…well, I’m back.
I think there’s a longer post to make about the effect of the pandemic on creative endevours, how all those feel-good posts as things started closing at the end of March about finishing novels and living your best, more productive life during quarantine were absolute trash, but that isn’t this post. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been cataloguing new products and tracking my empties, planning reviews and retrospectives and never quite finding the strength to commit thoughts to paper (er…blog processer?). And like so many of my best laid plans, I’ve found it nearly impossible to get my butt onto this site or any other for that matter and get things posted.
But that really is an entire post unto itself.
One of the best things I’ve done for my own creativity during this time is start small. Don’t want to read? Well, here, try these middle years books, no more than 200 pages of large-size font each. Don’t want to write? Create a brain dump page in your bullet journal for all those ideas that you’ll get to eventually. Don’t want to watch a new tv series? Go back to an old favourite you know off by heart and let it play.
Can’t seem to bring yourself to write about new beauty products? Fine, here’s a brand that I’ve known and loved and seen grown from infancy into the smashing collection that it is now. Here’s me about to talk about all my favourite products and why I think they’re so awesome. And I get to show some love to a friend that I respect and admire while I’m at it.
Naked Kitty is a Regina-based skincare and cosmetics company. Launched in 2016 with lip balms, salves, and deodorant, Naked Kitty now boasts cleansers, toners, lip tints, moisturizers, and lip scrubs. Products are effectively formulated to ensure safe use and best results. Ingredients are sourced locally and they can be found in a number of Regina and Saskatoon businesses or online (for delivery or pick-up in Regina!)
I’ve been a proud customer and eager tester for Naked Kitty since its early days, and while I rave about everything that I’ve tried, this blog post includes the products that I simply adore and consistently have in my collection:
Sea Witch Toner
When I was putting together the bottles and jars for the banner on this post, I found no fewer than three bottles of Sea Witch toner in my bathroom. One was empty, one has been used, and one is still brand new, ready to go when I have polished off my current bottle.
The magic of Sea Witch toner is in the sea buckthorn. I remember getting a tester from an early batch and having to be reassured about the bright orange colour of the formula. Whatever raised eyebrow I might have flashed at the bottle quickly subsided though: Sea Witch toner is amazing. The sea buckthorn provides a nice boost of moisture (a welcome effect after my reliance on more astringent toners in the past), but unlike oils or serums, this toner doesn’t overwhelm my skin in warmer months. I can use this stuff year round without it causing a breakout. In fact, during the summer, it’s sometimes all the moisture I need.
There are very few oil cleansers I’ve found that are powerful enough to breakdown my heavier make-up looks but gentle enough for my skin. The Naked Kitty cleansing balm is one of the absolute best. It’s a lush formula that takes off even my most stubborn makeup – my gel liners, my waterproof mascaras, my full coverage foundations – but it’s so supple that even after a foaming cleanser, my skin still feels hydrated. I consistently follow with a foaming cleanser and my skin still feels hydrated in the aftermath. Bless.
A brand new favourite that you wouldn’t think would be getting a whole lot of play in the quarantimes (wear your masks, please!), but the lip scrub has actually be a lifesaver. Even with lip balms, my triple-layer cotton masks and the recent cold weather have ravaged my lips. I avoided the lip scrub for a while thinking it would make things worse, but I’ve since added it to my morning routine, and my lips are in way better shape. The hyaluronic acid in the formula helps immensely. Acid is a bit misleading here: I thought for sure this was an exfoliant and ultimately an irritant for my lips. But hyaluronic acid actually conditions, cushions, and lubricates. My lips have seriously never felt better.
Over the summer, I relied on the Green Tea Peach scent, but I just picked up the Marshmallow one. Not only for the scent, which seems perfect and cozy for this cold wintry days, but also for the colour, a smashing teal (a tiny detail, given that the colour doesn’t come up for the lip at all, but one that brightens my day nevertheless).
Alas, you won’t find this on the Naked Kitty website, but occasionally, if you follow them on Instagram, small batches become available. There are scented lotions on the site that I recommend (the formulation includes lanolin, perfect for protecting skin at any time but especially now with all the washing and sanitizing). I was very fond of Vanilla Mint in the early days, but the new Turmeric Rose scent is divine.
But I digress – the naked lotion remains one of my favourites. It’s perfect for the workplace because it’s unscented; it’s perfect for dry or irritated skin, again, because it’s unscented. The last time it was available, I picked up two jars so I would always have one handy, and so that they would last me until the product becomes available again. Which may be sooner than expected, given all the sanitizing and hand washing I’m doing.
I have a weakness for moisturizer. I’ve been collecting my empties since I disappeared from the blog a few months ago, and the number of sample sizes I have is embarrassing, frankly, even for a person who purports to be a beauty blogger. But my own low-stakes adventures in the land of skincare combined with a goal of finding an honest-to-goodness fantastic moisturizer lead me to say yes to basically anything once.
Anyways, Matcha Love was not a Sephora add-on, nor was it, to my knowledge, a product I guinea pigged in its testing phase. It was a recommendation from my sister, who started using Naked Kitty when I couldn’t stop talking about the vegan lotions and Seawitch toner. We have similar skin types – sensitive, combination, acne-prone – and she found Matcha Love was that perfect balance of hydrating without being overwhelming. And she’s right – Matcha Love is wonderful. I still don’t risk it in my T-zone, but it’s been a wonder for the winter, one of those moisturizers that does exactly what I need. This is particularly true when I use it before make-up. Lots of my other products will have me looking glossy by midday (I wear matte foundation for a reason), but Matcha Love doesn’t.
Whew – I guess that wasn’t so hard. Maybe I need to write about my favourite things more often. Hope the quarantimes have been treating you well, lovelies!