Entries Tagged as 'skin'

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 5, 2014

holiday gift ideas for him

All the dudes in my life get grooming products for Christmas.

And maybe some of these things, too.

holiday gift ideas for him

(From top, left to right)

Bike Chain Bottle Opener

Drinking beer is exciting, so why not use a cool bottle opener to celebrate whatever occasion you’re about to toast? Who cares if the occasion is Friday at 5.

Brickell Men’s Products Men’s Starter Kit

Guys deserve great green skincare, too, and Brickell Men’s Products delivers. Made with certified organic and natural ingredients, Brickell Men’s Products packs all the green goodness that us ladies have come to expect in our skincare, yet is packaged in a dude-friendly way that looks sleek on the vanity. The Starter Kit contains six travel-sized products for your man to enjoy, including face wash, shave cream, aftershave, moisturizer, soap scrub and hand balm.

Industry of All Nations Ribbed Alpaca Beanie

Available in black and gray, Industry of All Nations’ Ribbed Alpaca Beanie, available via Accompany, is one you’ll want to borrow from the guy. Warm, durable alpaca fibers insulate while allowing the skin to breathe.

Warby Parker Barkley Sunglasses

Made from custom cellulose acetate, Warby Parker’s Barkley sunglasses offer a contemporary yet classic look that’s both stylish and subtle. The anti-scratch and anti-reflective coated sunglasses offer 100 percent UV protection and 100 cool points.

Das Boom Industries Yuzu, Shiso & Saffron Body Wash

For the minimalist guy’s shower, Das Boom Industries’ Everywhere Wash in Yuzu, Shiso & Saffron gets him clean from head hair to toe hair. The bright, fresh burst of yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit, makes Das Boom Industries’ Everywhere Wash the perfect early morning everything cleanser. Everything Wash is also available in Bayrum, Smoke & Dirt and Bourbon & Leather, but this was by far the favorite of my test subjects (and myself).

Herschel Supply Co. ‘Chapter’ Travel Kit

If you’re going to give a guy a bunch of great new green grooming products, then it only makes sense to add in a tough dopp kit to boot. Herschel Supply Company’s ‘Chapter’ Travel Kit is made of durable tech canvas that fits both the “form” and “function” requirements.

Everlane Cashmere Hoodie

Made of ethically sourced grade-A cashmere source directly from Mongolia, Everlane’s Cashmere Hoodie is touchably soft and offers an attractive, slim fit that keeps the look polished. This isn’t the bro hoodie you remember from your days on campus. Another one you’ll want to jack from your guy. (Note: A less-expensive but just-as-beautiful cotton cashmere version is also available.)

Toms Taupe Aviator Twill Men’s Paseos Mid

Mid-cut shoes in taupe? Bet your guy doesn’t have this in his shoe wardrobe. (Do guys have shoe wardrobes?). As with all Toms purchases, your gift of the Toms Taupe Aviator Twill Men’s Paseos Mid also helps a person in need via the company’s One for One promise.

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.

December 1, 2014

holiday gift guide for the cat enthusiast

Cat ladies (and cat men!), this one’s for you.

Oh yes I did.


holiday gift guide for cat people

From top, left to right:

Meow Meow Tweet Bar Soap Trio

I’m a big fan of Brooklyn-based natural beauty brand Meow Meow Tweet not only do because founders Jeff and Tara make high-quality, smell-good products, but also because these two are bona fide cat people whose love for furry felines shows in their funky packaging and addictive Instagram feed. This soap trio is a great little introduction to the line. My recommendations: Tangerine Basil, Grapefruit Mint and Black Walnut Sage.

Video Kitty Tumblers

Made in Ohio and decorated in Minnesota, these Video Kitty Tumblers are the all-American cat owners’ dream. Don’t worry if you’re drinking a Belgian beer out of them while your Siamese cat sits in your lap. Details, schmetails.

Cat Lady Tote

Cat ladies, unite! Let all those dog people at the farmer’s market know that 1) their dog is sniffing you in inappropriate places and 2) your cat is way too busy to deal with the farmer’s market and sent her human instead in search of organic catnip and fresh fish.

Notorious C.A.T. Shirt

Know someone who loves East Coast rap? Does that person also love cats? Introducing best.gift.EVER. “I like it when you call me big Paw-Paw,” indeed.

Cat Eye Mask

For all my ladies out there still struggling to perfect their daytime cat eye, chill out, Google some tutorials (this one and this one are great) and then sleep on it before trying again tomorrow. Rest easy knowing that your bedtime cat eye is on point.

Tiny Kitten Ring

Playful kittens grow up to become grouchy cats, but these Tiny Kitten Rings, designed to fit your pinkies or first knuckles, stay small and sweet forever. Made of solid 14 karat cold, the Tiny Kitten Ring is exclusive to the shop Catbird in New York.

Cat Tipi

Cotton canvas panels, birch poles and suede lace come together for the ultimate gift for the cat person’s actual cat: A sure-to-be-loved cat tipi. While most cat toys are tossed to the side (and instead the box is given attention), a cat tipi is bound to be your kitty’s most prized hiding spot. If your cat loves to hide inside the litter box top as you’re cleaning the actual box (mine does!), kitty will surely love the tipi. And if she doesn’t? Well, there’s always the cardboard box.

Cat Tea Towels

Printed with eco-friendly inks on 100 percent cotton, these cat tea towels are a must-have for the home of owners of black cats, Siamese cats or Persian cats. Or any cat lover, really.

November 26, 2014

beauty scoop | rachel’s plan bee body oil

Ask nicely and you shall receive.


Back in March, I reviewed Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil, a simple, vanilla-scented face oil that’s budget-friendly and effective.

I love vanilla as much as the next gal, but I wasn’t sure how many of you would be taken by the idea of having a vanilla-scented face.

Thus the inclusion of a “Hey Rachel, wanna make this into a body oil?” at the end of my review.

It happened.

And it happened to coincide with a stunning new product redesign that makes me even happier to use and wholeheartedly recommend Rachel’s Plan Bee products.

rachel's plan bee body oil

{Rachel’s Plan Bee sent me a sample of its new Body Oil to review. It costs $24 for a 3.8-ounce amber glass pump bottle.}

Now clearly I wasn’t the only one who requested that Rachel create a luscious body oil, given the wild success of her facial oil.

Tons of other fans out there told the Queen Bee they needed this decadent oil in a pump bottle for the body, and WOW she delivered!

Rachel’s Plan Bee’s new Body Oil has the same familiar scent and feel of the facial oil, but with the addition of a few key ingredients that make for a better slip and faster-drying effect for the entire body.

rachel's plan bee body oil

Here’s the full list of both the Facial Oil and Body Oil, for easy comparison:

Body Oil Ingredients: Apricot kernel oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, grapeseed oil, tocopherol oil, safflower oil, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, vanilla planifolia, citrus sinensis (orange) peel oil.

Facial Oil Ingredients: Apricot kernel oil, squalane (olive), grapeseed oil, alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, vanilla planifolia, citrus sinensis (orange) peel oil

As you can see, the Body Oil includes sunflower seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil and safflower oil, which are all oils well-known for their ability to provide a beautiful texture and quick-drying effect when massaged onto the skin.

All of the carrier oils (apricot kernal oil, sunflower seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, grapeseed oil, vitamin E and safflower oil) combine to pack a dense hydration that your skin will drink up, but without feeling overly sticky or coated.

As with all my body oils, I apply this straight out of the shower, onto damp skin, and quickly massage it in before putting on a robe and doing my hair and makeup in the morning.

I absolutely adore the scent, and it again makes for a nice base layer of fragrance, especially if you tend to use vanilla and spice scents in your daily beauty routine.

If you haven’t already found your favorite body scrub, might I suggest taking a peek at Rachel’s?

Her Body Polish collection includes my favorite, Vanilla & Spice (reviewed here, but please note the packaging has the older design!) and makes for an even better base layer to use before applying the oil. Your skin will be smooth and smell good enough to eat!

So, if you couldn’t already tell, Rachel’s Plan Bee Body Oil is a favorite of mine and a definite repurchase.

Now, let’s see if this “ask nicely and you shall receive” thing works again: I would love to see an expanded collection of body oil scents to match the scrubs and body butters in Rachel’s collection!

And one more thing, which is probably a “phase 2 or 3″ for this beauty startup: How cool would it be to see certified organic ingredients in the collection?

Beauties, we know that we will pay more for certified organic — would you pay a bit more for that in this particular collection? I don’t know how much the cost would go up with the incorporation of certified organic ingredients, but it seems like the logical next step after adding more scents and redoing the product design.

These are the things that excite me about seeing all these great new green beauty brands come to life! Evolution is cool, no?

Have you tried anything from the newly redesigned Rachel’s Plan Bee? What are your favorite products from the line? What are your thoughts on using certified organic vs. natural botanical ingredients? Tell me in the comments section!


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