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

 

 

 

 


MORE SALES

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.

Read more

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.

 

Sheraton Gran Canaria Salobre Golf Resort

I finally visited the Canary Islands after wanting to go there as a college kid studying abroad in Europe and can only recommend it if you’re looking for a truly unique island vacation. Situated close to the coast of Western Sahara, Gran Canaria is the 3rd largest island in the Canaries archipelago but has the largest population. The landscapes are sweeping, dramatic and vary from the north to the south to inland.

I stayed at the Sheraton Gran Canaria Salobre Golf Resort, a 5-star resort located in the south of the island near Maspalomas and beside a two 18-hole golf course. Its standout amenities include:

Multiple pools on different levels with panoramic views
Stunning infinity pool that feels like you’re floating mid-air
Aloe Spa using natural beauty products
Extravagant breakfast & dinner buffets
New Sens Kitchen Patio Garden dining area
Tons of free yoga and fitness classes daily

The spa pool at night

The Aloe Spa is also equipped with a hammam, steam room, ice fountain and air room as well as lounge area with snacks, tea & water.

The various sunbeds scattered throughout the topmost level of the resort

The best buffet breakfast and dinners I had on the islands

The other best part of this resort was the breakfast & dinner buffets.  Everytime I have a superb dining experience at a hotel and think it can’t be topped I’m proven wrong and this time it was the Sheraton’s. The selection, sophisticated presentation, quality of ingredients, gourmet options and attention to detail was outstanding. Pictured above is the fresh juice station where you could order customized juices but they also had pre-prepared detox juice blends in individual bottles.

and smoothies. There were so many different food stations you could easily miss one.

Dinner was equally fabulous with a different theme each night ranging from Asian to seafood and Tierra (meat-focused) to Spanish. Due to lighting I wasn’t able to take pictures, but there was most notably:

Chef’s stations for freshly prepared fish, calamari, sausages and other meats
Wok station for customized wok dishes prepared by a chef
Dessert selection with perhaps 30+ different desserts including a molten chocolate lava cake station and candy section
Gourmet hors d’ouevres
Excellent 5-star service

The room I stayed in was Double Deluxe with a balcony offering views over the golf course. There are no rooms with views of the ocean but the rest of the hotel more than makes up for this. I stayed at other 5-star hotels that did and didn’t offer ocean views and this hotel surpassed them by far in every way.

The room has a modern Asian aesthetic with accents of red, wood and slate and came with ample amenities including a welcome champagne bottle. Air conditioning worked perfectly, the bed was uber comfortable and the size of the room though on the smaller end was perfectly cozy.

Having stayed at a few other reputable 5-star hotels on the island I’m so glad I got to experience the Sheraton Gran Canaria because it truly did stand out. Anyone who comes to this island and chooses not to stay here is without a doubt missing out on an experience that no other hotel can offer.

 

 

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

Algarve Portugal Travel Diary

 

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of Algarve before even during my 4 years working in Europe and I wasn’t CRAZY excited to go knowing nothing about it. But I wanted a quick getaway and I love discovering new places so I went ahead and got the ticket. I wish I had known of it sooner because Algarve is truly breathtaking with its limestone cliffs, sculpted rock formations, clear emerald seas & pastel-colored sunsets. *Also, I decided NOT to edit these shots like I normally do because I’d rather you see Portugal’s beauty in its natural state.*

The first night I stayed in Albufeira which is a cute little coastal village about an hour from Faro airport. I couldn’t do much sightseeing because i needed to work remotely but the beach is only a few blocks away and I was able to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand in the afternoon. I also highly recommend going to The Beach Basket – I went there twice because it was that good and the panoramic views of the sea are an added plus. The beaches in this region have orange golden sand and sea green waters that I haven’t seen anywhere else in Europe. Utterly unique and a welcome change if you’re used to seeing the crystal clear waters every summer.

The next day I headed to Ria Park Hotel located in Algarve where I was invited to stay. A 5-star hotel located between Vale do Lobo & Quinta do Lago and just a 9-minute walk to the beach, Ria Park has a stunning lagoon-style pool, spa, golf course, FIFA soccer pitch, restaurants and rooms with views over the gardens, pool & sea. I also met up with the Marketing Director of the hotel group (Ria Park actually has 3 hotels – Quinta do Lago which is a classic 5-star, Ria Park Hotel a more modern 5-star hotels and Ria Park Garden which has 4 stars for the budget traveler) and was able to share with her my journey as well as learn more about the hotel. It’s actually frequented by all 3 Portuguese soccer teams and even Cristiano Ronaldo himself because they train at the hotel’s FIFA pitch & chill together as a team at the hotel. There were 2 teams staying at the hotel while I was there but I think they were division 3 or 4.

The lagoon-style pool

I was so touched by  the Pasteis de Belem that had toothpicks with my “name” on them. Pasteis de Belem is to die for- I can’t even explain it – it’s orgasmic. There were also some tapas, Portuguese wine & fruits waiting in the room.

I stayed in a suite on the top floor that had a King size bed, Minibar, marble bathroom and spacious balcony

I did need to work remotely from the hotel so I didn’t do any sightseeing that day except kayaking to the Bengali Caves in the evening. These pictures don’t do it justice at all.

So the next morning I had a buffet breakfast on the restaurant’s veranda and laid out by the pool before heading to a few nearby beaches.

As always I brought several SPF products to stay protected under the sun and I didn’t get sunburned despite the strong sun raysl

Falesia Beach which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe

Praia da Marinha, the most famous beach of all in Algarve and the one I’ll never forget

After lying out and soaking in the beauty, I went back to the hotel to lie out by the pool and visit the spa, which has an indoor pool, Turkish bath, sauna, relaxation room and gym.

I had an amazing time in Algarve thanks to the breathtaking beauty of the region and Ria Park Hotel. I was there for about 4 days and it felt like I had been on a relaxing vacation for weeks. The beaches are close to the hotel that it was easy to get from place to place and the Portuguese hospitality combined with 5-star service was excellent. Everything is so affordable including high-end restaurants that you can really live it up and I appreciated that coming from Switzerland. I sincerely hope that I get to visit Algarve again and be able to spend more time exploring the region and enjoying everything it has to offer.

The last few hours before taking my flight back home were spent exploring a bit of Faro.

 

 

 

OBL CURRENT FAVORITES: May 2017

In this OBL Current Favorite’s post I have a hodgepodge mix of products I’m currently using and enjoying. I tried Au Naturale for the first time, a brand that I’ve seen all over Instagram, and fell in love with their concealer. As you may know, NU Evolution is my favorite, because it’s so rich and creamy and provides long lasting full coverage. Au Naturale’s might well be in 2nd place not because it works any less well but just because it doesn’t feel as nourishing & hydrating to the skin. It still performs superbly. The blush in the shade Sweetheart is just beautiful and the formula is super creamy & pigmented. I also tried Honeybelle, an LA brand making affordable organic products, for the first time and have been using their organic rosewater toner to hydrate my skin. The bottle is beautiful and the rest of the line looks worth trying out.

EVOLVh Luxury Organic Haircare

I’ve tried EVOLVh before and love their UltraRepair Hair Conditioning Mask. Lately I’ve been using their travel kit and have found the performance & cleanness of the products up to my standards. All products from their haircare line are vegan & at least 90% organic. I found their UltraShine Conditioner to leave my hair moisturized and the Leave-in Conditioner lightweight & perfect as a temporary defrizzer as well as a heat protectant.

Supplements

From left to right: Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens (Take 20% off their regular Collagen Powder at Cotanova online shop with code OBL), Sun Potion Reishi, SIBU Sea Buckthorn, The Beauty Chef GLOW Inner Beauty Powder, HUM Red Carpet & BE Biotin (also available for 20% at cotanova with code OBL). (This is a discount code not an affiliate one.)

Marin Bee Honey Butter

Though I’m a fan of body oils, I appreciate a lightweight body moisturizer during the warmer months. This creamy moisturizer has a subtle sweet honey scent and is made of 95% naturally derived ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter jojoba & Californa Wildflower Honey . Marin Bee is also  the current OBL CLUB product testing campaign that’s running now.

Ingredients

Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Emulsifying Wax NF, Vegetable Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cetyl Alcohol**, Isopropyl Jojobate, Beeswax, Jojoba Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE**, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Jojoba Esters, California Wildflower Honey, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexlglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Panthenol (Vitamin B5)

*certified organic  **plant derived

Raw Elements Sunscreen

I’ve been using Raw Elements since the beginning of my nontoxic switch and have tried every product from their line. It’s safe to say I’ll be a fan for life and I even have my friends & family using their products as well. The ingredients lists are some of the cleanest you’ll find on the market and products are made entirely of certified organic tea extracts, butters & oils and non-nano zinc oxide. I prefer the tins to the tubes but each have  their pros and cons. The sticks are great for hands-free application and comes in both a tinted and non-tinted version. You’ll find that in the colder months they are more difficult to apply and can tug at your skin. The tins are emollient no matter what time of year it is, but the tinted version is perhaps too dark if you’re fair skinned and the non-tinted may leave a white cast if you’re tanner. The lip balms have a strong herbal scent that I’m not a big fan of but they provide spf to protect your lips. Note that due to the spf it will alter the color of your lips. All their products stay on well with re-application needed every few hours.

IDIL BOTANCALS Celestine Azulene Rich Facial Oil

First off, I love the sleek white, gold & glass packaging and light blue hue of the oil. For some reason I’m drawn to its blue-colored hue – I think it’s a common phenomenon. This product is actually designed for acne-prone, oily and combination skin and it is indeed a very lightweight fast-absorbing oil. Even with my dry skin I still enjoy its moisturizing and calming properties. Blue tansy which comes from the Chamomile family is excellent at soothing inflammation & balancing sebum production. IDIL Botanicals is a Swiss brand that’s also sold at Content Beauty which ships worldwide free.

Ingredients

Organic Camellia Oil*, virgin cold pressed Grape Seed Oil, organic Sweet Almond Oil*, Squalene Oil derived from Olive Oil, organic Vitamin E – derived from NON GMO organic Sunflower Oil*, organic and wild crafted Blue Yarrow Oil**, organic and wild crafted Blue Tansy Leaf Oil**, natural German Blue Chamomile Oil*, organic Rose Otto Oil* * Certified organically grown ** Organically wild-crafted

Ursa Major No B.S. Deodorant

This deodorant is free of fragrance and baking soda, so perfect for those with sensitive armpits. I’ve never been afflicted with armpit rashes or sensitivity to natural deodorants so I can’t say if this won’t cause any reaction if you do. I did find the ingredients to be excellent and the performance on par with my standards.

Ingredients

organic aloe leaf juice, propanediol, sodium stearate, tapioca starch, saccharomyces ferment, silica, kaolin clay, glyceryl caprylate, micro-crystalline cellulose, glycerin, glyceryl undecylenate, shea butter, tocopheryl acetate, cellulose gum, hops extract, royal jelly extract, lemon peel extract, marigold flower extract, matricaria flower extract, ginseng root extract.

Raw Elements, which is a sunscreen brand, just came out with their newest skincare launches – a body scrub & face tonic. The scrub has Pacific Hawaiian sea salt & raw sugarcane and a lot of oil content so it’s moisturizing as well as exfoliating. It also has a very strong tea tree smell which was surprising as I was hoping for a more tropical scent to match the brand’s beachy vibes. The skin tonic also has a strong medicinal tea tree scent and is made of aloe, organic prickly pear cactus and arctic red algae as well as essential oils of bergamot, juniper, sage, tea tree and ylang ylang. I have to remember to cover my eyes with my hands when using this because it can seriously burn.

As always I’m enjoying my weekly skincare rituals of May Lindstrom’s The Honey Mud & The Problem Solver. I’m now even mixing the 2 together to use as a single mask. I tried a sample of the Youth Dew and I didn’t really find it to be as unique as the rest of the products from her line. The Clean Dirt I wanted very much to be able to use but it caused my skin to breakout immediately.

Have you heard of these adaptogenic coconut butters that are basically unicorn food in a jar yet?! If not you should definitely look into Pearl Butter! This doesn’t really belong in my current favorites post since I’m eagerly waiting for my order to arrive in the mail, but I’m way too excited. You can take 15% off with code OBL15, an exclusive discount code the founder Katie gave me just for you guys! Pearl Butter website

 

A few other products I’ve been using and enjoying are these mineral mud masks by Atmosphere Essentials (more on these on my Instagram in the near future) and I was also recently introduced to Ananda Soul, an ethically & sustainably produced jewelry line from Bali. Pictured below is their Inner Guidance necklace made of Prehnite & Gold Vermeil. Their pieces are made with 925 sterling silver (certified recycled), 22kt Gold vermeil & the finest quality precious gemstones. The line is inspired by the founder’s current home Bali, her love for yoga & spirituality and her travels and seeks to empower women of all ages & backgrounds. 10% of proceeds goes to a charity that the founder personally runs workshops for training mothers of street children how to produce some her pieces, which allows them to place their kids in school. I’ll be launching a giveaway with them the 2nd week of June so stay tuned on my Instagram.

You can take 20% off on the Vital Proteins & Be Biotin featured in this blog post or anything carried at at online organic beauty shop Cotanova. Use discount code OBL at checkout (not an affiliate code).

 

 

Falkensteiner Resort Capo Boi in Sardinia

 

After driving 4 hours from the northern tip of Sardinia to the southern tip, we arrived at Falkensteiner Resort Capo Boi, a family hotel set on a conservation area with its own private sandy bay, a spectacular  double-tiered infinity pool with breathtaking Capo Carbonara Bay views and five-star amenities. They also offer a decadent dinner buffet complimentary each night, activities such as snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and tennis on site, kids play areas & much more. You basically never feel the need to venture out of the resort while on holiday.

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HUM Nutrition Review + giveaway

HUM Nutrition is a super high quality supplement line exclusively sold at SEPHORA and their website and they recently gave me the opportunity to try 3 of their products: RED CARPET, DAILY CLEANSE & OMG!. The first things that popped out at me, and which lends to their strong brand recognition, were their bright colorful labels & catchy names. One of the first things a friend of mine asked me after she saw my Instagram stories showing the products was to let her know if I think they’re worth the price. So in case this is the first thing you’re thinking of too, my answer is yes, BUT only for the supplements that you actually need.

To be honest I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to review supplements. As a beauty blogger i’m testing out a variety of products all at once, and as one follower pointed out, bloggers can’t really know the effects of 1 product if they’re using 10 skincare products at once. So I was wondering with supplements how would you really know if you’re experiencing positive effects from the supplements or because you increased the number of your weekly yoga workouts or because you rotated in new skincare products – fact is you can’t unless you cut out all these other variables. So it’s all based on perception, but everyone’s reality IS their perception anyways.

So about HUM, HUM Nutrition sets themselves apart from other nutrition companies by offering a personalized approach using a revolutionary profiling methodology and leaders in the field of nutrition. You take a short online quiz and are then suggested a regimen of products that meet your health & beauty goals.  HUM products are 100% natural, pure, premium quality, sustainably sourced, non GMO and gluten free. Personally, I’m not religious about supplements. I buy them when I feel like buying them and take them when I feel like taking them but I don’t stick to it everyday all year round. With the HUM supplements I committed myself to taking them everyday to see if I really noticed results.

THE DAILY CLEANSE

The Daily Cleanse is what I would recommend you to get if you’re wanting to try HUM and don’t know which to start with.  I think the first step should be to rid your body of toxins so that everything else you take can really get to work. You take 2 capsules before you eat anything so I would take this as soon as I got up with a big glass of water. If I was running late for work, with a sip of coffee before dashing out the door.  Highlights of the Daily Cleanse include:

Cleanses your skin, liver, bowel, kidneys and lungs
Organic Algae
Cleansing Minerals
15 Detox Herbs

The Science Behind it

Studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of ALA, making it a vital antioxidant that protects the body’s cells and aids in energy production.  “α-Lipoic acid has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties: an experimental study in rats with carrageenan-induced acute and cotton pellet-induced chronic inflammations.” Br J Nutr. 2011. The American Cancer Society notes that milk thistle is said to detoxify and protect the liver, strengthen the spleen and gallbladder. Further, research has looked into silymarin, a key extract of milk thistle, as a potent antioxidant.

Effects I Experienced

I noticed 2 effects: practically zero zits/pimples and regular use of the bathroom. I’m someone who gets zits regularly along my chin/jawline and occasionally on my cheek. While I was taking this supplement I noticed I didn’t have any zits appearing on my face and the flesh colored nearly invisible bumps subsided. I also had great movement down there. Some people experienced allergic hive reactions when taking this product so take caution.

OMG! Omega The Great

This fish oil supplement supports even skin tone, a healthy heart, brain & body and really does contain very high quality fish oil. I took 2 giant pills with food per day and would also recommend this product from their line, which is more potent than what you’d find in the supermarket. Its higlights:

Ultra pure fish oil
Ideal ratio of the actives EPA & DHA
High amounts in only two pills
No fishy aftertaste

The Science Behind It

Many studies suggest that the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, found in the fatty layers of cold-water fish can keep your heart and body healthy by reducing overall inflammation. Our supplements are derived from the highest quality of sustainably sourced small fish, ensuring the purest and most nutrient-rich standards. Research connects the fatty acids in fish oil to healthy hair and skin function. According to research at the University of Manchester, the properties in fish oil have been proven to protect the skin from damaging sun rays by stimulating the production of healthy skin cells. And the benefit of fish oil extends beyond hair and skin. Research from the American Heart Association has shown that the omega-3 found in fish oil can also reduce the risk of heart disease while lowering the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing levels of good cholesterol in the body (HDL). Sources: Pilkington Suzanne, et al. “Randomized controlled trial of oral omega-3 PUFA in solar-simulated radiation-induced suppression of human cutaneous immune responses.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 97 (2013): 646-52. “Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” American Heart Association. May 2014

Effects I Experienced

This is really hard to say. I use a lot of great skincare products, mask multiple times weekly, eat a healthy diet, drink lots of water etc. so I can’t claim that this vitamin gave me glowing skin. I did read reviews by people saying that this is the one product that helped clear their cystic acne, hormonal acne and breakouts. What I can say is if you’re looking for a quality fish oil that is designed to work more quickly than supermarket fish oil out of sheer potency, why not give this a try.

RED CARPET

Red Carpet is the number 1 selling supplement at SEPHORA and is designed to give you glowing skin & shiny hair in 6 weeks. It’s a Vitamin E- focused product (from sunflower oil) with ALA (from Black Currant Seed Oil) and its highlights include:

Rich in plant-based omegas
Vegetarian formula
Hydrates hair + skin cells

The Science Behind It

Black Currant Seed Oil is an excellent source of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) and ALA (alpha linolenic acid). According to University of Maryland Medical Center, GLA stimulates healthy skin and hair growth, and is a strong anti-inflammatory. ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid, also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, known to prevent heart disease and stiff joints. Sunflower seed oil contains Vitamin E and fatty acids that promote shiny hair and glowing skin. As an antioxidant, Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals that damage collagen and dry the skin. According to the University Maryland Medical Center, a healthy dose of Vitamin E can prevent premature aging and damage. Research suggests that Vitamin E improves capillary growth, which increases follicle circulation and moisture for fuller hair that is free split ends. Sources: “Vitamin E.” University of Maryland Medical Center. January 2012. Beoy LA, et al. “Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers.” Pub Med. NCBI. NLM. NIH. December 2010. “Gamma-linoenic-acid.” Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. University of Maryland Medical Center. July 2011. “Black Currant.” WebMD.

Effects I Experienced

My hair does look healthier and air dries with less frizz but, again, how can I really know it’s because of the supplements or because I increased the number of overnight oil treatments or because I switched in a new shampoo/conditioner. One thing I feel like I DID notice that I feel I can say is because of these supplements, is that despite my use of top-tier organic skincare products, I will still have seriously haggard looking dull skin at about 1am before doing my nighttime skincare routine and going to bed. When I was younger my skin looked plump, fresh, vibrant no matter how late it was and no matter how little sleep I got, but now it totally shows on my face in the wee hours of the night. After about a month of taking these supplements I felt like when I’d go look in the mirror at midnight or 1am before going to bed I was starting to look more like my old self in that my skin didn’t look as zombie like anymore. Even if my eyes look tired, my skin didn’t look as sunken in, dry & dull.

GIVEAWAY FOR 2 WINNERS

Enter on my Instagram post here. Ends Mon May 15, 2017!

Details:

2 winners will receive a @humnutrition supplement of their choice! Simply:
– Follow @humnutrition & me
– Tag friends (each tag is an entry)
Bonus: For 10 extra entries repost with #oblhum.

Natural & Organic Foundations

Makeup is such a tricky area in green beauty and when it comes to foundation, with everyone having different preferences, skin types & a hard time color matching, it can be the most difficult item in green makeup to purchase. I’m sharing my thoughts today on my entire current collection of natural & organic foundations, BB creams & primers.  Plus I created a chart for easier reference. To not make this post overly long I won’t go into the characteristics such as coverage, finish & consistency which I’ve covered for each product in the below chart. Instead I’ll talk more about my personal experience.

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Northern Sardinia & Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu

Sardinia, known as The Forgotten Isle, is a large breathtaking Italian island that’s still relatively unknown.  Its long white sandy beaches, rugged landscapes, sapphire waters & delicious cuisine will seduce you. If not in real life, then at least by these pictures (I hope). Mr. Organic Beauty Lover and I landed into Olbia airport and rented a car to take us around the island.  We then drove about 40 minutes to Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu (a Sofitel MGallery hotel), a beautiful hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a private beach which can reached by the hotel’s free shuttle service, a sauna and a gym.

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EARTHWISE BEAUTY & AVA’S WORK DIARY

Earthwise Beauty has evolved significantly over this past year alone if you see my first blog post from 2016 here, but as always you will find meticulous sourcing practices, top quality quality ingredients & innovative formulations. Besides many exciting new product launches (Cistus & Moonlight Face Mist, Nap in the Meadows Face Serum, Passion Eye Serum, Pacific Northwest Body Oil, Ruby Facial Oil, Farizad’s Veil), Earthwise has also upgraded their labels to higher quality scratch-free ones that are durable. This is a brand that obsesses over every aspect and detail of their products and one that you can wholeheartedly trust that they will only bring you the best products & ingredients. I’m also super excited that Earthwise Beauty is participating in an OBL CLUB product testing campaign so you might be the lucky members who’ll test & review an Earthwise product!

The founder of Earthwise Beauty, Ava Zhan, is also sharing her work diary with OBL readers so you can see what it’s like to be in her shoes for a day. To read the first installment of my new series “Diary of a Ladyboss” scroll down to the end of this post.

Affiliate code OBL saves 15% at checkout always.

Ruby Facial Oil

The first product I’ll be highlighting in this post is their newest facial oil, Ruby that just launched in Mar 2017. This is a lightweight powerfully hydrating oil perfect for daytime use and designed to be paired with their Farizad’s Veil SPF powder & the warmer months in general. Perfect for all skin types & quick absorbing, the oil has a subtle resinous & fruity scent and is made of sun-protective buriti & pequi oils, wrinkle-reducing and sun-damage-correcting raspberry, buriti, rosehip & primrose), noncomedogenic oils particularly recommended for skin types prone to congestion (milk thistle, guava, rosehip, cranberry). sunflower-derived vitamin E. Turmeric CO2 extract and whole-plant celery CO2 to reduce inflammation. I find this oil lightweight but not too lightweight for even the driest skin types and it leaves no orange tint. I add a few drops on top of my moisturizer and before applying makeup. I also like using a tiny amount as a hair defrizzer because it absorbs quickly into my hair without leaving it looking greasy. Ava also mentions in an Instagram post that this oil is perfect for hair as well as skin.

You can also order this facial oil with a raw ruby gem sourced from India.  Ruby enhances personal power, charisma, and confidence, aids in creative output and enhances leadership qualities, and corresponds to the heart chakra.

Ingredients

Organic Psidium guajava (guava) seed oil (India), organic Silybum marianum (milk thistle) seed oil, Vacinnium macrocarpon (cranberry) oil*, organic whole-fruit Rosa canina (rosehip) oil, Plukenetia volubilis (sacha inchi) seed oil*, Rubus ideaus (raspberry) seed oil*, organic pequi fruit oil, wildcrafted Moringa oleifera seed oil, blue tamanu oil* (India), organic buriti fruit oil, turmeric supercritical CO2 Select extract* (India), vitamin E (from certified non-GMO sunflowers), organic primrose seed CO2 Total extract, organic celery CO2 Total, wildcrafted mimosa flower absolute (artisanally extracted in Grasse, France).*Certified organic.

 

Carrot-a-Day Face and Eye Serum Sensitive (NEW Formula)

Carrot-a-Day is Earthwise’s all time bestseller and they came out with a new formulation for sensitive skin. The original one would cause reactions for some people and as a brand who truly listens to their customers’ needs they created a gentler formula for sensitive skin types. They use a milder natural preservative and have taken out carbomer though the original has less than .5%. The original version has a thicker aloe base while the Sensitive version is suspended in a semi-liquid, instantly absorbent cold-press aloe juice that has just a touch of thickness with natural xanthan gum.

The serum is great for dry, aging & acneic skin and contains anti-inflammatory German blue chamomile, helichrysum (3 types: Corsican (the first choice for pain reduction, including painful acne breakouts), Croatian, and Albanian) which is one of the top essential oils forspot reduction & wrinkle reversal (and is also used in wound and burn healing by medical aromatherapists). Because it’s semi-liquid it can replace your toner and it has a rather strong herbal carrot scent. I’ve used both the original and now sensitive versions and found that they both hydrate, firm & refresh my skin. I apply a few pumps and spread across my face and wait for it to dry. It provides an instant cooling effect and once dry my skin feels slightly more taut/firm.

Ingredients
Cold-press aloe barbadensis juice*, carrot seed oil*, natural non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E from sunflowers), Italian everlasting oil*, German blue chamomile oil*, spearmint oil*, naturally derived Polysorbate 20, potassium sorbate (natural preservative, food grade), xanthan gum, rosemary extract, ascorbic acid (vit. C), citric acid.

Nap in the Meadow Face Serum

Earthwise’s other serum which I believe launched last year provides deep hydration, strong anti-inflammatory action, anti-oxidants, anti-aging benefits, issue repairing effects, and sunburn and sun damage repair. The super light blue shade of this product is instantly calming and its name, like many of Earthwise’s products, is highly evocative. The sensorial product yearns to transport you to a peaceful meadow where you lie down, feel the warm sunshine on your face and see the clear blue skies as you drift off into blissful slumber.

This serum is very lightweight and liquid-like but its ingredients are so fresh and potent that most noticeably I feel it increasing my blood circulation seconds after I apply. My face feels slightly heated and I can tell it’s working its magic. It contains Turmeric CO2 supercritical extract, anti-inflammatory, Yarrow Oil, German Blue Chamomile Oil,  Elderberry extract to delay skin aging and reverse UV damage. and Galbanum which is an essential oil made from galbanum resin, an ancient wound-healing agent. I apply 1 or 2 pumps and apply all over my face with circular massage motions. The one downside of these liquid like serums is that you can easily use up the product quickly so I suggest using just 1 max 2 pumps for each use.

Ingredients

Aloe leaf juice*, elderberry fruit extract, turmeric CO2 Total supercritical extract, polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), lavender oil (* and †), yarrow oil*, Italian everlasting oil†, German blue chamomile oil*, potassium sorbate (natural preservative), organic geranium bourbon oil, geranium rose oil*, copaiba balsam resin†, galbanum oil*, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), wildflower essences†.

Ambrosia del Cerrado Liquid Moisturizer

Perfect for the warmer months, Ambrosia del Cerrado is a liquid moisturizer (toner-moisturizer cross) and has a unique consistency different from both the Nap in the Meadow and Carrot-A-Day. It’s like a bouncy viscous liquid and comes in a dropper bottle so you feel like you’re applying golden dewdrops to your skin. The aloe-based formula is great for oily, combo, acneic & dry skin and most noticeably contains hand-extracted pequi fruit oil from the cerrado savanna in Brazil (rich in vitamin C, betacarotene, vitamins B1 and B2), Buriti oil from Brazil (anti-aging results & improves the appearance of brown spots and scars), Moringa pod oil (wide range of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients).

I’ve tried the Ambrosia del Cerrado a year ago and again this year and found that it leaves my dry skin feeling refreshed, supple & hydrated. This product does not contain any essential oils for those of you who are looking for essential oil-free skincare products.

Ingredients
Aloe barbadensis whole-leaf cold-press juice*, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Caryocar braziliensis (pequi) fruit oil, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Moringa oleifera seed oil, polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), potassium sorbate (natural preservative), natural non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E from sunflowers), xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vit. C), citric acid.

Marshmallow Suds Face Cleanser

One of my favorite cleansers is the Earthwise Marshmallow Suds Face Cleanser which is especially great for sensitive & dry skin types. A blend of oils and herbal extracts, this cleanser has a unique silky, viscous, creamy consistency and a beautiful white shade that almost symbolizes purity. It lathers well and feels deeply nourishing & soothing with marshmallow root, healing calendula petals, and anti-inflammatory chamomile flowers. I remove all my makeup before using this cleanser because I’d rather use a wipe or oil cleanser to remove makeup so the powerful ingredients of this cleanser can better penetrate my skin.

Ingredients
Herbal infusion {distilled water, Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*, Calendula officinalis petals*, Matricaria recutita (chamomile) buds*}, water, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*†, cold-press Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) esters*, Aloe barbadensis juice*, vegetable glycerin (from non-GMO soy)*, Olea europaea (olive) oil*†, potassium hydroxide (but none remains in final product, after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin), Cannabis sativa (hemp) oil*, natural ECOCERT preservative {glycerin, Leuconostoc (radish root) ferment filtrate, Lonicera japonica flower extract, Lonicera caprifolium extract, Populus tremuloides bark extract, gluconolactone}, guar gum, glucono-lactone (from non-GMO corn), Melissa officinalis oil*, Matricaria recutita (German blue chamomile) oil*, organic Tanacetum annuum (Moroccan chamomile) oil, Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile) oil*, citric acid, non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E).

Blackstrap Molasses Face Mask

I still consider the Blackstrap Molasses one of the most powerful and effective masks I have tried. I have had a number of people try this mask with me and they also were surprised by its effects.  If you want immediate noticeable effects this mask is one to try – it resurfaces, brightens, smoothes & clarifies skin. It also detoxifies, firms and provides powerful anti-aging benefits. The shiny black Hungarian Moor Mud & Moroccan Rhassoul Laval Red Lava Clay base looks as if someone literally scooped up the mud and clay from Hungary and Morocco, placed it in this jar and handed it to you, completely fresh & unadulterated.

Ingredients
Maris limus (Hungarian Moor mud), Moroccan Rhassoul red lava clay, Kaolinite (kaolin clay), Saccharum officinarum (unsulphured blackstrap molasses from Paraguay)*†, Rosa damascena hydrosol/distillate* (Bulgaria), Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) distillate* (14% alcohol; double distilled), cold-press unrefined organic Pentaclethra macroloba (pracaxi) pod oil (Brazil), L-ascorbic acid (active vit. C), natural ECOCERT-approved (for use in certified organic cosmetics) preservative {glycerin, Leuconostoc (radish root) ferment filtrate, Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) extract, Populus tremuloides bark extract, gluconolactone}, unrefined Daucus carota (carrot) seed oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil*.

Cistus & Moonlight Face Mist

Cistus & Moonlight Face Mist is another new mysterious creation. So what is Cistus? Cistus essential oil is known to be great for skin firmness and comes from a variety of rock rose that grows in the wilderness of Spain and Portugal. It has a sweet resinous honey like scent and helps with minimizing pores, skin firmness, fighting acne and more. The sourcing of this ingredient is unique in that Ava does not purchase it from a supplier’s website but directly from a person in Portugal’s countryside who distills these plants. She then adds a touch of aloe juice and enhances it with a variety of gem & wildflower essences such as Rainbow Moonstone Gem Essence, (regulates hormones & mood swings), Mangano calcite gem essence (heals emotional wounds), Clear quartz gem essence (clears toxic energies & lifts the mind),  Alaskan monkshood flower essence (helps with fears & clarity of one’s purpose), and Pacific Northwest pink phlox flower essence (enhances one’s innate gentleness and sweetness).

I apply a few spritzes of this and enjoy the unique multifacted scent of the cistus. It’s undoubtedly quite different from your average hydrosol as it contains the vibrations and energies of different flowers & gems to provide not only a skin enhancing effect but also a mind/body/spirituality one.

Ingredients
Wildcrafted Cistus ladanifer hydrosol, cold-press aloe barabensis juice*, potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), rainbow moonstone gem essence and other gem essences, wildflower essences.

Passion Eye Serum

Passion Eye Serum

While not included in the OBL CLUB product testing campaign, i had the opportunity to try a sample of Earthwise’s new eye serum last winter.  This essential oil-free formula is made from unrefined oils & butters that are highly nourishing, hydrating & firming.  If you’re looking for a far from average potent eye product that is made of powerful hard-to-find ingredients the Passion Eye Serum is made of amaranth oil (source of squalene and linoleic acid) , green coffee oil (treats puffiness and dark circles), of whole-fruit (not just the seeds) rosehip oil, premium grade whole-fruit (not just the seeds) passionfruit oil, seabuckthorn berry CO2 extract, murumuru butter, andiroba oil & Brazil nut oil.

The reason Amaranth Oil was selected to be the first and main ingredient of this eye product is because it’s very high in proteins (13%), linoleic acid (49%; key for youthful, wrinkle-free, and acne-free skin and in squalene (8–12%). I found it to be super rich and nourishing, instantly smoothing out fine lines and plumping up the haggard looking skin under my eyes. I used this oil only at night as it did sting my eyes if it got in.

Ingredients
Organic cold-press unrefined amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) oil, organic cold-press unrefined green coffee (Coffea) bean oil, organic cold-press unrefined andiroba (Carapa guianensis) oil, cold-press unrefined brazil nut oil*, organic cold-press unrefined murumuru (Astrocaryum murumuru) butter, cold-press unrefined passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) oil*, organic cold-press unrefined rare whole-fruit rosehip (Rosa canina) oil, wildcrafted seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) berry CO2 Total supercritical extract, cold-press unrefined tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) oil* (India), gem essences.

If you’d like a deeper look into how Earthwise sources their ingredients and develops their formulas head to the founder Ava’s blog here. In her latest blog post how some suppliers do not have a system for monitoring inventory freshness & how those with little experience may not even know what some plant oils should look and smell like, and how to check whether their sample is fresh, unrefined, unbleached, and unadulterated. It’s very insightful and shows you how important it is to trust who you purchase from and that their values align with yours.

Affiliate code OBL saves 15% at checkout on their website

DIARY OF A LADYBOSS
FEATURING AVA ZHAN

a weekday in the beautiful Pacific Northwest

 

6:15 Am waking up, getting my older son ready for kindergarten, getting breakfast ready for everyone

 

7:45 Am dropping Roman off at a distant school

 

8:15-9 Am on phone calls on the road, sometimes with friends, often with our freelance designer and printer representative

 

9 am I’m in a meeting with employees: prioritizing projects for the day, reviewing long-term projects, and periodically all kinds of financial reviews with our finance specialists.

 

10 am -2 pmWorking on new product formulas, making batches of currently sold products, making flower and gem essences, sometimes getting to wander the meadows to check on various wildflowers or to infuse batches of products in a shady and hidden spot in our ponderosa pine forest, but also advising customers on best product options for their skin type, corresponding with marketing partners, and lots of art direction (reviewing the work of our photographer, graphic designer, and printers, and working closely with these artists to arrive at visuals and packaging that we all love and that communicate who we are), searching for new artisanal ingredients and print materials suppliers and testing their samples upon arrival.

 

2-3 pm I’m holding private flower essence consultations, flower essence certification course progress (homework assignments, client case studies etc.), making custom essence blends.

 

The work day has ended
Late afternoons and evenings are primarily family time, but sometimes I harvest wild herbs with the help of family members or employees, drying and processing herbs, and also attend to our own “starter” garden. Late evenings is when I read books on herbalism, essential oils and their safety, flower and gem essence healing, and natural perfumery.
Ava

ORGANIC BEAUTY LOVER CURRENT FAVORITES

I usually focus on one brand in each blog post but this time I’m switching things up with my first Current Faves post. I’ll highlight a variety of products that I’m currently using and loving.

Odacité EYE CONTOUR SERUM & PIMPLE SERUM

I add a few drops of this around my eye contour before bed when this area is looking particularly shriveled and I wake up to smooth & hydrated sleepy eyes  I love using products specifically formulated for the eye area even though much of it IS marketing. I appreciate that eye products are specifically formulated for the super fragile eye area and are richer than average. The pimple serum I’ve been using to spot treat small zits that I get around that time of the month and I feel that it helps clear up my skin quickly without leaving any acne marks left behind.

Eye Contour Serum Ingredients:

Highest-grade cold-pressed certified virgin wildcrafted Baobab (Adansonia digitata) seed oil, Sarsaparilla, Palmarosa, Lavender, Neroli, Roman chamomile, Sandalwood, Geranium, Bisabolol (Hemidesmus indicus, Cymbopogon martinii, Lavandula angustifolia, Citrus aurantium, Anthemis nobilis, Santalum spicatum, Pelargonium graveolens, Vanillomopsis erythropappa) essential oils, Certified GMO free Vitamin E (Tocopherols) oil.

Pimple Serum Ingredients:

Highest-grade cold-pressed certified virgin organic Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) oil, Certified organic Cajeput (Melaleuca minor) essential oil, Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Toco- pherols) oil.

Discount code OBL saves 10% at checkout

100% PURE GEMMED LUMINIZER

The new gemmed luminizers in Moonstone Glow & Rose Gold from 100% Pure are absolutely beautiful. I like them way better than rms Living Luminizer. Instead of adding oily mica to your face this luminizer brings so many beneficial ingredients to your skin, including actual gemstones (search for gemstone if you’re curious about why I like gemstones and gemstone-infused skincare) AND a gorgeous tint to your skin. This will be great for the summer months when my skin goes from dry to the oily side. Moonstone is my favorite out of the 2 new shades though I’ve been leaning towards Rose Gold more as summer approaches.

Affiliate code OBL5 saves 5% in the entire store at checkout til Apr 21.

Ingredients

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Silica, Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Extracts of Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Vaccinium Macrocarpon Fruit (Cranberry), Fragaria Vesca Fruit (Strawberry), Rubus Idaeus Fruit (Raspberry), Prunus Serotina Fruit (Cherry), Prunus Armeniaca Fruit (Apricot), Prunus Persica Fruit (Peach) and Vitis Vinifera Fruit, (Cabernet Grapes) and Matricaria Chamomilla Leaf (Chamomile), Punca Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Lycium Chinese Fruit (Goji Berry) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Mica (natural shimmery mineral), Labradorite (Natural Mineral Stone), Moonstone (Natural Mineral Stone), Australian Opal (Natural Mineral Stone), Pyrite (Natural Mineral Stone), Sunstone (Natural Mineral Stone), May Contain Iron Oxides.

MAY LINDSTROM HONEY MUD CLEANSING MASK

I’ve been using this honey mask almost everyday after removing makeup and cleansing, so I have 3 cleansing steps most days now. This honey mask is so moisturizing that I feel like I’m also using a hydrating mask at the same time. Raw honey, white halloysite clay, Collodial Silver, Cacao aboslute oil & macadamia nut oil envelope your skin & infuse it with enzymes and nourishment. It has a silken pudding-like texture that I have not found in any other mask product. May’s products will undoubtedly make you fall in love with taking care of your skin.

KAIA NATURALS DETOX DEODORANT

I’ve been using this deodorant for almost a month now, switching between the Cold-Pressed Rose & Juicy Bamboo versions, and though it took me a while to get used to the wet texture, i must say i really enjoy it now. This is a 99% natural & vegan dedorant with no baking soda – instead it has activated charcoal to draw out toxins & natural fermentation technology to fight odor-causing bacteria. Deodorants are a hit and miss for people so what works for 1 person may cause an adverse reaction for another. I used this on a day where I had a 5am workout, had to take an hour plane ride to a meeting and sit in an office all day without being able to take a shower in between and I had no stench at the end of the day. This deodorant is an everyday product & it’s designed to detox your armpits in 30 days  so I do recommend you give this a try if you are having difficulty switching to a natural deodorant. They have a travel size version for just $9.50 but note that the print on the packaging fades off quickly unlike the full size deodorant.

100% PURE BLOOD ORANGE CLEANSING BALM

This new cleansing balm is an excellent way of removing makeup, dirt & grime if you have super dry skin. My skin becomes parched during the winter/spring months and this balm cleanses effectively while hydrating my skin. I take a pea sized amount, spread it all over my face, let it sink in for a minute or 2 and then wipe of with a cloth. The texture reminds me greatly of more solid Vaseline. If you’ve tried the EVE LOM cult cleansing balm, which is super emollient and mushy, this is more dense.

Ingredients

Persea Gratissima (Organic Avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Organic Olive) Leaf Oil, Olea Europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange Essential Oil) Fruit, Polyglyceryl-3 Palmitate (Derived from Coconuts)

FITGLOW BEAUTY VEGAN BRUSHES

The picture above has 3 of their newest products but I have not used the other 2 enough yet to give a full opinion. The brushes, however, I’ve gotten well acquainted with and they are so soft & luxurious. The vegan teddy round brush pictured above blends makeup effortlessly is great for applying mineral powders like foundation, blushes & bronzer.

CORA ORGANIC NON-TOXIC TAMPONS

You’ve probably seen these on my Instagram from the giveaway I did a while back. Tampons contain dioxins, which are byproducts of the bleaching process involved in the manufacturing process and are deemed “Highly toxic & a known human Carcinogen” by the World Health Organization. Each tampon contains a small amount but the cumulative effect of using tampons increases your risk for disease.

They can also contain polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to ▶Infertility▶Cancer▶ Birth Defects as well as GMO’s.? Toxins that enter your vagina can end up in your bloodstream as the vaginal walls are highly permeable.

ABOUT CORA.
CORA makes 100% Certified Organic Tampons that are biodegradable & hypoallergenic (available at Targets nationwide). I found them to be just as absorbent as regular tampons. The application is not as comfortable due to the applicator stick but it’s minor. They’re also part of an incredible social program – for all tampons sold each month they purchase the equivalent in natural, sustainable pads from local partners in India. This employs women in rural villages & urban slums in India to produce biodegradable natural pads which are then distributed to girls in local schools who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise. .

WHAMISA DEEP RICH TONER

This toner stands out in the world of toners because it’s a cross between an essence and a toner. I have a brand review of Whamisa here that includes this product but had to include it in this top 10 favorites list. It has a viscous bouncy like liquid texture that deeply hydrates my skin and dries quickly.

Ingredients

*Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, *Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, *Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, *Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/ Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, *Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, *Helichrysum Arenarium Flower Extract, *Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, *Glycerin, ***Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, ***Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, ***Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Lithospermum Erythrorhizon Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, **Fragrance, d-Limonene, Linalol 

100% PURE BB CREAM

This is a love it or hate it type BB cream because it’s so thick and I love it. It gives you a dewy luminous look, has cool pink undertones & blurs imperfections. I’ve shared more of my thoughts in a previous foundations post.

active ingredients: 8.7 % Zinc Oxide 4.6 % Titanium Dioxide other ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Juice) Leaf Extract*, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water / Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Flower Water, (Non-Nano) Zinc Oxide, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride (Derived from Coconut Oil), Sorbitan Sesquioleate (Derived from Sugar) Titanium Dioxide, Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid (Derived from Coconut), Hydrated Silica, Leuconostoc / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Magnesium Stearate (Derived from Salt), Mica (Mineral), Sodium Phytate (Sodium Salt from Plant Seeds), Xanthan Gum (Non GMO), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil / Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil / Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil / Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract / Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Prunus Avium Seed Oil / Prunus Avium (Sweet Cherry) Seed Oil, Prunus Cerasus Seed Oil / Prunus Cerasus (Bitter Cherry) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil / Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus Seed Oil/ Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Derived from Rice Bran-Non GMO), Benzyl Alcohol (Plant derived), Dehydroacetic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Salt of Sorbic Acid), Sorbic Acid (Derived from Sugar) May contain: Titianium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

MAX AND ME SWEET SERENITY MASK & WASH

Max and Me is a high-vibrational eco-luxury skincare line from Austria and this mask if one of my favorite products from their line. It’s designed for stressed-out, irritated, dull and thirsty skin and to treat difficult skin issues. This line is up there with May Lindstrom as one of those brands that make you deeply fall in love with your skin ritual. The creamy clay & honey blend can be used as a face wash or as a mask and I prefer to use it as a mask because well it’s $240. I add a little bit of water & mix to turn it into a paste and then apply all over my face for about 30 minutes. I’m always left with brighter clearer skin without fail.

Ingredients

White Kaolin Clay, Leptospermum Scoparium Mel (Raw Manuka Honey), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter1, Garcinia Mangostana Pericarp Powder1, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil1, Cranberry Seed Oil1, Theobroma Cacao Seed Powder1, Cocos Nucifera Oil1, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil1, Tocopherol, Prinsepia Utilis Seed Oil1, Glycine Soja Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil1, Punica Granatum Seed Oil1, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil1, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Oil1, Santalum Album Oil2, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil1, Leptospermum Scoparium Oil3, Citrus Aurantium Flower Extract1, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil1, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Oil1, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil1, Lavandula Angustifolia Herb Oil2, Cymbopogon Martinii Herb Oil1, Linalool4, Geraniol4, Citronellol4, Limonene4, Alcohol, Farnesol4, Benzyl Benzoate4, Propolis Cera, Benzyl Salicylate4, Citral4, Eugenol4.

SHEA BRAND REVIEW (+ COUPON CODE)

This post was kindly sponsored by SHEA BRAND whose funds will help with operational costs of running OBL CLUB.

SHEA BRAND is a Brooklyn-based company offering 100% Certified Organic Shea Butters in 4 different blends that nourish, protect & soften skin. Their Shea butter is sustainably extracted from the kernels of African Shea Trees and then hand-whipped to perfection, enriched with Vitamin E, and imbued with essential oils. Before I talk about the benefits of shea butter, here is why I love their products:

The hand-whipped texture is fluffy, soft, yet dense for intense nourishment
It comes in these beautifully designed tins
It’s so easy to scoop out of the tin unlike regular shea butter
They come in 4 luscious blends: Original, Lavender, Rose Absolute, Texas Cedar and Bergamot
Because it’s so dense a little goes a long way

My 2 favorites are the Rose, which contains Hungarian Rose Absolute & is their richest blend, and  the Lavender because it has such a calming scent that’s perfect for calming my senses.  The Woodland Fog also has a calming effect with its subtle pine scent that makes you feel like you’re in a forest. The Original has no scent but has an SPF of 5.

Shea butter is a wonder ingredient and I’ve long been using it to nourish my hands & body before going to bed even before getting into green beauty. It’s full of all-natural Vitamin A, E, Oleic Acid & Stearic Acid and helps with blemishes and wrinkles, stretch mark prevention during pregnancy, muscle fatigue, dermatitis, and radiation treatments for certain medical problems.  According to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, shea nuts and shea fat (shea butter) constitute a significant source of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promoting compounds. And a study by the American Journal of Life Sciences claims that shea butter boosts collagen production, demonstrating anti-aging properties.

Use coupon code ORGANICBEAUTYLOVER for 20% off at checkout. Prices start at $11