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Happy Friday Deal From One Love Organics!

If you’ve never tried One Love Organics, your skin is in for a treat! It’s hard to resist a line with so much to offer — from pure, organic ingredients to the charming packaging, we were smitten from the beginning. However, as with everything, it’s the performance of OLO products that really hooked us. Nicolle has shared her love for Brand New Day and the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics goodies, and Susannah adores the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil. Plus, we’ve heard from countless readers about how they incorporate OLO into their routines. So whether you’re new to this line or returning for more, we’ve got you covered with this amazing deal.

So here’s the deal: One Love Organics is giving you 20% off their entire site! Just use the code NMDL14 and shop away. This offer excludes the sample packs, but get this — all purchases over $40 will receive a deluxe 15 ml sample of the not-yet-released Gardenia Daily Body Serum! The deal ends Sunday at midnight PST, and OLO only ships in the USA.

We got a little sneak peek of the new Gardenia Body Serum. Trust us, do not miss out on this chance to snag your own! Here’s what Nicolle thinks:

“True to all the One Love Organics products I’ve tried, this serum has an intoxicating floral scent that’s helped pull me out of the depressing and icy grasp of the Minnesota winter. Plus, it’s truly a serum, which I’d forgotten I love—it’s not as thin as a body oil, so you use less and get as much of a moisture boost. It also absorbs quickly, which is a necessity when I have to scramble from the shower to putting on my long underwear in 10 seconds flat.”

Tell us what you love from One Love Organics and what you intend to stock up on with this sweet deal!

One Love Organics' Brand New Day ScrubBefore I went all clean on my old beauty regime’s sorry arse, I hated multipurpose products (it likely has something to do with my innate need for rules and systems and a place for everything). A pot o’ color that I could put on my cheeks AND my lips? No, thank you. A dry powder that could be a daily cleanser or a mask? Someone’s just pulling a marketing trick on me.

Man, was I missing out.

Now that I’ve successfully converted my entire skincare system, I realize the glory, power and holy-grail-ness that comes with a product that can be used multiple ways. Dot a little pink lippy on the apples of my cheeks? Yes, please. Mix my cleanser with a little yogurt or honey to make a mask? Genius!

Such genius is exactly what’s been found in one of my favorite lil scrubs: The Brand New Day scrub from One Love Organics. You may remember the beauty orgasm I’ve gotten from this line before, but let me tell you why this guy deserves a spot on your to-try list.

Exfoliating has always been a bit of a touch-and-go thing for me. Do it too often (or use a Clarisonic) and exponentially increase the number of zits and amount of redness my face answers with. Avoid it for too long and risk dry flakes caking up my foundation and making me look like I’ve attempted a full face of stage makeup for a run to the grocery store. (Tell me you’ve all been through the same thing? Please?)

So, I’ve been hesitant about manual and chemical (fruit) exfoliants in any capacity. I’ve used and loved Arcona’s Brightening Gommage and found that an every other day usage didn’t irritate my skin. While I also love May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt, I abide by Rebecca’s tips for a sensitive-skinned gal, and I don’t use it daily.

Got the background and my trepidation around exfoliants? On to the review: When I opened the Brand New Day scrub, I was immediately in olfactory heaven—the pineapple enzymes make the scent totally intoxicating, and as I once told OLO founder Suzanne, I want to slather myself in it. What’s even better is that those same enzymes make for gentle and super effective exfoliation that’s sensitive enough for the most redness-prone of us.

The organic sweet pea flour that helps create the base of this scrub is also crazy gentle. It’s so gentle that I was initially worried I wouldn’t see a difference after I washed it off (when it makes this lovely, light, gentle foaming consistency that I’m in love with and satisfies my old, dirty self who still thinks anything foam=super clean=better skin). I was totally wrong: My face is brighter and smoother and BETTER after using this. My treatments and oils and moisturizers absorb more easily. My makeup goes on smoother.

But what makes this scrub a powerhouse is the fact that it’s one of those multi-use products I was referring to earlier. Mix it with a little water for a scrub. Switch up the water for yogurt or honey and you’ve got a light mask that brightens and leaves a glow when you wash it off. Oh, and it still foams and exfoliates when you remove the mask. (Maybe you can tell that that’s my favorite part, after the scent.)

Basically, this is an all-around home run of a product. Lovely scent, lovely ingredients, lovely effects. Bonuses: I can use it every day without fear of redness or blemish increases and it travels well (Powder! Cardboard container!).

I’m sure loads of you have tried and loved this baby, so tell us why. Oh, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting BND or OLO yet, you should plan a trip back to our site tomorrow for a little deal… (wink, nudge).

If I could find the time, I’d take a long hot bath every night before bed. While I can keep dreaming that my life will slow down enough to do so, I’ve found a method for cleansing my face in the evening that helps me feel nearly as grounded and calm. If that sounds like a lot to attribute to such a simple task, I dare you to try this for yourself.

The method I’m about to describe is not some unheard of cure-all. It’s simply a ritual I’ve come to adore for its ability to kick my relaxation mode into high gear before bed. Plus, when I cleanse my face in this manner, my skin looks and feels more hydrated and radiant. During the hottest part of the summer I stopped doing it for a few weeks and could tell a dramatic difference in my skin tone and texture. That was enough to know I’ll never stray from this routine again.

What am I talking about? The oil cleansing method. Like I said, not new or revolutionary to many of you. Heck, some of you may have tried oil cleansing DIY style and hated it. My own attempt at DIY oil cleansing was less than satisfactory, but then I ran into a couple of oil cleansing products that were formulated by experts in natural skincare. That changed everything for me.

Meet the products…

Kari Gran Cleansing Oil. Have you ever stared at a Jackson Pollock or a Cy Twombly painting and thought to yourself, “I could do that.”? Well you can’t. When examining the ingredients in the Kari Gran Cleansing Oil, you might be tempted to say the same thing, but I promise you that DIYing this cleansing oil does not yield the same results. The ratio of oils is perfectly balanced, and it’s infused with a high grade lavender oil that makes the cleansing experience sublime. It wipes off effortlessly, taking makeup residue and other impurities with it. My face is left baby soft and glowing. I could even skip a moisturizer (I use facial oils), but why would I want to do that?

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover: This is the most unique cleanser I’ve ever tried. It’s a “next level” oil cleanser in that it’s formulated to be used in either the traditional manner (see below) or it can be effortlessly rinsed off with water only. When water hits this cleansing oil, it turns into a creamy, milky cleanser. Rinsing with water alone is fine, but if you’re using it to remove makeup, I do recommend you follow the traditional cleansing method and use a cloth to help remove residue. The ED4OLO Cleansing Oil smells incredible and fruity, like fresh pineapple. The formula features papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to exfoliate and soften skin, and a natural vitamin b complex to help detoxify and tone. I love the versatility of this cleanser. If I’m in a hurry, I can massage it in, rinse, and go. My skin is noticeably even-toned and happy. I never experience tightness or dryness, but because this cleanser can be rinsed off entirely with water, I do need to follow with a facial oil.

I’ve been eager to share these two winning oil cleansers with you, but what I love the most is the oil cleansing process. After all, I did promise you that it’s the next best thing to a long hot bath. So here’s how it works. I run warm water and dampen my lashes if I’m wearing mascara. As I mentioned in my Makeup Monday post, I’m currently cheating with a tubing mascara, which slides right off—no mess or smudging—with a little warm water. I pat my eyes dry and then pump either the Kari Gran Cleansing Oil or the ED4OLO Cleansing Oil into my hand. I gently massage the oil onto my face, using upward strokes. Be sure to inhale deeply—the scent is a big part of the experience.

After a minute or two of this, it’s time to steam. This step is everything. I wet a washcloth with hot (not scalding) water, wring it out, and press it over my face until the cloth cools off. Take your time and inhale deeply, because the scent of lavender or pineapple is going to enhance your ability to relax. When the cloth cools, I repeat this process twice more, letting the day melt away. Sounds goofy, but it really works. Finally it’s time to wipe away the cleansing oil with the damp cloth. Voilá. I don’t even need to rinse afterward. The sensory experience of pressing a steaming cloth against your face, especially when a therapeutic scent is involved, is transformative. It’s the little things, right?

Anyone else love a good steam? Do you follow a similar method for cleansing your face?

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Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts Galore

It’s December, people. And though some of us maybe finished our holiday shopping over the long, sale-filled holiday weekend, others of us may not be that on top of things. Enter this gift guide.

I love gift-giving. I have an entire secret Pinterest board dedicated to gifts for others so when my husband or sister or best friend mentions something they’ve been coveting, I have a safe place to stash the idea for later. This year, I’m doing beauty-related gifts for many friends, so I wanted to share a few of my fave pressies. Check them out below (for all budgets, for all kinds of beauty gals).

For the clean beauty skeptic: Since swapping clean products into my whole beauty caboodle, I’ve tried to convert as many friends as possible to the clean beauty movement. Some are more hesitant than others, and the ones who I have the hardest time convincing are the ones most concerned about cost. So I point them to a multi-tasker that usually woos them to trying more clean products: Acure Organics’ Argan Oil. It’s a hair-smoother, a cuticle oil, a face moisturizer. And it has a friendly price point if they want to repurchase for themselves.

For the beauty aficionado: The Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Winter Glow Gift Set. I’ve talked before about how much I love the Vitamin D Mist, and this set boasts that toner, plus a yummy Vitamin C serum that even my mom loves (and she used to use only Vaseline to moisturize her face). Top those off with a colorless face powder and angled kabuki brush help you hit this season’s matte face look and you’ve got a great combo for a girlfriend who’s a tad more in-the-know.

Me Encanta in practice.

Me, wearing the Me Encanta, no filter.

For the makeup maven: I can’t say enough about loving Alima Pure’s wide range of mineral foundations, but now I love their eyeshadows and mascara as well. Their holiday set, Me Encanta, comes from a collaboration with green makeup artist Kristen Arnett. I love love love the navy shadow included in the kit (I used it as a liner) and the blush is my all-time favorite color (I wore it for my wedding, for Pete’s sake). There’s even a how-to video on creating a subtle look with the liner, contour powder and blush. Fool proof. And a perfectly well-rounded present.

For the jet-setter: This Travel Therapy Botanical Mood Booster from La Bella Figura Beauty is one of those things I’m not sure how to make it through the day without. It smells like sunshine, it sticks around for a looooong time and I’ve gotten dozens (not exaggerating) compliments on how I smell, even after not showering for four days, when I’m wearing this puppy. It calms me—and anyone who smells me—down and makes every hurried day, full of airplane travel or just regular old commuting, better.

If you’re on a budget: Much like I am. Alexandra once blogged about why she loves gifting aromatherapy, but let me add to her points by saying it’s a super easy way to customize gifts and to not have to pick out makeup colors. You know your best friends; you know what’s bugging them. Therefore, you know what aromatherapy might benefit them. (Plus, we have a kick-ass deal going on with Essence of Vali until the end of the year. Save your dollar bills and give gifts your peeps will love.)

Or, do a little DIY for the holidays. Get some cute plastic bottles and fill them with a DIY dry shampoo. Or a body scrub. Or a lip balm. The thought goes a long way (and if your friends are like mine, they’ll be thrilled you took time to make them something, not just swipe your credit card.)

For the boy: Olie Biologique JUST released a Whisker Oil for before and after shaving. It smells manly and helps reduce redness and irritation. Or check out the body soaps from Osmia Organics. I only got my husband to switch from Dove when he smelled these babies. (Get a body oil for yourself while you’re at it—Water Lily is my fave and I started wearing it as a perfume.)

What did I miss? What are you snagging for friends, family or S.O.s?

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!