Ah yes, it’s been a long time. Life and family took over most of my time this summer and it was great enjoying it all. I did keep a rather large stash of empties in my room (to which my husband always asked when I was going to throw them all out, haha). I amassed quite a bit this time so let’s get to it.
The Body Shop Almond Conditioning Hand Wash
I always default to this hand wash whenever my hands are running amuck with dry, itchy, flaky skin from washing them so much at work. It’s gentle, moisturizing, and has a light fragrance. Best to get when The Body Shop has their buy 3 get 2 free sales.
St. Ives Refresh & Revive Pear Nectar & Soy Body Lotion
Currently on my second bottle. This is a great moisturizer that works without breaking the bank. I use it mainly for daily maintenance, since I save a richer moisturizer for when my skin gets too dry. It absorbs quickly and leaves no greasy residue.
Aveeno Baby Daily Lotion
Bought the smaller size squeeze bottle to try it out with my baby’s skin. Being as sensitive as they are in their early months (and it seems like no ever works to get rid of that dry skin), it wasn’t until this year that I seriously tried using it again. I think it’s a combination of his skin being more resistant now as well as the humidity, but this is a great daily lotion that keeps the dryness at bay. It definitely works for my baby so I’m more likely to purchase the larger pump bottle next time (more volume per dollar).
I love… Strawberries & Cream bubble bath and shower crème
I’ve got a review for this that’s coming up soon.
Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes
Review coming soon!
Lancôme Tonique Radiance
Full review here.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
Hard to say if this works or not as I’m not major acne sufferer. I get the occasional one here and there, but nothing that I need to use specialized creams or treatments for it. It has a very strong smell, too strong for me.
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
I tried using this scrub twice a week just to exfoliate. There’s tons of micro-crystals in here so a little bit goes a long way. Also, take care in how hard you scrub. The first time I used it I didn’t think about that and felt like I had tiny scratches all over my face. Use a light hand and you’ll be fine.
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Full review here. I’ve been trying to get through my sample stash lately.
Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil
I’m not a huge fan of facial oils because I can’t get over the psychological components of slathering oil all over my face. It is moisturizing, however, it does take some time for it to absorb fully. As moisturizing as it is, I get that greasy feeling that just won’t go away. Likely won’t get this or any other facial oils.
Laneige Light Balancing Emulsion
Full review here.
Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector
Another Lancôme sample to try out. I don’t have wrinkles (yet), problematic pores (yet), or unevenness (yet), so I can’t comment on the efficacy of this. The fragrance is half and half – it’s pleasant yet it’s not. I can’t put my finger on it. For now, I like Advanced Génefique and it works, so I’ll stick with it.
Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths – Brightening
Whoa oranges!! The first thing I noticed was the smell – a very strong orange smell. Though not a super sweet smell, it’s quite nice. These cleansing cloths are great for taking off the day’s sweat and grime, but leave a bit of a residue afterwards. I still like using good old water and a face cloth afterwards just for that clean feeling.
L’Occitane 20% Shea Dry Skin Hand Cream
This stuff is amazing! I may need to pick up a tube or two or three…
Soft lips Lip Moisturizer SPF20 Watermelon
Really need to write a full review for this. One of my favourite lip balms that I keep buying over and over.
The Spring warehouse dates are known! Sorry for posting this up so late but better than never.
Sunday, May 15, 2016 – 9am to 3pm
Shiseido (Canada) Inc – Distribution Center
(Entrance at rear of building)
303 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario, L3R 5P9
Same rules apply as previous sales: No strollers or children under 12. This makes sense as the lines and crowds are so insane that it will be unsafe for them. They accept credit cards, debit, and cash. And since these are public sale dates, no tickets are required!
I’m excited because I finally have the same weekend off from work so I can make it. This can be an exception to my no-buy rule, right?
Yes, blog posts are slow coming out. Hard to find time between work, baby, life, and me time. Some more posts are being cooked (slow-cooked?) up so stay tuned!
Delectable Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream
This stuff works well, but smells really really sweet. Think cotton candy. I like that it helps out my dry hands but the smell is really overbearing. Probably won’t buy this again.
DERMAdoctor KP duty lotion
Ah this stuff reminds me of Glysomed! It goes on thick and almost creates a super thin layer to keep moisture in. It doesn’t work all that well during the day when you need to wash your hands frequently, but it works really well just before bed.
The Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Foam Mousse – lemon
I wanted to like this but I find it dries out my skin. Perhaps it’s because of the lemon (and the brightening properties it has or so the sales lady tells me) but it leaves me with that super squeaky feeling after rinsing it off. I think this would work on those with oily skin, but for normal/combination, be wary that it may dry you out more.
Pür-lisse Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser
This was my first time using a milk-type cleanser and I’m not a huge fan of it. I almost feel like my face is a little greasy afterwards.
NeoStrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream
The chemical smell is strong in this one!! Supposedly it helps cell renewal with its 5% glycolic acid content. With such a small sample, I can’t really speak for any of those claims. The smell is enough to keep me away though.
Soft lips Lip Hydration and Protection
I think they’ve revamped their look recently so they don’t look like this anymore. Still love this stuff for every day lip hydration. For severely cracked lips, it doesn’t help much, but for daily conditioning, it works.
Lancôme Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Full review here. Love this stuff!
The Body Shop Drops of Youth Youth Concentrate and Youth Cream
Full review here. A great alternative to the pricier option above!
Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream
Full review here. Really good stuff for the summer months!
I love… Raspberry & Blackberry nourishing body butter
Full review coming soon!
Iope Air Cushion XP
Full review coming soon!
I had won a raffle on Beautezine’s webpage to partake in The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth 28 day challenge. The idea is simple – use the products for 28 days and you’ll find that your pores look tightened, skin that feels bouncier, and fine lines appear smoothed. I currently like my current skin care routine but I’m game to try something new and see if it a) works just as well, b) is better, or c) is worse.
Each product was housed in a thin cardboard box.
The glass is a semi-opaque green colour with black tops and a silvery label. The Youth Concentrate is a dropper style bottle, so the dropped screws on tightly to the bottle. It contains 50ml worth of product. The Youth Cream is a jar with a screw top lid. It also contains 50ml of product.
I love inner lids because it prevents product from getting all over the lid and into the creases.
Quite literally “drops” of youth.
The Youth Concentrate is semi-opaque and very viscous. It’s a little more viscous than honey. Three drops was all I needed for my face and neck. I used four drops if my hands were more dry that day (and thus soaked up more product).
The Youth Cream is slightly thinner than what you’d expect from a night cream. It’s a creamy white and very soft in texture.
I’m going to start off by saying that for this challenge, I didn’t change anything in my daily routine, only that the products that I normally used for serum and moisturizing were swapped out for these two. Originally, my skincare routine was to wash with Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, tone with Lancôme’s Tonique Radiance, followed by Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate, and Laneige’s Water Bank Gel Cream. So I swapped out Advanced Génifique for Drops of Youth Concentrate and Water Bank Gel Cream for Drops of Youth Cream.
After these 28 days, the biggest difference I noticed was in the physical feel of my skin. When I touch my face, it genuinely felt softer to touch, like it was better moisturized than before. In terms of my pores, they remained the same. I also did not see any fine lines (which is also the same before I started this challenge).
It’s now past 28 days and I’ve only used about half of each. That means I still have another month’s worth of product to use.
The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth challenge has me coming to the conclusion that it works just as well as Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique but at half the price point. That in itself is a winner in my book. The fact that it made my skin feel more soft gives it an upper edge. So I can say it definitely has improved my skin!! Would I purchase this? Absolutely. Should you? YES!
Thanks again to Beautezine for the chance to try this out!
Where to Buy
- The Body Shop ($50 for concentrate | $34 for cream)
My friends and I thought we’d check out Beaumont Kitchen for dinner two weeks ago since it had just opened up at Sherway Gardens. It opened up on a thursday and we went for dinner two days later on the saturday. Being part of the Oliver and Bonacini family of restaurants, we knew it had to be good. Located inside of the newly opened Saks Fifth Avenue, this place offers eclectic west coast cuisine as it’s fare.
It’s not an overly large space but being situated inside of Saks Fifth Avenue, I think they’re catering more towards the shopping crowd. 3/4 of the space is dedicated to sit down tables for dining. The remaining 1/4 is more like a lounge with couches and coffee tables situated in front of them.
The bar is pretty awesome to look at.
When my friend checked out opening night, a hostess had given her a coupon for a complimentary appetizer, so we claimed it this night. I vaguely remember what our server told us but in-between the happy squeals of my baby, I could make out the words “red pepper”, “house baked pita”, and “olive oil”. So adding them all together it would be some sort of red pepper dip drizzled with olive oil, served along house baked pita. It really was delicious and too bad it wasn’t on the main menu. I would definitely order this again!
I loved that they had a mocktail section in their drinks menu. As a breastfeeding mom, I’ve been restricting myself from alcohol consumption so a mocktail was a welcome sight. This watermelon heat was fantastic. Watermelon juice with chilis, which gave it some pretty intense heat! The sparkling water makes it more refreshing which would make this mocktail perfect in the summertime.
I ordered the B.C. Sockeye salmon mostly because I knew I could also feed it to my little guy (he’s 11 months now!). The salmon was cooked perfectly which is that really narrow window between raw and fully cooked. It’s served with cucumber crème fraîche and a warm quinoa salad that included carrots, parsnips, and romaine lettuce. The romaine lettuce was a little puzzling, but the root veggies were good with the quinoa. I think my little guy ended up eating more salmon than me. This was easily my favourite dish of the evening.
The Mr ordered linguine, which had prawns, and scallops in a basil pesto sauce. The menu also said there was white wine in there but I couldn’t really taste any. The seafood was wonderful and the pasta al dente, but it wasn’t very impressive.
For dessert, I ordered the lime posset. I was expecting a drink but it came out as a kind of mousse. It very heavily reminded me of key lime pie, minus the crust. Plus because of the type of dish it was served in (round and shallow dish), it was a lot of “key lime pie filling”. I kept on wishing for a cookie or some crust to go with this.
The Mr ordered vanilla cheesecake, and I’m really glad he did because this was a dessert winner! It’s vanilla cheesecake wrapped in phyllo pastry, and topped with maple-braised pears and hazelnuts. If you didn’t tell me it was cheesecake that was wrapped I never would have guessed. There are so many flavours here that I thought they’d be competing with each other but they actually work really well with each other. Order this. You will not regret it.
I am in love with this place. Not only is the food delicious, it’s also a restaurant that’s in the west end of town, which means I don’t have to make the trek downtown in order to find good food. The fact that it’s in Sherway Gardens could be dangerous…
25 The West Mall (inside Saks Fifth Avenue at Sherway Gardens)
Naisture Mask Pack – White Rose
I’m finding the Naisture mask packs to have a very strong smell to them. It could be that I’ve had them for a long time and that’s why it’s smelling so much. For some reason, this mask pack stung a little bit and I didn’t leave it on my face for the full 15 minutes.
Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil Micro-Oil Shampoo and Oil Crème Conditioner
I bought a ton of these last year and have finally gotten through a pair of them. This is my current favourite shampoo and conditioner combination and I still have another backup in addition to the ones I have open now.
Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Repairing Lotion
Full review here. Love this stuff but I get the feeling that it’s been discontinued. I’m having a hard time finding it for sale these days.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – foaming formula
Full review here. Love love love this stuff. Still using it. Haven’t found anything else I like better.
Soft lips Lip Moisturizer SPF 20 – Watermelon
This is still my favourite lip balm that hydrates my lips and keeps the skin soft. I have one on my nightstand as well as one in my diaper bag/purse. It has to be with me!
Lots of samples in these two months’ empties. Lots of samples used because I brought a ton of them with me during winter vacation. We all spent baby’s first Christmas in Vancouver!
Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner
I think this came from an old Luxe Box but I’ve finally dug it out to use. I like that it has a pleasant mild fragrance as opposed to some hair products whose smell just hits you in the face. It doesn’t give you a crazy lather when wet, but just enough for you to think “it’s working”. I used this twice a week because I felt it gave my hair a better clean than my current shampoo and conditioner combo. I like this, but can’t bring myself to spend so much on shampoo and conditioner.
Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 High Potency Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Full review of the cream version here. The lotion is lighter and is a great daily moisturizer. Bonus points for not smelling like sunscreen and no greasy feeling either.
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturizer
Full review of both here. These little deluxe samples are awesome for traveling. They also last a long time too! I love the Ibuki line.
Laneige Light Power Essential Skin Refiner
Full review here.
Lancôme Génifique and Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Full review here. There’s a difference between Génifique and Advanced Génifique which I explained in the review, and I used to prefer the former over the latter. Now, I like the Advanced Génifique and continue to use it to this day. Faithful user since 2011!
Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer
Full review here. I’ve had this sitting in my makeup bin forever and had completely forgotten it. I’m pretty sure I finished it before I gave birth so… this empty has been sitting around for a year. Oops.
Shiseido Facial Cotton
This stuff is like angel fluff on your face. Which is probably why I’m so stingy when it comes to using it. I actually save it to use with Shiseido softening products. Everything else (especially nail polish remover!), I use regular cotton pads. I don’t buy these often, but it’s more of a treat once in a while.
Naisture 15minutes: Mask Pack – Sweet Honey and Fresh Aloe
I’ve been trying to get through these face masks for the last few months when baby’s sleeping, but I keep getting side tracked with other things! These masks are pretty good, and make my face feel fresh and nicely hydrated. It won’t make your super dry skin suddenly supple and soft, but it does give your skin a nice dose of hydration.
Neutrogena Make-Up Removing Cleansing Wipes
These are a must for traveling. Everything comes off. Even waterproof eyeliner.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Ébène
Full review here. This took me so long to finish because I kept on saving it for special occasions. It was my first Chanel purchase and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go through it too quickly. Also, it helped that black eyeliner is not my everyday colour. I wanted to love it, but it doesn’t stay put on my eyelids, even if I used an eyelid primer. Probably will not repurchase this.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Demolition
This was my every day liner for work. Not too bold, but just enough for definition. Have a few more 24/7 pencils to get through. There’s a little bit of transfer to upper eyelids but they don’t come down and give me racoon eyes. +1 for me.
Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector and Advanced Multi-Correcting Cream
These samples were so small that I can’t really form a full opinion on it. Fragrance is pleasant but as for its claims to battle wrinkles, pores, and evenness, I couldn’t see any effect. The samples lasted me 2 days.
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturizer
See above review.
Lancôme DreamTone Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector in 1 – Fair Skin Tone
This is obviously the wrong skin tone for me (fair? Hah!) but it was a sample from Sephora that was randomly added in so I figured I would try it. Again, sample was too small for me to see any effect. The floral fragrance was nice and not too heavy. For the price point, I would need a lot of people vouching for it before I could bring myself to purchase it.
**On a side note, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to work through my stash rather than buy new things to try. This will likely translate into more empties. Wish me luck!
Thanks to Influenster, I received a package of Huggies Little Movers, size 3, last month to test out.
This wouldn’t be the first time I tried Huggies before. When my little guy was just born, I had a package of size 1 Huggies Snugglers. I figured they would fit the same as Pampers and eagerly awaited for when he outgrew newborn size. Boy was I wrong. Huggies Snugglers was a terrible fit for my baby. The leg loops were much too loose which ended up in constant leaks down the leg. I figured I’d be safe around the waist as I could pull the tabs tighter to be a better fit. It loosened up too quickly and I ended up with constant blow outs. After 3 huge clean ups, I decided Huggies Snugglers were not for us and went back to trusty Pampers.
Fast forward to now with this package of Huggies Little Movers. We’re now on solid foods so the danger of blow outs isn’t as great as before. Maybe Little Movers will fit differently from Snugglers. So I figured I might as well try it out.
My little pack of Little Movers came in the standard soft plastic wrap with perforation marks on one side for easy openings. They also come in larger cardboard boxes as well.
The front of the diapers features Mickey and Minnie Mouse. My baby doesn’t recognize them yet, but the colourful designs are cute. Notice at the top of the diaper, there’s “HUGGIES” printed across the top. It’s not as bright and is a bit difficult to see at first.
The back of the diapers has a colourful pattern. Note that the top of the diaper has the stretchy pleats.
Not pictured are these purple patches on the front of the diaper. These purple patches allow for the tabs to adhere very strongly to them, to keep the tabs from slipping off. The extra grip is pretty strong, so once those tabs are on, they’re not coming off without a bit of a pull!
This pack of 14 lasted me for 3 days, which was just enough time for me to decide if I liked them or not. I had a few issues with Huggies Little Movers, and I’ll explain them all here.
First of all, I found it difficult to align the tabs on the front of the diaper when I was putting them on my little guy. Yes, I can see that “Huggies” is printed along the top but it’s not very bright and I have to look really hard to make out the letters so that I can align it properly. This makes overnight diaper changes a challenge for me as I like to change the diapers in a dim light. If my sight is decreased and I can’t see those “Huggies” letters, I’m left squinting really hard to find them, and I definitely didn’t have that problem with Pampers.
Second of all, I find that the diaper sags. I am usually changing a diaper every 4 hours, and with Huggies, the diaper is sagging after there’s been a big pee. A little bit of sagging I don’t mind (and I obviously will go change the diaper). However, it is the sagging that enlarges the leg loops that I don’t like. The leg loops loosen up and there’s a gap between diaper and skin, which left me with leaks again. I didn’t have any issues with blow outs, however that is likely due to the fact that my little guy has solid poops instead of liquid ones now.
I have some friends who have great successes with Huggies, however, it just doesn’t work for my baby. We will not be purchasing this brand.
Where to Buy
- big box stores (Wal-Mart)
- pharmacies (Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall)
- grocery stores
Whoops! The pictures I originally took got erased by accident (Mr reformatted the memory card without making sure everything was offloaded) so this post will be text heavy. I will indicate what was full size and what was sample size.
[Edit: Jan 9th, 2016 – Pictures have been found!! Post updated to include pictures and remove sample count in text.]
Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX
Full review here. I love this stuff. I use this mini jar for traveling hence why it took so long to get through. Still going through the regular size jar, plus I now have 2 more mini jars thanks to my good friend G!
Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo
I got this in a Luxebox and was immediately disappointed it didn’t come with the accompanying conditioner. The shampoo itself was pretty good – I felt it really washed all the grease and grime away leaving me with squeaky clean hair. I used it twice a week just to make sure my hair was super clean. Would I purchase a full size? Probably not as I don’t usually indulge in hair treatments. I’m a shampoo and conditioner only kind of gal.
Lancôme Tonique Radiance
Full review here. Still have two more backups (or was that three?).
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for normal to dry skin
The best part of getting multiple samples is the chance to really use a product. This sample was only 0.18oz, which is barely enough to moisturize my arms. Since I had 5 of them, I had no problem moisturizing my entire body (arms, torso, legs). There is an ever so slightly sticky feeling immediately after applying, however it goes away fairly quickly. Skin is left smooth and soft. Very little scent, if any. Great for those who want a great budget moisturizer with sensitivities to fragrances.
Softlips Lip Moisturizer SPF 20 in Watermelon
This is my absolute favourite lip moisturizer. I don’t know why I never did a full review on the blog about this. Watermelon is one of my favourite scents for this. The small and thin size make it perfect to toss into any bag (or pocket!) and it works so well when my lips are dry and chapped. I’ve got 2 more backups.
Live Clean (Baby) moisturizing baby lotion
I know, it’s supposed to be for baby but I used it on myself instead. Although it moisturized well, the smell was atrocious. I can’t imagine using this on my baby. Never. Ever. Not until they get rid of that horrible smell.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
Only one little sample so can’t say much about how it did for stretch marks. It did, however, smell too strongly of cocoa and the smell lingered too long for my liking. Will not be purchasing this.
Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream
I’m trying to remember if I got this in a beauty box or a Sephora order. Regardless, it is the best damn sample I have ever received. This eye cream is amazingly and I love it. The fact that it’s a 7ml sample that lasted me over 2 months of use (usually at night) was already a winner. Add in the fact that when looking at how much it costs in regular size, this little deluxe sample is actually worth $50!
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
Full review here. Again, I love sample sizes specifically for travel.
I’ve received news of the upcoming Shiseido/Nars warehouse sale! Here are the deets:
When: Sat, Nov 7, 2015 – 9am to 5pm | Sun, Nov 8, 2015 – 9am to 3pm
Where: 303 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, L3R 5P9
They accept Visa, MasterCard, debit, and cash.
They also state that strollers and children under 12 are not allowed. I’ve been to a sale before and believe me, you don’t want to have either there. It can get so crowded.
This sale is open to the public so no tickets are necessary! Aside from Shiseido and Nars being there, I do recall there was Clé de Peau there a few years ago. I’m hoping to go this time around. Will you go?