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Schique Skincare Review

May 10, 2017

Schqiue Skincare, created by Dr. Jacquelline Schaffer is a line borne out of a child’s love for her mother. What better way to celebrate this year’s Mother’s Day by sharing this review with you? Jacqueline watched her mother endure skin cancer twice in her lifetime and it was enough to propel her into developing skin care that was free from harsh chemicals to take care of not only her mother’s skin but all women.

Before jumping into the review of all the products, I have to say that you will probably think that this is just another skin care line with a bunch of great ingredients. Yes, that’s true. There’s nothing that hasn’t already been said about skin care that I can say differently. Yes, the lotion is soft and the stuffs smells great. But, that’s more to it than that. I know that skin care is deeply personal and not everything with amazing natural ingredients will work for everyone.

So, I urge you to take this review and apply it to your skin type and determine if it will work or not. My skin is dry, semi-sensitive (I cannot with peppermint anything), and when God hates me, it’s also hormonal [acne]. My skin isn’t so ultra sensitive that I react to simply waking up. But, it does react to fragrances and stings to certain products. That said, testing out skin care terrifies me and I don’t really like to do it at length unless I’m drawn to product for a specific reason.

What motivated me to actually take the time to try the products and then sit down to work on a review was simply the drive behind why these products were created. It wasn’t that Jacqueline got bored one day and wanted to be rich so she decided to whip up skincare. It was because she wanted to do something for someone she loved so much, to make their lives better, to pay it forward to someone special. Her mom. This is my all time dream to do something amazing for my parents one day. I don’t have the know-how to make skincare or makeup, so it enchants me when I see people who went to school for something and turned it around as a payback for their parents. I really love my parents as most of us do, so this mission statement behind the company got me by the heart strings. *Insert sweaty eyes*

 

Schique Packaging

Packaging

Just hang on until you see what’s inside (well, I guess if you look at the feature photo you’ve already seen what’s inside lol). Simple, sleek packaging with a clean gold logo that goes well with the “chic” Schique (see what they did there?) name. It’s not overpackaged and can be recycled which I appreciate. Living in Seattle and not recycling everything really makes you feel so guilty. To be honest, just this alone makes it already feel pretty luxurious.

 

Schique Product Line

Packaging

Say it with me: OOOOOH. AAAAAAH. If I said upon opening up the simple looking boxes didn’t blow me away, I’d be lying. Have you ever seen anything so pretty that’s actually cruelty-free from start to finish, made in the USA, and free of very harsh ingredients? Seriously, I had to look up their FAQ to make sure because I felt like I was holding Dior or Chloe bottles in my hands. (Gad, love those brands but as you know they test on animals, so I cannot betray Charlie by using them.)

The packaging on all the products feels hefty in your hands and looks amazing on your dresser. Simply put, it’s just plain gorgeous and makes me feel pretty fancy having it around. They all look like something that belongs in the fancy section of Sephora, doesn’t it?

 

Schqiue Hydra Glisten

HYDRA GLISTEN REVITALIZING MIST

No way this is a mist. It looks like a Chanel perfume bottle! I almost was reluctant to use it because what happens when I run out? What will I put in it? Should I be like that cool mom and DIY this into like a room spray bottle? Ok, I digress.

At First Spray

Delicious. Simply delicious. Clean scent that isn’t overpowering, but not mainstream yet not crunchy either. It reminds me of a nice spring day where you’ve just cleaned your house with something fresh.

Claims & Ingredients

*Increases collagen activity, leading to firmer and tighter skin for a more youthful appearance.
*Creates a fresh and hydrated skin tone that suggests youthfulness and health.
*Assists in cellular turnover, aiding the skin in showing its true radiance.

Ingredients click here.

Overall Efficacy

I can only speak to this mist creating a fresh and hydrated skin tone. I did feel more youthful with radiant skin. Some mists I’ve tried actually dry out my skin after a few hours. But, this mist was great in terms of actually hydrating. I cannot speak to increased collagen activity and cellular turnover as I have no instruments to determine that. But, my skin right now is looking and feeling pretty amazing which can be credited to many things like water, exercise, diet, Maya Chia, and including this product.

 

 

Schique Insightful Contour Eye Cream

INSIGHTFUL CONTOUR EYE CREAM

Tell me, doesn’t this look like the Dior concealer?? Flashbacks of my luxury mainstream makeup that I had to throw out years ago because they keep trying to kill animals. OK, I digress.

The First Application

Eye creams to me, are beefed up moisturizers. I once heard that Beyonce just uses eye cream on her face. Anyway, the texture of this eye cream is on par with every other eye cream I’ve ever tried. Without saying that it is soft, it was. It didn’t sit on my skin all day and sunk in beautifully.

Claims & Ingredients

*Brightens, softens, and restructures the eye area
*Diminishes fine lines while reducing puffiness and discoloration
*Provides a youthful and tight surface around the delicate eyes
*Hydrates, plumps, and nourishes eye contours, restoring them to a youthful state

Ingredients click here.

Overall Efficacy

Schique claims that this eye cream will brighten, hydrate, and nourishes which I can attest to. Yes, it does all of these things. My eye area looked worse for wear without it but I also layer it with Orenda Skincare’s eye roller serum for added oomph. This combination really takes hydration and brightening to another level. Because of the hydration, the fine lines around my eyes are softer and the puffiness despite never sleeping is under control. In terms of restructuring, I can’t speak to that unless it’s specifically defined as softening the fine lines and plumping. Then yes, there was visible restructuring. But, if you’re asking me if I no longer have hooded double lids (yes, Asians CAN have double lids naturally without surgery), then negatory. I still have hooded lids.

 

 

Schqiue Brilliantly Firm Serum

BRILLIANTLY FIRM FIRMING SERUM

The last time I had a bottle that looked like this was when I was using my Marula Oil cleaning oil that seemed to last forever and a decade. I know that I keep talking about the feel and look of the products, but these are factors that all go into the user experience. I’m not a package whore. I am able to look past the facade of the bottle. But, when something is this pretty, it’s noteworthy.

The First Application

This is to be applied after cleansing and polishing your face. It has a nice pink-ish tinge with a creamy consistency that leaves a nice, subtle, natural luminosity to the skin. It absorbs into my skin at a good speed. That is, I was able to continue with the rest of my skin care regimen without having to reapply or wait a lifetime for it to start doing its work. It felt comfortable on my skin, no stinging, and no adverse reactions hours later (e.g. redness, discomfort, dryness, tightness).

Claims & Ingredients

*Protects against oxidative stress from external aggressors
*Encourages age-defying skin health hydration
*Nourishment is enhanced, leaving skin firm, hydrated, and youthfully vital
*Adds luminosity and tightens, as well as strengthens skin’s barrier function.

Ingredients click here.

Overall Efficacy

Since I started using natural products, I’ve been obsessed with oil-based serums. I like the heavy duty feel of oils because I am just that dry. So, it’s been some time since I’ve used a cream-based one. Because I am dry, I felt that this serum kept my skin moisturized and it’ll be great for the coming summer months when I don’t need anything too heavy. It’s lighter than I am used to. But, pairing it with the moisturizer does make my skin “think” that I’m using an oil-based serum-moisturizer system. I think my skin really likes skin care that has “weight” on the skin to trick it into thinking it’s doing heavy-duty moisturizing. I’m weird.

Anyway, as the benefits claim to be nourishing, moisturizing, hydrating, and adding luminosity, I would agree that this serum delivers on all their claims. Because I’m not able to measure firmness other than with my blind bat eyes and whether my skin is protected like there’s no visible shield (bad joke), I again can’t speak to that. However! Because my skin didn’t react badly to the serum and that it actually maintained it’s condition from how it was before I embarked on testing these products, I have to say that the serum did its job. I mean, my husband even said, “your skin looks nice lately…are you washing it?” He knows how to give compliments, but obviously, he noticed nice looking skin, so that speaks volumes.

 

 

Schique Lumistone Hydration Face Moisturizer

LUMISTONE HYDRATION FACE MOISTURIZER

One of my two favorites from the entire line is this moisturizer. As I’ve said before, I am dry as the dessert no matter how much water I try to drown myself in. Thus, I looove thick creams. I almost don’t even care if it actually sits on my face for longer than what normal people like because eventually, it will mix with my other skincare and makeup and create the dewiest look of all time. Also, again, look how pretty.

The First Application

Thick and creamy!!! I want to slather it all over my body, but no, I will save it just for my face! It doesn’t have any outstanding scent, just the typical no-fragrance scent. I emerged from my sleepless slumber on the first night with plump feeling skin. I then went to use again the following morning even though they say you’re not supposed to use thick things for daytime, I like to break the rules. My face felt so great all day like truly moisturized and I didn’t even really need to mist and reapply anything whatsoever.

Claims & Ingredients

*Defends skin from external stressors, protecting youthful vibrancy
*Soothes, calms, and reduces age-inducing inflammation
*Hydrates and nourishes, sealing skin’s barrier function
*Causes the skin to emit radiance and luminosity

Ingredients click here.

Overall Efficacy

If age-inducing inflammation comes from dealing with a 2-year old’s tantrums, then yes, this helps in that area. I didn’t look inflamed and horrible as I genuinely felt. All the skincare products minus the mist leave your skin looking luminous which I equate with healthy, hydrated, smooth, and actually calm (even if I’m not really that calm on the inside per tantrums). My skin felt great with this cream and I think if used it by itself after cleaning if I didn’t have time to do all the skincare steps, it would still look and feel amazing. Did I actually emit radiance? I’d like to believe I did because when I walked into boot camp, everyone thought I looked way more awake and alive than what was inside (half-dead).

 

 

Schique Intuitive Restoration Mask

INTUITIVE RESTORATION RENEWING MASK

I’m just going to show you another photo of this product. It’s the most amazing shade of blue! This was my all time favorite out of everything!

Photo Credit: @schiqueskincare

The First Application

My all time favorite exfoliating type of mask has been the Gressa Renewing Polish. It visibly brightens my skin and makes it feel extremely smooth afterward. Nothing has come close to actually brightening my skin the way Gressa does. Every polish out there is meant to exfoliate your skin with the hopes of smoothing it out and making it look like a baby’s butt. Some polishes actually irritate your skin and others rip up your skin so much that it just ends up looking worse than before. I don’t lke ripping up my skin and I don’t think you do either. That said, this mask is now up in the ranks with Gressa and my trusty Era Organics
Microdermabrasion Face Scrub & Facial Mask
 (so awesome for moisturizing AND exfoliating!). I felt like the Schique mask was a cross between Gressa and Era in that it did brighten, exfoliate, and actually left my skin feeling hydrated.

Claims & Ingredients

*Softens, soothes, and hydrates while countering free radical damage
*Removes toxins as well as firms and tones face
*Brightens and nourishes for a renewed look and feel

Ingredients click here.

Overall Efficacy

Softens. Check. Soothes. Check. Hydrates. Check. Brightens. Check! I was really blown away with using this treatment (4 times total/1x week/4 weeks) and honestly, today, my pores look better than they ever have in my life. I am only saying this because I passed by the mirror and was like whoa, I cannot see my pores today! This has been the only exfoliation treatment I’ve used in the past month because my skin will die if I use too many products. That said, I have to give full credit to this mask for my smooth, bright, tiny looking pored skin right now!

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

There are so many choices for skin care out there these days ranging from natural to mainstream. It’s important to pick the one that works for you regardless of what anyone else is using. It’s your face and money, not theirs! So, if I had to invite you to try one product from the Schique line, it would have to be the INTUITIVE RESTORATION RENEWING MASK. However, if masks aren’t your thing, then definitely the LUMISTONE HYDRATION FACE MOISTURIZER because we ALL need moisturizer. I’ve read somewhere that some people swear that moisturizer makes their skin worse and it probably did. But that’s their skin and my skin wants the thick creaminess to protect and envelope it when I’m asleep and when I’m awake.

I hope you’ve found this review useful and if you end up trying anything, I’d really love to get your feedback!

 

Schique provided me with all the products in this review as well as an affiliate link should you be interested. As always, opinions and experiences are tactfully honest and thoughtfully disseminated.

Beauty Cosmetics

Red Apple Lipstick Review

April 28, 2017

Red Apple Lipstick happened to be one of the first brands I found on the internet webs when I started looking into “cleaner” beauty. I’ve always been curious about Red Apple Lipstick’s lipsticks since I’ve never seen gluten-free beauty products, only pastries at that given time. I was such a “clean” beauty newb.

Fast forward a year later, I’ve been given the opportunity to try Red Apple Lipstick products after applying to their blogger program after showing some credentials and credibility in my review abilities. That said, everything was provided to me based on my selection and all my opinions will be kind, tactful, and honest. So, let’s get this show on the road.

Extra super long review here because I’m reviewing FOUR products, please bare with me!

 

 

LIPSTICK

I’ve been eyeing this RAL Lipstick in the shade Hibiscus since the dawn of my clean beauty time. I naturally gravitate towards berries, pinks, and sometimes, I will dabble in dark shades since life is too short to play it safe.

Packaging

The lipstick is encased in a sturdy, matte black case. The cap comes off with ease and has a nice “click” that’s reminiscent of childhood memories of Mom closing her lipstick tube. The bullet that holds the actual lip product has a nice texture meant for grip and minimal aesthetics. And obviously, the outside packaging itself is cutely made of paper and completely recyclable.

Swatch of RAL Lipstick in Hibiscus

 

At First Swipe

This lipstick is 100% opaque upon first swipe applied with the least amount of pressure. It is described as a true, vibrant raspberry. On me, because my lips aren’t naturally that pink, the color definitely raspberry but with a touch of mauve. It’s not outrageously bright as other raspberry shades you might have used in the past, so it is definitely wearable for day time, at the office, at Trader Joes, or like me, to go pick up my child from preschool without looking weird being paired with sweats.

The consistency is not like a balm, so there’s no shine or sheen. It’s the most matte lipstick that I’ve tried, yet it’s not in the least bit drying. When I rub my lips together, there’s no grittiness or tugging, but there’s no gliding sensation either like you would expect from a balm-like formulation.

The weight of the lip product is something that I always seem to notice. If it feels goopy or heavy or just disgusting on, I can’t deal with it even for the sake of beauty. With this particular RAL lipstick (since it’s the only one I have lol!) is pretty much weightless and Vaseline (yeah yeah I know I shouldn’t be using it because cancer or whatever, but I like it for overnight because I wake up with soft lips. Also, huge tub for like 50 cents) feels heavier on.

The taste of lip products is also something else. I don’t want to taste it nor do I want to have it taste like anything. I’m ok with balms tasting like coffee or having some kind of faint flower-like aroma, but gag me should it be that overpowering vanilla scent. Being devoid of that lipstick taste is key and if it should taste like something, that’s just gross. RAL Hibiscus lipstick is tasteless, practically odorless, and that’s how I like it. There’s a *hint* of lipstick scent that is associated with any lipstick.

I do have to warn you that if your lips are chapped in any way, no lipstick will actually look good on them, not even this one, and not even the balm-like ones. Take care of that pout with some sugar scrub (or drink more water), then apply your lipstick, and then give it a fair evaluation.

Overall Wear

My lips have a knack for reacting to all lip products by immediately burning or eventually becoming super chapped within a few hours. That’s when I know the lip product needs to go back. That said, I have only been able to wear very few brands comfortably all day without even noticing it on my lips. I wholeheartedly recommend you try this lipstick color and this particular brand. It’s on par with other brands that you might be more familiar with like Bite Beauty and Axiology.

 
 

RAL Lip liner in Blush

 

LIP LINER

Lip liners are a new thing for me. I literally only have two in my entire hoarding collection of makeup. I know its purpose but I also don’t see it’s purpose? I hate to use that lame excuse of being lazy (because with makeup, I refuse to be), but I guess it’s more like I’ve never had any interest in them. I don’t want to overline my lips and I don’t think I experience feathering because I am picky about the lipsticks I use. I think it’s an unnecessary step if you are already using a stellar lipstick. I kind of think it’s a scam if you don’t actually need it? More on how my thoughts have been corrected in a second.

Packaging

Clean, sleek, matte black that doesn’t get greasy if you touch it with greasy fingers. The product comes out smoothly with the twist top. I love that you don’t have to sharpen it because of how the product is housed.

RAL Lip Liner in Blush swatch

 

At First Swipe

Given that I only have one other lip liner to compare this to (the new Bite Beauty Lip liner pencils), I’ll say that it’s comparable. The product applies very smoothly and doesn’t tug at your lips. It has a great opacity at the first swipe that’s not too overpowering.

Overall Wear

I tried to pick a shade that would be the perfect your-lips-but-better but alas, I’ve failed again. I have a weird color to my lips that I can’t quite explain. It’s not very pink, nor very red, but this weird berry shade naturally. However, I think this Blush shade came pretty close to achieving a suitable nude if I wanted to wear it by itself underneath a clear gloss.

It is not drying and it definitely stayed on an entire day after drinking coffee and eating. It didn’t become uncomfortable to wear throughout the day. I think if this is how lip liners are supposed to perform, it did an excellent job. I now enjoy lining my lips before and even after applying lipstick. I can absolutely see its purpose now and see what a difference it really makes in the overall look for crisper, cleaner lines. I’d definitely get more lip liners from RAL as I want crisp, clean lines for when I wear darker shades of lipstick.

 
 

RAL Eye Liner in Black

 

PENCIL EYELINER

I have a cautionary tale about pencil eyeliners here. Everything smudges on me, even if it’s waterproof. My skin is dry but my eyelids apparently produce enough oils to sufficiently fry bacon on. I don’t understand. With that said, I don’t think I can really give a fair assessment for this eyeliner. I’ve tried Urban Decay in the past, smudged. I’ve tried the new Marc Jacobs waterproof eyeliner and that thing smudged within 30 minutes. So, please take this section of the review for what it is based on my eye lids.

Packaging

Standard black eyeliner pencil packaging. You will need to sharpen this over time.

RAL Eye Liner in Black Swatch

 

At First Swipe

If you’ve ever used Urban Decay eyeliner at any given point in your life, then you will know what I’m talking about when I say this is your answer to the all natural, gluten-free, vegan-friendly dupe. It doesn’t tug on your lash line, it’s opaque, and has potential (for the right eyelids) to wear all day.

RAL eyeliner in Black Closeup

Overall Wear

The biggest thing for me is that with oily lids, I also have very sensitive eyes so I can only really use one eye product right now (Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner in Black). My eyes are easily irritated, turn red, and itchy with mostly ever single eyeliner on the market (lucky me). That said, the RAL eyeliner did NOT irritate my eyes whatsoever.

Even though everything smudges like I said earlier, the RAL wore on my eyes for a good 2 hours before the Panda eyes started showing up. I was able to wash this off easily with my Nooni cleanser and it came off completely clean. I didn’t need to clean it again after I got out of the shower.

I honestly feel like if you don’t generally have a problem with eyeliners that this would be a stellar choice for you. I believe that because of it’s cleaner ingredients, even the most sensitive eyes like mine will feel comfortable all day long. Having red, itchy eyes isn’t the best look for anyone.

I am giving this a 5-star rating based on how the eyeliner did not irritate my eyes, didn’t pull on my eyelids, and was as opaque as the Marc Jacobs liner. This 5-star rating applies to someone who typically doesn’t have problems with smudging, smearing, and irritation. However, because I have finicky eyelids and everything on earth smudges, I am disappointed to say that I cannot use this product. This translates into the fact that it is NOT the products fault, it’s really my eyelids fault because I would use this daily in a heartbeat.

 
 

RAL The Lash Project wand in Black

 

THE LASH PROJECT MASCARA

If you’ve made it this far, bless you. I’ve saved the best for last as there’s no mascara like this that make my lashes look amazing. I’ve already given away the direction of this review, so please continue for the rave.

Packaging

The packaging is like any other mascara you’ve seen so I don’t have any special adjectives to use to describe it other than nice, black, matte packaging.

At First Swipe

The formulation is on the drier side meaning that your lashes don’t stay wet for years while you’re waiting for it to dry. That said, if you are a double-applier, then you can apply it again almost the second you’re done applying the first coat on your second eye.

The wand and the formulation must be magical because, at first swipe, it separates my lashes and lengthens them immediately. It is as black as you can get without feeling like you’re applying smoke ashes to your lashes.

The real test was in the overall wear because just like my eyelids, my eyelashes also don’t like very many products resulting in smudging, tearing, and regretting I even tried to make my lashes look decent.

Overall Wear

In short, WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE?!!?!??! I have ceased to look for the next mascara that might work kind of well for my eyelashes. I’ve found the one, the #LOML right here. I feel like every girl is always searching for the one and praise the Lord when you’ve finally found it after 15 years! Let me tell you right now, this gets a 10-star out of 5-star rating. If you have eyelashes like mine, short, sparse, and thin (apparently, typical “Asian” lashes), then this mascara needs to be buried with you so that you can look amazing in the afterlife. It is that amazing.

The claim with this RAL mascara is that it’ll strengthen your lashes over time and improve the health of them. I’ve tried tons of lash products promising the same thing and I’ve never seen any great come out of it. With RAL mascara, my lashes don’t fall out as much if, at all since using this product and OMG, my lashes look amazing. My bare lash line on top even looks “fuller” in the mornings. The craziest thing is that I don’t really have bottom eyelashes (read microscopic), but this mascara is able to pick it up anyway and suddenly, I have a full set of lashes like everyone else!

There’s absolutely NO smudging, smearing, irritation, and the level of curl that my lashes are able to keep with this mascara is unbelievable! Wearing the mascara by itself, I look like I have “natural” false lashes. When I use it with the Jane Iredale eyelash primer (another holy grail to bring with my in the afterlife), my lashes practically reach the top of my eyebrows. Remember how I said I have the typical Asian eyelashes? Well, this kind of eyelashes doesn’t reach anything anywhere close to even showing up even being thisclose to a magnifying mirror.

You won’t be disappointed if you have lashes like mine by grabbing this product. You needed to get this like yesterday. It needs to be in your makeup arsenal. Actually, it needs to be in your life arsenal. Quit spending money on the stuff that just doesn’t work. I’m absolutely and thoroughly floored by how stellar this is especially for being a product with “cleaner” ingredients. It seriously just doesn’t happen this way. I’ve tried 100% Pure Mascara and that smeared in 3 seconds. Seriously, thank you to whoever made this formulation and picked this wand over at RAL, you need to win the Nobel Prize for this.

 
 

OVERALL THOUGHTS, WHAT YOU NEED TO TRY RIGHT NOW

Ok, it looks I literally gave everything a 5-star rating and obviously, I need to narrow some things down here. Here’s my overall ranking of things in the order of “you must try right now or you’ll really be so sad forever”.

1. Mascara
2. Lipstick
3. Lip Liner
4. Eye Liner

I hope this review was helpful! There are many, many choices out there for great makeup that’s natural and cleaner if you are in the market for such items. It can be inundating and intimidating. I can tell you that my communications with RAL have been very kind and enjoyable. They seem very helpful and interested in making sure their customers are happy with their products. They also have a great money back guarantee! Again, the mascara, there’s nothing like it!!!

If you’ve tried anything and loved it, please share with me! If there’s something I haven’t tried but must, please let me know! I’m absolutely impressed by the quality and performance of RAL products and believe you will be, too!

Thank you for reading!

Beauty Cosmetics

Shampoo Guide

February 20, 2017

Hair is such an important part of our lives, especially women. Thus, shampoo is a staple for our everyday lives. While some of us have gone in the no-poo direction (I bown down to you!!!), some of us are still searching for the best shampoo of our lives.

There are so many choices out there based on your hair type. So many promise so many things and before you find the perfect one, you’ve already spent your entire life savings. I have tried a handful of shampoos in my lifetime. I can’t say that I’ve found “the one” quite yet, but I’m getting close.

Whether you love Pantene or are looking for a more natural alternative while you work your way up to the no-poo revolution, I’ve connected with an editorial site that’s done much of the legwork that many of us have not really done yet.

Camilla at Reviews.com has been such a gem and sweetheart in patiently waiting for me to share her company’s research on shampoo. I hope that you will visit her site as I’m sure that you will find some really useful information. I especially loved the section on dry hair because that’s who I am, dry. They’ve gone into the science behind the hair, the ingredients, and their findings are no frills, no fuss, and presented in what I feel is a very unbiased manner. I can tell they didn’t get paid to do this and I am not paid to do this either because who has time to write about things that they don’t believe in these days?

Click on the photo below to check out their reviews and findings. I know that some of them their best findings are not in line with the all natural, CF, vegan, organic haircare, but regardless of what you use, all knowledge is powerful and not meant to use as ammo to judge other people, ok?. So, utilize it as much as it fits into your lifestyle and your beliefs. I am just here to share more resources with you regardless of what my preferences are! Hope you find some of this useful!

Photo Credit: reviews.com

Beauty

Target Likes Me

February 2, 2017

If you guys only knew that my love for Target goes way back to when I was in middle school, even before it was the thing to do. My mom would drag me there and I’d always be like “Mooooooooommmmm, I want to sit here and be an emotional teenager.” I was so stupid. My mom was showing me the way before it even became THE WAY.

Fast forward 20 years later and I start playing the social media game because it looked fun, I like to try to be creative and pretend like I have a knack for making pretty pictures. I also like to pretend I am going to write a book one day so I try to see how long I can write a post for before people just want to stab me.

Anyway, so what’s the pinnacle of the Instagram game? For some people it’s reaching 10,000 followers and for others it’s making friends. I’ve made some friends, like 9 that I really actually would invite to my home for coffee. I’ve also had exciting times like when Wayne Goss liked all my pictures of his brushes, when Nate Berkus liked this photo, and when Musings of a Muse became a friend. THESE ARE THE FAMOUS PEOPLE, people!!

Now, the real pinnacle of my IG time is this right here. Call me names, call me silly, call me whatever you want and judge me, but this is literally too much for me right now. The moment Target followed me and then requested to use this photo as part of their Awesome Shop. OMG, HELLO, MIC DROP.

This is like that person you’ve had a major crush on forever and you’ve been having a one-sided love affair with, finally notices you. Just, cannot.

THANK YOU, TARGET. YOU’VE MADE MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE RIGHT NOW.

Photo Credit: Target

Beauty

MEMEBOX LIMITED EDITION BENTON TRAVEL SET GIVEAWAY

January 16, 2017

I’m so excited to host this amazing giveaway with Memebox USA for the Limited Edition Benton Travel Set! If you’re new to Korean Beauty, Benton is a brand, in my opinion, that is a great “starter” brand to get your toes wet with! We invite you to enter the giveaway and hope you get a chance to try this out!!

MEMEBOX Limited Edition Benton Travel Set

Here’s a close up of the skin-beautifying products included in the set!!!

Close up Memebox L.E. Benton Travel Set

Beauty

Maya Chia Beauty Interview

November 14, 2016

Pip pip cheerio! I’ve been working on some really exciting things like this interview with Maya Chia Beauty over at our editorial site www.terimiyahira.com. My boss, Teri, is pretty awesome because she likes my ideas and lets me run with them. Talk about trust and letting your crazy editor run with the wind with creativity!

So, my project has been working on a Brand Spotlight where I get to curate some of the most awesome beauty brands that I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with and bringing them to the spotlight. I take this project very seriously and to heart because as a consumer, mother, human being, blogger, and Managing Editor, it’s highly important to me to highlight brands that deliver what they claim. Even more important is when the creator behind the brand has heart, passion, and enthusiasm to make time to chat with an old goat like me. I love brands who treat their customers more than just a sale-cha-ching-$, but as a valuable comrade and for some of the lucky ones, a friend. Enter Maya Chia as the natural first choice for this series!

Tt is with great pleasure that I present to you the first inaugural brand spotlight with the ever gracious and kind: Maya Chia Beauty. Susanne has become a great, caring friend amidst all the hustle and bustle of life. She sat down and wrote me some wonderful emails that pretty much makes my work very enjoyable.

To read more about this fun and inspirational interview with the epic Susanne Norwitz, click here!

Beauty Skin Care

Maya Chia The Super Couple Review

August 14, 2016

If you are a returning customer: Grab your TEA, this time, we’re going to zen.

Setting up the zen for this writing session
*Grabs a box of tissue, puts it next to my laptop*
*Grabs tea, puts it on the other side of my laptop*
*Closes eyes. Inhale 7 counts, hold 8 counts…wait, OMG, going to pass out at 7..8, exhale/wheezing for 6 counts before seeing stars*

Ok, so they say that if you do a deep breathing exercise before writing something that is important to you, the words will flow out of your fingers better. Well, I’ve learned something already, 1. I’m not a fish. 2. I’m not Michael Phelps and 3. Must learn to breathe better. My years of running have never really taught me to hold my breath. Although, I’ve heard it’s supposed to do some good stuff to your inner organs..like the oxygen marinating your organs and stuff.

Note to self: Create better zen for my 11.25 readers. *pours you more tea*

Anyway, I first came upon this Maya Chia while perusing my IG feed and saw it on a very kind friend’s page, Skin Ritual Diary. Thank you, M for bringing this game-changing product to my attention. What caught my eye was not only how Maya Chia interacted with all their fans, but how much kindness and respect they were actually exuding through my cold, hard phone screen. I don’t know about you, but when companies or power-house bloggers/YouTubers take the time to actually talk to their fans, it’s a huge deal. Almost like that time Josh Groban made eye contact with me TWICE at his Closer concert in Seattle. TWICE!!!!!! *pushes husband away 5 steps..move..he’s looking at me…oh, haiii…*

Oh, right, Maya Chia! Let’s get started!!!!

Writing about Maya Chia with Rifle Paper Journal

Writing about Maya Chia with Rifle Paper Journal

Who is Maya Chia? Susanne Norwitz, the creator of Maya Chia, has a long line of impressive credentials behind her- though you’d never know it from her humble and highly approachable nature. She has obtained a master’s degree from Harvard, supervised the speech writing department for NYC Mayor Guliani, and held the position of senior communications advisor for Fortune 100 companies such as Revlon and Walgreens.

What is Maya Chia? Born from an interest in Maya culture and skin care rituals thanks to her surgeon father, Susanne learned about the skin benefits of the chia. Chia is full of astaxanthin, a powerhouse antioxidant that revives dull skin on a cellular level and a super food rich in omega fatty acids. A full list of the main ingredients used in Maya Chia products can be found here.

What are the ingredients?

Ingredients: Supercritical Chia (Salvia hispanica) Seed Oil, Haematococcus Pluvialis Algal (Astaxanthin) Extract, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Absolute, Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Absolute, Santalum Spicatum (Australian Sandalwood), Aniba Roseodora (Rosewood) Essential Oil, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Essential Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil, Cistus Ladaniferus (Cistus) Essential Oil, Boswelia Carterii (Frankincense) Essential Oil, Myrrha Commiphora (Myrrh) Essential Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Essential Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (German Chamomile) Essential Oil

PRODUCT: The Super Couple, Ultra Luxe Face Oil Serum. Made in USA. Net wt. 1.0 fl. oz./ 30 ml. $85 USD

maya chia bottle
PACKAGING: Sleek, minimal, black dropper bottle that actually drops according to your squeeze rate. Ever have a dropper that drops 5 gallons at the slightest pinch? This dropper will give you 1 drop if you only want 1 drop.

SCENT: The scents of the Super Couple that speak loudest to me are jasmine and Bulgarian rose. The hint of lavender would almost go undetected unless you have been granted the gift heightened aroma detection that many moms are bestowed with during pregnancy. It’s not overly sweet, overly musky, or overly anything. It embodies the “earthy” like qualities you would expect from an organic line with hints of myrrh and frankincense. But, there’s also a spa-like tranquility to it: refreshing, uplifting, and all-encompassing peace.

Maya Chia Dropper

Maya Chia Dropper

FIRST DROP OUT OF THE BOTTLE: A bright coral married with a deep orange hue. From what I have researched about astaxanthin which is the second ingredient listed in this oil serum, it is naturally an intensely bright coppery orange shade. Think of a lobster. Or if you’re vegan, think of a cherry tomato marrying an orange and having a baby, and then that color.

Maya Chia The Super Couple Swatch

Maya Chia The Super Couple Swatch

APPLICATION: The viscosity of The Super Couple is very much an oil though one may think it could be thicker, similar to a gel, as it’s also a serum. The viscosity is a little runnier than olive oil and castor oil and similar to that of rosehip seed oil or coffee bean oil. It leaves a nice, glowy, healthy sheen on your face that comfortably sinks into your skin leaving it hydrated rather than overly greasy or dry.

EFFICACY: The Super Couple claims many benefits for the skin mainly due to the powerful antioxidant effects of astaxanthin and omega-fatty acids contained in chia. Let’s go through the listed benefits:

*revitalize aging skin by quenching oxidative stress & inflammation: I was personally unable to measure oxidative stress which is basically an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize the harmful effects via antioxidants (Koshikawa & Naito, 2002). I presume this needs to happen on a molecular level and I don’t have access to a lab to bring sheets of skin to be examined. However, speaking to inflammation, when I used this oil over the course of 3 months on any actual acne and possible acne eruptions, the oil kept the skin surrounding my acne moisturized and supple. When I sealed the site of skin disaster after applying all my skincare including this oil and Aczone, my pimples purged and healed much faster than had I simply left it alone to dry in a sea of benzoyl peroxide. Efficacy for treating inflammation: Check!

*prevent & reduce the size of wrinkles & improve skin micro-texture: You may be skeptical when I say that this oil truly, up close in those magnifying mirrors, visibly reduced and in some spots eliminated the fine lines around my eyes. Really. And the micro-texture of my skin improved drastically- I had mini bumps all over my cheek area that are now nonexistent. Efficacy in this area: Check!

*maintain & increase skin’s firmness & resiliency: My absolute favorite part. With the FIRST application of the Super Couple, I literally felt my skin LIFT. Over the last 3 months, my skin really has a plumpness to it that I only see in my children’s supple skin. When I push on my cheek, it instantly bounces out rather than stay indented. My skin used to be very sensitive and over time, I believe this oil serum has improved my sensitivity to only semi-sensitive. I can now use acids and Tretinoin with increased comfort! Efficacy for firmness & resiliency: Check!

*lighten age spots & brighten skin tone by inhibiting overproduction & oxidation of melanin: I naturally have freckles and generally, I am not on a quest to eliminate them. If freckles are age spots, then I haven’t seen an increase nor a decrease in them so I would consider the product being efficacious regarding melanin. Furthermore, brightening of the skin is visibly significant in my own opinion. I notice my skin is more vibrant, more even albeit freckles, and a general glow that I will actually admit to. Efficacy: Check!

*deeply moisturize & nourish, even the driest skin: Without actually measuring the moisture of the skin (as I don’t have that utensil to do so for the time being), I felt my skin become moisturized with daily usage and a dramatic decrease in dry spots that I usually experience. Efficacy: Majorly check!

*protect against free-radical damage: Free-radical damage has been hypothesized to affect health in several ways including: inflammation such as arthritis, lupus, heart disease, emphysema, ulcers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, alcoholism, smoking-related diseases, and certain types of cancer (Lobo, Patil, Phatak, Chandra, 2010). Given the myriad numbers of ways free-radicals can impact health, if we are specifically speaking to aging and inflammation, then I would consider this product efficacious within these limits. Efficacy with aging and inflammation: Check!

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: OK folks, this is where the meat of my reviews usually lives. I have A LOT to say. Please keep in mind that I have been using this oil religiously day and night for almost 3 months. Thus, my review is desperately overdue but this oil serum has also been through 3 cycles of hormones, moons, weather fluctuations, and children’s sporadic sleep schedules.

SKIN:
With skin issues ranging from dry spots to random weird tiny bumps, after using The Super Couple, they are nonexistent. Makeup application has become almost unnecessary yet significantly more enjoyable because my skin is plumper and smoother.

ACNE:
With acne, especially hormonal ones that resulted in MONSTROUS sized pimples, I am sure this oil has helped in healing rather than treating the pimples after they have purged. The skin around the acne breakout was never angry or peeling- it appeared and felt “taken care of” despite everything. With overall texture, I am proud to say and even happier admit that there are days I don’t even wear makeup and I don’t feel afraid of society, vice versa.

WEATHER:
Granted I have dry skin, I use this oil serum no matter what the weather is. Even when it’s blazing hot and I’m sweaty, the oil sinks into my skin and keeps it feeling amazing. I know that we tend to think when we are sweaty that we are also oily. I think when you are sweaty, you don’t have to be oily per se, but you definitely need to replenish your skin with moisture through water or oils.

ASTAXANTHIN:
From digging around some research articles, very few talk about the topical benefits of this amazing antioxidant on the skin. But, when ingested, it’s been found to decrease inflammation, help with eye health, and maintain healthy skin and hair. For being a great antioxidant, I am surprised it is not talked about more in the public. I am currently taking 1 pill per day and have experienced less dry eyes in the last month. I like this Jarrow’s Brand!

CHIA SEED OIL:
Because of the significant visual improvement I’ve seen for my skin, I have to say I am a believer in the power of the supercritical chia seed oil. Let’s talk about the chia for a split second. It’s a superior source of Omega-3’s, more superior than any fish or flax seed oil. If you ingest it, possibly amazing fish burps but it’ll be worth it since for every 1 gram of chia seed oil contains 600mg of omega-3s. Basically, this is really, really good oil that keeps you plump and healthy. I won’t get into the whole science behind it, but if you want to, check out this read.

FEELS:
So, obviously, I really enjoy Maya Chia Oil Serum for its consistent high-level performance. After doing some research on the ingredients, I also believe that they do benefit the skin as they are intended to. With performance and efficacy all meeting and exceeding my expectations, this product is worth every penny and “more”.

In short, YES, worth sharing over coffee!!!

In long… er, maybe longer…

For someone who’s never had the opportunity to chat with Susanne, you will just see a bottle of oil that may or may not work really well for your skin. If you are far removed from the beauty blogging/IG world, then for sure you only see this as a fancy bottle of oil. You’re not sure if you need to spend $85 on something that is life-luxury, not a necessity.

If there’s one oil in your life you want to splurge on. Just ONE TIME. I’d say this is it. Don’t resort to selling organs or anything. But, you won’t be sorry you spent your lunch money here.

The feels part goes beyond product performance, it’s about the founder, Susanne. She is so genuinely kind, it’s unbelievable. She’ll ask about your kids. She’ll show interest in your life beyond the nicely cropped, filtered picture. She’s a high-end business but there’s nothing about her that is arrogant. She really wants to connect with you; whether some measly little blogger person or a huge internet web star, she will treat you all the same. I’m telling you that this kind of nature is a rarity. If you do get the chance to chat with her, you will see what I mean. If you want to have coffee with her, she’ll totally have coffee with you (granted you’re not like really crazy but even then, I kinda think she totally would).

But, the part that gets to me is that this oil serum brings me back to my Mom and my childhood.

My Mom always smelled good. Fresh, clean, and of roses and jasmine. She is a simple woman who never fussed over material things, never wore makeup, yet always looked fairy-level beautiful. She provided me with such a great childhood. So great that I fear I can’t provide the same level of goodness for my own children. She always there for me. Even when I didn’t want her to be there because I was trying to spread my wings, but unbeknownst to me, I only had feathers.

From the day I was born until I left home for grad school, every morning there was breakfast at the table. Lunch waiting on the counter. After school snacks were there before school even ended. Dinner was cooked every night. My clothes were washed, ironed, and put away. I basically got everything I wanted (after showing some straight A’s of course). She never took “breaks” that I knew of nor did she ever appeared flustered. She never went out of town with her friends. She never took a freaking vacation until I was 30! Is this parental abuse!?

I honestly don’t know how any human can do so much because try as I might, I can’t.

I never, ever have such positive associations with a product. It’s just a product. But, then again products make us happy! But, more so, I do not ever positively associate a product with the founder and my childhood unless the product is like ice cream or a home cooked meal. It just doesn’t make sense, right? I mean do you really know the owner of any product who’s sitting in your makeup bag?

But, it’s happened and not like stalker-type of emotions here. But, just a wow-what-a-really-nice-lady! And, never have I tried a product that flooded me with such memories. Memories so intense that in my weaker moments, I just crumble completely and wish for my mom. The feelings of security, safety, happiness, a full tummy (but not like I’m starving now or anything but I’m definitely not a great cook), and a warm home. But, most of all, the most unconditional, unlimited amount of love (even in the hardest of teenage years) I have ever known.

Even though this is a (long) review, it’s also a huge thank you to Susanne for creating something so amazing and for the daily reminders of my ever-amazing mom and the life she has given me.

*commence happy ugly cry face*

ASTAXANTHIN REFERENCES:
Park, J., Chyun, J., Kim, Y., Line, L. L., & Chew, B. P. (2010). Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7(1), 18.

Rao, A. R., Sindhuja, H. N., Dharmesh, S. M., Sankar, K. U., Sarada, R., & Ravishankar, G. A. (2013). Effective inhibition of skin cancer, Tyrosinase, and Antioxidative properties by Astaxanthin and Astaxanthin esters from the green Alga Haematococcus pluvialis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61(16), 3842–3851.

Tominaga, K., Hongo, N., Karato, M., & Yamashita, E. (2012). Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on human subjects. Biochimica Polinica, 59(1), 43-47.

CHIA SEED REFERENCES:
Andreassi M, Forleo P, Di Lorio A, Masci S, Abate G, Amerio P. Efficacy of gamma-linolenic acid in the treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis. J Int Med Res. 1997;25:266–274.

Bourre JM. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women. Biomed Pharmacother. 2007;61:105–112.

Gil A. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory diseases. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002;56:388–396.

Jeong, S.K., Park, H.J., Park, B.D. and Kim, I.-H. (2010) ‘Effectiveness of topical Chia seed oil on Pruritus of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and healthy volunteers’, Annals of Dermatology, 22(2), p. 143.

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at Maya Chia.

Beauty

Mother’s Day 2016 Gift Guide

May 4, 2016

My first annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide up 4 days before Mother’s Day 2016. Great job, Kate.

Seriously, what do you give a human being who gave you life, birthed you DRUG FREE because she didn’t want her 1 second old newborn to be groggy, then took care of you and all you probably did was cry and poop for a good 2 months of life, and then you tried to give her an aneurysm when you were a teenager because were you rebelling?? As that wasn’t enough, she gave up her flourishing nursing career to take care of you because she wanted to see you grow up, she wanted to see you be a jerk to her, and she still loved you for all of it anyway? Seriously.

Well, if I put it that way, my gift guide actually is mediocre. Like what I can’t afford to get her is obviously isn’t this picture. This human who endured so much pain because of me is my mom. And she deserves the world and all I can give her is some notebook with my psychopathic looking writing and some really good skin care and makeup. Of course, she’s going to say “Too much, what is this? Just give me that notebook.” Then this is going to happen:

Mom: *Calls Kate because I can’t read this angry chicken scratch* Kate, what’s this say on page 6?
Kate: Uh, I don’t remember. Can you send a picture?
Mom: *sends picture and calls again* What is that?
Kate: Oh it says I’m sorry for all the crap I made you go through and then I spilled some water on it.
Mom: *click*
Kate: Hello?

So, I chose the items below for a few reasons:
* I REALLY like this stuff and I’m like 95% sure my mom would love it, too.
* I ACTUALLY use these products so I’m not giving it to her so she can be my guinea pig.
* I can’t give my mom stuff from companies that are just bad people. I like these companies. The people behind these brands are just so nice, kind, and cool humans. I mean, they owe nothing to me. I am just a little blogger with like 8.5 followers. But, they treat me with so much respect & kindness that I am proud to share their products with my family. They care what they put into their products and are honest. So, I can assure you, the consumer, that they will appreciate you.

Let’s not forget people who raised us who may not be our biological moms. They may be an aunt, a grandmother, a sister, a cousin, a lady from church, or a woman who adopted you which then makes this lady your mom, people. Moms don’t necessarily have to be someone who birthed you, they are someone who took care of you for your whole life and never asked for anything in return. Cherish these women.

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2016

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2016

1. What I Love About You, Mom: This journal is everything. It makes you go back all the way to your first memory of your “mom”. It has you write about your favorite things and makes you really think about all. the. times. she was there for you. My mom, she was always, always there. Never was there a time she wasn’t there. OMG, MY EYES ARE SWEATY. Just get this book and fill it out. Trust me. You’re gonna get brownie points and maybe even real brownies. P.S. Mom, as of May 4th, I’m still filling this out, Um you may get it after Mother’s Day.

2. Maya Chia The Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil: This oil smells like my mom. I love my mom so much so I just won’t live without this serum oil. Like how I can’t live without my mom. It’s easy as that. Plus, it’s a really amazing oil that honestly improves skin tone, brightens, and just makes you look like a baby’s butt.

3. Jewelry: Moms like shiny things. Like, really shiny things. My mom doesn’t really and so maybe I lucked out at how simple she is. I didn’t get this trait from her, I like shiny things.

4. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick: OH MAN, if you haven’t tried this brand and this line, you need to before you leave this world. The best lipstick I’ve ever tried!!! The color payoff and moisturizing level is out of this world. ALL the colors. But, this one here is called Jam. It’s become my Jam! #badjoke

5. Natural Face Moisturizer Cream 4oz Advanced Healing 10-in-1 Non Greasy Formula with Organic Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, Coconut Oil & More. Best Face Cream for Oily, Dry, Damaged & Sensitive Skin: I am a huge fan of the Era Organics line that I found on Amazon. Great company and amazing products. They are such a hidden gem. I’ve turned many mom friends over to this brand. This cream is so amazing for dry, sensitive skin. Every time I stop using this, my skin dies. Highly recommended and this is why my mom looks 40.

6. Clean Living Collection Whipped Body Butter in Citrus Blossom: Remember those companies who have nice people behind the brand and all that? This is one of them. I’ve been “stalking” this company for some time, trying to feel out the brand, the person, before I went and spent money on them. Confession: In the past as an eager blogger, I went and bought stuff from brands and though I have no regrets of my few purchases I made, I am now more aware of where I spend my money. Ariel is the creator here and she’s really become a friend I’d like to have coffee with. We interact and chat albiet on Instagram. But, we have a good thing and I don’t foresee her pushing sales and then unfollowing me on social media because she decided I wasn’t of any value to her. So, I respect her and her company. But more so, I appreciate her real humility and is a good human being. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to introduce her to my mom. Not that my mom is scary but I don’t want my mom to think I make horrible friends. Anyway, This particular item is just delicious and when I put it on my dry patch on my face, overnight it went away. I love the smell- uplifting and peaceful. What I love best is that I see real results and Ariel likes to drink coffee, too.

7. Pure Rose Water Mist Toner ? The Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin ? Reduce Blackheads, Pimples & Adult Acne While Restoring Hydration Even to Overly Dry Skin ? Preps Your Face for Serums & Other Anti Aging Treatments: I really like Amaki Skin Care! They are affordable and every time I have used, the bath salts, body oil, and this rose water has been such a pleasant experience! Sure I got sent these items, but the thing is I am actually using them, daily, for weeks now. No inflated review here and they have a wonderful package going on for Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day Gift Set $37 plus free shipping, valued at $51, includes:
Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil 4 fl oz
Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner 4 fl oz
Konjac Facial Wash Sponge 2 pieces – charcoal sponge + green tea sponge
Gift Package with hang tag

8. Eye Cream Chlorella Edelweiss Stem Cell Acure Organics 1.0 oz Cream: Ok, I am a true Acure Fan. When they were available at Target, I bought everything. #damnyoutarget I have used this eyecream and this is my second bottle. I’ve called my mom and told her “BUY THIS…and also the night cream and day cream.” Another big but great company to talk to. I’ve called them and there’s a real person on the line who actually cared what my feedback was. They also are so pleasant on social media and I’d really be happy to have coffee with them.

9. Gressa Skin Minimalist Illuminating Serum: Ah, Gressa. She makes really great products. My mom is a no fuss, no heavy makeup, actually no makeup kind of gal. And this is serum is something I think a simple kind of mom would like. It has enough bling to brighten up your face but is so simple to use that it takes 0.5 seconds for application. It’s healthy, it’s good for skin, and it’s from a company with kind, good people. I like that Svetlana is a real cool mom, the kind who keeps it real and doesn’t pass judgements as moms sometimes do. She’s fun to talk to and has a good heart. I mean geez, she’s famous and she takes time to read my texts about coffee. So, of course, Gressa all the way.

What’s on our gift list for your mom, aunt, grandma, sister, cousin, lady at church this Mother’s Day? Oh yeah, don’t forget those I’m sorry cards.

P.S. I bought everything myself except Amaki Skin Care and Maya Chia. I used all the products at length. All my opinions are honest and my experience has not been shaped unbiasedly by bribes, money, or photo likes/follows on Instagram by the company.
P.P.S. This specific post is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. This means if you click a link and/or buy a product, I could possibly earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Regardless of this, all opinions are my own. Swear on Charlie.
P.P.P.S. As per the Amazon Operating Agreement I have to state that I (Makeupbrew) am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. These are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Beauty Cosmetics

Honest Beauty Eye Shadow Trio in Smoky Grey Review

April 15, 2016

Guys, raise your hand if you were/currently still are under the impression that if you use Honest Beauty, you’re going to look exceptionally cute like Jessica Alba. *Raises hand, looks around, really I’m the only one?…mmm. hmm. sure…insert beady eyes emoji*

Anywho… Honest Beauty is a line created by Jessica Alba. If you don’t know her, welcome to earth as she’s a famous movie star and mommy of 2 on a mission to create safer home, baby, and beauty products. Speaking to just the makeup items as I have not used the skin care products, this line is really perfect for those in transition from “mainstream” (e.g. Basically all the makeup you know and love at Target, Walgreens, Sephora, Nordstrom or the makeup that doesn’t have the fancy words like organic, vegan, nontoxic in the label) to “cleaner” (e.g. has some kind of fancy words on bottle) makeup. Unless you are really into makeup, there’s no difference between Cover Girl and Honest Beauty- one can be bought at Walgreens for a few bucks and the other, you need to find an Ulta or have a computer with wifi. But, if you’re kind of into makeup, then you sort of have been exposed to some news about how some ingredients in makeup could possibly be linked to cancer. But more realistically, bad makeup can wreak havoc on your skin- wrinkles, burns, and other unsightly events. So, if you are probably like my friends who are the kind of like makeup-almost don’t care and might ask, “Hm, what’s a safer alternative? I don’t wanna turn into a hippy or spend a gajillion dollars. Also, I don’t want to smell like a tree.”

*Side story: Literally tried explaining mainstream vs cleaner to my husband. He ended up “resting” his eyes. So, fine, I went to my BFF and he basically logged off, no “see ya”, just no response.*

Enter Honest Beauty. You won’t smell like a tree and I kind of don’t know if you’ll be exceptionally cute like Jessica Alba. But, hey, we can all try!

So, when my dear friend, Teri Miyahira raved about every single item in her You Tube videos, I pulled out my credit card from the freezer. Guys, when I say spend freeze, I take it literally serious. I’ve been using this trio since December 2015 (I feel like I need to start photographing my receipts for anyone who is like “Mmmhmmm stop throwing out random dates!”) Just trust me once more today because obviously I’m the last person on the planet to be writing a review when there’s already been 5,000 other reviews.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty!

What ingredients are in this Smoky Grey eyeshadow trio?

Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Carbonate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain: Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491/77492/77499), Carmine (CI 75470), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Ultramarines (CI 77007).

Made without parabens, paraffins, silicones, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, talc, or synthetic fragrances.

PRODUCT: Eye Shadow Trio in Smoky Grey. Made in USA. Net wt. 0.16 oz./ 4.5g. $25.

Honest Beauty Eyeshadow Trio Package

PACKAGING: Sturdy, light grey, rectangular compact with clean, white Honest Beauty branding on the front. Inside, there’s a little mirror on the flip top and the 3 shadows are housed below.

Honest Beauty Eyeshadow Trio Smoky Grey Package

SHADE: These 3 shades are described as: slate grey, soft black, and taupe shimmer. I don’t think the slate grey is actually *that* grey as it is more of a smoky grey brown.

Honest Beauty Smoky Grey Trio Swatch

Honest Beauty Slate Grey

Honest Beauty Soft Black

Honest Beauty Taupe Shimmer

INITIAL SWATCH: Buttery smooth, no fall out for the lighter shades, extremely minuscule fall out for the darkest shade, opaque with one swipe, and color transfer is accurate from palette to skin.

APPLICATION: So. Smooth. And a little bit goes a long, long way so be cautious at first dip into the pan. All the shades are a joy to work with and blends out so easily. But, not too easily where the color dissipates into thin air. There’s no guess work involved as Honest Beauty provides you with instructions your uncle’s monkey could probably figure out. These instructions are inserted right behind the mirror which I find very nifty as it’s housed in an effective place on the palette.

EFFICACY: This eye shadow trio promises the following:
Contour: Absolutely doable and natural looking with slate grey shade. Check!
Highlight: Established with with Taupe Shimmer- classic, clean natural pop. Check!
Shape your eyes: Soft black will smoke your eyes out like a rock start who takes showers. Check!
Buildable color can take you from day to night with the perfect eyeshadow trio of neutral colors and shimmer shades. You have to love it when the descriptions don’t lie like Shakira’s hips. Check!

Based on what how Honest Beauty describes the product’s use, I would deem this eye shadow trio to be highly efficacious. There is nothing in their description that promises anything wild like…looking like Jessica Alba.

IS THIS WORTH SHARING OVER COFFEE? Alright, if you’ve read any of my reviews by now, you know every review NEEDS coffee purely for the length alone! But, I am honestly (no pun here) impressed by every Honest Beauty product I have (e.g. eye liner & lip crayons). I feel like the way the product is marketed is so welcoming and fun. Yes, her ingredients are “better” than mainstream makeup, but she doesn’t rub it in and make you feel bad for using that Tom Ford lipstick you love so much. Because PSA: While Jessica is all about Honest, she still appreciates all beauty products such as those by Koh Gen Do and for me, that’s just so much yaaas.

I see Honest Beauty like a good friend who’s inviting you over for a good cup of good coffee. The trick being that this friend doesn’t tell you that it’s actually good coffee (not Folgers) made in a good way (not in that Bun thing from last night). And, this friend doesn’t say one bad thing about the Starbucks Platinum card that you are so proudly showing on your keychain. (Dudes, I like Starbucks, it’s comforting to see the little green mermaid when I’m in a weird part of earth.)

However, let’s not downplay that Honest Beauty’s ingredients ARE better than say your usual Revlon or CoverGirl. This is really great if this is important to you. Also, you won’t smell like tree. I find myself recommending this brand to friends who ask for “better” ingredients but who will still use Tom Ford or Burberry- because really *drool on Tom Ford*. All the makeups! Anyway, if you’re a purist, then this brand is probably not up your alley and that’s ok, too. All the makeups!

A huge plus is that it’s not sooo hard to get in-person access to this brand. There are Ultas all over and if you have friends who like makeup, pretty sure they have a few Honest Beauty items already. Sometimes, my friends get turned off because of the exclusivity of a makeup line. I get it, if I didn’t care about makeup, I’m not scouring the internets to find this one foundation that is only available from this one place online. But, Honest Beauty is like “Hey come hang out, let’s share the makeups!” I also appreciate the price point! Let’s be honest (again, no pun), “safer”, “organic”, “green”, “vegan”, “whatever makeup that’s better than the stuff at Walgreens” can be expensive. BUT guys, to be fair, cleaner makeup is not any more expensive than Tom Ford or Burberry. I like that you won’t have to hide your credit card and dolla bills in the freezer with Honest Beauty. If you are trying to change out from Tom Ford (omg, but why, but ok, we’d still be friends) or whatever, you won’t be at a major deficit since 1. FREE returns for ONE year if you order from HonestBeauty.com, 2. FREE returns in store at ULTA for 60 days with receipt, and 3. Really, not all thaaat expensive, in comparison to other “green” brands.

Highly recommend trying it and then highly urging you to keep it as your staple smoky grey eye shadow trio. You can’t go wrong. Possibly the best smoky eye trio I’ve ever used and I have way too many palettes to count. Remember your uncle’s monkey? If he can play with this, anyone can.

Happy Eye Shadowing!

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Ulta.com, In store at Ulta, or directly at
HonestBeauty.com.

Beauty

Guest Post: Create Love Heal – Online Friendships

March 29, 2016

Create Love Heal

I have decided to ask a few probeauty bloggers to share some words of wisdom or even a good joke to add humanity to my cold, hard words. I’m the last person who will even try to be “holistic” because I have a lot to learn about being holistic. I mean, I drink tea, I pray, but I am far from being whole. If someone to ask me how to be more holistic, I’d say go smell some lavendar. #failKate So, I’ve asked some wholesome probloggers to help you get there if that’s something you are interested in.

These people are not only my friends, but people I feel safe and confident in sharing my space with. They would only enhance my space and provide my readers with a better experience. A holistic experience. They are also people I’d share my good coffee with *puts away the Folgers*, my children, and my home with. I have not taken to this venture lightly because I am not an open house or open book, especially when it comes to my children. Nice people are everywhere. The good people who enhance your life in a significant manner are far and few in between.

Brig is one of them. I’ve asked her to write a few guests posts for me because I think for anyone who wants to start a blog/IG/social media thing for their hobby/livelihood, she is the kind of person you want on your side to support you. She is such a great lady, a real kind woman. The kind of woman you want to cheer for, the kind of woman you want on your side. The online world is a tricky one to maneuver, she can help you steer the rough waters. I truly hope you enjoy her! I’m pretty much waiting for her to write a book!

Please enjoy!

ONLINE FRIENDSHIPS
When you take that chance, that one moment where you reach out to a stranger and hope they don’t completely reject your efforts…it’s almost worthy of breath holding. Then you hear a response and finally exhale. You have succeeded in not making a total idiot of yourself and you may have just found an acquaintance…or better yet a friend.

The online community can be brutal; it can be deeply honest and completely misconstrued at the same time. There is no tone; just emoji’s to show our true feelings behind a post, a comment or a private message. The rest is open to interpretation. These exist for everyone, but for the lucky ones there is a plethora of supportive, beautiful and like-minded individuals who share common interests and passions which unite and translate a message to change the world.

I have been blessed enough to have found many stunning, gracious and eloquent women through social media outlets. Honest and down to earth kind of women who are truly looking for a reprieve from their children, job or life at this point. This is so common and can be such a blessing. I believe we resort to social media as an outlet, for a connection (beyond the wi-fi notion) and for support. It is not easy to put part, or your entire, world and passions out there for potential scrutiny; but people are doing it all over the globe. Within the green community we are so incredibly lucky to have such kind hearted and genuine people interested. It makes establishing friendships easy because we are all in similar situations looking for someone to talk to and to spread the same non-toxic message.

Social media can be a positive experience if you allow it be. However, it can also be horrendous. There are still the high school dramas that are attached to posts or comments, there are still the cool gangs and their cheerleaders and there is still the bullying and the negative messages.

It is vital to put intention into what you want to achieve through being on social media. Be clear on your goal and have direction. If you want a positive and happy environment where women build each other up and support each other no matter the topic of conversation then seek that out and clutch to it for dear life.

There is always going to be drama; always. I choose not to see it and my experience has been phenomenal thus far, except for one instance that tore me down and broke my heart. But it was at that point, after weeks of being suppressed and obsessed by the words that were exchanged, that I decided to get back on the horse, identify with who I am, what my message is and to live by it.

Not everyone is going to like what you have to write or post all of the time. Not everyone is going to support your point of view, but that’s ok. Social media is a worldwide forum for discussion, for multi-passionate people to share their beliefs, their loves and their hobbies. Once we all accept that and embrace our differences to see beyond the gossip and the judgements of what is cool and what is not then you allow yourself to share your true self and you begin to see others in the same light.

I believe it is important to surround yourself with positive people to gain a positive experience. Simple maths. When you reach the point of trying to keep up with and be accepted by the cool kids, then your posts, your creativity, your thoughts begin to suffocate. You becoming indirectly influenced by these “cooler” people and your content and self-esteem suffer. There is no amount of copying, brown nosing or false, exaggerated love that can make you be accepted by others; because you are simply not being your authentic self.

Believe in yourself; believe you are good enough to have a voice. Believe you are worthy of genuine, beautiful and influential people in your life and you in there’s.

Friendship can only blossom from this. And if you are lucky enough to find one or two people who share your passion and morals then keep them close. They will help you weather the rougher days and support you through your success.