Spring Product Obsessions 2018

Alleluia, it finally feels like spring on the East Coast. This season is a natural cue to detox, and that includes cleaning out the products that are old or just not serving you. It could also mean experimenting with something new. Today I gathered up the natural products that are my latest springtime loves, from a very extra new deodorant to a milky serum to a travel version of a product that I’m betting you already rely on. Maybe one of these six winners will be your next healthy beauty purchase…

Vapour Aer Next Level Deodorant, $24

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Next Level Deodorant— such an amazing name. And it speaks the truth; Vapour took things to the next level when they created this product, from the formula to the delivery system to the statement-making natural scents (are you more Palo Santo Blood Orange or Lavender Myrrh?). It took the company 5 years of lab time to perfect Aer, and I have to say, while I was not in the market for a new deodorant for my own routine (still in love with my fave Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free deo), I can’t find a single flaw here. I got my Aer Deodorant in the Beauty Heroes April Limited Edition Beauty Discovery Box, featuring Vapour. If you hurry, you can get one here (this will sell out fast), or you can always grab the product itself in the Beauty Heroes store. Switching to a natural deodorant from a conventional formula often feels daunting, but I tell you there’s never been a better time to make the switch.  Conventional anti-perspirants contain ingredients that you don't want on your skin or next to your breasts every day (aluminum and synthetic fragrances are two), and they block one of your body’s major detox pathways. Aer is a natural deodorant (read: not anti-perspirant), and it worked for me from Day 1. Now, on Day 20, it’s still working well and I have yet to experience any irritation from the “just a pinch” of baking soda in this formula. If you’re baking soda sensitive, you might actually find that you’re okay here. The cream-to-powder formula doesn't feel wet and cold under your arms after you apply (one reason I usually avoid cream deodorant sticks like this one) and you only need a tiny amount, so this stick will last you at least 2 months— likely far more. And the scent— let’s just say I never expected to have palo santo-scented pits, but I’m kind of loving it. Thank you for working so hard to hit the mark on this, Vapour!

W3ll People Bio Bronzer Cream Stick, $23.99

I was thrilled to discover this cream bronzer-in-a-stick just as the weather started to warm. The stick delivery system makes it easy to swipe anywhere, and the cream formula blends in quite well, so that the tiniest dot mimics the effect of sun on my face. I’ve found that a warmer bronzer shade like this one (mine is Natural Tan- 01) looks even more realistic on my skin than pink-toned blush. For spring/summer, I’m keeping it close at hand. W3ll People, a green beauty pioneer, has perfected its formulas, so you can’t go wrong with any of their natural makeup— this one especially. It also comes in a small pot ($11.99), in case you prefer a tinier size.

 

Coconut oil is just about everyone’s multipurpose beauty and health staple, and this eye-catching tube makes it so easy to transport. I use coconut oil regularly for oil pulling, and have always loved it for makeup removal, and recently was shocked to find that I can toss this tube in my bag without fear of leaks! It’s designed for travel, and made with Fair Trade, cold-pressed coconut oil. Each purchase also feeds one child a meal through Feeding America food banks. If you’re a coconut oil devotee and you travel a lot, you absolutely need to give this pretty tube a try.

 

Confession: I haven’t worn foundation since my wedding day, almost 7 years ago! After living with acne for almost a decade and clearing my skin with changes to my diet and lifestyle, I live in as little coverage as possible. My daily staple for sun protection and barely-there coverage is Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Tinted Face Sunscreen. But I got curious about Ilia’s new True Skin Serum Foundation— a mix of skincare and makeup that sounded too good to pass up. The pros at Aillea helped me match my skin to shade F1 (I thought there was no way I could be the lightest shade, but even though the formula looks extremely pale in the bottle the match is great), and I have to say that I really love this formula! It’s loaded with nourishing ingredients like baobab, rose hip, and jojoba oils, in a base of aloe and coconut, and that seems to ward off any chalky dryness. Dimethicone also helps it apply with a silky finish (a feature you don't want to compromise on for your base makeup). It’s buildable and light enough that I don’t feel like I’m wearing a heavy foundation. This one is a new staple when I want a little more coverage.

 

de Mamiel Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir, $135

I was introduced to this exquisite skin treatment in the April Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, which has long ago sold out, but I had to share it again here because it continues to impress me as I use it. De Mamiel’s founder and formulator, Annee de Mamiel, is an esthetician, aromatherapist, and licensed acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her products are inspired by the needs of her clients and she truly practices slow beauty— sometimes taking years to develop, trial, and perfect her products, which work on the physical, emotional, and cellular levels. This would be beautiful in theory alone, but in practice I can tell you that my skin truly glows after using her Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir— a milky serum that protects from environmental damage and stimulates regeneration and repair. Using both first and second generation antioxidants (including the powerful ferulic acid and superoxide dismutase), as well as incorporating principles of vibrational beauty, this formula continues to work over time, with continued use. Though de Mamiel’s handmade products (made in the UK) may be a true skincare splurge that’s not in the budget at all times, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to use this elixir and its Beauty Heroes sidekick, Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar. Beauty Heroes has introduced me to some amazing brands, but this one might be my most favorite new discovery!

 

CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion, $14.50

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I have long loved this natural lotion, and routinely recommend it to clients with eczema and sensitive skin that is healing from a number of conditions— including radiation irritation. Its combination of anti-inflammatory reishi mushroom, turmeric and bisabolol, as well as calendula and beta glucan, does wonders for compromised skin. You will see a difference in your skin’s condition after one application, and continued use heals skin (if you’re experiencing eczema or skin rashes, this lotion helps skin heal topically while you are working from the inside out to change the root cause of the skin issue). Had to share it again this spring— the season when we start to bare more skin, and of course want it to be clear and healthy.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these Vapour and de Mamiel products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Winter Product Obsessions 2018

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New Year, and new natural and organic products to love. Here are the picks that have been favorites in my shower, stationed at my bedside, and stocking my bathroom cabinet through the winter season and beyond—

Maya Chia The Eye Achiever, $70

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I had to share this product first; it’s now a permanent bedside fixture and has already been quite effective in counteracting the visible effects of holiday indulgences (cheese! cookies! salty snacks!) that showed up as morning-after puffiness around my eyes. It’s The Eye Achiever— a new product from the amazing Maya Chia brand that arrived in my January Beauty Heroes Discovery Box. Picture this: you gently press The Eye Achiever’s cool metal rollerball underneath your eye and glide it back and forth. It’s so cooling that it feels akin to the old trick of resting a chilled spoon under your eye to dissipate puffiness (only so much more comfortable and chic). The roller delivers a layer of a light, incredibly nutrient-dense serum formulated with ingredients like antioxidant-rich astaxanthin, wakame brown algae (famously used by La Mer),  raspberry seed oil, and Maya Chia’s patented supercritical chia seed oil. It addresses the unwanted trio of wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles all at once, and feels so, so good in the process. If you’re searching for an eye product to love, this is a must try! And while you’re at it, consider a Beauty Heroes membership this year; it will honestly be the very best thing to arrive in your mailbox every month.

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These two products feel like harbingers of an oral health revolution. I’m so excited to share them with you. Hyperbiotics, a company whose probiotic supplements I’ve been testing and sharing over the last year, recently launched a probiotic toothpaste formulated with super-binding activated charcoal and a strain of probiotics called lactobacillus paracasei to gently cleanse and whiten teeth without destroying beneficial bacteria that resides in your mouth. This is pretty amazing, given that conventional toothpastes commonly contain antibacterial ingredients like triclosan that wipe out bacteria— both the good, protective kinds and the bad. After you’re finished brushing with this toothpaste (which does take some getting used to— it’s not as minty as standard toothpaste and doesn't foam), you can pop one of Hyperbiotics’ minty PRO-Dental chewable tablets, designed to restore beneficial bacteria to your mouth. These chews contain 3 billion CFUs of oral probiotic strains like S. salivarius that, unlike your usual probiotics, are meant to stay in your mouth instead of being swallowed. Long-term, a better oral microbiome can improve your dental health and your breath, and actually help your sinuses, ears, nose, and throat too.

Seed Phytonutrients Daily Hair Cleanser and Lightweight Conditioner (price to come).

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I’m sharing this amazing shampoo/conditioner duo now, because it’s about to hit shelves in January. But—confession— I’ve actually been using it since last June, when I first received a travel-size sample. I savored that little bottle (seriously, it made my hair so silky that I used it only on days when I was taking photos, hosting an event, or otherwise needed to have flawless hair) until the fall, when a full size product arrived on my doorstep— not a moment too soon because I was completely out. The combination of these formulas seems to be magical for my hair (fine, dense strands that can air-dry to unruly waves), far outperforming my other natural favorites. These formulas are 99% natural, and do a great job at bridging the gap between hair products that are healthier choices for your body, and those that perform the way conventional hair products do! What I notice most is the softness of my hair after using them; my husband has also been using these products and his hair texture feels silky where it used to be coarse. Will this dup be the perfect match for everyone? Probably not— and Seed is developing products to suit other hair types too. But these really area a must-try! (Other hair types should check out products from brands like Innersense, Acure, Josh Rosebrook, and Ahnesti as well.) Congrats on your upcoming launch, Seed Phytonutrients, and thanks for this amazing gift to my hair!


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the Maya Chia Eye Achiever product was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Can Squalane Save You from Dry Winter Skin?

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Here we are again, in the cold, dry, harsh weather season of year in the northern hemisphere. The first snow of the season is falling outside my window, and the dry heat is (thankfully) blowing steadily indoors. Scrolling back in my phone feed of pictures, I see my summer skin glowy and radiant, with no trace of fine lines or redness. Can my skin make it through the winter months without looking winter-weary?

This year, I have a new secret weapon in my corner: squalane oil.

Squalane oil is a shelf-stable version of squalene, a natural oil produced by your skin that peaks in your early 20s and then declines in production. Restoring squalane topically is a smart way to add topical moisture, which is a must to combat winter dryness.

What's remarkable about squalane: Besides being a natural (not irritating) fit for any skin type, squalane is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial oil that helps protect skin from UV damage. I was amazed to find that it absorbs into my skin like a dry oil— no heaviness or greasy layer. Sometimes, like at night, I actually like a greasy layer because it feels ultra-hydrating. So at times I will layer a thicker balm over squalane oil for bed.

A few compelling stats about squalane: it’s 53% better at accelerating cell turnover than argan oil, and 39% better at accelerating cell turnover than jojoba oil (my usual fave). Better cell l turnover = smoother, glowier skin— even in winter.

In my own experience, I found that my skin actually felt drier during the first few days of using products with squalane. But after about 3 days, my skin normalized and started to feel smoother and more hydrated with less need for topical hydration. I tell you this in case you experience a little bit of a transition period too— wait it out.

I am loving using a few drops of squalane oil under makeup during these cold, dry months, which adds dewiness and extra moisture that comes in handy if you normally find that your skin loses its radiance as the day wears on. Try this!

Beyond squalane oil, you’ll want to target dry skin from the inside as well. Make sure your digestion is happy and healthy (eat those fermented foods and plenty of plant fiber!), as much as you can cut down on inflammatory foods (sugar and alcohol are big inflammation triggers during the holidays), boost your intake of healthy fats (more avocados, please), and sip your way through warm beverages like herbal teas, lemon/ginger/turmeric water, and superfoods (check out my moringa latte recipe on Instagram!).

If you’re looking for a super high-quality natural skincare line with squalane, you must check out Biossance. This brand uses squalane that's sustainably derived from sugar cane, with no unwanted ingredients. My favorites are the 100% Squalane Oil that you can apply head to toe (use it to nourish dry hair), and the ultra-lovely Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil (and I’m not usually a fan of cleansing oils!). This line is one to reach for.

Beauty Heroes x Gressa's Minimalist Makeup Collection

As a beauty editor, I interviewed countless makeup artists who would use a *hint* of shine— gold, silver, rose gold— to make their celeb clients' eyes look bright and youthful. It's all about subtlety (no allover metallic lids pls); just a dot in the inner corners of your lids to give your eyes a little wake up.

When my Beauty Heroes September Makeup Discovery box arrived last week, I found that the creamy Gressa Aureo Eye Tint inside was so perfect for this trick! It's become my new favorite, along with the lovely Gressa Lumiere, a pigmented serum that works kind of like a subtle liquid bronzer on my skin. This, along with beta carotene-rich veggies, are helping me prolong summer's golden skin glow!

This set (which also includes a smoky brown cream shadow and a brush) is super subtle, versatile, and minimalist—the way I like my makeup (it's actually called the Minimalist Collection). With this kind of makeup, your healthy skin glow gets to shine through, which is what you want.
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If you're looking for some healthy new makeup to bring sparkle into your routine this fall, definitely check out this box! It's $45, for $104 worth of gorgeous Gressa makeup.

You can shop the collection here.

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of these companies that helps to offset the cost of maintaining this site. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and this Gressa makeup was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Summer Product Obsessions 2017

Healthy beauty products are one pillar of my daily self-love. I look forward to taking a few moments out of a packed day—juggling work and home life—to treat myself and my skin to ingredients that support the glow I'm nourishing from within. This season, I'm loving a tropical-scented scrub, a dreamy new cream-balm, a shimmering blush, a do-it-all cleanser & mask, and a time-tested deodorant. Read on for a peek at this summer's favorites...

Beverly to 5th Island Coconut Coffee Scrub, $19

This scrub is like an AM espresso shot for the senses. Open the pretty pouch to release the potent coffee-coconut scent inside and you'll find that your mind is instantly brought to focus. I love that the scrub itself satisfies a candy-like craving for tropical coconut, yet it's simple and natural—think ingredients like organic coffee grounds, sea salt, organic cold-pressed coconut oil, and brown sugar, instead of low quality oils and synthetic fragrance.  Coffee is known to tighten skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and deliver a hefty dose of antioxidants, not to mention its skin-smoothing benefits as an exfoliant. It's a fantastic pre-beach smoother. Since I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, I just use a little handful on a small area of my body, like shoulders or thighs, for exfoliation and aromatherapy in the morning.

Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream, $45

Josh Rosebrook does it again. The July Beauty Heroes Discovery Box features a tiny, travel size sample of Josh Rosebrook's incredible new cream, and I'm savoring every application. It holds surprising richness in its whipped, cloud-like texture thanks to moisture-delivering ingredients like aloe vera, honey, rich organic oils like borage, evening primrose and sea buckthorn, and Indian senna seed extract. This beautiful cream-balm layers well over oils and I'm using it on nights when I crave extra moisture— a few nights a week in the summer, which will surely become nightly once cooler weather hits. It applies like a dream, and in the morning my skin has a happy, radiant glow.  I often find that balms can feel too heavy and occlusive on my skin, but this cream-balm hybrid hits a sweet spot for texture and moisture. I am also loving its sweet scent (it reminds me of a childhood candy) and baby blue hue, tinted by its soothing blue tansy oil. Thank you for a precious new product for my summer self-care rituals, Josh Rosebrook and Beauty Heroes!

Au Naturale Pure Powder Blush in Pink Champagne, $24

A little dose of pink from this shimmering, sweet blush is exactly what my skin needs this season. Au Naturale recently repackaged their line of natural, ethically-sourced cosmetics and the result is sleek, minimalist and convenient. Case in point: the revolutionary powder pump that dispenses a perfect dose of loose powder blush onto your skin (I start with mine on the back of my hand before applying to my cheeks with my fingertips) or blush brush. Definitely less mess and less wasted product than a traditional powder pot! The effect is a luminous pink with gold undertones (which are reminiscent of the undertones in the classic hit Orgasm blush by NARS) that builds easily on your skin. If this shade isn't ideal for your skin, check out the five other gorgeous shades in the range. 

Leahlani Skincare Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder, $46

I've been savoring this amazing skincare product since it arrived last month, but it's going fast for one reason: it's so versatile that I seem to always have a reason to reach for it! Cleanser, exfoliant, mask, aromatherapy transport to the Hawaiian islands— Kalima does it all. Usually I reach for this product on days when I need a little extra exfoliation, cleanse with it, and then leave it on my skin for 10 minutes to soak in all of its benefits, including water-activated vitamin C that brightens and boosts collagen. The entire formula is dry until you add water, which makes it a perfect summer travel staple. Shake a little of the powder (it's divinely citrus-vanilla scented) into your palm, add a few drops of water, and combine into a creamy paste with a base of coconut milk, clay, oatmeal, and a bundle of organic Hawaiian fruit and flowers (guava, banana, hibiscus...). I feel like some kind of Hawaiian princess when I use any of Leahlani's products, but this one in particular has me seriously obsessed! 

Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Grapefruit Cream Deodorant, $14

I've been using this amazing product off and on for well over a year, so it's not a new discovery... but it still warrants sharing! Meow Meow Tweet's baking soda-free deodorant cream is the real deal. The texture is super-creamy (you don't have to do any work to soften it before you apply— even in cold, winter months), and rubs in with a light, powdery finish. It smells faintly of lemon and grapefruit, but without any lasting, prominent scent—which I prefer. And it performs. Deodorant is tricky; because we each have a different pH, some deodorant formulas work better than others. It's a personal thing. But this one, I find, becomes a favorite of many of my clients. And being free of baking soda makes it much less prone to irritate skin. One jar lasts a LONG time, and keeps me fresh & dry in all seasons. If you haven't found your holy grail natural deodorant yet, give this one a try! 

 

NOTE: Buying a product from Beauty Heroes or Leahlani through the links above results in a small commission for me. My honest reviews and account of my experience is in NO WAY influenced by my affiliate status. First and foremost, I love these products and stand behind these brands! 

Glowing Skin Secrets from Hawaii

Hawaii is one of those places that you kind of can't believe is real. The air smells like fresh blossoms, you see rainbows daily, and the only thing more amazing than the ocean waves are the creatures that reside there— from sea turtles to candy-colored tropical fish. So it only makes sense that some of the most beautiful natural skincare products that I've tried in recent years come from the Hawaiian islands. This natural paradise produces a fascinating array of ingredients that make your skin glow, both from the inside and outside, from noni, guava, and kukui nuts to turmeric, macadamia, and pineapple. 

 Hawaii and one of its many rainbows, in 2011.

Hawaii and one of its many rainbows, in 2011.

Ahead, I share three incredibly beautiful Hawaiian natural skincare brands, as well as a powerfully skin-nourishing smoothie that reminds me of my own trip there. I've been rotating these products and making the smoothie over and over for the last several weeks, and I can't wait for you to experience them. I hope you get inspired to take a trip, or give your skin a pick-me-up by adding some Hawaiian ingredients to your skincare regimen and your diet. 

Leahlani Skincare

Kauai is known as 'The Garden Isle.' I know this because it was six years ago this week that I honeymooned there. Even back then I was writing about natural beauty, and I looked around for products to bring home during my travels— but came up short. Apparently I didn't look hard enough, because Leah Klasovsky, Holistic esthetician, skincare formulator, and founder of Leahlani Skincare, was at that time already offering her dreamy line at local Kauai farmer's markets.

Fast forward to 2017 (she has since developed a major following for her Mermaid Mask), when I finally got to experience Leahlani. No exaggeration, I opened up my box and was instantly lifted out of a funk I happened to have been in that day and transported to a dreamy place (where I return every time I use one of the Leahlani products). Like Hawaii itself, these products feel almost too good to be real. They smell delicious, dessert-like, and exotic—and they are terrifically effective and a pleasure to use.

I adore the Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder, which contains a base of dried coconut milk (!) that you rehydrate in your palm, along with powdered antioxidant-rich fruit and flowers like hibiscus, guava, camu camu, and honeysuckle. Tangerine, mandarin, and vanilla essential oils give it a scent that is just, well...beyond. Being powdered, it travels easily. The Meli Glow Illuminating Nectar Mask is another product that makes me weak in the knees; added to its base of organic raw Hawaiian honey and rose clay is a lineup of tropical ingredients that exfoliate, soothe, and bring out your skin's glow. Think organic starfruit, strawberry, and guava, as well as sea buckthorn, avocado, and argan oils. It's my usual raw honey mask, Hawaiian style. Finally, I feel like I'm in Kauai getting a facial every time I apply Leahlani's Bless Beauty Balm, a super-rich, hydrating, + soothing balm of cold-pressed oils and flowers that is excellent in place of a night cream. It smells like two of its ingredients, blue tansy and orchid, and the scent makes me fall asleep happily every time I use it at night.

 Testing Leahlani, so soothing visually and in its ingredients.

Testing Leahlani, so soothing visually and in its ingredients.

Honua Skincare

 Sleek black bottles protect Honua's potent formulas. 

Sleek black bottles protect Honua's potent formulas. 

Beauty Heroes founder Jeannie Jarnot is herself Hawaiian, and you can feel her passion and love for her home come through in the June Beauty Heroes Discovery box featuring Honua Skincare. (For those of you who don't know Beauty Heroes, it's a monthly subscription box that features one 'hero' product from a natural or organic beauty line— and my favorite mail delivery every month!) The featured, hero product in this box is the Aloha Youth Serum, a super-light serum with a base of organic coconut water, rose hydrosol, and aloe—can't you just imagine how those ingredients float over your skin? The feel is silky, cooling, and lightly moisturizing (with kukui nut, tammany and chia oils)— exactly what my skin wants for summer. So well timed as usual, Beauty Heroes! I've been using this serum first, followed by a few drops of the other product in the box, the Olena Beauty Oil. Olena is Hawaiian for turmeric, which gives you a clue that this oil focuses on reducing inflammation in the skin with fresh, Hawaiian turmeric (this batch was picked and infused only weeks ago), as well as noni and cacao. I tried it on skin irritation even outside my face and saw quicker healing and soothing. Beauty Heroes suggests using traditional Hawaiian lomi massage (a flowing technique with long, sometimes circular strokes) to apply this oil.

You can buy products from this month's Honua Skincare box or subscribe to Beauty Heroes here

Mahalo Skin Care

I first introduced Mahalo Skin Care and its Rare Indigo Beauty Balm in a post last year— you can read all about it here. The 'garden' island of Kauai is also the Hawaiian home of Mahalo Skin Care and its founder Maryna Kracht. Since my initial post, I've spent time using Mahalo's The Petal mask, a hydrating mask with a base of raw and Manuka honeys, as well as rose and white clays, that simultaneously leaves your skin smooth and hydrated, with a little extra glow from increased circulation and moisture. It would be wonderful for acne-prone skin that needs moisture without heaviness. Another Hawaiian treasure!

 Honeymoon Glow Smoothies, for two.

Honeymoon Glow Smoothies, for two.

Honeymoon Glow Smoothie

This smoothie gives your skin that honeymoon glow. Healthy fats from coconut and macadamia strengthen your skin's cell membranes and give your body the building blocks for hormone production, while beet supports energy and glowing skin. Maca also lends itself to energy and hormone balance, while fresh pineapple helps maintain a flat belly and give you a sweet boost of energy from fruit.

Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 small roasted beet
  • Heaping 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I like coconut milk for this smoothie)
  • small handful macadamia nuts (or 4-5 Brazil nuts)
  • 1-2 dates, depending on your desired sweetness
  • 1/2 tsp maca root
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract (optional) 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Feeling inspired yet? Me too. I can't wait for the next time I'm called back to magical Hawaii; until then, these Hawaiian beauty secrets infuse my regular routine with a dose of tropical delight. 


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned Leahlani products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of these companies that helps to offset the cost of maintaining this site. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and Leahlani was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

New Self-Care Obsession: Lilfox Masks

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Beauty Heroes really knows how to pick them! I couldn't wait to show you my newest spring self-care obsession, a pair of masks from Miami-based brand Lilfox. Lilfox is a brand new find for me, one that I discovered in the (aptly-named) April Beauty Heroes Discovery Box.

The box features the Lilfox Jungle Glow Rainforest Honey Enzyme Cleanser and Mask, which is really just too good to use as a cleanser for a few seconds and then wash away. To me, you must use this product and all of its organic goodness as a mask, and leave it on for at least 15 minutes! It goes on sticky, like any great honey-based mask, and gently exfoliates while moisturizing and delivering some potent topical antioxidants from ingredients like raw cacao, maracuja oil, and rosehip. Totally calm, happy, smooth skin is the result. You'll look like you just got a professional facial.

I thought the results couldn't be any better until I paired it with the Cleopatra Restorative Milk + Honey Beauty Mask, the 'sidekick' that you get in the Beauty Heroes box. This clay mask is unique in that it comes in powdered form, and you get to reconstitute it into a paste by adding water. I tried it while taking a bath, as recommended (talk about self-care moment), and, combined with the good-circulation glow from the hot bath, it left my skin dewy, fresh, and radiant. Another winner! Two masks in one box, from one brand? Almost too good to be true!

I would recommend either of these masks, or the April Beauty Heroes box (or just Beauty Heroes in general— their radar for finding amazing natural and organic products is spot-on!) as a spring self-care treat. For the past few weeks I've been using them the night before photo shoots and speaking engagements to boost my confidence and skin glow!

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Chia Seeds Inside + Out

I've been buzzing about the beauty benefits of chia seeds for a few years now (you can check out the Pantry chapter of Eat Pretty for an in-depth overview of this beauty food), since they support healthy digestion and elimination, help with fullness and satiation, and encourage regular detoxification (all radiant skin essentials!). Chia seeds are great sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin, as well as skin-clearing, immune-supporting zinc. But this is the first time I'm experimenting with the topical benefits of their oil!

My January 2017 Beauty Heroes Discovery Box just arrived, and inside is the beloved Maya Chia The Super Couple face oil serum, as well as a special edition Supercritical Chia Waterless Wonder Balm with a fresh-smelling lavender, vetiver, and cardamom scent created just for Beauty Heroes. Opening this monthly box, and using the carefully-crafted natural and organic products inside, continues to be one of my very favorite self-care moments each month. I've been introduced to more beautiful products than I can count through my monthly Beauty Heroes box. 

But back to this month—when I saw these two Maya Chia products, I wondered first about the term 'supercritical' and the chia oil extraction process it references. How does it differ from, say, the cold pressing process? It turns out, a lot. First of all, the 'supercritical' extraction process is licensed only to Maya Chia in the US. It's a super-gentle, oxygen- and solvent-free extraction process that, "unlike cold pressing, where valuable antioxidants, omegas and sterols can be lost during the cold pressing process – the supercritical extraction method yields all of the biologically ‘active’ components (all the good stuff for your skin) of the amazing chia seed," according to Maya Chia.

The rest of the ingredients in these formulas continue the trend of being super high quality—they're are either certified organic, organic, or wildcrafted, (with the exception of myrrh). You might be surprised that the facial oil serum has a bright orange color- a product of the high levels of the antioxidant astaxanthin that it contains. Astaxanthin is quite a powerful ingredient for fighting free radical damage and slowing the aging process. So far these formulas feel amazing—I layer them at night—on my wintertime skin.

Remember: always apply your facial oil serums over skin that you've misted with a toner or hydrosol—that moisture layer helps the serum to properly hydrate your skin at the topical level. And for moisture and chia seed nourishment from the inside out, try my Ginger Grapefruit Chia Seed Pudding!

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Cacao: Winter Beauty Inside + Out

One of my most favorite ingredients for winter beauty, cacao, has been showing up in my skincare routine and in my diet a LOT more lately. Did you realize that cacao delivers skin benefits from the inside and outside?

When the weather turns cold, I reach for cacao in my smoothies, hot drinks, desserts, and even savory dishes (a little cacao in homemade chili is amazing). And this year, thanks to Josh Rosebrook and the Beauty Heroes team, my skin is getting a dose of cacao from the outside as well, with the Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask that arrived in my November Beauty Heroes Discovery box.

Here's what you need to know about this powerful mask, and a special recipe from the pages of Eat Pretty Every Day that's a staple in this season of sweets & treats. Enjoy!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - OUTSIDE: To me, this mask has both a silly and a serious side. Smearing it on feels a bit like donning warpaint; arming yourself against future harms to your complexion, perhaps? But if you're a beauty buff the ingredients inside will catch your attention for their potency and purity (not just natural—organic). Not only does antioxidant-rich cacao show up as the second ingredient, it's accompanied by such desirable anti-agers as turmeric, baobab, marula, ashwaganda, cinnamon, elderberry, and ginger. It's like slathering a superfood smoothie directly on your skin.

And if you have ever met Josh Rosebrook, you understand on an even deeper level exactly how much love goes into his craft. His formulas are unique, high-performing, and in a class of their own—much like Josh himself. If you ordered the November 2016 Beauty Heroes Discovery box, you'll also be able to mist on Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, and dab on his incredible new unisex perfume, Ethereal. Amazing, right? I can't say enough amazing things about Beauty Heroes!

CACAO FOR BEAUTY - INSIDE: Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from the winter chapter of my latest book Eat Pretty Every Day, is one of my favorite recipes, for its ease, deliciousness, and beauty benefits. Make a batch of this amazing Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark (recipe below- top it with your favorite raw nuts and seeds, spices, and dried fruit) and enjoy it while Josh Rosebrook's Cacao Antioxidant Mask works its magic from the outside. Consuming cacao reduces redness in the skin, protects against UV damage, and increases moisture in the skin by boosting nutrients, blood, and oxygen supplied to skin. It also contains a phytochemical that helps block wrinkle formation and, of course, creates feelgood endorphins in the body when we eat it. Time to make a batch of this amazing treat tonight:

Salted Superfood Chocolate Bark, from Eat Pretty Every Day:

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NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Autumn Product Obsessions 2016

As the weather cools, I'm craving a moody lip color, a melty cleanser, a buttery-rich eye cream, and a lotion that uses botanical power to reduce season-transitioning inflammation. Ready to meet these natural and organic superstars? Here's what's in my purse and gathered in my bathroom this fall...

Goop by Juice Beauty Luminous Melting Cleanser, $90

No exaggeration- the first time I tried this rich, buttery cleansing balm, I loved its feel so much that I gave myself a spontaneous facial. By principle, I no longer use cleansers that strip my skin of moisture, but even in a lineup of creamy natural cleansers, this product sets itself apart. It's easy to get addicted the balm-like formula, as well as the routine of scooping out a little dab and feeling it melt as you massage it into your skin. I find it most satisfying to use when I'm wearing mascara, liner, and the whole nine yards, since it effortlesly breaks down makeup. The 79% organic formula includes almond, olive, jojoba, and coconut oils, plus shea and cocoa butters that cleanse by breaking down dirt and oils and ushering them away without leaving you parched. Of course, the experience isn't complete without the organic cleansing cloth that's included to help you fully rinse and gently exfoliate (you'll end with a nice layer of moisture remaining on your skin).

Bottega Organica Illuminate Eye Contour Cream, $145

(Also available in the October 2016 Beauty Heroes Discovery Box— a $35 monthly subscription)

What better way to greet colder weather than with a buttery-rich eye cream that delivers a stunning range of powerful healers and hydrators for your delicate eye area? I was thrilled to receive this Bottega Organica Illuminate Eye Contour Cream in my October Beauty Heroes Discovery box, and even more impressed with the product when I took a thorough look at its ingredient list. Bottega Organica, which creates 'farm-to-skin luxury' products, sources the majority of its certified organic ingredients (think fresh herbs, cold-pressed olive oil, and botanicals like echinacea, geranium, and the exotic prawn sage) from an organic farm in Italy and an organic farm in Upstate New York. The result is an eye cream that is a dream to apply, and leaves your eye area calmer, brighter, and more hydrated, naturally. To sign up for the monthly Beauty Heroes Discovery box (my absolute favorite mail day each month!), check out the Beauty Heroes site.

100% Pure Lip Caramel in Truffle, $25

Lip color is one of those products that I urge all of my clients to choose with a discerning eye, since we regularly ingest its ingredients. This gorgeous rust-tinged rose 'lip caramel' from 100% Pure is a perfect example of a lip color that's safe to ingest, but doesn't compromise one bit on color or feel. It goes on with a lip gloss applicator, but has none of the heavy, sticky residue that you feel with most glosses. This lip color is so highly pigmented and light that it reminds me more of a stain, which I absolutely love! After testing the Truffle Lip Caramel (which gets its deep hue from fruit, root, and achiote seed natural pigments), I want the entire shade range. 100% Pure created a winner with this formula!

 

 

 

Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer, $105

I've been a fan of Tata Harper's products since her very early days. As she has slowly and carefully added to her line, she continues to surpass expectations with gorgeous formulas that work. Her latest launch, Clarifying Moisturizer, amps up the calming, healing, and balancing ingredients in a season when lots of us struggle with transitional breakouts and slowed cell turnover. Whether your skin is blemish-prone all year, or autumn and winter are trouble times, this lightweight moisturizer is a perfect choice. You won't worry about moisture that's too rich for easily-clogged pores, and you won't be stuck with dryness and irritation because you skimped on hydration. Superstar ingredients in this formula include a plant sugar extract that helps feed probiotic (read: blemish-preventing) bacteria on your skin's surface, and a blend of healing fruit extracts and oils that calm redness and fight free radical damage. The only thing left to mention is the heavenly botanical scent produced by all of these natural ingredients—a Tata signature.