5 New Things: The Summer Edit ft. PiperWai, Acure, Beauty Bay, Alba Botanica + Graydon

As August draws to a close, I thought it was a good time to share my thoughts on some new products I tried over the summer.  I've got makeup to talk about, skincare, and even a new deodorant... 

PiperWai Natural Deodorant*
PiperWai's deodorant is another potted cream deodorant but the formula is a little more complex than your standard coconut oil and baking soda recipe.  Notable ingredients include magnesium, an essential element that we lose through our sweat - significant because a magnesium deficiency causes us to sweat more - witch hazel, which has proven antibacterial properties, and activated charcoal, which can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in moisture.  Baking soda features much lower on the ingredients list than in many other deodorants, which in combination with skin conditioning ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, rose water, and vitamin E makes for a super gentle formula.  I can even use it right after shaving without any irritation - something that's pretty much unheard of with baking soda deodorants.  The deodorant has a fresh minty/herbal scent from a proprietary blend of 11 essential oils and one application in the morning keeps me smelling super fresh all day long.

Courtesy of the charcoal, the deodorant is grey, but it rubs in clear and won't discolor the skin.  I did find it left a bit of white residue on dark clothes the first couple times I used it, but I think it was more an issue of over-application than anything else as since I've scaled back the amount of product I use, I haven't noticed any further marks on my clothes.

One thing I initially missed in the ingredients list is Japanese honeysuckle extract.  According to BeauTeaBar, it's a CO2-extracted honeysuckle made in the US without any added synthetics, which is certainly better than other forms of Japanese honeysuckle that have been shown to be contaminated with synthetic ingredients and other preservatives, but it's still not something I'm completely comfortable using.  In terms of performance, this is, without a doubt, one of the best natural deodorants I've used, but I won't repurchase it unless it's reformulated without the honeysuckle.

Beauty Bay SPF20 Mineral Foundation
I like glowier foundations and that's exactly what Beauty Bay's Mineral Foundation is.  Tiny microshimmers are visible in the jar, but once lightly buffed onto the skin, they translate to just a pretty, luminous finish with no sparkles in sight.  The only major downside is a limited shade selection, with only eight colors to choose from.  I tried the two lightest shades and neither one is a perfect match for me.  Vanilla (01) doesn't look all that yellow in the photos below, especially compared to Alba's Fast Fix for Undereye Circles, but it really is very yellow-toned.  The color is far too warm for my skin and leaves me looking slightly jaundiced.  I can work with Peach Silk (02), but it's really a bit too dark for my skin.
If you can find a color match, I think it's a great inexpensive mineral foundation.  The coverage is a buildable light to medium - depending on both the brush you use and how much you build it up - and like I said, I really do like the glowy finish it gives the skin.    The foundation also has SPF20 and is free of bismuth oxychloride.

Alba Botanica Fast Fix for Undereye Circles
Alba released four Fast Fix products early in the spring and as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to try this one on my troublesome under eyes.  Marketed as a "vanishing yellow concealer [that] neutralizes darkness to brighten tired eyes, while apple fruit, white lily, and caffeine help maintain even tone below the surface," it's basically a hybrid between an eye cream and a concealer or color corrector.  For that reason, my opinions are somewhat split.  

As a skincare product, I'm not impressed.  I haven't noticed any improvement in my dark circles in the five weeks I've been using the Fast Fix.  

As a color corrector, however, I think it works pretty great.  Straight out of the tube, the yellow color is intense - and a little scary if you're fair-skinned like me - but it blends easily and really does visibly brighten and reduce darkness under the eyes.  

Is it full coverage?  Absolutely not.  But, it's extremely lightweight, doesn't settle into fine lines, and makes an excellent first step that you can easily layer another product on top of.  I usually top it with a powder concealer like Silk Naturals' Sleep in a Jar or Brightening Concealer, which both sets it and adds extra coverage, but you could certainly go over it with another cream product if that's more your preference.  Depending on the severity of your dark circles, you might not even need to layer anything else on top.

Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask

Made with French green clay, argan stem cells, chlorella growth factor, CoQ10, and sea buckthorn oil, the Cell Stimulating Facial Mask is intended to draw out impurities while simultaneously infusing the skin with moisture and nutrients.  I don't typically find pre-mixed masks as potent or effective as powdered ones that you activate yourself and that's true here too, but I don't think it's a bad product by any means.  It won't revolutionize your skin in a single use, but if you aren't one to mess around with powders or you just want a quick and gentle product, it's a good option.  The mask is ready to go straight out of the tube and is a breeze to apply, plus it foams up slightly with water, helping it to rinse off easily too.

Graydon Superfood Mask + Scrub*
Speaking of powdered products, Graydon's new Superfood Mask + Scrub is a two-in-one powder that can be used and quickly washed off as a scrub or left on as a mask.  It comes in pre-portioned capsules, minimizing the risk of waste and spillage.  Each small capsule contains just enough product for one use and is packed with 19 superfoods intended to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin.  The impressive ingredients list includes a probiotic blend, vitamin C, white willow bark, green tea, zeolite, coconut water, licorice root, and activated charcoal - to name only a few. (Check out the entire list here.) 

Although you can use just water, Graydon recommends mixing the contents of a capsule with a milk or cream cleanser for a scrub, and that's been my favorite way to use this product.  A creamy base "gentles" the scrub, making it feel less abrasive than when it's mixed it with plain water, but it doesn't impact the effectiveness of the exfoliation. I've also enjoyed mixing a capsule into about an equal amount of clay to super-boost an otherwise ordinary clay face mask.

Have you used any of these products?  What new things have you been liking this summer?

*Press sample
Contains affiliate links.


  1. Ah, I've been waiting for a mini review of the Graydon mask/scrub. Love the idea of individual capsules and the ingredients look sooo good. The deodorant also sounds amazing. Want. All. Of. It!

    1. The scrub + mask is great, I think you'd like it! And the PiperWai too...it's totally not your average baking soda deodorant :)