MIJA – Superstar: The New Supplement that Changes Everything

We all know that beauty is more than skin deep, which is why ingestibles have been one of the most exciting categories in the beauty and wellness space in the past few years. For every skincare cocktail there is, there now exists a literal cocktail of powders, tinctures, and liquids that do from the inside what the organic lotions and potions promise to do on the outside. But if you’re like me, someone who has put forth earnest energy in trying all the Moon Juice Dusts (Brain Dust, Sex Dust, Beauty Dust… there’s even a dust for the Spirit?) and purchasing an esoteric ancient herb recommended by Los Angeles health gurus on Instagram, you’ll probably find all the information out there pretty confounding. Unlike a cleanser that tells you what skin type it’s suited for or a face oil that has an obvious density that will either agree with your skin or not, ingestibles are a bit like the wild west. It’s hard to say what exactly they’re doing once you take them in the same way that a salad is good for you but you can’t go to a mirror after eating one to see results, and if they’re not working, it might not be immediately obvious the way your skin might react to a harsh exfoliant.

I’ve tried them all. From the statuesque Super Elixir by WelleCo founded by supermodel Elle MacPherson to the blue and gold single-ingredient creations of Sun Potion and the aforementioned Moon Juice, whose creations are ubiquitous in this space. Some, I liked and some were so-so. But it wasn’t until I experienced headaches after taking a cocktail of herbs recommended by an industry-recognized retailer in the space that I realized these tonics, like an improperly formulated skincare product on skin, could just as easily fuck up your body. It sounds obvious in hindsight, but I think so many of us just fall into the complicity of following a recommendation. So I started doing my research with the same questions that I asked of my skincare brands, who is making this? what are their qualifications? what are the ingredients doing? why is this good for me? what are the potential risks? And you know what happened? I had to stop taking all of the supplements because none of them could get past my vetting in a way that made me feel confident and secure of what I was putting into my body.

Then in July, my friends at Garçon’s World told me about MIJA – a nutraceuticals brand made with 100% plant-based ingredients, whole-foods, and so on. Been there, done that. But they insisted I try MIJA’s hero product, Superstar, because their entire office loved it. So I did and it arrived just few days later – all eco-sustainable/biodegradable packing materials (nice!). Upon opening the box, I was immediately drawn to the packaging, something about it just felt so thoughtfully created and just holding it made me feel happy.

First Impressions

I mixed 2 teaspoons of Superstar, as instructed, with some room temperature water and added manuka honey and a squeeze of lemon. The powder resembles matcha (the base is pure, organic, ceremonial-grade matcha and moringa leaf) and is quite water-soluble. I didn’t expect the taste to be so satisfying but it really felt like a treat. It’s a fruity profile of lychee and honeydew melon that tastes decidedly better than anything I’ve had from Moon Juice, The Nue Co, or Sun Potion, and yet more natural without the overpowering flavoring found in WelleCo and The Beauty Chef. I’m not kidding when I say this – but within 10 minutes, I felt a zen vibe take hold where everything just seemed to chill and I felt optimistic and positive. As I was thinking to myself of first impressions to later share on my blog, an e-mail came from the founder of MIJA, Sarah Koszyk, that explained why she created MIJA and what made their first and currently, only product, Superstar so outstanding – and everything became clear.

About MIJA and Sarah Koszyk

Sarah Koszyk is a registered dietician and nutritionist. What this means is she had to get a bachelors degree, then a masters degree, followed by a residency program (she did her program at the renowned Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital), and just to draw some distance between this and say a “wellness expert” or “holistic guru” – Sarah’s expertise is covered by health insurance because she’s recognized as a medical practitioner, which won major points for me since…. absolutely none of the other nutraceuticals are founded by people with directly relevant degrees of this magnitude. Sarah has her own private practice in San Francisco where she’s basically the go-to wellness expert for the Silicon Valley elite as well as professional athletes. And remember how much I loved the taste of Superstar? Not surprising coming from the woman who is also a published author of 5 books on delicious, nutritious, healthy eating. After a couple back and forth e-mails with Sarah, it became clear why she created Superstar. Most supplements on the market today, she explained, fall into two categories:

They either focus on a single issue (gut health, pH, proteins, skin, etc.), resulting in the need to purchase many to see any meaningful holistic benefits. This is not only inefficient but can also result in nutrient imbalances. Or formulas try to throw everything in, which overloads the body with things it does not need and not enough of what it does.

As Sarah explained, the body is not a single-issue system, it is complex and responsive. Envisioning Superstar as a hero product that is scientifically backed and can be safely beneficial for everyone as a comprehensive supplement, she utilized her extensive experience working with clients as data points to deep dive into the universal nutritional gaps and dietary shortfalls. The resulting product is a complex of anti-inflammatories, full-spectrum vitamins, and antioxidants, beautifying minerals, pH-balancing herbs, gut-healthy microflora, omegas, stress-relieving adaptogens, plant-based proteins, and hundreds of health-boosting phytonutrients delivered in a 100% organic, vegan, gluten-free formula.

The Results

I’ve been using Superstar daily for over a month and I have to say that there are noticeable benefits in many areas. Most surprisingly, it has really improved my digestive and gut health where I no longer feel “heavy”, lethargic, or bloated after dinner, I’ve been getting more restful sleep where I wake up refreshed and energized even if the hours slept are the same and my skin looks really even and toned like I’ve been doing micro-current treatments every night for the past month. My partner who I asked to test this out with me is also fairly convinced that this is helping to turn back what he thinks is the beginning of his receding hairline and after he pointed this out, I noticed that I wasn’t losing as much hair as I was. Although this is not a diet supplement, because it tastes so satisfying and is filled with good ingredients, it feels satiating so I’ve actually lost about 4-6 lbs (depending on the day). Finally, it puts me in the zone as far as creative kicks go and I find myself writing most of my e-mails in the morning after I drink it to get myself in a calm-focus state.

These were the results that I experienced, and reviews on their website are similar. You may be wondering if there is some synthetic drug in here, but it’s actually all superfoods like goji berry, turmeric, Chaga mushroom, camu camu, and lucuma. We all know superfoods are good for you but I think it took someone like Sarah Koszyk, a medical professional rather than a self-professed guru or influencer, to come along and get the right superfoods sourced from the right local suppliers in the right formula with the right concentrations using the right extraction processes (their process was created in a San Francisco-based performance lab to ensure high absorption and full bio-availability of the nutrients) to create something exceptional. That’s a lot of things that have to go right, which means what MIJA has accomplished with Superstar is truly spectacular. I’d easily rank Superstar as the best supplement I’ve used and my top pick as an all-in-one supplement. Superstar retails for $78 per jar which can easily last over 2 months, you can get 10% off if you sign up for their newsletter but when I told Sarah that I was planning to write a review, she generously offered a 15% off code for my readers that will last all month long: BEAUTYIDEALISTLOVESU


I know this almost doubles as my journey through ingestibles, so I want to hear about your experiences in the comment section!

*I am not paid nor compensated for my review, and my discount code is not an affiliate link, I just really really love the product and think it’s one that is spectacular and worth sharing.*

 

 

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ROSE, ROSE, ROSE: African Botanics, MV Organics, YÜLI


We’ve all used products that can only be described as beautiful. They’re the ones that just feel like heaven from the fragrance down to the way they feel, where every time you just feel uplifted, calmed and transported. I’ve noticed that mine all revolve around roses. There are so many roses on the cosmetics market, the majority are synthetic and those can be cloying and overly sweet. But with the rise of green beauty and the demand for authentic ingredients – we’ve been exceptionally fortunate that real, high quality, organic roses are now used in skincare. These are on another level because when done well, they are the most majestic, clean, and luxurious ingredients that really elevate a product into an experience. I’ve been feeling especially in need of pampering but with a simple routine in mid-summer, so this beautifully minimal 3-step rose centered routine has been making me feel like I’ve treated myself to the spa every time.

Cleanse – YÜLI Halcyon Cleanser – Limited Rose Edition: I’ve been using YÜLI’s limited-edition drop for the past two weeks and it has been nothing short of heavenly, especially when the rose gel combines with a cool splash of water on a summer day. Only 500 units of the cleanser were made which sold out after 1 day. The limited quantity was due to the sourcing of roses from private rose gardens that are untouched by any form of commercial harvesting. The OG Halcyon is a staple in my routine, so I knew I’d love this one – I just didn’t realize it would completely take it to another level of luxuriousness of the most pristine roses. It is decadent and like wrapping your face in a hug from roses as impurities are gently lifted from the gel every morning and night. Absolute perfection. *Update: YÜLI just launched at AYLA! And they’re the only place in the US that has this stocked as of this afternoon! Shop here.

Tone – African Botanics Rose Treatment Essence: This has been in my routine for a while and the reason it has lasted this long is that it feels so special that I save it for times when I really want to slow it down and savor a product. The essence is like a buttery-gel that melts into skin and works like it’s part toner, part serum. Sometimes I put it on before an oil, other times I use only the essence which does wonderfully on its own due to a heavy roster of hard-hitting actives and lets me experience the sensorial pleasure of the roses as it hydrates and tones my skin. At this point in the routine, I’ve cupped my hands over my nose and done enough inhales to relieve any stress. I linger in the bathroom for a bit, organizing my shelf, texting friends back, etc. as the humectants and emollients in this essence soak in moisture for my skin.

Moisturize – MV Organics Rose Soothing Protective Moisturizer: To close out the routine is this incredible moisturizer. The price point is high but I need like 1/5 of one pump, basically a tiny string of product for my whole face so it will last and last. What impresses me is that the cream is so rich, yet I’ve never broken out because it just lands on the skin perfectly, with a nice smooth texture that can work as a primer. I read a lot of reviews on Detox Market that said the same thing, saying the cream is thick and rich yet soaks in and doesn’t cause breakouts. The rose in here is full-bodied but not cloying and provides a good cap to my 3-step skincare routine or the olfactive feast of roses.

Indie Lee Daily Skin Nutrition & Daily Vitamin Infusion

Sorry for the long absence, friends! I’ve been keeping consistent with my skincare ritual and haven’t felt the need to post any updates. But earlier this month I received my April Box from The Detox Market which features the new releases from Indie Lee, Daily Skin Nutrition and Daily Vitamin Infusion (along with a sample size of her Rosehip Cleanser). After using it for the past few weeks, I felt that it was important to come on here to give the scoop about the products – especially before the month is up so you can snag an April Box ($55 for a $155 value) or even take advantage of The Detox Market’s Earth Day savings if you’d like to start with just one of the products.

Indie Lee is a brand that is not new to me, I’ve always loved how her products looked and they always seemed very clean and result driven. This is my first time actually using her products though and I have to say, they lived up to expectations and make me excited to try the rest of Indie’s line. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here’s my experience with the products.

Daily Skin Nutrition and Daily Vitamin Infusion are standalone products (the first is a lotion and the second is an oil serum), which can be used alone but really ideal when paired together.


Daily Vitamin Infusion is a face oil with only the good stuff: fatty-acid plant oils and ceramides that nourish, and even pure Vitamin C and Vitamin E. You won’t find fragrant essential oils in this resourceful 10-ingredient product, only the things that your skin absolutely needs:

Squalane, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

With two forms of ceramides, Squalane, Avocado, and Coconut Oils, this oil is intensely nourishing yet, due non-clogging. I have been using this for weeks and my skin has only felt soft and supple, with nary a single breakout or pore congestion. One of the reasons for this might be that the base squalane is an intensely nourishing oil that is not greasy and absorbs quickly due to skin’s affinity for squalane. The 2nd ingredient rosehip is highly nutritious and rejuvenating and is known to be deeply rejuvenating. I love that there is actual Vitamin C in this already great oil which helps to brighten and boost collagen so this oil is performance packed. My skin feels like absolute velvet on this and the ceramide-rich oil just cushions and plumps my skin. The fragrance-free profile also makes me feel as though this is just a pure shot of vitamin infusion, and I’ve really come to love this product.

The idea here is for the oil to absorb quickly (which it does) to really get that infusion of vitamins delivered deep into the skin, feeding it from within. Then, with the vitamin-infusion, we layer with Daily Skin Nutrition to work on “feeding” the more top-level layers.

Daily Skin Nutrition is a light, yet nutrient-intensive cream made from a base of water and squalane so it both hydrates and nourishes. There are many active ingredients in here that you’ll find in Daily Vitamin Infusion since they work in synergy on different levels:

Water (Aqua/Eau), Squalane, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Propanediol, Cetearyl Olivate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Olea Europea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Carrageenan, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Gluconate, Xanthan Gum

I love the high concentration of squalane and Olive oils (which contain high concentrations of natural plant squalane) because it’s excellent for the skin barrier. The Vitamin E here helps to condition the skin so it feels soft to the touch, while Vitamin C in this serves to brighten the complexion. The fatty-acid rich plant oils help against environmental damage while pure hyaluronic acid also helps to draw in hydration.

I can’t stress this enough though that the cream is really light, I’ve used cream-based serums that have been heavier than this and the fact that it comes in a pump is evidence of it’s more fluid nature. While nourishing, the cream absorbs quickly and forms the perfect outer layer for day or night without making skin feel weighed down nor looking greasy. The first few times I used this, I kept touching my skin because the cream absorbed so quickly yet my skin continued to feel soooo soft and supple.


The beauty of this pared-down ingredients list is that it’s only performance-based and there are no “superficial” ingredients that can cause irritation so I find these products to be good for any skin type. Both products are beautifully made and really do feel like they’re nourishing my skin. Used together, you really do feel your skin just absolutely saturated in total nourishment and nutrition from deep down all the way to the surface, everything just feels so plush and plumped. Unlike many oils and serums that make huge claims, I really love the promise of the Daily Vitamin Infusion and Daily Skin Nutrition that they’re here to just feed and nurture skin like a pack of multi-vitamins. Proper nutrition is sometimes lacking as everyone is focused on one or two active ingredients, which makes these products quite universal as everyone can benefit.

The Daily Vitamin Infusion is $65 and the Daily Skin Nutrition is $80, but during Earth Day weekend, you can get anywhere from 10%-15% off on The Detox Market. Or just get The Detox Market’s April Detox Box which features full sizes of both these products plus a sample of the Roseship Cleanser for just $55, which is cheaper than the cost of one product – I can’t stress how great this deal is – the Indie Lee box will no longer be available after April, so if you’d like to get on this, time is of the essence.

Daily Vitamin Infusion
Daily Skin Nutrition
The Detox Box: Indie Lee


Photos: Taken by Garçons World

What I’m using Feb-Mar 2019

I’ve been trying to share a routine update/highlights every month or so (product reviews to come as well!). One of the things I never really liked as a reader was following someone’s routine that would change on a weekly basis. It’s just not realistic and I don’t think it cultivates a real understanding of how the products work in an actual routine. So you might see repeats in these posts but that’s only because I’m sharing the products that I genuinely use. And if I do show repeats, I usually have some new thoughts about them as well, so read on…

Kjaer Weis Highlighter (in Radiance): I’ve really been loving this highlighter recently. It works flawlessly using fingers which is my preferred method especially for winter because it lets the product melt onto skin and blends seamlessly. Lately, I’ve been on following Patrick Ta and Mario Dedivanovic makeup tutorials on Youtube, and the way they use highlighters to sculpt the nose and bring the eyes to life is just mesmerizing. Radiance is the perfect shade that catches the dark undereye circles and “shadows” around the nose, and gives them a “glow up.” The texture of this highlighter is perfect, it dispenses just the right amount of product without being obvious, and it erases any dark circles and undereye bags and really gives definition to my cheekbones and nose.

DECIEM Anomaly Petrowhat? (in Rio -Guava): I love organic products, but every now and then, a convenient and cute product such as Glossier’s Balm Dot Com will win me over. However, as much as I loved Glossier’s balm and carried it with me everywhere, the ingredients really bothered me. DECIEM launched Anomaly, a line of lip balms, pretty much to directly target people like me who love this type of product but want better ingredients. The vegan, petrolatum-free formula is decided a step up while the familiar packaging retains the Insta-genic aesthetic. Definitely my pick for the next cult lip balm that every girl should be using.

YÜLI Modern Alchemist: I rediscover my love of this oil every time the weather turns cold. It’s a beautiful nourishing oil that is absolutely plush and luxurious on the skin, with a gorgeous rose scent that you’ll delight in pressing and massaging into your skin. I have done my research and this is one of the most nutritionally loaded oils that you can feed to your skin. YÜLI also sources their own ingredients and uses a proprietary in-house extraction and formulation process that increases bio-availability and absorption of the botanical nutrients. Although an oil, this is technically a serum because it’s not just a blend of plant oils thrown together, instead it’s almost 30 ingredients from CoQ10 to plant-derived Squalene, and bio-fermented ingredients as well as a bio-retinol complex, a safe and photo-stable alternative to prescription retinol that renews skin. The formula is designed from traditional Chinese medicine so they work in a very nourishing and therapeutic way that is not at all harsh or irritating to the skin.

ONOMIE A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment: Part concealer for the under eyes and part eye serum, I have continued to love this treatment more with each use. The cream settles really well on the skin so it never accentuates creases and it provides a perfectly blendable, natural coverage that is incredibly subtle. I usually experience pilling when layering products around my eyes, but have noticed that this treatment works really well with the Kjaer Weis Highlighter. The treatment (with Vitamin A, C, and E) is also helping to fade a few pesky sun spots I developed a few years ago around my under eyes (since I’m terrified of getting SPF near my eyes) and it keeps my eyes feeling well moisturized.

Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Perfume Oil: So Kahina has two perfume oils, Fez and Essaouira, both inspired by Morocco. I loved both because they’re perfect “mood” fragrances that can be applied to pulse points so you smell gorgeous without ever feeling overwhelmed. Where Essaouira is the perfect crisp citrus for summer, Fez has that warm, grounding earthiness that is perfect for winter. It applies onto skin bold and exotic and dries to a sweet and delicate mix of rose, orange blossoms, and vetiver. If you’re dragging your feet on natural fragrances, make this your first foray – it’ll show you how beautiful high quality, perfume oil made from plant ingredients can really be.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator: Is there a person who does not like Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator? People swear by this stuff. I admit, when I first tried it, after hearing allllll the hype – it felt like an ordinary face mist. But over time, it grew on me. The spray is as good as everyone says, with the product being evenly dispersed in such a fine mist that it’s practically weightless. The mist actually contains a lot of plant oils so it’s actually quite nourishing as well as hydrating. I think because the mist contains water and oils, it actually helps layer with oils very well. One more note on the packaging, it is a lightweight plastic but that makes it extremely durable and it is basically the perfect mist to keep in your handbag for on-the-go use.

African Botanics Rose Treatment Essence: Organic beauty sometimes just spoils us with real, luxurious plants and this product takes the cake. I love the way the roses between the African Botanics Rose Treatment Essence layer with YÜLI’s Modern Alchemist serum, it’s just the most beautiful thing that leaves skin so dewy, soft and plumped. The texture of this essence is quite unique, it’s like a buttery gel that holds its shape rather than liquids like most Asian essences. I tend to use this alone after cleansing and before applying serums or oils because I think of it as the toner step for African Botanics. It’s very hydrating and the essence moniker is true to form because it’s almost like a serum in the level of ingredients (peptides, B vitamins, caffeine, yeast beta glucan, marula oil). If my skin feels more dehydrated than usual, I will use this essence first and then spray a face mist like the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, because the hyaluronic acid in this essence will bind the water molecules in the mist.


Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what products you’re excited to try now that we’re hopefully moving into Spring!

 

Recent Skincare Updates: Eye Serums, Winter Products

This winter has been tough. I think I’m at that age now where if I drop the ball on my skincare for just a day, it’ll show. The worst has been my eyes. I’ve noticed that it is where most people age the fastest and it is the category that my mom will spare no expense to plump and smoothe those deep lines into oblivion.

Read on for my eye serum experiences, I think you’ll like that the eye products are all in a more accessible price point. It wasn’t done on purpose but they’re definitely good buys. I do cover two face serums that are quite luxurious and they’re certainly worth it. One is a scientific and organic oil that nourishes and feeds restores my skin in the winter and the other gives radiance to my skin. I mix them together often and it’s an antioxidant beast.

Eye Serums

The first eye serum I bought in this bunch was Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum, a line I had always known to take their actives seriously. Of all eye serums I’ve used, this sounded the most intensive, so I hoped for powerful results as well. I was initially wary of using this as an “every day” serum due to how active the formula sounded but quickly found that it was gentle and not at all the harsh active serum that I had built up in my head. I noticed brightening within around 3 days of use and also saw a slight reduction in an emerging fine line around my under eyes after 2 weeks. With promising results, the only drawbacks for me were the small bottle size and the need for a separate daytime serum. Although the instructions say this can be used during the day, I just don’t like putting retinols on my skin during the day. I really like Dr. Dennis Gross’ Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum and saw evidence that it was working. It’s slightly on the expensive side at $69 for .5 oz but not extraordinary compared some of the really luxe eye creams that don’t deliver even half the results. The formula isn’t entirely “green and clean” but in this case, I considered it a worthwhile balance for the results.

Originally searching for a good daytime eye serum, I asked around and my friends at Garçon’s World told me that they recently sat down with Sephora and specifically looked over their entire eye serum collection. They unanimously all loved the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel, for its comfortable gel texture and immediate hydration. It’s only $54 for a formula that’s quite clean, so I figured that was worth a shot. It’s fragrance-free, absorbs quickly, doesn’t pill when you apply make-up over it, and has a natural lifting effect. This reminded me so much of the $100+ eye serums in how it felt and performed, that I had to check several times that it was actually just $54.

For the days where I wanted to fake it while still giving my eyes something that was actually working to benefit them, I leaned on Onomie’s A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment. It’s a genius undereye concealer and eye serum in one. There are actual clinical tests for the 10% Vitamin C formula that shows how it actually brightens skin and improves fine lines and wrinkles. And for those who are impatient, the concealer aspect works to cover up dark circles, illuminate the under eye area like a highlighter, and blur imperfections. This really does work as both skincare and make-up, and I cannot be without it now.

The Miracle Oil

In the winter, my skin gets extra dry, thirsty, frail, fatigued, you get the idea. I need that extra serving of nourishment to keep my skin happy. Face oils are a wonderful treat because they nourish, lock in moisture, and are full of nutritional compounds like minerals and vitamins that the skin is able to fully absorb and metabolize into… well… skin food. YÜLI’s Modern Alchemist oil is over-the-top, there are just so many gorgeous ingredients (including the vitality-activating ‘Root of Light’ that you may know is the heralded centerpiece of the $225 Kjaer Weis Beautiful Oil) and actives like CoQ10, and pure EGCG polyphenols. I love the science behind YÜLI products but this is an oil that is also just so beautiful and rich without ever overwhelming the skin. There’s a delicate, luxe rose scent tempered by a hint of the plethora of medicinal plants in the formula, and the texture is extra-emollient and long-lasting thanks to super-enriching oils like avocado, prickly pear, borage, and cloudberry. They’re balanced to have a precise lipid ratio that is bio-identical to skin’s healthy lipid profile which enables the oils to deeply nourish and fortify, while still maintaining that “breathability” to ensure that it won’t cause greasiness or clog pores. Besides being super pleasurable to use for the satisfying scent and cushiony texture alone, there are just so many nutrients in Modern Alchemist, that beyond just softness and plumping, it brings life back to my skin.

The Glow Serum

Many of you aren’t sure the difference between many of African Botanic’s serums and the Nutritive Molecule Serum, in my opinion, is their corner store serum. Here’s how I break it down, while all of African Botanic’s serums have anti-aging and hydration benefits, I consider Nutritive Molecule Serum to be the daily driver that is most balanced with antioxidants, peptides, and moisture enhancers. The ingredients are similar to their Ressurection Cell Recovery serum, both are loaded with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, algae, African botanicals, etc. What makes Nutritive Molecule Serum special, is the high concentration of three types of Vitamin C. There’s almost everything you could want for your skin in this orange-cream/gel serum that is powerful in its own right but what I think really defines the serum is the high concentration of Vitamin C that gives skin a glow and radiance even in the middle of winter.

I know that many people are sensitive to Vitamin C or have a hard time finding a stable Vitamin C, but I’ve noticed with every use that Nutritive Molecule Serum seems to flip the on switch in soft lighting my complexion.


Is there an eye serum you think I should check out? Have you experienced any of these eye and face serums? Drop a comment!

Winter 2018: The Body, Skin, Make-up Prep for that “Holiday Face”


I had overarching intentions of attending to my blog over Christmas but then caught a bug and simultaneously overcommitted to too many dinners. So in between catching up on my magazine subscriptions and Netflix (just finished Sabrina and Bird Box, not very festive, I know), I’ve had to put myself together for holiday dinners with family and friends. So I thought I’d share my “holiday face,” putting on a healthy complexion even when you’re not at your best.

I start with a soak in a hot bath (you’ll be too tired once you get home). It helps to clear the passageways. Afterward, I go over my entire body with In Fiore’s body oil*(the one pictured is discontinued but the current version is the Solution Botanique), which gives me my personal fragrance of green, yet sweet jasmine while helping to keep my legs, elbows, and arms silky soft. Follow with two glides of Agent Nateur’s No.3 Deodorant (they also have this in a sensitive skin version which is baking soda free, here), which mingles well with the body oil, to keep me smelling and feeling fresh. That wraps up my body care.

I move on to skin prep which starts at skincare. A good skincare system sets the tone for how your makeup will settle onto skin and how your skin will “breathe” with the products over time. YÜLI’s Ambrosia Beauty Nectar serum is magic in a bottle, even if I am sick, I’ll look like I just came back from a camp where we just juiced and did IV drips. YÜLI products as many of you know, are serious business and this serum is excellent for plumping the skin and it immediately vanquishes dry, rough spots that can easily become exaggerated by foundation. Ambrosia wears many hats in my routine, in this case, with its flash absorbing, emollient hydrous texture, it works like a hydrating, antioxidant-rich skin primer. I close with MV Organics Rose Soothing Protective Moisturizer, my barrier shield from winter elements. It’s used by makeup artists as a base product for good reason, the smooth yet full-bodied texture creates the perfect canvas and it also balances my skin under makeup so it doesn’t look dry and cakey, nor shiny and oily.

For makeup, I’ve been loyal to Kjaer Weis. I know there are many brands that came out with foundation in the past year, but the Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation feels like a higher quality product to me. The packaging is unrivaled, the colors blend so well, and the texture is so buttery on the skin. The cream wears beautifully in a “your skin but better” way where it compliments your natural tone and evens it out like a perfect real-life filter. The Kjaer Weis Lip Tint is equally wonderful, I layer it on almost like a lip balm because it’s also moisturizing due to the plant oils and butters. In addition to a burst of creamy, intense pigment, the lip tints also nourish lips with shea butter and jojoba oil, how wonderful is that? I dab just a touch of the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on my cheekbones and under eyes to instantly lift my complexion. It’s the makeup equivalent of Red Bull, you’ll just look awake fresh as a daisy. I finish with Beautycounter’s Lengthening Mascara, which reliably extenuates my lashes without irritating my sensitive eyes. The brush itself is very intuitive and the product applies onto lashes in a very fluid yet direct manner for great control.

Et voilà!

What are the products that pull you together even when you’re under the weather? Have you discovered any great products this Christmas? Leave me a comment!

Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser (& 20% OFF CODE!)


The beauty industry is such a fickle creature, even more so the green beauty niche, where brands, bloggers, retailers come and go like waves. One of my OG brands from the start has been Kahina Giving Beauty, who manages to swim the uncertain waters of this industry with a quiet poise, releasing gorgeous products aligned in their attention to quality and craftsmanship.

If you’re a sensitive-skinned reader who has e-mailed me over the years, I’ve most probably recommended a Kahina product or two (or the entire line) to you because of how gentle the products are. Even if you’re not sensitive-skinned, I probably suggested Kahina to you because their products are just plain wonderful.

The Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser continues to uphold the brand’s well-deserved reputation. However, I would go a step further to say that it’s beyond wonderful (which it is), and high-quality (which it also is). Here’s the spoiler: Kahina Giving Beauty’s Oil Cleanser hits all the marks for what an oil cleanser should be, I don’t just consider it one of the best oil cleansers around but the best oil cleanser around (and I’ve tried my fair share).

What’s in the bottle


When I first saw images of Kahina’s Oil Cleanser released over social media, it just felt cathartic. A fully transparent bottle where the golden goodness of the oils was the focal point just felt like something I had to have in my life. Researching it more, I soon landed on the ingredient’s list:

helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, isoamyl laurate, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, polyglyceryl-2 sesquioleate, polyglyceryl-2 caprate, daucus carota (carrot) seed oil, panicum millaceum (millet) seed extract*, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, tocopherol, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract*, curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract*, citrus aurantium amara (neroli) flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf oil*, tanacetum annuum flower oil, hypericum perforatum (st. johns wort) leaf extract, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, bisabolol, citronelol†, geraniol†, linalool†, farnesol†, limonene†

* ingredients from organic farming

There really aren’t that many cleansing oils (green or not) that use this many plant-based oils. I had previously used the much-lauded One Love Organics Cleansing Oil, but truth be told, felt slightly underwhelmed at how there were only 3 plant oils in the formula. In this cleanser, we have Sunflower, Argan, Carrot Seed, Millet Seed, Rosemary, Calendula, Turmeric, Neroli, Geranium, Blue Tansy, Sandalwood – I think you’ll agree with me that the ingredients are so high quality that it’s basically a face oil grade oil cleanser.

The unpronounceable ingredients in there are the emulsifiers, which means that this cleanser has the power of an oil to get rid of waterproof makeup (including eye product) and stubborn sunscreen but will emulsify or break down into a milky fluid when exposed to water. This benefit is a non-negotiable for me as I need the cleanser to rinse off my skin without leaving additional residue or even worse, oxidizing with the impurities left on my skin to create more trouble. That is the major issue that I have with pure-oil cleansers which do not rinse off well, sure you can use a cloth to wipe but that creates more friction/irritation, presents another thing you need to clean daily to prevent bacteria build-up, and is a very manual process so there is still no certainty that you’ve effectively removed everything.


How does it feel

The texture of this oil is just right, not so thick that you’re not getting any traction with skin but not so thin that you’re just tugging and pulling at skin either. It has just the right amount of cushion and slip for a nice massage.

The fragrance is similar to their Kahina Giving Beauty Essaouira Perfume Oil, very light, crisp and refreshing. The sensorial experience is definitely sophisticated and luxurious, and I delighted in using it every night.

Final thoughts


This really is a case where a smart, well-formulated product absolutely hits it out of the park. I don’t need to hype it any more than that. I think Kahina Giving Beauty really thought about what an oil cleanser should be and what people needed in terms of real-life performance that wasn’t being met. They created something that I think is flawlessly executed. This will be the go-to cleansing oil that will be in my routine from now on. There is no FOMO (fear of missing out), I’ve tried the rest, save your time and money, invest in this, your skin will love it, and you will thank me.

Price: 100 ml for $59 (the bottle will last a long time – pictured is what I still have remaining after using about 2-3 pumps every night, 5 times a week since July save for a total of 3.5 weeks of travel from July to now).

From now until November 4th, CREDO is having a 20% off Friends & Family sale (code: CLEAN20) while supplies last so be sure to take advantage and get this oil cleanser ordered quickly: Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing Oil.

Other retailers:
The Detox Market
Kahina Giving Beauty