Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One Hand Washes the Other Flower Balm Review, Photos

Happy belated Earth Day and Easter! Today I bring you what has become my Holy Grail cuticle balm: One Hand Washes the Other's Flower Balm ($5 USD for .14oz). Filled with beneficial plant oils, this balm is anhydrous, which means there is no water in the formula.  Flower Balm can be used all over the body where moisturize is needed -- from feet to hands to lips, and as you can guess, my favourite way to use it is on my cuticles.

Flower Balm is very emollient and has a lovely honey/rose scent (though there is no honey in the formula -- it's completely vegan). Only a very small amount is needed to effectively moisturize, and water can be added to give it a thinner consistency. I like to apply about a dime-sized amount to one finger, then spread it over to the rest of my cuticles and rub it in. It takes about 15 minutes to fully absorb, and the effects are apparent after that time: No more scraggly, dry cuticles!

That small amount in the picture above is enough to spread over my entire hand, and would be enough for each finger's cuticle. OHWTO says Flower Balm should be kept out of sunlight as it can degrade plant oils, and if stored properly, it can last up to nine months to a year. I've gone through my tube in a couple months though, because I loves it so much. I want a huge vat of it. Seriously, best cuticle balm ever!

The Flower Balm listing has a ton of detailed information on usage ideas and storage, and is really worth reading if you're considering buying it. Which you should if you love multi-use products and/or are still looking for your HG cuticle saviour!

I'll see myself out.

INGREDIENTS: Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rosa Centifolia wax, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Olive Squalane, Limnanthus Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Behentrionium Methosulfate (and) Cetyl Alcohol (and) Cetyl Alcohol (and) Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Nicinamide (and) Sodium Starch Octyl Succinate (and) Calcium Pentothenate (and) Maltodextrin (and) Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (and) Tocopherol Acetate (and) Pyridoxine HCL (and) Silica, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract

Product purchased myself. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Shower Gel & Coconut Hand Cleanse Gel Review, Photos

The Body Shop has recently released their new line of Early-Harvest Raspberry products, and raspberry being one of my most favourite fruits/scents, I had to have something from the line. There was recently a 20% off + double points event for Love Your Body members, so I eagerly made my way to my local TBS store.

While I would easily pick up all the products from the raspberry line, my wallet said "no," so I went with necessity: shower gels. I adore The Body Shop's shower gels as they smell delicious, don't dry out or irritate my skin, and lather well. I don't want to get too TMI here, but I am prone to urinary tract infections, and I don't have a problem using these. (I have to be careful with shower gels and body washes causing them and other "fun" things.)

The Body Shop's Early-Harvest Raspberry Shower Gel  ($9 for 250ml) is everything I expected. The scent is amazing -- not too tart, not too sweet. It reminds me of raspberry jam. The scent lingers on my skin a few hours, and has made me want to buy the Early-Harvest Raspberry Eau de Toilette. Oh, and the Body Butter, and scrub...

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (Solvent/Diluent), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Surfactant), Glycerin (Humectant), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifier), Sodium Chloride (Viscosity Modifier), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Mel/Honey/Miel (Natural Additive), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Ultraviolet Light Absorber), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract/Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract (Skin Conditioning Agent), Denatonium Benzoate (Denaturant), Caramel (Colour), CI 17200/Red 33 (Colour), CI 14700/Red 4 (Colour), CI 42090/Blue 1 (Colour).

I needed something to put me at $25 to get double the points (the lipstick in the first picture just barely put me under after 20% off), so I picked up one of the Hand Cleanse Gels in the scent Coconut ($2 for 60ml). I can't find these for sale on the website currently, just an old page, but they should be available in store in one of the mini size bins, along with some other scents like Satsuma, Absinthe, etc.

I use hand sanitizer probably more than I should, being a germaphobe and such, and this is one of the best (if not the best) I've tried. I often use Purell or knock-off brands, and the alcohol in them sends me into coughing fits. Not so with this one. The coconut scent gets all the play here, and it is perfect and is the same scent as TBS's other coconut products (I'm having a hard time trying to describe it -- I suppose what you expect a coconut to smell like? Not too sweet, leaning tropical). It lingers on my hands until I wash them with good ol' soap and water.

These hand cleanse gels also don't contain triclosan, which is a controversial ingredient in some anti-bacterial products. I'm not completely sure I'm ok with that ingredient, so I'm happy they don't include it.

Ingredients: Alcohol Denat. (Solvent/Diluent), Water (Solvent/Diluent), Betaine (Hair Conditioning Agent), Glycerin (Humectant), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emulsifier), Fragrance (Fragrance), Aminomethyl Propanol (pH Adjuster), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract (Skin Conditioning Agent), Propylene Glycol (Humectant), Benzyl Benzoate (Solvent), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Butylphenyl Methylpropional (Fragrance Ingredient), Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract (Natural Additive).

As for the lipstick above,  I'll talk about that in the weeks to come, as I haven't tested it out yet. It's one of from the new-ish Colour Crush line, which I've heard good things about, so fingers crossed I like it!

The Body Shop is currently running a 40% off sale on everything on the site, along with 50% off Body Butters. There's also a Buytopia offer where you can get a $30 voucher for $15, available for in-store purchases at the Dufferin Mall Location in Toronto and the Bayshore Shopping Centre Location in Ottawa. It's a great time to check out these products and anything else you've been lemming from TBS!

Products purchased myself. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CBB Guest Post: Jayne of Cosmetic Proof's Nail Art Tools

Today I have a special guest post from the wonderful Jayne of Cosmetic Proof! As I am lucky enough to have been selected Blogger of the Month for April at Canadian Beauty Bloggers, I was asked to guest post on Megan Joy's blog and have Jayne guest post on mine! Continue reading to learn some helpful insight on nail art tools! Thanks Jayne for the great post!


Hi everyone!
Thank you to Steph for letting me guest post on her blog! I have been following Beauty Infinitum for almost 2 years now and when it comes to a blog that’s fresh and fun to read this is the one! When it comes to indie makeup companies, Beauty Infinitum is your stop as there have been a number of brands that I did not know of until reading about them here!
What got me into blogging was NAIL ART so I thought it would be fitting to dedicate a post to my most favourite tools in the whole world – my nail art tools!

 My favourite first must-have is a file to shape my nails. I prefer the banana files as I find the curve compliments the arc of the filing motion. I also like a 180 grit on my nail files.

Then there are my dotting tools. These are my babies and can be used to create so many wonderful manicures. I use a set of 5 double-ended metal dotting tools that range from a large tip to one of the finest tips I have ever seen! I know you can use a number of household items as dotting tools, but there is NOTHING like a genuine dotting tool in your hands! I purchased these from Born Pretty and also come in their own little storage case.

Tweezers and a wax pencil are an absolute MUST for picking up glequins, crystals and various sized studs. These tweezers are MEGA sharp and should be covered when not in use because I have poked myself before and it does not feel good when that happens! Tweezers are great for picking up striping tape as well as peeling decals from their backing.
Wax pencils mean that you don’t have to use top coat to pick up studs anymore! Just use this pencil plunk your studs onto your nail! You can get both of these items at Born Pretty.

An angled brush like this one is perfect for cleaning up polish from cuticles and for giving you that perfectly curved polish line. You can also use a cheap angled eyeliner brush like the ones from ELF. This is my favourite nail art brush as I find the tip to be the most precise, allowing me to draw incredibly intricate designs all by hand.

And finally, I like to use a little glass container to hold my acetone for clean-up followed by my trusty fan. It’s loud, but the breeze it generates is really quite good and does speed up my dry time quite a bit especially between coats. These items were also purchased from Born Pretty.

If you are just getting into nail art or aren’t quite sure where to start, get the dotting tools. You will be amazed at what you can create with just some simple dotting tools! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Somatique Intensive Hydration Moisturizer Review, Photos

Somatique Intensive Hydration Moisturizer ($44 USD for 2oz/56g) is a promising moisturizer packed with antioxidants and vitamins, created by the brand Lady Soma who makes natural supplements and treatments for women. I was excited to be given the opportunity to try this out, as I'm always on the hunt for my holy grail moisturizer. I've been using it nightly for a few weeks and I'm ready to let you know how it fared!

The first thing I noticed about this cream was the smell -- delicious! It's a really wonderful, chocolate-y smell, and I think I detect a slight undertone of orange. It really reminds me of chocolate pudding mix and I love it. There's no added fragrance to this by the way; I think the chocolate scent comes from the cocoa butter in the formula, and the orange undertone from the orange hydrosol (the first ingredient). It's not overly-strong either, so unless you really dislike chocolate scents, it shouldn't be much of an issue if you're scent-sensitive (scentsitive?)

The texture is on the thinner side but not watery. I use this at night because I find it takes a while to completely soak into the skin, and can be a little bit sticky. It doesn't pill up though, and works well with my current serum. In the morning after leaving it on overnight, my skin is so soft! I have combination/oily skin, but this winter has been rough (to say the least), and this moisturizer has kept it protected from the ravages of the polar vortex.

I haven't noticed any significant changes with regards to reversing free radical damage or fighting wrinkles, but those haven't really shown up on my skin (yet!) I do see more even texture in my skin, along with the aforementioned softness.

Now... this is the caveat. The ingredients in this moisturizer are quite awesome, but I'm worried they won't deliver their full potential due to the jar packaging. Unfortunately, antioxidants break down when exposed to air or light. An opaque container with a pump would be the ideal packaging for this type of moisturizer, and I can't 100% recommend Somatique Intense Hydration Moisturizer because of this. You could possibly transfer it to your own pump container to minimize the damage, but at $44 USD, it's not really worth it.

I would definitely recommend this moisturizer if its packaging limited contact with air and light to ensure its ingredients are stable. The scent, texture, and moisture benefits are all great, but the stars should be the antioxidants and vitamins, and unfortunately, skin probably won't benefit much from them. I really hope Somatique considers changing the packaging to reflect this flaw, as this is definitely a promising moisturizer with great ingredients.

What do you think? What kind of packaging do you prefer moisturizers have?

Ingredients: Orange Hydrosol, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Organic Sunflower, Glyceryl Stearate, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Coconut, Cocoa Butter, Matrixyl 3000, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, MSM, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Stearate, Organic Beeswax, Vanilla and Rose Absolutes, Organic Jojoba, Tamanu Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Organic Oregon Grape, Organic Rose Hip, Vitamin B5, Organic Arnica, Organic Lavender, Organic Calendula, Organic Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut, Noni, Raspberry, Sodium Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

Product provided for review. No monetary compensation given. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Indie Love: Interview with DarlingClandestine

Hey, everybody! I'm excited to share an interview I had with Evonne of DarlingClandestine, one of my favourite indie perfumers. I hope you enjoy!

Evonne is the proprietor behind, an independent shop that sells handcrafted original fragrances for all sexes, natural beauty products, and the occasional piece of handmade jewelry. DarlingClandestine started out as a hobby for Evonne, and she currently creates in her “spare time” in addition to her full-time job. In the past couple of years, the business has really blossomed, with an enthusiastic fan base, and Evonne has some big plans for the shop in the near future. In this interview, she reveals some insider details about her creative process, admits a couple of things that bug her, gives shopping tips for DarlingClandestine first-timers, and shares some exciting news with us!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Sobeys Beauty Deals featuring L'Oreal and Maybelline!

Do you ever shop for beauty items at grocery stores? I find that sometimes you can get some really awesome deals through weekly sales or clearance.

I was at Sobeys a few days ago and found a cart full of hair dyes with 50% off stickers attached. Guess how much the above L'Oreal Sublime Mousse was marked down to? $3, so 50% off = $1.50! I bought three (all I could find in shade 100, Ultra Light Blonde). There were other brands/varieties marked down too, but the Sublime Mousses (meese?) were the cheapest.

This was the second time I've noticed a cart full'a cheap hair dyes -- so watch for them if you shop at Sobeys! This one was positioned in the front entrance, but they may be inside the store, near the beauty/personal care section, for example. Look for this sticker:

There will be a section below the 50% tag with the price, and you get 50% off that listed price (the cashier removes that part during checkout).

I'm not sure why some of these items go on clearance, as the Sublime Mousse is still a product being sold (I actually saw identical ones on the shelves at Sobeys, and I believe they were going for around $10.99). My hypothesis is that they are overstock, though I'm still not sure why they were marked down to $3 and then 50% off of that. Oh, well, either way it's a win-win for me!

Next, Maybelline Baby Lips:

These are currently (April 4 through 10th) Buy One Get One Free (regular $4.99 each) at my Sobeys, and I think the sales vary region by region. I think the Maritimes/Atlantic provinces (possibly including Ontario?) have the same sales, whereas Western provinces vary. Check your local flyers to make sure!

The Baby Lips selection wasn't that great at my store -- it was just an endcap with only around four varieties, but I haven't tried any of the tinted ones so I picked up Cherry Me and Pink Punch. Will I finally become addicted to Baby Lips and go on a wild hunt to collect them all? Stay tuned....

Also on BOGO this week (in the Atlantic and/or Eastern region, at least) are Live Clean hair care, lotion, and baby care, regular $6.99 each (so none of the items over that price), and you can mix and match varieties/types. I love Live Clean shampoos so I might go pick up a couple more. Here's a printable $1 off coupon you can use! Oh, and P.S., if you're a Canuck and interested in trying the new Live Clean Age Resist line, enter Kalyn's giveaway!

Have you had any good grocery store/drugstore/pharmacy/whathaveyou deals lately? Lemme know!

I am not affiliated with Sobeys -- I just really like their deals sometimes. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Countessa Fluorescent Review, Photos, Swatches

Oooh. When I was contacted by the new sister company of Nail Polish Canada, Obsessed Canada, to review a Lime Crime product, I wasn't sure whether to accept or not. LC's controversy is pretty well-known (a quick google search will pull up a few articles if you don't know the details), and I don't want to make excuses for the brand. I still think the owner, Doe Deere, is ... well, I won't say anything here ... but, I think LC is more than just her, and I truly hope she won't repeat her past mistakes.

After discussing it with some of my friends who are well-versed in the indie and small business cosmetics world, I decided to give Lime Crime a chance. My main reason is that I want to support Obsessed Canada as my experience with NPC has been stellar. I really recommend checking them both out whether you're interested in Lime Crime or not.

Now, enough rambling and on to the review!

Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Countessa Fluorescent ($19.99 CAD at Obsessed Canada) is a hot pink cream with blue undertones, and it is packed with pigment. This is definitely not a "work-safe" shade (unless you work somewhere cool that allows incredibly bright lip colours). I found the application smooth and full coverage in only one swipe. You will want to prep your lips by exfoliating and applying balm beforehand though, as the formula is on the drier side and will cling to any dry patches on your lips. The lipstick is a bit drying as well, but I found using lip balm before helped with that issue.

The longevity is pretty amazing. This lipstick will last through most eating and drinking, though it will fade a bit. It does transfer to drinking glasses, etc., but it will remain mostly intact on the lips. I wore this while eating ramen one night and while it had mostly faded/worn off on my upper lip, most of the bottom was still fine. I do get a bit of ring around the lips if I've been doing a lot of drinking a lot of water, but it's not overly-jarring as the colour kind of makes a gradient effect against my natural lip colour, if that makes sense. You might want to bring the lipstick with you for touch-ups if you're going out to eat/drink though. Oh, and you'll probably want to use a lip liner for this to get a crisper lip shape. I didn't have a problem with feathering, though.

I can get several hours of wear with this lipstick -- it pretty much won't wear down unless I'm eating and drinking. I can even shower with this on and it won't come off. Bring out the big guns (oil-based removers) when it's time to take it off!

Countessa Fluorescent ticks off a lot of happy-feels checkmarks, such as being vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA. It has a lovely vanilla scent and taste, similar to MAC lipsticks.

I like the packaging more than I thought I would, now that I've had it in my hands. The tube is a good weight, and while the holographic unicorn isn't my cuppa, I'm sure I would have swooned over it if it had been a cat. Or a fox or a sloth or something. I've heard the packaging referred to as "children's makeup," and I don't really agree -- it's on the cutesy side, and I can understand not liking it or thinking it immature if you prefer packaging the likes of Dior's or Chanel's, but it's higher-quality than kiddie makeup. You can also play "cut the unicorn in half" when you remove the top, which is kind amusing (or maybe that's just me).

Here's swatches!

Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Countessa Fluorescent, taken in indirect daylight, no flash.

The lipstick leans a bit more cool, slightly purple than it shows in the above photo.

Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Countessa Fluorescent, taken in indirect daylight, no flash.

The hand swatch is hard to take off, by the way. Scrubbing just leaves a pink stain, which speaks to how pigmented this lipstick is.

Lime Crime Opaque Lipstick in Countessa Fluorescent ingredients

Overall, I dig this lipstick. $19.99 CAD is a bit pricey for something that needs a bit of prepping, but the pigmentation and longevity are amazing. You also get free shipping if you're in Canada through Obsessed Canada, so it's a better deal than buying through Lime Crime's site ($18 USD plus shipping). There are also a lot of other bright shades to choose from, plus liquid lipsticks. I'm happy with my experience, and while I can't wholly recommend Lime Crime, I do think they are worth giving a shot if you are okay looking past their past mistakes.

What are your thoughts on Lime Crime?

I gotta admit that is cute.

Product provided for review. No monetary compensation given. All opinions are my own.