Product Review: Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

gressa

 

My relationship with the Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation has been a roller coaster.  I purchased from the Gressa website in January; little did I know that I was buying this product at the worst time of year, and thus began the roller coaster ride.

I was super excited to receive this product.  I don’t use foundation very often as my skin is typically in pretty good shape.  However, I was sucked in by the fact that this product has some great all-natural skincare ingredients (which are listed at the bottom of this post) and had received countless glowing reviews.  I took a leap of faith and ordered the lightest shade 01 – which is described by Gressa as a “warm porcelain – pale shade with subtle yellows”.

gressaswatch

Shade 01 heavily swatched on my hand – you can see that it is nicely pigmented.

 

Impatient person that I am, I swatched this for the first time on top of other makeup, on wintery dry skin, at the end of a long day at work.  It was a disaster.  It didn’t blend into my skin and created a very unsightly dry patch on my face. The texture and color, I believed, were all wrong.  That very night I logged on to the Gressa website to request a refund, convinced that this was not the product for me.

A couple of days later, I decided that it was a rash decision to return it without giving it a fair chance.  So on freshly moisturized skin, I applied it all over my face with my fingers.  The result wasn’t excellent, but it was much better.  However, within an hour, my face was a hot mess of dry, itchy patches.

I attempted a few more times to use this during the winter, each time with unfortunate results.  No matter how much oil, face balm, or hydrosol I used, my face became itchy and dry.  In fact, the dry patches were noticeable.

As a very positive aside, Svetlana, the owner of Gressa, personally emailed me in response to my email about a refund or exchange.  Then when I didn’t reply to her within a few days, she sweetly checked in on me again – now THAT is amazing customer service.  Obviously, I told her I had changed my mind and was keeping the foundation.

As we have transitioned into spring, I’ve been experimenting with this foundation again.  And the results thus far?  This product – for me – is terrible in winter, and seems to be much better for warmer weather.  It is black and white – there is no gray area with this product for me.

 

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Wearing Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation in shade 01 – No filter, no editing, taken in natural light after about 5 hours of wear.

 

When I have applied this during warmer days, it looks really good.  There is an airbrushed finish to my skin, which looks better in real life than in my photo.  I will admit that the color 01 is just a bit too light for me, but as I’m pretty sure the others would be too dark, this was my best option.

Something else I have discovered is that I vastly prefer to apply this foundation with a brush, as opposed to my fingers.  Lately, I have been applying a few drops on the back of my hand, adding a drop or two of argan oil or sunscreen lotion, blending them together, and applying with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. When well blended, I really like the result.  I feel like this foundation would be excellent for summer.

I’m disappointed that I was introduced to this product at a time when my skin was being a real bitch.  My bottle is also getting very low, so I don’t think it will even last me until summer, and I’m not certain whether or not I will repurchase. It’s not a lackluster foundation by any means, it just doesn’t seem to be well suited for dry skin or winter…and maybe just not my ideal foundation in general.

What are your experiences with Gressa and/or the Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation?  Do you have another clean, non-toxic foundation that you recommend?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

The fantastic ingredients in the Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation are:

*Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, GRESSA Healing ComplexTM *Silymarin, *Neem (Azadirachta indica) Extract,*Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract, *Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) Extract, *Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Extract, *Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Seed Extract, *Elder Flower (Sambucus nigra) Extract, *Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate Non-GMO, Coenzyme Q10, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, (Vitamin C), *lecithin, *glycerin, mica, iron oxides, titanium oxide. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Swatched! My Favorite All-Natural Lip Colors for Spring

lipswatches2To me, when it comes to makeup, lipstick is the absolute quickest way to feel “dolled up” and feminine.  I love shades of pink the most, with an occasional mauve, berry, nude, and red thrown in.  These happen to be the all-natural, non-toxic lipsticks I have in my collection that I think are perfect for Spring.  I have swatched all these products on bare lips to try to give the best color representation possible.  I also photographed them all in natural light.

 

 

No8PoppyW3LL People Nudist Colorbalm in No. 8 Poppy – Think of a tinted lipbalm when you think of this color.  It is very moisturizing with a slight hint of fucshia. Perfect for applying without a mirror.  It doesn’t seem to leave a stain once it wears off.

 

LoveBuzzIlia Lip Gloss in Love Buzz – This is a very glossy, non-sticky violet tinged cool pink lip gloss.  The packaging is gorgeous and I love the fun, very wearable color.  Like all lip gloss that I personally have used, it wears well unless you eat or drink a fair amount.

 

SublimeRMS Beauty Lip Shine in Sublime – This little pot is like melted cotton candy.  Such a gorgeous glossy shade of deep pink! Wears about the same as a lip gloss.

 

ShellShockIlia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Shell Shock – This might be my favorite formula of all the lip products I own.  The color is definitely gorgeous – a very wearable coral pink.  But the application and texture are amazing.  Just perfectly smooth and beautiful every time.  I love the wear of this, but this particular shade doesn’t leave a stain behind as it fades.

 

 

XOXOPacifica Devocean Lipstick in XOX – This is a super pretty cream lipstick in a neutral everyday pink shade.  One thing that is a con about this lipstick is that compared to other lipsticks, it tends to cake a bit on my lips.  I typically always apply lip balm under my lipstick, so it may be me or it may be the formula.

 

 

RetsinaBite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Retsina – In the past, I have never had luck with nude lipstick.  They were always too brown or washed out my complexion (fair with yellow undertones).  Retsina is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a flattering pale pink nude for my skintone.  I usually purchase my lip products online, but this was one shade I wanted to be able to swatch before I purchased.  Since Sephora is one of the only beauty stores close to me, I went with Bite Beauty.  I really love this lipstick with smokier eyes…I’ve always thought women with smoky eyeshadow and nude lips were the epitome of sexy!  This formula is super creamy.

 

NeonAngelIlia Lipstick in Neon Angel – Perhaps the most fun of my lip products, Neon Angel is more versatile that it might appear.  Applied over lipbalm, it gives a beautiful pink tint.  Apply it over bare lips, and you can layer it in intensity until it is similar to the swatch above.  I actually find this color very wearable, as it isn’t neon pink – just bright, bold magenta pink.  This is a slightly drier formula, but I like that, as I feel it gives a very even application.  Wear time is good.

 

StarletZuzu Luxe Lipstick in Starlet – A basic, cool toned “candy apple” red.  For me, this is a classic red lip that looks good year round.  And for the price, the formula is fantastic.  It applies so smoothly and evenly.  The formula is more creamy that Ilia lipstick, but not as creamy as the Bite Beauty lipstick or Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner.  The wear time is quite good.

 

Do you own any of these shades?  What clean, all-natural lip products do you love for Spring?  Let me know in the comments!

Love & The Importance of Communication

pink flower

A relationship is somewhat like growing a flower….if you don’t tend it and give it the things it needs, it will wilt and eventually die.  So remember to nurture your relationships!

What follows are a few brief thoughts on communication with a significant other.  I work on communicating better all the time!  I am also learning the importance of letting go of the little things that don’t really matter.

Communication can make or break a relationship.  When I was younger, I forced most of my feelings down, too uncomfortable to broach sensitive subjects with significant others.  Sometimes, the mere thought of bringing up an uncomfortable subject brought about anxiety, depression, or paranoia.  I’ve learned that over time, stuffing feelings only creates suffering.  Although I still have to work at communicating, being honest, and tackling different subjects, I deal with things so much better now that I did a decade ago when I was in my first marriage.

One of the big turning points for me in communicating openly in my current relationship is that he, too, is open and honest with me.  He has helped me to accept that things need to be discussed and brought to the surface, even when I don’t want to deal with things.  In turn, there are other subjects I’ve helped him address.  We have encouraged each other in different ways, and we are pretty supportive, too.

What I’ve learned about being honest and open and working on our communication, is that sometimes it can be uncomfortable to discuss things, but at the end of the day, we both always feel better about having dealt with it.  Compare it to a difficult exam you don’t want to take.  You don’t want to think about it or take the test…but after you do, there is always a huge sense of relief and accomplishment.  And an intangible inner peace.

 

 

Simple, Healthy Meal: Creamy Peas & Mushroom Veggie Pasta

peasmushroomsNeed a simple recipe that’s healthy but also a bit on the “comfort food” side?  Try this!  It’s a union of health food and comfort food.

I am a vegetarian, and I try to eat very little sugar, starches, and dairy.  However, a couple of times a month I will indulge in pasta.  If I do have pasta, I really enjoy the varieties that include vegetable puree – the one I used for this recipe included pureed spinach and pureed zucchini in the ingredients.

I don’t use exact measurements, so feel free to adjust the amounts based on your preferences.  I used:

  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 2-3 T organic unsalted butter (you could also use an oil but I used butter for creaminess)
  • 1 small block of Parmigiano-Reggiano or similar vegan cheese, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup of milk of choice (organic dairy, unflavored nut milk, etc)
  • 2 cups vegetable pasta (look for one that says it includes vegetable puree)
  • Pink Himalayan salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Boil water, add a bit of salt to flavor the pasta, and cook pasta until al dente.  Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, melt the butter and add mushrooms and some salt and pepper.  Saute until tender.
  3. Add the peas, milk, and cooked pasta, stir until heated through.
  4. Grate the cheese and add to the warm pasta, stir until melted.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  That’s it!

I think it would be excellent to add spinach and/or zucchini, but I didn’t have any on hand.  Additionally, throw in some chopped up organic tempeh for added protein and you have a one-pot meal.  So simple and so satisfying!