Volition Beauty

With Spring close enough that you can almost taste it (can you tell I’m excited about the upcoming warmer weather?), my thoughts turn towards switching up my skincare routine. That said, earlier this year I was invited to learn about Volition Beauty and while I had never heard of this brand, the premise behind their concept intrigued me enough to actually leave hibernation (seriously). Few things can accomplish this feat — but innovation in beauty always works … at least, for me.

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So what exactly sets Volition Beauty apart, you ask? It’s simple: instead of a brand producing products based on their own criteria, Volition works through collaboration with their consumers/innovators to create products that are unique in the industry. In a nutshell, when product ideas are open to voting, the product with the right amount of votes gets to be produced; each product has its own voting threshold and once that specific amount has been reached, it then gets out to market. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the innovator behind each idea also receives a cut of the profits. Incentive, no?

NOTE: Click on each product link for a detailed ingredients list

Turmeric Brightening Polish (CAN $48.00) | For all my French readers, please note that the French name of this product is currently being adjusted; it turns out that the translator the brand used was a bit too literal with the word “polish” (“vernis” usually refers to “nail polish”). Yep, we sure had a good laugh over this at the preview event. Moving along …

The brainchild behind this product is Anurahda, who turned to her culture for inspiration, and in particular, the spice, turmeric; long used in Indian cuisine & beauty rituals, turmeric also has beneficial health properties for topical use. Combined with micronized walnut shell (biodegradable, it’s also ground fine & round-shaped to be non-abrasive on skin), any telltale yellow staining on the skin is eliminated via the use of turmeric plant root, an ingredient with known antioxidant properties. This was my first foray with Volition and by a happy accident, I found a different way to use this exfoliator. Basically, I misread the directions which said to apply & leave it on the skin for 2 minutes before rinsing off with gentle massaging motions. Instead, I literally massaged it gently into my skin for said 2 minutes before rinsing off. The result? I have NEVER seen my skin looking brighter, nor my pores tighter (as in: vanished). This is a product I will definitely be keeping in my arsenal. For the record, I don’t advocate doing what I did — I know what my skin can personally tolerate.

Detoxifying Silt Gelée Mask (CAN $75.00) | Let me start by stating that I’m not a fan of seeing words like “clean” or “detoxifying” on beauty products, as I find they can be misleading and can contribute to the “green-washing” effect rampant in the beauty industry right now. But until better terminology is found, I’ll let this one go. Created by Takako, one of Volition’s beauty chemists, she wanted to created a mask that purifies while simultaneously moisturizes skin, without leaving a dessicated feel behind. Made with gel suspension technology, this mud is somewhat jiggly (which for some bizarre reason I absolute love) and can use a bit of mixing before application. Containing black silt that’s sustainably harvested from pristine Finnish lakes (and thus free from known pollutants), this goop is rich in ‘bioactive minerals and nutrient compounds‘. Also included are 2 Boomerang Sponges to not only help effectively remove all traces of the mask, but also provide a mild exfoliation in the process.

Being the skeptic that I am, I applied this mask and once it was removed (and I highly recommend using the sponge for that — makes the job a billion times faster), I was floored; my skin actually felt nourished. Not as hydrated as if I’d used a moisturizer, but STILL. This mask actually delivered, thoroughly cleansing my skin without leaving it parched. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

Boomerang Sponges: wet vs dry — neat trick, huh?

Snow Mushroom Water Serum (CAN $78.00) | Created by Keidy, a beauty lover (like you & me), who has had issues with problematic acne-prone skin and had a difficult time finding products that wouldn’t cause flare-ups, she turned to mushrooms — one of nature’s superfoods. Specifically, Snow Water mushrooms sourced from the mineral-charged marine waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and able to hold nearly 500 times their weight in water. Some of their other benefits include helping in collagen production and acting as filters for free-radical damage. Magic mushrooms, indeed.

I love mushrooms. As in, LOVE — so I was understandably super excited for this serum. Housed in a glass bottle that comes with a dropper-style dispenser, the milky fluid is runny (but not overly so) and definitely has an ‘earthiness’ to it, which I don’t find off-putting in any way and in fact, don’t even notice it once it’s applied. Now, I can’t vouch for any scientific claims, but here’s what I notice (and bear in mind that we’re all unique; what works for me may not work for you & vice versa, so get to know your skin and DO YOUR HOMEWORK): I have been using this serum morning and night, and the times I’ve removed it from my routine to test out other products, I’ve seen a slight negative impact in the way my skin behaves. In other words, this serum totally works for me and what’s more, plays nicely with other products too. And now I have a second Volition product added to my permanent roster.

Oceanene Youth-Boost Gel (CAN $63.00) | The creation behind this product is Julie — an entrepreneur & lab owner (that’s convenient), who wanted a moisturizer that was lightweight in feel but a real heavyweight when it came to results … and which would have a universal appeal, both in terms of skin type and age range. Powered by brown algae (which helps to support natural collagen synthesis), this hydrator also includes Vitamin C for brightening, and Sodium Hyaluronate for a visible skin plumping effect.

These last few years, my skin needs have changed; where once I couldn’t handle rich creams, I’ve now come to rely on them — but only in Winter and for application at night. So I had high expectations for this moisturizer; does it deliver? Yes … and no. Right now, my skin needs a lot MORE in terms of hydration and that’s primarily weather-related (Montréal Winters are BRUTAL, y’all) and while this product does a decent job, my skin still needs that little bit extra. That said, I have a feeling this will be spot-on perfect once the Summer hits and my skin starts rebelling against anything heavy, so I’ll be saving it until then.

Helix AM/PM Eye Gel (CAN $65.00) | The innovator behind this product is Julie, a makeup artist who wanted to target the very first place we show signs of aging AND wanted a product that can double as primer for the undereye area. Made with a ‘helix complex — a potent organic compound rich in allantoin, collagen, elastin, and glycol acid‘, it’s said to promote tighter, brighter, de-puffed, and youthful-looking skin while providing a slight cooling felt upon application. The texture is unique as well; the transparent gel feels different than a usual eye cream, probably due to the silicone polymer in the formula, helping it melt nicely into the skin.

Confession: I don’t apply eye creams regularly. In fact, unless I’m specifically testing one out, I skip them in my usual routine, and my reasoning may sound odd; I feel that everything else I apply is doing a good enough job of hydrating that area. And while in a way that’s true, I know that said creams are designed for the unique skin around eyes and technically, I really should become more vigilant about that. So what about Helix? I like that the texture is lightweight (unless applied to the upper lid, in which case that’s better left for before bed) and absorbs beautifully. Time will tell whether it helps minimize my fine lines, so you can bet that I’ll be giving it a more thorough testing.

Oil-Control Mattifying Mist (CAN $32.00) | Fitness guru Alice is the brains behind this creation; with her busy lifestyle she wanted a product that can take her from the office, to the gym, to a night out — without needing to apply & reapply her makeup (sound familiar?). Made for normal, oily and combination skin types (dry complexions should probably avoid this), this was formulated to be used any time of day and it leaves a soft velvet matte finish upon skin. The nozzle diffuses a fine mist (no shocking wild shot of spray, thank you very much) and can also be used as a setting spray for makeup.

I actually had my daughter put it to the test before one of her tennis lessons; I figured if this spray lasts through that kind of gruelling session, then there’s GOT to be something special at work. The result? barring a teensy bit of shine on her nose, this stuff actually kept everything else at bay; she could literally have moved on to any other event without anyone knowing she had just had a major workout on the court. The verdict: it works.

We live in wonderful times filled with beauty innovations, and what makes Volition Beauty stand out to me, is the approach this brand has taken; by involving participants (who are also compensated, by the way) in the creation of products, it feels more personal and not like a bunch of invisible CEO’s are pulling the strings somewhere in the background. I also appreciate that Volition is taking the time to properly source ingredients that are beneficial to the end user AND the environment, obtaining Sephora’s ‘Clean Seal’ of approval in the process. One area I would personally address, would be to minimize the packaging — a facet that I feel would be more in line with this brand’s outlook. Overall, Volition is a brand you’d do well to investigate because there’s some pretty amazing things being cooked up! Be right back — leaving to try and think up an original idea for a product …

Available at Sephora & www.volitionbeauty.com

Kindly provided by Volition Beauty for my unbiased consideration

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