Lately there has been some buzz about a traditional Asian face washing product, the konjac sponge. This little sponge has been used for hundreds, even thousands of years.
A little background first before we get into the heart of this product: Konjac is a weird looking Asian plant that is praised for its detoxifying effects. It is use in a lot of different dishes often as gelatin or jelly. It has a naturally spongey feel to it, which leads into this product.
This sponge is made up of 100% konjac root fibres. It’s all natural to this strange and interesting plant.
When you first open it and hold it in your hand, you are going to be confused. It’s really solid and porous. It seems similar to a pumice stone almost. You are going to be confused, because the instructions an everything that you read says this sponge is perfect for extremely sensitive skin and delicate areas of the face. It’s suppose to pull the impurities from your skin while cleaning it. You don’t even need to use soap if you don’t want to.
When you soak this hard stone in water, it slowly softens up in your hand. Eventually you will be holding a weird, soft, delicate feeling sponge. It feels light and full of air. Almost like it’s made up of nothing at all. All that’s left is to scrub your face with it. Like I said before, you don’t need soap. The Washbeauty Co. sponge is so light on your face. You will be surprised that it can clean your skin at all. You can feel that it is exfoliating your pores without irritating your skin.
I used this sponge a few times without soap, but I also tried it with soap. If you need a bit of extra cleaning power, this is a great option to change things up. With soap, it feels a bit more like a traditional face wash, but it’s still extremely light.
I don’t have sensitive skin, so sometimes I do like a deep exfoliating clean. I can imagine how amazing this sponge would be for someone whose skin does get easily irritated. For the rest of us, this is a nice way to get an every day clean without adding any extra product.
I already have my favourite BB cream and CC cream, so now I’m moving on up! DD Cream stands for Daily Defense, which is a good thing for anyone’s skin in my books. I wasn’t sure if this new product from Marcelle was meant to be a moisturizer or foundation. It says it can be worn alone or under makeup. I figured that I would be able to tell once I put it on.
It looks like an extremely thick foundation. It’s so thick that you have to be careful how much you apply. It doesn’t spread well, but don’t use that as a reason to apply extra. A little goes a long way.
This DD Cream leaves your skin with great moisture. My skin feels cool, moist and refreshed. My face has a nice glow. It is tinted, but not enough that it could double for foundation per se. It also doesn’t seem to be covering any blemishes.
While I wouldn’t want to leave the house wearing just this DD cream, you also don’t need to wear a full face of makeup on top. I found that when I wore Marcelle’s DD cream, all I needed was a bit of bronzer and some powder and I was ready to roll. It’s great for a weekend when you don’t need to cover up pesky blemishes.
I feel like this first DD cream to the market is really innovative and it’s going to be just the start of a new trend. I can’t wait to see where Marcelle take it!
Summer is almost over, but instead of being sad, I am preparing. I am getting ready for fall with a whole bunch of new products that are getting my skin ready for the cold weather coming. Bring it on fall because these products are my secret weapons this month.
Lise Watier Extreme Hold CC Eye Primer – I’ve become a little obsessed with this Lise Watier eye primer. This tinted cream is applied on the eye lid to smooth out the skin. It instantly helps correct the colour of your lids for a great finish. It gets rid of any dark circles or redness around your eyes. You can apply eye shadow over top to help it stay all day long, but my favourite thing is just to leave it bare. You make not have noticed just how much darker your eye lids are, but the difference this primer makes is amazing. It has totally transformed my look and routine from my everyday look to getting glam. If you are lucky you can add the Lise Watier Intense Waterproof Eyeliner and EYEvolution Dramatique Intense 3D Volume Mascara for the perfect eyes!
The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet – This Limited Edition gel moisturizer is perfect for the dog days of summer. It’s so cooling on my skin for a refreshing start to the day. The gel formula hydrates your face without leaving it feeling too wet and greasy. My skin gets oily quickly, especially in the summer, but this moisturizer helped my skin stay more matte. Some of my favourite moisturizers are too heavy for summer, but this was the perfect replacement. I hope it comes back every summer.
Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Moisturizing Body Cream – I have been getting really excited about new natural ingredients in my beauty products and sea buckthorn is starting to get a lot of buzz. This body cream has a bit of a weird smell, similar to cleaning products. Just learn to love it, because this body cream is great. It leaves your skin feeling so soft. My skin feels baby soft. Also if you have dry or irritated, the lovely little sea buckthorn is there to get rid of redness, dry patches and other skin issues. There is also a face cream (and a whole line of body care and shower products) for an added bonus if you want even more skin love.
Laboratoires Filorga Optim-Eyes – I have lately been a bit addicted to trying a lot of different eye creams. It must be a result of worrying about getting old. There has been quite a few of duds, but the Laboratoires Filorga Optim-Eyes Cream really stood out from the crowd. My eyes are looking so great. Forget about dark circles, puffiness and sad looking eyes. They are a thing of the past. My eyes look younger, tighter and more alert.
I’ve been using Clinique’s 3-Step system in one way or another since I was in high school but my issue with it was that the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion wasn’t hydrating enough for my skin. I know people love it but with my combination skin, it was never strong enough to get rid of my dry patches. The Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream has made a huge difference.
Of course it’s still the iconic yellow that everyone associates with the Dramatically Different products and it literally looks like soft butter. Unlike the lotion, the cream is a little thicker but it absorbs instantly (you could say it melts into your skin). I noticed the moisture level go up in my skin pretty much right away and you just need to use a little because it spreads really well. I honestly can’t wait to use this cream in the winter when my skin gets extremely dry. I finally have a Clinique moisturizer to use with the rest of the 3-Step system.
We’ve already posted about how much we love Swedish brand FOREO’s silicone toothbrush ISSA and now we’re onto their face cleansing device LUNA. While most of us are used to washing our faces with our hands, washcloths, or facial brushes, all of those can trap bacteria and cause bigger issues later on. Especially if you have sensitive skin. The LUNA is made of silicone, so it’s anti-bacterial and doesn’t build up anything that can cause breakouts and skin irritation. I have combination/sensitive skin, so I could’ve used any of the full size LUNA’s but I chose the sensitive because I figured that was my biggest issue.
The front of the LUNA has both thin and thick silicone points and they’re really soft. It’s so easy to use, you just apply whatever cleanser you want to your face and run the LUNA over your face for two minutes. There are adjustable speeds, so you can get a softer or harder scrub depending on what you want.
The back of the LUNA is really interesting because it’s for anti-aging. You apply your serum and rub it in with the soft lines.
I love a lot of things about the LUNA ie: rechargable, long battery life, easy to travel with. There is a downside though. Because it’s so gentle, I don’t get a good scrub that I want sometimes and you can’t use any kind of exfoliating face wash, clay cleanser or scrub with it. But it’s changed the way I wash my face and I’m definitely noticing a difference in my skin.
I’ve used bronzer and spray tans and tanning oils on myself many times at home without issue. This year for the first time, I had a bad experience. I’m not here to insult the product that gave me the horrible streaky tan. I don’t blame that product or hold ill will. Instead, I want to talk about the product that saved me from an embarrassing time: Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant Moisturizing Tanning Spray!
It was the day after I applied my bad tanning cream when I first noticed how weird I looked. My self tan was streaky and splotchy. There were weird lines on my legs, patches of not tanned skin on my arms and a big dark spot on my neck. I quickly rifled through my drawers looking for anything promising a great tan. My biggest problem was that I didn’t want something that would enhance the problem and make it more obvious. It needed to be subtle. That was when I found the Bioderma Tanning Spray in the bottom of my drawer. I had owned this moisturizing tanning spray for a while, and only tried it once. Since I remembered that it didn’t make my skin really dark, so I thought this could be it.
The Bioderma Tanning Spray is an aerosol spray. Most tanning products are oils, mousses or other products, so this was very different. The spray is very wide, almost like hair spray. Because of this when you apply it, the spray can sometimes get everywhere. I wouldn’t recommend applying this on or near a white floor or sheets. It tends to get everywhere.
It’s really easy to apply otherwise. You can just spray the tanner on clean, dry and moisturized skin. There is no trick to this tanning spray unlike so many others.You just have to spray it over your skin and leave it. This spray is very light on your skin and dries really fast, so you don’t need to worry about a lot of time to dry off.
I used this spray every day for three days, and by the third day my skin looked normal again. Bioderma had saved me! I could wear shorts again. I didn’t have to flip my hair in any weird way.
Now, I keep a bottle of Bioderma handy. This aerosol is perfect for enhancing a light tan, filling in gaps that your tan didn’t reach or extending your vacation tan. I can’t wait for the end of summer so I can put it to the test.
The summer we often forget about our skin, but a good mask can help bring back some moisture and smoothness after long days out in the sun. If you want to pamper yourself, try these interesting new masks.
Eyeko Hydrogel Eye Patch – I’ve been spending late nights on the patio to take advantage of every minute of the warm weather. I found these little eye patches to erase the evidence of these late nights. Made for brightening eyes and reducing the look of stress and fatigue, these gel eye patches from eyeko are the next step in reducing bags. The gel patches are gooey and damp to apply. You leave them on for 30 minutes, so get ready with a show on Netflix to pass the time. I found they never quite stuck to my face, so I had to stay still and keep adjusting them to be in the right place. They are cooling, so if you want to soothe puffy eyes, these will definitely help. They are also very moisturizing, so they would be great for dry skin. For everything else, I’m not so sure. I didn’t notice a big change in any dark circles or fatigue. It didn’t hurt to try though, and I caught up on the next episode of Modern Family.
The Face Shop Paraffin Nutrition Nail Pack – This summer has been rough on my nails. I have been breaking them playing sports and digging in the garden. I’ve never heard of masks for my nails, but I am willing to try almost anything in the name of beauty. I thought these would be a full glove. I was surprised to see the little finger covers in the package. They were really moist and slippery and kind of hard to get on by myself. I made it work though and sat enjoying another episode of Modern Family while my nails soaked in the moisture. My fingers were left with an oily and slightly sticky feel after removing the pads that I couldn’t quite clean off. I tried to give myself a manicure after, but the nail polish didn’t want to stick to my newly moisturized nails. Whether the mask actually helped strengthen my brittle nails only time will tell, but it definitely gave my cuticles a much needed moisturizing and they look great!
Hada Labo Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial Mask – All the way from Japan this face mask is packed full of moisturizer. After long days on the beach, my face could use it! This cotton mask is packed with a full bottle of anti-aging serum. You might think they are exaggerating, but they aren’t. There is so much moisturizer all over this mask. When you put it on your face, it is soft, wet and cooling. My face isn’t that dry, so this mask was a bit overkill for me. When I removed the mask I was supposed to just rub in the moisturizer, but not rinse it off. I followed the instructions, but part of me really wanted to wipe it off. The next day my face was still extremely moist. This will be great to keep around for those dry winter months.
Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Exfoliating Firming Tea Mask – There is something to be said about a face mask that is quick and easy, especially when your summer days are so busy. This little tube of firming face mask is packed full of four different teas and coffee just like you will be drinking to relax. This mask is very thin compared to most others, so it takes more to give your face good coverage. It doesn’t harden like you imagine if you have used a lot of other face masks. Even though it’s thin, this makes gives your face a soft finish in just 10 minutes. It’s perfect as part of your prep to get ready for a busy day or night on the town, even if you don’t have a lot of time.
I adore the scent of citrus in the actual fruit but I always find it doesn’t quite smell the same when it’s in a fragrance, I always find they smell a little off and fake. L’Occitane’s new Citrus Verbena collection is the citrus scent I’ve been waiting for. It smells like lemons and grapefruits were mixed with verbena and just became the most delicious summer scent. There are ten products in the collection, everything from perfume, to hair products to deodorant, so you can literally soak in Citrus Verbena from head to toe. We received two products to try, the Fresh Body Milk and Fresh Shampoo.
Citrus Verbena Fresh Shampoo
The first time I used this shampoo was in the middle of a heatwave and it was just so refreshing and really made my head cool off. I don’t use a ton of shampoo to begin with, maybe an amount the size of a quarter but this one lathers so well I need even less. And while I didn’t have the matching conditioner, it left my hair feeling clean but almost hydrated enough that I was considering not using one at all. It also gave my hair a lot more shine than most products do.
Citrus Verbena Fresh Body Milk
I really can’t express how much I love the scent of the Citrus Verbena collection and it’s this body milk that originally sold me on it. The second I opened the bottle I knew I was going to be using this product a lot, regardless of how well it worked. Luckily it’s L’Occitane so the quality more than lived up to my expectations. The milk is extremely light and just melts into your skin without leaving you with that sticky feeling you can get from body milks and it really cools your skin down. My skin was hydrated and smelled amazing for hours after I applied it.
I knew from the first sniff that I was going to be buying other products from the collection. I already bought two of them and I have a feeling there’s going to be more in my future. I didn’t already have a favourite scent from L’Occitane but I definitely have one now.
I have so many beauty products clogging up my counter (and drawers), that I fully appreciate a multi-purpose product. Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse is the very definition of multitasking. I’ve been hearing about Nuxe for a pretty long time but I hadn’t tried anything until I received this dry oil. With Macadamia, Hazelnut, Borage, Sweet Almond, Camellia and St.John’s Wort oils all in Huile Prodigieuse, I had high expectations. And I wasn’t disappointed.
You can literally use this oil for everything. I’ve used it on my body after a shower, on my hair as a mask before I wash it and after it’s dry for a little shine (only a drop). My face is pretty oily in the summer, so I haven’t tried it there yet but I imagine I’ll love it in the winter. And you really use so much less than you’d expect. I’m actually really happy to have gotten the splash bottle instead of the spray. It’s so much easier to control and you don’t waste any but it does get a bit slippery.
The scent is so beautiful that I would use it for that alone. Luckily there are so many other reasons to get your hands on a bottle. Really you can lose count coming up with new things to use it for.
By now most beauty enthusiasts have fallen in love with Bioderma’s Micellar Water but we love a lot more of their products as well. Here’s our list of our Most Wanted Bioderma Summer Essentials.
Photoderm Spray SPF 40
This spray sunscreen is a little thicker and more liquid than all the dry sprays out right now and I love that I can see how much I’m applying while I’m rubbing it in. It has a light, fresh scent and the UVA/UVB protection works really well. This one isn’t waterproof, so you really have to make sure you reapply.
Photoderm Refreshing After-Sun Milk
This light milk is really refreshing on hot skin and while I’m not the greatest fan of the scent, it makes my skin feel great after a long day outside. It keeps your skin really hydrated, which is perfect for summer time when the sun can really dry you out.
Cicabio Soothing Repairing Cream
If you’re peeling, have a slight sunburn or are scratched up from camping, Cicabio Cream is a fantastic healer for irritated skin. What makes this scent-free formula different is that it leaves a slight film over the area you’re putting it on, which gives it a better chance to heal.
Sensibio 3-in-1 Cleansing Milk
While most people love the Micellar Water, I much prefer this one step cleansing milk. It gets all my makeup off without irritation, soothes my skin and helps with redness. It doesn’t leave my combination skin dried out or oily which is a bonus.
When I want moisturizer but want it really light I reach for the Hydrabio Light cream. It’s made for dehydrated, sensitive skin, which pretty much defines my skin but you barely feel it. It works just as well as heavier creams but the lightness is perfect for summer.