Entries Tagged as 'skin'

June 22, 2015

beauty scoop | arya essentials body oil

We all have our signature scents that we gravitate toward, and for me it’s typically sexy florals and soft citrus.

However, when certain moods strike, I’m comforted by the warmth of spice and toasted seeds, and no one does that better than traditional Ayurvedic-inspired brands such as Arya Essentials.

arya essentials body oil

{Arya Essentials sent me a small sample of its body oil to review. It costs $68 for a 3.4-ounce bottle.}

Arya Essentials’ body oil combines seven different carrier oils and essential oils into one luxurious body oil that leaves my skin feeling balanced and lightly kissed with a soothing herbal scent.

Coconut and sesame oils make up the base for Arya Essentials’ body oil, providing a medium viscosity blend that’s easy to use year-round (but especially delicious during cooler months and season transitions).

Herbal, grounding brahmi, black pepper and patchouli give Arya Essentials’ body oil its spiced scent while neroli cuts through to keep it light, refreshing and alluring.

All of the thoughtful, unassuming ingredients help maintain the skin’s softness and elasticity while giving it that sexy sheen without feeling heavy.

Here’s what’s inside Arya Essentials Body Oil:

Sesamum Indicum (Sesame Seed Oil), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Citrus Aurantium (Neroli Oil), Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper Oil), Centella Asiatica (Brahmi Oil), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli Oil)

With Arya Essentials Body Oil, you can ease into the art of building out your spicy scent collection without totally overwhelming your nose.

Yes, even with the patchouli in there — I promise you fellow floral goddesses won’t be turned off by it! It’s the last ingredient and is there to add a bit of earthy weight to the blend.

If you’re daring enough to go outside of your normal scent profile, but don’t want to be completely taken aback by a spicy, warm scent, Arya Essentials Body Oil is one to consider. It’s jasmine-loving-Kim approved :)

Have you tried anything from Arya Essentials? What scents are absolute turn-offs to you? What scents do you totally adore? Tell me in the comments section!

June 19, 2015

free stuff friday | mun no. 1 aknari brightening youth serum & no. 11 anarose rejuvenating rose toner

As more green beauty brands make their way onto the market, I’ve become a bit more discerning about what makes it onto my repurchase and recommend lists.

To stand out to me in a crowded clean beauty market, brands must focus on offering well-edited, smartly formulated and designed collections that rely on the strength of the ingredients they source.

Simply put: They must work, and they must fit my aesthetic. I’ve found that in MUN Skincare, which is one of my go-to lines offered at Integrity Botanicals, a favorite online green beauty retailer.

Today, I’m excited to partner with Integrity Botanicals and MUN to offer TWO lucky readers an opportunity to experience MUN’s No. 1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum and No. 11 Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner.

mun no. 1 aknari serum & no. 11 anarose toner

MUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum

I bought this gorgeous oil from MUN’s founder Munemi Imai herself at the 2014 “A Night for Green Beauty” event in LA, and it remains one of my favorite facial oils to date.

Made with three fantastic oils, MUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum captures the best of green beauty in one beautiful, violet pump bottle.

It combines Ecocert-certified prickly pear oil, argan oil and rose oil in a blend you’ve never seen — or smelled — before.

I know it sounds simple, yet its elegance is unparalleled. Even the most discerning green beauty connoisseur falls in love with this facial oil.

MUN No. 11 Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner

Hands down one of my favorite gentle exfoliating toners, MUN’s Anarose Toner brings together new rose blossoms hand-harvested from the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria with MUN’s signature prickly pear extract, hyaluronic acid and essences of jasmine and daisy.

Talk about a floral finish!

This toner is designed to soften, smooth and protect against the elements, especially when used alongside the No. 1 Aknari Serum. The pour-top makes it easy to use on a cotton round, but it also comes with a spray top attachment for those of you who enjoy misting your face before patting in your oils and serums.

I’ll share a full review of this toner soon, but know this: I’ve gone through two bottles of this stellar toner, and I have no intention of ever being without it. It’s got a permanent spot in my top shelf of toners.

Want to see how MUN looks on your top shelf and feels on your skin? TWO lucky readers will win both the serum and toner (aka the entire MUN collection!).

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (SO MANY ways to get multiple entries thanks to Integrity Botanicals and MUN). Good luck!

Giveaway begins Friday, June 19, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, June 26, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

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

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

3. Giveaway begins Friday, June 19, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, June 26, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

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

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

June 15, 2015

beauty diy | brightening apple mask

At any given time, my kitchen is always stocked with green apples. I love the tart tang of them on my tastebuds, and it’s only fitting that my skin also responds well to topical treatment with this perfect fruit.

A handmade approach to a popular green apple mask (which I also adore for its brightening effects), this DIY Brightening Apple Mask gently lightens and brightens skin — and smells quite fresh.

I like to use this mask after a weekend of fun in the sun, followed by a moisturizing coconut-infused cream that keeps my skin dreaming of the ocean and sunshine while repairing my skin before another full week at work.

This is the second excerpt from a new beauty DIY book, Natural Beauty Alchemy, that keeps me inspired to tap into my inner DIY goddess. (See the first recipe in this series!)

Note: This is a not a series of sponsored posts. This book is wonderful, and I found the recipes approachable. I reached out to the publicist to get permission to share these recipes with you because I thought you’d enjoy them as much as I do!

diy brightening apple mask

Brightening Apple Mask

This mask relies on the wonderful effects of fruits and is recommended for skin with blemishes or sunspots to reverse sun damage, especially at the end of the summer season.

Apples are rich in vitamin C, which is a documented skin-brightening agent. Citrus fruits are also supreme sources of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). When combined with cranberry seed oil, which is high in sun-protective antioxidants, these ingredients will reverse time on challenged skin.

Make this mask twice a week, for two or three weeks to unify skin tone, and always follow with sunscreen.

Ingredients:

  • gauze strips
  • 1 freshly grated peeled green apple
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cranberry seed oil
  • 1–2 tablespoons rice flour
  • Note: Honey can be used instead of glycerin

Instructions

1. Prepare gauze strips by laying gauze in double layers and cutting four rectangles for the forehead and neck and four circles for the cheeks.

2. Mix the above ingredients, adding as much rice flour as needed to prevent dripping. Then spread the mix like sandwich filling between double gauze layers and apply to your forehead, neck, and cheeks.

3. Sit in a reclining chair and wait for 10 minutes before removing the gauze strips and rinsing your face with lukewarm water.

4. If bothersome tingling occurs, rinse immediately.

5. Always follow with a high-SPF (30 or more) sunscreen to avoid vitamin C–induced photosensitivity.

natural beauty alchemy book

Excerpted from Natural Beauty Alchemy Copyright © 2015 by Fifi M. Maacaron and published by W.W. Norton & Company Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

June 12, 2015

free stuff friday | josh rosebrook herbal infusion oil and tinted nutrient day cream

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Josh Rosebrook — both the man and the brand.

I’ve waxed poetic about his Hydrating Accelerator (I buy it in in multiples for home and work!) and gushed like a girl over his newly released Oculus Formula.

But now, I’m over-the-moon excited to share with you the exclusive launch of Josh Rosebrook’s new Herbal Infusion Oil and Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 … and, um, give away the duos to THREE LUCKY READERS!

Yeap, all caps was necessary.

josh rosebrook giveaway

I’ve been testing the Herbal Infusion Oil and Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 for just about a week now.

While I’ll offer full, detailed reviews later, I can tell you my first impressions of them both during my limited testing time (I typically test for four weeks at least).

Herbal Infusion Oil

Formulated as a multi-use treatment oil, Josh Rosebrook’s Herbal Infusion Oil serves as both a makeup remover and a healing, moisturizing skin treatment for all skin types.

I’ve used it to remove regular daytime makeup, heavy eye makeup and even sunscreen without experience redness, irritation or eye discomfort.

Sometimes even the best-made oil cleansers and makeup removers that combine a variety of ingredients are just a little too much for the delicate eye area.

Not this one that’s made with organic oils of olive, jojoba, sunflower, grapeseed, sesame, apricot and almond.

It also includes, in classic Josh Rosebrook style, organic herbal infusions of calendula, slippery elm, marshmallow root, bilberry, neem, alfalfa, skullcap, fennel seed, chickweed, ginkgo leaf, hawthorn berry and green tea.

Organic essential oils of rosewood, damask rose, and a proprietary blend of other organic essential oils round out the ingredients list.

Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30

A lovely iteration on Josh’s original Nutrient Day Cream (as reviewed in my “ultimate guide to natural sunscreens“), the Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 provides priming effects akin to a tinted moisturizer or light foundation while protecting the skin from the sun with non-nano zinc oxide.

Color-adjusting earth minerals correct and brighten the skin; the tint has a neutral-pale yellow undertone that looks flawless on my skin tone. I still like to spot-correct breakouts, as the coverage is sheer/light, but it definitely does a nice job of priming and evening out the skin.

If the color match is not quite right for you (whether you are darker or lighter), you’ll still get the priming benefits. It’s best to sample if possible to make sure it’s the right fit for you, of course.

Or, you could just win this giveaway to see if you like it! Want to be one of the first to try these brand new Josh Rosebrook products for free?

THREE of my lucky, loyal readers will the Herbal Infusion Oil and Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 duos. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway!

Giveaway begins Friday, June 12, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, June 19, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

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

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

3. Giveaway begins Friday, June 12, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, June 19, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

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

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

 

June 5, 2015

beauty secrets | the ultimate guide to natural face cleansers

When it comes to natural face cleansers, I have a pretty straightforward philosophy. To complete my daily and weekly routines, I need:

  • A non-foaming/cream for gentle morning cleanses (usually with a konjac sponge) or for when my skin is extremely dry or irritated
  • A light foaming/gel cleanser for double cleansing after oil cleansing at night
  • A thick gel cleanser to use with my Clarisonic 1-2 times a week or as needed

While I tend to splurge on facial oils and antioxidant treatments, my budget for face cleansers is much more conservative. Spending more than $25 on a cleanser (which doesn’t stay on your face very long) simply pains me.

So, it’s out of line for my skincare philosophy (and budget) to spend more than that on a cleanser. While I have marked a few repurchases below that cost more than my $25 preference, you’ll see that many of my tried-and-true favorites cost way less than $25 (and are easily accessible at your local health food store or even Target!).

These are the ones I constantly recommend to friends, family and readers who are interested in cleaning up their beauty routines, and these are the ones I purchase for myself.

*Indicates press sample. Yes, I do buy my own products, and yes, free stuff gets the same level of criticism as stuff I paid for myself!

(Bookmark for later reading: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Deodorants; The Ultimate Guide to Natural Hand Creams; The Ultimate Guide to Natural MascarasThe Ultimate Guide to Natural Shampoos ; The Ultimate Guide to Natural Sunscreens)

ultimate guide to natural face cleansers

Non-Foaming / Cream Cleansers I Will Repurchase

*Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser
$9.99 for 4 ounces

Designed for dry and sensitive skin, Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser delivers a relaxing, soothing blend of organic argan oil, coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E  and pumpkin seed oil to hydrate and gently cleanse the skin. Probiotics give fussy skin additional nutrients and balance.

Acure Organics pretty much always blows me away with its affordable, certified organic, cruelty-free products. This cream cleanser is also scent-free, which makes it perfect for those who have truly sensitive skin or are experiencing reactions or irritation from switching up their products too much (ahem). The texture is of medium creaminess — very easy to spread, but not runny at all. I love using this with a konjac sponge in the morning.

INGREDIENTS: Organic Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower, Organic Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Fair Trade Organic (Rooibos), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (from Coconut), Glyceryl Stearate SE (Vegetable), Organic Virgin Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Stearyl Dihydroxypropyldimomium Oligosaccharides (from Sugar), Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate (Fatty Acid), Decyl Glucoside (Sugar Soap), Disodium Cocoglucoside Citrate (from Coconut), Phenethyl Alcohol (Fatty Alcohol), Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (Lactic Acid Salt), Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sclerotium Gum (Sugar Gum), Organic Agania Spinosa (Argan Oil) , Organic Olea Europea (Olive Oil), D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Marrubium Vulgare (White Horehound) Stem Cell Culture, Echinacea Stem Cell Culture, Fermented Resveratrol Extract (Probiotic), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Olea Europea (Olive Leaf) Extract, Organic Curcubita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells, Paeonia Lactiflora Leaf Cell Extract, Glycerophosphoinositol Lysine (from Sunflower).

*Blissoma Solutions Fresh Mild Rice Facial Cleanser
$31.99 for 4 ounces

Need hydration and blemish-blasting? This cleanser is for you. Blissoma Solutions Mild Rice Facial Cleanser’s smart combination of moisturizing oils (sunflower oil, coconut oil, apricot kernal oil, hemp oil) and acne-busting ingredients (willowbark extract, lavender, frankincense and rosemary) makes it ideal for transition skin — or skin that just can’t decide its classification. Litsea cubeba and palmarosa tone the skin while providing additional antiseptic to keep your pores clean.

This cleanser has exfoliating power thanks to little brown rice “scrubbers,” but is gentle enough to use everyday. I’d definitely classify this as a cleanser (versus an exfoliator) because it’s at a lower intensity.

Read the original review for full ingredients and additional information.

*Josh Rosebrook Moisturizing Cleanser
$50 for 4 ounces

This is the ultimate sensitive skin cleanser. Josh Rosebrook’s Moisturizing Cleanser is slippery and gentle, keeping your skin’s acid mantle balanced while kindly cleansing away the day. The aloe base makes this cleanser extremely moisturizing, while ingredients such as African black soap, honey and white willow bark work to keep acne at bay. Organic oils of olive, jojoba, evening primrose, sunflower, sea buckthorn and offer a powerhouse of hydration.

This is one of those cleansers that’s out of my typical price range, but I love it so much and reserve it for when my skin needs some extra TLC. I like to massage this into my skin — using it with a konjac sponge will cause you to lose too much product to absorption.

INGREDIENTS: Vitamin-Infused Aloe Gel, Organic African Black Soap, Organic Honey, Vegetable Glycerin, White Willow Bark, Sea Minerals And Grape Seed Extracts, Lemon Juice, Organic Pectin, Organic Oils Of: Olive, Jojoba, Sesame, Evening Primrose, Meadowfoam, Sunflower, Apricot, Almond, and Seabuckthorn, Organic Herbal Infusions Of: Calendula Flowers, Bilberry, Slippery Elm, Fennel Seed, Chickweed, Skullcap, Ginkgo Leaf, Hawthorn Berry, Green Tea, Marshmallow Root, St. John’s Wort and Alfalfa, Certified Organic Xanthan Gum & Potassium Sorbate, Natural Plant Sourced Vitamins A, C & E, Vinegar, Organic Essential Oils Of: Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, Litsea Cubeba And Vanilla Bean

Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk
$22 for 6.75 ounces

I’m drawn to Juice Beauty’s Cleansing Milk during my morning shower. It’s creamy and feels almost like a moisturizer as I massage it onto my face, and it rinses away easily while leaving a light balmy layer of protection on my skin.

I’ve used it at night before — just to test it against a layer of everyday makeup — and while it could cut through a bit of it, I wouldn’t recommend it as your sole cleanser for makeup removal. However, for that easy morning cleanse, this is a lovely, affordable option in a functional plastic pump container. This is another one that I enjoy using with a konjac sponge.

Read the full review for full ingredients and additional information.

*Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser
$15.99 for 4 ounces

Mad Hippie is one of those brands that constantly blows my mind. Awesome packaging. Awesome ingredients. Awesome pricepoint. I am constantly recommending this line and this cleanser to those looking for an easy transition into nontoxic beauty, and for good reason: Mad Hippie is the real deal!

The Cream Cleanser is lovely to use with a konjac sponge in the morning. The formula is thick and creamy, but easy to spread and feels almost like a light lotion on the skin (thicker than Acure Organics mentioned above). This is thanks to sesame oil, coconut oil derivatives and shea butter — not too heavy, not too creamy, but just right. Mad Hippie’s Cream Cleanser is housed in a glass pump bottle, making it easy to recycle or reuse (major bonus points!).

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water, Sesame Oil (Sesamum Indicum), Caprylic/capric Triglycerides, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), Cetearyl Glucoside, Carrageenan Gum, Vegetable Glycerin, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium PCA, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis Leaf), Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis), Squalene, Organic Macadamia Oil (Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinesis), Yeast Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl), Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Orchid Extract (Orchis Mascula), Titanium Dioxide

*The Wonder Seed Hemp Facial Cleanser, English Daisy
$14.95 for 3.4 ounces

You know that sweet compliment I gave Mad Hippie and Acure Organics ? Same goes for The Wonder Seed. This is yet another line that sources high-quality ingredients yet keeps its prices within reach, making it perfect for those new to green and figuring out their favorites as well as those who are budget-conscious or have different philosophies when it comes to what they will spend on certain skincare items.

The Wonder Seed’s star ingredient is hemp seed oil (yes, hemp seed is the wonder seed!), which means that this everything in this line is incredibly moisturizing, including its facial cleanser. The texture of this face wash is a bit more dense compared to Mad Hippie; I would say it’s a similar texture to that of Acure Organics’ Cream Cleanser, though a bit slicker. It works well with a konjac sponge and leaves skin feeling hydrated without any films or residue.

If you’re sensitive to scents, do know that the English Daisy scent in this cleanser is present — though to my significant other and me, it smells more like a minty scent (I spy peppermint extract toward the end of the formulat). It’s not overpowering, but it’s definitely detectable.

INGREDIENTS: Purified Water (Aqua), Virgin Organic Hemp Seed Oil, English Daisy Essential Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Green Tea Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable), Behenic Acid, Organic Cucumber Extract, Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Oil Based), Sweet Birch Extract, Hyaluronic Acid (Natural Plant Based), Borage Seed Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Coconut Oil Based), Cellulose, Coconut Oil, Echinacea Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Magnesium Cocoate (Coconut Oil Based), Dextrin, Potassium Stearate (Natural Plant Based), Peppermint Extract, Lauric Oil Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Extract, Nutmeg Oil Extract, Sea Salt

Non-Foaming / Cream Cleansers I Will Not Repurchase

Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser
$36 for 8.4 ounces

This is a great summertime cleanser thanks to the healing coconut milk (and that summertime coconut smell that most of us love!) and calendula oil. However, I’m not sold on it for year-round mostly because of the coconut scent. Everything else about it is just fine — the ingredients are clean (it even includes salicylic acid for us acne-prone types) and the pump packaging is ideal. I just can’t do this particular scent on my face every day of the year.

Read the full review for full ingredients and additional information.

*Fig + Yarrow Cleansing Nectar
$30 for 4 ounces

A change in its marketing would put Fig + Yarrow’s Cleansing Nectar into the positive for me. Presented as a washless cleanser and toner for gentle exfoliation, the Cleansing Nectar is under-performs in the cleansing department but excels in the toning department. Call me old-fashioned, but when I think cleanser, I think gel/foam/cream + water. I get the multipurpose idea behind this product, but just didn’t feel very clean using it as a cleanser.

After cleansing with a different product and using the Cleansing Nectar as a toner, my skin and I felt happy. Perhaps look for this on an ultimate guide to toners instead.

*Marula Pure Marula Cleansing Lotion
$38 for 4.23 ounces

From a formulation standpoint, this cleansing lotion was just fine. It was the delivery that put Marula Pure Marula Cleansing Lotion on my “no thanks” list.

I had to use several pumps of this cleansing lotion to get a quarter-sized amount on my palm. Perhaps I’m overdoing it, but we’re talking about 6-7 pumps; the spout of the pump is a bit puny, so I have to be aware of how much product I actually use. I’ve already explained to you that I’m conservative when it comes to the price of my cleansers, so I’m not sure this one is worth the $38 price tag. It’s a fine product and isn’t excessively expensive by any means, but I think there are some better buys out there that are loaded with even more exciting ingredients.

Read the full review for full ingredients and additional information.

*Nonie of Beverly Hills AHA! Skin Cleanser
$25.99 for 7 ounces

With a mix of citrus oils, grapefruit seed extract and apple cider vinegar, Nonie of Beveryly Hills’ cleanser was a bit too tingly for my skin. Though it’s in a base of coconut and almond oil and has a lovely, lotion-like texture, I found the citrus oils a bit too irritating on my facial skin. I’d use this with a konjac sponge to get a good morning cleanse, but decided to instead focus more of the cleanse on my T-zone and under the chin, which seems to be able to handle the natural alpha hydroxy acids a little better than my cheeks.

INGREDIENTS: Distilled Water, Hamamelis Water, Coconut Oil, Coconut Emulsifier, Almond Oil, Citrus Mix of Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Bergamot & Neroli Oils; Vitamin E, Grapefruit Seed Extract & Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Check back in a few weeks to see my updated guide that includes foaming and gel cleansers!

June 3, 2015

beauty diy | double c toner for acne-prone skin

In general, I’m not much of a DIYer. I get impatient, am heavy-handed and never seem to have the right ingredients on hand.

But every once in a while (typically late at night when I should be sleeping), the DIY bug bites, and I find myself mixing and matching my various straight green beauty ingredients to see if I can improve something I already own or whip up something fresh to address a specific concern.

This can be as simple as adding additional carrier oils to a basic shea butter to get a richer texture, or combining essential oils into a blend of carriers to make a body oil to suit my mood for the day.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing a few excerpts from a new beauty DIY book, Natural Beauty Alchemy, that keeps me inspired to tap into my inner DIY goddess. I hope you are inspired as well and come back to these recipes when you’re up for a little tinkering.

Note: This is a not a series of sponsored posts. This book is wonderful, and I found the recipes approachable. I reached out to the publicist to get permission to share these recipes with you because I thought you’d enjoy them as much as I do!

double c toner for acne prone skin

Double C Toner for Acne-Prone Skin

This toner is named for its two key ingredients: vitamin C and cider. The acidic nature of apple cider allows skin to get rid of surface dead cells, while the vitamin C in lemon juice is a skin brightener that also acts as a powerful antioxidant; it can reverse sun damage and reduce wrinkles, for a more youthful look.

Combined with the astringency of neroli and witch hazel in this formula, they will reduce oily secretions and help achieve a glowing and clearer skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces (60 ml) neroli hydrosol
  • 2 ounces (60 ml) witch hazel water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon glycerin
  • 5 drops grapefruit essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

1. Start by dissolving the honey in 1/2 cup water. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time, mixing continuously. Then transfer to a bottle.

2. Shake well before each use. Using a cotton ball, apply to the face and neck in the evening. Rinse in the morning and wear sunscreen daily.

natural beauty alchemy book

Excerpted from Natural Beauty Alchemy Copyright © 2015 by Fifi M. Maacaron and published by W.W. Norton & Company Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

 

May 19, 2015

beauty scoop | kahina giving beauty eye serum

When it comes to hydrating and protecting the delicate eye area, there’s a lot of different textures available on the growing green beauty market:

  • Eye creams
  • Eye serums
  • Eye oils
  • Eye balms

As an oily-skinned person, I tend to gravitate toward eye oils and balms for night and eye creams and serums for day. One of my daytime staples that I love for warm weather is Kahina Giving Beauty’s Eye Serum.

kahina giving beauty eye serum

{I purchased Kahina Giving Beauty’s Eye Serum directly from Katharine herself at “A Night for Green Beauty” in LA in 2014. It costs $78 for a 15ML Miron glass pump bottle.}

A true eye serum, Kahina Giving Beauty’s take on lightweight eye moisturizer is elegant, simple and virtually scentless. The watery gel-like serum instantly smooths onto the skin and leaves a weightless, cloud-like layer of hydration that just feels good.

I can’t get over how little you have to use and how spreadable the formula is. A little layer packs a mighty punch! You can feel it penetrating the skin as it gently firms and brightens the undereye area. With continued use (I tested for two months), you can see a gradual brightening effect, and skin feels stronger.

Kahina Giving Beauty’s Eye Serum is a go-to for humid spring and summer days because of how fast it dries and how effortless the moisture feels. It’s never heavy, yet your eyes feel delicately draped in a shield of moisture from argan oil and sunflower oil, as well as age-defying peptides and antioxidants. That’s what I call a true eye serum!

kahina giving beauty eye serum

Kahina Giving Beauty formulated its Eye Serum to help increase lymphatic drainage to reduce said puffiness, which was definitely my experience, and to help minimize dark circles and signs of aging.

Collagen-producing and hydrating ingredients such as peptides and hyaluronic acid give Kahina’s Eye Serum an edge over many ordinary lotions and gels re-packaged and re-marketed as eye treatments.

Bonus: This eye serum never caused my eye makeup or concealer to crease, though I do always use an eye shadow primer for eye makeup. Not something I can always say about eye oils or heavy eye creams and balms.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Aqua, betaine, saccharomyces cerevisiae extract, rhodiola rosea root extract, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, glycerin*, populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride, polygonum fagopyrum extract, hexapeptide-11, sodium hyaluronate, argania spinosa (argan) leaf extract, maltodextrin, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, hydrogenated lecithin, sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, p-anisic acid // *Ingredient from Organic Farming

As with many Kahina Giving Beauty products, I’m a fan. I do dabble in various eye creams, eye oils and eye balms, but Kahina’s rivals many of my daytime eye treatment favorites (could it knock this one off its throne?!).

I also find that as much as I want to pare down my collection, I like having a few different types of eye treatments on-hand for certain situations and seasons.

  • For flight, I love eye oils — the more moisture, the better!
  • For winter and harsh winds, I favor balms and creams. Lock in moisture and protect!
  • For daytime and warm weather, true serums sway me. I need light consistency that still performs!

For these reasons above, Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum is a repurchase (and I purchased it in the first place after having a tiny sample-with-order to play with … sold, and sold!). It’s perfect year-round, but I especially appreciate it during humid, muggy weather.

Get Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum at The Detox Market; Integrity Botanicals; Spirit Beauty Lounge; Pemberley Jones; and Credo Beauty.

What eye treatment do you prefer? How do you switch it up with the seasons, if at all? Have you tried Kahina’s Eye Serum? Tell me in the comments!

May 15, 2015

beauty scoop | prtty peaushun skin tight body lotion

Before we get into the details of this post, let’s get a few things straight here:

1) I’m not a body lotion girl. Oils all the way.

2) I’m not into self-tanning body products. A little bronzer on the face and neck is fine.

And that’s why my love for Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion is a bit odd.

prtty peaushun skin tight body lotion

{Eco Diva Beauty sent me a sample of Prtty Peaushun with an order I placed. It costs $39 for an 8-ounce pouch.}

But to be clear, Prtty Peaushun is not a self-tanning body lotion. It is, though, a lotion, but the most un-lotion lotion I think I’ve ever tried.

Prtty Peaushun is light, slightly shimmery and so easy to spread around on my skin. No constant massaging in and wondering how long it will take to dry. No greasy after-effect and big chunks of glitter to wipe on the cat. No rubbing off on clothes or balling up on your skin when you’re in a dress and cross your legs.

Sound like a fancy lotion to you? Me neither. It’s simply Prtty Peaushun.

Created by celebrity makeup artist Bethany Karlyn, Prtty Peaushun is designed to blur skin imperfections (think bruises, minor scarring, stretch marks and varicose veins) by incorporating subtle light-reflecting particles in an emollient, botanical base. This is the closest thing to a natural, IRL Photoshop or Valencia Instagram filter.

In real beauty product-speak, though (because you guys what you see online and in magazines just ain’t real!), Prtty Peaushun is the equivalent of your favorite dewy, lemony-scented balm, tinted moisturizer and glowy highlighter all packaged into a funky little silver pouch that will be your legs’ and arms’ best friends this summer.

It leaves them feeling silky and hydrated, but with this most incredible, subtle sheen that could be mistaken for sleek pantyhose or just really good genes.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Butter, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Wax, Octyldodecyl Oleate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Behenyl Olivate, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Calendula Officinale Flower Extract*, Japanese Green Tea (Camellia Oleifera) Extract*, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract*, Allantoin, Arnica (Montana) Extract*, Blue Vervain Leaf Extract*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenethyl alcohol. May Contain (+/-): Mica * Certified Organic Ingredients

I use Prtty Peaushun in “Light,” but you can easily choose darker shades to cheat mother nature (and the sun!) to give your skin the illusion of color without looking orange or stripey. That’s the beauty of this product. Its effects are so subtle, but leaves your skin with that je ne sais quoi that has you instantly addicted. It’s the “your legs but better” effect (similar to that of your favorite neutral lipstick).

So, obviously, Prtty Peaushun is a repurchase for me! Which is kind of huge because I simply don’t do lotions.

I do Prtty Peaushun.

Have you tried Prtty Peaushun? Are you into lotions, or is it oils all the way for you? How do you keep your legs looking great during warm weather? Tell me in the comments section!



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