Monday, 17 March 2014

Local Beauty: TVAL Skincare Haul and Review

Today I'm happy to post about a lovely brand that is born and bred in St. John's, Newfoundland! The TVAL store is located on Water Street in downtown St. John's. My favorite thing about the little shop is that when you walk in (besides the gorgeous scents that meet you at the door), you can see the workers making the products literally behind the counter. I don't know of many businesses that have their production and sales so closely tied together, but it makes for a nice touch. The store has been open for over a decade now and I remember falling in love with the brand at a young age. It's been quite some time since I tried their products and I was eager to get a handful of products and share my thoughts with you. If you have never visited the store, I would highly recommend popping in and having a sniff. The store has such a nice atmosphere with friendly staff who are more than happy to share their product recommendations. Their product line includes handmade soaps, bath and body products, skincare, hair care, mother/baby products and more besides. The products are also available online on their website (found here).

I went into the store initially on the hunt for a new body butter. I'm such a fan of body butters and use them year-round for keeping my skin as soft as possible. I spent a considerable amount of time sniffing their gorgeous body butters but somehow got hung up on the scent of the TVAL Blueberry Musk Liquid Soap. I happened to mention that I wished that I could find a body butter that smelled close to the liquid soap, to which I was informed that they make CUSTOM products. To my delight, I received a phone call a few days later informing me that my body butter was ready for pick up. The TVAL Blueberry Musk Whipped Shea Body Butter is divine, it has a blueberry scent that comes across as very sultry rather than fresh. The formula of the butter is thick and nourishing but seems to sink into the skin within seconds, leaving a smooth and non-greasy finish to the skin. I have really dehydrated and dry skin on my body and tend to go through body butters really quickly (my skin literally drinks them up). This body butter definitely goes much further with a smaller amount of product. I've been using this for a few days and I'm absolutely in love with the formulation and the delicious scent that lingers on my skin for an entire day. I love the idea of customized bath and body care and think it's a great idea for birthday gifts or the upcoming Mother's Day.

Grade: A+

Oddly enough, I'm normally not a fan of blueberry smells but TVAL has converted me. I was in the market for a new scrub and this TVAL offering is fantastic. It's definitely a coarse scrub when first applied to the skin but seems to melt into a rich, exfoliating oil. I like to use body scrubs on my legs before shaving and on my elbows, knees and feet on a weekly basis. The TVAL Whipped Sugar Body Scrub in Blueberry Vanilla Parfait smells good enough to eat and exfoliates the skin without drying out the skin. I also love how the delicious scent is still present on the skin post-shower.

Grade: A+

The two sales associates happily directed me to the Mandarin Vanilla Lip Balm as one of their favorites. I love the silky texture of this balm that creates a smooth, hydrated base that works really well under lipstick. I would recommend this balm for daily maintenance to prevent chapped lips, as I prefer to use heavier lip treatments at night to repair my dry lips. This lip balm smells and tastes SO good, and I think I've narrowed down the scent as similar to Creamsicles. This is a great lip balm to throw in your purse for an easy, everyday lip balm.

Grade: A

Prior to my visit to TVAL, I was actually considering ordering a $25 lip scrub from Sephora. Insanity. I've been trying to track down a lip scrub for quite some time, as I love to wear matte lip products but hate the dry skin on my lips that becomes so obvious on application. I was really looking forward to trying this out and I am happy to report that this product has met my expectations. I use the TVAL Exfoliating Lip Balm straight onto the lips before lipstick and wipe off the sugar bits with a tissue (or occasionally lick it off my lips... and assuming it's ok for ingestion). I will then follow up with the previously mentioned lip balm for perfectly prepped and primed lips without the icky dry bits. I think it's super convenient that this product comes in a stick form (rather than an un-hygienic little pot) with a fresh minty scent at the great price point of $5. Very impressed.

Grade: A+

This soap claims to remove kitchen odors (like onion, garlic, fish, etc) from your hands and it was the first thing I put my hand on in the store. For those of you who don't know, I love to cook and I especially love garlic (but hate smelling like garlic for 12 hours). This pretty block of handmade soap has taken up permanent residence at my kitchen sink and is well loved by both myself and the boy. The soap has coffee grinds and peppermint essential oils to remove unwanted kitchen smells. An invaluable investment for anybody who cooks!

Grade: A+

TVAL has countless more products and an impressive variety of scents that I look forward to trying out. I truly think it's one of those brands where there is something for everyone. It's a great place to go if you want to treat yourself to some beautiful products AND support local business. Have you tried TVAL products? What should I try next?

Thanks for reading.

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