Friday, January 31, 2014

#NoBuyJanuary Update + Faves Friday

Can I get a heck yes for the end of #NoBuyJanuary?! Heck yes! I'm so excited that this month is over, not because I'm going on a spending spree or anything but, because I hate feeling like I'm not allowed to do something. I've managed to make quite a dent in my stash, as per my empties, and feel like I still have a long way to go. That is why I plan on continuing the spending ban through February, including PR samples which I have already been turning down. There are a couple of makeup items that may be added to my collection soon though, just saying. All in all, it's been a successful month!

Faves Friday!

Even though this is a weekly faves post, I've been consistently reaching for these two products all month long (daily), and they are..

*PurelyGreat Citrus Cream Deodorant - review here - Since Ms. Pemberley Jones told me to apply a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to my pits, 20 minutes before applying a baking soda deodorant, I've been reaching for this baby again. The mixture totally works in keeping any irritation from the baking soda at bay, and this deodorant has been keeping me stink free. The one annoying thing about this deodorant is that it has to be stirred before each use. Not that big a deal, but definitely annoying.

Pai Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream - review here - I received this in a swag bag and am so glad that I did. I've been wanting to try it for ages, based on all the rave reviews, but couldn't justify spending $26 CAN on a hand cream. I'm totally in love! It moisturizes amazingly AND still fully absorbs. The packaging is too big to carry in my small bag though, so I've mostly been using it when at home.

I'd love to know what you have been enjoying, as always, so let me know below :)

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2014 Empties!

This month has been a fun one for empties because I've managed to finish so much, as you can see below. #NoBuyJanuary really forced encouraged me to use up samples and minis, as well as finish off products that were just about done. Don't be fooled though, I still have a boat load of stuff to get through.
This picture made me feel like a garbage hoarder haha
Here's what I've finished this month...

Coconut Oil - I mostly cook or eat this delicious goodness, but I also used it in this body butter. I've already repurchased.

Deep Steep Body Wash - review here - This was such a great body wash. It was fragrant without being overwhelming, nourishing, lathered well on a loofa, and felt very luxurious. I really enjoyed this particular scent, but will be trying a different one. Will be repurchasing.

Alaffia Scalp Recovery Shampoo - This wasn't actually a full bottle, it only had a few uses in it. My friend wanted me to try it to see if it would help my scalp dermatitis and dandruff. It did! I already picked up a brand new bottle.

Pretty Skin Savior Oil - review here - Body oils are wonderful and this one was no exception. It smelled lovely and moisturized well. Once I get through some other body products, I may repurchase this or one of their other oils.

Earthpaste Toothpaste in Peppermint - review here - There's not much to say about this product, it's the only toothpaste I use. Already repurchased.

*Weleda Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream - review here - This month was exceptionally cold and my hands (and entire body) were craving more moisture. This hand cream smelled nice and absorbed well, but wasn't moisturizing enough for me. I found myself constantly reapplying, hence why I finished up a tube in less than a month. May repurchase in the warmer months.

Weleda Calendula Face Cream - review here - I love this stuff soooo much. It's great for hands, face, and body and moisturizes so well. I especially love that it's small and light enough to carry in a small purse. Will definitely be repurchasing because I can't be without it.

Badger Sleep Balm - review here - This was a skin savior this month. I applied it to super dry bits like knees, elbows, feet, face, and hands just before bed. Not only did it fill the room with the beautiful fragrance of lavender, it also left my skin super soft. Might repurchase at some point.

*Pure Anada African Gold - review here - This marula oil infused shea butter was perfect for this DIY body butter and by itself. I loved using it all over, including my face, to help with any dry patches. Will very likely repurchase next Winter.

Andalou Naturals Illuminating Toner (not pictured) - review here - Went through another bottle and still love it! Will be repurchasing.

Tamanu Oil - review here - Ahh, my love for tamanu oil runs deep. I was heart broken when I used up the last drop and may, or may not, have shed a tear. My goal with facial oils is to use them all up before repurchasing, that way I can decide what works best for my skin and what should be repurchased. I just made up that goal recently, but I see myself repurchasing very soon.

*Lina Hanson Global Body Serum - This body serum smells so amazing, it's the perfect scent. Vanilla with a hint of citrus, delicate and feminine. I didn't do a full review because the few times that I did use it on my body, I broke out badly. I actually received this months ago, before I discovered (100%) that argan doesn't agree with me. I have been using it on the ends of my hair and can't even describe how intoxicating the scent is. I hope Lina makes a perfume oil with this scent, minus the argan. Will not be purchasing the full size although you should for the scent alone, if you can use argan.

*Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil - review here - What a sexy scent this hair oil has. It made me feel so sexy when I used it. It worked just as well as Lina's body serum did on the ends of my hair. I've since started using marula oil instead and much prefer it to both of these. Will not be purchasing the full size.

Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner - This was sent to me by the lovely Cori, from Well Beauty Blog, and it was nice. I've tried it before and enjoyed it. I go through toner rather quickly though and don't love it enough to spend as much as it costs. Will not be purchasing the full size.

One Love Organics Vitamin D Active Moisture Time Release Mist - This was a two time use sample that didn't really give me a good idea of whether I liked the product or not. It's very unlikely that I'll be spending $40 CAN on the full size though.

*Corpa Flora Rock'n Rose Exfoliating Facial Powder - review here - I love Corpa Flora products and have purchased full sizes since that review to prove it. This was a very gentle, yet effective exfoliating powder. I much prefer chemical exfoliants though. Will not be purchasing the full size.

S.W. Basics Exfoliant - review here - Hands down my favourite physical exfoliant.ever. It just worked so well for my skin without irritating it and it smelled like oatmeal. If I ever purchase a scrub in the future, it'll be this one.

The All Natural Face Cream Blush in Cotton Candy - review here - My favourite and, obviously, most used ANF blush shade. The purple worked with my naturally red cheeks without enhancing the redness. Since discovering that I can't use these blushes anymore, because of the argan oil,  I'm glad that I finished at least one. Won't be repurchasing.

*Pure Anada Mascara in Black - review here - This mascara kinda sucked at first, it was too wet for my liking, but amazing once it dried up a bit. It was great wet as well, but I found it separated my lashes too much for my liking. This mascara held up in Jamaica (hot as hell) and in the cold. It didn't flake, smudge, run, or transfer unless I fell asleep in face plant position. I won't do a full review now, but I will say that I purchased another tube.

The Body Deli Blueberry Cleanser Sample - This cleanser surprised me. It's full of fruit acids, which is what I consider a chemical exfoliant. I used this sample every second or third day as an exfoliator, left it on for a minute or two and washed it off. My skin was left noticeably softer and even toned.  I purchased a mini bottle back in December, love it!

The Body Deli Almond Cleanser Sample - Really wanted to love this cleanser. It smelled delicious and cleansed well but I didn't find it anything spectacular. Perhaps the sample was too small or I just like other cleansers more. Won't be purchasing the full size.

Evanhealy French Rose Clay - I've had this sample in my collection for months and months. I decided to use it recently, since my skin freaked out and grew little people pimples all over. What a fantastic clay mask! It never dried out my skin, even though I used it three days in a row, and helped to calm the acne down. I may pick up the full size at some point, may.

Suki Intensive Nourishing Masque Sachet - Another item sent to me by the beautiful Cori. I didn't like this at all because of the nasty film it left on my skin. My face felt super greasy and uncomfortable. The Suki range hasn't been a hit with me. Will not be purchasing the full size.

*Rahua Conditioner Sachet - Monique, from Anise Apothecary, actually gave me this along with the shampoo sachet to try. I wasn't impressed by the conditioner, it didn't seem to do anything for my hair at all. Will not be purchasing the full size.

Red Flower Purifying Body Wash in Icelandic Moonflower and Italian Blood Orange - Both of these smelled lovely, one floral and one citrusy. They foamed up on my loofa beautifully and left me clean without drying out my skin. I prefer Deep Steep though and won't be purchasing full size.

Done, done, done!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Yula Organics Seaweed Facial Masque Review

Last year, that sounds so weird as last year was only a month ago, a reader reached out to me. She told me that she has been a long time fan of my blog and that I've helped introduce her to several brands and products that are better suited for her skin. Cindy, my lovely reader, went on to tell me how 2 years ago she discovered how many harmful chemicals are really in our beauty products and knew she needed to make a change. Here's a little bit of the email:
Going to the spa can sometimes be very costly, so I create my own spa in my house. I love the idea of putting fruits and natural clays on my own skin instead of artificial colours and scents. It just feels so good and my skin looks so much more healthier. The results I get from using the spa products at home are comparable to going to the actual spa. And plus, it is much cheaper. Right now, I have one brand that I really love. It's called Yula Organics. I just know it feels so nice to give yourself a spa treatment after a long, busy, and tiring day. 
Amen sister, I can't argue with that! Who doesn't love pampering themselves after a long day? I had never heard of Yula Organics before this email and was surprised when they reached out to me a couple of weeks later and asked if I wanted to try any of their products. Enter *Seaweed Facial Masque. Before I get started, I just want to say that as an aesthetician I don't believe in spa specific products. I can definitely see how people would associate certain ingredients (like clay/mud) with the spa though.
Yula Organics is a Canadian brand specializing in natural and luxurious spa skin care products. They like to use ingredients in their most raw form, without the use of preservatives, that is why a majority of their products are in powdered form. This also allows you to customize each treatment based on your skin's needs at that time. Just like how facials are customized, each visit, when you go to the spa!
Masque & tiny bottle of avocado oil, I think
Description: This nutritional masque will calm, cleanse, and detoxify the skin.
For the best results, customize your spa treatment by adding 1-2 drops of oil to your face masque!
For oily skin: tea tree oil; For normal/combination skin: grapeseed or avocado oil; For dry skin: olive or sesame oil.

Seaweed is chock full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants making it super beneficial for your body and skin. When applied on the skin, it helps to soften, detoxify, and repair. This masque comes in a basic plastic container that's light and convenient to travel with. It contains only 3 ingredients: french clay, which draws out impurities; seaweed powder, which softens, repairs, and feeds your skin; and aloe, which calms and nourishes. I've mixed mine with water, toner, water and honey, oil and water, oil and honey, etc, and find that all combinations work well at pulling out impurities, reducing redness, and leaving my skin feeling super soft. My biggest issue and deal breaker, is the smell. I literally gag when I have this on. My mom has tried it, as well, and loves the (and I quote) "spa-like scent" as well as the way that it makes her skin look and feel. Needless to say, I've passed this over to her and only have myself to blame as I chose this mask specifically. Clearly, I had a blonde moment. Don't despair! If you don't like the smell of seaweed either, Yula Organics has 8 other masques to choose from.

Check them out and let me know which you'd like to try most and why.

Retails for $30 CAN for 50g and can be purchased through Yula Organics.

Ingredients: montmorillonite (french green clay), fucus vesiculosis (seaweed) powder, aloe barbadensis leaf
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*Product provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 24, 2014

#NoBuyJanuary Update + Faves Friday

Friday? So soon? Not that I'm complaining or anything but damn, where are the days going? This week has been an interesting one for two main reasons. 1. I ran out of tamanu oil, sad truth. 2. I discovered that The All Natural Face cream blushes are breaking me out. Well, with daily use they give me little bumps and the odd cystic pimple. I've suspected that since I got them, but recently did an actual experiment. I wore TANF for a week (got bumps and pimples), then nothing at all (cleared up), and W3LL People this week (no bumps or pimples). Could be a weird coincidence, so I'm going to do another experiment. 
Anyway, #NoBuyJanuary has been alright. This week I picked up a brand new bottle of Alaffia Scalp Recovery Shampoo, which was featured in last week's faves. When I ran out of that sample, I used the Deep Steep shampoo and my scalp went insane. It's an amazing feeling to have a semi-normal scalp now. Temptation kicked in for items that aren't a necessity right now, like makeup, but I stayed strong! That's it.
Faves Friday time! This week I've been loving...
W3LL People Multi-Use Colour Stick in #8 Matte Creamy Peony - I got this as a sample from a Fresh Faced order, months and months ago. It is such a gorgeous shade and pairs beautifully with my beloved Pure and Simple Blush in Glow. I'm totally picking up the full size as soon as #NoBuyJanuary is over.
*SBT Soothing Salve for Eczema/Dermatitis - review here - It's been very cold and I've been washing my hands like a champ. Whether I use cold, warm, or hot water with soap or no soap, the eczema on my fingers has been brutal. For the past couple of days, I've been using this salve. I kid you not, the eczema is almost gone. My problem is being consistent with applying it, especially when I'm at work and need to wash my hands in between clients. Either way, I love this stuff.
*SBT Seabuckthorn Seed Oil - review here and here - Since running out of tamanu oil (which had SBT seed and fruit oil mixed in), I've been using this as a spot treatment and mixed with other oils all over my face. I just love it. Definitely an oil I can't be without. 
Have you tried any of these products? What have you been reaching for this week?
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brand Focus: Shamanuti

As a beauty blogger, I would say it's pretty clear that I love trying new products even if my skin doesn't always agree. When Shamanuti contacted me to try out a few items from their line, I couldn't resist! Aside from the fantastic ingredients list, it was their Pumpkin Enzyme Masque that sold me.
Picture courtesy of Shamanuti
Shamanuti was started and created by Beth Hopkins in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It's "simple skincare for complicated creatures", love that! There's actually a fantastic interview with Beth, over on the Martha Stewart blog, about the brand. It's a good read, check it out.
They were kind enough to send me the Activated Charcoal Cleanser, Pumpkin Enzyme Masque, Face Oil, and a sample packet of Creme No. 1 (haven't tried yet). All products come in beautiful glass bottles, very eco friendly, and black chic labels.

Activated Charcoal Cleanser Description: This unique cleanser utilizes the properties of activated charcoal to neutralize acidity and absorb impurities as well as to gently exfoliate the skin with maple extract. This versatile product is beneficial for all skin types including sensitive or problem skin and is very effective as a treatment for reducing acne, rosacea and eczema. It works as an excellent shaving cream and deodorizing body wash. Retails for $28 USD for 4 oz/120 ml or $10 USD for 1 oz/30 ml.

I've tried this cleanser a couple of times and it's left my face red and irritated. Before you write it off completely, it should be noted that Winter brings out the worst in my skin and I can only really use oil and cream cleansers. So why am I even mentioning this cleanser? It's been reducing the breakouts on my chest, shoulders and back without irritating those areas. My goal is to continue using it, as such, until there's only about half left, then save it until the weather warms up and try it on my face again. It smells like tea tree, but different. It's hard to explain. Considering it's a gel-like texture, is doesn't suds up. Instead it just creates a creamy lather. I find the list of soothing, calming, brightening, and bacteria fighting ingredients impressive and hope that it works on my facial skin come Spring/Summer. Final verdict will be on an empties post.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Distillate, Sodium Cocoamphaecetate, Decyl Glucoside, Aspalathus lineans (Organic Rooibos Tea) Tincture, Vaccinium myrtillus (Organic Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum officinarum (Organic Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer saccharinum (Organic Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus auranium dulcis (Organic Orange) Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Organic Lemon) Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Glucolactone, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Activated Charcoal, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, dl-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Hydrogen Peroxide, Citric Acid

Face Oil Description: Nourishes, moisturizes and protects skin with Evening Primrose, Jojoba, Meadowfoam, Carrot, Cranberry seed, and Vitamin E oils. A penetrating blend of antioxidants that seal in moisture. Use on face and neck and as a nourishing treatment for cuticles and nails. 
Retails for $34 USD for .5 oz/15 ml.

The excitement that I felt when I opened up this oil cannot even be put into words. Actually, it can. I WAS SO EXCITED!! Oils are amazing all year round, but they are especially wonderful for my dry, sensitive skin right now. All of the oils used in this are high in omegas and antioxidants, making them super nourishing and free radical fighting; Evening primrose is high in omega 6, cranberry seed oil is high in omega 3 and 6 as well as antioxidants like vitamin E, meadowfoam seed oil is slightly waxy and helps to create a barrier that locks in moisture, and carrot seed oil is fantastic for dry and mature skin, as well as wrinkles and fine lines. I have been using this oil in the morning and find it absorbs well, so well that it doesn't even leave a dewy sheen behind, yet still moisturizes my skin. I've also been using it around my eyes and have noticed my concealer applies a lot smoother. It smells earthy, but isn't overpowering and doesn't linger. It hasn't broken out my skin or irritated it at all. It's a beautiful oil with beautiful ingredients, glad to have it in my collection.

Ingredients: Oenotherera Biennis(Evening Primrose) Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry seed) oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Daucus carota (Carrot) Oil

Pumpkin Enzyme Masque Description: Shamanuti Pumpkin Masque is rich in natural antioxidants and enzymes. These, and over 100 beneficial nutrients, increase the rate of cell renewal transforming dull complexions to bright and healthy skin. Comparable to the effects of alpha hydroxyl acids, this organic face masque rejuvenates skin while protecting its natural protective mantle.
Retails for $32 USD for 1 oz/30 ml.

Ahh, the mask that peaked my interest. When I first saw this on their website, I immediately thought of the Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask. I also thought, "$32 for 20 ml!? Can't be THAT good". For starters, it smells friggen delicious (like pumpkin pie) and I want to eat it. The jar is 20 ml less than Andalou's and 2x the price, is it worth it? It depends.

No if you have a hyper-sensitive or sensitive skin type, can't get your hands on it, allergic to any of the ingredients, or can't afford it. Yes because you only need a very small amount of product and only need to leave it on for a few minutes (10 or less) to get beautiful, radiant, and soft skin. With Andalou's, I'd leave it on for up to 20 minutes. I'm a rebel. They both perform and deliver great results, however, I think there are many people who would benefit from or enjoy a more intense enzymatic exfoliation such as this one.  I have sensitive skin all year round, more so in the Winter as previously mentioned many times, and find this mask can be a little aggressive on my cheek area sometimes. That being said, a scrub would be even more irritating. I'm a complicated creature, what can I say!? So for me, this makes the perfect once a week exfoliating treatment. It preps my skin for better absorption of oils and creams, helps clear up acne without spreading bacteria around my face, and brightens any acne scars. If you can get your hands on a sample of this stuff, it's very much worth trying first.

Ingredients: Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin), Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit extract, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Extract, Aqua (Water), Vegetable Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Glucolactone, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Oil, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Cinnamomum cassia (Cinnamon) Bark, Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Root Powder,, Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg) Powder, Pimenta officinalis (Allspice) Powder, Rosmarinus officnalis (Rosemary Oleoresin), Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil

Overall, I've been incredibly impressed with Shamanuti. Given the state of my skin and crazy weather, the  Face Oil is the stand out product because of it's nourishing and skin loving ingredients.
Want to try out Shamanuti? Head over to their online shop and use **coupon code 'ecodiva1' to get a free 1 oz  Seaweed Toner with the purchase of $50 or more. 
Which of their products tickle your fancy most?
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*All products mentioned were provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own. 
**Coupon code was created for Eco Chic Beauty Diva readers, however, I make nothing from it. Absolutely nada.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Guest Post: Red Apple Lipstick Review + Swatches

Last week, I visited Lisa from Serenity on the Humber Spa. We spent a few hours just chatting about green beauty and, of course, I walked around looking at all of the products that she sells in her spa. Red Apple Lipstick caught my eye. I won't lie, after swatching every single shade I really wished I had picked one up. She told me how much she loves their lipsticks and I thought it would be fun for her to do a guest post on my blog. So here it is!
Hi, it's Lisa here. For those of you who haven’t heard of Red Apple Lipstick, this is truly a different kind of breed. Created by Jay Harper in 2007, it is completely gluten free and natural. Now, I am almost 100% sure you have heard at least 1 friend lately saying, “I lost a bajillion pounds since I went off of wheat. You need to read Wheat Belly”. I know this how? Because I’m one of them, haha!

In all honesty, I have realized that I have learned what has caused my IBS for most of my 43 years of life. Gluten. Had I known this 35 years ago, I would have had a lot less funny stories to tell. I eliminated gluten a couple of months before Christmas of 2013, only to realize that it was a simple solution to my IBS. Ugh, why didn’t someone tell me before this?! A friend was recently diagnosed with Celiac, an all too common thing these days. She doesn’t just have to cook differently, she also has to watch what's in her body products and makeup! Here’s where my favourite lipstick, Red Apple, comes in.

I ordered it after reading about it online and had it sent to my Aunt’s place in San Diego, since they couldn’t ship it to Canada. I was obsessed the moment that I got my package! They sent me the coolest packaged testers and lip brushes, the scent was delicious and the colours were insanely beautiful and modern! That was it, I was sold, I was going to be the first retailer in Canada to provide it to all of us poor cold, dry-lipped, winter sick Canucks! 

What I love about Red Apple Lipstick:

Red Apple lipstick is not only gluten free, it is lead, paraben, soy (a big one for me since my mom is the 8th one in the family with breast cancer and it can mimic estrogen), cruelty free, and come in a variety of gorgeous shades. 

The ingredients are nourishing, moisturizing, and most importantly, natural. Each lipstick can be worn however you want, going out to do groceries? Apply lightly for a sheer wash of colour. Heading out for dinner or event? Build up intensity with layers. It’s up to you how vibrant you want your colour to look.

It's also so moist. I have other natural lipsticks, some that last forever but are somewhat dry that I need to apply lip gloss over top. With these, no gloss necessary. They're all extremely moist regardless of whether the lipstick is matte, shimmery, or frosted.

They last forever, I wear mine daily and I can’t believe how long they've been lasting. 

There are comments on their page are so helpful too. Everyday people that comment about what colours they mix and match. I always mix my lipstick colours, I thought I was the only one but apparently not.

Their blog is amazing. I, for one, get bored easily but find all his blogs helpful. Jay really knows his lipstick.

And their testing and storage procedures are important to me. Red Apple has a climate controlled area where these incredible lipsticks are stored, and only 3 people in the entire organization are allowed back there.

The packaging, seriously, who doesn’t love cute packaging? 

With all the positives mentioned, there is one negative. Some of their lipsticks contain Retinal Palmitate which can make you sun sensitive. So for this reason, I wear their Rallye Balm as a base, it has an spf of 8 which is awesome. Plus, it moisturizes the heck out of my lips! Not that their lipsticks aren’t already moisturizing enough.

For tips on how to make your lipstick last longer, check out this post by Jay.

Left from top to bottom: Rebel, Audrey, Strawberry Lips, Hibiskiss, Coral Crush & Beach Peach
Right from top to bottom: Secrets, Sugar Sugar, Petal Pusher, Berry Blast, French Skirt & Boys 'N' Berries

Rebel is a blue based deep red colour that is free of shimmer but full of shine. The beautiful satin finish keeps your lips looking healthy and vibrant. Rebel™ is a very bold and vibrant colour that is sure to turn heads. Fragrance Free. Dark and sexy!

Secrets is a shade somewhere between red and naked. It’s light, creamy, and goes on smooth. It plumps and adds volume to your lips and is a wonderful colour over your natural lip colour. Opalescent with a hint of gold.

Audrey is such a versatile colour! It can be worn to add a bit of polish to an otherwise naked face, or can be the perfect foil to set off a dramatic, smoky look. Start off sheer with a single coat, and build the intensity with each additional swipe! It is truly the most popular shade and the perfect pink based neutral everyday colour.

Sugar Sugar is a classy 1960’s Goldie Hawn pink. I love this and I don’t even really like pink. 

Strawberry Lips is a gorgeous brown-kissed red. It does not have any sparkle to it, but it does have a subtle shine. The perfect rust colour.

Petal Pusher is a feminine, flirty, bright soft pink. A fan fave. Still a pink I would wear everyday if I liked pink, not muted, definitely pink.

Hibiskiss is a luscious and vibrant true raspberry colour. A deep, berry pink with a hint of red. This colour is so amazing - it can be worn bold or as a subtle berry stain. 

Berry Blast is a shimmery, shiny and bright. An exciting blend of raspberry and strawberry with bronze/gold glitter sprinkled throughout! A sparkly bold take on summer-time red! 

Coral Crush is the epitome of a true coral. Everyone seems to want coral, well here it is…………Fragrance free, shimmer free.

French Skirt can be worn alone or to add shimmer to your other favourite shades. A cross between peach and pink.

Beach Peach is satin smooth with deep moisture. Nude with the perfect amount of peachy tones! 

Boys ‘N’ Berries: Glittery, juicy and smooth. Violet, fuchsia, pink, berry sparkle...what else could you want?! Hands down my fave. Shimmery mauve.

For a full list of ingredients for each lipstick, visit Red Apple.

Thank you Lisa for a wonderful post!

If you are interested in purchasing any of these beautiful Red Apple lipsticks in Canada, you can do so by clicking here or if you live in the area, you can visit her spa and pick them up there. They retail for $27 CAN. If you live in the USA, you can purchase from Red Apple for $23.50 USD.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reveal My Stash #3 - Skin Care: Exfoliants, Masks, & Oils

Does the skin care stash reveal fun ever end?! It ends here my friends. This is the last of my skin care and the section that I'd like to shrink down, big time. I'd mainly like to shrink down the exfoliants that I have, it's more than I need or care to have. In this post, I'm not going to explain how or why I use each individual product.

*Sweet Leaf Bath Co. Adzuki Bean Rice Bran Face Polish, One Love Organics Brand New Day
& S.W. Basics Exfoliant
These are my physical exfoliants that I don't use that often. Physical exfoliants basically require an ingredient (ground almonds, oats, salt, etc) and your hands to gently massage the skin to remove any dead skin cells. I find this irritating to my skin, especially in the colder months. Out of all 3 of these though, the S.W. Basics seems to be my favourite.

*Shamanuti Pumpkin Enzyme Masque &
The Body Deli Blueberry Fusion Cleanser (which I use as a mask)
Chemical exfoliation is the use of enzymes or acids to eat away at the dead skin cells on your face and my favourite form of exfoliation. Yes, it can irritate the skin as well but I find these work best for me. Call me crazy!

Wedderspoon Manuka Honey, Pretty Ginger & Cypress Soothing Mud Mask, Evanhealy French Rose Clay,
& *Yula Organics Seaweed Facial Masque
Not much to say about these. Manuka honey, clay masks, perfection. That's all.

Hedd Wynn Tamanu Oil, Skin Essence Nourish Oil, Corpa Flora Eclat Citrouille, *Shamanuti Face Oil,
Myra Aso 100% Marula Oil, & *SBT Seabuckthorn Seed and Fruit Oil
I loveeeeee oils! I use em morning and night, switch em up, and mix em up! This is my favourite section in my skin care collection and I wouldn't change a thing, except add more oils haha. 
I hope you enjoyed seeing my collection of body, hair and skin care products. Will definitely be revealing my makeup stash too, keep an eye out for that.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

nyl Gentle Sugar Body Polish Review

In early December, I visited Anise Apothecary. It's basically the cutest shop of life, in case you haven't figured that out OR I haven't said it enough yet . Monique was kind enough to send me home with a few goodies. One of which is this lovely *nyl Gentle Sugar Body Polish.
nyl Skin Care is based out of Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA. After Founder, Carol Sondesky, changed the way that she ate, she decided to look deeper into the skin care that she was using. What she discovered led her to become a mad scientist! Okay not quite, but she did start creating her own products. With great success on her own skin, her friends and family began requesting she make them some. nyl meaning "nothing", is a very clear indication of what her line is about. Just simple, limited and pronounceable ingredients, that are effective yet still luxurious. The entire line is also vegan and gluten free!

Description: You will love how soft and smooth your skin feels after using this scrub.  A simple blend of organic sugar & oils exfoliates, moisturizes and improves circulation. Apply all over after cleansing during shower or bath.  Massage gently until the sugar has melted, rinse. Fresh citrus scent.
TIP: Use in place of shaving cream on your legs. Simply massage over legs until the sugar has melted, shave, rinse. Your legs will never look or feel more polished!

This scrub smells divine! The "fresh citrus scent" is lovely and not at all overpowering. Given that this is their sample jar, and is pretty small, I haven't tried it all over my body or shaved with it. Monique actually uses it to shave with and says it's ah-mazing! I've been using it on my hands and lips, it's brilliant. It leaves both my hands and lips exfoliated and moisturized without being abrasive or uncomfortably greasy. That's one thing that I hate about scrubs, feeling greasy or "moisturized" afterwards. It just feels gross, personal preference I guess. Must say, I prefer this to the Lush lip scrubs and can see myself repurchasing in place of those. The little plastic jar is light, convenient to travel with, and minis are always oh-so-cute. If you're looking for a new body/lip scrub and are way too lazy to make your own (like I am), nyl's Gentle Sugar Body Polish is one to check out!

Sample size retails for approx. $7 CAN/$5 USD. Full size (8 fl oz) retails for approx. $36 CAN/$34 USD. Can be purchased through nyl and/or Anise Apothecary.

Ingredients: Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Organic Grape Seed Oil, Organic Essential Oils
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*Product provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 17, 2014

#NoBuyJanuary Update + Faves Friday

#NoBuyJanuary has been very interesting thus far. There have been many bloggers writing about their experiences and why they decided to take part in this "event", which has lead me to many good reads. Everyone has their own reasons, but it seems like waste is one of the biggest. I don't believe in wasting money and under the umbrella of money comes food, skin care, electricity, etc. It's important to realize that not everyone can afford certain luxuries and we must not take what we have for granted. I've gone from a well paying corporate job to not even making 1/4 of that as an aesthetician. While I am fortunate to still live at home, I do have expenses and would like to eventually own a home.
Using up products is not an issue for me, usually, and this month has been no exception. I have purchased a few items though and in honor of full disclosure, this is what I've picked up: Osmia Spot Treatment (why did it take me so long to get this?!?), 100% Pure Coconut Conditioner, coconut oil, Hurraw lip balm, and CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture for Face. 
And now, my faves of the week! It's been all about hair care, surprisingly.

Lisa, from Serenity on the Humber Spa, has been telling me to try Alaffia Scalp Recovery Shampoo for like a year now and gave me what was left in her bottle to try. I've previously tried shampoos with tea tree in them and have ended up with a severely itchy scalp...which I've scratched..until it bled. Nice eh? My fear of tea tree oil is real people! Having used this shampoo twice already, and having one more use left, my scalp is almost clear! I can't even believe it. My mom was even shocked and asked what I've been using. I'm singing Lisa's praises right now, and this shampoo of course. I do find my hair looks a little oily the next day, but I think my scalp and scalp just need a little adjusting period. I may have to pick up a bottle of my own and use the other shampoos for something else or give them away. Having suffered with dermatitis and dandruff for years, it's such a relief to find something that works. Fingers crossed that it continues to work this well!

Myra Aso 100% Pure Marula Oil - review to come - I purchased this at a show a couple of months ago with the intention of using it on my face. Since I ran out of all my hair oils, I decided to try this on the ends of my hair. AH-MAZING! I can honestly say that I prefer it to argan oil and I literally use just 1 small drop. It doesn't smell the best, but the scent isn't too strong nor does it linger. Leaves my ends looking silky smooth and healthy.

What have you been reaching for most this week?
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Reveal My Stash #2 - Skin Care: Cleansers, Toners, Moisturizers & SPF

And the reveal continues. I do have quite a bit of skin care, much of which I'm currently testing and haven't yet done full reviews of. Skin care is my life, that's the aesthetician in me speaking, and hopefully this will be a fun post for all you product hoarders junkies out there. 


One Love Organics Cleansing Oil was a wonderful Christmas gift from my boyfriend and is used to remove makeup. On days that I don't wear makeup or am in the mood for a double cleanse, I use *Antipodes Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser. *Therapi Rose Otto Honey Gel Cleanser and *Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser are not suited to my very sensitive and reactive skin right now. Although, I am using Shamanuti on my acne prone chest, shoulders and back. I usually don't have more than 2 cleansers going at one time or in my "stash", so this is a little excessive for me.


Pretty Chamomile Facial Tonic is my morning cleanse, Graydon Face Food is my before oil/moisturizer skin prep and Andalou Naturals Illuminating Toner is my makeup setter, mid day refresher, and basically whenever toner. I love and use all 3 daily.


*SBT Seabuckthorn Tea Cream was my summer love but, it's not hydrating enough for my skin right now. It'll get used up as soon as it warms up, not that I have much left. *Therapi Orange Blossom No. 3 Honey Moisturizer is my current go-to day and night moisturizer. S.W. Basics Cream is used on any super dry patches day or night.

*Graydon Sun Cream is perfect for the colder months because of it's moisturizing properties. I have been using it daily mixed in with the Therapi moisturizer and find the combination amazing. *Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen worked better for me in the warmer months, however, I find myself using this a couple of times a week mixed with the Therapi moisturizer as well.
My goal is to work through the cleansers, I'm quite happy with everything else and don't feel overwhelmed by the quantity. 
What's your stash like?
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S.W. Basics Cream Review

S.W. Basics, your products haven't let me down yet! With 5 or less ingredients, how could you not fall in love with this line. In October, I reviewed their amazeballs exfoliant and just knew I had to try more. After ordering and loving the sample from Fresh Faced, I picked up the full size jar at Husk.


Description: This is the mother of all S.W. Basics products. You know how lots of lotions and moisturizers leave you needing more, like ten minutes after you put them on? That's because they use water as a base. When it evaporates, you dry out all over again. Our Cream starts with wild-harvested shea butter we get from an incredible Fair Trade women's cooperative in Ghana. We add some organic extra-virgin coconut oil and organic extra-virgin olive oil. So it's extremely rich, sinking deep into the skin and staying there. But since all the ingredients are totally non-comedogenic, it won't clog your pores, meaning it's just as awesome on your face as it is on your body.

My skin went through a really rough breakup with the Jamaican climate, can ya blame it? From beautiful hot and humid days to dry cold ones, it was hard. Enter S.W. Basics Cream. Along with the use of oils, this cream brought my skin back to life or at least helped make it look less like snake skin. The glass jar is so cute but, not practical for travelling with as it's quite heavy. The cream is rich and wraps your skin in a beautiful moisturizing hug. Who doesn't love hugs?! It does take a few minutes to sink in though. It's fantastic that there are no essential oils added, it just smells of shea butter goodness. Something to keep in mind if you don't enjoy the scent of shea. I used this morning and night on any dry patches on my face, mostly nose, cheeks, eyes, and between the brows. Of course I also tried it out on my hands, elbows, knees and feet, amazing! On one random day, I got adventurous and decided to try this cream all over my face. Big mistake. I broke out on my chin and forehead pretty badly. They say that this cream is non-comedogenic, however, coconut oil is highly comedogenic. That's not to say that everyone will get clogged pores and breakout from using it, I'm sure there are people who can rub lard all over themselves and still have gorgeous skin. If you're prone to breakouts, simply be cautious. It's still an absolutely beautiful cream in my books! It has helped my skin so much and continues to do so. Highly recommend trying it out, even if it's just a sample.

Retails for approx. $34 CAN for 3.75 oz. Can be purchased through Husk, Clementine Fields, Fresh Faced, S.W. Basics, and any of their other retailers.

What's your favourite S.W. Basics product and why?

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