Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Brand Focus: Pai

Pai is a brand that has been well loved on my blog. I've reviewed them herehere, and here, and am so excited to tell you about a few more products that I've tried of theirs. 
A few months back, I attended a Fresh Faced event in which I received the *Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. While at the event, I met Marissa (Canadian Pai Educator) and she was kind enough to send me the *Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Toner and *Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream.

I adore the Pai logo and packaging. All of their creams/lotions/cleansers/scrubs come in airless pumps that ensures freshness and eliminates the possibility of wasted product, whether it be from leakage or just not being able to get the last bit on the bottom. What Marissa informed me of, which I thought was incredibly cool, is that all of the ingredients are stored at different temperatures to ensure optimal benefits. So basically, before the product is made in a super clean facility, all of the ingredients are received fresh and kept fresh so that the end user (you and I) reaps the full benefits of each and every ingredient. Talk about dedication to creating quality products!

Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser: Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser gently removes dirt, makeup, and other impurities. Bursting with omega 3 and vitamins A, B, and E, it replenishes the skin's moisture barrier, leaving it soft and supple. Suitable for all sensitive skin types, this cleanser is detergent- and alcohol-free, so it won't dry out or irritate your skin. Also suitable for use around the eyes to remove even waterproof mascara. Retails for $50 cdn/usd for 100 ml and $70 cdn/usd for 200 ml.

The texture of this cleanser is lovely, it's not too thick or too thin. Just right. Apparently I'm Goldilocks. It melts away any and all traces of makeup without much effort, and leaves my skin feeling super soft and well cleansed. The light scent isn't overpowering, nor does it linger, making it great for all. I'm saving it for when it gets colder, as my skin is the most sensitive then, and will decide then whether it's love or not.

Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Toner: Pai Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Toner is unique in that it contains pure "living waters" extracted directly from the rice plant. Rich in amino acids, vitamins, and trace minerals, with regular use they help to cleanse and purify combination skin types. These natural elixirs have the exact pH and biochemical balance of healthy skin, giving unparalleled skin affinity while improving the appearance of tone and texture. Retails for $56 cdn/usd for 50 ml.

How fancy does "living waters" sound? Gosh, makes me feel like I'm spraying my skin with magical fairy dust. From my understanding, "living waters" means that there's no added vitamins and minerals. Whatever is in the rice plant at time of extraction, is what's in the toner. This toner smells unique, and by that I mean that it's not a strong scent but it doesn't smell very nice. I really enjoy using this morning and night, after cleansing, and find that it leaves my skin soft, calm, and refreshed. The only downside to this toner, besides the price tag, is the fact that it doesn't provide a fine and even mist. The spray apparatus (is there a better term that I can use?) just spits toner at me. For a more even application, I apply it to my face using a cotton pad or my hands.

Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream: Pai Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream is formulated to soothe and hydrate easily irritated skin types. This silky, rich cream is the ultimate multitasker for very dry or out-of-condition skin. Calendula is a gentle and soothing oil for daily skin nourishment, and comfrey supports the skin's natural repair functions and protects its moisture barrier. Additional organic plant oils and butters soften and hydrate while the high levels of essential fatty acids in echium help to promote suppleness. Retails for $26 cdn/usd for 100 ml and $40 cdn/usd for 200 ml.

This is my favourite product of the three!!! Can you sense my excitement?!?! For starters, I don't notice a scent. Maybe I just got used to it but if it smelled like much of anything, I'd know and I'd tell ya. It sinks right in, without any effort and instantly soothes, calms, and hydrates my ezcema patches. Magical. Since I constantly wash my hands at work, they need that extra moisture and love that only Pai has been able to provide without any greasy feeling. I wish they made a purse friendly bottle or tube, because I'd love to have it in my purse at all times.

Pai is a spectacular brand that I think everyone should try at some point, whether it be treating yourself to a full sized product or just picking up some samples.

All products mentioned can be purchased through Pai (you can change the country and search stockists in your area), Fresh Faced, and Clementine Fields.
post signature
*PR samples. All opinions are entirely my own.

Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser Ingredients: Organic rose water, water, organic camellia oil, organic castor oil, organic sweet almond oil, coconut- and corn-derived emulsifier, organic shea butter, organic vegetable glycerin, natural vitamin E, corn extract, basil extract, organic lavender oil, organic geranium oil, organic may chang oil, organic rose oil, natural lactic acid (from sugar beet).

Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Toner Ingredients: Rice plant water, organic aloe vera, organic rosemary water, vegetable glycerin, aspen bark extract, radish root extract.

Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream Ingredients: Purified water, organic sunflower oil, organic olive oil, organic shea butter, coconut-derived emulsifier, organic vegetable glycerin, organic jojoba oil, organic plum kernel oil, organic comfrey extract, organic calendula extract, corn-derived emulsifier, echium seed extract, natural vitamin E, organic jasmine oil, organic orange oil, corn extract, basil extract, natural lactic acid (from sugar beet).

Monday, August 18, 2014

La Bella Figura Modern Radiance Concentrate - Is It Worth The Hype?

La Bella Figura really needs no introduction. The beauties behind the brand, Victoria and Karen, have made quite the name for themselves. This luxurious, high end brand is known worldwide for it's quality, performance, and beautiful packaging. If you've been out of touch with the world and aren't too familiar with them, here's their story.
This is our love story. One of two friends who had the most fun while sharing secrets of our travels, adventures and the most luxurious beauty products from far away places we would discover. It awakened in us, a new-found desire to create our own rich creams, gorgeously scented oils, hand blended perfumes and an exquisite skin enhancing makeup line to share with the world. After all, beauty this pure was not made to be kept to ourselves. La Bella Figura became a beauty brand in 2011 and we've been passionately creating some of the most advanced and effectual products on the natural market ever since. 
From the very beginning we have been driven by our passion for sourcing wild, organic and pure ingredients to introduce into our natural beauty line. La Bella Figura itself signifies living a life in authenticity and beauty. We made a commitment to our brand to be just that; authentic in our research, development and with every single product we create. We take enormous pride in only using some of the best ingredients around. We have kept true to our word so that every hand-poured bottle or jars of nourishing balms and masks contain the active properties most beneficial to our skin and our vision. 
Our love for quality has us roaming farms, fields and apothecaries in search of healing and beneficial ingredients to incorporate into our virgin formulas. We speak with healers, scientists, producers and alchemists from every corner of the globe and we listen and learn from these forward thinking experts. We hear their struggles in sustainability, farming and their wisdom of using organic, biodynamic or heirloom seeds. We are students of nature and science and we happily soak all this information in to become better formulators and create the best products we can. We are creatively inspired by the amazing people we meet and connect with them on a high level of trust and appreciation for the purest quality of unrefined ingredients. We rely on our small producers for the perfection they supply to us so we can in turn develop the most effectual products for those seeking a world of difference in their beauty regimen.

Our development process from start to finish is authentic and every batch of every product from makeup to perfume is created in-house from our hands to ensure excellence in production as well as ingredient integrity. As La Bella Figura grows we continue to hire the most talented and dedicated team members to learn the art of our craft so that we may continue to produce in-house and guarantee product quality that you demand and expect from us.
You can read more about LBF by clicking here.


I first met Victoria at a Clementine Fields event, last year. I had the opportunity to chat a bit with her, hear the story of La Bella Figura, and get filled in on all the exciting new products that her and Karen were working on. It was also the day that I got to try the Modern Radiance Concentrate on my hand. My hand felt instantly softer and looked brighter. I lusted over it from that day forward. My boyfriend, being the amazing guy that he is, surprised me one day with it! Excited and nervous (because my skin is sensitive), I tried it that night.

Description: Modern Radiance Concentrate is a multi-tasking and complete concentrated Vitamin C gel cream formulated with advanced technology from actives derived from cellular extraction of the world’s highest source of Vitamin C found only in Australia's wild harvested kakadu plums. Unlike most Vitamin C on the market today also known as ascorbic acid, the Vitamin C in kakadu plum is a whole and natural source containing flavonoids and phytochemicals such as ellagic and gallic acids making its holistic and efficacious value quite exceptional and non-comparable to any other form of Vitamin C found in other skincare products. Studies show the concentration of Vitamin C in kakadu plum to be as high as 3200-5000mg/100g (compared with 50mg/100g for oranges).

Modern Radiance Concentrate increases luminosity and refines skin texture for a more even skin tone and a visible reduction in discoloration in 4-6 weeks. Powerful antioxidants help to strengthen the lipid layer and stimulate new collagen growth while also protecting and repairing skin from oxidative damage. Live enzymes from coconut water, antioxidants and vitamins support skin’s natural defense system with ferulic acid delivering these active ingredients deeper into the skin for serious dermis repair. Our collective bioactive ingredients works to restore volume and increase skin elasticity while also toning and strengthening thinning skin. An overall radiant and glowing appearance is instantly visible with daily use of this concentrated blend of reparative botanical actives.

First off, I love the fact that this has a whole form of Vitamin C and a bunch of other amazing ingredients (see below). I've tried Vit. C (ascorbic acid) serums before and ended up with irritated and broken out skin. This one didn't do that. I adore the frosted glass bottle and pump that dispenses the perfect amount of product each time. The serum itself is a slightly tacky, gel texture that easily glides on the skin, for an even application. I can't quite put my finger on what it smells like but, it isn't strong or offensive and certainly doesn't linger for long. I started off applying it at night, just to see how my skin reacted. Then I applied it morning and night, to see if it made any significant difference. I finally settled on applying it in the morning, because of how it instantly tightens, brightens, and softens my skin providing the perfect base/canvas for makeup. While I do find that this serum provides an instant radiance, I honestly haven't seen any miraculous, long term differences in the texture of my skin or lightening of scars and hyper-pigmentation, which is what I wanted it for. That remains true even after 4 months of use and finishing up the bottle. With a steep price tag of $169 (usd/cdn), I had higher hopes and feel it was over hyped. Still, I loved the (temporary) instant face lift and glow that I got with each morning application, and am happy that my loving boyfriend gave me the opportunity to try it.

Retails for $169 USD/CDN and can be purchased through La Bella Figura and any one of these retailers.  

Have you tried this serum? How did it work for you? Is it one of those serums that requires several bottles to see long term results?

post signature
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Fruit) Juice*, Opuntia Ficus (Barbary Fig) Seed oil*, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Butter, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Cell Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract*, Aronia Melanocarpa (Aronia Berry) Extract*, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn Fruit) Oil CO2*, Ferulic Acid (Acid Derived From Plants), Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Root) Extract*, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin Seed) Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose Flower) Extract, Olea Europea (Olive) Leaf Extract*, Helichrysum Stoechas Extract*, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract*, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado Fruit) Extract*, Coffea Arabica (Green Coffee) Bean Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine Flower) Oil, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (Radish Root) Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil CO2*, Daucus Carota Sativa (Cold Pressed Virgin Carrot) Seed Oil*, Zingiber Officinale (Fresh Ginger Root) Oil, Cymbopogan Martinii Motia (Palmarosa) Oil, Salix Alba (White Willow) Bark Extract*, Xanthan Gum (Non-GMO)*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Derived From Coconut), Vegetable Gylcerin (Non-GMO), Ethyl Alcohol (Derived From Non-GMO Corn)*

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cleanse Your Skin With Grains, Pretty Cleansing Grains

Cleansing grains seem to be the new thing, or one of the many new things really. Their simple ingredients list and ability to gently exfoliate the delicate skin, daily, make it a must have for many green beauties. I've been playing with a couple from Pretty and have fallen completely in love.

I won't lie, I've tried Pretty's cleansing grains before and haven't been too impressed. To be fair, I never gave them a real chance because it seemed like an inconvenient and messy way of cleansing. Boy was I wrong! Cleansing grains are incredible. They gently exfoliate while allowing your skin to benefit from the added ingredients like clay, essential oils, herbs, and flowers. I purchase Black Tea & Raw Cocoa and Rose Petal & Oatmeal. It's important to note that the ratio of grains to water is all preference and that it takes a bit of time to get used to. Stick with it though, you'll be hooked once you figure it out.

Black Tea & Raw Cocoa: Pure raw cocoa and black tea powder deeply cleanse by lifting dead skin cells and environmental pollutants. Organic oatmeal and kaolin clay draws toxins out of pores and keeps skin blemish free. Steam-distilled essential oils of orange and spearmint tone and invigorate the skin. Leaves your skin clean, clear and radiant. Ingredients below.

With essential oils like spearmint and orange, this is one antiseptic cleanser that's fantastic for oily/combination skin. At first, my sensitive skin wasn't a fan, but with continued use it really began to embrace and welcome the tingle. The spearmint and orange make it very refreshing and uplifting in the morning, and I enjoyed using it in the shower on my face, shoulders, chest, and upper back as a pick-me-up. Are you surprised? I use most acne fighting cleansers on those areas.

Rose Petal & Oatmeal: Crushed rose petals and organic oatmeal remove impurities while improving skin circulation. This gentle scrub is soft enough for even the most dry or sensitive skin. It replenishes moisture and lifts away dead skin cells and environmental pollutants. Steam-distilled essential oils of magnolia and rose geranium gently balance and brighten skin. Leaves your skin soft and radiant. Ingredients below.

This one is my favourite, mainly because it's best suited for my skin year round. The combination of different oils, such as palmarosa, rose geranium, lavender, and magnolia, really help to soften, nourish, brighten, and treat the skin.

Both cleansing grains exfoliate with ground oatmeal and draw out impurities with kaolin clay, but it's the added ingredients that set them apart and make them more/less ideal for certain skin types and conditions. Both make for a fantastic morning cleanse, smoothing the canvas for better absorption of oils, serums, and creams, and allowing for better application of makeup. They smell beautiful and not at all overwhelming, perfect for even those most sensitive of noses. I'm a convert!

You can purchase these through Pretty or click here to find a retailer closest to you. Pretty has just completely revamped their website and even if you don't purchase products, you should check it out because it's g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!

Have you ever tried cleansing grains? Do you have any favourites (brands or homemade recipes)?

This was a bit more runny than I prefer. I like a nice paste.
Black Tea & Raw Cocoa Ingredients: Organic oats, kaolin clay, orange oil, spearmint oil, organic raw cocoa powder, tiger lily flowers, black tea powder.

Rose Petal & Oatmeal Ingredients: Organic oats, kaolin clay, magnolia oil, lavender oil, rose geranium oil, palmarosa oil, wild rose petals.
post signature

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Kelly's Bake Shoppe - Vegan & Gluten Free

I'm beyond excited about today's post! While I'm predominately a beauty blogger, my love for food runs deep. So deep, that my Instagram has more food (and dog) pictures than anything else. So when I saw that Kelly's Bake Shoppe was looking for bloggers, I quickly emailed them. I've been going to Kelly's for about a year now. I love their beautifully decorated and clean space, friendly staff, variety of offerings, and the fact that they're vegan, gluten and nut free. Does it get any better than that?? It does.
The outside of Kelly's. Beautiful right?
Picture courtesy of Kelly's.
Kelly's Bake Shoppe is located in Downtown Burlington, Ontario (Canada) and is run by a Mother and Daughter team with a passion for clean eating. Kelly Childs, Mother, and Erinn Weatherbie, Daughter, are health warriors. They believe in living a healthy lifestyle, full of whole foods that are chock full of nutrition for your body. That doesn't mean you have to skip dessert, you can have your cake and eat it too! Their Bake Shoppe goodies contain absolutely "No HONEY (we use Maple Syrup or Agave), no butter, no peanuts, no eggs, no milk, no cheese, NO gluten, no casein, no GMO’s, no artificial flavours and colours, no preservatives, no white flour, absolutely no junk or generally cheap refined ingredients (the things that are bad for you)". There are also many items that are soy free. Instead, they use the best of the best natural, organic ingredients (like pure vanilla beans and cacao) to bring you decadent desserts that even the pickiest eaters won't realize are good for them. If you're not sold yet, perhaps the fact that they've been awarded Best Cupcakes, Best Desserts, and Best Bakery in Burlington for both 2013 and 2014 will sway you.
On top of all that, they also give back to the community. Every month, they provide a financial donation and host a Cupcake Day for the women and children of the Halton Women's Place. Halton Women's place is a safe haven for women, and their children, who have been abused. I love a business who gives back, don't you?
The beautiful Erinn (left) & Kelly (right) at Kelly's Bake Shoppe.
Picture courtesy of Kelly's.
 Disclaimer: This post may cause drooling, a sudden urge for sweets, a trip to Kelly's Bake Shoppe, and/or jealousy. You've been warned.

This is the part I think you're all most excited about, seeing what I had the opportunity to sample. Before that, I want to show you how the goods arrived. They arrived in a white paper bag with the Kelly's logo, and some leopard print tissue paper. Inside was a four pack of cupcakes, their signature pink box, and their daily menu. I friggen love how they have daily regular cupcakes, like chocolate and vanilla, and then they have fancy ones on certain days of the week. For example, on Tuesday they have a Mexican Chocolate cupcake, Wednesday they have a Cookies & Cream cupcake, Thursday a Lemon Raspberry cupcake, and so on.

In their beautiful, signature pink box were three cookies; World Peace Cookie, Snickerdoodle, and Chocolate Chip. One of my favourite things to get at Kelly's is their World Peace Cookie Sandwhich; two World Peace Cookies sandwiched between a faux (but delicious) vanilla buttercream frosting. Oh-my-goodness, if you ain't drooling then don't worry because I'm drooling enough for the both of us. Just keepin' it real...

The World Peace Cookie isn't that big but it's incredibly hearty and I guarantee you'll be completely satisfied after eating just one. If you plan on trying the sandwich, and eating it all at once, wear stretchy pants because it's a meal in itself. I've never really tried a Snickerdoodle anything before and wasn't sure what it's supposed to be like. It tasted like a cinnamon sugar cookie! Nom nom nom! The Chocolate Chip Cookie was honestly incredible! It has got to be one of the best chocolate chip cookies that I have ever had. It wasn't too sweet or overdone with chocolate chips, just perfection. All three were so soft, moist, and fresh.

Also in the box, was a Mile High Brownie. Keep scrolling to read more. Refrain from trying to reach through your computer screen.

Let's take a moment to admire that Mile High Brownie....*drool*
Okay, it was insanely delicious!! As someone who's not a big fan of brownies, chocolate cake, or anything overly chocolatey, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this brownie. It was moist and rich, but the faux whipped cream cut the richness a bit, and the date caramel sauce gave it that extra oomph. Incredible and a must try for all. The Coconut Cupcake was delicious! I actually have a sick obsession with their Chocolate Coconut Cupcake, it's a problem. This one comes in at a close second. I believe it's a vanilla cupcake topped with buttercream and covered in coconut. The combination is to die for. Then there was Cookies & Cream. Ugh, I honestly wish I hadn't of shared half with my mom. It tasted exactly as I imagined, heaven. The Chocolate Cupcake and Red Velvet Cupcake weren't my favourites. Red Velvet was coloured using beets, which also contributed to its very unique flavour.  
Kelly's Bake Shoppe proves that healthy doesn't have to be bland or boring, instead you can indulge without the guilt. Their stuff isn't overly sweet, just enough to satisfy that craving without feeling like you're missing out. I highly recommend visiting them and trying out some of my personal favourites; Chocolate Coconut Cupcake, Chocolate Chip Cookie, World Peace Cookie Sandwich, and the Mile High Brownie.
Have you ever been to Kelly's Bake Shoppe? Let me know what some of your favourite menu items are or what you'd like to try most.
post signature
*All items pictured in this post were provided for sampling. All opinions are entirely my own. As already mentioned, I've been visiting Kelly's Bake Shoppe for about a year and have paid for all the other goodies (not pictured here) myself. 

May/June/July 2014 Faves!

I have been big time slacking on these favourite posts, but i've managed to narrow it down to the items that have stood out to me most over the last three months. All of these have been well loved, as you might notice if you've already seen my empties.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear CC Cream in Light - Sometimes I adore this CC cream, other times I don't. For the most part though, it has been a favourite. It provides medium to full coverage while leaving a dewy finish. On really hot days, it needs to be set with a powder or it makes me look greasy. The colour matches me well, but oxidizes quite a bit. Overall, great introduction to CC creams for me (it was the first one that I've tried/used).

Sappho Liquid Foundation in Leisha - review here - This is a long time favourite of mine. It provides beautiful coverage without ever feeling heavy/cakey. It's like a better second skin.

FitGlow Lipgloss in Nude - I purchased this from Anise Apothecary a couple of months ago and have fallen more and more in love. It's a mauve-ish nude shade that looks great over any lipstick or over my natural lips. It's a slightly sticky formula, but that makes it last even longer. It's also super moisturizing.

*Earthlabs Raw Mascara - Anise Apothecary gave me this mascara to try and I'm so glad they did. It's awesome! No clumps, flaking, smudging, transferring, or burning. Lasts all day long, even on super hot and humid days.

*Queen of the Hive Peppermint Lip Balm - This stuff works incredibly well, tastes great, and I love it. The only thing that I don't like is that when it gets hard, it tugs at the lips a bit.

Wedderspoon Manuka Honey - Do I really need to explain this favourite? It's a holy grail skin care item for me. I use it to mix clay masks and on it's own, just works wonders for my skin.

*Pai Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream - I've been using this as a hand cream and it instantly soothes the ezcema on my hands. It's been a friggen dream come true and I may even like it more than the actual hand cream. I also use it on my legs as they can get super itchy and dry.

*evie Lovingly Pure Toning Rose Water - review here - I am obsessed. I love the smell, how it works, the bottle, the misting top, just the whole thing. It's so expensive that I'm still debating on whether or not to splurge. I guess if I love it this much I really should eh?

Odacite (Pa + G) Papaya and Geranium Pure Elements - These serums are a game changer. They're meant to be mixed with other oils/serums/face creams. I've seen great results, in terms of brightening, with this particular one.

Badger Balm Joint Rub - If you've ever been looking for a natural rub for sore muscles and joints, may I introduce you to this miracle worker. As someone who's constantly hunched over (I know, I know. Pull those shoulders back!), bending, standing, sitting, for long periods of time, my body needs a good rub every now and then. This has gotten me through some long days at work, days I wouldn't have made it through otherwise. Never discontinue this item Badger!

Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender Tea - This tea...this tea tastes incredible AND puts me right to sleep! A must try if your mind goes into overdrive at night :).
Hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you've been loving.
post signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...