FITGLOW BEAUTY new MAKEUP & skincare

 

FITGLOW is one of the few clean luxury beauty brands that does both makeup and skincare extremely well and perhaps the only company that formulates their makeup to act more like skincare with the added benefit of makeup. Originally based in Canada the founder Anna has recently moved to Miami to start her new life with baby and hubby, while growing the brand through continuous product innovations, updated packaging and pro social media presence.

Their newest launches, which I’ll be covering in this blog (except cloud ceramide since I haven’t yet started testing this), are:

Wearing:

FITGLOW CONCEAL+
NU EVOLUTION EYESHADOW in CHIC
FITGLOW Lip Serum in BUFF
FITGLOW Lumi Firm in POP

c o n c e a l +

Let’s talk about this cream concealer first. I had heard many positive reviews about the CONCEAL+ and I can attest to its performance. It’s a drier formula and goes on feeling like it’ll be very matte but it actually provides a satin finish. The undereye looks aglow with this product. It provides heavy coverage and does have good lasting power and I haven’t seen it settle into my fine lines, though I do not have deep lines or wrinkles so can’t comment on this.  Its skin-nourishing blend of Phyto Elastin, Organic Green Tea, Vitamin K, and Licorice Root help improve the condition of skin rather just covering it up.

Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil *, Cera Alba (Beeswax)* , Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Lauryl Laurate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Phytoelastin PF (Plant Elastin), Water, Phospholipids & Phytonadione (Vitamin K Liposome ) , Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Caffeine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea Extract ) *, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (Licorice Root) * May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Yellow Iron Oxide, Red Iron Oxide, Black Iron Oxide, Ultramarine Violet, Chromium Oxide Green, Manganese Violet.  * Certified Organic Ingredient

l u m i  f i r m

The Lumi Firm comes in 3 shades: a regular luminizer, a bronzer and a blush. I’m wearing the blush called Pop and it is designed to liftt and firm using natural plant peptides and plant collagen to fight signs of aging & strengthen skin structure. The cream blush goes on semi-sheer and is buildable if you want more color. I find just a couple swipes looks natural.

Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba)*, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa)*, Silica, Water (Aqua) & Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Seed Extract (Sweet Almond Peptides), Hexapeptide 11 (Probiotic Peptide), Mica, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Tocopherol Acetate (Non Gmo), Vegetable Collagen, Rosmarinus Offcinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary)*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Iron Oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

l i p  c o l o u r  s e r u m

You may know that my favorite shade ever is BLISS among the 10 Lip Colour Serums, but I got to try out the shade Buff, which I’m wearing in the photo, and love this sophisticated natural nude shade. These go beyond what your standard organic lip gloss does and uses Organic pomegranate plant sterols, Beet Extract, Vegan Collagen, and antioxidants to improve lip cell structure and health as well as plump. I notice after leaving it on, my lips look slightly plumper and fuller. The look and feel of the packaging provides the most elevated lip gloss experience ever.

Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Vegetable Collagen, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Sterols Beta Vulgaris Rubra (Beet Root) Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Curcuma longa (Turmeric) Root Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil & Lecithin & Yeast Extract (Organic Plump)*, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E) Sorbic Acid, Vanilla Extract May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI77499), (CI77492), (CI77491). *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

m a k e u p  c l e a n s i n g  o i l

Cleansing oils are very straightforward. I mean you can use any oil you have in kitchen and use it to remove your makeup. Here is what makes this cleansing oil unique:

x specifically designed to remove makeup including mascara (comes right off)
x cloudberry seed oil & watermelon seed oil are the first ingredients
x it rinses off with water (no need for a face cloth) and does not emulsify
x contains cherry blossom flower extract which repairs oxidation damage and reduces inflammation

I’m very VERY impressed with this cleansing oil. I’ve tried many a cleansing oil and cleansing balm; some rinse off with water and most you must physically remove with a cloth. This is my first time using one that not only rinses off but also does not emulsify into a cream lather. Not to say that a cream lather is bad, but it requires more massaging and more time to properly remove the product. This oil just glides off the face with water along with all the makeup and grime it picked up. My mascara (2 coats) washed off effortlessly as well and I did not have residue that I needed to clean up. The scent alone of this product will get you obsessed nevermind all its other benefits. It smells like watermelon candy, just incredibly sweet and fragrant.

Ingredients: *Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Seed Oil, *Citrullus lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil & Prunus (Cherry Blossom) Serrulata Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera, Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, *Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, *Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Amaranthus Squalene, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Extract. *Certified Organic Ingredients

n i g h t  l i p  s e r u m

Before anything else I have to mention this is a very highly priced product at $48, Is this product a necessity? No. You can think of it as a very fancy gift to yourself – or someone else. I think an accurate name for this product would be something like “Overnight Lip Serum Mask Anti-Aging Treatment.” You apply it before bed to allow its ingredients to get to work overnight. It features a Plant Ceramides formula that restores lip moisture barrier while protecting from water loss and Organic pomegranate Plant Sterols, Beet Extract, and Vegan Collagen to improve lip cell structure, increase lip volume and fight signs of aging.

The Pomegranate Sterols hold double its weight in water to increase hydration and lip fullness. Vegetable Micro Collagen helps with the structure and firmness of lips. Organic Rice Ceramids lock in moisture and Organic Beet extract, which is rich in phytocompounds and humectants, improve circulation, detoxification and plumpness. What do I notice with my bare eyes in the morning? Healthy looking lips.

Shop FITGLOW here and get 15% off your first order

PicoSure Laser Review (Before & After Photos)

I’ve tried laser on and off for my sun damage and brown spots, which started appearing as early as age 19 or 20 – thank you California sun! Technology is always and rapidly advancing, so laser 10 years ago isn’t the same as 5 years ago which isn’t the same as today. And getting 1 treatment versus 5 makes a difference. I tried out 3 sessions of the Picosure laser over the course of 3-4 months and wanted to share my experience and show before and after pictures to give you guys an accurate an idea of how it worked for me. Hopefully this will be helpful if laser is something you’re considering investing in!

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VALENTINE’S SELF LOVE GIFT GUIDE

This is not a gift guide for others. This is a gift guide packed with sweet ideas to spoil yourself silly.

z o e silicone sonic anti-aging device
(code OBL saves $50 now til 2/14 )

Zoe’s advanced Silicone Bristles work at over 6000 pulsations per minute to gently cleanse and exfoliate the makeup, dirt, and oil that clog your pores and cause acne, while eliminating blemishes and minimizing the signs of aging. We all know now that facial massage is essential to keeping skin young and since we can’t get facials everyday, this is like an at-home facial providing:

-Provides complete facial and body sonic cleansing
-Delivers next-level micro-firming circulation massage
-Minimizes the size of pores and wrinkles
-Exfoliates without irritating your skin

Get $50 off the original Zoe (pink and hot pink) now til Valentine’s Day – specially for organic beauty lovers!

DID YOU KNOW…..
-using the ZOE in circular motions at temples will help to relieve tension?
-you can place the tip of the ZOE under the arch of the brow, gently pressing upward and hold for 15 seconds to get an immediate lift?
-placing the ZOE tip at the nasal touch points on the side of the nose, may help relieve congestion?
=the curved side of the ZOE can be used to knead and roll at the nape of the neck to relieve tension?
-setting the ZOE to a very low pulse and using the tip with a gentle cleanser on the eyelid,  will help loosen the adhesive of false lashes to make removal a breeze?
-Estheticians are using the ZOE prior to bikini waxing to cleanse, as well as using the curved side of the ZOE after treatment to and also to gentle push the soothing product  for deeper nourishment and swift calming of the skin?                                                                                           

 

t h e  d e t o x  m a r k e t February Box feat. f i t g l o w  b e a u t y

The February Detox Box features Fitglow Beauty — one of my longtime favorites for organic skincare and makeup! If you’ve been wanting to try this high-end brand now is definitely the time because you’re getting these 3 products at nearly 70% off!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Inside you’ll find:
– The Vegan Good Lash + Mascara ($38)
– The Eye C Firm ($79)
– The Vita Active Serum ($45 size)
A

k a r m a  b a k e r organic plantbased sweets

Organic, gluten-free and vegan bakery in LA that ships nationwide! I especially love their donuts and cookies!

 

Babe Pink Silk Sleep Mask

p e r p e t u a l  s h a d e luxury eye masks

I love my Perpetual Shade Eye Mask. I’m a very light sleeper and need it to be completely blacked out for me to get decent sleep and these accomplish that. They’re very comfortable, fun and functional sleep masks. Plus Chrissy Teigen, Gigi Hadid, and Arianna Huffington wear them. Code LUV might still get you 30% off.

y o l a  m e z c a l  organic mezcal

Yola Mezcal is an organic mezcal that’s made ethically and sustainably, always, with women’s empowerment in mind. Yola Jimenez’ mezcal, made from her grandfather’s secret recipe, caught the attention of Gina Correll Aglietti and singer Lykke Li, and the three soon became partners in Yola Mezcal, a brand now offered at places like the Ace Hotel, Chateau Marmont &The Standard.

f a c i a l  a c c u p u n c t u r e  s e s s i o n  (free appointments available)

Complimentary appointments are available from February to April 2019 at Family Wellness Accupuncture’s Newport Beach (OC) location specially for organic beauty lovers!

t h e  n a u g h t y  c o o k i e vegan cookies

No photo description available.

p u r i t y organic coffee (code OBL saves 30%)

Purity Coffee has the most rigorous standards I’ve seen with coffee. They source organic beans and test all green coffee for mold, pesticides, and Ochratoxin A (which can cause kidney damage) multiple times over. Due to the quality of the coffee, the flavor notes of cocoa, English walnuts and citric fruits resonated clearly.

t o r i e & h o w a r d organic candy

Guilt-free candy that’s organic, all-natural ingredients, no additives or preservatives

g r e e n  t i d i n g s rose quartz gua sha tool

On sale at $19.99

t h e  b e a u t o o l s premium facepump (Japanese site)

EMS metal head with 24K gold gilt build, gold-plated layer of electrical conductivity and people unanimously carried by the wave length of the body, the release of ions and ion-human phase  echoes can promote the flow of particles, promote blood circulation, eliminate facial Edema makes the skin firmer.

The introduction of electrical perforation enhances the permeability of high cell membranes in a short period of time through the action of an electric field, and introduces the components of the beautyliquid into the deep layers of the skin to enhance the effect of the essence.

EMS micro-current lifting by EMS muscle movement, to help facial muscles do not usually movement “is
moving” campaign by a minor muscle contraction to lose elasticity of facial muscle meat be a fundamental recovery, pulling plastic, Eliminate puffiness and create a delicate face.

LED red light can help promote skin activation, promote collagen proliferation and restore skin elasticity.

affiliate c o d e OBL saves, as always, at:

NU EVOLUTION
Earthwise Beauty
SAINT Cosmetics
Evolvh Haircare
Living Libations

Kali Boxes Organic Tampons/Pads
Bristol and Sussex Skincare
Saiva Skincare
Raw Elements Sunscreen

Have an amazing Valentine’s Day, nay, week!

 

 

Bristol and Sussex Skincare Review


*This post was sponsored by Bristol and Sussex – all thoughts are my own

Use affiliate code OBL to save 25% sitewide

A newcomer to the green beauty scene, Bristol and Sussex doesn’t promise to cure or treat anything – instead it’s designed from a holistic standpoint to provide everything your skin needs to heal itself. It began when Dr. Brandey Dollens, who’s based in San Diego, created facial care products specially for her husband whose psoriasis was becoming severe and unresponsive to medical treatments. Within a year his psoriasis was gone and they decided to launch the products to the public. No detail has been skipped – besides vegan organic ingredients, each with EWG Scores of 1, being Leaping Bunny Certified and using ECOcert-approved preservatives, what I appreciate is that no water or fillers are used in these products. The concentration of each ingredient is the result of years of research and “less is more” when it comes to these products.

hydrate face oil

I love a squalane based oil. This one is not only squalane based but also features a high concentration of diverse omega fatty acids, vitamins C & E as well as skin balancing squalane, argan and jojoba oil, with age defying CoQ10. A liquid like oil that’s lightweight yet nourishing, the Hydrate oil has been my favorite product from the line. Our bodies naturally produce squalane but this production declines as we age. It’s been shown to be as powerful as retinol in fighting free radicals, does not leave an oily greasy feeling after applying, and feels like it’s seeping into the skin and absorbing effortlessly. I also love using this on my hair while traveling.

Ingredients: Olive Squalane**, Argan Oil*, Jojoba Oil*, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil*, Rosehip Seed Oil*, Safflower Oil*, Castor Oil**, CoEnzymeQ10**, Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Palmitate)**, Vitamin E (Tocopherol)**, Chamomile Essential Oil*, Lavender Essential Oil*, Rosemary Essential Oil*

cleanse

This cleanser doesn’t contain any water, alcohol or harsh chemical surfectants and, instead, contains  plant derived niacinamide (B3), vitamin C, B5 and E blend along with essential oils of lavender, chamomile, and rosemary to soothe and calm skin. It comes out as a foam so there’s no need to “develop” a foam on skin. It feels airy and lightweight, but it’s a hard-working product that effectively breaks apart sunscreen and makeup. Just 1 full pump is needed – if you use more you might end up with a stripped feeling if you have dry skin like mine. At only $25 this is an affordable

*indicates organically sourced ingredient
**indicates plant derived ingredient

balance moisturizer

Most moisturizers are less than 1.7oz or 2oz while the Bristol and Sussex one is 3oz – the size is the first thing you’ll notice about this product. And just like the rest of the line, you are not paying for water, silicones or silicone derivatives which is a big plus in my book. It boasts a profile of:

Niacinamide
MSM
Sea Kelp Bioferment
Ceramides
Squalane
Hyaluronic Acid
Vitamin C, B5 & E

It feels like a hybrid gel-cream moisturizer with a lotion texture and feels very hydrating. After it dries it feels like it has not fully dried, so this might be bothersome to some. It has the same scent as the cleanser but for some reason I like it less for my moisturizer.

Ingredients: Raw Unfiltered Aloe Vera Juice*, Olive Squalane**, Argan Oil*, Jojoba Oil*, Castor Oil*, Shea Nut Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate**, Cetearyl Alcohol**, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate**, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate**, Sea Kelp Bioferment**, Ceramide NP**, Ceramide AP**, Ceramide EOP**, Phytosphingosine**, Cholesterol**, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)**, Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Palmitate)**, Hyaluronic Acid**, MSM**, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil*, Rose Hip Seed Oil*, Safflower Oil*, Vitamin B5**, Vitamin E (Tocopherol)**, Lavender Essential Oil*, Chamomile Essential Oil*, Rosemary Essential Oil*, Citric Acid* (from cane sugar)

*indicates organically sourced ingredient
**indicates plant derived ingredient

Colombia’s Zuana Beach Resort

99% of the time I blog about cities in Europe, so I’m excited to have my first Latin American travel destination on the blog. I honestly never thought I’d return to South America, except maybe as a retired 60 something year old because I spent a decent amount of time there during my teens. But as fate would have it, I found myself on a plane to Panama then Cali, Colombia ..and then Santa Marta for a wedding. I was looking around for where to stay and Zuana immediately caught my eye because of the extensive number of amenities it offers. Funnily enough, I booked the standard room but then was offered a Deluxe Suite by the hotel.

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RAHUA AMAZON BEAUTY HAIRCARE REVIEW

Beyond Rahua’s shampoo and conditioner I had tried nothing else from the line until recently. They sent me a few of their highest priced items- the Hair Detox & Renewal Treatment Kit ($98) and Elixir ($175) and I was eager to see if they live up to the price tag.

THE STORY BEHIND THE BRAND

Fabian Lliguin, a renowned hairstylist and colorist in New York City was visiting the Amazon rainforest as an environmentalist, educating indigenous people about their land rights and human rights when he realized he was surrounded by women with fantastically long, lustrous hair that cascaded past their waists. For centuries the members of the tribe, who live deep within the rainforest, had relied on Rahua oil to nourish their hair and skin. He took a bottle that he was gifted back home to NYC and used it on his clients only to be amazed by the transformative results.  Rahua oil was -and is- produced by the Quechua-Shuar tribe in the same complex, ritualistic, and sustainable fashion it has been for generations. In 2008 Fabian and his wife launched Rahua together. Today, more than 500 families from the Quechua-Shuar, Achuar, and neighboring tribes work with Fabian and Anna to cultivate the rainforest grown ingredients used in the Rahua hair care and body care collections.

elixir

This bottle is made with one main ingredient –  100% pure handmade Rahua oil. It’s a luxurious, concentrated hair and scalp treatment that delivers better results than your run-of-the-mill hair oil. Sustainably harvested in the Amazon rainforest, the oil is works to revitalize and strengthen weak, damaged strands and leave hair healthy with its infusion of active antioxidants, antibacterials, and microcirculatory properties working together to balance and restore the scalp. The super-fine molecules in the oil push color pigmentation deep into the hair shaft, greatly extending color endurance. It has a little bit of Palo Santo oil to give it its woodsy fragrance.

I’ve used this as both a leave-in treatment and defrizzer as well as a scalp treatment (both overnight and in for a few hours with steam). It impressed me across all uses. This is by far the driest hair oil I have tried, meaning that it does not weigh hair down or make it look greasy. Instead, it absorbs instantly and makes your hair shine as if you sprayed on the best conventional shine spray on the market. I used to be obsessed with the Frederic Fekkai shine spray- this oil is just as good if not better. My preferred method of using the Elixir is as a scalp treatment because this is where my hair needs the most nourishment to truly be healthy (rather than a fake glow) and because each drop of this oil is precious and pricey. As you all know by now I battle frizzy and tragically damaged hair from years of balayage and sometimes overfrying. I’ve always done regular oil treatments but this oil is on a different level. I would not be able to allow myself to purchase this unless during a major sale, but it is worth it and if you can make it go a long way, even more so.

hair detox & renewal treatment kit 

This kit helps to loosen and remove synthetic product build up and environmental residue while infusing hair and scalp with much healthier plant based molecules. It comes with enough product for 2 uses. There are 2 jars each of Step 1, which is a cream detoxifying base, and 2 vials of Step 2, an oil blend of: sunflower, rahua, jojoba, argan ,sacha inchi, buriti fruit and palo santo. You mix Step 1 and Step 2 together, apply to wet or dry hair (I did on dry both times) for 20 to 30 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual. The detoxifying base is made of Aloe, Green Tea Leaf, Molasses, Colza oil, Rosemary Leaf, Raspberry Leaf, Rahua oil, and Shea Butter.

The cost of this product is nearly a hundred, making each use about $50. So you betcha I put in each use for well over the recommended time. The first time I left it in for 1 to 2 hours and also applied a warm towel continuously for about 20 minutes to let it seep into the hair follicles. Note that I applied most of the product to the scalp. The results from the first use was in a word, transformative. Not because these are the marketing words used on their website, but because I saw that it had visibly transformed my hair. My hair had dried naturally looking practically like it does after a major deep conditioning and blowout at a hair salon – incredibly light as feather, bouncy, soft and super shiny. Many of you saw these results in my stories, and if you missed it, they are saved under the Highlight “HAIR DETOX.” For 100% natural and organic ingredients, I thought yes this is the holy grail treatment. And not only does it condition and renew, but it detoxes hair from all the environmental pollutants and synthetic buildup that I’m sure has been plaguing my hair since I was born.

BUT, and there is a but, the 2nd time I used it I wasn’t impressed. It could be because I used it a different way- as an overnight mask. If I had done this both times I would definitely not be recommending this but the first time I near fell off my chair from the results. So moral of the story is, it’s better to leave the Detox Kit in max a few hours with steaming than to leave it in overnight as the results are not compounded. But I believe this product is totally worth the purchase and have resolved to get it during Black Friday to use again when the seasons change.

i n t e r v i e w  w i t h  f a b i a n  &  a n n a  o f  r a h u a

In honor of Earth Month I interviewed Fabian and Anna of Rahua on what the company is doing to help the plant.

– What is Rahua’s current carbon footprint?

Through Rahua® by Amazon Beauty®, Inc.’s environmental work with Ecoagents, the nonprofit organization created to defend and protect the untouched natural areas of the world from damage, pollution and further destruction, with a special focus on the Amazon Rainforest, we have been able to preserve 37,500 hectors of pristine and biodiverse tribal lands deep in the Amazon for perpetuity.  Ultimately, producing oxygen and offsetting the carbon footprint for every single one of our customers, retail partners and more. We are proud to say we are beyond carbon neutral and generate oxygen surplus. Beauty is Power!

– How does Rahua strive to be a greener company?

Rahua® by Amazon Beauty®, Inc. is a green beauty company committed to sustainability in so many aspects. First and foremost, our formulas are created with rainforest grown, organic, plant-derived ingredients hand-harvested by the indigenous Amazonian tribes from self-sustain forests which help them sustain ancient traditions and grow their local economies. Rahua® promises to never harvest non-regenerative rainforest ingredients. Our ingredients are “Symbiotic®,” meaning they are grown wild (not farmed) and the makers are paid above fair trade.

The plastic package we use is PET #1 which is 100% recyclable, recycled worldwide and reused to make everything from park benches, designer carpets, clothing and lots more. Our potent plant-derived, organic ingredients create high-performance, concentrated formulas which require less usage than synthetic formulas. Less consumption reduces package use dramatically. In collaboration with our environmental group, Ecoagents, Rahua created the Pink Flamingos Project, a continuous environmental clean-up effort working with locals to clean natural habitat areas of the pink flamingos and other endemic species in the Galapagos Islands where trash washes ashore from garbage buildup in the ocean.

– Does Rahua have any sustainability goals it’s working towards?

Water conservation is extremely important to our planet. Water is the source of all life and we’re talking about our precious waterways and spreading the word that we all remember to care for this pure, sacred substance. We created Rahua to help keep our waters clean. When Rahua formulas wash down the drain, the plant-powered ingredients absorb into our waters and become nutrients for all types of life. We use natural and organic ingredients because we care deeply for our planet’s health, and for our clients. We encourage everyone to conserve water as much as possible and choose the right products that won’t harm our water systems.

– What are the toughest challenges in innovating to be greener?

To be a true green company, you must count your success by how much contamination you remove from the environment per each bottle that you put out there (sell).  The process of incorporating the most up to date organic, clean and natural ingredients in your products, including registrations tests, documentations, certificates, etc. and then explaining to your clients why this new version of their favorite product is better than the previous good one that they are used to, is a challenge.

– Any new product launches you can tell us about?

Our most recent product launch is Rahua Palo Santo Oil Perfume. Rahua® was the first hair care company to incorporate this natural oil into the brand’s hair and body care products as a natural preservation, along with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as its captivating, beautiful scent.  It has become a cult favorite and Rahua signature scent.

Palo Santo has incredible benefits and for centuries the people of the Andes have been using this compelling form of tree medicine for spiritual purification, healing, energy or cleansing. Along with shamans and saints, it is believed that many who seek a stronger spiritual connection with the world use Palo Santo to protect, heal, and experience a feeling of well-being.  Our Palo Santo oil is artisanal, made through traditional processes. Rahua® only uses naturally fallen, weather-aged wood and does not harvest live trees. Above and beyond preserving existing trees, we work with local communities to plant Palo Santo seedlings and balance the loss population over-harvested in other areas.

Our Palo Santo Oil is artisanal, made through traditional processes. Rahua® only uses naturally fallen, weather-aged wood and does not harvest live trees.  Above and beyond preserving existing trees, we work with local communities to plant Palo Santo seedlings and balance the loss population over-harvested in other areas.

Rahua has now made this powerful, natural fragrance available in a perfect, purse size oil perfume. The fresh, sophisticated earthy scent, with sweet notes of citrus and gardenia enfleurage, is created with the highest quality, pure plant-derived essential oils. Housed in an elegant, sleek rectangular glass with a rollerball application, this energizing and uplifting scent cleanses “mala energía” (bad energy) and promotes positive thinking. It can be gently applied on pulse points throughout the day to bring positive energy to your wellness routine.

Check out their Earth Month video “Green Utopia” here.

Honestly Phresh Deodorant Review

This post was sponsored by Honestly Phresh- all thoughts are my own.

Southern Caifornia-based Honestly Phresh is a line of 100% natural and nontoxic deodorants with a wide variety of interesting scents and forms of application. The line is also completely baking soda free. From sea mineral to sugar mint scents and roll-ons to spray applications, they have plenty of refreshing options for you to take your pick from. The deodorants have a base of organic and Fair Trade cocoa, Shea and coconut butters and are combined with essential oils, many of which are hand-extracted from a local farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. Honestly Phresh is:

  • Baking Soda-Free & Aluminum Free
  • All-Natural Ingredients Powered by Essential Minerals
  • Superior Formulation for 24-Hour Odor Protection
  • Free from: aluminum, parabens, pthlataes, glycol, gluten, GMOs, artificial color, synthetic fragrance, and baking soda.
  • Cruelty-Free & Vegan

roll-on deodorant (sea mineral scent)

This deodorant features a magnesium-enriched formula, and seeing as half the population is magnesium deficient and need it to regulate more than 300 biochemical functions in the body, adding it to deodorant that’s used daily and worn all day long is genius. I had no issues applying this liquid formula on and loved the fresh sea mineral scent that reminded me of the ocean. This is also the lightest and most compact deodorant out of the 3 types they offer and comes in Bombay Rose, Sea Mineral, Tropical Nectar and Element. Price $7.99

Ingredients: Magnesium Chloride*, Magnesium Hydroxide, Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice**, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Xanthan Gum,Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol***

* Sourced from the Dead Sea **Certified Organic ***100% Natural per defined in ISO 9235, Natural fragrance created from natural extracts and isolates. **** A preservative that replaces parabens

pre/probiotic spray (frangipani and monoi scent)

There’s a unique concept behind this spray, which has a base of organic aloe leaf juice and organic cane alcohol and is blended with notes of gardenia & plumeria. In our diets we actually need both prebiotics and probiotics for optimal health and this formula features both, providing not only good bacteria for a healthy flora but also the fertilizer needed to feed that good bacteria. If you love Hawaiian scents this is definitely a product you’d enjoy. Unlike the other products, the sprays come in a glass bottle which makes it eco-friendly but not easily portable. I used this before heading to Universal Studios on a 90 degree day and still smelled ever so slightly like a plumeria flower come night. The other 2 scents offered are Himalayan Cedarwood and Cardamom Rose. Price $14.99

INGREDIENTS: Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Organic Cane Alcohol,Triethyl Citrate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Alpha Glucan Oligosaccharide, Organic Glycerin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate, Magnesium Chloride, Salvia Officinalis (Sage)Oil, Heloianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Oil , Sclerotium Gel,Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Absolute, Gardenia Jasminoides (Gardenia) Oil, Plumeria Alba Flower Extract.

deodorant stick (sugar mint scent)

45% fair trade certified and made with a blend of prebiotics, minerals, butters and essential oils – all while remaining affordable at under $10 – the deodorant sticks are ph balanced, help good bacteria flourish, and provide 24 hour odor protection. The peppermint and peppermint oil gives it the minty kick. I didn’t exactly test out the 24 hour part as morning to night is good enough for me. I tested this one specifically to see if it would last even through a Drake concert filled with 17k people after having been applied during the day and really held up. At one point during the concert I started getting a hit of bad body odor and was afraid it might be me, but after I left the concert it was clear that it was most likely the men sitting around me who were the culprit. My only complaint with this deodorant is that it is a little drier than I’d like it to be as I’m used to slicker applications and tiny clumps of product are visible when you’re further into using the product.

 

 

A Day at Mercado Sagrado in Malibu’s Canyons

It’s experiences like Mercado Sagrado that make me feel like I belong back in California. I’m able to connect with like-minded people who want to vibrate on a higher level and who are looking to inspire and be inspired by the stories, energies and crafts of others. It’s the kind of event that feeds your soul (and tummy) through healing workshops, talks, music and food- every kind of nourishment you could dream of. The lifestyle annual fair is held in the Topanga Canyons at Paramount Ranch, and it feels like you’ve stepped into an old Western and back into nature. Stylish creatives, artists and designers bustle about in boho chic outfits and flowy dresses, live music plays in the background, and the scent of sizzling vegan food wafts through the fresh, crisp air. I only attended Sunday but next time I’m determined to go both Saturday and Sunday so I take full advantage of all the enlightening talks and workshops.

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Canadian Kalp Ayurveda Review

*This post was sponsored by Kalp- all thoughts are my own.

Founded by Seem Kudesia, a Doctor of Natural Medicine with years of experience in Ayurvedic medicine, Canada-based Kalp offers a line of skincare made of pure, vegan blends of herbs and essentials oils. All products are free from parabens, SLS, animal cruelty, and harmful chemical preservatives. They formulate products for skin types of the 3 doshas – sensitive, dry & oily. Dry skin may mean you are a Vata where the elements of air and space reign. If you’ve got hot or sensitive skin you could be a fiery/watery Pita. Or an oily Kahpa will be aligned with the earth and water? According to Ayurveda, Doshas need to be treated with ingredients that  have the opposite effect. For example, Vata will need elements that are rich, warming and moisturizing. The Pita is warm and strong and works well with ingredients that will make you calm and cool. The Kahpa is naturally moist and heavy and is finely balanced with light and warm astringents. I tried 6 different products from the line for the past 3 months and overall enjoyed the Ayurveda concept and the ingredients, though some products I liked more than others such as the rjra ayurvedic scalp serum and the soap alternative. This is also an affordable line ranging from $20 to $40 with free shipping on orders of $50+.

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Interview with MyMiniReviews

You might remember Antonella as MyMiniReviews on Instagram. She’s an Instablogger in the green beauty community and esthetician that I once had on the blog during my “Skin Talk” series where I interviewed estheticians. Like many others I’ve known during my time on Instagram, she quietly disappeared without a word, so I was happy to hear from her when she messaged me. It turns out she was diagnosed with cancer from the HPV virus and on her 21st birthday no less. Obviously it’s scary to open up about such a thing on one’s Instagram so I offered doing an interview style post for her – which I’m not sure is less or more scary. But whatever the case, go show her some love on Instagram and say hey!

Image result for q iconYou’ve been through a difficult time. Can you share with us what happened?

Image result for letter aYes! Unfortunately I’ve been having lots of health issues on and off. The past year and a half I was going through a lot of ovarian health issues, I was having back to back ovarian cysts that kept rupturing and was diagnosed with endometriosis. I kept having excruciating cramps and knew something was off. I also had a complicated lower eyelid surgery. Due to my accident back in 2013 where I had to get facial reconstruction surgery and had a few more after. I also wanted a break from the green beauty community I’ve been a bit disappointed with certain brands and just there not being much diversity going on.

Image result for q iconWhat has been helping you cope?
Image result for letter aI give thanks to our creator, praying, keeping myself focused with scriptures.  Thankful for certain family and friends. I was doing a lot of yoga too and meditation.

Image result for q iconHas this experience changed you at all?
Image result for letter aIt’s made me more patient and understanding. And stronger!

Image result for q iconHave you noticed any change in your skin? How have you adjusted your skincare?

Image result for letter aYes I have! My skin was breaking out for awhile due to hormonal issues. I also adjusted my skincare to a much simpler routine, being in the esthetics field I always have a ton of products to try.

Image result for q iconAnother skincare question, what do you recommend for pre-fall skincare.

Image result for letter aI love an antioxidant serum for the daytime! Of course a good exfoliador for once a week. And a lot of people might find they need a thicker cream for their Face and body.

Glow Recipe Launch Party at The Grove

Glow Recipe, an online destination for natural and cruelty-free K-beauty, opened their first pop up store at The Grove and threw a lit party to celebrate! They’re a NYC based company and had opened a super successful two-story pop up in Soho and have FINALLY made it to LA. This was also the first time I got to meet co-CEO Sarah Lee, who so graciously invited me to this exclusive invite-only party because she remembered I posted a ton of reviews when they just started and no one knew them! I am so proud of all the things they have accomplished and for putting K-beauty on the map in the US. What a time to be Korean-American! They will be at The Grove until the end of October and have a ton of events, giveaways and special classes happening throughout!

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Derma E Zen in the Bev Event

I was so excited attend Derma E‘s Zen in the Bev event in Beverly Hills this week and had to take a bunch of photos to share and document what was probably the best-looking event I’ve been to. I feel like I have to start off by saying this isn’t an organic green brand, so while it isn’t quite on brand, it is a more natural and affordable option that’s widely accessible at ULTA and Whole Foods.

Not only was this event held at a Beverly Hills mansion with pool and views overlooking LA, there was no shortage of activities scheduled like sound bath meditation, henna, hair braiding, intuitive readings, yoga with views, massages, cupping, facials and more. I mean I’m talking about the works: crystal clear pool with a unicorn floatie, kombucha on tap, acai bowl bar with a dozen toppings, vegan ice cream truck by Frozen Fruit Co, vegan taco bar at the grill, matcha brownies. My stomach and heart was full at the end. Thank you so much Derma E for this super relaxing and beautiful day!

 

 

   

Green Tidings Deodorant & Skincare Review

Green Tidings is a brand I have used and known for years and they even launched an OBL CLUB campaign to have dozens of members test and review their products. You can see what the OBL community thought here. The line was started by Jenny, who after losing her sister to cancer when she was 19, studied natural health and nutrition as a means of preventative health. After having her first child, she created a nontoxic deodorant and since then has expanded Green Tidings into a well-rounded bodycare and facecare line. Their products are nontoxic, vegan, cruelty-free and organic- made in a solar-powered facility and packaged by a nonprofit who provides meaninglful employment to people with disabilities.

The deodorant comes in Lavender or Unscented and is a nontoxic, organic, vegan deodorant made right in Southern California. After using it different seasons and climates, I’ve found that the consistency varies and it can be anywhere between a bit dry/grainy to soft/mushy, especially in very hot weather. There has been some major heat waves lately around the world! A lot of product tends to come off so really only 1 or 2 swipes is needed per armpit. Please note it’s not an anti-perspirant so you WILL still sweat. Even through super hot days I found myself stink-free at the end of the day (personally I do not have terrible B.O. unless I am under a lot of stress!).

Ingredients

Tapioca Powder (Deodorizes, antibacterial, absorbs moisture and great for dry, sensitive skin)
Organic Virgin, Unrefined Coconut Oil
Baking Soda
Organic Shea Butter (Unrefined, Fair Trade)
Magnesium Oil
Wildcrafted Candelilla Wax 

Velvet Oil Blend

This is a multi-purpose thick oil made of a blend of carefully selected oils for face, hair, nails, or body. True to its name, it does make your skin feel velvety after use and works as a great hair-defrizzer. The scent is not feminine or floral – it smells largely of sesame seed oil (it’s 2nd ingredient) and doesn’t contain essential oils to change the scent.

Marula Oil Serum

Judging by its name I assumed this would be a pretty standard face oil serum containing marula and some EO, but it has an interesting ingredients list with Watermelon Seed oil, Black Currant seed oil, Balloon Vine extract (anti-inflammatory and helps with eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis) and Neroli Flower oil among others. I love Neroli so I definitely appreciated the inclusion of this ingredient. The Marula oil is a lightweight, hydrating oil that absorbs very well and has a sweet neroli and herbal scent that isn’t overpowering.

Calendula Face Lotion

On the thicker side, this face lotion hydrates, soothes and calms skin with ingredients like Myrtle Leaf, Calendula, Borage Seed, Oat Bran, Foraha Fruit, Palmarosa Leaf and more. It has a yellow tint to it but does not tint the skin at all and I greatly appreciate the first ingredient is Aloe leaf juice NOT water. There is no skimping here. I think this is a great product, but the packaging detracts from the overall experience. It’s a disk top cap similar to shampoo bottles, because this is a small bottle it’s hard to squeeze the product out because it’s not a liquid gel. A pump bottle would be a better alternative.

All Green Tidings products are:

  • Non-toxic
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Certified Organic ingredients
  • Gluten-Free
  • Paraben-Free
  • Solvent Free
  • Preservative Free
  • Certified Cruelty Free

VELVET OIL INGREDIENTS

Organic Jojoba Seed Oil:  Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Very hydrating; keeps moisture in while keeping bacteria out. Helps to reduce wrinkles and stretch marks. Hypo-allergenic.

Organic Sesame Seed Oil: Known as the “Queen of oils.”  High in linoleic acid, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and may help with eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, and irritated skin.  Contains antioxidants, which fight free radicals, and are anti-aging.  Rich in Vitamins E, D, and B Complex, which have been shown to reduces scars and skin rashes. Anti-bacterial.  May repair damaged skin cells.  Moisturizes and softens skin.

Poppy Seed Oil:  Super silky, it is high in fatty acids such as linoleic acid, which can help eczema, psoriasis, and inflammation. May help with dandruff. Highly moisturizing, and great for dry, aging, and mature skin. Has skin barrier and protective properties.

Tung Wood Oil and Brassica Campestris Oil Blend:  A purified blend of two oils, which provide natural moisturizing and skin conditioning, with great humectant properties.

Organic Olive Fruit Oil: High in fatty acids and antioxidants, an extremely rich moisturizer.  Neutralizes free radicals. Smoothes wrinkles. Helps with skin cracking and callouses

Carrot Seed Oil:  High in antioxidants, which protect against free radicals, and are antiaging, and may help with rejuvenating, firming and toning skin. Moisturizes without clogging pores.  Contains carotol, which can rejuvenate the look and feel of skin. Helps with age spots and circulation.

Vegan Vitamin EAntioxidant. Repairs damaged skin, fights wrinkles, helps heal scars. Natural preservative.

Sunflower Seed Oil:  High in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, and is moisturizing, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and reduces inflammation.  It is great for wrinkles, and helps improve skin clarity.

Organic Calendula Flower: A great moisturizer for dry, chapped, or split skin.  Rich in organic compounds, including glycosides, saponins, and other powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, as well as anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds, which help with cuts, insect bites, scrapes, red patches, eczema, dermatitis, and helps speed healing.  Can help reduce appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and scars. A gentle and hydrating moisturizer.

 

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN MONTPELLIER, FRANCE

First off, I’m sorry that I didn’t get to show you guys as many beautiful destinations as I got to last summer (Sardinia, Cannes, Monaco, Lisbon, Algarve, Lanzarote, Canary Island- so many last year!). This summer I stayed closer to home, visiting nearby Lyon (2 hours by car from Geneva) and Montpellier (4 hours by train from Geneva) as well as Malta (I’ll be featuring this trip over at Kali’s The Periodical so stay tuned!). Wherever I go I’m most interested in food (and beaches) and in this blog post I wanted to highlight a small handful of must visit restaurants in Montpellier. If you go you probably wouldn’t stay more than a few days anyways so no need for an exhaustive list.

GOURMET

Le Petit Jardin

Image may contain: food

Image may contain: table and outdoor

20 rue J-Jacques Rousseau – 34000 Montpellier – France

Terminal1 Pourcel

Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor

CASUAL

Burger & Blanchette (gourmet burgers around EUR 14 ech)

L’oignon Givré (veggie buffet)

Tripti Kulai (organic eggie & vegan eatery)

 

Max and Me: High-Vibe & Holistic Skincare

I often get asked, “What’s high-vibrational or high-vibe skincare?”. I like to describe it in layman’s terms as skincare that specifically uses ingredients known to have high energy so they work not only at skin’s cellular level but also on a mind and spirit level. Yes, it falls into “woo woo wellness” or in this case “woo woo skincare” but don’t we all crave a little bit of that woo in our lives anyways. I personally love products that strive to go beyond the physical and delve into other realms that we don’t tap into often throughout the daily humdrum of our lives. The brand I’ll be talking about in this blog, Max and Me- an organic high-vibe skincare line from Austria- describes it beautifully as

“The higher an ingredient vibrates, the purer, the more lit from with in, the gentler yet the more intense it is. The better it can communicate on a cellular level.

High vibrational ingredients are more focused in their effects, more potent in their healing capacities, more talented in targeting troubled conditions. High vibrational ingredients suffuse your skin and your whole being with love, light and an exquisite harmony, realigning all bodily systems (cells, tissues, organs) and energetic centers (chakras, meridians …) with their perfectly balanced, innate structure and rhythm. Initiating regulating impulses, nurturing self healing capacities. All this is so beautiful and powerful for transforming skin’s overall health and appearance.”

Max and Me sources ingredients only from farmers, cooperatives and distillers who carefully harvest wild plants, or practice organic farming and contain:

  • NO parabenes
  • NO petroleum products
  • NO glycols, propylenes
  • NO preservatives
  • NO silicons
  • NO animal products
  • NO genetically engineered materials
  • NO synthetic aromas or colors

Made WITHOUT animal testing.

All max and me compositions are certified according to BDIH
The Sweet Serenity Mask & Wash is a product I like to use exclusively as a mask because it’s so luxurious and I want my skin to experience the maximum benefits it provides. I add several droplets of water to turn it into a light brown creamy consistency, take a deep breath and apply using my fingers or a mask brush. Besides its light exfoliation benefits, I notice my skin looks hydrated and glowy after use. I think this is a gentle yet effective mask if your budget can allow for it.
  • two in one / mask & wash / plus exfoliation
  • rich in antioxidants and super-antioxidants
  • soothes, calms & balances sensitive, irritated, flaky, thirsty skin
  • benefits troubled conditions (acne, rosacea, couperose)
  • provides optimum hydration
  • stimulates collagen

Ingredients

White Kaolin Clay, Leptospermum Scoparium Mel (Raw Manuka Honey), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter1, Garcinia Mangostana Pericarp Powder1, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil1, Cranberry Seed Oil1, Theobroma Cacao Seed Powder1, Cocos Nucifera Oil1, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil1, Tocopherol, Prinsepia Utilis Seed Oil1, Glycine Soja Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil1, Punica Granatum Seed Oil1, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil1, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Oil1, Santalum Album Oil2, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil1, Leptospermum Scoparium Oil3, Citrus Aurantium Flower Extract1, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil1, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Oil1, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil1, Lavandula Angustifolia Herb Oil2

Pictured above is their new travel kit which includes a travel size version of the I am the Light Facial Oil, Sweet Serenity Rescue Balm and Circle of Protection Body Oil – perfect for keeping skin and body pampered during your travels. Max and Me offers 7 exquisite body oils for the luxury seeker, and Circle of Protection is their most popular. It has a ravishing scent from the fragrant vetiver, magnolia, bourbon geranium and manuka along with exotic litsea, sparkling silver fir and jasmine. This one is for those who want to take their bodycare to new heights.
This is like an emergency balm for seriously troubled skin or skin issues. In a base of shea butter and rosehip oil, it features:
  • Powerfully regenerating immortelle
  • antibacterial manuka
  • balancing wild mountain lavender
  • inflammation taming sandalwood
  • regenerating neroli
  • toning ylang-ylang
  • soothing palmarose,
  • calming patchouli

I like to use this around my eyes as a final nighttime skincare step on days when my skin has been exposed to the sun. I know I can’t stop my skin from aging but I believe powerful products like this one can slow down the free radical damage. The Rescue Balm provides:

  • instant relief for irritated, stressed-out, inflamed conditions
  • renews red, irritated, flaky skin
  • relieves hard to treat skin-issues (acne, rosacea, couperose)
  • calms and soothes deeply

Enchanted Face Oil

The Enchanted face oils is one of my favorite face oils and features a blend of argan, marula, macadamia nut, rosehip, pomegranate, evening primrose with jasmine, frangipani, a thousand roses, champaca, sandalwood and lavender. Every use is like an experience that I relish – it’s hard to describe. It has a complex, sophisticated scent that you won’t find in any other face oil. This oil is for sensitive, irritated and mature skin and provides deep hydration, regenerative benefits and antioxidant delivery.

Ingredients

Argania spinosa Kernel Oil1, Rosa moschata Seed Oil1, Sclerocarya birrea Kernel Oil2, Oenothera biennis Oil1, Macadamia ternifolia Seed Oil1, Punica granatum Seed Oil1, Rosa damascena Flower Oil1, Jasminum sambac Flower Extract1, Lavendula angustifolia Herb Oil2, Santalum album Oil3, Michelia champaca Extract, Cananga odorata Flower Oil1, Plumeria alba Flower Extract, Benzyl Alcohol4, Benzyl Benzoate4, Benzyl Salicylate4, Citral4, Citronellol4, Eugenol4, Farnesol4, Geraniol4, Isoeugenol4, Limonene4, Linalool4, Tocopherol5

This rich oil cleanser works to melt away the day’s pollutants, impurities, make-up and the buildup of environmental and digital toxins. The Purity and Grace also boosts micro-circulation, encourages the flow of lymphe and blood, and releases congestion and dullness with mountain juniper, atlas cedar, hyssop and neroli. It has a subtly sweet earthy scent. I apply 3 to 4 pumps and massage it into my skin and then wipe it off using their face cloth which is made of 50% eucalyptus wood fibers, 25% organic linen and 25% algae.

My Raw Cuisine Workshop with PLANTLAB

PLANTLAB is a plant-based culinary and wellness educational school offering both online and on-site classes around the world. They teach the art of organic, unprocessed, vegan cooking while encouraging students to consider the broader benefits that stem from a “green” and conscious lifestyle. They don’t just teach basic raw cuisine, but refined, elegant and innovative raw cuisine that’s sure to impress even the pickiest eaters.

Creamy carrot soup and key lime tarts that I made

A dish made by a student in one of their advanced classes

I was so excited to have been given the opportunity to try one of their premier RAW Weekend Workshop classes. Literally, I waited for months. They offer a variety of on-site full time intensive courses and 1-day workshops like RAW, Fermented Cheeses, Cacao and Raw Desserts. Their flagship location is in Los Angeles (Venice) but they also offer classes in New York, Chicago, Barcelona and Bali- and of course their online courses can be taken from anywhere in the world.

I arrived at my RAW Workshop on time and joined about 10 other students in a beautiful, spacious kitchen studio on Abbot Kinney. Since class started at 11AM there was plenty of free parking in the public parking lots. The instructor was warm and welcoming and her assistant was there to help with anything you needed. After a brief introduction on raw cuisine and its benefits, we made around 5 different dishes from creamy carrot soup to raw lasagna and key lime tarts to smoothies. I was worried 5 hours might be too long but it went by so fast and before I knew it the class was over. All the ingredients are prepared for you so you simply need to measure, mix and blend. I love that emphasis was placed on the aesthetic presentation of dishes (after all we eat with our eyes first) and a variety of fresh herbs and edible flowers were available to garnish dishes.


Educate Eat Evolve from PLANTLAB on Vimeo.

 

One of LA’s Best: Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel

When’s the last time you’ve had a Bestie Spa Day? If it’s been a while then get on it because it’s such a great way to spend quality time with the bestie that’s different from the usual brunch or happy hour.

Over the weekend I was able to enjoy a fabulous Bestie Spa Day and spa like socialites at the stunning SLS Beverly Hills’ Ciel Spa. I was invited to experience the Biologique Recherche custom facial at the, a celestial 5,000 square foot space complete with five treatment rooms, a couples’ suite with side-by-side tubs, dreamy relaxation room, and a full service hair salon. With a white on white aesthetic and billowing curtains, the spa whisks you to a cloud-like alternate reality that instantly calms mind and soul. Chloe and I arrived around 3:30 PM and left around 7:30 even though our treatments only lasted a little more than hour. She was pampered with a Ciel Signature Massage and legit fell asleep during the massage.

Biologique Recherche Customized Facial

Biologique Recherche is a cult French skincare brand (note it is not organic) and Ciel Spa is one of the only spas in LA to use the line. The facial started off with a detailed skin examination using the brand’s patented Skin Instant Lab. It involved using a variety of probes to check for skin elasticity, hydration, skin damage and more. The results said my skin is the age of over 40, but this is most likely because my skin is very dry. Note to self: drink lots more water and keep skin super hydrated at all times with products.

My facialist Zdenka then proceeded to cleanse and massage the skin before going in with the brand’s strongest, most effective product the Lotion P50, which exfoliates, purifies, regenerates, and hydrates the skin. It comes in seven different formulations to accommodate the needs of all different types of skin and Zdenka customized it as she felt was best for my skin.

The next step was the mask and I had a combination of the Mask VIP and Masque Vivant which felt cooling and tingly. The Mask VIP has unique composition of essential fatty acids and cucumber extract to revitalize the epidermis and the Vivant contains yeast extract to regulate and purify skin.  Then using a machine she massaged off the mask using 2 probes that delivered microcurrent deep into the skin.

It didn’t end there though! The next to last step was cryo and Zdenka used chilled metal balls to gently massage and tighten the skin. The final step was the application of hydrating skincare products. Besides feeling completely relaxed, my skin was glowing, radiant and even slightly lifted from the massage techniques and skin tech that was used. Be sure to check out the Story Highlights “Ciel Spa” on my Instagram for videos of the facial!

 

Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa

“While we can’t change our genes, we can alter our lifestyle to protect the longevity of our skin, body and mind.”

– Dr. Claudia Aguirre

Just 2 hours away from LA in the desert landscape of Corona, Glen Ivy Hot Springs is a wellness enthusiast’s ultimate playground built around mineral hot springs and their incredible health benefits. It’s been around for over 150 years but it has certainly evolved over time, including in recent years to cater to today’s eco-friendly luxury seeker. With its 19 different pools, mineral hot springs, exceptional spa treatments, gourmet cuisine, Scandinavian-inspired Starbucks-serving cafe. cocktail bar and the one-of-a-kind Club Mud and Grotto, Glen Ivy has all the makings for an epic spa day with a loved one or friends.

Last month, Glen Ivy celebrated the new skincare line /skin regimen/ (launched Feb 2018) at their spa and invited bloggers and influencers to learn more about the science behind the products, enjoy the facilities and experience the line firsthand with an Urban Longevity /skin regimen/ facial. Dr. Claudie Aguirre spoke about the

  • Effect of psychological stress on skin
  • The psychological power behind touch and music
  • DNA only being a factor not a determinant in how we age (we are not locked into our DNA)
  • and other skincare science topics.

The Urban Longevity /skin regimen/ Facial Review

This expertly designed facial is for stressed skin or skin showing the first signs of aging. It is customizable to correct dullness, dehydration and expression wrinkles, it deeply renews the skin and leaves it glowing and protected.

The spa has a beautiful entrance where /skin regimen/ products, Jane Iredale, NuFace skin tech devices, COOLA and other products are displayed and several treatment rooms. The facialist began with aromatherapy then proceeded to cleanse the skin. As it was a mini-facial there was no steaming involved. She used a 16% acid peel mask which felt very tingly and included a massage session using a Qigong and Rolling Roulage technique with her fingers, which felt like she was rolling my skin continuously. It also included  Macro Waves Sound, which uses both natural and synthetic sounds that help the mind detach, and a shoulder and upper back massage to provide a deep relaxation effect as the mask sat. Finally, the mask was wiped off and /skin regimen/ MicroAlgae Essence and Jane Iredale BB Cream SPF 15 was applied. My skin looked brighter and luminous, though I’m sure with the full facial you would reap even more benefits. The facialist also advised to reapply sunblock every hour not every few hours when in the sun.

Sole Focus Massage Review

This indulgent foot massage uses a technique called Zone Theory which stimulates points on the feet that improve circulation, stimulate mental calm and relieve physical tension throughout the body. 50 minutes felt like 5 with my massage therapist using her expert fingers to knead, rub, pull, and tap her way into the souls of my feet. If I get a massage I usually go for a full body one, but there’s something interesting about the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy that the foot is connected to everything in the body. Perhaps there’s some truth in this as I still felt relaxed and like I was walking on clouds after.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs Review

I’m not even sure where to begin, but Glen Ivy is simply beautiful- it’s like a tropical oasis wonderland with every kind of amenity you would desire. Need a pool filled with red clay mud? Check. Need a pool with a panoramic view? Check. Want to lie in a pool that’s basically a giant Epsom salt bath? Check. Healthy cocktail during the day? No judgement. Healthy cuisine crafted by an executive chef? Check. I could go on and on. It truly is an adult playground and an all day affair. I don’t believe a day here is complete without complementing it with one of their spa treatments. Can it really be a spa day without some sort of massage? To give you a better idea of all that Glen Ivy has to offer, here are the deets:

  • 19 mineral baths and pools
  • Club Mud (Californai red clay pool)
  • Women’s Bathhouse with our own indoor pool
  • 2 stylish saunas
  • Ivy Kitchen serving healthy, Mexi-Cali with a coastal twist and farm-to-table philosophy
  • Bar & smoothie café
  • Spa treatments

 

About /skin regimen/ skincare science-focused line for the stressed out urbanite

I wanted to wait to until I had tried out the /skin regimen/ products we were sent home with so I could share my experience. Please note I’ve only used these for about a week so these are merely my first impressions and not a real review. This is not an organic line, but takes a natural approach with zero synthetic fragrance, silicones, animal derivatives, artificial colorants, mineral oils and parabens. /skin regimen/ was designed for the urban-dweller living a fast-paced and stressful lifestyle. This kind of lifestyle alters the skin’s normal cellular processes, particularly DNA methylation, glycation, oxidation and inflammation, contributing to cellular breakdown and eventually hindering skin health, even in biologically young skin. The /skin regimen/ products target the most common stress-related signs – dehydration, city-gray skin, wrinkles and imperfections using their signature Longevity Complex™ an exclusive mix of organic superfood extracts and a high-tech molecule, counteracting the effects of stress and aging accelerators. It contains the anti-inflammatory Wild Indigo, modulating excess cortisol and boosting beta-endorphins, Maqui Berry with powerful antioxidants anthocyanins, and anti-glycation Spinach and Carnosine, a dipeptide. Spinach, thanks to its folic acid content, also promotes a correct DNA methylation.

MicroAlgae Essence Iluminating Lotion

This is definitely more of an essence and a thick toner than a lotion. It gives a nice glow to skin and I use it underneath my serum and moisturizer, but as far as “illuminating” it does not contain any shimmer or mica. This has to be my favorite product out of the three I tried. It gives a major boost of hydration to my dry skin and has an invigorating scent that reminds me of cinnamon. The essence is concentrated with unicellular micro-algae and their Longevity Complex to recharge the skin and maintain optimal hydration.

Tulsi Booster

This is a super lightweight concentrated oil featuring Tulsi, an adaptogenic ingredient used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote antioxidant activity and is designed for particularly dry and depleted skin. It feels almost like a serum than an oil, provides lasting hydration and I love that it incorporates Ayurveda. The scent is the same as the MicroAlgae Essence- a spicy cinnamon like scent.

/night detox

This is another very interesting product – you leave it on overnight rather than washing it off after it dries and it works to detoxify the skin from accumulated pollution. It contains Gluconolactone and alpha-glucan yeast to boost the skin’s ability to eliminate the toxins accumulated during the day. The mask has a balm-like texture and a beautiful natural scent I can’t quite put my finger on. My skin feels softer and looks clearer and significantly more toned the next morning.

Thank you Glen Ivy Hot Springs and /skin regimen/ for this unforgettable experience!

 

 

The OBL Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I’ve decided to whip up some gift inspiration based on what I would actually get my own mom. In reality I haven’t decided on anything yet! My mom is super picky about her beauty products so I’m not about to waste a bunch of money on a gift she won’t use. But don’t be like me and get to it!

Beauty Food Basket (supplements & superfood chocolates)

Beauty products are great but supplements take health into consideration as well as promote beauty from the inside out. Put together a customized “beauty food care basket” and wrap it up with a pretty bow tie. Some products that would be great to include are:

  • HUM Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair Gummies (love these and it’s like eating candy everyday)
  • Vital Proteins Beauty Collgen- Strawberry Lemon
  • Addictive Wellness Beauty Superfood Chocolate
    • This is a Vegan, Paleo, and Keto Friendly food. Ingredients: Cacao Paste*∆, Cacao Butter*∆, Birch Xylitol, Lucuma*∆, Mucuna, Tremella Mushroom*, Horsetail*, Chaga Mushroom, Stevia (Reb-A)*, Himalayan Salt
      *=Certified Organic     ∆=Raw
  • Pearl Butter Adaptogenic Beauty Butter (code OBL15 saves 15%-I’m not affiliated)
    • Collagen-boosting butter with activated pearl (Cleopatra’s beauty secret) and shavegrass (one of the richest plant sources of silica) for glowing, lit-from-within skin. The cherry on top? It’s pink. All Ingredients:  Raw Organic Coconut, PearlShavegrassPitaya
  • HUM Nutrition Red Carpet for glowing skin & healthy hair
  • The Beauty Chef GLOW Inner Beauty Powder
    • GLOW ADVANCED, a new and improved bio-fermented super-food beauty blend with more antioxidants, more minerals, more vitamins and extra probiotics designed to improve gut health and enhance the skin from the inside out.
    • Ingredients: Bio-fermented Nutrient Blend with Flora Culture™ (mung beans*, brown rice*, lentils*, chickpeas*, linseed*, maqui berry*, queen garnet plum, buckwheat*, hulled millet*, Dunaliella salina*, agave*, molasses*, quinoa*, chia seeds*, pepitas*, sunflower seeds*, lemon juice, green tea powder*, ginger*, turmeric*), anthocyanins from grape skins, natural wild berry flavour, Dunaliella salina*, citric acid, Saccharomyces boulardii, stevia leaf extract, zinc ascorbate. *Organic Ingredients Fermented with probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. delbreuckii, L. casei, L. bulgaricus, L. caucasicus, L. fermenti, L. plantarum, L. brevis, L. helevictus, L. lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Saccharomyces boulardii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • The Beauty Chef Holiday Boost Kit
    • Containing 3 x 100ml Inner Beauty Boosts, each specifically formulated to address gut health and specific skin concerns
    • Ingredients: Bio-fermented Nutrient Blend with Flora Culture™ (mung beans*, brown rice*, lentils*, chick peas*, linseed*, maqui berry*, queen garnet plum, buckwheat*, hulled millet*, Dunaliella salina*, agave*, molasses*, quinoa*, chia seeds*, pepitas*, sunflower seeds*, lemon juice, green tea powder*, ginger*, turmeric*), anthocyanins from grape skins, natural wild berry flavour, Dunaliella salina*, citric acid, Saccharomyces boulardii, stevia leaf extract, zinc ascorbate. *Organic Ingredients
  • Sun Potion’s He Shou Wu
    • He Shou Wu is a traditional Taoist Herb & Jing Tonic that has a history of use as a longevity, anti-aging, blood-building, beauty, & rejuvenation food. Regular consumption of this herb may do the following: tonify and nourish the blood, hair, skin, nervous system, sexual center, shen (Spirit), and Jing (primary essence/life force).
  • Sun Potion Tocos (I LOVE this one! It is amazing for skin health and tastes so delicious on its own and adds creaminess to any drink)
    • Tocos is considered the “Ultimate Skin Food”. It is an incredible superfood and creamy addition to any healthy recipe. It is a Bio-Available Source of Vitamins D & E that may Promote Healthy Skin and Connective Tissues and Facilitate the removal of toxins from the body.

FLOWERS

This is a given and should be in addition to whatever you’re getting her. Gilt City is offering great deals on flowers with Bouqs and Enjoy Flowers. Take an extra 20% off your order with code WELCOMEBACK.

candles

I really enjoy the natural and nontoxic Lite+Cycle candles which aren’t made with toxic paraffin wax and blended right in Los Angeles. MADE WITH: 100% pure essential oil fragrances, American-grown soy wax, and a cotton wick WITHOUT: paraffin, dyes, lead, animal by-products, or synthetic fragrances. The underside of the gold lid is designed with a custom pattern that creates a textured surface for igniting a strike-anywhere match. 65 hour burning time. TIP: Sign up for their newsletter to receive 20% off.

NUFACE TRINITY FACIAL TONING DEVICE

Get your mom to start using skin technology early! The earlier the better so she can age gracefuly into her 60s and beyond. I personally try to use mine at least once every few days and I feel like it will make a difference down the line. The NuFace is multi-solution facial toning device is FDA-cleared, clinically-tested, and consumer reviewed for improved facial contour, skin tone, and wrinkle reduction to give you a more radiant, younger looking appearance.

  • Natural, non-invasive facial-lift using microcurrent technology
  • Visible results that are long-lasting with continued use
  • Easy to use in as little as 5-minutes a day and travel ready

This device costs a hefty $325 so if you’re strapped consider the refreshed Mini version at $179.

spa day

Treat your mom to a pampering spa day or get her a gift card for a treatment.

best of green beauty box.

And if you really want to give mom the gift of organic beauty, The Detox Market has a fantastic Best of Green Beauty box set with $310+ worth of luxury products for only $149. Includes

  • ODACITÉ Green Ceremony Cleanser | full size 5 oz | $55 value
  • JOSH ROSEBROOK Hydrating Accelerator | travel size 2 oz | $20 value
  • MV SKINCARE Rose Soothing and Protective Moisturizer | full size 2.4 oz | $135 value
  • THE BEAUTY CHEF Collagen Inner Beauty Boost | travel size 3.38 oz | $16 value
  • RMS BEAUTY Vintage Cake Liner | full size | $24 value
  • LILY LOLO Natural Vegan Mascara | full size | $20 value
  • SOAPWALLA Sensitive Skin Deodorant Cream | full size | $16 value
  • RAHUA Shampoo + Conditioner | travel size set | $16.50 value
  • DAVIDS Natural Toothpaste | full size | $7.95 value

BEAUTY SUBSCRIPTION BOX (LUXURY)

Bi-monthly eco-luxury beauty box Boxwalla is only getting better and better so I have to recommend it. With previous boxes including high-end organic brands MUN Skincare, Twelve Beauty, Earthwise Beauty and June’s box featuring MOSS Skincare I’m sure mom is going to enjoy every box. Each box usually has a value of over $200 in my experience and costs $49.95 every other month. You can also cancel at anytime, but I’m sure you’re going to want to just change the address and re-direct the packages to your home instead.