Two Ways I’m Upping the Pamper in My Routine

This post is sponsored by Follain. As Follain was one of the first green beauty shops I visited in person (and served as the site of the first time I met someone in the flesh who I got to know online through green beauty, looking at you @ecochicbeauty!), I am super excited to be partnering with them on a (hopefully) monthly basis. I am being compensated in credit at Follain, but the only difference is that these posts will typically have a preset prompt and most of the focus will be on products from Follain. Usual chattiness and honest opinion still included.

As a full-time student in graduate school, it is easy to let self-care go by the wayside. I’ll get caught up in fixing a bug in a coding assignment, and all of a sudden, it’ll be 1am–and I’m still wearing the makeup I put on at 9am.


At that point, there’s nothing I’d want more to do than to wash off my face and crawl into bed, but just because it’s late, just because I’m tired, and just because I’m a little short on time–it doesn’t mean I can’t love on myself a bit. Here are two parts of my existing routine to which I am adding extra pamper: Continue reading Two Ways I’m Upping the Pamper in My Routine

#GreenBeauty Empties #3

I’ve been accumulating empty products from body oils to hydrating serums to cleansers for the past several months, and have put them together in one video of mini-reviews to share with you. To see the products mentioned, any relevant posts, and what makeup I was wearing, head on over to YouTube to see the full description box (along with individual timings for each product–I know I talk a lot). If you like the video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe, and if you’ve tried any of the products mentioned, please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!

15 #GreenBeauty Favorites from 2015

15 Favorites of 2015

The cleanser with coconut oil that my skin lovesMV Organics Gentle Cream Cleanser

I put off trying this cleanser for years out of fear that the coconut oil would break me out. Until I had a mini MV Organic Skincare facial at a Credo Beauty. The cleanser is mega gentle, and although creamy, leaves no oily residue or breakouts, surprisingly.

The rosey facial oil calms my acneMV Organics Rose Plus Skin Booster

I also put off trying this for years not out of fear, but more out of “meh, rose? Overrated.” My Credo Beauty facialist and MV founder Sharon both recommended I give it a try for my acneic therefore sensitive skin and I have never been more loyal to a facial oil. You may have noticed my posting volume has been way down the past several months which I have been in grad school. Given my insane stress levels (group projects, ugh), my face should have broken out so much more given how sensitive my face is typically to stress. I’m not complaining.

The face mask that is good enough to sleep inTata Harper Resurfacing Mask Continue reading 15 #GreenBeauty Favorites from 2015

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.

NSF Organic Products from Saint Francis Organics

St. Francis Organics

In a world where the terms “natural” and “organic” are tossed around like hacky sacks, I’ll applaud those who go through organic certification. It’s not an easy process. There’s apparently no process in place that is appropriate for color cosmetics (see rms beauty’s FAQ). It can be costly for smaller businesses, and while an “organically certified” product doesn’t automatically mean “purest product ever that will absolutely work with my skin”, it can be, in my opinion, a pretty good heuristic when looking for a healthy, green product.

That being said, Saint Francis Organics is in the process of being certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and have launched several new products in line with the NSF Organic regulations. This means if the phrase “contains organic ingredients” is used, then the product must contain at least 70% organic content.

A word that summarizes all of the products I tried: non-stripping. Two words: incredibly non-stripping.

The shampoo, body wash, and hand soap are all incredibly non-stripping and foam very gently. My hair, body, and hands never feel dry after a wash–rather, they are always left feeling very soft. That being said, it’s almost the kind of soft where you are not sure if you have rinsed anything off. I end up using more of the body wash than I do with my Dr. Bronner’s because even though the texture of the wash is quite thick, a little does not go too far. As for the shampoo, my hair has been well-nourished for the past month, though my roots tends to look and feel slightly greasy the morning after a shower. I do sweat very easily and thus can have a pretty oily scalp–so perhaps this shampoo is better geared towards those with very dry scalps (my hair loves the Acure shampoo geared towards drier hair, so perhaps this is for those who think that even that shampoo is not moisturizing enough). The body lotion is solid–it sinks in fast and lightly moisturizes my hands, not on the same level as Weleda’s intensely moisturizing Skin Food but light enough where I can moisturize my hands without worrying about having greasy hands for the next several minutes.

St. Francis Shampoo Label

The star ingredient replacing the villainous foaming sulfates in the shampoo and body/hand soaps? Soapberry fruit extract. It’s a saponin, a natural surfactant, i.e. a naturally occurring compound that doesn’t undergo any chemical modification to get its scrubby-scrubby on. Indeed, there is a bit of foaming action, but again, it is very gentle–nothing like the huge bubbles you will get from conventional hand washes, and that is fine. In a study investigating soapberry’s foaming properties in comparison with SLS, it was found that while SLS removed 90% of sebum, crude saponins removed 60% (shows how stripping SLS can be!). Overall, the saponins from soapberries were concluded to have excellent foaming properties and to be an effective preservative against the bacteria that causes staph infection.

In addition to this alternative foamy character, there is a nice array of extracts and moisturizing ingredients in each product, including rice, green tea, cucumber, avocado, and mango extract as well as shea butter, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and sweet almond oil. That’ll be antioxidants, cooling effects, and extra moisture on the side, thank you very much. And at the top of each list: aloe vera. This makes sense–altogether, the moisturizing ingredients in combination with the gently foaming soapberry extract result in very gently foaming formulations that moisturize as they clean.

It should be noted that the preservative in the Body Lotion is honeysuckle extract–so for those of you concerned with the potentially paraben-like effects of honeysuckle, beware. As for scents, all of the formulations are very non-offensive and the scents come from oils, such as lemon oil or peppermint oil, which is great (it kills me when candle makers say that you can’t possibly scent a product with essential oils alone–lies!).

The prices for each product are projected to be quite affordable, with the shampoo (12oz) in the $15-17 range, body wash $11-13 (12oz), and hand soap $8-10 (8oz), to name a few. For reference, that places the shampoo as more expensive than your average Acure shampoo, but less expensive than your Yarok or beloved Rahua.
tl;dr Not foregoing my Acure shampoo or Dr. Bronner’s soap, but will applaud SFO for seeking organic certification and utilizing an SLS-alternative in very gentle and non-stripping formulations.

What are your thoughts on organic certification? Do you feel it is necessary? If so, in the spirit of brotherhood, check out SFO’s IndieGoGo campaign page, should you so please:

Disclaimer: I typically review products that are nearly empty. However, this is a time-sensitive review as Saint Francis Organics’ IndieGoGo campaign to support the launch of their new NSF Organic products ends on November 8, 2014. SFO kindly provided these samples to me for review. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The image of the shampoo label and pricing were kindly provided.

Peppermint/Vanilla Body Lotion: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel), Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Sodium Stearyl Lactylate, *Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, *Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract (and) *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (and) *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract (and) *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), *Tapioca Starch, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, *Vanilla (Botanical), Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Guar Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.

Peppermint/Vanilla Hand/Body Wash: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel), Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil,*Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract,*Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract (and) *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (and) *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract (and) *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, *Vanilla (Botanical), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Glyceryl Caprylate (and) Glyceryl Undecylenate, Citric Acid.

Lemon Shampoo: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel), Decyl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, *Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract, *Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, *Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract (and) *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (and) *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract (and) *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), *Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Oil, GuarHydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Glyceryl Caprylate (and) Glyceryl Undecylenate, Citric Acid.

Lavender Hand/Body Wash: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel), Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract,*Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract (and)  *Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (and) *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract (and) *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, *Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Oil, *Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Glyceryl Caprylate (and) Glyceryl Undecylenate, Citric Acid.

* Certified Organic

Additional Sources:

Chao-Hsun, Yang, et al. “Foam Properties, Detergent Abilities And Long-Term Preservative Efficacy Of The Saponins From Saoindus Mukorossi.” Journal Of Food & Drug Analysis 18.3 (2010): 155-160. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Fevola, Michael J.1, ct•, et al. “Sustainability: Trends In Polymers And Surfactants For Hair Care.” Cosmetics & Toiletries 127.1 (2012): 34-40. Applied Science & Technology Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Montgomery, Katherine. “All In A Lather: Herbal Soap Plants.” Herbarist 76 (2010): 34-38. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo

I can split my hair-washing relationship so far into 3 disjoint phases:

  1. When I was younger, I hated washing my hair and tried various ways to trick my parents into thinking that I did wash my hair when in fact I didn’t (there was a similar theme going on at the time with brushing my teeth–I must have been a stinky kid)
  2. When I was in middle school-mid-high school and realized my hair can make some serious grease, I loved washing my hair daily.
  3. Since mid-high school, I’ve realized that hair oils aren’t the devil and that washing my hair every other day keeps it healthy and me creative with 2nd-day hair (yay braids and buns and ponytails and more braids). Also, every other night, I can be in and out of the shower before the mirror even starts to fog up (win!).

During phase 3, I discovered the wondrous (and at first, seemingly contradicting) thing that is dry shampoo. I’ve used Acure Organics’ reliable dry shampoo, been on the fence about Lulu Organics’ dry shampoo, but I’ve loved, loved, loved One Love Organics’ Healthy Locks dry shampoo, which is part of OLO’s Limited Summer Skim Collection.

So, how can you shampoo your hair but not get it wet??? On the mornings after the nights I haven’t washed my hair, I sprinkle and rub the powder throughout sections of my hair, leave it for a couple of minutes, brush it out, and style my hair for the day (check out an Insta-video I did with Acure’s dry shampoo). The powder absorbs the grease–maybe not to the point where it looks like 1st-day hair, but enough to where my roots aren’t super greasy.

Why I love Healthy Locks the most:

  • It absorbs grease exceptionally
  • It lightly perfumes my hair with a gardenia scent (delicious)
  • Even though the powder is white, it blends in with my black hair. Sometimes I just rub in the powder and walk out without thoroughly brushing the powder out of my hair and so far, no one has told me that my dandruff has been exceptionally bad (or maybe this shows people are nice/uncomfortable with awkwardness)
  • It leaves behind a textured feeling that lends easily to styling
  • It gives a tiny bit of oomph and doesn’t weigh down my hair. As a straight-haired gal, when my hair is greasy, it sticks to my head like a helmet. This prevents that.

The magic = starches + clay + baking soda + bamboo extract + hyaluronic acid + their proprietary gardenia scent. Starches, clays, and baking soda in dry shampoos is pretty standard, but whoa hello bamboo and hyaluronic acid. Bamboo extract is rich in silica (I’m assuming the extract has more than the general bamboo plant, which generally is composed to 9% silica), which is silicon + oxygen (stay with me)–
1) Hair is one of the most abundant sources of silicon in the body
2) Silicon is important for bone formation, collagen synthesis

All that to say, I am thinking the bamboo extract is the “strengthens” part of the “softens, strengthens, and nourishes hair” description. Now, the hyaluronic acid–something much more commonly seen in skincare these days as the ultimate hydrator penetrating deep into the skin and plumping up wrinkles. This is probably the “softens” and “nourishes” part of the description–after all, I am rubbing it into my roots and my scalp.

tl;dr My fave dry shampoo, and it has to be limited edition. Makes my hair smell really good, look way less greasy, and a teeny bit of oomph to my straight hair. Get it before it’s gone!! (Will be on sale until September 15 at OLO but you can also get it at Integrity Botanicals and Eco Diva Beauty, I’m assuming, until they stay in stock!) Let’s also just say I have 2 of these on hand for when I run out of my current little bottle.

Have you tried this dry shampoo? If not, what do you use to extend your hair wash? 

Ingredients: oryza sativa (rice) starch, organic zea mays (corn) starch, kaolin, sodium bicarbonate, tapioca starch, bambusa (bamboo) arundinacea stem extract, silica (and) sodium hyaluronate, proprietary natural and organic fragrance compounds

Disclaimer: I’ve purchased this product at least 3 times from OLO’s website (once in person at #ANFGB). All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for my words in any shape or form.

Additional Sources:
Ding, T.p., J.x. Zhou, D.f. Wan, Z.y. Chen, C.y. Wang, and F. Zhang. “Silicon Isotope Fractionation in Bamboo and Its Significance to the Biogeochemical Cycle of Silicon.” Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 72.5 (2008): 1381-395. Web.

Price, Charles T., Kenneth J. Koval, and Joshua R. Langford. “Silicon: A Review of Its Potential Role in the Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis.” International Journal of Endocrinology 2013 (2013): 1-6. Web.


Best of 2013: In the Shower

Did you catch my skincare and bodycare favorites of 2013? I’m back in record time with my in-the-shower favorites…

We used to buy Dove soap bar by the bulk, but Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castille Soap is the new soap staple in the house. My sister and I have tried it in lavender (very lavender-y), rose (very rose-y and my favorite), and we just got almond (subtle-y almond-y) the other day. I love it best with a flouf/shower pouf/loofah/that fluffy thing since it foams up the soap and lets me use less soap for more surface area, but soap plus just hands is all good too. I also love it for washing out flannels/muslins that I’ve used to remove makeup as well as washing makeup brushes. Leaves my body/muslin/brushes clean and soft thanks to organic oils that cleanse but don’t strip. I’ve also just recently bought it in travel size to take along in my handbag to wash my hands on-the-go.

As for haircare, let’s just say I came home to these two conditioner bottles in one corner and three of that shampoo in another corner. This household loves Acure haircare. My sister and I both especially love the orange one, the Moroccan Argan Stem Cell + Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner the best since it leaves our hair the softest, but the Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell and Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell sets are also nice. They’re very accessible from our local Whole Foods (or mine at school), affordable, and effectively cleansing. We both are able to wash every other day without looking greasy with second-day hair (though we have help from Acure’s Dry Shampoo, which helps eliminate extra root grease).

See any of your favorites here? Stay tuned for makeup favorites of 2013…

Wednesday Wishlist: Head to Toe

Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo & Conditioner Duo
I love my Acure shampoo and conditioner, but tl;dr, this Yarok duo contains marshmallow root in the ingredient list. Marshmallows! Also loving the purity of ingredients, the globally responsible sourcing, and the founder, Mordechai Alvow, is an editorial stylist for celebrities, glossies, and runways. Like a boss.

Kjaer Weis Mascara
I have to stop myself from lusting after the beautiful blushes–curse you, acne scars–but the natural mascara hunt is well on. I love the beautiful packaging, the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ingredients, and the refill system. Between this just coming back in stock on Spirit Beauty Lounge and fast, free shipping from Eco Diva Beauty, I really might just have to spring for this one before I hit the 3-month mark on my current Zuzu Luxe mascara…

Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite Sunless Enhancer
I’ve never been a self-tanner, but 1) this smells like chocolate, 2) doubles as moisturizer, and 3) is meant for self-tanning noobs. Okay, you pasty gams, you can come out now, it’s time to glow.

Kure Bazaar Nail Laquer Afrika
I refrain from painting my fingers for piano, but my toes are fair game. Even people not obsessed with green beauty love these polishes. I’m covered on a red, a yellow, and a mint, but I would totally love a bright orange.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts?

*Image credit in links

Whole Foods Haul

Because I left my haircare at school and my sister ran out of everything else.
From left to right:
1. Dessert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
My sister and I have used jojoba oil to remove makeup along with a wet flannel for about half a year now. When I went back to school, I deviated and tried Aura Cacia’s jojoba oil, Aura Cacia’s sweet almond oil, but now that I’m home again and she’s running low on her current Dessert Essence jojoba oil, we decided to pick up another. As far as differences between brands, I couldn’t tell you. I find them all to work well as makeup removers and body moisturizers.

We both loved the Argan version for how soft and happy it made our hair feel, but now that the weather is warming and up (and we both can sweat), we decided to try out the Lemongrass version for its everyday clarifying powers. It has the same soft hair effect as the Argan version but with a lemongrass scent. I’ve continued washing every other day, but with the hot California weather and oilier second day hair, I am contemplating going back to everyday washing…
3. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in Rose
Last summer, we got the Lavender version and enjoyed that with a loofah for the body or to clean makeup brushes. I am loving the Rose scent. Does not smell like your grandmother’s perfume. Instead, smells like awesome.
4. Devita Tinted Moisturizer samples in Light and Medium
I just saw the Green Beauty Bunny’s review on the Devita Moisture Tint in Light a bit ago, so of course I was excited to see it in store. (And I use the Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer already.) My complexion seems to run between light and medium for everything (think 11 and 22 for RMS ‘un’ cover-up, 115 and 125 for Vapour) so I thought it’d be safe to sample a bit of both. I’m not thrilled with the product–it has the same mattifying effect as Devita’s Solar Protective Moisturizer, which my drier skin does not love. Unfortunately, my skin still bears acne battle scars, so the tint is pretty undetectable. However, less dry, less blemished skins may like this.
Have you tried any of these products before? What do you think of them?

A cure for dry hair ft. Acure Organics


Acure haircare at home with my teas. And how do you like that brush holder?
I was running my fingers through my hair after the first lather and rinse, and I just melted because oh my gosh it was so soft. I have straight, chest-length Asian hair that is usually quite dry on the first day and oily the second (made acceptable-looking with dry shampoo). But, I didn’t realize how coarse and dry my hair was getting until I started using Acure’s Moroccan Argan Stem Cell + Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. From the first wash and on, my hair has just been so soft and happy in the winter cold. The shampoo and conditioner both have sort of an almond-y scent which I don’t mind. Typically, I massage a quarter amount of shampoo onto my scalp only, and figure the ends will get cleaned when I rinse. Then, I condition from ears down only with a double quarter amount since my scalp gets oily quick. I first tried this power pair at home over winter break and wanted to take it away with me back to school, but you know, liquid rules on the plane and no room in the carry-on, so the first thing I did when I got back was to have a hamburger and fries at Five Guys take a walk to Whole Foods to pick up these beauties for $10.99 each.
Shampoo ingredients: Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Rooibos, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (from Coconut), 100% Naturally-derived Betaine (from Sugar Beets), Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Cocoglucosides Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Sugar Conditioner), Sodium Levulinate (from Corn), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar gum conditioner), Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Organic Fair-Trade Certified™ Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin E), Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed oil, Organic Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells,  glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), Almond Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia Bark) Oil
Conditioner ingredients: Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Rooibos, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearylkonium Chloride, Vegetable Glycerin, Glucono Delta Lactone (fermented sugar), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside (from corn and glucose), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (guar gum conditioner), Glyceryl Stearate (vegetable-derived), L-Arginine (amino acid), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Sorbitan Olivate (from olives + sugar), Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Cellulose (plant derived), D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin. E), Lactic Acid (vegetable derived),  Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed oil, Organic Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells,  glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), Prunus dulcis (Almond) Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia Bark) Oil