July 3, 2018

EcoTools Facial Mask Mates

As an avid masker, I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy my "pamper time" and recently purchased a facial mask brush from Origins (you may recall it was on my Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist). At $20 CAD, however, the price for the Origins brush is a little steep... especially when you can get the even more affordable EcoTools Facial Mask Mates set for less than $10.

The set contains a mask applicator brush for easy application of any cream, gel, or clay mask. Using a brush rather than your fingers makes the whole process mess-free and also allows you to conserve product because you can control how much you're layering on your face.

Once ready to remove the mask, you can then use one of the three mask remover sponges included in the set. I usually use a wash cloth but a sponge is a great way to do it too. EcoTools recommends another use for them as well: with your cleanser as part of your everyday skincare routine to remove dirt, oil, and makeup.

In case you were wondering how the two compare, the Ecotools mask applicator brush is a pretty decent alternative to the more expensive Origins brush. Both have synthetic bristles and are similar in shape (Origins is a little wider but they are about the same level of density). The Origins brush does feel a bit weightier and more substantial but both get the job done just the same.

If you have to pick, the EcoTools set is a no-brainer! It's definitely made my masking routine even more enjoyable and is a great buy that you can find at your local drugstore (London Drugs, Rexall, or Pharma Plus, to name a few).

June 28, 2018

Revlonissimo Color Sublime: Ammonia-Free Hair Colour in Three Stimulating Scents

My hair had been in dire need of a touch-up so it was most fortuitous that I was offered an appointment to try the new Revlonissimo Color Sublime a few weeks ago. A salon-exclusive treatment, this line of Revlon Professional hair colour is ammonia-free and offers something never-before-seen (or smelled): customizable fragrance!

Getting my hair done is always a bit of a treat... the head massage, the blowdry... it's an experience that you really want to indulge in. With Color Sublime, you can choose from three different fragrances, depending on how you're feeling. Sunset Mood is a tropical affair with notes of orange, mandarin, peach, apricot, rose, and musk. Sweet Gourmet is reminiscent of baked goods with notes of lily, jasmine, chocolate, cocoa butter, vanilla, and musk. Finally, Zen Moment transports you to the spa with notes of orange, lemon, rosemary, clove, tangerine, lily, freesia, wood, and musk.

For my colour session, I chose Sweet Gourmet because I felt like something homey and comforting. Plus, I might have been a bit hungry since it smelled exactly like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Yum!! It was nice to breathe it in and not have to worry about huffing damaging fumes. Since Color Sublime is ammonia-free, you're also getting a treatment that is more gentle on your hair but still rich and vibrant. The line is available in 51 shades and can lighten up to 3 levels.

I personally have been going darker these days (especially after my time as a blonde) and was super happy with how rich my colour turned out. My hair also felt incredibly soft and it was fun to have that added bonus of a special fragrance chosen by me (note: the fragrance is present during the treatment but not really once it's washed and conditioned for obvious reasons).

Thank you to Revlon Professional and Pink Lime Salon & Spa in Yaletown for this fun experience!

May 28, 2018

Carbon Coco Ultimate Carbon Kit: Teeth Whitening with Activated Charcoal

With the sheer amount of photos that will inevitably be taken, weddings are always a good excuse to work on your appearance, from hitting the gym more often to growing your hair longer for a fancy hairstyle (both of which I've been doing myself). Another thing I'm working on: teeth whitening thanks to Carbon Coco!

A while back, the company sent over their Ultimate Carbon Kit for me to try out. The star of the kit is Carbon Coco's Activated Charcoal Tooth Polish. A finely milled black powder, it's an oxidized version of charcoal with a hint of bentonite clay and lemon myrtle that supposedly whitens and polishes teeth without any chemicals or bad-for-you ingredients.

To use, you wet the toothbrush (conveniently made with dark bristles to avoid staining) and dip it in the powder. Brush in small circles for 2-3 minutes, spit out and rinse. The powder is odourless and tasteless but the sensation is a bit weird at first. You can feel the powder on your teeth, but it's not gritty and shouldn't cause any sensitivity.

The powder is followed up with the Activated Charcoal Toothpaste, which is also black in colour but foams up. I don't usually like spearmint flavours but this toothpaste was actually quite refreshing once I got past the strangeness of my teeth looking black while I brushed. Thankfully it does all rinse clear. The toothpaste acts as a protectant from staining to maintain your pearly whites.

Pretty easy to use, right? The main caveat I would give to anyone interested in trying these products is that they can get messy if you're not careful. The first time I tried the Tooth Polish, I accidentally used too much and got black powder all over my bathroom sink and counter. You only need to use a tiny bit of powder so once I got the hang of it, the mess factor was no longer an issue.

As for the whitening capabilities, my teeth are already pretty white but I have noticed they do seem brighter. The results are great for only 7-14 days of use (the recommended course).

Overall, I definitely prefer the Carbon Coco system over other more conventional at-home whitening products like Crest White Strips. I love not having to worry about harsh chemicals and potential tooth sensitivity, plus I need to brush my teeth anyway so it doesn't add much extra time to my night time routine.

The Ultimate Carbon Kit is super reasonably priced (on sale now for $59.95)... just make sure you factor in shipping time from Australia since it does take a while to get to North America.

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