Sales of Thanksgiving

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

As I’m marking each email with a #greenbeauty sale that arrives in my inbox, I am almost a bit hesitant to share them with you as I did last year in a big post of savings as a different kind of message is cropping up.

As a fellow consumer, I completely understand that you have probably been saving up for these sales in order to stock up on your favorite products, to try new products, to buy gifts for your friends and loved ones, and so on. Me too (well, sort of–I have been noticing a scary trend in my budget that I tend to spend more on green beauty than my groceries each month). Yesterday alone, I clicked the “checkout” button three times to get in on sales and avoid any out-of-stock issues. Continue reading “Sales of Thanksgiving”

Expired #GreenBeauty Products #1

First things first, I chopped my hair. Also, I’ve accumulated quite the stash of products in my collection that have expired on me and rambled about them, why I couldn’t finish them, and other thoughts on the ‘tube. Grab a cuppa, head over to YouTube to watch (for the full service of the info box), or just click play down below.

What products expire on you and which do you finish long before expiring?

Organic Bath Co. Body Scrub in Stress Less


During the school year, my shower was my break from my nightly homework session. In an attempt to sleep as early as possible and therefore finish my work as soon as possible, I would shower furiously fast. Shampoo my hair, condition my hair, wash my body, quickly scrub down 2-3x a week, hop out, oil up, and get back to the grind.

Continue reading “Organic Bath Co. Body Scrub in Stress Less”

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

I had this interesting conversation with the derm-in-training The Green Derm a year ago about how using a hot water + wash cloth to remove an oil “cleanser” is way too much for the skin to take every day. The Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (review here) has been my long-standing solution for that uneasy problem (it’s too satisfying to see all of your makeup off your face and onto a cloth, and it feels hopeless trying to rinse off oil with water because of course they don’t mix)–it removes makeup and washes off with water. Easy, done.

Despite going through many (loved) bottles of the aforementioned, I could not help be tempted by the recently launched (couple months old now) Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser. I held off for months with the intention of finishing my current cleansers. When I pumped off the last bit of my favorite YÜLI Halcyon Cleanser (review here), paired with unhappy skin due to a myriad of reasons (exams/projects/hormones/dessert), the hypothesis of “I’m putting my skin under too much stress with my daily hot cloth routine!”, and the desire to try something new (oh, and NMDL deal with Citrine Beauty didn’t hurt), I jumped for the Nourishing Oil Cleanser.

From the description of the cleanser on the Tata Harper website along with the ingredients list, I had the impression that the cleanser could rinse off with water as well, and I intended to rotate it with my de Mamiel cleansing balm (review here) + tepid water + wash cloth routine to put less stress on my face as my makeup remover/first cleanse at night.

In comparison to what I remember from the ED4OLO Cleansing Oil, this oil seemed much harder to rinse off with water when used for makeup removal, slash it seemed to take longer to rinse off until I didn’t suspect I had much of the oil left on my face because it really does leave the face feeling nourished and soft. In my impatience, I sometimes used tepid water + wash cloth to remove the oil, which defeated my purpose of purchasing the oil. Alternatively I’ve also used a konjac sponge to remove the oil (favorite way of removing the ED4OLO Cleanser), or just resorted to rinsing off the cleanser in the shower (using the water pressure as my friend).

I then reviewed the directions for the cleanser and snooped more around the Tata Harper blog. A re-reading of “The Double Cleansing Method, Explained!” revealed the routine of starting with wet hands and a dry face, spreading the cleanser all over, waiting several seconds, emulsifying the formula by splashing water onto the face and massaging, and then rinsing.

Wet hands made rinsing off minutely faster, massaging the cleanser while emulsifying it instead of jumping straight into the rinse-off also made rinsing off minutely faster (and satisfying to see the gently “foaming” emulsion–see above photo). Of course, when not used for makeup removal but for a second cleanse post-makeup removal, the cleanser rinses off fairly easily since it does not have sunscreen and makeup in the way.

I am not wild about the scent, which comes off as mostly citrus to me, but using this twice in the evening and once in the morning has been very agreeable with my skin. Any makeup is easily massaged away, and as a second rinse, no film is left–just soft skin. Along with the Nourishing Oil Cleanser, at the time I actually ended up purchasing two other cleansers (if you saw in my recent haul video)–freaking out as I was about my skin and eager to try all the new things, so I did until common sense kicked in and I resorted to picking one cleanser and sticking with it, i.e. the Nourishing Oil Cleanser. The arrival of that time of the month marked the pinnacle of that bad skin bout, and this cleanser did nothing more to exacerbate the spots I had as my skin calmed down. If anything, it encouraged my skin along its healing path.

While there are those being of the opinion that one shouldn’t splurge for cleansers since you wash them off anyways and probably a large subset of that group who think that this cleanser is a bit exorbitant, I initially thought this cleanser was a great deal. The size, 4 oz, for $64 is quite on par with other cleansers I have enjoyed (in comparison, YÜLI Halcyon is 3.4 oz for $52 and Dr. Alkaitis is 4 oz for $56).

The price is fine, however, the recommended usage is what makes the cleanser feel pricy. I typically used the suggested two pumps for morning cleanse/2nd cleanse and three to five pumps to remove makeup. Add that all up, and I neared the end of the cleanser after about a month. That is alarming. Given, five pumps is very generous and whenever I put my palms together in preparation for massaging my face, I lost a little to the carpet (for science!). While I love using a generous portion of the cleanser to cleanse my face–the more oil (to a point) you have, the easier it is to massage–you probably can get away with an average of 2 pumps per cleanse.

Great performance and happy skin aside, a look at the ingredients list will easily tell you why Caroline Hirons places this cleanser not on the makeup removing list, but the second cleanse list. Rosa Canina seed oil, at the very top of the list, is fancy for rosehip oil, which as you may know, is a whole well-lauded product from Pai Skincare all unto itself as a greener source of vitamin A (anti-aging, helps heal scarring).

Sacha Inchi, also known as the Inca peanut, has about the same level of omega-3 fatty acids as flax and twice the level of omega-6 (basically mega awesome for the skin in terms of healing, guarding against the sun, strengthens the skin’s barrier, etc.).

Camellia Oleifera seed oil’s fatty acid content is similar to olive oil–it is massively high (~80%) in oleic acid. Oleic acid has been getting a bad rap for being a non-ideal oil for acneic types (*raises hand)–in high levels, it has been demonstrated to disrupt the skin barrier and hurry along TEWL (transepidermic water loss). But here’s another point of view: camellia oleifera has been shown to be able to penetrate the skin and decrease barrier resistance, making way for other things (the study was for drugs, but here it is probably beautiful extracts and nourishment).

The secret to rinsing oil off with water–a seemingly impossible feat–is this combination of emulsifying agents: Shea Butter Ethyl Ester and Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate. These two allow the oils to mix with water, and thus rinse off. Bonus: they’re also emollients that soften the skin.

Besides the fact that this oil cleanser can wash off with water, eliminating the use of a wash cloth (a timesaver when exhausted), the medley of extracts drew me in. Alfalfa, arnica, calendula, comfrey, borage, elderberry (Sambucus Nigra), meadowsweet–kind of beautiful, right? The common themes linking them together are their potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

tl;dr Sort of the more expensive dupe for the ED4OLO oil cleanser that is slightly harder to wash off. However, just as happy skin due to luscious oils and extracts–if purchase again, probably would reserve for second cleanse.

Have you used this cleanser? What are your thoughts? If not, what’s your favorite cleanser these days?

Note: By hot water, I mean tepid/warm water before anyone starts yelling broken capillaries.

Ingredients: Rosa Canina Seed oil*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Olea europea (Olive) Oil*, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel oil*, Plukenetia (Sacha Inchi) Volubilis, Jojoba Esters, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Aroma**, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Arnica montana (Arnica) Leaves and flowers*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Symphytum officinale (Comfrey) Leaves*, Borago officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) flower Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract *Ingredients from organic farming ** Clinical grade essential oils blend

Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself from Citrine Beauty. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for my words.

Additional Sources:

Adorjan, Barbara, and Gerhard Buchbauer. “Biological Properties of Essential Oils: An Updated Review.” Flavour Fragr. J. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 25.6 (2010): 407-26. Web.

Feás, Xesús, et al. “Triacylglyceride, Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Features Of Virgin Camellia Oleifera, C. Reticulata And C. Sasanqua Oils.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) 18.4 (2013): 4573-4587. MEDLINE. Web. 9 June 2015.

Mack Correa, Mary Catherine, et al. “Molecular Interactions Of Plant Oil Components With Stratum Corneum Lipids Correlate With Clinical Measures Of Skin Barrier Function.” Experimental Dermatology 23.1 (2014): 39-44. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 June 2015.

Maurer, Natalie E., Beatriz Hatta-Sakoda, Gloria Pascual-Chagman, and Luis E. Rodriguez-Saona. “Characterization and Authentication of a Novel Vegetable Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia Volubilis L.) Oil.” Food Chemistry 134.2 (2012): 1173-180. Web.

Mccusker, Meagen M., and Jane M. Grant-Kels. “Healing Fats of the Skin: The Structural and Immunologic Roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 Fatty Acids.” Clinics in Dermatology 28.4 (2010): 440-51. Web.

Green Beauty Grand Openings in D.C.

This month saw the happy opening of not one, but two green beauty shops in D.C. Be Clean opened up on the 3rd floor of 52 O Street NW and Follain permanently launched in Union Market as a pop-up-turned-shop-to-stay. I hiked over from Baltimore to attend both of the shops’ merry grand openings, had a gander around, and ran into friendly faces.

Be Clean is the brainchild of Becky (she’s the one with the cute bob) and is located in a cozy studio. Products lined one wall, refreshments and vegan eats provided by Kate Bakes were nestled on a table adjacent on the other.
Many familiar faces grace the shelves, such as the pictured Herbivore Botanicals, Captain Blankenship, Aster+Bay, Soul Sunday, and Josh Rosebrook. I took a spritz of Hydrate, slathered myself in the Jasmine body oil,  and admired the beautiful colors of the facial oils (got some Lapis for my sister as part of her birthday present).

A brand in particular that was new to me was Na Nin. Be Clean carries two perfumes and body oils from the line, one of which, Landslide, is quite manly and woodsy, the other, Cedar Creek, quite reminiscent of incense (and my favorite).



Products among Becky’s top 5?
  • Na Nin Perfume
  • Herbivore Sea Mist Hair Texturizer
  • Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil

I’ve been coming to Boston-native Follain’s pop-ups in Union Market for a few years, and it holds a special place in my heart because it was the first time I stepped offline to say hello to green beauty.

The first Follain pop-up I attended was also where I met my first Insta-to-real-life friend, @ecochicstyle_! We had been oohing and aahing over each other’s feeds for months, and to not only finally put a face on the handle but also have a buddy to rave about green beauty in person was a joy. I’ve always enjoyed my conversations with the formidable Tara, the founder of Follain, who is always so kind and helpful. Needless to say, I’m so glad Follain has a home in D.C. and in a great location like Union Market where people can just wander in for a bite or a juice or a walk and just stumble on healthy beauty.

Green beauty’s not just for the ladies–there are lots of options for men (lots of new brands to me), mothers, and babies.
Love the sink details and that Follain’s refillable soap service has come as well.

The skincare is organized by category (cleanser, toner, etc.) and skin type (oily, dry, etc.), which is very helpful if you’re a green beauty looking for something new or if you’re completely unfamiliar with green beauty and want to get into it. I took a spritz of my favorite Hydrating Accelerator from Josh Rosebrook; tried some Tammy Fender Rose Toner (Yenny says this one is good), Indie Lee CoQ10 Toner (feels nice), Indie Lee Apple Serum (gel-ish kind of serum), and admired the rms Beauty Oil (loooove that vanilla).

While Yenny and I were chatting, this gorgeous girl tapped my shoulder and said, “I think I Insta-know you…”. It was Jennifer, one half of the Unsullied duo! After dancing around each other for a while (she’s moonlighted before at Follain and I missed her sister at the last ANFGB), I was so happy to finally meet her.

We also ran into another friendly face: Susannah Compton! You may know her from No More Dirty Looks as a contributing writer or from Integrity Botanicals blog, but you may not know that she is also developing her own perfume line which is set to debut at A Night for Green Beauty in Chicago this summer. She gave Yenny and I a sneak peek into some of the scents: one will be rose-y, another citrus-y, and the last (and apparently most controversial among testers) jasmine. I’ve got my eyes on the jasmine.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for my words.

Be Clean Shop Picks, Grand Opening Details, and Coupon Code

If you’ve watched my last video (if you haven’t, get on it here), I mentioned Be Clean, a shop in DC, in relation to some Soul Sunday aromatherapy rollers I purchased from their online boutique. I was prompted to purchase by an Instagram giveaway they held celebrating the soon-opening of their brick-and-mortar shop, and I am happy to say the day of the grand opening is finally here. Since the world of green beauty is so largely centered online, it’s a thrill to see shops taking it from online to real life.

Becky from Be Clean kindly asked me to share the lowdown and has offered a 15% discount code for my readers (this is a first for Nephriticus). Read on for what I’m thinking of picking up this weekend and for the code…

Essential Apothecary Alchemist | Hydrate Face and Hair Mist
Frankincense hydrosol and marine phytoplankton. Them sea algae have some serious moisture game and I love me some exotic hydrosol. Also, sandalwood and rose geranium. Some of my favorite scents.

Aster & Bay | Dandelion Face Grains
I’ve been eyeing this brand and this product for a while. Dandelion root, marshmallow root, licorice root, fennel seed? Sounds detoxifying and delicious as both an exfoliating scrub and a mask every now and then.

Soul Sunday | Aromatherapy Roller Oils
Have to include this one, because unicorns. Since I already have a unicorn of my own, I’d like to sniff some of the other blends, such as No Worries. I always can use a little help to de-stress.

Herbivore Botanicals | Lapis Face Oil
I have also been eyeing Herbivore Botanicals’ facial oils since their launch. Lapis is probably the best pick for my kind of skin–blue chamomile and blue yarrow are apparently anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and I’m obsessed with jasmine. Also, it’s BLUE.

Honorable mentions–Becky also mentioned they’ve just started carrying Josh Rosebrook (love that Hydrating Accelerator and the Nutrient Day Cream), but it’s only in the studio for now.

Now for the what’s, when’s, and where’s…

When: Saturday, May 16 from 4-8pm
Where: 52 O Street NW #308, Washington DC 20017
Why: To celebrate Be Clean’s grand opening!
What: Sips, snacks, local food tasting, and special promotions all afternoon!

I’m planning to be there, and for all of you in the D.C/Baltimore area, I hope to see you there too!

For 15% off all orders, use the code nephriticusfriends and please let me know what you decide to pick up. This code will be valid until next Wednesday, May 20.

Disclaimer: Excluding the event details, screenshots, and snap of the shop (I’ll be sure to snap some of my own this weekend), all thoughts, hopes, and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for sharing the good news.

My Mama’s Green Beauty Picks

In honor of Mother’s Day, I bring you my mama’s picks from the green beauty world. She was slightly resistant to greening her routine at first since she long developed her own groove, but graciously opened up to my obsession with healthy beauty. What started with me pushing products onto her to try has turned into her purchasing them herself or requesting suggestions from me. I’m a proud mama hen of a mama hen.

La Bella Figura | Découverte Under Eye Repair Serum
It makes my eyes look nice. My eyes look less baggy. Also, the smell is really good and even though it is an oil, it doesn’t feel oily because the skin absorbs it in. I think it definitely tightens up the skin around my eye and makes the skin tone better. I really see a difference.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics | Healing Balm 

Remember, my neck, it’s very sensitive; I get allergic reactions. It can get very itchy and red, but this healing balm repairs my skin. I haven’t had [reactions] for a long time. So I love this one. Also sometimes I use the leftover from my neck on my face after I apply the Antioxidant Serum because sometimes my face is sometimes a little itchy, just a very little amount. (Ed. note: she’s repurchased this probably three times by now)
Laurel Whole Plant Organics | Antioxidant Serum 
It’s an oil but it doesn’t make skin oily (Ed. note: this is especially important to her because she uses powder foundation, and powder foundation on an oily face looks no bueno). It smells really good. It makes me feel good because it’s made up of plants. (Ed. note: she’s on her first repurchase of this)
It cleanses your face pretty well and removes makeup too. Sometimes, when I wash my face, every other day, I put a little of the scrub in while I’m washing. (Ed. note: when Whole Foods has this on sale, she buys them in bulk)
I like to use it to wash my [makeup off] even though it’s expensive. (*laughs) (Ed. note: I left a sample of this at time, and to my delight, she went out on her own and purchased it. And then used it on her face as a makeup remover to my dismay. Oh well. At least she found a way to enjoy it.)
Josh Rosebrook | Hair Spray Firm Hold
If I tease my hair and spray it, it holds hair in place really well. (Ed. note: my mom is a huge hairspray snob and she uses hairspray all the time to keep hair out of her face and in a neat bun. Before this one, she used the same brand for years and years and years, so this is actually a big deal.)
Usually when you wear sunscreen under makeup, the makeup really does not look very good. Usually sunscreen is very greasy. But this one is not. It wears really nicely under makeup because it’s very smooth and silky. (Ed. note: she buys this one in bulk too.)
Disclaimer: I queried my mom and she graciously provided answers. Only editing was for grammar and editorial notes. All products purchased by her, images screenshotted from each respective brand’s website. Image of the two of us was from A Night From Green Beauty last summer in Los Angeles. Affiliate links are included.

rms beauty Lip2Cheek in Curious

I’ve been lusting after an orange blush and lippie since the Revlon Lip Butters came out, and was simultaneously ecstatic and hesitant when rms beauty came out with an orange lip2cheek as part of their Wearable Brights collection. Ecstatic because, ORANGE! In the green beauty world! What a fun color to combat the thinking that green beauty can’t be vibrant! But hesitant because I wasn’t too sure if my skin could take the coconut oil (which is essentially the core of the rms line).

Fast forward months later, I’m at the James Corbett Studio pop-up in New York, this wonderfully kind makeup artist is teaching me tricks with rms, and I ask for Curious for my cheeks.

I fall in love.

It’s bright, but it’s totally wearable on both cheeks and lips.

On my cheeks, it takes on a bit of redness, giving me a warm flush that isn’t clown-like (unless I pile on the color–two rubs in the pot plus light patting motions are usually enough). On my lips, it turns into an orange pastel over my natural rosiness. The formula is gold–I tend to stay away from it if I’m wearing powder foundation or am breaking out, but when I layer it over ‘un’ cover-up, there is no funky cakiness on my cheeks nor any crackly business on my lips (given that I have taken proper care of my lips).

tl;dr A super wearable orange blush and lippie that gives me a warm, non-clown-like flush.

And a bonus: here is Curious in real life. Enjoy~

Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself from The Detox Market. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I attempted to preserve the true coloring through the photos–I fiddled with lighting and contrast on the first photo since it was previously too dark and increased sharpness in the second photo. The first photo shows the coloring just slightly more intense than it is in real life.

Ingredients: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, * Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit (Buriti) Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) seed Oil, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/-Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxide CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019, Red 30 CI 73360, Red 6 Lake CI 15850]