April 1, 2014

beauty scoop | gabriel color lip gloss treatment

While I love a deep, red lip as much as the next girl, I’m much more of a neutral-lippie-kind-of-gal, especially during warmer weather.

I like to be able to swipe, smack and go, yet still look warm and put-together; the best color I’ve found to give my pout a come-hither glow is Gabriel Color Lip Gloss Treatment in “Ambrosia” by Gabriel Cosmetics.

gabriel color lip gloss treatment in ambrosia

{Gabriel Cosmetics sent me a sample of its Lip Gloss Treatment in “Ambrosia” to review. It retails for $16.75 for a 0.27-ounce tube.}

Ambrosia” has a pinkish-nude base that mimics the natural color of my lips, but amps up the kissability factor with a hint of gold shimmer that catches the light so beautifully that you can’t help but gaze a little longer.

While I’m pretty fair until summer hits, my yellow-undertone skin works well with this neutral, especially when paired with a brighter pink blush. I think “Ambrosia” would look even more beautiful on deeper skin tones — I love a shiny, neutral gloss against mocha skin.

gabriel color lip gloss treatment in ambrosia

Gabriel Color Lip Gloss Treatment in “Ambrosia” has a medium thickness but isn’t sticky. If you’re a bit heavy-handed with application, though, the color can look a little milky (likely due to the titanium dioxide included for an SPF 8). Layering is key!

Speaking of layering, “Ambrosia” can help you create a dramatic lip when layer atop a deeper color of your choice. Simply dab it in the center of your lips to create an illusion of thickness and depth.

gabriel color lip gloss treatment in ambrosia

Here’s what’s inside Gabriel Color Lip Gloss Treatment in “Ambrosia”

Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Bisabolol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Crithmum Maritimum (Sea Fennel) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Iron Oxides, Mica, Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort) Extract, Titanium Dioxide.

gabriel color lip gloss treatment in ambrosia

{I would have let Anya use some gloss, but she’s too naturally beautiful.}

I’m looking forward to trying more of Gabriel Cosmetics’ lip glosses — “Nectar” is next on my hit list!

So, bottom line, would I repurchase Gabriel Color Lip Gloss Treatments? Yes! At $16.75 a pop and readily available at Whole Foods, I am going to have to hold myself back from hauling them all!

What are your favorite lip gloss colors? Have you tried anything from Gabriel Cosmetics? Tell me in the comments section!


March 31, 2014

beauty scoop | aroma m beauty camellia body and bath oil

There’s just something about camellia oil that makes my heart swoon.

And Maria McElroy of Aroma M Beauty figured out the perfect cocktail of floral essential oils to combine with camellia oil to capture a flirtatious yet sophisticated bath and body oil that may make your heart swoon, too.

aroma m beauty camellia bath body oil

{Aroma M Beauty sent me a small sample of its Camellia Body/Bath Oil. It retails for $60 for a 100 ml bottle. Photo Courtesy Aroma M Beauty}

Jasmine, geranium, frankincense, neroli and Moroccan rose oils dance together in this bottle of heaven and charge you with a feeling of freshness and aromatic bliss.

As much as I go on about loving the scent of jasmine, it does have more to offer than just a pretty smell.

Jasmine oil is also known for its ability to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines and soothe the skin. It also is said to offer a naturally calming effect to the nervous system, so imagine the goodness of using it head to toe in this lovely body oil.

Pairing jasmine with geranium oil, another favorite of mine, was strategic as well: Geranium oil helps stimulate circulation and reduce stress. Can you see how this is also wonderful as a bath oil?

The addition of frankincense and neroli offer antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, keeping skin toned and free of blemishes while smoothing and healing any irritated areas. Moroccan rose oil furthers these properties and ups the sexy factor with the exotic, deeply complex scent of roses.

The carrier oils — camellia, grapeseed and golden jojoba — keep this body oil light yet ultra thirst-quenching, leaving your skin with a dewy sheen without the overly saturated feeling that some body oils can leave.

Camellia oil is something of a gem in that its hypoallergenic while remaining deeply nourishing. Grapeseed and golden jojoba oils mix in to offer additional layers of antioxidants and protection. Expect a glow!

Aroma M Beauty’s Camellia Body and Bath Oil is absolutely on my repurchase list.

With an ingredients list comprised of all my favorite essential oils and a base of exotic camellia with oldies but goodies grapeseed and jojoba, how could I not want it?

I may even be as bold to say that this could be a signature scent for me!

Have you tried anything from Aroma M Beauty? What are your favorite essential oils and carrier oils? Tell me in the comments section!


March 27, 2014

outfit post | almost famous

I had a lot of title options when it came to today’s outfit post.

“Standard poodle” came out of my boss’ mouth when he saw me in this coat at work yesterday.

“Hollywood” came to mind as I thought back to fond memories of my dad calling anyone in a crazy getup and sunglasses that beloved nickname.

But I have to credit my friend, Gina, with telling me this jacket reminded her of Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous.”

She wore some fabulous fuzz and sunglasses in that Hollywood production, so it was only fitting.

Was there a poodle in that movie by chance? Because that would just be epic.

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

kimberlyloc almost famous outfit post

Photos by Susan Melgren

Fuzzy Jacket (similar) // Langford Market, Austin, Texas

Top (similar) // Banana Republic

Necklace (similar) // Standard Style, Leawood, Kansas

Earrings (similar) // Boutique in San Francisco

Rings // H&M, Boutique in Chicago, Charming Charlie

Jeans // Joe’s Jeans “The Skinny”

Tiger Heels (similar) // Forever 21 (O-L-D)

Tiger Clutch (similar) // Gift from Jennifer via Hobo the Original

Sunglasses / Retro Vixen, Kansas City, Missouri

Lipstick // Living Nature

March 26, 2014

beauty scoop | african botanics pure marula cleansing oil

Oil cleansing isn’t a new thing to most of you, but there’s been an abundance of luxury oil cleansers launching that offer a little more than what pure plant oils do for you during your cleansing experience.

A new one on the market is from one of my favorite chic brands, African Botanics.

Its new Pure Marula Cleansing Oil gives you the feel of a slippery oil, emulsion of a gentle cleanser and the smell of a pink grapefruit Creamsicle.

african botanics pure marula cleansing oil

{African Botanics sent me a sample of its new Pure Marula Cleansing Oil to review. It retails for $60 for a 3.4-ounce opaque white glass pump bottle.}

When I oil cleanse, I apply oil with dry hands onto my dry face and typically work in circular motions starting on my cheeks, working into my nose, chin and neck and then coming back up to my forehead.

I reserve my eye area for last because that’s where I wear the most makeup; it gets ugly really quick if I start there!

While African Botanics Pure Marula Cleansing Oil does a great job of breaking down foundation, blush and other makeup I wear on my skin, I found irritating to use on my eyes; it stung with or without wearing my contacts!

I checked the back of the bottle to make sure I didn’t mess up some step with cleansing around my eye area.

I followed the instructions to a T and still experienced discomfort. No bueno! I’m wondering if it has something to do with the pink grapefruit oil and lemon extract?

african botanics pure marula cleansing oil

During other testing times, I avoided my eye area and just enjoyed inhaling the comforting, summertime scent of citrus and cream.

I like the slip that the combination of marula oil, mooring oil, baobab oil and cape camomile oil lend to this oil cleanser.

It’s not thick and heavy like my usual pure jojoba oil, but so light and delicate that it could almost pass for a facial oil (if not for that whole gentle-emulsion-when-it-meets-water thing).

With that said, I do find the naming of this product confusing; I was assuming I’d be getting a straight marula cleansing oil, but it’s much more.

Cold-pressed marula oil sourced from South Africa offers a powerful cocktail of skin-protecting antioxidants such as vitamins C and E as well as omegas 9 and 6, essential fatty acids that deeply hydrate and reduce redness.

Moringa oil is a somewhat new oil to me. It’s responsible for the detoxifying, toning and tightening factor of this particular cleansing oil. Could the astringent-like properties of this oil be the source of my eye irritation?

(Side note: My eyes are also irritated by pure tamanu oil. I tried oil cleansing with it once. Big, red mistake.)

Omega-rich super fruit baobab contains a beautiful oil that’s high in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, D & E and essential fatty acids. It’s also said to increase firmness and elasticity. For effects like this, you probably want to give your face a nice, long cleansing massage so your skin can soak up the goodness.

Another new-to-me oil is Cape Camomile. This South African wild-harvested relative of chamomile helps reduces inflammation and soothe irritation. I’d love to see this in a facial oil!

All in all, I really loved my experience with this oil cleanser; the smell is delightful and the packaging looks sophisticated (love that opaque white glass bottle!).

But, I’ve got to hold out for a “sensitive eyes” version or reformulation before adding it to my repurchase list.

Have you tried anything from African Botanics? Do you use any luxury oil cleansers? Tell me in the comments section!


March 24, 2014

natural beauty buff | rachael pontillo, holistically haute

Though most of my “natural beauty buff” features have centered around skincare line creators, there’s always those pioneers within the broader green beauty industry whom I admire and must reach know more about.

Rachael Pontillo is one of those people.

How could you not want to know what a health coach / aesthetician / Reiki practitioner / trained-in-Ayurveda beauty expert uses on her own skin?

rachael pontillo holistically haute natural beauty buff

The brains and beauty behind Holistically Haute and author of Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, Rachael’s glowing skin, robust online community and girlfriend-to-girlfriend style book got my attention.

Rachael’s created Holistically Haute after experiencing her own struggle with acne and self-esteem issues, which rings all too true for me and I’m going to assume, you, dear readers.

Most of us end up in the green beauty space after frustrating runs with over-the-counter, prescription and every other harsh medicine our skin can handle.

It’s inspiring to see more people carve out these spaces online so that perhaps someone may look to the green beauty space first instead of as a last resort to solve their skincare problems!

If you haven’t already become friendly with Rachael online, check her out and get to know her even better via her book. I felt like I was having a conversation with a best friend while reading her book!

As always, I’ve starred the products I also use and love!

rachael pontillo beauty products minerals™ softLINES™ eyeliner pencil

I love this eyeliner pencil for several reasons. First, it’s one of the cleanest natural formulations of eyeliner I’ve come across — all natural waxes, oils, and mineral pigments — no parabens (hard to find in an eyeliner!), coal tar dyes or lead.

It goes on smooth and stays on all day without fading or smudging — and the most fun part is that there is a sharpener built right into the cap! This is convenient and ensures a sharp point with every use. I keep it in my makeup case at home.

Lavera Naturkosmetik’s Trend Sensitiv Natural Liquid Foundation

I’m normally a mineral powder foundation girl all year round, but this liquid made me switch during colder, drier weather and on days when I’m going for a dewy look. It applies and blends effortlessly, doesn’t get stuck in fine lines, doesn’t create lines of demarcation and doesn’t oxidize or get greasy or streaky throughout the day.

The pump lasts long too — a little bit of this foundation goes a long way! I love that it contains all-natural and many certified organic ingredients, and no synthetic preservatives or fragrances too. I keep this in my makeup case too.

doTERRA® Pepperment Beadlets

I’m obsessed with these. They are all natural, top quality and very potent. Peppermint essential oil is great for uplifting the mood, increasing energy (better than coffee) and also freshens the breath. I carry these in my purse every day — no more need for gum or mints.

*Eco Tints Tinted Lip Balm

I absolutely love these super-moisturizing tinted lip balms! They come in great colors, are made with 90 percent organic ingredients, are gluten-free (I try to avoid gluten) and provide great color and moisture that looks natural, but still polished. They smell and taste great too, and are flavored with all natural essential oils and plant extracts. I like to keep a couple different shades of these in my purse every day.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One” Organic Fair Trade Hair Crème

This is a great haircare product for adults and also kids, since it’s certified organic and fair trade, contains nothing artificial, and goes a very long way.

A pea-sized drop is all I need to detangle my long, straight hair and my kids’ long wavy hair after a wash, and it also helps with light styling. It doesn’t give a greasy or heavy feel — it leaves hair shiny, soft, and tangle-free. I keep this in the bathroom cabinet.

Body Ecology™ CocoBiotic Natural Probiotic with Coconut Water

Probiotics are essential for beautiful, healthy skin and a healthy body, and I love this one for a few reasons.

First, it’s a whole foods-based fermented beverage that contains nothing artificial whatsoever. It contains live cultures that have been tested for compatibility with each other as well as with the human digestive tract — believe it or not that isn’t the case with a lot of the probiotics on the market. I also like that you can adjust the dosage.

One dose is a one-ounce shot, but you can add more on days you feel you need more digestive or immune support, or you can half the dose for kids, which is what I do. It’s an acquired taste, like many fermented foods are, but the benefits are so worth it.

I keep this in my fridge and have one shot in the morning and one before bed. My kids have one before dinner.

NeoCell’s Super Collagen Types 1&3 powder and Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid

I listed these together because I take them together every day. Collagen and hyaluronic acid are excellent for building and hydrating healthy skin cells (in addition to others) from the inside out. I love NeoCell’s because they source their ingredients from organic, grass-fed animals with ethical manufacturing practices.

I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the appearance and health of my hair, skin, nails and also an improvement in the health of my joints and eyes since using these products. I keep them in my kitchen, and drink them together in my morning cup of hot water with lemon.

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