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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Best of Green Beauty Box 2017 – The Detox Market: REVIEW

The Detox Market is one of the leading purveyors of organic, clean beauty and every year they’ve been introducing a limited edition year-end box that features only their customer favorites. The 2017 Best of Green Beauty Box features 9 of their top-selling, customer favorites: 6 full sizes and 3 travel sizes. This is one of my favorite assortment of products that have a collective retail value over $310 – when you purchase these in The Best of Green Beauty Box, it is only $149 which is basically 50% off (and The Detox Market gives you free shipping). Here’s a breakdown of exactly what you get:

  • Odacité Green Ceremony Cleanser (Full Size | $55 value): The new Odacité cleanser was the first product I used from the box. It’s a powder to foam matcha cleanser that calms my skin while removing all impurities. The foam comes from an ingredient called baby foam derived from coconuts and is a very gentle cleansing agent. The instructions say to use a full dropper (that comes with the cleanser) but I only need half a dropper full of powder and it’s more than enough for my face. I like to leave the cleanser on and feel my skin soaking in this beautiful green tea matcha which is really anti-inflammatory. The cleanser washes off clean with water and also comes with a cool muslin cloth if that’s your preference. Super fun, lovely concept and totally enjoyable product.
  • Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator (Travel Size | $22 value): What more needs to be said about this mist that virtually everyone loves from UK beauty girls including Caroline Hirons to other brand founders who swear by this including May Lindstrom and Rose-Marie Swift? I love the Ylang Ylang -Marshmallow scent, the gentle lightness of the mist and the wonderful herbal ingredients.
  • MV Skincare Rose Soothing and Protective Moisturizer (Full Size | $135 value): The fact that a $100+ moisturizer is currently out of stock should tell you how good it is. I love luxe beauty but very rarely spend that much on moisturizer, yet this Australian brand totally nailed it. The smell is just gorgeous thanks to Bulgarian Rose Otto. It’s excellent for sensitive skin and for skin that becomes sensitive due to dryness as the moisturizer soothes and protects. What makes this more than marketing is that the founder is actually a licensed holistic skin therapist. The texture is on the heavier side that feels comforting especially during winter yet it is never greasy. As the $149 Box features the full size of this $135 moisturizer, I really consider it a steal.
  • The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost (Travel Size | $16 value): The Beauty Chef makes my favorite ingestible products. They always feature very vibrant, nutrient dense plant based superfoods that taste great. The promotion of collagen helps increase skin firmness and elasticity that is lost with age and this booster features probiotics, maqui berries, acai berries, blueberries, papaya, and antioxidant rich grape-seed extract for beauty from the inside out. I consider this the bonus “treat-yo-self” product to an already jam packed Beauty Box of goodness.
  • RMS Beauty Vintage Cake Liner (Full Size | $24 value): Let me be honest, I’m not the buyer for this product. I’m not a huge make-up girl and for me, it’s all about skin care. But that’s the beauty of these boxes, letting you try something you’d ordinarily not buy. RMS Beauty is one of the top organic make-up lines out there and I was really happy this was included. I use this as eye shadow and as my sister says in her Amy Schumer voice, “it’s amazing for the smokey eye”. The pigment is unreal considering it’s an organic product and I’m absolutely delighted to have this for evenings when I have an event to attend.
  • LILY LOLO Natural Vegan Mascara (Full Size | $20 value): The first natural mascara I tried was the original Ilia Mascara and it left me unsatisfied, so I went back to my tried and true Dior. Upon trying Lily Lolo’s natural AND vegan mascara, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it really enhanced my lashes. It’s wearability is similar to the mainstream high-end brands, and I did not run into any problems with smudging or flaking. At the same time, it came off easily with a gentle cleanser unlike traditional mascaras that are notoriously tough to remove. Total winner, super grateful it was included in the box.
  • Soapwalla Sensitive Skin Cream Deodorant (Full Size | $16 value): Soapwalla is kind of OG status in the world of green deodorants so I really looked forward to trying their baking-soda free formula on an original. I’m one of the many who cannot tolerate baking-soda deodorants which has kept me away from natural deodorants. After a week of use including holiday travels (and all the stress and anxiety that produces), I can say that this deodorant works. The ingredients absorb excess sweat and whisk away moisture, while the lovely essential oils keep you feeling fresh. The cream jar formula makes reapplication a bit weird but is nothing that a private bathroom stall can’t fix.
  • Rahua Shampoo + Conditioner (Travel Set | $16.70 value): I reviewed the Rahua Shampoo a while back (check it out here). I loved everything about it except I found it a little drying, which makes this set with the conditioner perfect.  The Rahua Conditioner really enhances the entire experience and gives hair luster. My strands feel so much stronger and healthier. The set is a really good intro for those who are new to organic haircare, and are a really chic option to pack for travels.
  • Davids Natural Toothpaste (Full Size | $7.95): I did not even know that luxury, organic toothpaste existed. This is a marvel. A dental product that is cleaner than brands like Tom’s with a packaging that looks even more premium (in my opinion) than Marvis. Not only are the ingredients clean, they’re organic and sourced from the US. It is fluoride-free, and also does not contain the nasties that can cause dermatitis around the mouth. The toothpaste leaves my mouth feeling really clean and fresh far longer than other natural toothpastes I’ve used. I feel that it has also helped with my enamel as traditional toothpastes are too corrosive. A very luxe bonus is the inclusion of a roller to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the mint-green tube. This was quite a welcomed discovery to me.

The Best of Green Beauty 2017 Box is so well put together with really exceptional products that cover every category from skin, makeup, hair, deodorant to oral hygiene and ingestibles. I know only a limited number of these boxes are made every year so I highly recommend ordering one if any of these products draw your interest as the pricing is truly exceptional.

As the value is already offered at around 50% off, there are no discount codes. But if you’d like to purchase any individual products (linked above), you can use the code TREAT for the next 48 hours to take 10% off your order.

SHOP: The Detox Market

Odacite Discovery Kit Review for Combination Skin

Odacite is one green brand I had been yearning to get my hands on for a while! They’re one of the legit brands that have in such a short time not only launched a successful line but also a standalone retail destination (The Detox Market) in Los Angeles and Toronto! How amazing is that?

Their line is large and it is segmented into many sections: Fresh Collection (cleansers, toners, moisturizers), Skin Boosters (2-4 ingredient essential oil blends) and the Private Collection (4 Face Oils). With all the options, I decided to get the 7-product Discovery Kit for combination skin to test out a larger range of products suitable for moisturizing without causing oiliness.

Odacite Kit- TBI

Included are 10 day treatments which feature the Rejuvenating Cleanser, Divine Rose & Neroli Toner, Jojobea Beads Exfoliant, Hydration Masque, Eye Cream, Day Cream and Night Cream. This little kit essentially contains your full step beauty ritual.

Step 1: Rejuvenating Cleanser. This is a milky cream cleanser that odorless. It’s very no frills which would go well with sensitive, dry skin. I needed a larger dollup of product to feel like I cleansed my skin and to be honest didn’t feel it really fully clean my skin. I did some testing and noticed that using this cleanser made my skin more prone to breakouts around my hairline possibly due to all the oils in the cleanser which always made my skin feel like there is a film on my skin after cleansing. The included facial sponges are a MUST use for this reason but when it comes down to it, I just don’t think this is a daily task we should do.

This was underwhelming for me and even if my skin took well to milky-cream cleansers, I might opt for something that felt a little more luxurious like Kahina’s Cleanser which has a subtle yet beautiful fragrance that just feels a little more polished and not so bare bones.

Step 2: Divine Rose & Neroli Toner. The toner smells beautiful. Firstly I love rose AND neroli so this was right up my alley. What I had a slight issue with is that this squeezed into hands and applied onto skin whereas the real bottle is a spray which would probably feel much more luxurious and work better as a product in general. If there is some way Odacite can outfit their samples with sprays, I guarantee this will convert many.

Results wise, I did not see much change to my skin that I’ve seen with some other toners used in the past but I also found it pleasurable to use so I can’t say whether this will end up being a full sized purchase for me given all the really good toners out there that have given me good results.

Step 3: Ultra Effective Eye Cream. I seem to have quite a weakness for eye creams recently and this is a knock out in the line. I really really love this eye cream. It’s soft, light and very moisturizing. The fact that it doesn’t sting my eyes or slide into my eyes is a major major bonus. Also observed is that Odacite’s creams seem to be very natural smelling meaning no superfluous fragrance added in just for the scent which is welcome.

For those looking for something rich, this cream does it but at the same time it will not clog skin or make it feel greasy (no fear of milia). It really does give me that full nights sleep look that eye products should aspire to provide.

Would this be a full sized purchase? Yes.

Step 3: Day & Night Creams. The day cream as the name suggests is heavier than the night serum! The night serum by the way, is an absolute dream. Light, silky and just the slightest hint of a floral fragrance. It may be called a serum but I really don’t think it makes sense to add another moisturizer on top of this cream at night. It’s moisturizing enough on it’s own and I like the results: moisturized, softer skin.

The day cream is a little heavier and I didn’t enjoy layering it under sunscreen as much for that reason. That aside, I found this overall to be a great product. The smell is like Rose + Brandy mixed together which is pretty cool in a natural product and the texture feels significant where you know your skin will be moisturized all day long. I didn’t feel it suffocating my skin or becoming greasy as the day went on either, so another lovely cream.

Extras

Jojoba Beads Exfoliant. At first impression this feels like jojoba beads mixed into the Rejuvenating Cleanser. I have to be honest here, I simply do not like physical exfoliating beads in cleansing formulas. I feel like they’re always a bit more abrasive than they should be, and are a pain to wash off (and so difficult to fully washed off). This is nothing against Odacite but just a general note for this type of product (including Ren’s Jojoba Microbead Purifying Face Polish). If you like this type of product, Odacite’s will work just as well as all the others.

Deep Hydration Masque. This one I would purchase. It’s a heavy lotion cream texture that you just smooth over skin and let sit. During this time, skin is essentially invulnerable to dryness. This is a mask I would bring with me onto planes, apply a thick layer and just leave on for an hour or two before removing. Very simple yet effective at doing exactly what it promises. For very very dry skin, I feel this can be left on overnight (once it dries or absorbs).

Odacite Kit

Overall the Odacite Discovery Kit is a very accessible way to experience most of the line which for me was important since there were hits and misses. This only retails for $29 and first time shoppers automatically get 15% off when signing up. I’m very pleased overall with my experience in using this kit and felt the money spent was worth it for a great understanding of which products I would eventually like to purchase. In this case I’d definitely start with the moisturizing products: Deep Hydration Mask and Night Time Moisturizer.

You can purchase this from Odacite.com or The Detox Market.