Archive of ‘Beauty Reviews’ category

Beauty Reviewed: La Vanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant

La Vanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant Recently I have been reading Food Babe, which is an excellent blog to read if you want to give up eating, drinking, and using pretty much any type of beauty products. (I kid, kinda.) The author of the blog does a fantastic job of investigating the secret ingredients and chemicals that are in products. You know, the products that have the super long names that are impossible to pronounce. She breaks down those items and the negative effects they can have on our bodies in clear ways that are often frightening.

I’m not one to preach about what one should or shouldn’t ingest or use, but a post about all-natural deodorant combined with other frightening things I’ve read about the chemicals in deodorant, such as aluminum which has been linked to some scary diseases, made me go in search of a deodorant that was a little more pure.

I didn’t follow Food Babe’s recommended deodorants, but instead went with an Allure Best of Beauty 2013 Award Winner, The Healthy Deodorant from La Vanila Laboratories.

Product Description: This All-Natural, freshly scented deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment. Clinically Tested. Dermatologist Recommended. No Aluminum. No Paraben. No Propylene Glycol. No Harsh Chemicals.

Quite a few scents are available, but I really couldn’t resist a scent like Vanilla Grapefruit… although perhaps I should have thought about the fact that for my entire adult life I have worn unscented deodorant because I just so happen to be allergic to the “scent” in most beauty products. I honestly don’t know what it is, but artificial scents do not mix well with my stupidly sensitive skin. I can’t use the scented body products from Bath & Body Works or anything like that because I’ll develop a rash immediately.

The deodorant arrived last week and I was really excited to start using it. The packaging is gorgeous. It actually smelled good. The container is kind of heavy so I was anticipating months’ worth of use. I applied the deodorant that first morning, but by that afternoon I had developed rashes under both of my arms.

It actually took me a day to put two and two together, because the next morning I applied the deodorant again without thinking… and the rash got worse.


I was prepared to love this deodorant and feel good about the fact that I had switched to an all-natural product, but it turns out that The Healthy Deodorant just isn’t for me. A week later and the rashes under my arms haven’t cleared up completely.

Please note that I don’t blame the deodorant or La Vanila Laboratories for this, as it was my fault and I should have realized that the scent would probably react poorly with my sensitive skin. After so many years of using the same product, I really didn’t stop to think about WHY I’d been using that specific deodorant for so many years. I personally can’t use The Healthy Deodorant, but for many of you (most of you?) it may work just fine and be a good option if you’re looking for a product that’s all-natural and contains fewer chemicals than traditional deodorants.

My own quest for an unscented “healthy” deodorant continues. I’ll be sure to update you when I find something that works!

Beauty Reviewed: Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara

The July Beauty Box 5 contained a full-size Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara, which is a new product from Revlon. Honestly, due to the sheer number of beauty subscription boxes I receive each month and how often they send out mascara, mascara is a product that I never purchase. As such, it has been a long time since I have tried a Revlon product, so I was really thrilled to receive this mascara!

According to Revlon, this mascara provides the following benefits:

• Get Volume + Length to the nth degree.
• Our first mascara with only high shine black fibers.
• Available in Waterproof and Non-Waterproof

I wasn’t sure what “only high shine black fibers” meant, but Revlon provides this handy graphic on their website:

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara

I don’t know how true it is that most other black mascaras are actually a mix of grays, though it appears that Revlon is admitting that is at least the case for their other mascaras.

I applied this mascara for the first time last night, when my husband and I were going out to dinner with his company. I knew it was going to be a long night, which gave me an opportunity to see how this mascara performed. I’m happy to say that it did quite well! The mascara goes on smooth, without any clumps. I applied two coats of the mascara, which you can see in the “after” photo above. I was impressed with the length of my lashes after those two coats, although the results weren’t quite as natural as I’ve achieved with some other mascaras. There was no mistaking that I was wearing mascara! Thankfully my lashes weren’t clumpy or anything like that.

As for how it held up, Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara passed that test with flying colors! Despite a nearly six-hour dinner, when we returned home there were no mascara rings under my eyes. My makeup still looked flawless! (The mascara held up presumably because it is awesome but the rest of my makeup held up thanks to the Skindinavia Makeup Primer Spray.) I was beyond exhausted when we got home so I went to sleep with my full makeup face still applied and even this morning I had very little mascara under my eyes. I was a little worried this meant that I was going to be scrubbing my eyes, but I needn’t have worried. A couple quick swipes of Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover (using the reusable makeup pads I purchased a few months ago) and my eyes were clean.

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara costs $7.99, and I would say that it’s a great budget beauty find! With this mascara you will be able to create monumental lashes that last for hours, which is about as good as it gets in my book.

Beauty Reviewed: Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment

Sometimes, when I’m really excited about something, I feel like a broken record. I feel like I’ve been talking non-stop about how much I’ve been wanting to try Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment ever since Glossybox shared that this product would be included in the upcoming July box. This product receives rave reviews and has been on my to-try list for quite awhile.

Glossybox mailed some bloggers a sneak peek of the July Glossybox, and my package included a sample of Glamglow Youthmud, which, as you can imagine, pretty much made my week!

Product Description:

This mud mask leaves skin noticeably radiant and glowing. It works with the body’s natural moisturizing collagen to provide gentle resurfacing exfoliation and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer. While providing tighter skin texture and tighter pores, it provides a more youthful appearance and absorbs impurities without removing natural oils. 

My thoughts, in no particular order:

  • While I knew this was an exfoliating mask, I really wasn’t expecting the mask to be as gritty as it is. This shouldn’t be construed as a bad thing! You remove the mask by applying water in a circular motion, which helps exfoliate and clean.
  • After I applied the product I noticed a cooling sensation. I was digging it, but after reading through some other reviews noticed that others didn’t like the “tingling” sensation as much as I did. This did not irritate my skin in any way. I thought it felt really good!
  • The mask dries quickly. Just 10 minutes and you’re ready to go.
  • There are some big flakes in the mask, which I didn’t understand. Is it mud? Grass? They basically just fell off my face, so I’m not sure what the purpose of that is.

After removing the mask, I noticed that my skin felt incredible. My skin is super sensitive so I rarely get facials (even “sensitive” facials tend to cause flare-ups), but after just 10 minutes with this mask applied I felt like I had received an hour-long facial. I was doing that thing where I kept touching my face because it just felt so amazingly soft and smooth.

According to the packaging, Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment can be used up to two times per week, but I likely won’t use it that often. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE this product, but I find that too much of good thing doesn’t usually work best for my skin. I will likely try to use this once every two weeks or so.

Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment costs $69 at Sephora.

If you receive Glossybox, you can expect to to receive a .5 oz. sample in the July box, just like the sample I posted above. Sephora also sells a .5 oz. sample that costs $19! If you’ve been wanting to try this product, your best bet is to get the July Glossybox, which costs $21. For $2 more, you’ll receive the Glamglow + four other products (including a full-size Skin Inc Serum that costs $45 retail)!

Glossybox is a monthly beauty box that costs $21 per month. If you’re interested in the Glamglow there is still time to subscribe to receive the July box and this product!

PLUS, this month with a new subscription to Glossybox you can receive a complimentary bottle Ciate nail polish ($15 value)! Use code “CIATE” at checkout. This offer is valid through July 31.

Click here to check out Glossybox!

Do Tell: Have you tried this mask? Did you like it as much as I did?

Beauty Reviewed: Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner

Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner


Apparently quite a few of you lucky people received samples of Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner in your April Birchbox and can I just say how jealous I am? Out of all of the beauty samples that are sent out, eyeliner is always my favorite to receive! I love trying out new brands via samples, and then I stash them in my suitcase for travel!

While I didn’t receive the samples, Birchbox did send me the new collection of Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner to try out and I am in love. Believe me when I say I’m not just in love because my eyeliner collection was replenished. There are some amazing colors in the collection that I wouldn’t have thought to purchase, but now that I’ve tried them I am smitten.

Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner

From top to bottom the colors are violet, silver, sky blue, charcoal, and black.

I love eyeliner but I’m usually not too adventurous with it. Would I ever purchase silver or sky blue eyeliner? Probably not. That said, the silver, sky blue, and charcoal eyeliners are my absolute favorite in the Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner collection. I am sure a good bit of this is due to my love of all things metallic as the silver and charcoal, in particular, have a great amount of metallic sparkle to them!

I can definitely see myself replacing my typical black eyeliner with the charcoal. It’s a little more subtle and adds a bit more sparkle, which I love! I know it’s not a big difference going from black to charcoal – and it probably won’t be noticeable to anyone but me – but I’ve been dedicated to black eyeliner for a decade now, so considering giving it up is a big deal.

I was really surprised at how much I like the silver eyeliner. I played around with it a little today:


I’m not sure that I like it on top of my eye, but it looks amazing as a highlighter! I need to play around with this one some more to figure out what looks best. I’m thinking maybe a really dark smoky eye combined with a little bit of the silver? I’m wearing the new Cynthia Rowley Confetti Eyeshadow above, but it doesn’t provide enough of a contrast to really make the silver pop.

Aside from the fun colors, this is just a high quality eyeliner. I haven’t had any issues with it smudging. I’m not sure whether the eyeliner is waterproof or not, but when I used the colors on my hand above they absolutely did not come off with just water. I had to get out the makeup remover. The liner goes on really smoothly and I could apply it in one stroke. The color is vibrant and strong without needing to keep going over it to get a better color. For an eyeliner pencil, this is about as good as it gets.

Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner is available exclusively in the Birchbox Store and costs $16 per pencil, or there are a couple of 2 for $25 Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner Duos available (sadly, the silver isn’t included in either of the duos). If you have Birchbox points available you could use them to pick up any of the Cynthia Rowley beauty products, all of which ship for free!

Check out my previous review of the Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeshadow Palette 1 and Liquid Eyeliner.

Disclosure: I was provided with these products to review, but all opinions expressed above are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a (very) small commission if you click a link and purchase something.

Beauty Reviewed: Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut

Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut

Birchbox contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in trying out Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut and while I agreed, I wasn’t sure that I would like the product. I’m a bit of a moisturizer purist and the thought of putting oil on my face just seemed a bit wrong. I’ve struggled with acne my whole life, and the last thing I could have ever imagined wanting to put on my skin was oil.

That said, the reason I tried the product is because I’ve been hearing great things about face oils recently. Shaina even told me that she had switched to exclusively using coconut oil on her face as a moisturizer and that her skin looked better than ever. While the Nyakio product isn’t coconut oil, hearing that did make me willing to give this oil a shot.

Details on what is in Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut:

Made with African kola nut, a rich source of caffeine, this quick-absorbing serum instantly invigorates skin. A blend of other natural oils—including ximenia, chamomile, and trichilia oil sourced from across Africa—balances complexion, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and softens skin.

This product is dermatologist tested, noncomedogenic, recommended for all skin types, and formulated without sulfates or parabens.

My thoughts:

The first thing I noticed about Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut was the scent. It is really strong and was a little overwhelming the first time I used it! At first I really disliked the floral-ish scent, but it is actually starting to grow on me. It dissolves pretty quickly, thank goodness!

While the instructions said to use 2-3 drops of the oil to cover my face, I found that I needed closer to 7-8 drops. A little goes a long way, but 2-3 drops was not nearly enough. I have to spend some time working this product into my skin, and once applied I feel like I need to give my skin time to dry before continuing with my routine. However, once it is dry, my skin feels amazing. It seriously feels as soft and smooth as it has ever felt.

Soft skin isn’t enough to make me rave about a product, however, because my normal Liz Earle moisturizer does a good job with that as well. What I will rave about is that the redness that has plagued my cheeks my whole life seems to have faded after just a week! And by faded, I mean the redness isn’t even detectable! I don’t know if it’s the entire oil that’s working wonders on my face or one of the natural oils that’s included – perhaps chamomile? – but I am very pleased with the results! And by very pleased I mean I am ecstatic! I am used to the redness, but now that it’s gone I feel like I look a good five years younger. And I just look healthier.

This might be crazy, but I feel like putting an oil on my face makes me more susceptible to burns, so I am even more careful about applying SPF products on my face before leaving the house. I haven’t had any issues, but I’d rather be safe than sorry!

Using an oil in place of a traditional moisturizer has taken a little bit of time to get used to, but I’m really happy I gave this product a shot and I intend to keep on using it, at least while the temperatures are on the cool side. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about slathering my face in oil once the temperatures really heat up, so there’s a chance this product might get put away until the fall. Regardless, I’m happy to have added a new product to my beauty routine that so quickly improved the appearance of my skin!

Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut retails for $49 in the Birchbox Store.

Disclosure: I was provided with a product to review, however all opinions expressed above are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a (very) small commission if you click a link and purchase something.

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