July Julep Maven Box

My July Julep Maven Box finally arrived.  Apparently it’s taking longer to ship to Canada now because they can’t air ship.  It appears to have left the US on July 1 and it arrived on July 17.  It’s way longer than it takes in the US, but I guess nail polish isn’t a necessity, so waiting a bit longer isn’t going to kill me.

This month’s collection is called the Poolside Collection.  I really love this collection, the colours are bright, and mostly consisted of creme finishes.  I splurged and picked up the whole polish collection this time around.  The past few months’ collections had a lot of different finishes, but cremes are my favourite.

The colours are called:

Tamara – Lipstick Red Creme (it’s a tomato-y looking shade)

Lorenzana – Shitake Creme

Lissa – Tumbled Turquoise Creme

Beverly – Boysenberry Creme (medium dark violet shade)

Kelsey – Powder Peach Creme

Vicki – Pink Flamingo Creme

Braiden – Graphite Stardust (Textured Matte Glitter)

Linden – Pool Blue Creme

Dawn – Citron Creme

Most of the descriptions are very close to how I would describe each colour, but I’ve added extra descriptive words to those colours that I thought I could better describe.

I can’t remember how much this upgrade box cost, but I’m really happy with the colours.  I went with the polish lovers upgrade, but the program has gotten more complex so there are a couple of upgrade options now.

Every month that you take your maven box you’re award Jules.  You can collect them and use them to redeem for future monthly boxes!  (it works out to be getting a free box for every 7.5 maven boxes you take of the same value…if you get the basic box every month, after the 8th month, you can get your 9th month free using your jules).

If you want to check it out, use this link http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/.  Julep will send you a code for a free box!  It’s awesome!

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Clarisonic Aria

I read a ton of reviews before deciding to get a Clarisonic Cleansing system.  There are currently 4 models, the Mia, Mia2, Aria and Plus.  There might be several differences, but simply put the Mia, has one speed, normal.  The Mia 2 has 2 speeds low and normal, and the Aria has 3 speeds, low, normal and high; the Plus is for face and body.

I decided to go with the Aria.  I like that there are 3 speed settings, and there there is a 2 year warranty, and it comes with a drying stand, so it sits compactly by the bathroom sink.

I started to use the system a few nights ago.  The system is easy to use.  The default settings on the Aria are set to 1 min, it beeps at 20 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, and 60 seconds.  They recommend you start at the forehead, then use the brush on the nose and chin for the second 20 seconds, then 10 seconds per cheek.  I like the notifications they provide, it makes the minute go by really fast.

Before this, I’m pretty sure I didn’t regularly clean my forehead for 20 seconds, but I guess it gives you time to change the settings if necessary (to increase or decrease the speed as you see fit).

After the first night, I noticed a small difference in my skin.  I was keeping my fingers crossed that using this wouldn’t make my skin worse.  I read that for some people with really clear skin it made their skin worse.  My skin in ok, kind of middle of the road, but there’s always room for improvement.  I don’t get break outs often and I’m happy to report that using this system is not making my skin worse.

After a few days, there is a noticeable improvement in skin tone.  My skin appears to be brighter and feels really smooth.

After a few weeks, my skin still looks pretty good, I haven’t had any breakouts.  I use this morning and night.

The biggest difference is a large reduction in white heads and clogged pores.  Because I have an oilier T-zone, I still have visible pores on my nose, but the pores on my cheeks seem slightly reduced.

Overall, I recommend this product.  It’s worked well for me.

L’Occitane Precious Night Cream Review

This cream is described by L’Occitane as being able to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and to help revitalize skin.  They do post results of observations of 49 women indicating that they noticed an improvement in the skin.

The Precious Night Cream is a nighttime moisturizer offering triple action benefits* to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and help revitalize skin **. The appearance of wrinkles is visibly reduced and skin’s texture looks smoother for firmer-looking skin. Achille extract helps the skin’s natural exfoliation process which helps to refresh and revitalize the complexion. A satisfaction test on 49 women over 4 weeks revealed that in just one night, skin seems repaired (96%) and regenerated (92%). With continued use, skin becomes visibly smoother (82%) and skin slackening looks reduced (78%). In the morning, skin looks visibly rested and younger-looking. Patents pending in France and/or in the USA. * In vitro test on ingredient.”

From my observation, the cream itself has a nice, creamy, thick-ish texture.  It’s thick and light at the same time.  It’s lightly fragranced.  I use my moisturizers liberally, so it might be more scented for me.  (The girl at L’Occitane scolded me for using such a heavy hand – it was quite funny).  From their youtube videos and from staff, you don’t need to use that much product.  Upon application, my skin feels soft and moisturized, but there is a noticeable layer of something on my skin.  This is harder to describe.  I may have used too much, it seems to coat my skin while it’s moisturizing.  After a bit of practice using a lighter hand with the cream was a bit more effective.  I didn’t have that layered feeling when I was using less.  If you warm the product between your fingers before applying it also goes a lot further.

After a few days, I did notice a fresher look to my skin in the morning.  I normally have combination skin, with oilier bits in the T-zone, particularly around the nose.  My skin had a less oiler appearance in the morning.

My skin is softer.  I’ll have to report back about longer term affects!

The cost of this product is $92 CAD for a jar.  So far I think its good value, as I don’t use much per application.

June Julep Maven Box

This month I went with the Bombshell box.  It came with Colette and Sera and the Oxygen Smoothing base coat.  I really like Colette, its described as a “poetic violet shimmer”, its a purple that has more of a blue tinge to it.  This colour goes on nicely.  Sera is described as a Celestial Fog Iridescent Chrome.  This went on kind of sheer.  I really love Julep, but in the last few months they’ve really been big on shimmers, and sparkles, and my favourite finish is creme.  Julep is also getting really fancy and non-descriptive with their colours.  What colour is celestial fog?  Really?

I really liked the oxygen smoothing base coat also.  I’ve been a Julep Maven for almost a year, and have a ton of polish, but no base coat from them, so this is a much anticipated product.

What I really like about Julep is that every month it’s kind of a surprise, even though you can see what you’re getting somehow when the colours arrive, they can be a bit surprising…Some of them look really different on than in the bottle.  They have a some fab finishes.

Also, this is the first month that I received my June box really late.  It arrived around the 20th of June, because it got delayed at customs somehow.

If your want to check it out, use this link http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/…Once you sign up through this link, Julep will send you a code for a free box!

I’ll add pictures shortly.

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Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Eye Shadow

Over the last several months I’ve received a number of Julep beauty products in my monthly subscription, but haven’t had a chance to try them out.  So I’m catching up by sharing my thoughts on these products with you now.

The Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Eye Shadow comes in 4 colours:  Dusty Taupe Shimmer, Warm Fig Shimmer, Deep Bronze Shimmer, and Pale Nude Shimmer.  They’re marketed as being blendable and buildable.  I didn’t find the product particularly blendable.  It’s liquid, but with a very watery consistency, but not so watery that when you turn the container over that it slides or spills out.

I received only the Deep Bronze Shimmer, so I can only comment on this shade, but I didn’t love it.  I find it difficult to control how much pigment actually goes on, since I used my finger tips, it’s hard to apply the product evenly on both eyes.  I guess it takes some practice, and you can try to apply it with a brush.  So that would give you more control over the coverage.

The positives?  It does seem to have staying power.  I usually prefer more dramatic eye looks, with black eyeliner etc, the effect of this product is more subtle.  A little product goes a really long way, so just a little dab will do.

This is product that I will probably use more in the summer months, with a brown eyeliner, for a more natural look.  I hate it when my makeup slides around in the summer (mostly because I live in Toronto and it can be ridiculously humid here).

I think I would classify my review as being neutral.  If you’re a maven its $14.40, if not it’s $18.  I’m going to keep using it, and see if my thoughts on it change.  It’s a nice product to try, but I wouldn’t say I was blown away by it.

To check out Julep:  http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/, use the code FREEBOX to get your first month free!

L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Essence and Brightening Moisture Cream

I’m normally a huge Kiehl’s fan/user but recently I decided it was time for a change.  Since I had such success with the L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream, I decided to give their skin care lines a try.  I’m transitioning through a lot of product right now, so I haven’t used the whole line of items together, but I’ve had the opportunity to use the L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Essence and Brightening Moisture Cream consistently for about a week now.  First thing to note is that the products are scented, but very lightly.  The scent fades after a few minutes.  I generally have sensitive skin, and haven’t had a reaction to this product.  I’m a fan of serums and essences (thanks to Kiehl’s), I find that the application of moisturizer after goes on more smoothly and seems to prolong the life of my moisturizers.

I feel that this product is working well for me.  In the last week, people have commented that my skin has a glow (although attributed to a pregnancy glow).  Sidebar:  No offense, but I’ve been pregnant for about 9 months now, so I can’t be more glowy this week, than last week, can I?  I attribute the glow to the cream.  On another note, in my family, pregnancy tends to bring out darker spots on the face.  I’ve been lucky and haven’t experienced that, but I’m using this product as a preventative and precautionary measure.  Nobody wants dark spots, it’s a tell tale sign of aging.

In terms of application, I’ve watched a few Youtube videos, and it’s recommended that you apply the moisturizer in the upwards motion.  This is supposed to help lift the skin, and combat the affects of gravity?

In any case, I really like the texture of the Brightening Essence, it’s a gel like serum, vs. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Serum, which is more of an oil-like serum (for those of you familiar with Kiehl’s).  A little dab will do, I use somewhere between 1 or 2 drops, and I’m able to cover my whole face.  The Brightening Essence costs about $65CAD, and the Brightening Moisture Cream is about $64CAD.  My impression is that L’Occitane products overall are a lot more pricey than Kiehl’s, but I’ll create a comparison and add to this post.

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L’Occitane En Provence Ultra Rich Body Cream

As you may or may not know, I’m currently preggers, and due pretty soon.  For anyone who’s been preggers, you might understand or have experienced incredibly itchy skin.  I started out using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter products but it just wasn’t doing the job.  I was soooooo itchy.  Like super itchy.  About 2 to 3 months ago, I decided to suck it up, and went on a quest for a super nourishing body cream…and tada, I discovered the L’Occitane de Provence Ultra Rich Body Cream.  This stuff is unscented (which I’m so thankful for), and most importantly it really, really works.  I believe the contents are 25% Shea butter.  It has a luxurious, refined texture.  Unfortunately, I finished a whole container of it in about 2 months, at $48CAD a pop, that’s a lot to chew.  But I imagine, it had a lot to do with rubbing the stuff all over my belly, and the fact that it was so cold this winter, my skin was uber dry.  Overall, it’s highly recommended, I didn’t have to reapply it, and it even worked on post vacation peeling skin.  I’m really happy with this product.

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