November Empties!

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This month has flown by for me, despite being full of rain, more rain only heavier, below freezing temperatures and even some snow, which is thankfully rare in Vancouver. I don’t like being so busy that I can’t post, and it’s been far too long. Long enough to have lots of empties! Plus one item that is not used up but was so bad it needs to go!

NovEmpty2

November Empties!

Numbered clockwise starting on the left.

1) Yves Rocher Yellow Peach Shower Gel

This was a pretty standard liquid soap/shower gel with a peachy fragrance. The peach scent was fresh and not overly ripe, but a little powdery which bothered me enough to not want to repurchase. The bottle was a generous 400ml/13.4 oz.

2) Aussie You Can Shine Hairspray

This was decent enough hairspray, it did it’s job. Had a nice citrusy fruity smell. I didn’t notice any stickiness or crispness. I would repurchase this if I found it on sale, which is how I found this can!

3) Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti Frizz Serum

Although most silicone serums for frizzy hair are mostly the same, this is one of my favourites. It has a nice fruity scent standard for any Fructis product, and has a thinner, easier to spread consistency which helps when you have super long, super fine hair like mine. The pump is also a winner. This is my second or third bottle of this and I will continue to rebuy until I can’t find it anymore!

4) Avon Moisture Therapy Calming Relief Creamy Body Wash

Although I would also recommend this for a body wash, I use it on my face! It removes makeup really well, does not irritate, and doesn’t leave any residue. If you have really dry skin I wouldn’t recommend use on your face but it does a great job on my oily skin! Contains oatmeal to soothe dry, tight, itchy skin. Been through many tubes of this!

5) Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Sampler

Now this one isn’t so much empty as it is impossible to use. The little patches of eye shadow sample were so dry and stuck on that application was impossible. I made the mistake of trying to make this work on a work day and had to scrap it mid way through. I’m sure the actual product is easier to use than this sample, but this sample has made me never want to try the real thing it was so bad. Complete failure in execution. Below is a picture of the tiny amount I managed to scrape off the card.

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample

6) Neutrogena Acne Stress Control – 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

I wouldn’t really call this hydrating so much as it is smoothing, and I can’t even comment on the stress control claim! The silicone base makes your skin feel soft and smooth, while being at the right ph level for the salicylic acid to do it’s work. If I stop using this for a few days, I can feel and see the negative effect in my skin, getting flakier with more clogged pores. I will buy this as long as I can find it in Canada, as there is no other affordable, gentle, effective salicylic acid leave on treatment option that I am aware of in the country. Clean & Clear has a version of something similar which is only available in the US, and everything else I can find here has alcohol and other irritants in it.

7) NYC Color in a New York Minute – Grand Central Station

How often is it you finish a bottle of nail polish before it goes all weird on you? This isn’t my first finished bottle of the fast drying NYC clear coat, and certainly not my last. I will buy this as long as I can still find it in Canada. Currently I have to purchase it online to find it at all! Fantastic product. Did a full review here.

8) Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

I usually reach for pinks and reds, but somehow this peachy lip butter with tiny golden flecks has managed to work itself in many daily looks! It complements both warm and cooler eye looks and doesn;t look garish under fluorescent lighting. It has well earned it’s place as a daily favourite. Will I buy again? Absolutely, just waiting for a sale! The are otherwise around $10 in Canada.

9) L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara – Black

It may have been in blackest black or carbon black, I don’t remember, but it was, and is, a great mascara! This is the closest in formulation and brush as my long discontinued in Canada old favourite Full n’ Soft Mascara. It doesn’t clump too much, it holds a curl better than some, doesn’t flake (until you get to the end of the lifespan of the tube) and is perfectly waterproof without being too much of a pain to wash off. I will continue buying this when found on sale as long as it’s being made!

Hope everyone had a good November and you’re staying warm! Or cool if you’re one of my Aussie readers!

 

 

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Nivea Body Care Products Reviewed (with Bonus Eye Care Review!)

Nivea Body Care Products

Nivea Body Care Products

Although not officially winter, it seems to be freezing and snowing all over, even here on the west coast where our winters are traditionally blankets of grey clouds and dreary rain! With wintery weather, comes along my dry, itchy, flaky, unhappy and generally disagreeable skin. I’ve tried just about everything, and I am reviewing some of the better performing drugstore options today! Reviewed from left to right as shown above.

Nivea Firming Body Milk Q10 Plus, 473ml (white, left most bottle)

This one comes in a slightly smaller bottle than Nivea’s other lotion offerings, but is a still generous size at 473ml. It contains Q10 (Ubiquinone) which is a potent antioxidant. There are studies proving it’s effectiveness when taken internally but I can’t seem to find much about it’s effects when used topically. I do know I like antioxidants in my skin care as I know they help reduce UV damage, so I suppose that’s enough for me to appreciate it.

The lotion has a very green floral scent which does fade in time. I like fragrance and it doesn’t bother my skin but it worth mentioning in the event it does irritate yours. This one seems to take a while longer to soak in, and leaves a soft feeling with a tiny  bit of slippery residue which I think might be the macadamia nut oil. In the summer this sticky leftover feeling bothered me, now in the winter it’s more than welcome! It does help me feel moisturized for a longer period of time. Although Nivea rates this as somewhere midway between light and rich moisture, its a fairly rich moisturizer for me due to the macadamia nut oil.

Nivea claims this lotion will improve your skin’s elasticity. I cannot attest to this claim, and I don’t have such high standards for my lotions. I just don’t think it’s possible to greatly change the qualities of my skin with a non prescription body lotion. Of course I wouldn’t mind if it did however!

I would recommend this for someone who is interested in antioxidants in their skin care, likes oils and the feeling of light oil in their skin care, and likes fresh green floral scents.

Nivea Extra Nourishing Body Milk, Dry to Very Dry Skin  625ml (blue bottle in middle)

This bottle is huge! This one contains almond oil, consistently popular in hand and nail products. The formula is incredibly thick, heavy, and rich, which after careful testing and consideration I’ve determined to be due to a huge amount of the thickening agent isohexadecane in the formulation – it’s the third ingredient after water and mineral oil! Well, even if it’s just for marketing purposes, the result is a very luxurious experience when applying. It feels like a real treat for your skin going on.

The fragrance of this one needs to be mentioned. It’s not your typical light lotiony fragrance. This one is very decidedly perfumey. In fact, when it dries down, it reminds me a bit of J’adore! Clean, very fresh, somewhat sophisticated even, for a lotion.

The package doesn’t claim to do anything other than smooth and soften your dry skin, which it does, as would any decent lotion. The formula is an oilier one, which I do like. Despite being oilier, my skin seems to just drink it right up! I do notice, however, that my skin sometimes feels a bit drier a while after using it. I’m wondering if it’s an after effect of the huge amount of thickening agent, as I think I’m applying a lot of moisture when I really might not be. I’ve also just noticed that sea salt is in the ingredient list, and it might have something to do with that. This isn’t enough to stop me from liking it enough to at least finish the bottle.

I would recommend this for someone who likes a heavier oil in their body care products, seeks out very fragranced products, and has normal to dry skin. I don’t think this will be the right kind of moisture for very dry, or very sensitive skin.

Nivea Happy Time Shower Cream 500ml (white bottle on the right)

This formula contains the ever popular sweet almond oil and bamboo extract, which is intended to improve your skin’s collagen and elastin. As I don’t think a body wash can actually do that, and it doesn’t actually claim to, I will review it as just a body wash.

The fragrance is advertised to be an invigorating orange blossom scent. I personally find this to be more orange creamsicle rather than orange blossom. It’s definitely more food than floral. There is a light trail of flowers underneath the orange creamsicle. It’s nice, soft, fresh, in no way over powering and somewhat refreshing.

The formula itself is rich, smooth, creamy and lathers well, with lots of soft bubbles. It doesn’t seem to make my skin feel weird, red or itchy after a few uses like some body washes do (looking in your direction, Olay…) As a body wash, it does it’s job, and you get a generous amount for the price.

I would recommend this to someone who prefers a slightly more moisturizing body wash and likes the idea of eating orange creamsicles in a summer flower garden.

Bonus!  Nivea Visage Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Eye Care 15ml (tiny little tube at the top!)

I am not of the school of thought that a separate eye cream is necessary, and that if you have a properly formulated wrinkle/skin care system for the rest of your face, you should be able to use it around the eye area as well. This was passed along to me by my mother, who didn’t like it as it stung the skin around her eyes – pretty much a mark of failure in a product intended to be formulated specifically for that area! Well, I tried it out, and wouldn’t you know it, it stung the skin under my eyes as well. Not even retinol products do that. I couldn’t use it long enough to form an educated opinion on it’s claim to reduce dark under eye circles, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be able to do that anyway. I might use this up as a cuticle cream.  I will be sticking with my Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Cream for now!

I would recommend this product for someone with very agreeable skin, impervious to any reactions or stinging from any product at all (which I usually am!) who is looking for light moisture and no miracles whatsoever.

Hope everyone is making it through their fall/winter so far! Stay warm!

Enormous August Empties Post with Mini Reviews!

August Empties

August Empties

Summer has blown by far too quickly for my liking! Monday is September, and although I like the Fall, I’m still a bit sad to see the pretty summer colours and clothing go. At least I got through a lot of products this summer! This post is huge! Looks like most will be hair care products which I suppose isn’t surprising, I do have a lot of hair. There is also a lot of bath & shower gel type things. I have a lot of these, as I love having so many different scents to choose from. I wasn’t satisfied with only being able to use one per shower, so I decided to come up with a way I could enjoy all these luxurious, yummy smells more often. Whenever one of my Bath & Body Works foamy soap dispensers is empty, after a good rinse I fill the bottom with an inch or so of a selected shower gel. I add a bit of warm water to dilute, stir, then top up, and stir again with the pump. The trick here is to make sure it is *stirred* and not shaken. James Bond would be disappointed. Every time I have shaken this kind of mixture it somehow screws up the pump foaming mechanism. On to my empties! Numbered and described below, left to right.

August Empties

August Empties

 

1) Tres Emme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray

It did the job at a good price. I liked it. The only thing I didn’t like was the fragrance. I would buy it again (I actually didn’t buy this one, it was a gift with purchase) but in unscented, should it be available like that.

2) Schwarzkopf got2be Glossy Anti-Frizz Shine Serum

This was ok. Not much different than any other silicone serum, perhaps a bit thicker. I use a silicone serum daily or my hair become a completely unmanageable frizz fest, and I have found that they are pretty well all the same at any price point. I only bought this one as it was what was on sale at the time. I usually buy the Fructis version as I can generally find it on sale for about $2.50, it has a pump, and it smells great while doing the job. Would not buy again unless I had no other more cost effective options.

3) Yves Rocher Organic Vanilla Shower Gel

Pretty decent vanilla scent. On the sweeter side. Didn’t make my skin itchy or dry. I can’t see myself buying again, I think this was a gift with purchase as well. If you really like sweet vanilla and are placing an Yves Rocher order, I don’t think you’d be disappointed.

4) Bath & Body Works Country Chic Shower Gel

A sweet, citrusy summery floral with a caramel base. Kind of unique. More complex than other BBW fragrances. I like it but not more than my other BBW scents I have reviewed recently, Sunset by the Pool and Peach & Honey Almond (plus there’s more to come!) I still have some of this left in a body spray so can’t see myself needing to rebuy.

5) Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Breeze Shower Gel

Also known as Coconut Lime Verbena, I think, before the repackaging. This is a super summery, potently tropical lime coconut scent. Very rich for what the notes are. It smelled familiar to me, and I eventually discovered it has 6 notes in common with my old beloved and long discontinued Ralph Lauren Hot, so I used this as a base before wearing the Hot. I don’t see myself repurchasing any time soon as I still have some of this in the spray.

6) The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Shower Gel

A slightly spicy, tiny bit citrusy rose scent. I use this before any rose based scent I’m planning on wearing. It’s a nice, soft, soothing smell. I also have gone through most of the full size bottle of this as well. Might or might not replace, not at that point yet. The lotion of this is also lovely.

7) Yves Rocher Jardins de Monde Laotion Lotus Flower Shower Gel

A fresh, slightly green watery floral. Quite refreshing. I used this before using any watery or water lotus scents. Good formula. This was a gift with purchase, can’t see myself rebuying but was nice while it lasted.

8) Tres Emme 24 Hour Body Silk Protein Conditioner

I have a giant, larger than this bottle even, bottle of Tres Emme conditioner with a pump that I continually refill with more Tres Emme conditioner. I’ve been doing this for probably about 7 years now, at least. It performs well for my extra long, super fine, prone to frizz hair type, and I buy it for something like $4 a litre! This version and the “Climate Control” version are my favourites and I alternate between them. The scent is a fresh-fruity type which doesn’t compete with any other fragrance I might have on. I will continue buying this/these until they stop making them. Love it!

9) Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Color Infinity Shampoo & Conditioner

This was a sample mailed to me. Enormously disappointing. The formula reminds me of Pantene’s, which I also find to be disappointing every single time. Both are Proctor & Gamble. It just doesn’t work with my hair type, might be great for someone else. A quick glance over the ingredient list shows it is very basic, and there is nothing special in here to help keep your hair colour. Basically any well formulated hair care product wouldn’t strip your colour these days. Even the fragrance is remarkably boring. Would never buy this. Vidal Sassoon had an incarnation in the mid 90’s with a formula and fragrance I really liked. Perhaps that was before it’s P&G days. Sad that version wasn’t relaunched.

10) John Frieda Color Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo

I don’t really have a huge problem with brassiness as I prefer my blonde to be on the warmer side, and not too light. I do use these types of purple shampoos from time to time. This one has the same issue I find with all of them – they don’t lather well. Now I know that a big sudsy lather doesn’t necessarily mean it is cleaning your hair better, but I like it. I like to think the bubbles are lifting the dirt and oils up and away to be rinsed off. Maybe I’m imagining it. Otherwise, this shampoo was ok. My hair looked decent after use. Scent was a tiny bit chemically. I think I’d have to use it a lot longer to see any significant tone change, however. As I already have a bottle of straight up purple shampoo for blondes, I wouldn’t purchase. If I didn’t have that, I might.

11) Vichy Normaderm Anti-Age Resurfacing Care

Also claims to be anti-imperfection, and anti-wrinkle. I didn’t buy this, this is one of many products my mom hands over to me when she decides it might not be right for her. I have noticed a trend in these – they often contain alcohol. This product does as well. Mom, read the ingredients, and don’t buy skin care full of alcohol, your skin hates it! Basically, this product is a salicylic acid treatment trying to be fancy. It smells lovely, but facial skin care does not require fragrance. I used this on my less sensitive chest area instead of my face, as alcohol tends to make it oilier, and I liked it for that, but I would never buy this due to the alcohol content. How a product containing skin aggravating alcohol can claim to be anti aging is beyond me.

12) Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne Sample

I am surprised how much I liked this. The sample the very nice girl gave me (she was new, and had not yet succumbed to the ways of Sephora) was very small as there wasn’t any left in the bottle, but I did like the small amount I tried. I went back a month later hoping to find someone to pull another one for me, but the same empty bottle was sitting there, and no one was around to assist me anyway. What a surprise. Anyway, this smells like a classy, rose based scent. I’d like to say more but I’m afraid I would need another sample!

13) Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Ultra Fluid Sunscreen

Last and certainly least. So glad to finally see the back of this one. I hated it for my face, as you can read in my full review here. Another facial care product loaded with alcohol. As it still performed well as a sunblock, I used it on less sensitive areas to finish using it up (like feet.) They would need to reformulate this with the skin aggravating ingredients removed for me to ever consider purchasing it again!

So much stuff! Has anyone else tried any of these products? What did you think? Thanks for reading, enjoy the last of your summer!

Bath & Body Works Sunset By The Pool Fragrance Line Review!

Bath & Body Works Sunset by the Pool

Bath & Body Works Sunset by the Pool

It’s exceptionally rare that I am near a Bath & Body Works at all, let alone in one when they are having a crazy good sale on their new stuff! They happened to have their entire new summer line on for $5 apiece, so I made an exception (I’m trying to be on a body care buying break) and picked some up. Considering a full set of the large sizes of the fine fragrance mist (236ml/8oz), shower gel (295ml/10oz) and body lotion (236ml/8oz) would be $15 combined, it was well worth it. From their website, regular prices in Canada are $14 for the fine fragrance mist, $12.50 for the shower gel and $12.50 for the body lotion at the time of this post.

The new summer line (that I could find here) includes Cool Coconut Surf, Hello Sunshine, Peace, Love & Daisies, and Sweet Summer Kiss. I found it hard to get a good sniff of any of them with so so many nice smelling products interfering. I gave up on trying to figure out if I liked them by smell and looked for what the fragrance’s notes were as a jumping off point. I almost went with Hello Sunshine, when I picked up a bottle of Sunset by the Pool and read the notes: White Peach, Exotic Passionfruit and Sun-Warmed Woods. A quick perfunctory sniff assured me it smelled okay. As I have been looking for a more than single note peach based scent for a long time, I decided to grab this one.

When I got home, I decided to look up the notes. Their website shows two different sets of notes! The “Key Fragrance Notes” are still listed as a sun-ripe blend of white peach, exotic passionfruit & sun-warmed woods. But then there was a different breakdown when it came to the top, middle and basenotes, as follows:

  • Top Notes: Fuzzy Apricot, Sparkling Bergamot, Juicy Grapefruit
Top Notes of Sunset by the Pool

Top Notes of Sunset by the Pool

 

  • Middle Notes: Lily Of The Valley, Mirabel Plum, Blood Orange, Apple Blossom
Middle Notes of Sunset by the Pool

Middle Notes of Sunset by the Pool

 

  • Base Notes: Sun Warmed Woods, Madagascar Vanilla
Base Notes of Sunset by the Pool

Base Notes of Sunset by the Pool

 

What’s not listed here:

WHERE'S MY PEACHES?!

WHERE’S MY PEACHES?!

As you can see, no peach! Although I suppose apricot is close. Now to me, at first spray this fragrance hits me with pineapple! Not even in the notes! Along with the pineapple is a huge, juicy amount of blood orange. I love blood orange, and all citrus really, so I’m okay with this part too. The super juicy part does last for a good while, longer than I expected. Once it settles, it mellows out to a barely perceptible vanilla wood smell. You would have to really be looking for the vanilla to find it here. It works as a nice smooth base for the rest of the notes. What I mostly get out of this for the majority of the fragrance is a chewy, possibly dried, plummy apricot. This is sweet, but it is more the sweetness of fresh, ripened fruit rather than sugar. Delicious.

Label shows a peach and a hibiscus – there’s no peach nor hibiscus in this. It’s still delicious though!

Sunset by the Pool Label

Sunset by the Pool Label

The fragrance doesn’t last very long, maybe a couple of hours to my own nose, although I’m sure others would still be able to smell it faintly. As it’s a body spray, and not a strong scent to begin with, I wasn’t really expecting huge lasting power. It’s good enough for what it is!

As for the lotion, it’s a decent formula. It absorbs well and smells true to the fragrance, although it does reach the smooth dry down sooner than the spray. I generally prefer my lotions to be more emollient (I don’t know why my skin just soaks them up, it’s not that dry) but it’s good enough for light moisture. The formula boasts shea butter, vitamin E and aloe according to the label. Click for larger pictures.

Sunset by the Pool Lotion Label

Sunset by the Pool Lotion Label

The shower gel is as juicy as the fragrance and also performs well. Most shower gels I can’t use for more than a couple days in a row without my skin starting to hate it but this one seems fine so far! The shower gel also contains shea butter, vitamin E and aloe. The label below.

Sunset by the Pool Shower Gel Label

Sunset by the Pool Shower Gel Label

Overall I really like this, especially at the price I found it! I also like to layer it with another summer fragrance I have, which will also be reviewed at a later time. If you’re looking for a juicy, apricoty summer treat, give this a try. If you are looking for something truly peach, keep looking (I will). This will hold the place until I find something really peachy!

Have a great weekend, maybe even by the pool!