Shampoo Savior: Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo Review

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Ladies (and the imaginary gents who read this blog), today I want to introduce you to the shampoo that restored my faith in natural/organic haircare: it’s the Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Keratin Boosting Shampoo ($9.99 for 8oz).

It has been a rough journey on the way to cleaning up my hair washing habits. My hair is stick straight and very fine so I don’t really do much in the ways of styling it, I’ve always been content with just leaving it alone. It has always been oily-prone and grows pretty fast. In the summer, I started trying out a couple green hair products I’d found at Whole Foods. In addition to switching products, I also knew changing my washing routine from shampooing every night to only 2-3 times a week would account to healthier, greener locks.

At the time, my hair was freaking out from the initial products I tried and I was too. My hair was not adjusting well to my new green, clean routine nor to the transition of products. After going through bottles of clean shampoos that made my hair feel gummy and grease-central for days on end, I’d nearly thrown in the towel on finding affordable, accessible and clean shampoo. However, I gave it one more try and picked up the Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo since I’d heard great things about Acure Organics.

Instantly, after the first wash, my hair felt rejuvenated and silky smooth. The shampoo lathers slightly but not as much as in shampoos that have Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) in them. When running my fingers through my hair or blow drying, I didn’t experience strands of tacky or oily locks and felt that my hair was back to its normal self. This shampoo leaves my hair feeling nourished and clean without causing it to feel dry or limp and gives me good volume too.

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Acure Organics Shampoo putting my toxic, value-sized hair products to shame in the shower.

The refreshing, aromatic minty-lemongrass scent is enough to make you meditate in the shower and you can truly feel the gentle, clarifying formula at work. I like that Acure Organics describes this as an everyday shampoo that’s also safe for color treated hair like mine. Even though I’ve transitioned into not washing my hair everyday, it’s nice to know that when I do creep back to my old habits, this shampoo doesn’t further freak my hair out but instead, treats and maintains it. Here’s how Acure Organics describes this shampoo:

This clarifying shampoo is gentle enough for everyday use for all hair types. Promotes shiny, healthy, clean hair. Organic Argan Oil, Argan Stem Cells + CoQ10 help support hair keratin and strengthen the follicle connection. Organic Avocado Oil provides vitamin B12 and moisture while lemongrass cleanses and clarifies. Safe for color treated hair.

I like that Acure Organics uses simple, effective ingredients and all their formulas are fair trade, natural and organic. See more about their product ingredients here. The brand has become a favorite of mine for their accessible (available at Whole Foods markets), affordable and beneficial products. Not to mention, Acure Organic’s awesome ethical, transparent and environmentally-friendly commitments. The brand’s motto is: “For Your Skin, For The Planet”.

I also like the soft, 8oz squeezable packaging as opposed to a hard, shampoo bottle because it takes up less space in my shower and is lightweight and easy to travel with. Acure Organics also offers larger sizes (24oz) of their shampoos if you really love the results and want to save money. (Unfortunately, I don’t think they sell a larger size of the Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo.)

I’d recommend the Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo to anyone who might be starting the transition to green haircare as it’s a simple, effective product that makes switching over a little bit easier without compromising quality or price.

There are always good promotions for Acure Organics products at Whole Foods markets (I was able to buy this shampoo at a small discount from my Whole Foods) or you can find the products online at many retailers. Spirit Beauty Lounge also sells a duo of this shampoo with the accompanying conditioner for $19.99 online.

I’m eager to try the other Acure Organics shampoos such as the Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Volumizing Shampoo or the Argan Stem Cell + CoQ10 Dry Shampoo. For me, this shampoo is a total keeper!

Have you tried any hair products from Acure Organics? What are your favorite natural or organic hair products? While we’re at it, have you read my latest Au Natural Factual about lemongrass here?

Ingredients: euterpe oleracea (acai) berry*, rubus fruticosus (blackberry)*, rosa canina (rosehips)*, punica granatum (pomegranate)*, fair trade certified™ rooibos*, aloe barbadensis vera leaf juice*, sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate (from coconut), 100% naturally-derived betaine (from sugar beets), vegetable glycerin, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate (from coconut + amino acids), sodium cocoyl glutamate (from coconut + amino acids), cocoglucosides hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (sugar conditioner), sodium levulinate (from corn), guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (guar gum conditioner), potassium sorbate (food grade preservative), argania spinosa (argan) oil*, fair-trade certified™ olea europea (olive) oil*, d-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e), ubiquinone (coq10), argania spinosa (argan) stem cells, persea americana (avocado) oil*, cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass), lavendula dentata (french lavender), evernia prunastri (oakmoss), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) essential oils. *Certified Organic   This product is gluten-free and vegan.

*This post contains some affiliate links that do not cost anything to click or purchase through but purchasing through these links does help support this site.

Au Natural Factual: Lemongrass

Au Natural Factual is back for 2014! Today, we’re talking about Lemongrass, an ingredient I have been loving lately in my hair and body products. It has also always been a favorite scent of mine.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus) is a perennial plant known for it’s many medicinal and therapeutic benefits and is indigenous to many areas of South Asia. Reported medicinal benefits of lemongrass are used in treating digestive problems, high blood pressure, fever, body pain, the common cold, cough and exhaustion. Lemongrass is also known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and astringent properties.

Used when dry, lemongrass can be steeped to make tea, used as medicine as well as flavoring for food. The plant is commonly used as an ingredient in popular South Asian cuisine and is commonly found in soaps and cosmetics as a fragrance. With it’s lemony, citrus scent, lemongrass can also be extracted as an essential oil and applied topically or when used in aromatherapy, often inhaled for muscle pain relief. It is also said that lemongrass has rubefacient properties which may improve blood circulation.

The chemical composition of lemongrass is also interesting in understanding the basis for its many health benefits and natural characteristics:

The main chemical component found in lemongrass is citral, an aromatic compound, also known as lemonal. The compounds myrcene, citronellal, geranyl acetate, nerol and geraniol are found in varying quantities in Citral. Myrcene, geraniol and nerol contribute to lemongrass’ strong fragrance, citronella acts as an insecticide and geranyl acetate is another flavoring agent. –Healthers.org

The presence of Vitamin A in lemongrass can also have benefits for skin. Lemongrass helps to treat acne, brighten dark spots and prevent oily skin. The herb’s astringent and antibacterial properties are also good at reducing skin bacteria and infection. Lemongrass has also been thought to improve poor body odor by controlling excessive sweating.

Some popular, natural products containing lemongrass: 

Have you used lemongrass in any products or in food? What are your favorite products or methods using lemongrass?

Sources: HealthlineHealthers,WebMD 

Image sources: 1, 2

MyChelle Clear Skin Serum Review

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During the summer I did a VISIA complexion analysis at Whole Foods where I learned the status of my skin and added more exfoliation and oil-control to my daily skincare routine. One of the products recommended to improve my complexion was the MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin Serum ($33, 1oz). Used regularly, this potent serum minimizes oily-blemish prone skin, clears pores, and aids in skin repair. Initially I purchased this serum because the Whole Foods esthetician incorrectly noted I could use this alone as an acne spot treatment (you can’t, really) but I’m glad I picked this up because it is a great product for maintaining clear, balanced skin.

“Powerful bioactives deeply calm, balance oil and keep pores purified…minimizes surface shine while improving the clarity of oily and blemish-prone skin. Retinol resurfaces skin and clears pore-block debris while Montmorillonite clay detoxifies and absorbs excess oil. Totarol, a botanically-derived antibacterial, and B Vitamins assist in the growth of repair of skin tissues.”

I really like MyChelle products because the brand is affordable, accessible (sold at Whole Foods), participates in eco-friendly operations and gives back to the community. They approach skincare by using natural, nontoxic ingredients that provide effective results without sacrificing the health of your skin. MyChelle products are also organized into a clear numbering system so you can easily understand each product, its usage  and its order within your skincare regime. The Clear Skin Serum is a Step 3 product.

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Also, how cute is this packaging?     “Seeded in science and rooted in nature”

My results

MyChelle recommends using 2 pumps of this serum daily after regular facial cleansing. I usually apply this serum at night right after cleansing my face and before applying my night cream or facial oil. I have found this serum works great during the day too, with my daily moisturizer and even underneath makeup.

“For clear, smooth, well-balanced skin, apply two pumps after cleansing. Follow with mist, nourishing cream and sun protection.”

Like I said, I had a preconceived notion that this serum would also work as an acne spot treatment which it does not. I can’t say it completely removes all my blemishes or acne. However, it does keeps the texture of my skin amazingly smooth, balanced and leaves my pores squeaky clean. The pores around my nose and cheeks are the usual dirt collectors and I was shocked at how effective the Clean Skin Serum was at completely banishing those little nasty blackheads.This serum doesn’t take long to produce noticeable results, the formula penetrates quickly and calms skin. I have been using this serum for a couple months now and I’ve noticed how it has also healed and maintained my skin overtime. I feel that this serum really does treat and nourish my skin.

I have a strong aversion to specific scents (too earthy or herby and I can’t stand it) and have a very sensitive nose. I love the scent of the MyChelle Clean Skin Serum and it is very botanically-scented. You can specially smell the Ylang Ylang flower oil and Lavender oil among the other lovely herbal ingredients in this Serum. To my nose, the scent does linger but I find it pleasant and not irritating but definitely noticeable. The ingredients are effective in combining organic, naturally-derived and bioactive ingredients that have many skin benefits such as Retinol (Vitamin A), Montmorillonite (clay minerals) Witch Hazel water, Willow Bark extract, Tea Tree Leaf oil and Aloe. 

Overall, the MyChelle Clean Skin Serum has earned a permanent spot in my skincare regime. This serum never fails at regularly maintaining the texture of my skin, clearing pores and assisting in calming redness or blemishes. I can’t wait to try other MyChelle products like the Pumpkin Peel and Fruit Enzyme Mist.

Ingredients: Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denatured (Grains), Glycerin (Vegetable)*, Polysorbate 20 (Plant), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Montmorillonite (Clay Minerals), Yogurt Extract (Milk), Retinol, Fructooligosaccharides (D-Beta) (NutraFlora®), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil*, Totarol, Panthenol (D) (B5), Niacinamide (B3), Pyridoxine HCI (B6), Biotin (D) (B7), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Juice, Collinsonia Canadensis (Stone Root) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (Aloe Leaf)*, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Limonene (Citrus), Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Phytic Acid (Rice), Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum (Fermented Sugar)  *NOP Certified Organic

Have you tried the Clean Skin Serum or any other MyChelle Products? What are your methods for maintaining clear skin and clean pores?

*The product featured in this post was purchased by me and all opinions in this review are based on my personal experience. I am never paid to give my honest opinion on products or brands.

Celebrate a Green Black Friday: Massive Black Friday + Cyber Monday Deals

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Happy Shopping! Make it a green Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year!

Take advantage of these great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals from the best organic/natural brands below. I’ll be updating this list as often as I can! This is a great time to try some new products or gift some green beauty to friends and family. What will you be stocking up on this year?

  • 100% Pure: Free mascara & Caffeine Eye Cream for all orders over $50, free Lip/Cheek Tint, free Eye pencil, mascara, Caffeine Eye Cream for all orders over $100, Free Skincare Set, Eye pencil, mascara, Caffeine Eye Cream for all orders over $150. Free shipping on all orders through Monday, Dec. 2nd. (Read my review of 100% Pure Tinted Moisturizer here.
  • Abe’s Market:  Affordable organic/natural food, health & beauty products, Additional 10% off Black Friday sale & free shipping with code BLACKFRIDAY. 15% off sitewide with code EARLYBIRD only on 12/1. $10 off on all orders $50 or more & free shipping with code CYBERMONDAY on 12/2
  • Acure Organics: Use code BLACKFRIDAY for 30% off all body wash, shampoo/conditioner plus a free lip balm with orders through Monday 12/2.
  • Afterglow Cosmetics: Focused on natural/organic bio-active botanicals for high-quality products, $25 off for orders over $75 and $100 off orders over $199
  • Alima Pure: Gorgeous mineral makeup, get a free Natural Definition Mascara (see my review here), limited edition Mulberry Lip Tint and a signature makeup bag for all orders $70 or more through Monday, Dec. 2nd.
  • Alba Botanica: Buy 2 Get 1 Free deal online until 12/2. Use code: ALBATHANKYOU at checkout.
  • Avalon Organics: 20% off with code AVALONTHANKS, 11/29-12/2.
  • Bdellium Tools: 40% off all Yellow Bambu Brush Sets with code: YBAMBU40 or 20% all other products online with code BLACKFRI, one coupon per transaction, ends 12/2.
  • BeautySage: 20% off all orders plus free shipping with code GOBBLE at checkout until 11/30. Cyber Monday deal is 22% off all orders plus free shipping with code CYBER from 12/1 to 12/2.
  • Briogeo: Organic shampoo, 20% off all products plus free shipping on orders over $40 with code: HOLIDAY through Dec. 2nd.
  • Dr. Hauschka: All orders $50 and over receive a free Body Wash Kit until 12/3
  • Dr. Sponge: 20% off all orders from 11/27 thru 12/1. Use code THANKYOU
  • EccoBella: 25% off all orders over $20 only on Cyber Monday 12/2, details here. Free shipping on orders over $100
  • EcoDiva Beauty: All orders over $100 receive a travel size Dr. Sponge & limited edition W3LL People rose gold eyeshadow (while supplies last). Orders over $500: $50 will go to the charity of your choice.
  • EcoTools: 20% off all brush sets & an exclusive Cyber Monday brush set for $30, free shipping after $30 purchase use code CYBER13 only on 12/2
  • Gressa Skin: (see my review here) Get 50% off the Purifying Mist with the purchase of any other item. Use code: THANKFUL *Deal is working now!
  • H.Gillerman Organics: Celebrity-endorsed, handmade, organic & wild-crafted essential oils for treating chronic pain & stress. Buy 1 get 1 free with code BLACKFRIDAY, free shipping on orders over $60.
  • ILLUME: Gorgeous, natural/soy-based candles, 25% off entire site + free shipping on orders over $75 Use code: MON13 valid only 12/2
  • John Masters Organics: 25% off site wide, 11/28 through 12/2 with code HOLIDAY13.
  • Juice Beauty: Free Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer for all orders over $50 with code BFS13. (Read my review of Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel here or my favorite mascara, their Lash Defining Mascara here Receive a Mystery Gift w/a $100 purchase on Cyber Monday 12/2, 10 winners will win a Golden Ticket in their bag worth $100: Use code MYSTERY13
  • La Bella Figura: Buy 1 get 1 free Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum only on Black Friday 9am-9pm CST. No code required, just add 1 Decouverte to cart and 2nd free product will be added at checkout. Purchase must be within sale time. Cyber Monday deal: Any purchase of Istanbul, San Miguel or Positano perfume will include a free 5ml bottle of Travel Therapy, orders over $50 receive free La Curacio lip treatment, orders over $100 receive a free 5ml mini roller bottle of Daily Elements Defense Face Oil, orders over $300 receive a free 1oz/30ml bottle of Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir. Last day to receive $15 off 15% off Modern Radiance Concentrate, Barbary Fig Renewal Serum and Skin Aficionado. Details here
  • Lollique et Filles:  Cyber Monday deals on all products on the OpenSky shop here
  • MyChelle: 50% off entire site, use code GIVING13 throughout 12/2
  • MIYU Beauty: The company pairs organic, botanical-based skincare products with specially curated teas that improves skin from the inside out. 25% off with code BFCMMIYU5, 11/29 through 12/2.
  • No More Dirty Looks: 15% off all Tata Harper skincare, free shipping on all orders over $40 through 12/4 plus: Free Deluxe Rejuvenating Serum with any purchase over $250, code BFS, Free Deluxe Boosted Contouring Serum with any purchase over $500, code BFB, Free Be Adored Lip Treatment with orders over $500.  code ADORED
  • Nourish Organic: 50% off entire site only on Friday, 11/29 with code GREEN50. Free shipping on orders $50 or more.
  • Olie Biologique: Free shipping if you order Olie’s new All-Natural Whisker Shave Oil. Use code: MrWhisker, great for that special mister in your life!
  • One Love Organics: 20% off 12/2 only until 12pm EST use code CYBER20
  • Osmia Organics: 15% off entire site, free shipping on orders $75 & over, Cyber Monday only
  • Organic Beauty Talk: Curated, handcrafted, organic products, 25% off and free shipping through 11/29. 15% off w/ SHOPSMALL15 for Shop Small Business Saturday 11/30  20% off entire site for Cyber Monday, use code CYBER20, free ground shipping on all US orders.
  • Pai Skincare: (Read my Pai Skincare review here.) Spend $90 receive Kukui Instant Brightening Facial Collection free with code BLACKFRIDAYONE. Spend $180 receive Kukui Instant Brightening Facial Collection & Rosehip Intensive Nourishing Facial Collection free with code BLACKFRIDAYTWO.  Free shipping over $60.
  • Pangea Organics: Buy 1, get 1 free + free shipping on $100+ orders deal, 11/27 through 12/2. Same scents only, no mix and match.
  • PRITI NYC: 4-free organic nail polish,  Friday only take 50% off all orders with code: BLACKOUT
  • Rahua Beauty: A blogger-favorite; luxury, natural hair products. Free shipping on orders $32 of more through 12/1. Use code: THANKU
  • RGB: 5-free high-quality nail polish, cruelty-free, vegan, USA-made featured in magazines, celebrity collaborations. 50% off all RGB nail sets  (base + color + top) offer ends Monday 12/2. Free shipping on orders over $45.
  • RMS Beauty: Free deluxe size Beauty Oil sample with any $40 purchase online.
  • R.L. Liden & Co: Free shipping on all U.S. orders for Small Business Saturday 11/30 use code: FreeShipHigh5. All orders entered to win bespoke blending session and free product.
  • Sigma Beauty: Free shipping worldwide on Black Friday 11/29 with code BF2013. 20% off select items on Cyber Monday 12/2 with code CM2013. Check out Sigma’s great vegan and synthetic professional-quality makeup brushes.
  • Sibu Beauty:  Premium skincare products made from Himalayan sea buckthorn berry, deals online. Save 60% off entire site with code SIBU60 through Monday 12/2, (Excludes RAW and Sibu Omega-7 Chocolates, max. $300 total.)
  • Saffron Rouge: 20% off on luxury organic beauty sale items through Monday, 12/2. Orders $100+ ship free. 
  • Sellwood Soap: Free shipping on all orders until 11/29. Use Code: FREESHIP 
  • Spirit Beauty Lounge: Luxury organic beauty products, $15 off orders over $140, $40 off $250, $70 off $350 with code THANKYOU13
  • S.W. Basics of Brooklyn: 25% off entire site plus free gift w/all orders (while supplies last) through 12/2. Use code: ISHOPSMALL
  • Vapour Organic Beauty: 30% off everything through Monday 12/2 use code BLACKFRIDAY13 (excludes samples).
  • W3LL PEOPLE: (Read my review of the Narcissist Foundation Stick here) 20% off entire site with code CYBER13, ends midnight 12/3, excludes Natural Warrior Sets and use w/other offers.
  • Weleda: 25% off all products with code MONDAY, valid through 12/2 only. Free shipping on orders over $50
  • Whole Foods: weekend-long “Fair Trade Friday” in-store w/discounted Fair Trade food and health goods from Dr. Bronner’s, Alter Eco, Third Street Chai and more!
  • Woodley & Bunny: Brooklyn-based apothecary carrying the best in organic/natural products. 35% off online and in-store.
  • Yes To: 40% off sitewide through Friday 11/29 online (excluding bundles), orders over $50 receive free shipping. Use code: Y2BLACKFRIDAY
  • Yuli Skincare: Free Lip Conditioner for orders over $200 until 12/2, new trial-sized Halcyon Cleanser released only this weekend.
  • Zoya Nail Polish: Special 2 day deal: Get a free 12pc Dream Box + Mini Color Lock System + Free shipping with $72 purchase until 11/29 and while supplies last. Use code: DREAMBIG Cyber Monday Flash Promos: First 50 – FREE Qtica Cuticle Repair Balm + Free Shipping w/Code: FPD1FRQBm, First 50 – FREE Fall PixieDust, Cashmeres or Satins Color + Free Shipping w/Code: FPD1FRpDcs, First 1000 Buy any 3 Zoya Nail Polish Colors Get a Tinsel Time Trio Free + Free Shipping CODE: FPDx44 Follow Zoya on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for deals throughout the day, more details here

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*Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links that do not cost anything to click or purchase through but purchasing through these links do help support this site.

Discovering Gressa Skin Products

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I’m having a big obsession with skincare right now and there are so many amazing natural and organic brands out there to discover!

I was sent some products from Svetlana, the founder of Gressa Skin, a small skincare brand based in Portland, Oregon that offers handmade products made with only natural ingredients.The products I received were the Balancing Cleanser, Purifying Oil and Renewing Polish.

“We choose Organic, Wild Crafted and Sustainable ingredients only. Never fillers, never GMOs, never preservatives, parabens or any other synthetics.”

As soon as I opened the lovely packaging I knew my skin was in for a treat. I think the black packaging and simple labels are very chic as well.

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Balancing Cleanser ($23.99/2oz) This is another oil-based facial product that is really making me a believer in facial oils. I’d never tried a oil cleanser before and I love using this to remove my makeup or just to cleanse my face. A little goes a long way, I only need 1 to 2 pumps to remove all my makeup and cleanse my face. The oil feels light, smells of botanical goodness and is refreshing to my skin. The Balancing Cleanser renews and soothes my skin after use. This does not leave my face greasy yet is very moisturizing for my dry skin.
Ingredients: Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) Oil*, Extra Virgin Olive (Olea europaea) Oil*, Pumpkin (Cucurbita peo L.) Seed Oil*, Camelina (Camelina sativa) Oil, Rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa) Oil*, Castor (Ricinus communis) Oil*, Polysorbate-20, Lavender Esstenial OIl*, Geranum (Pelargonium graveolens) Essential Oil*, Roman Chamomile (anthemis nobilis) Flower*  *Certified Organic. 100% of Ingredients Are of Natural Origin

Purifying Oil ($37.99/0.5oz) This oil is perfect for using right after the Purifying Cleanser or any other cleansing product. It is a very light facial oil that leaves my skin moisturized while not heavily greasy. It is faintly yellow in color but rubs clear on the skin. I have not broken out from this product and have noticed it improves minor skin discoloration and keeps my skin feeling soft. I use this oil when my skin is acting up and find that it soothes and nourishes my face. I really like the scent, it’s subtle but you can definitely detect the floral and chamomile notes in the ingredients which I find very calming.
Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil*, Rosehip Seed (Rosa rubiginosa) Oil*, Macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia) Nut Oil*, Grapeseed (Vitis vinifera) Oil, Raw Sesame (Sesamum indicum) Oil*, Therapeuutic oil blends of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Flower*, Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) Flower*, Calendula (Calendula officinali) Flower*, Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) Flower*  *Certified Organic. 100% of Ingredients Are of Natural Origin

Renewing Polish ($22.99/2oz) I enjoyed using this scrub which includes honey as a natural moisturizer. It’s a bit oily and liquidy due to the honey, oils and mix of exfoliants, but the ingredients cohere nicely so it’s not as messy as other facial scrubs I’ve tried. After using this product, I immediately noticed my blackheads were scrubbed away and all other dirt and grime seemed to be lifted from my face. I really like how this is also oil-based so the exfoliant is gentle, moisturizing and effective in treating and softening the skin. No breakouts or damage to my skin were noted from using this product.
Ingredients: Brown Sugar*, Brown Rice Flower*, Cornmeal*, Raw Oregon Clover Honey, Lemon Juice*, Virgin Olive Oil*, Polysorbate-20 (Coconut Derived), Lavender Essential Oil*, Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) Essential Oil*, Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) Essential Oil, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) *Certified Organic. 100% of Ingredients Are of Natural Origin

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Close-up of the Renewing Polish

Overall, this was a lovely skincare line to discover. I love how everything is handmade in small batches, derived from natural botanical ingredients and really moisturize and treat the skin. The product prices are also not too expensive. I enjoy using all 3 of these products but the Balancing Cleanser definitely stands out as a daily favorite.

The next Gressa Skin products I would love to try are the Dirty Pretty Things powder and the Purifying Mist.

You can purchase products from Gressa Skin online (with free shipping!) or locally at select Whole Foods stores in Oregon or Washington.

Have you discovered any great new beauty or skincare brands lately?

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*Products were kindly sent to me for product review, this post is based on my honest opinions and experience.

Green Beauty Characters Tag

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Thanks to Katie from The Green Product Junkie  for tagging me in this beauty tag! I love reading other bloggers’ answers to tags and this one had some fun questions. This tag was originally started by Sonja from Life in Blush.

On my nightstand you’ll find: My alarm clock, my phone, EOS lip balms I’ve been trying to finish for a while now,  L’Ocittane Shea Butter hand cream (looking for something more natural that’s just as creamy/moisturizing),  lavender essential oil and the latest stack of books I’m reading (usually 3 at one time).

The literary character I’m most like is (take this quiz and share your answer!): According to the quiz, I’m most like Juliet from Romeo and Juliet! Perhaps I’ve always been driven by my emotions and a hopeless romantic…

I’m currently obsessed with: Facial oils and facial masks/scrubs. Specifically, I’m loving May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt, S.W. Basics’ Hibiscus Mask, Pai Skincare’s Rosehip Oil and Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil.

My favorite superhero is: Hmm, Spiderman? He was really just a dorky, smart teenage kid who got bit by a radioactive spider and uses his super spidey powers for good. I always liked that he was always just being himself just with added super powers.

Favorite beauty product of 2013: I’ve probably said it too many times but, Pai Skincare Rosehip Oil. I just love it!

If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive: Probably my grandfather. He died when I was young and I wish I had known him better. There are so many stories I want to hear from his point of view.

Winter is coming, how do you prep your skin for battle? Regular exfoliation with facial masks, cleansing with facial oils and moisturizing to protect from the dry, flakey areas that are always inevitable this time of year. My favorite multi-use product for preventing dry, winter skin is One Love Organics’ Skin Savior.

My perfect date night makeup consists of: A smokey eye, volumizing mascara, defined cheeks and sultry red or berry lips. I’m always employing my Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara for flirty lashes, ILIA Beauty’s Illuminator in Sway for contoured cheeks and recently for lips, Kjaer Weis’ lip tint in Goddess.

My go-to-skin-beautifying snack/drink is: I drink a lot of tea daily and I think it definitely relaxes and energizes me. I’ve been trying Kombucha tea which I like and is good for the skin from its probiotic component and its many antioxidant properties. I love a good matcha tea too.

My tv boyfriend is: I’m so behind with t.v. these days but I always liked Chris Messina on The Mindy Project. He’s just so sarcastic, caring, funny and doesn’t know how hot he really is.

If my evening clutch could hold only one beauty item it would be: lipstick. Specifically loving ILIA Beauty’s Arabian Nights, a moisturizing, amazing berry lip tint.

One beauty tip I would pass on to my fictional daughter is: A little something my own mom always said to me: Never leave the house without at least a little lip color or mascara, you never know who you’re going to run into!

The most nostalgic item from my childhood is: A doll my parents gave me when I was born.

My favorite show of the moment is: I don’t watch too much t.v. but I’ve just finished all the seasons of Orange is the New Black on Netflix and I’m obsessed. The storyline and characters are so interesting and it is addicting to watch. Homeland is the most recent show I’ve started watching and I love it. Claire Danes is awesome!

My favorite quote is: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I now tag: Bailey from Bailey Blush, Asti from Skjonnhet, Brenda from The Wanderlusting Beauty, Mary from Pure Makeup and Kim from Kimberly Loc. Rules: Answer these questions, tag other bloggers and link back to my blog and Life in Blush.

Thanks for reading! Want to join in? Let me know your answers too!

Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Knockout and Holiday Review

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Since my green beauty journey started, I’ve been lusting after makeup from the brand, Vapour Organic Beauty. Known for their top performing foundations, primers, lipstick and cheek tints, I’ve been waiting for the day I could indulge myself with some Vapour goodies. During a recent promotion, I picked up two Siren Lipsticks; one for myself and one for my mom.  If there’s one beauty habit I picked up from my mom, it’s her love of lipstick. I’d been trying to get Mom to switch to cleaner lip products since I tossed out my old lipstick. After I relentlessly told her about all the nasty things in her beloved products and the dangers in using them, she posed me with the challenge of finding a clean lipstick that performed as well as her dirty favorites. Well, let’s just say I think I’ve found a winner!

I chose the color, Knockout for my mom and for myself, Holiday, a newly released lip color. Knockout seems to be a popular color out of the vast spectrum offered by Vapour Organic Beauty and the fact that it’s a classic, rich red means it’s a necessity for every lipstick-lover. My mom loved how moisturizing and long-lasting the Siren Lipstick formula was and the color looked gorgeous on her naturally, pigmented lips. She said the initial scent was a bit fruity for her liking but noticed it faded with time (I didn’t notice much scent). In the end, I get giddy seeing her wearing the color every day and enjoying it! (I win!) She now loves wearing Knockout everyday for a versatile and bold lip color.

Note: The majority of Vapour Organic’s lip products do contain carmine though some colors formulated without the ingredient are noted on the brand’s website.

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Holiday, is a sheer berry, mauve color that is perfect for the fall. I’d been searching  for a  clean lipstick to replace my  beloved Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum. Yes, a Revlon Lip Butter. Not the cleanest product, but the color was a perfect matte, plum tint that I wore everyday and have since been searching for a clean equivalent. Vapour Organic’s Siren Lipstick in Holiday is a sheer, deep mauve-purple that have put an end to my Sugar Plum daydreams. Holiday is buildable in color, is subtle but pigmented and the formula is long-lasting and moisturizing on my lips. (Holiday looks a bit pinker in this picture.) This lip color does not contain carmine. This is now what I use everyday for a pinky-plum, my-lips-but-better color!

Siren is made with 70% Certified Organic ingredients and 30% natural mineral pigments and vitamins. Siren is designed to protect lips from moisture loss and environmental assault. Siren’s botanical infusion contains hydrating Myrrh, Rose Buds, healing Lemon Balm, antioxidant Pomegranate, soothing Jojoba Oil and essential fatty acid-rich Camilina Oil. Siren is a long wearing lipstick and lip conditioner in one amazing chemical free formula.

Each Siren Lipstick is $22 online at Vapour Organic Beauty. Ingredients vary slightly depending on color so check the website for more information.

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Have you tried a Siren Lipstick or other lip products from Vapour Organic Beauty?

Ingredients: Organic/Bio Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic/Bio Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Essential Oils & Natural Fruit Essences, Camelina Sativa Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Organic/Bio Punica Granatum (Pomegranate Oil), Organic/Bio Rosa Damascena (Rose) Buds, Organic/Bio Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm), Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh)*,  Stevia Rebaudiana (Stevia) Leaf Extract  [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019), Carmine (CI 75470)]
*Wildcrafted  Net weight: 0.11oz/3.11g

*I purchased these products and this review is based on my honest opinion. (And my mom’s!)

Au Natural Factual: Lycopene- Veggies, Fruits & Skincare

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Lycopene is a pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their red-orange color. Lycopene is classified as a carotenoid, naturally occurring orange-red to yellow pigment in plants which also assist in the process of photosynthesis. In animals, carotenes are converted to Vitamin A in the liver. Common fruits and vegetables containing lycopene are carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, red cabbage, grapefruit and watermelon.

Source: ea stewart

Recent studies have shown that lycopene is a great source of antioxidants which minimizes damage from free radicals and is believed to reduce risk of illness such as cancer, macular degeneration (loss of vision) and cardiovascular disease. Due to its classification as a phytonutrient, lycopene is also believed to have photo-protective qualities that block UV light.

Due to its antioxidant properties and many health benefits, lycopene is also now a popular skincare ingredient. Lycopene allows for skin growth and repair as it protects from free radicals, anti-aging and UV radiation. It is also believed to improve skin texture.

Some natural and organic products with lycopene as an ingredient:

100% Pure Tomato Lycopene Face Cream, 2 oz, $32.00

Dr. Sponge All Natural & Biodegradable Face & Body Cleansing Sponge, Lycopene, 0.6 oz, $9.99

Yes to Tomatoes Purifying Shower Gel, 16.9 oz, $8.99

100% Pure Carrot Facial Scrub, 4 oz, $18.00

Image from NPR, Sources: The Daily GreenEmpowHER, Life Extension, Mayo ClinicWikipedia

 

Featured on Organic Beauty Talk!

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The lovely Brandie from Organic Beauty Talk interviewed me for a “Meet the Organic Beauty” series. I am honored to be featured on the site today as Organic Beauty Talk was one of the first sites that inspired me to start my own blog.

You can read the entire interview here.  More exciting things for my blog coming soon….

Image from Organic Beauty Talk

Easy as Pai: Pai Skincare Review

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When I started going green with my skincare routine, I knew I would have to invest in something that could handle my sensitive skin and was gentle for everyday use. After much research, sampling and searching, I took the plunge and indulged in products from Pai Skincare.

Pai Skincare is a UK-based brand whose products are much adored by beauty bloggers and skincare fanatics all over the world. The products contain organic ingredients (no synthetics), with no fragrances, alcohol or irritating chemicals. Most importantly, products are formulated with sensitive skin and allergy-prone skin types in mind. The brand also focuses on transparency in listing exactly what is put into their products, something I admire:

You won’t find “parfum” on any of our ingredient lists – a term that legally allows manufacturers to include up to 200 synthetic chemicals, including phthalates, in their products without declaring them on the label. Pai was the first skin care company to list all ingredients in plain English, so you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand what’s in the bottle.

There are many products you can purchase from Pai Skincare depending on your skin type. Here are the products I chose and love using everyday:

1) Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser: I love how creamy and hydrating this cleanser is! The formula is very gentle, has a pleasant (but not strong) scent and does not contain harsh detergents or alcohol like my old cleansers did which dried out my skin. This is moisturizing enough to use twice a day (morning and evening) although I’ve taken to using this most evenings as this cleanser is great for removing makeup as well. After cleansing, my face feels extremely soft! Using the recommended muslin cloth to exfoliate, the cleanser clears my face of any dirt and buildup and my blackheads instantly disappear. Recommended for all skin types.

2) Lotus & Orange Blossom Bioaffinity Tonic: This toner is great for spritzing on the face whenever you want a quick refresh or feel dry. I spritz this on my face after cleansing and it instantly soothes my skin. The citrus scent is heavenly and nothing about this formula is irritating. Rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, this toner is great for hydration and protecting the skin. Not to mention it’s improves skin tone and texture by naturally balancing the pH in your face. Recommended for dry/sensitive skin.

3) Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil: My favorite product and the part of my skincare routine I look forward to the most, this oil is simply amazing in its ability to moisturize, protect and provide an overall glow to my skin. As someone with sensitive and reactive skin, I was never a believer in facial oils and was hesitant to try any. This oil opened my eyes to the wonders of facial oils and started a love affair. You only need to rub 2-3 drops of this elixir (ingredients include cold-pressed rosehip seeds) to the face for instant hydration and conditioning of the skin. Rich in Vitamin A, I’ve noticed my dark spots lesson after using this and my face looks brighter and feels healthier after use. If there’s one Pai product you should try, it’s this oil! Recommended for all skin types.

4) Geranium & Thistle Organic Combination Skin Cream: This moisturizer is extremely gentle and does not leave the skin oily or greasy. This cream doesn’t block pores and actually leaves quite a matte finish. I like using this before I apply my makeup and rotate between using alone or with the Rosehip Oil at night. I like how this cream smoothes and moisturizes the skin and feels very light on my face. You only need a few pumps to apply on your face and I did not find it caused any facial irritation or breakouts. It has a light, fresh scent reminiscent of lemons. Recommended for combination, oily, combination-sensitive skin.

These products form the basis of my daily skincare routine and I believe they have truly transformed my face. Every product is gentle and effective for my sensitive skin and include naturally-derived ingredients certified by the UK Soil Association. Read more about the company ethics here.

You can purchase Pai Skincare products from the U.S. website here. I’ve also found BeautyBay.com provides Pai products at lower prices but takes a bit longer to ship as it’ll ship directly from the UK.

Have you used any products from Pai Skincare? Which products would you want to try? I can’t wait to try the Brightening Exfoliator and Eye Cream next!

*These products were purchased by me and all opinions are based on my personal experience with the products.