Level Naturals Coffee + Sugar Body Polish Review

Some coffee scrubs can be really abrasive, even some sugar scrubs can be a bit much. This body polish is a good mix both of exfoliating and moisturizing.

Since this is an item that you will be using while trapped in the shower, the scent had better be pretty pleasant. The smell of this body polish is satisfying. Well, I say this as a coffee lover, but I think even people that don’t like how coffee tastes can agree it smells really good. There is also a sweetness that isn’t too powerful, but definitely present, like a hint of vanilla.

Aside from the smell the second thing I noticed was the firmness and density of the product. You will most likely need a spoon or paddle to scoop it out. Even after being kept in the shower in the heat it didn’t soften it any. The plus to this is that a little bit goes a long way and you won’t have the case of grabbing too much and wasting. It takes you actively scrubbing it in to get it to melt down. I would definitely rather have this than the similar products that have a scoop of sugar swimming in oil.

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As summer is approaching, I am fairly tired of coming out of the shower and immediately having to moisturize, let’s face it, we’ve been doing that all winter. Often enough I will end up skipping that step in the warmer months, but I can’t get away with that forever. I still need something on my skin or it will get a little dry, even with nicer weather on my side. Probably the friendliest aspect of this body polish is that it stays with you after the shower. You can really feel the shea butter, coconut oil and other oils doing their job. It’s like a built in moisturizer. You’ll notice after you get out of the shower there is a luminosity to your skin. It’s the look right after you use a body lotion.

This polish covers all the bases as it is gluten free, cruelty free and vegan. To close this review out I will end with what I started with, there is harmony in this product. You get moisture, exfoliation and a pleasant smell.

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Biossance 100% Squalane/ Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil Review

When I first heard about squalane it was in aesthetics school. It stood out in my mind as one of the stranger ingredients we learned about because most squalane is derived from shark, more specifically the shark liver. Pretty gross, but then a lot of strange stuff is marketed all in the name of beauty. Previously I would have never considered trying squalane, but then I was doing some research and I found the brand Biossance which uses squalane formulated from sugarcane and it definitely peaked my interest. Thankfully they had free samples of both their 100% Squalane Oil & their Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. I had to try it.

The 100% Squalane can be used on hair, skin and nails. The first thing I noticed was the consistency was unlike any oil I had used before. It was extremely light and pretty much scentless. I liked the weightlessness of the oil. When I applied it to my skin it blended beautifully and gave my skin a healthy shimmer rather than an oily appearance. I put it all over my hands including my nails. I noticed a definite difference in my nails, they were moisturized and smooth even after taking nail polish off which usually leaves them dry. I generally wait a few days in between doing my nails to let them breathe, but after using the oil on them I feel like I could do them back to back without a problem.

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The Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil had a lovely pure rose smell. Initially I couldn’t put my finger on what happened when I applied the oil to my face, but it made my face almost “bouncy?” What I was experiencing was the firming/smoothing effect it has on the skin. I hadn’t come across a product that worked that effectively and quickly. As mentioned with the 100% Squalane it was extremely lightweight and my skin ate it up, it was really unique to use an oil that didn’t have an oily feel to it.

Overall I loved both products, I’m partial to the oil with the Vitamin C and rose oil, but it could be because of the smell. I love that Biossance uses sugarcane as a nice alternative and gives everyone a chance to try before buying, especially those who have never used squalane before. I definitely plan on getting the full sized oils next time.

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La Bella Donna Makeup Line Review

Recently I had the pleasure of working using the natural makeup line La Bella Donna. While working I thought that I had to share this gem.

This is the only makeup line that I had seen claim that wearing their makeup was better than wearing nothing. Now that’s a first!

First a quick few facts about La Bella Donna before I get into the review.

  • LBD is safe for pregnant women and those with immune deficiency diseases
  • LBD has no chemicals, parabens or additives
  • The minerals in LBD have the ability to heal a number of skin conditions such as acne, melasma, eczema
  • LBD will not clog pores and is suitable for all ages

What impressed me the most was the way people’s skin seemed to like the foundation (both powder and liquid) it complimented a variety of skin types and textures. I could put it over acne, dry skin, oily skin, sagging skin and it transformed the skin into an airbrushed canvas for me to continue on. The only negative was the limited shades the liquid foundation came in, which I have to admit is not something unique to La Bella Donna. The coverage that you can achieve through their foundation alone or with concealer is remarkable. The best part was many people said they felt like they didn’t have anything on and they didn’t look it either. It gives you that look of having just been on vacation or getting the perfect amount of sleep.

Most of the palettes can be used interchangeably. For example the contouring palette does not limit you to only using it for contouring. I know most contouring palettes “could” double as an eyeshadow palette, but LBD actually encourages this and intends for you to do this.

The pigments in all the products in the line are incredible. If you ever get to play around with any of the makeup you’ll experience that moment where you are able to swipe one finger over an eyeshadow or blush and get such an intense color. Something else nice is that it’s common for mineral makeup to come up powdery, but thankfully not with La Bella Donna.

Would you expect this kind of line to offer a liquid eyeliner? Well, they do and it has a beautifully shaped felt tip, another surprise! The pencil eyeliners won’t have you pushing hard or pulling on your eyelid to get the desired intensity. The mascara that LBD developed nourishes your lashes and it went on smoothly.

If you like variety with lip products you won’t be disappointed. There’s their version of a standard lipstick, “Baci Baci” which is a moisturizing lip sheer, the regular lip sheer which is like a lipgloss, lip pencils and duo lip crayons.

Screenshot_20180117-182726.jpgAnyone with any sort of skin condition or allergic reaction to standard cosmetics should definitely consider LBD. If that doesn’t describe you and just want to find a more natural makeup line I would highly recommend La Bella Donna.

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Review: NYX Color Mascara

Originally I bought this with the idea of using it for Halloween, but truthfully I had been looking for a product like this. I like the idea of color mascara and not many brands offer it.

I had high hopes for this mascara. In my mind, I envisioned a bright lavender mascara that curled and lifted my lashes as well as it colored them. Although I’ll be specifically reviewing the purple color mascara, things like the brush, formula and price point won’t vary from color to color.

I think that it’s common for us to give a pass to colored mascara in areas we wouldn’t for regular mascara. Almost as if because it has some color to it, it doesn’t have to serve as well being a regular mascara and doing the things mascara does. There may be some truth to this, after all most people don’t buy colored mascara to lengthen their lashes, that’s not really the point. However when these functions don’t exist you realize you miss them.

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In the case of NYX’s colored mascara there was not much lengthening or curling to be had. It truly just served as something colorful to coat your eyelashes. The color itself was pretty good, I definitely liked the pastel purple as compared to the darker purples on the market. My only color related complaint was that the vibrancy did fade as time went on and it dried. Speaking of drying…it took a LONG time to dry. Even when it was seemingly dry it still felt tacky. During this tacky period my eyelashes stuck together every time I blinked. The smell of this mascara was really strong, most mascaras do not smell like anything that should go near your eyes if we are truthful, but this was that smell multiplied. The wand was the definition of nothing special. It was as straight as can be and resembled closest to a lipgloss applicator.

To put it simply this mascara left me with mixed feelings. I liked the color of it, but it was only temporarily the color that I wanted. The time it took to dry was definitely a downside. The good news is at only $7.00 I don’t feel like it was a mistake. I think having a colored mascara as a part of your makeup collection is a nice option to change things up and this product fills that spot.

New Favorite Drugstore Everyday Foundation

Foundation is more of what I’m calling it. Technically this product is considered a “tint”, so something more like a tinted moisturizer. However I think the applicator indicates it is to be used more like a foundation. I wouldn’t personally use this the same as I’d use a BB Cream.

The product I’m talking about is Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. Long ago I used to use Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. I liked that for a while, but eventually moved on to try other foundations. As far as drugstore goes I’d say Neutrogena overall is one of the best.

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I found samples of the Hydro Boost Tint in a magazine about a month ago and I couldn’t get over how smooth my face felt when I had it on; what’s better than that is when I washed it off I could still feel the same smoothness. It improves your skin’s texture through you wearing the makeup. I thought that was pretty amazing. I’m assuming that’s what they are talking about when they claim “moisturizes and plumps skin for 24 hours”. Supposedly there’s Hyaluronic acid in it, however it seems like Hyaluronic acid is in a lot of things these days and I wouldn’t buy something for that. A lot of companies know that that’s a buzzword and while it may include a small amount of Hyaluronic Acid it may be just enough so they can label it. That being said, whatever mix of ingredients with whatever percentage of Hyaluronic acid is in this product I do like it. It really moisturizes your skin and it definitely looks smoother and healthier.

Let’s talk coverage. This is where it starts to show that it’s a tint. It’s light to medium I’d say. You can apply a few coats, but definitely let it dry a bit between coats. I don’t mind it being on the lighter side, if it’s for everyday you won’t want something heavy, especially with the warmer months approaching.

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My number one complaint with this foundation/tint is the packaging. Once I opened it in the store I considered not buying it. It’s got a wand, something similar to a concealer wand except thicker. For concealer that’s great. You’ll be doing smaller, more precise areas, however I’d venture to say the majority of people will be wearing this product on their entire face. It’s not practical. I didn’t want to put the wand directly on my skin because even if your face is clean it’s not the most sanitary to stick the wand back in. However, painting my foundation brush with a wand just felt awkward and silly, not to mention that it took time to get enough product. The way this bottle is designed there’s a narrow tube that leads to the rest of the bottle so there’s no way of bending the wand to get additional foundation. 20170418_141347.jpgI should also mention this product is not runny or very liquidy, it’s closer to a whipped consistency, so you can’t shake or turn the bottle to get the product to come to you. What this boils down to is that you don’t have full access to the product which you’ve purchased. This isn’t a $40 bottle of foundation, it was $14.99, however if you pay for it I believe you should be able to use it to its entirety or at least as close to its entirety as possible. I think it was cheap of Neutrogena and unnecessary. For that reason I may not repurchase this, but I do love the formula.

 

 

My Dollar Shave Club Experience

There’s a post going around the internet on a woman who joined the Dollar Shave Club. I too joined, but I never thought to weigh in because I felt a bit funny since it’s mostly geared for men. I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one and I thought I’d tell you my experience using DSC.

*Before I get started, even though any sponsored posts on my blog will be clearly marked I wanted to go out of my way to say since it’s not a usual topic, that this is not sponsored by DSC. It’s just that good.

I’d seen ads for Dollar Shave Club all over. The name attracted me…anything involving “dollar” gives you the impression you’ll be saving money. Unfortunately there are a lot of bad razors out there. Really cheap, razorĀ lightweights on the market. I wouldn’t so much care if they were cheap and I’d use them and toss them out, but they also made shaving unpleasant. Thankfully I wouldn’t consider myself hairy, but sometimes I’d have to go over the same area a few times to get a good shave. We all can agree men’s razors are much better.

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Dollar Shave Club’s razors are even another step above. These things are a work of art. Shaving is totally painless, hairs don’t grab and get right down to the skin. There are a couple different kinds of razors (I got the 6 blade.) They allow you to try any of them for $1 for the first month.(FREE SHIPPING TOO) They send you 4 razors, that are to replaced every weeks, so you have a new razor for every week of the month. Since I’m not shaving a man’s beard everyday I definitely can stretch that and get a longer life out of them.

 

There are a lot of great products to try, but a few that I have tried are their famous Shave Butter( Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter) and Mint Cedarwood Body Cleanser (Wanderer Awakening Mint Cedarwood Body Cleanser) . I’m actually out of the full sized Shave Butter, but let me tell you a little bit about it. First off it has a very light smell, the consistency of conditioner and ingredients like Pacific Sea Algae to soothe your skin. There’s no comparison between that and your standard shaving cream or any shave butter I’ve tried. The Mint Cedarwood Body Cleanser I took a gamble on, I knew there was the possibility it could smell too masculine, but that’s what dads, brothers, and boyfriends are for, just give it to one of them. Luckily it smells refreshing and in my opinion it could definitely qualify as a unisex scent.It doesn’t dry my skin out and even though it’s scented it isn’t too harsh.

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I really love this company and being a part of the club. It removes having to coordinate the purchase of shaving items. You know you’ll be getting quality and it comes when you want it (you can adjust the frequency of your order) right to your doorstep. I wouldn’t say shaving is an activity I enjoy, but I’m the closest to that I’ve ever been.

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DSC’s February Publication

 

Review: Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash

You know that feeling when you washed your face with bar soap? (Hopefully you don’t) That tight, almost tacky feeling that leaves your skin not feeling like skin. That is what this product left my face feeling like.

It lathers well, it smells nice, but it really stripped my skin. After I wash my face with this it just has that feeling that there’s no oil or any sign of moisture. I’m reaching for the toner before I even finish washing. I do find that the stripping does cause breakouts for me because it just is too strong. Supposedly there is a cooling sensation this face wash is supposed to give off which I haven’t felt yet, but for me that’s not a huge drawback.

I found this kind of unusual considering the brand is for people that have really overtaxed skin that needs help. I also own the Pure Cloud Cream from Skyn which I can say is terrific.

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When you lather this face wash into the lovely lather I mentioned earlier it feels very smooth, a little thick, there’s a sheen to the product resembles a heavy duty hand soap.

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I’m already halfway through the tube so I’ll use the product up for the heck of it, but I don’t see my opinion of it changing.