Thursday, August 30, 2012

La Roche-Posay Posthelios Melt-in Gel Review

New to La Roche-Posay's sun care line this summer is Posthelios Melt-in Gel, an after sun moisturizer designed to soothe and moisturize sun exposed skin while helping to minimize burning sensations.

Readers of B2 will know that my medium toned skin rarely burns but tans very easily. While on vacation a few weeks ago on the west coast, I got to test out this product after a few days of intense sun exposure while surfing, swimming and climbing.

Posthelios is relatively thick in texture, with a clean, warm scent that isn't overpowering. While it is a gel formula, it has a rich texture that is creamy and dense. According to La Roche-Posay, the gel has "10% lipid-replenishing and soothing agents". True to form the gel melts into skin leaving the skin with a noticeable but subtle sheeny layer of  lipid based moisture. This product is intended for dehydrated and sun exposed skin, so this intense moisturizing feeling is quite comforting.

I would recommend this product to anyone who has been indulging in the summer sun. While it has the same cooling effect as other post sun balms such as aloe vera, this product also offers lipid based moisture in addition to water based moisture, which is longer lasting.

Grade: A

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vichy Lift Activ Eyes Review and Photos

Vichy has recently launched a new series of products in their LiftActiv line. Beauty Squared was sent LiftActiv Eyes by PR for consideration.

Vichy's Lift Activ Eyes

LiftActiv is an anti-aging eye treatment which is designed to reduce the look of wrinkles, crows feet and bags. According to Vichy it contains a the unique key ingredient "rhamnose" which is:

"a natural sugar extracted from Silver Birch known for its anti-inflammatory properties at low concentrations, is a key part of all LiftActiv products and it is at the heart of LiftActiv Eyes. It is the only ingredient known to target the Derm Source (papillary dermis) and reactivate it, regenerating cells in the epidermis, dermo-epidermal junction and dermis. It boosts the activity and the longevity of the fibroblasts, which as a result leaves skin younger and more protected."

In short, Vichy states this product targets and treats the four signs of aging in the eye area, claiming that after one month users will see smoothed wrinkles, lifted eyelids, decreased dark circles, diminished under eye bags and smoother, tighter skin. 

This product retails for approximately $40.00 CA and is available in most drug stores.

Scientific jargon aside, here is what we thought.


I have combination skin, with very slight signs of aging around my eyes. My main eye concerns are dark circles, puffiness, occasional dryness (particularly in the winter) and age prevention.

My first impressions of the product were very positive. This product has a thick, velvety texture which spreads smoothly over the skin. According to Vichy this product has a "long lasting lifting feel", and certainly after application there is a very strong lifting and tightening sensation. In fact, I have not used another eye product where this sensation has been so noticeable!

I found this product did an excellent job reducing puffiness and smoothing the skin round my eyes. It did not change the appearance of my dark circles, but since I believe my dark circles are in large part genetic and constant, this did not surprise me. As for it's long term anti-aging properties and it's ability to reduce wrinkles, I cannot fairly evaluate this product as I suffer from only the most minuscule lines. However due to it's very strong tightening and smoothing effect, I would expect people with deeper wrinkles would notice at least temporary improvement.

The velvety texture (which I believe is due to the inclusion of dimethicone (silicone), the second listed ingredient) makes this cream a very nice base for concealer or foundation. I also approve of the attractive and practical packing - because it is a squeeze tube it is both hygenic and precise, allowing you to control the amount you dispense. I would recommend this product to anyone who wants a reasonably priced eye cream which smooths and tightens the eye area. The only  people I would not recommend this product to is those with silicone sensitivities.

Grade: A-


The skin around my eyes is starting to show some signs of aging with slight creasing and fine lines at the outer corners. I have dark circles that do not go away no matter how much I sleep or how much water I drink, etc. I am occasionally prone to puffiness in the mornings. 

I really liked the feeling of Lift Activ the first time I used it. While it is not a thick, heavy cream, it has a luxurious texture to it, thick enough to feel effective and thin enough to absorb fairly easily without a lot of effort. While I prefer to use eye cream at night and a gel or liquid in the morning, Lift Activ absorbed well enough to apply concealer and other eye makeup on top of it without diluting the colour or changing the texture. 

Like Jill, Lift Activ did nothing to alter my dark circles, but I did notice a slight smoothing of the very fine lines I have at the corners of my eyes. 

The packaging is impressive with its squeezable tube and fine tip applicator allowing you to apply it to a finger for application or directly to the eye area. 

I would definitely purchase this eye cream and recommend it to anyone looking for a moderately rich eye cream that provides soothing, firming and smoothing under the eye area.

Grade: A

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - August 26, 2012

There was no Round-Up last Sunday, so we hope this one might make up for it! Here are some beauty links for your surfing pleasure:

Drag-queen Barbie looks just like regular Barbie with a dash of FIERCE.

Thinking of going red? Are you a redhead? Here are some great tips and ideas for this dramatic hair colour.

 Camouflage makeup has been developed that is waterproof, repels mosquitoes, and can resist heat up to 600 C. 

SLiNK is a new fashion magazine for curvy gals.

Navy nail polish is having a moment. Do you have your shade yet?

Gold on the eyes and pink on the lips. Such a pretty combination!

A Japanese Toyota ad features a sultry twist. Turn your ass towards common sense, indeed!

Check out the beautiful Arianne 's (aka The Glitter Geek) gorgeous Shu Uemera Chocolat-Donna FOTD.

Prevention magazine's picks for 2012's best "good for your skin" beauty products.

Are you wearing too much makeup? A great article from might help you assess your look. 

Tom Ford needs to STFU.

Toronto's Nadege Patisserie makes some of the best macarons I've ever tasted and they've been inspired by some of Fall 2012's colour trends. Click through to see the photos of the macarons paired with their fashion inspiration.

We love this simple, edgy eyeliner look from Erdem's Fall/Winter 2012 runway show. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MAC Pro Lip Palette Preview

The preferred way for Artists to stay on trend: MAC Lip Palettes. Indispensable colours and editorial essentials are organized into five compacts, each offering a shade-wave of six tones that streamlines your kit. Customize within the same shade family or cross-polinate between palettes. Available in red, orange, pink, plum and brown. MAC Pro locations and online only. 

Available in M·A·C PRO stores only August 23, 2012 in the permanent line
Available online October 2011 in the permanent line

Pro Lip Palette in 6 Editorial Oranges
Bronze Shimmer (golden bronze with shimmer (frost))
Look at Her (metallic copper (sheen supreme))
So Chaud (intense reddish-orange (matte))
Morange (loudmouth orange (amplified creme))
Cross Wires (clean pinky orange (cremesheen))
Sandy B (light shell pink (frost))
$47.50 CDN/$40 US

Pro Lip Palette in 6 Editorial Reds
Dare You (deep brown red (cremesheen))
Ruby Woo (vivid bluish-red (retro matte))
MAC Red (vivid bright bluish-red (satin))
Russian Red (intense bluish-red (matte))
On Hold (mid-tone yellow raspberry (cremesheen))
Lady Danger (vivid bright coral-red (matte))
$47.50 CDN/$40 US

Pro Lip Palette in 6 Modern Browns
Paramount (reddish-brown (satin))
Taupe (muted reddish-taupe brown (matte))
Fresh Brew (creamed coffee (lustre))
Frenzy (pinky-peach beige with shimmer (frost))
Half 'N Half (creamy pink (amplified creme))
Peachstock (neutral peach (satin))
$47.50 CDN/$40 US

Pro Lip Palette in 6 Preferred Pinks
Violetta (bright clean violet purple (amplified creme))
Show Orchid (vivid hot pink (amplified creme))
Créme de la Femme (pink laced with gold (frost))
Lovelorn (emotive blue pink (lustre))
Please Me (muted rosy-tinted pink (matte))
Pretty Please (pale pink pearl (lustre))
$47.50 CDN/$40 US

Pro Lip Palette in 6 Select Plums
Cyber (intense blackish-plum (satin))
Hang Up (deep berry (cremesheen))
Amorous (lovestruck cranberry (satin))
Verve (muted brownish-plum (satin))
Captive (pinkish-plum (satin))
Twig (soft muted brownish-pink (satin))
$47.50 CDN/$40 US

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MAC Styleseeker Preview

MAC interprets a vivid fall colour collection in tones influenced by a spirit and style of a global wanderer. Translucent, buildable, Powder Blush adds glow. Eye Shadow Duos create brilliant, sultry effects punctuated with Fluidline. Classic Mattene Lipstick is revived for dramatic, dense colour that last for hours. Lipglass gets fresh flair in new shades, and Nail Lacquer in jewel tones and metallics extend the opulence to the tips of the fingers. 

Available online August 16, 2012 through November 3, 2012
Available in stores August 23, 2012 through November 3, 2012

Eye Shadow x 2 in Culturalized
Brulé (soft creamy-beige (satin))
Retrospeck (mid-tone neutral gold (lustre))
$33 CDN/$27.50 US

Eye Shadow x 2 in Marché Aux Puces
Indie Spirit (chestnut brown (matte))
Chessa (mid-tone golden orange (veluxe pearl))
$33 CDN/$27.50 US

Eye Shadow x 2 in On the Hunt
Raving Mad (bronzed red (frost))
Star Myth (bronzed violet (veluxe pearl)
$33 CDN/$27.50 US

Eye Shadow x 2 in Whims & Fancies
Performance Art (platinum silver (veluxe pearl))
Shadowy Lady (blackened pearl (matte))
$33 CDN/$27.50 US

Fluidline in Blacktrack
Solid flat black
$18 CDN/$15 US

Fluidline in Dark Diversion
Blackened plum (pearl)
$18 CDn/$15 US

Fluidline in Local Wares
Dirty olive with multidimensional pearl (pearl)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Fluidline in Rich Ground
Reddened cocoa with frost (pearl)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Lipglass in C-Thru
Peachy beige with shimmer
$18 CDN/$15 US

Lipglass in Eclectic Edge
Mid-tone clean true orange
$18 CDN/$15 US

Lipglass in Ready to Roam
Mid-tone true blue red
$18 CDN/$15 US

Lipglass in Restless
Dark burnt bronze
$18 CDN/$15 US

Mattene Lipstick in Camden Chic
Rich brick red (matte)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Mattene Lipstick in Delectable
Orange-beige (matte)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Mattene Lipstick in Eden Rouge
Bright blue-red (matte)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Mattene Lipstick in Eden Rouge
Bright blue-red (matte)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Mattene Lipstick in Fun Finds
Light nude pink (matte)
$18 CDN/$15 US

Nail Lacquer in Gadabout Girl
Blackened plum (cream)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Nail Lacquer in Mean & Green
Purple with teal multi-changing pearl (pearl)
$19 CDN/$16 US

Nail Lacquer in Styleseeker
Duo chrome orange red
$19 CDN/$16 US

Powder Blush in Hidden Treasure
Rich burnt red (satin)
$24 CDN/$20 US

Powder Brush in Supercontinental
Bright cute coral (satin)
$24 CDN/$20 US

Powder Blush in Worldly Wealth
Shimmering peachy bronze (frost)
$24 CDN/$20 US

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Preview

Every artist knows the secret to creating a flawless look is a smooth well-prepped canvas. Introducing M·A·C Prep + Prime Natural Radiance, formulated for oily and combination skin. This silky gel emulsion hydrates and primes to improve the application of foundation or powder. Contains rosemary and barley extracts, as well as long-term oil controlling ingredients, laminaria extract and silica. Chestnut and white willow bark extracts retexturize and smooth skin. Tangerine peel extract and vitamins E and C protect with antioxidants, as caffeine calms and reduces redness. Golden light illuminating pearl powders reflect for optic brightening.

Available online August 9, 2012 in the permanent line
Available in stores August 16, 2012 in the permanent line

$48 CDN/$40 US