Natural Cosmetics by “Pure Anada” (Review)

Natural cosmetics are usually a hit or miss and Pure Anada is definitely a hit!

Natural cosmetics are usually a hit or miss and Pure Anada is definitely a hit!

Last week, my colleague, Hannah, who is the owner and creator of Speckled Fawn (a bath and beauty company that is all-natural, vegan, handmade, and Toronto-based), was given samples from the natural cosmetics company, Pure Anada. She offered me some of her samples to try. The catch? I had to give her my honest feedback. As a self-proclaimed makeup junkie, I delightfully accepted some samples. I was so eager to try the samples and give her my feedback that I started wearing the makeup the following day. Natural cosmetics, in general, have never been a huge hit with me, due to poor colour payoff, limited colour selection, lack of lasting power, etc. Pure Anada, however, really impressed me when it came to quality and pricing!

Swatches from left to right: Luminous Blush in "Raspberry Parfait", Loose Mineral Foundation in "Pacific Tan", Petal Perfect Lipstick in "Carnation".

Swatches from left to right: Luminous Blush in “Raspberry Parfait”, Loose Mineral Foundation in “Pacific Tan”, Petal Perfect Lipstick in “Carnation”.

From the samples Hannah received from Pure Anada, I chose:

  • Luminous Blush in “Raspberry Parfait” (retail price: $12 CAD for 3-gram sifter jar) – a medium rosy pink with iridescent shimmer.
  • Loose Mineral Foundation in “Pacific Tan” (retail price: $12 CAD for 3 grams, $25 CAD for 10 grams) – my perfect summertime shade (coincidentally)!
  • Petal Perfect Lipstick in “Carnation” (retail price: $14 CAD for 10-millilitre vial) – a medium rosy pink with iridescent shimmer (very similar in colour to the blush, coincidentally).

It was all such a coincidence that the colour of the blush almost matched the colour of the lipstick and that the colour of the foundation matched my current summertime skin tone! All the colours complemented my skin tone well and applied very smoothly. My only criticism is that while the blush and foundation were very pigmented and stayed on my face all day (10+ hours) without any touch-ups, the colour payoff and staying power of the lipstick was not that great compared to M.A.C. lipsticks, for example. However, this lipstick was much more moisturizing than most and it contained much cleaner ingredients than most. For instance, the first three ingredients are organic castor seed oil, organic rosehip seed oil, and organic jojoba seed oil. No wonder why this lipstick was incredibly moisturizing and felt so good on my lips!

I loved the colour of the blush and that of the lipstick, but those colours are not ones I typically wear. The next colours I want to try are a baby pink blush colour and a pinkish nude lipstick colour!

I loved the colour of the blush and that of the lipstick, but those colours are not ones I typically wear. The next colours I want to try are a baby pink blush colour and a pinkish nude lipstick colour!

Even though these products contain clean, good-for-you, quality ingredients (i.e. purified mineral pigments, certified organic oils and waxes, etc.), the pricing is very reasonable and comparable to M.A.C.’s pricing. I find that natural cosmetics are often pricier than their chemical-laden counterparts at drugstores and department stores. Pure Anada, on the other hand, keeps their pricing in a similar range as thatof M.A.C. and of the low-end to medium-end brands at Sephora. Pure Anada has shifted my view on natural cosmetics to a more positive one. Good-for-you ingredients? Check. Good prices? Check. Decent colour selection? Check. Moderate to great colour payoff and staying power? Check and check. I am definitely more open to try natural cosmetics now and I am excited to check out more shades and products from Pure Anada. If you have favourites from this brand or any other natural cosmetics brand, let me know in the comment section below or via Twitter!

XOXO,

Addy

Quick Tip Thursday: Long, Luscious Hair with Argan Oil!

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Argan oil, which is extracted from the kernels of argan fruit trees, is high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. I use this nutrient-rich oil as a hair treatment at least once every month to help grow and maintain long, luscious, healthy hair! I love the New Roots Herbal Argan Oil, because it is pure, organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, hand-sourced from Morocco, and very affordable (usually around $16 CAD for a 50-ml glass bottle). Here is how I use it as a hair treatment at least once every month for long, healthy hair:

Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once each month!

Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once every month!

  1. Pick a day when your hair does not need to look great (i.e. an uneventful day-off or a work day with no important meetings).
  2. In the morning, apply a generous amount of argan oil all over your hair. (For my hair length, I use about 5 full droppers.)
  3. Massage the argan oil well into your hair and then, tie your hair up in a bun.
  4. Let the argan oil sit in your hair for the entire day (at least 8 hours).
  5. Shampoo your hair once or twice (no need to condition it afterwards) and let it air-dry.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 at least once every month and enjoy your beautiful hair!
Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.

Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.

If you complement this at-least-monthly hair treatment with minimal to no use of hair-styling products and heat, a healthy diet, and minimal stress, get ready to watch your hair grow in length and volume!

XOXO,

Addy

I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!

I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!

Best & Easiest Natural Homemade Blush + Lip Gloss!

The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!

The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!

In my and Raj’s lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” tomorrow night at The Big Carrot, I will be briefly touching on how the toxins that we absorb from the environment and synthetic products are just as important to consider in cancer prevention/fighting as the toxins and nutrients that we consume. Our skin is our largest organ. What we put on our skin matters and we should always try to keep our body-care and cosmetic products as natural as possible. I will admit that I struggle with trying to use more natural cosmetics, especially when natural cosmetics tend to be less readily available, less pigmented, less lasting, and/or less diverse in colours. I am taking baby steps though with the more foolproof natural cosmetic products like blushes and lip glosses (I will explore the more daunting natural cosmetics like eyeliners and mascaras another time).

Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!

Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!

Although there are numerous natural cosmetic companies out there making wonderful blushes and lip glosses, I wanted to make my own two-in-one (blush + lip gloss) from scratch. Unlike all the more natural blushes and lip glosses I have seen on the market, I wanted mine to be completely free of preservatives, made with minimal ingredients, and good enough to eat! I finally came up with a super easy recipe that requires only three (edible) ingredients and that makes an absolutely gorgeous blush and lip gloss!

Ingredients:

It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!

It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!

Steps:

  1. In a very small bowl (i.e. dipping sauce bowl), add the red beetroot powder and then stir in the hot filtered water a few drops at a time until the red beetroot powder/crystals have dissolved and the mixture has a syrup-like consistency.
  2. Find a small glass jar, in which you would like to store this two-in-one blush + lip gloss product. Pour the liquid raw organic virgin coconut oil and the water-dissolved red beetroot powder/crystals into this small glass jar. Close the lid tightly and then shake the jar well to mix everything together. The coconut oil should turn deep red in colour (it will apply pink on the skin though).
  3. Place the jar in the freezer for about a hour to let the contents solidify and then keep it stored in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator anytime you want to apply a gorgeous berry pink colour on your cheeks and/or lips. Enjoy!
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Who knew beets and coconut oil could be so pretty on the skin?

 

I just love using this as a blush! The gorgeous berry pink colour stays on my cheeks all day (i.e. from early in the morning to when I come home from work, which is over eight hours). Not only does this easy-to-make product give a beautiful and lasting colour on my skin, but it also nourishes and moisturizes my skin. I really hope all my beauty-product junkies out there give this recipe a try, especially those who are also trying to go the more natural route. Your skin will thank you. 🙂

XOXO,

Addy

My First Time Applying Natural (NOT Black) Henna!

Drawing Henna

Growing up in a predominantly South Asian community, I would see a lot of my female friends with henna (also known as mehndi) designs on their hand(s) every now and then for festive occasions like weddings or just for fun. In elementary school, I remember admiring this cosmetic art so much that I attempted to recreate the designs on my left hand (since I am right-handed) with brown, washable Crayola marker several times. I was terribly unsuccessful every single time (in case you were wondering). As a grown woman now with better fine motor skills, I finally felt ready to upgrade from brown Crayola markers to real henna, especially since I will be attending an Indian wedding for my first time with Raj in about a month. How hard could it be?

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Raj and I went to his local Indian grocery store where I was asked if I wanted brown or black henna. I had no idea there were two different colours! I just wanted the reddish brown henna that I remember seeing on the hands of my childhood girlfriends, so I opted for the brown one. It was lucky I chose the brown henna, because I found out later that black henna is synthetic and may contain skin irritants and toxins such as p-Phenylenediamine (PPD).

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Natural, pure henna paste for skin art is prepared by mixing henna leaf powder with a liquid such as water or lemon juice. The paste can then be applied in intricate patterns all over the hands. After about 20 minutes, the paste will dry out on your skin and begin to crack a little. At this point, you can gently re-moisten the henna design on your skin with lemon juice and let it re-dry out again for a more intense colour afterwards (I did not do this). You can also wrap your hand(s) in a plastic bag after the henna design has completely dried to allow your natural body heat to develop the colour even further (I did not do this either).

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Raj’s mom suggested I wrap my left hand in a plastic bag and go to sleep with it on to let the colour intensify overnight. However, patience is not one of my strengths. After two hours, I could not wait any longer and had to wash it off. Raj’s mom and I were shocked at how intense the staining was after only two hours sans lemon juice and sans plastic bag! That initial colour intensified even more via oxidation during the first few hours after washing off the henna!

Before After

The colour remained bold and vibrant on my hand for about three days before starting to fade. The timing was perfect, because after the third day, I was getting bored of that design and wanted it to fade away. I should also point out that henna leaves a faint, natural, herbal, grassy smell that lingers on your skin for the first few days. Some people hate the smell, but I happen to like it. Hopefully, you do not mind the smell or the long waiting-for-the-colour-to-develop time, because henna art is beautiful, natural, and fun! Although my first time applying henna was fun, it was harder than I thought! I think I will leave it to a professional for the Indian wedding next month. 😛

XOXO,

Addy

P.S. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? This is why it is so important to be conscious of what you are putting on your skin and to avoid potential carcinogens like the PPD in black henna. For more tips on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition”, register and attend our FREE lecture at the Big Carrot on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm. 🙂

National Women’s Show 2014 Recap

Me on Escalator to #NWSToronto

I was so excited to introduce Raj to the National Women’s Show this year!

The National Women’s Show definitely hit a home run this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre! We attended on Sunday, which was the last day of this weekend-long trade show, and none of the booths seemed to be running low on samples or products. Everyone was well prepared and well stocked for the massive crowds! Raj was thinking of packing a lunch for the day, but I told him he wouldn’t need a lunch and I was right. There were so many food booths handing out samples this year that we were so full by the end of the show. There were also many great deals on food, beverages, beauty products, clothes, supplements, accessories, etc. One of my favourite parts about the show was discovering many new and/or Canadian companies and getting to meet the people behind them. We managed to visit and chat with most (not all) of the booths and here is just the tip of the iceberg…

We arrived at the National Women's Show prepared for a lot of walking and sampling, both of which counteract each other.

We arrived at the National Women’s Show prepared for hours of walking and sampling!

Me & Biocore

We visited the BioCore Food Science booth and I introduced Raj to their “microGREENS” product, which is one of my favourite tasting greens drink mixes. His response after sampling some: “Oh wow, that was actually pretty good!” Yep.

Me & Almond Fresh

This was my first time hearing about and trying this almond milk company called Almond Fresh. Raj’s favourite flavour was chocolate and mine was coconut. I just wish their chocolate flavoured one wasn’t so high in sugar (21 grams of sugar per cup) and their coconut flavoured one wasn’t sweetened with refined white sugar. However, they do have an unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk, as well as an unsweetened vanilla flavoured one.

Me & Made Good

I loved these granola minis by MadeGood, especially the strawberry flavoured ones! Their organic and peanut-free granolas are rolled up into bite-size pieces and they contain vegetables (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms), all of which you cannot taste! It’s always great when you find a tasty way to add a bit more veggies into your diet.

Me & Pranin Organic

One of my most exciting finds at the National Women’s Show this year was Pranin Organic. Their supplements are 100% organic, non-GMO, dairy-free, corn-free, yeast-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. They are also made entirely from food (so no synthetic nutrients) and they do not contain any binders or fillers. We tried their “PureFood B” (a B-vitamins supplement), “PureFood Iron” (a bio-available, non-heme iron supplement), and “Complete A to Z” (a powdered multivitamin mix). Raj and I were both pleasantly surprised that they all tasted great!

Me & Van Dyk's

I’m not a big fan of fruit juices in general, but I love Van Dyk’s By Nature pure wild blueberry juice. It is made only from grade-A wild blueberries that are grown in Nova Scotia and it does not contain any sweeteners, preservatives, or additives. My favourite way to enjoy this pure blueberry juice is in salad dressings.

Me & Raj w/ Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co.

Muskoka Roastery Coffee Company served amazing coffee at the National Women’s Show. There was an unflavoured coffee and a flavoured one at the show. Raj chose their flavoured “Muskoka Maple” coffee and he really enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, strongly dislike all flavoured coffees, so I chose the “Loon Call Breakfast Blend” unflavoured medium coffee and it was delicious!

Me & Clarisonic

I have friends who swear by the Clarisonic and believe that this oscillating facial cleansing brush should be a necessary tool in everyone’s skincare routine. I have contemplated purchasing it, but I have been skeptical about its effectiveness. However, after getting a demonstration done on the back of my left hand, I have added this beauty tool to my Christmas wishlist! It was so gentle and left my hand feeling so clean and smooth! Imagine the potential skin improvements if I used this brush on my face daily! I sense a Clarisonic purchase in my near future.

Raj knows my favourite lipsticks are from Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). So when we spotted a YSL booth at the National Women's Show, he knew we just HAD to visit. The makeup artist there suggested some products for me to try. He applied one of the new Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick shades on my lips, a complementary Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain lipgloss shade on top, and some of their

Raj knows my favourite lipsticks are from Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). So when we spotted a YSL booth at the National Women’s Show, he knew we just HAD to visit. The makeup artist there suggested some products for me to try. He applied one of the new Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick shades on my lips, a complementary Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain lipgloss shade on top, and some Touche Éclat complexion highlighter under my eyes. I was glad the YSL booth was actually our second stop, because I got to show off the fabulous YSL makeup and his application skills for almost the entire show.

Me and Phasion Village

I’m a minimalist when it comes to my hair. I use clean shampoos that are free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. Also, I hardly ever apply conditioner, styling products, or heat to my hair. At the show though, I treated my hair to some large loose curls by a woman from Phashion Village. There was so much to see and do that I only had time to curl a quarter of my hair!

Me and Camry Collage

We got to check out the new 2015 Toyota Camry. Afterwards, we received a small gift bag containing a bottle of hot sauce, a pair of red socks, and Sally Hansen press-on nail designs.

Me Exit

After SIX hours of walking and exploring every booth, we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home to sift through the bags of goodies and samples we received.

#NWSToronto Loot

The goodies and samples from this year’s National Women’s Show were amazing! Some of my highlights include: BioCore coreOMEGA omega-3 supplement, Schick Intuition razors, Stayfree sanitary pads, a basil plant starter, and a portable cellphone charger.

Congratulations to the National Women’s Show for putting together another successful and super fun trade show in Toronto this year! The next one will be in Québec City this weekend (November 15th-16th, 2014), followed by one in Montréal (March 13th-15th, 2015) and another in Ottawa (April 11th-12th, 2015). If those shows are anything like the one in Toronto this past weekend, I highly recommend checking it out and setting aside at least a few hours to explore everything. Even if you don’t meet any celebrity guests like we didn’t this year, the show is still a blast!

XOXO,

Addy