Testing out B Kind’s Sensitive Skin Facial Scrub

The tube of B Kind’s Sensitive Skin Face Scrub (travel size)

In June’s Petit Vour Box, I received the cutest little tube of exfoliating facial scrub from B Kind.  I don’t know why I find the little tube so cute.  I think because it is not only small but chubby.  But packaging and its cuteness is beside the point, it is the product that counts.  There turned out to be a surprising amount of product in the little tube.  I wasn’t certain there would be enough to do a fair trial to be honest, but I thought I’d get an an initial reaction out of it. Given the amount of product actually in the tube, it turned out there was enough for me to get a good handle on it after all. So to the review…

Officially, this is the Sensitive Skin Face Scrub with Cranberry and Hibiscus from the company B Kind.

On the site it claims:

Our cranberry seeds and hibiscus face scrub has been created for your skin to be softly exfoliated and hugely moisturized at the same time

Perfect for sensitive or dry skin: this face scrub will leave your skin smooth, glowing and moisturized. 

Now I have to say that I shouldn’t be surprised that it is a pinkish, dare I say, cranberry color.  To be honest, I’m certain the hibiscus is the color culprit there.  I have grown hibiscus before and it stains everything that color. There are currently several jars of hibiscus jam in my cupboard that are only a few shades lighter.

For some reason I was expecting it to be white though.  I’m not entirely sure why. There is no real reason it should be. And it isn’t, it is pinky-mauve.

It is also a very good gentle exfoliate.  It is a physical exfoliate rather than a chemical one, but I didn’t find it too abrasive on my skin.  It is either extremely finely milled or the cranberry seeds used for exfoliation purposes are exceedingly tiny. To be fair it could be a combination of the two. I’ve never actually seen cranberry seeds. I lack the garden bog to give growing them at home a go. I will say that because the exfoliate is a seed that is mixed in with the cream, it is rather soft. It still exfoliates but I can see why it is geared towards sensitive skin. My skin had no problems with it during my use of the product.

I also only used it once a week for the duration of my use.  Sensitive skin oriented or not, this isn’t something I would feel comfortable using every day.  Once a week was perfect for me though.  And as it had four uses in the tiny tube, I managed to get a month’s worth if use out of it.  The reason I got so much use out of it is because it really doesn’t take much to cover your entire face.  The little squirt pictured in my hand in the photo was all I really needed. It comes out thick, but spreads far over the skin as the heat from your skin warms it up. A little dab is all that is necessary.

product on skin

The color remained with the product instead of transferring, although on the face it made me look a bit like I face planted in the garden and then rolled around a bit for good measure. The skin just looks slightly dirty for a moment, and then you wash and all is well. Plus your skin feels amazing. Or at least mine did. I felt glowy and refreshed.

product washed off

This is a natural, vegan, cruelty free product and the packaging is recyclable.  All things I really like and very much appreciate.  It was made in Montreal, as was a large chunk of my family. 

Although, I don’t really think any skin care company should be thought of in the same context as my Great Uncle Rene. He had skin like leather, smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish and was killed by a bus. He was surprisingly healthy until the bus. He always claimed it was because he was made in Montreal. Well, before the bus anyway. Because of his claims, he is the first thing that pops into my head when I see Made in Montreal on something.

I offer my deepest apologies to the city.

If it helps, the bus wasn’t even in Montreal.

But clearly I digress.

I really liked the facial scrub and enjoyed using it enough to purchase a full size and poke around on the website to see what other products they have in their skin care line as it was a quality product. My one criticism, is that it did leave the feeling of a slightly waxy residue on my skin.  It wasn’t a lot of residue, just a little, but it was noticeable.

The website claims that it is part of the skin enhancing benefits and recommends that you only wash it off with plain water so that the ingredients remain on the skin to do their work. I tried, I really did, but it just felt waxy on my skin. I think part of the reason is that the skin care benefits, beyond the exfoliation, look like they are geared towards dry skin. While my skin falls into the normal category, it tends to skew towards oily in the warmer months and towards dry in the winter. Perhaps if I tried this again in the winter I would not have an issue with simply using water and leaving it to sit. As it was, I had to wash with more than water.

As this was a part of my skin care regime, sandwiched between my makeup removing balm and my face wash on the nights I used it, the residue was not really an issue.  It would only be an issue if I were using I alone. As I always wash my face after a physical exfoliant, just to make certain it is all gone, this is a non-issue for me, but it is something you might want to be aware of if adding this to your routine. Perhaps with dryer skin, you will find this more helpful.

While I’m at it, I have to add one more thumbs up on pricing.  The full size of the B Kind Sensitive Skin Face Scrub is $28 (it is 48 g as opposed to the 15 g travel size pictured in this post).  This is a good price for a really good product. Given how little is needed for each use, I think it is a very good value.

I’ve noticed that some companies start raising prices on skin care once it gets to be clean, natural and vegan. Not all of them, but enough that I naturally think that clean and natural products are going to be more expensive.  Perhaps that is just me and not a larger reflection.  Or perhaps it was, but things are now changing.  Either way, I am happy to see this quality of a product offered at this sort of price.

It also makes me really glad I’m going to be getting another Petit Vour box this month, because I honestly would not have found this on my own and I am really glad that I have now found it. At the moment it is tied with my favorite Skin and Co Face Gommage for my favorite physical exfoliator.  I will be looking into their other products and possibly seeing if they have an exfoliant not geared towards dry skin for the summer months. Even without dry skin, this is a product I can easily see myself ordering.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

The Empties Bin: June 2020

The products I’ve used up this month

Welcome to the end of the month and a review of the empties bin.  This month I managed to clear out several items that just needed a little push to be used up.  I have makeup, skincare, and bath products this time, so it is going to be a little all over the place. There are links to the products mentioned. The links aren’t affiliate codes, but as everyone is having Fourth of July Sales starting up I added links to the relevant sites. The sale links are affiliate links and should you click on them and purchase something then I may earn a small commission which goes towards hosting this website. If that makes you uncomfortable in any way, feel free to avoid the links. Oh, and the one different link is for the Verb Hair mask. It takes you to a previous review I wrote of the product.

Thet the review of the empties begin!

We’ll start with makeup.  The first two items in this category were not so much used up as rendered useless.  The first of these is the ELF Camo Concealer, which sadly I left uncapped for too long.  It was getting low on product though so the loss wasn’t too great.  It is a good product and one that I will be purchasing again, probably in multiple shades.

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The second item that wasn’t entirely used up is my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed powder.  I had a very thin layer of product with a lot of pan showing and I thought I could stretch it to last one more week.  Unfortunately, I knocked it into the sink where the remaining product shattered and landed in a toothpaste smear. So note to self, do not balance delicate powder on the edge of the sink after just brushing teeth.

As it has been one of the standbys in my makeup bag for a long time, I will be repurchasing it at some point.  Because it is such a go-to item for me I am refraining from purchasing a replacement right away as I want to try other products and  if I do replace it I will just end up falling back into the habit of using it again.

In this month’s empties there are two empty primers, one old familiar and one that was new to me.  The old familiar was the NYX Pore Filler.  It is one of those reliable formulas that works well under a variety of makeup.  It has a slight tint to it and has been compared to the Benefit Porefessional.

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I’ve bought it several times and I’m sure it will make a return visit to my dressing table and makeup bag at some point, but like my Rimmel powder, I am going to be holding off repurchasing it for a while.  It occurred to me when I was using the last of it that this was the only NYX primer I have ever tried. I know they have many others.  I recently tried the NYX Bare With Me Foundation and I liked it enough that I think I might try the primer from that line as well next time I make a NYX purchase, stepping away from one of my old faves to try something new from the brand.

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The second primer in my empties bin this month was a sample sized primer from Peter Thomas Roth called Skin to Die For. While I wouldn’t go that far, I really liked the way this primer felt on my skin.  It was pore filling and mattifying.  It has a slight tint to it and I found I could wear it alone with just powder on days when I didn’t feel like wearing a lot of makeup.  It gave my skin a very healthy look to it but made it look like I wasn’t wearing anything. A full size is currently sitting in my shopping cart as I try to figure out what other products I want to order with it. I know I’ll have to use up at least one more primer in my dressing table before I open it for use, but if the full size performs like the sample, then I can see it very quickly becoming a staple.

Finally, rounding out the makeup category, I have a sample sized Smashbox Liquid lip.  It is in the Shade Stepping out and it is one I would order again.  I find the Smashbox formula to be a comfortable one to wear.  It wasn’t too drying but it did dry down enough to stay on my lips without leaving lip prints everywhere. 

The only reason that I am not immediately purchasing a full size is that it is in a neutral color and at the moment I seem to be awash with neutrals. I have a couple that are already well loved so I might pick an older one and focus on using it up, but I want to clear out a few more neutrals before adding to their number.  I suspect though that when I do order this, I will order several different shades because it is a good formula.

I know thus far it sounds as though I am in love with everything I try, but I’m afraid that with the end of the makeup, the love fest is going to slow down for a while. 

The next product in my empties bin is the Tula Skin Care Purifying Face Cleanser.  It is rare that I don’t like a cleanser, but I have to say, I did not like this one.  I will say it did take off my makeup reasonably well, but the scent of it is highly perfumed and it is not a perfume I enjoy. 

It smells as though you spilled a bottle of Jean Nate on some lavender sachets and then put them in a tightly sealed bag for a month.  It is a super intense scent that I just don’t care for.  In addition it left a slightly waxy feel to my skin. 

Since I tend to use a balm or oil to first remove my makeup and then this sort of cleanser as my second cleanse, having it leave a residue was not good.  I know everyone seems to rave about Tula Skincare but this cleanser was not for me.  I do have the eye balm from this month’s Boxycharm to try so maybe I will have better luck with it. This cleanser is a hard pass for me.

Next in the empties is the 111 Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster. This wasn’t a bad product.  It has a pleasant scent, absorbs well into the skin and did have a brightening effect.  I enjoyed using it.  However I have tried other Vitamin C serums that I like better. It is good, but not good enough to justify the price point.  It is one of those products that I would be happy to see appear in one of my subscription boxes, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase on my own.

Something I am on the fence about is the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm.  It works really well and leaves my skin super soft. 

However if I plan to use it to take off my eye make up I have to take my contacts out first.  I had a little wash into my eyes when I was washing my face and the oil clouded my contacts.  I tried cleaning them but I finally had to concede defeat, the oil wasn’t going anywhere. 

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I wear disposable contacts so it wasn’t a big deal, but when using this cleanser it was something I had to remember. That and the fact that is smells a bit like Vick’s vapor rub are the only downsides.  It was a wonderful cleanser and if you don’t wear contacts I would highly recommend it.  If you do wear contacts, then just be aware of your eyes.

One thing I have no reservations about repurchasing is the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial pads. I would buy these again in a heartbeat.

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They were a very gentle exfoliate that I could use twice daily with no issues at all. The scent was fantastic and the pads were never too wet.  Sometimes to ensure the pre moistened pads don’t t dry out companies soak the pads so you practically have to wring them out before use.  These had just the right amount of serum.  When I reached the bottom, the bottom of the jar was damp but not swimming in left over product and at no point did the product dry out.  I really enjoyed using them and will be purchasing them again in the future.

This month I have two empty tubes of hand cream.  One from Skylar which was a Hydrating Body lotion in the scent Capri and the other  is from Cela and is the Crème de la Crème crème supreme. They were both good hand creams.

I prefer the Cela formula slightly over the Skylar, but neither really made my must reorder list.  They are both good, but I prefer both the Library of Flowers and the Pistache formulas for hand cream. Those two I generally keep reordering. 

The Skylar and the Cela I would use if they were there, but I probably wouldn’t reorder. While this is the only Cela product I’ve tried I have tried other Skylar products before and liked them.  I actually like Skylar perfume very much, in fact, I like the scent of the Capri hand lotion enough I will be looking to see if they have a perfume in that scent.  I’m just not a fan of the cream formula.

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I have two empty bath products this month as we finish out the broad skin care category. The first is the OGXBeauty Pure and Simple Coconut Coffee Scrub and Wash.  The scent was nice.  The coconut and coffee blended together to create a scent that was sweet and more vanilla with coffee undertones than anything else.  Still it is a nice scent. 

While the coconut oil did leave my skin super soft, the exfoliating scrub part didn’t always mix well.  Sometimes I’d squeeze the product out and get almost no exfoliation, other times it was like damp sand. 

I tried squeezing and shaking and turning it upside down to sit for a while.  Nothing really helped.  It was always hit or miss as to whether I was getting any sort of exfoliation or not.  It was a nice wash but I probably wouldn’t get this product again.

Also in the bath time category is the Unfiltered Raw Sugar Salt Soak in the scent watermelon and pink cactus.  This was an impulse buy because I was out of my Kneipps bath salts. While it smells nice in the jar, once added to the water, it loses all scent.  It did make my skin feel nice after my bath, which I appreciated, but for me, part of the pleasure of luxuriating in a bath is scent related.

I liked that it worked well, but I wanted more scent. Or at least some.  While it was nice to try something new, in this case my old standby of Kneipps is what I’m going back to.  I’ll still try others, but I’m going to keep my classics on hand.

The last category we have is hair. I have three items in this category of empties and I saved it for last so I could end this post on a high note.  Because all three are utterly fantastic fantastic.   Two of these products are hair masks.  The first is VERB Manage+Restore Hydrating Mask.  I wrote a post about this earlier (the link will take you to it).  The short version of the post was that it was fabulous.  There was nothing I did not like about this mask.

My conundrum is that shortly after I finished this sample I started a trial with another hair mask.  It is the Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment mask.  It too is fantastic. 

NatureLab Tokyo’s PERFECT REPAIR Treatment Masque

It smells like a high end salon in the best possible way and it gave my hair shine and body.  I had no tangles and my hair looked wonderful. The only complaint I have is with the packaging.  As it comes in a jar, it is a little messy to scoop out.  It is hard to open with wet fingers and I tended to take more than I wanted.  I still adore the product, I just wanted a container that was a little more manageable with wet hands and portion control.

So now I want both masks.  Verb and Naturelab Tokyo.

I also want to try out the shampoo and conditioner from each as well.  At the moment I have several other hair masks to try so I am putting off ordering until I’ve gone through them all.  All but one is a sample size, so it won’t be too long a wait, but it does give me more time to make my selections.  Both Verb and NatureLab Tokyo have set the bar really high though.  I suspect I will end up getting both and then rotating them because quite frankly they are both phenomenal.  

The final item in my empties is a product I have already ordered again.  It is the Klorane Dry Shampoo.  While I like the IGK for massively grungy hair, the Klorane is my standby. 

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This is the dry shampoo I use every other day and the one by which I judge dry shampoos. On the nights I don’t wash my hair, I apply it liberally before bed, go to sleep and in the morning brush my hair.  My hair looks clean and fabulous. There is a little white cast when first applied (I have dark hair) but that soon dissipated by either letting it sit overnight or running a brush through. It is a standard in my hair care arsenal and one that will be bought again and again. In fact, I already have it’s replacement sitting in my bathroom.

So there you have June’s empties. There were some good, some bad and a few mediocre. I find I really like doing this empties review.  It forces me to actually look at the products I have finished and assess my opinion of them now that they are not new and shiny, their productive life complete.   I find it a good assessment.  I hope you find it useful as well.


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Sunday Riley Skincare Review

The Line up: Good Genes, Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream Martian Matifying Toner, CEO cleansing Oil and CEO Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Quite a while ago I picked up a jar of the Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream to try out.  I believe it might have been one of the first moisturizer reviews I posted on this site.  While there were pros and cons (as with any product) I liked it enough to purchase a backup to have on hand.  In fact, I liked it enough to start speculating about other Sunday Riley Products. 

A couple of them I tried really small samples sized of, but there wasn’t enough product to let me get a good feel for them  Plus, it was long enough ago that I couldn’t actually remember much about them. So I started to acquire a few of the products and I decided that I would test them with the CEO Cream to see not only how the products worked alone but as part of a skin care regime.

For this trial there are five products I chose to work with.  The first is the CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream that I previously tried and purchased a second time.  To go with it, I added two other items from the CEO Vitamin C line (because I really like Vitamin C and they were add ons for Ipsy so the cost was less prohibitive).  These are the C+E Micro-dissolve cleansing oil and the brightening serum. To this trio I added the Good Genes All in one Lactic Acid Treatment and the Martian Matifying Melting Water-Gel Toner.

Start of the trial skin

I eased into this skin care trial with the moisturizer.  I started with it partially because I already knew how my skin reacted to it and I like to phase in products so my skin doesn’t completely freak out with an entirely new regime every time I do a new trial.

I finished the moisturizer I was using before but was still using three products from Elemis (the Foaming Face Wash, the cleansing Balm makeup remover and the resurfacing pads, I already posted a review of the Face Wash and reviews of the other products will be coming soon). 

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After a few days of adjusting to the moisturizer, I put my Elemis cleansing Balm away and rotated in the CEO Micro-dissolve Cleansing oil. I kept the foaming face wash from Elemis because I like to double cleanse and I didn’t pick up a second Sunday Riley Cleanser.  (I thought I ordered one and it turns out I got distracted and didn’t check to see if it was in the cart, oops). 

I finished up the 111Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster that I was testing a few days later and rotated in the Sunday Riley one.  A few days later I set aside the Elemis resurfacing pads and brought in the Good Genes and Martian toner.  There was no freak out skin-wise (other than external stress) and my trial began. 

Since I already tested the moisturizer, I made notes on this trial and then went over my previous review.  I am going to link the CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream here rather than going over it too much a second time as there really was no change.  I like the cream and will more than likely pick it up again at some point. I adjusted the use with some of the other products, but I’ll cover that when I reach that point.

So first to rotate in was the cleansing oil.  What are the claims of the Cleansing oil?  As you would expect, it is pretty straight forward.

A wet or dry cleansing oil that dissolves pore-clogging debris, excess oil, and micro-pollution particles, revealing a fresh, bright, and calm complexion. Instantly dissolve and remove makeup (even water-resistant eye makeup), pore-clogging debris, excess oil, and micro-pollution for a perfectly, thoroughly cleansed complexion. With gentle white willow bark and lime pearl extracts—rich in beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) —C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil gently refreshes the skin, while turmeric and vitamin C provide antioxidant-rich, calming skin support, for a clean, healthy-looking, and smooth complexion.

I’m pretty sure most cleansing oils have similar blurbs on their product pages.  My only concern was that to get the info about the product, I had to go to the Lovely Skin site. In general that isn’t a problem, because I really like the Lovely Skin site and tend to visit a lot. An extra excuse is not a problem.  The problem is that I couldn’t find the information on the Sunday Riley official site. In my experience that usually doesn’t bode well.  Typically it means a discontinuation of a product.  I could be wrong though.

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The cleansing oil is a decent cleansing oil.  It melted even water proof mascara off with no harsh rubbing required.  With mascara I had to do a second swipe under the eyes to remove the last raccoon like markings, but again there was no harsh rubbing.  The oil didn’t break me out and it wasn’t too heavy on the skin.  However, it is not a standalone product, at least not for me.  When using this I had to double cleanse. Rinsing off the product with just water left an oily film covering my face. 

With this oil I found that I could apply it and then jump into the shower.  Once I was finished with my shower I would be completely sans make up, but still feel the need of a quick face wash.  In fact after a few days of using this product, I just started keeping it in the shower. It has a pump that kept the water out so it was actually the perfect solution. 

It is a decent cleansing oil, but I don’t know if I would repurchase it.  It does its job well, but I didn’t notice anything extra enough to draw me back to it instead of another product. I will continue to use it until I use it up, but there are other cleansing oils I actually like better.

Next we move on to the CEO Vitamin C Brightening serum. This one was not only listed on the Sunday Riley Site, but it is listed among their best sellers.  It is…

C.E.O. Brightening Serum, powered by 15% advanced Vitamin C, is targeted to quickly fight the look of dullness, dark spots, and discolorations at the source, while diminishing the signs of aging. Skin looks and feels firmer and plumper, as youthful skin bounce and even-tone are restored.

C.E.O. Brightening Serum uses a sophisticated, ultra-powerful form of Vitamin C called THD Ascorbate. Both highly stable and oil-soluble, THD Ascorbate rapidly absorbs into the skin for visible anti-aging benefits, including visual improvement in loss of firmness, the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and dark spots and dullness.

This hydrating antioxidant formula instantly illuminates the complexion with bright radiance, while phytosterols help to reduce the look of skin sensitivity. Saccharide Isomerate extract diminishes the appearance of pores and reinforces the skin’s moisture barrier for a skin-smoothing glow. Rapidly brighten the appearance of the skin and boost vital skin bounce, in a flash!

I have to say, I can easily see why it is a favorite.  Personally, I really liked it.  Instead of being liquid like most serums it is a cream formula.  The recommended amount is two to three pumps of product, but I found that one pump’s worth was plenty for my face in the morning with maybe a little more at night.  And I was happy that the pump is the sort that allows you to only depress it half way so you can more easily regulate how much product being used.  I find it less wasteful that way.  Now my skin does really well with most vitamin C products, but I have to say I was a big fan of this one.  It absorbed really well and although this may be wishful thinking, I did notice the fine lines appearing around my eyes weren’t as prominent after the first week of use (I used this for thirty days for the trial). 

Incidentally, I did look up THD Ascorbate (Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate ) in case you are wondering.  It is just a slightly modified version of Vitamin C that has been tweaked so that the skin absorbs it more easily. And absorb it did.  Not only will I be using this ti the last creamy drop, but I will be repurchasing it at some point. Truthefully this was the highlight of the skincare test. Other products are good, this was excellent. So for the CEO line, at least the products I’ve tried, two out of three are things I would repurchase.  Not a bad average.  But how do you feel about Martians?

I found the Martian Mattifying melting Water-gel toner to be very interesting. Unfortunately, I have no official product information because it has been discontinued.  I find this to be a shame as I liked it for my oily days.  If I knew I was going to be sweating outside or having hormonal break outs, then using this in the morning really helped my skin. 

It is also a fun green slime texture. It worked well on the days I needed it, but it wasn’t an everyday sort of product for me.  I suspect it was too much for most people to use every days.  If you are looking to dry out oily skin for a bit and happen to come across this, it isn’t a bad thing to try.  I’ll keep using it until it is gone, but alas it is discontinued and no more.

This finally brings us to the Good Genes All in one Lactic Acid Treatment. I doubt this will ever be discontinued as everyone I’ve talked to seems to find this a skin care holy grail.  It made me very eager to try it. So first what does this best seller do?

Clean, purified glycolic acid deeply exfoliates and repairs the look of dull, congested, and sun damaged skin for a visibly radiant, healthier-looking complexion.

Containing clean, ultra-pure, formaldehyde-free glycolic acid, to revitalize the appearance of dull, congested, and sun damaged skin, without compromising on what matters to you most: safety, quality, and fast results. Good Genes Glycolic penetrates the surface of the skin with tiny glycolic acid molecules, sinking deeper into the skin than other forms of AHA, to break apart pore-clogging debris and repair the look of sun-damaged, congested, wrinkled, or dull skin. With just one use, instant radiance and skin clarity are visibly boosted. Balanced with fermented prickly pear extract, perfect for sensitive skin, to soothe and calm the complexion, along with skin-purifying lemongrass extract.

After my recent sunburn episode, I was happy to try some repair work.  And I love exfoliators in general. So I was all in.  Again two to three pumps are recommended and you are only supposed to use this once a day.  The above picture shows one pump, which is all I ended up needing tocover my face.

For me, this replaced my night cream during the trial. 

Sort of.

It took me a few days to sort things out.  First, I want to address the one day claim.  I will say that the sun damaged parts of my face did show almost immediate improvement.  My face took less damage than my legs, but it still spent too much time accidentally baking. So I will have to give them that. 

The scent took a little getting used to as well.  For me it has the exact same scent as some of the cleaning products used in a building I once worked in.  It was an old building with wooden floors and the scent is a cross between floor polish and an herbal based disinfectant.  It’s not a negative as it is actually a nicely astringent scent, but to me that is what it smelled like. It is heavy on the lemongrass and I think that paired with the astringency was what triggered the memory.  Luckily the scent dissipated so I didn’t have dreams about my old office.

But again, that’s just me. Certainly no one else mentioned it smelling like a cleaning product.

It took me a while to adjust to using this product because it is not quite a night cream, but it is really hard to apply a moisturizer over it.  Things get very greasy quickly and I felt like I over did it.  The problem was that if I didn’t apply moisturizer, my skin felt a little too dry the next morning.

The best way I found to deal with this product was to wash my face and apply the Good Genes to my skin an hour or two prior to actually getting ready for bed.  (I like to read before going to sleep as a means to quiet my brain, so I did all of my pre bed routine (sans moisturizer) before reading, leaving the Good Genes on top of the skin and then just before bed, I went into the bathroom and did a quick moisturizer application before actually going to sleep. 

For me this worked really well.

end of trial skin

I will say that because my skin was sun damaged, I saw more of an effect than I might have otherwise seen.  It worked well, and I am glad I used it at the time I did, however I am not terribly familiar with chemical exfoliates.  I tend to go for the more physical variety.  I am starting to try out the chemical ones more though so I might be switching camps. 

So while I liked the product, I think I want to try a few more products, specifically Lactic Acid based before I commit to repurchasing it. 

In other words it was good, but it wasn’t so over the top good that I feel I must keep it on hand at all times.  Which, from the reviews I’ve read and seen, tends to be the reaction.  Perhaps when trying others I will find they fall far short of this and I will realize everyone else was right about the Good Genes.

I am very glad I did try this though as it is so beloved by so many people and it is nice to know the standard. For now though, I am sticking with, a good product, but I want to try others as my personal assessment.

So that was my Sunday Riley trial. Two items that I will repurchase repeatedly, one that isn’t really worth bothering with, one discontinued and one still to be determined. All in all an interesting mix.  I’m actually rather surprised to see the split. Everyone I talked to either loved or hated Sunday Riley products. There were very few inbetween. As there were many other products they offer that I find interesting, I am sure it will not be my last Sunday Riley test.  I suspect I will go to reorder the serum and find something I want to try.  But that is for another day.  For now, there is still a world of skin care out there for me to try. There are so many excellent brands I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Now I just have to figure out what I want to try next.


Below I’m posting three of my favorite skin care sites should anyone be looking to expand their skin care boundaries.

Give dad a gift he'll remember this Father's Day with the LovelySkin Father's Day Gift Guide.





Reviewing Lavido skincare

One of the things I love about subscription boxes is that occasionally they send something your way that you have never heard of and wouldn’t mind trying.  Sometimes different boxes from different companies send you products from the same line in the same month. From one box came the Lavido Age away replenishing cream  featuring Grapefruit seed, Melissa and avocado (retail $69) while another box provided Lavido’s 2-in-1 Purifying Facial Mask and Exfoliator (retail $36) featuring pomegranate seed oil, lemon and macadamia.

Since they arrived at the same time, and I was just finishing up a moisturizer trial, I decided to use them together. They arrived in early April and this morning (May 20th) I used the last of each of them.  So they lasted seven and a half weeks for me.  I will admit that one of the reasons I held off reviewing them was that I lost my initial weights (instead of putting it in the notebook where I usually keep things I jotted it down on a scrap of paper and then promptly lost said paper) so I figured I would just see how long they lasted with regular use.

Before I cover what I think of the products, let’s see what they have to say for themselves.  First, the Moisturizer. According to the Lavido website is…

Made with 11 innovative plant actives, this advanced anti-aging solution is clinically proven to diminish the appearance of dryness, wrinkles and rough texture while it deeply nourishes mature and compromised skin. Its rich, ultra-luxurious texture features Summer Snowflake, scientifically proven to strengthen cell integrity, slow the aging process, and stimulate new cellular regeneration. Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid boosts collagen production and imparts an instant volumizing effect for a naturally firmer, radiant, and more rejuvenated complexion.

moisturizer

The scent of the cream is floral.  It isn’t overwhelmingly cloying, but it is a noticeable scent. If you are sensitive to scents that might be something you want to consider.  The cream is also very thick.  A little dab into the hand was all that was needed.  It is designed for dry, mature skin and I think the formula would work really well with dry skin.  My skin is normal leaning towards oily on occasion.  Dry is not generally my skin care concern but fine lines are so I was happy to try it. 

white cast on skin after initial application of moisturizer (look towards the ear)

Because my skin isn’t dry I had some trepidation.  The fear was unfounded.  I needed only a little bit of the cream to cover my entire face and neck.  I will say that because it is so thick and my skin is not an arid desert, I had to spend some time massaging it into the skin.  If you look in the picture you will see a white cast on my skin where I only did a first pass rubbing it in. The benefit is that you sort of get a facial massage twice a day when using this product.  The down side is that it adds a little extra time to your morning and evening routine.

But if a product is worth it, I am willing to take a little extra time.  So is it worth it?

During this trial I used the cream morning and evening as my sole moisturizer.  When the weather was cooler (and the central heat still drying the air out) I really liked the moisturizer.  As the weather warmed, and in my part of the world the humidity rose, I found that while I still liked it as a night cream, I was less enthused by its use in the morning.  My skin was just not dry enough in the morning.  It was an excellent night cream however and I woke with my skin plumped and hydrated. Dare I say it, even glowing.  For my skin type I could use this as a night cream very happily or as a dry winter cream. It is an excellent cream and mature skin or not, I think the dryer your skin happens to be, the more you will enjoy this cream. I would have no problem repurchasing the Age Away Replenishing Cream as a night cream, but I wouldn’t use it as my go to daily moisturizer. Especially not at this time of year.

This moves us on to the 2-in-1 Purifying Facial mask and exfoliator. According to its product page…

This exfoliating and anti-aging multi-mask gently stimulates circulation and new cell regeneration while dried Pomegranate peel and seeds remove dead skin cells, revealing smoother, more radiant skin with fewer pimples, dark spots and wrinkles overtime. Use as an exfoliating cleanser or leave on as a mask to receive it’s full youth-giving benefits.

While I am always leery of any product that threatens to do too much, this isn’t too much of a stretch for a product.  As an exfoliator it is a fairly gentle one.  When applied to the skin it looks more like you have a slightly dirty face than are wearing a full mud mask. It has a slight roughness which you would expect from a physical exfoliator but it isn’t harsh.  I think because the peel is used rather than harder seeds.  I found it could be used every other day to brighten the completion without feeling like you were blasting away too many layers.  Used as an exfoliator it worked really well and I quite enjoyed it.  It has a slightly pomegranate scent to it but it is less present than the floral scent of the moisturizer and smells more fresh and clean than anything else.

While the exfoliator does leave your skin soft and refreshed, leaving the product on mask like actually did increase the benefits of the product.  My skin did feel better if I allowed it to sit for a few minutes.  What I ended up doing was using it as sort of a cross over.  On the nights I used it, I would wash my face, apply the exfoliator and let it sit while I brushed my teeth and then used a lip exfoliator on my lips I’d then wet my hands, massage the mask a little to help with the exfoliation and then wash it off and continue with my routine.  I found this gave me the best the 2-in-1 could provide. 

I have to say I would unequivocally buy this product again.  It is listed as good for all skin types and I have to say my skin loved it.  It was a gentle but effective exfoliator that could also be worn as a mask.  I really enjoyed using it and was very sad to see it now an empty tube.

Until I received these products in subscription boxes, I had never heard of the company or heard anything about them.  I can’t actually say I would have tried them on my own, but I am glad I did and I am certain I will be seeing these products in my bathroom again.


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Annmarie SkinCare Review

The line up for the the two week Annmarie Skincare Trial

For the past two weeks I’ve been testing out various Annmarie Skincare Products.  They very kindly sent over samples for me to review.  I have to say it was very interesting to test out not one, but an entire series of products from the same company at the same time.  In case you haven’t heard of Annmarie Skincare, according to their website

We carefully select organic and wildcrafted ingredients — including herbs and plant extracts — to meet the highest standards of quality and effectiveness for your skin and body. We carefully audit our sources to ensure that they continue to meet our standards of purity and sustainability. 

I’m a big fan of their commitment to sustainability and was thrilled to be able to try out their products. Before I get into the individual products, let me go over the regime I’ve been following during the trial.

First up was the Aloe Herb Cleanser which I used twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. There was also the Anti-Aging Serum which I also used twice daily after cleansing. As AnnMarie Skincare provided me with two types of facial oil, I used the Herbal Facial Oil for the first week and the Anti-Aging oil for the second week.  The oil I applied twice daily as well, applying it to my skin after the serum was given a little time to sink in. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I used the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub.  The final element to this skin care trial were the face masks.  Two masks were provided.  The first week I used the Illuminating Pearl Mask Monday , Wednesday and Friday and the second week I used the Purifying Mud Mask for the same three day system.

The only item I didn’t have with this line was a moisturizer so I used the Purlisse Blue Lotus Moisturizer since I knew how it performed from an earlier trial of the product.

Over all, I really enjoyed these products and I think they worked really well together.  Individually there are some that I liked better than others. So let’s get into the individual products .

First up is the Aloe Herb Cleanser. It is an herb infused facial cream cleanser that smells of lemon verbena.  Seriously, the scent alone is worth buying the product.  It is a wonderful aroma to wake up to and equally pleasant to take off the day.  But a cleanser isn’t just about scent, no matter how scent oriented I am.  According to the product page…

The cleanser is creamy but doesn’t really foam up. It does however work well and smell amazing.

Cleanse and lift excess oil with this pH-balanced, aloe vera-based cream cleanser. Infused with beautifying herbs and a light blend of natural oils containing essential fatty acids, to keep your skin naturally hydrated. Gently removes makeup and impurities without drying or leaving any residue. Leaves your skin feeling nourished, soft and beautiful.

I have to say, my skin felt nourished and soft with no residue left behind.  It isn’t the greatest at removing mascara, but it took down all other makeup with no problems.  And then I did a quick clean-up of the raccoon eyes with the Makeup Eraser easy peasy. Since most cleansers have some issues with mascara, I’m willing to give it a pass on that, especially because of the scent.

Next up, was the Anti-aging Serum.  Again this is a product I really liked. The sample vial had just enough product to last for the two week test.  I took the eye dropper from an empty bottle of serum and used three drops of the serum for each application.  It covered my face well, absorbed quickly and smelled deliciously herbal.  I couldn’t identify any particular herbal scent but it is very herbal-ly smelling. I was very sad when the bottle was empty. I actually upended the bottle and tapped it on my hand to get the very last drops out of it befire I finally had to admit that it was empty.  On the product page…

This versatile, aloe vera-based serum provides active nutrients for all skin types, firming and tightening the appearance of aging skin. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, while the herbal extracts buddleja davidii and edelweiss protect skin from environmental stressors. Life everlasting flowers soothe and refresh.

Perhaps I couldn’t identify the herbs by scent because I am unfamiliar with how most of the ones listed actually smell on their own.  Either way I did see an improvement in my skin’s texture and while my fine lines weren’t magically erased, they didn’t get any larger and my skin had a healthy glow to it.

The anti-aging oil

Next up we come to the oil and I have to admit, I had a little bit of a problem with the oils. The scent of both the Herbal Facial Oil and the Anti Aging oil are sharply herbal, but despite the two oils smelling different from each other they both have a slight medicinal scent to their aromas that I didn’t find all that appealing.  Perhaps it is the willow bark. In addition, they both have a slightly thick texture to them that I didn’t particularly care for. It is purely a textural issue as both products performed well. 

The Herbal Facial Oil is…Specially formulated with cleansing botanicals, white willow bark and neem, this delicate herbal blend helps unclog pores and balances natural oils. Lightly moisturizing with a fast-absorbing grapeseed oil base. Leaves skin soft and smooth for a bright and beautiful complexion.

While the Anti Aging Oil is described as… This luxurious, herb-infused formula delivers intense moisture to keep dry and mature skin supple and dewy. Antioxidant-rich seed oils — chia, goji berry, and broccoli — firm and tighten, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Jojoba oil resembles your skin’s natural oil, softening and conditioning mature skin. Your skin vibrates in perfect harmony.

When applying them I had to think ’this is good for me’ before I applied them. And they were good for my skin, even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the scent or texture.  My complexion is smooth and bright, my skin clear and kind of glowy. They really work well, but that scent and texture really threw me.

The scrub comes as a powder, which I like but it is a little too gentle a scrub for me.

The Ayurvedic Facial Scrub is designed for sensitive skin and is a very mild exfoliate.  The product page describes it as…

This fragrant Indian herbal treatment with horsetail and fenugreek seeds exfoliates and softens. Mineral-rich Rhassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco absorbs excess oil. This gentle but powerful treatment leaves skin revitalized, fresh and alive.

It has a similar scent to the Purifying Mud Mask, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since it has some of the same ingredients.  Like the mud mask, it comes as a dry powder that you mix with a little bit of water to turn into a paste. The process made me feel like a mad scientist when I used it.  It is a decent exfoliator and if you have sensitive skin, I can see this being perfect for you.  It left my skin feeling fresh, but I personally prefer a slightly more exfoliating exfoliator. It was fun to mix though and I enjoyed playing around with the consistency.

I reviewed both the Illuminating Pearl Mask and the Purifying Mud Mask in separate posts so I’ll just link those reviews instead of going into great depth here ( Previous in depth reviews: PEARL and MUD), but to sum up both posts; I loved the face masks. The Illuminating Pearl Mask left my skin glowing and the Purifying Mud Mask left me feeling deep down clean.  Personally, I prefer the Purifying Mud Mask, but I tend to lean towards more pore cleansing masks in general.  Both are good and well worth trying out.

Of the products I used during this trial I have to say the Aloe Herb Cleanse, the Anti-aging Serum and the two masks were the absolute best and they are products I will be adding to my list of products to purchase. I loved how they performed and how they made my skin feel.

While the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub is not my absolute favorite, I have a couple of friends with sensitive skin who I will definitely recommend it to as I think it would be more up their alley than mine. 

I think I would have to pass on the facial oils.  Although they did lovely things for my skin, I just don’t think I could take the texture of them long term. I think if I purchased them, I would look for reasons not to use the oil.  In all fairness though, my mother actually uses the Herbal Facial Oil for oily skin and she absolutely loves it. It is one of the few facial oils she can use that doesn’t leave her feeling greasy. Since a little goes a long way, and I was using two separate oils, I have some left over.  She has already staked a claim on them and they will be leaving my bathroom and going straight to hers where they will be used and well loved.

Over all I really liked this trial and I loved the way my skin looked and felt.  I found some products that I really liked and will be ordering and some that just weren’t for me. It’s always good when a brand that has such a good ethos also has good products and I was very pleased with Annmarie Skincare.

Three Times Sublime or is it?

After my success with the Draw it all Out Mask by Fromula 10.0.6 I decided to try the brand’s Three Times Sublime or to give it its full name Three Times Sublime 3-in-1 Blackhead Wash + Scrub + Mask with Pink Grapefruit + Jojoba (retail $6.99).  It was relatively inexpensive and I am always looking for a good exfoliator.

In general I am skeptical when a product claims to be multi use.  Generally I find that the product either does one thing really well and really doesn’t deal with the others well, or in trying to do too many things they end up failing at all of them.  At least that has been my experience. Maybe I’m a cynic.

But I am always willing to be proven wrong.

In fact in the arena of multi-tasking skin care, I love being proven wrong. The bathroom I use for my skin care is a small powder room and shelf space is rather limited. Multi-taskers mean the shelf is less crowded.

So first let’s look at the claims.  According to the website…

This miraculous multi-tasker makes light work of stubborn blackheads, to remove excess oil, unclog pores and eliminate blemishes. Pink grapefruit cleanses while jojoba exfoliates. Its 3-in-1 formula acts as a wash, scrub and mask for the complete complexion overhaul.

Interesting, no?

I have to say with all of the stress and bad eating from the last two weeks I have been having a few break outs so I am not opposed to a product willing to tackle them for me.  As I’ve mentioned before I love exfoliators and I adore face masks so this should be a win for me.

First off, the scent.  Yes I know, I have to smell everything.  At least I didn’t feel the need to taste this one. That’s progress, right?

This cleanser/mask smells lightly citrusy.  It is light, quite pleasant and not overpowering.   I generally think of jojoba in terms of softening rather than scent so I don’t know what it actually smells like.  I’m guessing though that it mitigated the grapefruit scent a bit.

Product in hand. You can feel the exfoliate but it is rather fine grained.

Satisfied with the scent I decided to try the cleansing aspect first. So I started with a full face of makeup and washed my face. Yeah, there is a reason it is not called a make-up removing cleanser. While the exfoliating particles do technically scrub the make-up off, you would have to rub harder than I feel comfortable with to do it, and I’m pretty sure there will still be some left over.

Realizing my error, I quickly rinsed it off, used my Make Up Eraser to remove my makeup and then started again, using it as a cleanser/exfoliator. I have to say it worked well. It is a light exfoliate with fine grain particles that aren’t too harsh on the skin.  There was a little put of foaming, but not terribly much.  After cleansing/exfoliating, I rinsed my face.  It takes a bit of rinsing to remove all of the particles.  If you like splashing a lot of water on your face, this is the product for you.  The rinsing is mostly because the particles are rather fine grained and you need to get them all off.

Once everything was washed off, I was very pleased with my skin.  My skin was clean with no residue left behind, exfoliated and soft and there was no irritation on my break outs. They were in fact a little bit dryer which is I believe one of the product claims. Despite this the rest of my face was not dried out, it was just the spots where I was broken out. I call that a win.

At least on one front.

I did try the Three Times Sublime as a mask.  Not on the same day of course, but the next.  It gives the same cleansing exfoliating effect as before but I could see no noticeable benefit to leaving it on the skin as I would a mask.  It dried out a bit and the scrub was a little harder to remove.

So, three times sublime, maybe not.  I like cleansers that remove my makeup, which this didn’t do, but on nights when I either haven’t worn makeup that day or have used something else to remove it first, this is a great face wash and exfoliator combo, especially if you have some stress related break outs cropping up. It is gentle enough to use daily, which most exfoliators are not and after a few days I saw a noticeable reduction in my break outs. I didn’t see the point of using it as a mask, but I suppose if you are super oily or have more of a problem with breakouts, you might find it more helpful than I did.

So even if all the claims weren’t met, I think this product is definitely one to keep around as a useful addition to my skin care team.


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Time to Exfoliate…

I have always been a big fan of exfoliators.  As a result, I have tried several.  I found this one intriguing because of the name. It is the Goldfaden MD Solution Doctor’s Scrub (retail $75). It sounds both oddly medicinal, yet slightly generic all at the same time. At least to my ears.

The claims from the website are fairly straightforward.

A daily facial exfoliator that adds hydration and removes dead surface skin revealing brighter, radiant, healthier-looking skin. Buffs and removes dead skin. May improve the appearance of skin color and tone. Works to reduce the appearance of pores and lines.

All of the things you’d expect in an exfoliator.  I will say though that with a $75 price tag attached to it, I was expecting an amazing product.  Especially since I have tried several really good exfoliators that are in the $30 -$40 range.  For me oddly enough, exfoliators don’t seem to be in that super expensive tier of skin care where moisturizers and serums seem to live.  I’m not entirely sure why. It may just be a mental block for me and others may expect them to be pricey, but for some reason I don’t expect that sort of price range from exfoliators.

The texture of the product is like fine sand.  There are no super hard pieces to it which I found a relief.  I worry when there are too many larger hard bits. I like exfoliating, but I don’t want to cause damage. This one was milled down far enough that it wasn’t much of a concern.

The texture is very finely milled.

The scent of the scrub is light and clean with a vaguely lime scented undertone to it.  I liked the scrub of the formula.  It exfoliated well.  My problem with it was that it left a slightly greasy feeling residue on my skin when I rinsed it off that made me want to wash my face right after using it. 

Typically after exfoliating I leave my skin alone for a while (at least an hour) before applying any cream or lotion.  I don’t have any real scientific reason, I just feel like letting my skin rest and recover from the exfoliating before messing with it again.  Plus, with good exfoliator I really like the super clean feeling it gives me. Call me a weird-o, but I really like basking in the feel of fresh clean skin.

I get over it soon enough and apply moisturizer and makeup like a normal person, but for a little while I revel.

And I bask.

What can I say?

This did not leave me with the super clean freshly scrubbed feeling and I had to use a cleanser right after using it which was slightly disappointing. I think if my skin were more on the dry side, I would not have as much of a problem with that aspect of the scrub.  It is really good, but it is just not for my skin type. Because of that it is not going to go to the top of my list of must repurchase products. 

What is interesting though, beyond the skin type issues, is that on the packaging it claims that this exfoliator can be used daily.  While I enjoy a good scrub, I don’t use exfoliator daily. (yes, I limit my reveling)  In addition, this is far too intense a scrub to be used on a daily basis, at least by me.  Some of you may like it.  For me, this would be a once a week sort of product. 

Like I said, it does have a good exfoliation to it, and a pleasant smell.  However because of the need to wash off the remaining greasy residue at the end of using this product, I am going to have to pass on repurchasing. Perhaps if I had much drier skin, this would be less of an issue. 

But fear not, gentle reader, it will not go to waste.  I have a friend with much drier skin and a love of exfoliation that matches my own who will be taking it off my hands (despite just coming in a jar, I used a scoop to extract the product I used rather than just dipping my fingers into it so it is untainted by actual touch.) Perhaps she will enjoy it more, but I can definitely say this one is not for me.

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