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
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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
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26 August 2014

Scentuals Bodycare Part I: Lips

Towards the beginning of the summer, I was contacted by Scentuals Bodycare and sent a box of goodies to try out.  Scentuals is a natural bath and body care company that handmakes all its products in British Columbia, Canada.   Like many other natural companies, the line was created by Mai Mowrey, after a family illness spurred her on to research and learn about the toxic impact of conventional personal care products.  Scentuals sources pure, natural ingredients and aims to provide great quality bath and body care at an affordable price point.

The company has an extensive product line up and was generous enough to send me several things to try, so I'm going to review everything in two parts.  Today I want to talk about all things lips.


100% Natural Lip Conditioners
If you like your lip balms thick and buttery, these are worth checking out.  Made with shea and cocoa butters and coconut, jojoba, castor seed, and hemp oils, they're some of the richest, creamiest lip balms I've used.  They're pretty well matte on the lips and make a great base for lipstick, and they also smell divine.  The Vanilla Citrus smells just like a creamsicle, while the Chocolate Mousse scent reminds me of chocolate ice cream.


100% Natural Tinted Lip Moisturizers 
With a similar formula to the lip conditioners, these tinted balms combine moisture and color.  They're not your run of the mill, barely there tinted lip balms either.  Three of the four shades actually pack a serious punch of color.


Sultry - "a sexy shimmery bronze with a cinnamon flavour."  Sultry is the most shimmery of the bunch and also one of the more pigmented.  The cinnamon scent is pretty light.

Bombshell - "a classic merlot red with cherry flavour."  My favorite of the four, Bombshell is a deeper red with some berry tones.  It has no noticeable shimmer and is basically as pigmented as a lipstick.

Passion - "a sophisticated dark pink with citrus flavour."  Passion also has visible shimmer, but not nearly as much as Sultry.  I like the citrus scent and the color is probably the most natural of the bunch.  It makes a good, everyday lip.

Flirt - "an innocent, shimmery pink with wild rose flavour."  I can see the shimmer in the tube and in the swatch, but I really don't notice it on the lips.  Flirt is the most sheer of the four, giving the lips just a hint of pink.  It's a pretty color, but the rose scent is not my cup of tea.


The Bottom Line
With the exception of Flirt - which is really just a scent preference - I'm pretty smitten with all of these.  The colors are beautiful and both the untinted lip conditioners and the tinted lip moisturizers do a good job protecting and hydrating your lips.  I expect they'll be great in the colder months as well.

I've got lots more Scentuals products to talk about, so keep an eye out for Part II.  In the meantime, Scentuals has offered a 20% discount for my readers 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  Watch for sales + giveaways - they're very generous on social media!


*Press sample
Discount code is an affiliate coupon

25 August 2014

Petit Vour Beauty School Box (August 2014)

I get so excited every time the pink Petit Vour box gets to my door.  This monthly subscription box showcases products that are not only vegan and cruelty free, but also predominantly natural.  The theme for August's box* is Beauty School and the box comes complete with products and tips to help you become your own beauty expert.  Here's what was included:


Beauty Without Cruelty Eyeliner in Soft Brown ($18.50)
I haven't tried anything from Beauty Without Cruelty, but I'm always happy to have another eyeliner.  The ingredients look good and are even free of palm oil, which is rarer than you might think.  The brown color is perfect for me too, since more times than not I go for brown eyeliner over black.  From swatching it on my hand, I'd say the pencil takes a couple swipes to warm up and then it does go on nice and creamy.

Harvey Prince Journey (Sample Value Unknown)
I'm really not a perfume girl, but I do appreciate that Harvey Prince's scents are mostly natural and are completely free of pthalates, parabens, sulfates, benzene, and other toxic chemicals commonly found in synthetic perfume.  Journey is described as exotic, awakening and transformative, and has notes of Indonesian clove bud, Australian sandalwood, Moroccan rose, French bergamot, Indian tuberose, Japanese orange flower, Lebanese cedarwood, Turkish cyclamen, and South African freesia.  

Rosemira Organics Sweet Coconut Body Butter (Sample Value ±$5)
I've heard good things about Rosemira and this body butter, made with unrefined, organic coconut oil and mango butter sounds lovely.  It's scented with sweet orange and vanilla essential oils, which, in combination with the coconut oil, give the butter a gorgeous, light, tropical scent.  Summer weather means it arrived to me somewhat melted, but I'm eager to give it a try once it has a chance to solidify again. 

Mi-Me Tangerine Lip Butter ($5)
Mi-Me isn't a brand I've heard of before, but the lip butter seems really nice.  Made with coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter, avocado butter, tucuma butter, murumuru butter, cupuacu butter, candelilla wax, vitamin E, and tangerine essential oil, it goes on smoothly and seems to just melt into your lips.  

Earthbody Brighten Cleanser & Mask (Sample Value ±$7)
For me, this was the most exciting product in the box.  Earthbody's line is rooted in the principles of Ayurveda and Brighten is a mix of rhassoul clay and thirteen plant and fruit extracts, including mangosteen, guava, papaya, pineapple and acai.  It's described as a superfruit enzyme powder and can be used as either a cleanser or a mask.



The Bottom Line
I've been happy with all the Petit Vour boxes I've received, but I've got to say, I think this month has been my favorite.  I'm most excited for the Earthbody cleanser & mask, but I'm also really happy to have the chance to try the Beauty Without Cruelty eyeliner, Mi-Me lip butter, and Rosemira body butter.  Personally, I won't make use of the perfume sample, but even without it, the value of the box exceeds the cost of a subscription.  August's total value weighs in at around $35.50.  

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
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23 August 2014

Sample Stash #10: Cleansers, Take II

I'm still slowly trucking through my sample box.  For today's batch, we have even more cleansers!



Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash
Your average gel cleanser, with a pretty strong, sunscreeny coconut scent.  If you like Pacifica's scents and foaming cleansers, this might work for you, but I found it left my face with that dreaded tight/dry feeling.

Trilogy Very Gentle Cleansing Cream
I really liked this one!  It's a thick, unscented cream cleanser that easily removes makeup and leaves skin super clean, but never stripped.  It reminded me of Weleda's Soothing Almond Cleanser, which makes sense as the Trilogy also has an almond oil base.  

Blissoma Fresh Mild Rice Facial Cleanser
Did this cult favorite live up to the hype?  I've got to say yes!  It's gentle and non-irritating, but provides a slight exfoliation from the rice.  I also enjoyed the fresh citrus scent.  Now that Blissoma is available in Canada (through Nuciya), I think I'll be picking up a bottle at some point!

May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt
Another much hyped product, The Clean Dirt is a powdered cleanser that you activate with water and then massage into the skin.  With ingredients like clay, cacao, cinnamon, and clove, it smells amazing, but it's not something my skin could tolerate everyday as a cleanser.  A couple times a week, maybe, though it's hard to say after just one use. 

Moody Sisters Goats Milk Cleanser
I liked how gentle this one felt on my skin, but it had a thin, watery consistency that made it difficult not to lose the entire sample down the drain.  I also didn't like the scent - it reminded me of generic, hotel soap - though there is an unscented option as well.

So, two winners (Trilogy and Blissoma), a maybe (May Lindstrom) and two no's (Pacifica and Moody Sisters).  Not too bad!  Have you used any of these?


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22 August 2014

Summer Oil Loves: Hazelnut, Marula, Tamanu & Jojoba

I have a lot of love for the many fabulous serums and oil blends out there, but sometimes - particularly if my skin is acting up - I appreciate the simplicity of individual oils.  They tend to be fairly inexpensive and I love the option of being able to use one by itself or mix and match a few to maximize the specific properties I'm looking for.  Let's talk about the four I've been head over heels for this summer...


Hazelnut Oil
I picked this up out of curiosity, after I noticed hazelnut oil in the ingredients lists of more than one of my favorite serums.  Hazelnut oil has astringent properties, so it's excellent for oilier complexions and balancing oil production.  That said, my skin is more normal-to-dry and I adore it.  It's light and absorbs quickly, but also provides a good amount of moisture.  

Marula Oil
Marula is a wonderful, multi-purpose oil that's especially high in essential fatty acids and Vitamins C and E.  It has a pretty light texture, but I do find it takes a couple minutes to fully sink into my skin.  I also like using it on the ends of my hair.

Tamanu Oil
I'm pretty sure Nicole of EcoChicBeautyDiva has been urging me to try tamanu oil for years, but I never got around to it.  In the end, it was a clumsy twist of fate that I got my hands on a partial bottle after it got damaged in the health food store I used to work in.  I've had it for several months now and I just wish I'd picked it up sooner!  Tamanu is known for healing virtually any kind of skin ailment - everything from acne to burns, rashes, fungus, cuts, and more.  The scent is pretty pungent, but if my skin starts breaking out, it's become one of the first things I reach for.  One application before bed, and I wake up to visibly clearer skin.  As an everyday oil, the results are less spectacular - or at least less noticeable - so I usually reserve it for just those times when my skin is acting up.

Jojoba Oil
Jojoba has been a staple in my cabinet for quite some time.  Technically a liquid wax, not an oil, jojoba closely resembles the natural sebum your skin produces and is one of the most gentle oils you can use.  If I ever need to completely scale back and simplify my routine, I use plain jojoba oil.  Otherwise, I often mix it with others - both individual oils and oils blends and serums.  It's great for removing makeup too and I also like to mix a few drops into face masks.

What are your favorite oils?

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18 August 2014

A Candid Look at What's in My Shower

There's something delightfully nosey about watching What's in My Shower videos on Youtube, and even though I don't make videos, I thought I'd give you all the chance to poke around in my shower.  This is completely candid and without any editing of products, so you'll get to see it all: what I love, what I'm trying to use up, and what I'd half forgotten was even in there.  Here goes!


The Body Washes
I'm a bit of a shower gel/body wash junkie, so I really enjoy having a couple different ones to switch between.  I've praised Nourish's body washes over and over and I've almost always got one of them on the go.  Spiced Orange is not very spicy at all and has more of a candy-orange scent than anything else, but I've been enjoying it nonetheless.  Another citrus option is Scentuals' Grapefruit Body Wash*, one of the newer additions to my shower.  It's super gentle and the creamy consistency reminds me of a cross between aloe vera gel and a rich body wash.  Lastly, we have Leap Organic's Eucalyptus, Mint & Anise Body Wash, which is heavy on the peppermint and super refreshing in warmer weather - it's kind of like air conditioning in a bottle!  

The Shampoos

Acure Organics' Argan + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo has been a longtime favorite.  It's great for curls or anyone looking for a hydrating shampoo that won't weigh down your hair.  I like to rotate between the Acure and a more clarifying shampoo, which is where the Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo comes in.  I've only had it for a short time, but so far so good.  I use it about once every week or week and a half, to get rid of any buildup.  I'm also slowly working through Carina's Daily Moisturizing Shampoo.  It's a castile-based shampoo with a nice tropical, pineapple scent, but I don't find it does much for my hair.

The Conditioners
Acure Organics' Argan + Argan Stem Cell Conditioner is my favorite in this category as well and is what I use on a day-to-day basis.  Weleda's Oat Replenishing Treatment* is the last holdout from when I did the 30-Day #WeledaHairDare in the spring.  It's an intense conditioner, meant to be used as an occasional deep conditioning treatment, but it's not something I reach for very often at all.  I don't love the powdery, sweet tonka bean scent, and I'm not convinced it does anything more for my hair than a regular conditioning with the Acure.

The Randoms
I rarely buy actual shaving products, but Kiss My Face's Key Lime Moisture Shave has been nice for a change.  The pump is convenient and it has a light, refreshing scent and a creamy consistency that does the job well.  It's also super inexpensive and the 11-ounce bottle lasts just about forever.  Curelle's Build-Up Remover is an interesting product that you're meant to use in conjunction with your regular shampoo to get rid of product build up, mineral residue from tap water, or chlorine from pool water.  I don't know how it performs in the other regards, but I haven't found it very effective at cutting through ordinary product build-up.  I'm still on the fence about the Preserve razor, although I'm liking it slightly more than when I first reviewed it.  I just don't feel like I get as close of a shave as I'd like, plus because of how rigid it is, I still end up nicking myself a lot more than with other razors.  Lastly, the body brush is something I picked up at a local health food store.  It doesn't actually live in my shower, but I like to dry brush with it a couple times a week, before my shower, so I decided to sneak it in here anyways.  Dry brushing is great for both your skin and your lymphatic system.


And that's it!  I hope you enjoyed this quick peek behind my shower curtain.  Lining everything up, it seems like a lot of products, but - with a couple exceptions - they all do get used on a regular basis.  Some products, like the body washes, change pretty frequently, while others, like the Acure shampoo and conditioner, tend to remain as constants.  As you may have noticed, I don't keep any face products in the shower.  Instead, I just grab what I want to use  at the time - usually a scrub of some sort - and bring it in with me.  

What does your shower look like?  Clean and streamlined, or more of a product explosion like mine?

*Press Sample
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14 August 2014

End of Summer Wishlist

Can you believe summer is almost over?  Just a couple more weeks and it'll be September!  I've been good about spending over the summer and haven't bought much, but - or maybe because of that - the trusty wishlist has not been getting any smaller.  Since it's been a while I thought I'd share some of the things that have caught my eye these last few weeks.  



Sudsatorium The Bronze Age
My pale skin is more apt to burn than tan in the sun and I don't self tan, but there are still times when I'd like to look a little less ghostly.  Prtty Peashun has gotten a lot of blog love lately, but it's this similar sounding lotion from Canadian brand Sudsatorium that's snagged my attention.  Made with avocado oil and cocoa butter, as well as soothing seaweed and aloe, and said to add a bronze glow, it sounds like a dreamy treat for your skin.  

Aster & Bay Brightening Toner
I've been looking for a great toner to add to my routine and Aster & Bay's Brightening Toner sounds like just the thing.  Soothing aloe vera is combined with nutrient-rich sea kelp extract, stimulating ginger essential oil, and licorice extract, well known for it's skin brightening properties.  I love that the toner is also free of glycerin, since depending on the concentration, it's an ingredient my skin does not always tolerate well.  

Camp Skincare Vanilla Moon Body Oil
I remember thinking this body oil looked nice when I first came across Camp Skincare a couple months ago, but it wasn't until this week, when they posted this photo on Instagram, that I really knew I'd have to pick up a bottle one day soon.  Sweet almond oil is triple infused with pure, organic vanilla seeds and then blended with evening primrose, jojoba, and borage seed oils and Vitamin E.  "Capture the magical glow of moonlight with antioxidant-rich plant oils and an intoxicating vanilla scent."  Yes, please!

Nudus Lipstick
Nudus' beautiful lipsticks and gorgeous packaging have me captivated.  Pictured here is Halo, a neutral pink, but I've also been scoping out Naked, a pretty nude.  The lipsticks are made with quality, antioxidant-rich oils like pomegranate, raspberry, and kiwi seed, and the entire 10-color range is both gluten free and free from synthetic dyes.  The $42 price tag means that these will likely stay on the wishlist for a bit, but they're so pretty, I had to include them all the same!

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Gentle Travel Set
I've had my eye on Laurel (formerly Sequoia Beauty) for a while and all the beautiful photos from A Night for Green Beauty last week have seriously re-piqued my interest.  The travel sets look like the perfect way to sample the line.  Each set includes a cleanser, elixir, and serum tailored to one of three skin types, plus the Almond Grain Exfoliant and a lip treatment.

Gressa Skin Dirty Pretty Things
Paula from Naturally Paula mentioned Dirty Pretty Things in a tweet and it's been on my mind ever since.  It's a dry mask made with rhassoul clay, licorice root, pink rose, neem leaf, Vitamin C, and whole host of other herbs and spices.  Sounds amazing!

So that's what's on my wishlist...what's on yours?  Have you used any of  these products?


11 August 2014

Pollen & Wax April Trial Kit

Months and months ago, I was the lucky winner of a Pollen & Wax trial kit in a giveaway on Beauty by Britanie.  Pollen & Wax is a relatively new apothecary line that handcrafts all its products in the Pacific Northwest.  As well as being free of parabens, artificial fragrances and dyes, the company makes a point of sourcing organic, wild-harvested, pollutant-free ingredients.

The line is divided into four skin types, corroborated to the four seasons.


Image Credit
I chose the April kit, which seemed the best suited for my skin.  The kit included Apollo Cleansing Milk, Lapis Facial Toner, Gold Petal Facial Serum, and Roses & Roses Complexion Clay.  As of right now, only Apollo and Gold Petal are listed on the Pollen & Wax website.  I'm unsure if Lapis and Roses & Roses are temporarily unavailable or if they have been discontinued since I received this kit.



Apollo Cleansing Milk
Apollo is a little different from your standard cleansing milk.  Kaolin clay gently exfoliates and the cleanser feels a bit gritty to the touch.  I like it, but it's a little too abrasive for my skin on an everyday basis.  I've gotten good results using it about twice a week.  It deep cleans and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and soft.

Lapis Facial Toner
This delicately scented toner is an anti-inflammatory blend that includes soothing calendula and aloe, alongside lavender and chamomile essential oils.  I didn't notice any real difference in my skin when using this, but I also didn't have any adverse reactions.  Me and toners is a mixed bag, so take that with a grain of salt.  Lapis does smell nice and it feels refreshing on the skin.  There's no emulsifier added, so you do need to shake it up before each use to re-incorporate the essential oils which rise to the top.

Gold Petal Facial Serum
Specifically geared towards sensitive skin, Gold Petal includes soothing calendula and St. John's Wort, alongside nourishing, reparative ingredients like sea buckthorn and evening primrose oils and helichrysum and carrot seed essential oils.  It's a pretty light oil, so it works equally well for day or night.  I really enjoyed using this one.  

Roses & Roses Complexion Clay
Probably my favorite item in the kit, this is the perfect clay mask for anyone with dry, sensitive or reactive skin.  Similar to my much loved Evan Healy French Rose Clay, Roses & Roses starts with a blend of gentle rose clay and rhassoul clay, but also incorporates kaolin clay, rose powder, marshmallow root, and vanilla bean.  The rose and vanilla add a delicate scent, while the marshmallow root soothes inflammation and prevents any over-drying from the clays.  

The Bottom Line
I'm really happy with my first experience with Pollen & Wax.  The company's attention to pure, quality ingredients really comes through and I'm happy I had the chance to try this kit. Although I enjoyed all four products, Roses & Roses was the clear favorite for me, so I really hope it will be available again in the future.  

Have you tried Pollen & Wax?


4 August 2014

July Empties / Products I've Used Up

How did it get to be the 4th already?  So, I'm a few days late, but here are my empties for July.  Not a lot of full size products, but plenty of samples/minis, so I guess it's okay.  



Nourish Coconut & Argan (wth Hibiscus) Body Wash
I love Nourish's body washes and this scent is my new favorite.  It smells much less like coconut than I was expecting, but instead, it has the most gorgeous tropical/floral fragrance that makes you feel like you're on a sunset beach.  Love! 
Repurchase? Definitely.

CeeCee & Bee Cocoa Butter Soap in Rosemary Mint and Lavender (minis)
I won these in a giveaway a while back on Natural Kath.  I really enjoyed the first one I used, but I left the rest wrapped up together, and after a couple months, all the scents blended together and the remaining soaps all smelled kind of bland and the same.  Still nice to use, but I was a bit disappointed in the scents after that.
Repurchase? Not sure.

Shiro Cosmetics Default Lip Balm
Default isn't available anymore, but it used to be Shiro's colorless Intertube.  I purchased several tins a couple years ago, as they were a little cheaper than the tubes, but it's really not ideal packaging here.  The formula is shea butter-based and if it's cold, it's way too solid to use with your fingers.  It worked fine in the summer, but I'm just as happy to have used one up!
Repuchase? No.  Not available anymore anyways.

Weleda One Step Cleanser and Toner (samples)
I've gone through a lot of samples of this, and I still really like it.  The 2-in-1 name turned me off for a while, but basically it's a multi-funtional product that you can either use on a cotton pad, or as a rinse off cleanser.  I like using it in the morning, when my face just needs a little refreshing, but I still like to wash it off like a normal cleanser and follow with the rest of my regular skincare routine.
Repurchase? Yes.  I'll pick up a big bottle eventually!

Silk Naturals Translucent Cloud Finishing Powder (sample) 
There are a lot of Silk Naturals products I love, but their finishing powders just don't stand out to me.  I've tried a few different formulas and none of them have blown me away.  
Repurchase? Very unlikely.

Earthpaste Wintergreen Toothpaste   [Review]
Still using Earthpaste, almost two years in!  I've tried all the flavors now and I think Wintergreen is still my favorite.
Repurchase? Yes.

Silk Naturals Make Waves Curling Gel (mini)   [Review]
Really great product.  It does a good job encouraging curls/waves, and it holds up better in humidity than any other natural product I've used.  
Repurchase? Yes.

Pollen Cosmetics Off-White Wedding Eye Shadow (sample)
Pollen Cosmetics was only around for a short time, but they made some fantastic eye shadows.  Off-White Wedding was a great creamy highlight shade.
Repurchase? Not possible.

SoapStix   [Review]
If you're looking to avoid using the junk in public washrooms, SoapStix are a brilliant way to easily carry healthy soap in your purse.  The soap is just a very watery castile soap, but it comes in a handy spray bottle, about the size of a marker.  
Repurchase? No.  The soap itself wasn't anything special, but I did refill the bottle with some diluted Leap Organics body wash.  

NΓΌrish Organics Washed Away Cream Cleanser & Makeup Obliterator   [Review]
I was a little conflicted on this product when I first wrote my review, but I think it was mostly the name that was tripping me up.  As a cleanser, it works well and I especially enjoyed using it once I rediscovered my Dr. Sponge last month.  It removes foundation and other face makeup, but does struggle with tougher things like mascara and eyeliner, so I don't think "makeup obliterator" is quite deserved.   
Repurchase? Probably not.  There are other cleansers I like more.

One Love Organics Supercritical Chia Seed Oil (sample)
I love eating chia seeds, but the oil was just okay.  It moisturized, but I didn't notice anything else.  Also smelled a little fishy to me.  
Repurchase? No.

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Cleansing Cloth
I've used a few of these now, and while they aren't my favorite wipes (those would still be Boo Bamboo), I've gained a new appreciation for them, thanks to the individual packaging.  I had to get some tests done last month, and after half an hour face down on a pillow, I was pretty glad I'd had the forethought to stick one of these in my purse to clean up my smudged mascara.  
Repurchase? Maybe.

Weleda Calendula Face Cream (sample)
I like Weleda's face creams, but I'm not the biggest fan of how the Calendula line smells.  It worked fine, but for that reason, this isn't one I'd buy in full size.
Repurchase? No.

Lina Hanson Global Baby + Global Body Serums* (sample)   [Review + Review]
When it comes to oils, I'm pretty well convinced Lina Hanson can do no wrong.  The Global Baby serum, made with antioxidant and vitamin-rich watermelon seed oil, is the perfect unscented treat for sensitive skin.  The Global Body Serum is a little richer and more indulgent.   It also smells phenomenal - like the most delicious creamsicle you'll ever eat.  
Repurchase? Yes, I plan to.

Homemade Cinnamon Orange Body Oil   [DIY Recipe]
Body oils are probably the easiest thing you can DIY (although I can't promise they'll compare to the magic of something like Lina Hanson.)  The cinnamon orange scent of this one was definitely more appropriate for fall/winter, but I'd made it ages ago, so it seemed about time to use it up.  
Remake? Sure, though maybe not this exact blend.

Pollen & Wax Roses & Roses Complexion Clay + Gold Petal Face Serum (minis)
I've been waiting to post my full review until Pollen & Wax reopen, so because I don't want to spoil that, I'll just say these were both great.  
Repurchase? Maybe.


* PR sample.  
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