April Empties

Sukin Purifying Shampoo:  I think that this was one of the first natural shampoos that I bought from my local health food store. This is a good shampoo but I don't think that it is meant to be used daily or used on dry hair.  This is a clarifying shampoo so it is a bit more harsh than other natural shampoos. I don't think that I will be repurchasing this again because I have dry hair. I wouldn't mind trying another one of their shampoos though.

Jason Natural Glowing Apricot Body Wash: This was another item that I purchased at my local health food store. It was the one of the first natural body wash products that I bought so I wasn't really sure what I was looking for or what to expect. This was a good, effective product. However, it contains fragrance. I won't be repurchasing it for that reason.

Therapi Orange Blossom No. 3 Honey Moisturizer: This face moisturizer had such good reviews from bloggers in the UK! A little went a long way, and it made such a difference on my skin. I immediately noticed that my skin was 'glowing' each time I used this product. This is a definite repurchase!

Josie Maran Argan Oil in Light:  This little sample of only 5ml lasted me a couple weeks, and when using it it made such a difference of the appearance of my skin. It really helped with my fine lines! I am tempted to buy a full bottle of this, but I want to test out other oils before I commit.

Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil: I received this sample in the Saffron Rouge Inner Circle Box for April 2014. At first, I didn't think that I was going to use this oil because I'm usually not a fan of rose scents on their own. I tried it anyways and am so glad that I did! The rose mixed in with my body chemistry so well. It smelt wonderful on me, and the smell lasted for hours. I even got a few compliments. It not only smelled fantastic, but it was fast absorbing and super hydrating! I am for sure going to buy the full bottle of this!

Mekar Cleansing Tonic Water: This is one of my favorite toners, it is soothing and perfect for sensitive/distressed skin. The nice thing about this company is that they have a recycling program. Once you have 10 empty products, you can send it to Mekar by mail or your local participating store and receive a free product of your choice! You can read my full review on Mekar products here and here.

Yarok Feed Your Hold: An excellent, medium hold hair spray with great ingredients. I will probably repurchase this product again, Yarok never disappoints me.

Jane Iredale Corrective Colors:  I've had this palette since last summer and I've really loved it. The colors blended perfectly into my skin and disappeared. Something that a good color corrector should do. This is a repurchase for sure! I've actually already went and bought the Circle/Delete concealer in peach because of how well this palette hid my under eye circles.

What products have you used up this month? 

100% Pure Body Cream Review

100% Pure has been on my radar since last summer. I actually tried a few of their skincare products but weren't overly impressed with them. They have such a wide selection so maybe I didn't pick the right ones for my skin. Recently, I've been hearing such great things about their body care products and makeup products (who doesn't love the sound of fruit pigmented makeup?!).

I picked up the 100% Pure Honey Almond Nourishing Body Cream at the Lux 14th Birthday Celebration. Immediately I noticed how thick and luxurious this cream is. My skin is very dry and sometimes with lower end body creams I can keep lathering on the product and my skin just drinks it up. However, I found this cream to be so moisturizing, I only needed a little amount to replenish my dehydrated skin. I am also usually very bad when it comes to moisturizing (I am so lazy!) but I am loving this product so much I never forget to put it on daily.

Here are the excellent list of ingredients: 

Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Organic Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (Rose Hydrosol)*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Butter, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil, Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehip Oil) Seed Extract*, Euphorbia Cerifcra Cera (Candelilla Wax) Extract, Ribes Nigrum (Blackcurrant) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C) and Resveratrol, Extracts of Prunus Amygfalus Dulcis (Almond) Fruit, Organic Coffea Arabica (Kona Green Coffe) Seed*, Organic Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Fruit*, Punica Granatum (Pomegrante), Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit*, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit, Organic Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosmary) Leaf, Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Leaf, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf*, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Peel, Lycium Chinense (Goji Berry) Fruit, Aristotelia Chilensis (Maqui Berry), Sambucus Canadensis Gaprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle) and Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal), Citric Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana WAter (Witch Hazel) and Alcohol (Grain) * Certified Organic

Although I am naturally drawn to sweeter scents, I was able to smell the Pink Grapefruit Body Cream - it smelt divine. With a total of 17 luxurious, all natural scents, there is sure to be the perfect scent for anyone looking to use the 100% Pure Body Cream. 

Have you tried 100% Pure products before? What are your thoughts?

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil & Maracuja C-Brighter™ Eye Treatment Review

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil:  The Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil helps to replenish moisture, strengthen and rebuild skin. It is a cold pressed oil from the passion fruit. This superfruit is nutrient-rich and has high amounts of essential fatty acids and vitamins because it is hand pressed without heat.

I found this oil to be light weight, non-greasy, and fast absorbing. It is very similar to the Josie Maran Light Argan Oil. Over time, this helped the overall appearance of my skin look brighter and helped to replenish moisture to my dehydrated skin. The best part? Using this oil it did not effect my acne prone skin! Overall, I think that this is a fantastic oil for everyday use. Because this is a light oil, I believe this will be suitable for most skin tones - even oily and acne prone.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment: This Tarte eye treatment is also made with passion fruit oil and vitamin C. I really enjoyed using this eye cream because it was easily absorbed into my skin while still leaving my skin hydrated. This made it suitable for both day and night. After applying I immediately notice its ability to reduce dark under-eye circles. Although I liked how this product performed, I'm not sure that I could commit to a full size because I need an eye cream that helps with puffiness.

Have you tried passion fruit oil before?
What are your thoughts on Tarte's skincare line? 

April Wishlist

Blissoma Mild Rice Facial Cleanser $31.99: This item has been on my wishlist for so long after hearing such great reviews. The only reason why I haven't bought the item is because shipping is a ridiculous amount of $30.75 to Canada. Maybe one day I'll be able to justify the cost!

Update: Since I first made this post, I have opened up my own online natural cosmetics boutique called Nuciya! We are proud to be the first Canadian online retailers for Blissoma! We also ship internationally!

Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap $22.00: About a month ago I asked on twitter if anyone had any good recommendations for an acne cleanser. Kim Wallace from Kimberlyloc recommended the Black Clay Facial Soap. It's been on my wishlist ever since. Again, shipping to Canada is about $20.00 so in order to make the purchase worth it, I would have to save up and make a bulk order.

Coola Organic Suncare Body spf 30 Unscented |Moisturizer $32.00:  Although expensive for sunscreen, this product has such good reviews and is sold within my city!

Indie Lee Clearing Mask $60.00: My face mask collection is starting to dwindle down. This mask is supposed to be gentle yet help clear clogged pores (perfect for my sensitive yet acne prone skin!). Every product by Indie Lee performs so well, I don't see this mask disappointing me!

Rahua Voluminous Spray $28.00: Alright so I admit, I made this wishlist a few days ago and am just completing it now. I actually went out and bought this hairspray yesterday. Rahua is well known for their outstanding products, I don't see this USDA certified organic hair spray disappointing me!

REN No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm $48.00: I received a sample of this product about a week ago and have been using it nightly. I am in love with this cleansing balm. It not only effectively cleans my skin, but it leaves my skin feeling baby smooth and hydrated (especially using it in combination with the Clarisonic). I love that a little goes a long way (I only use a pea size amount). I think that I have a growing obsession with balms and this one makes the list!

red flower Lymphatic Phyotopower Sea Cleanser and Masque $44.00: All of red flower's products sound so good to me, but after trying their Ocean Body Lotion, I can't wait to get my hands on some more of their products. What a better way than to try their cleanser/masque since my mask collection is dying down.

What's on your wishlist this month? 

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle Subscription Box - April 2014

The Saffron Rouge Inner Circle is a monthly subscription box that features natural & organic beauty products. This is a Canadian subscription, however they do ship worldwide to the US! It only costs $24.99/ month for deluxe samples and full size products. 

Each box comes with a brochure that details each item provided in the box.

A beautiful, non-greasy formula that combines essential oil blends of cardamom, laurel lead, eucalyptus and clove bud. This is a unique blend of fragrances (all natural) that I quite enjoy and will be using frequently.

A beautiful plum color eyeliner that contains soothing chamomile. This is Vapour's newest color for spring and is just for Inner Circle members. It comes with a blending tool and glides without any tugging. Although I typically use black eyeliner, this color is so beautiful that I think I will be wearing it a lot!

Perfect for summer! These oil absorbing sheets are infused with lavender and work without ruining your makeup. I was going to save these for when I plan to go to Vegas this summer, but since these have 100 sheets I think that I can get away with using them sooner!

I usually don't like cream eyeshadows but this one sounds fantastic! It is formulated in a soothing aloe base and this specific color will work perfectly as a highlighter or as a crease proof eye primer. I can see this getting a lot of use as well!

Total Value = $87.60!

I love this beauty box! I only paid $25 and received $87.60 worth of product. I think that this is a wonderful box to try new products that you might not have been able to try otherwise. I love that this is a Canadian company and that they combine skincare and makeup. I can't wait to see what's in next months box!

LUX Beauty Boutique 14th Birthday!

One of my favorite things is supporting local businesses, especially those that make an effort to bring in natural beauty products! I find that local businesses are much more interesting and fun to visit (they always have such fun events). Although LUX does not specialize in natural beauty products, they have recently made an effort to bring in more natural brands such as ILIA Beauty (love!), Tata Harper, Indie Lee, 100% Pure and more!

This past Saturday (April 12th) they hosted their 14th birthday celebration. This included swag bags, apple cider (for those who braved the cold), fresh baked cookies from Cookie Love, and of course the infamous "Spin the Wheel" where you could win gifts from Tata Harper (oh I wish!), ILIA Beauty, or you could even win a Clarisonic! I was lucky enough to win a full sized Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss valued at $30!

                  Photo Credit: LUX Beauty Boutique Facebook Page

In addition to winning the Keyvn Aucoin Lip Gloss, the swag bag that I received had samples from Farmhouse Fresh, Phillip B, REN, Paul & Joe, Principessa Beauty, Bumble and Bumble, Lollia and more! I also received a Voluspa candle (4.5oz) in my swag bag. I also couldn't resist picking up a few treats for myself - 100% Pure Body Cream in Honey Almond and Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Trout Pout (perfect color for summer!).

I don't know of many stores who host such awesome birthday parties...actually I don't know any. This was the first LUX event that I had been to but it certainty won't be the last. Who doesn't love swag bags and free gifts!?

Recently LUX has expanded their small boutique onto an online store. Currently, they are only shipping to Canadian addresses.

What is your favorite local store? 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner Review

With summer just around the corner I decided that I need a new eyeliner that would last all day in the heat. I previously was using TANF Gel Eyeliner in black. Unfortunately that eyeliner does not having staying power (stays for about 3-4 hours) but it did work pretty well for me during the winter months.

The Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner has a matte finish that does not flake. On most busy days, I'm not one to touch up my eye liner so staying power is very important to me. I found this eyeliner to be very easy to apply smoothly and evenly. My only complaint with this eyeliner is that it always transfers in the corner of my eye. Within a couple minutes I will notice the transfer, clean it up, 10 minutes later it has transferred again. I've never had this problem with any gel liner that I've tried previously, such as MAC. I've had to just stop putting liner close to the corner of my eye. Because of this problem, I don't know if I will purchase it again.

Aside from that, the packaging and brush included are wonderful. The dual sided brush works perfectly for achieving any look. Even when I'm not using this specific eyeliner, I always reach for this brush when using gel liners.

Although the transferring is a problem for me, it's not to much of a problem so that I will stop using this eyeliner all together. I'll wait until I use it all up (which will probably be a long time!).

What is your favorite eyeliner? Is it gel, liquid, or pencil? 

Mekar Bioactive Skincare Review: Part 2

Exactly a month ago today, I wrote a review on the Canadian skincare company Mekar. I am still loving the Velvet Cleanser (only a quarter of the product is gone after almost 2 months of continued use!) and the Cleansing Tonic Water.

Mekar contacted me and asked me if I wanted to try out some more of their products that may be more suitable for my sensitive yet acne prone skin. I gladly accepted because I was happy with how their products performed previously.

Here is what they sent me:

Pureness Scrub: The Pureness Scrub is 99% natural with 14% organic ingredients. It has a unique combination of bamboo stem extract, neroli, and aloe vera which gently remove dead skin cells. I usually have a problem finding a good exfoliant because of my sensitive skin. Either it is too harsh, or way to gentle - to the point where it doesn't feel like an effective exfoliation.  This however, is exactly what I've been looking for! I used to love the Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set because I always felt like it effectively removed my dead skin cells and helped with my acne scarring. Since I wen't 'natural' I haven't been able to find a good exfoliator since. The Mekar Pureness Scrub exfoliates just as well as the Mary Kay Microdermabrasion but it feels a million times better because of its natural and soothing ingredients. This product is a must have for me and definite repurchase!

Radiance Light Cream:  The Radiance Light Cream is also 99% natural with 23% organic ingredients. It is a light weight moisturizer that uses vitamin E and  Moringa butter to give the skin an instant glow. I found this moisturizer to be fast absorbing without any greasy residue.  With the weather starting to warm up this was an effective day cream for my skin. It gave moisture to my skin and balanced the oils in my t-zone. I don't think that this cream would be suitable for my dry/combination skin during the winter and it does not provide enough moisture overnight. I think that those of you who have oily/combination skin would enjoy this cream as it does not leave any greasy residue and will help balance the oils on your skin. Since I do enjoy using this product, I hope that Mekar will develop a richer moisturizer for those of us that suffer from dry skin.

I am very happy with Mekar products. Some of their products work wonderfully for me and some do not. I will be repurchasing the pureness scrub as soon as I run out because I think that it is the absolute best. I think that Mekar makes excellent products, my only hope is that in the future they will develop more products that suit different types of skin.

What are your thoughts on Mekar Bioactive Skincare? Would this be a product that you would want to try out? 

Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation Review

Remember how I had been converted to mineral foundation? Well...I've rekindled my love affair with liquid 
foundation! I was lucky enough that my local natural store started carrying Sappho Organics late last year and just recently they had an amazing sale of 25% off! I had read such amazing reviews on this company from Nicole at Eco Chic Beauty Diva.

Sappho Organic Cosmetics is a Canadian company created by JoAnn Fowler who has worked as an MUA since 1989 in the television and movie industry. Sappho Organics products surpass the European Union's standard for safer cosmetics. 

Most natural liquid foundations that I've tried in the past haven't been full coverage. This is something that I look for because as most of you know, I do have very problematic skin. Fortunately, this foundation provides a nice full coverage without it looking cakey. I also love that it provides a nice dewy finish once the product has set. 

At first glance, I did not want to pay $52 for only 30 ml of product. For some reason I usually go through liquid foundation so much faster than anything else. I was pleasantly surprised that after using this product for 2 weeks straight, I had barely made a dent in the amount of product that I had used. A little goes a very long way.

How to apply:  As with most liquid foundations, this is best applied using a flat kabuki brush. Dot small amounts of product on your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Next blend the product by using your kabuki brush to buff it into the skin using circular motions. I find that products such as a beauty blender are better suited for cream foundations. Usually, you will waste more product with using a sponge applicator because liquids are more easily absorbed into the sponge. 

Aside from this products amazing performance it has a nice list of ingredients and is preserved with essential oils. It is also free of dimethicone, so that your skin can breathe. Here is the list of ingredients: 

Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Simmondsia chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos) Extract, Calendula officinalis (Organic Calendula) Extract, Emulsifying Wax, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Iron Oxide, Mica, Zinc Oxide, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Extract), Azadirachta indica (Neem),  Stearic Acid, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Oil, Daucus carota sativa (Carrot) Oil, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) Essential Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, Cistus ladaniferus (Rockrose) Essential Oil, Cedrus deodora (Cedarwood) Essential Oil, Lavendula officinalis (Lavender) Essential Oil, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Essential Oil, Konjac Glucomannan (Mannan), Citric Acid..

Note: This foundation does initially have a strong smell due to the use of essential oils. However, I find that once the product is applied I no longer smell anything and others cannot smell it on me. I think that it's a lot nicer than smelling cakey or powdery.

I am loving this Canadian brand and can't wait to try more of their products.
What is your favorite natural liquid foundation?