Springing for SPF: 100% Pure Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF 20 Review


In anticipation of sunnier months, I’ve been searching for the perfect daily moisturizer with SPF. Since I greened my skincare routine, I hadn’t tried a natural option for a facial moisturizer with SPF and I was mixing my favorite facial cream (Pai’s Geranium and Thistle Day Cream) with a separate sunscreen. I’ve run out of the Pai moisturizer (though I’ll be buying more in the future since I love it) so I have been trying out new moisturizers in the hopes of finding another gem. Added SPF is a definitely a plus.

I’ve always enjoyed 100% Pure products for the brand’s transparency, use of all natural ingredients, affordable pricing, and availability. During the winter holiday season, I was able to pick up a few 100% Pure products for only $10 each from the brand’s Black Friday deals. I thought it’d be a great chance to try out one of their daily facial moisturizers with SPF, which is normally $26 for 1.6oz. I excitedly started using the Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration moisturizer during a couple ski trips throughout the winter and the months that followed when the sun started to stay out longer. According to 100% Pure, this moisturizer has many key benefits for the skin:

  • 100% natural, 100% vegan, gluten free
  • moisturizing formula with SPF 20 to block UVA/UVB rays
  • antioxidants protect against environmental damage to the skin

I loved the fruity, berry smell of this moisturizer and packaging too; the squeezable tube and pump applicator makes this moisturizer easy to apply and simple to take on the go. However, the moisturizer’s texture was just not a winner for me. It is not smooth nor easy to blend over the face at all. In fact, the moisturizer’s texture is a bit weighty and chalky. I was shocked to find how white my skin was after I applied to my face. You have to rub this moisturizer in really good (though the thick texture makes it a bit difficult) and even after applying it over the skin, the white tint is still pretty apparent. In order to use this daily moisturizer, I found that adding a lightweight daytime facial oil (I used Gressa’s Purifying Oil) helped to soften the texture of the moisturizer, spread the cream more evenly over my face, and allow it to sink into to my skin.

It was hard for me to apply makeup over this moisturizer due to the non-budging texture. It could make a solid base for the face but I found it difficult to blend other face products over this moisturizer. I also felt the thick, white cast was visible through most of my makeup. For these reasons, I only liked to wear this cream with minimal face makeup on.


Overall, the 100% Pure Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF 20 did keep skin moisturized, never made my skin feel too dry nor flakey, and kept my face feeling protected in harsh weather. I think the thicker texture was nice especially when I used this while I was outdoors in cold weather or when I knew I’d be doing something active such as outdoor sports. I didn’t enjoy this much as a regular, daily facial cream.

Super light weight, fast absorbing anti-aging facial moisturizer with SPF 20 to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UVA (ultra violet aging) and UVB (ultra violet burning) rays. In addition to sun protection, concentrated with antioxidants to protect against environmental damage (free radicals) such as pollution, radiation, smoke, smog, car exhaust, etc. Truly, 100% Pure – this nourishing day time emulsion is not polluted with chemicals, fragrances, preservatives or any other toxins.

I really wanted to like this product but it just didn’t work well for my skin or my needs. I thought the ingredients were great and my face felt soft and moisturized after applying but I didn’t like the geisha-like white-cast nor the tough ability for this cream to blend. I don’t think I will be repurchasing this product. I also think a product should be effective to use on its own, and did not like having the extra step of adding a facial oil to it. So, onward and upward on the search for a better, green SPF moisturizer!


You can purchase the 100% Pure Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF 20 moisturizer for $26 online at 100% Pure’s website. Read my reviews on other 100% Pure products: Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer, and Coffee Bean Eye Cream.

Have you tried this product or any of the 100% Pure SPF Moisturizers? What is your favorite daily SPF moisturizer? (I could use some tips!) I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Ingredients: Active Ingredients: 15% Titanium Dioxide 10% Zinc Oxide Inactive Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe Juice)*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Beeswax, Extracts of Organic Camelia Sinensis Leaf (White Tea)*, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf (Rosemary), Origanum Vulgar Leaf (Oregano),Thymus Vulgaris Flower/Leaf (Thyme),Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) and Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark (Cinnamon) * Certified Organic


*Product was purchased by me, all opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.



Beauty Chat: Sara Damelio, Founder of Skincando


Skincando is a Washington D.C. based natural skincare company created by Sara Damelio. The brand specializes in handcrafted skincare products made in small batches. Skincando uses high quality natural and organic ingredients free from harmful synthetics such as parabens, petrochemicals, fragrances or dyes and use non-toxic cleaning agents in the production process. Read my review on Skincando products here.

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Neuth Creme Pour Visage and Afterglow Serum Review + Discount!


Neuth is an organic skincare brand featuring products that encourage a simple, luxurious nightly facial care ritual. Lovingly made in small batches, all Neuth products are formulated with ingredients that are organic and sustainably harvested by Fair-Trade Certified suppliers. Neuth’s founder, Alison Rodriguez created these products after searching for, yet failing to find a cold cream product not formulated with mineral oil. Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum and has many skin-clogging characteristics.

Indulging in the Neuth experience is that time, when we can calmingly massage pure, organic, natural ingredients deep into our skin, breathing deeply into the essential oils, to reveal our true beauty within. Neuth is dedicated to creating all natural, organic skincare indulgences that nourish the body. So dim the lights, massage some Neuth on your beautiful self, and honor your light within.

Inspired by ancient Egyptian culture, from which cold creams are derived from and Neuth, the Egyptian Goddess of the Sky, Alison created her own version of an organic cold cream. Crème Pour Visage removes makeup while also moisturizing and nourishing the skin. The second part to the Neuth ritual is the Afterglow Serum, which locks in moisture and keeps the skin hydrated and glowing. I was able to try both these products and here are my thoughts on these little skin luxuries:


Crème Pour Visage ($75/100ml or $150/200ml): Even before unearthing this unique cream-based cleanser, the elegant packaging just screamed “luxe”, setting the tone for the opulence my skin was about to endure. Neuth’s Crème Pour Visage is a rich, thick, milk-white cream to be applied every night to the face, neck, and décolleté. Due to my sensitive skin, I usually shy away from super thick or heavy creams and my initial misgivings about this product were no different. In the jar, the texture reminds me of a thick, body butter, soft and creamy yet once spread across the skin, it feels a bit more airy (but no less silky) than its appearance.

Applying this product is a soothing ritual in and of itself; from the gentle, freshly-scented formula to the clarifying feeling of removing the crème, this is a facial indulgence your skin will thank you for. The crème leaves my skin feeling incredibly silky-smooth, moisturized, and nourished. It also is a gentle makeup remover that effectively clears away any trace of makeup or dirt left on the skin. The thickness of this crème requires a hot, wet washcloth to remove product from the skin and it takes time especially for my lazy, impatient self, but it feels extra purifying in the process.

My favorite aspect of the Crème Pour Visage is that it leaves a luminous effect on the skin and keeps my face feeling truly moisturized throughout the whole night. I have to admit, after first using this product I kept staring at my baby-smooth, radiant face in the mirror in pleasant shock. Talk about plein vanity! The organic, fair-trade ingredients are no less intriguing: organic grape seed oil, organic aloe vera, organic coconut oil moisturize and nourish the skin while organic sweet orange essential oil provides a slightly fruity scent.
Ingredients: Organic Grape Seed Oil, Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Lanolin

We suggest massaging a quarter sized amount of Neuth’s Organic Crème pour Visage to your face, neck and décolleté. We recommend smiling at yourself in the mirror as you do so. Run the tap water hot and wet a washcloth. Wipe all of Neuth’s Organic Crème pour Visage away, follow with Neuth’s Organic Afterglow Serum.


Afterglow Serum ($35/15ml or $65/30ml): This serum is lightweight yet deeply moisturizing and nourishing. It makes my dry skin so soft and supple and undeniably radiant. You can really feel the full effects of the Neuth ritual complete after using the Afterglow Serum.

Though this is applied at night after cleansing with the Crème Pour Visage, my face stays super hydrated and dewy until the morning! It smells of fresh, herbal goodness (with organic rosehip and lavender essential oils ingredients) and leaves my skin soothed without feeling irritated or dry. Neuth’s Afterglow Serum is the perfect product to end the night with as it retains moisture and provide nourishing, radiance to the skin.
Ingredients: Organic Rosehip Oils hand-blended with Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil and lavender essential oil, grown without the use of chemicals.

Using these products remind me that I should spoil my skin and indulge in luxury every once in a while. If you’re looking for an elegant cleansing and moisturizing ritual, I recommend trying this duo from Neuth. Your skin will thank you for its healthy, glowing and nourished existence from the inside out. Purchase both products together with the Neuth Redezvous set starting at $99 or select each product separately online.

Have you tried any Neuth products before? Want to try out these products for yourself? Neuth is generously offering my readers with a special 20% off coupon code for any purchase online!
Use the code: pleinvanity until April 20th for 20% off all orders at Neuth’s online shop.

*UPDATE: We’ve gotten some messages about issues using the discount code for Neuth. The code is now working and will expire on April 20th! Happy shopping! 🙂



*Products were provided to me for consideration. Reviews are based on my honest opinion and personal experience. I am never paid for my opinions. 


Niora Naturals Adult Acne Treatment Review + Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Looking back on my skin growing up, I’d say that I was blessed with a generally acne-free existence. My acne problems have mainly been hormonal and nothing too out of the norm (not that I don’t get crazy, awful blemishes from time to time). Playing around with makeup and learning more about green beauty has encouraged me to focus on keeping my skin healthy and blemish-free especially as I’m getting older. Too often acne is linked to puberty and youth but the truth is, adults get acne too.


Niora Naturals is an unique, natural skincare company in that the products focus on solutions for adult acne and anti-aging prevention. You could say the brand grew out of a labor of love. The brand is based in Portland, OR and created by chemist, George Tindall for his wife, Cindy who suffered from adult acne. Cindy couldn’t find any effective, non-irritating acne products on the market for her skin and her condition embarrassed her. George took it upon himself to develop a natural and organic anti-acne product for her that would clear blemishes and maintain healthy skin. After using Niora products, Cindy’s skin immediately cleared up, maintained its natural beauty and she has not had acne since. What a love story!

I was very intrigued when I received the chance to try out Niora’s Adult Acne Treatment system. The line is based on Niora’s unique Alpha Clear formula and anti-acne system. Product ingredients are natural, organic, Eco-Cert, cruelty-free vegan ingredients. Read all the details about Niora’s ingredients here. Niora product formulas are “the perfect balance between anti-aging and the effective treatment of acne”. (Scroll to the end of this post for a special Niora giveaway!) 

Alpha Clear adult acne treatment is a two-step process that cleans, tones and moisturizes, encouraging the skin’s natural ability to heal acne while normalizing dryness/oiliness levels. Alpha Clear contains intensely moisturizing jojoba oil, which dissolves dried sebum, or skin oils, unclogging pores and clearing blackheads and whiteheads. The natural fruit acids in alpha clear exfoliant tone the skin, clearing remaining cellular debris from within pores. With rinsing, the skin is left soft and clean.

The Alpha Clear Adult Acne Treatment is based on 2 simple, daily steps using the Alpha Clear Cleanser and the Alpha Clear Exfoliant. The next optional step is the moisturizing, Alpha C Serum. I was able to try a Niora cleanser, exfoliant, eye serum, anti-aging serum, and a makeup removing cream.


Though I was initially skeptical of the claims of these products, I ended up really enjoying the gentle, effective formulas. I found most of the Niora products to be watery in texture though moisturizing, non-irritating and non-drying on the skin. The products did calm my irritated skin and lessen the appearance of blemishes.

Niora’s goal is to provide effective, natural anti-aging skin care solutions for adults with acne-prone skin by using superior anti-aging ingredients to create skin-friendly treatments that clear acne. We are committed to formulating our skin care to the greatest extent possible with natural ingredients that are cruelty free, organic and earth friendly.

My favorite products from the line were the cleanser and the exfoliant. I did start to see a difference in my skin after using solely these products for about a month. The redness in my face subsided, previous blemishes and spots lessened and I actually didn’t see many new breakouts appearing after continually using the products.


Alpha Clear Cleanser: The texture of this cleanser is creamy and watery but is a pleasant light cleanser. It does a great job of refreshing the skin, producing smooth skin and preserving moisture. I felt like my skin was deeply cleansed. You also get A LOT of cleanser in one product. I didn’t experience much irritation with this cleanser though with all the products from this line, I did feel a slight tingling sensation whenever applying but I believe this is due to the natural astringents and acne-fighting ingredients. ($16.95, 8oz)


Alpha Clear Exfoliant: I was intrigued by the idea of a spray-on exfoliant and really enjoyed using this product. This product is like a toner and exfoliant in one. Lightly sprayed onto the face and neck, it left me feeling fresh with soft skin and also removed any excess oil, dirt and redness from my skin. I really saw improvement with my skin from this product and the cleanser combined. Out of all the products, I could feel the tingling sensation most from this exfoliate. I would advise to avoid spraying close to the eyes and from a farther distance. ($13.95, 4oz)


Alpha C Serum: This serum was very light and creamy without being greasy. I enjoyed using this as a night-time moisturizer and even during the day under makeup. It leaves behind a silky, smooth, matte texture  on the face and is so moisturizing. My sensitive skin is always a factor when I choose moisturizers and serums, but my face never felt dry or irritated when I used this serum. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, I think you’ll love this! ($31.96, 1oz)


Silk Basic Emollient Make-up Remover: This yellow-toned, creamy cleanser was gentle and moisturizing. It was a bit thin and watery compared to the cleansers and facial oils I am used to. However, it was an effective makeup remover and left my face feeling clean. I liked it but I think I like my cleansing oils better. ($17.95, o.5oz)


Eye Therapy Anti-Aging Serum: This product was extremely watery in texture and was a bit greasy on the skin. I liked how it kept the area under my eyes well-moisturized and my skin felt tauter though I didn’t see much difference in the way of reducing discoloration or puffiness. I have dry skin around my eyes and usually like to use a heavier serum or cream at night. However, I would keep using this because it was very moisturizing. ($17.95, 0.5oz)

Out of all the products, I recommend the Cleanser and Exfoliant combination because they did live up to their claims of reducing acne overtime and cleaning the skin while maintaining moisture. The Alpha C Serum was another favorite of mine because it left my sensitive skin absolutely silky smooth and moisturized all day and night long!

I think Niora Naturals is a very intriguing brand to explore and I believe they are very gentle, effective formulas as far as natural, acne-fighting skincare products go. Plus, I think these products are very affordable for the sizes you receive and their effectiveness in treating adult acne. Definitely make sure to check out the Niora ingredient lineup here.

Are you interested in trying these products? Niora Naturals is generously providing one lucky reader with one full set of the Adult Acne Treatment products to try!  How to enter:

  • Leave a comment below telling me which Niora Naturals product you are most interested to try and why.
  • Like Niora Naturals on Facebook and Twitter 
  • Like Plein Vanity on Facebook or (If you already like me on Facebook, please follow me on Twitter!)

The contest ends on Tuesday, April 8th at 12pm EDT. I will randomly pick a winner and update this post as well as contact the winner by email. Contest is open to all participants in the U.S. and internationally.*
The winner will receive all the products I reviewed: 1 Alpha Clear Cleanser, 1 Alpha Clear Exfoliant, 1 Alpha C Serum, 1 Silk Basic Emollient Makeup Remover, and 1 Eye Therapy Anti-Aging Serum. Good luck!!

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Congratulations to Shaleen for winning! 🙂

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared with me your stories. I enjoyed reading all your comments! 


*Giveaway is open to all U.S. and international participants. Prizes and shipping cost provided by Niora Naturals. All information provided by entrants is confidential and will not be shared to other third parties. Winner will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If no response is received from the selected winner 72 hours after the email is sent, another random winner will be selected.

**Products were provided to me for consideration. Reviews are based on my honest opinion and personal experience with the products. I am never paid for my honest opinions.

SkinFare Coconut Oil Lotion Sticks Review


 {Unfortunately, it seems that SkinFare has gone out of business. I never received notice from the brand and it seems they have slowly and silently closed. 🙁 All links in my post have been removed to avoid any confusion.

I haven’t received any responses from the brand to my past inquiries but should I ever hear back from them or the brand happens to re-open, I will let everyone know. It’s a shame because I really loved these products!}

Read More Here

Ecopique Blogger Box Review

For all you beauty subscription box lovers, there’s a new girl in town and her name is Ecopique. Taking a unique twist on the popular concept, Ecopique is a monthly subscription box service that is specifically aimed at providing bloggers with green beauty products. The goal of this service is to allow bloggers an easier and regularly occurring way to connect with brands and products they may not have otherwise been aware of. Ecopique also emphasizes the importance of supporting local green beauty brands. Stay tuned for more information about Ecopique and check out their website for launch details or follow them on Twitter.


Meet Ecopique: A better way to discover all-natural personal care and home good alternatives. 
Ecopique is dedicated to providing an easy way for consumers to make smarter and healthier decisions about the beauty and household products they purchase. Our mission is to make all natural living no longer a trend, but an integral part of everyday life.

I was very excited when the team at Ecopique asked if I wanted to participate in their pilot program and receive a green beauty box. Being a subscription box virgin, I enjoyed the surprise of receiving a mystery box full of new products I might love. Each product included in the box was hand-picked and tested by the Ecopique team. I was impressed with the first Ecopique box and am curious to see what else is in store. (Plus, the Ecopique color scheme is so cute! I love anything turquoise!)

Here is what was included in my Ecopique pilot box:
AEOS: Cleansing Oil De-Maq
Angel Face Botanicals Facial Toner
Arbonne: Lip Polish & FC5 Facial Pack
Benedetta Control Creme
Greenbody Greenplanet Rejuvinating Shampoo & Conditioner
Primal Pit Paste Deodorant (Lavender scent)

Products I found to be interesting:
AEOS: Cleansing Oil De-Maq: The packaging is luxurious and eye-catching, very chic. Plus it smells amazing! The scent is a mix of citrus and floral and is very refreshing. The formula itself I found to be a bit thick and greasy to my liking but it does remove makeup (including heavy eye-makeup) very well. Due to its thicker texture, the De-Maq keeps the skin very moisturized and never dry nor flakey. I found that my favorite way to use this yellow-tinted cleansing oil was dabbed on a cotton pad. The twist-open bottle top was not the best design idea either. Though pretty and unique, this should have had a pump or an open cap design, as it was a bit messy to get the cleansing oil out of the tube. Overall, I liked this cleansing oil and it was definitely a nice find! I’d love to try more AEOS products.
AEOS is an organic skincare line from the UK: “AEOS products contain organic and biodynamic plant extracts, essences and essential oils, as well as spagyric tinctures of crystal energies, and the waveforms of colour.”
Ingredients: Vitis Vinidera (Grape) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil, Squalane (plant derived), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Oil, Linalool*, Triticum Aestivum (Spelt) Germ Extract, Tocopherol, Garaniol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Limonane*   *from natural essential oils  Colour: natural green – 100% natural and plant derived.
Price: Based on my research, this Cleansing Oil is currently only available online from Europe for about £39.99 or $65.93 for 75ml (2.64fl oz).


Angel Face Botanicals Lavender & Aloe Balancing Facial Toner: This toner combines some really nice ingredients and leaves a cool, reviving feeling with each spritz. I loved how smooth it left my skin and I noticed less redness and shine on my face after use. I was pleased at how well the spritzer fully distributed the toner from the bottle. Many toners I’ve tried have faulty nozzles that spritz pathetic amounts out. The product’s aromatic ingredients produce a very calming effect and I actually tried spritzing this on my body as well. The scent was particularly strong to me for use on my face so I’m not sure how much I like it as a regular, everyday toner. I do like how simple and effective the ingredients are as well as the affordable prices and size options.
Angel Face Botanicals is a brand based out of Soquel, California featuring a “full line of facial & body care products handmade with natural ingredients & scented with therapeutic grade essential oils to heal, nurture & product indulging your senses with luxury.”
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Salix nigra (Organic Black Willowbark) Extract, Vaccinium angustifolium (Organic Wild Blueberry) Extract, Aspalathus lineans (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Lavandula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Essential Oil, Polysorbate, Citric Acid, Reiki Healing Energy & lots of love!! *Certified Organic Ingredients
Price: $10/2.2oz, $18/4.5oz, $32/9oz


Benedetta Control Creme: I thought this was a very interesting multi-use cream product that claims to treat acne, irritation, bug bites, rosacea, blisters, excessive oil and more. I applied this as an acne spot treatment and it did lessen the appearance of my acne within a few days. This was a fast, effective product that I did enjoy using. The only thing I didn’t like was the smell. No matter how little product I used (and you don’t need to apply a lot,) the product emitted a strong, herbal scent that did not dissipate. Might sound strange but it reminded me of old maple syrup or caramelized sugar. I loved the results from using this cream but the smell was a bit off-putting. Being scent-sensitive, I don’t know if I could bring myself to purchase this. However, the ingredient list is 100% botanical and 98% organic and the rapid effectiveness of this product is very intriguing to me. I enjoyed using this and would love to see how well it works for bug bites and other topical irritations. I think a lot of people would like this and should give it a try.
Benedetta is a brand based in Sonoma County, California and is “an authentic, 100% farm-sourced botanical skincare line. Encompassing ingredients sourced directly from certified organic and biodynamic farms, many domestic. The sweet aromatic and fresh smell of each formula comes directly from the synergy of active ingredientsnever fragranced…Each product is prepared in small batches to assure viability and freshness.”
Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Foraha, Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils, Soy Lecithin, Bee Propolis, Vegetable Cellulose. Contains: Certified Organic, Certified Biodynamic, Sustainably Grown and Wildcrafted Ingredients.
Price: $25/0.5oz(15ml)

Overall, I really admire the idea behind Ecopique and I think a service like this could really benefit both bloggers and small brands. I was pleased with the amount of information provided about each product within the box which is necessary for a research junkie like me. I would have liked to see more information about the brands themselves. To my surprise, there was also a fair mix of sample size and full-size products included. I think the Ecopique team did a great job of providing interesting, effective products with notable ingredients and mostly natural/organic formulations. If you’re a blogger or just a curious green beauty junkie, I think Ecopique would be a wonderful service to try and to discover new products that are not so mainstream.

Do you belong to any beauty subscription boxes and if so, which ones? Would you try Ecopique?

*Products were provided for my consideration. This review is based on my honest opinions and personal experience.

Squeaky Clean and Green: Le Salon NYC Organic Salon Review

lesalonoutdoor On the day before another brutal snowstorm was to hit, I found myself tromping through a frigid Manhattan to Midtown East, the grounds for which the United Nations buildings operate and where few people are caught laboriously wandering around. My mission in these parts had nothing to do with international affairs, but rather on the affairs of my hair…

Quietly tucked between 1st and 2nd Avenues among the confines of bright storefronts, exotic eating establishments and apartment buildings guarded by doormen, lies Le Salon NYC, one of the city’s few hair salons that offer organic haircuts and treatments. Founded in 2008, Le Salon NYC approaches haircare with a holistic and comprehensive outlook featuring organic treatments for healthier, natural-looking hair.


When I entered the narrow entranceway at Le Salon, I was greeted with a wash of energy and warmth from Ashraf, the salon’s hair stylist and lead hair colorist, Vincent. I took in the small, bright salon where pop-culture icons of the past beamed demurely at me from the walls. I noticed I wasn’t irritated by any strong chemical fumes nor the usual salon stresses inside Le Salon. In fact, everyone seemed very Zen. Ashraf offered me a hot cup of tea and ushered me into a salon chair where we began to talk hair.

I’d come in knowing I needed a trim and curious about an organic treatment for my growing gray hairs. I’ve always dyed my hair a dark, natural brown to conceal my genetic gray hairs that plague my roots with conventional drugstore dyes or harsh salon treatments.

As Ashraf ran her expert fingers through my locks, closely inspecting it, she agreed my hair would benefit from a full-head organic coloring treatment. Vincent explained to me that most in-salon and at-home hair products contain toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and ammonia that further damage the structure of hair and can irritate the scalp, eyes and skin.

lesalon interior-2 lesalon interior

Every treatment offered at Le Salon uses Organic Salon Systems, a line of color, care, control and curl systems. Ranging from full-head coloring to perms to a basic hair wash, Organic Salon Systems feature products with ingredients that are certified organic, cruelty free, vegan and free of ammonia, parabens and thioglycolates. The less toxic properties of these products do not leave strong chemical fumes, have less irritating symptoms on hair and scalp and offer healthier results for hair.

First, I had my hair washed and massaged with Organic Care Systems shampoo and conditioner. These sweet smelling products were very hydrating and helped to nourish my hair before my color treatment. Next, I sat under a scorching hot hair dryer for 20 minutes until my hair dried. Vincent explained that the Organic Color System products are dependent on heat.

lesalon hair coloring2 lesalon hair coloring3

While conventional hair dyes use harsh and toxic chemicals like ammonia to open the hair fibers allowing color molecules to permeate, Organic Color System dyes utilize an alkaline of less toxic levels that increases the pH of the hair to gently open and soften the hair cuticles. Using heat on the hair after the color treatment allows the cuticles to expand and capture the color while letting the hair cool closes the cuticle to lock in the color.

Vincent expertly mixed and applied a dark, natural brown colored dye to my hair. Normally when my hair is being dyed I’m squirming in my seat from the burning sensations and horrible smells. Due to this safer, less toxic formula I didn’t feel any irritation on my scalp and it was the first time I felt comfortable getting my hair dyed. After all my hair was covered in dye, it was time to sit under the hair dryer for another 20 minutes and then cool for 20 minutes.

“Organic Color Systems products are different because they do not contain ammonia, parabens or sulfates, which means they are gentle on your hair, your body and the environment. Available in 64 beautiful and intermixable color options; Organic Color Systems offers gentle hair color without sacrificing style. Organic Salon Systems high-performance hair products contain natural ingredients such as chamomile, aloe vera, sunflower oil and vitamins”

hairprecut lesalon hairafter sideviewhair back

I was in awe of how even and dark the new color looked on my hair. Absolutely no more grays! My hair also felt very silky and soft, not damaged or battered like it normally feels after similarly long hair treatments. With my newly colored hair, Ashraf picked up her tools and preceded to razor my hair into a gorgeous new trim, styling my hair to the side. Before my trim, Ashraf commented that my current hairstyle had been hiding my features and dulling my beauty. Her saying is that “one’s hairstyle is like the frame of a painting, it must complement the shape of your head as well as your facial features.” I definitely saw a new side of myself when I looked at myself in the mirror after my color and new trim.

hair before editedlesalon hair after edited

After about 3 hours total (my appointment for a wash, cut and full-head color treatment would normally be split into more than 1 appointment) I felt satisfied with my experience. To maintain my new Organic Color dyed hair, I was advised to use the Organic Salon Systems shampoo and conditioner whenever washing my hair and to let each product soak in the hair with the conditioner for exactly 5 minutes in the shower, maintain the color’s vibrancy. While Organic Color System hair dyes are not totally chemical-free, I don’t believe hair dye could ever be all that natural, it may be as effective if not better than conventional dyes I have used. Long-lasting, beautiful colors and non-irritation, I think for future, I’d switch over to this type of hair color over my usual drugstore and salon coloring.

Days after my appointment, my hair color still looked perfect without any grey hairs peeking through and my hair felt soft and silky. Usually after I dye my hair, I’m scratching my scalp like a maniac from the irritating chemicals and preventing the color from lasting. My Organic Color Systems experience left me feeling as if nothing had been done to my hair and I was surprised at how painless the coloring was before and after the treatment. Though these treatments are a bit pricier than your normal run of the mill salon, you should know you’re paying for something beyond average for hair care.  Since it’s not everyday I treat my hair like this, I think I’d definitely save up and go for organic hair treatments in the future.

Le Salon NYC is a wonderful hair salon for anyone with looking to avoid unnecessary exposure to chemicals, has sensitive skin or curious about less toxic treatments to maintain healthy, beautiful hair. The hair stylists are enthusiastic about helping you and really take the time to cater to your needs. Le Salon NYC is a friendly, accommodating salon where you can achieve beautiful looks and maintain the health of your hair.

Have you ever had an organic hair treatment done? Would you try out an organic hair salon? What is your trip to the hair salon like?

Find out more about Le Salon NYC on their website, book an appointment or follow them on Facebook.

*Services were provided compliments of Le Salon NYC for my consideration. All opinions are my 100% honest and my own. 

Gressa Skin Lip Boost in Bare Review

Gressa Lip Boost1

If there’s one thing I appreciate most from natural beauty products, it’s something that will keep my dry lips hydrated throughout the day and also gives a lively pop of color to my face. Gressa Skin’s newest line of natural lip colors, Lip Boosts do just that. Available in 3 pretty colors that are perfect for everyday wear, the Lip Boosts are composed of 100% vegan, natural ingredients that will help treat your lips and give your pout a healthy glow at the same time.

Lip Boost Ingredients: 100% Vegan trademark formula spotlights Castor oil, Carnauba Wax, Cacao Butter and Coconut Oil, proprietary blend of precious oils and tops it off with Sea Buckthorn Oil and CoEnzyme Q10 for ultra boost to your delicate pout.

Gressa Skin kindly sent me a Lip Boost in Bare to try out. At first swipe, I was immediately struck at how hydrating and soft the product felt on my lips. The Lip Boost ($21/0.24oz) has the texture of a silky lip balm, not sticky at all, is lightweight and beautifully pigmented in color. Bare is a gorgeous pink-nude color with a hint of shine. I initially wrote off the dull, mauve-pink color in the jar and thought it’d be too sheer and pink to show up against my dark lips but was pleasantly surprised at how flattering and noticeable Bare was once applied. It is a beautiful, everyday lip color that I think would look great on anyone. This sheer, nude lip shine wears beautifully alone or as a lip base underneath other lip products that lasts for hours.

Bare your lips to a new, glamorous you. Sheer, nude, and sexy, Bare requires no additional lip color for its shimmery glamour.

Gressa Lip Boost3-2

I first mentioned this Lip Boost in my post about preventing chapped lips here, and I still love using this product as a nourishing base for my lips, as a tinted substitution for my lip balm and as a dependable lip product that’s always in my makeup bag. I found that using this product before lipstick and lip gloss keeps my lips significantly hydrated, pigmented and helps my lip colors last.

I‘d definitely try out the other Lip Boosts in Lavish and Brilliant which also seem to be stunning colors. Keep up the amazing products Gressa Skin! A little birdy told me there will be more amazing “non-toxic glamour” products from Gressa Skin and I can’t wait to experience more!

Gressa Lip Boost lips

Gressa Lip Boost swatch

Have you tried any skincare or beauty products from Gressa Skin? Read my review of Gressa Skin products here and my beauty chat with Gressa Skin’s founder, Svetlana here.

*Product generously provided to me for consideration. All reviews are based on my honest opinion and personal experience using the product. I am never compensated for my opinions.

The Going Green Tag


This tag was started by Rachel from All Natural Aspirations in her attempt to learn more about other bloggers’ experiences of “going green”. I was tagged by a favorite green beauty blogger of mine, Mary from Makeup by Mary B.This was a fun way to reflect on my green journey and it was so interesting to learn from and read other bloggers’ stories. I think this tag is an awesome way to share our stories and encourage others!
(The image above is a photo I took from my travels abroad in China.)

What started it all off for you?
When I got my first job out of college at a fancy French luxury brand, I became caught up in the beauty and fashion world. I started wearing a lot more makeup than I ever had until I realized my face and skin were suffering. I had a couple bad cases of eczema which sent me to the dermatologist for some quick-fix prescriptions but left me wondering more. That’s when I started doing my own research, reading ingredient lists and learning about the beauty industry and the potentially dangerous chemicals that were in my products. I studied Environmental Studies in college so green beauty, chemicals and my health become even more fascinating to me and an area where I could further use my passion for writing. I stumbled upon some amazing green beauty blogs, read No More Dirty Looks and felt so at home within the green beauty community. Discovering natural and organic products revealed a whole other world to me and it was so exciting!

What was the first thing to go? (Ingredient or product)
The first 2 ingredients to go were talc and parabens. I had extremely bad eczema on my eyes and face and I’m pretty sure products I was using with harsh preservatives and drying, pore-clogging additives were the cause of it. After I cut out products with tacl and parabens, my irritations subsided. The first skincare product to go was my facial moisturizer. I definitely saw a difference in my skin after switching out my daily moisturizer which was loaded with fragrance, alcohol, parabens and other ingredients that had made my skin prone to irritation, dryness and breakouts. After the moisturizers, I changed up my whole skincare routine and saw amazing results.

What are you/did you struggle to let go of?
I’m still struggling to let go of conventional perfume. I haven’t quite found an organic/natural scent that I love or that can replace my old perfumes. I’m not a huge fan of herbal scents although I also have a very sensitive nose to alcohols and strongly-scented chemicals. I’m still searching for a product that can bring together both worlds and also not break the bank.

What has been your best find or change? (i.e. a green product or a tip that you’re really glad you’ve found/learnt)
I’ve always thought makeup was fun but going green has taught me that natural skincare products can be just as exciting, luxurious and provide amazing results not only to your physical features but emotionally too. I now feel as though I prefer having good, regular skincare products over more makeup products.
My best find has honestly been facial oils. I’d always doubted using facial oils but I’ve found that these products are amazing for treating my dry and reactive skin. I prefer cleansing my skin with facial oil as it not only effectively rids my face of makeup and grime, but also works to nourish and hydrate the skin. Using a daily facial oil before going to bed has made my skin smooth, lightened dark spots and kept my face from freaking out too often. I’m obsessed with facial oils!

What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest to transition or find an adequate green replacement of?
The only downside to going green for me is the ease of walking into a local store to buy products or being able to physically touch and test out items. I don’t really like online shopping and it can get frustrating when most products I like are only available online. The lack of physical availability and accessibility of green beauty products has been tough for me. Now thanks to more online sampling programs and more local drugstores and markets carrying cleaner products it has gotten a bit easier.
The products that I’ve had a hard time finding adequate green replacements of are hair products and eyeshadow primer. I don’t even know if that’s an oxymoron: does a natural, effective eyeshadow primer even exist? I still haven’t found a natural cure for my creasing eyeshadows but I’m trying not to dwell on that.

Anything else to add? Any tips or tricks to pass on?
One thing I do love about going green is all the knowledge that I’ve learned all on my own accord. It is so empowering and interesting to learn about ingredients and chemicals as well as brands that are actually making a difference to improve your health and the environment. I also love the strong sense of community and encouragement I have felt from the green beauty blogosphere.
Tips or tricks:
1) Do your research. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, look it up. There are a lot of good resources out there! Find reviews and commentary of products on blogs or forums. Ask questions, don’t just accept what a company is marketing to you at face value.
2) Get out of your comfort zone. Going green has opened up a whole world of local brands, luxury products, DIYs and beauty trends that I may not have ever tried before. Doing a bit of research and trying brands or products that aren’t so mainstream can help you discover some amazing beauty and skincare gems that work best for you. Going green has also made me value feeling beautiful in my own skin, without makeup. Sometimes it feels amazing to go outside with just moisturizer, lip balm or lipstick on!
3) Write your own green beauty journey. Remember that you hold the power to create your most beautiful self and with knowledge, passion and understanding, you have all the necessary things inside of you to love yourself on the outside. Everybody’s “going green” journey is different and there is no set path or method. Don’t follow the trends, go at your own pace and with what makes you happy.

Thanks, Mary for tagging me! I now tag: Jennifer and Kathryne from Unsullied, Jade of Nephriticus, Mayah and Sabrina from Call It Vanity, Brenda from The Wanderlusting Beauty, Sarita from Edible Facial, Bellina from Nibella and anyone else who wants to join in!

What’s your “going green” story?

Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!


*Image is copyright Kasey Michelle, pleinvanity.com. Please link back to me if you use this image.

Luxury Green Beauty Essentials: Kjaer Weis Essential Trio No. 3 Review

KW Trio Box Set

I think every green beauty enthusiast will agree that lusting over Kjaer Weis makeup is completely normal. Everything from the sleek packaging, excellent organic formulas and variety of colors epitomizes green beauty at its most luxurious. Created by Danish-born, New York-based international makeup artist, Kristen Kjaer Weis (pronounced “Keer Wice”) the brand is known for beautiful, high-performing makeup with certified organic ingredients as well as wildcrafted and natural ingredients.

I finally purchased some Kjaer Weis products after lusting for quite a while and because there wasn’t one product I wanted the most (or because I’m that indecisive), I picked up a set of Kjaer Weis products, “The Essential Trio No. 3” ($125.00) from one of my favorite green beauty shops, Spirit Beauty Lounge. Living up to it’s luxe reputation, the “Cartier” of green beauty, all Kjaer Weis products come packaged in luxe, red boxes that make your purchase feel extra fancy from the start.

Every “Essential” set features 1 cream blush compact, 1 lip tint compact and 1 eye shadow compact in various colors. The Essential Trio No. 3 is considered the more sultry, darker-colored set of the trios which is right down my alley.What I love the most about Kjaer Weis products is that each product is housed within the brand’s signature “intelligent refill” system. When you run out of product, Kjaer Weis sells refills which you can pop right back in the reusable compact. (Each product is held together by strong magnets. You can alternatively just purchase refills and easily store them in a reusable, magnetic palette like the Z Palette.) Kjaer Weis products can be purchased by most luxury green beauty retailers such as Spirit Beauty Lounge, Eco Diva Beauty or directly from Kjaer Weis online.

KW Abundance

Cream Blush in Abundance- This may be my favorite KW product out of the set. I knew if there was one KW product to own, it would be one of the cream blushes. Abundance is a gorgeous subtle, mauve-pink color that is creamy and silky to apply on the cheeks. The formula is very hydrating, pigmented and long-lasting unlike other cream blushes I’ve tried such as the RMS Lip2Cheek, which seems to be less creamy and a bit drying for me. I can wear Abundance for about 6 hours before needing to reapply more. Though I love the formula, Abundance was a color I did have to get used to. It is a very subtle tint of rosey-bronze that upon first swipe is quite pigmented and even dark. It leaves my cheeks with a sheer “pinched” flush that is very buildable. Initially, I felt the shade seemed unnoticeable on my cheeks yet also muddy upon first application. In time, I began to appreciate the understated color and found it to be a great tint that beautifully defines the hollows of my cheeks and the high-points of my face. Be aware a little goes a long way! ($54/compact or $26/refill pan)

KW Goddess

Lip Tint in Goddess- Perhaps the main product behind why I chose the No. 3 set in the first place, Goddess is a deep, true cherry-red color. Though the color looks intimidating in the pan, Goddess is a sheer, pigmented red that is easy to build up or tone down the color. You don’t need much product to create a vampy pop of red with this tint and it looks great with even just one swipe. This product stays put all day long and even when most of the color fades, a pretty tint is left on the lips. My dry lips did need some lip balm before using this product as it’s not super moisturizing but it is creamy and easy to blend once applied to the lips. Ideal application is with a lip brush though I do frequently apply with just my fingers as well. ($48/compact or $24/refill pan)

KW Divine

Eye Shadow in Divine- Even with my history as an eyeshadow junkie, I was surprised with how much I enjoyed using this eye shadow. Seemingly basic, Divine is a matte, slate grey color that has great pigmentation, no fall-out and doesn’t feel overly powdery. This eyeshadow is the perfect color for creating a smokey eye or providing definition to the eyes. I love using it in the outer corners of my eyes or as an all over color. It’s sheer but can be built up to be very dark and intense and staying power is very good. This is the perfect matte eyeshadow albeit a bit on the pricey side. ($44/compact or $22/refill pan)

KWTrioSwatches Collage.jpg

If you’re looking for luxurious, high-performing makeup that is just as beautiful from the inside of the compact as the outside, you need to scoop up some Kjaer Weis products. Though the prices may be a bit offsetting for those watching their wallet, I do think it’s worth it to own at least one Kjaer Weis product as they’re the most gorgeously packaged and effectively formulated products within the luxury green beauty market. I admire Kjaer Weis’ ability to meld beautiful, sleek designs with effective, high performing organic beauty formulas.

KWtrio1   KW Face 2

Have you tried any Kjaer Weis products? What are your favorite KW items? Would you purchase an Essential Trio set?

Cream Blush: ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, candelilla cera, copernicia cerifera(carnauba) wax*, zea mays (corn) starch*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, beeswax*, rosa rubiginosa (eglantine rose) seed oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, non-gmo tocopheryl acetate (nature-identical), ammonium glycyrrhizate,vanilla planifolia (vanilla orchid) fruit extract*, gardenia florida fruit extract. may contain +/- : mica, ci 77491, ci 77891, ci 75470, ci 77492, ci 77499. *Certified Organic
Lip Tint: ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, euphobia cerifera (candelilla) wax, 
copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, zea mays (corn) starch*, cera alba (beeswax)*, rosa rubiginosa (eglantine rose) seed oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, gardenia florida fruit extract, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil*, ammonium glycyrrhizate, non-gmo tocopheryl acetate (nature-identical), limonene**. may contain +/- : mica, ci 77891, ci 75470, ci 77492, ci 77499, ci 77491, ci 19140, ci 15850. *Certified Organic **Naturally contained in the essential oils 
Eye Shadow: talc, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, bambusa arundinacea stem (bamboo) powder, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, non-gmo tocopheryl acetate (nature-identical), gardenia florida fruit extract, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, zinc stearate.
may contain +/- : mica, ci 77491, ci 77891, ci 75470, ci 77492, ci 77499. This product is gluten-free. Divine, Magnetic, Onyx, Earthy Calm, Cloud Nine, Wisdom are vegan.

*Products purchased by me for review and all opinions are my own. All prices based on products from Spirit Beauty Lounge. Post contains affiliate links.

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