Friday, August 28, 2015

First Caudalie Haul: Divines Legs and Fleur de Vigne Soap

I picked up Mathilde Thomas’ book The French Beauty Solution recently (a great read by the way) and after watching a few of her interviews I just really wanted to try some of her products. Mathilde Thomas is the founder of Caudalie, a French natural skincare brand with ethics I really responded to. This led to my first purchase of Caudalie products, two body products: the Divine Legs Tinted Body Lotion and the Fleur de Vigne French-Milled Soap.

The Divine Legs is a body bronzer that can be used to give a beautiful glow and tan to your legs and body without the downsides of self-tanner. It smells divine and unlike self-tanners it washes off instantly so you are not left with orange palms and you don’t have to worry about looking streaky for days. It’s a perfect transitional product for fall if you want to give your skin a little boost.

The Fleur de Vigne French-Milled Soap, is a plant based soap that cleans your skin without stripping it of its natural oils. It contains Shea butter and grape seed oil to moisturize your skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth. I was very surprised by the size of it too, it’s quite a massive bar of soap making the value for money great because it is super affordable. 

I will have reviews up on both products soon and you can expect to see a lot more Caudalie here in the future. You can find the Divine Legs Lotion on the Caudalie website, Sephora, Feelunique and at any Caudalie counter. The Fleur de Vigne Soap is not available online, but I purchased mine from a local drugstore that carries the brand.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Favorite Body Lotions: Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater Body Lotion and Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion

My challenge to finish up all my body lotions has been going really well and I only have two minis left. I am almost done with them both, but because they are so great I thought I should do a review for you all before they are gone. So let’s talk about the Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater Body Lotion and the Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion with Shea Butter.

First the Crabtree and Evelyn one, a super light lotion that smells like actual rosewater. It has an almost runny texture, but still manages to deeply moisturise your skin and it does not leave any greasy residue behind. I think it would be perfect for any one that hates the feel of typical lotions or that lives in a hot climate. Crabtree and Evelyn offers this lotion in many scents if rose isn’t your thing, but I think it smells incredible.

Second is the Clarins offering, I personally cannot fault any Clarins lotions I have tried, they all have amazing effects on my skin. When I first got this one however, I was not too sure because it said moisture-rich and contains shea butter, which would typically be a combination for a very thick or greasy feeling lotion. Well that’s not the case, it’s slightly thicker than normal but it melts into your skin and it actually feels very light. It also moisturizes more deeply than other lotion and it smooths the skin. Fragrance-wise it has a nice light scent that does not linger on the skin. The Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion actually turned out to be one of my all-time favorite lotions and I can see myself purchasing the full size in the future.

If you are interested in any of these, you can find the Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater Body Lotion on their website and in stores. The Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion with Shea Butter is available on their website and at any Clarins counter. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Innisfree Perfect Clean Foot Peeling Mist

Having soft feet is not a concern I spend much time thinking about unless it is sandal season. Granted nothing beats a good session with a pumice stone to remove calluses, but it’s always nice to try new products that might improve your skin and boost the effects of your pedicure. You all know how much I love Innisfree, so when I saw they had a Perfect Clean Foot Peeling Mist I just had to give it a try.  

Honestly, at first I thought this was a bit of a gimmick and in a way it is, but I was surprised to actually see small results with it. Basically, this mist contains AHAs to help exfoliate the skin. You simply spray it on your feet and gently rub. As you do so, the product will start to ball up, collecting dead skin cells in the same way many Asian facial peels work.

Now this kind of peeling product is often talked about as a total gimmick because people think the product is simply rolling onto itself. I have tested it and it did not ball up when I rubbed it on a plate with a spoon. I think what usually happens is that this kind of product will mostly exfoliate the skin on your hands and fingers first because there are more dead skin there and obviously you are using them to rub it in. So in the end the product does work, just maybe not in the way you thought it would.

After multiple usages, I can safely say the Perfect Clean Foot Peeling Mist will help remove some of the rough skin, but it mostly work on the very thin top layer. It will not make calluses disappear, but it’s a great product to use after using a pumice stone to really remove any leftover particles. I also noticed it has great skin softening properties, leaving my feet feeling very soft and smooth after every use.

In the end, this is not a miracle mist, but it feels incredibly refreshing and it makes for a nice experience after a long day. It has a nice citrusy scent and combined with rubbing and massage-like motions, it can really help you unwind and remove tension if you have been on your feet all day. I would recommend it as long as you know what kind of results to expect so you won’t be disappointed. It is affordable and the unique formula is fun to use. 

The Innisfree Perfect Clean Foot Peeling Mist is available on their website and they offer great international shipping. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

L’Oréal Visible Lift Blur Foundation in Light Ivory 201

I have always been a bit reticent when it comes to buying drugstore foundations, not because the formulas don’t look nice, but because finding a shade that is light enough for me is near impossible. However, like any beauty lover, I enjoy trying new products so when I saw that the L’Oréal Visible Lift Blur Foundation was on sale, I let myself be tempted.

This is targeted towards more mature skin as it claims to blur the look of lines and wrinkles with the help of Visible Lift (I took this as meaning it contains the Visible Lift serum but I am not 100% sure). Honestly the main reason I think it is marketed for more mature skin is due to the fact the foundation contains hyaluronic acid which will plump the skin and minimize any dehydration line, plus it also has a very fresh finish.

Now I am still too young to need a wrinkle correcting foundation but I was very intrigued by the texture of this product. In a way it reminds me of the now (sadly) discontinued Magic Smooth Soufflé foundation from L’Oréal as it has a mousse like quality but it is still a liquid foundation and a bit runny. Due to its unique texture, a little goes a very long way and I found the best to apply it is with fingers to really blend it in. This is important because I think it could cling to very dry patches or look patchy if you are not careful, however it does blend quickly granted that you take the time to do it.

Finish wise, it first settles into a slightly matte satin finish that looks lovely and very much like skin. It also has a blurring effect on the skin, making it look quite flawless. Now, remember how I said this looks very fresh? Well, after a few minutes and as the day goes on, it will get dewier and if you if have combination/oily skin, a little shiny. I would advise people with oily skin to skip the Visible Lift Blur Foundation because I doubt it would last through the day. If you have combination skin you can get away with it if you use some powder to set your T-zone and those with normal to dry skin will probably enjoy it.

It comes in 12 shades, which is reasonable, but if you have very fair skin the lightest shade will be too dark. I can get away with it in the summer with the help of some bronzer and if I am using self-tanner, but it looks very orange in the tube. On the skin however, the pigments really sheer out, offering a light medium coverage that evens out the skin and offers a nice sun kissed look.

To be honest with you I have mixed feelings about this one. I do like the finish, but it is not made for combination skin so it can a bit shiny for my liking. I also wished it came in a lighter shade because it will be too dark for me in the winter which would be the best season for this foundation. All in all it is a nice foundation and if you have normal/slightly dry skin and can find a color match I would give it a try. The Visible Blur line also offers blushes that look really cute and I think they might work on a wider range of skin types and colors.

The L’Oréal Visible Lift Blur Foundation can be found in most drugstores and it is also available on their website

Monday, August 17, 2015

Favorite Summer Read: Sophie Kinsella and Shopaholic to the Stars

With the summer in full swing (hello heatwave!!), I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about my favorite summer read. Whether you are going on an exotic vacation or enjoying your own home, this is the best time to unwind with a good book and leave the rest behind. After all that’s what holidays are for, right?

My all-time favorite summer author is Sophie Kinsella. All of her books are super fun and lighthearted, perfect to decompress. She somehow manages to always make me laugh (usually out loud) and reading the adventures and unbelievable situations she puts her characters through always brighten my day. This makes her books perfect to read on the beach and let me assure you that they make long-haul flights go by much faster.

I am currently making my way through Shopaholic to the Stars, the latest installment in the Shopaholic series and it is as good as usual. I’ve actually been reading it for a while, using it as my “travel” book or when I need a little pick-me-up from day to day life.

Other favorites I would recommend from Sophie Kinsella include: I’ve Got Your Number, Remember Me, Can you Keep a Secret and the entire Shopaholic series. If you are looking for a fun new read, head over to her website for the full list of her work and extracts from the books. Everything can be found in bookstores and on Amazon in both hardcover and paperback.

What are your favorite summer reads? I would love to know! 

Pukka Elderberry and Echinacea Herbal Tea

For today’s Tea Tuesday I bring you a nice organic herbal tea. I personally prefer going for organic teas and blends whenever I can, which is why I really enjoy teas from Pukka. The Pukka Elderberry and Echinacea is a very unique blend and I really felt a need to review it.

This specific tea contains a blend of aniseed, elderberry, echinacea, ginger, elderflower, beetroot and licorice among other ingredients. Pukka categorized it as a “super fruity” tea, but I have to say it is not very fruity at all. In fact, the stronger notes are definitely aniseed and beetroot with a hint of ginger and licorice. This gives it a very unique taste and while it is pleasant I would not recommend it is you are looking for a fruity infusion.

The ginger and orange peel actually give it a warming/spicy quick, but the licorice and elderflower add a sweetness that keeps it from being an overly wintery tea. Also, it leaves quite a fresh feeling and aftertaste in your mouth because of the peppermint it contains, thought you cannot actually taste the mint. I told you it was very special!

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed when I first tried it, because it was not as sweet or fruity as I expected. That being said, I do enjoy drinking it and I think it will make a great transitioning blend into the fall. It is something worth trying for yourself as it might be an acquired taste, but most tea lovers should enjoy its very unique flavor.

The Pukka Elderberry and Echinacea Herbal Tea can be found on the Pukka website and in tea/health food stores that carry the brand. 


The Body Shop Bubble Baths and Shower Gel in Wild Argan Oil and Honeymania

When I first hauled these goodies from The Body Shop last month I promised you reviews. Well that time has finally come, so read on for my thoughts on The Body Shop bubble baths and shower gel.

First of is the Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath (here), this produced loads of fine bubbles that are super fluffy and make your bath feel luxurious. For me though, what really elevates it to a whole other level is its amazing scent. It is quite hard to describe, but it smells very spa-like and warm. The whole Wild Argan Oil range has the same enveloping fragrance, making it super relaxing and a must on my list. The Radiant Oil from the range might make its way to my bathroom very soon.

Next up is the Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt (here), a product I was super excited to try because it has the same feel and texture as real honey. After you scoop out this goopy gel and put it under running water, it creates big fuffly bubbles. The bubbles produced by this are similar to what you would get from other bubble baths so it is a bit different from the Wild Argan Oil one. Scent-wise, the Honeymania fragrance is amazing. It is sweet and floral at the same time and the notes of honey just add something special to it, making quite intoxicating. In a way it reminds me of honeysuckle (even though it does not smell like it) because it has that same perfect blend of floral and sweetness mixed together. This is a really fun product to use and you only need a little at a time so it should last you longer than other bubble products.

Lastly is the Honeymania Shower Gel (here), it has the same amazing scent has the Bubble Bath Melt and produces a nice rich lather on the skin. I have always been a fan of The Body Shop shower gels because they feel nice on the skin and are never drying. In fact, my skin typically feels smoother than usual when I use them. The Honeymania is a favorite scent of mine, but all the other ones are great as well.

I hope this was helpful if you were thinking of getting these products. You can find them all on The Body Shop website and in any of their stores. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sam Edelman Lynn Espadrilles in Rich Gold

I don’t talk a lot about fashion or accessories on here, but I got the most perfect pair of espadrilles for the summer and I needed to share them with you. Don’t get me wrong sandals are great in summer, but sometimes it’s nice to have a closed toe shoe to wear no matter what the weather is. Meet my lovely Sam Edelman Lynn Espadrille in rich gold.

Espadrilles have been gaining popularity and it’s easy to understand why, they are super cute and comfortable! That being said I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a pair and honestly all the ones I have tried before were not as comfortable as I thought they should be. Well that all changed when I tried the Lynn espadrilles, they are not too stiff and the color is perfect. The gold shade looks good with everything but it’s not in your face gold either. I think they will also look great both in the early fall and next spring because they have quite a classic shape that makes your feet look nice. That can be hard for flat shoes to do.

These espadrilles also come in tons of other colors and fabrics so you are sure to find a pair that suits your style (see them all here). If you have very sensitive feet, I recommend trying them on first just to make sure the woven sole does not irritate you and that it is bump free (I have seen a few pairs with that defect since it’s not a typical leather sole). That being said, mine are very comfortable and a nice lightweight shoe to where on a daily basis. I am so glad I found them, they are the perfect addition to any summer wardrobe.

You can find the Sam Edelman Lynn Espadrilles on their website (they are currently on sale) and in department stores that carry the brand. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Little Beauty Mascara Volume et Soin

Let’s talk lashes! Mascara is one of those beauty products I like to wear even on minimal makeup days. It just helps frame your eyes beautifully and finding the perfect one can really pull your entire face together. Today I am bringing you a review on one of my all-time favorite mascaras, the My Little Beauty Mascara Volume et Soin.

My Little Beauty is a sister company to My Little Box, a beauty and lifestyle subscription box service that I adore. I was first introduced to the mascara in one of their boxes and I love it. It is hands down one of the best mascara I have ever used and I would repurchase it in a heartbeat.

The Mascara Volume et Soin is one of those rare ones that actually gives you tons of volume but does not compromise on length. It also really separates your lashes so there are more defined and it looks like you have incredible doe eyes. I was very impressed by the amount of length it gave me and really nice volume that did not look clumpy. I simply cannot explain how great this makes your lashes look! I was actually really sad when I finished my tube up.

As far as I know the My Little Beauty Mascara Volume et Soin can only be purchased the official website (My Little Corner) and I believe they only deliver within France (it is a French company). Now you might want to email them (they have great customer service) and ask where they ship to as they might have expended since I last checked. If you are lucky enough to be able to buy it, do it, it is a truly remarkable product.

Now here’s to hoping this amazing brand will start offering international shipping on both their products and boxes! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Rice Mask

I have not reviewed a sheet mask in a while, truth be told it has just been too hot to sit with something on my face for 30 minutes. However my curiosity got the better of me and I had to give my new Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Rice Mask a try.

This rice mask is a newer addition to the It’s Real Squeeze line and boast moisturizing and skin softening properties. Unlike other masks in the range, this one did not have a very strong scent so it might be nice for those who are sensitive to heavily scented products (though fragrance is listed on the ingredients list).

To be honest with you, I was not blown away by this mask. Sure it was moisturising and my skin did feel softer, but the results were not as impressive as with the Green Tea or the Manuka Honey one. That being said I think someone with drier skin might enjoy it more, because it did leave my skin feeling very soft.

All in all, the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Rice mask was kind of average for me. The line has offers better options in my opinion, but in the end it was still a lovely treat to use. You can find it here on the Innisfree website. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tea Tuesday: Kusmi Prince Vladimir

The time has finally come for me to tell you about my favorite Kusmi in this edition of Tea Tuesday. I have been loving their Russian Blends and for the past few months, I went through my collection and kept my absolute favorite for the end. So without further ado, let’s talk about the Prince Vladimir tea.

This tea is actually one of the oldest Kusmi blends and it contains a blend of Earl Grey, citrus fruits, vanilla and spices. The citrus fruits and spices are really the main notes of this tea, you cannot smell the Earl Grey and the vanilla adds sweetness with making the scent and taste vanilla-centered. As for the taste, it is actually not spicy at all, on the contrary it is actually quite light and slightly sweet with a hint of bergamot.

To put it simply, it basically smells like Christmas and it is amazing. Simply smelling it puts me in a holiday mood and I love how warming it is. I find it very comforting and it is making excited for it to be fall already. I think it would appeal to most people with its delicious taste  and come the colder months, I will for sure repurchase a larger tin.

If you are interested in Kusmi teas, I highly recommend the Prince Vladimir blend. You can find it in most health food/tea stores and it is also available on the Kusmi website

Apple TV

I have always been a DVD kind of girl, I just prefer watching shows on TV. I know this seems old school now, but I like being able to physically browse through my collection. To be honest I also hate being on my laptop at night because the light keeps me from falling asleep quickly. That being said I do enjoy Netflix and I know many people like to keep their bedroom/space clutter free. This is when the Apple TV comes in, an Apple product that is not talked about much these days.

Granted this little device is not something everyone needs, if you have a smart TV or Blu-ray player, they can probably do the same thing, however there are still advantages that I love about the Apple TV. Now if your television or Blu-ray player is a bit old (I got mine right before all the “smart” ones came out) they might not have functions like access to Netflix and YouTube. That being said, that does not prevent them from being high-quality and performing well. If you don’t want to update them or they are secondary ones (like in a den or bedroom), having an Apple TV is a great way to get access to loads of fun apps and it is a lot less expensive.

The other thing that sold me on it is that you can use it to access all the content you have purchased on iTunes so you can stream your movies, music and shows on your TV. It is very quick and convenient and you can also rent movies right from your living room.

Lastly, as usual with Apple, the design is quite sleek and does not take up a lot of space. Also you only need an HDMI cable and the power cable to make it work: meaning you won’t end up with a tangle of cords.

I know Apple TVs are by no means new, but they are a great product that does not get a lot of buzz. If you are interested, you can read more about it here and it is available from the Apple website and Apple stores.
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