Entries Tagged as 'makeup'

January 28, 2015

beauty secrets | what foundation color are you?

One of my biggest gripes about buying makeup online is that it’s next-to-impossible to get an accurate foundation match without some sort of assistance.

We have to give credit to the retailers who have sophisticated shade-matching tools (looking at you, Sephora ColorIQ) and brands who offer interactive shade charts on their respective sites (like BareMinerals and Tarte).

But, as clean beauty enthusiasts, these mainstream tools aren’t helpful to us because the brands we love aren’t included.

This is where blog posts with clear photos and descriptions are so important!

This is also where a good ol’ crowdsourced blog post and comments come into play.

I’d love to know what color foundation you wear in the various nontoxic cosmetics brands on the market today. To kick it off, see my skin description and list below.

Also, as you can tell in the photo collage below, proper lighting is key to be able to see true makeup colors in photos! I’m no professional photographer, nor do I have a studio or fancy lights.

From top left going clockwise, here are the lighting conditions as much as I can remember them: Outdoors; indoors; indoors with flash; outdoors with the wrong white balance setting; outdoors; outdoors with the wrong white balance setting.

Other things to note: Camera settings are important! I shot some of my older posts with the wrong white balance setting. Sorry! I’m a writer, not a photographer. 

which foundation shade is right for you

Name: Kim, aka kimberlyloc

Ethnicity: 1/4 Chinese; 1/4 Vietnamese; 1/4 Scottish

Skintone: Fair / Light with yellow undertones. Middle of face can be slightly pink. Neck & chest show yellow undertones

Skin Attributes: Tans easily. Will sunburn pink/red without proper protection, but only after extended period of time in extreme sunlight.

Skin Issues: Oily, Acne-Prone, Large Pores, Red Zits

Current Foundation Matches:

Note: I’ve starred** the ones I think have an exceptional color match for my skin.

Another Note: The ones that aren’t starred are still great, but as we all know, foundations are just hard to match. Some of these lack the right amount of yellow for me or are a bit too dark or a bit too light or may even be too yellow. What’s nice about having an arsenal, though, is being able to create custom blends!

For my non-sunkissed skin:

**Alima Pure Mineral Foundation in Olive 1 (see how it looks layered over RMS “Un” Cover-Up in No. 22)

Araza Natural Beauty  7-1 Coconut Creme Foundation in Co. 13

Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15 in Beechwood (see the review – sorry, no pics!)

Gabriel Cosmetics Moisturizing Liquid Foundation in Warm Beige (see the review with pics)

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation in No. 3 (see the review with pics)

**Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 (see the review with pics)

**Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation in Amber and Warm Sienna (see the review with pics of Warm Sienna)

**Kari Gran Mineral Foundation in No. 2 (see the review with pics)

**Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation in Just Sheer (see the review with pics)

Lily Lolo BB Cream in Light

**Purely You Minerals Mineral Foundation in Warm Fairly Medium (see the review with pics)

**RMS “Un” Cover-Up in No. 22 (see how it looks on my skin)

**Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light-Medium Sand (see the review with pics)

**Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer in Light

Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer in Light

W3ll People Narcissist Foundation + Concealer in No. 2 (see the review with pics)

Zuzu Luxe Dual Powder Foundation in D-7

For summer, sunkissed skin:

**Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation in Golden Glow

La Mav Organic BB Creme

Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage SPF 30 in Medium (see the review with pics)

**Tarte Amazonian Clay Pressed Mineral Powder in Medium

OK, so that’s a LOT of color intelligence for you. Your turn! Leave your skin description and foundation shades in the comments section.

 

January 16, 2015

beauty scoop | gressa skin minimalist corrective serum foundation

“It’s a serum. It’s a foundation. It’s a multivitamin for your face.”

With product copy like that, you can’t help but notice Gressa Skin’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation.

A darling of the green beauty blogosphere, Gressa Skin’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation caught my attention because of its skin-beneficial ingredients list and magical serum-to-powder finish formula.

However, this natural foundation didn’t completely WOW me the first few times I applied it. It’s since grown on me, and here’s how I enjoy it.

gressa minimalist corrective serum foundation

{I purchased Gressa’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation from the Gressa website. It costs $48 for a 15 ml dropper bottle.}

After reading several reviews before splurging on it in early December 2014, I opted for shade 03 and requested a sample packet of the Illuminating Serum with my order.

I was quite impressed with the match I got in shade 03, described as a light-medium color with olive and slightly warmer undertones.

As you can see in my before-and-after photos below, it’s almost a perfect match!

But as you can also see in my before-and-after photos, the coverage is very light, as I can still see the imperfections on my forehead and the deeper yellow-tan circles under my eyes.

gressa minimalist corrective serum foundation

{LEFT: No makeup. Not even my brows. Ah!  RIGHT: Wearing only Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation}

This is after buffing in 7-8 drops of the runny formula — substantially more than the recommended 2-4 drops in the application directions.

I used about 3 drops on my forehead and down my nose; 2 on each of my cheeks; and one on my chin and jawline.

Though the light coverage can easily be remedied by adding concealer on my spots and undereye circles, one issue I had with Gressa Skin’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation was its tendency to stick to dry patches on the skin.

I’ve read this feedback in a lot of other reviews, and it held true even for me, the oily blogger in residence.

Granted, it is the dead of winter, and we’ve had some brutal weather in the Midwest lately, but I was surprised at how the foundation balled up on even the slightest dry patches on my face. This was after a healthy amount of cleansing, exfoliation, toning, moisturizing and application of the Illuminating Serum sample.

With that said, I’m interested to see how Gressa Skin’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation performs in the spring and summer. I imagine this issue will go away, and I will have a deeper appreciation for how lightweight and beautiful this formula is.

(I’ll provide an update to this post when it’s warmer!)

Speaking of the formula, let’s look at those skin-beneficial ingredients that got my attention in the first place:

*Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, GRESSA Healing ComplexTM *Silymarin, *Neem (Azadirachta indica) Extract,*Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract, *Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) Extract, *Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Extract, *Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Seed Extract, *Elder Flower (Sambucus nigra) Extract, *Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate Non-GMO, Coenzyme Q10, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, (Vitamin C), *lecithin, *glycerin, mica, iron oxides, titanium oxide. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Broccoli seed oil is the hero ingredient that gives this serum foundation the feel of a primer without the use of silicones.

Neem, horsetail, lemon balm and sea buckthorn are known for their anti-inflammatory and acne-fighting properties, which is a wonderful bonus to those of us who are breakout-prone and attempting to reach “foundation-free” status with our skin.

And that brings me to how I’ve come around with this foundation. As I mentioned in the introduction of this post, I wasn’t immediately impressed with this foundation from a pure coverage and everyday application perspective.

However, as I’ve been experiencing some really great skin days lately, I’ve come to respect this foundation more as my “good skin day” foundation. It allows my skin to breathe, continues to treat it with good-for-breakout-prone-skin ingredients and makes me feel like I’m wearing nothing on my face.

As I get older and appreciate the ability to let my bare beauty shine through, I yearn more and more for the days when I can be that girl who just slicks on lip gloss, curls her lashes and goes — no major skin coverage needed!

Until then, it’s easy to use Gressa Skin’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation to fake that “no-makeup” makeup look. Just remember to spot-conceal where necessary, and feel confident in your own skin!

So, final verdict on repurchasing: Undecided until I’ve seen how it performs in warmer, humid weather.

Until then, check out some of my other natural foundation reviews and see some of my other favorites and fails.

What are your thoughts on Gressa Skin’s foundation? Do you have “good skin day” foundations and foundations you use when your skin needs a little extra help? What are they? Tell me in the comments section!

 

January 12, 2015

makeup of the day | smoke and mirrors

Smoky eyes are quite classic, but the colors in which you create them with can keep the look fresh.

Instead of smoking out your eyes with the typical blacks and grays, why not try a daytime smoke look with light grays, champagnes and violet?

This is a look that you can get away with at the office — thought it’s more makeup than I usually wear — and take straight to happy hour or dinner with a few extra coats of mascara or additional darkening around the edges to make your eyes pop even more.

jane iredale smoke & mirrors smoky eye kit

jane iredale smoke & mirrors smoky eye kit

jane iredale smoke & mirrors smoky eye kit

jane iredale smoke & mirrors smoky eye kit

jane iredale smoke & mirrors smoky eye kit

jane iredale smoke & mirrors smoky eye kit

*Indicates PR sample

For me, of course, makeup is only as good as the skin underneath, and I had a particularly good skin day when I shot these photos.

I had fun layering contouring cream, blush and highlighter to achieve a dewy glow, and can’t wait to recreate this look again with more smoky combinations from the Jane Iredale Smoke & Mirrors Smoky Eye Kit.

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

I’ll have a full, in-depth review of this popular foundation this week, but the short of it is that it’s a bit difficult to get the coverage I want using just this on its own. Combined with concealer, though, it’s a lovely, lightweight, foundation that’s perfect to use during those “good skin” days. If you’re curious, I wear shade “03.”

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12-Hour Concealer

I picked up this concealer on a whim sometime last fall, and I’m so glad I did. It’s quickly become my favorite go-to undereye concealer and spot corrector. The formula is creamy, easy to blend and a perfect match to my skin. For the record, I wear “Medium.”

Jane Iredale Bitty Brow Kit in “Brunette”

After finally chucking my former paraben-filled brow kit, I decided to add Jane Iredale’s Bitty Brow Kit to my arsenal for those days when I happen to do my eyebrows on the go and forget my proper brow brush. The Bitty Brow Kit contains two tiny angled brushes (they’re maybe 2 inches long) and a tiny brow comb so you’re never without the proper tools to fill in your brows.

*Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm in “Bronzed”

This multipurpose cream stick blush can be worn as a deep blush, bronzer or contouring cream. In the winter, I opt to use it as a contouring cream, as it’s very dark, and I love the easy-to-blend consistency.

Tarte Cosmetics Cheek Stain in “Fearless”

I’m a sucker for pretty pink corals, and Tarte’s “Fearless” Cheek Stain gives me that youthful, flushed look that appears natural and healthy.

*Kjaer Weis Highlighter in “Radiance”

As mentioned before in this “makeup of the day” post, Kjaer Weis’ highlighter is so different from my standard lineup of highlighters. The silvery look and cream-to-powder finish make it easy to tap on atop other makeup, and you can see how I’ve applied it to the tops of the apples of my cheeks, especially in the fourth photo above. I absolutely adore “Radiance,” and I’m hoping to see what other shades Kjaer Weis may dream up for highlighters!

Kari Gran Lip Whip in “Nice”

Received as one of my free samples with an Integrity Botanicals order, Kari Gran’s Lip Whip in “Nice” delivers a subtle shimmer of champagne to the lips — the perfect balance to a set of smoky eyes. If you haven’t tried Kari Gran’s Lip Whips, I’d recommend them, especially if you are a gloss girl. The texture is just so velvety and nourishing! I’m working on building up my collection.

*Jing Ai Kiss Automatic Lip Pencil in “Pink Parfait”

Lip liner isn’t an everyday thing for me, but when I’m wearing a lighter-colored gloss or stain, I like to line my lips with a color that’s close to my own lip color for some added definition. “Pink Parfait” is a pretty good match for me!

Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate 360º Creaseless 12-Hour Smoothing Eye Primer

When you have oily skin, that means you have oily lids. And that means you just can’t go without an eyelid primer. I’ve been happy with Tarte’s primer for quite a while. It replaced my Urban Decay primer, and I’ve never looked back!

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

Simply the best. It fits the curves of my eyes perfectly, and delivers a flirty curl that lasts all day, especially when locked in with a high quality mascara.

*Jane Iredale Smoke & Mirrors Smoky Eye Kit

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty predictable with my eyeshadow colors: brown, tan, taupe, gold. When I got the Jane Iredale Smoke & Mirrors Smoky Eye Kit, I was excited because while it has some great neutrals for blending and base colors, it also contains shades of violet, which look especially beautiful with brown eyes. The kit includes eight shades and five step-by-step looks to recreate in a helpful and fun “how to” guide. I used a combination of Nude, Champagne, Cappuccino and Aubergine to achieve this look.

Benecos Natural Eyeliner in “Grey”

As much as I love my liquid liner pens to draw on cat eyes, every once in a while I opt for a crayon liner in a lighter shade to play up my eyes. Benecos’ Natural Eyeliner in Grey is the perfect accomplice for a set of violet and champagne smoky eyes. It’s easy to blend and smudge, and I love wearing it on my lower lash line for added drama and definition. Grey is a perfect alternative to black if you want to have that additional pop in your eyes without appearing too harsh or overdone. This is a staple in my eyeliner wardrobe!

Tarte Cosmetics Gifted Mascara

Tarte makes some of my favorite mascaras, and this one has a fat, thick brush and stay-all-day formula that I absolutely adore. The last photo in this post shows you those lashes for days! Thank you, Tarte.

 

January 9, 2015

natural beauty buff | kirsten kjaer weis, kjaer weis

One of my big goals this year is to embrace simplicity in beauty more, and I can’t think of a better muse for this than Scandinavian culture.

With a sleek yet minimal design aesthetic, the Scandinavian culture is known for beautiful, breathtaking creations that have us all yearning for a more streamlined, soothing palette in life.

In the green beauty world, nobody brings this to your vanity better than Danish-born makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, creator of organic makeup line Kjaer Weis.

kirsten kjaer weis natural beauty buff

When it comes to well-edited, smartly packaged beauty collections, Kjaer Weis is ahead of the game.

Kirsten designed her line to be beautiful both inside and out, with high-performance organic and natural ingredients on the inside and heavyweight, sleek, refillable packaging on the outside.

Anyone who has ever held a Kjaer Weis product knows how substantial and glamorous they look and feel!

In addition to her approach to the Kjaer Weis line, Kirsten also exemplifies this streamlined, minimal-yet-luxurious approach in her green beauty routine.

Her sampling of favorites below — just five items! — is a breath of fresh air, demonstrating how investing in fewer, better products can make you look and feel amazing.

Buy what you love. Use what you buy. Support kind businesses.

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love.

Tata Harper Love Potion

Love the scent. I will put it on several times a day, almost as a ritual of centering myself.

*May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate

I find it super soothing and love to wear at night. I feel my skin looks nourished and glowing in the morning. (Editor’s Note: Read my review here!)

*Kahina Giving Beauty “Fez” Body Serum

I love the scent and I love how it absorbs really quickly. It makes my skin feel nourished and moisturized without feeling greasy.

DDF Polishing System

I use this every other day with a mild scrub, and I can really see the difference in the silky texture of my skin.

*Kjaer Weis “Just Sheer” Foundation

It covers so lightly that it makes me look like me — but a better version. (Editor’s Note: Read my review here!)

 

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 10, 2014

beauty scoop | kari gran foundation

I’ve added a new mineral foundation to my natural makeup collection, but I swear this one is different than anything I’ve tried before.

If you’re already a Kari Gran makeup fan, you probably know what I mean.

This mineral foundation is flat-out fantastic.

kari gran foundation review before and after

{Kari Gran sent me a foundation sample kit for review (retail $10) so I could figure out which color suited my skin tone. I opted for shade No. 2. I then purchased the full-sized foundation (retail $25) and redeemed a $10 off discount that came with the sample kit, which is available to anyone who purchases a sample kit. What a great deal!}

But first, a bit of context:

In the photo comparison above, on the left, I am obviously not wearing any foundation (but have on my brows and some lip color to keep from scaring you).

I’m wearing only Kari Gran mineral foundation all over my face. No base layer of concealer or any mineral veil.

While the photo on the right shows a much evened-out complexion, I’m still not too happy with the dark-ish circles under my eyes. That’s just sleep deprivation at it’s finest, though. I was on five hours of sleep in this photo.

Perhaps a base layer of thick concealer could have helped, but I’m all about the honest foundation reviews! (And I should become all about getting more sleep.) I bet if I had my typical seven hours, those undereye circles wouldn’t be so prominent.

And now, what I really think makes this foundation special:

What sets Kari Gran’s mineral foundation apart from other mineral foundations I’ve tried is the instant glow you get upon application.

We beauty bloggers tend to through around the word “glow” a lot in our reviews, so let me be more specific: Because of the subtle amount of mica in this mineral makeup’s formula, you seriously get that beautiful, radiant complexion that’s not shiny or glittery. It’s just glowy. And that’s that.

Obviously, if you avoid mica in your beauty products (I don’t), then this isn’t the foundation for you.

Here’s everything inside Kari Gran foundation:

Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Mica

If you’re used to using a highlighter everyday, you can get rid of that step when you use Kari Gran’s foundation. The light-reflecting effect is built in to this foundation, so all you need to do is buff it in and go. I absolutely love this foundation!

As with many of the nontoxic makeup I love, Kari Gran foundation is free of talc, synthetic fragrance, dyes, bismuth oxychloride, parabens, nanoparticles and animal testing

But seriously, what sets it apart is the glow.

I can’t help but admire the way my skin looks after using this mineral foundation. It’s just beautiful, and when I go back to using my other beloved minerals, I get a little annoyed that I need to layer on the highlighter to my glow.

Speaking of layering on makeup, I stumbled upon this fantastic refresher course on how to apply your mineral foundation the right way.

We all know that we should apply sparingly and build, build, build for even coverage, but sometimes it just helps to see someone actually do it. Let’s not waste our makeup, ladies!

(This is the result of going down the YouTube beauty vlogger hole on one of my days off from work. And plus, Jen is a fellow Jayhawk and friend of a friend, so I gotta share the love.)

So, are you cool with using mica in your beauty products? Have you tried Kari Gran’s mineral foundation? What are your favorite natural foundations (and what color do you wear?)? Tell me in the comments section!

 

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.



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