Category: Decorative Cosmetics

Review: Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Creme

Eye cream is one of those products I am not entirely convinced is necessary. I realize that the skin of the orbital region is thinner and more fragile than that of the rest of the face, and is also one of the first areas to show signs of aging. But I have used a lot of eye creams over the years, some inexpensive, and some eye-wateringly pricy and chock-full of impossible sounding ingredients sourced from exotic regions of the world I wasn’t previously aware existed, and yet, none had ever wowed me with their performance.

Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Creme

When Tata Harper first entered my radar, I was intrigued by the ethos of the brand, and particularly drawn to the luxe glass packaging. There were several products I wanted to test out, but the reviews seemed a little too glowing to be true, so I repeatedly passed on the opportunity. That is, until I became aware of the existence of the Illuminating Eye Creme. Initially I thought that it simply contained brightening ingredients, something to counteract the dark circles so many people suffer from. I was not immediately aware that it actually contained mica, which provided a subtle shimmer and in turn allowed it to function simultaneously as a highlighter.

You see, I love shimmer. Absolutely love it. When someone describes a product as “too glittery”, or even “fit for an exotic dancer”, I am in. That’s how I ended up with a bottle of the Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion (which I do love, by the way). A couple of days after I purchased my current automobile, my brother hopped in for a ride, and remarked that he had had his vehicle for over five years, and it was glitter-free. I had had my car for a mere 48 hours, and already, the door panels, steering wheel, shifter, and cup holders were sparkling. I can’t help it! I am addicted and I do not want help.

Swatch of the Illuminating Eye Creme

Several reviews I read on the Illuminating Eye Creme noted that it was too illuminating. TOO ILLUMINATING? Add to cart! What’s better is that it is also multitasking, in that it can be used around the eye area for brightness, but also on the high points of the face, to offer a subtle highlight. With my propensity for multitaskers and my undying love of sparkling products, I had a gut feeling that this was going to be a winner product for me. I was right.

From Tata Harper’s website:

“Complete age-defying eye treatment with a soft-focus luminescence using real diamond dust for a highlighting effect. Instantly illuminates the look of the eye area. Minimizes the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles. Reduces appearance of puffiness, dark shadows and fatigue.

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 61% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming.Natural Cosmetic certified by Ecocert Greenlife according to Ecocert Standard.

Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Aqua/Water, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/leaf/stem Water*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Mica, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl alcohol, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) Oleosomes*, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Titanium Dioxide (CI. 77891), Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract*, Silybum marianum (Milk thistle) ethyl ester, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Beta vulgaris/Beet Root Extract/Extrait de racine de betterave, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pheonix Dactylifera (Date) Seed Extract, Polygonum fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Seed Extract, Diamond Powder, Cetearyl glucoside, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerotium gum, Narcissus tazetta (Daffodil) Bulb Extract*, Menyanthes Trifoliata Leaf Extract, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) Extract, Cetyl Palmitate, Oryza sativa (Rice) Extract*, Lactobacillus/Arundinaria Gigantea Ferment Filtrate, Arnica montana (Arnica) Extract*, Borago officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria Flower Extract*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Aroma**, Sodium Phytate, Superoxide Dismutase*, Soybean Peroxidase*, Iron Oxides (C.I. 77891), Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool *Ingredients from Organic farming / Ingrédients issus de l’agriculture biologique **Clinical grade essential oils blend”

Only the tiniest dot of product is needed to completely cover the under eye area, and enough product is generally left over to also swipe down the nose and over the cupid’s bow. I find that it is a bit too rich to be used on the lid itself, as it makes my eyeshadow crease, regardless of how much product I use, so I instead focus the application on the under eye and upper cheek bones. I disagree that it is too illuminating, as some have said– I find that on my very fair skin, it provides enough luminosity to make a difference, but remains completely natural and fresh looking.

In terms of its performance as a hydrator, I will say that it certainly does provide a good dose of moisture, but if it weren’t for the luminosity, I wouldn’t consider it a necessity, especially for the price. But since such a small amount does so much in terms of an overall glow, I am satisfied, and will repurchase when my current bottle runs out, albeit for a discounted price during the Sephora VIB sale.

In sum: if you are looking for a hydrating eye cream/highlighter with a pearly-white luster, give the Illuminating Eye Creme by Tata Harper a whirl. Several e-commerce sites, including the brand’s webpage, Sephora.com, and Nordstrom.com, also carry kits with trial/travel-sized products, which are an excellent way to introduce yourself to higher end brands without dropping too much cash for something you aren’t certain will work for you.

 

What are some of your favorite natural illuminating products? I’d love to discover some new favorites from fellow glow lovers!

Review: Mineral Fusion Illuminating Powder Quad

When you are perpetually running behind schedule, no matter how well you thought you had planned out your day the night before, reliable, multitasking products are indispensable. I would be embarrassed to admit how many days of my life I have spent wondering what shades to slap on to pull my look together, while anxiously glancing at my phone to see how much time I have left before I need to be out of the door and on my way to work.

Mineral Fusion Illuminating Powder Quad

Enter the Mineral Fusion Illuminating Powder Quad. As the name implies, it is a mineral-based illuminating powder that is comprised of four finely milled shades that compliment each other splendidly when worn all at once, but can also be applied individually for a more tailored look. In my moments of panic, I furiously swirl my blush brush around the entire compact about three or four turns, swipe the product up my cheekbones, and voila– I look as though I have returned to the land of the living.

From Mineral Fusion’s webpage:

“Four universally flattering shades of silky, light-reflecting minerals blend together and apply effortlessly to highlight and illuminate, leaving skin softly glowing. Wear alone or layered on top of blush or bronzer for added color.

Ingredients:

Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca (Sea Kelp) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol. MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Iron Oxides, Carmine, Manganese Violet, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Ultramarines.”

A well-loved compact, and its replacement

The illuminating minerals impart a healthy, rosy glow, while simultaneously reflecting light from the high points of your face, just as one would expect a highlighter to do (and also meaning that this step can be skipped altogether!). Better yet, I have consistently worn this product for several years, through many 12+ hour work days, and have never found that it oxidizes or fades away, as mineral makeup often tends to do.

On a whim, I recently used the dusty purple shade on its own, as an eyeshadow, and I was floored– it was so flattering, and really brought out the green tones in my hazel eyes. Paired with nothing but an inky black mascara, my eye look was complete, and not a bit rushed in appearance. Nothing beats simplicity!

Another major plus is that this Illuminating Powder Quad from Mineral Fusion is readily available at a number of health food grocers, namely Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods, making it easy to swatch, purchase, and in my case, repurchase about once a year.

In sum: with four delectable shades, blending seamlessly together to impart an enviable glow, one cannot go wrong purchasing this quad compact. It’s steadfast performance and the stunning luminosity it imparts on the face make it a go-to product that you are sure to reach for time and time again, whether you’re in a rush, or have time to leisurely get ready for the day.

What multitasking products do you stock in your cosmetic arsenal?

Review: Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara (Supernova)

If I could use only one decorative cosmetic item for the rest of my days, I would choose mascara. While the appearance of a clear and even visage that foundation lends is daily necessity for me, and a bold lip cannot be discounted as a game-changing component of an overall look, nothing makes quite as strong of an impact on my face as long, dark lashes do.

From Pacifica’s webpage:

You will fall in love with our long lasting, nourishing, natural mineral mascara. This amazing formula is infused with coconut oil and vitamin B to hydrate each lash as it lengthens, strengthens and adds volume. Apply for a natural look by day, or layer for more volume with our super plush 100% vegan brush that provides effortless coverage. 

Ingredients:

aqua, glyceryl stearate*, cetearyl alcohol*, hydroxyethylcellulose*, sorbitan olivate*, glycerin*, citric acid*, acrylates cross polymer, xantham gum*, tocopherol* (vitamin E), jojoba esters*, panthenol (vitamin B)*, arabia/acacia gum*, potassium sorbate, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*, chamomilla (chamomile) sativa fruit extract, algae extract*, cucumis sativus fruit extract*, macrocystis pyrifera (brown kelp) extract*, hydrolyze oriza sativa (rice) protein*. May Contain: iron oxides, CI 77499, mica. *Plant or plant derived.”

When I began dabbling in clean cosmetics over a decade ago, naturally, the first product I tried was a mascara, the name of which I have long forgotten. Not only did it do nothing to define my naturally long, but fairly pale lashes, but it turned me off of green beauty all together, because what I experienced was an ineffective, watery, and expensive nightmare. Over the years I certainly did learn that I was wrong about the efficacy of natural cosmetics, but I was, and excuse me for being a little dramatic here, totally traumatized by this disastrous experience, and believed that while many clean products could certainly perform as well as their counterparts, my mascara would have to remain an ‘exception’ product for me. Then, by some stroke of fate, a girlfriend of mine introduced me to Pacifica Stellar Gaze, which completely altered my opinion of how well a natural mascara was capable of performing.

Upon application of my very first coat, sometime circa July 2014, I wasn’t totally thrilled. “Not enough oomph,” I thought, before conceding that even with conventional mascaras, I never apply just one coat. I slapped a second coat on, and already, things were looking up. The one thing that struck me was how glossy this mascara made my lashes look, but a slight sense of scepticism remained. I went in for a third coat, and that’s when I realized, this product might just change my mind about natural mascaras.

To my astonishment, this mascara held up beautifully through a balmy Arizona summer day, and to my excitement, it washed off like a dream come bedtime. I needed no further confirmation– Pacifica has made what I thought was impossible, a reality. And for only $14 a tube! Nearly four years later, this product has remained a staple in my routine.

Now, I will admit there are a few things I do to really make this mascara work for me: for one, like most mascaras I have tried, it seems to get better with age; as the product begins to thicken up from exposure to air, and also mixes with the various powders that find themselves on my lashes (think: setting powder, eyeshadow, etc.) pre-mascara application, it turns into a solid performer, one that could easily compete with my favorite conventional products on the market (I am looking at you, MUF Smokey Lash).

Secondly, this is something I do with most mascaras, but would recommend caution be exercised in the event that you give this a go yourself: I mix 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil into the tube, typically as soon as I open it for its first use. Then, a month or two down the road, when I notice the mascara is drying out a bit, I mix one additional drop of oil into the formula, for a total of no more than three drops of lavender oil per tube. I find that I lose less lashes when I do this, and it also ensures that my mascara applies clump-free every time.

In sum: with a little help, Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze Mineral Mascara has the power to amplify the volume of your lashes, while simultaneously lending an inky black sheen that is unlike any I have experienced from other brands, natural or otherwise.