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June 30, 2014

beauty secrets | 3 luminizers for glowing skin

Though I can be pretty minimalistic when it comes to building my everyday makeup look, one product that I seem to use almost every day is luminizer, which the Kim from several years ago would have written off as a frivolous, unnecessary product.

Boy was that Kim wrong.

Luminizers help attract and reflect light from your skin, giving it a radiance that helps you appear more awake and glowing — traits that this night owl loves to see come to life on much-too-early Monday mornings.

These three luminizers are my go-to products for bringing back a little life to my skin. Which ones have you tried?

kimberlyloc's favorite luminizers

The Balm “Mary-Lou Manizer”

the balm mary-lou manizer

{I purchased The Balm’s “Mary-Lou Manizer” at a random Walgreens in Chicago for $24.}

So, The Balm isn’t exactly a green / clean brand, but its Mary-Lou Manizer highlighting powder scores a “1″ on the EWG Skin Deep Database and does a wonderful job of delivering a brightening sheen to my temples and undereye area.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Mica, Isoeicosane, Polyethylene, Boron Nitride, Polyisobutene, Ptfe, Silica, Synthetic Wax, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491).

I like to sweep this onto my skin using my Real Techniques Setting Brush, which is the perfect size for applying a small amount of luminzer (you don’t need much!).

The Balm’s “Mary-Lou Manizer” is definitely my go-to, everyday luminizer because on most days, I use a mineral powder foundation and mineral powder blush and can blend this a lot easier.

Jane Iredale Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion

jane iredale golden shimmer face and body lotion

{Jane Iredale sent me a sample of its Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion. It costs $32 for a 1.7-ounce bottle.}

New this season, Jane Iredale’s Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion is a gorgeous peachy-shimmer liquid that can easily be mixed in with your daily SPF and/or liquid foundation for a hint of glow and flush of color.

I love that this luminizer is made for face and body and applies like a lotion; I use it on my chest and shoulders when I’m going out for the night and baring some extra skin.

I also like to massage it into my forearms for an additional shimmer that picks up the moonlight.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Coconut Alkanes (And) Polysilicone 11, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pectin, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Sambucus Nigra (Elder Flower) Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (And) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (And) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. [+/- (May Contain) Mica, Iron Oxides (Ci 77489, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Red 6 Lake (Ci 15850)(Aka 201)]

For daytime, I stick to using it on my face mixed in with my liquid foundation, and I go very easy on it (you need maybe 1/4 of the squiggle I photographed above).

Sometimes I’m a bit more deliberate about where I apply it — think temples and cheeks — if I don’t want an all-over shimmer. This is definitely a fun one to experiment with this summer!

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

rms beauty living luminizer

{I purchased RMS’ Living Luminizer for $38 from Birchbox way back in the day.}

Easily the most famous luminizer in the green beauty world, RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer has been in my makeup kit for more than a year, but I must say, it’s taken me a loooooong time to develop warm feelings for it.

As an oily-skinned gal, I struggled with getting this ultra-wet, coconut oil-based luminizer to stay put and not look greasy.

I’ve learned to dab it on using my ring finger and only pat it in where I absolutely want some shine, or else risk appearing slick instead of sleek.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI77891, Mica CI 77019]

I tend to stick to keeping RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer near my undereyes and tops of the apples of the cheeks, but sometimes I get adventurous and add it to my Cupid’s bow and even dab it into the middle of my bottom lip to add some dimension and fullness to my kisser.


So, these are the top three luminizers in my makeup kit, and I rotate all of them in and out of my routine.

However, if I had to choose just one (no beauty blogger ever has to choose just one, though!), I’d say that my favorite is The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. I’m just kind of partial to powders.

What are your favorite luminizers? Have you tried any of my top three favorites? Tell me in the comments section below!

 

 

June 24, 2014

beauty scoop | mullein & sparrow body exfoliant

Even though I’m not a morning person, it’s very rare for me to have my morning coffee before I leave my apartment for work; I just don’t make enough time to brew a cup amidst the morning struggle of getting ready and out the door.

However, with the addition of Mullein & Sparrow’s Body Exfoliant to my growing collection of natural body scrubs, I get a jolt of stress-easing coffee smells before I manage to down a granola bar and ease into my morning commute.

mullein and sparrow body exfoliant

{Mullein & Sparrow sent me a sample of its Body Exfoliant to sample and review. It costs $20 for a 4-ounce glass jar.}

Besides the delicious scent of coffee, thanks to organic coffee Arabica beans, Mullein & Sparrow’s Body Exfoliant offers up a gentle, polishing treat to your skin.

The combination of finely ground coffee beans, organic cane sugar and walnut shell powder makes for a pleasant exfoliation experience — never scratchy and never any huge chunks that won’t melt down.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Organic coffea arabica (coffee) bean, organic saccharum officinarum (cane sugar), organic vitellaria paradoxa (shea) butter, organic cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, juglans regia (walnut) shell powder, essential oils of: organic mentha spicata (spearmint), citrus sinensis (orange)

Though texture is always a big concern when it comes to natural body scrubs, equally important is how the scrub leaves your skin feeling once you’ve rinsed away the scrubbers.

Most natural exfoliators are housed in some sort of oil or shea butter concoction; Mullein & Sparrow’s Body Exfoliant is no different.

What sets it apart, however, is the perfect scrub-to-oil-and-shea butter ratio.

This natural body exfoliant leaves your skin silky smooth (you can skip the post-shower or hand-washing body oil or lotion!) and never overly oily.

That’s a big feat, as many body scrubs are heavy on the oils and creams and leave your body (and shower) an oil slick.

Not so with Mullein & Sparrow’s! It leaves the perfect amount of shea butter and oil goodness that seals in the moisture from your shower or hand-washing.

Plus, you’re also left with a light scent of coffee with a hint of mint and orange — it’s quite a sexy aroma.

You may even want to skip your regular fragrance, though if you wear a spicy scent, it could be perfect to layer atop.

(I personally think it smells amazing and brings out the spice in my favorite La Bella Figura perfume, Istanbul.)

Besides the performance of this product (which we know is what truly matters), I can’t go without mentioning the elegant, simply chic packaging.

Mullein & Sparrow’s product design is a beautiful blend of old-world apothecary meets clean, minimalist style. This is a jar that you want to prop up on display!

When a relatively new green beauty brand (Mullein & Sparrow came to life in 2012) nails it in both the performance and design departments, you’ve got to pay attention.

I can’t wait to share more reviews of this line with you! And if you’re wondering, yes, the Mullein & Sparrow Body Exfoliant is a repurchase for me.

Have you tried anything from Mullein & Sparrow? Would you use a coffee body scrub? Do you actually drink coffee at home before work like a sane person? Tell me in the comments section!

 

June 23, 2014

trend report | boho chic makeup and accessories

If you know me well, you know that I adore accessories almost as much as I obsess over clean, green beauty products.

My dresser proudly displays my jewelry while my closet stores bags and clutches in little cubes on the top shelf.

(Remember seeing everything in this feature?)

Though it seems I’m overflowing with bright bags and blingy jewels, I can’t help but ooh and ahh over earthy accessories that bring me back to nature and put the spotlight on beautiful raw stones, warm wood and delicious metals that complement my fair-with-olive-undertones complexion.

I’ve found that Lovely Hunt, a new online shop that specializes in handmade jewelry, bags and home decor inspired by nature, satisfies my craving for meaningful accessories that don’t look like what every other blogger or girl on the street is wearing.

Here’s four of my favorite accessories from Lovely Hunt and how to draw inspiration from them for two different boho chic makeup looks that feel playful and warm.

Earrings + Makeup Look 1 | Bejeweled

lovely hunt dimensions crystal earrings

lovely hunt dimensions crystal earrings

Lovely Hunt’s beautiful Dimensions Crystal Earrings, handmade with raw quartz and brass, inspired me to keep my eye makeup light and my lips a medium-strong jewel tone to keep the attention on these stunning little works of art.

To complement the brass, I went with Ecco Bella’s “Merlot” lipstick with a light layer of BareMinerals’ Marvelous Moxie Gloss in “Stunner” on top.

On my lashes and lids are Studio 78′s natural mascara (review to come!) and Sunday Riley’s “Fool’s Gold” eye shadow blended with Alima Pure’s “Venus” eye shadow.

For a soft kiss on the cheeks, I used Tarte’s “Fearless” Cheek Stain.

With such eye-catching earrings as these, you really have to keep your makeup subtle, yet still highlight a main feature with a strong-ish color. I could also see myself doing a light-smoky eye with these and just pale pink lips.

Earrings + Makeup Look 2 | Garden Goddess

lovely hunt vintage sequins earrings

lovely hunt vintage sequins earrings

Never would I have imagined using the words “sequins” and “earthy” in the same sentence, but Lovely Hunt’s Vintage Sequins Earrings strike the perfect balance between earthy and glam by taking advantage of muted tones and low shine.

Matte black vintage sequins anchor a half-circle of hammered and recycled brass while a vintage brass chain adds movement and a little additional texture.

The mix of black, brass and pewter tones had me reaching for my olive green eyeliner and eye shadows to stay within the color family without being matchy-matchy.

My staple cat eye came back for this “Garden Goddess” look thanks to Eyeko London’s Skinny Liquid Eyeliner and a mixture of a couple of discontinued eye shadow colors from Urban Decay (not clean, I know — sorry) — a bright green that I toned down with a coppery shade.

To keep the neutral color palette at play, I chose Ilia Beauty’s “Nobody’s Baby” for my lips and Kjaer Weis’ “Sun Touched” for my cheeks.

I think these earrings could also be taken a whole different direction with sexy, vivid makeup, like a bold red lip and kohl-lined eyes. That’s the beauty of a neutral, vintage pair of earrings with subtle glam (thanks, sequins!).

Lovely Hunt Accessories Picks

lovely hunt palomino bag and dipped wood necklace

While Lovely Hunt’s Handmade Wild Palomino Bag and Grove Wood and Brass Necklace don’t have accompanying makeup looks, I was drawn to these two pieces for several reasons.

First, the Handmade Wild Palomino Bag has such interesting textures — genuine leather with an embossed design plus tan and white cowhide — and is the perfect crossbody bag for all those summer music festivals on deck.

I think it would look perfect with the right pair of worn-in cutoffs, some tough, light-colored booties and a flowy crop top.

And with the right flowy crop top (one without any embellishments in the front), you could easily wear Lovely Hunt’s Grove Wood and Brass Necklace with your festival ensemble.

Handmade from three layers of wood, the Grove Wood and Brass Necklace got my attention with its strong triangular shape, and the triangle-within-triangle look adds some dimension.

See anything you absolutely love? Take advantage of a special 20% off discount code through July 15, 2014 — just for kimberlyloc.com readers — and update your accessories collection! Enter code “kimberlyloc” at checkout. Enjoy!

This post is kindly brought to you by Lovely Hunt, who compensated me for this sponsored post. All product picks, tips and opinions are my own!

June 20, 2014

beauty diy | cucumber rose sunburn relief

Probably one of the more fragrant and luxurious beauty DIYs I’ve come across, this Cucumber Rose Sunburn Relief recipe has me feeling all Cleopatra with coconut milk and roses.

Can we get much more luxe than that?

The third and final beauty DIY I’m excerpting from 100 Organic Skincare Recipes is one I’d use regardless of whether or not I had a sunburn. The skin-softening and soothing ingredients in the recipe could easily be incorporated into a weekly milk bath for your spa nights at home.

(You are having spa nights at home, right?)

Enjoy this final excerpt, and let me know if you’d like to see more excerpts in the future from some of my favorite beauty books!

Note: This is a not a series of sponsored posts. I really love this book and found the recipes approachable, interesting and beautiful. 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!

cucumber rose sunburn relief 100 organic skincare recipes

Cucumber Rose Sunburn Relief

You will want to have this cooling, fragrant, milky lotion on hand after a long day in the sun.

Store this concoction in the fridge and mist this soothing, moisturizing blend on a sunburn for instant relief.

The aloe vera and cucumber provide instant anti-inflammatory relief, while the rose and coconut milk offer skin-saving healing moisture to overexposed skin.

Yields: Approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-size cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup rosewater
  • ¼ cup aloe vera juice

Tools:

  • Strainer or cheesecloth
  • 8-ounce jar with lid
  • Spray bottle

To Make:

Put the chopped cucumber inside a strainer or piece of cheesecloth and squeeze out juice. Pour the cucumber juice into a jar. Add coconut milk, rosewater, and aloe vera. Close the lid tightly and shake well to blend.

To Store:

Pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle. Reserve the remainder in the jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To Use:

Shake well before use. Spray affected areas as desired. Soak a soft cloth and apply as a compress for 10–15 minutes to affected areas.

100 organic skin care recipes

Excerpted from 100 Organic Skincare Recipes Copyright © 2014 by Jessica Ress, founder of Angel Face Botanicals and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Photos courtesy of Jessica Ress, Diane Harrison, and Adams Media.

June 19, 2014

beauty scoop | odacite a spring in tokyo

When life hands you lemons, I hope they smell as cheerful and complex as Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” face oil.

odacite a spring in tokyo

{Odacite sent me a sample of “A Spring in Tokyo” to test and review. It retails for $149 for a 0.5-ounce glass dropper bottle.}

Bursting with citrus goodness thanks to lemon verbena, pink grapefruit oil and palmarosa oil, Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” is designed to detoxify and revive tired, persnickety skin.

Founder Valerie Grandury originally created this happy face oil for a Japanese kabuki actress who was suffering from premature wrinkles, loss of firmness and breakouts that came along with the heavy makeup and long hours her career demanded of her body.

To help protect the actress’ precious skin, Valerie sought some of the rarest and most beautiful oils in the world and combined them with brightening and mood-boosting oils to make the process of applying a facial oil simply exhilarating.

odacite a spring in tokyo

Seriously, you can’t smell Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” and not feel uplifted. It’s that peppy.

Here’s everything that’s inside Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” face oil:

Plukenetia volubilis (Sacha Inchi) oil**, Camellia oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil**, Eugenia uniflora (Pitanga) Leaf Oil*, Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil*, Corylus americana (Hazelnut) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil**, Daucus carota (Carrot) seed oil, Litsea cubeba (litsea cubeba) fruit oil, Lavandula burmati (lavandin) flower/leaf oil, Aloysia triphylla (lemon verbena) flower/leaf, Citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit) peel oil, Rosa bourboniana (rose) flower oil, Jasminum grandiflorum (jasmine) flower oil, Acacia decurrens (mimosa) flower extract, Cymbopogon martinii (palmarosa) leaf oil, Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil**, Vetiveria zizanioides (vetivert) root oil. |*Wild Crafted, **Organic

odacite a spring in tokyo

We’re seeing beautiful Sacha Inchi oil pop up more and more in the green beauty world. It’s known for its ability to protect the skin thanks to remarkable antioxidant properties.

Camellia oil is another biggie that a lot of us are loving lately. It’s rich in vitamins and antioxidants as well, and offers a smooth, non-greasy feeling as a major carrier oil.

What got my attention with Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” (besides the amazing smell!) is the inclusion of rare pitanga leaf oil as ingredient No. 3.

Pitanga leaf oil is rich in alpha hydroxy acids, which can improve the appearance of acne scars and discoloration.

It’s also known for its natural astingent properties, making it a perfect addition to an oil targeted to blemish-prone skin.

Other oils great for blemish-prone skin that are included in Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” are tamanu, hazelnut and jojoba.

Basically, this is a potent facial oil for the blemish-prone — but it does take a while to see results.

I used Odacite’s “A Spring in Tokyo” every night for four weeks (my typical facial oil testing time), and while I still broke out during those 28 days, my skin did appear a bit brighter and I noticed a slight lightening of a few acne-scarred areas.

While the results were not drastic, I think that with continued nightly use, it could show some great results.

But oh, the life of a green beauty blogger — always on to the next product to test.

Odacite mentions that this oil layers beautifully under makeup, but with the inclusion of those wonderful-smelling citrus oils, I’d be cautious and either 1) use only at night or 2) use SPF 30+ to protect your skin from photosensitivity.

And while I’ve raved about the scent of this lightweight facial oil, one thing that does feel strange when using it just at night is … well … at night, I want to wind down and not be all pepped up with citrus.

You can tone it down by mixing it with a bit more jojoba oil if you have it on hand, or you can train yourself to not get as revved up by lemon verbena (good uck with that!).

Overall, “A Spring in Tokyo” is a winner, but it’s not a cure-all for breakouts.

Don’t buy this if you’re looking for a spot treatment; this is more of a long-haul, complexion-healing face oil that you’ll need to use consistently over time to truly see drastic improvements.

In a short time (like my four-week trial), you may notice a difference in the evenness of your complexion; the slight lightening of scars; the texture of your skin (soft!); and your attitude while applying it.

“A Spring in Tokyo,” you’re definitely my “happy oil” after a late night of blogging.

Have you tried anything from Odacite? What do you look for in an oil for aging, blemish-prone skin? Tell me in the comments section!

 



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