Changing My Foundation

Liquid Foundation Reviews

This summer I decided to try out some liquid foundations. It is really hot in Arizona and I like to keep my makeup as light as possible since I will probably sweat most of it off by the end of the day.   I have been extremely happy with my go-to foundations, which have been the Kjaer Weiss Foundation (I wear like porcelain) and Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation (I wear 115).  My love of these tried-and-true products doesn’t stop my compulsion to try new green beauty options.  I was able to order some trial kits online and, while I was traveling this summer, I picked up some foundation samples of product lines that are not sold at my local green beauty store, Citrine Natural Beauty.  It is so hard to buy foundation online without testing out the colors on your skin.

Let’s start with what I look for in a foundation.  First and foremost, it must have clean ingredients.  I don’t want anything that is a known skin irritant, hormone disruptor or harmful ingredient in my foundation.  I feel it is counter-intuitive to apply something to my face to help me feel and look better on the surface while it is harming my body on the inside.  Vanity is not worth risking my health, and there are so many gorgeous products on the market today that have clean ingredients that I don’t have to put my self at risk.   A list of the ingredients I like to avoid can be found here.

Next, it needs to be lightweight.  My skin needs to breath.  I wear foundation to even out my skin and to give me a more polished look.  I don’t like a heavily, made up look.  So, these are the products I tried out…

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The first brand I purchased was Crunchi.  After using up the sample kit, I wrote a full review that you can read here.  Since writing this post, I have purchased a full-size bottle of foundation, primer, and also the CRUNCHI foundation brush.  They are currently selling a foundation sample pack, rather than the trial kit that I had purchased.  The pack contains a sample of their 4 most popular shades.  It appears to be a smaller sample than what I received and it doesn’t contain a sample of the primer, but it should be enough for you to color match and get an idea of how the product works for your skin.

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Next I purchased an INIKA trial kit in light.  INIKA is an award winning Australian brand of certified organic products that uses Australian botanicals and pure minerals to create high performance makeup that also nurtures your skin.  INIKA has one of the highest safety ratings by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.  They have a slew of certifications to verify that they are organic, safe, cruelty free and vegan.  If there is a certification out there, they probably have it.


One of the many great things about INIKA is that it comes in several formulas to meet a variety of needs.  Whether you like a liquid, baked or loose powder formula, or a multitasking BB cream, they have you covered!  Couldn’t resist the pun, sorry!

INIKA Liquid Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid


INIKA Baked Mineral Foundation

INIKA Loose Mineral Foundation Powder with SPF 25

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The trial kits contain 2 shades of mineral foundation powders, 2 Liquid Foundation and Organic Pure Primer. This foundation is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is a combination of moisturizer and makeup. Made with coconut oil, apricot kernal oil and jojoba, it is very hydrating without being oily or heavy.   It not only blends flawlessly to give you a beautiful, natural coverage, but also hydrates your skin at the same time thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid.  I found this foundation to be just the right amount of coverage that also let my skin breath and look natural.  I also feel it is quite buildable, for if I was going out and wanted a little more coverage or had a red spot that needed some extra foundation.  It has a thicker consistency than the CRUNCHI, but not  by much.  The primer is very similar to the CRUNCHI primer (think SMASHBOX Photo Finish primer) but has the additon of hyaluronic acid.  BONUS!

I tried out the powder formulas and I was surprised at how easy they were to use and how well they blended into my skin.  I prefer a liquid or cream foundation, so I didn’t spend a lot of time with them, but if you like powder formulas, you need to check these out.  If you like a heavier finish, I bet applying this over a liquid foundation would be beautiful with the added bonus of the SPF.  I wish the trial kit came with a sample of the BB Cream because I know that it has to be amazing!  When I finish up the bottle of CRUNCHI, I will definitely purchase a bottle of INIKA.  One can never have too much hyaluronic acid in their routine!

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Another liquid foundation I picked up was Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation.  This is probably my favorite of all the foundations I tried.  This is truly food for your skin in makeup form!  It covers my skin beautifully and makes it look flawless without feeling heavy or thick.  Literally, flawless!  It is a liquid to velvet finish that just melts into my skin.  It is made with broccoli seed oil, barberry extract, sea buckthorn, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10 and a proprietary blend of powerhouse botanicals to balance your skin and make it more radiant.  Food for your skin!

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Now, after that declaration, I have a confession to make.  This foundation was a little tricky to work with and took some trial and error to get the hang of it.  When the sales girl was making the sample, she spilled more than she planned into the tiny sample container.  She told me that the amount she put in there would last me weeks!  I scoffed in disbelief!  It was one of those tiny sample containers that you get all the time.  The first time I used it, I dipped my large foundation brush into the sample and started dabbing it on my face.  

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It is a thin, rather oily formula and I quickly learned that it was WAY too much foundation!  It took multiple tries before I was able to appreciate this amazing foundation.  It feels like a serum going on so it may feel a little oily at first, especially if you apply too much like I did.  Once you figure out the correct amount to apply and blend it into your skin, you will see that it melts into your skin like a beautiful serum and leaves your skin FLAWLESS, literally!  I later purchased a bottle of it. I apply 2 tiny drops from the glass dropper onto my foundation brush and that is enough to convert my face to a flawless canvas.  Now you probably think flawless canvas means heavy-looking and peeling foundation.  Quite the opposite!  This formula melts into your skin just like a serum, yet lasts all day, and leaves you skin with a natural finish.  Once I mastered the application, I was hooked! I look forward to trying more products from GRESSA.

If you aren’t sure what color to purchase, you can check out the sample packs available at Integrity Botanicals here.

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I picked up a sample of Sappho New Paradigm Liquid Foundation. I let the sales girl chose the colors that best matched my skin.  I came home with the #4 and #5, which both turned out to have yellow undertones, which my skin does not have.  I have worn  both several times and I don’t feel I can give it a fair review because I wasn’t happy with the color match.  I will tell you that I found this formula to be thicker than the other formulas that I tried and it gives more coverage on first application.  It is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, so this would be a great choice if you prefer a medium to full coverage foundation. It blends easily and doesn’t feel heavy, but again I don’t feel I can give a full review since I didn’t give it a fair testing.  I only wore it 3 times and gave up because I wasn’t happy with the shade.

I currently have the CRUNCHI and the GRESSA foundations in rotation.  Once I finish up the CRUNCHI, I will get the INIKA Liquid Foundation, primer and probably the BB Cream as well.



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If you have tried any of these foundations, I would love to hear your feedback!


Taming the Curls with Innersense

Innersense Organic Beauty Hair Products

My hair is naturally wavy.  That sounds like a great thing, right?  Well,  the reality is that it isn’t that pretty, perfect kind of wavy that looks like you just spent the day at the beach.  It is an uneven, wavy, curly, frizzy mess.  I blow dry my hair almost every day because  I don’t want to look like little orphan Annie.   Not that she isn’t super cute, but it is not a good look for me.  Arizona is super hot in the summer months and so the thought of having to spend 20-25 minutes with a hot blow dryer is quite depressing.  Finding a way to avoid it is a dream come true!  If you follow my blog, you know that I have serious issues with dirty hair, so skipping washings is not an option for me.  I pray for products to ease my hair care routine.  Did I mention that I have thick hair that retains water really well?  Blow drying is a long and exhausting process for me.


I discovered a time-saving miracle product that I have to share with you.  But first, the prequel to that. I received the Innersense Hydrating HairbathHydrating Cream  Conditioner and the Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner in one of my Beauty Hero boxes.  I really loved the set, but it was a little heavy for my hair.  I have normal hair, so I think this works better for those who have dry or damaged hair.   It is a really moisturizing set and that is not what my hair needs.  I love the smell, feel and texture of this product, so I wasn’t ready to give up on this brand.


I purchased the Pure Harmony Hairbath Shampoo and Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner to see if they were a better fit for my hair.  The hairbath is made with natural plant extracts to clean my hair without stripping it of its natural moisture and shine.   It is made with Coconut and Palm Oils for a gentle cleanse.  It also has Pumpkin Seed, Orange Flower, Lotus Flower and Cranberry Seed Oils as well as Rooibos Tea for its amazing antioxidant properties.  The conditioner is lightweight, yet hydrating.  It turns out the Pure Harmony line is perfect for my hair type.  Innersense also makes a Color Awakening line for color treated hair.  They really do have all of your hair care needs covered!



So, are you still interested in the time-saving miracle product that has allowed me to skip the blow drying without sacrificing clean hair?  Well, it is the Quiet Calm Curl Control!  This product is definitely a game changer!  I can use it if I want to blow dry my hair straight or if …YAAASSS, I want to skip the hot, blow dryer and still not scare any small children!!  I put a dime size amount of this product in my wet hair and it makes the curls and waves look more even and completely frizz free.  I can spend a few minutes blow drying the front section (crown) of my hair because,  I failed to mention that I have multiple (yes multiple)  cowlicks.  But once that 1-2 minute process is done, I can leave the rest of my hair to dry naturally and I get a more even looking curl/wave with plenty of body and NO frizz.  On these hot days, it is truly a life saver!  This styling product uses organic Shea butter, rice bran oil and oat kernel extract to protect your curls or smooth your hair during a blow dry.  The orange flower oil and Frangipani extract (plumeria flower) calm and quiet your curls to give you the soft bounce you want without the frizz.  Many products that calm and manage curls make your hair stiff and crunchy as well as weighing it down.  The Quiet Calm Curl Control makes your hair soft, shiny and tames your curls without weighing them down.  I can use this if I want my hair straight or curly, and my hair is easy to manage, shiny, full of body and free of frizz.  You only need a small amount, so this bottle will last a long time!


Now I will share with you another game changing product from Innersense Organic Beauty, the Harmonic Healing Oil.  This product came as the side kick in the same Beauty Heroes box.  When I first got it, I used it in my daughter’s hair rather than my own hair. Oils tend to weigh my hair down, so I was hesitant to use it on myself.  My oldest daughter has very long, thick curly hair.  She is 14 years old and (knock on wood), unlike all of her friends, she doesn’t spend hours fixing, straightening and styling her hair.  She loves her curls and just washes and goes.  One of the my greatest successes…instilling confidence in my kids!  Yay me!  The first time I used it on her hair, she was rushing off to school and said her hair was too “poofy”.  She asked me to do something to tame it a little bit. Her hair just needed a little smoothing to tame the “poof”.  I grabbed the bottle of Harmonic Healing Oil,  put 1 pump in the palm of my hand, rubbed them together, then ran my hands through her hair and rushed her out the door.

The next morning she asked me to put more of that “magic oil” in her hair.  It took her curly hair, that is sometimes a little too “poofy” for her taste, and made it into more soft, even curls.  I also started adding a tiny bit of this to my hair on the days that I skip the blow dry.  I cannot tell you much of a time saver this has been for me!  Not to mention how great it is not to have to endure the long, hot blow dry every day!

This little bottle of magic oil is made with healing oils and flower essences.  It contains certified organic oils and is rich in vitamins, proteins and antioxidants.  It is ideal for hair, scalp and dry skin.  It is a multiuse product with amazing healing properties.  My daughter now uses both of my bottles of  Quiet Calm Curl Control and Harmonic Healing Oil.  Luckily, the bottles have plenty of product for both of us to share!

The line of Innersense Organic Hair Products has been hair changing for both my daughter and me.  Before the end of this post, I have to also mention that the line is the lowest price of any luxury, green beauty, hair care line that I have used.  I also have to call attention to their gorgeous packaging!  They make some styling products that I have not tried yet, but hope to use soon.

So whether your hair is straight or curly, colored or natural, Innersence Organic Beauty has a hair product that is bound to make all of your hair dreams come true!  These hair care products are on permanent rotation in our house!  If you try any of their many, fabulous products, let me know about your experience.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you get $20 off your first purchase.  Here is to taming the curl and no more BAD HAIR DAYS!

Getting My Vitamins with One Love Organics

I have  professed my love of the One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Polish.  If you missed it, you can check out my entire review here.   I just finished my first bottle of Vitamin B Enzyme Oil Cleanser + Makeup Remover and the love fest continues!  This oil cleanser is everything I want in a face cleanser and so much more.   Whether I am in a hurry and just want a quick makeup remover and face wash or I am having a self-care moment and indulging in a skin care ritual, this cleansing oil checks all the boxes for me.


Some days I just want to quickly remove my makeup and wash the grime of the day away and this is the product I grab.  This delicious cleanser contains a special Vitamin B complex that helps detoxify and tone my skin.  The fruit enzyme, papain, helps exfoliate and remove all traces of makeup, dirt and oil that have accumulated throughout the day.  The pumpkin oil, which is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, helps keep my skin radiant while Vitamin E helps protect against environmental damage.

I have used many oil cleansers to remove makeup or as the first step in a double cleanse ritual.  For me, OLO has created the perfect product.  When I use a cleansing oil, I want it to remove my makeup completely and this does it for me.  Many oil cleansers just don’t rinse clean enough for me. This breaks up all the oils in my makeup and rinses completely clean.  I don’t end up with those raccoon eyes when I finish that require multiple swipes of a cloth to remove.   No tugging of the delicate eye area required!  It contains sunflower oil which helps my skin retain its moisture, so I am left with a super clean face that doesn’t feel dry or tight.

On those nights when I want a more involved skin care ritual, I like to clean my face with the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil first.  Once all the makeup is removed, I can enjoy  the amazing oils and botanicals found in the many cleansers and cleansing balms I have so I can indulge in a double cleanse.  My skin is clean and ready to absorb my serums and face oils.

A few weeks ago, I had a hydrafacial.  A hydrafacial uses patented technology to cleanse, extract and hydrate your skin.  Afterward, my esthetician was so excited to show me the “dirty water canister” that held what was removed from my face.  After a little prodding, I agreed to look at it with her.  Did I really NEED to see it?  She was so excited to show me that I couldn’t refuse her.  She was so surprised at what she found.  She said the water is usually really dirty (black) and there are a lot of things floating in it.  Really disgusting right?  My water was not dirty and only had dead skin floating in it!  She said she had never seen water that clean before!  She couldn’t believe it.  I told her she hasn’t treated anyone who uses the most luxurious and effective green beauty products before!


If you have used any of the One Love Organics products, you know about that delicious pineapple scent.  It is a fun and enticing scent made of proprietary natural ingredients.  You can read about their certification on my previous body scrub post here.

So, if you are like me and want your skin to feel super clean AND well hydrated, try the One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleanser + Makeup Remover!

Do you have any favorite OLO products?  If you have tried any of them, please let me know your favorites!

Use this code for $5 off your next OLO purchase!


A Truly Botanical Experience

I purchased a skincare trial kit from True Botanicals so I could dip my toe in rather than take the full plunge.  It is a great way to try out a line without spending a lot of money and the sizes are large enough for you to get a few weeks’ worth of product and get a real feel for them.  True Botanicals is a luxury skincare line, so I wanted to try it before making the investment.  The hair care line is a staple for me, so I know the quality is top notch.  You can read my full review of the shampoo and conditioner  here.

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I ordered the Renew line because let’s face it, I need to be renewed!  When it arrived, my first thought was that the bottles were a little small.  My brain immediately went to the expression…”WARNING: items may appear larger than they actually are!”  But, as it turns out, they lasted a little over 2 weeks.  I felt it was an enough product to get a feel for the line and know if it worked for me.

Let’s start with the brand.  True Botanicals was founded by Hillary Peterson.  With a story that we hear often, after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she started looking more closely at the ingredients in her personal care products.  She spent eight years studying the effects and healing powers of botanicals and consulted with world leaders in green chemistry and sustainability.  She wanted a luxury skincare line that was effective without harming our skin, health, or environment.  She later partnered with Christina Mace-Turner, who has used her strong tech background to bring the company to the next level.

 One thing that makes the line different from other green beauty brands is that they have conducted Independent Scientific Clinical Studies with their products to show their efficacy.  They have tested their Renew, Pure Radiance Oil and Renew, Cellular Repair Serum against the cult favorite, Crème de la Mer.  I confess that, at one time, I subscribed to the hype of Crème de la Mer.  I am proud to say that I am a more educated consumer now and know that inside that fancy white glass jar is just glorified Vaseline with a hefty price tag.

The randomized, comparative, double blind trials showed that True Botanicals Renew, Pure Radiance Face Oil out performed Crème de la Mer in all categories:

  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Increased facial hydration
  • Reduced facial pore size
  • Increased facial elasticity
  • Increased facial smoothness (when used in combination with the Renew, Cellular Repair Serum)

The True Botanicals Clear Collection was used in an Independent Clinical Study along with Proactiv+ and showed not only a consistent reduction in acne lesions over time, but also significantly reduced skin dryness.  The study also proved that the Proactiv+ worked initially, but had a decrease in impact over time.  Having spent part of my career as a Clinical Research RN, I love when the claim is backed by scientific studies!  You can read about the study here.

True Botanicals is also the first skincare company to have its entire product line MADE SAFE™ certified.  MADE SAFE™ is a nonprofit organization that certifies that a product is made with safe, nontoxic ingredients.  It is the most comprehensive product safety evaluation available to us.  You can check out their website to learn more here.

The packaging is sleek, high tech and beautiful.   The products are separated into several collections to tackle a variety of skin conditions.  If you have a skin issue, they have a solution!

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BASICS is their newest collection aimed at prevention. UPDATE They have recently removed this line. It is targeted toward those who don’t have any skin issues yet and want to keep it that way.  I started my 14-year-old daughter on this line a few months ago.  She absolutely loves using it and her skin looks amazing.   My husband asked me a few weeks ago, true story, “I thought teenagers were supposed to have acne and bad skin.  Why does Emily’s skin look so good?”  I am not exaggerating when I tell you, I have found myself looking at her across a room or in the car and thinking how amazing her skin looks.  She literally glows.  Now for a teenager, that is pretty amazing.  She uses the Basics Cleanser, Face Oil and the Clear Toner. I used to be able to give her my green beauty cast offs, but she won’t take them anymore.  She doesn’t want to use anything else.  I wish I could pass out samples to all her friends, particularly the teenage boys!

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RENEW is for the consumer looking to tackle the causes of aging at the cellular level.  This is ME!  This line contains super concentrated, bio-active ingredients to fight the signs of aging.

CLEAR is formulated for acne-prone skin.  It goes against what most people expect from acne treatments.  This line destroys acne-inducing bacteria while balancing your skin and keeping it hydrated.

CALM was created for rosacea-prone skin.  It also helps over-exfoliated or inflamed skin with potent soothing ingredients.

So, let’s talk about the trial kit.  I bought the Renew Trial kit that comes with a Hydrating Cleanser, Nutrient Mist, Pure Radiance Oil, and Cellular Repair Serum.

The RENEW line has a clean, fresh scent.  The Hydrating Cleanser is gentle and intended to clean, but not strip the skin of moisture.  The star ingredients are Green and White Tea, Aloe Vera, and Camelia Oil.  Green and White Tea are chosen as the base because they are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, for toning, soothing, and inhibiting organisms that attack collagen and elastase.

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I love the smell of this cleanser, but the whole time I was using it during the trial period I kept thinking it needed the addition of an oil cleanser!   For me, this cleanser alone feels a little slimy and my face doesn’t feel completely clean when I am done. This is totally a preference for me.  I know the potent ingredients in this cleanser are ridding my face of all dirt, grime, pollution, etc. and the feeling I am getting is just a well-hydrated face, but using this alone didn’t work for me.  During the dryer, winter months, it will probably be perfect alone, but not long after I finished this trial kit, they released the True Botanicals PRE CLEANSE OIL.   I think they were reading my mind!

Also in the kit is the Nutrient Mist.  I love this stuff!  Made with Green and White Tea, Algae Extract, and Kombucha, it hydrates, balances, and soothes my skin.  This mist is a spritz of cool, refreshing hydration.  It is loaded with antioxidants to help decelerate the aging process, plump the skin.  It contains polyphenols which protect the skin from oxidative stress.  The spray mechanism on this mist is perfection.  Sometimes mists spray really hard and fast.  You know the ones that make you flinch when you spray them.  Sometimes the spray is too wide and they get all in your hair or the spray diameter is too narrow and you end up having to spray about 10 times to cover your whole face.  This one sprays a fine mist with the perfect diameter.  Maybe I am a total nerd and spend too much time thinking about these things, but I think it is important.  The spray mechanism is not a game changer, but definitely a bonus.

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The Cellular Repair Serum is a thick bright orange serum packed with Ceramides and some proprietary blends of bio actives that deliver high concentrations of free-radical fighting ingredients.  This serum is one of the few that I have used that I feel just soaks into my skin rather than sitting on top of it.  I apply it right after the mist and massage it in my skin and it is absorbed quickly.  The color is beautiful and the smell is that clean fresh scent.  Love this serum!

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Last in the trial kit was the Pure Radiance Oil.  I love face oils because they nourish the skin and help improve the barrier function that our skin was designed to do.  They absorb directly into your skin and work their magic.  This antioxidant powerhouse is the combination of many oils and extracts, but some of the star ingredients are Chia, Kiwi and Papaya Seed Oils, Passion Fruit Oil, Algae Extract, and Astaxanthin.  I have learned that Astaxanthin helps protect your skin from sun damage, which is a big plus for someone living in the very sunny state of Arizona.

The Pure Radiance Oil also smells clean and fresh.  You only need a few drops and it will make your skin feel so nourished and hydrated without feeling greasy.  This oil absorbs really well into your skin especially if you apply it while your face is still damp from your face mist.

So, when my trial was done, I was hooked.  I knew I would be purchasing more from this brand and it would be one of my favorite green beauty skincare lines.  I was in Northern California this summer and was able to stop into the shop located in Mill Valley.  I did not repurchase the Pure Radiance Oil because I had made a stop at Gargiulo Vineyards and picked up a new bottle of Vintner’s Daughter   a few days before.  Once that is gone, I will definitely purchase a bottle of the Pure Radiance Oil.  Along with the products for my daughter, I purchased a full-size Cleanser, Mist, Serum, and Pre Cleanse Oil.  I also purchased the Vitamin C Booster.  This was a new product for me and it is amazing too.  It is a very potent formula that comes in powder form.  The glass vial has a shaker top so I just sprinkle a little bit into my serum and apply it to my face at night.  I love this combination.

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Adding the Pre Cleanse Oil prior to using the cleanser has made this regimen exactly what I was looking for in my skincare routine.  It gives me that extra feeling of clean by removing the majority of my makeup prior to using the Cleanser.

True Botanicals is a brand I have fallen in love with and my skin is loving it!  I feel the founders set out on a mission to create a safe, nontoxic and effective luxury skincare line and they have achieved that goal.  I have my eye on a few other products in their line that I hope to purchase soon.  They just released the Antioxidant Booster, which is the first skincare product to feature apple peel.  I know this will be added to my collection very soon!

I also want to try the Deep Repair Eye Serum.  So many goodies to explore!  Have you tried any of the True Botanicals line?  Did you know that they have free samples?  If you sign up for their newsletter, you get $20 off your first purchase.  If you have any favorites, let me know!

Take $20 your first order over $40 use code JOINUS20

Your Body Deserves a Good Exfoliation

I am a big believer in exfoliation.  I use a gentle exfoliating cleanser on my face every morning and do a deeper exfoliation every 1-2 weeks.  But what about the body?  Doesn’t the body deserve a good exfoliation as well?  Of course it does!  Exfoliating our bodies has the same benefits as exfoliating our faces.  Skin cells on our body shed just like those on our face.  The turnover process slows as we get older, so a body scrub helps to sluff off that dead skin to reveal healthier skin underneath.  The physical action of the body scrub also helps increase circulation and helps with lymph node drainage due to the increased circulation to the skin’s surface.  Removing the dead skin also allows the new skin underneath to more readily absorb your luscious skin care products, as well as helps prevent ingrown hairs.


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Body scrubs are usually made up of larger exfoliating particles than a facial exfoliator because the skin isn’t quite as delicate on your body.  They can consist of salt, sugar, crushed nuts, shells, coffee beans or seeds.  They can also contain chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid, which can help smooth, firm or improve the appearance of blemishes or redness.  The exfoliating particles are usually mixed with a variety of carrier oils and essential oils.  You are not only exfoliating your body, but hydrating it as well.  Just check the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that are on this list.


The big dilemma isn’t “to scrub or not to scrub, ” it is choosing sugar or salt. Both have their benefits.  Sugar scrubs tend to be more gentle, as the granules are round and even. It is less drying and dissolves more easily in water.  Salt granules are more jagged and uneven so it gives you a stronger exfoliation.  Salt has the added benefit of adding trace minerals that can help promote relaxation and improve circulation.  Neither should be used if you have any open wounds on your body.  If you have a cut and use a salt scrub, you quickly learn the meaning of “rubbing salt in your wounds.”  You will also find different consistencies in body scrubs.  Some scrubs just contain oils and exfoliants, while others add emulsifiers to make them more of a blended consistency.  All of them work to rid your skin of rough, dry areas and nourish it, as well.

So now that we have covered the reasons why we should use body scrubs, let’s talk about some body scrubs that I love.  I probably use a body scrub every 3-4 days.  I have made my own body scrubs for years.  It is super easy to do and you can customize it to your liking.  I will put a basic recipe at the end of this post that you can use to create your own special blend if you prefer a DIY option.

There are many brands that I have tried because I collect them, like all other skin care products.    I use both types and I enjoy salt and sugar scrubs equally.  All the scrubs I have listed are clean of any toxins or unhealthy ingredients. Here are some of my favorites:

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One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Polish is my most recent body scrub acquisition and one that has quickly become one of my favorites.  You open the jar and suddenly you are transported to the tropics.  It smells like a delicious, fruity pineapple drink.  It has the same scent as another one of my favorite OLO product, the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil.  The smell is so unique that I quickly checked the label and did a little research to confirm that it was all natural.  It is stronger than any other green beauty product that I have used and it took me by surprise.  The label lists “Parfume/Fragrance”  which ordinarily has me running for the hills.  After doing some research, I quickly learned that with OLO, the use of the vague “perfume/fragrance” does not contain anything synthetic or toxic.  Here is a direct response from their website:

We only use ECOCERT certified blends of 100% natural origin. One Love Organics uses a proprietary blend of ingredients found in nature including therapeutic essential oils, fruit and plant extracts and oils to compose our wonderful and healthy fragrances. Our natural fragrances are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, petrochemicals, formaldehyde donors, peg’s, dea/tea and 1,4 dioxanes. ECOCERT expressly prohibits synthetic perfumes and our products proudly bear the ECOCERT seal.

This body scrub is made with raw, organic sugar.  The oils used are sunflower seed and shea oil.  It contains an ultra concentrated form of Vitamin C to brighten the skin.  This polish is in a thicker, blended form and actually foams up a tiny bit when applied.  It feels amazing on my skin and due to the thicker, cohesive blend of the product,  you feel that every drop is working on doing magical things to your skin…exfoliating, brightening, hydrating.  I have come to love this OLO scent and this scrub is one of my favorites.


Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub is  another sugar scrub that is more of a gelatinous consistency.  It has a light, luscious scent of lemongrass and coconut that turns your bath into a tropical retreat.  It is super gentle (it can even be used on your lips) and it leaves my skin feeling smooth, hydrated and smelling delicious.  Because of the consistency of this scrub, it washes off easily and doesn’t leave your skin feeling too oily.  This scrub is a mix of coconut, jojoba, lemon balm, lemongrass and vanilla.  Seriously, you may be tempted to eat it!

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Tata Harper Smoothing Body Scrub is another sugar scrub with a gelatinous texture.  I received this as a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband.  My first experience with it was at one of the Tata Harper Master Classes and it is a true luxury.  What makes this scrub different is that along with organic cane sugar, it also contains 4 other biodegradable exfoliants:  pink Himalayan and Hawaiian sea salts, cranberry fibers and apricot seed powder.  It has a light, heavenly scent of Calendula and Jasmine that truly gives you that spa felling at home.  It doesn’t hurt that the package is gorgeous!

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100% Pure Body Scrubs have been part of my skincare routine the longest.  I discovered them many years ago and continue to keep them in rotation.  They are made with potent antioxidants, vitamins, fruit acids and nutrient rich plant oils that leave your skin silky smooth.  They come in either sugar or salt depending on the scent you choose.  I am currently using the Blood Orange which is a sugar scrub.  It is super hydrating and nourishing using powerful antioxidants like Pomegranate, Acai, Grapeseed and Apricot Oils and smells like a Tuscan orchard.

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Osmia Organics Himalayan Body Buff is a very special treat.  It has an amazing scent reminiscent of rosemary, lavender, pine and citrus.  It is a salt scrub made with Himalayan Pink salt and a special Osmia oil blend made up of coconut oil and organic jojoba, kukui, avocado, almond, hemp, borage, rosehip, sea buckthorn, berry and evening primrose oils.  This oil smells so amazing and is incredibly moisturizing.  You can tell from the photo that the jar is empty.  It will be replenished very soon!  For an extra special treat, apply this scrub to your body before you get in the shower, rinse it off, then apply one of the Osmia Organics Body Mousses when you get out.  I have the Rosemary, Lavender and the Sandlewood and they are each a delight to the senses!  You can read my post on this ritual here and you can thank me later!

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Another noteworthy salt scrub is the Prim Botanicals,  The Debauchery Detox Body Scrub.  I received this scrub in an Art of Organics subscription box and it was definitely the highlight of that month’s box.  If you like the smell of coffee, you will love this scrub!  It has Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, epsom salt, activated charcoal, organic Philippine Baroko Coffee and eucalyptus to help release toxins and Amazonian, Andiroba and Pracaxi oils to nourish your skin.  It really helps wake me up and get energized in my morning shower.  What is better than having your coffee IN the shower?  Just be aware that the coffee grounds can be a bit messy.

Whichever scrub you use, make sure you apply it to dry skin to get the most benefit, then just rinse off in the shower or tub!

Homemade Sugar Body Scrub

Clean Glass Jar

3 parts Course Sugar (Turbinado)

1 part oil (I use a combo of Almond, Avocado and Jojoba)

15-20 drops Essential Oil (my go to mix is Grapefruit, Lemongrass and Lavender)

Optional Add-Ins like zest, dried flowers or herbs (I love rosemary and lemon)

Mix all together in jar and use a scooper to dole out some goodness.

Homemade Salt Body Scrub

1 Part Course Sea Salt

1 Part Oil

Essential Oils or other add-ins of your choice


Get creative and make a blend full of scents and oils that appeal to you!

Next time you are in the shower or bath, take a few extra minutes and give your body the love it deserves!  Rid yourself of dead skin and clean your pores,  while moisturizing your skin.  Have you ever made your own body scrub?  Leave a comment, as I would love to know your favorite combinations!

Just a little side-note, since October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) is right around the corner…when applying your body scrub or body oil, it is a great time to complete your  breast exam.  Just sayin’!








Getting Foxy with LILFOX

I received the LILFOX Jungle Glow Rainforest Honey Enzyme Cleanser + Mask in my Beauty Heroes Box.  It came with the Cleopatra Restorative Milk + Honey Beauty Mask as the side kick.  Once you get past the incredibly long names of these products, you will find some treasures.  I have had both of these for quite some time and now that I have about one more application of the Jungle Glow left, I thought it was time to finally write about them.


First let’s talk about the brand.  LILFOX was created by Alexis Rose, also known as Madame Fox, in Miami, Florida.  She is a certified aromatherapist and essential oil educator.  Her products are made in micro-batches and hand-blended and poured into Amethyst Glass to protect the formulas.  “All products are free of synthetic fragrances, butylene glycol, silicones, sodium sulfates, phthalates, gmos, petroleum, paragons and harsh preservatives”  and they are never tested on animals.  If you want to read why you should avoid these ingredients, you can do so here.

When this product arrived, I was excited to be introduced to a new brand.  After all, that is one of the main reasons I subscribe to beauty boxes.  I think of it as a way to experience new products at a discounted price.


At first sight, I was in love with the packaging.  I am a believer that packaging is everything!  The amethyst jars and simple, elegant labels are a plus for me.  The mask is a thick, olive greenish-brown color.  It smells earthy with a hint of honey.



Inside the jar, the Jungle Glow mask is a truly special treat.  It can be used as a mask or a cleanser. This beautiful mask contains Amazonian white clay and raw cacao along with maracuja and rosehip oils for their skin-plumping abilities.  You are probably asking “what is maracuja oil?”  Well, you might not be, but I sure was!

Maracuja comes from the Passionflower plant. One of its many benefits is that it is anxiety-reducing.  Both the rosehip oil and maracuja oil are high in linoleic acid, which is great for decreasing inflammation and calming reactive skin.  The antibacterial properties and the enzymes of the honey not only cleanse, but also help slough off any dead skin cells to give your skin a fresh, radiant glow.  The gentle exfoliation comes from finely ground rosehip seeds.  The Vitamin C rich neroli and pink grapefruit essential oils are not only welcome for their intoxicating and calming aromas, but their antioxidant properties as well.

One of the things I love about this mask is that you can leave it on for a few minutes and gently massage it into your skin to cleanse and exfoliate or you can leave it on for up to 30 minutes for a mask that will make your face feel incredibly clean and so soft.  It is a bit sticky and may separate on your face a little, but don’t worry.  That is just due to the honey and your are still getting an incredible skin-changing experience.

I will share a little story with you.  I convinced my mother to subscribe to the Beauty Heroes box.  This was her first box.  She is 81 years old and not one who is quick to change.  When it arrived, she called me complaining that all she got was this thick, brown stuff in a jar.  My futile attempts at explaining the amazing LILFOX brand and how to use this product seemed to fall on deaf ears.  All I can do is lead the horse to water, right!  I just knew that she would complain that I talked her into this subscription box and then eventually cancel it.

Fast forward a few weeks and during a phone conversation she tells me she finally tried the Jungle Glow and guess what?  Oh, how she loves it!  She can’t believe how soft her face feels…this stuff is amazing!  Couldn’t stop raving about it. She wanted to reorder it soon, because she didn’t want to be without it.  Wonders never cease!


Now to the Cleopatra Milk + Honey Mask.  When this was included in the Beauty Heroes box, I don’t believe it had been released yet.  It came to us as the sidekick product so it wasn’t in its final packaging.  It is a light pink powder that becomes a mousse-like texture when mixed with liquid.  Dry masks are always great because they last a long time and don’t require any preservatives.  It is made with French Rose Clay, coconut milk, and honey to cleanse, decongest, and tone the skin.  Pineapple and Papaya extracts help exfoliate the skin to leave it feeling soft and renewed. You get antioxidants and vitamin C from the superfruits Baobob and Camu Camu to help repair sun damage, help with hyper pigmentation, and encourage collagen synthesis.

My first impression of this mask is that is stinks!  Sorry Madame Fox, but for me, it does.  Of course, that doesn’t stop me from using it because it too, is magic in a jar. You can use this alone as a clay mask to draw out impurities by mixing it with a little water or toning mist or what I like to do is add about a teaspoon of it to the Jungle Glow and wear it for about 30-40 minutes.  It hydrates, tones and plumps my skin making it feel amazing!


I was so impressed with this line that I purchased the Aphrodite Rose Toning Mist as well.  This mist is made with 100 percent organic,  Rose damascena distillate and Rose Quartz.   There is a lot of talk about Rose and heart chakras, vibration energies and all that, but I have too much of a science mind for most of that.  I will speak to the science of Rose Oil and say that research has shown that it helps with depression, anxiety and it has strong antibacterial properties.  Rose oil has a strong ability to increase the skin’s permeability.  This means that it opens up your skin and allows it to absorb whatever it is mixed with.  Another great reason to make sure you aren’t putting any harmful ingredients on your skin.  This mist smells lovely and leaves my skin feeling dewy and hydrated.


After using these skin care products, I have become a big fan of LILFOX and her magic potions.  I would definitely purchase all 3 of these items again and would like to try more of her product line.  After all, who doesn’t want to feel FOXY?

If you have tried any of her other products, please share your experience with me so I know what to get next!


Getting Your Lips Summer Ready with Henné Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator and Yüli Cellular Lip Conditioner

My primary skin concern is dehydrated skin.  Well, dehydrated and aging skin. Gravity is not my friend.  I never seem to drink enough water and living in a very hot and dry environment does not help.

I have tackled the dry skin quite successfully with some amazing product discoveries, but I still find myself with dry, flaky lips quite often.  I keep chapstick and lip moisturizers in my car, purse, bedside table, basically everywhere I can.  Regardless of how often I apply lip moisturizer, sometimes I just need a good lip exfoliation.  But, just because I need to do something doesn’t mean I do it.  Luckily, I have subscriptions to some beauty boxes that supply me with products that I didn’t know I was missing.

I received the Henné Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator in the February Art of Organics clean beauty box.  Roses and diamonds, what’s not to like?


I will be honest and tell you I had it for quite a while before I used it.  I put it in with all my other lip products and forgot about it.  One night I was going out to dinner with my husband and I wanted to wear red lipstick.  I don’t wear red lipstick (or dark lipstick) very often, but when I do, I know my lips need really good exfoliation and moisture prior to application.  After a little searching, I located the pretty little black jar of lip exfoliator and scrubbed away.


Henné Organics was founded by Laura Xiao with the philosophy of creating the essentials.  She has created a line of simple yet luxurious lip products that are organic and made in the USA.  When you open the jar, the scrub is a pretty pink color and it has a lovely rose scent.  The lip exfoliator is made with organic sugar, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic jojoba seed oil, organic lingonberry, organic shea butter, organic vanilla bean, vitamin E and rose oil.  Now, I will tell you that as much as I love the scent of rose, I don’t particularly love it on my lips or mouth area.  Luckily, Henné has recently come out with the same scrub in two new flavors, Nordic Berry and Lavender Mint.  I think the Nordic Berry sounds perfect for me.

After a good scrub, I was ready to apply my red lipstick and it went on very smoothly.  I am definitely getting better at exfoliating my lips on a regular basis to keep my lips smooth.

Another product I have fallen in love with is the Yüli Cellular Lip Conditioner.  I was in a cute little shop in Venice Beach that had some amazing green beauty products.  They carried many of my favorite brands, but I wanted to try something different.  I was familiar with Yüli, but I never used any of their products.  My current supply of skin care products is pretty high.  I have to stockpile before summer hits in Arizona because it isn’t safe to have products shipped in this heat.  I saw the Cellular Lip Conditioner and thought it would be perfect for me.  I have noticed that, as I age, I am acquiring lines around my lips.  It can be attributed to the many years of using water bottles with straws and I have been told that I  purse my lips when I am stressed or concentrating.


So as a warning to all you young ladies out there… switch to water bottles without  the flip straw tops or sports tops.  They will prevent future wrinkles in the mouth area!  Also, get some of the Yüli Lip Conditioner!

The Yüli Cellular Lip Conditioner is not chapstick or lip balm.  It is actually a hybrid dry oil and serum for your lips that has a very faint scent of vanilla and mint.  It comes in a small bottle with a roller ball top.  It is made with mostly organic ingredients that are all 100% food grade.   It feels very hydrating and absorbs quickly into my skin.  It not only supplies my lips and surrounding area with multivitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, and anti aging antioxidants, it has UV protection (avocado oil) against UVA and UVB!  This product has made a visible difference in the lines around my mouth.  Here is the full list of ingredients:

R. communis (castor) oil*, P. americana (avocado) oil*, S. indicum (sesame) seed oil*, R. rubiginosa (rosehip) seed oil*, C. sativa (camelina) oil*, C. papaya (papaya) seed oil, S. chinensis (jojoba) oil*, Supercritical CO2 Extract Blend (P. granatum (pomegranate) seed*, R. rubiginosa (rosehip) seed*, H. rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed and berry*, V. planifolia (vanilla)* and H. spicatum (ginger lily)^), M. piperita (peppermint) extract, tocopherol (vitamin E) non-GMO
^ Wildcrafted

Yüli was founded by a group of friends that wanted to fill a void in the beauty market.  Their goal was to supply customers that wanted clean luxury skincare with cutting-edge science that delivered results.  They create each of their products in a lab located next to the farms where they gather their plant material.  I don’t think it gets any fresher than that!

Combating dry lips is always a challenge, but with these two products in my arsenal I may just win this battle!  Kissable lips that are summer ready!


What are your favorite lip products?