Entries Tagged as 'beauty'

October 9, 2015

beauty scoop | zen redhead angel mist

“If an angel dropped by to spritz your face, it might smell a little something like this!”

That’s how Denver-based brand Zen Redhead describes its Angel Mist toner, and I couldn’t agree more.

Besides being a delightful aromatherapeutic experience thanks to certified organic neroli, ylang ylang and lemon, Zen Redhead’s Angel Mist dispenses the most even, full burst of filtered toning water that kept my skin looking dewy and fresh with every press.

Even though I’m now out of my toner, I’m definitely keeping the bottle for a little reuse!

zen redhead angel mist

{Zen Redhead sent me a sample of its Angel Mist toner. It costs $25 for a 120 ml amber glass bottle.}

I went through my bottle of Zen Redhead Angel Mist quite quickly because of how uplifted and wonderful the scent was. The scent is extremely soft — no one note completely dominates the profile, and it is a comforting, familiar scent that I can’t quite describe.

Lemon, neroli and ylang ylang sound like they could be very bright and cheery mixed together, but the scent is so subtle and familiar, like what you might smell in your backyard, where there’s a lemon tree, after the rain on a spring day.

The simple ingredients list — filtered water with essential oils of neroli, ylang ylang and lemon — appeals to the mist-a-holic that I am. I used this mist as a regular refresher throughout the day and loved the fine layer of dew it imparted on my complexion.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Filtered water, essential oils of neroli, ylang ylang and lemon

While this formulation seems easily DIY-able, it’s important to look at the creator herself.

Founder Tamara Hutchins has a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a certified massage therapist and aromatherapist. Her experience in the alternative health field spans 21 years, and she’s known for using essential oils to treat clients in Zen Redhead Studio, her spa that offers facial rejuvenation acupuncture and a clean beauty apothecary.

With that said, the pricing on Zen Redhead’s Angel Mist is steep for what’s inside. Many of my favorite toners include amazing infusions and intriguing ingredients, which is what I’m after in my skincare. I would love to see a different base, such as hydrosols (flower waters) or aloe water, in place of the filtered water for a more luxurious treatment.

What do you look for in a toning mist? What ingredient combinations appeal to you? How much do you pay for toners? Tell me in the comments section!

October 7, 2015

beauty scoop | etta + billie body lotion

When it comes to packaging and ingredients, design is everything.

A sleek external design makes a product that much more enjoyable to use. A well-designed formulation keeps you using it over and over.

I couldn’t rave more about Etta + Billie, a green beauty brand that makes superior design look effortless in both form and function.

Guests at my apartment experience it firsthand via Etta + Billie’s fantastic Grapefruit Cardamom Lotion, which I keep right next to the hand soap in my bathroom.

etta + billie grapefruit cardamom body lotion

{Etta + Billie sent me a sample of its Grapefruit Cardamom Body Lotion to review. It costs $29 for an 8-ounce amber glass pump jar.}

Handcrafted in San Francisco, Etta + Billie was born from founder Alana Rivera’s desire to step away from an office job and instead, truly create. The line is named after Alana’s grandmothers (I love both of those names, by the way!).

I choose to keep this particular Etta + Billie lotion on my bathroom counter for daily use for a few reasons. One reason appeals to vanity. I absolutely adore the packaging.

It’s sleek, unisex and non-intimidating for my male guests (boyfriend and brothers, you freaks) to use while maintaining an apothecary charm that any green beauty lover would swoon over.

etta + billie grapefruit cardamom body lotion

Another reason appeals to the sense of smell. Grapefruit Cardamom? Yes please.

Nobody can resists a bit of citrus and spice, and the scent isn’t overpowering or extremely feminine by any means. You just get bright yet warm, fresh citrus in a hydrating lotion that, with just half a pump, covers your hands and leaves them feeling silky smooth.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Aloe barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice*, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) oil*, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil*, Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax NF, Cetearyl Alcohol, Non-GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Organic Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Extract, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) oil, Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange) oil*, Elettaria cardamomum (Cardamom) oil*, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol *Certified Organic

Bear in mind is that this lotion is preserved using phenoxyethanol, so if that’s something you’re avoiding, this one’s not for you.

etta + billie grapefruit cardamom body lotion

With a simple and effective moisturizing base like this — aloe, cocoa butter, sunflower oil, coconut oil and vitamin E — it’s impossible to not get a heap of hydration with every use.

But, the blend is so light and silky, making it a perfect post-wash hand lotion that’s never greasy and easily absorbed.

While Etta + Billie’s Grapefruit Cardamom Lotion isn’t designed as a hand lotion per se (it’s a body lotion), I think it’s the perfect lotion to keep in the bathroom when you want to shield your skin from the drying effects of a foaming soap.

(Even if it’s made with natural ingredients, many foaming soaps and cleansers leave my skin a bit parched)

I’m not sure that this lotion would be enough for someone with extremely dry skin to use from head to toe, but layered with an oil on top, it could be the perfect base. If citrus and spice is your jam, here’s a wonderful starting point for your post-shower moisture and scent ritual.

For those who live in warm and/or humid climates, this would be a perfect everyday body lotion to keep you soft and never sticky.

All in all, for someone who’s said a billion times before that she’s not a lotion kind of girl, I love Etta + Billie’s Lotion.

(It also comes in Geranium Patchouli as well as Lavender.)

I think the packaging is spot-on and would make a wonderful housewarming gift (or any kind of gift), and the formulation is smart.

This brand has something special going for it — look for more reviews to come (soap, skin balm, body scrub, oh my!).

Have you tried anything from Etta + Billie? What are your favorite lotions? What lotion do you keep next to your bathroom soap? Tell me in the comments section!

October 5, 2015

beauty scoop | hello hair hydrating mask island escape edition

With six moisturizing oils packed into a funky little pouch, Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask makes deep-treating your mane manageable — no messy oil blending necessary.

hello hair hydrating mask

{Hello Hair sent me a sample of its Island Escape Hydrating Mask. It costs $18 for a 100-gram pouch.}

This Australian-made hydrating mask — Island Escape edition, of course — smells like a fresh piña colada and makes your hair feel silky to the touch.

The deeply nourishing oil treatment repairs and revitalizes summer-scorched (or color-scorched!) hair, temporarily binding split ends (get those trimmed, please) and giving the hair and overall touchably soft look.

Applied to dry hair, Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask quickly absorbs and drenches each delicate strand with mega moisture; this is thanks to coconut oil, which is incredible at helping hair retain hydration.

After my first treatment, I noticed how soft, smooth and manageable my hair was. It responded well to styling products, but kept that sleek look without a weighted-down feeling. I couldn’t stop touching my hair!

The ingredients blend — anchored by coconut, olive and grapeseed — gives Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask the perfect texture and weight. When I’ve oil-treated my hair with straight coconut oil, it’s been a pain to remove, leaving my hair either 1) extremely oily post-wash or 2) extremely stripped from over-washing to removed said oil.

I didn’t experience any of that with Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask (and remember, I’m heavy-handed when it comes to beauty treatments!). Everything washed out easily, yet my hair was left with a wonderful sheen and softness.

hello hair hydrating mask

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Coconut oil, olive fruit oil, grape seed oil, castor seed oil, olive leaf extract, pomegranate seed oil, argan oil, vanilla oil, grapefruit peel oil, lime oil, glycerin

BONUS: Hello Hair Hydrating Mask Island Escape Edition is NUT-FREE in case you are allergic!

RANT: The full ingredients are not listed online! This is a major pet peeve of mine. While the key ingredients are listed, the grapefruit, glycerine and lime are not. I don’t understand why, so Hello Hair, can you please fix that? END RANT.

Besides the actual ingredients inside Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask, I love the bright, fun and functional packaging.

The screw-top nozzle on the side makes applying oil directly to your scalp very easy, or you squeeze the perfect amount of oil directly into your hand.

The pouch packaging makes it easy to store — it doesn’t take up much space! — and an ideal candidate for keeping in the shower, since clumsy Kim over here is notorious for dropping glass (!) bottles in the bath.

Within this seemingly small pouch (about 3.5 ounces) is several hair treatments. If you have medium-length hair like I do, you can probably get five or six treatments out of this pouch, depending on how generous you are with your pours.

Overall, I think Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask is a great purchase. I love the packaging and ingredients, and while they aren’t certified organic, I’m not a purist —but wouldn’t it be cool to see certified organic in this little pouch?

I think Hello Hair’s Hydrating Mask would make a lovely gift, too, especially for someone new to hair oils or green beauty.

Have you tried Hello Hair Hydrating Mask? What are your favorite hair oils? Do you even do hair oil treatments or nah? Tell me in the comments section!

September 30, 2015

what green beauty ‘scopes do you want to see?

It’s quite clear that our Instagram addiction is seeing some fierce competition thanks to everyone’s favorite new no-editing-allowed, video-based social media platform, Periscope.

follow kimberlyloc on periscope

I’m dedicating today’s post to crowdsourcing two things:

  1. What’s your Periscope name? Leave it in the comments! (As usual, I’m @kimberlyloc)
  2. What topics do you want to see ‘scopes on from me and the rest of the green beauty community?

Here’s some thought starters:

  • What are your favorite self-care rituals?
  • What made you transition to green beauty?
  • How do you treat your biggest skincare concern?

I’ve only done one ‘scope so far (an unboxing that took place more than a month ago!) because, as you may be able to tell, I’m more of a writer than an on-camera kinda gal.


However, I am intrigued by the authenticity that Periscope commands — no editing, and I get to hear how you actually talk! — and think this is an amazing way to better connect with our community.

So, go on, tell everyone: What do you want to see more ‘scopes about (not just from me, but from everybody you follow on Periscope!)?

What ‘scopes keep you interested, and which ones have you ready to close out of the app and go back to Instagram?

Tell me your username and favorite topics in the comments section!

September 28, 2015

beauty scoop | kypris moonlight catalyst

“Some things are best done under the moon and stars.”

That sentence — the first line on the back of KYPRIS’ Moonlight Catalyst serum — enchants me every time I read it.

kypris moonlight catalyst

{KYPRIS sent me a sample of its Moonlight Catalyst serum for review. It costs $72 for a 1.59-ounce glass dropper bottle.}

Besides the beautiful language and imagery it evokes, it’s a reminder of how our evening skincare routine can inspire powerful changes and healing in our skin.

That’s especially true if you’re using an evening skincare serum that’s an herbal replacement for retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids.

During rest, our bodies and skin renew and repair itself, prepping for the next day of mental, physical and environmental stress. Our daytime skincare regimens should focus on antioxidant-boosting, sun-shielding ingredients that help our skin dodge free radicals and stay as healthy as possible when faced with the elements.

At night, it’s all about restoring what was robbed from us and starting fresh. That’s what I feel like my skin experiences when I use Moonlight Catalyst (a favorite for something like six months now!).

In the evening, after washing and toning, I follow the KYPRIS emulsion routine of combining 4-5 drops of Moonlight Catalyst serum with 3-4 drops of my facial oil of choice (I will dare to say that Beauty Elixir II is my favorite facial oil on the market) and, if necessary, an additional booster, such as the Clearing Serum or other targeted treatment.

kypris moonlight catalyst serum

The gel texture of Moonlight Catalyst allows all of these serums and oils to combine beautifully for a silky, slippery emulsion that slides onto the skin and dries to a perfect, moisturizing finish. Your skin never feels heavy, oily or tacky — just perfectly quenched and ready for rest.

After a good night’s sleep, I wake up to find my skin looking the way KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst promises: Refined and renewed. I don’t know how else to explain the look of beautifully resurfaced skin that has fewer visible pores and a smooth appearance. It’s as though my face has a Photoshop skin blur effect.

That’s thanks to the herbal cocktail makes KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst so special. This so-called “skin blur” is the smoothing-texture effect that many achieve with prescription retinoids — but without the irritation thanks to KYPRIS’ smart formulations that include a combination of fermented pumpkin enzymes, biomimetic epidermal growth factor (EGF), and hydrating botanical extracts.

Fermented pumpkin enzymes help soften the skin and decrease the appearance of inflammation and discoloration. It’s these enzymes that trigger deep yet gentle exfoliation that result in a refined texture.

Biometric epidermal growth factor is a new addition to the recently reformulated KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst. This peptide was added to help mimic the renewing benefits of your skin’s naturally occurring EGF.

In addition, Moonlight Catalyst’s updated formula includes a new peach extract that has higher hydration properties as well as organic neroli flower extract which helps soothe both the mind and the skin during application.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Water/Aqua, Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Xylitylglucoside, Sclerotium Gum, Algae, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, sh-Oligopeptide-1,  Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Flower Extract, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Extract, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water Extract, Hydrolyzed Fucus Vesiculosus Protein, Sodium Chloride, Trehalose,  Sodium Levulinate, Maltodextrin, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Citrate

Besides the high-tech ingredients mentioned above, we have to acknowledge the inclusion of some of our favorite familiar skincare ingredients. Think rosehip flower extract, sea buckthorn extract, plum fruit extract and willow bark extract. These aid in the delivery of essential fatty acids and hydration as well as the acne-prevention that we all hope for in an evening serum.

I’ve tried both the original formula and this new formula, and I will say that while I had wonderful, refining results with the original formula, I have indeed noticed that the new formulation has even greater results — mostly in the speed in which you see cell turnover and renewal.

With my first run at KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst’s original formula, I could tell the difference in my skin’s texture within three weeks. With this new formulation (and mind you, with breaks in between to test other nighttime skin serums), I saw texture improvements within something more like 10 days.

That said, you should always test new products 1) as a patch test or sample first and then 2) give them a good, solid month to truly have a full effect, at least.

KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst is a repurchase for me and an absolute recommendation. It’s one of the better-priced evening serums available, too — $72 for a HUGE 1.59-ounce dropper bottle — and many retailers offer samples if you’re still experimenting.

Get Moonlight Catalyst at BeauTeaBar, Credo Beauty, The Detox Market, Integrity Botanicals and Spirit Beauty Lounge.

What evening skincare treatments do you use? Have you tried Moonlight Catalyst or anything else from KYPRIS? Tell me in the comments section!

September 25, 2015

free stuff friday | kimberlyloc x rachel’s plan bee limited edition body oil

To celebrate a successful launch of kimberlyloc x Rachel’s Plan Bee Limited Edition Body Oil, Rachel and I are sharing a full-sized bottle of this nourishing, jasmine-infused oil with one lucky person.

kimberlyloc x rachel's plan bee limited edition body oil

I find myself repeating the words “amazing,” “humbling,” and “experience” to describe the journey Rachel and I took to create this special body oil.

But it’s true.

As entrepreneurial as I am — blogging for almost six years and consulting green beauty startups and friends on branding and communications — this collab was unlike anything I’ve ever taken on. I hope you can feel the energy, beauty and joy in this oil when you use it!

Or, if you can at least agree that it smells very good (like jasmine with hints of vanilla, sweet orange and rose), then that works too!

Be sure to read the story of its creation on both my blog and Rachel’s, and check out the product page to get all the nitty gritty details (and pick up a few to share with your friends!). Thank you for your support, and good luck!

Ready to enter to win? Use the Rafflecopter widget below to get started!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

1. No purchase necessary. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited.

2. Entrant must be 18 years old as of sweepstakes start date and a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia as of start date.

3. Giveaway begins Friday, September 25, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, October 2, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

4. Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. Winners will be selected by random drawing. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) days after the first attempt to contact such potential winner, an alternate entrant will be selected in his or her place from all entries received.

5. Sponsor(s) is/are not responsible for lost or mutilated prizes and none will be replaced. Prize is nontransferable and must be accepted as awarded. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor(s) in the event that the prize cannot be awarded for any reason, in which case, Sponsor(s) will award a prize of equal or greater value. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner.

September 23, 2015

beauty scoop | flight skincare floating hydration serum

The green beauty world is getting spoiled with the number of fantastic, true serums available on the market.

When I say “true serum,” I don’t mean an oil-based serum; instead, I mean a slippery, nutrient-dense serum made to blend with your oil of choice (or layer) to offer a very targeted treatment or experience.

For Flight Skincare’s Floating Hydration Serum, what you see is what you get: A cloud of weightless hydration in just a few delicate drops of jasmine-, neroli- and orange-infused, aloe-based goodness.

flight skincare floating hydration serum

{Flight Skincare sent me a sample of its Floating Hydration Serum for review. It costs $67 for a 0.85-ounce amber glass dropper bottle.}

Flight Skincare’s Floating Hydrating Serum is designed, first and foremost, to deliver a fine layer of moisturizing, nourishing actives to the skin, thanks to pomegranate, wild yam and green tea.

Its blend of flowers and citrus (hello, jasmine and neroli!) offer a pleasant scent (not too bright, not too sweet) to help transform both your skin and your mood. Neroli is the dominant scent in this serum, softened a bit by a touch of jasmine and honey.

I love blending this serum with Flight’s companion oil, the Camellia Face Treatment, as it offers the perfect balance of airy, dewy slip with penetrating oil. But, you can use whatever your face oil du jour is with this serum, as long as you love the texture and scent combination.

flight skincare floating hydration serum

As you can see from the picture above, Flight Skincare’s Floating Hydration Serum has more of a cloudy (versus white and milky) look to it.

It’s less creamy than other serums on the market, making it ideal for combination/oily skin like mine that needs moisture, but can get fussy.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Aqua, Aloe Vera Leaf Gel, Vegetable Glycerine*, Neroli Water, Jasmine Water, Sorbitol, Squalene Honey*, Pomegranate Extract, Wild Yam Extract, Lilly Pilly Extract, Green Tea Extract, Orange Water, Meadowfoam, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Parfum, Mimosa     * Certified Organic ** Wild Harvested

In addition to the extremely effective aloe leaf gel and vegetable glycerine carrier, I’m a bit taken by the inclusion of jasmine (obviously) as well as wild yam and lilly pilly extract.

At first glance, the phrase “lilly pilly” seems like a typo, but no — it’s just another wonder from down under (Flight is from Australia, did I mention that?).

Lilly pilly berries are high in vitamin C and fruit acids, which aid in brightening and treating skin discoloration issues as well as deep cleaning the pores thanks to its natural astringent properties. You don’t feel any sort of sting or acidic reaction from using this serum, thanks to its thoughtful blend, but instead get that luminescent glow that only a proper, aloe gel-based serum can deliver: Never shiny, but always radiant.

Wild yam, another interesting ingredient not always seen in skincare, also aids in the fight against hyperpigmentation and delivers a bit of vitamin C to the skin as well. It’s most well-known for its ability to support to female endocrine system (which is likely the root of many hormonal acne problems).

While I won’t go as far to say that I had any skincare breakthroughs with this serum — as far as acne is concerned — I will say that I felt a great balance to my skin when using Flight Skincare’s Floating Hydration Serum with my daily oil treatment. I loved using this at night, as well, mixed in with an evening vitamin A treatment for refining. It’s all about the blend!

This would be a repurchase for me if it was stocked in the U.S., and it’s definitely a recommendation for those of you who can easily have it shipped.

Have you tried anything from Flight Skincare? What Australian beauty brands do you love? What serums do you enjoy most? Tell me in the comments section!

September 21, 2015

beauty scoop | s.w. basics of brooklyn cream

In addition to stress and diet, environmental factors affect the health of our skin.

For me, there’s nothing like the change in seasons that makes my combination-oily skin more reactive. Think dry patches, flakiness and general discomfort.

Enter S.W. Basics of Brooklyn’s Cream. You know, the one that’s made with just three incredibly moisturizing and thoughtful ingredients.

sw basics of brooklyn cream

{Credo Beauty sent me a sample of S.W. Basics of Brooklyn’s Cream. It costs $32 for a 3-ounce jar.}

S.W. Basics’ Cream combines wild-harvested, Fair Trade shea butter with organic, extra virgin coconut oil and organic, extra virgin olive oil to create an extremely rich cream that’s wonderful for face and body.

Though we all know and love these three ingredients, it’s smart to remind you how lovely they are combined together.

  • The shea butter promotes skin elasticity and is the driving force behind the intense moisture. I love, love, love shea butter.
  • Extra virgin olive oil adds another layer of moisture as well as antioxidants that protect the skin from damage.
  • Extra virgin coconut oil, which I know some of you have reactive issues with (I don’t), adds a third dimension of extreme moisture and protection thanks to antioxidants and its rich, natural texture.

Besides how these ingredients work to keep your skin soft, let’s talk about scent.

Pure shea butter is extremely comforting to me and is the dominating scent in this blend. I don’t detect much coconut oil scent in this cream at all — just that nutty shea scent that I personally find very soothing.

I can get a small whiff of olive oil, which works so well with the scent of shea. This isn’t an overly scented cream at all — just the natural nuttiness of shea butter!

The texture of S.W. Basics’ Cream is thick, but with the warmth of your hands and fingers, it melts beautifully, giving you an oil-like consistency that’s easy to spread.

sw basics of brooklyn cream

I like to use my S.W. Basics Cream on my cheeks and the random dry spots my skin experiences around my nose. It takes a dime-sized dollop to cover the entire area with a protective, nourishing coat of moisture.

In the winter, if I need additional moisture, I’ll top the cream with a light layer of a straight carrier oil (jojoba, argan or marula are great choices). This helps seal everything in and basically guarantees a plump complexion in the morning.

S.W. Basics Cream is also my go-to cream for bringing my skin back into balance after product testing gone wrong. I know I can always rely on S.W. Basics for simple, effective, healthy skincare that my skin agrees with no matter what. That’s a pretty reliable friend, eh?

How does your skin react during transition weather? What are your favorite simple skincare products? Have you tried anything from S.W. Basics? Tell me in the comments section!

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