Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Review - REN Purity Cleansing Balm

REN logo

I know my blog is starting to resemble a REN advertising campaign but rest assured I am in no way connected to the company, all my products were purchased independently, I am not getting paid for reviews nor do they know I am doing this. I doubt they even know of my blog existence.

Nevertheless I am a huge REN fan, so much so that if I was allowed only one brand in my skincare routine for the rest of my life I know I would choose REN and be very happy with my decision.
Everything about their clean skincare approach appeals to me and every single product I have tried from their lineup has been a favorite at some point during my beauty journey.
You can't argue with performance gold stars and REN has definitively earn quite a stash of them.

The REN Purity Cleansing Balm was one of the first cleansing balms I tried and subsequently overcame my fears of  "balmy oil" induced breakouts. The rest, as they say, is history!

REN Cleansing BalmThis rose-infused blam sweeps away impurities, including waterproof mascara and the toughest of complexion products. It leaves skin cleansed, purified, calm, and glowing. It also conditions the lashes and brows. 

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cetearyl Ethyhexanoate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Tribehenin, Glyceryl Behenate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Viola Odorata Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Lecithin, Benzyl Alcohol, Oryzanol, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Eugenol, Linalool.

The REN Purity Cleansing Balm was formulated for all skin types and used as a makeup remover or gentle primary cleanser to remove pollution and accumulated dead skin cells. The muslin cloth included is entirely optional as the balm can be used either way but keep in mind that if you use it you are essentially preforming a gentle exfoliation of the skin surface so if you are a member of Sensitive Skin Care Club I would refrain from using other exfoliant solutions on that particular day.

The texture of the Cleansing Balm resembles that of traditional soft shortening but once warmed up in your hands it melts quickly in a silky oil-like solution, which is therefore easily distributed and massaged in to the face. The scent has a strong rose undertone but the fragrance is so balanced,  rejuvenating and luxurious, that it manages to elevate your beauty routine that much more.

REN Purity Cleansing Balm
The directions indicate to scoop a small amount into the palm of your hand and rub until the balm transforms into a silky oil, which then indicates when to begin the facial massage. I try to do this for at least a few minutes before gradually adding water to the skin surface and thereby emulsifying it into a rich milk tonic that is then either rinsed or polished off with the muslin cloth or a generic warm facecloth. The skin is left soft, smooth, calm, radiant and plumped up right away, with no dryness in sight. Clean and non-stripped of the skins natural oils your complexion responds with a healthy glow and immediate brightening effect. My skin simply feels better after each use and my skincare ritual is definitively enhanced to a bit more of a glamorous level.
Its a little slice of the REN Spa experience and its happening in your very own bathroom.

The REN Purity Cleansing Balm comes in both a traditional tube ($38 for 3.3 fl.oz.) and a tub ($58 for 5.1 fl.oz.) form in case you have a performance. I know a lot of bloggers and other individuals complain and are put-off by jar packaging due to contamination risk which is a legitimate concern but I don't make it an problem since your hands are suppose to be clean when you are about to put something on your face anyways. As an extra precaution I have a tube of hand sanitizer right next to the balm jar so I can use it after the hand wash to lower my contamination chances even more.

The price may seem a little steep for a cleanser however keep in mind that balms last a lot longer than the traditional foaming washes so in the end you break even and get a product that is not only a superstar but its also good for the skin in the long term. REN's Clean Skincare Commitment is something you can always count on and its definitively an incentive for good-for-you skincare splurge.

For more information about the REN Purity Cleansing Balm, their other products and retail information check out their website and as always REN products can be found at our trusty Sephora.

I hope this was helpful!

Have you tried the REN Purity Cleansing Balm? What is your take on cleansing balms - any favorites?



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Eye Cream Series - La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes

la roche posay logo

I am back with yet another installment of the Eye Cream Series and this time I want to feature a brand, almost all of us know and love. I discovered it very recently once I overcame my overwhelming confusion when faced with their medical apothecary look and impossible to pronounce product names (at least for me). For years I was intimidated by the daunting task of deciphering their ingredient lists, description code and in some cases even functionality. The bottles and white boxes looked the same to me and I didnt trust the beauty associates and their skincare knowledge at my local Shoppers Drug Mart location, so in turn I literally avoided that section entirely.

Luckily today La Roche Posay and me are great friends and I am yet to come across a product that deserves any negativity or questioning. This skincare brand means business and delivers results without any unnecessary fluff, fancy advertising campaigns or celebrity sponsors for that matter. I love that their focus is firmly centered around performance and product quality instead of hype and brand competition. I really wish I had explored their selection sooner because I am sure their products would have saved me a lot of grief, disappointment and money when it came to taking care of my skin.

The Hydraphase Intense Eyes formula is no exception to their high standards and it really is a high performance eye cream that is more than welcome in my beauty arsenal.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense
Tight Cellular Junctions Technology: Hyaluronic Acid Fragments ensure epidermal cohesion to infuse and lock water in for ultra long-lasting hydration. 
Intensive rehydration to smooth eyes dehydrated fine lines.
Decongesting caffeine for anti-puffiness action.

How to use;
1. Apply a small amount of cream with a light, dabbing motion to the eye area. 
2. Gently massage cream into the eye area. Repeat until product is fully absorbed into the skin. 
3. To reduce puffiness, continue to massage the lower eyelid, from the inner to the outer corner. Finish by applying light pressure to your temples to activate lymphatic circulation. 
4. To smooth dehydrated fine lines, perform a series of light tapping motions around the eyes.

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Carbomer, Glycinesoja Protein/Soybean Protein, Caffeine, Isohexadecane, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium, Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.
la roche posay hydraphase texture

I expected the texture of the Hydraphase Intense Eyes to be very creamy and heavy because its primary purpose is re-hydration and sealing moisture around the delicate eye area but instead upon opening I was greeted with a slightly blue, translucent gel-like cream that seemed way too light to accomplish what it promised on the packaging. I shouldn't have worried because this eye cream delivers a very powerful hydration kick all by itself and actually cools, soothes and calms the dry skin around my eyes without feeling greasy or heavy at all. Since I am all about instant gratification this feature really appealed to me right away.

The silicone-like feel can be a great primer for your under-eye concealer, especially when you consider the fact that the Hydraphase Intense Eye fills is the hydration ridges and plumps up the skin upon application, which in turn allows your concealer to glide on effortlessly. However if you apply too much of either product flaking may occur so some experimentation is definitively in order before trialing this on a busy morning when you cant afford to make any makeup mistakes.

I think anyone looking for a hydration would really appreciate the Hydraphase line but what makes the Intense Eye stand out is its intensity when dealing with "special circumstance" dryness and irritation. You will appreciate its "powers" at a completely different level if treating severe dryness and actual flaking in the eye area. It solves and soothes the problem in a few days and in the meantime the instant hydration makes the issue a lot more comfortable.

That  is what makes this a treatment eye cream and its the main reason it made its way into the Eye Cream Series. 

For more information about the La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye and any of their other product please visit their website and for purchasing visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart location. You can also order La Roche Posay products online at  here

I hope that was helpful to someone!

Have you tried La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye? What is your favorite eye cream?



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Beauty Shoppers Remorse Blues

We have all been there! New products are released, the buzz spreads through the blogosphere and somewhere in between, you end up being convinced that you need the object of all that attention because somehow you just know that it will be perfect for you. Don't ask me how that makes sense - someone with no impulse control like me can justify just about anything at that point. 

However every once in a while I am knocked back into reality and realize that my coveted, must-have product is actually an "epic fail" for me and is now most likely going to be designated to a solitary drawer to live out its sentence. 
Please keep in mind that theseproducts didn't   work for me but probably preform amazingly for someone else. After all it's because everyone seemed to love it that I ended up getting it in the first place. In fact i know some of these are holy grails for a lot of you but unfortunatelythat doesn't   change the fact that for me for whatever reason these ended up being beauty duds. 

Some of these simply didn't work on me, some caused beauty harm, while others just left me confused and thinking I might have understood something completely different in the item description in the fist place. 

Enter Beauty Shoppers Remorse Blues! 

                                                                            Revlon Lip Butters

Revlon Lip Butter Ad
These lip butters were all the rage last year and it seemed like people were tripping over themselves to buy the entire collection with bonus limited edition shades.
I got four of what I thought were suitable, flattering shades for my skin tone and looked forward to subtle tints plus moisture. What I got was nice colour but texture and gritty feeling on the lips were a complete turn off and something I just couldn't get past. The L'Oreal Riche Balms were a much better choice for me (review here)

                                                      Proactiv Skincare 

Proactiv skincare
This particular set confused me completely and might be single-handedly responsible  for my anti-infomercial bias. 
Proactiv worked for me for about 2 months and then somehow all hell broke loose, with my chin being a heavy casualty. 

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush 

Maybelline Dream Bouncy BlushI wanted to love these so much! They are simply adorable and remind me of childhood silly putty which was probably one of the reasons why the blush didn't work. I was even very creative and persistent in my attempts to figure it out but regardless of the application method the Bouncy Blush just wouldn't blend in and what's even worse, it caked and ruined whatever I had underneath.
Too bad, so sad Maybelline!

Maybelline great lash                                                                          
 Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (pink tube) 

This mascara has been the "it" makeup item for years among beauty bloggers, gurus and makeup artists. On me this smudged extremely badly and the "wet" formulation never dried, making my eyes droopy and heavy. 
I don't get the appeal unless of course I received a defective tube and everyone else used the "real thing" 

Kieh'ls Abyssine Cream

Kiehl's Abyssine Face Cream

A while back when Kiehl's first launched this cream, it was said to be the ultimate anti-aging weapon with superior moisturizing properties. 
It broke me out badly, after just 2-3 days of use. Talk about disappointment! 

                                                       Organixs Coconut Milk Conditionder 
Organix coconut conditioner

This has got to be the worst conditioner I have ever come across! In fact it seems to do the opposite of what it promises because my hair is always drier after conditioning it with this "conditioner". It's a double disappointment since i really loved the scent of coconuts in the formulation but that doesn't make up for such low performance

These are only some of the products that caused my Beauty Shoppers Remorse and since its highly unlikely that i will stop indulging my beauty palate,  more products will be added very soon. 

What are some of your beauty regrets? What do you think of my choices? 

Thank you for reading 



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Review - Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner

Clarins logo

I love my Biologique Recherche p50 treatment!
It has been a life-changing product for me and I would gladly invest in cases at a time. However with the new European formula change and limited supplies, the original P50 formula is getting harder and harder to find.

I fully appreciate everyone's effort to remove nasty chemicals from beauty products and everything else for that matter but my skin needs a little bit of the "baddies" to be kept in check. I simply haven't been able to find a formulation that works as good as the Biologique Recherche but since I've been conflicted about the whole thing I decided to start pursuing other options in the limited world of exfoliating toners.

Clarins skincareAs per usual I took Caroline Hiron's (online skincare genius!) advice and invested in one of her other top choices. The Clarins exfoliating toner caught my eye so that was one of my first test products.
I decided on Clarins first because I have always felt that their skincare choices seem to stand out from the rest of the beauty giants (Estée Lauder) in terms of price, functionality and innovation. I had liked some of their skincare products before and I have always felt comfortable browsing their counter choices so it really was an organic first choice. 

Thereby I introduce you to the seriously underrated Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner.

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is a lotion formulated with fruit acids to sweep away dulling dead skin cells and the day's grime and pollution.
It smooths and softens skin to leave it looking and feeling clean, bright and beautiful.
Apply once or twice a week to a clean face with a cotton pad, avoiding the delicate eye contour. Wait for a minute before continuing your usual skin routine to maximise effectiveness.

This particular exfoliating toner brightens and refines your skin through the means of natural chemical exfoliation; using a combination of tamarind fruit acids and white nettle extract.
Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner

The Tamarind fruit acid helps to unclog congested skin, eliminates any settled impurities and dead skin cells and activates natural cell renewal. On the other hand the White nettle extract firms the complexion, tightens your pores and prepares your skin for additional topical treatments.
For those of you concerned with alcohol content I should point out that in this particular formulation, the addition of glycerin counteracts the drying factor successfully so any effects of said alcohol is negligible or even non-existent. 

The concentration of chemical exfoliants in this is a lot lower than that in the P50 or the Pixi Glow Tonic so this is a great choice for Sensitive Skin Club Members and in my experience suitable for daily use. 
However as always I recommend an old- fashion patch test prior to use any products that contain "active" ingredients such as this one.

I have used the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner ( $34.00) for almost a month at this point and I have to say I am very impressed. The results of course are nowhere near as dramatic as that of the P50 but its serving its exfoliating purpose in the gentlest way possible. 
It leaves my skin smooth, soft, supple and radiant upon each use and while I can't say it will totally replace the Biologique Recherche completely, it's definitively got what it takes for the maintenance phase in between the sad skin days. 

You can purchase and get more info on Clarins skincare directly on their website, Sephora or any designated counters in your area.

Have you tried the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner? Do you have a favorite toner? 

Thank you for stopping by :-)



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New Lust List!

As you can tell I am having a bit of a LUSH affair these days as I am rediscovering some of my old favorites.
Skincare is once again dominating my brain but there are a few makeup items as well to shake things up.
Sidney Riley is a brand that has been catching my mind lately and their tinted primer was a game-changing product for me so expect a full review soon.
My beloved Prada Candy signature scent is now gone and its important to mention that this is the first fragrance I have every finished and I have a feeling its not going to be the last one. Must restock ASAP.

What has been on your wishlist lately?



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Review - Haus of Gloi Handmade Soap in Vice

I am no fan of solid bars of soap and i honestly don't remember the last time I used them without feeling "unclean" or at least un-rinsed if you know what I mean. No matter what brand I tried and regardless of their "no-residue" promises I always felt like my skin was either coated, irritated or dried out once i was out of the shower. The brick like shape was sadly too masculine for my girly ways too (i know, ridiculous!). For that reason I haven't really explored this new world of hand-made soaps, which are suppose to be gentler, moisturizing and made with natural ingredients, spiked with natural oils. I am very set in my ways when it comes to certain beauty habits.

If there ever was a company that had a chance to get me to explore the "soap world" then it would have to be Haus of Gloi. I absolutely love everything about them and the things they make (just check out the rest of my Haus of Gloi reviews here!) so it wasn't long till I stumbled upon their handmade soap section and got seduced once again.

Haus of Gloi soapSince I have been eager to try some more of their fragrance options the Vice Handmade Soap description was just too irresistible for my weak little mind.

Steam billows rolling off a vessel of fresh made Turkish coffee, marshmallow goo tainted by graham cracker crumbs, toasted hazelnuts and blanketed in black chocolate

Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit Oil, (organic and sustainably harvested) elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, water, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), sodium hydroxide, oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, fragrance and essential oil, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, coconut milk, titanium dioxide.

First of all the Vice fragrance is ridiculously good and even though when I first smelled it the scent seemed too strong and chocolate dominated but now I cant get enough of it and I feel like carrying a slice with me every where as a little pick-me-up. There is nothing wrong with that, right?

Once I got over myself and actually used this soap in the shower my judgments and preconceptions melted right into the drain and just like that I was on board. The lather was creamy, silky, fragrant and plentiful, giving it a very spa-like performance and feel. It rinsed easily and left my skin feeling soft, silky and slightly fragranced. Paired with the glorious Vice Pumpkin Butter this is my favorite indulgence and the experience itself is pampering, luxurious, glamorous and very comforting.
How great is it that a soap can make such a difference!

The Haus of Gloi Handmade Soaps have such a great formulation that it feels a little unfair to compare them to regular soap bars because the quality is literally off the charts.

Its the only bar of soap I will ever use and I already have my eye on a few new scents that are just aching to be ordered.
My top picks for now are: Lavender Sugar, Peach Mama and Troika

Check out the Haus of Gloi Handmade Soaps and the other products this awesome vegan company makes here and let me know what your favorite choices are!



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DISNEY COLLECTION Kiss the Girl Eau de Parfum Rollerball

When I think about Disney I automatically think about the Little Mermaid as it was and still is my favorite movie of all time. I loved absolutely everything about and to this day I can pretty much recite the whole movie dialogue right on cue. I can't even tell you how many times I've tried singing under water. Red fire engine hair seemed extremely reasonable and was certainly an enviable beauty trait for many years. The Spice Girl and Ginger Spice renewed that fascination later on as well but luckily I was talked out of it by more enlightened beauty connoisseurs who recognized that I didn't have a prayer in pulling off such a bold look. 

The Little Mermaid had it all and as I was already ocean intrigued, Ariel and her friends were right up my alley. Plus how awesome was Ursula
The prince Eric love story was secondary to me as a little girl but I still really-really hoped for that fateful kiss, especially in that row boat. 

When Sephora announced and then subsequently released a Little Mermaid collection I was beyond excited and if it wasn't  for my recent organization mission I probably would have purchased the entire collection sight unseen.

I did however decide to give the Kiss the Kiss fragrance a try since my Fragrance Wardrobe could definitively use a boost and a little more variety.

Feel the passion of the moment with Ariel's Kiss the Girl fragrance and let it transform you. Invigorating bursts of bergamot and crisp, wet cucumber are brought to life by a refreshing spray of ozonic accord. Waves of watery notes splash over an alluring blend of wild lilac and starfruit. Cool white musk fuses with warm sandalwood and sensual velvet sensations of ambergris ensure you make the moment last

Bergamot, Wet Cucumber, Ozonic Accord, Water Notes, Wild Lilac, Starfruit, White Musk, Sandalwood, Ambergris. 

Alluring. Romantic. Confident.

The entire Sephora Disney Princess Collection - Ariel is suppose to capture and represent the vibrant, ethereal, magic and beauty tones of the treasured Disney film. In my opinion the collection manages to do just that. 

Kiss the Girl EDP is a roller-ball, which appealed to me since if I didn't like the scent i wouldn't be stuck with yet another unloved bottle to dust and spritz once in a while. The full size fragrance bottles are also available but as pretty as the bottle is, I didn't want to risk it just yet. 

The Kiss the Girl scent formula sounded very different from what I usually like (think Prada Candy or Vera Wang Princess!) so I was apprehensive but still open minded to test this out. Please keep in mind that not only am I terrible at scent descriptions but also fragrance is all about your body chemistry meaning that it never smells the same from person to person. It changes once its worn so the transformation from the bottle to body can be quite dramatic. 
Each Sephora Disney Princess Ariel piece comes with an Ariel's inspired quote and the one on the roller-ball is "true love is beyond words", which is such a charming little detail that I actually felt a little giddy upon discovery. Things like this really bring out the girly-girl side of me. 

When I first smelled this and consulted the scent notes I discovered that this opens up strongly with bergamot and fresh cucumber notes, leading to the softer water lilac and starfruit middle and finishing subtly with sandalwood. The middle notes even though softer are a lot more prevalent to me which is great because I am no fan of sandalwood or cucumber for that matter. The wear time is excellent for this price point and I got at least 6 hour of subtle lingering, which is impressive as far as my fragrance experience goes.

Even though i really liked the Kiss the Girl and my love for all things Princess still remains, this particular fragrance was a little too out of my comfort zone. I love sweeter, floral scents so this crisp.modern fragrance is not going to get a lot of wear after the summer is over.
I am happy I had a chance to try it out so while not my favorite scent this definitively expands my fragrance wardrobe and could be a wonderful summery scent for both Disney and non-Disney lovers.

Just like the rest of the Disney Princess collections this EDP is limited edition so make sure to grab one at Sephora online while you still can. Most of the collection will also be available in Sephora stores in August 2013.

Have you tried Ariel's Kiss the Girls? What did you like from the Disney Princess collections?



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Cosmetic Organization - Beauty Mess to a Beauty Bliss Project #1

Beauty Stash 1

I have always been messy! For as long as i remember I have been terrible at putting stuff back once i take them and even though most things have a designated spot, they rarely actually live there. My friends and family are fully aware of my "littering" habit and its very true that you can follow a path of randomness and at the end of that unfortunate route find me. My boyfriend teases me all the time that I routinely cover up or block the view of any clocks in his room with my girly belongings or multiple glass bottles (don't ask, its a thing!).

I do however want to emphasize that even though my room looks like the aftermath of a small-scale tornado I am not dirty, I just have a slight "organization problem". In fact my showering habits and daily 50 product beauty regiment have a lot to do with the ridiculousness my space has evolved in to.

As a beauty blogger products are consistently added to my collection so lately I too have been noticing the drawbacks of my "litter" process and it started to really bother me. I wanted to take advantage of this new "epiphany"and try to make a change for myself and my Beauty collection.

The majority of the clutter is concentrated around the beauty products, skincare, accessories and my beautiful new vanity. My personal space is small but definitively workable and now that my Daddy finally put up my new shelves the excuses and procrastination efforts really have no more merit and since beauty treasures are meant to be used not buried it just makes sense to finally do this.

Like every other project I knew I am going to need a solid game plan if I want to accomplish this without getting overwhelmed and giving up altogether. Its a legitimate concern and the pictures pretty much say it all!

After some serious consultation, contemplation and a slight urge to move to another room and start over, here are the points I decided to look at;

This might sound like a no-brainer but its probably one of the hardest steps to go through. It requires taking an inventory of your entire beauty stash and examining every single item you have (eeek!) so you can make the tough choices. The guidelines i tried to follow are; expiration dates, over-all look, usage condition and whether or not I actually use it.

If its expired, in a very fragile condition, wrong shade or simply has been sitting unused for 6 months or more it needed to be tossed.
If it its new or like-new and unusable by me then it was set aside in the stash pile and designated for gifting or donation
If it new or like-new and I didnt use it but I was too attached (Chantecaille palettes) then I just had to keep it and hope that i felt differently by next inventory time.

If your beauty stash is somewhat categorized then you will have a clearer overview over what you already have, whats missing, what you need to add and it will definitively help you keep track over what is being used and what isn't.
I could never do color categorization but grouping eyeshadows or lipsticks together sounds somewhat doable. Some much more organized people will keep a spreadsheet of what they have but for me that's very unrealistic right now.

This one is dangerous because you are trying to de-clutter and not add more to the beautiful mess but organization will reveal "holes" in your collection so keeping a list of things you need or want can help with impulse purchases. I find a wish-list makes me think things through so if i consult it beforehand the chances of my purchase being smarter is huge.

Chances are if you are a beauty connoisseur your appreciation for design is also quite high. If your space looks good then your beauty adventures will be a lot more inspired and your beauty collection display will definitively lift your spirit. I am a girly-girl so the main drive to complete this project is making my beauty rituals a bit more glamorous. I know its a cliche to say this but I find its very true for me - presentation is key and I am more likely to engage more in beauty adventures if my beauty surroundings are polished, organized and just plain pretty.

Designate an easy-to reach basket or bag where your daily essentials or most-used products should live in an effort to keep clutter to a minimum even when you are in a hurry.
If this works out i think this will be the tip that will make the most impact on my "littering" since i wont have to dig for my must-                                                                         haves 5 minutes before leaving the house.

All of these tips seem obvious or common sense but they are surprisingly hard to follow through with. This is not going to be easy but I am hopeful that with the right tools & supplies my chances for success will only get higher.

- Determination and resolve to stick with it
- Trash Bag and Donation Box
- Train-cases or Pretty Gift Boxes (hat boxes can be very appealing)
- Vanity or any table with drawers for storage
- Organizational Drawer Inserts (cutlery divider can work and look great)
- Cosmetic Organizers (think Muji  clear boxes or similar)
*Bonus Points - picking a theme look for your vanity (girly, modern, vintage, minimal etc.)

I am hoping that this organization project and me writing about it will help me get this done successfully.
Or at least improve the current state of my beauty mess.

Hopefully you guys me join me in my quest for improvement - beauty and otherwise.
Please note that if you have any advice or tips i would love to hear from you

I leave you with one of my inspirations



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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Essence of Vali Sleep - A Bedtime Ritual

Essence of Vali

I dont't like aromatherapy as all of it seems extremely too strong or potent for me and my "
sensitive" senses. 
Fragrances  in general are a conflict issues for me as some scents can cause me to get a mind-numbing headaches while others i literally want to fuse with. There is nothing really balanced when it comes to my likes so i wasdefinitively concerned  with Essence of Vali samples arrived. 

Essence of Vali However like many of you I also have sleeping issues  since sleep is priority for me (and a beauty secret for all!) i ocassionaly I try to disregard my prejudices and try something new. 
So I tried the Essence of Vali Sleep Bedtime Ritual with an open mind! Plus it's a ritual and I am all about rituals (look at my skincare!)

I took a chance and used it, fully expecting to have to throw out the pillowcase or even pillow right afterwards. I even used the "crappy" least-enjoyed pillowcase for the test! 
For all intents and purposes I am suppose to have really- really hated this....but I didn't!  

In fact it just may be the first aromatherapy product that I can actually day I like. 

The fact that Essence of Vali is a vegan, independent company creating 100% natural products focused on health and wellness products that harness the healing energy of plants; was a bonus push for me to at least be excited at the possibility. 
Essence of Vali Sleep

Used for;
Sleep difficulties, anxiety, stress

Natural Plant Essences. Description: Drift into a relaxing sleep the natural way with soothing essences of lavender flowers, cedar wood, marjoram leaves and g-ylang petals. A drop on the pillowcase is all it takes to ease into a peaceful sleep. During stressful times, you can put a drop on a tissue and inhale the relaxing aroma. The whole family can enjoy a bedtime ritual every evening with this highly effective aromatherapy concentrate. 

Lavender, marjoram, cedarwood & ylang-ylang plant essences

Tip bottle to release 1 drop near the corner of the pillowcase - or put one drop onto a tissue or handkerchief and slip inside pillowcase. During times of stress, put one drop onto a tissue and inhale the relaxing aroma. 

Before anything else I want to warn you, this stuff is very pure, very concentrated and can be very potent if you are not careful. DO NOT USE MORE THAN DIRECTED! The directions are precise for a reason so use 1 drop only, maybe 2 but not any more . You won't be sleepy if you induce a migraine no matter what you do!

Essence of Vali SleepIf you get the pillow application right you will be pleasantly soothed and even feel a bit more relaxed afterwards.

This is not a sleeping pill so the results won't be so instantaneous, or resemble a state of mind numbing zombiness but given the chance, Essence of Vali will relax you enough so the restlessness will subside, resulting in deeper and even better quality sleep. It definitively won't "knock" you out but it will definitively help and soothe your bedtime. 
Peacefulness comes to mind and that's always nice. 

Today the "crappy" pillowcase has been retired and the Essence of Vali Sleep Bedtime Ritual is worthy even of my favorite favorite Disney Princess pillow.

You can find Essence of Vali products on their website and I am so excited to try more of their products. The pillow mists might be the next on the list. 

I hope that was helpful!

Have you tried Essence of Vali yet? What are your thoughts on aromatherapy? 


P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want some more Princeza Beauty Musings, please consider following me through GFC, Bloglovin, Pinterest or Twitter! Insert "happy dance" here :-) 

Review - Diorskin Nude BB Creme

Dior Rose

The ingenious combination of makeup-like features combined with beneficial skincare ingredients along with SPF protection is the essence of the miraculous BB Cream formula. Despite my obvious appreciation of all beauty products, skincare has always been my first love so the unique nature of the BB Cream, skin-loving makeup hybrid, was very appealing for someone like me.

I have discussed in the past that Asian beauty brands have a rich history when it comes to focusing on skin first and makeup a close second, so it's no wonder that the BB Cream concept was hugely successful in the Far East before gaining any kind of attention from the more traditionally western brand. North America has a lot of catching up to do but I am happy to say that there are now several excellent BB Cream choices available and the formulations are only getting better.

The original concept of the BB Cream (BB stands for blemish balm) was developed by a German Dermatologist, Christine Schrammek, in the 1960's and then further refined and perfected by the Korean cosmetic industry in the 1980's. Today's BB Cream formula and branding is a result of years or research, various re-formulation experiments and most importantly a consumer demand for a product that will treat, heal and enhance the complexion all-in-one. 

My favorite pick as of late has been a BB cream that has finally allowed me to completely disregard any reliance on primer and that is the Diorskin Nude BB Creme. 

Dior Nude

Official Description; 
A dream combination of skin care and make-up, Diorskin Nude BB Creme is the new generation complexion enhancer. Its light, melting texture enriched with natural origin skin care ingredients conceals only the undesirable and adjusts perfectly to all skin tones. In a single step, Diorskin Nude BB Creme combines 5 indispensable actions in order to accentuate a fresh complexion with an astoundingly natural finish: - corrects transparently - lights the skin up with a fresh glow - gently hydrates - instantly smoothes - protects, day after day For skin as fresh and radiant as a Rose, by Dior

Diorskin Nude BB Cream
The first thing I am going to say about this BB cream is that the shades can be sketchy so first-hand swatching or even being color-matched by a qualified brand-specialist (I can't stress qualified enough!). I am the Fair 002 but based on online swatches I was positive the Medium 003 was my match. 

Aside from that the formula works like a dream - it feels very airy and fresh on the skin surface, delivering kind of a glowy sheen finish that makes me look and almost feel healthy! It has that illuminating effect without making it look like makeup which is what the appeal of the BB cream really is and Dior delivers that beautifully. 

The addition of mineralized flower water (hence all the rose tones and theme!) is meant to effectively moisturize and antioxidants with SPF add further protection to this already multiple skin-perfecting and literally skin-loving formulation. 

This is a BB Cream so the coverage is a little bit heavier than a tinted moisturizer but with particular Dior formula it will the texture will feel even lighter. I  believe it might be due to the lower SPF 10 but I didn't notice any oxidation on the skin throughout the day even when I didn't use any of my usual, light dusting of translucent powder. It lasted all day, didnt break down or look caky during the humidity and looked lovely after eight hours of wear. I pretty much fell in love with it! 

I know it's a pricy pick ($48.00 for 1 oz) but I have to say its a worthy investment if you are looking for a great BB Cream

Diorskin Nude BB Cream didn't let me down and it's been almost a daily choice now so that's as big of an endorsement as the Princeza can give! Plus I have a weakness for anything with any kind of rose associations - maybe it should be a blog theme? :-)

You can get all Christian Dior products on their site, various Dior beauty counters or as usual our trusty Sephora

Have you tried the Diorskin Nude BB Cream? What's your favorite BB Cream?



P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want some more Princeza Beauty Musings, please consider following me through GFC, Bloglovin, Pinterest or Twitter! Insert "happy dance" here :-) 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Honest Review - Lancôme Visionnaire LR 2412 4% Advanced Skin Corrector

Lancome Visionnaire

I am going to start off this post by saying that my skin has never gotten along with any Lancôme skincare products. In fact I had an extremely bad experience and allergy reaction to one of their cleansers a few years ago, which caused me to purposely avoid the Lancôme counter at Sears no matter how good their gwp promotions turned out to be. 

As a skincare enthusiast it was hard for me to deny my own curiosity when the Visionnaire serum first launched. The Lancôme marketing team created such hype and excitement in the beauty industry over this miraculous LR 2412 molecule that I started considering lifting the Lancôme ban of my own. 
What can I say - my impulse control was seriously lacking!

The blogosphere exploded with Visionnaire reviews and for a while it looked like this serum really was the game-changer in the anti-aging industry. After reading what seemed like a 1000 positive reviews I finally decided to give Lancôme one more chance at redemption and purchased the elegant blue bottle. 

Did it live up to my expectation and more importantly, did it deliver the results it promised? 
We shall see...

Official description; 
More than a wrinkle-corrector, this product is capable of fundamentally re-creating more beautiful skin. The first skincare product with LR 2412, a molecule designed to propel through skin layers, it triggers a cascading series of micro-transformations along its path. On the surface, wrinkles and pores are visibly corrected. Imperfections like signs of UV damage and acne marks appear diminished. 

Lancome Visionnaire results

Aqua / Water / Eau, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Sodium Tetrahydrojasmonate, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Bis-Peg/Ppg-16/16 Peg/Ppg-16/16 Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide / Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Argilla / Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Dimethiconol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Disodium Edta, Tetrahydrojasmonic Acid, Citronellol, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Parfum / Fragrance.

The biggest selling point Lancôme used in the Visionnaire promotion was their claim that "one out of two women tempted by a cosmetic procedure decided to postpone it" after using this advanced skin corrector for only four weeks. 

Lancome Visionnaire
First off I want to make it clear that I have never been tempted to undergo any kind of cosmetic surgery and knowing my own prejudice to needles and scalpels chances are I never will be either. Personally I am a big believer in good skincare, problem prevention and suitable maintenance of your own skin type, regardless of age. I am also afraid of needles, which disqualifies me from most cosmetic procedures or surgeries and forces me to be almost exclusively product driven when it comes to anti-aging and caring for the skin,

I may be able to resist plastic surgery promises but I was indeed tempted by a certain skin correcting serum Visionnaire that promised to improve the condition of my complexion, blurr fine lines and pores, fade hyper-pigmentation areas, refine skin texture and plump up facial tone. 

The glowing reviews, so-called "scientific research", the internationally patented  miracle molecule inclusion (LR 2412), the perfect complexion of the Lancôme models and the price tag alone ($132 for 1.7 fl.oz) made me expect significant changes or at least some visible results in the mirror. 

Honestly I would have been happy with at least one of the "skin corrections" this thing claimed to provide. 

Now i really don't want this post to be viewed as a negative, bitter review for Lancôme but I made a commitment prior to starting this beauty blog that I will always be honest about any product experiences.
Seeing how the decision for me to invest in this Advanced Skin Corrector was majorly influenced by all the positive reviews on many of the "big beauty blogs" I strongly believe that posting honest positive and negative opinions about all products is extremely important in helping others who are looking for balanced information, especially if the item requires a significant monetary investment. 
In my opinion the Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector fits that category perfectly. 

Unfortunately the performance of this beautiful, fancy Visionnaire serum was very underwhelming for me. I didn't see any positive changes on my skin and although I enjoyed using it I cannot justify repurchasing something so expensive that didnt have any effect. I liked the light-reflecting particles suspended in the Visionnaire liquid since the effect was similar to a sheer highlighting primer but I have many other products that can imitate the same thing. Not to mention that shine and mica sparkles are not real skincare ingredients, especially when we are talking about such expensive skincare. 

Lancome VisionnaireAs I mentioned the Lancôme Visionnaire did not really live up to my expectations since I didn't see any noticeable change in my skin but it also didnt cause any negative reactions either.  I was slightly concerned about that outcome because of my previous negative experience but Lancôme has obviously upped its game when it comes to avoiding irritants or allergens in their formulations. 
Despite all that I would not recommend this serum to the members of the Sensitive Skin Care Club because the Visionnaire formula has a significantly high alcohol content, which can dry out and irritate delicate skin. 

Lancôme is one of the leading beauty giants when it comes to the world of cosmetics and they certainly didn't skimp on research when it came to formulating their latest anti-aging treatment serum. 
There are many positive, glowing reviews all over the blogosphere about the Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector so just because it didnt work out for me, it doesn't mean that it's not a good product. Obviously some people are experiencing great results with this addition to their skincare routines because the Visionnaire continues to be one of the brands leading sellers. Conclusions and findings like this only further reinforce the fact that skincare is extremely subjective from one individual to the next and what works for one person may or may not work for you. Coming up with an ideal combination of skincare products and brands, which "perfect" your complexion and meet all the requirements for healthy skin inside and out; is probably one of the trickiest but also the most rewarding paths a beauty enthusiast can take. The Lancome Visionnire was a little detour on my path!

It feels strange to say that even though Visionnaire wasn't right for me, it did renew my interest in Lancôme again and I know that I will be visiting their counter pretty soon. Go figure!

In fact I have my eye on the new Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl(TM) Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate!

For more information regarding Lancome Visionnaire and other Lancome products, including purchasing please visit their website. Lancome products are available for purchase directly thereSephora, various Shopper's Drug Mart Locations (Canada) and various department store counters (Macy's, Sears, The Bay etc.) 

Have you lovely readers tried the Visionnaire or the Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl

What is your favorite Lancôme product? 



P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want some more Princeza Beauty Musings, please consider following me through GFC, Bloglovin, Pinterest or Twitter! Insert "happy dance" here :-)