Wishlist

wishlist

 

Kahina Fez Body Serum | Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum | Dr.Alkaitis Trial Kit | May Lindstrom Problem Solver | YULI Liquid Courage

Kahina Fez Body Serum: Never been a body oil user, but I am so intrigued by the Moroccan flavor of Kahina’s Fez Body Serum with cumin, clove from spice markets in Fez, Morocco and patchouli, sandalwood, ylang ylang scents from antiquity.  I wonder how the warm, calming aromatherapy will work the Kahina famous argan oil to moisturize and smooth dry skin. Some of my favorite fragrances of neroli and rose are also in this oil so I am sure I will love it come winter!

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum: I discovered a sample of this and finished using it in 2 days because it was so good! There are 29 active natural ingredients in this anti-aging treatment. It is pricey but you need less than one pump of cream to use on entire face! Although I am not getting wrinkles or fine lines, I want to prevent my skin from developing them and using this makes me feel my skin drinking the anti-aging brew. It smells like the most luxurious and light cream I’ve ever used, kind of what I think concentrated jasmine and green tea smell like. The extracts slow aging, build collagen which slows starting in our 20s (OH NO!), and gives skin back its glow!

Dr.Alkaitis Trial Kit: I have been interested in this line for a while but after a not so impressive experience with the Cellular Repair Mask, I think I will buy the kit to try everything at once to see if this is a good line for me. I am most interested in the Soothing Gel, Nourishing Oil, and Toner but I have seen good reviews on the moisturizers too. The Soothing Gel seems great as a moisturizing gel that also kills acne. The nourishing oil is a steal and has a lot of beneficial medicinal herbs. I think the price is a great deal for trying a good size of almost the entire line for a few weeks. The mini dark green plastic 1oz bottles are also very cute!

May Lindstrom Problem Solver: Every time there is a 20% off sale, I rush to try and get this (and fail :-(). I have used a sample before but maybe I did not do it right because it was clumpy and burned around my nose and cheeks. I see those pictures posted online of people with their May masks on and it just looks like so much fun! Maybe it is the jet black color, the beautiful instruction from May which instructs the wearer to claim their time, or the delicious cacao scent but I cannot get the Problem Solver out of my mind. The fusion of bamboo charcoal, cacao, and warming spices are one of the most active I think I have seen and I can’t wait to get my hands around this number that May calls a “hero” and a “superstar”.  

YULI Liquid Courage: I’ve been a fan of everything from them and I love antioxidant skincare so Liquid Courage seems like a total stunner. The 1st ingredient is a seed complex, which contains the densest concentration of antioxidants without irritating skin. There is also an unheard of Black Garlic Bio-ferment which is said to contain 6 times the antioxidant and protective properties of regular Garlic. The superb ingredients also include a natural CE Ferulic Acid treatment with Ferulic Acid from Acai Berries and Argan, a chiral form of Vitamin E that makes it stable and highly absorptive, and a form of Vitamin C that is called ‘the most advanced form of lipid-soluble’ Vitamin C which penetrates deeper into skin and remains stable from oxidative and sun exposure, it is also 5 times more potent than the leading form of Vitamin C. Every ingredient is like.. the newest greatest, this is a dream team that shows off the power of YULI’s innovative green technology prowess.

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Aubrey Organics Camomile Luxurious Volumizing Shampoo

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I am running a lot this summer for skin, body, and enjoy clean air. This means I must wash my hair very regularly. I notice my Kiehls shampoo is not good for everyday wash so I decided to look at natural selections. My friend recommended Aubrey as her favorite natural shampoo and I bought the Camomile Luxurious Volumizing Shampoo for my flat Asian hair. 

The shampoo is a yellow thick liquid smell like very herbal because of camomile oil and hops (which smell a little like beer!). You must shake before using because the liquid needs to mix. The shampoo is very good and gentle. I use more than normal because it is not creamy but there are many good ingredients like: Aloe, Camomile Oil, Rice, Jojoba Seed, Grapefruit, Labender, Carrot Root, Febbel, Horsetail, Nettle. 

I only wish it wash out completely because my hair will get tangled due to the residue. I wash very thoroughly but it always happens! So I cannot use this for everyday either although my hair is very healthy. 

Budget Friendly Toner Review

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This summer I have been interning in an office that has the temperature set to 65 degrees, so with the constant AC, my skin has been so dry. After I ran out of the YULI elixir, I realized that I NEEDED a toner in my life STAT. Previously I didn’t think toners were a necessity but I saw how wonderfully my skin responded over time to the Yuli elixir. However, despite my internship I’m still a college student so I decided to venture out to try some budget friendly options. 

The first I tried was the Blossom & Leaf toner from Andalou Naturals. It is a toning refresher for all skin types with organic aloe vera, fruit stem cells, and Vitamin C, quite a list for something that costs $12.95! Here is the full ingredients list:

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos), Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) and Geranium Maculatum Oils*

Amazing right? When I tried this in store I found it light and refreshing so I knew this would be my next purchase. After using up the entire bottle I have to say, I don’t think this will be a repurchase. Although the sample worked well in store, when I spray this on my face it would get really red and I felt a stinging sensation. I told myself that maybe this was the alcohol or the Vitamin C causing slight irritation. However even now when I’m nearly finished with the bottle, I still experience this stinging and redness. And my skin doesn’t seem to like it. I just notice that it is a little more prone to breaking out especially around my t-zone. Facial oils also don’t seem to blend as well. I still think this is a decent product, I just wish it worked for my skin because the price certainly does!

Next I tried Alaffia’s Rooibos & Shea Butter Antioxidant Facial Toner which seemed to offer a lot of hydration when I tried it in the store. It reminded me a little of the Tata Harper foral essence sample I got one time, so at $14, I knew I had to try it in case I found a secret gem! The toner is indeed one of the most moisture intensive toners I have ever tried. Here is the full ingredients list:

Aqueous extracts of Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Leaf*, Fair Trade Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), and Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana),â„¢ Aloe Vera, African Wild Honey*, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Vanilla Extract, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Limonene (from essential oil), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

 

Unfortunately there is phenoxyethanol preservative in here. I think the moisture comes from Shea butter and Honey both of which make this toner thicker. I could tell that my skin felt happier in the environment of constant AC but I just didn’t feel that “light refreshing” feeling that I wanted from a toner. With facial oils, this can be a bit heavy so I ended up reducing my facial oil by one drop.

Between the two, I prefer the Alaffia toner as I didn’t get redness/irritation from it despite the fact that the Andalou toner had a more impressive ingredient list. I wish one of these hit it out of the park because they’re priced so well but to be honest, I kind of couldn’t wait to finish these up so I could go back to the YULI elixir which I’ve now ordered in their gigantic size. I guess sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and after trying these two products I’m happy and comfortable to pay more for a more expensive elixir that meets all my requirements and makes my skin happy.

La Bella Figura Beauty Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum

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I’m back! Finals seems to take more out of me each time I go through it. I literally slept from 5 PM last night to 10 AM this morning, yeah you read that right. As I was pulling all-nighters trying to pull out the last juices of creativity for papers or forcing my brain to retain random formulas for exams, I realized all that unrest was beginning to show, especially around my eyes. I decided to pull out my sample of La Bella Figura’s Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum after hearing so much wonderful buzz about it. 

The product is an oil and the key ingredient is Barbary Fig Seed Oil. Barbary Fig Seed Oil is La Bella Figura’s claim to fame as it is an ingredient that they introduced to the skincare market. It is high in Vitamin E, Linoleic Acid, and retinols that turn away puffiness and dark circles. Other ingredients that I thought were fascinating were Tomato Seed and Green Coffee Bean which just sound like they’re going to be great at what repair the undereye area. At a whooping $115 for just 0.33oz, I really wanted to be sure this did everything the reviews said before I committed to it. 

You don’t need a lot of the oil, one swipe is enough per eye. The oil is a good consistency to feel weighty without being too heavy. It’s great for night where they recommend leaving it on without rubbing in, but I think I’d be a little impatient in the morning waiting for this to absorb before continuing on. 

After a solid 2 weeks of using this, I’ve gathered some observations. My eyes might not be ‘right’ for eye oils because this kept going into my eye and causing a slight burning sensation which sometimes made me get up at night to wash it out. As much as I love facial oils, I think maybe an eye oil is where I will have to draw the line. After consulting with my dermatologist, after I freaked out over my eyes burning and being red the next day (when I over applied a little one night) it seems some of the oils do have the potential to cause irritation to skin such as blue tansy and palmarosa, so I’m not entirely sure why these are in a product that is applied so close to the eye. Because of these irritation reasons, I have been unable to continuously use the product for the full 2 weeks. 

Would I recommend this? To be honest, although it felt moisturizing and did seem to brighten the under eye area, I don’t really think the results are going to be any better than a high quality facial oil which costs about three times less. I used a drop of the the Ila Facial Oil that I ordered from Spirit under one eye and applied the Decourverte serum under the other and after two days had similar results: moisturized, un-tired eyes. So with the money, I’d rather invest in a really fancy facial oil and then apply them carefully under the eyes. I do think Barbary Fig Seed is a great ingredient, but there are other facial oils that contain it. Unfortunately it seems, I’m not in agreement with the other reviews out there, does anyone else have suggestions for applying this or their own experiences with eye oils?

Wonderful Reads

Neiman’s Idealist, one of my favorite bloggers who I trust due to her straight-talk, discusses the 5 most common green beauty mistakes that people who have acne prone skin commit. One of the most honest, true, and informative posts I’ve read and a definite must-read for any beauty. Click here to read.

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Seed to Serum has an in-depth review of the Sodashi line of serums which is both informative and gorgeous (see above photo for preview of eye candy on her post!). Click here if like me, a new facial oil is always a cause for excitement.

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Kimberly Loc has a wonderfully detailed write up of May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver Mask, that eye-catching jet black mask that purports to give baby soft skin. So go here to check out her review complete with photos of her making the mask and applying it!

 

Leave your favorite posts from this week in the comments!

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Cellular Repair Mask

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As any of you who have read my past posts know by now, masks are the way into my heart! I’ve been in love with the powder masks that a lot of green beauty brands are creating because I’ve noticed they give me better results than the ‘traditional’ masks. The mask just feels more active and purer because there is no need for preservatives. From May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt to Yuli’s Pure Mask, I have become somewhat of an addict to these fresh powder masks. 

Dr. Alkaitis’ Cell Renewal Mask is one of three masks in his line. I wasn’t sure of the major differences but the Cell Renewal Mask sounded more rejuvenating for skin which is what a mask should do. The other two are the Enzymatic Exfoliating Mask and Organic Flower Mask, I was trying to make my mind up between this mask and the Enzymatic Exfoliating Mask because the Organic Flower Mask is not recommended for sensitive or acne-prone skin, which just happens to describe my skin. I picked the Cellular Repair Mask mostly because I love the idea of it’s simple ingredient list includes 5 berrys (and 2 other ingredients) which are typically very expensive.

This mask is said to repair, regenerate, and fortify skin from environmental damage and aging. These all appealed to me as an LA girl who really wants a pampering mask for finals season. 

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The powder is very fine and unscented. You only need a little bit, although the directions say this jar holds enough powder for 25 masks, I can easily see myself getting 30-40 uses. You will need quite a bit of water (more than May Lindstrom or Yuli masks which seem to activate immediately with just a bit of water), but the mixture forms a nice consistency without much hassle. I prefer to keep it less paste-like and slightly more fluid so that it spreads easier over skin. 

The mask is rather odorless and reminds me of chalk, my mom said the scent reminded her of porridge. I kept the mask moist through spraying with my new love Yuli Panacea Elixir and found this to help increase absorption of the mask. After 20 minutes, I washed the mask off without any fuss. The first time I used the mask, I was left slightly underwhelmed because I expected a supple and soft feel to my skin but didn’t really notice any difference. The second time I used it, I added some honey and this seemed to help soften and nurture my skin more. I’m not sure if the honey alone did this or if the honey maybe made the entire mask more active. If you are looking for a gentle mask that makes skin feel calm (given that you do not have allergies to any berries in this mask), this would definitely be a good one.

Although the immediate results didn’t deliver the ‘wham-pow’ that I hoped for, I can’t really say this is a bad product. There is something to be said for the purity of food ingredients for this skincare range. You can’t help but feel that you are truly feeding your skin the way you’d nourish your body. If you have sensitive skin that could do with a weekly repair from a gentle mask, I would definitely recommend this. 

New Release Intelligent Nutrients Plant Stem Cell Science Renewal Complex Eye Gel

Plant Stem Cell Science Renewal Complex Eye Gel

Quite a lengthy name huh? I’m so excited to try this. It seems similar to the Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment that Neimansidealist loves, so I’m going to put this at the top of my shopping list.

Website description: This ultralight eye gel targets dark circles and puffiness as it cools, hydrates and soothes. Scientifically advanced formula combines antioxidant powerhouse Intellimune® with our exclusive Meristematic Plant Stem Cell Complex and naturally derived plant actives to safely and actively reduce lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. Clinically proven results. Dermatologst tested.

Buy here!