Review: Erborian Glow Crème

One of my favourite beauty trends from the last few years is, in a word, glow.

Go to any makeup store and there’s probably a display about shimmering blushes, radiant highlighters, and natural-looking light coverage foundations promising a “natural glow.”

Finding that right shine is a big task for many makeup lovers aiming to straddle looking radiant and looking sweaty. A good glow is a game changer. Finding that perfect highlighter can transform you from a regular human being to an ethereal, mystical creature. That’s a tall order for makeup, but tell me there hasn’t been days where you’re wearing a bomb highlight and every time you catch your reflection you think, Damn. 

So finding a fantastic highlighter is one thing, but what about an all-over glow? Hourglass has their Ambient Lighting powders, made to be worn on top of foundation on the whole complexion. The Burberry Fresh Glow foundation promises a dewy, straight from the gym look. There are even primers that promise an overall highlighting effect underneath foundation. L’Oréal has theirs with the Magic Lumi primer, and now Erborian has their own with their brand new Glow Crème.

Photo Source

Erborian, launched in 2007, is a skincare brand created by Korean scientist Hojung Lee and French beauty expert Katalin Berenyi. Since the launch, it has developed a loyal following for its cult-favourite products such as the Pink Perfect Crème. It’s easy to see why — think of the most notable beauty and skincare countries, and you’ll probably think of Korea and France. A brand that combines the two? Consider me interested.

Erborian develops all of its products in Seoul and says that they are inspired by Korean traditions. I’ve tried a few other Korean skincare brands in the past and I will say, man, do they know their skincare.

Now, Erborian has joined the glow club with the Glow Crème. They describe the product as a multi-benefit cream that has an illuminating effect and blurs imperfections on the skin.

When I was reading up on the product, I did immediately think of the Magic Lumi primer, which promises a lot of the same things, except it is recommended to be worn with foundation, or even in select spots to highlight. However, if you do try the products side by side, you immediately see a difference in the formula. The Magic Lumi primer is much thinner in consistency and wears more as a liquid highlighter than an actual primer or face cream.

I was curious, then, to try out the Glow Crème both on its own and under foundation. Without foundation, I do have spots of redness in my complexion, as well as freckles and a few acne scars. The Glow Crème definitely doesn’t replace foundation, or even BB cream, but it did even out my skin tone, and does it ever make you glow.

I usually wear lighter foundations, so my face never really looks matte. For me, using the cream resulted in healthier-looking skin, like I had actually had some sun in the past few days instead of being stuck inside because of the never-ending rain. It created a gorgeous glow, even without a highlighter or shimmery finishing powder.

Is it worth the $42 price tag? Maybe. It does make your skin ridiculously soft and fresh-looking. However, it also depends on your skincare needs. While the Magic Lumi primer has a similar effect underneath foundation, the Glow Crème wears like a moisturizer. It makes your skin very soft but doesn’t feel heavy or slick. For oily skins it would be a better choice than the drugstore alternative, as other glow primers have made me breakout in the past whereas I’ve yet to have problems with the Glow Crème.

If you are looking for a little extra glow in your life, especially with summer around the corner, this is definitely one to check out.

In Canada, Erborian is available through Sephora. Find out more about the brand here. Continue following our beauty & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Post-Winter Hydration

I know that February is the shortest month, but it seems that the first two months of 2017 just flew by. And that just means we’re that much more closer to spring! However, during this winter, as with every winter, the moisture-sucking climate has taken a real toll on my already very dry skin. Regardless of skin type, taking care of yourself and staying hydrated is important for everyone. Here are a few tips to get your hair, skin, nails, and everything else feeling lush and rejuvenated for what seems like an early spring.

Photo: borbotta.com

Hair

My hair is very thick and curly so it needs a whole lot of lovin’. Using an olive oil or coconut oil treatment once a week helps restore your damaged, dry hair. It’s important to do this especially if you use hot tools regularly. These oils are good for all hair types. Be sure to read the label to make sure they’re 100% oil — no added nonsense.

When applying, massage the oil into your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up into the scalp. Wait for a minimum of 30 minutes, then make sure to shampoo and rinse at least twice to get all the oil out. Of course, there are other products out there that help with dry and damaged hair — it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you. Our contributor Meg is trying out Curl Shoppe products right now, check out her weekly updates over on our Instagram.

Photo: petapixel.com

Skin

I have reeaaally dry skin, if you didn’t get that already. So I’ve decided not to be so lazy about my skincare (out of necessity) and am now on the lookout for the perfect moisturizer. I’ve been using the tried and true Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief to get rid of any flakiness or tightness on my face (especially under my eyes and around my mouth) before I use the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. I feel like sometimes face moisturizers can be really thick, leaving you feeling like there’s just a layer of it on top of your skin, clogging your pores. Clinique has a lightweight formula that sinks into my skin and does its job. I also apply grape seed oil on my face every couple of days to help with dry patches. It has no scent and is a non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores.

Don’t forget your lips in all of this! I usually just mix a tablespoon of brown sugar — granulated will do fine — with some olive oil or honey. Gently scrub this mixture on your lips and leave it on for a minute, then wash it off with warm water and apply lip balm.

Photo: beautyheaven.com.

Nails

If I don’t take care of my nails, they can get real brittle, especially during winter with the lack of moisture in the air. I apply Vitamin E oil to my fingernails and massage it in, to stimulate blood supply. I also use moisturizing hand creams, often with shea or coconut oil, which also helps with the dry and brittle nail problem. You can also create a soak with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to help strengthen your nails. Olive oil penetrates nail cuticles to repair and strengthen the nail while lemon juice helps restore damage and gives your nails a bright sheen.

You should also use nail polish removers that are “acetone-free.” Granted, it takes more time to remove the polish, but acetone is really drying so it might be worth it.

Photo: womensok.com

Body

Exfoliate, moisturize, repeat. Exfoliation is a major part of skincare and once you get into it, you’ll notice the difference. You can always buy body scrubs from the store but making an all-natural exfoliant is a lot easier than you think — as long as you have sugar in your pantry. Don’t pay an arm and a leg for a trendy coffee scrub. Click here to learn how to make your own using just sugar, coffee, and the leftover coconut oil from your hair treatment.

Your Insides

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Drinking water is the best thing you can do for your body and hydration. It’s good for every external and internal parts of you. Winter increases the risk of dehydration because more moisture is lost through the respiratory evaporation.

Flow Water is 100% natural Canadian spring water and has a naturally high pH, which offsets modern acidic diets, and electrolytes to keep your body more hydrated. Flow also provides healthful properties such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium carbonate. You can pick up a bottle of Flow in your local grocery store, and if you live in Toronto or Vancouver you can order weekly deliveries and have it brought to your doorstep in an eco-friendly BMWi3.

Continue following our health and lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Product Review: Mèreadesso

Wanting perfect skin is one thing, but searching for perfect skincare products in a world with so many sending you hundreds of mixed messages can not only be difficult, but it can also be downright discouraging. As someone who has spent most of my life in search of products that can properly take care of my skin, I understand that the struggle is way too real.

Now that I am in my twenties, I am finally starting to learn more about my skin and what it’s like. But skincare has become so confusing and extravagant. With cleansers, toners, serums, creams, oils, milks, and moisturizers, it’s hard to know what you need. It makes finding what works for you a nightmare you can’t escape. At this rate, by the time you do find your perfect skincare, you’ll need a different one because you’ll have aged 20 years.

Luckily for me, I was given the chance to try a new line of skincare known as Mèreadesso. Mèreadesso was created by Linda Stephenson, a chemist, botanist, and microbiologist, who was formerly a senior product developer for Estée Lauder. When Linda became a mom, she truly understood what it means to have no time to herself, so she decided to create a product that would do multiple things at once (i.e. day/night/eye cream, primer, toner). Mèreadesso is also the only Canadian line carried by Nordstrom’s beauty department.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, I tried out some Mèreadesso products to see what this new line had to offer.

Face and Neck Cleanser

At first, I was a little caught off guard and skeptical about using the microfiber cloth with the cleanser. This cleanser reminded me more of a cleansing milk. Its non-foamy formula acts as a cleanser, mask, toner, and eye makeup remover. Initially, I questioned whether or not it actually cleaned my skin, because in the past I have always used foamy products that lather on my skin. But after the first night of using the cleanser, I was impressed. My makeup was completely removed and my face felt clean and smooth; my skin looked and felt better than I expected.

Note: I was given the small travel sachet size of the face and neck cleanser to try, along with a mini travel sized microfibre cloth, but you can purchase this cleanser and cloth in a full-size 4oz bottle as well.

All-in-One Moisturizer

I suffer from having fairly dry and sensitive skin, so proper moisturizing is important to me. What I loved most about this moisturizer is how it made my skin look. The all-in-one moisturizer claims to be a single step product that replaces day cream, night cream, eye cream, serum, and primer. It is said to decrease redness and tighten and tone the skin while reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Once again, I was skeptical about the performance of the moisturizer, but once again I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was my skin well hydrated and moisturized, but it also really did seem more toned, tightened, and even. As far as moisturizers go, this one works well for me.

Tinted Lip Treats

As someone who is constantly applying lip product on my lips to keep them hydrated and pretty while I’m on the go and at work, I was very excited and impressed by these lip tints. I feel that a lot of the time tinted chapsticks are never really tinted, but that is not the case with these lip treats. The tinted lip treats did exactly what they promised. They provided long-term moisturization with the addition of buildable colour, and without the waxy feeling of chapstick. I’ve been wearing the light pink one religiously since I got it. They are low-key and natural looking so they are perfect for an added touch of colour and moisture to your everyday makeup look. I also tried them as lipstick primers and I was not disappointed. Long story short, I loved the tinted lip treats.

Beautiful Body Balm

Body moisturizing is just as important as face moisturizing. Even though it is kind of a pain at times, your skin will seriously thank you. That being said, I’m usually pretty picky when it comes to body moisturizers because I am not a fan of scented or greasy formulas. What I loved about the Mèreadesso body balm was its ability to make my skin look and feel smooth and toned without being greasy. I also loved its versatility as a body, foot, and hand lotion. It really did the trick in all three areas. Plus, according to Mèreadesso, the body balm helps break down cellulite and minimize the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and water retention. My only complaint is that it felt like it took long to fully rub into my skin. It moves around and leaves white cream lines until it is fully rubbed in, kind of like the old sunscreen from the 90’s used to. But other than that, I thought it was great.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned, I suffer from having fairly dry, sensitive skin that is also prone to breakouts, so finding a good cleanser and moisturizer that works for me is super important. Overall, I really liked the Mèreadesso cleanser and moisturizer. I was really impressed with the results and how smooth and moisturized it made my skin. The system didn’t dry out my skin at all or cause breakouts. I also really like how the skincare system eliminates a lot of steps such as toner and serum — it made getting ready for bed that much quicker.

My biggest criticisms are that there were times that I wished there was a deep cleaning part to the routine. Maybe a mask or something to go along with it. I know the line is made to eliminate steps, but I feel like a cleanser just can’t clean thoroughly enough on its own. Sometimes you need a deep clean after a long week. I also wasn’t crazy about using a reusable cleansing cloth to wipe away my makeup and buff my skin. Even though the cloth is washable, it seems a little unhygienic and inconvenient for me.

To conclude on a positive note, I love the mini travel sachets. I think more companies that make mini travel packs should try the resealable packaging Mèreadesso uses. I also love the lip treats and the all-in-one moisturizer. The moisturizer is non-greasy, and probably the best part of the entire Mèreadesso line. I would definitely recommend this line to people who are struggling to find a skin care system that works for them!

Continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

Shop At Shoppers Like It’s A Parisian Pharmacie

jeanne_damas-35-728x486
Photo: The Coveteur

Oh the Parisian pharmacie. The one secret that Parisiennes willingly admit about their infamously effortless beauty routines. The devotion that Parisians have to the pharmacie is generations deep, faithfully maintaining beauty secrets from parents and grandparents. Because really, an effortless beauty routine means investing in your skin and haircare regimes; simply, invest in the fundamentals. Recent Shoppers renovations (fancy ones!) have made ample shelf space for a wide range of French products. Look closely, and for these right products, and you could stock your cabinet like Jeanne Damas, Garance Doré, and Caroline de Maigret.

698520_xlarge
Photo: Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution

This make up remover is just wonderful. It does not sting the eyes, it has zero scent, and is not irritating on sensitive skin. And it does the job very well. It removes make up without excessive elbow grease, while also removing dirt and pollution from walking around the streets of Paris, erm…Toronto. I meant Toronto.

500-500-toleriane-riche-40ml
Photo: La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche Moisturizer

A good, daily moisturizer is the key to your skin routine, especially during the dry winter months. This is good for at night use because of the shea butter, something to repair the skin after a long day.

10035198
Photo: Lancôme

Lancôme Hypnose Mascara

In How To Be Parisian Wherever You AreCaroline de Maigret recommends Lancôme’s Grandiose mascara, which is great but I am going to recommend Hypnose instead. It’s brilliant because it manages to stay on all day without gather a shadow beneath the lower lash region, while easily coming off with cleanser and water (no need to tug your eyelashes off). I also find that it gives the lashes a nice lift if you apply a layer, wait 10 second for it to dry, and then apply another layer.

avene_cleanance_cleansing_gel_for_face_and_body_900x900
Photo: Avène

Avène Cleanance Gel

The smell is great, it doesn’t dry out your skin, and it is a lovely shade of blue. I’ve used this consistently since high school and have found it has kept my skin clear since then. The best bit about it is that you only need to use a tiny amount each time, so it lasts a long time.

fiche_1460561701-fp-nuxe-reve-de-miel-baume-levres-ultra-nourissant-pot-face-ouvert-2014-09
Photo: Nuxe

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

I was hesitant to buy lip balm for $17 when my go-to Vaseline Rosy Lips was in the next aisle for $3.99, but this lip balm from Nuxe is on another level. It goes on thick, so I recommend putting it on once in the morning and once at night. The first few applications will make your lips peel a bit, but then your lips are like butter. Soft, French butter.

31mogbb-jwl
Photo: Klorane

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Now this here is your key to that hair. You know, the messy, chic hair. The hair with je ne c’est quois. Unbrush, unfussed, yet clean. This is your tool to that second day, messy hair of the Parisienne. It is especially great if you have bangs, which seem to be on a grease cycle of their own.

Remember, each Shoppers location is a touch different (renovations may change that) and may have different selections. In my opinion, the location at Bloor-Yonge has the best stocked beauty section and the best selection of these French beauty products in particular. Bonne chance!

Continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

Skincare Review: Dr. Roebuck’s

In this great search for perfect skin, amongst all of the new products and new brands to try, one thought kept returning to me: what is it, exactly, that I’m putting on my face?

These days, we focus so much on the ingredients in our food. Clean eating is trendy, and proven to be effective. Everyone’s looking for the most natural ingredients they can find and labels proclaim things such as, “No preservatives,” and “No artificial flavours.”

Do we think the same way about our skin?

I haven’t until recently. Until I began paying attention to the skincare products. Until others showed me that there can be alternatives.

Some alternatives are very natural, things like homemade masks made with ingredients found in your kitchen. Other alternatives are still store-bought, but they’re brands that claim to have nearly all-natural products.

One of these brands is Dr. Roebuck’s, an Australian skincare line established in 1978, now available in Australia and Canada. The line was founded by the actual Dr. Roebuck, which was exciting to discover, and is now maintained by his twin daughters, Kim and Zoe. The products are all manufactured to be Paraben and BPA free. According to the company’s manifesto, Dr. Roebuck started the brand with the intention to create skincare products that were free of everything except the necessary ingredients to treat dry skin.

Upon reading the ingredients lists on the products, it is clear that goal is maintained today. Few of the products have more than 10 ingredients (and if you compare that to another drugstore product, that’s pretty good), and for those that do, the ingredients are pronounceable. You know what they actually are, save for one or two preservatives so the product doesn’t go mouldy on you.

Over the course of two weeks, I’ve tried out four of Dr. Roebuck’s products and let me tell you, this is some pretty good stuff.

Face

face

When I began testing the products, I decided to alternate using the Face and Pure creams. Face is designed to rehydrate the skin and prevent wrinkles. Now, I haven’t seen much on the wrinkle prevention front, probably because I’m still a bit young for those, but this cream made my skin really soft. It’s gentle and nice to wear. I wore it both during the day and at night, and it wore well underneath foundation. I can’t say much about it other than it’s a really lovely face cream. No spectacular results, but as far as moisturizers go, it’s one of the best ones I’ve tried.

Pure

pure

Pure is another one of the best moisturizers I’ve ever tried. Hands down. While Face moisturizes and prevents wrinkles, Pure’s purpose is to moisturize problem skin. We could debate about what problem skin really is, but for me, it made my skin feel both ridiculously smooth and refreshed. I’ve never used a moisturizer before that made my skin feel clean. Usually I find a moisturizer dampens the clean-skin feeling because it’s, well, moisturizing, but Pure seemed only to enhance the freshness that came from Polish and Tone.

Polish

polish

By now, I’ve tried quite a few face scrubs and masks. It comes as no surprise that my skin felt clean and refreshed after using Polish, but it comes with a bit of surprise that I experienced no irritation. At all. In other skincare reviews, I’ve mentioned I have sensitive skin. A change in detergent can have me breaking out in rashes. This always makes me hesitant to try skincare products like facial subs and masks that have powerful cleaning ingredients. I’ve tried Polish a few times and have never had any irritation from it. This is the mask sensitive-skin folks have been waiting for.

Tone

tone

My very first thought when I used Tone for the first time was, Geez, I haven’t used a toner since high school. Back then I had teenage skin and teenage confidence and I tried nearly every Clean & Clear product. After high school I stopped using toners because I didn’t see the point in them. Why are they necessary? What do they actually do? Tone is supposed to brighten, tighten and smooth the skin. Nothing to report on brightening, but I will say after consistently using the toner, I found the pores on my nose had tightened up a bit, which is great if you have blackheads like I do.

Final Thoughts

In this day and age, we are not short of natural skincare lines. The question now is, which one do I use? There are characteristics across the board that most of these brands share: some good (no testing on animals) and some not so good (a consistently higher price point). A brand like Dr. Roebuck’s is similar to others on the market in what it promises. I can’t speak for every natural skincare brand, but I can attest to the fact that Dr. Roebuck’s seems to deliver on what they promise. Like many of these reviews, the trials I conducted on the products are short-term. Long-term results can only be determined by long-term trials. That being said, my short-term tests were all successful. My skin has felt so clean and healthy the last week that I’ve been avoiding wearing makeup and covering it up. For someone who wears foundation almost everyday, that’s saying something. This is, in my opinion, a great brand with great products. If you are in the market for a new skincare brand to try, I will suggest giving Dr. Roebuck’s a whirl.