15 September 2014

The Starting Over Tag (I Filmed a Video!)

Sarah from Sugarpuffish tagged me to do the Starting Over Tag, and since I first saw this tag on Youtube, I decided to try something different and film a video, rather than doing an ordinary blog post.  

Actually hitting publish on this post is a lot more nerve wracking than normal, because it's me + the internet in a new way, but what the heck!  Please excuse the choppy editing and general awkwardness.

If you don't want to watch the video, here's a quick rundown of what I chose.  Where applicable, I've included a link to my full review.

1. Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser   [Review]
2. Karooch Hazelnut Oil
3. EvanHealy French Rose Clay Mask   [Review]
4. Epic Blend More Moisture Lip Balm (Unflavored)


5. Acure Organics Moroccan Argan + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo & Conditioner   [Review]
6. Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz   [Review]
7. Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Reviving Tonic   [Review]


8. Nourish Organics Body Wash   [Review]
9. Acure Organics Unscented Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 Body Lotion   [Review]


10. Honeybee Gardens Pressed Powder Foundation (Geisha)   [Review]
11. Silk Naturals Sleep in a Jar (Light Peach)   [Review]
12. Faerie Organic Forty Winks Eye Shadow Primer   [Review]
13. Darling Girl Cosmetics Eye Shadow (Blitzen + Harvest Moon)   [Review]
14. Honeybee Gardens Eyeliner (Smoking Gun)
15. Zuzu Luxe The Mascara (Onyx)   [Review]
16. Mineral Fusion Nail Polish (Amethyst)

Contains affiliate links

6 September 2014

Burt's Bees Matte Lip Crayons in Carolina Coast & Hawaiian Smolder

I haven't kept up with Burt's Bees last few releases, but when I saw the brand was launching matte lip crayons, I knew I needed to get my hands on them.  I've yet to spot these in Canada, but I tracked them down early in August at a Walgreens in Niagara Falls, literally minutes from the border.

The crayons are available in six shades and I picked up the two pink ones.  There are also a couple reds,  a peachy one, and a pinky nude.

I like the twist up packaging - no sharpening required - and the embossed honeycombs on the lids are super cute.  The chubby crayons have no added scent or flavour, which depending on your preference, could be either a plus or a minus.  They're completely unscented and tasteless, without any of that natural oil taste/smell that you sometimes get, so even if you're someone who generally prefers flavored lips products, I don't think you'd be bothered by these.

The marketing for these crayons has put a lot of emphasis on their creaminess, and that's the one thing I'm not sure is entirely fitting.  The crayons aren't dry (or drying), but they aren't especially creamy either.  My favorite way to wear them is actually over top of a thin layer of lip balm.  It makes the colors go on a little less matte and you don't get quite as bold a color payoff, but its a worthwhile trade-off to me, since my lips feel that much better.

How about the colors I picked?

Carolina Coast is a cool-toned, mauvey pink.  It's like the color of my lips, only a little lighter and cooler.  A very wearable shade.

Hawaiian Smolder is a more vibrant, deep pink.  It goes on a little sheer, but you can still build it up for some serious color.  You can seen in the swatches that this one also has a tiny bit of a shine, compared to Carolina Coast.  Not glossy, but not 100% matte either.

The Bottom Line
I'm glad I managed to track these down.  Like with most Burt's Bees, the price point is good, and I'm happy with how the crayons perform.  I'm especially taken with Carolina Coast - it was probably my most worn lip color in August - and I'd even consider picking up another color or two, should they finally make their way to Canada.

2 September 2014

August Empties / Products I've Used Up

Not a ton of empties this month, but nearly everything is something I've either already repurchased or something I anticipate buying again in the not too distant future.  Here's what's headed to the bin this time around:

Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner (now the Concentrated Clarifying Toner)
I like the signature, lemony scent that most of Suki's line has, and the Balancing Toner was no exception.  It had a good, even spray and felt light and non-sticky going on - perfect for summer.  The trial size only lasted me about two weeks, but even in that short time, I noticed my pores looked cleaner and less visible.
Repurchase? Yes.

Vice1960 Facial Oil*   [Review]
Vice1960 was one of my favorite discoveries of this year and I particularly enjoyed this oil.  It's a gorgeous blend that includes hazelnut, radish, meadowfoam, and jojoba oils, and it consistently left my skin hydrated, glowy, and very clear.  The company is going to be launching five (!) new oils soon too, which is super exciting.   
Repurchase? Yes.

Aura Cacia Organic Argan Oil   [Review]
Argan was the first oil I really fell for and it's a still a staple in my haircare routine.  I use it on the ends  of my hair and also sometimes on my face too.  Aura Cacia's organic argan oil is affordable and the quality is generally great.  I've gone through multiple bottles without issue, but this particular one smelled strangely minty, even though it's labelled as 100% argan oil.  
Repurchase? Possibly.  I ordered Acure's argan oil this time, but I'd likely buy Aura Cacia's again too. I'm hesitant to order it online though, after the peppermint scent of this bottle.

Pure + Simple Eye Brightening Cream   [Review]
I wasn't completely sold on this eye cream when I wrote my original review, but I ended up picking up a full size jar anyways and slowly came to love it.  It doesn't do a lot for puffiness, but it's amazing on dark circles.  It's also gentle and very moisturizing without being heavy.
Repurchase? Yes.

Pretty Pure Radiance Day Cream   [Review]
I've enjoyed many of Pretty's products, but I think the Pure Radiance Cream is my favorite to date.  It's a rich cream, but it sinks in quickly and never leaves my face greasy or shiny, no matter how generously I slather it on.  It has a soft, neutral scent and is also the best base I've found for applying makeup.  It won't get rid of pores or fine lines like a silicone-based primer, but it does soften both, plus I think my makeup lasts better on top of this than anything else I've tried.
Repurchase? Definitely.

Peppy Galore Diva Face Moisturizer (sample)
I liked everything about this moisturizer except the vanilla scent.  Because of the smell, I actually ended up using most of my sample as a body moisturizer.  Peppy Galore has recently shut down, so I'm just as happy this didn't turn out to be a perfect product for me.
Repurchase? No.

Balm Balm Hibiscus Face Mask (sample)
Balm Balm's Hibiscus mask is a simple formulation made of just brown rice powder, hibisicus flowers, and rose geranium essential oil.  I think it'd be great for super sensitive skin that might not be able to tolerate other masks, but personally, I found it was so gentle that it didn't really do much at all.  The second time I used it, I boosted it with some green clay and I enjoyed the combination a lot more than I did this mask by itself.
Repurchase? Probably not.

EvanHealy Blue Rosehip Treatment Serum (sample)
I like EvanHealy's Rosehip serums, but in terms of what they do for my skin, I don't notice any difference compared to using a much less expensive, plain rosehip seed oil.  The Blue Serum is my favorite of the two though, purely because of the chamomile/lavender scent.  
Repurchase? No.

ZuzuLuxe The Mascara in Onyx   [Review]
Another tube bites the dust!  No matter how many other mascaras I try, I always come back to Zuzu.  It's gentle and doesn't irritate my eyes, plus it doesn't smudge or flake on me at all.
Repurchase? Yes, I already have.

And that was it for August.  I'm happy to use things up, as always, but I'm a little sad to see some of these products go!

*Press Sample
Contains affiliate links

28 August 2014

End of Summer Favorites: Weleda, KYI, Evolve, Pure + Simple and Mineral Fusion

I know it's over-said, but I really can't believe summer is just about over.  With a season change fast approaching, it seemed appropriate to write about some of the products I've been loving these last few months.  My main focus has been using what I have, so most of these are things I've rediscovered in my collection rather than new purchases.  

Weleda Skin Food
Skin Food is one of those cult products that I think almost everyone is familiar with by now.  It's a thick, somewhat heavy moisturizer, so not something I'd expect to get a lot of use out of in the summer, but I've actually been reaching for it quite a bit.  My elbows have been extra dry recently and it's been working well for them.

Know Your Ingredients Argan Oil with Vitamin C Serum*   
I rediscovered KYI's serum (originally reviewed here) when doing some organizing.  It's a great face serum, but in true blogger fashion, I'd moved on to testing other things and it had ended up being pushed to the side.  With One Love Organics' Vitamin C Body Oil in the back of my mind, I decided to try it on my body one day, and the rest is history.   A little goes a long way and it leaves my skin super soft and hydrated.    

Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt
I've wanted to try Evolve for ages, so when I saw the Gentle Cleansing Melt for half price in a Naturisimo sale, I rushed to snatch it up.  It's a cleansing balm, but it's pretty unique in that it also fully emulsifies when you add water.  I'll have a full review up in the next week or two, so I don't want to go into too many details here, but suffice it to say, I love it.

Pure + Simple Face Colour in Taupe
Pure + Simple's Face Colours are multi-use powders that can be used anywhere on the face, lips, or eyes.  I originally bought Taupe thinking I'd be able to use it as a contour, but it has a slight golden sheen and doesn't work as well for that purpose as I'd hoped.  I have worn it as an all-over bronzer to warm up my face, but my favorite way to use it is as an eye shadow.  It's not clear in the photo, but I've actually made quite a dip in there!  Taupe is the perfect medium brown to use in the crease or as a transition color to blend out almost any eye look.  There's better pictures of the color, as well as swatches, in my original review.

Mineral Fusion Liquid Lip Gloss in Polished
I didn't have a clear lip gloss in my collection, so I could just about justify adding Polished, which I received in a swap a couple months ago.  It works with any and all lip colors and I really prefer glosses in squeeze tubes like this, since they give you such better control over the amount of product you're using than a regular doe foot applicator.  The gloss itself has a light berry scent and gives a good amount of shine without any stickiness.  It also leaves my lips feeling comfortable and hydrated.

What products have you been loving recently?

*Press Sample
Contains affiliate links

27 August 2014

Scentuals Bodycare Part II - Body

Along with the lip goodies I wrote about yesterday, I've also been trying out a bunch of body products from Scentuals Bodycare.  I've got a good number of things to talk about, so let's jump right in!

Grapefruit Moisturizing Body Wash
I featured this body wash in my recent What's in My Shower post and said that it felt like a cross between aloe vera gel and a creamy body wash.  I still think that's the best description I can come up with and it makes sense too, since, instead of water, Scentuals body washes are made of 76% aloe vera.  The resulting wash is incredibly gentle and cleanses without leaving the skin feeling dry or stripped.  

Goat Milk Mint Soap
This soap is another favorite.  It's moisturizing and easily produces a rich lather that's not drying in the least.  The scent is fresh and minty and the bar has lasted me a good long while too.  

ScentFree Hand and Body Lotion
I specifically requested a couple unscented products, since that's often my preference for lotions and moisturizers.  Made with aloe, avocado oil, and shea butter, the ScentFree lotion has a bit of weight to it and moisturizes really thoroughly.  It takes a bit to fully work it in, but it's worth the effort.   I notice my skin is extra soft on days when I've used this lotion.  

ScentFree Daily Skin Repair
The Daily Skin Repair is a moisturizing balm, packaged in a convenient stick format.  It's made with coconut oil and lots of rich butters - cocoa, shea, and mango - but no waxes, so it absorbs well and doesn't just sit on top of the skin.  It's a solid product, but it softens on contact with the warmth of your skin.  It's also sensitive to ambient temperature.  In fact, mine melted and leaked a little when it was shipped to me during a hot spell.  It hardens again without issue, but is something to keep in mind if you're looking for a product to carry around with you.

Tangerine Dream Hand and Body Lotion
The Tangerine Dream lotion has a slightly different formula from the ScentFree one and feels a little lighter going on.  I love how it smells in the bottle - very similar to the Vanilla Citrus lip conditioner - but on my skin, the sweet scent changes and becomes almost sour.  It's not heavily scented, so I doubt anyone but me even notices I'm wearing it, but it does somewhat diminish my enjoyment of this product.  

Vanilla Velvet Hand & Foot Repair Cream
The Hand & Foot Repair Cream has the most gorgeous consistency.  It's a rich, whipped lotion that I've used both on my hands and feet, and also as an all over moisturizer.   The Vanilla Velvet scent is nice, but quite strong.  The scent combines Tahitian vanilla, French vanilla, Indian sandalwood and citrus, and is sweet, but with a richer depth from the sandalwood.  

The ingredients for this product just list fragrance, but when I asked for more information, I was informed that it is natural fragrance and phthalate free.  The fragrance also makes up only 0.6% of the formula of the Hand & Foot cream.    

Vanilla Velvet Hydrating Body Spray
The Hydrating Body Sprays are water based, but they also include vegetable glycerin for a touch of moisture.  As many of you will already know, I'm not a big perfume/body spray user and I found the Vanilla Velvet scent a little overpowering in this form.  If you're someone who likes stronger fragrances or who enjoys layering your scents, however, you might get on really well with these body sprays.

Bug Off! Insect Repellant Spray
Bug Off! is an essential oil based bug spray.  I mostly smell citronella and basil, but it also includes eucalyptus, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, orange, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cedarwood, and catnip.  Being confined to the city this summer, I wouldn't say I've tested this under the most buggy conditions, but it's worked well for the backyard and nighttime dog walking.  

The Bottom Line
After trying a good selection of products these last couple months, I'm pretty confident in saying that Scentuals is a line worth checking out.  They have a huge selection of body products, as well as smaller baby and face lines.  There are plenty of 100% natural options - those scented with only essential oils - as well as ones that include natural fragrance.  Everything is also clearly labelled, so there's no confusion about which you are receiving.  With the selection and affordable price point, Scentuals kind of reminds me of the natural version of something like Bath & Body Works!  

Don't forget, you can save an extra 20% off Scentuals products with the code caitie_20.  If you're in Canada, the company also offers free shipping on orders of $75+.

You can also follow Scentuals on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.  Watch for sales + giveaways - they're very generous on social media!

*Press sample
Discount code is an affiliate coupon
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