March 2015 archive

ALL EYES ON SKINOWL

So a couple of weeks ago I spontaneously decided to cruise down towards the beach to the Pharmaca grand opening in Laguna Hills. It’s about an hour drive for me but I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to possibly meet some fellow green beauty babes and dudes, and let’s be honest I don’t really need any excuse to do some shopping!! 😉 With this being my first time in a Pharmaca, I was pleasantly surprised with everything they had to offer! The beautiful, well-stocked walls were lined with nontoxic skincare, makeup, bath, body, supplements, you name it!! While scanning through the shelves I came across a brand I had only recently heard of and saw that BeauteaBar is now carrying, called SkinOwl. As I was browsing, the founder of SkinOwl, Annie Tevelin came up and introduced herself and so graciously gave me a background on SkinOwl and a wonderful overview of her products! Annie is not only gorgeous and down-to-earth, but she knows her sh*t and just exudes this passion and positivity that is truly contagious!

The SkinOwl concept is simple, which as an esthetician I love because it isn’t overwhelming but the ingredients Annie uses in her products pack a serious punch! The line consists of four different beauty drops which are clary sage, lavender, mangosteen and geranium facial oils and each serves a different purpose to treat your different skin concerns. There is also a body oil which I feel is a MUST in anyone’s beauty arsenal for true hydration. But I do have to say my absolute favorite from SkinOwl is the Eye+ Concentrate. After testing it out with Annie at Pharmaca I knew I had to try it! This eye concentrate is unlike any other you will try, I promise. The texture is a thick, luxurious gel with a fresh aloe and cucumber scent. Annie’s tip was to keep it in the fridge and I’m so gad she suggested that because it’s pure heaven when I apply it at night and I wake up in the morning looking so refreshed, no dark circles whatsoever!! The other key ingredients that I love are botanical hyaluronic acid, licorice and periwinkle which are all built to deeply penetrate and transform dry crepe-like skin into firm and healthy skin.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
Bottom line free birds, you will never, ever go back to a traditional eye cream once you try SkinOwl Eye+Concentrate. One of Annie’s main “musts” when starting SkinOwl was making skincare that produced results overnight, and I can safely say that you get overnight results with Eye+. Retail: $46, find at http://www.beauteabar.com

Ingredients: Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber Distillate), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend (Sodium L-Pyrrolidone Carboxylate, Sodium Lactate, LArginine, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid, Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Serine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-threonine, L-Isoleucine, L-Histidine, L-Phenylalanine), Wildcrafted Vinca Major (Periwinkle), Organic Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

FLB SPRINGTIME BEAUTY PICKS

I love spring. Mostly because summer is after spring and I love summertime. The warmth, the heat, the palm trees, and the only time of year where my skin doesn’t seem to be my enemy. Some would say that spring here in SoCal is pretty much summer, but I disagree. The mornings are still cool enough to where hot coffee is still acceptable and there truly is no better time of year to rock pastel anything then right now!! So I thought sharing some of the products I have been lusting over for a couple of weeks now would be appropriate. For this season I always seem to gravitate towards my traditional nude/beige tones but with some rose gold tones to it. As always I like to keep things relatively monochromatic. With that said, my top springtime beauty picks are…

photo

W3ll People Sparkling Salmon Elitist Mineral Eyeshadow 814: This eyeshadow is a stunning salmon(shocker) shade with a beautiful fine shimmer and sheen that is guaranteed to make blue and green eyes seriously POP! I swatched this a couple of weeks ago at the Pharmaca grand opening in Laguna Hills and really loved it, but I already had a full cart so I refrained from temptation. This shade has spring written ALL over it; it’s light, flirty and is the perfect pastel peachy-pink shade to brighten your look!! Retail: $16, http://www.thedetoxmarket.com

Leahlani “Pikake” Perfume Oil: Let me start off by saying that these perfume oils are perfect for any season, but “Pikake” sounds like absolute perfection for spring. Leah describes this scent as, “The Hawaiian Jasmine~ an exotic floral fragrance with earthy notes. This is my favorite Pikake I have ever experienced, it’s powerful and lingers beautifully for a long time.” I honestly LIVE in my “Mahana” perfume oil but I think “Pikake” needs to come into my springtime rotation. Leah’s perfume oils are true perfection; light yet strong enough to stay all day; earthy but elegant. My favorite thing to do with them? Rub a little in my palms and run through my hair, the scent will stay with you forever!! Retail: $24, http://www.leahlaniskincare.com

Aila Cosmetics “Namaste” Nail Color: Now this a shade that calls my name. Described as a “soft mocha with a glimmer,” this is the perfect shade for spring but with an edge. This isn’t your typical pastel nude as it has some light earthy brown tones to it with some micro silver sparkle to set you apart from those typical “easter egg” nail colors. Retail: $17 http://www.ailacosmetics.com

Au Naturale Cosmetics “Magnolia” Lip Gloss: I’m usually not too much of a gloss girl but this shade is a stunning baby frosty pink that looks like it will round off my usual nude pout perfectly. I’m really intrigued by Au Naturale and everything I’ve browsed through on their website look simply beautiful, pure and high quality. Looking forward to eventually adding this beauty to my springtime regime! Retail: $15 http://www.aunaturaleglow.com

So I’m kinda hoping that these will all show up in my Easter basket! haha. I personally really enjoy these soft and feminine shades and scents this time of year. What are your top springtime picks? Do you succumb to the pastel pretties or do you veer over to the dark side a bit? I’d love to hear!

GETTING NUDE WITH W3LL PEOPLE

So I’m pretty excited about this review because I couldn’t wait for this little gem to make it’s debut into the green beauty world. And I wouldn’t expect anything less from the beloved cult favorite W3ll People. If you are unfamiliar with this eco-centric brand, I’ll get you up to speed. W3ll People is compromised of a world-renowned makeup artist Shirley Pinkson, dermatologist Renee Snyder M.D, and “tree hugging entrepreneur” James Walker. Together they created products that are socially responsible and high performance but with true natural ingredients that will actually benefit your skin.

W3ll People just happens to be one of my favorite nontoxic brands and their new Universalist Colorstick 9 did not disappoint. I would describe this shade as a warm, very wearable nude-pink with a sheer golden sheen that perfectly suits cheeks, lips and eyes. Now I know my readers and followers know at this point that I’m a huge fan of a monochromatic look, and W3ll People has seriously mastered the monochromatic look with their colorsticks. Their Universalist Colorsticks come in a wide variety of shades ranging from pretty pinks to deep berries. Though I love the convenience, what I appreciate most about these is that they are made to be ultra-flattering with ingredients that actually benefit your skin, which assists in giving your skin that natural “glow” we all strive for. As far as texture goes, it’s creamy enough to blend like a dream but not so much that it will melt off my face. The staying power is wonderful and I only really find myself needing to re-apply to my lips. Since it is a cream base it may crease a bit on the eye mid day, but nothing a quick blend with your finger can’t fix quickly!

DSC_0079

DSC_0081

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cera Alba (Bees- wax), Silica, Mica (CI 77019), Olea europaea (Olive Oil)*, Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate **, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Mica (CI 77019), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil (and) Organic Aloe Barbadenis (Aloe) Extract, Essential Oil blend, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Lysine, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)*, Roman An- themis Nobilis (Chamomile)* [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Carmine (CI 75470), Manganese Violet (CI 77742)]

Final thoughts? I highly recommend this product because of quality, convenience and because the shade is just too beautiful to pass up. Trust me, as a makeup artist it is very rare that I find a shade that will work on lips, cheeks AND eyes, but this shade hits the mark! Retail: $34.50, find at http://www.thedetoxmarket.com

HOW TO: THE NATURAL SMOKEY EYE

About a week ago I had the pleasure of doing my good friend Alicia’s makeup for her stunning LA engagement photoshoot. I was so excited when she started sending me pictures of makeup looks she liked, because they all geared towards a shimmery yet sophisticated smokey eye look and a pretty pink lip. In all honesty I rarely get smokey eye requests anymore, especially living in Southern California SO many girls want “bronzed and glowy” look all the time which I must admit is my signature look but I was thrilled to bust out a fun smokey eye look for Alicia! The colors I went with also paired beautifully with her outfit choices and the scenery as well. Below I included a quick breakdown of the products I used and I must admit I was pretty proud I was able to stay really clean in my product selection! These photos were taken at the absolutely gorgeous LA Arboretum by http://www.erickagphotography.com. How seriously stunning is the bride to be?!

AliciaRyan-52 http://www.erickagphotography.com[/caption%5D

 

www.erickagphotography.com http://www.erickagphotography.com[/caption%5D

PREP: Prep clean skin with Beautycounter Every day AM Hydrating Cream.

FACE: Alicia has such clear and balanced skin and although I wanted her to have good coverage, I didn’t want a “caked-on” look so I went with Beautycounter Tint Skin and built up the coverage a bit. To conceal under her eyes and the redness around her nose I used RMS Un-cover Up with a very light hand since it has a coconut oil base. I then set her entire face with RMS Un-powder. I love the Un-powder for pictures, it gets the skin super matte which is exactly what you want in professional pictures!

EYES: A smokey eye doesn’t have to require ten different eyeshadows. Alicia wanted a pop of shimmer so I packed Alima Pure “Paris” on the center of her lid and the inner corners of her eyes to really make those blue eyes sparkle. I then took Beautycounter Color Shade Eye Duo in “Fawn/Night” and blended the “fawn” shade in the crease to create dimension, then I took the “night” shade and blended well into the outer corners of the eyes and smudged slightly underneath the eye as well to “smoke” it out! I then highlighted the brow bone with Beautycounter Eye Duo in “Pearl/Champagne”. I also tight lined her waterline with W3ll People “Hypnotist” black eyeliner and gave her a super thick black line on top of the lid with Gabriel Cosmetics Zuzu Luxe “Raven” liquid eyeliner. I topped it all off with 100% Pure Black Tea Mascara, and a A LOT of it! Alicia really wanted lashes and I do recommend them  for professional pictures. Haut Cosmetics have fabulous lash options that are made from sterilized human hair and also offer a toxin-free vegan glue!

CHEEKS: Alicia didn’t wish to be overly bronzed and highlighted so we went with a classic peachy pink very wearable cheek using Beautycounter Color Sweep Blush Duo in “Tawny/Whisper”.

LIPS: To offset the smokey eye we did a subtle pinky nude lip using Ilia Lip Crayon in “Come Undone” to line the lips and also act as a primer to get the color to stay for awhile. I followed up with Beautycounter Lip Sheer in “Petal” for the perfect baby pink pop!

All Beautycounter products can be found at http://www.laurenvanloo.beautycounter.com, RMS, Alima Pure, Ilia & W3ll People at http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com, 100% Pure at http://www.thegreenkiss.com, Haut Cosmetics at http://www.beauteabar.com, Zuzu Luxe Liner at http://www.gabrielcosmeticsinc.com

I hope this breakdown helps you guys to realize how easy it is to do ANY look with non-toxic products! I will continue to post beauty breakdowns of each look I do, and I am always open to suggestions as well!

 

THE IRONY OF SUNSCREEN

I am SO excited to be back to blogging! As you can see my site has received a beautiful facelift by the amazing website witch doctors and I highly recommend them if you are need of a blog overhaul or even a simple business card design. You can view their work at http://www.blog-doo.com.

It has been HOT here in SoCal and I have found myself slathering on the sunscreen more then usual so I thought a sunscreen awareness post would be appropriate. Here is the deal with sunscreen and why I have so many problems with what is offered and promoted on the market these days, the truth is that about 95% of sunscreens you will see on the shelf at Target are not good for you and contain harmful chemicals that you don’t want absorbing into your body! Now most people are confused by this as that sunscreen is supposed to PREVENT skin cancer, not cause possible other illnesses so how does this make sense at all?? It doesn’t make sense and is a huge contradiction, as many things are in this industry unfortunately. But don’t fret free birds, I’m going to show you the ingredients to watch out for and some amazing healthier options for you and you fam so you can be ready for worry free fun in the sun!

The big difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens are that mineral sunscreens REFLECT UV rays while chemical sunscreens ABSORB UV rays, no good!! The most widely used chemical used in sunscreens is Oxybenzone. The simplest way to describe this is that it’s a chemical filter. EWG (Environmental Working Group) states that sunscreens will have two different forms of active ingredients, chemical and mineral filters and the most common on the market will contain chemicals (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate). Oxybenzone and Octinate rate the highest on EWG with a score of 8, which means they are the most toxic, and the most used. How does that make sense? Both of these toxic ingredients are detected in nearly every American and has been found in breast milk. they both are known to be hormone disruptors, associated with endometriosis in women as well as high skin allergy connections. Another issue that comes with sunscreen is whether it’s non-nano or not. The main concern with nano particles is that they can be absorbed easier than coarser particles and generate free radicals as well, particles that are 100nm or larger are considered safer and will be labeled non-nano. Non-nano mineral sunscreens are always going to leave you with some type of white residue or film, and remember that mineral sunscreens need to be re-applied more often since they don’t absorb into your skin (which is a good thing). You can find more information on sunscreen chemicals on http://www.ewg.org, they have an amazing healthy sunscreen guide as well. The good news is that there are much safer alternatives out there that I have personally tried, love and use everyday! Yes free birds, you should be wearing sunscreen everyday!! 🙂
sunscreen2Suntegrity5in1TintedFaceSunscreen-500x500unnamed

Beautycounter Protect All Over & Face Sunscreen SPF 30: I absolutely adore these sunscreens. These are the first safe sunscreens that I have tried that do not leave a heavy white residue. ! Beautycounter uses a mix of zinc and titanium dioxide along with a gorgeous mix of aloe and citrus oils which make for an extremely moisturizing sunscreen. For the face they steer clear of so much oils and use flower extracts instead so your face doesn’t feel like a grease pit. It really makes a great base for makeup! Retail: $26 http://www.laurenvanloo.beautycounter.com EWG RATING:1

Suntegrity 5 in 1 Face Sunscreen: If you want a super safe convenient tinted moisturizer packed with a super safe sunscreen this is the way to go! This is a BB cream that treats, hydrates, protects, primes and covers all with a safe SPF 30. This lil gem is free of parabens, mineral oil, nano-particles, sulfates, fragrance or any chemical UV absorbers. It comes in five convenient shades and this really is all you need in the morning. You get coverage and protection and I pretty much use this everyday, it’s amazing. Retail: $45 http://www.suntegrityskincare.com EWG RATING:1

Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream: This is is the sunscreen I use faithfully on my babies. It’s super thick and leaves a very noticeable heavy white film but it’s broad spectrum, non-nano, water resistant for 40 minutes, and they use an organic base of sunflower oil, beeswax and vitamin e. I used this all throughout swimming lessons last year and it did not fail me once. Retail: $15.99 http://www.badgerbalm.com EWG RATING:1

So these are the sunscreens that I use everyday faithfully, but there are actually some really great options coming into play and more widely available to us consumers which is amazing. So let’s go over what we want in a SAFE sunscreen: no parabens, non-nano, mineral base, broad spectrum. Remember to re-apply and don’t forget your hands, feet and neck!! You can prevent some serious aging by protecting those areas everyday!!