6 Month Update: My Experience with The Ordinary Products (Part 2)

Hello, everyone! I’m still on vacation and I know I haven’t replied to your comments in my last few posts or commented on your posts, but I promise I will catch up soon! Today’s post is a continuation of my post from Tuesday, which is a review of a few products from The Ordinary. Today’s post will cover the following products:

100% Plant-Derived Squalane
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peel

The Ordinary Plant Derived Squalane

The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane

You may have heard of squalene, which is naturally occuring in our bodies. Squalane is a hydrogenized form of squalene, which makes it more stable so that it can have a longer shelf life that can used in skincare.

Unlike the rest of The Ordinary’s serums, the Squalane is packaged in a amber dropper bottle that protects the product from UV rays, which will oxidize the product.

Similar to HA, Squalane is a hydrator. While Hyaluronic Acid quenches the skin and gives it hydration, squalane keeps the hydration in. This was one of the products I was most excited to try – I’m a complete sucker for hydrating products, particularly when it’s an oil.  The squalane totally lived up to my expectations and was one of the standout products from The Ordinary. It IS greasy – it’s an oil, after all. But I like the consistency, which isn’t too thin but also not super thick like some facial oils are, and like many of The Ordinary’s products, it has no scent. I use about 3 drops every night as the final layer of my skincare routine, and in the morning my skin feels so soft and supple. Over the long term, I’d had significantly fewer issues with dry areas. I will for sure be repurchasing this.

The Plant-Derived Squalane retails at $7.90 for 30mL. It is gluten free, cruelty free, and does not contain silicones, oil, or alcohol.

Ingredients: Squalane

Repurchase? Yes


The Ordinary Niacinimide

The Ordinary Niacinamide

Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is an ingredient that has anti-inflammatory properties. It is supposed to solve a plethora of skincare issues, including reducing the appearance of blemishes, decreasing dullness/sallowness, reducing congestion, improving the skin barrier, reducing the appearance of pores, blurring fine lines, protecting against moisture loss, and regulating oil. It sounds like a miracle product! I don’t have oily skin nor do I have all of these skin problems, but I’ve heard that this product still works well for people with dry skin. I also wouldn’t be opposed to improving all of the above!

The niacinamide looks the same as the The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin and the HA 5%+ B5 – a clear serum. The consistency is also similar to both – quite thick and a little goopy, and is also unscented. I use it in my morning routine since I use Vitamin C at night and I’ve heard that niacinamide doesn’t play well with Vitamin C (there are opposing opinions out there, but I thought it might be best to keep it safe and not use them together). I first apply the Alpha Arbutin, then the Niacinamide on top, and then let it soak in for a few minutes before layering all of my other skincare on top of it. It doesn’t pill underneath other skincare or makeup products. After using this for six months, I feel like this product hasn’t done much for my skin. My skin hasn’t reacted negatively to the product, but I also haven’t seen marked improvement in dullness, pores, or fine lines because of it, either.

The Ordinary Niacinamide retails at $5.90 for 30mL. It is gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and does not contain alcohol, silicone, or oil.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Repurchase? No


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

According to the The Ordinary website, this is a more concentrated version of Alpha Arbutin compared to the standard 1% that one would typically find in skincare. Alpha Arbutin helps to fade hyperpigmentation and uneven spots, which has been a major problem I’m been trying to battle this year. The consistency of this is similar to the HA 5% + B5 and Niacinamide, which is a thick serum. Like the HA 5% and Niacinamide, it is also clear, and has no scent. I use this in the morning by applying 2 drops to the areas that have hyperpigmentation, then layer my other skincare on top. I have a lot of hyperpigmentation on my cheeks from prior breakouts, and I bought this for the sole purpose of fading them. The serum spreads easily, and doesn’t pill underneath other products. Since both Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C help to fade hyperpigmentation, I used this exclusively for a few months without the Vitamin C, and I feel like it does a fairly decent job in fading dark spots. It is a very, very slow process though, and I do feel like the Vitamin C is more potent and does a better job at fading dark spots compared with the Alpha Arbutin.

This retails at $8.90 for 30mL. It is gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and does not contain silicones or alcohol.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Repurchase? No


The Ordinary AHA and BHA Peel.jpg

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This one is the newest member of my TO collection. It was so kindly gifted to me by Stashy – back in June, we were talking about how it’s not available in Canada even though it’s made in Canada, and a few weeks later, I magically discovered this in my mailbox. Thank you again for being your regular thoughtful self, Stashy!

AHAs essentially loosen up the bonds that keep our skin cells together, allowing us to shed our dead skin cells and resurface “new” skin. BHAs work underneath the skin inside our pores, removing dirt and debris. The AHAs included in this solution are glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid, and the BHA, as always, refers to salicylic acid.

Honestly, this took a while for me to get used to using this product – it looks like I’m smearing blood all over my face (a sentiment that my husband echoed). After using it two or three times, I got used to it and the image stopped freaking me out. The texture is thin, but not watery, and it’s easy to spread across the face. Applying this product on my skin does tingle a little bit, but the tingling dies down after a minute or so – I was afraid this was going to burn, but the felling is really nothing compared to my experience with the Vitamin C suspension. It smells a little like wine to me – Stashy says the scent bothers her eyes, and while I’m not particularly a fan of the smell, I didn’t have any negative reaction to it.

This acid is very potent, so I really don’t like to mess around with it – I use it exactly as the instructions say: twice a week for 10 minutes each time, and then I rinse off with a warm washcloth. I’ve been having issues with closed comedones that won’t go away no matter what I do, and AHA is supposed to be able to help with them. Despite its potency, I haven’t really seen any dramatic results from this, which was surprising to me since the strength of the AHA is so strong. Keep in mind that I’ve only been using it for two months, and I believe that skincare requires time to see full results, but I feel like two months is long enough to at least something, you know?

The AHA 30% + BHA 2% retails for $7.20 for 30mL. It is gluten free, vegan, cruelty free, and does not contain silicones.

Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

The Ordinary AHA and BHA Peeling Mask.jpg

Repurchase? No


Overall, the products I’ve tried from The Ordinary were a bit hit or miss. My favourites are the 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, the Marine Hyaluronics, and the Vitamin C Suspension; the ones I didn’t like were the Hyaluronic Acid 5% and the Niacinamide, and the other two are somewhere in between.

Have you tried The Ordinary, and if so, which products did you like or dislike?


6 Month Update: My Experience with The Ordinary Products (Part 1)

The Ordinary is a brand that I’ve been wanting to try for the longest time, and I finally took the plunge back in March. After a few months of using a handful of their products, I’m finally doing a review of how some of their products worked for me. I have used the following from the brand, so please stay tuned if you’re interested in any of them:

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Marine Hyaluronics
Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
100% Plant Derived Squalane
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
AHA 30% + BHA 2%

Today I’ll be covering the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Marine Hyaluronics, and the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. Stay tuned if you want to hear about the other products, as I will be reviewing those on Thursday.

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Review: ColourPop Super Shock Shadows & Highlighters

Hi everyone! Over the last eight or nine months, I’ve started collecting a few ColourPop Super Shock products. I currently own six of their shadows and two of their highlighters, and today I’m doing a review of the shades I have. It’s tough to choose between everything that ColourPop has to offer, but I think that so far, the Super Shock products are one of my favourite products that I’ve tried from the brand. The formula is easy to use and the pigmentation is generally great (more details later on), not to mention the texture is quite interesting. Read on for more details!


I ordered these straight from the ColourPop website; the company offers free shipping for purchases over $30 USD within the United States, and for international customers like me, shipping is free for orders over $50 USD, otherwise you pay $9.99 USD for shipping. I did not have to pay customs for either of the orders.

The Super Shock Shadows retail for $5 USD and the Super Shock Cheeks retail for $8 USD. Both the shadows and the cheek products are made in the USA. The Super Shock products are supposed to be metallic and bold, with no creasing or fading.

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Makeup I’m Taking on Vacation

Hi everyone! After what seems like waiting forever, we’re finally leaving for our vacation in Japan tomorrow, so today I’m sharing with you the makeup and skincare I’m taking with me. I got eyelash extensions a few days ago so that I wouldn’t have to bring an eyelash curler, mascara, or eyeliner, so you won’t be seeing these three items in my makeup bag. Read on to see what I’m bringing!


I always used to save skincare samples to bring on vacation, but then I realized that using all-new products in an environment that my skin wasn’t used to was a recipe for disaster. For the past few vacations we’ve gone to, I’ve started bringing a condensed routine of my every day skincare, and my skin seems to have responded better to that.


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July-September Movies I’ve Watched

Hi everyone! Today is the third installment of my 50-movie challenge for 2018. Read on to see what I watched in the last three months!

Cars 3 – 4/5

I’m a big fan of Pixar movies, and I loved, loved, loved the first Cars movie back in the day. The second one I did not like at all, so I was pretty apprehensive about the third – sequels tend to get worse and worse, and I always feel like they should just quit while they’re ahead. I was actually pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this one – it had a lot of heart.

Bad Moms – 4/5

This movie was hilarious! It’s about three overworked and underappreciated moms that decide they’ve had enough and go wild. I really loved the cast – the moms had a lot of chemistry together. Even though it’s a chick flick, my husband enjoyed it, too.

How To Be Single – 4/5

I didn’t know much about this movie going into it and thought it might be one of those silly chick movies with no storyline, but it ended up being a very thoughtful movie. The characters learn that it’s okay to be happy about being single, to not be happy about being single, but also that it’s okay not be be single. I really liked the cast, how all of the story lines fit together, and the ending was really satisfying.

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Project Pan Volume #2 – Update 1

Happy Tuesday, everyone! For those of you in Canada and the US, I hope you had a good long weekend. Fall has always felt like a new beginning to me in some ways, because it’s a new school year. Even though I haven’t been in school for a long time, it still feels like that for me!

Today’s blog post is a update on my second Project Pan of the year, which I started in July. I felt like I totally failed on my Project Pan these last two months by not using the products as much as I should have, but I realized I used more than I thought once I started weighing the products. In the post where I introduce the items I selected for my Project Pan, I realized that I took photos in a way that aren’t very good for before/after comparisons, so I consciously tried to do a better job this time.

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Review: Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Palette

Hi everyone! Today’s post is a review on an oldie in the makeup world: the Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette. I’ve wanted this palette for years, but for some reason I always held off because I would end up getting sucked into buying another palette instead of this one. When Tarte was having a 25% off sale a few months ago, I finally decided to take the plunge.


The Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette is a 12-pan palette consisting of 3 shimmers and 9 mattes in shades of neutral. Each shade contains 0.053 oz of product. The palette uses the brand’s signature Amazonian Clay formula, which is supposed to be long-wearing and pigmented. It retails for $49 CAD, and can be purchased at Sephora and the Tarte website. It is made in the USA.

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