BRAND REVIEW: Stubborn Cosmetics

People, if you love Krave Beauty, Dr. Sam, you absolutely must check out this brand, especially if you live in the U.S. of A!

Stubborn Cosmetics is an indie American brand that is literally a one-woman show providing products with my favourite combo: scientifically proven ingredients paired with beneficial ingredients from nature.

The founder Annalisa, runs the show and here are the many hats she wears:

  • Lead Cosmetic Scientist
  • Production Engineer
  • Procurement Agent
  • Graphic Designer
  • Lab Technician
  • Operations Manager
  • Cleaner
  • the first Customer
  • the “We”

Stubborn Cosmetics currently is focused on creating moisturizers for all skin-types, and she goes so far as to offer a customized moisturizer, based on your quiz results. Recently she formulated an anti-oxidant face mist and it’s been a hot minute since I’ve used one!

Here’s the site’s blurb that sums up what they’re about perfectly, and something I appreciate:

“We’re an indie skincare company with the mission of creating cosmetics that bring together the best of the natural world with the best of scientifically studied ingredients. Our aim is to share skincare that is effective, fun, and positive by nature. We’re not going to scare you with buzz words like “toxin- and chemical-free”. That wouldn’t be in line with our ethics. Instead, we curated a selection of naturally derived ingredients and scientifically proven synthetic actives (like peptides and vitamins) because they are just too good to be given up.

We believe in nature and science. We believe they can coexist in harmony. We believe in community, we believe in hugs, we believe in kindness, we believe in well-formulated products as well as in a personal approach to skin care. These beliefs are the essence of our creations. Others call it skincare – we call it personal skin love.”

Here are the products I’ll be reviewing, all purchased myself.

  • Custom Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Combination Skin, $40 USD
  • Face Hug – for Dry Skin, $25 USD
  • Face Cuddle – for Normal Skin, $25 USD
  • Skin Mercy Anti-Oxidant Face Mist, $22 USD

QUICK FACTS:

  • Every moisturizer has 4% Niacinamide
  • Cruelty-free
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Custom Moisturizers are made-to-order based on a mandatory Skin Quiz, and get PIN for repurchase
  • Shelf life ~6 months after opening
  • Products are only scented from aromatic plant extracts
  • Most products are vegan; Face Hug only moisturizer not vegan because it contains silk amino acids (sourced from vacant cocoons)
  • International shipping
  • pH levels are 4.5-5.5 (based on blog post “How to Use Moisturizers“)

CUSTOM MOISTURIZER

sc-custom-moisturizer-1

This was my first purchase as I was curious how Annalisa would formulate a product for my all-over-the-place skin. I’ve mentioned it before, but right now I’m normal to dry, get easily sensitized from dry environments, but I still get pretty oily by the end of the day, and I still have acne! I was sent a card with my Skin Quiz results, Product PIN for re-ordering, and the ingredients list. Unfortunately, I cannot find the card ;_;

PACKAGING: 30 ml plastic bottle with airless pump. Love that there are 2 pumps – teal for normal areas, white for dry.

USAGE: 1 pump of each.

TEXTURE: A thin, thick cream (if that makes sense).

FRAGRANCE: Custom Moisturizer has the option to add fragrance in via phyto-scents (plant extracts); I chose raspberry, tangy and zesty! It’s not too strong.

APPLICATION: Green pump on my T-Zone, White for my C-Zone; Sometimes I like to mix the two.

FINISH: She may be thin, but she feels very moisturizing. I do have a glow and it doesn’t make me look super matte (which I like).

INSTANT RESULTS: Moisturized skin.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Skin hasn’t been experiencing congestion and my sebaceous filaments haven’t been looking awful. Sometimes I feel a bit dry near the end of the day, but my work environment is pretty freaking dry, as is my country’s climate (Canada). I also lack in water-drinking skills :3  Overall it performed well in the colder months here in Canada (haven’t tried it in snow mode yet).


FACE HUG & FACE CUDDLE

PACKAGING: 30 ml plastic bottle with an airless pump.

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USAGE: 2 pumps to cover face and neck comfortably in the morning before SPF.

TEXTURE: Face Cuddle – gel cream, Face Hug – more emollient version of a gel cream.

FRAGRANCE: I’m not sure how to describe it, but there is no added scent and it’s just the smell of the formula.

APPLICATION: Massage into face.

FINISH: If you don’t apply the moisturizer properly, it looks like there is a film on your face. If you take your time, it leaves a nice moisturized, not overly glowy look.

IMG_20191003_191850.jpg
Top: Face Cuddle, Bottom: Face Hug

INSTANT RESULTS: Moisturized!

LONG TERM RESULTS: Skin hasn’t been experiencing congestion and my sebaceous filaments haven’t been looking awful. Moisturized feeling lasted better in summer months here in Canada. Sometimes these both sting my face.


SKIN MERCY

PACKAGING: 4oz, glass bottle with a spray top.

USAGE: I typically use this in the mornings, because that’s when I like using antioxidant based products the most (like Vitamin C).

TEXTURE: Watery.

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FRAGRANCE: Smells like pine – the cinnamon peppercorn type of smell!

APPLICATION: Spray spray spray.

INGREDIENTS:

sc-skin-mercy-3

FINISH: The watery consistency is quite deceiving, for I find this moisturizes my skin pretty well on it’s own and it leaves a moisturized film on my skin.

INSTANT RESULTS: Skin feels moisturized, tingly and bright.

LONG TERM RESULTS: Currently, this in rotation with my Jordan Samuel Hydrate the Mist. I usually reach for Skin Mercy when I feel like I need more of an oomph for my skin.


FINAL THOUGHTS

stubborn-cosmetics-review-michxmash

PROS:

  • INCI list is out of this world. I’ve never seen a list where I have all the major ingredients I want – Niacinamide, Ceramides, antioxidants, peptides, Beta-Glucan, Hyaluronic Acid…
  • Offers customization. Especially handy if you’re super sensitive, and I can’t help but wonder if this would be a great moisturizer for those with fungal acne!
  • No bullshit. Love the marketing and they’re not about fear-mongering, but educating consumers on awesome ingredients despite their chemical name!
  • Prompt shipping. I’m pretty sure all of us had a moment (or multiple moments) when we’re ready to drop $100 and then the shipping fee just cuts that shopping joy in half! Well despite a charge for international shipping, it’s speedy, and you can expect your moisturizer within a week (obviously depends where you are in the world and weekends not included).

CONS:

  • Both Face Hug and Cuddle occasionally sting my face and pill on me.
  • As much as I love the INCI list, it’s a bit daunting to figure out what’s causing the moisturizers to sting my face (at first I thought it was from using a chemical exfoliator beforehand, but sometimes it still stings even with a basic routine).
  • Skin Mercy’s pump stopped working for me after a few uses. It almost feels as if it’s stuck :\

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:

  • Price / size. Another classic “stupid Canadian dollar” type thing. WHY CONVERSION, WHY!? Aside from this, I can see this as a pretty fairly priced moisturizer to Americans and anywhere else in the world that doesn’t have a shitty dollar.

Overall, a lot of love and effort goes into Stubborn Cosmetics and Annalisa is making it available internationally. On top of that, she does not do any BS marketing whatsoever and tries to accommodate all skin types and needs.

I’d personally repurchase the Custom Moisturizer because it is suited for my skin needs, but I’d still like to try out any new items that SC comes out with!

WHERE TO BUY:
Official site: https://stubborncosmetics.com/

Hope this review helped you out!

xo, M

FOUNDATION FRIDAY: Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation 220 Sand Beige & Antioxidant Concealer 020 Bisque

The products in this post were received in PR.


I’m typically someone who strays away from drugstore foundation due to one or all of the following reasons:

  • Never finding my shade and/or undertone properly
  • Oxidization madness
  • Looking cakey
  • Not long-lasting
  • Breaks me out

However, times have changed, and there seems to be a way better selection of base products than when I was in highschool! I received Revlon’s new PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation and Antioxidant Concealer to try out and I decided to do a wear test and review them for you all!

In this post, I’ll be sharing a wear test I did during Fan Expo 2019 with the Foundation and Concealer, and add some thought after wearing them for almost one month daily!


CLAIMS

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PHOTOREADY CANDID NATURAL FINISH ANTI-POLLUTION FOUNDATION

CLAIMS:

  • This skin-enhancing, natural-looking foundation delivers a flawless finish—all day long—as it hydrates
  • You get medium coverage that feels weightless and looks like your best skin!
  • Feels good with: anti-pollution, antioxidant, and anti-blue-light ingredients to protect your skin
  • Feels better without: oils, parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, and harsh fragrances
  • Available in 31 makeup shades

PRICE: $10.99 USD / $15.99 CAD
AMOUNT: 0.75 fl oz / 22ml
SHADE: 220 Sand Beige – medium with neutral, subtle olive undertones

PHOTOREADY CANDID ANTIOXIDANT CONCEALER

CLAIMS:

  • This concealer with medium coverage camouflages dark circles and puff, with a jolt of caffeine to help wake up tired skin
  • It’s also excellent at disguising blemishes and other things you’d rather not see
  • Feels good with: a formula that includes a protective antioxidant, along with anti-pollution and anti-blue-light ingredients
  • Feels better without: oils, parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, or harsh fragrances—making it ideal for delicate undereye skin and a great concealer for sensitive skin!
  • Flexible doe-foot for precision application
  • Available in 18 shades

PRICE: $9.99 USD/ $10.49 CAD
AMOUNT: 0.34 fl oz / 10ml
SHADE: 020 Bisque


ANTI-POLLUTION, ANTIOXIDANT, ANTI-BLUE LIGHT?

FOUNDATION INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polysilicone-11, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylene Brassylate, Laureth-7, Lecithin, Magnesium Sulfate, Maris Sal/Sea Salt/Sel Marin, Methicone, Mica, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Pullulan, Sclerotium Gum, Silica, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Carrageenan, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethyl Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491,77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

CONCEALER INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water/Eau,Cyclopentasiloxane, Titanium Dioxide,  Cyclohexasiloxane, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract ,Caffeine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Niacinamide, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Glycerin, Lecithin, Mica, Pullulan, Sclerotium Gum, Silica, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: [Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499].

Firstly, both foundation and concealer contain antioxidants; In short, antioxidants help scavenge free radicals that cause oxidation (damaging cells). Camellia Sinesis Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol / Tocopheryl Acetate are in both formulas, and the concealer contains Niacinamide down the list as well. There may also be Iron Oxides in the formula, which are used as pigment in makeup. Both antioxidants and Iron Oxides have shown to reduce the effects of visible light and help with pigmentation issues. Lab Muffin does a great job at explaining all of the research behind this in a digestible manner – be sure to check out her blog post and others as well!
https://labmuffin.com/does-visible-light-cause-skin-damage-and-how-to-protect-against-it/

Surprisingly, Revlon is indeed backing up its claims of their foundation and concealer being anti-pollution, antioxidant, and anti-blue light. However I am wary that some of those ingredients may be in too low amounts to do anything – I’m looking at more of SAP and Niacinamide. I’m not sure how much is needed to have an antioxidant benefit, but for the additional benefits those provide such as brightening and helping with acne, I typically aim for minimum 5-10% in my skincare routine. It still doesn’t hurt to have them in the formula though!


WEAR TEST – FIRST IMPRESSIONS

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PREP: On top of a moisturizing SPF – my colleague wears both these products on the daily so I thought I’d dry them together.

TOTAL WEAR TIME: 11.5 hours

PACKAGE:
Foundation: Tube with a pump.
Concealer: Tube with a large doe-foot applicator

IMG_20190926_173932.jpg

TEXTURE:
Foundation: Thick cream.
Concealer. Light cream.

USAGE:
Foundation: 1.5 pumps on face and neck . Normally I apply a small amount in sections, but I wanted to see what kind of coverage one pump would do.
Concealer: One light swipe to just cover breakouts.

APPLICATION:
Foundation:
Left side used fingers – results were streaky; Right side used brush – more seamless. Had to go in with a sponge to blend out the foundation because I used too much.

Concealer:
Applied on back of hand first, and used a small dense concealer brush to apply and blend around chin and one on my forehead.

FINISH:

IMG_20190825_091925.jpg
Foundation:

  • Glowy / luminous; to some it looks luminous and glowy, others it can look borderline shiny
  • Skin looks like my skin, boyfriend and friend couldn’t tell I was wearing anything
  • Didn’t notice any significant skin-perfecting qualities other than evening out my skin tone and making it look healthy
  • Having said that, doesn’t exaggerate any texture on my skin

Concealer:

  • Matte finish

Did not use primer or setting powder, wore the foundation on its own with cream cheek products.

FLASH-FRIENDLY? Yes. if you don’t powder down the “glow” from the foundation, it can be amplified.

OXIDIZE? Surprisingly, it did not!

OIL-CONTROLLING? Hard to tell because the finish gives a natural sheen. I did blot 5 hours in because to me, a previous oily-skinned gal, it looked too much; My friend on the other hand, said it didn’t look oily unless I was in bad lighting, otherwise my skin looked great most of the day.

END OF DAY:

  • Face still looked fresh and healthy
  • Coverage was still there
  • Bit of cakiness and dryness around my breakout areas
  • Sheen still on my skin but it didn’t look very oily

OVERALL THOUGHTS

IMG_20190919_185649.jpg

PROS:

Foundation:

  • Gives a “my skin but better” look despite no blurring quality
  • Looks great in photos, with or without flash
  • Matched my undertone perfectly
  • Lasts a work day / school day on its own without the help of primers and/or setting products
  • Does not oxidize; I was able to build up the coverage in certain areas of my face, and it did not oxidize in patches either
  • Still look fresh by the end of a long day

Concealer:

  • Matches skin tone
  • Does not oxidize

 

CONS:
Foundation:

  • Not a full ounce provided

Concealer:

  • Doesn’t last on the skin
  • Creates dry patches

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:

Foundation:

  • The finish depends on how you prep your skin. It’s not guaranteed to give you a super dewy or satin finish unless your base has that already going for it (hence why my face was so moisturized in the Wear Test).
  • Buildable coverage, up to medium coverage.
  • As much as I like the MSBB look, I still wish it had SOME skin blurring properties so I wouldn’t have to worry about my pores.

Concealer:

  • Concealer does not look cakey on skin if you just need to hide redness and use a very light amount. I think it caked up around my breakouts because of the active I used in my skincare routine (Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid).

Normal to Dry-skinned peeps: I think you’ll love it; Didn’t feel like it dried out my skin, and it does not emphasize dry patches I have around breakouts.
Oily-skinned peeps: May be too glowy for you, even if your base prep is rather matte. I’d recommend trying their Colorstay Foundation – it used to be my go-to drugstore foundation when my skin was very oily!

My best face: Pore-filling primer, thin layers, setting powder (get the most compliments when I do my makeup like this). Here’s my face after ~10 hours of wear on a regular work day, no touch-ups:

IMG_20190918_190233.jpg

Overall I am seriously impressed with Revlon Candid Foundation and Antioxidant Concealer! For a drugstore foundation, I really didn’t know what to expect with its performance, and it definitely surpassed my expectations. I get compliments at work whenever I use this foundation, and I’ve been told that I still look bright and fresh by the end of a work day! I also wore the foundation for 14+ hours for boyfriend’s birthday, and blotted before we went out to celebrate!

WHERE TO BUY:

ULTA:
Foundation
Concealer

Hope this review helped you out!

xo, M

Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

I forgot to schedule this because my mind drifted during the Long Labour Day weekend 🙂

It has been around 9 months since starting 0.3% Adapalene, so it’s about time I do a skin update and show you my skin’s progress!

Be sure to read my first one so you’re up to date: Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been doing since my last update in December 2018:

  • Still have not used a microneedling device since November when I reviewed the Banisher 2.0.
  • No professional facials done, just stuck with topical products I purchased.
  • Using Differin almost every night since I got it end of November 2018.
  • Aczone was good up until the 4 month mark, then I switched to Finacea (AA). I noticed Aczone would dry out my skin and make it look darker and red.
  • Upped my chemical exfoliators to 2 times a week – still using Krave Beauty’s Kale-lalu-yAHA and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.
  • Have been attempting to apply minimum SPF50 PA++++/PPD 16 up to 2mg/cm2 of sunscreen on exposed areas.

BEFORE / AFTERS

NOTE:

  • It’s really hard to match exact lighting and angle!
  • I also added the same photos with increased the shadows and highlights to emphasize the texture – even then it’s hard to truly depict what’s happening on my face
  • Ignore that cut on the bottom part of my face – I shaved and cut myself (yes I’ve been shaving my face! it’s quite magical)
  • TIMEFRAME: November 27, 2018 – July 13, 2019
michxmash-before-afters
Top: Befores, Bottom: Afters
michxmash-before-afters-2
Emphasized shadow and contrast. Top: befores, Bottom: Afters

ATROPHIC SCARS

In general, they look like the got smaller, and my face generally looks smoother. At first I thought I really wasn’t getting a good angle for the photos; but maybe, just maybe… they actually look that much better! My mom said my skin looks smoother every time she sees me, that has to count for something lol.

PIGMENTATION

I find a lot of the pigmentation I had lingering lightened up ever since I introduced AA and applied proper amounts of higher UVA protecting sunscreens to my routine, and a general boost in my skin’s health.

ACNE

I definitely don’t get as many breakouts since last year, and they are well under control. When I do experience a bad breakout, the connection is from eating too much processed food and drinking very sugary drinks. I find the actives I use in my routine however really help rid any active breakouts quickly, and I don’t find myself stressing over cystic spots as much as I used to.

OVERALL SKIN CONDITION

  • Clearer – acne is under control, pigmentation does not last for months
  • She is slow, but there have been some improvements with my atrophic scars
  • Feels fairly normal since we’re in summer, but still prone to dryness
  • I find my skin gets sensitive to products that I used prior without issue

And that’s it for my 2nd Skin Update! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m happy it’s getting better. Healing old scars as mine with topicals can only do so much, and I’ve accepted that, but at least there’s SOME improvement!

IMG_20190830_133143.jpg

ACTION PLAN

  • Continue with what I’m using, sticking with Differin
  • Use micro-needle again to boost the process
  • May look into the vampire facial, or other professional treatments to help speed the process for my atrophic scars. It’s so expensive doe ;_;
  • I like my skincare routine at the moment ko, so I’ll be sticking with what I’m currently doing and share it in good time!

It’s always nerve-wracking sharing my skin like this, but I really hope these updates help you out, especially if you’re going through the same skin struggles as I am!

xo, M

Current Everyday NO Foundation Makeup Routine

It’s taken a long time to reach this point in my life – liking my skin enough that I don’t rely on foundation! This video is all about how I apply my makeup with no foundation. I pretty much rock this everyday for work and I always look put together by the end of an 8 hour day! I forgot to demo it in this video, but sometimes I like mixing a primer with Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi. If I mix it with Canmake, I always apply a different SPF prior and use Canmake exclusively as a primer.

I know there is a stark contrast between my face skin colour and neck, and I assure you in person it does not look this obvious 🙂 That SPF has a little bit of bounce back and I’m facing a window with bright light coming in.



Products marked with a * were either PR items sent to me or gifts. Links and/or codes marked with a * are affiliate links/codes. This means if you use this link/code to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thanks for your support if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

List of products used:

Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV
http://shrsl.com/187qy *

Ecobrow Eyebrow Defining Wax – Liz
http://shrsl.com/1ru6i *

Milk Makeup Kush Fibre Brow Gel – Grind
https://seph.me/2souBMk

Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer
https://seph.me/2RJ1JN4

Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara Super Waterproof – 01
http://shrsl.com/1ek66 *

Glosser Stretch Concealer – Medium
https://www.glossier.com/products/stretch-concealer

Nudestix All Over Face Color – In the Nude, Bondi Bae
https://seph.me/2Zq8IdD

Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder
https://seph.me/2KRQGwI

Hope you enjoy the video!

xo, M

REVIEW: The Innate Life Small Complete Hair Care Bundle

Inspired to take care of my scalp more + the desire to try something new, I purchased Toronto-based brand Innate Life products and had to share my thoughts on their products!

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I’ve strayed away from Green Beauty marketing-based companies when it comes to skincare, but when it comes to my hair I find that’s when these types of products benefit me the most! I decided to purchase their Small Complete Hair Care Bundle with the small sizes of the following products:

  • Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp
  • Herbal Hair Mask
  • Rose Hair Elixir

As I just mentioned, the Innate Life is a Toronto-based Canadian brand that takes an ayurvedic approach to hair care! Every product contains their signature blend of the following ayurvedic herbs, all supposed to promote either hair growth and overall scalp health:

  • Bhringaraj
  • Brahmi
  • Amla
  • Tulsi
  • Neem

My personal opinion: I do believe traditional medicines serve a purpose and have some promise since it’s based off of thousands of years of trial and error, which is why I occasionally like using these kinds of products. It is consistent long-term use for potentially long term gain, and sometimes it’s hard for them to compete with new Western medicine, especially when you’re living a modern lifestyle of different  (and more often than not, a lot more) stresses (environment, food, etc.).

The Innate Life Small Complete Hair Care Bundle with tax cost $55.53 USD / $76.19 CAD have used this bundle for a couple of months now, so I am ready to share my thoughts!


Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp

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Hair growth starts at the root. The Scalp Treatment is the ultimate product for hair growth because it nourishes and stimulates the scalp. It’s packed with natural goodness that will benefit your scalp and hair in ways you never thought possible! Used a couple times a week, The Scalp Treatment will provide intense hydration and repair the scalp for ultimate growth. It’s relaxing herbal scent makes it an essential part of any self-care day.

IMG_20190815_194506.jpg

AMOUNT: 2oz
INDIVIDUAL PRICE: $20 USD

Coconut Oil as the main oil is also great for hair health, for it is able to penetrate the hair shafts, create a water-blocking layer, and prevent protein loss. The ayurvedic and other plant extracts in the list are shown in herbal medicine to have soothing properties – definitely a must when applying potent essential oils on the scalp and trying to lower irritation from buildup. The essential oils listed, particularly Rosemary Oil, have studies on how they contribute to hair growth (Rosemary Oil was compared to be just as effective as Minoxidil (key active in Rogaine) but without irritation!). Pair all of these ingredients with the act of scalp massaging, it sounds like this is a go-to product for literally getting your head in the game of scalp health.

I’ll leave the following links below if you’re interested in the read:

Human studies:

2015 Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial

Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue

In vitro & in vivo:
Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.

Animal studies:

2016 Study Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice

Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic signs

USAGE: 2 hours before I planned on washing my hair, every wash. My scalp was quite irritated at the time, and I confirmed with Innate Life that I was able to use this every wash (for me that’s every 2-3 days).

SCENT: Light herbal scent, the Peppermint Oil is the most noticeable scent.

TEXTURE: Runny, make sure to take little amounts rather than a lot in one go.

APPLICATION: Parted my hair in sections, and massaged thin layers directly on the scalp. After my entire scalp area was covered, I massaged it for 3-5 minutes.

FEEL: While massaging, I felt my scalp heating up. Not in an irritating way, moreso that there was a lot of blood circulation gong on. This feeling lasts from 30 minutes to an hour.

WASH: Need to shampoo twice to make sure all the oils from my hair are out.

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE SCALP TREATMENT FOR PROBLEMATIC SCALP

PROS:

  • My scalp became less itchy; Usually it gets itchy by the 2nd day, and I haven’t experienced that since using this treatment
  • In combination with the shampoo and conditioner I am using (see Haircare Haul), I’ve been told my hair looks fuller at the front
  • I’ve noticed baby hairs that I usually don’t see finally sit on my head differently and look more visible (they already existed, the photo does not show brand new growth)
    IMG_20190815_200534.jpg

CONS:

  • Not a fan of the clear, jar packaging. It is great that it’s in glass, the essential oils act as a natural preservative, and I can keep it in a dark cabinet, but it should be in an opaque package with a small dispenser to further prevent any ingredient degradation.

Overall I have seen benefits while using the Innate Life Scalp Treatment. My scalp feels less irritated, baby hairs are coming out to play, and it is not difficult to wash out.


Herbal Hair Mask

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Dry and damaged hair rejoice! The Herbal Hair Mask is the answer to your prayers. This intensive once-a-week hair mask has the power to naturally transform hair into a silky dream. Formulated with over 15 plant-based botanicals, The Herbal Hair Mask keeps hair soft, silky, and shiny. Natural detanglers leave strands tangle-free and manageable. This Mask also reverses damage caused by heat tools and hair dyes. For sad-looking locks, The Herbal Mask is sure to cheer them up!

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AMOUNT: 4oz

INDIVIDUAL PRICE: $25 USD

USAGE: 2 hours before I planned on washing my hair, once a week alongside the Scalp Treatment on dry hair. I tried damp and after-conditioning as well; I did not notice a difference between the application methods, so I stuck with the pre-wash.

SCENT: Citrusy Lavender. Definitely took a handful of whiffs while applying it!

TEXTURE: Light cream.

APPLICATION: Massaged product in from the mid-length to ends on dry hair, making sure it was properly coated.

FEEL: Like a light oil, not as overwhelming as Coconut Oil on its own.

WASH: Rinses out pretty easily without using shampoo at the ends.

OVERALL THOUGHTS OF THE HERBAL HAIR MASK

PROS:

  • Smells divine – I definitely enjoyed this while applying.

CONS:

  • Hair feels the same, nothing crazy different
  • I get similar results from just leaving conditioner in my hair for a couple of minutes

Overall this was my least favourite product out of the 3. Not just the Innate Life Herbal Hair Mask, but I find conditioning masks in general don’t do much for my hair. Maybe my hair is less damaged than I thought? If you’re looking for a light hair mask, still consider this one – lots of other users have benefitted from this hair mask!


Rose Hair Elixir

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The Rose Hair Elixir is the Holy Grail product of hair care. Formulated with over 15 organic oils, this Elixir is potent and serves a number of purposes. It can be used daily or whenever your hair needs a quick pick me up. It can be used on dry hair to nourish split ends, tame frizzy hair, repair damaged hair and add shine. This little bottle does it all! It even works as a heat protectant before styling or on damp hair as a leave-in treatment. If that’s not enough for you, it’s intoxicating rose smell will have you coming back for more.

AMOUNT: 20ml

INDIVIDUAL PRICE: $15 USD

USAGE: 2 times a day, morning and night before brushing my hair.

SCENT: Starts off smelling like rose. It isn’t overwhelming, but I definitely liked sniffing my hair throughout the day. After a few hours the scent wears off and your ends smell like a mix of oils.

TEXTURE: Similar to a silicone-based hair serum, but feels like an oil, if that makes sense…

APPLICATION: Apply 4 drops to my mid-length to ends, more of a focus on the ends.

FEEL: Does not weigh down my hair and does not leave an oily look.

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE ROSE HAIR ELIXIR

PROS:

  • First oil-based hair serum that performs well
  • Ends feel very soft and healthy
  • Lovely, subtle scent of rose

CONS:

  • Another deduction for packaging; Clear bottle and the dropper doesn’t even reach the bottom, you’d have to poor out the oil when you’re near the end

Overall this is my favourite oil-based hair serum I have tried to date. I personally preferred silicone-based hair serums because I saw better results, but I’m happy to have discovered the lovely formula that is the Innate Life Rose Hair Elixir.


FINAL THOUGHTS

OVERALL PROS:

  • All products have very promising ingredients that contribute to scalp and hair health, particularly Coconut Oil, Amla, and Rosemary Oil
  • Fairly affordable price and lasts fairly long considering I have long hair
  • Quick delivery once ordered – being in Toronto in particular it takes 3-5 business days
  • Saving $10 when buying the bundle as opposed to the individual products
  • The Scalp Treatment in particular was the catalyst for paying more attention to my scalp, leading down the endless hole that is haircare

OVERALL CONS:

  • The packaging on the Scalp Treatment and Rose Hair Elixir needs to be updated for better function and product preservation
  • Just like other brands, I am not a fan of the scare-tactics type of marketing; They use the “no chemicals” and “non-toxic” approach to their products. If they changed their marketing to show the real scientific-based plant power going on in their products and promote these beneficial chemicals, they could definitely gain more of a following and trust with their brand

OVERALL IN-BETWEEN FEELS:

  •  I’m going out on a guess, but these products are not made by a chemist or in a proper lab. There’s no guarantee you’re getting controlled amounts of “actives” in these formulas like the studies would do. I obviously don’t mind using the products either way, but it is still a point I address for general caution if you’re particularly sensitive, even with wash-out products
  • Adding to the previous point, would love it if they included percentages for how much of the actives they are using
  • Scalp Treatment and Herbal Hair Mask can be left on overnight, but I didn’t notice much of a difference than if I were to just keep it in for 2 hours

The Small Bundle is a great introductory purchase for the Innate Life products. On top of the sensorial experience from each product, 2/3 products actually delivered for my hair type and have played an essential role in gaining and maintaining healthy scalp and hair. It was easy to consistently use these products, especially knowing that they wouldn’t run out so fast.

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I already repurchased their Long Hair Bundle which contains full sizes of the Scalp Treatment (Problematic Scalp) and the Rose Hair Elixir. They’re definitely part of the reason I’ve been loving my hair state lately and will continue using them and supporting a Canadian brand!

All products were purchased at https://theinnatelife.com/ (not affiliate)

Have you tried these Innate Life products? They also have a shampoo and conditioner, let me know what you think about them in the comments if you’ve tried!

xo, M

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