Fullies & Finals: Feb-March 2018

Yes I’m aware there are actual words to describe repurchases, but I decided this was a cuter partner to Empties ;). This is a way to gauge out some of my most used items amongst the many choices we face in green beauty, as well as those I have used for my first and last time. If you keep seeing a product until you get sick of it (hah), you’ll know it has lasted the test of time and therefore holds a lot of value. In addition, it’s a way to see which of my top-rated products I’m using or not using as time progresses and seasons/factors/my skin change, requiring me to change up my routines. 

The Fullies consist of items I will already have reviewed, and so I will write short blurbs for them here so that I am not repeating myself. Over the course of using a product, I may discover different uses/results/details that will be useful to share, as opposed to me testing it out for 1-2 months and never returning to it again. Finals on the other hand consists of products I have tried and will not be repurchasing again, thus I will do full reviews in this section.


Minimalist Serum Foundation [Gressa] – No matter how I experiment with this product and what I mix it with, it forms a stellar combination and remains a top choice in foundations. As I’ve mentioned before, the packaging is not my favorite, as there is a lot of leakage, but what’s inside is so good that I will continue repurchasing.

Tigress [Earthwise Beauty] –This product remains my top-rated balm, an excellent option for oily/congested skin types. Ava created a perfect paradox in this one product: it’s so rich and buttery in texture, yet due to the selection of ingredients that aren’t as high in oleic acid and the omission of beeswax, it doesn’t weigh you down in the slightest. snapseed-92When my skin is feeling very congested or ‘dirty,’ yet I do not want to exfoliate or mask more than I need to, this product is actually what I reach for. It’s not an exfoliating product, yet I reach for it – doesn’t that seem odd? This is how you know the claims of the product as a “healing, deeply penetrating balm that invigorates the skin tissue, heals acne breakouts, reduces acne and blackhead tendencies [Earthwise Beauty]” keeps to its promises, it’s just that good. Being able to use a product that is strong yet not harsh to combat skin that’s very imbalanced/congested is a huge win. I go to sleep knowing that when I have this product in my arsenal I will wake up with more balanced out skin, and I do.

HMG [AMBAR] –I let some time pass before I repurchased this product, as I was more focused on the D.A.P. and Micellar Cleanser from AMBAR, and due to the fact that I decided to test out other options such as the Rose Treatment Essence by African Botanics. From the gel formulations I have tried thus far, including the products by African Botanics, this one is the most lightweight yet – the product is not as firm and is looser in form, but that also makes it very easily absorbable. Oftentimes, with gel-like products, my skin can feel sticky and breakout, yet this absorbs seamlessly and very comfortably into the skin. I’m not one to prefer a gel formulation over one that is more milky, however, this product was what began my appreciation for these lightweight hydration treatments that are so important for your skin.


An extra bonus I love from this product is that you immediately get a cooling sensation on your face that feels so good. I am lately layering it with the Hydrating Rose Essence from African Botanics for maximum hydration benefits. The peppermint smell as well is lovely and complements the cooling effect of the product.

Potentci [moss skincare] –  Is this surprising? I slightly freak out when I run out of this. Truly a powerful healing and hydrating product, this milky serum feels so cushiony and lightweight on the skin.


This is another powerhouse of a concoction, brimming with antioxidants, ceramides, cholesterol, peptides, anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s, etc that I recommend for acne-prone skin alongside Tigress.

Zen Physic [moss skincare] – My top choice for my worst breakouts, especially cystic. I also love using a drop in my oils (last step in nightly routine) to further help clean up my skin when I feel I really need another boost.


Portofino Bronzer [NU EVOLUTION]

I’m a fan of Nu Evolution’s foundations and packaging, but I did not like this pressed powder bronzer. I appreciate their formulations since they (for the most part) omit coconut oil, are pigmented, and utilize organic ingredients, but this product didn’t win me over.

The color and pigmentation is the main issue for me- I feel like I’m packing on product on my brush repeatedly, but it just doesn’t translate onto my skin. The color from this bronzer just doesn’t like to show up on me, which I wasn’t expecting since I don’t have a problem with this issue from the rest of the line. Remember, I use the bronzer from Gressa, a product which is highly pigmented, and one that I need less than a drop of to get the job done. Switching to this product from these expectations doesn’t serve its performance well. I believe this is due to the color itself rather than the formulation. Further, post application my skin will look almost a bit dirty rather than have a nice bronzed look from this color. Those with other skin tones may actually appreciate this product more than I have, but I will stick to my Gressa Bronzer which omits yellow undertones and thus serves me better. In addition, after using the palettes from Kosas, which are super finely milled and soft, super pigmented, and with beautiful colors, I tend towards that brand for their pressed powders. Although this bronzer does have a very beautiful sheen to it and is quite smooth, the Kosas palettes have spoiled me to a product that is simply so close to perfection.

From Right to Left: Portofino, Portofino blended in, Gressa Contour, Gressa Contour blended in

From the picture above, you can observe the difference. Granted the Gressa product can be used as both a bronzer and for contour, which would explain its darker, true brown, I believe this is better for bronzing rather than Portofino.

Let’s look at how each product is described:

Gressa Minimalist Contouring Serum Bronzer:This weightless bronzing fluid is a sheer tinted infusion of antioxidant rich extracts that perfectly contours the face. Naturally warms all skin tones with stunning radiance and a bronzed glow.” [From Integrity BotanicalsBROWN

Nu Evolution Portofino:Get that golden sun-kissed glow all year long with Nu Evolution’s all natural pressed bronzer formula! Enhance your complexion with subtle hints of shimmer and a satiny smooth finish to create that youthful glow!” [From Safe & ChicYELLOW UNDERTONE

100% Pure Cocoa Pigmented Bronzer:Add a sun-kissed glow to any skin tone with this warm, golden brown bronzer infused with pigments of cocoa, coffee, tomato and berries.” [From Integrity BotanicalsRED UNDERTONE

It’s difficult to imagine that these colors can be so different from each other, since each claim to give a bronzed/sun-kissed glow to your face. However, a note to understand is that each can accomplish exactly this, depending on your skin tone and if it suits you. Bronzers can be quite tricky until you find which undertone flatters your skin the most, but once you find the right product, it will look natural and warm up your face successfully. I do like the Cocoa Bronzer as well, but I just find myself going back to the Gressa Contouring Serum Bronze continuously.

Glow [Fat and the Moon] 

I wanted to love this product because the name, packaging, and aesthetic is so on point. However, once again on my skin tone, this highlighter just seems a bit tacky with it’s yellow-gold color (can you tell yellow undertones don’t work for me yet hah). It’s quite shimmery as well, which combined with the yellow tone, does not serve to flatter me well. For my own skin tone, nor do stark white highlighters (think Living Luminizer by RMS Beauty) nor yellow-toned highlighters flatter me well. This of course was on me, as I could clearly see the color from the product pictures, and decided to purchase it even though I was worried about the potential tackiness of the product as a highlighter. It is a very bright, beautiful color, however it’s just a matter of the color not suiting me.

The formula is actually quite smooth, but a little too smooth. I find that as I try to blend the product, it slides back and forth on my skin with me rather than easily blending into my skin. I have to work it in to see a seamless result. This isn’t a serious issue as the sliding is minimal, however due to the creamy, smooth, and very easily blended highlighters that I am acquainted to, this doesn’t serve to better its standing. Here again the Kosas palettes impress me with the beautiful, pearlized glow their highlighters give, which look gorgeous and very much not tacky. Bottom line, if it was a different color, and had less shimmer, I would be a bigger fan of this product. I will be experimenting with different uses for this product, since it still is a beautiful color, and see if I like it better.