Entries Tagged as 'beauty'

April 17, 2015

beauty scoop | stinkbug naturals extra strength cream deodorant

“Hi, my name is Kim, and I stink.”

That’s what I said when I tested out Stinkbug Naturals’ All Natural Deodorant (as documented in my “Ultimate Guide to Natural Deodorants,” which includes more than 30 natural deodorant reviews — whoa!).

But that mini-review had a caveat: If the formulation were a bit stronger, it could be a real winner for my stinky self. Gliding the original formula onto my pits instantly killed stink, but it just didn’t last long for me.

Enter the big guns, aka Stinkbug Naturals Extra Strength Cream Deodorant (in Floral Lime or Tangerine Spice), and the story changes to this:

“Hi, my name is Kim, and my body odor is under control today!”

stinkbug naturals extra strength cream deodorant

{Stinkbug Naturals sent me samples of its Extra Strength Cream Deodorants for review. Each 2-ounce tin costs $7.99.}

If you’re short on time, then the verdict is clear: Yes, Stinkbug Naturals Extra Strength Cream Deodorant works for extra-stinky girls like me. It’s a repurchase, and I especially like the Floral Lime scent.

If you’ve got a minute, here’s my detailed review (because don’t we all love talking about our body odor and how we control it?!).

Made with just six ingredients, Stinkbug Naturals Extra Strength Cream Deodorant in Floral Lime (my favorite scent of the two natural deodorants available in extra strength) kept me stink-free from morning prep to end of day, including long days at the office.

As is custom for my natural deodorant reviews, I put Stinkbug Naturals Extra Strength Cream Deodorant through the Ashtanga yoga test.

I would gently re-apply a smidge (like half a dime-size) to each pit before class, and the natural deodorant performed perfectly well with every downward-facing dog and vinyasa.

To push the envelope a bit — since this is an “extra strength” natural deodorant — I even opted to skip the re-application process before class.

This means roughly 9 hours from morning prep to end of the work day and then straight to a sweaty 90-minute class without extra protection.

And guess what? No reapplication was necessary! It performed well, from 6-7:30 p.m., after going onto my pits at around 8 a.m.

How’s that for a natural deodorant that works under pressure?

Here’s the full ingredients list for the Floral Lime scent:

Organic Shea Butter, Sodium Bicarbonate, Organic Corn Starch, Organic Coconut Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Lime Essential Oil

Here’s the full ingredients list for the Tangerine Spice scent:

Organic Shea Butter, Sodium Bicarbonate, Organic Corn Starch, Organic Coconut Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Clove Essential Oil

*It’s also notable that Stinkbug Naturals has been certified by the Non-GMO Project!

To be honest, I was skeptical of how well Stinkbug Naturals Extra Strength Cream Deodorant would work for me.

I had fears of the “extra strength” version being too powerful to the point of irritation — a common outcome for many of us who can be sensitive to baking soda, yet need that all-powerful ingredient for killing the stank.

I’ve experienced some extremely painful and unsightly rashes in the past, so even my typically non-sensitive skin is susceptible when it comes to baking soda. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised!

It’s quite an art to get the right balance of baking soda, butters, clays, oils, powders and other stink-killing ingredients together. But when the blend is right, it works so well and turns skeptics into believers!

Compared to some of my other favorite natural deodorants that are shea butter-based (again, please refer to the ultimate guide), Stinkbug Naturals Extra Strength Cream Deodorant has a bit of a grittier texture.

Though it’s a cream-style deodorant, you will notice that as you massage it into your underarms, you can kind of feel little texturized bits before they completely disentigrate.

I don’t have an issue with this at all, but if it comes down to texture for you, this may be a deciding factor, as this isn’t a whipped deodorant, nor is it super smooth and creamy.

It’s somewhere in-between, but the major selling point for me is that the floral lime scent is absolutely amazing.

I’ve never thought much about combining two of my favorite things — flowers (especially ylang ylang!) and sour citrus (I looooove lime, especially with tequila), but wow is it a fantastic, refreshing scent for your pits. Happy pits, happy pits!

So, this worked in my previous review of the regular deodorants, so let’s see if this request gets the wheels turning:

Stinkbug, can you make your extra strength versions available in regular applicators? Or, can you bring more fantastic scents to the cream versions? You are on to something good here!

What are your favorite natural deodorant scents? Have you tried Stinkbug Naturals? What’s the biggest hurdle in your quest for natural deodorants? Tell me in the comments section!

April 16, 2015

beauty scoop | african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

While many people may associate thick, healing balms with winter skincare or exclusively for those with dry skin, this oily-skinned gal also adores natural balms for daytime use as well as during transition weather.

One sweet-smelling, spring-feeling balm I’ve recently tested is African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm, a rich face and body balm loaded with beautiful botanicals wild-harvested in the the Cape Floral Kingdom in South Africa.

african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

{African Botanics sent me a sample of its Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm to review. It costs $55 for a 1.7-ounce opaque white glass jar.}

Formulated for both face and body, African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm brings together luscious shea butter with a host of healing oils — including marula, baobab and watermelon seed — and a collection of herbs and essential oils that gives this balm a very fruity scent.

Cold-pressed marula oil — the star ingredient of the entire African Botanics line — contains a high concentration of our favorite powerhouse antioxidants, vitamins C and E, which help renew and restore skin’s appearance and health. Marula oil is also loaded with essential fatty acids that help protect against the elements.

Additional standout ingredients African Botanics takes advantage of in this balm include:

  • Alpine Rose Plant Stem Cells: Helps repair the skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Snow Crocus Bulb and Burn Jelly Plant Extracts: Helps heal wounds.
  • Cape Camomile Extract: Reduces inflammation, resulting in calmer skin.
  • Bulbinella: Provides additional calming effects to sensitive skin.

african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Wax/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Isoamyl Laurate, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil**, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Bulbine Frutescens (Burn Jelly Plant) Extract, Aloe Ferox (Aloe Leaf) Extract, Asparlathus Linearis (Green Rooibos) Extract, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Isomalt, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Crocus Crysanthus (Snow Crocus) Bulb Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Eriocephalus punctulatus (Chamomile Cape) Essential Oil, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Essenial Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Essential Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Essential Oil, Helichrysum Splendidum (Helichrysum) Essential Oil, Calendula Officianalis (Calendula) Oil, Tocopherol Acetate, Sodium Phytate, Benzyl Cinnamate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Cinnamyl Alcohol*, Citral*, Citronellol*, Coumarin*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*, Geraniol*, Isoeugenol*, Limonene*, Linalool*.
*Constituents of natural essential oils. **Organic

Though not the perfect match for my facial skin (the scent is a bit too strong to go on my face), African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm is absolutely lovely as a nourishing body balm.

I prefer to use it on my hands and forearms for deep hydration and protection from the drying wind and other environmental elements.

In cold-weather months, the happy scent is uplifting, so it’s just about getting the right amount of product on my face so as not to overwhelm my nose.

african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

When I did use it on my face, it was exceptional at keeping my cheeks dewy, plump and soft to the touch. I can be heavy-handed, so with a more conservative application, I can get away with using it on my face in small dabs. With that sort of application style, this jar could last for months!

But, as I’m trying to be very diligent about using up the products in my beauty arsenal, it makes sense to keep African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm on my bedside table as an evening hand and foot balm for ultra-luxurious moisturizing.

However, I’m not blind to the fact that, for $55, that’s quite an expensive jar of goodness to be putting on your hands and feet!

So, depending on your personal beauty philosophy, this balm should either be reserved for your face only at that price, or, because of how nourishing and healing it is, it should be used on those extra-rough spots that everyday lotion just can’t drench in enough moisture.

For me personally, though, this isn’t a repurchase because I’m not in love with the scent for face, and I think I would be foolish to spend $55 for a hand and foot balm.

But would I recommend you sample this if you can? Yes, especially if you’re looking for a very healing face balm that’s the complete opposite of the many herbal-scented ones on the green beauty market today.

Scent. It’s just so damn personal!

What’s your beauty philosophy when it comes to luxury multipurpose items that you may use more on your limbs vs. your face? What have you tried from African Botanics? What face balms do you love? Tell me in the comments section!

April 14, 2015

beauty scoop | tammy fender bulgarian lavender body oil

While I’m usually more into exotic body oil blends, there was something about Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil that drew me in.

It might possibly have something to do with the fact that pretty much everything Tammy Fender touches turns your skin into gold.

Tammy Fender Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil

Tammy Fender sent me a sample of Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil to review. It costs $65 for an 8-ounce glass pump jar.

A seemingly simple, one-note body oil, Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil is something of a dream for minimalist beauties who love lavender but want top-notch carrier oils for moisture and suppleness.

That’s why Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil combines the calming and soothing properties of Bulgarian lavender with Mother Nature’s most-nourishing oils: think sunflower, grapeseed, avocado and rosehip.

While some may not be as excited by old favorites sunflower and grapeseed, we can’t discount how incredibly important both of these ingredients are to natural skincare. Both are extremely high in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and linoleic acid.

This helps set the base for more “interesting” oils such as avocado and rosehip.

Avocado oil is rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, D, and E as well as amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin, and other essential fatty acids.

Rosehip oil is loaded with vitamin C, citrus bioflavonoid and a tons of essential fatty acids, ideal for strengthening collagen and smoothing skin’s appearance.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Glycine Soja (Soybean Oil), *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, *Rosa Mosqueta (Rose Hip Seed) Oil, Essential Oils of Lavendula Angustiflora (Pure Bulgarian Lavender). *Certified Organic

This luxe, clear, medium viscosity base hydrates thirsty skin while filling your senses with the powerful aromatherapeutic effects of Bulgarian lavender.

Bulgarian lavender has a full, rich, heady scent compared to other types of lavender. The beautiful floral scent smells truly like fresh-cut lavender and is so multidimensional, making it outstanding in a one-note body oil.

Like lavender in general, Bulgarian lavender helps balance and soothe inflamed skin and promotes cell growth to help minimize scarring. For those of us who suffer from body acne, Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil doubles as the perfect preventative treatment that feels nothing like the somewhat clinical (and definitely un-sexy) body acne products on the market.

For those of us who adore florals and enjoy layering our natural perfumes, Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil serves as the perfect base scent for mixing in fragrances with notes of chamomile, clary sage, bergamot, jasmine, manderin, geranium, palmarosa, ylang ylang, rosewood and rosemary.

At about $8 an ounce, Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil is a steal in our growing world of luxury natural body oils. I will easily repurchase it, as I love the minimalist packaging and focus on high quality, organic ingredients (and a bold Bulgarian lavender that my nose finds absolutely heavenly).

Have you tried anything from Tammy Fender? What are your favorite one-note body oils? Tell me in the comments section!

April 1, 2015

beauty scoop | skinnyskinny organic anti-acne treatment

A while back, I updated my “faves” page to reflect all of the ultimate repurchases I’ve curated over my five years of blogging.

You’ll notice that the “acne treatments” section is the largest of the bunch, and I cannot tell you how ecstatic that makes me.

I’ve finally found some wonderful, effective, natural products that truly work at gently treating and preventing breakouts, and I’m thrilled to detail one of my latest additions to the repurchase list here: skinnyskinny’s Organic Anti-Acne Treatment.

skinnyskinny organic anti-acne treatment

{I purchased SkinnySkinny’s Organic Anti-Acne Treatment from my local spa after my facialist used it on my skin during a treatment. It costs $24 for a 1-ounce glass bottle.}

During a recent facial at my beloved local spa, my friend and aesthetician Kristin applied skinnyskinny’s Organic Anti-Acne Treatment onto my skin, and I immediately had that same comforting “ahhhhh” sensation that I felt when I first used another favorite acne treatment on my skin.

That’s basically how I measure up every single acne treatment. Seriously. Does my skin have some sort of crave / response to it? It must be working. Scientific, I know.

In all seriousness, though, the cooling and calming effect it had on my skin and senses was noticeable.

The familiar scents of old favorites tea tree and lavender combine with antiseptic niaouli oil (a new one to me!) and anti-inflammatory thyme oil for a simply powerful acne-killing blend — all in a base of antibacterial, antioxidant-rich babassu oil.

That makes skinnyskinny’s Organic Anti-Acne Treatment appropriate to spread all over the skin as a preventative treatment as well as for use as a spot treatment.

I go both routes, dabbing it onto spots and, when I’m feeling congested or know that zits are in my future (ahem, mother nature), spread a thin layer onto my skin after moisturizing with a simple carrier oil like marula, argan or jojoba.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Babassu Oil*, Niaouli Oil*, Thyme Oil*, Tea Tree Oil*, Helichrysum Oil*, and Lavender Oil*
* certified organic

As mentioned in the intro to this post, this is just one of many acne treatment faves. I’ve written an in-depth review of another one that I absolutely love (and know you do, too!), but consider both of these must-haves for very different reasons.

skinnyskinny can be used all over the face because of the babassu oil dilution. It’s also packaged in a larger bottle, but it’s not a roll-on; if you spot-treat, you’re likely going to be using a cotton swab.

skinnyskinny is also substantially less expensive, as you get more product, so you don’t feel guilty about using it all over your face (and it’s intended to be used that way!).

Is it just as effective as this one? Yes, though I will say that it takes a bit longer for it to treat breakouts, but it is quite gentle and can be used more in the preventative process.

The former is better for those “OMG please get rid of this volcano on my face” times we have — and it indeed zaps them quickly.

My beloved, holy grail acne treatment that I’ve pretty much never quit talking about since it gave me stellar results in 2012 is different from both of these in that it’s more for those painful cysts that crumble your soul.

Spot treatments and serums just don’t do the same for me, so that’s why I’m adamant at having all three of these in an acne-prevention arsenal. Prevention, pimple-killing and cyst-zapping all require different slayers!

So with that, I absolutely stand by the addition of skinnyskinny’s Organic Anti-Acne Treatment onto my “faves” page and repurchase list.

I’m impressed with the concentrated yet calming and, of course, effectiveness of this product to prevent and gently treat breakouts.

skinnyskinny, you rock!

What natural acne prevention products are in your arsenal? What different types of breakouts do you battle? What’s on your ultimate acne treatment repurchase list? Tell me in the comments section!

March 30, 2015

beauty scoop | me & the girls bar beleza multi-use beauty bar

This past month, I had four weekends of back-to-back travel — some for quick jaunts to see friends and one big trip for work — and I had to seriously up my packing game.

You guys, I did carry-on only every single trip.

Now I won’t say that this is all because I figured out how to pare down my TSA-approved beauty bag, but it did make a difference not having to lug additional beauty oils in a checked bag!

One easy swap I made was leaving behind my travel-sized jojoba oil (for oil cleansing) and replacing it with Me & The Girls Bar Beleza Multi-Use Beauty Bar.

This little tube of cupuacu and cocoa butter is a game changer for all you jetsetting oil cleansers out there!

me and the girls bar beleza multi use beauty bar

{Me & The Girls sent me a sample of Bar Beleza to review. It costs $42 for a 1.5-ounce twist-up stick.}

Me & The Girls Bar Beleza Multi-Use Beauty Bar can be used as a light face balm, but I find it the most powerful and absolutely essential in my beauty routine as a travel-sized balm-to-oil cleanser.

The twist-up packaging and large applicator size (about an inch wide) makes it fun and easy to roll over the face, going up and down the T-zone and then circling it into the cheeks.

The firm cupuacu and cocoa butter formula melts slowly into the warmth of your skin, but doesn’t drip down your face at all the way some oil cleansers and carrier oils can when you’re doing more traditional oil cleanses.

me and the girls bar beleza multi use beauty bar

You’re then able to massage the thin layer of butters and oils into your skin to dissolve makeup and prep your skin for a fresh cleanse — all without taking up any space in your precious quart-sized, TSA-approved baggie.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu Seed Butter)*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter)*, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu Oil)*, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut Oil)*, Vitamin E – Tocopherol

*99% NOP-certified organic ingredients

The short, sweet ingredients list is compatible with both my skin and my oil cleansing skin care philosophy, but of course I do know there are many of you out there who are sensitive to coconut oil.

Perhaps Me & The Girls will consider making a version of Bar Beleza sans coconut oil (and maybe replace it with beeswax or, to keep it vegan-friendly, caranuba wax?). Just a thought!

Another thought: Because I only use my Bar Beleza for makeup removal — and choose to apply it straight from the applicator to my skin — it’s worth noting that it can get a bit grubby (because, um, it’s removing my makeup!).

If you truly want to take advantage of it as a multi-use bar (for moisturizing your face or even using on your lips), I would recommend applying it to clean hands and then massaging your face. If you’re very particular, you can also swipe the top of it with alcohol after each use.

I’ll be getting more use out of my beloved Bar Beleza this week, as I pack up for another round of jet-setting. You can bet I’m going to strive for another carry-on only trip (thanks, Me & The Girls!).

Do you pack your cleansing oils into your TSA liquids baggie? What do you always take on the plane? What do you leave behind? Have you tried Bar Beleza? Tell me in the comments section!

March 25, 2015

beauty scoop | beessential mechanic’s and gardener’s soap

Marketed as a soap for the greasy mechanic, gardener or man in your life, Beessential Mechanic’s and Gardener’s Soap is truly fit for anyone who could use a little extra full-body exfoliation.

beessential mechanic's and gardener's soap

Beesential sent me a sample of its Mechanic’s and Gardener’s Soap to review. It costs $5.99 for a 5-ounce bar.}

Thanks to the power of coffee grinds, Beessential Mechanic’s and Gardener’s Soap delivers an exhilarating scrub that’s especially ticklish on your feet and preps the skin for whatever moisture you choose to drench your skin.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Saponified Oils of: Coconut, Olive, Palm, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Coffee, Cocoa Powder and Coffee Essential Oil.

Because of the intense color of coffee grinds, Beessential Mechanic’s and Gardener’s Soap does leave your shower with a tinge of brownish-caramel coloring. If you’re a bit of a neat freak, beware.

The color runoff collects in the built-in soap dish of the shower, so you may be wiping that off a little more than usual when you use this soap.

It doesn’t stain, though, and it doesn’t affect anything on your skin — anyone who has ever used a coffee body scrub knows how much of a mess it can be! Oh the things we do for soft, exfoliated skin.

I enjoyed using this soap after weeks of travel where I just wasn’t great about exfoliating. It left my skin feeling invigorated and clean without stripping moisture.

The texture, though, can feel a bit scratchy if you aren’t used to heavy-duty exfoliating soaps. This definitely isn’t one to use on your face!

While I enjoyed using this soap, it’s not a must-have for me because I do prefer to exfoliate using body scrubs and polishes. It is, though, a nice one to have on hand for travel, as it’s a solid and can help you keep up your exfoliation game while on the road.

And of course, if you do have a greasy mechanic in your life, he or she may just love how scrubby this soap is!

How do you clean up coffee scrub residue in your shower? Do you prefer exfoliating soaps or body scrubs and polishes? Where are all my greasy mechanic readers? Tell me what you know in the comments section.

March 23, 2015

beauty scoop | organic essence organic confidence relentless all-day deodorant

Not satisfied with the natural deodorants you’re using that come in a traditional plastic roll-on applicator?

Can’t get over the thought of having to dip your fingers into a tub of creamy deodorant and massage it into your pits every day?

Enter Organic Essence Organic Confidence Relentless All-Day Deodorant (phew, what a name!).

It’s like a push pop for your pits. And doesn’t that smell fun?!

organic essence deodorant

{Organic Essence sent me samples of its Organic Confidence Relentess All-Day Deodorant for review. A 2.2-ounce compostable paper tube costs between $9.99 and $16.99 depending on scent.}

Powered by the usual baking soda, virgin coconut oil and essential oils, Organic Essence’s Organic Confidence Relentless All-Day Deodorant brings the natural deodorant packaging game to the next level.

You get a wonderfully effective natural deodorant housed in a beautifully designed, fully compostable (or recyclable) paper tube that makes it easy to roll on and fun to squeeze up product as you go.

Available in seven comforting and stink-fighting scents, Organic Essence’s Organic Confidence Relentless All-Day Deodorant has something for everyone, including the green men in your life.

organic essence deodorant

I had the pleasure of testing the Lavender and the Lemon Tea Tree Mint scents (both $9.99), which were fresh, vibrant and calming.

Each worked exceptionally well at keeping me stink-free, including during intense yoga sessions and a couple bike rides.

Here’s the full ingredients for both the Lavender and the Lemon Tea Tree Mint scents:

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Root Powder*,
Cera Flava (Beeswax)*, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*

*Certified Organic by Global Culture

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Root Powder*,
Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil*, Leptospermum Petersonii(Lemon­­­Tea Tree) Oil*

*Certified Organic by Global Culture

Other scents available include:

  • Coco-van, which is a brilliant-sounding combination of coconut and vanilla bourbon ($11.99)
  • Jasmine Blossom with Ylang Ylang ($16.99)
  • Natural, which is said to have a mild coconut aroma that fades for fragrance-free results ($9.99)
  • Rose Petal, made with rose otto and palmarose essential oils ($16.99)
  • Wood Spice, made of organic essential oils of orange, clove and patchouli ($9.99)

Of course, I have my eyes set on the Jasmine Blossom when it’s time to restock my deodorant supply — I’m feeling very fortunate to have found such amazing nontoxic deodorant options that truly work!

Organic Essence natural deodorants stand out to me a bit more because they contain no preservatives, artificial colors, petrochemicals and are hexane-free. These USDA certified organic deodorants are the real deal!

With so many great, effective deodorants available, it comes down to ingredients, packaging and price when it’s time to repurchase.

Organic Essence is definitely on my repurchase list, as I appreciate the high-quality ingredients, fair pricing and smart packaging that means I spend less time massaging in deodorant cream.

However, that’s not to say that you are completely free of touching deodorant when you use Organic Essence.

After rolling the deodorant onto your pits, if the temperature is warm enough, the coconut-based formula melts a little easier. This means that you will have a bit of buildup along the opening of the applicator.

If you’re like me, will wipe all around the edges to remove it and, to not be wasteful, smear it into your pits. You could just wipe it down with a tissue if you are serious about not having to touch your deodorant and then wash the sticky feeling away, but why waste (especially if you are used to touching it anyway).

You’ll also find that as you get through the deodorant and have to really practice your “push pop” skills, application becomes a bit messier and the deodorant may not apply as easily.

Toward the end of my tube, I resorted to pushing product up, smearing it onto my pits and massaging it in because the paper applicator had lost its round shape (it was definitely more of a flattened oblong shape).

Still, that didn’t really bother me because all my other favorite deodorants are creams in jars and touching deodorant isn’t a big deal.

I’d repurchase this one to have a “normal” applicator deodorant on hand just because, and to minimize the use of plastic where possible. It’s nice to be able to recycle with my other paper goods or compost (OK look, I don’t compost, but my mom does) when it’s all done.

Have you tried Organic Essence’s Organic Confidence Relentless All-Day Deodorant? What features are important to you in a natural deodorant (besides, um, it working)? Are you sick of massaging deodorant cream into your pits? Tell me in the comments section!

March 11, 2015

beauty scoop | josh rosebrook oculus formula

When it comes to treating our facial skin, green beauties love a great face oil.

But many of us stick to traditional eye creams when we’re adding in extra nourishment to our delicate undereye area.

A few of us, though, are rollerball eye serum converts — myself included — and Josh Rosebrook’s Oculus Formula is easily rising to the top of my must-have eye serums list.

josh rosebrook oculus formula

{Josh Rosebrook sent me a sample of the new Oculus Formula for review. It costs $70 for a 1/3-ounce rollerball of serum.}

Josh Rosebrook’s Oculus Formula is designed to brighten, protect and firm the skin around your eyes with its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory rich ingredients.

Josh is something of a wizard when it comes to combining just the right herbs, oils and extracts to get a texture, scent and (most importantly) effectiveness in a skincare product that you just want to use. He bases the formula in beautiful camelina, hemp seed, sunflower, coconut, grapeseed and almond oils.

  • Camelina oil is extremely high in essential fatty acids and reparative vitamin E, delivering moisture and suppleness to the skin.
  • Hemp seed oil, one of my personal favorites, is rich in antioxidants and is extremely protective and moisturizing. You get that luscious texture without feeling coated or thick.
  • Sunflower oil, yet another underrated oil that does so much good for the skin, is loaded with even more vitamin E as well as vitamins A and C, all of which help prevent free radicals from damaging your skin.
  • Coconut oil, which I know many of you have a love/hate relationship with, packs in the moisture and anti-bacterial benefits. If you’re sensitive to coconut oil, be sure to sample, sample, sample to see how blends like this one work for your skin.
  • Grapeseed oil, one of my favorite oils from the beginning of my journey into green beauty (right up there with jojoba oil!), is also packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin C, and is lightweight enough so as not to feel clogging to the thin eye area.
  • Almond oil helps calm skin allergies and inflammation (hello, eye de-puffer!) and can even help lighten the appearance of dark circles.

josh rosebrook oculus formula

Here’s everything else inside Oculus Formula:

Organic oils of: camelina, hemp seed, sunflower, coconut, grapeseed and almond; organic herbal infusions of: eyebright, echinacea flower, alfalfa, skullcap, calendula flowers, blueberry, slipper elm, rosemary leaf, chickweed, fennel seed, neem leaf and sunflower seed; organic essential oils of: rose, geranium, lavender, blue chamomile and carrot seed.

Leave it to Josh to include thoughtful herbal infusions in his eye serum. I’m always so taken by the beautiful ingredients he uses not just for the sake of saying he uses something that sounds exotic, but for the way he figures out how to source and combine.

He chooses combinations of extracts known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (to complement the luscious carrier oils) so that puffy, red or sallow eye skin is calmed, soothed and brightened.

The herbal infusions help neutralize free-radicals and rev up your skin’s collagen production to firm and tone the skin. We’re talking echinacea, calendula, skullcap and slippery elm for calming and soothing; alfalfa, fennel and chickweed for firming and brightening; eyebright for collagen stimulation; and bilberry for brightening and plumping.

But let’s all remember that the first step to having a fresh face and un-puffy eyes is getting enough SLEEP! (I’m guilty of sleeping too little sometimes.)

And the next step is eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods and hydrating with water and beneficial herbal teas!

So there’s no doubt that the ingredients in Josh Rosebrook’s Oculus Formula are top-notch, beautiful and shown to be effective. But let’s talk about the actual experience of using this rollerball serum.

First, the packaging is clear and subtle, allowing you to see not only the beautiful golden coloring of the serum, but also to note how far you are from being empty after continual use.

While violet Miron glass is all the rage right now from a packaging perspective, there’s something to be said about the functional view of a product. I personally like knowing how far I have left to go so I know when it’s time to reorder.

The other thing about this particular rollerball is the use of a metal ball vs. a plastic ball to roll on product.

While likely making the packaging more expensive, the experience and feeling of a cool (or even chilled!) metal rollerball on your eyes at night or first thing in the morning can really amplify your experience with this product.

I also appreciate minimal styling and design, and the entire Josh Rosebook line is so subtle, sleek and gender-neutral. The clean appearance makes it friendly to guys’ dopp kits — and makes it easy for me to get my beau to try a few things from my green beauty stash (more on this later if you’re interested?).

From a texture perspective, Josh Rosebrook’s Oculus Formula is medium-light thickness.

You feel like you’re getting a nice, moisturizing eye treatment, yet it doesn’t just sit atop the skin. I can use this eye serum in the morning before I apply makeup (I wait maybe one minute for it to sink in), but I can also load this on during airplane travel to keep my peepers bright and hydrated in dry cabin air. I will have to say that it’s probably the fastest-drying eye serum I’ve tried so far that is actually an oil (and not a water/oil serum with a different texture — more on those later).

Lastly, let’s talk irritation.

Some of you have mentioned that with eye serums — rollerball, droppers, or otherwise — you experience mild irritation to the sensitive eye area. This is likely due to the use of eye-unfriendly essential oils, extremely sensitive skin or some combination of the two.

While the eye serums I’ve tried and reviewed have never caused irritation to my eyes, I do appreciate that Oculus Formula is basically scent-free and contains very subtle essential oils of rose, geranium, lavender, blue chamomile and carrot seed.

If you have sensitivities to any of these EOs, remember to sample, sample, sample and be very mindful of how you apply the serum.

As one of the most-reached-for products in my beauty arsenal, I can confidently say that this is a repurchase for me.

I’ve loved many eye serums, but I’m just very taken by the thoughtful ingredients list, combining carrier oils, herbal extracts and non-irritating essential oils, into a slim, sleek, metal rollerball eye serum treatment. The price tag may seem high, but compared to many eye creams and serums on the green beauty market, it’s fairly priced and so very artfully created.

What eye serums do you use? Or are you more of an eye cream person? What do you look for in an eye treatment? Tell me in the comments section!

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