I’ve always loved beauty products. From playing in my Mom’s makeup, to putting together my own style, to writing about it today…I’m into it.
But when you write about eyeshadow colors for the season, and how to use highlighter, and stuff like that day in and day out, you can get in a rut. Like, nothing new.
And then you stumble on something that is so good you can’t quit thinking about. And your fire is lit again.
Here’s what’s been lighting my fire lately:
1 Baby skin :: Sounds like something you want, right? Wait ‘til you see a pic of it! I came across this article while writing a story on facial mists and cannot quit thinking about it. The deal is, you give your face a light misting between each layer. So, moisturizer, mist, foundation, mist, powder, mist…you get the idea. I want.
2 The New Brow :: While brows have taken a slightly more demure turn over last year’s big and bold, definition is still definitely in. This can be tricky. How many bad brows have you witnessed in the past 12 or so months?
I found a trick in InStyle mag that works like a charm. You simply brush brows up, feather a line on the under side of brows (I give it the slightest of blends with a q-tip), and brush brows into place. It gives brows definition without looking overly filled in or mad scientist-y. Give ‘er a try.
3 Exotic Oils :: Facial oils have sorta been my thing for a long while now. I love ‘em and no one is gonna change my mind. But I recently came into a sweet little stock of facial oils I had never tried. We are talking Berbere, Tamanu, Marula, and Baobab. Exotic, oui? They are all mighty lovely and create super soft skin, but my face seems to be crushing hard on the Berbere in particular. I’d say run, don’t walk, to one of these babies.
4 Hair Game Changer :: And last, but not least, I’d like to share a life changing hair moment I had recently. My daughter, in attempt to get the most from a new hair conditioner we were trying, read the directions on the bottle. It appears you are supposed to squeeze the water from your sopping wet locks before applying your conditioner.
Oh. Em. Gee. Do you all already know about this? How many other daily life things have I been doing wrong forever? If you too are one who slathers her soaking wet hair in conditioner and wonders why she isn’t getting super soft locks, try this trick. If you’ve been doing this your whole life, take pity on my feeble mindedness.
Isn’t this a weird time of year? It’s warm, it’s not warm. Our skin is dry, then it breaks out because of the up and down temps. We want to bust out the fun springtime makeup hues, but our face is still stuck in hibernation mode.
Know what fixes those end of winter, almost spring blues? An exciting beauty shopping list! Here’s what is on mine right about now:
French Girl Organics Bronzing Oil :: Ummm, cuz oil + bronzing sounds a-freakin’-mazing. This brand was featured in the latest issue of domino. Domino is one of my all time favorite magazines (I have every single issue ever published and now write for domino.com, in case you didn’t know) and what they say goes.
RMS Master Mixer :: Because I am, possibly, RMS Beauty’s biggest fan, this one is definitely a must try. Rose-Marie Swift, creator of RMS and green beauty icon, has a knack for coming up with super cool, unique beauty products that turn into cult hits. This is for sure gonna be one of those.
OM Caviar Eye Cream :: This baby is receiving rave reviews and is said to diminish wrinkles and dark circles. When anything says that, I say…bring it on.
Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist :: The idea of misting my skin with rose water when the weather is warm is so appealing. Think I must do. These guys were also featured in that domino green beauty round up I mentioned before, so there’s that.
SW Basics Oil Serum :: It’s no secret I worship facial oils. If they were a person, I’d bff them for life. If they were edible, I’d drink them for breakfast. If they were a song, I’d have them on repeat. You get it. This beauty has both turmeric and coffee oil, which is pretty dang exciting. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and gives skin a lovely glow. Coffee helps to tighten and brighten. Come to mama.
ILIA Beauty Lip Exfoliator :: Lipgloss is my favorite makeup item. Heck, it’s my favorite beauty item. I’m sure most of you are with me. Since your lipgloss glides on so much better if your lips are soft and smooth, we all must try this cool new lip exfoliator in a stick. For smoothing your pucker on the fly.
Olio e Osso Balm French Melon :: I’ve been hunting for the perfect blend of peachy-pink lip color since binge watching every season of the new 90210. This may be it, guys. I shall try it out and let you know.
Here’s to the most gorgeous spring you’ve know yet!
Are you so tired of cracked skin on your hands? Or maybe the skin on your face is looking irritated or ruddy? How about eczema? These skin conditions all come with the winter territory.
Go to the doctor or dermy and they’ll tell you to pick up a tube of Aquaphor, or some similar petroleum jelly type product, at the drugstore and you’re all good. Why is that? Because petroleum jelly works in the short term. It almost instantly makes skin feels softer and soothed, and helps to seal in moisture our skin is crying out for right about now.
Trouble is, petroleum jelly (petrolatum) often contains cancer causing contaminants. As a matter of fact, the European Union considers the ingredient carcinogenic and restrict its use in cosmetics.
Aside from that nasty news, petroleum jelly is occlusive, meaning it forms a barrier on the skin. In the moisturizer world, there are humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants draw moisture from the air to the skin. Emollients are moisturizing ingredients that soak into the skin, filling dry cracks and areas.
Occlusive agents are meant to hold in moisture and prevent dryness. They usually feel greasy on the skin and can cause clogged pores and acne. Some natural ingredients are also occlusive (beeswax, mango butter, cocoa butter…) and work the same way as petroleum jelly, creating a water loss barrier on the skin only sans the carcinogenic contaminants. Due to the comedogenic nature of occlusives, it’s a good idea for those with oily or acne prone skin to use minimally.
But here we are in the midst of dry skin season. Even if you are on the oilier side, now is the time to get in on some of the benefits of these ingredients to deal with problem skin.
I have three favorite petroleum-jelly-type products that are all natural and work even better. You are going to love them!
3 Natural Skin Products That Kick Aquaphor to the Curb
1. True Organic of Sweden All You Need is Me :: Love the name, love the product. This one is new to me this season and can’t imagine going through another winter without it. It looks and feels just like Aquaphor coming out of the tube, but once you rub it into skin…seems to evaporate with no oil slick left behind. I use it religiously on my fingertips, cuticles, dry spots on face, and anywhere else that is just a little bit ( or a lot bit) too dry.
2. Waxelene :: Called “The Petroleum Jelly Alternative” this is the one to get if you are into using petroleum jelly straight up. It’s a simple four ingredient mix that comes in a either a tube or jar. No icky stuff, just real deal moisture for ultra parched skin.
2. SKIN Claramint Lip Balm :: I had to include this one here, even though it is decidedly minty, unlike Vaseline or Aquaphor. It is the exact consistency of petroleum jelly, super smooth and clear, and works like a charm on dry, chapped lips. I use it every single night before bed and it is always on when I wake up in the morning. Oh, and a lil dab’ll do ya.
Whole Foods. I mention beauty items you can find there from time to time. Thought it was time I shared my WF beauty shopping list.
While I try and curb my Whole Foods experience due to my desire to go on vacations, buy some cool clothes, and one day send my kids to college, I do end up there fairly regularly. Not only is their fruit selection much better than my beloved Target, but it is an easy place to pick up some of my favorite natural beauty essentials.
The key to shopping WF without going broke is to go prepared, get your shiz, and get the heck outta there! So, here’s your list for the beauty aisle. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Acure Organics :: I love that WF carries this fabulous line. Acure makes skin, body and hair care basics, reasonably priced, and no nasty ingredients. They work great too. I pick up the Eye Cream, Day Cream, Radical Wrinkle Complex, Sensitive Facial Cleanser, body wash, and shampoo and conditioner. Target does carry some of this line too.
Evan Healy :: A bottle of Pomegranate Repair Serum is a must for the beauty kit this time of year. Sinks into skin to moisturize and soften. I like to use it at night over my usual moisturizer once the indoor heat season starts up.
Whole Foods Lip Balm :: What if I told you WF makes one of my absolute fave lip balms?. For real. I love this lip balm more than most I’ve tried over the years. And since I am a lippy junkie, there have been many. It is super smooth and soft, not too greasy or too waxy, and comes in lots of fun flavors. Cheap too. Grab one at the checkout aisle as you are avoiding the bakery and making a mad dash for your car.
Dr. Hauschka :: I also love that WF carries Dr. Hauschka. This guru of organic beauty has high quality formulas and several products to choose from. I don’t purchase these products regularly, but if they start carrying Dr. H Volume Mascara that’ll change real fast.
There you have it. My personal Whole Foods beauty shopping list. Now put your blinders on and go buy yourself some healthy stuff.
So that is why it has taken me so long to get around to these two products I’ve had sitting around for a while. It is not that I don’t love them (because I only review products I truly like for myself or feel others would super duper benefit from), it’s just that reviews have sorta been on the back burner.
Anyway…the thing about these two beauties is…they are actual beauties. Inside and out. As in, the packaging is as pretty as the product. So while they have not yet appeared here on the blog, they have been a constant presence in my bathroom.
What are these two lovelies? One is a beautiful bottle of fabulously scented, highest quality oils by the stellar Kypris. This is a high end oil that acts like, well, a high end oil. This dream in a bottle was offered to me all tied up in a giftie navy blue bow. Product experience, anyone?
The other product (or products, actually) are not at the organic beauty royalty level of Kypris, but definitely deserve a serious turn of the head. I’d not heard of Formulary 55 when they were offered to me, but I am so glad I accepted them. These packets of face and body powders in mask/scrub form made my skin so unbelievably soft. For real!
Both of these exquisite beauty items make for some serious eye candy. Which got me to wondering…how much of our buying experience hinges on product appearance and packaging? There are always those must haves that could come in the least attractive bottle and we’d still buy them. But when we are talking expensive, luxury or specialty products, don’t we kind of need some experience to go along with them?
It’s like going to get a massage or spa treatment. This is a luxury, right? A treat. If the place is drab, rundown or otherwise unappealing the massage won’t seem like as much of a treat. It may not even be worth it.
So, there is something to this whole visual appeal thing, which led me to write a recent article for Domino.com on products that give good shelf esteem. This whole idea got my wheels spinning and I started asking around – How important is product packaging to you? And, not surprisingly, it is pretty dang important to most people. Women and men alike admit to putting a lot of importance on the way an item looks when buying.
Both Kypris and Formulary 55 outdo themselves on quality and aesthetics. Worthy of your skin and vanity/bathroom shelf.
What if I told you the days of enduring the grossness of mineral sunscreens are over? Well, that’s the truth. Formulators have figured out how to make mineral sunscreens that are not sticky or greasy, go on skin with no white film, and still provide that same effective protection you want. And I am going to fill you in on which are best, along with some pretty sweet all natural self tanners.
And away we go…
SUNSCREENS + SELF TANNERS
Self Tanner for Body My all time top pick in this category has to be Lavera Sunless Tanner. I’ve used it for years and have found no other I like better. It goes on like a lotion, meaning it is lightly hydrating and easy to apply. It also provides a super natural looking tan with no orange tinge or streaks. And it smells great too. Another popular choice is Chocolate Sun Self Tanner. I have yet to try this one myself, but it is on my list.
Invisible Sunscreen for Face with Anti AgingSuntegrity Sunscreen Face Protection SPF 30 leaves no greasiness or white film on skin, provides UVA and UVB protection, and doubles as a makeup primer. It also contains anti aging ingredients, green tea, algae, and pomegranate. Woot!
Overall Sunscreen for Body Sticking with Suntegrity because it is just that awesome, Suntegrity Sunscreen for Body SPF 30 is your new go to. Easy to apply, feels like lotion, and has a light citrusy scent.
Facial Sunscreen Surprise, surprise… Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen is my pick for those looking to protect the face and also add a bit of makeup coverage. Think of this as your summer BB Cream. SPF 30 provides more than adequate UV protection, this baby is packed with antioxidants to support skin and prevent premature aging. Comes in 5 shades.
Overall Sunscreen Think: A sunscreen you can use on face, body, kids … the whole enchilada. True Natural Zinc 30 Baby & Family Sunscreen is the only one you’ll need in your beach bag this summer. Gentle, unscented, and non greasy. White factor?, you ask. This one requires a bit more rubbing in, but you definitely won’t be the ghost at the beach.
Self Tanner for Face I love Lavera Organic Self Tanning Face Creamfor the same reasons I love the Lavera for body. Easy to use, doubles as moisturizer, looks super natural, and is not at all greasy. Apply every few days to maintain a natural glow. You’ll fall in love with this stuff.
Okey doke. We are by no means finished with the greening of the InStyle BBB. Still have body and hair products to go, so don’t forget to come on back now, ya’ hear?
Hellooooo again, sweet organic beauties! Can you believe it is almost summer? I’m so ready. But first, we have to finish up the greening of the InStyle Best Beauty Buys guide.
I’m doing this in chunks because it is kind of a massive undertaking. Plus, it makes it easier for you to find what you are looking for.
You can view Face + Cheeks here, Eyes + Lips here. Today, we cover skincare for every skin type. One category InStyle left out is sensitive skin, so I will make a notation on products that work there. This is a biggie, so let’s get started!
Eye Cream In an attempt to choose a product every woman will love…I have to go with B Leaf Botanics Replenish, here. My friend, Ellen Holder, makes this wonderful stuff. It is moisturizing, yet non greasy. It brightens and youth-ifies delicate, tired skin. It is perfect when worn under makeup. Oh, and you can use on lips too. Take that non healthy InStyle BBB choice.
Antioxidant Serum Gosh, I love serums. Normal skin loves a product with healthy oils, but not too heavy. YULI Cell Perfecto PM provides antioxidant protection along with lightening, brightening, spot fading bennies too.
Mask I know those freaky cotton Friday the 13th-esque masks are all the rage right now, but the SK-II version contains some nasty ingredients so steer clear. Until I find a cotton mask that is also nontoxic, here’s what I suggest…May Lindstrom The Honey Mud. This product is actually great for all skin types, including sensitive. The clay pulls out impurities, which is what you are looking for in a mask. But the real reason I love it is the honey. Honey is so softening and smoothing, plus it’s naturally antibacterial. I’ll even apply a straight shot of Wedderspoon Manuka Honey to my face.
Night CreamMUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum is an oil combination that can be used alone or with your moisturizer, depending on what you feel your skin needs. When feeling dry, I love to apply generously over my usual moisturizer and sleep my way to revitalized skin.
Daytime Moisturizer with SPFJosh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 is aloe based. Light enough for normal skin, gentle enough for sensitive, and contains a dose of non-nano zinc for sun protection. For the ultra sensitive, try Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30.
Cleanser Not unscented, but Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Cream is super gentle and hydrating. Remember, “unscented” doesn’t necessarily mean a product is free from synthetic fragrance. Rich oils and cocoa butter moisturize, Rooibos provides antioxidant protection. And the $9.99 price tag is pretty darn great too.
Daytime Moisturizer with SPF Here is would usually recommend applying a sunscreen over your daily moisturizer. Then I stumbled across Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine with Zinc.Zinc in an oil blend pretty much spells sun protection for dry skin, right? It is currently out of stock, but I’ve contacted the shop to see if it will be making a return. Fingers crossed.
Scrub Cult hit One Love Organics Brand New Day is a powder that can be used as a scrub or mask. Pineapple enzymes work to gently slough away dead skin cells, revealing healthy, vibrant skin.
Night Cream Treat while you sleep with Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel. May be used as a day or night cream for oily skin types. Great for soothing and calming, while clearing pores and delivering the lightest hydration.
Daytime Moisturizer with SPF Consonant 100% Natural Matte Finish Sunscreen-SPF 15 is a fragrance-free facial sunscreen with matte finish. No grease slick or white film. (UPDATE: This product has been discontinued. Please try Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Rich Day Cream SPF 30 instead.)
Cleanser One Love Organics Apple a Day Brightening Facial Cleanser is a mild, foaming facial cleanser. Breaks down dead skin cells and brightens the complexion. (UPDATE: This product has been discontinued. Please try One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser instead.)
Inexpensive Wrinkle TreatmentAcure Organics Certified Organic Aromatherapeutic Coconut Argan Oil is made with Vitamin E, EFAs, and, obvi, Argan oil…this truly is a skin superfood! Smooths the appearance of lines, diminishes spots, scars, and redness, and protects skin with antioxidants, and smells like coconuts. All for only $12.99. No brainer.
At-Home Peel The word peel makes me shudder. Let’s say remove dead skin cells instead, ok? And the safest, gentlest way to go about doing that is with fruit acids. They break down old skin cells and leave healthy cells intact, no scrubbing required. I had truly amazing results with Wild Honey Apothecary fruit masks. Particle free, these masks vary from season to season because they use only fresh, seasonal fruits. Cool, huh? I’m in love with the strawberry mask, but that doesn’t happen until later in summer. Indigo Magic is pretty darn good too.
Discoloration Treatment Sun damage is a real thing as we get older. Rather than reaching for the concealer, treat spots with RMS Beauty Oil. One of my favorite every day oils, this baby contains Rosehip oil which is so good at evening skin tone, smoothing wrinkles, and lightening spots. It also contains protective Buriti oil, to help ward off further damage.
ExfoliatorMay Lindstrom Skin The Clean Dirt looks like your average powder scrub, but behaves very differently. This powder is super fine, so doesn’t stress skin, and visibly clears congestion and sallow complexion.
Whew! There you have my picks in each skincare category. As always, if you have questions or comments, please let the rest of us in on them. And come back next week when we shall hash over InStyle’s picks for body and sun care, and my healthy replacements. See ya then.
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.
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.
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.
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: