Brand Overview: Nyakio

Nyakio is one of the newest brands to arrive at Ulta. A less expensive alternative for people that want to delve into green skincare, I thought I’d share with you some of the products that I have had the chance to test out from them.

By far my favorite product is the Kenyan Coffee Facial Polish. It is absolutely amazing. It has definitely become my current go-to exfoliator. Somehow its abrasive enough to really get a good exfoliation while being gentle enough to be able to use multiple times a week. It feels as if the Kenyan Coffee beans have been rounded into very small spheres so there are no harsh edges anywhere, which means I have no real fear of micro tears. This leaves my skin feeling impossibly smooth and prepped for the next stages in my skincare routine.

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I enjoy the Quinoa Eye Cream. I adore the ceramic applicator. It’s so incredibly cooling and depuffing. My only problem with it is that a couple times that I have used it, it has burned my eyes slightly and made them start to water. The actual product seems great on my undereyes, but I think because it’s a little thinner it moves slightly throughout the night and can get into my actual eye. If it didn’t move so much after application, I would love it.

The Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm does a great job at removing pesky makeup. It can be slightly difficult to remove because it does not emulsify, but since I use it as a first cleanse to remove makeup, that is not a huge issue. I just use a warm washcloth to remove it and go in with a second cleanse to ensure I got everything. If you are the type of person who does not use a washcloth, I might stay away from this as it is difficult to remove without one.

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The Tamanu Firming Face Balm is probably the product that I have used the least. Living in Texas, it can sometime get far too hot for a rich balm like this one. But since we have been having crazy weather recently, I have had the chance to really dive into this. It is a beautiful balm. It feels thick, yet sinks into my skin quickly. It tends to leave my skin looking a little shiny after application, so I prefer to use this at night. When I do, my skin is noticeably plump, hydrated and glowing the next morning.

 

Would you try anything from Nyakio?

PurEarth Mitti Mask

I have long been a believer of the transformative powers of honey, specifically for acneic skin. When I first heard about this mask, the raw, organic honey is what truly drew me to it. It’s the first ingredient. PERFECTION! These masks are micro batched & wild harvested to ensure the purest ingredients. PurEarth utilizes Ayurvedic medicinal principles when choosing their botanical actives & clays.

Ayurveda

To be entirely honest, I had only heard of Ayurveda once in passing, so I knew very little about what it was & how it could apply to skincare.

Essentially, Ayurveda is an Indian science & philosophy that “utilizes plant and mineral based healing which harnesses the potency of wild harvested herbs, seeds, roots, leaves and flowers. Seeking to create harmony and balance between the mind the body, we draw from its sacred repository that is believed to govern the fundamental energies that relate to all our biological processes.”

How PurEarth utilizes Ayurvedic principles in their skincare

Taken directly from their website:

“Our approach to beauty and wellness does not rely on quick fixes or chemical solutions – we believe that for the external to be beautiful, the internal must be in balance. The secret to youth and wellbeing, according to Ayurvedic literature, is in the balance of three elemental energies or doshas: vāta (air & space), pitta (fire & water) and kapha (water & earth). Everyone possesses a unique combination of doṣhas that defines their temperament and characteristics.”

Typically when I think of a clay mask, I think incredibly drying. The kind of mask that crumbles off your face when you move & leaves my face feeling like it’s dying for a tall glass of water. This mask is nothing like that. Yes, it has the detoxifying properties of a traditional clay mask, but without drying effects that can reek havoc on my skin. Because of the honey and a whole array of oils inside of this mask, it actually hydrates while clearing out my pores.

Now this is unlike any mask I’ve ever used, making it incredibly hard to categorize. It detoxifies, cleanses, hydrates & promotes collagen production. This really is a super hero mask that does it all.

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The real reason I love this mask is for the way that it was able to lighten pigmentation left behind due to acne. Within the first couple of uses, I noticed the redness in my skin reducing. My acne was starting to look less noticeable. My skin looked more plump and I found that I started using less makeup to hid my acne. That in-and-of-itself makes this product worth it for me.

This specifically contains raw organic honey, something my skin absolutely loves. Since honey is naturally antibacterial, it helps with treating and preventing acne. It’s also incredibly hydrating so I don’t end up stripping my skin of essential moisture. The Mitti Clay Face Masque also contains rosa damascena, frankincense, sweet orange and ylang ylang essential oils in organic avocado, tamanu and macadamia oils.

I’ve already gone through over half of the jar with no plans to stop anytime. I may have found my perfect clay mask!

Eye creams with your skin tone in mind

The most important factor to consider when designing skincare is tone. At least, thats what the people at Virginia Stone think.

They believe the tone of your skin can determine exactly what your skin needs. Your tone determines your skin personality, which they believe inherently defines other unique characteristics, such as skin density, sensitivity, SPF requirements, and how tolerant your skin is to different potency levels.

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Fortified with antioxidants, vitamins, and vital nutrients, ‘Eyes’ is designed to stimulate cell renewal, combat free radical damage, and reenergize and awaken tired, aging skin.

They believe each skin tone has different requirements. The eyes are the first area on your face to show signs of aging, therefore they need special care and attention. Lighter skin tones have naturally thinner skin, meaning the area around the eyes show skins of aging much faster on fair skin tones than medium and darker complexions.

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Each ‘Eyes’ formulation feels like it’s been whipped into a light and airy cream. I must warn you, a little goes a long way. Upon contact, the warmth of the skin melts this butter into an oil that sinks beautifully into the skin.

All Virginia Stone ‘Eyes’ formulations contain about 57 different raw and unique ingredients. Butters, oils, botanical extracts and teas layer together to create a superfood eye cream.

Over the last 2 weeks, my friends and I tested out each of the different formulations to determine if skin tone really does play a role in the type of products we need.

 

KAVESI ————————————————————————————————————————

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‘Eyes’ in Kavesi was designed for fair skin tones. Because these skin tones typically have a thin and very delicate eye area, they tend to suffer from some serious dark circles. I personally fall into this category. I am very pale. My skin tends to bar very translucent around my eye area, making dark circles my number 1 priority. Most people ask me while I look so tired every day. I’m not. My dark circles just make me look like I haven’t slept well in the last 8 years.

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My goal with trying this eye cream was to find something to help hydrate and brighten. I must say, it did both beautifully. Using this at night allowed my under eyes to really drink up the moisture, leaving me with plump, hydrated eyes in the morning. After 2 weeks of consistent use, my overall eye area does actually seem brighter. With more long term usage, I believe that these results will only improve. While I do not think that my dark circles will ever fully go away, I do think that this eye cream is only of the only eye products that has actually help conceal any of the dark circles that I have. For that reason alone, this is a winner in my book.

 

JASARI ————————————————————————————————————————-

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People with a medium skin tone will generally have slightly thicker skin around the eyes. A medium skin tone will have somewhat similar concerns to those with fair skin in that they too suffer from dark circles under their eyes. But since they have thicker skin, the formulation of Jasari was made to be slightly richer. Medium skin tones can also handle more active ingredients than someone with fair skin.

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‘Eyes’ for Jasari aims to target dark circles as well as increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage in order to minimise the appearance of under eye bags and inflammation.

Since I do not have a medium skin tone, I had my friend test this out very night for 2 consecutive weeks. After 2 weeks of use, similar to my eyes, her under eyes were more hydrated and plump. The added benefit for her was that her under eye bags became less noticeable. Although she is only in her 20s, she somehow looked more awake and youthful.

 

ODAJA ————————————————————————————————————————-

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Those with darker skin tones typically have much thicker skin that contains a high level of melanin. This melanin provides a higher amount of natural sun protection, which is why fair skin tones typically burn much easier than someone with a darker complexion.

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Because darker skin is naturally thicker, Odaja has the richest texture of the three formulations, providing the deepest levels of hydration. The person that I had testing out Odaja suffered from hydration issues under their eyes. Makeup could be hard to apply as it could easily cling to dry patches. After using this for 2 weeks, her under eye moisture levels increased enough to where makeup was no longer clinging. There was no flakey, dry patches of skin anymore.

Overall, all three formulations seemed to do what they were designed for. I must admit, when I was first reading about this brand, I was skeptical. Could skin tone really play such an important role is designing skin care? But after using it, I must say, it kind of makes sense. Just thinking about the fact that those with thinner skin need a product that is thinner because the skin is so much easier to penetrate makes perfect sense If you have thicker skin, you need something much richer since your skin is naturally harder to get products to sink in. From what I have read, Virginia Stone is planning on releasing more products into their line of skin tone based skincare and I can’t wait to try out everything else that they are cooking up!

 

 

Would you ever try skincare based on your skin tone?

Skincare Awards: 2017

2017 really was the year of skincare for me. It’s when I learned how much I truly loved learning about skincare and how different ingredients react with my skin.

These are some of my favorite things I tried out in 2017.

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Tatcha Pure Camellia Cleansing Oil

I have been droning on & on about this cleanser for months now. I’ve been through 3 bottles of this stuff, & don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It’s simply the best. It removes makeup with ease, breaking down even my toughest mascaras. It is non-irritating, so I don’t have to worry about getting it in my eyes while trying to remove eye makeup. One of my favorite things about it; it emulsifies. Even though I remove all of my cleansers with a flannel, having it emulsify means that I don’t need up with an oily residue left over. If you are looking for the perfect first cleanse, look no further.

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Retrouve Luminous Cleansing Elixir

This is the first cleanser to give my beloved Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel a run for its money. This rich, essentially balm, cleanser moisturizes while intensely cleansing the skin. It just feels so luxe to use. It also emulsifies, something that in case you haven’t figured out yet, I absolutely adore.

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Girl Undiscovered Under the Waterfall Crystal Cleansing Water

During the week, my morning skincare routine is minimal at best. I refuse to wake up early, meaning that I have all of seven minutes to get ready in the morning before I have to race to my car so that I can make it to work on time. So when it comes to skincare, I require that everything be quick and simple. This 3-in-1 cleansing water can be used to cleanse, tone & hydrate making it basically all that I need in the morning if I’m running late. It also doesn’t need to be washed off, meaning that when Austin steals the bathroom to shower in the morning, I can finish my whole routine. I do like to apply the Pour Moi Climate Dat Cream on top of this for added hydration throughout the day.

LilFox Jungle Glow -or- Planted In Beauty Detox Exfoliant

This is really based on personal preference. If you like a really gentle exfoliation, something you could reasonably use everyday without irritation, then I would recommend the Planted In Beauty Detox Exfoliant. If you like an exfoliant with a bit more grit & is more of a once a week event, the LilFox Jungle Glow is your best bet. You really can’t go wrong with either, but if I had to choose one, I would probably say that I prefer LilFox’s Jungle Glow ever so slightly more.

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Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

I have long loved this mask. Over the last couple years, I have probably owned 3 or 4 of these. There is just something about this mask that constantly has me reaching for it. First off, the smell is perfection. Like a fresh baked pumpkin pie. YUMM! Using pumpkin enzymes to gently but effectively exfoliate the skin, I am left with brighter, more radiant skin after just one use. It does tingle, so be warned. But I love that feeling. It feels like its actually doing something.

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Luxe Botanics Camu Brightening Mist 

By far, Luxe Botanics is the best mist I have ever used. The sprayer is perfection. It’s so incredibly fine & can be used under or over makeup without any fear of water droplet marks. This refreshing mist is nutrient rich in vitamin C, sodium hyaluronate, damascus rose water and soothing botanical antioxidants. This is one of the most soothing mists I have used. An instant pick me up, plumping and priming skin to lock in moisture, leaving a soft, dewy glow. BUT! It is currently only available if you purchase $100 of Luxe Botanics products from Neiman Marcus, which is a huge bummer.

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Oskia City Mist

If you don’t want to drop money on other products to get your mist as an add on, I highly recommend checking out the Oskia City Mist. Oskia’s alcohol-free Citylife Facial Mist hydrates, refreshes and plumps your complexion at the same time as deflecting damaging pollution. Copper-rich malachite, brightening vitamin C, detoxifying vitamin B3 and red snow winter rose extracts work together to offer antioxidant protection and uplift the complexion. One drawback is the sprayer. Its not amazing. Perfectly fine to use with a clean face, it is not great to use on top of makeup. I just find that it hits my face with water droplets instead of a fine mist. Overall, it is a beautiful mist that protects my skin from the days pollution, but just be wary of the mister.

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Kypris Moonlight Catalyst

There’s just something about Kypris that makes me happy. Now I know very little about retinoids, but this is supposed to be a gentle, natural alternative to a retinoid. What I love this for is it’s exfoliation properties. Pumpkin enzyme is one of my favorite exfoliants, and this oil is chock full of it. This serum refines texture, encourages cell turnover, even skin tone, calms skin, & reduces healing time of blemishes. It really is one of my favorite serums for acne-prone skin.

Luxe Botanics Kigelia Clarifying Serum

Where Moonlight Catalyst is all about cell turnover, Kigelia is all about soothing the skin. When I have acne that is deep under my skin, this is what I reach for.  Immediately cooling on contact, this serum feels like a thinner alternative to aloe. It calms my aggravated acne spots while soothing & hydrating my skin. I just don’t know where I would be without this in my life.

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Oribe Balmessence

This is by far the most expensive lip balm that I have ever owned ($35), and honestly, I regret nothing. This glorious gift from the Gods contains Camelina oil, Vitamin E & Shea Butter to instantly soothe dry, chapped, intensely dehydrated lips.  It has a beautiful satin texture and gives a matte look to the lips, allowing my boyfriend to actually use it too (he absolutely hates lip balms that make it look like he’s wearing lip gloss). This is one of the thickest lip balms that I have used, making it ideal as a intensive night lip treatment. That, however, does not stop me from slathering it on throughout the day as well.

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Girl Undiscovered Stars Aligning Crystals

Now I don’t know how I feel about the idea of certain crystals having healing properties. I’m not knocking anyone who does believe that they do, I just don’t fully understand. What I can say, however, is that taking 5 minutes out of my day to do a face massage a few times a week has been so incredibly relaxing. using these crystals to apply my facial oils increases absorption and helps bring blood to the surface of the skin, encouraging skin repair.

 

What were your favorite skincare products of 2017?

 

Oribe Balmessence

This is by far the most expensive lip balm that I have ever owned ($35), and honestly, I regret nothing. This glorious gift from the Gods contains Camelina oil, Vitamin E & Shea Butter to instantly soothe dry, chapped, intensely dehydrated lips.

These last few weeks I have had impossibly dry lips. The weather is starting to get colder and my lips are worse for wear. My trusty Basalt Overnight Lip Masque just wasn’t cutting it anymore. And then this beauty showed up in my MINTD box. It was love at first swipe.

Unlike a typical lip balm, this does not melt on contact or turn into an oil. This is one of the thickest lip balms that I have used, making it ideal as a intensive night lip treatment. That, however, does not stop me from slathering it on throughout the day as well. It has a beautiful satin texture and gives a matte look to the lips, allowing my boyfriend to actually use it too (he absolutely hates lip balms that make it look like he’s wearing lip gloss).

Every night I apply a generous amount & in the morning my lips are impossibly smooth and nourished. I’ve never had anything heal my cracked lips overnight the way this has. I now refuse to be anywhere without it. I’m so paranoid of losing it that I’m thinking of buying a second so that I can have one in my bag & one that lives on my bedside table.

Overall, my only complaint is the price. It’s stupidly expensive for a lip balm. That being said, I will definitely be buying another. It’s just too good not to.

 

 

Would you ever drop this much on a lip balm?

Holiday Gift Guide: Skincare Edit

The holidays are my favorite time of year. I absolutely adore the cold weather, hold chocolate, & being with loved ones. This year, I am on a mission to find the best gifts for my friends & family. These are my top skincare recommendations!

 

GIFT BOXES     ————————————————————————————————————-

Beauty Heroes Subscription Box

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I received my first Beauty Heroes box year ago & I regret nothing! When I first got this monthly box, I know nothing about green skincare. Looking for products was so overwhelming. I didn’t know what I should be looking for or what companies were actually any good. Then I found Beauty Heroes. They had done all of the work for me and curated only the best products to be included each month.

For someone just dipping their toe into green skincare, this would make an amazing gift. Each box costs $39, but comes with well over $100 worth of products inside. Novembers box contained a total value of $205. Value for money is impeccable.

The one downside to Beauty Heroes is you must purchase a 3 month subscription, but after your first box, you’ll be so excited about the 2nd & 3rd box that you won’t mind having already purchased them!

MINTD Subscription Box

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I recently received my first MINTD box. And by recently I do mean I got my box 3 days ago. But I love it so much already, I decided to include it here.

Unlike the Beauty Heroes box, you can purchases on a month-to-month basis. Each box costs 65 Euros, a bit of a price increase from the Beauty Heroes box. But for that price increase you do get more. Where Beauty Heroes feature a single company, MINTD features 4-5 different companies. The most recent box contains 4 full size products as well as one deluxe sample size.

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Besides just getting more, my favorite part is that you get the chance to try something from multiple companies. This months box featured products from Votary, African Botanics, Oribe, Skin Laundry & De Mamiel.

You really can’t go wrong with picking up any green beauty subscription box, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, this is where it’s at. Just based solely off of value for money, MINTD can’t be beat.

 

GIFT SETS     —————————————————————————————————————-

Drunk Elephant Come C About Me Gift Set

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Drunk Elephant may be one of the most well-known green skincare brands on the market right now. It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about the amazing effects of Drunk Elephant products.

My favorite of the gift sets that Drunk Elephant is offering this year is the Come C About Me set, which includes a full size of the C-Firma Day Serum as well as deluxe sample sizes of the Beste Jelly Cleanser, B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel & the Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30.

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Beste Jelly Cleanser A jelly-based cleanser that removes all traces of makeup, excess oil, pollution and any other grime. With a unique blend of mild surfactants and makeup dissolving emollients, this gentle formula rinses away without an ounce of residue, leaving skin clean and soft without feeling stripping.

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel This ultra-hydrating gel replenishes the complexion and improves the look of skin texture and tone. Formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and pineapple ceramide, B-Hydra delivers steady hydration throughout the day, leaving the skin looking healthy and more illuminated. This light-weight, hard-hitting gel is ideal for all skin types.

C-Firma Day Serum A vitamin C serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex of l-ascorbic and ferulic acids that reveals a brighter, firmer and more even-looking complexion. Formulated with pumpkin ferment extract and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, C-Firma helps to dissolve surface dead skin cells as it intensely hydrates.

Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 This sheer, physical sunscreen is loaded with potent antioxidants like astaxanthin, grape juice and sunflower shoot extracts to minimize the appearance of photoaging for a more youthful-looking complexion.

I took a full size of this beauty with me when I went hiking for a week in Chile last year & it was absolutely amazing. Out of the probably 15 different sunscreens that everyone brought, mine was the only one that people wanted to reach for. Why? Because it doesn’t burn your eyes. And when you’re hiking for 12 hours a day for a week, you’re bound to sweat, which means your sunscreen will run down your face and eventually some will get in your eyes. I also came back without a burn on my face, proving that it actually does work. Trust me when I say that this baby has been tried & tested!

Retrouve Collection Quartet

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The most expensive product that I will be recommending, there is a reason that celebrities swear by Retrouve. I got the chance to test out the Luminous Cleansing Elixir & the Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer. Besides being gorgeous, these are highly effective products.

The Luminous Cleansing Elixir reminds me of an even more luxe version of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. This emollient cleansing balm is richly textured without being thick & moisturizes while gently cleansing the skin for soft, nourished, hydrated result. I may love this beauty even more that my beloved Oskia Renaissance.

The Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer is like a hybrid between a serum, balm & moisturizer. With an almost a caramel-like consistency, this is ideal for people concerned with dehydration & firmness. Formulated with stem-cell rejuvenating properties, this moisturizer is one of the most intensely moisturizing products I’ve ever tried. This is the type of moisturizer that would be perfection for someone like my mom, who suffers from intense dehydration.

Now, you can’t go wrong with picking up a full size of any of their products as a luxurious gift, but my recommendation would be to pick up the Quartet. It contains 1/2 sizes of four of their products: Nutrient Face Serum, Dynamic Nourishing Face Cream, Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer, & the Revitalizing Eye Concentrate.

At One Skincare Iconic Facial Collection

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This collection includes three FULL SIZE cult products from At One Skincare: Flawless Cleansing Oil, Night Repair Serum & Vitality beauty Balm.

The Vital Cleansing Balm is an intensely purifying formulation blended with seven key skin loving botanical oils. The unique blend includes Watermelon seed and Hemp oils that rejuvenate tired, dull skin while opening pores to deeply cleanse.

The Night Repair Serum is a lightweight and intensively hydrating serum that repairs skin on a cellular level, reversing stressors and environmental impacts.

The Vitality Beauty Balm is a deeply nourishing daily moisturiser formulated with only the purest plant oils and butters to soften, hydrate and protect delicate skin, making it perfect for this cold winter season when skin needs a little extra love.

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While I have not had the chance to try these products out myself, I can say that this gift set is on the top of my Christmas List (*hint hint wink wink Austin).

I did speak with the founder of At One Skincare (she’s amazing btw) & she is giving all of y’all 25% off your order with the code IamAtOne (excluding gift sets). Go check her out & give her a big thank you for being so amazing!

Caudalie Trio Mini Masques

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If you’re looking for a small gift that really packs a punch, I would recommend the Caudalie Trio Mini Masques. Like the rest of the Caudalie line, these masks are beautifully formulated.

The Glycolic Peel treatment renews skins texture, visibly tightens pores, reduces oil, and provides an immediate burst of radiance to your complexion. This non-irritating, two-in-one peel diminishes dark spots and smooths skin’s texture.

The Moisturizing Mask is essential for anyone seeking a high dose of hydration. The formula protects against future dehydration and leaves skin supple and quenched with a youthful-looking radiance. It is enriched with vinolevure to strengthen and soothe, grape seed oil to nourish, and hyaluronic acid to moisturize.

To treat enlarged, clogged pores, apply the Instant Detox Mask to immediately bring life to dull, tired skin. This mask acts like a vaccum for the pores to draw out any impurities and toxins, leaving a smooth and clear complexion.

Votary 3 Step Routine Gift Set

I have longed for Votary products for quite some time. There is just something so luxurious about them. The gorgeous packaging. The incredible ingredients. Votary can basically do no wrong. I recently picked up two products from them: the Clarifying Cleansing Oil & the Calm Your Skin Jasmin & Calendula Facial Oil. And I want more. Votary has come out with discounted gift sets & they have made their way onto my wish list.

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The one that I am most interested in? The Votary 3 Step Routine, which includes the Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil, the Toning Serum, & the Smooth Your Skin Neroli & Myrrh Facial Oil.

 

INDIVIDUALS     ———————————————————————————————————-

Planted In Beauty Reparative Complex

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If you are looking to spoil your mom, or grandma, or yourself (I see you people), I would start here. Yes, it’s expensive. But it is a treat. And the type of product my mom wouldn’t buy for herself.

This natural, multitasking complex promotes skin’s overall health and delivers firming, smoothing and brightening actives that support skin’s natural cell metabolism and revitalize from beneath the skin’s surface. Green Algae, Beech Tree Bud and Pomegranate promote collagen production for firmer, smoother skin. Ascorbyl Glucoside (stable form of Vitamin C) brightens and restores radiance while Alping Willow Herb refines the skin’s texture and minimizes the appearance of imperfections.

There really isn’t anything from Planted In Beauty that I wouldn’t recommend picking up, but this is definitely my top recommendation of the products that I have had the chance to use. This is actually what I’m looking at getting for my mother since it has such beautiful firming & brightening properties.

Vintner’s Daughter Limited Edition 50ml Bottle

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I’ve lusted after Vintner’s Daughter for years. It was one of the first things I got interested in when I started looking into green skincare.

This lightweight face serum has an award-winning formula consisting of over 22 active ingredients that work in synergy to firm, clear and add radiance to your skin. Housed in a limited edition 50ml glass vessel, it deeply penetrates the top layer of skin to battle signs of agin and maintain elasticity and brightness, as well as stimulate cell turnover for a smooth, even and balanced complexion.

Oribe Balmessence Lip Treatment

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With the holidays in the dead of winter, intensely chapped lips are becoming a major problem. Possibly the best balm I’ve ever used, this makes an amazing stocking stuffer for your skincare loving bestie. Thicker than a typical lip balm, Oribe has found a way to make something that can intensely hydrate & thick while still feeling comfortable.

 

EXTRAS     ——————————————————————————————————————-

BKR 500ml Water Bottle

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We all know that drinking water is one of the most important things when it comes to skincare. But if I’m being completely honest, I’m the worst at getting myself to drink water.

I know that a cute water bottle is not necessarily the answer, but maybe it is. It’s freaking adorable, which makes me want to take it with me. And if it’s with me, I’ll use it, which means I actually drink more water.

Madison And White Clean Skin Pillowcase Set

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For someone that loves skincare so much, you would think that I would have thought about this before, but your pillowcase really does play a large role in your overall skin. These satin pillowcases allow the skin to gently move across the surface without tugging or causing wrinkles, the way a typical cotton pillowcase can. The fibers in these satin pillowcases also help the skin to retain its natural hydration levels, which helps you wake up with beautifully plump skin every morning. The extra plus is the satin helps keep your hair fresh longer and lowers your chances of hair loss due to your hair tugging on a traditional cotton pillowcase.

Girl Undiscovered Stars Aligning Crystals

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Know someone that could really use a way to relax? These beauties may be the perfect gift. I just started getting into facial massage, and it’s one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done. That level of self care is wonderful. These can be used with any oil that you already have in your collection. These crystals calm, naturally lift and help to increase product absorption while encouraging skin repair and rejuvenation.

HUM Nutrition Supplements

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I truly believe that great skin starts on the inside. When you eat, what supplements you take, all play a huge role in how your skin looks. While I try my best to eat healthy, HUM supplements are really what I rely on to help cleanse my system.

If you have a friend that is into smoothies, protein powders & supplements, I would look into HUM. My two favorite supplements for skin health are the Daily Cleanse & the Gut Instinct.

Daily Cleanse detoxes your skin, liver, bowel, kidneys and lungs from toxins, leaving your skin as clear as can be.

Gut Instinct is a probiotic blend of bacteria that helps with digestion & supports your immune system which aids in beautiful skin.

I know supplements may be an odd thing to recommend as a gift, but I truly believe that if you have someone that is struggling to keep their skin clear, these are lovely and definitely something that I would have appreciated.

QYK Sonic ZOE

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This thing is freaking awesome! Not only is it amazing for a deep cleanse, but flip it around & you can use the back of it to apply your skincare products to help them penetrate deeper. With eight pulsating speeds, your bound to find a setting that work perfect for you. I personally prefer to have it on a lower setting for both cleansing as well as skincare application as I find its essentially like giving yourself a beautiful facial massage at the same time. It also has a pointed tip to help you get into the hard to reach corners of your face. This is an A+ gift for the skincare lover in your life.

 

 

What are you looking at picking up for your loved ones?

Holiday Gift Guide: Bath, Body, & Haircare Edit

The holidays are my favorite time of year. I absolutely adore the cold weather, hold chocolate, & being with loved ones. This year, I am on a mission to find the best gifts for my friends & family. These are my top recommendations for Bath, Body, & Haircare!

 

BATH     ———————————————————————————————————————–

Susanne Kaufmann Bath Oils Trio

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Dear lord these smell amazing. If you are wanting to get into the Christmas mood, these are how you do it. These luxurious oils elevate any bath into a beautiful self-care experience. Which Hazel is designed to help combat dry, flakey, winter skin & smells of witch hazel & sage. Bath for the Senses contains a gorgeous blend of ylang ylang, patchouli & lavender. It has a slightly soapy scent, but still beautiful. My personal favorite, Winter smells of cinnamon, clove & orange. Literally sweet cinnamon, this is the perfect holiday scent. I open it up randomly just to smell it. If they ever came out with a candle version of it, I would pick up 12 and burn them all year long. I actually think I may love these even more that my favorite Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, & that’s saying a lot!

Therapie Discover Me Gift Set

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I have long been an admirer of Therapie. I’d seen The Anna Edit talk about them for years & have always been curious to see if they really were as amazing as she made them sound. The Discover Me Gift Set is the perfect way to explore the range of products that Therapie offers.

This set includes deluxe minis of their Boost Hair & Body Wash, Cherish Skin Repair Serum, Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence, Himalayan Detox Salts, & the Restore Aura Spray.

Therapie

Don’t want a whole gift set or have your eye on one particular product? Therapie offers stocking stuffer sized versions of some of their cult products. My personal favorite (this seems to be a cult favorite) are their bath salts.

YUZU Bath Bomb Cubes 

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These quickly became my favorite bath bombs & would make the perfect small gift or stocking stuffer for a loved one. With multiple scents to choose from the bath bomb cubes are creamy, making your skin so silky smooth you can skip out on your lotion. I’ve never found a bath bomb that was more moisturizing. This scent in particular, Lavender Sage, is one of the most relaxing scents I’ve ever smelt. But be warned, it may make you want to fall asleep in the bath!

 

BODY     ———————————————————————————————————————–

 

Moon Juice Moon Dust Collection

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I am just getting into the world of smoothies, juicing and powders. I will not claim to fully understand what each ingredient does and why, which makes something like this the perfect gift for me. Each collection box comes with 12 single serving sachets, 2 of each type of Moon Dust that Moon Juice offers: Beauty, Brain, Sex, Power, Spirit, & Dream.

Moon Juice Bliss Miss Set

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Don’t want a smoothie or juice but still want to try out the benefits of Moon Juice powders? Look no further! Moon Juice came out with Bliss Miss, a hot chocolate gift set that comes with a full size of either the Spirit or Sex Dust. One of the better hot chocolates I’ve had, no one with even know their having something healthy!

Marvis Seven Days of Flavor Set

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Am I the only weirdo that would be excited to get toothpaste in my stocking? Probably.  But there is just something so appealing about this set. I first saw Marvis at a drugstore in Paris, & after that, I’ve been wanting to try them.

 

 

HAIR     ———————————————————————————————————————–

IGK Friends With Benefits Texture & Shine Set

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What I refer to as the “Cool Girl Haircare Company”, IGK has something for every type of hair need. My favorite gift set that they offer has to be the Friends With Benefits set, as I find that it works amazingly well for thin hair that can easily get weighed down with product. I never thought that I would say that I actually liked a 2 in 1 cleansing conditioner, but Smoke & Mirrors is perfection. This cream-to-oil melts into your scalp & hair, providing the perfect amount of moisture while still actually getting your hair clean. Mistress, the leave in conditioner, is the shot of moisture that my hair desperately needs without ever weighing down my hair. To add extra volume & texture, I use Beach Club that is salt-free, so it doesn’t dry out my hair.

 

 

What product are you gifting this holiday season?

My holy grail acne fighting product

Hi my name is Chelsea & I have acne. I’ve spent the last two years with it actually. It’s the reason I got into skincare. I was looking for a way to get rid of it completely. So far, that has not happened. It has gotten much better, but it’s still there. Over the last two years, I have tried countless products that claim to banish acne. Most did nothing. A few helped a little. One became something I refuse to ever be without again.

Peter Thomas Roth’s AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel is my #1 acne fighting product. With 2 salicylic acid & 10% glycolic acid, this get clears up current acne & helps prevent any future acne from forming. When I’m being good about my skincare, I will use this a couple times a week where I usually get acne flare-ups, typically on my jawline. When I have active acne, I will use it as a spot treatment, sometimes reapplying 3-4 times a night before going to be.

I have been enjoying the Luxe Botanics Kigelia Clarifying Serum for daily use as I find something so incredibly soothing about it. This is not soothing at all. This is a workhorse. This is a fighter. I use this when I need to bring out the big guns.

Does it smell like rubbing alcohol? Yes. Would it probably burn like a mo-fo if you got this near your eyes? For sure. But is it the best fast acting acne fighter I’ve ever tried? Hell yes.

Truly, the reason that I love this so much is simple: it actually works. It stops acne in its tracks. Typically, when I get a break out, it will last for at least a week. At the first sight of a break out, I will apply the clearing gel and it will reduce the length of my acne breakout by at least half.

 

What is your favorite acne fight product?

Let’s Talk: Intense Hydration

With winter fast approaching, my skin is in need of intense hydration. I got a few requests to show my most hydrating products, including the ones that I find too hydrating for my skin. So here goes nothing. These are the most hydrating products I own.

 

Cleanse

Jordan Samuel – Plie Treatment Cleanser

This cleanser has been a cult favorite among the green skincare community for quite some time. I try not to buy into the hype and ended up skipping out on this cleanser for almost a full year until I finally decided to see what all the buzz was about. Dang it if the hype wasn’t true! It’s one of the best cleansers I have ever used. Working as both a first and second cleanse, my skin is left clean without ever feeling stripped of moisture. My least favorite feeling is when I wash my face and feel the need to run to find a moisturizer to add hydration back into my skin. With this cleanser, my skin is left soft, smooth and nourished.

Omorovicza – Hydra Melting Cleanser

If you are in need of intense hydration and something like the Jordan Samuel Plie Treatment Cleanser still feels stripping or drying on your skin, the Hydra Melting Cleanser may be right up your ally. On my skin, it is far too moisturizing. It’s a little thicker in consistency, almost feeling like Elmers glue as I rubbed it across my face. I didn’t end up enjoying it so I ended up gifting it to my mom who suffered from fairly dry, dehydrated skin. She absolutely loves it, saying that it’s one of the most hydrating cleansers she’s ever used. This is not for the faint of heart, I really think you need very dry skin to love this but if that’s what you have, I’d give it a go.

 

Mist

De Mamiel – Dewy Facial Mist

I never really understood the need for face mists when I was younger. What’s with adding another freaking step into what already felt like an extravagant routine? Are facial mists necessary? Of course not. Are they an amazing luxury? Yes, and I love them. Anytime I feel like my skin is getting a little dry, I spritz my face and all is right in the world again. Makeup looking too powdery? Spritz Spritz. Feeling hot? Spritz Spritz and I’m cool as a cucumber. Chock full of hyaluronic acid, bamboo bio water and aloe vera, this facial mist boosts the skins moisture while calming skin irritations. I like to keep this specific mist by my bed so I can spray my face with it before going to sleep, just as a final shot of hydration.

 

Eyes

Planted In Beauty – Eye Firming Complex

When it comes to moisture, this eye cream is the most moisturizing I have found. I only have a sample size of it, but after using it for 2 weeks at this point, I can safely say that my delicate under-eyes are much more hydrated. My only problem with this is the price. This bad boy comes in at $175, far above what I ever would have contemplated spending on an eye cream before, but dear lord it’s so good it has me reaching in my wallet looking for spare change! When my sample runs out, first I will probably cry and then I will probably bite the bullet and pick up the full size. My eyes just don’t want to live without it!

 

Masks

Sisley – Eye Contour Mask

My under-eyes are one of the first things to show dehydration. Whenever that starts to happen, I like to apply an eye mask to help bring back some much needed moisture. The Eye Contour Mask from Sisley is one of the best that I have used. Although it says to leave this mask only for only 10 minutes, I like to apply a thick layer and go about my business, leaving it for up to an hour before I tissue off the excess. This bad boy is expensive, and I want to get my money’s worth. Immediately, my under-eye is smoothed and hydrated and the effects of this mask always seem to last for days after I use it.

Sisley – Express Flower Gel

Unlike the other categories, for some reason, I don’t have many hydrating face masks. I typically go for detoxifying, healing, or retexturing masks. It turns out, this is literally the only hydrating face mask that I own. Is it the most hydrating mask you will ever find? No, but I do find that it gives a nice shot of moisture into my skin when I am feeling extra dehydrated.

 

Oil

Akar Skin – Desert Rescue Facial Oil

Combining Baobab and Jajoba oils, Desert Rescue quickly absorbs into the skin, locking in moisture. This is one of my favorite steps to add moisture into my skin. I find that an oil, particularly this one, always helps in combatting any dry patches that I may be having. If you are not incredibly dry, this oil would work well as a final step in your skincare routine. If you are looking to really amp up the moisture content, this makes the perfect addition to add in some extra hydration.

 

Balms

I will typically replace my night moisturizer with a balm if I am looking to add an extra shot of moisture into my skin. For this reason, I don’t actually own any rich night moisturizers, only balms.

Josh Rosebrook – Vital Balm

Like I said with the Hydra Melting Cleanser, some products are just too moisturizing for my skin. But you people wanted hydration, so that’s what I’m gonna give ya! The Vital Balm I find to be far too hydrating on my skin. I got a deluxe sample size of it in a Beauty Heroes box a few months back and especially in the Texas summer, I found it impossible for my skin to handle. Once we truly come into winter here, it may be a different story, but for now it stays in my drawer. If you suffer from very dry, flaky skin, I have no doubt that this will help.

Mahalo – Mahalo Balm

My personal balm of choice is the Mahalo Balm. Not at thick as the Vital Balm, this balm to oil adds moisture into my skin without feeling like it’s drowning it. I always wake up glowing after using this. Like the Vital Balm, I have been avoiding this during the summer as I just don’t need that much hydration, but I can’t wait to break it out when it cools down.

Lip Balm

Basalt Basalt – Overnight Lip Masque

It may seem odd to be adding what it essentially a heavy duty lip balm, but I thought I would toss this in considering it is the best overnight lip balm I have ever used. It turns out that I am a mouth breather at night. My mouth hangs wide open, it’s really a sight to see. With that beauty sleep comes incredibly dry lips. After finding this overnight lip mask, I religiously slather it on my lips right before going to bed. I wake up the next morning and my lips are smooth and moisturized, with no dry patches in sight. I may not be able to control my sleeping habits, but this bad boy sure can fight my chapped lips!

PS – They also have a sweet mint lip balm that I use during the day that is the bomb as well. Not as thick as the overnight mask, but an A+ day balm.

Day Moisturizer

Ayuna – Cream II

When it comes to day moisturizers, I don’t typically go for anything too thick. I find that most thick moisturizers don’t sit well under makeup or end up leaving me greasy throughout the day. While I’ve only had this one from Ayuna for about a week now, I can say that it is one of the most moisturizing creams that it still somehow thin enough to use during the day. With olea europea, sweet almond oils and organic water lemon, this cream is not only moisturizing but also nourishing to the skin. The organic water lemon adds luminosity to the skin, giving a radiant glow when used alone, as well as under makeup.

 

What are your favorite moisturizing products?

Weed in my skincare?!?!

I was recently contacted by Hydro Kitty, an online store that specializes in selling products that contain cannabidiol (CBD). I should start by saying that CBD is entirely legal. There are no psychoactive effects so have no fear.

Recent studies showing the topical benefits of CBD have me very curious.

What is CBD?

CBD is derived from the stalks and stems of hemp. I should repeat, CBD doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects. In other words: there is no high.

It’s no surprise that cannabis may possess skin-healing benefits. All the elements are there. Cannabis is a known anti-inflammatory, with antioxidant and anti-aging properties. In addition, hemp seed oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which provide moisture and protection from sun damage.

The endocannabinoid system consists of many cannabinoid receptors, and a large portion of these are found in the skin. Molecules in cannabis such as  CBD interact with this system to create the aforementioned positive effects.

Let’s Talk Skincare!

The main thing that bothers me about all of the CBD I tried is the smell. Everything smells very earthy. If you like that scent, then you’ll love these products. It’s not my favorite, but I did find that unlike some other skincare I’ve tried, the smell didn’t linger on my skin. After about 30 seconds, the smell always seems to dissipate.

Crave 40 Winks Eye Serum

I think this is by far my favorite CBD product that I tried. I love using a a serum under my eyes at night. I find that it really sinks in so well and provides some much needed moisture without clogging up such a delicate area. I also find that I can use a serum on my brow bone as well, where I don’t normally like to apply a full-on eye cream. I did see minor firming effects, but the thing I noticed most was the fact that my eyes didn’t look so exhausted when I woke up in the morning.

Crave Virgin Skin Serum

This was probably my least favorite out of all of the products that I tried. It is not bad by any means, it just didn’t wow me the way that some of the other products did. It’s a nice serum, but I think the smell is what put me more off of this one. The earthy smell is strongest with this for me.

Crave Alchemy Oil

This body oil, I actually found helped my boyfriend the most. He tends to get very sore in his upper shoulders, and when I went to give him a massage one day, I decided to use this. Afterwards, he was feeling so much better, he wouldn’t shut up about it. As just a normal body oil, I like it. It sinks in quickly so I don’t end up having to wait an hour before my clothes stop sticking to me. What I really like it for is almost it’s pain relieving qualities. It’s such a soothing body oil to use.

Khus+Khus SEN Face Serum

Out of the two face serums that I had the chance to try out, I enjoyed the Khus+Khus SEN Face Serum the best. One of the things I was most excited about when I began to look into CBD was it’s antioxidant properties. For me, the SEN face serum worked well to help with the cell turnover of my skin, which in turn reduced the post acne redness that likes to hang out for far too long. I found this serum a pleasure to use. Aside for the smell, which I can get over because of how quickly it goes away, there is nothing bad that I can say about this product. It’s beautifully hydrating, to the point where when it was warmer I would use it as the last step in my skincare routine almost as a moisturizer. The texture and overall tone of my skin has definitely improved since incorporating this into my skincare routine.

 

Would you ever try anything with CBD in it?