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: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/beauty/parabens-what-are-they-and-are-they-really-that-bad