Beauty Review: The Body Shop’s Beautifying Oils for Body, Face and Hair

Hello Pretties!

I’m back again with another beauty product review that coincides appropriately (yet unfortunately) with the never-ending-winter weather that us Canucks seem to be having this year. We’re nearing the end of February, where the sun is coming up a bit earlier and setting a bit later — a sure hint that spring is around the corner — but Old Man Winter just doesn’t want to leave us alone!

When winters are as bone-chilling and dry as the ones we’ve been having so far, it definitely wrecks havoc on my skin. Dry and itchy arms, legs, and everything in between (literally!).

I am a lotion lady. All the way. Summer, winter, spring and fall, I just don’t feel like myself unless I slather on some lotion on all my bits. The feeling of tight, dry skin is more severe in the colder seasons of course, but even during the warmer months, the feeling of sealing in any bit of moisture after a good shower is one of the best “aaahhh” feelings.

Sometimes I don’t have time in the morning as I get ready for work to do the whole “ooo aaaah..” zen body-lotion-smooting ritual. I miss spots, which then only become apparent when I go to lace up my shoe or hike up my trouser socks and feel that inevitable tight skin pull on my lower back or on the back of my arms. You know what I’m talking about, Pretties…

I’ve found an awesome solution to this problem – Beautifying Oils by The Body Shop. As you can see, I’ve got a couple stocked up — Coconut and Cocoa Butter scents (my favourite scent lines from The Body Shop). Apparently these dry oils can be used on the body, face and hair. Honestly, I have only used this on my body – although I’ve read reviews that some have used it on their hair and face and find the product to add primo hydration to these areas.

Beautifying Oils for Face, Body and Hair by The Body Shop in coconut and cocoa butter.

Beautifying Oils for Face, Body and Hair by The Body Shop in coconut and cocoa butter.

They come in a range of scents, including: coconut, cocoa butter, olive oil, moringa, shea butter, brazil nut, chocolate, mango, pink grapefruit, satsuma and strawberry. The oils are light in texture and also in scent, making them very wearable and any layering of matching (or non-matching) perfume scents won’t get mixed and messed up with the subtleness of the scent in the oils. I can only speak for the coconut and cocoa butter scents – I haven’t tried or smelled the other ones so I can’t say how strong or faint the fragrance is on those.

I keep one bottle on the corner of my bathtub and once I’m done showering, while still dripping wet, I squeeze about a quarter size amount into the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and rub the oil onto the lower half of my body. Ususally another squeeze will take care of the upper half of my body (I tend to put a lot because I love this stuff so much!). The formula extremely moisturizing and hydrating and seals in all that good moisture right after a shower. It doesn’t sit on the surface of your skin; it completely absorbs.  Throughout my day, even in the driest of atmospheres (i.e. the office), I don’t feel like I have to re-moisturize any part of my body with a top-up of body lotion or cream — this keeps dry skin at bay for my entire day. I can say with confidence as well, that my skin is in better condition now than it ever has been in terms of hydration and softness, thanks to this oil. I have been using the oil for about 3 months now — one bottle lasted me about 2 1/2 months, using it at least 5 times per week. I can forsee having this product in my shower arsenal well into my future.

Most of you are probably thinking, I could do this with a $3 bottle of plain old baby oil, right? Yes you can (that’s something my mom used to do and got me hooked on doing it too!). But these oils are just a little more fun, a little more luxurious and a little more indulgent… and what Pretty doesn’t deserve a little of all of that??!!

A 100ml bottle retails at The Body Shop for $15 Cdn. (Again, like I mentioned in a previous post, The Body Shop has various promotions through out the year and you can get quite a good deal on this if you catch a promo).

I give The Body Shop’s Beautifying Oils for Body, Face and Hair: a HIGH-FIVE (click here to see what a high-five means!)

Have you tried this oil? Did you like or dislike it and what is your favourite scent? Have you tried it on your body, face and hair? What’s your favourite after-shower moisturizer?

Thanks for tuning in Pretties!



Beauty Review: Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow

Hello Pretties!

Firstly, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you that have started reading and following my blog — I have had many Pretties give me feedback and let me know that they’ve enjoyed my posts so far! You Pretties are DA BEST!

Today I will talk about something that’s sort of new and unknown territory for me personally – eyeshadows! I never been an eyeshadow girl in the past. I always thought it was an extra step in my very minimal, very basic daily makeup routine that was just unnecessary and a bit too much for everyday. Not only that, I had no clue how to apply eyeshadow. I have watched online tutorials where Pretties give step-by-step instructions on how to do everything from a natural everyday eyeshadow look to a full-on smokey eye for an evening out. They make it look so simple! So I tried to copy. Fail. No beginner’s luck going on here. I am an eyeshadow dork.

But I’ve progressed. I’ve been experimenting with eyeshadow application for about four months now, maybe? I don’t usually do anything fancy or complex with application — most of my days are spent in an office setting, so no need for eyelid bling-bling.

Over the past few months, I’ve worked up a collection of mainly powder eyeshadows — mostly in neutral shades like browns, taupes and subdued gold tones — for experimentation and wearable shades for everyday. For pops of color, I’ve got a range of purples, pinks and rosy tones that I find compliment my brown eyes quite nicely.

Right now I’ve only got one eyeshadow brush. A good selection of eyeshadow brushes are necessary for proper application (as I’ve learned when watching tutorials). I’ve recently purchased some eyeshadow brushes that work for different purposes so I’m excited to put those to use to see if it makes application better for me (I’m sure it will).

But, if you are a beginner like me and want to try something that requires minimal effort to apply (you don’t even need a brush!), try the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow — this one I have in the colour 25 Bad to the Bronze:

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in shade Bad to the Bronze

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in shade 25 Bad to the Bronze

I chose this colour because bronze is somewhat of a neutral shade that can be worn everyday without making me look like an eyeshadow try-hard and provides me with a subtle, yet noticeable wash of colour. I think this colour would look awesome on many skin tones and would compliment pretty much any eye colour.

Excuse the blurry thumb in the corner!

The texture of this eyeshadow is creamy as it’s a cream gel formula. It’s very pigmented but with a light finger, you apply a light wash of colour or build it up for a more intense look. A little bit goes a long way — I usually take my middle finger, press and swirl around to get some colour on and then simply apply to my lid. I start in the middle of my eyelid, pressing gently and then blending side to side, working the colour outwards to the inner corner and outer corner of my eye. Then, to soften the look, I’ll take an eyeshadow brush (or my clean ring finger) and blend out the colour that’s made it’s way slightly over and above my crease. With any eyeshadow, blending is key, to not make you look like you’ve just plopped on a glump of eyeshadow on your lids — you don’t want the icy-blue-eyeshadows-on-Granny-lid-look! This formula is so easy to blend and if you go overboard with application, no worries — it’s so creamy that any “mistakes” can be easily blended away.

Bad to the Bronze swatch in natural light – a bit of a wash of shimmer (not glitter) depending on how the light catches your lids.

Bad to the Bronze swatch in natural light - the color in it's truest form in natural light, but without the light catching the shimmer.

Bad to the Bronze swatch in natural light – the colour in its’ truest form in natural light, but without the light catching the shimmer.

This claims to be a “24 hour” wearing eyeshadow. First off, who would wear eyeshadow (or any makeup for that matter) for a full straight 24 hours? No no no! Bad for the skin! But for the sake of marketing a product to essentially say that has super staying power — this definitely lives up to it’s claim. I’d guesstimate that typically I would have this on for a good 12 to 14 hours before washing my face at night. And it’s still on my lids! No creasing and no blotchiness to report. The color tends to fade only a LITTLE by that time of day.

With powder eyeshadows, I always use and eyeshadow primer before applying – it makes the color last longer and more vibrant. With the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow, I find no need to apply primer. This lasts great throughout the day on it’s own. And with having slightly oily eyelids, this formula doesn’t melt off my lids.

I purchased the Bad to the Bronze shade about 3 months ago and as you can see from the picture above, I’ve barely used up any of it — I use this probably about 4 times a week. With it being a cream gel formula, I do have to make sure that I close it tightly after every use, as I assume it will dry up, but with it’s sturdy glass jar, it serves well to protect the formula.

There are a variety of shades in the Maybelline Color Tattoo line in smooth, bold metallic shades. There’s another shade that I’ve been eyeing for a while now called Pomegranate Punk which is a deep red-burgandy shade that I think would look really pretty on.

I got this on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $6.99 (unsure of regular price, but I think around the $10 range).

I give the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow: a SHOULDER SHRUG (just short of a HIGH FIVE because I would probably only ever re-purchase this if only on sale).

Have you tried cream gel eyeshadow formulas? How do you like them? What are your favorites?

Thanks again for tuning in Pretties!

🙂  Tess

Beauty Review: Drugstore BB Creams – Hits & Misses

Hello Pretties!

I came a little late on the BB cream scene, but I have stuck to it for probably a good eight months now. I’ve forgone my usual foundation wearing days and have come to appreciate a much lighter coverage on my skin thanks to BB creams. What Pretty doesn’t want to look natural but just a better version of natural? Well, with BB creams you can achieve the no-makeup-makeup-look, while doing good things to your skin.

In short, the BB in BB cream stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. I believe BB creams started out in Asia and have made a big hit in the Western world for the past year, I’d say. Most BB creams are marketed as a makeup and skincare product — an “all-in-one skin solution” of sorts. Many claim to do primarily the following things: brighten, prime, hydrate, protect, provide light to medium coverage and even out skin tone. Some are equipped with SPFs and some are not. The formulations are much lighter in weight than foundations — almost feeling like a “second skin”.

But you all probably know all this already, unless you’ve been living under a rock!

Over the last eight months or so, I’ve tried and tested a few BB creams — keep in mind that there are a gazillion BB creams out there on the market, both drugstore and high-end. I have tried out only five, but with the ones I’ve tried, I’ve found a few hits and misses. All the ones I have tried are drugstore brands readily available and range in price from $3 U.S. to $20 Cdn.

The five I’ve tried are here:

From L-R: Annabelle BB cream with SPF 15 in Medium/Dark; L'oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream in 814 Medium; E.L.F Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20; The Body Shop All-In-One BB cream in 03 Deep; and Revlon Photoready BB cream with SPF 30.

From L-R: Annabelle BB cream with SPF 15 in Medium/Dark; L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream in 814 Medium; e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20; The Body Shop All-In-One BB cream in 03 Deep; and Revlon Photoready BB cream with SPF 30.

As you can see, there’s quite a large range in selection as far as those containing SPF and not; and the level of SPF in the products as well. The daytime moisturizer that I typically wear everyday has SPF, so I’m not too fussed over picking a BB cream with sun protection, however, I do prefer products with SPF for that added protection. With BB creams, personally, my main concern is evening out my skin tone and finding the perfect (or close to) colour match to my skin — which all of these do, however there are some that I prefer over the others in terms of texture, coverage, colour and consistency.

Let’s start with the misses:

The Body Shop BB cream and Revlon Photoready BB cream

The Body Shop BB cream and Revlon Photoready BB cream

The Body Shop BB cream in 03 Deep and the Photoready BB cream in Medium are misses for me, but not completely.

The Body Shop BB cream is advertised as a “colour-adapting tinted cream” meaning that it comes out white and and when you rub it into your skin, it changes to your skin colour. The consistency of this product is a bit liquidy, but not so much that it would run down your face when you dot it on to apply. The Body Shop BB cream is an OK colour match for me — I am yellow-undertoned and this one runs a little bit on the pinky/orange-undertone side, but depending on the amount I can use and how well I blend it in I can actually get away with it. This leaves my skin looking very very dewy, not greasy. A good thing when I want to go for that look, but with my combination skin, I find the dewiness somehow accentuates the T-zone, where I am most oily. The texture of this is very smooth and blends well. Although this does not have and SPF and it leaves a dewy finish, I can see myself using this during the summer months for the colour – as I get more of a tan, I can see this matching my skin-tone better for the summer season. A light dusting of setting powder would keep the “shine” at bay with this one. It has a slight smell, one I can’t describe, but not offensive and doesn’t linger on the skin.

This retails at the Body Shop for $20 and comes in 4 colours:  00 for the lightest skin tone all the way to 03 for the deepest. I found this runs pretty fair in the colour range, so although I am a medium skin tone, the 03 deep shade is perfect for me.

The next miss for me is the Revlon Photoready BB cream with SPF 30 in 030 Medium. I was excited for this one because of the high amount of SPF in the product and the fact that it’s marketed as being a “photoready” makeup (i.e. face will look great with this on when taking pictures). This one pretty much smells like a sunscreen, no surprise with the high amount of SPF, which I don’t mind but… when I put this on my face, it left a definite sunscreen-y effect — whitecast, verging on grey. Not a good look, in person or in photos! Also, like with most traditional sunscreen, this BB cream felt sticky on my skin, not completely feeling like it ever really “set” into my face. The colour match is good, but I think because of the amount of SPF in it, the shade was overcome by the sunscreen. I will probably give this another go during the summer months for the sun protection alone, but I almost already know that I won’t like it (I just hate to let things go to waste!). Out of all the BB creams I mention here today, the Revlon Photoready is the last one that I would reach for.

I picked this up at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $11.99 (I believe regular price is around $20). There are 4 shades: light, light/medium, medium, and deep.

The next two “Semi-Hits” are the Annabelle BB cream with SPF 15 in medium/dark and the e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 in Beige:

Annabelle BB cream with SPF 15 in Medium/Dark and e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 in Beige

Annabelle BB cream with SPF 15 in Medium/Dark and e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 in Beige

The Annabelle BB cream is one that I reach for very often. Firstly, the colour match to my skin tone is PERFECT — yellow-undertoned. This one out of all the products here provides the most coverage — one application (about a domed dime size) provides me with enough coverage to even out my skin tone and a light to medium coverage. I have tried applying more and I can build this up to a medium to full coverage, without it feeling or looking too heavy on my skin. Very very impressive. The SPF 15 is the perfect amount, in my mind, to not have that whitecast/sunscreeny finish on the face. This has a slight smell, one of sunscreen but not as strong as the Revlon. It’s formulation is creamy but not too thick. I’m actually almost done this tube and it’s definitely one that I will consider repurchasing. This is one I can use all year round.

I picked this up at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $11.99 (I believe it retails at Shoppers for around $16-$19 regular price). It comes in two shades: light/medium and medium/dark.

The next product that is a semi-hit for me is not marketed as a BB cream (although e.l.f. has recently created one and I’ve put in an order for it already, hooray! Watch for a review on that too!) is the e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 in shade Beige. I’ve decide to consider this as part of my BB cream collection simply because BB creams are touted as “glorified tinted moisturizers” — meaning, tinted moisturizers have very similar coverage properties but without all the extras, like priming and brightening, that most BB creams claim to provide.

The e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer is a great staying at home, not going out or just going out to the grocery store makeup, when I don’t want to put on a full face of makeup but still want my skin to look even-toned and have that “my skin but better” look. With a high SPF of 20 I was a bit afraid of getting that ghostly effect on my skin, but this does not do that whatsoever. It’s also equipped with aloe, cucumber and vitamins A, C, and E — not certain on how much of these ingredients are in this tinted moisturizer, but always a good thing. The formulation of this is light and creamy – the coverage with this is definitely light (the lightest of all the products here) and I’d say buildable, but I usually don’t because I find that the coverage with one application is enough for those casual days that I usually use this one for. The colour match with this one for me runs a bit on the tan side, which is perfect for the summer months when I get a bit darker, but also good for the cooler months because it gives me a bit of a wash of healthy colour. This is one I can use all year round.

The e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer retails for $3 U.S. Yup, three bucks Pretties — an awesome steal of a deal!. I actually purchased two more tubes of this on the e.l.f. website a few days ago at 50% off! I have purchased MANY products from e.l.f. cosmetics online — they have awesome makeup and prices are outstanding:  $1 to $8. AND, they frequently have promotions, so when they do, I take advantage and stock up on my favourites and try new things! The e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer comes in 8 shades: ivory, porcelain, nude, beige, sand, almond, mocha and espresso.

And the number one most definite HIT for me is… L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream in shade 814 Medium!:

My holy grail of drugstore BB creams:  L'oreal Magic Skin Beautifier in Medium. I love this stuff!

My holy grail of drugstore BB creams: L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier in Medium. I love this stuff!

The L’oreal BB cream is by far my most favourite BB cream out of all that I’ve tried. The tube you see in the photo above? That’s my second one! This product just hits all the right points in my book: colour match, decent light to medium coverage, matte finish (great for my T-zone), non-offensive smell, blendable, and feels and looks great on my skin. The only downside to this is that it doesn’t contain any SPF, but like I said, I’m not too fussed about that. The pros definitely outweigh the con.

The L’oreal BB cream is formulated the same way as The Body Shop BB cream, in that it comes out white and “self-adjusts” to your skin tone:

L'oreal BB cream:  what it looks like out of the tube and partially blended

L’oreal BB cream: what it looks like out of the tube and partially blended. You can see it transforming from white to a medium shade to match my skin tone

And this is what it looks like swatched when fully blended:

L'oreal BB cream: fully blended

L’oreal BB cream: fully transformed!

On my own face, the colour “transforms” pretty much perfectly to my skintone. I don’t really know how this concept works, but whatever – it WORKS for me! This leaves more of a matte finish to my face, which I actually prefer, but it doesn’t make my face look “flat” if you know what I mean. I usually don’t set with a powder after applying the L’oreal (I do with the other ones) because the finish is more than enough to keep shine away for a good few hours. The formulation of this is very similar to The Body Shop BB cream – liquidy, but not too wet. Again, about a domed-dime size amount of this is more than enough to cover my face. This evens out any redness and unevenness in my skintone, blends easily, hydrates and feels like nothing on my skin. I reach for this one almost on a daily basis — definitely my go-to product to provide the perfect base for the rest of my makeup!

I bought this on sale from Shoppers Drug Mart for $12.99 (I believe it retails for around $20). It comes in four shades: fair, light, medium and deep.

So, all in all, I am a BIG fan of BB creams. There are still so many brands I’d like to try – from drugstore to high-end. But for now, I’ve found a few that work well for me and bonus that they are reasonably priced and easy to access.

I rate the BB creams as follows (click HERE to see my Rating System to find out what these crazy things mean!):

The Body Shop All-In-One BB cream:  a SHOULDER SHRUG

Revlon Photoready BB cream:  a THUMBS DOWN

Annabelle BB cream:  a HIGH-FIVE

e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer:  a HIGH-FIVE

L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream:  a STANDING OVATION

I hope you found this helpful! Have you tried any of these? If so, how do you like them? Are there any that you recommend? I’d be soooo happy to get your suggestions on some BB creams that you’ve tried and love!

I know there are CC (and DD??) creams out on the market now making it’s way onto many of our dressing tables… I have yet to jump on the CC/DD bandwagon! But for now, I’ll stick with what works.. but if you have any recommendations on an intro CC cream that you’ve tried that you think I might enjoy, please let me know!

Thanks for tuning in Pretties!!

🙂  Tess