Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lush Salt and Peppermint Bark Review

Good evening, dear readers!

Today I have another Christmas Lush product review (which was kindly sent to me).  This is of the Salt and Peppermint Bark shower scrub.

According to

"Star-spangled scrubbing
Bark's now here, the angels sing! Sea salt will give soft, scrubbed skin. In tempting bark you should confide. Peppermint oil is packed inside! This take on a traditional American treat is packed full of fair trade organic cocoa and cupuaƧu butter to deliver star-spangled softening and scrubbing to your skin! It's made to soften with a delicious scent."

This smells REALLY GOOD!!!  I like mint, but this... this smells delicious!  It smells like minty candy.

It retails at $9.95 Can. for 130 g..

Here are the ingredients:

Fine Sea Salt , Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao) , Sodium Bicarbonate , Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma Grandiflorum) , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate) , Fragrance , Lauryl Betaine , Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita) , Rosie Red Lustre (Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Titanium Dioxide, Red 7) , Apple Green Lustre (Yellow 5, Blue 1) . *Occurs naturally in essential oils

I don't use scrubs often for several reasons (not liking the fact that scrubs can cause micro-tears in the skin*, having sensitive skin, they can hurt, etc..) but I was really glad to try this one!

Despite containing cocoa and cupuacu butters, this doesn't leave a lot of film on the skin after use.  It seems almost water soluble, and that really surprised me considering the ingredients.  I'm used to more of a oily skin feel after using things like Lush's Buffy bar (a solid body butter scrub bar) and their King of Skin (a solid body butter bar).

I've used Sugar Scrub before and that left more oils on the skin as well.  I think Salt and Peppermint Bark could be a decent option for those who hate the feeling of products sitting on the skin but still want something softening.

This gives a cooling sensation on the skin while using it, and it feels that way a bit after use as well.

This scented my skin for a little while after use and I was happy about that, as it has an uplifting and delicious mint candy scent and I really like it.

I would suggest not holding this under running water as it will start disintegrating. (On that note I'd also like to suggest storing it after use in a way that lets air get to it, as if it is stored with a puddle under it the bottom of the product will start dissolving.  If you want to keep it in a Lush tin, flipping it after one side is dry would probably help a lot and or storing it so it is leaning against the side of the tin in a / way could help, along with keeping the lid off.)

The second time I used this on my arms I had weird red bumps but I don't know if they were caused by my scrubbing roughly, from being irritated, or from another product I used.  I didn't notice the bumps the first time I used it, but I also had a warm bath the second time and scrubbed the scrub harder on my skin so that could have maybe caused the bumps.  I had also used a mask on my arms earlier which also could have been the cause of the bumps, or maybe it was just a combination of several things.  I wanted to mention it just in case.  I read a review I think on or .com where someone said that they used this on their keratosis pilaris and it ended up causing a burning feeling, so if you have sensitive skin and try this out, I would suggest giving it a patch test instead of slathering it all over the arms/legs right away.

I did scrub a lot harder with it on my arms the second or third time using it to the point of it hurting, so I would suggest maybe being a bit less aggressive with it if you have sensitive skin (which I do... whoops!).  Also I find with products like this, the first impression of how scrubby it is may not be the same after multiple uses, as in this case there was more coarse salt the further the bar wore down and it got scrubbier.

I really do like this product, and I am so glad that I got the chance to try it out.  I want more of these! It would be great if they made this a more permanent addition to their stores.

Are you a fan of Lush scrubs?

Have a lovely night!


*I feel the need to tell people of that scrubs can cause micro tears in the skin, it's a obsessive compulsion of mine when I write about them in blog posts

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lush The Magic of Christmas Review

Good morning dear readers!

Today I have a review of Lush's The Magic of Christmas bubble bar.  This was kindly sent to me for review.

This retails for $9.95 for 100 g..

According to Lush:

"Christmas Spice

Foam alone?  Stir up a whole lot of Christmas magic with this warming cinnamon stick.  It's packed with punchy cinnamon leaf and fair trade organic clove to warm up the skin while fast forwarding you straight into the festive season!  Treat Grinch-like moments by holding this spicy bubble  wand under running water and slipping into a blanket of hot, almond bubbles." -

I had really been hoping to try this!!  It looks wonderful, and the list of ingredients had me intrigued! What I didn't realize until smelling the product, was the almond!  It's mentioned in the description, but somehow I missed it and focused more on the cinnamon and clove.  The scent reminds me of marzipan, but it's not a bad marzipan.  I actually really like marzipan but some marzipan scented products I am not a fan of, but that's not the case with this.

Here is the list of ingredients:

Sodium Carbonate , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate) , Glycerine , Lauryl Betaine , Fragrance , Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Amara) , Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis) , Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) , *Cinnamal , *Eugenol , *Limonene , Gold Glimmer and Tangerine Lustre (Synthetic Fluorphlogite, Silica, Iron Oxides, Yellow 6, Yellow 5) , Orange 4 , Yellow 10 , Star Anise (Illicium verum) , Fair Trade Organic Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllus) , Cinnamon Stick (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) . *Occurs naturally in essential oils

I really really like how they made this product.  It looks so cute!

Shortly after placing it in the stream of water, the cloves popped out and fell into the bath.  So far the star anise is still planted in the middle.

 This is how much I have left over after that one bath.  I didn't keep the MOC under the running tap for the entire time I filled the bath as it would probably have completely dissolved and I wouldn't get another use out of it.  But you don't need to use the whole thing; it makes a lovely bath and will make at least 1 more (possibly 2) and the water was soft and the bubbles were plentiful.

I would suggest keeping the bubble bar on the stick and using the water itself to disperse it, as I broke off a chunk and crumbled it and it was really roughly textured.  Plus it's more fun swishing the wand or holding it under the running water :D.

(Close up of texture)

I did agitate the water with my hands as well as with a water jug (like I do with my other Lush bubble baths) but it will produce a nice amount of foam even without the added agitation.  

 The water took on an orange colour:

This made for a lovely bath!  The water felt very smooth and soft, like it does when I use other Lush bubble baths.

I can't say how much the product scents the skin, as I also used Santa's Belly shower jelly and then Salt and Peppermint Bark body scrub and my skin was fragranced with the scrub more afterwards.

The bath doesn't have an overwhelming fragrance.  It does waft through the air and I would catch whiffs of it in the bath, but it's not as strong as some of Lush's other bath products.

The almond scent was toned down significantly more when the product was being used than when I had first smelled it dry.  Other notes popped up when I was using it, with the cinnamon and clove and  I think maybe orange oil.  I didn't think it smelled strongly of orange oil, as another reviewer noticed, and I don't know how much I would have noticed if I hadn't heard it was in it.  While it definitely has orange oil in it, I think I noticed it more because the product is orange and I heard read about someone talking about noticing it.

The fragrances all blended together and made for a comforting soak.

I am very glad that I got to try this (this is one of the products I wanted to try most out of this line!!) and I do think it would make a lovely gift.  I think that despite it being called The Magic of Christmas, that it would be a perfect product for fall along with winter.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lush Santa's Belly Shower Jelly Review

Good morning, dear readers!

Today I have a review of Lush's Santa's Belly shower jelly, which was kindly sent to me for review.

According to Lush:

"Crisp apple jelly

This deep red jelly is full of Christmas magic. Star anise infusion, and fresh apple and grape juices are blended into the soft seaweed base to brighten and cleanse skin, and for their sweet, fruity scents. Biodegradable golden stars are sprinkled throughout for a dash of happiness. Keep the whole jar in the freezer, then bring it into a hot shower for a stimulating and refreshing apple-scented lather!" -

This retails for $6.95 Can. for 100g. or $11.95 Can. for 240 g..

This smells tasty!  Like juice! (Fruity with a hint of not fruit (floral?) that gets more noticeable in the shower.) It is a lovely deep red colour, and the golden stars in it are such a cute and lovely addition (I'm so glad they added them!).

Here is the list of ingredients:

Glycerine , Star Anise Infusion (Illicium Verum) , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Propylene Glycol , Fresh Apple Juice (Pyrus malus) , Red Grape Juice , Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus) , Fragrance , Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia) , Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena) , Organic Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium Amara) , Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara) , Golden Stars (Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Mica, Iron Oxide) , *Limonene , *Linalool , Lilial , Red 4 , Red 33 , Methylparaben , Propylparaben . *Occurs naturally in essential oils

This took a bit for me to figure out how to use it effectively.  I'm not as familiar with Lush shower jellies, as I've purchased Whoosh several times, Nightwing and Pines and Needles, but for other people.  I think I may have tried Whoosh once, but that was it.  I really like the idea of the shower jellies, and Christmas is my favourite time of the year, so a holiday inspired one makes me happy!

(I put the jelly on the container lid here)

I cut up the jelly into pieces and at first I didn't find the lather to be that great (with the first piece I used), but the second piece I smushed against the loofah was wonderfully lathery!  I'm thinking that maybe I didn't get a big enough piece the first time, or more than likely it fell out of the loofah before being completely dissolved.  I thought about that as I used the other pieces as it is squidgy, and slippery and I dropped the chunks I was using XD.  They don't dissolve super fast though, so I had more than enough time to pick the pieces back up and use them again before they could disintegrate.  It would be possible to have them slip down the drain though, so just be aware of that.

The bubbles are wonderful and I'm glad that the results from the first piece I use was user error and not the product itself, because then I would have been sad and I really wanted to like this.  Thankfully, I DO really like this!! :D

I really really like this product, and I think it is definitely worth the $6.95 + tax.  Despite the fact that it lathers so well it didn't dry out my skin.  I'm not sure exactly how soft this makes the skin or how long it scents it for (I can update this post later after using it again) as I was actually trying out another product afterwards that I will be reviewing later. :D

I kind of want to get another to stick in the freezer so I can take it out and use it later on in the year (I miss Christmas products when it's summer :().

I am very glad that I got to try this!  I want to collect more Lush shower jellies!

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Madam Glam I Love Winter, For a Lady and Dark and Classy Nail Polish Review

Good evening, dear readers!

Today I have a review of 3 Madam Glam polishs that were sent to me for review.

I'd like to ask that you overlook the dry skin on my hands, it's been a rough month for them and although I am wearing moisturizer in the photos, they are sooo dry (to the point of splitting).

Thankfully its mostly the back of my hands that are doing this so the photos shouldn't be too bad.

For this review I am testing the polish as they are, without top coat.  I usually wear top coat with polishes so I cannot say very well in comparison how long these wear vs. other brands, but I want to give an accurate review of how long they last on my nails by itself.

The product I am reviewing today is their I Love Winter nail polish.

"This is a glitter polish that will remind you of winter holidays. The golden, maroon and sometimes brick-red glitters will party all day long on your nails!" - Madam Glam

Oooo how could I not choose this one? The name is so perfect for me!  (That's another thing; I really like a lot of the names they have for their products! :D).

This polish makes me think of wet asphalt glittering in street lights during the night. The flecks are multichrome, so they change colour depending on the angle you are looking at them.  If I am holding the bottle low, it reflects pink and gold/orange, but if I tilt the bottle and look at it at a slanted angle towards the light, the flecks shift to more orange gold, yellow, then green and gold.  If I hold it at a very extreme angle I think there actually might be some blue reflecting too, but it's basically holding it at as far as an angle I can while still being able to see it, so don't expect to see much blue there.

In regular lighting and at the angles that one would normally look at nails, it is mostly the pink and orange-y shimmers that show up the most.

This is a textured polish (which I think adds further to my association of beautiful wet asphalt glitters).  Because of the texture it has a more matte look without top coat.

 Wear time: At the end of 24 hours one of the tips was worn.  That might have been user error, but by day 2 another two tips were worn and I'm pretty sure they weren't before.

Some thoughts:

The colour is lovely and I really like the texture.  The formula was great for application, and it was a pleasure to apply.  The wear time wasn't as long as I would have hoped for.

Next up is For a Lady. This retails for $10.95 USD.

This is such a beautiful colour!  The formula was good to apply, slightly running, and two thick coats were what I used for the manicure here (spaced about ten minutes apart).  About 40 minutes to an hour after I had applied the polish, I accidentally scrunched up my nails against something and they smudged.  So if possible, thin coats are recommended as the polish hadn't enough time to set.  I'm used to wearing quick drying top coat with my polishes.

I serisouly ADORE this colour!  It is a hot chocolate/chocolate milk shade (like that brown with a purplish tinge to it... I don't know why some hot chocolate and chocolate milk has that) and if it is held up against something purple, it looks more purple.

For my last review of the day: Dark and Classy.  This retails for $10.95 USD.

This is a very dark plum/grape, and it's so dark it almost looks black to me (granted I don't have the brightest lighting in my bedroom as I sit here with the bottle beside me, but still!).

The bottle was a bit hard to open at first as some of the polish had leaked out of the top (I'm guessing during production) and a bit dried on the glass threads.  It wasn't very much though.

The polish formula was a bit thicker than For a Lady so it was a bit goopier.

I found that Dark and Classy had tip wear within 24 hours of applying it (possibly within 12 actually).  I think the same might have been said for For a Lady, but it's hard to tell because some of the nail polish got smushed. A nail or two looked okay after that incident and I saw tip wear on them, but I didn't want to say that yes there was definitely tip wear when it could have been my own fault.  I wrapped the tips but it still wore off on the ends.  On day 2 of Dark and Classy the tip wear hasn't really progressed very much, so that is good.  There was a bit of a tiny chip at the bottom of one of the nails (other tip wear aside) but other than that it was not too bad.  While the wear was there, it was not severe and it is something that someone other than myself (in my vicinity), I doubt others would notice.  I bet that wearing a top coat over this would extend the wear time even longer, but like the other polishes I wanted to do an accurate review.

On days 4-5 of this the tip wear was much more noticeable.  For my wear test I had on 2 coats of polish (I think that two coats is sufficient for opacity).

One thing that I noticed was on day 3 or 4, I could put dents in the polish with my other nails (not horribly huge squishy dents but enough that I could see them when looking for them) so it doesn't dry to a rock hard finish.

I did a set of nails using the three different polishes with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat, and while it's hard to say for I Love Winter, the other two definitely had tip wear within 32 or so hours (before then but I'm not exactly sure when it happened).

In the end these are lovely looking polishes, but are pricey at $10.95 USD (which is around $14.62 CAN). I will say that I expected them to wear for longer.  It's been a while since I wore other nail polishes and so maybe other brands I've used do this too just as fast, but I cannot say with 100% certainty.

The colours are lovely and while Dark and Classy was a bit on the goopey side, they have decent pigment and weren't hard to apply.  The brushes are about mid-thickness; not as large as an OPI but larger than the small standard size that polishes used to have for a long time.  The bristles are arranged in a more flat shape than round.  Two coats is mostly sufficient for opacity (For a Lady can have a bit of unevenness).

I am glad that I was given the opportunity to try these out, but I hoped that they would have lasted longer.  It is wonderful that they are cruelty-free and they definitely get bonus points for that.  Also, the lady whom I was in contact with throughout the reviewing process was very kind, and corresponding with the brand has been pleasant.

However I think the favourite products I have used from Madam Glam are their lipsticks.  They didn't dry my lips out the way most other lipsticks do, and they applied well.  The pigment in Cinnamon especially was wonderful and I wanted to leave this review off on a positive note.

Madam Glam provided me with this Black Friday discount code to give to my readers:

BFArtevolve 40% discount  

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Lush's Gift Guide

Good evening dear readers!

Lush has their gift guide out for a little bit, and here's a link to their Lush Christmas website.  I was notified via a Lush e-mail and am sharing the news.

Anything that you've been wanting to try this season from Lush?


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Madam Glam Review - Cinnamon Lipstick and Simplicity Lipstick

Good afternoon dear readers!

A little while ago I was approached by Madam Glam, and asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of their products!  I have been very excited to do so! :D

Madam Glam is a cosmetics company that focuses on nail polish (both regular and gel) and face makeup.  I was fortunate in being able to review some of their nail polishes as well as some lipsticks.

Their nail polishes are 5-free, so they are without formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl pthalate, toluene, and camphor.

In their regular polish line they have over 80 polishes available.
In their gel line they have around 170 different polishes (not including top/base coats)!
They have a really delightful selection!

They also have a line of colour-changing gels (reacting to temperature) and gel pens.  They have over 20 of the colour-changing gels and about 21 of the pens.  If you are a fan of gel polishes, I would definitely suggest giving them a peek!

Overall a very broad range that is sure to have something for so many gel/polish fans.

Their polishes and cosmetics are cruelty-free, but their lipsticks do contain beeswax if that is something that you are concerned about.

Today I am reviewing their Cinnamon and Simplicity lipsticks.

First up, Cinnamon!

The product is described as this on their website:
"It's getting hot in here! Sizzle with this hot dark red lipstick and prepare to turn some heads around!"

It retails for $15.95 USD for 4.5 g.

This is a really lovely colour and the pigment is very nice.

(Most photos here with flash; the first one not, but my bathroom lighting is yellowy and not the best)

(Swatch from inside my lightbox, without flash)

(Outside lighting, I edited the skin on the side of my lip to remove an ash or something, but the rest is untouched.  This is the most accurate representation of Cinnamon out of all my photos.)

The formula is very creamy, where you can definitely feel the oils on your skin.  It also stays feeling creamy for hours during wear.  The scent is reminiscent to me of some lipsticks from the 1990's/early 2000's? (but not as strong).  I taste it a bit too at first, but then I stop noticing it pretty fast.  While I am not a fan of the scent. I usually wear lipsticks that have a vanilla or chocolate fragrance and that is personal preference.  There is a definite shine to the lips while wearing this.

The packaging is really nice; I really enjoy the matte texture of it and that the cap slows down as it's being pushed onto the bullet.  The design is nice and compact, taking up less space than my usual lipsticks.  The weight listed on my usual Maybelline is 4.2 g and the weight listed on Madam Glam is 4.5 g.

I find wear time is on par with most lipsticks I use.  It's on the lips for hours with the usual wear, mostly in the center of the lip where it touches things and on a side if that touches something.  I do smoke and drink tea a lot and this is not a dry matte lipstick, so it will transfer on things your lips touch while wearing it.  It doesn't really bother me as I don't mind reapplying lipstick as needed, and because of it not being a matte formulation, it isn't super drying on the lips.  I also find that almost every single lipstick I use does this, as I prefer the creamy ones and that's just how they work.  However, personally I find that creamy lipsticks that are fading can be helped a bit by rubbing your lips together and smoothing the remaining lipstick back over the lips.

Next up: Simplicity!

Here is the product description:
"Make your lips look fuller than ever, with this beige glossy lipstick! It will highlight your lips, without making them too loud."

I'm partial to shades like these because they remind me of Angelina Jolie and for a long time I've loved the way she did her lips in the 1990's-2000's.

The formula is pretty on par with Cinnamon, as is the wear.  There *may* be a bit less pigment, but an extra swipe across the lips is no problem to me.  It also retails for the same amount and has the same amount of weight and packaging.  I find the website swatch makes it look more light pink than beige, and it's more beige in person but that could also depend on the lighting.

(These photos taken in my bathroom with flash)

(These photos taken in my room by my light box)

(Swatch from inside my lightbox, without flash.  I think this makes things look a bit more yellow)

(Outdoor lighting, more accurate representation)

I've found the formula to be very similar to other lipstick brands I have tried, both less expensive and more expensive than this one.  The formula (scent aside) reminds me of both a mainstream pharmacy brand and a luxury brand.  Both of which I like, but at different ends of the price spectrum.  Madam Glam is closer to the middle, between the two in price but similar in quality to both (and when I say mainstream pharmacy brand, that does not mean a bad formula, as the particular mainstream brand I use often has a great formula). However, I think this might be even more creamy than the other ones I've tried.  I do really like that this brand is cruelty free (both in and out of production) and while I do find their products pricey, the ones I have tried so far are good quality to me and cruelty free is a great thing.

I didn't find the lipsticks to be super moisturizing or very drying.  My lips are naturally very dry and peely and tend to peel more after wearing products, and it's most products that do this (I might actually have really sensitive lip skin and it just gets irritated most of the time from almost all products I use on them).  Someone with more normal lips would probably have a better idea of how this reacts with them.  However my lips were less dry after wearing these then I had expected and that is a bonus.  I was wearing Simplicity for hours, then wiped it off and applied Cinnamon for an outdoor swatch, then wiped that off and my lips were softer than before wearing it and that is not as common as I would like with other lipsticks I have tried over the years.

I'm glad I was given the chance to give these a try and they are lovely lipsticks!

Have you tried Madam Glam before?

Have a lovely day,


EDIT: I forgot to add this in when I originally posted this review, but for Black Friday Madam Glam has this code to recieve a 40% discount off of orders: BFArtevolve.  I think you enter this during the checkout process and it should give you the discount for the next week.

Products I'm Really Enjoying Right Now

Good afternoon, dear readers! Today's post is about some of products that I've been enjoying lately!  Swatches (where applicable) ...