Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best Wishes for 2013 + Resolutions

With 2013 around the corner, I wanted to take the time to wish you all a very safe and happy New Year.  I hope that 2013 is filled with good health, wealth, happiness, love, and laughter and that all of your wishes come true. I also wanted to thank you all for reading and following my blog. It has been such a fun learning experience for me and all of the positive feedback has been encouraging.

With the start of a New Year comes resolutions and what better way to stick to your resolutions than by announcing them for all to see/hear?  I have set 4 resolutions and look forward to succeeding!
  1. Exercise more - 98% of the world has this one their resolution list I'm sure.  My goal is to workout for an hour at least 5 times a week (cardio, weights, etc) and find ways of enjoying it so that it becomes part of my life instead of just a short term resolution.
  2. Eat vegan - I'm a vegetarian and have no intention of becoming vegan, however, I find that when I eat too much dairy I get acne.  I've already switched my regular milk to almond milk and don't eat much yogurt but LOVEEEE cheese.  My goal is to eat vegan a few days a week to help my skin, body and overall health.
  3. Limit/Cut out refined sugar - I don't want to deny myself cravings or delicious sugar filled foods, however, my goal is to limit it to once a week.
  4. Make my own products - DIYs - I had mentioned that I wanted to do more DIYs in the New Year, I've started buying ingredients that I will need so that I have NO excuse come Jan. My goal is to start with serums and face/hand wash. Wish me luck lol.

What are your resolutions for the New Year?

December 2012 Faves!

I've decided not to do a 2012 favourites list because I have tried and fallen in (and out) of love with so many products and while some have been consistent, many have not.

Here is what I have loved this month...

Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel Toner - review here - I have fallen in love with product again! It's so gentle and does a great job of cleansing/removing excess oil, makeup and cleanser.  I have added some lavender and clary sage essential oils to help with acne, balancing and soothing and really love the mix.

Evanhealy Lavender Facial Tonic Hydrosol (sample size) - review to come - Enjoyed this toner while it lasted and used it for the whole month of December.  It was a favourite of mine but not something I will be purchasing the full size of.

Eminence Apricot Whip Moisturizer (sample size) - revew here - I love this moisturizer and am still considering purchasing the full size once this sample is used up.  It smells nice, hydrates beautifully and doesn't irritate or break out my skin. Been loving it!

Tamanu Oil - review here - My original review was for Shea Terra's Tamanu oil but there was a little problem with it.  The oil was reacting with the rubber of the dropper and black rubber was getting into my oil.  They were nice enough to get me in contact with the manager of Healthy Planet (where I purchased it) to get it exchanged.  I didn't end up getting the Shea Terra one for fear of the same thing happening so I picked up Aura Cacia, it works exactly the same.  It's hydrating and great for healing any cuts, acne, burns, etc.  I love this oil!

Apricot Kernel Oil - no review -  I picked this up to make my own serums but have been loving it to remove makeup and as a facial moisturizer.  It absorbs and hydrates the skin beautifully without any negative reactions.  One of my new fave oils!

Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange Shower Gel - review here - I have been alternating this with my Hugo Soap all month long and really enjoy it.  Smells wonderful and cleanses without drying out my skin.

Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo - review to come - This was a complete impulse buy which I'm glad happened because it's fantastic.  If I use it on it's own, it can be a drying to my scalp.  I find it works best when I alternate or even mix it with my JM because it cleans my hair and scalp without being drying. 

Zuzu Luxe Mascara - review here - Okay, I LOVE this mascara.  I have already purchased another one for when this one runs out or dries up.  I originally didn't enjoy it but since purchasing a new eye lash curler, I can't live without it! It makes my lashes so long and thick, doesn't flake or smudge and lasts all day. It's fantastic and I will continue repurchasing.

Everything in December has been a new love except my Tamanu Oil and Apricot Moisturizer.

What have you loved this month?  Any new or old loves?

December 2012 Empties!

Wowza, 2012 is coming to a very quick end and so is my product stash! I'm so excited to be finishing up old products so that I can start making my own! 2013 is going to be so fun. 

Here's what I finished this month, a little bare when compared to the last couple of months but still a good list I'd say. Most are samples or smaller items.

Skin Care

Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner (sample size) - review here - I go through these little bottles way too fast.  I really enjoyed using this toner as a setting spray for my mineral makeup because it's cheap and leaves my makeup looking so natural. I may purchase the full size if I come across it at any of my local health food stores but otherwise, I'm going to play with other toners.

Evanhealy Lavender Facial Tonic Hydrosol (sample size) - review to come - This was a lovely facial toner, despite the smell.  It was calming, soothing and hydrating but no better than any other lavender hydrosol I've tried.  I won't be purchasing the full size.

Evanhealy Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum BLUE (sample size) - review to come - Irritated my face but was great mixed in with my hand cream to soften and soothe dry, chapped knuckles and cuticles.  I won't be purchasing the full size.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend -review here - I loved and raved about this product at first but it began breaking me out and causing red bumps on my face.  I honestly think that my face just doesn't like rosehip oil because I started using it on my body and had no negative reactions whatsoever.  I am sad that I will not be repurchasing, however, I still highly recommend trying it.  On a brighter note, I have discovered new oils that my skin has been enjoying :).

Pretty Ginger & Cypress Soothing Mask - review here - Fantastic mask! I still love this so, so much and am sad that I used it all up.  It has been one of the most consistent products in my skin care routine.  I'm going to attempt to make my own clay masks for now but will likely repurchase it at some point.

Eminence Naseberry Treatment (sample size) - review here - In my mission to figure out which products don't work well for my skin, I decided to use one moisturizer at a time until I finish an entire sample/jar.  I quickly discovered that this was one of the products that doesn't work well for me, sadly.  It smells great and really hydrates my skin but it also causes red bumps.  Since I started using the Eminence Apricot Moisturizer (another sample in the Normal kit), I haven't had any irritations! I finished up the Naseberry Treatment by using it as a foot cream.  Safe to say that I will not be purchasing the full size.

Hygiene/Misc. Products

Sukin Purifying Shampoo -review here - My feelings for this product have been up and down.  I hated it, then liked it, then loved it and now don't like it again lol.  Can I make up my mind? Yes! I don't like it.  It's drying and irritating to my scalp. I stand by my initial statement of it being more of a once a week shampoo to give my hair and scalp a deep clean.  I will not be purchasing the full size.

Kiss my Face Toothpaste - review here - This is my all time favourite toothpaste.  It tastes good, lathers well, great texture and leaves my teeth whiter and brighter! As much as I love it, it's way too expensive to be purchasing every single month.  I have been trying something new and it seems rather promising! Hopefully I won't have to repurchase this again, although it holds a very special place in my heart!

Mary Ginseng House Pain Relieving Cream (sample size) - review here - I never actually gave a proper review of this product because I never used it consistently enough to see if it made a difference.  Since starting my seasonal retail job, my knees and ankles have needed a little extra loving.  My body wasn't used to standing for 8+ hours and since I have been pretty inactive, that made it worse.  This cream has been amazing! I used it at almost every night before bed and noticed a difference with continued use. It really helped soothe and calm any inflammation that I was feeling.  I'm not sure if I will purchase the full size, since it's a little hard to find at my health food store, but it's always a possibility.


Priori Coffeeberry Mineral Foundation - review here - I finally finished this damn foundation.  I don't like it but found it worked better when mixed with my Alima Pure Foundation.  It doesn't wear very long and emphasizes any dryness that I have on my face. I will not be repurchasing again.

Alima Pure Lip Balm in Mango - review here - I am really happy to be done with this lip balm.  I enjoy Alima balms but not this colour.  I did enjoy the colour for a bit there but dislike it again lol.  What a month of confusing empties huh?  It made my lips look like a sparkly penny than a nice tint, ugh yuck! I won't be repurchasing this shade again.

MarieNatie Lip Gloss - review here - This was my go-to gloss while on the sales floor.  It was so hydrating and glossy that my lips always looked (and felt) so soft and healthy.  It tasted amazing and looked fantastic over any lip colour, as well as just my bare lips. I have another one to use it but will likely pick up MarieNatie gloss in the future!

That wasn't so bad, was it? What have you finished up this month?

Cocoon Apothecary Ancient Mud Facial Mask Review

Clay/Mud masks are fantastic for detoxifying and pulling out impurities from deep below the skin's surface. I think using them once to twice a week is essential for keeping skin clear or at least trying to. It's no secret that Pretty makes my absolute favourite clay mask that I've repurchased many times, but for the sake of my blog I thought I'd branch out and try something new.

Description: Detoxify, exfoliate and tighten skin with two of nature's most potent beauty treatments, Dead Sea mud and Canadian glacial marine clay. Dead Sea mud has been used since ancient times as a health and beauty treatment. It remineralizes the skin with essential nutrients and purifies pores of toxins and pollutants. Glacial marine clay from the coast of British Colombia is an extremely fine powder that absorbs deep into pores to pull out contaminants and excess oil. Both the mud and the clay work synergistically to pull out the bad and leave the good. Use once per week avoiding eye area.

The Good:
  • Canadian company!
  • amazing spot treatment
  • clears up acne
  • brings crap (black heads, white heads, etc) to the surface for easy extraction
  • 4 ingredients

The Bad:
  • harsh (at least on my sensitive skin)
  • drying
  • pretty small amount for price (unless you just use as just a spot treatment)

Verdict: I'm on the fence about this product. It burns my face and makes it really dry when I use it all over, which is not pleasurable. I'd much rather be able to use a clay mask 1 - 2 times a week without any negative side effects.  It works wonders as a spot treatment though! I put it on any pimples that I have and it quickly brings a white head to the surface and/or dries them out entirely.  This would be a great product for anyone who does not have sensitive or dry skin. It's way too harsh for me and therefore I will not be repurchasing.

Add on: I was at Big Carrot a couple of days ago and actually asked one of the girls about this mask.  She mentioned that it burned her face as well, so she contacted the company and was told that's what it does.  It's so stimulating and detoxifying that it almost feels like an intense chemical peel, however, the redness subsides within a few minutes to hours depending on how sensitive you are.  Best time to use it would be at night and no more than once per week.  I still will likely not repurchase :)

Retails for $24 CAN for 100g.  Can be purchased at Big Carrot, and through Cocoon Apothercary.

What's your favourite clay/mud facial mask?

Ingredients: Dead Sea mud, glacial marine clay, neroli essential oil, rose absolute.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Love at first wash? - Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange Shower Gel Review

Hugo Naturals is one of my absolute favourite companies for bath products.  I am beyond obsessed with their soaps and now shower gels. Like seriously guys, their products are delicious and so luxurious!

Description: Our all-natural Shower Gel is the kindest way you can cleanse your skin. What’s in? Pure vegetable-derived Glycerin, nutrition-quality Vitamin E, soothing Aloe Vera, healing botanical extracts and lovely natural fragrances. What’s out? Harsh, chemical-laden ingredients that dry and deplete skin. Our handcrafted Shower Gels work gently for even the most sensitive skin types. You’ll feel clean, smooth, hydrated, and delicious.

The Good:
  • YUM! Need I say more?
  • leaves my skin soft
  • lathers amazingly well
  • a little goes a long way
  • doesn't irritate my skin

The Bad:
  • scent doesn't last long on my skin

Verdict: Just another Hugo obsession, no big deal. Even my boyfriend enjoys it, what?  It smells soooooooooo good! The scent doesn't really last long, which is disappointing, but that;s not a deal breaker. I would definitely repurchasing and am eyeing the Shea Butter & Oatmeal one.  I highly recommend trying out this shower gel if you're in the market for a new one or even if you're not, just get it anyway lol.

Retails for approx. $9.99 CAN for 355ml.  Can be purchased at any health food store, as well as through Hugo Naturals.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pure Potent Wow CHILL Aromatherapy Mister Review

In my November Haul, I picked up a toner because I needed one. I need everything I buy, that's what I like to tell myself. But really, I needed a new setting spray/toner to set my mineral makeup on the daily. I had never seen Pure Potent before but really liked the ingredients and decided to give it a shot, so glad that I did!

Description: Use as a toner, during a work-out, while stuck in traffic, long distance drives, and perfect for air travel, hospital visits, golf games and even tense situations…the list goes on! Our misters are safe for kids, pets, babies and the elderly.
Take the time to chill out and refresh with Certified Organic and Wild Essential Oils of Spearmint, Lavender and Blue Chamomile.

The Good:
  • amazing ingredients
  • refreshing & great as a pick me up throughout the day
  • sets mineral makeup
  • doesn't irritate my skin
  • wakes me (and my skin) up
  • scent doesn't linger
  • Canadian company! Woohoo!

The Bad:
  • smells too much of spearmint

Verdict: I love it! It does everything I want it to do. While I don't enjoy how strong the spearmint scent is, I do like how it wakes my face up by making it slightly tingle.  Not a bad tingle, just a little "hey wake up!" tingle. That whole tingle thing sounded way better in my head. I use it to set mineral makeup, obviously, but I also like using it when I'm super tired because of how refreshing it is. Not sure what else I can say about it besides go get you one! I will definitely be trying out a few of their other blends in the future.

Retails for approx. $14.99 CAN (not sure what I paid) for 120ml.  I purchased mine at Big Carrot, however, it can be purchased online at Pure Potent as well.


Merry (late) Christmas!!

Hey all! Just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  I'm totally late but, better late than never right? Hopefully you all had an absolutely amazing day and  Santa was good to you.  I know he was good to me and it was nice to have a day off from work and just spend time with loved ones.

Lots of love from me to you! xo

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Life Update

Hey all!  I wanted to do a quick life update as well as where I want to be headed in the New Year.  I have been so busy with work (retail+holiday season=torture lol) and the Holidays that I haven't really had time to put together a gift guide like most other bloggers.  I will do one next year for sure and hopefully by then, I won't be as challenged using a computer.  True story, haha.

In the New Year, I want to start doing more DIY posts because I think it would be fun.  And by "more", I mean actually do some.  I have a bunch of ideas in my head but I have way too many products right now to get through.  I'm going to try and limit those products by making my own concoctions of stuff from scrubs to serums and basic cleansers and so on.  I will still be purchasing products to try out from time to time and my hair care will all be bought, I won't be making hair products or anything.  I want to start doing some daily life posts as well, like teas I drink and food I eat (or am drinking/eating that day). I'm following a bunch of bloggers right now and really enjoy when they do posts like that. 

Hmm, I think that's it! I have some great items that I will be revewing soon, so stay tuned for those. I hope everyone is having an amazing Holiday season.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oil Cleansing Method

A little while back, I tried the oil cleansing method using coconut oil.  For those of you that don't know what OCM is, it's basically cleansing your skin with oil (duh!).  Oil is great for cleansing makeup, dirt and drawing out oil from deep down in your pores.  Coconut oil is great because it has antimicrobial and healing properties which is great for acne.

I decided to go all in and use the OCM morning and night.  My skin was looking amazing for the first week.  It was soft, even complexion, no pimples, minimal black and white heads, hydrated, glowing, etc. After that, my face began breaking out like a champ.  I heard that it's supposed to "purge" and all that jazz, which is fine, but my face just kept purging.  I thought maybe it was too much oil and my skin was getting clogged up.  I would apply a small amount of coconut oil to my hands, warm it up, massage on face and remove, multiple times, with a hot face towel, then tone and go on with life as usual.  I stopped cleansing with oil in the morning and returned to my Pangea cleanser which brought my skin back to normal.

I now only use oil to cleanse off makeup as well to moisturize, otherwise, I use Pangea or any other facial cleanser that I have on hand morning and night.  I might give this another go using a different oil, but I'm not sure yet.  I would like to and will be trying out the honey challenge as soon as I'm close to running out of my facial cleansers.  Honey is antibacterial, full of antioxidants and a natural humectant (attracts and retains moisture) which I think would work amazingly well for my skin and all other skin types.

Have you tried either the Oil Cleansing Method or Honey Challenge? Let me know!


Cheeky Cosmetics Samples!

I've been on a makeup kick lately, I want to play around with more natural makeup products and attempt "face of the day" posts. There are so many great companies that provide natural/organic makeup, however, I like to find Canadian brands to support because it's always nice to support local businesses and the economy. 

In my search for natural makeup, I came across Cheeky Cosmetics.  Cheeky Cosmetics is a Canadian brand, that was started by Chantal, and has everything you need for a beautiful makeup look.  You can purchase samples of all of the powder products for $1 and lipstick/gloss for $1.50.  I recently lost my Stila In The Light Palette so I thought I'd grab a bunch of shadow samples since I officially have no eye shadow.  Yup, no shadow.  How do you survive with no shadow? Ugh, it's so hard.

Here's what I picked up!

Top row from left to right, eye shadows in:

Cocoa - dark warm brown (matte)
Pebble - medium light taupe (shimmer)
Truffle - medium dark taupe (glow)
Midnight - dark navy (glow)

Second row from left to right, eye shadows in:

Aubergine - deep eggplant (glow)
Desert Rose - soft, natural rose (shimmer)
Pink Champagne - sheer pink beige (sparkle)
Silk - light beige shimmer (shimmer)

Third row from left to right:

Blush in Cheeky - bright, fresh pink and Flirt - soft, rosy pink
Foundation in Light
Lip gloss in Siren - rich deep berry
Lipstick in Ambrosia - soft, light rose

Here are swatches of all of them in the same order listed above

I haven't used any of the products yet since I literally received them today, however, I will be trying them tomorrow.  From the swatches, I really like cocoa, pebble, truffle, midnight and desert rose the most.  I'm not sure how I feel about the blushes, foundation and lip products though.  We'll see when I try them!

Have you tried Cheeky Cosmetics before?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shea Terra Tamanu Oil Review

I love me some oil! I have raved about coconut oil, which is still amazing and I love it, but wanted to play around with other oils as well.  You don't know what's going to give you the best results unless you play a little. Oil party anyone?

Description: Shea Terra Organics' 100% Pure Tamanu Oil from Madagascar has nothing added and nothing taken away so you get maximum anti-acne, anti-aging, and anti-bacterial benefits. Shea Terra Organics' 100% Pure Tamanu Oil is flown in from a Madagascar forest saving project. The oil continues to work more effectively against bacterial and fungal infections than many anti-biotics. It has an amazing ability to help promote the formation of new tissue which makes it perfect for those suffering from acne, rashes, sunburn, insect bites and eczema, not to mention as a daily standby for razor nicks to speed healing and avoid scarring as well as anti-aging.

The Good:
  • wonderfully hydrating
  • reduces acne
  • multi use product
  • quickly heals any cuts or burns
  • great amount of product
  • dark coloured bottle preserves the oil
  • doesn't stain clothing or sheets even though it is a yellow coloured oil
The Bad:
  • smells awful
  • not a fan of the dropper. A pump would be less messy and easier to control the amount. 
Verdict:  I have been using this for the last month or so and have seen great results. I first began using it morning and night but now I just use it as a night serum and wake up with less acne, redness and my skin is radiant. If only I could stop touching my damn face now! Ugh, I have a problem which involves me constantly touching my face for no reason which then spreads bacteria which then causes acne.  You'd think I'd better right? I do, I just have a problem!  I also use it on any cuts or burns that I get and it works like a dream! The smell does linger and it is quite strong, beware lol. I absolutely hate the dropper and wish I had the option of a pump.  Online they show it as having a pump but Healthy Planet only had droppers. This oil is pretty thick so it gets all around the dropper instead of just in it and makes a mess on the bottle and releases too much oil.  You only need 2 - 3 drops for your entire face, neck and chest. I really like this oil and would definitely repurchase. I would only repurchase Shea Terra's version if the bottle came with a pump, otherwise I'd find a different one.
Retails for approx. $24 CAN for a 2 oz bottle.  Can be purchased in store at Healthy Planet or online at Shea Terra.

Have you heard of or tried Tamanu Oil?

Ingredients: 100% Pure tamanu oil

Nourish Fresh Fig Deodorant Review

Nobody wants to be stinky and it's hard to find a natural deodorant that can keep you stink free most of the day and nourish your underarms.  I still use my Dr. Mist but find it can be drying with continued use.  So now I'm stink free but my underarms are flaking, how attractive.  I came across Nourish at Big Carrot and after reading some reviews, I decided to try it out.  They have a few different scents; Fresh Fig, Almond Vanilla, Lavender Mint, Unscented and Wild Berries.  Fresh Fig's sweet but light scent stood out to me most.

Description: Lightly scented with organic fig and apricot, this blend of naturally deodorizing cornstarch and vegetable protein, soothing shea and cocoa butters, beeswax, and coconut oil leaves you feeling fresh all day, every day.

The Good:
  • smells delicious!
  • hydrating and nourishing
  • creamy after the first week or so (see the bad)
  • hasn't left any residue or stains on my tops
The Bad:
  • gritty for the first week.  It felt like my underarms were getting exfoliated and it kind of hurt, not gonna lie!
  • need to reapply multiple times (morning, afternoon and night) especially if I'm running around doing errands or working out
  • doesn't keep me from smelling like BO.  Mmmm, the sweet scent of BO *gags*
Verdict: This is not a winner for me, sadly.  I know it's not supposed to stop sweat but it would be great if it could at least keep me from wanting to throw up when I get a whiff of my BO.  This works great if I'm literally doing nothing, but who does nothing on most days? I sure don't. I DO, however, enjoy this in conjunction with Dr. Mist.  I get odor protection from Dr. Mist and a little nourishment from Nourish (pun intended).  While I won't repurchase, I would love to try out some of their other products such as hand soap, body lotion and body scrub!

Retails for approx. $8 CAN for 2.2oz.  I purchased mine at Big Carrot but it can be purchased online as well through Nourish.

What have you tried from Nourish?

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Corn Starch, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Saccharomyces Ferment, Organic Fragrance

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

November Haul and First Impressions!

I've been running/using up so many products lately that I thought it was time to pick up things that I needed and maybe one or two that I just plain wanted.  The Holiday season is approaching and what's better than a few gifts for yourself? Nothing!  I picked these products up in November and am late in posting, I know, but hauls are always fun and all of these products are new to me so maybe I'll even get some feedback from you guys!

For the first time ever, I've used up all of my body wash.  I still have soap but like to switch it up between soap and body wash because I enjoy both. Since I love Hugo Naturals bar soap, I thought why the heck not try their body wash?! I got it in Sweet Orange & Vanilla Body Wash because it smells delicious, like John Masters Blood Orange & Vanilla but a little lighter, half the price and more product.  JM is 8 fl oz and Hugo is 12 fl oz, just for reference. I really am loving this body wash thus far because it lathers so beautifully with my shower puff thing (don't know the technical term), smells divine and leaves my skin soft.  I want to try the Shea Butter & Oatmeal as it's probably more hydrating for Winter and if I see it on sale, it's mine!

I picked up the Evanhealy Blue Face Care kit which comes with Blue Lavender Cleansing Milk (loving so far), Lavender Facial Tonic Hydrosol (also loving), Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum -Blue (meh), Green Tea Clay (haven't tried) and Blue Chamomile Day Moisturizer (meh). Heard great things about this brand and had to try it out.

I needed toner to use in the am and to set makeup, this Pure Potent Wow Aromatherapy Mister looked interesting.  I really like how refreshing it is, wakes me and my skin right up!  I would love and am likely going to try it out in a few other scents, I got it in "Chill". Chill has essential oils of spearmint, lavender, blue chamomile as well as witch hazel, rose hydrosol and aloe.

I'm running out of my Pretty Clay Mask and thought I'd try some other sort of clay mask for fun.  I picked up Cocoon Apothecary Ancient Mud Facial Mask.  This stuff is very strong and makes my skin a little red.  I'm on the fence about it right now.

Lastly, I picked up some carrier and essential oils to play with.  I like using oil to remove makeup, at night as a serum, under moisturizer during the day and on my body and hair.  I wanted to try some new oils out and maybe do a few DIY serums and body oils.  I got jojoba and apricot kernal oil as my base oils and lavender and chamomile as my essential oils.  Both essential oils are calming and soothing which is great for my skin in the colder months but lavender is also a great sebum balancer.

That concludes my haul!

Did you spoil yourself a bit in November?  What have you picked up?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel Toner Review

I love toners, they have so many functions.  They're great to remove any excess cleanser, refresh skin, restore PH balance, set mineral makeup, cleanse skin in the AM or on a day when you're not wearing makeup, allow oils/serums/creams apply better, etc, etc.  After finishing my Pangea toner (sad face) last month, I decided to pick this one up since I've used it before and already know my skin enjoys it. Witch hazel is a natural astringent which is great for acne and other skin conditions, however, it's not as harsh as alcohol based toners.

Description: Stay Cool as a Cucumber, Whatever the Weather. THAYERS® Alcohol-Free Cucumber Witch Hazel with Organic Aloe Vera Formula Toner cooling essence has a deliciously serene effect on the body. Experience our formula for serenity now! • Fragrance-Free • Paraben-Free • Naturally Preserved • Hypoallergenic. 

Review: I love how soothing and non-drying this toner is.  I like to mix it with my Pretty clay mask for its astringent properties to help with any acne that I have.  The toner comes in a plastic bottle, however, the cap is not travel friendly.  It can easily open and/or leak causing a mess in your bag.  It happened to me, I'm just warning you.  It smells like fresh cucumbers, which I like because it's not a strong scent and doesn't linger but I've added a few drops of lavender essential oil to give it extra oomph!  I enjoy using it after I work out or during the day, as a cleanser, when I have no makeup on but feel my skin needs to be cleansed. I also use it nightly to remove excess makeup and cleanser, it works like a dream.  It doesn't strip my skin and leave it feeling dry, just soft and refreshed.  This toner also lasts a really long time and it super affordable for the size.

The alcohol free toners come in Cucumber, Unscented, Rose Petal, and Lavender.  Thayers also has toners with alcohol that comes in Original, Lemon, Peach, and Medicated. I have personally tried Cucumber (obviously), Rose Petal, Lavender and Peach.  Cucumber is by far my favourite because the scent is very light.  I find the other to be seriously obnoxious, they're just too strong smelling and Peach has alcohol which is drying and irritating to my skin.

Retails between approx. $9 and $13 CAN for 355ml.  I purchased mine at Healthy Planet, however, you can find it at just about any health food store or online retailer such as  Check out Thayers for more info.

Which Thayers toner have you or would like to try most?

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Certified Organic Filet Of Aloe Vera), Glycerin (Vegetable), Hamamelis Virginiana (THAYERS® proprietary un-distilled Witch Hazel) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate.

November 2012 Favourites!

I know that I didn't do an October Favourites, mostly because I didn't have anything new to share but this month is a whole new ball game! I have been trying, using and rediscovering some new things and old things, you know how it goes.  I just love favourite posts/YouTube videos, it's fun to see what others are enjoying.

For my face, I've been loving...

Coconut Oil and Tamanu Oil - Both provide the perfect amount of hydration and help heal and prevent acne.  I have yet to do a review of Tamanu Oil but will soon!

Eminence Apricot Whip Moisturizer - review here - This is literally the only moisturizer that I can use in combination with a facial oil and not feel or look greasy.  It provides a great base for makeup and hydrates any dry patches.  It also smells absolutely delicious!

Antipodes Lip Balm - review here - a-freakin-mazing balm for dry lips and cold weather!! Omg, I am obsessed and must apply this every morning and night.  I'm literally scared of losing it so I keep it by my bed side instead of in my purse.  It has been soothing my lips and making them kissably soft *puckers*.

For my hair, I've been loving...

Sukin Purifying Shampoo - review here - I didn't originally like this, I thought it was super drying but....I've changed my mind.  I added several drops (15-20) of lavender essential oil and find it to be more moisturizing.  It's been in rotation with the next product.

John Masters Zinc & Sage Shampoo - review here - mmmm, still love the cupcake scent.  This has been wonderful and I've been loving it this month.  It soothes my scalp and leaves my hair so soft.

John Masters Citrus & Neroli Detangler - review here - I really enjoy this lightweight conditioner for when I need a little extra moisture after using JM's Zinc & Sage.  I won't use it all the time, but my hair has it's days.

Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap in Eucalyptus - review here - I've purchased and used this soap in peppermint, citrus, tea tree and eucalyptus (most recent).  Eucalyptus is by far my faveeeee scent of all.  I add a couple of drops of it to my body wash, shampoo, hand soap, use it to wash my most stinky bits (feet and pits) and just love how it smells and wakes me right up.  I've been meaning to make a bathroom cleaner and hand soap with it but am using up what I already have right now. When I end up doing that, I will post a DYI.

Coconut Oil - see above - I have been using this on my hair and scalp a couple of times of week to help with my seborrheic dermatitis.  I put it in, tie my hair up, and sleep with it.  In the morning I take a comb and gently remove any flakes from my scalp (as you would on a baby with cradle cap).  It's been working like a dream.

To moisturize my body, I've been loving....

Weleda Skin Food - review here - This stuff is great! I use it on my hands and feet before bed, as well as dry areas on my face (nose).  It works like a dream and is a must have for winter without a doubt!

Shea Terra Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Shea Butter - review here - Love, love, love, LOVE! It smells so good and hydrates so beautifully without feeling greasy.  I use it every single day after I shower.

I'm haven't tried too many new things in terms of makeup.  One item is completely new and the other is something that was in a kit I got with my Sephora beauty insider points in the summer.  I will be experimenting with some new makeup soon (shadows, liners, etc) though.

Tarte Park Avenue Princess Bronzer - no review - I didn't review this or the set that I got it in for some reason.  I honestly have no clue what was even in the set but this is a mini size of the bronzer.  It's shimmery and could definitely be used to highlight but I have been using and loving it to contour as well as add a little luminosity to my face as a whole.  I won't purchase the full size because I think this will last me for a long time + by the time I'm finished it, I'll be wanting to try something else lol.

Alima Pure Foundation in Warm 2 - review here -  HG foundation! I use it alone or over concealer and it totally neutralizes any redness that I have.  I will definitely be picking up another colour come the warmer months.

Pure+Simple Blush in Glow - review here - I am literally obsessed with this colour and wear it practically every single day.  It's such a beautiful raspberry pink colour that (I think) looks fantastic on me.  Gives me that cold weather natural rosy flush.  I mentioned it in my September faves, it was also in my October faves (which I didn't do) and now this month!  It will likely be my favourite blush until I finish it lol. Go pick it up!

What did you love in November?

November 2012 Empties!

My empties posts are seriously ridiculous.  I don't know how I manage to finish so many products and still have so many left.  Mind you, most of my face care products are now samples with the exception of a few items but still. 

Here we go!

Carina Botanical Shampoo/Body Wash - review here - I love this stuff as a shampoo and in the last month of use, I actually used it as a body wash. This shampoo is really moisturizing and soothing on the scalp and while I love it, my boyfriend has switched me over to the JM Zinc and Sage shampoo so I don't think I'm going to repurchase this for right now.

Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner - review here - This item actually expired before I could finish it, which is fine by me.  I didn't enjoy this and couldn't figure out the best way to use it with my hair.  I found it made it greasy and weighed it down.  I won't be repurchasing.

Lavanila Body Butter in Vanilla Passion Fruit - review here - I loveeeeeeeeee this stuff as a hand cream all year round.  It smells delicious and leaves my hands so smooth.  I've gone through several tubes of it and will be repurchasing for sure once I finish a couple of other hand creams.


Juice Beauty Simply Pure Chamomile Cleanser - review here - I received this about half full, because it exploded during shipping, and it lasted me a good 4 months.  I found it dried me out with continued use and really didn't do anything for my skin.  I did enjoy it to remove makeup on lazy days but I will not be repurchasing.

Pangea Organics Toner - review here - Hands down one of my favourite toners ever! I love how it smells, how it makes my skin feel, how it sets my makeup, etc, etc. I will, without a doubt, repurchase but have decided to try a few other toners that are less expensive just to compare and review.

Weleda Soothing Almond Facial Cream - review here - Really enjoyed this as a body cream because it was hydrating and soothing but it failed me as a facial cream.  I will not be purchasing.

Eminence Blueberry Soy Night Cream, Sugar Plum Whip Moisturizer, Red Rose Cleanser, Stone Crop Masque, Rosehip  Maize Masque - review here -  See my review for a more in depth look into each one.  The only one that I have been toying with the idea of purchasing is the Stone Crop Masque.

Origins VitaZing SPF 15 - no review - I really liked this sample moisturizer that lasted me forever.  It's a white coloured SPF moisturizer that adapts to your skin colour to give you a beautiful glow.  I loved it and was pretty sad when I finished it.  Since Origins is owned by Estee Lauder, who allows animal texting, I will not be purchasing the full size.

One Love Organics Brand New Day Scrub - no review - Received this with a Fresh Faced order.  This scrub was alright.  I only received a small sample so I didn't have enough of it to play around with it.  It can be used as a mask or as a scrub, which makes it a multi use product. I can't see myself purchasing it but would love to hear if any of you have tried it.

One Love Organics Springs Eternal Youth Serum - no review - Received this with a Fresh Faced order and really enjoyed it while I had it.  I had also received the Morning Glory Complexion Booster which was in my October Empties and preferred that one.  I found it worked better with my skin to give me a beautiful glow, soft skin and overall hydrated appearance.

Pai Macadamia & Rose Cream - no review - Received this with a Fresh Faced order and didn't enjoy it.  I found it to be too heavy, made my face feel greasy and the smell a bit much.  I will not be purchasing the full size.

Pure+Simple Lactic Acid Plus - review here - Boy do I love this stuff! It was so amazing and I was hoping that it would last me the month of December as well.  I used this on my face and back to help control breakouts and smooth out my skin. I won't be purchasing this right now because I'm going back to school in January and will likely be receiving chemical peels a couple of times a month, however, I will be picking one up at the end of summer (when school is done).

Pure+Simple Nourishing Exfoliant and Face Mask - review here - I originally said that I would purchase this once I ran out but I've changed my mind.  I did like using it while I had it, but there are other scrubs and masks that I enjoy more such as their Calming Cucumber Mask.  It's still a great product and I recommend trying it out.

That's it for this month!  What have you finished?
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