My Mama’s Green Beauty Picks

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.

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Liebster Award and Nominations

Back in November, Isabel from frivolous girl (or @vackert on instagram) graciously nominated me for a Liebster award. Thank you Isabel! I am honored!

The rules are: Answer ten questions the blogger has for you and then nominate ten other bloggers with less then 200 followers with your own ten questions.

The Questions

1. What’s your morning routine? (Skincare-/Food-wise)

Once I finally get out of bed (it takes some convincing), I begin with 10-20 min of yoga to stretch and then wash my face with two pumps (very small pumps) YÜLI Skincare’s Halycon, a clear gel cleanser that leaves my face soft and refreshed. I then spray YÜLI’s Panacea Elixir over my face, and moisturize with three drops of YÜLI’s M.E. Skin Fuel. This peppery-smelling (acne-fighting black cumin, yeah!) formula is basically my dream breakfast plus flowers: pomegranate, red raspberry, dandelion, jasmine, and on. In the summer, I would stop here, but since winter has come, I have been then applying two pumps of Pai’s Geranium and Thistle moisturizer. I had been unsure of this moisturizer because I was doubtful of cream moisturizers since falling in love with oils and was worried about breaking myself out from overmoisturizing (the evils of simultaneously dry and acenic skin). But since just realizing that I need to moisturize extra in this weather and it will be okay, I’ve been embracing cream moisturizers again. If I have extra time, I’ll apply some Osmia Organics Spot Treatment to any spots, but I’ll always finish with Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen which has SPF 30 and a nice tint to start off my makeup. When I’m feeling extra dry and matte (which is often this winter), I’ll sneak in a pump of Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum with the sunscreen.

Food depends on where I am. Over the winter break, my sister and I added maca powder, spirulina powder, cocoa powder, and pumpkin seeds to this coconut flour pancake recipe (link here) to make awesome green-colored pancakes that horrified our dad (but tasted awesome with maple syrup!). When I’m at school, I tend to have green smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast. My classic green smoothie: 1 cup almond milk, a bunch of kale (or spinach or chard), 1/2 avocado, 1 banana, bit of spirulina or wheatgrass, good bunch of chia seeds. For oatmeal, I’ll add honey, chia seeds or whatever nuts I have on hand. On the weekend, I fry up eggs with green onions, salt, and pepper (my dad’s secret recipe) and have that with quinoa or rice with kimchi.

2. Favorite natural hair product? What brand and why?

Acure Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell shampoo and conditioner. When I had long hair, this duo left it super soft and clean, but not oily. I could go every other day without washing my hair (with the help of dry shampoo). Acure Organics is also very affordable and accessible from my local Whole Foods, which I appreciate.

3. Do you or have you ever done your own facial mask? What ingredients did/do you use?
I have. I used to DIY my masks and everything else a lot, but at the time, I was so fed up with my acne, I went a bit overboard and masked much too often. I did oatmeal-honey-milk masks, Aztec-Indian-Clay-honey masks, I’d wipe my face with a tomato, nightly honey masks, yeah…honestly much prefer leaving the process of formulating and mixing in the hands of professionals, though DIY is a lot of fun.

4. What’s your favorite beauty food/meal? And why?

I love making juices!! When my mom first got our juicer and started making juices, I did not enjoy them. Then after getting into green beauty, realizing how the diet affects the skin, and getting into green smoothies, I really got into juicing. First, juices are delicious. Second, I love seeing all of those beautiful, colorful fruit and veggies going into my belly and thinking how happy they are making my body and my face. My usual juice: two apples, bunch of carrots, some handfuls of kale, couple stalks of celery (obviously, I am very measured and scientific).

5. What is your preferred exercise?
Yoga! I love how relaxing it is and how it stretches out my body. I don’t like running and being super active. Why put in so much effort when I can get the same body results as running? ;D Yeah, I know, I should do some cardio (or Tara Stiles’ cardio yoga routine).

6. Do you believe in the law of attraction? Share a story of something like it happening to you.
Background from Google: law of attraction is the idea that like attracts like, as in think positively and positive things will happen to you. I am initially a bit skeptical, because it does sound like the confirmation bias, i.e. you will favor information that confirms your beliefs. I suppose it makes sense, because if you have a positive outlook, you will pay more attention to positive things, hopefully, and then probably feel more positive. I don’t have any specific stories, but I know when I start off the day on the wrong foot and feel negative, I tend to only notice the bad things, whereas when I start the day well and feel positive, I tend to notice the good things.

7. Is there any website/blog/app you always turn to for inspiration for healthy ways/recipes?
No More Dirty Looks! Since moving out of dorms into apartments, I’ve been getting more and more into healthy recipes, but don’t have one singular source of inspiration.

8. If you had the chance to move anywhere in the world and work, would you take the chance? And where would you move?
New York! New York is my dream; I am just so in love with New York. But anywhere in the world? Maybe somewhere in Europe. I always thought Europeans were so dapper.

9. What’s your favorite natural product that you always fall back to?

How do I pick a favorite child?? Based on repurchases and the product makes me feel when it is nearly empty: Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Oil Cleanser (repurchased once, easy makeup removal with phenomenal scent), YÜLI Skincare Cell Perfecto PM (repurchased once, goodbye acne scars!), YÜLI Skincare Panacea Elixir (repurchased twice, refreshing anti-blemish spray), Kjaer Weis Mascara (repurchased once, lovely rosey scent plus lovely lashes).

10. Is it important to you to buy organic or recycled clothing?
I want it to be important, but this has not become a priority in my life yet. My love for organic has spread from beauty products to food, so maybe clothing is next on the list.

The Nominations

In no particular order, with love and admiration,
1. Marcella from Naturally Marcy
2. Asti from Skjonnhet
3. Coco Beaute
4. Green Derm
5. Brenda from The Wanderlusting Beauty
6. Alasdair from Something Seed Oil
7. Kathy from Beauty Palette
8. Vivi from Eco Beauty Secrets
9. Neiman’s Idealist
10. Gem from Buff Beauty

My Questions

1. What is your nighttime skincare routine?
2. What do you do to relax or unwind from stress?

3. How did you get into green beauty?
4. A recent good read? If not a read, a recent good TV show or movie?
5. You can only eat one thing for the rest of your life. What is it?
6. What is your favorite face oil?
7. All-time green beauty favorites?
8. Your skin is freaking out. What do you do?
9. What is something new (product, brand, experience, anything) you want to try soon?
10. Something(s) (product, experience, anything) essential to you for every day?

I hope you’ll oblige me, my nominees! But even if you are not a nominee, please feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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…

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?

April showers bring April Empties

 

Clockwise from Burt’s Bees:
Burt’s Bee’s Tinted Lip Balm in Rose: An easy, moisturizing swipe of sheer red that makes me look more alive while blurring over my vaguely cracked lips. This was my 2nd or 3rd repurchase, so I may take a break on another repurchase to try something new, but I know this one is a good’un. Ingredients include coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter. ($7 on Burt’s Bees)

Hurraw! Green Tea Lip Balm: Smells like matcha green tea because…it has hemp oil infused with matcha green tea in it! Loved that (I mean, omega fatty acids for my lips is pretty ballin’) and also the moisturizing powers. Kept this at my desk for moisturizing when I didn’t want/need color. I have two more of these left in Vanilla Bean and Earl Grey. ($3.79 on Hurraw!)
Acure Argan Oil: I have used this as a makeup remover, face moisturizer, and a body moisturizer. This was good as a face moisturizer, but now that I’m getting fancy with facial oil blends, I have delegated this more towards makeup remover and body moisturizer. It is a little pricier than jojoba oil or sweet almond oil, but let’s just say my mother took advantage of an Acure sale at our local health store a bit back. Easily takes off all makeup and leaves my body even softer than jojoba or sweet almond ever did. Also, 100% certified organic. ($12.99 on Vitacost, $14.50 on Amazon, $14.99 on Acure)
Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Black Pearl: Stays put with minimal smudging even with my monolid eroding away at it all day. Makes a great cat-eye, and Black Pearl is black + sparkles. I’ve had this in Raven (just black) before, so I am also taking a break on repurchasing this to try something new, but again, this is also a good one. ($14.85 on Gabriel Cosmetics)
Konjac Sponge Co. Konjac Sponge with French Green Clay: This little guy has unfortunately developed a tear at the 3 month mark (average lifetime of a Konjac sponge), so I will be searching for a plant that will serve as its final resting place. A nice, gentle sponge that I enjoyed using in the morning or post-makeup removal at night. Always left my face soft. ($9 on Spirit Beauty Lounge)

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

Night routine (pt 4: moisturizing)

After I have cleansed, toned, and treated, it is time for moisturizing.
In order of usage,
  1. ~5-6 drops of Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum ($33.99). I went in depth about it here, but in short, this is a powerhouse against the discolorations leftover by my summer breakout and is chock full of antioxidants and moisture. I let this sit for 5 minutes to make sure all the goodness has been absorbed as recommended by Mad Hippie.
  2. 2 drops of Acure Organic’s Argan Oil ($14.99) + 1 drop of Aura Cacia’s Tamanu Oil ($15.99) mixed together in my palm, which I then gently press and massage into my face. I’m using this pair together to combine argan oil’s abundant fatty acids and vitamin E along with tamanu oil’s topical healing and super antimicrobial abilities to heal up my blemish scars. It’s no overnight miracle, but this plus Mad Hippie has been really healing my skin.
  3. 3 drops of Now Solutions’ Jojoba Oil on my arm, 3 for my other arm, 3 for one calf, 3 for another calf, you get the idea.
Note: As for smells and textures, I’m not really picky about these things, so I enjoy Tamanu’s vaguely nutty herbal scent and I don’t smell Argan at all (I don’t know what people are talking about when they say Argan smells bad).
Second note: Yes, they’re oils, and I’m in love with oils, if you can’t tell. And I’m acne-prone, and my skin just drinks these up. Don’t be afraid of oils. They feed your skin amazingness and I think the term oil-free now is kind of silly.

Acure Organics Dry Shampoo

Cannot stress how much this dry shampoo saves my life daily. I have pretty oily hair and awkward bangs that I’m kind of growing out so I can barely survive washing my hair every other day. But with this product, I tap a bit of the powder in my hand, press it into the roots of my hair, leave it in for a couple minutes, brush it out, and voila — non-greasy hair for the win. ($12.99)