Sparkled Beauty

I Live to Shine


Smashbox Primer must-haves

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Another value set on Sephora that caught my attention: Smashbox Primer must-haves, $30 ($57.50 value). I never tried either of the products but sure was curious about them so I decided to grab the set.

The items included in the set:
- Photo Finish Pore Minimizing oil free foundation primer (full size 1oz, reg. $50)
I did not realize how expensive Smashbox primers are now, so this set is the way to go if you want this primer specifically.

- Photo Finish primer water (travel size 0.5oz, reg. $15 for 1oz or $37 for 3.9oz).

I personally do not think primers have to get all fancy, since I do enjoy a few inexpensive versions that work for my skin. Therefore, the purpose of this post is more to let you know about this set than to rave about something new.

Now the Photo Finish Pore Minimizing oil free foundation primer sounds like just the thing for me with areas with large pores and an oily T zone.

Smashbox says the product reduces the look of pores, absorbs oil while being non-drying, sweat and humidity resistant. To wear it alone, over or under makeup, or dab on for touchups.

I find the claims prove half way. I do enjoy the mattifying and subtle blurring effects that the primer gives but they do not last through the day, and I still need to blot by lunch time.

Here is the texture of the Pore Minimizing primer (left) in comparison to Benefit Porefessional face primer (right).

It is not easy to tell by the picture, but Smashbox Pore Minimizing primer is quite a bit thicker, hence takes a bit more time to blend out. I would say the blurring effect is about the same between the 2 primers. Price per oz is also the same (unless you get the 1.5oz jumbo size, online only, at $50). Overall, I am indifferent about these two.

The Photo Finish primer water is more interesting to me, as it is a primer spray that is supposed to hydrate and revitalize the skin.

I am a fan of the spray format, anything that saves me time in the morning. And the formula is silicone/ alcohol/ oil free, packed with electrolytes that work to reawaken skin and restore moisture. It sprays on finely and absorbs into the skin quickly. So far so good.

What excites me is the multi purposes that the spray can be used for - a primer to prep the skin for makeup, a setting spray after makeup, or a refreshing spray through the day (or a cooling spray if stored in the fridge in the summer).

Now I like this primer water the most before makeup. It is quick and easy, wakes my skin up first thing in the morning, not super hydrated but works well with my moisturizer. It does an ok job for the other 2 purposes in a pinch but I would stick to Skindinavia spray to set and Tatcha mist to hydrate during the day.

I would say the set is a fun way to try both products or to stock up on the Pore Minimizing primer if you are already a fan. It is LE however, so keep an eye on it if you want it.


Benefit Cheekathon palette

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I like Benefit boxed blushes but find them a bit bulky to store or carry around. Then they go and pack 5 bestselling box o' powder blushes and bronzers into the Cheekathon blush and bronzer palette.

I already have a shade or two but wouldn't mind having all 5 in one place so I bought it. The only question is why they didn't do this sooner!

Would not have minded either if they put the 6th shade (Hervana or Sugarbomb) in place of the brush, as we all know we would travel with our makeup brushes anyway.

Packaging is pretty, Benefit style. The cardboard box is sturdy and comes with a mirror.

The tray that holds the blushes and bronzers is removable, so you can repurpose the box. I might look into depotting the colours even.

The shade names are luckily printed on the  tray and also on the clear plastic sheet that covers it.

The colours do look slightly different, depending on the lighting. All full sized!

First row: Dandelion (soft pale pink, 0.25oz), Hoola (matte bronzer, 0.28oz) and Rockateur (rose gold, 0.17oz).
Second row: Dallas (dusty rose, 0.32oz), Coralista (coral pink, 0.28oz) and the natural-bristle brush.

Swatches for blushes/ bronzers normally don't do them justice. The bronzers look natural on but are slightly light for me. Coralista looks the best on me among the 3 blushes. Dandelion is very cool toned, and Rockateur is shimmery, more occasion specific.

The $75 price tag is a steal, considering the size you get ($188 value, as each shade retails for $36). I do recommend this palette, unless you already have all the shades and don't mind them separately.


Kat Von D Innerstellar eye & lip set

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I resisted Kat Von D Innerstellar eyeshadow palette when it first came out but failed when Sephora brought out the Innerstellar eye & lip set.

A set with all full sized items, and they all are the ones I wanted to try. Guess we can't miss it again, especially during the VIB sale, can we? :)

This set comes with the Innerstellar palette, a Lightning liner and 2 lip products, neatly packed in a sturdy black ziploc-style bag. Add in a blush and you are set for colour face makeup for a short trip or a weekend away.

A closer look at the Innerstellar palette, with matte and shimmery cool toned shades (3x0.08oz + 9x0.04oz, totalling 0.6oz of eyeshadows, reg. $55).

Despite rave reviews on YT and blogs, this palette gives me a mixed feeling. Some shades I fall in love at first swatch, and some fall a little short.

The first 3 shades in the first quad are a little lighter in pigmentation - Gravitron (described as a soft iridescent pink), Night Crawler (matte dusty beige), Dios (silvery gray iridescence).

Lunacy (rich pearlized purple) is, one of the best performed purples I have tried, despite the slightly firmer texture. It does not need much building up at all.

The second quad is a great one, with Vast (pearlized taupe, an easy all-over-lid shade), Astrological (pale lilac sheen, a little sheer when blended), Darkstar (purplish pewter, very very pigmented) and Orion (matte chocolate brown, great for the crease).

The last quad has Lycan (matte cream, the brow bone shade), 2 metallic shades - 3am (metallic champagne) and Moonshine (metallic silver), and Killing Moon (matte black, great pigmentation but slightly firmer to the touch, harder to blend).

I love all the dark and metallic shades in this palette, plus the 2 purples. They blend easily and stay on through the day with a primer. The more neutral shades could be more pigmented and slightly less powdery, but overall, the Innerstellar palette is nice to have.

The accompanying product, also for the eyes, is the Lightning liner in Poe (metallic purple with violet shimmer, 0.04oz, reg. $25).

Among different lines of eyeliners at Kat Von D, the Lightnings are supposed to be metallic liquid eyeliners with a brush tip.

The design includes a stopper that sits between the tube and the cap, to be removed the first time you use the liner to allow the cap to close tightly onto the tube. Then turn the dial to dispense the product onto the tip - one click for a thin line and more clicks if you want a bold line.

This is both a pro and con to the product. Yes you get fresh ink every time you go apply your eyeliner, but the amount is harder to control with clicks. One side of the brush might get more product than the other. The metallic sheen is undeniably beautiful though.

The Everlasting liquid lipstick (0.22 oz, reg. $24) would probably need no introduction at all, but it is worth noting that the tube is narrow and long, hence the wand is also very long, slightly awkward to maneuver.

Armageddon (described as a carnation pink) does not seem to be a colour from the existing core line, might be exclusive to this set, I can't say for sure.

The Studded Kiss lipstick line (0.1oz, reg. $26) is quite new to me. Packaging is very cool, feels sturdy too.

The colour they choose for the set is Wonderchilde (an iridescent neon lilac) is interesting. It looks bold and dark in the tube but applies slightly sheer (but buildable), and get this, duochrome-y. It looks pink in one angle and purple in another. I love it!

On my medium skin tone, Wonderchilde actually looks more flattering than Armageddon, which is a little too blue toned. On a flip side though, the lipstick cannot beat the liquid lipstick in terms of wear time. Neither of them is a work safe colour either :)

Think you saw these swatches before? Yes, they were the testing product for The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter I showed you last week. That could illustrate lasting power - the liner held on the longest while the lipstick came off easily.

This Innerstellar eye & set is LE, online only, VIB and VIB Rouge exclusive [lots of restrictions there], $85 ($128 value). Great for those of us who are collectors :)


Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

It took Canada a while to catch up with the Urban Decay Revolution lipstick sale in the US. I got a few from UD Canada website before Sephora put them on sale.

I bought 3 original Revolution lipsticks (gunmetal tubes) - Rapture, Manic and Venom, and 3 Matte Revolution lipsticks (black tubes) - 1993, Bittersweet and After Dark.

I assume you all have had experience with these lipsticks before, so just a brief summary for those who haven't. The Revolution lipstick formula is very comfortable to wear, even with the matte finish, and strong pigmentation. They wear really well on the lips and fade gradually. I am not interested in the sheer finish, so don't have comments on those.

According to Urban Decay, the Pigment Infusion System gives the original Revolution lipsticks their creamy texture and good pigmentation. Additionally, a blend of jojoba oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and shea butter keeps the lips  moisturized and look fuller.

Here are Rapture (described as a dusty rose), Manic (a soft wine) and Venom (a bright plum), in the sun and in the shade.

The Matte Revolution lipsticks is still very creamy on application, and non drying, thanks to a blend of avocado, olive and babassu oils. Also, shea butter and illipe butter provide long-lasting moisture, and vitamins C and E offer antioxidant effect.

Swatches of 1993 (a matte medium brown), Bittersweet (a matte bright purple) and After Dark (a matte medium-dark berry pink).

I only have positive things to say about these lipsticks, grab them while they are still on sale. The tube is 0.09oz/ 2.8g, CAD26 down to CAD13 right now.


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Shoppers: lots of free gift with purchase for fragrances this week. Beauty Gala is on Saturday with makeovers and skin consultation, $5 from each ticket sold goes to Beauty Gives Back

*** All week: x20 points when you spend $75 or more on cosmetics, select skin care, fragrances, jewelry, hair colour, bath foam & gel, nail care, hosiery
- Vichy skin care: 20% off
- Avene Physiolift, Serenage, Ystheal skin care: 20% off
- Neostrata lightening/ Radiance skin care: 30% off
- Olay skin care: 30% off
- Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Aveeno facial cleanser: CAD7.99
- L'Oreal Dermo Expertise, Sublime facial cleanser: CAD9.99
- Spectro, Impruv, Prevex, Uremol acne care: 20% off
- Sally Hansen Airbrush legs: 20% off
- Herbal Essences, Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- L'Oreal Hair Expertise, TreSemme hair care: CAD4.99
- Pantene, Ogx, Whole Blends hair care: CAD6.99
- Dove, Marc Anthony hair care: CAD7.99

- Revlon All-in-One mascara, Colorburst lip: CAD7.99; ColorStay makeup: CAD16.99
- Maybelline Dream, Fit Me makeup: CAD9.99; The Rock Nude palette, Master contour, Brow Drama pro palette: CAD14.99
- CoverGirl Supersizer Fibers mascara: CAD7.99; Plumpify mascara, Outlast lip, TruNaked eye: CAD9.99
- L'Oreal Brow Artist, Voluminous mascara, Infallible eyeliner: CAD8.99Infallible lip: CAD12.99
- NYX lip, eye makeup (selected): CAD8.99; Strobe of Genius, highlight & contour palette: CAD26.99
- Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick, blush, Scandal Eyes eye makeup: 2/CAD10 or CAD6.99 each; Volume Colorist mascara: CAD10.99
- L'Oreal Colour Riche nail polish: CAD5.99
- Essie: CAD7.99
- Misslyn nail polish: 2/CAD9.99
- Lancome GWP of $36 or more.

*** Bonus Optimum points:
- 8,000 points with Giorgio Armani Si
- 8,000 points with Marc Jacobs Mother's Day gift sets
- 5,000 points with Avene Emulsion SPF50 (50ml) or kids spray SPF50 (200ml)
- 4,000 points with $20 Joe Fresh jewelry purchase
- 3,000 points with La Roche-Posay Anthelios tinted primer SPF45 or Ultra Fluid SPF50
- 2,500 points with 2 Quo by Orly Color Amp'd nail polish
- 2,000 points with 2 Quo lip products
- 2,000 points with 2 Olia hair colours
- 1,500 points with Kermax Essential day foam or thickening hair serum
- 1,000 points with 2 Revlon implements
- x20 points with Strivectin Supercharge, Skin Restore or Wrinkle Fighting kit
- x15 points with CoverGirl Outlast, TruBlend makeup
- x10 points with Quo cosmetic bags
- x5 points with Vichy Idealia after sun oil (200ml).

- Neostrata, Cliniderm: 20% off
- L'Oreal: 25% off
- Maybelline Volume Express mascara: CAD5.99
- Marcelle eye, lip: 25% off
- NYX Pro lip cream palette: CAD14.99 (bonus miles)
- LA Colors/ LA Girl eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner: 20% off
- Essie: CAD7.99
- Maybelline Color Show nail polish: 50% off
- Danielle oval standing mirror: CAD19.99 ($26 off).

- L'Oreal La Palette lip, brow kit: CAD13.96
- Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick: CAD5.97
- Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation: CAD11.96
- Rimmel Volume Colourist mascara: CAD9.98
- Biore skin care: CAD6.97
- Pond's skin care: CAD5.97
- L'Oreal RevitaLift, Age Perfect skin care: CAD19.77
- Dove hair care: CAD3.74
- Marc Anthony hair care: CAD7.94.

Superstore: No tax on Saturday (NS)
- Garnier micellar water: CAD6.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD9.99)
- St. Ives facial scrub, body lotion, lotion spray, body wash: CAD3.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD4.79)
- Garnier Whole Blends (370ml): CAD4.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD6.99)
- TreSemme hair care: CAD3.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD6.49)
- L'Oreal EverPure hair care, Elnett styling, Feria hair colour: CAD8.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD10.99)
- Nexxus hair care: CAD12.99 (limit 6, over limit: CAD16.99)
- Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte lip: CAD10.99; Face Studio Master contour kit, Master Fix setting spray: CAD12.99
- L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte gloss, Butterfly Sculpt mascara: CAD10.99
- CoverGirl Clean powder, foundation: CAD6.99
- Revlon mascara: CAD7.99; cream/ powder blush, bronzer: CAD9.99
- Joe Fresh blush stick: CAD8
- Almay foundation, concealer, powder, blush: 20% off.

The Bay: Celebrating its 346th birthday with gift card giveaway online and extra 15% off on almost anything with a Hudson's Bay credit card/ MasterCard with code "LOVEMOM". Exclusions apply.

Sears: Coupons/ codes in the flyer for $20 off $100 or $50 off $200 on sale priced fashion & home items in store or online until Sunday, with exclusions.

Bath and Body Works: $10 off $30 coupon on FB, today only
- 3-wick candles: $15, single wick candles: $10
- Signature body care: B3G3F
- Select Specialty body care: B2G1F
- Hand soaps: $3.50
- Wallflowers bulbs: 6/$27.50 or 4/$22.50
- Pocket Bacs: 7/$10 or 3/$5
- Scentportable refills: 4/$12
- Scentportable holders: BOGO.

The Body Shop: B3G3F in store or 40% off online until Sunday, with exclusions.

The LE Royal tote for Mother's Day is still on for $35 ($105 value) with a $30 purchase until May 8, including:
- Drops of Youth concentrate (30ml)
- Shea body butter (200ml)
- Satsuma shower gel (200ml)
- Almond hand & nail cream (100ml) and 
- A cream bath lily.


Clinique Take the Day Off balm

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Now that we discussed The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter, we also need to explore its higher end friend - Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm.

I will admit it took me a long while to purchase this product because I was very happy with The Body Shop cleansing butter. For curiosity, and for the blog, I did venture out. And the verdict is I don't like it as much.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with Clinique Take the Day Off. The basics are very similar to The Body Shop's version - a lightweight makeup remover that goes from balm to oil upon application, dissolves face and eye makeup (emphasizing on those with sunscreen) and then rinses off completely.

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Trisostearate, Water, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol.

In a nutshell, Take the Day Off has Safflower Seed oil instead of Olive Fruit oil in The Body Shop cleansing butter, without shea butter and fragrance.

Now I find removing makeup is just as relaxing and fun as putting it on, and scent plays an important role in that process, to me. A scent-free cleansing balm would be perfect for those with sensitive skin, but not for me.

Second reason I prefer The Body Shop cleansing butter: size and price.

Take the Day Off is 3.8oz/ 125ml (almost one and a half times bigger) and costs $36, twice as much as The Body Shop cleansing butter or 4 times if I get it 50% off, plus its thicker plastic jar is not as travel friendly as the thin metal jar with The Body Shop.

To conclude, I will stick with The Body Shop cleansing butter once I finish Take the Day Off, but I hope I give you options for the cleansing balm that suits your skin needs.


Lise Watier Hydraforce cream

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Another item for review from Glam Sense (under the Topbox umbrella): Lise Watier Hydraforce Hydra-Protective comforting cream ($45) with Gaspe Algae extract (the algae with high resistance against harsh environment) to promote skin's hydration and its ability to protect itself.

HydraForce is named the new Canadian line of weatherproof moisturizers, where skin is 3 times more hydrated. The comforting cream itself is very pleasant to use. A nice fresh scent, like a typical scent of a higher end skin product. which does not linger long.

The texture is light, almost like the cream is lightly whipped before being bottled. It absorbs quickly but does feel slightly sticky after if you run your fingers across the skin.

The brand suggests to apply the cream to the face morning and/or evening. Because of the light stickiness, I prefer to use it at night.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Cetyl Alcohol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Leaf Cell Extract, Squalane, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, etc.

Lise Watier also introduces the Hydra-Detect app, with sensor (pictured above) to measure your skin hydration during the testing period of products in the line, quite fun to play with.

It is free to download, but you will need the hydration tool plugged in on your phone through the microphone jack, then touch the 2 little silver wing nobs to different skin areas to measure the hydration levels.

The legends for skin moisture level:
- 20-30%: dry
- 30-40%: normal
- Above 40%: hydrated
- 60%: exceptional.

I was at Shoppers once during one of the beauty galas where they had the little machine to measure skin hydration and I got pretty bad reading. This year, I have Obagi Professional-C serum and Vichy Neovadiol Magistral Elixir to thanks, as the app showed quite positive figures even before the comforting cream.

Here are the readings on my T-zone before and after using the product:

Similarly readings for the cheek area:

I am glad to see improvement in hydration instantly, but will need at least a month to confirm the effect on the skin. The samples were sent out in waves and I received mine a lot later than most others. I will update the post down the road.


TBS Camomile cleansing butter

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

I am still wondering sometimes why cleansing balms do not get the raves that they deserve, compared to cleansing oils.

Balms do just as good of a job if not better than oils in removing makeup and impurities from your face and leaving the skin so soft. It is also in a solid form (only melts when it comes to contact with the skin), much less messy to use and to store, super convenient for traveling.

The first cleansing balm I tried was The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous cleansing butter, and it was really hard to try others after. Yes, it is that good!

The Community Fair Trade camomile water used in this cleansing butter is made with freshly cut flowers, steam-pressed and cooled by Norfolk Essential Oils, a family-run co-operative in England, to produce essential oil.

The texture almost feels like coconut oil when it is solid, smooth, soft to the touch and fast to melt. The scent is clean, slightly floral but very gentle.

Instructions: Apply to dry face and massage into skin, rinse off with warm water or remove with a wet muslin cloth for a more thorough cleanse.

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate (skin conditioning agent), Synthetic Wax (binder/ emollient), PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate (skin conditioning agent), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (skin conditioning agent - emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (skin conditioning agent), Tocopherol (antioxidant), Fragrance, Water (solvent), etc.

A little illustration of how the balm works its magic. These are swatches of a liquid liner, a lipstick and a long wearing liquid lipstick, with the balm being massaged on for a few seconds.

At this stage, the liner holds on the best while the lipstick does not stand any chance but they all wash off so fast once rinsed off under the water. No trace left behind!

I am half way through my current jar (the pic above is of the brand new backup), and have no intention of stopping. I heard it is also a great cleanser for your makeup brushes and beauty blenders but have not had the heart to try it :)

The balm is 2.7oz/ 76g/ 90ml, $16, suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers. Catch a 50% off or B3G3F sale at The Body Shop for it.


Obagi Medical

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

A major skin care post for you today - one of the most expensive product lines I have tried, one of the longest testing periods I invested in, and one of the most visible effects I have seen on my skin.

It is all about Obagi Medical products - ELASTIderm Eye Complete Complex serum and Eye treatment cream, and Professional-C serum 15%, sent to me for review over 2 months ago. The press release suggested a 9-week testing time frame, and I have gone slightly over that. Time for a review :)

Obagi ELASTIderm eye Complete Complex serum, with caffeine, is to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles dramatically, improve elasticity and firmness and achieve more resilient looking skin.

Now caffeine in skin care, an antioxidant to help decongest and reduce under-eye puffiness, is not new by any means - as seen on the blog with 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye cream, Garnier Miracle sleeping cream, Vichy LiftActiv Supreme or H2O Instant hydrating stick, so I assume you all know about its effects by now.

On top of that, the eye serum also has a bi-mineral complex that helps replenish elasticity and support collagen for tighter, smoother-looking skin and Malonic Acid to help stimulate the production of healthy skin cells for overall skin improvement.

I love the rollerball format, very easy to apply the serum - simply roll on the outside and underneath the eye area gently and smooth it in until fully absorbed.

The opaque tube, however, means I cannot tell how much product is left inside after 2 months of constant use (once a day in the morning) to gauge the value of the product.

I tested this serum together with the eye cream below, so let me introduce them both before reviewing them.

Ingredients: Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Caffeine, Malonic Acid, Zinc Carbonate, Arginine, Laureth-9, Copper Carbonate Hydroxide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

The tube has 0.47oz/ 14ml of product, retails $110.

The ELASTIderm eye treatment cream uses a Restorative Elasticity complex to help improve elasticity and collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Almost the same size as the serum above, but the eye cream comes in a jar. And let me tell you, I barely made a dent to the surface after 2 months, as all it took was a light dab of a finger to pick up enough product for both eyes.

I apply the eye cream on the exact same eye areas as the serum, after giving the serum a bit of time to absorb.

Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, C13-15 Alkane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, PEG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, etc.

The jar is 0.5oz/ 15g, $116. Could have been a tube for better sanitary option, but not a deal breaker.

Now together, the duo works well on my over-40's eye area, with fine wrinkles and light puffiness.They are quick to apply and absorb, make concealer go on easily and keep the area hydrated through the day. The effect is visible about the 4th week in and continue on consistently.

I do realize they are already a big investment individually but would still suggest them if you have the issues that they tackle and have the budget for them, or at least the serum.

And lastly, the product I fall in love the most is the Professional-C serum 15%, meant to neutralize free radicals at all layers of the skin and prevent them from damaging skin cells and accelerating aging.

Again, vitamin C for the skin is not new. The closest product to this serum I have tried in the past, in format, was Palmer's Skin Therapy oil., but there was no indication of the amount of vitamin C in the ingredients.

According to Obagi:
- 10% Vitamin C is effective for dry, irritated or sensitive skin
- 15% offers high performance for most skin types and
- 20% is best for normal to oily skin.
I am definitely in the 20% category, but 15% is a safe start.

The packaging is great - dark bottle to protect the antioxidants, the dropper is easy and mess free for an oil product. The oil is lightly orange tinted but does not leave any discoloring on the skin.

I use about 5 drops for the face and neck in the morning before sunscreen and makeup, as suggested. There was a warning of slight tingling that might occur, which will diminish with continued use, but I did not experience that. The scent is so light, I hardly notice it. By week 4, I saw the best version of my skin in a long time.

Now the serum did not cure acne nor create a once-in-a-lifetime miracle, but it took years of my skin. I feel 30 in this skin - plump, smooth and other products go on my face like a dream. If you have not experience high-potency Vitamin C, try it!

Ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Water, L-Ascorbic Acid, Alcohol, Ascorbyl Glycoside, Fragrance.

The bottle is 1oz/ 30ml, $102. I am about half way through it after 2 months. This would be something I am willing to repurchase. The brand suggests to call 1-855-904-4884 for an Obagi skin care physician in your area.


Weekly flyer deals

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

Sephora Halifax Shopping Centre has a Benefit event featuring the Hoola collection today and tomorrow. Call the store for more info.

The Base Coat, a local nail blogger, is launching her nail vinyl online store today at noon. Please support her if nail vinyls are your thing. Use code "TWAPRIL" for 20% off, shipping is free for Canada, $2 for US.

*** Saturday & Sunday: Free $10 Indigo bonus card with $50 purchase.

*** Sunday & Monday: Quo brushes: 40% off.

*** All week:
- Neostrata, Cliniderm skin care: 30% off
- Reversa skin care: 25% off
- Marcelle facial cleansing cloths, eye makeup remover: 20% off
- Neutrogena skin/ sun care: 30% off
- Biore, Clean & Clear, L'Oreal facial cleanser: CAD7.99
- Olay Total Effects, L'Oreal, Aveeno facial moisturizer: CAD19.99
- Garnier Fructis, Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- L'Oreal Voluminous mascara, Colour Riche mono eyeshadow/ lip: CAD6.99
- Maybelline Lash Sensational/ Volume Express mascara: CAD8.99; Color Sensational lip: CAD9.99
- CoverGirl Simply Ageless makeup: 20% off; Supersizer mascara, Ready Set Gorgeous makeup: CAD7.99; TruNaked palette, Outlast foundation, TruBlend liquid makeup: CAD12.99
- Rimmel makeup: 25% off
- Physicians Formula InstagramReady BB cream/ stick: 30% off
- Essie Bridal collection: CAD7.99
- Katy Perry/ Vera Wang fragrances: 25% off
- Quo Luxury cotton pads (165's): CAD6.99.

*** Bonus Optimum points:
- x15 points with $15 purchase on participating nail products from L'Oreal, Revlon, Sally Hansen, Essie, Quo by Orly and Misslyn
- x15 points with Quo lashes, implements
- x15 points with Joe Fresh implements
- x15 points with Strivectin skin care
- x10 points with Gosh makeup
- x10 points with Soap & Glory Sit Tight intense body serum (125ml)
- x5 points with No7 Beautiful Skin quick thinking wipes
- 7,500 points with $75 Clinique purchase
- 2,500 points with any Smashbox mascara
- 2,500 points with 2 Garnier Olia hair colours
- 1,000 points with Sonicare power toothbrush.

- Garnier, L'Oreal RevitaLift skin care: 20% off (bonus Airmiles)
- Aussie hair care: CAD2.99
- Maybelline eyeshadow, eyeliner: 20% off
- L'Oreal lipstick, gloss, lip liner: 20% off
- Annabelle eyeshadow, bronzer, blush, Smoothliner, eye/ brow liner, Kohl duo eyeliner, eye makeup remover pads: 20% off
- Marcelle mascara, cleanser, eye makeup remover, moisturizer: 20% off
- NYX Butter gloss/ lipstick: CAD6.99
- Rimmel foundation, powder, concealer, blush, makeup remover: 25% off
- L'Oreal Extraordinaire gel nail polish: 50% off
- Baby Foot peel treatment: CAD15.99 (bonus miles).

- Herbal Essences, Aussie, Garnier Fructis hair care: 2/CAD5 or CAD2.99 each
- got2b, L'Oreal Hair Expertise hair care: CAD3.99
- Head & Shoulders, Pantene hair care: CAD6.99 (limit 6, over limit: $8.99)
- Marc Anthony hair care: CAD7.99
- L'Oreal Hydra Total 5 moisturizing cream: CAD9.99 (limit 6, over limit: $12.99)
- Simple cleansing wipes: CAD6.99 (limit 6, over limit: $8.49)
- Dove/ Axe dry spray: CAD4.99 (limit 6, over limit: $5.99).

Sears: Clinique GWP of $31 or more until May 9. The 7-piece gift, $85 value, includes:
- Foaming sonic facial soap (30ml)
- Turnaround overnight moisturizer (15ml)
- Clarifying lotion 2 (60ml)
- High Impact mascara
- Your choice of All About Shadow duo or and Long Last soft matte lipstick - Go Bold (Morning Java and Matte Crimson) or Go Nude (Night Cap and Matte Beauty)
- Lulu DK for Clinique cosmetic bag.

Sephora: x3 points with fragrances online and in stores until May 8.

Reminder: the freebie code "COLDFACE" for Perricone MD Cold Plasma Face deluxe sample (0.5oz, $99.50 value) with CAD25 orders still works this morning. Thanks Nouveau Cheap for the heads up.

Holt Renfrew: Beauty in Bloom event in store and online until Sunday, with GWPs on high-end brands, in store demos, etc.

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

- Hand soaps: 10/$35.50 or 5/$25.50
- Signature fragrance mists: $6
- Select Specialty body care: B2G1F
- 3-wick candles: 2/$38.50, single wick candles: $10
- Wallflowers bulbs: 6/$27.50 or 4/$22.50
- PocketBac: 7/$10 or 3/$5
- Scentportable refills: 4/$12, Scentportable holders: BOGO.

The Body Shop: 50% off when you buy 3 or more items in stores and online until Sunday.

Exclusions: items priced at $6 or less, Fresh Nude foundation, Adjusting drops, Spa of the World/ Oils of Life/ Drops of Youth/ British Rose/ Black Musk, Rose palette, Lip & Cheek stains, gift sets/ bundles, in store sale items, charitable items, gift cards/ LYB membership.

The LE Royal tote for Mother's Day is $35 ($105 value) with a $30 purchase, including:
- Drops of Youth concentrate (30ml)
- Shea body butter (200ml)
- Satsuma shower gel (200ml)
- Almond hand & nail cream (100ml) and 
- A cream bath lily.

Sally: Extra 50% off red tag clearance nail polish, cosmetics and skin care until Sunday.