Andalou Naturals – Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask – Review

In a Few Words
A brightening mask that is Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten Free, Nature Derived, Sustainably Sourced, and always Cruelty Free.

The Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask contains “fruit stem cells, vitamin C, and glycolic AHA blended with manuka honey and organic pumpkin” and “gently dissolve and sweeps away dull, dry surface cells, exfoliating and resurfacing for even tone, smooth texture, and a luminous complexion.” It comes in a 1.7 oz plastic jar and sells for $15.00.

This mask delivers results on a budget- the next morning my skin is noticeably brighter and smoother. I can use it once a week without any irritation and I leave it on for maybe 20 minutes and follow with oils/moisturizer. I do get a slight tingle when I first apply, but it is not uncomfortable and does not last long. For reference, the only other acid mask that has cause a tingle is the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Intensive Peel Mask, The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution doesn’t cause any tingling for me and nor do any acid toners I have used). It seems like it would be gentle mask because there is less than 1% glycolic acid (it is not listed anywhere online, but I emailed the company), but I think it is the combination of glycolic acid, Vitamin C, and spices that cause the tingle. I’m not sure I would recommend recommend this for those who have never done a peel mask or those with very sensitive skin – I think that If a experience a tingle, most people would.

A budget friendly exfoliating mask that delivers results, but may not be for newbies to acids or those with sensitive skin.

Notable ingredients it DOES have:
Vitamin C – Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Glycolic Acid – <1%
Manuka Honey
CoQ10
Tamanu Oil

Notable ingredients it does NOT have:
Mineral oil
Parabens

Possible Irritants:
As a whole, it is a pretty strong mask and could cause irritation.

Vegan: No – Manuka Honey

Tested on animals: No

Complete Ingredients:
Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Puree*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Purified Water (Aqua), Vegetable Glycerin, Manuka Honey, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Tocopherol, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Glycolic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract*, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract*, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract*, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract*, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Powder*, Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon) Bark Powder*

Tinny London – Brand Review

I made this purchase from Trinny London almost two months ago and I really needed the extra time to form my opinion on the line. For most of the products, it was not love at first site. The philosophy of the brand is to have a “stack” of products that looks natural, is easy to apply with your fingers, and is perfect for travel so you can touch up throughout the day. And all of the products do fit that description, I just had a hard time fitting them into my routine and it took quite a few trial runs to get them to work for me.  I was having problems with the cream products because the last step of my skincare routine is usually an oil and they looked greasy on me. So I have found that I have to skip the oil and use a light moisturizer to make a whole Trinny London face. My feelings are all over the place on the brand – I love products, I hate products, some are worth the price and some definitely aren’t… but I have three more things in my cart soooooo *shrugs*.

The BFF Cream – This is supposed to be a shade adjusting, skin perfecting face cream with SPF 30. I like it as the SPF step in my routine because it’s very thin and hydrating and it does give a slight glow. But, I can’t layer this with most of my moisturizers because it will turn my face into an oil slick and it does not do anything in terms of coverage. So, while I do enjoy using this, I would not buy it again because it’s essentially a radiant SPF … for $50.00 (I would recommend the Heimish Artless Glow Base – a luminous SPF primer). This comes with an empty pot so you can carry some with you in your stack – mine currently has Kevin Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer in it.

The Just a Touch – This was a total miss for me. It has a sheer/light coverage (TL says it can be build up to full, but I have not been able to do that) and an extremely short wear time. To be fair, TL is marketed as a brand for natural makeup that is easy to apply on-the-go and this product does check those boxes. It looks very natural on the skin, evens out my skin tone and will last a few hours if I set it with powder. Outside of running errands or a quick trip into town, I have no use for this.

The Golden Glow in Jensta and The Right Light in Starlight – These two were the high points of my purchase and I would totally buy them again. They are still a bit greasy and if I want to wear them on their own I do have to adjust my skincare, but they work well over satin/matte foundation. The bronzer is a FANTASTIC shade – it’s not red or orange or muddy at all. The Golden Glow truly does give you a sun kissed appearance. I am fair (N20) and I usually hate most bronzers because they just look wrong on me, but the Golden Glow adds a beautiful hint of tan to my face. The Right Light is a very subtle and natural, but it gives a truly lit-from-within appearance to the skin. I would recommend/repurchase these two products.

I’m currently eyeing some of Trinny London’s lip, cheek, and eye products because, while their base products aren’t for me, I like the bronzer and highlight enough to keep exploring the line!

The Ordinary – Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% – Review

In a Few Words
A simple overnight exfoliating treatment.

The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% is a “high-strength exfoliating serum with lactic acid and hyaluronic acid. It resurfaces the skin to promote a bright, even tone and a smooth, soft texture.” It comes in a 1 oz glass bottle with a dropper and sells for about $7.00.

I bought this after being underwhelmed by Good Genes and T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (they were fine but not mind blowing). I use this every other night and apply a full dropper before my oil. I also give it 5-10 minutes to absorb before I move on to my next step – if I move on to my next step then the LA + HA will pill.

The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% is… fine. I didn’t really see any improvement in my skin, but it did a good job maintaining my skin. I would buy it again because the price is so good and I would like to try it on my body (currently I am using an exfoliating lotion from Paula’s Choice). I think I liked Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant better, but I’m always wanting to try something new so next up is Stratia’s Soft Touch AHA.

This treatment would be good for someone on a budget or someone who wants to try an inexpensive acid treatment before buying a luxury item.

Notable ingredients it DOES have:
Lactic acid – “an alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates to reveal clearer, more radiant skin”
Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer – “a form of hyaluronic acid that boosts skin’s moisture content for a plump, supple, and smooth appearance”

Notable ingredients it does NOT have:
Mineral Oil
Parabens

Possible Irritants:
N/A – though, given the nature of the product, it might irritate sensitive skins

Vegan: Yes

Tested on animals: No

Complete Ingredients:
AQUA (WATER), LACTIC ACID, GLYCERIN, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, ARGININE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, TRIETHANOLAMINE, SODIUM HYALURONATE CROSSPOLYMER, TASMANNIA LANCEOLATA FRUIT/LEAF EXTRACT, ACACIA SENEGAL GUM, XANTHAN GUM, TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE, PPG-26-BUTETH-26, ETHYL 2,2-DIMETHYLHYDROCINNAMAL, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL.

Detox Box | December 2017 – STILL AVAILABLE

The Detox Market describes the box as “a monthly box that allows us to share with you our tried-and-true favorites and game-changing discoveries. Each month you’ll receive products that are universal and exceptional—you know, the “holy grails”. Products that have people complimenting your skin, and asking what you’re doing. At The Detox Market, our search for the best in green beauty isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
We have strict ingredient standards, high expectations for performance, and a need to connect with the passion behind each brand. The products that make it are proven to be above and beyond.” The box will feature one brand and each box has a guaranteed value of $90.00.

This month’s box included three products from Dr. Alkaitis – a mask, toner, and facial oil. I have never even heard of this brand so really love that the Detox Market includes cards that introduce you to the brand and the founder. I think the education included in the box is a wonderful touch – it gives you some insight into the products and the brand philosophy! This box also came with a booklet/catalog from the brand itself that gave detailed information on the history of the brand, quality standards, products, skincare regimens, and ingredients. This month’s Detox Box has a total value of $143.00.

Dr. Alkaitis has a PhD in Physical Chemistry and created his brand with the philosophy that “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” He takes a wholistic view that skincare goes beyond topical treatments and a complete picture of  good lifestyle choices lead to a healthy body and healthy skin. Dr. Alkaitis produce their products in their own factory and source their ingredients from producers that they have a person relationship with.

Organic Universal Mask – The mask is like a green juice for your skin (and it smells like!) that feed your face with superfoods such as Alfalfa, Wheatgrass, Chlorella, and Spirulina. It can be mixed with raw honey or goat’s milk yogurt! The box included a small packet of honey to try with this mask. I mixed mine with water and left it on for 20 minutes and it is definitely like your green juice in the morning – it smells gross, it’s not luxurious, but you keep doing it because you know it’s good for you.

Organic Herbal Toner – The toner is an aloe vera and witch hazel base that balances the skin. The third ingredient is “alcohol (drinkable grape alcohol)” and that made me a little nervous to use it, but the Dr. Alkaitis booklet actually addressed this concern stating “unlike de-natured alcohol that us mostly used, our organic grape alcohol is highly beneficial for your skin and facilitates the nutrient rich composition to be optimally absorbed by your skin.” I have used this twice and haven’t experienced any burning or drying from it.

Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil – This oil contains 15 antioxidant rich and anti-inflammatory herbs in a base of Organic Jojoba, St. John’s Wart, and Andean Mountain Rose Hip Seed oils. I can be used on the face, body, hair, and nails. I have not tried this yet! I have a few oils going right now and I want finish some up before I open a new one. I am disappoint that this high end oil comes in a plastic bottle – given the price point, I would expect glass packaging.

Favorites – Novemeber 2017

Alpha H – Liquid Gold – I have used this acid as toner in the past but what made it an favorite this month is using it as a treatment. The bottle states you can use it as a treatment by applying it to your face with a cotton pad and then put nothing on top of it. I had never tried this is the past because my skin is dehydrated and I have never wanted to skip serums or moisturizers. But this past month I tried it as a treatment and it is phenomenal! The morning after my skin’s tone was more even, pigmentation from acne was reduced, active spots were calmed, and my skin felt great with no dryness or dehydration! I wouldn’t do this more than once a week, but I think it’s defiantly worth a try!

e.l.f. – Pore Refining Brush and Mask Tool – Life. Changer. I have always looked at May Lindstrom’s Facial Treatment Brush but couldn’t really justify spending the money on it. But’ this e.l.f. spatula is dirt cheap and easy to clean. Using a tool to apply masks makes making so much more enjoyable.

Laura Mercier –  Translucent Loose Setting Powder – I am so late to this bandwagon and oh boy do I regret not giving into the hype earlier! I got a sample size in a Sephora Play! box and it sat in my cupboard for a month or two before I actually got around to trying it and I will definitely be buying a full size when it it gone. This powder looks great all over the face and under the eyes – its completely invisible, doesn’t cling to dry patches, has a velvet soft skin-like finish, and extends the wear of dewy foundations. My favorite way to use this powder is with Deciem’s The Ordinary Serum foundation.

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Subculture Palette – This favorite will be no surprise if you follow me on Instagram. I was so intimated by the palette but I finally bought it because I just love the colors. And while it does take a little extra effect to work with, i think it’s totally worth it! While I have had a few duds, I have really loved most of the looks  I’ve made and it has been my most reached for palette since I bought it.

Briogeo – Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment – My scalp is always dry and irritated and the winter weather has really exasperated the issue. This treatment is an absolute savior. It relieves  the itching and reduces my dandruff for 3-4 days. It doesn’t make your scalp greasy at all and a little goes a very long way.

TonyMoly – Changing Magic Foot Peeling Shoes – The addiction is real. I have been using these masks for the last few months (every 3-4 weeks) and I just cannot wait until I can use it again! The masks are basically mellow treatments for your feet (lactic, glycolic, and salicylic) that exfoliate the feet causing them to peel about a week later. After they peel, my feet are so soft and calluses are smoother.

Empties #1 | November 2017

Indie Lee – Calendula Eye Balm
– fantastic, full review here

L’Oréal – Voluminous Feline Noir Waterproof Mascara
– builds volume and separates
– I always have one on hand

Soap & Glory – The Righteous Butter
– mild scent that goes well with other scents
– would repurchase if it goes on sale, but I’m not loyal to it

Bare Minerals – Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara
– separating and lengthening
– wouldn’t repurchase because it didn’t build enough volume

Real Techniques – Miracle Complexion Sponge
– a staple in my makeup bag
– only downside is that it begins breaking up within a month or two

Miss Spa – Restore and Brighten 24k Gold Radiance Mask
– hard pass
– would not recommend to anyone because it’s serum/residue us a thick layer of gold glitter that makes a big mess

Matrix Biolage – R.A.W. – Natural-Origin Hair Care

Biolage describes their R.A.W. lines as “Real. Authentic. Wholesome. This powerful haircare regimen gives you the power to create the hair you’ve always dreamed of – while being good for you and good for the environment. Biolage R.A.W. is a range of feel-good, look-good, do-good hair care. This 70-100% natural-origin haircare range provides a unique sensorial experience combined with true professional results. So live Real. Authentic. Wholesome.”

I was really excited to find out about this line when I did. I’ve been nursing my hair back to health and have been just trying to nourish my over processed hair. One thing I decided to do was to cut out silicones and this line appears to be completely silicone free!

Biolage R.A.W. Smoothing Styling Milk*

Infused with honey and oat, Biolage R.A.W. Smoothing Styling Milk eases the grip of blow dry while enhancing hair with nourished style. For polished locks and smooth hair.

Key Benefits:

  • 5X smoother hair without feeling coated
  • 99% natural origin
  • 98% biodegradable
  • 95% recycled plastic packaging
  • No artificial fragrance
  • No artificial colorants
  • No silicones
  • No parabens

This styling milk did help with my blow dry – I felt like my hair was smoother and the blow dry holds longer when I used it. But it leaves a residue in my hair. I have tried it by itself and with my normal styling products (leave-in conditioner and hair oil). I have tried using less and less product – if I use a small enough amount to not have any residue, I don’t get any of the blow dry benefits. Even though there product left behind, it doesn’t weigh my hair down and after day 3+ you can’t feel it anymore. I like the styling milk enough to use the rest of the bottle, but I don’t like enough to buy it when it runs out. I do think that if you have thick, dry, coarse hair and are looking for silicon free styling products or more natural/sustainable products, you might want to try this. But for the salon price tag I would not recommend this product.

Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray*

Infused with lavender, Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray helps to smooth down flyaways with light shaping for a natural sheen and controlled finish. 24 HR frizz control without weigh down.

Key Benefits:

  • 99% natural origin
  • 85% biodegradable
  • 98% recycled plastic packaging
  • No artificial fragrance
  • No artificial colorants
  • No silicones
  • No parabens

This spray was everything I didn’t know I needed! Normally, between washes I will put oil in my hair from the mid-shaft to the ends to refresh my hair and add smoothness and shine. Styling with oil daily can really weigh down my hair and make it look greasy. This frizz control spray does everything the oil did, without the weight! It smooths my hair and refreshes my style without adding any product buildup. The description made me think it would almost be a heavy hairspray, and it does have a little grit/hold when you first spray it, but after you run your hands through you hair, it feels nothing in your hair. I can use it day after day between washes and it doesn’t create buildup. I would definitely recommend this if your looking a light hold hairspray.

*I received this product for free for testing purposes.

Skincare Winter Essentials – 2017

Winter can really wreak havoc on your skin – between the cold outside and the dry air inside, every last drop of life and hydration gets drawn out of your skin during the winter months. Some simple changes can help hydrate your skin and seal the moisture in, saving you from tight, itchy, irritated skin.


Hydrating Masks

First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask – This is a great mask that can be done in 10 minutes in the morning. It not only hydrates the skin, but is also very soothing (colloidal oatmeal is second ingredient) for dry, itchy skin. I love it as an SOS product if I wake up with very irritated skin.

Josh Rosebrook – Advanced Hydration Mask – I recently got this in The Detox Box and fell in love. A little goes a long way and it is just a 20 minute wash-off mask that hydrates and regenerates the skin. I noticed an immediate difference after using this mask and have started using it at least once a week.


Occlusive Moisturizers – I live and breathe by gel moisturizers, but in the winter I need something that hydrates and seals in the skin’s moisture, but is still lightweight.

Dr. Jart+ – Ceramidin Gel-Cream – I use this as a PM moisturizer. It’s extremely hydrating and ceramides support the skin’s barrier function to help retain moisture. It looks strange – it’s a gel with little bits of encapsulated ceramides – but it smooths on your skin like a lightweight cream.

belif – True Cream Moisturizing Bomb – Probably the only cream I will comfortably put on my face (it’s just a texture thing). It is thick and rich and hydrating, but absorbs quick and doesn’t sit on top of the skin.


Lip Balm

First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm – The. Best. Balm. Ever. I have tried everything from the Bite Agave Mask to plain Aquaphor and nothing holds a candle to this balm. It has a mild chocolate NECCO wafer taste that doesn’t fight with coffee (VERY IMPORTANT), stays on forever, and heals and hydrates.


Hydrating Body Care

Soap & Glory – The Righteous Body Butter – The reason why I pick this body butter over all others is because the scent is very mild and dissipates quickly. I hate when my body lotion battle with all of the other scents going on with my hair, perfume, etc.

Honorable mention to Glossier’s Body Hero Daily Oil Wash to a body cleansing oil on my current wish list because there is no way I’m going take cooler showers to save my skin so instead I’ll add a moisturizing body wash.

Hard Candy – Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist – Review

The Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist “will Prime, hydrate and refresh your face with Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist, available in a 2.2-fl oz bottle. It can be used after your regular moisturizer to prepare your skin for makeup application. The coconut water infused formula boosts hydration benefits for up to 12 hours. It leaves skin soft, smooth and supple. Hard Candy hydrating mist can also be used after makeup application to help set makeup for extended wear.” The Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist comes in a 2.2oz plastic spray bottle and sells for $9.00.

I truly love this as a setting spray. It actually does lock in your makeup for a full 12 hours and it gives your face a noticeable glow. I don’t think it does well as a hydrating primer. The third ingredient is coconut water, but I have never noticed any hydration benefits. I don’t really notice any benefits from it as a primer – I didn’t find that it prolonged the wear of my makeup as a primer either. Though, this spray is kind of sticky so that might help makeup stick down. I think you may not like this face mist if you do not like setting sprays that leave a sticky feeling (I don’t mind it, it doesn’t last all day) or if you don’t like dew or glow. The finish of this spray is a noticeable glowy sheen, it is not subtle at all. You might not like it if you prefer finer mists – the spray on the bottle is borderline shower-levels – it  has a wide, even spray but it does spray a ton on product.

The Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist is honestly one of  my favorite setting sprays (as you can see, it’s very well-loved), the only reason I haven’t repurchased it is because it’s been out of stock the last few times I’ve been to the store (another negative – it’s only available at Walmart).

HARD CANDY Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist

 

Jordan Samuel – The After Show (Plie) Treatment Cleanser – Review

In a Few Words
A gel to oil cleanser that is hydrating, exfoliating, and suitable for all skin types.

In a Few Words
A gel to oil cleanser that is hydrating, exfoliating, and suitable for all skin types.

The After Show Treatment Cleanser is a “unique gel to oil formula uses olive, jojoba, and grape seed oils to remove every trace of makeup (including hard to remove stage makeup), while sugarcane, apple and willow bark extracts provide a gentle exfoliation to leave the skin hydrated, soft and absolutely pristine.” It can be used morning and night: “Massage cleanser thoroughly into dry skin to break down makeup, SPF, dirt and grime. Use a warm wet washcloth to remove cleanser and every trace of makeup. Or simply rinse clean to have hydrated glowing skin.” Jordan Samuel’s The After Show Treatment Cleanser comes in a 3oz plastic tube and sells for $20.00.

This cleanser is absolutely fabulous! Normally, I like to present my critiques first, but I honesly don’t have any. I have seen that some people feel like to doesn’t rinse off completely with just water. I remove it with a washcloth or with only water and I don’t feel like there is residue left behind either way.

The After Show Treatment Cleanser is so enjoyable to use. The gel to oil formula leaves your skin feeling better after washing you face – it’s softer and plumper. It doesn’t strip the skin and will never leave your face feeing dry and tight. It gently chemically exfoliates with fruit ectracts. And it nestoligally smells like Zebra Fruit Strip Gum – it’s fragrance free so, in reality, it just smells like all of the fruit extracts. It is suitable for all skin types and can be used as either a first or second cleanse, I normally use it as a second cleanse but it does do a great job removing makeup.

The After Show Treatment Cleanser is the only cleanser I will need forever and ever, amen.

Notable ingredients it does NOT have:
mineral oil
parbens
everything

Possible Irritants:
N/A

Vegan:
Yes

Tested on animals:
No

Country of origin:
Made in USA

Complete Ingredients:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Water, Sucrose Laurate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Rhizome/Root Extract, Anthemis Noblis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Citrus Fruit Extract Blend, Simmodsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylhyroxamic Acid, Capryl Glycol