It’s a Beautiful Life Product Reviews

It’s a Beautiful Life Product Reviews

Good day beauties!  I hope you’ve been enjoying the magical weather this fine weekend (tomorrow 30 degrees celsius – can you believe?).

There have been so many new beauty products entering my life as of late – hard to keep up, so many to test – only one face!  As you may already know, I try my best to stick to all natural, organic, environmentally friendly options… and weigh them out on the toxicity scale (if you are what you eat, then what does that make your body when you’re absorbing ingredients without even realizing?).  More than ever, I’m finding that so many companies are making the switch to the gentler… but does that credit every single one of them?  Even using labels like organic doesn’t get you very far these days – consumers know better than to believe everything they’re reading.  It seems like “all natural” is being slapped on everything  (and if you weren’t already aware, most of the giants now own the small farm-based operations we’ve come to know and love).  Hopefully you’ll find my reviews helpful to leading a little-as-possible of a poison-free lifestyle…

Lush Mask of Magnaminty

Forever the Lush fan, in my minds eye, the company can do no wrong (yes, I admit to actually loving the ridiculous smell that follows you home after every trip inside their stores – thank god I don’t have allergies).  While their facial cleansers don’t usually do much for me, I’m a huge fan of their fresh face masks (refrigerated homemade-like treats that do the body good, especially in the morning when you need a refreshing wakeup call).  What to do though, when you walk in and find your regular missing from the mini fridge?

Turn to Magnaminty.

Now this product doesn’t have a toxicity rating (tragically, many products have never been entered into the database I currently check and base my ratings on), but if your skin isn’t too sensitive to aggressive all-natural herbs and ingredients, you’re usually the perfect candidate for Lush products (they have many vegan options too!).  The sales dude recommended this mask (that comes in a tub and never seems to run out), as an alternative to the blueberry and chocolate mixes I usually stock up on.  It was an automatic sell as soon as he mentioned peppermint.  If you’ve ever tried a great mint scrub or shampoo, then you know what I’m talking about (there isn’t a thing in the world more refreshing on a hot muggy day when a breath of wind catches your way).  This mask uses peppermint oil to make you sweat (gross, perhaps, but tell that to your deeply cleansed pores when all is said and done).  It hydrates, doesn’t provoke breakouts, cools the skin, and yes, gets those nasty blackheads out of your pores (please note – there is never any substitute for an amazing extraction facial, masks are only ever the in-betweens).  What’s more (and a personal favourite as far as brand philosophies go), is when you bring five empty black tubs back to the store (of any size), you’re rewarded with the fresh face mask of your choice (now how’s that for recycling?).

Lush Ocean Salt Scrub (in the header)

This scrub makes me feel like a Russian in a Turkish bath.  With a tangy and strong dose of vodka mixed in with sea salt, this frothy scrub is great for face and body alike.  Quite possibly the best antiseptic remedy when you’re breaking out (or the weather’s extra muggy), girls and boys love it alike.  It’s divine sting (and require for a good occasional stir), has made it both one of my must haves for every season, and general suggestion to any beauty lover who falls for a tougher scrub mix.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 Sunscreen

I’ve always been a diehard foundation user.  Loving the medium to heavy matte coverage as my rule of thumb base to any makeup look, it was hard to give in to the “natural” creamy effect a tint offers at first.  More than anything else, as a consumer, I always worried that something so lightweight in coverage wouldn’t really get the job done (I have scars to hide), forcing me right back where I started – weighing my options.  Thankfully I didn’t really have to take a gamble with this product.  The good folks at Kiehl’s here in Montreal put together a beautifully customized Christmas gift for me in December, including this now must-have of mine.  At first I started out using it only on shut-in days of work at home for more of a dressed up feel while slumming it.  When my skin began dramatically improving as a result, it transitioned to a day and night solution… and now, it’s my under powder alternative to foundation completely.  It feels like the “healthier” version of makeup somehow (similar to a great cream with added benefits), like I’m giving my skin something of worth in the effort to get ready during my days.  I love this product, recommend it to anyone who feels bare without a little coverage, feel like it’s fairly priced for how long it lasts (a little goes a very long way), and consider it a valuable staple in my skincare/makeup kit.  The fact that it has a built-in spf only adds to it’s value.  Please go out of your way to try it, I guarantee you’ll love it.

Erno Laszlo Total Skin Revitalizer

This is a simple and lightweight cream, the kind that’s perfect when you don’t want anything too heavy on your face, and need it to easily absorb.  I’m not sure if it has now been discontinued, or if it was a limited edition offer I picked up with a gift pack, but it’s name now suggests online that only it’s serum equivalent exists.  In any case, while I don’t find it particularly spectacular of a product, it is a great in-between, all round pleaser.  I’d recommend this to someone with combination to oily skin who still gets dry spells on a regular basis.  It’s consistency is gel-like without the sticky or tight feeling normally left after.  My verdict?  For the price, I’ve had better.  I feel like this is a very individual item – you either love it, or feel completely indifferent to it.

Calendula Cream

The all-healer.  If you don’t have a tube of this hanging around in your beauty cabinet, stock up!  Popular for healing cuts, burns, rashes, and extremely dry skin, it’s my go-to when dry spots or environmental harshness set in.  You know when you’ve successfully dried up an inflamed blemish, and you’re left with the parched patch it leaves behind (threatening to scar)?  This is when I goop it on and hit the hay.  When you wake up, not only has it kept the area moist and hydrated (lessening the chances of leaving a lasting mark), but you’ll find you’ll be able to wipe off a substantial amount of dead skin (gross, I know) with just a damp terry towel.  For best results, do this after a hot, steamy shower.  While it may take some time for the redness to go away (this is where I kick in doses of vitamin c serums to fade discoloration), your skin will appear smooth and fairly untouched under makeup.  Essential for first aid – beauty and regular.

Mario Badescu Drying Cream

Mario Badescu is where I go to get my skincare cheap thrills.  Not only does the brand have an amazing array of products, insight, and effective junkie-worthy cult classics, but it’s fairly inexpensive for the quality you’re getting, and they always load you up with free luxury samples at every checkout.  The drying cream was an experimental purchase.  I’ve been a huge fan and user of their celebrated drying lotion (the pink calamine concoction that has the world dabbing it on via Q-tip), but always wished for something a little more discreet (or even possible under makeup).  You’d be surprised how many times I’ve gotten knocks on my front door from postmen, doormen, or concierges inquiring about something technical, only to see my spotted face staring back (with some pretty horrific cases of bed head to match).  The drying cream heals and prevents existing and premature breakouts from getting any worse.  While it is thicker in texture, it can easily be worn over your regular moisturizer and blended in without notice.  It does not leave your skin chapped or red, and from experience thus far, actually rings true to it’s promise.  I don’t recommend pairing it with other acne zappers (we all know how easy it can be to go overboard and end up with a chapped face), but alone mixed into a hydrating regime – you’ve got it made (this is a spot treatment more than a facial moisturizer or base).  It’s also a great travel buddy.  I’ve hauled it along with me to fashion weeks (wherever they have been), and enjoyed it’s invisibility while on train, plane or automobile (I have the sample size, shown above).

Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil & Anti-Acne Serums

Serums can change the world of your skin.  If you need hydration, a potent blend of result-acheiving ingredients can make all the difference.  I swing from uber-moisterizing to anti-acne all the time in attempts to achieve my own personal blend of a healthy skin balance.  Rose is a gentle and hydrating extract (I love the face mists some companies carry containing it), and great for the sensitive skin spectrum.  I generally apply the heavier oils at night underneath my creams, allowing them to really sink in without pollution, stress, or makeup getting in their way.  Sometimes, when I feel dry but know that a breakout is on the brink of existence, I’ll mix in the two serums.  Never forget that your skin is ever-evolving and it’s needs change with your environmental, hormonal, and health consistencies (or lack thereof).

Kiehl’s Clearly Correcting Dark Spot Solutions

Another winner from Kiehl’s.  This serum made waves with me by really delivering the promised results.  The claims?

• In as little as 2 weeks, 55% of women clinically demonstrated a significant reduction in dark spot intensity.
• In 4 weeks, 69% of women clinically demonstrated a continued reduction in dark spots intensity and 73% of women showed a significant reduction in acne scarring.  Reduction in other skin discolorations was clinically evident among 69% of women. 
• In 8 weeks, 87% of women clinically demonstrated more uniform skin tone to deliver breakthrough clarity.
• With continued daily usage, Clearly Corrective helps to prevent the formation of future dark spots and other skin discolorations.

True.  True.  True.

If you have acne scarring, sun spots, or other discolourations, this $50 purchase will bring you a long way, and fast.  The problem with my skin is that it’s so fair that everything shows (and stays).  Albeit an oil, I was able to wear this serum during the day, and under makeup without it sliding around and giving shine.  The only devastating thing about this product is that I am already a few drops close to done… it kind of became an obsessive habit of application.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Liquid Soap – Hemp Tea Tree & Pure Castille

This body wash holds a distinctly addictive unisex smell that reels you into buying it (available at American Apparel & varying health food stores).  The creepy Scientology messages on the label are fun reads when bored in the bath, and the ingredients are quality.  Leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean (without being stripped), and doubles as a very foaming bubble bath.  Also available unscented, and in Lavender and Peppermint.

J’adore Dior

This scent has recaptured my senses and interest (and I refuse to believe it has anything to do with the still newish commercials featuring Charlize).  Somehow, it smells fresh and new all over again.  Of course the bottle is ever a gorgeous object of eye desire, perfect for dressing up your beauty armoire.  My dad brought this eau de parfum back for me from his cruise <3.

The Green Beaver Company Cilantro Mint Toothpaste

To be fully honest with you, I really dislike this toothpaste.  I thought I liked cilantro until I had to deal with an entire mouthful of it morning and night.  While the clean effect is dead on, the taste and enjoyment aspect is a tad off.  Just too much!  It’s fluoride free in any case, and a much better option than the world-beloved Crest alternatives out there (you’d be surprised as to how toxic some of the things we clean our teeth with are).

Gud by Burt’s Bees Natural Body Mist in Pearanormal Activity (hehe)

As fun as a summer alternative to perfume gets.  Great to throw in your bag, spritz all over after a bath or shower, and never feel self-concious about wearing too much.  The scent is lighthearted, and the line is the latest addition to the Burt’s Bees family – not entirely natural, but without parabens, petrochemicals, and phthalates.  I even love this as a room atomizer!

Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask

For over-acne-processed skin that needs some mending (the only product I have yet to try for myself)… what it does:

Control irritation and redness caused by acne. A great companion product to our Drying Mask that balances out redness and acne irritated skin. Non-hardening and effective for very sensitive or dry skin types with acne. Contains soothing Balsam Peru, a natural, anti-inflammatory ingredient. 

May be tonight’s remedy!

Yardley English Lavender Lotion & Yardley English Lavender Moisturizing Bar Soap

Yardley is an established brand in the English community (my family holding it amongst their personal favourites).  English lavender, similarly being one of the strongest smells I remember while visiting family in London (wild bushes grow at will), has become a loved scent of mine (especially when I suffered horribly from insomnia during my school years).  The aromatherapy it offers can soothe the anxiety and restlessness in anyone (sending them into the deepest sleeps).  I have always chosen lavender as a go-to scent when it comes to making my home feel like one, and the bar soaps are perfect touches when guests come over.  Of course I shared my finds with my mom (who is the master of loving lavender), and now keep the lotion by the side of my computer to relax my mood and cure my scaly skin when I’ve hit up too much coffee.  A beautiful, light, bohemian scent that will fill your head with clouds and comfort.

Assorted Organic Soaps

Shampoo & Conditioner, Tea Tree Oil, Cucumber and Calendula… there are so many “flavours” that I can never help but buy a few at a time when picking up supplies at the health food store.  You can never have too much soap, right?


Tags Posted under all natural beauty, cosmetics, fashionista finds, organic, product review, skincare, Uncategorized by

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