Finished Five

No reviews today, but I just wanted to share a quick little update about some products I’ve used up! I’ve done really well this past month or so I’m not purchasing new skincare products until I’m completely out of that item, so my massive hoard is slowly diminishing. I’ve been trying to use once-in-awhile products like masks more often, too. I find that they end up just sitting in my drawer because I don’t think I have time, or I feel the need to almost ration my fancy masks for a special occasion, even though if I wait for an occasion I’ll never use them and they will go bad. Sundays are my day off each weekend, so I usually mask Sunday nights while I’m cleaning or taking it easy at home.

I am forever torn between makeup minimalism and wanting a never-ending collection. I think I need to come to the compromise of having a minimalist for certain items (primer, setting spray, mascara, setting powder, and other necessities) and allowing myself to have a collection of certain items I genuinely enjoy being creative with and collecting (eyeshadows, for example). It’s taking me awhile to find the right balance, though!

Finished Five: Saje Bath Salts and Makeup Remover, Herbivore Body Oil, Okanagan Lavender Farm, and Christophe Robin Hair Mask

Hello, WordPress friends! I have been polishing off products at warp speed lately, which is excellent as I am soon to be drowning in even more skincare products with more skincare lines being introduced at my workplace. (Related side note: has anyone tried Vivier, and what are their thoughts on the brand overall? Any specific products for younger, oilier skin that were great?) I threw out a bunch of garbage, half-used products that never worked well, donated a bunch of unused makeup/sanitized skincare and makeup, books, clothing, and random household items to a local cat rescue’s garage sale, and I am feeling so much lighter. Although I’ve downsized my belongings greatly, I’m still continuing to go through everything and purge what doesn’t fit and doesn’t work, and make room for new things and breathing room. It’s been such a great feeling! And to add onto this spree of downsizing, the theme of today appears to be hydration and body care, so here are five more hydrating and healing empties that I will be clearing out:
image_123923953 (16)

  1. Name: Herbivore Citrine Glowing Hydration Body Oil
    Price: CAD $55.00
    Size: 4oz/118mL
    Certified Cruelty-Free by Leaping Bunny and PETA
    Noteworthy Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Rosehip Oil, Apricot Seed Oil, Capric Triglyceride, Neroli Oil, Orange Blossom Oil, Rose Absolute, Vitamin E Oil.
    The smell of this product is so whimsically sweet and summery that I likely used way more of it at a time than I should have. If you don’t want to smell like a sweet little Starburst however, I don’t recommend purchasing this product. I love that this product has rosehip oil, as it is so hydrating and protectant of the skin. BUT this product is pricey as all hell and did not last me a super long time. It could be because I live in a very dry climate, or that my legs are a kilometre long and I applied this to literally every safe area of my body, but I purchased this during the Sephora VIB sale on April 13th and used it up by the end of May. I likely could have made this last a little bit longer by being more conservative with my usage, but again, it is very dry here. If you want to splurge though, by all means go for it! It is a lovely little product.
    Would I repurchase? In the future, possibly. At the moment I’m still trying to use up other hydrating products, am a smidge on the broke side, and have a growing list of other high-end body care products I’d like to try out first.
  2. Name: Saje Bare Face Complete Makeup Remover
    Price: CAD $19.95
    Size: 6.8 fl oz/200 mL
    Cruelty-Free and “Natural”
    Less Than Noteworthy Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Lavender
    DO NOT PURCHASE. I’m still internally screaming at myself for purchasing this! What happened was when I still worked at Saje, the Bare Face Makeup Remover was a brand new product that we were really trying to hype up in the store. My coworker, bless her heart, had tried this product and had loved it and was just so happy with her skin, and attributed a recent bout of softer skin to this product, although I’m sure recent dietary changes, exercising more, and other really healthy, incredible steps she had taken in her life around that time should have taken more credit. Despite reading the ingredient list, despite knowing how horrendous coconut oil is for the face, I still took her advice and bought the product. Within two days this product broke me out. I stopped using it for awhile, tried using it again to see if it had been a fluke, and nope, another breakout. I repeated this product half a dozen times and still ended up with breakouts each time. I knew better, I just did not listen to my gut. I don’t recommend using coconut oil on your face ever, even as a makeup remover, but if you’re going to, you can get lavender coconut oil for way cheaper literally anywhere. Even aloe vera, another main ingredient, can be purchased for much cheaper in a much larger size at literally any health food store. Saje is very hit and miss–they have some really excellent, well-formulated products, and they have some really horrible, slapped-together-last-minute-by-research-and-design products, and this unfortunately is the latter.
    Will I repurchase? Hell no. I love myself more than that. In fact, I don’t recommend using the majority of their face products other than their eye cream and their herbal balm. Essential oils can be great in skincare if formulated the right way, but their facial products are not formulated well and cause a lot of sensitivity in even people who aren’t that sensitive. I’ve had very few allergic reactions in my lifetime but I have had a few to products like Saje’s Rose Renewal.
  3. Name: Saje Après Sport Bath Salts
    Price: CAD $24.95
    Size: 620g
    Cruelty-Free and “Natural”
    Noteworthy Ingredients: Eucalyptus, Epsom Salts, Rosemary.
    After I spent a good paragraph tearing Saje a new one, here is a product I really adore from Saje! My mom first got me into these bath salts, and she is the ultimate connoisseur of bath salts. This is a great soak for when you are aching and sore, coping with an injury, or if you work on your feet all day. You don’t need to pour in much, maybe a few capfuls, and I don’t recommend sitting in the tub for more than 30-45 minutes, as you can grow a bit numb with these salts. If you do want to wallow in the bath for hours on end, make sure someone is home to help haul your naked butt out of the tub if you get stuck! These were a life saver in dealing with a shoulder/back injury that has been plaguing me since the beginning of 2018.
    Will I repurchase again? Next payday I’m ordering these from Saje!
  4. Name: Okanagan Lavender Farm Hand Salve No. 32
    Price: CAD $16.95
    Size: 30g
    Cruelty-Free and “Natural”
    Only Two Ingredients: Fair Trade Shea Nut Butter and Pure Lavender Essential Oil
    Is this product super simplistic? Could you likely mix it together on your own? Yes and yes. But they have the perfect balance of lavender and shea, the lavender is good quality, Canadian-grown lavender, and this stuff works. Great for cuticles, cracked feet, elbows, or severely dehydrated skin. You only need a sliver of product to cover your entire hands, so this product lasted me nearly a year. It comes in a small tin that you can easily tuck into your purse or bag, and reuse to store odds and ends like bobby pins or earrings once used up. When I first purchased the product I thought the price was steep, but it lasted forever and I really enjoyed the aromatherapeutic benefits of the lavender, so I’m not complaining now. All of their products are small batch and hand crafted, and I have enjoyed every facial and body product I’ve purchased from Okanagan Lavender Farms. I mean I’m likely biased because I am obsessed with lavender, but if you’re a lavender fanatic as well, I think you’ll enjoy this.
    Will I repurchase? I think so!
  5. Name: Christophe Robin Regenerating Masque with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil
    Price and Size: Free Deluxe Sample 50mL Travel Size
    Cruelty-Free
    Noteworthy Ingredient: Prickly Pear Seed Oil
    This mask is beyond expensive and beyond bougie but it makes your hair so soft. I have thick, loose curls and find that my hair is often dehydrated from over-showering, living in a dry climate, and curling it with a curling wand. After the winter my hair was quite brittle and sad, and this helped get it back to feeling good. I caved and purchased the full size once this little guy ran out, but it does last a long time. You don’t need to use much, and you only need to use it once or twice a week at most. When my hair was longer I’d use a glob the size of two quarters, but now that I’ve chopped off some length I use about one quarter’s size.
    Would I repurchase? I technically already did!

Finished Five: My Impression of First Impressions, Glo-Minerals, Saje, ZO by Zein Obagi, Hylamide, and Kat Von D, and questionable ethics of skincare companies

I want to give a genuine opinion of a product once I know how it works on my skin type through and through, and that is why I’ve started waiting until I entirely finish a product before discussing it. Of course this doesn’t work for items like eyeshadow palettes or powder bronzers, because I don’t think I know anyone who has ever entirely hit pan on every single shade in an eyeshadow palette, but for just about everything else, it does. Particularly for items like skincare and foundation, it’s really essential to see how the product performs over time, especially when you’ve got oily, acne-prone skin like mine.

I understand that many bloggers and Youtubers like to do “First Impressions” because it lets their viewers and readers know that they’ve purchased a product and will be testing it out further, and also because it is easy and quick content to throw out there. I used to watch First Impressions videos back when they first became popular, but I never really understood the purpose of them. Having someone use a product once, or not even use it, but just swatch it, does nothing for me. I can do that online or in a store by simply looking at a product or poking it. If I really want an influencer’s opinion I want a hearty, meaty review. I want them to have used the product for weeks and know all of its strong-sides and weaknesses, I want them to know exactly how to utilize the product, I want wear-tests with different primers, I want before and afters when applicable. I want, well, actual content and an actual review. So while I understand why folks do create “First Impressions” content and can’t really blame them for doing so, First Impressions are of no use to me, so I will continue to review fully-finished and mostly-finished products when possible from here on out.

For myself as well, I’ve found that only reviewing (most) products after fully finishing them has been good for my own product consumption and my skin. If I know I can’t post a review until a product is fully finished, I’m more likely to focus in on that cleanser or toner or foundation and use it consistently until it is all gone. This is way better for my skin than jumping from product to product within a week, and confusing and stressing my skin. I still have a slightly excessive collection of skincare, but in using up products one at a time I’ve been able to rein in this hoard a fair bit.

Finally, here are my most recent Finished Five!

Recap of my skin type:
-Olive, oily, hormonal acne-prone (PCOS), mid-20’s
-White heads and blackheads, rarely have cystic acne
-Redness in T-zone
-Dry hands and legs

  1. Name: Saje carrot nourishing mango & shea body butter
    Price: CAD $24.95
    Size: 200mL/6.8 fl oz
    Cruelty-Free and “Natural”

    The carrot and patchouli scent of this product seems strange at first, but it changes once applied to the body and ends up smelling really great. I always seem to get compliments on how I smell when I wear this! It’s super thick, hydrating, and isn’t irritating unless you’re applying it over razor burn. I LOVE the product itself (and a decent portion of Saje’s other products as well), but I’ve got beef with the packaging of this product. You’ll notice in the picture above that my lid (shiny brown in colour) is different than the matte black lid displayed on the website. This is not only because Saje finally revamped the packaging of their body line (Great move, imo!), but because the original shiny lids were actually cutting people’s hands. I can vouch for this, as I got a lovely cut right along my palm from opening this, even though I knew about the dangers of the lid as I worked at a Saje at the time. I’m happy that Saje would give refunds for people who had been cut by the lid with no questions asked, but very unhappy that they continued to sell this product that was literally slicing open people’s palms instead of recalling it. Even after receiving the new, re-branded carrot body butters, stores were still told to sell through the old ones first. Not impressed by that! If you do decide to purchase this product make sure you go in-store and pick up one with the matte-black lid. I doubt that many stores still have the shiny-lidded versions in stock as it has been a few months since the rebranded products appeared online, but just in case, avoid the shiny-lidded ones at all costs.
    Will I repurchase? I’ve purchased two of these in the past, but there are other body moisturizers out there, and I’m on the fence about whether or not I will continue to purchase from Saje as I’m a little rattled by the company’s ethics and how they treat their employees (pressure to maintain a specific diet when working in the store, company culture tools and products that appropriate other cultures, etc.) Saje does a lot of great things, but in my my mind I’m grappling over whether or not these good things outweigh the bad things, for myself personally.
  2. Name: Deciem Hyladmide High-Efficiency Face Cleaner Balancing Face Cleaner and Makeup Remover
    Price: CAD $21.00
    Size: 120mL/4 fl oz
    This is about the fourth or fifth bottle of this cleanser I’ve gone through. It’s a strange gel consistency that gets somewhat milky as you lather it up, and it leaves a slight residue after you wash it off. I found with this cleanser that it didn’t strip my skin, and the residue can easily be wiped off with a towel. It’s an excellent makeup remover and can be used on eye makeup as well. HOWEVER, I do not support Brandon Truaxe (founder of Deciem) and what he has been publicly doing on Deciem’s Instagram accounts these past few months. I don’t want to go into detail about it here as I am not the best authority on this situation, but Truaxe fired a number of important members of the Deciem team who genuinely loved the company and were doing incredible things for the company and its social media. Truaxe then took over their Instagram account and has been posting painfully transparent and often aggressive content. Not only has he been tastelessly roasting customers in the comments section (which I am fine with regular people joking around and clapping back when people target them, but not with brand’s attacking their consumers, as it is unprofessional imo) but he has posted Anti-Semitic jokes and other harmful comments. I ethically do not feel okay supporting Deciem and its umbrella of brands (The Ordinary, NIOD, Hylamide, etc.) anymore. I’m not okay with Anti-Semitism, targeting customers, or taking over a company Instagram for your own personal, unprofessional joyride. This is unfortunate, because The Ordinary produces many affordable, incredible skincare products that are widely recommended in online skincare communities. I just don’t feel comfortable supporting Brandon Truaxe anymore though, and will not be repurchasing any products from Deciem as I use them up. We as consumers have the power to voice our concerns of ethics and what sort of behaviour we endorse with how and where we spend our money, and I think it is ever-so-incredibly important to remember that and practice that when we are able to.
    Will I repurchase? No.
  3. Name: Glo Minerals Pressed Base in Beige Dark
    Price: CAD $63.00
    Cruelty-Free
    Size: 9.9g/0.35 oz
    I have so much love for this pressed base. It’s the only powder foundation since high school that I’ve actually entirely hit pan on. It feels great, you can build it up to be foundation on its own or use it on your oily spots after liquid foundation. It just looks really smooth. If there is one thing you ever buy from Glo, buy the pressed base! It works well on my oily skin but also works well on the dry clients at my workplace.
    Will I repurchase? I already have! But in a shade more suitable for summer.
  4. Name: Zo Skin Health by Zein Obagi Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30
    Price: CAD $75.00
    Cruelty-Free (non-prescription ZO products are not tested on animals, apparently!)
    Size: 30mL/1 fl oz.
    Honestly it’s not a bad primer! While it’s not super mattifying or pore filling, it does a good job as a general primer and I like the added SPF 30 aspect (but keep in mind you would need to apply some sort of sunscreen over your makeup every 90 minutes after initial application to keep your skin genuinely protected). The one I used was not full-sized as it came in one of their older kits, it was half sized (15mL). The packaging is really sleek, especially with how the pump pops up when you twist the cap. However, the way the pump is positioned in relation to the cap makes getting product out a little difficult closer to the end. The product itself isn’t clear, it does appear to have a bit of a tint, but this tint did not show up on my olive toned skin. Overall I think the product is great, but the packaging could use a bit of improvement.
    Would I repurchase? At the moment I have a lot of other primer and sunscreen options I’d like to use up, but I could definitely see myself using this again in the future.
  5. Name: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II
    Price: CAD $24.00
    Size: 6.6mL/0.22 oz
    Cruelty-Free and Vegan
    I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. They’re not the most drying as liquid lipsticks come, but they are still a liquid lipstick at the end of the day and are still a fair bit drying. Lolita II is a lovely little terra cotta nude, and this was a favourite summer work shade for me for awhile. I only had a travel sized one (about half of the full size) and despite using it several times a week for a number of months I was not able to use it all up before it expired. If you do want this, I recommend getting the smaller Lolita duo rather than the full-sized full-priced Lolita II.
    Would I repurchase again? I’m not really feeling liquid lipsticks as of late, but I may eventually purchase it in lipstick bullet form when I reduce my lipstick hoard a bit.

Thanks for reading through this lengthier than normal Finished Five! Have you finished any products lately that you genuinely love or despise? I’m curious to hear what everyone is using.

Finished Five: OleHenriksen, TooFaced Melted Matte, Atelier Cologne, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Concealer, Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream

IMG_5144

  1. Name: Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub
    Price: CAD $34.00
    Size: 3 oz. 
    Cruelty-Free and Vegan
    For the longest time I loved this scrub. This is my second tube that I’ve used up, and I just love the satisfying feeling of scrubbing the heck out of my face. However, the more I look into exfoliating the more I realize that I’m probably doing a fair bit of damage with this physical scrub, as the walnut chunks vary in size and shape and may be causing micro-tears in my skin. However, if you really like physical scrubs, the smell of this is divine!
  2. Name: Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte in Queen B
    Price: $CAD 25.00
    Size: 0.4 oz/11.8mL
    Like any liquid lipstick out there, this one is a smidge drying, although nothing unbearable. This liquid lipstick will last all day no matter what the weather. I wore this formula for 14+ hours at Osheaga the week I purchased it, in hot, humid, sweaty conditions, and it still looked half decent by the end of the evening. This particular shade is a perfect, soft mauve, and I wore this to work nearly every day Summer 2015. I didn’t quite finish this tube, but after nearly three years (24 months past the suggested expiration period) the smell had changed and I figured I better toss it for sanitary reasons.
  3. Name: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Concealer in Light-Medium Neutral
    Price: $31.00
    Size: 0.34 oz/10mL
    This concealer is a very light, thin, liquidy formula. I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. It got the job done, although isn’t really ideal for oily skin. Medium coverage, felt light on my under eyes, didn’t break me out, and lasted about a year.
  4. Name: Atelier Cologne Clementine California Cologne Absolue
    Price: CAD $32.00 to CAD $225.00
    Size: Varies
    I received this scent as a deluxe sample and loved it so much that I ordered the actual product, and selected it as another sample when I ordered the full-sized product. It’s light and citrusy, and immediately reminds me of summertime, which is nice when you’re stuck in the midst of a miserable Saskatchewan winter. I’m a fan of each of Atelier Cologne’s scents, and have been hoarding their deluxe samples for years.
  5. Name: Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream
    Price: CAD $49.00
    Size: 0.47 oz/14.50mL
    Keeping in mind that I am a 23-year-old with minimal “anti-aging” eye area concerns, I really enjoyed this eye cream. It’s like rubbing a fluffy little baby cloud underneath your eyeballs, I swear to god. It kept my under eyes soft, happy, and hydrated, and that’s all I could ask for. Skyn Iceland’s tagline is “Solutions for Stressed Skin”, and I think that their products would be great for those living in Saskatchewan-esque climate as it seems really similar to Iceland’s climate from what I’ve read. We both have very harsh, drying winters in which maintaining hydrated, non-irritated skin is very difficult. I ordered a few more products from Skyn Iceland during the Sephora VIB sale and I’m looking forward to testing them out!

Finished Five: February 18, 2018

I just finished up a bunch of skincare! I’m really happy as I seem to have an ever growing skincare stash despite decluttering a little bit when I moved. I have such a short attention span–I need to learn to stick with products longer to see if they actually make a difference for my acne-prone skin. The fact that I get freebies and discounts on skincare from BOTH of my jobs certainly does not help, either!! Anywho, here are five products I actually managed to stick with until the bitter end.

IMG_4238

  1. Celazome Penetrating Body Lotion: This is the best lotion I’ve ever tried. And as someone who lives in the drier-than-hell Canadian prairies, I feel like that is a substantially helpful statement. I know it looks like something your grandma would have in her bathroom, but this stuff works. I would use it head to toe after every shower, and throughout the day at work after washing my hands, and it was a life saver. I feel bad gushing about Celazome products though, because they currently are not producing products. You see, the Celazome plant got hit by the hurricane that hit Florida this past summer, and they are working on re-sanitizing and re-building, to my knowledge. We sell this line at one of my workplaces and were told that the goal was to have the company back up and running in 1-2 years, but I’m unsure if that is still the timeline or if they will ever be back up and running. Fortunately my workplace stocked up on their products when they heard the unfortunate news, so I should be able to buy this for awhile!
  2. Celazome Balancing Botanical Cleanser: I don’t have anything bad to say about this cleanser. It gets the job done, and it doesn’t make my face feel oily or dry. I would definitely recommend it for combination skin in the winter if you are able to find it at any medical skincare centres near you!
  3. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist: One of my dear friends told me that this product was overhyped and not worth it, and yet I still had to try it out for myself. I could see why perhaps those with older and/or drier skin would like it, but for my oily to combination skin it did nothing other than make my face feel fresh for a brief period of time. As well, I chalk up at least some of the success of this product to the Tatcha PR team, as I’m sure this product worked well for some, but it didn’t deserve the ridiculous hype it received from the Youtube community. I do love Tatcha as a brand overall, but this product was not meant for my skintype.
  4. Let It Bee Toner: Let It Bee is a line of honey skincare made by Planet Bee in Vernon, British Columbia. I quite liked this toner! You receive a large amount for the price you pay, and it was excellent for my combination skin. I really enjoy products that have any sort of honey in them as they soothe my skin and scare away my recurring fungal acne problems.
  5. Let It Bee Clay Mask: I’ve tried many clay and charcoal masks, and this one is currently ranked #1 in my eyes. It soaks up my excess oil but doesn’t make my skin feel itchy or tight, and the honey is soothing and moisturizing. I would definitely recommend!

What skincare products have y’all finished lately? Any winter skincare hacks you’ve found useful as of late?