Entries Tagged as 'face oils'

March 18, 2014

beauty scoop | rachel’s plan bee facial oil

In a beauty world full of hyperbole and big claims, sometimes it’s nice to just call a face oil just what it is: An oil for your face.

Green beauty brand Rachel’s Plan Bee cuts through the craze and says straight up that its products exist to “moisturize skin and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any medical condition.”

I know that sort of line can be legalese for some companies, but there’s something about seeing a brand very bluntly state that its products are all about having natural ingredients, a happy scent and some great moisture.

Isn’t that what this is all about anyway?

rachel's plan bee facial oil

{Rachel’s Plan Bee sent me a sample of its Facial Oil. It retails for $18 for a 1-ounce glass dropper bottle.}

From the straight-up copywriting to the quirky packaging (this fabulous bee kills me every time), Rachel’s Plan Bee isn’t about feeding you marketing, overzealous promises or any fantasy outside the idea that yes, you can have a vanilla-scented face oil that feels good on your skin.

And I mean that is kind of my fantasy, and Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil delivers!

rachel's plan bee facial oil

From the first turn of the dropper top, you can smell the escaping aroma of vanilla.

As you fill the dropper with a pipette of oil and let 2-3 drops hit your palm, it’s incredible how the scent of pure vanilla encompasses everything around you.

Now just imagine rubbing it onto your face!

Vanilla addicts, just stop reading now and go get some of this! (Looking at you, Britanie)

Here’s the rub on what you’d be massaging into your skin:

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

The ingredients list isn’t too long and isn’t too short. I like that lightweight apricot kernal oil anchors Rachel’s Plan Bee Facial Oil, followed by super-beneficial squalene oil (I want to see this in more facial oils!) and a classic favorite, grapeseed oil.

All of these oils are known for their light feel and moisturizing capabilities. Add in shots of vitamin E, cranberry oil, vanilla and orange peel and you’ve got a mega-moisture and smell-good concoction — for $18!

I’d recommend Rachel’s Plan Bee to anyone who’s new to facial oils as well as the vanilla addicts noted above. The pricepoint is just right and the ingredients list is easy to understand and not-too-overwhelming on the Latin.

(Seriously, Latin words throw people off sometimes. Parentheses are your friends!)

If the thought of vanilla on your face is a little too much, I see nothing wrong with using this on your body instead (though you may run out fairly quickly). Sometimes I just use it on my chest for the moisture and scent!

Rachel — any thoughts on making a few body oils?

Readers: What do you think about vanilla face oils? Have you tried anything from Rachel’s Plan Bee? What lines do you tell new-to-face-oil peeps to try first? Tell me in the comments section!


March 4, 2014

beauty scoop | odacite an autumn on the world

Vitamin C serums have been getting a lot of love in the green beauty world lately, and I’ve been trying to find the perfect face oil laced with a potent shot of vitamin C for a while.

I think my search is over.

Odacite offers a 15 percent vitamin C serum beautifully named “An Autumn on the World” that’s proven to be a go-to morning face oil for those days when I just don’t want to layer too many products.

odacite an autumn on the world vitamin c face oil

{Odacite sent me a sample of its vitamin C face oil, “An Autumn on the World,” which retails for $149 for a 0.5-ounce glass dropper bottle.}

Vitamin C in the form of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (which has a rating of “0″ on the EWG despite the long, confusing-looking word) blends with vitamin C-rich acai berry and passion fruit to create a potent radiance booster capable of protecting against sun damage and reducing melanin production so skin can brighten and seem more luminous.

“Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is the latest development in Vitamin C advancements and has shown to be five times more potent than other Vitamin C compounds. Because it is lipid-soluble (like the lipid-rich skin barrier), it has a higher rate of penetration into the deeper layers of the skin, where it can stimulate collagen production,” says Valerie Grandury, founder of Odacite.

In addition to the vitamin C-packed first three ingredients, “An Autumn on the World” harnesses the lightweight properties of meadowfoam oil, making it an incredibly smooth primer that slides on easily under makeup.

Red raspberry aids in keeping skin smooth and youthful while hand-pressed wild carrot oil (a star ingredient in Odacite products — Valerie also uses it in her beloved “A Summer in Hossegor” oil) delivers a fresh, glowing complexion — kind of the same way drinking a fresh glass of carrot juice does for your face!

Pomegranate seed oil and rosehips round out the ingredients list and top this serum off with another shot of antioxidants, omega 5 fatty acids and defense against the elements.

odacite an autumn on the world vitamin c face oil

I’ve been extremely impressed with the plumping and brightening effects of Odacite’s “An Autumn on the World.”

While I don’t typically seek out skin brighteners because the results can be so subtle and difficult to attribute to just one product, after using Odacite’s “An Autumn on the World” for several months, I have indeed noticed a refined texture, evenness and suppleness to my skin.

Now this isn’t to say Odacite’s “An Autumn on the World” is an absolute miracle-worker; I still do my weekly masks and keep up with other skincare goodies, but I find myself reaching for this bottle of vitamin C serum often in the morning, and am almost out of it.

At $149 for a half an ounce, it’s expensive.

Like, very expensive.

But this is one vitamin C serum that I think is definitely worth the repurchase, especially for those of us who just want to use one face oil instead of layering product after product in the morning.

Granted, I’ve only sampled (like small samples of a week’s worth of product) a couple other true oil serums and have also given this one a whirl.

A perfect vitamin C serum for me would be a hybrid vitamin C serum + facial oil that I could use after toning my skin and before applying sunscreen.

(The fewer products, the more likely I am to use them consistently!)

This feels pretty close to perfect for me.

Here’s what’s inside Odacite’s “An Autumn on the World”

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Acai Berry, Passion Fruit Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Red Raspberry, Wild Carrot Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Rosehip

I think this mix of potent, 15 percent vitamin C + an exotic mix of plant oils not typically found in your everyday face oils makes Odacite’s “An Autumn on the World” a clear knockout for all seasons — do you agree?

Have you tried anything from Odacite? Do you use a vitamin C serum? What are some of your favorites and why? Tell me in the comments section!


February 3, 2014

beauty scoop | beautycounter lustro face oil 2 in jasmine

I must have all the jasmine things.

When Beautycounter consultant Heather Jadus asked me to take a look at Beautycounter and pick a few things to sample and review, Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine was a no-brainer.

beautycounter lustro jasmine face oil 2

{Beautycounter consultant Heather Jadus sent me a sample of Lustro Jasmine Face Oil No. 2. It retails for $68 for a 0.67-ounce black glass dropper bottle.}

Besides the beautiful packaging (I need to know what font Beautycounter used for the “2″) and the obvious lure of jasmine, I was impressed by Beautycounter’s mission and commitment to clean ingredients — just look at the trusted partners the brand works with to create and vet formulas!

I was at ease digging through the Beautycounter site because of this genuine, green approach to skincare while maintaining a chic appeal. Good product design goes a long way when you’re trying to stand out amidst a sea of emerging green beauty brands.

Packaging aside, Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine was an instant hit with me upon first use.

The face oil, a stellar blend of rosehip oil, grapeseed oil, sea buckthorn oil, argan oil, marula oil and meadowfoam oil, is extremely lightweight and very lightly scented with the tantalizing aroma of jasmine and rose thanks to steam-distilled jasmine and rose otto oil.

beautycounter lustro jasmine face oil 2

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Rosehip Oil, Virgin Organic Grapeseed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Virgin Organic Argan Nut Oil, Organic Marula Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Rose Otto Oil, Steam Distilled Jasmine.

It takes just 3-4 drops of Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine to cover my entire face and neck. I apply it directly after spritzing my face with a rosewater mist to get my bouquet of skincare goodness on cold winter mornings.

I will admit that there are some mornings when Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine isn’t enough; I sometimes layer additional oil or a separate shea butter cream on top to give my skin an extra boost of moisture and protection during extremely cold days.

If you have very dry skin (remember, I’m oily and acne-prone over here), you may find that Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine isn’t enough for you or you may also need to try the layering trick.

I think Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine will be the perfect summertime facial oil for me; I don’t need much hydration in the humid Midwest weather.

For $68, Beautycounter Lustro Face Oil 2 in Jasmine is less expensive than some of my other beloved facial oils, so I’m going to say it’s a repurchase for summertime use.

Plus, as I said before, I must have all the jasmine things.

Speaking of, here’s my next target: Lustro Body Oil in Jasmine.

Have you tried anything from Beautycounter? What scent do you go gaga for? Tell me in the comments section!


January 30, 2014

beauty scoop | may lindstrom skin the blue cocoon beauty balm concentrate

May Lindstrom is the undisputed queen of rituals and pampering — and her products are the ultimate messengers of love and care as far as I’m concerned.

I couldn’t have asked for a better solid love potion during weeks of red, puffy, inflamed skin brought on by tears and stress.

To calm my skin during a trying time, I turned to May Lindstrom Skin’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate to heal myself.

may lindstrom skin the blue cocoon beauty balm concentrate

{May generously sent me a sample of her at-the-time unreleased Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate. My sample is not packaged in the final black jar with gold branding, but the insides are the same and it’s still a lovely Myron jar!}

may lindstrom skin the blue cocoon beauty balm concentrate

{This is on my repurchase / splurge list — and a little goes a long way (you need maybe 1/3 shown in this picture).}

may lindstrom skin the blue cocoon beauty balm concentrate

{May Lindstrom Skin’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate costs $160 for a 1.69-ounce Myron glass jar.}

Blue tansy, the star ingredient in The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate, is celebrated for its calming effects on both the skin and the mind.

It helps release heat from the body, and for me, just looking at the cool blue tone puts me at ease.

The act of applying May Lindstrom Skin’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate is extremely serene; digging into the dense mixture of oils and butters feels like breaking new ground — an opportunity to heal with every use.

As you gently warm the balm between your hands and massage it onto your face and neck, it transforms into a silky, dry oil that delivers the perfect envelope of moisture and dewiness to your skin while kissing away redness.

I found it heavenly to use both day and night, and as an oily-skinned person, appreciated the lightweight texture of this balm/oil. You can layer makeup on top very quickly and flawlessly.

If you need more moisture, you may want to supplement with an additional oil or cream, but the consistency was absolutely perfect to me — who doesn’t love a dry finish?

Here’s what’s inside May Lindstrom Skin’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate that helps work this magic:

Organic camellia seed oil, fair trade shea butter, fair trade theobroma cacao seed butter, fair trade virgin marula oil, yangu oil, organic baobab oil, organic blue tansy oil, wild harvested myrrh oil, organic lavender oil, wild harvested frankincense oil, organic geranium rose oil, organic vanilla planifolia CO2 total essential oil, schisandra sphenanthera CO2 fruit extract, organic immortelle oil, ravensara aromatica oil

I’m over the moon about May Lindstrom Skin’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate because it’s made with so many of my favorite skin-soothing and acne-fighting ingredients, yet it’s packaged and delivered in a way that feels and looks luxurious instead of greasy and clinical.

  • Organic camellia seed oil stole my heart months ago with its lightweight texture and sweet herbal scent.
  • Shea butter is a constant obsession, especially in dry times, yet this formulation feels light and airy.
  • Marula oil is packed with antioxidants and fatty acids and lends a hand in soothing irritation.
  • Frankincense, myrrh and immortelle have all been godsends for preventing acne, yet have subtle, blendable scents that don’t scream “blemish cream!”

If you need a little help healing the effects of broken capillaries, I wholeheartedly recommend indulging in May Lindstrom Skin’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate.

You may even find that the ritual of applying it helps heal broken feelings, too. That’s how much May’s formulations take care of you both inside and out.

Have you tried The Blue Cocoon? What do you use to calm inflamed skin or relieve stress? Tell me in the comments section!


November 29, 2013

beauty scoop | african botanics pure marula oil

When it comes to facial oils, I’m a fan of beautiful blends that incorporate the best of the best oils.

However, African Botanics’ Pure Marula Oil (brought to market by the lovely Julia Noik) challenges my preferences and has me reconsidering my bias toward blends.

african botanics pure marula oil

{African Botanics sent me a sample of its Pure Marula Oil, which retails for $80 for a 2.14-ounce glass pump jar.}

African Botanics Pure Marula Oil is a thick, golden oil that gradually sinks into your skin while leaving a slight sheen and protective barrier of vitamins C and E — essential for shielding your skin from the elements.

If you’re oily-skinned like me and using this as a pre-makeup primer, allow a little extra time for it to absorb so your makeup won’t slip around.

You can also go a little easier on the application — half a pump is really enough because this oil is so rich!

If you have dry skin, you may still be able to get away with half a pump or just one pump max — this will quench your skin’s thirst.

african botanics pure marula oil

Besides the hydration factor and top-notch antioxidant content, what really draws me to African Botanics Pure Marula Oil is its scent.

With most facial oil blends, you are almost guaranteed to have a gorgeous, complex scent thanks to layers of different carrier and essential oils.

Most single oils have flatter, nutty scents (looking at you, beloved tamanu) that are enjoyable but can be a bit boring or, if you’ll humor me, just a bit too toasted-nutty.

African Botanics Pure Marula Oil, though has a sweet, hard fruit candy-like scent — no toasted nuts here.

So you’d probably think that with a scent so sweet, African Botanics Pure Marula Oil must have something else in there. How can a marula tree nut smell so good?

Alas, the simple ingredient list: Sclerocarya birrea (Marula Essential Oil).

It’s just that simple, and that beautiful ingredient is packaged in a sleek, rectangular glass pump jar (love that) that will look chic on your vanity.

I will repurchase this! Half a pump a day will last me so long, and I love that I can mix this with other oils if I get the itch to blend.

Will you pay $80 for this 2.14-ounce bottle of beauty? Have you tried marula oil before? Tell me in the comments section!


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