Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Talk About Green Cleaning - The Unscented Company

I was going to start this off by saying I’m picky about soap. In reality, though, I’m kind of picky about everything. There are so many products out there in the world so I don’t really want to waste my time with ones that don’t work for me, you know? I want to find things that work for me, plain and simple.

After my favorite grocery store stopped carrying the soap that I had been using for a couple of years I went into panic mode and started searching for a replacement. I got pretty lucky, though, and found another soap that I like even more. I was browsing on Vitacost and came across The Unscented Company. The name alone intrigued me thanks to my illnesses and scent sensitivities so I was instantly sold on the idea of a company who makes and sells only unscented products.

The Unscented Company is a Canadian company that launched in 2016 who offers only unscented and natural products. They are a Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free company and every single product they offer is vegan. All of their products are also biodegradable and decompose at least 80% within 28 days. TUC also believes in reducing our collective plastic footprint and offers customers the ability to do refills at home or in-store (if you’re lucky enough to be in Canada).

It doesn’t appear they ship to the US (I really hope they change this soon!) but like I mentioned above I found the brand and their products on Vitacost, which I believe has worldwide shipping. Vitacost doesn’t have the gorgeous glass bottles they offer in Canada, though, which is a bummer.

My first TUC love is their Soap Bar. You get 2 in each box and they last a fairly long time. Some soap dissolves so quickly but I’m impressed with the lasting power of this soap. It’s truly unscented and supremely moisturizing. It’s gentle and I’m absolutely in love. My sensitive dry skin and sensitive sense of smell are in agreement that this lovely bar of soap is a winner across the board. It creates an impressive amount of delicate, cleansing, hydrating lather that makes sudsing up an absolute pleasure. I’ve even used this on my face and I typically hate bar soap on my face so that’s a big indicator of how nice this soap is. It also seems to tame my eczema. I love this soap so much that I actually have 8 boxes underneath my bathroom sink so I never run out. I’m not even kidding. It’s that good!

I also purchased the Hand Soap, which is another hard for me to find product. If I use a soap that my skin doesn’t like the eczema on my hands gets so bad. I had actually been using a really mild facial cleanser as hand wash because it didn’t make my hands flare so I was a bit nervous to switch it up but, like the Bar Soap, the Hand Soap is remarkably gentle. It is a really, surprisingly, thin formula that is almost the consistency of water but it does such a nice job of cleansing but also nourishing the hands. I don’t like the pump of the bottle because it tends to shoot out way too much product but the soap itself is so nice. I only have one bottle at the moment but plan to put it at every sink in my house.

Besides the Bar Soap, my favorite product is the Dish Soap. I was previously using Seventh Generation, which I really like, but I’m so glad I decided to pick a bottle of this up. It’s the best dish soap I’ve ever used. It has zero scent, doesn’t irritate my skin, and does a fantastic job of getting my dishes clean. It comes in a really great bottle, too. I don’t have a lot to say about it because what can you really say about dish soap? It’s excellent, though.

The All Purpose Cleaner is nice but it’s not an absolute must have for me. It’s good but I find that it has a slightly powdery scent, barely there, and I just find that I still reach for my Better Life spray more often. It’s nice, though.

My least favorite product I’ve tried is the Lotion. I’m not a fan. The formula is soothing and hydrating but it has a bit of an odd smell on me. That happens to me a lot, though. I think I must have weird pH because the lotion itself doesn’t smell but it does on me.

Their prices are great and the products themselves are really awesome. I’m such a fan of The Unscented Company and can’t get enough of their line. I hope their product line expands one day in the future because I’d love to try other things (like shampoo and skincare) from a company who believes in unscented, nontoxic and simple products that are effective and beautifully formulated.

You can check out The Unscented Company by visiting their website. You can also click here to find the company and their products on Vitacost.

(FTC: I purchased all of these products with my own money. I am not being compensated for this post.) 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - Elevé Cosmetics Hibernation’s Over, Beaches!

Bronzer is my absolute favorite makeup product in the summer. There are few things prettier, in my humble opinion, than a bronzed and beautiful look when the mercury starts to rise. Hibernation’s Over, Beaches! That’s the name of the bronzer that just launched for summer from Elevé Cosmetics and it’s also what I’m talking about today.

This bronzer is gorgeous! It’s a true brown infused with some seriously stunning golden shimmer. It has the most perfect illuminating finish that leaves the skin looking golden and glowy. The shade of the bronzer is identical to what a natural tan might look like, with added gold flecks for a little something special. Since it has shimmer I like to use it as a blush and it also makes an incredible eye shadow!

The formula is so nice. It’s pigmented but easy to work with and blend. It blends seamlessly into the skin and feels so lightweight once it’s on. It can be applied in a sheer way for just a touch of color or built up without ever looking too intense or powdery. Even though it’s a powder it seems to melt into skin, because it’s so silky once applied. The glitter never feels or looks chunky or out of place. I usually prefer matte bronzers but this one has just a touch of subtle shimmer.

I had never tried anything from Elevé Cosmetics but the company seems really awesome. The line was created by former ballet dancer and makeup artist Gertie Wilson, who saw how much makeup could boost confidence and promote positive self-esteem. She wanted her products to inspire women to “rise up” and feel their best. She’s doing this with a lineup of high-quality natural cosmetics made with healthy, non-toxic ingredients. The products are enhanced with skin-loving beneficial ingredients and the entire line is cruelty-free, vegan based, and free of GMOs, gluten, parabens, phthalates or anything else questionable.

To learn more about the brand you can visit the website by clicking here. You can also find Elevé Cosmetics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(FTC: This product was sent to me for free for review consideration. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Talk About Sun Care - CoTZ SPF

Sunscreen is a tough product to fall in love with, for me at least. My Mom and I recently placed a big order on just for sunscreen and we decided to try out CoTZ. CoTZ is completely free of oils, fragrances, preservatives, parabens, PABA, gluten, phthalates or any harmful chemical. Their gentle formulas are simple but provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, thanks to Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide while being water and sweat resistant. This brand has some really high ratings and great reviews. And since it’s cruelty-free and nontoxic we wanted to give it a try.

We decided on the Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40, Flawless Complexion SPF 50, and Sensitive SPF 40. Each costs $19.99 but is currently at Ulta for Buy One Get One-Half Off and we had an additional coupon so it ended up being a pretty good deal, but is a decent price anyway.

My favorite is the Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40. It has the most amazing texture and finish. It is so silky! I don’t even have words to describe accurately how dreamy and creamy the formula is.  Once it’s dried down it is completely weightless and hardly noticeable. It doesn’t smother or suffocate my skin and instead seems to meld into the skin and become part of it. It never feels sticky, tacky, heavy, greasy, or gross in any way. It layers beautifully and makes an amazing primer for under makeup but is also excellent on its own. The formula is absolutely perfect. It is beautifully matte (and even though I have dry skin and I usually like to look dewy when it comes to sunscreen I hate that super shiny look) and seems to do a good job of blurring and making skin look so smooth. I initially thought that the tint was going to be way too dark for my light skin but it blends easily and matches my skin perfectly. It comes in a fairly small tube (1.5 oz) but I’m so in love with the product itself that size doesn't really bother me. Last summer I was loyal to Coola but I’m definitely making this change permanent.

My Mom adores the Flawless Complexion SPF 50, as does my Dad (who hates sunscreen with a fiery passion). This is also tinted but it has just enough sheer color to combat that icky white cast some SPF has. It works on my light Mom and darker Dad. It’s not at all like makeup, so it would work well for any member of the family. This comes in a larger tube (2.5 oz) and is a little oilier and a bit sticky compared to the other formula. It does, however, dry down completely and leaves skin soft and smooth. It can also be layered with makeup or worn alone.

The Sensitive SPF 40 was designed for people with special skin needs and conditions like those with medication or health condition induced sun sensitivities or anyone who has had a skin treatment. This sounded really great for my family because my illness makes me photosensitive and the same for my Dad since his chemo makes him very sensitive. This formula is nice but I don't find that this is anything special, especially not when compared to the others mentioned above. It's a bit thick and sticky and has that typical sunscreen smell and feel.

CoTZ creates truly effective products to help protect your entire family from the harsh rays of the sun. They have no scent and are safe and gentle. This is sunscreen you can feel really good about. You can learn more about the company and their products by visiting their website. Or you can purchase them at Ulta like I did.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Talk About Cosmetics - bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

I’ve been using the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream for about 2 years now and I’m not really sure why I’ve never talked about it before. Since I have dry skin this particular product has been really great for me since it’s super moisturizing but also provides some nice coverage with the added bonus of SPF 30.

I’m such a fan of this formula because it’s extremely hydrating while also being lightweight. The gel cream has such a cool consistency because it’s silky smooth and feels kind of watery but creamy. Weird description, I know. The formula also feels very cooling, which I love. I find that the coverage is sheer but can be built up for more coverage and it has a gorgeous dewy finish that makes skin look super radiant, plumped up and supple. I love the amount of glow it gives my very parched skin, as it’s not something that any other foundation really gives me. I think this product is absolutely perfect for normal to dry skinned folks and I really don’t think oily skinned guys and gals will be fans.

It’s super easy and quick to apply because it blends seamlessly into the skin and looks so natural and beautiful. You can wear it alone or layer it with other products. I feel like it’s nice on its own but also makes a great base layer for other products since it acts almost like a primer. Since it’s so hydrating it does a great job of smoothing the skin and evening out texture. I will say that I don’t use this as just a sunscreen, though. I find that it is too dewy for kayaking or hiking for me. I just use this as makeup. I think it also wears really well throughout the day, although I don’t think it would get a gold star from somebody wanting their makeup to last through any activity for a very long time. It lasts me all day but I’m only ever wearing makeup for a maximum of 8 or so hours.

I actually have 3 shades that I mix and match depending on the time of year and how much sun I have (or haven’t) seen. Vanilla 02 is my perfect winter shade while Buttercream 03 is my base summer color. I also have Natural 05 which I add in for a touch warmth or when I’m a bit darker than normal.

If you have dry or dehydrated skin I highly recommend you check out this makeup equivalent of a cool drink of water; Lame comparison but truly accurate. I’m a huge fan and have no doubt that I’ll continue using this magical stuff for a very long time. You can find this little gem at anywhere bareMinerals is sold like Sephora, Ulta, Macy's, Nordstrom, etc.