Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Thinx - your period... but better!

Growing up in the 1980’s, menstruation was a taboo subject.  Nobody talked about their period. There wasn’t much in the way of information aside from badly written pamphlets from the tampon/pad companies.  Having your period was shrouded in secrecy and for many young girls, shame and embarrassment.  There weren’t many options for menstruating women… remember the ridiculous pads with the belt system?

I’m happy to say that times have changed.  Tons of options exist for menstruating women and the stigma around periods is disappearing.

I have always tried to be blatantly open and honest about anything related to physiology and sexuality.  I want my children to have all the facts and never be afraid to ask questions.  I want them to be confident and comfortable in their own skin. My daughter approaches her period with an openness and matter-of-factness that makes me proud. Rather than having a whispered conversation about the options that exist for menstruating women, we can talk openly about tampons, pads, the cup, and now period panties.

Thinx are underwear that are designed to be worn during your period.  There is a super absorbant, moisture wicking, anti-microbial lining in the crotch.  Depending on the style you choose, the liner will absorb the liquid equivalent of up to 2 tampons worth of blood.  You can wear them instead of, or as backup to tampons or the menstrual cup.

Thinx come in variety of styles: thong, hiphugger, sport, boyshort, highwaist and cheeky.  Although Thinx are relatively pricey, you wash and reuse them so in the long run, they are fairly cost efficient and environmentally friendly.  The average woman will spend thousands of dollars on disposable menstrual products in her lifetime.

Both my daughter and myself have been trying out different styles of Thinx over the last couple of months and our verdict is:  We both love them!!!  We have had a great experience test driving these period underwear and would highly recommend them.  We have tried them on heavy days and light days and have had zero problems with leaks.

They are incredibly comfortable; barely thicker than regular underwear.  Between the two of us we have tried:  hiphugger, boyshort, sport, and cheeky.  Thinx are true to size.  If you choose your measurements from the sizing chart, you will have a pretty great fit.

These period panties are fairly user friendly.  Wear em.  Rinse em. Wash em (cold water in the machine is ok – no fabric softener).  Air dry em.  Thinx are pretty damn awesome.  Depending on how heavy your flow is, you may need a backup pair to get you through a heavier day?  They are a great backup option for tampons or the cup and a great safety net on those days where you think your period is coming, but you’re not entirely sure.  I think these are a great product for young women who are just beginning their periods, and unsure about using tampons/the cup.

We will definitely be purchasing more Thinx and building ourselves a cycle set.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

First Impressions: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Ampoules

A couple of weeks ago, I made a mental note to purchase, after I watched a Caroline Hirons video. Caroline talked about how much she loved the new Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, and that they would be coming out in September.  Silly me... obviously that is the UK release date.

I was surprised and thrilled to find this product at the Estee Lauder counter in Hudson's Bay, and of course, they had to come home with me. Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair (original and new version) is one of those products with cult status. I can't even count how many beauty magazine top ten products I have seen ANR on, so I had very high expectations for this new product.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Bisabolol, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Camelina Satvia Seed Oil, Vaccinum Myrtillus Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol, Linoleic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, BHT

These ampoules are designed as a recovery treatment for irritated, stressed out skin.  They come in small self contained capsules; you twist the top off then squeeze the product into the palm of your
hand to apply.  This would be a great travel item.

The ampoules contain a fairly lightweight, unscented facial oil.  It's somewhere between the consistency of a serum and a heavier oil.  It absorbs well on the skin.  Recommendation is to follow with your moisturizer.  For an oily skinned girl like myself, no additional moisturizer was needed.  My skin felt very hydrated.  Perhaps in the winter weather, I would top this off with more moisture.

Overnight, my skin felt plump.  I noticed increased hydration, and the ampoules calmed down the redness I was experiencing due to seasonal allergies.  Estee Lauder recommends to use this over top of the original ANR serum for 14 days straight as a 'reset' for your stressed out skin.

My first impressions are great.  Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules are a lovely, hydrating treatment oil made with quality ingredients in beautiful packaging.  I will report back once some time has passed and give a more longterm review.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Review - Luna Sleeping Night Oil – Sunday Riley

From Sephora:
"Luna Sleeping Night Oil contains high potency, purified grade lactic acid to instantly correct dullness, plump the look of lines, and exfoliate the skin. With continued use, the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation, imperfections, and the visible signs of aging are reduced for a healthy-looking complexion. Enhanced with licorice for brightening, it helps to clarify and correct the appearance of imperfections for immediate, smooth radiance."
I believe this is a great ‘starter retinol’ and a nice luxurious treat for the skin, but I’m not convinced Luna is deserving of all the hype it receives.  This product did not have me shouting from the rooftops (unlike Sunday Riley’s Good Genes… which for me has been a game changer!)
Full disclosure:  I am turning 44 this year.  I am not looking for products that show subtle improvements.  I want workhorse skincare… the kind of product that makes me say ‘Wow!” when I look in the mirror the next morning. Twenty year old me might have loved Luna. Forty something me doesn’t impress that easily.
Pros:  It does last a very long time.  I purchased the Power Couple kit from Sephora last fall and just ran out of the tiny sized Luna this week.  (I’m on my second Good Genes).  It’s a lovely smelling product with a nice consistency, although may irritate those with sensitivity due to the essential oil irritants it contains.  The bottle and dropper are lovely; great for dispensing just enough without waste.
Cons:  It’s pricy… and I’m not 100% certain it’s worth it.  When I look at the ingredient list, I don’t understand the pricepoint.  The artificial dye is this product is worrysome. 
I might consider purchasing Luna again, and giving it one more try… but there are so many other ‘shiny things’ out there on the market that I ‘need’ right now, Luna will have to take a backseat.  To be honest, I’d be more inclined to look into a prescription retinol rather than repurchase.
I really wasn’t terribly impressed by the results I’ve seen from Luna.  I see rave reviews all over the intrawebs for Luna… many from people I trust and respect.  With skincare, not everything is going to work for everyone.  Luna.  I’m just not that into you.
2 out of 5 cups - not the greatest
* Product purchased with my own moolah

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Review - Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask

I am a huge fan of Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil.  I think it’s a great product, at a great price point.  The only thing I don’t love about the Rosehip oil is the packaging (clear glass – awkward pipette).  I was very excited to try Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask, so I ordered a wee sample from Clementine Fields (much love for this Canadian, natural beauty company!)

Instructions say that this mask is to be applied generously and left for 8-10 minutes.  I think I may have left it on a bit longer than 10 minutes because I was immersed in this week’s episode of #outlander.  It’s a beautiful, thick texture that feels incredibly moisturizing and soothing to the skin… non drying.

The first thing that struck me about this mask is “Holy Cow… the Tingle!”  Don’t get me wrong, I love the tingle, but I wasn’t expecting it with a mask designed to nourish and hydrate.  I’m wondering if it was the lactic acid?  I barely notice any tingle at all with Sunday Riley Good Genes, but this mask really surprised me with it’s tingling.

My skin felt like a million bucks afterwards, and I would say that the morning after my skin was still nicely plumped and skin texture felt/looked a bit more refined and overall more ‘glowy’.  Overall, it’s a lovely mask which would be great to slather on for a pre-event pamper session.  Having oily and congested skin, most of the masks I own are the type that draw impurities out of your skin (like May Lindstrom’s the Problem Solver).  It was a treat to slap on the buttery loveliness that is Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask.  I had no issues with irritation, redness, or congestion. 

I have enough left in my sample jar for another generous slather of this mask… and I am definitely putting this on my repurchase list.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Review - May Lindstrom - The Honey Mud

the Honey Mud - available in Canada at Clementine Fields
I first heard of the incredibly lovely May Lindstrom from Caroline Hiron's blog.  May’s product the Blue Cocoon was featured in Hiron’s Cult Beauty box (which I lusted after…but couldn’t bring myself to make the investment).  

I have since tried and purchased several of May Lindstrom’s skincare essentials, and would likely have bought everything she makes by now if they weren’t so damn spendy. Her product descriptions read like poetry. Also, please take a look at this woman and tell me you don't want to buy everything she puts on her face? 

photo from cultbeauty
I purchased the Honey Mud from Clementine Fields, a great canadian website featuring green, beauty products.  The shipping was free and ridiculously quick; great service.  I'm currently lusting after the Blue Cocoon and will no doubt be purchasing it from Clementine Fields in the near future.

An exquisitely distinctive union of raw honey, white halloysite clay and aromatic pure plant oils marry to envelope you in a truly intoxicating and highly addictive cleansing ritual.  This silken, pudding-like treat gently frees you of the day’s pollutants, infusing your skin with active enzymes and nourishment while restoring your optimal hydration and individual rhythm.

***Raw Honey, White Halloysite Clay, *Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia Nut Oil), *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Argentum Metallicum (Colloidal Silver), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Absolute) Oil, *Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Oil, *Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) CO2 Total Essential Oil, *Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood) Oil, **Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil.
* Certified Organic
** Wild Harvested
***Collected from unsprayed and unfertilized fields of Michigan wildflowers

As a cleanser: Massage a plump pea sized dollop into warm, damp skin, making circular motions with the pads of your fingertips to release makeup and debris before rinsing clear. As a masque: Apply liberally to clean, dry skin. Allow to penetrate for 10-20 minutes as desired.


Ermagosh, this stuff smells good enough to eat!  The smell is gorgeous!  I do feel like the Honey Mud has had a calming effect on my redness prone skin.  I will confess, that I actually might have accidentally/on purpose tasted the Honey Mud, and although it's not for consumption, it is kind of tasty.  Why do they make so many skincare items that I want to eat?


As a cleanser, this product is a bit of a fail for me.  My skin leans towards the oily/combo side of things, and I have to be careful about cleanser residue being left on my face.  When I use the Honey Mud as a cleanser, I find the texture a bit sticky/too much grip on my skin.  Plus, it’s a little difficult to rinse off, even with a flannel.  But as a masque….?!  I love this stuff! I have been masking with the Honey Mud quite often, and it leaves my skin soft, hydrated, and alleviates some of my chronic redness.


May Lindstrom products cost an arm and a leg as in you “May” have to sell a vital organ to afford this stuff. The Honey Mud is a luxury cleanser, not a necessity… but a lovely, lush product to add to your self-care ritual. Although I love using this product, I’m not entirely sure I would repurchase the Honey Mud once I run out. I would rather save my beauty investment dollars for products that I do not rinse off my face. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Beauty Rituals: Radical Feminist Self-Care

from my instagram

I am addicted to all things beauty and skincare related.  You will often find me surfing the intrawebs in search of new lotions, potions, and glitter.   At any given time, I have 7 different cleansers in rotation, serums, essences, toners, peels, masks…. The ritual of a skincare routine is a relaxing and satisfying addition to my day.

For me, having a lengthy, pampering skincare ritual is one way to steal a little “me” time from my busy day as a working mom with too many children.  Rather than viewing beauty rituals as subscribing to patriarchal dictated norms of how women should look and behave, I embrace the time I spend on makeup, hair and skincare. 

Adeline Koh’s blog post on beauty as self-care resonated with me:

Society tells me I should be hyper-focused on work, relationships and family.  There is an expectation that women should be constantly caring for the needs of others.  In an equitable world, taking a few minutes to put one’s own needs first wouldn’t be seen as selfish or even radical but in our society it can be.  Something as simplistic as spending a few minutes each day on skincare and beauty rituals, for me is an act of radical feminist self-care.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Review - Sunday Riley Good Genes

Good Genes Treatment from Sunday Riley

Good Genes is an all-in-one lactic acid brightening, multitasking, radiance treatment and mask. 

What it is formulated to do:
Everyone wants the unmistakable look of having good genes. This hydrating treatment is formulated with key ingredients that plump the look of fine lines to reveal brighter, renewed skin, and support natural circulation to create a smooth, vibrant complexion. Long term use will help restore damaged skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and scars, reduce the depth and number of lines and wrinkles, even out skintone, and increase skin firmness. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates 
- Phthalates 

What else you need to know:
The flash facial: two products, one dramatic result. Lactic acid plus green clay DIY mask to reveal flawless, glowing, radiant skin—in a flash. Mix three pumps of Good Genes with two pumps of Ceramic Slip, leave on for five to 10 minutes, and rinse off. For sensitive skin, begin use as a mask two to three times a week, building tolerance to lactic acid exposure. Layer under all other Sunday Riley treatments, except for Luna Sleeping Night Oil, for most amplified results. When used together with Luna Sleeping Night Oil, apply after the oil has been absorbed into skin. 

This cruelty-free product is vegan, gluten-free, and hypoallergenic. It is formulated without synthetic fragrances.

I have never seen my skin look this good.  If you can score a sample, try it.  You will not be disappointed.

You may have to sell a kidney to afford this stuff over the long term.... but I think it may be worth it.  I'm sure Good Genes would make an amazing mask, but it hurts my heart to think of putting 5 pumps of this expensive serum on your face and washing all your hard earned money down the drain.

I wanted to hate Good Genes, simply because it is so damned expensive, but it has quickly achieved holy grail status.
This product is one of the few things I have tried, that really and truly lives up to the hype.  I have never tried another product that made my skin look so amazing right off the bat, and I can only imagine what the cumulative effects of using Good Genes will be.