Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vichy ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector Review

Start with the numbers.
45% of Canadian women are concerned about dark spots.
74% are experiencing uneven skin tones.
68% define themselves as having sensitive skin.*

Those numbers set the stage for Vichy, whose new ProEVEN Daily Dark Spot Corrector is rewriting the playbook on uneven skin. In a world of “me too” products, Vichy, with their unexcelled ability to combine ingredients where others rely on one or two, has created the first formula to act on all layers of the skin.

According to Vichy, ProEVEN Daily Dark Spot Corrector gently exfoliates discoloured, dead skin cells while unifying and brightening the complexion with micronized mother of pearl. At the same time, it fades dark spots through gentle LHA exfoliation. ProEVEN is formulated to hold the inflammation and oxidation that can lead to the overproduction of melanin and thus discoloration at bay. ProEVEN Daily Dark Spot Corrector is also a daily moisturizer. The hydroquinone-free formulation provides 100% skin tolerance, suitable for the most sensitive skin of all ethnicities.

*Among Canadian face care users – 2010 Face Care Tracking, TNS Research

Beauty Squared was sent the Vichy ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector to try out and we decided to do a joint review of it.

First, we'll let you know about our skin types so you have a basis to understand how we felt the product worked or didn't work for us.


I have combination skin, with a fairly oily t-zone and normal cheeks. My ethnic background is Asian and my skin is prone to hyper-pigmentation after trauma. I experience post acne skin discoloration and freckles after sun exposure mainly on the tops of my cheekbones. I tan very easily and have small to invisible pores.


My skin is combination with normal skin on my cheek area and oiliness (redness and large pores) on my forehead, nose and chin. I have no dark spots on my skin, but I do have an area of blotchy redness on my right cheek. I am curious about seeing what the ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector can do for my skin in terms of brightening and renewal.

We both used a full tube of Vichy ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector which lasted us about 10-12 weeks.

And here's what we thought at the end.


I used this product day and night. During the day I wore it underneath my usual moisturizer Lancome Beinfiat Multivital SPF 30 and at night I used it on top of Differin 3x Gel and underneath Shiseido Bio Performance Super Revitalizing Cream.

First off, I found the texture and feel of this product very nice. It has a light, yet moisturizing texture which didn't make my t-zone oilier than it normally is. It has a very pleasant, citrusy clean scent which is not over powering. I found that while using this product my skin did look more luminous, felt suppler and moister. 

As for its spot fading properties, I can't honestly say this product lightened any of my freckles/sun spots. It is difficult for me to determine the exact effect of the product I was getting a fair amount of sun exposure while I was using it. I think an optimal time to gauge the effectiveness of this product would be in the winter, when there isn't the possibility for tanning. However, it did increase the luminosity of my skin on a daily basis and as such my skin looked and felt better. I did see some fading of a few post acne spots I had prior to starting this treatment but my acne marks do fade naturally over time. This product does help with acne fading but it won't dramatically accelerate it.

I did like this product enough to purchase a second tube of it. It retails for approximately $44.00 CA, but you can often find Vichy on sale at chain drugstores - I got my second tube for 20% off at London Drugs.


I used this product predominantly in the evening as I don't feel comfortable wearing a chemical exfoliator during the day. Chemical exfoliators can make your skin overly sensitive to the sun. As I don't have any dark spots that I could track progress with and didn't wear it consistently, I wanted to see how the Vichy ProEven Daily Dark Spot Corrector worked on the texture of my skin. 

The consistency of the Dark Spot Corrector is smooth and light and did not feel heavy on my skin. It is easy to wear under a moisturizer as it doesn't change the texture of my skin so the moisturizer is still able to absorb well. I would imagine it would be the same under makeup. As Jill found as well, it didn't make my skin feel oilier either.

As for the effect of the product, I didn't notice a change in the red areas of my skin (presumably if the Dark Spot Corrector works as an exfoliator and reduces the appearance of dark spots, it might do the same on redness?). I did however see a change in the appearance of my overall skin texture. Each morning, my skin looked better, healthier and brighter. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MAC Hey Sailor! Lipstick Review, Swatches and Dupes

MAC's grandiose summer collection Hey Sailor! features four limited edition lipsticks ($18.50 CA/16.50 US). All photos taken in natural light on NC 35/40 skin.

Salute!, To Catch a Sailor, Sail La Vie and Red Racer

Salute! - A very pale, opaque yellow toned  peachy beige in an amplified creme finish. Probably only the most pale skinned people can pull this one off successfully! In the tube (and on the lips) it looks like concealer.

To Catch a Sailor - A frost finish shimmery beige brown. Not too cool or to warm with sheerer coverage. Would look nice as a highlight over richer shades of lipstick.

Sail La Vie - a straight up red-orange, satin finish lipstick. Very opaque with a natural sheen.

Red Racer - a beautiful satin finish blue based red. Very opaque with a natural sheen.

I think with the exception of Salute! the lipsticks of this collection are fun and pretty. The two standout shades are definitely Sail La Vie and Red Racer, both of which are rich, bright and very wearable. You could dilute either shade with some lip balm or gloss for day, then go for full coverage at night. I also like To Catch a Sailor, it's a little more predictable in the usual scheme of bronzey summer colours, but I think it would create some nice effects over other lipsticks.

Due to the continuous hype and craze for bright lipsticks, especially those in the coral/orange family, Sail La Vie and Red Racer sold out online and in many store locations very quickly. I thought I would do a few swatches comparing Sail La Vie with other corals/oranges MAC has released. All the shades swatched here are/were LE.

Hibiscus, Sail La Vie, Scarlet Ibis and Watch Me Simmer

Out of the four, Scarlet Ibis is the closest to Sail La Vie, the main difference being it's formula is matte, a little denser and perhaps a shade darker than Sail La Vie. If you mixed some lip balm or clear gloss with Scarlet Ibis to give it a little sheen and lighten it a bit I think it would be a close dupe. 

P.S: If you want any of the LE shades and they show as sold out online, it never hurts to call customer service to double check. Often when stock on an item decreases to a certain level, they will show the item as being sold out despite there being a few left in the warehouse.

Which of the Hey Sailor! lipsticks did you pick up?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Maybelline Baby Lips Review, Photos and Swatches

Maybelline Baby Lips are SPF 20 moisturizing lip balms that come in six shades/scents:
  • Quenched
  • Peppermint
  • Cherry Me
  • Grapevine
  • Pink Punch
  • Peach Kiss
They all offer moisturization, lip renewal and suncare protection and Cherry Me, Grapevine, Pink Punch and Peach Kiss offer a hint of colour.

I picked up Cherry Me recently to try out. 

For Adult Use Only, in case you were wondering.

The tube is like a lipstick, with a clear plastic top. The tube is fatter than your average lip balm tube, which I find makes it easier to find in my bag.

Cherry Me smells like cherries, as you might expect. It goes on smoothly and stays on the lips quite well, I'd say about 2-3 hours with one application. As it has SPF 20, it's a day lip balm and as such, it's light and very wearable. There's absolutely a change in the texture of my lips wearing Baby Lips as well. After wearing it, my lips stay feeling smooth and supple.

Cherry Me swatched
I chose Cherry Me because I wanted to see how the colour looked. It's obviously very sheer swatched on my hand, and on my lips, even sheerer due to the natural colour of my lips. I'd anticipate the same with Grapevine and Pink Punch. Peach Kiss might look more nude on the lips, but it depends on your natural lip colour. 

These lip balms are great for a natural hint of colour and a slight sheen. They're excellent for a natural look and great for summer when you don't want to wear something heavy. 

Baby Lips are great lip balms and at about $5 CDN (depending where you buy them) they're very easy on the wallet. Since one application lasts so long, one tube will last you quite awhile. Good value for a good product!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-up - May 27, 2012

Can you recognize the famous actress in the photo above? She's been transformed for the cover of Candy magazine. And if you're a fan, follow this Twitter account for some amusement.

Gabi Gregg, style blogger, recently put together a slideshow of "hot sexy fat girls in skimpy swimwear" to celebrate the fact that not only slim girls or "toned fat girls" are confident enough to wear bikinis. The feedback received however was surprising.

Temptalia features an interview with skincare expert and esthetician, Renee Rouleau about sunscreen. The post is called 'Five Things to Know About Sunscreen' and there's lots to learn from it!

The FDA is implementing new regulations on sunscreen labelling beginning June 18. Temptalia has gathered a few links and an infographic put together by Olay to help explain what's happening. B2 did some research on Canada's sunscreen regulations to see if we have something similar in place here, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem that we do. This article from last year's Globe and Mail addresses it.

It's summertime, which means that beauty-loving ladies struggle to keep looking fresh and pretty in the summer heat and humidity. Fashion Indie has a list of some of their favourite waterproof makeup here

French fry holder as jewellery stand. What a neat idea!

Check out this optical illusion video which tricks the eye into seeing well-known faces differently. 

Flawless celebrity skin? Check out this Fashion Indie feature on airbrush makeup. It's not just for makeup artists!

The otherworldly beauty of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's Noomi Rapace in a fashion spread for Dazed & Confused. Anyone else excited to see Prometheus?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MAC Extended Lash Play Preview

Now you- and your lashes – can party all night with the M·A·C EXTENDED PLAY LASH.  A curling, lifting, defining, volumizing mascara that’s so lightweight… flips up any downward tilting lashes, stretches their volume and defines them in a chic shade of endless black.  16 hours of wear!  Despite its style and double tenacity, removal is swift and easy:  a 20-second soak with warm water and a gentle wipe is all that’s required.

Extended Play Lash
Endlessly black
$18 CDN/$15 US

MAC Hey Sailor Preview and Photos

Set sail this summer with a colour and bronzing collection designed to drop anchor in the most sophisticated Port of Call. Decked out in stylishly sailor-striped packaging, a fabulous flotilla of Small Eye Shadows, Lipsticks, Lipglass, Powder Blushes, Pigments, Powerpoint Eye Pencils, Pro Longwear Lip Pencils, Nail Lacquers and Zoom Waterfast Lash. Get sun dipped with Bronzing Powders, Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders, High-light Powder, To The Beach Body Oil, Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balms and a 167SH Face Blender Brush. M·A·C invites you to experience the jauntiest, yacht-iest collection of the season!

Make waves with the je ne sais quoi of these Riviera ready carryalls. Their instantly recognizable Mariniere pattern, originating on the coast of Brittany, gets modernized with an op art inspired twist. The bucket-style canvas cinch tote is perfect for on or off dock leisure. The navy-and-white striped canvas Makeup Bag Set, replete with bright red patent edges and golden roped hardware closures, make them stylish enough to carry on their own. Consider them l’essentials for lazy beach days and breezy bay nights…we sure do. Adieu!

Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden
Finely spun golden with soft pearl finish
$29 CDN/$24 US

Bronzing Powder in Soft Sand
Golden bronze with fine gold pearl
$29 CDN/$24 US

167SH Face Blender
$41 CDN/$34 US

Eyeshadow in Barefoot
Tarnished gold (veluxe pearl)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Eyeshadow in Crystal Avalanche
White with reflects (veluxe pearl)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Eyeshadow in Feeling Fresh
Bright green (frost)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Eyeshadow in Jaunty
Light yellow beige (frost)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Eyeshadow in Nautical
Navy blue (satin)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Gone Sailing Makeup Bag Set
$42 CDN/$35 US

Gone Sailing Tote
$54 CDN/$45 US

High-Light Powder in Crew
Soft, peachy cream with fine shimmer
$33.50 CDN/$28 US

Lipglass in Blessedly
Rich pale coral
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipglass in Cut Loose
White gold with pearl
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipglass in Orange Tempura
Pale peach
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipglass in Riviera Life
Bright tangerine
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipglass in Send Me Sailing
Bright yellow red
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipstick in Red Racer
Bright yellow red (satin)
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipstick in Sail La Vie
Bright mid-tone orange (satin)
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipstick in Salute!
Neutral peach (amplified)
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

Lipstick in To Catch A Sailor
Highly frosted tan (frost)
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

MAC To the Beach Bronze Body Oil in Man Rays
Glowing tan with multidimensional golden shimmer
$27 CDN/$22.50 US

MAC To the Beach Bronze Body Oil in  Seaside
Dirty blushy pink with multidimensional sparkles
$27 CDN/$22.50 US

Nail Lacquer in Touch of Red
Bright yellow red (creme)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Nail Lacquer in Vestral White
Creamy white (creme)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Pigment in Naval Blue
Deep smoky blue (frost)
$25.50 CDN/$21 US

Pigment in Old Gold
High frosted tarnished gold (frost)
$25.50 CDN/$21 US

Powder Blush in Fleet Fast
Pinky, golden coral (satin)
$25.50 CDN/$21 US

Powder Blush in Launch Away!
True peach (satin)
$25.50 CDN/$21 US

Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Blue Stripe
Dark Navy
$19 CDN/$16 US

Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Emerald Sea
Kelly green
$19 CDN/$16 US

Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Handforged
Metallic yellow gold
$19 CDN/$16 US

Pro Longwear Bronzing Power in Nude On Board
Bronzy, yellow tone
$33.50 CDN/$28 US

Pro Longwear in Sun Dipped
Dirty red tone
$33.50 CDN/$28 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Saunter
Pale nude beige
$22.50 CDN/$19 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Shore Leave
Light, vibrant coral
$22.50 CDN/$19 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Throw Me A Line
Bright true red
$22.50 CDN/$19 US

Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm in Abalone
See-through hot pink with no pearl
$19 CDN/$16 US

Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm in Au Rosé
Poppy coral pink with gold pearl
$19 CDN/$16 US

Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm in Sea Mist
Peachy nude with multidimensional pearl
$19 CDN/$16 US

Zoom Waterfast Lash
$18 CDN/$15 US