Think | Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Sunscreen
I got a comment on my recent review on MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28 (which I had to modify the rating of) that for a sunscreen to be really protective it should contain at least 20% zinc oxide. I couldn’t really find any good information to back that statement, except this informative blog post that says you should look for a sunscreen containing between 10-20% zinc oxide to be safe.
Anyway, normally I would be fine with an SPF of around 30 as I tan easily, but I needed a new sunscreen with a higher SPF as I was going through chemical peels and needling and the sun was starting to shine pretty bright. I turned to EWG’s database and found Thinkbaby which has 20% zinc oxide and over 1000 reviews on Amazon!
It can be used on the face and body and comes in two sizes for a great price! Like you would expect with this type of mineral sunscreen, the cream is thick. But it blends out beautifully, turns matte, and makes your skin look a bit of “Korean-brightening/dewiness”. Yes, it leaves you slightly pale, but when you let it dry (about 15min) it’s barely visible even on my tanned skin.
It doesn’t say anything about having a fragrance, and I can’t really spot added fragrance or essential oil in the ingredient list. But it has a bit of fruity smell to it, which I personally wish it could’ve been without.
Some reviewers on Amazon have complained about getting burned while wearing the Thinkbaby sunscreen, but they shared too little information as to if they did reapply it as you’re supposed to when you’re pale and out on the beach all day. SPF 50 does not mean you don’t need to reapply!
I haven’t noticed any obvious breakouts from it, so that’s an added star! I like that it contains vitamin C & E, Hyaluronic acid and Raspberry seed oil that’s supposed to protect and help repair sun damage. And unlike the MyChelle sunscreen, it lets my skin breathe when sweating and keeping my face relative dry instead of dripping or collecting my sweat around my nose.
It’s a bit difficult working it onto the body, but nothing of huge concern. Like my only dislike with it is that it has a scent when I’d rather have it completely fragrance-free. But I can definitely see myself repurchasing it though for use on the body. For the skin, I’m not deeply sold on it yet, even though it definitely works… I just believe there’s better sunscreens out there for the face, and I’d love one that is slightly tinted to avoid any chance of looking like a ghost.
EDIT: Right after I wrote this review I realized it contains Lactoperoxidase at the end of the list which I recently learned is extracted from Dairy. So this product is NOT SUITABLE for vegans. Sigh.
Best suited for: Sensitive, Normal/Combination to Oily Skin
It can even suit people with dry skin, but experiment with a hydrating serum underneath for added moisture!
INGREDIENTS: Purified water (0), aloe barbadensis leaf juice extract (0), capric caprylic triglycerides (0), sorbitan stearate (coconut based) (1), methyl abietate (pine wood resin) (0), vegetable glycerin (0), cetyl dimethicone (0), hydrogenated castor oil (0), magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) (0), sunflower oil (0), jojoba oil (0), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (0), tocopherols (vitamin E) (1), olive oil (0), raspberry seed oil (0), cranberry seed oil (0), hyaluronic acid (made from vegetable) (0), glucose oxidase & lactoperoxidate (0), papaya (0).
(Skin Deep Ratings Subject to Change)
Pacifica Cosmetics | Devocean Natural Lipstick in Tenderness & XOX
I wanted to try some more makeup from Pacifica, seeing as I love their Stellar Gaze Mascara. I watched all the swatches and youtube-videos I could find on these lipsticks and fell in love with the colors Tenderness and XOX.
They are pretty very similar but slightly different: XOX being pinker and Tenderness going more to a brown shade.
The formula is creamy and goes on smooth; it may look a bit tacky before it dries to a matte finish. The packaging is beautiful, however, I would’ve loved some kind of color indication. When you got both in your bag, it’s not easy to know which one you grab.
I was really looking forward in getting these, but somehow my expectations fell flat. It’s probably a personal preference, but I just don’t like the colors that much in real life. There’s something about them not suiting my lips in particular. Idk. The colors aren’t vibrant, they are more “dimmed” and toned down, and maybe that’s what’s not working with my complexion? I have a nack for picking the wrong lipstick color, so this is probably what happened. However, if you got fuller lips these are gorgeous – any lip color goes with fuller lips!
There’s really no use of me doing a swatch. First of all, there’s plenty of videos on these lipsticks out there. Second of all, I’ve got naturally pale lips, so the color intensity is much more different than for majority of people who at least got a slight pink tint, which in turn will warm the colors up a bit. While on me, the color is what the color shows, you know. In the end it’s best to try the lipsticks before you buy them, if you have that option. Just know that the colors of these two go more to a nude/pale mate-side of the spectrum than warmth.
My other complaint is that they can look a bit too buttery on the lips when first applied, and I always need to dab my finger to smooth things out. As they turn matte in the end, they can also feel a bit dry on the lips. I wanted to love the color Tenderness more, but it ended up looking a bit too nude for me. So in the end I’m using XOX more. It’s a beautiful pink color but it’s on the verge of looking a little bit 60’s-pink-pale-lip on me. And again, I just don’t feel like the shape of my lips goes well with that look, I need more warm pigment. I’m starting to learn what works and what doesn’t work with my complexion, and it feels like I’m stuck with rose shades, as they compliment me the most.
INGREDIENTS: Oleic/linoleic/linolenic polyglycerides (from sunflower oil), butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, diiostearyl malate, caprylic/capric triglyceride (from coconut oil), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) esters, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, euphorbia chinensis (candelilla) wax, cetyl alcohol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, flavor oil (all natural), tocopherol (vitamin E). May contain: Melia azadirachta fruit extract, mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, tin oxide, vaccinium macrocarpon fruit (cranberry) extract, coccinia indica flower extract, daucus carota sativa root (carrot) extract, lycopersicum fruit (tomato) extract, and beta vulgaris (beetroot) extract.
Honeybee Gardens | JobaColors Lip Liner in Zen
I’ve had the Honeybee Gardens lip liner in Zen on my wishlist for a while, ever since Holistic Habits did a favorites-video on it. I remember it looking lovely on her and being a nude shade that I wanted.
There’s not many swatches and reviews on this color or the lip liners overall, so I practically took a gamble and hoping the color would fit what I had in mind.
Overall it is definitely wearable and a good “nude” color, but I was a bit disappointed to see that the color was more pearlescent than matte (hard to show in the picture). This would’ve been more of a wonderful color if it wasn’t for the sheen! The formula is otherwise good, but I always swipe my lips with a lip balm before I put any color, so it’s hard to comment on it’s hydration. It wears well, but don’t expect it to stick throughout the day if you wear it as a lipstick. But yeah, still bummed it has a sheen to it but I still seemed to have grown to like it.
But unfortunately, it contains Lanolin and Beeswax.
INGREDIENTS: Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, ozokerite wax, ethylhexyl palmitate (vegetarian), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, lanolin oil, beeswax, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, cetearyl alcohol (vegetarian), copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax. May Contain: iron oxides, mica.
Beautiful Curls | Activating Cream – Curly To Kinky
As I was starting to write this review I realized that I had bought the wrong product from what I intended! LOL I was, of course, thinking about getting the Defining Gel -Wavy to Curly but somehow ended up picking the Curly to Kinky activating cream!
I used to have curly hair, but since growing up and laying off hair products my hair has turned more wavy to straight in my 20’s. I thought it could’ve been due to my long hair straightening itself out from the weight, and so I thought cutting my hair short would be my savior. But, no. All those hours and money spent on a flat iron as a teen, if only I knew I would one day have more or less straight hair…
And so to recreate the locks I had in my youth I’ve been interested in styling products again.
I bought a mousse from another brand recently but wanted to try out styling creams and gel for definition. I went for Beautiful Curls as they seemed very natural and I’ve mentioned my interest in their Reviving Tonic before.
Compared to other haircare products the scent in this cream is not strong or powerful at all and goes away quickly. This makes me really happy because I can’t stand 90% of the perfume in haircare products.
Of course, having quite stubborn hair, this does not turn my hair into kinky, but it isn’t as heavy as I thought it would be either, and does bring out the waves more. But only slightly. If anything, it’s a light leave-in conditioner that leaves my hair bouncy and soft. It can get a bit crunchy on some parts, but nothing of big concern.
I use a big dollop that I spread throughout damp hair. My favorite thing is to let it air dry just before bedtime. I don’t know, my hair gets this softness too it when I let it dry at night compared to daytime. When used during daytime, I’ll let my hair dry about 80-90% and then blow through with a diffuser to get more volume. But I know you could also braid and twist your hair for more defined locks.
In the end, I didn’t get overly impressed. But I don’t know who to blame, the product or my hair?
Or it’s just a personal thing, I was expecting more definition, especially now knowing it’s “curly to kinky”. But the product isn’t pricey, doesn’t weight down my hair even though it’s a cream, does add some definition and softness, doesn’t make my scalp itch. So overall a good product!
INGREDIENTS: Symphytum officinale (comfrey) aqueous extract, arnica montana (arnica) aqueous extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, aloe barbadensis, agave nectar, cetearyl alcohol, emulsifying wax, behentrimonium chloride, panthenol, cocos nucifera (coconut) extract (&) rubus idaeus (raspberry) fruit extract (&) ylang ylang flower extract, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol, magnesium sulfate, ascorbic acid.
One of my konjac sponges that I’ve used the most was starting to look a bit worn out, so I felt it was time to replace it. It seemed like most people loved the EcoTools konjac sponge (with over 200 five star reviews) so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I chose the deep cleansing Bamboo Charcoal as I had heard great things about the black konjac sponges (another brand though).
I used to fear the charcoal ones as they looked to be more rough and drying. So I got very surprised over how soft this one is and how easy it goes from dry to ready-to-use, compared to the other two I’ve used. It’s much softer and can be used around the eye area.
In a way I got disappointed by its softness, only because I was expecting it to be a bit stiffer. Like the other two, it doesn’t leave my face super soft, but it leaves my face cleaner than if I would’ve washed with my hands. Whether the charcoal has any effect on the skin, I kind of doubt it, but I still fall for that marketing stuff as I want to believe it makes a difference.
In a way I like the others from The Konjac Sponge Company more, they are more firm to hold, but I like the shape of the EcoTools better. The tip is handy around the nose and eyes. The only thing missing is a string to hang it up to dry. I know, I can fix one myself. But considering other brands offer this, I just don’t see why you have to be cheap about some thread?
However, I will be continually testing other brands, for now, to see how huge of a difference it may be between price point and brands.
Best suited for: All skin types I would say.
CeraVe | Foaming Facial Cleanser
Because the Aknicare cleanser didn’t feel ideal and made my lips feel dry, and I didn’t like any of the Paula’s Choice cleansers (haven’t tried the Calm-line though), I was on the hunt for a new gentle cleanser. As I was going through Beautypedia, CeraVe’s cleanser came up with a best rating and had a impressive amount of good reviews on Amazon! Then it came up in an article on Byrdie (can’t find it for some reason) where a model with pretty good skin praises it. Suddenly the brand was available at iHerb, and I felt the need to try it and got the travel size for testing.
It sounds quite perfect and better compared to other pharmacy cleansers. It has a Non-Comedogenic, Non-Drying, Non-Irritating, and a fragrance-free formula, with Ceramides, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic Acid – which aren’t usually formulated in cleansers. While the ceramides and niacinamide may not affect the skin much in the little while it stays on the skin, I was still intrigued by this type of ingredient list. The full size also comes in a convenient pump bottle with a generous 355ml! And did I mention the price is very affordable? There’s also a version with salicylic acid and D3 (not vegan), but because it’s in a cleanser it won’t have much effect on the skin. You’re better off spending your money on a leave-on BHA exfoliator.
Usually when I hype up a product like this, I’m doomed to get disappointed. However, this time I truly fell in love with it. During the summer I’ve been using a fragrance-free gel cleanser from the Swedish apothecary brand ACO, that’s worked really good with my skin and felt very gentle and non-drying. The CeraVe cleanser is comparable to it, both foams, but somehow the CeraVe foaming cleanser is more hydrating. My skin feels just normal afterwards, clean but normal.
It’s almost too bad that I like this cleanser so much, because shortly after this parcel had been shipped, I noticed that it contained ‘cholesterol’. Yes, by now we’ve learned how awful I am at checking the ingredient list. I’m human, sometimes things slip my mind. Sure, it could be plant-based, right? I’m currently using two products with vegan cholesterol, so I was crossing my fingers… But seeing that they’ve gone to use D3 in some of their products, I almost felt knowingly that this would not be the case. And they seem to use cholesterol in ALL of their products -.-
I found a two year old thread on a forum about someone contacting them about this. At first CeraVe said that it wasn’t animal derived, but after having to make a call to their Medical Information Department, they confirmed it was indeed not vegan. But that was two years, maybe it has changed since then?
So I contact them myself, but got left with the same respond, that I should call them. I live in Sweden, and so I won’t waste money on an International phone call… I wrote back to them about my situation, and never heard anything back from them. I then tried via Facebook… It’s been several months now and haven’t gotten a reply yet. Sucky customer service on their part.
So my rating is purely on how well the product performs… But to add the unhelpful customer service and that most of their products are not vegan, would definitely bring it down a point. And if you’re still an avoider of parabens, then this one isn’t for you. I will use the bottle I have and try to not look back…
UPDATE: Though this one is eczema approved and made for sensitive skin, I would still advice you to either get this sample size first if you’ve got super sensitive eczema prone skin, as a friend of mine had a terrible reaction to this cleanser!
Best suited for: Sensitive, Normal/Combination to Oily Skin