Monday, September 30, 2013

Pure Anada Loose Mineral Shadows Review

I've seriously fallen in love with Pure Anada makeup. I think that it's fantastic value for money, Canadian made, clean ingredients, and pigmented. Their *Luminous Mineral Powder Eye Shadows are no exception to this.

L to R: Caribbean & Pearl
Description: Finely milled micas impart an illuminating glow. Apply them dry for soft, subtle color, or wet for more vibrant intensity. Have fun! Be creative! Deep shades can be used as shadows or eye liners. Shades are marked as neutral, cool, and warm to help you find the ones that best suit you.

Caribbean is a beautiful vibrant blue that I'd likely use as a liner for a fun look. I'm not very adventurous with my eye shadow, but I'm sure there are a variety of looks that you can create using this fierce blue. Pearl is my absolute favourite of the two. I use it in my inner corner, brow bone, cheeks, cupids bow, etc. It's basically my all over highlighter. Both are very pigmented, apply beautifully, and last most of the day depending on where you put it. If you have oily lids, and apply it there, it likely won't last all day without creasing. The texture is buttery and light, yet is easily built up or sheered out and can be applied dry or wet. The jars are pretty big and will last forever. Not much else to say about these beauties! I highly recommend checking them out if you're a fan of loose shadows.

Retails for $8 CAN for a 1g sifter jar. Can be purchased through Pure Anada or any of their retailers.

Do you prefer pressed or loose shadows?

Top to Bottom: Peal & Caribbean
Ingredients: Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, May contain: Titanium Dioxide
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*Product sent for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 2013 Empties!

Another month has come and gone way too quickly. What's even sadder is that I originally wrote "October 2013 Empties!", then I realized it's still September. Good job Nicole, skip a month why don't you. Clearly I'm tired and slightly delusional...trash talk time. 

Consonant Organic Moisturizing Eye Cream Sample - no review - It's alright, but I don't think it's hydrating enough right now let alone when it gets much colder. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Consonant Organic Firming Eye Cream Sample - no review - This eye cream wasn't moisturizing at all, however, it definitely gave a tightening effect/feel. While I'd love to reap the benefits of this firming eye cream, I need my under eyes to be well moisturized for optimal concealer wear. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Pai Camellia & Rose Cleanser Sample - no review - I have been dying to try this cleanser because of all the high praises it gets and finally got a sample. Meh. Not sure what to say about it. It's nice. It seemed to be more like a butter/balm texture than a milk or lotion, so I'm not sure if I got the proper full experience. Based on this sample alone, I won't be purchasing the full size.

Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator Sample - no review - I found this very gentle, which is what it's supposed to be. It did leave my skin soft and maybe brighter, but for the price I'd rather just use my Sephora pad. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Evanhealy Rose Geranium Facial Tonic Sample - no review - Beautiful facial tonic for restoring hydration, setting makeup, and freshening up mid-day. This sample and the next, made me realize that I do not like the smell of rose geranium. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Evanhealy Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer Sample - no review - Didn't hydrate enough and smelled awful. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Shampoo Sample - no review - This sample lasted me a couple of washed. I loved this the very first wash and was actually ready to buy it right away. Then, I washed my hair a few days later and my scalp went nuts. It was so itchy that I literally scratched it raw. Keep in mind, I have dermatitis. It might work wonders for you. Won't be picking up the full size.

Earthpaste Wintergreen Toothpaste - review here - I love this toothpaste sooooo much and each tube lasts me about 2 months. It cleans my teeth well and freshens my breathe without any nasty ingredients. The wintergreen flavour is really lovely, that's coming from a peppermint only gal. I can see myself switching it up between this one and peppermint. I've already repurchased.

A. Vogel Green Clay - no review - Clay masks are fantastic and I use them regularly to help with my hormonal breakouts. I tend to mix this with white clay and honey for a gentle, dirt sucking, zit zapping, skin brightening combo. It's much cheaper than buying already prepared clay masks, but I think I'm going back to Pretty. I just love the Pretty clay masks and find they last a long time. I won't be repurchasing right now.

Lemme Bee Your Honey Ground Soap - review here - This soap was really nice and worked well as a body soap and shave bar. I love that the bars are massive and that they're a Canadian brand. Will definitely repurchase, just not in this scent.

Oneka Unscented Shampoo - no review - I purchased their citrus shampoo a little while back and said that I wouldn't repurchase in my June empties. Came across the unscented version and thought I could add essential oils to make it work better for my scalp and hair. I was wrong, really wrong. This shampoo makes my hair super greasy and irritates my dermatitis. It makes an AMAZINGLY hydrating body wash though. I won't be repurchasing for sure this time.

Aura Cacia Jojoba Oil - no review - Technically, I didn't finish this yet. I transferred it into a small glass bottle, but didn't want to hang on to trash.  It's still an empty, right!? The bottle is empty!

Weleda Pomegranate Body Oil - review here - Love, love, love this body oil. The scent is beautiful, it nourishes the skin and is just such a pleasure to use. I've gone through two bottles of it and actually bought a third, then returned it. Why did I return a body oil that I love so much? I want to try something new and Canadian. I won't be repurchasing right now.

Raw Almond Butter by Nuts to You Nut Butter - no review - I know it looks like I go through butters every month, but I've had this one for two months. I swear! Anyway, it wasn't my favourite. I love the raw, freshly ground almond butter from Whole Foods and this just didn't compare. It tasted a bit stale and seemed a bit gooey. I won't be repurchasing, I'll stick to freshly ground!
Just Cavalli Her - no review - Yes, this is a toxic and chemical filled perfume that I finally finished up. It's a great summer fragrance and if you haven't greened this section of your routine, you should check it out. I, however, am trying to find natural blends that appeal to me. Aside from Pacifica and Lavanila, I can't find anything natural that I like. I obviously won't be repurchasing. If you have any suggestions on companies that create fruity or exotic coconut/vanilla scents without the use of ylang ylang or jasmine, let me know.
Done and done! I'm pooped and off to bed now, but I'd love to know what you finished up this month :). Let me know below.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Consonant Great Canadian Face Wash Swap

Yesterday (Monday, September 23rd), Consonant Skin Care launched their annual skin care swap program. Sadly, it only applies to their best selling Foaming Face Wash and not their amazing sunscreen. Either way, you get the opportunity to try out a best seller from the brand or top up if you're already a lover of their face wash.

How it works:

1. If you’ve never tried Consonant’s face wash: Bring in your old, non-Consonant cleanser into a participating retailer and get 50% off their Organic Foaming Face Wash.

2. If you use and love their face wash: They've created a special duo just for you! Buy one face wash and get the second 50% off.  Click here to get it. 

3. If you can’t make it into one of our participating retailers, simply follow these steps to swap:
  • Take a picture of the non-Consonant face wash that you want to "swap".
  • Upload that picture to Twitter or the Consonant Facebook Page with the following message (make sure it links to them so that they can see it): "Hey Consonant I want to swap this face wash for your Organic Foaming Face Wash! #naturalskincare"
  • They will private message you with a code for 50% off one face wash or you can call to place your order (416) 925-2855
Participating Retailers:
Consonant Flagship Store - 2479 Yonge St, Toronto
Outer Layer Queen Street - 577 Queen St West, Toronto
Beauty Mark - 1268 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
Selsi Sea Rocks - St. Lawrence Market - Lower Level, Toronto
Earthroots - 5451 Hwy 7, Woodbridge
Saltridges - 389 Brant St, Burlington
Sessabel - Online only 
I haven't personally tried their face wash, but I love that they offer a money back guarantee with it. I also love the idea of this program because it generates buzz around the brand (duh) and encourages people to make cleaner skin care choices. More brands should do something like this, it's a smart idea. Good job Consonant! This program ends on Sunday, September 29th, so hurry up and get your 50% off face wash or duo pack!

I'd love to hear if any of you have tried this face wash, let me know your experience(s) with it in the comments below :)
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Rave Review: Pure Anada Pressed Eye Colour & Pressed Cheek Colour

If you've read my reviews on the Pure Anada *Sheer Matte Pressed Foundation and *African Gold, then you'll already know that they are a Canadian brand and that I'm beyond impressed with their products. That being said, it comes as no surprise that I'm head over heels for their *Pressed Eye Colour and *Pressed Cheek Colour as well. Shall we just get on with the review? I think so!

Cheek Colour Description: We’re pleased to bring you a lovely selection of convenient pressed mineral colours! You’ll love the silky texture and longevity of our 7 wearable cheek colours. Mineral pigments and organic Jojoba are pressed together to create a natural makeup product. You can have confidence that you are making a beautiful, healthy choice! I received Bronzed Clove. 

Eye Colour Description: We’re pleased to bring you a lovely selection of convenient pressed mineral colours! You’ll love the silky texture and longevity of our 20 wearable shades. Mineral pigments and organic Jojoba are pressed together to create a natural makeup product. You can have confidence that you are making a beautiful, healthy choice! I received Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry & Onyx. 
  • Demi-Matte shadows are a combination of opaque matte minerals and luminous satin mica. This provides both true colour and a light-reflecting finish.
  • Matte shadows are soft, silky shadows that do not exude any sheen whatsoever.
Both products come in the same cardboard sleeves as the foundation, which is recyclable, practical and not bulky whatsoever. You can then put the individual pans in the Pure Anada magnetic palette or your own (ex. Zpalette). I personally like that idea, however, some may not so keep that in mind when purchasing. On the plus side, their magnetic palette is quite compact which is great for travelling. It fits 1 cheek colour and 1 foundation, OR 1 cheek colour and 4 shadows, OR 8 shadows.

Cardboard Sleeve
Magnetic Palette
Bronzed Clove is a really pretty pigmented bronzed, almost copper shade. I haven't played much with it on my cheeks and I can't see it being the best of contour shades, however, I have used it as a shadow and love it all over the lid and in the crease. My lids are oily and so it doesn't wear that long without a primer. I will try wearing Bronzed Clove on my cheeks while on vacation and report back on longevity. If you're a bronzed cheek gal, I think you'll really love this! If you're not, then there's 6 other beautiful shades to choose from. Totally eyeing Day Lily, just saying.

These pressed shadows are so pretty and I'm in love with the shades that I received. They're all demi-matte which "are a combination of opaque matte minerals and luminous satin mica", have great pigmentation, are buttery soft, and apply like a dream. Whisper is a fantastic highlight and all over lid colour, I tend to wear this one most often because it just brightens up my eyes. Mirage is lovely all over the lid and as a crease colour. Blackberry is just beautiful! I mean, who doesn't love a rich, true purple? I enjoy wearing this on my lash line for a pop of colour, in the crease, and to smoke out and tone down a smokey eye. Onyx isn't as pigmented as the others, however, I do like to use it to set my liner (whenever I actually wear liner). Again, my lids are oily and therefore wear time isn't that long. With a primer it lasts pretty much all day (7 hours or so), without a primer it lasts maybe a couple of hours. Pressed shadows are my favourite because they're easy to travel with, less messy, can be easily applied with fingers or brushes, and can be stored in a palette (less clutter). I highly, highly recommend these affordable shadows and already have my eye on a couple more shades.

The Pressed Cheek Colour retails for $12 CAN,  Pressed Eye Colour retails for $8 CAN, & the reusable palette retails for $5 CAN. You can purchase them through Pure Anada, Serenity on the Humber Day Spa, and any one of their retailers.

Will you be trying any of Pure Anada's makeup? What would you like to try most?

Left, top to bottom: Bronzed Clove, Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry, & Onyx

Left, top to bottom: Bronzed Clove, Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry, & Onyx
Left to right: Bronzed Clove, Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry, & Onyx
Bottom to top: Bronzed Clove, Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry, & Onyx

Bottom to top: Bronzed Clove, Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry, & Onyx

Left to right: Bronzed Clove, Whisper, Mirage, Blackberry, & Onyx
Cheek Colour Ingredients: Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77499) Calcium Carbonate, Caprylic Triglyceride *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba seed oil) Ultramarines (CI 77007), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) * Certified Organic Ingredient

Eye Colour Ingredients: Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77499) Calcium Carbonate, Caprylic Triglyceride *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba seed oil) Ultramarines (CI 77007), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) * Certified Organic Ingredient
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*Product sent for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Delizioso Skincare Elderberry Creamy Cleanser Review

Cleansing my face is one of the best parts of my day (along with brushing my teeth, putting on pjs and cuddling Lola). Whether I wear makeup or not, I just love removing the day from my skin. That being said, I like to switch up cleansers often and generally don't repurchase. This Delizioso *Elderberry Cream Cleanser sounded pretty promising, will it keep me from exploring other cleansers at the health food store?

Description: This 100% antioxidant cleanser is based on elderberries and potent antioxidants to gently cleanse and revive dull skin. Elderberries are enriched with anthocyanins—the compound in the berries that give the dark purple pigment, which provides the highest antioxidant level in all dark color berries. This compound has been proven to improve the skin’s structure, firming and regenerating damaged cells. Helps to reduce inflammation and fights signs of aging. Free of any and all synthetic additives, fragrances, parabens and detergents.

After reading up on the benefits of elderberry, I think the description pretty much explains it all. It's a super antioxidant! Age is starting to present itself on my late 20's skin, so of course I was excited to see how well this cleanser performed. In terms of packaging, it's nice. I like the airtight bottle that allows the ingredients to be as potent from the very first to very last wash, eliminating any sort of contamination. The pump is stiff at first, just like the body oil was, but it's slowly starting to wear in. Stiff pump = squirting product = annoying.. The biggest drawback for me, is the scent. It smells like a massive bouquet of roses and sadly lingers most of the day. If you don't enjoy the smell of roses or are sensitive to scents, then this product is not for you. Also, it doesn't remove makeup very well. I found that when I wore a full face of (natural - nothing waterproof) makeup, I had to cleanse 2-3 times to get it all off. If I removed my makeup with oil first (which I normally do), then it worked great to remove any residue. Some days I'm lazy though and I want my cleanser to do the job of my makeup remover too. We all have those days, don't deny it. On the plus side, it didn't break me out or irritate my sensitive skin. Having only used it for about a month, I can't judge how well it helps with the aging process, I'll leave that for a later empties post. The texture is hard to explain. It's a creamy gel-ish feel that turns into a creamy water-like texture once activated with water. Note to self: work on descriptions. While this is a nice cleanser, I think it would be ideal for those who enjoy rose scents and/or wear little to no makeup on a daily basis. As of right now, it doesn't look like my cleanser flings will end any time soon.

Retails for approx. $26 CAN/USD and £17.50 GBP for 100ml. Can be purchased through Delizioso or one of their retailers.

Do you rotate your cleansers or stick to one?


Ingredients (*Certified Organic): *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, (Elderberry intensive firming complex™ which includes: Sambucus nigra (Elderberry) Extract, *Vaccinium myrtillus(Bilberry) Extract, Aronia Melanocarpa (Aronia) Juice, Pyrus malus (Apple) Extract, Hibiscus Rosa sinesis Extract, Cranberry Juice, Rosa canina (Rosehip) oil, Rowanberry tinctture (based on vegetable glycerin), Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry) powder, Silk Amino Acids and Resveratrol (from organic grape skin), *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, *Oryza sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, *Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) oil, *Calendula officinalis (Flower) Extract, Oregon Grape Extract, Jojoba Proteins, Food grade unrefined Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Melissa officinalis (Melissa) Essential Oil, Cymbopogon matinii (Palma Rosa) Essential oil and Natural Antioxidant Preservative™ (Antioxidant fruits, berries, and tea tree)

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*Product sent for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Delizioso Skincare Organic Body Oil in Passion Fruit Review

Body oils are something I never thought I'd fall in love with. Many have or have had a preconception that they won't absorb, will leave you greasy, stain your clothes and sheets, and just be a messy experience in general. If you're still one of those people, you're so wrong. Body oils are beautiful, luxurious and have many  benefits for the skin and nose.

Delizioso Skincare is a Toronto (Canada) based company that incorporates European based knowledge of skincare to create a truly wide variety of luxurious products. It was founded in 2008, by Ariel and Leeona Emerald, with the belief that products can be natural, still delicious (smelling), and cruelty free. The products are never diluted, so that you get the highest quality and the best results possible. All ingredients are natural, pure, many certified organic and use a unique blend of essential oils and plant derivates to create a "Natural Antioxidant Preservative".

After browsing their vast product selection, how could I turn down the opportunity to try out some products?! Actually, I looked straight at their body oils first and selected this *Organic Body Oil in Passion Fruit.

Description: Delicately scented 100% natural, moisturizing bath oils are made using RAW rice bran oil, olive oil and Vitamin E which are known for their nourishing effects. Because essential and fruit oils are water adverse they absorb in the bath even more readily. This oil will leave you refreshed, radiant and smelling divine. Always free of any synthetic ingredients.

This lush (it's my new word, sorry but I'm not sorry) oil comes in a clear plastic bottle with a pump. The pump itself is a little stiff  at first. It can be hard to work with because of the fact that it just squirts oil everywhere instead of slowly dispensing it, however, sometimes it works just fine. The label is really cute, I love that it's not overwhelming and that there's a picture of the passion fruit. The oil itself is just lovely! It easily (once dispensed by the possessed pump) massages and absorbs into the skin. Leaves my skin soft and nourished, never greasy and it hasn't stained any of my clothes or sheets. Considering that it's made up of heavy, nourishing oils (olive, coconut, avocado, etc), it also hasn't broken me out or irritated my skin at all. Now the scent, I'm not too fond of it and I don't blame Delizioso, perhaps I just don't know what passion fruit is supposed to actually smell like. After debating on what words to use to describe the scent, without making it sound awful, here's what I've come up with: it's sweet with an undertone of milk. Yah, you read that right. If any of you remember ever getting ice cream or milk on your skin, or the smell of your hand after carrying a bag of milk, that's what it smells like. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then I just sound like an absolute weirdo and I apologize for that. In any case, there are 20 other scents available to choose from, which means you're bound to find one you enjoy. I truly love the feel of this oil on my skin, and while I strongly dislike the scent, I'd highly recommend and would purchase a different scent.

Retails for $19.95 CAN/USD and £13.50 GBP. Can be purchased through Delizioso or one of their retailers.

With 21 scents available, which tickles your fancy most?

Ingredients: Oils of *Organic Olea europaea (Olive), *Organic Oryza sativa (Rice Bran), *Organic Cocos nucifera (Coconut), *Organic Persea gratissima (Avocado), Cranberry Seed, *Organic Sesamum indicum (Sesame), Vitamin E, *Grape fruit seed Extract, Kosher Certified PassionFruit Flavor Oil and Natural Antioxidant Preservative.

*Product sent for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Consonant HydrExtreme Review

I really don't think that Canadian brands, for the most part, get talked about enough. As a Canadian blogger, I feel that it is my duty to mention and try as many brands from my part of the world as possible and Consonant is one!

Consonant is a Toronto based company and all of their products are proudly made, with love, in Canada. They believe that "what goes on your body goes in your body" and that it's important to pick products with natural, yet effective, ingredients. That is why they've created a 100% natural product line, with as many organic botanical ingredients, that will give you the results you're looking for. I've already fallen in love with their The Perfect Sunscreen, but how did *HydrExtreme work out for me?

Description: HydrExtreme is an extreme hydration booster that is clinically proven to deliver potent and persistent moisturization that significantly outperforms Hyaluronic Acid. Formulated with a proprietary blend of exotic Cassia Angustifolia Seed Extract and Glycerine, this product is unparalleled. You will see more smooth, youthful and hydrated skin instantly. Also helps to sooth eczema, post waxing irritation and other skin ailments.
In a panel study, after one week: 100% saw improved hydration & 90% saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Those are some hefty claims, no? I'm sad to report that this did not work for me. It actually broke me out with the first use, so I gave it another go the following day and same thing. Cystic acne exploded all over my face, and I don't normally get cystic acne. I honestly think it was the glycerin because cassia angustifolia is supposedly anti-inflammatory, which should help with acne. I wish I had thought to try it on the small patch of eczema on my hand, but I didn't. Don't get discouraged though because my mom fell in love with this stuff! She doesn't have problematic skin in terms of acne; just sun damaged, dry, and aging skin which I feel is better suited for this product. Let's talk packaging. I loveeee the matte black box with white lettering, it's very high end looking. The bottle pretty much mimics the feel of the box, making it look chic and fancy on the bathroom counter. It has a dropper that allows you to dispense the perfect amount of product. The texture of this serum is almost like an oil, but not, I guess like glycerin (which is one of the two ingredients in it, imagine that). My mom would apply two drops in her hands and massage into her skin, AM and PM after cleansing, for all day and night hydration. She said that she definitely saw an improvement in hydration levels, which gave her skin a plumping effect, and a slight decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. She loved this so much that she took it on her European vacation, in place of her other serums and treatments. The downside of this product is that it's very expensive. This tiny 10ml bottle is a steep $72 CAN, and there's also a 30ml bottle available for $149 CAN. While my my mom won't be purchasing a new bottle right now, I think she'd love to receive it as a gift (*cough* birthday, christmas, mother's day, etc *cough).

Do you think this product would be worth the splurge?

Pick yours up through Consonant or any of their other retailers here.

*Product provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Summer Love: SBT Seabuckthorn Tea Cream Review

In case you haven't been reading my blog, I love Sea Buckthorn Oil of all kinds. It's dramatically helped improve my skin with continued use and is a staple in my skin care routine. I reached out to SBT Seabuckthorn, which is a Canadian company whos products revolve around sea buckthorn, and they were kind enough to send me a few products to try.

SBT Seabuckthorn Int. is from British Columbia, Peachland to be specific, Canada. Their products are created using the berry, seed, and leaf of the seabuckthorn plant to produce a pretty extensive and impressive lineup of products ranging from creams and soaps, to teas and beverages.

Of all of their products, this *Tea Cream stood out to me most.

Description: A light, refreshing facial cream for sensitive skin especially around the eyes. The SBT Seabuckthorn leaf extract adds protein, natural amino acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium as well as quercetin to this nourishing face cream. Regular usage of the SBT Tea Cream will hydrate and help return your skin to its former youthful elasticity. Specifically formulated for acne and normal to oily skin.

I won't lie, I'm always worried about trying new facial creams because my skin breaks out and reacts very easily. The soya bean oil in this one definitely put me off at first, until I tried it, and fell in love. The packaging is pretty basic, a white plastic lightweight container with a rather cute label. The texture is a cross between a lotion, cream, and gel which makes it suitable for normal, combination, and oily skin types. I've been using it as a day and eye cream for about a month now with no issues whatsoever. It blends beautifully onto the skin and soaks in within seconds. I find it leaves my skin hydrated all day long and works well under makeup. If I'm feeling a bit more dehydrated or dry than normal, I apply a couple of drops of tamanu and SBT Seabuckthorn Seed Oil under this and it's perfect. Does it keep acne at bay? Yah, I think it's helped, my skin has been pretty good since I've started using it. The smell is a little odd, as it is with most of their products, to be honest. It sorta smells like toned down olive oil and "unscented" scent, which luckily dissipates quickly. This is my new favourite Spring/Summer facial moisturizer and I think it would make a great year round moisturizer for those with oily skin due to the fact that it's not too heavy. I can totally see myself purchasing this next year, however, I don't think it will be rich enough for my skin come Fall/Winter. I highly recommend giving this cream a go!

Retails for approx. $30 CAN for 50ml. Can be purchased through SBT and most health food stores.

Have you ever tried any of the SBT Sea Buckthorn facial creams? Which is your fave?

Ingredients: Extract of Seabuckthorn Leaves in De-Ionized Water, Organic Hippophae Rhamnoides (SBT Seabuckthorn) Seed Oil, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Organic Soja Hispida (Soya Bean) Oil, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides (Palm/Coconut Oil), Emulsifying Wax (Vegetable), Palm Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate (Vegetable), Cetyl Alcohol (fatty acid), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Glucose Oxidase & Lactoperoxidase (Natural Preservative)

*Product provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Pure Anada Sheer Matte Pressed Foundation Review

Foundation is something that I don't change often or have many different types/brands of. Since mineral foundation is what I prefer to wear, a small jar lasts forever and I like to use it up before moving on. I was running low on my Alima Pure and really wanted to try something new. Enter **Sheer Matte Pressed Foundation from Pure Anada.

Left to right: Very Fair & Light

Description: This convenient, paperback compact is magnetic and reusable.  Simply insert your shade of foundation, and replace when necessary. The foundation is sheer, and matte, providing less coverage and glow than our loose mineral foundation. 

I recently tried their African Gold and adored it. Well, spoiler alert, I adore this foundation as well! While it can be worn and is supposed to be sheer, I'd say it can be built up to medium coverage. When applied with concealer, it's looks pretty full coverage. Versatile much? I'd say so. For those with dehydrated or dry skin, you'll need to moisturize really well and set with a hydrating water or toner because it truly is a matte foundation. It can and does cling to dry patches, sadly, but setting it helps a bit. This would be perfect for oily skin types, like match made in heaven perfect. I love how pure the ingredients are, so pure that the smell of the foundation reflects that. It's a musty sort of scent that doesn't linger for long, in fact, I can't even smell it anymore. Candace doesn't use any essential oils due to the fact that some may react to them, and refuses to add any sort of fragrance or ingredients that mask the natural scent of the product. I can certainly appreciate that. The packaging is very simple, eco friendly, and smart. Each pressed foundation is a refill that comes in a sleek cardboard sleeve. What may or may not suck for some, is that you have to buy the empty palette, unless you already one (from Pure Anada or another brand). While I love that the palette is slim and can fit foundation + shadows, it's kind of long and I don't need my shadows with me during the day. I wish there was a round palette option that fit the refill perfectly so that I didn't have to carry the other one around. When it comes to selecting the right shade for your skin, I wish you luck. There are only five shade selections (Very Fair, Light, Medium, Deep & Global) and they're not what you'd expect based on the names. I never in a million years would have thought that "very fair" would be my shade (without a tan) in any foundation. In my mind, Snow White would be considered very fair..right?  Very Fair has a yellow undertone to it, while Light is slightly orange/tan (swatches below). Silver lining: they offer a much wider range of shades in their loose foundation and liquid foundation if you're not a fan of pressed or can't find your perfect match. Nevertheless, this is a fabulous foundation and I have been using it every single day since receiving it. I highly recommend giving it a go if you're in the market for a new matte foundation.

Retails for a very affordable $19.50 CAN for 10g. Can be purchased through Pure Anada and most of their retailers.

Have you ever tried Pure Anada foundations?

Magnetic palette stores 1 pressed foundation & 4 shadows

Top to bottom: Very Fair & Light

Top to bottom: Light & Very Fair

Top to bottom: Light & Very Fair
Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Silica, Boron Nitride, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, *Simmondsia Chinensis ( Jojoba) Seed Oil,  Caprylic/capric triglyceride
*Certified Organic Ingredients

**product sent for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Rave Review: Pure Anada African Gold

Pure Anada is a Canadian based company that was created by Candace Grenier. She started her career as a hairstylist, and after developing such severe sensitivities to the chemicals she used on a daily basis, decided to green her life. After switching all of her household products, she realized her makeup was the only thing left that wasn't green. Her dissatisfaction with natural makeup encouraged her to start making her own (lovely) creations. The brand quickly blossomed and now carries a variety of products for all to enjoy!

The lovely Candace. Picture courtesy of Pure Anada.
I've come across Pure Anada many times while roaming the aisles of The Big Carrot, but for some reason never tried anything. Then I met Lisa, owner of Serenity on the Humber, who constantly raved and still raves about the brand. She intensified my need (obviously need) to try the brand out for myself. Luckily, Candace contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying out some products. I didn't even think twice and *African Gold was one product I knew I definitely needed to try.

Description: Unrefined, fair-trade, organic Shea Butter, blended with  African Marula Oil, makes this product a must-have in every household! Shea Butter is extracted from the kernel of the Karite tree, and has been used in Africa for hundreds of years!   There are many beneficial effects of the compounds found in raw, unrefined shea butter. Vitamins A & E and F all work to soften and revitalize dry skin.  Some of the properties are anti-bacterial which help in healing wounds.  Raw shea butter is wonderful for people with sensitive skin and has been known to help those with psoriasis and eczema.  Many people claim it also brings instant relief to insect bites! Marula Oil is known as Africa’s miracle oil!  It is rich in antioxidants, oleic acid, vitamins A & C which are essential components for the maintenance of healthy skin.  It is fast absorbing, and helps to nourish and soften skin.

I've never, in my life, used any form of pure shea butter and I'm pretty sure that makes me the last one on earth to give this wonderful butter a go. We all know how good shea butter is for our skin, it's stated in the description portion above, but what makes it even better is that it is non-comedogenic! As a hormonal acne sufferer with dehydrated and reactive skin, this is glorious news. Then you mix it with an anti-aging miracle oil, like marula, and you got yourself a night time superhero night cream. Have I rambled on enough yet? Ugh. Let me start the actual review by saying that it smells semi awful. No clue if it's the shea butter or the marula oil, but know that it's strong and lingers. That being said, it won't stop this gal from getting her nightly dose! It comes in a plastic container, which makes it ideal for travelling, and the product itself is super affordable if you're lazy like me and don't want to DIY. Plus, why mess with perfection? It's texture is a butter (duh), but it's softer than what I expected and easily scoops out of the container, melts between the hands and applies with ease. I started off using this on my body, until I tried it on my face. A-FREAKIN-MAZING! I alternate between this and my tamanu/SBT sea buckthorn fruit oil mix and when I use this, my skin is noticeably softer, smoother and more radiant in the morning. It hasn't irritated my skin or broken it out at all. With Fall/Winter coming, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a staple in my skin care routine. 

Retails for $12 CAN for 4oz. Can be purchased through Pure Anada or some of their other retailers.

Have you ever used shea butter as a facial moisturizer?

*product provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
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