pixelbunny's picks

A foodie and beauty blog

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

Written by Jessica

February 26th, 2015 at 9:22 am

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare

Sea Witch Fish & Chips

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Sea Witch Fish & Chips has been on the Mr’s list of things to eat for half a year now. We had a day off together one weekday, and decided, why not make the drive and have some good ol’ fish and chips?

 

The Atmosphere

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - decor
Old church pew hymnal holders

The place is really neat. All booths and benches are made out of old church pews, with these hymnal holders on the wall holding up some kids’ activities. The fryer is near the front and open, so you can see all the frying action once you place your order. The back is where the fries are made, with a traditional potato fry press and big tubs of already cut potatoes, just waiting to be freshly fried with your order.

 

The Food

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - menu
Menu

The menu is simple and easy to read. I didn’t realize there was so many different kinds of fish you could use for fish and chips. I must come back and eat some more!

 

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - halibut cakes
Halibut cakes – $10

We started with halibut cakes. Lightly battered in panko crumbs and fried, these little cakes are chock full of halibut fish!

 

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - halibut cakes inside
Inside halibut cakes

Look at this picture. It is literally full of fish flakes, and hardly any flour filling. Now that’s my kind of fish cake! It’s served with a pickled cabbage which gave a nice tart flavour to add to the fish cake. I did end up with a fish bone in one of my fish cakes so beware of that, but that just confirms that it’s made of whole fish and not processed.

 

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - The Witch's Brew (house chowder)
The Witch’s Brew – $6

The Witch’s Brew is their house chowder, and it’s also full of great ingredients. Lots of fish chunks, carrots, potatoes and corn. It’s creamy, flavourful and not overly salty. I found another fish bone in my bowl, but like I said earlier, it confirms that there’s whole fish in there!

 

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - pacific cod
Pacific cod – $8

I was pretty sure Mr’s plate was going to have lots of chips so I opted for pacific cod only. My only complaint is that because the fillet piece had a thick and thin part to it, the thin part ended up overly battered and dry. The thick part was moist and flaky as you can see in the image below.

 

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - pacific cod inside
Inside pacific cod

Mmm that flaky goodness was so delicious. The fish was moist too.

 

Sea Witch Fish and Chips - pacific halibut and chips
Pacific halibut and chips – $15 

The Mr ordered pacific halibut and chips. His halibut fillet had a more uniform thickness, so he didn’t have the issue of a thinner part being dried out. His halibut was more dense than my cod, and very juicy. The chips were ok and a little on the soft side. I prefer my chips to be more crispy but to each his own. The chips portion was huge, and even with the two of us eating it, we still couldn’t finish the pile.

 

The Verdict

Definitely a fantastic fish and chips place to go to! Their fish is fresh and made to order, and the portion sizes are great. I really recommend you give this place a try!

 

The Place

Sea Witch Fish & Chips
636 St Clair Ave West,
Toronto, ON
647-349-4824 (647-34 WITCH)

Written by Jessica

February 22nd, 2015 at 10:35 am

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Grand Electric

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I finally had the chance to go to Grand Electric for dinner! Ever since one of my coworkers raved about where to go for cheap tacos, and even after the Mr went with a friend, I have been eyeing this place for a long time. And now, finally, I can say I’ve been!

 

The Atmosphere

The place is small with a very large bar situated to the right. There are tables, picnic tables, and bar seating. At the bar, a huge list of bourbon is listed on a chalkboard menu. The music is loud and the atmosphere is very casual. A warning that for the winter, it might get a little chilly with the doors opening and closing all the time, especially if people don’t properly closer the inner door.

 

The Food

I ordered one of everything. Hey, I had to try them all, right?

 

Grand Electric - crispy cauliflower tacos
Crispy cauliflower taco – $3.60

This was easily my most favourite taco out of the whole night. Funnily enough, I ate it first because I figured the veggie tacos wouldn’t be as good as the meat tacos. Boy was I wrong. The crispy cauliflower taco was AMAZING. Each cauliflower floret was lightly battered and fried, almost tempura-like. It had a hint of salt and white pepperiness to it, which reminded me of some chinese spicy squid. It’s topped oodles of chopped scallions and the occasional hot pepper. It gave it a slight kick, but not enough to make my eyes water.

 

Grand Electric - baja fish tacos
Baja fish taco – $3.60

A close second, the baja fish taco was also excellent. They use tilapia fillets that are lightly battered and fried. It’s topped with this green paste (avocado-based?) and radish slaw. Our waitress served the mayonnaise on the side for us, as she saw that I was pregnant (thank you!). The fish was hearty and moist, and the slaw was a great pairing with the fish.

 

Grand Electric - cochinita pibil (roast pork)
Pulled pork taco – $3.60 

I was a little underwhelmed with this one. I was expecting some sort of BBQ taste with the pulled pork taco, but instead it was on the dry side and chewy. It’s topped with a red onion slaw and chopped italian parsley.

 

Grand Electric - pork belly
Pork belly taco – $3.60 

The pork belly taco was ok – cubed pork belly pieces, with mango and pickled turnip(?) cubes. It is also topped with italian parsley. The pork belly could have been a little more moist, but the slight dryness was cancelled out by the sweet and soft mango.

 

Grand Electric - spicy arbol chicken
Spicy arbol chicken taco – $3.60

The spicy arbol chicken taco is certainly spicy! Unfortunately, the chicken was definitely dry. The cheese and sour cream helped with that though.

 

Grand Electric - roasted squash
Roasted squash taco – $3.60

This is a new menu on the item, just started the previous day our waitress told us. The roasted squash taco is almost as good as the crispy cauliflower. Creamy roasted squash (is it butternut? acorn?) with some cheese, nuts and seeds (of which I can’t identify – I know it’s not sunflower nor pumpkin), and topped with chopped scallion.

 

Grand Electric - coconut cream and key lime dessert
Coconut cream and key lime dessert – $5 each

For dessert, I had to try both. Coconut cream had layers of coconut cream of pudding consistency, graham crumbs, and another layer of coconut cream. It’s topped with three very large sheets of toasted meringue sheets. Key lime is essentially a mini key lime pie, but topped with a leaning tower of whipped cream and fresh lime zest. I personally preferred the key lime whereas the Mr preferred the coconut cream.

 

The Verdict

This place is absolutely delicious and it won’t break the bank. I am definitely going back here again, especially since beef cheek wasn’t on the menu. I am told beef cheek is one of my friend’s favourites so I am hoping they will bring it back. Plus, I want to try some of their appetizers too.

 

The Place

Grand Electric
1330 Queen Street West,
Toronto, ON
416-627-3459

Written by Jessica

February 18th, 2015 at 9:02 am

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Thyme Maternity Soothing Therapy Stretch Mark Cream

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Thyme Maternity Soothing Therapy Stretch Mark Cream - tube
Squeeze tube format

One thing I’ve learnt from reading about pregnancies is that everyone seems to be obsessed with stretch marks. Why do we get stretch marks? How do I make them go away? How do I prevent stretch marks from appearing? Does everyone get them?

Forums are the worst for gleaning information, and I’ve tried to steer clear away from them. Instead, I tried turning to more trusted sites such as BabyCenter Canada and What to Expect. Really, there’s no avoiding stretch marks. You either get them or you don’t to varying degrees. Stretch marks appear because the skin is stretching, and once that baby is born, your skin doesn’t fully reduce back to what it once was before. To help minimize the amount of stretch marks, just make sure your skin is well hydrated and moisturized.

For this, I’ve been religiously using my regular body lotion every day after showering. After all, it’s the best time to lock in moisture, right? Over the Christmas holidays, my mom took me maternity clothes shopping and we snagged some good boxing day sales at Thyme Maternity. One of the things I picked up was this, the Soothing Therapy Stretch Mark Cream.

It contains seaweed extract, vitamin E, avocado oil, and argan kernel oil just to name a few ingredients. These ingredients help boost circulation, moisturize, reduce scar tissue, and leaves your skin feeling ultra smooth.

 

The Packaging

Thyme Maternity Soothing Therapy Stretch Mark Cream - nozzle
Flip/push nozzle

The tube itself is pliable, so it returns to its original shape after being squeezed. The nozzle is at the bottom of the tube, so gravity becomes your friend in helping pull the product down the tube. The cap is sturdy, so I’m not afraid of accidentally ripping it off by accident.

 

The Product

Thyme Maternity Soothing Therapy Stretch Mark Cream - swatch
Swatch

It’s not as thick as a cream, and slightly lighter than a lotion. It feels lighter than Garnier’s Body Intensive 7 days lotion, that’s for sure. It does take a little bit of rubbing to absorb fully into the skin, but once it’s worked in, my skin is feeling quite soft and smooth.

One thing I’ve noticed is the fragrance – it smells just like The Body Shop’s satsuma. I, for one, absolute adore that scent so I love applying this cream on. The nice thing is that the smell doesn’t linger for long, and I can’t smell it on myself.

 

The Verdict

So far so good, this cream moisturizes and makes my skin feel soft and smooth. I don’t find it as moisturizing as my Garnier Body Intensive 7 days lotion, but it still leaves the skin feeling nice. No sign of stretch marks yet, though unknown if it’s because of my diligence in moisturizing, or because I haven’t grown that large yet (currently at 33 weeks!).

 

Where to Buy – $20 CND

Written by Jessica

February 14th, 2015 at 10:24 am

Posted in Beauty,body,skincare

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

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Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution for sensitive skin - pump bottle and regular bottle
Larger pump bottle and the smaller 250ml bottle

I knew I had try this out ever since I first heard about it from Beautezine. Little did I know that many other Canadian beauty bloggers also swear by this cleanser/makeup remover so I figured, why not try it out? What first started out as a one bottle purchase turned into a mega pump bottle purchase with 3 back up bottles. I’m down to my last bottle now so that means it’s time for a full review.

What is Bioderma Sensibio? It’s a water-based cleanser and make up remover that’s super effective, and gentle enough for the most sensitive of skin. The micellar properties help remove makeup and leaves skin feeling fresh, and no rinsing is required afterwards.

 

The Packaging

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution for sensitive skin - pump mechanism
Pump mechanism of the 500ml pump bottle

I’ve purchased 2 types of bottles so far: the larger 500ml pump bottle, and the regular 250ml bottle. I’m not going to lie, once the pump bottle was empty, I rinsed it out, then emptied the smaller bottles into the pump bottle so I could get more use out of the pump. The pump is great and makes it easier to dispense the liquid onto a cotton pad. Three pumps is all I need to have the pad wet enough so that I can use both sides of the pad for my whole face.

Bottles are made of plastic, with a pink cap. The pump bottle has a flip cap, which reveals the pump underneath. You use a cotton pad to press down on the pad, and when you lift up, product comes up and soaks into the pad. The non pump bottles also have a flip cap, but you have to turn the bottle upside down to dispense the product yourself.

 

The Product

Product is clear and very water-like, which makes sense as it is considered a cleansing water. It removes face makeup with ease, and most of my waterproof eyeliner and mascara. I do find it doesn’t take off all waterproof eyeliner and mascara, but a good chunk of it comes off after holding a soaked pad up to my eye for a little bit to soak in. Two soaked pads removes all traces of face makeup. There is no menthol-like sting that you get from some cleansers and toners, which is great for those with sensitive skin. It’s also great for when you have the occasional breakout or broken skin, as the gentleness of the liquid doesn’t irritate the skin at all.

 

The Verdict

Having been through 3 bottles so far, I can safely say that I love this stuff. It is perfect for removing the day’s face make up away. Since it doesn’t remove all waterproof eyeliner and mascara, I do turn to my trusty Lancôme Bi-Facil to do the the eye makeup removal. On days when my skin is really dry, Bioderma Sensibio also does double duty as a toner to cleanse and prep my skin before I put on the serums and moisturizers. This product is amazing and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone else.

 

Where to Buy – 250ml for $21.95 CND | 500ml for $26.95 CND

Written by Jessica

February 10th, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare

January 2015 Empties

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January 2015 Empties
Just a small amount of empties to start off this year 

Nexxus Therappe Ultimate Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve been using this shampoo and conditioner for the past year and like it a lot. It leaves my hair really shiny and soft. The only thing with my oily scalp is that I do need to wash daily or else I have too much oil built up in the hair. Otherwise, my hair is healthy and beautiful. Definitely will be repurchasing this one. These giant pump bottles were purchased at my local Costco.

Lancôme Tonique Radiance

Full review here. I especially love this stuff in the summer time.

Lancôme Bi-Facil

I have lost track of how many bottles I’ve gone through but I love this stuff and will continue to use it. Waterproof eye makeup just melts off with ease. I still have 2 more back-up bottles in my stash.

Written by Jessica

February 6th, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Beauty,empties

Gyugyuya

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Gyugyuya - logo
Strong like bull!

Met up with my cousin and her friend for lunch downtown. If you know a shift worker, then you’ll know how difficult it can be to coordinate 3 schedules to find a day that works for everyone. We decided to try out Gyugyuya, a new japanese curry restaurant.

The website describes the logo, with the black bull symbolizing the culture and vitality of Gyugyuya.

 

The Atmosphere

Gyugyuya - spork
Spork!

Yellow is an extremely prominent colour in this place. The walls, tables, chairs… it’s all yellow. It’s a bit overwhelming actually, but maybe it’s to symbolize that it’s a curry house? There isn’t a ton of seating inside, and during the lunch hour, there was a bit of a lineup. The line up is not as crazy as some of the ramen places, but still a little bit of a wait for a table. The staff, I’m assuming, is mostly japanese, as they were calling out orders to each other to and from the kitchen. Ordering was quick and easy, and our food came our fairly quickly.

 

The Food

Gyugyuya - tonkatsu curry
Tonkatsu curry – $11.99

I ordered tonkatsu curry, which came served on a steel plate. The pork cutlet was HUGE as you can see in the above picture. It was deep fried to a golden crispy colour, although slightly dry in the middle. You can’t see it in the picture but there is rice and curry underneath (I definitely tasted apple in the curry sauce), a whole hardboiled egg sliced up, and shaved cabbage. I ended up packing up 1/3 of this to bring home because I couldn’t finish it all.

 

Gyugyuya - Gyu cheese curry
Gyu cheese curry – $12.99

My cousin’s friend ordered the Gyu cheese curry. Also a large portion, with some melted cheese in the curry and thinly sliced beef. It’s also served with a sliced hard boiled egg and shaved cabbage.

My cousin ordered the katsu don, which must have been really good because she polished off the bowl in no time. No picture as I forgot to take it.

 

The Verdict

For never having tried japanese curry before, I thought it was pretty good. For my palette, it’s not something that I’ll rush back to have more of. I don’t know what really good japanese curry is supposed to taste like, so until I find a place that also does curry, I’ll say it’s good. Portions are a really good size for the price you’re paying.

 

The Place

Gyugyuya
177 Dundas St. West
Toronto, ON
416-546-5629

Written by Jessica

January 29th, 2015 at 8:30 am

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Lancôme Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl

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Lancôme Genifique Yeux - box and bottle
Deluxe sample of Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl

I got this as part of a winter skin care kit Lancôme put out near the end of 2013 from The Bay. Now that I’ve finished it up, I can write up a full review. Lancôme claims this to be an eye-illuminating serum for use above and below the eyes. A consumer test on their website reports that 78% of women thought their eye contour was improved after 4 weeks of use.

 

The Packaging

Lancôme Genifique Yeux - bottle
Mini bottle – perfect for traveling with

Being a deluxe sample size, there was 5ml worth of product in here. For my eyes, both day and night, I managed to get 2 weeks worth of use.

 

Lancôme Genifique Yeux - tear drop
Cooling metal tear drop

The idea behind the metal tear drop is that it’s cool temperature helps to soothe puffiness around eyes and to help bring down any swelling. Although it certainly feels nice and cool against the skin, I find that I still need to work the product in with my ring fingers. My only issue with this is that it touches the skin, and then you’re placing it back into the bottle, which could potentially contaminate the rest of the product. I wasn’t too worried as this was a pretty small bottle to begin with, being a deluxe sample size, but if this was the full size bottle, you’d be dipping and redipping this tear drop in for months until you finish.

 

The Product

Lancôme Genifique Yeux - swatch
Swatch

It comes out almost gel-like, but thinner. It absorbs readily into the skin, although I needed to use my ring fingers to fully work the product in.

 

The Verdict

While it certainly hydrates the skin around my eyes, I can’t comment on the anti-aging properties as I currently don’t have any fine lines or crows feet. Now I can either take that as I don’t have them yet, or in using this product, I’ve kept them at bay. In any case, it is certainly hydrating. However, for the price tag, I’m likely going to use something else that hydrates just as well but for significantly less.

 

Where to Buy – $88 CDN

Written by Jessica

January 25th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in Beauty,eyes,skincare

Lancôme Génifique Repair Youth Activating Night Cream

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Lancôme Genifique Repair Youth Activiating Night Cream - box and jar
Gradient box with a beautiful glass jar

This jar of Lancôme’s Génifique Repair Youth Activating Night Cream was part of a skincare set I bought from The Bay near the end of 2013. Seeing that I finally finished the jar, I can get around to writing a full review.

Part of Lancôme’s Génifique skincare line, this night cream is supposed to help repair the skin to look like it’s youthful days, as well as reducing signs of fatigue and aging.

 

The Packaging

Lancôme Genifique Repair Youth Activiating Night Cream - jar lid
Lancôme rose on top of lid

The jar is made of thick glass and the lid is a twist type, made of thick plastic. As you can see, Lancôme’s iconic rose is printed on top.

 

Lancôme Genifique Repair Youth Activiating Night Cream - inner lid
Inner lid

Once you twist off the lid, there is an inner lid that seals the product in, helping keep it from drying out.

 

Lancôme Genifique Repair Youth Activiating Night Cream - inner lid off
Inner lid removed

Remove the inner lid to reveal the cream. The glass jar is quite thick-walled, and is weighs a bit. There is 50g of product in here, which lasted me approx 2.5 months of night time application.

 

The Product

Lancôme Genifique Repair Youth Activiating Night Cream - swatch
Swatch

The cream itself is quite thick, but absorbs very easily and readily into my skin. It’s hydrating, but I can’t say for certain if it’s more hydrating than some of my other night creams. There is a medium strength fragrance to it which may bother those with sensitive noses, but I don’t mind it. The fragrance dissipates pretty quickly so I don’t really smell it after application.

Like with all other Génifique products, I can’t really comment on its anti-aging properties as I currently don’t have any wrinkles or fine lines to reduce. All I can say is that it’s a great cream for the night and hydrates pretty well.

 

The Verdict

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I would repurchase this, given how expensive it is. Then again, I am basing this wholly on its hydrating properties and not anti-aging properties. If I noticed changes to my skin in bringing back its youthful appearance, then this cream could potentially be worth it. However, since I can’t notice these changes, there’s no point in spending so much in a cream where I can’t see the benefits.

 

Where to Buy – $112 CND

Written by Jessica

January 24th, 2015 at 10:16 am

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate

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Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - box and bottle
Still the same black box and beautiful glass bottle as the previous version

I’ve been a long time fan of Lancôme’s Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate for a few years now. I first purchased a bottle at duty free on my honeymoon to Hawaii back in 2011. I was 27 at the time and figured it was time to start looking at seriously taking care of my skin. I didn’t have any wrinkles or fine lines, but it was a good time to start finding products to use as an anti-preventative measure.

In 2013, Lancôme reformulated Génifique to its current version, Advanced Génifique. It contains 40% more ingredients than its previous counterpart.

So what is a youth activating concentrate anyways? According to Lancôme’s website, it claims to repair and activate 10 signs of younger looking skin. These signs are fine lines, coarse wrinkles, radiance, clarity, evenness, texture, resiliency, tonicity, firmness, and sagginess. I remember when Lancôme was so confident that people would love this product that their beauty counters offered a free 7 day sample as you were supposed to see a difference in as little as a week. I don’t think it’s offered anymore, but let’s take a look at the product, shall we?

 

The Packaging

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - bottle
Beautiful glass bottle with clear gradient at the bottom

Like the old bottle, it has the same gradient colouring of black at the top and clear towards the bottom. This is helpful in seeing how much product is left in the bottle.

 

 

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - top of plunger
Top of plunger/dropper

The top of the plunger/dropper still features Lancôme’s iconic rose.

 

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - plunger down
Plunger down when completely screwed in

The main difference between the old bottle and the new bottle is the function of the plunger/dropper. Instead of having to manually depress the top button, it automatically reloads the dropper every time you twist it back onto the bottle. As you can see in the picture above, when the plunger is fully screwed in, the button is depressed.

 

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - plunger up
Plunger up when not screwed in

When unscrewed, the button lifts, essentially sucking in product into the dropper.

 

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - dropper
Dropper type

The dropper looks the same as from the old bottle, however the button does not have as much fine control as the old bottle. I found that with the old bottle, I could easily control how many drops of product I wanted. With this new plunger, it’s difficult to get individual drops out and instead would end up with half a dropper or the whole dropper’s worth of product.

 

The Product

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - swatch
Swatch

Compared to the old version, Advanced Génifique is much thinner in consistency, and runs easily. I’m not sure how I like this, as it feels like the serum is watered down. It still readily absorbs into my skin, but takes a little bit longer to fully dry. I use this after toner and before eye cream and moisturizer.

 

The Verdict

From the old version to the current version, I am still seeing the same results – my skin is soft, radiant, with no signs of fine lines or wrinkles yet. I don’t know if Advanced is that much better than the old version, but it works for my skin and I am liking what I see. Definitely a continual repurchase from me.

 

Where to Buy – $96 – $158 CND

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Written by Jessica

January 23rd, 2015 at 9:04 am

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare