DECIEM NIOD Sanskrit Saponins

DECIEM — NIOD Sanskrit Saponins Review

NIOD is one of the pricer lines under the DECIEM umbrella, and while I was a little curious about it, having only tried the more affordable The Ordinary and Hylamide lines, I wasn’t keen to shell out C$50+ for curiosity’s sake.

DECIEM NIOD Sanskrit Saponins, label

However, during a Sephora sale last year, I picked up Sanskrit Saponins, one of the least expensive items in the NIOD range at CA$29 for 90 mL (I ended up paying under $25).

DECIEM NIOD Sanskrit Saponins

I actually ended up liking the cleanser a lot, so during DECIEM’s recent Boxing Day sale, I picked up the jumbo-sized (180 mL) for $9 each! Whew, I won’t have to buy cleanser for a while.

My Review

What originally sold me on Sanskrit Saponins was the backstory that DECIEM provides on their website. I know, I fell for the marketing! But honestly, it sounds cool. The active ingredient is Sapindus mukurossi (soapnut) fruit extract. The saponins found in this extract are a natural surfactant, so they have been used as a cleaning agent since ancient times. A study has also indicated that soapnut extract (though not necessarily the saponin component) acts as an insecticide.

From DECIEM:

SS is a viscous and intense cleaning balm for the face formulated with highly-concentrated, very-unrefined Ayurvedic plant surfactants unsupported by any modern cleaning technology. SS contains no purified or synthetic surfactants, sulphates, oils, esters or micellar technologies. It is a pH-balanced suspension of the amino acid, Lysine, in saponins from the Ayurvedic plants shikakai and sapindus mukorossi.

 

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Rodial — Stem Cell Cleansing Cream Review

This week is going to be facial cleanser week! I actually have several cleansers to review, and thought it’d be nice to round them all up to be reviewed together.

First up is a winner! I received a generous 30 mL (1 oz) sample of Rodial Stem Cell Cleansing Cream in an Ipsy bag, and started using it a few months ago. (Note: the product has since been renamed Stemcell Super-Food Cleanser.)

Up until then, I was not keen on cream cleansers…at all! I would find that they slipped all over my face and never rinsed off cleanly (one of the worst ones for me was La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser). I just figured I didn’t have the right skin type for a cream cleanser, despite actually having dry skin.

But then I slowly grew to love the Nuxe Melting Cleansing Gel (it is, weirdly, sort of in-between a light cream and a gel) that I’d initially poo-pooed, got back into an unfinished Valcena Eau Lactée Cleansing Milk, and finally grew curious enough to try the sample of Rodial cream cleanser sitting at the back of my stash.

Well, whaddya knnow—I kind of love it!

It is a thick, very rich and luxurious-feeling cream. Rodial says it also doubles as a facial mask, but I have not yet tried using it that way.

From Rodial:

A nourishing dual-action cream facial cleanser and mask for dehydrated skin with advanced stem cell technology, rose hip and vitamin e. A potent super-food complex of anti-oxidants, Coconut Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Rose Wax and Coco Butter gently cleanses and feeds essential nutrients to the skin for instant relief to dehydrated complexions. When massaged into the skin with the 100% cotton muslin cloth, the gentle exfoliation enables younger-looking skin to be revealed, boosting skin’s vitality for a visible glow. Advanced stem cell technology from the PhytoCellTec Alp Rose improves cell vitality to protect against future damage. Can be used to remove make-up. Ideal for those with dry skin or with dull, lacklustre skin that needs a radiance boost.

Key Benefits:

  • Marula Oil: Anti-oxidant with fatty acids soften and condition the skin.
  • Stem Cell (PhytoCellTec Alp Rose Flower): Protects against environmental stress and helps improve the skin barrier function.
  • Coconut Oil: Helps to smooth the skin and rich in anti-oxidants and natural antibacterial agents.
  • Cocoa Butter: Cleanses whilst nourishing the skin.

I don’t believe a jot of the claims about plant stem cells in skincare products (or in haircare products), but I do think this cleanser works beautifully on my dry skin.

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Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE Super Spend Your Points Event & FragranceX (January 2017)

In anticipation of the launch of PC Optimum on February 1, 2018, Shoppers Drug Mart is holding a Super Spend Your Points Event this weekend. If you’ve been saving up your Shoppers Optimum Points, now is definitely the time to redeem them!

I wish I hadn’t placed a redemption order earlier this week, but oh well. I really did not forsee them doing such a good redemption deal! The YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche I got, which I worried about going out-of-stock, is still available, too.

Anyway, I went all out pricy perfume (and some nail polish, because it’s me), since I have decided I need to focus on finishing up a lot of makeup and skincare before acquiring any new ones. It is a brand new year, after all!

Brands like Chanel and Dior are generally the best fragrance options to redeem for, since their products are not as readily available at online discounters, or are not well-discounted even if they are. However, I found Dior Poison Girl EDT available at a better price online (and in a 30 mL size, which I prefer), so I decided against redeeming for that. Here’s what I got at Shoppers’ beautyBOUTIQUE:

What I Redeemed For

RALPH LAUREN
Woman Gift Set

30 mL EDP & 75 mL Body Lotion / $84, on sale for $67.20
(now sold out online; I did see some in-store at the SDM in Toronto Eaton Centre)
Ralph Lauren Woman Gift Set (EDP 50 mL, Body Lotion 75 mL)

This seemed to sell out immediately after I placed my order, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will indeed get it! [Edit: as I was writing up this post, I received an email saying my order has already shipped just a few hours after I placed it! Woohoo!]

I’m so glad I saw this set because I didn’t really need 50 mL, but that was the smallest individual bottle available online until a couple days ago. (I never get more than 30 mL unless I have to—I rotate through a lot of perfume.) This elegant, white floral scent is so gorgeous! It was love at first sniff.


CHANEL
Allure EDT

50 mL | $95
Chanel Allure EDT 50 mL

I actually wanted the EDP version of Allure, which is all cozy peaches, vanilla, and powdery florals! But the 50 mL EDP was sold out online, so I got the slightly cheaper EDT. My plan is to go in-store and test the EDT. If I like it, I’ll keep it and just get the EDP in another redemption. If I don’t like it, I should be able to exchange the unwrapped box in-store for the 50 mL EDP, and just pay the difference. It has been well over ten years since I last tested Allure EDT and I can’t remember it at all, but it is supposed to be a lighter, more citrus-y and sparkly scent than the EDP.

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Sale Alert! Shoppers Drug Mart SUPER Spend Your Points Event (January 13–14, 2018)

aaaaaand of course I already redeemed 95k points this week. Guess I really should have waited. (But I just so wanted that YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche! I was afraid it was going to sell out since it’s limited edition.)

Well, I have enough points for one more 95k redemption, so I have $210 to redeem this weekend!

Redemption works as follows:

  • 38,000 points redeem for $75 (extra $15)
  • 50,000 points redeem for $105 (extra $20)
  • 95,000 points redeem for $210 (extra $40)

Even if you don’t have enough points to redeem, it’s still worth it to do a little more shopping at SDM this month, before the switch over to PC Optimum. The Shoppers Optimum points you have at the time of the merger will be converted to PC Optimum at the ratio of 95k pts : $170 worth of PC Optimum Points. See more here.

Happy shopping, y’all! Poison Girl and Ralph Lauren Woman are already in my cart, and that almost maxes me out at $207…

And if you order online at beautyBOUTIQUE, don’t forget Ebates Canada!

Rebecca Minkoff, Je t'aime Medium Crossbody in Opal Iridescent

Holiday Haulage! Christmas & Boxing Day 2017

I still need to browse through other bloggers’ holiday hauls (I love haul posts!), but here’s my beauty-related Christmas and Boxing Day sale haulage for 2017.


CAKE BEAUTY
Deck the Haul Gift Set

  • The ‘Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray (7 fl oz)
  • The Locks Smith Hydrating Dry Conditioner Spray (7 fl oz)
  • The Wave Maker Texturizing Beach Spray (2 fl oz)
  • The Brush Crush Dry Styling Dual Bristle Brush
  • 2 × The Grip Clip Dry Styling Hair Clip

The MSRP was C$73 (really?) but I got it after the holidays at Shoppers Drug Mart for $11!

Cake Beauty Deck the Haul Gift Set


CHANEL
Le Vernis Longwear in Fiction (582)

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear in Fiction

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Etat Libre d'Orange 30 mL perfumes in Jasmin et Cigarette & Putain des Palaces

Store Reviews: Luckyscent & FragranceBuy Canada, Hauling Samples & Etat Libre d’Orange (January 2017)

While I do love to swing by the department store or Shoppers Drug Mart’s beautyBOUTIQUE (Sephora’s a bit crowded for my liking) to try out perfumes, there is something I particularly love about having a sample at home, because then I can try out a perfume multiple times at my leisure, at different times of day, and under different conditions. The main drawbacks are that samples are not always free, especially for rarer and niche scents, and that the samples usually do not come with sprayers. I find that a perfume sprayed often gives a different impression than a perfume dabbed.

However, the benefits outweigh the negatives, so I occasionally round up an order of samples from an online perfume shop like Luckyscent, that offers decanted samples of many (most?) of the niche perfumes they sell. I have in the past used sample-only outfits like The Perfumed CourtSurrender to Chance is another, though I can’t remember whether I’ve actually placed an order with them—but in recent years, their shipping costs to Canada have become too prohibitive. FragranceX is another option for official carded samples, though their selection is very limited and I typically just order full-sized bottles from them. (I am not affiliated with any of the aforementioned sites.)

It’s probably been about four years now since I placed a big sample order—I wasn’t interested in trying perfumes while pregnant, since your sense of smell can apparently change during this time, and then after the kids were born, I was simply too tired to even think about perfume! But now, especially after the holiday season when perfume gift sets are everywhere, I’ve gotten back into the swing of things.

Reviewing: Luckyscent

Here’s my first Luckyscent sample order in a long time. I love this US-based online store with a wonderful selection of niche scents. Their shipping to Canada is very reasonable (a flat $8 for my 16-sample order) and they ship very quickly. I received my order in just five days (three business days)! I also included two samples from a newer Canadian line, Zoologist; if I’d ordered directly from Zoologist’s site, my samples would have cost more, as well.

All fragrances I selected are eau de parfum concentration, and prices are in USD. The 0.7 mL samples (basically your typical 1 mL sample vial, but they’re never actually filled up all the way) each cost $3–$5. The perfume links I added all go to the Luckyscent page (again, I’m not affiliated), where I also got additional details on each fragrance.

The only fragrance I wasn’t able to get a sample for that I’ve been wanting to try for ages is Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. It was, sadly, out of stock.

fivezero's December 2017 Luckyscent sample order, bottles
Images: Luckyscent

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Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche ad

Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE & Planning for a Final Shoppers Optimum Points Redemption (January 2017)

As the the date for the launch of PC Optimum approaches, I have been wondering whether I should spend my Shoppers Optimum Points now, or to wait until the deadline to see if a final Plus Event will happen before the merging of Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus. I believe my Shoppers points, after conversion, will be worth the same amount, but I can’t be sure whether the Plus Events will be kept the same.

In the end, I decided that I would hedge myself and redeem one batch of points now, then wait for a possible upcoming event by February 1 (I’ve heard a peep that it might be this weekend, January 13–14) to redeem my final batch. I actually don’t quite have enough points for two full redemptions, but I’m sure I can pick up the ~1,000 bonus points I need before the weekend. There’s a “Spend $50 and get 12,000 points” coupon loaded on my card for Wednesday, after all, and we always need more baby stuff and groceries!

So, yesterday I placed what will likely be my penultimate Shoppers Optimum redemption order of 95,000 points for C$170 worth of goodies from beautyBOUTIQUE.

I did deliberately select a couple of items that were on sale, to sort of “make up” for not redeeming during a Plus Event. Avène and Nuxe were on sale—I have been wanting a new exfoliator, and I’ve somehow been gravitating to creamy cleansers of late, after years of despising them.

What I Redeemed For

YVES SAINT LAURENT
Black Opium Nuit Blanche EDP

50 mL / $110
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche EDP (50 mL)

I really, really want Dior Poison Girl and Ralph Lauren Woman, but this flanker to Black Opium (which I’ve warmed to of late—I thought it was far too sweet the first time I sniffed it) is limited edition, so I felt the urge to get it right now, just in case it sold out. It is cheaper at FragranceX, but then I’d have to pony up over C$70 instead of just my points. This perfume smells like a cozy, sweet cup of milky coffee. Nuit Blanche refers to the annual art festival that began in France in 1984, and has since expanded to cities all over the world, including Toronto.

CHANEL
Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Verde Pastello (590)

$32
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Verde Pastello (590)

From the new collection. (They skipped putting a couple of recent Chanel collections online at beautyBOUTIQUE, though.)

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