First Use Clove and Hallow Cloud Cleanser

Clove and Hallow sent their brand new Cloud Powder Cleanser for me to try out and review. While I will give a more full some review after I’ve used to for a full thirty days, I wanted to go ahead and give my first impressions. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Clove and Hallow they are a clean beauty brand as well as vegan and cruelty free. Their products are sustainably made in the United states as well.

shaker lid

And I know packaging isn’t everything (although some packaging is clearly better for the world than others so I suppose I should say beauty isn’t everything, maybe…) but I love the look of this packaging. Simply put it is glass and looks like a spice shaker. And truthfully once the cleanser is all used up and the jar rinsed out, this glass bottle will have a second life in my spice drawer. I’m sure eventually it will make it’s way into the recycling, but it will be well reused here.

But before that day comes, there is a product to use and review. Let’s took a look at what Clove and Hallow have to say about their new Cloud Powder Cleanser.

a little powder

Who doesn’t want skin as soft and bouncy as a cloud? Packed with soothing colloidal oatmeal, vitamin B5, and mango extract, Cloud Powder is a water-activated cleansing powder that gently washes away makeup, sweat, and impurities. Even the most sensitive skin will feel deeply cleansed, but still nourished and soft to the touch. CLOVE + HALLOW cares: Cloud Powder Cleanser is packaged in a glass jar which can be reused or infinitely recycled. Its cap is made with recyclable plastic.

Clove and Hallow
just a little bit of water

See it isn’t just me planning to reuse the bottle. It was designed that way. Aren’t they fabulous? I really like the thought of a powder cleanser. I used the Amore Pacific cleanser which comes in powdered form and beyond how the cleanser performed (which was lovely by the way) I really enjoyed the powder format. It let me control how much water I added to the mix. In the mornings I could add a little more water and just do a quick clean rinse, but in the evening add less water for a thicker product which made me feel like I was truly taking off the last of my makeup.

So I am down for a good powder formula. I also like the fact that it doesn’t run the risk of leaking during travel. I do love a good pump cleanser, but you can’t really travel with them. I had an unexpected travel moment this weekend and this cleanser was fantastic. The glass bottle was sturdy and traveled with no issue and as it is a powder there was no leakage.

bubbles stay as it applies and then rinses off clean

The cleanser dispenses into the hand through the shaker top. I did notice I have a tendency to shake out more product than I needed. I think because it is shaped like a spice jar (or at least my spice jars) I tend to give it a couple of vigorous shakes. One shake is all you need and you have enough product. After a few days I remembered that and I was fine.

There is a light scent to it that is almost vanilla-y but not quite. I had to look on the label and I think the almost but not quite vanilla is from the Mango. It is that borderline vanilla scent/taste that some mangos get. I personally really like it. It is a very light scent though and disappears almost instantly. And trying to get closer and sniff just gets cleanser up your nose. I do not recommend that.

For a first use (or first weekend use actually) I really enjoyed this cleanser. It was gentle on abraded skin (it was a very emotional weekend leaving my skin extra sensitive) and it gave my skin a great clean. I am looking forward to using this Cloud Powder Cleaner from Clove and Hallow for the next month (and beyond) and seeing how it performs over time. As a first use though it gets a thumbs up on smooth clean skin, a second for a light, pleasant but quickly dissipating scent and at least one more for sustainable and reusable packaging. I know, that is more thumbs than I have, but I am really enjoying the Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder Cleanser. Hopefully the love will last the month. See you in thirty days…

One month of the Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser from Missha

It is the end of the month and I am wrapping up several month long product trials. With the Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser it is a bittersweet wrap up. While I enjoy the thought of trying out new products, this is truly a cleanser that will be missed for several reasons. It was a very good cleanser.

But before we get into that, let’s look at the product claims from the website…

2-in-1 foaming cleanser and soothing clay mask to relieve the skin of redness and irritation as well as reduce the skin’s production of excess sebum and oils. Made with double-fermented artemisia (mugwort) extract harvested from a mineral-rich environment. Recommended for: sensitive/irritated/acne skin.

Missha Skincare

Okay, while I have used this mostly as a cleanser I did try it out as a mask. I liked it, but I realized that I liked it more as a cleanser. The thing with the masking element though is that it was very helpful when i was using it as a cleanser.

cleanser going on

I now, it sounds strange but bear with me. First of all, this cleanser is thick and almost mask like in texture when you dispense it into your hand. It also has this wonderful light, herbal scent that just smells clean and fresh. With the masking texture, I always knew exactly where I was applying my cleanser. There was no guessing if I missed a spot. Which I know sounds odd, but I am not my best in the mornings and sometimes will wear a night mask. i have occasionally missed washing off parts of my night mask only to find the non rinsed off mask peeling off in little strips (and making me think my skin was peeling) So this was an added benefit for me.

foams with water

The best part was the Artemisia that is in the pack foam cleanser paired with the masking capacity. Last summer I found out that my skin really likes Artemisia especially after too much sun. while the sun hasn’t been as much of an issue during this trial, (often disappearing for weeks on end), cold blustery winds have been a bit on the damaging side. On those days where I start my night time skincare ritual and realize that I spent a little more time in the wind than my skin was comfortable with, this cleanser became a secret weapon. I could apply it and then give it a minute or two to sit on my skin (I removed my makeup prior) and the Artemisia would soothe away any wind burn I had. Then I rinsed off the cleanser and continued with my routine. The next morning it was like the wind burn had never occurred.

rinses clean

By using this soothing cleanser and employing the mask function I was able to correct the damage when the irritation was small and not have it become an issue. while I wouldn’t use this as a face mask in the normal sense (not because it doesn’t work, but because it is much more useful elsewhere) I loved that I could let the cleanser sit like a mask so that my skin could get more benefits from the ingredients.

And you may be wondering how the thick green cleanser washed off. It washed off beautifully. I applied it to damp skin and if I washed it off right away or let it sit for a few minutes, it made no difference. The mask faded into white bubbles and rinsed off cleanly, leaving smooth, soothed and refreshed skin behind. I absolutely loved using it and I think I will be getting another tube just to have it on hand for the summer. The Artemisia Essence i used last summer has become a staple, but I think that this cleanser may come in handy. I never actually plan to get too much sun,. but between gardening and the walking trail, there is always that one day where a little soothing sensitivity is a good thing. At the moment Missha is having a sale. This cleanser (long with the rest of their products) are 20% off with the code Hello20.

While I think this cleanser is well worth stocking up on at full price I am never upset by a discount. If you have sensitive or acne prone skin this might be a cleanser you want to look into. It is actually designed for sensitive and acne prone skin. While it is a great daily cleanser, it really shines when my skin has minor issues. It helps clear them up before those minor issues can become major ones. I imagine if you have continuing issues this would work even better for you.

As for me, I have enough product left in this tube for this week and possibly into a little of next week. I am also going to be taking advantage of their sale and picking up at least one tube for emergency summer use. I was very impressed with this cleanser and while I enjoy trying out new products, the next cleanser I try, has a lot to live up to.

Let’s Talk Reusable Makeup Cloths

Finding reusable products instead of disposable items is something that is really important to me. I have been doing my best to eliminate waste in my routine wherever possible. I have reusable rounds instead of disposable pads for products like toners and I use wash cloths and reusable makeup wipes for my makeup and mask removal.

The Turkish Towel company recently sent a set of six Makeup removal washcloths for me to try out and review. I’ve seen their towels before and have actually been contemplating picking up one of their robes for quire some time, but I missed the fact that they have Makeup cloths. Currently on their site the Turkish Towel Company has a set of twelve Cloths for $44. which boils down to $3.67 per cloth and given that you can more than likely reuse these cloths for years makes it a really good deal.

These look like washcloths and have the word makeup embroidered on the front. So I am surprised that i missed them. They are 100% cotton, which I absolutely love. I am a big fan of natural fibers. I don’t mind using non-natural ones in some cases but if i can use natural it is my first choice.

I have only been using these cloths for a week (maybe a little less). As there are six of them in a pack that means that they just came back from their first laundry day. I’m sure many of you know from pictures that I am a fan of both dark colored lipsticks and charcoal masks. Both are the reasons that many of my wash cloths and reusable cloths have some staining on them.

In fact one of my favorite charcoal based masks (The Annmarie Charcoal Cacao Mask) is the reason that several of my wash cloths have gray splotches permanently on them. It is an excellent mask and they do warn you it can stain, for me it definitely did (but still well wroth using which is why I just picked a wash cloth to use specifically with the mask)

hung up to dry after use, once dry they are put in the wash with other dark colored items, easy peasy no special wash

Thus far everything has washed out of these Makeup Cloths from the Turkish Towel Company with zero staining. Now they are black to begin with so they have a leg up, but honestly making a reusable makeup removal cloth out of dark material just shows good sense. These cloths are soft and absorbent (hello, 100% cotton). Six cloths gives me enough so that I can use a different cloth every workday with one for masking and then just put them in the laundry. I hang them up to dry after use and then when dry just put them in the wash with the rest of the laundry.

back from the dryer, no staining

I wash them with other dark colors, mostly jeans and towels and There was no issue when they came out of the dryer. I simply folded them and stacked them for another week of use. I will be using them as my makeup removing cloths exclusively for a full month just to get a feel for how they wear, and then I’ll be mixing them with the other cloths that I use.

Thus far, these makeup cloths from The Turkish Towel Company look like real winners. Hopefully they will stand the test of time. If they do it will give my other wash cloths some much needed relief from potential staining. And it will make me much less worried when I restock the Annmarie Charcoal Cacao Mask which is a definite plus.

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Melting Away with Vike Makeup Melt

My all time favorite makeup removing method is a damp Makeup Eraser. Sometimes, a little product is needed to assist and in general when i need a makeup remover, I reach for a make up balm. This isn’t to say I don’t like other products. In general the reason I go for the balms is that they are less drippy.

I know, not a really scientific reason.

I will say though that when I received this Vike Makeup Melt Spray in my Boxycharm Premium, I was intrigued. I really like the thought of being able to apply a makeup remover and then be able to reach for the water taps without leaving makeup remover smeared all over them making them slick. In theory, a spray would be a good solution. And I had never tried a spray on makeup remover. I had also never heard of the brand Vike.

makeup on

We all know that makeup removing in general is so annoying, so we wanted to make it better! Makeup wipes are actually not your friend. They are harsh on the skin and over time, that rubbing can cause an increase in fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. #realtalk

What it is: A makeup removal spray with skincare benefits! The spray makes it easier to target all areas of the makeup you want to remove, no wipes or pads needed. No longer do you have to tug on your delicate skin and lashes to remove makeup after a long day. All you have to do is SPRAY! Makeup Melt provides an easy solution to remove everyday makeup giving you a spa-like experience at home. Makeup Melt has four key antioxidants to nourish your skin after removal, leaving your skin bright, clean & renewed.

Vike Beauty

All of that sounds interesting, and so product in hand, I tried it. I actually tried it several times and in several different ways. The first way I tried was with a dry, makeup filled face. I sprayed and let it sit for a couple of seconds to settle in and start the melting process. And yes I am the sort of person who timed it. I set the timer for 30 seconds.

removed with makeup eraser and spray (allergies have my eyes super puffy)

The scent of the Vike Makeup melt is odd. It lists cucumber, grapefruit, moringa and passionflower. It also lists eucalyptus. I used it for a week thinking the scent was vaguely familiar. I just couldn’t place it. Finally I asked my babydoll. His response was…

This smells like something my grandparents would have in their medicine cabinet as a topical cure all, got a rash, here you go, need to disinfect a scrape, here you go it hurts less than iodine.

And to be fair, he is right. Somehow all of the ingredients combine to smell a bit like an old fashioned not as harsh as iodine spray that my grandparents would have kept in the medicine cabinet. You know the kind of think that smells like medicine but you aren’t sure if it actually does anything?

I will say that I can’t see the makeup melt sitting on my skin long enough for there to be a lot of skincare benefits going on. And it is going on top of makeup so there is a bit of a barrier. However I don’t mind that they are putting good for your skin things in makeup removers. It is better than bad for your skin things. I just don’t think it comes in contact with your skin long enough to do much of anything.

After letting the spray sit on my skin for 30 seconds, I rinsed it off. It is a very fine mist. It did an okay job. Mascara and more foundation than I like was left behind. For my second trial, I sprayed my dry makeup covered skin and let the product sit 30 seconds. I then used a damp makeup eraser to remove everything. It worked well.

The combination left virtually no foundation on my skin and took down all but a few smidges of mascara. There was less rubbing involved. This is not a spray that you can just spray on your face and splash a little water on to remove all of your makeup. This needs a wash cloth or a Make up eraser with it as a partner. I did try using just a wash cloth, but there was significantly more rubbing to remove the makeup needed. Plus there is always the possibility of makeup staining the wash cloth (especially mascara). My suggestion is to just get a makeup eraser if at all possible. It really is going to help decrease the amount of rubbing.

All in all I am very pleased with this spray. The spraying directly into my face with makeup remover took a little getting used to, but it does work well with pairing with my makeup eraser. The two together remove more product than either alone and with significantly less rubbing and pulling of the skin. I am glad I got to try this out. And even though I did tease about the scent, it isn’t a scent I mind. In fact I kind of like it. It just bothered me when i couldn’t identify it. Now that I know why it seemed familiar, I am okay with it. This Vike Makeup Melt retails for $24 which I think is a very good price. It works well and I was not left with a greasy residue on my skin. Oh and even though it was a spray, it didn’t get into my contacts and cause them to go all fuzzy. In my opinion, this is a makeup spray I would not mind repurchasing. It also makes me curious about what else the brand produces. Most definitely something to look into.

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First Use of the Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser

Oh my darlings, I know this summer Time Revolution came to my rescue with the Artemisia essence. It is from the brand Missha and was not only a great toner, but one of those products that really helped my skin out when I spent too much time in the sun. And let’s face it, last summer I spent too much time in the sun. It has also been great on wind damaged skin as well. we gat a lot of cold harsh wind in the winter and my babydoll spends a portion of his day outside for work so he often has windburn on his cheeks. I put a bottle of the essence in his medicine cabinet and he has been using it regularly for that and loves it.

(Incidentally the Essence is on sale at the moment. Usually $55 it is 30% off and listed at $38.50, but you can also get a further 20% off your whole order with the code FEB20. Knowing I will go through a bottle this summer, I went ahead and stocked up.)

So when I saw that Missha had a cleanser from the same line, I knew I had to give it a try. According to the product page the Time Revolution Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser is…

 2-in-1 foaming cleanser and soothing clay mask to relieve the skin of redness and irritation as well as reduce the skin’s production of excess sebum and oils. Made with double-fermented artemisia (mugwort) extract harvested from a mineral-rich environment.

Recommended for: sensitive/irritated/acne skin.


And let me tell you at the moment my skin is quite irritated. I tried a moisturizer that was far too hydrating and my skin broke out. Also I’ve been spending more time with a mask on, which isn’t helping.

Now being the keep observers, you may notice that this doesn’t sound like your ordinary cleanser. The word mask is in there. So I looked at recommended usage.

As a foam cleanser: Put an appropriate amount on the palm of your hand and massgae it gently into the skin then rinse with lukewarm water.

As a clay pack: Put an appropriate amount on dry hands. Spread evenly on your face avoiding the eye and mouth area. Let it dry for a minute. Rinse off in lukewarm water while massaging your face gently.

Missha (how to use section)

Now this post is only about this product as a cleanser. I will use it as a mask, but for my first use I used it as a cleanser, mostly because I picked it up as a cleanser. First, I have to talk about the scent. It is slightly herbal-ly floral. That is my best description. It kind of smells like it should be a health food. The scent is pretty mild and fades quickly. It smells nice while it lasts. All green and healthy. The cleanser is green too.

cleanser applied

Even though it says mask, I was not expecting it to look so much like a clay mask. In my surprise I put way too much product in my hand. I think I need about half of what is pictured here in order to cleanse my face. I wet my face down as I would with any cleanser, then applied the Time Revolution Cleanser. I found myself applying it like a mask, just due to the consistency of the product. It has a mask like texture to it. However when I wet my hands and added more water to my face, the mask foamed up and rinsed off cleanly. there was no sort of mask removing scrubbing needed. It foamed and rinsed off like a normal cleanser.

foams and rinses right off

I was actually quite pleased with my first use. The product didn’t irritate any of my breakouts, rinsed away cleanly with no residue left behind and my skin felt clean, soft and nourished. I already know from the essence that my skin reacts really well to Artemisia and I think that the artemisia did help bring down some of my irritation. Time and repeated use will let me know if this Artemisia Pack Foam Cleanser is a product that I will purchase as routinely as I pick up the essence, but for a first test it really performed well. Of course I still have to test it out as a mask. Won’t that be fun?

Using the Julep Brightening Cleansing Cloths

In an effort to reduce waste, I long ago cut out regular use of disposable cleansing wipes. However these Love Your Face Brightening Cleansing Cloths from Julep did come to me in a recent subscription box and I have been using them since they are here.

While I can’t advocate regular use of disposable cleansing wipes, there are moments when they are undeniably useful. Recently they have been very useful as I’ve tested eyeshadow palettes with glitter shadows. In fact that is one of the best uses for the disposable wipes that I can find. Nearly any other use for them, I can replace with either my Makeup Eraser or a wash cloth or even a more biodegradable piece of tissue paper.

cloths are thick and textured as well as quite durable

However glitter shadow is something else entirely. Removing it with anything reusable is just going to mean that the glitter from the shadow is going to make a return. If you are using a cloth then you have to send it directly to the laundry or the next time you reach for that cloth you will simply be reapplying the glitter to your face. And then you have to realize that once you put the cloth into the wash there is the possibility that there will still be glitter and that it will make random appearances. This weekend my babydoll asked why there was glitter on his pillow case.

Oddly enough it was a couple of flakes from the silver shadow in the Shaina B palette I tried a few weeks ago. The sheets are washed every week, but the first week I chucked my makeup eraser into the wash with the sheets. It is still making the occasional appearance.

This is where the disposable wipes really shine. However this isn’t just a makeup removing cloth, it is supposed to have some skin care benefits.

  • Treat yourself and your skin with Julep’s Love Your Bare Face – Brightening Cleansing Cloths. Gently remove makeup, even waterproof mascara, while brightening your skin tone.
  • Swipe cloth across skin to gently remove all make-up, even waterproof mascara, without tugging or pulling.
  • Gently removes make-up and cleanses skin. Licorice extract helps brighten uneven skin tone.
  • Gentle yet strong enough to remove waterproof mascara!
  • 30 Towelettes. Paraben-Free. Vegan. Cruelty Free.
somewhat ‘soapy’ serum

These wipes are infused with a serum that feels almost soapy as you apply it to the skin. I’m sure that is the brightening licorice extract. I don’t smell licorice when I open it, but it smells more like a floral baby wipe. There is just something very reminiscent about the scent of baby wipes about the scent, at least to me.

I found that these cloths removed makeup well. Mascara didn’t stand a chance. The glitter held out for a bit, but eventually it too was wiped away. And then the cloth went to the trash so it didn’t further spread to all areas of my life.

As for the skin care benefits, I can say that it didn’t leave my skin feeling stripped and tight. It did leave me feeling like I had soap on my skin so after using it, I tended to rinse off my face and take away whatever benefits the makeup cloths were going to give me. I don’t mind that they have skin care benefits, but I am not going to look for the benefits specifically. With skin care you need routine use over an extended length of time. I am not going to have that. I will use these cloths when I have something that needs a disposable wipe (like glitter shadow) or if I am in a place with no water.

For those purposes, these are good cloths. They don’t damage the skin and they are extremely effective at their designated task. Plus, I generally like Julep skincare. Will I make it a routine part of my skincare? No, but I will happily reach for them when I need a disposable cloth.

Cleaning up with Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser

For well over a month the Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser has been a part of my skincare Line up. While I mention it in my weekly line up posts, I wanted to take a minute and go over the product more fully in a separate post.

While Elemis is a brand that I will always go back to because I simply really like the way their products work, most of what I am familiar with is a part of their Marine Collagen line. I was first introduced to this brand through subscription boxes. While I heard of them before, they were a bit on the expensive side and I’ll be honest, when I purchase expensive items it tends to be because I have tried them in sample form and liked them enough to know that I will enjoy using the full sized product.

I prefer pump top cleansers for ease of use with wet hands

With Elemis, since the Marine Collagen line was so often in subscription boxes, I was able to try most of the line and start purchasing with confidence. At least from that line. I had also tried several items from their Super food Line. This Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser is one I went out on a limb with a little bit. I had not tried anything Lime Blossom from Elemis , but by the time I ordered it I had enough confidence in the brand to feel good about ordering the full sized product. The full sized 200 ml bottle of this product is $36 which is actually quite a good price for a cleanser I thought. Most of my cleansers seem to come in this basic range.

two pumps of product were enough for a daily cleanse

Literally nothing I have ever used from Elemis has given me problems, and this cleanser was no exception. The Lime Blossom scent is lighter than many of their other products. The Lime Blossom scent, which I personally adore, is present, but it fades very quickly. Perhaps this is because it is a cleanser, perhaps it is because the scent of Lime Blossoms isn’t an overpowering one. If you have never smelled lime blossoms before, I highly recommend finding a lime tree and taking several deep breaths. The scent is lightly floral with a hint of citrus teasingly in the background. I find it an absolutely lovely scent.

The face was is light and creamy. It has a pump, which I really like for cleansers as it lets me control how much product I dispense. I always go through tube style cleansers far too fast simply because I squeeze the tube with wet hands. Sometimes that results in little product coming out, sometimes in loads more than I intended. Of course that also depends on the tube, some are easier to use with wet hands than others.

I still prefer the pump. And this one is good. It is a thinner style of pump but large enough to be sturdy and used with one hand. I generally found that two pumps was enough for my morning use. I tended to use more in the evenings to remove makeup. While I do love a good cleansing balm I did try this cleanser without a makeup remover beforehand. This cleanser will get you about 85% of the makeup off (non-waterproof makeup) without using a makeup remover balm prior. Personally i like to remove my makeup , then cleanse and then bask in the glory of a mostly clear toner pad. But that is just me. If you don’t use a makeup remover prior, then this is still a good cleanser to use. Just know you will have some makeup residue on your toner pad.

Product on face (sorry for the bad angle/ blur as my hands were wet and the camera was slipping) the cream texture lets you see where it is applied.

The cleanser is not foaming. At all. To apply I wet my face and then massaged the cleanser into the skin. It applies just like a cream. While I do enjoy a good foaming cleanser, there is a great deal to be said in favor of a non-foaming one. The first is that you can tell where you put the cleanser on your skin. I liked applying the cleanser and seeing that my whole face was covered before I started massaging the product over my skin to get it clean. It let me know I hadn’t missed a spot.

The product is thick enough that it really didn’t drip so it was clean to apply and use. I also use a vibrating skincare device. While I often use it to massage in serums, it works really well with this style of cleanser and I felt I got a better clean because of it.

The Elemis Lime Blossom Cleanser rinses off clean without either stripping the skin or leaving any form of residue on the skin. My skin felt soft and clean, which is pretty much what I want from a cleanser. It was also a gentle formula that was non-irritating. During the past month I tried out a moisturizer that had an ingredient my skin did not like. Irritation followed and while I was careful with the products I used while the irritation faded, I never had to discontinue use of the Elemis Cleanser. It was gentle enough that it didn’t hurt or further irritate my irritated skin and still allowed me to wash my face with no issues. Over all, I found this Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser to be a fantastic purchase and it is one that I will make again in the future. A month of use has seen me only a quarter of the way through the bottle and I am glad it will remain in the line up for a while longer.

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Cleaning up with Vitabrid Daily C Balancing cleansing Balm

I love a good cleansing balm. I prefer them over oils and even when I am using a Makeup Eraser, I enjoy using them as a paired makeup removing power couple. Of course, not all cleansing balms can form a power couple with my Makeup Eraser. Shall we see how the Vitabrid C 12 Daily C Balancing Cleansing Balm did?

First off we will start with the container. it is a plastic tub with a screw off outer lid. It is a study enough container that I know I will be reusing it and the lettering even came off fairly easy with just the scrape of the side of a pair of scissors. While I can easily relabel it with a simple strip of masking tape that isn’t a problem, but I do like the fact that i can repurpose it with no issues. And it is a size that I will always reuse. Eventually it will be recycled but it will go through many lives at my house before it reaches that stage.

And it will be a while before it gets to that stage anyway.

But to continue with the packaging, it has an inner lid with a little plastic scoop. I really like the plastic scoop as it means i am not sticking my fingers in the jar and contaminating the product. Also the inner lid has a wide tab to lift out the inner lid making it very easy to remove.

Full face of makeup

The balm itself is a yellowish balm that looks a bit like butter. It has a scent that is oddly reminiscent of the original Elemis Cleansing Balm. It is not as potent a scent but it is very similar to the Elemis cleansing balm in scent. I happen to like the scent personally so I was kind of pleased by this.


To apply I pulled my hair back, scooped out some product onto my hands, rubbed my hands together and then applied onto my makeup covered face. It melted the makeup, even the mascara. Once I massaged it in, I rinsed it off. I would say that about 85% of the makeup came off. It melted lipstick and mascara well and even took off eyeshadow well. It fell down a bit on the foundation. If I skipped my cleanser after using this makeup remover and just considered my face clean then my toner pad showed a lot of foundation on it. If i followed the cleansing balm with a cleanser than the cleanser got what the makeup remover left behind.

freshly rinsed

When I rinsed it off, there was a momentary clouding of my contacts as the balm washed in. There was no stinging and a few blinks later and the fogging of the contacts was gone. I still took my contacts out and rinsed them, but the fact is I was able to rinse them. Some of the cleansing oils and balms I’ve tried never want to leave my contacts if they get in my eyes. Even when this did fog my contacts the effect was only temporary and I did not have to replace my contacts.

This is not a moisturizing cleansing balm. With some cleansing balms when you wash them off your skin feels soft and hydrated. The Farmacy Cleansing Balm is one that tends to fall into that category. The Vitabrid C does not. It washes away clean. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling stripped but it doesn’t feel nourished as well. It basically comes in, does it’s job and leaves. Which is fine for me as I use a cleanser to get the last of the makeup from my skin. I’m sure as it has vitamin c infused into it, that it might be nourishing to the skin and help with brightening, but honestly, it isn’t a product that stays around long enough on the skin to show any sorts of benefits like that. The Vitabrid C12 Cleansing Balm is however a very good makeup remover and one that i wouldn’t mind picking up again. It is just one that I will always use as part of a double cleanse.

Trying out the Tatcha Rice Wash

Tatcha is one of those brands that can be a little hit or miss with me. I absolutely adore their Silk Canvas primer, am okay with their original moisturizer used as a night cream, but am really not a fan of their water cream. For me that makes purchasing full sized items from the brand a little chancy. As they tend to be on the pricy side, it makes purchasing from them on the off chance that I might not like the item something I am not always comfortable with doing.

This makes Tatcha one of the brands where sample sized products are a must for me. Since it is so hit or miss, I really like to try the items before I decide if they are for me. And Tatcha is also one of those brands where the sample sizes I’ve received have had enough product in them for me to make a decision on whether or not I want to give the fill sized version a go. Sometimes, samples are only half full or are simply too small to give you an accurate impression. All of the Tatcha samples I have tried have been packed with product.

The product

The Rice Wash retails for $35 making it not terribly expensive, however I hate wasting product so I was happy to try it in sample form.

Normally with skin care I like to give it a full thirty days to work so that I can see results. For me, cleansers take less time and if a sample can last for two weeks I have a really good idea of how I feel about them. This Tatcha sample of The Rice Wash was used about three days past the two week mark.

According to the Tatcha website The Rice Wash is…

A gently effective, cream cleanser that washes away daily buildup without stripping skin for a soft, luminous complexion.

Featured Ingredients:

pH-Neutral Amino Acid Base: This gentle base removes impurities without stripping skin of its essential oils. Unlike most pH-neutral cleansers, this formula foams into a creamy lather, leaving skin silky, smooth, and well-moisturized. This key ingredient also helps to balance the pH-level of the skin, which helps the skin function properly.

Japanese Rice Powder: Used in classical Japanese cleansing rituals, rice powder naturally softens and boosts luminosity, while keeping the skin well moisturized.

Okinawa Algae Blend + Hyaluronic Acid: A special blend of Okinawa algae and hyaluronic acid captures water to help replenish skin’s natural moisture reservoir, immediately leaving skin soft, comforted, and deeply nourished. It also helps to replenish ceramides to ensure optimum skin barrier function, aiding in the reduction of future moisture loss, for skin that is visibly smooth and plump with hydration.

Tatcha Website
Applied like a thick cream

For each wash, I dispensed a dime sixed amount of product. There was extra in the picture as I thought there was less left in the tube on the last wash when I took the photo. To use I dampened my face and then applied the cleanser to the skin. It applies like a thick cream. I like the fact that I can tell exactly where I put the cleanser and I can use less water. Basically I have the time to turn on the faucet, wet my hand, turn off the faucet and run my wet hand over my face and then apply the product knowing that it won’t drip off my face while I am reaching for the faucet to turn the water on again. It is a little thing, but I have found that with thicker cleansers I waste less water. I don’t need to let the water run while I apply the cleanser.

foams with water

It is a small amount of water each morning and evening, but small amounts add up and as I am trying to add small steps to all of my daily routines to be a better me, I like it. It also helps me make sure all of my face is clean because I can literally see where I put the cream. Then, once applied, I turn the water back on splash my face a few times and rub gently with my hands. The cream turns to foam with the addition of more water and rinses cleanly away.

My skin feels clean but not stripped and when I go in with my toner pad post cleansing, there is almost no makeup residue. While I am getting ready to open up a new cleansing balm, for the moment I am using just my Makeup Eraser. While I love it, I do use it as the first part of makeup removing and without a cleansing balm need to rely a little heavier on my facial cleanser. The Rice Wash from Tatcha worked really well.

rinses clean (nose slightly red as the water was really cold when I rinsed

While I love the ingredients listed in the featured section, I am always a little skeptical of long term skin care benefits from cleansers. I simply don’t think cleansers sit on your skin long enough for all of that goodness to have a lot of time to do much. Having said that, I will never complain about a skin care product that includes hyaluronic acid. Even in passing, I am a fan. I will say that after cleansing, my skin was the kind of clean and soft where I wanted to stop and just let my clean skin stay as it is for a little bit before introducing other skin care products to it, which for me, is the sign of a good cleanser.

The only item that may be a concern for some people is the scent. The Rice Wash is highly fragranced. It has what I like to think of as the Tatcha scent. It is present in almost every item I have used from the brand, whether makeup or skincare. It is floral, yet slightly fruity at the same time. Normally I am not a huge fan of heavily scented cleansers, but this one I didn’t mind. It was highly scented but it still smelled clean. I think for me that is the difference. Many highly scented cleaners just remind me too much of perfumes and the scent convinces my brain that my skin isn’t clean based on scent alone. I didn’t get that with the Tatcha.

It is a strong but clean scent and one I found pleasant. But if you are sensitive to fragrance in your skincare, it is something to watch out for. I would definitely try a sample before purchasing the full size. Of course I tend to say that abound most skincare. It is especially important if you are scent sensitive though.

But now it is time for my final decision. Would I spend the $35 to purchase the full sized version of The Rice Wash from Tatcha? Yes, I would. I think that it is a really good cleanser and whether or not there are long term effects form the brief exposure to the cleanser’s ingredients I can’t say, but I really liked the way my skin felt after using the cleanser and I really like the lack of makeup residue left behind once I rinsed off my skin. Ove all, this was a definite winner for me.


Its a Peppermint-tastic Holiday bundle from Native

I know I have brought this up more than once. In fact I have a tendency to rant about this every holiday season. I love peppermint. I also hate spearmint. Yet somehow spearmint gets to dominate most of the calendar while peppermint is relegated to the holiday season.

Is that fair?

Is that right?

Is it some sort of conspiricy by the anti-peppermint brigade?

Possibly. However much I might wish it, peppermint seems to have a firm association with the holidays. So while it is lacking in the rest of the year, once December hits, I go a little peppermint crazy. Last year I tried the Candy Cane Body wash from Native and loved it. However by the time I went through the bottle, the scent had already been taken off the shelves and the Holiday scent was no more.

So this year i stocked up. I decided to order not one but three bottles of the Peppermint scented Candy Cane body wash from Native.

Okay technically I meant to order only two, but I accidentally hit three.

While I was there I decided that in addition to stocking up, I was going to give a few other peppermint treats a try. So I ordered the Deodorant, shampoo and conditioner to try along with the body wash.

I know, it is the peppermint-tastic time of the year.

The body wash, which I tried last year, foams well and gives a really good clean. It’s scent is strong when the water is hot and teaming up the shower, and it does leave the bathroom with a bit of a minty fresh feeling. The scent isn’t all that long lasting though. with the fading of the steam from the bathroom, the scent fades. The scent also only remains on your skin for about an hour before fading. Which is probably for the best. While I like the scent, I probably don’t want to run around smelling like a peppermint stick all day.

However if the body wash was available year round, I would consider making it a repeat purchase through out the year. I just really like peppermint. And their body wash has a nice formula in general. I am also partial to their cucumber and mint, especially in the summertime. For over all moisturizing of the skin, I am still an Olay body wash person though. I have to add more body lotion post shower with the Native than I do with the Olay, but I consider the peppermint worth it.

The shampoo and conditioner were interesting. I have never tried any shampoo or conditioner from Native before. Generally I stick to their Deodorants and occasionally a body wash. It lathered well, rinsed clean and left my hair shiny and soft. I still used a leave in conditioner afterwards, but it was a good shampoo and conditioner set. It cleans without stripping and my hair felt nice. I also really like the pumps on the bottles. Is it my favorite shampoo and conditioner?

No, but it is decent. Especially if you use a small drop of leave in conditioner after the shower. I’m currently using the CHI Silk Infusion, which I absolutely love. It just needs a tiny drop to work through the hair and my hair is soft and silky smooth.

I don’t think that I will purchase the Native Shampoo and Conditioner throughout the year, and I don’t think i will stock up on it. I do think that come next Christmas i will probably purchase it again. The peppermint scent is nice, but again fades as the hair dries. It is lighter in scent than the body wash. It is a shampoo and conditioner set that works well enough that I don’t mind using it, but not well enough that I want to use it all the time. For me this is a holiday treat specifically because of the peppermint.

And then we come to the most peppermint-tastic of all, the Native Candy Cane Deodorant. I like Native Deodorants in general. They are just a good product. The only issue i have with some of them is in regards to scent. Sometimes they have almost no scent, other times they are powerfully scented. The Candy Cane Deodorant is powerfully scented. It goes on minty and as you move through out the day you will occasionally catch light scent flutters of mint. Personally I like it. And if it was on off year round, I would purchase the scent year round. of the Native Deodorants that I have tried, it is my absolute favorite. Because it is my first time with this scent, I did not stock up. I will use this one well into January though. Once it is done, I will decide if I want to stock up next year or not, but for now, this is the most peppermint-y of them all. It is the only one that really has any peppermint scent after the initial application. At the moment, I love it. How much I love it will remain to be seen when it reaches the end of it’s life.

For now, I am reveling in the peppermint scent. Since I already knew I liked peppermint and was planning to stock the body wash, I went with full sizes, however, they do have trial kits so you can try all of the scents as well. I have no association with the brand, but the links will take you to the site. While many of their products can be found at Target (and that is where I generally pick up my deodorant) not all Target’s carry all the scents and it is a little cheaper on line. My Target didn’t have the deodorant or body wash when I looked. It did have the shampoo and Conditioner in Candy Cane though. I’m not sure if that is just how the stocking goes or if it is a store by store thing. Since I was ordering the body wash, it was actually cheaper to order from the site.

So that my darlings is my take on the super fabulous Candy Cane Scent from Native. Some are going to prove only seasonal products that I use when they become available and forget about the rest of the year, others are going to be ones I want year round and will miss when they are gone. It is good to know which is which.