Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream (SPF 38 / P+++)

Benton — Papaya-D Sun Cream (SPF38 / PA+++) Review

I’ve only just gotten into trying Asian sunscreens this summer (I dipped my toe in with Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Cream and Innisfree UV Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care, and have Missha All Around Safe Block sitting in my queue), and so far the Innisfree is doing very well, indeed. Recently, I also received the new Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream in exchange for an honest review, and was delighted to test it out!

Benton — Papaya-D Sun Cream (SPF38 / PA+++)

Seoul-based Benton Cosmetics was founded in 2011 by two brothers, JangWon and ChaeWon Lee. The company is perhaps best known for its Snail Bee skincare products. (There’s an amusing story behind the name: it’s a mispronunciation of the the titular, reverse-aging character’s name from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an entertaining F. Scott Fitzgerald short story—I haven’t seen the Brad Pitt film, but that version is specifically what the brothers reference.)

Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Surely it’s Cate’s skin we’re all coveting, and not Brad’s?
Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).

Benton is one of the smaller Korean brands—as it isn’t owned by one of the major conglomerates—and it is cruelty-free. Their main selling point is the use of natural ingredients and the freshness of their products due to Benton’s small-batch production.

The Papaya-D Sun Cream I received marks Benton’s first foray into suncare. It is a combination chemical-physical sunscreen: in order on ingredient list: titanium dioxide, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), isoamyl p-methoxycinnamate (amiloxate), and bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (bemotrizinol/Tinosorb S). Of the sunscreen ingredients, amiloxate and Tinosorb S are EU-approved and undergoing regulatory evaluation in the US. Benton is currently in the process of releasing a second, physical sunscreen containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Other beneficial ingredients include papaya fruit water and papaya fruit extract, which contain vitamins, polyphenols, minerals, and papainPapaya seed oil helps to keep the skin to retain moisture. Niacinamide and adenosine work to brighten the complexion and smooth the skin. The product aims to not only protect the skin from UV damage and other external stressors, but also to moisturize and improve the complexion at the same time.

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ColourPop Summer 2017 Nail Polish fairy collection

New Release: ColourPop — Fairy Nail Polish (Summer 2017)

Collection: ColourPop 2017 Summer, Fairy

ColourPop is finally bringing out some nail polish! This summer, they’re releasing a limited edition (bah!) collection of six fairy-inspired colors.

The six new shades are (my descriptions based on official photos):

  • Be Fairy Afraid (soft pink cream)
  • Dust a Dream (faded mint cream)
  • First Wings First (lavender cream)
  • I Wand It That Way (champagne-pink iridescent shimmer)
  • One Wish, Two Wish (charcoal holographic shimmer)
  • Pixie-lated (turquoise cream)

I’m a teeny bit disappointed that they’re basically not all shimmers (I mean, pastel creams are a dime a dozen, right?) but it’s still a cohesive and very pretty collection.

The bottles are cute and very ColourPop! I kind of wish their logo was more prominent instead of the sideways “polish”, though.


Be Fairy Afraid


Dust a Dream


First Wings First


I Wand It That Way


One Wish, Two Wish


Pixie-lated

The polishes launch on July 7, 2017, and retail for US$6 each.

I, for one, will be saving up my clams for I Wand It That Way, One Wish, Two Wish, and Pixie-lated (oh, who am I kidding? I want them all!). I just hope ColourPop will have produced enough to meet what will surely be very high demand!

Happy Shopping!

[Images via ColourPop]

OUAI Haircare CLEAN Shampoo

OUAI — CLEAN Shampoo Review

I love my Ipsy subscription nowadays, even though most things I receive are just a “like” for me. Mostly I just enjoy trying a variety of products and brands, which is why I feel that the subscription is worth it for me.

But occasionally, I do come across an item in my Glam Bag that prompts me to get spendy. Trust Fund Beauty is one recent example (I now have quite a lot of these nail polishes!). Another is OUAI, whose Treatment Masque for hair was a product I really enjoyed, even though I preferred using it as a conditioner rather than as a mask.

I was tempted to pick up the full-sized Treatment Masque, but it comes in single-use foil packs rather than in a nice squeeze tube like my sample came in. Ugh. So, I thought I’d venture into the rest of their product line.

Normally, I’d have picked up one of their conditioners, since that’s how I was using the masque, but I had recently finished up a couple of shampoos.

I decided I’d go for the CLEAN Shampoo when Ebates Canada was offering 8% cashback at Sephora (and, ahem, there was a clearance on some Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows). In hindsight, the VOLUME Shampoo would have made more sense due to my current postpartum hair loss, but summer is upon us and I like to use a clarifying shampoo more often when it’s hot out.

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Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG

DECIEM — The Ordinary Coverage Foundation (2.0YG) Review

Before I go into the review, Toronto-based DECIEM came out with some big news yesterday—they’ve sold a stake in the company to Estée Lauder.

View this post on Instagram

The very very big thing has happened. It will change everything and yet nothing will change at all! @esteelaudercompanies (a really really big company behind really really big brands) has today acquired a minority stake in DECIEM. The ELC team embraced us like a loving family from the very first meeting to the emotional hugs at closing. Instead of trying to control things like big companies sometimes do, ELC insists that we continue to be who we are. We are really emotional today because we know that, together with ELC, we are going to lead innovation in beauty and bring you more and more of very good things (and less and less of very bad delays). We are here today because of your support and love for us along our journey in the past few years. We promise that every step we take will be one to continue to recognize your support. (PS1- No, we won’t change who we are in any way; PS2- Brandon is and will still be the CEO; PS3- Yes, we have a lot of money now to invest in big infrastructure so we can serve you very promptly; PS4- Yes, we will have many more stores in many more places; PS5- We never have and will not test on animals. ; PS6- No, we won’t raise the prices of products we sell to you; PS7- ELC may seem like a big conglomerate, but please believe us when we say that it has a big soul and a team of truly loving people; PS8- The release is here: elc.deciem.com) 🙈🐒🐒🐒❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by THE ABNORMAL BEAUTY COMPANY (@deciem) on

The very very big thing has happened. It will change everything and yet nothing will change at all! @esteelaudercompanies (a really really big company behind really really big brands) has today acquired a minority stake in DECIEM. The ELC team embraced us like a loving family from the very first meeting to the emotional hugs at closing. Instead of trying to control things like big companies sometimes do, ELC insists that we continue to be who we are. We are really emotional today because we know that, together with ELC, we are going to lead innovation in beauty and bring you more and more of very good things (and less and less of very bad delays). We are here today because of your support and love for us along our journey in the past few years. We promise that every step we take will be one to continue to recognize your support. (PS1- No, we won’t change who we are in any way; PS2- Brandon is and will still be the CEO; PS3- Yes, we have a lot of money now to invest in big infrastructure so we can serve you very promptly; PS4- Yes, we will have many more stores in many more places; PS5- We never have and will not test on animals. ; PS6- No, we won’t raise the prices of products we sell to you; PS7- ELC may seem like a big conglomerate, but please believe us when we say that it has a big soul and a team of truly loving people; PS8- The release is here: elc.deciem.com) 🙈🐒🐒🐒❤️❤️❤️

The optimist in me wants to say good for them! And that this new injection of money will seriously improve their production and distribution, particularly considering the issues they had upon the recent launch of their first colour cosmetics.

The pessimist in me realizes that The Estée Lauder Companies is one of the world’s largest cosmetic conglomerates, with brands like Clinique, MAC, Too Faced, Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Becca, Origins, Smashbox, La Mer, Aveda, Jo Malone, Le Labo and more under its umbrella. It seems possible that formulations might become altered, prices may start to increase, and some of the things that I personally liked about the company will change: being local, cruelty-free (Estée Lauder is not cruelty-free), and the values they claimed to have about honesty in skincare.

Each box DECIEM mails out has ABNORMAL BEAUTY COMPANY emblazoned on it in bold, sans-serif letters. It rings a bit false now that there’s a beauty behemoth behind the scenes.

Deciem box

In any case, Brandon Truaxe will remain DECIEM’s CEO (he has previous with launching a company only to sell it, and was also a founder of Indeed Labs). The company’s fans, including myself, will have to hope that this move allows DECIEM to grow comfortably, without losing sight of what made them so very popular in the first place.

•••••

This week, I test drove Canadian skincare brand DECIEM’s first foray into color makeup with one of their two new foundations.

In April, they released a Serum Foundation and a Coverage Foundation under one of their brands, The OrdinaryI picked up both in the color 2.0YG (Light Medium, Yellow Undertones with Gold Highlights) for my NC25–30 skintone.

Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG, bottles

Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG, color labels

Last week, I reviewed the Serum Foundation, and I wasn’t a huge fan.

Today, I’m reviewing the Coverage Foundation, which, obviously, is meant to provide more coverage. It claims a light cream texture, full coverage, higher pigmentation than the Serum Foundation, and a semi-matte finish. The shade I got, as indicated by the “G” in the name, has additional subtle gold highlights mixed in.

Sounds good to me!

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theBalm Hot Ticket Nail Polish in All You Ever Do Is Taupe, swatch

theBalm — All You Ever Do Is Taupe (Hot Ticket Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

Brand: theBalm

I actually stayed up late last night (I’ve been averaging about 5–6 hours of sleep a night, not good) swatching a polish for today, but then in my morning stupor, I accidentally deleted the pictures. Hooray for me. It was Zoya Temperance, which is awesome so I have to reswatch it for you guys soon. But anyway, this morning, I decided to do something different.

theBalm is not a brand I normally associate with nail polish—I think of blush and maybe eyeshadow. It’s also not a brand I run into very often, mostly since in Canada, the only brick-and-mortar retailer I know of is Rexall pharmacy, which until recently was not one I went to very often. (I’m a Shoppers Drug Mart girl, OK?) But in the last couple of years, Rexall have opened up bigger stores downtown that are more convenient for me to visit, so I’ve been popping in occasionally to check out the brands they carry that aren’t available at Shoppers.

Some Rexall locations carry theBalm, and last week, I finally visited a location that had a display, at Queen & University in Toronto. Luckily, this display stocked around twelve to fifteen shades of theBalm’s Hot Ticket Nail Polish and they were about half off! Or perhaps not so luckily, since it probably means they’re getting rid of them.

I picked one up last week for $4.96—they’re normally $10 (US and CA, for some reason)—then returned this week when Rexall was running a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” sale on nail polish. So, I managed to get three more theBalm polishes for a tidy sum of $9.92!

theBalm actually produces 31 shades of polish (not quite Baskin-Robbins) and unfortunately, the Rexall I went to mostly carried tame shades of red, pink, and brown. Gah! No pretty blues, yellows or greens.

But here’s what I got, anyway:

theBalm Hot Ticket Nail Polish haulage, June 2017

  • Strawberry Fields Forevah
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Plum
  • All You Ever Do Is Taupe
  • You’re So Hot and Gold

The names are on the wordier side, aren’t they?

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Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG

DECIEM — The Ordinary Serum Foundation (2.0YG) Review

This week, I test drove Canadian skincare brand DECIEM’s first foray into color makeup with one of their two new foundations.

In April, they released a Serum Foundation and a Coverage Foundation. I picked up both in the color 2.0YG (Light Medium, Yellow Undertones with Gold Highlights) for my NC25–30 skintone.

Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG, bottles

Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG, color labels

Today, I’m reviewing the Serum Foundation, which is the more lightweight version. It claims a light serum texture, medium coverage, excellent pigmentation, and a semi-matte finish. The shade I got, as indicated by the “G” in the name, has additional subtle gold highlights mixed in.

The formula is fairly liquid and serum-like, and it is indeed well-pigmented.

Deciem The Ordinary Colours Serum & Coverage Foundations in 2.0YG, swatch

This foundation also has SPF15, though it can only be claimed in the EU:

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Marcelle Face Powder, Translucent

Throwback Thursday! Marcelle — Face Powder (Translucent) Review, Plus a Massive Loose Powder Cost Comparison Chart

For non-Canadians, Marcelle is a Canadian cosmetic brand that has been around for a very, very long time.

Marcelle and Annabelle are the mass market cosmetic lines owned by Québec-based Groupe Marcelle, and they are practically ubiquitous in Canadian drugstores. Groupe Marcelle, also very recently acquired Lise Watier, a luxury Canadian cosmetic brand, to add to their drugstore lineup.

While Annabelle is better known for makeup (I even remember their squat little oval nail polish bottles from the ’90s, though sadly, I never purchased any), Marcelle is probably best known for skincare and the product I’m reviewing today: their Translucent Face Powder, which has been around for ages.

Marcelle as a brand never appealed much to me—probably because they don’t sell nail polish, ha! Jokes aside, their face products always seemed a little too pink-toned for my warm-toned skin, and while their popular eye makeup remover works well and is well-priced, I’d rather pony up a little bit more for something better. Their makeup packaging is also decidedly ho-hum and a bit lost in the ’90s, and reminiscent of Almay’s stodgier sister.

However, at the end of 2014, I was in the market for a new loose face powder and I picked up Marcelle’s Face Powder in Translucent. It was a total whim, since I didn’t even wait for it to go on sale. Of course, I paid CA$14.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart, and then it went on sale the week after.

I can’t say it wasn’t worth full price, though. The tub is gargantuan.

It holds 2.4 oz / 70 g. Do you know how much loose face powder that is?!

Loose Powder Cost Comparison Chart

Because I have insomnia, I compiled a table of loose powder prices by weight. Note that this Marcelle powder can be found at Well.ca and some drugstores for $14.99, though Marcelle’s website lists it at $15.95. I’m using the cheaper price since that’s what I see in drugstores, where one is more likely to buy it. (But even at $15.99, it still ranks as the best value on this list.)

Then, this morning, I went and scoped out a couple others in-store (Joe Fresh, Quo, and Iman).

All of the following 85 (yep) loose powders are available in Canada, and prices are listed in $CA. [2017-10-28 EDIT: This chart is now being updated on the Product Value: Loose Powder page.]

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