Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 2013 Empties!

My bathroom is looking pretty bare as I have literally used up most of my skin, hair and body care items these last few months. In terms of my skin care, I'm trying to be as minimal as possible for my skin's sake but of course you all know how hard that is. My goal is to buy things as I need only. My monthly empties going forward will likely consist of much less product.

Let's see the ridiculous number of products I finished this month...

Pangea Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange Cleanser - review here - I adore this cleanser. Pretty sure I've been through 2 or 3 bottles of this and it is hands down my favourite cleanser ever. It smells nice, emulsifies with water beautifully, removes all of my makeup, keeps my skin clear and lasts for months. I am not going to repurchase right now but likely will in the near future.

Essencia Lavender Floral Water - review here - I'm so glad to have finished this. It doesn't smell well and the bottle is so damn heavy. I won't be repurchasing.

DeVita High Performance Glycolic Acid Blend - review here - I have been holding on to the last few pumps for as long as possible. I have really enjoyed using this serum/treatment because it helped smooth and even out my complexion, bring blemishes to the surface, and exfoliate my skin. It is a brilliant product. I will definitely be repurchasing.

Eminence Stone Crop Cleanser (tiny sample on the top right) - no review - This was a sample I received with an order, not sure when. I took it with me on a weekend getaway and boy is it even crap! It smells like Herbal Essence shampoo, which is lovely, but it didn't remove any of my makeup and it left my skin dry. I literally had to wash my face twice and still had makeup left on my skin. It's a gel texture that doesn't lather or emulsify much. I will not be purchasing the full size.

Eminence Apricot Whip Moisturizer - review here - I finally finished up this sample! Woohoo! It smells lovely, hydrates beautifully and feels great on the skin. They're going to be at the Spa Show in Toronto, in April, so I may pick up a few things then. Until then, I won't be purchasing the full size.

John Masters Zinc & Sage Shampoo - review here - If you are trying to avoid sweets, skip on this shampoo because the smell of vanilla cupcakes will make you want to eat one! This is a great hydrating and scalp soothing shampoo. I find it can weigh my hair down with continued use, so I do need to incorporate a more deep cleansing shampoo once a week to wash away the build up of oils. It does cleanse well but my hair is fine and everything weighs it down. That's generally why I don't wear styling products even if I curl my hair. I won't be repurchasing right now, perhaps next winter!

Hugo Naturals White Chocolate Raspberry Soap (little sliver in front of the JM Shampoo) - haul here -  OMG this stuff smells so delicious. My whole washroom smelled like this soap. It lathers ever so slightly, cleanses and hydrates, and leaves my skin smelling edible. I did find that I went through this rather quickly though, quicker than their handcrafted soaps. I love the scent and therefore would likely repurchase as a treat to myself.

John Masters Citrus & Neroli Detangler - review here - This bottle lasted me about 10 months, and I used it pretty regularly. It says to use within 6 months of opening it, is that even possible? I really like this detangler. It left my hair soft, easy to comb through and lightly fragranced. I have a couple conditioners to finish up before I repurchase this one. I think I might purchase a travel sized bottle since this one took me so long to use up.

Figs and Rouge Cherry & Vanilla Balm - review here - Thank goodness I finished this disgusting smelling balm. I used it on my feet, which worked to hydrate them, just to use it up because the smell made me want to throw up. If smell isn't an issue, it's worth a shot because of how hydrating it is. I much prefer Badger Balm to this. I will never repurchase.

Shea Terra Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Shea Butter - review here - I had a love/hate relationship with this body butter. There were times when I felt I had to use to much to get it to spread and moisturize evenly but I loved how it moisturized in general. The smell is intoxicating and it helped heal my dry, chapped hands. My boyfriend is actually going to be purchasing a jar of it for himself, but I don't think I will pick up another one. I want to try making my own, one day...lol.

I had written this post a few days ago, but didn't upload it. In the last couple of days I finished these last four products.

Weleda Skin Food - review here - I love this stuff! It's so light and easy to throw in my purse. I'm washing my hands so frequently in school that they've been drying out, throw in the wonderful Canadian weather and you got yourself a dry skin party! I love how hydrating this is without feeling greasy. I will definitely be purchasing another tube.

Shea Terra Rose Hips Black Soap - review here - At first, I used this on my face daily. Then, it started drying me out so I used it a couple of times a week only. After that, I began using it on my shoulders, chest and back to remove the stupid and crappy massage oil that we've been using at school. I like that it gives my skin a really deep clean while exfoliating but I'd rather use an actual face scrub or body exfoliating mitts. I won't be repurchasing.

ZuZu Luxe Mascara in Onyx - review here - This stuff really grew on me. With the right lash curler and proper consistency, I can get beautiful looking lashes. It's a little wet (for me) when I first open a fresh tube, but after a few weeks it thickens up and applies much better. Everyone likes their mascara to look and feel a certain way. I hate clumps of any kind and would rather my mascara thicken my lashes than lengthen, although I won't complain if it does both. My lashes are naturally long and somewhat thick, so I need a mascara to enhance what's there. This does that after the formula thickens. I have already repurchased.

Bite Beauty Lip Shine in Vintage - review here - This was a sample gloss that came in the Sephora Lip kit that I bought. I have fallen head over heels in love with this gloss. It looks great over any lip colour, smells like medicinal cherries (ew right? a little. I actually don't mind it because it doesn't linger or maybe I just learn to forget it's there lol), and is slightly sticky which makes it last longer on my lips. I keep debating with myself on whether to buy the full size or not. Even though it's not the most natural, I think I may purchase the full size at some point.

Have you tried any of the above mentioned products or finished up anything this month?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bubs & Scrubs Coconut Milk Soap Review

This was yet another product that Marcella sent me in our swap last month. I had actually picked it because I love trying new soaps, mostly to see how they compare to Hugo Naturals. Nothing compares to Hugo Naturals! I can't remember the site that I selected it from but hopefully Marcella will post it below. She's been busy with school and I definitely don't want to bother her.

Description: This all natural coconut milk soap is as pure as it gets. We've made it without any added scent or color; simply luxurious. The addition of coconut milk creates a remarkably creamy lather and is gentle enough for your face, babies and all skin types.

The Good:
  • gentle
  • cleansing
  • hydrating
  • scentless (also falls under The Bad)
  • perfect for babies and those with allergies
  • minimal & cute packaging
The Bad:
  • scentless
  • somewhat expensive

Verdict: Not bad but it's no Hugo. The fact that there's no scent is great for those who are ultra sensitive to them and babies, however I like my soap to smell nice. On the plus, they do have scented coconut milk soaps. I found it did a nice job of cleansing and hydrating my skin. There were days when I didn't even need to moisturize anything but my elbows, knees and feet. It's super gentle, never irritated my skin or lady bits. In terms of pricing, it's can be expensive depending on where you buy it from, it ranges from $4 USD to $6.50 USD for a 3.5oz bar. The minimal and wax paper packaging and logo on the soap itself is really cute. I also enjoy the minimal ingredient list. I would definitely be interested in trying more of their bar soaps.

Retails for approx. $4 - $6.50 USD for a 3.5oz bar. Check out Bubs & Scrubs for more info.

INCI Listing of Ingredients: Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Distilled Water, Persea gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil and Cocos Nucifera Extract

Common Names of Ingredients: Olive Oil, Distilled Water, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil and Coconut Milk

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The All Natural Face Haul #2 + First Impressions + Mini Reviews

The wonderful Caitie, from Naturalla Beauty, had posted on her Facebook page about a fab deal for The All Natural Face from yourbestdeals.com. The deal was $19 for $50 worth of product. Luckily she did because otherwise I would have missed out! Thanks Caitie!

My first ANF haul was pretty exciting. Imagine how much more exciting this haul was for me since I got to try more products! Soooo exciting...until...I received my order. The colours of what I received were just such a let down and you're about to see what I mean.

I'm going to start with the lipstick sampler which comes with five shades of choice, one clear and a lip scrub. I opted out of the scrub because it contains salicylic acid which doesn't react well with my skin. The five shades that I selected were Deep Wine, Sweet Wine, Juicy Plum, Sweetheart Pink and Cherries Jubilee. I ended up receiving two samples of Deep Wine and none of Sweet Wine. Mistakes happen. I was more disappointed to discover that they weren't what I expected in terms of shade, two look the same and one looks more like a gloss (and I'm not talking about the clear sample). They feel more like a gloss than a lipstick and have an odd plastic taste. I tried applying them with a brush and my finger, and they applied better with my finger which is how they were applied with in the pictures below. I doubt I'll be using these samples or purchasing full sizes because the taste honestly makes me gag a little and the shades aren't flattering on me except the Sweetheart Pink.

L TO R: Deep Wine, Sweetheart Pink, Cherries Jubilee & Juicy Plum. Notice how Deep Wine & Cherries Jubilee look the same?

Juicy Plum - not pigmented on the lips at all. Felt like oil being rubbed on my lips.

Deep Wine

Cherries Jubilee

Sweetheart Pink

I then picked up the Diva Eye Stix in Milk and Fawn. Bri, from iluvjesse444, has raved about the stix in Milk for highlighting the inner corners of the eyes and brow bone. How could I not pick it up if she loves it so much!? I really enjoy it! It's creamy and creates a very nice brightening effect, however, be careful with how much you apply. My skin is a bit dry and it clinged to the dry patches on my brow bone the first time that I used it. The second time I used less and it was beautiful. Lesson learnt lol. Fawn on the other hand, isn't nearly as creamy and I found I have to warm it up on the back of my hand before applying it otherwise it tugs at the delicate eye area. All in all, I'm pleased.

Top to Bottom: Milk & Fawn. Better swatch will be below.

Bri also raved about the Magic Vegan Eye Shadow Primer. I originally picked up the Oily Lid Primer which was so disappointing and creased horribly. The Magic Primer is amazing! I've only used is a couple of times but it didn't crease and helped my shadows last. I wouldn't say it lasts ALL day, like Urban Decay's Primer Potion, but it's fantastic for being a natural and vegan primer.

I love lip gloss and thought I might as well try one from the ANF. After spending a very long time going through all of the pictures and descriptions of each gloss to pick a colour that I thought would be great, I decided on Sassy Cherry. Huge mistake. When I think Cherry, I think a beautiful berry shade. Imagine my disappointment when I opened up this gloss and saw how brown it was and to make matters worse, it has the same plastic taste as the lipsticks. The smell/taste doesn't go away, it lingers and that a problem for me because I honestly can't handle it. It looks like a chocolate shade and just looks awful on me. I will not be using this gloss and I won't be trying other shades due to the scent. Perhaps of a little peppermint was added, I would give a different shade a try.

Better swatch will be below.
Here is a swatch of Sassy Cherry Lip Glss (top left corner) and the Diva Stix in Milk & Fawn

My last haul, I picked up the pot cream foundation in True Beige which was too dark for me. This haul, I picked up the same foundation but in Light Beige Warm which matches me much better. I haven't really played with this much so I don't have much to say about it. It's creamy, that's all I got :P

Last but not least, I picked up three cream blushes because they are beyond amazing! It was hard selecting shades, because again, they appear different than what's on the site. I decided on Dusky Rose, Barbie & Touch of Rose. I knew what to expect with Dusky Rose and Barbie because there's a picture of them on TANF cream blush section, however, Touch of Rose was disappointing. It's lighter than what I expected seeing the powdered version. I find it to be more of a bronzey, pink highlight. I'm not thrilled with it, that's for sure. Barbie is really pretty, not as pigmented as the other cream blushes but definitely buildable. Dusky rose is really pretty as well, it blends out to give you a nice "touch of rose" look or you can build it to get a darker rose appearance.

Sorry they're dirty, I swatched them the second I got them and they're hard to clean.
L to R: Dusky Rose, Barbie & Touch of Rose

L to R: Touch of Rose, Barbie & Dusky Rose

I lied, cream blushes weren't last. I got three eye shadow samples in Smolder, Raw Steel and Creme Brulee. I was disappointed with Smolder, it's not as pigmented as I expected. Raw Steel is really pretty, thought it would be darker but it's not bad. Creme Brulee is my favouriteeee! So shimmery and just a great neutral champagne type shade for everyday wear.

This was so much longer than I expected but it's great to see swatches to help you decide what to order, should you choose to order from The All Natural Face. Their products, for the most part, are wonderful and their pricing can't be beat but they need to get up pictures of all of their cream product shades and better pictures/swatches of their lip shades.

What are you most excited to order from The All Natural Face?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The All Natural Face Review

I did a haul and first impressions last month and have played around with every item for a good period of time to come to a conclusion. This is going to be short and sweet; basically a description, verdict and ingredients. To see actual swatches, just click on the link above. Also, I have placed another order since this once and received it but I'm waiting to hear back from Crystal on a few issues I had before putting up another haul.

Here we go!

Description Pot Foundation/Concealer in True Beige: With the new formula you won't lose any of the coverage but the application is much creamier and feels just wonderful! The foundation can be used as a concealer or as a foundation. You get fantastic coverage with this formula!

Verdict: The formula is definitely creamy but the colour doesn't match me at all. I thought maybe I could mix it with the Oily Lid Primer to make my own shade but that was too much effort and didn't work well. Regardless, it didn't seem to cover much or last long but that could be because the colour is off. It is darker than I expected after seeing the powdered version. I did order a new one in my shade and will review that soon.

Ingredients: organic jojoba oil, organic argan oil,candelillia wax, mica, oxides, tuitanium dioxide and zinc oxide(sunscreens). $6.50 USD for 10g.

L to R: Cotton Candy & Peachy Rose

Description Cream Blush: They are sooo smooth on the lips and the color payoff is phenomenal! Our customers ohh and ahhh at the blend ability on the cheeks...but once on the lips...they yell GIMMIE!

Verdict: I am obsessed with these! They blend so easily, are creamy, pigmented and look great on my cheeks and lips! They hold up pretty well throughout the day. My biggest issue with these is that the shades don't translate to the shades you see in the powdered versions online. I was definitely thrown off when I received these, luckily I ended up loving them.

Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Candelilia Wax, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Boron Nitride, Oxides. $5.75 USD.

Vegan Oily Lid Primer in Buff: It stays on forever! I developed this exclusively for oily eyelids but you dont have to have oily lids for this to work if you just want to use it for the buff color. It is not made with drying ingredients so it will not dry out your lids.

Verdict: Save your money, it creases. I tried applying this over Tarte's eye primer and it creased. I have a mini Tarte eye primer which I use if I'm going out because it makes my shadow last all day, but didn't work with this. I tried applying it over an oil absorbing powder, it creased. I applied a little and I applied more, it creased. No matter how much, little or way it was applied, it creased! Such a shame because it works great for neutralizing the lids. I attempted to use this as a concealer on my face, and thought it was a good match at first, but it's a tad light.

Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Candelilia Wax, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Boron Nitride, Oxides. $3.45 USD for 5g.

I love how affordable and natural all of these products are. The cream blushes are so worth picking up but I warn you now, be careful with colour selection when looking at the powdered blushes.

What are you loving from The All Natural Face?

Badger Highland Mint & Sleep Balm Review

Marcella from Naturally Marcy sent me these lovely Badger balms in our swap. She has introduced and gotten me addicted to Badger and now I must try everything of theirs! Ugh, thanks Marcella...

Description Highland Mint:  Delightfully portable & refreshing hydration for lips and body. These little tins are like your best friends - you can take them anywhere, and they'll never let you down! Perfect in a pinch for cuticles or elbows, or anywhere dry skin patches may appear. And of course, they keep your healthy lips smiling!  

Description Sleep Balm: A dreamy night balm rich with precious oils to calm, encourage, cheer and relax poetic Badgers and other restless wanderers. Badger Sleep Balm doesn't make you sleepy: the sophisticated blend of essential oils helps quiet your thoughts and clear your mind, then you fall asleep naturally. Rosemary is the traditional herb for clear thinking, confidence, and memory. Bergamot is mentally uplifting, and Ginger is strengthening and confidence-inducing. Balsam Fir is refreshing, like a walk in the woods, while Lavender is the traditional sleep herb: fresh and relaxing. This balm is perfect for those nights when you can't seem to stop the mind chatter!

The Good:
  • portable tin, take it anywhere!
  • both smell delicious
  • affordable
  • clean & simple ingredients
  • hydrating
  • soaks into the skin
  • not greasy

The Bad:
  • nothing
Verdict: These balms are absolutely fantastic and I have no idea why I never tried them before. I keep the mint one in my bathroom and the sleepy one by my bed to apply on elbows, knees, hands and lips. Both are incredibly hydrating and my skin just drinks them right up. I'm not sure if the Sleep Balm actually aids in falling asleep because I've been sleeping like a champ since starting school but it smells SOOOO good. The scent is light, beautiful and soothing that I sometimes open the tin just to smell it. Funny enough, Marcella told me she does that and I laughed at her....now I'm doing it! Their Cocoa Butter Lip Balms are definitely preferred for use on my lips but these tinned balms are great for the body. I highly recommend trying them out, if you haven't already, and I will be purchasing them once I use these up...or if I happen to be at a store that has them lol.

Highland Mint retails for $3.99 USD for 0.75oz and Sleep Balm retails for $5.99 USD for 0.75oz or $9.99 USD for 2oz.

What's your favourite Badger product?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weleda Baby Calendula Face Cream Review

The constant weather change has really taken a toll on my skin. I have been testing out a few different moisturisers and somehow seem to always come back to this one. I picked this up because I needed a good moisturiser that wasn't going to irritate or break me out. I figured if it's good enough to use on a baby's delicate skin, it'll be a dream for mine. It's fantastical (fantastic & magical)!

Description: Protects and cares for a baby’s delicate facial skin. Gently massage this quickly-absorbing, protective cream into a baby's facial skin. Precious plant extracts of biodynamic Calendula and Sweet Almond Oil support the skin’s natural functions and help to maintain its moisture balance.

The Good:
  • calming & soothing
  • hydrating
  • fantastic price point
  • acne fighting
  • absorbs well
The Bad:
  • packaging
Verdict: I think you know what I'm going to say, fantastical! I didn't expect to like this as much as I do. It's a thick textured, lightly scented cream that hydrates the skin beautifully, while leaving a slight sheen which can be eliminated with some powder. Even when I don't apply powder, my skin never looks greasy because of how well it absorbs.  While using it, the redness on my cheeks significantly reduced and the few spots I had disappeared. I actually haven't been using this for the last 3 days, to test out some Dr. Hauschka samples, and my skin has become red and spotty again. I have also tried using it on my arms and hands, which tend to get dry and red this time of year. It did the same thing! Reduced the redness significantly and got rid of any dryness. I adore that this is a 50ml tube because Weleda's other facial creams and lotions are only 30ml and more expensive. The only thing that I dislike, is the apothecary type tube. They're just hard to work with (in my opinion) because they can easily crack and then product is wasted. Packaging being my only complaint, I'd definitely repurchase. I have already purchased the lotion for my body and plan to pick up the body wash once I use up what I have.

Retails for $11 - $16 CAN for 50ml. Can be purchased at most health food stores.

Have you ever tried Weleda's Baby line on yourself or your baby?

Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond), Water (Aqua), Lanolin, Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Beeswax (Cera Flava), Calendula Officinalis, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*.
* from natural essential oils

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Glowing Clear Skin - Clay Mask Concoction

Since using up all of my packaged face masks, I was determined to come up with a recipe that would smooth, soothe, even out, detoxify and clear up my skin. I'm a huge fan of clay masks because they pull impurities to the surface (oil, dirt, etc) and detoxify the skin. There are several different types of clays, each for different skin types, and I'd personally suggest playing around with each one to figure out which works best for you. I really enjoy Kaolin (White) Clay because it's super gentle yet effective. I have been making and using this mask for a few weeks now and am completely in love. It calms down any redness, dry up blemishes and keeps my skin soft.

Feel free to play with the measurements and ingredients. This is just what I use and what has been working for me :)


  • 1 tablespoon White Clay
  • 1 tablespoon Green Clay
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon toner (you can use toner, water, tea, etc. A little liquid will help smooth it all out)
  • 5-6 drops Neem Oil (great for acne and any other skin irritations, however, you can leave this out or add in essential oils)

  • Mix clays together

    Add in honey, toner, and neem

    MIX! Mix until you reach a consistency that you like

     I'm sexy and I know it haha. Apply it to your face & neck or just face.
    How long you leave it on is entirely up to you. I will usually leave it on for at least 15 minutes, but you can leave it on for less or more time. I then rinse, use a gentle toner to remove any excess, and apply my tamanu and sea buckthorn oil. Voila! Super easy and your skin will love it.

    Let me know what your favourite facial mask concoction is or if you plan on trying this one!

    Thursday, February 07, 2013

    Essencia Lavender Floral Water Review

    Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been posting much this last week, I've been so busy with school. Posts might be few and far between this month but I will do my best to at least get 1 - 2 a week up.

    Now for the purpose of this post, the review!

    My all time favourite lavender water, and floral waters in general, are the ones from Pretty. They're lightly scented, hydrating and wonderful. My only issue with them is the price, approx. $16 CAN for 90 ml can get expensive if used daily. My mom had picked up the Essencia floral water to use as a toner, but passed it over to me for a couple of reasons.

    Description:  Adapted to all skin types, lavender’s antiseptic, cleansing, skin healing and softening action fights imperfections. Effective against burns and skin disorders and acne. Relieves insect bites and stings, and gives new life to tired limp hair.

    The Good:
    • good value for money
    • reusable glass bottle
    • pure, no alcohol or fillers
    • great for setting makeup
    The Bad:
    • smells awful
    • too heavy to travel with, sometimes even to hold
    • not a fine mist
    • not hydrating
    Verdict: My mom originally passed this on to me because she couldn't stand the smell. I honestly cannot even describe it using my weird references. The bottle is great because you can reuse and/or recycle it but I found the odd shape and weight uncomfortable to use. I had a hard time holding it and misting it with one hand, even when it came down to the last few uses. The price point is fantastic at under $15 CAN for 180ml but it fell regardless. I used it to remove excess cleanser, oil and makeup as well as set mineral makeup and while it did the job, it wasn't as hydrating as other lavender waters that I've used. This is the first floral water from Essencia that I have tried but can tell you that I won't repurchase or try a different one.

    Retails for approx. $15 CAN for 180ml. Can be purchased at most health food stores.

    Have you tried any of Essencia's floral waters?

    Ingredients: 100 % natural hydrosol, from plant’s distillation; no alcohol

    Monday, February 04, 2013

    Simply Natural Balm in Chamilla Review

    Marcella, from Naturally Marcy, just knows me so well! She sent me another lip balm in our swap! I actually expressed interest in this balm, and she so kindly picked it up for me based on that. Not to ruin the review or anything, but it's not my favourite.

    Description: Chamomile oil is known for its soothing property, add some vanilla~ and you have chamilla! Slide this balm on and smile!

    The Good:
    • simple & fantastic ingredients
    • fairly inexpensive
    • applies smoothly
    • easy to find (in my bag lol)
    • affordable
    The Bad:
    • scent is too strong
    • not hydrating enough

    Verdict: I'm not a huge fan of this balm because the smell is too strongly of chamomile and it isn't very hydrating. It applies really nicely, but my lips feel dry after several minutes and with continued use. I was expecting a light chamomile and vanilla scent, disappointing for sure. Silver lining? It's so easy to find because of the yellow label.  I will not be purchasing once I use it up.

    Retails for $3 USD and can be purchased directly from Simply Natural.

    Have you tried anything from Simply Natural?

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