Entries Tagged as 'skin'

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!

May 13, 2015

beauty scoop | crazy cat lady purrifying facial tonic & chamomeow face & body mist

Part of my official Instagram bio identifies me as a “Siamese Cat Lover,” and most of my posts are hashtagged #catlady.

Now, my green beauty arsenal is full of literal Crazy Cat Lady concoctions thanks to a fellow #greenbeautycatlady.

And of course, there’s a bit of cat hair covering everything.

crazy cat lady toner

{Crazy Cat Lady sent me samples of its Purrifying™ Facial Tonic and Chamomeow™ Face & Body Mist. The facial tonic costs $32 for a 2-ounce glass spray bottle. The face and body mist costs $24 for a 2-ounce glass spray bottle.}

Before you write off the serious green goodness of this line because of its playful packaging and approach, let’s examine the credentials of the crazy cat lady behind this cheeky collection.

Sher, a holistic aesthetican, aromatherapist and cosmetologist, created this line to appeal to the playful green beauties who take their skincare seriously, but know how to have a good time.

In a green beauty world that spans from DIY and drugstore to apothecary-style and luxury, Crazy Cat Lady stands out as that funky, funny line that you’d spot in a place like Urban Outfitters and pick up because it’s just too cute.

Imagine if all the quirky little products at stores like that made you laugh and were actually good for your skin?!

Besides playing off the Internet’s love of cats, and green beauty ladies’ love of great products, Crazy Cat Lady’s love for the environment and little furballs runs deep. Crazy Cat Lady is all about:

  • Formulating with natural, unrefined, and organic ingredients from sustainable environments
  • Using minimal packaging on recycled paper
  • Taking advantage of glass and PET plastic, the easiest materials to recycle
  • Signing the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  • Being members of PETA’s Caring Consumer Project as an approved cruelty-free company
  • Supporting animal rescues with donations and assistance

crazy cat lady toner

While packaging and social good are important to great green beauty product, I love that Crazy Cat Lady doesn’t skimp on the very thing that buy products for: effective ingredients.

In these two toners that I tried (I am obsessed with toners!), I was thoroughly impressed at the blend of simple yet effective ingredients that fought blemishes and soothed irritated skin.

Crazy Cat Lady Purrifying Facial Tonic ($32)

In the evening, I used Crazy Cat Lady Purrifying Facial Tonic to deeply clean my pores and treat my acne-prone skin to blemish-blasting willow bark and neem. A base of aloe leaf juice offered an all-around soothing solution to my skin. A fresh scent of orange, thanks to orange flower water, kept Crazy Cat Lady Purrifying Facial Tonic from smelling stinky (neem, looking at you).

The mist from this toner’s glass spray bottle was the perfect consistency to get my full face, too — no shooting targeted streams of toner at my face! If willow bark is a bit too strong for your skin, you can always spray this toner onto a cotton pad and smooth it onto your skin.

Here’s the full ingredients list (there aren’t all listed on the product page for some reason — please update, CCL!)

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Vera Leaf Juice, Citrus Auraantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Water, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Neem (Melia Azadirachta) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Giabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate

Crazy Cat Lady Chamomeow Face & Body Mist ($24)

For daytime toning, my skin loved Crazy Cat Lady Chamomeow Face & Body Mist. A slightly lower price point, this face and body mist has a much more edited ingredients list with a focus on moisture and calm.

The star ingredient, Roman chamomile, soothes skin and helps reduce redness and irritation. This is a lovely mist to use not only on your face, but — stay with me — your pits in the morning.

If you’re like me and use natural deodorants with baking soda, you will probably at some point experience a bit of redness or irritation. I loved spritzing Crazy Cat Lady Chamomeow Face & Body Mist on my pits post-shower to prep my skin for my deodorant.

This was especially helpful on those mornings when I just had to shave and then immediately apply deodorant (that can be a bit irritating with some formulas!). Chamomile, in combination with aloe, was just what my pit skin needed to stay calm and stress-free.

On my face, I loved using this toner to get my face back to its normal coloring after a hot shower (hi, red skin) and was a wonderful lightly moisturizing setting spray to keep my skin looking radiant after I completed my daily makeup look.

Here’s the full ingredients list (there aren’t all listed on the product page for some reason — please update, CCL!)

Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate

While I have an ever-growing list of holy grail, won’t-be-without-them toners, I’ll occassionally repurchase Crazy Cat Lady products. I love the Chamomeow Face & Body Mist as a pit soother and as a post-yoga body mist, and the Purrifying Facial Tonic is an excellent budget buy for an anti-acne toning treatment.

Fellow crazy cat ladies and green beauty lovers, have you tried Crazy Cat Lady? How important is cruelty-free beauty to you when you purchase new products? What kind of cat do you have? Tell me in the comments section!

May 4, 2015

beauty scoop | mad hippie exfoliating serum

Fruit Acids. Plant Stem Cells. Powerful Peptides. Protective Antioxidants.

These effective ingredients aren’t just for the department store and the conventional skincare counters.

Welcome to the new face of advanced natural skincare, powered by some mad hippies.

Or, just, by Mad Hippie, an impressive, affordable, clean skincare line available at health food stores and online.

mad hippie exfoliating serum

{Mad Hippie sent me a sample of its Exfoliating Serum. It costs $34.99 for a 30 ml glass dropper bottle.}

At first flowery glance — and with a name like “Mad Hippie” — it’s easy to dismiss this natural beauty brand as something that’s for “the masses” or for those who want to get clean, but don’t really think about marrying modern science with natural remedies.

Oh how wrong would your eyes be.

Mad Hippie is one of those brands that has figured out how to make clean beauty accessible, fun, results-driven and, most important, affordable to those who want to overhaul their conventional beauty routines but don’t want to go broke during the process.

mad hippie exfoliating serum

Case in point: Everything in the Mad Hippie line costs less than $40.

And they don’t skimp on standout ingredients or packaging! Behold, the most exciting ingredients in Mad Hippie’s Exfoliating Serum:

  • Sugar Cane-derived Glycolic Acid: Exfoliates, reduces discoloration and appearance of age spots
  • Fermented Beet Sugar-derived Lactic Acid: Exfoliates, reduces discoloration
  • Swiss Apple Stem Cells: Protects skin from environmental damage, reduces wrinkle depth and visibility
  • Matrixyl Synthe ’6: Peptide that stimulates the synthesis of six major constituents of the skin matrix and dermal-epidermal junction (collagen I, III, IV, fibronectin, hyaluronic acid and laminin 5).
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: Penetrates the skin to plump and hydrate
  • White Tea: Antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals and prevent UV damage
  • Goji Berry: Antioxidant rich in amino acids, minerals and vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2 & B6, delivering anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits
  • Vitamin C: Enhances collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and tightens the skin while healing sun damage and discoloration
  • Ceramide: Forms a thin lipid barrier that holds in moisture while protecting and healing the skin
  • Vitamin E: Reduces fine lines and wrinkles while it heals and protects skin from UV and free radical damage

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Water, Glycolic Acid, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Vitamin B5 (Panthenol), Lactic Acid, Matrixyl Synthe ‘ 6 (Glycerin-Water(Aqua)– Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin–Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Potassium Hydroxide, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, White Tea Extract (Camelia Sinensis), Goji Berry Extract (Lycium Barbarum), Polysorbate 20, Xantham Gum, PhytocellTec (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Water), Gigawhite (Water, Glycerin, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract), Methyl Cellulose, Glycerin, Melatonin, Caffeine, Biotin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ceramide 3, Squalene, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Potassium Citrate

Thanks to the generous amount of alpha hydroxy acids in Mad Hippie’s Exfoliating Serum, this product works swiftly to break the lipid bonds that hold on the outer layer of dead, dull skin, revealing brighter, more radiant skin in just a few weeks.

As you smooth it onto your skin, you will notice how active the serum feels. It’s not painful, but it is powerful — those are the acids at work. I recommend spot-treating yourself first, or only applying to areas of your face that need some help with discoloration or de-clogging.

For a point of comparison, I would say that Marie Veronique’s Gentle Retinol Serum and KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst evening treatments feel less intense than Mad Hippie’s Exfoliating Serum. To me, Marie Veronique’s is the most gentle, with KYPRIS being in the middle-activity level and Mad Hippie feeling the most intense.

This comparison is only for sensitivity considerations; it is in no way a comparison of which product is best!

I used Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum for four weeks straight and noticed after about week two that my skin appeared more even, brighter and seemingly poreless. This is one of the first nighttime treatments I used that delivered such quick results!

My oily, acne-prone skin could handle having Mad Hippie’s Exfoliating Serum massaged on all over (because I wanted to combat clogged areas in my T-zone and chin while brightening my sometimes-dull cheeks). The tingling subsided after a minute and didn’t leave me red or flushed.

This serum, paired with an oxygenating nighttime beauty oil, kept my skin deeply cleansed and luminous without stripping it of ample hydration or softness. I think that, after the initial month of use and time for my skin to adapt to Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum, it would be easy to just use it every other night or even once a week as a deep exfoliating serum while I continue to use gentle retinols and vitamin A serums regularly.

Because of the quick results, affordable pricing and smart ingredients, Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum is definitely on my repurchase list. As I continue to explore evening serum treatments for deep exfoliation and advanced protection and renewal, Mad Hippie will likely be an anchor in my soon-to-be-established beauty routine now that I’m six months to 30 and really want to have a set regimen.

Have you tried anything from Mad Hippie? What, if any, nighttime exfoliating serums do you use? What does your bedtime routine look like? Tell me in the comments section!

April 24, 2015

free stuff friday | derma e earth day giveaway

When I first started exploring cleaner, greener beauty in 2007, derma e was one of the first brands I found.

Widely available and extremely affordable, derma e showed me that natural beauty products could be just as sophisticated, beautiful and effective as conventional products.

I was impressed by how large the product offering was (seriously — age-defying, firming, hydrating, soothing, clearing — they’ve got it all), and how thoughtful the star ingredients in each collection were.

Not to mention, derma e products are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free and GMO-free. That’s a hell of an introduction to green beauty, right?

derma e set the bar high for me during my transition, and I’m excited to share a very generous giveaway with my readers — new to green, medium green and dark greenies alike — so that you can experience a little bit from this line.


derma e earth day giveaway

OK, actually, it’s a lot a bit.

derma e is gifting three (3!) lucky kimberlyloc readers with five (5!) of its awesome products from its brightening, hydrating and exfoliating collections.

Here’s everything three (3!) lucky winners will get (worth $112.95):

derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser ($15.50)
A skin-brightening, sulfate-free facial cleanser that helps promote skin clarity and glow

derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Crème SPF 15 ($29.95)
A lightweight daytime moisturizer to help brighten and even skin tone while providing full spectrum UVA/UVB protection

derma e Hydrating Eye Crème with Hyaluronic Acid ($21.50)
Shown to reduce wrinkle volume, area and depth, this best-selling eye crème deeply hydrates, firms and tones to reduce the look of crow’s feet

derma e Hydrating Mist with Hyaluronic Acid ($13.50)
This refreshing mist instantly rehydrates dry, thirsty skin anywhere on the face or body

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub ($32.50)
This award-winning, salon treatment alternative buffs skin, helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars

Ready to enter to win? Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway begins Friday, April 24, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, May 1, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

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 Canada, the 50 United States and the District of Columbia as of start date.

3. Sweepstakes begins Friday, April 24, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, May 1, 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.

April 21, 2015

beauty scoop | organic bath co body scrub

As spring nears and my warm-weather dresses get a little more play, I’m taking body scrubs a bit more seriously.

Nothing says spring and sun more to me than Organic Bath Co’s SubLime Organic Body Scrub, an organic body scrub made with Fair Trade-certified sugar and coconut oil.

organic bath co sublime organic body scrub

{Organic Bath Co. sent me a sample of its SubLime Organic Body Scrub to review. It costs $27 for an 11.2-ounce jar.}

I added Organic Bath Co’s scrubs to my “favorites” list a few months ago after zipping through two scrubs: this one and the Java Jolt.

While coffee scrubs are a bit more popular (and let’s face it, way messier in the shower), I took to SubLime because of the refreshing yet sweet scent combination of coconut lime. It’s like a pina colada for your entire body — but doesn’t pack on any pounds.

In addition to super-thick coconut oil, Organic Bath Co’s SubLime Organic Body Scrub also softens skin with shea nut oil.

After scrubbing down your body with this medium-thick sugar scrub, you don’t need to apply a separate body oil or lotion. The residual oils post-scrub soothe and smooth your skin, keeping them lush and shockingly smooth.

organic bath co sublime organic body scrub

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Ingredients: Fair Trade Certified™ Sucrose (Sugar)*, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Oil*, Essential Oil Fragrance*.  *Certified Organic Ingredient

Short, sweet and to the point? Of course, you will note that Organic Bath Co. doesn’t give the exact blend of essential oils used in SubLime, but rest assured that this brand uses on th best certified organic ingredients.

When it comes to body scrub ingredients, though, the real dealbreaker is sugar. It’s not about certification (though organic is preferred) as much as it’s about texture.

Have you ever tried homemade sugar scrubs? I have (and I have made them myself in a pinch), and they feel…well….homemade. There are so many different textures and grains of sugar, and massaging huge sugar crystals all over my body just doesn’t feel good.

I like a medium to fine grain scrub that locks in the nourishing butters and oils and helps move the moisture around while exfoliating. Organic Bath Co does a tremendous job of offering a medium-grain sugar that feels substantial yet dissolves easily.

And that — in addition to the fun scents like SubLime that are available — is why Organic Bath Co’s body scrubs are on my repurchase list.

What texture do you prefer in your body scrubs? What are some of your favorite body scrub lines? Have you tried anything from Organic Bath Co? Tell me in the comments section!

April 20, 2015

beauty scoop | marie veronique serum de jour

As I approach 30, I’m looking for natural beauty products with complex ingredients that take advantage of the best mother nature and modern science have to offer

My hunt for high-quality formulations is getting a little easier, because with one scan of an ingredients list, I can easily rule out products that just might not cut it for me anymore. Gone are the days when I’m impressed by uncreative concoctions that are supposed to do it all for my finicky skin.

I want skincare that deliver the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants proven to protect skin from environmental damage — and I think I’ve found a bit of what I want in Marie Veronique’s Serum De Jour.

marie veronique serum de jour

{Marie Veronique sent me a small sample of its Serum De Jour to review. It costs $90 for a 1-ounce dropper bottle. (Sample/trial size shown)}

Marie Veronique Serum De Jour is an antioxidant-rich, gel-like serum that combines ferulic acid with vitamins C and E to provide environmental protection and keep skin bright, clear and vibrant.

Think of it as a glow in a bottle, with science to back.

Vitamins C, E and ferulic acid combined is a known skincare powerhouse, with studies showing that this combination of antioxidants protects the skin from daily oxidative stress and photo-aging.

To further prevent stress to the skin, Marie Veronique Serum De Jour can be layered over antioxidant-rich oils or under your favorite non-nano, zinc-based sunscreen.

(See my ultimate guide to natural sunscreens for ideas.)

marie veronique serum de jour

Quite honestly, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in a daytime, layering serum. Marie Veronique Serum De Jour’s thin gel consistency makes it easy to blend with your favorite moisturizing facial oil, or apply in thin layers if you prefer.

The texture is never sticky, like some true serums can be, and it spreads wonderfully, never gumming up or turning that weird shade of off-white like some traditional serums do when massaged in too quickly.

While I’ve found some other lovely hydrating gels to layer with my oils, the combination of vitamins C and E with ferulic make Marie Veronique Serum De Jour stick out to me.

In addition to those game-changing ingredients, Marie Veronique Serum De Jour is rich in other gorgeous ingredients, including:

  • Camellia oil
  • Olive oil
  • Neroli hydrosol
  • Lavender hydrosol
  • Helichrysum essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil

Camellia oil is rich in oleic acids and vitamins A, B, D, and E as well as omegas 3, 6 and 9. It’s a fast-absorbing oil that is an ideal match for facial skin.

Olive oil contains vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols. These major antioxidants aid in protecting the skin from the elements. Olive oil is also rich in moisturizing oleic acid.

Neroli and lavender hydrosols keep the formulation from feeling too thick while adding calming and grounding properties to the serum.

Helichrysum and lavender essential oils bring natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to Marie Veronique Serum De Jour, which is fantastic for us who are straddling the line between adult acne and aging issues.

marie veronique serum de jour

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Camellia sinensis (green and white tea), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Citrus aurantium (neroli) hydrosol, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) hydrosol, sodium salicylate, isododecane (stabilized L-ascorbic acid), mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), ferulic acid, probiotic complex, glucosamine HCl, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), astaxanthin, coenzyme-Q, non-GMO lecithin, xanthan gum, Psidia altissima (lary), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum) essential oil, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) essential oil

It’s also notable that Marie Veronique Serum De Jour does not contain sodium benzoate, a known skincare irritant that poses some special problems when used in combination with vitamin C.

Founder Marie Veronique, a chemist and aesethetician, drops wisdom like that and more on her thoughtful, smart blog that is all science and no sales, which is refreshing in the ever-growing green beauty space.

One reason I’ve become drawn to this line (and some others that have a similar science + nature point of view) is its ability to sell me products based on proven ingredients that work — versus heavy marketing, vanity packaging and overall hype.

Both Marie and her daughter, a physicist and bio-medical engineer, work together to formulate standout products with top-notch ingredients that address a variety of skincare concerns.

And that’s comforting to know when you’re trusting the health and appearance of your skin to little bottles of green beauty magic. I believe Marie’s products will stand the test of time, and that’s why I want them defending my face on the daily.

So in case it isn’t obvious, Marie Veronique Serum De Jour is on my repurchase list, and I’m giddy to share a few more reviews with you from this fantastic line (hint: look for posts on Gentle Retinol Serum and Eye Recovery Serum in the coming months!).

What’s your antioxidant cocktail of choice? As you try more green beauty products, what lines stand out most to you? Have you tried anything from Marie Veronique? Tell me in the comments section!

April 16, 2015

beauty scoop | african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

While many people may associate thick, healing balms with winter skincare or exclusively for those with dry skin, this oily-skinned gal also adores natural balms for daytime use as well as during transition weather.

One sweet-smelling, spring-feeling balm I’ve recently tested is African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm, a rich face and body balm loaded with beautiful botanicals wild-harvested in the the Cape Floral Kingdom in South Africa.

african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

{African Botanics sent me a sample of its Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm to review. It costs $55 for a 1.7-ounce opaque white glass jar.}

Formulated for both face and body, African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm brings together luscious shea butter with a host of healing oils — including marula, baobab and watermelon seed — and a collection of herbs and essential oils that gives this balm a very fruity scent.

Cold-pressed marula oil — the star ingredient of the entire African Botanics line — contains a high concentration of our favorite powerhouse antioxidants, vitamins C and E, which help renew and restore skin’s appearance and health. Marula oil is also loaded with essential fatty acids that help protect against the elements.

Additional standout ingredients African Botanics takes advantage of in this balm include:

  • Alpine Rose Plant Stem Cells: Helps repair the skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Snow Crocus Bulb and Burn Jelly Plant Extracts: Helps heal wounds.
  • Cape Camomile Extract: Reduces inflammation, resulting in calmer skin.
  • Bulbinella: Provides additional calming effects to sensitive skin.

african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Wax/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Isoamyl Laurate, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil**, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Bulbine Frutescens (Burn Jelly Plant) Extract, Aloe Ferox (Aloe Leaf) Extract, Asparlathus Linearis (Green Rooibos) Extract, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Isomalt, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Crocus Crysanthus (Snow Crocus) Bulb Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Eriocephalus punctulatus (Chamomile Cape) Essential Oil, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Essenial Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Essential Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Essential Oil, Helichrysum Splendidum (Helichrysum) Essential Oil, Calendula Officianalis (Calendula) Oil, Tocopherol Acetate, Sodium Phytate, Benzyl Cinnamate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Cinnamyl Alcohol*, Citral*, Citronellol*, Coumarin*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*, Geraniol*, Isoeugenol*, Limonene*, Linalool*.
*Constituents of natural essential oils. **Organic

Though not the perfect match for my facial skin (the scent is a bit too strong to go on my face), African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm is absolutely lovely as a nourishing body balm.

I prefer to use it on my hands and forearms for deep hydration and protection from the drying wind and other environmental elements.

In cold-weather months, the happy scent is uplifting, so it’s just about getting the right amount of product on my face so as not to overwhelm my nose.

african botanics marula intense skin repair balm

When I did use it on my face, it was exceptional at keeping my cheeks dewy, plump and soft to the touch. I can be heavy-handed, so with a more conservative application, I can get away with using it on my face in small dabs. With that sort of application style, this jar could last for months!

But, as I’m trying to be very diligent about using up the products in my beauty arsenal, it makes sense to keep African Botanics’ Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm on my bedside table as an evening hand and foot balm for ultra-luxurious moisturizing.

However, I’m not blind to the fact that, for $55, that’s quite an expensive jar of goodness to be putting on your hands and feet!

So, depending on your personal beauty philosophy, this balm should either be reserved for your face only at that price, or, because of how nourishing and healing it is, it should be used on those extra-rough spots that everyday lotion just can’t drench in enough moisture.

For me personally, though, this isn’t a repurchase because I’m not in love with the scent for face, and I think I would be foolish to spend $55 for a hand and foot balm.

But would I recommend you sample this if you can? Yes, especially if you’re looking for a very healing face balm that’s the complete opposite of the many herbal-scented ones on the green beauty market today.

Scent. It’s just so damn personal!

What’s your beauty philosophy when it comes to luxury multipurpose items that you may use more on your limbs vs. your face? What have you tried from African Botanics? What face balms do you love? Tell me in the comments section!

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