What I’m Using: Spring 2018

Spring is my favorite season. It’s when I have a pep in my step and really come out of my hibernation. In the past, it was also a time when I least took care of my skin as I am not dealing with the extremes of winter or summer. The products that I use now tend to be lighter than my winter routine and generally just bring me much enjoyment. So I bring to you a couple of the products I’ve been using regularly this Spring.

Odacite Green Ceremony Cleanser

I’ve used water-activated powder products before, like May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt and deMamiel’s Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate, but this one is really unique. I’ve talked about the Green Ceremony Cleanser before when I received it in The Detox Market Best of Green Beauty Box but it wasn’t until further use that I noticed how absolutely incredible the cleanser works to clear away the stubborn congestion of blackheads and whiteheads. This cleanser turns into a foam so it works quite gently, but I find that just letting the matcha and spirulina infused cleanser sit on skin for around 2 minutes and then rinsing off totally clears out any blackheads from my pores. I use Odacite’s Green Ceremony Cleanser every week and estimate that it will last me until Fall/Winter at this rate (even with ramping up usage come summer), which I consider being a great investment.

In Fiore Vitale Toning Floral Essence

I basically love everything In Fiore but Vitale, in particular, I’ve had on my wishlist for almost 5 years. This was the first In Fiore product that I read about, and I remember just being in awe of the mix of old-world botanical education in the line notes of medicinal plants and regenerative tinctures. The spray is quite powerful and 2-3 pumps can easily douse my skin. The immediate scent is herbal with a top note of orange blossom though you can tell there is much more going on. While gentle and hydrating, I notice this also quite astringent which is fantastic for toning pores and enhancing the penetration of oils. So it has become my “go to” before oiling up my skin.

African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil 

Right now I’m in a very minimalist phase with my oils and I just want to feed my skin a good high-quality oil rather than over-complicate things. It’s decidedly a “less is more” approach which I think gives skin a welcomed break and I also really wanted to give the much-lauded marula oil it’s time to shine. The African Botanic’s Marula Oil quality really is second to none and the infusion of neroli gives it that sophisticated edge in sensory experience. It is the perfect weight for my skin in that it’s light, fast absorbing yet satiating.

Kahina Eye Serum 

One of the things I don’t skimp on is a good eye serum. I’ve been leaning into serums over creams as serums deliver the actual goods in terms of anti-aging benefits while creams mainly serve a barrier function. I know Kahina Giving Beauty is a line that is serious about the eye area and their eye serum is no joke. It includes peptides, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and nourishing plant extracts that combat fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. Its texture penetrates quickly and I like to do a mini massage as the serum enhances lymphatic drainage to minimize dark circles and puffiness.

Rahua Voluminous Conditioner

After going organic with my haircare, my strands just felt persistently dry. I tried going back to less clean hair products but would immediately start breaking out along my hairline when using them (not to mention the strong synthetic fragrance). This conditioner is the product that really saved my hair from this predicament. It’s an organic conditioner that deeply nourishes hair, using really incredibly ingredients (green tea is the 2nd ingredient). My hair has a lot more bounce, texture and luster to it now. This isn’t just a “good organic product”, I don’t think any other product has made my hair feel as healthy as this one, it’s a keeper.


Please drop me a comment below if you’ve used any of these products or have questions, suggestions!

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Christoph Robin Regenerating Mask

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One thing I learned at fashion week was that I need to pay more attention to my hair. I spoke to an editor who told me that no matter what she does, a weekly hair mask was a must for her color treated and constantly refreshed locks. She happened to connect me with the great people at the renowned Christoph Robin, who counts Tilda Swinton and Kylie Minogue among his a-list clientele. 

The Regenerating Mask uses Prickly Pear Seed Oil, a rare and much-desired ingredient in the beauty world that is also used in the skincare world by luxury companies like Sunday Riley, MUN, and YULI. Legions of devotees regard this product in the highest esteem. My own hair guy uses this on his clients as well because he says “it is so deeply penetrating and makes your hair with a gorgeous shine and softness“. 

Unlike the majority of hair care products, the Christoph Robin line refrains from using parabens, silicones, SLS, and ammonia. The mask relies on what is called 100% Natural Repairing Agent that restructures and refines hair from inside out, making it’s texture smooth and shiny. It’s ingredients echo my belief that a little chemical is okay if the overall story is one of quality.

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The highlight is the Prickly Pear Seed Oil, described as a rare and precious natural remedy with antioxidant and regenerative virtues. This oil is renowned for its essential fatty acid concentration which nourishes and softens  dry/damaged hair, it is one of few plant oils to possess a powerful sterol called Delta 7 which revitalizes hair. It also contains 2 times the Vitamin E content found in Argan Oil, making it one of the richest sources for this smoothing, protective antioxidant.

The rest of the fruit is used as well which is rich in regenerative Vitamin C and more essential fatty acids. Finally, Inula Flower Extract contains a lipid structure similar to hair’s own natural ceramides which helps give hair that defining luster and shine.

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The creamy texture of the mask helps coat hair strands, adding a weighty and nourishing feel. After my experience with some of the more drying natural shampoos, I found it to provide instant relief. As you massage the mask through your scalp to the ends of your hair, the cream will feel light and almost fluid. The light fragrance is pleasant and won’t offend even the most discerning senses, although it is derived from synthetics. I am quite sensitive to synthetic fragrance but this 15 minute treatment did not bring about any headaches or unbearable reactions.

Upon rinsing and towel drying my hair, I found that my hair felt much softer and smoother but in all honesty, after having this professionally applied at the salon, the results paled in comparison significantly. When this was professionally done to my hair, under the treatment devices and experienced hands of my stylist, my hair transformed into “I can’t believe this is my hair” territory, at home, it just felt “ok” compared to what I’ve experienced before.

One minor drawback, after continued use, I did noticed emerging breakouts along my hairline. At first I didn’t realize what was causing it, attributing it to seasonal changes which can irritate my blemish prone skin. But then I read that Kimberlyloc was going through the same thing and when she figured the culprit to be her hair products, it all started to make sense! I always broke out the day after I used this and after I stopped, it subsided. 

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So I am almost tempted to provide a first-world girl type recommendation that you should absolutely use this product especially if you have dry or damaged hair, but save it for your trips to the salon, do not do it by yourself at home. At $64 for a 250ml jar, I found the mask to be the most luxurious hair indulgence I have experienced. The high quality ingredients and creamy texture went far in restoring dry and damaged strands back to life. Blemish prone beauties will need to take precaution as it did cause some breakouts. And for those who really want to indulge, this is a must for your next hair appointment!

John Masters Organics Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo

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My favorite hair products have always been the more traditional products. I was a huge fan of Bumble & Bumble, and Kiehls, with splurges on Leonor Greyl products when I felt like something extra fancy. My casual dabbling in cleaner hair products often left me disappointed. They never seemed to perform the way I’d hoped, where I could substitute them in for my favorite products. A few weeks ago, I ran out of my Aesop Calming Shampoo and that’s when I remembered that my boyfriend had just bought a bottle of John Masters Organics Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo from Whole Foods a few days ago. My blogger hat instantly came on!

Let’s start with presentation, as someone who loves her luxury beauty products, I feel like this modern and simple dark brown plastic bottle with bold white lettering fits beautifully on any beauty counter. It is subtle to not be glaring but still impactful where you feel like there is a quiet elegance. I’m quite pleased with the overall unisex design and one can easily mistake it for a more expensive shampoo.

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I know some people will not touch products with Rosemary & Lavender but I’m not one of them. They have a bad reputation as irritating essential oils but I think sometimes people are afraid of things because they hear others have bad reactions so they won’t try. I personally do not have any reactions to these plants, so luckily, I can use them and enjoy their rich antioxidant properties and in this case – their scalp and hair balancing features.

The shampoo itself is a brown gel that smells herbal but not in a bad way. You only need a little for it to lather. The scent is more lavender than rosemary but definitely nothing too floral. The ingredients include 15 certified organic botanicals including aloe, jojoba seed oil, nettle root, lavender EO, rosemary EO, yarrow, white tea, horsetail, willow bark, chamomile, comfrey oil, borage oil, sunflower oil, and flax seed oil. The surfectants which cause the lathering are rather high in the list which also explains why it lathers so well.

It cleansed my hair really well and left my scalp very happy – not stripped or oily. My scalp is prone to dandruff and I found the white willow bark (a natural salicylic acid) and lavender/rosemary to really help with flakiness. I generally don’t like to use conditioner regularly (aside from a once a week treatment) since I have oily hair but I found that this shampoo left my hair needing that extra bit on conditioning care after a few uses so it might be a tad stronger than I would like. It could also be because this doesn’t contain silicones that really give hair that soft silky texture. To the guys, my boyfriend says he uses this because it is really good at getting out hair product, so if you’re concerned about that, this seems like a good option.

I’m quite pleased with this find and although at $16, I wouldn’t consider it a budget buy – it does prove that you don’t need to shell out high-end prices for something that is both clean and effective. I would happily use this or try other shampoos from their line in the future.

Available at John Masters Organics $16