Monday, 17 March 2014

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle March 2014 Review


Saffron Rouge Inner Circle is my newest subscription, having just got off the wait list. I was stoked about this March bag -- organic products, though not always perfect, tend to be on the healthier side because they usually don't contain drying alcohols or purfumes. I've heard great things and this month, I was not disappointed.

Box Overview
Box: Saffron Rouge Inner Circle
Price: $24.99 per month
Ships to: US, Canada, International
What's inside: Organic beauty products, a mix of full-size and samples


For an natural beauty box, they sure used a lot of packaging! The samples are all held in a little green bag (happy St. Patrick's Day!), which are held in Saffron Rouge's box along with the information pamphlet, which was put in a cardboard box with styrofoam peanuts. Because some of the products are in glass containers, I understand that they need protection, but it still seemed a bit overboard to me for such a short trip -- Saffron Rouge Inner Circle ships from Canada! In fact, two days after sending me an e-mail that my box had been shipped, I received it. I'm hoping that this becomes a pattern.

As always, I valued the products at the lowest price I could find on the Internet from a reputable seller, and converted to CAD.


Living Nature Mascara Thickening Jet Black Full Size || Value: $31.90 CAD
It's nice when the first item you pull out is worth one and a half times more than the cost of the box. This mascara uses Kaolin clay (which is often used to clay masks) in order to thicken lashes, and supposedly condition them as well. Some other notable ingredients are beeswax, manuka honey, and grapefruit seed extract. This mascara goes on easy, even for a makeup newbie such as myself. It rarely clumps and when it does I find it easy to remove. It does not volumize my lashes as much as, say, It's So Big! from February's Beauty Box 5, but I rather like that about it. When I'm just going to school, I don't feel the need to wow anyone with my lashes.

ilike Grape Stem Cell Solutions Cleansing Milk Sample
The selling point of this cleanser is their grapeseed oil, grape pulp, and grape stem cells. The stem cells supposedly have protective effects. When I used this, it did help to take off my makeup, but I had to put some work into taking off the Living Nature mascara. It's OK at it's job, but no more than any other cleanser, I think.

As well, this cleansing milk contains alcohol and benzyl alcohol. The latter I'm okay with at low amounts, but this is halfway up the ingredients list. They also have fragrance by a "mixture of natural essential oils", which is a bad sign to me. Why can't they list what essential oils they use? If anything, shouldn't that be a pro that they are using essential oils? What this tells me is that they may be using essential oils that are phototoxic -- in short, they react in light in such a way that can damage your skin.


The Body Deli Mini Solar Day Cream Full Size || Value: $17.76 CAD
I can't believe how much this mini cream costs! No wonder they sell these minis on their own accord. This day cream contains micronized zinc, the main ingredient in most sunscreens. It also contains antioxidants like vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, and pumpkin seed oil. It has an SPF of 15 and is a wet, white cream that soaks in very quickly without leaving me feeling very greasy.

The ingredients list is fantastic, with many natural oils known to be good for your skin such as jojoba oil. It does contain coconut oil, so be aware that it may be comedogenic. My face does fine with coconut oil so I have had no issues with it. The smell is light and fresh, I don't mind it.

Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm Full Size || Value: $18.81 CAD
This lip balm is tiny tiny tiny, and I wasn't sure how to apply it until I noticed that the little spoon provided was for this (rather than the solar day cream).  Dr. Hauschka is well known in the skin care industry, and this is the first product I've tried from his brand. While the lip balm works for a long time and does keep my lips from drying, it's very heavy on my lips and doesn't smell good. Compare to Epic Blend Lip Balm, which I recently raved about for being light on the lips and comes in a variety of different scents.

This lip balm carries a whole bunch of "natural" ingredients such as various plant oils and silk proteins, but this all gets thrown out the window when I see that fragrance is listed in the ingredients. Why, why, why would a dermatologist decide to add fragrance to a product when it's well proven that it dries out skin? Plus, it doesn't even help it from smelling bad! Just another reason that Epic Blend (which contains no added chemical fragrance) is a better choice. I will continue to use this lip balm overnight because I can't really give away a lip balm I've already used, and because it still technically works.

As a warning, this lip balm contains peanut oil.


Primavera Cleansing Juniper Cypress Body Oil Travel Size || Estimated Value: $12.60 CAD
This, like the lip balm, has a great mix of oils but also fragrance halfway up the ingredients list. There's more fragrance in this body oil than the titular juniper AND cypress oils! The main oils in this are sweet almond and jojoba seed.

I think the amount of oil overall compensated for the fragrance, because this oil left my skin pretty soft after my shower. However, it also left my skin with a sheen for over 6 hours! The smell reminds me of an old Vietnamese remedy my parents called "dau", but much less strong. I guessed it's supposed to be the smell of juniper and cypress, but clearly it's just added fragrance. I doubt I will use this often because of how much work and time it takes up. A good moisturizer, in my opinion, would work just as well.


Kahina Giving Eye Serum
Sample
15 mL (1 fl oz) of this stuff is a whole $78, wow! This argan oil blend of peptides and antioxidants advertises to reduce puffiness, minimize dark circles, reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restore collagen, and improve elasticity. 99% of the ingredients are "from natural origin". I did not see any ingredients that immediately set off any alarms.

The oil itself is viscous and an off-yellow colour. It looks like it will go on thick, but it doesn't, and in fact soaks in within seconds and without any sheen. Just a drop or two can cover my undereyes well. I've gotten 5-6 uses out of this sample, but I haven't had any visible change in my dark circles. However, my undereyes are incredibly soft and smooth. I would love to try this again, but not for that price!

Suki Transformative Cleansing Clay Sample
This clay is advertised as a purifying mask treatment, a spot treatment, or a daily cleanser. Because I wanted to see how it worked over time, I've been using it as a spot treatment. I was surprised to see that unlike other clay masks, this clay appears to soak in when it dries and doesn't leave my skin feeling taut and dehydrated. It's a very watery mask with a floral scent and a yellow colour. I did feel that this spot treatment helped my spots.

This, like the mascara, uses kaolin clay -- it's the second ingredient. The first ingredient is "organic roses infused with purified filtered water", but this actually doesn't mean anything. Rose water has no proven beneficial properties to the skin that regular water doesn't do (rose oil is different).

Other ingredients include rice starch (likely for thickening), white willow bark (which has salicylic acid properties), and witch hazel (which, again, has no proven benefits for the skin). I appreciate that Suki is trying to be all natural, and none of their ingredients are necessarily bad for the skin, but I do wonder how many people get sucked in to the "all natural" craze. Not everything natural is beneficial!

Overall, I'm happy with my Saffron Rouge Inner Circle subscription. Though some of the products do have fragrances and alcohols in them, they didn't seem to noticably dry me out because they're also loaded with other good stuff -- I still wish more companies would get on the fragrance-free train, though. The box cost me $24.99 and had an estimated value of $81.07 CAD, over triple what I paid! Can't complain very much about that!

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