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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Cleansing Balms are the Bomb

Well, I should clarify that not all cleansing balms are created equally.  I have some cleansing balms that are the BOMB and I have some that have totally bombed.  My first experience with a cleansing balm was the Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser.  I purchased it several years ago, on a whim, from Ayla Beauty.  I had no idea what to expect. Continue reading “Cleansing Balms are the Bomb”

Is Dry Skin a Thing of the Past?

Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream and Advanced Hydration Mask

IMG_5672I received these samples with a Beauty Heroes purchase recently and I cannot tell you how excited I was.  These were pre release samples which I knew where going to be special.

I have not made a secret of the fact that I love Josh Rosebrook products.  From the quality of the ingredients, to the science behind them, to the maker himself.  I have never had the pleasure of meeting Josh Rosebrook, but I have read his manifesto on his website along with the many informative pages that give insight into who he is and what he wants to create as a brand.  I have come to admire and respect him for what he is bringing to the market to share with us and also for the knowledge he shares with us about what goes into his products.

I hear comments all the time about how expensive green beauty products are and that they don’t always work as well as conventional products.  I find this so very frustrating and it always comes from someone who is either close minded or is uneducated about green beauty.

On his instagram feed, he talks about the importance of quality ingredients and the value of buying from a brand that values raw, handcrafted organic ingredients used in a way to maximize their effectiveness.  He helps us understand what you are paying for.  I have always been a believer in the mantra, “you get what you pay for,” and this has never been more true than it is today in the world of green beauty.  I have discovered some of the most amazing skincare products and cosmetics that have high performance and are made from organic and wildcrafted plants, herbs and oils without the potentially harmful fillers, stabilizers or preservatives used in conventional products.  You know who is making these products and how much love and passion they put into bringing them to us.  They even carefully select packaging that respects our planet.

Let’s start with the Advanced Hydration Mask.  The pretty color is the first thing I noticed.  It is what I refer to as seafoam green.  It smells faintly of lavender and vanilla.  It is thick and feels a little grainy from little bits of solid plant butters that soften and melt easily when it makes contact with the skin.  The instructions for use are to mist your face and apply the mask while your skin is still damp.  Leave it on for 15-25 minutes and remove it with a dry, clean cloth.  I have followed Mr. Rosebrook’s instructions and this mask has been a game changer for my skin.  I have chronic, dry skin, but that may be a thing of the past with these 2 products.  Truth be told, many nights I do not follow the instructions and I just leave the mask on all night.  I wake up with very hydrated skin.

This mask is made with the finest collection of organic wildcrafted and non GMO plant butters, extracts and oils.  It contains a ‘botanical hyaluronic acid’, Indian Senna Seed Extract, and partly gets its pretty color from Blue Tansy and Chamomile essential oils.

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The full ingredient list is:

*Shea Butter, *Mango Seed Butter, *Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, *Indian Senna Seed Extract (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), *Sunflower Seed Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Seed Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, Candelilla Wax, *Ashwagandha Flower Extract, *Turmeric Root Extract, *Rose Hips Flower Extract, *Goji Berry Fruit Extract, *Calendula Extract, *Black Cohosh Root Extract, *Elderberry Extract, *Bladderwrack Extract, Marshmallow Root Extract, *Ginger Extract, *Fenugreek Extract, *Chickweed Extract, *Licorice Root, *Raspberry Leaf Extract, *Dandelion Extract, *Sage Extract, *Eyebright Extract, *Milk Thistle Extract, *Rose Petal Flower Extract, *St. John’s Wort Extract, *Cat’s Claw Extract, *Cinnamon Extract, *Lavender Flower Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, §Xanthan Gum, §Potassium Sorbate, Blue Tansy Essential Oil, Blue Chamomile Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Rose Essential Oil, Frankincense Gum Oil.

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC, †ORGANIC, ‡WILDCRAFTED, §NON-GMO PLANT SOURCED

The second product that my skin is soaking up is the Vital Balm Cream.  This cream is so lovely.  It is a beautiful pastel blue and has a slight herbaceous scent.  It is thick and creamy but melts into the skin quickly.  Mr. Rosebrook describes it as a “uniquely powerful moisturizer that combines the occlusive benefits of a balm with the absorption and luxury finish of a cream” and I think you cannot improve on that accurate description.   This magical balm can be applied over your serum.  You only need a small amount to get an incredible amount of hydration.  It leaves a very slight oil residue for a short time after application.  It works beautifully under makeup.  This balm has a similar ingredient list as the mask, full of rich plant butters and oils as well as ‘botanical hyaluronic acid’ and broccoli seed oil.

The full ingredient list is:

*Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, *Mango Seed Butter, *Honey, *Indian Senna Seed Extract (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), *Shea Butter, *Olive Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Seed Oil, *Borage Seed Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, *Sea Buckthorn Oil, *Vitamin E, Broccoli Seed Oil, *Witch Hazel Extract, *Ashwagandha Flower Extract, *Turmeric Root Extract, *Rose Hips Flower Extract, *Goji Berry Fruit Extract, *Calendula Extract, *Black Cohosh Root Extract, *Elderberry Extract, *Bladderwrack Extract, *Marshmallow Root Extract, *Ginger Extract, *Fenugreek Extract, *Chickweed Extract, *Licorice Root, *Raspberry Leaf Extract, *Dandelion Extract, *Sage Extract, *Eyebright Extract, *Milk Thistle Extract, *Rose Petal Flower Extract, *St. John’s Wort Extract, *Cat’s Claw Extract, *Cinnamon Extract, *Lavender Flower Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, *Gum Arabic, §Xanthan Gum, §Potassium Sorbate, Blue Tansy Essential Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, *Vanilla Extract.

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC, †ORGANIC, ‡WILDCRAFTED, §NON-GMO PLANT SOURCED

These two products may very well cure me of my chronic dry skin.   These products are game changers, so I wouldn’t wait too long to get them!  You can check them out here.

Is it the End of the Bedhead?

The Goodnight Co Silk Pillowcase

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We spend a third of our lives in bed.  We all know the best way to sleep to prevent wrinkles is on our backs, but, honestly, unless you are heavily medicated, who can sleep that way all night long without moving?

We spend so much on skin care products, but did you know that a silk pillowcase can be skin care as well?  I purchased this pillowcase for multiple reasons. I have what is classified as “mature”, dry skin, so I will take any help I can in that department.  Also, I do a lot of tossing and turning at night.  I have a husband that snores and I have low back issues that can cause numbness in one of my legs if I lie on it too long.  I have one child that has nightmares and night terrors.  When I do fall into a deep sleep, it is almost always on my right side.  I have the permanent creases to prove it!  With all that tossing and turning, I wake up with some pretty crazy hair.  I usually do kid drop off before I have my morning shower.  Sometimes, even before I brush my teeth, but hey, we can keep that our little secret.  Both of them have drop off really close to my house and I don’t have to get out of the car, so it isn’t that big of a deal.  Hey, don’t judge me!  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to drop my kids off at school without looking like a crazy person.

So, why use a silk pillowcases? Silk is less absorbent than cotton so it helps your skin maintain moisture.  So when you put that very expensive serum on your face before bed, wouldn’t it be better if it actually stayed on your skin rather than absorbed into your pillow case?

Silk is an entirely natural fabric, therefore, it is hypoallergenic and breathable. This allows it to adjust to ambient temperatures so it is cooler in warmer months and warmer in the winter.   It is smoother than cotton, so your skin glides over the pillowcase and you don’t get friction while you are sleeping.  This helps with wrinkles and creases in your skin.  This applies to your hair as well.  Your hair glides over the fabric and you have less chance of breakage.

The Goodnight Co silk pillowcase is made from the best silk, 100% long strand Mulberry silk.  Mulbery silk produces a longer and more durable thread.  The silkworms are fed a diet exclusively of mulberry leaves.

I have a 100% organic cotton mattress and I have slept on nothing but organic cotton sheets for many years now.  I have an essential oil diffuser on my bedside table.  I thought I was doing everything I could to maximize my bedtime routine.

After using this pillow for a few nights, it was wash day.  My skin was feeling really good, but was it my Vintner’s Daughter or was it the pillowcase?  I thought, no big deal, I can go back to my regular pillowcase until the next sheet wash day.  One minute back on that cotton pillowcase and I was miserable!  How did I tolerate all this friction for so long?  I felt like my pillowcase was made out of sandpaper!  Never again would I go without a silk pillowcase!  Truth be told, I would love to be ensconced in silk…pillowcase, sheets, duvet, pajamas!

Sadly, I will have to stick with just a pillowcase (or 2) for now.  Now about the hair part….

I still wake up with bedhead every morning.  This pillowcase has done nothing to help that part of my sleep time, but my skin feels great and I don’t get creases in my face.  I have never been one to forgo washing my hair for days after a blow out, so I can live with crazy hair in the morning.

I wish I had known about the benefits of silk pillowcases years ago!

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Your Inner Mermaid

Leahlani Mermaid Mask

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If you are on instagram and follow feeds on green beauty, you know what a cult favorite this mask has become.  Leahlani was a brand that I was not familiar with prior to my participation in social media.  With all of the photos of this mask and all of the love expressed for this brand,  I knew I wanted to try it.  I thought I should start with the Mermaid Mask.

My first impression was…

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WOW, it really is that green!  It is a beautiful shade of emerald that comes from organic chlorella and spirulina harvested in Hawaii.  These two superfoods, along with organic, raw, Hawaiian honey, purify and deeply clean, yet still draw moisture to the skin.  This mask is loaded with powerful antioxidants, Vitamins A and C.   You get cellular turnover with the micro algae.  Sea Buckthorn CO2 helps calm any inflammation, as well as aiding in cellular turnover.  The French Green Clay and Sea Clay help draw out any impurities, while balancing and nourishing the skin.  Due to the honey base, you get the toning and detoxifying without the tightening and cracking feeling.

I use many different masks during any given week.  I have tried some really great ones and some not so not great, but very few WOW me.  This mask made a difference in my skin with just one use.  I had some spots on my face that were mildly irritated where I had a blemish or 2 (from a detoxifying mask) that were healing but lingering longer than they should have.  After using this mask one time, I noticed a change in my skin.  The next morning, the redness/irritation was gone, the dry patches were gone and the blemishes were almost completely healed up.  I have discovered many great products during my green beauty journey, but very few that give dramatic results.  This is one of those products!

Did I mention how pretty the color is of this mask?  Because of the honey base, the best way to apply it is with your fingers.  It is thick and sticky.  After using this mask, I am definitely interested in trying more Leahlani skincare products.  If you want to check out the Mermaid Mask, you can do it here.

Have you tried any of her products and, if so, what are your favorites?  Leave a response in the comments section, as I would love to hear your opinions!  I need help deciding what to try next.

March Madness Part Deux

More Empties from the month of March.  I went through some products quickly and I am trying really hard to finish up some products that I abandoned for one reason or another.

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Tata Harper Nourishing Cleansing Oil.  This is a product that I had abandoned, simply because I had acquired too many new, oil cleansers that I wanted to try.  I found it sitting on my stand looking very sad and lost.  I felt guilty as I began my nightly cleansing ritual and pumped some of this amazing oil into my hand.  I was reminded of the day I discovered this oil at Citrine Beauty.  It was a cold, December day and I took my mother and sister to the store to do a little shopping.  Do you think it is weird that I remember what day it was?   I was scheduled to have neck surgery the following day and they came in town to help me out.  My mom kept commenting on how great my skin looked for the rest of the day.  It has become a constant in her skincare routine as well.  See, I am not that weird!

Back to this wonderful oil.  When I discovered it, Melissa, the owner of Citrine was trying out some new makeup on me and my skin was pretty dry, as always.  She applied some of the cleansing oil as a moisturizer prior to applying foundation.  My skin was dewy and glowing.  It hadn’t felt that moisturized in, well, I don’t think, ever!  I walked out with a bottle and have since purchased many bottles of this oil.  Did I mention that it smells amazing?

This oil is made with Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive, Apricot and Jojoba oils. The natural beta carotene, omega 3’s, vitamins A, C and E nourish your skin.  It dissolves all makeup and dirt without stripping my skin of moisture.  I use it as a cleanser in the evening and it   rinses clean with water.  I have used it as part of a double cleanse followed by the Regenerating Cleanser.  I also apply it and leave it on my face after I have cleansed in the evening when I am feeling particularly dry.  It works well as a base for the Kjaer Weiss foundation to give me a dewy complexion.  This is definitely a product that I will repurchase.

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser.  Another great product from Tata Harper.  I purchased this after attending a class with Tata.  She talked about environmental pollutions and what they do to our skin.  Of course I immediately felt dirty and needed to purchase this cleanser.  This cleanser is made with broccoli extract and fruit enzymes to deeply clean your skin and remove any build up.   It has a cool, tingling feeling on your skin.  I love this cleanser, but I probably won’t buy it again anytime soon.  If I lived in or traveled often to a large city, or if I had oily skin, I would feel I needed this more often.  On the rare occasion when my skin feels particularly dirty, I will probably just use the Purifying Mask.

UMA Absolute Anti Aging Body Oil. I wrote an entire post about this amazing oil.  You can read the post here.  The label came off because I use it in the shower.  I will definitely repurchase it!

Osmia Sunset Body Oil.  It isn’t a secret that I love all things Osmia.  I received this as a gift for attending an Osmia event.  It has a strong vanilla scent with hints of jasmine and bergamot.  When I first smelled it, I wasn’t immediately in love.  I don’t think I expected ‘sunset’ to smell like vanilla, so it was a bit of a surprising scent.  After using it a few times, of course I fell in love.   Vanilla isn’t a scent that I associate with a Sunset, so once I let that go, I was able to truly appreciate the feel and scent of this oil.  It is a combination of so many luscious oils…coconut, jojoba, kukui, almond, rosehips, hemp, avocado, orange and evening primrose.  It makes my skin very soft and the scent lingers on for a long time.  I have a large assortment of Osmia Organics Body Oils and would repurchase each and every one…if I am ever able to use them all up!

*all osmial body oils have been renamed since this post.

Reverie MILK styling creme. This styling creme does wonders for my thick, wavy, sometimes frizzy hair.  It is the most expensive styling product I had ever purchased, but it has lasted a really long time.  You only need a very small amount.  I apply a pea side amount to my hair prior to blow drying.  It makes my hair soft, shiny and easier to blow dry straight…my style of choice. It never makes my hair feel heavy or oily. This is a unique product that was created by stylist Garrett Markenson and developed by a skin care chemist because he wanted it to be different from anything that was on the market.  It is skincare for your hair!  It is the best product I have used to style my hair to date. I will definitely repurchase, but need to finish up some new products that I just purchased to try out.

So, I am slowly making  progress using up some products.  I am working on finishing up a product before I purchase new ones, but I am a work in progress!  Carry on green beauties!

A Sublime Experience Courtesy of Okoko

Sublime Balm by Okoko Cosmetiques

Well they definitely named this correctly because sublime is what came to mind when I first used this after receiving it in my first Esthoria Beauty Box  (now Botanic and Terre).  It was actually a photo of this product that made me subscribe to the beauty box.  I mean, that color!

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Okoko Cosmetiques is a new, indie Canadian skincare brand that was founded by Oyeta Kokoroko.  If you ever see a photo of her, you will say, I want HER skincare routine!  She is gorgeous and her skin looks, dare I say it…SUBLIME! Continue reading “A Sublime Experience Courtesy of Okoko”