Selfcare Review: Apa Beauty White Duo, Tooth Gloss, Lush Lip Balm

I have never tried whitening my teeth, save for a few whitening tubes of toothpaste so I was really interested when Apa Beauty sent over their whitening kit.

I tried Apa White Duo ($150) which contains the White Pen and the White Film, a two-step process to whiten the teeth. I tried using it for 90 minutes every day for 5 days. The pen provides a bit of a tingling sensation that lasts for a few seconds but isn’t bothersome. The film can feel a bit thick but once it was molded to my teeth, it clings to my teeth, making the waiting process more tolerable. After 5 days of use, I definitely saw brightening on what the film can cover. My two front teeth didn’t have any noticeable differences the others, after five days, seemed a half a shade lighter.

They also sent over the Tooth Gloss ($28) to give extra shine to the teeth and the Lush Lip Balm ($35), which has a balmy texture and appears like a gloss on my lips. It contains shea butter, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil to moisturize the lips. I prefer a more nourishing balm with no gloss for every day but I enjoy the cooling feeling this balm offers. These two, I feel like, will amp up my mouth game on a special night.

The Apa Beauty White Duo, Tooth Gloss, Lush Lip Balm were provided by @apabeauty. Available at apabeauty.com

Monthly Favorites: May 2019

Twice Early Bird and Twilight

I admit to being one of those people who forget to brush their teeth at night. So when Twice sent over their Early Bird and Twilight pastes for me to try, I didn’t deem it as extra. The black and white tubes I got serve as a reminder that oral are should include a twice a day routine.

Both pastes aim to whiten your teeth, remineralize enamel, prevent cavities, and protect against sensitivity with vitamins A, C, E, and plant-based aloe vera. They are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, cruelty-free, and are formulated without SLS, PEGs, parabens, sugar, carrageenan, triclosan, sulfates, and alcohol. Twice also provides 10 percent of its profits to GLO Good Foundation, which serves communities in dire need of proper dental care.

Early Bird contains wintergreen and peppermint to give you a wakeup call. Its taste is similar to the everyday toothpaste so it didn’t feel much of a change. On the other hand, Twilight is a blend of peppermint, vanilla, and lavender for nighttime relaxation. This toothpaste tastes sweeter than your normal toothpaste making it feel calming. Both tubes of toothpaste are cleansing and gentle on my teeth. After weeks of use, I noticed that my teeth don’t get as sensitive and, of course, the effect of brushing twice a day has so many benefits – my teeth were brighter and they felt ultimately cleaner.

Twice Early Bird and Twilight were provided by @twice. Available for $17 at smiletwice.com

Sensse Face Contour Definer

I am no stranger to facial rollers but the Face Contour Definer from Sensse is unlike anything I have in my face roller collection.

Promising to be a mini fave workout, the Face Contour Definer is designed to fit the contour of the face to promote blood circulation, stimulate collagen production, and lift and sculpt the face.

I like running this along on my jawline, which, fun fact, I never realized could feel tired until I tried a face roller. While face rollers, for me feels incredibly soothing on the forehead and eye areas, this is the most soothing on the jaw area. This immediately relaxes my muscles, since I tend to either talk a lot or not talk at all. It’s easy to use and the two-prongs soothe both the face and neck area. With its luxe design, using it always makes me feel elegant and the massaging it does feels luxurious as well. I don’t exactly have what other people call a jawline, so the sculpting and lifting part wouldn’t be noticeable but what I really love about this is it made me realize how tense my jaw area is and it greatly helped on that end.

The Sensse Facial Contour Definer was provided by @sensse and @nbpr. Available for £39.99 at senssebeauty.com

Dose Skin Anti Dose

Do you ever notice how your skin looks good in places with clean air? Like you are actually glowing, there is much less dirt when you remove your makeup, and your skin just feels so soft.

That’s what Dose Skin is all about. They want to take action against environmental stressors with their first product, the Anti Dose. It promises to be a “second skin” to prevent and delay the aging effects of polluted air.

It contains ectoin to preserve and strengthen, adaptogenic extracts to delay the effects of oxidative stress, antioxidants like arctic root to diminish visible signs of aging, chia seed extract and biosaccharide gum-4 to form a protective barrier, chaga mushroom to moisturize, white birch to brighten, maral root and rice bran to slow visible signs of skin stress and environmental aggressors, resurrection plant to improve radiance and replenish the moisture barrier, siberian ginseng to soothe and enhance radiance, centella asiatica to soften and soothe dry skin, white tea and reservatrol to replenish tired skin and fight sources of oxidative stress, spinach to soothe, snow algae to repair, and moringa peptide to facilitates the removal of micro-particle pollution from the skin. This product is also free of fragrances, alcohol, essential oil, and menthol.

This has a gel-like texture and feels lightweight. It’s odorless and gentle on the skin as well. I like applying this in the morning before sunscreen. I like that this is full of antioxidants and after more than a month of use, this helped brighten and clear my skin. Getting into skincare made me notice the small things. For example, I easily get dull skin in the middle of the week so I need to exfoliate. I also like using brightening serums every other day to combat it. Using this though, helped make my skin look not so dull anymore. It is a good addition in my routine as it noticeably helps protect my skin and prevent dullness.

The Dose Skin Anti Dose was provided by @doseskin. Available for $60 at doseskin.com

Nuria Defend Skin Shielding Essence

The Defend Skin Shielding Essence from Nuria contains ginseng root, carob, careegan, agar, gold, niacinamide, and glycerin to target environmental toxins, restore skin’s antioxidant capacity, improve skin suppleness, help reduce the look of fine lines and dullness, and shield the skin from fine dust.

First off, this looks cute. The bottle has a few pinks beads and the essence has a few gold flecks in it. I like using this in the morning instead of applying a moisturizer. It light gel-like texture makes my skin look plump and feel bouncy. It offers enough hydration and goes well under my makeup. Using this helped keep my skin from

looking dull especially after being outside for long periods of time.

The Nuria Defend Skin Shielding Essence

These products were provided by @nuriabeauty and @stylehouseco . Available for $48 at nuriabeauty.com

Saint Iris Adriatica Purity Paste

A first in my stash, the Purity Paste from Saint Iris Adriatica is a 3-minute #bodymask to gently exfoliate the skin, improve its texture, and leave it rejuvenated and glowing. Suitable to also be used as a face mask, this contains mediterranean cedar micro-dust, willow bark extract, olive, seaberry, seaweed protein, cherry kernel oil, and 10 essential wildplant oil like borage and rosehip.

This cruelty-free mask is a really gentle exfoliator. I’m really more of a mask person than a scrub person so this was enjoyable for me to apply. The brush that it came with is also so soft and I was able to apply the mask all over my arms and legs evenly and quickly. The mask has a slight tan tint but it didn’t stick to my skin. The rinsing off part was a bit messy though because the tint went straight to my bathroom tiles so this is best used in the tub to avoid staining corners. However, it left my skin soft and kind of smooth without the heavy cream feeling most exfoliators have. I like using this twice a month as part of my selfcare ritual.

The Saint Iris Adriatica Purity Paste was provided by @saintirisadriatica. Available for £48.00 at siadritica.com

Grown Alchemist Detox Toner

There is a lot of talk on the need for a toner, however, for #oilyskin, I like using one to rehydrate my skin after cleansing, remove additional dirt, and ready my face before using actives and other serums.

The Detox Toner from Growth Alchemist uses hydrolyzed algin from kelp, peptide-33, rhodiola rosea extract to remove impurities while noticeably regenerating and repairing damaged skin cells; reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has polysaccharides, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, panax ginseng root extract, and reishi mushroom extract to detoxify the skin and stimulate the production of collagen.

This face toner is a literal treat for me because it smells so much like roses. It is watery but it feels like it has some weight to it, making it feel hydrating and moisturizing to the skin. It’s one of the most hydrating toners I’ve tried. So hydrating that it doesn’t aggravate the oiliness of my skin the whole day. It also leaves the skin feeling soft and plump.

The Grown Alchemist Detox Toner was provided by @grownalchemist @materiae and @davidpirottabrands. Available for $58 at materiae.com

Cult Favorite: Marvis Toothpaste

Who knew a toothpaste could be so hyped up it reaches cult status?

Made in Florence, Italy, Marvis promises to provide fresh breath through a rich and creamy toothpaste that removes plaque and helps prevent tooth decay while packed in a vintage looking tube. Their toothpaste, which has graced multiple shelfies and bathroom photos, are also vegan, cruelty-free and are made without fluoride, paraben, and gluten.

The Classic Mint Toothpaste ($10.50 for 75ml) has an enticing peppermint flavor. This is classic for a reason. It’s the right kind of mint, not too subtle that you can’t feel or taste it after gargling and not too strong that it stings. I get why people like it especially with having so many options and mint flavors out there, it’s nice to get an old-school taste that you know will work.

The Whitening Mint Toothpaste ($7.50 for 25ml) carries the same minty taste plus whitening benefits. It does brighten my teeth a bit without having to use this as a treatment. It doesn’t sting or tingle.

Marvis toothpaste honestly doesn’t offer better cleansing benefits compared to generic toothpaste but they are just so nice to use. They are gentle and offer the right kind of flavor that last long. Also, the packaging is just to die for.

The Marvis Classic Mint Toothpaste and Whitening Mint Toothpaste were provided by @marvis @cobigelow and @tractenbergandco. Available at bigelowchemists.com

Monthly Favorites: February 2019

Touchland Power Mist

I was never a hand sanitizer person, never one of those people who kept one dangling in her bag. Then I grew up and realized how dry my hands can get during the day. I now have one on my desk and one in my bag.

The Power Mist from Touchland is a hand sanitizer in a modern and sleek design claiming to provide 500+ sprays to keep the hands bacteria-free, deliciously-scented, and moisturized. It contains ethyl alcohol denat to cleanse, aloe vera to moisturize, glycereth-26 to smooth, radish root ferment filtrate for antimicrobial protection, and lime and lemon essential oils. Touchland also dedicates 5% of their profits in providing sanitizing hygiene solutions to developing countries where there’s water scarcity.

I have the Mint and Forest Berry scents. They both sink in quickly and it takes about four sprays to cover both hands. Mint has a fresh scent while Forest Berry smells like sweet berries. I use it about four times while in the office to help keep my hands moisturized. I like it’s flat and sleek packaging fits easily in my bag and the colors are bright so it’s easy to find.

The Touchland Power Mist Mint and Forest Berry were provided by @touchland. Available for $11.95 each at touchland.com

Goby Rose Electric Toothbrush

I am honestly more scared of the dentist than the doctor. My teeth are weak little shits – I’ve had braces, impacted tooth, bleeding gums, and all those lonely and painful visits to the dentist’s office. So, like skincare routines, I brush my teeth religiously and do everything I can for me not to here my dentist saying, “we need to do something about your teeth.” I’m willing to try anything to avoid spending more than an hour with my dentist.

One of the things I tried is the Electric Toothbrush from Goby. I have it in Rose, a cute pink electric toothbrush included in a kit. The kit contains the electric toothbrush that can be used in two speeds (normal and sensitive). It also has a built-in timer that prompts for 30-second cleansing in every quadrant. The kit also contains a magnetic USB charging shell, an oscillating brush head, a hygienic stand, and a brush head cover.

Compared to other electric toothbrushes, this has a slim toothbrush that can easily be brought anywhere. Aside from making space for its stand, which you can bring to your travels or not, this doesn’t take up too much space in your toiletry bag. It also has a cover for the bristles, a plus when you’re bringing this on-the-go. The actual brush itself has soft bristles so it doesn’t make my gums bleed. It’s also small enough to easily reach the corners of my mouth. I also choose the sensitive mode and it feels cleansing yet gentle on my mouth. I just like it. It’s pretty and effective, what more can I ask for?

Goby is also n partnership with the NYU College of Dentistry’s Global Student Outreach Program donating a percentage of their sales to help provide dental services to people around the world so you’re taking care of your teeth and other people’s as well.

The Goby Rose Electric Toothbrush was provided by @goby. Available as a kit for $60 at goby.com

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Overnight Cream

Newly released by Caudalie, the Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Overnight Cream promises to be a dark-spot-diminishing night cream using papaya extract, glycolic acid, and vine sap viniferine. It also contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump, vegetal butylene glucol to moisturize.

This moisturizer smells amazing, as per usual. It has a creamy consistency but has a heavy and buttery texture that scared my oily skin a bit at first. I felt like I’m slathering butter on my face. Fortunately, once massaged onto the skin, it doesn’t feel oily or slick at all. It feels like it emulsifies into a think silky texture that sinks into the skin but leaves a bit of a tacky texture. Amazingly enough, this offers enough hydration and moisture to my skin through the night so I don’t wake up with oilier skin than when I use other heavy moisturizers. I like using this during the weekdays when my skin is exposed to the outdoor and indoor aggressors the most as this helps keep my skin from looking dull the day after. This also helps brighten the skin especially on the darker parts of my face like around my mouth area. I can use this a the moisturizer in my routine or as a sleeping mask if I’m in need of extra moisture and plumpness. I feel like in conjunction with the Vinoperfect Serum, this really helps lightening spots and offer radiance and brightness to the skin. Even if I have an oily skin, I didn’t feel that this is clogging my skin and it doesn’t feel too heavy at all but I would have to see how this works on my skin in the summer. Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying using this, oily skin and all.

The Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Overnight Cream was provided by @caudalie. Available for $65 at us.caudalie.com

Kari Gran Suji Red & Jolene Lip Whip Pair

After discovering a plethora of balms that are not too thick, too sticky, or too “balmy,” I have gotten on the #lipbalm wagon and stayed there. Of course, with the occasional ride on the matte lip town car, but never without a balm underneath. I have a few tinted balms in my arsenal and the Lip Whip from Kari Gran carved itself space there.

At first, I was confused why Kari Gran calls theirs Lip Whip but using it let me understand why. Tagged as the “Better Balm,” the Lip Whip promises to be the perfect mix between a balm and a lipstick while nourishing and moisturizing the lips using vitamin e, camellia oil, and sunflower oil. They are also cruelty-free and are without petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, chemical additives, preservatives, or synthetic fragrance.

I have the Suji Red & Jolene Lip Whip Pair with Suji, a ruby-toned lip whip named after one of the founder’s daughters, and Jolene, which is named after Jolene Hart and can go from a sheer pink to an opaque fuchsia.

Both have a whipped buttery texture that feels nourishing to the lips. Jolene applies in a bright pink that’s good for everyday and Suji gives a wine-colored lip and has a bit more color making it great at night.

The Lip Whip feels like a heavier lip balm and has a cool, minty feel on the lips so it’s really soothing. Since it’s heavier and slicker than most balms out there, this is best applied with a lip brush for me, especially if you want a brighter lip. It can still be applied with your fingers but that offers a sheerer finish and would take more work if you want to build the color.

Nevertheless, it feels nice on and both can be built up if you want a stronger lip color. The color wouldn’t last through a meal but it leaves the lips moisturized, soft and smooth. Honestly, I just like this because of the fact that it’s one of the brightest lip balms I have and it doesn’t sacrifice my need for lip moisture and nourishment.

The Kari Gran Suji Red & Jolene Lip Whip Pair were provided by @karigran and @kiterocket. Available as a pair for $40 or individually for $24 at karigran.com

Brand Overview: The Wildist

With the promise of elevating daily essentials, The Wildist created products that are gentle, made from natural ingredients, and are recyclable.

Their Natural Toothpaste comes in 3 flavors – Brillimint, Soothinger, and Dreamomile. Available for $7 each or as a bundle from $18, these tubes of toothpaste are vegan. Brillimint has a peppermint and spearmint flavor and uses white tea and goji berry. Soothinger is recommended for those with sensitive gums, contains turmeric and ginger root, and has a ginger and wintergreen flavor. The Dreamomile promises to whiten teeth using activated charcoal. It also contains spearmint and chamomile.

It’s my first time trying an organic toothpaste so I tried Brillamint first to slowly ease myself in. I figured it will have the closest taste to a normal toothpaste. It has a minty flavor, of course, and taste like normal tubes of toothpaste the market. It’s also equally cleansing and equally refreshing. Surprisingly enough, Soothinger doesn’t overly taste like ginger. The minty taste is what prevails. I don’t have sensitive gums but this actually felt soothing and has the same feel as Brillimint. They both don’t lather like the normal toothpaste that I use but they still feel cleansing. Out of the bunch, Dreamomile is the closest in terms of feel and texture to the toothpaste I use. It foams more than the other two and best used at night as it feels more hardworking in cleaning the teeth. It also provides subtle whitening but what I like best about this are the consistency and texture. It feels a bit coarser than the other two and feels like it deeply cleanses my mouth.

They also offer a Natural Deodorant ($14) and I got mine in Tangellow. It aims to work for those with sensitive skin and adds a layer of moisture. It uses hop to prevent odor and tapioca starch to prevent wetness.

This is my second time using a natural deodorant and I have to say, this provided me a much better experience than the first time. The deodorant has a subtle citrus scent and dries clear on my underarms. It managed the sweating better and didn’t give off a bad odor after 12 hours of use, even when I was outdoors. It lasts the whole day if I’m just in the office and half a day if I’m outdoors. It has also helped whiten my underarms and gave me a refreshing feeling all day long.

Another like, the products from The Wildist not only comes in a cute, displayable packaging, they are also effective and a great alternative to those looking for a natural alternative to their essentials.

The Wildist Natural Toothpaste and Deodorant were provided by The Wildist as PR. Available at thewildist.com