Clean Beauty Ritual

Detoxing the beauty industry, one word at a time.

Review: Leegeehaam's Vita Propolis Ampoule

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment
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Description: "A multitasking, glow-creating serum ampoule packed with 50% Propolis extract and 20% Multi-vitamins. Perfect for giving skin instant "gwang" (aka glow in Korean). It also helps even out skin tone, smooth texture, improve dullness, and revitalize the complexion. For all skin types. Suitable for acne prone skin." - glowrecipe.com

Ingredients: Propolis extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Niacinamide, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/ Twig Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Carbomer, Arginine, Spirodela Polyrrhiza Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate

How To Use? "Use after cleansing and toning. Spread a pea size amount onto skin in an outwards motion. Follow with a moisturizer. " - glowrecipe.com

Scent? Doesn't really have a scent.

Length of use? I've been using this serum since close to the beginning of May every morning and night. I've got about an eighth of a bottle left. I like to use about four drops. One on each part of my face.

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My Experience: First off, this isn't like other serums I've used before because most of them were oil based. This serum isn't oily at all. It's got a slight watery tack to it and glides easily over the skin. A little does go a long way, but I use a bit more than recommended because...I like to. According to the ingredient breakdown on glowrecipe.com, it's 50% propolis extract so that is the main power player in this serum and probably lends to the texture. After applying, it does have a slight tack like I mentioned above. But I don't think it's sticky and it absorbs fairly quickly. I actually think I prefer it to an oil serum. At first I was layering a moisturizer over it morning and night but soon found that the serum was enough. It's very hydrating. I probably should be using something a little more at night, but it's been nice not needing that extra step before bed. As for results, my skin has been looking fan-freaking-tastic. Very clear, very calm and generally really low maintenance since I started using this stuff. Even when I had my monthly hormonal breakout, it cleared and healed very quickly. I don't remember having a bad skin day while using this and that's interesting to me. Even when I picked at my blackheads! (Bad habit) The redness left behind cleared within a day or two. My bb cream and sunscreen layer nicely over it as well. It's very lightweight and doesn't feel like it's there. My skin is definitely a bit brighter and just overall looks clearer than I've seen it in a while.

Overall: I'm really liking this serum. It's different from anything I've used before. There are new ingredients I've never experienced like the niacinamide and propolis extracts. I've used pure honey masks in the past with great effect, but never propolis extract. I actually find myself preferring the lightweight watery texture over an oil serum. It's very apparent that this formula has been carefully created and selected. When I think about each ingredient and how they work individually, then look at the product as a whole it makes sense why I've gotten such great moisturizing, calm, redness-reducing results. It's going to be a while before I move on to a different serum. I've got a second bottle on the way which should be arriving any day now. I'm curious how using it more long-term will go. It's also not a $70, $100, or $200 serum. Which, let's be honest, those serums don't always live up to their price tags.

So yeah, Leegeehaam, I'm a fan.

Leegeehaam Vita Propolis Ampoule 15ml $38

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Review: Herbivore Botanical's Blue Tansy Mask

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment
 I think Herbivore has the prettiest products. My goodness.

I think Herbivore has the prettiest products. My goodness.

Description: "Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask is a truly natural clarifying and cooling gel mask that gently exfoliates, smooths, and resurfaces skin." - herbivorebotanicals.com

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose (Plant Derived), Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Flower Oil, Ananas Sativus (Organic Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Organic Papaya) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Organic Papaya) Leaf Extract, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Leuconostoc / (Leucidal) Radish Root Ferment Filtrate

How To Use? "Apply a thin layer to clean skin. Slight tingling is normal with this mask as it works to gently exfoliate and resurface the skin. Leave on 15–20 minutes or until mask is completely dry. Rinse with warm water. Sensitive skin: Leave on 5 minutes and rinse with warm water. - herbivorebotanicals.com

Scent? This is an odd one. It smells floral and pleasant but kind of reminds me of cough syrup. Not in a bad way, which makes it odd.

Length of use? I've been using this mask since Nov '17. I'm nearing the end of the jar and it's March '18!

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My Experience: I try to use this at least once a week, but I'm not perfect with it. I love the way the gel feels on the skin. It's cooling and I can feel it working and tingling. I'm one of those weirdos that loves that sensation haha. You don't need a ton of product to get the benefits, but I love skincare that packs a punch so I put more on than I need to. It feels great along my jawline and neck where I've been breaking out since switching to a new birth control pill 4-5 months ago (I'm monitoring the situation closely.) Anyone with acne prone skin will understand what I mean when I say it feels like it's "cleaning" the area while it's on. I leave it for up to 20-30 minutes. You're supposed to only leave it on for up to 20 minutes, but I've found it gentle enough to do 30 minutes. It is kind of difficult to rinse off with water alone, so I use a washcloth while rinsing. My skin always feels very fresh afterwards!. It's great for when you need something to get into your pores and clear them out. I like to follow up with a hydrating mist and moisturizer. Don't forget your sunscreen if you are using it during the day. It's an AHA/BHA mask which will increase your sensitivity to UV rays!

Overall: I really like this mask. It gives my pores a much needed clearing and refreshes me for the day or evening. I love the cooling and cleaning effect it has on my skin. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a gentle AHA/BHA mask.

Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask 2.3 oz $48

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Review: Back To Basics' Rosehip Radiance Oil

ReviewsOctober Comstock2 Comments
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**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "This powerful brightening oil is formulated with natural ingredients ranging from rosehip seed oil to kiwi seed oil to improve skins texture, fade dark marks and reveals brighter, glowing more youthful skin." - Back To Basic's site

Ingredients: Organic rosehip oil, Organic Grapeseed oil, Seabuckthorn berry oil, Organic Camellia oil, Organic Chia seed oil, Jojoba oil, Tomato seed oil, Kiwi seed oil

How To Use? I follow the Josh Rosebrook technique where you spritz your face with your toner or face mist and then apply a few drops to your forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose. Then get an even coating all over the face and massage.

Scent? Savory.

Length of use? This little bottle lasted me from the end of June to the end of September!

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My Experience: I used it morning and night with my moisturizer. First off, I was pleased with how well it absorbed. I've used face oils in the past where they just kind of sit on your skin (I've since become wiser about how to choose facial oils). But this one absorbed quite nicely. This is in no part due to the rosehip, grapeseed, and camelia oils which are known for their absorption speeds. (Check out that article for learning info on oils! Very informative and organized!) It played really nicely with my moisturizer and bb cream which is a huge A+ from me. I don't use face powders, so my moisturizers and oils need to absorb nicely to work with my bb cream. I don't think it did much brightening and as for helping to fade dark marks, I can't speak to that. But as a lightweight, moisturizing facial oil I think it's very solid. It did a great job of giving my skin a dewiness without the shiny forehead.

Overall: This is a great buy if you are looking for a lightweight moisturizing oil that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. It's non-greasy and absorbs wonderfully. Give this indie brand a look if you are in the market for a facial oil.

Rosehip Radiance Oil 1 oz $48

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Review: Osea Malibu's Eye Gel Serum

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment
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**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "This potent age-defying under eye serum visibly diminishes the appearance of fine lines and surface puffiness for an instant illuminated look. Organic Algae, Resveratrol and Hyaluronic Acid tighten and brighten the look of the eye area for a more youthful, firm appearance. Offers an immediate cooling moisture boost to awaken and refresh. " -Osea's Site

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Hyaluronate, Montmorillonite, Caproyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sorbitol, *Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, *Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Palmaria Palmata Extract, *Fucus Serratus Extract, Glycerin, Beta Glucan, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Allantoin, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, *Gigartina Skottsbergii Extract, *Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, *Undaria Pinnatfida Extract, Wine Polyphenols Proline, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract, Dextran, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate 

*ORGANIC INGREDIENT

How To Use: "Apply one pump of serum under the eye area, around the orbital bone and on the eyelid. Follow with OSEA Eyes & Lips and moisturizer." -Osea's site

Scent? It's got a nice subtle, floral almost honeysuckle like scent. Barely there.

Texture? It's a gel for sure. When you rub it between your fingers it's slippery.

Length of use? I've been using this serum since the beginning of June. I clumsily broke my first bottle whilst cleaning my bathroom counters and Osea was kind enough to send me a replacement. I had been using that one for about two weeks at that point, I went about a week without it and I'm about half way through my current here on Sep 2nd. So that's close to 3 months of use and still going!

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My experience: I. Love. This. Serum. It is easily my favorite product of Osea's I've tried to date. The skin under my eyes tends to be very dry, so I need moisture daily. I don't really have dark circles or fine lines (yet! lol) under my eyes so I can't speak to that. But this stuff does such a fantastic job at hydrating and softening the skin around them. I put it on at night before I go to bed and the skin still feels silky soft the next morning. The texture is nice and cooling and I love the way it feels as I dab it on. It has this lovely barely there scent that just adds to the overall experience of using it. It also absorbs quickly and doesn't leave anything behind. This is important to me and others for makeup reasons! My eyes are super puffy in the mornings usually. I don't think it dramatically helps reduce the puffiness, but I think it helps a little. It can burn a bit if you get it in your eye so don't be a dummy. The instructions say to use a full pump but I found that I only need half, so it goes a long way.

Overall: This is something I would re-buy in a heartbeat. It's hydration lasts through the day and night, it feels great on the skin and it's lasted me quite a while. So at $60 I think it's a solid buy. Yes I received this as a gift, no I am not an affiliate and yes I am going to buy this once I run out. That's how much I like it. So if you are looking for a hydrating, softening eye serum that absorbs quickly for a reasonable price: Do this one.

Eye Gel Serum 0.6 oz $60

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Review: Osea Malibu's Sea Minerals Mist

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**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "This nourishing elixir delivers immediate hydration and prepares skin for maximum absorption of serums and moisturizers. Organic Patagonian Seaweed, Dead Sea Salt, and Aloe Vera provide mineral-rich hydration and help soften skin for a balanced, toned and soothed complexion. Supercharged with Mineral Peptides to plump skin. Reduces appearance of surface redness and pores for a perfectly revitalized look." -Osea's Site

Ingredients: Aqua, Dead Sea Salt, Gigartina Skottsbergii Extract*, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract*, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract*, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Manganese Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment (Mineral Peptides), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Mont morillonite, Lonicera Caprifolium Extract, Lonicera Japonica Extract, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Extract, Glycerin*, Citric Acid

*ORGANIC INGREDIENT

How To Use: "Mist face after cleansing and as needed throughout the day to boost hydration. Spritz on to set or refresh makeup. Spray liberally on face and body after sun exposure. May be stored in fridge for a cooling burst of moisture. Follow with OSEA serum, essential oil and moisturizer." - Osea's Site

Scent? It's unscented I think. It smells...clean?

Length of use? Since early July. It lasted me about 2 months.

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My Experience: First off, I love the color of this mist. It's a gorgeous emerald hue. I don't mind at all that it's unscented. It is by far the most refreshing mist/toner I've tried. I can also fully recommend it for a sunburn! About a month ago, my family came to visit and we spent all day long outside. I was such a dummy and didn't put sunscreen on my legs or arms, so by the time we got home, I was properly burnt. I sprayed all of my burns generously with it and slathered on the aloe vera. The mist felt cooling and paired with the aloe, my sunburns had gone from bad to "it's-there-but-doesn't-hurt" by the time I woke up the next day. My one complaint about this mist is when I spray it on my face, it stings my eyes. I close my eyes when I mist my face (who doesn't?) but it didn't matter. I'd have to keep them shut until the stinging subsided. So I started using it on cotton pads and that is how I would recommend it to be used! I like that technique way more because I still get the refreshing effect but also a second cleanse of sorts. No stinging eyes either! It feels great on an inflamed pimple too. I've just held the soaked cotton pad on them for a couple minutes and while no results were immediate, I think it helped with the inflammation and heat. My décolletage is very sensitive, more so than my face, and this stuff didn't bother it at all. The only negative when using it on the cotton pad is that the product doesn't last as long. As for hydration? I would say it does a good job at hydrating, although more so when used as a mist.

Overall: I think this is a solid toning mist. It's hydrating and gives a nice second cleanse when used on a cotton pad. It's super refreshing, cooling and is your sunkissed skin's best friend. I did receive it as a PR gift and am on the fence whether I would purchase it for myself in the near future. It is a good hydrating mist and is the most refreshing one I've tried to date, however it stung my eyes when I sprayed it on.

I think I'm going to wait for next summer until it's in my bathroom again or going on a sunny vacay.

Sea Minerals Mist 4 oz $38 USD

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Review: Ouli's Ointment All Purpose Healing Ointment

October Comstock2 Comments

**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "This organic, natural product has been developed to soften dry skin and be used for pain relief on cuts and burns while reducing redness. Ouli’s Ointment also acts as a multi application beauty product with uses including smoothing fine lines under the eye, perfect for chapped lips, and as a barrier under makeup to create a healthy glow. It even tames flyaway hairs.

Ouli’s Ointment is an indispensable part of any makeup artist’s kit and can be enjoyed by everyone as an essential component for everyday skincare." -http://www.oulis-ointment.com/

Ingredients: Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Oil*, Cera Alba (beeswax)*, Anthemis Nobilis (chamomile) Flower Oil*, Tocopherol, D-limonene, Linanool, Geraniol

How To Use: 

(Taken straight from the Ouli blog)

  • "Dry skin; Depending on how much time you have, warm up a pea sized amount of Ouli's in your hands and massage with upward strokes on décolletage and face or if you have a few minutes to spare follow with a warm wet cloth and allow the chamomile scent to do its job and relax. Finish by gently patting with a dry cloth. This will leave skin glowing, the mind relaxed and the perfect makeup base"
  • "Dehydrated lips or under eyes; Apply a layer of Ouli's on lips or under eyes before commencing the full face so as to hydrate before it's time for lipstick "
  • "Disheveled brows; Tame those beautiful brows with a sweep of Ouli's either using your fingers or a disposable mascara wand to brush hairs upwards"
  • "Add texture; Warm up some Ouli's between your fingers and pat onto cheekbones and bridge of nose to add a sheen to a finished face or on eyelids to create a glossy look"
  • "Last but not least you can use your Ouli's to freshen up cuticles, elbows or perfect a sleek hair look without a tacky, greasy finish" -Stephanie G-M (Founder of Ouli's Ointment)

Scent? Like olives and olive oil! Olive oil tends to smell a little more savory, this is more subtle.

Texture? A nice light balm. It's balmy not greasy.

Length of use? Since late June. The 50 ml tin lasted until beginning of August.

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My Experience: I tried the warm washcloth technique on my face and I swear, my skin had never felt that soft. I put it on my lips, under my eyes, my hands and around my nose. It did well in all of those places. My hands get so dry, especially my knuckles and this stuff softens them no problem. My cuticles love it too. I didn't get to test it on any bug bites, cuts or burns so I can't speak to that (luckily). But my favorite way to use this balm is straight out of the shower. I tend to take hot showers so when I come out my skin is very dry and in desperate need of hydration. This balm does a fantastic job at putting the moisture back in and it leaves my skin feeling velvety. You need to work it in a bit, but once it's absorbed the results are wonderful and your muscles will thank you for the quick massage. I like it much more than using a body oil because I don't like feeling greasy and it absorbs really nicely. I went through phases with different body oils for after shower hydration. I tried coconut oil, cocoa butter (like the raw blocks you get for cooking), argan oil, marula oil and the entire Bali Body line and to be honest; Ouli's leaves my skin feeling softer and lovelier than all of the above did. There have been days where I didn't have the time to rub it in completely and it still didn't leave me feeling greasy. I also love using it pre-moisturizer when I need that extra boost of hydration.

Overall: This balm is great at softening and moisturizing your skin. It's a rockstar on my bod, face and hands. It absorbs well and doesn't leave any greasiness or tackiness behind. If you aren't a fan of olives, then this isn't for you. If you are a fan of olives or at least don't mind them and are looking for an all purpose moisturizing balm then give this a go. It's softness in a tin.

All Purpose Healing Balm 50ml $27 USD

I'm also excited to announce a CleanBeautyRitual exclusive promo code: social20

It's valid till August 15th, 17' and gives you 20% off when you redeem it on the Ouli's site 

(I am not affiliated or an affiliate with Ouli's Ointment, just supporting a brand and balm I truly like!)

Review: Osea Malibu's Blemish Balm

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment

**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "This ultra lightweight, yet powerful moisturizer provides perfectly balanced hydration while effectively targeting blemishes and future breakouts. Minimizes the appearance of pores and oily shine. Soothes redness and irritation. Rich in USDA Organic Algae, Mineral Peptides and a blend of oil-balancing Tea Tree, Rosemary, Juniper, Cypress and Thyme essential oils. This potent formula leaves skin feeling clarified, moisturized and refreshed." - https://oseamalibu.com/products/blemish-balm

Ingredients: Aqua, Gigartina Skottsbergii Extract*, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract*, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut derived), Glycerin*, Propanediol (corn derived), Cetearyl Olivate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil*, Sorbitan Olivate (Emulsifier from Olive Oil), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil*, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Manganese Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment (Mineral Peptides), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil*, Juniperus Communis (Juniper) Fruit Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil*, Stearic Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil*, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Citric Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium Extract, Lonicera Japonica Extract

How To Use: "Gently massage onto clean skin in upward, circular motions. Use morning + night. An excellent base for smooth makeup application."

Scent? A very strong lavender scent.

Texture? A nice light yet creamy lotion.

My Experience: I've been using this product every morning and night everyday since the beginning of June until the last month I switched it to mornings only (my skin started getting dryer and it does well when I give it lots of good oils at night). At first, the tea tree tingle was a little intense, but that went away quickly and now I find it refreshing. It is very lightweight and I love the texture. It leaves a nice finish for makeup, it's not greasy at all and absorbs nicely. It's got tea tree and rosemary oil in it and did a pretty good job at clarifying my skin. (Tea tree oil is antibacterial and kills acne bacteria over 72 hours and rosemary oil was shown to help with the inflammatory response from acne bacteria in an in vitro and vivo study) The lotion also worked great on other parts of my body. My shoulders break out sometimes and it felt really nice putting it over those painful cystic bumps and it definitely helped clear them. I've left it on as a spot treatment in some places and that seemed to help depuff angry pimples. It also felt great on a bug bite.

Overall: I think this is a great day lotion to keep on hand for breakouts. Used too much and too often on normal-type skin, it can be drying (at least for me it was). Which is why I would not recommend it for someone with sensitive or dry skin. If you have normal/combination skin and/or are living in an arid place; I'd recommend using it in the mornings and a hydrating balm or night cream in conjunction in the evenings so you can get it's clarifying benefits but are also keeping your skin well moisturized. It does moisturize well on it's own for the day, but I found myself needing more hydration at night. My skin is normal/combination type and acne prone, but the acne is usually due to internal issues. I can't say whether this helped to prevent breakouts, but I can say that it helped clear them. It absorbs well, has a lovely creamy texture and I really enjoy the lavender smell. Definitely a  staple that I want in my bathroom going forward for blemishes.

Blemish Balm 2 oz $44 USD

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Review: Osea Malibu's Ocean Cleansing Mudd

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment

**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "This exfoliating, oil-balancing cleanser deeply purifies and thoroughly decongests oily and blemished skin. A potent blend of USDA Certified Organic Algae and Cypress oil removes surface impurities and visibly balances blemishes. Tea Tree, Peppermint, and Rosemary provide a cooling sensation and leave skin feeling refreshed, energized, and clarified." -https://oseamalibu.com/products/blemish-balm

Ingredients: Aqua, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract*, Decyl Glucoside (Vegetable Foaming Agent), Fucus Vesiculosus Extract*, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Coco-Glucoside, Coconut Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate (Emulsifier from Olive Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf (Tea Tree) Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf (Rosemary) Oil* Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract*, Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Natural Smectite Clay), Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Lonicera Caprifolium Extract, Lonicera Japonica Extract

How To Use: "Apply to damp skin in gentle, circular motions, avoiding direct contact with eyes. Rinse with warm water. Use morning + night. For Oily or Blemished skin types, follow with OSEA Sea Minerals Mist, serum of choice, Essential Corrective Complex and Blemish Balm. For Normal skin types, apply a few times a week for a purifying deep cleanse."

Scent? This took some getting used to. It smelled strongly of peppermint but also of seaweed. I wasn't a fan at first, but after using it for a while, I stopped smelling it.

Texture? Creamy but with a thicker "mud" like texture.

My Experience: I started using this in the beginning of June. I have normal acne prone skin for context. When I first used it, the scent was not to my liking and the minty sensation was very overwhelming (even for me, a tea tree oil zealot). I also mistakenly used it as a traditional cleanser and tried to take my eye makeup off with it. Biiiiig mistake. My eyes burned terribly. Of course I looked at the ingredients list and recommendations afterward and they say to NOT put it near or in your eyes. Lesson learned. So I used it how it was recommended night and day for several days. This stuff is very strong, within several days, combined with their Blemish Balm, it was too much for my skin. It had become dry, itchy and irritated. I wasn't moisturizing nearly enough for this cleanser because I was also using(reviewing) the Blemish Balm in conjunction. So I decided to alternate days with cleansers(Indie Lee's Rosehip Cleanser). This was the perfect combo. I was still getting the exfoliating benefits without over drying my skin. It was also recommended to me by Osea to mix the Cleansing Mudd with their milk cleanser the Ocean Cleansing Milk, but I didn't have the milk cleanser unfortunately, so I can't speak to that. Alternating seemed to work fine for me. I can definitely say it helped reduce my blackheads. Not a crazy amount, but it was noticeable. It also worked really well as a spot treatment! For when you get those painful wet pimples, this stuff is great to just blob on and let dry. It helped reduce their size and calm down.

Overall: I think this is a great cleanser/exfoliator, but my favorite way to use it was as a spot treatment. The smell doesn't make for a great first impression, (neither does putting it in your eyes like a dummy) but it's a great choice for cleaning out your pores and fighting breakouts. I did feel like whenever I washed with it, I was getting a good clean. Psychological? Maybe. But I did notice a small difference with my blackheads and my skin was turning over much more. I wouldn't recommend this for someone with sensitive skin however. It's very powerful but that's why I like it! It pulls no punches.

Ocean Cleansing Mudd 5 oz $44 USD (Pictured is the travel size product I was sent)

Facial Gua Sha with Sandra Chiu & Josh Rosebrook

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"I like to be dewy, it's kind of my thing. It works for my skin." - Josh Rosebrook

"Follow your intuition, listen. Such a huge thing. If we really are listening, we're going to be guided to what serves us." -Josh Rosebrook

"Skincare is my job." - Josh Rosebrook

"For me, it's not about anti-aging, it's about pro-health." - Sandra Chiu

Last Wednesday, I made it to the Facial Gua Sha class taught by Sandra Chiu of @treatmentbylanshin and Josh Rosebrook of @joshrosebrook skincare. It was hosted by The Detox Market of course!

What is facial gua sha? Pronounced "gwa saa", it's a form of facial massage and traditional chinese medicine where you pull a flat carved piece of jade or rose quartz slowly across the face.

When we walked inside, there were two tables set up with flower center pieces and white table cloths. Each place was marked with a small black bag, a 4 oz bottle of Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, a teeny tiny vial of Josh Rosebrook's Active Infusion Serum and an instruction paper with gua sha facial techniques. Sandra was passing out Kaia Naturals face wipes so we could remove our makeup. Then we all sat down. I ran into Stephanie of Ouli's Ointment (which I'm currently reviewing) she's a lot of fun. Water and champagne were being passed around. I helped myself to some crackers and kale salad.

Sandra and Josh began speaking about the benefits of facial gua sha and the difference between facial and body gua sha. Body gua sha, is faster paced where you take the jade tool and scrape. Sandra said if there is pathology in the skin, red flecks will appear while scraping. Giving the practice it's namesake: "gua" meaning scraping and "sha" meaning sand. It leaves marks on the body that look like big purple bruises or how Sandra put it, "a hickey gone wrong". It sounds like an intense treatment, I'm not sure if I'd personally try it or not but it sounds interesting. I do however want to try acupuncture!

With facial gua sha, it's a slower and gentler practice. You pull the tool slowly across the face in repetitions of five or more. Some of the benefits that Sandra mentioned are smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, depuffing the face, increasing circulation, sculpting and helping to reduce congestion for acneic skin.

I asked a question while they were talking about facial oils, Sandra said she noticed that a lot of people apply too much of their facial oil. This made me curious because back, right after I graduated high school, I started experimenting with my skincare by putting straight 25,000 i.u Vitamin E Oil on my face. This was unheard of because we were told that putting oil on your skin was bad, especially if you had acne. The cleansers I was using at the time were those really drying, benzoyl peroxide sls cleansers. I felt that it was exacerbating the problem, not helping it. I switched to a different cleanser, Cetaphil (BLECH. I can't believe I used to put this on my skin >__< I thought it'd be more gentle at the time. I was trying to transition to healthier choices guys lol) I thought it was less drying and I was doing the vitamin e oil at night religiously. I tried the vitamin e oil because I felt that that's what my skin really needed. I saw a difference with my acne and dryness. It didn't completely solve the problem, but I remember it helping my breakouts lessen and my skin looked calmer (I don't do this anymore. Too sticky. But I did for a long time use Jason's Naturals Vitamin E Cream, which I still love) Sandra said she would normally never tell someone with traditional acneic, greasy skin, to put straight Vitamin E Oil on their skin or that at least she would do it cautiously. But that for someone with dryer skin, it made sense and that ultimately she said it was good that I listened to my intuition. Josh followed up nodding, saying, "Which is key. Follow your intuition, listen. Such a huge thing. If we really are listening, we're going to be guided to what serves us." He also said he did the same thing in the 90s. He made the connection between our skin's moisture and oil, saying, "Our skin moisturizes itself with oil, why not try to moisturize the skin with oils?

Next Josh showed us how to properly prep for the gua sha treatment. He said that for him and his skin, he likes his skin to always be hydrated and never dry -- "I like to be dewy, it's kind of my thing. It works for my skin."

Josh's prepping technique with a face mist and facial oil:

  1. Mist liberally on the face and neck with your chosen face mist.
  2. Use your palms to press the water into your skin.
  3. Spray again.
  4. Take about a half a dime size of your facial oil or serum and warm between your palms then apply to your face.

Sandra had us all tie our hair back and she explained the proper use of the gua sha tool. She said the most common thing she sees in these classes, were people not getting the tool flat enough towards their skin. Some techniques require the edges, but for the most part you want to get it as flat on your skin as possible.

Something that Josh said was important for the ritual and that really resonated with me, was to be present while doing this. Take deep breaths and clear the mind with each stroke. Like yoga for the face! I loved this as I have a tendency to speed through my mornings and evenings, whether I'm rushing off to work or trying to get to bed on time. To put it frankly, I need to slow the F down. This is something that Josh and Sandra said is great for that. To take a moment for yourself, for self care. Sandra recommended doing it before bedtime to calm the nerves.

First we did the neck. Sandra says this is good to do first because it's opening the channels for fluids and drainage as you work your way up. Speaking of up, she also said to always go up with your strokes to get the muscle lifting and depuffing benefits. Also to massage where needed while going through the different techniques! We worked up the jaw, (my favorite part, I tend to clench my jaw) then onto the cheeks, then under the eyes, then the brows and finally the forehead. Sandra and Josh all watched as we went through each technique and helped to correct or guide us through them. We did one particular side of the face first and it was crazy how immediate some of the results were on the people around me, including myself. The skin particularly around my nose and mouth had depuffed visibly compared to the other side. My brow looked lifted and the puffiness under my eyes had decreased slightly. There was a woman sitting across from me who had severe wrinkles all over her face and they had relaxed quite a bit. We re-applied our face mist and oil then did the other side.

Afterwards, we all got up and milled around the shop. I chatted with Sandra for a little bit about neck pain and the odd breakouts that were happening under my jaw. She said it was most likely hormonal, but if she was treating me that she would do a whole detailed interview with me to really get to the bottom of it. We chatted a bit longer about chinese medicine and skin things. I thanked her for her time and the talk and then waited to speak with Josh.

I watched him demo his Nutrient Day Cream for someone, I asked if I could try a bit and I was amazed at how quickly this stuff absorbed into my skin. There was no white zinc oxide streaks at all. It was completely invisible. It's officially on my review waitlist. I then geeked out with Josh a little bit about sunscreens and also that they were getting new packaging soon for his products! ( I think it's already debuted!) I showed him some of my photographs and he really liked them which sent me over the moon haha. His energy is so warm and kind! I thanked him for the evening and decided to head on home.

I hope you all enjoyed my recap of the evening! Have a great weekend everyone!

Review: The Gentle Label's Organic Healing Balm

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment

**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "Derived from papaya, Pawpaw is a natural alternative to chemical exfoliants. It contains the enzyme papain which gently removes dead skin cells to allow new ones to surface, perfectly prepping skin for the anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties of Calendula.

100% natural, Organic Healing Balm is gentle enough for all in the family. It can be applied anywhere on the face and body, including eyelids and lips.

  • Deeply moisturizing, calming and soothing
  • Heals minor burns, scalds and cuts
  • Relieves insect bites and irritations, sores and bruises
  • Soothes inflamed, chapped or cracked skin
  • Safe to use on lips" -https://thegentlelabel.com/

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. *95.8% Certified Organic Ingredients.

Contains 4% Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract and 10% organic Calendula infused oil.

How To Use: "Apply sparingly with clean fingertips to affected area, or use as a general moisturising and soothing cream. For children, apply only to the affected area. 

For external use only. Keep out of reach of children and direct sunlight. Store below 30°C."

Scent? It smells subtly of beeswax.

My Experience: I've been using this balm for close to two weeks. It's quickly become my go-to daily moisturizer and lip balm. When I'm at work and my hands, eyes or lips feel dry, I apply this. My knuckles in particular tend to get really dry, to the point of scaly (bleeechhh) After rubbing a good amount into my knuckles (about a nickel size on each) lo and behold they were soft. The balm doesn't take too long to absorb either and it doesn't leave a residue of any kind. I only need to do this maybe once or twice a week for my hands. For my eyes, I put a teeny amount on my finger and rubbed it around my orbital bone. It did great there too. The skin under my eyes tends to get dry, so I'm constantly trying to moisturize them. A tiny amount worked well to put some softness back into the creases and under my eyes. It's fantastic as a lip balm as well. Even though I drink a bunch of water while I'm at work, my lips still get chapped sometimes. This stuff is a savior. I only need to put on a bit and my lips are hydrated.

Overall: I really love this balm. My one complaint is that between using it on my hands, eyes and lips throughout the week, I'll probably be through the balm after a month or so. I wish it came in a bigger size! I didn't get a chance to test it on any cuts, burns or bug bites (maybe that's a good thing?) but it does a great job at keeping my lips, eyes and hands hydrated. The other thing is that it ships from Singapore if you buy it directly from their site or the UK if you buy it from contentbeautywellbeing.com, so it takes about a week or two to make it to the USA. If you don't mind the wait, it really is a wonderful balm.

Organic Healing Balm 25 ml $15.92 USD + $8.00 for shipping or get free shipping here

 

An evening with May Lindstrom

EventsOctober Comstock2 Comments

"I wanted to bottle a catalyst for a ritual." - May Lindstrom

Thursday night, I attended the May Lindstrom spring event at The Detox Market. Their location in Santa Monica is nestled in the heart of the very trendy Montana Ave right across the street from Jurlique and next to a Michael Stars. When I arrived, they were filming inside and we had to loiter for a bit. Which was fine with me because I got to meet a lovely lady named Rose who is starting her own skincare Instablog called @moonlightrosebeauty. Once they opened the doors we filed in trying to find a seat. It's a little smaller than their other location in West Hollywood, but it still gets me so excited when I see all the products. We were sat in little white chairs in the front of the store. I managed to snag a front row seat and looked behind me instantly recognizing Adri of @sortofobsessed. (We've chatted on Instagram before) She introduced me to the lady at her right who was Chrissy of @honeyanddewskin. I met Lori of @riseandgloww in the procession for Pressed Juicery beverages alongside Kye's nori wraps and black bean brownies. It was a lot of fun getting to meet these ladies in person and geek out about our passion for skincare. Once we settled, Suzanne Hall, co-founder of The Chalkboard Mag and May Lindstrom herself settled onto some stools. May's hair was slicked back into a sleek long braid and she wore a military green blazer. May's skin was absolutely glowing. We were all remarking about it and how it must be because she uses her own products. As she was settling in, she looked at me and said "I'll try not to kick you!" Because we could have played footsies she was sitting so close in front of me haha.

She started by speaking about her childhood, where she grew up and her early struggles with her extremely sensitive skin. Everyday actions like washing your hands in a restaurant bathroom, were scary things for her because of their hand soaps. If she used them, they would cause her hands to bleed and blister. Or going to a sleepover, she was unable to touch the generic skincare products that her friends were playing with. This was a day to day thing and caused a lot of trauma for her growing up. It became very clear to me, that May really understands what struggling with your skin means. Mentioning that even at 34, she still deals with issues whether it's hormonal acne from breast feeding or perioral dermatitis. This really resonated with me because of how much I struggled in high school with my skin. I had cystic and hormonal acne that I had no idea how to fix at the time. It drove me crazy and made me hate looking at my face. Eventually I was able to solve most of my issues with probiotics, healthy eating and being more careful about the products I put on my skin. I have yet to really try May's products and see their efficacy, but seeing where she came from and hearing about her own struggles is reassuring in a brand. 

She was a formulator and loved food from a very young age. Experimenting with things from her family's garden and pictures from recipe books. As she described her products, she spoke about them as if they were food items. Words like "pudding" "mousse" "treat" "delicious" "meal" all evoking a sense that we were experiencing May's wonderful culinary treasures. Which, we were.

The first product I got to touch was The Good Stuff. What May referred to as her "Fabric Free Lingerie" and that she's pretty sure it's the reason why her husband married her. A body and hair oil, it smelled intoxicating and of cacao and rose. It left tiny gold flecks on my skin and I couldn't stop smelling my hand haha. The oil was silky and moisturizing when I rubbed it on. This was May's first launched product, she laughed saying "There were a billion first products that didn't make it here." A testament to her perfectionism. It's surprisingly her lowest selling product meant for the body. "Nobody invests in their body even though it's all of your skin." Something I'm personally working on.

When she showcased her upcoming The Pendulum Potion, her newest product to come out in 3 years. Which in this industry, is pretty crazy because most brands are coming out with a new product every 6 months. May wants her products to speak for themselves. "The collection is concise on purpose." She only releases a new product when it's perfected and she feels it's really needed (mentioning she's working on developing a washcloth that will actually work well and isn't abrasive! she promises she will get it for us!) The color is this beautiful Spring earthy green. It has a thicker oil texture which is difficult to remove without water. But once the water touches it, it becomes easy to manage and I noticed my hand felt more hydrated after removing it. When asked by Rose that she had problems getting it all off when using a sample at home, May responded by saying you have to use a washcloth to remove it, but that the great thing about the product was that it was nutritious for your skin if left on. This product is supposed to be able to remove all your makeup, lipstick, sunscreen and "all the days troubles". I'm waitlisted for it, so it will have it's own review here once I get my hands on it (I hope to be able to really dive in and write about all her products as time goes on)

Each and every one of her products smelled incredible and most of the time, indescribable. The Jasmine Garden smelled soooooo good (so refreshing when I sprayed it on my face) When I inhaled the scent of The Honey Mud, it was the first time I'd ever smelled a skincare product and thought I wanted to eat it. But it wasn't just the smells that were heavenly, it was also the textures of each product.  Something that really surprised me, was when she mixed The Problem Solver mask in her gorgeous mixing bowl. It's a powder that you mix water with. May explained that the ratios are very important if you want results when using her products. She brought it over to me and I was surprised to see how fluffy it had become. It was a black, puffy thick mixture and a really beautiful obsidian color. The Clean Dirt had a similar puffy texture, but was a brown sienna like color.

But when she brought out the Blue Cocoon with a gorgeous tiny golden spoon, it was sensory overload. Absolutely beautiful. The turquoise melty balm is her favorite product. One that she says is really good for bloggers (hello!) because of how many products we are constantly trying. May says that it's also an antihistamine. This is May's go everywhere with her product and she says that it's her healer. While I have yet to try this all out for myself, I have to admit, this is probably at the top of my skincare wishlist. When I put it on my hand, it went it on quite smoothly, melting quickly. It moisturized where I put it on my hand and left the skin feeling soft. I won't be able to say more until I get my hands on it, but the scent is incredible too. The best way I can describe it, is an herbal honey-ish like scent yet even that doesn't do the smell justice. The major ingredient is Blue Tansy which gives it that lovely hue, so I could be smelling that. But bottom line, it smells wonderful.

The Youth Dew is also very silky. It has a bright yellow color and like everything else it smelled amazing. I rubbed it all over my neck, my neck felt moisturized.

The Jasmine Garden smells unbelievable. Like fresh jasmine. After spraying it on, my skin felt refreshed after my long day at work and there was a slight..not a tingling sensation...but a refreshing sensation.

I really had no idea what to expect when I arrived. but every single product she showcased smelled incredible and felt really nice on my skin. Breathing them in, touching them. They are an experience. I have yet to really dive into them all, but I cannot wait.

The evening ended after the demonstrations and with a brief Q & A session. Someone asked May if she used sunscreen and what her opinion was. Apparently, May doesn't use sunscreen and when she does, she mixes pure zinc powder with the Blue Cocoon. She also mentioned that she will probably make a sunscreen at some point when she's ready and only when it's perfect.

Afterwards, we all scattered about the store to check everything out. I couldn't stop inhaling her products haha. They each smelled so good! I waited in an informal line to speak to her and I honestly just wanted to thank her for the evening and for her passion and for what she was doing. A lot of what she said resonated with me and I just wanted to tell her that. Something I'm working on is getting better at coming up with questions. Not stupid questions, but I tend to get so overwhelmed by all the awesome all I can say is, "AHHH that was awesome!!" Then later the questions will come to me. Anyways, she greeted me with a hug. I introduced myself and told her what I was thinking and thank her for the evening. (Check out the whole 1 hour and 40 minute talk on The Chalkboard mag's facebook page. I can't possibly go over everything and I think it's a must watch. I'm the girl sitting at the front in black haha)

When she asked about my skin and if I was happy with it, I told her about my skin issues and how I literally can't touch ice cream or I break out in cystic spots. This goes back to some of the things she was saying in her talk about how it's usually us getting in our own way with our skin. Whether it's putting too much retinols on our skin or eating terribly, skin care starts with our own healthy choices. For me that was a huge turning point. If you want beautiful skin, put down the ice cream (I recommend Coconut Bliss if you need an ice cream fix) put away the crappy foundations and take care of yourself. The bottle is only a bottle. There is no such thing as a skincare fix all because our skin is a living organ. It will continue to react to the environment, what's happening with your body and what you eat. Skincare handles those issues when they happen. Anyway! She told me she has the same issue and that dairy and sugar are huge troublemakers for her as well. I told her I take probiotics for it and she recommended The Problem Solver and the Blue Cocoon for me. 

I talked with so many wonderful people afterwards. I met Vanessa who is working with her and is a nutritionist. Danelle is also working with her and is a creative director and was the guinea pig in the video who's face I smelled haha! It's captured in the video (the face mask she was wearing did smell amazing)

I ended up chatting with May again later and asked her if we could take a picture and she said yes (she really is a wonderfully sweet and kind woman) I thanked her again and called my Lyft home.

And with that the evening was over. I have a product review backlog I'm currently working through, but her products are definitely going to be on this blog in the future.

In the meantime I'm keeping my eye out for those little golden spoons and that washcloth May. It was lovely getting to share those moments with you.

I hope you enjoyed my article on the evening and a special thank you to Elena of The Detox Market. I listed below the tips May recommended from the video with each product and some quotes or May-isms that I really loved.

 Here I am with the lovely May Lindstrom. I'm smiling like such a goober. We both agreed there needs to be selfie stations.

Here I am with the lovely May Lindstrom. I'm smiling like such a goober. We both agreed there needs to be selfie stations.

 My minis that I received that evening in my giftbag!

My minis that I received that evening in my giftbag!

May's Tips & Tricks:

The Good Stuff: Use on dry skin if you want more of a shine. Put on the clavicles, legs and shoulders. She likes to keep it in the shower and use it on wet skin before she gets out of the shower. She recommends to fill the palms with it, run it all over and put it through your hair. May also loves to use it as a hair leave in treatment the night before she washes her hair.

Pendulum Potion: Massage in the oil, use a hot washcloth (for the steam) and press it on your skin. Sweep it away with light strokes gently. Rinse with water. Take it all the way down your neck if you want. If you have really active acne outbreaks, don't use a washcloth.

Honey Mud: You can actually use this as a gentle cleanser. If you put this on dry skin, it looks like pudding. If you put it on wet skin, it turns to milk. Splash the skin, take a big dollop and massage it into your wet skin. Then rinse off. When used as a mask, put it on clean and dry skin and wear as long as you want. Not great at removing heavy makeup as a cleanser. A pea sized amount goes a long way with wet skin. She mixed with The Clean Dirt at around 58 minutes.

The Clean Dirt: She recommends doing The Clean Dirt in the shower because it's messy. She says it shouldn't be used everyday but about as often as you need to wash your hair. She likes to use it on her chest for fall off. (It fell on my jeans in the video it was pretty funny XD) Leave it on and then rinse it, don't overdo it though. She also recommends using it on your shoulders and armpits. She recommend it to be blended with The Honey Mud to help with brightening & hyperpigmentation.

The Problem Solver: Make sure it's measured correctly. It should be bubbly and fizzy when mixed. Don't rub or scrub this off ever, only rinse off. She recommended mixing it with the Blue Cocoon for painful pimples and cystic acne. She likes to do it once a week at full strength either mixing it with The Jasmine Garden or water and once a week mixed with The Honey Mud. The Honey Mud mixture is better for more sensitive skin. Combine The Problem Solver with the Youth Dew for wet painful pimples that haven't yet come to a head.

The Blue Cocoon: You only need a very small amount. After your cleanser and rinsing, skip the towel and massage the balm in. May recommends following this with The Jasmine Garden. As well as rubbing it on your chest. When I told her I had asthma, she actually recommended that I rub it on my chest to help with that. She says it's great for an eye treatment and to rub it into lids and lashes.

Youth Dew: May recommends mixing it with the Blue Cocoon to help with acne and to use it with wet skin after you've cleansed and rinsed. She says to massage it in well on fine lines and where she feels a breakout coming on. She says this is also a leave on.

The Jasmine Garden: She recommends using this after the Blue Cocoon and if you can to mix it with The Problem Solver as a mask. Spray on top of the oils.

 

May-isms:

"Don't be scared of your products."

"I am a little over the top and I admit it. But it's the only way I want to do things. "

"I formulated this as a cleanser, but everyone uses it as a mask." -On the Honey Mud

"Always always play."

"First take off the day, second put the nourishment back in." -On the honey mud

"Get out of your own way. It's not in the bottle. Sometimes the bottle is the reminder."

"I deal with nature, she's my boss."

"You should pick it up and want to tell your girlfriends about it."

"I'm still a food person."

"All I do all day long, is talk to you."

"Learning to play. Learning to listen to our skin."

"When I go home after an insanely long day and there's been 5 billion challenges and I can't get the ingredient and I failed a client and that shipment didn't make it and this thing went wrong and everyone's losing it and I go home to my two children who need me and my husband who needs me and no sleep and every other thing like most people, what am I going to do to make it okay for me? What am I going to do with my 30 seconds that I get that night? What am I going to do with my 5 minutes that I get that day? Maybe today is the day that I ask for that hour from my husband. And learning that lesson that I can take it too. The mantra that I say all day long that I say to each of you is 'I have to take it back'."

"My mantra that I say to myself all day long and that I say to you is, 'I have to take it back.'"

"This is my practice. Some people have meditation, yoga or running, I do this: I wash my face. I use oils. I take a deep breath. If it's not enough, I do it again and again everyday and I show up. And that's it. That's my practice."

 

Review: Herbivore Botanical's Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment

Description: "Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist is created with pure plant actives — no fillers. A base of coconut water is infused with youth-boosting hibiscus flower petals and moisture-enhancing rose to tone, hydrate, and soften all skin types." -https://www.herbivorebotanicals.com/

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Flower Water, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filterate, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract (Neer Sikkappu Red)

How To Use: "Shake before using. Spritz your face a few times and rub in. We recommend using it on your face after cleansing and before applying moisturizer."

Scent? It smells fruity, but a floral fruity. I can smell the aloe vera and the rose. The hibiscus is what gives it that fruit smell.

My Experience: My first introduction to Herbivore's products, the rose mist does not dissappoint. I've been using this for about two weeks and it's a solid hydrating face mist. I use another toner after cleansing to remove impurities, but I follow up with this mist before putting my moisturizer on for a boost. The experience is really wonderful. It's a nice refreshing burst of hydration in the morning or after a long day. One pump of the mist is very generous too. Some mists you have to spray a couple times before you get all over, but if you do it right, can get full coverage. Another thing that should be noted is this doesn't sting my eyes. I've tried face mists before where they sting your eyes upon use! Which is crazy when you think about it. Makes you wonder if the company selling those eye-stinging mists have actually tried them themselves...Anyway, it's very gentle and the entire product is completely natural. It's made in small batches and all of their oils are cold-pressed or steam-distilled. As for my skin, the hydration was noticeable. Not a crazy amount, but a noticeable amount. It worked well with my face cream.

Overall: Easily one of the most photogenic products I've ever used and shot. The experience of using it is spa-worthy and adds an overall lovely note to my mornings. As for results? I think that's tough with face mists because of how they are used. I usually just need a boost of hydration and as long as it smells nice and doesn't sting my eyes, I'm on board. But this particular one has an impressive ingredients list and it shows. Aloe vera, coconut water and rose water are very good for hydration and my skin is enjoying the benefits. It should definitely be in your bathroom.

Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Mist 4oz $32 or 2oz $16

Review: French Girl Organic's Rose Lip Polish

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment
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Description: "An invigorating rose & mint-infused sugar scrub formulated with nourishing butters to gently remove dry skin leave lips supple and hydrated."-https://www.frenchgirlorganics.com/

Ingredients: Sucrose (Natural Cane Juice)* Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter* Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Oil* Euphorbia Anisyphilitica (Candelilla) Wax, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil* Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter* Ricinus communis (Organic Castor) Seed Oil* Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Powder, Essential Oils of Pelagonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium)* Mentha Spicata (Spearmint)* Mentha Piperita (Peppermint)* 
* Certified Organic

How To Use: "Gently massage a pea-sized amount onto lips; rinse."

Scent? An amazing sweet minty rose.

Texture? A melty sugar mixture.

My Experience: Having never tried a lip scrub before, the bar has officially been set very high. I used it several times over the past week, following the instructions. I take a small amount (you really don't need much) and use my index finger to rub the polish over my lips. Then I gently rub the granules over them, paying particular attention to my lower lip which loves to dry out and chap. After scrubbing it on, my lips felt moisturized and full. The dry skin on my lips had seemingly gone away and they felt soft. I used it yesterday before applying one of my favorite matte lip colors, it went on nice and smooth. No dry chappiness for the lip stick to catch on!

Notes: For more exfoliation, you can take a wash cloth and use that instead of your fingers to scrub at your lips. But be gentle! Don't rub your lips raw, it defeats the purpose of self-care.

Overall: I really love this scrub. It smells wonderful, the texture is nice and I enjoy the way my lips feel afterwards. They indeed feel polished. I would highly recommend it! Here is their website for the curious.

Rose Lip Polish - 1oz $15 USD

Review: One Love Organic's Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment

Description: "The ultimate in multi-tasking luxury, Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover effortlessly lifts away impurities and makeup while restoring skin’s natural moisture barrier and pH balance. This non-stripping, clean-rinsing formula features papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to exfoliate and soften, and a natural Vitamin B complex to detoxify and tone. Designed with dry, dehydrated skin in mind yet concentrated enough for all skin types, The Cleansing Oil is ultra-effective when used alone or as the perfect first step in any double cleansing routine." -https://shop.oneloveorganics.com/

Ingredients: organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, di-ppg-2 myreth-10 adipate, polyglycerol-3 beeswax, lecithin* (and) cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil* (and) papain*, carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, tocopherol, fragrance/parfum(read my take on this below)

How To Use: Warm 1-2 pumps between hands and apply to dry face. Add warm water and massage into a delicate milk. Rinse clean. May also be used with a cotton square to remove makeup—no water or rinsing required. 

Tip: For a deeper cleanse and light exfoliation, apply cleanser then press a warm washcloth to face and let cool. Gently remove excess cleanser with washcloth. Rinse and repeat.

Scent? It smells like a pina colada! No joke! I personally enjoy it, but I've read others say it was too much for them. The fragrance seems to be the most controversial thing about this product. Whenever you see "fragrance/parfum" in an ingredient list, it raises a brow because there could be anything in the mix. It doesn't have to be labeled. I know several people in the clean beauty world that will simply not touch a product because it has those words on the back.

Here's a direct quote from the FDA's website on this issue:

"If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.”"

This means companies can put whatever they want into the "fragrance" without having to list it's ingredients along with the initial product's ingredients. Leaving us with a big question mark. So it's an understandable concern. One that I share.

To be honest, I bought this product based off of great reviews and I had been wanting to try One Love Organic's products for a while. I don't normally just buy something without thoroughly checking out the ingredients, but I had a good feeling about it and it was a best seller on The Detox Market's site. They have high standards for products they stock.

Happily, I wasn't betrayed. This is One Love Organic's response to concerns about the fragrance/parfum in their product:

"We only use ECOCERT certified blends of 100% natural origin. One Love Organics uses a proprietary blend of ingredients found in nature including therapeutic essential oils, fruit and plant extracts and oils to compose our wonderful pineapple aroma that has to be labeled parfum/fragrance by the FDA. Our natural fragrance is free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, petrochemicals, formaldehyde donors, peg’s, dea/tea and 1,4 dioxanes.

I think it would be beneficial to put this statement with the ingredients on their website, but that's just my opinion.

Texture? This is something I loooooved about this cleanser. It's an oil cleanser, so it's transparent when it comes out of the bottle. The texture of it is a lot like coconut oil. When you add a touch of water to it, it thickens a tad and becomes milky. It feels lovely.

My Experience: I've been using this morning and night for about 3 weeks. It's the first oil cleanser I've used, so I don't have other oil cleansers to compare it to, but I used it according to the instructions and followed the tips. I will say, it's the first cleanser I've ever used that hasn't stripped my skin. My skin felt moisturized after cleansing! Which is an odd thing to me, I'm used to cleansers leaving my skin feeling like they need immediate moisture afterwards. When it came to makeup removal, it did a great job at removing my eye makeup. Even my waterproof eyeliner. I'm not someone that wears a lot of makeup on the day to day, so I can't attest to some of the crazier makeups out there, but I was told by One Love Organics that it's been able to tackle everything they've thrown at it. So take that however you like. My skin had no bad reactions to it whatsoever, in fact it's very clear right now.

Notes: I highly recommend doing the warm washcloth tip if you have the time. It feels really nice and opens the pores up. I recommend starting with the outer parts of your face and then ending with the eyes. That way the makeup that you are taking off doesn't get rubbed all over your face.

Overall: I think this is a wonderful cleanser. I enjoy the way it smells, I love the texture of it on my skin and on my eyes, it does a great job at taking off makeup. My skin is not stripped afterwards and retains it's original moisture before use. I'm glad I listened to my gut and bought it. If you aren't a fan of pineapple, then this isn't the cleanser for you. If you are looking for a cleanser that does not strip your skin and removes makeup, this is a great choice. I feel comfortable using this product despite there being "fragrance/parfum" in it's ingredients list because OLO only uses ECOCERT certified 100% natural ingredients for their fragrance. Personally, I really like it and I can't wait to try more of One Love Organic's products.

Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil - $42

Hyaluronic Acid: What to know

IngredientsOctober ComstockComment

"Today I want to talk a little about Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate. Our bodies naturally create Hyaluronic acid. It's a polysaccharide used in our hair, skin, eyes and joints. You see it in a lot of beauty products, why? Because it's a humectant that binds water molecules to it. So it's in a lot of face masks and moisturizers. Something you may not know though, is that pure Hyaluronic Acid can't be absorbed through the skin. It can only be injected..."

Review: ULIV's Golden Chai Facial Soufflé

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment
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**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "The first in our line of Facial Soufflé’s, skin-glowing Golden Chai is a powerful, potent blend of therapeutic plants, essential oils, and botanicals infused with proven high-performance peptides, vitamins, and natural anti-inflammatory ingredients.  This blend is uniquely designed to unveil the skin’s innate youth and vibrancy, regardless of age.  Created by hand using wildcrafted ingredients, Golden Chai mirrors the same cellular structure as your skin, allowing the healing ingredients to easily absorb and build a relationship with your cells for continuous anti-aging benefits.  This potent anti-inflammatory formula renews and repairs cells to reduce the appearance of age spots, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles, creating an immediate and lasting vibrant glow, while permanently reversing signs of sun damage. " -http://www.ulivskin.com/

Ingredients: manuka honey, herb infused oil (raspberry leaf, lavender flowers, comfrey leaf, chamomile flowers, rose petals, calendula flowers, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil), mango butter, ceatryl alcohol, beeswax, aloe vera water, aloe vera gel, co enzyme q10 vitamin c&e, honeysuckle blend, sea kelp extract, soy-rice peptides, green tea eco extract, sea buckthorn oil, sea ferment, essential oils (turmeric, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cinnamon, carrot seed oil)

How To Use: Apply to clean face and décolletage in the morning and as needed. Once absorbed, your skin will develop a golden glow while the ingredients work beneath the surface to repair damaged cells.

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Scent? It's a strong spiced smell. Like a chai latte with lots of cinnamon and spices. I personally really enjoy it. The smell doesn't linger either.

Texture? The texture is a grainy thick creme. The grains are solidified oils, they melt away as you rub it on your skin. It's a really luxurious sensation. It isn't heavy and a little goes a long way.

My Experience: I've been using this product for about two weeks now. I put it on after my moisturizer and on my neck and décolletage morning and night. I can honestly say that almost immediately I saw a difference with my skin after the first use. My redness and inflammation from a recent breakout/rash had calmed so much, it looked like I had fast forwarded a few days of healing. After a week of use, my skin was clear of redness and breakouts. This was in conjunction with my morning routine and eating well, but at the rate my skin healed, I knew it was in no small part to this creme! We all know that eating right and eliminating certain foods will prevent breakouts. I don't know if this creme prevents breakouts, but I can certainly attest that it helps heal them!

It's got an amazing array of ingredients. Manuka honey and turmeric are the big ones and they are powerhouses at healing inflammation and redness. I do a DIY face mask with raw honey and turmeric at home sometimes when I feel like my skin is irritated. The DIY honey mask is great in case you had a bad reaction to something(fast food or bad foundation for example?) But it's awfully messy. This is a great, daily solution to healing your skin and giving it a super boost of nutrients (No wonder this product was nominated for Indie Beauty Expo's Best In Show award)

Notes: Rub it in until all the granules are gone.

Overall: I really love this product. It worked so well at helping to heal my skin, I know it's going to be a permanent fixture in my bathroom. It's also really affordable. Which only makes me happier knowing I can recommend a wonderful product to folks knowing it won't break their bank. If you want something that will help heal your skin's inflammation, this is the product to buy.

I reached out to ULIV to see if I could review this product for a reason. After seeing the ingredients list and the product's recent nominations at the Indie Beauty Expo (Top Buyer Picks of 2017 & Best In Show) I had to investigate. After the first attempt at sending me the product failed, they were happy to send me another. Which only speaks to their pride in the product and kind of company they are.

Here is the link to ULIV's website for the curious: ulivskin.com

This product is a wildcrafted healing powerhouse that smells amazing and at such an affordable price($39) should be in your beauty repertoire. Redness and inflammation be gone! For real.

Golden Chai Facial Souffle - $39 USD

Review: Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm

ReviewsOctober ComstockComment

**I was sent this product to review and all of these thoughts are my honest feedback.**

Description: "A multitasking miracle balm specially designed for the sensitive skin around the eyes. Mango seed butter dramatically diminishes appearance of dark circles, while calendula oil, beeswax, and lavender oil increase skin's elasticity." -http://indielee.com/

Ingredients: Calendula Officinalis Flower (calendula) Oil, Beeswax, Magnifera Indica (mango) Seed Butter, Lavandula Angustifolia (lavender) Oil, Squalane (olive derived), Persea gratissima (avocado) Oil, Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol)

Directions: Use ring finger or skin care spatula to scoop out a grain-sized amount of product. Let the balm momentarily warm, then gently dab around orbital bone twice daily. For external use only

My experience:

I've been using the balm for about two weeks with my morning and evening routines. A little goes a long way, it's not scented and has a sheen to it when you put it on your skin. I have drier skin under my eyes and this stuff does a great job at keeping them moisturized. It claims to help with circles under your eyes, I didn't really have dark circles to begin with, so I'm not sure if it helped with that. But overall, the skin under my eyes looks much healthier and feels soft.

Notes:

Because it does leave a sheen, I recommend rubbing it in a tad more with your makeup in the mornings. I do wish that it had some caffeine in it to help with my morning puffiness.

Overall:

This product is great at moisturizing under your eyes. I really love it and understand why it's always sold out on Indie Lee's site!

Calendula Eye Balm - 0.5 oz $42 USD

Beginnings & The Beauty Chef

Nutrition, Wellness, EventsOctober ComstockComment

Last night, I was at an awesome event held at The Detox Market in Beverly Hills. They were hosting one of my favorite leaders in the clean beauty industry, the one and only Carla Oates creator of The Beauty Chef. She's launching her newest product, Glow Advanced, in the USA this week.

She's been leading the charge on natural beauty for a long time now with nutrition always being at the forefront. From a young age, Carla came to understand the correlation between what you ate and how it affected your skin. At 13, she had eczema and after seeing a naturopath and eliminating certain foods from her diet, she saw drastic improvement. This really cemented the concept for her and she keeps it with her always. That's an understatement, but the woman has helped pioneer wellness into the beauty industry. Which is amazing.

My skin in high school was terrible like everyone else's. When I stopped eating a crap ton of ice cream and junk food, I saw a huge difference (jeez go figure October) but my acne was still there. I tried all of the mass market acne products and saw no results. I knew it was internal, I stopped eating dairy and was eating clean, but I had no idea what to do. My mother, who is a holistic nutritional fountain of knowledge, wanted me to start taking probiotics and drinking kefir for my overall health. After week or two, I started noticing how much it was helping my skin. I researched about gut health and was blown away by it all. This was back in 2011! I've since been taking probiotics and drinking kefir religiously for years. I get the occasional hormonal breakout or when I've been bad with my nutrition, but the probiotics are always consistent. So when I heard about The Beauty Chef's products, I was immediately intrigued. I held off on trying it mostly because of the price point. I continued oogling it and playing the "In the Cart, Out of the Cart" game. But after a recent bad breakout and seeing that Carla was speaking, I threw down my money and ordered Glow Advanced. I've been wanting to try her products for a long while and I feel so silly for waiting.

When I walked into The Detox Market last night, I felt I had found my Mecca. The walls are filled with all of these incredible clean beauty teas, wellness powders, organic foundations, serums...the brands that I have only ever gaped at online. There was a lovely display of fresh flowers and at the end of the long room were the words "Detox your life". Yes, I had indeed found my people. My trek from Santa Monica had been worth it.

We were an intimate group and I could tell I wasn't the only one geeking out on all the products. I met several wonderful women there last night as we contemplated the selection of natural deodorants while drinking a rose chocolate Glow smoothie.

After browsing and chatting for a bit, we all sat down to hear Carla speak. She spoke of her journey, how important probiotics and fermented foods are for your health and the important connection between what we ingest and our skin. Glow, her mainstay product, is her absolute essential. When asked what was the one product she couldn't live without, she said it was Glow. It's the hero product in her line and she takes it every day. It's a powder that you can add to smoothies, acai bowls or just throw in some water and down. It's a prebiotic and probiotic blend targeted towards your skin. There's been a lot of acclaim around it and I can't wait to try Glow and Glow Advanced.

The Q&A portion ended and we all took a picture with Carla. Afterwards, I told her how much I loved what she was doing in the beauty industry and thanked her for helping to start this movement of beauty nutrition. She thanked me and we chatted a little bit. Such a nice lady!

I snagged a bottle of The Beauty Chef's Collagen on my way out. I had such a great time.

My new morning ritual will be including Collagen and Advanced Glow. I'm waiting for my shipment of the Advanced Glow, but I can tell you that Collagen is delicious and tastes great with water. Like berries! I will keep you guys updated on my progress with it and when I finally get my Advanced Glow in the mail. I hope you enjoyed my very first blog post. In the meantime, stay healthy my friends.