A Trip to Moon Juice, Café Gratitude, and The Detox Market

I was in LA for a couple days for a piano duo performance last week and luckily had a couple of hours to go on a short #greenbeauty adventure. First stop, Moon Juice in Venice…

I have been drooling over Moon Juice’s juices, tonics, and powders on Instagram for a couple of months and was just about starstruck when I walked in. I fawned over the juice/smoothie/milk menu, the tonics, the powders (add water and they become a tonic/tea–wishlist for when the online apothecary opens!), and the collection of Alexis Smart Remedies. I was totally ready for a juice/smoothie breakfast and was excitedly picking out smoothies for my traditional Chinese parents, but wanting a warm breakfast, they made me quickly choose a drink (Golden Milk, yum!) and skedaddle across the street to…
Café Gratitude! I couldn’t believe I had forgotten that this was a place I wanted to visit in LA! I think my parents were thinking more on the meat and egg side for breakfast, but I was so thrilled and grateful to have stumbled into this beautiful space. We ordered Open-Hearted, Trusting, and Fantastic, and upon saying each one to the server, he responded “You are open-hearted” and “You are trusting” and “You are fantastic.” Gosh, what a beautiful thing to hear in the morning before breakfast.

After cleaning off all the delicious plates, we braved LA traffic to go to The Detox Market in West Hollywood. I have also been following The Detox Market over Twitter, Instagram, and email newsletter for a couple of months, so I was so excited to finally see it in person.


treat collection looked just as beautiful in person as they do on Sonja’s (Life in Blush) nails.

I have sample misters of Infinite Love and Inner Peace that I purchased from Spirit Beauty Lounge and have been loving, so I definitely took a quick spritz break passing by Lotus Wei.

Lilly (Genuine Glow) loves mv skincare and I haven’t taken the plunge yet partially because of price point and partially because I don’t know where to start. I tried some of the moisturizers on the back of my hand and they felt and smelled lovely though!

I purchased a small sample pot of the Suntegrity 5-1 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen in Light right before leaving for LA and have also been enjoying it (held off a while because of the dimethicone–it does have that slippy feeling). I considered buying the body sunscreen (Lilly also mentioned/loved this recently on Genuine Glow) as well as the full-sized tinted sunscreen, but I figured I’m well-enough stocked on sunscreen for now…

This was my first time seeing Olìe Biologique in the flesh! I smelled and tried a bit of Huile Claire Calming Oil and it smells, feels, and looks more wonderful than I imagined it would. Also considered buying the Power Trip Trio to properly sample the oils, but also well-enough stocked on facial oils for now.

The Detox Market has a beautiful makeup lineup. This side of the wall includes Vapour (huge line of Vapour), Ilia Beauty (restrained myself from buying Jump, but I did try some on my lips–pretty!), and Kide (this line with really beautifully marbelized pressed powders with diamonds and stuff).

And here’s the reason I chose to go to Detox Market–Odacité. Fun fact: the founders of Odacité opened The Detox Market.

“After overcoming breast cancer, it became my mission to help others adopt a detoxed lifestyle while staying true to their fabulous selves.” Valérie Grandury, co-founder (from their About page)

I’ve been following and humming and aahing over Odacité for a couple of months and at different times have nearly jumped the gun on the discovery kit, the Private Collection oils, and the Pure Elements line. I figured I couldn’t turn down a chance to experience them in real life!

Since I’m growing into a cleanser junkie, I jumped on the Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser and the girl in the store at the time (beautiful blonde girl with beautiful skin) was kind enough to indulge my questions. Apparently the cleanser can remove makeup, and if you’re acne-ish and dry like me, the combination discovery kit is for you. The difference between the kits are the toners which are catered towards skin type, and since I was straddling the fence, she kindly let me sample the oily toner (Mint & Green Tea) as well as the combo toner (Rose & Neroli) in my discovery kit, though in the process, I think she took out the sample of the Hydrating Masque, which was fair, but sad.

Oh, the Pure Elements line. I came in knowing I was going to walk away with at least one of these, and then I left with two: Black Cumin + Cajeput (for pimples) and Papaya + Geranium (for hyperpigmentation). She recommended Bl + C as a good starting point for the line, saying that she herself had gone through two of these, and she also mentioned Pa + G was also a favorite of hers. Megan (Seed to Serum) had just posted about her love for Green Tea + Lemongrass as a radiance booster, and I nearly got that as well (who doesn’t want to be radiant??). Since I’ve also been on a jasmine kick (blame it on May Lindstrom’s soon-to-be-released Jasmine Garden), I had to smell Blueberry + Jasmine (cell energy), and it was more blueberry than jasmine–more blueberry and less jasmine than I had expected.

You know rms beauty has cult status when a beach babe strolls in and asks, “Do you carry rms ‘un’ cover-up?” Yeah, true story. I’m on a semi-break from coconut oil, so I just tried a bit of the Demure lip2cheek on the back of my hand, swooned, and put it back with a sigh. My mum’s on the search for a new mascara, and the girl and I attempted to talk her into rms beauty defining mascara (recently reviewed here) since its tiny brush would be perfect for her tiny lashes, but my mum didn’t want to deal with smudging.

This was also a first encounter for CV Skinlabs! I know this is a huge favorite of Britanie’s (Beauty By Britanie) and during the past long and dry winter, I nearly purchased the spray as well as Calming Moisture on a whim. I tried some of the Rescue + Relief Spray and it was indeed very calming and soothing. Added that to my toner wishlist…


I wish I had had more time to ask questions and poke around, but I had to run to warmup for the performance. I really enjoyed visiting The Detox Market, and I also wish I could’ve had time to visit Evolue Beauty and Strange Invisible Perfumes. Next time! You are lucky to have so many of these beautiful places, LA’ers, but I definitely don’t envy your traffic.

Have you visited any of these places? Any #greenbeauty places you love in LA? Any product faves you spotted?


Concealer Comparison: Vapour vs. W3ll People

One of the best things of having a younger sister is using her as a guinea pig. Just kidding. I have loved getting the rest of my family into green beauty, and as my sister is cruising through puberty, her main makeup is a touch of concealer for those pubertyful breakouts and some kickass cat-eyes. I gave her Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer in 33 for Christmas last year and then W3ll People Narcissist Stick Foundation in 5 after her second tube of Vapour ran out for the summer. And then because there is no such thing as a free lunch (one of my father’s favorite sayings), I then interrogated her about her experience, and she graciously obliged me. Read on to hear her thoughts.

So, compare the concealers.
Well there’s more in the [W3ll People] container and the circle thing is bigger. [Ed. note: She’s talking about surface area of the applicator.] Like the Vapour one is tiny. It’s a lot easier [with a bigger surface area] because sometimes I just use the stick if I’m lazy, and if my forehead is having a huge breakout, I just use it straight from the stick on my forehead.

How about blending?
I think the W3ll People one is easier to blend.

Under-eyes and blemishes?
I usually don’t apply concealer under the eye. I think they’re both good for acne. Neither look dry on top of acne. But keep in mind I barely remember the Vapour concealer. They covered up well. Maybe the W3ll People covered up better.

Did you notice any extra breakouts with any of them?

Did any scents bother you?
What, cents? Like penny cents? Oh, scents! No, it’s not like they smell like anything in particular. [W3ll People] smells like an F#. F# smells sweeter. And then the Vapour one smells like a Db. Will they get that? (laughs) [Ed. Note: She is a musician like me.] The W3ll People smells like regular flour, and the Vapour one smells like wheat flour. They’re fine.

Do they usually last on your face?
Yeah, both of them. Unless I’m sweating profusely.

How’s the finish? Matte or shiny?
A little in between.

Do you prefer any which one?
The W3ll People one. Because it has a bigger surface area and it’s easier to blend.

Ed. Note: I’ve applied both concealer/foundations to her skin, and the colors are an exact match to each other and to her medium skin tone. Both have a similar effect under the eyes, but Vapour tended to look drier on her forehead breakouts. They both have a natural finish and similar coverage, but W3ll is a little more matte. I also prefer the larger surface area of W3ll People, and I don’t know why she’s talking about flour as scents–I’m getting more citrus and fresh. They smell very similar and both have fabulous ingredients.

Have you tried these concealers? What is your preference?

W3ll People Narcissist Stick Foundation Ingredients
Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarine Blue, Mica, Kaolin Clay, Serecite, Silica, Organic Aloe Barbadenis (Aloe)*, Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)**, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)*
*USDA Organic, **QAI

Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer Ingredients
Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Silica, Essential Oils & Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense)*, Organic/Bio Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi/Holy Basil), Organic/Bio Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers) [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)] 

All bases covered ft. Dr. Alkaitis, DeVita, Vapour, and RMS

Aaaaand we’ve got RMS Beauty up to bat with Dr. Alkaitis, DeVita, and Vapour on the bases and the pitcher is swinging and swinging and wow look at that fast ball and paPOW! RMS hits it out of the park defense is scrambling offensive is running just look at those legs run and over the home base goes Alkaitis…and DeVita…and Vapour WOW it’s a GRAAAAND SLAM!

…so, this winter has really been a struggle interesting for me. First, my face was too dry, and I experimented with layering a moisturizer on top of oils (*thumbs up), and then it was also getting a bit too rosy, and I decided to lay off the two-time-a-day tea tree oil application for pimples (*thumbs up), and then all of my cream foundations started looking flaky on me despite moisturizing (*thumbs way down) and the winter is just sucking. life. from. my. face!

With all of this fiddling around with my routine to appease my face, I was getting a bit restless, but yesterday morning was suddenly a great ray of sunshine in the murky clouds. I may have had 8am Physics section, and trudged through flying snow and sitting snow, and had to resort to wearing two layers of gloves, but things came together for my face. When they say layer your clothes, layer your skincare, they’re not kidding because it works awesome. A great base means great-looking makeup and better-looking skin for sure.

From left to right: Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel, Dr. Alkaitis Day Creme, DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+

I am in love with the philosophy of Dr. Alkaitis, and even more in love with the fact that even though he didn’t set out to create an organic line, because he set out to create the best and most effective line, his products had to be organic. So I’ve been playing with his travel and trial kit, and as per a recommended routine for not oily but still acne-prone skin, I use his Soothing Gel in the mornings to soothe inflammation. Because it’s winter and it’s extra dry, as not per my recommended routine (naughty, I know), I added the tiniest amount of his Day Crème as well for extra moisture, and then layered my new favorite DeVita sunscreen over the top. It’s sunscreen, but it goes on like moisturizer. Shocking, right.

From up to down: Vapour Stratus Instant Skin Perfector in 902, Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation in 115 &125, RMS Beauty ‘un’ cover-up in 11
I got the Vapour Stratus Instant Skin Perfector a bit ago, but to be honest, I’m only now truly mastering its application and appreciating its capabilities. It’s meant to be a 3-in-1 moisturizer, primer, and no-color foundation, and I find it does great on the moisturizing and priming front (unfortunately I have too many acne scars for the no-color foundation part to work). Over that, I blended Vapour’s Luminous Foundation in 115 and 125, which had been pilling or flaking on me annoyingly since it started getting cold (ironically, since it’s intended for dry skin), but with enough of the Skin Perfector, I find it behaves. Since I am pretty much out of my go-to Alima mineral foundation which I usually use for extra concealing over cream foundation, I decided to take a risk and use my RMS ‘un’ cover-up as my spot concealer over blemishes and scars (this has not been behaving for me on its own–looks super flaky and not sure if it breaks me out or not), and wow. I had read in the Spirit Beauty Lounge reviews for the RMS how someone loved layering the two (though they did RMS and then Vapour–opposite order than me), and I get it now. They somehow go really well together–the RMS gave me just enough extra coverage over the Vapour and didn’t give me flakes.
With all of my batting gear on, I successfully braced the winter winds; and thank goodness even though I only had a half day of classes and didn’t have to go outside past 3pm and just hunkered down for a restful Friday night, at least my face was ready for anything (like a DOWNTON ABBEY MARATHON!!!!!!!)

Recently in the mail: S.W. Basics (Sprout), Ilia, Vapour


S.W. Basics of Brooklyn (formerly Sprout Skincare) is changing up their packaging, so their lip balm is only $1 for this whole month. ONLY $1! I’ve yet to try any products from their brand (but I’d love to!) but I have heard nothing but goodness about them, and lip balm is a good place to start. Especially since IT’S ONLY $1. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or little extra something because everyone loves a well-moisturized lip. And you don’t want to be flaky under the mistletoe (a poor pun, I am sorry I should do better).

Ilia Beauty is also a brand I have not yet tried but would love to, and seeing I’ve also heard nothing but amazingness about them and I was looking for gifts for some loved ones, I figured a wonderfully non-toxic pinky nude and a seasonally purple tinted lip conditioners would be a potentially good choice. Maybe I’ll be able to sneak a few swipes in myself after the gift-giving is over, heh heh.

I’ve been dabbling with Vapour Organic Beauty’s Atmosphere Luminous Foundation for a couple months, and have been trying to figure out how to best make it work (shade is too light oh no, need to mix two shades, oh no is it breaking me out, oh no now it’s winter and I’m extra dry) hence per a recommendation of Vapour’s beauty expert via email, I am going to try their Stratus Instant Skin Perfector, which is a moisturizing primer base and what I am hoping will help with the dry effect I’m getting currently with the foundation because I really want to love it! *clasps hands together and looks to the sky in a passionate manner