Petit Vour September Unboxing

Petit Vour is a clean and Vegan Beauty Box subscription with a monthly price of $18. They also have a Petit Vour Plus Subscription for $25 a month.  The regular Petit Vour Box (which I subscribe to) offers four to five products per month with the products worth over $50 each month.  You can get the subscription price lowered to $15 per month with an yearlong subscription. (the Petit Vour Plus box has five to seven travel and full size products with a value of $100 or more each month.)

Oddly, I think the Petit Vour Plus subscription might end up being an almost direct comparison to the new version of the Allure Beauty box that is coming out in October.  Allure isn’t guaranteed clean and vegan of course but the products and price might end up being comparable.  I’ll have to check into that as Allure gets going. But that is for future debate – and would require I have a Petit Vour Box to compare it to. 

And I am subscribed to the regular Petit Vour Box.  Thus far I have really enjoyed each box I’ve received so let’s see what I received this month to try out.

The first item in the September box is the Shine on Stick from KVOSS (retail $28).  It looks like it is full sized.  If it isn’t then the full sized one must be enormous because this looks full size to me.  It is a creamy highlighting stick in a golden shade. I’ve had cream highlighters before but they weren’t in a stick.  This should be fun to play around with. While the highlight is just streaked across my hand for the photo, I blended it out with my finger and it melted beautifully into the skin showing a more subtle glow instead of the gold streak.

I also like that there is a makeup item in this one.  While I am testing out more and more clean and vegan skincare, trying out clean makeup is a bit of a more daunting task. I’ve picked up several products that were just not good for me and I have also found a couple fabulous ones.  Because I don’t know how I will react to some of the changed formulas I like getting them in beauty boxes so I can try them out before committing to a full size.  It is far less wasteful that way of both product and money.

Moving on there are two products from Goldfaden, MD in this month’s box.  The first is the Needleless Smoothing Face Serum (retail $14).  It is supposed to plump skin and prevent fine line depth in a non-invasive way.  The second is the Detox Hydrating Gel (retail $10) which is described as a moisturizer that detoxes congested skin. 

I have to say both products sound intriguing.  I tried the Goldfaden, MD exfoliating scrub and found it a little too harsh for me to use more than once a month.  If I did use it once a month it worked really well.  More than that was overkill for the product. 

I also have a serum that came in this month’s IPSY bag from Goldfadden, MD that I need to try.  At the moment I am testing out several Timeless Skincare Products.  Perhaps when I am done I will give the a brand trial. I certainly seem to be collecting enough products to at least try it.

The next item is the Pa’akai Cleansing Cream (retail $12).  I have to admit, I have seen this around and been curious about it.  I have never tried the brand but I see them tucked into various places all the time. And a cream cleanser with Hawaiian salt, hibiscus and seaweed does sound quite unique.

Speaking of seaweed, the final item is from the Seaweed Bath Co and it is the Firming Detox Body Cream (retail $4).  It is skin plumping so maybe it will help with my stretch marks.  Either way it looks interesting and I am willing to give it a go.

While there is no set theme for these boxes this month seemed to have an underlying theme of detoxification. With the exception of the highlighter pretty much every item in the box had the words repair, renew or detox in the description.  Apparently someone at Petit Vour Central realized that after the brutal summer we all suffered though we could all use a little self restoration. I can get behind that. It feels like this summer took a lot more out of me than I expected.

I have to say, this, for me was a really good box. The value ended up being $68 which is more than they promised which I like.  Plus they are all products I am going to enjoy trying out. If you are just starting to dip your toe into the clean beauty scene as I am you might want to take a look at the Petit Vour Box.  Through them I have managed to find several products I would never have tried on my own but now will actively seek out.  Almost as important I have tried things that I thought would be absolutely fabulous, but turned out, weren’t for me (although occasionally I find they are for someone else and I end up adding to my gift idea list).  To me that has equal value.

At the moment in addition to their regular subscription Boxes, Petit Vour has several curated boxes available.  Not only can you get some fun and fabulous products but 10% of box sales go to Austin Pets Alive. Just use code DONATE10 when you check out.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

A healthy Setting Spray? Beginning the Timeless HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 and Cucumber Extract Trial

Timeless Skincare HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 and Cucumber extract

I recently had a lovely conversation with a five year old about acids.  Well, mostly it was about Mr. Yuk stickers from my childhood, which apparently they don’t put on things any more.  In case you want a very fun throwback (or if Mr. Yuk was not a part of your childhood) you can still watch the Mr. Yuk commercials on You Tube. As a warning, they may haunt you.

I used to have a Mr. Yuk T-shirt which is what prompted the conversation.  I really need to get that replaced. I wonder if they still sell them?

Regardless, we talked about Mr. Yuk stickers and household poisons.  And how I put Mr. Yuk stickers on the cookie jar so my brother wouldn’t eat them. Then I had to explain the time honored tradition of sibling torture to an only child.

And then came the questions about acid.

“You spray acid on your FACE?” (I would suggest reading that with the scrunched up face full of incredulity and slight admiration of a five year old – go for shocked respect if you would please, thank you.)

This was then followed by a conversation about how I was not attempting to become a comic book super villain. Which oddly enough took longer than I thought it would. I apparently make a pretty convincing potential villain to a five year old.  Of course then she wanted to know if villains had apprentices. 

There is a reason this kid and I get along so well.

The ‘Acid Spray’ in question, which is not turning me into a super villain, is the Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Spray with Matrixyl 3000 + cucumber extract.  It was gifted to me by Timeless Skincare to try out and review.They sent over several products for me to try and review. All the thoughts on them are my own.

The Timeless Skin Products I will be reviewing in the coming weeks.

But first, so that no one else thinks I am attempting a Joker style transformation, what is hyaluronic acid? According to Very Well Health (who are far more science oriented than I am…

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the skin, connective tissues, eyes, and joints. It helps give structure to the skin, repairs tissue, and lubricates the joints.

Hyaluronic acid isn’t just a substance that encircles your skin cells. It’s vital in keeping the skin hydrated. Hyaluronic acid attracts water from within the dermis and moves it along to the skin surface, the epidermis. Hyaluronic acid and other glycosaminoglycans also play a role in skin elasticity and tone, cell metabolism, regeneration, and healing. Because it has “acid” in its name, it’s often mistaken for an exfoliating ingredient, much like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. However, hyaluronic acid has little in common with alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids such as these.

verywellhealth.com

Which basically means that instead of exfoliating my skin (and/or turning me into the Joker) it is actually helping to keep skin moisturized and healthy.  While everyone produces a form of this naturally, it is always nice to have extra, especially as natural production decreases with age.

The HA Spray

So now that we know a little about Hyaluronic acid, let’s find out what this HA spray from Timeless Skincare is supposed to do. According to the Timeless Skincare website it is…

The perfect pick me up for your skin! Our Hydrating Sprays instantly absorbs to give tired, dull and dry skin a boost. This lighter version of our best-selling Hyaluronic Acid Serums includes Matrixyl 3000 + Aloe Barbadensis to re-hydrate, soothe and protect throughout the day.

Infused with refreshing Cucumber to awaken the senses, this one is a favorite for Spring! Instantly hydrates and refreshes skin, Provides protection from the environment, Helps refresh your makeup during the day

Matrixyl 3000™, a potent anti-wrinkle complex containing polypeptides that helps repair aging skin and protect it from environmental damage, is blended with Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and help retain optimal moisture levels. Aloe and Cucumber help soothe, calm and refresh the skin. Can also be used as a makeup finishing spray.

Guaranteed fresh and effective for 2 years from the date of purchase. Can be applied to skin anywhere on the body! Timeless Skin is always: Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, has more actives, less chemicals and is Made in the USA.

Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Calcium Pantothenate, Matrixyl 3000, Cucumber Extract, Phenoxyethanol.

Timeless Skincare Website

When Timeless Skincare sent a package to me they had two separate serums.  One was the best-selling Hyaluronic Acid Serums and the other was a serum infused with vitamin C.  I like to rotate products in to make sure I get a fair assessment without freaking my skin out with an entirely new regime and so I can figure out what they are doing on their own. 

The matching Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I started with the Hyaluronic Acid Serum test first, This Friday I will have used the serum for three entire weeks.  I like to use a product for a month before reviewing (if possible) so I have been taking notes and will post my review September 21st at the end of the four weeks. After a week of just the HA Serum I rotated in the Timeless Skincare 100% pure Squalane oil (the results of its month long trial will post on September 28th).  Once I knew how these two reacted to each other I added in the HA spray and have been using it for a week.  Once the HA serum has passed a month long trial I will be rotating the Vitamin C +Ferulic Acid serum in to see how it performs with the others.

Now I know some of you are reading that and thinking, well that makes sense Mimsy, but shouldn’t you be waiting another three weeks to talk about the HA Spray?

Yes and no.

After a month of use I will be posting a full review of the spray, however there is a line in the description that you might have caught.  The line is ‘Can be used as a makeup finishing spray.’

For those who routinely read my posts you know each week I pack a makeup bag full of products and take it from my dressing table to the bathroom where I get ready in the morning and those are the products I use for the week and then report back on each Friday. For a while I was trying to use up an older setting spray, which I did.  Since I needed to replace it, I went ahead and rotated this into my makeup bag. It will spend the full month in the Makeup bag.  I used it this week to set my makeup and I used it periodically to refresh my makeup and my skin.

So while there will still be a post thirty days review for the spray, there will also be a weekly mention of it, so I thought I would start with a separate post. Kind of a Thus Far… sort of posting.

And thus far, I am in love with this spray.

First off is the scent. I know, with me it’s always first with the scent. It smells like cucumbers.  I know that shouldn’t be a big surprise given it’s ingredient list. But it smells like the water you get at a spa. Using it after I put on my makeup makes me sort of feel as though I have just left a spa. And that is not a bad feeling to have.

Although for those of you not interested in cucumber scent, this spray does come in several other scents including lavender, orange, and rose. I am however using the cucumber so that is the one whose scent I know. it is light and crisply scented.

Second, it is a really good setting spray. I believe that all of the ingredients designed to lock in moisture also help keep the makeup products locked down. I’m sure there is another more scientific explanation, but the end result is that it works well as a makeup spray.

Third, it is super refreshing.  I am working out but no longer in the comfort of the gym.  Which means the sweat factor has doubled at the minimum.  It also means the sun is a more prominent feature in my day as a lot of my exercise is done in the out of doors.  While I am layering on the sunblock, the sun and humidity often make me feel sticky and kinda gross even after I’ve rinsed off.  The spray with its very fine mist and cucumber scent makes me feel refreshed.

Fourth, I really like having a setting spray that is skincare oriented.  If you’ve ever read the ingredient lists of setting sprays you start to realize that a lot of them contain things that aren’t especially good for your skin.  They lock in makeup in much the same manner as shellac locks in paint. Even though I am very guilty of just using whatever setting spray keeps my makeup in place the longest, I always kinda feel bad about using it.  And if my skin is breaking out, I tend to avoid the setting spray. Since this is more skin care oriented, that is not an issue. 

Plus, I have noticed that some of my break outs have been getting better more rapidly than I expected them to. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a miracle, it isn’t instant healing in a spray (although seriously how cool would that be?) It could be that it is not irritating the break outs so they are healing faster. Either way, go skin care based setting spray!

Fifth, applying it is sort of a backup for my serum.  The serum gets applied before makeup and after cleansing.  The HA Spray is applied after makeup and during the day. It’s sort of like sending in reinforcements to the front line troops. I can get down with that.

Sixth, I’m going to have to add in a comment about price.  Setting sprays generally are found ranging between $15 – $30 unless you are going with a drugstore product.  If you add in skincare benefits the price generally goes up. This HA Spray w Matrixyl 3000 + Cucumber Extract is $17.95 on the Timeless Skin website. That means that if nothing else, it is a good for your skin setting spray that works and is priced on the low end of the spectrum.

While I will save any mention of visible skin care benefits for the final review after a month long trial (mostly because it takes about 30 days to see benefits in most skin care products), it will be a part of my weekly Makeup Bag post for the duration of the trial. So you essentially get to follow along with weekly updates. This post is how I feel about this product based on one week of use. And Again, while this product was gifted to me by Timeless Skincare, the opinions are all my own.

For those of you who are curious about Timeless skin and aren’t certain what sort of products you might like to try (all of their products are as reasonably priced as their HA Spray), they have a skin care quiz that you can take to identify which products might suit your individual needs. Personally I love taking skin care quizzes on sited to see what sort of products are recommended. But maybe that’s just me.

I think it will be interesting to see how my thoughts change as I use it. For now, I really like it as a setting spray without harmful ingredients, and am hoping to see actual skin care results as I push forward.  Stay tuned.

Petit Vour August 2020 Unboxing

Petit Vour is a monthly subscription box that focuses on non-toxic and plant-based beauty.  The box is $18 per month (or as low as $15 if you get a yearly subscription) and each month subscribers receive four products in a box always valued over $50.  This is a newer subscription for me and I have to say, thus far, I have really been liking it.

The products included have all been quality products and to be honest, they are not ones I would have picked up on my own.  Some simply because I haven’t heard of them and others because I passed them by thinking I might try them at some later date. 

Not only have I found a couple of products I definitely plan to repurchase, but through this service I have found several companies, I didn’t know existed.  While the products in the box may or may not end up being on my repurchase list, I have been able to place several companies who focus on producing clean beauty products on my radar and will be trying out other products they produce at a later date. 

One more thing about this box, and it may be an odd thing to state, but with the exception of the strip of mailing tape designed to keep the box sealed in the mail (and which is easily removed from the package) I can cut this box into pieces and, along with the undyed little paper fuzzies used for packing material, add all of the outer package to my compost bin. I cut it up so it decomposes faster. I know that sounds odd, but because of their packaging choices I don’t have to throw away the box and packing material or send it out to be recycled. Given how much care they took on the inside, I appreciate them doing the same on the outside.

So when I saw that my Petit Vour Box was in my mailbox today, I was very excited.  I also have to say that more than most, this box is always a complete surprise to me.  While spoilers for other subscription boxes are hard to avoid, this one seems to fly below the radar, at least for me. Maybe I just miss them, I don’t know. This month I didn’t see a single spoiler for the August box so the entire thing is a complete surprise.

Yes, you may insert excited giggles here.

So let’s see what August’s box holds.

It is still sealed so that I won’t accidentally open it until I am ready yo use it.

This month apparently there are five items instead of four.  The first is a Lengthening Organic Mascara from Harvest natural Beauty (retail $18).  While I have never tried anything from Harvest Natural beauty and never tried any natural mascara that I am aware of, I am always happy to have a new mascara on hand. 

I am almost at the end of several mascaras and so will be purging some from my dressing table at the end of the month (because they are getting a bit old). So I will set this aside and wait for a little while before opening it, but it will make a visit to my weekly makeup bag in the near future. Then there shall be a detailed accounting.

Now I have heard of AKAR Skin before. I tried an eye cream sample and I remember absolutely loving it but it was so long ago that I can’t really remember the details. It was also before I began reviewing products so I don’t have notes to go back to either. I automatically made the ooh sound when I saw the brand name so I know my association with the brand is a positive one. The Balance Toning Mist (retail $15) which is in the August box is new to me.  I’m not entirely certain what a toning mist actually is.  Is it a toner that you spray on?  It sounds like it, but I’ll have to look into it further before I use it, and let you know when I figure it out.  As an aside though, how pretty is that bottle? It may be vain of me, but I really do like looking at pretty products. I won’t keep something around just for looks, it has to work, but I really do like the pretty packaging too. And this is very pretty.

Another brand that I know I’ve used in the past is the EiR NYC.  Again I can’t remember the product but I had a positive reaction to seeing the brand so I’m sure it was good.  This is the Tough Love Cuticle Balm (retail $12). As Autumn is rapidly approaching and soon it will be time to clear out the garden and get it ready for winter, this is a timely product for me. 

Every spring and autumn my hands take a beating as I work in the garden.  In the spring thought there seems to be enough moisture around that nothing dries out too badly.  In the autumnal garden prep, my hands and cuticles always dry out fiercely.  I think I sweat in the gloves, but the air is drier.  I always end up using much more hand lotion after my late season chores where as in the spring I get red and raw patches from fighting with weeds.

So I am pumped to have a cuticle balm.  I have to say I opened the little metal canister and found that it smells exactly like the Speak Natural Deodorant I used a few months back.  It has the same look and the exact same scent. Also as the box was in my metal mailbox in the sun, the cuticle balm sweated a little bit. I won’t touch it until it cools and the sweat will be absorbed again. The same thing actually happened with Speak. I’m sure it is just a crossover of ingredients, but I find it a little odd.  But if it works, I’ll get over the oddness.

To go with the cuticle balm is the Kukui Cocoa Nourishing Body Butter (retail $3) from Andalou Naturals.  I’ve never used the brand before, but I have seen them around.  At the moment I have several body lotions and hand creams open so I will set this aside for when I finally manage to empty a couple of them.  I am close on a couple, but I would rather leave this sealed until I am ready to use it. While I am never really super thrilled to see hand lotion/body butter in my subscription boxes, there were five items instead of four this month, so I am willing to consider this a bit of an extra.

Finally there is an Oil Cleanser from Kahina Giving Beauty (retail $10). I am always happy to try out a new oil cleanser. I am actually still using the oil cleaner I received in last month’s Petit Vour box. As soon as it is empty I will rotate this in to give it a try.

All in all I am very happy with the products in this month’s Petit Vour Box.  For my $18 I received $58 worth of products.  So it is a couple of dollars over the $50 estimate. I’m guessing that’s why there were five items this month as there was no mention of anything extra on the card. I am very much looking forward to trying out pretty much all of these products.  I’m also really happy that one of the items was a makeup item, the mascara.  While I love all natural skin care, I know very little about all natural and plant based makeup.  It makes setting this mascara to the side for a few more weeks a test of will power as I am very curious as to how it will perform.  But as I also don’t want to waste product, I will set it to the side and wait. Meanwhile the Tough Love Cuticle Balm will be going next to my gardening gloves and the cleanser will be waiting to go into my skin care rotation.  The Akar toning spray will also go into the mix once I figure out if it is actually a toner or something else.  Personally, I am looking forward to finding out. While I find all of the products interesting, that is the one I am most intrigued by and can’t wait to try. I think it is the orange, beckoning me in. It will be fun to see if it works as good as it looks.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Gone in a flash: The 3 minute flash mask from Ursa Major

Normally I just post the Friday Face Mask, and try to just use masks I’ve already talked about during the week, but today I have something a little different.  Instead of my fifteen minute Friday afternoon face mask break, I have a three minute Bright and Easy Flash Mask from Ursa Major. I received two small jars of this from my July Petit Vour box (one is pictured above) and I decided it would be nice to use it on a regular week day since it took so short a time.

Normally during the week I use masks at night because most days I can’t take a 15- 20 minute chunk out of my work day. It makes Friday special. Well one of the reasons anyway. I figured as this was only three minutes, I might be able to actually try it out during the day without a major calamity.

The newly opened jar

While there are no weight markers on my containers, the full sized jar is 1.57 fl oz and retails for $44.  So what does this flash mask do?

Well…

After one use

This gentle but oh-so-effective “flash” enzyme face treatment enhances the appearance of skin’s tone, elasticity, luminosity and firmness – all without the irritation associated with harsh scrubs or chemical peels.

Brightens and clarifies, Boosts the appearance of firmness and elasticity, Balances the look of skin tone and texture, Easy-rinsing gel formula

The mask on the face just makes the skin look a little bit wet.

I’ve tried a 5 minute Pomegranate mask from Korres which I enjoyed, and have on my repeat purchase list and this flash mask also includes pomegranate so I had high hopes.  Especially when I saw the rest of the ingredients.  There are some pretty good things in there such as witch hazel and aloe that my skin tends to like.

Ingredients

Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf juice*, alcohol*, glycerin, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, lactobacillus/punica granatum ferment extract, populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, sclerotium gum, pectin, water/aqua/eau, sodium hyaluronate, medicago sativa (alfalfa) extract*, hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract*, salix alba (willow) bark extract, copper PCA, caprylic/capric triglyceride, rose extract, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, santalum album (sandalwood) wood extract, passiflora incarnata fruit extract, prunus armeniaca (apricot) fruit extract, rubus idaeus (raspberry) fruit extract, cananga odorata flower extract, cucumis melo cantalupensis fruit extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) fruit extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel extract, prunus amygdalus (sweet almond) fruit extract, citrus limon (lemon) peel extract, ananas sativus (pineapple) fruit extract, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel extract, aniba rosaeodora (rosewood) wood extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) extract * Denotes organic

Ursa Major Product page

So onto the face it went.  I will say that I only needed half of the jar to cover my face completely so my two little jars have enough product for four face masks. And I didn’t look like a bank robber. The mask just made my face look wet. 

I really like that Petit Vour gave me enough product to try this mask repeatedly. The mask went on well and smells slightly tart but mostly sort of grassy.  I’m guessing that’s the alfalfa. It smoothed over my skin and I’m not going to lie it felt like I was sort of putting jelly on my face. Some sort of weird colorless jelly, but still, jelly. 

It applied well and it didn’t warm up and drip or anything it stayed exactly where I put it.  I think from the consistency when I applied it I was expecting it to drip as it warmed to my body temperature.  It did not. 

I know the images don’t line completely up and I apologize but it does show before and after, personally I think my skin looks better after. I’m still having breakouts, but that is not from the product.

There was a slight tingle, but it was really very slight.  More like a wash of cool air over wet skin than a chemical tingle. I’ll admit I was worried as I thought anything with that short a wait time might have a super chemical burn.  This did not. 

It was light and pleasant and after three minutes rinsed off cleanly.  I don’t know if my skin felt firmer after using it, but my skin felt soft and  hydrated and to my eyes looked refreshed as though I took a nap when no one was looking.  I wouldn’t call it luminous, but I will say it is somewhat brighter which I consider a definite benefit. 

I think this is a mask I would like to keep on hand for days when I feel a bit draggy and have a little time before an important meeting.  I think taking the three minutes, using the mask and then applying makeup for the meeting would do wonders for my ability to look awake and vibrant. (clearly in the photos I applied no makeup.) I am really happy this product came in my Petit Vour box, because I had never even heard of this company.  Now, it is on my watch list. It also makes me wonder what sort of goodies will come in my August Petit Vour Box.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Petit Vour July 2020 Unboxing

The July 2020 Box

And a happy national Lipstick day to each and every one of you.  I hope you are flaunting your favorite shades today.  While my lips are clad in my favorite Kristopher Buckle Cashmere lip in Bardot (it wasn’t in my make up bag again this week, but I couldn’t resist bringing it out in celebration today) let me tell you about this month’s Petit Vour Box.

Oh yes my darlings, it too finally came in the mail. There are two levels to this subscription, the Petit Vour beauty Box and the Beauty Box plus (Plus has 5-7 travel and full sized items for $25 per month). My subscription is for the regular Petit Vour beauty box and features four cruelty free items each month.  You get the occasional full sized item, but most are deluxe samples. 

The box is $16 per month and this is actually my second month receiving the box and thus far I am really liking it.  Last month I found an exfoliating scrub I never would have come across on my own and that I have now placed on my to be ordered again list.  It was from B kind and I really like how gentle, yet effective it was.  The link is to my full review. The product can be purchased both at the company site or on the Petit Vour site. I know they have a points system for rewards based on purchases but I haven’t had the subscription long enough to play around with it. 

But on to this month’s box.  The first Item is from Province Apothecary and it is a deluxe sized cleanser and makeup remover (retail $20).  As I am almost finished with my Elemis Cleansing Balm, it is pretty good timing to have this arrive now. 

The big decision is whether I want to squirrel away the remaining Elemis and start testing the Province Apothecary or just bite the bullet, finish the Elemis and let it go. Either way, this will soon take its place in my bathroom next to my Make up Eraser and we will see how well it removes make up.  With luck I’ll like it just as much as the Elemis.

Makeup Eraser: 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE! Use code: ECOFRIENDLY20

The second item in my box this month is the Antonym Cosmetics Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil.(retail $19)It is a brown eye pencil, which I have to admit I don’t have a lot of.  It is a standard pencil format, which isn’t my favorite, but the product did feel nice on my hand and not too sharp feeling so it should be fine. 

In addition it has its own rather substantial pencil sharpener on the end.  So when it gets dull I won’t have to go looking for a sharpener. It’s always nice to avoid a panicked search for a missing tool when you are half made up. It arrived too late to be in this week’s make up bag, but perhaps I’ll put it into the bag for a trial next week.

The third Item actually came in two little potted containers.  It is the Ursa major flash mask.  (retail $12).  I’m not entirely certain if that means each pot is one use or what so I will have to investigate before I use them. 

I like the idea of a three minute mask, especially if it matches the claims of increasing firmness and restoring luminosity.  I’m not going to give up my fifteen minute relaxation time each Friday with my face masks, but perhaps a mid-week pick me up for my skin wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Perhaps I’ll make it a self care reward for making it through a particularly grueling work out.

Finally there is a Sea Clay Body mask (retail $8) from Formulary.  I have to say I am intrigued by the thought of slathering myself in sea clay, spa style, but the package suggests it is most effective on the neck, back and décolletage, so perhaps I will reign myself in.  As my décolletage has taken a beating due to my propensity for v-necked shirts while working in the garden, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to treat that particular section of my body to an extra special treat.

All in all, I am really pleased with my subscription this month.  It is my second month and just like the first, I received items I will definitely use and want to try.  My plan was originally to test out this subscription for three months to see if I like it. I suspect I will not only keep this subscription past the three month mark, but if it continues to be such an excellent selection, around month six I may be considering upgrading to the Plus level of the beauty box, especially if I decide to let other beauty boxes go.  For now however I am just going to use my products and report back.  Who knows, I might find another new favorite.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Does the Lauren B Beauty Nail Growth Serum really Work?

The Lauren B Nail growth Serum came in my June Petit Vour box and I have to say I was very eager to try it out. My nails have taken a beating this year.  I fought an ongoing battle in the garden with both bunnies and bindweed this year.  While the bunnies could be scared off with a squirt from the hose and threats regarding my grandmother’s mustard based marinade, the bind weed was immune to insults.

And empty culinary threats.

I’m pretty sure the rabbits even know that non-lethal hose is my only weapon.

But at least they still run.

The bindweed just sort of digs in deeper and holds on tight.  Even with gloves on, my nails needed some help.  So again, I was happy to give the Nail Growth Serum from Lauren B a try. But what is it?  Well according to the website…

Applicator brush

Salvation for fragile, brittle nails that refuse to grow. This sheer blend of amino acids, antioxidants, Vitamins E and C, peptides and biotin sinks in instantly to boost natural nail growth and strength. Brush it directly onto your nails before applying polish, or on bare nails once or twice a day.

Directions: Use thin applicator brush to apply directly onto the base of nails where your nail and cuticle meet (the half moon portion) allow formula to sink in for 5 min before rinsing off, applying polish, cremes etc. Best to use on clean bare nails, or over polish that is completely dried. Use once or twice a day. Pro tip: keep this product on your bed side table and apply each night before bed so you do not forget. This will also allow the formula to sink into your matrix of nail and to work. Keep container closed tight when not in use and stored in neutral environment.

I feel the need to point out that I did not read the full directions before I started applying.  I only read the first paragraph (the part before the word directions – yeah I know, I amaze myself sometimes too). 

Thumb at the start (with polish remnants)

The first thing I did was trim off the ratty bits on the ends of my nails. The parts that got dinged up in the ongoing battle with Bindweed. Without the damage, my nails tend to be rather healthy.

Hand at the start

So I applied it onto my nails and waited for it to dry a little, then applied polish. 

I do not recommend doing that.  The formula never really dries down and while the polish goes over the formula covered nail well with seemingly no problem, when you go you wash your hands (which I have been doing a LOT recently, as I’m sure we all have) at a later point in time, the nail polish sort of slides right off. Seriously, in one clean sheet.  It was most disconcerting, yet oddly intriguing at the same time.

just from hand washing

Figuring out that I might have done something wrong, I returned to the site and this time read ALL of the directions.

Yeah, either wash your hands after giving it time to sink in and then polish your nails or just apply it along the cuticles overnight.  I tried it over polish, but the formula just felt greasy and I think the polish kept it from soaking in.  Just go bare nails for this one is my suggestion.

So once I figured out how to use the product how did it perform?

Well my nails did not grow out by a mile in the past few weeks.  They do however feel stronger and less inclined to break and chip.  I ended up trimming several of them down because the tips of the nails were damaged from my gardening activities. 

I think the trimming eradicated the weakest part of the nails and the serum helped ensure that what grew back was healthier and stronger. I would call it more of a nail strengthening serum rather than a nail growth serum as I think adding the word growth creates different expectations.

My thumb at the end

Yes, stronger nails are less likely to break and therefore grow longer, so it isn’t a misnomer, I just think it is really about strength not length. 

I also think that having to pay nightly attention to my nails helped as well.  I found myself filing small dings and trimming away ragged bits nightly instead of when I sat down to do my nails (once a week). 

hand at end of the trial

The nightly attention helped them out a lot as well.  I don’t think this will be a continuous use product for me, but I could see keeping it on hand for the times when my nails do take a beating. 

As I know that occurs two times a year, once when I deal with the garden in the spring and once in the fall when I prepare the garden for winter, it would get use then. Since I trimmed and filed the dings and chips out of my nails before applying it each night, it also kept small divots from being large breaks. It forced me to take care of problems when they were small rather than leave them for the week and possible additional damage the following day.

I think if I knew I was going to an event I wanted my nails to look nice for, I might use it the two weeks prior to the event so that I could ensure I paid attention to the nails.  Do I consider this an essential item to keep around, no. Nor do I consider it some sort of miracle growth formula, but it is kind of fun to add to my at home manicure while it lasts. It was also a nice product to get in a subscription box as I don’t know if I would have ever picked this up on my own. As the subscription box was Petit Vour, I also know that this product is clean, vegan and cruelty free. While I tend to think of those elements in my skin care items, I don’t always think of them when dealing with my nails. Perhaps in the future, I will.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Reviewing The Celery Green Cream from Volition

Volition Celery Green Cream

A while back Volition sent me three products to use and review.  One by one I feathered them into my skin care regime and have given them each a month long trial to see how I liked them and how my skin reacted to the products. 

Volition is a crowdsourced skincare brand that produces clean, cruelty free, vegan products.  The crowdsourced is something I find very interesting.  (although the clean and cruelty free are also very important too). According to their site anyone who has an idea for a product that they’d like to see created can send in their ideas.  Volition then floats the idea to their community of voting participants (I believe you can sign up to be a member of that quite easily on their website) If the idea gets enough votes, then it is passed on to a team of professionals who turn the idea into an actual product.

Volition Beauty|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

Each of the three products sent to me came with a little card telling me about the innovator who came up with the idea for the product.  Aja came up with the idea for the Prizmatic Luminizing Shield.  Keidy came up with the concept for the Snow Mushroom Water Serum  and Nastia Liukin was the innovator behind the Celery Green Cream that I am reviewing today.  So what is the Celery Green Cream from Volution?

According to the website…

Celery. A classic staple turned modern juicing powerhouse. It’s the superstar ingredient in this oil-free face moisturizer that purifies and minimizes the appearance of pores for healthier-looking skin. This moisturizer hydrates and visibly plumps, helps minimize the appearance of pores and uneven skin texture, and purifies.  It is good for enlarged, clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture and tone.

Full Ingredients list: Water/Aqua/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Apium Graveolens (Celery) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Calcium Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Sorbitan Olivate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Bismuth Oxychloride, Chromium Oxide Greens, Citric Acid, Mica, Potassium Sorbate.

Volitionbeauty.com

So those are the claims.  Now let’s talk about the product.  As I said, it comes with an innovator card that lets you know a little bit about the person who created the product.  The product itself comes in a nice glass jar with a screw top lid.  The label is sleek and clean and I have to say I like that the label can be peeled off easily so that the jar can be reused.  Because quite frankly, this is the kind of jar that can be easily reused and that I probably will reuse.

But packaging is one thing, product is another.  When you open the jar there is a thin inner plastic lid covering the product. I like the inner lids keeping the product and the outer lid separated. Keeping as much air away from the product as possible is always a good thing.

When this inner lid is pried up, the cream is revealed.  It is a light green, almost celadon color and it smells fresh and clean. 

It actually reminds me of the celery soda we used to get at the deli when I was a kid. Without the bubbles of course. I suppose it is to be expected since it too was made with celery seed.  There is a very light vegetal quality to the clean scent, but it isn’t an added scent, just a natural one and it isn’t overpowering in the slightest.

My baby doll is much more sensitive to scents then I am and when he sniffed it, his reaction was to say it smelled clean not scented.  I don’t think it would bother anyone who is scent sensitive. It is mostly only noticeable when you first open the jar and dissipates quickly.

The consistency is of a thin gel or water cream and I found my skin drank it up quickly. There was no sticky feeling left behind, which I have on occasion had with these types of formulas before. It sat under my makeup beautifully and kept me hydrated throughout the day. 

Prior to transitioning into using this moisturizer, I had several stress related breakouts and have been treating them.  Sometimes the treatment dries out the skin around the problem and sometimes instead of hydrating the skin around the treated area, moisturizers just make things greasy and irritated. 

I did not have that problem with the Celery Green Cream.  It moisturized the dry patches and didn’t irritate the inflamed area.  I don’t normally have overly sensitive skin, but those were my sensitive areas and it handled them beautifully while they were healing. 

I used this moisturizer as my main moisturizer for a month.  I applied it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  While it was beautiful during the day, I found I needed a little something extra at night.  Not every night though.  Instead of using a night cream every night, I found that I could use my night cream once or twice a week as an added boost to my night time moisturizing.  Generally, I found that the boost was needed after I spent large portions of the day outside in the heat. 

I suppose it shouldn’t be terribly surprising as on those days I was also drinking a lot more water.  I think that while working outside in the garden or walking on the walking trail, I just sweated out enough moisture that my entire body simply craved more hydration in every form.  And as I love masks in all forms, especially night masks I can wear while sleeping, I had no problem adding an extra product a couple of times a week.

While I really liked using this moisturizer, for me, I think the consistency of it lends itself to warm weather months.  Once the weather starts to turn cooler, I tend to switch to a transition moisturizer which has a thicker consistency than the gel like moisturizers of summer and then as fall fades to winter I tend to want a thicker, more full bodied cream.  This is, however a fantastic summer cream.

Using it my skin felt hydrated and used in conjunction with the Snow Mushroom Water Serum I actually saw a plumping of the skin and a reduction of the fine lines around the corners of my eyes.  While I doubt anything natural will get rid of the line running across my forehead, I noticed it didn’t get any more pronounced while I used this cream.  I’m calling that a win.

There is about two to three weeks of moisturizer left in my jar of product as I write this. I will be finishing this jar of moisturizer and slowly weaving additional products into my routine in order to give them a fair trial.

While this Celery Green Cream was sent to me by Volition, in the spring, my summer skin care preparation is going to include ordering a new jar of this moisturizer along with the Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  As for the Prismatic Illuminating Shield, the sunscreen designed for those who hate sunscreen, I will be reordering that as soon as the bottle starts to feel too light for comfort. It is not something I want to run out of anytime soon.

Speaking of ordering, the links located throughout this site are for volitionbeauty.com. Volitionbeauty.com only ships to US and Canada, so if you are located in other countries, you and want to give Volition a try you can go through @cultbeauty, which ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica which ship to Australia and New Zealand. 

I personally really enjoyed my trial of Volition and will feel very sad when my jar of Celery Green Cream comes to an end.  At least I know, I can always recycle the jar. And as Volition has a skin care test to ask questions regarding all your skin’s needs, I will be going back through and looking at the other products listed. The three I tried, were all recommended on that list and my skin really enjoyed them. It gives my high hopes for the other recommended products.


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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

Reviewing the Snow Mushroom Water Serum by Volition

The newly opened serum with the innovator card

Volition beauty recently sent me three products for the purpose of review.  While they did send the products to me, the reviews of them are my own opinions. As a quick note, the links included in this post are for the Volition website and while I highly recommend visiting their site to anyone interested in finding out more about their products or the company (and they are a really interesting company) Volitionbeauty.com only ships to US and Canada. If you are not in either the US or Canada, @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand.

Snow Mushroom Water Serum|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

When testing skin care, I tend to rotate products in one at a time and let my skin get used to them before swapping out any other elements to my skin care.   The first product I added in of the three I was sent was the Prismatic Lumnizing Shield with SPF 50, mostly because I needed a sunscreen I would actually wear. It is billed as the sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen (which is me) and is a fantastic product that has gotten me into the habit of actually wearing sunscreen daily. The link above will take you to the fill post if you are interested. 

The second product I rotated in was the Snow Mushroom Water Serum and then a week later I added the Celery Green Cream.  So next week I will be posting the Celery Green Cream Review after using it for a full month.

For those that are unfamiliar with Volition Skincare. They produce clean, cruelty free, vegan skincare.   In addition they produce crowdsourced items.  So if you have an idea for a product, you fill out the form and send it to them.  They then ask the community what they think of the idea.  If it is approved, then they set a team of specialists to work turning the idea into a product. 

I thought this idea was interesting when I came across it the first time.  I have to say that having tried some of the products produced thorough this system, I am even more impressed by it.  I love that each product comes with a innovator card, letting you know who came up with the skin care idea.  The Snow Mushroom Water Serum was thought up by Keidy. And what is the serum supposed to do?

According to the site…

Snow Mushroom. It’s nature’s sponge. It holds nearly 500 times its weight in water. It’s the wonder ingredient in this hydrating face serum that delivers a surge of moisture as it naturally minimizes the appearance of pores.

Now I am the first to admit, I love a good serum.  I will also say, I love mushrooms.  I love all sorts of mushrooms and for a while I was even growing my own blue oyster mushrooms.  (mostly because I could never find them at my local grocery). I was a little skeptical about them in my skin care though.  However, I am all for minimizing the appearance of my pores.

However it isn’t just the snow mushroom that makes up this serum.  It has some help.

  • Snow Mushroom: Delivers hydration and helps improve moisture retention.
  • Marine Water: Helps detoxify skin, reduce shine, and minimize the appearance of pores.
  • Watermelon and Apple Extracts: Excellent sources of Vitamins C and A; visibly brighten the look of skin.
  • Lentil Extract: Rich in Vitamin B5; Helps to soothe and smooth the skin while helping retain moisture resulting in the appearance of softer, clearer, firmer-looking skin.

Full Ingredients: Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Propanediol, Glycerin, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sea Water, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Water, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, N-Prolyl Palmitoyl Tripeptide-56 Acetate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Diheptyl Succinate, Xanthan Gum, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin.

volitionbeauty.com

As you can see there are a lot of good ingredients listed.  My skin loves vitamin C and it is often in my serums. I’ve never thought of lentils as a skin car ingredient but I do have a favorite recipe that uses both lentils and mushrooms so I find it oddly comforting to see them paired together here. (and yes I realize that makes little scientific sense, but it is still true)

Before I used this serum I took a look at the reviews. I like to kind of see if there are any problems I should look out for when trying a new product out. Plus I also like to find out whose reviews closely match mine so I can compare with other products.  The reviews were overwhelmingly positive.  I lifted a skeptical eyebrow and continued on. Given how positive the reviews were however, I was very much hoping my experience was as positive because it sounded fantastic in a Liz Lemon -I want to go to there – kind of way.

And yes, the first thing I did was open the bottle to take a sniff. 

Cause it’s me and you know that’s what I am gonna do. 

I was expecting a kind of earthy mushroom funk. I will say there is a slight underlying earthy note, but it doesn’t come right out and say I am mushroom come smell the funk.

Which is fine.  I may love the smell of sautéed mushrooms, but I wasn’t too certain of how I would feel about the scent in my skin care. While it does have that base earthiness, the serum just smells fresh and clean.  Maybe it is just because they used the snow mushroom water.

Or because they weren’t sautéing them.

I know that the Snow Mushroom Water is one ingredient, as opposed to water pairing with serum, however this serum has a very thin ‘water-like’ consistency. It is extremely light weight.  If you fear heavy pore clogging serums, then lean in this direction.  It feels extremely light on the skin and I had no trouble with any clogged pores while using it.

A small amount covered my face neck and decollete with no problem.  After applying it though, I did need to wait a minute before moving on with the rest of my skin care.  It wasn’t terribly long. 

I generally found if I applied it, and then brushed my teeth, then by the time I finished with my mouthwash rinse, my skin was ready for the moisturizer. If I didn’t wait then the two products mixed and both took longer to settle in. Since I had to brush my teeth anyway, it wasn’t a hardship to wait.

I used this serum twice a day for a full thirty days as part of my trial.  I applied it in the morning and in the evening.  After thirty days I am exactly halfway through the bottle.  So It is a fair estimate that the bottle will last two months. 

For me this is good to know because I will so be ordering a replacement bottle when this runs low and I need to know when to order it.  I really enjoyed this serum.  While it is light weight on the skin, it really does a heavyweight’s job. My skin felt hydrated and refreshed.

The pores on my cheeks and nose were reduced enough that I actually used a non-pore filling primer and  my skin still looked smooth.  I  also noticed a reduction in the fine lines at the corners of my eyes.  The skin was plump enough with retained moisture that they were less noticeable.  I stopped using my eye cream while using this serum for my trial because I wanted to make sure it was this product doing the line filling and not a combo effort. 

It was definitely the Snow Mushroom Water Serum.

closed

My only criticism of this product, and it is a slight one, has to do with the packaging.  It is in a lovely frosted glass bottle with a nice rose gold cap.  When you turn the cap the top pops up and operates the dropper inside.  All of this is fabulous.  It worked really well and it was easy to tell when the bottle was opened or fully closed.

open

  The only drawback I had was that the entire cap is smooth.  While opening it is no problem, closing it involves either hands still slick with left over serum after I’ve massaged it into my skin or hands slick from washing them post application. (yes I dry my hands but they are still slightly slick) There were a couple of times I almost dropped the glass bottle.  If the lid had just a little bit of texture to it, I would be less worried about dropping it with slick hands.  

I know I could just wait until I reach the end of my skin care regimen and my hands are clean and dry, but I don’t like leaving products open too long after I use them.  Plus, I recently had to bid an untimely farewell to one of my favorite concealers because I forgot to recap it. So it is sort of on my mind.  But with this I really was worried about dropping the glass bottle. 

While I’m sure it is shatter resistant, I wouldn’t want to risk losing even a single drop.  I may have to set this aside to try out new skin care items, but I know this is one that I will consistently return to use when I am not testing things out or need a break between tests. At the moment I am considering easing out of using it so that should my next trial not go as smoothly, I will have product remaining to repair whatever damage it does. It is a fantastic formula and The Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum will remain on my favorites list for a long time to come.


Volition Beauty|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

Trying out the Speak Vegan Deodorant Cream

I’ll admit, for the past few years I have been tempted by all natural deodorants.  I know some people maintain that regular deodorants are bad for you, health wise, and other’s claim that it is a load of hooey.

And yes, hooey is a technical term.

Personally, I was mostly curious.  Let’s face it I have been putting my deodorant to the test with my outdoor workouts.  It’s one of the reasons that I didn’t give in to my curiosity and attempt a natural deodorant prior to this. I figured I would try it out when I once again returned to working out in an air-conditioned space. It seemed less likely to fumigate my neighbors with possibly product failure.

However, this Speak Deodorant Cream came in my Petit Vour box in June so I figured why not.  The walking trail I use is mostly abandoned and if it fails there will be even more reason for people to keep their social distance.  It’s sort of a pandemic friendly experiment.

Petit Vour

So first, I opened the metal canister and took a sniff. 

And yes, I have to smell everything.

It smells vaguely oatmeal like.  The scent wasn’t bad, so I looked the product up on-line to find out more about it before I progressed to the trying out stage.

I’ll admit, I was sort of stalling.

I’ve used the same deodorant since middle school  –  Dove powder scent in case you are wondering.  The biggest change for me was switching from roll on to a solid sometime in high school.

But on with the stalling…er research.

A gentle, yet effective natural deodorant with a creamy texture that glides on to give you satin-soft protection.

Why it’s special: An aluminum and baking soda-free formulation that’s great for sensitive skin. Lightly lavender-scented.

Benefits: Protects against odor naturally and Replenishes moisture to combat temporary discomfort.

Well I suppose I wasn’t expecting a massive batch of flowery prose, after all how many claims can deodorant have? It’s deodorant.  It keeps you from stinking and hopefully from getting sweat stains on your shirt and with luck doesn’t irritate your skin. I think that’s all any deodorant can claim. 

Well, that and its scent.  I have to admit the scent of lavender surprised me. I don’t smell lavender.  I smell oatmeal.

Incidentally, there is no oatmeal in the ingredients. 

Full ingredient list: Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) root powder, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, magnesium hydroxide, kaolin, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil

https://speakskinbeauty.com/products/09-deodorant-cream

So yeah, no oatmeal.

But with a hearty hope for the best, I began to try the product out. 

First of all, this deodorant cream is in a metal can.  The product does not come up to the top.  You cannot just open it and rub the can into your armpits.  You have to extract the product from the can and then apply it with your fingers.

scooping with the back of my nail

And despite the name of cream, it is as solid as a regular solid deodorant.  To apply it I ran my nail backwards over the surface so the product was scooped onto the top of the nail.  This seemed the easiest way to get it out.  I then rubbed the product under my arms and repeated with the other side.

The product goes on well.  My underarms felt properly coated with product.  However so did my hands.  Because of the wax and oils in the product, I had to wash my hands with soap.  I could not just rinse it off as the wax just made the water run off the skin.  As annoying as this was (because I am already washing my hands a lot these days and did not need to add an extra hand wash every morning), the waterproofed hands did give me some hope in the sweat proofing department.

So product applied, I went about my day. My sweaty, sweaty day.

At this point in time, nothing is going to prevent the underarms of my shirts from getting soaked. We’ve been hitting above 90 degrees with a minimum of 80% humidity for the past few weeks. Last night, we finally got some rain and cleared the air out for a little bit.  It felt wonderfully better at 65% humidity this morning.  Then the sun rose and we are above 80% again.

So there will be sweat. 

However, I was pleased to note, there was no stink. 

That’s right, I did not emit a pig pen-esque cloud of funk. The product worked.

When I went to take my shower however I noticed it sort of pilled up a bit in areas where my skin rubbed together and when I showered I really had to scrub hard to get all of the product off. 

I blame the wax.

Still there was no stink and no irritation.  My skin had no problems with the product.  I have been wearing it for over a week now and I have been very impressed by its performance.  If you are looking for a good well-performing vegan deodorant, this one does work.

While the extra scrubbing in the shower and the pilling up of the product weren’t my favorite side effects, neither was bad enough to make me stop using it.  However, I really don’t like applying it with my hands.  I know that sounds like an overly precious thing to say, but I really don’t like scraping it out with my nail and rubbing it into my arm pit. I just don’t. 

If this came in a stick form, I would have no problems purchasing this and using it more. But I know myself.  I will continue to use this product until it is gone, but I am not going to order another can and that is simply because of the application process. I know I would not use it. It would sit on the shelf while I purchased other products and felt guilty about the waste. With that said, it is a good product, it is just not a product for me. If they ever make a stick form of it, I’m in.  Until then, I’ll pass. I will however be more open to trying other vegan and all natural deodorants. So I suppose that is something.


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