Sparkled Beauty

I Live to Shine


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

A quick reminder: Sephora's sale page has been updated with close to 200 items.

For my local beauty lovers, if you are looking for a career, Sephora at Micmac Mall is holding a career fair today and Halifax Shopping centre on Sunday, 12-4pm. Just bring your resume for an interview.

Also, there is a Benefit brow event at Halifax Shopping centre Sephora today and tomorrow.


*** Saturday & Sunday: x20 points when you spend $75 or more on cosmetics, select skin care, fragrances, jewelry, hair colour, bath foam & gel, nail care, hosiery.

*** Until Thursday:
- L'Oreal Bright Reveal peel pads: 20% off; other skin care: 25% off
- Neutrogena facial moisturizer: 20% off; other skin/ sun care: 25% off
- Nivea Aqua Effects skin care: CAD8.99
- Garnier facial cleanser: CAD6.99; facial moisturizer: CAD14.99
- Aveeno, Spectro facial cleanser, Clean & Clear acne care: CAD8.99
- Neostrata anti aging, anti wrinkle skin care: 20% off
- Avene Cleanance skin care: 20% off
- TreSemme hair care, L'Oreal/ Fructis hair treatment: CAD4.99
- Maybelline Volume Express mascara, Brow Drama pomade crayon, Color Sensational lipstick: CAD7.99; Eye Studio eyeliner, Volume Express the Falsies Big Eyes, Push Up Drama mascara: CAD9.99; Khol eyeliner, Great Lash mascara, Baby Lips gloss: 2/CAD10 or CAD5.99 each
- L'Oreal Colour Riche lip: CAD8.99; Voluminous mascara, Infallible lip: CAD9.99
- Revlon Volume mascara, ColorStay eyeshadow quad, Ultimate Suede lipstick: CAD9.99
- CoverGirl TruNaked eyeliner duo, Plumpify mascara, Outlast lipstick: CAD9.99; Outlast, TruBlend makeup: CAD12.99
- Marcelle Flawless concealer: CAD6.99; Flawless foundation: CAD12.99
- Annabelle Smokey Nudes palette, Stay Sharp brow liner, lip pencil: CAD8.99
- Rimmel: 25% off
- Essie nail polish, treatment: CAD7.99
- Sally Hansen Airbrush legs: 20% off
- Quo luxury cotton pads (165's) or lashes: CAD6.99.

*** Bonus Optimum points:
- 8,000 points with Hugo Boss for men or women EDT 75ml
- 6,000 points with Dr Roebuck's tone, face cream or polish
- 5,000 points with 2 Vichy anti-aging skin care products
- 4,000 points with Neostrata acne care
- 2,000 points with $25 Quo cosmetic or Quo by Orly nail polish, sponge, implement purchase
- x15 points with Strivectin Labs skin care, hair care
- x10 points with Revlon Age Defy, ColorStay, PhotoReady makeup, implements
- x10 points with $75 No7 skin care purchase
- x10 points with Conair boutique hair appliances
- x5 points with Soap & Glory bath products.

- Vichy Normaderm: 25% off
- Neostrata anti aging: 30% off
- Simple skin care: 20% off
- Garnier Clean+ skin care: CAD6.99; Clearly Brighter skin care: CAD15.99
- Neutrogena Triple Age Repair skin care: CAD25.99 (bonus Airmiles)
- Ombrelle sun care: 50% off
- Coppertone lotion, spray: 25% off
- OXY medicated products: BOGO
- Finesse hair care: BOGO
- Batiste dry shampoo: CAD6.99 (bonus miles)
- Revlon ColorStay, PhotoReady: 20% off
- Maybelline: 25% off
- L'Oreal La Palette Nude, lip palette: 25% off; Infallible foundation, powder, spray: CAD13.99
- Marcelle eye, lip: 25% off
- Annabelle Skin True foundation, Biggy bronzer, retractable eyeliner, Eye Ink liquid liner, eyeshadow quad: CAD7.99
- Rimmel foundation, powder, concealer, blush, makeup remover: 20% off (bonus miles)
- LA Colors, LA Girl: 20% off (bonus miles)
- Almay eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, lip balm: CAD8.99
- Bonne Bell: 40% off
- L'Oreal nail polish: 25% off
- SinfulColors nail polish: 20% off
- Essie nail polish, treatment: CAD7.99 (bonus miles)
- Color Club nail polish: BOGO.

- Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin powder: CAD10.96
- CoverGirl Clean Matte makeup: CAD6.97
- Sally Hansen Complete Salon nail polish: CAD7.47.

The Bay: Extra 15% off on almost anything in stores and online with code "BACK2SCHOOL" using Hudson's Bay credit card/ MasterCard until Sunday. Exclusions apply.

Today only: free shipping on almost every order. Don't forget x4 ebates cash back (10%).

Bath and Body Works: 30% off $30 coupon on FB, good until Sunday, special 1-day deals on Saturday 12-4pm.

- 3-wick candles: BOGO, single wick candles: 2/$22
- All body care: B3G3F
- Specialty body care: B2G1F
- Hand soaps: 6/$24 or 3/$15
- Wallflowers bulbs: 6/$27.50 or 4/$22.50
- Pocket Bacs: 7/$10 or 3/$5
- Scentportable refills: 4/$12.

The Body Shop: B3G3F in store and online until Sunday. Exclusions apply.

Muji: First "Muji week" for Canada (now till September 11) - 10% off regular priced items for newsletter subscribers - show the promotion email (or registration confirmation email for new subscribers).

Sedona Lace: 20% off everything and free worldwide shipping until tomorrow. No code needed. is still offering 4x cash back for selected stores until Monday, August 29.


NOTD: Kiko Peach

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

It has been a long time since I posted a NOTD. I still wear nail polish every day, just don't have the habit of taking pictures anymore.

I haven't bought new nail polish for a while either, until a bunch of Formula X collections showed up on Sephora sale page in the last week. You might see more nail polish on here because of that, starting today with a Kiko Cupcake texture shade.

This is 650 Peach, still matte with different coloured "sand" texture, but unlike the first 2 shades from the same line that I tried - Wisteria and Pistachio, it took 2 coats to even out.

The colour is quite unique in my texture stash, so I would not mind an extra layer. And it wears beautifully, I can't complain.

The bottles in Kiko Cupcake collection are 0.37oz/ 11ml, reg. $4.90, on sale for $1.90 each at the time my friend bought it for me. Absolute steal!

After a long time being available in the US (in stores and online), Kiko still does not show any interest in entering Canada. Such a shame, cause their makeup is awesome too.


Juice Beauty hydrating mist

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Now that we discuss Vichy mineralizing thermal water and Evian natural mineral water, we can move on to a facial spray with a targeted purpose.

Juice Beauty is a brand known for having 70% (or more) certified organic ingredients in their products. Their hydrating mist caught my eyes on Sephora as a toning hydrating mist, thought I should give it a try.

This mist is said to be a blend of:
- Organic Grape juice: rich in resveratrol and antioxidants to help promote beautiful skin
- Organic Rose Hip fruit: derived from the rose plant, rich in vitamin C and essential fatty acids
- Organic Aloe: rich in glycoproteins and soothing properties to help improve hydration and skin's natural moisture content.

The purposes are similar to the other 2 sprays - refresh the skin and reviving makeup on the side, and it feels the same on the skin too, refreshing and cooling, especially if the bottle is stored in the fridge.

However, the nozzle is not the best in producing continuous sprays and the product comes out of it is more like a splash to the face instead of a mist. If Juice Beauty puts the liquid in a aerosol can, I would have enjoyed the spray much more.

Ingredients: Juices of Vitis Vinifera (White grape juice)*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe juice)*, Vegetable Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip Fruit extract)*, Decyl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/ Succinate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed Extract), etc.
*Certified Organic.

For the fact that this mist has a much longer ingredient list, I expect it to do wonder for the skin, more than just refreshing it. I like the thought of giving my skin extra skin care effects but they are not easy to confirm within a few weeks of testing. I would reserve this mist for winter when the skin needs extra help and go for the standard mineralizing sprays for summer.

It is vegan, parabens/ petroleum/ propylene or butylene glycol/ pesticides, artificial dyes and synthetic fragrance free (but note it does have a light rose scent). The bottle is 6.75oz/ 200ml, $28, sure is a premium compared to the mineralizing facial sprays.


Evian natural mineral water

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

While testing out Vichy mineralizing thermal water, I realized its similarity to Evian facial spray I previously bought from Sephora and thought a comparison might be fun.

Evian natural mineral water facial spray is nitrogen propelled with neutral 7.2pH (suitable for most skin types, including sensitive).

Now I can't seem to find out if being propelled by nitrogen sets this spray apart from others, so I will leave that part to the experts.

Similar to Vichy mineralizing thermal water, Evian spray also claims to hydrate and sooth the skin and revive makeup, which I can confirm. It also feels cool on the skin, dries quickly and does not have a scent to trigger sensitivity.

Can't say I notice any differences between the 2 sprays other than the way they come out of the cans. While Vichy's version is a true spray, Evian spray is a fine mist, more gentle and less noticeable going on the skin.

Ingredients: Water, nitrogen.
The mineral composition is not the same as Vichy's, but I can't say if that would make a huge difference: Calcium 80 mg/l, Chlorures 6.8 mg/l, Bicarbonate 360 mg/l, Magnesium 26 mg/l, Nirales 3.7 mg/l, Potassium 1 mg/l, Silices 15 mg/l, Sodium 6.5 mg/l, Sulfates 12.6 mg/l.

The can is said to be leak proof. The standard size (5oz/ 150ml) is $15, a bit more than Vichy's spray but the larger size is a steal - 10.1oz/ 300ml, $19.


Vichy mineralizing thermal water

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I have been on a roll with sprays in the last month - primer and setting sprays, refreshing sprays, skin mists, etc., so we'll make facial sprays the theme of this week.

Starting with Vichy, one of my favorite skin care brands that I have recently reconnected with.

We have heard of Vichy thermal water in a lot of their products, now we can have it all on its own can, enriched with 15 minerals (the highest diversity of minerals among French thermal waters).

I normally look for a burst of moisture in facial sprays to sooth and revive the skin through the day, not really count on any long term effects but Vichy mineralizing thermal water is said to restore the skin's pH, strengthen and regenerate the skin's barrier against external aggressors.

Not the easiest claim to confirm, I must say but I do find spots calm down quite a bit through the day and the skin feels hydrated and cooling. The spray is not super fine so you do feel it when it goes on, but not abrasive.

Love the fact that it is fragrance free and dries fast enough that I don't have to pat it in as the brand suggests. The nozzle is sturdy and produces continuous sprays if you desire.

Ingredients: Water.
Mineral composition: Hydrogenocarbonates 4818.63mg/l, Bore 970ug/l, Calcium 165.61mg/l, Fer 810ug/l, Fluorures 7.67mg/l, Lithium 5.17mg/l, Magnesium 12.08mg/l, Manganese 200ug/l, Orthophosphates 210ug/l, Potassium 103.56mg/l, Silicium 11.78mg/l, Sodium 1862.88mg/l, Soufre 182.39mg/l, Ammonium 390ug/l.

The spray is now sitting next to my desk, I have to try to refrain from overusing it. It is preservative free, 5.1oz/ 150g, $13.


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Sephora has recently added gift cards as a method of payment for Canada online. This option has always been there for US but not Canada until now!

Good news for me personally, as I do lots of online shopping on Sephora website and have a few gift cards sitting in my wallet.

Also, there are a lot of Formula X nail polishes added to the sale page this week and a bunch of Sephora Favorites sets seen last holiday now become available again.

And, according to @Beautezine, Urban Decay's first freestanding store in Canada will open in Burnaby BC on September 10.

 *** Saturday & Sunday: 18,500 points with $75 purchase.

*** All week: Beauty Bonus - a free clutch with 22 samples with $75 beauty purchase in store or online at
- Vichy ProEven, Normaderm: 25% off; Purete Thermale skin care: CAD12.99
- Neostrata, Cliniderm: 20% off
- Olay, Simple skin care: 25% off
- CeraVe, Eucerin skin care: 20% off
- Nivea, Clean & Clear, Garnier facial cleanser: CAD7.99
- Aveeno facial cleanser: CAD8.99
- L'Oreal facial clay mask: CAD14.99
- Neutrogena, Aveeno, L'Oreal facial moisturizer: CAD19.99
- Whole Blends (370ml), Pantene hair care: CAD3.99
- Maybelline Dream, SuperStay, Face Studio makeup: 20% off; Eye Studio eyeshadow, Lash Sensational mascara: CAD6.99; Color Jolt lip paint: CAD9.99
- Revlon ColorStay, PhotoReady makeup: 25% off; mascara, Color Burst lip butter, Super Lustrous lip: CAD7.99; Ultra HD lip: CAD9.99
- CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume mascara, Colorlicious lipstick, Clean makeup: CAD6.99; Plumpify mascara, TruNaked palette, eyeliner duo: CAD11.99
- L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick: CAD6.99
- NYX Soft Matte lip cream, Tinted Brow mascara, Eyebrow Cake powder: CAD7.99; Lip Lingerie liquid lipstick: CAD8.99
- Physicians Formula: 30% off
- Rimmel Wonder Lash mascara, Natural Bronzer, Lasting Finish Kate lipstick: CAD6.99.

*** Bonus Optimum points:
- x15 points with Strivectin Labs skin care, hair care
- x10 points with Dr Teal's bath products
- x5 points with Rapidlash serum
- 6,000 points with Dr Roebuck's tone, face cream or polish
- 5,000 points with 2 Vichy anti aging skin care products
- 3,000 points with Avene facial cleanser, Hydrance skin care
- 2,000 points with Gosh cosmetic products
- 1,500 points with 2 Quo by Orly nail polish or lashes.

Lawtons: Bonus event - x4 Airmiles with $25 purchase or x20 Airmiles with $65 purchase until Saturday
- Vichy Normaderm: 25% off
- Neostrata, Cliniderm: 20% off
- L'Oreal RevitaLift, Hydra-Total 5 skin care: 25% off
- Marcelle Hydra C skin care: 25% off
- Softlips balm/ cube: BOGO
- L'Oreal: 25% off
- Maybelline Dream: 20% off; eyeliner: 30% off; The Nudes/ brow palette: CAD13.99
- Revlon eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, gloss, lip liner: 20% off; ColorStay eye/ cheek/ lip palette: CAD15.99
- CoverGirl Perfect Point/ Ink It/ Line Exact: CAD5.99; Flamed Up/ Out mascara: CAD6.49; Supersizer mascara, Ready Set Gorgeous makeup: CAD6.99; Clean makeup, Oh Sugar! lip balm: CAD7.99
- Rimmel lip: 20% off
- LA Colors, LA Girl: 20% off (bonus Airmiles)
- Sally Hansen nail polish (excluding Color Therapy), treatment: 20% off.

- Olay Complete, Classic skin care: CAD8.97; Total Effects skin care: CAD19.97
- CoverGirl Katy Kat mascara: CAD6.97
- Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise eyeliner: CAD9.96
- Rimmel Natural Bronzer: CAD6.98.

Bath and Body Works: 20% off coupon on FB, good until Sunday

- Hand soaps: 5/$25.50 or 3/$18.50
- Select Signature body care: $6
- Select Specialty body care: B2G1F
- 3-wick candles: 3/$38.50 or 2/$32.50, single wick candles: 2/$22
- PocketBac: 7/$10 or 3/$5
- Wallflowers bulbs: 6/$27.50 or 4/$22.50
- Scentportable refills: 4/$12.

The Body Shop: B3G3F in store or 40% off online until Sunday, with exclusions. LYB members get 2x points until Sunday and $5 off the new Tea Tree 3-in-1 wash scrub mask until September 5.

Urban Decay Canada: Free full sized Vice lipstick in 714 and a Vice lipstick 24-shade sampler with $70 orders, today only. Free shipping with $50+ orders.

The Bay: $10 off any $50+ foundation purchase with code "MATCH", and 2,000 bonus Hbc Rewards points with selected foundation purchase. is going to celebrate their 4th birthday by offering 4x cash back for selected stores between August 23 and 29.

Skindinavia: 20% off, free makeup primer + finishing spray minis and free shipping (any US orders and $50+ international orders) until Sunday with code "20OFF".

Coastal Scents: 30% off brush sets of 12 to 24 brushes until 11am EST next Friday August 26.

Forever 21: Extra 50% off sale items in store until Sunday.

La Senza: Spin the Wheel in store for Free bra with purchase of any bra, $30 bra & panty set, 10/$30.95 panties or 40% off entire purchase until Saturday. Exclusions apply.

Online only: 40% off selected bras.


L'Oreal RevitaLift Bright Reveal

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I have been very diligent on the Glycolic Acid train this year with Pixi Glow Tonic exfoliating toner, Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night pads Extreme (both with 5% Glycolic Acid) and Reversa Solution for oily and acne-prone skin (8% Glycolic Acid).

Joining that train is the brand new L'Oreal RevitaLift Bright Reveal brightening peel pads with 10% Glycolic complex.

Described as an anti-wrinkle plus brightening treatment for skin darkening pigment below the surface from aging and past acne marks, these pads could potential do more than exfoliating. The Glycolic complex in the formula is a combination of Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid and HEPES (a buffering agent) to promote enzyme activities to encourage cell turnover, brighten the skin and reduce wrinkles.

The question is because it is a complex, would the 10% indicated mean for all 3 ingredients? I have no way to figure out what exactly the percentage of just Glycolic Acid itself, thought I should mention that. Still, the product sound like something I have to hunt down to try for myself, doesn't it?

The tub is quite large and holds 30 of the multi-ply textured pillow pads (half the amount in Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix) for almost the same price ($14.97 at Walmart vs. $16.99 for Glycolic Fix). I would assume we are paying more for higher concentration of Glycolic Acid in the formula, but my original question remains.

Unlike Glycolic Fix, suggested to be used 2-3 times a week, RevitaLift Bright Reveal pads can be used nightly, which I do. They are quite thick, slightly larger than a cotton round, one side is textured and the other is smooth (I use both). They do not sting my skin and do not have much of a scent.

Like I mentioned with other glycolic products, I count on their promise to exfoliate, resurface dead skin cells but the effect is not easy to detect. For Bright Reveal, it is also said to brighten and reveal youthful and glowy looking skin, which I can't say I see after a week or two of use.

One more thing that I question with this product is the alcohol being the second ingredient in the list after water and Glycolic Acid quite further down.

Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat., Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Benzyl Salicylate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ppg-26-Buteth-26, Fragrance, F.I.L. # C186330/1.

Overall, I appreciate the 10% Glycolic complex in Bright Reveal but for the amount of pads vs. the price, and the ingredients, I think I will stick with the other alternatives.


The Body Shop Pinita Colada

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

The Body Shop's latest launch, and an LE collection at that, has been the Pinita Colada.

Anticipating it being a hit, I took advantage of the 50% off sale + 20% LYB discount offer and bought all 4 items in the line. No regrets!

I love tropical summer scents in body products, which in this case are passion fruit and pineapple (top notes), coconut water and maraschino cherry (heart notes) and coconut liquor and light rum (base notes). The line is said to be paraben free as well.

First item, a basic one - the shower gel.

I know there is not too much to tell about shower gels, unless they don't clean and/or lather well, which is totally not the case with this one as it is said to have a lather rich soap-free formula. I am easy to please in this department, no complaints. 

Ingredients: Water (Solvent), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Surfactant), Glycerin (Humectant), Fragrance, Acrylates Copolymer (Stabiliser), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Sodium Chloride (Viscosity Controlling Agent), Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Honey (Humectant), etc.

The bottle is 8.4oz/ 250ml, reg. $10.

The Pinita Colada body butter also upholds The Body Shop's body butter reputation - moisturizing, rich but lightweight.

The scent in this product is more intense than in the shower gel, so I save it for night time, in case people around me are scent sensitive, especially at work.

Ingredients: Water (Solvent), Glycerin (Humectant), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Emollient), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifying Agent), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (Emollient), Myristyl Myristate (Emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Skin Conditioning Agent), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emollient), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifying Agent), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), etc.

The tub is 6.9oz/ 196g, $21.

Now body sorbets are a summer favorite of mine, as they are light and refreshing, melt fast into the skin. The gel-like format is easy to travel with, less leaky risk.

I especially love to apply it on the skin after a day out in the sun and stock up almost all body sorbets The Body Shop carries. Enough said?

Ingredients: Water (Solvent), PEG-8 (Humectant), Glycerin (Humectant), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Isododecane (Emollient), Fragrance, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emulsifying Agent), Sodium Acrylates Crosspolymer-2 (Absorbent), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Hydrogenated Tetradecenyl/ Methylpentadecene (Emollient), etc.

The tube is 6.75oz/ 200ml, $16.

Lastly, the body scrub, blended with real shredded coconut. The particles are fine, not abrasive on the skin and rinse well.

Ingredients: Water (Solvent), Glycerin (Humectant), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Cellulose Acetate (Film Former), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Emollient), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifying Agent), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Emollient/ Hair Conditioner), Decyl Glucoside (Surfactant), etc.

The tub is 8.4oz/ 240g, $22.

There is a gift set for $40 but is always excluded from sales. For fear of the line being gone so soon, I have already bought backups of the sorbet and scrubs :) Most tropical scents are strong, so please be mindful of others' sensitivity.


Kiehl's night and day face oils

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

We cannot discuss Kiehl's skin care without mentioning the famous Midnight Recovery concentrate. I was excited to have this night time facial oil (together with the day time one, discussed below) in the routine the expert at Kiehl's suggested for me.

Midnight Recovery concentrate is said to be formulated with distilled botanicals (99.8% naturally-derived) that restore the appearance of skin by morning:
- Evening primrose: repairs skin barrier and boosts radiance
- Lavender essential oil: helps sooth irritated skin and reduce skin blotchiness
- Squalane: helps restore skin's natural moisture balance.

Now, I tried quite a few facial oils before, some work better than others. Midnight Recovery concentrate is in the good performance group - absorbs quickly, keeps skin hydrated and smooth feeling over time without an irritating scent. I sometimes even skipped the moisturizer before bed :)

I was surprised to learn that it only takes 2-3 drops of the oil to cover my whole face if I drop it on top my palm first before applying onto the skin. This 15ml bottle is still more than half full after more than 2 months of daily use.

The oil is paraben free, available in 1oz/ 30ml for $54, 1.7oz/ 50ml $77 and 3.4oz/ 100ml $125.

Now for day time, Kiehl's has the Daily Reviving concentrate, a lightweight facial oil to help correct signs of fatigue, dullness, lines and rough texture.

The formula includes naturally-derived oils:
- Tamanu botanical oil: helps reduce the appearance of daily damage, soothes skin
- Sunflower botanical oil: helps strengthen skin's barrier, improves texture and hydration
- Ginger Root essential oil: helps defend skin from free radicals with anti-oxidant protection.

The day time effects are harder to notice, because of the makeup that follows the skin care routine, but the hydration and smoothing actions sure are detectable. Daily Reviving concentrate is paraben and mineral oil free. This 15ml size is $30, also available in 1oz/ 30ml $54 and 1.7oz/ 50ml $77.

I know it is not easy to tell facial oils apart based on how they look and what they actually do on the skin, especially in the long run, but I appreciate the different blends for different times of the day, different purposes, especially for mature skin like mine. The extra few seconds to add them in the routine are going to be worth it.


Kiehl's skin care products

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Near the end of June, I had the privilege of a tour of Kiehl's first Halifax store at Halifax Shopping Centre and a one-on-one consultation with the expert. It is time to tell you about my customized skin care routine.

Note: Since a few items I received were sample sized, I do not have complete ingredient lists other than the main ingredients listed on the brand's website.

A good start of the routine is a cleanser for my acne-proned skin: Blue Herbal gel cleanser.

Being oil free with 1.5% salicylic acid, this cleanser lathers and cleanses the skin well without drying it.

It does take a bit more time to rinse and feels slightly cooling after, but the effect does not last long. There is a hint of herbal scent in the air for a quick second upon application.

Main ingredients: Cinnamon Bark extract (soothing with antibacterial properties) and Ginger Root extract (also soothing, helps absorb excess oil).

I wouldn't say the cleanser cures my acne or anything but it does the job without irritating the skin and I need the salicylic acid action, so I am glad to have it. The bottle is 8.4oz/ 250ml, retails $32.

The Ultra facial oil-free toner is a good next step after cleansing.

The expert told me toners are essential to prep the skin and help the serum/ moisturizer absorb better, so I have been more diligent in the last few months, especially with oil and alcohol free formulas like this one. This toner is also pH balanced, paraben/ fragrance/ colorant free, it feels like water on.

The full size of 8.4oz/ 250ml is $23. This 1.4oz/ 40ml sample bottle last me more than 2 months with daily use. I recommend this toner if you are looking for a safe one.

On to my favorite part of a skin care routine: the serums. The Hydro-plumping re-texturizing serum concentrate (top) is meant to give new life to dull, tired skin, which we probably all have.

With main ingredients like Plant-based glycerin (derived from palm fruit, rapeseed, coconut to enhance the water-holding capacity of the skin and help skin elasticity) and Shiso leaf extract (prevents degradation of the hyaluronic acid that naturally occurs in skin), it provides an extra push to your moisturizer.

Upon using up the 5ml tube of sample, I enjoyed it but thought I needed for time with it as I could not notice much of a plumping effect. The serum is available in 1.7oz/ 50ml size for $62, and 2.5oz/ 75ml for $80.

The Clearly Corrective dark spot solution (bottom) is described as a fast acting serum that diminishes dark spots and visibly evens skin tone.

I like how the main ingredients sound:
- Activated C and Peony extract: work together to penetrate quickly to attack deep-set dark spots and prevents the formation of new discolouration
- White Birch extract (sugar derivative): restores hydration and nutrients to the dermis and epidermis layers of skin.

Also thoroughly enjoy using the 4ml bottle with a dropper but again, dark spots would take longer than the 2-month time I had. Available in 3 sizes - 1oz/ 30ml $59, 1.7oz/ 50ml $80 and 3.4oz/ 100ml $143, silicone/ optical diffuser/ paraben/ fragrance free.

The Ultra facial oil-free lotion falls right into place for some moisturizing action.

I might repeat myself here but the lotion also feels almost like water. It is lightweight, non greasy, absorbs quickly and keeps the skin moisturized for a good long while. No side effects.

Main ingredients:
- Antarcticine (Glacial Glycoprotein extract): helps hydrate skin, shields skin from free radicals and cold temperatures
- Imperata Cylindrica (Desert plan extract): with high concentrations of potassium which provides lasting hydrating effect, helps skin to store and retain moisture efficiently even in the driest weather conditions
- Vitamin E: soothes, helps neutralizing free radicals.

Also paraben/ fragrance/ colorant free, the lotion is 4.2oz/ 125ml, $36. I can't wait to see how it performs in the winter months.

And now something that sounds and looks good enough to eat: the Creamy eye treatment with Avocado.

It is exactly as it's called, a creamy moisturizer for the eyes. Avocado oil is the most moisturizing of any fruit oil and a natural source of amino acid proteins, vitamin A, D and E, and potassium, with additional Beta-carotene (used in vitamin A production, gives an orange tint to skin care products) and Shea butter (protects skin from dehydration, restores skin's suppleness).

I have been relying on facial oils for whole face moisturization, including the eyes, so eye creams have not been an essential step in the routine, but this is a good one if you need targetted treatment for the eye area alone.

The jar I received was 15ml, while the 2 sizes available on the site is 14gg for $36 or 28g for $58.

The only product for the body, but a favorite one of mine - the popular Creme de Corps.

I get the hype now, it is rich and hydrating but non-greasy, leaving the skin moisturized and smooth for hours and hours!

The main ingredients: Beta-carotene (explained above), Cocoa butter (softens skin), Sesame oil (absorbs easily, softens skin) and Squalane (a botanical lipid that helps restore skin's natural moisture balance) might have something to do with it. I am loving the formula.

The size I got was 2.5oz/ 75ml, $13 but Creme de Corps is also available in 4.2oz/ 150ml $24, 8.4oz/ 250ml $38, 16.9oz/ 500ml $65 and even 33.8oz/ 1 liter for $89.