Review: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Dace Peel

Next up from my wonderful Bloom Beauty Ambassador Kit is a 5-Day trial of Dr. Dennis Gross’ Extra Strength Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel.

It is a two-step process containing two moist towelettes in separate packets. You simply open packet 1, an “Alpha Beta Refining” treatment, rub it in circular motions until most of the moisture is gone from the pad. Wait two minutes, then do the same with step 2, an “Enriching Neutralizing System”and then you’re done! For me, this is the best part: it’s quick, simple, and clean, and afterwards you do not look like you had a peel but your skin feels smooth and soft. I did not experience any irritation, redness, dryness or breakouts. It tingles a bit on step 1. My skin felt smooth and even afterward. On the other hand, I have used a lot of at-home peels and while they are a little more harsh initially, the results are similar. There was nothing so unique about this product that I could not live without it. A 30-pack of the extra strength (which I tried) will run you $88.00 and the regular strength will run you $85.00…pretty comparable so if you wanted to try them you would just need to decide which would suit your skin best.

The pads do have a few ingredients like fragrance which may be irritating to some skins and pretty much bad for everybody, and alcohol is one of the first ingredients, which is a negative for me as well. That would probably prevent me from buying and actually using on a daily basis as intended, but they are cruelty-free. vegan, paraben and phthalate-free, which are all positives. They were incredibly easy to use, easy to travel with, are very softly scented, and require an incredibly short application time, unlike some peels which take forever AND are very messy.

Here is a picture of my forehead and then my cheek on day 1 and day 5. I did notice my skin to be brighter and more even, which is a plus but not an $85-$88 plus.

If you are looking for an at-home peel and you haven’t found something that works for you yet, there is a 10-day supply available on Bloom so give it a try! Everyone is different and it is certainly a unique product.

Cheers,

Caroline

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Review: Sundari and T’eez!

My latest Bloom.com Ambassador box was packed with spectacular hair products. Since one of the products (Sundari’s Neem and Coconut Oil Treatment) is more of a long-term use product, and the other two (T’eez Build Me Volume Spray and Bounce Me Styling Cream) are “every time you style” products, I decided to do one great big review for both.

Sundari Neem and Coconut Oil Treatment

Sundari means “a beautiful woman” in Sanskrit. This is such a unique company because of their adherence to Ayurvedic principles (read more here). Of course, green gal that I am, I had to check out the ingredients first. This treatment oil passed with FLYING colors!

According to their website, Sundari products are formulated with organic ingredients when possible, no synthetic fragrances or dyes are used in the products, essential oils used are therapeutic grade, they do not test on animals, and all products are dermatologist tested. I was good to go. (Love Bloom for providing so many green beauty choices!)

I received three sample packets of the Neem and Coconut Oil Treatment. Lucky me, I already had one from a previous Bloom order I had placed (love those free samples!) and had used on my hair the week before I got my July Ambassador box. To use, you apply the oil to your hair and scalp, and leave on for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. I have longer hair and it is very thick and dry, so I concentrated on my dry scalp and ends, but I only ever left it on for 30 minutes to an hour. I found one packet was enough for my length and thickness of hair, you just need to really work it in. I know the smell of products is always controversial, but I LOVED this scent. It is soft and not overpowering at all, but very unique. I was super concerned that the oily product would not wash completely out of my hair but it washed out perfectly and did not leave a residue (my worst fear!). I styled as usual (blow dryer and spot-straightening) as this product has another great feature: heat protection!

Over the weeks I used this product I noticed my hair felt thicker and stronger, and I had less flyaways. Since I have curly hair, I can either let it dry naturally or blow it our straight, and this product improved my hair so much that both my styles were also improved. I like that you use it once a week but you still reap the benefits even when you do not use it right before washing and styling. Check out my pictures below, both taken in the last couple days (and styled with my other great hair products) to see my final product!

A packet is .13 oz (4mL) and the full size on Bloom.com is 3.4 oz (100mL) so I would probably estimate I could get a good 25 uses out of the full size. FOr $34, I think it is on the high end but a fair price. Also, it works wonders, so really…it’s worth it.

T’eez Build Me Volume Spray and Bounce Me Styling Cream

T’eez was launched in 2008 by nationally known and published hairstylist Thomas Sena. His philosophy is “Why develop a product line unless it works better than what’s available?” It is a simple lineup of essential hair products. I also love each product’s sassy name. I got to try 2 of them (I was really impressed). I tried looking for a complete ingredients list for the spray because I only received a sample, but I couldn’t find it. The cream, however, did have a lot of paraben action. Sigh. However, there were also a lot of ingredients to love, too. From their brand page on Bloom.com…

“Plant extracts such as avocado oil, sweet almond oil, safflower oil, and wheat germ oil add conditioners, emollients, and fatty acids to hair to keep it soft, shiny, manageable, and healthy. Rosemary is another favorite of T’eez due to its ability to encourage growth, and add volume and glossiness to hair. Finally, amino acids and plant proteins are added to keep your hair strong, elastic, and frizz-free.”

The volume spray is up first. I used it when blow drying my hair out with a natural boar bristle round brush. I sprayed it at the roots of each section of damp hair before I dried it. The smell is so great – really fresh, smelled like a great salon! My main concerns with volume sprays are always that they will be sticky and leave a residue and that they will cause my hair to get dirty faster and I will have to shampoo more often. I am pleased to say this did neither of those things! The volume also LASTS. I go several days between washing and drying, so when I find a product that keeps the volume up during that time I get REALLY excited! Here is my final product (don’t forget about the oil treatments I described above too)!

Build Me Volume Spray, Blow-dried

Thrilled.

Next, I tried the Bounce Me Styling Cream. It is an all-purpose cream, meaning I also could have used it on my blowout, but I was really excited to give it a try on my curls. I really can’t stand wearing my hair in its natural curls because in order for me not to look like a cavewoman I have to put SO MUCH product on my hair it gets really crunchy and horrible. I have been told my hair has a nice curl to it, and I agree, but I just have not found a product that helps me style it. This cream is the best I have used. I just applied it from root to tip on wet hair and let it dry naturally. I have never had my curls so smooth and shiny. When I touched my hair, it felt like hair and not like a brillo pad. The scent of this one is amazing, too. My hair was not even completely dry in this pic but it only got better as my hair dried and the curls got tighter.

Using Bounce Me Cream and air dried!

Again, thrilled.

Now, these don’t come cheap – if I wanted to go buy both of them right now I would spend over $40. I did not get a full size of the spray, but I did get a full size cream, and it is VERY generous. For how much I wear my hair in curls (although it may be more now) I think it will last me a long time. If that is any indication of the volume spray and considering how little liquid you really use in a spray bottle, I would say again, these are on the high end but not unattainable and certainly worth it for their quality.

I was really happy with all three hair products I tried out. I would highly recommend them all!

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Kaia Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths

I liked these cleansing cloths. I love the way they smell and the way they feel – so soft!

I tried these against the wipes I currently use, the Yes to Cucumbers wipes. I used these on one half of my face and my usual on the other half. If you dare, I did post a before and after on my twitter account.

I was pleased with how these worked, but I don’t feel they worked better than the other (much cheaper) wipes. They were easy on my sensitive eyes, but I did not find them more effective at removing even my eye makeup. Overall if you’re looking for a quality, gentle, effective facial cleaning cloth I would recommend these as an option but my bottom line is that I’m sticking with the less expensive option.

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Stila Spring Palettes

As part of my June Bloom Beauty Ambassador Kit, I got to try out 2 of Stila’s Spring Palettes: In the Garden and In the Moment. They are $39 at Bloom.com. I think it’s a great price for an assortment of 10 eyeshadows.

In The Garden Palette

In the Garden is a collection of botanical- inspired shades. They are all shimmery, which was not my favorite – I like matte eyeshadows as well and when you are buying a collection of 10 different eyeshadows, I would prefer some variation. Here is a look I did using “nectar”, “sage”, “moss”, and “juniper” shades:

 

I love posting creepy close-ups of my eyes. Next…

In The Moment Palette

In the Moment has light baby pinks, pale lavenders, deep plums, mid-tone neutrals, and sparkly black. It was definitely my favorite of the two. Here is the look I did using the “instinct”, “impulse”, and “glance” shades:

Like I said, I liked them both, but In the Moment was definitely my favorite! As someone who does not wear heavy makeup everyday, I was pleased that these are not super potent and to get them very dark you need to apply quite a lot. Perfect for spring!

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Booty Parlor Flirty Little Secret!

Another great pick from my June Bloom Beauty Ambassador Kit was Booty Parlor’s ” Flirty Little Secret” Firming Bronzer with pheromones. This company is all about helping women feel more attractive, desirable, confident and sexy.

The price seems high ($32 for a 4.5 fl oz. bottle),  but a little goes a long way so I would say the price is right. I am not really into bronzers in general and I try to stay out of the sun, but I decided to try this out on my legs and was really impressed. For me, it is not for everyday use because it has a lot of chemicals. For a special occasion or a time you want to look especially glowing, I say go for it.

I was terrified that on pale skin the bronzer would look ridiculous and orange…and at first it did! But you have to keep rubbing it in and then it looks awesome! Even on your ankles and feet, it blends really nicely and just looks like you have a great tan. If your skin is moisturized already I think it blends better. It also has some shimmer in it but not too much – it does not look overdone or too bright. I could feel the firming action a little bit but I didn’t see a big difference on my lower legs.

One thing to watch out for, despite how this product will make you feel like you have an incredible tan, it is not a sunscreen and is not a sunless tanner, either. You wash it off with soap and water. So watch yourself in the sun and for awhile after you apply it – make sure it dries completely.

So now for the big question – do the pheromones they pack into this bronzer work? I can’t say for sure the pheromones were working their magic, but I can’t read people’s minds either…maybe they were! But if you really want to have fun, check out Booty Parlor’s Website…they have quite a range of products 😉

Overall a fun and effective product! You can pick it up now on Bloom.com – definitely worth a try!

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Pacifica, Pacifica, and More Pacifica!

The month of June sure was a great time to be a Bloom Beauty Ambassador! I got to try so many fantastic products and I’ll be sharing them with you over the next few days! First up is the incredible box of 5 Pacifica products.

If you’re not familiar with Pacifica products, they definitely get the Rainy Day Box seal of approval. They are natural, vegan, safe, and sustainable. Pacifica’s founder, Brook Harvey Taylor, studied aromatherapy and her expertise comes through with their products amazing scents. Pacifica products are manufactured in the USA and the company uses local suppliers for their boxes and many of their ingredients. Green Beauty Lover that I am, I especially love that they do NOT use parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, artificial colors, and animal products, and they do not test on animals. They’re all over on my Green Goddess Board.

Here are the 5 products I tried, and my thoughts on them all. You can snag them for yourself at Bloom.com.

Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On:

I really loved this perfume – the scent is wonderful, light but noticeable and long-lasting. I love roll-on scents, it makes it so easy to drop in your purse to refresh if you need it. The price is also great – it is a lot of product (especially for a perfume). If you are a fan of vanilla scents I would definitely recommend this! 1% of their proceeds from the sale of any product in the Island Vanilla scent line (including this roll-on perfume) benefits the Ocean Futures Society. How great is that?

Color Quench All-Natural Moisture Lip Tint:

I tried out the Blood Orange color and the Coconut Nectar color. I like the feel of these lip tints – very smooth and incredibly moisturizing! The colors are great, as are the scents. The size of the tubes are more than generous and they come with an outer case as well. For every day use, I liked the Blood Orange more than  the Coconut Nectar. It has a nice pink hue that compliments a lot of makeup and clothes. The Coconut Nectar is much more pale and shimmery which can look very beautiful, but I think it is a bit harder to wear every day. I wore it for a night out and really loved how it set off my darker eye makeup. It definitely will not tint your lips. I did not like that they have no SPF and I did find they left a little white film at the corners of my lips a few times. Overall I really liked it and I do find myself reaching for them quite often.

Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter:

What a fantastic lotion! It smells amazing – citrus-y but not overwhelmingly so. It has a rich scent that stays with you but since I love citrus I find it layers well with other products. The consistency is also wonderful! It does not leave a film like some body butters. It soaks right in and your skin feels very moisturized and soft. If you are looking for a new lotion and you like citrus scents, this would be a great pick!

Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter:

Another fantastic lotion! See everything I said about the Tuscan Blood Orange? Ditto here. I am not a huge fan of coconut smells but I really enjoy this scent.

Coconut Pearl Bronzing Body Butter:

This product was really great. It really adds more shimmer than color, however. I guess I would describe its effect as evening out your skin tone. That was great for me since I am rarely a fan of bronzers. Pacifica does coconut scents (which I am rarely a fan of as well) wonderfully – this smells heavenly. The consistency is great (another of Pacifica’s strengths) so it blends well and leaves your skin looking and feeling great. If you are looking for a light shimmery lotion I would recommend this product.

I was thrilled with all the products I got to sample from Pacifica. It is a great company with great products and you can get them all from Bloom.com!

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Lashfood Mascara and Eyeliner

The LashFood love affair continues! As a Bloom.com Beauty Ambassador I also got to try their Conditioning Drama Mascara and Conditioning Liquid Eyeliner

I was so impressed with my Nano-Peptide Natural Eyelash Conditioner that I was very excited to see how their other products worked. They lived up to my expectations! My favorite thing is that they are TRULY black – the color is deep and rich and makes your eyes POP! When you consider the added benefit of them being from LashFood, I think I just found a new mascara. It is a big brush, and I usually prefer smaller bristles, but this one separates and defines your lashes beautifully. It really gives you that “falsies” look (when you aren’t wearing your Winks of course 😉 ).

I am hopeless at putting liquid eyeliner on, but I managed for the last couple days and it really stays in place and stays very bold all day. The brush is really similar to the brush in the conditioner, so it delivers the perfect thickness of liner to your lashes.

The only thing I did not like about these products is when it comes to removal – they are SOLIDLY on your face, haha. If you have ever used Blinc mascara the removal of this is really similar. It comes off, but I use makeup remover towelettes and you really have to rub to get it off. It kind of flakes off instead of dissolving. It does come off, though so I think it is a minor complaint considering all the great things about it!

LashFood is definitely my new go-to for all things eyes – I am going to try out the Nano-Peptide Natural Eyebrow Conditioner! I can’t WAIT to see how that works!

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask

I recently got to try another amazing product from Bloom.com: Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask. It’s an ultra-soothing and hydrating mask that leaves your face looking bright and fresh.

I have liked this brand for a long time. They use some ingredients I could live without (particularly Tocopheryl Acetate and Benzyl Alcohol in this formulation) but all in all I think this is a great product.

The consistency is wonderful, and it is flesh-colored so you don’t look totally scary when you’re wearing it. It’s a bit of a time commitment to use it, the instructions recommend 15-20 minutes. I know it’s really not that long, but it feels like it when you have to sit around! It may be a good treatment for a rainy day…

When I washed the mask off, my face was slightly splotchy but it resolved itself within a few minutes. My theory is that the mask is really very invigorating and increased blood flow to my face, so it was not so much a skin reaction as much as it was simple flushing.

The results from this mask were great. The only drawback for me is that there are a lot of similar products, some of which I own, that also give similar results. I still definitely recommend it because I felt the results lasted longer than others (and why can’t there be another great product out there?). My skin truly was brighter and so smooth – I was impressed. It retails for $60, and I think for the amount of product you get it is well worth the money – you will get many uses out of one jar.

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Lashfood Conditioner

I’m back! And I have a lot of wonderful products to review from Bloom.com! The first is one I’ve been working on for awhile – LashFood Nano-Peptide Natural Eyelash Conditioner. I started using this back in April since it takes several weeks to get results. (and you do see them!) It’s like a non-prescription, all-natural “Latisse” – designed to strengthen, lengthen, and otherwise enhance your lashes. I like the ingredients and who doesn’t want longer, stronger, fuller lashes?

You simply apply a thin line to your lash line (like eyeliner) every night before bed. It felt wet for a bit, but after it dried, I did not notice it at all!

I applied the conditioner religiously and I would say I started to see real results in 4 weeks. My lashes are definitely longer but more than that, I noticed that they were stronger and that they do not fall out as much – they hardly ever fall out at all. They don’t just look different, they feel very different and that is something only I would notice, but it makes a big difference. I am disappointed that my pictures really do not do it justice!

before

after

I thought I had good lashes, but now they are great! My best evidence is that when I was at the dentist last week, the hygienist actually made it a point to comment that I had really thick lashes. I can honestly say I had never received that compliment before! (I told her my secret). I’m pinning it to my Green Goddess Board too!

I loved this product and I really was not sure that I would. I saw real results, and the $80 price tag seems worth it to me. I definitely recommend it!

Cheers,

Caroline

Review: Winks by Georgie False Lashes!

It’s time for me to review my second Bloom.com Beauty Ambassador Kit! This time it was all about the eyes, with a set of Winks by Georgie false lashes and a tube of Lashfood. I will have to review the Lashfood in a separate post because it takes awhile to see results, but I am all about these falsies today!

I received Style no.2, “L’Avant Gardiste”.  They also have 2 other styles available at Bloom.com. The instructions on the site are thorough and really helpful. The packaging is gorgeous and I love that you get a nice clean and convenient compact to store your lashes!

Gorgeous, right?

As always, I did a quick ingredient check. These lashes are free of formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. They are dermatologist tested and PETA and vegan certified. The adhesive is made of USDA certified organic blue chamomile, which soothes delicate skin and ensures maximum adhesion of lashes along with natural latex, a new technology to remove allergens found in other latex products. It’s made with the first and only botanically-infused adhesive. So…green light!

Now I had to get down to business. I was a little wary because I have only attempted to apply false lashes once before and it was a disaster. Even at my wedding, when a pro was applying them, my eyelids got glued together and it was, you know, a disaster.

Check the lashes before you apply them to see if they will fit your eye. These fit mine, but you can trim them a bit if they are too big. I love the tube of glue – it works really nicely. A big glob did come out at first, but then I just spread it over the lash and it worked great. Since these are reusable, I recommend using a clean q-tip to spread the glue so you don’t get any bacteria on the glue tube itself. Here’s a pic of how much glue I applied:

I read up on Bloom.com for tips on applying falsies. I didn’t know that you are supposed to do your eye makeup before applying these, and if you put mascara on them it will actually make them wear out faster. Trust me, you don’t need to add mascara – they look great!

The best tip was once you have the glue on the lashes, wait about 30 seconds so that the glue can get a little tacky. I think that is really what makes the difference – plus you decrease the chance of glue dripping in your eye.

They weren’t tough to position since the glue is sticky but not dry you have a little time to make sure you get them on just right. However, if you move them too much the glue doesn’t stick at all. On my first attempt, I didn’t get the glue to stick to the outside corner of my eye, which you can kind of tell in this picture (you can see the line where the lashes didn’t stick on the left). Then I realized I put the left lash on my right eye. duh. This may have had something to do with my troubles.

falsies. backwards.

So, I tried again. And the second time, they were perfect. They were also on the correct eye. Cue creepy eye close-ups.

Can you tell I'm smiling?

They were also very comfortable. The only other time I have worn falsies I was totally aware of them until the moment I removed them. I forgot I was wearing these. When I was done, the lashes peeled right off. It wasn’t painful, and they didn’t take any of my natural lashes with them.  To remove any excess adhesive from your eyelids, the manufacturer recommends using a tiny bit of olive oil on a cotton swab.

Needless to say, I am really impressed. I am going to pick up the other styles to see how they look. They retail for $28 and I think it is well worth it, since they are reusable.  I can’t wait for my next excuse to get glamorous – I will definitely be donning these!

Cheers,

Caroline

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