30 January 2015

Petit Vour: The New Luxury (January 2015)

I went out to celebrate my birthday yesterday and came home to find the January Petit Vour box on my doorstep.  It fully felt like getting another birthday gift!  This month's theme is The New Luxury* and contains products co-curated with vegan supermodel and lifestyle blogger Emily Nolan.  Here's what came in the box:



EVOLVh SmartStart Leave-In Conditioner ($8)
I regularly use different sprays and leave-in conditioners to refresh my second-day hair, so this is something I know will come in handy.  The ingredients include raw, plant-sourced lecithin to strengthen strands and reduce breakage, as well as rice bran and black cumin seed oil to protect against heat and UV damage.  The only thing I'm not immediately sold on is the scent - it's essential oil-based, but smells a little perfumey to me - so I'll have to see how it does in the hair.

RawSkinCeuticals Rose Creme Cheek Colour ($15)
With organic aloe juice, unrefined grapeseed oil, green tea, and unrefined mango, shea, and kokum butters, my first thought was that the Creme Cheek Colours' ingredients read more like skincare than makeup!  I've only swatched it so far, but I'm really liking the look of this product.  It's very pigmented - so a tiny speck is all you'll need - and on my hand, it dried down to a powder-like stain pretty fast.  Rose is an interesting mauvey pink: matte and cool-toned, with some lavender or almost grey tones.  I think it'll be pretty on the cheeks.   

100% Pure French Lavender Hand Buttercream ($8)
I was a bit disappointed to see the 100% Pure Buttercream, but only because I know what a great product it is and that it's not one I'll use anymore due to the Japanese honeysuckle extract it's preserved with.  I'm very tempted to make an exception, but I think instead I will pass it on to someone else and satisfy myself with the knowledge that they'll be getting a great hand cream to enjoy.

Modern Minerals En Pointe Eyeshadow ($12.50)
En Pointe is a beautiful pinky copper/rose gold that was formulated exclusively for Petit Vour.  I'm always happy to receive eye shadows in these boxes and exclusive colours that aren't available anywhere else are a nice perk, especially when they're as pretty as this one!  Warm-toned shimmery neutrals like this are exactly my kind of colour and I can't wait to see how it looks on the eyes.

Top to Bottom: Modern Minerals En Pointe, RawSkinCeuticals Rose (blended out), RawSkinCeuticals Rose (swatched heavily)
The Bottom Line
With three full size products and one trial size - a total value of $43.50 - I think this was a good box.  Sure, I'd be happier if the hand cream was one that I'd use, but it's not a dud product by any means.   I also think the rest of the box makes up for it.  I'm most excited about the Evolveh Leave-In Conditioner, but I also can't wait to see the two makeup items in action - both will be on my face tomorrow for sure!  

I try to update on most things once I've had a better chance to try them out, but if there's anything specific you'd like to hear more about, let me know!

Also, I've gotten a few emails from people on the fence about signing up for the box and my best advice is to follow Petit Vour on Instagram.  You can get a look at past boxes and also see hints about brands or products that will be featured in upcoming boxes.  I'm pretty excited for what they've got planned for this year, starting with February's box, which will include Lily Lolo's new vegan mascara.  I reviewed the mascara a couple weeks ago, but - long story short - it gives great volume and has quickly become one of my top two natural mascara picks.  Just the mascara more than covers the US cost of the box and nearly covers the Canadian as well, so if it's something you were thinking of trying anyways, the rest of the box could just be an added bonus!

Petit Vour boxes retail for $15 (US) / $23 (Canada) and individual products can also be bought in the Petit Vour shop.


*Press sample
Contains affiliate links

29 January 2015

A Birthday Giveaway

I've been gathering goodies for this giveaway for a while and today - which just so happens to be my birthday - seemed like a good time to finally put it up!  It's nothing huge or extravagant, just a little something to say thank you to all of you who read my small section of the internet.  I really am grateful to everyone who takes the time!

Given the weather of late, tea seemed pretty appropriate, and I've also included some other things that I thought would be great to have during these last few months of winter, but also all year.  

Here's what's up for grabs:



The giveaway will be open internationally and the only requirement to enter is that you follow me in some way.  Enter as many or as few ways as you'd like using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Contains affiliate links

26 January 2015

Nonie of Beverly Hills AHA! Skincare with Alpha Hydroxy Acids

A lot of natural skincare puts a big emphasis on plant oils, botanicals, and extracts, and while I'd never complain about that, it's also refreshing to see the market expanding to include product lines taking a slightly different, more scientific approach to non-toxic skincare.  Nonie of Beverly Hills' AHA! Line - "Beauty from the Chemistry of Nature" - combines natural, non-toxic, vegan ingredients and fruit acids from bilberry, sugar cane, maple cane, lemon, and orange.  I don't have a lot of experience using acids in my skincare, so when the company reached out to me late last year, I was very excited to try the products and see what AHA's could do for my skin.



AHA! Skin Cleanser*
The Skin Cleanser is a thick, creamy cleansing lotion that's recommended for use without water.  Similar to old school cold cream cleansing, Nonie of Beverly Hills recommends applying the cleanser to the skin on dry cotton pads.  I've been enjoying this product, although with a slightly modified method.  Rather than using cotton pads, I prefer to massage the cleanser onto a dry face using just my fingers.  It's great for breaking down makeup, even mascara and eyeliner.  Once the product is thoroughly massaged in, I wipe it off with a warm, wet washcloth.  Sometimes I find it can leave behind a slight coating or film on the skin, so I've been using this more as a makeup remover than a full-on cleanser and opting to follow with a different cleanser afterwards.  Used this way - as the first part of a double cleanse - I really like it.  The Skin Cleanser doesn't contain any added AHA's and is quite gentle, even around the eyes.  It also has a nice sweet lemon scent that reminds me of lemon ice.  

AHA! Skin Tonic*

Toners often leave me underwhelmed, but I've actually been quite impressed with this one.  The main ingredient is witch hazel - naturally high in skin toning tannins that are both anti-inflammatory and can help tighten the pores - and since it's alcohol free, the Skin Tonic is also non-drying.  This was the first product I started using from the line and I really saw my pores become visibly cleaner - and thereby slightly less noticeable - within just three or four days of use.  It has a similar lemon scent to the cleanser - perhaps with a hint of something fresher like celery.  Again, the Skin Tonic doesn't contain any added AHA's.  

AHA! Brilliant Moisturizer*

The moisturizers are where the line's namesake AHA's come into play.  With 5% AHA from natural fruit sources, Brilliant is recommended for normal and combination skin and acts as both a moisturizer and a gentle daily exfoliant.  The first few times I used it, I experienced some minor tingling from the acids - though nothing overwhelming - and even that gradually dissipated within the first week or two of use.

Nonie of Beverly Hills suggests working up to twice daily use, but because my skin leans a little more sensitive and I haven't wanted to overdo it with the acids, I've mainly stuck to using Brilliant at night, with another oil or moisturizer in the mornings, and I've still seen good results.  It's a medium-weight moisturizer with the same sweet lemon scent as the cleanser and hydrates well,  absorbs quickly, and isn't the least bit sticky or tacky.

Almost from the very first use, I noticed how soft my skin became.  I usually use manual exfoliants and I've always thought were doing the job, but I don't think my face has ever been this smooth and soft before.  The AHA's really work to resurface and improve skin texture, leaving behind baby soft skin.   I haven't noticed any reduction in my few fine lines, but since AHA's are known to smooth lines, increase cell renewal, and improve collagen production, I'm hoping that will come next!


Brilliant does contain coconut oil, but it hasn't caused any of the usual problems I experience with coconut oil on my face.  Perhaps the acids work to counteract the comedogenic properties of the coconut oil?  Whatever the reason, Brilliant has worked brilliantly (I couldn't resist!) for my skin.  

I also tried a sample of the SPF 15 Sunblock Moisturizer, which takes a little more effort to work into the skin, but has a similar feel and leaves virtually no whitecast behind once you do rub it in fully.  If you prefer your moisturizer with SPF, that's another good option to consider.   



The Bottom Line
I really like this line!  The two definite standouts were the Skin Tonic and the Brilliant Moisturizer.  I've seen a noticeable improvement in my skin from both these products.  I'm not as crazy about the Skin Cleanser by itself as a cleanser, but it's great as a first cleanse to remove makeup.  

I like the sweet lemon scent across the line and that the scent is light, fresh, and not overpowering.  It's something I notice as I use the products, but I don't smell it on my skin throughout the day, which is just how I like these things.  There's a good selection of different moisturizers to suit various skin types and the price point, across the entire line, is also very reasonable, particularly once you factor in the larger-than-average product sizes (7 ounce cleanser and tonic, 1.75/3.5 ounce moisturizers) of the AHA! products.  


Ingredients Note: Many of the product ingredients include a vague "coconut emulsifier."  When I inquired, the company confirmed that this is non-GMO coconut and vegetable sourced glyceryl stearate and not an ethoxylated polysorbate emulsifier. 



*Press sample

22 January 2015

Sample Stash #14: Eye Creams, Take II

I've yet to settle on a replacement product since finishing my Pure + Simple Eye Brightening Cream at the end of the summer.  Instead, I've been working through a whole bunch of sample, trying to explore what else is out there.  My main eye concern is dark circles, but I also do get some puffiness.  Fine lines aren't an issue, except in the preventative sense.  

Obviously I can't speak to long term results with most of these, but I still wanted to share my initial impressions.  Since they're reserved for such a small area, even the sample sachets provide enough product for a week or two of use. 



Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
I've been using Balance Me's Wonder Eye Cream on and off for a couple months now and I like it.  It feels very light and weightless but also provides a good amount of moisture.  I haven't found it to dramatically reduce either darkness or puffiness, but it does make a small difference in both regards.  I'm very happy to use this hefty 10 ml travel size to the end, but I'm not sure I'd buy it again after that.  

Absolution Le Soin Regard Eye Contour Booster
I've wanted to try Absolution's eye cream ever since Kim (of KimberlyLoc) wrote about it being a staple in her routine.  The Contour Booster has a light gel consistency and contains mica to diffuse light and brighten the under eye area.  The sachet didn't last long enough for me to discern any long term effects, but the mica really does brighten and the cream also provides an instant tightening effect that (somewhat) minimizes puffiness.  I'd be much more inclined to buy the full size if it didn't smell quite so heavily of roses - I'm sure by now I've made it abundantly clear that I'm just not a rose fan.  

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment
The Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment is a light gel purported to increase cell turnover, improve elasticity, and minimize dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.  A lot of claims, but - bearing in mind that, again, I just had a small sample - I really didn't see any noticeable effects with this product.  I also noticed a few small milia while using it, so it's not something I'll be picking up for a longer trial.

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Eye Crème
Given how strongly I feel about the Soothing Gel, I really expected to love Dr. Alkaitis' Eye Cream as well.  Unfortunately, I just don't. It's a thicker cream that feels very nice and rich going on, but like the Juice Beauty, I just didn't see any difference in my eye area when using it.  It also stung a lot if any migrated too near the eye.  There were a couple nights where I was left tearing up for a good 40 minutes because a speck of the eye cream somehow made it into my eye.  

I'm starting to think that finding a perfect eye cream is something of an unattainable holy grail!  Have you found it?  What are your favorite eye products?  

Contains affiliate links.


19 January 2015

Lily Lolo Laid Bare Palette + Mascara (& a 20% Off Code!)

I've heard a lot about Lily Lolo over the years - mainly from UK bloggers -  so I was very excited when the North American branch of the company reached out to me about trying some of their new releases.  Made in London, Lily Lolo is a 100% natural mineral cosmetics line, free of the regular nasties, as well as dyes, bismuth oxychloride, and nano-particles.  The company rebranded their entire line in 2014 and I can't get enough of the new, clean black and white design.  They've also had some great product launches recently and I'm super excited to bring you my thoughts on two of their newest products today.  




Laid Bare Palette*
I've been using exclusively natural products for a good several years now, so unlike a lot of people making the switch, I never had an Urban Decay Naked Palette to miss.  Still, with all the hype and the multitude of YouTube tutorials revolving around it, I've definitely found myself longing for a comparable natural product.  The first promo images of the Laid Bare Palette had me thinking this was it, and after trying it, I do think it nicely fills this gap in the non-toxic makeup market.

Measuring in at less than 5 inches long, the Laid Bare Palette is ultra-portable and contains eight neutral eye shadows, along with a double ended sponge tip applicator and a good sized mirror.  The eye shadows are free of both talc and silicones and have a soft, buttery feel.  They aren't the absolute most saturated colors, but the pigmentation is nothing to scoff at, particularly if you use a stickier primer or base underneath.  Most of the colors are pretty soft - very work/day appropriate - but the darker shades can be built up for smokier looks too.  Really, my only complaint is that I feel like the palette is missing a good, bright highlight shade for the inner corner, but that's something you can easily add in with another product.    

Natural pressed shadows often come with a higher price tag, but for a cohesive palette of eight shadows, I think the Laid Bare Palette is reasonably priced at $34.  This is a limited edition item, so if you're interested in picking one up, I don't recommend waiting too long to do so.





Mascara*
It's no secret that when it comes to mascara, I've been pretty devoted to my Zuzu Luxe, but Lily Lolo's newly reformulated mascara has definitely given Zuzu a run for its money.  The Black color is a true, dark black and the mascara gives a good amount of both volume and length.  It has a good sized, standard bristle mascara brush that does well to separate and define the lashes and the mascara formula doesn't irritate my eyes, even when wearing it for long days or several consecutive days in a row. 

I wouldn't say the mascara is entirely budge proof, but I consistently get a minimum of 10-12 hours wear before starting to see minor flaking.  The exception to this is if you find yourself tearing up or caught in a snowstorm, both of which resulted in smudging a good bit sooner.  It's also not a difficult mascara to remove.  Water alone won't do the trick, but a little oil or makeup remover gets it done no problem.  

I wanted to include an eyelash photo to show the mascara, but I haven't been very successful getting a good one, so for fear of holding this post up indefinitely, I've decided to go ahead and post without one.  If I manage to get a good shot later, I'll add it in here.




The Bottom Line
Whether you're looking for a natural alternative to the Naked palettes, or just for talc- and silicone-free pressed eye shadows, the Laid Bare Palette is a great choice.  There's also the Enchanted Palette, if smokier eyes are more your thing.  The mascara was a big hit with me too - easily one of my top two natural mascaras - and is something I will be repurchasing in the future.  

Lily Lolo has also given me a coupon code to share with you guys! Save 20% with the code naturallabeauty.  The discount is good on the North American site only.

Lastly, I've also heard whispers that the mascara will be making an appearance in either the January or February Petit Vour box, so that's another way to maybe get your hands on it.


*Press Sample

16 January 2015

The Winter Hand Cream Hustle

I don't remember ever using hand cream until two winters ago.  Temperatures can drop pretty low here, but it never bothered my hands...until suddenly it did.  There's been no turning back since and for someone who didn't use handcream for most of her life, I've managed to amass quite an arsenal these past couple years.  Each one serves a (slightly) different purpose and they all come together to keep my hands soft, healthy and hydrated through the cold months and all year long.



The Day Time Troopers
Organic Surge Tropical Bergamot Hand & Nail Cream + Odylique Lemon Butter Hand Smoothie*
Whether I'm running around or spending time on the computer, for daytime I need a hand cream that absorbs quickly and doesn't leave my hands greasy, sticky, or coated.  Both of these fit the bill and are also small enough to easily tote around in my bag.  I find the Lemon Butter Hand Smoothie does a slightly better job moisturizing in the moment, but the Tropical Bergamot Hand & Nail Cream has a longer lasting effect and therefore requires less re-applications throughout the day.   

The Before You Step Outside Protector
Weleda Calendula Weather Protection Cream
I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but - with or without gloves - my hands seem like they start losing moisture the second I step out into the cold.  The Calendula Weather Protection Cream is really intended for protecting babies' faces and lips from harsh weather, but it also works great on hands.  A water-free formula with a similar consistency to petroleum jelly, it creates a protective (but non-occlusive) barrier that helps to seal in moisture.

The Healing Helper
ZibaDel Natural Manuka Honey Skin Cream*
When I haven't been super diligent, the Manuka Honey Skin Cream is the perfect product to reach for.  The consistency is somewhere between a cream and a balm and it's phenomenal for healing chapped or cracked skin and other small skin ailments.  

The Overnight Treatment
Northman Heavy Hand Balm*
Despite the name, the Heavy Hand Balm is really more of a thick cream than a traditional balm.  It's very effective at softening dry hands, but it's pretty rich and heavy and I find it a little sticky on my hands at first, so it's a product I reserve for right before bed.  If you're looking for something truly unscented, this is also great in that regard.  

The Boosters
Weleda Skin Food + Acure Marula Oil
For those times when I want to doctor my own hand cream concoction, I like to incorporate Skin Food and/or Marula Oil.  I love Skin Food on dry elbows and feet, but I find it to be so thick as to be difficult to work into the hands on its own.  Instead, I like to mix a small dollop into another, lighter cream.  The same goes for Marula Oil, which is great for adding an extra shot of moisture to any of the other products on this list.  

Clearly dry hands are not welcome 'round these parts!  What's your favorite hand cream?


*Press sample
Contains affiliate links

13 January 2015

Shopping Confessions: Huge Green Beauty Haul

After being really good with my beauty spending for most of the year, I went a little crazy in November and December and bought a whole bunch of things!  I don't usually do hauls, but one of my blogging goals for 2015 is to film more videos and I thought this was as good an opportunity as any to get started!  Please excuse the um's and overuse of 'really' and 'awesome.'  I tell ya, this video business is a work in progress!




For those of you that aren't interested in videos but still want to see what I bought, I snapped a few photos and will link to as many things as I can below.



The Honest Company
Shampoo & Body Wash
Conditioning Detangler
Conditioner



Nourish Organic
Deodorant - Fresh Fig
Body Wash - Lemon Thyme, Coconut & Argan with Hibiscus, Wild Berries
Body Butter - Unscented
Hand Wash - Fresh Fig




Iherb
Acure Tropical Citrus Castile Soap
Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz
Earthpaste Wintergreen Toothpaste
ELF Studio Stippling Brush

Balanced Guru
Calming Masque
Antioxidant Masque
Tone It Lightly
Tone It Deeply

Raw Skinceuticals
Rosacea Herbal Gel Masque



Winners
Physician's Formula Organic Wear Lash Boosting Mascara
Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Purifying Mask
Deep Steep Peppermint Vanilla Foaming Hand Wash

Shoppers Drug Mart
Physician's Formula Organic Wear CC Mascara
Bare English & Co. Lip Balm - Vanilla Almond, Sweet Peppermint


Just a small spot of shopping, right?  Clearly I have a particular fondness for face masks and body wash and may have gone a little overboard on those fronts.  At the very least, I'm set for a good while!

 Contains affiliate links

12 January 2015

Badger Seabuckthorn Cleansing Oil + Face Oil

I've sung Badger's praises many times before.  As one of my favorite lines for high quality, accessible natural products, I was over the moon excited when the company announced they would be expanding their face care line.  Seriously, this was one of the most anticipated launches of 2014 for me.  

Badger has created four lines to suit different skin types, each with a cleansing oil, a face oil, and a beauty balm.  Each product is formulated with certified USDA organic ingredients - as you would expect from Badger - and additionally has been tested to be noncomedogenic, meaning they won't clog your pores.  I chose to try the Seabuckthorn Cleansing Oil* and Face Oil*, recommended for normal to dry skin, since they seemed the most fitting for my skin moving into winter.



I especially love oil cleansing in the colder months and the Seabuckthorn Cleansing Oil, a blend made with sunflower, olive, jojoba, apricot kernel, and castor seed oils works great to remove makeup, dirt, and impurities without stripping or drying out your skin.  It feels very pampering to take a good few minutes to massage the oil onto a dry face, making sure it fully breaks down makeup and dissolves any oil or congestion that might be trapped in the pores.  Then, I go in with a warm, wet washcloth to wipe the oil and any accumulated grime off.  I often like to go back with a second cleanser after the oil, but I wouldn't say it's an absolutely vital step with Badger's Cleansing Oil, as the oil wipes away pretty cleanly.  

One thing that confused me a little is Badger's decision to include menthol crystals in the cleansing oil. Menthol is the component responsible for peppermint oil's cool, tingly feeling, and while it's great for detoxifying the skin and leaving behind that clean, fresh feeling, it can be irritating to sensitive skin and around the eyes.  To be honest, I don't notice the menthol on most of my face, but I can definitely feel the cooling vapours and can get an intense cooling/tingly/uncomfortable sensation when I massage the oil directly on or around my eyes.  The bottle recommends "caution around the eye area," so I think your ability to use this product around the eyes would depend a lot on both individual sensitivity and preference.  I usually choose to go in with another product around the eyes instead. 

I've also been impressed by the Seabuckthorn Face Oil.  Despite it's affordable price tag, this oil isn't loaded with cheap fillers and instead contains the same potent, active ingredients that you'd find in more expensive oils and serums, including jojoba, baobab, apricot kernel, and pomegranate seed oils, alongside seabuckthorn and rosehip CO2 extracts.  The seabuckthorn gives the oil a vibrant orange color, but it applies totally invisibly and doesn't tint or stain your skin at all.  The oil has a pretty thin, light consistency that initially had me wondering if it would be hydrating enough for my skin, but I'm happy to say it is.  In spite of the light texture, the face oil is quite nourishing and I only need about half a pump to moisturize my whole face.

Both the cleansing oil and face oil are beautifully scented with lavender, sweet orange, and geranium.  I'm not always a fan of geranium, but I really like how the fruity, citrus components combine with the floral elements in these blends.  The scents are not overly strong, and while I notice them as I'm using the products, they aren't something I smell on my skin throughout the day.  

The Bottom Line
These oils are a great addition to Badger's line.  With blends to suit different skin types, a reasonable price point, and Badger's usual organic and high quality ingredients, I really don't think you can go wrong here.  I could definitely see myself repurchasing these oils in the future, though I will probably opt for the Unscented Cleansing Oil next, simply because of the menthol.  (The Damascus Rose Cleansing Oil is also free of menthol.)

As far as I can tell the Face Care line has not launched anywhere outside of the US yet - it's coming to Canada in April - but the products are already stocked on iherb, so if you don't want to wait, you can easily get your hands on them there.  


*Press sample.
Contains affiliate links

7 January 2015

Top 5 Green Beauty Discoveries of 2014

General blogging practice would mean compiling a list of 14 products for 2014, but I decided to buck convention and stick to just my top five.  I was lucky enough to try out a whole bunch of fantastic products in 2014, but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on just the ones that really rose to the top and stood out to me over the last year.  The ones that, since trying them, I - cue the melodramatic music - would not want to be without.  


Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel
Dr. Alkaitis's Soothing Gel got rave reviews across the green beauty community this past year, so I knew I wanted to try it, but none of the bloggers that I'd seen review it had similar-sounding skin to me, so my expectation weren't actually all that high.  For me, this is a spot treatment product, not something I use all over - it's a little too drying for that - but I'm blown away by just how well it works.  If I put this on a blemish or pimple before bed, it's pretty much gone by the time I wake up.  I've been delaying purchasing the full size bottle, but I've nearly finished my first sample and I've already got another en route to me, so I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I succumb to the larger size.

Pacifica Eye Liner Pencils
I wear pencil liner most days, but it's sometimes a struggle finding a good natural one.  You know, something that's pigmented and glides on easily, but doesn't smudge too much or slip down your face throughout the day.  I have two of the four Pacifica pencils - Jet and Bare - and I expect I'll give in and buy the other two at some point soon too.  These are lovely and creamy liners, but but they also stay put once they're on.  The one exception is that they aren't completely budge-proof in the waterline, but I've yet to find anything that is, so I'm okay with that.

Hazelnut Oil
About midway through the year, I realized that many of my favorite oil blends were made with hazelnut oil and made it a mission to track it down individually.  It can be a hard one to find in its unrefined state - hazelnut oil for cooking is easier to locate, but tends to be roasted and/or refined - but it was completely worth the effort!  Hazelnut oil is moisturizing, but it's also very lightweight and has some astringent properties, making it great for balancing oil production and perfect for people like me that are prone to enlarged and clogged pores.  My skin just loves it.  I tend to mix a couple drops in with every other face oil I use now.

Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Reviving Tonic
I don't even know how many times I've written about this product, so I'm sure its inclusion here will surprise exactly no one.  I first bought this back in February, and I'm on my third or fourth bottle now.  I like using the tonic on second-day hair, since it does exactly what the name says - revives and refreshes your curls.  If you have curly or wavy hair, you really need to give this a try.  I usually buy mine off iherb or Vitacost (where it's an affordable $9 or less) but I recently spotted it at Whole Foods for only a few dollars more.

Blush
Not a specific product, I know, but the broader category seemed appropriate, since this past year was fully the first time I really embraced wearing blush.  I'm very fair so clown cheeks are always a real concern, but I've finally realized what the right blush can do for your face and I can't imagine doing my makeup without it now.  My top blush picks?  Silk Naturals Abstract and Lovelace, The All Natural Face Tequila Sunrise and Desert Sand, and Lucy Minerals Juicy Peach.

Have you used any of these? What were your top natural product discoveries of 2014?

 Contains affiliate links.

2 January 2015

December Empties / Products I've Used Up

Happy New Year!  2014 was a challenging year for me.  The first half was spent feeling trapped in a job I wasn't happy at, only to be laid off - for unrelated reasons - from said job during the summer.  Since then, things have been pretty scattered.  I've done a few temp positions, but I'm not really sure what I want to be doing career-wise, which makes it difficult to know what jobs to even apply for.  So, for 2015, I'm hoping for less stress and more clarity (and security) on the work front.  I hope the new year brings you what you're looking for as well.   

Now, how about some empties?



Desert Essence Jojoba Oil
Jojoba is a very handy oil to have on hand.  I use it on both my face and body, to remove makeup, and in face masks and other DIYs.  I don't think I used this particular bottle up quickly enough though, as the very bottom started to smell a little funky.  It didn't seem off or rancid, but it developed a noticeable scent, where the first 7/8 of the bottle was basically unscented.  
Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

Skin Essence Organics Nourish Moisturizer   [Review]
Nourish was my first face oil love, and I'm still a fan.  It's hydrating but not heavy, and includes my beloved hazelnut oil, along with a bunch of other great oils like rosehip and jojoba.  I really liked this smaller 10 ml bottle too, as the larger 30 ml size has gone off on me before I could use the entire thing up.    
Repurchase? Yes, after I've used up a few other face oils.

Acure Argan + Argan Stem Cell Conditioner   [Review]
I don't even know how many tubes of this conditioner I've gone through, but it's still one of my favorites.  I like the almond scent, plus it moisturizes my curls really well without leaving them feeling heavy, coated, or weighed down.  
Repurchase? Yes, I already have.

Hush & Dotti Original Cleansing Balm (sample)  [Review]
As cleansing balms go, I quite enjoyed this one.  It removed makeup easily and wasn't waxy, so it wiped away very cleanly.  I also liked the spicy eucalyptus/clove scent and even used it as a moisturizing balm on extra dry patches a couple times.  I generally prefer oils or cream cleansers over balm cleansers though.
Repurchase? Probably not.

Green Beaver Boreal Body Lotion (sample)
I really like these samples for toting around in my bag.  The tiny tube is about the size of a lip gloss, so they fit in even the smallest of purses.  The lotion itself is nice too - hydrating, very lightly scented, and great as a hand cream - although I've yet to be inspired to pick up the full size tube.
Repurchase? Maybe.

Epic Blend More Moisture Unflavored Lip Balm*   [Review]
I discovered Epic Blend's lip balms this past year, and they quickly became some of my favorites.  All their formulas are great, but if I had to pick, the More Moisture line is probably my favorite.  And I especially like the Unflavored one - it smells slightly sweet but very neutral, and it has none of that yucky oil taste that some unflavored lip balms have.
Repurchase? Yes, I definitely will.

Nürish Organics Best Scrub Ever*   [Review]
Loved this!  The scrub has a soft cream base, but it exfoliates very thoroughly with microdermabrasion crystals.  It's a pretty intense exfoliation, so I wouldn't recommend using it over active breakouts or more than once or twice a week.  
Repurchase? Yes, but not immediately.

And that's a wrap!  Not too many empties in December, but that's just how some months go.  

I'm also doing Tamara of Rainbow Feet's Green Survivor Challenge this month, so if you enjoy seeing empties, you should follow me on Instagram.  The idea of the challenge is similar to a no-buy, only rather than a set amount of time, we aren't allowing ourselves to buy any beauty products until we use up 2 makeup, 3 skincare, and 5 body items.  I've got a couple things nearing the bottom already, so I'm pretty confident I can manage it! 

*Press sample
Contains affiliate links
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...