Entries from October 29th, 2012

October 29, 2012

beauty diy | 3 natural beauty recipes for hair, face and body

On Monday morning I had the privilege of going on to one of my favorite metro morning shows, Better Kansas City, to talk DIY natural beauty recipes with co-host Lisa Holbrook.

(The last time I was on air for the show, I talked summer-to-fall transition fashion with Kelly Jones!)

Watch Lisa Holbrook and me on KCTV5’s “Better Kansas City”

Here’s the scoop on these three DIY beauty treatments:

1. Nourishing Hair Oil Treatment

kimberlyloc better kansas city nourishing hair oil treatment

Ingredients

1 part avocado oil
1 part coconut oil
5-10 drops lavender or rosemary essential oil

Instructions

If it’s colder than 76 degrees in your home, you may notice that your coconut oil is now a pure white solid. All you have to do is heat up container of coconut oil by setting it in a saucepan of water on the stove, set to low. The coconut oil will get back to its liquid state, and the warmth of the oil will feel lovely on your hair!

Simply mix equal parts coconut oil and avocado oil in a small container (use what you need for one application, or make more to last a week — just be sure to store it in a cool, dry place). Then, drop 5-10 splashes of essential oil into your creation. Go easy on the essential oil! You can always add more if like.

I use this treatment on my hair’s ends up through the mid-shaft area to help temporarily seal split ends and keep my locks soft and strong.

Why I Use These Ingredients

A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science showed that coconut oil is able to bind itself to weak spots in the hair and help reduce protein loss. This provides temporary strength and helps the hair look thicker and shinier.

I use Tropical Traditions’ Certified-Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, the creme de la creme of coconut oils, which the company gifted to me for sampling and review. (My review: I love it. Longer review later.:))

Avocado oil is a new love of mine. It’s amazing at moisturizing dry, damaged hair thanks to its high vitamin count — vitamins A, B, D and E.

I choose rosemary oil for an invigorating scalp treatment. It’s been shown to help with hair regeneration, and it has wonderful aromatherapy benefits — especially if you apply this treatment in the morning pre-shower.

On the converse, you can also use lavender oil for a calming effect during an overnight hair oil treatment. Lavender essential oil, which is naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, has a balancing effect on the scalp. Here’s to hoping flakies, blemishes and overly oily glands calm down!

2. Hydrating Facial Serum

kimberlyloc better kansas city hydrating facial serum

Ingredients

2/3 jojoba oil*
1/3 tamanu oil**
5-10 drops jasmine essential oil***

*(You can also substitute argan oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil for the jojoba oil— experiment and see what you like!)

**(You can also substitute rose hip seed oil — it’s great for all skin types — for the tamanu oil. Again, experiment!)

***(Rose, lavender, rosemary and lemongrass are also great choices; rose is perfect for dry skin while the other three a good for acne-prone skin)

Instructions

Fill a dropper bottle 2/3 full of your “base” oil, aka jojoba oil or one of the other recommended oils. Then, fill the remaining 1/3 with your second oil of choice — this is your hardworking oil that is treating your specific skin type. For me, it’s tamanu oil for acne.

I’d recommend playing with these ratios a bit. You may find that your skin reacts better with a little more “treatment” oil and a little less carrier/base oil. Leave enough room on top to drop 5-10 splashes of your favorite essential oil. I love jasmine for its luxurious, romantic scent.

Why I Use These Ingredients

Jojoba oil is a great base or “carrier” oil because it’s lightweight, odorless and easily absorbed by the skin. It’s very similar to our skin’s natural oil, sebum, so using jojoba oil on your face helps “trick” your skin into thinking it has produced enough oil — this can help keep your face clear of breakouts as well as clear of dry patches.

In my humble opinion, tamanu oil is going to be one of the next big “it” oils. It hails from Southeast Asia (like my mom! :)) and has a distinct, nutty smell. Tamanu oil is known for its antiseptic, antifungal properties, so this is another good oil for acne-prone or hormonally imbalanced skin.

3. Exfoliating Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

kimberlyloc better kansas city exfoliating pumpking pie spice sugar scrub

Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sweet almond oil
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice OR equal parts ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon

Instructions

Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a mixing bowl. Be sure to get out all the clumps (you may need to use your hands in addition to a wooden spoon) before adding in the sweet almond oil. After adding the oil, mix the concoction a bit more before transferring it to a glass jar and sealing it with a tight lid.

Why I Use These Ingredients

It’s so simple — literally just sugar and oil, so you probably have 2/3 of this recipe on hand already. Brown and granulated sugar naturally exfoliate your skin while sweet almond oil (or any carrier oil you want — just choose one that doesn’t have a strong odor so the sugar smell can come through) soften skin.

Add pumpkin pie spice for a yummy scent, or use your favorite essential oils for aromatherapy benefits.

What are your favorite DIY beauty recipes? What essential oils and carrier oils do you adore? Tell me your best natural beauty tips in the comments section!

October 26, 2012

natural beauty buff | sally glover, fresh faced

“At Fresh Faced, we believe that true beauty is achieved without compromise.”

The next time I make it to Toronto (I haven’t been since I was, well, 12), I’m hanging out with Sally Glover.

Sally is the founder of Fresh Faced, an online natural beauty shop out of Canada that caters to our green beauty neighbors to the north’s natural needs.

sally glover fresh faced headshot

{Sally embodies the definition of “natural beauty.” I love that you can see her sweet freckles in this picture. Photo Courtesy Sally Glover/Fresh Faced}

Sally’s also the blogger behind Frugal Fashionista (um, I read this blog back in college when it was here!), a freelance editor and an environmental writer for destinations like Ecorazzi and blogTO.

Are you seeing why I want to hang with her?

Too. Much. In. Common.

But of course, the first thing that drew me to Sally was our shared love for natural beauty products. I’m blown away by this eco-beauty hero’s drive to make clean beauty products readily available for naturally beautiful Canadian men and women.

I’m also supremely impressed by the overall concept of Fresh Faced — not only does she offer all the best natural beauty brands (including some Canadian brands that I’m dying to try!), but she delivers superb editorial content via the blog, a beautiful site design and great sales!

Also, I love that Sally set up her natural beauty business with international beauties in mind. She ships everywhere so ladies and gents across the globe can get their hard-to-find natural goodies in a snap.

Until I find a natural beauty shop in Kansas City that offers Canadian natural beauty brands such as Kaia Naturals and Green Beaver Company, I’ll be looking to Sally and Fresh Faced for the best international natural beauty brands on the market.

I’m hoping, though, that I’ll be looking to Sally for her recommendations from across the beauty aisle at a sweet little shop in Toronto. :)

As usual, I’ve starred the products that I also use and love.

Inside Sally’s Beauty “Bucket” Bag

sally glover fresh faced natural beauty products

{“I carry most of these natural goodies around in my Roots French Bucket Bag.” Photo Courtesy Sally Glover/Fresh Faced}

Pai Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream

“This is my daily go-to. Super hydrating, super clean and doesn’t cause breakouts on my sensitive skin. My face looks and feels instantly radiant.”

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

“As a marathon runner, let’s face it — I need a serious smell eliminator, so I was cautiously thrilled to try Soapwalla Kitchen’s Deodorant Cream. And guess what? I’m totally sold. The smell (a blend of peppermint, lavender and tea tree essential oils) is light and clean, and it forgoes the usual nasties like propylene glycol, aluminum, triclosan and BHT in favor of vegetable powders, shea butter and clays.”

Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream

“Kahina Giving Beauty is the perfect marriage of luxury and social consciousness — I love that 25 percent of profits are donated to the women in Moroccan cooperatives who extract the argan oil at the heart of the Kahina line. This eye cream is light and rich and is saving me from puffiness, stress lines and dark circles. What more could a girl want?” (Editor’s Note: A girl would want to know what beauty products Kahina founder Katharine L’Heureux uses! I got your back.)

Pai Bergamot Lip Balm

“I wear this 100 percent organic and all-natural lip balm pretty much around the clock. It keeps my lips soft and smooth, even in the dark, dreary days of Canadian winter.”

*Butter London 3-Free Lacquer in Union Jack Black

“Union Jack Black is jet-black and super shiny, and gives my hardworking hands a stylish boost. Made without formaldehyde, toluene or DBP.”

Kaia Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloth

“If you’re a bit on the lazy side (like me!) when it comes to washing your face before bed, Kaia’s cleansing cloths are just the thing. They melt away makeup and contaminants without leaving my face dry or sticky. Plus I love to support Canadian brands.”

Revolution Organics All-Over Body Balm

“I use Revolution Organics balm for a laundry list of tasks, and given that it’s marketed as having more than 22 uses, I am sure to discover more parts of my body I can apply it to. It’s portable and chic (and goes everywhere with me!) and contains only seven (certified-organic!) ingredients.”

Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer

“Vapour (coming soon to Fresh Faced!) makes a great product. I’m pleased to have finally found naturally made concealer that covers my dark under-eye circles and occasional blemishes without clogging my pores or collecting in lines.”

Vapour Organic Beauty Mesmerize Eye Color in Flash

“I am a big fan of cream eye shadows — especially as I get older. I love Vapour’s stick application, which I can use for a quick swipe of color or in combination with other shades to create depth and highlights.”

Soapwalla Luxurious Body Oil

“Confession: Dry skin is one of my biggest pet peeves. My skin drinks this stuff in; it feels amazingly nourishing and smells like heaven. Because it’s made of well-blended oils, Soapwalla’s body oil is non-greasy, and a little goes a long way.”

October 25, 2012

beauty scoop | physicians formula organic wear 100% natural origin jumbo lash mascara

It’s time to come clean with my mascara routine.

To be clear, I’ve never lied to you — I admitted to the Clean Beauty Blog that I was having trouble committing to a natural mascara.

But I am working on it.

When I had my interview with Sophie, I was using Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara. It was a fine mascara, but it dried out quickly and didn’t offer that va-va-voom that the dirty brands do.

Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, Tarte isn’t for the purists, and I’m still deciding on how purely natural I can be when it comes to cosmetics (you know how I feel about skincare).

Currently, I’ve been using Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara. It’s been living on my lashes for about a week, and while it’s way cleaner (and easier to remove!) than my old dirty love, I’m not quite sold on it.

See how Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara darkens my lashes:

@kimberlyloc Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara

{Look how tired my stick-straight, short Asian lashes make me look! This is proof that if I were stranded on a desert island, I would take my Shu Uemura eyelash curler with me (to hell with mascara! I’ll be in the ocean all day!). Photo by the Teacher Man}

For $9.99, Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara isn’t too shabby — but it’s not perfect.

My biggest complaints are 1) the brush caters to clumps and 2) the formula can smudge a bit by end of day.

My biggest bravos are 1) it’s made with cleaner ingredients; 2) it’s easy to remove; 3) it’s affordable and easily accessible (I bought my tube at Target); and 4) it’s made in the USA.

@kimberlyloc wears physicians formula organic wear 100% natural origin jumbo lash mascara

{I must admit, the packaging is pretty funky and cool. Photo by the Teacher Man}

Check out the ingredients:

Organic Orange Fruit Water, Glycerin, Iron Oxide, Mycrocrystalline Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Water, Organic Beeswax, Jojoba Ester, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Carnauba Wax, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Cellulose Gum, Organic Cucumber Fruit Extract, Organic Soybean Oil, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Radish Ferment Filtrate, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Organic Olive Leaf Extract, May Contain (+/-)

I’ll keep using my tube of Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara, but I’m also adding more natural mascaras to my to-try list. Any recommendations?

October 22, 2012

beauty scoop | alima pure organic nourishing lip balm

Do you want to touch the mango?

(Apologies to those of you who aren’t SNL or Chris Kattan fans — or just have no clue what I’m referencing here.)

I decided to “touch the mango” when I sprang for a new lip balm from Alima Pure. If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m more into easy-to-apply lip color (glosses, lip stains, balms) than lipstick, and this skinny stick is no exception!

alima pure organic nourishing lip balm in mango

{I bought Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lip Balm in Mango with a few Birchbox points and pocket change! It retails for $7. Photo by the Teacher Man}

This is about as close to a “nude” lip as I come. I find that true nude lips tend to make me look washed out and zombie-like, so if I want to play with color on my eyes and keep my lips tame, I spring for a light coral/peach color that enhanced my pout while toning down my natural rosiness.

alima pure organic nourishing lip balm

{Photo by the Teacher Man}

This is my first run with Alima Pure products, and I have to say that this lip balm is simply, pretty and true to its name: nourishing. I don’t have to wear a separate lip balm under it to prep my lip for color since this is, in essence, a tinted lip balm that is very hydrating.

Check out the ingredients:

Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter Fruit, Organic Beeswax, Organic Safflower Seed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic White Tea Extract, Organic Cocoa Seed Butter, Organic Pomegranate Seed Oil, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Pomegranate Extract, Tocopherol. May Contain [+/-]: Minca (Ci 77019), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499)

With all those moisturizing oils, you can see why Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lip Balm lives up to its name!

I’m interested in trying some of the darker colors in the Nourishing Lip Balm collection to gauge just how rich the colors can be — played it safe with the mango this time.

On my hit list for next time: Cranberry and Fig.

@kimberlyloc wears alima pure organic nourishing balm in mango

What do you think of the natural coral/peach color of Alima Pure’s “Mango” (I guess it’s mango-colored?)? Ever tried any natural beauty products from Alima Pure? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section!

October 19, 2012

beauty scoop | primavera energizing ginger lime hand and nail cream

Though I’m an oil addict — face oil, body oil, hair oil — I do indulge in luxurious creams for two special body parts: hands and feet.

When it comes to everyday hand creams, I like lotions that have a faint scent (so as not to compete with any perfume I may be wearing, or to give me a little smell if I’m going au naturel) and a lightweight feel to them.

One of my favorite hand creams that I just finished and will be purchasing a replacement for is Primavera’s Energizing Hand and Nail Cream.

Primavera Energizing Ginger Lime Hand Cream

{Primavera gifted its Energizing Ginger Lime Hand Cream to me. It retails for $18 for 1.7 ounces, and I will be purchasing a new bottle to get me through this winter! Photo Courtesy Primavera}

I keep this hand cream on my bedside table and rotate between using it and two other creams/balms (more on them later!). Primavera’s Energizing Ginger Lime Hand and Nail Cream, though, is the one I absolutely adore because of its fresh scent, non-greasy feel and clean ingredients.

Check ’em out:

Water, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Organic Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Fragrance, Lime Oil, Zingiber Organic Ginger Root Oil, Organic Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Organic Cera Alba, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Alcohol

Though I do see the always-questionable “fragrance” listed, Primavera is one of those companies that I just trust. The company philosophy and guiding principles as well as its commitment to using naturals and organics is purer than many companies that hop on the green train; Primavera’s been riding on this train for more than 20 years!

But, OK, back to the hand cream.

Simply stated, I love it. It’s not too citrusy/limey. It’s just refreshing and oh-so-silky.

You really can’t go wrong with jojoba and sweet almond oils as your base. When you add thick shea butter and avocado oil, it’s heavenly. It’s just the right amount of lightweight (jojoba and avocado) and thick (sweet almond and shea butter).

I’ll be picking up another tube of Primavera Energizing Ginger Lime Hand and Nail Cream at Natural Body Spa & Shop (they’re the only location in the KC area that carries Primavera that I know of!).

What’s your favorite hand cream? Do you have a routine or certain time of year that you use hand cream more? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section!



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