First Haul Post with Yuli, RMS & Honore Des Pres

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I nearly posted this while I was waiting for these items to arrive. I was really excited. Like waiting with bells on excited. (By the way, I expected the “with bells on” idiom to have an interesting backstory.  Sadly, it doesn’t.) Anyway, two big things happened this month. One: My birthday, upon which I received a Spirit Beauty Lounge (SBL) giftcard from my lovely and generous sister. Two: SBL had a summer kickoff sale.  I try to wait for a sale to get the most out of my gift card. And it ain’t easy. But luckily I didn’t have to wait long! Now I have said before that surfing the SBL site is a form of meditation for me. But it’s even better when you move from wishlisting to buying. Check out the lovely-ness that just arrived in the mail.

Yuli Panacea Elixir. This is my second bottle of this stuff and it arrived just as my first bottle was beginning to sputter instead of spritz. Read my review here. This makes my skin feel freshened, toned, plumped, and tightened up. It quickly became a staple and with summer on the way it is reaching super-staple status. Now, if I could just stop spritzing so generously so it would last longer…

Yuli Halcyon Cleanser. First time purchase that I just had to have after reading such rave reviews. I intend to use it as my second cleanse following One Love Organic’s Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (reviewed here).

RMS Un-powder. Also, a first time purchase. I am shiny in the t-zone when it isn’t summer in NYC. So this has also arrived just in time. Reviewers are saying it keeps shine away all day. All day? I put on makeup in the morning and never think about it again, so this could be a match made in heaven for a non-touch-er-upper like me.

And finally…my first clean perfume. Honoré Des Prés Love Coconut. I’ve set aside my Bobbi Brown Beach perfume (ok, it was nearly empty anyway) for this organic summery scent. Here is how it’s described: Love Coconut is a liberated coconut fragrance. Combining head notes of seeds and leaves of coriander and fresh coconut milk with heart notes of tonka bean and vanilla bourbon with base notes of white cedar and organic coconut essence. Lovely, right?

I am excited to play with my birthday acquisitions and to review the ones that are new to me.

Cure-all: Yuli Skincare’s Panacea Elixir

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While Yuli Skincare’s line was just introduced by Spirit Beauty Lounge, there is no shortage of blog posts and reviews about their products. And the buzz is very positive. I was taking a wait and see attitude until recently. You see, my skin took a trip to breakout town. Suddenly those posts about Yuli’s Panacea Elixir became harder to file away. Panacea means cure-all and in the case of this product, the name is fitting as it seeks to address several things. They describe it as a: multitasking toner that rebalances skin, refines skin texture, primes skin’s delivery system for corrective regeneration, delivers intense lasting hydration, and decongests skin of excess sebum, toxins, & waste. That’s a big list! But first let’s get back to me…

So as I was saying, my skin went crazy and the breakouts were different from the occasional hormone-related spot. The pimples (ugh, can’t we just start calling them spots like the Brits?) were in places I normally don’t break out and there seemed to be new ones every morning and night for a few days. You know when you’re like: oh, hell no? I knew the breakouts were in reaction to something so I started to eliminate products quickly. (Aside: I have since narrowed it down [I think] to either a non-clean bronzing powder that I had pulled out of my stash for spring OR a new clean mousse foundation. I am okay with dumping the bronzer, but the foundation is harder. I am working up the guts to try it once more. Read more about my clean foundation exploits here and here.) While that was going on, I kept remembering the stuff I had been reading about Yuli’s Panacea Elixir (the very awesome blogger neimansidealist called it a staple and her battle armor!) and decided to order it. Between that and Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask (and eliminating possibly problematic products) my skin finally got back to normal. The Panacea Elixir definitely didn’t help the breakouts by drying them out with alcohol. Rather, it helped calm the whole situation down and got things cleaned up and healing without drying or stripping. It has a base of moisturizing aloe so it has a barely viscous texture that rubs in and dries smoothly. I spray it on my face section by section then rub it in with my fingers and it makes my skin feel calmed, toned, and plumped up. I really like the way my skin feels and (finally) how it looks.

Here is what’s in it:

D-Aloe barbadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia(lavender) hydrolat*, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat^, H. italicum/L. angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat*, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale (watercress) extract*, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver

The ingredients are all familiar and known for their ability to tone, hydrate, and balance. To get a better sense of what the major players in this do and how they compliment one another, read about their key actives here. What else…well, I would definitely consider Yuli a luxe product line. You can see the quality and care taken with the ingredients and that comes at a price. Luckily, you can get it in 3 sizes, there is a $12, $36, and $58 option. The scent is hard to describe. It’s pleasant and smells sort of like what I imagine making tea with dried rose petals and herbs would smell like. It’s packaged in a glass bottle that is very dark so sunlight won’t affect the product. But I also can’t see how much is left and I am going to buy a back-up because I don’t want to be caught unawares! I must say, I am really loving the whole “greening” of my skincare routine and this is one of the best discoveries I have made. Kudos Yuli.

Serious Softening: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask and Dermasuri

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Today we are talking exfoliation (a topic I never tire of) with Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask and the Dermasuri Exfoliating Mitt. These are newer items in my stash and I have nothing but good things to say about them.

Let’s start with the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($55, 1 oz.). I know, I know. I am a little late to the Tata Harper party. I mean, you can get her stuff on Sephora now. She is positively mainstream. Better late than never! My introduction to this mask happened via a sample that I received with an order from Spirit Beauty Lounge. I tried it once and liked it so much that I knew I would soon break my rule about finishing products I have before I acquire new ones. There were two other masks in rotation, but this was too hard to resist. I tried, really. But then I cracked and ordered it. Then I tried not to open it. And failed. I have been using the mask once or twice a week for about three weeks and I just love it. Unlike other exfoliating masks, you can keep it on past the 20-30 minutes they recommend without burning, tingling, or redness. It very gently exfoliates and brightens. The texture is all wobbly, cooling, and gel-like. It tightens as it dries on your skin, but not in an uncomfortable way. It also has a light, pleasant scent. It is simply a treat to use. I like to use it at night and go heavy on moisturizer before bed. I wake up to brightened, soft, smooth skin that I can’t stop touching. It is pricey, yes, but if you want gentle and natural, it’s the way to go. It has a base of aloe and according to the TH site: pomegranate enzymes for deep cleansing and pore minimization; french pink clay to reduce the appearance of pores and help detoxify skin; and white willow to eliminate dead skin cells and promotes cellular renewal. Check out the full ingredients here.

Ok, so we’ve dealt with the face. Now on to the bod. This next item was an impulse purchase: the Dermasuri Exfoliating Mitt ($19.99). I read about it on nomoredirtylooks.com in Charissa’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine…Exposed. It’s a fabric mitt that you use once every two to three weeks. You soak yourself in the shower for about ten minutes without using soap or shampoo. Then you step away from the water to rub the mitt across your skin. And then…you begin to see the dead skin rolling up into balls like a sweater gets pills. You are simultaneously amazed and slightly grossed out. You will not believe how much dead skin comes off. I was surprised to see how much came off my arms and shoulders (and ahem decolletage) in comparison to my legs. I know what you are thinking: legs get some exfoliation during shaving, so of course less skin came off when using the mitt. But do I need to remind you that the working mother is hairy? This thing has me so smooth and soft that I am inspired to shave my legs more often. Like even before it gets really warm out. The other cool thing is that while the mitt is somewhat rough in texture and my scrubbing vigorous, my skin didn’t get pink or irritated. You rinse it really well and dry it for next time. Like the Tata Harper mask, you will be touching your baby-soft skin and feeling like you made an awesome purchase. Really the only downside is having to soak for ten minutes. It’s not a drought-friendly tool. Now if only I could commit to moisturizing my body like I do my face. Oh well. One day at a time, people.