In October, I received an email from Good Molecules, asking me if I would like to try a few of their products. I’ve actually seen Good Molecules while shopping on Beautylish, and was intrigued by their low prices. I’m incredibly grateful to Good Molecules and Beautylish for providing me with the opportunity to try their products, but I still wanted to give everything an honest review, as always.
It’s taken me a long time to write this review for several reasons. Some skincare ingredients take longer than others to see results, and I wanted to test them out thoroughly instead of just throwing my review out there after two weeks of testing. I also received most of these products at the same time, and didn’t want to completely change up my skincare routine and cause my skin to freak out. I took my time slowly adding in these products into my routine to ensure that my skin would stay happy, so it’s taken some time for me to be able to use everything.
I told Good Molecules that my skincare concerns were dryness, texture, and hyperpigmentation, so the products that they sent me specifically target these issues. The products that I received and will be reviewing today are:
Niacinamide Brightening Toner
Cold-pressed Rosehip Oil
Ultra-Hydrating Facial Oil
Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer
Grab a drink, get cozy, and settle in, because this is going to be one long review. Continue reading to see what I think of these products!
Hello, my friends! After taking a break for several months on my Skincare Stories, I’m finally back at it today. Today’s installment is all about Vitamin C, a very important ingredient that should be a part of all of our skincare routines.
We all know that we need Vitamin C in our diets, and we mostly get it from our citrus fruits. However, this powerful antioxidant does just as much good on our skin as it does for our health! Continue on to read all about the benefits that Vitamin C gives to our skin, the different kinds of Vitamin C available on the market, and how to incorporate it into your routine!
Hello, beauties! Today, I’m sharing a review of the Glossier Balm Dotcoms. I bought my first one in 2018, but for some reason, I had it in my head that I wanted to collect all of the ones I was interested in before doing a review. I’ve finally collected the last one I’ve had my eye on, so I’m finally ready to review these now!
I find lip balm to be a particularly personal beauty product. Some people may find one to be their holy grail for moisturizing their lips, while the same balm may not work at all for other people. I have very dry lips, and I’m always looking for my next favourite lip balm to help soothe them!
Glossier actually classifies the Balm Dotcom as a lip balm and skin salve, but I believe most people wear it exclusively as a lip balm. They retail at $15 CAD each for 15mL, or you also have the option of buying them in a customized trio for $40 CAD, which saves you $5. At the time of this post, there are 8 Balm Dotcoms that have been released. They are made in the USA and are cruelty-free. Unfortunately, Glossier only ships to a select handful of countries, including the USA, Canada, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, and France.
Each of the balms have a slightly differing ingredients list, but the main ingredients are petrolatum, castor seed oil, beeswax, and cupuacu fruit extract. These emollients all have hydrating properties that help to keep the lips feeling soft and supple. People compare the Balm Dotcoms to Vaseline because the first ingredient is petrolatum, but I find that it has a different texture from Vaseline, which I will talk about later on.
Glossier is one of the most Instagram-worthy products on the market right now. Each tube is a different colour based on the scent, with various-coloured lids. Together, it makes for a very aesthetically-pleasing look when you have all of them together. The Birthday scent has my favourite packaging. I love the holographic-ness of it! Unlike most lip balm which have a slanted plastic applicator, this has a flat applicator, much like what you would see in a tube of lipstick or hand cream. I’ve owned other lip balms with this type of applicator, and I put up with it, but it’s not my favourite. The slanted applicators are just more comfortable to use.
One thing I don’t like about the packaging is that for some reason, it’s really difficult to get any product out of a new tube. With every single tube of Balm Dotcom I have owned, nothing comes out even when I squeeze the life out of it. Then at some point, I squeeze for so long that a big glob comes shooting out. Once you manage to use it for the first time, you won’t get this issue again – but it’s still kind of annoying to deal with.
As a reference, I use these in the daytime only, and I use the Laneige Lip Sleeping Balms at night. Before trying this, I had been a bit hesitant to try these because I heard they were just overpriced Vaseline in cute packaging, but I find the consistency to be very different to Vaseline. It’s thick and feels waxier than Vaseline, nor is it greasy and slippery like Vaseline. They have a matte finish with no shininess to them, which is a plus when I have dry, cracked lips – I find that shine tends to highlight the cracked areas. These actually sit well under lipsticks and don’t change the integrity of the lipstick, but I still probably would not recommend using them under matte lipsticks. I find that they last two to three hours on my lips when I don’t eat or drink, which is comparable to other lip balms I’ve used.
My hands have been super dry lately because I wash them so often, to the point where my skin was cracking in the webbed area between my fingers. I have been using the Rose, Coconut, and Mango balms as a skin salve in these areas, and it has relieved the dryness significantly. However, I wouldn’t use this all over the hands as it would be much too greasy.
I know Glossier says that these balms will give your lips a bit of a tint (except the clear shades), but honestly, all of these look clear on my pigmented lips. I just collect them for the scent!
I’m going to talk about each scent in more detail below, in the order I bought them.
Coconut Balm Dotcom:
This was the very first Balm Dotcom I purchased. Like the original Balm Dotcom, it is clear, but it is scented like coconuts instead of being unscented. The smell is unlike any coconut product I’ve ever owned; it doesn’t smell like the synthetic, sweet coconut scent we’re used to seeing in beauty products (not that I mind that scent…I love anything coconut). This one smells like…real coconuts, almost?
Rose Balm Dotcom:
The Rose Balm Dotcom was my next purchase, and I bought it at a time when I was super into rose scents. It’s definitely a recognizable rose scent, which you think would be a weird choice for a lip balm. Luckily, this doesn’t smell overly floral – it’s almost like a sweet rose scent that isn’t cloying. With that being said, this is probably my least favourite scent of the bunch, but scent is a very personal thing anyways. The Rose balm looks light pink in the tube, but I think it more or less translates as clear on the lips, even if you have a pale natural lip colour.
Mango Balm Dotcom:
I LOVE everything mango, so when they announced the release of this, I knew I had to have it in my life! Strangely, the consistency of this isn’t quite the same as the others. The oily ingredients in this tend to separate from the rest of the lip balm, so sometimes I will just get oil coming out of the tube. Other times, it has the same consistency as the other Balm Dotcoms. I’ve noticed that it hardens when it’s cold, and tends not to separate in the winter, but I don’t think there’s really anything I can do about this other than keeping it in the fridge in the summer (which will be a bit annoying). This has a peachy tint to it, but like the light pink of the Rose balm, I don’t think it would show up on most lips.
Birthday Balm Dotcom:
The Birthday balm has been on my wishlist since I first started hearing about the Balm Dotcoms – I was curious about it because I love birthday cake scents, but dislike glitter in my lip balms. This is a clear gloss with multi-coloured microglitters suspended in it. The scent is so nostalgic to me. It reminds me so much of the Bonne Bell Vanilla Frosting lip gloss I had as a kid, complete with the shimmer. The good thing about the shimmers is that they are not super chunky like I thought they would be, and they don’t feel gritty on the lips as the balm wears off, like a lot of glittery balms do. The bad thing is that sometimes I still find that they are left over on my lips after the balm fades, and tend to grativate toward my lip line.
Berry Balm Dotcom:
The Berry scent is the newest addition to the Balm Dotcom family, and I purchased this scent at the same time as the birthday balm, during Glossier’s Black Friday sale. I am obsessed with the scent of this, which smells like grape juice. The balm is purple, and is probably the most pigmented out of all the scents I own. I can’t see it on my pigmented lips, but I imagine that this will show a light tint on lips that have little natural colour.
Moisturizing, occlusive texture that is not too thick or waxy
Many different scents to choose from
Great for multi-purpose use
Wear time is short
As you can see, I don’t see many downsides to balm! I’ve used so many different lip balms over the years, and this has become one of my favourites. I know some people think these balms are too similar to Vaseline, but I definitely find them much better. What’s your favourite Balm Dotcom?
Hello, my friends! Today, I have a review of the Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb, a moisturizer I’ve been using for the last 6 months. Last year, Belif was a brand I had heard about on IG but never really looked into, until my friend Stashy brought this brand to the forefront when she told me this was one of her favourite products of 2018.
When I needed a new moisturizer in April, I was looking for one that would be light enough for summer, but still keep my dry skin hydrated and be moisturized enough for the fall and winter. As I was scrolling through the Sephora website looking for a moisturizer I might be interested in trying, I remembered what Stashy said about enjoying her Belif moisturizer, so I started doing some digging into the brand. It turns out that Belif is readily accessible at Sephora!
I hear a lot of people talking about the Aqua Bomb, which seems like a dupe for the hugely hyped Tatcha Water Cream (I haven’t tried either, but the textures seem similar to me). The Moisturizing Bomb is a thicker version of the Aqua Bomb, and I don’t hear quite as many people talking about it, but I knew that the thicker texture is something my dry skin would need. Now that I’ve been using it for six months and I’m almost out of the moisturizer, I’m ready to do a review!
Hello, my loves! Today’s post is a review of the Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate & Glow Dream Mask. When I first saw this mask on Instagram last year, I was SO INTRIGUED. It’s yellow and looks a bit like custard or lemon meringue, and the dessert-lover in me needed it in my life, haha! On a more serious note, I love overnight masks in general, and this looked very thick and hydrating, so naturally, me and my dry AF skin wanted to give it a try.
As a reference, I have dry skin all year round and suffer from the odd dry patches every so often. I don’t suffer from regular breakouts or acne, but have some uneven skin texture as well as hyperpigmentation.
“This creamy overnight mask is the ultimate hydrating radiance treatment. Powered by antioxidant-rich superberries, squalane, and vitamin C, this mask works throughout the night to revive dehydrated skin for a softer, more youthful-looking complexion by morning”.
The Superberry Dream Mask is an overnight mask that is meant to hydrate, plump, and brighten the complexion for all skin types. The ingredients work together to target dullness and brighten uneven skin tone, which results in radiant skin. It retails at $63 for 59 mL and can be found at Sephora, and the Youth to the People website. It is made in the USA.
This product is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free with recyclable packaging. It is free from ingredients such as dimethicone, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, and parabens, which means it has been given the “Clean at Sephora” seal at Sephora.
The star ingredients in this mask are:
Maqui berry, which is an antioxidant-rich ingredient that help prevent against oxidation
Vitamin C (in the form of THD ascorbate) for brightening and firming the skin
Squalane, hyaluronic acid, betaine, and glycerin, which are all hydrating ingredients for providing and locking in moisture
Since this is an overnight mask, you are supposed to apply a layer of this to freshly cleansed skin, and then keep it on until you wake up the next morning. For an added boost of moisture, I do use it this way, but I actually prefer to use this over my moisturizer in the evenings, to lock in the moisturizer. Whether or not I have moisturizer on underneath, my skin just drinks this up, and the mask is absorbed right into my skin. I haven’t had an issue with it rubbing off onto my pillowcase while I have it on during the night, either.
The Dream Mask has a light but creamy texture. It is rich without being super thick or goopy. I feel like the richer texture may be more suited for drier skin types, but if anyone with oily skin has used it and love it, please let me know! I really loved the way this made my skin felt. After I wash it off in the morning, my skin is so soft, smooth and plump. I really enjoy applying these in conjunction with acids (retinols, AHAs, Vitamin C) because it feels very soothing after using these stronger products on my skin.
Other than hydration, I don’t think this does a whole lot for my skin. I don’t really see any brightening or firming results, but to be honest, I have other lotions and potions (retinol and vitamin C serums) that I rely on to provide better results for those particular skin issues. The main concern I want my overnight masks to address is hydration, which this does in spades; however, it does claim to brighten and firm, so I don’t think it lives up to those claims.
The nice thing about this mask is that it comes with a spatula, so everything’s nice and hygienic, and you’re not digging your fingers into the jar. I love that more and more skincare products are including spatulas!
The Dream Mask has a very subtle fruity scent – nothing too sweet or fake. I don’t feel like it’s strong enough to bother anyone, but people whose skin is sensitive to scents may not enjoy this.
Makes skin feel soft and plump
Nice creamy, rich texture
Does not rub off onto my pillow at night
Spatula included for hygienic purposes
Scented (but is subtle)
Does not firm or brighten as it claims
This overnight mask makes my skin feel super soft and hydrated – I’m a huge fan! If you’re looking for something to help keep your skin feeling moisturized, this mask is a good one to have in your arsenal. Have you tried this mask, or anything from Youth to the People? What is your favourite overnight mask?
Hello, my beauties! Today’s post is another installment of my Skincare Stories series, and it’s all about sunscreen. Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, I thought that sunscreen would be the perfect topic to talk about next!
Sunscreen is an essential part in your morning skincare routine, but I’m willing to bet a lot of people aren’t as diligent with it as they are with other parts of their skincare routine! For my own personal experience, I got burnt from the sun once in my teens, and since then, I’ve always been careful about applying sunscreen while doing outdoor activities. However, I definitely slacked on the “wearing sunscreen every day” front until the last two or three years. We all hear that it’s important to wear sunscreen every day, regardless of whether it’s summer or winter, but a lot of us don’t know why, or how sunscreens even work. That’s what this post is all about!
WHY DO WE HAVE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN?
While we all love spending time in beautiful weather, being exposed to sunlight is not good for us. The ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun causes mutations in humans on a cellular level, which is how we end up with cases of skin cancer. UV rays will also cause your skin to age faster, which is something that beauty lovers like us spend tons of money on each year to prevent! UV rays break down collagen, resulting in fine lines and sagging skin, and it also increases melanin (dark pigments), which will develop into age spots. It’s easier to prevent this damage than it is to treat it; for those of us into beauty, you will end up spending thousands of dollars on skincare trying to reverse the signs of premature aging from sun damage, when using sunscreen could have prevented the aging in the first place.
WHAT IS SPF?
There are two different types of UV rays that cause damage to the skin, UVA and UVB. UVA is the culprit that causes premature aging, and UVB is what causes your skin to burn (think UVA = Aging, UVB = Burning). SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it protects your skin against these rays.
When you see sunscreens with a rating of SPF 10/30/50, this actually is a measure of the protection you get against sunburn from UVB rays. What about UVA rays? If you see a sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum”, it can protect against both UVA and UVB.
Many Asian brands use the UVA Protection Grade (PA) rating system to measure protection against UVA damage. The PA system ranges from PA+ (lowest level of protection) to PA++++ (highest level of protection); when you see this rating on the packaging along with your usual SPF rating, you know the sunscreen can protect against UVA as well UVB.
WHY WE NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY
You might think that you can put away the SPF once you hit September, and keep it hidden away until April, but sunscreen isn’t just for beachy vacays and festival days. Even during overcast winters, clouds aren’t fully able to protect us from the UV rays, which makes it very important to slather that sunscreen on year ’round.
I used to wear sunscreen only on days I knew I would be spending time outside, and not on an everyday basis. I hated the sticky texture and white cast it gave. My foundation always sat on top of the sunscreen, which gave me total cakeface. Overall, sunscreen was always a mess and I would try to avoid using it unless I was in full exposure to the sun for a longer period of time. Luckily, sunscreen formulas these days have advanced to the point where they have a consistency that more resembles moisturizers rather than the traditional sunscreen consistency. We’re going to talk about this next!
TYPES OF SUNSCREEN
There are two different types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. They each protect the skin from UV rays, but in different ways.
1. Chemical Sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens work by penetrating into your skin and actually allowing the UV rays to hit your skin, but it will convert the rays into heat, which are then released. Chemical sunscreens tend to have a lighter, more spreadable consistency, so they layer much better under makeup.
Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. It takes about 10-15 minutes for these ingredients to soak into your skin, so you will have to wait to go into the sun after applying chemical sunscreen.
I mentioned earlier that chemical sunscreens feel a lot nicer on the skin; however, they do come with some cons. Oxybenzone can be irritating to the skin, or can have a stinging sensation when you use it, which means it might not be a good choice for people with sensitive or dry skin. It is also more likely to clog your pores, which may make it unsuitable for blemish-prone skin.
Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have also been proven to be damaging to the environment, particularly when it comes to the bleaching of the coral reefs. Hawaii has actually decided to ban the sale of sunscreens with these two ingredients beginning in 2021 (water-resistant beach sunscreens only, and not daily use sunscreens). If you’re going into the ocean, please remember to use a reef-safe sunscreen!
2. Physical Sunscreens
When people think of traditional sunscreen with the white cast, and thick, sticky feel, they’re most likely thinking of physical sunscreens. This type of sunscreen sits on top of your skin, creating a barrier that bounces the UV rays off your skin. Physical sunscreens contain the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They are also the culprits that cause that white cast we all hate, because they are literally reflecting the rays off of your skin. Unlike chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens start protecting your skin the minute they are applied, because they simply sit on top of your skin and act as a shield against sunscreen – there is no time needed for it to absorb into the skin.
Why would anyone choose physical sunscreens over chemical, when chemical sunscreens feel and look so much better on the skin? Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are actually the only ingredients that are FDA-approved, so a lot of people feel like they are putting something on their skin that they know is safe. Physical sunscreens are actually less pore-clogging, and also less likely to cause irritation, which makes physical sunscreens a better choice for those with sensitive or blemish-prone skin. They also have no known effects on the environment, either.
A lot of people (including me, for the longest time!) think that a higher SPF means more protection, but that’s only true to a certain point. It’s all about the percentage of rays it lets in! SPF 10 can block 93% of the rays, SPF 30 can block 97%, SPF 50 can block 98%, and the benefits of anything over SPF 50 is negligible. As you can see, there’s not even a huge difference between the protection that SPF 30 and SPF 50 offer. From all of my research, it seems that most dermatologists think that either SPF 30 or 50 will work just fine.
How do we know how much sunscreen we need? I’ve heard that the golden rule is 1/4 tsp of sunscreen for the face, and a shot glass worth of sunscreen on the rest of your body. With that being said, these are simply guidelines, as our faces and bodies are all different sizes. For example, my husband, who is almost a foot taller than me, should obviously be using more sunscreen on his body than me.
To calculate how often you need to reapply sunscreen, some simple math is needed. You take the SPF factor of your sunscreen and multiply it by how long it takes for your skin to burn without any protection. For example, if you’re using an SPF 50 sunscreen and it takes you 10 minutes to burn, you will need to reapply after 500 minutes, or 8 hours (500/60).
With that being said, when I’m doing outdoor activities like hiking, or we’re just spending the day out and about enjoying the sun, I always make sure to reapply every 2-3 hours. The actives in sunscreen break down when exposed to sun, causing it to be less and less effective every hour. If you’re doing something outside that will cause you to get wet, whether it’s going into the pool, or just sweating from activities or heat, you must reapply afterwards. If you’re putting sunscreen on daily in the morning just to head to the office, and you spend the day indoors, my research has shown that you probably shouldn’t need to reapply during the day (or at least I personally don’t – please let me know if you think otherwise!).
HOW TO FIT SUNSCREEN INTO YOUR ROUTINE
On the face, sunscreen should be the last step of your skincare routine, after moisturizer but before makeup.
If you are relying on the sunscreen in your skincare or foundation, it’s better than no coverage, but it’s actually not enough. You probably need at least half a dozen pumps of foundation to fill 1/4 of a teaspoon, which is how much sunscreen you should be using every day. How much foundation do you usually use – 1, maybe 2 pumps? You will look crazy with 6 pumps of foundation on your face!
What is your favourite sunscreen, either for the face or body? I’m always looking for a good sunscreen!
Hi, everyone! Today’s post is another installment of my Skincare Stories series, and it’s all about double-cleansing.
A few weeks ago, I was shopping with a girlfriend, and she wanted to go into Shoppers Drug Mart to restock on some of her Neutrogena skincare products. While she was looking, she told me she had been having some issues with her skin and that she thought it was because her cleanser wasn’t removing her makeup properly.
My suggestion was that her skin might be needing an oil cleanser as a first step to remove her makeup first, and then go in with her regular cleanser afterwards. She ended up picking up the Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil, which is not a cleansing oil that I have used before, but it seems like a pretty standard cleansing oil. She texted me after a few days to tell me that she already found the extra step to be life-changing! This experience is the basis of today’s post: double-cleansing.
Hello, everyone! I’ve decided to start a new series called Skincare Stories that focuses around…you guessed it, skincare! Skincare can be quite daunting for a lot of people; everyone has a different skin types which respond differently to products, and everyone struggles with different skin issues, too. Sometimes, it’s really hard to figure out what each ingredient does, what type of products your skin needs, and what ingredients actually work, versus products that are just a gimmick or fad!
I’m no expert when it comes to skincare, but taking care of my skin is something that I do enjoy. I thought that starting a series all about it would really help to get some things cleared up (even for myself!) and to get some discussion going!
Some people might think that we buy all of these lotions and potions because we’re vain, and that skincare is a gimmick. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, AND it’s also the most visible. We take care of our hearts by going to the gym, and we take care of our livers by not binge-drinking. Why shouldn’t we be doing our best to take care of our skin by providing it with the ingredients it needs to keep it happy? Good skincare also doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, either. There is perfectly affordable skincare out there that works just as well, too!
Today’s post is all about the 10-step skincare routine. My friend recently asked me if I follow the 10-step skincare routine, and I told her that I actually don’t. If you haven’t heard of the the 10-step skincare routine, it comes from Korea and like all Korean beauty products, it has really taken off the last few years. Some steps are the same as the Western skincare regime, while some steps are new. The 10 steps are as follows:
Hi everyone! If you are a beauty lover, the Sephora website is probably a staple for you (if Sephora is available in your country). I used to get 80% of my products from Sephora, but since starting my blog, I have noticed companies getting better about shipping to Canada, so I have really branched out the last few years.
Lately, I’ve had my eye on all sorts of products from all sorts of places. I always share my Sephora wishlist during the sales, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared a list of things I’m interested in from other retailers, so I thought I’d do that today. Here are some things on my wish list that you can’t get at Sephora!
I recently added two more Cloud Paints to my collection, and am officially obsessed. Haze is the last Cloud Paint I’m missing, and then I have the whole fam! Do I need another blush? No. Am I going to buy it anyways? Yes.
Hello, everyone! Today’s post is a review of the Herbivore Botanicals products included in the Balance & Clarify set. My interest is always piqued when it comes to popular brands and whether they are actually worth the hype. Last year, I tried the Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme and I really loved it, so I was itching to try more from Herbivore. However, the price of Herbivore products is on the pricey side, so I figured that sets are a more affordable way to be able to try their products. The Balance & Clarify set comes in four minis of some of their bestselling products, which includes:
Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask
Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion
Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner
Lapis Balancing Facial Oil
For reference, I have normal to dry skin that is not particularly sensitive, but is prone to flaking and dry spots. My skin is not acne-prone, but I do have issues with clogged pores, uneven texture and some redness every once in a while.