Washing up with the Pa’akai Cleansing Cream

I have seen the Pa’akai Cleansing cream advertised often on vegan and cruelty free skin care websites and always thought it looks pretty. Somehow I never got around to trying it even though everyone always raves about it.  So when it appeared in my Petit Vour Box, I was very pleased to have a chance to give it a try. According to the product page…

Cleansing Hawaiian salt and antioxidant rich hibiscus combine to create a gentle daily cleanser that will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and hydrated. Seaweed extract works to strengthen and renew the skin, while accelerating the natural skin repair process. The Pa’akai Cleansing Cream is great for all skin types.

Ingredients: 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Pure Vitalized & Coconut Water (Aqua), Organic Rose (Rosa damascena) Hydrosol, Organic Witch Hazel Water (Hamamelis virginiana), Wild Harvested Seaweed Extract (Fucus vesiculosis), Hibiscus( Hibiscus sabdariffa) Co2,Honua Pa’akai (Hawaiian Salt) Organic Herbal Oil Infusions of Rose Petals (Rosa damascena), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Chamomile Flowers(Matricaria recutita), Calendula Blossoms (Calendula officinalis), Comfrey Leaf & Root (Symphytum officinale) & Rosehips Seeds (Rosa mosqueta) in Organic High Oleic Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) & Sesame (Sesame indicum), Sorbitan Olivate, Organic Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Lecithin, Organic Gromwell Root CO2 (Lithospermum erythrorhizon), Sage (Salvia officinalis) & Organic Rosemary Antioxidants (Rosmarinus officinalis), *Lactobacillus Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract and *Sodium Anisate *denotes New Green Beauty Approved Preservative System, Made in USA

Pa’akai site

Now I have grown hibiscus before and know how good it is for the body internally. The tea is not only fantastic but it tastes far more citrus-y than the flowers would lead you to believe. I made hibiscus tea and jam and loved both. I have not used it in skincare though, at least to my knowledge. As working with it turned my skin pink, I was not surprised that the cleansing cream is a pretty shade of pink. 

two pumps needed to wash the face

The cleanser comes in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser at the top.  I like that the pump has a wide flat top actually as it makes operating it with wet hands quite easy.  While packaging isn’t everything, some considerations are necessary. This packaging was well thought out in terms of the pump. 

The cleansing cream foams well on the face, cleans the skin well and rinses off clean.  The product itself I had no issues with.  It worked well. Two pumps was all that was necessary to get my entire face clean.

My issue is with the scent.

I know, when does scent not come into play with me?

The hibiscus scent is strong. Really strong.  It is a very perfume-y flowery scent that I just don’t care for.  Oddly, it is more perfume-y smelling than the actual flowers.  My hibiscus had more of a tart scent to it than this does.  If this actually just smelled of hibiscus than there would be less of an issue.  The scent actually prompted me to go back to the ingredients list. While I initially noticed only that everything was a not bad for my skin ingredient I didn’t pay too much attention. With cleansers the product stays on the skin for so little time that I am not as focused as I probably should be on the ingredients list. The culprit here, scent wise, I believe might be the rose.  It seems to take the tart of the hibiscus right out and brings the whole thing into perfume land.

As good as this product is, I just can’t get past the scent.  The longer I used it the less I liked the scent.  It is pretty.  The container is well thought out.  I love the ingredients list and I love the way the cleanser performs on my skin.  But because of the scent, I was incredibly happy when the container was empty and I could move on to another cleanser. Because of the scent, using it up was a chore for me. If you like the scent of rose, then I would highly recommend this cleanser as it is a really good product.  While I like the light scent of rose in many French skincare products, this was just too much of a perfume bomb for me, especially in a cleanser.  So I will not be purchasing a full size of this in the future. I am however very glad I finally got to try it.




Testing out the Goldfaden MD Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

Goldfaden, MD is one of those brands that every time I look at it I think, ‘I should like that’.  It is skin care designed by a dermatologist and it has a clean look to it that says this is serious skin care.  I also like the fact that they are a clean skin care.  I tried the Exfoliating scrub from the brand a while back. It was supposed to be for daily use, however I found it surprisingly harsh and ended up using it once a month until it was gone.  My skin just couldn’t take its level of exfoliation more often than that.

Then I had a surprising number of Goldfaden, MD products appear in my subscription boxes so I got excited about seeing the brand again and testing out more products from them.  After all, they still look like they should be good skin care and I did have three products to try.  The first one I decided to give a go was the Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer.  According to the website this $68 moisturizer…

This antioxidant-rich detoxifying gel provides anti-pollution protection and antioxidants to prevent premature aging from environmental stressors while beta hydroxy acids keep pores clear and free from breakouts. Achieve a pure, calm complexion with this moisturizer for oily, problematic skin.

Ingredients: Water Propanediol Glycerin Carrageenan Gluconolactone Sodium Benzoate Calcium Gluconate Saccharide Isomerate Citric Acid Sodium Citrate Sodium Hyaluronate Glycerin (and) Marrubium Vulgare Meristem Cell Culture (and) Xanthan Gum Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract Veronica Officinalis Extract Achillea Millefolium Extract Primula Veris Extract Xanthan Gum Cellulose Gum Salicylic acid Centella Asiatica Extract Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract Potassium Sorbate Sorbic Acid Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Fruit Extract

Goldfaden MD

As I have taken to using a detoxifying mask to keep maskne in check it seemed like the perfect time to try this out. Now, it is a sample size which usually means about one to two weeks’ worth of product. While this is not long enough to see any long term results it is generally enough time to let me know how it is going to react with my skin and if I would want to purchase a full size to do a full trial.

The gel like formula

This tube of Goldfaden MD Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer held a lot of empty air and about three days’ worth of product.  And even that was stretching it.  It was one of those tubes that just wasn’t filled properly before being sent out. 

Normally, I would complain, but three days of this moisturizer was about as long as I wanted to use it. While it may or may not do anything long term to acne, I can tell you that it was sticky on the skin and never felt like it really absorbed. 

To be honest it felt like a makeup gripping primer more than a moisturizer.  That’s how sticky it was.  The second morning I tried this moisturizer I decided to go sans makeup until it actually absorbed to see how long it took.  It never really did fully absorb.  It remained sticky on the skin.  I was not a fan. 

Usually gel formulas and I really get along as they just melt right into the skin.  This one I didn’t like.  There are several items in the ingredients list that many of my latest moisturizer (the ones I liked) didn’t have, so I am going to have to do some digging to see if those ingredients are ones I need to avoid (or if they do occur in other products), but for now, I just know I will not be purchasing a full size of the Goldfaden MD Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer in the future.  I still have two Goldfaden MD products to try out, so fingers crossed I like them better than I liked this one.


Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

Milk(ing) the Friday Face Mask

Today for my Friday afternoon Face Mask I went with the Milk Makeup Cannabis Hydrating Face mask. I have to say I was very excited to give this mask a try. I just love the concept of a stick face mask. I know they have been around a while from different companies but i have never tried any of them.

the plastic cap to keep

And in general I like Milk products.

New Hydrating Cannabis Face Mask: A solid clay mask stick instantly moisturizes, calms, and cleanses for a revitalized complexion.

So I twisted the cap off and took a look. You will notice that there is a little plastic cap over the actual product. If you use any Milk products, you have seen this before. If you haven’t and do pick up a Milk product, remember – Don’t throw that little plastic thing away.

Seriously, it keeps the product from drying out. I learned that the hard way with the Milk Matcha Toner a while back. Excellent product, but without that plastic cap it dried out fast.So keep it.

But you know, remove it before you try to use the product.

without the cap

So cap off, plastic inner cap taken out, I rolled the product up. And because it is me, the first thing I did was sniff it.

I know. Me and scent. In my defense, Cannabis themed products are very interesting in scent. Some maintain the kind of earthy hemp like scent and some products do their best to cover it up. To be completely honest, this mask smelled like Playdoh. Seriously, straight up playdoh.

No clue why.

However, I don’t mind the scent, and it dissipates pretty quickly (it’s not that strong to begin with) so I started to apply it. This mask was fun to apply. It is like drawing on your face with a fat crayon. As the product warms up a little, the application became smoother and I was able to cover myself in green. I had a little issue with getting it into the corners around my nose as it is a fat stick that just wanted to glide over the dips above my nostrils but I got there in the end.

easy to apply

And yes I did spend a moment or two impersonating the Incredible hulk before I left the bathroom.

It seemed the thing to do.

I followed it up with an ‘I’ll get you my pretty’ ala the wicked witch of the west too in case you were curious.

Then I lay down and zoned out for twenty minutes. Alice Cooper provided todays zen sound track in case you are interested. Something about No more Mr. Nice Guy suited the hulked out face mask look.

first applied

And when my twenty minutes was up I went to wash it off. I was very impressed with the washing off process. The mask was dry, I rubbed warm water on my face and the mask came right off. I had to rub a little of course, but I didn’t need to do a harsh scrub to get this off, which I appreciated. Then I patted my skin dry and I have to say I really liked the way my skin looked. it was clean and hydrated without looking overly shiny or greasy which can sometimes happen with moisturizing masks.

after 20 min

To be fair, I am not entirely certain what role the cannabis played in the mask. But that might just be because I haven’t done enough research into the ingredient. The mask felt like a thinned out clay mask. Which, it is a clay mask so it should feel like a clay mask. Personally I love clay masks, they are kind of my go to when looking at masks.I really liked the fact that this was very neat and tidy, easy to use both in application and removal and made my skin look really good. I will definately be reaching for this mask in the future and looking into more Milk masks as well. This was a definite win for me. I am hydrated and soothed and ready to move through the rest of my day.

clean and bright

And now I am going back to work. And yes I am still singing Alice Cooper in my head. Luckily, it is time for my main character to finally throw down with his nemesis so it is good to have in my brain as I start to write the battle scene. whatever works, huh?

Tonight we have the final movie in our pre Halloween movie fest. I don’t know what that is as my Babydoll has decided to surprise me. (we got an amazon package the other day and he took it off to open it in secret while giggling to himself so I’m guessing it is a new arrival). On Halloween after the possibility of trick or treaters is over for the night we are going to curl up in the dark and listen to terrifying radio dramas and drink spook themed cocktails. It should be a fun and spooky night even if it isn’t party central. I hope you have an excellent Halloween yourselves and I’ll see you bright and early Monday morning. happy Halloween!


milkmakeup.com

Cleaning up with the OSEA Ocean Cleanser

The OSEA Ocean Cleanser is one of those cleaners that I have tried several times before, but always in the trial size.  I’ll go ahead and tell you, I absolutely love this cleanser.  I do however have a little amusement where it is concerned.  But before we get to that, let me cover what it is that this cleanser is according to the product page.

Look like a morning person with this seaweed cleansing gel. Vegan Lactic Acid gently resurfaces complexion for clear, radiant skin. Removes impurities while protecting skin’s natural moisture barrier. Formulated with a plant-based probiotic and pH balanced.

Ingredients: Aqua, Algae Extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Sorbitan Olivate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Natural Smectite Clay), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*, Juniperus Communis (Juniper) Fruit Oil*, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Seed Oil*, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil*, Lactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Glycine, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorophyll – * denotes organic ingredients

OSEA

Okay when you read through this, the cleanser looks like a serious and seriously healthy cleanser.  It comes in a lovely glass bottle (even in the travel size.)  It looks expensive and spa like.  When you pick it up you read through every thing and you feel good about the product.  No animals were injured, plants are all organic.  It is a cleaner that makes you feel like a grown up, eco conscious ‘good person’ just for having in your bathroom.

Then you use it.

You know what it smells like?

Limeade.

Seriously, it smells exactly like the syrup they use in the Sonic Limeades. I don’t know why that tickles me so much.  It does though.  I think because it looks so serious and everything on the site is so serious. It is clearly marked as a good for you product (which it is).  And the bottle is really pretty frosted glass.  Don’t get me wrong I really like looking at it on my bathroom sink.  I love using it and at some point I am going to spend the $48 for the full sized bottle.

It is a seriously good cleanser.  I love the way it makes my skin feel.  Again, I am not certain how beneficial the ingredients are as they aren’t really on the skin a long time, but there are no ingredients that are potentially damaging, to either me or the rest of the world, it cleans the skin without stripping it and after washing my face I want to walk around without anything else on my skin for a little while.  I have never had a problem with clogged pores while using it and my toner pads tend to be a bit less gunky with left behind makeup residue after using it.

Foamy on the face

When I get this cleanser I tend to use it at night for just that reason.  I wash my face and then just sort of hang out with a book and bare skin before later applying my night time serums and moisturizers because I really like the way my skin feels when I use this cleanser. It isn’t super foaming, but it does foam up somewhat and it gets the skin clean.

But as serious a product as it is, it smells like limeade. The scent doesn’t linger, but it does make me smile every time I use this cleanser. I think it is because a Sonic Limeade is not what I consider a healthy, all natural product, where as this is. I would recommend this <a href="http://<a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=hHyMhrojQEw&offerid=838904.50&subid=0&type=4"><IMG border="0" alt="Target advanced signs of aging on the neck with SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair. Now available at LovelySkin!" src="https://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=hHyMhrojQEw&bids=838904.50&subid=0&type=4&gridnum=16"&gt;OSEA Ocean Cleanser at any size you pick it up.  The travel size is good if you want to give it a go (and it is significantly less expensive than the full size) and see how your skin works with it.  Like I said, I have picked this up repeatedly in the travel size. It is one of those products that consistently makes my hits list.  If you are looking for a spurge sort of cleanser, this is the one I would go for.


Target advanced signs of aging on the neck with SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair. Now available at LovelySkin!

Keeping it clean with Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing oil

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

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

Made in USA

Kahina Skincare

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

end of the day makeup

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

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

slightly foamy where the water touches the oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Reviewing the GlossyBox Skincare Eye Boost Cream

While many of you may have heard of the Glossy Box Beauty Subscription, in August the brand launched their very own skincare line.  They took the feedback from subscribers regarding what they liked and didn’t like about the current skin care options and came up with a range of products.  August was their Birthday month and in that month’s Glossy Box a full sized tube of the GlossyBox Skincare Eye Boost cream was inside.

So what is this eye boost cream?

Tired eyes? This fragrance free Eye Boost Cream is a super lightweight, fast-absorbing formula that reduces the appearance of dark circles and depuffs your under-eye area, leaving skin looking bright and fresh. ​ ​Elderflower extract reduces the appearance of dark circles​. Eyebright plant extract works to refresh tired, puffy eyes. Red seaweed creates a protective barrier that locks in moisture around the delicate eye area​

Following a two-week trial with 110 panellists between August and December 2019:​
86% of women agreed that the Eye Boost Cream left their eye area looking instantly brighter.
86% of women agreed that the Eye Boost Cream instantly boosted tired-looking eyes​

While in general I don’t have terribly dark circles under my eyes, they so tend to get puffy and kind of tired looking.  My biggest focus with eye cream is to get the moisture in without clogging pores.  Along the top line of my lower orbital bone is where I am prone to the raised bumps produced by clogged pores. 

While I want the under eye area moisturized and I am working on delaying the advancement of fine lines, a lot of eye creams tend to cause issue with my problem area for clogged pores.  It doesn’t really help that that line is currently where my face masks press when I leave the house. So it is just a fun situation all around.

Oddly enough that line of clogged pores has been reduced as of late.  It is much less clogged.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not crediting the Glossybox eye boost cream with that.  I’ve been working with other products that have really done well at dealing with the ongoing issues. But the eye cream hasn’t undone their work.  This cream hasn’t added more blocked pores to the area.  And sometimes not adding to the problem is a big benefit.

the cream is thicker than I expected

I’ll be honest though I was a bit concerned when I first tried it out.  I thought it might add to the issues because of its texture.  While it is completely fragrance free (the only thing I smell when I sniff the tube is the plastic of the tube, likewise I smell my skin more than the cream when it is dispensed), it is somewhat thicker than I am used to eye creams being.

This made me suspicious.

I know, I was expecting the worst.

But it didn’t happen.  The cream absorbed really well and left the skin feeling a little plumper, making me look a little more bright eyed. Typically I use eye cream two times a day, morning and night.  While I use it under my eyes, you may notice in the picture that there are little white dots of cream waiting to be massaged into the skin placed in my lip area. 

Face dots of eye cream

This is a trick I learned from my grandmother. The skin of the upper lip where you tend to get more fine lines as you age has a similar skin texture to the under eye area.  So she always advocated using a little eye cream around the mouth to plump up those little lines as well. 

It is advice I have always followed and I really like the little bit of plumping I see to the skin there as well. I tend to put a little cream on my finder and then dot it on my face where it is needed, then rub it into the skin, in case you didn’t get that from the picture. What I have found with this cream is that I can do a quick application just before a video conference call. 

It really helps especially if I have been starting at the computer all morning typing before an afternoon call.  I just put a very tiny amount under the eyes, rub it in slightly and then dust off the shine with powder.  It tends to make me look a little bit more awake.  While it has a slight cooling effect to it, on days when I need a little extra kick for a meeting, I put it in the fridge for ten minutes, and then apply it.

As it is currently ragweed season where I live and puffy eyes and sniffles abound, especially in my house. I’ve been keeping the eye cream in the fridge and then in the afternoon before a meeting using both the cream and one of the stone rollers just under my eyes to de puff.  Because ragweed is too much for any eye cream to tackle alone. It has worked really well.

Over all I am rather fond of this eye cream.  I thought it would be too thick at first, but it proved me wrong.  I thought it might clog my pores and it did not.  I was skeptical of its depuffing abilities and it really did help with the depuffing. I can’t speak to the dark circles, but I really liked using this eye cream this month.  It makes me very eager to test out some of the other products in their newly released line.  And as the line was designed to be affordable, testing them out won’t break the bank. 

There is also an added bonus for all Glossy Box subscribers.  Glossies get a 20% discount on the Glossy Box Skincare line.  So this Eye Boost cream, which is $23 for the general public is only $18.   At the moment they have several different cleansers I am looking at and trying to figure out which I want to try first. I am currently oscillating between the Purifying Charcoal Cleanser and the Deep Cleansing Cream.  I strongly suspect I am going to end up with both.  But there are worse things in life than having too many cleansers. 

For those who aren’t Glossy Box subscribers the cost of the Glossy Box Skin Care line is slightly more expensive (20% more to be exact) but still a really good value and well worth the full price.  Or at least the eye cream is. I would certainly pay full price for it. After a month of use it feels like I haven’t used very much at all. 

I have only a thumb’s width of empty space at the top of the tube and about four and a half thumb’s worth of product left.  I know that is not a very scientific measurement, but the truth is you really need very little of the cream so it will last about four months. It will probably last a little longer once ragweed season ends. So good product, great value.

Especially for members.  If you aren’t a member and want to look into it, you can actually get your first box at a discount with code GLOSSYSPA16 from now until September 30th and if you are interested in what the September box looks like, you can use the link to read my September review of the Spa Edit box.




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 Luminizing 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

Face Mask Friday Super Green Detox

Like pretty much everyone in the world at this point, it has been a bit stressful for me this week.  I know that’s a bit like saying rain is wet, but for me this means I’ve had more breakouts than usual.  So in addition to using my face mask Friday as a moment to relax and just be in my skin rather than worry about the rest of the world, I chose my mask with my skin in mind.

I used a sheet mask today, partially because it had the properties I wanted and partially because I’m always a little hesitant to get involved in anything I can’t drop in an instant after something happens.  Wednesday we had to go to the ER and managed to get out of the house in less than two minutes. Everything is fine, no lasting damage and my baby has a new prescription but a sheet mask I could take off in a flash made me more comfortable in my relaxing than a regular mask would today.

The sheet mask I chose was the Super Green Detox Kale and Charcoal Detox Facial Mask from Pacifica. I have used these several times in the past and I have to say they are one of my favorite sheet masks, especially when my skin is acting up due to stress.  It is designed to alleviate clogged pores and to deal with blemish prone skin types. While that isn’t normally me, I do like to keep these on hand for moments where they are needed.  I sometimes get hormonal breakouts but I am partial to stress related breakouts. Just masking in general helps me settle and the charcoal and nutrient goodness helps calm a bit of the break outs so they disappear faster.

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

Yup breathing deeply, lighting candles (I’m using my Fern and Leather candle from this month’s Vella box if you are trying to build a sensory picture in your head. I’ll pretty much be using it until next month’s box to be honest.) and charcoal, the secret to dealing with stress related breakouts. At least for me.

When I opened the package I took a sniff.  Are you surprised?  I smell everything. The scent was fresh and green, a fact I am pretty sure is a combination from the kale, cilantro and green tea.  It is a clean and fresh scent. 

The mask is black which I’m guessing is due to the charcoal.  One interesting feature of the mask is that the eye holes are heart shaped.  While cute, I personally am not a fan of the hears over the eyes. And no it isn’t that I don’t like hearts, it is that they leave too much of my under eye exposed and the little point comes down too far over my eyelid.  I had to move it around a bit and get the heart all bent out of shape for it to work right for me.

I’m sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere, but we’ll just leave it be for now.

The shape of the eye cuts outs are really the only thing I don’t care for in this mask.  Once I realigned the holes so my eyes were just right, I lay down for twenty minutes of quiet.  It was really nice.  The mask tingled in a pleasing way that made me feel like it was working.

And it was quite soothing. 

Even if i did look like a romantically inclined bank robber.

When the time was up, I took off the mask and patted the serum into my skin.  For some reason it is only after I pat the remaining serum in that this mask starts to feel really cool against my skin.  It tingles when it is on and cools when removed.  My skin felt refreshed.  I think it also helped that I was in a room with the windows shut while I rested in my mask.  Tree pollen is really high today and the bedroom has the air purifier running so laying down with the mask and breathing the extra clean air didn’t hurt.  It probably gave the mask a helping hand so I feel less puffy eyed than I did earlier. Which is a nice side benefit, although I can’t really credit the mask entirely for that.  I can say that post masking, I will be staying inside and flushing my system out with as much water as I can possibly handle. On the days when I have inhaled too much pollen, flooding my system is actually the perfect way to go for me.

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Luckily we have a new air cartridge in the Soda Stream for me to use.  I might actually play a game with myself to ensure the water is consumed. I’m planning to full up all of my water bottles with carbonated water and see how many I can empty before dinner. As I have a couple of water bottles on their last legs this game might be the last hurrah for them before they make their way to the recycling bin.

I know it’s not much of a game but if I’m going to tackle the last of my early spring gardening chores this weekend, I need to start with a clean system. Otherwise the trees will take me down.

So the pre-weekend allergy season cleansing began with the Super Green Detox mask from Pacifica and twenty minutes of calm breathing. Not a bad start, although this was the last Pacifica sheet mask I had in my collection.  As allergy season is only just kicking off, I’m going to need to order a restock as I suspect the trees aren’t done with me yet.  I don’t know what everyone out there has planned for their weekend, but I hope you have a fun, and safe one.

Pacifica Beauty

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