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: Makeup

Happy New Year! I am starting off this new year with one more look back at 2013. Wrapping up my Best of 2013 series (skincare and bodycare here, in-the-shower here) are my favorite makeup products of the past year.

The ‘un’ cover-up was my gateway into rms beauty, which led me to the cream eye shadows, lip2cheeks, and lip shines. I love the eyeshadows for how easy they are to apply–just a simple swipe and blend, and there you have a luminous, beautiful, wearable color. Pictured is Solar, my favorite, which is golden (pun intended). I keep falling back in love with the Smile lip2cheek for its beautiful coral color which brings life back into the face, but I also have been loving Rapture, the pictured brick red, on the lips and cheeks for the winter season. The Sublime and Sacred lip shines were favorites over the summer for their glossy, bright colors (fuschia pink and bright pinky red, respectively). I have been keenly missing my living luminizer which I accidentally left at school, which got me addicted to highlighting the inner corners of my eyes. It give such a beautiful, natural glow!

I resisted Kjaer Weis for a while due to its price, but once I tried the mascara, it was an easy tumble down into the eyeshadows, the blushes, and newly, the foundation. First, obsessed with the beautiful, sleek packaging. Second, totally worth it, especially with the refill concept and quality of product. Love the mascara for how it enhances my lashes and mostly holds a curl. So, so, so love the blushes for how easily they blend in and natural they look. Suntouched gives me a peachy pop, Desired Glow is more subtle, and lately Abundance has my heart with its beautiful plummy color. And the foundation. It is a bit drying, yet does not enhance any of my dryness at all. It gives amazing coverage, and is buildable. Huge favorite.

Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen is my perfect sunscreen for its slightly tinted formula which is moisturizing and effective. Loved this in the summer, still loving this in the winter. I wear this under my makeup (or as the top layer, if no makeup) everyday.

I have to resist buying all of ILIA beauty’s lip products because they all look so wonderful. My favorite is their lip gloss, which my sister has in Love Buzz (top) and I have in The Butterfly and I (bottom). The formula is so beautiful, so moisturizing, and smells beautifully of citrus and vanilla. Love Buzz is a pretty pinky-purple while Butterfly is more of a nudey peach.

See any of your favorites here? What makeup did you love during 2013?

*Thanks to my gracious sister for hand-modeling for me.

Summer Sunscreens


I am obsessed with practicing safe sun all year round, but especially when the sun is so blazing hot that you feel like the heat itself could give you a sunburn, I believe a pair of awesome shorts and sunscreen are more essential than ever. 

I may be a California girl, and home may be where the sun is, but sun damage ain’t pretty. Neither are chemical sunscreens containing ingredients like oxybenzone, which scores an 8 on the Skin Deep Database for biochemical or cellular level changes and endocrine disruption. Luckily, there are physical sunscreens containing ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are much safer for the skin. While Prevention Mag says sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging cream, and Rose Marie Swift of RMS beauty prefers the sun sunscreen-less*, I will slather on my SPF 30’s just to be safe and balance sun exposure with sun protection the best I can.

Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30
The name sets it up too well because this is a perfect sunscreen. It’s hydrating without leaving any white cast, irritation, or greasiness. It has a slight aloe scent and a slight tint–just enough to barely even out skin tone, but not too much to feel heavy or classify it as a tinted moisturizer. On good skin days, I have gone out of the house with just this and the beautiful Kjaer Weis mascara–a very natural and glowing look. As far as application goes, one pump dispenses enough for my face and neck post-moisturizing and pre-makeup. I’ve used sunscreens from Badger and Devita before, both of which had their upsides and downsides, but this one from Consonant is my favorite–every point about it is lovely! Also, I bought two more during their recent flash sale celebrating their newly redesigned site to give to my mum and sis.

Star ingredients: non-nano zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, aloe juice, rice bran oil, grape seed oil.

Badger Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
While I am zealous about applying sunscreen to my face, I am not as responsible with my body, even though, ironically, a larger amount of skin covers my body than my face. When my watch tan started becoming obvious and even my manager commented how I was getting tanner**, I knew I had to get on a proper, daily body sunscreen. I’ve used Badger sunscreen on my face and body in the past, and while the ingredients were stellar, I had to take more time with application to pat pat away the white cast. Their newer formulation with aloe makes the formula much more manageable with minimal to no white cast. I still find that if I’m not properly moisturized, I will look a bit flaky, so I manage that by mixing the sunscreen with a moisturizer, rosewater mist, or body oil (coconut is my favorite). I apply to all the body areas I know will be exposed once I take off my long-sleeve layers after work–it’s fall/winter all year long in there–and try to reapply after I get in the car to go home. The chamomile and calendula scent isn’t too overwhelming, and I’ve heard the orange and vanilla scent smells like orange creamsicles. I have the baby version since Whole Foods was out of the normal version at the time, but hey, I want baby-soft, protected skin too!

Star ingredients: non-nano uncoated zinc oxide, aloe juice, sunflower oil, calendula extract.

Tl;dr Not a burn in sight with these two sunscreens. What sunscreens are you loving this summer?

* See EWG’s “9 Surprising Facts about Sunscreen” and NaturalNew’s “7 Surprising Things You’re Not Supposed to Know About Sunscreen and Sunlight Exposure” if you want more on the sunscreen debate.

** I replied it was from driving the car to work. Who goes to the beach? Also, my left side is slightly tanner than my right side. Awkward.

Wednesday Wishlist

Going counterclockwise,
YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir

I am interning in the Land of Cubicles this dry, Californian summer away from my humidifier, and even though I’m chugging the H20, my face is le parched. My temporary solution is rosewater, but I’m looking at a cocoon for the future. For very sensitive and irritation-prone skin? Yes, and yes. Calms irritation and inflammation, while delivering deep hydration? Please.

May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
Love the Aztec Indian Healing Clay, but I think I need a super, chocolate-y-detoxing upgrade to match my newfound affinity for juicing. Do I have 45 minutes to sit around in a jet-black mask? Did I mention I’m episodes behind Doctor Who and Game of Thrones?

Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen
I appreciate Devita’s for its moisturizer texture, but I am enticed by this tinted contender from Canada. Cue motivation to slather current sunscreen all over, all day, every day.

RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Solar
Eye cream and gold in one? A one-swipe stop for beautiful that’ll screams summer. At least I can give my computer some beach envy.

Have you tried anything on this list? What are your thoughts?

*Image credits in links.