SHEA BRAND REVIEW (+ COUPON CODE)

This post was kindly sponsored by SHEA BRAND whose funds will help with operational costs of running OBL CLUB.

SHEA BRAND is a Brooklyn-based company offering 100% Certified Organic Shea Butters in 4 different blends that nourish, protect & soften skin. Their Shea butter is sustainably extracted from the kernels of African Shea Trees and then hand-whipped to perfection, enriched with Vitamin E, and imbued with essential oils. Before I talk about the benefits of shea butter, here is why I love their products:

The hand-whipped texture is fluffy, soft, yet dense for intense nourishment
It comes in these beautifully designed tins
It’s so easy to scoop out of the tin unlike regular shea butter
They come in 4 luscious blends: Original, Lavender, Rose Absolute, Texas Cedar and Bergamot
Because it’s so dense a little goes a long way

My 2 favorites are the Rose, which contains Hungarian Rose Absolute & is their richest blend, and  the Lavender because it has such a calming scent that’s perfect for calming my senses.  The Woodland Fog also has a calming effect with its subtle pine scent that makes you feel like you’re in a forest. The Original has no scent but has an SPF of 5.

Shea butter is a wonder ingredient and I’ve long been using it to nourish my hands & body before going to bed even before getting into green beauty. It’s full of all-natural Vitamin A, E, Oleic Acid & Stearic Acid and helps with blemishes and wrinkles, stretch mark prevention during pregnancy, muscle fatigue, dermatitis, and radiation treatments for certain medical problems.  According to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, shea nuts and shea fat (shea butter) constitute a significant source of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promoting compounds. And a study by the American Journal of Life Sciences claims that shea butter boosts collagen production, demonstrating anti-aging properties.

Use coupon code ORGANICBEAUTYLOVER for 20% off at checkout. Prices start at $11

 

5 Top Nutritionists on the supplements they use

Find out what supplements the experts trust

I asked 5 top nutritionists (and a naturopath doctor) in New York & London what supplements they use themselves for beauty. Here’s what they shared with me:

Andrea Moss, New York

I’ve found the following supplements really help with supple, glowy skin:

  • High quality fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids do wonders for fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation in the skin and throughout the body). I use Metagenics brand.
  •  Nutrient 950 from Thorne is a great high-quality multivitamin
  • Probiotics (healthy gut flora leads to healthy skin)
  • Biotin (I’ll take this for a few months at a time if/when I feel my hair or nails need a strengthening boost).

As for brands, I use Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum probiotics. If I’m traveling and need to stock up quickly, I’ll purchase Renew Life brand probiotics (they’re a great option and available in many health food stores, unlike Metagenics which needs to be purchased online). For biotin I like Life Extension or Jarrow.

One final note is that for reducing overall inflammation in the body (which can absolutely contribute to wrinkles, rashes, and other skin issues) I like Meriva by Thorne. It’s a very high potency curcumin (tumeric) supplement that does wonders for everything from reducing joint pain to reducing risk of dementia.

Andrea is a certified holistic nutrition coach through Columbia University’s Teachers College, in partnership with The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She studied directly with Dr Annemarie Colbin in her intensive 9-month Food Therapy program, at the Natural Gourmet Institute, learning how to use food as natural medicine. Andrea and her team work with individual clients, run group holistic health programs, and present lectures on various health and wellness topics throughout the country. Website

Jo Travers, London

The only supplement I take is vitamin D – because our sunlight in the UK is so patchy and vitamin D is not in very many foods, it’s difficult for the body to produce enough. About 1 in 5 of people in the UK have low vitamin D status. But I’m not sure that it could be considered a beauty supplement. It does play a role in reducing inflammation and cell growth, but it’s primary function is to aid calcium absorption for strong bones.

Jo Travers is a dietitian registered with the Health & Care Professions Council with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in Human Nutrition & Dietetics, and she is a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. Her experience in the field includes time working in three NHS Trusts; and five years in private practice. She is also the author of The Low-Fad Diet. Click to buy The Low-Fad Diet from Amazon. Website

Lorraine Kearney, New York

The supplements I believe that is important to consume is turmeric. The active form of turmeric is curcumin, but this form is not absorbed by the body until it is paired with piperine (black pepper). When choosing a supplement it is important to purchase one that is made with 95% curcumin with 5% bioPerine.

Turmeric is known as a great anti-inflammatory. Taking this supplement can decrease pain associated with chronic disease and arthritis. My father has arthritis on his right foot and experienced a lot of pain and inflammation to the point where he found it difficult to walk or play golf. I purchased this supplement for him and within 2 weeks his pain has subsided and he was able to go back to his normal activities.

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that protects our bodies from free radicals and also improves the functioning of the bodies own antioxidant enzymes. Studies have shown in cancer research that this powerful herb can reduce tumor growth and prevent the spread of some cancers. Turmeric can cross the blood brain barrier and clear a buildup of plaque called Amyloid plaque that can cause Alzheimer’s Disease and can improve brian health.

Originally from Galway, Ireland, Lorraine is a passionate nutritionist located in New York City. Over the past decade she has worked diligently to follow her dreams in the food and health industry while also giving back to the community. By volunteering her time and expertise at various charities such as, The Wounded Warrior Project, God’s Love We Deliver, The Food Bank of New York, The Children’s Storefront and March Nutrition Month, She’s an active member of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, as well as the New York Road Runner’s. Website

Caroline Hansen, London

Omega-3, vitamin D, vitamin A, iodine, and selenium are supplements that I routinely take every single day due to difficulty getting these from food (and because I work on the basis of DNA-personalisation, I know that I have a higher than normal requirement for many of them!); the others are on an as-needed basis

Caroline is a nutritional therapist and genetic nutritionist, specialising in wellness, weight management, and fitness. She uses clients’ unique DNA to unlock the blueprint for brilliant health that’s coded within their genes. Caroline went to DipNT Nutritional Therapy (College of Naturopathic Medicine), is the Director & Founder, Clinical Nutrigenomics Working Group and aLecturer, Functional Sports Nutrition, CNELM (Middlesex University) MSc Personalised Nutrition. Website

 

Renee Bosi, Doctor of Naturopathy, New York

 I focus on anti aging supports like coq10, ala, phytoceramides, and turmeric. I throw other herbs in periodically but these are my basics. I focus on an overall physical anti aging which I feel trickles down to my skin.

Many of my vitamins B are Natrol. Ceramides are Health Genesis. I’m not a stickler for a particular brand but tend to go through phases with brands i buy from. I take turmeric in a blend I make myself and drink in coffee or almond milk. My recipe is:

Turmeric
Cacao powder
Maca root
Cinnamon
Wheat grass and alfalfa powder

I mix a bit in my coffee, oatmeal, or tea. the blend changes with my mood. Sometimes I add matcha. Sometimes pearl powder.

Renee is a doctor of naturopathy and has been in private practice for over 10 years. She has also worked as a social worker for more than 22 years and has made it her life work to combine both in a successful practice. Over the years her expertise in the natural health and beauty industry has led to the formulation of Lexi organics. www.lexihaircare.com

The OBL Community Shares What They Use

@itsthebib I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist, and all I take are algae oil for omega-3s from Deva and a vegan vitamin D. You should check with an MD or registered dietitian before taking anything–not all supplements are for everyone, and some can be harmful. The best thing to take for “beauty” is a varied diet abundantly rich in fruits and vegetables. There is no substitute for that! If you are concerned about deficiencies, check with an MD or RD.


@alchemy_apothecary I am a training physician and this is a contentious topic among those in my profession! I really would make sure that you share all the supplements you take with your doctor because a lot can interact with other medications you may be prescribed (two examples that come to mind are St. John’s Wort and vit C). Also be wary of fat soluble vitamins (vit A, D, E, K) as they are readily absorbed and can cause toxicity. That said, I do take supplements like acai and spirulina from @organicburst because I don’t eat the most varied diet when I’m busy. I also love their matcha. I would also take a probiotic but I don’t have a recommendation at the moment. If you eat yogurt you really get a lot there. Many people are vit D deficient, but it’s best to get a blood test from your doctor before starting to take it every day.


@bonnita_s . I take evening primrose oil and salmon oil… great for overall beauty health- hair, skin, nails and hormonal balance. I take this internally and add a bit of primrose oil to my night time skincare routine for glowing skin. I take an evening primrose oil supplement and a salmon oil supplement from Our local pharmacy in South Africa called Dischem and these supplements are their gold house brand.


thesarahjeanne @mdlogichealth is amazing. They are very high quality, made in NY. Formulated by top NY physicians. The krill oil and the ceramides make my skin feel soooo hydrated and soft. They are coming out with a collagen powder soon with biotin in it.


@theracingfamily My favorite supplement line is Procaps Laboratories. They offer high quality supplements, and produce all of their products in a solar powered facility. I currently take their Astaxanthin, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Resveratrol, CoQ10, Multi-Vitamin and Hair Skin & Nails supplements.


@neemasnutrition Zinc – all day every day! Majorly helps the skin – especially those with acne (most sufferers are zinc deficient). Fish oils too.


@rifahkhaan I am doctor from India…. Well I suffered acne for a long time… I take vit e for skin and it is miraculous for skin….. I also took biotin for hair…. It works….. Besides this I use joJoba oil during my night time skincare routine it has really decreased the oiliness of my skin…. One more key for bright skin is a lots and lots of water….. As for supplements please consult a doctor before taking them as they can cause toxicity


@strengthfromchrist  Liquid chlorophyll for bright & clear skin; powdered Chaga mushroom extract for antioxidants & collagen hydrolosate for collagen production, clear skin and strong nails & hair.  Maca root powder for hormone balance. It helps with breakouts, dull and dry skin, tiredness and period cramping.


@anna.mee.ra The majority of us lack vitamin d, and I live in sunny San Diego! I asked my doctor to check my levels since I was always so tired and sure enough I was low (and sunburnt when they tested my blood!) the pure encapsulations vitamin d3 in liquid format has transformed my life!


@_cordymichelle_I love my orange dream greens powder by @amazinggrass in water or coconut water first thing in the morning, @neocell Derma Matrix in my morning coffee or smoothie, and Apex Energetics Resvero-XL twice a day.


@jenniferpilonGarlic oil, vitamin C, turmeric, probiotics, omegas & of course a multivitamin. In order to have good skin you have to take care of your body from inside first?


@yo_pearlypie These are the supplements that make me feel like a rockstar ? Dr. Hagiwara’s organic green magma powder mixed with Vital Proteins collagen peptides in the morning, New Chapter every woman’s one daily multi, New Chapter holy basil force, Organic India – Joy, Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil, Jarrow Formulas Fem dophilius, I’ve also been taking Reserveage Keratin booster with biotin & resveratrol and have noticed a major boost in my hair! At night I take Rainbow light Magnesium + Calcium as well as Organic India’s Turmeric & Triphala. Of course everyone is different & it is smart to talk to a doctor for any contraindications – with the help of these supplements, a mostly fabulous diet, fresh air & a lot of yoga I feel excellent & never find myself in the doc’s office!

To see what 70 other organic beauty lovers said, click here.

Cannes Travel Diary Part 1: Hotel Majestic Barriere

The Hotel Majestic Barriere is an iconic 5-star hotel located right on Croisette Avenue and just steps from where the star-studded Cannes Film Festival takes place in May. The hotel has 365 rooms, 2 penthouse suites and spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. With 4 bars & restaurants including a beautifully redecorated Fouqet’s restaurant, the NEW Spa Diane Barriere, private beach, pool, projection room & fitness center, the Barriere world has everything you could ever want.

Read more

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

TRIESTA ORGANICS HAIRCARE + FREE SET ($110)

This post was kindly sponsored by Triesta Organics, whose funding will help with running OBL CLUB, a product testing platform for organic beauty lovers.

Triesta Organics is a brand new haircare line that’s 100% Organic, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Non-GMO & Gluten-free & features a Clarifying Treatment, Shampoo, Conditioner & Styling Gel – and today you’ll be able to try out the entire full-sized set (value $110) for FREE! (US only).

 

I’ve been using this set for about 7 weeks now and wanted to wait a little longer before writing my thoughts but since this special offer is for a very limited time, here goes..

CLARIFYING TREATMENT

I really appreciate that the line has a Clarifying Treatment which works to remove build up from styling products, lift away mineral deposits from hard water, and the chlorine and other chemicals that stick to hair from swimming pools. It’s like a detox treatment for your hair & scalp and is designed to clean more thoroughly than a shampoo. It’s also great as a pre- hair mask step (think of how it’s essential to exfoliate your skin before doing a face mask & exfoliate in general), helps prevent blonde hair from turning brassy and helps jumpstart your hair regimen when nothing seems to be working. As a skincare fanatic it’s easy for me to neglect my hair which actually needs a lot of help since I do a lot of balayage, I do believe that haircare needs to be switched up often because hair just like your skin adapts to the products you’re using and you see less benefits over time. So onto how I use the clarifying treatment – I apply a dime sized amount to my fingers and massage through my scalp and hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out. For me, it does lather well.

Ingredients

*aloe vitamin gel; African black soap; saponified coconut oil; *oils of: *argan, *jojoba, *babassu, *maracuja and *evening primrose; *herbal infusion of: *rosemary, *alfalfa, *nettles, *burdock root, *calendula, *linden, *catnip, *peppermint, *chamomile, *rose hips, *dandelion and *yucca; *vinegar; plant sourced kosher vegan xanthan gum & potassium sorbate; organic essential oils of: orange, litsea cubeba, bergamot, rosemary & ylang ylang.
* = Certified organic

MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO

This shampoo reminds me of Josh Rosebrook’s shampoo in terms of texture and consistency. It’s an aloe vera -based formula (promotes hair growth, rejuvenates the hair follicles & reduces thinning) with African Black Soap (natural source of vitamins A & E), evening primrose and maracuja (absorbs moisture & works with natural proteins to prevent hair breakage and stimulate healthy hair growth). Then it also contains Argan, Jojoba & Babassu whic are all rich in vitamins E and C, Omegas 3 and 9. This shampoo lathers extremely well for me, has a fresh crisp citrus scent & does its job of cleaning my hair. I haven’t had any issues of dandruff developing either.

Ingredients

*aloe vitamin gel; African black soap; saponified coconut oil; oils of: *argan, *jojoba, *babassu, *maracuja and *evening primrose; herbal infusion of: *rosemary, *alfalfa, *nettles, *burdock root, *calendula, *linden, *catnip, *peppermint, *chamomile, *rose hips, *dandelion and *yucca; plant sourced kosher vegan xanthan gum & potassium sorbate; organic essential oils of: rosemary, bergamot, orange & ylang ylang.

MOISTURIZING CONDITIONER

The conditioner is lightweight and does a decent job of conditioning my hair & leaving it soft and manageable. I’m not going to say it transforms my hair – their Hair Conditioning Masque has a more dramatic effect on my hair- but as a basic conditioner to alternate between conditioning & masks I can recommend it.  It contains Sustainable palm oil extract and vinegar to remove dirt and oil from hair while replenishing it with vitamin E and vitamin A, Gum Arabic and Guar Gum to provide calcium & prevent hair breakage and oils to nourish.

Ingredients

Vitamin infused *aloe juice; oils of: *argan, *jojoba, *babassu, *maracuja and *evening primrose; herbal infusion of: *rosemary, *alfalfa, *nettles, *burdock root, *calendula, *linden, *catnip, *peppermint, *chamomile, *rose hips, *dandelion and *yucca; sustainable palm oil extract; *vinegar; plant sourced kosher vegan xanthan gum & potassium sorbate; *gum Arabic; *guar gum; organic essential oils of: rosemary, bergamot, orange & ylang ylang.
* = Certified organic

BLOW DRY STYLING GEL

I don’t blow dry my hair ever, but this product can also be used as a heat protectant so I apply just a tiny dime sized amount through the ends of my hair before I go in with my curling iron. It’s a lightweight bouncy clear gel that also has a subtle citrus scent.  It comes in a gigantic bottle – the same size as the rest of the products from the collection – which I feel is way too much product.

Ingredients

Vitamin infused *aloe gel; *argan oil; oils of: *jojoba, *apricot, *grapeseed, *meadowfoam, *hempseed and *evening primrose; herbal infusion of: *rosemary, *alfalfa, *nettles, *burdock root, *calendula, *linden, *catnip, *ginseng, *peppermint, *chamomile, *rose hips, *dandelion and *yucca; plant sourced, kosher and vegan potassium sorbate; organic essential oils of: lavender, rose and pine needle.

This line is safe for color-treated hair.

GET THE ENTIRE FULL SIZED COLLECTION FOR FREE!

1. Head to their website and add the “Moisturizing Collection” to your cart (value $110)

2. Apply code SHINE17

3. Pay for shipping/handling (approx $16-$22)

CODE SHINE17 EXTENDED TIL APR 30, 2017!

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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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Loverdure Natural Cosmetics Review


This post was kindly sponsored by Loverdure whose funding will help run OBL CLUB, a product testing & review platform for the green beauty community. All thoughts are my honest opinion.

Loverdure is a Bay Area-based natural skincare line offering 100% natural, mostly organic, vegan skincare products specially with sensitive skin in mind. The products are freshly hand made in small batches in their studio to ensure the highest quality. I tried out 2 face oils (which come in a beautiful unique gold double-toned glass bottle with push dropper) for nearly 7 weeks, a face soap & lip balm. Read on to learn more about Loverdure’s products and an interview with the founder herself.

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Lotus Wei Flower Essences Review

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If you’re looking for healing beyond the physical and into the emotional & spiritual, flower essence therapy may be for you. Flower Essence Therapy addresses healing on multiple levels- body, emotions, mental outlook, attitudes and spiritual understanding. Sometimes our physical ailments are caused by underlying mental & emotional problems – flower essence therapy addresses these problems. So how does flower essence therapy actually work? Firstly it’s based on the principle that every living entity on earth including plants have an energy (chi). Research shows that plants change their energetic and phytochemical makeup based on the needs of the living beings around them. Flower essences capture the vibrational imprint & energy of a flower in water, which is then stabilized in brandy. Our body harmonizes with the essence by shifting our own vibrations to match that of the flowers. You can choose different flowers to achieve different vibrational results & experience a targeted shift in how you feel & perceive.

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SKIN FIRST WITH MEDICAL ESTHETICIAN ANTONELLA

Welcome to the March 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 the beautiful & sweet Antonella Rodriguez, a New York-based medical esthetician and a green beauty Instablogger (@my_minireviews). I’m so excited to share with you all her skincare knowledge & advice! Read more

The Capra Saas-Fee

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We arrived at Saas Fee Friday evening ready for an alpine escape in this picturesque Swiss ski resort village. I’m not a skier or a winter person for that matter but I love the sweeping views of the majestic Alps in the winter. We were greeted with a warm welcome by Raphael and his staff at The Capra and had a speedy check-in.  The new 5-star luxury ski hotel just opened in Dec 2015 with 35 suites offering panoramic views from each room and modern luxuries in an elegant chalet setting.

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OBL CLUB HAS Launched!

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A small idea turned into a goal and a vision in the span of 1 week and we could not be more excited. We are now accepting volunteer product testers to test green beauty products for free in exchange for a review!

So how did this initial idea come about? I was actually chatting with my friend in LA and complaining about the fact that I don’t write enough blog posts for organicbeautylover. She joked that I should have ghost writers for the blog which made me think of ghost testers. She then suggested volunteer testers. I owe the start of all this to a conversation with my friend complaining about life & everything else. Cheers to many more!

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Goodbeing November and December Box Review

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Goodbeing natural beauty & toxin-free lifestyle subscription box is my top recommendation for value-for-money. For as low as $18 per month, you receive a diverse selection of products from well-known brands to up-and-coming stars. It’s highly personalized so you’re more likely to receive products you’ll actually use and the selection ranges from natural beauty to home goods & wellness products to makeup.

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Meet Green Life in Dublin Blogger Renata!

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Since joining the green beauty community I’ve met many beautiful sweet souls online and one of them is Renata of Green Life in Dublin! She always has such in-depth and honest posts on green beauty products and lifestyle. You can tell she pours her heart and soul into blogging and as the only blogger in Ireland she is making waves. She recently reached out to me to feature an interview with me on her blog and I thought it was such a great idea I wanted to feature her here on Organic Beauty Lover too!

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NU Evolution Eyeshadow & Mascara Review

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I’ve been using the NU Evolution Eyeshadows and Mascara for several months now and while the foundation and concealer are the brand’s standout products (see my review here), their eyeshadows and mascara deserve recognition. To learn about my experience and an exclusive discount code keep reading. At the bottom of this post you’ll find my Youtube video showing swatches of all liquid foundations, powder foundations, eyeshadows and more.

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How to Become a Successful Green Beauty Blogger

apple-1851464_1920As the green beauty movement grows (yay!) and more and more people become interested in becoming green beauty bloggers, I decided to create this guide based on my own personal experience as a green beauty blogger to help inspire others. There is room for everyone in this vast digital space and green beauty, in my opinion, stands for something greater than fashion blogging or conventional beauty blogging, so the more we are the better. I have had quite a number of followers reach out to ask me for tips or express their interest in starting a beauty blog, so I hope this guide along with my personal Instagram tips will be useful to some of you.

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Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser Review + DISCOUNT CODE

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Limited time discount code for either $10 off or 20% off!

Nebulizing diffusers are superior to conventional diffusers in that they don’t heat up the oils and don’t require water. The essential oils remain in their most powerful and pure form since they never come into contact with heat, water or plastic. Instead it uses nothing but pressurized air based on the Bernoulli Principle. Here’s what I love about the Organic Aromas Essential Oil Diffuser:

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Max and Me Skincare Launches at EcoDiva

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Max and Me just launched at EcoDiva Beauty online store which means this high vibrational organic skincare brand from Austria is now more accessible than ever. High vibrational skincare is set to be the next big trend in skincare and to help you understand more about what it is, I recently interviewed co-founder Tanja. For an inside look at the brand including Tanja’s personal holy grail products from her line, nighttime skincare routine and the future of Max and Me, read on…

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Mykonos & Rocabella Art Hotel

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Mykonos is one of Greece’s most famous islands with its picturesque cobblestoned whitewashed streets, bold colors & crazy nightlife. Since it was the end of October, the island had emptied out and the weather was quite cold, cloudy & windy so we weren’t able to enjoy the nightlife or the beaches but it felt like we had the whole island to ourselves. I recommend going at the latest in September though to enjoy Mykonos fully.

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NU Evolution Organic Makeup Review + Swatches

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NU Evolution is a new, cutting-edge natural makeup brand created by 2 powerhouse New Yorkers, Nadine & Sandra. Having worked in the high fashion world for many years, they set out to use their expertise to create a natural line of makeup made with certified organic ingredients that would reach next-generation status. I’ve been using their Complete Coverage Foundation, Camouflage Cream concealer and blush for the past few months and am blown away by the performance. If you have any skeptical friends who haven’t switched to natural makeup, this is a line you want to recommend to them.

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Misleading Bogus Claims of "Organic" Cosmetics

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Article from the Environmental Working Group website

“Cosmetics and other personal care product companies make questionable organic claims on thousands of products, a new EWG analysis shows.

More than 5,000 products in EWG’s Skin Deep® database – about 20 percent of current product formulations rated on the site – use “organic” in the brand name, product name, product label or list of ingredients. But many of these products contained risky or hidden ingredients and received poor Skin Deep® scores.

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Misleading Bogus Claims of “Organic” Cosmetics

ewgnew

Article from the Environmental Working Group website

“Cosmetics and other personal care product companies make questionable organic claims on thousands of products, a new EWG analysis shows.

More than 5,000 products in EWG’s Skin Deep® database – about 20 percent of current product formulations rated on the site – use “organic” in the brand name, product name, product label or list of ingredients. But many of these products contained risky or hidden ingredients and received poor Skin Deep® scores.

Skin Deep® rates a product on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best score and 10 the worst score. Of the products that used the term organic, more than 250 received a score of 5 or above. Four products that used the term organic received a score of 9 or 10.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates the use of “organic” when the claim is made on farm products. Cosmetics made primarily of farm products are allowed to carry the USDA Organic seal if 95 percent or more of the ingredients meet federal organic standards, and the remaining ingredients are on an approved ingredient list and were not produced using prohibited methods. Products labeled “made with organic ingredients” can have up to 30 percent non-organic ingredients but cannot use certain ingredients.

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100% Pure Monster Giveaway (worth $400+)!

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To celebrate my birthday & Halloween with you all I’m having a mega MONSTER 100% Pure! You’ll win a monstrous bundle of Natural & Organic lipsticks, face palettes, glosses & more worth over $400.

OPEN WORLDWIDE!

I’ve previously reviewed many of these products here (Lipsticks/Glazes) & here (Naked II palette).

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The Monster Prize Bundle includes:

Fruit Pigmented Pretty NAKED Palette ($45 value)
Fruit Pigmented NAKED II Palette ($45 value)
Fruit Pigmented Anti-aging Pomegranate Oil Lipstick in Poppy ($29 value)
Fruit Pigmented Anti-aging Pomegranate Oil Lipstick in Dahlia ($29 value)
Fruit Pigmented Anti-aging Pomegranate Oil Lipstick in Peony ($29 value)
Fruit Pigmented Anti-aging Pomegranate Oil Lipstick in Calypso ($29 value)
Fruit Pigmented Anti-aging Pomegranate Oil Lipstick in Hibiscus ($29 value)
Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze in Melontini ($25 value)
Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze in Rhubarb ($25 value)
Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze in Coraline ($25 value)
10-Free Natural Nail Polish x 2 ($24 value)
Gemmed Lip Gloss ($25 value)
Lip Caramel ($25 value)
Brightening Face Scrub & Mask ($35 value)

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY BELOW & GOOD LUCK!
Ends Halloween Day & winner will be selected randomly.

100% Pure Mega Giveaway

Luminance Skincare Review

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Luminance Skincare is an Organic & Vegan skincare line run by a small passionate team of individuals who strive to produce the best products possible that are truly pure. I received these products over the summer after they launched their new packaging and have enjoyed this luxurious yet affordable brand.  For the price point I feel the selection of ingredients is rather impressive and the products performed to my expectations.

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Jane Iredale Brow & Mascara Review

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In 1994 Jane Iredale was the first company to create a mineral makeup line that offered skin benefits. The brand strives for healthy effective products using natural and organic ingredients. While not completely pure, they are a much better alternative to conventional brands and a highly respected brand in the green beauty community.

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Jane Iredale Brow & Mascara Review

DSCF5382

In 1994 Jane Iredale was the first company to create a mineral makeup line that offered skin benefits. The brand strives for healthy effective products using natural and organic ingredients. While not completely pure, they are a much better alternative to conventional brands and a highly respected brand in the green beauty community.

Read more

FDA Bans 19 Chemicals Found in Antibacterial Soap

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Image found on Google

Remember when we used to be obsessed with all the Bath and Body Work Antibacterial Soaps? Well, On Sep 2, 2016 the FDA officially banned 19 chemicals from hand and body soaps including Triclosan. Triclosan was first introduced in products in 1979 and its usage was questioned but allowed. In 2009 the Food and Water Watch along with other environmental groups petitioned the FDA to ban Triclosan in consumer products and finally the FDA is taking action. Companies now have 1 year to remove the banned ingredients from their products or take them off the market. (This ban doesn’t affect hand saniziters or wipes – odd)

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Mallorca Travel Diary: What I Did, Where I Stayed & What I Used

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Over the weekend I went to Mallorca for a quick getaway and because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. While it’s been cooling down everywhere else, it was hot and toasty on the Spanish island. Whether you’re looking for a romantic vacation to get away from it all or an exciting nightlife-filled getaway, Mallorca has everything.

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Mallorca Travel Diary: What I Did, Where I Stayed & What I Used

20160904_180650

Over the weekend I went to Mallorca for a quick getaway and because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. While it’s been cooling down everywhere else, it was hot and toasty on the Spanish island. Whether you’re looking for a romantic vacation to get away from it all or an exciting nightlife-filled getaway, Mallorca has everything.

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Korean Skincare Curated by GlowRecipe

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I’m a huge fan of K-beauty. Skincare is a way of life in South Korea and the skincare technology is known to be the most advanced in the world – American companies even go there to learn from them. Korea is also developing some of the most innovative and unique skincare products out there. I’ve been trying 2 of these innovations curated by the online natural K-beauty store Glow Recipe – the splash mask and jelly pack – and can’t wait to share my experiences with you.

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100 Percent Pure Eyeshadows & Blushes

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I’m very excited to review 100 Percent Pure’s new pressed eyeshadow shades, satin eyeshadow shades & blushes today. I’m a 100% Pure Approved Blogger which means that I have the opportunity to test their newest products and share my personal opinion with you all. A big thank you to 100% Pure and of course, you, for reading. Here’s what I love about these compact little gems:

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