skin

BELLA AURA SKINCARE REVIEW

This post was kindly sponsored by Bella Aura, whose funds will help with running OBL CLUB, a product testing platform for organic beauty lovers.

Bella Aura combines Swiss skincare technology & ancient Berber skincare traditions in a focused line of 5 superior beauty elixirs. All 5 products are a serum-moisturizer cross with a unique emulsion consistency and was created because the ingredients featured in each of Bella Aura’s products helped the founder’s own severe skin issues improve. Yasmine Jones, the creator of the line, was suffering from deteriorating skin & acne scars after going through a traumatic experience with her mother’s battle against leukemia. After spending thousands on skincare products and consulting with skincare specialists, she found nothing was working to improve her skin. It was during a trip to Morocco that she would meet a prominent chemist/herbalist who believed that his oils would help her skin and after months of trying them, would begin to see her skin improving. The only issue was that she wanted the products to work faster so she collaborated with a renowned chemist & scientist to combine these oils with advanced active ingredients – and thus began Bella Aura.

What makes them unique according to founder Yasmine Jones:

“Stronger Hydration properties than Glycerin or Hyaluronic acid
Key ingredients that play a vital role in the regeneration of fibroblasts cells
Stronger Antioxidant activity than Vitamin C, E and Coenzymes Q10
Activation & Strengthening of the Proteasome
Powerhouse of 8 vitamins, B complex, Omega3-6-9 Fatty acids, Amino acids, L-glutamine, Niacinamide, Hydroxytyrosol, Ferulic acid, Antioxidants, Keratin, 100Minerals and list goes on and on
We seek the world’s most pristine Natural elixirs to provide Maximum radiance to your skin
We work with leading Skincare innovators to develop natural, rejuvenating solutions for all Skin Types & Tones”

The brand strives to offer its customers the highest quality – they guarantee their products are 100% premium and natural, with seeds cold-pressed in high standard production facility & neroli essential oil farmed & gathered directly at their production facilities in Morocco. I feel this is a great line to try particularly for those who want something more hydrating then regular face creams but don’t like face oils.

Antioxidant Booster

I had the opportunity to try all 5 products from the line, but if I were to recommend 1 or 2 products they would be the Antioxidant Booster & Night Cellular Renewal. The Antioxidant Booster product works to:

Reduce the formation of a wide range of Reactive Oxidative Stress (ROS)
Prevents oxidative cell damage even in low doses
Effectively inhibits the formation of free radicals

Antioxidants is something you should be adding more of to your skincare routine. Our very own medical esthetician Antonella also included it in her top suggestions in her “Skin First” interview on OBL. This, like the rest of Bella Aura’s products, is a lightweight emulsion and has a unique consistency that they got just right. I applied this every morning before heading outside for work.

Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Extract, Disodium Rutinyl Disulfate, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Jojoba Esters, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus)Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Cellulose, Xanthan gum, Gellan Gum, Hydroxyactophenone, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2 Hexanediol

Night Cellular Renewal

Another favorite of mine was the Night Cellular Renewal which is high in Vitamin E-C-A-B complex- K-F-D, omega 3-6-9 fatty acids, minerals and nutrients to nourish & renew skin. What it does:

Improves skin hydration, firmness, elasticity and helps retain a superior moisture barrier against external elements
Helps restore your skin’s ability to reach its ideal cellular renewal during sleep when cells are at their most efficient at healing
Activates liver X receptor (LXR) in human primary Keratinocytes (in vivo study)
Activates the key enzymes of epidermal lipid synthesis (in vivo study)

I noticed a number of interesting ingredients like glutamine (antioxidant), cistus extract (toning & firming), and gynostemma pehtaphyllum (prolongs cell life). After cleansing, misting & applying serum I would apply the Night Cellular Renewal, sometimes mixed with a vitamin C powder, followed by facial oils.  This product is designed to really help mature skin and wrinkles of which I have neither, but I appreciated that it was working at a cellular level while I slept. This, like their other products, provide a serious boost of hydration and leaves your skin feeling soft & supple.

Ingredients

Water, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Propanediol, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Joboba Esters, Polyglyceriyl-3, Beeswax, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Cetyl, Alcohol, Cellulose, Glutamine, Decyl Glucoside, Phenethyl Alcohol, Cistus Incanus, Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf/Stem Extract, Hydroxyacetophenone, Xanthan Gum, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol

Instant Lifting Eye Contour

Runner up to my first 2 favorites is the Instant Lifting Eye Contour. It works to lift, firm & brighten the eye area as well as significantly reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, crow’s feet, dryness and uneven texture. As someone who avoids using eye oils during the day because it tends to seep into my eyes and cause a lot of irritation,  I was very happy to be able to use a product that didn’t cause any irritation. This instantly made my tired eye area look smoother, hydrated and healthier looking in the morning. i don’t usually suffer from puffy eyes but if I’m especially tired I’ll wake up to puffiness and it would go away after applying this product and brighten the skin.

The Instant Lifting Eye Contour contains the active ingredients Olive Leaf Extract (which contains Oleuropein), Jujube and Levan. Olive Leaf Extract helps to strengthen the Proteasome, which improves skin cells’ natural reprocessing procedure & reduce the damage in your skin. Jujube Extract comes from an Asian fruit and helps strengthen the skin’s anti-oxidative defence system and protects against cellular protein decline while delivering vitamins A,B2 and C & minerals to your skin.

Ingredients

 Water, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf extract, Disodium Rutinyl Disulfate, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Polyglyceryl-6, Distearate, Jojoba Esters, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Cereus, Grandiflorus (Cactus)Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Nigella, Sativa Seed Oil, Cellulose, Xanthan gum, Gellan Gum, Hydroxyactophenone, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2 Hexanediol

Daily Repair Moisturizer

The main focus of this moisturizer is to provide deep long-lasting hydration.  It contains the line’s signature Kamilah blend and also has some notable ingredients like daisy flower extract (skin brightening), olive leaf extract (protective) and aveena strigosa seed extract (water-retaining) . I used this as a daytime moisturizer underneath my sunscreen and would sometimes even take it to work for a touch up in the afternoon. I’m an absolute fan of the scent of neroli and find it to be so calming whenever I use it, day or night. This product also doesn’t contain a bunch of essential oils so you don’t need to worry about it photosensitizing skin or causing skin cell death if that’s your concern. The Daily Moisturizer, of course, does its job of providing the skin with lasting hydration.

Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Avena Strigosa Seed Extract, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Jojoba Esters, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Propanediol, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Cellulose, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyacetophenone, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2 Hexanediol

Gentle Purifying Cleanser

This cleanser has the same emulsion consistency as the rest of the products in the line and does not foam or lather, but rather gentle removes impurities, dirt & grime. With a cleansing cloth it can also effectively remove makeup. The cleanser is loaded with Vitamin E, vitamin B complex & vitamin C, essential fatty acids, Omega 3,6 and 9 and minerals like potassium, calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, beta- carotene and amino acids. If you didn’t know this was a cleanser you’d think it was another moisturizer type product. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling stripped or dry and very much hydrates it so your skin feels refreshed, cleansed obviously and moisturized. It comes in a huge bottle so you’re getting a lot of product and my only complaint would be that not enough product is dispensed with each pump. I like to use a big dollop of cleanser but it dispenses the same amount as the other skincare products.

Ingredients

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Hydroxyacetophenone, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1,2 Hexanediol

Goodbeing Subscription Box May 2017

I loved the May Goodbeing box I received and had to whip up a quick post about it. As I’ve previously said about this sub box:

Goodbeing is a discovery box with 4-5 trial size products delivered monthly to your door featuring

Healthy beauty products
Non-toxic cosmetics
Natural wellness
Sustainable, toxin-free living goods.

This is one of the most popular natural beauty subscription boxes and for good reason. For $21 you receive a diverse assortment of products that you’re bound to love. Why? Because when you sign up you take quite an extensive survey designed to figure out what products you’d actually want and use from your box. What’s also great about this comopany is that you can pay monthly as you go and you don’t need to commit for a lengthy period of time.

This month I received:

3 HUM Nutrition Raw Greens Packets
Organic Beauty Now’s Daily Conditioner
Good Medicine Beauty Lab’s Youth Nectar Honey Dew
Wildcraft Makeup Remover
Honeybee Gardens Lipstick

So it was a diverse mix of nutrition, makeup, haircare & skincare. I previously reviewed a few of HUM’s supplements so I was very excited for the opportunity to try one of their newest products along with brands I haven’t tried before like wildcraft & Honeybee Gardens. The box also came with a card full of member only discount codes on all these brands and more.

wildcraft: take $5 off your purchase with code 05GOOD
Good Medicine Beauty Lab: Take 20% off with code GOOD04
HUM Nutrition: $10 off your order of $29+ wit code GOOD04
Honeybee Gardens: Taek 15% off with code 05GOOD
Organic Beauty Now: Take 30% off with code 05GOOD

To sign up for Goodbeing use my referral link here.

 

SKIN FIRST WITH SEPI BAKHTIAR OF SEPI SPA

Image from VoyageLA

Welcome to the April edition of SKIN FIRST! This is a monthly series of interviews with skin professionals (who also love organic beauty) to help you achieve your best skin possible. This month features pro esthetician Sepi Bakhtiar of Sepi Spa, a boutique spa offering a full array of skincare services using natural & organic products in Santa Monica. And she’s a believer in wearing SPF everyday no matter what!

Tell us a little about yourself and how you started your career in skincare.

I’ve been a licensed esthetician for over 25 years and I’m also a certified Reiki healer. For a long time, I was a stay at home mom, but I was always interested in the beauty industry, specifically skincare. Once my kids got older, I decided to get my esthetician’s license and started working at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills. After a couple years working there, I decided I needed to branch out and start my own business. And that’s how I ended up where I am today.

What’s your skincare philosophy?

Keep it simple and always adjust the skincare regime to the individual. Everyone’s skin is unique, so everyone requires different treatments and products. But in general, I believe in gentle exfoliation, hydration and moisturizing. I strongly believe in DAILY sunscreen – I can’t stress that enough. I also like to use mainly organic beauty products when I can.

What’s a big skincare mistake you see people make?

The biggest mistake I see is that most people don’t moisturize enough. Dry skin is the one of the quickest way to get wrinkles. I also meet a lot of people who do too many laser treatments. Yes, laser treatments can help tighten the skin and reduce sunspots, but doing it to frequently actually dries out your skin.

There’s some confusion around exfoliation now. Should we be doing it everyday?

You should gently exfoliate 2 times a week for the best results.

Do you believe in layering skincare and a “more is more” approach?

In general, more isn’t better when it comes to skincare. But if you’re going to layer, I prefer layering serum with a moisturizer.

A lot of people don’t cleanse their skin in the morning to keep the natural oils their face produces overnight. Do you recommend this?

Yes, I actually do this myself, so I recommend it. But only if your skin isn’t super oily. If you have oily skin, then I recommend just washing with water in the morning.

What’s your personal nighttime skincare routine?

At night I use Purity Herbs cleansing milk, then wash it off with a damp washcloth. I also use Alastin anti-aging serum and Biologique moisturizer.

3 products you can’t live without?

Purity Herbs Wonder cream
Biopelle
Biologique Crème MSR-H(anti-aging face cream)

SEPI SPA

1624 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 998-1958

Max and Me Skincare Review + GIVEAWAY (2 WINNERS)

Max and Me is an eco-luxury high-vibrational skincare line hailing from Austria. using only the purest most high quality ingredients in their masterpieces The founders are a husband-wife duo who pour their love for each other and for skincare into their products from start to finish and beyond. As a Max and Me blogger I’ve had the opportunity over the past year to try several products from their exquisite line including the Enchanted & I am the Light Face Oils, Sweet Serenity Face Mask, Rescue Balm & Beauty Balm, Purity & Grace Cleanser as well as samples of their body oils. In this post I’ll be highlighting the Sweet Serenity Face Mask & Wash and the Enchanted Oil, recent winner of Best Facial Oil at Indie Beauty Expo 2016.

They’ve just released their newest product, a Limited Edition 30ml version of Sweet Serenity Face Mask & Wash, their holy grail product. It’s available for pre-order on their site. Read on to find out my thoughts AND how to enter our giveaway for 2 winners ($330 value)!

The Sweet Serenity Mask & Wash revitalizes dull, tired & irritated skin with a base of White Kaolin Clay, Manuka Honey, Shea Butter & Mangosteen powder, oils of immortelle, neroli, ylang ylang, lavender, palmarose & rose. Not only does it work to improve your skin it also helps restore your skin’s harmonious rhythm.

WHAT IT DOES:

soothes, calms & balances sensitive, irritated, flaky, thirsty skin
benefits hard to treat skin issues (acne, rosacea, couperose)
Provides optimum hydration
Brightens and evens out skin tone
Stimulates collagen
Gives a major glow
Counterbalances hyperpigmentation
Boosts skin´s self-healing abilities

HOW I USE IT:

This product is a dry slightly creamy paste and I mix it with just a few drops of water to turn it into a smooth & more creamy paste. The shade will go from dark brown to light brown. I then apply and leave it on for about half an hour and sometimes a few hours if possible. They say to use a warm towel but I wash it off with warm water and make sure to massage the product in circles into my skin for an exfoliating effect. My skin is left looking radiant, brighter and more even toned. The skin’s texture and clarity look improved.

INGREDIENTS

White Kaolin Clay, Leptospermum Scoparium Mel (Raw Manuka Honey), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter1, Garcinia Mangostana Pericarp Powder1, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil1, Cranberry Seed Oil1, Theobroma Cacao Seed Powder1, Cocos Nucifera Oil1, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil1, Tocopherol, Prinsepia Utilis Seed Oil1, Glycine Soja Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil1, Punica Granatum Seed Oil1, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil1, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Oil1, Santalum Album Oil2, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil1, Leptospermum Scoparium Oil3, Citrus Aurantium Flower Extract1, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil1, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Oil1, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil1, Lavandula Angustifolia Herb Oil2, Cymbopogon Martinii Herb Oil1, Linalool4, Geraniol4, Citronellol4, Limonene4, Alcohol, Farnesol4, Benzyl Benzoate4, Propolis Cera, Benzyl Salicylate4, Citral4, Eugenol4

The Enchanted Oil will surely enchant your skin & soul with its nourishing, regenerative, calming properties.  argan, marula, rosehip, pomegranate, evening primrose with essential oils of jasmine, frangipani, champaca, rose, sandalwood and lavender. It has the most lush jasmine scent, does not cause me any breakouts and leaves my dry skin looking radiant in the morning.

WHAT IT DOES

Nourishes & restores
Soothes, calms & balances
Benefits sensitive, irritated & mature skin
Resonates beautifully with the heart chakra

HOW I USE IT

I place a few drops on my fingers and then press together to “activate” the oil. Then I inhale the oil as part of my selfcare ritual so the beautiful scent will calm my mind & prepare it for sleep. I apply all over my skin massaging it gently in. I then make sure to press the oils into my skin so it can penetrate deeper.

INGREDIENTS

Argania spinosa Kernel Oil1, Rosa moschata Seed Oil1, Sclerocarya birrea Kernel Oil2, Oenothera biennis Oil1, Macadamia ternifolia Seed Oil1, Punica granatum Seed Oil1, Rosa damascena Flower Oil1, Jasminum sambac Flower Extract1, Lavendula angustifolia Herb Oil2, Santalum album Oil3, Michelia champaca Extract, Cananga odorata Flower Oil1, Plumeria alba Flower Extract, Benzyl Alcohol4, Benzyl Benzoate4, Benzyl Salicylate4, Citral4, Citronellol4, Eugenol4, Farnesol4, Geraniol4, Isoeugenol4, Limonene4, Linalool4, Tocopherol5

GIVEAWAY

Win the full size Max and Me Sweet Serenit Mask (value $240) over on my Instagram! We will have 2 winners: 1 for the full size and 1 runner up for the limited edition 30ml version!

Tamanu Oil Lab’s Radiant Oil Review

This post was kindly sponsored by Tamanu Oil Lab, whose funding will help run OBL CLUB. All thoughts are my own.

Known as the “Forgotten Medicinal Miracle,” Tamanu oil grows in a very small area in the South Pacific and is made from the nut of the Tamanu tree. This wonder oil naturally restore lipids in the skin, which supports natural collagen synthesis and improves skin elasticity. Tamanu has so many amazing properties:

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