Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

I had this interesting conversation with the derm-in-training The Green Derm a year ago about how using a hot water + wash cloth to remove an oil “cleanser” is way too much for the skin to take every day. The Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (review here) has been my long-standing solution for that uneasy problem (it’s too satisfying to see all of your makeup off your face and onto a cloth, and it feels hopeless trying to rinse off oil with water because of course they don’t mix)–it removes makeup and washes off with water. Easy, done.

Despite going through many (loved) bottles of the aforementioned, I could not help be tempted by the recently launched (couple months old now) Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser. I held off for months with the intention of finishing my current cleansers. When I pumped off the last bit of my favorite YÜLI Halcyon Cleanser (review here), paired with unhappy skin due to a myriad of reasons (exams/projects/hormones/dessert), the hypothesis of “I’m putting my skin under too much stress with my daily hot cloth routine!”, and the desire to try something new (oh, and NMDL deal with Citrine Beauty didn’t hurt), I jumped for the Nourishing Oil Cleanser.

From the description of the cleanser on the Tata Harper website along with the ingredients list, I had the impression that the cleanser could rinse off with water as well, and I intended to rotate it with my de Mamiel cleansing balm (review here) + tepid water + wash cloth routine to put less stress on my face as my makeup remover/first cleanse at night.

In comparison to what I remember from the ED4OLO Cleansing Oil, this oil seemed much harder to rinse off with water when used for makeup removal, slash it seemed to take longer to rinse off until I didn’t suspect I had much of the oil left on my face because it really does leave the face feeling nourished and soft. In my impatience, I sometimes used tepid water + wash cloth to remove the oil, which defeated my purpose of purchasing the oil. Alternatively I’ve also used a konjac sponge to remove the oil (favorite way of removing the ED4OLO Cleanser), or just resorted to rinsing off the cleanser in the shower (using the water pressure as my friend).

I then reviewed the directions for the cleanser and snooped more around the Tata Harper blog. A re-reading of “The Double Cleansing Method, Explained!” revealed the routine of starting with wet hands and a dry face, spreading the cleanser all over, waiting several seconds, emulsifying the formula by splashing water onto the face and massaging, and then rinsing.

Wet hands made rinsing off minutely faster, massaging the cleanser while emulsifying it instead of jumping straight into the rinse-off also made rinsing off minutely faster (and satisfying to see the gently “foaming” emulsion–see above photo). Of course, when not used for makeup removal but for a second cleanse post-makeup removal, the cleanser rinses off fairly easily since it does not have sunscreen and makeup in the way.

I am not wild about the scent, which comes off as mostly citrus to me, but using this twice in the evening and once in the morning has been very agreeable with my skin. Any makeup is easily massaged away, and as a second rinse, no film is left–just soft skin. Along with the Nourishing Oil Cleanser, at the time I actually ended up purchasing two other cleansers (if you saw in my recent haul video)–freaking out as I was about my skin and eager to try all the new things, so I did until common sense kicked in and I resorted to picking one cleanser and sticking with it, i.e. the Nourishing Oil Cleanser. The arrival of that time of the month marked the pinnacle of that bad skin bout, and this cleanser did nothing more to exacerbate the spots I had as my skin calmed down. If anything, it encouraged my skin along its healing path.

While there are those being of the opinion that one shouldn’t splurge for cleansers since you wash them off anyways and probably a large subset of that group who think that this cleanser is a bit exorbitant, I initially thought this cleanser was a great deal. The size, 4 oz, for $64 is quite on par with other cleansers I have enjoyed (in comparison, YÜLI Halcyon is 3.4 oz for $52 and Dr. Alkaitis is 4 oz for $56).

The price is fine, however, the recommended usage is what makes the cleanser feel pricy. I typically used the suggested two pumps for morning cleanse/2nd cleanse and three to five pumps to remove makeup. Add that all up, and I neared the end of the cleanser after about a month. That is alarming. Given, five pumps is very generous and whenever I put my palms together in preparation for massaging my face, I lost a little to the carpet (for science!). While I love using a generous portion of the cleanser to cleanse my face–the more oil (to a point) you have, the easier it is to massage–you probably can get away with an average of 2 pumps per cleanse.

Great performance and happy skin aside, a look at the ingredients list will easily tell you why Caroline Hirons places this cleanser not on the makeup removing list, but the second cleanse list. Rosa Canina seed oil, at the very top of the list, is fancy for rosehip oil, which as you may know, is a whole well-lauded product from Pai Skincare all unto itself as a greener source of vitamin A (anti-aging, helps heal scarring).

Sacha Inchi, also known as the Inca peanut, has about the same level of omega-3 fatty acids as flax and twice the level of omega-6 (basically mega awesome for the skin in terms of healing, guarding against the sun, strengthens the skin’s barrier, etc.).

Camellia Oleifera seed oil’s fatty acid content is similar to olive oil–it is massively high (~80%) in oleic acid. Oleic acid has been getting a bad rap for being a non-ideal oil for acneic types (*raises hand)–in high levels, it has been demonstrated to disrupt the skin barrier and hurry along TEWL (transepidermic water loss). But here’s another point of view: camellia oleifera has been shown to be able to penetrate the skin and decrease barrier resistance, making way for other things (the study was for drugs, but here it is probably beautiful extracts and nourishment).

The secret to rinsing oil off with water–a seemingly impossible feat–is this combination of emulsifying agents: Shea Butter Ethyl Ester and Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate. These two allow the oils to mix with water, and thus rinse off. Bonus: they’re also emollients that soften the skin.

Besides the fact that this oil cleanser can wash off with water, eliminating the use of a wash cloth (a timesaver when exhausted), the medley of extracts drew me in. Alfalfa, arnica, calendula, comfrey, borage, elderberry (Sambucus Nigra), meadowsweet–kind of beautiful, right? The common themes linking them together are their potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

tl;dr Sort of the more expensive dupe for the ED4OLO oil cleanser that is slightly harder to wash off. However, just as happy skin due to luscious oils and extracts–if purchase again, probably would reserve for second cleanse.

Have you used this cleanser? What are your thoughts? If not, what’s your favorite cleanser these days?

Note: By hot water, I mean tepid/warm water before anyone starts yelling broken capillaries.

Ingredients: Rosa Canina Seed oil*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Olea europea (Olive) Oil*, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel oil*, Plukenetia (Sacha Inchi) Volubilis, Jojoba Esters, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Aroma**, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Arnica montana (Arnica) Leaves and flowers*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Symphytum officinale (Comfrey) Leaves*, Borago officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) flower Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract *Ingredients from organic farming ** Clinical grade essential oils blend

Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself from Citrine Beauty. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for my words.

Additional Sources:

Adorjan, Barbara, and Gerhard Buchbauer. “Biological Properties of Essential Oils: An Updated Review.” Flavour Fragr. J. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 25.6 (2010): 407-26. Web.

Feás, Xesús, et al. “Triacylglyceride, Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Features Of Virgin Camellia Oleifera, C. Reticulata And C. Sasanqua Oils.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) 18.4 (2013): 4573-4587. MEDLINE. Web. 9 June 2015.

Mack Correa, Mary Catherine, et al. “Molecular Interactions Of Plant Oil Components With Stratum Corneum Lipids Correlate With Clinical Measures Of Skin Barrier Function.” Experimental Dermatology 23.1 (2014): 39-44. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 June 2015.

Maurer, Natalie E., Beatriz Hatta-Sakoda, Gloria Pascual-Chagman, and Luis E. Rodriguez-Saona. “Characterization and Authentication of a Novel Vegetable Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia Volubilis L.) Oil.” Food Chemistry 134.2 (2012): 1173-180. Web.

Mccusker, Meagen M., and Jane M. Grant-Kels. “Healing Fats of the Skin: The Structural and Immunologic Roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 Fatty Acids.” Clinics in Dermatology 28.4 (2010): 440-51. Web.
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Summer Body Oils: #ED4OLO & Kahina

Is it ever too hot for body oils? If you get in the shower sweating and get out still sweating, maybe. But even though it’s been consistently hitting over 100 degrees over here in California, my legs are thirsty year round. Two body oils that have me feeling my skin all day long and smelling really, really delicious: Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Oil and Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum.

The #ED4OLO body oil has the same delicious tropical scent as the cleansing oil that makes my sister say, “This smells soooooo good” every time she uses it (once by mistake, she grabbed the body oil instead of the cleansing oil to remove makeup–oops! Don’t do that). I’m not a pineapple person (cannot eat food that I have consciously put pineapple in) but I absolutely love the smell of the oil cleanser, so I was so glad to hear they made a body oil with the same scent.

The ingredients read brightening meets moisturizing: the green tea seed oil and vitamin C ester that I love from the Vitamin C serum, the papaya seed oil from the Vitamin B Oil Cleanser, plus moisturizing shea oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and olive oil. While I can’t say my legs look brighter, when I use this and Chocolate Sun’s Cocoa Lite, I kind of feel like a glowing golden goddess the next day (and then I pull on my jeans/long skirt/appropriate clothing for work. At least I know I’m glowing).

The moisture part is serious though. It doesn’t beat my occasionally scaly calves (though this + regular exfoliation does the trick), but when I do get to bare my legs, I can’t stop touching them. Or smelling them, when I go in for a forward bend midday.

I’m guessing the thickish texture comes from the combination of shea oil + shea butter and green tea seed oil + vitamin C ester. Shea oil has 16 different fatty acids, and typically around 50% of some like oleic acid and stearic acid (hooray, anti-inflammation!). Green tea seed oil holds in moisture, boosts the effectiveness of vitamin C, and is also rich in fatty acids. What probably is also helping to keep my skin so soft is papaya’s exfoliating effects.

Despite the thicker texture, when massaged into the skin (preferably damp from the shower), it sinks in so well–seriously moisturizing my skin and not leaving an oily feel.

While #ED4OLO has a sweet pineapple-y scent, Fez is so beautifully spicy (bonus: scent is “I love the way you smell”-deeeeep-sniff-boy-approved). Fez’s ingredients also include sunflower seed oil and olive fruit oil plus a couple extras: their classic argan oil of course, coconut nut oil, watermelon seed oil, and a beautiful concoction of essential oils like rose, bergamot, cumin, sandalwood, pink grapefruit, neroli.

Watermelon seed oil and sunflower seed oil are both high (~40%-70%) in linoleic fatty acid–fun fact: low linoleic acid => decreased epidermal barrier function, aka the skin can’t properly protect itself from inflammation when it is low in linoleic acid. Adding these oils to the body then, I’m thinking, has the potential to help the skin’s anti-inflammatory reaction.

This combination results in a slightly thinner texture than the ED4OLO oil (fits the “serum” name), but it is still equally as moisturizing. The grounding, comforting scent lasts from one night to practically the next night. When I’m feeling a bit heavy digestive-wise, worn out, or sweetened-out, I reach for Fez. It’s something about those warm spices and warm-things-make-you-digest-and-feel-better.

I typically apply both of these Osmia-style–I hop out from the shower, barely towel off just so I’m not super dripping water on the floor, massage 1-2 pumps of either oil over my damp body, and brush my teeth in the nude while the moisture sinks in. It means I can use less oil for more surface area and get more moisture for my buck. If my calves are a still bit parched in the morning, applying the oils dry is okay–oil : surface area will be more, but greasiness, never. Just massage well.

tl;dr Both body oils leave the skin super soft and moisturized (however, regular body exfoliation is still recommended). What separates the two? Scent. Got a sweet tooth? Try ED4OLO (available from One Love Organics). Feeling spicy? Go for Kahina (available from Spirit Beauty Lounge).

Have you tried either of these body oils? Have a favorite? If not, what are you using to moisturize your body?

Disclaimer: Elizabeth Dehn x One Love Organics kindly sent me the Vitamin C body oil before its launch. I purchased the Kahina Body Serum myself from Spirit Beauty Lounge at the end of March. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ingredients for ED4OLO: organic butyrospermum parkii (shea) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, hydrogenated olive oil (and) olive oil (olea europeaea) (and) olive oil unsaponifiables, carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, organic camellia sinensis (green tea) seed oil, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin c-ester), tocopherol (vitamin e), proprietary natural & organic fragrance

Ingredients for Kahina: argania spinosa (argan) oil (36%)*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cocos nucifera (coconut) nut oil*, citrullus lanatus (watermelon) seed oil*, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil*, citrus aurantium amara (neroli) flower oil*, citrus bergamia (bergamot) peel oil*, citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit) peel oil*, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf/flower oil*, backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) leaf oil*, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil*, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) bud oil*, cuminum cyminum (cumin) seed oil*, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) leaf oil*, vetiveria zizanioides (vetiver) root oil*, bisabolol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, phenethyl alcohol.

*Certified Organic
100% from natural origin, 83.27% Organic

This product is gluten-free and vegan.

Additional Sources:

Honfo, Fernande G., et al. “Characteristics Of Traditionally Processed Shea Kernels And Butter.” International Journal Of Food Science & Technology 48.8 (2013): 1714-1721. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Moaddabdoost Baboli, Zahra, and Ali Safe Kordi. “Characteristics And Composition Of Watermelon Seed Oil And Solvent Extraction Parameters Effects.” Journal Of The American Oil Chemists’ Society (JAOCS) 87.6 (2010): 667-671. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Aug. 2014.

Okullo, J. B. L., et al. “PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SHEA BUTTER (Vitellaria Paradoxa C.F. Gaertn.) OIL FROM THE SHEA DISTRICTS OF UGANDA.” African Journal Of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition & Development 10.1 (2010): 1-15. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Aug. 2014.

Pappas, Apostolos. “The Relationship of Diet and Acne.” Dermato-Endocrinology 1.5 (2009): 262-67. Web.

Picardo, Mauro, Monica Ottaviani, Emanuela Camera, and Arianna Mastrofrancesco. “Sebaceous Gland Lipids.” Dermato-Endocrinology 1.2 (2009): 68-71. Web.

Raziq, S., et al. “Characterization Of Seed Oils From Different Varieties Of Watermelon [Citrullus Lanatus (Thunb.)] From Pakistan.” Grasas Y Aceites 63.4 (2012): 365-372. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Aug. 2014.
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Giveaway: #ED4OLO Vitamin B Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover

Hey beautiful people. Full-time internship + practicing/rehearsing/traveling for piano duo performance = radio silence, but have I got a treat for you…

Back in May, I passed 100 followers on Bloglovin’ (you can find me here) and I have been receiving some really beautiful emails from readers and brands and vomiting all of my green beauty love in them (like taking breaks from writing school essays to write green beauty essays) and I want to say thank you all so much! Thank you all for following and reading and commenting and sharing in my green beauty experience. It makes it all the more fun to hear what you love, what works for you, and what works better for you.

So as a thank you, I have one of my top green beauty favorites to offer: Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover (valued at $38). I was introduced to this via a sample pack (purchased) and immediately purchased full-size…after full-size…after full-size of this. A year and many bottles later, this cleansing oil is still a staple in my routine, and I’ve even gotten my sister hooked on it. You can read my full review from last summer here.

This giveaway is open from Monday, June 23 through Monday, June 30 (midnight PST). U.S. only–sorry international lovelies, will make it up to you. Good luck and go wild!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I bought this product myself from oneloveorganics.com and have been saving it for a lucky one of you. It’s a brand new, unopened bottle and even has its original bubble wrap with it. Yay! This giveaway is not sponsored by One Love Organics or Elizabeth Dehn–I included their Twitter handles in the giveaway because I think they are great resources to follow. And their Active Moisture line is stellar.

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The Going Green Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Kasey from Plein Vanity and sister duo Jennifer and Kathryne from Unsullied to do the Going Green Tag. As Kasey says, this tag was started by Rachel from All Natural Aspirations in her attempt to learn more about other bloggers’ experiences of “going green”. I never made an introductory post when I started blogging on how my green journey began, so thanks for tagging, ladies!

Pictured: Some cute succulents I picked up at Union Market, DC.

What started it all off for you?
It was a mixture of my on-and-off trench warfare with acne and a growing interest in makeup. In my acne-ful middle school and high school years, my makeup was eyeliner, mascara, eye concealer, done. Sometimes I would use concealer on my face, but a lot of the times I would forgo it (common conversation with myself: “Nah, you don’t need concealer today, that acne scar totally gives your face character”).

In the spring of my freshman year of college, I discovered the wonders of shopping online at Sephora and Asian BB cream. I started experimenting around and started breaking out more. I read that mineral foundation was acne-friendly, so I tried some BareMinerals, kept on breaking out, read that bismuth oxychloride was a skin irritant, aaand returned that in a blink of an eye.

In a flurry of fate, one of the order-with-samples was Josie Maran’s Argan Oil, the Birchbox of that month was the Earth Day Box, and I stumbled upon No More Dirty Looks. I played with the argan oil, checked out the mostly green products from the Birchbox (Juice Beauty, Egyptian Magic, not bad), read No More Dirty Looks, checked the back of my Philosophy Purity cleanser, and dropped it in horror after reading so many ingredient offenders that were poisoning me.

Pictured: No More Dirty Looks, Kindle edition. This book changed everything.

What was the first thing to go? (Ingredient or product)
Face cleanser/moisturizer. My first #greenbeauty products were One Love Organics Skin Savior and coconut oil, and I was so intrigued by products that could be a cleanser and a moisturizer at the same time. To be honest, I broke out even worse for a couple months after switching over, and it wasn’t until I changed to a simpler double-cleansing (jojoba, then honey), ACV-toning, and argan-moisturizing that my skin started to respond positively. Then I discovered Dr. Alkaitis, Vered Botanicals, yoga, eating green, and the rest is history. I’m not sure exactly what freaked my skin out at that time, but I’m attributing it to not double cleansing (*cringe), possibly not pure enough coconut oil (*double cringe), or possibly a sensitivity to coconut oil (*sad).

What are you/did you struggle to let go of?
Luckily, I wasn’t so attached to my skincare and makeup at the time, so I plunged into the world of #greenbeauty with absolute glee. I kind of did what NMDL advised not to do: freak out and throw everything away. Just knowing that there were inefficient or even harmful chemicals in my skincare and makeup repulsed me. I couldn’t put the products on my face after knowing what was inside them.

What has been your best find or change? (i.e. a green product or a tip that you’re really glad you’ve found/learnt)
Face oils!!! After years of oil-free brainwashing, I am now such a lover of face oils. The good ones give an instant glow, moisturize effectively, signal overreactive sebaceous glands to calm down, will often have great ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, omega fatty acids, and/or antioxidants. Also, their ingredients include some of my favorite foods: broccoli (similar feel as silicone), blueberry (antioxidants), raspberry (more antioxidants), and more.

Pictured from left to right: A couple of good face oils, including de Mamiel’s Spring Facial Oil (flower essences and moisturizing oils, smells just like Spring), YÜLI M.E. Skin Fuel (truly anti-inflammatory fuel for the skin, recently reviewed here), ED4OLO Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum (super moisturizing, reviewed here), MUN No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum (have yet to open this, but enjoyed the sample of it I ordered from Spirit Beauty Lounge)

What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest to transition or find an adequate green replacement of?
A lot of people say mascara, and this is where I have to thank my silly straight Asian lashes–even conventional mascaras never really worked for me. People also say deodorant, and this is where I have to thank my sweat glands–even that “prescriptive-strength anti-perspirant” deodorant didn’t work on me (can’t stop the sweat–stay tuned for a deo post). I think out of all of my products, it’s taken the longest time to find a mascara that works for me, period. The best part is that so many green beauty brands have been coming out with great mascaras made of natural ingredients and free of nasty preservatives, like rms beauty (defining is goooood stuff), W3ll People (@chinoisechic has good things to say about this one), and Alima Pure (tried it on my sis and looks good on her).

The worst thing about going green is watching other people continuing to use non-green products in ignorance. I think the absolute worst thing is when I’m watching a YouTube beauty favorites video, and the YouTuber says, “I don’t know what is in this product, but I love it so much!” (Though it was really funny when one YouTuber was commenting how Philosophy’s Purity cleanser wasn’t very pure, which I agreed with, but not because of the parabens or such, but because of various plant oils that I thought were actually decent. Awkward.) Of course, it is a completely personal choice to go green or not go green at all, and I just have to learn to accept that everyone has different opinions, tastes, and comfort levels. Or I can just slyly give green beauty gifts out for special occasions (and guess what. 100% satisfaction rate so far–booyah).

Pictured from left to right: Kjaer Weis Mascara (lovely rosey scent and nicely defines lashes for a natural look), rms beauty Defining Mascara (really packs on the definition and makes it look like I have eyelashes), Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara (also nicely defines and is layerable for a natural look, recently reviewed here)

Anything else to add? Any tips or tricks to pass on?
Be informed. You don’t have to go green, but as the consumer, you should at least know what is being absorbed into your bloodstream. There are so many great resources (No More Dirty Looks), lots of #greenbbloggers, lots of passionate green beauty store owners (Spirit Beauty Lounge, Follain, Clementine Fields, Eco Diva Beauty, Content Beauty, just to name a few), and lots of fabulous green beauty brands with inspiring stories who are committed to bringing healthy beauty to the world.

Being informed will also help you if you are an acne-sufferer like me. I think the knowledge is so empowering–instead of resorting to super full-coverage makeup or using drying and potentially harmful acne treatments, you yourself can try to pinpoint what is causing the acne–is it diet, stress, a product, hormones? You’re not helpless! Of course, if it gets really bad, see a derm, but you have the power to not only heal your skin but also make it as healthy and happy as possible.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how I went green! Now, I would love to hear Marcella’s (Naturally Marcy), Asti’s (Skjonnhet), Kathy’s (Beauty Palette), and your story of how you went green. 

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Spill It: Come As You Are Beauty Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Mary from Makeup by Mary B. to do the Spill It: Come As You Are tag by Katie from The Green Product Junkie. Here is some background on the tag:

Back in the 50s and 60s, they used to have something called, “Come As You Are” parties.  Now, if the name isn’t obvious enough, allow me to explain…

You’d receive an invite in the mail, and you had to show up at the party (whenever it was scheduled for) dressed exactly as you were when you received the invite.  Now, if you had any bit of personality, you showed up dressed completely ridiculously to make all of your friends laugh uncontrollably (and wonder what the heck was going on in your home).  My parents went to one and the pictures were hilarious, so now I’d love to single-handedly bring that back…in a green blogger kinda way.

My beauty tag is a “Come As You Are” party for the makeup bag.  This means that I want to see exactly what’s in your makeup bag AS YOU NOW READ THIS.  However…I don’t want you to add things, to run and go get something to make yourself look cooler (how would that be possible, anyway?) Just simply, SPILL IT. That’s right, spill your makeup bag on the table, the carpet, the couch and take a picture and then explain what you’ve got and what’s going on in there.  Have fun and remember…no staging, let’s keep this real.

I am a full-time student with a deep distrust of how good re-applied foundation can look, so the overwhelmingly majority of makeup in my “makeup bag” aka travel bag of tricks are lip products. While I trust my foundation, concealer, blush, and eye makeup (all of which sit on my bookshelf and dresser) to remain in place on my face all day, my lips are a free-for-all. I am constantly sipping on water and always wipe my lips off after a meal, so I am always up for changing up my lip color throughout the day (I am known to randomly sport a red lip come practice time). On top of all of this, lip products form the bulk of my makeup, so I try to carry some with me so I can use them before expiration (bam! Tips 3 and 4 for using up beauty products from here).

rms beauty lip shine in sublime
Forgive me for not showing the color–all for the sake of an authentic bag spill–but I did post on this pretty last summer (link here) and I still love its bright pop of fuschia. Totally inappropriate for winter, brought it out sometimes anyways for some cheery color, and now that the weather is finally looking like Spring, I’ll be wearing this one a lot. Besides its pretty color, I also love how moisturizing and glossy it is.

Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss in Evening Glow
I love Katey Denno, celebrity green makeup artist, and that she collaborated with Burt’s Bees on a color line. This is a shockingly pigmented, sparkly, true red. While the texture is not my favorite, it provides a nice gloss that is slightly sticky with a pleasant vanilla scent. I think of it as a dupe for my other favorite lip brand…

Ilia Beauty Lip Gloss in The Butterfly And I and Lip Crayon in Come Undone
This lip gloss is my go-to, non-fuss lippy. Its peachiness comes off as a my-lips-but-better-and-glossier color on me. The lip crayon is a very pretty nude that I’m still learning how to wear (any tips for a nude noob?).

Alime Pure Nourishing Lip Balm in Cranberry
This is my hands-off dupe for rms beauty’s lip2cheek in rapture when my hands are too dirty to stick in the pot (Instagram video here). Don’t let the “lip balm” part of the name fool you–this gives an intense burgundy-red color that is indeed nourishing. This has since been discontinued for Alima Pure’s Lip Tints in the same shades.

de Mamiel Altitude Oil
I received this as a gift from Shen Beauty last winter after an order mix-up and have appreciated its uplifting and perky scent in times of near-illness or drowsiness.

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Mist
In addition to always carrying a horde of lip products in my bag, it is an absolute must for me to have a mist on me at all times. This is the current mist inhabiting my bag, and I spritz this very fine and gentle mist (seriously the most gentle mister I’ve ever used) on my face throughout the day to replenish moisture.

Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
I am a super germaphobe, so I also always carry this bad boy from Whole Foods in case I have to touch money or dirty door handles, shivers. Doesn’t strip my hands of moisture and leaves a nice citrusy scent.

Contact Solution, Cleaner, and Eye Drops
I wear high-maintenance hard contacts so I carry solution, cleaner, and eye drops in case they decide to malfunction during the day. I am not really aware of any “green” products for contacts, so I use these conventional ones from Boston.

Limited Star Wars Edition Moleskine
I use this to jot down my practice schedule, to-do list, food shopping list, and blog ideas.

Baggu Leather Pouch in Persimmon
Love this little bag which perfectly holds all of my lippies and eye drops.

Computer Science Pouch
A bit of swag from a hackathon I attended at my school in January. Represent!

tl;dr Lots of lippies (rms beauty, Burt’s Bees, Ilia Beauty, Alima Pure), a perky-upper (de mamiel), a mister (ED4OLO), a hand sanitizer (Clean Well), contact stuff, a notebook, and cute bags.

That’s everything in my makeup bag. See any of your favorites? Girls from Unsullied and Call It Vanity, I tag you! 

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!

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.