Elemis Superfood Vital Veggie Mask for the Friday Face Mask

Today I went with the Elemis Super Food Vital Veggie mask for my face mask. I have to say, it smells healthy from the first second you twist open the top.  It has the scent of vegetal goodness.  I put the mask onto my little silicone spatula to apply it so that if I have to add more to my face I don’t end up covering the tube in mask as I try to squeeze it. 

Then when I think I have enough on my face I close the lid to the mask, set it aside, turn on the water and then smooth out the mask onto my face.  As soon as the mask is in place I rinse the hands and brush and I don’t coat the bathroom in product.

Easy Peasy.

I have to say this little silicone spatula brush is the best $0.93 I have ever spent.  My only regret is that I didn’t get the three pack. I wanted to see how I liked it before I stocked up on back ups. The second that this spatula looks like it is approaching the end of its like, I will be replacing it. It makes masks so much less of a mess to apply.

Trying not to look like a bankrobber in my mask today. I think I succeeded admirably. Well…maybe admirably isn’t the correct word for that pic.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me wax poetical about my silicone brush. At least I don’t think you did, so to the mask.

According to the website…

Get a shot of green goodness with this treatment mask that nourishes, smoothes and brightens, for softer, smoother, more radiant skin.

Wheatgrass, Kale and Nettle replenish the skin with vital minerals and vitamins for a healthy-looking complexion. Avocado and Chia Seed Oils, naturally rich in Omega Fatty Acids 6 and 9, soften skin and lock in moisture. Vitamin C and Passionfruit Acids reveal a brighter-looking complexion. This product is Vegan Friendly, and like all ELEMIS products, it is cruelty free.

It is clear that the avocado gives it the green color, since it looks like it is the same color as an avocado smoothie.  Although I am pretty sure the other greens help with the tint.  There is a slight prickling sensation when it sits on the skin.  I’m pretty sure that can be attributed to the nettles.

Its not an uncomfortable sensation, in fact I kind of like it.  It makes me feel the mask is doing something.  It is however a very present sensation. You feel this mask on the face.  It doesn’t tighten like clay masks, but it feels prickly.  I don’t know any other way to describe it. 

I am a big fan of Elemis products.  I’ve tried quite a few and I have yet to find one that I don’t actually like.  I recently received an Elemis travel sized cleansing balm and I’ve been using it to remove my makeup every night.  I am already dreading the day it runs out.

Flash Sale at Elemis: Choose a Full Size SF Booster for $15 with any Full Size Superfood. Offer valid 7/15 – 8/22.

With the mask on I relaxed to music.  With all of our fans on in an attempt to keep the inside temperature reasonable while the outside temps soar, candles didn’t seem like a good idea today. So I put on my headphones and put on some music.

I went with Rage Against The Machine in case you were wondering.

The Renegades Album to be exact.

I found it quite soothing.

When time was up, I reluctantly turned the music off and returned to the bathroom. As you can see, the mask absorbed into some of my skin.  I think I might have layered it a little too thickly on the skin.  For me this is good news as it means I can use less and make the tube last longer. Which is extra nice, because I will be replacing it as soon as it runs out.  I’ve actually been trying to use up the masks I have so that I can whittle down my face mask collection to the masks I really love.  I’ll still try out new ones but I’m clearing out all of the just okay masks at the moment.

This mask is more than okay.  It is fantastic.  I wiped off the remaining product with a damp Makeup Eraser (it is going in the laundry this afternoon so the additional product wasn’t an issue).  This let me not strip away the nutrients seeping into my skin from the mask. 

All cleaned up and feeling good.

My skin feels amazing.  It is soft and hydrated and just feels super healthy. Which is kind of what I was looking for in a mask today. I just wanted my skin to feel good.  And it really does.  I think it looks a little better in the last photo, Sorry I forgot to snap a before the mask pic.

Needless to say this mask is staying in my collection.  If you are looking for a good hydrating mask, this might be one you want to check out.  Just be aware of the prickly sensation.  I may like it but I know it isn’t for everyone.

But alas it is now back to work for me.  My break is over.  I hope everyone has a good day and an excellent weekend. Stay safe and have fun.


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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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Face Mask Friday Returns

Biorace Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask

Today I felt the need for a little pore tightening in my face mask so I returned to the Biorace Pore Tightening Pearl Clay mask. It is a mask I’ve reviewed before. The linked post is my first impression of the mask and I have to say, I still like it this time around.

It tingles a little as it dries and it felt quite refreshing as it sat on my skin. Today is a hot one with the humidity hovering near the 90% mark. The sky gets cloudy and thunder booms, but thus far no rain. The air is just saturated enough that you can practically take a bite out of it to quench your thirst.

I’d like to say I took my relaxing fifteen minutes laying down, listening to music and watching the candles flicker, but today I wore the mask while working at my desk.

Today somehow feels like I lost time somewhere and have been racing to catch up. The only thing that really threw me off was the missing scale this morning so there are no events to blame. Perhaps it is that I am nearing the end of my manuscript and getting ready to send it to beta readers that has me feeling like I need to catch up.

Either way, I just couldn’t settle today. But I still did the mask. Luckily no one called and there were no video conferences today. I’ve done masks while sitting at my desk before, but usually this is where the sheet masks shine. This is the first time I have ever done a mud mask at my desk. I have to say, it feels a little strange.

I think the strangeness might just be the fact that it does stuff on my face. Sheet masks are applied and have skin enhancing properties, but all they do is dry out a little and rarely to the point of crispness. The clay mask however dries down and tightens as it does so the entire time I had it on I was very aware that I was sitting at the computer with a mask on. Which is a strange feeling. Not a bad one, just a strange one.

But strange or not, the mask did it’s job and I took a break to wash it off. My skin feels nice, my pores, in my opinion, look a little tighter and I feel a bit more balanced. Somehow, even working with the mask on made me feel a little calmer. I suppose that is part of the routine as well, even without the candles.

Although I have to say, I kinda missed the candles.


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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

The Anti-sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen; Reviewing the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield with SPF 50

Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50: This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes, the opinions however are all mine.

I have always had a love hate relationship with sunscreen.  As a kid I remember being lathered up before being sent out for summer play.  While I never minded my arms and legs being coated and I loved that my parents let me play outside longer if I was wearing it, I hated when the sunscreen was applied to my face. Invariably it would either get washed onto my lips where it would taste nasty or it would get washed into my eyes making them sting and burn for the rest of the day.

As I grew up, sunscreen got better and while most of it doesn’t taste any better than it did when I was a child, most of it stays in place.  Still I hate putting sunscreen on my face.  I know that is the one place I really need to put it, but I have to admit, I usually don’t.  I spray my whole body down with sunscreen, more vigilantly now that I had that painful early spring burn, but I still avoid my face. 

Instead I layer products like I’m creating the great wall of SPF.  “Oh this has SPF 10, I’ll put it on and then add this product that has SPF 30.” It’s a construction project.  I know I need to get over it, but I’ve had a hard time finding a product I like.

However, Volition Skincare sent over three products for me to try and the first item I pulled out of the box was the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF50. I had to laugh because right on the top of the box it says “Sunscreen for the Sunscreen Haters.”

It’s like they knew.

Or I’m not the only one to hate sunscreen.

I prefer the term skin care psychics, but that is just me. I should point out they don’t claim to be psychic an any way shape or form. But Volition is a really interesting company even without the tarot card possibility.

If you go to their main page there is a section where you can submit an idea for a product. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can submit an idea for a product you would like to see available for purchase.  The idea then gets submitted to a vote by their beauty community.  If it gets enough votes then their team goes to work creating the product. All of their products are certified clean and cruelty free with no animal testing and no parabens or sulfates. Incidentally, the links posted are for volitionbeauty.com which only ships to the US and Canada. If you are outside the US or Canada then @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand. 

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

There is a whole section where you can shop the winners and I have to say, I really like going onto the site to see who came up with what. You can also take a skincare quiz to determine which of their products might be right for your particular concerns so you don’t spend a boat load of time staring at a product and trying to guess.

But back to the sunscreen for the sunscreen haters.

The box clearly looked like it was aimed at me.  I opened it and the first thing I saw was a little card telling me that this innovative product was created by a woman named Aja.  It had a picture of her and a little bit about her on the back. I thought that was really neat. It’s rare that you actually get a name to go with a product.

But Aja made this, or at least came up with the idea while a team of highly skilled professionals brought her idea to life.  But what do they have to say about what they created?

Bare face

The Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF50 (retail $35) is…

The anti-sunscreen for the sunscreen haters. It’s never greasy, smelly or thick. It’s daily protection you’ll actually want to wear. It is a weightless, breatheable formula with broad-spectrum sun protection, luminous, pearl-like finish and a light, neutral scent.  It addresses skin protection, dry skin, and dull skin and is good for all skin types.

Shake well. Apply over entire face 30 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least every 2 hours or as needed. Can be worn alone or under makeup. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if sweating or swimming.

Not too shabby.  And I like that it is SPF 50.  In my attempt to layer to build a wall of SPF on my face without actually using sunblock, I try to get as close to 50 as I can get. 

Before rubbing the sunscreen in, there is a white cast that disappears quickly

So knowing who made it and what it is supposed to do, I took the product out of the box.  I know appearances aren’t everything and that I shouldn’t focus on the shallow packaging, but this is a good looking bottle of sunscreen.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that.

I think because sunscreen is such a utilitarian item that just gets tossed in a bag and kicked around at the beach or pool side that it always looks like a basic plastic squeeze bottle with maybe a pretty or fun decal on the front. This may be a tube you can squeeze, but everything about it says skin care. It looks like it belongs in the bathroom next to your serums and moisturizer and not something you’d chuck in a kid’s pool bag with the goggles.

Don’t get me wrong, those items have their place.  I have quite a few of them stationed around the house. They are an essential part of my summer. But I needed something to put in the bathroom with my skin care. Because like skin care, I needed to make it part of my routine. I knew that was the only way I was going to get into the habit of putting it on. So I took the bottle from the box, moved it into the bathroom and began using it.

For the past two weeks, this anti-sunscreen has been part of my morning routine.  I put it on after I finish my skin care, but before I put on makeup.  There is no real scent to the product so anyone out there who is sensitive to scents should have no problem. 

The consistency of the product is like a thin primer or a water cream moisturizer.  It has some body to it, but it leans towards the liquidy side. To apply, I dispensed a pea sized amount into my palm and rubbed my hands together then applied it to my face. It sort of spread out as it hit my hand anyway so I just let it follow it’s natural inclinations. Easy peasy. 

Just the sunscreen on my face

On first contact there is a little bit of a white cast. (see the above picture) The first time I applied it I started to get concerned that I was going to spend the day looking like a mime, however I rubbed it in a little bit and the white disappeared almost instantly.

While I don’t want to walk around with the white sunscreen face all day, I do like that at first touch it is a little white.  This lets me see where I’ve put it to ensure full coverage before I rub it in. 

True to their claims, it feels weightless on the skin and is not greasy.  It is however quite luminizing.  Just like the really pretty bottle, I wasn’t really expecting that. And yes I know it says it in the title, it is just brighter than I expected.

I tend to go for matte primers and foundations.  For me the matte balanced it out well.  With the matte foundation on top of it, I had no problems, it was actually quite nice paired with it and gave the matte product a little depth.  I could not use a luminizing primer or foundation with it as it was too luminizing for me.

Makeup over the sunscreen, I used the Purlisse BB Cream over it with no primer for this photo

I should also say that the day I tried a luminizing foundation, no one had issues with the extra luminosity but me. I even got a compliment on my glow, so I think that is really just my personal preference.  If you like luminosity then you are good, if you aren’t a fan, use a matte product over it.

No matter what product I used, the sunscreen sat well underneath the makeup.  I had no problems with reactions between the sunscreen and my foundation. They played well together and I didn’t break out in a welter of clogged pores. There were, in fact, no extra break outs. (The stress related ones I had spent the night with some Peace Out dots, but no new ones appeared.) 

In the description it is recommended that if you are going to sweat or go in the water you should look into a waterproof product.  While I didn’t go swimming while trying this (because that isn’t what it is meant for and at this time the pools near me are still closed) it is June in Tennessee and you can’t step outside without sweating.  If the heat lets you go then the humidity will insure the sweat rises to your brow, among other places.  As my neighbor likes to say, this is the season where you get the air you can wear, the unavoidable fashion accessory.

So there was sweat.

You know what there wasn’t?

Stinging eyes.

Well, the sweat stung a little because it’s salty, but it didn’t burn like acid.  There were a couple of days where it was hot enough to melt your skin off of your bones and I was standing outside with a mask on. I know some of it dripped into my eyes.  There is no doubt about that. The product not dripping would be an impossibility.  I think I sweated out water I drank three years ago on those days, so there was no defense for anything topical. 

But there were no burning, pain filled eyes, so I am taking that as a win.

And no I am not going to squirt it directly into my eyes to double check. 

Although I have to confess, I did put a little on my lips to taste since the mask kept my lips safe and secure, along with my lungs and the rest of me. It didn’t really taste of anything. I’m not going to go putting it on an ice cream sundae or anything, but the accidentally tasting wasn’t horrific.

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To be honest, this sunscreen passed all of my tests with flying colors.  No gag worthy taste, no burning eyeballs and it was easy to remember to apply because it sat with my skin care and became part of my daily routine. Applying it became a habit, one I hope to maintain.

The Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield didn’t make me break out. It didn’t make me feel greasy.  It felt weightless on my skin and it provided me with SPF 50 level protection for my face without having to do a construction game with other products. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still favor a lot of products with built in SPF, especially in the summer time, but I really like not having to rely on them. I really like having the good sunscreen underneath so that anything layered on top is just extra, not vital.

And oh yeah, no sun burn even though I spent loads of time outside in the hot, hot sun.

Seriously, this made sunscreen part of my skin care regimen instead of something I hated and tended to forget. I honestly didn’t think that was going to happen. I suppose the only question that remains is whether or not I’m allowed to send Aja a thank you note.

Because this was a very good idea.


Remember the links in this post are for volitionbeauty.com which only ships to the US and Canada. Mostly because I am located in the US. Even if you aren’t in the US it is well worth poking around on their site. If you are outside the US or Canada then @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand. I love that this sunscreen is available worldwide.

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Jersey Shore Cosmetics and Sox Box Subscription Reviews

This week I received two of the subscriptions I have through Cratejoy.  The first is the From Korea with Love Sox Box.  For $12.95 per month you get three pairs of Sox.  This month they came in a small box wrapped in tissue paper instead of the little cardboard tube in a bubble mailer. 

As the box is easier to recycle, I’m okay with that. I suspect recent pandemic protocols caused the mailing change. The socks fit my feet with a little extra room to spare.  I wear a US 7.5 and I think they are supposed to fit size 6 -8.5 US.  The subscription charges on the 11th of the month and ships between the first and the third and they ship out of California.

This month I have to say the penguins are my favorite.  Seriously, how stinkin’ cute are these? Pretty stinkin’ cute that’s what.  And they make me happy when I look down at my feet.  I know, they are just socks, but I have to tell you, I really like socks.  I think one of the reasons I like them so much is that with my weight and weight loss, all of my clothes feel temporary and somewhat ill fitting.  All clothing has been going from too tight to just right to too baggy for the past year. Or if my weight loss stalls I wonder why it isn’t getting too baggy. And then I worry that I’ve plateaued and start to rethink my entire work out plan.

This does not happen with socks.  They are just cute and I am happy.

Also arriving is my Jersey Shore Cosmetics. This month I am adding to my stockpile.  After this month, I may be cancelling this subscription for a while, or I may keep it one more month, then cancel.  I love lip balm, but there is only so much lip balm I can use.  It takes me about a month to go through one tube and each subscription comes with four lip balms.  It is a really good deal actually.  The subscription is $10 with a $3 shipping charge and comes with four lip balms from Jersey Shore Cosmetics. 

As each of their lip balms costs $12 each, it is a great value for the price.  So what I tend to do with this subscription is keep it for a few months, stock pile lip balms and then cancel until I’ve gone through my stock pile. Then I re-subscribe and the process starts all over again.  I may not keep this subscription every month, but I will always return. 

This month I received my four lip balms.  They are a lip balm in watermelon and another in cherry.  These are their standard formula for lip balms.  As in only the scent varies as opposed to highlight or tint.  The third lip balm was the Quattro H2O Pure Hydration Ultimate Hydrating lip balm.  I have never tried this one before.  As I am almost through with the pomegranate lip balm I opened last month, I am just going to mark this as next in line so I can try the formula. 

Okay that is a long winded way of saying I opened it even though I try to keep only one open at a time.  As a spoiler, I also opened the fourth one too.  The Quattro feels a little firmer than the regular lip balms and I put it on to test it out and it actually stayed on my lips longer as well. If I venture near a swimming pool this year, this is the balm I’ll take. For now, I’m wearing it on my walks outside.  I think it is designed for the summer and I look forward to wearing it and seeing how it does with my lips. 

The fourth hydrating Balm I received in my subscription this month is called nudist.  I opened it becuase it seemed to have a tint to it which made it more like a lipstick than a balm, so of course I had to open it and see.  First off, it smells like candy.  It actually reminds me of Tarte eyeshadows.  Its that kind of scent.  That vanilla-esque scent. Personally, I love it. There is a little bit of a bronze shimmer to it, but it is very subtle and when I tried to take a picture just looked like lip balm. Even though I normally plan to stockpile my lip balms I may try this one out in my make up bag next week. 

In addition to the lip balms, Jersey Shore Cosmetics sent a stick mineral sunscreen as a free gift this month.  It smells oddly like oatmeal.  In the best possible way of course.  I love oatmeal.  In the spirit of fairness I should point out that my baby doll does not think it smells like oatmeal.  He also thinks I am crazy for thinking it smells like oatmeal. 

But it smells like oatmeal.

At the moment I just started testing out a Volition sunscreen so I will be putting this to the side to try at a later date, but I really appreciate having extra sunscreen around.

Both of these subscriptions are through Cratejoy.  I really enjoy having the one system to manage several subscriptions. It’s really easy to log into my account, see what subscriptions I have that are active, which one’s I’ve cancelled and when the next payment date for the subscription is.  It’s especially useful with subscriptions like Jersey Shore Cosmetics that I only keep for a few months at a time, but then return to after a break.. They are easy to find, easy to cancel and easy to reactivate.  It helps me to keep things organized.  Plus I get to poke around and see what other new subscriptions I think might be fun to try out for a while. I always seem to find something interesting.


Reviewing the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm in the travel size

In last month’s Glossy Box I received  a travel size of the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (full size retails for $65). I love cleansers and I really like Elemis so I was very happy to see it. In addition, it arrived when I had only a few days left of my Versed Cleansing balm remaining in the jar.  While I have several cleansing oils I have been trying recently, I had no spare cleansing balm around.  I pretty much resolved to finish the Versed Cleansing Balm and just use the oils until I reduced the number I had enough to feel virtuous, and then pick up a cleansing balm.  Admittedly, I hadn’t yet decided which one I wanted to pick up. 

So this worked out perfectly for me.

Enter the Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. 

It is a travel sized product, which I have to say I don’t mind so much since I hadn’t used it before and wasn’t sure if I’d like it. While I like the brand, it is rare that I like everything a brand makes so I am always prepared for the one product I don’t like from a line.

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It is a rather large travel size (coming in at 20g/0.7 oz), especially since I found I didn’t need  to use a lot of product. I have to say I really like that even the travel size comes in a glass jar rather than a plastic one. But, packaging aside, what should you expect from this product?

This No.1 Bestselling cleansing balm deep cleanses and leaves skin supremely soft. Luxurious Rose and Mimosa waxes are infused with nourishing Elderberry, Starflower and Optimega™ oils and supercharged with anti-aging algae, Padina Pavonica.

This rich balm contains 9 essential oils that lift away dirt and leave skin soft and clean. It is also intensely nourishing and contains powerful marine actives proven to firm your skin.

Perfect to use on a daily basis as a deep cleansing balm or weekly as a nourishing facial mask.

Okay, I like cleansing balms, but I adore masks.  And if you are going to claim that it works well as a mask, I’m going to try it as a mask.  But first, I will try it as a cleansing balm.

Cause it’s a cleansing balm.

When you open the jar the rose and mimosa make their presence felt.  It is a rather more aggressively floral scent than I was expecting. It also has an odd scent I tend to associate with products that have any form of marine based compound in the, mixed it.   

I’ve found the scent with Elemis products before and I’ve also had a similar aroma from Algenist products.  Since both of them tend to use marine compounds, I’m guessing that is what that scent is, although I could be completely off base. This is just what my nose tells me.   It isn’t a bad scent, in fact I really like it, however if you are sensitive to fragrances this might be something to take into consideration. 

I will say it is a bit jarring after using the Versed Cleansing Balm. While I enjoyed usung that one, it has a scent that reminds me of Vick’s Vapor Rub. Not bad, but something I wasn’t initially expecting. This doesn’t smell medicinal in anyway, which I really like.

The cleansing balm is more creamy than I expected as well. It reminds me of the consistency of whipped honey or maybe just melted fresh beeswax. Although it is in no way waxy or sticky like those products, I’m just not quite certain what other substance to compare it to. Most other bams seem to come out of the jar as kind of a wazy solid like you scraped your nail across a candle and then melt hinto your hand. This comes out more cream like from the start. It is far softer than a lot of other balms I’ve tried and scoops out super easily. In fact, it is really easy to pick up more than you actually need.   The scent dissipates well once on the skin and isn’t as overpowering as it is in the jar. So if you don’t find the scent off putting in the jar, then you will be fine with it on the skin, fragrance-wise.

Because of its consistency the balm massages into the skin easily and really well and removes makeup while leaving the skin soft.  When I ran a damp cotton round over my skin after using it and rinsing off my face, I only had the marks from my finger’s pressure on the round, not left over makeup. I put a little dab on my finger tips and massaged it into my closed eyelids to get the shadow and mascara off and had no problem with it seeping into my eyes and making my contacts foggy. (which has happened before with cleansing balms and oils).

So I was pleased I didn’t have to take my contacts out before washing my face. I know that sounds a little strange but I am blind as a bat without my contacts so doing my skin care routine without them is a little difficult. I can either choose to stumble blindly through the routine, trusting the blur in the mirror is actually me and that I have chosen the correct products in the order I really want to use them, or I have to play the on and off game with my glasses. So I was happy I could just keep my contacts in with no problems.

The cleansing balm rinses off clean and if I didn’t want to do a double cleanse, this is the product I found myself reaching for.  It is a one and done make up remover. That was good for nights where I just wanted to shorten my routine and flop into bed rather than extended and luxuriate in skin care. Some nights I enjoy the drawn out routine, other nights, I just want to sleep.

Since my skin felt so good after using it, you know I had to try it out as a mask.  As expected from using it as a cleansing balm, the product absorbed well into the skin.  I waited fifteen minutes as I would with any mask and then I rinsed it off. My skin did feel soft, but to be honest it didn’t feel any softer than when I just used the product as a cleansing balm. I think using this as a mask, is sort of a waste of product. I would much rather just use it as a cleansing balm. 

There is one thing I noticed though. A few days before using this  product, I sliced my finger open in a kitchen accident.  (I was putting away dishes and someone put a knife into the drying wrack upside down. No stitches were needed but it was not pleasant. 

Anyway, the cut reached the point where it was scabbed over in a thin line of hard tissue and I had to remind myself not to pick at it because it was sort of ridge like and annoying, but still healing.  Just to see what would happen, when I used the cleansing balm as a mask, I rubbed a little onto the hard tissue and let it sit for the fifteen minutes I wore the mask.  When I rinsed off the mask, I washed my hand.  The hard tissue was significantly softer and remained so.  While I wouldn’t recommend using this as any form of medical thing, I can say it does have a softening effect on rough and hard skin. I think if I had any rough patches on my face I would rub it in and let it sit as more of a spot treatment than a mask.

I really enjoyed using this product and I expect that at some point it will make a reappearance.  At the moment I am using what remains sparingly as I really don’t want to reach the bottom of the jar. I’m also eagerly anticipating the other new products that might come in my next subscription box.


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Sunday Riley Skincare Review

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

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

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

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

Start of the trial skin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sort of.

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

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

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

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

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

For me this worked really well.

end of trial skin

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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





A face full of foaming fun

Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Cleansing foam

There is something just plain fun about using a foaming face wash.  Dispensing a plethora of foamy white into your palm and smearing it all over the face is just kind of an amusing thing to contemplate.  Well for me anyway.  Recently I have been using the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Cleansing foam calming micellar cleanser and I have to say, I have been loving it.

dispenser

The scent is fresh and clean, the foam is fun and my skin feels fantastic. I know I shouldn’t be surprised.  I always seem to have good luck with Elemis products. They are just really well made. I think it is the fact that it is a foaming face wash that makes me think ‘Fun’ instead of functional.  But it is quite functional. 

According to the product page…

Cleanses, Soothes, Balances Packed with fermented Superfoods and formulated with Micellar Technology, this soothing foaming cleanser easily removes all traces of makeup and impurities, leaving the complexion looking calm, balanced and fresh. Infused with soothing Biotransformed Cica and nourishing Fermented Green Tea Seed Oil. Leaves the skin feeling purified and refreshed. Vegan-friendly and 100% sulfate-free formula won’t leave skin feeling dry or tight

Receive a DELUXE SAMPLE with $30+ purchases.

I have to say I agree with all of that.  Even waterproof makeup came off easily and cleanly with little left on the toner pad to pick up.  There were as always a few traces of mascara under the eyes but  they were light smears that were gone with one extra pass of the wash cloth.  While I loved the fun of the foam, I also liked that I didn’t have to rub really hard at the sun.  I just lightly massaged the foam into my face and the makeup came off. 

Now I have to say, I looked up Cica because I wasn’t sure what it was and  to be honest I thought it sounded a bit like a shortened form of cicada.  I knew it wasn’t because the product is listed as vegan. So putting something not vegan on the label would seem really odd.  So I looked it up.  Cica is short for Centella Asiatica.  It’s an Asian medicinal herb that looks a bit like a clover.  Its main uses seem to be calming inflammation, being an antioxidant and enhancing wound healing.

I’m not entirely certain what the biotransformed part is and I couldn’t find any details on that.  But I will say, I am a big fan of this cleanser.   While I find the cleanser great and the foam fun, I have to say the practical side of me really likes the fact that you can lock the pump down. So if you decide to travel with it, Elemes will not befoaming all over your travel bag and its contents. It will be locked down tight and remain in the bottle until use. I love that feature. Disturbingly, not all pump products come with it. Personally I think they should.

The Elemis Cica Superfood cleanser is definitely in my top three cleansers at the moment.  The other two in that top tier are the Fresh Soy face Cleanser and the Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser.  I like all three for different reasons, but if I had to rank them I would say the Elemis beats the Fresh Soy Face cleanser by just a smidge and is running about even with the Malin+Goetz (that citrus scent is hard to beat in the mornings – I think my ideal would be to use the Malin+Goetz in the morning and the Elemis at night.) Not that it’s actually a competition, but if it were all three would need a photographer and a stop watch to call the race.  I would happily use any of these three on any given day.  I think it goes without saying that I will definitely be repurchasing this cleanser again.


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