October 6, 2014

beauty scoop | meow meow tweet face oil

If I had a nickel for every time a guy asked me about the best face oils for his skin, I’d have about … fifteen cents.

But loyal lady readers, some of you have a few nice men in your lives, and if you want to ease them into green skincare with a nicely packaged, effective starter face oil, may I recommend Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil?

meow meow tweet face oil

{Meow Meow Tweet sent me a small sample of its Face Oil to review. A full size 0.9-ounce bottle costs $25.}

Though not marketed specifically for men or women, I could easily see Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil being a big hit among men.

Made with skin-soothing ingredients such as hempseed oil, jojoba oil and sesame oil, and spiked with a grounding dose of vetiver, patchouli and juniper, Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil is something of a stiff cocktail for skin that’s been a bit mistreated and could use a helping of simple, yet beautifully effective, moisturizing oils.

The scent isn’t girly at all, yet it’s not so over-the-top masculine that it would be out of place in any beauty buff’s collection.

meow meow tweet face oil

I’m a huge scent person, and while personally I’m not crazy-drawn to the scent of this oil on my face, when I catch whiffs of it after applying it on my hands or hair, it’s earthy and nutty (just like I like my men), and is quite comforting.

On the skin, it feels featherlight, thanks to a smart combination of jojoba oil (my favorite multipurpose skin / body / hair oil), sesame oil and hempseed oil.

The hempseed oil gives Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil a very pretty bold green tint to it (thanks, chlorophyll), thinned out a bit by the rich yellows of sesame and jojoba.

Hempseed oil is one of those underrated-yet-overachieving oils that delivers a shot of omega fatty acids and protein to the skin. I want to see (and feel — oh how luscious it is) hempseed oil in more concoctions.

meow meow tweet face oil

After using my Meow Meow Tweet Face Oil for a few weeks, I didn’t notice any out-of-the-ordinary breakouts, so it’s safe to say that at least on my skin, it was non-clogging and quite nourishing to the skin.

Here’s everything that’s inside Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil:

Organic hempseed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic sesame oil, essential oils of organic carrot seed, organic juniper, organic patchouli & organic vetiver

My skin drinks up jojoba oil and reacts quite well to it (it will forever be a staple in my skincare and I will forever be grateful to its powers for weening me off of ultra drying, OTC and RX acne treatments), so that earns Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil a big plus in my book.

While this isn’t a face oil that I would choose when lined up against my darling jasmine or rose concoctions, it is one that I’d reach for when I want a chilled out, simple face oil treatment with minimal yet effective ingredients to soothe inflamed skin or to just shake up a highly scented routine with something a bit more earthy.

At $25 for a full-sized bottle, Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil is easily one that you could feel good about stocking for those times when you just want something different.

It’s not a huge investment, and it’s got all the familiar ingredients that you’ve come to love, but with a scent that’s the oddball among your somewhat-predictable face oil wardrobe.

And sometimes, you just gotta love those oddball face oils. I’ll be refilling this for the cozy, earthy fall ahead.

Have you tried Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil? What scents are you drawn to, and which scents have grown on you? What plant oils do you think are underrated? Tell me in the comments section!

 

October 1, 2014

beauty scoop | fig + yarrow complexion water

Why is it that some of the best ingredients for fighting acne have to be so … smelly?

Lots of different ingredients come to mind, but one that has a distinct smell is immortelle (specifically, helichrysum italicum). It’s somewhat stale and bitter, and while it’s not absolutely horrible, it’s not exactly perfume-worthy.

Artfully blended, though, immortelle-based toners can be pleasant to use, and Fig + Yarrow has made its Immortelle Yarrow Rockrose Complexion Water just that — in addition to being effective at calming breakouts.

fig + yarrow immortelle yarrow rockrose complexion water

{Fig + Yarrow sent me a sample of its Immortelle Yarrow Rockrose toner. It’s available in trial size and full size,. A 1-ounce trial size spray bottle costs $14; a 4-ounce full-size spray bottle costs $34.}

Upon first use, even in a small trial bottle, I noticed that Fig + Yarrow’s Complexion Water delivers a lovely, fine, abundant mist that lightly covered my whole face with just two pumps.

That’s the first test a mist has to pass for me — please don’t shoot organic goodness straight into my eyeballs!

fig + yarrow immortelle yarrow rockrose complexion water

Next came the smell. A combination of rockrose (warm and sweet scent) and yarrow (sweet and floral) give this immortelle-based toner a nice balance of yin and yang; not too powerful and pungeant, yet not too sickly sweet.

I found myself misting myself a lot with this beautiful complexion water (it lasted about three weeks with regular evening skin prep), and the scent soothed me without lingering or overpowering other products in my routine.

Here’s everything inside Fig + Yarrow’s Complexion Water in Yarrow Immortelle Rockrose:

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) flower water*, Calendula officinalis (marigold) flower water*, Lactobacillus ferment, essential oils of: Achillea millefolium (yarrow), Helichrysum italicum (immortelle), Cistus ladaniferus (rockrose). *certified organic

fig + yarrow immortelle yarrow rockrose complexion water

As far as efficacy, Fig + Yarrow’s Complexion Water in Yarrow Immortelle Rockrose has made it into my arsenal of favorite toners for acneic skin.

I already knew that my skin responded well to immortelle (read: fewer breakouts, clearer complexion, less redness), but what puts this toner above my other beloved immortelle-based toner is that it just smells good.

And we all know we’re more likely to use something more often — and gain the benefits of it — if it’s actually a joy to use.

I will without a doubt repurchase this mist. At $34 for a 4-ounce spray bottle, it’s one of the more affordable organic face mists on the green beauty market today.

Have you tried anything from Fig + Yarrow? Do you like the scent of immortelle? What toner ingredients does your skin respond well to? Tell me in the comments section!

 

September 29, 2014

beauty scoop | mullein and sparrow tinted lip & cheek balm

As we ease into autumn, I’m finding myself reaching for the lighter shades in the purple drawer of my lip color wardrobe.

(Yes, I organize my lippies by color.)

A new multipurpose plum in my collection is Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm, which delivers a sheer wash of violet goodness while hydrating your lips with organic sunflower oil and shea butter.

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

{Mullein & Sparrow sent me a sample of its Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm. It costs $22 for a 1-ounce tin.}

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

Packaged in a gorgeous, vintage apothecary-style tin, Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm offers a natural flush of color that hints of purple.

I’m wearing it only on the lips in these photos, but it’s lovely on the cheeks as well, giving the skin a dewy, balmy glow and natural pinch of color.

(And in case you’re wondering, my happy yellow cat-eye sunnies are from my friends at ICU Eyewear — you know I love a good cat eye!)

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

Mullein & Sparrow’s gorgeous 1-ounce tin is packed full of this non-sticky, ultra-smooth balm, but its appearance in the tin is deceptive.

As you can tell, again, the color payoff isn’t this intense at all.

Instead, it’s a soft wash of “my lips but better and a bit plummer” that’s perfect for non-fussy makeup types (like me) who just don’t have time to paint on intense lips every day.

mullein & sparrow tinted lip and cheek balm

Here’s what’s inside Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm:

Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, Olea europaea (extra virgin olive) oil*, Vitellaria paradoxa (shea) butter*, Cera alba (beeswax)*, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter*, Batschia canescens (alkanet root)*, Copernicia prunifera (Carnauba wax)*, essential oils of: Pogostemon cablin (patchouli)*, Citrus sinensis (orange)* (*Organic)

The light plum color originates from organic alkanet root, a plant that can deliver shades of pink, purple or blue. Alkanet root is common in lots of natural cosmetics, yet I haven’t seen this particular shade achieved in many of the natural lippies I’ve used.

As a fan of lippies in general, but especially of balms and glosses, I would repurchase Mullein & Sparrow’s Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm. The price is reasonable ($22) for the size you get (1 ounce), and the fact that it’s super multipurpose (lips, cheeks, moisture all around) makes it a nice buy.

I’m also a bit of a sucker for pretty packaging, and I just swoon over the aesthetic of the entire Mullein & Sparrow collection anyway.

There’s also something about this being in a tin that draws me in; a lot of sheer wash lippies that are in tubes mess with my mind — I somehow expect them to be deeper and more intense because they’re in bullet / tube form.

If it’s in a pot or tin, it just feels more like a lip balm or lip tint, and the idea that the color just isn’t supposed to be too intense fits better with my mind.

How’s that for some random consumer research, beauty brands?

Don’t forget! You can save 15% off of any Mullein & Sparrow purchase through September 30. Use code “KIMLOC” at checkout!

What do you look for in tinted lip and cheek balms? Have you tried anything from Mullein & Sparrow? Tell me in the comments section!

 

September 24, 2014

scenes from my weekend | a solo trip to santa fe, new mexico

As a textbook Sagittarius, I’m always looking for an excuse to leave town for a little escape.

I’ve been intrigued by Santa Fe for quite a while, so when an inexpensive flight and hotel became available, I booked as soon as I could.

Flight and hotel room for one, please.

While I’m not new to travel, I’ve always had a “real” reason to go somewhere.

A conference. A meeting. A freelance writing assignment. Something that involved a task and an instant community of people has always driven my “solo” travel plans.

For this trip to Santa Fe, though, it was my own curiosity and need to challenge myself to do something I’d never done before: Go away for a weekend to a place I’d never been.

Where I knew nobody.

Where I had zero set plans.

Where I could do this thing called whatever the f*ck I want.

When you set out on a solo adventure like that, you come back feeling empowered and with a new sense of self —  and, perhaps, you come back with a few new friends in your life.

And a tremendous desire to do it again as soon as possible.

pathway to the pueblo casitas at las palomas in santa fe new mexico

I stayed in the most adorable casita at Las Palomas, which is not your average, cookie-cutter hotel.

You have a real key, a cute little walkway (above) and a feeling of privacy when you stay here.

casita at los palomas santa fe

My room was equipped with a fireplace, full kitchen, cute living area (above) and the most comfortable king size bed.

It’s within walking distance of the Plaza (I was car-free all weekend!) yet is in a very quiet area where you can get uninterrupted rest.

I would definitely stay there again.

new mexican dancers at the plaza in santa fe

After getting settled at the hotel, I wandered over to the Plaza to find New Mexican dancers on the theater stage entertaining a huge crowd.

What a welcome!

sangria at taberna santa fe new mexico

I attempted to get a table for one at Cafe Pasqual’s, but it was booked until late and I was getting hangry.

The nice hostess advised me to try for tapas at La Boca or its sister restaurant, Taberna, instead.

The scene at La Boca was a bit too intimate and fancy (based on my peering into the door from outside), so I found my way to Taberna, which had outdoor seating and a lively scene.

Upon arrival, I asked the person at the host stand — who happened to be the musician for the night, not the actual host — to be seated outside.

He of course said, “No, you must sit at the bar and listen to the great musician who will be playing tonight!”

He then lead me to the bar so I could order a blood orange sangria (above), ask me where I was from and proceed to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to me.

[Insert "You're not in Kansas anymore" joke here.]

jesus bas and kimberlyloc at evangelos in santa fe

I ended up closing down the restaurant with the musician, Jesus, and his girlfriend Sonia.

Being the friendly New Mexicans-by-way-of-Spain couple they were, they insisted on taking me out to the bars of Santa Fe (above).

Our first stop was Evangelo’s, which was famously featured in the movie “Crazy Heart.”

Jesus, Sonia and I sipped on tequila before making our way to the dance floor to boogie for a bit before leaving to go across the street to a crowded dive bar called Matador, where the music was loud and the locals were friendly.

We didn’t quite close that bar down, as I was getting weary from travel, so we called it a night and I made my home so I could get some rest before my first full day in Santa Fe.

the pantry santa fe new mexico breakfast burrito

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a morning person, and even on vacation (especially on vacation alone!), I don’t intend on waking up at the crack of dawn to explore.

Instead, I keep to my regular sleep schedule and get going around 9:30. My first stop was Holy Spirit Espresso, an adorable little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop (seriously, you can fit three bodies in there — that’s it!), for a coffee.

At around 10:30, I met up with my friend C.J.’s mother (and sweet niece), who lives in Albuquerque but was in Santa Fe for the day, for brunch.

So that may sound like cheating with the whole “I have zero set plans and know nobody” thing I mentioned earlier, but 1) I told C.J. the day before that I was going to his home state and he arranged the brunch and 2) I’d never met his mother before, so it was still a cool experience because I made a new friend!

She took me to The Pantry, and this is where I had my first New Mexican “Christmas” (red and green) chile experience (above) with a delicious breakfast burrito smothered with chile and cheese with carne adovada.

Oh my gosh.

native american vendors program at the palace of the governors santa fe

After brunch, I got back to the Plaza and got lost in the beautiful handmade Native American jewelry at the Palace of the Governors (above).

Local artisans showcased their turquoise, copper and raw gemstone jewels, encouraging you to touch, try on and marvel at their beauty.

And so I did.

native american turquoise ring santa fe

After walking the aisle of artisans twice, I kept coming back to this statement ring (above).

I have never seen such an intricate piece of turquoise, cut with rich hints of cocoa and gold amidst layers of sea blues and greens.

Wow.

I spoke with the maker for a bit and he offered me a discount on the piece, to which I held him to as I walked away to think about it.

In the end, I decided I needed to get it, but would come back for it on Sunday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find him and the ring now haunts my dreams.

Sigh.

loretto chapel santa fe

After walking away from the jewels, I wandered over to the stunning Loretto Chapel (above) to see the famed “Miraculous Staircase“(below).

miraculous staircase loretto chapel santa fe

After spending some time in awe of the chapel, I made my way next door to the Inn & Spa at Loretto to meet up with KYPRIS founder Chase Polan, who just happened to be in Santa Fe presenting to spas.

We realized we were both in Santa Fe via Instagram and decided that if we could swing it, we would meet to chat.

Again, no set plans. Just chance encounters that came to life via social media!

Our great little green beauty chat by the pool lead to us getting a few treatments at the Spa at Loretto (a facial for me; a wrap for Chase) and visiting a bit more before parting ways.

After wandering a bit more, I settled in for dinner (for one) at The Shed, where I had my second helping of Christmas chile-covered enchiladas and a couple strong margaritas.

Toward the end of my meal, as the staff was tidying up, a nice waiter named Carlos stopped by to say hello.

“You are so beautiful. Why are you sitting by yourself?” he asked.

I smiled at him and just said, “a girl’s gotta eat.”

“Well I’m sorry I didn’t get to wait on you.”

Ah, New Mexican men.

After settling up with my waitress (sorry, Carlos), I found my new friends Jesus and Sonia around the corner at The Anasazi, where Jesus was playing another gig and teasing other tourists who happily gave him tips.

After the show, we walked over to The Palace, but the couple was beat from the long day and headed home early.

I, though, stayed for the band that was playing before turning in for the night myself.

georgia o'keefe art museum santa fe new mexico

Sunday was museum day. I started off at the Georgia O’Keefe museum and was taken by her story of leaving New York City for New Mexico.

The works on display featured the gorgeous New Mexico landscape (above) as well as photographs of O’Keefe taken by Ansel Adams.

After visiting the O’Keefe museum, I strolled through the New Mexico Museum of Art, where I found this quirky exhibit by Judy Chicago.

(Some people see hearts everywhere; I see cats everywhere.)

santa fe railyard district

I then walked over the Railyard District (above), home of the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market and various little shops.

After picking up a few postcards and a new handmade-in-Santa Fe cosmetics bag, I found the resident psychic and sat down to have my chart read.

All I have to say about that is Saturn return, y’all. It’s real.

ten thousand waves santa fe new mexico

After my reading, I hoofed it back to the Plaza to catch a cab up to Ten Thousand Waves, where I spent five hours in absolute bliss.

Private hot tub in the mountains.

Back to back massages by the best therapist in the resort.

Serenity and comfort in my own skin.

I’ll share my detailed experience at the spa in a separate post, but to end an amazing solo trip to Santa Fe at a spa nestled in the mountains — well, you can only imagine how happy I was.

If you’ve stayed with me to the end of this post, first, thank you! It’s been amazing to recount my mini-vacation, and I hope to inspire you to take time out for yourself soon.

And if you can be so bold, to take a solo adventure at least once in your life. It will transform you.

You can see more pictures from my trip on Facebook!

If you’ve vacationed alone before, I’d love to hear about your experiences! Tell me what you learned about yourself and how it affected you in the comments section below!

 

September 19, 2014

free stuff friday | moazen jewelry & accessories

Those of you who know me well (or have seen this feature) know I have a thing for jewelry and accessories.

While I love clothes as much as anyone, a big part of my personal style revolves around incorporating unique jewelry and accessories that have a story to them.

That’s why I’ve been obsessed with MoaZen Jewelry since this summer (remember the earrings from yesterday’s post?) and am excited to share this giveaway with you today!

moazen jewelry and accessories

MoaZen Jewelry & Accessories is a socially responsible brand rooted in community.

Twin sister founders Faith and Hope created the line to educate and inspire — while tickling your taste for beauty — through culture and community.

They aim to encourage people to discover the beauty that exists in cultures outside of their own by designing pieces inspired by certain countries or regions of the world.

“Our brand is a physical manifestation of our most intimate values and passions,” the sisters say. “The accessories we design are not only for the fashion-forward personality; but for the intellectual, change-maker, optimist and leader who recognizes the value of all the world’s cultures.”

Between knowing this about a line and seeing the interesting, one-of-a-kind pieces the sisters create, I get inspired not only to think about what I can bring to the universe, but also to support those are bringing beauty and good to all of us.

Speaking of bringing good to all of us, Faith and Hope bring this giveaway of a handcrafted leather, brass, silk cord, tiger eye, calcite and wood piece (valued at $39) to you today!

It’s your first peek at designs in the forthcoming “Uptown Chic” collection which launches next month.

Ready to enter for a chance to win it? Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find something you absolutely love and need now from Moazen Jewelry & Accessories?

Use code “KIMLOC” to save 15% off sitewide until 9/26/14!

Giveaway begins Friday, September 19, 2014, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, September 26, 2014, 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, September 19, 2014, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, September 26, 2014, 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.



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