pixelbunny's picks

A foodie and beauty blog

Hiatus

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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…

baby
Isn’t he sooo cute?

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)

Written by Jessica

April 22nd, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with Cooling Menthol

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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 Packaging

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with cooling menthol - bottle
Pump bottle

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 Product

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with cooling menthol - swatch
L: straight from bottle, R: worked slightly into skin

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.

 

The Verdict

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

Written by Jessica

March 25th, 2015 at 9:12 am

Posted in Beauty,body,skincare

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser foaming formula

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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!

 

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser foaming formula - bottle
Pump bottle

The Packaging

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.

 

The Product

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser foaming formula - swatch
Clear, with a slight yellow tinge

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.

 

The Verdict

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

Written by Jessica

March 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare

Skin + Bones

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It was the Mr’s birthday a couple weeks ago and we decided to hit Skin + Bones. It’s been on my list to eat forever, and we figured it was high time to cross it off our list.

 

The Atmosphere

The space is fairly small, so book a reservation to be safe! It’s cozy and intimate, although the tables are a little close together, so you’ll definitely be able to eavesdrop on other tables if you’re not chatting with your party. There’s ample seating at the bar, and also a long, tall table for larger parties. We had reservations for 7:30pm with the intent of dining on their “Let Us Feed You!” tasting menu. For $38 per person, it is the chef’s choice of 4 dishes to bring out for everyone to share. We told them our only dietary restrictions was to make the meal a pregnancy-friendly one, so not raw fish/meat or unpasteurized cheeses. What they did bring out for us was awesome.

 

The Food

Skin and Bones - maple bourbon sour
Maple bourbon sour – $13

Mr started off his evening with a maple bourbon sour. I liked how they made a little fern design in the foam. He liked it because it was alcoholic.

 

Skin and Bones - mocktail
Mocktail – $5

For me, I asked for a mocktail that had a fruity profile. The one they made me was quite tasty, with a bit of tartness and some grapefruit notes. I probably should of asked what went in it, but I just sipped at it and enjoyed the flavours. At first, I thought the garnish was blueberries, but they were actually sour cherries. I liked it enough to ask them for a second one.

 

Skin and Bones - croquettes
Potato Croquette

First dish up was the potato croquette. Lightly deep fried, it’s sprinkled with parmigianno regianno and chives. It’s normally served with proscuitto, but with the pregnancy-friendly criteria, we had to do without the cured ham. I tasted really good and I loved the taste of the parmigianno with the chives and croquette, but I can only imagine how much better it would have been with proscuitto.

 

Skin and Bones - lamb merguez sausage
Lamb merguez sausage

Next up was lamb merguez sausage served on a cucumber raita, pickled eggplant, and garnished with rosemary. This was really good and juicy, with that delicious lamb flavour. It went really well with the cucumber raita, which was nice and creamy.

 

Skin and Bones - beet salad
Heirloom beet salad

This was the Mr’s favourite dish of the night – heirloom beet salad. Still warm, soft beets with a really good soft cheese (which I can’t remember what it was – goat I think? – but it went amazingly well with the beets!) and candied walnuts. The beet garnish was really neat as they were like swirly pasta strands.

 

Skin and Bones - house made gnocchi
House made gnocchi

The house made gnocchi was one of my favourites because of the pillowy soft texture it had and the amazing burrata cheese that went with it. It was also my first time having ‘nduja, which is a spicy, spreadable, Calabrian salami. At first, I thought I was eating some kind of chorizo, but nope, it was ‘nduja, and it was delicious!! Getting everything in one bite was like a flavour explosion in my mouth. That burrata cheese is amazing too.

 

Skin and Bones - braised beef rib
Braised beef rib

Our next main was braised beef rib. It was pretty impressive when it first came out – it looked like an axe! It’s served on a bed of cauliflower purée, with two types of carrots: pickled carrots slices on top, and maple glazed carrots underneath. Even though the edges of the beef rib was a little tough and dry, the middle was so moist and juicy it just melted in your mouth. I wish it was like that throughout but we ate around the edges first, then dug into the centre.

 

Skin and Bones - crispy fried potatoes
Crispy fried potatoes

The braised beef rib was served with crisp fried potatoes, which were indeed very crispy! It makes me wonder if they were double fried to achieve that super crispy outer texture, with a hot and soft centre. The dipping sauce was also really good with the potatoes, but I can’t remember what kind of sauce it was except that it was a kind of mayo. Was it chipotle? No, I don’t think that was it, but it was really good.

 

Skin and Bones - sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding

Luckily for the Mr, the dessert they brought out was sticky toffee pudding, which is what he had been eyeing ever since the menu was presented in front of him. He asked me if I had asked specifically for it ahead of time for him of which I should have been smart and said yes. He has a soft spot for sticky toffee pudding and can’t not order it when he sees it. It was perfect. The right amount of toffee soaked into the cake with just a dollar of whipped cream made for the perfect ending to this meal. Even the candle was a really nice touch (I did tell them it was for his birthday) and we really appreciated the attention to detail.

 

The Verdict

With the exception of the braised beef rib being a bit dry on the outside, we loved everything about this meal and wouldn’t hesitate to come back again. Some other things on the menu pique our interest but for those coming for the first time, the “Let Us Feed You” 4 course sharing menu is the best way to go to sample many different dishes.

 

The Place

Skin + Bones
980 Queen St East,
Toronto, ON
416-524-5209

Written by Jessica

March 18th, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

COLAB Sheer & Invisible Dry Shampoo

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COLAB Dry Shampoo in London classic and Rio tropical
Cute travel sizes! 

I found a new dry shampoo love, and it’s name is COLAB. I mean, I enjoyed other dry shampoos in the past, but this one really worked with my super greasy second day hair and made it light, weightless, and looking like it was freshly washed. Amazing, right??

COLAB Sheer & Invisible Dry Shampoo* was developed by model Ruth Crilly and a group of beauty experts to create a line of amazing dry shampoos that are finally making its way into the Canadian market. Five fragrances (London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Rio) currently exist in the UK but only two (London and Rio) are available in Canada. If it sells well, maybe they’ll bring the other fragrances over to our side of the pond!

 

The Packaging

As with most dry shampoos, the product is packaged compressed in an aluminum canister with spray nozzle. Flammable and explosive symbols are obviously marked on the can, so keep it away from heat sources! A slightly opaque, coloured cap tops off the canister to hide away the nozzle. I didn’t have any problems with the nozzle clogging, however I had been using the travel size canister (50ml). The full size canister (200ml) I’m not sure.

 

The Product

This stuff is amazing. One of my favourite aspects of it is that it sprays in transparent. There is no white film, no sticky residue to give you that “crunchy” or “sticky” feeling afterwards, and it definitely doesn’t weigh my hair down. Instead, it’s weightless with a fragrance that dissipates to a light smell meaning you won’t be smelling it unless you pull your hair directly in front of your nose. One of these days, I’d love to come across a dry shampoo that is scent-free, but I suppose if you’re using this in place of washing your hair, you’d want something to mask the smell of the grease and oil in your scalp.

London‘s fragrance is described as “classic yet contemporary”, with notes of bergamot, musk and magnolia.

Rio‘s fragrance is described as “a carnival of tropical notes with papaya, pineapple and a hear of cassis”.

 

The Verdict

I love this! It has become my new favourite shampoo! My hair is quite long (halfway down my back) and the travel size canisters lasted me 3 applications each. If you haven’t tried this yet, believe me, you NEED it.

 

Where to Buy – $5.49 for 50ml | $9.99 for 200ml

  • Farley Co
  • London Drugs
  • Jean Coutu
  • Lawtons
  • select Pharmasave locations
  • PharmacChoice

* Disclaimer – I received this product from FarleyCo for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Written by Jessica

March 17th, 2015 at 10:00 am

Posted in Beauty,hair

February 2015 Empties

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February 2015 Empties

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Soothing Lotion in honey

Full review here.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser foaming formula

I absolutely love this facial cleanser and have been using it for over a year. Look out for a full review coming soon!

The Body Shop Almond Conditioning Hand Wash

I originally used this a couple years ago when my eczema was really bad, and then stopped using it for unknown reasons. I’ve since rediscovered it and love it again. Look for a full review on this coming soon as well.

Lancôme Génefique Eye Youth Activating Eye Concentrate

I received this as part of a gift with purchase from The Bay. It lasted me quite a while (almost a month!) and definitely kept my eye area nicely hydrated, but I haven’t really noticed any anti-aging changes. I don’t have any eye wrinkles to begin with, so perhaps it’s more of a preventative measure. I like it, but I don’t think I can justify the price on this one when there are other hydrating eye creams out there that work for me.

Softlips Lip Moisturizer SPF20 in watermelon

Softlips s one of my favourite lip products so I’ll pick up a couple here and there. I like that there’s multiple scents to choose from, but they all go on clear so it’s perfect for night time use. I’ve got another 3 backups to go through.

Colab Dry Shampoo in London and Rio

I will save the rave review for an upcoming post but in short, I am loving this dry shampoo and can’t wait to get my hands on another canister!

Written by Jessica

March 13th, 2015 at 9:15 am

L’Oréal Warehouse Sale for Spring 2015

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Mr Pixelbunny was lucky enough this year to snag an early bird ticket to the L’Oréal Warehouse Sale this year so we made a date out of going. We went in with the intention of stocking up on body lotion as it’s the one thing we consistently go through on a regular basis. Everything else was we were going to leave up to fate.

 

First Visit

L'Oreal Warehouse Sale for Spring 2015 - first visit 1-2

  • Garnier Intensive 7 Days Repairing Lotion with shea butter for extra dry skin – $5 (orig. $7.97)
  • Garnier Intensive 7 Days Nourishing Lotion with manga oil for dry skin – $2 (orig. $4.97)
  • Garnier Hydra Express 24H Hydrating Gel-Cream with peach oil for dry skin – $2 (orig. $4.97)
  • Lancôme Tonique Radiance – $23.25 (orig. $40)
  • Lancôme Huile Douceur – $24 (orig. $40, but discontinued)
  • Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro Oil shampoo – $17.50 (orig. $22)
  • Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Oil Crème conditioner – $18 (orig. $22)

Body lotion is a must and was one of the main reasons for going to the sale. So into our bag went the Garnier lotions. Lancôme’s Tonique Radiance is a favourite toner in this household, and even though I had just bought two large format bottles from the Lancôme website literally a week ago, I had to pick up one more. Huile Douceur was more of an impulse buy as I like to try oil cleansers here and there, but it wasn’t until I got home and looked it up to find it’s already discontinued. I really liked the Biolage Full Lift Volumizing shampoo and conditioner I bought at the Fall 2014 sale, but it wasn’t here anymore. Instead, we picked up Biolage ExquisiteOil to try out.

 

L'Oreal Warehouse Sale for Spring 2015 - first visit 2-2

  • Essie Good to Go Rapid Dry Top Coat – $4.75 (orig. $10.75)
  • Lancôme Lip Lover mini trio – $27.50 (orig. $46)
  • Lancôme Vernis in Love in #137 Rouge Cabaret – $11.50 (orig. $19)
  • Lancôme Vernis in Love in #545 Aqua Bleu – $8.75 (orig. $19)
  • Lancôme Vernis in Love in #550 Illuminations – $8.75 (orig. $19)
  • Maybelline Baby Lips in peppermint x2 – $2 each (orig. $3.56)

I love Lancôme’s vernis in love for the wide paddle brush and beautifully smooth formulation so I picked up a few of those. I’d also heard rave reviews for lip lover so seeing the mini trio in three very wearable colours seemed like a good chance to try it out. Of course, Maybelline’s baby lips are a no brainer. I love the clear ones because I can wear it during the day AND at night, so a double use.

That night we tried out the Biolage ExquisiteOil shampoo and conditioner to see if we liked it. We ended up loving it, and a second trip was planned for the next day to stock up.

 

Second Visit

L'Oreal Warehouse Sale for Spring 2015 - second visit 1-2

  • Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro Oil shampoo x3 – $17.50 each (orig. $22)
  • Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Oil Crème conditioner x3 – $18 each (orig. $22)

I think this should last us until the next sale, right?

 

L'Oreal Warehouse Sale for Spring 2015 - second visit 2-2

  • Garnier Hydra Express 24H Hydrating Gel-Cream with grape oil x3 – $2 each (orig. $4.97)
  • Vichy Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution for sensitive skin and eyes – $16.50 (orig. $20)
  • La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP – $19.75 (orig. $33)
  • Maybelline Baby Lips in peppermint x2 – $2 each (orig. $3.56)

More body lotions of course; the lighter lotions being specifically for the upcoming warmer months. I picked up Vichy’s Pureté Thermale to try out, and a larger pump bottle of La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Baume AP, since that stuff is working wonders for my eczema. And then I picked up two more Maybelline Baby Lips because you can never have too many.

Total value = $469.81
Total paid = $309.75! (with taxes, it came to $350.01)

If you’re able to snag an early bird ticket, it’s best to go during that first weekend. Early bird tickets are fewer in number than regular tickets so there aren’t as many people there as the regular ticket weekends. We went around 11am and there weren’t too many people. We ran into one of Mr’s coworkers who had gone right at 9am and he told us he and his wife were with a huge crowd.

<rant> My only complaint was on the second day. Security wasn’t very good at checking tickets at the door and let in everyone with a 2015 ticket. This posed a problem when it came to cashiers as they weren’t consistent. While I was in line, I noticed one cashier had called a manager over to dispute the customer’s ticket. I could overhear the manager saying that the customer’s ticket was not an early bird ticket, and that she could not purchase items until the weekend after. The customer argued and I don’t know the outcome, but it makes sense that if you don’t have an early bird ticket, you shouldn’t be able to purchase anything until your allotted weekend. However, I looked at the people checking out around me and tons of people had later tickets, not the early bird ticket. I fumed as I watched the cashier take the ticket and rang in their items. What’s the point of having early bird tickets if no one is checking the tickets properly? The non early bird tickets clearly state that the sale starts on March 11, so people who showed up on March 7 and 8 have excuse for showing up early unless they knowingly knew there was an early bird weekend. </rant>

Anyways, if you’re able to snag a ticket to go to this event, it’s definitely worth going to! If you’re interested in seeing my posts on previous sale you can click below:

Written by Jessica

March 11th, 2015 at 11:09 am

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP

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La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP - box and tube
This stuff is amazing!!

Dry winter skin got you down? Or are you suffering from eczema? Lucky for me, I get to experience both of these things, particularly in my hands during the winter months. I’ve tried multiple hand creams, but none seem to really do the trick. Enter La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Baume AP. This stuff is magical, and not only does it work, prolonged use actually helped my eczema, moistened my skin, and didn’t dry it out like medicated creams did.

 

The Packaging

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP - nozzle
Flip-top cap

You get 200ml of amazing cream in this stand up tube. I love stand up tube formats because gravity becomes your friend and helps move the product downwards to the opening. The flip top cap is initially hard to open, but after a couple of tries, it’s quite easy. It’s sturdy, which means it’s not going to break off any time soon. If the 200ml tube is not your style, you can always go for the 400ml pump bottle.

 

The Product

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP - swatch
Beautifully rich cream

It comes out of the tube as a thick, rich cream. Because of it’s richness, I use this just before I go to bed. It is the only hand cream I can use at night that will last the whole night and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized in the morning. Most other hand creams I’ve tried absorb well, but by the time I wake up, my hands are feeling dry again.

Depending on how dry my hands are, I use between a dime and nickel sized worth of cream, then work it into my hands. Keep in mind this takes time, so I use this time to give my hands and fingers a little massage. Yes, you will feel a bit of a greasy residue afterwards, but if you work it into your skin slowly, it will absorb well and leave you with a moisturizing layer. Do not wash your hands after this! Go straight to bed and let the cream work it’s magic. By the time you wake up in the morning, your hands will look and feel completely different from the night before.

 

The Verdict

This is a winter staple for me, and especially during times when I have eczema flare ups. I highly recommend this product, especially for night time use! It is working wonders on me, and the Mr is starting to use it here and there when his hands get dry. Pick up a tube and try it out!

 

Where to Buy – $30

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Rexall

Written by Jessica

March 9th, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Ecotools Skin Perfecting Brush

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Being near-sighted, I’ve gotten used to applying my makeup with my fingers. However, when the occasion calls for contacts, I like to try to practice with tools to see how much of a difference makeup application becomes. The Ecotools Skin Perfecting Brush* is one that I’ve been testing out lately.

 

Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - packaging
Even the packaging is eco friendly!

The Packaging

The brush is packaged in a reusable pouch that’s made out of a cloth backing and a clear front made out of EVA plastic. EVA is a type of plastic that does not contain phthalates and PVC. I think it’s great that you can reuse the pouch and I can fit the skin perfecting brush with a couple of eyeshadow brushes in there comfortably. It would make for a handy traveling case as long as you’re not overstuffing your bag. All this does is carry your brushes, but it doesn’t offer much protection in terms of breakage, so pack smart!

 

The Product

Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - brush
Length of brush

The brush consists of really soft, white bristles that are cruelty free, a recycled aluminum ferrule, and a bamboo handle.

 

Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - bristles 1
Angled bristles

Not sure if you can see it in this picture but the bristles are angled, which makes it easier to reach those hard to reach areas (I’m looking at you sides of the nose and around the eyes).

 

Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - bristles 2
Close up of bristles

The claim of this brush is that it’s designed specifically to be used with BB and CC creams. BB and CC creams have a much thicker consistency than liquid foundation, and I usually use my fingers when applying this. The nice thing about using a dedicated brush is the decreased likelihood of transferring germs and oils to your face, provided that you clean your brush between each application.

 

The Verdict

I like using this when I’m wearing contacts. Being the blind bat that I am, I can actually see a  difference between finger application and brush application of my BB cream. The main thing is I can actually see if the application is smooth and even.  The other thing I like is the precision I get with the angled bristles. Those hard to reach places are easy to reach using this brush! When I have time in the morning, I like to grab the brush and take my time. However, if I’m running late, I default to my fingers.

 

Where to Buy

* Disclaimer – I received this product from FarleyCo for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Written by Jessica

March 3rd, 2015 at 11:25 am

Posted in Beauty,face,tools

Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital 30 SPF High Potency Daily Moisturizing Cream

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Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital 30 SPF High Potency Daily Moisturizing Cream - jar
Deluxe sample size jar that packs a hydrating punch!

This past winter month has taken a serious beating on my skin and my usual moisturizers just isn’t cutting it. Coupled with the fact that I’m trying to use something with SPF during the day time has been tricky, as I don’t like the overbearing smell of sunscreen in my products. Enter Lancôme’s Bienfait Multi-Vital High Potency Daily Moisturizing Cream. I received this as a gift with purchase a couple years ago but had completely forgotten about it until now. After using it for the past 2 weeks, I am obsessed with how hydrating it is, as well as how there is virtually no SPF smell to it. It’s a winner for me.

 

The Packaging

Being a deluxe sample size, there’s only 15g of product in here. It’s a small, sturdy plastic jar with a screw top lid.

 

The Product

Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital 30 SPF High Potency Daily Moisturizing Cream - swatch
Swatch

The product is a thick cream, but it readily absorbs into my dry skin and leaves no greasy residue afterwards. It has a pleasant fragrance to it that isn’t overbearing at all. Best of all, no SPF smell! My skin is left feeling perfectly smooth and soft.

 

The Verdict

I’m so happy with this deluxe sample that I am most definitely going to repurchase this again, especially for the drying winter months. For those of you who are looking for a heavy duty day time moisturizer without the SPF smell, this is the one for you!

 

Where to Buy – $58 CND

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Written by Jessica

February 26th, 2015 at 9:22 am

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare