19

The New Highlighters In Town

IMG_3248I’m a big fan of the highlighter/illuminator category of cosmetics, as you may have noticed way back in this post.  Both of these new kids are from well known clean beauty brands and are gluten free.  One is vegan.  They are quite different from one another, and different from any other highlighter I’ve tried as well.  I think they will both work on a variety of skin tones, though to different effect.

One of my favorite uses for a highlighter is to press it gently into my un-mascaraed lashes and all around the eyes, close to the lash line.  On its own it makes me feel polished and standard workday appropriate, adding brightness to the eyes and making me look awake, even when that’s barely true.

IMG_3236

KW on top, LBF on the bottom (both applied very heavy so they show up for the pic!)

Kjaer Weis Radiance:  This is my first Kjaer Weis product.  I’ve been wanting to try the brand for a long time (I drool for the packaging alone), but the presence of carmine in the cheek and lip colors held me back.  The highlighter does have beeswax, but is otherwise vegan.  When I heard that there was a new highlighter on the market with a little lavender to it, I knew I had to have it.  Radiance is very creamy and feels nice on the skin, and that pearly beige and lavender undertone is really unique.  It is the most shimmery highlighter I own, and that makes it more of an evening or special day treat for me.  But it is gorgeous and a worthwhile purchase.  ($56)

La Bella Figura Brazilian Denise:  This is part of LBF’s new “more than makeup” line, and is versatile addition to a brand I already love.  It is more gold than the other highlighters I’ve tried, so if you desire that warm honey look, I highly recommend it.  It also stays on the best of any highlighter I’ve used, with its drier texture, and remained nearly unchanged at the end of the day.  It does have what I would consider a strong scent, from the flower wax that keeps it vegan, so be aware of that if you are sensitive.  Keep in mind, I’m practically the scent police – most people probably wouldn’t think much of it.  ($38)

Have you tried these?  How do you use a highlighter?

52

Do You Buy Your Beauty Products Online?

It’s not exactly news that people are buying more and more stuff online. Ecommerce sales are expected to hit a cool $370 billion by 2017. And just this past holiday season, UPS and Fed Ex struggled to keep up with the unexpected surge in online sales.

But it’s one thing to take a chance on a pair of shoes and quite another to purchase something that’s going on your skin. Color-matching and smell are especially tricky when buying beauty stuff at a distance.

We were talking about this the other day with the crew and determined that we all fall into one of these three online shopping profiles: 1) only willing to buy products we know; 2) willing to buy and return (returns, however, aren’t often possible with beauty goods); and 3) willing to buy to try but can’t be bothered to return (unless something is super pricey).

I work in the ecommerce world, so I’m probably not the most unbiased guinea pig, but I’m definitely becoming increasingly comfortable shopping online—maybe a little too comfortable! Still, I tend to fall into category uno: While I’ll totally hit up a Nubonau to re-up on favorite products, I don’t tend to buy things I’ve never tried.

Case in point: I’ve been greedily eyeing the Kjaer Weis line for just about forever. But it wasn’t until Evolue started offering the products in-store a few months back (run, don’t walk, LA ladies) that I finally took the plunge. (And what a plunge it was: I’m especially in love with the sun touched cream blush and goddess lip tint.)

What about you? Where are you buying your beauty products, and what are your online shopping practices?

Here it is—the first Makeup Monday of the new year! You may know the beauty behind this makeup bag as The Green Product Junkie. If you don’t, be sure to check out her blog. You’ll love it!

Name: Katie O’Sullivan

Age: 43

Where I live: East Village, New York City

My relationship with makeup: Blissful.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t absolutely love it.  But I fell much, much harder for it after I got into the non-toxic makeup realm; that’s when we started to get really serious.  I’m not thee greatest at applying makeup, but I definitely love putting it on, choosing my colors for the day and yapping about it with other women.  I’m so fortunate to be in this green beauty community because I love talking about clean brands.  Meeting like-minded women is a total thrill for me.

Here’s what’s in my makeup bag:*

*Note:  This changes, but usually just the lip colors.

Foundation: I use W3LL People’s Narcissist Foundation.  I absolutely love it.  It gives magnificent light to medium coverage and doesn’t even look like I’m even wearing foundation.   It also has a fresh herbal scent and never looks dry or cakey.  I apply it with my retractable EcoTool’s Foundation Brush.

Concealer: I’ve found my Holy Grail concealer…yeah, I know, lucky girl over here.   I use Studio 78’s “Off We Go” Concealer and I find it to be the perfect consistency.  It’s a dry cream to the touch, but there’s nothing dry about it when you apply it under the eyes or on blemishes.  It blends perfectly with my skin.   I think the formulation is genius.   I also use RMS “Un” Cover-up, which I love to the death.   TO THE DEATH, I SAY!

Brows: I fill in my brows with Couleur Caramel’s Eyebrow Pencil.  I then use ZuZu Luxe’s Clear Mascara to tame them (insert sound of whip cracking here).

Eyeliner: I use Dr. Hauschka’s Plum/White Duo Eyeliner because I feel like the purple is a great neutral.  It’s subtle and gives a pretty, smoky look when smudged.  Sadly, I heard they’ve discontinued this liner (groans).  If I’m going for black, I’m wearing Juice Beauty’s Defining Eyeliner. There’s a smudge-applicator on the other end that I find myself using all of the time.

Eyeshadow: Well, first of all, I like to start with a pretty, neutral base color on my lids, so I use Kjaer Weis in Cloud Nine or Dr. Hauschka in Sunglow.  I have pretty much all of RMS Beauty’s shadows and lately I’ve been into Solar, but I think I use Lunar the most.  My latest obsession has been Tea Time by Studio 78 Paris.  It’s this gorgeous eggplant/brown color that is great for Winter.

Mascara: I use Couleur Caramel’s Mascara on the top lashes and ZuZu Luxe on the bottom.  Why do I do this?  Well, my lower lashes seem to skim under my eyes and the Couleur Caramel could get a lil messy.  The ZuZu dries perfectly but is also less volumizing which I like on the lower lashes.  I’m not a big Tammy Faye fan, here.

Tongue Cleaner, floss, toothpicks: Yeah, I like to freshen up after eating.  I use Preserve Products’ tongue cleaner and toothpicks.  The tongue cleaner is made from recycled yogurt cups…how can you refuse?  I also carry around Radius’ 100% vegan Floss Sachets because they are so handy.  I’m kind of obsessed with the teeth/mouth thing, clearly.

Luminizer: For everyday, I’ll wear RMS Living Luminizer. (Bonus info: at night, if I feel like I want a little more KAPOW, I’ll use Luminous Primer by Studio 78 Paris).

Lip/Cheek: This changes all of the time, but I’ll tell you what my favorite cheek colors are currently:  Crush by Vapour Organic Beauty and Demure by RMS Beauty. For lips?  I’m wearing Ilia Beauty’s Arabian Nights and Blossom Lady and RMS Beauty in Bloom with Living Nature’s Lip Pencil in Laughter.

Scent: Lurk Perfumes RSW005 is a delicious rose that I’m obsessed with currently…so obsessed, that I put a touch on my nose so I can better smell it…bizarro or what?  I’ve been carrying around my little Tsi-La Fiori D’Arancio perfume since I received it.  The minis come in a rollerball bottle and are a perfect size for your bag.

Get ready. You’re going to hear more and more from us about Kjaer Weis. In a recent email about products we currently love (yes, we gab about it behind the scenes, too!) nearly all of us brought up a favorite Kjaer Weis product. With its gorgeous, reusable packaging and formulations that rival conventional makeup in performance, Kjaer Weis has quickly become my desert island makeup line. The Kjaer Weis cream foundation—the newest addition to the KW lineup—is the unlikely gem that started my love affair. This is a story about having your assumptions turned upside down.

With offerings from W3LL People, Vapour Organic Beauty, and RMS Beauty to name a few, the natural beauty scene is not lacking in cream foundations, per se. Based on my own experience, I always considered cream foundation something best suited to dry skin, which I do not have. Cream foundation has typically exacerbated my skin’s tendency to shine, making my medium-sized pores look twice as obvious as little dots of foundation settle in. Even the cleanest cream foundations gave me obvious makeup face, so I wrote them all off with a not-for-my-skin-type shrug.

To be honest, I reacted with the same shoulder shrug when I heard that Kjaer Weis launched a cream foundation. Meh. Not for me. Thankfully, Garcy from Eco Diva Beauty knew better and made sure I discovered this baby. If you’ve read about Kjaer Weis compacts, you’ve heard this before, but I really wasn’t ready for how substantial and lovely the silver case is in hand. I was smitten with the packaging, but would I be able to use the cream foundation?

Two swipes of my finger on the most blotchy area of my cheek proved that the coverage is significant but weightless. It’s semi-matte, almost powdery but not chalky or dry. Another swipe along my nose and my t-zone and boom—my skin looked like a version of its most flawless self. The Kjaer Weiss cream foundation blends in effortlessly and disappears, leaving a fresh and bright looking face in its place. No settling in pores or fine lines, no oil slick halfway through the day, no obvious makeup face. It’s perfectly balanced for my skin, and it works well under eyes or on eye lids, too. Application is a breeze—I use my fingers to apply and a blending sponge to even it out a bit. I don’t even need a finishing powder. This is true love.

A couple of things worth mentioning—coconut oil is the third ingredient. I have never been able to use straight coconut oil on my face without breaking out. However, I have had zero issues with it in this formulation, and I’ve been wearing it daily for several weeks. What I apply under the foundation also makes a difference in the final look. Most days, I use a facial oil with a dry finish and then Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen (which deserves its own review). This gives me a mostly matte canvas to begin with. On days that I skip the SPF or use a richer facial oil, the cream foundation looks more dewy. In that sense, this foundation is quite versatile and can adapt to your skin’s needs or the look you’re going after. There is also the price point to consider on this luxe line. The cream foundation costs $68, and refills are $40. It’s on the high end, for sure, but the reusable compacts are eco-friendly, sleek, and glamorous. Plus, the ingredients are impeccable and mostly organic. While Eco Diva Beauty treated me to this foundation, I’ll be purchasing this again and again.

Ingredients: prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*, zea mays (corn) starch*, cera alba*, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate, non-gmo tocopheryl acetate.

*Certified organic

Have you tried the new Kjaer Weis cream foundation? What are some of your favorite Kjaer Weis products? I’m still in discovery mode and want your recommendations!

Say hello to Jinna! Her routine includes some incredible goodies, but she relies first and foremost on a clean diet for glowing skin. Enjoy!

Name: Jinna

Age: 31

City: Los Angeles, CA

Current Weather: Sunny and dry, with a slight fall chill in the air

Skin: Combination, though my skin has stayed clear and glowing since I cut out dairy and meat from my diet (with the exception of 2-3 “treat’ meals per week). Starting to notice crows feet creeping up though!

Hair: black, long, straight, and fine

Favorite star from past: Jane Birkin. Love her effortless, natural look and Parisian chic.

I am a natural product skincare and makeup junkie and after years of rotating products I have found, for the most part, what consistently works for me (though I can’t resist trying a few new products here and there!)

In the shower…

I dry brush for 2-3 minutes (or even less if I’m in a rush!) before jumping in the shower. Before, I used to swear by dry shampoo and washing my hair every other day, but have since realized that my fine hair gets too oily, especially because I work out every day. I have yet to find a shampoo and conditioner that I’m in love with, and I’ve tried them all: Yarok, Phylia de M., John Masters Organics, Rahua, etc. I’m currently rotating between Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and Burdock and Neem Healthy Scalp shampoo.  Both work fine for now, but I will definitely be on the lookout for something new once I use these up. Three times a week I do a pre ‘poo treatment of coconut or jojoba oil for 1 hour before shampooing out. I find that since I wash my hair daily, it does a good job of keeping it from getting too dry. On the days I don’t do the oil treatment, I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar in the shower after shampooing and before conditioning. I’ve found that both have improved the overall health of my scalp and hair. For body wash, I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille soap, which multitasks as hand soap and puppy shampoo!  While my skin is slightly damp, I moisturize all over with One Love Organics Scented Body Serum in Lavender.

Outside the shower…

After brushing my teeth, I oil pull with a spoonful of coconut oil for about 10 minutes. I’ve read that the recommended time is 20 minutes, but I just can’t bring myself to do it for that long! While I’m swishing, I exfoliate my face every other morning with Tatcha Polishing Powder in Classic, though I have May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt waiting as soon as I finish the Tatcha. On the mornings I don’t exfoliate I wipe my face with S.W. Basics cleanser and finish with a splash of cold water. Next, I dab a few drops of Intelligent Nutrients Spot Treatment over my face. After that’s dried, I use One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin C serum. This is a recent discovery and I absolutely love it. It makes my skin look dewy and glowing while keeping it moisturized. Since the weather has gotten much drier and as previously mentioned, I’ve started noticing unwanted wrinkles, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase 37 Extreme Actives cream. Yes it is obscenely expensive, which is why I use it only under my eyes and mouth, but as my mother always said, don’t feel too guilty about splurging on food or skincare since you will get a return on your investment. I haven’t been using it long enough to decide if it’s worth the price but so far, I love the feel of the cream on my skin and how hydrated it feels afterward. If I’m noticing my skin getting a little oily, I swipe Arcona’s Tabula Rasa pad over the area, which pretty much stops any pimples from forming.

Makeup…

I started using 100% Pure full coverage foundation (thanks for this website’s recommendation!) and I also love it. It’s the only product that provides sun protection and coverage without irritating my sensitive skin. If I’m especially tired that day, I will also use RMS “Un” Cover-Up under my eyes. I rotate among many blushes: Kjaer Weis in Sun Touched, Vapour in Spark, RMS in Modest, and Revolution Organics in Blushed, just to name a few. So far, my favorite is the Revolution Organics, as it leaves a nice pink flush to my cheeks. For eyeliner, I use an eyeliner brush and The All Natural Face’s Vegan Gel Pot in Black. I LOVE this product, as it’s the only eyeliner that doesn’t smudge and give me raccoon eyes. Once that’s dry, if I’m feeling fancy, I use either RMS in Solar or Magnetic on my lids. For mascara, I use (not in love with this and will be looking for alternatives once it runs out).  For lips, I absolutely love Ilia and have 4 colors: Bang Bang, In My Room, Perfect Day, and Arabian Knights. All the colors are so different and equally great, but the only one I carry in my purse is Bang Bang.  I set everything with RMS “Un” Powder and then swipe some RMS Living Luminizer (can you guess what my favorite makeup brand is?) on my brow bone, nose bridge, and cheeks. I also spritz my face with a spray before leaving. Right now, I’m using John Master Organics Bearberry Skin Balancing Toning Mist, but I have One Love Organics Vitamin D mist on standby once that’s used up.

Whew!  I know it looks long, but by now I’ve got it down to a quick science.  Coupled with a plant-based diet, I have seen such an improvement in the overall tone and texture of my skin. Thanks for letting me share!