Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cleansin' Wednesday: L'Oreal Sublime Fresh Purifying Foaming Cleanser

Welcome to the third installment of my cleanser review bonanza. What is Cleansin' Wednesday, you ask? Click here to catch up!

This week's subject can be easily accessed as it's from drugstore favourite brand L'Oreal. It's part of a relatively new generation of cleansers that they released, geared for specific skin types and concerns. I have received the L'Oreal Sublime Fresh Purifying Foaming Cleanser to try and I've been using it for the last two weeks (mostly in the morning). It is marketed toward normal/combination skins but I would recommend it more to skins that are on the oily side. There is also a gel cleanser from this range that I will be trying out. If you are very acne-prone you  might want to skip out on this since it does contain fragrance and when you're battling lots of breakouts (from personal experience) I found better results when I stayed away from any sort of fragrance.

On to the product - the packaging is sleek and the pump mechanism is great. I use two pumps for the entire face.

It has a super light foamy texture and a light fresh scent. The scent doesn't linger too long on the skin. It is alcohol and soap-free however it does contain SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) so keep that in mind if you are sensitive to it. It leaves my skin feeling super clean and comfortable and I especially love using this with my Clarisonic. I did not experience any dryness when using this cleanser. The foam isn't as thick as cream-to-foam cleansers I have used in the past (namely by La Roche Posay or Shiseido) but I think the lighter texture paired with its fresh scent makes it perfect for summer!!

Have you tried any of the new L'Oreal cleansers? Which other ones would you recommend?

Your friendly neighbourhood cleanser hoarder,


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cleansin' Wednesday: Sibu Balancing Cleanser

What is Cleansin' Wednesday, you ask? Click here to catch up!

I'll be reviewing the cleansers in my beauty cabinet for the next few weeks. Not all cleansers and skins are created equal so I will try my best to keep other skin types in mind as I roll through my cleanser collection. Today's subject is by Utah-based all natural skincare company Sibu. Sibu  products are natural and cruelty-free. 

The sea buckthorn balancing balancing cleanser is gentle, cleanses the skin well and leaves it feeling fresh and clean. It smells like their hydrating serum (which I mentioned before on YouTube and it's a good one), a very very faint slightly herbal scent, it kind of reminds me of aloe. In terms of texture, it is a pale yellow gel with small exfoliating beads in it. I know the beauty community is either pro/against physical exfoliants such as beads but these are so gentle they'll suit even the more sensitive skins. 

It doesn't create a thick lather but at the same time removes all traces of makeup. I like to keep this cleanser in the shower and use it in the morning to give my face a good massage and to get that blood circulation going for the day. If you're wandering around Whole Foods or the natural beauty section at your local grocery store, check this baby out. Especially if you're sensitive to sulfates/parabens/synthetic fragrances as this contains neither :) 

This was kindly sent to me as a PR sample, but I have purchased Sibu from Whole Foods or Rexall before (if you live in Canada).

I'll see ya next wednesday!

Sandra the cleanser hoarder.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kiehl's Musk Collection

Take a deep breath because this post is all about the smells. 
I am, as the UK ladies would say, "absolute rubbish" at describing scents but if you are a fan of musky woodsy fragrances then this needs to be on your radar and it needs to be on it fast. I was introduced to this branch of the Kiehl's scent tree by one of my best friends (hi, Blair!) a few years ago and I always stole a few spritzes of her bottle each time I'd go over her house. I figured it was about time I get my own bottle.

It's a delightful eau de toilette that has great lasting power and opening notes of bergamot and orange blossom. The opening notes are nothing to write home about but what really grips me about this fragrance is the dry down - it's floral (rose, lily, ylang-ylang, neroli) but wrapped around a sensual musk/white patchouli heart. *side note: can we take a moment to appreciate how ridiculous I just sounded describing this smell? I should stick to my day job.

The musky sweetness lasts several hours on me and faint traces can even be detected the next day. I guess this would depend on how it interacts with your body chemistry - musky/woodsy scents tend to grip more to me for some reason (it took two showers to get Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille off but that's another story).

Bottom line - I love this. This isn't necessarily a spring/summer scent but it's got enough of a balance between floral sweetness and muskiness to be a year-rounder. I love it so much I even got the shower gel. There is a body lotion in the set as well that I would have purchased but for some reason it was not available on the Kiehl's Canada site (which is where I ordered from). There is also an essential oil rollerball version!

You can find Kiehl's at several department stores in the US (Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, etc.), Holt Renfrew, some The Bay locations in Canada and on the interwebz.

What's your current fragrance obsession?

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cleansin' Wednesday!

Hi. My name is Sandra and I am a skincare fanatic. I currently have over 10 cleansers on rotation… Oops.

While I am a firm believer of owning at least two different cleansers catering to your skin concerns, how I have accumulated 10 in the recent months is beyond me. Cleansing is one of the most essential steps in skincare. If I don’t wash my face properly, I wake up to dull skin and at least one volcano on my face. I like to call them "Steves". We don’t like Steve (sorry, Steves around the world).

So as I was organizing and clearing out my beauty product drawers it dawned on me… why don’t I do a cleanser round-up and tell you all what I think about each one? So for the next 10 weeks or so I will bring to you Cleansin’ Wednesday! I hope that my cleansing trials and tribulations can at least help you out next time you’re browsing the shelves for something new to try.

Before I dive into the first cleanser, a quick overview of my skin:

My skin type is combination/oily. Prone to breakouts. I am not super sensitive when it comes to active ingredients, but I have had some episodes of redness, dryness and sensitivity in the winter.
I thought I’d start off the series with my favourite cleanser at the moment. I know, I know, you’re supposed to save the best for last but I’m impatient and I cannot help it. This cleanser ticks all the boxes for my current skincare concerns and I mentioned it on my channel and on here before so it might come as no surprise:

What I love about it: it effectively cleanses my skin without making it feel tight or red, it has no fragrance, parabens or sulfates, and it removes makeup like a dream when used in conjunction with a warm washcloth.
If you have oily skin that is prone to pore congestion and is known to be sensitive, I cannot recommend this enough. I think the brand is now pretty widely available at most drug stores that have a premium/French pharmacy skincare section, at Ulta in the USA. You can also order online from Amazon

If your skin type is more normal/dry, you can try other offerings from the brilliant Toleriane range – they have a cleansing milk, cream and gel available. 

I’ll see you next week with a new cleanser. I hope you will enjoy this segment.


Your friendly neighborhood skincare hoarder,


Monday, April 7, 2014

Sephora Sale Wishlist: Spring 2014

Yay! It's always a good time when Sephora has a sale. This time it's 15% off for Beauty Insiders (until April 10 with code TICKET). VIB's and VIB Rouge members can take advantage of the sale until April 11 with codes VIBTICKET and ROUGETICKET, respectively.

Here's what's on my radar:

I know what you're thinking "Wow, only four things! Way to go Sandra, you're keeping the cosmetic gluttony in check"... I'd also like to add pretty much the entire Ole Henriksen skincare line to my list but alas, these looked prettier in the collage ;)

This has been available in the USA for a while as a Sephora exclusive and just now made it over on the Canadian site. I have heard so many great things about it, I can't wait to see if it is worthy of the hype. I'm unimpressed with most under-eye products that I have tried lately.

I know fuschia is supposed to be the colour of the year but I'm still in the red/orange phase, especially when it comes to bright lip colours. I mean... can we pause and admire this lip for a second??

This lipstick is always sold out when I try to check it out in store and I think it's for good reason... it's the perfect bright red orange and the formula of these lipsticks is to die for. 

This eyeliner gets so many rave reviews, I'm curious. I love winged liner but I am terrible at applying it so anything that promises to offer fool-proof application and long wear time has my attention!

I don't know why but I hated this when it first came out. Fast forward a year later, I try to use my friend Marla's bottle every chance I get *sniff sniff*. It's a glorious light floral with a Cedarwood base, perfect for spring/summer, and the bottle is gorgeous. 

What is on your wishlist?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mask Mixologist: Osmia Detox Exfoliating Mask

I probably scared young children and gave you nightmares last time I posted about a clay mask (click here to revisit my review of the Aztec Clay Mask #neverforget), so it's time I do it again!

This time, I snatched my sample of the Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask and off I went. When you buy this mask, you get a bottle of black powder: clay, charcoal, cacao powder and manuka honey - all wonderful ingredients with anti-inflammatory, purifying and healing properties. It also comes with its very own little bowl and spatula for mixing. Since I was working with a sample, I had my own tools at the ready:

I mixed equal parts powder with water (around 2/2.5 teaspoons) and applied it with my fingers. The consistency was nice and light albeit you can use less water if you want a thicker mask.

It differs slightly from other clay mask I have tried in that it also contains small "exfoliating" grains in it. They are very fine and gentle, reminding me of the MAC Microfine Pore Refinisher, if anyone remembers that. The mask smells very subtly like cocoa, which I love. After leaving it on for 15-20 minutes I rinsed it with warm water. The exfoliating grains made it super easy to rinse and it felt great to take the time and massage my skin with those little grains, leaving my skin super smooth and plump.

This mask is awesome. It's fun to mix your own mask, the ingredients are natural & organic, it's not super drying and I love the subtle cocoa scent. It's a great alternative if masks like the Aztec Clay are too drying/intense.

You can buy this online at or if you're in Canada, carries the line and they have an awesome sample program!

What are your favourite clay masks?



Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Five Product Face

I enjoy reading people’s "5 product face" posts but always scoff at them thinking I’m such a product junkie I’d never manage with just five products. Well… guess what… this week I accomplished my very own "5 product face". It’s a simple makeup look that I’ve been sporting to work on a daily basis. I appreciate the fact that It makes me look put together (read: I don’t look like I got hit by a train) and it lasts all day! Here are my 5 picks:

  1. Vichy Dermablend Foundation Stick (15 Opal). I just picked this up recently and it’s awesome. I somehow keep getting paler even though it’s April and this suits my skin tone perfectly. I dab it on and blend it in with a damp beautyblender sponge. It’s buildable or it can be sheered out as needed. The finish is satin and the coverage lasts all day without looking ratchet.
  2. L’oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. Current mascara of choice.
  3. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock. Blends out well, lasts all day on my oily eyelids without needing a primer and offers just the right amount of colour and shine to make the eyes stand out.
  4. Anastasia Brow Wiz (ebony). Eyebrows frame the face. If I don’t have them done, I feel incomplete (cue the dramatic violin music). This thing is amazing. End of story.
  5. Burberry Light Glow Blush (Earthy). Contour and blush all in one. Brings liveliness and structure to the face, and a hint of warmth. If you have light-medium skin, you need this in your life.

What are your five go-tos at the moment?

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