24 April 2012

My Beauty Addiction Pressed Eye Shadow Review

If you use more natural makeup, then you probably already know how rare it is to find pressed eye shadows without ingredients like talc and silicones.  When you do find them, it's usually only from higher end brands, and as a result, the price point can get fairly high.  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you also probably already know that I'm not someone who is usually willing to spend $15-30 for a single eye shadow.  This is where My Beauty Addiction comes in. 

My Beauty Addiction has an extensive line of makeup, skincare, and bath and body products, but what really caught my eye was their pressed eye shadows.  They are available in the same shades as their loose shadows, excluding their line of matte colours, and are pressed to order using only fractionated coconut oil.  I've considered pressing my own shadows in the past and done some research on what doing so would entail, so it's really interesting to me that My Beauty Addiction is able to press shadows with only this one ingredient.


The shadows are packaged in individual swing arm compacts.  Initially I was concerned that they would pop open, but they snap closed tightly and I haven't had any problems.  They're labelled with the company name on the top and colour name and ingredients on the bottom.  The compacts can also be clipped together in a stack.  They sell for $7 each, or $20 for 4.

Presumably from the oil, these are very creamy shadows.  In the compacts, the shadows are fairly soft and do kick up a bit of dust as you use them.  My Beauty Addiction recommends using foam tip applicators, but I had no problems using my regular brushes - the shadows are pigmented and apply smoothly.  In terms of colours, although the pressed shadows are available in the same range of colours as their loose shadows, My Beauty Addiction states that the texture can change from the pressing process.  They say that these are not glittery or sparkly, but rather more of a velvety/satiny or metallic texture, which I found to be true of the four colours I purchased.  Swiss chocolate does have a bit of shimmer though.  Also, it's worth mentioning that one of the four shadows I ordered did arrive broken (I blame the post office, since these were very well wrapped), but Sherrie, the owner, was kind enough to send a replacement. 

(L to R) Swiss Chocolate, Nougat, Snowflake, Peach Frost

The only place these fell a little bit short was wear time, since for me, they don't last as long as most loose mineral shadows.  I start getting creasing after 5 or 6 hours and it becomes fairly obvious after 8 or 9.  For comparison, with Detrivore Cosmetics' primer and loose shadows, I usually wear my makeup for a good 12 hours and only have minimal creasing when I take it off.   My guess is this is due to the oil content, which isn't there in a loose shadow. 

The Bottom Line
If you're someone looking for the convenience of a pressed eye shadow without the high price point a lot of natural brands carry, I'd highly recommend My Beauty Addiction's pressed shadows.  There is a huge range of colours (125+) and the four I chose are all beautiful.  If you're someone who doesn't have problems with eye makeup creasing or someone who wears their makeup for less time, you probably won't have any problems with these.  For me, I tend to avoid these on work days when my makeup will be on for longer, but I've been using them for night looks, which don't need to last as long, and they've been working fantastically.  They'd also be great for travel, where loose shadows can be a hassle.

My experience as a customer was really positive and I'm definitely interested in trying more products from My Beauty Addiction.  I'd also recommend checking out their facebook page before you order, since they regularly post sales.  In fact, if you order today, you can get free US shipping in their etsy store with the code 'SHIPFREE.'  International customers will receive discounted shipping with the same code.


         

15 April 2012

Review: Bubble & Bee Squeezed Lime Organic Shower Gel

In my mind, shower gels can be split into two categories: those made up of surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate and decyl glucoside, and those made of saponified oils.  While there are better and worse surfactants out there, my preference is still to use the second type, made with a base of saponified oils.  Without spending a lot of time going into the science, these types just seem like a healthier, more natural option to me.  

Recently, when I started to get a slight rash after showering, which I eventually traced back to the shower gel I was using, I figured it was time to try something new.  I decided on Bubble & Bee's Squeezed Lime Organic Shower Gel.  I've heard lots of positive things about Bubble and Bee over the last couple years and have been following them on facebook for quite some time.  Stephanie, Bubble & Bee's founder, also writes the Chemical of the Day blog, which is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to learn more about what's lurking in your products.


Back to the shower gel!  The first thing I noticed was the smell.  It smells tart, slightly sweet, and pretty much exactly like cutting into a fresh lime.  This is a gentle, castille soap, much like the renowned Dr. Bronner's, but unlike Dr. Bronner's, Bubble & Bee's shower gel is concentrated and contains no water.  As a result, it's thicker than Dr. Bronner's, and a little goes a longer way.  Used straight on my hands, I didn't get a lot of lather, but on a shower pouf, it lathers nicely.  Bubble & Bee also recommends diluting it in a foamer bottle, which would stretch it even further, but I've yet to try it this way.  It leaves my skin feeling clean and soft, and the delicious smell lingers on the skin for a couple hours too.  

All in all, this is definitely a product (and a company) I'd recommend.  The shower gel retails for $11.99 (8 oz.)/$21.99 (16 oz.)   It works well, smells divine, and is made by people who really seem to know what they're doing.  Bubble and Bee products are also USDA certified organic.

If you order right away, Bubble & Bee is having a sale!  Now through Monday, save 20% off body butters, salt scrubs, and lip balm sampler packs, and 15% off shower gels.


         

8 April 2012

Repurposing Products

I've come to realize that it's just a fact of life that when you test out a lot of products, some of them aren't going to work for you.  Obviously I don't want to keep using products that just don't do it for me, but at the same time, I hate wasting them or throwing away anything I've spent good money on.  I'm also not a fan of the clutter of having tons of products that I'm not using just hanging around.  With that in mind, if something doesn't work for its intended purpose, I always try to repurpose it for another use. 
Here are three recent examples of that:

Organic Sunflower Oil


I've used sunflower oil in cooking on and off throughout my life.  Without going into a lot of specifics, it's a healthy vegetable oil and not overly expensive.  However, at some point, I seem to have developed a very strong dislike of the taste.  I swear, in the last while, even if there's just the smallest amount of sunflower oil in something I make, it's all I can taste.  Of course, I came to this realization right after I bought a huge bottle of the stuff!

After sitting in my fridge unused for a while, I decided to try it as an eye makeup remover one night.  It's fantastic!  Before this, I'd been using either olive or coconut oil, but I genuinely prefer the sunflower oil to either of those.  Although it melts with body heat, coconut oil is solid at room temperature, which can be inconvenient, and I had problems with olive oil really stinging my eyes if I happened to get any in them.  With sunflower oil, I don't have either of these issues.  It's also noncomedogenic, so it won't clog your pores, and high in vitamin E.


When I originally purchased this, I was expecting an opaque, matte white pencil that I could use to line my waterline.  As you can see in my initial swatch here, what I got was a somewhat sheer, sparkly white pencil.  I was a little disappointed, but decided it would still work to highlight the inner corners of my eyes.  That said, I tend to use an eyeshadow for that purpose and I was never reaching for this product.

Since LUVU's eye pencils are basically identical to their lip pencils, I decided to try it to highlight above my upper lip, around my cupid's bow.  The sheerness works really well for this, and the pencil form is great, since you can get the product right where you want it (and not anywhere else!)  I'll usually line around my cupid's bow and then dab it slightly with a finger to soften the line.

This is a new-to-me product I've been testing out recently.  As a face cream, I unfortunately don't love it.  It's not heavy, but it does take a long time to sink in to my skin.  Even applying just a small amount, I can still feel it on my skin two or three hours later.  Since I wear mineral foundation most days, I just don't have time in the mornings to wait for this to be absorbed.

That said, I've had dry hands recently and this cream works great on them.  Interestingly enough, I find it sinks into my hands pretty quickly and doesn't leave them greasy at all.  I'm not sure I would repurchase this for my hands, just because there are plenty of other, less expensive options for that, but I do like it for this purpose and will continue to use it as long as I have it.


I get excited when I find new ways to use things up, instead of just letting them collect dust and go to waste.  I'm thinking of doing semi-regular posts like this, since repurposing products is something I find myself doing pretty frequently.   How about you?  Do you find new uses for products that don't work as you'd originally intended? 


         

3 April 2012

Lucy Minerals Lucy Light Finishing Powder Review


When I reviewed Lucy Minerals foundation a few months ago, I mentioned that I was getting a bit of shine peeking through around the seven or eight hour mark.  Since then, I've been testing out a few different finishing powders in the hopes of extending this wear time.  I'm happy to report that I've found one that works quite well for this.

Lucy Light Finishing Powder is Lucy Mineral's basic finishing powder, with no additives.  Similar to the foundation, their regular finishing powder contains antioxidants.  They also offer two oil control varieties.  That isn't to say there's anything wrong with the antioxidant varieties, but since I'd opted for the simplest foundation, sans antioxidants, for my sometimes sensitive skin, it made sense to do the same with the finishing powder.

The finishing powder is light beige in colour, but when applied, it goes on transparent.  I use a large fluffy brush and dust it lightly all over my face, after I apply my foundation.  Then, I go back and apply a second layer to the areas that tend to get oily - namely my nose and the center of my forehead.  With the finishing powder, I'm able to go 12-14 hours without needing to blot or retouch anything.  We'll see how it holds up in the hot summer months, but so far, I'm very impressed with this product.  

In addition to oil control, it also gives a slight, almost airbrushed finish to the skin.  I have two tiny lines on my forehead, which are mostly covered by the foundation, but with this on top, they are nearly invisible.  It also works well to tone down blush, should you ever accidentally be too heavy handed. 

Good sized samples of both the foundation and finishing powder are available for $2 each.  My foundation sample lasted about a month and a half, and my finishing powder sample is still more than half full after 2 months of nearly daily wear.  I'll definitely be ordering the full size when it does run out!


         

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