The Friday Face Mask with Rodial

Welcome once again my darlings to Face Mask Friday.  Today was an interesting masking experience.  First, if you see the white turban like structure on my head it is because I decided to wash my hair before applying the mask and to add the ESPA 20 minute scalp mask on to it. I figured letting the mask sit in my hair while I sat with a face mask was a good idea.

From my collection of sheet masks I pulled the Rodial vit c energizing Brighten and Renew face mask. I know it came in one of my subscription boxes.  I think it was a Glossy Box, but I’m not 100% on that. I know they currently have a limited edition Rodial box for sale (but it focuses on the Dragon’s blood line). Either way, it was the sheet mask I decided to try today. 

Usually sheet masks fall into two categories for me.  Category 1: Nice to use but not something I would go out and pick up multiples of and Category 2: Nice and must keep multiples of on hand.

This mask was something different.

We’ll start with the positives.  The serum in the mask was fantastic.  I really liked the way it felt on my skin.  My skin absorbed it well and felt fabulously energized just as the mask descriptor would lead me to believe.  I really liked the serum of this mask. And actually when I went to look this mask up, I found that Rodial sells this mask in a jar as a gel mask. I bet that is fantastic because the product in the mask was fantastic.

You know what I didn’t like? The actual mask the serum was on.

Thick mask material

I’ve had masks where part of the mask wouldn’t stick down onto my face because of sizing issues.  This was something else.  I think the difficulty was that the paper of the mask was so thick that it didn’t want to conform to my face.  It was folded into a square in the package and saw absolutely no reason why it should not retain its crease lines regardless of the contours of my face. 

That picture of me with the mask on is actually the best I could get it to conform to my face. And while I don’t need to have an exactly perfect fit on my mask, I do need it to lay against my skin, if only so that my skin could absorb the wonderful serum.

But the paper of the mask was too thick.  I lay down to wear the mask and kept having to reach up and try and press the mask back down onto my face.  I could actually feel it lifting. It was a distinctly unrelaxing masking experience.  There was no floating off into a moment of zen, there was not even a sing along to my music.  I didn’t actually put on my music as I was so fixated on the mask and what it was doing.

Would I wear this mask again?  No, most definitely not. However I will look up Rodial and see if they sell the serum for this mask as it is a serum I really would like to use for longer periods.  The sections of my skin that got the serum loved it.  And when I went to the bathroom to remove the mask, I squeezed out any remaining serum and smoothed it over the rest of my face to ensure that my whole face received the serum-y goodness. 

Then I let it sit for another five minutes before rinsing the mask out of my hair out so that my skin had time to absorb the serum and that it didn’t go down the drain with the hair mask. Incidentally the ESPA Scalp mask performed excellently this way.

I will not purchase this mask, but as the serum in the mask was excellent and Rodial does sell a jarred gel mask with the exact same name, I would consider purchasing that. I know there is such a thing as a qualified success.  I think I found it’s opposite, the qualified failure. And now face soothed, and hair gloriously treated, it is back to work for me for the rest of the afternoon. I hope everyone out there has a fantastic weekend.

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Calm and Clean

In the September Boxy Luxe I received the Cuccio Somatology Yogahhh! Calm and Clean Epsom Salt Hand and body wash with Lavender oil. I know, that is quite a name. And to be honest, i wasn’t certain about using the same product on my hands as my body.

I know. it is all skin, but the skin of my hands sees a bit more activity than some of my other parts and needs a slightly different product. But I am always game to try something new.

So, I looked the product up on the website…

CALM + CLEAN EPSOM SALT HAND + BODY WASH gently cleanses without dehydrating the skin.  Using the finest ingredients, Epsom Salt helps muscles feel reinvigorated and reenergized after the most intense of workouts.  The combination of Pro-Vitamin B5 + Shea Butter help keep your skin feeling moisturized post-shower.  Enjoy the soothing essential oil blend of Lavender Oil to help wash away stress and worry from the day, leaving the mind, body and spirit completely calm, renewed + restored.

I like epsom salts. When I was little we kept a jar of them in the house. Anytime you had a skin irritation such as poison ivy, you rinsed off any remaining oils from the plant (so they didn’t spread elsewhere) and then got to spend a large chunk of time soaking in a bath heavily laden with epsom salts. Because that is the trick with them. The longer you soaked, the better they worked. But you have to soak to get the benefits.

clear product in hand

I’m sure there are some benefits to putting them in a soap that you use and rinse off quickly, but given my past experience with epsom salts, I am not completely sold on this. However I’m guessing that the calm part of the title relates more towards the lavender oil.

And boy does this have some lavender oil in it. The only reason I am certain it is not pure lavender oil in the bottle is that it does foam slightly when you use it. Otherwise, it smells like lavender oil. Very strong lavender oil.

I like lavender but this was just a bit much for me scent wise. Still I figured the water would dilute it and so I put it to the test. I started with the shower. Here I used it like body wash. The hot water helped bring out the scent of the lavender before washing it away, which I didn’t particularly care for, but I managed. As a body wash, I didn’t particularly care for it.

It lathers slightly but not a lot. When rinsed, my skin did feel softer but it also felt like a little oily film was left behind. Combined with the scent, this was not a bath time product I enjoyed. While I don’t require massive amounts of foam from my products, I do want them to rinse off cleanly.

But there are two uses listed on the bottle. Hand and body, remember?

So I tried it on the hands.

the foaming action

The lavender scent was a bit much, but as I was only using it on my hands, the scent was not too overpowering. Because of so much hand washing and hand sanitizer, the oil aspect of this hand soap was appreciated. The skin of my hands really appreciated it. It didn’t dry my skin like my usual antibacterial soap. I still use my antibacterial soap when touching anything that came from out of the house, but it is nice to have a milder soap around for just normal handwashing, like if you just spilled honey onto your fingers when you made tea. So for those purposes it was nice to have around and I will certainly keep it around until it is used up.

It is however a product that retails for $39.95. As a body wash I didn’t care for it and while it is nice to have as a hand soap. I could just as easily use regular soap and then apply hand cream. For me to spend nearly $40 on this product it would have needed to be amazing. It did not come in as amazing, it came in as tolerable. So I will use it, and quite possibly reuse the bottle because it is a nice blue pump bottle (in fact the bottle is kind of my favorite part of the product), but I will not be purchasing a replacement.

La Roche-Posay- ACD

Treating my tootsies with e-cooking’s overnight Foot Cream

e-cooking’s overnight foot cream in its natural habitat – the night stand

I will be the first to admit that I put my feet through a lot. Not only do they support me through every activity, but I walk them nearly to death in my quest to lose weight. My main exercise, especially since I stopped going to the gym, has been walking. although truth be told even regular exercise inside the house, whether it is a work out video, wii fit or even just stripping down the beds so the sheets can be washed, my feet carry me through.

And I often forget this.

Usually a blister of some sort causes me to take notice of my feet and at that point I realize that I have very badly neglected them and begin a routine designed to make it up to them. (Then of course I slack off until I realize that I’m going to be wearing shoes that display my feet or another blister appears and the process begins again).

Because so many body creams are simply not designed for feet, I generally find one product that works and keep buying it. Quite a few years ago I picked up a Soap & Glory Foot cream that worked well and so I kept buying it. It is also what I use to compare newer products that I have tried. Thus far, nothing has displaced it as my go to foot cream.

inner lid

However when the e-cooking Overnight Foot Cream came in my October Look Fantastic Beauty Box, I was cautiously excited. I’ve tried other e-cooking products and found them to be really good. They seem to be one of those brands no one really talks about, but very quietly, competently and consistently puts out really good products. They are like the range of products you either know about and look for, or they float past your radar without making a blip on the screen.

At least that has been my experience. Maybe someone else gets bombarded with ads for them, but it sure isn’t me. Although my metrics for internet searches is kind of messed up. I do a lot of research for fiction writing. A couple of months ago I was researching a few things for a murder mystery and the computer just kept sending me boatloads of ads for criminal lawyers.

I think it was trying to help me.

But that is beside the point.

Foot cream is the point.

the product (after 2 weeks of use)

So, to the foot cream. The sample of the Overnight Foot Cream comes in a lovely glass jar with a nice simple label. I find it quite attractive actually. I really like that it has the inner lid on it as well. But as attractive as it is, it is what is inside that counts. So according to the product page…

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your sandals are if your feet aren’t well-cared-for. This is why we have developed a night cream that removes hard skin and moisturises the skin at the same time. The Overnight Foot Cream has a cooling antibacterial effect that protects against infections and has a lovely, fresh aroma of natural Eucalyptus.

The Overnight Foot Cream is created to work its magic whilst you sleep.

Ecooking’s Overnight Foot Cream also contains:

  • 15% Natural Carbamide (urea) improves hydration and treats dryness. It also has an anti-microbial effect.
  • Natural Lactic Acid – from the AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) family – exfoliates and removes dead skin cells whilst boosting collagen production.
  • Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil increases blood circulation, leaving a fresh aroma and slight cooling sensation on the skin.
  • Natural Sodium PCA to improve the skin’s ability to absorb moisture.
  • Natural Menthol cools the skin.
  • Organic Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil moisturises the skin.
  • Natural Panthenol improves hydration.
  • Dermasoft Decalact acts as an active anti-microbial.
  • Organic Almond Oil softens and nourishes the skin.
  • Organic Glycerin keeps the skin moist.

Vegan and dermatologically tested.

Okay that’s a lot, but essentially it means that the cream is supposed to provide intense moisture to dry and calloused feet as well as killing microbes. I can get behind that. I would also like to say that while I like the little jar and think it is very lovely, the one issue I had with it was scooping the cream out as I tended to get too much in one sitting. The full sized version? Yeah, it has a pump so it isn’t a problem.

The product it semf smells of menthol. I am not a huge fan of the scent, but it goes on my feet, then I put socks on so after application, there is no issue with scent from me. And to be fair, because I associate mentol with Vicks Vapor Rub it felt like I was giving my fet something medicinal.

After one night, I could see a softening of the calluses and moisture returning to the dry spots. It wasn;t a miracle cream, but there was moisture overnight. After a week of steady use, there was no dryness in general and my calluses were much softened. While my feet will never be fabulously lovely and baby bottom smooth, after all the abuse I heaped on them this summer, they needed some care before the winter dryness set in.

Because that is their real enemy.

The calluses I can deal with and I can even live with the few dry patches, however once the winter sets in, dry callus tends to crack and crack painfully if something isn’t done about it. hile not an overnight miracle worker, with consistent use, this is a really good product. To be honest, it works as well, if not better than, the Soap & Glory Cream which is my standard for comparison. In addition, the ingredients are ones I feel more comfortable with putting on my skin. It is a more expensive cream at $38 per bottle, but as the trial sized 30 mL jar is still more than half full after two weeks of use, I think the 100 mL full sized bottle would get me completely through the winter. It is a good product, with good ingredients and I would have no problem repurchasing this Overnight Foot Cream from e-cooking.


Sampling Coconut Water Cream from First Aid Beauty

I’ll be honest, I let this First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream moisturizer linger in the drawer.  Each time I reached in to try out a new product, my hand would pass over it.  I passed on it only for the sake of the word coconut. 

I know it is foolish, but there were so many coconut scented products in my world this summer that I felt a little coconutty myself.  It was the scent of the summer.  Admittedly, this summer was the Summer of 2020 so I’m not sure it really wants that association.

But most of the coconut scented products have been taken out of my skin care drawer and to be honest I have very few trial sized moisturizers left in the drawer.  I have an entire box full of serums to test out, but I am getting down to the larger moisturizers so soon I will be going back into the one month long trials and leaving these short tests behind.

It was time to bring the First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream out of the drawer and give it a try. So what should I expect?

Oil-free refreshingly light water cream moisturizer infused with skin nourishing Coconut Water hydrocharges your skin with a burst of electrolyte-rich moisture for softer, smoother, healthier-looking skin. Rich in electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, Coconut Water is known as nature’s perfect hydrator. This non-comedogenic formula absorbs immediately into skin while hydrocharging, to make it appear softer, smoother and more plumped. The oil-free formula is boosted by a combination of Sodium Hyaluronate and Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate to help reinforce skin’s moisture, protect against exposure to the elements and leave skin appearing smooth, soft and plumped.

Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Glucose, Maltodextrin, Aqua (Water, Eau), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cocos Nu-cifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sea Salt (Maris Sal, Sal Marin), Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dip-teryx Odorata Seed Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dimethicone Cross-polymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone, Phe-noxyethanol, Laureth-8.

First Aid Beauty

Okay first off, I don’t see anything in the ingredients list that cause me any concern which I am very happy about.  And so we open the little tube of product.  As you can see from the photo the cream is a clearish jelly like consistency.

To my utter delight it did not smell like coconut.

I have to admit, I did a little happy dance.  I was committed to trying the product regardless, but the fact that there was no coconut scent made me happy.  (while I do actually like coconut, I just got buried in the scent this summer. I actually do like the scent of coconut I just don’t want EVERYTHING to smell like coconut or months on end.)

It actually smells vaguely candy like.  Actually, you know those candy necklaces and bracelets you could get as a kid?  That’s the kind of candy it smells like.

So happy with the scent, I applied it to my face.  Let me tell you, I am in love.  It blended into my skin like a dream.  My skin was soft and hydrated and not sticky or greasy at all. The sample tube only had enough product for about a week and a half of use, and trust me, I used it all. Which is why the tube in the top photo loos very squished.

While this trial wasn’t enough to determine any actual effects on the skin long term, it was enough to let me know I want a full sized tub of it to try out.  I also want to apologize for not trying this sooner and I will be adding the $34 full size to my full skin care trial as soon as I am able. 

I may have other moisturizers to test out and work through, but I will be circling back to this Coconut Water Cream by FAB.  I actually enjoyed using this sample more than I have enjoyed some of the more higher priced moisturizers I have tried. 

I also think it was helped out by the time of year.  It is my skin’s traditional transitioning time.  This provided the kind of light weight moisture that is definitely appropriate for this time of year. I still have summer oily spots and a few dry spots brought out by the turning on of the central heat. It is the bane of skin that is balanced on that thin line they call ‘normal’. In the summer I am normal leaning to oily, in the winter I am normal leaning towards dry, which means spring and fall I flip flop between dry and oily depending on the weather of the day. This past week we had rain and sun, high and low humidity and temperatures ranging from the mid-fifties to the upper seventies. This moisturizer handled it all beautifully.  So oh yeah, this is going on my list for a full sized trial.

Sunny side up with 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum from Timeless Skincare

A while back Timeless Skincare graciously gifted me with several of their products to try and I have been putting them to the test.  I slowly rotated each one into my skin care routine, so as not to bombard my skin with all new ingredients.  The fourth and final product from my Timeless Skin Care trial was the 20% Vitamin C + E and F Acid (retail . $25.95). I have been using it for one month straight. 

But before we get into how I felt about the serum, let’s look at what it claims on the product page…

Give your skin a mega dose of Vitamin C. Our 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid serum brightens skin, builds collagen and evens out tone. Enhanced with Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid, this serum is a great pick me up for dull, discolored and stressed skin, while providing 24/7 protection against environmental pollutants. Recommended For: All skin types. As always Timeless Skincare is Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, has More actives, less chemicals and is Made in the USA.

Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare
the pump top

One thing I love about the Timeless skincare products I have tried is that their ingredients lists are not a mile long.  Admittedly this one has some tongue twister words so lets take a moment to break them down.  (As a reminder I am not a medical professional of any kind and I am certainly not a dermatologist, I am just a skin care enthusiast who really likes to try and understand what it is I am putting on my face.  At the end of this post I’ll like a few articles for those who want to look into more professional assessments of the ingredients I am breaking down. )

So first up there is water.  I am always happy to see that.  While many ingredients can lock down moisture, they need moisture to lock down, otherwise they are just sort of sealing in what you have and not adding anything.

the product in hand

Next up is the Ethoxydiglycol.  While a mouthful of syllables its purpose is to dissolve ingredients, increase the efficacy of the other active ingredients in the serum.  One of the ingredients it is increasing the efficacy of is the L-Ascorbic Acid which is a form of vitamin C very often used in skin care because it is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing agent that can improve the appearance of signs of aging.

The Propylene Glycol acts as a humectant which means it secures the water and takes it to the outer layer of your skin.

Alpha Tocopherol is the Vitamin E listed in the name of the product and it also acts as an antioxidant  while Polysorbate 80 attracts and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away.  So essentially, if my understanding is correct the Vitamin E helps pull the bad things in your skin to the surface and the Polysorbate 80 acts as the bouncer who kicks them out of Club Dermatitis.

Full face before the trial (L) at the end of one month (R).

Panthenol softens and sooths the skin and helps it build up a barrier against water loss.

Ferulic Acid, the F mentioned on the product label, is an antioxidant that works to boost the effects of other antioxidants and  Sodium Hyaluronate helps to restore the skin’s moisture, promoting a more revitalized and youthful complexion. 

And finally we get to Benzylalcohol, whose chief function in cosmetics is as a preservative, and it’s among the least sensitizing preservatives in use and  Dehydroacetic Acid a non-toxic ingredient used to keep the product from spoiling and acts as a fungicide and bactericide .  Not very sexy ingredients to end the list with but very necessary.  After all there is nothing good about expired skin care.

While those are some very scientific words, the end result is that the ingredients are used to lock in moisture, while sending in a team of antioxidants and promoting healthy youthful looking skin.

While youthful looking skin may be a judgment call, I can say that my skin feels hydrated and soft.  I had no issues with clogged pores or redness with the sun as can sometimes happen with Vitamin C based products (at least it has happened to me a couple of times).

The scarring and sun damage on my cheek before the trial (L) after one month (R)

The product is in a yellow colored plastic dispenser.  The color of the container keeps the sunlight away from the product, which I appreciate, but it also prevents me from knowing how much product remains.  Foolishly I forgot to weigh it before I started my trial.  Unlike the other serums and oils, I’ve tried from Timeless Skincare, it does not come with a dropper, but has a pump that you press to dispense the serum.  I’m guessing it is to keep as much air out of the product as possible. 

One pump is all that I needed to cover my face.  The product absorbed into my skin quickly and easily.  As you can see in the photo it is clear and despite the fact that Panthenol often has a floral scent to it, this serum has almost no scent to it at all.  If you stick your nose right down into it, you might smell something, but then you have to be close enough that you risk inhaling the serum.  I do not recommend inhaling the serum.

I don’t think anyone recommends inhaling any serum actually.

But it means that for those of you sensitive to scent, there will be no problem.  I will say the photos aren’t as dramatic as with the Hyaluronic Acid serum.  In the front facing before and after photos you can see that some of the sun discoloration on my forehead has been reduced and in the side photo showing the scarring on my cheek, you can see a little fading as well.  There is more fading in the sun damage than in the scaring, but there is some noticeable fading. You have to remember that with skin care thirty days of use is generally when you start to see results.  I think that if I continue using this product, over time I would see more fading of the damage as the active ingredients went to work on my skin.  It is less dramatic than its HA counterpart, but still a very nice serum.  And to the touch my skin feels softer and more hydrated, which doesn’t show up as clearly in the photos. 

So will I continue to use this serum?  Yes.  I will be using it up completely.  Will I place this on my to be ordered list? Yes I think I will.  I have other serums in my skin care drawer I want to try, some of them Vitamin C based, but thus far this 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic serum has worked really well with my skin and is in the top five of the vitamin C products I have tried before. I am very happy that I got a chance to try this product out and share my thoughts on it. For those of you interested in more scientific break downs of some of the ingredients I listed out, you might want to look into and the Derm Review.

SodaStream USA, inc

Is the GlamGlow Bright Eyes Eye Cream worth it?

I have always had a difficult relationship with GlamGlow products. I see them, they look interesting and I hear fantastic things about them. then I try them and am usually left feeling like I missed something. Clearly this product couldn’t be what everyone else is talik ng about can it? Its not that I find the products bad. They are decent products. But from the reactions of everyone else I always feel as though they got the super amped up version while I picked up the average one. I think this is why I keep going back to try more products from them.

This time around it is an eye cream. I believe I picked up this tiny little jar of GlamGlow Bright Eyes as an IPSY add on.  As small as it is, the little jar was packed absolutely full of product.  Since so little product actually needs to be applied, that tiny little jar will last a really long time.

What is GlamGlow Bright eyes?

An illuminating eye cream that instantly brightens dark circles and reduces the visible signs of fatigue around the entire eye area for a super well-rested, glowing look.

The description was not too over the top in terms of claims which I like. In fact it has mostly the same claims that any decent eye cream should have (otherwise what’s the point of applying the eye cream?).

The full 0.5 fl.oz. / 15ml size retails for $39.  The size I received is 0.1 oz/3 ml, if you would like the comparison. I’ve been using this product for two weeks (and yes this is the level of the product in the jar after two weeks of consistent use). I will be shocked if the 3 ml sized product lasts less than a full three months. So little product  is actually needed to put on your eyes that I can see a full sized jar lasting five to six months easily.

To apply I rubbed my clean finger along the top surface of the product. This small size is really good for that application actually. I didn’t have to dig into the product with nails or a spoon or anything, just along the top to gather product. The amount on my finger in the hoto is what was gathered for each eye using this method. So double the amount shown with each use (because I have two eyes – I know, rocket science).

There is no scent to this product other than a light scent of cream product.  So you will be spared my nose’s deliberations on the eye cream.  The only issue I had during the use of this product was that because the jar was so small I had to make certain my hands were completely dry before attempting to open it because it was hard to get a purchase on it with damp skin.

As i said before, GlamGlow products and I have a difficult past.  Some of the products I’ve tried I’ve disliked, but not hated, like the cleanser which left my skin feeling nice, but took forever to actually get rinsed off the skin, and some I liked but didn’t feel they were worth the price (various masks for the most part). I have to say, I liked this eye cream and I think it is actually worth the price. It may actually be my favorite GlamGlow product that I’ve tried. 

It went on well with a little bit of product needed.  I know it says immediate results and I did use the product for two weeks, but very few skin care products work instantaneously (and quite frankly I don’t really trust the ones that do). Generally speaking you need thirty days worth of testing on your skin to begin to see results. I can see that this is going in a positive direction though. My skin is hydrated and the fineles not as noticeable, although i don’t think they’ve actually shrunk. Most importantly it did not clog my pores while hydrating the under eye area. 

While I generally consider Glam Glow to be a kind of middle of the road brand with their products falling into my personal ranking of just okay, this is a product that actually shined. Not only will I happily continue using this eye cream, but I would consider purchasing a full sized jar.

Challans de Paris
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Trying out the Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash

I am a big fan of exfoliants.  I tend to use them about once a week, occasionally twice, depending on my skincare needs.  While there are several that claim they can be used daily, it is rare to find one that actually can be used daily without causing too much exfoliation to the skin.  The Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash claims to be a…

Gentle everyday cleanser that lightly exfoliates and tones skin. Bia Exfoliating Wash lightly exfoliates and tones skin, making it gentle enough for everyday use. Jojoba grains provide exfoliation without irritating the skin and castor oil helps clear pores and impurities and evens the appearance of skin tone. This wash never leaves skin feeling tight or dry and is clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin flakiness. Scent: Uplifting Grapefruit and Elderflower

I received this in a subscription box (Glossy Box actually) and I have to say the daily cleanser/exfoliate was a combo that I found interesting.  The deluxe sample was enough for me to use twice a day for two weeks.  It is a cream consistency with the particulates (the jojoba grains) suspended in the product.

I have to say that it was gentle enough that I could use it twice daily without feeling like my skin was being scrubbed raw. It actually did no damage and did exfoliate well. It is an extremely gentle exfoliate.  You can feel the jojoba grains in the product but they tend to break down a bit as you wash rather than break your skin down and stay solid hard particles.  I had no fears that I was doing any damage to my skin while using it.

The cleanser aspect of the product foamed well when rubbed into the skin, but not extravagantly. this is not a suds galore product. It is more of an exfoliating product that also cleanses. The cleansing part is very much secondary to the exfoliation, but at the same time I didn’t feel as though I needed to go back and wash my face after rinsing off the Codex exfoliating wash which is a big plus. Typically with exfoliates I use an oil or cleansing balm to remove makeup, then exfoliate if I am going to and then use a cleanser. This did eliminate the need for an additional cleanser.

So it cleansed nicely and exfoliated well, achieving both of it’s stated goals. I appreciate that. The only drawback I had with this product was the scent.  While it claims to be a grapefruit and elderflower blend, what I got was mostly castor oil with a slight citrusy back note.

It isn’t a bad scent, but I don’t think it is for me.  I can always tell when a product is really good but the scent isn’t for me (other than the scent) because I will reach for it and sigh. I know it’s just me in the bathroom so there is no one I need to be dramatic for, but it is something I always do. Good products with scents I don’t care for get the sigh, because I want to use them, I just can’t get past the scent.

In case you are wondering products that don’t work well but smell nice, don’t get the sigh. Those just get moved along. I think the sigh is a sign of disappointment, either for the product of for my inability to get past the scent to use the product that works well. Because let’s face it, I know me. I am very scent oriented. I may know this (or any other) product works well, but if I don’t like the scent I am just not going to reach for it. I can power through a sample, but not a full sized bottle.

While I think the Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash itself is nice and it does an excellent job of cleansing and exfoliating the skin, I don’t think I could take the scent of the product every day. 

I kept hoping I would get used to it, but somehow, I never did. Which is a shame.  It really is a great product and I love that it is a gentle enough exfoliating wash to be used daily.  It is one of the few products I’ve tried that have made that claim and been able to live up to it. I love that it uses natural ingredients and plant based preservatives. I love their sustainability ambitions.

But for me, the scent is the killer. I tried very hard, but I just can’t get past it.  So sadly, while an excellent product, a full sized purchase will not be in my near future. If I purchased it, the tube would just sit there because I would find excuses not to use it.  I will however, keep the efficacy of the product in mind and look at other products from the brand in the hopes that they work just as well but have a different scent to them.

Testing the Tula Skincare’s Glow and Get it

For the last six or eight months I have heard people raving about Tula Skincare’s products. Everyone seems to love them. I received a sample of a Tula Cleanser (I believe it was in an IPSY Box) a while back and as everyone was raving about it I was super excited to try it.

I hated it.

And not just in an ‘I don’t think this cleanser is right for my skin type’ kind of way. It was intensely perfumed and did not leave my skin feeling clean. It was a hard pass for me.

And to be honest, I don’t like giving a lot of negative reviews. Most of the time the products I try are good products. If they don’t work for me I can usually see that they are either designed for a different skin type or to combat a problem i don’t have. I’ve also learned to pay more attention to ingredients lists and can avoid some products that I know are going to give me issues. After all why put my skin through the trauma I know would be coming, when I can just pass a product unopened to someone who will enjoy using it.

with the protective cap in place

When the Tula Skin Care Glow and Get It Calming and Brightening Eye Balm arrived in a subscription box I was on the fence about it. The only product I’d tried from Tula was the cleanser, but that didn’t mean I would hate the entire brand. There are many brands where I love some products and don’t like others. In fact most brands are like that. There are very few brands where every product is a hit for me. Admittedly, I get very excited when those brands do come up with something new, but that is another topic.

And I do love a good eye cream. The older I get, the more I find myself loving eye creams. Between the general aging process and my frequent bouts of insomnia, it is now a very important tool.

So I looked up what to expect from the product and decided to give it a try while keeping an open mind. According to the product page…

The game-changing, hyaluronic acid eye balm that started it all. Provides a lit-from-within glow while hydrating, cooling plus helping to reduce the look of fine lines & wrinkles around the eyes. Delivers an instant pick-me-up so you look refreshed, feel energized & can glow & get it!Deeply hydrates

  • Deeply hydrates
  • Firm & tighten the appearance of skin
  • Helps reduce the look of fine lines & wrinkles
  • Instantly brightens around & under the eyes
  • Provides immediate cooling
  • Leaves a dewy glow
  • Improve skin smoothness
  • Can help with the look of dark circles & puffiness around eyes
  • Travel-friendly
  • Use on cheekbones, cupid’s bow, nose & anywhere else you want a highlighting effect
The product

I have recently found from my trials with Timeless skincare that I really like Hyaluronic acid. I am beginning to think my forehead stress crack wrinkle has started absorbing all of it like some sort of Acid-aholic. So the fact that it was in this eye balm was encouraging. So I set my current eye cream to the side and began trying this out.

I like that it is in a stick format. Maybe it is because I like both Milk and Trestique products. However, the format made it easy and quick to apply. One swoop and the product was on my face. But you know me. The first thing I did when opening it and taking off the plastic protector cap was to sniff it. As I had many issues with the scent of the last Tula product I was hesitant.

This does not smell like perfume.

It does smell kind of like you put almond oil in an all natural kitchen cleaning spray. There is something antiseptic almost about the smell. It isn’t sweet, but nutty in an almond kind of way and antiseptic. It isn’t my favorite scent but the scent does fade.

So to the swoop around the eyes. On first application, it is silvery blue, and looks a bit like a cream highlighter. As you can see it better on my hand, I took the pictures there so it is more evident and there are fewer facial shadows. Clearly I wasn’t going around with this ringing around my eyes so I rubbed it in. And then it just looked greasy. I thought it might absorb, but it didn’t. Since I put the eye balm under makeup I didn’t worry too much, figuring powder would soon cover it up if nothing else.

product on hand as applied with the stick (two swipes)

But something interesting happened. If you read the description, you see that it is supposed to have a cooling effect. And it did. I felt a cooling sensation under my eyes and I did feel more awake because of it. As I often use a refrigerated stone roller under my eyes when I am tired in the afternoons, it isn’t surprising. So I put powder over the greasy looking spots and went about my day.

The powder stuck to the spots where the eye balm was placed like cotton batting velcro. It wasn’t going anywhere and as a consequence, the under eye area did look brighter.

However with each application, the cooling sensation faded so that by the fifth day of use there was no noticeable cooling effect from the eye balm. So that benefit was gone. I don’t know if my skin just got used to it and stopped reacting or what, but it was no longer there, and I kind of missed it.

product massaged in. the greasy look never went away

Now those of you who frequently read my posts you know that under my eyes I am prone to getting clogged pores. They are often the bane of my skincare. The masks weren’t helping, but I found some masks that were cut just slightly lower so they land slightly below my trouble spots but still protect my mouth and nose. with that and my current skin care regimen, my clogged pores have been greatly reduced.

After about a week of using this product, they began to multiply again. I tried varying placement of the product but given the size of the stick and the amount it had to be rubbed in to make it no ,onger look like highlighter, avoiding the area completely was impossible. I started applying it with a cotton swab (as in rubbing the cotton swab on the stick and then applying the swab to my skin. It sort of defeated the purpose of the stick, but it let me avoid the problem areas.

The issue is that there weren’t really any benefits. The cooling sensation faded, my skin felt greasy, my pores were clogged and I really didn’t see a difference in the fine lines around my eyes. Put quite simply, I’ve had way better results with other products that didn’t cause me issues.

Now I’m not saying the entire brand is bad, mostly because I haven’t tried the entire brand and can’t judge a product until I try it. But I can honestly say that this product is not for me. I like the idea of it, but it just didn’t work. I won’t be buying this again and I won’t be picking it up to add to any skin care themed family member’s baskets for my upcoming christmas and birthday gift buying extravaganza either.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

En Garde, Monsieur Soleil! Testing out the Polaar Fluide Solaire with SPF 50

And yes, I’ll admit it, I watched the Addams Family last night. when I was little I wanted to grow up and live in that house. The combination of library, greenhouse, trap doors and space for swordplay was irresistible. I also grew up with books of Charles Addams drawings in the house.

But, for now we move away from childhood fantasies and on to the sunscreen.

I know that I have mentioned this Polaar Fluide Solaire 50 SPF sunscreen before as I have been using it a while.  It is in fact almost used up so I thought I should give the sunscreen it’s own review before I use the last of it and send it to the empties bin.  This deluxe sample came to me either in a Glossy Box or a Look Fantastic Box.  To be honest I can’t remember which one. 

According to the product page…

An effective shield against the sun’s rays, the Polaar Very High Protection SPF50+ Sunscreen Lotion prevents UVA and UVB light from causing damage to your delicate complexion. With an incredibly high SPF 50+, the sun cream contains multiple filters as well as mineral screens to ensure protection across the widest spectrum possible. The broad spectrum organic filters work by absorbing rays, blocking the harm that UVA and UVB can cause. This is combined with natural mineral screens that work by reflecting the UV rays away in a mirror-like effect. Boasting a waterproof formula, the lotion is a long-lasting solution to staying safe, particularly on summer holidays.

Being a lotion, you’ll be treated to an incredibly lightweight finish that sinks into skin for a non-greasy finish. Gliding across skin, it’s ideal for those who are particularly sensitive or burn easily. To ensure skin stays in its best condition, the lotion also works to moisturise and nourish for a soft, smooth finish. Dermatologist tested. Free from perfume, parabens, alcohol and mineral oil. Suitable for vegans. Made in France.

I will say that this is a much more lightweight sunscreen than is typically found in drug store sunblocks.  It has almost no scent to it and feels rather light on the skin.  It doesn’t leave that waxy/greasy feel that a lot of sunscreens can leave behind and it is an excellent sun block.  To be honest if I hadn’t been using the Volition sunscreen I would be over the moon to find this sunscreen.  It is one of the better ones I have come across.  It did start off with a bit of a white cast but after a moment or two the white faded away as the product was absorbed. It didn’t stay on top of the skin.

It is more cream than many sunscreens and the white fades away quickly as you rub it into your skin.

While good on the skin, it isn’t as good under makeup as the Volition sunscreen.  There were a couple of foundation products that it just didn’t want to play nice with. It made my matte foundations look a bit shiny.  It doesn’t add a glowy effect, it just made my t-zone look more oily faster than when I didn’t wear the sunscreen. The Polaar Sunscreen went well over moisturizer, just not under my foundation.  So if I was not wearing makeup that day, I could wear it on my face.  If I was wearing makeup I went for my Volition.

While this was a good sunscreen to wear on my walks, it felt wonderful on my neck and upper chest.  It felt great on the skin and as I do not apply makeup to my neck and chest there were no interaction problems. 

I think that where this sunscreen would shine (in a good way, not a greasy way) is if I was going to the beach or the lake.  I think that around water in a situation where I wasn’t wearing makeup it would be fantastic.  I am confident in saying that this is currently my second favorite sunscreen.  It is miles away from the coconut scented drug store sunscreens and only falters slightly when it comes to being worn under makeup.  I will happily keep this sunscreen around to use on no makeup days or to cover my neck and chest.

Would I spend  the $29.30 for a full sized tube of the Polaar Fluide Soliaire? Absolutely. The tube may soon be going to the empties bin and I do have a couple of more sunscreens to test out, but when I’m done with the testing I am confident a full sized tube will be ordered to be kept on hand for my time in the sun.

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The buzz about Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Cream from Banila Co.

A while back I tried the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm from Banila Co and really ended up liking it.  I made a mental note to look into the company and some of the other products they made, and then I completely forgot until the Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Cream appeared in my Glossy Box.

The honeycomb shaped jar is adorable but it is one of those deceptive jars that looks bigger than it is.  This is only with the sample size.  The full size looks as though it is a nice glass honeycomb shaped jar without the rounded interior.

When you flip it over there is empty space around the round of product. Belif has a tendency to have these same types of jars.

While I was testing out the Dior Dream Skin Moisturizer, I found that it worked well as a day cream but not so fabulously at night, so I decided to try this cream at night.  Using it only at night (except for a day or two when I tried it during the day to see how I liked it) the product lasted a little over 2 weeks (16 days, or nights actually and two mornings). Very little is really needed to achieve full coverage. This was enough to give me a feel for the product and determine whether or not I wanted to try it again, but not long enough to see any actual results. Hence no before and after photos.

But what does this product have to say for itself?

This cream offers deep skin nourishment through the benefits of Honey! Our Intense Nourishing system includes 6 types of premium honey blend (Royal Jelly, Honey Butter, Beeswax, Honey, Propolis, High Honey Drop) to replenish, protect and lock in moisture for a healthy, supple complexion. Used day or night, this luxurious cream glides on smoothly to give skin a vitality and will support & strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Ingredients: Honey Extract, Aureobasidium Pullulans Ferment, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, PCA Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Glycereth-26, Petrolatum, Trisiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethiconol, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VPCopolymer, PEG-150 Distearate, Water, Caprylyl Glycol, Raffinose, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Arginine, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Beeswax, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Propolis Extract, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Pyridoxine HCI, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract

Banila Co.

That is a lot of honey.  And you can smell it as soon as you open the jar.  It smells exactly like clover honey.  It has the consistency of whipped honey but it is not in any way sticky.  Whatever they did to the honey took out all of the stickiness. If you don’t like the scent of honey, then this is not for you.  It is not a scent of honey that can be ignored. It is a very strong scent that lingers. Personally, I like the scent of the cream (and honey in general) so it didn’t bother me.  But if you don’t like honey, you will hate this.

I really enjoyed using it at night.  It made an excellent night cream.  It absorbed well into the skin without feeling greasy and my skin felt soft and hydrated in the morning.  I will say that I tend to apply my night cream and then read in bed for about an hour or so before laying down.  By the time I lay down to sleep the cream absorbed really well so there were no pillow smears (which occasionally happens with some night creams). If applying this at night I would wait a few minutes before laying down. You don’t need the full hour, five to ten minutes before you go to bed is plenty of time for it to absorb into the skin before your head hits the pillow.

Just to test it out during the day I did try applying the cream a couple of mornings.  While it worked well during the day, I did notice that I attracted a bit more interest from the local insect community than usual.  I know that sounds a little strange, but I applied my moisturizer, had my coffee and then worked on my autumnal garden chores.  The scent of the cream was still fairly strong since I didn’t apply any products over the moisturizer at that time.

I didn’t get more bug bites.  I was not nipped, bitten or stung, but I felt thoroughly investigated by the denizens of the garden for the first twenty or so minutes I was outside.  Then everyone left me alone.  I thought I might be imagining it so I did try a second morning and the same thing happened. 

Again there were no bug bites, but I think the initial scent was interesting to everyone. Once it faded I was fine and I ceased to be of interest.  I think if I weren’t doing my garden chores right away and the scent of the moisturizer had time to fade I would have been fine.  It was just still warm and I was trying to beat the sun.  If I hadn’t been trying to race the heat and went about my normal day it wouldn’t have happened.  It’s just sort of interesting to note.  Not problematic, just kind of amusing. 

While the length of time I used it wasn’t enough to see any results, I did notice the dry spots from sun damage were less dry and less damaged.  I think the dryer your skin the more you will like this cream, which makes me want to try it out in the winter time.  And probably why using it as night cream worked so well for me. I tend to go heavier on the cream at night and leave it to soak in while I sleep.

The full sized jar of Miss Honey and Mr. Flower Honey Cream retails for $42 and the question is would I spend that to try out a full sized jar?  Yes, I think I would.  I really liked this as a night cream and I think if nothing else I would continue to use this as a night cream.  It is one of those creams that I suspect I could use in the winter when my skin is drier, but probably not in the summer time because it is a little too hydrating for summer days and my normal zoned skin.  So now I know the best time in which to try this cream to give it the best chance for working well with my skin. This is the second product I have tried and liked from Banila Co and I am really glad Glossy Box put them back on my radar. Hopefully this time I won’t let them fall off the radar.

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Benefit Cosmetics Friends & Family Sale! Score 20% off ALL orders. Use code: FRIENDS20. Valid 10/5-10/8.