Beauty: BUSTED! Wonderbar

Is this "miracle" cleanser worth the money?

Beauty: BUSTED! Wonderbar


Spring always sees the release of new skin care products.

For years now, cosmetics companies have been in a race to see who can produce the most expensive products in certain categories. This has been obvious in the moisturizer and skin cream sector, with moisturizers reaching well beyond the $150 mark for 50mL of product. Are they worth the money? Sometimes. More often than not there are much more reasonably priced alternatives available.  

This year it seems the cleanser category is being ramped up for major price increases. The question begs: are these new cleansers somehow so much more advanced that they warrant the extreme prices?

Wonderbar, $40 for 25g or $140 for 100g

This cleansing bar is not a soap, and I want to be clear about that. Soap is not meant to be used on the skinever. That is another conversation, however.

This is a cleanser in a solid format. This does not actually mean it is somehow a superior cleanser to others on the market.

Claims: corrects acne, dry skin, sagging skin, dull skin, large pores, melasma, rosacea

Let's examine these claims:

First, a single product cannot possibly correct all of the concerns listed. Seriously, some of the conditions are medical issues that require either medication or intense treatment from technology found in dermatologists' offices.

Second, the ingredient list does not support the claims. There are only 13 ingredients on the list. If we remove cleansers (which will only clean the dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin), thickening agents (which are included only to create the "bar" format), humectants (which do provide some moisture benefits, but are standard ingredients in all cosmetics), anti-oil ingredients (which again are standard in most cosmetics), exfoliator (which is a precursor ascorbic acidagain, standard in most cosmetics), plant extracts of olive oil and chamomile (both great ingredients, but, again, standard in cosmetics), all that remains are two ingredients.  

Third, the "miracle" ingredients:

  • Heilmoor Clay: sourced from Austria, this is a Moor Mud. Moor Mud is an ingredient that has been used in cosmetic formulas for literally hundreds of years. Yes, heilmoor clay may be rich in hundreds of plant extracts, but that does not mean anything when referring to skincare. Immediately I askwhat are the plant extracts? Not all plant extracts are good or even safe for skin.
  • Chlorey'nahre (CLO): a proprietary ingredient derived from algae and manipulated with nanotechnology. What does it do? There is no published information about this ingredient, it is not listed in any cosmetics ingredient data base recognized by the industry, and it does not appear in the International Cosmetics Ingredient Dictionary (INCI system), which all cosmetics companies are legally bound to adhere to when listing ingredients on packaging. The only information available is from Wonderbar.  It is a blend of algae that has been mironized to penetrate deeply into the skin. Algae is found in many cosmetics and is a powerful antioxidant and rich in vitamins.

Based on the actual ingredients listed versus the marketing claims, this product is so overpriced it is shocking. Every single ingredient is as basic as a cosmetic formula can be. There is not a single ingredient that cannot be found in almost every cosmetic cleanser on the market todayboth expensive and inexpensive.  

Less expensive option:

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, $45 for 150g

Contains very similar cleansers, thickeners, humectants, and even has an exfoliator built in. This product also uses sea mud, which is infused with algae extract. Gram for gram it is almost 450% less expensive.

For more Beauty: Busted! check out my reviews of MAC Cleanse Off Oil and Anti-Wrinkle Creams.


Christine Horne: Redefining Beauty

Dora Award-Winning Actor Speaks

Christine Horne: Redefining Beauty

All of my inspiration comes from the women for whom I personally create lookssometimes that is for a mother at a department store, sometimes it is for a young woman just learning how to wear make up, sometimes it is for a private client for a photo shoot, and sometimes it is for an amazing artist.

While I never sought out performers and celebrities as clients, it seems that word of the type of work I do, and how they could use my talents, spread. I have been very fortunate to have worked on some of the most talented women in Toronto. Each of them has allowed me to create signature looks, while working with me to carefully construct a representation of their own style.

Christine Horne is one of the most delightful women with whom I have ever worked. Always happy, smiling, and in such a good mood. I have wondered, more than once, if she is ever cross or ever gets in a bad mood. Often she reminds me that laughing is always a great choice.

Christine won the Dora Mavor Moore Award in 2010 for her performance in The Turn of the Screw, and was nominated again in 2012. She is a versatile Shakespearean actor, having played Juliet at Canadian Stage, Viola at Resurgence Theatre, Weird Sister at Classical Theatre Project, and Desdamona on the CBC. She is also a Dora-nominated producer for her work on Gorey Story, and NOW Magazine called her one of the Top 10 Theatre Artists of 2012.

Not to be relegated to theatre, Christine is also an accomplished film actor, having shared the lead role in The Stone Angel with Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn. She has been directed by Atom Egoyan in The Captive, and she is has been seen in many popular television shows, including Flashpoint, Republic of Doyle, Rookie Blue, and King. Her film work has been seen at both TIFF and the TriBeca Film Festival.

Recently, I asked this very talented woman what beauty means to her:

"For me, beauty is comfort. Feeling comfortable in the clothes that I’m wearing, in the makeup I do or don’t have on, in my own body and my own skin. When I feel like me, then I feel beautiful. When I feel like I’ve tried a little too hard, put on clothes or makeup that aren’t quite me, I feel like the aesthetic might be beautiful, but it’s not authentic. I’ve fooled everybody. It’s not my true beauty. And oftentimes that’s just what my job requiresto step outside my own comfortable beauty and inhabit something a little more glamorousbut that never feels like me.

I had very long blonde hair for all of my teenage and university years. When I was graduating from theatre schoolabout to step out into the world as an actorI realized that I didn’t want to present myself that way. I fit a very marketable mold and I just knew, somehow, that I was not interested in the work that might come to me based on “my look.” The Girl Next Door. The Girlfriend. I didn’t want that, I knew it wasn’t for me. So, I cut off my hair just before I graduated and have kept it short ever since. I’m sure it has cost me work, but the work that comes to me now is work that is absolutely right for me.

It gives me confidence in my abilities and my craft, because I always know that I have been cast in spite of not fitting the mold. There are a hundred young blonde actresses in this city who are all way more marketable than I am. When I book a job, I know it is because they have seen my beauty. They have seen me.

I am inspired by the individuality of the women around me. Women who are unapologetically themselves make me want to be more true to myself."

Christine is as busy as ever. Never far from her next role, she can be seen currently in Lost Girl on Showcase, and you can see her on stage in the Canadian Stage production of Belleville opening on April 6th. Tickets are on sale now.

For more Redefining Beauty, click here

Next month: Maureen Kennedy