Scribbling Lipstick Love Letters with Axiology’s Lip Crayons

As if the beautifully designed, natural lipstick brand, Axiology could not get any cooler, they’ve launched a new collection consisting of natural Lip Crayons in a stunning variety of colors. Effortlessly chic on the lips and equally stunning to look at, the Axiology Lip Crayons are fun and unique products that have arrived just in time for effortless, spring/summer beauty looks.

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Under the Beautiful Spell of Rituel de Fille

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There are some makeup brands that pride themselves on beautiful, daily-wear products and there are others with products that go beyond the norm. The first time I laid eyes on the natural mineral pigment products from Rituel de Fille*, I knew that these were not your average natural beauty products. The dark black packaging, mystical-inspired design, out-of-this-world variety of colors, and unique product textures had me under a spell. The brand’s unique variety of cosmetic colors are quite rare in the natural beauty realm and for this, Rituel de Fille’s products definitely stand out in the crowd.

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A True Work of Art: Nūdus Lip Euphoria

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Nūdus lipsticks are a true work of art. From the elegant and sleek white packaging, standout certified organic formulas and colors, to the simplistic, artful packaging details, these lipsticks are unique natural lipstick gems. As a certifiable lipstick addict, I was more than ecstatic to give these buzz-worthy lipsticks from Down Under a try.

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Minimalism for Makeup Purists: Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

GFoundation2 One of the things I love most about green beauty is the unique innovation involved in creating healthy, cutting-edge products. I admire green beauty brands that constantly bridge the gap between high-quality makeup and beneficial skincare. One such brand is Gressa Skin. I’ve loved Gressa since the beginning with their gentle and pure skincare products. Now, the brand has an outstanding full line of cosmetics: Minimalist Glamour featuring liquid foundation, liquid contouring serum, liquid highlighter, and their bestselling Lip Boosts (my review here).

While visiting my sister in Portland a few months ago, I also met up with Gressa’s founder, Svetlana for coffee. It was so fun to meet her in person and chat about everything from her company’s story to everyday life, and she kindly gave me a bag of goodies, including the new Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation* to try.  While I don’t usually wear foundation everyday, I was definitely curious about these new products especially with their claims to be high-quality, pigmented, and full of nourishing, healing botanical extracts.

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What Natural Makeup Dreams Are Made Of: La Bella Figura Beauty’s More Than Makeup Line

LBF2LBF3Luxurious all-natural skincare powerhouse, La Bella Figura Beauty recently forayed into the makeup world with their More Than Makeup line, and it’s nothing less than amazing. Once I set eyes on the clean, simple formulas and sexy, luxurious mirrored-compact packaging, I knew I had to try these new products. Featuring highly-pigmented, cream blush, highlighter,  eyeshadow, lip tint, and now 2 limited edition products for the holidays: a blush and an eyeshadow duo, La Bella Figura makeup is enough for any beauty junkie to swoon. The pretty, universal colors tempted me but so did the fact that the product formulations focused on nourishing, skin-healing ingredients. It seemed revolutionary that these makeup products could still perform as makeup, but could heal your skin while beautifying it. I found that these beauty products are indeed what natural makeup dreams are made of.

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TOP DRAWER: Zao Organic Makeup

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Another confession: I judge products by their packaging. Yes, maybe that makes me shallow but at least upon initial inspection it’s always a piece in my consideration and future devotion. I’m a sucker for beautiful innovative design, is that such a crime? And when those qualities combine with organic, eco-friendly formulas in makeup and skincare well, just call me smitten. That’s what I’ve become with this gorgeous organic makeup line from Zao that I can’t help lusting over.

“The Zao philosophy is about an ethical and sustainable approach to living in harmony with nature. Looking beautiful should not compromise your health, the health of animals, or the health of the planet.”

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Belated Birthday & Blogiversary Giveaway with Gressa Skin!

August 2nd marked my birthday, I’m a year older (ack!) and now it’s nearing the end of August and summer (agh). And actually, did you know Plein Vanity reached it’s 1 year anniversary in late June? I’ve been so crazed with work, my personal life, and day-to-day things that the date somehow slipped by without much fanfare.

I am so grateful and humbled for being a part of the green beauty community and for growing an audience of like-minded individuals. Thank you so much for continuing to read Plein Vanity and inspiring me to keep doing what I love. I’ve grown so much in a year and this blog has developed into a medium of creativity, passion, and community that I’d never imagined. Thank you! 🙂

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ILIA Beauty’s Fade Into You Review

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By now you should know I’m quite an ILIA Beauty fangirl, so as soon as the brand released some exciting, new products for Spring I quickly snapped up the whole collection. (I have a slight problem, okay?) I fell hard for the new tinted lip conditioner colors but I was most excited about ILIA’s first translucent powder product, Fade Into You. I’m all about products that are portable, refillable, mess-free, and lessens my morning makeup routine by 5 minutes. Fit a product into any of those categories and I’m sold!
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ILIA’s Fade Into You is a lightweight, translucent powder with a refillable, retractable brush packaging. I don’t often use finishing powder or translucent powders as I generally prefer makeup with a dewy finish and also because my face has never been overly oily. Powder always seemed like an extra step to my everyday makeup routine and seemed to make my skin feel worse and more weighed down. It turns out, I’ve been using Fade Into You more often than I thought. I’ll admit, I definitely purchased this on impulse due to the groundbreaking packaging rather than necessity (a refillable, organic translucent powder with brush?!) but I’m very glad I picked this up. {Fade Into You is $34 for 0.14oz/4g online at ILIA Beauty}

Fade Into You is truly transparent and very lightweight in texture. It looks and feels “barely there” and a little bit goes a long way. I’ve found this powder effectively sets my cream-based makeup while keeps my face soft, shine-free, and never dried out. Fade Into You also reduces any red spots I have on my face and gives a soft, mattifying, almost-photoshopped finish to my skin. I’m always doing double-takes in the mirror after applying this powder, it looks that good! Sometimes I even wear this powder over nothing but my moisturizer for a simple, matte, soft-focus look.

You can feel the gentle effects (and yummy scents) of the product’s silky blend of organic powder and oils including Aloe Leaf extract, Passion Fruit and Rosemary oils ingredients, all of which contain anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe the skin. These nourishing ingredients allow the powder to not have a drying effect on the skin. My skin always feels soft, moisturized, and never cakey when applying Fade Into You. Of course, I always make sure to aptly apply moisturizer to my dry skin beforehand.

“ILIA Translucent Powder is an organic blend of powders and light essential oils. A touch of silica is added to minimize pores and improves overall skin tone. Shake powder to surface of brush and apply to the face liberally.”

To dispense the powder, I tap the bottom of the product’s barrel against the palm of my hand, which shakes the powder to the top of the brush. The powder is located in the lower area of the tube and dispenses up into the middle of the brush. Next, I dab or lightly tap the brush over desired areas of my face rather than brushing it over my face. To refill the powder, the bottom section of the product covered by a cap features a powder compartment which can be unscrewed, removed, and refilled. The brush can also be unscrewed from the tube for easy cleaning.

Powder refills will be available from ILIA in Summer 2014. Until then, I’m thinking it’d be interesting to fill this up with another powder after Fade Into You runs out.

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Besides the powder itself  being of fabulous quality, I really like the packaging. Fade Into You features a refillable tube with a retractable brush, making application super easy anytime, anyplace. The packaging fits conveniently in any bag and ensures no messes or spills, something a klutz like me is always prone to. The packaging seems to be made out of a plastic-like material, which makes it a bit less luxurious than normal ILIA products but it does reduce the extra heft in a full makeup bag and reduces the need to bring a separate makeup brush. I wish the clear, retractable plastic near the brush head were made of a less flimsier material (I’m afraid mine is starting to crack slightly) but you’ll just have to be extra careful and dainty when using!

I love how Fade Into You naturally enhances my skin, reduces red spots, and never drys out my skin or makes it look cakey. The convenient and refillable packaging is long awaited for a translucent powder in the green beauty community and perfect for on-the-go touch ups. Another great release from ILIA Beauty!

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You can also purchase Fade Into You at Content Beauty (UK), Eco Diva Beauty (US & CAN), Spirit Beauty Lounge, or Shen Beauty.

Ingredients: Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Starch*, Mica, Silica, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Zinc Stearate, Passiflora Edulcis (Passionfruit) Oil*, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Oil*, Aloe (Barbadensis) Leaf Extract*, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Tocopherol.
*Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques

What are your thoughts on this product? Have you tried ILIA’s Fade Into You? What natural finishing powders do you use?

 

 *Post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Gressa Skin Lip Boost in Bare Review

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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.

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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!

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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.

Travel Tips for Packing Beauty Essentials in a Carry-on Luggage

As you are reading this, I’ll be on a plane jetting away for my family’s annual ski trip in Colorado. It’s a favorite getaway of mine: to breathe the fresh air, spend hours outdoors skiing in the midst of gorgeous nature and relaxing with family and friends. A much-needed break from the everyday.

The thing is, with all the new formalities and restrictions of domestic and international air travel, I’m forced to pack all my beauty essentials for 1 week’s worth of travel in my carry-on suitcase which can get a bit tricky. And who really wants to pay an extra $25 or more to check in an extra, unnecessary bag? So here are my tips on how and what to pack regarding those skincare and beauty must-haves of yours for a short trip with only a carry-on luggage:

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Consolidate your collection and take only what you need— Yes, it’s harder said than done but really think about the amount of time you will be away, the climate of your destination and the absolute daily essentials of your skincare or beauty routine. Since I know that I’ll be spending lots of time outdoors and sometimes in bright sunlight and harsh winds, my top priority for this trip is moisturizing. I’ve packed essentials that will help keep my skin hydrated, moisturized and protect from being chapped or flakey.

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I’m also trying to lessen my load with unnecessary makeup bits since this family trip is more low-key and cabin-casual. Taking along multi-tasking makeup like my ILIA Illuminator stick in Sway (used as bronzer or eyeshadow), lip tints (blush or lip color) or mineral pigments (eyeshadow, blush, eyeliner or foundation). Also packing travel-size makeup brushes (I’ve sworn by this EcoTools travel brush kit for years) or retractible tools are a space saver. Otherwise, I try to bring makeup products like cream brush or cream foundation that I can apply with my fingers alone.

Use reusable containers or smaller sized products— According to the TSA, all passengers are allowed “3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.” That’s not a lot of room for people with a comprehensive list of skincare and beauty essentials like me. This is when I like to go crazy with all those pesky (but lovely) vacuum sealed, paper/plastic, trial samples that I save like a hoarder from my online orders or package deals. They’re usually less than 3oz, lightweight and traveling with them also ensures you get to try new products.

samples1Decanting liquid products into small, reusable containers that are TSA approved-sizes is a great way to stay within the limit and ensure nothing spills or breaks while traveling. I usually save plastic containers from samples or trials I’ve received but you can purchase travel-sized bottles for this purpose at most drugstores. I’m very cautious when it comes to traveling with liquids because of numerous product fatalities I’ve experienced en route to Colorado. My destination is at a particularly high elevation: 6,732 ft (2,052 m) so the flight definitely experiences air pressure changes due to elevation levels. More times than not, I’ve found mini explosions of shampoo, soap or cleanser all over my toiletries bag and clothes after landing.

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Packing products inside my toiletries bag within several individual plastic bags prevents future spilling incidents and makes things easier to place in screening bins when going through the x-rays. Bottom line: bring LOTS of plastic bags. An additional tip I’ve learned to prevent air pressure explosions: before packing liquids inside bottles, open caps, squeeze out any excess air then quickly screw the lids back on. You can also add plastic wrap on top of any containers for an extra layer of protection before closing or putting the lid back on.

Don’t take risks– When worse comes to worse, if you’re questioning bringing a product, it’s better to leave it home. In my experience, airport security employees’ checking process seem a bit discretionary when checking your belongings so if it’s suspicious to them, they might just make you get rid of it. My priority is always getting through security with all my belongings and on time. I’d rather not risk having to throw out a $50 facial cleanser just because the airport security officials didn’t approve. And, you can always buy products like cleanser, body soap or shampoo at your destination too.

Secondly, for me personally, traveling is all about comfort. I try to avoid bring totally new products that I still might need to time to get used to or want time to practice applying (for makeup). Bring products that are essential to your routine and that you are comfortable applying away from home. I never want to be the one stuck in the bathroom applying hours of skincare or makeup products while sacrificing vacation and family relaxation time.

endbagLastly, to me I think of vacation as a time to have fun, be with family and friends and enjoy not thinking too much about my makeup.

Hope these tips helped! Or at least revealed my crazy thought process to you…

Do you have any tips when it comes to packing beauty or skincare items? How do you travel if you’re only bringing a carry-on luggage? Let me know your thoughts!

Some helpful packing resources I’ve found online: OneBag.com, ExpertFlyer.comRenee Rouleau, TSA

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