Back in May, I was invited to a VIP Beauty Editor Breakfast courtesy of Dave Lackie, Shiseido, and Cityline for their upcoming new product. Now that I’ve finally gone through the whole bottle, I can share my thoughts with you!
So what is Ultimune? Simply put, it is Shiseido’s answer to being the world’s first skin immunity booster. We spend all this time and effort into retaining our skin’s youthful appearance, erasing fine lines, brightening up dull skin, that no one’s given a thought to something that precedes all that, immunity. Shiseido spent more than 20 years of research into skin immunity and produced Ultimune. They developed the ultimate complex that works on boosting Langerhans cells’ function. Therefore, with consistent use, you’ll find your skin to become stronger and with a heightened immunity in 4 weeks time.
The box is made of sturdy cardboard with a beautiful red-pink sheen. The bottle itself is so pretty, it deserves some pictures on its own.
The top of the lid has an engraving of Shiseido’s trademark camellia logo.
The side of the bottle has this curve like feature, which actually makes the bottle fit more comfortably in your hand when you hold it.
Pop off the lid and voila, a pump mechanism. I love pumps because it’s more sanitary than dipping your fingers into a product. The only annoying thing is getting every last drop. Luckily, the pump straw reaches all the way down to the very bottom of the bottle, so with a slight tilt of the bottle, I can pump out practically every last drop that’s in there. The other way to do it is to completely unscrew the pump and then turn the bottle upside down. Either way, you can definitely get to every last drop.
The first thing you notice is the smell. It is heavenly. It’s a mix of florals, gingko and ginger. While it comes out as slightly opaque, when you massage it into your skin, it definitely is clear. It soaks into my skin almost immediately and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. I use it twice a day, morning and night just after toner but before other serums and moisturizers. Yes, it is an extra step but I think it’s worth it. My skin has looked and felt so soft and clear that I didn’t see a single pimple in the 2 months it took me to get through this bottle. I will interpret this as that the immunity booster is working.
I quite love this stuff and what it’s done for my skin. I would definitely recommend it to those who are 25 and older. Anyone younger and the product is wasted. Young people have a quicker turnover of skin cells, so there’s no real time for the product to absorb and work its magic. On older skin, cell regeneration is much much slower, so the product has time to work. Another bottle is definitely in my backup stash.
Where to Buy
Over the summer, Mr Pixelbunny and I met up with some friends for brunch and they suggested Farmhouse Tavern. Reservations were made à la OpenTable, and we were all set to eat!
When we arrived at 12:00pm, the place was packed! It was a good thing we had reservations! The inside decor reminds you of being out of the city, with country-style settings, and things you would expect to find in a farmhouse. We spotted an old school wood stove leaning against one wall. Chairs were all mismatched but in this place, it fits!
I ordered Hey Buttercup!, which consisted of half a baked butternut squash, mixed greens (I could identify green beans, shoots, and asparagus amongst other greens), corn, smoked bacon, and two poached eggs. It was pretty tasty, although it didn’t quite satisfy my brunch hunger. It’s good as a salad, and you definitely get your serving of vegetables here. The smoked bacon was small and only a few bits were here. I was hoping for heartier pieces to give the salad some more meat.
Mr Pixelbunny ordered eggs gravlax. This was definitely my favourite and I wish I had ordered it instead. The eggs were poached perfectly and the hollandaise sauce was amazing as well. There’s something about the biscuit that also makes it amazing as it’s not plain, but maybe has veggie bits in it? The trio of egg, gravlax and biscuit is mind-numbingly good, plus the side of salad ensures that you get some veggies in with your meal. You can also spot some ribbons of carrot on the plate.
Brunch, although very busy, was fantastic! Definitely try the eggs gravlax. I wasn’t too impressed with Hey Buttercup! and will likely order something else next time. Hmmm the mother and child reunion sound rather interesting…
1627 Dupont St,
Oops! I was on a bit of a hiatus for the last few months and hadn’t blogged in a while. I did keep track of what I used up, so this should be one big pile of empties!
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil
I’ve had this for quite a while and loved using it as a finishing powder over foundation. A little bit goes a long way and it’s so silky smooth. It took me over a year to get through this so it’s well worth the money!
Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Primer
I had heard really good reviews for this but it’s not my favourite. Personally, I didn’t like how liquid-like it felt and I wasn’t sure if it really held my foundation any longer than without. Perhaps I’m used to the feel of silicone based ones but I didn’t really like this one.
Biotherm Aquasource Superserum
Full review here.
Lancôme Advanced Génifique
This is the new improved formulation of their award winning Génifique. I have a review cooking up for both formulations so look forward to it!
Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Cream
I honestly love this line and will continue to use it for as long as it works on my skin! The Water Bank line is perfect for those with dry skin and does absolute wonders for me during the winter. Read my full review for it here.
St. Ives Deep Restoring 24 Hour Moisture
I used to use this in university and then forgot about it for a while. I had picked this up again when it was on sale at my local Shoppers Drugs Mart, plus cash back on my Checkout51 account making this bottle costing me only $0.50! How could I not? It soaks into my skin pretty quickly and leaves it feeling nice and smooth. I liked that 12 hours later, my skin still felt really smooth. Definitely repurchasing this one again.
Lancôme Tonique Radiance
One of my favourite toners, as well as Mr. Pixelbunny’s. Read my full review for it here.
Maybelline Baby Lips in Quenched and Peppermint
This lip balm remains my favourite one to keep in my pocket while at work. It definitely keeps my lips moisturized and replenishes moisture when they’re dry and flaky. I’ve already bought 3 more backups too.
Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer
A sample I received in a Sephora order last year that I finally got around to using now. It’s definitely light and luxurious feeling, but there definitely wasn’t enough for me to see any skin changes. For the price tag of an actual jar, I likely won’t be purchasing one.
L’oread Youth Code Pore Vanisher
This was a sample I received in my Loulou magazine subscription. I actually liked this and contemplated purchasing one but decided to finish what I had first. It doesn’t come out clear, but more of a peachy tone instead. It has a slight tint to it that worked for my skin tone. Pores were “vanished” and made for a nice canvas for my foundation. I also like wearing it on its own just to cover some of the larger pores around my nose. Definitely one to consider.
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
I absolutely adore these wipes, especially when traveling. Costco used to sell big boxes of 6 + 2 travel packs but I’m not sure if they still do. I need to hunt around and see if they still exist. They get off every bit of makeup on my face, even most of my eyeliner and mascara. I need to use another eye makeup remover for the lasting bits (Lancôme Bi Facil to the rescue!) but it gets off most of what’s there. Definitely a repurchase.
I just received word of the coveted Shiseido warehouse sale for fall 2014! Here are the details!
When: Saturday November 8 from 9am – 5pm | Sunday November 9, 2014 from 9am – 3pm
Where: 303 Allstate Parkway, Markham, ON L3R 5P9
They accept payment by cash, Visa, MasterCard, and debit. Also, no stroller and no children under 12 are allowed as this is their general rule. This sale is open to the public so no formal invitation required!
Unfortunately for me, I am working that weekend again so no warehouse shopping for me. If you do get to go, enjoy and have fun!
Pie, pie, pie! Who doesn’t love a good pie? Though it’s not usual fare for me, I was curious enough to try it out. The Mr’s coworker regularly visits this place for lunch (every week I hear) and raves about it. I figured it was high time to try it out myself.
Finding this place is somewhat tricky, as what you see when driving on The Queensway is actually the back of the place. You need to drive around to the back which is where the entrance is. For ease, their website has a nice little map so you can see exactly where you need to go to get your pie fix.
The place is small, with only a small bar with 3 stools to sit on if you decide to eat inside. Outside, there is a picnic table with an umbrella over top, as well as some seating space along the steps and ramp (this place is definitely wheelchair accessible!).
A chalkboard outside lists their current special and sweet pies.
I will admit, that I have eaten this 3 days in a row. *sheepish look* The first time, I went with a friend to try it nice and hot from the oven. While I was there, I bought some of their pies to take home (plus I knew Mr Pixelbunny was dying to try them too).
The first pie I ate was The German Pie. No picture of this pie because I was famished, however I can describe it as Oktoberfest in pie form. The pie contains Wageners bratwurst, smoked pork, cabbage, apples, and brickworks cider. Seriously, some really good pie.
The pies you get to eat later come in a box of 4 and are comprised of your choice.
The next day, I heated up two pies for me and the Mr for dinner.
Just look at that golden crust.
The crust is so buttery flaky and crispy that it is an absolute shame you cannot buy the crust on its own. I honestly would just eat the crust by itself if I could. The braised beef rib pie is the only pie on the menu that carries a $0.50 premium over other pies, but it’s totally worth it. This pie is full of slow braised beef in veal stock, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. So absolutely delicious.
The beer ‘n beef pie get a little pinch of pepper to distinguish itself from other pies.
This one contains ground beef and onions in an awesome beer gravy. You can smell a bit of the beer, but not really taste it. As you can see, there is a lot of ground beef in this pie. The Pie Commission does not skimp on their pie fillings!
Today, I heated up the last two pies for lunch.
The butter chicken pie is identified with the little fennel seeds on top. Again, that buttery, flaky crust just beckons you to eat it.
The curry inside is pretty awesome. You’ve got chunks of chicken, cauliflower, onions, carrots (or is that sweet potato?) in an awesome butter chicken curry sauce. The menu warns that it packs a punch, and it sure does! It’s not enough to make you run for water, but it definitely has enough for your taste buds to sit up and notice it.
The chicken cheddar bacon mash pie is identified with one little piece of bacon on top.
Now imagine a double stuffed potato, but with less potato. This is basically what this pie is. Although heavier in the salt compared to the other pies, the flavour is great with lots of bacon and chunks of chicken. I couldn’t quite taste the cheddar, although maybe it’s melted in with the potato mash. This pie was also devoured in a short period of time.
As their catch phrase goes, bloody good pies!!! I would definitely recommend you to come try this out, and to definitely get pies to have for later. I for sure am coming back for more, especially to try out their special pies!
The Pie Commission
935 The Queensway
The L’Oréal Fall warehouse sale is ongoing right now and thanks to the Mr, I snagged a ticket to go. Every time I go, the layout is a little different or there’s some different rules being applied. The most noticeable difference this sale in comparison to the past is that there were no shopping baskets you could carry around – you either carried it in your hands or you had to get a little shopping cart. The other noticeable change is that they no longer accept cash.
Here’s what I picked up from the sale:
- Maybelline Baby Lips – $2.75 each (orig. $5.49)
- Lancôme Bienfait gift set – $39.75 (orig. $60)
- Lancôme Liner Design in Uptown Brown – $6.75 (orig. $30)
- Vichy Homme Normactiv Cg – $17.50 (not made anymore but orig. $29)
- Kiehl’s Facial Fuel – $28.25 (orig. $47)
- Matrix Biolage Full-Kift Volumizing Shampoo – $7.50 (old formulation but orig. $30 I think)
- Matrix Biolage Full-Kift Volumizing Conditioner – $7.00 (old formulation but orig. $30 I think)
- Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Soothing Lotion – $2.00 (orig. $7.79)
- La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP – $15 (orig. $35)
- Lancôme Genifique – $93 (old formulation but orig. $155)
Total value = $440.26
Total paid = $225! (with taxes, it came to $254.25)
I love going to these sales because I can always stock up on skincare goodies that I know I’m guaranteed to use, whether it’s old goodies or new ones to try. And of course, the Mr gets to benefit from the sale too.
Other things I noticed that was not there last year was the presence of Shu Uemura cleansing oil hair products. They had shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, and hydrating oils. I was tempted to try but couldn’t justify $40 on a bottle, even if it was the sale price.
Did you go to the sale? If so, what did you get?
If you’re planning on going to Disney, visit here before it’s too late! Kouzzina is slated to close September 30, 2014.
On the first night of my Disney vacation, Mr. Pixelbunny and I chose to dine at Kouzzina. We could use the Disney Dining Plan, and dining there cost us one table service credit. When we asked, we were informed that with the dining plan, we were entitled to an entrée, a dessert, and a drink.
When menus were brought to our table, I thought the leather-like bound one was beautiful. I couldn’t stop staring at it. This picture doesn’t do it justice!
There are numerous tables with wonderful wait staff attending to them. The kitchen at the back is semi-open so you can see the cooks bustling about and the occasional flame as they sear and cook your meals. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t see a whole lot of kids there (perhaps it caters more to an adult palate?).
We started with a trio of olives and two kinds of olive oil. I don’t remember the name, but our waitress informed us that one olive oil is lighter, and the other more hearty. It’s difficult to explain, but the hearty one has a more complex flavour compared to the lighter one. The fresh bread that accompanied it was still warm and soft. The olives themselves are olives, although I can’t comment much on them as I do not know much about them and don’t eat them on a regular basis.
Of course, we couldn’t resist getting calamari for an appetizer. This plate is definitely meant for sharing as the portions were huge! Each piece was lightly battered and lemon juice was already sprinkled on top. The dip accompanying the calamari is tomato based, and had a smokiness flavour to it. There’s a little bit of spice to the smokiness which made is all the more delicious. This is definitely an appetizer you have to try.
For my entrée, I opted for the traditional whole fish. The waitress told me that the fish I received was yellow tail snapper. It is pan roasted, and served with braised greens (of which I’m not too sure that it was), olives, topped with shaved fennel and red pepper and a lemon on a small fork. The fish was cooked perfectly, and I literally ate the whole thing. All that was left was a fish skeleton. There is quite a lot of liquid/olive oil in this dish, which I think comes from the braised greens. Sometimes I dipped my fish into it, sometimes I didn’t. This dish is great, and definitely worth it if you’re charging it to your Disney Dining Plan.
Mr. Pixelbunny ordered the Fisherman’s Stew. When it came, it looks rather small next to my whole fish, but his dish was hearty and definitely filling. Our only complain was that his shrimp was undercooked. All the other seafood was perfect, but undercooked shrimp was off-putting. There is heat to the tomato base and is quite spicy. I’d order this again, but would pay more attention to how well cooked the seafood is.
We couldn’t leave without getting dessert, and Mr. Pixelbunny was fixated on loukoumades. They are essentially little small puffs of greek doughnuts, drizzled with honey and cinnamon. They are quite chewy and bread-like, so after eating 1, maybe 2, we were stuffed.
I opted for galaktoboureko. This delicious dessert consists of semolina custard that’s baked in phyllo pastry, and powdered with icing sugar. The custard is light, but slightly dense. It has just the perfect amount of sweetness to it, and the phyllo is flaky and crispy. I would love to find a place back home that makes this.
If you’re planning a visit to Disney World, I would recommend coming to Kouzzina, especially if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan. You will receive very large portions of food and the food is great.
2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
It’s summer time, which means it’s time to break out the sunscreen. I am pretty terrible at remembering to use it daily, unless I know for sure that I am spending the day out in the sun. However, when it’s a 5 sec walk from my front door to the garage to get in the car, and then driving straight into underground parking at work, I hardly get any sun on my face. However, I’m pretty sure the hood of my car is reflecting those UV rays onto me, so it’s better to have something with SPF on rather than not.
Now I am an extremely lazy person, and any excuse to be able to snooze that extra few minutes is golden. This is one of the reasons why I reach for a separate day moisturizer with SPF from my night cream. To have SPF already in my moisturizer means it does double duty, which means less time slathering on product and waiting for it to dry completely before putting the next layer on.
I found this at the L’Oreal Spring Warehouse sale and figured it was a good product to try out. Not only does it contain both UVA and UVB SPF25 protection, this bottle has a special oil-free formula for sensitive skin to make your skin soothed and more hydrated. It also claims that it has 48hr hydration. I don’t know if that is useful at all since I wash my face twice daily, so the need to have 48hr hydration is a bit excessive.
There’s 118ml of lotion in this sturdy plastic bottle. It has this great oval shape which allows you to squeeze it ever so slightly in order to control the amount that comes out. For my face, I find a nickel-size amount is enough for my face and neck. The cap is flip top for ease of opening and you won’t ever lose the lid (unless you break the lid off, then that’s a different story).
It’s fairly thick for a lotion, but not quite as thick as a cream. I think this is likely because of the SPF properties in the lotion. It has that telltale sunscreen smell, so unfortunately there’s no escaping that. Applying it to the face is easy, but it does take a bit of time to work away the white cast from the sunscreen. I’m left with a slightly dewy complexion, but that’s easily fixed with a bit of powder. I’ve also been able to wear my foundation over top without the need of a primer to keep it in place. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the sunscreen, but on days where I’m not in the sweltering sun or I know I’m not going to be profusely sweating, I can get away without using primer.
I’m impressed with it’s hydrating properties. I wish there was some way to create a product that contains sunscreen without that sunscreen smell but I have yet to find it. I like that it does double duty of hydrating and protecting from UV rays. It’s a little too thick for my liking. I don’t love this product, but I do like it. I’ll continue to use it until it’s done, but I can’t say for certain if I will repurchase it or not.
Where to Buy
- Walmart – $10.47
- Shoppers Drug Mart -
Toner was always something I never paid that much attention to in my younger years, and now that I’m past the young adult phase of my life, it’s time to put more effort into taking care of my skin. Having said that, I started paying more attention to toners. I originally used Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 2, because my mom would give me the sample bottles from her bonus kits. I used this on and off during my university days, and continued to use it for several years after that. It doubled as a makeup remover, even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what it’s supposed to be used for. After years of using the same thing, I wanted to try something new.
I first bought this just over a year ago, when Lancôme was selling their larger bottles sizes for a cheaper price. I bought one and tried it out, and loved it. I’ve since tried other toners as well, but I ended up coming back to this one. And here I will explain why.
The bottle itself has a light blue tinge to it, with an embossed image of the famous Lancôme rose.
The cap is reflective, with another embossed Lancôme rose at the top.
Twist off the cap and you’ll find an inner seal. Bonus points for sanitary control!
With that inner seal gone, now we can get to the actual product!
The bottle I have contains 200ml of toner. Upon opening it, I’m treated to a fragrance note of white lotus, which is very pleasing to my nose. Lancôme’s website claims that this exfoliating toner will help speed cell turnover to improve skin tone, texture, and clarity. I like it because it removes all excess oils from my skin and you can see those results on your cotton pad. After using it, my skin feels cooled, refreshed, and ready for the next step! Using this has made my skin looking and feeling more radiant.
A word of caution to those with broken skin – it will sting! I made the mistake of popping a pimple and then using toner and wow did it sting! If your skin is normal, you will be fine. But if there’s any broken skin anywhere, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Those with normal skin looking for a refreshing toner and a more radiant skin, this toner is for you! If you can wait until December/January, that is when Lancôme releases their larger sized bottles at a reduced price. This way, you’ll get more bang for your buck!
Where to Buy – $35
Only two empties this month. And they’re two favourites too!
Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover
I’ve lost track of how many bottles I’ve gone through. It is my favourite eye makeup remover and will continue to be! Last I checked, I still have 2 backup bottles in my stash in addition to the mega bottle I opened up recently. If you have any stubborn waterproof makeup with everlasting staying power, this stuff is magical and takes it right off!
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Formula
After trying multiple facial cleansers, this one is the one that I find works best with my Clarisonic Mia. Almost every other cleanser I’ve used stings the eyes, but this stuff doesn’t sting at all. And non-stinging formulas are key when using cleansers with any type of Clarisonic. No matter how you manoeuvre it, your cleanser WILL run and it WILL get into your eyes. I’ll write another post about my Clarisonic later, but for the purposes of this post, I love this facial cleanser and highly recommend it. I also have a backup in my stash in addition to the one I just opened.