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?

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.

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]

#GreenSurvivor Challenge Empties

You may have noticed something sneaky pop up on my Twitter feed the other day. That’s right: Nephriticus is on YouTube! I didn’t ask for your video suggestions during my Birthday Giveaway all for nothing–I am eager to expand on the YouTube space so I can show #greenbeauty products in action, and I’m kicking it off with a recap of my empties from Tamara’s #GreenSurvivor Challenge. Hop on over here to check it out, and please let me know your thoughts and suggestions!

14 Favorites from 2014

Happy 2015, all! While there were some favorites from 2013 that remained stapes throughout 2014 (YÜLI Halcyon and #ED4OLO Cleansing Oil, looking at you, reviews here and here), there were also many delightful new discoveries in 2014, including new friends, new shops, and new products. Let’s take a look:


Oils that keep my skin healthy and hydrated – tie between YÜLI and Roiel
YÜLI’s Liquid Courage is like a healthy shot of vitamins for my face. There is at least a month straight in the fall where I was using this that is legendarily burned into my mind where I had exceptionally clear and healthy skin. Roiel Cosmetics’ Marula Oil has been wonderful as a heavier oil as the weather has sunk into winter. (YÜLI: Spirit Beauty Lounge, YÜLI; Roiel: Roiel Cosmetics)

Quick and delightful treatment for post-acne marks – Odacite
Here is another legendary several weeks burned into my mind where one day, I had some pretty red post-acne marks (popping may have been involved) and a week or two later, I was squinting in the mirror wondering, “Where did they go?” Pa+G Serum Concentrate, you rock. (The Detox Market, Odacite)

Extraordinary eye-depuffing gel – SkinOwl
I yearned for Eye+ months after this was applied on me during skin prep at the W3ll People Launch at Beauty Cirque (recap here). When I finally got my hands on it (birthday present from mum, as requested from me, thanks mum!), I thought, “Why did I wait so long?!” The cooling sensation feels incroyable and these puffy eyes that see many a late night are nearly instantly depuffed upon application. (Pemberley Jones, SkinOwl)

Intoxicating perfumes that won’t alter my hormones – tie between Strange Invisible Perfumes and Lotus Wei
This was the year I got into perfumes. On a whim, I asked the fellows at the SIP table at #ANFG to perfume match me to something jasmine-y (May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden got me hooked)–they sprayed Fair Verona on me and I walked around for the rest of the night telling people to smell me and then bought the perfume (my visit to their flagship store recapped here). Another one that’s really grown on me (just as it’s run out, too) is Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love Perfume. Small but mighty, I never fail to get comments on it whenever I wear it out, from girls and guys. Intoxicating, I tell you. (SIP: Spirit Beauty Lounge, Integrity Botanicals, SIP; LW: The Detox Market)

Highlighters that give my eyes a glow and make my cheekbones pop – tie between Kjaer Weis and La Bella Figura
Move over, Living Luminizer, there’s new boys in town. Kjaer Weis’s Radiance highlighter is gorgeous. It’s the most obviously sparkly highlighter I’ve used, but it makes my eyes sparkle and cheekbones pop like no other. For something a little more subtler (think twinkles when lights shine) plus a little sensory experience, I’ve enjoyed La Bella Figura’s Brazilian Denise highlighter, whose rose flower wax sometimes has been dabbing it on my wrists as a perfume. (KW: The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Eco Diva Beauty; LBF: The Detox Market, La Bella Figura, Eco Diva Beauty)

Softest kabuki brush that makes putting on foundation a joy – W3ll People
After Shirley Pinkson applied the Altruist mineral foundation using this brush at the W3ll People Launch at Beauty Cirque, I was like, boom, need to have this. I semi-liked Altruist before, but after this I really liked Altruist. Awesome brushes, i.e. incredibly soft kabuki brushes, make a difference. (The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Eco Diva Beauty, Integrity Botanicals)

The nail polish I won’t take off – Aila x BeauTeaBar
I’m not allowed to wear nail polish on my fingernails because of piano. Or rather, if I wear nail polish, other pianists will severely judge me for being flippant/not-serious/ridiculously whimsical. So after lessons finished for the semester, I doused my fingernails and toenails in this. Now, several weeks later, it’s slowly chipping off but I don’t want to take it off completely…the rose gold is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. And I shine like a diamond. (BeauTeaBar)

Revolutionary serum foundation that dries to a powdery finish – Gressa Skin
I’ve had this annoying problem with foundations where after application, my skin looks dry–like it seems like there are flakes on my skin but I’m not always feeling as dry as I look. (Now that I think about it, sounds like pilling.) I don’t get that with Gressa’s Corrective Serum Foundation. Also I don’t break out with this, which before only happened with mineral foundations. And it dries to a powdery finish even though it starts out like a serum. What? Yeah. For reference, I wear shade 03. (Gressa Skin)

Go-to blemish eradicator – Indie Lee
Go to bed looking like you have pink chicken pox, wake up, wash it off, and blemishes will have shrunken down. I ran out of the Blemish Lotion before #ANFGB, bantered with the delightful Indie Lee at #ANFGB, thought about buying it there, didn’t, severely regretted it, and caved in and bought another several months later with no regrets. (Follain, Indie Lee)

Delicious, buttery cleansing balm with a sensory experience – de Mamiel
Softer than butter, smells like a bouquet of flowers, works perfectly with a massage to wipe away makeup, and makes my skin happy. Restorative Cleansing Balm: wins all around. (Seed to Serum)

Best-smelling and volume-inducing dry shampoo – One Love Organics
Because second-day hair actually smells pretty bad. Healthy Locks dry shampoo gives my gravity-loving Asian hair some grit and volume while also a nice smell. (Integrity Botanicals, Eco Diva Beauty, One Love Organics)

The gel that scares away dry skin – Osmia
Active Gel Toner is, I think, exactly what my skin needed last winter, instead of futile different layering combinations of oils and moisturizers. The skin feels miles more hydrated this year. (The Detox Market, Osmia Organics)

Favorite as an SPF AND a day cream – Josh Rosebrook
This has got me hooked with its amazing scent (a common factor for all of Josh’s skincare products), its complete lack of white cast and all that makes sunscreen abominable, and its really awesome performance as a cream moisturizer. I don’t typically like cream moisturizers, but I love the Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30. (The Detox Market, Follain, Josh Rosebrook)

What changed my mind about setting powders – Ilia
I am a sweaty person and I used to let my oil run free. Then I dotted Fade Into You over my T-zone and realized what a mistake that was. The very convenient application doesn’t hurt either. (The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Follain)
What were some of your favorites from 2014? See any here?

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All products were purchased by myself except for YÜLI Liquid Courage and Roiel Cosmetics Marula Oil, which were both kindly sent to me.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

Where: The Detox Market
Deals with codes: $10 off $100, code: THANKS10
$30 off $200, code: THANKS30
$60 off $300 + gift w/ purchase, code: THANKS60
When: Now until Friday, November 28, 11:59pm PST
My picks: Some old favorites include Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($63) for its vanilla-citrusy scent that made my limbs super soft; Hurraw! lip balm ($4.99) for its fun oval-y shape, dependable texture (no funky melting), and solid performance; Ilia Beauty’s lipgloss in The Butterfly and I ($24), which I think has a beautiful non-sticky, oily, moisturizing texture in a my-lips-but-better shade; Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation ($25) because I always notice an improvement in my skin’s texture when I use this buildable mineral foundation; and Kjaer Weis cream blush in Sun Touched ($54) which gives me a healthy flush and makes my acne-scarred cheeks look even better.

Some newer favorites include Josh Rosebrook’s Active Enzyme Exfoliator ($60) which I love using as a 45-min mask and leaves my skin feeling uber soft afterwards; Odacité’s Pa+G Pure Elements serum ($37) which lightens my post-acne marks record-time fast; One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo ($12) which smells so lovely (geranium) and gives my oily, second-day hair a texturized and non-greasy finish; Kjaer Weis highlighter in Radiance ($56) which is absolutely gorgeous if you’re looking for a more obvious highlighter; and LURK’s PRJV1 perfume ($55) because I am a sucker for a spicy jasmine scent.
Where: Integrity Botanicals
Deals with codes: 20% off orders over $100, code: BLACK20
15% off orders under $100, code: BLACK15
When: Now until Monday, December 1, 11:59pm PST
My picks: The absolutely luxurious and gorgeous Fair Verona by Strange Invisible Perfumes, a sultry jasmine plus mimosas; Schmidt’s Deodorant whose texture I’m not so fond of (can be a bit dry and flaky sometimes), but it performs reliably and makes my sweaty clothing smell good; Konjac Sponge Co’s French Pink Clay sponge because sometimes it is just nice to gentle scrub off cleanser with this little guy (also very low maintenance to take care of it); ED4OLO Cleansing Oil–I have repurchased it probably over 5 times and I’m still not tired of it–it smells like pineapples, takes off all of my makeup, and washes off with water; and Kahina Giving Beauty’s Night Cream which is fantastically moisturizing yet light–and I don’t mean moisturizing lightly–since I got back into cream moisturizers after falling in love with oils, I found many creams left my skin feeling tight but this one not so much.
Where: BeauTeaBar
Deal: 15% off orders over $50 + free shipping + custom-made Rose and Cardamom candle (some brands excluded)
When: Friday, November 28, 9am-11:59pm EST
Code: PINKFRIDAY
My picks: I confess that I have not shopped many of the brands carried at BeauTeaBar before, so this is half products I’ve tried and loved before, half a wishlist. I have heard beautiful things about Kypris, and at #ANFGB Marissa sung praises for the Moonlight Catalyst ($70), an overnight exfoliating serum with pumpkin (yum!). While Ilia Beauty has been the reigning queen of green lippies, Nudus seems to be the new cool kid on the block–I’ve got a soft spot for Precious ($32), which seems to be a bright pink. I really enjoyed the sample I ordered of Province Apothecary’s exfoliator ($38), which is super, super gentle and effective, with lavender and green tea. I really want to gift my mother the Cake Anti-Aging Hair Serum by Reverie ($72) –kind of dying over the ingredients list (rose, rosemary, bourbon vanilla, apple stem cells!!!).

Where: Meow Meow Tweet
Deal: 15% OFF SITE-WIDE
When: Now – Sunday, November 30 at 11:59pm EST
Code: TURTLEDOVES
My picks: The Deodorant Cream ($13) which is a particular favorite of mine because it has a soft texture throughout any season and keeps a typically very smelly me very smelly-free. This one includes baking soda, so if you are sensitive, be wary (and check out the new baking-soda version which sadly does not work for me), otherwise, no worries.

Where: Olie Biologique
Deal: 30% off Site-Wide
When: Now – Monday December 1 at 11:59pm EST
Code: THANKS30
My picks: “Considering the price, I am incredibly happy with the whisker oil. Not only did it convince me the usefulness of a pre-shave oil, it worked fantastically as a post shave oil leaving my skin feel hydrated without feeling oily. On top of that, the smell is exactly what I am looking for: piney without being overwhelming and with a slight hint of whiskey.” – the man on the Whisker Oil ($48) (Ed. note: It does smell fantastic. I want to steal it.)

Where: W3ll People
Deal: 20% off Site-Wide
When: Monday, December 1, 12am-11pm CST (Friday, November 28 10am-6pm if you can make it in person to their studio in Austin!)
Code: (none needed)
My picks: Since I’m a sweaty, blemish-y gal, my skin and I love my Altruist Satin Mineral Foundation ($31.50) + the ultra-soft Kabuki Brush ($41), which can also used with their Bio Bronzer, which I also have a soft spot for (see the full look here). With the minerals, I can achieve a glowy, dewy finish with no blemish marks peeking through. Also notable are the Nudist Colorbalm Sticks ($19.50) which are like chic, minty tinted lip balms–I love 2 (the Violet) and 8 (the Poppy).

Where: Organic Bath Co.
Deal:  20% off entire purchase
When: Now until Monday, December 1, 12:00am EST
Code: THANKFUL14
My picks: I am partial to their body scrubs, Java Jolt in particular, which now come in travel size for $10 vs. $27 for full size. It’s made with certified organic fair trade sugar and coffee as well as lovely moisturizing oils that altogether give my limbs a good scrub and leave me feeling very soft and moisturized after a shower.

Where: Cap Beauty
Deal: 10% off any order
When: Now until Monday, December 1, 11:59pm EST
Code: #GIFTCAP
My picks: This is another half wishlist, half products I’ve already loved collection. I have loved-loved-loved the de Mamiel cleansing balm (full review here, $86) and I have a new one waiting for me once I finish my current makeup removers. It’s a floral cleansing balm that is just luscious, beautiful, delicious, luxurious, and packed full of probiotics and manuka honey. I’ve also loved Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask–I always request this as my sample-with-order from Spirit Beauty Lounge and I finished an entire pot of the Wild Plum limited edition version. It’s a lovely exfoliating mask that keeps my face clear and happy of blemishes caused by dead skin buildup. Now on the wishlist side–I have been lusting after In Fiore for a couple months now. The cleansing routine sounds absolutely luxe (maybe a bit over the top), but I love the sound of the Lustra Exfoliating Floral Compound ($76), which is meant to be an exfoliating treatment balm packed full of flowers. I’m usually a sucker for complex blends, but Tara from Shop Follain highly recommended the Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($32) as a great no-frill oil with a host of benefits, so I’m curious. And lastly, I’m so curious about Four Sigma Foods’ Instant Reishi–I love Chinese tea, so I know I can take the bitter, and I’m always looking to de-stress. Lola from Hermes Hippie said this instantly calmed her down, so I’m listening.

Where: Pratima Skincare
Deal: Free UPS Ground shipping on all orders over $50
When: Friday, November 28 12:01am – Saturday, November 29 11:59pm EST
Code: FREESHIP14
My picks: The fantastically light yet protective Neem Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 30, of course, recently reviewed here.

Where: Osmia Organics
Deal: 15% off orders + free US shipping (OO Necklaces not included)
When: Monday, December 1 only
Code: OOHOLIDAYS
My picks: Osmia Organics’ body oils changed how I apply body oils for forever–now I only lightly towel off so I can use the remaining moisture to mix with my body oil as sort of a custom lotion. My two favorite scents are Flower and Sunset (both reviewed here): basically the perfect floral and then a sultrier vanilla. I’ve ordered repeat mini perfume samples of Bria, which I don’t exactly remember the smell of, but again, repeat samples. The Spot Treatment  (reviewed here) was never an overnight miracle for me, but the two bottles I went through helped my spots heal faster than if they were alone. The Active Gel Toner is a new favorite–I’ve noticed that my skin feels much more hydrated during the day even though it’s the winter–and this was something I struggled with nearly all winter. Osmia’s soaps are basically works of art and I loved my Zucca Spice down to the very last bit–it cleansed me without leaving any stereotypically dry feelings. And as for the Black Clay Facial Soap–“The black clay soap lasts forever, has a neutral smell, looks badass, and does not leave my face dry” – from the man.

Where: One Love Organics
Deal: 25% entire purchase
When: Sunday, November 30 8pm EST – Monday, December 1 midnight EST
Code: MERRY25
My picks: Of course, as mentioned above, the ED4OLO Cleansing Oil, but this new Tropical Getaway Gift Set ($129) seems like a good ‘un to snatch up for the holidays as a gift for someone else (or yourself). Love the body oil (reviewed here) and I loved my little sample of the Vitamin C Body Polish I picked up at #ANFGB and then sadly left on the other side of the country (one more month until I’ll be back to pick it up!) #LoveSmellsLikePineapples

Where: EcoDivaBeauty
Deals: Spend $200 and receive a $20 gift card
Spend $300 and receive a surprise limited edition gift (over $50 value)
Spend $500 and receive a $75 gift card
When: Now through Sunday, November 30, 11:59pm PST
My picks: Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel is another product I always request as a sample from Spirit Beauty Lounge–this is what I go to whenever I make a mess of a blemish or am particularly afraid of ingrown hairs. It helps a broken blemish heal a bit faster and I never have ingrown hairs after using this. I loved sitting around 45 minutes in my May Lindstrom Problem Solver while this thick, jet-black mask sucked out nasties. Yarok shampoo is definitely pricier than my go-to Acure shampoo, but it is chocked full of really gorgeous ingredients and leaves my hair soft and wonderful.

 

Where: YÜLI Skincare
Deal: 8% off entire order over $75 (orders over 200 will receive a code for 10% off on the next order).
Also, Halcyon Cleanser will be available in a travel sized variant.
When: Now until Monday, December 1 EST
Code: GRATITUDE8
My picks: Now is a better time than ever to pick up Halcyon Cleanser in a travel size ($24)–my favorite gel cleanser that is gentle yet effective enough to massage out surface whiteheads (full review here). Another super favorite is the Cocoon Elixir ($68), which I have repurchased at least twice for how well it soothes any redness (full review here). Another two-time repurchase is Cell Perfecto PM ($98), whose review should be up before the end of the year because it seriously changed and healed my skin. A newer favorite is Liquid Courage ($125), which I’ve come to love even more than M.E. Skin Fuel for how clear it kept my skin before the weather turned cold. And lastly of course, the Pure mask ($65) which is a clay mask with matcha green tea, fruit enzymes, and rice powder, all in all forming a mask that detoxifies, heals, and doesn’t dry me out after a use.

Anything catch your eye? You shopping this weekend?

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included. Images have come from their respective sites either in their original form or have been edited by me. I will update this post as more deals are revealed. All thoughts and opinions are my own (and the man’s).

Shirley Pinkson Did My Makeup

Last Saturday, W3ll People celebrated their Los Angeles launch at Beauty Cirque with good company, facials, makeovers, juice, and BBQ. While my mum and I missed the BBQ to catch the bus home, I couldn’t miss getting made over by Shirley Pinkson, the makeup genius of W3ll People. I came in with a naked face (face oil + Pratima sunscreen) and a bit of winged eyeliner.

My skin was first prepped courtesy of SkinOwl, a brand I know Katie (The Green Product Junkie) loves. While this was my first SkinOwl experience, I was tempted by their seasonal candles last year which are coming back this fall (black currant! Come to me!).

Heather recommended the Argan Infusion Lavender face oil for my oily/combo skin. The benefits, she told me, include controlling/preventing breakouts as well as fading scars. The oil felt really nice as she massaged a couple drops into my skin and neck (shockingly over the sunscreen–once I put on sunscreen, I can’t add anymore skincare on top without feeling like my pores are getting clogged–but she said it was fine. And then she massaged my face more; so I didn’t mind too much). I’m not the biggest fan of lavender, even though I know it has great healing and anti-inflammatory properties, so I appreciated the scent not being so overwhelmingly lavender-y.

The cooling eye gel/cream, eye+, is soooo cooling–and it’s specially formulated to be that way. While Heather gently dabbed it around my eyes, the founder Annie, watching, literally said she could see my eye tightening and sinking in (rad!).

Heather then gave a ballin’ hand/arm massage with the body oil while Shirley was busy giving another makeover, and I literally felt my brain knots become undone (I then asked if they have a spa because she’s awesome and I would totally go–answer: no, but they do this sort of thing at the different events they go to). While the body oil contains the legendarily stinky neem oil, it actually smells quite pleasant, and my arms felt so relaxed and moisturized. She said this even keeps her hands moisturized throughout hand washes during the day.

(Mid-way through foundation application. Shirley probably just said, “Your skin loves mineral foundation” and I’m grinning incredulously/delightfully. The babe in the back with the awesome cheekbones is Annie, the founder of SkinOwl

Before applying makeup, Shirley first gently removed my eyeliner with a tissue + SkinOwl facial oil (both her and Annie’s idea to use the oil since there was no official makeup remover nearby–geniuses).

For my oily/combo skin, Shirley recommended the Altruist mineral foundation for all-over coverage and the Narcissist foundation/concealer stick for concealing. For me, she said, “Use oils in your skincare, but not in your makeup.” I love cream formulas–I love the feel of them, I love they way they melt into my skin, but it’s like she read my skin soul–my skin just doesn’t jive with them the same way it does with mineral formulas (tear. I’m totally still eventually trying Gressa Skin’s new serum foundations).

I had ordered samples of the mineral foundation from W3ll People and Integrity Botanicals before and had matched my skin as a 15, so when she picked 15 for me as well, I gave myself an A+ for guessing what Shirley guessed and Shirley an A+ for guessing what I guessed.

Since there was a lot of mineral foundation already built-up in the pot, she dipped a corner of her kabuki into the powder, swirled the brush in the lid, tapped the excess off, and then used confident downward strokes all over my face to even my complexion (literally what the instructions say for the foundation and literally what she did. A+++++). Totally zen’ed out, I mustered a “This brush is so soft.”

I gave myself and Shirley another A+ as she picked out Narcissist 3 for concealing, which I own. She scraped a little off the stick onto a little artist palette and applied it using a small concealer-ish brush, first concentrating on the inner corners of my eyes and edges of my undereyes, then spreading it over the rosey area between my eyebrows. She also applied some to my eyelids, noting that Narcissist is essential as an eye primer.

(Interesting to note that she did this after the mineral foundation–I had always felt like cream had to go under mineral or at least I had to melt minerals with a facial mist before layering a cream on top. Natural rebel!)

(“Do you like the coverage?” “Yes!”) 
 

“I can tell you’re an eyes person. I’m going to use our bronzer, in fact, I’m even going to use it as your blush.”
“Oh good, I don’t know how to bronze myself.” (Thinking: Why does it look so much easier on YouTube and on Lilly from Genuine Glow?)
“Hold your kabuki like a taco and sweep it over the cheeks, then over the temples to the cheeks like a ‘C’.” (Kabuki taco!! Never forgetting this)

Her reasoning was that you don’t want to deposit all of the color in the front, rather you want to first apply it by your ears, and then blend it towards the front. With what she had left on the kabuki, she dashed a bit down my nose and my chin. She then took a smaller brush and blended a little bronzer on my eyelids for a simple eye look, multi-tasking ftw.

(Note: while the Hedonist Bronzer used to have multiple shades, the new Bio Bronzer seems to come in one shade, which may be good or bad news depending on your skin tone.)

(All bronzed up. Heather, the one with pretty long hair and who is amazing at massages, is laughing in the background)

 

“I probably don’t need to tell you how to do your eyeliner.”
*hearts in eyes. “But but. I would of course love to hear how you do it.”
“I do it pretty much like how you do it. You do a good job!” *now there are rainbows shooting from my closed eyes

Shirley first wiggled the Hypnotist Eyeliner in between my eyelashes, keeping it much closer to my eyelashes than I usually do (because of my monolid, I usually go all out). She then carefully winged the liner out, following the curve of the bottom outline of my eye (this I do).

Another departure from my daily eye, Shirley then layered their navy eyeshadow (I’m guessing Elitist Mineral Shadow in Midnight Twinkle?) over the liner to give a slight color pop, and I assume, to also set the liner. While I had my eyes closed in bliss, my mom and the people standing around me gave the thumbs-up on this.

“Have you used our mascara?”
“Yes!” (also own this)
“It’s life-changing! Apply this by wiggling and twirling the mascara through your lashes.”

I can’t for the life of me remember if she applied the Realist X setting powder or highlighter first, but I’m guessing the setting powder came first.
“Set with Realist X to control shine and set eyeliner. If you feel dry, just use it on your T-zone, like I’m doing now. Use a small brush to pat it on your eyelids and your eye makeup will stay all day.”
She then applied the newly dubbed Bio Brightner (previously Universalist in Moonstone Glow) on the inner corners of my eyes, the center part of my nose between my eyes, and on my cupid’s bow.
(The final look. I was probably listening in awe to Shirley.)

She finished with just a tiny dab of a Universalist on the apples of my cheeks, and a mix of a Nudist with their recently released Bio Extreme Lipgloss (sadly don’t remember/didn’t have time to ask which shades). The formula of the lipgloss is pretty thick, but very moisturizing.

It was such a pleasure to have my makeup done by Shirley. I’m a total noob at getting my makeup done by other people, and Shirley made it fun (telling me to look at this one hand or down at my knee while applying this or that–things you don’t hear when models get their makeup done on Youtube. It was like a game to me!) and informational. Since I wear a pretty similar look day-to-day, I love seeing how other people would paint my face, and I loved the very natural look Shirley conjured up for me.

 

While I hadn’t planned on purchasing anything for myself from W3ll People since I do already have and love several products from their line, I had to get that insanely soft kabuki brush. And have another stab at bronzer. And compare their mineral foundation to Alima Pure’s, a long-time favorite. On Shirley’s recommendation, I got the Mineral Complexion Natural Lover Kit in medium neutral which was a deal made even sweeter by the 20% promotion they were running, which includes the Altruist mineral foundation in 15, the Bio Bronzer, and the Kabuki Brush.

If you’re ever in Santa Monica, I definitely recommend checking out the wall of W3ll People at Beauty Cirque as well as their other #greenbeauty offerings including One Love Organics and Sheswai. If you’re not in Santa Monica, Beauty Cirque is also online.

Disclaimer: No compensation was involved. Affilate links are included. I’ve tried to remember Heather’s, Annie’s, and Shirley’s words as closest as I can but am human, so some quotes may be slightly paraphrased. All other thoughts and opinions are mine. My lovely mum helped take pictures on my iPhone. The only pictures I edited (and only for brightness) were the ones of skin prep because they were too dark. All other photos have only been cropped.

A Trip to Moon Juice, Café Gratitude, and The Detox Market

I was in LA for a couple days for a piano duo performance last week and luckily had a couple of hours to go on a short #greenbeauty adventure. First stop, Moon Juice in Venice…

I have been drooling over Moon Juice’s juices, tonics, and powders on Instagram for a couple of months and was just about starstruck when I walked in. I fawned over the juice/smoothie/milk menu, the tonics, the powders (add water and they become a tonic/tea–wishlist for when the online apothecary opens!), and the collection of Alexis Smart Remedies. I was totally ready for a juice/smoothie breakfast and was excitedly picking out smoothies for my traditional Chinese parents, but wanting a warm breakfast, they made me quickly choose a drink (Golden Milk, yum!) and skedaddle across the street to…
Café Gratitude! I couldn’t believe I had forgotten that this was a place I wanted to visit in LA! I think my parents were thinking more on the meat and egg side for breakfast, but I was so thrilled and grateful to have stumbled into this beautiful space. We ordered Open-Hearted, Trusting, and Fantastic, and upon saying each one to the server, he responded “You are open-hearted” and “You are trusting” and “You are fantastic.” Gosh, what a beautiful thing to hear in the morning before breakfast.

After cleaning off all the delicious plates, we braved LA traffic to go to The Detox Market in West Hollywood. I have also been following The Detox Market over Twitter, Instagram, and email newsletter for a couple of months, so I was so excited to finally see it in person.

 

treat collection looked just as beautiful in person as they do on Sonja’s (Life in Blush) nails.

I have sample misters of Infinite Love and Inner Peace that I purchased from Spirit Beauty Lounge and have been loving, so I definitely took a quick spritz break passing by Lotus Wei.

Lilly (Genuine Glow) loves mv skincare and I haven’t taken the plunge yet partially because of price point and partially because I don’t know where to start. I tried some of the moisturizers on the back of my hand and they felt and smelled lovely though!

I purchased a small sample pot of the Suntegrity 5-1 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen in Light right before leaving for LA and have also been enjoying it (held off a while because of the dimethicone–it does have that slippy feeling). I considered buying the body sunscreen (Lilly also mentioned/loved this recently on Genuine Glow) as well as the full-sized tinted sunscreen, but I figured I’m well-enough stocked on sunscreen for now…

This was my first time seeing Olìe Biologique in the flesh! I smelled and tried a bit of Huile Claire Calming Oil and it smells, feels, and looks more wonderful than I imagined it would. Also considered buying the Power Trip Trio to properly sample the oils, but also well-enough stocked on facial oils for now.

The Detox Market has a beautiful makeup lineup. This side of the wall includes Vapour (huge line of Vapour), Ilia Beauty (restrained myself from buying Jump, but I did try some on my lips–pretty!), and Kide (this line with really beautifully marbelized pressed powders with diamonds and stuff).

And here’s the reason I chose to go to Detox Market–Odacité. Fun fact: the founders of Odacité opened The Detox Market.

“After overcoming breast cancer, it became my mission to help others adopt a detoxed lifestyle while staying true to their fabulous selves.” Valérie Grandury, co-founder (from their About page)

I’ve been following and humming and aahing over Odacité for a couple of months and at different times have nearly jumped the gun on the discovery kit, the Private Collection oils, and the Pure Elements line. I figured I couldn’t turn down a chance to experience them in real life!

Since I’m growing into a cleanser junkie, I jumped on the Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser and the girl in the store at the time (beautiful blonde girl with beautiful skin) was kind enough to indulge my questions. Apparently the cleanser can remove makeup, and if you’re acne-ish and dry like me, the combination discovery kit is for you. The difference between the kits are the toners which are catered towards skin type, and since I was straddling the fence, she kindly let me sample the oily toner (Mint & Green Tea) as well as the combo toner (Rose & Neroli) in my discovery kit, though in the process, I think she took out the sample of the Hydrating Masque, which was fair, but sad.

Oh, the Pure Elements line. I came in knowing I was going to walk away with at least one of these, and then I left with two: Black Cumin + Cajeput (for pimples) and Papaya + Geranium (for hyperpigmentation). She recommended Bl + C as a good starting point for the line, saying that she herself had gone through two of these, and she also mentioned Pa + G was also a favorite of hers. Megan (Seed to Serum) had just posted about her love for Green Tea + Lemongrass as a radiance booster, and I nearly got that as well (who doesn’t want to be radiant??). Since I’ve also been on a jasmine kick (blame it on May Lindstrom’s soon-to-be-released Jasmine Garden), I had to smell Blueberry + Jasmine (cell energy), and it was more blueberry than jasmine–more blueberry and less jasmine than I had expected.

You know rms beauty has cult status when a beach babe strolls in and asks, “Do you carry rms ‘un’ cover-up?” Yeah, true story. I’m on a semi-break from coconut oil, so I just tried a bit of the Demure lip2cheek on the back of my hand, swooned, and put it back with a sigh. My mum’s on the search for a new mascara, and the girl and I attempted to talk her into rms beauty defining mascara (recently reviewed here) since its tiny brush would be perfect for her tiny lashes, but my mum didn’t want to deal with smudging.

This was also a first encounter for CV Skinlabs! I know this is a huge favorite of Britanie’s (Beauty By Britanie) and during the past long and dry winter, I nearly purchased the spray as well as Calming Moisture on a whim. I tried some of the Rescue + Relief Spray and it was indeed very calming and soothing. Added that to my toner wishlist…

 

I wish I had had more time to ask questions and poke around, but I had to run to warmup for the performance. I really enjoyed visiting The Detox Market, and I also wish I could’ve had time to visit Evolue Beauty and Strange Invisible Perfumes. Next time! You are lucky to have so many of these beautiful places, LA’ers, but I definitely don’t envy your traffic.

Have you visited any of these places? Any #greenbeauty places you love in LA? Any product faves you spotted?

rms beauty Defining Mascara

 

Good early impressions. They’re great. Like how Thai Iced Tea is this really beautiful orange color and surprise it also tastes beautiful or how in the early days of rms beauty Defining Mascara, I went in for a 2nd coat and my eyelashes became a mile long. Not even kidding.

First impressions can be kind of a mixed bag though. For the first couple of weeks, this mascara was sopping wet. It would take at least 10-15 minutes to dry before I could re-curl, something I hadn’t encountered before (Juice Beauty and KW were pretty fast-drying), and it would often transfer to my contacts during the day and I would walk around half-blind. I found if I didn’t clean the minuscule mascara brush, while I could get seriously dramatic lashes, I would also get serious clumps (read: wipe the brush off often, unless you dig spidery lashes, which is okay).

Early impressions don’t say everything, of course. With time, the formula dried out and didn’t transfer to my contacts, though it sadly continued to smudge on me (more when applied to upper + lower lashes, less when only upper). I learned to apply my mascara before eating breakfast so I could give it time to dry before another curling, and the best part: I still get the most dramatic effect from this mascara out of any green mascara I’ve tried.

Post mascara, post-curling, I can actually see my lashes above my eyeliner (Insta-proof here). This never happens with my monolids. The crazy, tiny brush coats, thickens, lengthens, volumizes my stick-straight, Asian lashes and makes them look awesome. Of course, #StraightHairGeneProblems, the curl tends to droop during the day, but hey, genes are genes. I’m just glad for a couple of hours, I look like I actually have eyelashes when people look at me face-on.

Things I like about the ingredients: certified organic beeswax and carnauba wax + sunflower seed oil (conditioning and nourishing) – phenoxyethanol (ewg score of 4). Looks like dehydroacetic acid (ewg score of 1) serves as a preservative.

tl;dr I am definitely okay with sometimes looking a bit panda for the dramatic effect this mascara gives me. Lashes a mile long.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Stearic Acid, *Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Parfum (Natural Fragrance). May Contain [+/-]: Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499
*Certified Organic
Gluten Free Formula

Have you tried this mascara? If not, what mascara are you loving right now?

Disclaimer: I purchased this myself from Spirit Beauty Lounge about three months ago. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. All thoughts and opinions are my own.