natural

For Skin that Glows, and Makeup that Lasts All Day: Farmacy Skin Dew

I recently reviewed one of Farmacy’s Lip Blooms, and was given the opportunity to test out another one of their products: Skin Dew, a hydrating essence mist and makeup setting spray.  The name alone sounds super luxurious, and a product like this is perfect for the hot summer months ahead.  As mentioned in my previous post, the foundation for all of Farmacy’s products is GreenEnvy, (a variant of Echinacea Purpurea), which is a natural antioxidant that protects, firms, and evens skin tone.  In addition to GreenEnvy, Skin Dew is also formulated with kiwi fruit extract (to improve the skin’s barrier function, and improve tone/pigmentation), glycerin (for hydration), Horsetail Juice (an antioxidant and skin-smoother), and a blend of essential oils (Rosemary, Peppermint, Bergamot) that act as a light astringent (and smell amazing!).

Skin Dew can be applied in the morning before or after moisturizing, or after applying makeup as a setting spray.  Because it creates a light veil over the skin, it prevents oil-migration, and is perfect for those who often find their makeup shifting on their face throughout the day (i.e. me!).  It can also be re-applied throughout the day to freshen skin and increase radiance, or to help touch-up makeup.  The sleek, frosted plastic packaging is beautiful and is compact enough (3.3 0z) to tuck in your purse or beach bag.  To use, simply hold the product 8 inches from your face and spray, starting at your forehead and working downward.

Free of artificial colors, formulated with natural ingredients, and not tested on animals, this product is one that is good for both the environment and your skin.  You can purchase this product on Farmacy Beauty’s website, or online/in-store at Sephora.

Have you tried Farmacy Beauty’s Skin Dew, or any of their other products?  Let me know in the comments below!

Note: Product received for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own. 

Farmacy Lip Blooms: Natural Ingredients for Soft, Smooth Lips

A good lip balm is hard to find.  You want something that moisturizes and protects your lips, but also one that looks and feels nice (and if it can double as a lipstick or gloss, even better!).  Personally, I use lip balms around the clock: before bed to moisturize overnight, in the morning to prep my lips for lipstick, and during the day to revive my lip colour.

I was presented with the opportunity to review Farmacy Beauty’s Lip Bloom in “Lavender Mint”, and was excited to give it a try.  I’ve seen their products at Sephora, and have heard great things about their skincare made from farm-grown, hand-picked ingredients.  Their trademarked ingredient (and one that can be found in their Lip Blooms) is Echinacea GreenEnvy (a variant of Echinacea Purpurea), which is a natural antioxidant that helps protect and firm the skin, and inhibit collagen breakdown.  In fact, the Echinacea GreenEnvy is cultivated in upstate New York and travels only 2 hours to the Farmacy lab, where it is then cold-pressed.  Farmacy’s Lip Blooms also contain Castor Seed Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil for hydration, smoothness, and protection of the delicate skin on the lips.

So what do I think of the Lavender Mint Lip Bloom? Aside from the pretty (not overpowering) scent, what I love most about this product is its versatility.  You can wear it as a lip balm on its own, pair it over top of a lipstick for a glossy shine, or even wear it on the eyelids over top or underneath eye shadow for a high-fashion, dewy finish.  The packaging is simple, chic, and compact, making it perfect to throw in your purse or makeup bag.  It applies smoothly and evenly, is a nice (not sticky) consistency, and leaves lips feeling soft and moisturized.

Lip Blooms are available for purchase on the Farmacy Beauty website and also in-store and online at Sephora.  Other flavours include Strawberry Basil, Honey Ginger, Vanilla Mint, Citrus Lemongrass, and Apple Rosemary. Yum!

Have you tried Farmacy’s Lip Blooms, or any of their other products?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Product provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

5 Products to Help Heal and Hide a Breakout

Breakout Survival Kit

First off, happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season.  My holidays were filled with lots of food, fun, and family activities, and unfortunately, a breakout that proved trying on my nerves and emotions.  I’d struggled with acne for a few years in my late teens and early twenties, but have been lucky enough to have it under control for the past 5 years or so.  In early November of last year, my skin went crazy.  After changing all of my makeup, skincare, laundry detergent, even pillows, I finally came to the realization that it was likely a hormonal breakout (lucky me).  Let’s face it (pun intended): acne is not fun, but the good news is that there are some amazing products out there that can help you treat, heal, and hide your breakouts.  Today, I want to share with you 5 of the products that have helped me out these past few months; ones that I’m super happy to have found and will continue to use long after I’ve broken up with my breakout.

1. Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub

What I love about this scrub is that it’s gentle but effective.  Naturally derived salicylic acid treats your breakout while also exfoliating by removing dirt, oil, and dead skin.  When you have a breakout, you’ll want to resist the urge to use harsh, grainy exfoliants which will only irritate and inflame your skin.  This cleanser leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean, and calm.  Aside from a few ingredients to help maintain freshness, it is 93% naturally derived, meaning it won’t harm the environment on the way down the drain, either.

2. Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask

While you can use this product daily as an exfoliating cleanser, my preference is to use it as a mask (1-2 times per week).  Clay, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid create a “peeling effect” on your skin to help with uneven texture, acne, dilated pores, and excess oil (results that last up to 3 days!).  Simply apply the product to cleansed skin, leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse with warm water, moving your fingertips in circular motions to help further exfoliate the skin.  Oh, and don’t attempt to carry on any serious conversations during the 5 minute drying time: this mask seriously dries and hardens (which is actually really fun to experience).  A soothing agent avoids any dryness or discomfort once the mask is removed, and it is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.

3. Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

I was lucky enough to receive samples of this product during the most recent Spark Sessions blogger conference, and haven’t looked back since.  Whether you have acne or not, this product is impressive (for all skin conditions).  Hydrablur locks in moisture (thanks to Abyssinian Seed Oil), decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduces the appearance of pores (courtesy of Mushroom Extract), mattifies, and enhances skin’s radiance (Wu-Zhu-Yu Fruit Extract boots microcirculation).  Essentially, it creates a soft blurring effect on your skin helping to hide imperfections, while also helping skin look and feel moisturized throughout the day.  You can pair this primer with your favourite foundation, or, thanks to micro-encapsulated tint, you can also wear it alone.  It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and really does create the perfect canvas for makeup application.  Because of all these amazing benefits, this product has proved especially helpful in covering up acne and other imperfections.

4. Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation

This foundation has become one of my all-time favourites.  I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of a high-coverage foundation (my exact words: “I’d like the highest coverage humanly possible”), and was recommended this product by the Beauty Boutique representative.  Note: new packaging means you might find it as Dermafinish instead of Dermablend.  This foundation is extremely lightweight, but provides impressive, full coverage (so much so, that you might not even need a concealer).  It boasts an impressive 16 hour wear, has SPF 30, and is non-drying.  It’s hypoallergenic, allergy tested, and is safe for sensitive skin.  I wear the shade 25 Nude and like to apply this product with my fingers.  I apply a base coat first, and if needed, go over any visible imperfections with a second layer.  Highly recommend!

5. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Until recently when my breakout started, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the coverage abilities of this product.  It applies evenly, is non-drying (in fact it moisturizes the skin), and builds from medium to full coverage.  I pair mine (in the shade “Custard”) over top of the foundation above, and they blend perfectly.  This concealer is also effective at covering dark circles, hiding fine lines and wrinkles, and reducing redness.  Perfect for all skin types and in a range of 10 shades, there’s a reason why it’s a blogger, vlogger, and makeup artist favourite!

Have you tried any of these products? Are there other must-have products that help you with breakouts?  Let me know in the comments below! 

August Favourites!

August Favourites

It’s hard to believe that August is officially over…where has the Summer gone?!  My favourites this time around are a mix of both warm and cool weather-inspired products. Let’s get started!

1. Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Celebrated” $34.00 

At first glance, the colour of this blush is a bit under-whelming.  And to be honest, it’s probably not something I would have ever picked out on my own during one of my Sephora trips.  It wasn’t until recently, when I had my makeup done for an event, that I fell in love with it.  This “warm pink nude” wears completely different than it appears in the packaging, and suits nearly every skin tone.  So what’s with the name (“Celebrated”), you ask?  This long-wearing shade was actually limited edition, brought out in celebration of Tarte’s 15th birthday.  Beauty fanatics went so crazy for it, that they re-released it.  Now I know what all the hype is about!

2. Glade Wax Melt Refills in “Cashmere Woods” $4.68

This scent was released in Canada a few years back, and I bought a handfull of candles to keep in my “backup” collection.  Sadly, I went through them quickly, and was left with the opportunity to restock only during the occasional cross-border shopping trip.  On a recent trip to my local Walmart, I spotted both candles and these wax melts in the Cashmere Woods scent, and yelped in excitement.  Since my candle collection is quite large at the moment, I decided to opt for the wax melts, along with the Glade Wax Melts Warmer.  Since I’m already a huge fan of Scentsy, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  To my surprise, this warmer performs just as well as the Scentsy, spreading the smell of “mixed notes of citrus and jasmine and the oaky scents of amber and vanilla beans” throughout the entire house.  I simply cannot get enough of this scent and am so excited to have it back!

3. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in “Retsina” $28.00

Let’s face it, the perfect nude lipstick is on every beauty lover’s shopping radar.  Bite Beauty is not a brand I’d tried before, though I’d always heard great things, and I love that their products are made of all-natural, food grade ingredients (and that they’re Canadian!).  I decided to purchase the colour Retsina, a creamy, natural pink tone.  This product feels amazing on your lips, is long-wearing, beautifully pigmented, and has as much resveratrol (with anti-aging properties) as 5 glasses of red wine!

4.  Guess Factory Hilary Backpack in “Red Multi” $52.49

I may not be headed back to school this September, but this adorable backpack was just too cute to resist.  I purchased this on a recent trip to Dixie Outlet Mall during the “She Who Hunts Finds” blogger challenge.  I love that it’s a) a backpack and can carry anything and everything, but more so that b) it comes in buffalo plaid!  It’s faux-leather details make it easy to dress up, and the colour is perfect for Fall.

5. St. Ives Indulge Coconut Milk & Orchid Body Lotion $4.47

I received this product in a seasonal giftpack from Walmart, and decided to give it a try.  This lotion smells amazing: like Summer in a bottle, and goes on smoothly with no greasy residue.  I also love that it is extremely affordable, at under $5.00 for 600ml!  The pump makes it easy to apply, and the packaging is super cute!

 

What did you love for the month of August?  Let me know in the comments below!  

 

 

 

Review: Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Face, Body, and Hair Mask


ZakiasMorocco

After reading about Zakia’s Morocco Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder, I was excited by its versatility: you can use it as a face mask, a hair mask, a clarifying shampoo, or as a whole body treatment.  This product is made of 100% pure, natural clay mined in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and has cleansing, toning, detoxifying, and rejuvenating properties.

So how does it work?  All you need is the Ghassoul powder and water (and of course, a small bowl and spoon for mixing).  After testing out this product as a facial mask, I found the best ratio for me was 3 tablespoons water to 1 heaping tablespoon of powder (so that it becomes a pasty texture).  Simply apply it to your face, let dry for around 10 minutes, and rinse off! Use this mask weekly for the best results. Want the full-body experience? Just make more!

For the hair mask, simply follow the same directions to create the paste, apply to your scalp and hair, and leave on for 5-10 minutes.  For the clarifying shampoo, simply mix a palm-full of your favourite shampoo with an equal amount of Ghassoul powder, mix it together, and shampoo your hair as you normally would.  This is not something I’ve tried yet, but is next on my list as I love a good clarifying treatment!

My experience. I found the mask super easy to prepare and apply, and simple to wash off.  All it took was a few splashes of water on my face to rinse it all away, leaving my skin feeling toned and refreshed.  As someone with really oily skin, I loved that it left my face feeling smooth and matte.  The instructions state that you may notice your skin becomes slighly reddish for 15-30 minutes after use (as the skin is detoxified), but personally I didn’t experience this.  What’s also great is that this mask is gentle enough to naturally treat common skin irritations such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Overall, the Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Mask is both effective and a great value for money: it’s basically 4 products in one!  Want to give it a try?  Zakia’s Morocco is offering 20% off their entire store, just use the code: ZMBLOG-214.  In addition to this, Zakia’s Morocco will be giving away 10 gift certificates valued at $50.00 each! To enter, click here.

Have you tried this mask? Or are you going to be purchasing? Let me know in the comments below!

*Product provided via Brandbacker for consideration.  All opinions are honest and are my own.