Our old favorites are back in time for the holidays, and not a minute too late. I, for one, have simultaneously run out of my brightening serum, toning mist (more here), and cleanser, all of which I swear by for everyday use. And, really, I’m not sure there’s anything I want more for Christmas than the things I depend on daily to keep me feeling (and, OK, looking) my best.*
Some reasons we love the products, if you’re new to Kahina Giving Beauty: The line is incredible. Their products have been in my bathroom and on my vanity for more than three years now, and there are a few good reasons why. First, the products are gentle enough for my very sensitive skin. Second, they’re so full of natural actives that you get the satisfaction of knowing, because of what you see in the mirror and how your skin feels, that they work. Finally, they’re pleasant to share. Men like them because they’re unisex and unfussy but get the job done. Our moms like them because they’re appropriate for more mature skin, too. Our friends like them because they give them a taste of luxury and high-performance without being frou-frou or gimmicky.
Simply put: They work. And like a great friend or partner, they’re reliable and they make you feel good, day in, day out.
Without being over the top, I’d like to add: I’m also wild about the eye cream and the mask and the argan oil soap trio. They’re also selling these unpredictably chic pouf necklaces (I have one of those, too). They make boring outfits pop and attract compliments from the most unlikely people, like cranky strangers on the train.
So with that said, this Friday we’re delighted to share a very merry Kahina site-wide deal. It’s simple: A generous 15% off your purchase. The code is nondenominationally charming: HAPPYMERRY. And the deal lasts until next Thursday at midnight.
What are you getting? I hope my pals and mom aren’t reading this, because I think I just gave away what’s going in their stockings.
* K, maybe there are a few things, but they’re not the kind of things I would print here. Womp!
In its eternal quest to sell us more stuff we don’t need, the beauty business is pretty much predicated on lies. There are lies around claims, around effectiveness, around ingredients. There are lies around lies.
Here’s a list of some of the worst offenders, made worse by the fact that we often take them for granted as truths. But surely we’re forgetting a few. Can you think of others?
You should shower daily. And that of course means, lathering up from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. That way your skin can be scaly dry, your scalp a wreck, and you can invest in the myriad of moisturizing, conditioning and so-called soothing products to tame your flyaways, and assuage your flaky skin. This post offers a refresher on other reasons why daily showers may not be ideal.
Exfoliation turns back the clock on aging. While we’re onboard with very moderate and occasional exfoliation, for the last ten years the industry has been pushing extreme scrub and burn beauty rituals: from AHAs to glycolics and beyond. As holistic skincare expert Evan Healy pointed out in our book, this behavior is likely what lead to the rosacea epidemic she saw in her practice, among women who weren’t predisposed to it. I know for myself, using glycolic acid left my skin red and sensitive for years.
Soap isn’t good enough for your body. Why would you use a simple bar of soap with three ingredients when you can use a body wash, specially designed for your body and filled with some of the absolute nastiest chemicals the industry has to offer. Oh and add to that lie, this one: Anything designed for “washing” doesn’t also moisturize as many a body wash likes to claim. And add to that, you don’t even need to use that much soap either.
Cleanse your face morning and night. What could possibly happen to your skin while you’re asleep in your bed that it requires a full scrub down upon waking. I remember reading somewhere how back in the day a big antacid company had the genius idea to picture 2 tablets dropping into water, instead of just one. Within months their sales doubled. That’s what this twice a day face washing is, if you ask me.
Your eyes need their own cream. Siobhan’s gonna fight me on this one (she loves her a good eye cream!), but while I acknowledge that using a special cream on your eyes is a beautiful and gratifying ritual, in my experience they’re just a slightly thicker version of face cream. The skin around our eyes is sensitive and more delicate, but that’s precisely why natural eye creams have been become my favorite face creams.
Your split ends can be fixed. No product can fix split ends, because hair is dead and no amount of conditioner can bring it back to life. Sure, it can help coat or mask, but if your ends are split you should either ignore them (if like me, you live in fear of hair cuts) or get a trim.
Your stretch marks can be cured by cream. While we’re still willing to believe that heavy-duty moisturizing with skin-loving oils and creams may help in the prevention of marks—once you have them, learn to live with them. The darker ones usually fade with time through the skin’s natural repair system, and there’s just no cream that will make them disappear. If you read the book, you’ll remember that I also tried laser to get rid of mine. Terrible idea. It left the area red for months, and did nothing.
OK which lies have I left out?
I am such a sucker for a good eye cream. I’ve already professed my love for Kahina Giving Beauty’s, which smells like Oil of Olay (in a very good way) but better, and is packed with good-for-you argan oil. I’ve reviewed La Bella Figura’s serum, which seems to erase undereye circles and puffiness like nothing I’ve used before, perhaps thanks to barbary fig seed oil. I also told you about Skincando’s Eye Balm, which is just incredibly hydrating.
Now I’m going to tell you about my new favorite toy: Sevani’s Eye Repair Creme.
I’ve been using it pretty steadily for about 5 weeks now, and while the smile lines around my eyes are here to stay (and thank god, honestly—we both love smile lines), I have noticed that my undereyes look and feel more hydrated. We’re not talking about some overnight oh-my-god miracle, but a subtle and meaningful difference nonetheless. The edges of my eyes seem a little plumped thanks to the hyaluronic acid, and I’m holding out hope that the peptides and the Q10—a promising antiager we wrote about in the book—may be doing some long-term good as well. Actives aside, there are some really lovely oils and extracts that are packed with antioxidants and have some nice data on them for their skin-friendliness and antiaging properties.
I have yet to get my hands on Sevani’s other eye treatment—a serum with a lovely ingredient list—but it’ll be on my list of things to try. Well, maybe. I have a serious crush on this one for now. We’ll see when (and if) I’m ready to move on…
Have you tried another you like? And do you, like me, share a love of eye cream?
Ingredients: *Aloe vera juice, avocado fruit oil, sunflower seed oil, cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate (olive derived), evening primrose oil, vegetable glycerin, gotu kola extract, green tea extract, olive squalane, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate (all-natural preservative), caffeine, hyaluronic acid (mushroom derived), acetyl hexapeptide-8, retinyl palmitate, licorice root extract, ubiquinone (co-enzyme Q10), rosehip seed oil, xanthan gum, *pomegranate extract, *rose damascene extract, *sacred lotus blossom extract, *neroli blossom extract, *red tea extract & *neem leaf extract. (*certified organic)
We’ve been talking lately about how changing seasons and different climates can affect our skin (and our sleep—wah!). And even though it’s revolting balmy in New York right now, I’ve noticed that the areas where I’m prone to dryness—my cheeks and around my eyes—are pretty parched. That’s because as the air gets drier, there’s less moisture for your skin to draw in and retain. Remember, our skin is hydrated in two ways: externally from moisture the air, and internally. Cut out one of those two and you’re looking at dryer skin, right? Right.
Now, I’ve said before I am of two minds about eye cream. I think most of them are a total crock, but I have found some active-ingredient-packed eye serums that I love—especially Kahina Giving Beauty’s and Tata Harper’s and most recently La Bella Figura’s, which I am still using.
I’ve been feeling like I need an occlusive on top of it, though, so I did what anyone would do and I went to my fridge, where I have a side shelf piled with cosmetics I have yet to try. There, I found Skincando’s Eye Balm, which had been on my to-do list for some time.
A few words about the line: It was founded, as many natural lines are, by a woman desperate for a solution to her own problem skin.
Sara Damelio had tried everything to no avail and finally decided to take matters into her own hands. (Aside: There is a theme here, and for good reason: Mainstream beauty products are SO FREAKING DISAPPOINTING. They are loaded with fillers, then wrapped in shiny bottles, and sold to us like we’re too dumb to understand how our skin actually works. Grrr! But back to Sara.) Her first product was Combat-Ready Balm. Remember when my friend was having her skin emergency, and you all weighed in to help her, sweethearts that you are? Well, she took a lot of your advice. She also took a bottle of this stuff from me and guess what? It completely healed her cracked, peely skin.
Apparently it works on soldiers, too. Sara donates her balm to U.S. Troops to help protect their skin when they’re in the field.
Someone has clearly already earned her angel wings in this lifetime.
Anyway, the eye balm. I love it. As you can see from the ingredients below, it’s loaded with skin-soothing ingredients (chamomile and calendula), oils (apricol kernel and coconut), antioxidants and antiinflammatories (white tea and GSE) and some wax to seal it all in. It also leaves a slight sheen on the skin which looks glowy and hydrated, not greasy and gross. It doesn’t wear the best under makeup for day (because it’s very rich) but that doesn’t bother me much—and it feels lovely at night.
I’m sold! I love this stuff.
Ingredients: Distilled Water, Apricot Kernel Oil*, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil*, Beeswax, White Tea*, Chamomile E.O*, Calendula E.O.*, Grapefruit Seed Extract*, Sodium Borate, Vegetable Glycerine, Mica, Viamerine (*USDA certified organic ingredient)
Have you ever tried the Skincando line? Found another eye balm you love?
Salut, salut! We’re reeeeeally excited about this Friday Deal because it’s so, well, simple. It’s from one of our all time favorite lines, and you get the pick of the litter here on what you want to stock up on—which is good, because summer’s over, and if there’s one thing we know (as we have been discussing lately) it’s that skin needs extra TLC when the seasons change. Also, and follow us here: When fall comes, and our outfits get more subdued, and we’re showing less skin (here’s hoping anyway), there is even more emphasis placed on our faces. Which means we want to be keeping them in tip-top shape, are we right?
Specifically, your skin needs barriers from the elements. And it needs sun-damage repair. And it needs hydration! All of which Kahina, and its all-star ingredient argan oil, provide in spades.
So here’s the deal: Buy anything on the Kahina Giving Beauty site between now and next Thursday the 15th at midnight, enter the code 15UNTIL15 at checkout, and you’ll get 15% off your order. Simple, clean, generous—just like the line itself!
Now! If you’re looking for suggestions, here’s what WE are thinking of doing: Stocking up on the stuff we know we’re going to be needing as the seasons change: the lotion, which helps protect against the elements, the oil, because it’s the best multitasker we’ve found, the eye cream, and the mask. Masks are a great way to ready your skin for seasonal changes—it sloughs off dead skin making it more radiant, but it’s also so nourishing and calming. Siobhan actually finds that when she uses it, the natural pinkyness of her skin—which she has learned to love, sure—is reduced visibly.
If you want more ideas, check out this 10-point list on how to use argan from head-to-toe written by the amazing Mairin Cipolla from KGB.
Also, a lot of you have been asking us lately about the difference between the different argan oils on the market, and why some cost more than others. Here is a great primer, written by the lovely Katharine (we call her Kahina behind her back).