Entries from July 25th, 2012

July 25, 2012

beauty scoop | mia mariu mineral blush

While some parts of detoxing my beauty bag have been easy (lipsticks — check!), other parts have been more difficult. I count blush as one of the more difficult things to update.

I’ve been devoted to NARS blushes for quite some time (in particular, “Sin” and “Deep Throat”). I loved the risque names and rich colors in the sleek little compacts.

However, I want a blush that’s going to do double duty and provide both color and care to my chubby cheeks. That means I’m favoring natural beauty products that have vitamins, minerals and moisturizers laced into a high-impact formula.

To help answer these requirements, I’ve been turning to Mia Mariu Mineral Blush (I also use their lipsticks!). I alternate between two colors — Maria Azucena and Maria Bonita — but I tend to favor Maria Azucena because of its close color match to NARS “Orgasm,” a shimmery, peach shade.

mia mariu blush maria azucena

{Mia Mariu sent me samples of its blushes, which retail for $17 a piece, to test and review. Pictured above is “Maria Azucena.” Photo Courtesy Mia Mariu}

Though Mia Mariu blushes come in smaller compacts and don’t have sexy names, I do like how sexy the ingredients are: each blush contains vitamins A, C and E and feel lightweight on my cheeks.

I think the nice flush of color that Maria Azucena brings outs on me can work on any skin tone — that’s the glory of NARS “Orgasm,” and I think that Mia Mariu has successfully matched the makeup powerhouse’s most universal shade.

kimberlyloc mia mariu blush maria azucena

{Here’s how Mia Mariu’s Maria Azucena looks on my olive skin tone. Photo By Denene Brox Photography}

I wear Mia Mariu’s Maria Bonita from time to time, but I usually reserve it for when I want an extra girly look, with the pop of pink right on the apples of my cheeks. I think this color, a dusty rose, would look sweet on any skin tone — but especially on fair-skinned bellas.

What blush do you love (natural or not natural)? Tell me your favorites in the comments section!

July 23, 2012

beauty scoop | vapour organic beauty siren lipstick

I’ve been a member of Birchbox since April, and though the beauty subscription service isn’t perfect for my taste in natural beauty products, the online shopping part of the site does have a few gems — including this Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick.

vapour organic beauty siren lipstick ravish

{Vapour Organic Beauty’s Siren Lipstick in Ravish is a deep red that looks great with olive skin tones like mine. It retails for $22. Photo Courtesy Birchbox}

I’ve been familiar with Vapour for a while, but had only tried (and loved!) its Lux Organic Lip Conditioner. I decided to give Vapour’s lip colors a go when I earned $30 in points from Birchbox for reviewing products in my monthly boxes (did you know you can do that?!).

I chose “Ravish,” a deep, rich red that looks amazing on darker skin tones, and have been satisfied with the moisturizing texture, glossy finish and rich color.

vapour organic beauty siren lipstick in ravish @kimberlyloc

{I love applying this lipstick. It’s so hydrating that it really leaves a base lip balm optional! Photo By Denene Brox Photography}

Take a peek through some of the top-notch ingredients included in Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick:

Organic castor seed oil, organic beeswax, organic jojoba seed oil, essential oils and natural fruit essences, vitamin E, organic pomegranate oil, organic rose buds, organic lemon balm, wildcrafted myrrh, stevia leaf extract

With all these ultra-hydrating ingredients, slicking on a lip balm base becomes optional! In addition to how great your lips feel after using Siren lipstick, you also get a nice color payoff; the “Ravish” color is rich, yet can be as sheer as you like with one coat, or as daring as you wish with two-three coats.

vapour organic beauty siren lipstick in ravish @kimberlyloc

{Photo By Denene Brox Photography}

As I make progress detoxing my beauty bag, I will continue to look to Vapour Organic Beauty for natural cosmetics that excel in both purity and performance. I love that company’s philosophy is rooted in creating luxurious natural beauty products that are also light on the earth; who says you can’t have both?

Until next time, tell me: Have you tried any Vapour Organic Beauty products? What do you look for in a natural lipstick or natural beauty brand? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

vapour organic beauty siren lipstick ravish @kimberlyloc


July 19, 2012

beauty scoop | deodomom roll-on natural deodorant

At about the time I decided to make my crusade into natural deodorant testing, I received an email from the folks at 30SomeWeeks, who specialize in creating toxin-free, hypoallergenic deodorant for pregnant women (I’m not pregnant) and health-conscious people (I am health-conscious).

The 30SomeWeeks team, a husband and wife from New York, kindly offered their natural deodorant, DeodoMom Roll-On, to me for review.

(I also received a sample of their jarred cream deodorant, but I have yet to test it because I’m not as keen on the idea of rubbing deodorant onto my pits with my fingers — but if that’s your thing, the formulation is the same as the roll-on.)

deodomom roll-on natural deodorant from 30someweeks.com

{30SomeWeeks.com sent me a full-sized sample of its natural deodorant, DeodoMom Roll-On, to review.}

At A Glance

Deodomom, 30SomeWeeks.com

Price: Roll-On Natural Deodorant, $12

Overall Rating (1-5, 5 being best)

EWG Rating


  • Does not contain aluminum, alcohol, dye, fragrance or parabens
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Unisex scent and packaging (except for actual name of product)
  • Minimal packaging
  • Convenient roll-on style


  • Does not list all ingredients on packaging (lists active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, and the website says ingredients are magnesium hydroxide, water and “depending on season and availability natural moisturizing or antimicrobial agents may be added”)
  • Takes time to dry
  • Wet rollerball style and formula leaves you feeling a bit damp
  • Odor protection fades at the end of work day

Does Natural Deodorant Work? TMI Details

I tested DeodoMom Roll-On natural deodorant for about four weeks. I put it through twice-a-week, hour-and-a-half Ashtanga yoga classes, 100+ degree Kansas City weather, outdoor events and general, everyday activities.

Not once during my stint did anyone who comes into normal contact with me tell me I stink.

I don’t know if they were just being nice, or if I really did smell just fine, but I did ask. I asked my friend Jess during one the fashion events we attended during the hot, hot heat, and trust me, Jess doesn’t have a filter. :) She didn’t detect any stank.

However, there were several nights when the teacher man, who I get closer to, obviously, told me I had a musty smell. That was after a hug and a kiss when I got home on a non-yoga day. I did a double-check, and I could smell what he meant upon a closer sniff of myself…but really…it wasn’t until I went looking sniffing that I found something.

Besides the teacher man’s feedback, I didn’t experience many cons with DeodoMom natural deodorant. The always-damp feeling was something I had to get used to with using a natural deodorant (or any deodorant, as deodorants do not stop sweat the way antiperspirants do). The lack of a fresh, clean smell also forced me to get used to my natural scent (and be more conscious about using a few extra dabs of natural perfume oil every day).

My verdict? Try it if you’re into bare bones essentials that work, but be conscious of the need to reapply and dry your pits to stay comfortable.

Have you tried Deodomom? What niche natural deodorant brands do you recommend? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

July 16, 2012

natural beauty buff | suzanne leroux, one love organics

“I use and have chosen only waterless products for my post. One Love Organics is based on waterless skincare, and all of our products are waterless except for our gel cleanser.”

You’ve gotta love a woman who practices what she (and her company) preaches.

Suzanne LeRoux, the creative artisan behind natural beauty brand One Love Organics, focuses on giving you all the good stuff in her products — water not included.

While some marketing gimmicks of the past may have told you to “just add water,” Suzanne would rather you use just pure, beautiful ingredients that really penetrate the skin and deliver exactly what it needs: results.

suzanne leroux one love organics

{Suzanne, in her natural state: Working on a batch of One Love Organics products! Photo Courtesy Suzanne LeRoux}

Think about it: The less water included in the product = the more room for the effective ingredients that actually cost a pretty penny — and work!

“I have seen the biggest improvement in my fussy, breakout-prone skin since I eliminated water-based products that contain preservatives and emulsifiers,” Suzanne says. “Cosmetic emulsifiers are usually (soap-based) surfactants. When used in cleansing gel or shampoo, emulsifiers do not pose much of a problem because they are washed off during use.”

However, when moisturizing is the goal, Suzanne says that water-based/emulsion preparations found in skin treatments tend to interfere with the natural restorative function of the skin.

“The water-based ingredients in the product evaporate, while the oil-based ingredients are absorbed, leaving the emulsifiers on the skin’s surface,” Suzanne says. “These alkaline, soap-like substances then combine with the lipid content of the skin, removing precious oils the next time we wash. Moreover, their alkalinity disturbs the natural pH balance of the skin (which is slightly acidic), leaving it more susceptible to microbial growth.”

In an effort to rebalance, the skin may then overproduce natural oils and sebum as it fights to re-establish its natural state, she says. Because of this, Suzanne points out that inflammation and irritation can develop, and the end result can be dry, blemished, irritated and/or prematurely aging skin.

“I am very careful now and cognizant of all the products I use during each step of the way,” she says. “I notice that when I don’t use waterless products, the redness, irritation and breakout return. So enjoy my selection of concentrated and waterless products.”

As usual, the products I also use and love are starred.

Suzanne’s Favorite Beauty Products

suzanne leroux one love organics natural beauty buff

{Take a peek at Suzanne’s natural beauty stash! Photo Courtesy Suzanne LeRoux}

Julie Hewett Cheekie Lip and Cheek Shine in Bette

“I love multi-tasking products, and this one is for lips and cheeks. It is a ginger and bronze color that leaves a subtle gold shimmer and feels so perfect for summer time.”

Vivesana Sunscreen

If I am headed out into the sun or have a long day outside planned with my boys who are 5 & 6, I use Vivesana Sunscreen. I put on *Morning Glory Complexion Brightening Booster first and then the sunscreen (which, being waterless, it is rather thick), and it glides on effortlessly.

Gaia Herbs Thyroid Support

I take this supplement every single morning. Supporting your thyroid can really help with dryness and loss of radiance in the skin.

Primitive Lipstick in Taj Mahal

I love this subtle but sparkly gold lip color.  I also have to line my lips so I use Primitive’s lip liner in Corsica. It is a great neutral berry color and because I don’t often reapply lipstick, I like to use this to fill in my lips and apply a bit of the Taj Mahal or Cheekie Lip Shine over it.

Vapour Scent N°1

I love this limited edition scent from Vapour Organic Beauty. It is unusual, but I love the green, woody scent of it—it is very warm and seductive. Oil-based scents also tend to last a long time and mix beautifully with the skin.

h. wood. beauty eyeshadow

I also rarely wear any eye makeup but when I am going out, I will sometimes brush a bit of h.wood beauty’s eyeshadow on under my brows to (hopefully) give my face a refreshed look.

*One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm

I love our new Discover size balm. I have balm stashed everywhere now. I use the balm literally for everything — my face, hands and hair get a liberal dose daily. Cleansing with the balm has literally changed my (formerly) oily and blemished skin.

July 13, 2012

beauty diy | facial oil tips

No matter what facial oil you choose (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil or Grapeseed Oil are a few of my faves), remember these basic tips for putting your best face forward with facial oils.

shirodhara facial oil

{Photo By Therme Loipersdorf/Courtesy Flickr}

1. Treat your skin, not your sheets.

My general rule of thumb is to get ready for bed at least an hour before I hit the sack. That means after a wash, tone and treat, I have at least 45 minutes for product — oil or otherwise — to absorb into my skin…not my sheets or pillow.

2. Use as little as possible.

You can always add more. Start small, and spread the oil around in gentle, circular motions. If you find that your cheeks aren’t as lubed-up as you like, add a touch more. You don’t want to waste, and you definitely don’t want to be so slick that the oil just sits on your face all night.

3. Keep it cool.

Store your facial oils in a cool, dry and dark area. Underneath the bathroom sink is a typical place to keep your oils, but if you’re used to heating up your bathroom sink like a sauna with long, hot showers, reconsider where you store your precious oils.

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