Introducing: Sister Spotlight

Introducing a new series on Plein Vanity: Sister Spotlight! Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is have my lovely sister, Monica talk about her personal skincare and beauty journey as she converts from conventional to clean beauty. (And of course with my help!) I think it’s helpful to read about another person’s perspective on skincare and beauty on Plein Vanity besides my own. 

A bit about Monica: she’s my younger sister, a recent college grad with a cool job in advertising, and she’s much taller, funnier, less-serious and more spontaneous than I am. I guess that’s what I get for being the first child? We’ve always been very close as sisters even though most people would describe our personalities and behaviors as night and day. We’ve grown even closer as we’ve gotten older.
As far as skin-type goes: she has oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin and has used many dermatologist-prescribed acne medicines/treatments in the past. Her skintone is a warm, golden-olive tone and she tans very easily in the summer unlike me. Her hair-type is naturally straight and thick but suffers from heat damage and breakage as she likes to curl her hair daily.  She loves makeup as much as I do but due to her skin (and my prodding), she has focused more on perfecting her skincare routine and learning more about natural/organic products. Read on for her current product lineup and thoughts. Leave some product suggestions below in the comments too!

Trader Joe’s Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 15I bought this because I was looking for a gentle, unscented, simple daily moisturizer that wouldn’t be greasy for my oily skin and was lightweight for the summer. My friend recommended this to me and I liked it because of the lightweight, portable packaging and that it’s very affordable. I was also attracted to it because it has organic ingredients and SPF 15 in it while the formula isn’t greasy or heavy. I used this lotion into the wintertime and I still like it because it moisturizes my skin well and has sun protection. Plus, it’s easy to purchase from my local Trader Joe’s market. The only downside is this moisturizer doesn’t feel as beneficial for my skin as it could be. My skin isn’t irritated nor greasier from this product but it also doesn’t really enhance my skin either. I’m open to trying other moisturizers with more organic or natural ingredients that benefit my oily, acne-prone skin. But, at the moment I still think this is a nice product and I’d use it again.

RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Sacred: Kasey bought me this Lip Shine for my birthday, I’d never used any organic lip color products before.  I prefer using lip balms but like the option of having something with color in it. My favorite lip product before this Lip Shine was NYX Cometics’ Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp. The formula was really different, not a lipstick or a lipgloss, it dries matte and the color (a pretty, unique pink-coral) lasts forever. Now I’m also using the RMS Lip Shine and I love it because the color and formula is amazing! It’s shinier than what I’m used to, but the color is so pretty, vibrant and buildable. Plus, I only need to use a little bit. It doesn’t last as long as the NYX Lip Cream and I still like to apply lip balm before,  but I like that the RMS LipShine has more nourishing, healthy ingredients. Sacred is now my go-to colored lip product. I’m really interested to try more colors!

One Love Organics Apple a Day Brightening Cleanser: Before using this cleanser, I had a really bad skin breakout and I didn’t know why. I’d just started an internship in another state and wanted to find a quick solution. I resorted to using LUSH skincare products because I thought it would help my skin since they were more “natural” products. I splurged at LUSH, buying the Eau Roma Water toner and Herbalism exfoliating facial cleanser because I was told they were gentle and worked well to clear up acne if used daily. I knew not to exfoliate my face everyday but I tried it because LUSH convinced me otherwise. I didn’t notice any progression with my skin but when I came home, Kasey bought me this OLO cleanser for my birthday. I was familiar with the brand because she regularly uses and raves about OLO products. I’ve always adored their cute packaging too. I was excited to try this cleanser as I was desperately looking for something to help my skin.

I had my doubts when I started using the cleanser because I was using such a harsh scrub before where I could “feel” the product on my skin. The OLO cleanser was so gentle it didn’t feel like it was doing anything for my skin. After a few weeks, I noticed my skin had cleared up and felt a lot better. Since I had so much faith in the OLO cleanser, I then stopped using most of my prescribed acne medications. My skin was still clearing up without the extra help of my prescriptions! I like that it’s a foaming cleanser and so gentle on my skin, really not harsh at all. It also smells amazing (like apples!) and I like that there is no alcohol in it to further irritate my skin. I’ve had this since July and I still have a good amount left but when I do run out, I plan to get a new one right away! It just works with my skin so well!
{Sadly, this cleanser was a limited-edition summer OLO product but it seems you can still snag it at One Love Organics or EcoDivaBeauty! Or try a similar product, the Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser or Chia Whip Foam Cleanser.}

Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara in Black: I LOVE this mascara! Kasey gave it to me because the formula didn’t work well for her. She told me it smudged all the time and she just didn’t like it. I started using it because I was in need of a new mascara and was interested in the organic formula. I was using affordable, drugstore mascaras from brands like Maybelline, Cover Girl, and Revlon and I always found they would dry out my lashes and the formulas would be very clumpy. These mascaras just felt gross to apply and I always had “caked-on” spider lashes. When I first tried Alima Pure’s Mascara I loved the thin, long wand. The narrow brush and bristles really coated and reached all my lashes well.

After the first week of using this product , I felt like my eyelashes stayed intact and just felt stronger. I hated that the old mascaras I used would make my eyelashes fall out. With Alima Pure’s mascara, it adds length and volume to my lashes with multiple coats and my lashes don’t fall out. It does smudge for me too but there were so many other pros than cons to this mascara that I didn’t mind as much. This mascara is pricey but I’d definitely buy one after I use this up. Now I’m starting to realize that I’m willing to pay a little more for healthier, beneficial products rather than waste my money on things that don’t do really help in the long run.

Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder: This is still my holy grail powder foundation but I know that it has really bad ingredients in it and I found that it’s not actually beneficial for my skin. It’s a lightweight foundation, buildable to full-coverage, doesn’t break me out and mattifies my skin. It claims it’s skin clearing which I believed, but it never really helped clear up my skin or prevent breakouts. My sister showed me this product’s hazard score on EWG’s Skin Deep Database and it scored a high hazard of 7 (out of 10) which was pretty scary. That put me off of using this product again. I’ve been looking for healthier alternatives to this product and with Kasey’s help, I just purchased the Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation in the Warm 3 shade. I was curious about this product and it helped that I could actually go to our local Whole Foods and test it out. The shade matches my skin really well, it claims to have light to full coverage, and has skin soothing ingredients. I’m excited to try it out and think this will be a good alternative! I wasn’t happy with the price but it felt and looked really nice on my skin so I thought it would be worth the splurge.

Do you have any product suggestions or tips for Monica? Anything else you want to see or know about in the next Sister Spotlight? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

M&Ksalon

*Post contains some affiliates links.

25 Comments

  1. The Mindful Garden March 30, 2015

    You two are so cute! I’m rly glad you are doing this series. I am going through a transition too so it is nice to read about Monica’s experience. I also have sensitive and acne-prone skin so I would like to know what she does to combat/treat acne in the next sister spotlight 🙂 For tips, I think she should use oil for moisturizer at night. I used to have oily skin but I’ve been using the acure argan oil or pai rosehip oil in place of an oil-free night moisturizer (its been about a year now) and my skin is no longer oily! Is Monica also converting products for body/hair as well? Thanks for sharing! – Heather

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Aw thanks Heather! So glad you enjoyed this post, we’re excited to continue the series! 🙂 We’re definitely planning on sharing more about acne-treatment and body/hair products soon. Definitely a great tip about using facial oils! It’s one of my favorite skincare rituals and something we’ll be talking about next 😉 Stay tuned!

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Heather, thanks so much for the sweet comment and helpful oil tip!! It’s also so nice to hear that I’m not the only one going through this kind of transition. Definitely more to come with all the other products I’ve been switching over to 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  2. Alice March 30, 2015

    Loved this post Kasey! I think that it’s amazing the two of you can bond even more over your mutual love for natural products. (Same with my sister and I). I’d love to send her the Balance Serum for her acne prone and sensitive skin 🙂

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Thanks for reading, Alice! It really is fun to share this interest with my sister and learn from each other. It’s so nice you and your sister are the same as well! I think Monica would really enjoy the Balance Serum! I’m going to email you soon! 🙂

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Alice, thanks so much for reading! My sister and I are so excited about this collab 🙂 And thank you so much, I would love to try the Balance Serum! Sounds like a product that would really benefit my skin!

      Reply
  3. The Lipgloss Librarian March 30, 2015

    Sacred is amazing, it’s my only lip shine because RMS is so expensive and I love it! I am always looking for budget products too. A good budget foundation you might try is Lucy Minerals, they are pretty inexpensive and have lots of sales!

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Yes, we love effective budget products! Will have to look into Lucy Minerals as I haven’t heard of the brand before. I also really like your blog name, so cute! 🙂

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Thanks for the tip Lipgloss Librarian! Will definitely look into Lucy Minerals–their lip liners look awesome 🙂

      Reply
  4. Naturally Marcy March 30, 2015

    Monica (and Kasey!!), it was so nice to meet you at the Yarok event and I am so happy that you are starting to transition into green beauty! 🙂 I have acne-prone skin and sensitive skin too (though on the combination side instead of oily) and I love Laurel Whole Plants Organics Detox Mask. It heals acne gently and is great for clearing out those pesky blackheads! And as an acne-prone girl like you, I think it’s important to get a spot treatment like Osmia Organic’s Spot Treatment. You never know when a pimple might pop up!!

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Good call on the Laurel WPO Detox Mask and OO Spot Treatment! I have both (and use them regularly) and will have to have Monica test them out… 😉 xo

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Thanks for your comment Marcy! It was so nice meeting you as well 🙂 And thanks for the recommendations, both the detox mask and the spot treatment sounds like products I would use. Will definitely be looking into them 🙂

      Reply
  5. Zooey March 30, 2015

    This made me so happy to read!

    The photo at the end was spectacular too!

    Kasey – I totally forgot all the great recs you gave me for my dry/eczema prone skin. I will touch base with you tomorrow about them. Also, would you recommend the OLO Cleanser for me? I am also attracted to it because it doesn’t have any alcohol in it.

    I really just want you to give me a prescription of things to treat my skin and then I shall buyyyyy! 😀 <3

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Aw thanks Zooey! 😛 Yes, I think you would like the OLO Cleanser, it is great for sensitive skin! It looks like OLO’s website is selling the limited edition Apple a Day cleanser again or you could try their other gentle foaming cleansers. My favorite OLO cleanser is their Vitamin B Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover.
      Girl, you know I’m always up for giving you a healthy prescription full of skincare goodies! <3

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Hehe thanks for reading Zooey 🙂

      Reply
  6. Audrey Lum March 31, 2015

    What a great feature! Lots of useful information and love that you’re both my daughters 🙂 mom

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Thanks Mom! 🙂 We love you! <3

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Love you mommy! Thanks for reading 🙂 hehe

      Reply
  7. Ali March 31, 2015

    Loved this post!

    Reply
    • Kasey March 31, 2015

      Thanks Ali! So glad you enjoyed it! xo

      Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Thanks for reading Ali! I hope you stay tuned, b/c there’s more to come 🙂

      Reply
  8. Ru (@shortsmallsweet) April 1, 2015

    Awww so cute that even your mom left a comment! You girls don’t really look very much alike, if I may say so, and that’s with me and my sister too. 😀

    Hi Monica! If you’re looking for a good facial oil, I recommend checking out OLO chia oil (good for preventing breakouts) and OLO Eternal Youth serum (great night oil, contains watermelon seed oil = good for blemishes). Those 2 helped me a lot when I was recovering from a bad acne explosion. Laurel’s Balancing serum is also wonderful for oilier skin conditions and perfect for summer time. xo

    Reply
    • Monica Lum April 4, 2015

      Hi Ru, thanks for reading! And thanks so much for the tip, I LOVE OLO so those products sound amazing. The Laurel serum you recommended also sounds great for my type of skin during summer–I always like to change up my products during the seasons. Thanks again Ru!!

      Reply
  9. The Choosy Chick April 24, 2015

    Hey Kasey – sister spotlight – adorable! You loo so much alike!

    Reply
    • Kasey April 28, 2015

      Aw thanks, Margot! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this post, thanks for reading!

      Reply

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