The Spring Beauty Edit

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As seasons change, so too does our skin needs making Spring the perfect time to update our skincare top shelf! Gone are the thick moisturizers and anything that can be described as “heavy,” and in are fresh, enlivening products that awaken skin. The above are some products that I’d like to share with you as part of my Spring Beauty Edit:

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser: As a first step, this cleanser smells lovely and gets rid of make-up/sunscreen build up. It washes off as a milky fluid making removal easy. Good for a quick removal or extended massage. Use in place of a balm which might prove too heavy for Spring/Summer.

Pro-tip: Apply on dry skin and cleanse before washing. The times I used this in the shower resulted in cleanser washing immediately into my eyes as I believe this cleanser is designed to break down with continued water exposure.

Kypris Moonlight CatalystA gentle resurfacing treatment that sloughs away dead skin cells and exfoliates dead skin cells that perhaps have been trapped under all the oils and moisturizers from winter. A night-time only serum, apply before face oil for best results.

Pro-tip: The older version which is more of a brownish-orange hue seemed to work better for me and the new version which is clear seems much more mild. Both versions seem to work best when slightly heated in hands first. Dry/delicate skin should use this 1-2 times a week as too much exfoliation can be counter productive and reveal thin/crepy skin. I’ll provide a more in-depth review comparing the two soon.

YÜLI M.E. Skin FuelSpring is a season of change, meaning skin may be in flux. This face oil from YÜLI is incredibly high quality being made on site from really incredible ingredients that are beneficial for problematic or compromised skin – black cumin, broccoli seed, sea buckthorn, red raspberry, prickly pear and the formula is focused on balancing and optimizing skin. Deemed a multivitamin for skin and topped with a refined fragrant jasmine note, few will find anything to complain about with this versatile oil.

Pro-tip: Apply to skin that is dewy. Oily and acne prone skins can actually put this anti-inflammatory oil on breakouts to speed up healing. Red/irritated/sensitive skins will like this gentle formula as it contains actual anti-irritant extracts. Use the press/pull technique for maximum absorption.

Kari Gran Lip WhipAvailable in a variety of colors, the naked Lip Whip is a beautifully packaged, green lip balm that gives a viable option for us girls looking for an alternative from the Rodin and Omorovicza balms. The buttery texture is melt on your lips soft while providing a solid base to apply lip stains (or just opt for one of their lip tints). Wonderful to heal chapped lips from chronic winter dryness for supple Spring kissers.

Pro-tip: layer under or dab and mix with heavily pigmented lip products (i.e. W3ll People, RMS, etc) to create a natural, moisturizing tint.

Sunday Riley Good Genes: Good Genes perhaps has Sunday Riley’s biggest cult following, any IT girl from Emily Weiss of Into The Gloss to Alexandra Pakzad will swear by this stuff. Good Genes Treatment is a multitasking lactic acid lotion that is perfect for Spring Cleaning skin. The lactic acid is pretty strong at first (with a very acidic 2.4 pH) and helps to brighten dull, tired winter skin. The first time I used it, my skin felt the tingle and once the sensation subsided, it appeared that all the trapped sebum from winter were released onto my skin as I looked absolutely shiny (TMI?)

Pro-tip: As lactic acid is an AHA, do not layer with oils or actives that can be easily broken down such as Vitamin C and Retinol. Use as either a 20 minute mask (2-3 full pumps) or alone in the evening with an inactive moisturizer.

Kate Somerville Cytocell Eye CreamMy eyes are SENSITIVE. Origins/REN eye products make it red, oils always end up in my eyes and many of the luxury (non-natural) products can really irritate my eyes so when I find one that works, I stick with it, especially through Spring when pollen and allergens are at an all time high. This eye cream from Kate Somerville has been on my wish list for years before I could afford to spend $75 on an eye cream. The ingredients include Vitamin C, a milk peptide complex and Peptide P-199 that renews skin. It relieves, soothes and gives me confidence that somehow my eyes look awake even if I am not.

Pro-tip: Stock in the fridge for added cooling benefits which helps with dark circles and firming. This cream glides onto skin so it can also be used as an eye make-up primer.

YÜLI Halcyon: This cleanser is an all time favorite and is in the Spring Beauty Edit because 1) with a flower water base, it smells like spring in a bottle 2) Spring is the best season for bare skin and this cleanser is perfect for that quick, one-step cleanse to keep skin beautiful. Every wash leaves my skin naked but never stripped just super comfortable and plush.

Pro-tip: The most luxurious cleanse I’ve had was by wetting skin with rose-water or face mist first before applying 3 full pumps of Halcyon and massaging skin. I do this every Sunday and my skin is baby soft, glowing, and pampered afterward. This gel cleanser is also superb when mixed with powder-to-cream masks.

In Fiore Encens Vetivert Body Oil: Unfortunately not yet in stock from In Fiore, this seasonal body oil is one I am well and truly obsessed over. The body oil comes out in a green hue due to the grapeseed oil base and sinks into skin beautifully that it can be applied to dry or wet skin. In Fiore’s scents are phenomenal and their body oils almost double as perfume oils, each transporting the wearer. This one is perhaps my favorite: Vetiver, Neroli, Jasmine, Mandarin all shine. It’s a floral heaven with some edge due to the grassey Vetiver note.

Pro-tip: Apply as a hair oil and do a weekly scalp massage with this oil. Not only do I find it beneficial for my hair and scalp, but it helps keep the scent ruminating all around.

What products have you put on the back burner and what are your staples for Spring? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Tatcha Soothing Silk Body Butter

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Tatcha’s recent launches have been inspired “capsule” collections each with a series of products connected by a common theme. Their current launch is the new Water Collection, a collection of deeply hydrating water-based products including sheet masks for face and eyes, their dewy skin mist, and a brand new deep hydration firming serum. Interested? Check them out here and be sure to tune back when I’ve fully reviewed two of the products from the collection!

This review is for their Soothing Silk Body Butter which is one of three products in Tatcha’s striking Indigo collection that was released a few months back. This collection is brought together by incorporating the brilliant indigo plant which is rich in anti-inflammatories. If you’ll remember, blue kind of had a moment across many beauty features from Elle to Lucky over the months and every editor noted at least one of the three Tatcha products in this range for inclusion in those features.

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The Soothing Silk Body Butter comes in a large 200ml/6.8oz jar which also has a protective lid to protect the product from drying and oxidizing. The shade of blue is rich and striking (yet disappears upon applying) and the texture is creamy and exceptionally luxurious. The scent is perfectly calming and clean, although I can’t call out specific notes, just know that it smells like a freshly made flowery ice cream on a sunny day. Absolutely pleasurable.

I like to keep this beautiful jar of cream on my bedside stand because it’s almost like a statement piece. After showering, sometimes I can be a little too scant with the moisture I give to my extremities and I particularly feel tightness or tautness 20-30 minutes after I’m in bed. A swipe here and there over dry, rough areas keeps my skin smooth and hydrated. There is no greasiness, just the silky fine texture of the cream as it literally melts into skin. As someone with relatively unfussy skin on their body (thank goodness!), I can’t attest to how soothing this product is, but suffice it to say that my skin feels truly very happy (plus I’ve read their reviews on the product site of how effective this has been for eczema).

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I originally started using this during the winter to keep my skin moisturized and it worked brilliantly. I know this because I barely had to even think about dry skin all winter. Now I’m pleased to discover it has passed the summer test as well, no need to worry about revealing dry, rough areas during swimsuit season!

A look at the ingredients reveals why this does not disappointment. Glycerin and Olive derived Squalane is number 2 & 3 on the ingredients list and they’re both incredible at holding in moisture. There is actual Silk Extract, Licorice Extract, and Green Tea extract in addition to Indigo extract which is super soothing as the name would suggest.

The presentation of all Tatcha products is pure luxury and this is no exception (see instagram for video). I really consider this a worthwhile addition to my collection and in the future when I have my own office plan to keep a jar there as well. For $48 a jar, there really aren’t any reasons not to make this one of the little luxuries to enjoy in life.

 

Red Flower Indian Jasmine Body Wash

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Red Flower is one of my favorite brands. I like to think of them as an american version of Ren but with more of a focus on spas. They’re carried at a lot of wonderful spas and it isn’t hard to see why. Their products are an aromatic delight! Their scents are derived purely from essential oils without synthetic fragrances which we need more of, especially when they’re done so well by a natural company! I’ve said before that fragrance in skincare products doesn’t matter to me because I buy products for their result, but when it comes to body products, scent becomes important because 1) it stays with you and dictates how you smell 2) I only need two things from body products: hydration and scent. In this regard, Red Flower body products are right on the mark. 

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Their body wash products come in quite a few scents, each tantalizing and unique to suit all senses. It’s one of few lines where I want to try all the scents, which include: Italian Blood Orange, Icelandic Moonflower, Moroccan Rose. And truly there is no miss for me when I smelled the entire line in their New York store. All of their body washes perform the same function: cleanse, soften, and scent skin – so the only differentiation is which scent you’d like to use! I chose the Indian Jasmine because I just can’t resist a beautiful jasmine scent. The scent is a blend of tangerine, neroli, ylang-ylang, and dominated by an unmistakably floral Jasmine sambac. Those who are used to the synthetic jasmine scent in mainstream performs will need to adjust to this scent but for those who have a pretty natural routine, you’ll immediately appreciate the otherworldly purity of the jasmine scent, which Red Flower describes as “lush, heady, and intense”– but don’t let that scare you into thinking this is an aggressive scent. The scent remains light on the skin.

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ImageThis is a body wash, so let’s get to performance! The key skin cleansers and softeners are Aloe, Arnica, and Honey which combine to give the gentlest of cleansing. Aloe is a known skin healer that softens and calms skin. Arnica is a botanical that is said to restore tranquility and stimulate blood flow. Honey is a wonderful conditioning agent that cleanses, purifies, and moisturizes skin. The base of the body wash is made from Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and Castor Oil which are incredibly hydrating. Upon lather, skin feels wonderful and the senses are positively rejuvenated. After the shower, skin does seem softer and rough spots are a thing of the past. This should easily be the replacement product for all you soap lovers out there. 

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The only issue I had with the ingredients list is the use of Palm Oil which is typically derived from methods that are not environmentally sustainable (it has been tied to large scale deforestation, wild life genocide,  and human rights/labor violations). Some of you might not care (although I encourage you to educate yourself about this as everyone should be aware of how their consumerism impacts the world), but I know it might be a dealbreaker for a few readers. I’m going to ask a Red Flower representative about the sourcing of their Palm Oil and see if it is derived from ethical means because it would be irresponsible to lump them in with this bad image if they’re actually being responsible (I believe that there are some ethical, vegan-friendly cooperatives that produce Palm Oil). Aside from that, they use plant sourced preservatives, and pure essential oils for fragrance, and no alcohol. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are urged to use caution when using products with Arnica and Jasmine so do consider another scent that contains less stimulating essential oils.

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I highly suggest those of you looking for a body wash cleanses and moisturizes. Ideally, I’d like the Palm Oil to be substituted out for something else. That doesn’t take away from the fact that this otherwise natural, clean-formulated body wash is one of the most convenient ways to immediately transform the daily shower into a luxurious spa experience that reawakens the senses. 

Available at Red Flower ($22)

Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion

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Weleda is one of my favorite “mass” green product companies. You’ll typically see them sharing shelf space with Dr.Hauschka, but their products tend to be priced lower. From my research, Weleda tends to use purer sources for their ingredients, relying on a lot of organic farms, which is to me, the key difference between them and Dr.Hauschka. This isn’t to say Dr.Hauschka products are inferior, the products are vastly different and so you will need to test them individually (luckily, they’re both carried at Whole Foods so that shouldn’t be too difficult for most people).

Weleda’s Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion is one of 4 body lotions in their diverse line (which includes Wild Rose, Citrus, Sea buckthorn, and Pomegranate). Each lotion has a different purpose: Wild rose for normal to dry skin, Citrus for normal skin, Sean Buckthorn for dry skin, and Pomegranate for mature skin. Now before you ask why there isn’t a lotion for oily skin, I’m told it is because the market for body lotion is self-selected unlike facial skincare, so those with oily skin who don’t need the extra replenishment aren’t looking for this product (eventhough they should still use one for protective benefits!)

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I chose Pomegranate because to be honest, it smelled the best (Sea Buckthorn is another wonderful option but the other two were not my cup of tea). The scent is very subtle and light but wonderfully done to almost resemble the POM drinks which leaves you really happy when you get a whiff of it throughout the day. All the lotions were soft and absorbed quickly when I tested them at Whole Foods, so I decided to go home with the Pomegranate. My skin is finicky, while my face is blemish prone and combination-oily, my body has rough dry patches especially persistent roughness around my legs and elbows, so I was fine picking the mature skin lotion, besides, I could always use an antiaging boost since I want my body to keep up with my face.

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Weleda Pump

The bottle is made of high quality plastic with their label on, molded in the shape of their signature wave which gives it great grip and durability. The pump dispenses just the right amount and is very easy to control. Unlike a lot of pumps, you can tell the Swiss engineered this perfectly to not hold residue that can dry out the lotion. The lotion is a very silky yellow/beige cream with a comfortable emollient quality which helped it absorb quickly. When I applied this after my shower at night, I woke up the next morning seeing wonderfully happy skin without any rough patches or dryness. However, I do think that if I missed one application after showering, my skin might revert back so I would not mind more staying power. I feel like for a mature skin lotion, if I’m okay with it being stronger – then perhaps their body lotions in general need to be stronger since I’m only in my 20s and have relatively youthful / well moisturized skin as it is.

Weleda Ingredients

Now let’s discuss ingredients. The Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion is 100% Natural/83% Organic. The composition of shea butter, pomegranate seed oil, apricot kernal oil, sesame seed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil are the anti-aging powerhouses that also provide hydration for ‘mature’ skin. I did find after regular use, that my skin felt less ‘thin’ so I do think there is some correlation between the cell-renewal qualities of the ingredients and my observation. This cream uses 4 types of alcohols (not specified if it is grain based, which is the much better option) which also act as emulsifiers/emollients to help the formula maintain its silky consistency, there are some preservatives but notparabens/phenoxyethanol, and some fragrances dervied from natural sources such as Limonene which are better than synthetics but can be irritating so check if you have any sensitivities.

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Overall, this is a wonderfully formulated product that absorbs quickly and helps regenerate the body’s largest system. I truly do feel that my skin is stronger and that regular application of this product will ward off signs of aging until they have to happen. My skin is very happy. Going into the hotter summer months with no heating that causes dryness, I definitely think this will provide my skin with enough support. I may pick up another bottle of this or try the Sea buckthorn next, either way I plan to keep it in the Weleda family.

Available at Weleda Online ($16.50)