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

Canadian Mascara Win

Hey all! I think I have found a new mascara that I love. It’s Canadian, it’s relatively new and it’s AMAZING. I am talking about the Marcelle Xtention Plus Curl mascara**. Now, I have talked about this mascara several, several times before but the more I thought about it, the more I was aching to give it its own separate review. Why? Let me tell ya.

First off, how often do you find a total mascara gem at the drugstore? This product is Canadian, cruelty-free, inexpensive and virtually flawless. It fights a lot of issues that people seem to have with their lashes: it curls, it lifts, it is pretty black but not clumpy, it separates, lengthens, defines and it stays put. For me, I am a length and lift lover. If my lashes aren’t close to touching my brow bone, I am not happy. But this does that and not with a whole lot of layering or effort either (I am not about that life).

Something else I will address is the wand because I haven’t used anything like it before. It’s not unique but it isn’t my usual preference. The wand itself is pretty dramatically curled and has rubber bristles. I usually am anti-rubber because they can be pretty painful but the shape prevents all contact with your skin while allowing the bristled to get right into your lashes. Root to tip.

The formula of this mascara isn’t usually what I go for either. It’s not super wet but it also isn’t dry. It’s almost like Marcelle figured out a way to get the wet-mascara-after-a-few-uses-and-it’s-perfect formula down pat. It works well but also doesn’t get all over the place like some of my favourite mascaras do.

The one flaw that is easy enough to deal with is the packaging. It is a little ugly and I think there is potential for it to start looking dingy since it has a peel and stick label on it. I don’t know why Marcelle didn’t put that extra effort into the packaging but hey, it’s what’s inside that counts.


I am pretty lucky and do have length and curl to my lashes so this may not totally be putting the mascara to the test, but if you’re in a similar boat as I am or just interested in what the mascara will do for you, I really think it’s worth the try. Let me know if you have tried any of the Marcelle mascara’s lately! This is my first but certainly not last.

Til next time, ttfn x

Whatcha Think About Annabelle Pencil and Liquid Liners?

Hey all! Changing things up a tad from the eye shadow reviews I have been doing to bring you a brand eye liner review. I personally have been pretty interested in the Annabelle pencil liners mainly because of the range of colour (and with the Stay Sharp liner, I am even more into them). Not to jump the gun, but overall, they are really good eye liners especially for the $10 and under price tag. Their liquid eye liners on the other hand… Keep reading.

The selection and different variety I can see in the Annabelle eye liner range is pretty intense. Here alone I have two green eye liners and 5 different formulas. First, we have my favourite by far and that is the Stay Sharp eye liner (pictured are Snow White** and Bronzey**). These are super easy to apply since the tip is always sharp plus they are waterproof so they are perfect in the waterline. My one complaint is that they are misleading as they are labeled as metallic and are most definitely not. I also have the super buttery Smoothliner (pictured is Jade) which is more pigmented, more moveable and totally lovely. These are very similar in consistency to the Urban Decay 24/7 eye liners but don’t have quite the staying power. A mix of these two would be the Smudgeliner (pictured in Limette and Armour but appear to be discontinued). These come with a smudge brush on the opposite end to help smoke out your liner. These stay put and are actually harder to smudge out than the Smoothliner. I do not like using the smudge brush because it tends to get moist… Which is concerning. Can you tell from the picture?

My least favourite of the bunch is actually their liquid liners. The Eyeink2 Duo** is horrible to work with and is neither opaque or buildable. It’s kind of a hot mess. The Eyeink2 Mistake Proof liner and corrector** is a little better as it is somewhat more opaque and I love the corrector end, however, the colour cuts in and out while applying and you cannot build upon this liner when you need to. Both liners end up being patchy and unfortunately, won’t be getting much use from me.

I realized after taking these pictures I do actually own another Annabelle liquid liner formula and that is their original Liquid eyeliner (in Espresso and Black Spark) which I will swatch on Instagram for you. These aren’t the easiest to work with but I like them far more than the Eyeink2 line. They are quite opaque and don’t budge but the applicator isn’t as easy to work with.

As you can see from the swatches, first two black hearts are from the Eyeink2 duo and are useless to me. The rest are quite opaque and easy to handle. I love the shades I own (and totally plan to pick up a few more of the Stay Sharp liners while they are on sale…). Which is your fave?

Til next time, ttfn x

Whatcha Think About Annabelle Stay Sharp Lip Liners?

Before I owned a lip liner, I simply never saw the value in buying one. They are an extra step – one I thought I could do without. I have many lipsticks, stains, balms, glosses and more, but making them last wasn’t a priority since I typically bring whatever I am wearing that day along for the ride. Plus, the extra work of having to trace your lips, match your colours, ugh. It sounded like a lot more trouble than its worth. When I first started blogging, I was sent a lovely package from Annabelle with a few different products including a self-sharpening lip liner in the colour Java. Since I hadn’t owned a lip liner before, I decided to give it a whirl. Fast forward and I have 4 out of 6 of these very liners in my collection that I rotate through on a regular basis. What changed my mind? Let me tell you.

  

When I first tried the Annabelle Stay Sharp Lip Liner, it seemed a bit drying and I wasn’t in love with the colour. But, soon after I had the idea to wear a tiny little itty bitty bit of chapstick first which made the lip liner glide on like a dream. Putting on too much lip balm will make a mess of things though so I tend to put a bit on my freshly washed finger and pat it into my lips and dab off any extra afterwards. For the colour, I was all about the super bold colours at the time, but I thought it might be a good idea to wear this under my less crazy shades to hold it in place. It wasn’t long until I started to do this daily.

   

  

Once I noticed how often I used the lip liner, I picked up a few more colours getting a little funkier this time. They are all the same consistency with a bit of a stickiness if you don’t wear anything over top. I have opted for gloss personally, because I want the beautiful colours to show through but they are very comfortable and absolutely long wearing. They are waterproof after all! They are so easy to use. I know, it sounds odd that tracing your lips might be hard but I just imagine all of the over traced disasters I have seen and just assumed it was hard. Was I ever wrong, at least when it comes to these. I tend to trace just along my lip line to make my lips a tiny bit bigger looking and the super sharp tip makes that much easier.

 

I feel a bit dumb in being so impressed, but the self-sharpening pencils are just so good. Not only is it time saving with no mess, but every line is clean because you can constantly sharpen the tip in a pinch with close to no effort. Simply screw the lid back on, twist the bottom a little and twist the lid back off. Instant sharp liner again. Side note, Annabelle has a Stay Sharp Kohl eye liner line too. They look like a dupe for the newer Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners that I saw a while ago at Sephora, though I haven’t tried them yet myself. Let me know if these two brands should face off in my Battle of the Brands series!

 

None of the swatches have anything on top but do use the lip balm method I mentioned earlier. Shown are Java, Vintage, Strike a Rose, Berry, but there are 2 more colours available in Nude and Glam Red. Did I mention they are on sale for under $6 as well? I would say that’s a pretty fantastic deal. 

Til next time, ttfn x

I Do Get Jealous

Let me start by saying, yes, I do get jealous, but that’s not what this is all about. This is about the Coffee and Coconut  Jealous Body Scrub**. I was contacted and asked if I wanted to give this scrub a try in exchange for an honest review. How could I argue about an all-natural, cruelty free, Canadian body scrub? I couldn’t.





Starting with the packaging, it is some of the best I have ever seen. They market this as a product to get messy with; take a shower with it and let it work its magic. The actual packaging is simple with their name on the front and instructions, ingredients and their links on the back. I urge you to read everything for yourself, since it is quite amusing. I know that isn’t the point, but it is so spot on that I had to start with that.



Once I opened it up, the air was filled with a rich coffee smell. I am not a coffee drinker and can’t say it is my favourite smell but I still wanted to give this product a good try since I was already in love with everything else. Hair tied up, skin a bit damp, and then I was ready. Pouring out a bit into my hand, it took about 1 palmful to cover my face, torso and my thighs. Pretty impressive, I would say. It is very true that you get messy with this product but never fear, it is so easy to wash off and so far, hasn’t stained anything of mine (and I have gotten 3 good uses out of it).



This is a major exfoliator. It didn’t hurt, but I could really feel it while I rubbed it in. After doing most of my body, I could already tell my hands were silky smooth, which was pretty exciting. The coconut oil was so soothing and moisturizing that it just felt nice as it dried. I may have had a bit of a photo shoot while I waited for the product to do its thing. The recommendation was between 10-15 minutes but I just waited until my skin was dry.





When it was time to wash it off, I was shocked at how easy it came off the skin. My usual face and body exfoliators take much more effort to wash away but this stuff practically fell off. It washed right out of my bathtub as well which was a bonus. The only thing I had to really make sure it came out of was my hair. Since I used it on my face, it did get in my hairline a bit and since I wasn’t washing my hair, it got stuck in there. Once everything had washed away, I could tell my skin was perfectly silky smooth. I felt like my skin looked tighter and many imperfections were washed away. I was floored.



This product didn’t require any moisturizer afterwards, meaning that for a handful of the Jealous Body Scrub, I completely replaced my face wash, body wash and moisturizer. That’s incredible. The real test came when my fiancé, who has much drier skin that I do, gave it a try and had the exact same results. No body wash, face wash or moisturizer. This 200g bag which I have barely made a dent in is $17.95 plus free shipping and available at jealousbody.com. It took no time at all for it to get from Vancouver to Ontario and into my bathtub. 

One thing that I do want to warn about is if you haven’t tried any of these products before, do a patch test. For example, I already knew that coconut oil can make me break out so I took a few precautionary steps afterwards to try and prevent it. It isn’t an everyday use kind of thing as it is exfoliating but 2-3 times a week is perfect. I tend to use it on my hair washing days – except for this first time of course.


I will absolutely be purchasing this once I am out, and am looking forward to any other products they come out with. The results are fantastic. I will try and take a before/after picture for Instagram at some point to try and showcase how brilliant it works, but you may just want to feel it for yourself!


A few of my blog buddies have raved about this product too:

Chelle who is also hosting a giveaway for a bag of Jealous Body Scrub!

Kelly

Megan


Til next time, ttfn x

Whatcha Think About… Montagne Jeunesse Masques?

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: my number 1 skin care product is a good mask. If you haven’t used one before, let me assure you that you will be addicted. The Montagne Jeunesse masks are what first turned me on to masks and skin care in general, believe it or not. They were like a luxurious surprise that I would get when I was younger for Stocking Stuffers or as a ‘spa day’ treat. At that time, I was most infatuated with the ‘peel off’ masks such as the Green Tea and Ginger one I received from FarleyCo Beauty.

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Very generously, FarleyCo sent me a few different Montagne Jeunesse masques to try out: The Green Tea Peel Off Face Masque** as mentioned, the Dead Sea Mud Spa Masque**, the Clean Up Mud Masque**, a New 2 Step Dry Skin Masque** and the 2 Step Shine Control masque**. The 2 Step masques are really cool because not only do you get the relaxing masque, but you receive another treatment as well such as a serum or moisturizer. I jumped all over the Shine Control masque to see if it really could help with my oily shine as that is one major problem I have.

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As with all masks, first comes a cleanse. I used the Murad Essential-C cleanser, as usual, then applied the mask. I can not describe to you how fantastically creamy and soothing this was. Can you tell? I believe this is the Deep Cleaning Mud Mask which are my usual go-to but none have been so smooth. Very relaxing and the smell was amazing. I should mention too that these masks are very generous. I am able to get two uses out of them, no problem, unless of course, they are fabric.

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The masque takes about 10-15 minutes to dry, so my favourite activity in that time is to take a bath for some ultimate relaxing time. Simply set a timer for 15 minutes and when it goes off, rinse the masque off. As you can see, it really sucked the dirt and oil from my oiliest zones, very similar to the Glam Glow Supermud mask.

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After washing it off and applying step 2 which in this case was a Balancing Moisturizer, this is what my skin looked like. Not perfect, of course, but it was so smooth and relaxed. This moisturizer was a HUGE plus for me. It was so creamy but within minutes, absorbed into my face. My pores felt tighter, my skin was significantly softer and yes, even a bit less oily. I am sure the more often you use it, the more results you can see.
Overall, these masks have always been amazing in my books. I need to check out more like this Tea Tree Spa Pore Cleansing Fabric Facial. They range from $1.99-$3.99 on FarleyCo.ca for the single masques, but you can purchase tubes for $5.49 as well! Seriously tempted to buy them all.

Are you a mask lover?

What are your biggest skin savers?

Til next time ttfn x

Note: as mentioned, FarleyCo did provide me with the masques but as always, all opinions are my own!