December 2014 archive

THE MIND BEHIND WELL BODY SKIN CARE

The holidays really took over my life this year, I mean REALLY took over! Now that I have two kids everything seems to be so much crazier, in a good way though. But it was my first year starting new traditions with my own family, shopping for double, trying to shop with both of them, wrapping presents at ten at night when I’m dead tired from my daily routine! Haha I’m sure all of you mamas out there know what I’m talkin about! Anyways my point is that NOW I finally have a moment to breathe (slightly) and share my interview with the super cool chick behind the indie green skin care line, Well Body. Jackie Parks is the super cool chick and the founder of Well Body, and she was so very kind to send me her Eucalyptus and Mint Cleanser ($12) and Toner ($12) and although her product selection is small and quite simple, I was very impressed by the quality and the accessibility it presents to women wanting to switch to nontoxic products on a strict budget. Well Body is extremely affordable, and completely nontoxic! My favorite notes of this line: how straight forward the packaging and ingredients are, the earthiness the essential oils give the products, the affordability, and how amazingly clean and fresh your skin feels after using them! I like to use the silky cleanser in the AM and the gentle toner in the PM and they both have fit into my skin care routine quite nicely!! Check out my interview with the lovely Jackie below!!





1. Can you give us a little background about yourself? Have you always been into skincare? What inspired you to start this Well Body adventure? 

Aside from WellBody, I am a Yoga and Pilates Instructor. So, my natural skin care journey kind of started out under the umbrella of health and general wellness. During my teacher training I learned about the practice of Abhyanga, which is sanskrit for “Oil Massage”. Abhyanga is basically the daily ritual of self massaging with oil for 15-20 minutes before you shower (I recommend it if you have the time). I ordered some very expensive natural body oil online and when it arrived I absolutely hated the smell. The ingredients were simple enough so I decided to try to make my own. The very first thing I ever combined was as simple as olive oil and lavender essential oil. I began to experiment and blend essential oils for different ailments and once I realized that I had a natural gift for aromatherapy, WellBody was born. I started out making body oil and have only recently expanded into some facial cleansers and toners.

2. I love the simplicity of your line! I think it makes it easier for people to start a clean beauty routine instead of overwhelming them with a ton of products!! Do you plan on expanding Well Body at all in the future, or keeping it simple and sweet?

Skincare can be simple. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? There doesn’t need to be a 10-step routine in the morning or harsh chemicals involved. Although I definitely plan on adding more products in the near future, I will always strive to keep my brand simple. Starting a natural routine is intimidating enough, why make it more overwhelming than it already is? Right now I am trying to focus on the reeducation process involved in converting customers to a green routine. That the gold right there and it’s what I am most passionate about, the products will follow.

3. If you could only take ONE Well Body product to a desert island, which one would it be and why?

This question has inspired me to develop a lip balm! But before I do that, I would have to say the After Sun Spray. It really is incredible after a day in the sun. I always describe it as a toner for the whole body, it prevents peeling and I don’t think I could live without the smell of lavender!

4. What made you choose to develop a green & clean product line?

Reading labels. I couldn’t even believe some of the ingredients that are put on the shelves and the damage I was doing to my skin for so long. It’s frustrating to see brands label their products as natural when they still contain artificial ingredients and chemicals. I’ll get off my soapbox but the labeling requirements for cosmetic products allow for a lot of mystery. My general rule of thumb is that if you can’t eat an ingredient, it is not safe for your skin. I wouldn’t swallow a teaspoon of benzoyl peroxide so it’s probably not safe to put on my face. I think it’s important to realize that skin is more of a sponge than a barrier so we are constantly exposing ourselves to the chemicals we lather, spray and scrub onto our bodies. There is a huge need for natural products on our shelves!

Beyond that, I am just really excited about Essential Oils. I truly believe in the power of plants and the benefits they can provide us. Essential Oils and plant extractions connect us to a simpler time and to me, simple is better.

5. What advise can you give to someone wanting to start their own skincare line?

Explore your own skin. Get to know what works for you and what doesn’t. Everybody’s skin is different but it is important for you to really develop a strong understanding of your own. This will help you empathize with the thousands of other skin types you are going to come across.

Educate yourself. Customers are going to come to you with some really elaborate questions, and some fun challenges! Again, everyone is different. I highly recommend “The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care” by Helene Berton as a starting point.

Welcome skepticism. Natural products are as old as time but a seemingly new concept to so many people.

Have fun and experiment. Get all Pinterest with it! Open up the pantry and start with scrubs, they are so simple and fun to play with. You can learn a lot about essential oil scent combinations, carrier oils and pampering yourself by making a scrub. Although I don’t offer any in my line, they are one of my most favorite things to make. Here is an easy base:

1 cup granulated or raw sugar
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup carrier oil (coconut oil, grapeseed oil or even olive oil!)
10-15 drops of any essential oil

Simple!

All of WellBody’s products are available online at http://www.wellbodyskincare.com. I also have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

twitter @wellbody, instagram @wellbodyskincare

Pilates AND yoga instructor AND founder of a nontoxic skin care line?!?! Didn’t I tell you Jackie was a cool chick!? I am so impressed and inspired by her and I can’t recommend her line enough. It is built for sensitive skin so I think anyone would benefit from it. She also carries an after sun spray that I have my eye on!! I cannot thank Jackie enough for the amazing interview and introducing me to Well Body!

KARI GRAN SKINCARE- GREEN & CHIC

I’ve been using my Kari Gran starter kit for a little over a week now and I figure it was plenty of time for me to give you my accurate thoughts on this luxurious yet simplistic product line. Kari Gran was so kind to send me their Starter Kit which features a two week supply of their cleansing oil, hydrating tonic, essential serum and also the peppermint tinted lip whip and it’s safe to say I’m addicted!! Kari’s story is sadly like so many others that begin in the green beauty world, after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in her twenties, Kari began taking a closer look into what was really in her beauty products. She found herself yearning for products that were simple yet elegant, not long after the “little black dress” of eco-skin care was born. Teamed up with her longtime friend and business woman Lisa Strain, the two developed and launched Kari Gran Skincare and continue to develop products and run their line from a dowtown Seattle loft. I absoluetly love that this line stems from two strong woman who work together to create healthy and beautiful products for other woman, it sends such a beautiuful message, don’t you think?! Now onto my thoughts…..

Kari Gran Cleansing Oil: Simply divine. This golden elixer has worked wonders on my skin since it is now officially “cold” here in SoCal. My skin has been drier due to the weather changes and this has brought life back into it, and leaves my skin with this undeniable glow!! If you have chronic dry skin or aging skin this is a MUST-HAVE!!! With lavender, avaocado and sunflower seed oil, this cleanser is designed to be massaged into the skin then steamed off with a hot wash cloth! Your skin is SO SO soft after doing this!! This ensures the oil is saturated into the skin and really hydrates the right way!! I’m telling you ladies this is pure luxury right here!! Retail: $30 (killer price for luxury!!)

Kari Gran Hydrating Tonic: This tonic is pretty straightforward. Its a hydrating boost for your skin that can be used after cleansing, to set makeup or as an afternoon boost! Available in rose or lavender (i chose rose & love!) it’s made with distilled aloe so your skin is really getting that extra hydration instead of the common harshness many toners can have. You can’t go wrong with this! Retail: $35

Kari Gran Essential Serum:  With a blend of 15 plant and essential oils your skin cannot go wrong with this serum. What I like most about this is that it’s super customizable. You can mix this with a mineral powder to create your own tinted moisturizer or mix with the tonic to make a basic moisturizer, the possibilties are endless really! It absorbs well and can be used day and night (double up at night!) Again, this is a straightforward good-for-you serum that is so gentle you can use on eye area too! I think this serum would work for all skin types (even oily) but for dry skin double up the pumps!! Retail: $60(30mL) $95(50 mL)

Kari Gran Peppermint Tinted Lip Whip: As of right now, this is my all time favorite lip balm. The whipped texture makes it literally melt into your lips and last, and the soft pink tint is easy to wear and extremely flattering for any skin tone!! As with the rest of the packaging;  its sturdy, sleek and extra chic. Beeswax, castor seed, oile and calendula oil is giving you that hydration boost that lasts! They also offer other flavors and shade options. Retail: $15

I highly recommend Kari Gran skincare and their Starter Kit is an amzing way to try their line at an afforable price ($35). For those new to green beauty and eco-friendly skincare Kari Gran makes its simple for you. The line is not overwhelming and gives you your basic components to create a nontoxic routine that your skin will love! Did I mention the dark glass packaging is AMAZING!!! Kari Gran skincare truly is the “little black dress” of eco-skincare, and I’m hooked!! Find products at http://www.karigran.com

PETROLEUM TRUTHS & FAVORITE BALMS

With the winter season slowwwly approaching us here in Southern California, I thought a post about my favorite lip balms would be appropriate. The inspiration behind this post is my mom, who called me last week in desperation. She said her lips were so chapped and cracked that they were practically burning and no matter what she put on her lips it didn’t help, in fact it made it worse! Now I’m sure you all are thinking that my Mom must know better about her products since I’m an esthetician and green beauty guru and she does, but she’s not nearly as hard core as I am, and she is learning! So I gladly told my mom that she needs a petroleum free balm and I explained why. For those unfamilair with petroleum have no fear, here is a quick crash course! PETROLEUM: is a by-product of gasoline production and a solvent often found in skincare, mascara and more popularly lip balm! This actually promotes sun damage, interferes with your body’s own moisture barrier and leads to more chapping and dryness (is said to cause people to be addicted to lip balm by never solving the problem!) It creates the problem that it claims to solve, what is wrong with that picture?!? But don’t fret beauties, below I have included a list of my absolute favorite petroleum- free lip balms that will not only save your lips this winter, but will save them forever!!

RMS Lip & Skin Balm: Certified organic coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter make for an absolute velvety nourishing balm you can use anywhere & everywhere! I like to put a small amount under my eyes too! Say good-bye to those fine lines around your lips, this balm will take care of that! Comes in cocoa or vanilla. Retail: $25 http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com

Kari Gran Peppermint Tinted Lip Whip: Kar Gran just sent this to me a few days ago and I have to say it’s my new favorite! The whipped texture ensures that it sinks into your lips, which it really does and the subtle pink tint makes a perfect on-the-go color! With organic ingredients like beeswax and sunflower oil and ultra chic packaging you cannot go wrong! Keep an eye out for my full Kari Gran review coming soon! Retail: $15 http://www.karigran.com

Ilia Balmy Days Lip Conditioner: What I like most about this is the convenience. It is a great balm in a stick form which I love! Organic beeswax, shea butter and avocado oil make this a perfect option for someone on-the-go! Retail: $26 http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com

Beautycounter Lip Conditioner: I’m currently on my second little pot of this stuff so it’s safe to say I love it. Organic ingredients like avocado oil, shea butter and jojoba seed oil make for a really glossy yet hydrating combination! This is my favorite balm to put on right before bed, I wake up with super soft lips! Comes in Peppermint or Calendula. Retail: $18 http://www.laurenvanloo.beautycounter.com

Vapour Organic Beauty Lip Conditioner: The convenience factor comes in again, I love this packaging! Organic lemon balm and jojoba oil make for a more fruity, fresh scent which is lovely. Texture is super creamy, another great balm option for on-the-go! Retail: $20 http://www.vapourbeauty.com

So I hope this information breakdown about petroleum helps! Your lips really are much better off with a beautiful balm! Get more information about petroleum on http://www.ewg.org!

RMS BEAUTY LOVE & TIPS!!

I thought I would do a quick little post about one of my favorite green beauty brands, RMS beauty! RMS has become one the biggest nontoxic beauty brands out there, and for good reason.

RMS stands for Rose-Marie Swift, a celebrity makeup artist with quite a resume (Gisele Bunchen, Miranda Kerr, your getting the picture right? haha) . Years ago, Rose-Marie started experiencing some health issues and after multiple tests, she learned that her blood contained toxic levels of heavy metals as well as high levels of pesticides and other chemicals. She was surprised when the technician asked if she worked in the cosmetics industry, as she had no idea that could contribute to such serious health issues. To help women claim their right to HEALTHY beauty, she began RMS beauty, a beautiful line of nontoxic, organic color cosmetics line and I absolutely love it!

The BEST thing about RMS: GLUTEN FREE, GMO FREE, SOY FREE, NANO FREE AND THEY DO NOT TEST ON ANIMALS, CERTIFIED ORGANIC, their cream colors are packaged in glass (not plastic). Star ingredients used are organic, RAW, virgin coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, bees wax, jojoba oil, buriti oil and more! These ingredients will nourish your skin, prevent aging naturally, hydrate, balance and brighten!


So I actually work in a gorgeous apothecary (check out @ilocollective on Instagram!) that carries RMS so I am quite familiar with the products and how to apply them. We have a lot of clients that walk in that are quite intimidated with RMS and often ask me, “so what do i do with this?” THAT is the magic question so many people want answered about RMS, but I have the answers!!! These RMS tips will help, I promise you!

FIRST: These are OILY products (hence the coconut oil), SO if you have oily/combo skin tread lightly. I personally have oily skin and I make this line work for me and I do so by not using a ton of it! Heck, you don’t even need a ton of it. Setting everything with the un-powder will help immensely as well. Also, the cream eyeshadows WILL crease and they state that on their website so just simply take your ring finger and blend it back into place when that happens. When you blend it you are actually blending amazingly nourishing ingredients into your skin, so it’s really not that big of a deal, right?!

SECOND: Don’t be afraid of applying them wrong, because you can’t!! Rose-Marie recommends blending in her products with your fingers because it blends evenly and the warmth of your fingers makes for a seamless application! When applying blush or bronzer, simply blend a small amount onto apples of cheeks, then take a brush of choice and blend out any harsh edges or lines. It’s SO easy!! With the living luminzer, hit your cheekbones, tear ducts, cupids bow and bridge of nose for an effortless glow. This highlighter is not meant to be a glitter bomb, so don’t keep applying until you see what you want to see. If you want glitter, this one isn’t for you, this gives you a very natural glow!

THIRD: Learn to appreciate your natural self. RMS is not made to cover or change your face, it is made to enhance and give you that extra boost of radiance and confidence. As a makeup artist this was a hard adjustment since I’m used to doing a full look everyday! RMS teaches you to slowly take away certain steps in your makeup routine you thought you needed, but you really don’t. It’s extremely versatile with trend setting shades that will flatter any skin tone. RMS lets your skin shine through, in all it’s glory!

Some of my must-have RMS products are the un -powder, un-cover up in “33”, Lip2Cheek in “Smile”, Buriti Bronzer,  and Cream Eyeshadow in “Lunar”. Please don’t hesistate to e-mail me or fill out the CONTACT form with any RMS related questions!! Peace & Love free birds! Find RMS beauty at http://www.rmsbeauty.com