Wednesday Wishlist: Word of Mouth

Though I’m not officially-officially participating in #NoBuyJanuary, I have been very good and have not bought any new products since the new year. Okay, I bought a texturizing spray from my local organic salon after I chopped off my hair last weekend. Okay, I also bought more Dr. Bronner’s soap after returning to my apartment after winter break. Otherwise, I have been avoiding January sales like the plague. But I could have one more facial oil–no, I must resist. And for good measure–I’ve been loving the products I have even more. But I could have one more cleanser–no!

On this wishlist are some products I have read up on recently through blogs, Twitter, and Instagram. I have banned myself from purchasing products unless I am out of its particular category, so it will likely be many months until I get on these two cleansers. But cream moisturizer–that I am almost out of. And I don’t have a blemish treatment quite like this one so…

Flight Skincare Sheer Luxury Milk Cleanser
I first got wind of this makeup-removing cleanser from Asti of Skjonnhet, who loved this for keeping her skin calm and properly hydrated. What got her attention and mine was the unique ingredients of Goat’s milk (contains vitamins A, B6, B12 and E, balances skins PH) and Quandong Seed (refreshing, high concentration of vitamin C). I am all for gentle cleansers and hey, legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in milk to keep her skin super soft. If it was good enough for Cleopatra…not to mention, I love that the founder’s Instagram is full of beautiful scenes of Australia, the beach, juices, and more. ($37 for 100ml)

Pratima Skincare Pitta Herbal Cleanser
After reading the book Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch (which I discovered through No More Dirty Looks), I was intrigued by the concept of matching one’s diet and lifestyle to one’s dosha. Pratima Skincare takes it one step further: matching one’s skincare to one’s dosha. In the two dosha quizzes I’ve taken, Pitta has been a common variable, and knowing the fiery, often stressful person I am, the Pitta Herbal Cleanser, as discovered from Tina at OurWonderLust, sounds like a lovely, calming powder-to-liquid cleanser. Ingredients include milk powder, aloe, sandalwood, lavender for a targeted solution for combination, sensitive, or blemish-prone skin (*raises hand for all three). ($20 for 2oz)

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser
Knowing how good probiotics are for the gut and therefore skin, I love the idea of probiotics in skincare. I have been enjoying Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser for its cooling, lotion-y texture, and since I’ve been slowly getting back into cream moisturizers, I can only imagine what this moisturizer must be like. I swear I read Megan from Seed to Serum hinting at this moisturizer being a favorite of hers, but she for sure did love the Night Moisturiser. Also, jasmine-scented things are my new jam. ($65 for 60ml)

Indie Lee Blemish Lotion
The Blemish Lotion seems like the talc-free version of the non-green and well-loved Mario Badesco’s Drying Lotion. I love Osmia Organic’s Spot Treatment for how gently it heals blemishes, but according to Liz from @lizthegreenspirit, this atomizes zits. Sold. ($26 for 1oz)

Have you tried any of these products? What have you been wishing for?

Wednesday Wishlist

I’ve got a Cognition exam tomorrow, but there’s no time like 10 minutes before midnight for a Wednesday Wishlist right? Especially since my last one was from July.

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser 120 ml for $53 from Net-a-Porter
I have heard all the good things about this cleanser from mainstream beauty mavens to my favorite green beauties. Into the Gloss, Caroline Hirons, Genuine Glow, and Seed to Serum all raved of how smooth and hydrated this cleanser leaves them, not to mention the lush creamy consistency, the wonderful smell, and beautifully soft muslin. Besides the fact everyone seems to love this, what also makes this line special is the use of probiotics. “I can’t understand how probiotics are supposed to benefit your skin, as they are designed to be processed in your digestive system” went some sassy comment on Caroline Hirons’ post. Turns out probiotics in skincare counter the effects of sun exposure and inflammation. Booyah. I’m a bit rusty on my hot cloth and balm cleansing, and this sounds like a great all/winter moisturizing, makeup-removing cleanser.

MUN No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum 15 ml for $95 from Mun Skin
This is another well-loved gem in the green beauty and mainstream world. Models, spa owners, makeup artists, The Green Product Junkie, and Epic Beauty Guide praise the serum for its hydrating effects, simplicity, efficacy against dark circles and blemishes, and more. I love argan, I love the smell of rose oil, and I am itching to try prickly pear seed oil. Can’t have enough moisture or blemish-fighting powers going into these colder and drier months.

Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum 15 ml for $78 from Kahina Giving Beauty
This brand has been on my radar for yonks, and I nearly went for their travel set when I was transitioning away from DIY skincare, but instead went with Dr. Alkaitis for blemishy reasons. With all the love that No More Dirty Looks and Truth in Aging gives this brand, I know I will press that checkout button soon–eventually. The eye serum flew back on my radar recently with a blog post or an Instagram picture that I can’t find or immediately remember! It is buried in my BlogLovin’ or instagram feed, but clementinefields’ will definitely do. Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a product that gives back? Exactly what I’m looking for, what with staying up until 2am and even 3am seeming to become a trend…

H. Gillerman Organics Remedy Pack $160 from H. Gillerman
Hope from H. Gillerman was such a tease about this one–this all-in-one pack popped up on various Twitters and instagrams of celebrities (did you know she’s buddies with Lea Michele and Miley Cyrus? Yep) and green beauty queens in its cute little Baggu bag before its official release. The pack includes her four famed remedies: sinus, stress, sleep, and tension in super concentrated essential oil form.  And it’s limited edition! I am coveting my little samples of sleep and sinus that came with my jaw-clenching tension remedy rollerball, and from how soothing these blends smell, I can only imagine how great the other ones are…

So tell me, have you tried any of these products? What have you been wishing for lately?

Papaya Heaven

I thought I was going to DIY my makeup remover for life with single ingredient oils like jojoba oil and sweet almond oil, both of which work well with a wet, warm washcloth*. But midway through the summer, I was seeing praise for OLO x BeautyBets all over my feeds. At last I couldn’t stand not being in the know, so I hopped on that bandwagon with a sample pack or two…and as soon as I finished my sample of the vitamin b active moisture cleansing oil and makeup remover (and the one meant for my sister**…oops), I sprung for full-size.

When the amazing, tropical papaya scent of the cleanser first hit me, my olfactories just about sprang to heaven. Every time my sister washed her face with it, she would walk to me from the bathroom, massaging her face, saying, “This smells soooo good***.” The best part? It’s not just a pretty scent. As OLO themselves beautifully explain on their blog, papaya gently exfoliates, brightens skin, and feeds the face with fatty acids. This along with pumpkin both contain plenty of vitamin b which help to detoxify and calm the skin.

The cleanser beautifully removes all trace of makeup and rinses off with water. Wait, oil rinsing off with water? For all of my purists out there, you will notice there is one ingredient you cannot pronounce on the ingredients list: di-ppg-2myreth-10 adipate. I emailed OLO and received this response:

Hi Jade,

di-ppg-2myreth-10 adipate is an ingredient that helps the oils rinse clean with water. The ingredient does not have harmful PEGs and is rated a zero by the Cosmetic Safety Data Base: See http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701913/DI-PPG-2_MYRETH-10_ADIPATE/
It is a hybrid between a skin emollient and a surfactant so it helps to clean and condition the skin simultaneously. We wanted our cleansing oil to rinse off completely with water so we chose this ingredient to help us with that function.

Please do let us know if you have any other questions.

Warmly,
Suzanne

And that was enough consolation for me to click the “Checkout” button. Since the ingredient is non-toxic, I can live with it. And as much as I enjoyed the wet, warm washcloth method, I really enjoy the convenience of a rinse-off oil. Also it’s awesome watching my mascara-induced panda eyes just wash away. The cleanser always leaves my face feeling so soft; so soft that sometimes I rinse extra because I’m not too sure I’ve rinsed away all of the cleanser!

I’ve used this cleanser at night alone, in the middle of the day after yoga, and currently I’m enjoying it as my first step in double cleansing at night. I’ve also just repurchased because my skin behaves so well with this cleanser that I don’t want to mess with its zen.

Have you tried this cleanser? What are your thoughts?

*How’s that for “w” alliterations?
**It’s okay, I left her with 1oz when I took the full-size with me back to school.
***And then she would paint a batman mask on her face with her mascara and eyeliner remnants. Yeah.

A liquid, a powder, and a gel…

Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? I personally like the one about pandas and commas, but I also really like these three very different and beautiful cleansers. I’m cheating a bit with the Vered Organic Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner, but that’s because this sensually-smelling toner moonlights as a cleanser (you can read about it from Fig+Sage). A botanical plethora of essential oils and herbs is infused into grape alcohol, distilled water, and vegetable glycerin to make a non-drying, refreshing step as a cleanser or a toner. While I liked the simplicity of this as my sole cleanser, my finicky face likes this more as a toner. The toner can be swiped on with cotton pads or slapped on with bare hands, and I rather like both methods. After applying, I leave the remaining moisture and slather on my face oil, which mixes beautifully and feels wonderfully soft and hydrating.


The Clean Dirt from May Lindstrom Skin is a whole ‘nother beast. You can see the powder-to-mousse action from Beauty by Britanie, skjonnhet, kimberlyloc, and the woman herself which is terribly good fun. The concoction also brings Christmas cookies to mind thanks to its clays and warming spices that come together to purify and exfoliate the skin. For that reason, I would definitely dub this as the strongest out of the trio, and my usage ranges from once in a while to two times a week as to not terrify my breakout-happy skin. Sometimes I leave it for an extra minute or two as a mask before washing off, and every time I go to bed with soft skin and visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

The Dr. Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser is the most classic cleanser of the bunch, as I’ve mentioned before, with healthy foaming action and a gel-like texture. This combined with the Vered toner and Vered Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil (not pictured) have been a pimple-fighting powerhouse these past couple of months. I have been seeing less and less breakouts each month and am liking the downwards trend very much. But that’s a story for another time…In the meantime, have you tried any of these cleansers? What are your favorites?

Note: When it comes to makeup removal, all of these can to some degree, but removing makeup separately before cleansing always results in no makeup residue once it comes to toning. Also, none of these should be getting friendly with the eyes.

Tator tots for your face ft. the Konjac Sponge Co.

No, sorry, there is no new study that says eating tator tots is beneficial for your face, let alone smearing them over your face. (Personally, I’m waiting for the bacon study. I’m obsessed with bacon.) But, the konjac potato packs a pretty good punch: protein, carbohydrate, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, more vitamins, and even more vitamins.

The Japanese have used the konjac (that’s “KOHN-yak” to you) vegetable as a beauty treatment for their skin for over a century, as well as for medicine and food, but this sponge, made out of konjac plant fibre, is not for eating.

Description

“A naturally moisture rich plant fibre which is by nature alkaline, and thus balances the acidity of the skins impurities and oils. The unique net like structure of the sponge, gently massages the skin and stimulates blood flow and new growth of skin cells. Leaving the skin extremely clean and refreshed…..naturally! No need for additional cleansers or soaps unless you really want. Should you chose to use additional cleansers or soap, you can use a fraction of your usual amount, as the sponge will generate more bubbles and spread the cleaner further than usual.”

(source: The Konjac Sponge Co.)

I have the French Green Clay version for normal to oily skin and there are several different kinds (and colors!) for different skin types. The half-sphere sponge fits neatly into my palm and seems small and stiff when dry, but expands and softens upon soaking up water. My first impression: THIS IS SO CUTE.

One and a half months later, I still think it’s cute (I know, it’s just a sponge, but still) and I really enjoy using this as my morning cleanser. Different people say different things about cleansing in the morning; some say you should cleanse off the oil that has accumulated overnight, and others say it’s unnecessary. In this winter cold, I want to do everything I can to minimize dryness, but on the other hand, cleansing off excess oil can’t be too much of a bad thing. Previously, I had been using pure, raw, local honey as a cleanser, but found it drying as the days got colder. This sponge, however, is uber gentle and leaves my skin feeling soft, clean, but not taut or dry. I wouldn’t say this is a super flake killer, but it makes for a good, gentle exfoliation session.

squish squish

For science (*points finger in air dramatically), I tried a couple ways of cleansing with the sponge.

1. Alone

My favorite method because it’s easy. Good for morning cleansing or post-makeup removal at night. I just soak the sponge up and gently massage away. The sponge’s soft texture makes for a nice morning wake-up and is okay around the eyes too.
2. With another cleanser
Post-makeup removal, I squirted my other cleanser love, Dr. Alkaitis Purifying Facial Cleanser, onto my hand, into which I dabbed the wet sponge, and then massaged into my face. This cleanser on its own plus fingers actually can get some good, gentle foaming action which was slightly reduced with the sponge. It got the same job done, but the Dr. Alkaitis product brochure recommends using this cleanser with fingers and that’s personally what I like better, too. This time I stayed away from the eyes since the Dr. Alkaitis cleanser is not recommended for around the eye.
3. To remove water-based makeup
With a face of Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, Alima Pure Eyeshadow, and Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner, and Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara, I massaged the wet sponge sans extra cleanser into my face. Just at a glance, it removed most of the foundation, but it was definitely no match for my eye makeup. I followed up with my usual warm washcloth + plant oil (currently sweet almond) makeup removal process and sadly had some foundation residue. I also had to do extra rinsing to get rid of the makeup that transferred to the sponge, so that was a bit of a hassle.
Konjac Sponge Co.‘s website has more thorough info as far as care and usage along with a video demo which are all very helpful especially if you want to prolong the longevity of the sponge. In short, always rinse before and after usage, let dry after usage, and after it has breathed its last (usually around 3 months), you can stick it in a plant pot and it’ll hold moisture for your plant. Also, it’s $9 from Spirit Beauty Lounge, which is where I bought it from. Extra cute, right?
P.s. if you want to see more pictures and read an opinion on the Red French Clay version, you should read Naturally Marcy’s take.

Loving yourself…and Spirit Beauty Lounge

 

Ordered from Spirit Beauty Lounge. If SBL was a physical store, I think I would just live there for the rest of my life. Seriously love browsing through SBL’s amazing products.
On Valentine’s Day, you typically have your gushy “I love Valentine’s Day!”, the proud “It’s Singles Awareness Day!” (“Galentine’s Day” even), and the bitter “I hate this day.” But this year, I saw this message for the first time wedged in between Valentine’s Day sales and soft pretty pink beauty how-to’s (Chalkboard Mag has a lovely one): “Love yourself!”

So, this is me, patting myself on the back, saying, “Jade, old chap, I know you’ve been stressed over school and hating on yourself for the little things, but it’s okay. Have some cookies. Or better yet, some May Lindstrom Clean Dirt that smells like the best cookies and has the most amazing ingredients. Now you’re a super poor college student and can never spend money on anything else again, so you better enjoy it. And more importantly, love yourself. You do your skin no favors if you don’t love and accept yourself.”

Night routine (pt. 1: cleansing)

Since my face decided to hate me for using coconut oil based products over the summer*, I’ve been following this cleansing routine at night to coax it into behaving, and it’s been working (now my face just mildly dislikes me every now and then). Makeup is gently but thoroughly removed, face is gently but thoroughly cleansed. Check.

 

1. Rub ~10 drops of jojoba oil between palms and massage onto face to break up the makeup (rhyme)
2. Wet a small towel with warm water and press onto face and go ahhh…(repeat ~3 times) then wipe away makeup
4. Scoop out a tablespoon of raw honey and massage onto face like a normal cleanser
5. Rinse face

Why it’s awesome
  • Jojoba oil is very similar to the oil our skin produces and like dissolves like–aka putting jojoba oil on your face attracts your face’s dirty oils and then you wipe it away. Yay. (also rhyme)
  • Raw honey is antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing, smells awesome, tastes good if you get it in your mouth (can’t say that about most cleansers on the market), and all-around just fantastic.
  • Double cleansing (aka this oil followed by honey business) first takes care of oil-based dirt (like makeup) and then water-based dirt (like sweat). It’s got all the dirt covered.
(~$20 total)

 

*Some people have great results with coconut oil because it is also antibacterial, antifungal, and moisturizing but other people like me don’t. It is also possible that I wasn’t using the most purest form of coconut oil so that may have also skewed my results.