30 May 2016

Miessence Revisited: Mascara + Mint Toothpaste

Miessence was one of the first brands I used when I started to get more interested in natural products as a teenager, but over time, I moved on to other products and companies, as we do, and they gradually fell off my radar.  I had the chance to revisit the line recently and have been happily trying out the Mint Toothpaste* and newly reformulated Mascara* these last couple months.   I'm excited to share my thoughts on both.


Mascara
To be completely honest, the Miessence makeup I tried years ago didn't hugely stand out to me, but the mascara was recently reformulated and I was eager to take the new version out for a spin!  First things first, the ingredients on this are pretty stellar.  It's free of the regular nasties, as well as all synthetic ingredients, and has one of the shortest and purest ingredient lists I've seen for a mascara.  If you're looking for 100% clean makeup products, this would certainly fit the bill. 

At first the mascara formula was very wet and didn't seem to do much beyond just tinting my lashes, but after the tube was open for a few days, it thickened up a little and I ended up really liking it.  The brush is pretty standard and does a good job separating lashes and adding definition.  It's not a mascara that gives va-va-voom or incredibly dramatic lashes, but it does provide some noticeable volume and gives lashes a really pretty, wispy look.  

It also manages to both resist smudging and flaking throughout the day AND is pretty easy to remove.  The mascara isn't waterproof, but it does hold up to a regular day's activities, and even survives intense or sweaty workouts.  When it comes to taking it off, I've used both an oil cleanser and a water-based makeup remover and didn't have any difficulty with either method.  The mascara has also never irritated my sensitive eyes, which is, obviously, another huge plus.



Mint Toothpaste
I've been strictly using glycerin-free oral care products for about three years now and let me tell you, with nearly every product on the shelf still containing glycerin, it's a challenge sometimes.  Once again, ingredients are quite minimal here and the Miessence toothpaste contains only organic aloe vera juice, baking soda, sea salt, stevia, non-GMO xantham gum, and organic spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon, and clove essential oils.

The toothpaste is very fresh and minty.  So much so, in fact, that I catch a whiff of spearmint every time I open the medicine cabinet where it's stored!  At first I tasted a lot of salt as well, but after the first week or two, I stopped noticing it as much and mainly just taste the essential oils now.  The paste doesn't produce a traditional foamy lather, but it does froth up some and leaves both my teeth and mouth feeling very clean and fresh.  If mint isn't your thing, the toothpaste is also available in Anise and Lemon.  

My only complaint -- and a pretty minor one at that -- is that I have a hard time squeezing the paste out of the tube.  I'm not sure what the issue is -- the toothpaste itself is a pretty standard consistency -- but it takes serious squeezing effort to get toothpaste onto my brush.  It's gotten easier as the tube is less full, but, at least at first, it was a bit of a struggle!
  
The Bottom Line
Miessence has some great products and I'm really happy to have rediscovered the line through these two items.  The mascara isn't ultra-dramatic, but it's a fantastic everyday product, especially suitable for ingredient purists or those with sensitive eyes.  The toothpaste is a great glycerin-free option that tastes great and leaves the mouth feeling fresh, minty, and clean.  In addition to working well, I love Miessence's commitment to using minimal, high quality and organic ingredients and will definitely be keeping a closer eye on the line in the future!

*Press sample

9 May 2016

Griffin Remedy Volumizing Shampoo + Conditioner

Finding great and inexpensive hair products that work with my curly, frizz-prone mane has been an ongoing struggle for me, but I've discovered a few new winners these last several months.  Most recently, I've been using the Volumizing Shampoo* and Conditioner* from Griffin Remedy.  This non-GMO and vegan hair duo is made with organic jojoba oil and vegetable proteins, and claims to add body and thickness to hair.



The Volumizing Shampoo is a gentle gel that cleanses well without over-washing or stripping hair.  A blend of soap bark, soapwort, and coconut and corn sugar cleansers lathers up easily and I don't have any problem getting this shampoo to suds up in my hair.  Rosemary extract and MSM encourage hair growth and calendula and comfrey extracts are soothing on the scalp.

The Volumizing Conditioner is lightweight but amply moisturizing.  I find myself using a decent amount of product to get the moisture my curly hair needs, but the conditioner never leaves my hair feeling heavy, greasy, or weighed down.  A B vitamin complex adds shine, while vegetable proteins and sage and horsetail extracts strengthen and fortify hair, promoting thickness and minimizing breakage.  The conditioner does a great job detangling as well.

Together, the shampoo and conditioner leave me with bouncy, controlled curls and minimal frizz and static.  They leave my hair feeling healthy, extra soft, and very touchable.  I don't find they add a TON of extra volume at the roots, but they don't weigh anything down either.

I also love the bright citrus scent of both products.  The ingredients list a lemon verbena essential oil blend, which -- to my nose anyways -- smells a lot like lime.  It's not overpowering and I don't find it lingers in my hair post-shower, but it's fresh and delightful in the moment.

The Bottom Line
Perhaps not the most ultra-volumizing of hair products, but a great everyday shampoo and conditioner nonetheless!  They smell great, have awesome ingredients, and keeping them stocked in your shower is not going to break the bank.  Definitely a great hair care discovery and a brand I'll be seeking out in the future!


*Press sample
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