15 #GreenBeauty Favorites from 2015

15 Favorites of 2015

The cleanser with coconut oil that my skin lovesMV Organics Gentle Cream Cleanser

I put off trying this cleanser for years out of fear that the coconut oil would break me out. Until I had a mini MV Organic Skincare facial at a Credo Beauty. The cleanser is mega gentle, and although creamy, leaves no oily residue or breakouts, surprisingly.

The rosey facial oil calms my acneMV Organics Rose Plus Skin Booster

I also put off trying this for years not out of fear, but more out of “meh, rose? Overrated.” My Credo Beauty facialist and MV founder Sharon both recommended I give it a try for my acneic therefore sensitive skin and I have never been more loyal to a facial oil. You may have noticed my posting volume has been way down the past several months which I have been in grad school. Given my insane stress levels (group projects, ugh), my face should have broken out so much more given how sensitive my face is typically to stress. I’m not complaining.

The face mask that is good enough to sleep inTata Harper Resurfacing Mask Continue reading 15 #GreenBeauty Favorites from 2015

Be Clean Shop Picks, Grand Opening Details, and Coupon Code

If you’ve watched my last video (if you haven’t, get on it here), I mentioned Be Clean, a shop in DC, in relation to some Soul Sunday aromatherapy rollers I purchased from their online boutique. I was prompted to purchase by an Instagram giveaway they held celebrating the soon-opening of their brick-and-mortar shop, and I am happy to say the day of the grand opening is finally here. Since the world of green beauty is so largely centered online, it’s a thrill to see shops taking it from online to real life.

Becky from Be Clean kindly asked me to share the lowdown and has offered a 15% discount code for my readers (this is a first for Nephriticus). Read on for what I’m thinking of picking up this weekend and for the code…

Essential Apothecary Alchemist | Hydrate Face and Hair Mist
Frankincense hydrosol and marine phytoplankton. Them sea algae have some serious moisture game and I love me some exotic hydrosol. Also, sandalwood and rose geranium. Some of my favorite scents.

Aster & Bay | Dandelion Face Grains
I’ve been eyeing this brand and this product for a while. Dandelion root, marshmallow root, licorice root, fennel seed? Sounds detoxifying and delicious as both an exfoliating scrub and a mask every now and then.

Soul Sunday | Aromatherapy Roller Oils
Have to include this one, because unicorns. Since I already have a unicorn of my own, I’d like to sniff some of the other blends, such as No Worries. I always can use a little help to de-stress.

Herbivore Botanicals | Lapis Face Oil
I have also been eyeing Herbivore Botanicals’ facial oils since their launch. Lapis is probably the best pick for my kind of skin–blue chamomile and blue yarrow are apparently anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and I’m obsessed with jasmine. Also, it’s BLUE.

Honorable mentions–Becky also mentioned they’ve just started carrying Josh Rosebrook (love that Hydrating Accelerator and the Nutrient Day Cream), but it’s only in the studio for now.

Now for the what’s, when’s, and where’s…

When: Saturday, May 16 from 4-8pm
Where: 52 O Street NW #308, Washington DC 20017
Why: To celebrate Be Clean’s grand opening!
What: Sips, snacks, local food tasting, and special promotions all afternoon!

I’m planning to be there, and for all of you in the D.C/Baltimore area, I hope to see you there too!

For 15% off all orders, use the code nephriticusfriends and please let me know what you decide to pick up. This code will be valid until next Wednesday, May 20.

Disclaimer: Excluding the event details, screenshots, and snap of the shop (I’ll be sure to snap some of my own this weekend), all thoughts, hopes, and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for sharing the good news.

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R.L. Linden & Co. Spring Releases and a Q&A

I’m sure many of you know R.L. Linden & Co. for their lovely La Balmba Rosa Healing Rose Balm (delightfully light and good-smelling moisture for the lips) and the Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist (garden of flowers for your face). Excitingly, the minis of their Travel Set (available since winter 2013-ish I think) are soon to be available for purchase in full sizes.

I will save a full review for when I get my hands on some of the full-sizes, but I thought I would at least share some quick thoughts on several of the newbies based off of my sample sizes and a short Q&A with which the founders of R.L. Linden & Co. kindly indulged me.

If you already like cleansing with honey (and if you haven’t tried, highly recommend), if you like chocolate, and if you don’t like harsh exfoliants, I think you will enjoy The Bee Charmer. It’s like chocolate honey but with a thinner consistency and with a delightful kick: gently exfoliating poppy seeds. It can also be used as a mask, but I saved it as a second cleanse after removing my makeup. What’s great is that it has the anti-bad properties of the honey combined with the antioxidants of chocolate.

Want something a little fancier than jojoba or coconut oil to remove your makeup? Your Eyes Only is coconut oil + jojoba oil + essential oil of bourbon vanilla. I used this, as per the name, to remove eye makeup leftover from oil cleansing with the de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm or the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser. I would take a pump or two on a cotton round, hold it on an eye for a couple seconds, and then gently wipe my eye makeup away. This was the first product from their set of new releases I got hooked on, but unfortunately I have stopped using it because after some time of using this and wearing Kjaer Weis eyeshadow, my eyelids got severely dry and one eyelid developed a strange dry patch. They have since healed after abstaining from both products, but I am still hesitant to try both products again. *tear

Think you know jojoba oil? Think again with Time After Time. My small sample lasted a week, and every night after application, my face was instantly so smooth and nourished thanks to a super-infused jojoba oil combined with meadowfoam seed oil, rosehip seed oil, squalene (from olives), and tamanu oil (a healing killer punch for the long-term). The scent is also really calming and non-offensive. This is probably the first product I want to purchase in full-size, followed by The Bee Charmer.

Their Ironwood Perfume isn’t a new launch, but yo, Palo Santo is a hot scent. To me, it’s like perfect mix of spicy and sweet that works equally well in the blizzardy winter as well as on the sweltering beach.

I had a couple of questions mostly regarding ingredient choices in the new releases that Robin and Lynn were so kind to answer for me. I hope they are helpful for you!

1. The poppy seeds in the Bee Charmer are a delight and unique touch—exfoliants like walnut shells are much more common (but also criticized for potentially causing micro-tears in the skin), but I’ve never come across a brand incorporating poppy seeds before. What inspired this choice and how does the skin benefit from this?

The idea was to lightly and gently exfoliate; poppy seeds are a great choice for that purpose. Their round shape is ideal because they roll over the skin effortlessly while encouraging product to spread evenly over the face.

2. Love eating honey, love eating chocolate, and love that you included both in the Bee Charmer. There’s lots of literature on how ingesting sugar can cause inflammation in the body and thus acne, and I’ve recently read in a couple places that it can be potentially dangerous to apply sugary products to the face as it can be bad for acne (luckily, my skin has only been having happy days since using Bee Charmer, so I’m not good proof of this idea). What are your thoughts on this and how can chocolate be good for the face?

It is first good to note that we recognize that every person’s skin has its own preferences. So, its important to pay attention and know what makes yours happy versus what makes it freak out. It is also worth noting that not all chocolate is created equal. The chocolate that we use is absolutely artisan crafted with minimal processing and only two ingredients – Organic Cacao and Organic Cane Sugar. We know and love the makers, Robbie and Anna of Ritual Chocolate, and we know that the love that they have for their craft translates to us when we use It in ours. In The Bee Charmer, the use of chocolate leaves the skin feeling nourished, conditioned and really soft due to the theobromine content of the cacao and the naturally occurring cocoa butter. The theobrimine acts as a vasodilator, which means that it opens up blood vessels and encourages fresh new blood flow. The sugar content of both the honey and the chocolate offer wonderful humectant qualities, retaining the skin’s moisture and act as a pre-biotic to encourage a healthy balance of surface microbes.

3. I fell hard for Time After Time and I wasn’t expecting to. I thought I knew jojoba oil, but the blend in the jojoba (calendula, comfrey, marshmallow, licorice, elderflower, linden flower, rose petals) along with the accompanying oils and essential oils (meadow foam, rose hip, olive squalene, tamanu, frankincense, helichrysm, fir) is just beautiful. Instant face softener. How did you come up with this amazing combination?

Thank you – we are so grateful to know that it has had such a positive effect for you. This blend, like all others that we create, has come from lots of time and trial and error. We have a hard time NOT infusing oils; there are just so many incredible healing herbs to use! The addition of these plants absolutely adds to the efficacy of this serum. We felt very strongly about using meadowfoam for its highly nourishing and moisturizing content and rosehip for its antioxidant and vitamin C properties. Each oil was chosen for its specific therapeutic benefits. And the essential oil blend is not the usual floral notes, but after two or three uses, people get hooked!

4. Your Eyes Only was another unexpected love. I didn’t realize my need for it until I ran out and noticed the panda eyes that my balm cleanser constantly left behind (even after removing a full face of makeup well). I’m a little paranoid about coconut oil on my whole face so I reserve use only to my eyes, which unfortunately can’t smell the vanilla. I’ve used coconut oil and jojoba oil respectively to remove eye makeup, and they both do a good job—great idea to put them together! But what does the essential oil of bourbon vanilla do?

This is one product that is definitely a silent hero. To address your concern about the coconut oil, it is such an amazing oil for so many skin types. For some, however, it doesn’t work. In those people, it is most likely the high lauric acid content that is irritating. We use fractionated coconut oil in this formulation, which has most, if not all, of the lauric acid removed. Not to mention, its liquid at room temperature, so it’s much easier to apply than the solid stuff. Jojoba oil is great because it helps to moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes. We wanted to include a faint scent and vanilla is so warm and comforting, that’s the kind of nourishing one needs when dealing with a sensitive area.

5. Any hints for a release date for these lovelies? I can’t wait to see them in full-size!

We don’t have a set date yet, but our working hard to get them out in the next month or two. Right now we are working on finalizing new label designs, once we have a set date we will let you know! (Ed. Note: “next month or two” from March, aka around now. Word on the street is that they’ll be out in mid/late-May/soon/if you follow them on Instagram they’re working on labels!)

Are you as excited as I am? Which do you think you’ll purchase first (if not all of them)?

tl;dr The Bee Charmer: honey, chocolate, poppy seed cleanser. Your Eyes Only: coconut oil, jojoba oil, vanilla scented makeup remover. Time After Time: beautiful blend of face-smoothing ingredients. Ironwood Perfume: super hot perfume. Especially can’t wait to purchase Time After Time…

Ingredients: See the Travel Set for a list of the ingredients for the spring releases.

Disclaimer: I formatted the answers (deleted spaces, underlined products), but otherwise they are here in unadulterated form. I purchased Your Eyes Only (along with a repurchase of the Thousand Petal mist) from lindenbeauty.com but was generously provided with samples of The Bee Charmer, Time After Time, and the Ironwood perfume. All the same, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Perfumes ft. Love & Toast and EOV

I am your poor college student, and as much as I’d love to drop my nonexistent money for a beautiful perfume like Honoré Des Prés or Tsi-La, I need to save it for food for when my meal plan runs out (highly likely). Hence, here are some natural perfumes that don’t contain phthalates (commonly found in “parfum,” these mimic estrogen and confuse your body), are more budget-friendly, and still smell awesome.

(from left to right)

Love & Toast Mandarin Tea Perfume: I first tried it on in a small store called Wyler’s a couple summers ago in Brunswick, Maine (you must go there – it is a store of the most utmost cuteness) and every time I visited the store again (many times), I would dab a bit of the sample on my wrist because I loved it that much. It’s a zingy citrus tea and it is awesome. Whenever I am feeling like I need a pick-me-up in the mornings, I use this. ($9)

Essence of Vali EOV Botanical Perfume Oil: This is my sexy perfume. At first I thought it would be too spicy for me, but it has grown on me to the point where every morning I choose this (whether or not the day’s occasions call for extra sexiness). It’s spicy and as in the words of its creator, “warm floral, slightly citrus, earthy, and sensual and uplifting at the same time.” ($15)

Love & Toast Paper Flower Perfume: Feminine, floral, flirty, you get the alliteration. When I’m wearing flowery clothing, I wear this to match. Don’t laugh at me. ($9)

Note: People often find that natural perfumes don’t last as long as synthetic ones (see this article by Tsi-La), but I think that people can take the extra 5 seconds to reapply if they need to. It is a small price to pay. I usually find two dabs of either Love & Toast actually lasts me the day, but the EOV blends into me as the day goes, which I don’t mind.