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.