What to Know about Vitamin C in Skincare ft. Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder

Vitamin C is one of the most popular ingredients in skincare today, and for good reason. There are multiple benefits vitamin C can provide to the skin. It evens out skin tone, brightens skin, protects skin from free radical damage, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s quite the superstar ingredient, so it makes sense that many of us seek out products that contain vitamin C.

What to look for on vitamin C product labels

According to a Paula’s Choice article about vitamin C, this ingredient is most effective at a concentration of at least 10%. Most products containing vitamin C won’t provide you with a percentage, but high strength vitamin C treatment and serum products are more likely to be forthcoming with that information. 

As for the ingredient name, don’t expect to see “vitamin c” on any ingredient lists. Pure vitamin C’s ingredient name is ascorbic acid (a.k.a. L-ascorbic acid). Ascorbic acid is the most researched and most trusted form of vitamin C. Many also believe that it is the most effective form of vitamin C. There are several derivatives of ascorbic acid that have a good amount of research backing them including sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, 3-O ethyl ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl glucoside. These derivatives must be converted into ascorbic acid by the skin cells in order to be effective.

Why not stick to ascorbic acid instead of using derivatives?

You might be wondering why any vitamin C products would contain ascorbic acid derivatives instead of pure ascorbic acid, since ascorbic acid is the most trusted form of vitamin C. The answer is simple. While ascorbic acid is very effective, it unfortunately is not stable when exposed to light and air. It can also be very irritating to the skin, especially sensitive skin. Vitamin C derivatives are generally more stable and less irritating than pure ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C product packaging

Vitamin C products, especially ones containing ascorbic acid or less stable derivatives, must be packaged in such a way that no light or air can reach the product. The efficacy of vitamin C degrades quickly once it comes in contact with light or air. For that reason, it’s important for products to be packaged in opaque airtight containers to protect vitamin C ingredients. Products that Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powdercome in jars or transparent packaging, won’t remain effective for very long. If you notice the color of a vitamin C product changing, it’s probably gone bad.

There is one case in which the packaging of an ascorbic acid product doesn’t really matter as much: pure ascorbic acid powder. In powder form, ascorbic acid is much more stable and less likely to degrade. Ascorbic acid doesn’t become unstable until it mixes with water. On that note, I’d like to introduce you to the Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder!

Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder claims directly from GetGoodMolecules.com

Promote a bright, firm and smooth complexion with Vitamin C Booster Powder from Good Molecules. Made from only 100% pure l-ascorbic acid, this powder mixes into serums, creams, and moisturizers to supercharge your favorite products with the antioxidant power of vitamin C.

Other product details

  • Price: $8.00
  • Net weight: 0.71 oz. | 20 g
  • Made in Korea
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Fragrance-free
  • Shelf life: 6 months
  • Where to buy: GetGoodMolecules.com or Beautylish.com
    • GetGoodMolecules.com ships internationally.
    • Beautylish.com ships to 56 countries (see the list here)
  • Overall rating: 8.4/10
    • Packaging: 8/10
    • Ease of use: 7/10
    • Team player: 7/10
    • Ingredients: 10/10
    • Price: 10/10

Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.

Packaging

Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder is packaged in an amber glass jar with a twist-off lid. While the packaging isn’t nearly as important for this product since it is in powder form, I’m still glad that Good Molecules made the choice to use dark colored glass to prevent too much light from reaching the product regularly.

The only bad part about this type of packaging is that once the lid is removed, the product is completely exposed to light and air. This shouldn’t be an issue in most cases, with the exception of very humid environments. If using this product after a hot steamy shower, it would be best to wait until the room has cooled and the extra humidity has cleared before opening the jar.

This product comes boxed with a tiny spoon to scoop out the appropriate amount. I appreciate the spoon because it would be very difficult to know how much of this product to use otherwise. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to keep the spoon with the jar. It would be nice if it fit inside the lid somehow, but since that isn’t the case I just keep the jar and spoon together in a drawer organizer tray.

Ease of use

Product instructions from Good Molecules: Using the enclosed spoon, mix one spoonful into your serum or moisturizer until fully dissolved. Apply once daily in the morning or at night up to three times per week. You may experience a tingling sensation, which will diminish with regular use. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

As you can probably imagine, this booster powder isn’t as easy to use as something like a vitamin C serum. It requires a little bit of juggling since this powder must be combined with a serum or moisturizer to be applied to the skin. When I first started using this product, I tried mixing it with a serum because I thought that would be easiest. It might’ve just been the type of serum I was using (I think it was a niacinamide serum), but the powder did not dissolve easily, which meant that it also did not apply well on my skin. 

I’ve had much better luck with this product since I started mixing it with moisturizers instead. I should also note that it works better with creamy moisturizers compared to ones with a gel consistency. That might not be the case with every gel moisturizer, but that’s the experience I’ve had with my products.

I’m glad that Good Molecules stated clearly in the instructions that a tingling sensation is normal with this product, because I definitely experience that every time I use it. I was surprised in the beginning too, because I’ve used a wide variety of skincare products the last few years and didn’t think my skin would be very sensitive to pure vitamin C. Thankfully, that tingling sensation has definitely reduced in the two or three months that I’ve been using this powder regularly twice a week.

While this product isn’t the easiest to use vitamin C product on the market, I also have to consider that it isn’t meant to be used daily. Since it is only intended for use 2-3 times per week, the mild inconvenience may be well worth it for a lot of people. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I don’t mind the “inconvenience factor” too much now that I’ve figured out the best way to use this powder.

Team player

It might come down to which specific products are being paired with this vitamin C powder, but in my experience, this product is a much better team player at night than in the morning. For those that don’t wear makeup, this might not be a problem. However, on the mornings that I’ve tried to use this product, I ended up with my face looking flaky/powdery, and makeup didn’t apply well over it. That is likely because the powder was not fully dissolving in the lightweight products that I was using. Since I do try to keep my morning skincare more lightweight overall, I decided that I’d just start using this product exclusively at night.

Now that I’ve gotten through the learning curve with this product, I consistently use it mixed with my PM moisturizer which is the last step of my night time skincare routine. Since the powder seems to dissolve well in thicker moisturizers, it also then applies easily on the skin. I’m not left with that powdery flaky feeling that I had when trying to use this product in my morning skincare routine.

Ingredients

I’m used to reviewing products that are formulated with 15-30 ingredients. Since Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder only contains one ingredient, this should be the easiest ingredient review I’ve ever done!

Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder is 100% ascorbic acid (L-ascorbic acid), the purest form of vitamin C. I named quite a few benefits of vitamin C in the intro, but there are even more beyond those that I already listed: 

  • Boosts the skin’s collagen production, which helps to keep skin smooth and firm
  • Increases level of UV protection when used under sunscreen
    • Adding vitamin E and ferulic acid with vitamin C further increases UV protection
  • Helps to keep skin hydrated
  • Fades brown spots or hyperpigmentation

Ascorbic acid really is an amazing skincare ingredient. The trick is just getting the packaging/formulation right to keep it stable. In this case, since ascorbic acid is the only ingredient and it’s in powder form, the product’s stability is a non-issue. 🙂

Price

While this Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder is undoubtedly effective, it is also very simple. No formulation was required since it consists of only a single ingredient. For that reason, I think it is to be expected that it would be inexpensive. When purchasing a lot of skincare, especially more expensive products, I expect that a big part of the price tag is due to R&D and the company’s reputation. Since I assume there was no R&D involved in this product (ascorbic acid is a well-known ingredient that already had a lot of research backing it long before this product came along), and all of the other Good Molecules products are very affordable, I think it’s only right that Good Molecules priced this product at $8.00. 

This product really is a great value. The amount of product that comes in the little jar is 0.71 ounces, and that might not sound like much, but let me tell you: a little goes a very long way (make sure you use the spoon!). The shelf life is only 6 months but I think it will last even longer than that for me if I continue using it only twice a week. With some products, I heed the shelf life, but with this one I think it should be fine longer than that as long as it’s kept dry.


I had a bit of a bumpy start with Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder, but now that I’ve nailed down the best time to use it and the best way to use it, I’m really enjoying it! This is a rare product that actually makes a visible difference in my skin overnight. I wake up to my skin looking bright, fresh, and healthy after applying this powder with my night time moisturizer.

I think this product would be perfect for those that want the skin benefits of vitamin C, but aren’t having very good luck with traditional vitamin C products. Those with very sensitive skin may need to avoid this product altogether since it has the potential to be irritating. If you’re a little sensitive and want to try it, just make sure you start out slowly (once a week and use less than a spoonful) to see how your skin reacts.

For those that want a daily dose of vitamin C on their skin, the Niacinamide Brightening Toner is another excellent product from Good Molecules. That toner contains 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (a very stable form of vitamin C), as well as several other skin-loving ingredients.

What is your favorite vitamin C product? Have you ever tried using a vitamin C powder similar to this one? I’m curious to hear about your experiences! 🙂

Lauren

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Vegan Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes Part 2–Cheek Brushes

Last week, I shared Vegan Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes Part 1 which focused on the best complexion brushes that I’ve found for applying foundation, concealer, powder foundation, and setting powder. Those brushes make it easy to create a well-blended and even-toned base. Every makeup look is better if it starts off with a beautiful base! The next category of brushes any makeup-lover needs is cheek brushes to apply blush, bronzer, and highlighter. 

Vegan Cruelty-Free Makeup BrushesThere are many unique types of makeup brushes available, and it can be difficult to determine which type of brush will work best for each individual’s needs. I’ve tried quite a few different types of makeup brushes through the years and I’ve learned that when it comes to cheek brushes, I usually prefer ones that apply color in a subtle way. I have fair skin and too much pigmentation on my face does not look good, so I reach for brushes that make it easy to start with a small amount of product and build intensity as needed.

In the next couple of sections, I’m going to outline the qualities of good makeup brushes, as well as the reasons I prefer vegan makeup brushes over ones made with animal hair. If you already read my post about complexion brushes, you might want to skip ahead to my favorite and most-used cheek brushes.

Qualities of a good makeup brush

Makeup brushes can make a huge difference in application. A good brush might make you realize that you actually enjoy a product that you thought you’d never use, while a poor quality brush may have the opposite effect. So what qualities does a brush need to be “good?”

  • Soft bristles
  • Durable construction
  • Does not shed
  • Comfortable handle
  • Blends products easily and evenly

All of the makeup brushes mentioned in this series share these qualities.

Vegan makeup brushes vs. Natural animal hair makeup brushes

My primary reason for buying vegan (synthetic) makeup brushes rather than natural animal hair brushes, is that I don’t want to support animal cruelty. However, there are several other reasons that synthetic brushes are superior!:

  • Synthetic brushes hold up better over time, even with frequent cleaning
  • Filaments (bristles) aren’t as porous as animal hairs and therefore don’t absorb as much product
  • Easier to clean
  • Hypoallergenic; animal hairs can cause allergic reactions
  • Often more affordable

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Powder blush (with average or low pigmentation) – Real Techniques 400 Blush Brush 

Product claims on RealTechniques.com: Our blush brush is custom-cut to contour and define cheeks for a natural looking rosy glow. Performs 2x better than prestige (based on third-party independent lab testing vs. the leading prestige cosmetic brush brand).

It took me a really long time to find a good everyday blush brush. Most of them that I tried either picked up too much product or the shape was awkward for me to use. When I picked up the Real Techniques 400 Blush Brush from Ulta, I was a little bit skeptical that it would work for me due to its size. This brush is quite large and looks very similar to a typical powder brush. The difference is that this brush is more elongated rather than domed and the bristles are slightly more dense to pick up more product. 

This brush does pick up a good amount of product, but not too much unless I’m working with a highly pigmented blush (I’ve learned to only use this brush with blushes that have average or low pigmentation). The size and shape of this brush make it very easy to sweep blush over my cheeks for a wash of color that isn’t too intense. Sometimes I want to build up the color on the apples of my cheeks, and to do that I pick up a little more blush and brush it lightly on that area while holding the brush perpendicular to my cheeks (so only the very end of the brush head is touching my face). That method makes it easy to control the area where the blush goes since this brush is on the larger side.

Powder blush (with high pigmentation) – Profusion PD2 Tapered Powder Brush

Product description on ProfusionCosmetics.com: Use the Tapered Powder Brush for more lightweight application of powder products, such as highlight or blush.

While Profusion isn’t very well-known for its brushes, they are high quality and some of the best I’ve tried. This is the only face brush I own from Profusion (you’ll see several Profusion eye brushes in the next installment of this series), but I’m quite impressed with it. 

I’ve found that the Profusion PD2 Tapered Powder Brush is absolutely perfect for applying highly pigmented blushes like e.l.f. Primer Infused Blush, and that’s because the bristles are not dense at all. In fact, when I first got this brush, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because the bristles felt so loose (not loose as in “may fall out easily,” but the opposite of “dense”). It turned out to be a good thing, because this brush picks up a very small amount of product and that’s exactly what I want when I’m working with a highly pigmented blush. This brush also looks very elegant. The ferrule is rose gold and the handle is long and matte black. It looks very pretty in my brush organizer!

Cream blush or powder/cream contour – e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush

Product claims on ElfCosmetics.com: Create soft layers by adding texture for a natural airbrushed result. The two layers of bristles create ultimate control from sheer to heavy coverage for small and hard to reach places. Ideal with liquid, cream or powder products, foundation, concealer, and cream blush. 

The e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush is a unique and versatile brush. I don’t use it all that often (since I reach for powder blushes more often than creams and I don’t contour often), but when I do I’m always pleased with the results! I primarily use it with cream blushes like the e.l.f. Putty Blush that I recently started using. I tap some of the blush on with my fingers and then use the brush to distribute it evenly over my cheeks. A lot of people use only their fingers to apply cream blushes, but for me it always looks better when I use a brush. 

Since this brush is very small, it also works well for contouring the cheekbones (as well as other parts of the face). My only contouring product is a powder, but I think this brush would work just as well with a cream contour product. The duo-fiber bristles don’t pick up too much product, which lends this brush well to subtle product application.

Bronzer – EcoTools Blending & Bronzing Brush

Product claims on EcoTools.com: The Blending & Bronzing brush is designed with duo-fiber bristles for buildable application to achieve an even, sun-kissed glow.

While I struggled with finding the perfect makeup brush for many of the steps in my makeup routine, bronzer is one that was very easy! When I bought my first bronzer, I also bought this EcoTools Blending & Bronzing brush, and it’s the only bronzer brush I’ve used since. It’s perfect and I don’t feel the need to use anything else! I was very happy to see that this brush is still available since it has been around for a long time. 

Just like with the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush, the EcoTools Blending & Bronzing brush has duo-fiber bristles that pick up just the right amount of product. Bronzer is something that I could easily go overboard with on my fair skin, but this brush makes it easy to pick up the right amount and blend it seamlessly. My bronzer always looks natural and well-blended thanks to this brush!

Highlighter – Real Techniques 402 Setting Brush

Product claims on RealTechniques.com: Our micro setting brush is the key to completing any look with a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter. MUA favorite.

I don’t wear highlighter every day, but when I do I want to make sure I’m in complete control of where it goes on my face. That means using a small brush for targeted application. The best I’ve used so far is the Real Techniques 402 Setting Brush. It isn’t fancy, but it’s very good at its job! My highlighter always looks perfect when applied with this soft little brush, whether I want a very subtle highlight or if I want to build it up to look more intense.

This brush is also a popular option for setting the under-eye area with powder, but as I mentioned in “Part 1” of this series, I prefer the e.l.f. Small Tapered Brush for that purpose.


I adore all five of these cheek brushes. They’re all very high quality, and I’m pleased that I was able to again share some very affordable products! 

I look forward to bringing you more amazing makeup brushes next week in “Part 3” of this series which will focus on my favorite type of makeup brushes: eye brushes!

Thanks so much for reading! Please share your favorite cheek brushes with me in the comments below. 🙂

Lauren

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Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA–for Gentle Exfoliation of Rough Dry Skin

Skin all over the body tends to get rough, dry, and itchy during colder months when the air is extra dry. I know mine has! Body scrubs like Pacifica Sugared Crystal Supercharged Body Scrub use sugar or a variety of other physical exfoliators to smooth and soften skin, but they may be too harsh for some people. A gentler and more thorough approach to exfoliation is to use chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid which increase the rate of skin cell turnover by loosening the bonds between skin cells.

A few months ago, I reviewed the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant which is a very Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHAeffective facial exfoliator. Paula’s Choice doesn’t only make chemical exfoliant products for the face though; they also have a couple for the body! Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA has the same active ingredient as the 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant, salicylic acid. I feel fortunate that Paula’s Choice sent the Weightless Body Treatment to me as a free gift with some skincare products that I ordered, because if they hadn’t I probably wouldn’t even know this product existed!

Importance of sun protection with chemical exfoliants

Please remember that it’s very important to wear sufficient sun protection when using exfoliants on the face or body. When you have a layer of dead skin cells on top of your fresh new skin, that layer provides some sun protection. Once that layer is exfoliated away, the new outer layer of skin is more sensitive to the sun, and more likely to burn. 

Product claims directly from PaulasChoice.com

This leave-on body exfoliant with 2% BHA, also known as salicylic acid, gently exfoliates built-up layers of dead skin to reveal the radiant, smooth skin hiding underneath. Works from the first application to visibly make rough, dry skin a thing of the past. Ongoing use banishes dullness and promotes resilient skin that’s touchably soft and ultimately smooth. This is a customer favorite, suitable even for skin prone to keratosis pilaris.

  • 2% salicylic acid softens and refines rough skin
  • Antioxidants safeguard skin and keep it healthy
  • Silky lightweight lotion feels beautiful on skin
  • Ideal for hard, clogged pores on the arms and legs

Other product details

  • Price: $28.00 (full size) OR $7.00 (travel size)
  • Net weight: 7 oz. | 210 ml (full size) OR 2 oz. | 60 ml (travel size)
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-irritating
  • pH range of 3.5-3.9
  • Shelf life: 12 months
  • Where to buy: PaulasChoice.com or Amazon.com 
    • Available through Paula’s Choice in 20+ countries/regions (each has its own website; they can all be found here
    • Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
  • Overall rating: 9.4/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 10/10
    • Exfoliation: 10/10
    • Greasiness: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 9/10
    • Price: 8/10

Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.

Packaging/ease of application

Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA is packaged in a tall opaque squeeze tube with a small opening. This type of packaging is fairly effective for protecting the actives (salicylic acid and antioxidant ingredients) from degradation due to exposure to light and air. The squeeze tube also makes it easy to dispense the proper amount of product. 

The product itself is very easy to use. Its formula is lightweight, as implied by the name, and smooths easily over the skin. I’ve also found that I don’t need as much of this type of product compared to most lotions or other body moisturizers. 

When I use this body treatment, I use it alone. However, since it is a lightweight formula, I believe that any type of moisturizer could be applied over it without any problems. The instructions from Paula’s Choice state that this body treatment should be applied first if using with a moisturizer. I think that’s very important for proper absorption of the active ingredients in this product.

Exfoliation

My favorite type of chemical exfoliant is salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). I’m happy that salicylic acid is also the magic ingredient in this body treatment from Paula’s Choice! I was hopeful that this product would be as effective for exfoliation on the body as the 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant is for the face, since they contain the same concentration of salicylic acid. I was not disappointed!

I apply this body treatment on nights that I feel like my skin needs something extra, like moisturizer isn’t going to cut it. I primarily use it on my arms, legs, and hips since those are the areas that get the most dry on my body. When I wake up the next morning after applying this body treatment, my skin feels very smooth and lightly hydrated. 

My favorite use for this product is on my arms because I think I have a mild case of keratosis pilaris (KP) which causes me to get little red bumps on my arms. Since this body treatment exfoliates away dead skin cells, it smooths those bumps and makes the skin on my arms look much more healthy. Body scrubs can also help with this problem, but I think chemical exfoliation is more effective.

Greasiness

Greasy body products don’t bother me as much as a greasy hand cream, but in general I prefer my products to be non-greasy. If a product is non-greasy, that usually means that it’s quick to apply and absorbs quickly.

Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA may look very similar to a body lotion (most of which are at least a little bit greasy), but it feels very different. As I mentioned previously, this product is very lightweight. It’s thin and not at all greasy! This body treatment smooths over my skin quickly and absorbs within a couple of minutes so I don’t feel like I’m getting it all over my pajamas or clothes when I get dressed.

It’s clear that Paula’s Choice put a lot of thought into the texture of this product. The ingredient list reflects this! I’ll go into a little more detail about that in the next section.

Ingredients

I was expecting to see quite a bit of similarity between the ingredient list for the Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA and 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant, but they are actually quite different! Of course this is a body product instead of a face product, but they perform the same basic function. The textures of each of the formulas are vastly different, however, and I think that’s probably why the ingredient lists aren’t more similar. 

Water, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Salicylic Acid, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem (Willowherb) Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Bisabolol, Allantoin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol

This looks like a pretty scary list of ingredients, but they’re actually all either good skin-loving ingredients, or “neutral” ingredients that support the formula. There isn’t a single “bad” ingredient in this product! I’ll provide information on the standout ingredients below (please note that my primary resources for ingredient information are INCI Decoder and Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary): 

  • PPG-14 butyl ether
    • Skin-replenishing
    • Improves the appearance of dry or damaged skin
  • Salicylic acid
    • Beta hydroxy acid (exfoliant)
    • Anti-inflammatory
  • Tocopheryl acetate
    • Most common form of vitamin E
    • Antioxidant
    • Strengthens skin
  • Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract
    • Antioxidant
    • Potent skin-soothing property
    • May aggravate skin that is sensitive to plants in the daisy family
  • Epilobium angustifolium (willowherb) extract
    • Antioxidant
    • Skin-soothing
  • Camellia oleifera (green tea) leaf extract
    • Antioxidant
    • Anti-inflammatory
  • Vanilla planifolia fruit extract
    • Antioxidant
    • Skin-soothing
  • Bisabolol
    • Skin-soothing
  • Allantoin
    • Skin-soothing

Some of these ingredients may seem a bit redundant, but I’m glad to see so many soothing ingredients paired with salicylic acid. Chemical exfoliants can be irritating to sensitive skin or skin that hasn’t had time to adjust to the exfoliating ingredients. Skin on the body usually isn’t as sensitive as skin on the face so I don’t think most people would experience any irritation, but it’s good that Paula’s Choice took the precaution of adding those soothing ingredients to keep skin calm. Since chamomile is known for being such a soothing ingredient, I was surprised to see that it has the potential to aggravate skin. Fortunately, that only applies to people that are sensitive to plants in the daisy family.

The other twenty are a wide variety of “neutral” ingredients such as emulsifiers, thickeners, other texture enhancers, and preservatives. The vast majority contribute to the texture of the formula to make it feel smooth and absorb quickly. The main ingredients responsible for the texture of this formula are the four silicones (dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, and dimethiconol), PVM/MA decadiene crosspolymer (creates a gel consistency), polyacrylamide, C13-14 isoparaffin, and Laureth-7 (this ingredient works with the previous two to create a non-tacky gel formula).

I think it’s so interesting learning about the ingredients that work together to make a product work. Overall I’m very pleased with the ingredients used in this body treatment! I’d be even happier if the percentage of “good” (versus “neutral”) was higher, but honestly in this case I don’t think it’s a problem. All of the standout ingredients that I outlined in the bullet points above are in the first half of the list, and six of them are in the top ten! That’s great news since the ingredients closest to the top have the highest concentrations.

Price

My perspective on the $28.00 price of this body treatment varies depending on how it’s being used. For someone like me that uses it as needed instead of daily, I think it’s worth it because it’s lasted me a long time. On the other hand, people that want to use it daily will probably run through a tube rather quickly. I wouldn’t pay $28.00 for this if I planned to use it daily because I’d probably run through it in about a month. That’s just my opinion, though. Everyone has a unique perspective and budget.

This product is definitely effective and a great solution for those in need of gentle exfoliation. I’m only taking two points away in this category since I do think the price is fair for those looking for an “as needed” body treatment for especially dry or bumpy skin.


I am very happy to have Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA in my body care collection, especially this time of year when my skin needs a little extra help. I think I only use it about once a week, but my skin always thanks me when I do!

I think this product would be great for anyone that struggles with very dry or rough bumpy skin. The only exceptions would be people with very sensitive skin. Anyone with sensitivity to plants in the daisy family definitely should avoid this product. Everyone else, I suggest you get your paws on this product ASAP! Your skin will thank you. 🙂

Have you ever tried body care products from Paula’s Choice? Paula’s Choice has such a huge range of products, their body care is often overlooked and definitely underrated!

Lauren

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Mane Club One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 Leave-In Spray–Non-Greasy Hair Treatment that doesn’t Skimp on Benefits

It has now been a full year since I last had my hair trimmed, and it is loooong. Since my hair is both long and quite thick with split ends, it isn’t looking so healthy these days. I try to keep my hair healthy by not washing it too often and not using any hot tools, but it’s still far from looking its best. A couple of months ago, I wrote a product review on Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer which is a leave-in spray. I’ve probably had that product in my collection for about a year. I still enjoy it, but I’ve found that it can leave my hair looking greasy if I spray it on too close to the roots or use too much. It makes sense that it has that effect on my hair since that spray contains both argan oil and sunflower seed oil. Those ingredients are also responsible for most, if not all, of the products ten benefits. Mane Club One Hit Wonder

I recently learned about Mane Club One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 Leave-In Spray. I was intrigued by it because it claims to provide benefits very similar to Eva NYC’s primer spray, but it doesn’t contain any oils except for hemp seed oil, which is a non-greasy oil. I was fortunate enough to have Mane Club reach out to me and they sent this product, as well as a few others to me to try (thank you, Mane Club!). I’ve been using the Mane Club One Hit Wonder spray a few times a week for the past month or so and I’m happy to now be reviewing it for you!

Product claims directly from ManeClubNYC.com

A multi-benefit miracle leave-in spray that does it all. Laced with cannabis sativa seed oil, this non-greasy leave-in treatment aims high to deliver 10 essential benefits:

  • Conditions
  • Detangles
  • Heat protection up to 445F/230C
  • Prevents breakage
  • Hydrates
  • Smooths
  • Softens
  • Controls frizz
  • Boosts shine
  • Strengthens

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Price: $8.00
  • Net weight: 5.3 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified)
  • Vegan
  • Shelf life: 6 months
  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, gluten, and drying alcohols
  • Can be used on damp or dry hair
  • Where to buy: ManeClubNYC.com
    • Mane Club ships internationally
  • Overall rating: 8.6/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 9/10
    • Benefits: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 8/10
    • Fragrance: 7/10
    • Price: 10/10

Packaging/ease of application

Mane Club One Hit Wonder is packaged in a standard spray bottle. The packaging is very cute, with a tie-dye pattern on the label. You can tell they’re really playing off of the hemp seed oil with the name of the product and the phrase “The perfect dose of high-dration.”

The sprayer/mister is not one of the best I’ve ever used, as the product comes out a bit aggressively. However, I have to wonder if that might be more due to the texture of the product. It is a lightweight gel rather than a liquid formula like most leave-in sprays. If this product is sprayed directly onto the hair, a lot of product shoots out at one small spot, rather than distributing evenly over a large area. That’s not a huge deal as long as it’s combed through thoroughly, but I think it’s easier to spray the product into my hand, rub my palms together, and then run my hands through my hair to distribute the product more evenly.

I’ve found that Mane Club’s claim that this leave-in spray is non-greasy, is correct! I don’t have to be nearly as careful with this product as I am with Eva NYC’s leave-in spray, which makes it a lot easier to use! I can go crazy with this stuff and put a lot in on days that my hair looks its worst, and it never looks greasy.

Benefits

Mane Club states that the One Hit Wonder spray delivers ten essential benefits to the hair. I’m going to break down my thoughts on each of them. Honestly, I think that some of them are redundant, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective product!

  1. Conditions: This is one that I see as redundant, since to me, I think of “conditioning” the hair to mean detangling and softening it. Both of those are covered below.
  2. Detangles: Yes! This spray definitely does a good job of detangling and makes it so much easier to comb or brush through my thick hair after washing.
  3. Heat protection up to 445F/230C: I’m sure it is effective for heat protection, but since I don’t use hot tools, I can’t comment on this benefit. See ingredients below for one that should definitely help to protect hair from high temperatures.
  4. Prevents breakage: I’m really not sure on this one, because I do sometimes experience breakage, but I think that’s normal even when using a product like this one. A couple of the ingredients may help prevent hair breakage, so I believe it’s certainly possible that this spray reduces the amount of breakage.
  5. Hydrates: My hair always looks more hydrated and healthy when I use this spray, so this is a big thumbs up from me!
  6. Smooths: I often experience frizz or just a general fuzziness with my hair since it is thick with some waves, and this spray immediately smooths it.
  7. Softens: Another affirmative, my hair feels very soft when I use the One Hit Wonder spray.
  8. Controls frizz: See “Smooths” above 😉
  9. Boosts shine: I think my hair looks more shiny immediately after I comb this product through my hair, but it doesn’t last as long as I’d like. I think this is because as I stated previously, hemp seed oil is non-greasy and this formula lacks the oils that are traditionally found in leave-in sprays. I don’t see this as a problem at all because it still makes my hair look more healthy overall. Since my hair gets greasy somewhat quickly anyway, I like that this spray won’t make it look greasy more quickly than it would on its own.
  10. Strengthens: See “Prevents breakage.” I’m sure this product does strengthen the hair with regular use, but I don’t have any proof of that.

In the before and after photos below, you can see that my hair looked more hydrated and smoothed after I used the Mane Club One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 Leave-In Spray.

Ingredients

I usually really enjoy researching ingredients, but it was quite the challenge for this product! Sources for information on haircare ingredients are much harder to find compared to those that focus on skincare. I did my best to compile descriptions for each of these ingredients and determine which ones provide benefits to the hair.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, Cetrimonium chloride, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Propylene glycol, Silicone quaternium-22, Dipropylene glycol, Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride, Polyglyceryl-3 caprate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 60, Citric acid, Parfum/Fragrance, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene

Of these 17 ingredients, there are four that really stand out to me as the ones that contribute to the ten benefits that Mane Club touts for this product:

  • Glycerin
    • Natural moisturizer
    • Humectant
  • Hemp seed oil
    • Conditions and strengthens hair
  • Silicone quaternium-22
    • Thermal protectant (works by bonding to hair)
    • Reduces risk of breakage
    • Unfortunately, may create buildup over time
  • Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride
    • Antistatic
    • Makes hair soft and shiny
    • Bonus: may reduce fading of hair color

I believe that of these four ingredients, the silicone ingredient is the only one that may be a problem since it could build up on the hair over time. Since that ingredient is halfway down the list, I’m not too concerned about that risk. Plus, I have not noticed any buildup on my hair in the month or so that I’ve been using this product.

As for the other 13 ingredients, most of them are “neutral” things like solvents, thickeners, and emulsifiers. There are only a few ingredients that I see as potentially problematic and I bet you can guess what they are! The last three ingredients are fragrance, which always presents some level of risk for irritation. Fortunately, this is a haircare product instead of skincare. Since this spray isn’t applied directly to skin, the risk of it irritating the skin is quite low. If you know you have sensitive skin, be careful not to get this product on your skin. It’s very easy if you apply it with your hands like I do, rather than spraying it directly on the hair.

Fragrance

Despite my statements about the fragrance ingredients in this product, I do enjoy fragrance in my haircare products. This product contains fragrance, but I think I might like it better if it didn’t. I can’t quite put my finger on the scent that Mane Club is trying to achieve for this product. I wouldn’t say that I completely dislike the way this spray smells, but I also wouldn’t say that I like it either. It smells pretty strong when I comb it through my hair, but that does fade throughout the day so the fragrance isn’t a big “con” for me.

I only took a few points from this category because I read a lot of reviews for this product and every person that commented on the scent likes it. It seems that I’m in the minority when it comes to this product’s scent, but that’s OK! I’m glad that others enjoy it.

Price

It’s hard to believe that Mane Club One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 Leave-In Spray is only $8.00! That’s $4.00 less than Eva NYC’s product, which performs mostly the same functions. I think this product is an especially good value because it will last a very long time. I feel like I use a lot of it, but in reality I’ve barely put a dent in it. I’m guessing that it will last me at least six months, but probably even longer than that!


While this product is not perfect, it has a lot going for it. It provides all the benefits that I look for in a leave-in spray, and at an affordable price which I always appreciate. I buy a lot of self-care products, and anytime I can save money with affordable options, that makes me very happy!

I think that Mane Club One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 Leave-In Spray is ideal for people like me that have hair that gets greasy quickly, but you still want the benefits of a leave in spray. It might not be the best option for people that have very dry hair that needs a lot of hydration. Don’t get me wrong, this one is hydrating, but I’m not sure if it provides enough hydration for everyone.

Since Mane Club just launched in 2019, it is not yet very well-known. I’m curious how many of my readers are familiar with the brand. If you’ve ever tried Mane Club products, please let me know in the comments below!

Lauren

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ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara–Award-Winning Clean Mascara

Mascara, how I love thee… Mascara is the one makeup product that I absolutely can’t be without. It’s such an important staple for me, that the very first makeup product review I wrote and posted back in August, was about the Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. That mascara is very well-known and loved by many, including me. For a long time, I thought I’d never find another mascara that I like as well as that one. While I still think that mascara is excellent and I even have a backup tube of it stashed away, I also enjoy trying new products to keep things fresh and interesting. 

ILIA Limitless Lash MascaraI’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on clean makeup products, and one that has been mentioned repeatedly is ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara. It has a reputation as one of the best clean mascaras on the market. I don’t have any intention of making the switch to only clean beauty products, but a lot of them seem quite impressive and of course I want to see what all the fuss is about with ILIA’s mascara!

ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara is the first product I’ve ever owned from the brand, but I’ve had my eye on ILIA for a while. ILIA believes in combining skincare and makeup, so its formulas are created with active skincare ingredients that protect the skin. ILIA also shares my belief that clean beauty should include both natural and synthetic ingredients, because there are both good and bad in each of those categories. ILIA selects only the best ingredients for its formulas.

Product claims directly from ILIABeauty.com

ILIA’s Limitless Lash Mascara is an award-winning clean mascara that goes above and beyond the expectations of any natural mascara. Buildable and flake-free, this 99% natural mascara lifts, curls, lengthens and adds just the right amount of volume.

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Price: $28.00 (full size) OR $13.00 (mini)
  • Net weight: 0.27 oz. | 8 g (full size) OR 0.10 oz. | 3 g (mini)
  • Made in Italy
  • Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified)
  • Water-resistant (not waterproof)
  • Free of oils, gluten, talc, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, BHA/BHT, propylene glycol, PEGs, and cyclomethicones
  • Currently only comes in one shade: After Midnight (soft black)
  • Rubber bristles
  • 99% natural ingredients
  • Special ingredients that promote healthy lashes:
    • Arginine (amino acid found in keratin)
    • Shea butter
    • Beeswax
  • Recyclable packaging 
    • ILIA is partnered with TerraCycle. With ILIA’s recycling program, up to five empty beauty products (ILIA and/or other brands) can be recycled every month for free. Click here for more information. 
  • Awards:
    • Best Clean Mascara, Allure’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2020
    • Best Clean Mascara, Allure’s Best of Beauty 2019
    • Best Natural Mascara, Glamour Magazine 2019
  • Where to buy full size ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara: ILIABeauty.com or Amazon.com
    • ILIABeauty.com ships internationally, but currently doesn’t ship to the following locations: United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, China, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Macao, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam
    • Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
  • Where to buy mini ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara: ILIABeauty.com
  • Overall rating: 9.4/10
    • Wand/ease of application: 10/10
    • Lengthening: 10/10
    • Staying power: 10/10
    • Ease of removal: 9/10
    • Price: 8/10

Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.

Wand/ease of application

ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara wandThe ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara has one of the most unique wands I’ve ever seen. ILIA tested over 100 mascara wands before choosing this one. The wand includes two types of bristles: there are several rows of short bristles that have a slightly hourglass shape (these bristles are spaced close together), and one row of longer bristles that are all the same length but spaced farther apart. 

ILIA intends for the short bristles to be used first, to curl and create volume. Then, the long bristles lift, lengthen, and separate. Since the main things I want from mascara are length and separation, I spend more time using the long bristles. Sometimes I exclusively apply this mascara using the one row of longer bristles, and that works quite well. If volume is more important to you than length, you may want to focus your efforts on applying this mascara with the shorter bristles. 

I find this mascara to be quite easy to apply. It glides easily over my eyelashes and builds quickly. I apply to one eye at a time, building as much volume and length as I want. More mascara can be applied after the first coat dries, but it can get clumpy that way. Some people like their mascara on the clumpier side, but since I don’t have very full eyelashes, I prefer to keep them separated to look more feathery. 

Lengthening

I look for added length from every mascara that I use. I would say that my eyelashes are pretty average as far as length, but since they are a bit sparse and I have slightly hooded eyelids, I like as much length as possible. Extra length makes my eyes stand out much more than they would otherwise. ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara doesn’t actually provide limitless length, but it can be built up to make my lashes plenty long. They really pop in this photo! I like how natural my lashes still look, even with all the extra length this mascara provides. I also appreciate how quickly that length builds. This is one of the most effortless mascaras I’ve ever tried.

Volume isn’t something that I normally look for, but I’m going to mention it here anyway. I think my eyelashes look more thick and healthy when I wear this mascara compared to others I’ve tried through the years. Adding volume is one thing that ILIA definitely does better than Thrive, in my opinion.

Staying power

Even though this is not a tubing mascara and it also isn’t waterproof, the staying power is excellent! I’ve never experienced any flaking or smudging from this mascara. It looks the same at the end of the day as it does when I’ve freshly applied it. 

In addition to staying in place on lashes, this mascara also holds a curl better than most or all of the mascaras that I’ve used in the past (note that I always curl my eyelashes before applying mascara). I’m impressed! I assume this property comes from the fact that ILIA’s formula is lightweight. 

While I can confidently say that this mascara has great staying power for everyday use, I’m not sure how well it holds up against water. It is water-resistant, but not waterproof, so rain or tears are likely to result in this mascara smudging. I wouldn’t hold that against the product since it doesn’t claim to be waterproof. 

Ease of removal

As I mentioned in the previous section, this mascara is not waterproof. I avoid waterproof mascara formulas now since they are difficult to remove and cost me eyelashes that I can’t afford to lose! I think it would be nice if ILIA added a waterproof version of this mascara, but I’m glad the one option they offer is not waterproof. Not to say that all non-waterproof mascaras are easy to remove, but it definitely helps. 

This mascara is easier to remove than most. It dissolves easily with face wash or cleansing balm, but ILIA claims it can be removed with warm water alone. I really appreciate how easy this mascara is to remove, because if I don’t have to struggle to remove it, I’m less likely to pull out eyelashes in the process.

Price

I won’t sugarcoat it, the price of this mascara makes me cringe a little. $28.00 is expensive for a product that will only last 3-6 months. But then I remember how much I’m enjoying this mascara. It’s innovative, easy to use, makes my eyelashes look beautiful, lasts all day, AND it’s made with natural ingredients. 

Most clean/natural mascaras are quite expensive, usually over $20.00 but less than $28.00. While ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara is a little bit more expensive than most, it’s not even close to the most expensive one I found (Westman Atelier “Eye Love You” Mascara is $58.00, can you believe that?!). Since I usually go for budget-friendly products, it’s hard for me to say this, but I do think ILIA’s mascara is worth the $28.00 price tag and I will probably repurchase it at some point. It’s just that good!


If this mascara is a good representation of ILIA products, then I can’t wait to try more! I can definitely see why it received awards from both Allure and Glamour.

I think most makeup-lovers would enjoy this mascara since it provides both length and volume. While it is lengthening and volumizing, it also looks very natural. People that prefer a mascara that creates extreme volume and length may not be satisfied with this mascara, but I think it is absolutely beautiful and definitely recommend it.

Have you tried ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara or other clean mascaras? What about other products from ILIA? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Lauren

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Vegan Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes Part 1–Complexion Brushes

I love makeup, but you know what’s a close second? Makeup brushes! I’ve enjoyed trying a variety of shapes and sizes to find what works best for me. Since cruelty-free status is extremely important to me, I only purchase brushes from cruelty-free companies. Additionally, I only buy vegan (synthetic) brushes. Some of my favorite brands of vegan cruelty-free makeup brushes are e.l.f. Cosmetics, Real Techniques, and Profusion Cosmetics. All of these brands are affordable, so I didn’t have to break the bank trying a variety of their brushes!

I decided to do a short series of posts about my favorite makeup brushes, split into three categories: complexion, cheek, and eye brushes. I hope that my top picks will be helpful, whether you are interested in the same brushes that I use, something similar, orVegan Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes you may even decide that you need something entirely different for your face and eyes. In this post, I’m going to focus on complexion brushes which include brushes that I use for foundation, concealer, and powder. In this category, every single brush happens to come from e.l.f. Cosmetics. I won’t hide the fact that I am a big fan of the brand overall, but I genuinely enjoy these particular brushes very much and I prefer them over complexion brushes that I own from other brands.

Qualities of a good makeup brush

Makeup brushes can make a huge difference in application. A good brush might make you realize that you actually enjoy a product that you thought you’d never use, while a poor quality brush may have the opposite effect. So what qualities does a brush need to be “good?”

  • Soft bristles
  • Durable construction
  • Does not shed
  • Comfortable handle
  • Blends products easily and evenly

All of the makeup brushes mentioned in this post and the others to come, share these qualities.

Vegan makeup brushes VS. Natural animal hair makeup brushes

My primary reason for buying vegan (synthetic) makeup brushes rather than natural animal hair brushes, is that I don’t want to support animal cruelty. However, there are several other reasons that synthetic brushes are superior!:

  • Synthetic brushes hold up better over time, even with frequent cleaning
  • Filaments (bristles) aren’t as porous as animal hairs and therefore don’t absorb as much product
  • Easier to clean
  • Hypoallergenic; animal hairs can cause allergic reactions
  • Often more affordable

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Liquid foundation and concealer – e.l.f. Angled Buffing Brush

Product claims on ElfCosmetics.com: A versatile angled brush that applies, buffs out and blends thick liquids and creams. Its round slanted shape allows you to utilize this brush for foundations, blushes or bronzers, with densely packed bristles that assist in picking up the right amount of product.

Most liquid foundations (including BB creams, CC creams, and tinted moisturizers) and concealers can be applied with a brush, beauty sponge, or even fingers. That doesn’t mean they will look as good with each of those options, however. I occasionally use beauty sponges to apply foundation, but I don’t like how much product they soak up, and I never use fingers because I know I wouldn’t get an even application. My preferred application tool for liquid foundations and concealers is a foundation brush.

My favored style of foundation brush is a densely packed brush that is angled. When I apply liquid foundations, I use more of a stippling motion than buffing to get more coverage, and I’ve found that densely packed bristles are best for that type of application. It’s ironic that the name of my current favorite foundation brush is the e.l.f. Angled Buffing Brush. It would certainly work well for buffing as well, that just isn’t my preference. As far as the angled aspect, that is simply a personal preference. I don’t think it makes that big of a difference for foundation, but may allow for slightly more precise application. It certainly makes blending concealer easier since the angled “point” of the brush is easy to maneuver around the eye area. If you prefer a dense foundation brush that is dome shaped (not angled), e.l.f. also offers a Buffing Foundation Brush which is similar to this brush except for the shape

The e.l.f. Angled Buffing Brush checks my boxes for a foundation brush since it has densely packed bristles that aren’t too long, and they’re cut at the angle that I like. It makes foundation application easy and blends all of my liquid foundations evenly. It would work well for powder foundations too, but I have another foundation brush that I like even better for powders.

Powder foundation – e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush

Product claims on ElfCosmetics.com: e.l.f.’s Ultimate Blending Brush is specifically designed for advanced makeup techniques that help achieve professional looks. The large dome-shaped head and densely packed bristles maneuver in and around the crevices and contours of your face for seamless, even coverage. Picks up the perfect amount of product to build coverage with powder, liquid, or mousse formulas ideal for foundation, bronzer, or blush.

I usually see large fluffy brushes suggested for use with powder foundations, but I don’t think that type of brush is ideal if you want coverage from a powder foundation. Since powder foundations are obviously powder, they have to be packed on (not so much to be cakey, but more than a dusting) to provide coverage. The type of brush I like to use for powder foundation is very similar to the brushes I use for liquid foundations. My go-to brush for powder foundation is the e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush. Its bristles aren’t as densely packed as the Angled Buffing Brush, but they’re more dense than a lot of foundation brushes, allowing it to pick up a good amount of powder. The sides are tapered, making it easy to buff the foundation into the skin. I agree with e.l.f.’s product claims 100%!

Setting powder – e.l.f. Flawless Face Brush

Product claims on ElfCosmetics.com: This soft, synthetic brush lets you apply product with the lightest touch for a soft, sheer, natural-looking effect. The slight point at the tip fits nicely into the contours of the face for more precise placement. Use the flat side for all over application of powders, or the skinny side for blush and bronzer. 

The e.l.f. Flawless Face brush is one of the most unique brushes I own. As e.l.f.’s product description notes, it has a very interesting shape. I only use this brush to apply setting powder (my current favorite is e.l.f. Halo Glow Setting Powder), but it would be perfect as a multitasking tool for traveling light! I use the flat side of the brush to pick up and apply setting powder all over my face (except under my eyes, but I’ll get to that next). When applying powder, I pat it on and then sweep excess product around to distribute evenly. I find that when using that method for powder application, I never disturb my foundation and I don’t get as much product buildup on the brush. I can’t fully explain why, but I definitely prefer the unique shape of Flawless Face Brush over traditional powder brushes. It’s probably because the large domed shape of most powder brushes encourages more of a sweeping/buffing motion and that’s not my preferred application method.

Under-eye setting powder – e.l.f. Small Tapered Brush

Product claims on ElfCosmetics.com: The tapered head of the Small Tapered Brush makes application easy for reaching small crevices for a flawless finish. This precision brush is perfect for contouring and creating even coverage. Use with powder to set under the eye, on the hollows of the cheek to contour with bronzer, or use with foundation to achieve a light finish.

E.l.f. must’ve been bored with naming products when this brush launched, because the Small Tapered Brush is just that–a tapered brush that is small! All jokes aside, this is a great little brush. Before I powder the rest of my face, I pick up a little setting powder on the Small Tapered Brush and tap it under my eyes to prevent creasing. I prefer to use this brush on the under-eye area instead of the Flawless Face Brush because the size and shape are ideal for smaller areas of the face. On days that I don’t want to powder my whole face, I will use the Small Tapered Brush to powder my under-eye area, t-zone, and that’s it. Very quick and easy for simple makeup looks.


All of the complexion brushes I mentioned in this post are very high quality. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend big money to get quality brushes (you can purchase all four of these brushes for only $22.00!). E.l.f. offers several other popular brushes as well, so I encourage you to check them out! 😉

What are some of your favorite complexion brushes? Are any of them from e.l.f.? If not, you might want to give them a shot and see how they compare with your current faves!

Lauren

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e.l.f. Primer Infused Blush–All Day Cheek Color

Blush is an important step in most makeup routines and it’s something I never skip on days that I choose to wear makeup. It adds a flush of color to the cheeks that makes me look much more awake and healthy. I’ve accumulated quite a collection of blushes at this point, but they aren’t all perfect. I’ve found that some blushes fade significantly throughout the day (some fade before I’ve even finished applying all of my makeup). That really bothers me since I’m not usually one to touch up my makeup. Once it’s all e.l.f. Primer Infused Blushapplied, I leave it alone, so I usually expect my makeup to hang on all day.

One of my favorite long-wearing blushes is the e.l.f. Primer Infused Blush. As the name suggests, it’s formulated with primer powder to provide all day cheek color. E.l.f. has several blush formulas, but this is my favorite one so far. Read on to learn more about this product!

Product claims directly from ElfCosmetics.com

This long-wear blush is infused with lock on primer powder to ensure a full day of perfectly placed blush. This blush is easy to blend, perfectly pigmented for ease of application, and grips your cheeks like second skin.

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Price: $6.00
  • Net weight: 0.35 oz.
  • Made in China
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner
  • Shelf life: 12 months
  • 13 shades–7 matte; 6 shimmer (e.l.f. doesn’t provide shade descriptions, so I’ll do my best to describe each shade based on swatches)
    • Always Punchy: Matte cool-toned pink
    • Always Rosy: Matte nude pink
    • Always Cheeky: Matte light coral (this is the shade that I have)
    • Always Earthy: Matte peach/brown (looks like a light bronzer to me)
    • Always Spicy: Matte red/brown
    • Always Peachy: Matte light peach
    • Always Fiery: Matte red/orange
    • Always Breezy: Shimmer peach
    • Always Hazy: Shimmer mauve/brown
    • Always Lucky: Shimmer berry
    • Always Preppy: Shimmer cool-toned pink
    • Always Cheery: Shimmer warm bold pink
    • Always Silly: Shimmer light coral/pink
  • Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com
    • ElfCosmetics.com ships to the USA and Canada only.
  • Overall rating: 9.4/10
    • Inclusivity: 10/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 9/10
    • Texture: 8/10
    • Staying power: 10/10
    • Price: 10/10

Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.

Inclusivity

E.l.f. seems to be heavily considering inclusivity with all of its newer products these days. 13 shades is a big range for blushes! While some of the shades are similar, I think it’s great that e.l.f. offers so many options in this formula. There seems to be a shade for everyone. There are more subtle shades for fair to light skin, very bold shades for deeper skin tones, and of course plenty of shades in the middle. I think it’s important to take skin tone into consideration when selecting a shade, since these blushes are very pigmented. I originally purchased the Always Fiery shade because I loved the color, but since it is so bold and pigmented, I couldn’t make it work on my fair skin. I later purchased the Always Cheeky shade and it is perfect for me! Looking at it in the pan, it doesn’t look like much, but it looks beautiful once it’s applied.

I also try to consider personal preference when thinking about inclusivity in makeup. When e.l.f. first launched the Primer Infused Blushes, I believe it was just the matte shades. A lot of people prefer shimmer blushes for some “highlight optional” glow, so I’m really glad they expanded the range to include six shimmer shades. I haven’t tried any of the shimmer shades, but they look gorgeous in photos!

Packaging/ease of application

The packaging for the e.l.f. Primer Infused Blushes is simple yet sleek. It’s a matte black compact with a clear lid so the blush shade is easily visible. The compact is easy to open and also closes securely so you don’t have to worry about it popping open in your purse or luggage. 

The blush itself is easily blendable when applied over setting powder, but I don’t think it would apply very well directly over liquids or creams. As I mentioned previously, this blush is very pigmented, and that means that it’s necessary to exercise some caution when applying. You don’t want too much product to stick to a single spot. It would also be easy to apply too much of this blush.

Since this blush is so pigmented, I think the best application method is to tap into the product lightly with a cheek brush that has somewhat loose fibers (I use the Tapered Powder Brush from Profusion Cosmetics), rather than a densely-packed brush. A duo fiber brush would also work well since they don’t pick up as much product as standard makeup brushes. If you don’t have either of those types of brushes, just make sure you tap off the excess blush before applying to your cheeks.

Texture

I only have personal experience with the matte version of these blushes. I can tell you that they are very smooth and creamy (as much as a powder can be). That texture aids in the easy blending. My only gripe with the texture is that it can look a bit powdery/cakey if you apply too much. Again though, since this blush is so pigmented, you don’t need very much. It can also look more powdery after being worn all day, but that can be remedied with a spritz of a facial mist like Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist

As for the shimmer shades, I’ve read reviews on e.l.f.’s website and watched a review on YouTube, and it seems like the shimmer shades add more of a glow to the skin rather than containing actual shimmer or glitter. I think that type of finish is very flattering on a lot of people. Aside from the different finish, I assume the texture of the shimmer shades is the same or very similar to that of the original matte shades.

Staying power

This section is probably a little bit redundant since I dropped a spoiler in the intro about the longevity of this blush. I’ll get a little bit more specific for you, though. Many, maybe even most, blushes fade over several hours of wear on my combination skin. Not this one! In fact, it seems to be the opposite; the color may actually intensify throughout the day as my natural oils come through. I did a wear test yesterday and I thought the color looked a little more intense at the end of the day compared to when my makeup was freshly applied.

This blush absolutely does not ever budge or fade!

Price

The e.l.f. Primer Infused Blushes are only $6.00! That’s a steal for almost any blush, but this one has superior performance. I don’t have experience with many high-end blushes, but I think these e.l.f. blushes perform just as well or better than the more expensive blushes that I have tried. Oh, and did I mention that the pan is generously sized? I’ve been using this blush pretty often for months now and I’ve barely made a dent in it! It’s definitely going to last me a really long time. $6.00 well spent!! 🙂


I might be slightly biased at this point since I’ve discovered so many great e.l.f. products over the last couple of years, but the e.l.f. Primer Infused Blushes really are excellent quality. They are beautiful and so affordable!

I would recommend these blushes to anyone that enjoys wearing makeup. Like I said before, I think there is a shade for everyone, whether you prefer a matte or shimmer finish. E.l.f. has been doing a great job of giving its customers what they want! 🙂

Have you ever tried this or any other primer infused blushes? I think it’s a brilliant concept!

Lauren

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Versed The Fix Emergency Eye Mask–Cool, Calm, and Hydrate Under-Eyes

I’ve been using e.l.f. 50 mg CBD Eye Cream to wake up my under-eyes every morning for the past few months. It’s an excellent lightweight product that sinks in quickly, making it ideal to use under makeup. While it’s great for use in my morning skincare routine, it’s not quite hydrating enough to use at night. Just like with my moisturizers, I prefer a heavier eye cream at night to allow that delicate skin to absorb as much moisture as possible while I sleep. 

Most of the eye creams I’ve used are very lightweight like the one from e.l.f. When I heard about Versed The Fix Emergency Eye MaskVersed The Fix Emergency Eye Mask, I thought it might be just the thing I’d been looking for to use at night since other reviews stated it’s a thick gel texture and Versed claims that it will cool, calm, and hydrate under-eyes. My hope for this product was that it would be very moisturizing and occlusive enough to hold in that moisture overnight. I don’t have dry skin, but I try to keep my under-eyes well hydrated because they can sometimes look crepey when I wear makeup. That skin is so thin, it always looks better when it’s plumped and hydrated.

You might notice in the photos that my tube of The Fix Emergency Eye Mask is smaller than the standard 1 oz. size. Mine is only 0.5 oz. and was purchased in a limited edition set that is no longer available.

Product claims directly from VersedSkin.com

Sometimes that solid eight hours of sleep a night just doesn’t happen. This is the solution for all those times when it doesn’t. With provitamin B5 (a hardworking member of the B-complex vitamin family) and vitamin E, this gel mask nourishes and hydrates the delicate skin around the eyes. All the while cucumber juice cools and depuffs, and caffeine calms swelling and redness. It really is the fix for whatever eye woes may befall you. Keep it in the fridge to amplify its cooling, calming sensation—you may even let it stay while you sleep for a chilled overnight treatment. No matter how you wear it, your eyes will never not appreciate it.

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Price: $17.99
  • Net weight: 1 oz./30 ml
  • Made in Thailand
  • Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified)
  • Vegan
  • Appropriate for all skin types
  • Free of gluten, soy, fragrance, parabens, silicones, and sulfates
  • Formulated based on the EU’s safe ingredient standards
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Shelf life: 6 months
  • Where to buy: VersedSkin.com 
    • VersedSkin.com does not yet ship internationally, but they plan to do so in the future.
  • Overall rating: 9.6/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 10/10
    • Hydration: 10/10
    • Team player: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 8/10
    • Price: 10/10

Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.

Packaging/ease of application

This eye mask is packaged in an opaque squeeze tube, which does a pretty good job of protecting the product from light and air. The opening is a bit larger than most eye creams I’ve had that are packaged in squeeze tubes, but given that Versed recommends using a pea-sized amount, I think that makes sense.

This product is easy to smooth under the eyes and can be used in a variety of ways. As I had hoped, this eye mask does have a thicker texture than most eye creams, even though it is a gel. While it is called an eye mask, I use it like a regular eye cream at night. I apply it either before or after my moisturizer at the end of my P.M. skincare routine. I use a little less than the recommended amount since I use it daily instead of only using it as a mask as needed. 

If you plan to use this eye mask as an actual eye mask instead of an eye cream, you may prefer to use it in the mornings. Versed claims that this product depuffs, and I think that is probably true since I have read reviews that it does indeed help to reduce puffiness! My theory in using it at night is that it will prevent puffiness at least partially so I’ll wake up without “extra baggage.”

Hydration

This eye mask really is exactly what I hoped it would be when I ordered it. I already mentioned that it is indeed a thicker product than most eye creams, but it is also hydrating and occlusive. It feels slightly cooling and hydrating immediately upon application, and it does not all soak in immediately. Since it is so thick and the emollient ingredients hold in the moisture, this eye mask keeps the skin around the eyes hydrated all night (or day, if you leave it on all day). 

As I said previously, I don’t use this product as an actual eye mask, but since that is its intended purpose, it must not take long for the skin to soak up a lot of moisture from it. The instructions for using it as a mask state that it’s only necessary to leave the product on for ten minutes, then the excess can be wiped off. That tells me that this product is very efficient (a lot of masks are to be left on 15-30 minutes)!

Team player

It’s very important for skincare products in a morning skincare routine to work well with each other since they will often be worn under makeup, but I also expect my night time skincare products to layer easily. It’s frustrating when products are difficult to blend in or when they pill up. Fortunately, The Fix Emergency Eye Mask plays very nicely with all other products that I’ve used with it. It’s normally the last or next to last step in my night time skincare routine (applied before or after moisturizer), and always applies smoothly over everything else.

For the purpose of this review, I tried using this eye mask as my eye cream this morning to see how it would wear under makeup. I only used a small amount so it wouldn’t cause anything to slide around. The product absorbed nicely and both my color-corrector and foundation applied easily over it. My makeup has stayed put and looks just like it would over my regular morning eye cream. “A+” team player!

Ingredients

My favorite category to review with skincare products is always ingredients, but I found that this product’s ingredient list is a little more complicated than what I usually see in the products that I review. I’ll start by listing all 35 ingredients below:

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, 1,2-hexanediol, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, cucumis sativus (cucumber) juice, coenzyme a, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, bupleurum falcatum root extract, caffeine, citric acid, ascorbic acid, rosa canina fruit oil, tocopherol, panthenol, trilaureth-4 phosphate, carbomer, phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, tocopheryl acetate, propylene glycol, trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate, saccharide isomerate, peg-8, sodium citrate, polysorbate 20, biotin, sodium benzoate, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium lactate, sodium sulfite

That’s quite a list, huh? There’s a good number of skin-loving ingredients in that list, but the majority are what I’d call “neutral,” including a couple that may have special benefits to the skin (none that are proven). I’ll provide brief descriptions of the proven skin-loving ingredients first, because that’s what we really want to know about, right? 🙂

  • Glycerin
    • Natural moisturizer
  • Cucumber juice
    • Soothing
    • Emollient
    • Contains amino acids and an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Coenzyme A
    • Skin conditioner
    • Emollient
  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-1
    • Reduces deep eye wrinkles and increases collagen
    • “Famous” peptide known as Matrixyl 3000 when coupled with Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (see below)
  • Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7
    • Reduces inflammation which slows degradation of collagen
  • Ascorbic acid (a.k.a. L-ascorbic acid)
    • Purest and most researched form of vitamin C
    • Potent antioxidant
  • Rosa canina fruit (rosehip) oil
    • High omega fatty acid content (linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids)
    • Has antioxidant and skin-regenerative properties
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E)
    • Antioxidant
    • Strengthens skin barrier
  • Panthenol (provitamin B5)
    • Moisturizing
    • Humectant
  • Tocopheryl acetate (another form of vitamin E)
    • Antioxidant
    • Strengthens skin barrier
    • Not as well absorbed as pure vitamin E
  • Propylene glycol
    • Humectant
    • Helps active ingredients to penetrate the skin
  • Saccharide isomerate
    • Plant-derived moisturizer
    • Binds to the skin longer than other moisturizing ingredients to keep the skin hydrated longer
  • Sodium lactate
    • Moisturizing
    • pH regulator

I’m very happy to see all of these ingredients included in this Versed eye mask! I do wish that more of them could be at the top of the list. There are only four ingredients in the top ten that I have labeled as “good” (see the top four ingredients listed in the bullet points above). The other “good” ingredients are spread throughout the list and it’s likely that some of them don’t actually provide much benefit since their concentrations are low. Still, it’s great to see so many moisturizing ingredients and those peptides which are very helpful in preserving youthful skin.

All of the ingredients that I didn’t include in the bullet points above, I have labeled as “neutral.” Most of them support the formula in some way (i.e. texture enhancers and preservatives) while others simply aren’t proven as effective skincare ingredients. There are three ingredients that don’t have proven benefits to the skin: bupleurum falcatum root extract, caffeine, and biotin. Bupleurum falcatum root extract may have soothing and antioxidant properties, but there is not yet enough research to support those claims. Caffeine, which is a popular ingredient in eye creams, may have soothing and antioxidant properties, but again that hasn’t been proven. Caffeine also has a constricting effect which may improve the look of redness, but it could also be sensitizing. Lastly, biotin is often taken as a supplement for stronger nails and hair but it has no proven benefits to the skin. I don’t think any of these three ingredients are likely to cause problems for most people but I think they are unnecessary.

Overall, I am pleased with this product’s ingredient list. There’s a good number of skin-loving ingredients and most of the “neutral” ingredients make sense.

Price

Since Versed is a drugstore skincare brand, $17.99 might seem a little bit high for this product. There are a couple of things that must be taken into consideration, however. First, this product is meant to be an eye mask rather than an eye cream. Masks usually are a bit more expensive than daily-use skincare products. 

Next, the size of the tube is very generous! This is the only eye mask I’ve ever owned besides eye mask patches, but when compared to the size of most eye creams, it’s about double the size (1 oz. vs. 0.5 oz.)! It’s important to remember that Versed recommends using a pea-sized amount, but even if using that much every time, this tube provides enough product for a LOT of uses. If you plan to use this product as an eye cream (using a little less than the recommended amount) like I do, it will probably last you around six months which is much longer than most eye creams. When taking all that into consideration, I think the price is more than fair.


Versed The Fix Emergency Eye Mask is a brilliant product. I love how versatile it is! To recap, it can be used as intended (as an eye mask), but it can also be used as an eye cream in the morning or at night! Versed even suggests using it in the shower or while on a plane for extra hydration and de-puffing. I’m not sure if I’d ever use it either of those ways, but they’re interesting ideas!

Since this eye mask doesn’t contain any fragrance or other common irritants (with the possible exception of caffeine), I think it would be a wonderful addition to just about anyone’s skincare collection!

Do you ever use an eye mask similar to this one? Or maybe you prefer using a heavier eye cream (or mask) at night like I do? Let me know your favorite products for these purposes in the comments below. 🙂

Lauren

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SmartyPits Super-Strength Aluminum Free Deodorant–Control Armpit Odor with Baking Soda AND Arrowroot Powder

Genetics, activity level, diet, environment, and age can all impact which products will and will not work for us. The search for the “perfect” natural deodorant can be discouraging. Natural deodorants are definitely one of the most difficult products to shop for. It’s common for people to try multiple different brands and/or scents before finding one that works well to control armpit odor and wetness.

Some people may struggle more than others with the quest to find the right natural deodorant, if they have sensitive skin or if they sweat excessively. I’m in the second group. I used to sweat a lot even when I used to use antiperspirant deodorants, so as you can imagine, it hasn’t been easy for me to find a natural deodorant that helps me to feel comfortable and dry. I previously reviewed Pacifica Coconut Cream Clean Deodorant, and it was better than nothing for controlling armpit odor and wetness, but I needed something stronger. When I was almost finished working through that deodorant a couple of months ago, I started a long search for a product that would work better for my needs. After a few weeks of weeding through reviews for a SmartyPits Super-Strength Aluminum Free Deodorantwide variety of cruelty-free natural deodorants, I settled on a trial size set of SmartyPits Super-Strength Aluminum Free Deodorant. I’d never heard of SmartyPits, but their “super-strength” formula caught my eye because the first two ingredients are arrowroot powder and baking soda. I need those absorbent ingredients to help me feel dry throughout the day. 

It’s a better value to buy the full-size SmartyPits deodorants, but I went with the trial size set because I couldn’t choose a scent and knew that some scents may not work with my body’s chemistry as well as others. I really appreciate that SmartyPits offers the trial size set for those of us that are unsure of which scent may work best. The smaller trial size deodorants would also be perfect for travel. The trial size set includes four 0.5 oz. deodorants in Coconut Mango, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Tweed + Spice, and Cool Cucumber. I was very surprised to find that my favorite scent of the four is Cool Cucumber!

Before I get into the review of this product, I’d like to tell you one reason I chose SmartyPits. The company donates $0.30 from every full-size deodorant to City of Hope for their breast cancer research and education. They’ve also donated 10,000+ sticks of deodorant to breast cancer warriors and survivors. I love supporting companies that give back!

Product claims directly from SmartyPits.com

If you’ve never used a natural deodorant before and don’t have generally sensitive skin, our standard formula is a great place to start. Baking soda is one of the strongest odor-fighters out there which is why we call our standard formula Super Strength! This is our best-selling product that helps you stay odor-free all day from a single application.

By studying the biological causes of body odor, we’ve developed a formulation that attacks the root cause on three levels:

  • A blend of vegetable based powders and oils help to absorb & wick away wetness, separating it from your skin with a moisturizing barrier
  • Mineral ingredients like baking soda neutralize the environment where the odor-causing bacteria thrives
  • Prebiotics (plant-based food for good bacteria) contribute to the biodiversity & strength of your skin microbiome

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Where to buy full size SmartyPits Super-Strength deodorants: Amazon.com $12.99 or SmartyPits.com $11.99
  • Where to buy SmartyPits Super-Strength trial size deodorant set: SmartyPits.com $18.49
    • Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
    • SmartyPits.com ships internationally via the United States Postal Service.
  • Net weight: 2.9 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Shelf life: 18 months
  • Formulated without aluminum, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, and talc
  • Several scents available (including some that change seasonally)
  • 100% recyclable packaging
  • Overall rating: 8.8/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 6/10
    • Odor prevention: 8/10
    • Sweat absorption: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 10/10
    • Price: 10/10

Packaging/ease of application

Most of the SmartyPits deodorants are packaged in traditional plastic packaging that looks just like most deodorants (SmartyPits.com offers a sustainable plastic-free option for some scents). I like this type of packaging just fine. I don’t feel strongly about it except for the fact that it prevents me from having to touch the product with my hands. Some natural deodorants are packaged in jars and the product must be scooped out and applied by hand. Something about that idea weirds me out!

The formula of this deodorant unfortunately makes it a bit difficult to apply. When you open a fresh tube, it looks creamy and smooth like most deodorants. It is creamy, but for some reason it balls up every time I apply it. I have to be careful to apply it over the sink because sometimes a little bit will fall off. It helps if I use light pressure and only apply a small amount. To clean up the balled up bits from my underarms, I press the stick over those areas and it picks up that excess product to be used later. I find this to be more of an inconvenience and it doesn’t detract from me wanting to continue using this product.

Odor prevention

This deodorant does the best job of all the natural deodorants I’ve tried so far, at preventing odor. I’m unfortunately one to get stinky pretty quickly, especially in stressful situations. Working from home, I don’t have as many stressful days, but it still happens from time to time and I need good odor protection.

The reason I took a couple of points away in this category is that even though this product generally does a good job of keeping odors at bay, I do often notice that I start to smell bad around late afternoon. If I reapply, the scents I’ve tried do a good job of masking the odor. 

I don’t fault this deodorant too much for its slightly insufficient odor prevention because I honestly think this has something to do with my body’s unique chemistry. I know a lot of people don’t have sweat that smells as much as mine does.

I apply this deodorant every morning and evening, and doing that seems to help keep me smelling fresh most of the time. The formula is not irritating to my skin, so I can reapply more often as needed.

Sweat absorption

In addition to odor prevention, this deodorant is also the best I’ve tried for sweat absorption/wicking. I notice a big difference between this product and others I’ve tried. This formula is very absorbent, thanks to the arrowroot powder and baking soda! A lot of deodorants don’t contain baking soda because that ingredient can be irritating to sensitive skin, but it is very effective at absorbing moisture (and also preventing odor) so I always look for it in new formulas.

I just started using this SmartyPits deodorant in November so I can’t say how effective it will be in warmer months, but so far it’s been keeping me dry almost all day most days. I only notice that I’m sweating if I’m up doing housework or exercising. All natural deodorants have a limit since they don’t actually prevent sweating like antiperspirants do, but this one is very effective at absorbing sweat and wicking it away from the skin.

Ingredients

I was impressed that Pacifica’s deodorant only had 14 ingredients, but SmartyPits Super-Strength deodorants only have nine!

Arrowroot Powder, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Beeswax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Hydrogenated Avocado Oil (Avocado Butter), Coconut Oil, Fragrance, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Inulin

This ingredients list consists of a good mix of neutral ingredients that support the formula, as well as some really good ingredients that have unique benefits:

  • Hydrogenated avocado oil
    • Deeply penetrating oil that moisturizes the skin
    • Rich in vitamins and fatty acids
  • Coconut oil
    • Moisturizes and seals in moisture
    • Provides a solid foundation for the formula
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E)
    • Antioxidant
    • Strengthens skin barrier
  • Inulin
    • Natural prebiotic (reduces growth of bad bacteria while promoting good bacteria)

A lot of natural deodorants have moisturizing ingredients, but I was intrigued by the inulin. I don’t believe any of the natural deodorants I’ve tried in the past have contained any sort of prebiotic, but I think it’s brilliant that SmartyPits chose to include that ingredient! The inulin probably contributes a lot to the odor prevention property of this formula.

I labelled the arrowroot powder and baking soda as “neutral” ingredients in this formula, but they are actually really important. As I mentioned previously, these are absorbent ingredients. The other neutral ingredients are emollients which make the deodorant have a creamy texture.

The one and only “bad” ingredient in this deodorant is the fragrance. SmartyPits doesn’t disclose what the fragrance is, but some of the fragrances used may be irritating for those with sensitive skin. Fortunately, there is an unscented option! Because of that, I didn’t deduct any points from this rating category.

Price

Natural deodorants unfortunately tend to be more expensive than conventional antiperspirant deodorants. SmartyPits deodorants are priced consistently with most other brands that I’ve researched. There are certainly many that are more expensive, but it’s rare to see one that is less expensive than this one priced at $11.99. I think SmartyPits priced this deodorant especially well considering how effective it is (at least for me it is), the quality of the ingredients, and the company’s values.


While I don’t think SmartyPits Super-Strength Aluminum Free Deodorant is my “perfect” deodorant, it’s definitely a great product, and one that will be difficult to beat! I am undecided on if I will order any of the full size sticks of this deodorant, but I am leaning toward “yes.” 🙂

SmartyPits is a wonderful company to support and it seems like they have an option for everyone! Their Super-Strength formula is perfect for people like me that sweat a lot, but SmartyPits also offers a sensitive skin formula that is made without baking soda (as well as fragrance free options in both Super-Strength and Sensitive). There are also teen deodorants that have unique fragrances (and are a bit smaller and less expensive), trial sizes (sold individually or as sets on SmartyPits.com), “Ultra Smooth & Sensitive” deodorant creams in jars, and foot deodorants.

Have you made the switch to natural deodorant? If you’re still thinking about it, you may find my blog post Natural Deodorant Products–Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between helpful.

For those of you that have already made the switch, what is your favorite cruelty-free natural deodorant? I love hearing about what works well for others!

Lauren

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Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist–Hydrating Facial Spray for a Quick Refresh Anytime

I’ve reviewed several types of skincare products here on IntegriBeauty. I view most of them as staples in my routine, like face washes, moisturizers, and sunscreens. One skincare product that I enjoy using, but see as more of a special treat for my skin, is facial mist. It’s not a necessary part of my skincare routine, and I don’t even use one every single day, but this is a product that is satisfying to use and has a lot of potential for a variety of uses.

I believe I’m now on my third bottle of Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist which is a hydrating facial mist. This is a product that’s been around for quite a long time and is loved by many. It can be used for a quick refresh anytime, but it could also be used as toner, to help with blending foundation, to revive makeup you’ve been wearing all day, etc. It is truly a versatile product that I’ve enjoyed having in my skincare collection for the past couple of years.

Product claims directly from PacificaBeauty.com

Aromatherapy and skin love unite in this light, hydrating mist infused with coconut water. Designed to help tone and balance the look of skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and dewy. Use anytime for a pick me up.

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Other product details

  • Price: $10.00
  • Net weight: 4 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Shelf life: 24 months
  • Appropriate for all skin types
  • Formulated without parabens, phthalates, SLS, or mineral oil
  • Where to buy: PacificaBeauty.com and Amazon.com
    • Pacifica ships to the USA and Canada only
    • Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
  • Overall rating: 9.2/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 8/10
    • Hydration: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 8/10
    • Fragrance: 10/10
    • Price: 10/10

Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.

Packaging/ease of application

Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist is packaged in a pretty standard plastic spray bottle (though it is really cute!). It’s clear, which is nice because you can see how much product is left in the bottle. The one downside of the clear packaging is that some active skincare ingredients are affected by light and light easily penetrates this bottle. However, I’m not sure if any of the ingredients in this product are susceptible to damage from light. 

My one other complaint about this product’s packaging is in regards to the sprayer/”mister.” I wouldn’t call it aggressive like some are, but it doesn’t disperse the product as well as I’d like. I like a very gentle mist that disperses easily over my whole face, and I think this one could be improved.

I usually apply 3-6 spritzes of this mist, depending on how I’m using it. If I’m applying it over makeup, I usually will only use three spritzes to avoid breaking down my makeup. If I’m using it on clean skin, I use about six spritzes that I can then work into my skin. This product is very lightweight and feels like water. It soaks into the skin quickly and dries quickly if applying on top of makeup.

Pacifica also suggests spraying this mist on a foundation brush or makeup sponge to add moisture to any foundation. I don’t believe I’ve ever used this product in that way, but it’s a good idea!

Hydration

Even though this facial mist is water-light, it definitely provides a big shot of extra hydration. My skin always feels soft, refreshed, and well-hydrated after I’ve spritzed it on. If I get distracted after washing my face and want to keep my skin from drying out before I apply my other skincare products, I’ll often spritz this on to keep it damp longer. That’s important because molecules penetrate the skin better when it’s slightly damp (skincare products will be more effective when applied to damp skin vs. skin that’s completely dry).

If you have combination or oily skin and you’re concerned that this type of product might make you look greasy, do not fear! This product is oil-free and never leaves the skin looking greasy or tacky.

Ingredients

And now, for my favorite skincare review category: ingredients! I’ve already described this product as something that is pleasant to use and hydrating, but the ingredients will tell us if it’s really doing anything else for the skin.

Aqua, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, panthenol (vitamin B), allantoin, potassium sorbate, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel), cocos nucifera (coconut) water, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, caffeine, selaginella lepidophylla extract, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, parfum (natural)

There are a couple of controversial ingredients included in this list, as well as several “neutral” ingredients that support the formula, but there are also eight wonderful skin-loving ingredients! That’s really good considering there are only sixteen total ingredients. I’ll describe each of the eight ingredients that I can confidently say are good for the skin:

  • Glycerin
    • Natural moisturizer
  • Sodium hyaluronate
    • Sodium form of hyaluronic acid (humectant)
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf extract
    • Moisturizer
    • Anti-inflammatory
  • Panthenol
    • Moisturizer
    • Humectant
  • Allantoin
    • Soothes skin
  • Green tea leaf extract
    • Antioxidant
    • Anti-inflammatory
  • Coconut water
    • Moisturizes and nourishes skin
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
    • Sodium form of vitamin C
    • Very stable

It’s great to see so many moisturizing ingredients in this facial mist, as well as the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. These ingredients are sure to keep skin happy all day long!

I mentioned that there are a couple of controversial ingredients included in this product. The first is witch hazel. Witch hazel (which contains antioxidants and is soothing to the skin) may be sensitizing to the skin due to one of the antioxidant components called “tannin” as well as a chemical compound called “eugenol.” I have never experienced any problems with witch hazel, but some people are not able to use it. 

The other controversial ingredient, caffeine, is not proven to be effective (though it may have soothing, antioxidant, and redness-reducing constricting properties) and may be sensitizing. Caffeine can be found in a lot of skincare products these days, but I am skeptical about its effectiveness. Fortunately, I have never reacted badly to any topical products containing caffeine. Just like with witch hazel, some people may not be able to use products containing caffeine.

The only other ingredient of note, in my opinion, is the natural fragrance (parfum). I think every Pacifica product I’ve reviewed has contained undisclosed natural fragrance. I know they have proprietary fragrance blends, but it would be nice if they would disclose the specific ingredients since a lot of people are very sensitive to fragrance, even natural fragrances. 

Overall, I’m really happy with the ingredients in this product. There are a lot of really good ones, including seven in the top ten! That’s great, because the ingredients closer to the top have the highest concentrations.

Fragrance

If you’ve read a lot of my Pacifica product reviews, you probably already know how I feel about the fragrance of this product. That’s because this one, like many of the Pacifica products I’ve reviewed, smells like coconuts! I love coconut scented products because they smell sweet and tropical. I can pretend for a few seconds that I’m in a tropical paradise when I spray this on my face. 🙂 This facial mist smells very similar or maybe even identical to Pacifica Coconut Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic if you’re familiar with that product.

Price

Some facial sprays are ridiculously overpriced, and some of them are just glorified water. This one is a quality product that does a lot for the skin. I think it’s very fairly priced at $10.00 for four ounces. That’s only $2.50/ounce! This is a type of product that some people may run through quickly depending on how often they use it, but a bottle of it lasts me a long time since I don’t use it every single day. Even if you use up a bottle every couple of months, you don’t have to feel bad about repurchasing it at such a low price.


Before I tried this product, I thought facial sprays were kind of silly and a waste of money. Now that I’ve been using Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist for at least a couple of years, I know facial spray is a very refreshing and enjoyable product that’s worthy of a spot in everyone’s skincare collection. I may not always have this particular one, but I think I’ll always have some type of facial spray on hand.

This type of product has become very popular since it is so versatile and energizing. I think most people would enjoy Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist, especially anyone that enjoys the coconut scent!

Have you ever used a facial spray? Please share your favorite in the comments below!

Lauren

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