My Personal Organic Beauty Favorites

If you’re curious about what my favorites are out of the products I’ve tried over the past few years this post is for you! These are what we would say in French my “coups de coeur”, which literally means a blow to the heart in English. If you’d like to learn more about these products I’ve reviewed a good majority of them in previous blog posts – simply keyword search in the search box at the top of your screen. I’ve tried to stick to one top pick for each product type but sometimes chose 2 max 3 if they are equally my top faves. This is a very personal list of the products I have resonated most with, not just in terms of how well they work for my own particular skin or hair but how they make me feel through their texture, scent, packaging, design, brand image, ethos etc.

FAVORITE OIL CLEANSER: Whamisa Organic Fowers Oil Cleanser – cleansing oils are straightforward, I mean you can technically put olive oil on your face and it becomes a cleansing oil. But you will not have smelled anything like this oil cleanser before.

FAVORITE GEL CLEANSER: SIBU Polishing Facial Cleanser & ALEAVIA Prebiotic Cleanser

FAVORITE MILK CLEANSER: OSEA Cleansing Milk

FAVORITE FACE WASH: Earthwise Beauty Marshmallow Suds & Sally B Skin Yummies Tamanu Luxury Facial cleanser (95% Organic) – I have loved the texture and scent of these 2 the most

FAVORITE TONER: Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner – this is like an essence and toner in one and it provides the best hydration.

FAVORITE MIST: Annmarie Gianni Neroli Mist  – mists are pretty straightforward, this one goes beyond its function as a mist and helps to improve my mood because I love its particular neroli scent so much.

FAVORITE SERUM: Earthwise Beauty Carrot-A-Day Serum & OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum

FAVORITE MOISTURIZER: Odacité Oleosomes Time Delivery Release Creme & Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer – I love the texture, ingredients and packaging of these 2 moisturizers the most though I have tried many a superb moisturizer.

FAVORITE FACE OIL: Max and Me Oils Enchanted & Earthwise Beauty Ferns & Moss & Earthwise Beauty Ruby– I know all the oils I use are working hard to improve my skin but I really see and notice the difference when I use these.

Updated in 2019: A few very luxurious green beauty face oils I fell in love with are African Botanics Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive & 5Yina Lucent Beauty Oil. Both are outrageously expensive but they have such an amazing effect on the skin with a complex, unique blend of ingredients not found elsewhere.

FAVORITE PIMPLE TREATMENT: OSEA Black Cumin & Cajeput Serum Concentrate & OSEA Essential Corrective Complex – because it works for my breakouts

FAVORITE ANTI-AGING (for those who need serious skin treatment type skincare or have mature skin): Marie Veronique’s line & Fitglow Beauty’s Vita-Active line (fyi these are pricey lines)

FAVORITE MASKS: May Lindstrom The Honey Mud – I haven’t encountered a more luxurious mud mask than this and it ALMOST takes away my chocolate cravings. (Update 2019: May has discontinued this mask for the time being)

Malaya Organics Advanced Repair Mask – Neem Honey Herbal Complex – This mask stood out from the years of masking I have under my belt. Yarrow, Plantain, Collodial Silver, blue tansy, and so many other exquisite ingredients. This gem is totally underhyped.

FAVORITE MATCHA SKINCARE: Odacité Ceremony Cleanser & Plant Apothecary Matcha Antioxidant Face Mask

FAVORITE VITAMIN C PRODUCT: Sally B Skin Yummies Antioxidant Boost – it works to brighten and even my skin tone, it`s over 65% ascorbic acid and it’s affordable

FAVORITE POWDER EXFOLIATOR: French Girl Organics Face Polish – Rose petals are the first ingredient and that’s why it’s my favorite although there are obviously tons of effective powder exfoliators with cool star ingredients out there.

Plant Apothecary Rice & Clean is another favorite powder exfoliator that is super affordable (and available at certain Target stores).

FAVORITE BRIGHTENING MASK: Laurel Organics Brighten Mask – this mask has never once NOT brightened my skin like crazy

FAVORITE EXFOLIATING MASK: OSEA Vitamin C Probiotic Polish (also brightening) & Earthwise Beauty Blackstsrap Molasses Mask

FAVORITE HYDRATING MASK: Odacité Deep Hydration Mask – it literally transforms the texture of my skin when used overnight as a sleeping mask.

 

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FAVORITE HAIR OIL: Prim Botanicals Hair Oil – hair oils are pretty straightforward but this one has a scent I fell hard for.

FAVORITE HAIR SERUM/HEAT PROTECTANT: EvolvH WonderBalm. The texture is unbelievable and works better than Shu Uemura and a bunch of other high end hair serums I have bought in the past. If I apply about 6 pumps into damp hair and let it dry my hair dries much smoother and with less frizz without even being weighed down. (I’ve heard from 1 fellow green beauty lover that this did not work for her so just be aware that it does not work for everyone)

FAVORITE SHAMPOO: Evolvh UltraShine Shampoo. I love the scent of this shampoo, the texture when I squeeze the product on my hands, the way it lathers. (affiliate code OBL saves at Evolvh)

FAVORITE CONDITIONER: John Masters Organics Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner. I feel like my hair likes this formula the most and I see a more noticeable difference when using this one.

FAVORITE HAIR MASK: John Masters Organics Repair Hair Mask for Damaged Hair with Honey & Hibiscus. This truly works on making my super dry hair softer and hydrated.

FAVORITE DEODORANT: Ursa Major No B.S. Deodorant & Vapour Beauty AER. Besides working effectively, the formula is not overly dry and the packaging is elegant.

FAVORITE LIP BALM: Cocokind MyMatcha Stick – I love that it is simple, jumbo, has matcha, the packaging is black, it is super moisturizing and smells of coconut.

F A V O R I T E   M A K E U P

FAVORITE FOUNDATION: Fitglow Beauty Vita Active Foundation and for full coverage NU EVOLUTION. These are completely pure high-quality formulas.

FAVORITE BLUSH: INIKA Pink Tickle Blush, NU Evolution Blush in Soho & Flushed. Magnetic, velvety and vibrant shades of pink that I adore.

FAVORITE EYESHADOW: NU EVOLUTION – best pigmentation, velvety finish and longest lasting

FAVORITE LIPSTICK: Vapour Beauty Siren Lipstick – I’m personally not a fan of lispticks (I’m a lip gloss girl all the way) because they make me look older but my favorite formula is the Vapour Beauty’s lip siren because it’s the creamiest that doesn’t seem to accentuate my lip lines (note the dark shades are not as god)

FAVORITE CONCEALER: Fitglow Beauty Conceal+ & NU Evolution Camouflage Creme

FAVORITE LIP GLOSS: Fitglow Beauty Lip Serum in Bliss – a targeted lip treatment and lip gloss in one that actually plumps my lips. Bliss is also the prettiest color that looks the best on me

FAVORITE MASCARA: Australian certified organic makeup brand INIKA’s Long Lash Vegan Mascara is one of the best mascaras I’ve tried. I also love the affordable W3LL People Expressionist Mascara.

 

FAVORITE BB CREAM: COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Tint  (please note this is not a clean brand though they choose to place many organic ingredients in their products)- I use serum/moisturizer/few drops of oil as my morning skincare and a lot of BB creams leave me looking a little too greasy. This matte one helps me avoid  that plus it goes on so velvety smooth and i don’t need to layer sunscreen after my moisturizer.

FAVORITE PRIMER: COOLA Daydream Primer SPF 30 & Juice Beauty Illuminating Primer (these do contain dimethicone last I checked)

S P F

Earth Mama Organics Lady Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 40 is a new 2019 launch and by far the best tinted sunscreen stick that is truly clean and organic. It conceals like makeup with a very natural tint and isn’t at all greasy. Highly affordable at under $15.

Raw Elements Sunscreen has been my go-to spf brand since I began my organic beauty journey. I prefer this for body rather than face.

CODES TO HELP YOU SAVE

SIBU BEAUTY: ORGANICBEAUTY30
Aleavia Skincare: ORGANICBEAUTYLOVER
NU Evolution (affiliate): ORGANICBEAUTYLOVER 
Earthwise Beauty (affiliate): OBL
Odacité: OBL
Raw Elements Sunscreen: OBL

 

 

 

 

PetCube Bites Interactive Treat Camera Review

If you’re a dog (or cat) owner who wants to be able to see what your fur baby is up to while you’re away and remotely talk to and play with him/her all from your phone, the PetCube is worth looking into. Before I even became a new dog owner I knew I wanted to have a device like this because my cousin had bought one for her dogs over Christmas and loves it. This device has been so useful as a new puppy owner, I could not imagine not having it. Here are all the impressive features of the PetCube Bites:

Fling treats varying distances up to 6 feet
Toss treats automatically at scheduled times
Stream in 1080p HD video with 138° wide angle view
138° wide angle view
3x digital zoom
2-way audio to hear & speak
Night vision with infrared LED
Sound and motion alerts

I hate having to leave Rufus alone especially because he’s a young puppy and needs constant love and attention. With the PetCube I just tap the app and am able to see exactly what he’s doing. The camera and sound work very well and I haven’t had any issues whatsoever. It’s probably actually me who has separation anxiety from my furry child because I have this need to be able to see him at all times when I’m away from him. I try not to speak to him too much unless I know I’m coming home soon because I don’t want to torture him. If I’m running late on feeding him dinner I can throw him some treats with the app so he doesn’t get too hungry/unhappy. Instead of treats I fill up the container with his normal dog food so he doesn’t get too spoiled and used to treats as food.

The night vision also works well and I don’t have any complaints with this feature. There’s been a few occasions where I’ve had to leave him alone all day (the worst!) and I set up the motion alerts so anytime he moved I would get a notification on my phone and be able to go into the app to see what he’s up to. This way I’m not constantly and mindlessly checking up on him every second of the day.

Petcube Bites camera

Design wise, this device is very sleek and modern looking and comes in three colors: silver, black and rose gold. It has a no-skid surface on the bottom so it won’t move around much or tip easily and comes with a wall-mounting kit if you prefer to mount it on the wall. It was a lot thinner and lighter than I initially thought it would be so that was a pleasant surprise.

Use code OBL for $15 off at the PetCube site. Free worldwide shipping

The current PetCube devices will be phased out later this summer to make way for Generation 2 devcies which will be priced much higher so now is the right time to grab these.

PetCube Website

Petcube Bites treat camera specifications

 

 

 

HOW I PAID OFF $60,000 OF DEBT IN 2 YEARS

Student debt is just THE ABSOLUTE WORST – the emotional and mental burden of having this huge number looming over your head, wondering if and when it will ever get paid off is always in the back of your mind. I dreamed of becoming a serial hacker so I could hack into the systems and magically delete that number to zero- we’ve seen it happen in TV shows so it must be possible. I had about a dozen government and private loans with various interest rates when I graduated from the University of Southern California and I knew that I wanted to start paying them off as fast as I could once I landed a job. I even read blogs and websites dishing advice on how to pay off debt and personal success stories- not just to learn tips but also to keep me motivated throughout those dark months. If you want to pay down your debt quickly you need to be prepared to live down to the bare minimum, exercise a ton of self-control and go HAM. Aka Beast Mode but for debt. Friends and loved ones are going to suffer too but if they love you they’ll be waiting for you on the other side. It is no walk in the park, but it will be worth it.

I cut out all monthly recurring subscriptions

Aside from the basic necessities like my cell phone subscription, I cut out ALL monthly automatic charges like my VPN service (this hid my IP address so I could access US websites from abroad), HULU, etc.

I allowed myself a set amount of spending money each month

Instead of looking at where my money was going each month, I simply and brutally allowed myself $100 in spending money – this meant no eating out, hardly any shopping, no Starbucks, no cold-pressed juices, no nothing. I either packed my lunch to work or skipped lunch entirely if I forgot to pack. That’s the sad truth. I didn’t go shopping for clothes, cut my own hair and stuck to the rule of $100 per month. It became my monthly personal challenge and sometimes I even spent less than $100. I explained to friends and my partner what I was doing and why I needed to do it. The people who truly care about you will understand.

I put as much of my paycheck as possible towards loans

Each time I received my pay I immediately transferred everything I could minus my basic living expenses towards my loans (around $3000 to $4000 a month). That way it simply was not possible for me to even spend money, because it was already out of my bank account. And I watched as these huge lump sums made my debt number go lower and lower at warp speed.

I paid off my highest interest loans first

Some of my loans had a 10% interest rate, which means if a loan was $10,000 then it was increasing by $100 each month or $1200 each year. Compared to other loans that had a 2% interest rate, it was obvious that the high interest ones needed to be obliterated first. That’s why the last months of paying off my debt I was able to coast and live it up more while also putting more money to my savings. Everyone needs to have a FUCK OFF FUND by the way.


It was quite simple really and it can be summed up in one word – SACRIFICE. But obviously, in order to pay off debt successfully, you need to have a well-paying job. Earning $2k a month is not a good foundation for paying off a disgusting amount of debt. I was also living in cheap housing provided by relatives so if your home is taking up a large chunk of your paycheck you need to think about moving to a more affordable place to live. Whatever it takes.

New Hope Blogger Box Review

When I attended the Natural Product Expo this spring I also joined the New Hope Influencer Coop, a community of natural lifestyle influencers and health experts who support the mission to bring more health to more people in partnership with New Hope Network. They sent this beautiful box full of innovative natural health, food and beauty products that I normally would have never heard about (except the beauty ones of course). Here’s what was inside:

  • Ancient inGRAINed Snack Co – Ka-Pop Dairy-Free Cheddar Popped Chips (@KaPopSnacks; @KaPop_Snacks)
  • BFree Foods – Stone Baked Pita Breads (@BFreeUSA; @BFreeFoods)
  • Big Island Coffee Roasters – Espresso Bites (@bigislandcoffeeroasters)
  • Curaleaf – Lemongrass and Menthol Lotion (@CuraleafHemp)
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby – Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 40 (@earthmamaorganics; @earthmama)
  • Elma Farms – POSHI Marinated Vegetable Snack (@eatposhi; @healthyposhi)
  • Goddess Garden – SPF 30 Everyday Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Sensitive Skin (@goddessgarden)
  • Jenny’s Gourmet Foods LLC – Greenjoy Cacao & Greens Pressed Salad Bar (@greenjoylife; @AuntDottiesKayco)
  • Life’s Grape – Vine-Dried Grapes (@lifes_grape; @LifesGrapeSnacks)
  • MARS Food North America – Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic (@SeedsofChange)
  • R.W. Garcia Co. – Organic Bar-B-Q Corn Chips (@rwgarciasnacks)
  • Serenity Tea Sips, LLC – Bergamot and Jasmine Tea (@SerenityTeaSips)
  • Smart Baking Company – Gluten Free Smart Cakes Raspberry Cream (@SmartBaking; @smartbakingcompany)
  • Sun Chlorella USA – Sun Chlorella “A” Granules (@sunchlorellausa; @SunChlorella)
  • Tango Advanced Nutrition – AllerPhase (@puretango; @AllerPhase)
  • The Little Potato Company – Garlic Parsley Microwavable Potatoes (@LittlePotatoCo)
  • Wakunaga of America – Kyo-Dophilus Kids (@KyolicAGE)

F O O D S

The Ancient inGRAINed Snack Co and their Ka-Pop Dairy-Free Cheddar Popped Chips had to be my favorite food product in there though almost everything was delicious. For being dairy-free they tasted even better than regular cheddar popped chips. There was such an intense crunch to each of the chips and so much flavor I would definitely purchase these again.

The Little Potato Company’s Garlic Parsley Microwavable Potatos were easy and convenient to make for dinner and packed a garlic punch in each bite. They were a tad on the salty side for me.

The Smart Baking Company’s Gluten Free Smart Cakes Raspberry Cream were cute little cakes in a cup, but I did find the texture to be a little too dry and the taste much too sweet for my palette. Otherwise I love the concept and the fact that they’re gluten free!

The Sun Chlorella come in individual packets and in granule form, but once you pour them in water they begin to dissolve. I usually can’t stand the taste of chlorella on its own in water, but this one did not have a strong taste.

Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic was super delicious – I included this in a dinner and it took my dish to the next level. Perfect texture and amount of seasoning has been added to this.

Greenjoy Cacao & Greens Pressed Salad Bar reminded me a lot of the Fruit Rollups I used to eat as a kid. I love the concept of greens that could almost pass as a candy snack. It tastes super natural and isn’t overly sweet.

Big Island Coffee Roasters Coffee Bites actually tasted like chocolate too me even though it isn’t! It’s coffee with some natural sweetener and has a very strong taste to it. It’s quite sweet and has a tinge of bitterness from the coffee.

POSHI Marinated Vegetable Snack was a total surprise. I thought these were dry snacks but they come in their natural state and are marinated in ingredients that help preserve them. Super healthy and a great option for people who don’t like to eat vegetables.

 P E R S O N A L   C A R E

I’ve been using the Goddess Garden SPF 30 Everyday Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Sensitive Skin that says “Sheer” on it and while it isn’t exactly sheer (there is a bit of a white tint) it doesn’t leave a strong white cast like some others do. It’s perfectly smooth, hydrating and lightweight and feels very much like a true lotion. It’s got a subtle lavender scent.

I got a little jar sample of the Curaleaf Lemongrass and Menthol Lotion and didn’t expect such a tiny amount would work so well. You can feel the cooling effect immediately and it stays for a good few hours, so it’s definitely something to try on areas of aches and pains for immediate relief.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 40 comes in a small cylindrical push-up container and contains only natural and safe ingredients along with zinc oxide for spf protection. I found it to be a very emollient and rich sunscreen (great for dry skin). It does leave a white cast.

 

What I Learned From Living in Switzerland (personal)

Hi loves and thank you for coming on here and wanting to hear me share my thoughts. I recently went through a major life transition moving from Switzerland to California and felt like I needed to simply WRITE (aka verbal vomit) in order to process everything that’s happened. As many of you guys know I basically spent all my 20s living in Europe- a little in Paris (Rue de la Convention), a little in St Gallen (Blumenaustrasse), a little in Zurich (Thujastrasse- I can’t believe I’m remembering the street names), a little in Lugano and mostly in Geneva – and I became a Swiss citizen. I basically left for Switzerland in 2010 and I moved to the US last summer. I met my first love while studying abroad and it was a whirlwind all-consuming type of romance that many people dream of. A lot of people search for this kind of love all their lives and I feel lucky to have experienced it (fyi he now hates me). But one of the many important lessons I learned while living in Switzerland was, love is not enough.

Also I have to warn you that there probably won’t be much structure to this blog post and it will be long. When I first moved abroad I was insanely young and not emotionally and mentally equipped for expat life. Had I been 30 and moved there I may have stayed my entire life. As a fresh graduate I was hungry to start my career but nobody there knew what USC was or cared that I had interned at major Fortune 500 companies. I struggled a lot with this and started off as an intern in marketing before landing a real job. Not being able to have the career I really wanted and that I had worked so hard for throughout high school and college was a huge source of unhappiness for me. I did end up landing a coveted marketing job at a Swiss company while working at a job that I didn’t like and it was my saving grace. Without it, my relationship would have never lasted as long as it did because I would have grown so unhappy I’d have left a lot sooner. My ex was also a student for much of this time and I did a lot of the financial supporting. Another lesson: don’t spend all your money on a guy if he isn’t treating you like you’re the best thing in the world.

I had no knowledge of French and studied my butt off, actively watched Swiss & French news and TV shows (Fais Pas Ci Fais Pas Ca was one of my faves), read the Swiss newspaper, and devoured anything and everything French that I could in order to become fluent – this was how I got the job that I wanted and interviewed successfully in French for a position that required fluency. There were so many days I felt like it would be an impossible feat to learn a whole foreign language and I would break down and cry at night from despair. My lesson from overcoming this challenge: even if you think something is impossible (I literally felt it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to learn French and all the British people I knew who’ve lived in Geneva their entire lives and couldn’t even hold a conversation in French was proof), NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE if you set your mind to it. Where there is a will there is a way, as some wise man once said.

I found that making friends was difficult. I had friends come in and out of my life except for a few because Geneva is an international hub with people often working on assignment for 1 or 2 years for large companies or NGO’s. Making friends with the Swiss is even more challenging because they tend to be cold and closed off, especially to foreigners. The friends and people they have in their lives are those they have known much of their lives in their small communities and they don’t feel any need to introduce new people into their close circle. I had some cool coworkers though despite the work environment being disgustingly sexist and inappropriate at times. I did meet many very interesting, driven and accomplished people, most of the time older and wiser than me, who each played a little role in shaping me into the person I am today. Instead of being unhappy that I was having a hard time making deep friendships like the ones I had in California, I needed to shift my attitude towards thinking that each person who came into my life, no matter how brief, was someone I could learn from and share experiences with, and that each person is on their own journey in life and I could, in turn, help make a brief, positive impact in their lives.

For a few years I loved my relationship, my life, my job and my ability to travel around Europe on the cheap many weekends. Who wouldn’t love going to Corsica one weekend, Spain the next and Mykonos the next- after a while all the places start looking similar (though I will never get tired of Paris, Barcelona and Greece). I probably annoyed a lot of people with those obnoxious travel photos and hotel collaborations if you scroll down my Instagram feed. Maybe after about 6 years, I became tired of similar looking villages in neighboring France, similar looking ski resort towns in Switzerland, the same Easyjet destinations every year with no new interesting cities being added for me to get to. I loved how everything in Switzerland is so orderly and structured – almost to a fault – and the landscape was beautiful everywhere you went. I couldn’t stand how exorbitantly expensive everything was ($9 for a Starbucks latte, restaurant meals on average over $100 for 2 people, $22 for OPI nail polish before my nontoxic switch) and I never shopped in Switzerland (I’d buy things to go to my California home and then bring everything back whenever I visited), how mind-numbingly boring Geneva became after a few years (if you come from a small town Geneva will seem exciting), the complete lack of authentic Mexican food (tacos are life) and the depressing grey weather 8 to 9 months of the year. This is my spoiled background though coming from one of the world’s greatest and sunniest cities. There are so many people from third world countries who would risk their lives to be able to escape to a life of peace and security in Switzerland. Before I left Geneva I befriended a gay couple in their 50s, who were from Portugal and Colombia originally, and I asked them if they were happy just living out the rest of their lives in Switzerland and their answer still stays with me today. They said that after a while they just became used to life in Switzerland, they now enjoyed the quiet peacefulness of life there, and they would visit their favorite cities multiple times a year (Barcelona and Tel Aviv). I knew I didn’t want that.

My ex was the perfect boyfriend during the first year, making the effort to be understanding of my difficulty transitioning to Swiss life, encouraging & supportive, and taking me on trips to London, Rome, and Cyprus. Certain things happened to him that he deep down probably blamed me for because it was easier than blaming himself. He also wasn’t emotionally ready for the unique struggles that come with being an international couple in which one has to adjust to a new country and culture. He soon became indifferent and resentful whenever I was having a hard time and quick to anger, which led me to become unhappy even though I had created a wonderful life for myself. This small part of myself that was unhappy ate away at me. This is the reality that you don’t see behind those perfectly edited little Instagram squares. Flying off to beautiful destinations in Europe (a few times a year) and back to LA (twice a year) was all I looked forward to throughout the year as a way to escape the humdrum of my day-to-day life feeling invisible. I felt like a robot simply going through the motions. I felt like my life revolved around my ex and his aspirations, and I was just there to provide support for all his needs. Something felt wrong- I should have felt more happy in this life or at least some kind of mild state of contentness on a daily basis. I almost started a family and I began to ask myself could I raise a family here? With this man? Would I be happy growing old here? The answer I got was always a very hesitant maybe and no. I knew I would forever regret it if I didn’t DO something and moved back to LA to see if the grass was greener on the other side. The way in which I handled my relationship towards the end wasn’t good and I drove my ex away through my behavior instead of communicating how I felt inside. Next time I know that if for whatever reason I’m unhappy I should communicate it early because eventually my actions will hurt my partner.

I eventually needed to decide whether I would ignore this part of me and continue to live this Swiss life until the end of my days, possibly forever being partially unhappy I never got to live a life in LA or being with someone who didn’t treat me well… or to search for what my heart really craved – to be in sunny Southern California with my friends and family nearby. I’m sure I could have eventually made peace with living abroad forever if I chose the former and 9 months later, I still grapple with the ghosts of my former life and the what-ifs. But imagine all the experiences I would have missed out on over the past year had I not decided to move back and all the ways I wouldn’t have grown emotionally by upheaving my very quiet very quaint Swiss life. By moving back, I was able to find myself again, re-discover who I am, and also have the opportunity to re-invent myself. That is the beauty of new beginnings and new chapters in life. I am truly in my element here and I have a sense of self-confidence that I didn’t in Switzerland. I’ve also come back with nearly 10 years of unique life and travel experiences and language skills. I often think of how lucky I am to have lived what I have lived and what very few Americans ever get to experience. I will always be grateful for my ex for coming into my life when he did. Thank you, next.

It hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be adjusting back to US life. When I first arrived I actually got hired immediately into working at Max Azria Group, but I didn’t feel happy working there and left. I remember one of the graphic designers who flew in from Mexico asked me why I would move back from Switzerland when the salaries are so high there (thanks dude). I forget what I answered back, but I probably said something like it was super boring there most of the time and not everyone earns very high salaries. One of my colleagues who helped hire me had spent many years working in Shanghai, loved it there, moved back to the US for this job and felt unhappy being back. Though it wasn’t easy adjusting back for me either, I felt happy and excited to be in LA. After all, so many Europeans I met over the years would ask me incredulously why on earth I would choose to be in Switzerland when I could be in LA. It’s not like I’m from Little Prairie, Arkansas. I just made up that city. Other ways it’s been strange for me being back…I definitely feel culture shock when I go outside of my bubble of family and friends in LA to other states and I see the “real” America. My mentality has shifted to being more Swiss after all these years and I get overwhelmed by how big this country is and there are just..so..many..people..and I feel the very same thing that used to piss me off when Europeans used to say this to me – there is a lack of culture/history in the US (don’t hate me!). Moving back to Trump’s America is also very different from when I used to visit Obama’s America. I get little bouts of culture shock just from society being so different. They were stronger at first, but now that it’s getting closer to a year since I moved back, they’re not as intense. Everyone’s lives have changed..marriage, kids, jobs..and my parents are so much older looking. After the first few months here I actually wanted to run back immediately to Switzerland and to what felt familiar. But ultimately, I feel deep down inside that I will be happier growing old here surrounded by my loved ones, sunshine, beaches, traffic, tacos and poor air quality. I also met a wonderful man who is sweet, caring, mature, generous and above all, kind and patient – the two qualities I need most in a partner. Without him I think I might have been too weak and moved back to Switzerland.

What I learned is that you need to live your truth. If you’re not happy in any way, seek change and don’t just stay stuck there because you’re scared of the unknown. There are no right or wrong decisions, only decisions that you can learn and grow from. The people who truly love you will stick by you no matter what you choose. And if they don’t, they are not worth keeping around. If you feel like you’re  going to regret not doing something, then you HAVE TO DO IT.

How am I doing now you ask? I have had my dark days when I wasn’t sure if I made the right choice. But I’m so happy with all the new experiences I get to have by being here in the States. Despite its many, many problems, the US is without a doubt the best country ever and Americans are the best people to be around (except the crazies). It’s actually the small interactions I have with friendly strangers that uplift me, as crazy as that sounds. In Swiss society, you don’t do small talk with strangers..it isn’t normal and if you do try to strike up a tiny convo with someone on the public transportation, the grocery store, in line at the coffee shop..they will think you’re weird or straight up legit mentally ill. But I may not be so crazy after all because a study found that small talk with strangers makes you happier. I don’t have my dream job yet (not sure what that even is yet), but I have some really cool ongoing gigs with various companies aside from my blog. Most recently, I’ve been working as a speaker for a billion dollar medical tech company which has been super sweet. Life has given me so many blessings I don’t even deserve and I need to tell myself…Andrea, you’re doing just fine.

Best and Worst Sunscreen Guide

best worst sunscreens
worst sunscreens

It’s that time of the year that I receive an influx of sunscreen questions so I thought I would share the best and worst sunscreens including my personal favorites. Last summer the Environmental Working Group found that nearly 70% of the 650 sunscreens they tested were harmful or ineffective. They offered inferior sun protection or contained harmful ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin.

Most sunscreens are filled with these toxins:

-Oxybenzone, which is linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.
-Retinyl palmitate, which has now been proven to be a carcinogen.
-Octyl-methoxycinnamate causes oxidation damage of the skin, which means aging
-Butyl-Methdiebenzoylmethane, releases free radicals into the body.
-Benzophenone 2 (BP2), decreases the function of the thyroid, in a population that is already seriously suffering from hypothyroidism (under active).

Some facts to help you move in the right direction:

-The common sunscreen additive vitamin A speeds development of skin cancer. Studies by federal government scientists indicate that it may trigger development of skin tumors and lesions when used on skin in the presence of sunlight. Avoid vitamin A or retinyl palmitate, which is also called retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol.

–. Sunscreen ingredients soak through skin and can be detected in people’s blood, urine and even mothers’ breast milk. Several commonly used ingredients appear to block or mimic hormones, and others cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin.

– You don’t need anything higher than SPF 50. Higher SPF ratings don’t necessarily offer greater protection from UV-related skin damage, especially UVA damage, and may lead users to apply too little thinking they’re getting a lot of protection or spend too much time in the sun. The FDA has proposed banning them

-Majority of people don’t apply enough sunscreen and don’t reapply enough times then complained of getting burned

-Spray sunscreens can be inhaled and the EWG does not recommend them

These are EWG’s worst sunscreens followed by the best.

EWG’s WORST SUNSCREENS

Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Continuous AccuSpray, SPF 70
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Coppertone Water Babies Foaming Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+
Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
Panama Jack Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85

EWG’s Best Face Moisturizers with SPF

Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30
Juice Beauty Tinted Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30
Soleil Toujours Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer, SPF 20
Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28
Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream, Fair/Light, SPF 40

Goddess Garden Organics Face the Day Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Replenishing Solar Defense, SPF 30
Raw Elements USA Daily Lifestyle, SPF 30 (affiliate code OBL saves at rawelementsusa.com)
W3LL PEOPLE Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturizer, Fair, SPF 30
Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen, Extra Light Tint, SPF 30
Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance Free, SPF 40
Raw Elements USA Tinted Facial Moisturizer, SPF 30
Badger Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen, Sheer Tint, SPF 25
 

EWG’s Best Beach and Sport Sunscreens

Raw Elements USA Face + Body, SPF 30
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
Badger Tinted Sunscreen Cream, Unscented, SPF 30
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Stick, Tinted Sport, SPF 50
C’est Moi Gentle Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
COOLA Suncare Sport Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
Goddess Garden Organics Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30
Suntegrity Skincare Natural Mineral Sunscreen For Body, SPF 30
 
Check out the entire list here
 

EWG’s Best Scoring Sunscreens for Kids

All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 30
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Baby, SPF 50
California Baby Calendula Sunscreen, SPF 30+
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
Goddess Garden Organics Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
 

h o w  E W G  r a t e s  s u n s c r e e n s

The organization rates each sunscreen on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being safe and 10 being dangerous. It grades each product on five criteria:

  1. Health hazards (such as if it has an ingredient that’s considered dangerous)
  2. UVB protection
  3. UVA protection
  4. The ratio of UVA absorbance to SPF
  5. How long-lasting the sunscreen is

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES

best natural tinted face sunscreens
Find out all about the best tinted face sunscreens in my blog post here
best reef safe sunscreens
earth mama organic sunscreen
Earth Mama Organics LadyFace Mineral Sunscreen Stick
Read my full Earth Mama Organics Review here
View this post on Instagram

2/3 of sunscreens are still INEFFECTIVE or harmful according to the EWG’s 2019 Sunscreen Report (Head to the Highlight “Research” to learn more). I really wanted to give love to this totally underhyped sunscreen product by @earthmamaorganics that deserves all the praise – it’s neither greasy nor tugs the skin (watch me apply the medium/dark one in my stories)! It's a Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Stick that has a truly clean formula & is third-party certified the NSF/ANSI 305 organic standard (meaning it has 70% or more certified organic ingredients, and the remaining 30% of ingredients must be on the NSF allowed list.) . What I love about it is: – Very natural looking tint that isn't too dark. – I don't need to blend it much because it matches my skin tone perfectly -Does not feel greasy at all . – Goes on perfectly smooth without tugging the skin -provides great coverage . – Stick applicator allows for easy hands free application & re-application (remember you need to re-apply spf every 2 hours) . . They now offer FREE Shipping on all orders no minimum purchase. . Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 22% Inactive Ingredients:Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Tocopherol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract* *Organic . . #ad #spf #sunscreen #earthmamaorganics #earthmamasunscreen #sun #vitamind

A post shared by Organic Beauty Lover (@organicbeautylover) on

earthwise beauty spf powder
Earthwise Beauty Farizad’s Veil Sun Reflector

Earthwise Beauty Farizad’s Veil SPF Powder

Earthwise Beauty’s SPF Powder is made of the highest-grade, minimally processed non-nano and uncoated zinc oxide (particle size 325 nm), which is the safest, and most reliable sunscreen ingredient available today. Titanium dioxide is the other option but it doesn’t provide full spectrum protection. The 2nd ingredient is pure powdered aloe leaves making this a mask in itself. These leaves are moisturizing, skin damage preventing & correcting as well as cooling & soothing. Precious Indian Pink Champaca Flowers, Madagascar geranium leaves, and a delicate frankincense from Oman lends it its scent.

This is the most versatile SPF product available. You can mix it with foundation, BB cream, moisturizer, face oil, face balm or even brushed on by itself.
Ingredients
Active ingredient: non-nano uncoated zinc oxide 94% (Canada); others: aloe barbadensis leaf powder*, organic hexane-free Rosa centifolia (rose) absolute (Morocco), wildcrafted hexane-free pink champaca absolute (India), organic Pelargonium graveolens (geranium bourbon) oil (Madagascar), Pelargonium roseum (rose geranium) oil*, wildcrafted frankincense oil.
*Certifi


Available in Europe at @divinegreenbeauty & @eminessences
In AUS at @eveorganics
USA: use code OBL to save 15% at earthwisebeauty.com

I love the SPF 30 Natural BB Cream by Coola in both unscented and cucumber. It goes on matte and has this amazing texture that feels lightweight and airy. Naturisimo is an online store that carries Coola and ships worldwide free if you are outside the US.

Truly one of the cleanest sunscreen lines, Raw Elements uses 23% zinc oxide (whereas many other organic sunscreens will only use as a little as 8%-15% and still say they’re SPF 30) and their first ingredients are organic black and green tea extracts and nourishing organic butters.

-My favorite out of their line is the Tint SPF 30 Facial Moisturizer (it may be too rich for some) and then 2nd favorite is the ECO 30 in a jar.
-Their sticks are a tad too dry incuding the lip balms
-The tube is great at first but later becomes difficult to get all the remaining product out
-This line has a strong hemp scent which is a pro or con depending on your personal taste

Check out what the OBL CLUB who tested Raw Elements as part of our product testing campaign! Hit the tab labeled “SUNSCREEN”

Affiliate code OBL saves at Raw Elements. (This line is only available in the US)

Using 20% zinc oxide, natural pigments and organic active botanicals the W3ll People Bio Tint Spf 30 tinted moisturizer applies beautifully and feels great on my skin. The light shade looks very natural on me and I like that it has a pump.so it dispenses the right amount each time.

Earthwise Beauty’s Farizad¨s Veil is a sunscreen I will never not have on hand because of its amazing versatility. It adds spf protection to any product you add to it (BB cream, foundation, sunscreen that doesn’t have enough spf in it, etc.) It is pure highest-grade zinc oxide with powdered aloe leaves and Moroccan rose, Indian Pink Champaca and Madagascar Geranium Bourbon.

I have mixed it with:
-Face Oil
– BB cream
– Foundation
– Sunscreens that are lower in SPF and need extra
– Moisturizer
– Face Balm

Affiliate code OBL saves sitewide.

There are obviously tons of great sunscreens out there and many more I’ve tried that I liked but these are my personal go-to’s.

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

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

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.

Honestly Phresh roll on deodorant

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.

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.

Final Thoughts

I love the roll-on and spray deodorants but would personally pass on the stick deodorant. The roll-on and sprays are great for people who don’t enjoy creamy deodorants and prefer the freshness and lightweight aspect of liquid deodorants!

Shop Honestly Phresh Deodorants 

 

 

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+.

Read more

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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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.

 

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!

 

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.

Natural Alternatives to Vaseline

Why put a byproduct of the petroleum industry on your skin when there are safer, better natural alternatives available? There are plenty of articles floating on web on just how toxic petroleum jelly is (some insist it can cause cancer due to contamination with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS)) if you do a quick Google search. We’re no longer in the 19th century people (it’s the 21st for pete’s sake) and there are gorgeous products ranging from affordable to luxury made by eco-conscious and passionate brands on a mission. These are all multi-purpose balms or salves using all-natural and organic formulations designed to be a cure-all for cuts, bruises, scrapes, rashes and dryness.
Listed from lowest to highest price:

The Seaweed Bath Co Review (Earth Day Sale)

This post was kindly sponsored by The Seaweed Bath Co.

(Earth Day Promotion happening until Apr 22, 2018: Code EARTHDAY)

Founded in 2010 by Adam and Allison, The Seaweed Bath Co harnesses the power of sustainably hand-harvested certified organic seaweed off the coast of Maine to create proven, effective formulas that naturally detoxify, replenish, and protect skin and hair. They offer a wide range of face, body and haircare products and are widely available on-line and in-store (Target and Whole Foods stores, Amazon, iHerb, Thrive Market and more). They sent me a wide variety of their skin and bodycare products to try and share my thoughts.

Body Creams (Vegan & Gluten Free) $12.99

Let’s start with the Firming Detox Cream with antioxidant-rich Green Coffee Bean Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. It has a sweet citrus scent and I do feel a tightening sensation on my skin when I apply this compared to their other regular body creams. I wouldn’t expect any crazy skin transforming products from a product that costs less than $15 though obviously – only lasers can do that.

The body creams all have a very creamy thick consistency, aborb quickly and don’t leave any oil residue or feeling. The scent is strong (except the unscented one) but not overpowering and all are very pleasant. My favorite is the lavender because it’s so effective at calming my senses before sleep. The eucalyptus is uplifting and if you don’t want any scent at all they offer an unscented version. The tube is large and will last you a good few months at least.

  • Nutrient-rich bladderwrack seaweed detoxifies, hydrates and replenishes skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture while strengthening the skin’s natural barrier.
  • Argan oil, rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, naturally comforts dry, troubled skin.
  • Shea butter and aloe vera hydrate and soften skin.

Refresh Purifying Detox Body Wash (Vegan) $14.99

I must say I fell in love with this Refresh Purifying Detox Body Wash instantly. Highly nourishing with Coconut Oil, Spriulina, and Bladderwack Seaweed, it smells like an orange creamsicle, but a sophisticated one! It’s light, lathers well and comes in an hefty sized bottle.

  • Orange, Eucalyptus & Cedar essential oil blend.
  • Best for those who want a daily wash that cleans, detoxifies and nourishes skin.
  • Organic, sustainably-harvested bladderwrack seaweed with 65+ vitamins and minerals naturally detoxifies and promotes skin elasticity.
  • Antioxidant-rich green coffee bean extract helps to detoxify and protect the skin against damaging free radicals.
  • Mineral-rich French clay helps to purify skin and wash away toxins and impurities.
  • Spirulina nourishes with Vitamins B1, B2, B3, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and amino acids.

They offer 7 different scents of body washes including Citrus Vanilla, Lavender, Eucalyptus and more.

Purifying Gel Cleanser (now sold at Target) $16.99

This is a super gentle, light gel cleanser – the consistency is almost serum like – and contains their AlgaDermTM Complex, a proprietary  ingredient, with Marine Tri-Peptide to fight free radicals and support skin’s natural collagen production. Because this is such a gentle and hydrating cleanser I feel it would be ideal for sensitive and dry skin. I also used  this as a 2nd cleansing step after removing my makeup with a cleansing oil or face wipe. The cleanser along with the rest of the products in their facial care line all have the same scent and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a refreshing ocean scent is how I can best describe it. For full disclosure, please note that they do use chemical preservatives if these are ingredients you’re avoiding.

The star ingredient in their facial care line is Bladderwack Seaweed and its benefits include:

  • Nutrient rich with 65+ vitamins, minerals and amino acids to rejuvenate to skin and hair
  • Detoxifying: Iodine levels in bladderwrack seaweed help the skin’s natural detoxification process to flush environmental toxins and heavy metals
  • Anti-inflammatory: Fucoidan and phlorotannin, two bioactives in bladderwrack seaweed, have been shown in numerous studies to reduce redness and irritation in inflamed skin
  • Moisturizing: An abundance of amino acids help to increase hydration and improve skin elasticity, which reduces the signs of aging
  • Conditioning: Vitamins A, Beta-Carotene, B1, B12, C, E and K naturally condition and promote healthy hair
  • Smoothing: Increases microcirculation to aid the body in shedding excess fluids to reduce the appearance of cellulite

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Organic), Decyl Glucoside, Laurel Glucoside, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, AlgaDermTM Complex (Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Laminaria Digitata Powder (Brown Seaweed), Codium Fragile Extract (Green Seaweed), Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed)), Fucus Vesiculosus Powder (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed), (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Glyceryl Oleate, Coco-Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, 100% Natural Fragrance, Leuconostoc / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate.

Purifying Micro Scrub $16.99

This creamy scrub is a cleaner and safer alternative to the popular St. Ives Apricot Scrub which contains particles that are too abrasive for the skin and may cause tiny tears leading to irritation and possible infection. It contains super fine Eco-Cert voclanic particles sourced from Spain and provides a very gentle exfoliation. It also has a strong cooling effect on the skin.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Perlite (Volcanic Minerals), Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Menthyl Lactate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyclyceryl-3 Diisostearate, AlgaDermTM Complex (Laminaria Digitata (Brown Seaweed) Extract, Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed), Codium Fragile (Green Seaweed) Extract, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)), (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Potassium Sorbate, Fucus Vesiculosus (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed) Powder, Sodium Benzoate, 100% Natural Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Potassium Hydroxide, Agar, Leuconistic/ Radish Root Ferment Filtrate.

Restoring Marine Night Therapy $24.99

This night cream, which can also be used during the day for very dry skin, is a thick and emollient cream that I found very moisturizing. Though it’s a heavy cream, I found it absorbd quickly and didn’t leave a greasy or film-like feeling. At less than $25 it’s also an accessible and affordable option for those who want a cleaner night cream that is still quality. It comes in a beautiful glass jar which is a plus. There’s also no essential oils in this and has Niacinamide as the 4th ingredient as well as their seaweed complex which makes it great for sensitive skin. Niacinamide also boosts the immunity of your skin, improves redness, reduces fine lines and fights dullness.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)*, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sucrose Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Laminaria Digitata (Brown Seaweed) Extract*, Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed)*, Codium Fragile (Green Seaweed) Extract*, (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Sodium Benzoate, Fucus Vesiculosus (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed) Powder, Xantham Gum, Potassium Sorbate, 100% Natural Fragrance, Citric Acid, Leuconistic / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. *AlgaDermTM Complex

Restore + Protect Day Cream $19.99

This lightweight moisturizer absorbs almost instantly and provides a decent amount of hydration. I was not a fan of the texture/consistency of the cream as I prefer a more silky lotion-like one. Very similar in ingredients to the night cream, it provides the benefits of its combination of three types of seaweed and Vitamin B3 as well as marine tri-peptides.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)*, Sucrose Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Codium Fragile (Green Seaweed) Extract*, Laminaria Digitata (Brown Seaweed) Extract*, Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed)*, (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Fucus Vesiculosus (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed) Powder, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Leuconistic / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, 100% Natural Fragrance. *AlgaDermTM Complex

 

Exfoliating Detox Body Soap (Vegan) $7.99

If you like coffee scents and body soaps, this bar was made for you. I’m not a fan of body soaps mainly because they get messy and awkward to place in the shower, but I enjoyed using this one specifically because of its delicious coffee scent and exfoliating effects from the coffee bits. At first it doesn’t look like it, but once you’ve used some of the product, the exposed coffee pieces are quite coarse so you get a legitimate exfoliation session with each use of these bars.

  • Antioxidant-rich Arabica coffee gently exfoliates and improves the texture skin.
  • Cinnamon activates skin cells and increases skin elasticity.
  • Hawaiian kukui oil, coconut oil, olive oil and sunflower oil hydrate and nourish skin.
  • Charcoal powder draws out and washes away dirt, toxins and impurities on the skin

Purifying Detox Facial Soap (Vegan) $7.99

This unscented bar is made with Charcoal, Volcanic Ash, Green Tea Extract and hero ingredient Bladderwack Seaweed to gently detoxify skin and remove dirt and grime. Again, I’m not an avid face bar user (it is not recommended for dry skin) but I liked the unusual ingredients in this bar and found it gave my skin a refreshed sensation.

Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Unrefined Shea) Butter, Organic Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack Seaweed), Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Sand, Charcoal Powder, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Gluconate, Caffeine.

Firm & Lift Treatment Mask $5.99

I tried this mask out twice and felt it did a great job at giving my skin a major boost of hydration. As for firming and lifting I didn’t see anything noticeable but nor did I expect to. These are also not skin concerns of mine,  but hydration definitely is. It contains Aloe Leaf Juice, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Seaweed Extracts as well as AlgaDermTM Complex, their proprietary, clinically proven ingredient, with Marine Tri-Peptide to fight free radicals and support skin’s natural collagen – fantastic ingredients for hydrated and healthy skin.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Copper DNA, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Glycosyl Trehalose, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)*, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Laminaria Hyperborea (Brown Seaweed) Extract*, Porphyridium Cruentum Culture Conditioned Media (Red Seaweed)*, Chlorella Vulgaris (Green Seaweed) Extract*, Tripeptide 29, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citrus Aurantium Flower Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Polysorbate 20, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil Expressed (Orange Oil). *AlgaDermTM Complex

 

How I Do Skincare for Long Flights

My skin really takes a hit after a 15 hour flight and there’s almost no avoiding it. I almost always suffer from breakouts and dull skin for several days while having to adjust my biological clock. A post-flight facial really helps but I can’t always afford it. I try to do my best to keep my skin clean and hydrated on these flights where the air is literally drier than the Sahara desert.

Here’s my typical  in-flight routine:

  1. Makeup remover wipe: this cleanses my skin of airport grossness, sweat from running to catch flights and bacteria in general. Currently I’m using Derma E’s face wipes. Some other ones I enjoy are: Acure & Kaia Naturals
  2. Face Mist: Currently I’m using Earthwise Beauty Cistus & Moonlight (affiliate code OBL saves)
  3. Face Serum: Currently I’m using a variety of serums and like to layer them for ultimate hydration. Your best serum is going to be more effective than your best moisturizer any day. These days I’m using Luzern Labs Firming Collagen Booster & OSEA’s Hyaluronic Sea Serum.
  4. Face Mask: I usually try to avoid sheet masks if I’m on a full flight so I don’t freak out the person sitting next to me. During shoulder season I have entire rows to myself so I don’t feel self-conscious using them. Currently I’m enjoying Orgaid’s Organic Sheet Masks. Otherwise I’ll use a less conspicuous hydrating mask like Odacités Deep Hydration Mask or Kypris’ Glow Philtre.
  5. Remove mask and apply Face Moisturizer & Oil: The sheet mask only lasts about half an hour so once I remove that I apply a face moisturizer and then an oil. This will keep my face hydrated throughout the flight. I always sleep as much as possible during a long haul flight to prevent exhaustion and recover quickly.
  6. SPF at the end of the flight: When the flight is about to land the stewardess forces you to lift up your window and the UV rays are super strong at this kind of altitude so I make sure to apply a good amount of SPF when I wake up. By the end of the flight there’s only slight residue left from my skincare routine and I don’t remove it. Currently I’m using Coola’s Tinted BB Cream SPF 30 and Sport SPF 50 Face sunscreen. I also love the Earthwise Beauty Farizad’s Veil and it doesn’t count as a liquid on carry-ons which is a plus.

A few other steps I take to ensure my skin doesn’t go berserk:

  • After going through the security check and before boarding I always try to buy 1 or 2 water bottles if I’m not rushing to make my connection.
  • I am extra careful not to touch my face
  • Natural hand sanitizer (currently using Olika’s hand sanitizer)

An Holistic Facial Experience at Kosha Spa

I was invited to try a holistic facial at the brand new Kosha Spa in Toluca Lake opened by Anastasia in September 2017 and I happened to be in California so of course I was more than excited to experience one for the first time. More than just a regular facial, a holistic one takes your entire body’s well-being into account according to Anastasia. Rather than just treating skin concerns with products, she’ll try and understand your lifestyle to see what ways you can improve your skin through adjusting your daily habits. A holistic facial also incorporates various alternative therapies like sound healing, aromatherapy and Chinese pressure points Read more

New Organic Lipsticks & Glosses Swatches

Hey loves so I figured since I have a pretty substantial collection of lip products I should forever cement their presence on the internet before they get used up. These photos are not touched up for the most accurate representation. I hope you find it useful at some point!

NU EVOLUTION LIPSTICK
SHADE: ALLURE
AFFILIATE DISCOUT CODE: ORGANICBEAUTYLOVER (saves 15% sitewide)
SHOP HERE

My thoughts: I’ve reviewed these before (keyword search: evolution) but these are fantastic lipsticks and I have had great feedback from those of you who’ve purchased their lipsticks based on my rec. They’re creamy but stay put, long lasting with touch ups needed when you eat/drink and don’t dry out your lips. For review and swatches of their line click here.

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What I Wish I Could Tell my 20 year old self

Don’t believe or trust in what people say or promise whether it’s a loved one or a boss. People’s feelings and agendas change and they will do what’s best for themselves, just as you would. What someone said 3 months ago or 3 weeks ago doesn’t mean it still stands.

Don’t waste your time on meaningless friendships. Spend the time you’d normally be wasting with them with yourself instead and improving yourself, whether that’s learning new skills, gaining knowledge, working on your fitness goals or having a self-pampering session. Investing time and energy in yourself is a much better use of your time.

Never expect anything from anyone. No one’s going to hand you anything just because you feel you deserve it so obviously  they should feel the same way. Ask for what you want even if you’re afraid to. If it’s a no it’s a no but if it’s a yes then that would be pretty awesome. Don’t expect, demand.

Don’t assume, always double check. People don’t think the same way you do nor are they mind readers.

Listen and observe more than you talk

NU EVOLUTION Makeup Review and Swatches

NU Evolution is one of the cleanest most high-performing makeup brands on the market today and even after a few years of first reviewing the line (see blog post of NU’s foundation and swatches  here) it still remains one of my few top favorite brands. Not that it matters but NU is also one of Emma Watson’s “go to” brands according to Eluxe Magazine. Besides healthy ingredients and high performance, this brand also focuses on color selection, innovative formulas and packaging that reflects the two founders Sandra and Nadine’s passion for high fashion, beauty
and pop culture.

As always, affiliate code OBL saves 15% at checkout. Worldwide shipping

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SIBU Beauty Sea Buckthorn Review

SIBU is a line of skincare & supplement products featuring Himalayan Sea Buckthorn Berries as its star ingredient. According to SIBU, this berry has 90 bioactive compounds, contains an unsurpassed source of Omegas 3, 6, and 9, and is the world’s richest source of the elusive essential fatty acid, Omega-7, a fatty acid vital to collagen production and healthy skin, hair and nails. Traditionally Sea buckthorn berry is used for:

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COOLA Sunscreen Review

COOLA is one of my go-to sunscreen brands. I take  their products on all my travels and use their products on an everyday basis. As a staunch believer in SPF 365 days a year, rain or shine, clouds or sun, indoors or outdoors there’s no such thing as having too many sunscreen products on hand for me. For full disclosure this is not a 100% organic brand but they use as many ingredients as possible that are natural, organic, sustainable, a Farm to Face sourcing philosophy and do NOT use parabens, paba and phthalates. Plus,  they formulate with Plant Protection®, which allows them to achieve clinically tested, broad spectrum and antioxidant-rich protection while using fewer traditional actives.

I’ll start with the face products first which are packaged in these luxurious glass bottles.

Dawn Patrol Makeup Primer SPF 30

This is one of their newest products and it’s very similar to the Daydream Primer which I regularly stock up on (I previously reviewed this product & the Rosilliance BB Cream here) but it’s completely transparent so it’ll suit all skin shades. It’s velvety smooth and absorbs seamlessly, instantly making your skin baby soft. It has a subtle and natural honesuckle scent whereas the Daydream one has a more marshmallow scent and contains Iris, White Lily & Honeysuckle stem cells. I highly recommend you give Dawn Patrol a try if you love the Daydream Primer or you don’t want a white cast as the Daydream Primer is more suited to lighter skin tones.

• Does not cake or flake
• Water Resistant (40 minutes)
• Preservative Free
• Synthetic Fragrance-Free

Ingredients

Active Ingredients 
Avobenzone – 1.9% 
Octisalate – 4.0%
Octocrylene – 7.6%

Inactive Ingredients 
Isododecane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butyloctyl Salicylate Iris Pallida Leaf Cell Extract, Lonicera Japonica Callus Extract, Nymphaea Alba Leaf Cell Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Withania Somnifera Root Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Flavor

Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30

This product is such a lifesaver and I haven’t lived without it for the past few years. When I’m out and about with a face of makeup on and need to be reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours I don’t want to ruin all my makeup by rubbing sunscreen. This product solves that. I spray about 5 times all over my face while keeping my eyes closed (very important as it’ll burn your eyes) and voila I stay protected for a few more hours. I don’t necessarily use it to set my makeup but more to apply protection to my skin.

  • For use after makeup applications, touchups and reapplications
  • Featuring Peony Leaf, Juniper Berry & Phoenix Leaf Stem Cells.
  • No Touch/Rub Matte Finish Spray
  • 70%+ Certified Organic Ingredients
  • Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid
  • Natural Green Tea & Aloe Scent

Ingredients

Active Ingredients 
Avobenzone (Sunscreen) 2.8%
Homosalate (Sunscreen) 3.5%
Octisalate (Sunscreen) 3.9%

Inactive Ingredients 
Alcohol (ORGANIC), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (ORGANIC), Algae Extract (ORGANIC), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (ORGANIC ) Orange Fruit Water, Cucumis Sativus (ORGANIC) Cucumber Fruit Extract, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Diisopropyl Adipate, Ethyl Ferulate, Flavor, Glycerin (ORGANIC), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Juniperus Communis Callus Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Leaf Cell Extract, Phoenix Dactilyfera (Date) Leaf Cell Extract, PVP, Silica Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Water

 

 

 

 

 

SPF 30 Natural BB Cream Unscented Matte Tint

This is an amazing BB Cream with SPF option for those of you looking. It’s velvety, dries matte but still leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized even though I have dry skin, and has a natural & neutral beige tint that would work for most light and possibly tan skin tones. It also contains ingredients like Cucumber Fruit Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Linseed Seed Oil, Rose Hip Oil & Shea Butter to fight free radicals, leave skin hydrated and retain moisture. There’s also the Cucumber version that has no tint but basically feels like the exact same formula with a light cucumber scent. I prefer these MUCH more to their Face Sport White Tea SPF 50 product which is very fluid/runny and does not absorb well into my skin.

  • Mineral Active Ingredients
  • Ideal for Normal or Oily Skin
  • Lightly Tinted
  • Preservative Free Formula
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)

Ingredients

Active Ingredients
Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen) 3.2%
Zinc Oxide (Sunscreen) 1.8%

Inactive Ingredients
Aluminum Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Iron Oxides, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Titianium Triisostearate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Mica, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Plankton Extract, Polyamide-5, Polysilicone-11, Propylene Carbonate, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Silica Silylate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Synthetic Wax

 

Body Plumeria Moisturizer SPF 30

This is a very lightweight and runny sunscreen made with  70%+ certified organic ingredients, and is formulated with patented Oleosome technology which boost the effectiveness of UVA/UVB filters. It’s very much a body moisturizer infused with SPF as it contains free radical fighting Organic Rose Hip Oil to deliver essential Fatty Acids, Minerals and Vitamin C. Organic Evening Primrose, which is rich in Omegas 3 and 6, calms, tones, hydrates and aids in reducing redness, and organic Shea Butter, which is high in Vitamins A and F, smoothes, softens and balances skin. I adore the plumeria scent which reminds me so much of Hawaii.

  • Ultra Sheer
  • Oxybenzone Free
  • No Nano-Sized Particles
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)

Active Ingredients
Avobenzone (Sunscreen) 1.9%
Octinoxate (Sunscreen) 2.2%

Inactive Ingredients
Argania Spinosa (ORGANIC) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (ORGANIC Shea Butter), Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (ORGANIC Orange) Fruit Water, Cucumis Sativus (ORGANIC Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Fragrance, Glycerin (ORGANIC), Oenothera Biennis (ORGANIC Evening Primrose) Oil, Olea Europaea (ORGANIC Olive) Fruit Oil, Plankton Extract, Rosa Canina (ORGANIC) Fruit Extract, Shellac, Sodium Hydroxide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Water, Xanthan Gum

8oz Eco Lux Sport SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray

This is a jumbo sized sunscreen spray that will last an entire long vacation and be enough for more than 2 people I’m sure. It goes on clear and requires very little to no rubbing in. I found this particularly useful during my island vacation trips as I had to protect my entire body plus reapply every few hours or after swimming plus offer some to my travel partner. I’ve run out of sunscreen before on trips and it was not pleasant having to purchase toxic chemical sunscreen from the local supermarket. The guava mango smells delicious and tropical and like their other products contains 70% organic ingredients.

  • Easy Spray-On Application
  • Deluxe, Eco-Size for Better Value
  • 70%+ Certified Organic Ingredients
  • Infused with Anti-Aging Antioxidants
  • Water Resistant (80 minutes)
  • No Nano-Sized Particles

Ingredients

Active Ingredients
Avobenzone (Sunscreen) 3.0%
Octinoxate (Sunscreen) 7.5%
Octocrylene (Sunscreen) 10.0%

Inactive Ingredients
Alcohol (ORGANIC), Algae (ORGANIC) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (ORGANIC) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (ORGANIC Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (ORGANIC Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Glycerin (ORGANIC), VA/Butyl Maleate/Isobornyl Acrylate Copolymer, Water

Organic Sunless Tan Anti Aging Serum

This is a new launch that delivers a gradual tans lasting up to 3 days and contains 70%+ organic ingredients including a blend of Argan Oil, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid and plant stem cell cultures. Please note it does NOT provide sun protection. It takes about 2-4 hours for the tan to develop or you can mix a few drops into your facial moisturizer for a more gradual tan. I’ll be updating this post with my thoughts on the tan it provides in the near future.

• Eco-Certified Cosmos Organic
• Non-GMO
• Vegan Friendly
• Cruelty-Free
• Paraben-Free
• Phthalate-Free
• Synthetic Colorant-Free
• Perfume-Free
• Retinyl Palmitate-Free
• Streak-free
• Transfer-free
• Antioxidant Enriched

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Dihydroxyacetone, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Heptyl Undecylenate, Argan Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Centella Asiatica Meristem Cell Culture, Hydrolyzed Algin, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides Polyglycerin-10 Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Cetearyl Glucoside, Alcohol Denat.*, Maris Aqua, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. *Certified Organic

 

Au Naturale Foundation & Blush Swatches

I recently tried out a few products by Au Naturale which is one of the cleanest makeup brands out there along with Vapour, ILIA & Fitglow. They offer a very thorough range of foundation shades and I had the opportunity to swatch most if not all of them for you. Below are swatches of their Semi Matte Powder Foundations.

  • Formulated without gluten, parabens, fillers, animal by-products, synthetic preservatives or toxins
  • 100% natural, cruelty-free, vegan and made in the USA.
  • Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides, Micas, Silica, Copernica Cerifera (Carnuba) Wax May Contain: Ultramarine Blue, Chromium Oxide Green

These are the 3 products that I own from Au Naturale besides a few of their older products before their recent rebranding.

The powder bronzer is a beautiful shade that is true to its name “sunkissed”. I find bronzers to be too warm or too brown and this one is quite suitable to my taste. The pump and application is a little strange – what I do is basically pump a few times directly onto my makeup brush and apply and blend. It adds a subtle touch of warmth to my face.

The Lip Su/stain is a product I had been curious about for some time and it is VERY pigmented and opaque. I would consider this to be a true liquid lipstick rather than a stain. I got the camel thinking it would be more sheer applying just a slight “stain” to my lips but it literally turns them into the shade of my skin so my face and lips look like they’re one and the same. It’s moisturizing and doesn’t accentuate the lines on my lips as much as liquid lipsticks do. This is why I prefer lip glosses over lipsticks, lip stains and liquid lipsticks. If you eat and drink it will fade so reapplication is needed.

The cream blush stick is nourishing, creamy and applies flawlessly. It does fade after a few hours so reapplication is needed. The shade Grapefruit pictured above was not what I thought it would be as it looks different online than in real life (see website image below). I was expecting more of a cool toned blush but as you can tell it’s warm like that of a grapefruit.

SHOP AU NATURALE

Black Friday Cyber Monday Sales 2017

Earthwise Beauty – 20% OFF SITEWIDE code BLACKFRIDAY
Starts Nov 22

This is an exquisitely handcrafted line using only the finest and rarest ingredients sourced from around the world. All products are made super fresh, are highly potent and do not contain any filler ingredients. I recommend :

Farizad’s Veil SPF Powder
Sungod Mask
Nap in the Meadows Face Serum
Ferns and Moss Serum (Oil)
Ruby Facial Oil
Blackstrap Molasses Face Mask

SHOP NOW

Au Naturale -25% Off Sitewide + FREE Lipstick no code needed
Cyber Monday- spend $100 and you also get a $30 gift card

Both a brand and a cause, Au Naturale is a makeup brand using healthy, natural & ethically sourced ingredients while championing the #CleanBeautyRevolution. All products are PETA Certified Vegan, Cruelty-Free & Gluten-Free. Below I’ve provided swatches of their semi-matte powder foundations and a few of their blushes. Lately I’ve been loving their “Kissed” bronzer. It’s a beautiful bronze shade and just a few swipes provide that sunkissed look.

SHOP NOW

accidentally swatched Pink Lady twice

OSEA Malibu – Biggest GWP of the Year! FREE full size cleanser & Vitamin C Polish (deluxe sample)

Receive a FREE Mega Glow Gift Set (Full-size cleanser of choice ($48) + deluxe sample of our NEW Vitamin C Probiotic Face Polish) with your purchase of $125+.

OSEA uses innovative formulations of certified organic, bioavailable seaweed, infused with pure steam-distilled and cold pressed essential oils to create vegan products that deliver anti-aging and anti-acne results. They’re also family-owned and operated in every way despite how big they’ve become. I’ve loved every product I’ve tried from this line but I have to say my 2 favorites are the new Hyaluronic Sea Serum and White Algae Mask.  Some other products I recommend if you have acneic skin is the Black Algae Mask and Essential Corrective Complex. The Atmosphere Protection Cream is a great everyday moisturizer that’s light enough for summer and hydrating enough for winter.

SHOP NOW

 

 

 

 


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EcoDiva Beauty– 20% off GREEN
Vapour Beauty -30% off SPREE30
COOLA Suncare – Buy 1 get 1 50% OFf BLACKFRIYAY
evolvH Haircare – 20% off Holiday20
Antonym Cosmetics – 35% off INSIDER2017
HUM Nutrition – 25% off EXTRA25
Ursa Major -10% off – 15% off $75
Sally B Skin Yummies – 30% off THANKS17
Organic to Green – 50% off (DM me on Instagram for the code)
Juice from the Raw – 65% off Black65
Glow Recipe- 25% off BLACKFRIDAYGLOW
Leslie Francesca Jewelry– SMALLBIZ30
Truly Deer Gemstone Jewelry – SHOPSMALLSATURDAY
Synergy Eco Clothing – 40% off SYNERGY40

OBL Current Favorites: Fall Edition

Welcome to my Fall Favorites post and if you’ve been following me in my IG stories you’ll have seen me trying out a plethora of new-to-me products and launches. As always I try to cut out all the fluff and marketing language and get straight to my actual thoughts though I do try to provide a certain amount of info about the product. If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask me on my Instagram (@organicbeautylover) as I didn’t want to make this post overy lengthy.

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Organic Aromas Essential Oil Collection

I reviewed the Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser earlier this year (here) and recently had the opportunity to try their Exclusive Collection of Essential Oil Blends. Through years of research & over 60 different pure essential oils, these 10 blends were developed by the brand’s own in-house aromatherapists and are split into 2 collections – Awaken & Inspire. Each blend has a specific purpose & intent with  “Inpsire” blends representing Him (strength, poise, the protector) and “Awaken” blends representing Her (gentle, the vitality and the nurturer).

Inspire aromas are robust, woody, earthy and fresh; awaken aromas are more sweet, floral, fruity and mild. Surprisingly I liked blends from both collections though I initially thought I’d only like Awaken ones. My favorites are Formosa and Meditation from the Inspire collection and Harmony and Jubilation from Awaken – these are all on the sweeter or fruity side. Ocean Breeze and Pacific Northwest are quite earthy and woodsy. Morning Bloom, Butterflies Breath and Celebration I also enjoyed but I definitely became hooked on Jubilation and Harmony the most. The scents are all wonderfully rich and complex and I even like to mix 2 blends together in my diffuser.

INSPIRE COLLECTION

Pacific Northwest – Pine, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Cypress, Juniper
Ocean Breeze – Peppermint, Sweet Fennel, Cajeput, Lime, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Coriander
Formosa – Hinoki, Tea Tree, Amyris, Rosemary, Tangerine, Aloeswood
Meditation – Benzoin, Dill Seed, Clove, Rosewood, Bergamot, Myrtle, Amyris, Sweet Fennel, Geranium, Patchouli, Hinoki
Welcome Home – Pine, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Jasmine, Tagetes, Petigrain

AWAKEN COLLECTION

Morning Bloom – Geranium, Jasmine, Patchouli, Ylang ylang, Palmarosa, Sweet Orange
Butterflies Breath – Jasmine, Celery Seed, Spearmint, Bergamot, Geranium, Palmarosa, Cedarwood, Ylang ylang, Rosemary
Jubilation – Lavandin, Petitgrain, Pine, Amyris, Chamomile, Jasmine, Ginger
Celebration – Basil, Cinnamon, Clove, Sweet Fennel, Melissa, Geranium, Ylang ylang
Harmony – Lemon, Eucalyptus, Cypress, Geranium, Chamomile, Lime, Nutmeg, Oregano, Thyme

The entire set retails for $110 making each blend about $10 which is great value for this quality.

Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish Review

Australia-based Luk Beautifood creates 100% natural lip balms using real food ingredients and offers a range of 12 beautiful wearable shades.  Full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, they don’t contain any ingredients that are known endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic or linked to cancer including preservatives, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic colours and fragrance. Cindy Luken the founder is an entrepreneur, food scientist, product designer, chef and former biscuit baker and together with her small and dedicated team she’s been turning Luk into a cult lip brand that’s now sold at select Free People & Anthropologie stores as well as via the Luk website.

Ruby Grapefruit, Chai Shimmer, Peach Melon & Cherry Plum (left to right)

What makes these lip nourishes so unique:

Hybrid of lip balm & lipstick
Super soft and creamy
Non-drying & very moisturizing
Only made with clean food, pure plant oils, mineral pigments, food active ingredients

I used these practically as a lip balm and with the constant applying throughout the day because I loved the smooth creaminess of the texture I used these up quite quickly.  If you’re not a fan of lipsticks but also want something that is richer and more pigmented than a tinted lip balm this is a great option.

 

NEW ONLINE BEAUTY SHOP: COTANOVA (+ CODE)

*This is a sponsored post of which funds will go towards operating costs of OBL CLUB, our product testing club, and OBL”

COTANOVA is a new online organic beauty boutique offering a selection of some of the best skincare, haircare, makeup and wellness brands:

Hannes Dottir
Innersense Beauty
Rituel de Fille
Nu Evolution
Skin Owl
Vital Proteins
Be Biotin
Province Apothecary
True Moringa
and more

The founder of Cotanova, Carla Cota, was battling a variety of allergies and intolerances and discovered that the products she was using was the cause. She then found that 1000 chemicals found in beauty products are already banned in Europe, while only 11 are banned in the US and decided to embark on an entrepreneurial endeavor to offer clean nontoxic options in her own online store. I love the feminine pale pink aesthetic of the brand image and the intimate aspect of shopping at a small new shop.

DISCOUNT CODE: use code OBL saves you 20% at checkout

I used up all of the Elixir of Minerals, Seamasque & Mineral Mist byHannes Dottir over the course of 3-4 months. They’re 100% natural, cruelty-free & vegan and highlight pure & powerful Icelandic minerals, crystals & sea kelp.
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The Elixir of Minerals is a unique & highly concentrated moisturizer that feels like liquid silk. It’s quite watery, lightweight & perfect for summer.
– Organic Icelandic Sea Kelp nourishes skin with vital minerals
– Vegetable Glycerin and NaPCAhydrate and draw oxygen into skin
– Alum Crystal firms and tightens skin for lift
– Zinc Sulfate is anti-inflammatory to reduce puffiness
– Monolaurin derived from coconut is antibacterial for a clear complexion

The Seamasque I find is excellent at hydrating, calming & exfoliating. But I do find $95 is a steep price point for what it is. Ingredients are: certified organic Icelandic sea kelp, honey, alum crystal, iodine tincture, peppermint oil. In response to this, Hannes Dottir said, “We have received a lot of feedback on the masque price too. Our kelp is wild harvested by hand and dried with geothermal volcanic heat (the same that creates the mineral baths in Iceland). We’d love to make it more affordable, but can’t… afford to. In general people tend to use more than they need to. As long as the shiny part of the masque is touching your face, you’ll get the full benefits. ”
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Absolutely adored the Mineral Mist which comes in the heaviest and largest glass bottle I’ve experienced that feels so luxurious. I was not thrilled that the first ingredient being distilled water but overall I really like this product (ingredients: Distilled Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Choline, Silica, Vitamin C,Boron Citrate, NaPCA, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Citric Acid, Tincture of Iodine, Oil of Spearmint). When I’m craving something more luxurious than organic rosewater I reach for this. In reply to the first ingredient being distilled water Hannes Dottir said, “The first ingredient in mist is distilled water because it’s the purest element to carry suspended minerals. It also allows us to balance the formula for the perfect boost of hydration without being sticky. “

SHOP HERE

Rituel de Fille is a new edgy natural makeup brand that’s  99% natural and handcrafted without parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes or synthetic fragrances. The brand image conjures up images of the otherworld, magic and enchantresses. The Ramos sisters who started the brand pay meticulous attention to every detail in product creation with the goal being to develop intense color while maintaining velvety textures.

The Inner Glow Créme Pigment is a sheer blush that can be used for both cheeks & eyes. The shade I received was Delirium which is a deep berry shade. I’m not sure why it looks so tangerine on their actual site and is described as tangerine – I found it to be much more on the red side. It provides a sheer glow with a subtle punch of pinkish red and lasts for a good part of the work day before fading. The color is buildable but as the red is a bit dramatic on my skin tone the slightest swipe suffices for me.

SHOP HERE

This skin, hair and nail supplement was Indie Beauty Expo 2017’s winner in the Wellness category so I was happy to have the opportunity to try it out. It combines the hair growth power of Biotin with a powerful herbal complex that fights hair loss from the inside out. Pumpkin seed, saw palmetto and pygeum (african tree bark) naturally lowers the hormone that’s been directly linked to hair loss and thinning. The founder Giulia Heiman is a hairstylist whose clients wanted an effective reliable product other than the generic vitamins found in drugstores. She decided to partner with an investor and work with a top-rated nutraceautical lab in New York to create a supplement that has the ability to lower Dihydrotestosterone (also known as DHT), a testosterone related hormone that naturally increases in men and women as we age.

SHOP Be Biotin at Cotanova’s online store

OBL Current Favorites: July & August 2017

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a favorites post, so this month’s post will actually include what I’ve been using and loving throughout July & August. I wasn’t able to keep up with my blog & OBL CLUB activities properly while I was working from California for a month, but no longer.

Pearl Butter just launched their range of adaptogenic superfood butter made with coconut meat and I ordered the Bliss Butter & Beauty Butter. They’re super delicious and while you can add them to smoothies, toast, basically anything you want I preferred to spoon it out of the jar since I love all things coconuty. The Beauty Butter is made of enzymatically activated pearls & grounded coconut flesh. Pearls contain conchiolin, a complex protein that increases the production of collagen. The Bliss Butter is made of 13 mood-lifting adaptogens including TCM “happiness herbs” Spirit Poria and Euphoria Longana.

Discount code OBL15 saves 15% at checkout.
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Amborella Organics makes organic seed-bearing lollipops in a variety of gourmet flavor combinations using hints of roses, sage, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, thyme, hibiscus and marigold inside. You can plant their biodegradable stick, made from recycled paper in soil to simultaneously decompose and grow lavender, thyme, sage & more. These are addicting – my favorites were the Sage & Marshmallow and Vanilla & Hibiscus. A loop giveaway that includes all their flavors is happening on my Instagram til the end of August.

I tried Jordan Seban’s debut hair oil product last year and have been using his 2nd product Le Baume, a conditioning leave-in treatment, for the past few weeks. It’s a silicon-free and weightless formula with a bouncy consistency.  Featuring ingredients from around the world like Gotu Kola, Horsetail, Aloe Vera including L’Huile Signature oil blend & Silk Proteins this product strengthens, softens frizz, and protects hair from damage. It’s designed to be versatile – apply it in damp hair as a styling treatment, apply on dry hair as a leave-in conditioner, or apply it before heat styling as a heat protectant. I love how it doesn’t weigh down my fine hair and has a sweet yet sophisticated honeysuckle scent. I don’t blowdry my hair but I do use a curler and I apply a small pea sized amount and distribute evenly throughout my ends before styling. Apea sized amount will also tame tame flyaways. This would be perfect in a travel size version for me!

Ingredients

Aqua (Deionized Water), Carrageenan, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Organic Aloe), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Organic Argan Oil), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil (Macadamia Nut Oil), Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Organic Jojoba Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond Oil), Bursera Fagaroides Wood Oil (Linaloe), Citrus Aurantium Flower Oil (Neroli), Citrus Aurantium Leaf Oil (Neroli), Citrus Reticulata Peel Oil (Petitgrain), Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Copaifera Species Resin Oils, Dipterocarpus Turbinatus Balsam Oil, Santalum Album Oil (Sandalwood), Santalum Spicata Wood Oil, Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend of Sodium Pca, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Foeniculum Vulgare Fruit Extract (Fennel), Centella Asiatica Extract (Organic Gotu Kola), Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail), Geranium Maculatum Extract (Wild Geranium), Taraxacum Officinale Extract (Organic Dandelion), Hydroxyethyllcellulose*, Potassium Sorbate*, Sodium Benzoate*, Ethylhexylglycerin.*Plant Derived

The newest launch by Earthwise Beauty is the Sungod Face Mask made of an impressive & unique blend of roots, mushrooms, adaptogenic herbs, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, and mineral-rich Celtic salt. This is not a quick fix type of mask designed to brighten or detox, but rather actually improve the health of your skin through frequent use over time with sunflowers and calendulas, wildflower pollen, turmeric root, maitake and shiitake mushrooms, flower pollen & goldenseal. As this mask is specifically designed to heal & improve skin over the long term I’m excited to see the effects after a month of diligent use. I’ve used it a few times so far and have found it to soften & brighten my skin. I’m also happy to introduce my skin to new and exciting ingredients which Earthwise Beauty always delivers, because your skin adapts very quickly with the same ingredients providing diminished effects with continued use.

Use my girl Melissa of Guide to Wellness’ code for 15% off at checkout: GUIDETOWELLNESS

Ingredients

Wildflower pollen, wildcrafted Solum fullonum (multani mitti, fuller’s earth) clay, Calendula officinalis (marigold) flower petals (organic or *), Aloe barbadensis leaf*, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) petals (organic or *), organic Plukenetia volubilis (sacha inchi) seed, Hydrastis Canadensis (goldenseal) rhizome (responsibly wildcrafted or *), Symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf (wildcrafted or *), Punica granatum (pomegranate) fruit juice*, Grifola frondosa (maitake) mushroom (organic or *), Curcuma longa (turmeric) root Supercritical CO2 Select* extract*, Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) root (organic or *), Lentinula edodes (shiitake) mushroom (organic or *), sunstainably wildcrafted Celtic salt (France)**. 

COOLA remains one of my top suncare lines to use personally and recommend. Their SPF 50 Sport White Tea Moisturizer Sunscreen provides even stronger coverage than their usual SPF 30 products which is what I need during the summer. It’s extremely lightweight & fluid (almost runny as you an see it sliding down my angle hand in the picture) and absorbs & dries instantly. There is no white cast from this and contains 70% Certified Organic ingredients including Acai Fruit Oil, Acacia Extract , Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract , Chia Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil & more. While I enjoyed this sunscreen I do enjoy their matte formulas more than this liquid one.

See my review on their SPF 30 Daydream Primer & Rosilliance BB Cream SPF 30

Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (Sunscreen) 3.0% & Octinoxate (Sunscreen) 6.2%
Inactive Ingredients: Acacia Farnesiana (Acacia) Extract, Acrylates Copolymer, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylohydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (ORGANIC Orange) Fruit Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Euterpe Oleracea (ORGANIC Acai) Fruit Oil, Flavor, Fragaria Vesca (ORGANIC Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Glycerin (ORGANIC), Helianthus Annuus (ORGANIC Sunflower) Seed Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Linum Usitatissimum (ORGANIC Linseed) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (ORGANIC Evening Primrose) Oil, Plankton Extract, Salvia Hispanica (ORGANIC Chia) Seed Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Water, Xanthan Gum.

This is my first time trying out Australian Certified Organic makeup brand Zuii Organic (their foundation is raved about constantly). They just launched a set of new Certified Organic Lip & Cheek Cremes utilizing flower & fruit colour formulation with Gardenia, Dragon Fruit, Pomegranate, Grapeseed, Bilberry and Cranberry extracts and blend of Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil & Geranium Oil to nourish. First off, to me these are much better off used as a blush cream. The formulation is not as nourishing as you need your lip products to be and unless you mix it with a clear gloss or balm this will make your lips look dry if it’s all you apply. The colors are intensely pigmented and come in a beautiful range of wearable colors. It’s nearly impossible to get the product out using your finger since it’s deep in the jar so a brush is ideal. I’m particularly in love with the pinker shades but find the nude and darker shades are great for fall and winter.

I have been wanting to try the Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream since the beginning of time and I finally purchased it! I have not tried too many of his products despite them receiving tons of social media love in the green beauty world, especially with his latest launches. The few products I HAVE tried like the Cacao Antioxidant Mask are superb and this SPF 30 cream is no different. The shade is natural (for light maybe even medium skin tones), the texture smooth, the consistency lightweight yet not overly so, blends and absorbs effortlessly, has a delicious subtle cacao scent. It ever so subtly blurs your skin but doesn’t provide any coverage if that’s what you’re looking for. It also goes well over my skincare products without feeling greasy and gives a subtle dewy glow that fades during the day. I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought it. I will even add a tiny bit of Earthwise Beauty Farizad Veil SPF 30 powder to amp up the protection factor (see my recent Earthwise Beauty line review).

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: 12% Non Nano, Uncoated, Micronized Zinc Oxide 
*Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, *Shea Butter, *Evening Primrose Oil, *Hemp Seed Oil, *Jojoba Oil, *Borage Seed Oil, *Almond Oil, *Grape Seed Oil, *Sesame Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Olive Oil, *Sea Buckthorn Oil, *Broccoli Oil, *Calendula, *Bilberry, *Chamomile, *Burdock, *Rosemary, *Fennel, *Dandelion, *Rose Hips, *Catnip, *Chickweed, *Neem, *Skullcap, *Ginkgo Leaf, *Linden Flower, *Hawthorn Berry, *Green Tea, *Flax, *Nettle, *Sage, *Marshmallow Root, *Cayenne, *Ginseng, *Peppermint, *St. John’s Wort, *Alfalfa, *Vitamin E, ‡Candelilla Wax, *Guar Gum, *Gum Arabic, §Xanthan Gum, §Potassium Sorbate, *Benzoin Resin, †Carrot Seed Oil. 

Dr. Dana Stern M.D., a New York dermatologist, recently launched a new high-performance safer line of nail polishes with sophisticated clean packaging and is the first & only dermatologist-developed line on the market. If you’re an organic beauty lover you know that conventional nail polishes contain harmful chemicals & carcinogens commonly found in car paint (but also that long-wearing nail polish can truly never be nontoxic if you’re a purist). The Dr. Dana line is Leaping Bunny certified, cruelty-free & 9-free (doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, and triphenyl phosphate). Her new shades are named after inspirational women and part of the proceeds goes to a charity chosen by each of these women. I’m not a huge nail person but what I love about these polishes are that:

Clean white aesthetic of the packaging
9-Free of the 9 most common toxins found in nail polish
Uses a proprietary bioactive, Phyto Crystal Complex, taken from the sap of a unique French evergreen tree, whih is harvested once annually (reinforces delicate nail cells & reduces nail breakage, peeling, and brittleness)
Vibrant shades with a high shine factor

Soleil Toujours is a luxury suncare line sold via their site & Net-a-Porter and they recently came out with their newest product, the Perpetual Radiance Eye Glow + Illuminator SPF 15. Providing 100% mineral broad spectrum SPF 15 along with antioxidant-rich nourishment & a luminous glow to dark under eye circles, this 53% Organic product is one-of-a-kind. I don’t see many eye products that offer SPF protection when it’s actually super important since this skin is so thin & shows signs of aging first. It also has some unique ingredients like:

  • Myristoyl Pentapeptide-11 helps maintain & restore skin elasticity, reduce wrinkle depth, preserving and encourage smooth, younger looking skin.
  • Glycosaminoclycans, (GAGs) are essential to the epidermal & dermal cells metabolism and keeping the collagen and elastin of the skin in good condition. GAGs are important in the reaction of copper peptides to help repair wrinkles and scarring. Known as the water reserve of the viable epidermis and dermis, these carbohydrates are dependent on fluid intake

  • Pro-Coll- One®  contains a highly purified fraction of HRGPs glycopeptides obtained from soya. Helps smooth and reduce wrinkle depth.

  • Pichia Resveratrol Ferment Extract – Significantly downregulates cyclooxygenase, a key indicator of inflammation. Inflammation contributes to physical signs of aging. Also upregulates collagen IV, which over time promotes elasticity and produces a micro-lifting of the skin.

  • Cooling ZAMAK applicator stimulates cell function and feels sensational against tired and stressed eyes.

  • Organic Jojoba and Sunflower seed oils act as natural conditioners allowing skin to feel supple, reversing tightness in the eye area.

  • EcoSunComplex®, our power packed natural formulation composed of Red Algae, Vitamin C Ester, Vitamin E and Bisabolol, acts as a natural SPF booster, reduces UV-induced DNA damage, prevents loss of firmness, increases skin smoothness, and decreases wrinkle depth.

This packaging is utterly luxurious with a heavy feel, gold accents & unique wand applicator. I find that more product than you need comes out with 1 pump and I like to use the gold applicator to gently slide it across the entire under eye area and lid that pat it with my pinkie finger. If you use too much it will clump and separate. The product itself has pink undertones and provides a light reflective glow while subtle correcting dark circles.  It also works as a great primer underneath undereye concealer.

This seems to turning into a post of new product launches by now. These are the newest additions to the Swedish-inspired American-made organic lipcare line Henné Organics. The 87% Organic lip tints are flawlessly formulated and are nourishing, have the perfect consistency and provide a subtle sheen with sheer color that’s buildable. Intrigue looks like a deep red but it really just brings out the natural color of your lips- think your lips but better. The coral shade adds a sheer tangerine punch. I was able to find a new home for these products for basically the cost of shipping in the OBL Marketplace after I used them. The lip exfoliators may be the most luxurious ones I’ve tried from the packaging to the consistency & ingredients. The sugar is not too coarse yet not too fine and the careful composition of coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter makes this lip exfoliator dense & buttery. Everyone has her own preference but rather than a lip exfoliator that is too oily or too dry I find that I enjoy a buttery formulation the most. The Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator is on sale in the Marketplace for $15 with free shipping (normally $24). Get it here.

Lip Tint Ingredients

ORGANIC COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, ORGANIC RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR) SEED OIL, ORGANIC SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, ORGANIC CERA ALBA (BEESWAX), ORGANIC PERSEA AMERICANA (AVOCADO) OIL, EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (CANDELILLA) WAX, MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, IRON OXIDE, TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E). 
87% ORGANIC

Lip Exfoliator Ingredients

ORGANIC SUCROSE (SUGAR), ORGANIC COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, ORGANIC CERA ALBA (BEESWAX), ORGANIC SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, ORGANIC RUBUS IDAEUS (RASPBERRY) FRUIT SEED, ORGANIC BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER) FRUIT, ORGANIC BERRY FLAVORS, ORGANIC VANILLA FLAVOR, ORGANIC VACCINIUM CORYMBOSUM (BLUEBERRY) FRUIT SEED, TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E). 
96.5% ORGANIC

Illinois-based Pressed Vibrance is one of the few companies I have had the pleasure of connecting with via a real phone conversation (which is usually difficult but I happened to be in the US at the time). And it makes all the difference as speaking with the founder gives you an insight into the brand, the products and the passion behind it in a way that scrolling down a webpage cannot. After founder Eric Cooper nearly lost his life, he created Pressed Vibrance out of necessity. In order to battle his autoimmune disease & save his own life Eric poured himself into the study of nutrigenomics, which is based on science & mathematical equations to activate certain expressions and turn on and off specific genes, and created custom blends of cold-pressed juices to turn off his autoimmune disease and completely recover. Through Pressed Vibrance he’s been able to bring his passion for an ultra-wellness lifestyle to his local community for many years and just recently launched his website a few months ago to share it with the rest of the country.

At Pressed Vibrance, they know who their suppliers are personally, have been to their farms, seen their manufacturing processes and know if anything has been outsourced. They do not carry any inventory and make everything to order by hand- it does not get any fresher than this.  Knowing that athletes & local hockey players use their products for recovery, I knew the products would be a special experience for my non-athletic body. I received their Organic Bath Salts in Nourish, Renew & Balance and the Rejuvenate Moisturizing Body Scrub to try and loved my experience.

The Organic Bath Salts are $3 each and are made with magnesium-rich Epsom (detoxification of the body, reduction of inflammation, and soothed headaches and menstrual cramps), solar dried Dead Sea salt (increase circulation, alleviate muscle cramps and stiffness in joints, and ease arthritis or back pain) and essential oils. Many of us are magnesium deficient which leads to fatigue, headaches & muscle cramps so this is an excellent way for your body to get more of the vitamins it needs while indulging in a self-pampering bath.

The Rejuvenate Body Scrub should actually be named Rejuvenate Butter Body Scrub because it feels like you’re spreading a rich exfoliating butter across your body. The first ingredient is Organic Shea Butter & Sweet Almond Oil rather than Sugar, which is the third ingredient. It also contains a 4th ingredient I haven’t seen before called Chufa Powder which I found is the flavor behind horchata. I also learned that Chufa was such an esteemed ingredient in the early centuries of civilization that the ancient Egyptians included it as one of their choice foods in their tombs. It lends the body scrub a rich nutty scent that is perfect for fall.

Nearly 85% organic the new Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum by Ursa Major has been my go-to serum this past month. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, smells citrusy and contains Ascorbic acid polypeptide, a super-stable, water-soluble form of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an ingredient that I always strive to add more to in my skincare routine, which isn’t always possible since I am continuously trying out new products, so I was very glad that their newest launch focused on this ingredient,

Brightens and evens out skin tone
Provides instant hydration without greasiness
Improves skin’s firmness and elasticity
Soothes inflammation and irritation
Protects against free radical damage
Highly stable, long-lasting formula
100% naturally-derived and toxin-free
Works for all skin types

I’ve been getting more into lip exfoliation as part of my skincare regimen because they leave my lips baby soft and less prone to flakiness & dryness. This Bambu Earth one is made of organic sunflower oil, organic cocoa butter and pure essential oils and come in a variety of flavors. The sugar content in this is quite high compared to oil & butter content, which provides a more intense exfoliating effect if this is what you’re looking for. Started in 2009, Bambu Earth takes a holistic approach to skincare using sustainable, ethical and local ingredients to make their natural products in small batches. I really like the vibes of this small down-to-earth brand started by a husband-wife duo and the integrity behind what they do. The packaging of the line looks rather unisex so perfect for Father’s Day coming up! Check out their line here.

The Acure Organics Dry Oil Body Spray is actually a product I’ve been loving for the past few years but they came out with brand new packaging for it. It’s a dry oil with a coconut scent that’s to die for and absorbs instantly. A few quick sprays and rubs and I’m good  to go.

 

New 2017 Wellness & Supplement Launches

Each of these cost $3! Brandless is a new online organic grocery store based in San Fran & Minneapolis that just launched in Jul 2017. I think this is a phenomenal concept and am very excited to have discovered them by chance through Instagram.  They carry a wide selection of the food and household products that we use everyday and every item costs only $3. So how do they do this? Brandless works directly with suppliers, eliminating the hidden BrandTax that you pay for a national brand at major retailers. According to their research you’re paying 40% more for products of comparable quality as theirs & sometimes up to 370% more for beauty products. Their goal is to eliminate these markups and bring you  products that meet their rigorous standards and are made under the highest standards of safety, quality, and social ethics such as certified Global Food Safety (GFSI) or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Their food selection is entirely non-GMO and over 50% Organic – and where it matters fkosher, gluten free, no added sugar. Their beauty selection, which they’ve told me they’re working on expanding, is cruelty-free and does not contain any of the 400 harmful ingredients they’ve banned. They personally taste, try & sometimes even create hundreds of formulations for taste, quality & safety then create packaging that limits waste and makes sense. Simple & genius.

My personal experience: Using code hello3 that they’re currently offering I paid only $3 for shipping at checkout and received all my items quickly in a massive box with each item very securely wrapped and packaged. I was at first a bit skeptical because well everything was $3 each but I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and quality of each item.

Grade A Maple Syrup: Organic & 100% Pure. I use maple syrup as a natural sweetener and avoid regular sugar as much as I can. Thank you Amy of Bondenavant for inspiring me to go sugar free! This maple syrup is delicious and I add it to my latte every morning.

Quinoa: Organic. Comes out tasting delicious, fluffy & soft.

Teriyaki Sauce & Marinade: Organic and made without artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. This is a light liquid-like sauce that works both as a sauce & as a marinade. I didn’t find that it had a strong teriyaki taste and would have liked it to have more of a sweet note but I still enjoy adding this to my dishes.

Brown Basmati Rice: Organic, Gluten Free & 100% Whole Grain. This also comes out perfectly fluffy & delicious.

No matter how many products you use and I recommend to you it will never replace the importance of nourishing your beauty from within. After I tried HUM for the first time a few months ago I knew I needed to discover more from the line. First on my list was the insanely delicious Raw Greens Coconut Pinapple Tropical Fusion blend made with GREEN SUPERFOODS (Organic Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Chlorella, spiralina) ADAPTOGENS (licorice root extract, rhodiola rosea root, ginseng root, ashwagandha root extract, FIBER (flax seed, inulin, apple pectin), FRUITS & VEGGIES (kale, blueberry, spinach, broccoli, beet root, carrot). It’s delicious even if you add it simply to water. I also like adding it to my smoothies for added sweetness an nutritional oomph.

Limited Edition Arctic Berry is made from wild Lingonberry Seeds which is only available through HUM. Studies show it significantly improves skin density, elasticity and hydration. Yes please. (This one is pricier at $60). Turn Back Time is made of Turmeric and Phyto-polyphenols to help your body protect itself from UV rays and fight off free radicals. The Hair Sweet Hair I got off of Sephora.com and don’t see it available on the HUM site. It’s made of biotin, zinc, PABA (helps maintain hair color), folic acid and fo-ti (root used in Chinese medicine for healthy hair). Love that these are in gummy form and taste like candy but better.


I’ve been trying out 3 of Ancient Nutrition’s newest product launches, which are organic versions of existing products: Organic Bone Broth Collagen Vanilla, Organic Bone Broth Protein Turmeric Spice & Organic Bone Broth Protein Dark Chocolate. As the name suggests, Ancient Nutrition aims to bring us back to the traditions and nutritional principles that were honored by our ancestors and was created by Dr. Josh Axe: natural medicine doctor, chiropractor, clinical nutritionist and bestselling author of Eat Dirt. With wellness experts are now positioning bone broth as the latest miracle product, it looks like it’s here to stay. My favorite is the Bone Broth Collagen Vanilla because it combines both the benefits of Bone Broth & Collagen:

Support healthy joint function and mobility
Support collagen biosynthesis, a vital factor in maintaining healthy-looking skin
Help protect against the effects of aging by protecting against free radical damage to cells
Help the body cope with stress and promote a calming, relaxing state of mind
Promote more restful sleep

The vanilla adds a subtle sweet flavor to the savory bone broth and goes great in smoothies or as a drink on its own. I tried a sample of the Pure version and I really enjoyed it as a hot savory drink when I was suffering from the cold sent from hell this summer. The Bone Broth Protein has 20g of protein and comes in a wide variety of sweet & savory flavors. I chose the Turmeric Spice because it’s one of my favorite superfoods at the moment and is excellent for cooking use. When I get tired of having it as a drink I add it to any savory dish I’m making, even salads, and it makes it taste (even more) delicious. Get ready for a giveaway for any 1 product from their line in the near future!

Care Of Vitamins is a brand new supplement company (launched Nov 2016) that delivers a 30-pack of customized daily vitamins to your doorstep each month, at a price that beats the grocery store. It’s perfect for those who don’t know which vitamins to choose and hate opening up 5 different bottles of vitamins everyday, basically taking out all the hassles that surround incorporating vitamins into your life. You first take a survey wth your basic info, goals, lifestyle & thoughts on Eastern medicine and Care Of will recommend a set of vitamins and why you need them. You can edit your selection of vitamins or the dosage if you’d like.

I was recommended: Astaxanthin, Rhodiola 2, Vitamin D 2 & Magnesium and have been taking them for a month now. I’m generally in excellent health and recently even healed myself of my sleep issues (nocturia & insomnia) and believe that supplements along with good diet & exercise are the reason. Asthaxanthin was chosen because I marked that I was concerned with my skin (duh!), Rhodiola because I had said I was feeling burned out (working and blogging isn’t easy!), Vitamin D because I live in cold weather (Switzerland), and Magnesium because good sleep was a concern. I’d say they were pretty spot on! You also get a price breakdown for each vitamin per month and my total came out to $30/month (this will vary depending on what selection of vitamins you get). While the packaging is a tad wasteful, I find it useful for people who travel a lot because you can take exactly the number of packets you need depending on the number of days you’re traveing and still get your vitamins away from home.

 

Lanzarote & Seaside Hotel Los Jameos Playa

With volcanic landscapes of colored soils, craters, unusual rock formations and gently sloping mountain that evoke complete awe and fascination, Lanzarote may very well be the most interesting island I’ve been to.  I may never step foot on Mars in my lifetime, but I think Lanzarote comes pretty darn close to it.

El Golfo – a green lagoon and the ocean separated by volcanic sand

I stayed at the Seaside Los Jameos Playa, a resort conveniently located 5 minutes from the airport and considered among the best places to stay on the island. With so many different activities on site there’s something to please everyone. When you walk into the lobby you’ll notice the decor is inspired by Spanish and  Hispano-Arabic traditions which integrate Mudejar, Andalusian, Galician and Castilian influences. Step further into the resort and you’ll find the pool and lush garden leading to even more activities like archery, petanque, mini golf and more.

The view from the balcony over Los Pocillos beach

Sunset views with organic skincare by COOLA & Earthwise Beauty’s Farizad’s Veil

The wine here is very special and unlike any I’ve tasted before because it’s grown in volcanic soil. They’re placed in these human-made depressions that are shallow enough to capture sunlight and trapped water from the volcanic soil. The artisan wines are then sold in bodegas run by the vintners themselves. The best one I visited out of 3 was El Grifo which dates back to 1775 and is the oldest one on the island.

Wine tasting at El Grifo is a must even if you’re not a wine lover.

The pool while packed during the day is empty and romantic during the evenings. It’s perfect for a quiet solo dip surrounded by the lush greenery and twinkling lights.

The spa has:

Finnish sauna, Steam bath, Biosauna & Unisex Sauna
Relaxation area with sun loungers
Multi-sensory showers
Scottish shower with light therapy
Plunge pool with flower petals
Foot baths with scented salts

The resort also has 3 bars: poolbar, piano bar and Bar Belingo. The lobby and piano bar had live music playing every evening which added immensely to the experience.

Overall I loved my stay Los Jameos. It’s a super fun, activity-filled family-friendly hotel with so much to discover daily. The staff are warm and friendly and seem to genuinely enjoy their work despite the hotel being so large and filled to capacity. While the island of Lanzarote is rather small and quiet, the Los Jameos universe is vast and energetic.

Papagayo beach on the right side

Papagayo beach on the left side

Playa Famara

Caleton blanco beach with clean white sand, volcanic rocks and shallow water