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.

Currently Using: Osmia Organics

The January 2016 Beauty Heroes box is filled with tiny treasures—think of it as an extension of your holiday stocking. These skin-pampering treats, all from organic and wild crafted beauty brand Osmia Organics, deliver more power than you'd expect from their pint-sized packages. In fact, the smallest product of all, the Nectar Vital Rose Drops serum (which is a special gift for Beauty Heroes subscribers—more reason to join!), is my favorite of the three! This serum is a sneak preview of a brand new launch coming from Osmia.

In addition to Osmia's gorgeous new serum, Beauty Heroes features Osmia's signature favorite Black Clay Facial Soap (which comes with stories of having cleared or soothed acne and perioral dermatitis for Osmia customers), a soap-saver perfectly sized for this precious bar (another gift for subscribers), and Purely Simple Face Cream, which, refreshingly, is exactly what it claims to be: pure & simple.

The Black Clay Facial Soap is a super-mild exfoliant that draws moisture to skin and tones (enough that it made my skin tingle when I left it on for a few minutes in the shower). I love Osmia's in-depth story of black soap here.

The Purely Simple Face Cream delivery couldn't have been more perfectly-timed with the cold snap in the Northeast that has left my skin needing a little additional moisture. I'm generally not a face cream devotee, but, admittedly, my skin has been quite happy to have this one!  After applying it to my face, I've been rubbing the extra into my hands at night to keep them from getting dry as well. My skin loves the gentle aloe and jojoba oil, which hydrate without heaviness.

Next on my wishlist to try from Osmia Organics: Amethyst Body Essence. The Osmia Gem Series of oils (the Amethyst is the second in the series) looks so lovely! If you haven't tried the brand, the January Beauty Heroes box is an ideal sampling of treats, at a fabulous price.

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!

6 Ways to Energize your Beauty when the Nights Get Colder

winter-beauty.jpg

There’s nothing quite like a day in the sunshine to make your complexion glow. But weeks spent indoors with the heat on full blast? That’s what you have to look forward to this winter, the season of looking pale and parched— right? Not necessarily. There’s more than one way to bring out your natural radiance, and the winter season offers some unique excuses to rest, replenish and rebuild beauty while nature does the same. Check out my favorite ways to use winter’s quiet darkness to look and feel your best:

Read More

The First Mass Market Facial Oils: Natural Vs. Conventional...Plus Your Chance to Win One!

seventh-generation-boosts-natural-facial-oil

Flipping through a fashion mag last week, I saw an ad for new L'Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, billed as The first facial oil*.

The claim seemed a little outrageous, until my eyes found the asterisk on the facing page that further explained *In the current Mass Market (non-Department Stores).

From there I glanced up to my desk, where I'd just set two samples of Seventh Generation's own new mass market facial oils (available in Walgreens). I thought it would be interesting to compare the two L'Oreal and the Seventh Generation products. I found that Seventh Gen's oils give L'Oreal's new oil a run for its money— in more ways than one.

Read More

Classic Natural Beauty Brands That Still Impress (Vote for your Fave!)

dr-hauschka-classic-natural-skincare

Do you remember the very first natural beauty product that you tried?

With all of the fabulous new natural and organic beauty brands that have popped up in the last few years, it's easy to get caught up in a never-ending hunt for the next big thing in beauty. There will always be something fresh and innovative to try!

What about the natural beauty pioneers that introduced us to green beauty and gave us safe cosmetics before they were cool? Take the poll to vote for your favorite classic natural beauty brand!W

Read More

The Cellulite-Fighting Secrets of Ayurvedic Beauty

ayurvedic-cellulite-fighters

Ready for some new tools in the fight against cellulite? Betcha haven't tried calamus oil, or punarnava yet—have you? How about shankpushpi? I didn't think so.

But wait, I'm getting waaay ahead of myself. These odd-sounding ingredients are traditional Ayurvedic botanicals to detoxify, firm and tone (and if you don't yet know what Ayurveda means, I'm about to share!).

Read More

On My Skin in February...SW Basics

I love a good makeover story. Hollywood has done them to pieces, so has TLC, but they don't happen that often in the beauty industry. When they do, I get excited.

Over the past few years, I've watched one company in particular blossom from Sprout Wellness, to Sprout, to its grown-up and gorgeous new incarnation, SW Basics of Brooklyn. I first found this company while writing an article for the beauty pages of Boho magazine back in 2010. I thought the all-over cream was to die for. A year later, I was introduced to their bolder, hipper identity, Sprout. The lip balm was instantly a purse staple. Today the brand has added even more new products, and come of age as SW Basics of Brooklyn. And it fits. Vogue, W mag, Whole Living (RIP), and New York mag agree.

Founder Adina Grigore has a serious talent for mixing a few simple ingredients into pure elegance. Using these products makes you wonder why complicated beauty products dominate the market. More isn't always more, and SW Basics is proof that beauty can be effective and simple at the same time.

Four things I love about SW Basics products:

Read More

This Spring, Sip Skin-Healing Herbal Teas

I had the chance to try two herbal teas created specifically to promote clear, healthy skin, from De La Terre Skincare founder Anne Willis. These teas are lovely tonics for healthy skin that can also be used topically, as toners.

Read More