InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer and Vitamin C Serum

InstaNatural is US company based in Florida with beauty and skincare products inspired by nature.  They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe.  Today is the 6th and final installment of my reviews on InstaNatural’s products.  I saved the best for last, because these two vitamin C products are my favourite from InstaNatural’s line!

You can read my earlier posts on other products in InstaNatural’s line here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

76L0OV3hRiOMjvyhrHqK_FrontVITAMIN C MOISTURIZER

Key Ingredients:

  • 20% Vitamin C
  • 5% Niacinamide
  • 5% Hyaluronic Acid
  • Plant Stem Cells
  • Peptide Complex

This moisturizer has an attractive ingredients list.  In addition to the vitamin C, it has two of my favourite ingredients – niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.  When it comes to moisturizer, texture is very important to me.  This moisturizer comes in a pump, and is a light lotion-cream with no discernible fragrance.  It applies smooth on the face and does take a little time to absorb, but is not unpleasant or tacky.  I used this as the last or second to last step (if I apply sunscreen) in my routine in the AM, and although I love the ingredients, I’m a little skeptical on how well the vitamin C can work because generally products with active ingredients should be used as one of your first steps after washing, not the last.  Regardless, this is a nice feeling moisturizer that does keep my face hydrated through the day.

71yEY9k9lAL._SL1500VITAMIN C SERUM

Key Ingredients:

  • 20% Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Ferulic Acid
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Plant Stem Cells
  • Pomegranate

This serum comes in an opaque dropper bottle, and it is milky yellow with a pleasant citrusy scent.  The consistency of the serum is not too watery, and in my opinion it is the perfect thickness for a serum.  The type of vitamin C used here is sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is more stable than L-ascorbic acid, and can perform at a higher pH.  That’s nice because I don’t have to worry about keeping the serum out of light/in the fridge or trying to use it up quickly.  I have been using this serum every other day for 2 weeks in the AM.  In my routine, I use it immediately after washing and wait for it to dry before applying toner, moisturizer and sunscreen.

Because I used both vitamin C products in conjunction, I can’t say which one worked the magic, but magic happened!  I noticed a significant improvement in fading hyperpigmentation, especially for newer acne scars.  Although some stubborn discoloration remains, the time it took for my new acne marks to go away was cut short by a few days, which makes a huge difference for me.  Going forward I plan to just use one product or the other, to avoid stressing my face.

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Kiss Me Organics Matcha and DIY Matcha Mask

I love all things matcha, as this powdered tea is yummy and not to mention healthy, whether you eat it or use it in skincare.  Because it contains the entire tea leaf, matcha is said to have more nutrients and benefits than brewed green tea.  Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Organic Matcha is made from tea leaves harvested on a certified organic farm located in Shizuoka, Japan.

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Matcha is a potent ingredient, and this 4 oz (113 g) bag is huge considering how little you’ll need to use most of the time.  It is in a resealable airtight and waterproof bag, which is fine for keeping the powder safe, but I would prefer a jar for convenience.

Green tea is an anti-oxidant and helps with inflammation.  It has also been shown to decrease sebum production and thus help prevent acne.  This simple mask is my go-to when I’m suffering from breakouts and really needing to detox.  Plus, it smells AMAZING!   Like a mud mask, rinse off when it dries and hardens.

DIY MATCHA MASK

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Mix and apply.  That it’s!  Culinary grade (as opposed to the more expensive ceremonial grade) matcha will be fine for this mask.  Yogurt taken straight out of the fridge makes this mask oh-so-cooling.  If you don’t have yogurt on hand,  you can also substitute in 1 teaspoon water, although I prefer the consistency of the yogurt.  If you have dry skin, you can add honey.

My first Ten Three Labs order! Swatches of Hunger Games shadows, holiday salve and smudge sticks

Happy New Year!! My first post in 2015 is on some products that I’m really happy about.

OH MY GOD I was excited for this order, but Ten Three Labs has exceeded my expectations! I ordered the Rocky Blogger Sample Show, which includes 1 salve stick and 4 smudge sticks.  I asked Cara, the owner of Ten Three Labs, for any Hunger Games samples if she’s got some left over.  She sent me THREE FULL SIZE shadows instead!  Incredible.  I don’t think I’ll ever leave indie makeup now.

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From left to right: SHADOWS Not Real, Ash On Leather, Real SALVE/SMUDGE STICKS Gingerbread Haus, Princess, Nice List, La Maison Derriere, Naughty List

The order also came with some candy and a snap bracelet.  Remember those?  Helloooo my 90s childhood!  Everything is shrink wrapped, which I appreciate (PRO TIP: don’t be a dummy like me and rip off the shrink wrap on the salve/smudge sticks all the way.  Its perforated at the top so you can just take off the cap part and keep the rest protected).

Cara of Ten Three Labs is really amazing with customer service.  I emailed her with a concern about the salve stick, and she responded within the hour!  I’m also impressed with Ten Three Labs’ TAT, especially during the holiday season.

Ordered: December 18, 2014

Shipped: December 23, 2014

Received: December 26, 2014

The Rocky Blogger Sampler Show (smudge sticks edition) cost $18 plus shipping.

SHADOWS

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From top to bottom: Ash On Leather, Real, Not Real

I’m so psyched that these shadows were thrown in as freebies; I still can’t believe it since they’re all full sized.  The names of these shadows hit me right in the feels, especially Real and Not Real (OH MY GOD PEETA BABY!).  I think Ash On Leather comes from this quote, from Mockingjay:

“I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.”

All shadows are swatched with Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer on the right and bare on the left.  In my opinion, the pigmentation is pretty good even without the primer (especially Ash On Leather), although the staying power is much better with.

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From top to bottom: Ash On Leather, Real, Not Real

NOT REAL

“I need tissue. I can’t deal.”

Ethereal white with multicolored shifts. Lip safe, contains glitter!

The glitter in this is very subtle, and the color as a whole definitely feels ethereal, like fairy dust.

REAL

“Right in the feels, man.”

Dark brown base with a green shift. Lip safe!

On me, the ‘green shift’ is really noticeable, lending a camo green feeling.

ASH ON LEATHER

“No spoilers here since this is from the very first page. Wait. Maybe spoilers if you haven’t read Mockingjay yet. Okay, I will avoid spoilers somehow. But Katniss walking around spoilers and looking around at spoilers, the ash on leather remark stuck with me.”

Blackened gray.

Whoops.  I guess I spoiled it already 😛 BUT it’s the first sentence from the first page so… please forgive me.  Ash On Leather is even more beautiful in person, because the camera fails to capture the full spectrum of shimmer.  To me, the shimmer is primarily green-blue-purple.

SALVE STICK

Salve sticks are lip balms, and they are made with avocado oil and mango seed butter. I have very dry lips and most lip balms don’t cut it for me (yes, I have tried them all).  So far, the salve stick is smooth without being oily and tacky.  I find the texture of the salve stick unlike any other lip balm, and I really love it. There is a little tingling from the mint on application, which goes away quickly.  There is a slight graininess (which I think is from the way different oils cool; e.g. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy and Julep Luxe Lip is like this too), but this goes away immediately after being warmed up on the lips.  I emailed Cara about this, and she said that it’s due to the temperature fluctuations during shipping, and is not harmful.

If my lips are already peeling, then the salve stick doesn’t really help (unlike the Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, which makes lip peelies go away), but it doesn’t exacerbate it either (damn you Burt’s Bees!).  Out of everything I received, salve sticks are what I want to get more of immediately, to make sure I always have one handy!

Gingerbread Haus has a light sweet Gingerbread scent with a touch of peppermint.  This scent was part of the 2014 Holiday Limited Editions.

SMUDGE STICKS

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From top to bottom: Naughty List, La Maison Derriere, Nice List, Princess

Smudge sticks have the same base formula as salve sticks, but are tinted.  With the ones I got, especially Nice List and La Maison Derriere, they were so pigmented that I think they are more like lipsticks.  Because the smudge sticks are in a moisturizing base, they feel great on the lips, but their wear time is short, and with some formulas, may get patchy over time (for me, Naughty List did this).

Nice List and Naughty List are part of the holiday collection, and La Maison Derriere is a Simpsons reference.  Cara says that the main collection of smudge sticks, including Princess, will be phased out on January 15 so that they can focus on the limited edition collections, so I’m glad I grabbed it now.

I like the oval shaped tube because it keeps it from tumbling around my desk, but I had a hard time applying these properly because of the oval shape. I’m getting better with practice. I actually don’t recommend using a lip brush with these.  The formula has a lot of slip for moisture, and when I tried using a brush the colors were just pushed around but not spread evenly. With the non-sparkly colors, I found that they actually make a nice matte lip after blotting.

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From top to bottom: Naughty List, La Maison Derriere, Nice List, Princess

All the smudge sticks are swatched straight out of the tube, with two coats.

PRINCESS

Peach with gold flecks, peach flavored

Because this one is not opaque, there is a noticeable difference between top and bottom lip.  I wish the base color was stronger so that it would look less like a gloss and more like a lipstick.

NICE LIST

Coral red

This is a great everyday color for me, mellow but cheery. It actually has pretty good coverage, even with just one coat.

LA MAISON DERRIERE

Put the spring back in Springfield while wearing this dark vampy color!

The Simpsons episode that it references is hilarious, and wearing this color definitely makes me feel a little burlesque-risque. This is my favourite color of all the smudge sticks!  It takes two coats to get even and opaque.  This tube was actually overfilled (more product, whoop).  In the swatch picture, it looks patchy because the tube was overfilled so not flat on the top like the others.  I promise that with two coats it looks perfect on the lips.

NAUGHTY LIST

Deep violet with a red sheen

I found that on me, Naughty List actually shows up closer to black. This one is really hard to get an even color on, even after applying a few coats with a brush.  Because of it’s moisturizing formula, it seems to slip a lot, and it’s very noticeable because of the color.  It also makes any cracks and chapping more noticeable.  I think it looks better after blotting, but then it looks a little grey and loses its sheen.  I’m a little disappointed in this one, but I think I have finicky lips, so YMMV.

This was my first ever purchase from Ten Three Labs, but it won’t be my last!