Review: Spin for Perfect Skin

Sometimes, the Universe tells you to try something new. I kept seeing the Spin for Perfect Skin EVERYWHERE. Beauty bloggers, youtubers, my sister, groupon… So, here we are!

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Where you can buy it: Vanity Planet’s The Spin for Perfect Skin website, Amazon.ca*, OR Groupon* (While offer is available)

How Much: 100$ on the website, 20$ on Groupon or with discount codes.

What You Get: While they have a few different models available to purchase, I am reviewing the original Spin for Perfect Skin. I received the Spin for Perfect Skin itself (I went with purple, because obv) and four brush heads. The brush heads I received were the body brush, the soft face brush, the exfoliating face brush and the pumice stone brush.

My Experience: For the last few months, I have been on a skincare kick. I have been trying damn hard to do better with my face. I have dry, dehydrated sensitive skin with acne scars, wrinkles, eczema patches and sun damage. Yeah. So, hearing the claims that the Spin for Perfect Skin is a life changer, I was excited to give it a shot. I’ve been using it regularly for about a month now and am pretty happy with it.

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The handle/machine itself is waterproof, so it is safe to use in the shower. Because of the nature of my skin, I only use it once a day to prevent irritation. The soft brush is still enough to exfoliate my skin while cleaning. It is a gentle brush, which is good because I think it if was any rougher or any stronger I would have unhappy skin. Because of this, I haven’t tried the actual exfoliating brush.

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I have found that putting my cleanser on my wet face and then using the brush is the most effective way to clean using this device. If I put the cleanser on the brush itself, I tend to see product go flying everywhere when I turn it on.

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The body brush is basically just a super sized version of the face brush. I use it to scrub and exfoliate my lower body. I don’t use it all over  because I think it might be too much. I find my belly is still really sensitive due to all of my stretch marks, and my boobs because I am breastfeeding. I am usually pretty gentle with my washing because of my skin’s tendency to have eczema flare ups when I’m too aggressive or rough.

The pumice stone didn’t really do much for me. I have extremely rough heels, so maybe this would work better for someone who is just maintaining their already soft feet. Disappointing, but at the end of the day, I didn’t want this for the pumice attachment anyway.

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Results: I can’t say that I found any major results with this system. I do enjoy how soft and clean my skin feels after using it without any dry pulling. I do find that even the soft brush does cause my skin to turn red and sting a tiny bit, so I am careful to not press too hard or over use it. I’m not sure I would be super thrilled if I had spent 100$, but if you can find it for 20$, it’s a good tool to add to your skincare arsenal.

*Referral link.

Sorry for the crappy pictures! My cellphone has its limitations in a dark bathroom

Review: Cover Girl and Olay 3 in 1 Foundation

A little while ago, my sister introduced me to a review site called BzzAgent. I am a sucker for reading and writing reviews, so I immediately joined. About a month ago, I was notified that I was going to participate in a new campaign by Covergirl, called Embrace Your Face.

When I used the tool, it told me that I should be using the Covergirl and Olay Simply Ageless 3 in 1 foundation. I was a bit unsure, because I had heard that it was a pretty heavy foundation for those with mature skin. I am in denial of my age, but I figured that since it would be a free product, I wouldn’t have anything to loose. You guys know, I love me some make up, so I was pretty stoked.

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I have since received the foundation and have given it about 2 weeks of wear before sitting down and writing this review out. I hope you like it!

My Foundation Background: For my new readers, I have sensitive dry and dehydrated skin. I have eczema, which does flare up on my face. When testing this foundation, I have dry patches on the bridge of my nose. I hate the feel of heavy sticky wet foundations and HAVE to powder, despite my dry skin.

Before:

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As you can see, I have some intense under eye dark circles, some wrinkles, some face demons and discolouration. Weeee!

Application: To test the buildability and coverage, I’m not going to use any concealer. I prep my face with my moisturizer, sunscreen and some Smashbox Primer.

Immediately, I can tell that this stuff is THICK. I  use two pumps and a few drops of face oil to thin it out.

After the first application, you can see the classic ivory shade is pretty good for me. This foundation is definitely medium to full coverage. A little bit of my under eye and face demons are poking through, but otherwise, I am completely evened out.

I decide to do another layer, to really test the buildability.

Holy crap, you guys. This stuff is no joke. That, my dears, is what I call full coverage.

Ok, time to do my brows, eyes, blush and lip…oh, and highlight. Can’t forget that glow. Going for a no make up makeup look. It’s hot as heck and very humid, so I want to look a little less done.

Let me know if you want the rest of my details for the finished look. I’d like to remind you that I’m not wearing any concealer. All of this coverage is the foundation.

Finish: Definitely needs powder to set. This stuff is thick, creamy and very dewy. I could still feel it on the skin after setting. It never dries down.

Coverage: Medium to full, buildable.

Lasting Power: Unfortunately, the heat, humidity and grabby baby hands made this wear off on the chin pretty much within the first hour, and that is with setting spray. The rest of my face fared better, and I didn’t notice any oxygenation or breaking down. I did have some slight under eye creasing, but that’s it. Here’s a shot from the other day when we hit the 40s with humidex.

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Overall Impression: I am pleasantly surprised by this foundation. I honestly expected to hate it. Despite it feeling wet and heavy, it was moisturizing and its performance made it so worth it. I think it may be too heavy for summer wear, but this will be amazing for the winter time. For it’s price point, this is such a great foundation. Just make sure to set it well, and blend it well to avoid a cakey look. If blended, it looks fresh and natural, despite it’s amazing coverage.

**Thanks to BzzAgent for sending this foundation to me, for free, to review. This post is not sponsored. I have not been paid to review. All of the opinions expressed here are my own.**

Eco Chic Movement – Baby Line. Includes discount code!

Mason just turned 5 months old this week. Can you believe it? I can’t. It goes so fast the second time around (or maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking).  Thankfully, it means that I have had some time to test out the products that I received from Eco Chic Movement to try from their baby line. For those that missed it, check out my post reviewing their adult line of products here.

As I mentioned there,  Eco Chic Movement is a fantastic company headed by Dr. Alexis Reid – a chemical engineer, pharmacologist, toxicologist and naturopathic doctor here in Ottawa. I came across their baby line while working at Belly Laughs and really enjoyed it. When they gave me the opportunity to try a selection of their products, I was all over that!

So, their baby line is the line of products I’m most familiar with, simply because I sold them at Belly Laughs and use them at home. Let’s get to my review, shall we?

Baby Lotion

I’m very careful about using lotions on my kids because they have sensitive skin (just like their mama). This lotion was created with sensitive skin in mind. It doesn’t sting, it doesn’t have artificial fragrances. Now that Liam is getting a bit older and in to more things, I’ve been finding his hands, knees and elbows are getting dry. He loves using this lotion. It’s gentle, light, absorbs quickly and works great at moisturizing those dry spots. I appreciate that it has a pump, which keeps the product safe from those germy kid hands.

Baby Massage Oil

This is a beautiful product with a bunch of different uses. Mason had bad cradle cap and I was able to use this oil after baths, with a gentle comb scrape along the patches and now he is clear of all cradle cap. We also used it for baby massages (and for mama’s tired shoulders) before bed time. It has a really lovely scent that is really calming.

Diaper Cream

This cream reminds me a lot of the Earth Mama Angel Baby diaper cream that I used with Liam. It has worked wonders for the occasional red bum that Mason has had, and because it has no zinc, I feel comfortable using it with our cloth diapers. Also, it is super gentle and doesn’t upset the baby when we put it on those sore spots. A quick note: Because of the oil content, you may notice some little oil grains in the cream. Just rub the cream between your fingers and the oil will melt and go on baby’s skin smoothly.

Baby Face Cream

This may be one of my favourite products. I use this cream on everything. It’s rich, but gentle (is this the word of the day? I think it may be), and I feel totally fine putting this on Mason’s face when he needs it (he gets dry patches on his cheeks from the wind). I also use it on my face when my eczema flares up. I love the scent and the texture.

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Skin Conditions Cream (eczema cream)

I was so excited to see this product. I suffered with eczema my whole life and my parents had nothing but prescription creams to deal with my trouble areas. It’s so great that we have some other options now! Mason, unfortunately, inherited my eczema (though thankfully, not to the same severity). I love having something in my arsenal to fight those flare ups. This cream is specially designed to treat skin conditions, as well as moisturize. It does have a unique odor, due to the natural oils, but it’s worth it when it means your baby gets some relief for the itchiness and discomfort. For the record, I also use this on myself when I flare up and find it helps without stinging. You will notice the area will get a little red, but this is normal.

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Baby Shampoo and Body Wash

I love this product so much. SO MUCH. I have tried so many baby washes and this is the first that doesn’t make my eczema flare up on my hands after bath time. It doesn’t upset Mason’s skin, either. It has a lovely relaxing scent and leaves the skin soft and clean. I love how it dispenses and how it foams up. Sooooo neat.

Sunscreen

This isn’t currently on the website, but you should be able to see it soon. This is a baby safe sunscreen because it’s not a chemical based sunscreen. It’s a natural based sunscreen, with zinc oxide, a physical barrier sunscreen. You will notice that you need to rub it in more, and that it leaves a  bit of a white cast, because it is a physical barrier cream. It’s spf25 and hasn’t ever upset my eczema, unlike many other sunscreens I’ve tried. I will say it doesn’t last super long, but it’s a great option for those who want to use a sunscreen on babies before 6 months and who want a more natural option. For more information, check out Dr. Reid‘s video here.

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The only product that I haven’t yet tried yet is the chest congestion rub. If and when I do, I’ll make sure to share my thoughts!

Because I am now an Eco Chic Movement Ambassador, and really love their products, I have a discount code for you!

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Use when purchasing through their website

Please let me know about what you try. I really hope you love these products as much as I do. By the way, I want you to know that I am not being paid or sponsored to write this post in any way. They did send me the products to try and love the feedback of the community, but I am writing from my own honest experience and opinion. It’s important to me that I be 100% honest with you and make sure you know what’s up :)

Are there any other products that you’d like to see me talk about here? Shoot me a line and let me know!

Eco Chic Movement – Adult Line. Includes a discount code!

Hey folks,

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet. Life has been very busy and sleep deprived since Mason’s birth in November. That said, I have been fortunate enough to have been selected by an amazing local company to be a brand ambassador. Eco Chic Movement is a fantastic company headed by Dr. Alexis Reid – a chemical engineer, pharmacologist, toxicologist and naturopathic doctor here in Ottawa. I came across their baby line while working at Belly Laughs and LOVED it. When they gave me the opportunity to try a selection of their adult products, I practically jumped at my screen.

So, first here’s a bit of background on me and my needs. I was born with eczema, which most people tend to grow out of. My eczema is everywhere, though tends to be worst on my face (eye lid, mouth, nose), as well as my arms and hands.  My skin is dry and dehydrated (I tend to drink more coffee than water…I know, I know). and I abuse it with poor makeup techniques and products. I am extremely sensitive to all sorts of products, which means I have to be very careful about what I use or I will have a bad rash or breakout. So, there we are. Oh, and I actually own a few of their products myself so I’ll add those in too. Now, let’s get to my reviews.

Body Butter

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I love body butters. I just do. Creamy, thick and so so moisturizing. Perfect for after a shower or bath. ECM’s Body Butter is no different. Mostly Shea butter with some great oils, it doesn’t sit on the skin in a greasy mess like other butters I’ve tried.  It absorbs nicely and leaves the skin feeling soft and smelling faintly of…rootbeer? licorice?

 

 

Peppermint Foot Cream

While not currently on their page (keep in mind everything is hand made locally, so the page gets edited with their stock all the time), this Peppermint Foot Cream really wowed me. Thick, lovely and smells great. My feet immediately felt so much better. Perfect for these dry winter days.

Hand Lotion

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A gentle and quick absorbing hand lotion, this one is probably better for your average person whose fingers aren’t a hot mess of eczema. It just isn’t quite thick enough for my needs right now, but I do appreciate that it didn’t leave me with a residue and that it was unscented.

 

 

 

Dry Skin Moisturizer

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This one is a dry skin face cream and my new go-to. It’s not heavy, and left my skin feeling lovely. You still need to use something with spf in it (don’t skip that!), but this is a great first step for your winter skin care day routine.

 

 

 

Oily Skin Moisturizer

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This is a specially designed face cream for those with oily skin. This is a great light face moisturizer that doesn’t over do it. Won’t clog pores while still keeping your skin happy.

 

 

 

 

Sunscreen

This one I purchased on my own from Belly Laughs. It’s a great kids-safe sunscreen that isn’t too greasy or chalky.

Outdoor Body Spray

Another one not currently on their page, as it’s out of season here in Ottawa. Holy, this product was insanely popular here in Ottawa last summer. So much so that Belly Laughs couldn’t keep it in stock. It’s an all natural blend of oils that deter those annoying bitey bugs from chomping down on you and your family. Works well for your average day to day summer activities, but keep in mind that it contains no DEET, which means it isn’t meant for deep woods or camping.

Nipple Balm

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Thankfully, I haven’t had to use this nipple balm as Mason has been a champ with breast feeding. I have been using it as a lip balm though, and I love it!

 

 

 

Belly Butter

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Ok, this is my favourite belly butter out there. Yes, I said it. I went through two of these things during my pregnancy and I loved it. It kept the itchiness at bay, moisturized my very sensitive skin and it smells like marshmellows! The left overs have been great as a heavy duty body butter during these cold winter months. Love it!

 

 

So, there you have it folks. Everything I’ve tried, I’ve loved. I really appreciate the natural ingredients, and the thoughtfulness that went into putting these products together. The only products in the adult line that I haven’t yet tried is the lip balm and the deodorant, though I am planning on buying the deodorant to try (as my usual Nivea one is just about done). I am all about supporting local businesses, so this one is important to me. To encourage you to give ECM a try, I have a discount code for you to use!

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Use when checking out on their website.

Please let me know about what you try. I really hope you love these products as much as I do. A review of the baby line is coming up soon.

Are there any other products that you’d like to see me talk about here? Shoot me a line and let me know!

Cloth Diapering Part 3 – What Else?

Welcome to part 3 in my cloth diapering series. So far, we’ve talked about why you should try cloth and what your cloth diaper options are.  Now what? What else is there?

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Well, there are a few things. First, I want to break down a few more things that you will face when choosing your diapers. After that, I am going to briefly talk about the last bit of stuff you will want to think about getting if you are going to cloth diaper your kiddo.

I know this seems like a lot. Just remember that this is all of the extra bits, sort of a Cloth 102 section. If you are overwhelmed, that’s fine. Just walk away and come back later.

So, first, let’s talk about some options that you’ll come across when choosing diapers.

Sizing

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Rumparooz One-Size diaper size range

Cloth Diapers are a bit of a pain when it comes to sizing. You will see that you often have several options. Preemie (tiny), Newborn (itty bitty), Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Size One, Size Two, Size Three and One Size. Yeah. And just to make things more of a pain, there isn’t really a set standard so you will find that one brand of One Size will fit differently than another brand.

The easiest way to manage all of this is to look at the weight guidelines for each size. Pick the size that your baby’s weight fits in to. For those that want to start cloth from day one, you will need some Newborn sized diapers and then up, even if you go with One Sized. Why? Well, most diapers, unless specifically stating otherwise, start at around 8lbs. This means that they are just a little too big and bulky for those tiny little squishes.

Some diaper brands have really tried hard to make a one size diaper truly one size. I have personally been really impressed with Bum Genius, Charlie Banana and SoftBums for how small they can be, and yet how large they grow.

Materials/Fiber

I sort of mentioned fiber a little bit in my last post. This is a way to really customize your diaper. Inserts come in a variety of materials, including blends, to cater to your individual needs. For those that are concerned, you can choose organic materials. For those that want to customize the absorbency and options of your diapers, you can choose to pick up diapers and inserts in different fibers and blends.

Generally speaking, from least absorbent to most absorbent, fibers range from microfiber (which is what comes with most diapers), minky (another man made material that is softer than microfiber), to cotton, bamboo and hemp. Microfiber is a manmade material that wicks away liquid extremely quickly but doesn’t hold as much as the natural fibers. Cotton is the most traditional and affordable of the natural fibers. Bamboo and hemp are super absorbent but can take a little longer to wick the moisture away. Also, hemp can get a little stiff, so make sure to give it a tumble in the dryer to help keep it soft.

Changing up your materials allows you to control what goes against baby’s skin, how much moisture it can hold (like for overnights or heavy wetters) or how dry baby feels after a pee (microfiber for the win). Obviously, they all do their job of absorbing what baby puts out, but it’s just another way that you can make your diapers work better for you and your lifestyle.

Ok, so now that you know about those options, how about we talk about the other stuff that you might need when choosing cloth diapers?

The Other Stuff:

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Detergent. So, the thing with cloth is that it needs to be washed. Some people are really super precious about their laundry routines. Others, like me, not so much. What I recommend is that you choose a cloth friendly detergent (no scents, no softeners, etc… all of which can cause build up on your diapers which can cause repelling of moisture and stinkiness). You can go with fancy cloth specific detergents, like Rockin’ Green or Laundry Tarts, or you can try something like Tide Free and Gentle. Some detergents have sneaky ingredients, so avoid any of the baby specific detergents as they have softeners. What do I use? Country Save, as I am allergic to Tide.

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Planet Wise Wet Bags

Wet Bags. Because these diapers probably aren’t going immediately from butt to laundry, you need somewhere to put them in between washes that won’t make them gross or make your house stink. Enter the Wet Bag. Wet Bags are coated fabric bags that contain the mess, but allow air flow to keep stink to a minimum. They are washable and go right in the wash with your diapers. You can get them in a number of shapes and sizes, depending on where you want them or how you want them stored. Some people get a laundry basket and put a wet bag inside. Other’s hang them from the back of a bathroom or bedroom door. Whatever works best for you. I recommend having a couple big ones (so you always have one ready to go while one is in the wash with the diapers), and a couple small ones for diaper bags. They come in all sorts of cool fabrics so you can really make them fit your taste and your home. What do I use? A mix of brands. I currently love Planet Wise and Rumparooz/Kanga Care.

Dryer Balls. For those who love their dryer sheets, I have some bad news. Unfortunately, they also create a residue on cloth diapers. Not only can you not use them on your diapers, but we actually recommend quitting them all together because the left over residue in the dryer can still coat your cloth and cause repelling issues. So, what are you supposed to do to keep clothes soft and static free? Dryer Balls! Wool Dryer Balls are the big thing right now, as you can scent them with essential oils (lightly, otherwise you end up with residue agan), and they make fun safe toys for kiddos too. Laundry Tarts also has some that work great. What do I use? A mix. I have a couple Laundry Tarts old school ones that allow you to add scented sticks, as well as their newer blue ones. I also have a few wool balls (that usually get stolen by my son and used as toys)

Cloth Diaper Safe Creams. While cloth babies are reportedly less likely to have rash issues, I would say that rashes happen to everyone at one point or another. Unfortunately, a lot of the common creams on the market aren’t safe for use with cloth diapers. Any zinc based cream (opaque white creams) create a seriously bad residue which basically kills the absorbency of cloth. There are many “safe for cloth” creams out there, however I would warn that any cream used to excess will eventually create a residue on cloth. Some people opt to switch temporarily to disposable diapers when having to use cream, just to be safe. What do I use? I have tried a ton of different creams. Some of my favourite cloth safe creams are Eco Chic Movement, CJ’s, Substance, Pea in a Pod and Earth Mama Angel Baby.

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Cloth Wipes. While I personally just kept using disposable wipes, I know some people find it to be a pain to use cloth and then still have to find a garbage to toss your wipes. You can either make or buy cloth wipes. Some people use them dry, others make their own wipe solution or buy some for easier clean up. Some people just use water. What do I use? When L has had a bad flu and a sore bum, I have cut up flannel receiving blankets to make my own. Otherwise, I use Pampers Sensitive disposable wipes because they can be used for EVERYTHING.

Snappis/Fasteners. For those of you that use prefolds, snappis and other similar fasteners have taken the place of the old school safety pins. Safe to use on baby, they hold your prefolds closed snugly against baby for easier diapering. Bonus side use: They are AMAZING for getting fuzz out of velcro. What do I use? Snappis.

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Bummis Bio-Soft Liners

Disposable Liners. Disposable liners are awesome for bigger kiddos, when poop becomes more solid. Basically, you put down the small sheet (that kind of looks like a dryer sheet) on the middle of the diaper where the business happens, and when baby poops, you can just toss the poopy liner and not have to worry about scraping or spraying the poop off the diaper itself. They allow liquids through, so they don’t inhibit absorbency of pee however this means they are useless for young baby poops, as they tend to be mostly liquid anyway. What do I use? Nothing. I have no problem scraping and shaking poop off diapers.

Other Liners and Boosters. You can get washable cloth liners to help protect your diapers from stains and for easier poop removal. Fleece liners are great for more solid poops as poop tends not to stick to them, which allows you to just shake them above the toilet and the poop falls right off. They are also a great option for those moments when you use a safe diaper cream but want to be extra sure that your diapers don’t get any build up. Boosters are for those that haven’t found the answer to their problems with different inserts. They allow you to add an extra layer to your diaper for extra absorbency. Great for older kiddos, heavy wetters, long trips and over nights. What do I use? I haven’t used any other liners or boosters so far, but I did pick some up for Baby M to try. I have a few hemp boosters and a couple Apple Cheeks fleece liners.

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Diaper Sprayer. So, the thing with poopy diapers is that you need to scrape/shake the more solid bits of poop off the diaper before washing. A great product that has arrived on the scene to help this unpleasant task is the diaper sprayer. It’s basically a little hose and nozzle that attaches directly to your toilet. You use it to spray the poop right off the diaper into the toilet for easy hands-off removal before tossing the diaper in the wet bag. Woo! What do I use? I picked up a cheapy sprayer, but it turns out our plumbing and toilet at not sprayer friendly. I’ve heard the BumGenius one is great.

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Stripping Agents. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, you end up with your diapers repelling or a nasty stink that your regular wash routine just can’t seem to kill. There are a few products out there that promise to strip your diapers of all residues. Some people swear by RLR, others prefer just adding vinegar to their routine. It’s really up to you. What do I use? Well, I picked up a bunch of cloth second hand for Baby M. Just to be safe, I decided to do a disinfecting soak. I used a bleach bath and picked up some RLR so that I can do a stripping if I notice any repelling. I have also heard that vinegar works great, which I also intend to try down the road.

 

There you have it. There are always new products popping up, but these are the ones you are most likely to come across. If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a line. I am by no means an expert, but I will try my best to help. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and found it helpful as you consider starting your cloth diaper journey.

 

The rest of the Baby Basics Series:

 

Cloth Diapering Part 2: What is it?

On any one of my shifts, I knew that I some point I would encounter it. I could spot the look from across the store. I knew it well, you see. I had had it once (or twice, or many times) too. What is the look, you ask? The look of “Holy crap, that is a whole freaking wall of diapers! What are they all? How are they different? I just want to make sure my kid doesn’t pee on me and all my things!

Cloth diapering sounds simple in theory. I mean, for the longest time it was the only option out there. So, why is it when we start looking in to it do we find ourselves completely and totally overwhelmed by information? Because, my friends, this is a time when you are already being told by a million companies and stores that you NEED all this baby stuff, and without x, y and z, you will have a miserable child who will never sleep or eat or thrive blah blah blah. Look at the options! The colours! The features!

My goal here to is avoid all that pressure and insanity. Like anything else in the commercial baby world, cloth diapers can be as insane and as complicated as you want it to be, OR as simple. Try to remind yourself, that at the end of the day, we are talking about things that catch pee and poop. No matter what you choose, your kid is going to be ok.

Say it with me, please. Your kid is going to be ok.

So, take a deep breath and walk with me into the world of cloth. Take your time. Any of these options will do the job. There is no right or wrong answer here.

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We live in a world, at least here in Canada, where disposables are tops. With that in mind, how about we start with the diapers that are closest to throwing a disposable on, moving towards the types that your parents or grandparents would recognize.

 

All in Ones (commonly known as AIO)

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Smart Bottoms All In One

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BumGenius Freetime All-in-One

What is it: An All In One is exactly that. It is a diaper that has everything you need, sewn right in. It is the closest to a disposable in both look and use. You literally just put it on your kid. For a long time, these were favoured by those who wanted the easiest cloth option out there, including daycare providers and those who were a little more cloth shy.

Why is it awesome? With minimal prep, these bad boys are ready to go. After washing, all you need to do is throw it on your baby. Some require you to make sure the sewn in insert lays flat or is tucked in, but that’s it.

Why might I not like it? Firstly, because all the pieces are attached, they take longer to dry, which can be annoying if you have a smaller stash. Also, they tend to be the most expensive option because everything is there. They are a bit more of a pain to customize. You have a heavier wetter and you may struggle a bit to add a booster. Want to try a different fiber? You may have to buy a completely different brand or diaper. Also, you really only get one use at a time with AIOs. Kid pees or poops? Into the wet bag it goes to be washed.

What brands do you recommend? BumGenius offers two AIO options in either Freetime or Elemental. Thirsties is a great, affordable brand as well and I love their new prints. You can also try Imagine, Funky Fluff and Sweet Pea.

 

Pocket Diapers

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Kangacare Rumparooz Pocket Diaper

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Kawaii One-Size Pocket Diaper

What is it: A pocket diaper is a water proof cover that is lined with a soft and absorbent fabric that has a pocket. In the pocket you put an insert. Some pocket diapers come with inserts, usually microfiber. Other inserts can be fleece, bamboo, hemp, cotton, or a blend or combination.

Why is it awesome? I love pocket diapers. They are my personal favourite. Why? Well, they are incredibly versatile while still being easy to use. What do I mean? Well, if you need to add boosters, or change the kind of insert you use, you just need to buy the insert or booster and throw it in the pocket. Taadaa! Done. This means a pocket diaper will work for different kids with different needs, and for different phases of cloth diapering. You can mix and match different brands of inserts and boosters as well, so if you find one you love, you don’t have to stick with whatever insert came with the diaper.

In terms of prep and use, they are still really easy (though a bit more hands on). All you need to do is wash, dry, then stuff your insert into the pocket and you’re good to go! Once stuffed, they basically look like an All In One and go right on the kiddo. They are usually cheaper than All In Ones too, which is a nice bonus.

Why might I not like it? It is a bit more work than just diapering your kid. You do have to stuff the diaper, and, when it comes to washing, most brands require you to remove the insert from the pocket first (which means you may come in contact with pee or poop). Like an All In One, they are a one use before wash diaper, which means they need to be washed once they come in contact with pee or poop.

What brands do you recommend? My personal favourites have changed a bit over the last year. Currently, I’m a big fan of Bum Genius, Apple Cheeks, and Rumparooz.

 

Hybrid Diapers

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GroVia Hybrid Diaper

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Best Bottom Hybrid Diaper

What is it: A waterproof cover, usually without any kind of lining. Cover has buttons to which you can attach their insert directly, without any pocket or covering.

Why is it awesome? The big seller for Hybrid diapers is that they are quick and easy to prep and you can reuse the cover. To prep, all you have to do is wash, dry, snap in their insert and put the diaper on the baby. Most hybrid brands offer different kinds and sizes of inserts so that you can customize your diaper as baby grows and their diapering needs change. A big plus is that so long as the cover itself doesn’t get poopy, you can reuse it between uses. So, baby does their business? You remove the soiled insert, wipe down the cover’s waterproof lining, put in another inset and you’re good to go. This means you need fewer covers, which is great for when you’re out and about, for storage and, in theory, for the pocket book. One thing that’s nice is that if you have a mixed stash, you can use the hybrid covers as regular covers with prefolds or fitteds.

Why might I not like it? Well, despite the idea of not needing many covers, hybrid systems tend to be a bit more expensive than one would expect. Inserts are shaped to the diaper and aren’t always swappable between brands, which means you usually need to buy the correct insert for the same brand of cover.

What brands do you recommend? I loved these when L was little. They made for quick changes and less bulk in the diaper bag. I am a big fan of Best Bottoms, Grovia and the new Bummis hybrid.

 

Prefold Diapers and Covers

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BabyKicks Prefold Diaper, without cover.

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Bummis Prefold and Cover

What is it: A prefold diaper is pretty similar to what previous generations would have used for diapering, but have been upgraded for better fit, use and absorbency.

The prefold itself is a square piece of cloth with two seams sewn in. The middle portion is usually thicker with more layers of absorbent fabric. The seams are what make this “prefolded”. You would then fold the square into whatever shape works best for you and baby, and then you would cover the prefold with a waterproof cover of your choice. Without the cover, the prefold isn’t waterproof on its own.

Why is it awesome? Firstly, these are the cheapest diapering option out there. This is where you can save some serious money, especially compared to disposables. Secondly, prefolds only get more absorbent with use. The more you wash them, the more the fibers loosen up. Thirdly, they are incredibly versatile. You can change the kind of prefold you use if you want, you can buy different prefolds in different fibers and different sizes. You can fold the prefold however you want, with different folds to serve different purposes. Prefolds themselves are also awesome burp cloths and rags, which can give them a second life if you decide not to sell. Oh, and if you have a mixed stash, you can use prefolds as inserts in your pockets or use your hybrid covers with your prefolds.

I actually really love how you can have a bunch of really awesome covers, and a bunch of different kids of prefolds. Also, like the hybrid, these are a multi-use diaper. Toss the prefold into the wash, wipe down the cover and use a new prefold to keep on going. This keeps you from having to carry around as much and keeps costs down. For multiple kids of different genders, if you want to go girlie or boyish, you can cheaply pick up a couple more covers and reuse the prefolds you already have. Oh, and for washing, these babies dry up much much faster because they are all separate pieces.

Why might I not like it? These are probably the most labour intensive and intimidating cloth option, but I promise, they aren’t as complicated as they seem.

They require more bits and pieces, from the prefold, to the cover, some people like to use either pins or snappis to fasten the prefold on baby before putting the cover on.

Also, the obvious: Folding. I know, it looks fussy and crazy, especially when you add a baby to the mix. You don’t need to be a fancy origami expert to do this, I promise. You can go from as easy as a rectangle (outside flaps folded in, to create a pad) to something more diaper like. There is a learning curve, and it isn’t for everyone, but I swear anyone can figure it out.

What brands do you recommend? For the prefolds themselves, Bummis is tops for me. There is just something about that puffy cotton quilted looking fluff. Baby Kicks are also awesome for different fiber blends. As for covers, Thirsties, Rumparooz, Planet Wise and wool have my vote.

 

Fitted Diapers

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Babee Greens Fitted Diaper

What is it: A fitted diaper looks more like your disposable, but unless you know what a prefold is, it’s hard to explain, so I’ve put them here. Basically, a fitted is a prefold that has been sewn into a diaper shape for ease of use and fit. Most are not waterproof on their own, so you would put the fitted diaper on baby and then put a cover over top.

Why is it awesome? The ease of use of any of the other fitted types (AIO, Pocket. No folding!). The ability to mix and match a fitted with a diaper cover, the multi-use like a prefold. They are insanely absorbent. Like, crazy absorbent. A lot of people use these for over nights, for heavy wetters or long trips.

Why might I not like it? Because of their shape and the need to have a cover, they tend to be bulky. This can make clothing baby a bit of a pain. They are also far more expensive than a prefold, because of their tailored fit. Because of this, I don’t know many people who just use fitteds for all their diapering needs. Also, because of the way they are made, they take a while to dry.

What brands do you recommend? Sustainablebabyish, Baby Kicks and Kissaluvs.

There you have it. There are always new products popping up, but these are the ones you are most likely to come across. If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a line. I am by no means an expert, but I will try my best to help. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and found it helpful as you consider starting your cloth diaper journey.

The rest of the Baby Basics Series:

Review: November Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Beauty Blast

Bag: The cosmos! Man, I love this bag. It’s gorgeous. The colours are perfect.

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The Loot:

 

China Glaze in Travel in Colour

This is the one item I haven’t had a chance to try yet. My baby shower was a trip to a fantastic nail spa, so I wasn’t about to ruin my professionally done nails for the sake of a review. Sorry <3 I will say the colour kind of looks meh to me. It’s sort of a yellowy base which I hope dries more clear. The shimmer is gorgeous though. It’s pink, blue and purple iridescence. I love it. Once my nails are done I’ll give it a shot and let you know what I think.

 

 

Crown Brush Deluxe Pointed Crease Brush

I was actually excited about this one. Mama loves her brushes and I love playing with colours in my crease. Unfortunately this one felt a little cheap to me. The size was just a wee bit too small and the bristles were just a little too flimsy.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara

I have received this before and enjoyed it, so I was anticipating the same this time. That said, I’ve also tried a fair number of other mascaras since I last used this and honestly, it was just sort of ok. I still prefer my They’re Real or Better Than Sex. It does an ok job, I just felt like I really needed to layer to get oomph. It does do a good job of lengthening and separating though.

Coolway Stronghold Spray

I was actually really happy with this product. I used it on both wet and dry hair for blow drying my bangs, air drying my curls and then touching them up with a curling iron. My hair had great volume and hold. It didn’t quite beat the frizz, but I’m still pretty happy with the results. The fragrance is pretty nice for a hair spray too.

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My look, before the gel liner

Beaute Basics Gel Eyeliner with Eyeliner Brush

I was excited about this one when I first saw it was going to be included. I wish it was in black or a metallic. The navy was ok, but it wasn’t quite as dark as I was hoping. Application was ok. The gel was a little thick,  but I figured it out. Unfortunately, my eyes HATED it. I had bad swelling afterwards. Not good. Definitely not going to use it again.

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My look, with the gel liner. 

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The next day, no makeup to show you the swelling on my eye. Ouch.

Over-all Review of the Bag: Better than last month, for sure. The bag alone made me happy to receive this month. The products themselves were ok. The sizing of the samples were mostly good. I wish there were more exciting brands, but china glaze and smashbox is a good start considering. I’m bummed that I had a skin reaction, but that happens when you have sensitive skin.

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My full look with these products for my Baby Shower

And, a quick note to wrap everything up: I am now 9 months pregnant and could have baby any time. This means I can’t guarentee when or if I will be doing any more ipsy reviews. I haven’t decided how long I’ll keep this subscription either. Once things get settled with baby I will definitely bring back reviews, but please don’t get your hopes up for one next month. I’ll do my best, but family comes first.

Review: October Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Alter-Ego

Bag: Gold and Black, perfect for Halloween without being too cheesy.

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The Loot:

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

This is the perfect time of year for a hair mask. We are starting to get temps in the minuses, with dry heat inside. My poor locks have been a mess since I stopped dying it. I really liked the scent of the mask. I didn’t need very much to treat my hair, though I was expecting it to feel a bit more like a conditioner. My hair felt lovely after the treatment, but I can’t say that it made any significant difference after one use. Will keep using it over the next while (once a week or so) and see if it actually does help.

Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub

As with the first leaf changing from green to yellow or red, the mighty pumpkin has arrived as a herald of fall. Pumpkin everything is everywhere, so it makes sense that Ipsy would send something out that has pumpkin in it. I was a bit nervous about trying this because I am in the middle of a bad eczema flare up on my face and pumpkin isn’t super hydrating or calming for me. I was brave in the name of beauty, and gave it a shot anyway. I found the grains a little too harsh for my liking, and honestly, I didn’t feel super in love with the formula otherwise. It’s ok, and definitely fun for a seasonal thing, but not something I see myself using again.

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Lipstick

Matte lipstick is everywhere right now, so I was excited to give it a shot. That said, with my current eczema outbreak, I was worried about the state of my lips ruining the effect. So, I prepped. I exfoliated, moisturized and primed. The lipstick itself goes on smoothly and softly, and then dries into a matte finish. Unfortunately, the first time I used it, it completely dried out my lips to the point that my poor lips were flaking. The second time, I used a more hardcore moisturizer first and it did make a difference. Sadly, it also caused the lipstick to fade much more quickly, leaving me with what looked like lip liner. The colour wasn’t quite right for me. It was slightly too orange for my skin tone, so it’s not one I see myself reaching for, even with my lips in better shape. The packaging is super cute, but the sample size is very tiny.

Me wearing the lipstick, before getting to work

Me wearing the lipstick, before getting to work

it Cosmetics Hello Lashes Clincally proven 5-in-1 mascara

This was my only win this month. I really enjoy the packaging, and the wand made application easy (though I will say it felt a bit flimsy). The formula is great and did make a big difference in my lashes. No flaking or clumping, and lasted despite my weepy eyes thanks to allergies. Will keep using, for sure! One thing: Be careful not to get this in your eye. It burns like hell and will take forever to stop.

Don't mind me, just taking a picture of my eyes at work.

Don’t mind me, just taking a picture of my eyes at work.

Emite Make Up Professional slant tweezers

I’m not sure I needed new tweezers, but maybe now I will have an extra set for when my hubby steals my usual pair. This ones worked great, grabbing on to the hair nicely and allowing me to really get into my brow angles without ripping out large patches tragically. Good set of tweezers.

Over-all Review of the Bag: Honestly, I’m not super impressed. The theme didn’t really mesh with the products. Alter-Ego/Halloween would have made more sense with some naturals paired with some crazy fun stuff. These all felt pretty blah to me, even without considering the formulas that didn’t work for me. I would have loved some crazy eyeshadow colours, some crazy lashes or a bright extreme lipcolour. Something out there, you know? Looking at the specific products, I was pretty disappointed all over the board. They weren’t good for my sensitive dry skin, and the size of the samples were pretty little this time around. Sorry ipsy, it wasn’t love this month.

Sorry for the blurry at work pictures. I'm 8 months pregnant and sick. The only time I get makeup on my face these days is when I have to look presentable. ;)

Sorry for the blurry at work pictures. I’m 8 months pregnant and sick. The only time I get makeup on my face these days is when I have to look presentable. ;)

Review: September Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Face Fashion

Bag: Very glam, and makes me think of J.Lo. I don’t really know why.

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The Loot:

NYX Cosmetics Ipsy Eye Shadow Trio

Honestly, I wasn’t too excited to see a product from NYX. I have heard that it’s a cheapie brand that’s pretty easy to come by. Man, I was silly. The trio is perfect for the fall. I don’t tend to wear a lot of brown shadows, but this really works for me. There is decent pigmentation, subtle sparkle and good lasting power. I wish there was a highlight shade in there (the light shade looks much lighter in the stock photos. It’s definitely more of a medium shade, especially on my skin), but I still really enjoy it.

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Octavio Molina Hair Aceite de Argan

As a woman with very frizzy curly hair, I appreciate hair oils. Unfortunately, quite often my scalp does not. In this case, my scalp was not pleased. The oil itself is fairly light, smells nice and does a decent job but I just can’t bare the itchiness.

LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask

A mask that I can sleep in? Colour me intrigued! I definitely need to use this a few more times before I can report on the results, but I will say I enjoy it’s gel texture, and how well it went on. My skin felt pretty good in the morning, though nothing life changing so far. I like the idea of putting it on right before bed and cleaning it off in the morning. You know, without destroying my pillows or terrifying my child/husband.

Elizabeth Mott Queen of the Fill Tinted Eyebrow Gel

Ok, this intrigued me. I’ve seen brow gel around, but I’ve pretty much stuck to my pencils and shadows. I was really excited to give it a try. It did not disappoint! Definitely my favourite out of this bag! It doesn’t give the precision of a pencil, but I still love the result. So fast, while still delivering a great result. I may never go back from gel.

J.Cat #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze

I am a little sick of eyeliners, so I wasn’t too excited to pull this out of my bag. Thankfully, I always love metallic everything, so I am pleased with the shade. It works great with the NYX eyeshadow trio and goes on pretty well. My only complaint is I actually found it too sharp/too fine a point. Made it a pain in the butt to get a good line. Otherwise, it gave good sheen, pretty colour and stuck around until after work.

My eyes after a long shift at work

My eyes after a long shift at work

Overall: A much better bag this month. New products, interesting brands, a variety of products and a cute bag. I was worried, after my August bag, but this one renewed my faith.

My look for work, done with the products from the glam bag. Held up well!

My look for work, done with the products from the glam bag. Held up well!

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Review: July Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Summer Lovin’

Bag: Love it! It’s super colourful and fun. So good!

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The Loot:

Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick in P.I.N.K

One day, as a young woman, I walked into a department store to buy my first lipstick. I was told that I could not pull off lipstick and I should stick to glosses. Needless to say, I love getting new lipsticks to try. This one is great. Feels so smooth and soft, not drying at all and had surprising staying power. Unfortunately, the mineral formula did not make my skin happy and it triggered my eczema (I have issues with all mineral formulas in all makeup). This makes me sad, because it was pretty great.

Gave it a try as soon as I got it. No other makeup on.

Gave it a try as soon as I got it. No other makeup on.

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongogo Vanilla Coconut Cream Lip Conditioner

Because of the skin issues I have, I am always willing to try a new lip conditioner/chapstick, whatever. While my initial impression wasn’t great (I associate Jersey Shore with the show, and expected something sort of…trashy?), this product smells great and did a decent job moisturizing my lips. It’s not the best lip conditioner that I’ve tried, but it’s not the worst either. Not bad for keeping in the car/at work/whatever.

Jo’Rel Parker Classico

I like the size of this perfume sample. I don’t get “exotic” from the scent at all. Instead, I’d say it’s a strong floral, which is pretty and summery. It is VERY strong though, so be very light with it. The rose amped on me immediately and I had to wash it off as it was making my whole family sneeze. One light dab on a wrist that is then tapped on my neck decolletage and other wrist was more than a enough.

City Color Cosmetics HD Powder

This product was well timed, as I am just about to finish up my Forever Make-up HD Powder and was willing to try something else. I found it more drying than the Forever Makeup formula, but it did help set everything on my face. I wish that you could get at more of the product more easily.

Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics 2 in 1 Shadow/Liner

Unfortunately, this was the one product in this month’s bag that I just did like. It doesn’t spread/smudge well enough to be an effective shadow for me, and as a liner it was ok, but didn’t have good staying power or presence. When smudged, because of the colour, my eyelid ended up looking more dirty than pretty. The shine/metallic of the bronze disappears and it becomes just sort of muddy brown. I don’t see myself using it again, except as a really natural or barely there liner.

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Smudged swatches on my son’s hand, because he likes product like his mama.

Overall: I was pretty pleased with this bag, though there isn’t a ton of love for the individual products. The ones I liked didn’t do a perfect job, but maybe I’m just too picky and have standards that are too high? I think this bag would have worked better for someone who doesn’t have sensitive skin and a sensitivity to scents.

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