Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel Review

Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is a hydrating eye gel that claims to reduce puffiness, crepiness, sagginess, appearance of dark circles and gives eyes a well-rested look.

Biossance has added a recently new eye product called Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream and on Instagram has commented that the Marine Algae Eye Cream is richer and targets fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness while the Peptide Eye Gel is lightweight and targets puffiness and dark circles. If using both, the Peptide Eye Gel can be applied in the morning and the Marine Algae Eye Cream in the evening.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Squalane, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Panthenol, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Tocopherol, Pentylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit Extract, Lycopene, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caffeine, Acacia Senegal Gum, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate HCL, Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol *Organic

Going over some ingredients – Niacinamide is the fourth ingredient; this is vitamin B3 that, among other functions, can improve fine lines and wrinkles. Chondrus crispus extract is a seaweed extract full of vitamins and minerals used for skin conditioning and has the ability to protect against UV rays. Malus Domestica fruit cell culture extract, also known as Swiss apple stem cell extract, can protect the longevity of skin stem cells. Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 (Eyeseryl) is a humectant that can improve elasticity and smoothness and reduce puffiness. Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Argireline) is a neuropeptide claimed to relax muscles thus reducing expression lines. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a form of vitamin C. This eye cream contains caffeine (just over halfway down the ingredient list) that can reduce puffiness.

Directions state to gently dab around upper and lower eye area with fingertip, morning and night. Allow to absorb 1 to 2 minutes before applying makeup to avoid pilling.

I have fine lines under my eyes (luckily not much in the way of crow’s feet yet), dark circles and puffy eyes that generally make me look tired. I have used the Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel for 3 months now, morning and evening, dabbing around the entire eye area up to the brow bone. This feels like a mix of gel and light cream. It is lightweight, goes on smoothly and the under-eye feels smooth and moisturized to the touch all day. Makeup applies nicely over this eye cream.

The below photos were taken at the same time of day (a couple hours after waking up).

Above, looking at the dark circles and puffiness, I don’t notice a reduction in either. Depending on the cause of the dark circles, particularly if genetic, an eye cream may not help. I don’t notice any immediate or longer term well-rested look to the eye.

Above, looking at the fine lines, there is a bit of reduction on the lower outer side of the eye and perhaps toward the inner eye area; not so much under the eye. After a couple weeks’ use, I noticed, in the mirror, some reduction in fine lines, but on further use, they seemed to come back and did not reduce further. The puffiness toward the lower eye area is still visible. I don’t see any improvement in puffiness or dark circles in the mirror.

While Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is a nice moisturizing product that makes the under-eye feel smooth and hydrated to the touch, I’m not seeing results in lines, puffiness or dark circles and would not repurchase. This might be good for those looking for a first eye cream who need hydration and moisture. I have since ordered Your Best Face Skincare’s Refresh Eye Cream.

Thank you for reading.

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Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel Review

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel claims to remove makeup, purify pores, balance skin and reduce excess surface oil while leaving skin visibly clearer and softer.

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Coco-glucoside Citrate, Squalane, Cocoyl Proline, Melaleuca Alternafolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Levulinate, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Gluconate, Caramel, Citric Acid, Linalool

To go over some ingredients – Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and sodium cocoyl isethionate are mild surfactants derived from coconut oil. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is a mild surfactant. Cocoyl proline is a mix of coconut fatty acids and the amino acid proline used as a hydrator and conditioning agent. Sodium levulinate is used as a preservative and skin conditioning agent. Alfalfa leaf extract is said to soothe skin and help make skin look brighter.

Directions state to dampen skin, massage a dime size amount into a light lather and rinse.

This is a gel cleanser that forms a light lather. On rinsing, the cleanser itself doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily, but does leave it feeling a bit dry (though not as drying as Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser), which is surprising given the addition of squalane oil. It took a bit more effort and more water to rinse than other cleansers (I found this to be the case as well with the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser; perhaps that’s the nature of gel cleansers?). The Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser smells nice; a herbal scent, which I’m guessing is the tea tree oil (I don’t think I’d used anything with tea tree oil previously).

I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts, blackheads around the nose, congestion and redness. One of the reasons I chose this cleanser – for probably about 5 or 6 years I had gotten pimples on the right side of my face in one area on my lower cheek above the jawline; no idea why and I couldn’t get rid of them. One would break out, start to heal and a couple days later, the next would break out, until I had about six in various healing stages. About a year ago they disappeared; no idea why. Three months ago, the breakouts started again, in the same manner as before. I thought I’d give this cleanser a try, as tea tree oil is said to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties that can target acne.

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel is able to cleanse light coverage foundation, but for heavier full coverage foundation, heavier eye makeup and mineral sunscreen, needs two uses.

Having changed nothing else in my skincare routine (other than an eye cream; I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel), I’ve used the Biossance gel cleanser for a month. As above, throughout the month, the breakouts have healed nicely and I haven’t gotten any new ones. My skin looks generally less congested with a bit less redness. My skin is perhaps a bit less oily overall (though salicylic acid works better to balance oil). I noticed at day 16 I had less blackheads on my nose, but by day 30, there were more. My skin doesn’t feel any softer.

I’m happy with the results of this cleanser, but I have to wonder if the cleanser itself provided the results or if, by some coincidence or other variable, the breakouts have stopped. Being a rinse-off product, I’m generally skeptical of a cleanser providing results beyond cleansing makeup and sunscreen from the skin.

I’ll continue to use the Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser (and would repurchase) and will update here if the breakouts start again with continued use or on switching to a new cleanser.

Thank you for reading.

Better Than Sex Mascara Review and Wear Test (And Comparison to Damn Girl)

Too Faced’s Better Than Sex uses an hourglass-shaped brush and claims to provide extra volume, and lengthen, thicken, curl and lift the lashes after just one coat (comparison to Damn Girl mascara below – see full review here).

Ingredients: Water, Synthetic Beeswax, Paraffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax/Oryza Sativa Bran Cera, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Polybutene, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Aminomethyl Propanol, Glycerin, PVP, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Polyester-11, Cellulose, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Acacia Seyal Gum Extract, Sodium Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Dextran, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Black 2 (Ci 77266)

I have small eyes and wear contact lenses. My lashes are short, thin and grow out straight. For this review, I didn’t use an eyelash curler, lash comb or lash primer, as I wanted to see how the mascara performs on its own.

The brush is a good size for my small eyes and lashes. I got some transfer on the lids, likely due to my short, straight lashes. While this claims to lengthen, curl, thicken and lift after one coat, I feel like I need three coats to get the lift and volume I wanted. The brush seems to separate the lashes pretty well and the formula isn’t clumpy. The mascara doesn’t feel heavy on the lids and doesn’t irritate my eyes.

Above, is after 16 hours of wear. There is some clumping and a bit of flaking and a loss of volume and lift.

The mascara washes off easily with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser or Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing gel I’ve been using lately.

Comparing Better Than Sex (BTS) and Damn Girl (DG), the scent of BTS is slightly less. The bristles generally look the same length (DG has a mix of long and short bristles), perhaps a bit shorter on the in-curve of DG, but the wand is thicker for DG and the brush more of the hourglass curve, making the brush larger overall. The brushes are the same length. DG’s formula is thicker and wetter.

Left – Better Than Sex / Right – Damn Girl

Comparing the above, for BTS, while applying, it is less messy and I get less transfer on the eyelids, getting curl seems easier, the brush separates the lashes better, there is a bit less thickness to the lashes, length of the eyelashes is similar, but less of a dramatic look overall. Using BTS, since the formula is less wet and thick than DG, I am able to get more separation and less clumping on the lashes. Three coats of BTS is similar to two coats of DG. While both mascara applications end up looking pretty similar up close, BTS might be better suited to a daytime look and DG for a night out, as DG looks more dramatic (particularly from further away). The lashes with DG have more flexibility than BTS. I wonder how the DG formula would look applied with the BTS brush.

Left – Better Than Sex / Right – Damn Girl

Above, BTS does not have near as much lasting power as DG after 16 hours.

I might consider repurchasing Better Than Sex mascara, but hoped that it would have more staying power.

Thank you for reading.

Damn Girl Mascara Review and Wear Test

Damn Girl Mascara is new from Too Faced with a creamy mousse formula that claims to lengthen, volumize, curl, lift and thicken lashes while remaining flexible and providing flake and smudge resistance for 24 hours (check here for comparison to Better Than Sex).

Ingredients: Water, Silica, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Paraffin, Polyisobutene, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax\Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Pantethine, Peg-9 Dimethicone, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Simethicone, Pvp, 1,2-Hexanediol, Laureth-21, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearic Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Disodium Edta, Chloroxylenol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)

The creamy formula uses a blend of melting waxes, giving volume without feeling heavy, and polymers that lift and lengthen while remaining flexible. The brush is infinity-shaped that lifts and curls the lashes, while short bristles load the product and long bristles dispense the product. This mascara has been injected with air, and directions state not to pump the brush.

I got the trial size with my last order from Sephora. I have small eyes and wear contact lenses. My lashes are short, thin and grow out straight. For this review, I didn’t use an eyelash curler, lash comb or lash primer, as I wanted to see how the mascara performs on its own.

Damn Girl Mascara doesn’t smell as strong as other mascaras and doesn’t irritate my eyes. The formula is quite wet and takes a minute to dry. The brush is big and the bristles long and takes up my entire eye, making this hard to apply. I’ve used this mascara for a couple weeks now and, as in the photos, no matter how careful I am, I get mascara on my eyelid (partially due to my short lashes) that once dry, is hard to get off with a fingertip or Q-Tip. Also, in trying to avoid getting mascara on my eyelid, I can’t necessarily get as much curl or lift as intended. To mitigate that, I might try applying Vaseline to the eyelid and then wiping off when done applying the mascara.

In the above photos, the mascara adds length, thickness, volume, lift and curl to the lashes. I added a total of three coats, and by the third I had to be careful to avoid clumping and spider lashes. Because of the wet mousse formula and big brush, it’s easy to apply a lot of mascara and get clumping and lashes that stick together and are hard to separate. The mascara doesn’t feel heavy on the lashes and they are flexible and not as crunchy feeling as other formulas.

Above, I wore the mascara for 16 hours. There is a bit of flaking on my upper and lower lids, but no smudging of the formula. It looks like a bit of thickness was lost as well. Overall though, I like the results. This formula claims to be flake and smudge resistant for 24 hours, but I didn’t want to wear makeup to bed.

This mascara washes off easily; I’ve had success with Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel (needs two cleanses) or The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser.

While the brush is large and the formula wet that gets on my eyelids, I like how Damn Girl makes my eyelashes look, and would likely purchase again.

Thank you for reading.

Kopari Deodorant Review

Kopari deodorant is vegan, and baking soda-, silicone-, aluminum- and paraben-free that claims to use an invisible, non-sticky formula that reduces odor (even on long days) and soothes and hydrates the underarms.

Ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Propanediol, Water, Sodium Stearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Saccharomyces Ferment, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Triethyl Citrate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Sodium Anisate, Glyceryl Laurate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Citric Acid

Fragrance is the fifth ingredient; pretty high on the list. Saccharomyces ferment is high in amino acids and minerals and can hydrate and soothe the skin. This has coconut oil (hydrating and is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial), coconut water and coconut fruit juice near the end of the ingredient list.

I have been using Routine Cream natural deodorant for a couple years now and since running out a month ago, decided to try the Kopari deodorant in the original coconut scent.

Directions state to glide on the underarms.

I’ve been using generally artificial fragrance-free skincare and deodorant lately and when I first smelled the deodorant from Kopari I did not like it; kind of like a strong, fake flowery, bubblegum scent with maybe a hint of coconut. If coconut was not on the label, I would not know it was supposed to smell like coconut milk. Under the arms, on application, the scent changes a bit and it smells less flowery as it mixes with the body chemistry I guess. Before using the deodorant myself, I read a number of reviews that mentioned an almost “swamp smell” under the arms when using this product. I did not find that to be the case for me. It took me a couple days to get used to the scent and now I actually quite like it. If you are sensitive to fragrance, this may be too strong.

I use three swipes of the deodorant. It goes on clear and glides on very smoothly. It takes a minute to dry. If too much is used, it will feel sticky and wet. As this is a deodorant and not an antiperspirant, there will be moisture from sweat. It does not leave marks or stains on clothes. The scent (with fade over the day) lasts from when I apply in the morning to when I go to bed at night (about 18 hours) in an unconditioned office setting without reapplication. I applied before going to the gym and the scent of the deodorant was still there on finishing my workout. The deodorant worked well on hiking outside in 25°C weather. My underarms had no odor nor did it smell like there was body odor just covered up. I often get hot and sweaty while sleeping at night, so apply this before going to bed and can still smell the deodorant in the morning (this is the only deodorant that has worked for me during the night thus far).

Last night I applied the Kopari deodorant before going to sleep and did not reapply in the morning. I did some errands and got hot and sweaty while cleaning the house. I had no odor and there was just a hint of the deodorant scent. I’m pretty impressed. I haven’t had that level of protection with other natural deodorants or traditional antiperspirants and I’m generally rather stinky without deodorant.

I did not get any irritation, redness or darkening of the underarms and they are hydrated and smooth.

While the scent took me a bit to get used to, the Kopari original deodorant reduces odor quite well and hydrates the underarms. I would repurchase, but might try a different scent.

Thank you for reading.