Clean Beauty Ritual

Detoxing the beauty industry, one word at a time.

non toxic skincare

Review: Leegeehaam's Vita Propolis Ampoule

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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: The Gentle Label's Organic Healing Balm

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**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

 

Review: Herbivore Botanical's Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist

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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

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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

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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

Review: ULIV's Golden Chai Facial Soufflé

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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

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**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

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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.