21 October 2014

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil

Photo credit
I'm a big fan of both face oils and Weleda's Almond facial line, but I'd never followed those loves to their natural culmination and tried the Almond Soothing Facial Oil*.  Then, a couple months ago, Weleda's oil was awarded Allure's coveted 2014 Best of Beauty Award in the sensitive skin category and I was offered the chance to try this intriguing product.  

Allure writes that the oil "makes our skin luminous all day, and it smells faintly of marzipan" and I'd have to agree.   Like the rest of the almond line, the Soothing Facial Oil is composed of only a few simple ingredients, but they must be all the right ones, as the oil really does keep your skin hydrated all day long while imparting a healthy glow.  

What's in it?

Sweet Almond Oil - high in essential fatty acids that moisturize and soothe skin 

Plum Kernel Oil - full of antioxidants and vitamins A and E that help fight wrinkles and other signs of aging, while simultaneously repairing sun damage and skin irritation

Blackthorn Flower Extract - high in skin-toning tanins and vitamin C, which soothe inflammation and help strengthen the protective functions of the skin

And that's it!  Three simple ingredients that moisturize and nourish while simultaneously calming sensitive or irritated skin.  Like the rest of the line, the Almond Soothing Oil  is targeted to sensitive skin and does not contain any added fragrances or essential oils.  It has a slight, almost indiscernible almond scent, but it's so faint I can't imagine it bothering even the most sensitive of noses.  

I've been using the oil for about a month and I'm really happy with it.  Temperatures are starting to drop, but the Almond Soothing Oil has kept my skin hydrated and happy in this transition period.  It's a great mid-weight oil - not heavy, but also not the lightest oil out there.  It does take a few minutes to fully sink in, but once it's absorbed, my skin is left plump, well moisturized, and touchably soft.  

The Bottom Line
I'm impressed!  Almond may be the title ingredient, but I think a lot of credit is owed to the plum kernel oil and blackthorn extract.  I've used straight almond oil before and - great as it is - my skin has never gotten anywhere near the kind of healthy glow or radiance that Weleda's blend produces.  The oil can double as a makeup remover and the price point is very reasonable (roughly $20-30, depending where you find it), especially once you factor in the 1.7 ounce (50 ml) bottle.  I only use about 4 drops per application, so I forsee the generous bottle lasting me quite a while!

Have you tried the Almond Soothing Facial Oil or other products from Weleda's Almond line?

*Press Sample
Contains affiliate links

11 October 2014

Petit Vour: Beauty & The Box (September 2014)

Another month, another fantastic Petit Vour box!  September's box was again curated with vegan blogger, Tashina from Logical Harmony and I think it's the best box I've gotten yet!  I know, I've said that before, but seriously guys, these boxes just keep getting better.  This month's theme was Beauty & The Box* and focused on introducing indulgent new favorites to enjoy as we move into fall.  

There were a few different options for this box, but here's what I received in mine:

Root Science Face Scrub (Sample Value ±$16)
Root Science is a new brand for me, but a quick look at their website was all it took to get me interested.  Products are concentrated - made without water or fillers - and contain only high quality, potent, healing, natural ingredients.  There were a few different products sent out in this month's box, but as soon as unboxings started showing up in my Instagram feed, I knew this scrub was what I most wanted to try.  It didn't even make it 24 hours before I was slapping this on my face!  Made of baking soda, clay, almond meal, and soothing herbs, it's an exfoliating powder that gently buffs without stripping or drying your skin.  The 1.5 ounce sample is also a really decent size, considering you only use 1/2-1 teaspoon per use.  

Lily Lolo Vanilla Shimmer Mineral Eye Shadow ($12)
I have a Lily Lolo highlighter that I love, but I haven't used their eye shadows before, so I'm eager to give this one a try.  Vanilla Shimmer is a cream colour that I'd imagine is universally flattering on just about anyone.   Light, shimmery neutrals are my default eye look, so I'm betting I'll get a lot of use out of this one.

Ellovi Tinted Lip Butter ($5)
I've heard tons of good things about Ellovi, and based off the lip butter, I'd wager it's all well deserved.  Made of only six ingredients - and no waxes - the lip butter is incredibly smooth and creamy and just melts into your lips like - if you'll excuse the pun - butter.  It smells faintly like coconut oil and leaves behind a subtle red tint, courtesy of Mediterranean alkanet root.    

Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner ($13.20)
I've previously used a mini of this leave-in conditioner and I've had it in the back of my mind to buy it again, so I'm stoked to receive it in this box.  As a leave-in, it conditions your hair without leaving it greasy or weighed down, and it smells lovely - sweet, lemony and never overpowering.  I don't use much heat on my hair, but you can also use Feed Your Ends as a heat protectant before heat styling.  

The Bottom Line
This month had a great mix of skincare, haircare, and makep, and I'm really happy with everything that was included!  I got one product I already know I love, two I've wanted to try, and one I'd never heard of but am super impressed with after even just one use.  

From a purely numbers point of view, Petit Vour's boxes are always worth the cost too.  This month's box rings in at roughly $46.  

Petit Vour boxes retail for $15 (US) / $23 (Canada) / $30 (International) and individual products can also be bought in the Petit Vour shop.  

*Press sample

6 October 2014

New Blush Favorites: The All Natural Face, Pure Anada & Silk Naturals

With skin as pale as mine, it's very easy to overdo it with blush and end up looking like a clown.  For that reason, it's taken me a while to fully embrace wearing blush, but I think I'm officially a convert.  Today I want to talk about three fairly new-to-me blushes I've been loving.

The All Natural Face Desert Sand Glow
Technically this one is an all over face glow, not a blush, but it's way too dark on my skin to use all over.  Instead, I love using it as a subtle blush.  It's a nude pink color that goes with just about any makeup look.  It works equally well to tone down an otherwise dramatic makeup look, or just as an easy blush to grab when you're in a hurry or can't decide what color to wear.  

Pure Anada Fresh Mandarin Blush
Peach blushes are always a favorite around here and Fresh Mandarin is a pretty, burnt orange shade that seems especially fitting for fall.  I've mostly gotten used to loose blushes, but the added convenience of a pressed blush definitely comes in handy sometimes.  One drawback of this product is that it has a weird, putty-like smell, but according to the company, this is just the scent of the raw, unrefined jojoba oil that's used as a binder.  Would I like it better without the smell? Definitely, but it only smells in the pan, not on your face, so it isn't enough to stop me from enjoying such a pretty blush shade.

Silk Naturals Abstract Sheer Blush
Abstract is a pale, plummy pink shade with a nice, luminous finish, but no actual shimmer or glitter. The base is a cool-toned pink, but it has a slight gold sheen that warms it up nicely.  Seriously, I've been using this color almost non-stop these last few months and I just love it.  Silk Naturals' blushes are fantastic for us lighter skinned folk, because they go on sheer (at first) and blend very easily.  They're still very buildable though, so I don't think darker skinned ladies would have any issues using them either.  

The Bottom Line
The swatches of these three paint a pretty clear picture of how I like my blushes: not too dark and not too pigmented.  I'll reach for a more vivid blush on occasion, but for everyday, I usually go for a fairly subtle cheek color, somewhere along the lines of these three.  

What's your go-to blush color?

2 October 2014

September Empties / Products I've Used Up

It's that time again, and in the interest of spicing things up, I filmed an empties video this month.  I'll also run through everything in writing below, if you prefer to read versus watch.

Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz   [Review]
This was my second bottle of this and I'm already onto my third.  It's a good, light hold, aloe-based hair gel.
Repurchase? Yes, I already have.

Rahua Voluminous Spray   [Review]
I have mixed feelings about this one.  Some days I liked how it made my hair look and others  I didn't feel like it did anything at all.  Plus, it leaves your hair very tangly.
Repurchase? No.

Devita Gentle Aloe Face Scrub   [Review]
Very gentle, as the name suggests, but also pretty effective.  Super affordable too!  
Repurchase? Not right away.

Graydon Face Food Mineral Mist*   [Review]
Graydon is a great line and I liked this mist well enough, but I notice the biggest difference on days when my skin is acting up.  When my skin is behaving, I can take it or leave it.
Repurchase? Not sure.

Shea Terra Argan Oil + Acacia Honey Facial Wash*   [Review]
One of my favorite cleansers.  It's a blend of honey and a gentle castile soap that leaves your face really clean, but not stripped or dry.  
Repurchase? Yes, but not immediately.

Nourish Organics Spiced Citrus Body Wash
You guys know I love these body washes.  The Spiced Citrus scent could have been spicier - it smells like orange candy to me - but I still enjoyed it.  
Repurchase? Yes.

Nourish Organics Fresh Fig Deodorant
If I want this to last all day, I need to combine it with another deodorant, but I'm still a big fan.  The formula is gentle enough to use right after shaving and the fig scent is fruity and lovely.
Repurchase? Yes.

Sibu Beauty Clarifying Toner (sample)
Not a hit.  It left my skin feeling dry and I didn't like the scent.  
Repurchase? No.

Ikove Organics Acai Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream (sample)
The sample was separated and I wasn't impressed.  Hopefully full size jars can stay better emulsified!
Repurchase? No.

Kaia Bamboo Tapioca Beads* (sample)    [Review]
I really enjoyed using this dry, powdered exfoliant.  It's easy to customize just by switching up what you liquid you mix it with, and it does a great job.
Repurchase? It's quite likely.

MUN Brightening Youth Serum (sample)
Despite the accolades, I wasn't blown away.  It was fine, but not revolutionary enough to convince me to splurge on a full size bottle.
Repurchase? No.

*Press Sample
Contains affiliate links

1 October 2014

Small But Mighty: Skincare Minis from Kaia, Hush & Dotti + Earthbody

You know what they say about good things coming in small packages?  Never more true than with these skincare minis.  They may not be the biggest, but all three are pretty darn fantastic.  

Hush & Dotti Original Balm Cleanser

Hush & Dotti is a vegan, cruelty free skincare line committed to making high quality, natural and organic small batch products.  As I understand it, the Balm Cleanser was the company's inaugural creation and what started it all.  Cleansing with a balm always feels a bit strange to me, but I've enjoyed using this one nonetheless, particularly during the transition to drier fall weather.  The balm is rich and buttery, but not at all waxy, so it wipes off easily and doesn't leave your face feeling coated.  Instead, you're left with soft, hydrated, touchable skin.  Hush & Dotti's formula is also coconut oil free, great for those of us who can't tolerate coconut oil on the face.  The cleanser also has a really pleasant, slightly spicey, herbal scent.  

Kaia Bamboo Tapioca Beads*
Kaia's Bamboo Tapioca Beads are a dry powder that - once activated with the liquid of your choice - can be used as either an exfoliating cleanser or a face mask.  Composed mainly of bamboo, tapioca, and kaolin clay, the powder is gentle, but also very effective.  The powder form may seem like extra effort, but I really love how it allows you to easily customize it, just by switching up the liquid component.  You can use anything from water to tea, an oil, honey, yogurt, or even a liquid face cleanser.  Whatever you choose to use, the beads leave your face feeling smooth and refreshed and they smell great too - fresh and citrusy!

Earthbody Brighten Cleanser + Mask
Brighten is a rhassoul clay-based cleanser/mask that came in the August Petit Vour box and has quickly become a favorite.  It's packed with thirteen plant and fruit powders, including acai, papaya, guava, mangosteen, and pineapple to "firm, lift, and hydrate without depleting essential moisture."  I've only used it as a mask thus far, but it can also be used as a rinse off cleanser.  

Have you tried any of these?

*Press sample
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