The season to show your skin is almost upon us – temperatures rise, pants get swapped out for shorts and boots take their place in the closet while the sandals get ready for their days in the sun. It’s a time to celebrate, to lean back and feel the warmth on your face – but warmth and sun is no fun with dry, cracked winter skin!
Canada’s often extreme weather conditions, especially over the wintertime, can leave skin suffering long after the season has passed. When it comes to dryness, I have three main problem areas – my hands, my heels, and my lips! It often feels like no matter how many products I layer on to keep the dryness at bay, I just don’t see the results. And unfortunately for Summer, dry sensitive skin seems to run in the family – any weather changes or shift in our environment turns us both into flaky, itchy messes!
But finding Flexitol this past year finally turned my cracked painful problem areas into smooth skin that I actually want to show off, and their children’s line Happy Little Bodies has worked wonders for Summer too! Created in Australia over 20 years ago, Flexitol’s product line is specifically formulated to improve dry skin quick, and provide visible long-lasting results.
I am really neglectful when it comes to caring for my feet, and I can’t remember a time in the recent past where I didn’t go to sleep with dry, itchy, painful heels after a long day of running around. Over the years I’ve tried so many different creams and tools to try and soothe my nightly burning heels – I’ve asked for help at pedicures, slathered my feet in slippery lotion and special socks, the WORKS, but nothing ever seemed to penetrate the problem and provide any relief. I felt like I was constantly just scratching the surface – literally, just scratching at my heels endlessly!
Honestly I expected Flexitol’s heel balm to be another failed attempt, but it turned out to be a total game changer! What makes it different? This formula has 25% Urea, the highest formulation available, which means it moisturizes and exfoliates all at once, breaking down dead skin without any scrubbing or scraping. Plus it’s not slippery or greasy and absorbs super quickly, so I don’t have to worry about slipping around after application (no special socks needed!) I’ve been using Flexitol’s heel balm every night when I get into bed for a few months now, and my burning hot itchy heels are officially a thing of the past!
Suffering from dry, cracked hand-sanitizer exhausted hands? I think we’re probably all in the same boat on this one. I constantly struggled with keeping my hands hydrated over the past year (and then some) until I found Flexitol’s Rapid Relief Hand Balm. Formulated with vitamin E and 10% Urea, this isn’t your average hand cream – I saw a visible improvement almost immediately when I started carrying this cream in my bag and using it daily.
No matter what the season, I always seen to have chapped, dry, peeling lips. I even struggle to wear lipstick because it applies unevenly and gets chunky! Flexitol’s Lip Balm is the #1 selling balm in pharmacies across Australia, and my lips and I are happy to report that it’s worth the hype. Just like every other Flexitol product I’ve tried, this formula really works, and continues to work long after you apply!
With natural ingredients like Jojoba seed oil and Colloidal Oatmeal, Flexitol’s moisturising lotion for little bodies is extremely gentle, but super effective. It’s clinically tested to provide 24 hours of moisturization from just one application, which makes it the ideal product for a busy mom. It also helps to soothe itching caused by bug bites, rashes, poison ivy, and more – definitely a must have for Summer’s summer fun!
Flexitol is now available at Amazon.ca – shop the full line here!
This post was a part of a paid campaign with Flexitol, but all opinions are authentic and my own. I am not a medical doctor, and my personal story and opinions should not be taken as medical advice.
Over the years I’ve written about going more and more natural with my beauty routine, but I think it’s safe to say almost all of us have those few “dirty” products that we have loved for most of our lifetime and can’t quite bear to give up.
My move to Vancouver prompted so much change and improvement in my life, providing a push to drop bad habits and move forward with a clean slate. Before my boxes had even arrived at the new apartment I had started to mentally detox my world, and that included rethinking the toxic products I hadn’t yet let go of and swapping them out for healthier, more eco-friendly alternatives.
I had a lot of fun shooting and styling all of my new favourite natural products, and I’m happy to share them alongside little reviews of why they work best for me!
I tried David’s original toothpaste a couple years ago and absolutely loved it, so I was delighted to find they’ve released 3 more new flavours since! This brand works so well, has a beautiful design, and the “key” that comes with each tube really ensures every last drop gets used up. After a lot of brushing and careful comparison I decided the Spearmint is my top pick – it’s a perfect sweeter mint that really makes my teeth feel clean. Charcoal is my lowest rated only because I found the darker paste colour really messy in/around the bathroom sinks.
I have tried SO many natural deodorants since realizing just how toxic the typical drugstore brands can be, but no brand has ever blown me away quite like Nala Care. A Canadian company created by a mother/daughter duo right here in Vancouver, this deodorant actually stands up to the mom sweat (who knew being a mom made you SO sweaty all the time?) They’ve just launched two limited edition holiday scents, Winter Mint and Winter Spice (spice is my favourite!) which both use Copaiba oil, a cannabinoid like CBD that can apparently evoke feelings of calm just from smelling the deodorant? SO cool! Use code PASTEL20 for 20% off your cart through the end of December.
I’m a big fan of Detox Mode and I was really excited to try their take on a natural deodorant. They make two formulations, “Feeling Altogether” which is the classic, and “Feeling Free” which is baking soda-free and created specifically for sensitive skin. I loved how both versions smell, but unfortunately the classic irritated my skin – the baking soda was too much for me, but I passed it on to my parents and they both swear by it! I ended up using the Feeling Free daily until there was nothing left – the lavender scent was just right, and it worked fairly well to keep my mom sweat at bay, though some days I did need to reapply.
This. Mascara. Is. Life. Changing. In case it isn’t already clear, I have really sensitive skin, but I also find myself sensitive to beauty products, especially around my eyes. I love big dramatic lashes, but with COVID and single mom life I haven’t done extensions in ages, and instead I’ve been on the hunt for a mascara that has the same effect. There have been a few drugstore brands that worked, but my eyes were always so itchy and irritated that nothing was left on my lashes by the end of the day, and I’d be counting down the seconds till I could get the remaining crumbs off.
If you’re looking for a 100% natural product with big impact, this is the one! It’s flake-free, non-irritating, loaded with lots of nutrients that help “feed” your lashes, and the dual-sided brush gives dramatic results every time. The only catch – they do use beeswax, so the product isn’t vegan.
I was *very* hesitant to give up my beloved Stila long-lasting liquid eyeliner pen, a product I’ve been devoted to for years. I have really oily eyelids, and as I mentioned, sensitive eyes, so once I found something that worked for me I didn’t want to give it up.
Luckily this natural formula is the perfect replacement. Not only does it go on easily (I love the brush!) but it really stays – it lasted through a cry test AND stayed relatively in place even after a night of sleep!
Simple and easy to use, this brow gel creates big impact with minimal effort and has quickly become one of my makeup bag must-haves! I went with Medium Brown but for the summertime I’d definitely switch to Blonde for a less intense look.
Toronto-brand Evio creates all natural beauty products infused with hemp seed oil at a great low price point. While this product makes my lashes look noticeably thicker, feels nice and light, doesn’t irritate my eyes, and even stood up to a cry test without getting too messy. My one complaint is how sticky it stays on the lashes for quite some time – it’s definitely slow to dry which isn’t ideal for someone who moves as quickly as I do!
I love this liquid liner – it’s super dark with great solid lines on the first application, but I had a hard time getting a handle on using the pen tip, and I did find it smudged a tiny bit easier than the Beauty Counter formula.
I LOVE this soap. My boyfriend LOVES this soap. Summer LOVES this soap. I may need to order the massive 128oz refill jug because we all LOVE this soap so much! The uplifting scent of sweet almond, bergamot, and cedar wood is the perfect addition to coveted time in the shower, and the consistency is the ideal marriage of oily/moisturizing and soapy/cleansing. Best of all, the glass bottle is recyclable if you don’t choose to refill (but I can almost guarantee you will!)
This niche product probably deserves a category of it’s own because it’s for a specific area (the area between your legs), but since I use it daily in the shower I’m including it here alongside the Impossible Soap. I’ve been interested in trying a soap specifically for intimate areas for ages because I’m so sensitive in that zone and very prone to irritation and infections, and I wish I’d made the switch sooner. No itching or burning, this gentle soap includes aloe and cucumber, and makes me feel super clean. There’s no scientific evidence, but I genuinely believe it’s made a big impact in helping to prevent yeast infections, something I’ve struggled with for years. Thank you Lady Suite!
I’ve also got their Botanical Oil on my radar to use post-shave – has anyone tried it?
Let me first be transparent and say I’m instantly sold on anything that involves Earl Grey. Brewing a cup of tea is one of my daily calming rituals, and infusing my post-shower moisturizing routine with the sweet scent of black tea and bergamot made it feel like a whole new ritual too. With Aloe, Jojoba, Shea Butter and Tamarind Seed, this body lotion is a truly luxurious experience that’s much needed these cold winter months.
I’m a long-time fan of Province Apothecary and everything they do – I had my first facial with Julie over 6 years ago and I’ve been hooked on her beautiful natural brand since. Their makeup remover oil cleanser is one of my daily must-haves and the only thing I can use on my eyes without irritating them. I use it with my reusable cotton rounds, which I also highly recommend incorporating to help reduce your eco impact.
I love Beauty Counter’s Counterstart Cococream Cleanser as a backup cleanser to have in the shower, but it isn’t ideal for eye makeup removal, and I prefer to use a product that does both at the same time when I can!
These day and night serums are incredible in every way, and handmade in Ontario by the coolest lady duo! I especially love the night formula for bedtime – I swear I wake up with clearer, softer skin every morning!
I honestly didn’t even think about the amount of waste a traditional razor creates until I started seeing beautifully crafted safety razors pop up on my Instagram feed. The Well Kept razor is definitely an investment, but it’s plastic-free and the replacement blades cost less than a dollar ($15 for 20!) which makes it totally worth it in my opinion. Plus, they’re a women-owned small business based right here in Vancouver, and their entire collection is seriously gorgeous! I was definitely a bit nervous to make the switch, but Well Kept advises reframing shaving as a slow, mindful act of self care, and not only did my razor give me the closest, smoothest shave I’ve even had, but I really appreciated the change of pace in my routine. They also sell beautiful bath milks, agave exfoliating cloths (a great alternative to plastic loofas), natural sea sponges and more!
I’ve already shared in great detail how great Hannahpads have been – especially since my period came back postpartum! Such a great eco-friendly solution for overnights. I also upgraded my menstrual cup post-baby to the Saalt cup, and I’ve been absolutely loving it in comparison to the other cups I’ve tried. Most importantly, this one locks in place and opens properly much easier than other brands! I am interested in trying their soft cup at some point to test if it’s even more comfortable than the original, and their cute period panties are on my wishlist too.
The season for sunscreen may have mostly come to an end but I couldn’t leave out my absolute favourite sunscreen find of 2020. Countersun is the ultimate natural sunscreen – it rubs in easily with no white residue, it smells great, it’s water resistant for up to 40 minutes, and it’s safe for the whole family so you don’t have to pack separate sunscreen if you have kids! I like the spray best for quick and easy toddler application, but there’s also a stick (great for faces) and a traditional lotion.
Again, not exactly the season for this product, but we loved Cardea Auset’s chemical-free bug repellant spray so much this past summer that I had to include it. Created with essential oils, this spray leaves a somewhat pleasant scent, and it really worked in the BC wilderness!
Let me know your favourites in the comments below!
Tis’ the season for holiday parties, rocking around the Christmas tree, and great hair! There’s nothing I love quite like getting all dressed up at Christmas time – let’s be real, it’s the only bit of the year where adults cover themselves in sparkles and sequins and it’s considered totally normal. Stories are stocked up with all the glitter, and let’s just say I always feel like it’s my time to shine.
I usually struggle with dry brittle hair in the winter, but this year I have the blessing of pregnancy hormones on my side, making my hair much more full and luscious than usual. For the first time in a long time I’m taking my hair health seriously, sleeping with a silk head wrap (LOVE Silke London) and being wary of using too much heat. I’ve also been letting my natural colour grow in, which means with less bleach I’ve needed to get used to washing my hair way more, so choosing a good shampoo and conditioner combo has never been higher on my priority list! This holiday season that means the new OGX x Nicole Guerriero Limited-Edition Holiday Collection.
I am scent-obsessed, so this super cute Disco-themed festive collection is absolutely speaking my language. Created in collaboration with beauty influencer Nicole Guerriero, the three shampoo and conditioner pairing scents are Ice Berry Queen with sugared cranberries, jasmine and amber, Midnight Kisses with warm vanilla, orange blossom and sugar cane, and my personal favourite, Mistletoe Wishes. With notes of red holly berries, light fresh evergreens, and a touch of sparkling grenadine, your hair really can’t get more Christmassy than this!
Available for $10.99 each at most major retailers and drugstores like Shoppers Drug Mart, this collection is only here until Christmas, so make sure you get them on your list to Santa!
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here about a new shade of pastel hair. I have tried almost every product on the market, so for a while I didn’t have anything new to report – that is, until göt2b launched their new CREATIVE colour line!
I’ve been a fan of göt2b’s flashy design and bright packaging since I was a teenager, and I was super excited to try out their first foray into the world of hair colour, especially because their kit gives you the power to choose your colour intensity. As someone who likes to end up with a more pastel look, I’ve had more than a couple crazy bright hair mistakes, and if you’re doing your hair at home it can be quite the nightmare.
Göt2b takes the guesswork out of the process, including a pastelizer packet in their colour kit that you can add to the colour to desaturate. That said, I used my full packet and the colour still turned out quite bright, so if you have super bleached hair like I do, it might be best to add a touch of conditioner to the mix to get your colour to be more on the pastel side. Don’t worry if it ends up too dark after the first dye – it will fade a bit with every wash!
So what’s the step by step? Easy peasy:
-Empty the colour into the plastic dish provided.
-Add pastelizer if you desire.
-Do a strand test on a small part of your hair at the back where it’s not super obvious to make sure you’re happy with how the colour looks on your actual hair. Like I mentioned if the colour is still too dark, you can add a bit of conditioner to the mix (just make sure you mix it in well or you won’t get that super perfect coverage!).
-Once you’re happy with the shade, apply the colour all over as quick as you can. Be careful of getting it on your clothing and skin as it may stain, and don’t forget to wear the gloves included in the kit. If you’re doing portions of your hair or attempting an ombre, use the brush!
-If you’re going for a super bright look you can leave the colour on for up to 20 minutes. I left mine on for less than 2 minutes, and I would recommend nothing more than 3 if you’re trying to achieve a more pastel look.
– Shampoo, condition, dry and style! It’s that easy!
The Creative colour line is semi-permanent and lasts up to 15 shampoos, so in the world of fun colours it’s on the more long-term side (if you’re looking to experiment with something more temporary, göt2b also has a new temporary colour spray called Head Turner that lasts up to 3 shampoos!). Your hair needs to be blonde or pre-bleached for the colour to show up, and you can try göt2b Be En-Lightened to prep if needed.
As much as we hate to admit it, the Summer is coming to an end and although we generally side with warmer, sunny weather, we can’t help but feel excited about some of the 2017 Fall trends. We’ll be sharing a report featuring all of our favourites in the coming weeks, but for now we’re going to focus in on one: metallics!
All things shiny are taking over with the seasonal shift, both in fashion and beauty, and you won’t hear any complaints from us here at RAOP. We are already eating up Dries Van Noten’s oversized oil slick jackets, Chanel’s glittery boots paired with glittery tights and of course Nina Richi’s full length metallic flamingo pink outfits.
Luckily this elegant and expensive looking trend doesn’t have to break the bank this fall. We put together an affordable metallic look with the help of Walmart’s fully loaded beauty section. Everything we used is on-trend, fairly-priced, good quality and most importantly, cruelty-free too! Here’s what we used to channel our favourite FW17 trend:
Hard Candy Metal Eyes Chrome Eye Shadow Kit ($8.98)
ELF Highlighting Dewy Drops ($5.97)
ELF Blending Sponge ($5.97)
Ardell Faux Mink Lashes ($9.97)
Hard Candy Clump Free Volumizing Mascara in Electric Blue ($6.98)
Hard Candy Baked Illuminating Duo ($8.98)
From eyes to cheeks and everything in between – Walmart has what you need at great prices to stay on top of the metallic trend this season!
Shop these fall beauty must-haves and more from Walmart in store and online here!
This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Walmart Beauty Box program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.