Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CND - The Best Top Coat EVER!!!

There I was yet again, browsing with an itch to buy something as usual on a Monday afternoon. As I wander about the same aisle's I do everyday, a little blue box caught my eye. When I say I am at Winner's everyday, I am not joking. sadly, this is my work week life. I choose this over eating time and time again! The thing about Winner's is that you will always find something new each and every day, and today it was this blue box. $8.99, not bad....so I bought this new top coat that I had never heard of before. I liked the box!

Well I am not going to lie, the second I started brushing the polish on my nails, I realized this was the best darn top coat I have ever used! Yes, this beats China Glaze and Essie combined. It was the way the polish glided on my nail, although nice and shiny, it was just the right consistency. Then it occurred to me, the brush...the applicator, it was like a soft bunny! The brush was the softest most incredible thing! It glided like a dream on my nails. I never even considered how a brush could work so well. The bristles are a clearish white and just the right size. The polish itself was clearly unique. 

What more can I say? The polish could have been from a dollar store, the applicator would have made it a million dollar winner! I think you get the picture!!! Maybe it's the combination of applicator and polish that make it so great. The quality of the polish itself, very unique. It feels different when applying. If you get a chance to purchase this brand, seriously consider it. I hope to see more of this product, I can't be the only one to be raving about it! Have you heard of this brand? After looking at their website I see that this was and is for professional use. Let me know your experience!
I give this brand a 10/10

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Real Meaning of Green Cosmetics

Just because it says it's "green" doesn't mean it is. While we all know that most cosmetics found at the drug store contain many ingredients we wouldn't ingest, somehow we tend to forget that anything such as blush or lipstick may contain nasty things that seep into our bodies. More and more I find companies claiming "Green" and "All Natural", we can easily be tricked. Let's face it, if the colour is awesome,  I may sway towards a purchase no matter what, except of course testing on animals. There is no reason at this day and age for that, but I digress....Here is some handy knowledge to keep in mind if you want to ensure you buy green. 

Terms to Look For:

Contains no traces of these harsh chemicals. Parabens and phthalates are found in the ingredient list of a product, while PCBs can be found in the plastic of the product's container.

Organic certified
Through the National Organic Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates food ingredients found in cosmetics, and the Certified USDA Organic symbol is one of the most trustworthy labels around, especially on foods. But because the USDA only has jurisdiction over farm-raised ingredients, not all beauty product ingredients are regulated under this program, and there are more than enough ways to get confused. 

Not regulated: Plant-derived ingredients and essential oils.
Regulated: Ingredients like honey, cinnamon, avocado and other foods.

The term "organic," as it appears on beauty labels, has four variations.

100% Organic: The product must contain only organically produced food ingredients, and the label will display the USDA Organic seal.

Organic: The product must contain at least 95% organically produced food ingredients, and the label will display the USDA Organic seal.

Made with Organic Ingredients: The product must contain at least 70% organically produced food ingredients. While the front of the product can list up to three organic ingredients or one organic food group, the label will not have the USDA Organic seal. Individual ingredients on a product's ingredient list will be labeled as "organic".

Organic Ingredients: Products which contain less than 70% organically produced food ingredients can only include organic ingredients on its ingredients list, but these products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.
IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standard

In 2008, independent certification company Certech Registration Inc. introduced natural and organic certification for cosmetic products in North America.

The IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Certification requires that all food ingredients be organic and that the company follow a strict set of eco-friendly guidelines, including use of recycled and fair trade materials and production methods with small environmental impact. The first IOS Natural & Organic certified company, Eaurganic, launched in 2008.

BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics
The BDIH is an independent German certification association (Association of German Industries and Trading Firm) that regulates health care products, food supplements and personal hygiene products, including cosmetics.

To gain BDIH certification, brands must use natural – not synthetic – raw materials (plant oils, herbal extracts, essential oils, fats and waxes). The ecological impact of each product also plays an important role in certification. More than 2,000 natural cosmetics are certified BDIH in Europe and North America.

The biodynamic movement is holistic in its approach to farming and food production. No artificial fertilizers or pesticides are used. Instead, farmers seek to achieve a natural harmony with the earth through an acute awareness of how weather and climate patterns and elements of nature (like the sun, earth, and air) work together to create a harmonious balance.

Brands Weleda, Primavera, and Dr. Hauschka use biodynamic ingredients and are certified by the Demeter International Association.

Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal: Look for the premium Body Care seal on more than 1,200 products offered in the Whole Body section of your local Whole Foods store. Whole Foods regulates their own self-certification of cosmetic products that contain safe, gentle ingredients and are free from synthetic dyes and fragrances and harsh chemicals. Sunscreen is made with chemical-free alternatives zinc oxide and titanium oxide.Brands are capitalizing on consumer desire for organic and natural make up by writing green-friendly catch phrases into product descriptions. What originated as an industry for the improvement of your health now possesses imitators just looking for some extra revenue,  not the type of green you want companies to prioritize.

Be wary of this language:

Made with organic essential oils
Contains organic ingredients
Made with nontoxic ingredients
100 percent natural
Essentially non toxic (what does this really mean anyway???)
Environmentally safer
Hypoallergenic/Dermatologist Tested/Allergy Tested/Non-Irritating

All the above can be easily negotiated into meaning many things.....  

Language like "100 percent natural" and "made with organic essential oils" seem legitimate. The reality is that the United States Food & Drug Administration only regulates organic food products. That means that plant-derived ingredients are not certified organic by the USDA and may have been grown with chemical fertilizers, toxic pesticides and other harsh chemicals. (See an explanation for what 'organic' means on beauty labels.) It is extremely difficult to produce anything without insects causing some difficulty. I am reminded here of a teacher I had many years ago who always stated that when grocery shopping, choose the fruit and veggies with marks and imperfections, that means the toxic chemicals and pesticides didn't harm it as much as the perfect apples or lettuce for example.

Terms like "natural," "earth-friendly" and "nontoxic" are also not regulated, and companies are able to use these terms at will. It's up to the consumer to differentiate marketing from reality by refusing to buy products that use misleading claims.

Phrases that lead you believe the product is "allergy free" can be false. Pure, natural ingredients like avocado or honey can still irritate your skin, depending on the person. No matter the promise, be prudent and to do a simple patch test with a free sample before buying. Same for cosmetics using "vegan" ingredients: Sure, you may be using a product free from ingredients derived from animals, like milk, honey, and animal fats, but this claim doesn't necessarily guarantee the product is free of harsh chemicals. While it seems reassuring that the product may be "cruelty-free," claims of no-animal testing don't necessarily translate to safe and gentle ingredients.

Always check the ingredients list. Chances are that product touting "contains organic ingredients" has only one certified organic ingredient. The "100 percent natural" product can still contain suspect preservatives and parabens. And who knows what "environmentally safer" or "earth-friendly" even really means. The government doesn't regulate the use of those terms, so there's no standard definition. These claims are open to misleading marketing claims.

Think about the term "essentially nontoxic." Companies choose to focus on the few safe ingredients, neglecting to tell you about that other stuff. They might be taking your money in exchange for a supposedly "green" product that in contains a handful of safe ingredients mixed into some sort of cheap chemical cocktail.

One tricky thing about this list is that some very good products may include label claims using these terms. But they will also include reputable third-party certifications that back up vague marketing terms.

Now you have the knowledge to be confident in taking a stand and considering what companies are touting in their products! 

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Way to Go Loose Button - Do or Die

Well to my surprise, Loose Button has drastically changed their concept. No more monthly beauty box, no more First In Line....done, caput! I am not really clear on how much humming and hahing was done before the initiation of the new "seasons" beauty box, but rest assured the members are not impressed. The majority that is. My last e-mail about it went like this, "What's up with Loose Button? I just ordered the June box and cancelled my membership." This seems to be the reaction.

I think that for me personally, I love the excitement each month of getting a beauty box addressed to me. I get to unwrap it, read the card, you know the drill, wait for Canada post with anticipation. Check the status on my e-mail. The whole experience keeps me going until the next month. What will I do when I have to wait 3 months to get a box? I can't bare to think how I will spend my time! Thank goodness for Glymm and Glossy Box!

In case you are not up to speed, out of nowhere Loose Button clients received an e-mail outlining that the company was changing. We had a teeny weeny warning a week before via a Facebook picture. They call it a better experience, a box every three months with 7-8 items inside geared to the season. The first box will be in August and it will be for Autumn. I hate that! August I am still relishing in summer, using sun products, lounging by the pool. Doing summer things. I don't want to receive a box of Fall beauty items!!! Fall creeps up on us too fast as it is! The cost will now be $26 per box and if you were a  member and signed up for the new box, you wouldn't receive a June monthly box but your first seasonal box would be free. Thanks...great for telling me in June. I would have suggested to keep the June Box for all customers. You can't just announce the demise of the monthly box and do away with it in the same month! Now if you chose to not receive the seasonal box, you would receive a June box and your membership would then be terminated. From what I gather many people did just that. Well, anybody on the waiting list to get in? You will have that opportunity now if you still want to!

I will give this new Loose Button a chance, I would rather get a box every 3 months then no box at all. I also would have preferred to still get a June box also, but beggars can't be choosers.

Well Loose Button, only time will tell how successful the new endeavor is for you. I certainly wish you all the best!  I am not happy about this but you were my very first beauty box! It is technically all your fault that I have become a beauty box junkie.


My First Facial

I know, I know GlamGal, the self proclaimed beauty guru, lover of all things beautiful..... goddess of cosmetics has NEVER had a facial. Well up until today that is! I have to say that I was such a fool, getting a facial was one of the best things I could have done for my skin and this is definietely not the last. I guess I always thought that a facial was basically just having someone put a mask on my face and then rinse it off, maybe a little exfoliation too, big whoopie I thought. Boy was I wrong. Welcome to the millenium GlamGal! This was an 'experience' not just a facial and this is what a standard facial is:
I was not really thinking that my decolletes was included in a facial but it is. Amy, the lovely and friendly Spa Technician asked me all about my skin to decide on which product line of Dermalogica to use. We decided on the regular line of products except for the exfoliate which was a little stronger and included hydroxy acid.
Amy proceeded to remove all my make up, why did I even bother to go all out this morning? I suppose because I enjoy putting my make up on. It's always fun deciding which eye shadow colours to wear! Amy cleansed my face using a gentle brush. A spray of toner was then applied. Then the fun stuff, exfoliation! the product itself did all the work, there was no rubbing or scrubbing. Did you know that enzymes in the product are activated by water in the exfollient? The exfolient stayed on for a good ten minutes while Amy used a steamer machine which she placed perfectly so the hot steam was hitting my face. The steam was penetrating the skin and propelling the exfolient to do its job. Once that was done, Amy cleaned my face and decolletes using a warm towel. She then used a magnify lamp and took another good look at my skin. She found three little white heads and she removed them. She advised me that I had a few broken capillaries around my nose and eyebrow. I have small pores apparently! Now it gets even better, Amy then started a facial massage. She used firm movements and then gentle thumping with her fingers. It is important to stimulate the muscles in your face and get the blood flowing as well. It helps bring oxygen to the face and that wonderful glow we are all looking for. So just over ten minutes of this using various techniques was fabulous. She even worked around my neck to my shoulders. I almost fell asleep! Then a refreshing spritz of toner again which felt cool. We weren't done yet! Now it was time for the mask. Again it was applied with a soft brush and left on for ten minutes as well. Another clean with a hot towel and Amy then applied a moisturizing serum and sunscreen. One for my eyes and another for my face and decolletes. She also applied it to my lips.

The whole process was just under an hour. It was exuberating and refreshing. My skin felt so pampered and alive. Amy had mentioned another type of facial that was available, it is called the Oxygen Facial using the OxyJet machine. It injects oxygen and different types of serums under the skin rather than just on the surface. Sounds good! Maybe next time! Now I am hooked! I tipped Amy and made an appointment for next month!

If you have never spoilt yourself with a facial, now is the time. With spring in the air, I feel so refreshed as I walk to my car. What a nice treat. My skin will thank me and I feel confident in my stride, who needs foundation today? Not me! The cost for this luxury was a modest $40.00. Well worth the cost! 
Two thumbs up from GlamGal. XOXO

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Balm is the Bomb Baby! GlamGal Beauty Review

I have come across a very good product recently. The Balm, a company from California, very reminiscent of Benefit Cosmetics, has a great powder highlighter. They say it can be used as a highlighter, face shimmer powder and eye shadow. I would have to agree!  I purchased the face highlighter/eye shadow/shimmer for $19.99. To some people, this may not sound like a lot of cash, but for me to dish out twenty bucks means it must be good! I have spent some time now trying out all the latest in highlighters. It seems that this is a big trend for 2012. Most products on the market come by way of a liquid shimmer. The liquids they say are great to blend with a BB or a foundation but I have found that they just disappear on me and it was a pointless exercise, and waste of hard earned dough. I have tried the very pricey Benefit, Girl Meets Pearl and you would never know it was on my face, even alone I didn't like it as I didn't see the brightening or highlighting and it didn't conceal enough for my liking, mixed with foundation, you still couldn't tell. The Balm is awesome. I will put on my BB (I use Marcelle) and then my pressed face powder (using Korres) and then take my big fluffy face brush and highlight my cheekbones, above my eye brows and then down my nose and cupid's bow. The shimmer is just enough and not enough to look too done up. I find it somehow gives the illusion of a more tanned face...interesting!  I also tried the stuff on my eye lids but I prefer my glitter shadows that have more pigment. If I were to not wear any eye make up I would use it then but that will never happen!!!

Overall, The Balm highlighter worked well and has staying power. From 8am to 6pm unless it's a scorcher out and my face has melted, I do see the effects. If I use too much I can feel a coating on my face and it is not dry either, a real test to it's staying power...moisture!

I give this product 9/10.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Glossy Box May Edition

Welcome to the weekend everyone! I spent my Friday reviewing beauty boxes! That's ok, now I have a truckload of things to try and spoil myself with! I should have been at the Glossy Party in Montreal on Thursday, it looked like a blast. Did you see the huge Glossy Box on their Facebook page? I would have done anything to have a picture of me inside the box!!! I hope there will be some events closer to home.

If you still haven't signed up for Glossy Box, use Promo Code GLOSSY14 to receive 10% off your first box!! Go to Glossybox.ca

With that being said, here is my video of the unboxing.....enjoy!


Here are some pictures too....

Loose Button Luxebox Review May 2012

It's that time again! I apologize for the delay, life gets so crazy that there is no time for the fun stuff like doing a review of my Luxebox!
So without further adieu......here it is!


No time to watch the video? Check the pics below!

Divalicious Sample Box by Sweet Delight

I just heard about this box and decided to give it a try. $26 got me a heavy box filled with unique and curious companies promoting the likes of handmade soaps, body butters, jewellery and lip balms. The products are mainly from small companies that produce all natural beauty products. The box comes out every few months. You can join their site to receive notice of upcoming boxes!

Here are some pics of what I received. The site discloses more detail on the companies and products. This is just a taste. I am pleased with what I received. I feel that overall it was worth $26 which included delivery and tax. 

What do you think?