** This post was updated on Oct 1, 2015 since Laneige is now available in Canada. I bought the asian version but for the Canadian version, I received it complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**
Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream – asian version
I’ve been a fan of Laneige products ever since I was introduced to it a couple years ago. A Korean brand under the Amore umbrella, this line is now available at Target and Sephora stores in the US. For us Canadians, it’s now available at Sephora! Woo hoo!
The Water Bank line is ideal for hydration, something my dry, parched skin craved during our cold, Canadian winter. The gel cream is good for those with normal and combination skin, which is great for my oily t-zone and dry cheeks. It’s also light which is perfect for the summer months.
Laneige is known for using Himalayan snow water as one of its ingredients. It also contains 6 minerals: magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, and sodium. When I was first introduced to Laneige, I was told it is targeted for those in their 20s and early 30s.
As you can see in the top picture, there is an illustration on the box. This is to indicate the collection is part of the 2013 Waterful Sharing Campaign. Laneige had partnered up with Save the Children where part of the proceeds from the sales of the Water Bank line are donated to them. This is true for sales that occur in Korea, but I’m not sure if that is the case for sales outside of that country. There is no difference to the product itself, except for a cute little water pump illustration on the cap or pot.
There is also a small white paddle that is included so that you can scrape every last bit out of the pot. Sanitary point!
The North American version has a slightly different jar design, but it also comes with a little paddle (this one is clear).
Another bonus sanitary point is for the inner seal. After unscrewing the cap, you see an inner lid with a tab, but that tab is sealed tight to the pot. This ensures that the product has not been tampered with after production.
The North American version is exactly the same as its asian counterpart.
My pot contained 50ml of product. The cream itself has a gel-like consistency, with an opaque whiteness to it. It’s cool and refreshing, and absorbs easily. It’s difficult to discern the fragrance, but it is light and very pleasant with some floral notes.
Yup, still the same.
I absolutely love this gel cream and would definitely purchase it again. I have used two jars of the asian version, and now have a jar of the North American version (courtesy of Influenster for testing purposes). My skin is well hydrated and I haven’t seen any dry skin ever since I started using the line. I highly recommend it!
Where to Buy – $42 CAD
While wandering around town running errands, Mr and I ran into lunch time and stopped in here for a bite. We originally wanted to go for sushi, but the places nearby were closed (on a sunday??). A quick search on Yelp brought us here and we popped in for lunch.
It’s pretty roomy with ample seating. Perfect for us with baby in carseat. Save for us, there was only two other patrons inside which initially worried me. Normally you think if it’s empty, the food must not be good, right? Thankfully, it wasn’t all that bad.
We were given a basket of totopo chips and 3 sauces to start off with. The chips are made in house and were fresh as they were still hot to touch. However, there was a lot of oil at the bottom of the basket so we only ate the upper chips and left the bottom ones alone. The three sauces were mild (orange), medium (green), and hot (red). Mild and medium were great for me, and hot was a bit too much. Mr loved the hot and was more than happy to keep that bowl all to himself.
As always, we ordered everything to share. There’s 4 tacos per order. First was lengua, which is beef tongue tacos. They were really good and moist. The grilled onions added a nice crunch to it. We also spooned some of the sauce from the totopo into the tacos (this was a really good idea!!) which added a little bit of heat to it.
Next was pastor, which is marinated pork tacos. These had more flavour in the meat, although slightly on the dry side. We also added in the grilled onions and some sauce to it. Not as good as the beef tongue, but still yummy.
It wasn’t the most memorable experience, but the food was ok. Maybe it was because the place was empty but the staff were very attentive to us. Also, bonus points for being baby friendly – there was a change table in the bathroom. Would I come back here? Sure. Would I seek it out and come into town specifically to eat here? No.
1216 St. Clair Ave West,
I love love love Laneige products. The sales lady had told me the Light line is best for summer time when skin tends to be more oily because of the humidity. When I peeked at the official website, it states it’s made for those with oily/combination skin. This is known as Balancing Emulsion in both Asia and in North America. The one I’m reviewing is from Asia.
The bottle and cap is made of sturdy plastic, and fits nicely in your hand.
The pump mechanism consists of a push top with a small white tube which the product is dispensed from. I find 2 pumps is enough for my whole face and neck.
Like with all Laneige products, the scent is nice and not too heavy. I adore the smell of Laneige products, but those with very sensitive noses may not like it. The emulsion is lighter than a lotion, but it means that it spreads very easily and absorbs readily. Unfortunately for me, these winter months have caused my skin to dry considerably, so the emulsion is not enough for my skin. I’ve been pairing it with Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX, and it’s giving me great hydration overnight.
I feel this would be great to use during the summer months, but it doesn’t offer enough hydration for me for winter. Those with oily skin may benefit from this though. I’m likely going to squirrel this away until it gets warmer, and switch to something more hydrating for these cold months.
Where to Buy
I’ve been a fan of Laneige products for a long time and snagged the Light line as part of a set a couple summers ago. It’s part of their oily-combination skin line, which is perfect for me during the summer months. This is the Power Essential Skin Refiner (known as Power Essential Skin Toner in North America). The one I’m reviewing is from Asia.
The bottle is made of sturdy plastic, is clear with a bluish tint to it. The cap is the twist kind.
Removing the cap, you can see a small silver foil sealing the opening to the bottle. Bonus points to Laneige for sanitary packaging.
After taking the foil off, it reveals a small opening. I prefer these small openings as it allows me to control the amount of product that comes out instead of accidentally pouring too much out.
I use this as a toner after cleansing my face. It has a light, pleasant scent to it and isn’t overbearing at all. There is no sensation using it per say (as in there is no cooling or tingling sensation) and I find that it doesn’t irritate my skin. My serums and moisturizers soak in quite well afterwards.
Using this in combination with the Light Balancing Emulsion made for a great combination over the summer. It won’t be enough moisturizing for those with dry skin or for the winter months, but summer use is great.
Where to Buy
- Sephora – $33 CAD
This post has been a long time coming, being that it is a memorable meal. Why you may ask? That is because it was the last meal I had before I went into labour.
We had reservations for 7:15pm on a friday night however, after arriving, we had to wait an additional 30 minutes for a table. It was so busy! We also noticed that the heat was on full blast and the restaurant itself was overheated (we had visited in late March).
Once we were seated, our server introduced himself and took care of us for the night. He was wonderful (I wish I remembered his name!) and his knowledge of the menu was phenomenal. Mr’s cousin even remembered him from her last visit which was a year prior. Talk about a lasting impression!
Mr started off with a mango tango. It was a blend of mango juice, cranberry juice, soda, plus a sprig of mint. It was rather nice of him to pick a non-alcoholic drink so that I could have a taste too. I really liked the flavours and that it wasn’t too sweet.
I ordered a lemonade, which ended up being really tart. It was drinkable, but I certainly enjoyed the mango tango better.
This… if you go to Bannock, you must order roast duck poutine pizza. Mr and I like to think it was this dish that caused labour. It was absolutely delicious. Generous pieces of duck on duck fat fries, big curds and amazing gravy, served on a bannock, which is actually a type of flatbread. Get this to share and you won’t be disappointed! Or, if you’re feeling hungry, order this for yourself and don’t share. I warn you though, it is very filling. I will definitely be eating this again.
Mr’s cousin ordered the fish and shrimp cake with duck fat kimchi potatoes. You could see right off the bat that the cake was very generously sized, and when she cut it open, you could see chunks of fish and shrimp in it. The kimchi gave a punch to the potatoes and the arugula helped to offset some of the heat.
Mr’s cousin’s husband ordered one of the chalkboard specials which was a steak with a dollap of pesto, and served on a bed of duck fat fried potatoes. I did not taste this but I am told the steak was very flavourful and the duck fat fried potatoes were heavenly.
Mr ordered the Arcadian chicken pot pie. He was craving some comfort food and this stood out to him on the menu. It was tasty, albeit a little on the salty side. One disappointing thing is that the crust is limited to only the top. There is no crust lining the bowl the pot pie was in. As a chicken pot pie fan, I was also disappointed in the lack of pie crust.
I also went for a chalkboard special that consisted of calamari linguini, whole garlic cloves, spinach leaves, and a squid ink sauce. I was so hyped by this dish that I was disappointed in how bland it was. It definitely needed more salt. Otherwise, the linguini was a perfect al dente and the seafood was cooked just right. It just needed more flavour!
And another O&B restaurant to check off the list! It was great, even though some dishes were better than others. Duck poutine pizza is a must try. I want to try some of the other menu items rather than going for the chalkboard specials. Would I recommend coming here? Absolutely. Make reservations.
401 Bay St.
Laneige Light Balancing Emulsion
Full review currently cooking on the back burner. Another product from Laneige that is for the oily-combination skin types. This was perfect for me in the summer as I was able to get just enough hydration into my skin without overdoing it. It definitely would not be enough hydration in the drying winter months – just to keep in mind.
Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital 30 SPF High Potency Daily Moisturizing Cream
Full review here.
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched
This is currently one of my favourite night creams. Have another on backup already!
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – foaming formula
Full review here.
Naisture 15minutes: mask pack – Moisture Green tea
I’m finally getting around to using these masks! I purchased a bunch of these Naisture masks a couple years ago when I went on vacation to San Francisco. These are made in Korea and I can’t find much info about them. A full review is cooking while I go through the rest of them. In short, I do like these masks and would get more if I could!
Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream
I had a full review of the Gel Cream version here. This is the Moisture Cream version. It is very hydrating, and would work well in the dry winter time for intense moisturizing. It’s a bit heavy for summer time unfortunately.
Laneige Perfect Renew Dual Touch Eyes
I definitely left this sample around too long because I wasn’t able to use the day side. This sample had two wells – one each for day and night. The day side (which contains SPF 25) was dried up and unusable. The night side was still good and hydrated my eyes nicely. N0t sure if I would purchase this as I usually like to use a day cream with SPF instead of multiple products that have SPF in it.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging & Intensive Repair Eye Serum
I got a sample of this from a Luxe Box and it’s quite nice. It is hydrating, however I definitely can not justify the price tag. $155 for 15ml?? No thanks. I’ve definitely used other eye creams for significantly less and does just the same.
Murad Clarifying Wipes for blemish-prone skin
Another sample from Luxe Box. I wouldn’t recommend this at all. I don’t have blemish-prone skin but even for those that do, I strongly suggest you use something else. For one thing, it burns. All I did was wipe my face lightly with it and my face felt like it was on fire. It turned red and and quite warm to touch. Am never using this again. My skin did not like it at all.
Murad Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator
And another sample from Luxe Box. It’s hard to say whether this did anything as it was pretty much a one time use. Also, my skin was still burning from the above clarifying wipes so I can’t give a proper review. One thing I did notice was the smell – it had a very strong plastic smell (almost nauseating for me) and that was enough to turn me away from it.
Could it be that the hiatus is over? Well, not exactly. Now that baby is taking somewhat regular naps, I figure I should try to catch up a little bit. Reviews won’t be coming as quickly as they used to, but I’m working on it. Thank you for sticking with me for so long.
Garnier Body Hydra Express 24H Hydrating Gel-Cream
I liked the Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days lotion so I figured I’d give the Hydra Express a try. Plus, they were a steal from the Spring L’Oreal Warehouse sale so why not stock up? In the end, I wasn’t fan of the gel-cream at all. On application, it felt like there was a microbe residue that I couldn’t rub completely into my skin, even though I couldn’t see the beads. The Mr. and I used it religiously every day just for the sake of using it up quickly. I wouldn’t recommend this and am not buying multiple bottles of it again!
Thyme Maternity Soothing Therapy Stretch Mark Cream
Full review here.
Lancôme Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Full review here. The one I finished here is the old formulation. Am currently using the new formulation again!
Laneige Power Essential Skin Refiner Light
Love this during the summer. It’s mainly for oily-combination skin types which is perfect for me in the summer time. It soothes the skin and preps it well for serums and moisturizers.
Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel
Working on a full review and this worked so-so with my skin. I can’t comment on how well it removes makeup (I honestly didn’t wear any bit of makeup since the baby was born). It didn’t pass my Clarisonic test as it got into and irritated my eyes. Will post a full review soon.
Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with Cooling Menthol
Full review here.
As you may or may not have noticed, it’s been pretty quiet on the blog for the last while. There’s a perfect explanation for this, and it’s because of…
This little guy came into our lives a week early, and we’ve since been getting to know him. It’s been challenging to say the least, with the sleeplessness and figuring things out, but we’re doing ok.
So for now, until things get into a bit more of a predictable routine (and for me to get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time), the blog will be a little stagnant for a while. Hopefully when I come back, I can still get into a regular posting groove. Until then, take care everyone!
~ Jessica (pixelbunny)
I used to associate Aveeno as an older generation’s moisturizer, because my dad swears by this stuff. He even has my little brother hooked on it. There was one week when my brother was visiting, and I needed to make sure there was Aveeno in the house. We went shopping and he ended up picking this bottle, the Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with cooling menthol. I’ve used the daily moisturizing lotion before, which made for a great hand cream at work. I tried to look up more info on this line but am sad to see that it’s been discontinued for over a year! Then how come I was able to find it for sale at Wal-Mart? I guess they’re still trying to sell off stock? It’s too bad that it’s discontinued, as it really is quite a good body moisturizer.
The lotion is in a stand up bottle with pump mechanism. Like with all pump bottles, the pump is great until you reach the very bottom of the bottle, which is when you need to flip it upside down and shake out the rest to get every last bit.
The lotion is thick with a slight gel consistency, but more creamy-like. It works into the skin very easily but leaves an ever so slight sticky feeling. However, after a few minutes, that feeling goes away and your skin is nice and smooth. Sometimes I feel the cooling of the menthol, sometimes I don’t, so I’m not quite sure what that means.
This has been great during the drying winter months and I have been reaching for this pretty often as soon as I step out of the shower. It makes my skin feel great, especially after letting it do its stuff overnight. I’m not crazy about the feeling of it immediately after application, but come morning, my skin feels fantastic.
Where to Buy – $7.47 for 227ml | $7.97 for 354ml
I have been using Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser foaming formula for over a year now and it’s still my favourite one to use. Not only is it gentle on the skin and cleans like a dream, it also doesn’t irritate my eyes, especially when I’m using it with my trusty Clarisonic!
It’s hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, which is fantastic in a facial cleanser. It claims to “thoroughly remove excess oil, dirt and make-up without over-drying or irritating skin“. Indeed, after using it from the first time, I found this to be quite true!
You get 354ml in handy pump bottle. You can get most of the product using the pump, but when you get towards the end, it’ll be helpful to flip it upside down and empty it into a smaller container to access the rest of it.
You can’t really see it in the above picture, but the product is clear with a slight yellow tinge. It works into a lovely light foam when you work it onto your wet face. There is no tingly feeling, but when rinsing off with water, your skin feels refreshed without that greasy residue. Like I had mentioned earlier, this product works really well with Clarisonic devices, because it doesn’t irritate the eyes when it inadvertently gets in there. Half a pump is all I need for my entire face.
I absolutely adore this facial cleanser and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a gentle, yet effective face wash. I use this once a day at the end of the day, but for those who have breakouts or acne prone skin, you may even benefit from using it twice a day. Even the Mr. uses it daily so I need to make sure my backup stash is well stocked!
Where to Buy