea and hyper–sensitive skin. It took awhile for my mind to wrap itself around what was happening and I tried numerous scrubs, facials and even fraxel laser to turn back the clock. Finally, I went to the dermatologist and though she was a tad crazy with Medusa-like hair, she diagnosed the rosacea and gave me a treatment to follow.


By Megs  I was introduced to boscia on a beauty blog I love, Clumps ofMascara, Brittany reviewed the limited edition Green Tea Blotting Papers, to be exact. The words “paraben-free” caught my eye. I Googled me some boscia. And then I was hooked. I was using another cleanser at the time that irritated my skin. And I do not have sensitive skin, I have the furthest thing from sensitive skin. Insensitive skin? Unsensitive skin? Anti-sensitive skin? I was using a cleanser, toner and serum from the same line and my skin was all “um, no thanks!” So I freaked out and loaded up on bosica products. boscia soothed my fevered brow. Literally. Except it wasn’t fevered, it was more dry and itchy. And it wasn’t my brow, it was my neck. I know; weird, right? I have a sensitive neck? What?