List Love :: Summer Scents

Summer Scents

Ok, we are not quite there yet. Spring has just barely poked its head through the soggy ground. Still, I’m dreamin’ about everything summer and bet you are too.

You may still be sporting your raincoat and wellies. But there is one sure fire way to bring instant summer-i-ness into your sweet little life. With sweet summer scents.

These products smell like summer and are on my list of stuff to buy. Like, pronto!

Lotus Wei Infinte Love Mist :: As my daughter said, This smells just like flowers! That’s because flower alchemy is Lotus Wei’s total jam. Did you know flowers not only smell divine but offer natural powers? Infinite Love is made with Hong Kong Orchid, Pink Magnolia, and Pink Lotus, which attract self love, ease irritation, and inspire wisdom. I spritz myself with this mist any chance I get.

Tata Harper Love Potion :: I know I’ve talked about Love Potion before but it is worth second (or third, or fourth) mention. It is so lovely, so delicate, so intoxicating. If I had a pool I’d fill it with Love Potion and swim in it. Made with Davana (a sweet, fruity flower), Jasmine, and Violet Leaf. Comes in the cutest little roller ball bottle, but why not get the larger atomizer bottle? (UPDATE: Sorry, looks like the larger bottle is not longer available.)

Vered Organic Botanicals Perfume Blue Violet :: I’ve yet to try this one but have heard very good things. A baby soft, powdery, true violet scent? Yep, I’m in.

Acure Organics Ultra Hydrating Body Wash :: What says summer more than creamy, dreamy coconut? Get clean and smell super yums with this hydrating wash for bod.

Odacité Jasmine Mimosa Body Scrub :: Slough your skin smooth with this ultra lush scrub. Salt? Sugar? Nope. This product contains Walnut Shell Powder to do the exfoliating. Get skin ready for baring and smell great too.

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum :: Hydrate and get skin glowing with this orange creamsicle scented body oil. Refrain from licking skin in public, please.

Product Love :: Spa Sonic Pro

Spa Sonic Pro Facial Brush

Seems everyone’s into skin brushes these days. And for good reason. They are great for gently sloughing away dry dead skin cells.

What’s so great about sloughing?

Think of those dead cells as a barrier between fresh skin and the healthy ingredients you are putting on it. How are your good products supposed to do their job if they have trouble soaking in? Dead cells also make skin look dull and can cause breakouts.

A gentle brush exfoliates and gets circulation going, resulting in a pretty awesome looking complexion. I recently lucked out and received a brush kit to try from Spa Sonic Pro.

This kit comes with not only a facial brush, but a facial sponge, plus a brush for body and even a pumice tool for rough feet. I love it! My fave tool of all, somewhat surprisingly, is the sponge attachment. I use it after applying all of my face oils and creams to help them penetrate the skin. I also tell myself it is is smoothing out my wrinkles. Hey, can’t hurt.

The thing is, I was using the sponge attachment very lightly and carefully. You know how we’ve been taught to not pull the skin to avoid causing lines? Then today I came across this article on facial massage and thought What the heck?!. So I gave my face a good circular-motion massaging with the sponge post moisturizer/facial oil application.

And do you know what? My skin looked so livened up and pink and fresh. I’d even go so far as to say younger.

So while I would recommend avoiding pulling or rough rubbing of the skin, a nice massage really seems to perk it up. And I highly recommend regular exfoliation. A facial brush is a great way to get that done.

My opinion? Everyone needs one of these brush kits. At Target, Walgreen’s, and Amazon.

Reconstructed :: Cara D-Style Brows

Caras Brows OBS

Bold brows are still on trend for 2015. Still avoiding doing something about it? I know I am.

For years I plucked and waxed to perfection. Even taking on the task myself after constant disappointment over professional brow shaping. I have this brow thing down.

But last year brows went and got all thick and full and Brooke Shields-ish circa 1980. And I’ll tell you what, growing brows is not the same as growing bangs. Once you’ve wrangled those babies into submission for a decade or three they are not at all willing to grow back the way they started.

This means using a brow pencil to fill them in. Yikes. Now, I like makeup as much as any girl. But I am afraid of brow pencil lest I end up one of those artificially drawn on cartoon looking examples of brow fakery. Plus, I have this habit of unconsciously smoothing my brows with my fingers and am scared of walking around with brow pencil smeared across my forehead.

Still, I drool every time I see a pic of Cara D.’s lush browage. What’s a thin browed gal to do?

I dug deep and found out I am not alone. Lots of women are using makeup to fill in their less than hearty brows. I watched this video and decided I too could give it a whirl.

I recommend going with Lavera Eyebrow Pencil (in whichever color best matches your hair) to fill in brows with a soft swipe of RMS Beauty Living Luminizer underneath.

Product Love :: Acure Organics Eye Cream

Acure Organics Eye Cream

Being a beauty blogger means lots of products roll through the doorway on a fairly regular basis. Still, there are those items you are loyal to. There are also those you are very choosy about. One of those, at least for me, is eye cream.

There are eye oils, eye balms, eye creams, and eye gels. I trade off on using an eye oil and an eye balm (sometimes together) at night. But for day these two products don’t work, unless you are going makeup free. Oils and balms are great for deep down moisturizing but smudge eyeliner and mascara.

So, eye cream it is. I do like a great eye gel for the tightening and brightening effect they give. But this time of year gel just isn’t quite hydrating enough. Since mine has run dry – I’ve been using a fabulously lightweight eye treatment by Blissoma)- thought it would be a good time to do a little shopping for something new.

Shopping is always fun, but I am super choosy when it comes to eye cream. Must be hydrating yet create a semi-matte surface. I don’t hate if it is brightening either. Yes, eye cream can be on the pricey side. But, like face oils and serums, they last a good long time.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great product for under $50! I kind of like to keep things on the more economical end this time of year as, I am sure, do you.

Well, happy day that a new to me eye cream landed in my mailbox. Acure generously sent over their Chlorella + Edelweiss Stem Cell Eye Cream for me to try. I love Acure Organics because they make pure products that are also reasonably priced. It is hard to beat their shampoos and conditioners. But I had not tried the eye cream.

And guess what? I love it. This is a straight forward eye cream, not a gel or balm posing as an eye cream. An. Eye. Cream. Goes on smooth, skin is soft and hydrated but not a stitch of greasiness.

YouTuber Jess Lizama has created a series on the line. Check that out here.

I also recently heard that Acure Organics may be on your Target shelves. They don’t stock the entire line but they do carry the eye cream. This just keeps getting better, doesn’t it? Buy online in or in store.

BB Cream :: How to Make Your Own

Make Your Own BB Cream

I’ve tried a couple of organic BB creams but they were too foundation heavy. I’m not much of a foundation wearer. When the time comes where I do want a little coverage, I simply add a bit of tint to my moisturizer. Still, I’ve pined for the glowy coverage BB cream gives to skin.

So, I tried whipping one up myself. And with amazing results. Here’s my not so secret recipe:

Warm a bit of skin luminizer on fingertips, just so it is softened a little. I used RMS Beauty Living Luminizer. Add a small amount of your daily moisturizer on top of the luminizer. Remember to use slightly less moisturizer than you normally would because you are mixing with other product. Then top with a smaller still dab of foundation or, if you tend to have dry skin, a tinted moisturizer. I used my daily fave Lavera Mattifying Balancing Cream along with Lavera Tinted Moisturizer. Looks like Lavera no longer makes their tinted moisturizer, so I’d probably go with something like 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer or you could just use your usually foundation. Mix this trifecta together lightly with fingertips and apply to face.

There you have it. Moisture, coverage, and a bit of skin perfecting luminosity. This combo does not look makeup-y, feels good, and gives just the amount of color I was looking for. My new winter skin staple.

The same thing could be done for body using your body lotion or cream, just a bit of tinted moisturizer and a little luminizer. Oila!

How It’s Done :: Double Cleansing

Double Cleansing How To

By now you’ve most likely heard the term “double cleansing”. Do you know what it is, why it is beneficial, and how to make it happen in your life?

Okey doke. Let’s start with the what. Double cleansing is a method of cleansing the skin using two products – one to remove makeup, debris, and impurities, the other to clean the skin. Most often the 1-2 punch comes in the form of an oil and a foaming cleanser, but can also be tailored to your skin type.

As for why…because a foaming cleanser alone may leave skin feeling clean, but may not actually be removing all of your makeup and clearing pores. Do you notice a sallow complexion? Have trouble with clogged pores? Dealing with acne? Feel like your skin looks old? These can all be helped with a little double cleanse action.

Exciting, huh? Here’s how it is done. At night, prior to washing skin with your usual cleanser, use an oil or balm cleanser. Warm a small amount in hands and massage gentle into skin, using a circular motion to remove makeup, toxins, and dirt. This not only gets skin cleaner, but offers a blood pumping mini massage too. Next, cleanse as usual with whatever cleanser works best on your skin.

I said this cleansing method could be tailored to you specifically. Mix and match here to get the best results for your skin. If you tend to be oily, you may want to sub out an oil cleanser in the first step for something lighter that also exfoliates. For dry skin types, a straight up oil followed by a cream cleanser offers intense night time moisture while you sleep. I often use an oil serum as a cleanser in winter months and have been known to use straight olive too. Love it!

Here are my product combos for all skin types to get you started with double cleansing:

For Oily or Acne Prone Skin :: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser + Acure Organics Cleansing Gel Facial Cleanser

For Dry or Mature Skin :: De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm + Lavera Basis Cleansing Milk

For Normal Skin :: Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser + Living Nature Purifying Cleanser

Reconstructed :: Angelina’s Vanity Fair Cover

Angelina Vanity Fair Cover December

Love Angelina’s look for the December cover of Vanity Fair. If you haven’t seen the issue, that’s it at top. Warm and natural, this simple look is polished enough to work for day or night. Perfect!

Angelina is one of my favorite high profile women. She is dedicated to what she does, loves a good mission, and comes complete with that awesome touch of badassery I so admire in a gal. I’m currently reading Unbroken, the book from which she just made a movie of the same name. Have you read it? If you need a good dose of buck up this story will def do the trick.

Anyway…back to the look. Here are the products I’ve chosen to do the reconstruction au naturel.

1 Lavera Beauty Balm (BB Cream)

2 Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer

3 Benecos Natural Baked EyeShadow duo in Celebrate

4 Benecos Natural Eyeliner in Black

5 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea

6 Benecos Eyebrow-Designer in Brown

7 RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

8 Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow

9 Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Funnel of Love

Hormonal Balance + Weight Loss

Hormonal Balance + Weight Loss

I never thought it would happen to me. My entry into womanhood was and has always been pretty smooth, hormone-wise. Until lately.

Starting last year things went out of whack. As in a twice monthly period (joy) and, worse still, a monthly migraine. My Mom was sick and passed away, so I chalked it up to major stress. But while my cycle has gotten back to normal ( or a new normal, shall we say) I’m still getting the headaches. Sound familiar to anyone else out there?

I’ve changed my diet pretty drastically, cutting out almost all sugar and refined carbs, cut back on caffeine, and have incorporated more soy (a natural estrogen balancer, not the estrogen booster as previously thought) and tons of fruits and veg. While I ate pretty heathy before, I’m now on the very straight and very narrow.

Then there are the supplements. I wasn’t taking any before. Now I’m on a daily dose of magnesium, fish oil, turmeric, zinc, vitamin C, and glucosamine. I’m not saying you should run out and buy these supplements. These were something I came up with after much research and, yes, a chat with my doc.

I’ve been reading my perimenopausal ass off on natural hormone balancing. It’s definitely a science and that research, along with making sure I get all of the stuff I need into my body daily, has been taking up a huge chunk of my life. Which begs the question: Should it really be this painstaking just to feel decent?

Dr. Christiane Northrup is always a fountain of great info on women’s health, and I’ve been eyeball deep in her book The Wisdom of Menopause. I highly recommend you pick up a copy if you are perimenopausal, approaching perimenopause, post menopausal, or are a women of any age that lives on planet earth. For real. The woman knows her shiz. I’ve also pulled some useful info from The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried and I’m Too Young for This! by Suzanne Somers.

I do feel the whole hormone thing, and how crappy you do or don’t feel, has to do with how much attention you pay to it. And right now I am paying a lot. Maybe too much. Still, no matter what any doctor or regular person tells you, these symptoms are very real and you need to listen to and trust your own body. We are all individuals, afterall, and this is not a one size fits all kinda deal.

One side benny that has come of all this has been weight loss. I gained 5 lbs over the course of a year or so and couldn’t seem to get it to come off. I have barely thought of it in months and was surprised to find out that the sneaky fiver had vanished. Guess the whole more protein/less carbs thing truly pays off in that way. Or was it because I wasn’t obsessing over it anymore. Hmmmm……

SW Basics Now at Target

SW Basics Now at Target

You know how you are always asking me for great organic beauty items on the cheap? Well, SW Basics is one that fits into that category. Super awesome products that don’t cost you a bundle.

Even better news…you can now get them at Target. Yay! SW Basics can currently be found on Target.com (with free shipping, I might add) and will soon pop up in select aisles in March of 2015. Sure hope mine is one of them.

My favorite from the SW Basics brand has to be the Cream. We practically drink this stuff around here. Use as facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, lip balm, hand cream, eczema treatment, makeup remover. You get the picture. There’s even a Mini Cream so you can take some with ya.

Can’t wait to try the Body Scrub. Gonna pick those up at Target.