Arbonne: RE9 Advanced Review

The Skinny:

RE9 Advanced is Arbonne’s number one anti-aging skin care line.   The Company boasts that its star ingredient vitamin C combined with sustainable orange stem cells will minimize the look of wrinkles and enhance elasticity, firmness, and texture.

The Products and Routine:

The RE9 collection consists of six products and has a five step regimen each morning and evening.

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Morning:

  1. RE9 Smoothing Facial Cleanser – apply a chick pea sized amount to wet skin.  Gently massage into your face to create suds, then rinse.  The cleanser is meant to cleanse (obviously), smooth, and renew skin and includes a plant-derived moisturizer.  It will also remove mild to heavy makeup, which is a plus.  Key ingredients: mondo grass root extract, red clover extract, and watercress extract.
  2. RE9 Regenerating Toner – spritz two to three pumps on a cotton pad and wipe over entire face or spritz directly onto face and spread using your fingertips.  The toner improves skin tone and firmness, minimizing the appearance of pore size.  Key ingredients: Mexican giant hyssop extract, vitamin B3, witch hazel.
  3. RE9 Intensive Renewal Serum – apply one pump to your fingertips and gently massage your face and neck in circular motions.  The serum firms and lifts skin, while diminishing fine lines.  Key ingredients: vitamin B3, beech tree extract, and marine lavender extract.
  4. RE9 Corrective Eye Cream – apply a pin-sized amount per eye, dotting around the eye area.  This cream reduces puffiness and dark circles.  Key ingredients: caffeine, vitamin B3, and olive squalane.
  5. RE9 Restorative Cream – apply one to two pumps and gently massage face and neck in circular motions until absorbed.  This is meant to restore the skin’s youthful appearance.  Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, and mondo grass root extract.

Evening:  Repeat steps one through four and replace step five with the RE9 Night Repair Cream by applying a dime-sized amount and gently massaging face and neck until absorbed.  The night repair supports collagen growth and a youthful appearance.  Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, and beech tree bud extract.

Pros:bb9f001bfb4b480ba25c0bd81b1f8abd--arbonne-party-arbonne-online-party

  • Hello!  It’s VEGAN!!  There are no animal products or by-products
  • Again…Hello!  It’s CRUELTY FREE!!  No testing on animals over here.
  • Made from natural ingredients that are safe, non-toxic, and eco friendly.  The Company is very transparent about the ingredient list and have an extensive list on their site as to what each ingredient contains.

Cons:

  • Arbonne products cannot be found in stores, you must order through a consultant.  For some this is not a problem, but I do prefer to just drop in a store when I need to since, when it comes to taking care of myself, by brain thinks a day behind.
  • There are a lot of steps in this collection.  Most people probably don’t mind, but I am a simple kind of gal, normally washing my face, putting on sunscreen, then heading out the door.  Committing to the routine would definitely be an adjustment for me.
  • The products are a bit pricey.  I believe all the products in the RE9 collection are all meant to work together, rather than independently, so if you want real results, you really have to invest.   That being said, you get what you pay for.  Many people have found real, long lasting results from the collection.  The set as a whole costs $364, although you do get discounted pricing if you sign up as a Preferred Client.

Overall Conclusion:

While I cannot comment on the long lasting effects of using the collection, as I received a sample size meant for a short trial, I did enjoy the products.  There were no overwhelming perfumy scents…really no scent at all, which I really liked.  The products were creamy and did not leave my skin too oily or too dry, nor did they leave any residue.  I would definitely try the collection again.

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Samples were provided by Arbonne Independent Consultant, Cindy Saurette (Consultant ID: 117520386), however all opinions are my own, based on personal experience, and have not been influenced in any way.  If you are interested in learning more about any Arbonne products, you can contact Cindy via email at CindySaurette.Arbonne@gmail.com, on her website www.CindySaurette.Arbonne.com or on her Facebook page here.

 

 

Harvey Prince Organics

After making the commitment to use only vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, I purged the majority of my stash.  It hurt.  We get attached to our make-up and beauty security blankets that we know we can rely on…I mean, I need to have eyebrows to go out in public so I don’t look like I’m homeless…what am I going to do now?  There was initial panic, but with my mind focused on the reason why, I packed up a box and just let go…

The second step was research, research, research and the third, and most fun, was to replace!   Some items had to be replaced immediately…as in, like, that day…such as mascara and the aforementioned eyebrows.  Sigh, thus is the life of a ginger.  Replacing other items weren’t as pressing.  For the past five years or so, I haven’t used much perfume, primarily because I took the metro every day to and from work and had regard for other people’s noses.  There is seriously nothing worse than sitting by someone who stinks, good or bad, for an hour (FYI, great way to get a migraine).  Then I had a couple kids.  Babies have very sensitive senses of smell and I didn’t want to overwhelm them.  And frankly, I had two small kids and barely put on real people clothes if I didn’t  have to, let alone put on perfume…who am I trying to impress?  Well, I no longer have to take the metro to work, the kids grew up a bit, and date nights have increased in frequency (thanks, Grandma!), so I started getting around to finally replacing my stock of perfume.

I’ll tell you, saying goodbye to my go-to perfume was hard.  I was absolutely in love with it, but alas…you lose my support if you test on poor little helpless animals.  Trying to find vegan, cruelty-free perfume is hard!  Many stores don’t stock the brands and, oh yeah, how do you know if you’ll like a scent if you can’t smell it before you buy it?!  Vegan perfume shopping is a game of take my money and hope.  You buy something online and hope you like it.  I came across Harvey Prince Organics on Instagram.  I was perusing the daily feed and on one of the pages I followed, I saw a promotion for a free Harvey Prince mini-roller of perfume if you pay shipping.  I Googled the company, which states it is vegan and cruelty-free, uses organic ingredients, and does not contain harmful ingredients such as phthalates, paragons, sulfates, benzenes, GMOs, or triclosan.  Impressive.  I then took to PETA.org which verified the company to be cruelty-free.  I even emailed them and received a response assuring me that the products were indeed both vegan and cruelty-free…obsessed much?  Yeah, maybe a bit overboard.   Anyways, I thought the promotion was the perfect way to test out some new scents without spending an arm and a leg.

On their website, they have a ‘bestsellers’ tab, so I ordered a mini-roller of each of their most popular scents; Hello, Eau So Divine, Sincerely, and Temptress.  I also ordered a few others; Yogini, Bailando, Ageless, Signature, and Parisienne. Mini-rollers are perfect for trying out something new before committing to a larger bottle.  They are 7 or 8 ml, but last for a long time.  I’m not going to go into detail about what each one smells like, they do a pretty good job of that on their website.  I will tell you that my favorites are Hello, Ageless, and Sincerely.  I did not care for the Bailando, Signature, or Parisienne much, but to each their own.

Alt=”Harvey Prince Organics”

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Below you can see how big the mini-rollers are…about the size of your middle finger.  With each order, they also send you a sample so you can try out something new.   It was a nice little surprise.  You can choose from different sizes, the smallest being a mini-roller which varies from 7 to 8 ml-ish for $23 and the largest being a 50 ml bottle for $57.  And be on the lookout for promotions!  I saved a lot of money initially, and now I know which scents to invest in the large bottles!

Overall, I have to say that I love Harvey Prince!  As far as shopping for perfume without having it in front of you goes, they make it very easy by having a section outlining their bestsellers and having affordable and different size bottles.  The Ginger Veganista approves!  The Harvey Prince Organics also makes men’s cologne, as well as bath, hair, and body products. Have you tried any Harvey Prince Organics products?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!

Pacifica Hair Care

 

Pacifica Beauty is a 100% vegan and cruelty-free company that has a full range of cosmetics, perfumes, and skin care.  It can sometimes be hard to find vegan and cruelty-free products in main stream stores, but aside from being able to order online, you can find a variety of Pacifica products in many stores near you such as Target, Whole Foods, and Ulta.

I love anything coconut, so when I saw the Coconut Power shampoo and conditioner at Ulta, I snatched it up.  My hair can get pretty dry and frizzy, especially in the DC heat and humidity, so I also purchased an anti-frizz serum and moisturizing oil to complete my regimen.

Coconut Power Shampoo and Conditioner

There very first thing I noticed was the smell.  It should not have been surprising since the founder’s first interests included the art of scents and making her own fragrances.  It is really amazing and lasts long after you shampoo.  The coconut aroma is sweet and strong, so if coconut is not for you, you may want to pass on this variety.  I did receive quite a few compliments about smelling nice while using the products.

The shampoo is gentle and cleanses well.  I cannot attest to which product is responsible, as I used the shampoo and conditioner together, but my hair was super soft both wet and dry.  I thought this would pass, since sometimes I notice that after using a product for awhile my hair reverts back to its rough texture, but for the entire month I used it (washing every other day), it remained soft.

Alt=”Pacifica Coconut Power”

 

Anti-Frizz Serum and Nourishing Oil

The Dragon Tamer Anti-Frizz Serum can be used on wet or dry hair and before or after blow drying.  Now, having two small children, my showers occur in the evening after they are FINALLY asleep and usually end with me going to bed with wet hair and almost NEVER ends in blow drying.  I either put my hair up in the morning or break out the flat iron, usually the former.  With no product, my hair gets pretty frizzy.  I tried the Dragon Tamer both on wet hair right out of the shower and on dry hair the next day and found the frizz factor definitely decreased, but didn’t take it away completely.  That being said, I have zero expectation that any product would take away all frizz on its own.  Now, using the Dragon Tamer in conjunction with the straight iron…perfection.  Much better than straightening without any product.

The Native Flower Nourishing Oil is to be used on dry hair and a little goes a long way.  The oil definitely was a nice finishing touch making my hair shiny and smooth without weighing it down.  A couple of times I used too much on the ends and the result was not pleasant, but that was more due to me not paying attention.

 

Products:

Coconut Power Strong and Long Healing Shampoo – $10 for 8 ounces

Coconut Power Strong and Long Healing Conditioner – $10 for 8 ounces

Dragon Tamer Anti-Frizz Serum – $14 for 1.7 ounces

Native Flower Nourishing Oil – $14 for 1.6 ounces

Overall, I give these products my full approval.  I have used them since my first purchase and will continue to use them in the future as part of my rotation.  I absolutely adore the smell and love how soft and smooth my hair feels.  Have you tried Pacifica hair care products?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!

Bare Bones Body: Cross Bone Special

I stumbled across Bare Bones Body Care on Instagram and immediately felt the brand calling my name.  The company was started by owner, Monica, after years of allergic reactions to mainstream body care products.  She was tired of all the chemicals and decided to make her own products.  Most of the products have less than 8 ingredients and they are all natural, non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free!  Raise your hand if you’re sold, yet…

Well, my skin is pretty sensitive.  In fact, I recently recovered from a pretty severe allergic reaction to a facial cleanser.  I used said cleanser and woke up in the middle of the night super itchy and eyes swollen nearly shut, so yeah, that was fun.  I had to go to the dermatologist and spend weeks applying hydrocortisone and using every ounce of willpower not to scratch my face off.  Even after the swelling went down, I would have flare ups of itchy red spots on my eyelids and forehead (cute, right?), so it’s been a struggle to find something gentle enough that works.

You can imagine how excited I was to find Bare Bones.  Monica’s story sounded a lot like mine and any product that is vegan and cruelty-free gets two thumbs up from this ginger. The icing on the cake is the simplicity of the formulas.  Anyone that knows me knows that added chemicals are my nemesis.  Keep it simple, keep it pure… Bare Bones delivers.  I absolutely love the adorable skull and cross bones logo and all of the products, except the lip balm, come in reusable glass bottles.

There are a variety of products, all super affordable, which I’ll list at the end of the article.  Today I am reviewing the Cross Bones Special Gift Pack, which includes the cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and two lip balms.  The package is $35, $5 less than purchasing the items separately.

Cleanser

What’s in it:  Vegetable glycerin, organic rose water, organic tea tree oil

How to use:  Apply to dry face in circular motion, rinse with warm water

Thoughts:  First of all, the cleanser smells fantastic, which I assume must be the rose water.  It also tastes pretty darn good…not that I recommend drinking the stuff, but if some were to accidentally get on your lips and you were to lick them, it wouldn’t be terrible…  Now this cleanser feels different than most main-stream cleansers…it does not foam and it is very thin, almost the consistency of water.  It instantly makes your face feel smooth. Because of the thin consistency with no foam or lather, it is easy to think that it may not be working, but there is a really easy way to test that…use the toner.  Is there dirt or makeup on the cotton pad?

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Toner

What’s in it:  Organic lemon juice, witch hazel

How to use:  Apply after cleanser with a cotton pad in upward motions on your face and neck

Thoughts:  I just love that this is made with only two ingredients.  After applying with a cotton pad, your skin feels fresh, clean, cool, and a bit tingly.  Did the cleanser pass the test?  Yep!  Not a single speck of makeup on that puppy.

Alt=”Bare Bones Body Toner”

 

Moisturizer

What’s in it:  Organic shea butter, organic olive oil, organic coconut oil

How to use:  After face wash and toner, apply to face and any other thirsty skin

Thoughts:  I love this moisturizer.  It leaves your face super smooth with no traces of dryness.  Normally, I use coconut oil as a face and body moisturizer so I am used to an oil based one.  If you normally use a cream based lotion, this will definitely feel different to you.  First thing to know is that you need to use a lot less than you think.  If it doesn’t absorb into your skin, you’ve used too much.  After a week of using this, my face was noticeably softer.  My two year old sat on my lap, stroked my face, and said, “Nice.  Nice.”  Adorable.

 

Lip Balm

Peppermint Balm – What’s in it: Organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, candelilla wax, organic peppermint essential oil

Spiced Balm – What’s in it: Organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, candelilla wax, organic cinnamon leaf essential oil, organic tangerine essential oil

Thoughts: These balms melt right on your lips and make them soft as can be.  There is a little tingle that happens with the peppermint balm which is nice.

 

Products:

Deodorant – 2 oz stick for $8.  Made with organic coconut oil, shea butter, candelilla wax, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and different essential oils depending on what scent you order.  This is not an antiperspirant, however is Bare Bones’ top seller.  It moisturizes and keeps you smelling fresh.

Cleanser – 4 oz bottle for $10.

Toner – 4 oz bottle for $10.

Face Oil – 2 oz bottle for $25.  Made with organic hemp seed oil, organic grape seed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic palmarosa essential oil, and organic grapefruit essential oil. Man I wish this was included in the package.

Moisturizer – 4 oz for $14.

Lip Balm – $3-$4 per tube.  Bare Balm, Peppermint Balm, Spiced Balm, Coffee Balm, and Citrus IPA.  Made with organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, candellila wax, and various organic essential oils.

Tattoo Balm – 2 oz for $10.  Made with organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, and candelilla wax.  I cannot wait to try this.  I am finishing up my sleeve in the next few months!

Black Magic Mask – 2 oz for $18.  Made with organic matcha green tea powder, bentonite clay, and activated charcoal.  This looks awesome, although I might scare my kids if they see me with it on!

Cross Bones Special Gift Pack – $35 for the set.

 

Overall, I just love Bare Bones.  It gives you the warm fuzzies to support a small business while buying products that were neither tested on animals, nor use animal products.  Knowing exactly what is going on my skin, without having to research an extensive label, is such a relief.  I haven’t had any more bouts of itchiness yet.  And most importantly, I don’t have to worry about what kind of residue is rubbing off of my skin onto my adorable baby boys.

Have you tried Bare Bones?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!