A little while back I had a natural-beauty girl date at a restaurant here in New York. It was with Kahina’s founder Katharine who has, over the years, become a friend. If you’ve never met her, here are some things to know: She has an easy laugh, she’s emotionally generous, and she has the envious glow of a woman who seems to love life, love the work she does, and love herself. She just has that thing (and by thing I don’t just mean argan oil, though that probably plays a small part).
(Psst, also. Kahina is our Friday Deal tomorrow, so if you’re going to get this new product or gift it, hold your horses till tomorrow when we reveal the codes.)
That night, she was so excited to tell me about her long-time-coming new product: a body serum. It took some doing because getting the oil mix just right for deep hydration but also a bit of a glow can be tricky when argan oil is the foundation of your line. That’s because argan oil is so incredibly good at absorbing into your skin — as anyone who uses it on their face can tell you — which means when you apply it alone to your body, especially when the air is super dry, it could leave you a little…wanting.
To get an oil blend that is rich and hydrating without being greasy or clothes-stainy? Not so simple. But leave it to Kahina to figure it out.
The new Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum is, in a word, delightful. A few of us tried it and agree that it’s amazingly hydrating, but its real selling point is the smell, since you’re going to be wearing it all over you. Here’s what Nicolle had to say:
“I never thought I’d say I loved smelling like cumin and clove, but the FEZ Body Serum has a luxurious, spicy scent that calms and de-stresses. A little on my neck and chest before bed helped me relax and sleep better.”
Mmm. I agree. There’s something very end-of-day to the smell, perfect for unwinding and warming up in cool weather. But I’ve also recently been revisiting some of my books on Ayurveda, and after some recent travel, seasonal change, work stress, and a nasty cold, I came to the conclusion my Vata dosha was out of balance. (Pretty sure my Pitta is wacked too, which is awesome.) Maybe Fez could help?
I was keen to add abyanga back to my daily routine. It’s a kind of self-massage ritual that you perform with therapeutic body oils, and you can find out more about that here if you want to try it (you do!). It can be a bit of a messy pain to do it the old fashioned way, and I wouldn’t want to use up all my oil in one shot. But since Fez has such a warming, soothing fragrance, I thought it would be nice to, post-steamy-shower, apply it, abyanga-style, in slow circular motions starting at my feet.
I did that for a few days and while it’s too soon to know if it’s rebalancing my Vata (LOL), I can say this: I feel calm, I smell good, and today, anyway, I feel like I’m doing something good for myself.
If that’s not an ideal natural beauty product, I don’t know what is.
What’s your favorite Kahina product? Some other body oil you love? (And any Ayurvedic dosha-balancing tips are welcome, too. Ahem.)
It’s December, people. And though some of us maybe finished our holiday shopping over the long, sale-filled holiday weekend, others of us may not be that on top of things. Enter this gift guide.
I love gift-giving. I have an entire secret Pinterest board dedicated to gifts for others so when my husband or sister or best friend mentions something they’ve been coveting, I have a safe place to stash the idea for later. This year, I’m doing beauty-related gifts for many friends, so I wanted to share a few of my fave pressies. Check them out below (for all budgets, for all kinds of beauty gals).
For the clean beauty skeptic: Since swapping clean products into my whole beauty caboodle, I’ve tried to convert as many friends as possible to the clean beauty movement. Some are more hesitant than others, and the ones who I have the hardest time convincing are the ones most concerned about cost. So I point them to a multi-tasker that usually woos them to trying more clean products: Acure Organics’ Argan Oil. It’s a hair-smoother, a cuticle oil, a face moisturizer. And it has a friendly price point if they want to repurchase for themselves.
For the beauty aficionado: The Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Winter Glow Gift Set. I’ve talked before about how much I love the Vitamin D Mist, and this set boasts that toner, plus a yummy Vitamin C serum that even my mom loves (and she used to use only Vaseline to moisturize her face). Top those off with a colorless face powder and angled kabuki brush help you hit this season’s matte face look and you’ve got a great combo for a girlfriend who’s a tad more in-the-know.
For the makeup maven: I can’t say enough about loving Alima Pure’s wide range of mineral foundations, but now I love their eyeshadows and mascara as well. Their holiday set, Me Encanta, comes from a collaboration with green makeup artist Kristen Arnett. I love love love the navy shadow included in the kit (I used it as a liner) and the blush is my all-time favorite color (I wore it for my wedding, for Pete’s sake). There’s even a how-to video on creating a subtle look with the liner, contour powder and blush. Fool proof. And a perfectly well-rounded present.
For the jet-setter: This Travel Therapy Botanical Mood Booster from La Bella Figura Beauty is one of those things I’m not sure how to make it through the day without. It smells like sunshine, it sticks around for a looooong time and I’ve gotten dozens (not exaggerating) compliments on how I smell, even after not showering for four days, when I’m wearing this puppy. It calms me—and anyone who smells me—down and makes every hurried day, full of airplane travel or just regular old commuting, better.
If you’re on a budget: Much like I am. Alexandra once blogged about why she loves gifting aromatherapy, but let me add to her points by saying it’s a super easy way to customize gifts and to not have to pick out makeup colors. You know your best friends; you know what’s bugging them. Therefore, you know what aromatherapy might benefit them. (Plus, we have a kick-ass deal going on with Essence of Vali until the end of the year. Save your dollar bills and give gifts your peeps will love.)
Or, do a little DIY for the holidays. Get some cute plastic bottles and fill them with a DIY dry shampoo. Or a body scrub. Or a lip balm. The thought goes a long way (and if your friends are like mine, they’ll be thrilled you took time to make them something, not just swipe your credit card.)
For the boy: Olie Biologique JUST released a Whisker Oil for before and after shaving. It smells manly and helps reduce redness and irritation. Or check out the body soaps from Osmia Organics. I only got my husband to switch from Dove when he smelled these babies. (Get a body oil for yourself while you’re at it—Water Lily is my fave and I started wearing it as a perfume.)
What did I miss? What are you snagging for friends, family or S.O.s?
Unless you’re living under an Internet-free rock (which you aren’t since you read our blog!), you know that New York Fashion Week just wrapped up, leaving all fashion and beauty related bloggers and readers with tons of info on new trends and colors.
Interested in what the hot NYFW looks were, but don’t care to rummage through all the blogs and slideshows and tweets yourself? You’re in luck: We’ve got a quick summer-to-fall transitional beauty guide, complete with NYFW-approved trends and just generally good-to-know beauty info. Enjoy!
Lips: If summer was all about the fuschia matte look, fall deepens things with burgundy lips. You’ve probably already seen the glossy or matte versions of the deep red lip everywhere – time to try it yourself with Osmia Organics Luster gloss. With its color derived from beets, Luster’s burgundy gloss avoids dyes and scary ingredients to bring us a lovely red shade with moisturizing staying power.
Eyes: Colored eyeliner that throws back to the good ol’ 80s and 90s is all over the place for the fall. Bright teal, neon purple, electric blue – you name it, you can find it. Try picking a shade that complements your eye color (teal or emerald for greenies, purple for browns, bright blues for blues). I’m a big fan of Jane Iredale’s Mystikol liners (not too dry, not too smudgy) and her line has colors galore.
Eyebrows: Not a big colored-liner fan (or just not ready to bite the bullet on a color you’re not sure will be in next month)? Fall’s trend is leaning even more toward big brows with natural skin (we’ll get to the skin in a minute). I promise you, if there’s one of these transitions to try, enhancing your eyebrows is one of them. Defining your brows with a little powder can instantly change your face, and since your brows are naturally darker than your hair color, adding a little color to them doesn’t feel cray cray. Try W3LL PEOPLE’s Capitalist Versatile Mineral Brow Pigment with a short, flat brush for application. And trust me on this one: get a shade lighter than you think.
Skin: Clean, natural skin is the way to go this fall. For those of us who don’t have perfect, makeup free skin, a tinted moisturizer is key. We’ve raved about Juice Beauty’s CC Cream on the site before, and I’d definitely recommend it as a base for your face. If you’re looking for a little more coverage, try 100% Pure’s Healthy Skin Foundation. I used it for my wedding and I still couldn’t be happier with it. Top it off with a luminizer (RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer is in all our makeup bags, but ILIA Beauty’s luminizers kill it too) to get the natural-glowing-skin that’s in.
Nails: Nail trends are going in two separate directions this fall. The first is natural nails, which gives us all a great reason to buy RGB’s nail foundation. It comes in an array of colors for all skin tones and it’s meant to give you polished look without color on your nails. If you’re looking for color, you’re going to want to check out a mossy gray-green, a grayish navy blue or a metallic silvery gray. Use any of these colors to do a solid base – or try out the half moon mani that was all over runways.
What trends did you see that you’re in love with? What other recs do you have for the fall season?
I’m not one of those girls who’s dreamed of getting married since she was old enough to understand the words “bride” and “groom.” I never fantasized wedding dresses or centerpieces. I didn’t wish for a Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet (sorry, fiancé, if you’re reading this).
But what I did dream about was a legit excuse to buy as many beauty products as I wanted. A reason to try 13 different eye shadows. An excuse to spend three hours searching the Internet for the perfect shade of lip gloss. A reason to splurge a little.
My pending nuptials seem like the perfect excuse. I gave myself a little longer of a leash than usual, and went all out. Here’s a few tips that I learned along the way, plus the products that I think will give me the natural-me-but-better look for my big day.
One thing I don’t want to have to worry about on my wedding day is my makeup melting. In order to stay off the sweaty train, two things are key: a good primer and a layering of different types of makeup.
I start with ARCONA’s Desert Mist, a daily primer and skin protectant. It seals in moisture and helps create a smooth base for all your subsequent blending. I’ve also heard Amala’s Purifying Mattifier is a good one.
- Liquid foundation: I already gave this puppy its due on the blog last week, but I can’t say enough how excited I am to have found 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation. It has silky coverage without making me look like I’m in a theatre production of “Cats,” it doesn’t melt off and it doesn’t give me too much of a “glow” (I’m not really a dewy-skin lover). I stipple it on with a Beauty Blender because it’s awesome and works better than a sponge or a brush or my fingers (I’ve tried them all, people) to get even, not-cakey coverage.
- Sticky-ish liquid concealer: I do this concealer from Mineral Fusion* (which comes with two colors so you can mix a custom for your skintone) OVER my foundation. Otherwise the stippling takes it all off.
- Mineral foundation: Something to remember, which will come up later when we talk about eyeshadow—you want to avoid shimmer and glitter and sparkly-ness on your wedding day. They create bounce-back when your photog snaps glamour shots of you and your S.O., which can wreck the images and make you look older than you actually are. And NO ONE wants that. So, the mineral foundation I use is a totally matte one that we’ve recommended on the blog before: Alima Pure. So many colors. So much lovely, soft coverage. It’s the bomb.com. The only thing I’ve ever loved as much as it was Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Foundation, which is a bit pricier.
- Blush: I am NOT a rosy girl. I much prefer a little color in the form of a bronzer (no shimmer) but for the wedding-day, I want to look more polished than usual. So, I went back a tried-and-true matte blush (remember how I said to avoid shimmer? Blush is included here.): Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Pink, a literally universally flattering shade.
- Luminizer: Now, I said before shimmer is baaaad. And I stand by that statement… until photos are through. Then I’m going to dab a little of (the best beauty product in the world) RMS’ Living Luminizer in the inner corners of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid’s bow. Glow-ing.
This was where most of my searching, researching and testing happened. I just had a tricky time finding a matte (are you sick of that word yet?) eyeshadow palette that was flattering and contouring enough. So, I mixed my own.
- Eyeshadow: I bought a load of samples from W3LL PEOPLE (thank you to any and all clean lines that offer this service—it is the best thing ever) and ended up finding my perfect shade in a slightly unlikely place—the mineral brow pigment. I use a medium shade on my lid (Matte Taupe) and a darker shade in my crease (Matte Espresso).
- Eyeliner: For all-day wear, liquid liner is your best bet. I haven’t found a clean one that I lurve, so I improvise by creating my own. I do a thin line on my top lid only (don’t want any bleeding under my eyes on my big day) of Jane Iredale’s Eye Pencil in Black Brown. Then, I dip a stiff eyeliner brush in water before dabbing it in Modern Minerals’ loose mineral eyeliner in Cocoa. I gently enhance the Jane Iredale line with this deep chocolate shade, thickening the line a bit.
- Mascara: I looove me some mascara. I already have long, curled lashes (my hair stylist asked me last week if I’d gotten eyelash extensions after I swiped on one coat of black-brown mascara) but I need some additional thickening. To get the look I want, I use two mascaras in sequence: a) 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Dark Chocolate (it actually smells like I’m swiping melted dark chocolate on my lashes, which is just an added bonus to its lengthening power). b) Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara in Pitch Black. This baby thickens and darkens, giving me almost-falsies.
My lips are SENSITIVE, so I’ve tried many a balm, stick, gloss and stain in order to find the perfect one that doesn’t make my lips swell and flake. I also didn’t want one with too much color, as I’m doing a heavier eye than I normally would. In order to get that my-lips-but-better look, I’m using two products:
- Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Liner in Soft, Muted Rose. It’s almost exactly the shade of my natural lips, so I’m only using it to help my real color stay on longer. Creating a base of a stickier substance, like the liner, helps hold color in place (since I’m not jumping on the 14-hour dirty lip color train).
- My holy grail of lip color and gloss: RMS Beauty’s Lip Shine in Bloom. Confession: I own ALL the colors of the Lip Shine. I love them so much – they go on sheer but can be layered for more color. They leave a light stain so even once the gloss wears off, I still have a little color. And Bloom is the perfect shade to make me look super put together on a no-makeup day or enhance my lips for a special occasion (aka, my wedding).
That’s it peeps. Seems like a lot, but I think it’ll all help me feel confident about looking my best on wedding day (t minus three days…). What products did you use for your wedding? What did I miss?
We’ve talked about the 100% Pure line multiple times (here, here, here and here, for starters) and it shows up in many a morning routine. But we have yet to really cover one of their makeup standouts: the Healthy Skin Foundation with Super Fruits.
Now I know it’s summer and the last thing some of us are looking for is a full-coverage liquid foundation that adds dew to our already-sweaty faces and then melts off as the temperature rises. Good news: This one does neither of those things.
My love affair began as I searched for a full-coverage foundation for my wedding at the end of August (!). What my initial search revealed was that “full-coverage” to me means something completely different than it means to a makeup artist—or anyone who writes the copy on foundation descriptions. I was searching for something to even out my skin tone and significantly reduce the appearance of any blemishes I have (crossing my fingers that number is ZERO come the last weekend in August).
I was NOT looking for something that made my face look airbrushed, or covered my freckles. I did not realize how difficult a task this was. I also did not want something that would be dewy. I wanted matte. I wanted nothing to add to the greasiness I know will build over the course of my wedding day.
Apparently these two things in combination are really hard to come by in the clean beauty world. I tried samples of eight different clean brands—and even started considering going dirty, just this once.
Then I tried 100% Pure’s Healthy Skin Foundation. It touts that it has full-coverage and a “satin matte” finish, so I was simultaneously excited and skeptical, as I’d been burned by full-coverage friends before.
It was love at first blend. The foundation melted into my skin just the way I’d imagined. The finish was satin matte, just as promised. My blemishes were hidden. My skintone was evened. And my heart was happy.
But the best part is that it lasted. I really put it to the test by wearing it for my engagement pics, out in the unshaded meadows of a 97-degree, 80%-humidity evening. Two and half hours later, my face looked just as good as it had when I’d left my air-conditioned apartment. That’s staying power.
Have you tried 100% Pure’s foundation? Are there other makeup powerhouses out there that I need to know about before my wedding day? Share, please!
Ingredients: Ingredients: 15% Titanium Dioxide, 10% Zinc Oxide Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice1, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Pigmented Extracts of: Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Bean) and Lycium Chinese (Goji Berry) Fruit, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Extracts of: Cerifera Cera (Candelilla Wax), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Ferment White Tea) Leaf2, Coffea Arabica (Coffee Cherry) Seed, Aristotelia Chilensis (Maqui Berry), Vitis Vinifera (Muscadine Grape) Skin, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Peel, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit, Sambucus Canadensis (Elderberry), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed, Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle)