Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review || Clean & Clear Acne-Free Routine (Three Products)

Hi guys!

I recently received this set of Clean & Clear products to review through Crowdsocial, and now that I've had about a week to test out the products on my skin, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

I received the Acne-Free Routine set, which includes the Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, the Persa-Gel 5, and the Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer:


Also, while all my opinions here are completely honest, I want to make sure to state that The week I was testing out these products was not a very acne-filled week for my skin. I did have some spots, but nothing too big or hard to get rid of, so I'm mostly going to be reviewing these products from a skin-maintenance perspective!

So this routine, which I chose in a week where my skin was having more problems, is for acne prone skin, to prevent and help to control breakouts. As you saw in the brochure above, there are three products. First you start with the acne cleanser, then you use the acne cream on any problem spots, and once that has sunk in, you top it off with the moisturizer. (And I'm sure many of you know this already, but moisturizer is still a very important step for acne-prone skin, since skipping it can cause dry skin, which your body will try to prevent by overproducing oils... which can lead to more breakouts!)

So let's take a look at each of the products:

Continous Control Acne Cleanser

This wash is meant to be gentle enough for daily use, and contains 5% benzoyl peroxide (BP), one of the popular chemicals used for treating breakouts. This wash is meant to help treat and prevent breakouts by penetrating the BP into your pores for to help treat zits even after washing. It promises not to clog pores and to leave skin feeling clean and tingly.

To use, like with most face washes, you massage onto damp skin (avoiding your eye area! I tended to avoid the whole area you might apply eye cream, because that skin is sensitive!) for 20-30 seconds and then rise. Pretty simple. They say you can use this up to twice a day, but sensitive or fair skinned individuals should start with only once a day to prevent over drying, as the BP can be harsh.

Personally, I quite like this wash. Its hard to say if it helped to clear up the couple of problem spots I had, or if those went away on their own, but this certainly didn't cause any new breakouts! The cleanser comes out like a thick cream, and doesn't lather on your skin (which isn't a problem for me. Foaming washes can be drying anyways), but it does feel refreshing, cooling, and somewhat minty. This is because of the menthol in it. I found that the warmer the water I used to wash my face, the more intense the menthol tingle was! So if you aren't a fan of a strong tingly effect, maybe don't take this one into a hot shower with you! I don't mind the feeling, however, it's quite refreshing.

One last thing I wanted to mention that I noticed and thought was interesting is that this product is not oil-free. Two of the listed ingredients include mineral oil and petroleum... My skin didn't have any issues, so this really doesn't bother me. I like using oils on my skin, though these aren't the -best- oils for you. However, I wanted to mention it in case your skin doesn't react well to those ingredients or if you just don't like the idea of mineral oil and petroleum in an acne wash.

Persa-Gel 5 acne medication

This is a spot treatment, and the promises are certainly not lofty or special on this one, it just claims to prevent and kill acne bacteria. Sounds good! It says that this is the highest concentration of benzoyl peroxide available without a prescription, at 5%, just like the face wash. Obviously you're applying this and not washing it off in 30 seconds, so the effects are going to be a bit harsher than the wash, so like, don't spread it all over your face. Obviously.

As with the wash, it says you can use it twice a day on affected areas, but recommends that fair skinned individuals start with once a day.

I don't really have anything too special to say about this product. It is a different consistency than some spot treatments I've used, though. It calls itself a gel, but I would say it is more of a lotion-y consistency, as opposed to the usual clear gels or white or tinted pastes (like Clearasil). It's thin, and rubs and sinks into the skin quite quickly. If your skin responds well to BP, this will probably work quite well for you. It's also nice that it dries so quickly, so I don't have to wait too long to apply my moisturizer!

Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

This product is not actually from one of Clean & Clear's acne ranges, but it does work perfectly with this routine! It claims to be a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that won't clog pores. It also contains cucumber extract as well as mango fruit extract, so it is soothing and smells really fresh and lovely!

I'm not going to tell you how to use moisturizer, but I am going to tell you I bloody love this stuff. If you've read or watched anything I've said about skincare (like my skincare routine video), you may know that I've used and LOVED the Clinique Dramatically Different Gel Moisturizer in the past. I really dislike heavy, creamy, or greasy moisturizers for every day, and gel moisturizers are my saviour! This one is no different, and even better, it's at a drug store price range! I've only been using this for about a week, but I am already pretty sure I'll be repurchasing when I run out!

I also had my boyfriend try out the moisturizer. He really dislikes moisturizers because of his oily skin, but his the deep pore Clarisonic head was making his skin pretty dry and peel-y. And he actually liked the texture of this moisturizer as well, since it sunk in so quickly and didn't leave any residue or greasy stickiness on his skin.

Inexpensive, smells great, non-greasy, sinks in quickly, and actually hydrates my skin? Awesome! I love how my skin feels after using this product, all clean and smooth, almost matte, but in a natural way. Love.

**These products were sent to me for review, and this post is sponsored, but all the opinions expressed on this blog are always my own. All my thoughts in this blog post are completely honest and unbiased.**

Thanks for reading!



Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Chat || July - Sept 2015 Book Round-Up

Click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

1. Cry of the Dove by Fadia Faqir

2. My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart

3. Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

4 & 5. Girl Friends (vol. 1 & 2) by Milk Morinaga

**All cover images borrowed from GoodReads**

Friend me on GoodReads!

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tutorial || Fairy / Elf Costume Makeup (+ Wearable Green Eyes)

Sorry for the messed up week or so of posting... schedule stuff changed around on me and suddenly my old posting schedule is not working for me at all. To work with recent changes, I'm going to change my video upload schedule to Wednesdays and Fridays, which should work much better for me for the time being!

Also, this video is long. And a little late in the month for a costume video... But I wanted to film it, and I wanted to post it. It would be great for anyone still looking for a last minute costume, since the makeup does a lot of the work. Add some fairy wings and a pretty dress, or a green or brown outfit and put some braids in your hair... maybe a flower crown... Voila! Instant costume!

Also, there are thousands of ways you could tweak this to your own uses. Use different colours, draw different designs... I just wanted to show you a couple of ideas and hopefully they help to inspire a couple of people! Let me know if you use anything in this tutorial, or honestly, just show me pictures of your Halloween costume this year, I'd love to see them!

Click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

***

Here's a look at the various title cards I made for this video, as well, since they give a pretty good look at the looks I created:



Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sephora Favourites Give Me More Lip set || Unboxing & Swatches

I recently bought this year's Sephora Favourites Give Me More Lip set with my friend Brit, just like last year, and once again, we decided to film opening it up and swatching it for you guys!

From the looks of it, the set is sold out, at least online at Sephora.ca, so I'm not sure if they will be restocking, but hopefully they will, so you can get your hands on it, if you're interested!

Also, below the embedded video, I've done a bit of a breakdown on the sizes of the products included and tried to figure out what each piece is worth compared to the full size option, to see what the approximate value of the box is!

Click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

Product Size/Price Breakdown (All prices in CAD unless stated)

1. Ciate Liquid Velvet in Risque

Full size product — .22 oz. (Doesn't seem to be available from Sephora.ca) | $19 USD

2. Nars Lipstick in Scarlett Empress

Full size product — .12 oz | $34

3. Smashbox Be Legendary in Magenta Matte

Full size product — .1 oz | $23

4. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Streak

Full size product — .09 oz | $26

5. Bite Matte Creme in Cognoc (full size = .05 oz @ $28)

Sample size — .03 oz | ~$16.80

6. Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Homegirl (full size = .1 oz @ $26)

Sample size — .04 oz | ~$10.40

7. Fresh Sugar Tulip Tinted Lip Treatment (full size = .15 oz @ $26)

Sample size — .07 oz | ~$12.13

8. Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Peony (full size = .4 oz @ $25)

Sample size — .16 oz | ~$10

9. LancĂ´me Lip Lover in 355 Framboise Etoile (full size = .14 oz @ $30)

Sample size — .1 oz | ~$21.43

10. Buxom Lip Cream in Berry Blast (full size = .14 oz @ $23)

Sample size — .07 oz | ~$11.50

11. Clinique Chubby Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry (full size = .1 oz @ $20)

Sample size — .04 oz| ~$8

12. Buxom Lip Polish in Sophia (full size = .15 oz @ $23)

Sample size — .07 oz | ~$10.73

13. Tarte Energy Gloss in Clear (full size = .27 oz @ $23)

Sample size — .05 oz | ~$4.26

14. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Le Rouge in No 1 (full size = .13 oz @ $39}

Sample size — .03 oz | ~$9

15. Laura Mercier Creme Smooth in Milkyway (full size = .14 oz @ $32)

Sample size — .07 oz | ~$16

Approximate total value of this set — $232.25

232.25 - 70 = $162.25 worth of savings

Granted, the above math is kind of more for fun than anything, it is interesting to look at the price per ounce of these products, and just what supposed value you are getting in this set! Assuming you could buy these minis separately, you'd save more than 150 bucks by buying them in this set, which is pretty crazy, in my opinion.

Anyway, too long, didn't read or watch, I think this set is pretty great, and a lot of fun, especially if you have a friend you can split if fairly with, like me and Brit, with our differing tastes! Also, pretty great, if pricey gift!

Let me know if you got this set already, what your thoughts were, and if you are sharing it with someone else or keeping it all to yourself! =)

Thanks for watching!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

REVIEW || The Cold Survival Kit from DavidsTea

These new (I think) kits showed up a couple weeks ago in my local store, and I was intrigued, but not sick, so I filed that info to the back of my mind and went on with my life.

Fast forward to a week or so ago, and I got pretty sick, third day in, I was done and went to go get this kit!

For $25 (at least here in Canada), this kit comes with 25g each of 5 different teas meant to soothe or fix various aspects of having a cold, like energy, sore throats, etc. Many of the teas are caffeine-free, and the two with are very low levels.

It also conveniently comes with 10 of these adorable drawstring filter bags:





As well as a box of 10 honey sticks, which are great for taking honey on the go, or just slurping down for some quick throat relief!

Also, did anyone else get these as a kid at the fair? The PNE still sells flavoured honey sticks, but the plain ones were so much better...! So as a bonus, these were like a little box of nostalgia for me!

That said, I'm sure the most interesting part for the most people is the teas, so here are my thoughts:

Cold 911

I really liked this tea! It contains peppermint, apple, juniper berries, and natural eucalyptus & orange flowers. I tried this one first because I was intrigued by the eucalyptus! If you don't know, that's basically the main scent in Vicks, so this seemed great... so long as it didn't taste terrible!

And it doesn't! It's great, was very soothing, and not too overpowering or essential oil-y... it that makes an sense... would certainly repurchase this tea!

Super Ginger

I expected to hate this tea because I usually dislike ginger teas. It wasn't bad, however. It is very simple, containing ginger root, green rooibos, black pepper, white pepper, pink peppercorn, and stevia.

It was very mild and soothing at first, and if you stick to the 4-7 minute steeping guideline on the bag, this tea wouldn't be so intense... But I had about half my tea, and then left the bag in for 30 minutes while I ate dinner... Bad idea. You may or may not be able to imagine how bloody spicy this tea got steeping all that time!

It did do my stuffy nose some good, though!

Bravissimo

Contains licorice root, chamomile, orange peel, rosehips, peppermint, and goji berries. This tea is nice, slightly fruity and slightly naturally sweet (I think it's the licorice).

I liked it, but I don't love it. Pretty good bedtime tea, though, especially with the chamomile. Just don't oversteep it, or the licorice gets intense. Unless you're into that...

North African Mint

I had had this tea before in other sets, and as a sample in store, so I knew I liked it already. It contains green tea, ginger, peppermint, cardamom, licorice root, fennel, clove, and black pepper.

The result is a unique and slightly spicy mint tea, which is excellent for colds, sore throats, and upset stomachs!

Cold Zing

This tea contains: green tea, lemongrass, peppermint, orange pieces, eleuthero root, and echinacea. Eleuthero root (I had to Google this for you), is a type of ginseng, which is historically used in Chinese medicine. You probably already know this, but echinacea is also good for helping shorten colds, so this is clearly good for anyone with a cold!

The flavour of this one reminds me a lot of the morning detox tea from Skinny Teatox I mentioned a while back. Nothing too intense, just quietly citrusy and quite calming.

***

All the teas are organic and kosher, in case those things are important to you, as well!.

All in all, I think this is a great kit to have on hand this fall and winter for any time you're sick or feel a cold coming on. All the teas are pretty tasty even if you aren't ill, and the filters and honey sticks just make for great bonuses!

If only one of these sounded like... your cup of tea... (Did you notice what I did there?) they are all available individually for $7.90 for 50g each, except the Cold Zing, which is $8.90 for 50g. Also, you can get the honey sticks in a box of 10 for $3.50, and a box of 20 filters for $5!

And before you try to do the math yourself, I got you. The price of this box is $25, and if you bought each thing individually, it would cost you $28.75

This is mostly because you can't buy less than the box of 20 filter bags, and that is only $3.75 more... but hey! A discount is a discount, and this is a super convenient way to get a bunch of tasty, and beneficial teas! I would totally recommend it to anyone interested.

Also, if you don't have a DavidsTea near you, you can order online at DavidsTea.com

Thanks for reading!

**This post was not sponsored, I purchased this set with my own money, and DavidsTea has no idea who I am! I just love this kit and wanted to share it with you guys!**

Purple Smokey Tutorial || Urban Decay Naked Smoky + Too Faced Sugar Pop w/ Berry Red Lips

Hey guys! Sorry, I'm not sure how I missed it, but I completely forgot to make a post about Thursday's video! It did indeed go up on time, so if you haven't seen it yet (go subscribe to the channel!!), then here it is now! Enjoy! =)

Click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

Thanks for watching!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

REVIEW || Cover Girl Lashblast Volume Mascara

Hello again! I recently got a chance to pick one of Cover Girl's Lashblast mascaras from BzzAgent to review. As you can probably guess from the title, I picked the Volume formula, because big volume is what I like most in my mascaras! There was also the internet-favourite: Clump Crusher (Which I was never a fan of... does everyone still love that one?), Fusion (volume + length), and Full Lash Bloom (the one that supposed to stay soft).

I'm honestly somewhat surprised with how much I have been liking this mascara, partly because Covergirl mascaras have never really gotten along with me, and partly because this is—of course—not a waterproof formula. However, I've been impressed all the same. It goes on beautifully in one coat, but also builds beauteously when you go to add a second coat. It does volumize my lashes, as well as lengthen them (probably because my blonde, thin lashes are longer than they appear without makeup on, see pictures below >_<).

Also, the brush is great. It's a lot like the brush on the Maybelline Rocket Volume Express mascara, which you may remember is a favourite of mine, so that's a big selling feature as well.The brush is one of the rubber ones, with stubby, spiky, soft rubber bristles, which help to make sure the lashes stay defined without clumping.

Below are pictures of my lashes with one coat of the Lashblast, two coats of Lashblast, and also, to compare, two coats of Maybelline Rocket Volume Express:

Above: Cover Girl Lashblast Volume, 1 coat.
Below: Lashblast Volume, 2 coats.

Below: Maybelline Rocket Volume Express Waterproof, 2 coats.

I will point out that the Lashblast bottle is fresh and new, whereas the Maybelline is on its last legs, which is part of why it looks so much thicker, but I do think that these pictures are fairly representative. It is possible, however, that the Lashblast will get thicker, like the Maybelline, with time as it dries out a little. Still, I think they're fairly comparable, just going by how they look. The Maybelline can clump a little easier, I think, though I don't mind too much. I like when my lashes look a little heavy.

I wish I could compare them both for their staying power and wearability, but for now, I'll say they're both good mascaras, and unless one or the other disagrees with you, I'd suggest picking up whichever is on sale when you're looking for a new mascara!

Thanks for reading!

This product was sent to me to review. As always, this does not affect my review. All opinions on this blog are honest and my own.

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