Andalou Naturals Super Goji Perfecting Cream and 1000 Roses Toner

andalougoji

I purchased Andalou Naturals Super Goji Perfecting Cream at Whole Foods a few months ago. (I cannot go there without buying skincare, so I don’t even fight it any more.) That particular visit featured my first Andalou purchase and I have to say, it was a good one! I layer the Goji cream over serums/oils in the evening or to apply before sunscreen on days that my skin needs it. I also like to use it on my neck and decolletage because on me, that area is too sensitive for anything other than gentle moisturizers.

I think it’s good to have a non-fussy moisturizer in the mix. This cream fit the bill in 3 ways: 1) the cost–it’s $24.99, but I have seen it for $19.99 2) the ingredients are hydrating and anti-oxidant 3) the light, fluffy, non-greasy texture. It has a pleasant peachy scent. I do think it would be great if it came in a pot with one of those pump covers just to ensure it’s kept fresh and clean. Love those.  The cream also made me curious about other Andalou products, so I recently got a bottle of the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner. I like having an another toner to rotate into my routine–it helps my beloved Yuli Panacea Elixir last longer. The Andalou Toner costs $12.95 for a generous 6 ounces–cheap thrill alert! It has aloe and hyaluronic acid to help boost moisture and the bottle sprays a fine mist–all that I am looking for when it comes to non-fussy. The only thing I don’t love is the scent. However, I will finish it and then plan to check out their other toners–I have my eye on the Illuminating Clementine + C Toner.

andalougojicream

Cream Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) and Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oils*, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*†, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Glycopeptide, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Extract*, Glyceryl Monolaurate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Bisabolol, Hyaluronic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Panthenol, Allantoin, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) and Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oils*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Hibiscus Sabdariffa Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Agathosma Capensis (Buchu) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil* Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade

Toner Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, PhytoCellTec (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex: [Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Leaf Cell and Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extracts], Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oils*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade

I don’t use either of these exclusively, so I can’t speak to the anti-aging effects. However, both of these products feature a nice combination of moisturizing, soothing, and antioxidant ingredients–lots of them (vitamin C and E, CoQ10, resveratrol to name a few). In addition to the other ingredients in the formulation, I was attracted to the idea that the cream contains peptides, as they are known to attract moisture and help the skin repair itself. I figured this would be a good thing to add to my layering of products since my serum or oil will have other things covered–like exfoliating ingredients. Andalou gives you an affordable way to do that extra layer of moisture and helpful ingredients. They even offer a serum in this line for those who don’t need as much moisture or don’t like products that come in a pot. In terms of the claims about fruit stem cells, I am not addressing those here because there seems to be a lot of conflicting opinion on them. From what I read, they are promising, but need to be studied more.  I liked FutureDerm’s take on them–they aren’t proven, but are boosting ingredients to add to proven essentials such as AHAs, retinols, and niacinamide. I am looking forward to checking out other offerings in this range. Thus far, it seems really well done and at great price points.

 

Summer Empties: Part One

summerempties2015

I have been doing empties posts on a seasonal basis because I just don’t seem to finish things very quickly. But it would seem summer is an exception. I was going to wait until September, but the bag I was using to hoard hold the empties was pretty full, so here is part one.

Beginning on the left:

Alba Hawaiian Body Oil ($10.50; 8.5 ounces) I got this from my local health food store when I first started exploring body oils. This is a affordable, very moisturizing oil. However, it scores a 4 on EWG. It’s one of the items in the bunch that is nice, but easily replaced by something cleaner–and has been. I’m currently using One Love Organics Vitamin C Oil. After that, I plan to blend my own concoction! More on that later.

Derma E Vitalizing Pomegranate Cleanser ($11 or $12–I can’t recall; 6 oz) Again, I got this early on in my transition to greener options. I think this particular cleanser may have been discontinued by Derma E. Since I have moved away from foaming cleansers, I finished this by using it to clean my brushes.

Yes to Carrots Shampoo ($6.99; 16.9 oz) This shampoo is affordable, scores a 3 on EWG, and produces lots of lather with no SLS. Now that it’s finally used up–you only need a little and it’s a BIG bottle–I am going to crack open Yarok’s shampoo. I cannot wait (yeah, I know, I’ve got to get out more).

Yarok Feed Your Ends ($13.20; 2 oz) I love this stuff. I’ve already gotten the large size. I love the speed and convenience it offers. I don’t miss conditioning in the shower at all. A few spritzes of this organic conditioner leaves hair glossy, moisturized and manageable. And it smells divine.

One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil ($42; 4 oz) This is my last bottle in the old packaging. I just opened my backup. This stuff rocks on so many levels. Great ingredients: Check. Effective at removing makeup–including mascara: Check. Appealing scent and feel: Check. Any very important to me–it emulsifies when you add water so you don’t have to remove with a washcloth unless you want to. This product is probably my most repurchased skincare item. See my review here.

Yuli Panacea Elixir ($68; 3.4 oz) Ever try a product and fall in love from first use? That’s me and Panacea. It’s a luxurious, clean, expertly formulated balancing toner. Gorgeous. Gorgeous, I say! Review here.

Pratima Neem Rose Facial Sunscreen SPF30 ($28; 2 oz) Not one, but two empties of this one. If you want a sunscreen that has a short, clean ingredients list, feels like a light lotion, and plays well with makeup then look no further. Review here.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (a bloody fortune; 1 oz) This antioxidant powerhouse does work to make sunscreen more effective. It’s so pricy I can’t bring myself to look up exactly what it costs. Thankfully Kimbery Loc just did a great review of Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum. I just ordered it (at like a quarter or fifth of the price of Skinceuticals). Kimberly is pretty spot on with her reviews, so I think it’ll be good.

Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner ($58; 1.7 oz) I really liked using this as a  light layer of moisture before a little oil on nights I wanted to give my skin a break from acid or retinol products. It is very soothing and I like clean scent and cooling gel texture. First impressions post here.

Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil ($25; 2 oz) This oil smells damn sexy–citrus, floral, vanilla and none of them obvious. It’s also very moisturizing and I thought it had a firming effect. I received it with an Osmia Soap Stash for Mother’s Day. Osmia makes perfect pampering gifts that are clean and dreamy.

Waxleene ($4.00; 1.95 oz) I love this stuff. It is my only night time lip balm.  The tube above isn’t empty. It turned on me a bit because I didn’t use it fast enough. It’s got soybean oil and beeswax and is the perfect combo of moisturizing and waxy (I like waxy balms as they stay put). I have since replaced it with their new (smaller) lip balm size/packaging. Review here.

Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel ($21) I love the miniscule brush on this. If you are like me and don’t have any major areas to fill in, then you can skip pencil with this. The tiny brush allows you to comb the brows and use the tiny tip to add color where you need it. I have the Tarte and Jane Iredale brow gels and confess to dipping the Tarte brush into the JI brow gel. Both reviewed here.

Nature’s Gate Toothpaste in wintergreen ($4.29; 5 oz). I really liked this toothpaste. It’s SLS and fluoride-free; tastes good; and has a smooth gel consistency.

 

 

 

Quickie: Real Purity Blush in Shrimp

realpurityshrimp

Real Purity is popping some serious color in the blush department. But before I begin, did I just buy a blush named after seafood? Yep. Moving on. I first learned about this brand after my “Makeup Monday” write up was posted by No More Dirty Looks. I had asked for recos on pressed clean blushers and bronzers. At the time, I was (still am) finishing the TheBalm Bahama Mama (though I am deep into the pan now). A reader commented that Real Purity’s Parfait was a favorite blush of hers. I want to get that shade, but I have some pinks I am working on finishing up. I was craving something a bit brighter for summer, and boy did I get what I asked for with Real Purity Blush in shrimp!

I like to warm up my complexion with bronzer before adding a pop of color on the apples of my cheeks. This blush is pure summer–bright and very pigmented. It’s also long lasting. I recommend using a fluffy brush and picking up just  a little color (the blush brush pictured is a Wayne Goss #12). I really like that this blush is tightly pressed. In fact, I dropped it face-down and it didn’t break or chip. It de-potted itself in the fall, which was great since I wanted to put it in a Z-Palette anyway.

realpurityswatch

Pictured above: A heavy swatch of RP blush, a blended swatch and a heavy swatch of TheBalm Bahama Mama.

What’s in it: Micronized Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxide, Silica, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)*, Pycnogenol *Organic

There are over a dozen colors and they go for an affordable $14,99 each. That’ll make it easier to try a few other color options once summer’s over. Shout out to No More Dirty Looks Reader Sara, for the Real Purity reco!