Thursday, September 24, 2015

July & August 2015 Empties!

Hi, my name is Nicole and I hoard garbage. I'm usually so good with posting my empties each month, but the last couple of months have really kicked my ass.
Here is what I've been hoarding for you.

Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk - review here - This is my favourite cleanser, ever. It just works so well for my sensitive, acne prone skin and is can be found at Winners/Marshalls for under $10. It also doesn't hurt that it smells like apricots! Already repurchased.

Andalou Naturals Illuminating Toner - review here - Another favourite product of mine. Like the Andalou cleanser, this toner works well for my skin and is also really affordable. It smells fresh, like clementines (as the name suggests) Already repurchased.

Heritage Store Rosewater - I really liked this rosewater for setting my makeup and keeping in my purse to hydrate parched skin in the winter. Will likely repurchase for the Fall/Winter.

*Month Echo Eau Divine - review here - The scent of this toner was horrible but it did work well mixed into clay masks. At almost $40 though, it's not a toner I'd repurchase.

*Pure Daily Essentials Gentle Oatmeal Scrub - review here - I enjoyed how gentle this scrub was, but not how greasy it was. I still prefer Lush's Angels on Bare Skin. Wouldn't repurchase.

Andalou Naturals Super Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream - Surprise, surprise, another fave from Andalou. This berry smelling cream works amazing mixed with a couple of drops of oil, both day and night. It hasn't irritated or broken me out, and creates the perfect canvas for makeup. Already repurchased.

*Noer Organics Facial Elixir (sample) - This facial elixir was really nice, but incredibly small to decide whether it was worth the investment. I do love the lavish and chic look of Noer, though it does have a matching price tag.

*Noer Organics Cleansing Balm (sample) - I'm not a fan of cleansing balms, but really enjoyed this one! It removed makeup like a dream and left my skin feeling incredibly soft. Not sure if it was the clove or anise, or both, that tingled and left my skin a bit red. It definitely wouldn't work for me in the colder months when my skin is most sensitive.

*Noer Organics Masquerade Purifying Mask (sample) - This mask boasts some impressive ingredients, like five varieties of clay to draw out impurities, papaya to gently exfoliate and brighten, cinnamon to stimulate, gotu kola to brighten, and aloe and chamomile to calm and soothe. It was nice, but I expected more. I much prefer The Body Deli Peel (also an empty this month).

*Myra Aso 100% Pure Marula Oil - review here - This stuff works wonders for my hair, especially now that I've bleached the ends. I always use a drop or two either while my hair is wet, after I've dried it, or after I've styled it. Sometimes a combo of the three. Already using another bottle.

*Kari Gran Essential Serum (sample) - review here - This serum was nice but the rosehip (or possibly the combination of rosehip with other oils) gave me little red bumps with continued use. It was nice as an eye makeup remover though. Wouldn't repurchase.

*Zaya Face Oil - review here - I absolutely adored this facial oil. It was nourishing, smelled nice, didn't irritate or break out my skin, and was a real treat to use. I've decided to start switching up my facial oils, as I finish a bottle. Trying to keep my routine more minimalist with only using one oil at a time. Will definitely repurchase in the future.

The Body Deli Radiance Enzyme Superfood Peel - review here - LOVE. This mask works wonders for my skin. It moisturizes, brightens, evens out the skin tone, and reduces breakouts. Will be repurchasing.

Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream - review here - This stuff works and I love it, what else can I really say? Already repurchased.

*NBW Body Scrub (sample) - I really enjoyed the new formula of this body scrub. It wasn't as greasy as their original formula and washed off nicely. I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge fan of scrubs, and that still stands.

Theraneem Neem Toothpaste - This toothpaste did contain glycerin, if that's an issue for you, and it wasn't all that breath freshening and teeth cleansing. In fact, my teeth were worse when I went to the dentist. Wouldn't repurchase.

Andalou Naturals Shea Butter + Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream - I have a thing for Andalou Naturals, can ya tell?? This hand cream is my fave. It smells nice, is affordable, and works wonders on my dry hands. It was the only one that worked on my ezcema (which I no longer have). Already working on another tube and will pick up a backup.

Deep Steep Body Mist in Honeydew Spearmint - Love the scent of this fresh honeydew and spearmint body mist. The scent doesn't linger for long but it is a nice refresher on a hot day. Already repurchased.

Nature's Pure Bliss Keylime Pie Soy Candle - This candle smelled really nice and was reasonably priced ($8 cdn). It definitely didn't fill the room with its scent though, which was a bit disappointing. Would consider repurchasing.

The Body Deli Living Hair Shampoo - review here - This shampoo is incredible. It leaves my hair and scalp happy, and smelling nice. Check out my rave review if you want to know more. Already repurchased.

Ilia Lip Conditioner in Shell Shock - review here - My love for these lip conditioners is long gone. I can't stand the formula or taste and am so glad to be finished this one. The last of these lip conditioners, that I'm working through, is Bang Bang (red) and I'm tempted to just call it quits. Also, the price has significantly increased by $10! Ridiculous. Will not be repurchasing.
FitGlow Good Gloss in Nude - review here - I am so sad to see this gloss go. I had a tiny bit left, but then I dropped it and the cap broke. It is such a beautiful feeling and tasting gloss, and it was perfect alone or over any shade of lipstick. Will be repurchasing more of these glosses.
Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Waterproof Mascara - meeeeh! I really liked this mascara for the first two weeks but then it got flakey. It was waterproof, so if you're looking for a natural waterproof mascara option, this is it! Wouldn't repurchase.
Sappho Liquid Foundation in Leisha - review here - I have gone through at least three, if not four, bottles of this amazing foundation. The coverage is medium, and the feel and finish is natural. It was a favourite for a couple of years but I've come to realize that it irritates my skin. Since I've stopped using this foundation (it's been months now), my skin has cleared up and I have no forehead bumps. Sadly, I will not be repurchasing. I now use Alima Pure's mineral foundation in Warm 3.
Sante Brown Pencil in No. 2 - The best brow pencil that I have ever used. It lasts pretty much all day and is very much a neutral/cool brown that works for my shade of brows. Already repurchased.
Let me know what you've finished, if you spot any faves, or if you have any product recommendations!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Brand Focus: Fitglow Beauty

How I came to discover Fitglow is a bit of a long story with no short version. All I'll say is, small world. Fitglow is a Canadian brand started only a couple of years ago by Anna Domi. Anna is a down-to-earth, beautiful, and smart business woman who just draws you in. I've met her once, briefly, and literally couldn't help being drawn to her and wanting to know her whole story. Her beautifully and chic packaged products and colours are hard to resist, so hard that I had to purchase the mascara and a gloss.
Fitglow Beauty was started as a personal dream to find effective natural products that would not irritate rosacea-sensitive skin while providing effective ingredients to fight free radical damage and slow down the effects of aging.
Understanding that our skin absorbs what we put on it was critical to developing a skin care line that both nurtures the skin and provides a beautiful transition to makeup. From start to finish, Fitglow Beauty products work together to bring out your best.

Our line of makeup and skin care are always cruelty-free, natural, non-toxic and are the result of our passion for everything we do.
Read more about Fitglow Beauty here.

Good Lash Mascara ($25 cdn/8g): Create super VOLUME and LENGTH without toxic chemicals or parabens. Good Lash natural formula with Organic Rice Bran Oil coats lashes with VITAMINS and ANTI-OXIDANTS enhancing the condition of your lashes and promoting growth. GLUTEN FREE/ MERCURY FREE.

This mascara darkens, lengthens, and volumizes my lashes really well. It doesn't irritate my eyes, flake, peel, and only minimally transfers after a 7+ hour work day (keep in mind my lids are crazy oily). It's completely vegan but does contain phenoxythanol, which doesn't bother me since most of my products don't contain it. Plus, mascara goes near your eyes and should be well preserved to avoid bacteria growth (aka eye infections). I absolutely adore the natural bristle brush, they tend to make lashes look nicer and is generally more comfortable to use.

One thing to note is that my tube dried out so quickly. I noticed the texture change within a couple of weeks of opening it and within two months, it was dry. Lisa, from Glam Goes Green, told me to let the (closed) tube sit in warm/hot water and that would help, it totally did! I was able to get another couple of weeks from the tube. Either way, it's a fave of mine.

Good Gloss in Nudie ($24 cdn/15g): Treat your lips to super shine and nourishment with Good Gloss natural formula with certified Organic COCONUT OIL, SHEA BUTTER and JOJOBA. This advanced gloss will hydrate, enhance and protect lips without petroleum-based ingredients.

This nude gloss is the perfect nude that looks gorgeous alone or over top of lipstick (of any colour, really) and on any skin tone. It's comfortable to wear, moisturizing, long wearing, and offers pretty good colour pay off for a gloss. It is slightly sticky, but I feel like that is what helps make it long wearing. It boasts incredible ingredients, like coconut oil, cocoa butter, and jojoba oil, all very nourishing for that pout. I'm not a huge fan of the cocoa butter taste, but it is mild. Will definitely be picking up Jam (purple shade) for the Fall/Winter!

Please note that since purchasing these products, the packaging has changed and the line has expanded. They now have lipstick and a contour shade, oh-em-gee. Hold me back!

Get it here: Fitglow Beauty, Glam Goes Green, Anise Apothecary, and these retailers.

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Good Lash Mascara Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Oryza Sativa Wax (Rice Bran Wax), Olea Europea Fruit Oil (Olive Oil), Vegetable Source Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut), Coernica Cerifera (Carnauba Wax), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Wax), Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Acacia Gum, Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Aminomethyl Popandiol (Ph Adjuster), Phenoxythanol (Preservative).

Good Gloss Ingredients: Ricinus Communis Castor ) Oil, * Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Bis Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate, Cera Alba (Bees Wax), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax,Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter)*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , *Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), *Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, *Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, *Cinnamomum Zeylancum (Cinnamon) Bark Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, *Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract, *Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, *Citrus Grandis (Grape Fruit) Seed Extract May Contain : Titanium Dioxide
(CI- 77891)Iron Oxides (Cl-77499), (CI-77491), (CI- 77492) Tumeric Powder Kaolin Mica

Friday, September 04, 2015

Magical: The Body Deli Radiance Enzyme Superfood Peel

Magical just about sums up my feelings on this product. Is a review even necessary?

Earlier this year, I raved about The Body Deli Living Hair Shampoo. When I was at Husk (now Detox Market) picking up another bottle of that good stuff, I decided to pick up the Radiance Enzyme Superfood Peel. I love me a good peel and the ingredients in this one just spoke to me. They said, "buy me right now. You will love me forever, or until I run out". At $55 cdn for 2 oz, I hesitated. Then I gave in.

This Superfood Synergy Infusion brings your skin back to life. These concentrated enzymes gently resurface skin texture with imported, active Manuka honey. Fresh, raw superfoods are blended with therapeutic grade MANUKA HONEY. Manuka Honey is known for its healing and skin regenerative benefits. PROBIOTICS and PLANT ENZYMES help to gently refine skin texture. Superfoods high in Vitamin C such as ACEROLA BERRY and CAMU CAMU feed and nourish at the cellular level. With regular use, skin transforms into a healthier and more illuminated complexion.

Like damn, do you not want to run out and buy it right now with that description alone?! 

This green mask is magical, did I say that already? It has the same texture as honey would; thick, sticky, and hard to spread. I like to spritz my face with toner and then apply a thin layer on cleansed skin, 1-2 times a week, and leave it on for 10-20 minutes. Since there's no tingling or burning that happens, like with traditional peels, I leave it on until I feel like washing it off. Once removed, my skin is glowing! It's more even toned and even textured, brighter, and as soft as a baby's bottom. I also like (and this may not be for everyone) that the honey crystalized a bit. It allowed me to gently exfoliate my skin, while applying, which allowed the ingredients to work their magic even better.

Since incorporating this mask weekly, my skin has never looked better. As mentioned above, it's more even toned and textured, brighter, softer, blemish free, and I feel good going out without makeup. And by without makeup, I mean wearing just mascara and brows. Ladies, you understand. Brows and lashes are essential.

Get it here: The Body Deli (visit to view other retailers) and Lilou Organics.

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FRESH INGREDIENTS: New Zealand +20 UMF Active Manuka Honey, L. Acidophilus, L. Bulgaricum, L. Leichmanni, L. Lactis, L.Caseii, L. Caucasicus, L. Fermenti, L. Plantarum, L. Brevis, L. Helveticus, B. Bifidum, B. Subtilis, B. Licheniformis, S. Boulardii, Amalase, Protease, Lipase, Papain, Bromelain, *Acerola Berry, *Camu Camu Berry, *Barley Grass Juice, *Wheat Grass Juice, *Oat Grass Juice, Spirulina, Chlorella, Dunaliella, Kelp, Dulse, *Carrot Juice, *Beet Juice, *Brocolli Juice, *Kale Juice, *Spinach Juice, Graviola, Goji Berry, Hawthorne Berry, Schizandra Berry, Nopal Cactus, Citric Acid.

* DENOTES ORGANICALLY GROWN (The latest ingredients lists are posted online and may change from physical product labeling.)
*This product DOES NOT require refrigeration. To extend the potency and preserve the fresh ingredients store in a cool room away from direct sunlight.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Brand Focus: Sempirra

Whoa, has it really been two months since my last blog post? Summer/work/life/the usual has been crazy! I'm happy to be back and have several posts coming at you over the course of the next couple of weeks. Promise.

A long while back, on Instagram, I started following Sempiira. They posted a picture of their Patchouli Lime Deodorant. Right away I commented on how delicious it sounded. Being such a huge fan of patchouli (total hippie), and loving the refreshing scent of lime, how could one resist? One could not. They reached out and offered to send me a deodorant, but surprised me with a cleansing oil and serum as well. P.S. Does anyone else find the labels exotic, Moroccan almost? I love it.

Sempiira: A large fire deliberately set for a constructive purpose

We are longtime best friends dedicated to creating luxurious organic health and beauty products using only the highest quality ingredients. All of our products are free of pesticides and preservatives and we use only pure essential oils for scent. Everything is handmade in our studio in Williston, Vermont. We value and support local, fair trade, and sustainable practices.

Read more by about Sempiira here.

*Patchouli Lime Natural Deodorant ($16.50 usd/75ml): Coconut oil’s natural anti-bacterial properties prevent odour while arrowroot and baking soda absorb odour and wetness. Pure essential oils keep you smelling great all day.

This deodorant smells like a friggen hippie dream! The patchouli and lime combo is so delicious, you have to smell it. Sadly, it didn't work out for me. With ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and the essential oils, I thought for sure it would keep me dry, stink free, and smelling..well, delicious. It made my underarms feel wet and sticky upon application, and I was stinky within an hour of application. After trying it for a week, I gave up.

*Cleansing Oil ($28.50 usd/100 ml): Our balancing facial treatment gently dissolves makeup and impurities without disrupting your skin's natural moisture balance. Castor oil cleanses and fights inflammation while safflower and jojoba nourish skin without clogging pores. The natural anti-bacterial properties of frankincense and lavender prevent blemishes as rosewood soothes redness and irritation for radiant, healthy skin.

Cleansing oils are amazing. They break down makeup and sunscreen beautifully, leaving your skin clean and refreshed. This cleansing oil is housed in a clear glass bottle, with a pump and plastic pump stopper (to prevent bag pumping while travelling). It's definitely thicker than most, probably because of the high castor oil content, and the frankincense essential oil dominates the lavender and rosewood. Because of the high castor oil content, which is known for its deep cleansing and detoxifying ability, this cleansing oil dries out my already dry skin. I tried it on and off for about a month before calling it quits. Would recommend to those with acne prone, oily, or normal skin.

*Matte Hydrating Serum ($26.50 usd/25ml): This silky green serum high in chlorophyll and omega fatty acids provides daily moisture without an oily feel. Great for all skin types. Our non-comedogenic serum helps to eliminate blackheads and reduce pore size with its high linoleic acid content. Hemp and rosewood are anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and evening skin tone. Argan oil’s high tocopherol and fatty acid content nourish and protect for soft, glowing skin.

I didn't have the opportunity to try this serum (housed in the same clear glass bottle with a pump) as my skin hates argan oil, but my mom absolutely loves it! She says that it leaves her skin hydrated, but not greasy, and it sinks in like a dream. She also mentioned that a little goes a long way and would totally repurchase (which is a big deal since she's an even bigger skin care junkie than me).

All in all, this brand didn't work out for my skin/pits but the beautiful minimal ingredients are sure to be a hit for many.
Get it here: Sempirra
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*Products provided for review consideration. All opinions are entirely my own

Patchouli Lime Natural Deodorant Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Baking Soda, Beeswax, Organic Essential Oils

Cleansing Oil Ingredients: Organic Castor Oil, Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Jojoba, Organic Frankincense Essential Oil, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Sustainably Wild-Harvested Rosewood Essential Oil

Matte Hydrating Serum Ingredients: Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Sustainably Wild-Crafted Rosewood Essential Oil, Non-GMO Vitamin E Oil
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