Entries Tagged as 'lips'

August 28, 2015

beauty scoop | glamer lips organic lip scrub

As someone who tends to slather on thick layers of lip balm both morning and night, I have been surprised at my lips’ current state of stress: think dry, flaky and not-as-soft as they could be.

While I can blame it on recent weather oddities, I prefer to spend more time paying lip service to my kisser with an organic scrub from GlaMer Lips.

makeup by mer glamer lips organic lip scrub

{GlaMer Lips sent me a sample of its Organic Lip Scrub. It costs $22.95 for a 1.3-ounce glass pot.}

Handmade in Miami by makeup artist Mercedes Porredon-Segal, GlaMer Lips Organic Lip Scrub gently sloughs away dead skin cells while imparting a light layer of lickable, kissable coconut oil onto the lips.

GlaMer Lips Organic Lip Scrub is designed to be gently rinsed off the lips after a quick little scrub, but no one will think twice if you decide to lick it off instead.

It tastes good. (Hi, organic sugar!)

makeup by mer glamer lips organic lip scrub

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Organic sugar, organic jojoba oil, organic unrefined coconut oil, organic natural flavoring, organic natural coloring, Vitamin E non synthetic

The organic sugar is of medium coarseness, ensuring an active scrub without feeling too bulky or irritating. On the lips, it’s perfect for coaching flaky skin to exfoliate, revealing softer, more kissable lips.

I simply get a pea-sized amount of the scrub onto my finger and move it across my lips in a firm but gentle circular motion. A quick lick, rinse and toweling off reveals plump lips. I then seal in the coconut and jojoba oil with a thick layer of lip balm.

GlaMer Lips has taken the simplest DIY ever and packaged it up for your convenience. While this is something I’ve been doing on my own for years, it’s never been in a formal glass jar inside my shower. Kudos to GlaMer Lips for making it that much easier for the rest of us!

At $22.95, I don’t think this is something I’ll repurchase because I know I can remake it with ingredients I already have on hand. However, if you want something perfectly packaged and ready to use whenever dry, flaky lips strike, GlaMer Lips comes with my recommendation.

How do you treat your dry, flaky lips? What DIY recipes do you use time and time again? Have you tried any great lip scrubs? Tell me in the comments section!

August 19, 2015

beauty scoop | henne organics luxury organic lip balm

I’ve got a major thing for lip balms.

In my bag, there’s always at least two sticks. In my cosmetics case lies two more. At my desk at work, I hoard five or six.

But on my nightstand, there’s just one. And it’s Henne Organics’ new Luxury Organic Lip Balm.

henne organics luxury organic lip balm

{Henne Organics sent me a sample of its Luxury Organic Lip Balm. It costs $22 for a 0.35-ounce Miron glass jar.}

A creamy balm packaged in chic Miron glass, Henne Organics’ Luxury Organic Lip Balm is my go-to choice for my bedtime self-care routine.

I love the way the violet glass jar looks on my nightstand, but it’s also quite functional: Anya (my cat, for those of you who are new) isn’t tempted to bat at it in the middle of the night because of the heavy weight and inability for this jar to roll when set upright.

People, this is huge for my sleep. The cat is always messing with something at night.

henne organics luxury organic lip balm

Beyond the packaging and its function, the actual formula of Henne Organics’ Luxury Organic Lip Balm is perfect for bedtime.

The creamy consistency is just what I want on my lips at night, coating them in hydrating oils and butters that promise soft, smooth lips in the morning. Alluring cocoa butter soothes my senses upon first contact with my lips.

The thick texture is easy to scoop your finger into and melt into your skin thanks to its base of avocado oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter. It’s not a slippery balm, but a luscious coating of moisture that blankets your lips in softness.

With that said, I prefer to use this lip balm as an overnight treatment or on days when I’m just doing the balm (and no color) thing. Perhaps with a very light layer, it would be fine to apply lip color on top, but Henne Organics Luxury Organic Lip Balm really shines as a solo lip moisturizer.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Organic Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

As you see in the short ingredients list, Henne Organics Luxury Organic Lip Balm focuses on the simple, luxurious plant-based ingredients known for their ultra-hydrating capabilities.

The lip balm as whole carries the USDA organic seal (woohoo!), but the official ingredients list doesn’t denote which (if all?!) ingredients are organic. Would be nice to see that familiar * next to certified organic ingredients

Remember, personal care products that are allowed to bear the USDA organic seal must be at least 95 percent organic.

UPDATED: Clearly, I can’t read and totally glossed over the fact that the ingredients list says “organic” in front of each organic ingredient.

I’m impressed with what Henne Organics has brought to the luxury green beauty market.

While it’s a simple lip balm with familiar ingredients, the packaging alone has reinforced this idea of slowing down, enjoying the bedtime routine and allowing yourself that final kiss of luxury before you drift away into dreamland.

Is $22 a pot worth that reinforcement? Maybe. This is one lip balm that I don’t knock around and aimlessly throw into any one of my stash sites. The top shelf is a coveted position, but the nightstand — now that’s just intimate. Henne Organics has that place carved out for itself.

Do you use separate lip balms and treatments for day and night? What are your thoughts on luxury lip balms? Are you over Miron packaging, or does it still delight you? Tell me in the comments section!

February 25, 2015

beauty scoop | waxelene lip tube

As much as some people like to chalk me up to being a glamorous, attracted-to-expensive-products green beauty blogger, you dear readers know me better than that.

You know that I like to review the best of the best, be it expensive or frugally priced products, and you also know that I have no shame for getting a bit TMI on here for how I treat everyday skin issues and nuisances.

Today’s post gets into the un-glam side of being a human, and details just how I love to use Waxelene, probably the most un-exciting product to those of you used to exotic ingredients and fancy packaging.

Time to get real, y’all!

waxelene lip tube

{Waxelene sent me a sample of its Lip Tube to review. It costs $3.99 for a 1-ounce tube.}

Dubbed “The Petroleum Jelly Alternative,” Waxelene is a lovely all-purpose, American-made moisturizer made of organic soy oil, beeswax, organic rosemary oil and natural vitamin E from soybeans.

That’s it. No fancy carrier oils or nasty petroleum-derived ingredients. Just four simple yet oh-so-effective ingredients that work hard to keep your lips and skin lubricated and protected from the elements.

Now clearly, I have the “Lip Tube” on showcase today, but besides using it to coat my lips during brutal, cold windy days, my other absolutely favorite way to use Waxelene’s Lip Tube is to keep my dry, itchy, irritated nose in check as the weather fluctuates and drives my skin into overdrive.

So, basically, I’m saying that I like to put Waxelene onto my pinky or, if I’m feeling fancy, onto a cotton swab, and stick it in my nose.

Hello, relief to my dry, flaky, about-to-bleed nose!

Hello, grossed-out looks from strangers and friends!

waxelene lip tube

The Waxelene Lip Tube distributes the perfectly sized strip of product to fit inside my nose and keep it moist and protected. I don’t know about you, but I’m prone to nosebleeds and extreme irritation during crazy weather patterns, dry air and drops in pressure.

Sorry to get so detailed here, but I get scabs in my nose sometimes from these weather conditions, and it’s awful! Waxelene has been a savior to my nostrils, and is the only thing that nurses them back to health in a timely manner.

I also have a backup stash of Waxelene Flip Tube, which is a larger tube designed more for use as a hand cream or larger-surface-area moisturizer, but this isn’t my favorite use for this wonder jelly.

(It’s also available in a big ol’ jar, in case you’re a mega fan!)

As a hand cream, it’s just blah to me — no real scent and a little too greasy — but as a lip balm and nose skin treatment? Sold!

I’ll keep my flip tube in reserve for things like knee scrapes and body scab treatments, but it’s the Lip Tube that’s truly versatile and portable to me.

While I love scented lip balms and enjoy interesting flavor and scent combinations, sometimes it’s just nice to have a very simple, classic lip balm that delivers heavy-duty hydration and protection without any fuss.

It’s an even bigger bonus to have a product that doubles as a spot treatment for pesky, unglamorous winter skin issues.

That, to me, is what makes Waxelene Lip Tube a winner and a repurchase.

Have you tried Waxelene? What do you use it for? What sizes do you prefer? Tell me in the comments section!


December 22, 2014

makeup of the day | leopard lady

It’s the end of the year, and I’ve only shared a couple “makeup of the day” posts with you. What gives?

It’s not because I don’t wear makeup every day.

(I do. Oh I do.)

And it’s not because I dislike “makeup of the day” posts on my skincare-heavy blog.

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

It’s mostly because getting these posts together takes a lot of time and, not gonna lie, an “I don’t give a *&%$” attitude to shoot outside on my balcony, neighbors a-gawking.

“WHO is that girl with the tripod taking selfies? WHY is her cat so loud?”

Cheers to more MOTD posts in the future and a respectful “I don’t give a *&%$” attitude when it comes to doing what you love no matter who’s watching.

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

*Indicates PR sample

Kari Gran Mineral Foundation in No. 2

I shared my thoughts about this mineral foundation in this in-depth review, so in short: This is currently my favorite mineral foundation. The glow you get from it is subtle yet striking.

Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless Eye Primer

This is the best natural alternative to Urban Decay’s eye primer. If I skip eye primer, my lids are creased like whoa. This is a holy grail, staple item in my makeup kit.

Cailyn Gelux Eyebrow in Oak

If you know me well, you know I’m obsessed with my eyebrows and very rarely go into public without having them “on.” (My Asian and mixed-Asian readers, you know the feeling!) I have a very small collection of brow gels and powders, and I only use this one from Cailyn when I’m feeling a bit more confident about the state of my brows. It’s a gel formula with a precise applicator that allows you to pencil in featherlight strokes to gently define your brows. As mine continue to grow out, I’ll likely be using this more instead of my typical powders that I can sometimes get heavy-handed with. Grow, baby brows, grow!

*Jane Iredale Jane’s Signature Gilded Collection 24-Karat Gold Dust

Perfect for the holidays, this little set contains loose gold, silver and bronze shimmers that can be used anywhere you want a little highlight. I mixed a bit of the gold in with my Kari Gran foundation for an extra boost under my eyes, and I also dabbed a bit on my lips and into my brow bone for more light-catching goodness.

*Nvey Eco Eyeshadow in 168 Rose Gold

Rose gold has been having its moment, and I’m loving the look of it across my lids. Nvey Eco’s take on rose gold combines hints of muted pink in a yellow base — perfect for warm- and olive-skinned gals like me. Pressed eyeshadows see way more playing time in my beauty vanity, too, so this is a color I’m reaching for more often when I want a light, natural wash of color.

*Lily Lolo Mineral Eye Shadow in Vanilla Shimmer

Another pretty pinky-beige, Lily Lolo’s loose mineral eyeshadow makes for a beautiful base or highlight. I chose to blend it with my Nvey Eco shadow for some additional depth and a custom color. As I’ve noted before, I’m not the best with loose mineral eyeshadows (which is why I always make sure to have a fan brush nearby to sweep away the excess!), but I’ve been impressed with the color payoff and texture of Lily Lolo’s mineral shadows.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I will never be without this eyelash curler. It is simply the best.

*Lily Lolo Vegan Mascara in “Black”

As mentioned in my “Ultimate Guide to Natural Mascaras,” Lily Lolo Vegan Mascara is a definite repurchase. It holds a curl, lengthens, defines and volumizes. What else do you need?

Alima Pure Natural Definition Eye Pencil in “Coffee”

It’s been a hella long time since I’ve used a traditional pencil liner (all liquid pen over here for your cat-eyed lady!), but when I got Alima Pure’s new eye pencil in a monthly subscription box, I had to try it — and loved it! I don’t like drawing out wings with pencils, though, as I’m just too oily and nervous that it will smear, but instead do a tight definition on my top and bottom lash lines to naturally enhance my eyes. When I do a dramatic cat eye with my regular liquid liner pen, I sometimes like to dot this pencil on my lower lash line to really amp up that pretty kitten look. Meow. (Also available at Spirit Beauty Lounge and The Detox Market)

*BareMinerals Ready Blush in The Aphrodisiac

If you’re a fan of NARS “Orgasm” or “Deep Throat” blushes, you might want to look into “The Aphrodisiac” from BareMinerals. It’s the same beautiful coral-peach pigment, but with less shimmer and more color. I absolutely adore corals on my warm/yellow skin tone, and have been reaching for this blush a lot lately. (Also available in this super-cute set with a bunch of other BareMinerals favorites!)

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in “Toast”

When you graduate from gloss but don’t feel quite ready for big-girl lipstick, lip crayons are your next best bet. This is my first one from Bite Beauty, but it won’t be my last! I love the creamy matte formula, and the gorgeous fiery red-orange color that is “Toast.”

*Mia Mariu Luminous Lip Gloss in “Dulzara”

As much as I love a matte lip, I can’t stay away from a bit of gloss. Mia Mariu Lip Gloss in “Dulzara” adds a touch of sheer coral to my lips to complete the look.

December 11, 2014

natural beauty buff | rachel najera, rachel’s plan bee

“It all started with a little boy and a determined mom…”


Stories that start out like this are common in the green beauty world, but there’s absolutely nothing common about what Rachel’s Plan Bee founder Rachel Najera has achieved with her natural skincare line.

Currently comprised of seven botanically based products, Rachel’s Plan Bee has carved itself a nice little niche in this growing green beauty product industry.

This affordable, un-intimidating line (unless you’re scared of bees!) welcomes those who want neatly packaged naturals that aren’t ingredient-heavy and offer comforting, familiar scents.

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

On the broad spectrum of green beauty brands, Rachel’s Plan Bee offers a warm, unpretentious style for those who are feeling out what the natural beauty industry has to offer.

Who wouldn’t want this beautiful, welcoming face — and flowery, happy brand! — to be one of the first that those new to natural beauty see?

(Her line also offers an escape to simplicity and beauty that green beauty veterans sometimes need. Just make me a pretty, effective vanilla body oil that won’t leave me broke for months!)

You’ll definitely be seeing more of Rachel’s Plan Bee around in 2015.

Not only because Rachel is doing amazing things with her small yet mighty line, but because we need to see more from green beauty entrepreneurs like her in the new year.

Passionate. Humble. Always grateful.

This is what the green beauty industry (and overall beauty industry!) needs more of. And when we need something this bad, the Universe makes it happen.

Are you ready to see more of this, too?

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love! NOTE: I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s Body Oil and Body Polish, which she hasn’t mentioned below but I felt compelled to remind you about! (Read my body oil review and body polish review.)

*Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in “Antique Rose”

I am in love with this mineral blush because it absolutely has no shimmer looks so natural on my skin. I don’t wear much makeup, and this blush gives me just the right amount of color on my cheeks.

*RMS Beauty Lip Shine in “Moment”

Most lip color products on the market completely dry my lips out. I love this color and the way it moisturizes my lips. At first I thought the color would be way off for my skin tone. This one is perfect for a nude lip.

*Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil  (Don’t forget to read my review!)

This is my favorite product from our line. I cannot be without it. There are times when I am tempted to just go to bed without my nightly dose of this facial oil, but the “skin care police” quickly remind me to NEVER neglect this nightly ritual after a cleansing my face. Our oil has become the only moisturizer I use both morning and night.

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

Tehacha-Bee Farm Natural Probiotic Deodorant Baking Soda Free

Baking soda is not my friend and I have searched forever to find a non-irritating natural deodorant. This one is great! It does go on white initially, but if you massage it in with fingers after application, it is non-staining and works all day long with zero irritation. If you are a DIY person, Tehacha-Bee Farm has a sister company called Handcrafted Honey Bee where you can order a kit to make several tubes of this wonderful product. It’s called “Your Main Pit Stop” – so hilarious!

*Rachel’s Plan Bee – Bee Cream

This is one of our first products I created in our line. This is my go to beeswax cream to quickly moisturize my cuticles, hands and just shaved legs. It’s only takes a tiny amount to get great results.

*Fleegal Farms Peppermint Chocolate Soap

Even though I have been making soap for my family for years, I have a secret addiction of buying too much handmade soap from other makers. This one is my absolute favorite. Elly of Fleegal Farms has a gift of creating super moisturizing bars with intoxicating scents.

rachels plan bee natural beauty buff kimberlyloc

Soap Nuts 

Several years ago when we were eliminating all synthetic cleaning supplies from our home, I discovered eco-friendly economical soap nuts. I love using soap nuts to wash our laundry! Artificial fragrances in commercial detergent make me sneeze. I wish I could bottle up the clean fresh scent that it leaves on clothes. I have slowly converted several “non-believers” to the many benefits of soap nuts!

December 3, 2014

holiday gift guide for people who like to stuff stockings

Because we all need ideas of what to put in other people’s hanging socks.

stocking stuffer ideas

(From top, left to right)

Etta + Billie Hot Toddy Body Scrub

San Francisco natural bath and body line Etta + Billie’s re-imagination of a hot toddy in bar form is just genius — and oh-so-beautifully packaged, as all the products are. Sea salt, organic cocoa butter and fair trade shea butter combine with cinnamon, cardamom, clove and ginger for a warming morning skin treat.

Deco Naturals Holiday Collection Lip Butter Set

As sweet and cheerful as your favorite childhood lip balms (but without all the nasties!), Deco Naturals’ Holiday Collection contains six creamy lip balms made from cocoa butter, beeswax, shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and vitamin E in familiar flavors such as candy cane, gingerbread, sugared cranberry, egg nog, spiced pear and hot cocoa. Pass the egg nog, please.

The Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponges

Cute konjac sponges are a staple in every beauty addict’s bathroom, and this year they’ll likely be the staple of every stocking. These small but mighty sponge exfoliators gently buff away dead skin and can be used with just water or your favorite cleanser. (Just make sure to tell your not-so-beauty-addicted friends what to do with it, mmmk?).

Jane Iredale PurePressed Electric Refillable Compact

You shouldn’t be the only thing all dolled up this holiday season. Update your Jane Iredale powder with a beautiful amethyst compact decorated with a fuchsia crystal. It’s designed to hold any Jane Iredale PurePressed Base, PureMatte or Beyond Matte Powder Refill. (Oh, and get one for your friend, too. Because this gift guide is for others. Not yourself. I forget.)

Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers

Would you be offended if someone put oil-blotting papers in your stocking? Not if they’re elegant ones from Tatcha. These all-natural blotting sheets, made of 100 percent Abaca Leaf and gold flakes, absorb excess oil without disturbing makeup.

Kusmi Tea Green Teas Assortment

Greet the green tea connoisseur with an assortment of delicious Kusmi Tea. Interesting flavor combinations, such as strawberry green team, rose green tea, spearmint green tea and ginger-lemon green tea will tickle the tastebuds of even the most adventurous tea-drinker in your life.

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set

Armed with these four high-quality brushes, the makeup guru in your life will be able to create a flawless face thanks to Real Techniques’ Core Collection Brush Set. Gifting them to a beauty newbie? Point her to Real Techniques’ online video tutorials or everyone’s favorite, Lisa Eldridge.

Lotus Wei Mini Serums

Lotus Wei’s Balancing Serums are the perfect remedy for the stressed-out friend or family member who is in desperate need of some down time. This mini collection allows her to experience all of Lotus Wei’s powerful aromatherapy blends designed to dramatically change the everyday state of mind. My favorites? Infinite Love and Joy Juice.

Mustache & Beard Comb

Probably not wise to give this to your sister. Instead, stuff that mustached-man’s stocking with this handmade-from-sustainably harvested cherry wood comb. At 2.13 inches wide, 0.88 inches tall and 0.25 inches thick, it’s one unobtrusive grooming product that can easily fit in a pocket

The Wild Unknown Tarot Card Deck

Featuring quite possibly the most beautiful tarot art I’ve ever seen, The Wild Unknown Tarot Card Deck includes major and minor arcana and instructions on how to use the deck. For the tarot-curious, you might want to also include The Wild Unknown Tarot Guidebook. It’s pretty, too.

November 12, 2014

beauty scoop | rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

Though I love lip colors as much as the next beauty addict, I’m usually sporting some sort of pink / nude / sheer red on a daily basis.

But during fall and winter, I love to be a bit more daring with my lip color choices, and that’s why adding RMS Beauty’s lip2cheek in “Diabolique” was a no-brainer for me.

kimberlyloc wears rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

{I purchased RMS Beauty’s lip2cheek in “Diabolique.” It costs $36 for a 0.17-ounce glass jar.}

kimberlyloc wears rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

This rich burgundy lip color can be as intense as you want it to be.

A thin layer easily sheers out into a berry-kissed stain; a few thin layers results in a brick-burgundy mouth that screams fall and brings out the natural auburn highlights in your hair (if you have them, that is!).

kimberlyloc wears rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

I apply RMS Beauty’s “Diabolique” in a couple different ways:

If I want a sheer, stained kisser, I’ll gently pat in the color with my ring finger.

If I want a layered, bold look, I’ll first gently pat in a bass layer with my ring finger and then blot. Next, I’ll take a soft lip brush and pain on two very thin layers of color (blotting in between each) to get a maximum intensity that’s both moisturizing and stunning.

Whoever says natural cosmetics can’t deliver the same color payoff as conventional cosmetics has clearly never tried RMS Beauty Diabolique!

Here’s everything inside RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Diabolique:

*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) seed Oil, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/-Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxide CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019]

If you avoid beeswax for any reason, do note that this lippie does contain beeswax in addition to coconut oil, jojoba oil and shea butter, which give it a silky smooth feel that’s actually good for your lips.

Say goodbye to intensely colored lip colors that are drying!

Besides looking fabulous on your lips this fall, RMS Beauty’s lip2cheek in “Diabolique” is also, obviously, a pretty cheek color that can be pressed in to give your face a healthy shot of warm red color.

Start small with this, as it’s highly pigmented! Just press a finger (or a brush, if you’re a germophobe) into the pot and then gently dot it onto your cheeks, pressing the color in and tapping all around your cheekbones and up onto your temples.

I am wearing Diabolique on my cheeks in these pictures, but it’s wasn’t the main focus of my review, so the color you see is quite subtle — but you can see it there, warming my face, especially in photos 1 and 3.

This was my first RMS Beauty lip2cheek purchase, but it won’t be my last. I’m impressed with the color payoff and the generous amount of product in the cute little glass jar.

Though $36 may seem steep for what looks like a standard tinted lip color, you won’t be tempted to dig your fingers in and waste product — because it’s so highly pigmented, you’ll have to be careful to use a light hand when digging in! A little goes a long way, and you want to build up the color with thin layers.

I’m thinking “Beloved” and “Smile” will be my next additions to my RMS Beauty collection … unless there’s something around the corner for the holidays?!

What RMS Beauty lip2cheek colors do you have? What is your go-to lip color for everyday? For fall and winter? Tell me in the comments section!


October 31, 2014

beauty secrets | my current beauty routine

As a beauty blogger, I’m constantly testing new products on my skin — which is both a blessing and a curse.

I’m thankful that, on the one hand, I don’t have very reactive skin, so I can switch up my products a lot without too many repercussions.

However, I long for the day when I figure out a stable, beautiful routine that truly works for me.

I don’t think I’ll ever have one single routine, though, as my skin’s needs change with the seasons as well as week to week (thanks, hormones!), but I thought it would be fun to introduce a new monthly (we’ll see…) series documenting my current beauty routine, comprised of old favorites, links to previous reviews and insights into what I’m testing, along with preliminary results and thoughts.

Here’s what I’ve been using lately:

Morning Routine

Face Care

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: cleansers

I like to use a cream cleanser in the morning, given my skin should be clean and makeup-free if I did my job the night before. Cream cleansers are also important for me during transition weather time, as my typically oily skin can get dry patches, and that extra little bit of creamy moisture starts my skin off right in the morning.

I’m currently finishing up Marula: The Leakey Collection Pure Marula Cleansing Lotion (reviewed here) and will be on to trialing Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Citrus Facial Cleanser going into November.

Regardless of which cream cleanser I use in the morning (I’m also a fan of Juice Beauty’s Cream Cleanser, reviewed here), I like to apply them to my face using a konjac sponge, and the current on in my shower is the French green clay one from The Konjac Sponge Company.

I’ve been using konjac sponges for quite some time now, but haven’t mentioned them much on the blog. I think they’re lovely in the morning — a nice little gentle exfoliation action combined with a gentle cream cleanser is just a perfect way to ease into the day.

The Konjac Sponge Company was the first brand of konjac sponges I tried, but there are lots of great options out there. The key is to find a konjac sponge that feels right against your skin — you don’t want anything too abrasive, and you want one that softens easily.

Body Care

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: body washes

I usually have some sort of soap and body wash in my shower at all times, but right now, I’m relying on two body washes to get me through my morning routine.

Some mornings, I reach for Stop The Water While Using Me! All Natural Orange Wild Herbs Shower Gel. I like uplifting scents in the morning — think citrus, mint, coffee — and this one fits the bill. It produces a nice lather without stripping my skin, and I like the gentle reminder to conserve water — cool packaging and brand philosophy!

The other body wash currently in my shower is Sunevenus Blue Lotus Body Wash. I will be the first to admit that the packaging on this body wash is kinda wonky. The oversized bottle towers over my other shower goodies, and the mystical colors on the bottle are odd.

But. Oh my gosh. This shower gel has me sold! It’s a pretty blue, thanks to blue lotus, and it delivers a delightful tingle that’s very welcome in the early morning.

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: body scrubs

Because I use a loofah to apply my shower gels and, when I’m using them, bar soaps, I don’t always use an additional body exfoliant. But when I need that extra bit of skin sloughing, my shower is decked out with 10 (yes, you read that right) body scrubs.

I just finished a tub of Flo + Theo Wild Mint Body Polish (see what I mean about the invigorating scents?!) and will be working my way through Organic Bath Co. Java Jolt Organic Sugar & Coffee Scrub and SubLime Organic Body Scrub.

If I choose to use a body scrub in the shower, I usually don’t follow up with a body oil, as there’s usually some residual oil on my skin that provides sufficient moisture. But as I don’t use a body scrub every day, it’s imperative to slap on body oil post-shower.

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: body oils

I have an expansive body oil collection, and I usually reach for one based on scent and mood, but lately, I’ve been loving three very different body oils.

The first one that I’m more than halfway finished with is the new body oil from Rachel’s Plan Bee. If you’re a vanilla fan, you need this in your life. I find it comforting and ultra luscious on the skin. If you tend to wear vanilla or spice fragrances, this is a nice base for them — it won’t compete, but just compliment and help extend the life of your (hopefully natural!) fragrance.

If I’m not in the mood for vanilla, I reach for Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil. It’s combination of lavender and rose makes for a stellar scent that’s deep, complex and soothing. This is one to relax to in the evening bath as well — such a versatile and beautiful oil.

The other oil that I’ll be mourning the loss of very soon is Kahina Giving Beauty’s Fez Body Serum. I’ve been loving this oil since late summer, and it’s down to the last few pumps. At “A Night for Green Beauty” in LA earlier this year, I sat next to Kahina founder Katharine L’Heureux at brunch and raved to her how I’d been living in Fez — the serum, not the city!

I’m about to be homeless, you guys.

I ran through this oil like nothing else because of its unique, spicy and cool scent and gorgeous appearance atop my vanity.

Though vastly different, these three oils have one thing in common: They are each packaged in convenient pump bottles that makes application easy.

Want to be heavy handed? Pump away! Want to control how much oil you use? Pump gently.

The bottom line is, you’re in control when there’s a pump bottle applicator. More body oils should be packaged this way.

Face Care

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: daytime beauty oils

Out of the shower, I like to lightly spritz my face with a multitasking toner that offers both hydration and acne-fighting properties.

For me, this is May Lindstrom Skin’s The Jasmine Garden. I just finished another bottle of it (I think this is bottle three or four!) and have been missing its heady jasmine scent and powerful antibacterial properties (see my review here).

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that for the past two weeks without it, my skin has been a bit of a hot mess. I’m re-ordering this once I get my skincare wish list together (gonna have some major hauls for November, as it’s my birthday month!).

While my face is still damp with jasmine beautifulness, I pat in Dr. Alkaitis’ Soothing Gel. I had a small travel-sized sample of this several months ago, and before it was almost out, I immediately repurchased the full size because it’s that good for my oily, acne-prone skin. This gel gently tightens, balances and — duh — soothes the skin, bringing it back to its normal levels after a hot shower. It dries quickly, leaving the skin ready for the next layers of skincare goodies.

Which leads me to my current daily skin cocktail. I’ve been loving KYPRIS Beauty’s Antioxidant Dew and Beauty Elixir II Healing Bouquet mixed together with a couple drops of one of Odacite’s skin boosters — Blueberry Jasmine Serum Concentrate on dry mornings, or Peach Cypress Serum Concentrate on regular days.

KYPRIS is one of those lines that really “gets it” when it comes to sustainability all around. I love that the line is all about experimentation — mixing up your own special blends — and encourages you to use just a few drops of each precious moisturizer to get your skin glowing.

I combine 2-3 drops of Antioxidant Dew with 2-3 drops of Healing Bouquet, which is way less than I usually use with other facial oils, yet it delivers so much more: A lightweight oil and dewy moisturizer that spreads easily across the skin. The addition of 1-2 drops of the Odacite booster of choice ensures I get an additional shot of whatever my skin my need that day.

I’ll be moving on from this regimen soon (I have so many other facial oils to test!), but it’s been one of my favorites by far, and I could see myself becoming a KYPRIS girl for life. Look for standalone reviews of these items very soon!

Now that it’s fall transition weather, an eye cream or oil is becoming more and more necessary, including during the day. I prefer to use a creamy formula during the day (instead of an oil), under makeup, and an eye oil at night. For my daytime eye treatment, I pat in half a pump of Kahina Giving Beauty’s Eye Serum under each eye. I like how lightweight it is, and the fact that I bought this from Katharine herself makes me happy to use it every morning. It’s not exactly a cream — more of a gel — but it’s not an oil, either.

Finally, the body part that’s been taking fall transition the worst lately is my lips! I’m chapped city over here, and I’ve been constantly reapplying a niche lip balm from Tinder & Sea on my kisser to keep it from getting cracked. (Tinder & Sea is so niche that there isn’t even a website yet!)

Skincare & Beauty at the Office

My coworker Amy seems to have my office beauty routine memorized (“Is it already time to mist your face?”. The only thing I tend to do during the day is mist my face, reapply lip balm and lip color and, sometimes, pat in some facial oil if I’m feeling dry or lackluster.

I keep about five hydrating facial mists on my desk, but the one I constantly reach for right now (typically in the early afternoon) is Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator. OMG. It’s got this light, marshmallow scent to it, and the mist is so fine and perfect, it truly is an early afternoon pick-me-up for my skin.

My office lip balm of choice (OK, I have five of them on my desk) is Moon Valley Organics’ Herbal Lip Balm in Vanilla. It’s creamy and smooth and just nice to be addicted to.

If I pat in additional facial oil during the day, it’s usually just onto my cheeks, and it’s usually Zweena’s Argan Rose Rejuvenating Face Serum (review here). This is just one of those simple and beautiful face oils that isn’t likely to offend my coworkers’ noses (because, c’mon, it’s rose!).

Evening Routine

Face Care

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: evening cleansing and makeup removal

At night, it’s all about gently removing makeup and prepping my skin for slumber and repair.

While there’s a lot of great oil cleansers on the market, I’m pretty much sold on using a pure plant oil to break down makeup. Coconut oil and jojoba oil are my go-to’s, but I have tested some very lovely oil cleansers over the past month or so.

One that sticks out to me is Province Apothecary’s Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover. I ran through my sample of this cleansing oil quite quickly thanks to its beautiful combination of sunflower, jojoba, avocado and evening primrose oils that offered great slip and superb strength against even the stubbornest of makeup.

Another makeup remover that makes a little more sense for travel (compared to packing along a bottle of jojoba or coconut oils) is Me & The Girls Bar Beleza Multi-Use Beauty Bar. It truly is a multi-purpose beauty bar (think makeup remover, lip balm and moisturizing balm all in one), but I choose to use it as my travel makeup remover because I do just drag this bar across my makeup’d face and get to massaging.

After removing my makeup via oil cleansing, I then double cleanse with a nice gel cleanser and my Clarisonic Mia 2. I never used to be a Clarisonic girl, and I’m not saying I live and breathe by the thing, but I use it maybe three times a week or after heavy makeup days to really get my skin clean.

When I’m using the Clarisonic (with the acne brush head), I couple it with Yours Truly Organics Take It Away! Gel Cleanser. This is the best gel cleanser to use with the Clarisonic because it’s extra thick and provides a nice layer of product between your skin and the gentle brush head.

It’s not one I like to use on its own, as the thickness of the gel is a bit cumbersome applied with just hands — but with a skin brush? Perfection. I’m down to the last few pumps of this cleanser and will need to find an American stockist for it stat!

Once these last few pumps are done, I’ll move over to using my California Naturel Gentle Cleansing Gel with the Clarisonic. It works OK with the skin brush, but I feel like I have to use extra product to ensure there’s a good buffer of gel between my skin and the brush. This is one of those gel cleansers, though, that has enough slip to it to use when I’m washing my face with just my hands. See, every product has its place!

After cleansing, it’s time to tone again. Like I mentioned before, I’m out of my beloved May Lindstrom Skin The Jasmine Garden, so I’ve been subbing in a DIY tonic made at my hometown spa that contains witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, turmeric oil and pine oil. It was also supposed to have aloe vera in it, but my facialist left it out — so I actually added it back in by mixing in some Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Herbal Toner (because I wasn’t really using it as-is anyway).

I like this as my evening toner because, well, to be honest the scent of ACV isn’t quite what I like first thing out of the shower. Plus, as I’m looking for acne prevention and repair at night, I know that my skin responds well to witch hazel. I don’t see this tonic replacing my MLS mist by any means, but for now, it will do.

I follow my toner with Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (I just love that stuff!) and then create my evening skin cocktail. Enter KYPRIS once again.

kimberlyloc's current beauty routine: evening beauty oils and serums

This time, it’s a combination of Moonlight Catalyst and Clearing Serum with a shot of Odacite’s Black Cumin + Cajeput serum booster. Sometimes I like to add in a few drops of an additional oil, but because there’s some competing scents from the Clearing Serum and Black Cumin + Cajeput booster, I keep it simple with unscented Roiel Cosmetics Marula Oil.

I think it’s so important to keep a very simple and beautiful oil stocked as well as an unscented, minimal, single carrier oil stocked for times like these when you want to play alchemist and do a little mixing. This is becoming more and more the norm for me, and as much as I love my wildly scented blends, it’s nice too have a streamlined oil that can do the trick without too many bells and whistles.

After my skincare cocktail has fully absorbed, if it’s extra cool or a bit dry, I’ll dab in a dime-sized dollop of Le Beurre Shop Ultra Rich Shea Butter Face Cream, mainly to my cheeks and nostril area, which tend to get dry patches. I’ll also pat it into my decolletage area and rub any excess all over my hands and arms.

This is a relatively scentless shea butter mix (cut with grapeseed, jojoba and vitamin E) that doesn’t clog my pores and is just thick enough for fall and winter. In the spring and summer, this gets very little use!

My eyes get a bit of Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum again, or, depending on my mood, my Zweena Argan Ultra-Nourish Eye Serum (review here). If my hands still feel like they need a bit of moisture, I’ll add give them a shot of my favorite hand cream before getting into bed, and I’ll also reapply that niche lip balm. I don’t usually re-moisturize the other parts of my body before bed, but that may change as it gets colder here in the Midwest.

So, OK, I’ve mentioned more than 30 products here (hi Laurel, here’s a 30+ product girl!). And you know what? I use them and love them all, and this isn’t even all of them that get touched regularly.

These are just the ones that have been in rotation recently, and as we go into a new month and a new round of product testing, this will shift.

I’ll check in with you again at the end of the month to detail what I’ve been using, and hopefully you will see some in-depth reviews of the products I mentioned here very soon!

And, I’m for real here, I do look forward to the day when I can document my streamlined routine of things that I love and work well for me.

Switching products all the time can be rough on the skin and the psyche, and as a blogger, for me to tell you these detailed things makes me feel like I’m having to choose favorites among children.

I love green beauty brands and everything they stand for, and I hope to continue uncovering the best ones that work for me!

What products stood out to you in my routine? Which ones would you like to see in-depth, detailed reviews of first? Which ones do you also use? Tell me in the comments section!


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