Entries Tagged as 'beauty'

July 31, 2015

beauty secrets | an introduction to safe & chic (and a discount code!)

With an impressive array of coveted clean beauty brands, Safe & Chic is one of the latest online green beauty boutiques to launch this year.

safe & chic website

Offering more than 35 brands — like 100% Pure, Dr. Alkaitis, EmerginC, Indie Lee, Kahina Giving Beauty, Vapour Beauty and W3ll People — Safe & Chic gives beauty enthusiasts an amazing number of choices when it comes to stocking their vanities with only the best in green beauty.

safe & chic website vered organics

Founder Angela Dubia’s green beauty journey is similar to ones we’ve witnessed before in this community. She established Safe & Chic after having a difficult time finding holistic cosmetics following personal health issues. Safe & Chic is built on the premise of having it all — luxurious, chic beauty products that are better for your body.

Besides building the brand around cleaner cosmetics and personal care,  Angela opts to donate $1 per item sold to the Breast Cancer Fund. In addition to giving back to the Breast Cancer Fund, Safe & Chic is now a proud member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, another beloved organization that helps people understand more about what’s in their beauty products.

Aligned with her mission to educate beauties about the potential harmful effects of their everyday cosmetics, Safe & Chic is coming on to the green beauty scene with great information to help new-to-green shoppers feel good about how they pamper themselves.

For everyone exploring this space, though, what better way to experience green beauty than with a sale?! Safe & Chic is offering kimberlyloc.com readers 15% off through August 10 to celebrate her launch (and you get free shipping with a purchase over $50!)

Use code “kimberlyloc15” at checkout to save, and have fun snatching up some old favorites and new loves at Safe & Chic.

Here’s my picks for a healthy beauty haul:

  1. Bottega Organica Face Balance Cream in Tulsi & Vetiver
  2. Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel
  3. Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum
  4. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum
  5. red flower Moroccan Rose Purifying Body Wash
  6. S.W. Basics Cream
  7. Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer
  8. W3ll People Narcissist Foundation Stick

Where are you shopping for green beauty goodies online? Have you heard of Safe & Chic? What brands are hard to find in online boutiques? Tell me in the comments section!

This post is kindly brought to you by Safe & Chic, who compensated me for this sponsored post. All product picks, tips and opinions are my own!

July 30, 2015

beauty scoop | true nature botanicals noble floral solid perfume

While it’s very clear that I love jasmine (as evidenced by “12 Days of Jasmine” with this post being the fifth in my series!), I’ve also got a thing for tuberose and rose.

That’s why True Nature Botanicals’ new Noble Floral Solid Perfume is an instant winner in my nose’s book, as it combines all three of these sexy, feminine scents into one chic solid perfume that’s easy to slip into your bag for regular touchups.

true nature botanicals noble floral solid perfume

{True Nature Botanicals sent me a sample of its Noble Floral Solid Perfume. It costs $95 for a .09-ounce heavyweight tin.}

As mentioned in this post, solid perfumes don’t tend to last very long on my skin and body chemistry.

But, when layered with a great jasmine body wash and jasmine body lotion, True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume is a nice bit of icing that I can reapply throughout the day to keep my scent game strong.

It’s not quite practical for me to carry around my spray perfume and spritz throughout the day (though it’s perfectly fine to mist my face with toner at work throughout the day!). A solid perfume does the trick with being discreet and not overly smelly so as not to bother my coworkers’ noses.

true nature botanicals noble floral solid perfume

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Noble Floral BlendTM [citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, citrus limon (lemon) fruit extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, cananga odorata flower oil, juniperus mexicana oil, polianthes tuberosa extract, zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, fusanus spicatus wood oil, jasminum sambac (jasmine) flower wax, vanilla planifolia flower extract, citrus reticulata (tangerine) leaf oil, rosa centifolia flower extract, viola odorata flower/leaf extract], polyglycerol-3 beeswax (cera bellina), hydrogenated jojoba oil (jojoba esters), cera alba (beeswax), butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, copernicia prunifera (carnauba) wax, dimethicone*, magnesium stearate

For a description of the scent, True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral is very much so “what you see is what you get.”

While jasmine, tuberose and rose are the high notes, you can get a tiny whiff of orange, lemon and ginger to help cut through the florals and a touch of vanilla to soften the scent.

This by no means takes away from true nature of the scent — a noble floral — but instead gives it more depth and complexity to make it smell different from other floral favorites.

At $95 for a .09-ounce tin, True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume is a splurge. However, the tin is refillable at $75 a pop, making it a little more accessible. You can go as light or as heavy in your application (you can see in the pic above that I’ve already “hit pan,” but I tend to like a thicker layer), stretching out the lifetime of your tin based on your personal use.

If you’re just now getting into perfumes, these solid ones from True Nature Botanicals are worth a shot — especially because you can request a free sample with an order you place to see what scent appeals to you most.

They are not as bold as many spray perfumes, offering instead a lovely, soft scent that have people noticing how good you smell without it being obvious that you are wearing fragrance.

And that’s the best thing about perfume, right? You want people to compliment you on how good you naturally smell, not how good your overly powerful perfume smells!

Do you use solid perfumes? Which lasts longer on you, solid or spray? What jasmine-infused perfumes are you loving lately? Tell me in the comments section!

July 29, 2015

beauty scoop | josh rosebrook hydrating accelerator

When you buy something in pairs (sometimes trios if you count travel sizes), keep backups in your beauty cabinet and stash one in your boyfriend’s cupboard just in case, you know you’ve happened upon something good.

Something really, really good.

It is without a doubt that Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator is a holy grail moisturizing toner in my collection. I can’t get enough of it, recommend it to everyone who emails me looking for skincare tips and will soon have listed it on my highly edited “faves” page.

josh rosebrook hydrating accelerator

{I am a complete and total fangirl when it comes to Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator. I’ve purchased it from the man himself and repurchased it something like five times from both Integrity Botanicals and The Detox Market. It costs $32 for a 4-ounce plastic spray bottle.}

If you’re unfamiliar with Josh or his line, know that it’s a carefully curated collection that pleases both men and women thanks to its minimalist packaging and unisex scents.

I’ve tried and reviewed the bulk of his products and respect the man’s approach to formulating (the herbs, oh the herbs!) as well as his humble, genuine demeanor. Find authentic formulators, and you’ll find authentic formulations!

But of everything in his growing yet true-to-his-values skincare line, nothing pleases me more than Hydrating Accelerator. I’ve been using it for a year now, first purchasing it from the man himself at “A Night for Green Beauty” in Los Angeles in 2014.

First, let’s talk functionality: Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator is packaged in the most fantastic plastic spritz bottle ever.

Yes, that’s right. I said fantastic plastic.

I don’t care how many fancy violet or amber glasses are collecting on your top shelf — this off-white, easily recyclable No. 1 plastic bottle is the bomb, and if Josh ever changes the packaging, I am going to panic funnel my toner into an old bottle instead.

What makes the packaging so amazing is the way the spray nozzle is made. With one press, you get the most perfect, fine, even mist. There’s no targeted stream that messes with your makeup or deposits too much product onto one spot. That’s extremely difficult to find with the popular violet glass spray bottles available today.

Next, let’s talk scent: Imagine a soft dessert of marshmallow and vanilla that gently satisfies your cravings. Then add a touch of delicate ylang ylang and calendula to balance out the sweetness with some edible flowers.

Drooling yet? I catch myself every time I spritz this creation onto my face (which, well, is throughout the entire day — forgot to mention that I also keep this on my desk at work!).

Now, onto ingredients: In true Josh Rosebrook fashion, he’s combined his signature organic herbal infusions and oils with soothing aloe vera-infused water to drench your skin in the most active nutrients, essentially quenching its thirst from the outside in (while on the inside, you better be drinking water every couple hours throughout the day to maintain that glow!).

Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator is the most calming, soothing facial mist I’ve ever used, helping to heal my skin from dryness, itchiness and flakiness while gently preparing it for deeper hydration from serums and oils. Its rich antioxidant and fatty acid content work in concert with the skin’s naturally protective acid mantle, keeping it safe from the elements.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Organic Vitamin Infused Aloe Water, Organic Oils of: Sunflower, Coconut, Grapeseed and Almond; Organic Herbal Infusions of: Bilberry, Slippery Elm, Calendula Flowers, Fennel Seed, Chickweed, Skullcap, Neem Leaf, Ginkgo Leaf, Hawthorn Berry, Green Tea, Marshmallow Root, St. John’s Wort and Alfalfa; Plant Vitamins E, A, C and B2; Organic Vanilla Bean Extract; Organic Essential Oils of: Ylang Ylang, Rosemary, Lavender, Eucalyptus

OK, so what exactly do you do with this thing again? I get this question a lot, mostly from non-beauty junkies who read about all the crazy skincare products out there and don’t really “get” the concept behind toners, mists, hydrosols and the like (and who can blame them — there are so many damn names for these, basically, vitamin- and herb-infused liquids!).

For simplicity, I’m going to refer to all products in this category as “toner.”

Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator is a moisturizing toner that’s best used to prep the skin for layering skincare products as well as for refreshing the skin throughout the day. After cleansing in the morning, pat your face dry and then spritz your entire face with three to five pumps of Hydrating Accelerator.

While your skin is still damp from the spray, apply a layer of your favorite serum and then finish off with a moisturizing face cream or face oil.

A damp face pre-moisturizer application is key to helping the product penetrate as deeply as possible, especially if you’re using an oil instead of a water-based cream. Hydrating Accelerator, which is already loaded with moisture, is only going to add that much more!

Throughout the day, mist your face with Hydrating Accelerator to keep your makeup from looking dry or cakey and to also refresh your skin, giving you that beautiful glow even under the unflattering fluorescent lights of your office.

Finally, here’s how it all works together:

  • Antibacterial Bilberry and neem gently tighten and tone the skin.
  • Fennel seed fights inflammation and firms the skin.
  • Marshmallow root helps brighten dull skin.
  • Antioxidant-rich calendula, slippery elm and skullcap protect and balance the skin.
  • Chickweed, hawthorn berry and green tea activate healing thanks to their powerful antioxidant and vitamin content.
  • Coconut and grapeseed deliver essential fatty acids and vitamins to balance and strengthen the skin’s natural acid mantle.
  • Organic vitamin-infused aloe water preps skin for deep hydration.

It’s products like these that re-energize me to blog. When I’m this damn smitten with a product, I want to shout it from the rooftops (but kinda also don’t want to tell anyone for fear of it selling out and fear of my three bottles in reserve not getting me through to the next restock).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this fangirl post and will get to know Josh’s line a little more. But if you haven’t, that’s cool. More Hydrating Accelerator for me.

No, I’m not paid to shill for Josh. Hell, Josh didn’t even know I was writing this post until I tagged him on social media today! And that’s the way I like it. Surprise! I love you. But you already knew that. 

What is your holy grail toner? What products do you buy in bulk? Have you tried anything from Josh’s line? Tell me in the comments section!

July 27, 2015

beauty scoop | mad hippie vitamin c serum

My latest obsession in curating the ultimate skincare routine for my oily, acne-prone skin is finding the right daytime vitamin C serum.

While I’ve reviewed a few that I genuinely adore, Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum has gained traction because of its smart ingredients, friendly packaging and accessible pricepoint.

mad hippie vitamin c serum

{Mad Hippie sent me a sample of its Vitamin C Serum to review. It costs $33.99 for a 30 ml glass dropper bottle.}

Set in a clear-ish, non-sticky, gel-serum (that’s a lot of hyphens, sorry!), Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum introduces a stable form of vitamin C, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, into the holy skincare trinity of vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid.

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a stable form of vitamin C that works as a powerful antioxidant and acne killer, all while helping lighten discoloration marks in the process of protecting and treating.

Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that has been found to have a compounding photoaging effect when used in conjunction with Vitamin C, also moisturizes and soothes skin without making it feel heavy or greasy.

Ferulic acid, in harmony with vitamins C and E, helps reduce skin damage caused by harmful UV rays.

In addition to this coveted skincare cocktail, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum contains hyaluronic acid — a naturally occuring substance in your body that becomes scarce as we get older — which pumps moisture into the skin and helps blur the appearance of wrinkles.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Water Deionized, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthum Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose

mad hippie vitamin c serum

Besides its pretty, nearly clear coloring and virtually weightless feel, Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum has a petal-soft aroma and fast-drying texture.

I like to mix this serum with my daily facial oil, squeezing about five drops of the serum into my hand and then adding whatever oil I’m testing into the puddle.

In the morning, after massaging the creation onto my face and bringing it down to my neck (you do that, yes?!), I then brush my teeth for two minutes and then go on to my makeup application for the day.

The combination of serum plus oil dries about halfway through brushing, if you’re curious how fast I mean by fast-drying.

Though you can easily use Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum for both morning and evening, I prefer to use it in the morning only because I’m a product junkie I like to use a separate, exfoliating serum at night (Mad Hippie has you covered here, too!) that contains some form of vitamin A (retinol) or fruit acid. This is to further treat my acneic skin and help with cell turnover.

If you’re not in need of heavy duty vitamin A just yet, Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum is a great multitasking, day-to-night product that I highly recommend, especially if you are just now transitioning to green skincare and can’t bite the bullet on something that costs $$$.

While I’m willing to shell out good money for good skincare, I too like a great deal, and I would absolutely repurchase Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum. You get so much bang for your buck, especially if you’re acne-prone (thanks, sodium ascorbyl phosphate!).

What form of vitamin C do you use on your skin? Do your daytime and evening serums differ? Have you tried anything from Mad Hippie? Tell me in the comments section!

July 24, 2015

beauty scoop | red flower indian jasmine purifying body wash

When it comes to total-body cleansing , I love a good lather.

The scrub of a good soap is always refreshing, but when it comes to big bubbles, I’m never without a great body wash in the shower.

And when I find a great body wash that’s made with jasmine essential oils, you know I’m going to be hooked. red flower’s Purifying Body Wash in Indian Jasmine is the base layer scent I’ve been looking for!

red flower indian jasmine body wash

{red flower sent me its Indian Jasmine Body Wash to sample and review. It costs $22 for an 8-ounce plastic bottle.}

If you’ve been around for a while, you know I have this thing with jasmine. The scent seduces me (clearly, as I’ve devoted my “12 Days of Jasmine” series to honor my favorite aroma!), and for the longest time I’ve been trying hard to create my jasmine fragrance wardrobe.

What’s a fragrance wardrobe, you ask? Well, basically, I want to smell like jasmine (and all the other pretty flowers), and I want that scent to last all day.

The best way to achieve this is to layer your scents — think soap or body wash in the morning, hand cream throughout the day, body lotion before bed), and it’s taken me a bit to find that “base layer” jasmine scent in a cleaner beauty product from a brand I love.

red flower obviously came through as a lovely green spa brand that understands how to blend science with spirituality. Its nature-infused line brings beauty to everyday care, making it a joy to do something so simple as washing. From its pretty, practical packaging to its comforting copy (the bottle says “flowers hold life”), red flower just seems to get it.

The product itself has a nice, thick-ish weight to it — never runny, but not too thick that it just feels difficult to work into your skin. It deeply cleanses and hydrates, never stripping the skin of moisture, and you just need a nickel-sized amount to work into your loofah in order to get a good lather.

In an everyday product like body wash, I still desire luxury, but I don’t think that feeling should be cost-prohibitive. While at $22, it’s a higher-end product than what you may pick up at the health food store, it’s not grossly out of reach for someone who wants to treat herself and is a diehard jasmine enthusiast.

Which leads me to the actual scent of red flower’s Purifying Body Wash in Indian Jasmine — there is no mistaking this for anything else! red flower definitely did not skimp on the star scent, making this body wash a top pick for me. It delicately scents the skin, never overwhelming the nose, and makes your hot, steamy shower smell like a field of jasmine.

Here’s the full ingredients list from the red flower website:

Algae extract, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf gel, apple certified organic extract, benzoin resin extract, celery seed oil, chamomile flower certified organic extract, cucumber certified organic extract, ginger root certified organic extract, glucono delta-lactone, green tea leaf certified organic extract, jasmine fragrance & whole essential oil blend, lauryl betaine, mandarin peel oil, orange flower oil, parsley leaf oil, potassium sorbate, sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, vegetable glycerin, water

UPDATED: red flower notes that the above ingredients list is correct and reflects their reformulation to be a vegan product (no honey used).

If you look at other retailer sites, though, you can get a more detailed ingredients list that includes what essentials oils make up this heavenly smell (neroli, ylang ylang, jasmine grandiflorum and tangerine!):

Biodynamic honey infusion; saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm, and castor; sugar beet (cocobetaine), cocoamphodiacetate, aloe vera , vegetable glycerin, cold pressed neem oil, olive extract, fragranced oils, essential oils of neroli, ylang ylang, jasmine (jasmine grandiflorum) and tangerine, grapefruit seed extract; and rosemary extract, natural preservative (glucono delta lactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate).

I’m not quite sure why this isn’t all detailed out on the official red flower product page, but I do appreciate that red flower links every ingredient used to explain its function and benefit, which aligns with its mission of long-term quests for wellness. I hope to see the full detailed ingredients that names the essential oils used in the blend on the red flower website soon!

In addition to the Indian Jasmine Body Wash, I’ve got my eye on the Moroccan Rose, French Lavender and Italian Blood Orange to try next. It seems that these are the classic base scents that my nose loves.

Are you a body wash fan? What base scents make up your fragrance wardrobe? Have you tried anything from red flower? Tell me in the comments below!

July 22, 2015

beauty scoop | myhavtorn of sweden facial oil

With just four ingredients, MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil is among the elite minority of luxury, minimalist beauty products that has captured — and held — my interest.

MyHavtorn Facial Oil

{MyHavtorn sent me a sample of its Facial Oil. It costs $50 for a 0.34-ounce dropper bottle.}

MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil has been my daily moisturizing oil, in combination with a vitamin C serum, for the past month or so.

I apply 3-4 drops of this gorgeous, golden oil into a dollop of serum, emulsify and then massage onto my face for a light cocoon of moisture that my skin absorbs so well.

Though sea buckthorn’s amazing color applies clear to the skin, I can’t help but notice — all in my head or not — that my skin has this golden glow to it once the oil sinks in.

This makes me feel good as I prep my skin for a light layer of BB cream or heavier foundation, depending on my skin’s needs.

MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil is the perfect illuminating primer; try mixing it with your tinted moisturizer for a sheer glow, or use it to thin out a thicker coverage foundation so that the “good skin” can show through a bit more.

The scent of this oil is lightly sweet, though I can’t recall if pure sea buckthorn berry has that scent on its own. I don’t pick up any nuttiness from the argan or camphor from the rosemary. Avocado oil doesn’t really have a distinct aroma on its own to me, so I can’t detect anything there, either.

MyHavtorn Facial Oil

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoids) Oil, Argan (Argana Spinosa Kernel) Oil, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil, Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officinalis) Antioxidant

Sea buckthorn oil is the star ingredient in MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil. It’s rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids and has been used to treat itchy eczema and sun-damaged skin for years.

Composed of 50 percent sea buckthorn oil, MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil prizes itself on using fresh-pressed, hand-picked sea buckthorn berries grown on an organic family farm on the coast of Sweden.

MyHavtorn notes at the end of its ingredients list that “All ingredients are organically grown,” but doesn’t mention any certifications to back this up. The above information is taken from the brand’s website. If certified organic is important to you, keep this in mind.

In addition to sea buckthorn oil, MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil contains vitamin E-rich argan oil, a darling of facial oil enthusiasts, and avocado oil, another vitamin E-rich oil that offers deeper hydration without feeling heavy or greasy.

MyHavtorn Facial Oil

I’m almost finished with my 10 ml dropper bottle (which equates t0 0.34 ounces). It’s taken a little more than a month of regular use, with some applications being heavier than others (4-5 drops).

So let’s talk price and repurchasing.

MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil costs $50 for the 10 ml (0.34 ounces) size and $125 for 1 full ounce. On the one hand, I like that I can get through these smaller sizes a bit quicker, which feeds my desire to switch up my moisturizers based on my skin’s needs.

On the other hand, it’s a better deal to get the 1 full ounce — but the $125 price tag is steep. It’s not out of line with the pricing of other simply elegant and thoughtful serums I adore, so it really all comes down to experience for me.

I like the glowing effect it helps create when mixed with makeup, and I like the subtle scent that doesn’t compete with my daily toner. It’s very much in line with my growing desire for simple luxuries with well-edited ingredients and no-frills marketing.

I’d like to learn more about MyHavtorn’s organic ingredient certification before repurchasing, if only for better clarity and transparency and simpler comparison to other products that may have similar ingredients but with organic certification.

Do you have a favorite sea buckthorn berry-based oil or serum? Have you heard of or tried MyHavtorn? What’s your take on simpler formulations and organic certification? Tell me in the comments section!

July 20, 2015

beauty secrets | eat pretty for glowing skin

No matter how many certified organic, DIY or luxury beauty products you pile on to your skin, if you’re not

1) sweating it out regularly with your choice of exercise;

2) managing your stress levels; and

3) feeding your body with nutrient-dense foods, you’re shortchanging yourself from that true lit-from-within glow that only comes from a healthy lifestyle.

Now, I’m not saying that you should only #eatclean and deprive yourself of things you love (hi, chips and queso), but I am saying that you should be mindful of how your body and skin look and feel when you eat certain foods (and when you miss workouts or are hyper-stressed).

For me, it’s all about congestion. When I miss regular workouts (intense yoga sessions), I can see it in my skin. I am full of blackheads and am more susceptible to cystic acne.

Case in point: I’ve been unable to practice for three weeks due to a minor neck injury, and my skin is freaking out right now. I’ve also been a bit indulgent in refined carbohydrates — which make me feel very puffy — and I can see the dullness in my skin when I don’t get all my colorful carbohydrates in.

foods for healthy skin

This nutrition–skincare connection has been an interest of mine for a while, so I was thrilled at the chance to explore it a bit deeper for an article for Mother Earth Living magazine.

I wrote this piece back in December, during the hectic holiday season, and it really helped me think through how to nourish my body and skin with the best beauty foods. It’s now live online and in print (mad respect for the print publishing cycle!), and I’m excited to share it with you today.

Enjoy this excerpt below, and special thanks to Jolene Hart and Lina Hanson for serving as expert sources in this piece. Extra special thanks to my editor and friend, author Tabitha Alterman, for assigning this piece to me.

6 Essential Beauty Nutrients for Radiant Skin

While there’s no simple formula guaranteed to deliver clear, frustration-free skin, powerhouse beauty nutrients found in our favorite whole foods can help reduce blemishes and keep skin looking youthful and radiant at any age.

“It’s not about specific foods,” says Jolene Hart, a health coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and author of Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out. “It’s more about the approach.”

The approach, Hart says, is in choosing the best fresh foods that pamper our bodies while providing major skin benefits.

This means targeting nutrient-dense foods known for their ability to build collagen and elastin (which keep skin firm and supple), reduce inflammation, and protect against skin-damaging free radicals caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure, air pollution and everyday toxin buildup.

Read the full article online, or pick up the July/August 2015 issue at bookstores and health food stores nationwide!

July 15, 2015

beauty scoop | huckleberry jasmine facial treatment set

I recently saw an Instagram post that said something like “Behind great skin is a great facialist.”

While I wholeheartedly agree that an accomplished aesthetician can work magic on your skin, not everyone has the luxury of time or money to visit a spa every month (I wish!) — or even bimonthly or quarterly.

But, everyone can carve out an hour in the week to treat and pamper her skin at home. With the right potions, we can all have a mini spa experience from the comfort of our couches.

If you’re clumsy when it comes to DIY — or need just something to prompt you to get your spa time on weekly, bi-weekly or monthly — it’s time for you to say hello to Huckleberry.

huckleberry masks

{Photo Courtesy Huckleberry}

“The concept of Huckleberry initially came as a birthday gift idea for my mother,” says Joyce Chow, the founder of Austin-based Huckleberry. “My mom is a skincare junkie that will try anything in a pretty package, but things that she didn’t like ended up on a shelf, half-used. She would often find products in her cabinet several years old and try it again, not knowing that was a bad idea.”

Does that sound familiar, green beauty junkies?

In an effort to curb our product hoarding, Huckleberry operates on the premise that busy product junkies will actually use the fresh, results-driven masks and exfoliants Huckleberry delivers for your weekly / bi-weekly / monthly spa-at-home time (depending on your preference).

To get started with Huckleberry, you simply take a skin quiz, create an account and then peruse the mask and exfoliation sets customized to treat your skin’s key issues.

huckleberry skin quiz results

Pick the products that seem like a great fit for you and then add them to your treatment menu. Feel free to choose what really speaks to you, even if it’s not in your “recommended products” list.

Case in point: Huckleberry has a “Jasmine” treatment as part of its “Maintain Me” product collection that’s geared toward normal/combination skin that has hyperpigmentation issues.

While I’m more combination/oily, I do deal with some hyperpigmentation around my nose and chin, and I must have all the jasmine things. Done and done.

huckleberry masks in jasmine

{Photo Courtesy Huckleberry}

Huckleberry’s “Jasmine” treatment is designed to fade and lighten blemishes with a light (5%) glycolic acid peel while delivering a shot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories such as arnica, green tea and calendula to calm and soothe the skin

The Huckleberry “Jasmine” treatment can easily be integrated into your current skincare regimen. After cleansing, apply and massage the peel onto damp skin to stimulate blood flow. Leave the peel on for 10 minutes (if it’s too intense, try 7-8 minutes instead) and then rinse off with warm water.

If you’ve tried acid peels in the past (think Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel or any other acid-based peel), this will be familiar. If you haven’t, expect some mild tingling (seriously, 5% glycolic acid isn’t that much … remember my 20% salicylic acid peel?!) and possibly some flush to your skin.

Always, always, always patch test, though, to ensure your skin isn’t going to react dramatically!

Here’s what’s in the Huckleberry “Jasmine” peel:

Citrus aurantium (neroli) distillate*, musa sapientum (banana) fruit*, aqua (ph-balanced distilled water), hydroxyacetic (glycolic) acid, ubiquinone (coenzyme q-10), thioctic (alpha lipoic) acid, olea europea (extra-virgin olive) oil, lactic acid, honey*, l-ascorbic acid (vitamin c), cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, tocopheryl phosphate (vitamin e), collagen, citrus sinensis (sweet orange) essential oil, camellia sinensis (green tea) extract, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic) acid, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract // *certified organic + vegetable-derived

Post-peel, apply the treatment mask for 10-15 minutes to further brighten and tone the skin thanks to its heavy dose of citrus fruits, white willow bark (so good for acne-prone skin!) and flower extracts.

After this weekly treatment, my skin looked and felt brighter and more even toned. However, I did experience some flaking, thanks to the glycolic acid peel. That’s a good thing though — acid exfoliation at work! It was nothing like my supercharged salicylic peel that I’ve told you about before, but it was noticeable around my nose.

Once the natural exfoliation process was finished, my skin truly looked better. A weekly low-percentage glycolic acid treatment is something that my perpetually congested skin takes so well to — be it via peels or toning pads. I’m a fan.

Here’s everything in the “Jasmine” treatment mask:

Citrus aurantifolia (key lime) juice, citrus medica limonum (lemon) juice, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice root) extract, salix alba (white willow) bark water, calendula officinalis (calendula) extract, urtica dioica (nettles) extract, olea europaea (olive leaf) extract, bellis perennis (daisy) flower extract, carica papaya (papaya leaf) extract, arnica montana flower extract, aqua (ph-balanced distilled water), aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) gel, sclerotium gum, carrageenan (seaweed) extract, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, camilia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, cucumis sativa (cucumber) extract, allantoin extract, maxima citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) // *certified organic + vegetable-derived

So, though this is a “Jasmine” treatment set, I actually don’t see one mention of the precious flower in the ingredients list. Huh?

Perhaps a more accurate name would be “Floral” or something like that, because it is a pleasant, toned-down flower-citrus scent.

Despite this somewhat misleading name (seriously, am I missing something here?), I still enjoyed the “Jasmine” treatment (as well as “Sunrise“), and love the concept of Huckleberry: Fresh, regular, one-time-use facials delivered to your door for the busy beauty who hoards a little too much product.

(Looking at myself via the mirror of my beauty cabinet.)

How often do you go to a facialist? How often do you mask at home? What do you use? What do you think of a delivery service like Huckleberry? Tell me in the comments!

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