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Product Reviews: Marie Veronique Organics

Every once and a while, I fall in love with a new line. This happens infrequently, because I’m very particular about what I’ll put on my face. But of the four things I have tried, I absolutely adore all of them. One in particular.

The line is Called Marie Veronique Organics, and I’ll admit that the little French school girl in me fell for the name.*

Once I tried the products, though, I fell for what was inside, too. They have a new line out called Pacific that I am getting ready to try. Stay tuned for that. But for now, here’s what I’m loving:

Anti-Aging Mist This one’s wild. It has turmeric on the ingredient list, and you can smell it when you spray it on your face and chest. I could see this not being everyone’s favorite scent, but I find it delightful. Surprising, unisex, invigorating. I love how it feels on my skin—not drying, like some mists, and not overly floral. I love a floral mist myself, but I know plenty of women (and no doubt countless men) who do not. Plus, it contains potent antiagers like elderberry and licorice root.

Cleanser I love this stuff. I’m still devoted to my Kahina cleanser in alternation with my Tata Harper, but lo! There’s a third favorite in town. This cleanser is incredibly gentle but effective. When I cheat and go Dior on my lashes, it doesn’t do the trick, but neither would, say, Neutrogena, if that was my bag (it’s not). So I forgive it, and any natural cleanser, for not being able to get conventional mascara off my eyes, but I give it a whole lot more: Sunscreen, makeup and crap from this dirty city I live in: Gone. Natural oils: Intact. Skin? Balanced! I love it. There’s a little geranium and vetiver in there, too, which smells divine.

Anti-Aging Oil There is so much going on in this face oil that it’s tough to know where to start, so I’m going to be brief for once: The first time I used this, I woke up glowing. During a northeast (admittedly mild) winter in a building as old as mine, where it’s hard to control the heat, dry skin is a problem. This puppy seems to have done the trick.

Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 I am obsessed (obsessed!) with this product. Funny story: I thought it was just a sunscreen, and I’m already obsessed with another sunscreen, so it took me a while before I tried it. Then I mentioned the line in my morning routine, and one of you mentioned the tinted SPF. “Tinted?!” I thought. I have to get my hands on some of that. Then I realized I already had it in my bathroom. (Champagne problems, I know.) So the following morning, I put a quarter size dollop in my palms and spread it over my face on top of my go-to sunscreen. I’m a safety girl,** and there’s no such thing as too much SPF for me. I looked in the mirror and…whoa. The coverage is so sheer that I couldn’t spot so much as a streak of makeup, and yet my whole face looked somehow better. And more even. And more hydrated. I’ve not gone a day without it since, nor do I plan to. Huge fan.

Have you tried this delightful line? Any questions about the products I mentioned?

*We’re Quebecois, remember? We had to go to French/French-immersion school growing up.
** My undying love to anyone who gets the movie reference here without googling.

It’s been well over a year since we started the morning routine series. They began on a “really hot, muggy, humid, generally gross” August morning in 2011, because we thought it would be fun to share with all of you the products that we use every day before we leave the house. Now, you guys send us yours, and they’re consistently inspiring to this vibrant community of natural beauty lovers, am I right?

Since it’s December 2012, and my life, as well as my routine, has changed, I thought I’d give it another go. I’m a Scorpio, which, among other things, means I’m fiercely loyal and I like what I like. It’s fun, looking back, to see which products I’m still using. Still, some were traded out for products I like even better. (Warning: This post is long, because it’s doubling as a gang of new product reviews. You might want to skim—or grab a snack.)

Name: Siobhan

Age: 34

Current weather: It’s been a mild, climate-changey winter so far, with some rare chillier days.

Hair: Blonde, long, wavy when air dried.

Skin: Irish. Which is to say, reactive, sensitive, pale, a little freckly, and pale. Did I mention pale? Oh, and reactive.

In the shower…

Most days, I shower rather speedily. Since I don’t typically wash my face in the morning, my shower routine is pretty straightforward: I dry brush before I get in the shower, then I wash my hair. My new go-tos are Intelligent Nutrients PureLuxe shampoo and conditioner. I’ve run out and repurchased them several times because they leave my hair super shiny, manageable and smelling great. I don’t have overly dry hair but I live in fear of it, and these two products give just the right amount of moisture, without feeling greasy. A couple of times a week, I swap out IN for the Seaweed Bath Company’s argan oil conditioner. It has wax pretty high up on the ingredient list, and I find it reliable on days when I want my hair to hold a style.

If I wash my face, I use Kahina‘s or Marie Veronique Organics’ (new obsession—I love the whole line), which is slippery and cleansing without being overly drying. If I’m too lazy to make my own body scrub, which is most days, I use a squeaky-clean new one by the Brooklyn-based Metropolis Soap Company in honeysuckle and violet. My new go-to bar cleanser is the Activated Charcoal Soap by Soapwalla. It’s technically a face wash but I’ve been using it on my body. It contains activated charcoal and tea tree oil, and it’s also made in Brooklyn, which is neither here nor there, but kind of neat.

If I’m feeling under the weather or if I’m showering before bed, I massage my chest with Hope Gillerman’s Travel Remedy. The essential oils support immunity, promote restful sleep and make my tiny apartment smell like a spa. Which is nice.

Outside the shower…

Very few things I hate more than applying moisturizer on my body, but I do it almost every day. These days I alternate between Weleda’s New Rose Pampering Body Lotion (I love this stuff) and Vered’s Muscle Soothing Massage and Body Oil, which has been especially helpful since I bit it on the subway stairs the other night, had to get stitches, and seriously bruised up both my calves. (Pro tip: Don’t fall in the subway. It hurts.)

Once this tiresome step is done, I apply Soapwalla Deodorant, spray my face with either Kahina’s Toning Mist or Marie-Veronique Organic’s Anti-Aging Mist, and rub in a touch of Kahina’s Brightening Serum. Sometimes, I apply a dab of Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm, which I still swear by for night. If I look tired, I apply a Rejuvenating Eye Cream by Amala. It’s cocoa bean-based, which helps constrict blood vessels to reduce puffiness, and works almost as if by miracle to eliminate undereye bags. (Before bed it’s still La Bella Figura.)

Next, I apply Suntegrity Sunscreen, which got the #1 rating from the EWG this year for lotions with SPF. Who wants to shoot me first? Because the stuff contains (mineral-based) dimethicone. I have decided I can deal with it in this product because the ingredient deck is otherwise very clean, and because it’s the most effective, versatile and cosmetically appealing sunscreen I have ever tried. And I have tried many. It works kind of like a BB cream. I’ve finally found one I want to use every day, and this is it. You’re welcome? I’m sorry? Whatever? I love this product.

Finishing touches…

If I have meetings, which I usually do, I will follow with Suki Tinted Active Face Moisturizer in Porcelain, for an overall evening-out effect. I’ll set that with Laura Mercier loose minerals in Sand, line my eyes with Bare Minerals’ (unfortunately very messy) loose eyeliner in black, applied with a stiff damp brush. I keep my face simple for day, so that means I might swipe some RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Smile on cheeks and lips or some W3LL People Universalist in the peachy color, and dab on some Living Luminizer. I also love Ilia in a bunch of different colors. If I feel like a very bold lip, I’m probably cheating with non-naturals from Bite or Chanel.

For mascara, it’s either 100% Pure or the new thick-as-hell “Fake Out” one from Organic Wear (the pink tube) or both. Some days, I fill in my super-pale eyebrows with NVey Eco Eye Shadow Palette in No. 3. It’s not meant for brows, but it works. If I’m really going for it, I apply a touch of color to my lids, too. Makeup tends to scream on my face, though, so I use a light touch.

Finally, my perfumes of choice are still Lotus Wei Infinite Love or Tata Harper Irritability Treatment (as a perfume), or both!

Couple things, before I go: First, I don’t always follow all these steps. Second, I now fear I sound way more high-maintenance than I actually am. Any products here that you love too? Anything new to you?

Image via

22

A Word About Our Product Reviews

Whenever people preface a statement with “in the interest of transparency,” I assume I’m about to be lied to.

Maybe it’s the Scorpio in me, or the fact that I’ve heard it more times than I can count (especially in the workplace, but only at previous jobs, thank goodness!), but it reminds me of when people say things like “with all due respect.” If someone says “with all due respect” to you, you’re probably about to be served. That said…

In the interest of actual, true, real, oh-my-god-just-believe-me-I’m-too-tired-to-lie transparency, we’d like to talk about how product reviews come about on this site. Because there’s about to be more of them.

I’m convinced that people who don’t work in the beauty business sort of want to know how editorial reviews actually happen. Can you trust them? Are they BS? I’m compelled to address it because I’m about to go crazy with product reviews. I have tried so many new things lately, and I’m bananas about a lot of them. This doesn’t happen a lot! But we want you to be able to trust where it’s coming from, because that’s what No More Dirty Looks is all about. For serious. So here, let us answer some questions we imagine you might have about our review process.

1. Do you just get everything your hearts desire for free?

Heck no. I mean, we get a lot of free stuff, for sure. More on that in a moment. But if we did get whatever we wanted for free, we wouldn’t be forking over mucho cash for Tammy Fender every time we run out of that Intensive Repair Balm, for instance, or loading up on three Infinite Love perfumes at a time on the Lotus Wei site. We also wouldn’t be re-upping on the Kahina cleanser from our own OpenSky boutique, or whining because 100% Pure has been out of stock out on our favorite face sunscreen for months—which we know, because we ran out and wanted to buy more. So yeah. We want you to know that we buy stuff too. Most of it, in fact.

2. But the first products are free, right? Just so you can try it and review it?

Oftentimes, we get sample sizes of things for free to start. Some people send us full sizes, which is awesome—but rare. Sometimes, too, people have asked us to test products that are still in development to offer feedback, in which case those are technically free, too. Once we’ve reviewed something, sometimes people like to spoil us rotten, usually because of two things. First, because we’ve written nice things about their products, every word of which we meant, and they want to say thanks. And second, some of these people have become friends, and sometimes friends like to spoil each other. But this is extremely rare, in any case.

3. Do you endorse things because of paid advertising?

Ha. Well, look around. We’ve obviously found the way around this: We don’t have ads on our site, we do this whole thing for free (aside from the Friday Deals, which we get a flat rate to host). Those deals are the only semi-commercial thing we do on the site and the reason for it was mostly benevolent: Clean beauty can be costly. Plus, you seem to love them. Plus, they keep this site running. Also, as we have said, we only do deals with companies we endorsed beforehand and handpicked because they’re so clean and high-performance.

4. Why don’t you ever rag on products you hate?

We have a policy when it comes to product reviews, and that policy is “if you don’t have anything nice to say, find something you do have something to nice to say about, and talk about that instead.” Basically, if we don’t like something or don’t love something, we just leave it out. Which does not mean that if we don’t review something we hate it. We’re only two people! And we, like you, like what we like!

5. Do you only review things when PR people send you emails about it?

Ha. What a crappy question! You guys would never ask that, we know, but the answer is “of course not.” Honestly, most of the products we try and review here are things we found ourselves, or that we told each other about, or that our retailer pals like Spirit Beauty and NuboNau told us about, or that we read about online. Once in awhile a press release comes our way and we have that head-slapping moment and we just cant wait to get your paws on the new line. It’s honestly amazing when this happens, mainly because it’s so rare. And as much as we try to stay on top of what’s new, that alone would be a full-time job in this exploding clean cosmetics category.

OK so we’re sure we missed some stuff. If you have questions, please ask them. Your trust is really important to us. We’ll try to get to all of them in the comments. And if you just have, well, comments: As ever, the floor is yours.