Try It Tuesday - January's Spied it, Tried it

You probably gathered from Makeup Monday that I love makeup and skin care.  I love trying new things.  A family member once lauded my sense of adventure when it came to new things (Full disclaimer: I had tried the short-lived, McDonald’s deli-sandwiches, so not like skydiving or anything actually adventurous).  I follow a lot of beauty and life-style bloggers and I often wonder how much of their product choice is authentic and how much is sponsored.  Just so you all know, every item featured in this blog, every article of clothing has been procured by yours truly, either purchased, traded (via, or otherwise obtained on my own volition.

Chatting with a friend the other day we were counting our respective blessings and I mentioned how I often felt I had won my genetic lottery.  I have always said that I got the best of both of my parents features: my mom’s blue eyes, my dad’s nose (in miniature) and full lips, my mom’s colouring, my dad’s complexion.  When my short bout of teenaged acne kicked in, my mom taught me the value of taking care of your skin and I’ve always followed her advice.  I think I’ve used everything on my face that’s out there. I love the “impulse buy” checkout aisle at Sephora with all the sample sizes of makeup and skin care.  I touch everything and read every label.  My biggest pet peeve is when you find the perfect product and it gets discontinued (I’m looking at you Lush re: Skin Nanny).  I have learned that more money doesn’t always mean better product but at the same time I know you get what you pay for.  Does that make sense? Probably not.  I guess what I am trying to say is don’t be afraid to take a chance on more affordable items but know when to splurge on higher end items. 

In December I stumbled across Soapilicity.  An all natural, vegetarian, cruelty free, sustainable skin care company.  Perusing their website made me want to add one of each to my cart.  I finally found my willpower and purchased only the items I needed to round out my skin care regime.  I had been looking for a new cleanser, eye cream, and serum.  I chose the anti aging product line because, well…yeah, let’s just leave that where it is.

anti aging, vegetarian, sustainable, cruelty free Skin care, american made, handmade

I’ve always had a weird relationship with bar soap.  Limited packaging, minimal waste, tons of variety, pretty to look at, and while it was fine for my body from the neck down I couldn’t bring myself to use facial bars.  Any other thirty-somethings remember the oxy soap pump commercials? “Residon’t is a do” pump soap shown in stark contrast with the goopy bar of soap?  Just me? Ok.  That grungy bar of soap has haunted me.  One look at the Euphoria Anti-Aging facial soap bar and my soap bar phobia was set aside.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.  Upon first use I knew that this soap and I were going to be good friends.  Gentle, moisturizing, exfoliating and the scent! Heaven.  I rate this a full 5 stars.

Next on to the Espresso Eye Cream.  Eye creams are always one of those products I am so critical of.  I know I need it but generally they are super expensive for just a tiny dribble of product.  Logically I know that the products are specially formulated for the delicate skin around your eyes but that doesn’t make me like it anymore.  The Espresso Eye Cream is super affordable.  I’m not super crazy about the coffee smell but it’s not a deal breaker for me.  It’s thick but fast absorbing and as it’s too soon to expect results I am confidant that I see them already. 4 out of 5 stars.

My final purchase from Soaplicity was the Time Warp Age-Defying Moisturizing Serum.  It smells like a botanical heaven.  Being oily in consistency I was afraid that the Time Warp might be too heavy for my oily skin.  The first week I used it, I would remark hourly to my husband about how great my skin felt.  Usually by the end of my workday I was a veritable oil slick and with the Time Warp serum I was supple and oil free.  The honeymoon was short lived. I’m fifteen days into using the system and my skin is like the sahara.  So dry, so tight.  I’ve started using the serum under my usual cleanser and I seem to be balancing out again.  Anti aging products tend to be hyper hydrating, but my skin is reacting in the opposite.  It can take about three weeks for skin to acclimatize to new products so I’m going to wait a little longer before rating.

When my skin turned into a desert I panicked.  I’ll admit it.  I’ve always been an oily babe so to be so dry was a new experience for me.  When I saw someone post on Bunz(.com) Makeup Zone that they were looking to trade away their Sephora Birthday Gift of a Caudalie sample duo I slid up into her DMs.  I’d had my eye on that product for a while and was curious as to its effectiveness.  The kit came with the Vinoperfect Serum and the Vinosource Cream.  Honestly, neither of them thrilled me.  The cream is super thick but doesn’t spread easily and seems to disappear without a trace.  The serum follows suit.  I’ve abandoned the cream already but I did find that the serum, added to my foundation brush helps buff my base into an airbrushed perfection.  3 out of 5 stars

caudalie vinoperfect vinosource skincare serum

Another score this month is the Julep Konjac Cleansing Sponge (Charcoal).  I saw one pop up in my feed and thought that it sounded interesting and I’m exfoliation obsessed so I messaged the bun and luckily she wanted one of my items on offer (Yay #truetrades).  We met up and made the trade.  I put the sponge in my purse and promptly forgot about it.  On Sunday when I was planning this post I remembered it and put it on the list of “to trys’.  It’s really weird. It comes pre-dampened.  It’s a weird texture and feels far to smooth to be an exfoliator.  Wanna know how wrong I was? SO WRONG! I took this bad boy into the shower and emerged a believer.  My skin was soft and glowing and I didn’t even need soap! For $12 this is definitely something I’m going to actually purchase in the future. 5 out of 5 stars

julep konjac charcoal sponge

Speaking of exfoliating, the O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Facial Peel is a forgotten love.  Last spring I got a mini little sample of this product in my Ipsy bag.  I got 2 uses out of it and was instantly obsessed.  It’s easy to use and the results are immediate.  I had planned on purchasing the full-size bottle but the combined cost of the product and the postage had me navigating away from the checkout, vowing to come back and treat myself another day.  Imagine my elation when a full-size bottle showed up in my FabFitFun box! I practically ran to the bathroom to wash my damn face.  It really is worth the full sticker price.  5 stars

ORG Skin care, mineral facial peel

Another Fabfitfun find was the Manna Kadar Lip Locked Stain.  The packaging is gorgeous, a beautiful rosy chrome box.  The colour is perfect for me, a dusty rose-y nude in a satin finish.  It claims to be a lip stain and it is full of filthy lies.  I used it this morning.  I put on my eyelashes and while the glue set I lined and “stained” my lips.  By the time I had curled and mascaraed my lashes I had the stain all over my face and teeth and it had bled beyond my lip line.  I took it off, applied a liquid lip and reapplied over the colour thinking it could be saved by layering.  I left the house and with every sip on my coffee travel mug, I lost more lip colour, to the point that I was actually embarrassed by all the makeup on my cup.  I’m not sure if it’s just been a while since I’ve worn glosses and I have simply forgotten how messy they are or if this one is just a hot mess? 2 stars

And now, my favourite product of the month.  Every beauty v/blogger I follow raves about this product.  It’s exclusive Ulta distribution means it’s harder to get my little Canadian hands on it, which makes me want it even more.  The Tarte Shape Tape has been on the lips (figuratively) and faces (literally) of the who’s who in the makeup world for ages now and I have been dying to try it.  And once again, it was Bunz to the rescue.  A lovely lady was state-side and offered to pick up items for people and all we had to do was pay her upon her return.  I made the cut.  I met up with Vina on Sunday and paid her for the goods.  She handed it off to me in an envelope as I handed her a wad of bills on a shadowy street.  I’m sure it looked much more sinister than it was. 

First I was surprised by how much product you get for the price tag.  It’s 50-100% larger than your usual concealers.  The doe foot applicator is also quite large so you get maximum coverage. It blends like a dream.  I used it as a highlight as opposed to a concealer and wow did my problematic, under-eye area look flawless.  I’m sold.  I need to estimate how many of these I’m going to go through in a year and get my mother-in-law to get me my fix when she comes home from Arizona.  I’m not about that high shipping.  I give Tarte Shape Tape 1,000,000 stars.


While I have your attention, I’d like to direct you Toronto Locals to my pal Jen.  Jen’s got some gorgeous wardrobe items for trade on to help supplement her household budget.  If you’re in need of some new to you clothes, please check out her items and make your offer.  She’s good people.  I’ve already claimed my item :) 

I hope you all enjoyed my Spied it, Tried it feature.  Which items are tempting you? What are some of your favourite skin care and makeup items? Any tried and true favourites?  Lay ‘em on me.  I’m always looking to expand my collection.


  • Soaplicity

    Thanks so much for trying our products and giving us such great reviews! We love our customers and love helping their skin naturally :) I am not sure why you are experiencing dryness from the Time Warp Moisturizing Serum. A tip to try is to make sure your face is moist (like right after you washed it, but don’t have it all the way dry – just dewy) and put the serum on then. It will lock in moisture and pull the nutrients deep into the skin! If you experience itchiness or rash, then you may be allergic to one of the ingredients. Another thing a lot of my customers do is put the Eye Expresso Eye Cream over the serum on their “trouble spots”, like neck, around their lips, etc. It gives fantastic results. We called it our Double Expresso. Ha! Love your blog and sassiness!! Keep up the excellent work!

  • MIchelle

    Hi Vanessa, loved this. I love the way you express yourself in words.
    Emily has always had very, very sensitive skin. Some products she has even had allergic reactions too, Waking up with her eyes swollen or big fat lips. We recently bought a charcoal sponge from The Faceshop and we love it. I love, love, love syrems. They feel like a drink of water to my skin. I have a few… Well maybe a dozen…will send you pictures of my fav!

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