HAIRCARE HAUL: She’s a big one!

Hey everyone!

I haven’t done a hair specific post before, but I’d thought no better time then now since I bought a LOT of items to improve my scalp and hair.

I’ve tried every single product listed below, but will wait another month to give them proper reviews. All you have to know for now is I’ve been getting positive comments on how my hair has been looking! My friend says it visibly looks smoother, my mother even noticed it looks thicker and fuller, particular at the front, and I’ve noticed my hair feels super soft despite having bleached/dyed ends.

My hair:  Long (underboob length). Dark brown that gets natural highlights in the summer, tips are dyed because I’ve been growing out my natural hair – haven’t dyed my hair since December 2017. Pretty much straight 24/7 – although when I get a haircut there is a slight wave. Would say mostly my hair is 1A. Low porosity. Not thick like typical Asian hair but still considered thick (if that makes sense).

My Scalp: Used to be super inflamed when I bleached for years, to the point where I developed a disgusting amount of dandruff. Now it is fairly balanced – no dandruff, but scalp gets itchy by the 2nd day after washing. Scalp can get quite oily. I tried “adjusting” to wash my hair only 1-2x a week for a year and it never adjusted (yes, even without using heat, using SLS and silicone-free shampoo / conditioners, dry shampoo).


CALIA NATURAL

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Broken record intro, yes, I heard about this from Holistic Habits lol.

I actually contacted Calia Natural customer service because they actually have such a huge selection of products, catered to any hair type! After explaining to them my current scalp and hair situation, they recommended for me the Purifying line for dry hair, the Balancing line, and to do a conditioning mask every so often. I opted for the smallest sizes of their Purifying Shampoo, Balancing Conditioner, and Intensive Conditioner. I’ve used these a handful of times and holy moly, my hair feels AMAZING. I’m no stranger to SLS-free, silicone-free shampoos and such. I’ve actually been using them for years. I think the biggest standout about their products is that they are attentive to the pH of their products. Their shampoos are around pH 5.5 (like the scalp) and conditioners around pH 4.5 (like the hair shaft). I am VERY impressed with these products so far, and totally get the hype around them.


THE INNATE LIFE + HASK

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This brand has also been mentioned by Holistic Habits, but it was actually OrganicallyAnna’s review that convinced me to give this the Innate Life a go. I purchased their small bundle which contains their Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp, Herbal Hair Mask and Rose Hair Elixir. I have had an irritated scalp for years, and have always bought serums to help. Not once however, did I ever intently massage my scalp, or did I ever use something so oil-based for it before! I tried coconut oil in the past and honestly w-t-f is the point if I need to do 2-4 shampoos to get it out!? So far though the Scalp Treatment has been fairly easy to wash out, and very enjoyable to use! I love the scent of the Herbal Hair Mask, but it performs kinda meh; I’ll have to try it in different ways to see how it performs best.

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Usually for hair oils, silicone always performs the best for me, hence why I purchased an amazingly affordable one from Hask – their Monoi Nourishing Shine Oil. I love how a small amount goes a long way and makes my bleached, dyed ends feels soft. However, I am equally as impressed and more obsessed with the smell from the Innate Life’s Rose Hair Elixir. O-M-G, yes, you smell like roses for majority of the day if you use this in your hair. Both hair oils have great scents actually, not super strong, quite subtle, but I prefer the natural scent from the Rose Hair Elixir.


BEACH COSMETICS

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After giving spot-on recommendations, I trusted OrganicallyAnna with another one of her favourites, Beach Cosmetics Mellow Out Leave-In Conditioning Detangler. After having horrid results from using Carina Organics Sweet Pea Leave-In Conditioner, I steered clear from leave-in conditioners for a while. I tried a sample-size of the Briogeo one and actually seemed decent, but I opted to support a more local brand made by a Canadian actress! I’ve used this detangler the least amount of times compared to the other products, but I still enjoyed using it the couple of times I did! It’s a lovely fine spray, leaves my hair actually detangled, feeling soft, and smelling like a cookie! It’s a bit too faux-fragranced for my liking, yet I can’t stop smelling my hair and feeling delicious. Either way while it’s in my hair it’s not overpowering and I don’t smell it unless I willingly sniff my hair (admittedly more often than usual). I may consider the Briogeo one in the future but for now I’m happy with the one I just got!


TEK BRUSHES + KITSCH

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The only tools / accessories purchased in this haul! I feel like almost every channel I watched, TEK Brushes were ALWAYS mentioned! And on top of that, I haven’t found a brush that looks quite like it (well, I did, but the quality was poo-poo). I caved and bought TEK’s Oval Brush, which I have been loving! Basically a wooden brush is supposed to help massaging your scalp, help distribute your natural oils throughout your hair strands, and not cause a lot of breakage to your hair when brushing. So far the head massages have been nice and gentle, and I can’t really tell if the “oil distribution” part is doing much. Either way this brush definitely performs and is great quality! As for the Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap – I like how microfiber absorbs a lot of water from my hair, for this has helped reduce the amount of heat I use significantly! I already had a microfiber cloth, but Kitsch offered a turban towel so I had to get it. I’m happy to report that it fits all my hair easily!

Honourable Mention: Revlon One-Step Dryer and Volumizer. Check out my Instagram post on it if you want to know more about why I love this tool!


And that’s that for the haul! I’m going to attempt to explain my haircare routine in the future, and I’ll be reviewing some of the products at a later date (I’m thinking July, since some of these products are made by Canadians!).

xo, M

BRAND REVIEW: Krave Beauty

I know – I’m Canadian, and I have all 3 Krave Beauty products. I was actually super fortunate to win an Instagram contest Krave Beauty was hosting back in September 2018 – suggest a new title for their skincare book!

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I gave my honest input about it, and before I knew it, it was the most popular one in their comment section and I’m being tagged in their story! The prize was full sizes of all 3 following products: Matcha-Hemp Hydrating Cleanser, Kale-aha-uya, Beet the Sun SPF 47+ PA++++, shipped from their Seoul facility.

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When their skincare book comes out, just remember, *this girl named it*

I’ve been rotating these Krave Beauty products in my current skincare routine for a few months now and I am ready to share my thoughts with you all and whether or not Canadians and anyone else outside the U.S. and South Korea should continue their fascination with Krave Beauty. Please note the standard information on the products I share is based on Krave Beauty’s official U.S. website, even though I got the products from Korea.

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If it isn’t clear: I won these products in an instagram giveaway. They were not sent to me for review purposes. I’m reviewing it because I want to.

All thoughts are my own, always. *casts doe patronus*


ABOUT KRAVE BEAUTY

Founded by Liah Yoo (formerly known as YellowyCream), Beauty Youtuber. I’m not sure of her educational background, but she has been working in the beauty world for a handful of years now and has been an avid product junkie since before I started watching her. As a subscriber, I always noticed her thoughtfulness towards acne-prone, sensitive skin like hers when reviewing products. I’m glad that in the past couple of years she switched gears and started getting more educational; She has a research team that debunks skincare myths, talks about efficacious, science-based ingredients, but maintains an open mind about new ingredients coming into the skincare game. Although she is classed as a Beauty Expert, I find her to be a non-BS one. Even if I didn’t win her products, I have had a high interest in Krave Beauty since she launched it and wanted to purchase it for myself. Krave Beauty combines the benefits of plants and science-backed ingredients, all the while making sure it can accomodate the most sensitive of skin types. This sounds like my cup of tea!

Krave Beauty itself is all about pressing reset on your skin. Stop with the 10 step skincare, and just listen and feel for what your skin craves (Krave… get it?). Her line started off with the 3 products I’m about to review, and she has since followed up with another product launch, with most-likely more to come!

QUICK FACTS:

  • Sell only skincare
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Cruelty-free
  • Formulated without fragrance, essential oil, colorant
  • Wants to be a transparent company
  • Wants to #PressReset on your skincare routine and all the noise from the beauty industry
  • Create products that considers your skin’s health
  • Prioritize simplicity in their products while providing quality ingredients and care

A very suitable excerpt from their site:

“Skincare should be easy,
Skincare should be a stress-free zone,
Skincare should be a supplement to our lifestyle.
And most of all, skincare basics should be, basic.

It’s time to #pressreset.”

I also like how Krave Beauty just launches products at its own pace. These past couple of years the makeup market became extremely saturated (how many eyeshadow palettes do we need people!?), and now you see skincare getting lots of hype and making its rounds, especially on Instagram!


Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

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ABOUT

PRICE: $16 USD
AMOUNT: 120ml / 4.05 fl oz
pH: 5.0 – 6.0
CLAIMS:
– An antioxidant cleanser that doesn’t mess up your skin barrier
– Lifting everything your skin doesn’t want while leaving what it needs—healthy pH, hydration, antioxidants and no irritation
– Matcha and hemp seeds are here to boost the skin’s intake of antioxidants and essential fatty acids
– Contains 40% matcha

INGREDIENTS

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

Matcha

One of the most antioxidant-dense sources on the planet. Basically, we thought it’d be awesome to splash matcha every day on our skin.

Hemp seed oil

HIGH in essential amino acids, HIGH in linoleic acid, oh yeah, it’s so HIGH-drating! Great for all skin types, even for oily skin peeps. Hemp seed oil has a natural antibacterial property that helps to relieve inflamed skin conditions.

Coco -betaine, Coco-glucoside, Decyl glucoside

A group of mild and gentle cleaning agents. These surfactants are less likely to compromise your skin barrier whereas harsh surfactants (like SLS) can strip away everything including your natural lipids. And these, you don’t want to surrender.

Vitamin B5 & Sodium PCA

Skin-barrier strengthening ingredients replenishing hydration.

Krave Beauty U.S. website

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST:
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Water, Glycerin, Coco-Betaine, Methyl Gluceth-10, Ethoxydiglycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Methylpropanediol, Sodium Chloride, Butoxydiglycol, Diglycerin, Glycereth-26, Xanthan Gum, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Diethoxydiglycol, Coco-Glucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Decyl Glucoside, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Butylene Glycol, Octanediol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium PCA, Disodium EDTA

COSDNA

Love that it has 40% Camellia Sinsesis Leaf Water in the formulation; For me, it makes it a standout cleanser and it’s unlike other ones I’ve tried. I’ve washed my face with green tea water before (literally steeped warm water for like, 5 mins and splashed my face for over a minute) and I find I achieve similar results of skin softness and evenness, only the Matcha-Hemp Hydrating Cleanser can actually perform as a great 2nd cleanse. Not sure why they didn’t highlight Oat Kernel Extract and Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, I personally think they’re worth mentioning about this cleanser!

EXPERIENCE

USAGE: Evening as 2nd cleanse.

SCENT: None!

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TEXTURE: One of the more interesting textures I have tried from a cleanser – A brown, chunky gel.

APPLICATION: From a pea to more than a nickel-size amount and lather on the face and neck.

FINISH: I keep my face slightly damp before going into my humectant products. However this cleanser does speed up water evaporation, and there were times when my face felt unpleasantly squeaky-clean.

INSTANT RESULTS: Face feels soft and hydrated after 1 minute of cleansing.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Overall skin hasn’t been compromised despite the quick drying feeling it brings. No breakouts, my reliable 2nd cleanse for removing even the heaviest of layers of makeup, face always looks even tone and bright.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON  THE MATCHA-HEMP HYDRATING CLEANSER

PROS:
– Base is 40% Camellia Sinesis Leaf Water
– Good size
– Fairly affordable considering the amount and how much you need to actually use

CONS:
– Dries my skin too fast, even when it’s damp


KALE-LALU-yAHA

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PRICE: $25 USD
AMOUNT: 200ml / 6.76 fl oz
TYPE OF EXFOLIANT: AHA – Glycolic Acid 5.25%
pH: 3.0 – 4.0
CLAIMS:
– Skin resurfacing exfoliator that kicks your dead skin cells to the curb
– Revealing youthful, healthier skin while also feeding it delicious antioxidants from dark, leafy greens
– Kiss good-bye to the appearance of discoloration, sun damage, and fine lines with regular use

INGREDIENTS

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

Glycolic Acid (Sugar cane derived) 5.25%

A real game changer in your skincare routine! Glycolic acid is an effective chemical exfoliant that gently resurfaces skin texture and prevents clogged pores. With regular use, this nudges your skin’s cellular turnover slowly, fading the appearance of hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and fine lines.

Dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, parsley)

A vital energy booster for the skin, the antioxidants packed in these greens are the best thing you can treat your skin with—and that’s why we call it Kale-lalu-yaha! Not just that, it’s also chock-full of vitamins and minerals too. What more could you ask for?

Aloe + Hyaluronic acid + Vitamin B5

These are all natural hydrators which replenish, hydrate and soothe skin. Once you apply, you’ll feel instant hydration, especially if you pair this with a moisturizer that locks down it all down.

Allantoin

Allantoin soothes skin while buffering any possible irritation from the chemical exfoliation process. This is an absolutely wonderful ingredient which brings both moisturizing and soothing relief to a sensitive, inflamed skin.

Krave Beauty U.S. website

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST:
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water
, Water, Butylene glycol, Brassica Oleracea Acephala Leaf (Kale) Extract, Glycolic acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Chlorella Minutissima Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit (Green apple) Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Betaine Salicylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil/Glucose/Yeast Extract Ferment Filtrate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Bacillus/Folic acid/Soybean ferment extract, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Malachite Extract, Polysorbate80, Disodium EDTA

COSDNA

I know you can only highlight so many good ingredients, but I’d like to point out this AHA  toner also has Chlorella and Green Apple extract as greens in this product. There’s also Glycerin, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), and Sodium Hyaluronate for moisturizing properties!

EXPERIENCE

USAGE: Evening. Started using it every other day. When I incorporated prescription-strength Differin, only 1-2x a week max.

SCENT: While first using it I didn’t smell anything. Now that I’ve opened it a handful of times, there’s a slight sour smell when you open the cap, but not on application.

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TEXTURE: Watery.

APPLICATION: Sometimes I use my hands to apply a couple of swigs. If I feel particularly congestted, I apply it to a Klairs cotton pad (compressed or sponge).

FINISH: Slightly moisturized.

INSTANT RESULTS: Skin looks smooth and even.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: No surprise that the moment I incorporated this into my nightly routine, my texture improved. I find Glycolic Acid is the most effective when tackling these haunting atrophic scars.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON KALE-LALU-yAHA

PROS:
– Base is Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water and not plain old water
– Improved my skin’s texture
– Not too irritating for my skin – I have used 8-10% AHA in the past, but now that I use a retinoid I’m happy for a lesser percentage.
– Non-drying – skin feels normal and sightly moisturized after use

CONS:
– Crystallizes at the dispense area

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:
The amount 5.25%; I’m an experienced chemical exfoliator user, so I could do with a higher percentage. On the other end, this is a fairly high amount if you consider it in the K-Beauty Market. Most of the chemical exfoliators in that market don’t go past 2%.


Beet the Sun SPF 47+ PA++++

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U.S. NAME: The Beet Shield
PRICE:
 $20 USD
AMOUNT: 50ml / 1.7oz
UV FILTERS:
– Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (Uvinul A Plus)
– BisEthylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (Tinosorb S)
– Polysilicone-15 (Parsol SLX)
CLAIMS:
– A gentle, antioxidant-rich day fluid that protects your skin from harsh environmental stressors
-A lightweight, non-white cast leaving formula
– Charged with beet root extract and antioxidants to fight against the free radicals so you don’t turn beet-red

INGREDIENTS

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

Beetroot extract

An underrated yet amazingly antioxidant-rich vegetable, the beetroot holds skin enhancing properties like preventing signs of aging, reducing pigmentation and blemishes and moisturization! A true underdog superfood.

Allantoin

Allantoin soothes skin and relieves skin irritation. This is an absolutely wonderful ingredient which brings both moisturizing and soothing relief to a sensitive, inflamed skin.

Vitamin C, Resveratrol, EGCG

This powerful tag team of antioxidants is proven to shield skin against external stressors and neutralize free radicals.

Krave Beauty U.S. website

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST:
Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Dibutyl Adipate, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Alcohol, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Glycerin,  Pentylene Glycol, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Polysilicone-15, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Methylpropanediol, Isohexadecane, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polysorbate 80, Lithospermum Erythrorhizon Root Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Butylene Glycol, Resveratrol

COSDNA

EXPERIENCE

USAGE: AM routine as the last step of skincare of course!

SCENT: None!

 

TEXTURE: Krave Beauty describes it perfectly – condensed milk! It also doesn’t feel sticky or greasy.

APPLICATION: I apply ~64% 1/4 tsp (I did a rough measurement of my face and I calculated this to be the amount needed to get the SPF and PA protection on my face).

 

FINISH: Shiny and moisturized. The shine eventually fades. No cast.

INSTANT RESULTS: Skin looks smooth and even, feels more moisturized.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Provides good sun protection. Face feels slightly dry after I use this with foundation. Foundation-free days I do not get this.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEET THE SUN SPF 47+ PA++++

PROS:
– The base may be just water, but I love the texture! *Cosmetic Elegance*
– Uses modern, photostable filters
– Despite Alcohol in the top 5 ingredients, it doesn’t dry my skin too much

CONS:
– Some days it stings my face (depending what I used the night before)
– I know this ingredient factors in formulation, but in my personal experience, using a product with Alcohol constantly (even in makeup) weakens my skin. I’m willing to purchase this SPF again, but I am wearing about what my skin would look like with consistent use. This is in a sunscreen rather than moisturizer foundation, so I hope this different formulation will not do the same thing

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:
– The amount 50ml is perfect as a travel-size SPF companion, but you’ll run out of this quickly if it’s your go to sun protection product. I wish they offered a larger size


FINAL THOUGHTS

krave-beauty-products

OVERALL PROS:
– Thoughtful formulations: first set of ingredients are actually key ingredients, and if you look at the ingredients list as a whole, there’s a lot of good stuff in it that look as if it makes up the bulk of the formulation.
– Affordable. Considering the quality of these products, I find the pricepoint very good, and you get a considerable amount for most of the products.
– Liah herself actually uses her products consistently. Sure it’s self promotion, but she DID want the formulas to work with her skin type as well. She’s also the public tester for her brand and we can see her skin’s progress.

OVERALL CONS:
– Not. Available. In. Canada. I wish they made it available in Toronto at least! Their U.S. facility is in New Jersey and we’re but a mere 6 hour drive away :3 We also sell SPF with Tinosorb in it so I’m sure it can get approved to be sold as an SPF here.

OVERALL IN-BETWEEN FEELS:
– Suited for MOST skin-types. Like I mentioned, the SPF was mositurizing at first but throughout the day my face dried if I wore foundation with it, and the cleanser leaves my skin feeling very dry if I don’t act fast with my humectants.
– You can make it work and you don’t have to alter your routine significantly when using these products.

I will make this clear: If I COULD purchase, I WOULD. I even want to try their new release, Great Barrier Relief! But alas, Canadians are always jipped, jipped I say!! I hope the Krave Beauty team offers international shipping soon, I know a lot of fellow skincare lovers want to try what they have to offer. Aside from that, if you are able to purchase Krave Beauty, I hope this review helped in solidifying your decision!

WHERE TO BUY:
U.S.: kravebeauty.com
SK: kravebeauty.co.kr

xo, M

WINTER 2019 EMPTIES

I should’ve had this post live back in March when it was the first day of “Spring”, but here we are! I completed my Roundup 2018 Series, and I thought for the year of 2019 I’ll section off my Empties and Current Favourites posts by season. Here are my first set of empties from January 1, 2019 – March 20, 2019!

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DISCLOSURE

Some products are PR samples, and are indicated down below. This post contains affiliate links. If you use this link to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use it! If you don’t feel comfortable, feel free to google a new link.


SKINCARE EMPTIES

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

Marcelle Gentle Makeup-Remover for Sensitive Eyes

Uriage Thermal Water

La Roche Posay Serozinc Purifying Mist

Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner (PR Sample)

Avene Skin Recovery Cream Riche

Weleda Almond Soothing Hand Cream (PR Sample)

Weleda Skin Food

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MAKEUP

Koji Dollywink Liquid Eyeliner

Saint Cosmetics Lucky Stiff Black Mascara (Discontinued)

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HAIRCARE

Acure Dry Shampoo (PR Sample)

Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo

Aveda Clove Color Conditioner

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo

Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Sea Salt Mini

Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste Mini

Christophe Robin Color Fixator Wheat Germ Mask


Hope you enjoyed the video!

xo, M

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #4: Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte-Finish Tinted Sunscreen PA++++

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ABOUT:

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“This mattifying fluid sunscreen combines potent antioxidants with a Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) complex to protect and strengthen skin’s moisture barrier against environmental aggressors. Formulated exclusively with mineral sunscreens: Zinc Oxid and Titanium Dioxide.”

ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • For all skin types
  • Tinted matte finish

Price: $33 CAD
Amount: 50ml

UV FILTERS:

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Type: Mineral
Titanium Dioxide: 7%
Zinc Oxide: 6%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 50, PA++++

INGREDIENTS:IMG_20190419_151809.jpg

Aqua/Water/Eau, Dimethicone, Isododecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Gluconolactone, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Alumina, Ammonium Hydroxide, Lactobionic Acid, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Phenethyl Benzoate, Nylon-12, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Sodium Citrate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Dipropylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Bisulfite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499)

CONSISTENCY: Liquidy

 

 


FRAGRANCE: No noticeable sent.

APPLICATION: Shake 15-30 seconds before applying. I use 64% of 1/4 tsp (will explain this in a future post). Feels greasy and spreads easily.

 

 


FINISH: Instant finish is is VERY shiny, and takes a while for it to eventually be matte.

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FEEL: Light. Slightly drying once it decides to dry down.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? Not all tints are created equal… In other words, your face is GREY! I gave it a second change and did a sheer application to see if it would match my skin tone. As you can see, it’s better, but still slightly grey, and mattifies quickly.

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WATER RESISTANT? Yes – 40 minutes.

SKIN BENEFITS?
There is PHA (lactobionic acid) and EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), making “Defend” in their name suitable along with the SPF. However, I still treat this solely as a product with sun protection benefits.

UNDER MAKEUP:
Just like other physical sunscreens reviewed, it grips onto my It Cosmetics CC Cream really well and mattifies it.

WHERE TO BUY:
Well.ca
Shopper Drug Mart

PROS:

  • Thin
  • Not chalky
  • Light feel
  • Evens out complexion and reduces pigment intensity around blemishs / marks
  • Lists both UVB and UVA protection level

CONS:

  • Grey cast
  • Greasy on application
  • Takes longer than 30 minutes to dry if you apply the necessary amount to get the SPF labelled
  • Literally same ingredients as the brand Exuviance but just a price difference, they could’ve changed it up a tad to justify this!
  • The package says “new advanced formula” but when I compared this INCI list to their “Target” green line sold in the U.S. (and Exuviance), it’s the same formula! Can someone confirm whether or not we had this formula (or sunscreen for that matter) in Canada prior?
    ss2-inci-lists

IN BETWEEN FEELS:

  • Mattifies CC cream

Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte-Finish Tinted Sunscreen PA++++ is disappointing. I was hoping this would be my go-to tinted physical sunscreen so I wouldn’t have to rely on foundation, but alas, the tint doesn’t change significantly for me.  This will be going to my younger cousin who is so fair and oily skinned, she can actually benefit from this SPF, its finish, and how it evens out the complexion for her also acne-prone skin.

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Sunscreen Sunday #2: CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #3: Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

SUNSCREEN WEEK:
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #1]: Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #3]: Boo Bamboo Natural Sunscreen Mini Spray SPF 30 (Regular and Baby & Kids)
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #4]: The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #5]: Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #6]: Riversol SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN WEEK [DAY #7]: La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50

REVIEW: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Masks

Glow Recipe is another online K-Beauty retailer, but they curate more indie brands that are not as known or easily accessible to those of us in the Western World! Think Make P:rem, Blithe, Huxley, Whamisa… Working in the Korean and American beauty market for so long, and having their own business, the founders Sarah and Christine curated their own line, Glow Recipe!

I first purchased the original Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser and Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, and eventually wanted to try their Jelly Sheet Mask! Since the Cleanser has been reformulated, I won’t be reviewing it * missed my chance *. If you would like to see a review on it despite it being the older formula, let me know in the comments! We’ll be focusing on the 2 Watermelon Masks I purchased from their line:
Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask

Why watermelon? I actually find it a very cute and sentimental reason. In the summertime during their childhood, their grandmothers would rub the rhine and flesh of fresh watermelon on their backs to soothe irritated, inflamed skin.  My grandmother never did anything like that, but she’d always prepare a copious amount of snacks for me and my cousins!

Quick Facts:
– Cruelty Free
– Formulated without synthetic dyes and mineral oils
– Good for all skin types
– Made in Korea


Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

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Price: $59 CAD, Mini $29 CAD
Amount: 2.7oz/80ml, Mini 1oz/30ml

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Description: “The Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a luxuriously bouncy, breathable sleeping mask that smoothes and perfects skin, overnight. This pillow-proof formula acts as a radiance-boosting hybrid hydrator, formulated with soothing, amino-acid rich Watermelon Extract, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, and pore refining AHAs that work while you sleep to gently exfoliate and clarify.” – Glow Recipe Website

Key Ingredients: Watermelon, Hyaluronic Acid, AHA

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Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Caulerpa Lentillifera (Seaweed) Extract, Simethicone, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit, Silica, Propanediol, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract , Paeonia Suffruticosa (Peony) Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Ipomoea Batatas (Sweet Potato) Root Extract, Betaine, Beta Glucan, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Fragrance

Usage: Bath time, 1-2 times every 2 weeks.

Texture: Slimey. You have to mix before applying because there is separation.

Fragrance: Artificial watermelon, like a candy or a popsicle.

Application: I use the spoon to apply dollops on my forehead, cheeks and neck. I had to be fast, the texture is slimey and slippy!

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Face with Sleeping Mask

Instant Results: Skin felt soft and smooth.

Long-Term Results: Don’t use it enough to know. I rely on higher strength chemical exfoliators for this purpose.

Where to purchase:
Sephora
Glow Recipe


Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask

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Price: $11 CAD
Amount: 1.17oz/33g

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Description: “This one-of-a-kind sheet mask gets its jelly texture from a blend of watermelon extract and natto gum. That’s right, it’s a sheet mask made out of watermelons that gives you all the benefits of the amino-acid rich fruit directly into the skin. The watermelon base gives the jelly a naturally translucent pink hue that’s almost invisible on the skin, meaning you can mask anywhere, anytime without anyone knowing what you’re up to. It’ll be our little secret.” – Glow Recipe Website

Key Ingredients: Watermelon, Hyaluronic Acid, Centella Asiatica

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Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit, Soy Amino Acids, Fructooligosaccharides, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Hyaluronic Acid, Natto Gum, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum, Glycerin, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa (Peony) Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Beta-Glucan, (-)-Alpha-Bisabolol, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Ipomoea Batatas (Sweet Potato) Root Extract, Fragrance.

USAGE: 10 minute one night stand.

Texture: Thin, jelly gel mask.

Fragrance: Artificial watermelon, like a candy or a popsicle.

Application: 2 pieces, apply top and bottom.

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Face with Jelly Mask

Instant-Results: Somehwat hydrating.

Where to purchase:
Sephora
Glow Recipe


Final Thoughts

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PROS:
One of the few Korean-inspired products with a decent-sized ingredient list. When Korean brands use plant extracts, the list is so insanely long and features a lot of exotic ingredients that I don’t even bother to check all of them. Glow Recipe’s list is actually readable.
Key ingredients are actually near the top of the list. Too many times I have seen Niacinamide, collagen, HA, and all the good stuff at the bottom of a 50+ long ingredient list. I never thought it would do anything significant for my skin. Watermelon is noticeably high on the GR INCI lists.
Texture – the Sleeping Mask has an interesting and fun texture, which adds to my enjoyment using the product.

CONS:
– Price – $59 For a sleeping mask that dries way too quickly for my skin, PLUS I have to use extra layers to feel a decent amount of hydration… Not worth it.
– Artificial fragrance – I don’t mind fragrance if it is somewhat natural smelling. The watermelon definitely smells like fake candy. It’s not overwhelming, but it takes away from a more enjoyable experience with the mask.
– This isn’t an attack solely on the Watermelon Glow Jelly Mask, but after trying multiple gel masks this one just continues to prove to me that gel masks are MEH. Not worth $11 When a $2 cotton-sheet has shown to be just as efficacious, if not more.
Jelly Mask in general is flimsy and I managed to puncture it a few times when trying to get it to adhere to my face.

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:
More suited for oily skin. I wouldn’t say these products can be for all skin types, I don’t feel like my skin is nourished enough, even when I applied extra layers. Having said that, they still somewhat performed, and someone with an oilier skin type may see better results.
Mild enough for sensitive skin or for those who have never used chemical exfoliants. I’m used to stronger chemical exfoliants, but I did notice my skin would look fairly smoother with the mask. I just feel like I have tried better, but for someone starting out, you may want to look into the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask.

I appreciate Glow Recipe, admire the founders, and generally like the products. I’m sort of interested in trying the Avocado Mask, but I don’t really have an urge to try anything further from the brand. Have you tried the Avocado Mask? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, M