Green Beauty Gift Guide With Mini-Reviews


Is it really the time of year for gift guides? I feel like I’ve barely processed my surprise at the arrival of fall. I try to be a good girl and obey all the laws of spacetime, but I swear time’s going by faster lately. Maybe it’s because I’m so busy. Actually, busy doesn’t begin to describe me recently (you, too??). Even if I’m not writing here all the time, I’m still deep into green beauty, trying new things, and attempting to bring you the 411. I’m a bit better at keeping up on Instagram if you want to come hang out with me over there. But I needed to take a moment to serve you up some of what I’ve been loving lately, all products worthy of a Santa’s lap request. Get them for someone you adore or put them on your wish list!

You’ll notice in my skincare picks that anti-inflammatory ingredients rate highly with me, and those of us who experience skin troubles with changes of season will do well with any of these…

Mahalo Skin Care The Rare Indigo:  Just got it, and I’m already super impressed. It smells amazing! The top note is floral but it’s got the deeper notes I crave, in the form of frankincense and carrot seed oils. Hemp and grape seed oils are perfect for acne and general soothing, and the actives include all manner of planty goodness, along with Vitamin C and coenzyme Q10, to keep skin looking youthful. The star ingredient is indigo plant extract, which gives the lovely blue color as well as skin-renewing power. It’s working well for my sensitive skin, and gives some serious glow, no mica required. I’m testing both spot and full-face application, but I don’t think you can go wrong with this.

La Bella Figura: The brand spankin’ new Cremas are hitting it just right for winter with hydration plus actives. Try Crema Supernova for day and benefit from C-rich Kakadu Plum Extract, superoxide dismutase and protein-rich Sacha Inchi oil for radiant, protected, renewed skin. It works for bare skin or under makeup. Try Crema Virtuosa (mix with Aria!) for night, and let the pink Sangre de Drago extract protect and heal your skin in collaboration with coffee bean and saffron flower extracts, plus ferulic acid. Vitamin C and moisture that works alone or under makeup are making my skin happy. They feel very active and yet no problems for my sensitive skin.

Skin Owl:  I had been hearing lots of hype about Mangosteen PM Beauty Drops, and a sample from Beauteabar immediately convinced me I needed to purchase. It fits the less-is-more aesthetic of my earlier green beauty days, with just baobab and mangosteen oils. The scent is sweet, which is not usually my thing, but somehow addictive. Stressed skin of any type will find this balancing and anti-inflammatory. The large (2 oz.) bottle gives quite the bang for the buck. The Eye + is another winner. With skin-loving herbs, enzymes, botanical hyaluronic acid and MSM, this is one of the few eye-specific products I recommend. It feels active but suits sensitives like me with its light cucumber scent and ability to lift. It takes a teeny tiny amount – overusing might give you pilling under makeup – and I feel like this little container is going to last forever.

KYPRIS:  The newish formulas of Moonlight Catalyst and Antioxidant Dew plus your favorite Elixir make superb gifts – check out my recent full review here.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics:  Wow, do I love this brand! My current faves  are part of the Winter Radiance Collection. I’ve covered my long-time companion Anti-Inflammatory Serum on the blog here. Winter calls for a face/body balm, and the new-to-me Healing Balm is just right. Many balms have something I’m not crazy about putting on my face – like beeswax or cocoa butter. This one has oils and butters my skin loves, and a biodynamic blend of herbal goodness that prioritizes healing and leaves skin calm.

One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover:  I cannot describe my joy at the way this brand responded to customers and brought back the original rinse-off oil formula of my holy grail face cleanser.  It is a lightly exfoliating, perfect one-step for those who like the performance of a cleansing oil but don’t want a nightly scrubbing or second cleanse. I like my skin to be ever-so-slightly damp, but not soaking, when applying to get the best performance. I may spritz with a hydrosol first, or even just wash my hands first and not completely dry them before applying the oil. One Love recommends putting it on dry skin, so your mileage may vary.

True Nature Botanicals: My super-stressed skin has responded well to the high-linoleic (translation: great for acne prone skin) grape seed and hemp oils in the Pacific Soothing Face Oil. The pomegranate seed oil is a long-time favorite ingredient for its rich and protective feel, and goes well with the soothing helichrysum and blue chamomile essential oils for anti-inflammatory superpowers. The Pacific Night Serum with Retinol for Sensitive Skin can undo past skin sins, and if nothing else has worked for you I bet this will. If you have wanted to try a retinol product to improve texture and sun damage, but were worried about the long-term effects, worry no more. This special formula is microencapsulated to allow the mild retinol to stay potent and provide benefits over time, without irritation. Over the summer it banished some of my hormonal/stress spots on my jawline that didn’t respond to anything else. Once the healing happened, the brightening could kick in. Results are noticeable quickly, the skin clearing right away and the brightening beginning within a couple of weeks. By the time you finish a bottle you’ll be amazed at how fabulous your skin looks.

Skinnyskinny League:  If you are looking for some nice self-care products for dudes, check out this new line from a long-fave brand. I bought the Organic Face Wash, Body Wash and Beard Oil for the husband, and we are both happy. The scents are delish and not overwhelming.

Other wonderful stuff…

Josh Rosebrook hair products:  Basically everything is awesome (the skin care too), just rewind this review to read why. Lift wins it in my most-used hair product category.

Lina Hanson Satori: This perfume is sooooo good, and a top-5 pick of NMDL’s fearless leaders.  One might say I’m quite particular about scent. Or insanely picky – whatever. Lina Hanson’s Satori perfume oil has indeed impressed me. It merges aromatherapy with just plain smellin’ pretty. It is somewhat reminiscent of her Global Body Serum (which I love), with the vanilla and citrus notes. Sustainable sandalwood adds depth, and ginger adds spark. The lighter notes are uplifting, as the description promises. Yet it is grounded in sandalwood, a classic and a favorite of mine. It makes me eager to catch a whiff of any scent projects that are in Lina’s future.

Vitruvi:  I’m known at work for always having something in my magic bag of tricks to help smooth out a rough day. Aromatherapy is often a life saver for me, and whenever I pull out Balance at a stressful meeting, even people who aren’t into my wacky ways are impressed.  The roll-on oils are my thing right now, but I look forward to trying the mists.

Haut Cosmetics:  There are some wonderful green makeup brands, and this one has been at the top of my faves list since I first tried it.  They have amped up their custom products, and have lots of new goodies.  I need to do a full post on my current use, but my first loves from this review still hold up.

Nail polish picks – my latest 5-free discoveries:  Mischo Beauty, Treat Collection, JINsoon and Tenoverten are rocking my world with gorgeous colors and excellent performance (quick to dry and they last!).

I hope with all those choices you find an idea you love.  What’s on your wish list?

image via

6 Responses to “Green Beauty Gift Guide With Mini-Reviews”
  1. Therese says:

    Love this post, thanks Rebecca!

  2. Naomi says:

    @Rebecca – I usually feel a sense of dread when I see a post of your product reviews because it ends with a wee shopping spree for me. You seem to be my skin and scent doppelganger! How interesting, this time, to discover that I am using and share your love for many of the items you have reviewed! I cannot say enough about the Laurel serum and balm, and I’m waiting for my KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst to be delivered (can’t wait to try it). I’ve found that treating my skin as sensitive / acneic has really REALLY calmed down so much of the “anger” and has even prompted it to normalize itself with moisture, whereas before a few months ago I could simply never manage to get enough moisture in a product. Big shout out to both Laurel and MOSS for their truly transformative products!

  3. Amy says:

    I’ve been using Kypris line for a while now and love it! I see that you recommend Pacific Night Serum with Retinol for Sensitive Skin. How do you like it compare to Moonlight Catalyst?

  4. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Therese, so glad you love it!

    @Naomi, haha! Yeah, there are so many wonderful green beauty products out there, it’s hard to keep the spending in check! That’s awesome that you are enjoying many of these already. I’ve no doubt you will love Moonlight Catalyst.

    @Amy, since you are already using Kypris and the products are made to work together, the MC is an excellent choice. The Pacific Night Serum, in my opinion, is better than the old formula of Moonlight Catalyst, but very comparable to the new formula in performance. I went from the old formula MC to the Night Serum, and found that some stubborn acne spots and scars went away that hadn’t before. But the last couple months I’m using the new formula of MC, and I feel like I’m at least maintaining the improvements to my skin and maybe even more than that. If you have a skin concern, like acne or dark spots, that aren’t being addressed by MC, the Night Serum is a good bet. Also, if you are looking for something with a more matte finish, Night Serum is great. They are both excellent products. With my dryer winter skin, I’ll probably stick with MC through the cold weather, but I’m likely to try another round or two of the Night Serum when lots of moisture isn’t an issue.

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