In, Out & On the Fence

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This past week has been filled with coughs, sore throats and flu fatigue…not fun at all! I thought I’d do a quick post today on some of the products I’ve been loving and others not so much…


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef (CAD$8.99) – I’d seen this product on a lot of blogs and videos, and I picked it up last week when I needed a little cheering up. I’m so glad I did, this gloss is not just “good for a drugstore product” – it is AMAZING – even better than a lot of my MAC lipglosses! The color is flattering and long-lasting, the formula is soft and moisturising and the packaging is elegant and of good quality. Another raved about shade in this line is Peach Petal – a soft milky pink gloss.

The Body Shop Mango Body Butter (CAD$6 for 50ml) – I used to use this ALL the time in university. While the texture has changed (it was more vaseline-like and moisturising before) the scent is still the same and as long-lasting as ever – I really look forward to moisturising after my shower now!

Spectro Jel for Blemish-prone skin (CAD$ 8.99 for 200ml) – After an unfortunate experience with Cetaphil (see below) I’ve turned to this cleanser. My dermatologist has recommended this in the past – but I’ve avoided it because of it’s unpleasant smell and texture. It works so well that I’ve looked past these 2 flaws – it gently yet thouroughly cleans my skin and leaves it feeling soft and moisturised. In addition, its free of fragrance (pretty obvious since it stinks LOL!), dyes, sodium lauryl sulphate, parabens and lanolin – always a benefit!

Burts Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet conditioner (CAD$9.99 for 350ml) – Although Burts Bees facial products no longer suit my skin, I’m still a huge fan of their hair and bodycare. This conditioner smells lovely and really does make my hair “super shiny”. Additionally, it’s sulphate free and 98.2% natural! I alternate between this and Aveda’s Dry Remedy conditioner.


Got2b Dry Shampoo (CAD$6.99) – I purchased this while grocery shopping as I had run out of my Batiste dry shampoo. I’d heard good things about other products in this brand, so I thought this would be good – but it’s not. The effects wear off within an hour and I’m left with sticky feeling hair. I’m definitely stocking up on Oscar Blandi and Batiste dry shampoos from now on.

Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser (CAD$11.99 for 250ml) – I purchased this without reading the ingredient list because I trusted Cetaphil as a gentle and non-irritating brand. However, after using it for a week I started getting bumpy painful spots on my skin. Since this was the only “new” item in my skincare regimen I took a closer look at it – and found CASTOR OIL on its list of ingredients! Even when my skin could tolerate oils (like rosehip and jojoba) castor oil would ALWAYS break me out – so why would Cetaphil put this in a cleanser for SENSITIVE and OILY skin? Makes no sense to me…luckily I was able to return it to my drugstore and picked up the SpectroJel instead. By the way – I still highly recommend the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar (the one that looks like a bar of soap). (EDIT to avoid confusion: The regular Cetaphil cleanser doesn’t contain Castor oil, I’m talking about the “oily skin” version)

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara (CAD$9.49) – Although I love my Maybelline Falsies mascara, it can be a bit too dramatic for daily use. I picked this up because it is meant to condition your lashes – which would a great quality for something you apply everyday. Revlon are not known for their mascaras – and this mascara is as disappointing as their others. The formula is clumpy and smudgy and the super-long natural bristle brush does nothing for application. I can’t comment on the conditioning properties because I’ve switched back to Falsies until I find a better “casual” mascara.


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush (CAD$33) –  These blushes are SO highly thought of in the online beauty community – but I’m having a hard time with mine. For one, the application is iffy – it either appears blotchy or too pigmented – regardless of the brush I use. Secondly, I’m DEFINITELY not getting 12-hours of wear out of it…even 4 hours is a stretch. Most of my other blushes are as long-lasting if not more than this. I want to love this and will still be trying it out, but I think these blushes are over-hyped. I have Amused and already tried and returned Blissful – so I don’t think that I have a faulty blush – unless somehow I ended up with 2 lemons!

What products have you felt were over-hyped? Do you have any good casual mascara recommendations?


  1. Tali
    October 20, 2011 / 3:02 pm

    Hope you feel better soon!! Drink lots of fluids and sleep if you can!Interesting list.. i had no idea they put castor oil in Cetaphyl. ICK!

  2. Ella Pretty Blog
    October 20, 2011 / 3:13 pm

    Thanks Tali…my daughter and I are heading back to sleep now 🙂 My son was sick last week and she's sick this week – all these lovely contagious school germs LOL!I think the regular Cetaphil cleanser is castor oil free…they just thought it was a good idea for their oily skin version (?!?)

  3. Lilly's Style
    October 20, 2011 / 4:44 pm

    Hope you feel better soon! I used Cetaphil (have for a few years now after my dermatologist recommended it) and I had no idea it has castor oil. It doesn't irritate my skin though. After I read your post about Tarte Blush I just had to try it. I first purchased it in Baby Doll but didn't like the color on me. I had a hard time picking out a new color so I asked my husband which one he liked the best by just looking at them and he said Amused lol (he probably just wanted to get out of there). And I actually really like it.

  4. Ella Pretty Blog
    October 20, 2011 / 5:04 pm

    Thanks Lilly! Ok, now I'm convinced I've picked up 2 duds – because EVERYONE loves the blush but me LOL! Maybe I'll return it and ask for a fresh one…maybe mine came from a bad/old batch? What brush do you use to apply Amused?

  5. Valeria
    October 20, 2011 / 6:38 pm

    Thanks Lilly! Good post!

  6. Jayme and Mendi
    October 20, 2011 / 8:19 pm

    Great reviews! I've been on the fence with purchasing the Tarte blushes, so happy to hear your thoughts. Hope you're feeling better!Loving your blog! We just found it & are now following. We'd love for you to visit ours too!Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  7. Anonymous
    October 20, 2011 / 9:09 pm

    I need to get the Revlon gloss! Omg, the mango body butter brings me waaay back!! lol. I used to wear that stuff all the time. I remember once I went to my friend's house and I was wearing it and her dog wouldn't stop licking my legs, lol!! That is so funny and random that that's a memory I have associated with mango body butter-hahaha!!I hated the Cetaphil! Everyone loves it but it was not for me. It broke me out and I just hated pretty much everything about it.Now the Tarte blush on the other hand…love it!! I have Exposed and it's my favorite blush. I love pretty much everything by Tarte though so I could be biased a bit.

  8. Skylette from SassySavvyStyle
    October 21, 2011 / 7:17 pm

    I LOVE Oscar Blandi for a dry shampoo, so I don't think I could bring myself to try anything else… I'm sold! I love posts like this, thanks for sharing!

  9. Ella Pretty Blog
    October 22, 2011 / 3:48 am

    Thanks Valeria!Mendi – I'm STILL on the fence about the Tarte blushes…I think I may give them one more try! I visited your blog – must be SO much fun to blog with a best friend :-)Andi – I was laughing so much at the image of you being licked by a dog because of your mango butter! I'm totally buying Exposed this weekend – and if I STILL don't love these Tarte blushes, I'll know it's not meant to be!Skylette – Thanks for stopping by! I LOVE your blog and was so glad to have found it through your guest post on Lilly's blog.

  10. Lena!
    October 22, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    Love this post! Though I must say, I'm a got2b Dry Shampoo addict – just used it last night and my hair feels amazing! Maybe it only works well with certain textures?

  11. Ella Pretty Blog
    October 23, 2011 / 3:54 am

    Hi Lena!!!! I remember reading your post about got2b and being AMAZED at the volume in your pics – it definitely suits you! My hair texture is very silky and fine…and while Batiste and Blandi dry shampoos give me enough volume for a day, in comparison the got2be falls flat within an hour 🙁

  12. Tali
    October 26, 2011 / 1:52 pm

    Sending you a cyber kick in the butt… post on your blog!!! :PHope you feel better now xx

  13. Ella Pretty Blog
    October 26, 2011 / 1:58 pm

    Lilly – I will definitely check that brush out next time I'm at Sephora…wish they sold the pink one seperately – that's reason enough for me to buy a brush LOL!Tali – LOL!!! Got the kick and will finish the post I was working on last night 😉

  14. Jenn A.
    November 1, 2011 / 5:44 pm

    I'll have to keep an eye out for that Revlon gloss, sounds like it's something I may need! I actually just picked up a couple of Body Shop body butters the other day. I was eyeing Mango but ended up with Pink Grapefruit and Satsuma. They smell so yummy!

  15. Ella Pretty Blog
    November 1, 2011 / 6:03 pm

    Jenn – I love the Pink Grapefruit BB as well…I think I'm going to stock up on the little body butter tubs, it's fun to switch between them 🙂

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