Thursday, August 18, 2016

FLB Sunchild illuminates from head to toe

If you've been following me on Instagram, you already know how obsessed I am with this Free Love Beauty Sunchild Illuminating Oil for Body & Hair. (as well as the photography in the new Herewith magazine; the background of this photo is from the inside of the premiere issue). For those of you who just catch up with me on the blog, here's what you've missed, and for everyone, I've included more info about Lauren of Free Love Beauty and the story behind the brand.

Lauren is this stunning wife, mom of two, licensed esthetician and make up artist (yes, I totally snagged these gorgeous pics from her site), and the amazing woman behind Free Love Beauty. FLB (Free Love Beauty, of course) actually started as a blog, where she shared her passion for green beauty products and still highlights other brands that she loves.

Her young son (this kid is so cute) was the true inspiration for the site, as he's battled OMS (Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome) along with Stage 1 Neuroblastoma, which is a rare children’s cancer. During this time, Lauren learned a lot about cancer, OMS, medicine and lifestyle changes they could make for the better by going green. Her Free Love Beauty blog provides information she's learned about green beauty, as well as some updates on her son's journey with OMS.

"I am going to show you how to FREE your skin of the bad and LOVE your skin for the good, the green way," says Lauren on her site.

Lauren's latest way to love your skin the green way is with these two Free Love Beauty oils, made with love by her (again, this photo is from her site, taken by the talented Erika of Erika G Photography). After a few years of blending and working with different ingredients, she recently made her best potions, Moonchild and Sunchild, available for sale on her Etsy page.

Lauren created her Free Love Beauty Moonchild Restorative Oil for Face, Hair & Body (photo from her site) over a year ago to use on her then 6-month old daughter to treat the bad eczema on her arms and thighs. Plain coconut oil and other non-toxic lotions weren't working, so Lauren used her knowledge of natural oils to formulate this multi-tasking gem that calmed her skin almost immediately. This highly-concentrated combination of organic pomegranate oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic jojoba oil, lavender essential oil and non-GMO tocopherols can be used from head to toe as is or mixed into your favorite lotion, moisturizer, etc.

Personally, I had been lusting over Lauren's Free Love Beauty Sunchild Illuminating Oil for Body & Hair since she first started posting about it on her Instagram page. Lucky for me, she sent me a bottle to try (she seriously is the sweetest).

This illuminating oil is like liquid gold. It's a highly-concentrated combination of organic rosehip oil, organic grape seed oil, mica and non-GMO tocopherols that shimmers and shines, as you can see here. Lauren spent a lot of time perfecting the perfect honey golden hue that would provide a good sparkle, while evening skin tone and adding a hint of color to the skin.

Although concentrated, this shimmer is quite subtle when either applied lightly (I like to treat this as liquid gold, using it ever so sparingly) or combined with your favorite body product. I wish it showed up better in photos, but in person the color and shine is simply perfection. My hubby loves when I wear it.

I love to add a drop or two to my lengthy locks, especially since all the beach and pool time have been quite harsh on my hair this summer. It instantly brings my hair back to life with its lightweight moisture and shine.

This little bottle has Lauren written all over it. I can tell she poured her heart and soul into these potions, but this one makes me think of her the most. She's a beauty, both inside and out. Thanks to her, we can all look and feel like California girls, too.

On another note, I briefly mentioned this Herewith magazine at the beginning of this post. I just adore the photography in this premiere issue, as well as the stories about the locations and people featured in it. Whether you surf or not, this collection of beach culture and fashion is a treat for the eyes.

What's your favorite beach location? Do you have a favorite green beauty product to tame your summer salty locks and sun-parched skin? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and /or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Although I was sent this Free Love Beauty oil and Here With magazine,
all opinions are my own :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Butter Angels feels heavenly on my skin

Recently, I was sent this Butter Angels Lavender Body Butter from Butter Angels and the Leaping Bunny Program. This all-natural, cruelty-free, vegan body butter is just what my sun-parched skin needed when I got home from my beach vacation.

If you haven't heard of Butter Angels, it's most likely because it's a small brand that's about ready to kick off it's second Kickstarter campaign (it starts September 1 for those of you interested in supporting this small business). Butter Angels is founded, owned, formulated and made by Rolande Sumner, a mother of four kids (2 children and 2 dogs), loving wife, retired U.S. Army veteran and philanthropist. She has a bachelors in liberal studies with close to 10 years experience in skincare formulation (don't you just want her to succeed in this business? I know I do).

The Butter Angels line of highly moisturizing skincare products include lip moisturizers, lotion bars and body butters. I happen to receive a body butter in lavender, although it also comes in lemongrass, rose and original. I just love how it softens my skin and gives it a healthy glow. The lavender scent (from essential oils) is also relaxing when rubbing it into sore muscles.

This lightweight combination of kokum butter, meadowfoam seed oil, vitamin E, vegecide and essential oils may need to be refrigerated upon arrival, as it has a tendency to liquefy in this summer heat much like coconut oil. Once chilled, it becomes a vegan butter that melts with the warmth of your body heat. Your skin drinks it up and shines like those models in the magazines.

Just look at how this buttery body treat transforms into a luxurious oil on skin. It's so good.

Let me know if you try this heavenly body butter. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Although Butter Angels and the Leaping Bunny Program sent me
this body butter, all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Teri Miyahira Beauty is "Clean & Chic"

You may recall me posting about Teri Miyahira Beauty and her 100% natural, cruelty-free, vegan beauty subscription box. Well, lucky for me, I received the latest box on my doorstep today. Here's what I found inside.

First of all, there's this cute reusable drawstring bag with a printed message that sums up its contents. Teri's products are in fact "Clean & Chic," like this 100% natural, cruelty-free, vegan powder blush and eyeshadow. I love how they are packaged similar to those MAC Cosmetics I used back in the day. They really are chic.

Just look at the blush compact, which is quite substantial. This summer shade is called Intuition. It reminds me of a beach sunset and is the perfect amount of color to pop on my tan skin.

The eyeshadow is named Positivity, and I'm positive that I'll be wearing this color a lot. It's a pale gold/champagne shimmer that adds a soft glow to my lids. It's also a good size for toting around in my purse for quick touch-ups. You can easily apply it with your fingertips, when you don't have a brush handy.

Here's are swatches of both the Positivity Powder Eyeshadow and Intuition Powder Blush. They're so gorgeous.

When it's time to wash that makeup away and really deep clean those pores, it's nice to also find this Teri Miyahira Bamboo & Blueberry Exfoliating Powder Polish in this box. It comes in this white powder form with little specks of what I suspect is either bamboo or blueberry for added exfoliation.

This facial scrub is very easy to use. Simply combine a small amount with a few drops of water to create a paste, and then massage it in circular motions on your face and neck (being careful around the delicate eye area). When you rinse it away, you're left with baby soft skin. This scrub is so gentle and reminds me of the consistency of facial exfoliators made by Josie Maran and French Girl Organics.

I really think Teri Miyahira did amazing job on this box. Let me know if you subscribe. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Although Teri Miyahira Beauty sent me this box,
all opinions are my own :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Innersense lives up to the organic hair hype

For about a year now, I've had Innersense Organic Beauty on my green beauty wishlist. All of the green beauty Instagram community seems to be raving about it, so I can't believe it's taken me so long to try it. Lucky for me, Innersense sent me five of their fabulous hair care products (Color Awakening Shampoo, Color Radiance Daily Conditioner, Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner, Quiet Calm Curl Control and Harmonic Healing Oil) to take for a test drive.

If you're unfamiliar with Innersense, let me fill you in on what you've been missing. It's a line of cruelty-free, "pure, organic and toxin-free products that are handcrafted from a rich combination of carefully selected, certified organic and biodynamic plant extracts, rich in emollients and nutrients, and high in antioxidants. [Innersense] products are built to restore the hair's natural balance, leaving it healthy and full of body and shine."

I have to admit that I'm really impressed with this high quality hair care line, starting with the Color Awakening Shampoo and Color Radiance Daily Conditioner. Just like the rest of the line, these daily, 100% color-safe products are free of toxins, sulfates, PEGs, ethoxylates, phthalates, parabens, resins and silicones. They gently cleanse and revitalize/nourish your hair and scalp.

Although I haven't colored my hair in more than a decade, I can still appreciate the tender loving care these products provide my delicately thin strands. I just adore the experience of bathing my hair and scalp in this luxurious combination of coconut, palm oil, pumpkin seed oil, shea butter, sunflower seed extract (it's high in antioxidants to prevent color from fading), rooibos tea, echinacea flower essence, frangipani, lemongrass, aloe leaf juice and citrus peel oils. This shampoo smells amazing (seriously, the citrus really wakes me up in the morning and brightens my day), and balances my hair and scalp. It gets my hair clean without drying it out.

This shampoo's partner in removing hair grime is the Color Radiance Daily Conditioner, which "revitalizes and nourishes color treated hair. Handcrafted from certified organic and biodynamic extracts of rice bran oil and oat kernel, rich in nutrients. Rice and soy proteins, high in antioxidants, restore hair's natural moisture balance. Sunflower extracts protect color from fading, organically restoring hair's natural balance, leaving hair healthy, hydrated and full of body."

I was pleasantly surprised by the richness of this daily conditioner. It has a light, possibly floral scent that I enjoy breathing in while it coats my thirsty strands. After a few minutes on my locks, it washes out easily, while still leaving just enough slickness to help detangle my hair with ease. Don't worry, as my hair doesn't look slick or greasy once dry. This conditioner also doesn't weight down my hair. It just leaves in soft and silky.

If your hair is thirsty for more, may I recommend the Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner. It's a lightweight detangler that adds hydration and shine after your shower. Just mist this "infusion of emollient oils, rich in nutrients, fragrant herbs and flower essences" into your clean towel-dried hair and use it on dry hair to rejuvenate or style it. This conditioner is lighter than the daily conditioner and smells so lovely like a fresh bouquet. However, I sometimes have trouble getting it to spritz out of the pump. Then again, it's totally worth the effort to apply it to my hair, as needed, when the pump gets a bit clogged. I also don't fear that it will leak when traveling.

The leave-in conditioner is one of the three treatments/styling products I received, all of which provided stellar results. The other two include the Quiet Calm Curl Control and the Harmonic Healing Oil.

I used to have curly hair, until I had kids (pregnancy straightened most of it out). I still have a bit of wave in some areas, which mainly just leaves my hair prone to frizzing, especially on hot humid days. Therefore, I've been occasionally using the Curl Control in place of the leave-in conditioner. It defines the slight amount of wave I have left, but it also keeps any frizzy pieces under control. It also has a delicious citrus scent.

Last, but not least, is the Harmonic Healing Oil Soothing Treatment for Skin, Hair and Scalp. This combination of "certified organic tamanu, safflower, and evening primrose oils, abundant in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, proteins and antioxidants, creates a rich healing treatment for skin, hair and scalp." The herbal scent has an aromatherapy calming effect that relaxes the mind, while soothing my scalp. It great for healing dry scalp and hair after a day swimming in the sun. I've been sleeping with it on my hair and scalp at night to combat the effects of the sun and chlorine from the day. It's a bit heavy to leave in my thin hair throughout the day, but it could work to tame thicker hair.

I'm so happy that I finally had a chance to try all these Innersense products. I totally understand the hype. What's your favorite Innersense product? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Although Innersense Organic Beauty sent me
these products, all opinions are my own :)

Friday, July 22, 2016

14e cosmetics soothes, smooths skin w/aloe

If you're anything like me, you've been following @14ecosmetics on Instagram, wondering if these all-natural, organic, cruelty-free and vegan sheer tints and foundations can make your skin as flawless as those featured wearing this aloe-based makeup. Lucky for me, I recently won a bottle of the 14e cosmetics SPF 10 Aloe Nourish Sheer Tint to try.

Professional makeup artist and founder of 14e cosmetics, Emma Fortini, did an amazing job of selecting my shade (03-Bamboo), and was kind enough to toss in three SPF 23 Aloe Nourish Foundation samples in 01-Seashell, 02-Sand and 03-Bamboo). Working with an Ayurvedic molecular biologist, she created these products with aloe vera as the base and skin calming ingredients, such as Gotu Kola and licorice root, to target both acne and early signs of aging (intrigued, right?).

First of all, I'm impressed that Emma picked out the perfect shade of sheer tint for me, based on my Instagram photos (I seriously need to work on my photo-quality, but somehow she got the color just right). This sheer tint is light in texture, although not so sheer that it doesn't do anything for me. It provides a bit of an airbrush finish, without covering my freckles (I love freckles). It doesn't settle into fine lines and feels light as air on my skin. The best part is how it keeps my skin moisturized all day, without melting away in this summer heat. I stay fresh-faced from morning 'til night.

If I need a tad more coverage or some dimension, I'll add those foundation samples into the mix. Btw, how cute is the presentation in this little black bag? You can actually purchase samples from the website (two samples for $6) to narrow down your exact shade in advance and/or to experiment with mixing shades.

The foundation is similar to the sheer tint, but with more coverage and a higher SPF. Here are swatches of the foundation samples next to the sheer tint. From left to right (bottom to the top) are the sheer tint in 03-Bamboo, and the foundations in 03-Bamboo, 02-Sand and 01-Seashell. Although not blended into my skin, you can see how the 03-Bamboo is a perfect match for me. 02-Sand is too light on it's own, but I like to use it as an under-eye concealer. I've also had success using 01-Seashell as a highlighter. There also are two darker shades available, which include 04-Sunkissed and 05-Coconut (not pictured).

Here's a pic I posted on Instagram earlier in the week. It's just a quick photo I took of me wearing the 14e cosmetics SPF 10 Aloe Nourish Sheer Tint in 03-Bamboo, with a tiny bit of the SPF 23 Aloe Nourish Foundation in 02-Sand as an under-eye concealer. Although the quality of this photo isn't the best, you can still get a good idea of the color, as well as how this product soothes and smooths out my complexion. This stuff is so good.

Have you tried 14e cosmetics? What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* 14e cosmetics sent me this sheer tint and samples. All opinions are my own :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Can't stop raving about Beauty Brew

Recently, I posted about Beauty Brew, and couldn't stop raving about this line of holistic handcrafted beauty treatments. In fact, I still can't stop raving about those body products from my prior post, and now, this facial scrub, tonic and balm from today's post.

Now, let's start with this Beauty Brew Tea Tree & Matcha Scrub, which contains green tea matcha powder, castile soap, organic brown sugar, tea tree oil, vanilla, lemongrass oil and olive oil. I love the short list of clean ingredients that all serve a purpose. The castile soap cleanses, while the sugar provides a gentile scrub, restoring that healthy glow to dull, tired complexions. The antibacterial tea tree oil prevents inflammation, kills bacteria and treats breakouts, and the other oils keep the skin soft and moisturized. Oh, and that vanilla makes it smell so good (all the Beauty Brew products I've tried smell amazing).

I can also smell the green tea matcha powder, which I have always heard was excellent for sun-exposed skin (I've actually used green tea bags on sunburns). The funny thing is that the overall scent of this product reminds me of a spicy gingersnap cookie; it makes me hungry every time I use it, although it doesn't look very appetizing on my face. It's a paler color on the skin than you see in the container. It looks a bit like something from a baby's diaper (sorry, it's the mommy in me), but it makes my skin soft and smooth like a baby's bottom, after I wash it away. It also doesn't clog my pores.

Heads up, though, that you'll need to avoid using this near your eyes. I recommend cleansing your face with your usual facial cleanser before using this product. I washed my face with the Handcrafted Beauty Almond & Honey Cleansing Oil that I reviewed a couple weeks ago.

Next up is the Beauty Brew Vodka & Rose Face Tonic. I've heard that vodka was an excellent toner for the skin, but since I don't drink these days, I also don't have any organic vodka around the house to test out, as part of my skincare routine. Lucky for me, Beauty Brew included it in this tonic, along with purified water, witch hazel, rose hydrosol, rose oil, tuberose oil and sweet orange extract. I just adore the light floral scent and the way this toner gently cleanses, tightens my pores and leaves my skin so very soft. After using this toner (applied with cotton rounds to remove any leftover dirt and makeup, being careful to avoid the delicate eye area), I'm tempted to skip moisturizer, and actually have skipped the moisturizing step on occasion (it's that good).

When I use moisturizer lately, I reach for this face tonic's "partner in crime" (is it a crime that these products work so well together? Something's suspicious here; just kidding, although they really are made for each other). The Beauty Brew Rose & Vitamin C Restorative Face Balm is absolutely amazing, especially when applied after the tonic. I can't believe this simple "beauty brew" (it only contains shea oil, cacao butter, beeswax, rose oil, tuberose oil, sweet orange oil and seaberry oil) is so effective and such a dream to use (it's so luxurious and smells heavenly).

You only need a small amount of this rich balm to experience all it has to offer. The shea and cocoa butters melt the minute the heat of your skin touches it. These butters are known for their moisturization and healing properties (I've always used shea and cocoa butters to help prevent scarring and reduce the appearance of stretchmarks, scarring, etc. Did I mention that you can also use this balm on other parts of your body? I have). I just dab a little on where I need it most, and let my skin drink it up. They must be high quality butters, as I haven't had issues with them clogging my skin or causing breakouts.

The star ingredients in this balm are the rose and sweet orange oils. Together, they feed your skin antioxidants to prevent the formation of free radicals that can age the skin. Personally, I've noticed my skin looking smoother, softer and more vibrant. My fine lines seem to disappear, especially around my eye area. I'm not sure if it is advisable to use this product there, but I've had amazing results using it in place of my usual eye cream (I just make sure not to get it in my eyes). I just love this little miracle in a jar and plan to purchase more in the future (once I get through this one; I'm only about a quarter of the way through it).

Seriously, I highly recommend Beauty Brew. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this brand. Let me know, if you can't stop raving about Beauty Brew, too. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* A big thank you goes out to Beauty Brew for sending me these products.
All opinions are my own :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Leaves of Trees is a lovely way to stay fresh

Natural deodorant can be tricky, when it comes to finding one that works for you. I'll even admit that I had some trouble myself, until I gave my underarms a "pit detox" (you basically have to stop using the toxic stuff for at least a month, even if that means using detoxifying facial masks under your arms and freshening up with a spritz of water mixed with organic raw apple cider vinegar from time to time).

Now, I don't sweat quite so much, and I've been able to find some natural deodorants to keep me smelling fresh, like this Leaves of Trees Lavender Tangerine Deodorant. It comes in this elegant tube and has a natural lavender citrus scent (it smells so good). A combination of sodium bicarbonate (a natural deodorizer; heads up, if you are sensitive to baking soda), kaolin clay (although this is not an antiperspirant, it does keep you a tad bit drier) and natural antiseptic agents (neem oil, lavender and tangerine essential oils, eucalyptus and peppermint oils; sweat itself doesn't smell until it comes in contact with bacteria) help to prevent body odor, while argan oil, cocoa butter and vitamin E keep your skin soft. It's easy to reapply, as needed, throughout the day, without contaminating the rest of the product.

You can find this lovely deodorant (yes, I just referred to it as lovely) at Petal and Post (I snagged the two banners in this post from their site, reminding you why it's so important to include natural products in your beauty routine), which only sells products that are free from sodium laurel sulfate, sulfates, parabens, propylene or butylene glycols, petroleum, PEGS, TEA, DEA, phthalates, GMO, silicones, pesticides, BPA, lead, artificial dyes, harmful synthetic fragrances or animal by-products. In other words, you can be assured that brands purchased from this site are safe to use. U.S. and Canadian customers can get free shipping with the code: rawdorable-SUMMER (the code is good for one use through 9/30/16).

Have you found a natural deodorant that works for you? Let me know your faves. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Petal & Post sent me this deodorant for review.
All opinions are my own :)
* This post contains affiliate links.