Today La Bella Figura, one of our favorite lines, launches not one but two new products. We’re celebrating with a Friday Deal! It’s been hard to keep this little secret to ourselves, as we know many of you also swoon for the luscious scents and impeccable ingredients that make La Bella Figura so special. So here it is:
La Bella Figura is giving you 10% off all orders over $75. Just enter the code NMDLLBF at check out. Everyone that uses the code will automatically be entered to win a $100 gift card from LBF! The winner will be announced on Monday, and the deal ends Sunday at 11:59pm CST.
Before you rush off to the La Bella Figura site, stick around to hear about the new kids on the block: the Gentle Enzyme Cleanser And Makeup Remover and Aria Nighttime Cell Recovery Treatment. We’d love to say we’re early adopters, but really we were just lucky enough to try these new LBF beauties in advance of today’s launch. Aria has captured our hearts, and the Gentle Enzyme Cleanser is a lovely, unique addition to the world of natural cleansers.
Suitable for aging or damaged skin types, Aria was created to regenerate lackluster skin while you sleep, plump up thinning skin, and boost nutrition. The unique healing compounds found in saffron, helichrysum and arnica flower oils aid this renewal process. Here’s what Rebecca has to say:
“Aria is a sublimely scented treatment oil, packed with regenerating and anti-inflammatory ingredients. It is rich with actives that promote graceful aging, and as a sensitive sort I was a bit concerned it might be too much for me. I tested it on my wrist, then decided to go for it. When I saw my skin the next morning, I kind of couldn’t believe it. The anti-inflammatory effects are obvious. I am hooked after using it a couple of weeks, and I look forward to seeing the long term effects. Aria’s ingredients include some of my old favorites (oils of rose, helichrysum, Barbary fig, carrot seed, camellia) and some new-to-me, exotic ingredients (saffron, rooibos, acai and papaya oils). I apply it at night before my DIY oil, and it layers beautifully, sinking right in with a light massage. Three drops does it for my face, neck and chest.”
The Gentle Enzyme Cleanser is a gel-based formula that cleanses while maintaining pH balance. It’s full of moisture retentive ingredients like aloe vera, cupuacu and marfura butters. Pineapple and papaya enzymes provide gentle exfoliation. It has a light herbaceous scent and works well, in our experience, as a morning cleanser to kick-start the day. It’s impressive that this gel formula is able to deliver so much moisture. Skin feels fresh, protected, and baby soft after use. If you use the double cleanse method at the end of the day, it makes a great second step after an oil cleanser.
Let us know what you plan to get with this Friday Deal! Are you going to try one of the new products? Something different?
Is anyone else finding that these are the adjectives they’re constantly using to describe their skin? It’s kind of starting to get old. And it’s making me want to give good ol’ Mother Nature a punch in the throat.
Since that’s not possible and since I’d probably feel bad gouging an old lady, I’m trying to remain calm and rely on things I know make my face a little less like sandpaper. Or a blemish-y paper bag. Drinking warm lemon water. Sleeping more. Sweating it out. Eating my leafy greens.
But, even though I know that in the long run all those habits will make my skin better, sometimes I need a little more control. Immediate control—and immediate results.
That’s when I turn to a tried and true brand, from whom I have not tried anything I didn’t love. The two powerhouse products pictured above are just a sample of the results-oriented brand La Bella Figura (remember when I raved about the Modern Radiance Concentrate?). In times of flaky dryness, LBF’s Organic Barbary Seed Fig Oil and the Bio Active Healing Mask have rescued my skin.
Except for those on the West Coast who experienced “seasonably warm” winter weather, most of us have been trapped in a cycle of blizzards, blustery winds and burrrrrrr. In Minneapolis, we’ve been hunkering down in our snowsuits to battle the below zero temps and -30 degree windchill. Gross.
What all this Polar Vortex stuff translates to is dry, flaky, chapped skin. Inside, we crank the heat, and drain our skin of hydration; outside, we brave the fierce winds and subject our skin to redness, flushing and windburn. So what, pray tell, is a natch girl to do?
One thing I’ve noticed since switching to clean products is that the nature has us covered when it comes to skin-saving moisturizers. Fruits, cold-pressed oils, balms, butters—the green beauty world has so many amazing options to help my skin stay balanced (or recover when I’ve gone overboard with the space heater). Here are a few things, products and gadgets, I’m keeping close until the weather cooperates again.
- Marie Veronique Organics Pacific Mist: Green tea is the first AND third ingredient in this hydrating powerhouse. It’s super soothing to my parched and often inflamed skin, plus it has a light floral scent that isn’t overpowering. The sea fennel in it helps skin retain moisture as well, giving me long-term skin improvement. Gotta love something that keeps making your skin better.
- The Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom: After Rebecca raved about this beauty, I knew I had to try it. It seems really thick, so I was hesitant about putting it on my whole face, but it transforms into this lovely, light-but-crazy-hydrating oil when massaged into your skin. I put it on my eyelids and neck too, both morning and night, and it acts as a lovely primer for my foundation as well as gives my skin a soft glow. A little goes a long way, so splurge on this if you have the funds—it’ll last! I gently rub it in while my face is still damp from the Pacific Mist (you’ll use even less, and your skin will look even better).
- La Bella Figura Rainforest Hydration Treatment: I didn’t use this thick balm at all the first three months I had it, as I thought it was too heavy for my skin and definitely not for use during warm fall days (it was created for people with SUPER dry skin or in extremely dry climates). Then I noticed my skin acting oddly dry and flaky, due to a low yin and an internal infection, as my naturopath put it. I had a collection of small blemishes that popped practically simultaneously, and then left irritated red marks and circles of flaky skin on my cheek. Foundation got caught in them, making them impossible to conceal. Nothing helped, including gentle exfoliation and my arsenal of creams, butters, serums and oils. Then I remembered my jar of Rainforest Hydration Treatment and almost overnight, my dryness was gone. Eliminated in less than two days. That’s what you call a miracle product, people.
- MJ’s Herbals Calendula Salve: I got this as a sample in a Spirit Beauty Lounge order less than a week ago and I’ve already ordered the full sized jar. It’s an amazing, buttery cream by a company known for making safe-for-mommies-and-their-babies products. I’ve been using it on my lips and hands, both chapped by a recent weekend with girlfriends at an adorable, yet drier than dry cabin (seriously—I was applying lip balm every hour at this place and when I came home, my lips were beet red and sore to the touch). My very sensitive lips reject practically every balm you can think of, including straight coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and mango butter. Thankfully, they love this calendula and Vitamin E infused salve and now I don’t think I can live without it.
- Squalene Oil: I’d never heard of this cold-pressed-from-olives-but-not-olive-oil oil until this fall when a local esthetician with her own clean skincare line introduced it to me. It naturally promotes skin elasticity and cell regeneration and suits all skin types. I haven’t been using it on my face as much as on my cuticles. I rub it in overnight and my dry fingers fade. Genius. (I have a bottle from the local line, which you can’t buy online, but check out this one from Indie Lee if you’re interested).
- Crane Blue Drop Humidifier (not pictured): I’ve had this lil guy for a couple of winters, but it wasn’t until I stopped using it that I noticed how much of a difference it makes. On days I don’t fill it up and turn it on before climbing into the sack, I wake up with a dry throat, itchy skin and the tendency to cough. When I keep it filled and turn it on, I wake to fresh, plump skin, and less of a desire to drink a swimming pool (liquor or water-filled).
I know I skipped internal hydrators like hot lemon water, but what are you putting on your skin to keep it from panicking while the weather misbehaves?
We couldn’t be more excited to share this Makeup Monday with you. It’s from one of the amazing women behind La Bella Figura!
Name: Victoria Fantauzzi
Where I Live: Chicago, IL
My relationship with makeup: I have really toned down my use. I used to wear A LOT of makeup when I was younger. My sister and I were those bad Catholic school girls that would sneak eyeliner and lipstick in our backpacks to paint on as soon as school was over. I looked like the Latina version of Avril Lavigne with the heavy raccoon liner. These days I don’t wear as much on a daily basis, but I definitely like a dramatic look for nighttime. I believe that beautiful skin is more important and makes makeup look better on. So less is now more effective.
Here’s what’s in my makeup bag:
This is a new makeup bag because last month I accidentally left my makeup bag in a hotel room in Toronto and lost some things. I’m slowly restocking a few things.
Lips: I don’t wear lipstick during the day and definitely not while I’m working in the studio, but when I do I like a stain and not full on waxy lipstick. Both Kjaer Weis in Goddess and RMS in Diaboloque are fantastic as you can wear a little for a pretty bitten look or layer it on for a nighttime going out look. I also like to dab a little Diabolique on my cheeks, which is very pretty on bronzed skin. You can fake it with a little bronzer. Recently, I’ve been crazy about the Bite Beauty lip crayons because they really hydrate my lips and feel light, plus the colors are nicely pigmented and there are so many to choose from. Quince is my favorite. I don’t care for glosses too much with the exception of Revolution Organics Freedom Red, which is the best lipgloss I’ve ever tried and not gooey at all. For lip balms you can’t go wrong with creamy SW Basics in cocoa or the Hurraw balms, which I have in every scent and flavor. Love those!
Concealer: I’ve been a fan of the RMS concealer in 33 for a while, but now I’m loving one from Studio 78 Paris in Moonlight. Now, neither of these match my Mediterranean olive complexion so I use one to blend under my eyes and the other I use on areas that aren’t so perfect, then I apply a little bronzer right over and I’m set. If I’m having bad sleep sometimes I’ll use the Josie Maran argan concealer crayon for under the eye area because it provides a deeper coverage.
Cheeks: Again, Kjaer Weis wins with their creamy cheek color as a bronzer in Desired Glow. I just purchased the RMS Buriti bronzer, but haven’t really had a chance to try it out, so we’ll see. For a pop of color, I haven’t found anything as amazing as Revolution Organics Freedom Glow in Blushed. Sadly, that was lost and it’s sold out everywhere. It made me so happy.
Eyeshadow: I am prone to earth colors for the eyes. I love nudes or cocoa rich browns. Right now I’m obsessed with Tea Time by Studio 78 Paris, which is a repurchase since it was lost. It is a silky pressed eyeshadow that applies smoothly with a fluffy brush and it isn’t too purple-y. For anyone with brown eyes it’s elegant, makes your eyes pop and looks amazing. I like to wear it with a little gold eyeliner.
Skin Care: It’s so important to set makeup with a great mist so I use our Jardin de Fleurs Skin Revitalizer, which also contains hyaluronic acid so skin holds in moisture. Makeup doesn’t look good on dry, flaky skin so I use our Barbary Fig Renewal Serum as a primer because it contains broccoli seed oil and it gives skin that silicone smoothness without being too slippery and zero toxicity.
Scent: I love almost all the perfume blends by Aftelier so when I want to mix it up from my own creations I like Tango or Wildflowers, otherwise I wear our Travel Therapy as a perfume or Buenos Aires so much that even my young niece recognizes that scent as mine.
Extras: Leighton Denny 3 Free nail color in Golden Girl. I carry it around because I always think I’m going to get my nails done, but I never do. A cheap and not clean eyeliner pen I picked up from CVS (Please someone fill me in on a clean eyeliner pen!) and Blum Naturals face towelettes in organic chamomile, they come in handy for air travel.
This fall Victoria and Karen from La Bella Figura will host A Night For Green Beauty 2014 in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for details. We want to see all of you there!
There were lots of things this past holiday season that kind of pushed my anxiety button (full disclosure—it’s not that hard to find. I’m the kind of classic worrier who spends a half hour trying to fall asleep but failing because the next day’s to-do list, and all the ways it won’t get done, is bumbling around in my head). It was the first time I’d ever understood the stereotypical busyness of that time of year: There were countless parties and events to attend, including a host of before-Christmas festivities with my immediate family because my new husband and I were to spend the holi-day visiting his out-of-town family. There was twice the presents to be bought and wrapped, twice the budget to finagle, packing to be done, work projects to complete and travel plans to be made—all with an expected air of merriment and relative calmness. Oh, and did I mention I was going through the third of five rounds of supplements that were meant to kill the low-grade infection that was zapping all my energy and making me sleep at weird times of the day?
Unable to sustain things, I broke down. A few times. In the bathroom. While decorating the Christmas tree. Before work. During work. After work. When my husband moved the wash cloths from their designated place under the kitchen sink. I just couldn’t pull myself together (despite being very deliberate about taking down and alone time, more than even little old introverted me usually needs).
So, I decided I needed a little help to combat my tension, exhaustion, stress and anxiety. Here are the four things that helped me stop worrying, stop feeling overwhelmed and gave me the energy to make it through even that cat commercial from the Animal Humane Society without crying.
- Bach’s Rescue Pastilles: Now, there’s a chance that these are just a placebo, but every time I pop one of these black-currant-flavored jellies into my mouth, I feel an almost immediate relief of stress. Its main ingredient, Helianthemum nummularium (or rockrose), is known for giving courage and helping to bring you back to the present. Impatiens glandulifera, another key ingredient, helps when you lose patience with problems (or people), and the inclusion of cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera) balances your mind when you feel out of control. I needed all those things.
- Alexis Smart Flower Remedies, LifeSaver: We talk a lot about naturopathic medicine and aromatherapy here on NMDL, but we haven’t ventured much into the remedy realm. As a disciple of natural and homeopathic treatments, I’ve tried a few homeopathic remedies in my day (cactus and cancer—yes, cancer—to name a couple), but haven’t had any miraculous, fixed-all-my-problems-from-childhood experiences like you’re sorta supposed to. My money ran out before I could achieve such actualization and though I see a naturopath regularly, I haven’t ventured back into the remedy realm. Then I heard about Alexis Smart, an LA-based practitioner who mixes flower remedies by consult or sells her most popular blends online. I was intrigued because LifeSaver, one of her “Calm” blends, seemed to suite my current stresses perfectly—and unlike homeopathic remedies, floral blends don’t cause a relapse into old symptoms or habits before they start working. After only two weeks of use, I could feel a huge difference in my perspective. I was calmer; I could juggle all my work projects, even when they overlapped. I didn’t snap when my husband used the wrong spatula on our new frying pans. I didn’t lose sleep over our budget. I could take care of myself and not worry when that took all of my energy. The amazing side effects have lasted and continue to improve—and I no longer have a heavy weight on my chest when I examine my to-do list.
- La Bella Figura Travel Therapy Mood Booster: I’ve already sung the praises of this little roller-ball, but I seriously am addicted. While I haven’t tested its power on airplane travel, I did use it on the 10+ hour Christmas Eve car ride, and let me tell you, it kept me sane. I think it even made the trip seem faster, if that’s possible. It’s a powerful mood booster, as its name suggests, and it smells divine. I haven’t been this obsessed with a fragrance since my pot of Malibu Barbie solid perfume. And that was when I was 8.
- Yoga Studio App for iPad: As any serious yogi will tell you, yoga relaxes. It forces you to become present, to forget about your worries and to breathe. I’ve had this app for a while now and I use it at least four times a week. It has beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of relaxation, strength, combination and flexibility classes, with the option of creating your own flow. Taking a break during my work day for a 30-minute yoga class in my living room changes how I interact with my to-do list. It gives me back control and calm and allows me to de-stress without the cost of a yoga-studio membership.
Your turn: When you’re at your most stressed, what do you turn to to calm down and refocus? What helps you feel less overwhelmed and more prepared to face life?