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! 

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.

Beauty Heroes: Like Having a Beauty Ed for a BFF

While I've received plenty of free product samples in my days as a beauty editor, I haven't monetized my relationships with beauty brands. In short, I have never been paid by a brand to promote their products, period. I don't want to push one brand over another to you, my trusted audience, simply because of $$! While that's still very much the case, I've just decided to sign on as as a brand ambassador with Beauty Heroes, a subscription box that delivers carefully curated natural beauty products. I fell in love with the Beauty Heroes concept because it allows subscribers to experience some of the best products in natural beauty for $39/month—a truly affordable and, frankly, outstanding price for the goods inside.

If you're on the fence about Beauty Heroes, know that's NOT just like every other subscription box out there. In fact, it's completely different. Each month, you get one amazing, full size 'hero' product from a standout green beauty line delivered to your door. For $39, you often get a product that's worth much, much more—that's without taking into account the value of a service that makes you feel like you have a beauty editor as a best friend or penpal!

[Check out my behind-the-scenes Beauty Heroes ambassador interview here!]

Beauty Heroes' December box is a holiday show-stopper. When it arrives on your doorstep, you find a 30mL dropper bottle of Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum tucked carefully inside gleaming gold tissue paper. This serum, for anyone who hasn't tried it or heard the ecstatic buzz from the dewy-skinned women who are already using it, is the definition of a 'beauty hero.'

This Vintner's Daughter serum has become an obsessed-over product with good reason. Skin loves it. The first time I applied it my cheeks turned a peachy pink, which I first thought was an allergic reaction. Then I realized it was actually a healthy, well-circulated glow that I hadn't ever seen from a serum before! It contains 22 botanical ingredients, from avocado and rose to turmeric and sea buckthorn, making every drop incredibly potent. And this serum is priced to reflect that potency—it's typically sold at $185 for a bottle (yes, that makes the December Beauty Heroes box an incredible, incredible deal).

If you're ready to make your beauty routine a little greener month by month, I think joining Beauty Heroes is an ideal gift to yourself and your health for 2016. And if you just want to help your skin or the skin of a loved one take on a more radiant glow, ordering the December Beauty Heroes box couldn't be a better fit at a better price.

In the interest of full disclosure, being a Beauty Heroes ambassador means that I'll get a small kickback (about $5) if you choose to join Beauty Heroes through this link, and I'll get to sample and review each monthly box for you, my discerning audience of natural beauties. Just so you know, my decision to become an ambassador isn't motivated by the promise of affiliate dollars, or free goods. I think this program is a great way to green your beauty routine, for a low price, one month at a time, and I'm proud to share it!

Beauty Heroes ships to the US, Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, India, Israel, Japan, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Greece, Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus!