The Testing Table \ Vol. 1

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I’m not one to do regular posts on “empties” or monthly favorites, because usually there is no rhyme or reason to my beauty routine and I don’t necessarily encourage buying new things every month. However, as annoying as I sound, I do have an unhealthy obsession reading those types of posts on other blogs….
I thought a sporadic re-cap of products and things I’ve been testing out might be fun and also a good way to share my quick thoughts with you. So here it goes:

Mun No.1 Alknari Brightening Youth Serum (sample): This is a highly coveted luxury green beauty product I’d been wanting to try for a while but I was always hesitant to buy it due to the expensive price and small product size ($98 for 0.68 fl oz.). Let’s just say, the hype for this product is warranted. This serum made my skin feel silky smooth, moisturized, and glowing instantly. I massaged this aromatic serum on my face at night and would wake up seeing immediate results. This stuff is pure magic! I’m so impressed with the simple and powerful 100% Ecocert organic ingredients: prickly pear seed oil, argan oil, and rose essential oil. I’m coveting the last few drops of this and still trying to decide if I should eventually shell out the dough for the full size….sigh.

Osmia Organics Stracciatella Soap: I was so excited to snag this limited edition soap in the Osmia Organics’ special Earth Day Box. I’m a big fan of Osmia Organics’ organic, handmade soaps and all of their skincare products. Not only is this soap unique looking with black soap specks resembling Italian stracciatella gelato; this product combines two beloved Osmia soaps in one: the bestselling Black Clay Facial Soap and the Oh So Soap. You can use this soap to cleanse your face and your body. The Stracciatella Soap is an absolute treat for your skin and a beautiful soap to look at (see an “unwrapped” photo below). The texture is luxuriously silky lathered on the body and clarifying and gentle on the face. I enjoy using this both as a face cleanser and a regular body soap. The scent is fresh and milky but barely there and it doesn’t irritate skin. (Too bad it doesn’t smell like gelato!) Even though this soap size is a bit smaller than normal Osmia soap bars, I am still working through mine so you definitely do get a lot of soap for your money. Good news is that Osmia is still selling this limited edition soap on their website so grab them while you can! I know I will be! $14 for 4.5 oz

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Pai Skincare Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream (sample): I’m still searching for an daily moisturizer that I love as much as my Pai Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream (it has a matte finish and soothes my sensitive skin). I received a sample of the other version of Pai’s day cream in a recent order from Spirit Beauty Lounge. Similar hydrating, gentle formula though a bit greasier and thicker on my skin. This formula is considered the moisturizer for hyper-sensitive skin while Geranium and Thistle is for combination skin. I still think I love the Geranium and Thistle better as it has a unique, non-oily finish, light texture, and gentle yet hydrating for my dry sensitive skin. $60 for 1.7 fl oz (See my full Pai Skincare review HERE)

Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream (sample): This is another score for Osmia Organics. I really liked this moisturizer which is described as a “cream for sensitive skin contains simple, pure, plant-sourced ingredients and tiny amounts of the most precious essential oils, to give moisture with very low potential for irritation or adverse reaction.” This cream was a perfect daily moisturizer for my dry and sensitive skin. It was soothing and not irritating plus felt light and not oily on my face. I think it really helped smooth out and calm my reactive skin and lessened any breakouts or inflammation when I used the cream alone and also with Osmia’s Active Gel Toner. I do think I will purchase the full-size of this cream in the future simply because my skin loved it so much. $60 for 1.7 fl oz

Kure Bazaar Nail Lacquer in Macaron: I’d had my eye on trying a nail polish from Kure Bazaar for a while and picked out the color Macaron during a sale at Spirit Beauty Lounge. Kure Bazaar offers a wide-range of colors, are “5-free”, and made in France. I was hoping this nail polish wouldn’t have a chemical smell like most nail polishes do and would be long-lasting and bold in pigment. This polish did smell strongly which was a letdown however, it did dry quickly. I was more disappointed in the light, streaky texture of the polish. Macaron turned out to be a very pretty, pastel pink, that I think is perfect for Spring. However, it took me about 3-4 coats of nail polish to cover my nails completely and without a top coat, the nail polish didn’t last very long. I love the color of this nail polish, but the formula had me highly disappointed. I’m still interested in trying more colors from Kure Bazaar but am looking forward to trying other nail polish brands. $16 for 0.4 oz

Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer (sample): Yes, more moisturizer samples! I’ve been wanting to try products from Tata Harper for a while. All her product sound luxurious, have gotten rave reviews, and I love that all the ingredients are grown on her organic farm in Vermont. Due to the expensive prices, I knew I needed to test the products out before committing. I liked this moisturizer a lot; it wasn’t greasy, had a light, creamy texture, didn’t irritate my skin, and kept my skin feeling soft and moisturized. But, this moisturizer just seemed pretty average to me. The smell is very herbal but light. It does dissipate after a few minutes though I didn’t really like smelling it upon applying. I definitely admire Tata Harper as a brand but I think I’ll still have to try her other products to see one I feel is worth shelling out my cash for. $100.00 for 1.7 oz

One Love Organics Gardenia Body Serum (sample): I purchased the Rose scent of this body serum a while back but never got around to writing about it. Let’s just say the Rose formula took a while for me to like. This one however, was absolute love at first spritz! Offered as an add-on to my OLO order during a No More Dirty Looks promo, the Gardenia Body Serum smells like floral heaven and is super moisturizing. The formula sinks into my skin, feels light, and provides lasting hydration. The scent is not overly powerful but lingers as a beautiful, fresh floral. I could not stop spraying this stuff on myself! Suffice to say, it was too small a sample. I’ve been waiting with anticipation to purchase the full size from One Love Organics and it is released today, Monday, June 16th. Plus, also launching on the same date, the new summer releases from OLO and they are all super intriguing (a dry shampoo, cleanser, toning mist, body serum)…NEED!! $39 for 3.8 oz

Zion Health Shampoo Vanilla Coconut (2oz, **P.R. sample): Picture a warm, sunny, exotic beach in the Tropics. Got it? That’s what I think of when I use this lovely, all-natural, clay mineral-based shampoo. The formula is light, clarifying, and the scent is addicting. My fussy hair actually responded well to this shampoo and wasn’t left feeling greasy. I was even able to wash my hair with this daily without my hair freaking out. I love that Zion Health offers nice sized and nicely priced travel sizes of the shampoo. $13.99- 13 fl oz, full size or $1.00- 2 fl oz, travel size. See my review on Zion Health’s natural clay mineral toothpaste HERE)

Hope you enjoyed this first installation of my Testing Table and I’ll have more in the future! Have you tried any of these products? What are you currently testing out?

 

*This post contains affiliate links. **P.R. sample provided to me for consideration and all posts are based on my honest opinions.

My Birthday Wishlist: Beauty

Birthday Wishlist: Beauty

Guess what? My birthday is this Friday! I cannot believe it will already be August, the summer is just flying by and I am not ready to be one year older…okay maybe it’s not all that bad!

Of course I was easily able to round up some of the products I’m currently lusting after for my very own birthday list. Now if only I were to get all the things on this list…(Are you paying attention, family and friends? haha) Looking back, I could have been a bit more extravagant in my wishing but what can I say, I’m trying to be realistic even in my dreams…

1) Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow, $54– I’m a lover of cream blushes and there’s nothing I love more than blushes that also double as bronzer. This beautiful suble tan is said to be perfect for light to medium complexions and is easily blendable, plus the ingredients are 95% organic and how could you not love the super-chic packaging?

2) Kjaer Weis Mascara, $38– Okay, I’m on a Kjaer Weis-kick but this mascara has been raved about by almost every beauty-loving eco-chick and is said to be lengthening, long-lasting and luxurious. As far as organic mascaras go, it is the “creme de la creme” and is also refillable (refills are sold separately) so as to avoid bacteria buildup. So cool!

3) RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Promise, $36– I’ve said it before but I love multi-use products and this RMS Beauty product is one I’ve been dying to try. The Lip2Cheek is a cream product that can be used as a lip or cheek tint. Promise is described as a “warm salmon with a subtle warmth” so I believe it’d be a great pop of natural color on my pale skin, perfect for the remainder of summer.

4) ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Bang Bang, $24– I’ve been dying to try ILIA’s Tinted Lip Conditioners as my lips are normally dry and this specific product is supposedly very moisturizing and soothing. Bang Bang is a popular colors as it’s a beautiful, sheer red that is easily buildable.

5) One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster, $48- I’d really love to add some serums to my skincare routine and this One Love Organics serum sounds amazing. The claims are that it “counteracts dullness, puffiness, and unevenness with a intelligent combination of organic ingredients and omega acids. Plus, the zesty lemon peppermint scent provides a natural mood boost.” All the ingredients are soothing to the skin and are organic/plant based including Vegan-sourced Omega 3 fatty acids which “smooth lines and defend against environmental damage.” I also love that the skincare line partners with different artists and designers for unique, attractive packaging designs.

6) RGB Nail Polish in Pool, $18- I’m really more of a nude nail polish color kind of girl but there’s nothing like a beautiful pop of color and from a five-free* nail polish line like RGB (*Contains no Formaldehyde, no Toluene, no DBP, no Formaldehyde Resin, no Camphor). Maybe it’s the influence of the summer season but I’m loving this aptly named, bright baby-blue color in Pool. Perfect against tanned, summer skin whether lounging outside or out on the town. This is also from RGB’s Summer limited edition nail color line.

7)  Bdellium Tools Green Bambu brush set, $89.10- There is nothing more that I love than beautiful makeup besides beautiful makeup brushes. Not only are these brushes super cute (they’re green-colored!) but they are made from soft, synthetic, vegan bristles and sustainable bamboo handles. This set includes 15 professional-grade eco-friendly brushes for face, eyes and brows in a nice rollup pouch.

8) Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, $50-$70 depending on size- I’ve been lusting over all the products from Pai Skincare as many beauty bloggers and makeup artists have raved about this organic, London-based skincare line that focuses specifically on sensitive skin types. I have very sensitive, reactive skin and am curious about this cleanser, a top-selling product. It’s recommended for all skin types but works specifically well for dry and sensitive skin. The formula is alcohol and detergent-free which maintains the skin’s natural oil balance and doesn’t irritate skin. It has hydrating properties, while replenishes the skin with Omega 3 and Vitamins A, B & E and also acts as an eye makeup remover.

9) Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder, $20- I love the concept of mineral foundation, though I’m always hesitant to try it due to my super-dry skin (it has never been a fan or mineral or powder-based foundation). Alima Pure is one of the best natural, mineral makeup lines and I think their Satin Finishing Powder sounds just divine for setting my makeup. The powders come in 5 colors to suit most complexions and the names are just as pretty: Yuki, Keiko, Hanae, Ami, Sayomi. I also love that this product is free of many yucky ingredients: “no bismuth oxychloride (BOC-Free), no carmine(ci 75470-Free), no nanoparticles, non-comedorgenic (won’t clog pores), high pigmented”.

Have you tried any of these products? What’s on your current wish list?