Thursday, December 11, 2014

Disappointing Products

Hello Lovelies! Hope you're all well. I cannot friggen believe that it's already December AND almost Christmas. Have you done all of your Christmas shopping and wrapping yet? 

Today is basically a snow day where I'm at, not that I was working today anyway, so I decided to do some cleaning up. In the process, I came across a bunch of products that I've been super disappointed with and thought I'd share them with you. Disclaimer: What doesn't work for me, may work for you. I am in no way trying to bash these brands and definitely love other products from them. These are simply products that didn't work for me the way I had expected them to.


*Blissoma Natural Deodorants in Juniper, Lavender, & Citrus (not pictured) - I was sent these a few months ago to try out and haven't gotten on well with them. I've read so many good reviews and either I got a bad batch or they actually just don't work for me. First off, all three scents smell lovely and aren't at all too strong. The bottles are nice and light, perfect for travelling. The deodorant itself is such a weird texture, almost gelatinous and sticky. I feel like they take forever to dry and I stink within an hour of applying. I'm a huge fan of their facial products, but these deos...suck..

Andalou Naturals Beta Hydroxy Complex Recovery Cream & Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub - I'm a big fan of Andalou Naturals and love several of their products. I was so excited to try this cream because I had read great reviews and my skin is prone to breakouts and clogged pores, which this cream is supposed to help with. Sadly, it did absolutely nothing for my skin. In fact, I think it broke me out more. The scrub isn't that bad, it smells awful and has more of a cream scrub texture. I mean, it works alright. I guess the scrub isn't as disappointing as the cream. If you're looking for a scrub though, the Andalou Chia Scrub is fantastic!

Ilia Polka Dots & Moonbeans Highlighter (sample) - I purchased this sample from Fresh Faced or Clementine Fields, can't remember now. I'm a big fan of Ilia lip products and thought that I'd give the highlighter a go. The colour is actually really nice, it has a hint of yellow/gold making it look super natural. However, the texture of the product has been hard and kind of chalky since day one. When I apply it to my face, it just looks patchy and makes my skin look dry. I also picked up a sample of the W3LL People Universalist in #2 Moonstone Glow, at the same time, and absolutely adore the formulation of that one much more.

Pacifica Dreamlit Under Eye Brightener - I haven't ventured into the world of Pacifica makeup or skin care, but I do love their perfumes. I was SO excited when I heard that they came out with a brightener and concealer. I picked up and was disappointed by both (brightener and concealer). The concealer (that isn't pictured because I gave it away) was way too orange for me. The under eye brightener, as you can see, is just really, really pink and kind of dark. It has a nice fluid texture, that keeps it from creasing quickly, but not only does it not brighten under my eyes, it also wears off incredibly quickly. If you don't have super dark circles or veins and have more of a medium skin tone, both the under eye brightener and all over concealer would probably work well for you.

That's all I have for disappointing products. If you've tried any of these, please let me know your experiences! :)

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

November 2014 Empties

November was a shitty month for me, so I'm definitely glad that it's over. December is going to be busy and fun, with Christmas/holidays and all. Anyone else love this time of the year?
This month I actually didn't finish as much as I expected to, however, I did get through a bunch of minis/samples. 

John Masters Scalp Shampoo - This is a new product in the JM range and what drew me in was the fact that it's supposed to help with oily hair and scalp. It smelled like spearmint gum, which was super refreshing and tingly on the scalp, as well as invigorating in the morning. I really liked that it left my hair and scalp squeaky clean without being irritating. Even though it barely lathered, meaning I had to use more product than usual, this bottle lasted me a good five months. This wasn't an everyday shampoo for me, it was a once or twice a week shampoo that helped clarify and refresh. I may repurchase, however, Myra Aso told me that I can mix baking soda with my normal shampoo to help clarify. If it saves me $20+ and actually works, that'll be my new clarifying shampoo.

Organic Matter Level 1 Shampoo - review here - I loved and still love this shampoo so much. It was gentle, virtually scentless (although I do love a bit more scent in my shampoo), non-irritating on my sensitive scalp, and left my hair and scalp clean yet conditioned. I've already repurchased.

Pretty Skin Repair Body Oil - This body oil is actually for stretch mark repair after giving birth, however, since I already have stretch marks I decided to give it a go. The scent was lovely, mild patchouli, and the oil itself absorbed really well into the skin. I've now gone through two bottles and have noticed that my stretch marks, while still there, are less noticeable. My only issue with this oil is the bottle and pump cap, it leaked all the time as you can probably see from the label. May repurchase at some point.

Essencia Wild Cornflower Floral Water - I picked this up on a whim, months ago, and have really enjoyed using it. Wild Cornflower is apparently great for reducing redness and soothing the eye area. As a compress, it can also help reduce puffiness around the eyes. That being said, I used this as a facial toner, as well as to remove any extra mascara that was left behind after cleansing. It smelled a little musty but was very gentle, non irritating, and pleasant to use. Would definitely repurchase.

*New Leaf Hand Soap in Hint O' Mint & Lovely Lavender - review here - As much as I enjoyed the scent and how well these cleansed my hands, the castile base was very drying. Will not repurchase.

*Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Deo in Grapefruit - review here -  LOOOOVEEEE. It is hands down the best deodorant that I have ever used, that doesn't irritate my underarms. I loved the fresh, citrus scent and how creamy the formula was. It kept me stink free almost the whole day. Already repurchased the full size.

*Organic Bath Co. Java Jolt Scrub (mini) - review here - Java Jolt is the perfect name for this little scrub. Although I don't drink coffee, I love the scent of it and this scrub definitely smelled like a cup of java. While the jar was too small to see if it actually helped with cellulite (as coffee, applied to the body, can), it was a great morning pick me up and fantastic exfoliant. I have not been disappointed with any of the Organic Bath Co. scrubs and I hope they become available in Canada soon! Would repurchase.

*Province Apothecary Cleanser + Makeup Remover - review here - My thoughts on this cleanser remain true to the review, it's fabulous! It removed makeup well and left my skin soft, all while smelling lovely. Would definitely repurchase.

*Province Apothecary Invigorating + Balancing Toner - review here - So...remember how I said in my review that I'd be picking up the full size? I haven't yet. Toner is my addiction and I love trying new ones all the time. This one, however, was really great! I love the blend of ingredients that make it purifying yet gentle. I WILL be picking up the full size at some point.

Those two little samples jars were of a peel by Suki and the gentle cleanser by Acure. Both were given to me by Lisa, of Glam Goes Green, The peel was fantastic for brightening and exfoliating. The Acure cleanser, although contained argan oil, didn't irritate my skin. My only issue was the scent, yuck. Both were only a couple of uses.

*Earthbody Brighten Cleanser + Mask - I received this little gem in the August Petit Vour box and truly loved using it. I mixed it with water, toner, honey, and apple cider vinegar and found it worked well regardless of which mixing medium was used. It pulled out impurities, helped dry up blemishes, and brightened the skin. May purchase the full size at some point.

Lady Gaga Fame Perfume I finally finished up this bottle of perfume, that I had for two-ish years. While it was definitely not natural, it smelled beautiful. It was floral and sweet and sexy, all at the same time. I don't wear perfume often, but when I do I spray it on my clothes (not directly on skin) and it has to be a scent that I like (obviously). I have yet to find a mind blowing natural perfume and until I do, I'll continue using "toxic" ones. Go ahead, judge me! In any case, this is one that I'd repurchase in a smaller bottle.
Desert Essence Coconut Hand & Body Lotion - I love me some coconut smelling products but, this smelled horrible. The coconut scent, while fake, smelled like plastic. Would never purchase the full size.
What did you finish up this month? If you have a blog/YT channel, link your empties down below :)
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Monday, December 01, 2014

Glam Goes Green in Bolton

Hello lovelies! Today I am super excited to share with you my visit to Glam Goes Green in Bolton, Ontario (Canada). Some of you may already know Lisa, she's pretty active on social media and a serious advocate for natural products. With 9 women in her life being diagnosed with breast cancer, she knew it was time to change her diet and overall lifestyle. She opened up a green spa, Serenity on the Humber, a couple of years ago but realized that her passion was educating. Educating people on the Obscene 13, how it impacts their body and skin, and providing natural alternatives to replace their beauty and lifestyle products. She quickly put the spa on hold when the opportunity to open up a store presented itself, and I could not be happier for her.
Lisa's store is small, cozy, product packed, and absolutely beautiful. She carries a variety of products from hair care to skin care, tea to chocolate, and first aid remedies. With brands like Corpa Flora, Pure Anada, Honeybee Gardens, Real Techniques, Red Apple Lipstick, Chocosol, 100% Pure, and many more, you're bound to find something for you.
Flowers, entrance, beautiful!
UMMM..HEAVEN? To the left we got body moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and more. To the right we there's skin care, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc.
Okay but who else loves that damn little table? It is so cute! 
Chocolate and makeup, how can you go wrong? You can't!
Is there such a thing as too much lipstick? Nope.
Action of the grand opening. Celine, from Corpa Flora doing demos (left), Lisa educating customers (middle), people shopping (middle), and more makeup (right)!
Lisa, owner of Glam Goes Green, and Celine, Founder and Creator of Corpa Flora.
Celine, Lisa, and moi! Excuse my entire self, I had been up since 7, went to work at the spa, then helped out (kinda) at GGG, and this was taken late at night.
Cute shop eh? If you can't make it to the shop, although I highly suggest you try if you're in the GTA or going to be near it, you can also shop online. Might I suggest the sale section? 
Since the grand opening, Lisa has moved stuff within the shop around. She's also brought in Acure, which isn't available anywhere else in Canada, and it's selling like hot cakes!
Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway happening soon, on here, with Glam Goes Green. In the meantime, check out the website and let me know what you're dying to try most.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Goodness Me! Online Grand Opening!


Goodness Me! has been working hard on their online store and want to celebrate its official launch with you. From November 26th to December 1st, 2014, you can:
  • Enter to win $100 gift card to the online store by signing up for their newsletter
  • Sign up for a FREE Webinar with Janet Jacks (Founder of GM) to learn about "The Hidden Signs of Stress & What to do About Them". This Webinar is only offered on November 26th from 7-8 p.m. EST. You can sign up here.
  • Enter to win a swag bag worth over $100 by using the hashtag #GMonlinestore on Twitter. Swag bag contains a box of Stash Tea, Theo chocolate bar, shaker cup, Imagine Organic tomato basil soup, Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts, St. Francis butter ghee, Deep Immune and Mineral Matrix, plus a copy of Discover the Power of Food by Janet Jacks.
You can read more about the grand opening, as well as all of the fun stuff they will have going on by heading over to their blog.

Shop at

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*I am a Goodness Me! Brand Ambassador, however, I do not receive any sort of monetary compensation. I may received free product(s) from time to time. I'm sharing this post not because I am a BA, but because it's a great opportunity for you to receive discounts, win free stuff, and learn more about GM. I shopped at Goodness Me! stores before being asked to be a Brand Ambassador.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Porsche Ella - The New Kid on the Block

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Julie Michaud of Locale Beauty. We bonded over a love for Corpa Flora and supporting Canadian beauty companies. Porsche Ella carries a variety of products for skin, body, hair, mama and baby, and even offers e-classes. Since then, Julie has redesigned her website and changed the name to Porsche Ella. With all of these changes, the company has been nominated for a Best Concept by Small Business BC Awards! If you'd like to vote, you can do so here.
porsche-ella is an innovative online platform that welcomes customers to easily purchase makeup, skincare and beauty products to enhance their outer beauty while providing distinguished programs for life-impact guidance that addresses concepts of inner beauty. porsche-ella's dual intention is the concept of founder and operator, Julie Michaud who personally selects all products and is the designer of porsche-ella's educational programs that challenge conventional notions of what it means to be truly beautiful.

All porsche-ella's products are Canadian sourced from boutique and artisan producers, are ensured to be non-carcinogenic and are designed to promote healthy skin. This commitment to the local economy and responsibly produced cosmetics reflect Michaud's pledge to teach a deeper understanding of inner beauty with equal capacity. 
Her program Grace and BeautyTM aims to teach how emotions, self talk, habits, food and skin care affect the outer presentation we give to the world, while her program Peaceful AssertivenessTM aims for a thorough assessment of the impact of beauty, inner peace and assertiveness in the professional world.
Read more about the company and Julie, here.

A couple of the Viva Health sample packets briefly reviewed in this empties post

*Viva Health Aromatherapy Facial Toner Description: Combining the natural astringents of mandarin and rose with the stimulating and healing properties of arnica, silica, and witch hazel, this refreshing toner rehydrates the skin and works to shrink and tighten pores. The added benefit of geranium treats acne while balancing the skin’s pH for a brightening effect. The Aromatherapy Facial Toner’s light spray-on application means you can apply it throughout the day whenever your skin needs a boost – even over makeup. 
Retails for $24.99 cdn for 240 ml.

Not a fan of this product. I've tried it a couple of times and it just makes my face red and itchy. It also smells like a cleaning product, yuck. I was super disappointed to see that the ingredients on the website didn't match the bottle, since I chose it based on the simplicity of them. Still, the ingredients are pretty clean. Since I reacted to this toner, I can exactly vouch for any of the benefits. I've passed this over to my mom and she had no reaction but, hates the scent as well.

Soap samples briefly reviewed in empties post

*Ella's Botanicals Magic Balm in My Darling Clementine Description: Our Magic Balms really are magic-they are multi purpose balms that are great for face, body, hands, feet, cuticles, lips-you name it! They are great for healing fresh tattoos as well. That’s not all- dry skin, rashes, minor cuts and scrapes and anything else you can think of. It all begins with some beautiful olive oil and our special blend of Calendula Flowers, Comfrey Leaf, Plantain Leaf and Chickweed Flowers. We infuse the olive oil and herbs for quite some time so the oil can absorb their magical skin healing properties. We then strain the oil and blend it with local, delicious smelling beeswax and Organic, Fair Trade shea butter, add our essential oils blends and pour them into tins. Voila- a perfect, all purpose balm that you can take with you everywhere you go and it’s 100% from nature! 
Retails for $15.00 cdn for 2 oz.

This is one of the smoothest balms that I have had the pleasure of using! I also love the clementine/orange scent. I like to keep this on my night table and use it before bed on any dry spots (elbows, knees, heels, cuticles, etc). Plantain, calendula, comfrey, and chickweed are all ideal for soothing, healing, and calming inflamed and irritated skin; while shea butter and beeswax help to soften and protect. Works like a charm! Also, the tin is super light making it ideal for tossing in your purse, baby bag, or carry on. Still, I prefer the NBW balm but if it was no longer available, I would purchase this instead.

*Reese and Luke Shea Butter Baby Balm in Lavender Description: Our Shea butter organic lavender baby balm provides natural healing with healthy fatty acids and antioxidants that provides moisture to keep skin soft and supple. Effective for avoiding diaper rash treatment. Reese and Luke’s Shea butter organic lavender baby balm is made with pure unrefined African Shea nut butter, which retains all of the properties that makes Shea butter renowned as a skin remedy and has superior healing results compared with competing cosmetic oils or refined Shea butter. Our Shea butter lavender baby balm is safe for cloth diapers, and does not damage or stain cloth diapers allowing your cloth diapers to be fully absorbent.
Retails for $13.99 cdn for 2.1 oz.

I love the blend of shea butter with other calming ingredients, like calendula and lavender for face and body use. It absorbs well and leaves a nice barrier to protect from the cold weather that we've been hit with recently (and diaper rash, although I don't wear diapers so I'm just assuming). Shea butter is non-comedogenic, so you don't have to worry about it clogging your pores, and can help with wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, etc. You cannot go wrong with this shea butter balm!

Haven't tried the lip balm but, it's strongly coconut scented

*Saavani Acne Spot Treatment Description: An absolute must have! A concentrated and potent mix of essential oils to kill acne causing bacteria and help relieve swelling and redness…on the spot! This treatment is a necessity for many acne prone clients who swear by its results.
Retails for $32.00 cdn for 12ml.

This stuff does not smell very good, in my opinions, but it works like a dream!! It might even be better than Osmia's and it's much bigger. Like with any spot treatments, it takes a bit of reapplying to help get rid of big, stubborn under the skin zits. However, this worked overnight on smaller ones without leaving behind any scars. If you can get over the scent, you will love this spot treatment!

I absolutely adore the concept behind the company and think that if you're trying to support solely Canadian businesses and brands, Porsche Ella is the way to go. That being said, there are so many other amazing Canadian brands that Julie does not yet carry. As her business grows, hopefully so will the brands she carries. In the meantime, you can get 10% off with coupon code ECOCHICBEAUTY10 to use towards whatever products you'd like. Some of my favourites are Corpa Flora (obviously), SBT Seabuckthorn, Reese and Luke, and Saavani (spot treatment).

What do you want to try most or what have you already tried of the products mentioned?

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*Products provided for review consideration. All opinions are entirely my own. I do not receive any compensation for you using the coupon code, it is solely for your benefit.

Viva Health Aromatherapy Facial Toner Ingredients: Aqua(Purified Water), Vegetable Glycerin, Citrus Defense™ (Malic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Extract, Yucca Shidegere Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid), Citrus Grandits (Grapefruit Seed) Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Pro Vitamin B5 (Panthanol), Tinosan, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil, Pelangonium Graveoleus (Geranium) Essential Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Nobillis (Mandarin) Essential Oil.

Ella's Magic Balm Ingredients: Olea Europa Oil (Olive), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter/Beurre de Karité), Cera Alba (Beeswax/Cire d’Abeille), Calendula Officinalis Flower, Plantago Major Leaf, Stellaria Media Flowers, Symphytum Officinale Leaf, Citrus Nobilis Peel Oil (Orange), Citrus Reticulata Oil (Tangerine/Mandarine), Vanilla Planifolia Oil (Vanilla/Vanille), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary/Romarin)

Reese and Luke Shea Butter Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive), Euphorbia cerifera (Candelilla Wax), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Hypericum perforatum Leaf (St John’s Wort), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Org Calendula Extract),Lavandula Angustifolia Oil (Organic Lavendin Oil)

Saavani Spot Treatment Ingredients: Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Tamanu Oil, Turmeric Oil, Geranium Oil.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Brand Focus: Province Apothecary + Giveaway (CLOSED)

Earlier this year, I had heard a lot about Province Apothecary but never really came across it in stores. It wasn't until I attended a media event, for a Fresh Faced and Health Hut pop up, that I had the opportunity to truly experience the line and chit chat with Julie (Creator and brilliant mind behind PA).
After struggling with allergies and eczema all her life, Julie Clark began crafting natural, organic beauty products out of her kitchen in New York’s Hell's Kitchen. Despite her busy schedule as a costume designer and stylist, Julie found herself drawn to holistic skincare, using her time off to experiment with oils, waxes and herbs- all in pursuit of the perfect skin care regime. In 2010 Julie left NYC to study Aromatherapy, Holistic Health and Esthetics in Toronto. Here she formed the foundation of her skincare expertise, experimenting with raw materials and natural ingredients. 
For Julie, natural beauty goes beyond simply organic and wild-crafted ingredients; natural beauty means a pledge to helping clients feel good in their own skin. “I gather so much inspiration from my clients, the weather, and the seasons,” says Julie, of her individually-tailored approach to skin care. Her facial treatments often include hand-blended masks using local produce and seasonally appropriate, farmer-friendly ingredients. While PA has long outgrown the kitchen, Julie’s devotion to fresh, wild-crafted, seasonal, and organic beauty continues. Now a certified holistic esthetician and aromatherapist, Julie remains committed to innovation, sustainability, and small-batch skin care of the highest quality.
Read more about Julie and Province Apothecary here.

While I had received a few samples (mask, exfoliant, and lip balm) in my swag bag from the event, I really wanted to try other products from the range. Julie was kind enough to send me some items to play with and I must say, these products live up to the hype. Oh, and PA is also Canadian! Actually, Julie offers services, facials and custom perfume blending, at her Kensington location. If you're in the GTA, check her out.

Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover Description: Our Moisturizing Cleanser + Make Up Remover with Avocado & Raspberry Oil is great for all skin types. These hydrating oils remove make up & excess oil, restoring your skin’s natural radiance while gently cleansing without over-drying your skin or destroying its natural pH. Raspberry Oil stimulates cell turnover, rejuvenating skin. Bergamot Oil clears congestion. Frankincense tones the skin. Lavender heals blemishes and works as a restorative. This essential oil blend calms, reduces stress, and relaxes your parasympathetic nervous system. Our cleanser helps your skin stay nourished, balanced, and healthy.
Retails for $16.00 cdn/30 ml or $42.00 cdn/120 ml.

This cleanser is entirely oil based, with no emulsifier, and is an absolute pleasure to use! It's light fragrance makes you feel as though you're at an organic spa and the oils just melt away makeup with ease. It leaves my skin soft, nourished, well cleansed, and vibrant. I love that there are two size options available because the small one is perfect for travelling. The dark glass bottle ensures the oils stay fresh for as long as possible, and the pump ensures you use as little/much product as needed. Corpa Flora is still my favourite, but this is a very close second. I would 100% pick up the 30 ml bottle if I was going to be travelling or a full size to alternate with Corpa.

Invigorating + Balancing Toner Description: Our Invigorating + Balancing Toner with Geranium & Witch Hazel is great for normal, combination, oily, and congested skin. Our toner restores skin’s natural pH, shrinks pores and blemishes with the astringent properties of Witch hazel, reduces inflammation and redness with Rose water, stimulates and tightens skin with the essential oils of Clary Sage and Geranium, and heals and hydrates with Lavender and Calendula.
Retails for $14.00 cdn/30 ml or $40.00 cdn/120 ml.

This little bottle creates the finest of mists, it's literally perfection. The scent is an exact representation of the ingredients; clary sage, geranium, witch hazel, frankincense, all blended together to intoxicate your nasal passage and perk up your skin. After cleansing, morning and night, I'd spritz some on my skin before applying oils. I'd even use this as a morning cleanse on a cotton pad to, obviously, cleanse the skin and help with any blemishes that I may have going on. I will definitely be picking up the full size.

Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum Description: Our Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum with Neroli & Frankincense is great for all skin types: dry, normal, combination, oily, and mature skin. It replenishes your skin’s health while hydrating and stimulating skin on a cellular level. High in antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory oils, Neroli and Frankincense reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin tone. Jojoba balances skin’s sebum production, controlling shine and congestion. German Chamomile and Rose reduce blemishes, redness, and the appearance of scars.
Retails for $26.00 cdn/7 ml, $44.00 cdn/14 ml, or $76.00 cdn/30 ml. 

I have such a love/hate relationship with this oil. Sometimes I feel as though it works wonders and other times I feel as though it does nothing. Mind you, the weather is changing and my skin is becoming bipolar, so that could definitely be the reason I feel like this. Like the other two products, this one is very fragrant and a perfect representation of its ingredients/essential oils. A few drops is all you need and it quickly absorbs into the skin. Some days, this oil was more than enough for my skin, created the perfect canvas for makeup. Other days, I needed to layer a moisturizer over top. I'm not entirely sold on this serum, although I've heard many swear by it, so I'll update you all in an empties post.

Hang Over Remedy Description: Our Hangover Remedy is a handcrafted botanical tincture that uses traditional herbal methods to help alleviate nausea and headaches, while cleansing and toning the liver and detoxifying your body. It is an all natural blend of flowers, herbs, seeds, and roots, combined to ensure adaptogenic, tonic, carminative, and anti-emetic effects.
Retails for $16.00 cdn/30 ml.

If only this had been available in my early 20s, when I would party like a champ several times a week and sometimes even need to drag my hung over ass to work. Now, I don't really drink. Ever. I had all intentions of trying this out for its intended purpose during Canadian Thanksgiving, but I didn't drink. Then I meant to try it when my parents invited my boyfriend's family over for dinner, for the first time, but I didn't get drunk (even though I drank). Sigh! I decided to give this a go sober, and it was very refreshing and gave me the slightest of energy boosts. Hopefully I'll get hammered during Christmas, then update you in an empties post :P!

I'm a huge fan of Province Apothecary and now understand, and believe, all of the hype. Exceptional products, exceptional ingredients, reasonable price point. If you haven't already tried PA, I recommend getting your hands on some samples or minis. If it's not available where you are, come visit me in Canada and we'll get you some!

All products mentioned can be purchased through Province Apothecary and any of these stockists.

Time For a Giveaway!

Julie has kindly offered to giveaway one Hang Over Remedy to one of you guys. Now you can have that extra glass of whatever and beat that hang over the next morning, then let me know how it worked for you :). 

This giveaway is open to Canada and USA residents only, must be legal age of majority or have a guardian's permission to enter, void where prohibited by law. Contest closes on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be chosen at random and announced here and through Twitter. Winner will have 48 hours to collect their prize. If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours, another will be chosen.

In order to qualify, you must:
  • Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect or Email (on main blog page)
  • Follow Province Apothecary and myself on Twitter
  • Follow Province Apothecary and myself on Instagram
  • Follow Province Apothecary on Facebook
  • Join Province Apothecary's mailing list (for great promotions)
  • Comment down below letting me know one of the wildest nights you had, where the Hang Over Remedy would have come in handy AND let me know which steps you have done and your corresponding email address, social media names, etc.
GOOD LUCK! - Congrats Heather, you won!

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*Products provided with no mention of review consideration. All opinions are entirely my own

Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover Ingredients: Sunflower Seed Oil*, Jojoba oil*, Avocado oil*, Evening Primrose oil*, Raspberry Seed oil*, GMO-free Vitamin E, Rosemary leaf extract, and therapeutic essential oils of: Bergamot, Lavender*, Frankincense* and Petit grain. *Certified organic ingredient. Our Bergamot is Bergamotene-free (not photo-toxic).

Invigorating + Balancing Toner Ingredients: Aqua, Rose flower water*, Witch Hazel Water*, Lavender flower water*, Calendula flower extract*, and therapeutic essential oils of: Geranium Oil*, Clary Sage Oil*, Frankincense Oil and Rose Otto. *Certified organic ingredient.

Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum Ingredients: Apricot kernel oil*, Pumpkin seed oil*, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Avocado oil*, Grape seed oil*, Pomegranate oil*, Raspberry seed oil*, Sea buckthorn oil*, Calendula oil*, Rosehip oil*, Borage oil*, GMO-free Vitamin E, Therapeutic essential oils of: Neroli, Frankincense, German chamomile, and Rose otto.*Certified organic ingredient.

Hang Over Remedy Ingredients: Ethyl alcohol, Water, Milk thistle seed, Ginger root*, Peppermint*, Black Horehound, Fo-ti, Centaury, Meadowsweet. *Certified organic ingredient.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

October 2014 Empties

Ohhh goodness, it's time to peep at my trash again. This month I really focused on using up samples as they tend to accumulate and just wait around to be used. I also finished up several full sized products that have been in rotation for months. I feel lighter already!

Andalou Naturals Shea Butter + Sea buckthorn Hand Cream - no review - I've tried the lavender version of this hand cream and it burned, for some odd reason. This one, however, works well when I have and don't have an ezcema flare up. It's smells like oranges, which is always uplifting, and keeps my hands super soft. Already repurchased.

Deep Steep Body Wash in Lavender Chamomile - review here - Deep Steep makes the best and my absolutely favourite body washes. This scent was particular light and nice, however, I still prefer Honeydew Spearmint. Will be repurchasing.

Pretty Ginger & Cypress Soothing Beauty Mud - review here - A long time favourite that works so well for my skin, whether it's warm or cold out. Not sure how they concocted such a simple face mask that works like magic but my DIYs and other clay masks just don't compare. It pulls out impurities and leaves my skin soft and more even toned. Will be repurchasing.

Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk - review here - I love this cleanser so much, but I hate the packaging. This is the third bottle that I've gone through and the pump stopped working half way through the bottle, so I had to open it and shake it on my palm every time. So annoying. Aside from that, I loved the formula and how soft (and clear!) my skin was whenever I used it. Despite my love for this cleanser, I will not be repurchasing unless they change the pump.

Living Libations Sea Buckthorn + Tamanu All Over Body Lotion - no review - I was so excited to try this lotion, mainly because it contained sea buckthorn and tamanu (plus a bunch of other amazing ingredients) but, I felt as though it didn't do much for my skin. I used in on both my body and face, it absorbed really well but my skin never felt moisturized enough. It also smelled strongly of vetiver, which lingered. Will not be repurchasing.

*nyl Body Balm - review here - This body balm boasted an impressive list of ingredients and worked incredibly well on my dry elbows, knees, feet, and ezcema patches. A little went a very long way, however, I wasn't a fan of the scent. It's a scent that I can't even describe, perhaps tamanu but stale? I don't know. Will not be repurchasing.

*Gemstone Organic Rube Creme - review here - Lovvvveddd this creme. It worked amazing for my skin and kept it well moisturized without breaking me out. Gemstone Organic has kindly sent me a full size and once I use that up, I will definitely be repurchasing with my own money!

Odacite Pure Elements Pa + G Concentrate - review here - This concentrate did not let me down. It did what it claimed it would, brighten hyperpigmentation and overall skin complexion. While I'm not a fan of the scent of geranium, this one was quite pleasant. I will likely repurchase Pa + G, however, I'd like to try other concentrates from the range.

NBW Healing Balm - review here - This balm has been repackaged (or relabeled) and slightly reformulated to remove soy oil. Still, it worked amazing for my ezcema and I literally cannot live without it. It was so easy to apply on problem areas (dry skin, ezcema, burns, cuts, etc) and travel with. LOVE and have already repurchased. PS. Check out their new website!

Sappho Liquid Foundation in Leisha - review here - The review is actually for Rachel, which is a shade up from Leisha but you can see swatches of Leisha here. I love this foundation dearly (despite it oxidizing) and can't seem to find anything better. It can be light to full coverage, depending on how you apply it, and looks like skin! This little bottle lasted me about 10 full months, so a little goes a long day. Worth every penny and I've already repurchased Leisha.

BeautyBlender - I use the BB to apply Leisha and it's lasted almost as long as the bottle of foundation has (I took very good care of it). I loved the skin like flawless finish that it left behind and already have another one on the go.

*Earthlab Raw Mascara in Black - review here - Great mascara! Even though it didn't give me the va-va-voom lashes that I love to have, it didn't smudge, smear, or flake, and lasted all day without irritating my eyes. I have a few other mascaras to use up but, this is one I'd definitely repurchase.

Hurraw Lip Balm in Black Cherry - review here - The formulation is pretty much the same to the one reviewed, however, this one has a reddish tint and cherry flavour. I loved it! The ingredients are spectacular and I loved the slight tint that it gave my lips. The only thing I dislike about these lip balms is that they get really, really, really soft when it's warm out. Great for the colder months, not a fan in the warmer months.

Sante Brow Pencil in #2 - no review - I've raved about Zuzu in Russet but, I love this one even more. The brown is perfect, cool toned, and the formulation is spot on. I fill in my brows daily, whether I wear any other makeup or not, and this one has lasted me months, I already repurchased and have a backup.

*Rahua Shampoo (sample) - This wasn't as incredible as I expected it to be. It didn't really do much for my hair and actually irritated my sensitive scalp.

*Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner (sample x 2) - Again, disappointed considering the reviews. The coconut scent that it left behind was lovely, but it didn't really do much for my hair. Mind you, I don't normally used conditioner nor do I feel I really need it.

*Rare El'ements Pure Shampoo (sample x 2) - Now this was a lovely shampoo! It has a faint herbal scent, lathered well, left my hair clean and scalp happy. Still, I prefer OM.

*Rare El'ements Essential Conditioner (sample x 2) - Another conditioner that didn't do anything for my hair. It felt like more of a thick conditioning mask than an everyday type conditioner.

*Viva Health Amaze Exfoliating Gel (sample) - This was supposed to be a chemical exfoliant that rubs off dead skin cells, however, as I applied it on my skin, it seemed to ball up and off. I didn't notice a difference in my skin. Will not be purchasing the full size.
*Viva Health Cleansing Gel (sample) - I'm not a fan of gel cleansers and this one was no exception. It was a traditional gel texture, but didn't really foam, and stung my face a bit. Will not be purchasing the full size.
*Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream (sample) - I'm not usually a fan of rose scents but, I didn't mind this one. It felt really nice on the skin but wasn't enough on its own. Will not be purchasing the full size.
*Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beautiful Night Cream (sample) - Again, pleasant rose scent. I really enjoyed using this one in the day because it was heavier than the day cream and left my skin well moisturized for makeup. I have other products that I like better though. Will not be purchasing the full size.
*Ella's Lemon Zing Beauty Bar Soap (sample) - I used this to cleanse my hands and really enjoyed the light scent and exfoliating properties. I'm not a fan of the fact that canola oil is the base. Will not be purchasing the full size.
*Annointment Shea Butter Cream (sample) - This was really rich but absorbed nicely. I didn't love it enough to purchase a full size.
*Rose Mira Sweet Coconut Body Butter (sample) - I loved the tropical coconut, with a hint of citrus scent, of this body butter and found it worked really well. However, it did melt in transit and became gritty once it hardened. It would probably be better in the colder months, avoiding the temperature fluctuations, but I don't think I'll purchasing the full size. 
*Nature Girl Vanilla Shea (sample) - I adored the whipped texture of this shea butter and how quickly it absorbed, just not the scent. I may consider picking up the full size of another scent.
*May Lindstrom The Problem Solver (sample) - A client was actually kind enough to give me a generous sample from her personal jar to try. I'm not sure it's as magical as everyone claims it to be, however, I did use it incorrectly the first time and didn't have enough to use it correctly the second time. That being said, it's likely I didn't reap the benefits due to personal error.
It's no surprise that my empties post this month is ridiculous, when will my stash end?! I'm not complaining, I love samples and trying out new things. November will probably be ridiculous as well because I've been using up more samples and finishing up things that I've had sitting around for ages.
What have you finished in October?
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*PR samples, received at shows, provided by friends or business owners (as they would provide anyone with samples), etc. All opinions are entirely my own

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Brand Focus: Meow Meow Tweet

Meow Meow Tweet. Meeeooow Meeeeooow Tweet. I just love saying that name, anyone else? It's fun, sassy, and creative, much like the packaging and Founders/Creators (Tara and Jeff). This small batch, American, company has been blowing up, and with good reason. Their products are well thought out and made with nothing but pure love. I've actually already reviewed their Lavender Deodorant Cream. Since then, MMT has kindly sent me a bunch of a samples to try out and one in particular has blown my mind.

MMT sent me a sample of their *Rosemary Lime Soap, *Face + Body Toning Mist, *Cocoa Lip Balm (full size), *Face Oil, *Cocoa Cream, and *Tea Tree Lavender Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream. Ingredients for each of these products will be listed at the very end of this post.

*Rosemary Lime Soap: This soap is a real treat. I've been using it to wash my hands and absolutely adore the bits of cornmeal that gently exfoliate. The scent is light and fresh, and I love how well it melts makeup off of my hands. Also, I love that they don't use palm oil in their soaps. I got my eye on their Cinnamon Coffee bar and Grapefruit Mint bar.

*Cocoa Cream: This chocolate smelling goodness is super rich and nourishing. It melts on contact with the skin and soaks right in. I love that this contains absolutely no waxes, it's just rich oils and butters. I'm saving it for the polar vortex weather (*cries*)!
Retails for $18 usd/$22 cdn for 2 oz.

*Tea Tree Lavender Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream: This deodorant doesn't work well for me. I hate the strong tea tree scent and find that I get stinky within a couple of hours. This is not available, it was kindly custom blended for me. However, they do have a baking soda free deodorant that actually does work and IS available. Keep scrolling to read about it :).

*Face + Body Toning Mist in Geranium Basil: Tara had mentioned that this could work well to soothe and deodorize my irritated pits, it did. I also tried it on my face and enjoyed how refreshing it was. Given that the sample is so small, I think it's great to determine scent preference. I'm not a fan of geranium, although it's great for the skin, and wasn't keen on the overall scent of this mist.
Retails for $22 usd/$27 cdn for 112 ml.

*Face Oil: This facial oil is packed with exceptional oils, however, I found the essential oil blend a bit strong. I think it's the vetiver that just takes over and lingers. In the warmer months, it worked amazingly well as a base for my makeup. It provided enough moisture, but was light enough to keep me from feeling or getting greasy during the day. It balanced my skin perfectly. Now that it's colder, this doesn't cut it for my dry skin. I will definitely consider purchasing a full size next summer and recommend giving it a go if you live somewhere warm or have oily skin.
Retails for $25 usd/$30 cdn for 27 ml.

*Cocoa Lip Balm: Cocoa butter based lip balms are some of my absolutely faves, they tend to work so well for my lips and this is no exception. It's rich, moisturizing, delicious, and amazing. My only issue is that cocoa butter tends to melt and solidify with temperature changes (obviously), making the texture a bit rough. Luckily, it hasn't happened with this one yet. This is probably one of my favourite lip balms to date.
Retails for $5 usd/$6.50 cdn for .16 oz.

*Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream in Grapefruit (mind blown!)I saved the best for last! Spoiler alert, the full size (pictured on the left) was purchased with my own money from Glam Goes Green. Tara sent me a surprise package containing a sample (pictured on the right) of this deodorant. The fresh grapefruit scent is uplifting and instantly intoxicated my nasal passage. For all of you baking soda sensitive people out there, this is the only deodorant you will ever need! It keeps me stink free all damn day, without irritating my pits, AND I can safely perform spa services without worrying about stinking. I'm in love and highly, highly recommend giving it a try!
Full size retails for $13 USD/$15 CDN for 2.4 oz.

All products mentioned, and more, can be purchased through Meow Meow Tweet (including minis),, and Glam Goes Green (only carries the deodorant).
What are some of your favourite MMT products?

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*Products provided with no mention of review consideration. All opinions are entirely my own.

Rosemary Lime Soap Ingredients: *olive oil, *coconut oil, *sunflower oil, *castor oil, *shea butter, +sodium hydroxide, *cornmeal, and essential oils of rosemary and lime
*certified organic,
+none remains after saponifying oils

Cocoa Cream Ingredients:
 *hempseed oil, *virgin coconut oil, *cocoa butter, and *shea butter
*organic ingredient

Tea Tree Lavender Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream: *virgin coconut oil, *jojoba oil, *shea butter, *arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, tea tree and lavender essential oil
*organic ingredient

Face + Body Toning Mist in Geranium Basil Ingredients: Wild Harvested Witch Hazel, *Rose Water, *Lavender Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Essential Oils
*organic ingredient

Face Oil Ingredients: *hempseed oil, *jojoba oil, *sesame oil, essential oils of *carrot seed, *juniper, *patchouli & *vetiver
*organic ingredient

Cocoa Lip Balm Ingredients: *hempseed oil, *virgin coconut oil, candelilla wax, *cocoa butter 
*organic ingredient
Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream in Grapefruit: *arrowroot powder, *shea butter, magnesium hydroxide, *virgin coconut oil, *jojoba oil, *grapefruit, *bergamot, *lemon and *sweet orange essential oils
*organic ingredient

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Odacité Pure Elements: Pa + G (Papaya Geranium)

Odacité is a FRESH, high end, and quality skin care line created by Valérie Grandury. I've reviewed her 10 day treatement kit last year, and while I wasn't overly impressed it didn't stop me from wanting to try out the Pure Elements collection. Saska and Monique, of Anise Apothecary, both convinced me to give one of the serums a go. With sun damage and acne scarring on my face, I decided to purchase the papaya geranium serum for hyperpigmentation.
The Pure Elements collection offers 18 ultra-targeted skin remedies, for remarkable results in minimal time.

Each Serum Concentrate is born of the alliance of ancient medicinal plant knowledge with the research and clinical studies of modern science, to create powerful skin boosters.

Each drop is a concentrated dose of vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which are all essential in skin regeneration as well as detoxification.

Formulated for perfect skin compatibility and deep absorption, wether your skin is mature, sensitive, devitalized or fighting pimples , there is a perfect formula for you.

Super concentrated, 2-3 drops - morning and night - mixed in your dose of moisturizer is all it takes!
You can read more about the Pure Elements range here.


• Multi-active rejuvenating serum that helps to reduce brown spots while preventing the apparition of wrinkles and further pigmentation.

• Papaya seed oil is rich in fruit enzymes that help to fade brown spots and dissolve dead skin cells, unveiling a fresh and more even-toned glow.

• Geranium oil combines with Lemon oil, further encouraging wrinkle reduction and more evened-out skin tone.

• In aromatherapy, Geranium oil is known to have a harmonizing effect on the mind & body, helping to avoid emotional roller coasters.

I know that Odacité's packaging is fairly simple, but it's so chic. The dark glass bottle ensures that the product isn't tainted by UV rays and really preserves the oil. The idea behind the serum, as you've read above, is to be able to mix the concentrated formula with your daily moisturizer (cream or oil). The dropper on this bottle allows you to experiment with different ratios to find the perfect combination. I absolutely love mixing two drops of this serum with just about any oil or cream, at night, a few times a week. I find that it has really helped with hyperpigmentation and leaves my skin glowing. It smells of geranium but isn't at all overpowering, and while it does linger, it fades in intensity. Since I only use it a few times a week, the one bottle has lasted me several months. I'd definitely recommend this serum for brightening the skin, it works a million times better than LBF and costed a fraction of the price.

Retails for $37 USD/$38 CDN for 5 ml. With 18 different treatments, you're bound to find one for your skin.

All Pure Elements concentrates can be purchased through Odacité, Anise Apothecary, and these other retailers.

Which serum concentrate appeals to you most or which have you already tried?

Ingredients (INCI): Highest-grade cold-pressed certified virgin Papaya (Carica papaya) oil, Certified organic Geranium, Lemon (Pelargonium graveolens, Citrus limon) essential oils, Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Tocopherols) oil.
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