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alba Botanica Facial Sunscreen Lotion & Continuous Spray SPF

Alba Botanica Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 and Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 Review

This might be the first time writing about them, but alba Botanica is a brand I have had my eye on and have always kind of admired. They have actually been around since 1979, but I had no idea because I haven't heard of the brand until recently. Their products are 100% vegetarian, do not use animal testing and try to include as many botanical ingredients as they can.

"alba Botanica products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, artificial colours, propylene glycol, aluminum, mineral oil, petrolatum, oxybenzone, PABA, nan-particles, DEA, MEA, TEA, Pegs, and peg derivates, ethoxylated ingredients associated with 1,4 dioxane, formaldehyde donors, or GMOs."

Alba Botanica Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 and Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 Review

Two newbies from alba Botanica that I have here, are the very emollient Continuous Spray Sunscreens with SPF 50+ ($16.99 CAD) in both Kids and Sport. The formulas seem to be quite similar, besides the Kids version providing only Water Resistance, and the Sport providing Sweat + Water Resistance. I was super excited for these because I am always looking for a sunscreen that doesn't need to be rubbed in. I HATE the feeling of my palms after applying sunscreen and I'll do anything to avoid that.

The Continuous Spray Sunscreens come in a 177ml aerosol can, and spray onto the skin colourless (clear). Actually, at first I was a little confused and thought that I hadn't shaken the bottle enough but I was wrong. It sprays as a mist and smells of a mixture of alcohol and sunscreen. I was concerned the formula would be a little drying on the skin but that definitely wasn't the case. Actually, the SPF 50+ formulas contain good ingredients for the skin like Green Tea, Aloe Leaf and Algae, Vitamin E, and Grapefruit Water.

Both contain UVA and UVb protectants, are eco-friendly and contain no chemical propellants, no artificial colours or fragrances, are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. I'd definitely recommend trying out the Continuous Spray Sunscreens, especially if you've been looking for something that applies clear!

Alba Botanica Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 and Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 Review

The alba Botanica Facial Sunscreen Lotion ($9.99 CAD) contains SPF 40, claims to be fast absorbing and non pore-clogging. Containing botanicals like Aloe Vera, Ginseng, Lavender, and Calendula, and come in a 113ml sized tube. The sunscreen itself does not have a thick texture, but it does feel a bit heavier on the face than I'd like and a tiny bit greasy. I prefer a thin SPF for my face because I do like to wear makeup on a daily basis, and if the SPF is a little thick, it feels heavy under all my makeup.

I love the high content of SPF in alba Botanica products, and although the Facial Sunscreen Lotion was a bit too thick for me to wear under makeup, my aunt swears by it! I promised to give her the tube. She does not wear foundation and finds that this works really well with a moisturizer on her dry skin, and I wouldn't be surprised if she purchased one after she is done with this one.

Check out more sun care and protectant products from alba Botanica on their website, here.

These products were received for consideration. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by anyone. 

Vichy Idealia Skincare Range!

I've reviewed quite a bit of Vichy skincare in the past and am such a big fan of their stuff. I am no stranger to the Idealia line but there are a few new/revamped products. Idealia focuses on those in their 30s (according to the website) that want to change their skincare routine and maintain more radiant skin. I have no idea why the focus is on people in their 30s; I am in my early 20s and I love the Idealia line. Idealia products contain an antioxidant complex, with blueberry extract, fermented black tea extract, and Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water. The complex is designed to make skin look more radiant, smoother fine lines, and reduced pores. 

The range is suitable for all skin types and ages but it specifically focuses on making skin look more radiant and "alive". Who, at any age, doesn't want that!?

Vichy Idealia Smoothness & Glow Energizing Cream Review

The Idealia Smoothness & Glow Energizing Cream is a day cream, retailing for $45.00 (CAD) at 50ml a jar. It contains Blueberry Polyphenols (fight effects of aging and stress) and Fermented Black Tea Extract (energizing and detoxifying), Adenosine (anti-aging), and Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water. It provides 24-hour moisture with a lasting glowing, and claims to even complexion and refine pores. Personally, I really like this moisturizer, but I can't say I noticed it evening my pores or complexion. I definitely notice a radiance to my skin when using this and it definitely works well under my makeup. I've used the Idealia Skin Sleep Moisturizer before but I do prefer this one over that. I would definitely purchase this when I run out.

Vichy Idealia Radiance Booster Serum Review

I reviewed the Idealia Life Serum a while back, but the product has been revamped and has a different texture! It is now called the Idealia Radiance Booster Serum now and has a lighter, clear texture. It retails for $49.95 (CAD) for 30ml and claims to create smooth and glowing skin. The new texture is non-sticky and instantly absorbed for 24-hr hydration. The Radiance Booster Serum contains Licorice Root (skin brightening, preventative, reduce pigmentation), combined with Citrus Flavonoids (skin brightening), Adenosine (anti-aging), and Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water. This serum is so light and absorbs so quickly into my skin. I can't decide if I like the new formulation over the old one. It definitely is different and provides skin with a different feel. It does give a bit of a radiance but nothing overpowering, which is good for me. I can wear this no problem at night, under makeup, etc.

Vichy Idealia Peeling: Radiance Activating Night Peeling Care Review

The Idealia Peeling: Radiance Activating Night Peeling Care is something I didn't expect to see in the Idealia line. A peel is a little more of a targeted skin care product and not many people realize that they are quite beneficial to the skin. It retails for $39.95 (CAD) for 100ml and contains special ingredient, exfoliating Glycolic Acid, Black Tea Extract (energizing and detoxifying), Blueberry with Polyphenols (fight effects of aging and stress), and Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water. The peel is designed for dull and uneven skintone to eliminate excess dead skin cells and to stimulate skin regeneration, so over time, dark spots and acne marks will fade. This is perfect for me, I hate scarred acne marks and dark spots! The product itself does scare me a bit, because it requires reduced sun exposure and wearing more SPF. Therefore, I haven't been using it as much as I'd like, to notice any reduction in dark spots. I have had luck with previous Vichy products I've tried in removing dark spots (Vichy Proeven Line) so I have no doubt this would do a decent job as well.

Vichy Idealia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet Cream Review

The Idealia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream retails for $39.95 (CAD) for 50ml. It comes in a cute decently-sized tube, and the texture is as-described; a light whipped sorbet. It claims to boost the natural glow, even complexion and blur pores, smooth fine lines, and control shine. It contains Fermented Black Tea Extract (energizing and detoxifying, enhancing skin quality). It absorbs into the skin quickly and I definitely notice a bit of radiance in my skin when I use this. Not sure if I notice any shine control, but it definitely creates a matte base for my foundation application. I think this works great as a primer and it illuminates my face while smoothing and blurring my pores as well. 

Overall the Vichy Idealia range is probably one of my favourite skincare lines! I love the radiance effect that the range promises, and it just works so well with my skin. I do feel that the ingredients are beneficial to the skin and will help slow down the process of aging (hopefully!). See the full range of Idealia products on Vichy.ca.

These products were received for consideration. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by anyone. 

La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra Review

La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra Review

I'm a big fan of these brands that are drugstore available, aren't quiet considered 'high-end', but they've proven to me that they work so well with my skin. La Roche-Posay is definitely one of them, and I'm excited to share their new Micellar Water Ultra.

The Micellar Water Ultra comes in 3 different formulations for different skin concerns:

•  Sensitive Skin
•  Dry to Reactive Skin
•  Oily Skin

It retails for $19.95 each, which for a 400 ml bottle is a very competitive price when compared to the other micelle waters on the market.

What La Roche-Posay brings to the table with these, is they introduce the 'Glyco-Micellar' technology, which just means the power of micelle solution with glycerin. Generally the result should be an easier glide with less rubbing using a cotton pad, and skin feeling more comfortable because of the glycerin ingredient.

La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra for Sensitive Skin, Dry to Reactive Skin, Oily Skin

Well which one do I buy? The differences don't seem like much tbh. The Micellar Water Ultra for Sensitive Skin has a light, hypoallergenic fragrance and hydrating glycerin and gently removes makeup, dirt, impurities without stripping the skin. It has no soap, no colorants, no alcohol, and no parabens.

The Micellar Water Ultra for Dry to Reactive Skin contains 5% glycerin (the highest amount compared to the other two) and is designed to increase hydration immediately, which delicately cleansing. It is fragrance-free with no soap, no colorants, no alcohol, and no parabens.

And lastly, the Micellar Water Ultra for Oily Skin is enriched with Zinc, and effective in removing dirt, oil, impurities and makeup without drying. It also contains no soap, no colorants, no alcohol, no parabens, and a hypoallergenic fragrance.

The descriptions probably still leave you thinking about which one to try, right? I would be feeling the same right now. But I put them to the test the best that I could. So they generally work the same, the scents are slightly different but all have hints of the general 'La Roche-Posay' signature "fresh" scent. The Sensitive Skin has almost no fragrance and is very light. I found the one that worked the best to actually remove my makeup was the Oily Skin and second favourite was the Sensitive Skin. I didn't find the Dry to Reactive Skin did as much makeup removing. Maybe they focused to much on not drying out the skin with this one.., and in return it isn't as effective.

Again, they are generally the same... formulation is very similar, but if I had to repurchase I would definitely get the Oily Skin Micellar Water just because I felt like it worked a bit better.

La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra Review

As you can see they remove foundation makeup well. It didn't remove my liquid liner or lipstick as well as I'd hoped, but this was expected. Also don't even bother trying it with (waterproof) mascara. This is strictly best for removing foundation. I don't expect micellar waters to do this though, I mainly just base them on whether they can remove my foundation properly or not. I usually expect it to remove lipstick as well, and this one will remove lipstick but it won't take off stubborn liquid lipsticks, unfortunately.

La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra Review

The price point is great at $19.95 CAD. It's highly competitive with the micellar waters out on the market as I mentioned, but I wish they did perform slightlyy better. I'd consider the formula of all of them pretty mild, but I did feel like the Oily Skin worked the best and I kept going back to that one while I was testing these. So I'd suggest trying that one first if you are looking into a new micellar water. You can find them at drugstores in Canada. Check here for your nearest location.

These products were received for consideration. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by anyone. 

Empties #8: Early 2016

empties for 2016

Apparently I don't like to post about my empties, even though I accumulate them in my basement and they pretty much stare at me every day. I have finished a lot more in 2016, but these photos were finished quite a while ago and I guess they got a little lost in my files. These are probably from the first half of 2016 (I know, it's sad this hasn't gotten up until now).

I do like to do round-ups of my empties though, so I think I will be aiming to do them 2-3 times a year from now on. I don't actually finish a lot of products often because I always end up saving products that I like, while testing something new. AND then I don't ever want to use the product that I liked because I have like 1/4 of it left and it's $40 or something ridiculous to repurchase, haha.

So here's a little round-up of the products I finished up from early 2016 and whether or not I would repurchase.

empties for 2016

Swisspers Organic Cotton Rounds: I always repurchase these. Just plain affordable cotton pads from Walmart.
Purchase: Yes

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: Always repurchasing this one too. One of the best self-tanners on the market and so easy to find.
Purchase: Yes

L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray Deluxe Sample: I actually already repurchased this one on sale at a warehouse sale, but I don't ever really use hairspray often so in the future I probably wouldn't buy again.
Purchase: No

Yves Rocher Express Cleanser for Sensitive Eyes: Favouriteee oil-based makeup remover. Doesn't sting eyes and I use it daily. It removes everything.
Purchase: Yes

Kiss My Face Pomegranate Acai Moisturizer*: I really liked this at first, specifically for the scent and whipped texture, it absorbed so quickly into my skin. I wouldn't repurchase this solely for the fact that it went bad on me a lot quicker than expected. I was using it daily and it just started to smell bad. I was sad I had to waste product! If it would last a teeny bit longer it'd definitely make it onto my 'to buy' list.
Purchase: No

Bath And Body Works Snow Kissed Citrus & Maple Sugar Kiss Foaming Soap: Forever repurchasing these too. Best scented soaps and so worth it (when they're on sale).
Purchase: Yes

empties for 2016

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum: I really like this eye serum but every time I go looking for it, it's crazy expensive. I do still have other eye creams I'm finishing up but I would definitely consider this when I'm done all of them.
Purchase: Yes

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster: I bought this because I wanted something to add to my moisturizer but would give me a glow/gradual tan. Does exactly what it says and it lasts quite a while because you are only using drops at a time.
Purchase: Yes

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner Sample: I did like this, but I wasn't sure exactly what it was doing to my skin. It feels nice and refreshing, but I didn't notice it did anything special to my pores. Not sure I would repurchase, I do have a full-size and will continue trying it out.
Purchase: Unsure

Maybelline Master Conceal Camoflaging Concealer in Light: I do really like this concealer, I wouldn't use it for night's out but for a daily basis it works well.
Purchase: Yes

Stila Brush (that's probably fake): I don't remember how I got this..I feel like I traded it or got it in a swap. I really don't think it's real because it is kind of crappy. I don't really see any good use for it so I'd rather just toss it or see if I can give it to anyone.
Purchase: No

Replica Mac 187: Replica...don't remember how I got this but it's broken now. Didn't ever work well and I'd never suggest buying fake mac brushes because they suck apparently.
Purchase: No

empties for 2016

Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Hydro-gel Mask: I don't really have an opinion on this because I can't remember if it was good or not. I do have more and will definitely try them again.
Purchase: Unsure

Masque Bar Anti Blemish-Prone Mud Mask: I like these Masque Bar masks. This is a clay masque but I really wish they came packaging in a tub or something. I find that I can use one of these pouches for 3 different sessions. Not sure if they sell them anymore but I'd definitely pick some up again.
Purchase: Yes

Downy Unstopables Scent Booster Samples: I know not a beauty product, but I had to include these because I'm proud of myself when I finish laundry detergents and stuff. These smell so good and they really make my clothes smell awesome for weeks. It's like I never knew what fresh laundry smelt like until now.
Purchase: Yes

Laniege Water Bank Moisture Cream Sample: Purchase: Unsure
Softsoap Fresh Glow Body Wash Sample: Purchase: Unsure
Klorane Shampoo Sample: Purchase: Unsure
L'Occitane Repairing Shampoo Sample: Purchase: Unsure

Don't think I had enough product to try to make decisions on whether or not I would repurchase any of these samples above, unfortunately. I always hate that about packet samples!

What have you finished lately?

 (*) Indicating I received the product for review.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser & Intense Hand Balm

L'Occitane Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser and Intense Hand Balm Review

L'Occitane has been my skin saviour recently; helping me get through the cold winter months and transition to spring here in Canada! They always have a brand focus on moisture, specifically Shea Butter, and I have two products from the line to share with you today; the Shea Foaming Cleanser and Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm!

L'Occitane Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser and Intense Hand Balm Review

L'Occitane's Shea Foaming Cleanser is probably one of the most gentle cleansers I've tried to date. It contains 125 ml and retails for $28 CAD, although not the cheapest of cleansers, a little goes a long way so I can see this lasting for quite a while. I've used it daily for the past month and haven't noticed that Iv'e used much product (but also, the tube is not see-through so it's really hard to tell). It contains 5% shea oil and has a light scent. It has a cream/milky texture, not too thick or runny at all. It cleans my skin without stripping it of natural moisture. It lathers just enough that you don't need to use a lot at all. It claims that it does remove makeup and impurities, and while I tested it and it worked to remove my foundation, I do just prefer to use a makeup remover first to make sure I get everything off.

The L'Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm comes in a 150 ml tube and retails for $40 from L'Occitane. This one contains a high amount of Shea Butter, 25% to protect skin from cold or any uncomfortable dryness. It's enriched with allantoin to soothe the skin immediately. It definitely does what it says, creating a barrier for the skin and instantly making it feel protected. It is a thick cream, you can feel it's there but it isn't overly oily on the skin or anything. The only thing I don't like about this is that because it's so thick, it's a little difficult to get out of the aluminum tube packaging. The scent isn't for everyone, it is a little 'mature' so to speak and I do prefer the cleanser over the hand balm because the scent is a lot lighter.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser and Intense Hand Balm Review
L'Occitane Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser (left), L'Occitane Shea Butter Intense Hand Balm (right)

You can find the Shea Foaming Cleanser, and the Shea Butter Intense Hand Balm at http://ca.loccitane.com/!

These products were received for consideration. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by anyone. 

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review + Lip Swatches

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches

Lip liners seemed to have disappeared from a makeup junkie's stash of 'essentials' for a while, but the has made it's way back into 2017. Don't get me wrong, I love a good lip liner but they are not always something that a makeup lover gets excited about. It's usually about the newest liquid lipstick, or matte lipstick. 

But the new Plumpline Lip Liner's from Buxom are definitely going something to think about putting on your radar..

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches
Box packaging of each lip liner

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches

The Buxom Plumpline Lip Liners retail for $20 CAD, and are the newest lip product release from Buxom as of January 2017. They've released 20 shades so far and I have 8 of them to share with you.

The pencils themselves are jumbo-sized for the ability to define, shape, and fill in the lips. 

One side is the pencil lip colour, the other side is a brush to smooth out or blend the colour. 

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches

These to me really aren't lip liners at all, more of a lipstick but for the sake of their name I will continue to call them liners. The pencil is so hugeee, and the colour is so pigmented you don't need to top it off with a lipstick at all.

 I really don't usually have a thing for lip liners because of their strong pencil scent, so at first I was like ehhh. But I quickly got over it. Once it's applied it didn't bother me, actually, you don't even notice the lip liner is on your lips at all. They are so light, matte, and non-sticky at all. I find myself being able to re-apply as often as I'd like without having to worry about sore lips later. The Plumpline Lip Liners all seem to be matte formulas.

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches

The brush end really isn't necessary at all. I feel like it was a bit of a waste and I'd prefer to have a tiny bit more product. Also, I got really frustrated every time I opened the brush end thinking that it was the lip colour side when I was in a rush.

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches
Stealth, Dolly Danger, Incognito, Restricted, Intrigue, Code Red, Anonymous Allure, Mystery


Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner Review and Swatches

Lip Swatches:

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Stealth Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Stealth Worn

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Dolly Danger Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Dolly Danger Worn
Dolly Danger

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Incognito Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Incognito Worn

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Restricted Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Restricted Worn

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Intrigue Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Intrigue Worn

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Code Red Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Code Red Worn
Code Red

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Anonymous Allure Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Anonymous Allure Worn
Anonymous Allure

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Mystery Swatch
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Mystery Worn

I was surprised at how highly pigmented these were, and they are quite matte! I love a matte lip and I'm so happy with how all of these shades look. If I had to choose 3 favourites, they'd be 'Incognito (warm nude), Dolly Danger (mauve pink), and Restricted' (rose red). I think the only one that didn't flatter my skin tone or lips was Intrigue. I think it made my lips pop way too much and I just wasn't feeling this one.

In regards to the plumping aspect, I DID notice my lips were quite full when I applied these. However, I do already have full lips so take that with a grain of salt. There is no tingling effect or anything, and I notice the plumpness instantly, so it must be something in the actual colour itself that gives the 'plump' look. OR it's just an illusion because the shades are so matte (will we ever know?!).

I found myself wearing these daily and not having to worry about transfer or any major smudging. As I mentioned, they are light, matte, and don't give me major dry or sore lips. For darker shades it's a little more concerning, but it does take a bit (of eating) to see any real reason to reapply. Overall I'd definitely purchase one again when I run out. I think it's an interesting product and definitely something to at least try once. $20 CAD isn't too bad and I have no doubt that one will last me a long time. The Buxom Plumpline Liners are available at Sephora stores and Sephora.ca.

These products were received for consideration. All opinions are my own and are never influenced by anyone.