Saturday, 29 June 2013

Pantene Pro-V Ultimate 10 BB Creme Beauty Balm - Review

This product was getting great reviews online and I was curious. My hair is a rat's nest on a good day so if I like a hair product, it's usually pretty awesome stuff. Please take what I say about any hair product with a large grain of salt because I am fussy and hard to please when it comes to hair products. What works for you will likely do nothing for me and what works for me may be a disaster for you. I have naturally curly, frizzy hair. It can be tamed to be wavy or straight, but that takes work my friends.

I had some rewards dollars at a drug store so I got two of these for free. Why did I buy two??? Good question. I didn't know what else to get and I had enough rewards dollars for two and a couple of small things.

So this stuff is supposed to be some type of miracle worker. It's a 10 in 1 beauty balm hair cream. It looks like sticky hand lotion. When you apply it, it acts like sticky hand lotion would in your hair. It can be applied to wet or dry hair. I have tried both and it works a bit better in wet hair. It absorbs easily in wet hair and keeps your hair somewhat under control. I still got the frizzies after I used this and then blow dried my hair. By the way, it has been super humid where I live for the past few weeks when I started using this. This may work better in dry climates.

I have applied this to bone dry hair and it does still absorb, but your hair can look a bit greasy at you put hand lotion in your hair. When it dries, my hair is a bit more tame, but I still have a touch of the frizzies. Also, when I touch my hair, it feels like I put hand lotion in it....even when it has fully absorbed. I really don't like how it feels. Sometimes it leaves my hair with strange kinks in it. Use too little and this does nothing. Use too much and you might look like a snake's head at least until it has fully absorbed.

If you have straight or slightly wavy hair, you may love this stuff but I wouldn't recommend it for those of you with curly hair like myself. If you are in a rush and are in a pinch, I have, and might still, reach for this. It's quick to grab and apply and it works better than nothing but it is not ideal for me. It does work well on random bits of fly-away hair. Let's go through what this product claims to do and make a checklist. Maybe I will find that this product is better than I thought.

1. Repair for Rough Hair (that's me) - sort of 6/10
2. Strength Against Damage - not sure 7/10 (guesstimate)
3. Silky Softness - a little with a lotion like texture 7/10
4. Brilliant Shine - ok you have me there 8/10
5. Smoothing - 6/10
6. Moisture - 6/10
7. Frizz Control - hahahahahaha 4/10
8. Heat Protection - not sure 7/10
9. Manageability - 6/10
10. Tamed Fly-Aways - 8/10

One bottle is 151 ml or 5.1 fl. oz. It has a pump attached to it. I think this product might have been better if instead of being lotion like it was more balm like or came in a clear gel consistency. Just my two cents. Oh by the way, the smell is pretty strong at first but it goes away. It smells like 100 bottles of Pantene conditioner.

Since I already did some ratings above, I will do an overall rating - 6/10 for me.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

theBalm CabanaBoy Shadow/Blush - Review and Swatch

Are you guys sick of me reviewing theBalm blushes yet? I hope not, because they are really nice! So this is the final blush in my 3 blush theBalm installment. Where to start? I LOVE the packaging. I mean how cute is that? I love the name too. It makes me think of a 1950s summer by the pool with umbrella drinks and hot guys. Hope my husband doesn't read this. Oh and the blush is pretty neat too!

The blush is described as a dusty rose which I think is semi-accurate. To me, this is the darkest "dusty" rose I have ever seen. To me it is a pinky red plum. You have to apply this lightly as it is quite pigmented and it may overpower your face. I am a bit in between my natural skin tone and a tan at the moment. To me, this would look good on me in winter if applied sparingly, and it also would work if I had a nice tan. Since I am in between, I don't feel that my skin tone can do this blush justice at the moment. It is a very unusual blush colour to me. It has a subtle shimmer. The formula is so smooth and silky, it is insane.

Once again, there is a nice large mirror in the compact and it is in a cardboard type of box which suits me fine. The ingredient list is very small. You get 8.5g or 0.3 oz. of product which is a good deal. It mystifies me why every single theBalm blush is a different net weight. Bizarre. It's very compact and travel friendly.

Here's the swatch above. This blush blends well and goes on easily. It's buildable but I highly doubt you will need to build this puppy. This colour would look great on almost every skin tone under the right conditions. It lasts throughout most, if not all, of the day.
So there it is! As I mentioned in previous posts paid $10 for this normally $21 blush on Hautelook. A steal and a half. I am so very happy with all three blushes.
Packaging: 10/10 (adorable, compact and environmentally friendly)  
Pigmentation: 9.5/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 8.5/10
Texture: 9.5/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (for overnight travel and daily purse travel)
Attractiveness of Product: 9.5/10
Would I buy this again? Yes (but it is so big I likely will never have to)
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

theBalm Hot Mama! Shadow/Blush - Review and Swatch

Okay, here we are finally and today I am going to do a review on theBalm's Hot Mama! blush. As I mentioned in my last post, a few weeks ago I ordered three blushes by theBalm off of the Hautelook website. They were about $10 each. This blush is a golden coral pink. It's more coral than pink. It reminds me a bit of NARS' Orgasm in the sense that Hot Mama! could be Orgasm's spicy tropical cousin. It has the shame shimmer sort of and it has a few colours going on there depending on what light you are looking at it under.

I was expecting to like it the least of the three that I bought. In actuality, I think I may like this the most of the three. Since it is summer here, this colour is perfect to go with a tan. There is a nice large mirror in the compact and it is in a cardboard type of box which suits me fine. The ingredient list is very small which is the way it should be! You get 7.08g or 0.25 oz. of product which is a good deal but is smaller than theBalm's Down Boy blush. Strange. The packaging is cute as heck and reminds me of a 1950s Elvis movie. It's very compact and travel friendly.


The formula is creamy and silky. It blends well and goes on easily. It's buildable and you can use as little or as much as you like. This colour would look awesome on someone with medium to darker skin tones. A redhead could totally rock this colour too. It lasts throughout most, if not all, of the day.

In some ways, Hot Mama! also reminds me a little of Benefit Cosmetics Coralista. That being said, Hot Mama! is darker, more intense and more coral pink. I think Coralista might be more wearable for my colouring, but both are solid buys if you are into summer themed coral blush at all.

Above, I have Coralista on the left and Hot Mama! on the right.

Packaging: 10/10 (adorable, compact and environmentally friendly)  
Pigmentation: 9.5/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 8.5/10
Texture: 9.5/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (for overnight travel and daily purse travel)
Attractiveness of Product: 9.5/10
Would I buy this again? Yes (but it is so big I likely will never have to)
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 

Friday, 21 June 2013

theBalm DownBoy Shadow/Blush - Review and Swatch

Sorry everyone! I feel like I have been missing in action a lot lately! A few weeks ago I ordered three blushes by theBalm off of the Hautelook website. They were about $10 each! What a steal! Needless to say, I couldn't resist a bargain like that. I love most of theBalm's products so I pounced on this opportunity to add some more of their products to my collection at rock bottom prices. Although I have tried all three blushes now, I am going to start with my review of DownBoy.

This blush is a peachy pink red. That doesn't sound like it makes much sense does it? Basically it is a true pink blush which is on the warm side. I was expecting it to be more cooler toned. Nevertheless, it is a very pretty colour. I must confess that I haven't been wearing it much lately because it seems a bit more of a winter blush choice for me. I have a little tan at the moment so although I can still wear it now, I just find that I am not gravitating towards grabbing it in the mornings.

I am going to show you the product in a couple of different lights today - with and without the flash.

There is a nice large mirror in the compact and it is in a cardboard type of box which suits me fine. The ingredient list is very small which is the way it should be! You get 9.9g or 0.35 oz. of product which is an awesome deal for $21 regular price. The packaging is adorable as most of theBalm's stuff is. It's very compact and travel friendly. Here are a couple of swatches in different lights and with both my arm and my fingertip to show you the colour. Wow, the first shot is not very flattering of my arm! Oh and I am not giving you the finger or making a rude gesture, I swear!


The formula is creamy. It blends well and goes on easily. It is the most chalky of the three I bought but only slightly so. It lasts throughout most, if not all, of the day. It is not as long lasting as the Tarte blushes but no one else makes blushes that good!

I hope this has been helpful for all of you. The other two blushes I bought will be reviewed over the next couple of days.

I have a bunch of palettes to review for you again, so stay tuned!

Packaging: 10/10 (adorable, compact and environmentally friendly)  
Pigmentation: 8.5/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 8.5/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (for overnight travel and daily purse travel)
Attractiveness of Product: 9/10
Would I buy this again? Yes (but it is so big I likely will never have to)
Overall Rating: 9/10 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

derma e Evenly Radiant Overnight Peel - Review

I picked this up several weeks ago from, which is an awesome online store by the way, for $17.29 Canadian. This derma e product is "natural" skin care and is eco-friendly etc. All of that good stuff. It's fragrance-free too. My skin has always responded well to glycolic acids. Lately, I was just feeling like my skin wasn't clean and I had a lot of dead skin cells. This product has certainly helped my skin feel lighter and look clearer. I am even starting to notice a tiny glow some days. It's super gentle, which I need right now given my lip issues (which are almost gone yippie!).

It could be a bit stronger for my liking (or a tad more harsh) but it does appear to be working. My makeup is gliding on much better these days. It's basically an overnight moisturizer which you use once to twice a week. I have been using it twice a week. I need to! There is some minor tingling over blemishes but nothing severe when you apply it. It goes on easily and isn't messy or complicated. The bottle with a pump is 2 fl. oz. or 60ml. I think it may last me a little while. In the morning, you really feel like you need to wash you face as it feels a bit greasy, but I think that this just the product working, cleaning out your pores. You have to and are supposed to wash your face after using this product the next morning of course.

I am interested in testing out derma e's cleansers now. Hmmmm. Has anyone tried them?

Packaging: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Scent: 10/10 (there isn't one)
Texture: 8/10
Blemish Blasting: 7/10
Softening: 9/10
Gets Rid of Dead Skin Cells: 7.5/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Yes Probably     
Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, 16 June 2013

New Favourite Nail Polish Colour for Summer 2013! China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Pink Voltage - Review and Swatch

I looooove this colour! I got a pedicure last weekend and I picked out this colour, China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Pink Voltage. The numbers are 1006 and 70291 on the bottle. I must have taken over 50 pictures before I was able to get a decent shot of the bottle and my pedicure. It is so difficult to capture this colour properly on a camera. It is a neon but it is not an outrageous neon. It has a pink pearl in it so it downplays the neon of it. It's really bright and it pops! Whenever I look at this colour, I just think pool parties and summer. I am mostly a French pedicure gal, but this summer I think I may be rocking this colour quite a bit.

I bought my own bottle today to do touch-ups and also to do my toes again in this colour later in the summer! I think I might even do my fingernails to match one of these days. I have had so many compliments on this colour. I went shopping (mostly window shopping) with this colour on in some high end stores and I got a few genuine compliments from some sales staff. They were interested in knowing what brand and colour it was. If you like pink even a little and you only buy one nail polish colour this summer, make it Pink Voltage!

Wild, no? I love it. Sorry, I know it is a foot shot. Also, I am starting to get freckles on my feet which is a phenomenon which only started a couple of years ago in the summer. Luckily, they fade in the winter. I did get my first chip yesterday after a week of wearing it. I paid just under $6 Canadian for a bottle at Sally Beauty Supply (I have a member card so I got a discount). Worth every penny. So what do you think??? Are you going to pick some up?

Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 9/10 (you need minimum 2 coats)  
Easy to Work With: 8/10
Longevity: 8/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 8.5/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Hell Yes
Overall Rating: 9/10 and it's super cool!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner - Review and Swatch

I am going to cut to the chase today. This is likely the best liquid eyeliner at the drug store. It's super black, very long lasting and fairly easy to use. A tube lasts a good while and it doesn't dry out quickly unlike the MAC equivalent. L'Oreal makes a couple of similar liquid eyeliner products, some of which don't work as well as this one. So make sure you get the right one. You can get this at most drug stores for around $8-$12 I believe. Nice and inexpensive.

I only have one complaint about this product. The ingredient list is not good. There are parabens in here and a host of other chemicals I can neither pronounce nor do I care to pronounce. I prefer not to think about it. My only comfort is that I apply this to such a small area of my body and I also don't use it very often. I personally prefer the look, finish and application of gel liner better. This stuff is great if you are in a pinch and need to look put together fast. It's fairly small and compact. Great to throw in your purse and great for travel. The applicator tip gives you a nice, clean, thin line and you can build it from there if you want it thicker. Here is the swatch.

Packaging: 10/10 (reminds me of the old Maybelline liquid liners) 
Pigmentation: 9.5/10
Easy to Work With: 8.5/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 2/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Probably (sigh)    
Overall Rating: 8.5/10 (poor ingredients drag the score down)

Monday, 10 June 2013

TRESemme Unscented Tres Two Extra Hold Hair Spray - Review

I couldn't get a good shot of this can tonight to save my life (and I am a bit tired) so here it is folks! Today, I am reviewing the TRESemme Tres Two Hairspray which boasts superior hold with touchable feel. It is supposed to have humidity resistance. It's extra hold level 4. I can't remember what I paid for this but it was only a few dollars at the supermarket. I heard this stuff was good and I hated the two hairsprays I had kicking around so I picked this one up.

Overall, I have to say that I am happy with this hairspray. I think it is the best hairspray that you can buy at the drug store for under $10. I do agree that after using this you still have "touchable hair" and it doesn't feel too stiff or gross. I put some big curls in my hair two days ago and sprayed them with this. They are still holding! Yes, after I have slept two nights in them and been in the shower (okay I had a shower cap on but still) it is still holding. Crazy! I am impressed. In case any of you are wondering, I have dry hair and I can't wash it daily so if I have good hair for two days before I wash it again, bonus!

This is a big can. It's 311g. Seems mammoth to me. I am not sure how long this will last...years....My only complaint is the claim to humidity resistance. While my curls are intact two days later, all of my frizzy baby hair near my face is frankly frizzy despite spraying it with this product. I find it doesn't do so much for the humidity resistance factor. If that's not your problem, you may very well think that this is the best hair spray that you have ever tried. I think this stuff will work very well for me in the winter. I still plan on using this for a good chunk of the summer.

Packaging: 7/10  (the can and is big and chunky - takes up a lot of space)
Easy to Work With: 8/10 (comes out in a big rush so spray quick and a good distance from your face)
Touchable Hair: 8.5/10
Humidity Resistance: 3/10
Hold: 9/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Would I buy this again? Yes Likely 
Overall Rating: 8/10 (wish it controlled frizz)

Friday, 7 June 2013

bareMinerals Deep Cleansing Foam - Review

Here is another item which has been on my list of ho hum products that I have been using for the past month or so. Someone in the online beauty community recommended this product a while back and I was eager to try it. It gets great reviews on Sephora. So I bought this as part of a Sephora haul that I did a couple of months back. I have been using it fairly regularly for the pat 6 or 7 weeks. Where to start?

Well, first of all, it has a little of what I call a "hippie" scent. It's a bit herbal for my taste but after using this a few times you get used to it. You seriously only need a pea sized amount. Any more and this will not lather or do anything. I find it "soaps" but I wouldn't say it foams or lathers a great deal which is disappointing since this is called a foam. My skin feels refreshed and soft after I use it - never dry. However, I don't think it deep cleans worth a damn. After I use it, if I run makeup remover or toner over my face with a cotton ball, I am shocked by what still comes off of my face. Also, I find it does nothing for redness on my face and it sure doesn't clean my pores or diminish my blemishes in any way, shape or form.

It is very gentle though. I need that at the moment as I am still dealing with the allergic reaction that I had on my lips awhile back. It's almost gone, but the skin around my mouth is very sensitive and this product doesn't seem to irritate me at all.

So there you have it. It's $25 Canadian and $20 U.S. I don't think I will repurchase this but I also think that the tube will last me a long time. It's 119g or 4.2 oz. and like I said, you only need a tiny amount each time you use it.

Packaging: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 6/10 (it's tricky to get the right amount to use)
Scent: 3/10
Texture: 6/10
Removal of Dirt, Makeup: 2/10
Blemish Blasting: 2/10
Softening: 8.5/10
Refreshing: 8/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Would I buy this again? Unlikely    
Overall Rating: 5/10

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Cream Bare Escentuals in Creamsicle - Review and Swatch

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently in the midst of reviewing a lot of ho hum products. I neither love them nor hate them. This is one of them. This was my first Buxom purchase. Normally, I am super picky about lip gloss and I hate 95% of the lip gloss out there, so when you read one of my reviews on lip gloss, please take it with a grain of salt if you are not as picky as I am.

I bought this lip gloss for one reason only - the colour. I came across a similar colour last year when I had someone do my makeup when I left a spa. I loved that colour but hated the product. It made my lips burn as many "plumpers" do. The fact that this product is also a "plumper" did not amuse me. I have pouty lips to begin with so I don't need a plumper in my lip gloss.

The sales girl at Sephora assured me that Buxom lip products don't have the "burn" that I complain of. She said she has the same issue and this one is fine for her. I have used this gloss several times now. It is super minty and tingly. It doesn't burn but it tingles on my lips way too much for my liking. It's like having a bunch of cinnamon hearts explode on your lips at the same time. It's really too much for me and it takes 30 minutes or more to tame itself down. All I can think about is how weird my lips feel when I am wearing a full coat of it. It's really distracting! All I can suggest is to dab the smallest amount in the centre of your lips over lipstick to keep this tingling to a minimum but still get a nice effect.

I love the colour when it is swatched. I can't find anything else like it on the market. However, once you smooth it out onto your lips, the colour washes out. The pigmentation is really poor. It ends up looking like a nice, fresh, nude, summer gloss. It looks really nice over orange or coral lipstick though. You can wear it over pink too and it really makes the lipstick colour pop. Here is the swatch. I wish you could see how vibrant and coral the colour is but alas my camera could not do it justice. Pity the colour fades instantly once on your lips.

Buxom describes the colour as "peach sorbet" and I concur that seems accurate. The product is moisturizing. I love the packaging. Looks very cool to me. This lip gloss, or cream ahem is $19 U.S. or $23 Canadian. It has a vanilla smell which dissipates as soon as you apply. As you can see, there are some pros and cons to this product. I will use mine and use it up this summer but I will only use a tiny bit each time.

Packaging: 8/10 (big and bulky in size but looks really cool)
Pigmentation: 3/10
How Does it Feel On: 3/10 (moisturizing but tingles overboard)
Longevity: 3/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 8.5/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 6/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10 (10/10 if the pigmentation wasn't so poor)
Would I buy this again? Not Sure    
Overall Rating: 6/10 (the poor pigmentation and hyper tingly effect really drag the score down)