Entries from September 28th, 2012

September 28, 2012

beauty scoop | primavera eucalyptus roll-on

There’s nothing worse than heading into the weekend feeling a bit under the weather.

Luckily, I’m just fighting change-of-season allergies, but you know that feeling of my-head-is-about-to-explode? Yeah, it doesn’t bode well for a happy hour or Friday fun day at work.

However, I’m making it through the sniffling and sneezing by treating myself to some powerful antihistamines paired with some soothing aromatherapy treatments at night.

If you caught my early-evening Instagram last night, you saw a pic of my beauty-loaded bedside table. Three of the eight products pictured are aromatherapy products, and I swear by them for different reasons.

For reasons like today, I’m coating myself in layers of Primavera Eucalyptus oil.

primavera eucalyptus roll-on

{Primavera gifted a set of natural beauty products to me, including its Eucalyptus Roll-On, which retails for $17.}

While I have collections of the usual peppermint and lavender aromatherapy treatments (for energy and for sleep), eucalyptus is a different scent that immediately caught my attention.

It reminds me a bit of the classic Vick’s rub that most of our moms used on us when we were little, but without the conventional ingredients (ew) and with a lighter, more soothing scent.

I believe that scent comes from the beautiful combination of organic eucalyptus plus organic thyme, but there’s also this hint of lavender oil that makes it oh-so-soothing.

Take a peek at the amazing ingredients list:

Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Fragrance, Organic Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Organic Eucalyptus Radiata Leaf Oil, Organic Lavender Oil, Organic Thyme Flower/Leaf Oil, Organic Myrtus Communis Oil, Tocopherol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool

My only red flag is the “fragrance” listed as ingredient No. 3, but Primavera’s philosophy has me convinced that there’s nothing to worry about with their high-quality products.

So, what do you do when you’re feeling a bit under the weather? How do you feel about aromatherapy? Ever tried Primavera? Tell me your experiences, tips and tricks in the comments section!

September 27, 2012

natural beauty buff | marie yang, marie natie cosmetics

You may remember my recent lip gloss review of beauty newcomer Marie Natie. The brand offers pretty lip glosses that are high-shine and high-moisture with a sheer wash of color.

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the founder of the line, Marie Yang, and offer you a peek into her favorite beauty products.

marienatie cosmetics

{MarieNatie founder Marie Yang has a diverse range of beauty products in her bag. Photo Courtesy Marie Yang}

Marie’s beauty bag shows a mix of natural and conventional-yet-somewhat-natural products that is very similar to what I tote around (especially in the makeup space).

I love that Marie included a natural deodorant in her mix (remember my deodorant reviews?) that I’ve been jonesing to try. Remember, natural beauty isn’t just about makeup and skincare — it encompasses all personal-care products!

See what products this beauty loves below.

(As usual, I’ve starred what I also use and love!)

marie natie natural beauty buff

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

“I use this product all year round. It’s lightweight and oil-free and great for under my makeup. I apply it once in the morning, and my face feels hydrated all day.”

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

“I discovered this organic deodorant at Sephora and fell in love with it.  It smells amazing and it’s free of all the harsh chemicals that the other deodorants contain.”

Benefit High Beam

“I use this as a highlighter on my brow bones, and it instantly brightens up my complexion. This is an everyday makeup item that you don’t need to reapply.”

*Marie Natie Lip Gloss

“This lip gloss follows me everywhere. It’s an all-natural lip gloss with no harmful chemicals. I don’t wear lipstick, so this is the perfect alternative. Best of all, it’s non-sticky!

Marie Natie Eyeliner

“I’ve started wearing eyeliner every day, and when it comes to applying something this close to my eyes, I really care about the ingredients. This is another all-natural product that I can’t get enough of.”

Boscia BB Cream

“This lightweight product acts as a foundation for me. It doesn’t dry out my skin, and in just seconds, it gives me that flawless finish that I’m looking for.”

September 20, 2012

beauty secrets | 10 best cities for your skin | daily glow infographic

I’ve been traveling a lot lately (currently in North Carolina, Arkansas last week and Vegas the weekend before).

Travel tends to wreak havoc on my skin because of the interruption to my skin care routine, the tendency to not drink enough water or eat great food (vacation eating be damned!) and the effects of dry, sky-high air.

But actual travel issues aside, have you ever thought about why particular cities may or may not be as great for your skin?

Daily Glow, a fabulous website devoted to all things beauty, put together this interesting infographic and slideshow naming the best and worst cities for your skin.

Where does your hometown rank?

10 best and worst cities for your skin via daily glow

 Don’t like what you see? Tell me the best thing you do for your skin in your city (i.e., when I come to your hometown next, I want to get a great facial!)

September 19, 2012

beauty secrets | tsa-approved natural beauty products

I’m heading out to North Carolina today for a quick work trip to harass visit one of our vendors (it feels so weird to be “the client” these days).

Though I’m just going to be gone for a day, as your resident natural beauty junkie, I’ve got to secure all my goodies in a measly quart-sized bag.

At first, what I included in my bag was minimal.

But then, as I remembered the different steps in my regimen, the products multiplied.

tsa-approved natural beauty products

{It’s really not that much! Toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, face wash, jojoba oil, contact lens solution, Marula oil, toner and hair oil can all fit in your bag.}

Luckily, it’s possible to pack what you need, and with a little real-life Tetris-playing (aka packing strategy), you can get the essentials stuffed and ready for your next trip.

tsa-approved natural beauty products in quart-sized bag

{Let’s hope my products don’t puncture this bag!}

Below, my TSA-approved natural beauty product picks for combating the elements at 30,000 feet.

Shampoo & Conditioner

I picked up Aubrey Organics’ Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Conditioner in travel sizes at Whole Foods and am excited to lather up tomorrow morning. It’s got some pretty stellar ingredients (aloe, shea butter, lavender, bergamot and rose mosqueta, to name a few), so I’m hoping for the best with this duo.

Hair Oil

I use Alterna Bamboo UV + Color Protection Fade-Proof Fluid as a pre-blow drying treatment to keep my hair (and color) protected and shiny. I got a generous sample size in my Birchbox subscription, so I’m not sure if you can buy this size at your local beauty store.

Shower Gel

EO Soothing Shower Gel in French Lavender smells phenomenal thanks to, well, real lavender essential oil. (For those of you who know me well, you know that I despise lavender because the scents I usually smell are synthetic and hurt my nose. Not this one!)


I’ve recently switched to natural toothpaste. The brand I’ve been currently using didn’t have a travel size available, so scooped up the next-best thing at Whole Foods: Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste. Here’s to seeing how I like it (it’s gotta be better than the conventionals, which contain SLS…in your mouth?! Ew.).

Hand Sanitizer

I keep Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Peppermint Hand Sanitizer Spray stashed in my purse year-round. At this time of year — and especially on planes — it’s important to keep germs at bay. I prefer to do it naturally with an alcohol spray that also contains aloe, glycerine and peppermint essential oil.

Makeup Remover

I use jojoba oil for pretty much everything, but my main use is as a makeup remover. I poured a little of my Aura Cacia Jojoba Oil into a travel-friendly, reusable bottle. While the bottle took up a lot of space in my bag, it was well worth it — you know how much I heart jojoba oil!


After flying and frankly, dehydrating, not only do I gulp down tons of water, but I also lather up with the creamiest of cleansers. For this trip, I’ve packed along a sample I received from Naturelle d’Argan — it’s their Purifying Cleansing Milk for Face and Eyes, and I have a tiny 1-ounce bottle of it to experiment with tonight.


I love rosewater toners, and I happen to have a 1-ounce sample-size of Kelly Teegarden Organics’ Alive Rose Water Toner (thanks for the sample, Kelly!) in my toner bin (yes, I have a toner bin). I love that the first ingredient is rose oil extract.

Facial Oil

I’ve acquired another new face oil — Acure Organics’ Marula Oil — and will begin testing it during this trip. I’m curious about marula oil; it’s supposed to be an amazing, all-around oil for hair, skin, nails, scars and stretch marks. Expect a full report soon.

What beauty products do you take with you when you’re flying for an overnight stay and not checking a bag? Tell me in the comments section!

September 18, 2012

beauty secrets | how to cure your fashion week hangover with 5 natural beauty products

Now that New York and Kansas City Fashion Weeks are complete and my crazy schedule is getting a bit more relaxed, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.

This means getting back to a normal dining schedule, a normal workout schedule, a normal sleep schedule and a normal beauty routine.

The easiest of these for me to take care of is item four — beauty. Here’s five beauty products that are helping me re-introduce calm and care into my skin and body care routines.

FarmHouse Fresh Honey-Magnolia Sparkling Soak

farmhouse fresh honey-magnolia sparkling soak

{A 7.3-ounce glass bottle of FarmHouse Fresh Honey-Magnolia Sparkling Soak costs $20. Photo Courtesy FarmHouse Fresh.}

I love baths — but who has the time?

You have to make time for these spa moments. And there’s no better time than after a hectic week running around the city.

To wind down, I soaked away my stress in a tub full of warm water spiked with FarmHouse Fresh’s Honey-Magnolia Sparkling Soak (thanks to FHF for sending it to me for review!).

This soak, packaged in a gorgeous glass bottle (recyclable and/or reusable!), has a heavenly, light scent (reminiscent of the magnolia tree in the backyard of my childhood home) and is extremely moisturizing thanks to olive, grapeseed, orange peel, jojoba, sunflower seed and apricot kernal oils.

You better believe I took my sweet time in the bath the other night as I flipped through the pages of Time Style & Design. Pure bliss.

Primavera Juniper Cypress Body Scrub

primavera juniper cypress body scrub

{Give your body a good sloughing with Primavera’s Juniper Cypress Body Scrub, which retails for $28 for 6.8 ounces. Photo Courtesy Primavera}

Body scrub is a bit of a luxury. While I have a few great scrubs in my natural beauty arsenal, rarely do I find time during my morning shower to slough it up.

That’s why, during my post-fashion week beauty rituals, I decided to give my body a good scrubbing to help erase the dead skin cells, revitalize my body and, well, feel good! I absolutely love the feeling of exfoliation, and because I don’t do it often enough, it was a real treat to work my sample of Primavera’s Juniper Cypress Body Scrub all over, concentrating on my legs, knees, elbows and arms.

It’s made with organic juniper berry essential oil, which has a soft scent, and organic cypress essential oil, which gives a bit of tingle — yet isn’t overpowering. The carrier oil is apricot kernal (a classic!), while jojoba wax beads and olive extract provide the sloughing, exfoliating power.

Just Neem Neem Clay Mask

just neem neem clay mask

{Just Neem’s Neem Clay Mask is the perfect treatment after (and, um, during) a stressful week, as neem oil is a natural antifungal and antibiotic that can help keep toxins at bay. The mask, sent to me for review, retails for $24.95. Photo Courtesy Just Neem}

During the craze of fashion week, my stress levels hit some major peaks and valleys.

And then it erupted on my face.

I suffered from a few major breakouts, but I was diligent enough to continue washing, treating and attempting to prevent new pimples. Though I didn’t have time to give myself my weekly mask during fashion week, I’ve gotten back into my weekly ritual — and Just Neem Neem Clay Mask has been my mini-facial of choice.

You may remember my review of Just Neem Neem Cure. Created by the same company, this neem clay mask is thick, rich and luscious as you spread it across your face, concentrating on affected areas.

It contains French clay, a natural material mined in French quarries, and it helps tighten pores, eliminate excess oil and remove impurities. French clay, combined with antifungal neem oil, kept my pores as clean as possible and treated the breakouts I already had.

La Bella Figura Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum

La Bella Figura Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum

{Eye serums and creams are a must if you wish to look as if you got a decent night’s sleep. La Bella Figura sent me a sample of its Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum, which retails for $115, for review. Photo Courtesy La Bella Figura}

I’ve been devoted to eye cream ever since I was 12 — not because I was terrified of wrinkles back then, but because as a new contact lens-wearer, I was constantly rubbing my eyes…so much that the delicate skin around my eyes became raw and inflamed!

I was committed to the same drugstore-brand eye cream for years until finally making the switch to naturals in my early 20s. While I still bounce around between a few products, I have been able to narrow down to two very different ones — a cream and a serum — that I absolutely adore.

Today, the serum.

It’s from one of my all-time favorite companies, La Bella Figura (you know, the makers of that amazing barbary fig seed serum), and it’s called Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum.

This amazing blend of oils (ingredients below) packs mega moisture and a powerful blend of antioxidants. It’s rich in vitamin A, which helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and it’s loaded with omegas to give lackluster skin a lighter, more well-rested appearance.

Ingredients: Organic Argan Kernel Oil, Organic Barbary Fig Seed Oil, Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, Wildcrafted Tomato Seed Oil, Wildcrafted Coffee Bean Oil, Wildcrafted Rose Otto Flower Oil, Organic Blue Tansy Flower Oil, Organic Helichrysum Italicum Oil, Organic Palmarosa Oil, Organic Lavender Oil.

Just think of how well-rested you can appear after 1) using Decouverte and 2) getting back into a regular sleep routine!

Comfort Zone Tranquility Blend

comfort zone tranquility blend

{Never without my aromatherapy products on my bedside table, I absolutely adore Comfort Zone’s Tranquility Blend ($78), which has a soothing scent that helps me nod off. Photo Courtesy Comfort Zone}

Speaking of getting enough rest, when it’s finally time to unplug and wind down, I’m never ready for bed without a few dabs of a calming aromatherapy oil.

Post-fashion week, my favorite aromatherapy oil has been Comfort Zone’s Tranquility Blend, a gift from the company for review. A blend of rosewood, vanilla, cedar, palmarosa and orange, Comfort Zone Tranquility Blend offers an extremely calming combination of fragrant essential oils to help ease the mind.

Simply dab a few drops on your wrists, neck and temples and inhale deeply to get the full benefit of the calming oils.

What I love about using aromatherapy oils at night is it’s almost as if my body has become accustomed to the routine — the bed is reserved for rest and rejuvenation, and the association of these calming scents helps clear the mind chatter and lull me into sleep.

Tell me — how do you reintroduce calm into your lifestyle, be it after fashion week or after any other crazy, out-of-the-norm activities? Tell me in the comments section!

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