2 Weeks Using Green Skin Care

Happy 2017 since I haven’t said so already! This year for me is all about health, both mental and physical. I feel a little cheesy because everyone and their mother makes a New Year Resolution to become healthier, but for the first time ever, I feel ready to commit to a resolution. I have spent the last half of 2016 working on my mental health by decluttering, taking a lot of down time, and staying away from stressful things (like the internet). I was becoming overwhelmed with things that I felt like I had to do, and even though I enjoyed many of these things (like posting on my blog or Instagram), it was stressing me out. I wouldn’t say my mental health is at 100% right now, but I do feel ready to shift my focus on to physical health and that includes my beauty routine.

To me, creating a healthier beauty routine starts with removing any unnecessary chemicals and paying attention to the ingredients in your every day products.You might remember I had started in 2016 with some cruelty-free deodorant, which also happened to be fairly chemical-free. This time, I am trying out a chemical-free skin care routine.

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Cocoon Apothecary kindly reached out to me about testing out a few products which I was incredibly excited about. I had heard of this local brand before and already had my eye on a few things. I received their Skin Care Starter Kit which has just about everything you need to start a routine: a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. This kit for normal skin types is all about roses so it smells feminine and luxurious. Each bottle contains 20 mL of product which will last approximately a month. Since I was changing my entire routine, I pulled in a few other bits of skin care so I could stay chemical-free which included a serum, a make up eraser cloth and a mask.

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I stuck to my typical routine and for the first week, I used the Petal Purity Facial Cleanser**. I didn’t have the highest hopes upon looking at the ingredients and seeing coconut oil which is known to break me out but I still wanted to give it a try. It was pretty painful but that is definitely a me thing, and not the fault of this product but I had to switch to a different cleanser for week two. In the seven days I had used it, I found that this cream cleanser that is extremely gentle and makes my skin feel fantastic. It was soft, smooth and supple but it didn’t make my skin feel clean. All of the cream cleansers that I have tried leave traces of make up especially around my eyes and this was no exception (even with the help of my make up eraser copy-cat). Because of those two things, this cleanser simply wasn’t for me.

This set also came with the Rose Dew Facial Toner** which I liked. It contains one ingredient and has a spray applicator that made me quite happy. The rosey smell is a plus compared to your typical toner and it felt exactly like water. It didn’t strip my skin at all, or leave any residue but it helped keep it fresh. This had a much bigger impact then I thought it would since it didn’t irritate my skin at all. It is a great option for the sensitive skin crowd.

The final step in my routine was the Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream**. I must admit that I was a little nervous to use this as a day cream (due to the lack of SPF) or a night cream (as it is thicker in consistency) but it ended up working great. This thick, non-greasy formula sunk into my skin quickly and kept my face hydrated but not shiny in the least. I focused it mainly around my nose, forehead and chin and it seemed to make quite a difference in the redness of my skin.

A slight disclaimer, I did cheat a little bit and use an acne spot treatment on day seven and a different cleanser for week two to repair any initial damage, but otherwise, these are the results. Although the cleanser was a bust when it comes to my skin, I highly recommend trying this trio out yourself especially if you are just trying out chemical-free skin care or are looking for a new routine for your sensitive skin. If you have any cleanser recommendation for me to try on my oily skin, feel free to let me know!

Til next time, ttfn x

Mask Monday: The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

It’s Mask Monday and I am here with a new mask from the Body Shop. I have been seeing this amongst the beauty community these past few weeks and became a little intrigued. There are 5 new masks in the range but with my skin type, I thought this clay mask would be the most effective. I have never tried any mask from the Body Shop, but these sound like a step up from their previous range of masks as far as ingredients, size and effectiveness.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is ideal for acne-prone, oily skin such as mine. There is charcoal which draws out dirt, oil and impurities very effectively – so much so that it seems to draw out all of the moisture from my skin.  With tea tree oil infused in the clay mask, active breakouts are soothed and deflated after the 10-15 minute period. This mask gets tighter than any other mask I have tried, and has some wicked exfoliating particles that make removing it almost painful. For oily skin, I wouldn’t use this mask more than once a week since it is a bit harsh. If your skin is dry, I would stay far away from this product.

This mask is quite thick and a little chunky with particles to help exfoliate. The smell is strong but pleasant like cologne though it doesn’t seem to linger. The Body Shop packaging is sturdy, simple, and gender neutral. One of the great things about this mask is how quickly it dried despite its thickness. I have already made a pretty good dent in the mask so I am curious how long it will last.

With all of that being said, the results are undeniable. My skin is tighter after every use, and incredibly smooth. Pairing this with a deep hydrating moisturizer, serum or sheet mask is your best bet for radiant skin. For $28, you have 3 oz of vegan mask made with fair trade ingredients and no parabens, paraffins, silicone or mineral oils. Compared to several high end masks I have tried, this is the least expensive, but the most natural which is something I appreciate in skincare.


For the price and quality, its worth giving these new masks a try. Have you tried any so far?

 

Battle of the Brands: Boscia vs Pilaten

I am all about these types of peel off masks. I so so satisfied to peel the mask off, no matter how painful, and see how many blackheads came with it. How big, how deep, where they were on my face. It is just of oddly satisfying.

For a while, I had heard a lot about the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask which seemed very promising. However, when I initially had a sample to try, I recall being pretty disappointed. That’s when Roxanne and I discovered the Pilaten Black Head Pore Strip on Amazon. After quite some time using these, I thought it was time to compare and see what the differences actually are (or is it all in my head?)
  L: Boscia R: Pilaten

The biggest difference here is most obvious in the picture above. The Boscia mask is far more creamy, and thick, making it slightly harder to spread. It also separates quite noticeably where some of my pores are if you only apply a thin layer. In contrast, the Pilaten mask is thinner and easier to spread, making it much easier to get an even application. As you peel each mask off, the Boscia mask is noticeably more rubbery and flexible while the Pilaten is quite paper-like. However, as for the results, both pull out your blackheads in a similar fashion. Both hurt to peel off, though the Pilaten mask is meant to simply be a nose strip. They are actually quite similar products once they dry.

A 2.8 oz Boscia Luminizing Black Mask is $42 at Sephora, while you can get a very decent amount of the Pilaten masks on Amazon for $2-6 depending on how many packages you get. Each package has enough for 2-3 masks depending on how much of your face you’re covering. I can’t confirm whether either mask is cruelty-free.

Let me know whether you have tried either of these before and what you thought! If you have any cruelty-free recommendations, let me know that too!

Til next time, ttfn x

Battle of the Brands: Peter Thomas Roth vs Fresh

Recently, I went for my very first facial and one thing the facialist said that stuck with me is “Rose is just amazing for all skin types” and I believe it. Rose is meant to help repair, soothe, prevent skin issues such as wrinkling but not all products are alike. For example, here I have two products that in theory are quite similar: the Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Gel Mask and the Fresh Rose Face Mask but even to look at them, they are different in many ways. Obviously, these two masks do have a few similarities. Both masks are beautifully moisturizing and leave you with plumper and more perfected skin. They each are very gentle and feel like they may work for sensitive skin too. I do have oily skin but hydrating masks like these help 100% with keeping my oily skin at bay while keeping my skin soft and plump. Between the two, I feel like my skin is a little more touchably smooth with the Peter Thomas Roth mask.
  
Here is where we see a few differences. Firstly, the colour and overall texture of these masks are different. The Fresh Rose mask seems much more natural and quite a bit thicker. It has a brown tinge to it which does show slightly on the skin while it’s applied. The PTR mask is a much thinner gel like consistency and feels very lightweight on the face. In fact, once it was dry, you wouldn’t really know it was there. I much prefer the gel texture of the PTR mask. 

As for scent, though they both are rose, I thought the Fresh mask had a much heavier scent.Both masks are on the higher end of things, with the Fresh mask being $72 for 3.3 oz and the PRT mask being $64 for 5 oz. Both of these are sample sizes. Unfortunately, neither brand is cruelty-free. Overall, I find that my skin ends up feeling more hydrated, softer and cleaner using the Peter Thomas Roth gel. Have you tried either of these masks? What do you think?

Til next time, ttfn x

Whatcha Think About THE FACE SHOP Real Nature sheet masks?

Do you remember back in December when I bought a bunch of sheet masks from THEFACESHOP? I have finally finished putting them to the test.

Each mask contains a single use sheet mask that is doused in serum. I have tried a few sheet masks in the past and wasn’t overly impressed but as Korean skincare had swept the beauty world by storm, I thought I would give them another shot. The one thing I liked consistently about these Real Nature masks by THEFACESHOP  is the cut of the mask. I didn’t find it went into my hair but it still covered much of my face and it was easy to unfold and apply. The serum varies depending on which mask you choose but every mask in the line is $2.

I was curious what the difference was from mask to mask. I didn’t think there would be a lot of variety especially when the descriptions of the masks were very similarly described: nourishing, hydrating, brightening, refreshing, and so on. After trying the first two, I could tell right away that there were differences between them.



Honey
: I definitely did like this mask. It did make my skin brighter and firmer feeling but there was a little bit of stickiness with this one.

Cucumber: This is one of my favourite masks – I totally recommend it. This mask was very hydrating, and seemed to have even more serum on it than the others. I felt like it was really effective with no gross feeling afterwords.

Lemon: I noticed the biggest difference with this mask above any other. It claimed to brighten the skin and it does just that. If you were to pick up any of these masks, this is the one you need to get your hands on. 

Green Tea: I thought this would be the grand prize winner for me but I didn’t find that this mask did as much as some of the others. 

Rice: I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this mask but it was one of the driest face masks in the bunch. To me, this one wasn’t all that great.

Red Ginsing: This was my absolute least favourite. It smelled of dirt, left my face tinted brown (the colour of the serum), and my face felt sticky afterwards. I saw a difference in my pores but not enough for me to use this mask again.



Bamboo
: this mask didn’t really stay in my skin too well and it left my skin a little bit sticky afterwards. Not a fan.

Aloe: this mask wasn’t anything special in my opinion either. It did moisturizer and soothe but no magic.

The grand prize winners here were absolutely the Cucumber, Honey and Lemon masks. There was an instant and noticeable difference with each one and each of them are different. One total con about THEFACESHOP is that they are not cruelty free. 

Let me know if you would like he see a review of THEFACESHOP Clean Face line as well (pictured above) and I will gladly do so.

Til next time, ttfn x

Battle of the Brands: Crystal vs Tom’s of Maine

When it comes to make up, there are hundreds of brands and options readily available when you’re switching to cruelty-free products but I have found the most difficult things to find by far are the day to day products. Shampoo, toothpaste, floss, sunscreen or deodorant to name a few. I did find a few helpful articles and several lists of brands that are CF, some of which do have these day to day products, but I am the kind of girl that likes to walk into Shoppers and see it in store. I don’t want to have to order my toothpaste or shampoo online. If I run out of something, lose it, forgot it when travelling and need it right away, I want to be able to grab it right then and there.

  
So I went to Shoppers with my list of CF brands and came out with these two popular and totally different deodorants: Crystal Body Deodorant and Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting deodorant. Both are all natural, cruelty-free and aluminum-free as well (which is good for the boobies of course). Both landed around the $6 mark.

  
The Crystal deodorant is really out there in my opinion – it is literally a block of Ammonium Alum that you moisten a little and rub on your clean pits. Important: rub until the moisture is gone and it starts to tug a little. Somehow, it works better. It is meant to be an invisible layer of smell protection – but it is not an antiperspirant. I found this didn’t do a whole lot for me. I am not too sweaty or stinky but when I put this on on a warm day, it did nothing to lessen the smell. When you give your pits a really good wash – lets say you put this on after a shower – it does do a little more but by the end of the day, it’s gone. I really wish it did work for me because this is a product that will last forever.

  
Tom’s of Maine is a little more like your typical deodorant but very creamy and soft. It comes in several scents and feels normal on your pits. I have the Beautiful Earth scent which smells quite fruity and nice. This is extremely comparable to the scent and overall feel/lasting power of the Lady Speed Stick Fresh Infusions Strawberry which I have used before however, this is also not an antiperspirant. Personally, I do like how this performs but if you’re a sweater or working out, this likely wont hold up either. It tends to last about 5 hours on a warm day.

Though I haven’t experienced any negative reactions, it is common when switching between deodorants. These are also natural and work differently on everyone’s body just like everything else so even if the Crystal Body Deodorant didn’t work for me, it may work for you! That being said, the clear winner here for me is definitively Tom’s of Maine and I plan to look into more of their hygiene products!

Til next time, ttfn x

Battle of the Brands: Sephora Collection vs Essence

I wanted to sneak in one more blog post before March was through. This month, Sephora Collection was the Canadian Beauty Bloggers brand of the month and I do have one Sephora Brand gem to share.

I am an oil slick. My skin has been improving over the months but I have accepted the fact that I might need a little extra something to help my skin stay a little less shiny through out the day. Introducing every oily girls bffl: the blotting paper.

Not all blotting papers are made equal I’ve discovered. You would think that it is a pretty generic item but that is not the case. I haven’t tried two that were alike so far! However, these two are pretty similar so I wanted to put them to the test. Here I have the Sephora Collection blotting papers and the Essense All About Matt oil control paper. The biggest initial difference is the quantity: you have 50 smaller sheets in the $3 Essence pack and 100 in the $7 (on sale – usually $10) Sephora Collection pack.The price difference isn’t so crazy in my opinion and you can frequently grab the Sephora brand on sale in a variety of types. These happen to be the Vitamin C + E pack.

As far as size, the Sephora brand is thinner but larger while Essence is fatter but noticeably smaller. They are both compact enough to be carried around and durable enough but I have to admit, I much prefer the Essence packaging. Sephora has your typical folded card pack with a little sticky bit to help separate the sheets. The Essence packaging on the other hand it extra fancy. It is a slide-able package with a bit of the sheet poking out. When you pull out your sheet, the next sheet comes up with a little poking out again so it is much easier to grad and go with it. It’s similar to tissue.

 

The most important thing to me is how the sheet preforms. I hadn’t expected there to be much difference but I could tell right away the Essence sheet was not up to par. I have to use 3-5 to sufficiently mattify my face where I only use 1-2 of the Sephora brand (if that). Here, I did half of my face with one and the other half with the other. Then I went back over the Essence side with the Sephora sheet because it honestly just didn’t cut it. In my opinion, you can see and feel the difference.

I wouldn’t bother giving the Essence blotting papers a try unless you’re looking for something inexpensive that doesn’t get rid of all of the extra oiliness on your skin. A drugstore option that does work is the Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. They are quite different than these but worth a try if you are an oily skinned person like myself. I hope you enjoyed this Battle. Stay tuned for another coming soon!

Til next time, ttfn x