Laurel Whole Plant Organics Sun Damage Repair Facial Serum

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Hey! It’s been awhile. I have been trying lots of stuff and am catching up on telling you about it, beginning with  Laurel Whole Plant Organics Sun Damage Repair Facial Serum. It was the August selection for Beauty Heroes subscribers–a great deal as you got the full sized bottle for $39 versus $88 and it came with a sample of their body oil and a mask.

I finished the first bottle of serum and am on bottle two (and I bought a third and gave it to my sister). So clearly, I think this is an excellent oil, er serum. It is one of those products that does what it says–repair. Within about about 2 months, it significantly lightened sun damage on my cheeks. I had one spot–about the size of a finger print on my right cheek. As I used the oil, I began to discern that the spot was actually a cluster of spots, not one big spot. With use of the serum and religious use of sunscreen, the individual parts of the whole became smaller and lighter–to the point that I don’t see the big spot. I barely see the little ones. I got that result by using it every night in the summer. The directions say to use it day and night, but I stuck with my Drunk Elephant C-Firma in the day (it has the vitamin C feulic acid combo that I think helps sunscreen work better and it is a lighter oil). When using the Laurel Sun Repair Serum every night this summer, I pretty much skipped acids and other retinol-based products. This has oils that contain vitamin A, so it does help with turnover and renewal. The serum kept my face hydrated, bright, and soft. I think it has enough heft to really tackle dry winter skin too, so it is still.

This contains a gorgeous blend of oils and has a light, warm sandalwood scent.  Here is what is in it:

Jojoba Oil*, Rosehip Seed Oil*, Red Raspberry Seed Oil*, Almond Oil*, Sesame Oil*, Sea Buckthorn Oil*, Cranberry Seed Oil˚, Pumpkin Seed Oil*, Red Grape Seed Oil*, Tamanu Oil*, Rosemary Extract*; in-house biodynamic proprietary blend of Scarlet Pimpernel*, Calendula*, Gotu Kola*, Licorice*, Bilberry Fruit*, Comfrey*, Chamomile*, Red Clover*, Marshmallow*, Rosehip Fruit*, Nettle*, Horsetail*; essential oil blend of Sandalwood*, Carrot Seed*, Helichrysum*, Cistus*

* certified organic

Make-up Faves 2015

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Sorry that I’ve been away! I changed jobs (loving the new job), prepped for the holidays, had lovely family visit from out of town and more–all good stuff that pushed blogging to the back burner. But I am back.  I’m starting with make-up that I’ve used a lot this year. Some green, and some not. As I’ve always said, this space is greenish! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the holiday season!

Mascara: This year, I returned to Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. This is the ONLY mascara that doesn’t smudge on me. It stays put so well that I can wear it on lower lashes. I don’t even try that with others. It very black and provides great volume and length in just 1-2 coats. It can be clumpy, so you have to clean off the wand a bit before you start.

Concealer: Onomie’s A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment and Bright Concealing Elixir were staples this year. Read my review of this under-eye circle brightening and concealing duo here. I also succumbed to the internet buzz about Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless complete Coverage Concealer. I bought it during the VIB sale and, well, wow. It’s a high-coverage, lasting product that truly is weightless. It doesn’t crease and lasts all day. The internet was right about this one.

Eyeliner: I am still loving the Youngblood Dual Highlighter Pencil for brightening tired peepers. I should probably get a new one soon. Read my review here. I also love the soft, pigmented, smudge-able, and long-lasting Sephora Collection Contour Eye Liner. I have it in brown and use it a ton.

Base: This year, I made the biggest dents in bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (reviewed here);  Nars Sheer Glow. (I’ve never reviewed it, but it’s the best foundation I’ve ever used. It’s not perfect, but pretty damn close as far as department store offerings go.) In terms of green bases, it’s Gressa Minimalist Corrective Foundation all the way. See my post about it here.

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is perfect, you hear? Perfect. I especially love the yellow-tinged Diffused Light for finishing my makeup and setting concealer. You only need a touch on a fluffy soft brush.

Lips: I made the biggest dents in Ilia Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady (reviewed here); Jane Iredale Lip Pencil (liner) in Peach (I use this with lip colors ranging from nude to watermelon); and the newest addition is Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig (a peachy-nude-rose that is a tad bright, but in a very good way).

Tools: I own a fancy Japanese blush brush and I never use it. Instead, I go for the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush. (Read about my most-reached for brushes here.) I also love the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, though this year I got a few of their Miracle Complexion Sponges and I love them. If you wanted to (specially when traveling) you could use this one tool for base, concealer, cream highlighter, and finishing powder. They work as well as a Beauty Blender for one-third of the price. Love.

 

Andalou Naturals Super Goji Perfecting Cream and 1000 Roses Toner

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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.

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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.