1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil: Eco-Luxe for Less.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Andalou Naturals brand, but many people seem to be in agreement that the 1000 Roses line is luurrrvely. I noticed the 1000 Roses face mask in Whole Foods and was very tempted, but I already have three face masks I’m using up. I’m trying to buy less, people! However, my dry skin has been crying out for oil lately, and whilst I use argan, jojoba and pricky pear seed oil in rotation, none of these smell particularly nice or feel particularly luxurious. I’ve heard awesome things about face oils from brands like Kypris, Gressa, La Bella Figura and In Fiore, but they are all pretty pricey. I wanted something that felt eco-luxe without the hefty price tag.

I think this oil truly delivers. Here’s a pic of it, in all its 16 dollars glory (actually on sale at Vitacost right now for 13.57!!)

roses

 

First of all, the packaging (to me) feels very luxe. As you can see, the product comes in a pink glass bottle. Glass is always preferable to plastic, both in terms of being environmentally friendly, and in feeling more luxurious and looking prettier on the bathroom shelf. Second of all, I love pink, so brownie points for that!

Now for the ingredients. The ingredients list is truly stellar, for the price. Take a look:

Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (sunflower), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba), rosa canina (rosehip), punica granatum (pomegranate), vaccinum macrocarpon (cranberry), camelina sativa, argania spinosa (argan) and hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oils*, PhytoCellTec (Alpine rose, malus domestica, solar vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex:[hyaluronic acid, magnolia officinalis bark, Phoenix dactylifera (date) leaf cell and boswellia serrata (boswellin) extracts], sorbitol, caprylic/capric triglycerides, tocopherol (vitamin E), aloe barbadensis extract, camellia sinensis (white tea) and aspalathus linearis (rooibos)*†, citrus tangerina (tangerine) and pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) oils*, rosa centifolia (rose) oil.
*Certified Organic. †Fair Trade.

OK guys, this is a product under 20 bucks, and we’re talking rosehip oil as the third main ingredient! Not only that but we’ve got fruit stem cell extracts, geranium AND rose oil, argan oil, sea buckthorn oil…this is crazy!! It’s like a who’s who of green beauty blogger best ingredients list.

Here are the claims, and they’re hefty:

Rose and Fruit Stem Cells

  • Alpine Rose/Malus Domestica/Solar Vitis
  • Boost Cell Vitality
  • Improve Resilience
  • Counteract Aging

Bioactive 8 Berry Complex

Certified Organic Portfolio of Superfruit Antioxidants; Acai, Aronia, Bearberry, Bilberry, Black Elderberry, Goji, Rosehips, and Sea Buckthorn.

Certified Organic Aloe Vera

Soothes inflammation, oxygenates and hydrates, advances dermal absorption of active ingredients.

So, the question is, does this product deliver on the claims?

WAIT!! Did I mention the smell?! This product smells DI-VINE. I am not kidding. If you don’t enjoy a rose scent, then…well, we can’t be friends. (Joking. Sort of). But if you love the scent of rose and/or geranium, you won’t be disappointed…

Anyway, onto the claims…I’ve been using this product now for about two weeks, and I definitely notice a difference. On application, it’s very soft and silky, rather than heavy or greasy like my bog-standard oils are. So I can put it on before make-up, for instance. I feel like it makes my skin look dewier after make-up application. My skin does look smoother and more hydrated. It doesn’t deliver intense hydration the way that a balm does (my One Love Organics balm delivers more of an instant hydration wallop) but it’s definitely a skin softener and smoother.

Overall, I’m incredibly happy with this purchase. For the price, it can’t be beat. If you’re considering buying an eco-luxe face oil, you might want to check this out first!

 

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Tarte ‘Tarteist’ Blush palette

I hope you like my new-look site! I was going for something a bit more minimal and clean. (Side note – my intention from now on is to get better at photography and take my own photos for this blog!) So, being now almost exactly one year into my green beauty journey, something has definitely shifted within me – I’m starting to get a feel for not just the brands that I enjoy, but also what works on my skin, what make-up looks best on me, and how much money I’m willing to spend on product. When I first started getting into green beauty I was trying all sorts of random products, but now I’m able to curate (I hate that word, but can’t think of a better one) my collection more thoughtfully. One thing I’d been on the lookout for a while was a (relatively) clean blush palette. Blush isn’t something I know much about or am particularly drawn to when I’m shopping, so a palette with a few different options makes sense for me. One palette is all I really need in my blush universe. When I was in Ulta and saw the ‘Tarteist’ blush palette, I think I made a soft sighing sound. It just looked so perfect for Spring. I’ll admit, despite my newfound inclination to research before I buy, this was a total impulse buy (an impulse that set me back 38 smackaroons!). I think I was also drawn to the weight and heft of the palette, as much as the colors. It’s very luxurious. And the colors are gorgeous, especially for pale skin. Because my skin is dry, I usually prefer creme blushes, but I do find that powder blushes tend to last longer. From left to right the colors are:

“Live” – light poppy-coral (matte)

“Laugh” – pink-brown nude (with a very slight shimmer)

“Love” – pink-mauve (matte)

“Dream” – spring pink (matte)

2016-04-30 14.24.56

Those are my color descriptors, by the way, but I think they’re pretty accurate. I’ve been experimenting with this palette for about two weeks, and I think my favorite colors right now are “Live” and “Laugh,” but I really enjoy all of them. The powder is finely milled so it doesn’t look too dusty on my dry skin, and it’s very highly pigmented. The lasting power is pretty good too. I can still see it at the end of the day, though not as bright as upon first application of course. I just recently sent off for three Gressa skin products, including the bronzing sculpting serum, and I think all of these colors are going to look darn pretty buffed into that. I’ll take a picture for you, I promise 🙂

This certainly isn’t the cleanest product in the world, but it is at least formulated without parabens and suflates, and Tarte doesn’t test on animals. To put this product in context, I recently received a 100% Pure brand creme blush (“Baby Pink”) in my Petit Vour box, and whilst it’s super clean and a very pretty and buildable color, the lasting power is just no match for Tarte’s. I love the colors for Spring, and I think it’ll last me a looong time. I’m slightly tempted by some of the blushes from “Silk Naturals,” but true to my new minimalist spirit I know I don’t need them, so I’m just going to revel in this – it’s a thing of beauty.

 

 

Spring Favorites: Green Beauty, Part 1!

Hi – and happy Spring!! I recently had a spring cleaning-type purge of some old and unloved makeup and skincare products (I’m aiming to be more minimalistic and conscious of my purchases) but I also acquired a few new things that have brought me a lot of joy since they came into my life. I’ve got quite a lot to share with you, so consider this blog ‘part 1.’ More to come soon! Now, without further ado, let’s get started.

RMS Beauty Lip Shine in “Sacred.” ($25.00)

I’d heard a lot of buzz about this lip product in the green beauty vlogosphere, so I was keen to try it. I have to say, I really like it. The ingredients are organic and apart from some artificial pigments they’re stellar: castor oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, buriti oil, beeswax, vitamin E and rosemary. What makes it so special is how highly pigmented is…a beautiful reddish pink that on my lips pulls pretty pink. It’s also beautifully shiny and even once the shine wears off what remains is a light stain. I like the fact that it doesn’t dry out my lips, and that I can also wear it on my cheeks: whilst it’s not part of the lip2cheek line, it’s certainly wearable on the cheeks, and just gives a more dewy finish than the matt lip2cheeks. If you’re looking for a lovely Springtime lip color, this might just float your boat.

sacred

Whilst we’re on the topic of lovely lips, I’ve really been enjoying Hurraw! Lip balm in the flavor ‘Vata.’ ($4.19 on Vitacost). I don’t know if you’ve heard of this lip balm brand, but it’s popular in the vegan beauty community, and the ingredients are organic as well as vegan. I was SUPER excited to learn about this lip balm flavor because recently I’ve become interested in Ayurveda, and my particular dosha type is Vata (air). Vata’s need earthy grounding scents, and this one is specifically designed with Vata types in mind – it smells of cardamom and very faintly of almonds and rose. It also contains the tridoshic (good for all doshas) herb ashwanganda, which is commonly used in Ayurvedic practices for maintaining general health. The ingredients are just so thoughtful – sesame oil is the main oil, which is perfect for Vatas as it’s heavy and grounding. And I love the formula – it’s shiny but not too shiny, and honestly it makes my Burt’s Bees balms feel waxy and sticky in comparison. Of course, this lip balm is available in tons of other flavors, including ones for the other dosha types – kapha (earth) and pitta (fire). Hooray for Hurraw!

Another two favorites this month have been my Fig + Yarrow Complexion Water ($18.50 on Amazon – I can’t remember the vlogger who raved about this, but I was sold) which is on a par with the Little Barn Apothecary Geranium and White Tea Beauty Mist ($8.00, exclusive to Petit Vour) which I received in my most recent Petit Vour box. I think I actually prefer the scent of the Little Barn product, BUT the fig + yarrow spray wins in the spray department because it’s a lot lighter and finer. It might be the bottle nozzle, in which case I’ll use up the fig + yarrow first and decant the Little Barn one into it. Score!

The scent of the fig + yarrow is lovely if less intensely floral – sandalwood and neroli. I have to admit, I’ve heard a lot about hydrosols, setting sprays, beauty mists and so forth. I really felt that this was something I didn’t need in my life – or that I could just use aloe water or rosewater as so many people do. But I’m ever willing to give things a go, and now I think I will always have a beauty mist on my shelf. It has a myriad of uses, contain good-for-your-skin ingredients, smell amazing, and I love their versatility…

  • When I’m stressed, I just spray a bit around my head. The scent is relaxing and energizing. Apparently the Little Barn beauty mist contains healing plant energies 😉
  • Toner (before putting on serum)
  • Make up setter
  • Refresher during the day
  • Hair scent (just spray on my hair)
  • Add moisture to my face before applying makeup
  • Awesome when traveling and needing a pick-me-up

I hope you enjoyed my Spring favorites so far. Be on the lookout for Part 2, coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Himalayan Pink Salt Candle Holders…

Where I go to take yoga class, there’s a beautiful Himalayan pink salt lamp glowing on the desk. The pink, incandescent hue is really calming, but I’d heard that the lamps can ‘sweat’ and the bulbs can be a pain to change. However, I ended up finding a beautiful pair of pink salt candle-holders at Bed Bath and Beyond for just $14.99, and am just so pleased with them! Not only do they emit that beautiful rose glow when you drop a tea light inside, they also (apparently) release negative ions into the air when heated, like an air purifier. I must admit, too, that it’s nice to have something so natural on my coffee table, rather than man-made. They have a heft and a rough hewn beauty to them, as well as a pleasant mismatched quality, that really speaks to me. You don’t have to meditate or do yoga to enjoy these candle holders.

rock-salt-candle-holder1

Weekend-Worthy Favorites: W3LL People, Matcha Tea Lattes, and More!

Hi all,

This isn’t going to be a super long post…my parents are coming to visit from England (yay!) so I’ve got a ton of cleaning up and work to do! (Fun).

However, I wanted to share with you a few of my weekend-worthy favorites, that I think…no, I KNOW you will enjoy learning about. A couple of beauty products, and a couple of lifestyle items. And, hold onto your hats, I won’t be mentioning Pacifica ONCE!!!! It’s a miracle! 🙂

  1. W3LL People Bio Brightener Stick in “Moonstone.” ($29.99)

There’s been so much hype around this product in the green beauty world, that I knew I had to give it a whirl. At the W3LL People website you can buy samples of this product for $1.50, but I went all out and bought the full product. I’m not sorry I did – I’ll be honest, I have never used highlighter before. EVER. A brief flirtation with ‘illuminating liquids’ made me look sparklier than Edward Cullen at a disco. So I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product, nor how to apply it. However, a few beauty blogs later I had learned how to ‘strobe’ with highlighter – apply it above cheekbones, along the bridge of the nose, the cupid’s bow, and bottom of the chin (and/or inner corners of eyes) – and I have to admit, the result was pretty awesome! What I like about this product is that it’s not sparkly or glittery – it’s a light shimmer, or perhaps ‘glisten’ is a better word. No Edward Cullen here! It’s really easy to apply too; you just dab a bit on your finger, or you could even just apply it straight from the stick. I also wear it sometimes in place of eyeshadow. Big score. I also bought the much touted bronzing stick as a sample, and it’s pretty good – I’m not sure I like it as much yet, but I’ll give it a few more uses before reporting back.

2. One Love Organics Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm ($49.00)

Another darling of the green beauty world, I received this in a subscription box quite a while ago – I can’t actually remember which one 🙂  I’ve loved it from the get-go, but I think I love it more now that my skin is going through a dry spell. I apply this balm to my face either as a night cream or after showering. It’s got a light, citrus scent which isn’t my favorite ever, but it’s totally OK. When I learned the price of this I almost had a mild heart attack, and I doubt I’ll be repurchasing because 50 bucks is a lot to spend on a skincare product. Sob. Sob.

3. Rishi Green Tea Matcha ($6.30 at Vitacost)

For those of you who love those Starbucks iced green tea lattes, I kid you not, this tastes EXACTLY THE SAME and is like a gazillion times less expensive. The ingredients are awesosme – just matcha powder and cane sugar. I drink this iced – you just add a couple of teaspoons to cold milk, stir around, and add ice. To avoid lumps you can dissolve the powder in a little hot water before adding the milk. Delicious with almond milk too!

 

4. Headspace App and Podcast

I’ve been using the Headspace meditation app on my phone for a while now, and I really enjoy it. You can try a 10 session foundation course for free, and if you like it a year’s subscription is, if I recall correctly, $90.00. (I could be wrong!) which allows you to access all the courses. Each course is a progressive series of meditation sessions (you can choose between 10 minute, 15 minute and 20 minute sessions) and animated videos that teach you different meditation techniques. The themes are wide-ranging, from depression to balance. I also love how the company is evolving: they’re always adding to their library of courses as we speak: new additions include meditation for pregnancy, self-esteem and mindful eating. I personally enjoy the voice of the teacher, Andi Puddicombe (check out his awesome TED talk on mindfulness below!) and my only beef with Headspace is that once you embark on a course you have to finish it or you’re back to square one. Sometimes I’d like to pause a course and try another before returning to the first one. Oh well!

The perfect perk-me-up perfume!

Just a super short post today, but I couldn’t resist a quick rave about Pacifica’s Perfume in Malibu Lemon Blossom scent. This is described as a blend of “Lemon Blossom, Litsea Cubeba (don’t ask me what that is) and the salty sea air.” There are also notes of Angel’s Trumpet and herbs. It’s very Herman Melville meets Jane Austen.

Well, if you’re not already sold, read on!

I’m not a scent person normally – for one thing, I can’t stand the underzing of alcohol in most perfumes. I usually wear vanilla or coconut scents if I wear anything, but I wanted something zippy for Spring. I first tried this out at Sprouts and I loved it immediately. I didn’t buy it though, because I wanted to see how it would wear. All day long it smelled fresh, light and citrusy (but not overwhelmingly so) and it just makes me feel…well…happy when I’m wearing it. It’s like aromatherapy. This one will definitely be in my March favorites! I bought the roll-on for $15.00 at Vitacost.

perfume

Help! My Root Chakra is blocked!

I’ve recently been learning more about the chakras which, according to some Indian religions, are seven energy centers located along the body. When one is ‘blocked’ it can impede or stagnate your growth or functioning in that area.

I don’t tend to take these things too literally, but I certainly believe that these energy centers, or vortexes (they spin!) are a useful metaphor for considering how certain ‘blocks’ in our lives might manifest as a physical ailment or powerful emotion.

According to a short quiz I took, my most blocked chakra right now is my ‘root chakra,’ which is kind of unfortunate because if that one isn’t functioning well, all the other chakras are going to be out of whack as well. The root chakra is located at the base of your spine, and is associated with the color red.

How do you know if your root chakra is blocked? Well, you feel “ungrounded.” This could be due to physical or environmental stressors, but also just feelings of spaciness or forgetfulness. A good example: the other day I left my lunch sitting out on the counter at work instead of putting it in the fridge. Doh!

It makes sense that I’d feel this way and be kind of scattered right now, because my job involves using unstructured time wisely and trying to deal with a ton of different things at once, including facilitating lots of conflicting perspectives. Being pulled in so many different directions can make you feel untethered, even at the best of times when you’re feeling stable in your own sense of self. (For  me, I think that’s when I’m with close family, which is certainly when I feel most grounded).

Another thing I’ve noticed about my job is that, unlike when I was teaching, there are few immediate rewards. Sometimes “helping” means disciplining a student, or having a really tough conversation with a parent. These are not fun things to do. AT ALL. I’m the first to admit, it’s a blow to the ego.

And I think that’s a big part of why my root chakra is in need of some TLC. I’m renegotiating my relationship with my ego, and realizing that a lot of things are no longer about me. It’s about doing what’s right, for the long term. But that definitely takes a toll.

I’m getting there. In the meantime, I’m trying to rebalance myself by doing lots of oil massages and pranayama breathing techniques. I especially love alternate nostril breathing.

One of my green beauty lifesavers for helping me feel more grounded has been Nubian Heritage “Indian Hemp and Haitian Vetiver With Neem Oil Hand and Body Scrub.” ($12.99) It is thick and luscious with an earthy grounding scent that helps relax me before bed. I also really enjoy drinking Yogi Tea Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea.

Any other tips are always appreciated!

 

 

 

Julep’s “Love Your Bare Face”Age Defying Cleanser Oil Review

I was very excited to receive this in the mail yesterday, because it’s been getting rave reviews from Julep customers – plus, you know how I love my oils!

I might be off base here, but I think of Julep as a semi-green beauty company. Their products aren’t totally free of nasties, but the ingredients are pretty darn awesome. This  cleansing oil is a case in point. It’s chock full of lovely ingredients – grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, vitamin E, coffee seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and rosemary leaf extract to name a few. And then they go and spoil it all by adding PEG-30 Sorbitan Tetraoleate (cause for ‘some concern’ on EWG) into the mix. Why, Julep, why?! So, if you’re a purist, best avoid this one. If, however, you’re willing to bend the rules a little when a good product comes along, please read on!

What I like about this cleansing oil is that it’s really light and absorbs well. The instructions call for it to be rinsed off, and it doesn’t leave much residue which is nice – you can even use this in the morning. And I did! I used it in the shower (as always with oils) and my skin was soft and supple all day. I also tried using it as a makeup remover, just swiping it over my skin on a cotton round. Success here too – my makeup came off great, no eye stinging, and it’s lighter than using, say, jojoba oil. Oddly though, my skin felt a little prickly afterward (which didn’t happen when rinsing it off).

The smell is pleasant – a pretty strong grapefruit scent. Which makes sense – one of the ingredients is grapefruit peel.

Since starting to use green products I’ve struggled to find an all-in-one cleanser and makeup remover. I’m not sure this is as good as the SW Basics Makeup Remover, and it’s got that one funky ingredient that gets my goat, but I do really really like it.

It’s available for $28.00 on Julep’s website, but you can also find it at other online retailers such as Ulta.

If you’ve tried it, let me know what you think!

 

 

 

My Fail-Safe Dry Skin Beauty Routine!

Hello!

Even though I live in L.A and even though it’s a very pleasant indeed 80 degrees most days, for some reason the air conditioning at work dries my skin out like no one’s business. I have naturally dry skin, and since switching to a green beauty routine and using oils, it’s drastically improved, but I still have bouts of extreme parched-ness. When my skin is feeling uber dry I turn to two main products, both by the wonderful Brooklyn-based brand SW Basics, and I have a little routine down for using them that works a treat. There’s something Ayurvedic about these products too…I’m a ‘vata’ type (dry skin, flighty/nervous energy, on the thin-side: these are the vata clichés which I am happy to fulfill). When I was doing my PhD, many moons ago, I read somewhere that vatas should eat more oily and sweet/heavy foods when stressed to combat fatigue and anxiety. It worked! And I think this translates to skincare as well.

Let’s start with exfoliation. Peeps with dry skin should really avoid extreme exfoliants, especially that microdermabrasion malarkey. Just say no, my friends. Dry skin = sensitive skin, and you don’t want to mess with your epidermis too much. However, a little exfoliation helps skin stay smooth and preps it for absorbing oils and such like. My favorite exfoliator right now is the calming and soothing SW Basics product “Exfoliant,” which is made with organic oat flour, almond flour and sea salt. You can buy this online for about $24.00 at places like Pharmaca, and also at some Targets. It’s a pretty accessible brand, and one of my favorites because of its emphasis on pure and organic ingredients – of which there are always five or less…

 

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. $24.00?! For that price I could just make this shit myself! Aha! That’s what I thought, but it turns out that SW Basics know what they’re doing when it comes to the perfect balance of ingredients. I’ve tried ‘mixing’ SW Basics products up  before, but somehow it’s never the same. Unfortunately.

I apply this in the shower. It’s just really soothing. I can’t say it smells good – sorry. If you like scented products, this isn’t for you. SW Basics stuff just isn’t about smell, it’s about purity.

After a scrub-a-dub-dub with this I slather on SW Basics “Cream” (about $32.00, but worth it and often cheaper online). The key is to do this whilst still in the shower so your skin is damp.

 

I really can’t say enough good things about this cream – which really feels more like a thick scoop of solid coconut oil than a cream, texture-wise. It’s made with just shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil, and it’s perfect. Immediately after it’s sunk in my skin just feels super supple, looks smooth, and feels soft. Applying it to damp skin allows it to really penetrate, so that’s how I always apply it. Again, it’s not great in the smell department. But it really doesn’t matter because it’s THAT GOOD. Also, olive oil is a much underrated skin product in my opinion, so it’s nice to see it championed in this product.

After about half an hour or so, after it’s absorbed, I slather on an oil – usually prickly pear seed oil. I actually buy this cheaply from my local TJ Maxx store. I love it – it’s thicker than, say, argan oil, although that would work just fine too. I have a bunch of other oils I will talk about in a future post.

That’s it! My dry skin routine – super simple, right? Like I said, the key thing is to apply everything in the shower. The steam helps soften the skin and allows the ingredients to really absorb and do their job.

Try it, and let me know if you have any great dry skin remedies!

 

 

Taking a Break from Blogging…

Hello everyone!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’ve decided to take a break from blogging (for now), mainly because I want to invest my time into some other things and writing projects, and I just don’t have the time to spread around! I have had a wonderful time in this little community, and really enjoyed meeting you all!! I will be continuing my green beauty journey, as I truly am passionate about it…and I know I will miss sharing my finds and reviews with everyone and comparing notes. I am really amazed at how this blog grew so fast, and if I could keep it going and do all the other things I want to do I certainly would…but never say never! I may well be back at some point in the future.

Thank you so much to all those who supported, followed, and commented. I will try to continue reading and commenting on your blogs!!

Liv xx