Tried & Treasured Skincare Products

An update of six products I’ve tested over six months or longer

For cleansing the face:

Micellar Water

Micellar Water: is a highly effective one-step all around gentle cleanser for removing makeup and to help clear out pores while removing impurities and toning the skin.  Perfect for those nights when you want to quickly clean up before bedtime. Plus, it’s free of alcohol and may help promote skin hydration.  It can be used on any skin type but may be especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin, as it can help reduce skin inflammation and irritation.  There are many kinds out there.  I bought Sephora brand shown in photo.

evanhealy Rose Cleansing Milk:This soft and creamy cleansing milk can be followed up after micellar water or can be used on its own. It’s very gentle with a lovely light rose scent. This brand helps to balance skin and prepare for nightly moisturizer.  Made with plant oils and floral waters, It helps draw impurities out of pores. I bought it at Whole Foods.

Face Cream for Day:

Grown Alchemist: I love this cream for morning before applying *sunscreen.  I keep it in the fridge not to preserve it but because it feels cooling on my skin. It not only has the nicest fresh scent, it’s super hydrating in a non greasy way.  I first tried it as part of the Curateur Box of Style and loved it from the get go. The clean ingredients really helps to nourish the skin.  It’s a keeper.

Face Cream for Night:

Nonie of Beverly Hills: I decided to list the ingredients first on this one.

This lightweight but effective night cream has 10% Alphy Hydroxy Acids from extracts of Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Maple Cane, Orange & Lemon Oils.  It has Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Citrus Mix of Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Bergamot & Neroli Oils; Coconut Emulsifier, Orchid Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract & Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

 With vitamins A, B, C, this is touted (according to the website and several reviews) as the best anti-wrinkle, anti-aging exfoliator, and renewer around. It was created from real plant ingredients in the kitchens of Hungary.  It helps to stimulate cell renewal and is considered a natural exfoliator for the skin.  You can use it around your eyes too. I found it at Clark’s in Palm Desert but I’m sure you can find it at other natural health food stores as well as here:

Cult face/hair/body balm:

Cult King: this balm is the bomb. Sometimes we need a little extra help with hydration. This I believe was developed first as a hair product. My hairdresser turned me onto this balm which you can use for a multitude of reasons.  The website says it’s the go-to botanical godsend for hair, skin, shaving, the works.  Loaded with organic ingredients, I put a tiny bit on dry areas of my skin and under the eyes.  For me the efficacy & scent is what cements the purchase.  

Body Scrub:

Suzanne Somers Organics Acai Scrub: this delightful natural fruit acid complex has to be my favourite exfoliating body scrub (and sometimes used for face). Good for anywhere you develop rough dry patches.

*Sunscreen: Supergoop Glowscreen SPF 40
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and the results you found.

Beauty: Narcissiststick

Essentially speaking….

sometimes we need a little help attaining a perfect complexion. Sometimes even a lot of work. We can take a few shortcuts to looking flawless by using mineral powder or liquid foundation (both good) to even out our skintone but for simplicity sake I say….STICK IT!foundation1

What’s New? Well….


If you’re like me you want minimalist makeup with instant gratification.

W3LL PEOPLE is an uncommon beauty dream team founded by an elite makeup artist, cosmetic dermatologist and tree hugging entrepreneur, passionate about making positive choices in life, particularly when it comes to self care.

Skin, our largest organ, absorbs about 80% of what we put on it. This crucial fact drives their mission to create super premium quality cosmetics without the use of potentially harmful artificial chemicals found in most conventional makeup. A modern approach built on simplicity, authenticity and performance.

State-of-the-art, all-natural formulas effortlessly deliver flawless coverage and soothing protection that’s unbelievably light. foundation2

 This feel good, creamy foundation instantly melts into skin giving it a fresh, healthy glow. The modern stick design is ideal for portability and mess-proof application on the go. The New breakthrough formula delivers a weightless, satin, soft-focus finish while balancing skin tone and diminishing imperfections. Made with pure, natural and organic ingredients, so there’s no film, no grease, no crease just diva-friendly perfection.


  • Key ingredients: organic sunflower oil, castor seed oil, organic beeswax, silica, mica, safflower seed oil, aloe extract, vitamin E, organic green tea essential oil, organic chamomile essential oil

Price: $28.99 USD

beauty – apothecary appeal

Ever since the time I set foot in the original Kiehl’s homeopathic pharmacy in NYC

people are starting to go for a more natural approach - not tested on animals is a good start
people are starting to go for a more natural approach – not tested on animals is a good start

I was in heaven; hooked on the clean simplicity of the packaging and their natural old-fashioned appeal. Plus I actually loved a lot of the product line and it was a special treat to not be able to find it everywhere. As in “I went to New York and brought you back this special “ultra-facial” moisturizing cream, blah, blah.” But that was before it was purchased by L’Oreal and started to become mainstream and now sold in independant retail and high-end department stores including select airport locations world wide. You can’t blame them for selling out but it was more of a unique shopping destination at the time.apoc1

Several hundred years ago, you’d go to an apothecary to pick up medicine or to seek medical attention. Those jobs belonged to pharmacists and general practitioners, but now apothecaries are popping up again,  just in a slightly different capacity. Back in the day, an apothecary treated all different ailments, now the term encompasses beauty products, home goods, natural stuff and the like.  What’s old is new again?apoc3

But in line with the apothecaries of old, a lot of  beauty products are medicinally focused.  Things to help with thinning hair, dry skin and scalp, eczema and the like.  It’s all need-based and since the products are packaged fairly simply, the prices are usually lower – but not always.apoc2australia

A lot of these products are made with herbs and essential oils – but there are herbs that are good for your skin and there are others that are not depending on your problem area. You should do a little bit of homework beforehand even though sales people should be aware of what will work for you.  Don’t always count on it.

Most of the apothecary products selling now are very good, clean products and they have a lot of heart behind them. If you look closely you’ll find that the bottles all look the same or very similar – it’s the label that sets them apart (of course, what’s inside is what really counts). The focus being that a certain care and quality is infused (and expected) in products which are made in small batches.skin7

If the recent shift in the beauty market towards transparency and awareness is any indication, this is the kind of shopping experience consumers are starting to be attracted to again.  Customers now are more educated and come in with the right questions and they know what they’re looking for.  You have to because there’s much more to choose from but isn’t that a lot better than not having any choices?

WANT Apothecary has launched its first West Coast boutique in Vancouver's South Granville neighbourhood.
WANT Apothecary has launched its first West Coast boutique in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbourhood.

Montreal-born clothing and lifestyle boutique WANT Apothecary has opened its first West Coast outpost in Vancouver. Nestled among the art galleries and shops on South Granville, WANT Apothecary (2956 Granville Street) fits right into the neighbourhood with its charming boutique storefront and European flair.

What kind of skincare products are you using?  Do you stick to the same line, mix it up or go for something totally different each time?

beauty biz – honestly

A new beauty launch.  This time by actress-turned-CEO Jessica Alba as she branches out, adding a beauty line to her Honest Company, known for its eco-friendly household and baby products. honest3

Jessica Alba didn’t build a $1 billion company by playing it safe.

The Honesty Company has turned Jessica, 34, into a bona fide entrepreneur – and a rich one at that – and now the gorgeous mom-of-two is set to sell a new line of cosmetics from the all-natural and organic-focused brand.

The Instagram account for Honest Beauty launched and started teasing the new line a week ago, but yesterday the brand shared a sneak peek at the upcoming collection.

Take a first look at the development of our color collection,’ reads the caption under the snap, which features pink and red-pigmented products that appear to be lip glosses and blush powders.

Pretty pigmants: The brand's Instagram account shared this image teasing the line's offerings
Pretty pigmints: The brand’s Instagram account shared this image teasing the line’s offerings

The cosmetics will likely be marketed as eco-friendly, safe, and sustainable, which are all major tenets of the company and characteristics that Jessica has been vocal about in the past.

‘There’s a real need for beauty products that aren’t like piling dirt on your face, are healthy and don’t make you sick but actually work and feel luxurious,’ she told earlier this year.

Jessica opts for natural or non-toxic makeup products that are free of the following ingredients:makeup1So do I.  Look forward to seeing what the products are like.  I’ll probably be falling for some come Fall.

Source for launch:

Beauty biz – beauty you can EAT

Edible beauty products…It was just a matter of time edibledon’t you think so?  After all, the beauty industry is HUGE.  There are natural products and then there are these which I believe falls into the natural category…..even more so because they are good enough to eat.  Hmmm…I haven’t tried any of these, not sure how they taste but thought you’d like to know about them.  As seen on Style Bistro.

We all know true beauty comes from within. But great skin doesn’t hurt, either. With all of the thousands of different products available, we’ve grown accustomed to lathering, lotioning and glopping on. But what if you didn’t have to? What if you could just take a pill and fight anti-aging or the sun’s rays? A new series of products hitting the market is aiming to do just that. From drinkable sunscreen to pills for your skin, ingestible beauty products have been popping up on our radar these days.

edible1For those concerned with anti-aging (like who isn’t?), drinkable collagen might be the answer. Reserveage’s Collagen Replenish ($16) is a flavorless powder that’s meant to be mixed in with water or juice. The powder contains collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to supposedly fight collagen deterioration and free-radical damage.

And if putting on sunscreen is so last summer for you, perhaps drinkable SPF is more your style. Osmosis edible2Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer ($30) is a liquid dietary supplement that helps protect against sun damage, thanks to its vibration-frequency technology that’s supposed to neutralize UV radiation.

edible3And if skin brightening is more your style, Equitance has a Skin Radiance Dietary Supplement ($50) meant to support skin brightening. These pills are designed to improve skin’s vitality with a balance of natural ingredients such as grape-seed extract, yucca-wood extract, hesperidin and egg shell membrane, which contains L-cystine (an amino acid popular for illumination).

But what do you think?

Would you ever try ingestible beauty products?




beauty – naturally!

More and more women are turning to Natural Beauty Products.   What works & what doesn’t?naturalbeautyThe following is from a recent interview that Alex (who works for Garance Doré) had with Tata Harper (founder of Tata Harper Skincare).  Since I’ve been formulating my own line of natural skincare products I found it quite timely and true to what I believe so it seemed natural to just re-blog their

What is natural beauty?

Natural beauty doesn’t have an official definition in the industry; a lot of beauty companies label and market their products as “natural” though they have synthetic chemical ingredients in the formulas. To me, “natural beauty”, when it comes to products, means the ingredients are 100% natural and nontoxic: nothing synthetic that’s been formulated in a lab, only things that have been derived from natural sources like plants, clays found in nature, etc. I think, too, “natural beauty” can mean something more holistic: a lifestyle approach to beauty that includes more than just skincare and makeup products, and incorporates important elements of our lifestyles that affect the way we look, like our diet, stress level, exercise, and how hydrated we are. I think cultivating beauty from the inside out is an element of “natural beauty”, because making healthy, skin-conscious lifestyle decisions can make a huge difference in our outward appearance – naturally.

What made you want to create a line of natural products?

My step dad was diagnosed with cancer about nine years ago now, and it really started after I accompanied him to different cancer centers and all of a sudden the doctors asked me to bring all of his personal care products in for evaluation, and everything was banned.

We were given the mandate to find all-natural products to replace everything that he was using. Obviously I was very curious about that because I’m Latin, and we use too many products. We grow up in a culture that we embrace beauty and our dedication to beauty is beyond what Americans can imagine.

I remember going to department stores trying to look for this holy grail of natural skincare, to look at the ingredients, and thinking, “What’s the point of this natural skincare if it mixes the natural and all of the synthetics?” Basically, that’s how it started and it took almost five years with eight different scientists, because I was obsessed with making them extremely high-tech so that when people use them they would see the results. So I had aromatherapists, homeopathic doctors, herbalists, botanists, skin biologists, all working in this line for many years, until we were launched into the market.

What do we need to worry about?

The majority of the products that are out there in the market contain these questionable toxic chemicals that the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] does not regulate.

A lot of the time what happens is that people don’t even realize what they are putting on. The typical is like the paraben-free, so you’re like “Oh it is natural, it is paraben-free.” And I know that that just means there is one ingredient they left out of there. But then they replace it with another ingredient, which is a mixture of gasoline and alcohol. And people just don’t know that. If people knew what is in their products they probably wouldn’t be putting it on their skin everyday twice a day.

Daily exposure to all these toxic chemicals, that is what motivated me to do this. As a consumer, I don’t want to put any potential cancer-causing ingredient on my skin. Ten years down the road, with the attempts to be beautiful, my wellness is sacrificed. At the end of the day, is what this natural movement is all about. A lot of people think that the natural movement, this switch, has to do with the environment and hugging trees in Vermont. It’s really not about that, this is a health conversation that we are all having.

Do natural products work?

A common myth is that natural products don’t work, everybody thinks that. People are used to natural products that are really low quality found in supermarkets, where you don’t expect a lot of performance from them in the first place. When people say that natural products don’t work, that is something I have to challenge every time.

I am usually faced with women that come to me and say “Tata I buy organic food for my family, I use all natural products to clean my house, I use all natural medicine, but, you know my skin care products are still this and that.”  And I’m like “What are you doing?” Why are you doing that when nowadays you can achieve the results you need without putting all the synthetic chemicals on your skin?

For example, we bring ingredients from around the world like Spanish lavender. We bring from a lab outside of Barcelona. It is actually an ingredient that is synthesized, so it mimics the effect of Botox topically applied. So in two hours, 95% of all your subcutaneous muscles are completely relaxed. So that is something that people really don’t realize when they think about natural products.

Have you noticed changes in the market?

The good thing is that the market is really responding to this demand that customers are making for having better things for them. In big cosmetic labs today, the majority of the budget goes into natural actives that perform as well as synthetics, or even better.

It is getting a lot easier now to find all of these natural ingredients. Before when we would go to trade shows there would only be about ten or fifteen, and now it has become such a huge thing. Now it is super exciting because everyone is re-evaluating. The majority of the newness is all about natural actives.

What advice do you give someone who wants to start using natural products?

I like to tell people to start with one thing at a time. Change the things that you use most often first, don’t try to change everything because it is such a daunting task that the people never end up doing anything.

What is your beauty philosophy?

First of all, I believe that beauty isn’t a one way street: the way we look on the outside is a reflection of our entire wellness. I believe that healthy food, getting lots of sleep, controlling stress and finding time to relax, finding time for regular exercise and staying hydrated are all as important to the way my skin looks as my skincare is. It doesn’t matter how many creams you use – if you’re not getting any sleep or your diet is mostly sugar or processed foods, your skin is going to reflect that by being more dull or prone to showing signs of aging because it’s not being nourished, or given time to naturally refresh and regenerate. Secondly, I believe that beauty is about consistent, daily care – find a routine that makes your skin glow and stick to it, so your skin can really enjoy the long-term benefits of the products!

Here are a few others brands that we love and are following the whole natural path… Don’t hesitate to tell us if you know others!

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, Regenerating Cleanser and Reparative Moisturizer. One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum and Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and ConditionerDr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk.

Get Spoiled luxe facial oil, étoile hydrating essence & BALMshell advanced care for eyes/lips/cuticlesNEW: 1st Class Natural Skincare flight package.  Available at

 So, what do you think about natural beauty? What are you using? And what does it take for you to go 100% natural?