BEAUTY

Serums :: How to Choose + Use

Serums :: How to Choose + Use

Serum is the superstar of beauty products. The benefits seemingly endless. There are serums for oily skin, dry skin, acne prone skin, mature skin. Serums to brighten, lighten, refine pores, smooth texture, calm irritation, decrease puffiness, even skin tone…the list goes on.

A little something for everyone, no? Yes! But how to choose the right serum for your skin and how best to use?

Ok, there are two main types of serum – oil and cream. There are oils mixed with other ingredients, or very simple oil combinations. Creams may be thinner or thicker, or even more of a gel. Safe to say, you’ve got options.

Oily or acne prone skin benefits most from a thin, light weight serum. Most gals with oily skin are blessed with fewer wrinkles. Still, these lighter creams can minimize any fine lines. There are also those with antibacterial ingredients to help ward off breakouts and balance oil. Pat on a thin layer and allow to soak in before applying your usual moisturizer. If this seems too heavy, go for serum only at night. Try Tata Harper Boosted Contouring Serum, Living Nature Firming Flax Serum, Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Serum, Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum.

Dry or mature skin? Gotta love oils. Facial oils seal in moisture, so they work best when applied over moisturizer. I pat mine onto skin in my problem zones; those that are driest and where I’d like to reduce wrinkles. My picks here are Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend, Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex, La Bella Figura Organic Barbary Fig Seed Oil/Prickly Pear Seed OilMullein & Sparrow Immortelle & Myrrh Facial SerumKYPRIS – The Moonlight Catalyst.

Another I love that works on all skin types is Suzanne Organics Liquid Oxygen Therapy Facial Serum. This weightless serum feels cooling on skin and seems to tighten and firm. It also makes my skin look all glowy, which is always a good thing.

A serum is built to compliment your regular moisturizer, not replace it. Think of it as the secret weapon in your beauty arsenal.

Product Love :: Tata Harper

Tata Harper Product Review

Gosh, I’ve been sitting on a lot of product samples. Like, A LOT!

Seems like the most fun part of beauty blogging would be sampling products, right? And it is. But sometimes in a biz, the most fun thing takes a back seat to less fun business-y tasks. Such is life.

So on this fresh Monday I am bringing you a lovely yet long overdue product review. Yippeeeee!

You for sure know about the gorgeous Tata Harper who grows the healthy ingredients for her uber luxe organic products right on her very own organic farm. Sounds like a dream and her products match up to that picture. Pure, lovely, effective.

The equally lovely Eve, of Eve Organics, sent me some samples I’d been wanting to try from the range. Namely, Boosted Contouring Serum and Concentrated Brightening Cream. The serum for obvious reasons, who doesn’t want to erase a line or two. And most of us, espesh post-summer, have some spots we’d like gone, enter the brightening cream.

I really did feel like the serum softened my forehead lines. It gives skin a nice smooth, healthy appearance. As for the brightening cream. I used it on a particularly apparent spot I have on my jaw line. It did lighten a bit, but may require longer use for absolute banishment.

Anyway, you won’t be sorry if you try anything Tata. They are all so posh and smell ridiculously great. My favorites are Replenishing Nutrient Complex and Love Potion. If you are down under, best get shopping Eve Organics. If you are in the US, Spirit Beauty Lounge carries the line too.

Fall Skincare Plan

Fall Skincare Plan

Fall has officially arrived. You’ve probably already started shopping for clothes to add to your autumn wardrobe. Have you revamped your skincare yet?

Yep, with the seasonal shift we adjust our menu, clothing, and skincare too. And, as you can likely guess, we are talking added moisture.

Don’t wait until your skin is already dry to infuse it with more moisture. Then you are simply doing damage control. Start now and increase as needed to keep your complexion looking its best.

Here are my fall moisturizer recos:

For Oily Skin – That’s right, I’ve said it before, even oily skin needs moisture. A light product that soaks into skin is going to offer adequate hydration without causing problems. Try Dr. Alkaitis Organic Day Crème with soothing aloe. Acure Organics Day Cream is another non-greasy formula suited to oily skin.

Normal/Combination Skin – Normal skin can become slightly more dry in colder seasons. The perfect way to combat this issue is with a facial oil. Apply a drop or two to drier areas of the face after applying your moisturizer. My favorites are: RMS Beauty Beauty Oil, Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex, and Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil.

Dry Skin – If you fall under this skin type feel free to go all out here. I’ve recently started patting a thick cream on the areas of my face that tend to become the most dry. SW Basics Cream is a straight forward yet highly versatile moisturizer. Use on face, body, lips…Same with RMS Beauty Coconut Cream and One Love Organic Skin Savior.

Ingredient Focus :: Estrogen Disruptors

Endocrine Disruptors

I’ve been spending some writing time on toxic ingredients over at Feelgood Style this past week. In particular, hormone disruptors.

Unless you’ve been living in some extremely remote location, you’ve heard of parabens. These preservatives are widely used in cosmetics. And they are synthetic. And they are toxic. No matter how slyly a company may try to portray them as coming from nature. Nope. Parabens used in cosmetics are synthetic. You can read more about what I have to say on that here.

Then there are metalloestrogens. This class of chemicals are metals and they mimic estrogen in the body. They also take longer (like, a lot longer!) for our bodies to expel than parabens. This means they have longer to do their dirty work. For the full deets on metalloestrogens, read what I wrote on FGS.

So what’s the big deal with estrogen? Don’t our bodies make this hormone anyway? Yep. Women need estrogen to stay balanced and healthy.

But too much of this good thing can cause serious health issues. When estrogen levels become too high, inflammation occurs and disease can follow. Some toxic ingredients block hormone receptors, which can also lead to disease.

The moral to this story: Avoid parabens, plastics and estrogen-mimicking metals.

Product Love :: Kjaer Weis Highlighter

Kjaer Weis Highlighter

Like I told ya on Instagram recently, I finally got my hot little hands on some Kjaer Weis.

I’ve been wanting to do another foundation roundup. Since I’ve never used much foundation I always like to test them out and see which are the best. Kind of an if-I-love-them-you-are-sure-to-love-them sorta thing. More on that soon.

In the meantime I have been playing with a new Kjaer Weis product. They’ve created their very own Highlighter. Yays! You know you love a great highlighter, and so do I, and this one will not disappoint ‘cha. Promise.

Kjaer Weis Highlighter is perfect when used in the traditional ways (brow bone, cheek bones, bridge of nose, corners of eyes, collarbones), but I’ve been doing something new with it. I like to sub it in for cream shadow. Smudge along upper and lower lash lines, and in crease of eye. It gives a super natural look but adds…something special. An I’m not even trying yet totally done look. Top with a little liner, maybe a swipe of mascara, and you are good to go.

PS: I also love it on my lips!

For the Love of Fall

For the Love of Fall

Summer is definitely my favorite time of year. And though I could live where it’s summer year round, no problem, I do love a little Fall.

Crispness in the air and beautiful trees are all good, but my favorite part? The styles + foods! Shades of browns and purples. Sweaters and boots. Honeycrisp apples, soup, anything pumpkin. Awesome!

Here are just a few of the things I’m wanting this Fall:

Pumpkin macarons, cuz…c’mon

I’ve been meaning to try RMS Beauty’s newest shades + what better place to start than Lip Shine in Royal

Flats + Leopard + Gold = Perfecto

This cross body bag from Free People is not only hot, but vegan

Have had my eye on Kure Bazaar’s warm brownish-grey Sophisticato for a while now

So, what’s on your Fall wishlist?

Reconstructed :: Haley Bennett’s Bronze Eye

Haley Bennett Bronze Eye

Love the look on actress Haley Bennett in the September issue of InStyle magazine. Namely, the eyes. Bronze-y shadow that keeps summer glow going in a totally fall way. The artist who did the look actually used RMS Buriti Bronzer to achieve the look. Always love to see an organic beauty favorite used mainstream. Yay!

Another good one to try here would be RMS Cream Eyeshadow in Solar. More of a gold than bronze, this cream would impart an all rich look. Apply to lower lash line and sockets of eyes.

Finish the look with a swipe of brown pencil. Brown eyeliner pencil happens to be the makeup product I would choose if I could only have one. AT the very least, a close runner up to lipgloss. I rarely leave home without a touch of it. My favorite is Benecos Natural Eyeliner and have several in different spots for easy access.

There you go. Add mascara if roll like that. Your fall eye look. Go try it out.

Shop Talk :: Trust + Transparency

Organic Beauty Shopping Trust + Transparency

Often when I am talking with someone about a beauty products they are using I’ll hear And it’s natural! Ugh, some of my least favorite words.

Why?

Because so very often it really is not that natural. Maybe not natural at all. We’ve talked about natural being a less than definitive term. No true definition, super ambiguous, sorta ripe for the greenwashing.

Women want good health. They want to buy healthy products for themselves, their daughters, the rest of their family. But it’s like this – remember the fat free foods phase? Everyone was eating anything marked Fat Free and believing it was good for them, even if it was a cookie or cracker? Ya, that.

Cosmetics are the same deal. If someone slaps all natural on the front of the product, well people are going to think it’s good for them. Lots of people. No questions asked.

Since not everyone wants to memorize or carry around a handy dandy list of ingredients you don’t want to see in your cosmetics, there has to be another way to get healthy products in the hands of consumers. And there is. It’s called trust.

Trustworthy, transparent brands and shops can do this. They can get their truly healthy products in womens’ bathroom cupboards and on top of their vanities. If you have a heavy duty no toxins allowed commitment , let everyone know about it. Put it on your About Us page. Announce it on Twitter (maybe even daily). Instagram it. Slap it underneath your logo. Something along these lines:

We only sell nontoxic products!

We believe in toxin free!

No greenwashers allowed!

Here’s what we put in our products! (linked to a list of healthy natural ingredients)

Here’s what we don’t put in our products! (linked to a list of harmful cosmetics ingredients, use mine if you want it)

Whatever your stalwart stance on safe cosmetics, scream it from the roof top. Tell your followers and encourage them to tell theirs.

And be sure to tell me so I can scream about them too.

Making It Work For You

How to Make Organic Beauty work for YOU

These past several Fridays we’ve covered the ins and outs, ups and downs, goods and bads of beauty, and going natch. You know how to find out what your skin wants and needs, how and where to shop for it, and what to do when you wanna fall off the green beauty wagon.

Now I want to talk one more little thing. Actually it’s not so little. More, simple. And that is how to make all of this work for Y-O-U. That’s right, we are all individuals with different skin, likes, time, and bank accounts. Our beauty routine should reflect that. Yet another area not to try and keep up with the Joneses.

Your level of commitment to nontoxic cosmetics is as personal as the products you choose to use. If you simply cannot find a nontoxic product that you love to replace one of your existing products, keep using what works. Stay on the lookout for healthier options. Don’t worry about it.

Compare it to diet. Is every single food that you consume regularly healthy? Probably not. I maintain a pretty healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and veg, whole grains, and plenty of water. I also happen to have a pretty big sweet tooth and coffee habit. I have tried replacing sweets with fruits and coffee with tea. No good. At least not for me. I eat less and am happier when I can have some of the real thing. Remember: Happiness keeps you healthy too.

If you choose a cosmetic product that is safe yet does not deliver the results you are looking for, you will not be happy with it. Do what works for YOU.

As always, if you have questions, ask away. I’m here for ya!

*Image by Stachoo at morguefile.com, cc

Secret Stash :: Vered Organic Botanicals

Vered Organic Botanicals

Whilst poking around my samples basket for a good exfoliant (do you have post summer bumpiness too?) I kinda hit the jackpot.

See, a while back, when I put together a diy spa style facial, Vered Back of Vered Organic Botanicals sent me a Cacao Vanilla Beauty Mask that I ended up including in the facial. Yum! What I didn’t remember were the oils she sent along with it. Since I have a hardcore crush on oils, it was like Christmas in my bathroom when I discovered this forgotten stash.

I’ve been using Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment and Anti-Aging Face Treatment Oil for about 5 days now, and am in love. I love an oil eye treatment. No pulling on delicate eye skin, just gently pat on the oil. And it leaves skin feeling so super soft and pampered.

As for the face oil. Oh my goodness, this stuff rocks. Not only does my skin adore it, but the scent! All warm and soft and spicy. Every time I catch a whiff of my face (which is often, since that’s where my nose is) I can’t believe how delicious I smell.

Even though we have our staple skincare products, I firmly believe it keeps skin happiest when we switch things up from time to time. And these are most likely new staples.