How well does the Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil work?

I have to say I have been really impressed with Yensa lately.  I was always a fan of their primer, but then I fell head over heels in love with their lip oil.  As you may recall if you read my IPSY unboxing post this past month, one of my repeat items was the Yensa CBD Super Food Dual Cleansing Oil.  At the point when the new bottle arrived I had been using the bottle of cleansing oil I had for about a month.  I am less than halfway through the bottle.  So in case you read the post and think, how did you get through so much cleansing oil in such a small amount of time?  I did not, this is the older bottle.

full face of makeup

So first, let’s see what the product claims are…

A dual makeup remover and cleanser infused with CBD and 8 SuperOils that nourishes, cleanses, softens and removes impurities without stripping the skin.  The eight benefits are:

  • Dual-phase Makeup remover and cleansing oil
  • Nourish, soothe and cleans the skin while removing impurities
  • Powered by CBD 8 super oils
  • CBD oil calms skin and helps reduce redness
  • Black sesame oil improves skin rejuvenation
  • Black cumin oil fights against acne and clogged pores
  • Chia seed oil restores moisture in the skin
  • Broccoli seed oil is rich in omega -6 and helps cell renewal

Ingredients: Heliantus Annuss (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cannabidiol, Bakuchiol, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Fragrance (Parfum)

Yensa

Now, I could be wrong, but here is my take on cleansers.  I am happy to see all sorts of good ingredients in them and I do prefer the ones that are designed with skin care in mind rather than throwing a bunch of elements at me.  However with a product like a cleansing oil, it is the first step in my skin care routine.  I apply the cleansing oil over my makeup, let it break down the makeup, rinse it off, and then go back with a regular cleaner.  Then of course I proceed to the toner. 

Cleansing oil over makeup

What this means is that the products that are in the cleansing oil, aren’t going to stick around long.  I don’t know how much cell rejuvenation and renewal the ingredients can do in the short amount of time they have against my skin.  I appreciate their efforts, but I am not looking for a whole lot of long term benefits in a cleansing oil. 

What I want it is to not cause damage to the skin, remove my makeup and not leave my skin feeling stripped. The lovely ingredients list tells me that the ingredients in the cleansing oil are not going to do damage to my skin.  Nothing in the list is something I have a sensitivity to and nothing is going to cause a reaction for me. So that is one box checked.  The only issue I could see is from the fragrance added.  However it is the last ingredient listed so I don’t think there is enough included in the product to be an issue.

water added to foam the oil

As for the scent of the product, it is slightly earthy.  If I was blindfolded and asked to sniff this cleansing oil I would be able to tell it was a CBD product. It has that CBD scent to it.   To be honest, I have no idea how else to describe it, and not because of my usual scents coming up as colors and tastes either.  It smells like a CBD oil.  The only time I have smelled that scent is in products with CBD in them. It isn’t a heavy scent.  It isn’t over powering, but it is present.  I don’t particularly mind the scent, but if you have issues with the scent, you might want to pass.

I really like the design of the pump.  It is easy to dispense, the bottle is sturdy and to be honest, I will probably end up reusing it when I am done with the product. Only two pumps of the product are needed to cover the entire face.  It is a clear oil in a green bottle.

As with most cleansing oils, it does have the tendency to get into your eyes when you remove your mascara and eyeliner. I did get it in my eyes.  It didn’t sting and surprisingly it did not stay to film up my contact lenses.  I had that problem with the Sunday Riley Oil cleanser.  Once in my eyes it would stick to my contact lenses and no matter how many times I took the lens out and cleaned it, the film remained so the world was a cloudy place.  I wear disposable lenses so it wasn’t as big a deal as it could have been but It was something that bothered me. 

clean skin

This Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing oil did not have that problem. When it did get onto my contacts, it was easily rinsed away.  Perhaps it has something to do with the dual cleansing.  Speaking of which…

After I applied the oil over my makeup and rubbed it around on my face, letting it start to break down the makeup, I added water as specified and began to wash.  The cleanser did foam up a little and then rinsed off.  It took 90% of my make up with it when it washed off.  There was a little mascara and a bit of foundation left behind (toner pads don’t lie), but most of it was gone. My skin did not feel stripped and I had no issues with clogged pores. 

However, I still felt as though I needed to wash my face with a regular cleanser.  Especially after I did the toner test and found makeup remaining. My skin just didn’t feel all the way clean with just the cleansing oil, dual action or not.

It is a very good cleansing oil, but I needed a regular cleanser to follow. I enjoyed using it for the past month and will continue to use it moving forward.  It is one of those cleansing oils that is a good reliable product.  I may set this to the side to try other products, but I will return to it until the bottle is empty.  I have no problem returning to it and in the future I might pick up another bottle. While I am more of a cleansing balm sort of person than a cleansing oil, this is one of the better cleansing oils I have tried lately. While I am uncertain about the eight listed benefits in the description, it does meet my three criteria, It doesn’t irritate my skin (or do other damage), it takes off my makeup well, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped.


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Keeping it clean with Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing oil

As many of you know, I adore a double cleanse. I love knowing that I have gotten all of the makeup as well as the residue of the day off of my skin.  There is just something fabulous about getting you skin super clean.  In a previous month’s Petit Vour box (I can’t remember if it was August or an earlier month) I received the Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing oil

The full size retails for $59 and contains 100 mL worth of product.  The size I received contained 11 mL.  The suggested use is both morning and evening so that is what I did. Using the cleanser twice a day (with a second cleanser) the 11 mL cleansing oil lasted two weeks. The full size contains a little over nine times the amount of product (9.090909 if you want to be more accurate). So if I have done my math right then the full sized version would last a little over eighteen weeks, or if you only double cleanse in the evening to remove your makeup then a little over 36 weeks.  Which breaks down to $1.63 per use whichever way you use it.

But knowing the math is one thing, what the product does is another.  According to the product page it is designed to…

Dissolve makeup, sunscreen and bacteria with this nourishing oil cleanser that leaves skin clean and soft without residue. Super hydrating, antioxidant rich plant oils combine with healing and anti-inflammatory Calendula, Turmeric, and Blue Tansy to calm and detoxify skin. Luxuriate in the scent of a blend of all natural neroli and geranium essential oils.

This unique Oil Cleanser is water soluble and can be removed with just water.  No washcloth required. Ideal for dry, sensitive, and acne prone skin.

Ingredients

100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Isoamyl Laurate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil*, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Panicum Millaceum (Millet) Seed Extract*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Tocopherol, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Oil*, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Leaf Oil*, Tanacetum Annuum Flower Oil, Hypericum Perforatum (St. Johns Wort) Leaf Extract, Santalum Spicatum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Bisabolol, Citronelol†, Geraniol†, Linalool†, Farnesol†, Limonene†

* Ingredients From Organic Farming †Potential Allergens In Essential Oils Included In The Formula.  Not Added Ingredient. 100% Of The Ingredients Are From Natural Origin 76.84% Of The Total Ingredients Proceed From Organic Farming Cosmos Organic Certified By Ecocert Greenlife According To Cosmos.

Made in USA

Kahina Skincare

The fact that sunflower seed, argan and carrot seed oil are the top three ingredients really makes me happy.  My skin always reacts well to those three.  My hair too, as a matter of fact. Beyond the assorted oils, there are a couple of preservatives so the product doesn’t spoil and so that nothing funky grows in the bottle. 

end of the day makeup

Over all there is nothing troubling in the list that I can see.  I know some folks have issues with Limonene because it is a fragrance component and can cause sensitivity. It is however the very last ingredient on the list and I have never had sensitivity issues to it.  My skin is also not terribly sensitive in general. I know some people can develop sensitivity issues, however as this is a cleanser it is not designed to sit on the skin all that long so I have very little issue with it being in the ingredients.  Plus it’s the first step in a double cleanse so very little of the oil, if any will remain on the skin. If you are sensitive to it, you might want to be aware that it is in the oil.

So now that I know what is in the bottle and what I should expect from it, it is time to give it a try.  I wet my face and then dispensed the oil into my hand.  I used two pumps to get the amount I needed and then I rubbed it into my fully made up face.  As you can see, my lipstick had more or less vanished by the time I tried this oil, but what did remain, the oil took off. 

slightly foamy where the water touches the oil

After cleansing, there was some mascara remaining as well as some foundation.  It was broken up foundation though.  I’m not certain that you can see this in the photo, but what foundation remained was ready to let go and wash away.  While it didn’t rinse off with the oil, when I applied my regular cleanser to follow the oil, the remaining foundation practically streamed off the face with the first touch of soap.  I didn’t even have to rub. 

I did rub however as my mascara was still holding on for dear life. In fact as I washed with my regular cleanser more mascara came off my lashes that had not been touched by the Kahina Oil Cleanser.

Is it a good cleanser?  Yes, but it is very much a part of a two step cleanse.  It will break up the makeup but it needs a second step to make certain it is all gone. Just to make certain that this mascara was not being stubborn, I tried the oil cleanser with two separate mascaras, one an all natural vegan one and the other a waterproof one (the one I wore this week was a regular non-waterproof one).  The vegan one was easily removed with the oil, the waterproof one was not.  I then tested just my regular cleanser with the makeup and different mascaras.  The regular cleanser worked the same on all three mascaras, but without the oil I had to scrub more to remove the foundation and when I used my toner, the cotton round had much more makeup left behind on it than when I used the oil cleanser. 

still with a bit of the mascara remaining, more unfortunately came off my lashes when I went in with my second cleanser

So essentially what I found with my skin and products was that the Kahina cleansing oil was really good at loosening up and breaking down all makeup except mascara (other than the vegan one) and that it is definitely worth the time of doing a double cleanse. I actually enjoyed this cleanser very much.  My skin was cleaner than when I washed without it and it left my skin feeling soft and refreshed.  I like that the ingredients are ethically sourced and that very little was actually added to the oils. I also like the fact that it didn’t smell of bergamot. I don’t know why so many oil cleansers (especially the ones that are clean and vegan) tend to lean into the bergamot scent.  This one thankfully did not.

Would I consider buying it? Yes, I think I would.  It was a good cleansing oil and while it was a rock star with the foundation and fell down a bit with the mascara, most cleansing oils seem to fall down with the mascara.  And at least when I tried it on my eyes it removed all the shadow and didn’t leave a film on my contact lenses (which some have been known to do). All in all a pretty good product and I’m glad I got a chance to try it.

As I mentioned before it came in one of my Petit Vour Boxes. It is a clean and vegan beauty subscription I am really enjoying using. 

At the moment in addition to their regular subscription box, they are offering twelve limited edition curated boxes for sale.  The prices vary depending on what is in them but you can actually see what items are in the limited edition curated boxes on the Petit Vour website.  Several of the items have been featured in previous boxes and they vary from skin care to makeup.  All of course, cruelty free.

As an extra bonus now through december 31st 10% of all curated box sales are being donated to Austin Pets Alive. Just add code DONATE10 at checkout.

There are a couple of samples I’ve tried before that I wouldn’t mind having a second sample size of before I decide whether I want to commit to a full size.  Or that I just want to have around in general. It is definitely worth checking out, especially with 10% going to such a worthy cause. You can find the boxes at the link above or by clicking on the general banner below and following the prompts on the site. The Austin Pets Alive link will take you to their site if you want to look into where the money is going.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Province Apothecary Moisturizing Oil Cleanser, Does it take the day off without stripping the skin?

I enjoy double cleansing.  In fact I really like making a big multistep moment of my skin care.  So many things seem to be streamlined in an effort to save time.  And I get that, time is often a rare commodity.  In many cases I am all for streamlining. 

My skin care isn’t one of them.  While I like when products have more than one benefit, I am leery of products that try to tackle too much. I would rather have an array of skin care items that I use in order, each with its own special focus, than one super powered product that mostly does the job of three products, but only really does one thing well and is sort of meh on the other two.

Plus, I really like the night time ritual of skin care products It is a time to not only calm down and slow down, preparing myself for sleep, but also a small stretch of alone time. Especially now that everyone is spending more time in the house.  A little solitude is a very good thing. In fact I may have been extending some of my nightly skin care rituals to create just a few more minutes of alone time.

I love everyone, I’m just not certain why I’m the only one who knows where everything is located. Alas, it seems I am.

But that is another mystery, now we discuss removing makeup.

So, as I mentioned, I don’t mind double cleansing.  In case you just used a regular face wash ain your routine and are wondering what the point of double cleansing is, the purpose of using a cleansing oil or balm before washing your face isn’t really to completely blitz away the makeup.  It’s job is to break the makeup down so it can more effectively be washed off. 

Then a regular cleanser can be used to not only wash the remnants of the oil and makeup residue, but to actually clean the skin, washing the face instead of washing the foundation. If you’ve ever used just a cleanser and then went in with a cotton round to tone your face and come away with a cotton round covered in foundation, that is one of the reasons why.  Your cleanser needed an enforcer.  Which is the makeup removing oil or balm’s job.

They are the hefty bouncer sending the waterproof mascara and 24 hour foundation out of the door at closing time, even though they don’t want to leave the dance floor.

But what are the claims for the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Oil Cleanser?

Transform your skincare routine with our purifying organic oil cleanser. Use daily to thoroughly remove dirt, make-up, and pollution without disrupting the natural pH of your skin. High in antioxidants and vitamins A, E and omega-3, this cleanser keeps skin well hydrated. The blend of pure plant oils won’t clog pores, dry out skin or cause irritation, making it ideal for all skin types including acne-prone. 

Uses Avocado Oil | A rich, viscous carrier oil that deeply penetrates the skin to fight dryness, dullness and dehydration and Raspberry Seed Oil | Very high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid found to be lacking in the sebum of acneic skin, the oil also works to smooth and replenish the skin’s moisture barrier. 

INGREDIENTS

Sunflower Seed Oil*,  Jojoba oil*, Avocado oil*, Evening Primrose oil*, Raspberry Seed oil*, GMO-free Vitamin E, Rosemary leaf extract, and therapeutic essential oils of Bergamot, Lavender*, Frankincense* and Petitgrain. *Certified organic ingredient.

Province Apothecary website

Over all I found it to be a pretty good cleanser. I like that it is clean and organic. It even won an award.  It was chosen as a Best of Green Beauty 2016 by The Detox Market. When I used it, I dispensed the product into my hands and then rubbed it on my makeup covered face.  Then I went in with my dry Makeup Eraser and wiped off most of the broken down make up before moving on to my cleanser. 

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This cleanser worked well with water proof mascara and pretty much every foundation I tried while using this product. The cleansing oil worked very well with almost all of my lip products.  The only one that defeated it was the Clarins water lip stain in red. 

But as the Clairins stain defeated every product thrown at it including lip scrubs for three whole days regardless of the product, I don’t think that can be held against it.

The moisturizing nature of the oils meant that my face didn’t feel stripped as the make up broke down.  Sunflower seed oil, Jojoba oil and Avocado oil all work really well with my skin so I really shouldn’t be surprised. It didn’t clog my pores or break me out in any way and it washed off without residue.

I have but one issue with this product. 

Scent.

I just don’t like the scent of bergamot. It has been an ongoing issue with me as the scent of bergamot was around my whole life.  I actually used to think I didn’t like tea because my mom loved Earl Gray and it smelled so strongly of bergamot that I couldn’t drink it.  I love black tea, I just can’t stand bergamot. 

Turns out I am not a big fan of it in the cleansing department either.  While I did use this cleanser and enjoyed the effects, the scent was a real struggle for me.  I did finish the bottle and the product did perform well. (unlike the Kylie Cleanser I tried a few weeks back that smelled bad and worked poorly).

While I will not be purchasing this cleanser for me, I do think that I will be picking this up for my mother.  It is a good product.  It works really well, I just can’t get past the scent.  She on the other hand will adore the scent as well as enjoy using the product.

Plus her birthday is coming up and I really like sending her a kind of health, wellness, beauty bundle so she can have a self-care moment with products I know will suit her, but that she might not have tried yet.  As she isn’t going to get her spa day on her birthday this year, I know she will enjoy it more.  Plus, it sort of fits with her bathroom esthetic.  She uses blue glass dispensers for soap, shampoo and conditioner as well in her bathroom.  Between the bergamot and the blue glass this was almost tailor made for her.

Although it is not a product for me, I am glad it came my way as I can now add it to my list of gift giving ideas. While there are always a few standard ‘you can always get me more of this’ products, I always like adding new products to the list. The Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing Oil came to me in a Petit Vour box a few months ago. It wasn’t last month as I will be switching to the oil that came in last month’s box now that this sample has been used up. I think the Province Apothecary was two months ago.

I know it came in with the Ursa Major 3 minute Flash Masks (which are absolutely fantastic). This far I’ve really been liking the Petit Vour selection of products. There have been a couple of duds of course but over all the winners have far out weighed them. I’m still dipping my tow into some of the clean beauty products and learning more each day. It is an entirely different world for me and most of the companies Petit Vour sends I’ve either heard of only in passing or have never heard of so it is especially nice to give them a try. and also one of the reasons I evaluate the products I receive in the box each month is to see if I am still enjoying the box and if it is worth keeping the subscription. Thus far, this subscription has proven worth the price and I can’t wait to see what they send my way next.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

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 Blueberry Bounce from Glow Recipe

Nope my hand is not massive, its another of the travel sizes I’m using in my collection

I picked this up as one of my add-ons for IPSY thinking it would be the perfect size for a short trip and take up much less space in my bag than my regular sized cleanser. Plus I had never tried a Glow Recipe cleanser before and I like to use the travel sized versions to get a feel for a product before I commit to an entire full sized bottle. I find it helps me waste less product. I can try things out on my skin and decide if it is right for me as travel sized products generally have enough inside them to allow me to do just that.

I have a mixed reaction to many Glow recipe products. While they all work well, sometimes the scent gets in the way.  I’ve loved all of the watermelon scented items I’ve tried (both scent wise and product wise) but with the Pineapple serum it was another story.  While that one worked really well and I loved the way it made my skin feel, I just couldn’t get past the scent.  Every sniff told me I was smearing sticky sweet syrup on my face and I just couldn’t take it. So when I picked up the Blueberry Bounce, I was more worried about the scent than how it performed.  So I opened and sniffed.

Would it be sweet as pie or subtle and clean?

The scent was oddly familiar, yet I couldn’t place it. I took a second sniff.  After a moment of thought, I knew exactly what it smelled like. Does anyone remember those Strawberry Shortcake dolls from the 1980s that had a scent to their plastic bodies?  I think it was somehow impressed into the plastic so it had an odd fruity, plastic smell? Well Strawberry Shortcake had a friend named Blueberry Muffin.  This Cleanser smells exactly like that doll, although I think the plastic scent comes from the bottle not the product.

The Skin Store
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I have to admit, I find the scent oddly appealing.  More importantly it isn’t too sweet for me.  I don’t feel bad about using it to get clean. So, now that I know the scent doesn’t bother me, what claims does it make?

This 3-in-1 cleanser functions as a makeup eraser, daily face wash, and a deep clarifying mask too. It’s got a totally unique texture—a light, bouncy gel that builds into hydrating, micro-foaming bubbles that deeply cleanse without over-drying your skin. Once you rinse, your face will feel supple, not stripped of moisture. It’s loaded with antioxidant-rich blueberry extract to protect skin and soothe inflammation. A mix of gentle exfoliating acids get rid of dead skin cells for clearer skin and smaller pores. This clean formula is free from parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, and synthetic dyes.

Skincare RX
https://www.skincarerx.com/offer/all.list

I can say right away, it does have an odd gel like texture. The gel sort of melts a little in your hand, but never really becomes a liquid. I suppose it might if you hold it a long time, but I don’t know why you would hold it that long.

On the face, it became more soapy than foamy which I guess is what they are calling mirco foaming. It washed my face well and rinsed off without leaving a residue on the skin.  When I used it after removing my makeup, it was a nice gentle cleanser.  It performed well.

When I tried using the cleanser with make-up on however, the cleanser did well with face make up, leaving only a little behind, but it was not very good with mascara or darker red lipstick. To get those off I had to go back in with my cleansing balm. It is a very good gentle cleanser and I think if you wanted to wash your face after the gym before applying makeup just to get the sweat off without stripping the skin, it would be a good product to use. 

Since I am at the gym a lot these days, that does make it quite useful to me. Well I was at the gym a lot. Now I am sweating while walking outside, so it will still be used post workout, just in a slightly different way.

As a primary cleanser, I have to say it leaves too much makeup behind for me to use unless I am double cleansing. While I’m always happy to find another product that can be added to my gym bag, for when the gym reopens, I’m afraid that this probably won’t be joining my daily skin care team.


Sunny citrus morning cleanse? Yes Please.

Malin+Goetz Grapefruit face cleanser

I have always associated citrus with clean.  Growing up there was orange oil polish, lemon scented pledge and I still use the homemade citrus all-purpose household cleaner I grew up with.  In case you are wondering, when you are finished squeezing your citrus, whether they are lemons, limes, oranges or anything else of that variety, you take the squeezed out fruit, place it in a glass jar and cover it with vinegar so the fruit oils can soak in.  Once it does, you have a cleaner.

Don’t worry at the moment due to pandemic protocols my jar is remaining under the cabinet in favor of the more industrial variety.

Regardless I associate citrus with clean.

So when Malin+Goetz sent over a bottle of their Grapefruit face cleanser (retail $36) for me to review, I was very excited.  I really like Malin+ Goetz.  Personally I don’t think you see enough of their products being talked about.  Everything I have ever tried of theirs has been top notch.  I really liked the fig scented perfume I received as one of my Scentbird perfumes a few months back and so I had high hopes for this cleanser. I know a lot of folks worry about citrus juice in skin care as it can be acidic, but a cleanser is the perfect place for it as it doesn’t sit on your skin long enough to be a concern. So I personally enjoy it.

According to their product page…

Our gentle foaming cleansing gel balances skin with natural grapefruit extract and amino acid-based cleansing agents. This hydrating formula gently but thoroughly cleanses skin of dirt, oil and makeup. Rinses free of residue, eliminating the need for a toner. Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive. Natural fragrance and color.

Shop now! Grapefruit Face Cleanser

While I do adore my Dr. Thayer’s Rose Petal toner, I set it aside while I put this product to the test. While it does claim to thoroughly cleanse the skin of makeup, it isn’t really a set makeup remover.  Still, as with all cleanser tests I tried it with a full face of makeup first. 

cleanser in hand

I have to say it did really well.  I ended up with only a small smudge of eyeliner and the rest of my makeup was pretty well dissolved.  I did notice to get the full face of makeup off, I had to use a bit more product than I normally would when doing a double cleanse.  I really think this product shines in a double cleanse routine though. 

A lot of makeup removing balms leave a greasy residue on the skin.  This cleanser took that off and eliminated any make up the initial remover left behind. while I didn’t use my toner, I did the cotton round test and it came away clean. There was no harsh scrubbing with this product (especially in a double cleanse) and I needed only a little product.  My skin felt soft and not stripped and there was that great grapefruit-y scent that made my brain think I was extra clean. I found it a very nice product in the morning where citrus is also a wake up and get moving scent. 

enjoy 10% off your first order + free shipping with code MGWELCOME at MALIN+GOETZ.

cleanser on face

When on the face it is slightly sudsy. I applied it to damp skin in the photo . However after applying it I splashed more water and it lathered up nicely. The suds foamed and rinsed away taking all of the remaining dirt, sweat and makeup with them. I am extra appreciative of the sweat removal as I have started doing my workouts again, this time at home. Once again I am sweating so I do find I need a mid day rinse of the face as well as the full morning and night cleanse. This product works well in that capacity. I only used a thumbnail sized portion of product mid day when I was just too sweaty not to wash my face and it worked really well without stipping the skin or making me overly cleansed. My skin had absolutely no problems with this cleanser. I’m fairly certain that when I start going back to the gym, I will be picking up a travel sized bottle of the Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser to go with me. I think it will be a wonderful addition to my gym bag.

The bottle is a plain squeeze bottle with very simple and direct instructions.  On a shelf I can see why some people pass it by for flashier packaging.  But this is one time you need to look past the cover to see the book inside.   It isn’t the flashiest package on the shelf, but it is a great product that does exactly what it claims to do and then just a little bit more. If I were to change anything, I would give it a pump instead of leaving it as a squeeze bottle so that it is easier to dispense with wet and possibly oil slick hands.  But that is a minor tweak and I am happy to use it as it is.  In fact now, given the surrounding gloom and doom fo multiple waves of thunderstorms and news reports, I enjoy the sunshiny brightness of the grapefruit scent just a little bit more in my mornings. I am definitely going to have to look into more of the Malin+Goetz product line.  They are well worth talking about.

Malin+Goetz

Branching out with Rose and Kombucha in a face wash

Pacifica Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash

I’ll be honest the thought of Rose and Kombucha wasn’t all that appealing to me when thinking of a face wash.  While I like the scent of rose, it is often over powering and I was hesitant about the fermented tea. However when I placed my order with Pacifica, using a gift certificate I was gifted by the company, a travel sized (1.4 fl oz) of the Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash was one of the gifts with purchase that came with a $50 order.  I figured it was the perfect way to try something new and so I picked it up with my order.

10% off sitewide at Pacifica Beauty. Valid 3/16-3/31. Shop Now!

 My thinking was that it was a trial sized tube so even if I didn’t like it, there wouldn’t be much waste to the product. Incidentally, the full sized version of this product is 5.0 ounces and retails for $10. As I am always looking for good , affordable products, especially in face wash as I go through so much of it, I was very interested to try it.

But first, we look at the claims.

Disobey time with the power of flowers and fermented tea in Pacifica’s Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash. One of the best defenses against aging is clean skin, it gently removes makeup, oil and impurities. This light-foaming, sulfate-free cleanser balances and refreshes skin – helping to achieve an absolutely luminous complexion at any age.

100 percent vegan and cruelty free. Shop now at PacificaBeauty.com!

For those that are unfamiliar with Pacifica, they are 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free.  Their products are formulated without  Animal testing, Animal ingredients, Parabens, Phthalates,  Mineral oil, Sulfates, Synthetic fragrances, and Petroleum.

Given that there is rose listed on the ingredients and it is usually the synthetic rose scent that becomes overpowering, I was more relieved than usual to see there were no synthetic fragrances in this face wash.  Oh and the face wash is designated for all skin types so I didn’t have to figure out if I was in the target range for the product, which I kind of like.

My skin typically falls into the normal/combination area with more oil in the T-zone, but I am dryer in the winter and oilier in the summer.  The curse of so called “normal” skin is that it’s like standing in the center of a moving teeter totter while temperature and humidity play. If the weather is perfectly balanced so is my skin. At this time of year, it seems to change daily so I have products for  both shifts, oily and dry, in my bathroom.  For all skin types is generally a relief to see on a label when the weather hasn’t actually committed to a season.

So to the testing.  Because this face wash claims to remove makeup I put it to the test and tried it once on its own on a full face of makeup, then I tried it as the second act in a double cleanse routine.  Now usually I have issues with mascara coming off, but I have to say this worked really well in taking off more mascara than most.  There was a slight smudge under the eyes but not as much as usual.  A quick single wipe with the Makeup eraser took care of it with no rubbing.  In case you are wondering, I am currently oscillating between two mascaras at the moment.  One is the Pretty Vulgar Feathers Mascara and the other is the Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Wow Wings.  I like both and will be posting a mascara review soon. I just mention it here so you know the products the Pacifica Rose and Kombutcha Flower Powered Face Wash was able to take down.

not a lot of product is needed

I suppose I rather jumped to the use in that.  To back track a little, it is a creamy pearly face wash and the scent is interesting.  There is the hint of rose but it only really serves to mitigate the scent of the kombucha.  It smells like tea more than anything else but it is not a heavy fragrance.  Personally I found it a pleasant one, especially in the mornings.

The cleanser did foam on the face but it wasn’t massive foaming, just enough suds to let you know it was working.  It rinsed off clean, and as mentioned above, took off most of my makeup. My skin felt clean but not stripped and it worked for me no matter which way the weather shifted my skin.

Over all it was very positive experience.  I know I sound a little surprised but this was not a cleanser I would have picked up on my own.  I am really glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something I thought I would more than likely not like.  It turns out I liked it a lot.  I also like the fact that while I can order it on line, I can also pick it up at Target if I run out of cleanser and need to pick something up.  I really like having a list of products I can simply pick up if I forget to reorder.  This is certainly going on that list.

If you are interested I have a code you can use to get a bit of a discount.  It is MIMSY15 and I get nothing if you use it so feel free to use it to your heart’s content. It is just for you. They are also having a bit of a sale at the moment so you can add the discounts together.  It is currently 10% off with no code if you want to check it out.

Pacifica Beauty

Cleaning up with Versed Cleansing Balm

The jar of Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

I’ll admit, it took me a little while to warm to this cleansing balm. The scent is slightly reminiscent of Vicks Vapor rub which made me feel as though I was misusing the balm at first. It is a light scent and quickly dissipates. So I opened the jar and then waited a moment and the scent was faded enough not to be a concern.

I picked it up because I really enjoy a double cleanse and I had several friends who were raving about it. When I was perusing the shelves at Target, I saw it and thought , ‘I’m almost out of cleansing balm,’ so I bought it.

I know, I can feel your jealousy of my shopping prowess and foresite.

So home I went.

Then I looked up the product while using the last of my Farmacy Cleansing Balm. (That jar is now a gold DIY planter, if you remember an earlier post). According to the Versed Website product page…

From the moment you twist open the cap, this cleansing balm smells like a spa. That’s the eucalyptus and clove leaf oil—not artificial fragrance. This face wash in balm form melts away makeup and impurities without stripping moisture from your skin (thank you, vitamin E). As you massage it into your skin with wet fingertips, the oil-based formula softens to create a light, gentle milk that rinses clean with no oily residue (the kind that may have turned you off from cleansing balms in the past). Don’t forget to wash into your hairline and along your jawline. Those often-overlooked areas are prone to breakouts. It’s the perfect start to your PM wind-down ritual and especially useful as a first cleanse for you double-cleansers out there.

Okay as I’ve said before, I love a double cleanse. I love knowing that by the time I get to my toner, the cotton round is merely adding toner to my face and not taking away the last of my makeup residue. When I am testing out regular cleansers, I test them first without any other products, then only with my Makeup Eraser and then in conjunction with a cleansing balm. Just in case you were wondering.

As I already mentioned, my first whiff of this cleanser reminded me of Vicks Vapor Rub, which I’m blaming on the eucalyptus. It’s not a bad scent, but not my favorite. It does however go away quickly and is easily forgotten. If you love the scent you can stick your nose in and inhale. My mom loves the scent of Vicks and will use any opportunity to smear it on the throat, chest and under her nose. I always put together a Birthday Beauty Bag for her with fun Beauty products she might not have picked up on her own, but that I think she might have fun playing with and come September I will be picking up a jar of this Versed Day Dissolve to put in her bag.

Shop Versed’s Cleansing Balm online starting at $7.99! Free Shipping on all orders $35+!

You know until I started writing these posts, I really didn’t realize how scent oriented I actually was.

Weird huh?

But moving on, because even I know scent isn’t everything.

I first tried this product as directed. I used wet fingertips to massage it into my skin. I was fine until I got to the eye area. Face products, gone, lipstick melted into a red haze that made me look like I’d been making out with a circus clown after far too much to drink, yup. It worked super well on all of it. And I will say that it took off eye makeup in a snap as well.

The problem was the wet fingers.

Let me explain. I wear contacts. In fact I am blind as a bat without them. Typically I put my contacts in before applying makeup and take them out after I’ve removed my makeup. My general habit it to remove my makeup at the end of the day, wash my face and then spend an hour or two doing wind down things, checking the following day’s schedule, figuring out if I actually have clean socks or if I will be wearing sandals in the snow, that sort of thing. Then I take out my contacts and apply the serums, oils and night creams I wear before bed.

With the wet fingers, small, nay miniscule, bits of the cleansing balm were sliding into the corners of my eyes as I was removing mascara and I ended up with small blurry spots on my contacts. It took a surprising amount of effort to get the cleansing balm off the contacts. I think because while an excellent product, saline solution isn’t really designed for removing oil. My contacts are disposable so it was actually easier to replace them rather than scrub them.

But since I really liked the cleansing balm for its cleansing ability and the soft skin it left behind post cleanse, I had a good think about it and decided to try something out. I used dry fingers and started by removing my eye make-up. I rubbed and the makeup melted, even the mascara. then to make sure it was just the balm removing the makeup and not the Makeup Eraser, I used a plain dry washcloth to wipe off the oil from around the eye area. It went off super easily and took all the eye makeup with it.

One eye on, one eye off using the dry method

Then I wet my fingers and took down the rest of my face.

Makeup all gone

That was really my only complaint with the product and really, it was insanely easy to solve. I would suggest using something like a Makeup Eraser or a Halo pad or something to wipe off the oil and melted makeup rather than a washcloth. Unless you keep a washcloth that you don’t mind getting stained with eye makeup. While most makeup washes out pretty easily, once you get eyeshadow glitter in the washcloth fibers it sticks around through multiple washes and months of use, returning when you least expect it. The other day my babydoll heaved a heavy sigh and asked why there was now glitter in his beard from a washcloth he took from the linen cupboard. So I’m trying to get better about keeping things seperate.

Makeup Eraser:

20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE! Use code: ECOFRIENDLY20

So would I recommend this product?

Yes, I would. My only real issue was with my contacts and that was solved by starting with eye make up removal and dry fingers. Also using a dry cloth to wipe the oil away so when you wash off the rest, nothing flows in. I should also point out there was absolutely no pain or discomfort when it did wash into my eye, just a little blurry spot on my contact lens. If you don’t wear contacts, you will have no problem. And if you keep the eyes dry, again no problem. It melts makeup away, leaves your skin super soft from the Vitamin E, and doesn’t require any harsh scrubbing. I picked up my 2.3 oz / 67 g jar at Target for $17.99 which considering the cost of many other cleansing balms and the amount of product you get in this jar, makes it a really good deal. Very little product is used each night so it will last a really long time. I used less than a thumbnail’s size of product to take down all of my makeup. While I will be repurchasing this sometime in the future for myself, I feel really good about adding it to my Mother’s Birthday Beauty Bag as well. not only will she really love the scent, but I know she will like the way it works as well.


Toners 728x90

In the Garden: Using the Empties for more than just review and trash

In the past year or so, I’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos regarding ’empties’. For those unfamiliar with this, an empties video is essentially a person keeping all of the empty containers from the products (skincare, bath, makeup, and so forth) that they use and then once they have collected enough, they make a video going back over the containers to talk over their experience with the product and if they would buy it again.

For some it seems to be a final review of the product because they only made a first impressions video and for others it seems to be a way for them to commit to emptying a container rather than allowing product to go bad.

I like both of these ideas actually as at the end of a product’s use a person can really get a sense of if that product is worth repurchasing and I hate letting products go to waste. Incidentally, that is why I haven’t posted a moisturizer review in a little while. I had a couple of open products I liked and wanted to use up before I opened any more. There will be more skin care reviews coming soon as my last open jar is almost empty.

So I started collecting my empties thinking that I would challenge myself to finish some products before greedily opening new ones and thus give myself a more in depth feeling for many of them.

The problem is that I am a gardener.

And at this time of year, my thoughts start to slide in that direction automatically as I order seeds and begin to grow them into plants capable of surviving outside after the last frost.

I don’t know what people typically do with their empties once their video is uploaded. I suspect the trash or recycling bin. I put my empties in a small bin under my sink while collecting them. Well, technically to the side of my sink as it is a pedestal. So I see it every day. And I kept looking at them and various ideas started to circle in my head. As I get ready to start my early seeds in my green house a couple of ideas solidified.

And so today you get more of a DIY project than anything else. While I pulled both the Dermelect and the Farmacy containers from my empties bin, both products I would happily repurchase bu the way, my project concentrated on the Farmacy jar.

The jar is plastic and has a double walled bottom and a screw on lid. Simply put, I peeled off the label and washed the container really well so that no product remained inside and no glue remained from the label. Then I turned it upside down and used a dremel to drill a few holes in the bottom of the jar.

As a warning if you are doing this, the double bottom means there is a slight jerk in the drill between the first and second layers of bottom. There is just enough space between the two layers that you feel the drill bit drop. It isn’t a big deal just something to keep in mind so you don’t drop the drill.

Once I had drainage holes in the bottom I took the lid and drilled a hole in either side of the jar lid so that excess moisture could drain instead of sitting and becoming stagnant.

I then glued the lid to the bottom of the jar, open side facing the bottom of the container so the flat surface is against the wood of the window sill when I set the small planter out in the sun. The holes in the bottom of the jar allow for drainage and the lid on the bottom makes sure that any over watering doesn’t hit the window sill. It is like one of those plastic shields that you put under house plants.

The lid glued to the bottom of the jar. It is perfect because the lid is smaller than the bottom of the container and so makes a pleasing shape when glued together.

Then as I had a can of gold spray paint in the shed, I spray painted the whole thing gold and let it dry. Once dry, I planted a slow growing succulent inside. When it flowers, the flowers are a bright almost fuschia pink with yellow gold centers so I think it will look good in the gold painted pot.

I’m fairly certain this isn’t where most empties videos lead and I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Farmacy intended for their containers, but it did turn out fairly well. The product inside was excellent and one I will definitely repurchase. I will probably also empty that container and turn it into another planter. Maybe black next time to contrast with the gold. And possibly with something long and slender growing in it rather than a short and wide variety of succulent.

While the container served its original purpose well, it is sturdy enough to have a new life and I personally feel better about not just chucking it in the recycling bin when it is empty. And yes, I have a plan for the empty tubes as well. I just need to wait until there are enough of them to pull it off.

But that is a project for somewhere down the road.


Quick reminder, the Annual Smashwords Read an E-book Week Sale is still going on (March 1-7). My books are 50% off with some even being free. You can find them buy clicking this link or go to the main page to look for other new authors here.


Taking it off with MAC Cleanse Off Oil

I know, the clear glass and the small size jumble the letters, The camera only wanted to focus on the back letters.

When I think of MAC Cosmetics, I think of lipstick.  Mostly that is due to my own lipstick addiction, not their marketing. I used to save up to buy one of their lipsticks.  Then I would spend hours agonizing over exactly which color I wanted to buy.  While I was deciding I would pamper my lips so that when I did make my choice the product find a smooth canvas ready for application. Once the purchase was made I would then use the lipstick down to a nub. I then used a lipstick brush on the remaining nub until it could no longer be used.

Then the process would begin again.

With a different color.

Oddly, you can actually use the lip color to group photographs of me even if you don’t have the date the picture was actually taken. Just match the lips and you’ll have a pretty accurate gauge.  

Makeup on at the end of the day

While I knew MAC made more than lipsticks, this was my focus.  Gradually the comments of friends regarding other products filtered through my brain and I learned that they made a makeup remover. It should not surprise me that a company that puts makeup on the face should have a product to remove it, as that is logical and even expected. Somehow it still took me by surprise. 

The MAC Cleanse Off Oil (retail $33, and the official site has much better images of the product) has a very simple product description.  It is…

Makeup off without even a mascara smear (before wiping off excess oil)

…an industry-strength oil-based makeup remover that’s gentle on the skin

Super simple and to the point.  While I often praise the marketing industry in talking me into trying new perfumes, in a cleanser, I actually appreciate the straightforward description.  I like knowing what to expect.

Recently I’ve been using cleansing balms to remove makeup.  I just finished a jar of Farmacy’s version and I have been working on a jar of Versed’s cleansing balm (I will be posting a review next week).  It has been a while since I used a liquid oil based makeup remover.  Uncertain how I would like it, I picked up a small sample size to try. To be honest, I regret not buying the full sized version. But we will get to that in a moment.

Moistened cotton round, pre face wipe (Yeah I know the nail polish is awful, I removed it right after)

First, to keep the product from absorbing into a cotton round, I poured a little dab of the oil into my hand and then rubbed it on my face full of makeup.  The makeup simply melted away and I used a clean washcloth to wipe off the residue and the oil.  Even mascara was gone.  I then used a cotton round with toner to see what might be left behind that I couldn’t see and you can see the before and after photos of the cotton round.  The first is clean with a bit of toner on it and the other is post face wipe.

After wiping down my face post cleanse

As you can see, there is little left on the cotton round. Most of what is on the cotton round is due to damp wear from rubbing on my skin. My skin felt clean, but not stripped, which I believe is their basic claim.

Removal of makeup? Check

Gentle on the skin? Check. 

I used a mild cleanser not designed for makeup remover (I have several at this point) to take off the last of the oil and my skin felt fantastic. 

There is one extra benefit to the cleanser.  I wear contacts and I don’t always remove them before I wash my face.  Partially, because I am blind as a bat without them and me trying to work with products with my contacts out is really just sort of a bad sketch comedy.

With cleansing balms I have noticed that when I remove my eye makeup I often have blurry spots on my contacts from the cleansing balm seeping in around the edges of my eyes. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but I do have to remove the contacts and clean them, then put them back in.

I did not have this problem with the MAC product.  I used it every day for a week and never once had that problem. I’m not certain if it is due to the consistency of the cleansing balms verses the oil, or the formulation of the product itself, but I really liked it.

Like I said earlier, I picked up a very small sample to try, just to see if I liked it. 0.2 fluid ounces small to be exact. (Inside I was thinking, oh it’s one of those old fashioned oils that leaves me greasy and just makes the mascara run. I’ll try it just to try it and move on.’ I offer MAC my sincerest apologies for my preconceived notions.)

Because I used my hands to apply it rather than something absorbent (like cotton, not that my skin isn’t absorbent it just didn’t have time to take the product in) I needed very little of the oil.  After a week of using the make-up remover once a day, I still have enough product left for a few more days. Maybe not another full week, but close. As the full sized bottle is 5 fluid ounces I know it would last a while, at least for me, making the $33 for the full retail price, not an unreasonable sum.

I have often regretted buying a full sized version of something instead of the trial sized, but this may be the first time I picked up the trial sized and regret not picking up the full. I really liked this makeup remover and I think it is a good one to have on hand. While many cleansers claim make up removing capabilities these days it seems strange to have a separate cleansing oil, but in some cases those cleansers fall flat especially when up against mascara and it is good to have a backup.  This has certainly earned a space on my bathroom shelf.


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