Looking for natural and organic skincare products? Check out Green & Pure!

20140325_183427

I was recently invited to check out Green & Pure, a green and organic skincare specialist store located inside Aberdeen Square (the new mall next to Aberdeen Centre and the Aberdeen skytrain station in Richmond). Green & Pure is a brick and mortar store, but also operates a website with online shopping options.

20140325_183519

Green & Pure specializes in all natural and organic skincare products. The brands they carry include:

  • Eminence
  • Tata Harper
  • ILIA
  • JINsoon
  • Evie
  • Kaia
  • Primavera
  • John Masters Organics, and more!

There are products for everyone – women of all ages, expecting mothers, men, and even babies!

The owners were all super knowledgeable about the products they stocked, and they were able to provide recommendations based on my skin type and the needs I described to them. They also left me alone while I sampled a few of the skincare items, giving me the time I need to choose the products most suited for me.

20140325_183206

In addition to selling products, Green & Pure is also offering facial treatments with Eminence, Tata Harper and Primavera products.

The store is very generous with samples, and you can play around with everything when you’re visiting in person. If you’re ordering online, they also provide samples with every order. They offer in-store pickups for all online orders as well.

20140325_183335

I was offered the opportunity to try some products from Evie, a Hong Kong-based brand which sources and manufactures products in Australia and Germany. I’m super impressed by the products; the prices aren’t too bad for the quality you get, and I’ve always believed that skin is definitely worth investing in because you only have one face. After a few weeks of using the Evie Amazingly Soothing Makeup Remover (a cleansing oil), I can already say with confidence that this is hands down, the best cleansing oil I have ever used. I’m comparing this to brands such as Shu Uemura (I’ve used three of their cleansing oils), Bobbi Brown, Dermalogica, Laura Mercier, and a handful of Japanese brands, and this wins with no contest.

I’ll be doing thorough reviews of the products in upcoming posts, so keep your eyes out for those! In the meantime, make sure to check out Green & Pure at their website!

20140325_183318
20140325_183343
20140325_183401
20140325_183414
20140325_183303
20140325_183248

BUNNIES! LUSH Cosmetics limited edition soaps and bath products for Easter

IMG_0016

I’ve recently developed a mini obsession with bunnies so LUSH Cosmetics’ limited edition Easter offerings couldn’t have come at a better time.

IMG_0026

Bunny bubble bar – Super skin softening bubble bar that creates creamy bubbles. Ingredients include shea butter, coconut oil and cornstarch to help create a denser bubble bar. You can actually split this in half to use twice, or use once for an extra special experience.

Carrot soap – Made with carrot oil and shea butter, this soap is probably one of the more moisturizing of LUSH soaps I’ve tried. Like all LUSH products, it makes my entire bathroom smell amazing!

IMG_0032

The Immaculate Eggception bath bomb – I absolutely LOVE the name play on this LUSH product. I just shows how awesome LUSH as a company really is. The “Eggception” part is a double-layer bath bomb – a small bath bomb buried within the big outer shell. You can hear the smaller one rattling on the inside when you shake it! Like Bunny bubble bar, you can use this twice, once with the outside shell and one with the mini bath bomb on the insider.

Golden Egg Bath Melt ballistic – Probably my least favourite of all of these bath products just because I don’t like a mess. The Golden Egg Bath Melt is a bath bomb coated in a gold glittery powder that comes off when you touch it. It melts completely once in water, but before it hits the water, it does create a bit of a mess. The good thing about this is that it’s scented with Honey, I washed the Kids, which is a warm and fuzzy scent, perfect for before bed, and also made with shea butter and olive oil, so that your skin is super soft and supple afterwards.

IMG_0037

Brightside bubble bar – One of my favourite products in this collection, the Brightside bubble bar is really bright! It’s created with a combination of energizing scents such as mandarin, tangerine, bergamot, and lemon. This is going to be joining the permanent range after Easter, so if you love it like I do, you can now get it all year round!

You can now purchase LUSH Cosmetics Easter offerings at your local LUSH store as well as online for a limited time only.

P.S. I was super happy to see that LUSH will soon be opening shop at Pacific Centre in Downtown Vancouver. This is their second location downtown, with the other one on Robson Street. I pass by Pacific Centre almost every day after work so the location is just perfect for me to get my LUSH fix!

Reviews: Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant & Pore No More Pore Refiner

IMG_9856

Dr. Brandt recently launched at London Drugs and I was sent a few products to try. Dr. Brandt is a celebrity dermatologist from Miami and New York. His skincare philosophy is to create a line of products that can:

  • Repair the signs of skin damage;
  • Maintain the most beautiful, youthful skin possible; and
  • Gracefully combat the signs of advancing age.

This was my first time trying Dr. Brandt products, and I was pleasantly surprised by them.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant

A winner of many awards and one of Dr. Brandt’s most popular products, the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant is an exfoliator with tiny, tiny physical exfoliators that helps clear your skin and pores. I’ve stopped using physical exfoliators for a long time and have been a long time user of chemical exfoliators (a current favourite is the Dermalogica Microfoliant) because I found it to be more gentle on the skin, but I really love the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant feels on my skin. It exfoliates and deep cleans my skin without stripping, and it leaves behind a wonderful cooling sensation that feels great in warmer temperatures. I also found that it helped my skincare products absorb better, which (hopefully) can help to maximize the benefits of the ingredients in those products.

The only thing is you have to be more careful about overexfoliating; the packaging explicitly says to wait at least 3 days between each use, and I use it every 5 days or so, just because my skin is a bit more sensitive to physical exfoliators.

The closest thing I’ve used to the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant is Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate and I definitely prefer Dr. Brandt’s version to Exfolikate. I like that the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant is more concentrated with exfoliating crystals than Exfolikate, and it’s not as heavily scented either. Price wise, the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant is $90 for 60mL while Exfolikate is $102 for 60mL, so the Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant wins in this regard as well.

Recommend? Yes!

You can get Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant at London Drugs locations across Canada, as well as online.

Ingredients: Water, Alumina, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-12 Glyceryl Distearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Fragrance, Menthone Glycerin Acetal, Allantoin, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Oxide, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Citral, Limonene.

Dr. Brandt Pore No More Pore Refiner

The Pore No More Pore Refiner is a silicone-based primer designed to be used as the last step to your skincare regime and underneath your makeup. The texture of this primer is very refined, and while it is silicone-based, it is super light, smooth, and applies very easily on the skin. It has a bit of an orange tint, which I found just slightly helps to warm up the skin.

While I liked how light this primer was, I didn’t find that it covered my pores as well as other similar primers. It also didn’t help to extend the wear time of my foundation (tried this with Make Up For Ever HD foundation and Guerlain Parure Extreme), or prevent my foundation from oxidizing on me. It is also quite expensive at $55 for 30mL of product.

Recommend? Unfortunately, not. There are other primers out there that perform much better in terms of pore coverage, extending foundation wear time and preventing oxidization, all for a lower price too.

You can get Dr. Brandt’s Pore No More Pore Refiner at London Drugs locations across Canada, as well as online.

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Lauryl Peg/Ppg-18/18 Methicone, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Magnesium Silicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Dimethyl Oxobenzo Dioxasilane, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Caprylyl Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499).

IMG_9844

Out of convenience: a lazy person’s skincare routine

I would have to say that I have a pretty complicated skincare routine, especially for someone in their mid-20s. I’ve always loved layering my skincare products but there are some days when I just get lazy (or when I’m just too tired to go through my entire routine) and so I have my lazy person’s routine. This type of routine is actually perfect for when you are out camping as well, or when you’re sleeping over someone’s house and don’t want to haul your entire 8-step regime with you.

L’Oreal Paris Sublime Soft Gentle Micellar Solution

IMG_9622

Alternative is Marcelle Essentials Gentle Cleansing Water

This no-water-required cleansing formula is great for taking off basic makeup or sunscreen. When you use it with a cotton pad, it exfoliates, cleanses and tones at the same time, making it great for those times when you either don’t have ready access to lots of water (i.e. when you’re out camping) or when you just want to swipe and go. The L’Oreal Paris formula is comparable to other micellar cleansing waters, but I find it doesn’t remove heavy waterproof makeup.

Ingredients:

IMG_9625

Jouviance Rejuvenating Anti-Aging Cream (3-in-1 Day, Night and Eye Contour)

This is my ultimate lazy face cream. I don’t even use a serum underneath because it provides fantastic hydration without feeling heavy or sticky, and also absorbs quickly. I use two pumps of this and just smoosh it all over my face, including the eye contour area. Sometimes I might take the extra step to apply the eye serum underneath, but most of the time I don’t. If you’re looking for an all-purpose face cream for both night and day, this is one perfect. The formula I have is for combination/oily skin, but so far I find it is working well on dehydrated and normal skin as well.

Price: $93.50 for 50mL from London Drugs

Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Isocetyl Stearate, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ceramide 3 (synthetic), Ceramide 6 (synthetic), Ceramide 2 (synthetic), Sodium Hyaluronate (synthetic), PEG-8 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Steareth-2, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Steareth-20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Biotin.

Optional: Jouviance Revitalizing Eye Serum

Like I mentioned above, I may or may not use this eye serum underneath the cream, depending on if I’m feeling extra lazy, or just kind of lazy that day. This eye serum is very light, absorbs quickly, and can be used alone or underneath the Jouviance cream. I love that it comes in a vacuum pump packaging for hygiene purposes, and also to preserve the quality of the serum over time. I haven’t noticed any reduction of fine lines or wrinkles, but I do feel that my eyes feel more rested over time.

Price: $40 for 15mL from London Drugs

Ingredients: Aqua, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Jojoba Esters, Ethyl Macadamiate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Butylene Glycol, Trehalose, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Caffeine, Escin, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Steareth-20, Chrysin, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Xanthan Gum, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Malic Acid, Digluconate Chlorhexidine, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate.

Do you use a different skincare regime for when you’re feeling lazy or tired?

IMG_7707
IMG_7712
IMG_7727
IMG_7703

Review: L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy hair system – Oil Infused Self-Heating Hot Oil, Deep Recovery Mask & Perfecting Oil-Essence (part 2)

This is part 2 of my L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy hair system review. You can check out part 1 here.

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Self-Heating Hot Oil

IMG_9615

This is my second favourite product in this line. I’ve been obsessed with VO5 hot oils before but I always found it a hassle that I had to pre-heat it, and to the right temperature otherwise it would either not be warm enough to absorb or would burn my fingers. This self-heating hot oil is the perfect once-a-week hair treatment. It heats up to the perfect temperature once it comes in contact with water, hydrates and smooths out my hair, and rinses out completely with no residue. Each ampoule is one application, and it’s great for travelling (hello, beach vacations!) as well because you just have to bring one ampoule with you instead of the entire tub of hair mask.

Recommended? Yes!

Ingredients:

IMG_9618

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Deep Recovery Mask

loreal oleo

This is my favourite product in this line! It actually replaces the conditioner for me as a hair conditioner. I take a scoop of this in my palm after I shampoo my hair, and massage it in from below my ears to the ends of my hair. It absorbs really well, hydrates, smooths, de-tangles, and washes out with no residue. It smells amazing as well, like the rest of the line.

Recommended? Yes!

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Perfecting Oil-Essence

IMG_9602

I am a big fan of L’Oreal Paris’s leave-in hair oils; my favourite one is the EverSleek Precious Oil Treatment which smells amazing and leaves my hair oh so soft. The OleoTherapy oil is a much thinner consistency compared to the EverSleek oil, and I find that I have to use 2-3 pumps of it to get the same outcome as 1-2 pumps of the EverSleek oil. While it is hydrating, it’s much lighter and my hair isn’t 100% smoothed out. If you want to de-tangle and de-frizz without sacrificing any volume, you would like this lighter hair oil. EverSleek does tend to weigh down hair a bit more.

Recommended? Yes, if you have normal hair or if you need to de-tangle and de-frizz but still want volume.

Ingredients:

IMG_9606

Final thoughts: I had varying thoughts about the products in this line. While I absolutely loved some (the hair mask and leave-in hair oil), I really didn’t love others (the conditioner). Overall, I’m happy to see haircare going in the right direct – less silicones, less sulfates, more natural essential oils. Hopefully we’ll see more products like this in stores!

You can find L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy products at your local drugstore, such as London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, Target and more.