Entries Tagged as 'beauty'

October 1, 2014

beauty scoop | fig + yarrow complexion water

Why is it that some of the best ingredients for fighting acne have to be so … smelly?

Lots of different ingredients come to mind, but one that has a distinct smell is immortelle (specifically, helichrysum italicum). It’s somewhat stale and bitter, and while it’s not absolutely horrible, it’s not exactly perfume-worthy.

Artfully blended, though, immortelle-based toners can be pleasant to use, and Fig + Yarrow has made its Immortelle Yarrow Rockrose Complexion Water just that — in addition to being effective at calming breakouts.

fig + yarrow immortelle yarrow rockrose complexion water

{Fig + Yarrow sent me a sample of its Immortelle Yarrow Rockrose toner. It’s available in trial size and full size,. A 1-ounce trial size spray bottle costs $14; a 4-ounce full-size spray bottle costs $34.}

Upon first use, even in a small trial bottle, I noticed that Fig + Yarrow’s Complexion Water delivers a lovely, fine, abundant mist that lightly covered my whole face with just two pumps.

That’s the first test a mist has to pass for me — please don’t shoot organic goodness straight into my eyeballs!

fig + yarrow immortelle yarrow rockrose complexion water

Next came the smell. A combination of rockrose (warm and sweet scent) and yarrow (sweet and floral) give this immortelle-based toner a nice balance of yin and yang; not too powerful and pungeant, yet not too sickly sweet.

I found myself misting myself a lot with this beautiful complexion water (it lasted about three weeks with regular evening skin prep), and the scent soothed me without lingering or overpowering other products in my routine.

Here’s everything inside Fig + Yarrow’s Complexion Water in Yarrow Immortelle Rockrose:

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) flower water*, Calendula officinalis (marigold) flower water*, Lactobacillus ferment, essential oils of: Achillea millefolium (yarrow), Helichrysum italicum (immortelle), Cistus ladaniferus (rockrose). *certified organic

fig + yarrow immortelle yarrow rockrose complexion water

As far as efficacy, Fig + Yarrow’s Complexion Water in Yarrow Immortelle Rockrose has made it into my arsenal of favorite toners for acneic skin.

I already knew that my skin responded well to immortelle (read: fewer breakouts, clearer complexion, less redness), but what puts this toner above my other beloved immortelle-based toner is that it just smells good.

And we all know we’re more likely to use something more often — and gain the benefits of it — if it’s actually a joy to use.

I will without a doubt repurchase this mist. At $34 for a 4-ounce spray bottle, it’s one of the more affordable organic face mists on the green beauty market today.

Have you tried anything from Fig + Yarrow? Do you like the scent of immortelle? What toner ingredients does your skin respond well to? Tell me in the comments section!


September 29, 2014

beauty scoop | mullein and sparrow tinted lip & cheek balm

As we ease into autumn, I’m finding myself reaching for the lighter shades in the purple drawer of my lip color wardrobe.

(Yes, I organize my lippies by color.)

A new multipurpose plum in my collection is Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm, which delivers a sheer wash of violet goodness while hydrating your lips with organic sunflower oil and shea butter.

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

{Mullein & Sparrow sent me a sample of its Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm. It costs $22 for a 1-ounce tin.}

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

Packaged in a gorgeous, vintage apothecary-style tin, Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm offers a natural flush of color that hints of purple.

I’m wearing it only on the lips in these photos, but it’s lovely on the cheeks as well, giving the skin a dewy, balmy glow and natural pinch of color.

(And in case you’re wondering, my happy yellow cat-eye sunnies are from my friends at ICU Eyewear — you know I love a good cat eye!)

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

Mullein & Sparrow’s gorgeous 1-ounce tin is packed full of this non-sticky, ultra-smooth balm, but its appearance in the tin is deceptive.

As you can tell, again, the color payoff isn’t this intense at all.

Instead, it’s a soft wash of “my lips but better and a bit plummer” that’s perfect for non-fussy makeup types (like me) who just don’t have time to paint on intense lips every day.

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

Here’s what’s inside Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm:

Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, Olea europaea (extra virgin olive) oil*, Vitellaria paradoxa (shea) butter*, Cera alba (beeswax)*, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter*, Batschia canescens (alkanet root)*, Copernicia prunifera (Carnauba wax)*, essential oils of: Pogostemon cablin (patchouli)*, Citrus sinensis (orange)* (*Organic)

The light plum color originates from organic alkanet root, a plant that can deliver shades of pink, purple or blue. Alkanet root is common in lots of natural cosmetics, yet I haven’t seen this particular shade achieved in many of the natural lippies I’ve used.

As a fan of lippies in general, but especially of balms and glosses, I would repurchase Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm. The price is reasonable ($22) for the size you get (1 ounce), and the fact that it’s super multipurpose (lips, cheeks, moisture all around) makes it a nice buy.

I’m also a bit of a sucker for pretty packaging, and I just swoon over the aesthetic of the entire Mullein & Sparrow collection anyway.

There’s also something about this being in a tin that draws me in; a lot of sheer wash lippies that are in tubes mess with my mind — I somehow expect them to be deeper and more intense because they’re in bullet / tube form.

If it’s in a pot or tin, it just feels more like a lip balm or lip tint, and the idea that the color just isn’t supposed to be too intense fits better with my mind.

How’s that for some random consumer research, beauty brands?

Don’t forget! You can save 15% off of any Mullein & Sparrow purchase through September 30. Use code “KIMLOC” at checkout!

What do you look for in tinted lip and cheek balms? Have you tried anything from Mullein & Sparrow? Tell me in the comments section!


September 18, 2014

makeup of the day | welcome autumn

So maybe I’m jumping the gun by five days, but it’s actually feeling like fall in my neck of the woods, and I’ve been embracing it wholeheartedly.

From putting away my summer clothes and shoes and donning new boots and layers, I’ve just been missing two finishing touches to my autumn look: Updated makeup and accessories.

Until now.

kjaer weis new fall 2014 makeup colors

Kjaer Weis releases its new fall colors today, and I’ve had the privilege of playing with these new colors for the past few weeks.

Meet “Green Depth,” a gorgeous green eye shadow decorated with hints of gold.

Give a big hug to “Embrace,” a soft pink cream blush that kisses your cheeks with a light, believable flush of color.

Kiss “Lover’s Choice” smack on the lips and get a rush of ruby red to your lips if you dare, or apply it very lightly and blend for a berry-stained pout.

kjaer weis fall 2014 makeup colors

kjaer weis fall 2014 makeup colors

In addition to pretty new fall colors, I’ve also incorporated earthy new earrings into my fall wardrobe.

These earrings from Moazen Jewelry & Accessories capture everything I love about fall — texture, mixed media and an overall natural grit that looks just stunning juxtaposed with a bit of glam makeup.

There’s a few other earrings in the collection that beg to be dangling from my ears this season (hello, cool leaf earrings).

If you’ve been around the blog a bit, you know I’m a huge accessories junkie, so updating this part of my wardrobe is key to feeling fresh as the seasons change. The right accessories can completely change a look!

{And if you’ve been around a blog a lot, you know that I like to do fun stuff on Fridays — watch this space tomorrow for an opportunity to update your own accessories collection!)

kjaer weis fall 2014 makeup colors

Get the “Welcome Autumn” look:

La Bella Donna Complete Brow Kit in Brunette

I bought the last La Bella Donna Complete Brow Kit in Brunette that The Detox Market had in stock the day I visited the shop in Los Angeles last month. I’ve been searching for a clean replacement to my beloved Anastasia Brow Kit, and this one from La Bella Donna is close. The brunette powder is a bit darker than I’m used to, so I have to use even lighter, softer strokes, but overall, it’s a nice replacement.

*Kjaer Weis Foundation in Paper Thin & Just Sheer

I detailed my experience with Kjaer Weis’ foundation in this full review, but I will reiterate that I think “Just Sheer” is a bit of a better match for me even though it’s still not perfect. The undertones are right, though!

*Kjaer Weis Eye Shadow in Green Depth

To be honest, I’m kind of a boring brown eye shadow girl, but when I do wear color, it tends to be violet and green to bring out the bits of gold in my brown eyes. This eye shadow helps bring out those flecks even more because it itself has the gold flecks! I think “Green Depth” would make for an amazing smoky eye, too — I’ll try that soon and show you!

*Nvey Eco Eye Shadow in Shroom

I used this color to blend a bit in the hollow and up to the crease of my brow to give my lids a little more dimension. Nvey Eco eye shadows have this soft, velvety finish that I adore.

*Cate McNabb Cosmetics Gel Eye Liner in Black

Though I’m quite married to my liquid liner pens, a good pot of gel liner delivers a sexy, sleek line that stays put. Cate McNabb’s Gel Eyeliner gives me that inky length I like in my cat eyes. Meow.

*Studio 78 Paris Double Effect Mascara

Marissa over at BeauTeaBar sent me this mascara a while back, and it’s on my repurchase list. It’s not a wet, heavy mascara, which is ideal for my short, straight lashes, and it holds a curl well. And, as evidenced by the last picture in this post, it lengthens like whoa!

*Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Lover’s Choice

I’m a sucker for red lips, but I love red lip tints even more when they are buildable. Most of the reds in my collection are extreme red; there’s no in-between. With Kjaer Weis’ Lip Tint in Lover’s Choice, you can layer it on to be as va-va-voom as you like, and the deep, brick red pairs well with popular fall palette colors.

*Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Embrace

Though I only own two Kjaer Weis cream blushes, “Embrace” is my favorite of the two right now. This baby soft, bluish-pink is just so elegant, and I love that it works on my skin tone (imagine that!). I’m sure it would look quite stunning on a pale, cool-undertone gal, too. I feel like this is the light flush of color I get naturally, and now I can enhance that just a bit without overwhelming my face.

*Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance

I’ve rounded up a few highlighters before Kjaer Weis’ “Radiance” entered my life. This luminizer is so different than the other ones I’ve tried because it looks a bit more silvery without being too cool and has almost a cream-to-powder finish to it. It doesn’t slip around, yet gives you that dewy look! You may be able to see where I’ve applied it to the inner corners of my eyes and Cupid’s bow. It just gives my face that glow!

*Indicates gifted sample

What makeup and accessories are you incorporating into your fall wardrobe? Have you started switching out your closet just yet? Have you tried any of the natural cosmetics I’ve mentioned above? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section!


September 17, 2014

beauty scoop | may lindstrom skin the jasmine garden botanical mist

Remember that super-personal post about facial soap that I shared a few weeks ago?

Today’s review of May Lindstrom Skin’s The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist is going to be somewhat in line with that one.

If you don’t care for the details, here’s the short and sweet of it: this is (and has already been, several times) a repurchase.

But who doesn’t love a good story?

may lindstrom skin the jasmine garden botanical mist

{I purchased a bottle of The Jasmine Garden from May Lindstrom herself at A Night for Green Beauty in Los Angeles. It costs $60 for a 100 ml Miron glass spray bottle.}

In fall/winter 2013, May gifted me with a sample of The Jasmine Garden as she was still perfecting the formula (it just officially launched in August!).

I fell in love with the scent (obviously, Ms. Jasmine-Lover right here) and the light touches of vanilla and cocoa that tickled my senses.

The skin-healing effects of witch hazel and silver didn’t hurt, either (more on that later, though).

As I got through my sample, May ran an exclusive promotion for her clients — a free sample of The Jasmine Garden with a purchase of The Honey Mud or The Blue Cocoon.

Sold. (For the record, I restocked The Honey Mud.)

Of course, I ran through that bottle like a crazy woman, misting my face morning, noon and night.

More. More. More. I needed more!

Enter February 2014.

I’m going through some crazy life changes (including moving apartments in the dead of a snowy Kansas winter), and May announces her Limited Edition “I Am Love” set which includes — you guessed it — The Jasmine Garden.



One of only 35 people who were able to buy this luxe, limited edition set.

And I bought it mainly because I needed to have another bottle of The Jasmine Garden.

So, to back up again, back when I was first sampling my freebie from May, lots of stuff changed in my life.

I won’t get into details, but believe me, it sucked and my skin always goes into panic mode when things aren’t fine and dandy with my health or my heart.

But my skin never did the complete explosion that it usually does during times of high stress, and I credit the amazing combination of my beloved black clay soap coupled with this soothing yet powerful mist for keeping my skin serene when everything else in life was falling apart.

Here’s what’s inside The Jasmine Garden:

pure water (aqua), *hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel), argentum metallicum (silver), jasmine grandiforium absolue, caprylic/capric triglyceride, jasminium officinale (jasmine) extract, *rosa damascena (rose) oil, *cananga odorata (ylang ylang oil), *vanilla planifolia (vanilla) CO2 total essential oil, theobroma cacao (cocoa) oil *Certified Organic

The skincare star ingredients in this mist are witch hazel, silver and caprylic/capric triglyceride, all known for their anti-inflammatory and skin-healing effects.

As I always note in products that contain silver, it’s just one of those things that you have to make the call on for yourself.

No strong feelings about it here, but something I do take note of when I look at a product’s overall formulation; with The Jasmine Garden, silver is higher up on the list (ingredient No. 3), which could be part of why my skin reacted well — silver is known for its antibacterial properties.

But, I also know that my skin just loves witch hazel.

Applied neat, witch hazel is way too drying for me.

But in a gorgeous blend, especially with soothing ingredients like caprylic/capric triglyceride (these are caprylic and capric fatty acids from coconut oil) and a host of soothing plant extracts and oils, witch hazel becomes a delectable treat for my skin.

I reach for The Jasmine Garden the week before and during my nicest time of the month to help prevent breakouts and calm my anxiety.

(It’s pretty much a daily use item for me, anyway, though I do have to rotate in and out toners that I’m testing for the blog.)

I will say, though, that these Miron glass misting jars (seems to be the same ones Yuli, Laurel and a few other brands use) aren’t exactly my favorite.

The mist that comes out is acceptable — not too targeted — but it’s not as fine and wide of a spray as the misting bottles that Acure and even sample sizes of Fig + Yarrow uses.

But that’s more of an issue to take up with the glass developer.

I digress.

For active blemishes, I don’t have much to say about The Jasmine Garden — I rarely had major breakouts while using this mist! Consistency will definitely be key when experiencing rough skin weeks.

All in all, this has obviously been a repurchase for me several times, and I won’t be without The Jasmine Garden as long as May continues to make it.

I’ll go ahead and move it into staple status right now.

Now, off to mist my face.

Have you tried The Jasmine Garden? What do you look for in a toning mist? Do you have strong thoughts on silver? Tell me in the comments section!

September 15, 2014

beauty scoop | zweena argan ultra-nourish eye serum

Though most rollerball eye serums are a bit too heavy or messy for daytime use, I’ve found myself rolling on Zweena’s Argan Ultra-Nourish Eye Serum both morning and evening — and loving the non-greasy, rosy results.

zweena argan ultra-nourish eye serum

{Zweena sent me a sample of its Argan Ultra-Nourish Eye Serum to review. It costs $64 for a 0.5-ounce glass rollerball.}

Zweena’s gorgeous all-natural eye serum absorbs quickly — I can pat it into my skin, brush my teeth for two minutes, and then get to my morning makeup application.

I love how it nourishes my prone-to-flakiness undereye skin with its lightweight mixture of oils. My concealer glides on very easily after using this serum, yet doesn’t slip around or get creasy — my skin is perfectly prepped.

Zweena Argan Ultra-Nourish Eye Serum packs ingredients rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamins into a half-ounce rollerball-top jar (does anyone else just adore a cool rollerball of oil in the morning?).

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Argania Spinosa (Argan) oil *, Sclerocarya birrea (Marula) oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) oil **,  Camellia Sinensis (Camellia) oil **, Rosa Canina (Rosehip Seed) oil **, Citrullus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon Seed) Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) oil, Moroccan Rose Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil.

*USDA Certified Organic ,**ECOCERT Certified Organic

zweena argan ultra-nourish eye serum

As you can see, Zweena founder Jayme Barrett included only the most luxurious, feather-light oils in her soon-to-be-cult-favorite eye serum.

Jayme and her team personally source their organic argan oil from fair-trade women’s cooperatives in Morocco.

The organic, cold-pressed argan oil is boosted with an omega-rich blend of African marula oil, organic baobab oil and Kalahari melon seed oil to protect the delicate eye area from signs of aging.

Organic camellia and organic rosehip seed oil encourage collagen production in thinning eye skin while meadowfoam seed oil seals in moisture and leaves the skin with a satiny finish.

After about a month of using Zweena Argan Ultra-Nourish Eye Serum, I’m totally sold on it. I’m eager to see how it performs during a harsh Midwest winter.

(I have no doubts that it will be just fine!)

This is now my go-to rollerball eye serum (and you better believe it’s coming on the plane with me for a little getaway this weekend!) not only because of the fact that it is truly perfect for both morning and evening, but also because the pricepoint (and pretty pink packaging).

At $64 for a half-ounce, it beats out a few of my former favorites (see my previous eye cream and eye serum reviews), and as I continue to pare down my beauty collection, having a staple product that’s both multifunctional (morning and night), high-performance and affordable just makes good sense.

Have you tried anything from Zweena? Do you prefer eye creams or eye serums? What has been your experience with using oil around your eyes? Tell me in the comments section!


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