We. Are. So. Excited. It’s not often that we have a makeup deal and we’re thrilled to be offering one of the few brands we really truly love in this category: W3ll People. These guys are all over our book, as we fell hard for their foundations and awesome multitasking lip and cheek colors. The deal features two of their best-sellers perfect for summer. So voila!
W3LL PEOPLE is offering their The Universalist Pot Duo and Deluxe Brush: this contains a moonstone-colored all-over highlighter, a peachy-pink gold blush-lip jam, and a brush—a brush! They offer the three products at an already dealed-out $49 on their site, but when you enter the NMDL promo code, you get an extra $10 knocked off! 39 smackers. Note: These guys also offer free shipping over $50.
Our girl Charlotte is a fan of the highlighter—and don’t forget to tell everyone if you’ve used this brand and what you like. Siobhan reviewed some of her faves here.
This dealski will generously run all the way through June 14th, so enjoooooy. Also good news for New Yorkers! W3ll People has a launch event at Bendel’s from May 29th through June 2nd, a great opportunity to try this line out in person. Plus founders Shirley Pinkson and James Walker giving out tips, gifts, and drinks! More details here.
Hurray for Fridays! xx
Good morning, everyone! Today, we have Alissa…from Australia! Not only is she automatically cool because she is an Aussie, but she is the type of girl with the attitude that positive thinking can help achieve positively lovely skin. How cool is that? She doesn’t forgo products, but I’m guessing she enhances their powers by smiling! Read on, you’ll see!
Current weather: Typical Sydney Autumn…freezing cold grey-sky days alternated with sunny, warm beachy ones! Can’t make up its mind…but on the sunny days, Sydney’s the most seductive, beautiful city in the world.
Hair: Chestnut brown, boob length (we’ve coined that as a technical term now, right? :) ), wavy with the odd actual ringlet, plagued by dry split ends, fine but a lot of it.
Skin: Combination in the extreme. My skin is probably my biggest trial and my biggest insecurity. My cheeks and forehead are clear and soft, my nose is oily, and my chin, lipline and jawline are dry and prone to huge, painful pimples and whiteheads. I’ve got some scarring there too, which isn’t helped by my extremely fair complexion. Oh, did I mention I have very sensitive skin, too?
Favourite icon or star from the past: Gina Lollobrigida…what a gorgeous badass! Image via
In the shower…
I tend to shower at night, just before bed. I start off by dry brushing
- something I picked up from reading this blog, and I’ve noticed it’s made a huge difference to how soft my skin is. I then apply my cleanser – either honey
, coconut oil
, or Stark Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm
, which is lovely and healing. I only wash my hair once a week, so if it’s a washing day I shampoo with Miessence Desert Flower Shampoo
(Miessence is a fantastic Australian clean brand that makes everything from toothpaste to make-up…you guys should feature them, they have some great, dependable products!) which is super mild, and every few washes I alternate with a baking soda rinse
(thanks, Alexandra! I couldn’t believe how well it works). I’m experimenting with all-clean conditioners at the moment – John Masters Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor
makes my hair very full and soft, but also frizzes out my waves and curls, and every other one I’ve tried has either provided too much moisture or not nearly enough. The best conditioner I have ever used is an almost-clean one – Kinky Curly Knot Today (not available in Australia…damn you, isolated Southern Hemisphere! Thank you, eBay!). It has the dreaded phenoxy and also something listed mysteriously as ‘natural fragrance’ but the rest of the ingredients are clean and organic and SWOON it works wonders detangling my knot-prone hair. I leave it on for a few minutes under a shower cap while I wipe the cleanser of my face, shave my legs and pits with Dr Bronners Lavender Shave Gel
, then I rinse well with warm and then ice cold water (reduces frizz and makes my hair super shiny!) I don’t use soap or bodywash or anything because I just don’t need it.
Outside the shower…
I moisturise my damp body with either coconut oil
, Soapwalla’s Luxurious Moisturising Body Oil
(the smell is so amazing I want to drink the damn thing), or whatever 100% Pure
body cream I have available. I apply coconut oil to my armpits as a deodorant – I used to use Soapwalla which was seriously miraculous…until I developed angry red pits, noooo. I find that coconut oil works great though, even lasting overnight into the next day. I comb a little more Kinky Curly through my damp hair (it does double duty as a leave-in). Then I moisturise my face with either rosehip oil
, jojoba oil
, or Stark’s Cypress Purity + Defence Oil
, which makes my skin so matte and soft – but it’s so expensive for my uni budget, so I treat it like liquid gold and ration it out. If I have a huge blemish or three that I’ve naughtily popped, I’ll apply a small amount of anti-bacterial gel or powder
, just to keep it clean and dry it out. No blemish gel or tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide has ever helped my acne, so I don’t bother anymore, and now my skin is so much less red, flaking and inflamed. My acne is mostly hormonal, anyway, so I try to work on eating clean and organic, and balancing my stress levels. And laughing a lot. I find my acne always clears up after I’ve had a good laugh.
Voilà, indeed! Thank you, Alissa! Any other Aussies out there who have some brands to recommend to readers in that hemisphere?
I hadn’t heard of the ANDI score until this morning when I saw this piece from Well+Good explaining what it is. Apparently it’s a way of measuring the nutrional density of food, and certain grocers like Whole Foods are posting it in their stores. Useful or confusing? You decide.
From the piece:
Rating systems that quickly sum-up a given food’s nutritional value are supposed to make it easier for you to make healthy choices.
Often, they don’t.
Instead, the mysterious acronyms add yet another element to the millions of considerations you’re already making as you fill your basket at Trader Joe’s.
We turned to Dana James, a triple board certified New York nutritionist, to help us make sense of the commonly touted nutrition score called ANDI. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What it stands for: Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)
What it is: Developed by star nutrition researcher and physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman, ANDI scores (from 1 to 1,000) measure the total nutrient density of a food, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant capacity. Whole Foods posts them in some stores.
Pros: The ANDI scale takes into account lots of nutrients. “It’s the most comprehensive nutrient assessment score I’ve seen,” says James. And it rates nutrient density by calorie, rather than quantity, of food—so it correctly skews towards vegetables.
For example, if you compared the nutrients in a cup of kale to a cup of lentils, you may choose lentils. But the snapshot would be inaccurate, because lentils have almost 20 times the calories of kale. The ANDI scores? Kale at 1,000, lentils 104.
Ahh, but there are cons. Read them here.
Hello everyone! Meet Lola and her lovely routine! She is a green juice, essential oil and Lotus Wei fan…aka a girl after our own hearts. Read on…
Current weather: The most bizarre NYC spring ever – too cold, too rainy, too gray, but seems to be getting better
Hair: pixy-short, super-fine, thin, oily.
Skin: Olive, combination (though tending towards very dry, especially during winter/spring), super-sensitive/eczema-y. It can be a source of annoyance, but also of many compliments due to nice texture and even tone (when not freaking out).
Favorite star or icon from the past: Jane Russell. Image via
In the shower…
A big part of my morning is not exactly skincare-related, but it has a huge impact on how I look and feel. I start every morning with a large green juice, full of gorgeous greens, ginger, lime and a green apple for a touch of sweetness. It makes me feel fantastic, gives a wonderful burst of energy and I always feel worse when I skip it for whatever reason. I have also been trying to embrace holistic wellness, so I take a whole bunch of herbs and supplements to help deal with my horrible, chronic migraines, give me energy and boost my immune system. Since I started doing this, my migraines got much better (and I am using a lot fewer drugs), I have much more energy, a better outlook and am able to fight off colds much, much better. I won’t mention the full list, but some of the herbals I would recommend for boosting energy and immunity and helping to deal with stress are Rhodiola Rosea, Astragalus and Ashwagandha. I use Gaia Herbs – they are organic and have very impressive quality controls (and their pills are small enough and easy to swallow). After my juice-n’-pills breakfast, I hop in the shower. I wash my face with the gentle Nude Cleansing Wash. It foams, but very little and I like the smell. A few times a week I use the One Love Organics Microderma scrub. It’s quite gentle, smells like oats (in a good way) and makes my skin silky-smooth. I wash my hair with the Acure Organics Shampoo and I alternate between Pure Mint + Echinacea and Argan and Lemongrass. I also brush my teeth in the shower (weird, I know!). I used to be a Tom’s of Maine fan, but I recently noticed that their toothpaste has sulfates. Even the kids’ version! Don’t know how I missed that, but it annoyed me enough to switch. I switched to the Melvita toothpaste for myself and my son. It’s organic and I really love it. I am a bit concerned about the lack of fluoride, but we’ll see how I get on. I use moisturizing Nubian Heritage soaps or 100% Pure Blood Orange Shower Gel only on the bits that need cleaning. When I have the time (so not often), I also use one of my DIY body scrubs. I combine organic, coarse brown sugar with honey and a mix of oils (I usually use jojoba and coconut) and add in essential oils. I tend to go citrus-heavy as that is my favorite scent. Another recipe I use is mixing old coffee grounds with coconut oil and orange essential oil. It smells heavenly and coffee is great for the skin. I usually make a batch of scrub and store it in the shower in sealable preserves jars.
Outside the shower…
I spray on my Thai Crystal deodorant
first thing out of the shower to give it chance to dry. I have tried other natural deodorants before, but Soapwalla gave me a wicked rash and other ones just didn’t work. TC seems to do the trick, though I am yet to test it in sweltering New York summer (should it ever come). I tend to skip body lotion unless I have lizard skin and if I do, it’s usually whatever is lying around. More often than not, I prefer to use body oils, as they smell lovely and tend to stay on my skin for much longer. My favorite right now is Tallulah Jane Halona
. It’s a gorgeous ginger-cintrus scent that doubles as a gentle perfume. For my face, I love oils and serums and am currently in love with the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment oil
and think this will be a lasting love affair. I have been testing the OLO Love Springs Eternal serum
, but I find that it’s not moisturing enough for my skin, so I usually layer it under the Dr. Alkaitis. If my skin is feeling extra-dry and flaky, I might use either the Dr. Alkaitis Skin Savior balm or the Dr. Alkaitis day cream
over the oil/serum. I rarely use eye cream (usually I just use the same oils on my eyes), but if I do, it’s either the Kahina
or Dr. Alkaitis eye creams.
Because my hair is so short, I never blow dry – I just run a wide-toothed comb though it to get it in place. I have a super-sensitive scalp and conventional styling products made it break out, itch and otherwise made my life a living hell. This was a huge problem because us, short-haired girls, really need product. I couldn’t use John Masters because it was far too greasy and heavy for my super-fine hair, but then I discovered Giovanni Wicked Texture. Initially I thought it was the answer to all my prayers, since it is free from the usual suspects like sulfates, phthalates, synthetic phragrances, parabens and, most importantly, petrochemicals (I found them to be the #1 culprit for scalp sensitivities), is vegan, organic and manages to provide the same kind of hold and definition as its conventional, nasty-toxy counterparts. I since realized that it does have silicone, so prolonged use can weigh down my hair, but I feel that it is definitely the best, mostly-clean hair product out there.
I don’t use makeup unless I go out at night and since I use makeup so rarely, I haven’t really bothered switching from my dirty make-up. That said, all my mascaras have run out, so I am going to try the Organic Glam mascara from Organic Pharmacy
. I am hoping it’ll work as well as my Chantecaille. I also recently started using RMS Un-covereup
and Living Luminizer
. I love them, my skin loves them, so if I am feeling splotchy, I sometimes use just the Un-coverup or both of them during the day. I also don’t believe in using perfume in the workplace – I am tremendously sensitive to smell, so I could never expose others to my scents, however lovely I might think they are. That said, if I am feeling headachy, I might roll on some 21 Drops Headache essential oil blend
. It smells lovely (while being thoroughly unobtrusive) and I find that it does actually kind of work. I also like the Lotus Wei
Inner Peace mist. It helps me chill if I am extra-stressed and the gentle scent lingers on my clothes and doubles as perfume.
Thanks, Lola! Has anyone else been enjoying greens in the AM and feeling the results like Lola? How about the amazing herbal supplement success for decreased migraines?!
As some of you know, every Wednesday we feature new favorite products on Open Sky. Today we’ve added a shampoo and conditioner set from Acure Organics. Siobhan reviewed this line back in November, so we thought we’d repost. Have you tried it?
I’m going to do a Q&A with myself about this new shampoo and conditioner from Acure Organics, because that seems, in this moment, to be a funny and easy break from form, since I’ve reviewed a bunch of shampoos and conditioners lately. Also, easy to read for you guys, right? Heh.
Does the shampoo get your hair clean?
LOL! What? Yes! Obviously.
Is there residue left over?
No, actually. The shampoo has a nice lather—hard to get in naturals—and rinses out pretty easily. Ditto the conditioner, which I typically leave on my hair for a couple of minutes as I shave my legs or sing or something.
Does it smell nice?
I’ve only smelled the argan oil shampoo and conditioner—there are three different kinds, with three different smells and oils, by hair type—and I love the smell so much! Spirit Demerson sent me the duo to sample to try and review (she sells them on her site), and I BBMed her after I first tried it freaking out about how nice is smells. Like almonds, kind of, with a citrusy smell that cuts the sweetness of the almond extract. I love how the smell lingers on my hair too. It makes me feel good about hugging people. (Does everyone think about how their hair smells during hugs?)
Does the conditioner weight down your hair?
Only if it’s opposite day. Which is to say, no, not at all. My hair has a nice bounce to it, no residue (see above) and it’s SHINY, probably thanks to all the oils in there.
Do you like it enough to use it—and only it—every day?
Which means it’s probably prohibitively expensive right? Like all the other stuff you like?
Hey! That’s not true! OK, it’s sometimes true, but no, this one’s totally affordable! 12 oz. for $10.99.
I’m new to Acure. Do you like the rest of the line?
We’re new to it too! I haven’t tried anything else from them, but their price points are amazing, and the ingredients are clean, so I’m thinking this might be the beginning of a love affair.
Finally, is it…clean?
See for yourself:
Shampoo ingredients: Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Fair Trade CertifiedTM Rooibos, Organic 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), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Organic Fair- Trade CertifiedTM Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin E), Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed oil, Organic Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells, glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), Almond Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia Bark) Oil
Conditioner ingredients: Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Rooibos, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearylkonium Chloride, Vegetable Glycerin, Glucono Delta Lactone (fermented sugar), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside (from corn and glucose), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (guar gum conditioner), Glyceryl Stearate (vegetable-derived), L-Arginine (amino acid), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Sorbitan Olivate (from olives + sugar), Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Cellulose (plant derived), D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin. E), Lactic Acid (vegetable derived), Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed oil, Organic Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells, glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), Prunus dulcis (Almond) Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia Bark) Oil
Have you guys tried this stuff? Or anything else from Acure?