Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy Review

Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy

Supporting ethical brands is something that is important to me. Farmacy is a unique brand, that started in New York, which uses powerful superfood ingredients within their products. The Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea Green Envy ($75), is packed with highly concentrated ingredients that leave your skin feeling its best.

What exactly is this product?

To start things off, this mask has a base of honey. Honey moisturizes, cleanses, exfoliates, fades scars, treats acne, brightens and protects skin from environmental damages. The honey they use is all harvested from their farms where the bees pollinate from their echinacea plants. So naturally, the honey is highly concentrated with echinacea, which also has various skincare benefits. Echinacea is anti-aging, fights acne, and soothes the skin (fights redness and heals irritations). The two ingredients together work quickly on the skin to leave your skin highly moisturized, glowing, clear and nourished- in as little as two weeks.

My Review:

I’ve used countless skincare products on my skin, many of those being different kinds of masks. There was something different about this mask that called out to me. To start things off, I like how the brand uses fresh ingredients with high antioxidants in it. In the jar, the mask seems to look similar to a jar of honey. The jar includes a spatula that is magnetized so you never lose it. When you scoop the product out of the jar, the mask appears to be thick like honey, but as you apply it to the skin it completely changes consistency. The mask turns white and becomes very smooth and creamy. It also warms up on the skin which feels amazing. Another thing that I like is that you don’t have to leave the mask on for too long, 10-15 minutes is all. My skincare routine is long enough, the last thing I want is to leave a mask on for ages. After leaving it on, the mask was super easy to remove. A little bit of warm water did the trick. What my skin felt like heaven afterwards is what made me fall in love with this product after a single use (I legit want to buy their entire line of products now). My skin felt so soft, clean and hydrated that I kept rubbing my cheeks, completely obsessed with how it felt. The next day my skin still felt just as amazing and my makeup slid on like a dream. It was as if I’d gone to a spa and had an intensive treatment. If you’re wanting your skin feeling as amazing as mine did, you’ll have to check this product out.

This product is available online from Sephora as well as the Farmacy website.

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Skincare Review: Dr. Roebuck’s

In this great search for perfect skin, amongst all of the new products and new brands to try, one thought kept returning to me: what is it, exactly, that I’m putting on my face?

These days, we focus so much on the ingredients in our food. Clean eating is trendy, and proven to be effective. Everyone’s looking for the most natural ingredients they can find and labels proclaim things such as, “No preservatives,” and “No artificial flavours.”

Do we think the same way about our skin?

I haven’t until recently. Until I began paying attention to the skincare products. Until others showed me that there can be alternatives.

Some alternatives are very natural, things like homemade masks made with ingredients found in your kitchen. Other alternatives are still store-bought, but they’re brands that claim to have nearly all-natural products.

One of these brands is Dr. Roebuck’s, an Australian skincare line established in 1978, now available in Australia and Canada. The line was founded by the actual Dr. Roebuck, which was exciting to discover, and is now maintained by his twin daughters, Kim and Zoe. The products are all manufactured to be Paraben and BPA free. According to the company’s manifesto, Dr. Roebuck started the brand with the intention to create skincare products that were free of everything except the necessary ingredients to treat dry skin.

Upon reading the ingredients lists on the products, it is clear that goal is maintained today. Few of the products have more than 10 ingredients (and if you compare that to another drugstore product, that’s pretty good), and for those that do, the ingredients are pronounceable. You know what they actually are, save for one or two preservatives so the product doesn’t go mouldy on you.

Over the course of two weeks, I’ve tried out four of Dr. Roebuck’s products and let me tell you, this is some pretty good stuff.

Face

face

When I began testing the products, I decided to alternate using the Face and Pure creams. Face is designed to rehydrate the skin and prevent wrinkles. Now, I haven’t seen much on the wrinkle prevention front, probably because I’m still a bit young for those, but this cream made my skin really soft. It’s gentle and nice to wear. I wore it both during the day and at night, and it wore well underneath foundation. I can’t say much about it other than it’s a really lovely face cream. No spectacular results, but as far as moisturizers go, it’s one of the best ones I’ve tried.

Pure

pure

Pure is another one of the best moisturizers I’ve ever tried. Hands down. While Face moisturizes and prevents wrinkles, Pure’s purpose is to moisturize problem skin. We could debate about what problem skin really is, but for me, it made my skin feel both ridiculously smooth and refreshed. I’ve never used a moisturizer before that made my skin feel clean. Usually I find a moisturizer dampens the clean-skin feeling because it’s, well, moisturizing, but Pure seemed only to enhance the freshness that came from Polish and Tone.

Polish

polish

By now, I’ve tried quite a few face scrubs and masks. It comes as no surprise that my skin felt clean and refreshed after using Polish, but it comes with a bit of surprise that I experienced no irritation. At all. In other skincare reviews, I’ve mentioned I have sensitive skin. A change in detergent can have me breaking out in rashes. This always makes me hesitant to try skincare products like facial subs and masks that have powerful cleaning ingredients. I’ve tried Polish a few times and have never had any irritation from it. This is the mask sensitive-skin folks have been waiting for.

Tone

tone

My very first thought when I used Tone for the first time was, Geez, I haven’t used a toner since high school. Back then I had teenage skin and teenage confidence and I tried nearly every Clean & Clear product. After high school I stopped using toners because I didn’t see the point in them. Why are they necessary? What do they actually do? Tone is supposed to brighten, tighten and smooth the skin. Nothing to report on brightening, but I will say after consistently using the toner, I found the pores on my nose had tightened up a bit, which is great if you have blackheads like I do.

Final Thoughts

In this day and age, we are not short of natural skincare lines. The question now is, which one do I use? There are characteristics across the board that most of these brands share: some good (no testing on animals) and some not so good (a consistently higher price point). A brand like Dr. Roebuck’s is similar to others on the market in what it promises. I can’t speak for every natural skincare brand, but I can attest to the fact that Dr. Roebuck’s seems to deliver on what they promise. Like many of these reviews, the trials I conducted on the products are short-term. Long-term results can only be determined by long-term trials. That being said, my short-term tests were all successful. My skin has felt so clean and healthy the last week that I’ve been avoiding wearing makeup and covering it up. For someone who wears foundation almost everyday, that’s saying something. This is, in my opinion, a great brand with great products. If you are in the market for a new skincare brand to try, I will suggest giving Dr. Roebuck’s a whirl.

First Impressions Review: Fitglow Bio Skin Detox

In the great continuous search for perfect skin, one of the best (or worst) parts is trying different face masks. To me, there’s something really lovely about putting on a face treatment and kicking back. Ideally, this picture in my mind also features me wearing a silk robe and drinking wine, but the reality is sweat shorts and popcorn, probably.

But I digress.

Within the face mask/face treatment world, there are so many different products that can be tried. There are peel-off masks, hardening clay masks, and a personal favourite of mine for the horror factor, the sheet masks that rest on your face and make you look a bit like Michael Myers from Halloween.

The latest place my skincare journey has brought me is to the Bio Skin Detox by Fitglow Beauty, a weekly treatment that is supposed to remove impurities from the skin and make it appear radiant.

Based in Canada, Fitglow’s goal is to create quality beauty products that are vegan, made with natural ingredients and cruelty-free. According to their website, they test product wear in labs, but they also have their staff test their skincare and makeup products by wearing them while they are running, travelling, doing hot yoga or even sitting in a sauna.

I’ve never tried any of their makeup products, but a write-up like that kind of makes me want to. As someone who’s done Bikram yoga, the idea of wearing makeup during that is truly mind-boggling.

However, we’re here to focus on the skin detox.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The detox has two steps, a scrub and a mask, but I was able to obtain a third step, the Fitglow Bliss Oil, which soothes and moisturizes the skin after the detox.

The first step, the scrub, is made with hibiscus, bamboo and raspberry. It’s meant to draw toxins out of the skin and exfoliate. The scrub also contains aloe vera juice to soothe. The consistency of the scrub is jelly-like and you only need a small bit to apply a large area. However, I found once I put it on, it burned my skin slightly.

The Bio Berry Scrub
Bio Berry Scrub

Now, I do have somewhat sensitive skin, and it can react poorly to skincare products like masks that have powerful cleaning properties. I washed the scrub off after only a minute, when the recommended time was “a few minutes.” If you’re like me, and do have sensitive skin, the scrub could cause a similar reaction. Despite the slight discomfort, I couldn’t help but notice the scrub really did do its job. I swear, it wiped out all of the gunk in the pores on my nose. I was left feeling ambivalent about the scrub: good product, not so good personal reaction.

After my experience with the scrub, I was apprehensive to try the mask. I was worried it would irritate my skin after the previous reaction. I carefully put a bit on my chin, but when no tingling or burning sensation came, I applied a layer all over my face.

Bio Detox Mask
Bio Detox Mask

The mask was amazing. It felt really nice on my face, and smelt, expectedly, like fruit. Scent can be a really important thing when it’s the smell of something you put on your face. If you don’t like the smell, you can’t get away from it. The mask smelt wonderful and felt wonderful. It felt luxurious. I left it on for 30 minutes, the higher end of the recommended time in the instructions, and afterwards my skin felt soft and clean.

It’s difficult to tell how much the scrub contributed to that gloriously clean feeling, but at the end of the detox my skin actually felt really good. I was worried about it drying, so I also used the oil. That alone added some more moisture into my skin. After completing the entire process, my face was so smooth that I made my roommate feel it, much to her dismay.

Bliss Oil
Bliss Oil

Now I can praise these products to the high heavens for how nice my skin felt after the first treatment, but that was only the first. Truth is, I didn’t see that much of a difference in my skin after that first day. It’s possible that you never see much of a change after the fact, and the cleanse just keeps your skin balanced. It’s also possible I will see a change if I keep doing the cleanse, but as this is only a first impressions review, I can’t report on that.

What I can do is give a judgement of how I found the products after a single use. Since this is a weekly detox, I wasn’t about to try doing it every day just for comparison.

I found the packaging charming, so much so that I’ve kept the detox inside its box because I love how they slide out. The product sizes aren’t gigantic, but I was impressed with the use you can get out of a small amount of each item. The scrub, mask and oil all feel high-quality. When you have the products on your skin you can tell they’re well-made. All of the products also had a fruity scent, though if you don’t like the smell of berries it may drive you crazy to have it all over your face.

These are higher-end products. The detox (you have to buy the scrub and mask together) retails for $99 and the oil for $59. I believe the quality of the products matches the price, but this is another situation where you may be able to find something similar for a lower price point. That being said, the substitutes you find may not be organic or vegan. Since there are so many face treatments that do different things and that every face reacts to differently, it’s difficult to guarantee that I could find a treatment that is exactly the same. Trial and error is key for everyone.

In summation, I would recommend the detox to anyone looking for a new deep cleaning treatment who is comfortable with the higher price point. The Bliss Oil isn’t essential to the detox, so I imagine you could substitute a good moisturizer no problem, but it would have to be a very good moisturizer, because the oil has macademia and oil of tamanu. I guarantee I’ll be bringing this bad boy out again in January when my skin is dying from the harsh winds. My overall experience with the detox was enjoyable, and after everything my skin has been through this summer, I’ll definitely be using the detox again to see how it will improve my skin in the long run and prepare me for the cold months ahead.

Where to treat yo’ self in Toronto

Ladies and gents, now is the time to take “treat yo’ self” seriously. We’re 21 days into the New Year, which means we’ve entered that weird limbo between that “new year, new me” resolution phase and the “oh my God, I need to start thinking about how I’m going to squeeze into that swimsuit” phase. Worry not: Toronto is home to a ton of places that specialize in detoxifying and treating the body, from our brows to our beards, from our nails to our vaginas. Read on to find out where and how you can show your body the love it deserves (and trust me, it’ll love you back — just in time for beach season).

FACE: The Ayurveda Facial at Laya Spa & Yoga 

It’s a popular opinion that this cosy little spa is Toronto’s facial authority, and for good reason: their famous Ayurveda Facial is, as far as I’m aware, a magical gift from the Gods of Perfect Skin. Each all-natural mask is concocted from scratch to suit each individual’s unique skin, and dosha specific oils are used to massage the body and detoxify the skin using manual lymphatic drainage.

“Laya’s Ayurveda Facial has grown in popularity as it allows for a more in-depth focus into not only the skin but the client’s ayurvedic dosha, providing a holistic approach to skin therapy,” says Alessandra, owner of Laya. “Each client leaves feeling nourished, grounded and loved.”

So basically, it’s a facial that’s as good for the face as it is for the soul.

BROWS: Brow Design at The Brow House

As our Queen Lena Dunham once stated, “Never trust someone with bad eyebrows.” That being said, if you want to be trusted ever again, get thee to The Brow House in Yorkville. Their otherworldly brow-shaping abilities will transform your eyebrows and, in turn, your face. If your brows are the opposite of “on fleek,” they’ll reno those bad boys to perfection. And if you need a simple cleanup, they’re wonderful at that, too. Their eyebrow tinting service is also a godsend for those of us who hate/are incapable of filling them in by hand.

Just know one thing: whatever you get done here, you’ll leave your appointment with Pinterest-worthy brows.

LADY PARTS: The Vagacial at Fuzz Wax Bar

Anyone who has ever experienced a vagina in any way knows that lady parts have a pretty rough life. The Vagacial is like sending your muff to the spa: a Fuzzologist (yes, they call themselves that) performs a five-step treatment to “care for, correct and calm” your skin — a process that includes a gentle cleansing, exfoliation, ingrown hair extraction, the clarifying “V-Mask,” and moisturizing. Ahhhh. (FYI this is best done two weeks after your wax.) (Also FYI: ask for Parul, as she is the Messiah of the Brazilian wax and knows her shit.)

BEARD: The Majestic Facial Hair treatment at Saul’s Beauty Shop

I don’t even have a beard and I want this done to me: on top of getting a facial, your beard gets to enjoy a full cleanse, a customized conditioning mask, a finishing oil and a taming comb-out, AND they’ll get rid of ingrown hairs, AND give you a shoulder massage. So majestic.

 NAILS: The Ultimate Manicure at Her Majesty’s Pleasure

By now the entire city — the entire world, perhaps — is aware of the fact that Her Majesty’s Pleasure is actually Heaven on Earth. Their Ultimate Manicure covers all the bases: filing, complete cuticle care, exfoliation, a deep relaxing hand and arm massage, a 10-minute scalp and shoulder massage, and, finally, polishing. And the fact that you can have all of this while sipping a freshly made coffee or cocktail from their bar basically makes it like a euphoric out-of-body experience.

HAIR: Hair mask at Elmwood Spa

After your hair expert identifies what level of repair your hair needs, they’ll restore your strands with high-performance, argan-rich oil formulas that’ll deeply hydrate and condition. The result: incredibly improved hair texture, elasticity and manageability (yes please, yes please and yes please).