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10 Honest Reviews Of Products We Tried In August

Soap! Sports bra! Kobo!

Every month The Huffington Post Canada's Living team will review products or experiences that have sparked our curiosity, made us sweat or is the latest, trendiest thing in the world of healthy living.

This month we focused on keeping our skin clean, checking out the latest back-to-school accessories and seeing if we could really get fit with a personal trainer through an app.

For August, we tried everything from Trainerize (a new app that creates a personalized workout and meal plan through your phone), a foaming face wash from Consonant Skincare, and the Kobo Aura H20, which is a waterproof e-reader — perfect for those days at the pool.

Check out our list below and let us know what you want us to try out next!

What is it:Consonant Natural Foaming Face Wash
Price: $22
Review By: Chloe Tejada, Senior Living Editor
First impressions: I’ve tried so many face washes over the years with mixed results but this one was very light, easy to remove and made my skin feel really clean and smooth.
Pros: It’s really gentle, washes off easily and cleans up all the dirt, oil and even makeup on your skin. It’s also pH balanced so you don’t need to use a toner afterwards. Most importantly, it doesn’t have harmful alcohols that can ruin and irritate your skin, which is important for me as I have really sensitive skin that’s prone to redness.
Cons: Honestly, I can’t find any cons to this face wash.
Final words: I would definitely use this face wash on the regular.
What is it:Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee pitcher packs
Price: $19.95 for 12 servings
Review By: Chloe Tejada, Senior Living Editor
First impressions: I’m a huge fan of cold coffee drinks so I was excited to try this out. Maybe I didn’t put enough ice into the jug but the coffee was really strong, so I couldn’t finish my cup, but you can change the strength of the coffee depending on how much water and ice you add.
Pros: It’s super easy to make, and will cost you less than a few runs to Starbucks. I enjoyed drinking it, but again, I would have added more ice to balance out the strong taste.
Cons: You have to let it steep in a jug for 24 hours in the fridge before you drink it. It’s also easy to poke a hole in the packs, which I did — twice.
Final words: It was pretty tasty so anyone who’s into cold coffee would probably enjoy it.
What is it:Nike Zoned Sculpt
Price: $111
Review By: Arti Patel, Living Editor
First impressions: I am really liking how these pants feel and I am really hoping they aren't uncomfortably tight.
Pros: For starters, these pants not only fit perfectly, but hug you in all the right spots. The Zoned Sculpt pants are meant to support key muscle groups when you exercise — you will notice different grooves on your core, quads and calves. It is also built with Dri-FIT fabric, keeping you dry at the same time. One thing I had about working out in tights is how often they start to slip. These pants, however, stay put no matter how intense you're going.
Cons: Although they are meant to keep you dry, I found it hard working out in these outdoors — it was just way too humid outside.
Final words: I would recommend these as a great option for people who are in the need for outdoor gear.
What is it:Trainerize, an online personal training app.
Price: The app is free, but the cost of a trainer via the app can be anywhere from $60 to $150 a month.
Review By: Arti Patel, Living Editor
First impressions: Maybe a stranger texting me to exercise will actually get me to exercise.
Pros: Here's the thing: for the most part, I have zero motivation when it comes to working out or eating healthy, though the idea of a personal trainer via app sounded too good to be true, but to tell you the truth, Trainerize helps you commit. Once you sign up with the site and sync all your information with other apps like MyFitnessPal, you are connected to a group of trainers and are made to fill out a bunch of consultation forms. My trainer would constantly message me (this is a good thing in the long run) to remind me to work out or fit in a healthy meal. My trainer called me, made a workout plan designed for me as well as a meal plan based on my dietary restrictions. At first, I thought it was a bit overwhelming, but once everything was scheduled out and I could make time for it, it worked.
Cons: My plan was for four weeks but I only tested out one (only because I have been testing out other types of workouts as well). My only con about my workout plan was the video portion. Each workout links you to a separate YouTube video (in the app), showing you how to do each workout. While you get used to the workouts (because you know how to do them after a couple of days), my first day was a lot of back and forth trying to figure out how to do the workout and actually do it. To be honest, it can be a little discouraging if you don't get it right away, but keep going!
Final words: If you are a committed person who likes to stick to a workout plan, this is a great alternative than a face-to-face trainer. My favourite thing, however, is how personalized it is — you actually feel like you know the group of people helping you meet your goals.
What is it:Fresh Cocoa Exfoliating Body Soap
Price: $19
Review By: Arti Patel, Living Editor
First impressions: It smells amazing, it doesn't crumble and it will leave your skin feeling smooth.
Pros: In search for a new exfoliator, a sales woman at Sephora suggested using this soap to get rid of in-grown hairs. I started using the soap on my legs, butt, underarms, bikini line and elbows to get rid of excess dirt and stubborn in-grown hairs. Of course, this soap will not make all of your in-growns disappear, but it does an amazing job softening out these areas.
Cons: My only complaint is how it can stain your walls or tub if you don't clean up right away. I haven't had any permenant stains, but just be careful after you use the bar in the shower.
Final words: I have definitely seen fewer in-grown hairs on my knees, underarms and have smoother elbows. Pair it with some exfoliating gloves and you are good to go!
What is it: Studio Lagree
Price: $17 for your first class, $32 afterwards
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions: I love pilates, this will be easy.
Pros: It’s an intense workout that will leave you sweaty and sore for days after the fact. Yes, this is a good thing, especially if your goal if to get lean and toned.
Cons: It’s difficult to hear the instructor and they explain the moves more than they demonstrate them.
Final words: It wasn’t easy. It was the furthest thing from easy and I’ve taken pilates reformer classes in the past. Despite this being called a beginners class I felt like you needed to be a regular to really understand the moves and follow along correctly.
What is it:La Roche-Posay My UV Patch
Price: Free with purchase
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions: I honestly think having the ability to test your skin’s UV exposure is brilliant and can save lives.
Pros: Easy application on skin. And a great conversation starter.
Cons: The app wasn’t intuitive. I’m not sure how or if it was working.
Final words: According to the app, you simply apply the patch to your skin on either the back of your hand or wrist and then apply sunscreen as you normally would and use the app to scan the QR code every time it prompts you. The problem is, I often wasn’t outside when it prompted me. I was also annoyed that every time I scanned in it told me to reapply sunscreen. The one time I didn’t reapply it said my skin was in critical danger then took me to a website to buy La Roche-Posay sunscreen. If this app was meant to be a reminder to reapply sunscreen I’d rather just set an alarm instead of wearing a bright blue heart-shaped patch that made me look like a toddler wearing a fake tattoo.
What is it:The Tenderly Obsessive Bra
Price: $47.99
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions: I love the colour and print.
Pros: Don’t be deceived by the straps — this bra is ultra supportive thanks to underwires. The bra is made with a combination of moisture wicking material and mesh to allow for breathability.
Cons: There’s no hooks, which means you’ll have to pull this bra over your head, which is kind of the last thing you want to do after you’ve been sweating in it.
Final words: The tight fit and shaped cups on this bra give you a great silhouette, but be warned, that snug fit can also create some puckering beside your armpits.
What is it:Vazee Pace v2 Running Shoes
Price: $139.99
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions:
Nice colours, and it’s lightweight!
Pros: These runners provide great support without adding weight. Even running up hills seemed easier because I didn’t feel weighed down.
Cons: The laces are a bit short, but nothing to be concerned about.
Final words: These shoes were more fitted than I’m used to, but I found that it provided great support and shock absorption.
What is it:NB Ice Tank
Price: $44.99
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions: This looks like it will flatter my body type.
Pros: The bright colour and reflective strip make this tank a good option for late night or early morning runs.
Cons: The thin racer back style looks great on its own, but once you put on a sports bra, the sleek look is compromised. Since the tank is designed to skim the body I felt like it wasn’t wicking away moisture as well as some of the other tanks I’ve tried.
Final words: I’d definitely wear this tank again for an indoor workout where there’s air conditioning. I also think this top would be great for exercises that require a lot of movement since it won’t fall and leave you feeling exposed.
What is it:Kobo Aura H2O
Price: $199.99
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions: I’m scared of putting it in the water.
Pros: Lightweight, portable, waterproof, dustproof and it has a long battery life. This e-reader has the same features we’ve always loved except now you can take it into the tub.
Cons: It’s difficult to highlight text with the cursor on screen.
Final words: It really is waterproof, although it kind of feels weird using an e-reader in the tub. As a person who loves flipping through the pages of a book, I’m not sure I’d splurge on this e-reader just yet. It does however make me want to pick up my old Kobo every once in awhile or even add the new one to a birthday wish list.
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