27 September 2013

A Trio of Natural Eye Shadow Primers

For as long as I've been blogging, I've gotten questions about natural eye shadow primers.  Nobody wants to be walking around with creased eye shadow, so it's completely understandable why this comes up so often!  I've heard a lot of quick fix suggestions - using everything from lip balms to oil control powders and concealers as primers - but none of those have worked quite right for me.  It's been a bit of an epic search, with many primers and varied results, and while I don't still have all the ones I've tried on hand, I promised a comparison post of the ones I do, and today I'm finally going to deliver on that!  I wanted to see how these held up in the hotter, summer months, so now that it's officially fall, let's talk about the three primers I've currently got in rotation: Detrivore Cosmetics Original Eye Shadow Primer, Faerie Organic Forty Winks Eye Primer, and The All Natural Face "Magic" Vegan Eye Shadow Primer.



INGREDIENTS
In terms of ingredients, the Detrivore and Faerie Organic primers are fairly similar formulas, comprised mainly of oils and waxes.  Because they're oil-based and contain no water, no preservative is needed, although the Faerie Organic does contain vitamin E and rosemary, which will help extend the shelf-life.

The All Natural Face, on the other hand, is a water-based product, and as such, contains polyaminopropyl biguanide and potassium sorbate.  Potassium sorbate doesn't worry me, but I've had a difficult time finding clear information on polyaminopropyl biguanide, so I'm not sure how I feel about it as an ingredient.

Winner(s): Detrivore and Faerie Organic


APPLICATION
In terms of application, the Detrivore and Faerie Organic primers are, again, very similar.  Both are semi-solid creams that come in small pots and I like to apply them with my fingers.  The All Natural Face primer comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator and, in that way at least, is more comparable to traditional primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion.  I use the wand to swipe it on, but again, I prefer to blend it out with a finger.  The Detrivore and All Natural Face primers have a slight tint initially, but once you blend them in, both become invisible.  The Faerie Organic leaves a sheer wash of white for you to apply your shadows on top of.


(L to R) Faerie Organic, Detrivore, The All Natural Face
The key for all three is not to use too much product.  What you're going for here is a thin, even layer that's just enough to give your eye shadow something to grip on to.  If you apply too much, everything gets goopy and you're back in hot mess territory.  Also keep in mind that the consistency of all three primers does change slightly depending on temperature - they are softer in warmer temperatures and more solid when it's cooler - so you'll need to tailor your application accordingly.

Winner(s): Comes down to personal preference.  No clear winner.


PERFORMANCE
Detrivore's primer is the tackiest of the three and it definitely makes shadows pop the most.  Most colors end up slightly darker and any shimmery shadows end up looking almost foiled.  It's the best at holding on to anything glittery and does an excellent job showcasing more complex and duochrome colors.  It doesn't fare as well with matte colors, which can end up looking a little patchy.

The All Natural Face's primer does very little.  Once it's blended out, it basically feels like you haven't applied anything.  Colors are unaltered and look basically the same as they would on bare skin.  Fallout can also be a problem with certain shadows, since there's not a lot going on to improve adhesion.

The Faerie Organic falls somewhere in the middle.  It dries to a powdery finish, so it doesn't serve as a tacky base like the Detrivore, but the white color does make your colors appear more vibrant.  I haven't had any problems with fallout.


Winner(s): Detrivore and Faerie Organic, depending on eye shadow color/finish.


WEAR

Faerie Organic blows everyone else out of the water in this area.  Wear time is a bit less in the summer, but in the colder months, I can easily make it through a 14-hour day with perfect eye makeup.  Ah-mazing.  Detrivore lasts about 8 hours in the winter before I start to see creasing, but it only makes it 4-5 in the summer.  The All Natural Face only gives me a wear time of around 4 hours, regardless of the time of year.

Winner(s): Faerie Organic


MOMENT OF TRUTH
Faerie Organic is definitely the primer I reach for the most, and on an everyday basis, that's what's on my eyes.  For more complex, duochrome shadows or anything with lots of glitter, I opt for the Detrivore.  I'd happily repurchase both of these.  While I love other products from The All Natural Face and the primer is a hit for lots of people, it just didn't live up to my expectations.  It's something I rarely use and I won't be buying it again.


Have you tried any of these?  What's your favorite eye shadow primer?



17 September 2013

Sappho Cosmetics Makeover at The Detox Market

Photo from The Detox Market
After a crazy hectic work week (60+ hours, yikes!), I happily made it to the end of The Detox Market's one year celebration on Saturday.  Started as a temporary pop-up, The Detox Market is now a permanent fixture in Toronto, and I couldn't be happier .  Described as "a health food store meets Holt Renfrew," you'd be hard pressed to find a better place in this city to shop for luxury green products.

As part of the celebration, The Detox Market was offering Sappho Cosmetics makeovers, which I, of course, had to sign up for!  Sappho Cosmetics is a Canadian makeup line, started by Joann Fowler, a makeup artist who has worked in film and television since the late 1980's.  Fowler recognized a need for clean makeup with full ingredient disclosure and created Sappho, both for use in the industry and for regular, everyday wear.  I'd been curious about their line for quite a while now, so this was a great opportunity to try out multiple products in one go.

I had a lovely makeup artist working on me, though I'm embarrassed to say I didn't get her name!  I also didn't catch everything that was used on me, but I'm told the list will be emailed, so I'll update this post when I receive it.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with my first impressions of what I do remember...



Liquid Foundation: A little heavier coverage than what I usually go for, but still, amazingly, doesn't feel like you're wearing makeup at all!  It sets to a nice touchable finish, even before powder and feels incredibly light on your face.  It also did not break me out or irritate my skin at all - problems I have with many liquid foundations.  

Concealer: Undo, which is yellow-toned, was used to cover up redness, and in combination with the foundation, left my skin looking pretty flawless. Neutrality (peach-toned) did a fantastic job covering up my dark circles, but it did start to look cakey under the eyes after a couple hours.   

Setting Powder: Used to set the foundation, this seemed to work well.  I only kept the makeup on for about 5-6 hours, but in that time, there was no shine or oil in sight.  I'm also intrigued by the fact that the powder is made with aloe vera.

Eye Shadows/Blush/Bronzer: So exciting to find more companies making pressed makeup without silicones!  I'm seriously debating going back for the bronzer that was used on me - I think it was Bronze Goddess 1.  

Eyeliner - I wasn't crazy about the reddish-brown colour choice, but the liner did not budge at all.  I'd definitely consider other shades.

Eyebrows: No idea what was used here, but it was pretty amazing.  I'm totally convinced I need to start filling in my brows more.

And here's how it all came together to create a soft, wearable everyday look:



I didn't end up buying anything in the moment, but the makeover was a great introduction to Sappho and it was fun to let someone else do my makeup for a change! There's also a good chance I'll be back for the bronzer and whatever magical product was used on my eyebrows.  

Have you used anything from Sappho Cosmetics?
   

5 September 2013

Sensitive Skin Saviors

My skin is usually pretty easygoing, but a few weeks back, while trying out a couple new cleansers, it decided to rebel.  Suddenly my face was super dry, irritated, and even sore!  As I mentioned in my recent Skincare Tag post, my first response to troublesome skin is always to scale back to as simple a routine as possible, so that's what I did, using just a few key products...



Weleda Soothing Almond Cleansing Lotion
I tried a sample of this cleanser towards the beginning of the summer, and even though I liked it, I didn't end up buying it at that time.  But, as soon as my skin started acting up, I rushed out and snagged a tube right away!  With only seven basic ingredients, it's probably the gentlest cleanser I've ever used.  I just wish the tube was bigger, so it would last longer! After about 3 weeks of use, mine is about 3/4 done.   Regardless, I'm sticking with it for now and just ordered a second tube.  Weleda's Soothing Cleansing Lotion certainly lives up to its name and is incredible for soothing dry, sensitive or irritated skin.

Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil + Desert Essence Jojoba Oil
I'd previously been using a couple different oil blends, but in the spirit of using simple products with minimal ingredients, I immediately switched to using just these two oils.  When I first tried it a few months back, I wasn't completely sold on Pai's rosehip oil, but I'm glad I gave it another chance!  Rosehip oil has numerous benefits and it's great for repairing various kinds of skin damage.  Mixed with a couple drops of jojoba oil for extra hydration, it worked amazingly well.  My skin was calmed and moisturized while it gradually got back to its normal glow.

KYI Whipped Shea Butter Mask
My skin always responds well to shea butter and this mask was a miracle worker when it was acting up!  Made with only shea butter and jojoba oil, it eased any tightness or discomfort I was feeling, even when my skin was at its most irritated.  It also visibly soothed redness and irritation within just a few minutes of application.  I enjoyed slathering it on fairly thickly at night, but a more conservative amount made it completely workable during the day too, even under makeup.

Young Living Omegagize
I'm a big believer that your skin is a reflection of what's going on inside your body, so even though my skin troubles were triggered by testing out new products, I wanted to address them internally as well.  I was already taking Young Living's Omegagize, a great omega-3 supplement made from pure fish oils, but I increased the amount I was taking and noticed my skin felt less dry after just a couple days.

These five products were amazing during my mini skin crisis and even though my skin is back to normal now, they're ones I'll happily keep in rotation.   What do you do when your skin acts up?  Any miracle products I should know about?



Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links to iherb.






1 September 2013

August Empties / Products I've Used Up

It's that time again: empties!  I used up a decent number of samples this month, but only four full sized products.  Keep reading for my thoughts on everything...

FULL SIZED PRODUCTS

George's Always Active Aloe Spray Mister   [Review]
I was in love with this spray initially, but I'm no longer convinced it does anything more than water.  It does work well for setting your makeup, hydrating or cooling your face, and helping oils/serums rub into your skin better, but since this ran out, I've been using plain water in a spray bottle, and I haven't noticed any difference.  
Repurchase? Maybe.  

Acure Argan + Argan Stem Cell Conditioner   [Review]
Love this conditioner!  This is the first summer that I haven't struggled with frizzy hair in the humidity and I credit a lot of that to Acure's shampoo and conditioner.  
Repurchase? Yes, I already have.

South of France Lemon Mint Liquid Soap   [Review]
Really great as either a hand soap or body wash.  Lathers up well, smells fresh and lovely - lemony with a touch of mint - and does not leave your skin feeling tight or dry.
Repurchase? Yes, I already have.

(Seed) Grape Seed Enriched Body Lotion   [Review]
(Seed)'s lotion is on the lighter side, which was great for the summer.  It rubs in super easily and still moisturizes well.  The pump is a nice added convenience too! 
Repurchase? Maybe.

SAMPLES

Consonant Ultra Firming Eye Cream
Consonant was kind enough to send me a few samples after a conversation on Twitter, and this was the first one I reached for.  They recommended it for both under eye circles and puffiness, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to do much for my dark circles.  It does, however, take down puffiness like no other eye cream I've used.  This plus my Pure + Simple eye cream - which is great for darkness but falls short with puffiness - makes the perfect combination, but I'm not sure it's feasible to layer two eye creams in the long run.  I have a sample of Consonant's Ultra Moisturizing Eye Cream to try next, so I'm hoping that one will end up being a better fit.
Repurchase? Probably not. 

Cheeky Cosmetics Honeycomb Eye Shadow   [Review]
I really like Cheeky Cosmetics' eye shadows, but Honeycomb wasn't a standout colour for me.  It's a pretty golden brown, don't get me wrong, but I have an abundance of eye shadow and it wasn't unique enough that I need to replace it immediately.
Repurchase? Probably not.

Face Naturals Peppermint & Tea Tree Deodorant
The mini deodorant is super cute and the perfect size for toting around, which I guess is good, since it's something that needs to be reapplied throughout the day!  Even on days when I do nothing, this deodorant doesn't get me through the day stink-free unless I use it more than once.  It's also the worst for getting deodorant marks on clothing.  It doesn't seem to matter how I put my shirt on, I always end up with an awkward white smear on it somewhere!  I've loved plenty of other Face Naturals products, but I really had to force myself to use this one up!  
Repurchase? No.

Dr. Bronner's Citrus Orange Pure Castile Soap
I'm pretty sure everyone knows Dr. Bronner's.  This castile soap is insanely multi-purpose and is a great product to have on hand.  Since it's so gentle, I used the sample to hand wash some delicates.  The citrus scent isn't my favorite, but it worked just as well as any of the other ones.
Repurchase? Yes, but not in this scent.

Himalaya Neem & Turmeric Face Wash
Himalaya is a new-to-me brand, but I was excited to try out this sample whilst hunting for a new cleanser.  I'm still curious to try more from the line, but this face wash just didn't work for me.  It's a gel cleanser that's difficult to wash off and it left my skin feeling tight and a little dry.  It's recommended for normal to oily skin, so it may work better for oilier skin types.
Repurchase? No.

Green Beaver Boreal Body Lotion
I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this, since I usually choose unscented lotions.  It has a subtle scent that dissipates pretty quickly and I was completely fine with it. It's a little richer than my usual Acure lotion, which I imagine will be fantastic come winter.  And, I love that, unlike the Acure, it's a lotion I can actually buy in stores here.  
Repurchase? It's very likely.  

Black Rose Minerals Skink Eye Shadow   [Review]
Skink is another shimmery tan/light brown/gold and really lovely.  These kinds of shades are my favorite for an everyday eye and I'm starting to running low!  Definitely considering ordering a full size.
Repurchase? Maybe.

That's all for August!  Have you tried any of these products?



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