Sparkled Beauty

I Live to Shine

12/19/2014

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar solution

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

My beloved Marcelle Soothing cleansing water is back with the same formula but a new name (3-in-1 Micellar solution for even sensitive face and eyes), a larger size with a new pump but costs less. Yay!

I have so many backups of the Soothing cleansing water from a warehouse sale, so I didn't get any more when it went on clearance - to clear the shelf for the new Micellar solution. I did panic and contacted Marcelle to make sure they didn't discontinue it :)

You can check back my review (linked above) if you are new to this product, or just take my words and accept that it is THAT good!

Enriched with soothing Aloe and cucumber extract, the Micellar solution:
- gently cleanses (micellar technology, no-rinse formula) without irritating the skin
- effectively removes makeup (even on long wearing and waterproof products)
- soothes the skin.

Bonus point for the dispensing well pump where you can get the product onto the cotton pad by pushing downward a few times while the bottle stays upright. Also love the "No rinsing required" part, save time, no effort.

Designed to be used on the eyes and face but the product is personally saved for the eyes only at SB HQ (so it lasts longer, lol) unless for those very rare nights that I was too sleepy to remove my makeup.

Ingredients: Water, PEG-6 Caprylic/ Capric Glycerides, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cetrimonium Bromide, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Salicylic Acid.

Treasure your Soothing cleansing water, if you still have it or can still find it at drug stores, and embrace the new 3-in-1 Micellar solution, you will not regret it! The Micellar solution is paraben/ gluten/ oil/ alcohol/ soap/ perfume free, especially recognized Skin Health by the Canadian Dermatology Association. The new bottle is 10oz/ 300ml bottle, retails $19.95.

12/18/2014

NOTD: SpaRitual Improvisation

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Another red-ish colour, for the holiday - SpaRitual Improvisation.

I don't normally come across this brand easily, except for the Winners/ Marshall group of stores. This particular shade was from the clearance section for $3.

SpaRitual has proven to be a brand that creates lots of good-looking polishes by the look in the bottle, but the performance on the nails sometimes differs. I found myself buying quite a few bottles just for the look and then played the luck game with them on the nails :)

Improvisation looks more of a muted pink with a hint of red, instead of straight-up red. The green/ blue sheen is more random on the nails than in the bottle, only when the light hits.

Pigmentation wise, it is still a little sheer after 2 coats. I would add another coat or probably just add this shade to the layering polish pile.

I lost my favorite mani/ pedi place near my mom's house, so I haven't had any fancy-looking NOTDs to show you like previous years. Wanted to do a Christmas-theme mani for you, but you know how bad I am with nail art, so we'll see.

We went to the beach for 3 days last week. I was "unplugged" totally and went without makeup the entire time, felt so liberated. Still had my nail polish on though :)

12/17/2014

Yves Rocher Blackberries

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

The last holiday collection I got from Yves Rocher is Blackberries. The scent is slightly sweet, reminds you of juicy berries. Not my most favorite but since I received the most products in this scent, I hope the review is more helpful to you.

The shower gel (left, 6.7oz/ 200ml, $4) is a basic item, with a bunch of botanical-based ingredients: botanical cleansing base, Organic Cornflower water, Mint, Patchouli, Orange and star anise essential oils, blackcurrant bud absolute and Tonka bean extract.

Ingredients: Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, etc.

I have nothing against the shower gel, but the exfoliating shower gel (right, 6.7oz/ 200ml, $9) speaks to me more.

Its botanical-based ingredients are the same as the shower gel above, with added Kiwi seeds and Apricot kernel powder. Not too harsh on the skin and get 2 jobs done in one - cleansing and exfoliating.

Ingredients: Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Sodium Benzoate, etc.

It would come down to what you need for your skin to choose the right type of product.

Moving on to the body lotion (left, 6.7oz/ 200ml, $6). Again, I favour body butters than body lotions, since I want to harvest the most moisturization a product can give. However, this body lotion is convenient for a quick shot of moisture to the skin before you head out the door.

Botanical-based ingredients: sweet Almond oil, Organic Cornflower water, Peppermint, Patchouli, Orange and star anise essential oils and Tonka bean extract.

Ingredients: Water, Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Caprylic/capric Friglyceride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Dimethicone, etc.

A fun festive product in this collection: the Sparkling body powder (right, 0.35oz/ 10g compact, $14) which gives the skin some illumination and smooth feeling.

The puff feels quite luxurious. The powder goes on invisibly, except for that shimmer effect. Just make sure to apply the product only where you want it (like my legs and shoulders), not all over the body.

Botanical-based ingredients: Mint, Patchouli, Orange and star anise essential oils, Blackcurrant bud absolute and Tonka bean extract.

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Limonene, CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

Then the silky body cream (left, 5oz/ 150ml, $9) which I save for before bedtime. It is not particularly greasy but being a cream, it is not super light either.

Botanical-based ingredients: sweet Almond oil, Shea butter, Peppermint, Patchouli, Orange and star anise essential oils and Tonka bean extract.

Ingredients: Water, Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Butyrospermum Pparkii (Shea) Butter, etc.

Lastly, the scented candle. Slightly larger than the candle from the Pear Caramel line (3,5oz/ 100g vs 2.4oz/ 70g) with the same price tag of $9. I am digging the bordeaux/ dark red jar with gold prints.

The scent throw is still soft, so I wouldn't use the candle for larger rooms but it's perfect for a bath or some relaxing time reading in bed. I got about 8 hours of burning out of this little jar.

Botanical-based ingredients: Mint and Patchouli essential oils, Blackcurrant bud absolute and Tonka bean extract.

I appreciate the brand's efforts to bring out holiday collections with products serving different scent preferences and use purposes. Please feel free to click on the "Yves Rocher" tag on the right hand column to see all 4 collections I have reviewed.

12/16/2014

Live Clean Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I have to admit, I quite neglect my hair, and don't go beyond shampoo/ conditioner very often. I only learned recently about Live Clean Apple Cider Vinegar clarifying shampoo (for all hair types).

The shampoo is meant to remove the chemical build up that hair products left behind, thanks to the organic apple cider in the formula.

The vinegar's high acidity and powerful enzymes also support a healthy scalp. Recommended daily use for oily hair, weekly for other hair types.

I like the feeling of my hair feeling lighter and more alive after a clarifying shampoo, even when I don't use many hair products. It smells quite nice (not a vinegar type of scent, luckily), lathers enough, so I now try to commit to it every week :)

Completely vegan, no animal products, paraben/ phthalate/ phosphate/ SLS/ Sulfate/ petroleum and DEA free, safe for the environment. Another basic and clean product to add to your hair routine.

Ingredients: Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed xtract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit, Acetum (Vinegar), Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, etc.

The bottle is big - 12oz/ 350ml, only costs you $6.95 at Shoppers, Uniprix, Walmart, Target and Rexall.

12/15/2014

Live Clean Fresh Face

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I was recently introduced to Live Clean Fresh Face, a drug store skin care line that offers eco-friendly, plant-based and pH-balanced products.

With the goal to be "gentle, pure, calming and soothing, no more complicated than necessary", the line is enriched with Orchid extract, vitamin C and certified organic botanicals (Lavender, Cucumber, Chamomile, Milk Thistle, Mallow, Aloe and Buckthorn).

The products are 98% plant derived, Petroleum/ SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)/ Sulfate/ DEA (Diethanolamine)/ Paraben/ Phthalate and Phosphate free. Great for even sensitive skin.

There are 3 new additions to the line this season, all have a light refreshing scent, noticeable at application only though.

This is the Hydrating creamy cleanser (for normal to dry skin), with kaolin clay to unclog pores and brighten dull skin. Suggested use: morning and night.

This is the oil-free and "clean" cleanser for those lazy days when you don't require bells and whistles for your skin. The product also does a decent job at removing my face makeup. Since I do not use cleansers on the eyes, I can't confirm if it removes mascaras and long wear liners.

A few tips from the brand that I thought worth mentioning:
- wash your hands before washing your face
- use a dime-sized amount of cleanser, with lukewarm (not hot) water
- when rinse, don't forget your hairline and jawline
- pat (don't rub) your skin with a soft and clean towel leaving it slightly damp, apply moisturizer immediately.

Ingredients: Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Leaf/ Stem extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower extract, Silybum Marianum extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower/ Leaf/ Stem extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower extract, Jasminum Officinate (Jasmine) extract, Frangula Alnus Bark extract, etc.

The bottle has 6oz/ 175ml, retails $14.99.

Next, the 24 hour Hydrating day cream (for normal to dry skin).

Infused with a moisturizing complex developed from beet roots, the product is supposed to offer intense hydration for 24 hours. I can confirm the "fast absorbing and non greasy" part but find the 24 hours claim unnecessary since we all reapply moisturizer after washing our face at the end of the day.

Despite the name (day cream), it does not contain SPF and is suggested to be used morning and night. It pairs well with the cleanser above.

Ingredients: Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Leaf/ Stem extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower extract, Silybum Marianum extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower/ Leaf/ Stem extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower extract, Jasminum Officinate (Jasmine) extract, Frangula Alnus Bark extract, etc. 

The tube has 5oz/ 150ml of product, retails $19.99.

Lastly, the Refreshing facial wipes.

Meant to cleanse the face (and neck, not recommended for the eye areas) of excess oil, makeup and impurities, the wipes require no rinsing afterward, which is convenient.

I use the wipes mostly to freshen up after cleansing the face, not to remove makeup by itself. I find them a little dry (not enough liquid in the pack) but have good exfoliation power.

Ingredients: Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Leaf/ Stem extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower extract, Silybum Marianum extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower/ Leaf/ Stem extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower extract, Cycnoches Cooper (Orchid) Flower Leaf extract, Ascorbic Acid, etc.

There are 30 wipes in the pack, sells for $9.99. alcohol and oil free

Let me show you the texture of the 3 products. From L-R: Hydrating creamy cleanser, 24 hour Hydrating day cream and Refreshing facial wipe.

I find them comfortable to use and hydrating enough through the day. I do pair the day cream with an anti-aging serum/ a BB cream since my skin needs more than basic skin care.

Other products in the line:
- Foaming daily cleanser, Refreshing facial Toner, Smoothing facial scrub
- Soothing daily moisturizer, Nourishing night cream, Repairing eye cream, Glowing daily serum, Anti Aging Recovery cream.

Live Clean Fresh Face is available at Walmart, Target, Shoppers, Rexall, Pharmasave and Overwaitea.

12/11/2014

NOTD: Joe Fresh Cinnamon

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

This was a forgotten polish that deserved so much love - Joe Fresh Cinnamon. The sad thing is this was a LE colour, you can no longer find it on the shelf unless there is an on-going clearance bin at the cosmetic section.

If you have this shade in your stash, it is the best time to bring it out again. Cinnamon is darker than a typical red for the holiday but still festive and bling-y enough to make the mani special.

It is a deep burgundy red (darker than shown here under flash) with those gold shimmers that like to play a little "hide and seek" at times.

I applied two thin coats here, good pigmentation and colour payoff. I don't have anything to complain about Cinnamon, other than the short brush with the rounded top, a little hard to hold, typical with Joe Fresh nail polish.

Can't believe I have been on vacation for 2 weeks already. It didn't feel that long at all. I hate to remind my mom of the timeline, as she gets upset, so I'll just embrace each day that I'm here. We are heading off to the beach today, I am excited!

How are things with you guys? Halifax got lots of rain yesterday, I heard, but no "snow situation" yet.

12/10/2014

FOTD: Dolly Pastels & Creamy matte

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I gotta tell you, vacation is great but my skin is not. With the change in climate and humidity, I have had some breakouts and the skin looked so dull and grey. This is my best attempt to show you the products on not-so-great-looking skin.

I use The Body Shop Dolly Pastels palette on the eyes:
- Pale pink on brow bones - wish it was not shimmery
- Violet as transition, very light
- Brown in the crease, the only way to darken the look
- Peach dabbed on mid lid - the shimmers are more visible IRL.

On the lips, you could probably guess, is Maybelline Color Sensational creamy matte lipstick in Touch of Spice.

I did frame the lips with Milani Color Statement lip liner in Brandy before the lipstick for photos. This won't be necessary for everyday wear, since Touch of Spice is pigmented enough on its own. It is the perfect introduction shade to darker lips without going to the extreme vampy colours.

Other products used:
- Make Up For Ever HD Micro-perfecting primer #0 
- Marcelle CC cream in Golden Glow
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eyes full coverage concealer in Neutral Medium
This concealer has been very handy, considering my skin condition mentioned above
- Cover Fx Setting Fx translucent mineral powder in Light
A must in this heat
- Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer
- Too Faced powder blush in Raindrops on Roses
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on eye pencil in Radium on lower lash line
- InstaGlam Brow Design + Fix in Medium to Dark and Wet n Wild Color Icon brow & eye liner in Dark Brown
- Skindinavia makeup finishing spray, the Oil Control version.

Have you fallen in love with Touch of Spice yet?

12/09/2014

The Body Shop Dolly Pastels

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

There is new makeup at The Body Shop for the holiday. I received the Dolly Pastels palette to review for you.

Gotta give it to The Body Shop for the cute packaging with a Nordic Christmas design on cardboard. Inside are 4 eyeshadows, enriched with Community Fair Trade Marula oil, a double-ended brush and a mirror. There is a clear plastic sheet to cover the eyeshadows, which I leave in to keep the palette clean.

The palette could be a little smaller, to be true travel size, if some of the empty space is eliminated. The Body Shop said all four colours are shimmery, but the brown loos semi matte to me, which is even better. Pigmentation is great on that one too, but a little more sheer with the 3 shimmery pastel shades - a pale pink, a violet and a peach.

The peach shade definitely stands out among the 3 with a good amount of sheen. The pale pink and violet are quite close when swatched and on the lids. I would use a coloured base with these.

The palette has 7.2g of products, retails for $20, is suitable for contact-lens wearers. I am a fan of the brown, but wish for more pigmentation and colour difference among the pastel shades. If you want to try Dolly Pastels, definitely try to catch it during a sale. Here is a FOTD I did to show you the colours on.

There is also another palette called Frosted Pastels, if you want to check it out too.

12/08/2014

Maybelline Creamy mattes

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I finally found a full display of Maybelline Color Sensational creamy matte lipsticks at Shoppers more than a week ago when they were 20% off (reg. $10.49 each).

I don't know if these dark plum tubes are still hot commodity anymore to you guys, cause Maybelline has since come out with Color Sensational Rebel Blooms (with hot pink tubes).

I am not sure if I am into reds/ pinks/ mauves in the Rebel Bloom collection (if Canada gets any) as much as I am with creamy mattes, so if you need to be reminded of how some of the colours look and feel, let me show you :)

Like I mentioned before, the line has 10 shades in total but 2 are US exclusives - Nude Embrace and Divine Wine.

Divine Wine, since the moment it came out in the US, has already been the center of the collection, and once again, like Brazen Berry in the Vivids collection, it did not make it to Canada. I was lucky to have a friend CP'ing it for me.

Here I have Touch of Spice, Lust for Blush, Siren in Scarlet and Divine Wine to swatch for you today.

Even with high anticipation, I still gasped when I twisted up the tubes and saw the bullets. I'm just gonna be short and sweet and tell you they were just as beautiful and dreamy as everyone said.

The swatches are in the same order as above. Divine Wine (far right), being a darker shade, does need a bit of smoothing over to avoid a bit of patchiness but the colour is worth it. Touch of Spice (far left) is my everyday shade, leaving Lust of Blush and Siren in Scarlet in standby rotation :)

If you haven't got yourself some creamy mattes, what are you waiting for? Check out my FOTD with Touch of Spice while you are at it :)

12/05/2014

Yves Rocher Pear Caramel

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

The third holiday collection from Yves Rocher this year is Pear Caramel.

The scent is surprisingly gentle, just a hint of pear and sweetness, which I prefer than full-on dessert scents.

The shower cream (right) is enriched with organic Aloe Vera and 100% botanical Glycerin. For a thicker consistency than a regular shower gel and the look of a bath milk, the shower cream takes a little time to lather and gently cleanses the skin.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Tetaine, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, etc.

Paraben free. The (big) bottle has 400ml of product (I do wish for a pump), retails for $9.

The scented candle ($9) spots the same colour theme of the line - gold jar and brown box.

For the size (2.4oz/ 70g), I suggest burning this candle in a small room (like the bathroom) for stronger scent throw. Again, it is a light sweet scent that will not overwhelms you. And it burns evenly, lasts at least 6-7 hours in total.

Lastly, the bath fizzy ($2), the little cube on the lower left corner. Compared to the size of Lush's bath bombs (90 - 200g), the fizzy sure is little (0.5oz/ 15g).

Supposed to transform into scented micro-bubbles when dropped in the warm bath water, the fizzy does its job. More appropriate for a quick fun bath than long soaks with lots of bubbles.

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Monosodium Citrate, Maltodextrin, Talc, Fragrance, PEG-150, Silica, CI 14700 (Red 4), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1).