Thursday, 10 April 2014

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle April 2014 Review

 I'm taking a break from studying for finals to review what is looking to be one of my favourite subscription boxes yet! I'm very lucky in this case, because this box actually ships from Guelph, Ontario -- my home province. That means I get this box within a few days of it being shipped.

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

First look (not pictured: pink mesh drawstring bag)
I'm amazed that they manage to fit all of these things into such a tiny bag/box. This month's theme is flowers, to celebrate the coming of spring (finally)! As usual, all prices are converted to CAD.

Mai Couture Lavender Blotting Papier Full Size (100 sheets) || Value: $14.21 CAD
You know I have a complicated relationship with lavender. Still, I imagine the amount of lavender oil in this couldn't possibly be enough to be harmful, especially since they still need to be able to blot oil properly. I think these will be super useful in the summer.

red flower Ocean Body Lotion 3oz || Estimated value: $10.65 CAD
This body lotion is fragrance- and paraben-free. However, it does have alcohol in it. Why? I don't know. Not even red flower seems to know, because on their website their benefits list for "certified organic alcohol" (which means nothing, by the way -- beer, after all, is also "natural") is completely blank! This lotion smells very heavily of cardamom, which I unfortunately associate with medicine. I'll be gifting this to someone.

Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil 10mL/0.34 fl oz || Estimated value: $4.00 CAD
This is a tiny, tiny, tiny bottle of body oil! I wonder if I'll be able to use it more than once. This contains jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, rosa moschata and rosa damascena flower seed oil. These are all great oils! The fourth ingredient is fragrance (booo). Subsequent ingredients appear to be components of citrus oil, at least some of which do oxidize when exposed to light and air. Given how tiny this sample is, I may just use it for my feet (my usual place for fragrance- and citrus-heavy products).

Vapour Mesmerize Eyeliner Viper Full Size || Value: $21.84 CAD
They were giving 500 of these away for free just a little bit ago, so Saffron Rouge Inner Circle must have gotten them as part of a deal. I'm not complaining! I've been needing a new brown eyeliner, and a cruelty free one is always a plus. This has great ingredients and is gluten-free, though I don't think gluten can pass through the epidermis (much less affect you in such a small amount). This eyeliner goes on very smoothly and softly. The attached smudging brush is nice to have.

Inika Creme Eyeshadow Champagne Full Size || Value: $27.30 CAD
This cream eyeshadow has a bunch of hydrating ingredients, primarily aloe vera, to keep the eyes hydrated while you have it on. Champagne is a shimmery, faintly gold/cream colour. It has a very subtle shimmer, and doesn't leave huge glitter particles on my face. It's nice and sheer, and I like it that way. Building it up doesn't work so well, because it's just too hard to get an even layer of opacity over the eyelid. Apparently, this can be used as a highlighter as well.

Lotus Wei Mists - Inspired Action and Joy Juice 10mL each || Combined estimated value: $17.49 CAD
Uh, I thought these were just little samples and nearly didn't check the value, but 50mL of these little mists are a whopping $40 USD! I'm can't say I'm impressed, though -- I've never been one for aromatherapy or the like. I suggest that if you're very into holistic therapy, vibration therapy, and what Lotus Wei calls "Flower Alchemy", you finish reading this post now.

What Lotus Wei is advertising a pile of horsefeathers. I find the Lotus Wei booklet and website quite patronizing, because it hits every point on a list of pseudoscience characteristics. Take a look at these paragraphs, which I received from their About page:
Flower alchemy is simply another way of receiving the nourishing properties of plants — but instead of taking in oxygen, you’re taking in pure flower essences, suspended in water— liquid energy that transforms your mood + your mind through your acupuncture meridians.
"Pure flower essences" is a buzzword. Essences are simply flower material diluted in water, which creates smells, and smells are simply chemicals in the air that react with receptors in our nostrils and send signals up to our brains. Water, dead flowers, and essential oils do not have "energy" in them, and there's no way you can breath in flower essences instead of oxygen. Oh, and acupuncture meridians have never been proven to exist
Flower alchemy is based on the premise that your body operates like a finely-tuned instrument. Sometimes, it rings with perfect pitch — everything in perfect alignment. Sometimes, it needs a little re-tuning.
Flower essences act as a natural tuning fork — bringing your body back in tune with a subtle electrical vibration.
This means nothing at all and is just included to sound spiritual and intelligent by using a metaphor. Because flower essences are smells, as I said, they have no electrical properties. Take a voltage meter and stick it in some essential oil. I'll guarantee that you'll get no real electrical vibration -- and even if you did, there's no reason to think that a subtle electrical vibration can do anything good for the body. After all, there are "subtle electrical vibrations" coming off of whatever device you're reading this from right now.

That isn't to say aromatherapy can't do some of the things it purports to do. Some commonly used aromas, like lavender, have been suggested to have some psychological effects like inducing relaxation. The number of truly standardized studies on aromatherapy have been low, especially because many scientists are motivated to find results because they are funded by companies selling aromatherapy products. Still, for the most part, keeping lavender or citrus around the house isn't a bad thing if you feel the smell makes you more relaxed. I do not recommend using either on the face, though, especially not citrus oil, as Lotus Wei suggests doing with these.

However, you do not have to pay upwards of $40 to get any positive effects from aromatherapy. You can easily obtain the main ingredients of these mists (the two pictured above are citrus-based), some other essential oils (lavender, rosewood, and so on), some fresh flowers, and boil them all in water on the stove to fill your house with the exact same stuff these mists have.

My thoughts on these mists? Cute, but I know the dangers of putting citrus essential oils on my face. I may use them to spray my clothes as a perfume, because they do smell nice. I did try both on my face, and no, they had no effect on making me happier (quite the opposite in fact, because I knew what was in them). They did inspire action in me to rant about them, though!


Overall, this month's box totaled over $90 CAD retail! Even without the products I'm not a huge fan of, I'm getting nearly three times what I paid for. I still highly recommend this box, as long as you're careful to research the ingredients of the products they give and don't just trust what advertisers tell you!


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