Featured Image: livingbetweenwednesdays.com
Firstly, Happy Canada Day to all those in the great white north! Canada is celebrating its 148th birthday today. I didn’t grow up in Canada, exactly (if anyone’s ever wondered why I don’t spell the Canadian/British way, this is why), but I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult years here and I could not be happier to be raising my baby son in this country.
Secondly, I apologize for reviewing a recently discontinued line of nail polish today, but it’s the only Canadian brand from which I own a red polish!
But, I am reviewing two Canadian products today, and the second product is by Cocoon Apothecary, which is definitely available! It is currently also 25% off at Well.ca (referral link, sale runs through this Sunday).
Brand: Coco & Lulu (by Cake Beauty)
I’ll cover the nail polish first. Coco & Lulu was a line of 3 Free Nail Lacquer created in 2013 by Toronto-based Cake Beauty for the Canadian books & lifestyle chain, Indigo/Chapters. I’m not 100% sure that the line is dead, but Indigo/Chapters no longer sells it online, and the line’s Twitter hasn’t been updated since, well, 2013.
The set a Paris-themed holiday release, which I bought the following January, for $14 on clearance. It included three colors: Champagne, Eiffel Tower, and Left Bank. I’ll review Eiffel Tower another day, but my Canada Day mani this year is Left Bank + Champagne.
Left Bank is a midtoned true red cream, which sounds super boring, but I love my red creams and this is a really nice one. It’s well-balanced, vibrant and opaque with just two coats, and the application is smooth. I can’t complain at all. I love the squat, fat bottle, too. The cap is ever so slightly rubberized-feeling, for extra grip and lint-catching.
Champagne is loaded with gold (perfect foily gold, not too orange, nor too white) glitter, with a good handful of multicolored glitter thrown into the mix. The glitter is suspended in a clear base. I used three layers of glitter over Left Bank, in my swatch, but you can definitely use less (or more!). My indoor photos don’t do this justice, by the way. In sunlight, this sparkles like a gold discoball! Love it.
Coco & Lulu 3 Free Nail Lacquers were 0.5 fl oz / 15 mL and retailed for CA$8.50. They were sold exclusively at Indigo/Chapters bookstores in Canada. The formula was free of toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Cake Beauty, the company that created the line, is cruelty-free, so I assume that Coco & Lulu was, as well. The nail lacquers, unlike Cake Beauty’s regular line, were made in the USA.
And now, for the facial oil!
Cocoon Apothecary is a brand that I’ve only come across at Well.ca and I was in a bit of a facial oil mood a few months ago, so I bought their Rosehip Oil Moisturizing Serum. I’ve only recently started using it, once I got tired of using Josie Maran’s Argan Oil and Mitchell & Peach’s Fine Radiance Oil.
Before I start my review, here’s a bit about rosehip oil and what it is.
Rosehip oil is actually pressed from the seeds of the rose bush (the fruit of the rose bush is called a rose hip). It contains high amounts of beta-Carotene, which explains its orange-y yellow color, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. While it does not contain vitamin A (retinol), it does contain tretinoin, a retinoic acid that retinol converts to. Tretinoin is used as a topical treatment for skin conditions like acne, which is why rosehip oil is often recommended for treatment of acne, eczema, and scar healing. However, the amount of tretinoin found in rosehip seed oil is generally a fair bit lower than that of skincare products containing tretinoin.
Please note that retinol use is not recommended for expectant mothers and those who are breastfeeding, particularly oral retinoids (Accutane, for example, is known to cause birth defects). Topical retinoids, applied to the skin, have not been proven to have such side effects, but to be safe, their use is not recommended.
Cocoon Apothecary’s website states:
Our organic rosehip oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of rose fruit known as ‘hips’. The hips are collected from a rose bush called rose mosqueta, located in Chile. The seeds contain approximately 10% oil rich in essential fatty acids, including up to 40% omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA). These fatty acids are ideal for moisturizing the skin and help to carry nutrients deep into the layers of the dermis. The most extraordinary component of rosehip oil is tretinoin (the animal/synthetic version is known as retinol or retinyl palmitate), an anti-aging, regenerative bioactive that is known to combat acne and fine wrinkles. This is an ideal method of delivering tretinoin because it doesn’t have the side effects of the synthetic versions (*). It also contains skin-healthy amounts of antioxidants in the form of carotenoids and polyphenols and other nourishing vitamins and minerals. This oil is cold-pressed, also known as ‘virgin’, which means that the oil was extracted by squeezing it out of the fruit rather than extracting it by using solvents. It has higher levels of carotenoids (with a red colour to the oil rather than the regular golden hue) and 700% more tretinoin (vitamin A acid) than the conventional solvent-extracted version.
FOR Most skin types. Not recommended for acne-prone skin.
Features and Benefits:
• Regenerative to wrinkles, sun damage, scars, wounds, burns, eczema
• High levels of antioxidants to fight free radicals
• Supports collagen and elastin production to maintain firm, youthful skin
(*) I have no idea what “side effects of the synthetic versions” they are referring to, and am inclined to dismiss that snippet, since they don’t explain it at all.
Now, I mentioned that I was using two other oils prior to starting this rosehip oil. While Josie Maran’s oil has no scent and Mitchell & Peach’s is scented with “Flora No. 1” (a light and very pleasant fragrance), Cocoon Apothecary’s Rosehip Oil is pure, organic rosehip oil and I was unprepared for what that actually smells like. I’m not one to fuss over odd smells (I’m perfectly OK smelling seaweed at the beach and manure on a farm), but…rosehip oil smells kind of like cod liver oil. You know, that awful stuff your parents made you eat when you were a kid.
Once I start rubbing a drop or two of the rosehip oil into my skin, the smell somehow morphs into something reminiscent of dry green tea. Much more pleasant, and I’m not sure I understand how that change occurs! Rosehips are used to make tea, though. I would hope it smells like tea and not like fish oil.
I’ve only been using the oil every other day or so, at night, for about two weeks, so I’m not going to claim that it’s some miracle oil. I will say, though, that after using it just once, I woke up in the morning to calmer, “rosier” looking skin, if you will pardon the pun. The company doesn’t recommend this for acne-prone skin, but while I do get occasional zits, I didn’t find that this oil caused any problems for me. At least it has actually seemed to have done something good, unlike the other facial oils I’ve tried! Shame about the initial smell, though.
The bottle is amber glass and the dispenser is a dropper. Overall, the packaging works very well for an oil; perhaps the dropper could have a smaller hole, as it tends to drip and dispense a little more than I’d like, but that’s a minor quibble.
I have read that you should keep rosehip oil in the refrigerator in order to extend its shelf life, but I’m going to wing it and leave it in my bathroom. The label says it expires 6 months after opening, anyway. We’ll see what state it’s in by November!
Cocoon Apothecary Rosehip Oil Moisturizing Serum is 2 fl oz / 60 mL and retails for CA$24. It is made in Canada and contains only certified organic rosehip oil.
Cocoon Apothecary is based in Canada. Their packaging is eco-friendly, and their products are vegan and petroleum-free.