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Happy Friday Deal From Gressa Skin!

One of our discoveries at A Night For Green Beauty was the brand new liquid foundation from Gressa Skin. When we applied a drop to the back of our hands to swatch it, we gave a collective ooooooh as it blended effortlessly into a powdery satin finish. Could it look as flawless on the face? Yes! Nicolle reviewed this bad girl plus the bronzer not long ago, and we’ve been cooking up a Friday Deal for you ever since. So here’s the deal…

Gressa Skin is giving No More Dirty Looks readers a free MINIMALIST Illuminating Serum ($45 value) when you purchase the MINIMALIST Corrective Serum Foundation and the MINIMALIST Contouring Serum Bronzer. Put all three in your basket and use the code GLOW at check out before the deal ends this Sunday night. International orders welcome.

Run, don’t walk, because this natural makeup is unlike anything you’ve tried. Not only is application a breeze — this stuff literally melts into your skin — but the formulas were created to nourish and heal. Basically, you’re getting a high quality treatment serum disguised as makeup, and it just so happens that the makeup is crazy good. You have to see the ingredient list for the MINIMALIST Corrective Serum Foundation for yourself: *Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, GRESSA Healing ComplexTM *Silymarin, *Neem (Azadirachta indica) Extract,*Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract, *Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) Extract, *Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Extract, *Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Seed Extract, *Elder Flower (Sambucus nigra) Extract, *Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate Non-GMO, Coenzyme Q10, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, (Vitamin C), *lecithin, *glycerin, mica, iron oxides, titanium oxide. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Impressed? Us, too. Have you tried anything from the Gressa Skin MINIMALIST collection? Tell us what you think in the comments!

 

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Micro-needling: Would You Try It?

 

Over here in our fairly natural neck of the woods, we don’t often talk about the various cosmetic procedures on the market and in the offices of dermatologists everywhere. I thought it would be fun to discuss something different and perhaps controversial — micro-needling.

Ever intrigued by skincare trends, my eye was drawn to this treatment that has been getting play around the Internet for some time. Known commonly as micro-needling, the concept is actually called collagen induction therapy, and it involves puncturing hundreds of tiny holes into the face with small sterile needles. Make you wince? Me too. This causes superficial, microscopic injury to the skin, which stimulates the production of new collagen. Micro-needling is used to treat scars and wrinkles, and it can be performed by a dermatologist or at home.

The tool used for at-home micro-needling looks like a small lint roller with itty-bitty needles, typically .25 millimeter in length. A dermatologist will likely perform this treatment with larger needles, using an electronic micro-needling pen rather than a roller, but at-home treatments should steer clear of those — apparently you can really do damage. The micro-needling tool is rolled in crisscross patterns around the face and neck. When longer needles are involved, bleeding can occur. When shorter needles are used, the process should be relatively pain-free and not induce bleeding.

There are definite risks involved. For example, proponents claim that micro-needling opens micro channels in the skin and allows for deeper penetration of topical treatments, but the flip side to that is the risk of infection or irritation. You are causing microscopic trauma to your skin, after all. If not performed correctly, you can damage the skin and cause scarring where there was none. Bummer. As with anything, safety first!

People who are fans of micro-needling report that you get the benefits of more expensive procedures, like laser treatments and microdermabrasion, without the high cost and with minimal pain and recovery time. My take? I’m pretty fascinated by the idea but too chicken to try it at home for fear of messing up my skin. I don’t have troublesome scarring and I’m happy treating my fine lines with botanical oils and serums. Plus, even though it’s considered less expensive than other procedures that dermatologists offer, I would way rather spend the money on a back massage or a lavish dinner. Oh yeeaaah.

What do you think? Would you try micro-needling? Have you already experimented with this treatment? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Love this simple yet nurturing routine from a reader who is clearly enjoying every minute of the fall season. To see why we’re running out for apples and rooibos, keep reading!

Name: Yasmin 

Age: 26

City: Washington, DC

Weather: Beautiful! These days are cool, crisp, and quintessential fall

Skin: combination, although tends to be on the drier side than oily

Hair: Medium length, highlighted a caramel-blonde color

Favorite star: Judy Garland

There’s something about fall that makes me want to re-vamp my beauty routine. The weather here is getting cooler and the leaves just started to change, so the makeup and skincare items I have from the summer no longer seem to fit my mood. This weekend, I brought out the winter quilt for my bed since I usually sleep with a sheet during Washington, DC’s hot and humid summers. When fall arrives, though, I’m always ready for the crisp and cooler weather.

In the mornings, I usually stay in bed for 5-10 minutes before getting up. Sometimes, I’ll stretch or do some gentle yoga poses in bed to help my body wake up from the night before. I find that stretching helps quiet my mind and mentally prepare for the busy day ahead, which isn’t always easy to do when I rush. Then it’s time to wash my face. I use Dr. Bronner’s soap in Tea Tree Oil because I have acne-prone skin and the antiseptic properties of tea tree really help prevent blemishes. I’ve used other cleansers but always find Dr. Bronner’s to be the most effective in leaving my skin clear and blemish-free. I use a tiny amount since it’s easy to dry your skin out with tea tree — a little goes a long way.

Afterwards, I moisturize my face because the cooler weather can dry it out. My skin tends to change from oily to dry, but in the fall and winter it tends to be on the drier side. I used Shea Moisture’s Apricot Kernel face cream in the summer. This past week or so, I’ve transitioned to using Kahina Giving Beauty’s Argan Oil facial moisturizer. It blends in nicely without leaving any sort of greasy residue. Those are the types of moisturizers I love and seek out, something that is light enough for my skin to absorb but still does a great job of leaving my skin freshly moisturized. I started using Odacite’s B+J serum around my eyes this summer. It has such a light, fresh, and fruity scent, and I love how a dab makes me feel like I’m giving the delicate skin around my eyes a boost of protective moisture. I think it’s something I will continue doing because I have noticed a difference in the appearance of the skin around my eyes. I think the beneficial properties of oils have a preventative/restorative element to them, and that is one of the reasons why they help with diminishing fine lines. Lately I’ve been using a small dab of Red Flower’s Moroccan Argan Oil. It has a spicy yet sweet scent that is perfect for fall and reminds me of a cinnamon spice candle. It is very rich and can be used on the body as well, so you only need a very tiny amount for your eye area.

This is usually around the time when I will do my makeup. However, the last month or so I haven’t really been using anything other than moisturizer and a swipe of mascara. On the weekends I will apply more, mainly when I am going out or doing something with friends. Otherwise, it’s nice to let my skin breathe on days when I’m not doing anything special. I use Ilia Beauty Mascara in Black and Dr. Hauschka’s Mascara in Black. I switch it up because I find that Ilia Mascara is great for a basic coat and does a good job of keeping the lashes separated — perfect for workdays. Dr. Haushka’s is more volumizing, so I use this one when I want to create a more dramatic look.

Afterwards, I like to make myself a cup of tea. I just bought some Kromland Farm Organic Rooibos Tea, which tastes just like Chai except without the caffeine. Organic Rooibos also has a high alpha hydroxy acid in it and will leave your skin dewy and hydrated. I had the brilliant idea of making fresh pressed apple cider from apples acquired through apple picking and steeping it with the Rooibos Tea to make spiced cider! I am getting excited just thinking about it!

Are you feeling inspired to go apple picking or something else that puts you out into the crisp fall air? How does your routine, be it beauty or weekend leisure, change with the fall season?

Drinking enough water everyday should come naturally to us, but it doesn’t always — at least not for me. Some of you are little fishes. You guzzle from fashionable water bottles all day err’day, and you mean it. Yes, I have an adorable BKR water bottle, too, but I fall squarely into the camp that struggles to stay on top of my water intake. My average to-do list includes drink more water because it’s as forgettable to me as go to the post office. While I’m big on herbal tea, I will drink as little as one glass of pure water per day if I’m not making a conscious effort. I’ve gone so far as to set my iPhone alarm for hourly reminders to sip away.

For maybe the 100th time in my adult life, I recently made a commitment to drink at least 64 ounces of pure water a day. That might sound touch ridic since it’s so basic, but hey, committing to basic health habits ain’t always easy. Drinking enough water each day has been a difficult goal to meet, but the benefits are so noticeable — especially skin and energy improvements — that I am motivated to keep at it.

It’s easier to become dehydrated than you think. You are often already dehydrated once you become thirsty. Worried you’re not getting enough? Here’s a short list of some of the subtle and not so subtle ways your body can revolt if you are not drinking enough water each day.

1. You feel fatigued and moody.

Do you get enough sleep and still wonder why you’re tired during the day? Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Headache may accompany your exhaustion, as well as a moody and cranky disposition. Yep, the total package. H20 boosts energy levels and enhances clear thinking and productivity. Water carries vital nutrients to every cell in your body. When water intake is low, we become depleted and our performance suffers as a result. Water is energizing!

2. You feel hungry when you probably shouldn’t.

If you eat a normal, healthy diet but often feel hungry despite your good eating habits, you may actually just be thirsty. Water is filling. When you drink enough water throughout the day, your appetite will be properly regulated. Drinking enough water will also help prevent fluid retention. Your body won’t fight to retain fluid if it’s properly hydrated.

3. Your back or joints ache.

Your joints need moisture to stay lubricated and move pain-free. Water is the main lubricant in the joints, and it cushions the discs in your spine. Without proper hydration, acid waste, such as uric acid, can accumulate in the joints and cause inflammation and pain. Keep cartilage supple and flexible by drinking plenty of water.

4. Your skin looks dull and fine lines are pronounced.

As NMDL readers know well, the skin is the largest organ in your body, and your water consumption habits have visible effects on the clarity and condition of your complexion. Challenge yourself to drink more water and see if your skin doesn’t look more plump and glowing. Bonus: water is also the main lubricant for eyes, so increasing your water intake promotes bright, sparkling eyes.

5. Your visits to the bathroom are infrequent or difficult.

Water is the most detoxifying resource we can offer our bodies. When you’re getting enough water, you’ll urinate freely and often, and urine will be light in color. When you’re not getting enough water, your kidneys will trap extra fluid to ensure you have enough for bodily functions, and urine will appear concentrated as a result. Improper water intake can also lead to constipation. The colon pulls too much water from stool when you’re not adequately hydrated, making it difficult for your bowels to function normally.

Do any of these signs sound familiar? What do you experience when you aren’t drinking enough water and how do you stay on top of it?

Pumpkin Pie Shake

It’s fall. That means pumpkin shows up EVERYWHERE. And if you get a little nauseous from the amount of sugar in a pumpkin spice latte but don’t want to give up on the gourd’s distinct flavor (and health benefits!), I suggest testing out this Pumpkin Pie “Milkshake.”

I’ve been on a no-sugar (like NO sugar. Not even fruit.) thing for about three weeks and I’ve been on a no-processed-sugar  (no sweeteners of any kind, in anything, including alcohol) diet for about six months. It’s all part of a plan to help support my body as it rebalances and starts to be able to retain and absorb nutrients appropriately (another side effect of an auto-immune disease), but it’s hard. It’s really hard sometimes. And those “sometimes” are the times when I crave frozen yogurt or a banana slathered in almond butter and dark chocolate bits or a waffle with whipped cream and berries and maple syrup.

In order to cope, I’ve started to combine and try things I normally wouldn’t, like drinking pumpkin puree for breakfast. It’s surprisingly delicious when blended with a few additional ingredients and it fulfills my sugar craving without messing up my body.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (the zinc in pumpkin is great for your skin and for helping you absorb nutrients; vitamins A and E help plump and restore skin)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon (an anti-inflammatory that can lower blood sugar and reduce cholesterol)
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg (can help strengthen your liver and soothe your gut)
  • 1/ Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 scoop (about 1/8 cup) of vanilla protein powder (I like this one because it also gives you all your greens, has digestive enzymes and probiotics, no added sugar and is vegan + gluten-free—plus, the vanilla chai flavor is bomb.com)
  • 2-3 ice cubes (or more—the more you add, the more shake-like it becomes)
  • (If you eat natural sugar and you want a little sweeter shake, you can add in half of a banana)

How to:

I blend all the ingredients in my Magic Bullet, but a Vitamix or blender works just fine. And a little tip I learned from working at my best friend’s family’s smoothie shop in high school: When you’re putting your ingredients into your blender (for any kind of smoothie), put them in from most liquid to most solid. So for this one, put in your almond milk and spices and protein powder, then your pumpkin/banana then ice. Ice always goes last, so it’s furthest from the blades of the blender, ensuring a faster, smoother shake/smoothie as it sucks in the more blendable ingredients first.

What recipes are you loving for this fall? Any other pumpkin twists I should try (like a sugar-free, gluten-free pumpkin bread?! I have yet to find a good recipe for that, so share! share!)?