Browsing Tag

animal friendly

Beauty Skin Care

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

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

Five Minute Makeup Look

March 14, 2016

My good friend who has twins requested that I discuss a “Five minute makeup look”. There are a ton of these out there and mine may not be any different, but I feel it could be achieved in probably 3.75 minutes once you get the hang of it!

Five Minute Makeup Look

Step 1: Clean and prep your skin with your choice of skin care products. I like to use oil cleansers and then I follow a 78-step Korean skincare regimen that I will go into length in another post.

Step 2: Once your skin is prepped, I urge you to apply sunscreen. I don’t care if you’re inside all day or if it’s cloudy. At least, SPF 15 of whatever sunscreen you like to use. My skin care is a combination of Japanese and Korean products, so my sunscreen is also from these lines.

Gressa Foundation

Step 3: Apply your choice tinted moisturizer/foundation. I’ve selected the Gressa Skin Foundation. I like this step to be EASY as possible! I don’t want to sit there and blend for five days, but I also don’t want to go bare face. Yikes, no one wants that, trust me. I have 4-5 I rotate between and for no particular reason other than “I just feel like this one today.” This step really takes about 45 seconds because I like a light coverage that just evens out the skin. Going to Target doesn’t need my face to be full coverage.

Step 4: I like to apply a little under eye concealer because I have two little children. I also use the Gressa Skin foundation to add a little more coverage here.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy

Step 5: BLUSH. Don’t ever forget blush in my opinion. I would even skip the tinted moisturizer because I can’t go outside my bedroom without blush. Cream or powder, it doesn’t matter, just get that blush on there.

Step 6: Eye brows. Here I use the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. If you have good browns, groom them a bit and you’re done. If you need more brow power, then apply your brows but only fill them in where the hair is sparse. Think Trader Joe’s face, not Oscar night.

Step 7: Curl the lashes and apply mascara. This should take 5 seconds and honestly, some days, if I wear my glasses, I don’t do anything to my eyes.

Zabana Essentials deoderant

Step 8: Deodorant, always deodorant. I loooove Zabana Essentials for all my personal odor care.

Hope this was helpful!!

What’s  your 5 minute look?

Beauty Skin Care

Foxbrim Organic Rosehip Oil Review

March 4, 2016

I wish I knew in my 20’s to slather on all the oils but I was busy trying to get rid of it. Now a decade and a half later, I feel like I’m drying out faster than a banana in a dehydrator. I’m always jealous of friends who “claim” to be slicker than butter on warm toast as they always look fresh and dewy. Their skin is also plump and moist in the best way.

Enter Foxbrim. To be honest, their name simply sounded so cool and that’s what made me do a Google search. I had no idea they sold oils or skincare items. I was more like,”Oooo, foxes are so cute! Hanging out a brim..on the brim of a cup? Do they sell coffee?!” I was pleasantly excited to see they carried all the oils and decided to prime myself a bottle of rosehip oil.

What is Foxbrim? I love how simple they are. No frills, no thrills and it comes down to their mission statement which is simply:

we source premium all-natural and organic ingredients and craft them into scientifically proven products.

When a company uses the term “scientifically proven”, I scrutinize and wait even longer to form a conclusion because I immediately have extra stringent standards. I expect results, not necessarily immediate within 24 hours, but they need to be significantly noticeable. Furthermore, they offer something not many companies do which is a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee or your money back with free return shipping. WHOA.

What are the ingredients? 100% Pure Certified Organic Rosehip Seed Oil

PRODUCT: Organic Rosehip Seed Oil. Made in USA. Net wt. 2.0 oz./ 60ml. $16.95 (Amazon)/ $24.95 (Foxbrim).

Foxbrim Rosehip Oil package

PACKAGING: Beautiful amber glass bottle with a dropper with a very nice, clean orange fox logo and clear black font.

SCENT: I had no idea what rosehip oil would smell like but it is so deliciously unique. It’s not super rose scented, but rather nutty, earthy, and sometimes, I think it has a coffee aroma to it also.

Foxbrim Rosehip Oil product

FIRST DROP FROM THE BOTTLE: This gorgeous orange color is indicative of the oil’s freshness and that it has been relatively unrefined. Foxbrim states that they use a cold press method which is using low temperatures to extract oils to maintain its nutritional value, aroma, and taste. It is similar in viscosity to coffee bean oil or maracuja oil. But, if you’re not familiar with those oils, it is definitely not as thick as argan oil or olive oil but similar to sesame seed oil (yes, like the kind you cook with).

Foxbrim Rosehip swatch

APPLICATION: Rosehip oil glides on effortlessly and sinks into the skin quit quickly. I love the viscosity of this oil because it’s not so thick that just hangs out on the surface on your skin but not so light that it feels like water.

EFFICACY: Rosehip oil has many attributes and benefits. Foxbrim claims that rosehip oil can be used to:
*hydrate – check!
*repair damaged skin – check!
*reduce appearance of scars – check!
*reduce dark/age spots – check!
*reduce fine lines – check!
*brightens skin – check!
*encourages healthy cell production – unable to determine this.
*leaves skin feeling softer and smoother to the touch – check!

Basically, using this product should transform your skin in a positive and significant manner. I absolutely believe this product is highly efficacious on all levels of what they claim. Though I cannot determine if I’ve created healthier skin cells, I think the outward appearance of my skin could possibly lend itself to evidence of this. I don’t look 16, but my skin has responded very well to rosehip oil.

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: YES, I’ll even GIVE you a bottle if I had an extra! THIS IS THE ELIXIR OF YOUTH!!!! What took me so long to even learn about this oil?! My skin feels good, it’s bouncy, and on a good day with good lighting and a good IG filter, it even LOOKS rather acceptable bare! I can apply it upstairs and by the time I walk downstairs (just minutes later), it serves as the perfect base for me to apply my foundation. It keeps my skin hydrated and comfortable all day and does not make me look uncontrollably shiny/greasy. I welcome the dewy look and some may not like it as they prefer the matte look. Brushing over a little powder on top generally cures the dewiness right away. I also feel that my complexion seems brighter, healthier, and more refreshed even though I haven’t changed my lifestyle (read: still not enough sleep) or diet (read: not enough donuts). I even slather this on my children’s skin when they are getting little dry patches and they clear up overnight. If you are looking for rosehip oil, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing from Foxbrim- the quality, quantity, and price are unparalleled.

Side story: My husband was cleaning the bathroom and knocked over the entire bottle of rosehip oil. I fell to my knees and just looked at my youth splattered all over the floor. I had no words. No. Words. Me: OMG!!!!! Him: Hm? What happened? I quietly cleaned up said youth and thought of how to get revenge. Revenge I did get in the form of mismatching all his socks for the week. My sweet friend Clare sent me a new bottle and I have stored this in the safe with my homeowner’s insurance. It’s that special and maybe I’m almost a little bit that crazy. Fountain of youth people! Try it out for yourself you’ll feel my feels! Hope you do and hope you enjoy it!

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon when available on Prime (it’s a few dollars cheaper!) or directly from Foxbrim.

P.S. I bought this product myself and used this product at length before writing this review. 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 and my review is as accurately and honestly written to the best of my dissertation writing abilities.
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 so mama can maybe help pay for some dang ole’ diapers.

Beauty Skin Care

Zabana Essentials Armpit Detox Bar

February 21, 2016

Armpits are the pits of life. We girls spend our entire teen years trying to smell like fresh flowers and then our 20s trying to get the whitest pits in all the land. Then, when have kids, hormones kick in and bam, you can’t control your bladder let alone your armpits. Fast forward to one summer day, you raise your arms and your husband looks at you like you grew a head in your once white armpits. And you just say, “What? You want me to shave? Shave what? I’m nice and toasty right now.”

Then, heaven forbid if a girl SWEAT. Apparently, even if you’ve ran 12 miles, better not be drenched in sweat and still smell like flowers. I tried killing my sweat glands by using all the Dove and what did I end up with? Painful pit zits!!! PIT ZITS! WHAT EVEN!? And you know what? I never really even smelled fresh, just kind of artificially fresh. So, I stopped wearing deodorant all together. I just stayed away from people. Then, my sister sent me something in 2005 about aluminum stops you from sweating but it’ll give you cancer. That same day, I stopped wearing deodorant and somehow got married and stayed married.

Switching from conventional to an all natural deodorant is scary- is it going to work? Am I going to sweat through my shirt and is this going to make me smell like a funky field of lavenders? Will people think I’m trying to become one with the earth because will I smell like earth? Or, will I become a walking stale onion and have the train all to myself? All valid, life changing questions.

Enter Zabana Essentials!

What is Zabana Essentials?

Zabana means Savannah in the Native American Taino dialect. Zabana Essential’s mission is to offer Affordable – Natural – Vegan – Human Friendly – Cruelty Free Cosmetics that are not only nurturing for the skin, but enjoyable, attractive, and smell great!

What are the ingredients?

*Olea (Olive) Europaea Oil, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Activated Charcoal, Dead Sea Salt, Zinc Oxide, Kaolin Clay, Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils

PRODUCT: Armpit Detox Bar Coconut Charcoal & Clay. Made in USA. Net wt. 4.0 oz./ 113g. $7.95

Zabana Essentials Detox

PACKAGING: Since I received this as a sample in addition to my order, my product came in a generous sized 1 inch square, black cube in a little plastic bag. If you were to purchase the actual product, it would be packaged in paper similar to a cute cheese wheel.

SCENT: It definitely has an uplifting scent that is not too overwhelming. I would describe it as coconut, slightly citrusy, a smidge floral, and a hint of charcoal/clay scent similar to a pottery making class.

Zabana Essentials Detox Cube

FIRST FEEL: It is very smooth even though it appears to have a little bit of texture.

Zabana Essentials Detox Cube 2
APPLICATION: Whoa nelly! You must hold onto to this tight! Once in contact with water, it is very slippery! It does not physically exfoliate as there are no textural materials which is very, very nice since it will not irritate your underarm area. This literally glides back and forth very easily on bare underarms and even very, very hairy (i.e. husband’s) underarms.

Zabana Essentials Detox Bar 3

EFFICACY: This product claims to help you transition from conventional deodorant to an all natural one. During this transition, your body will purge all the toxins and make it seem like you are even more aromatic. Once this purging is over, you should be able to use an all natural deodorant (highly recommend the Zabana Essentials deodorant!) and it should “last” through the day. In testing this for over 2 weeks now, I feel my natural deodorant did seem to last longer. I was doing the- pull sweater over nose and take a whiff at the end of the day” test and I didn’t throw up in my sweater. Even after my runs, no not THOSE runs, but 5 mile and 8 mile runs, I didn’t “stink” “that” “bad”. And, definitely, I smelled pretty fresh all day if I was just doing my usual child care tasks. I would definitely say this product did meet their stated claims and exceeded my expectations!

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: YES!!!!!! I smell pretty good so sit thisclose and slurp coffee with me. Since I quit the Dove a decade ago, I do remember being more odorous and then it just went away. But here’s the thing- when you think you are aromatic, you’re actually not to the public. But when you don’t have a clue, then that’s when you are kind of are aromatic (e.g. Harry Styles) I tested this out for 2 weeks on myself and my husband (uh yes, totally cut the cube in half. Love still means being hygienic) and neither of us had any ill effects from the detox bar. I even think my armpits look better which I will not be showing you that- you’ll just have to take my word for it! My spouse doesn’t wear deodorant and I think that’s weird. I also have a very keen sense of smell. So, I’m not being biased here because love means not being blind to all the smells. He also felt it was easy to use and that it was a pleasant experience. What I loved was after using this detox bar was that my arms did not stick to my armpits!! I’ve tried other cleansing bars and it just made my skin.feel.like.this..similar to soaps that kind of make your skin so dry that it just skips from lack of moisture. I did not experience any zit pits, irritation, increased hair growth, hair loss, ingrown hairs- just good looking, healthy feeling, comfortable underarms. Anyone wanting to switch from Dove or Old Spice to something much better for your natural eau de eau de parfum producer, I would highly, highly recommend this! Also, even after 2 weeks of using half of the detox bar, I still have 75% left, so the product lasts quite a long time! I will venture to say that after using this detox bar, one may possibly be able to forego deodorant all together! What?! Really. Test it out and see for yourself!

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at Zabana Essentials or if you’re in the San Diego, CA area- Whole Foods!

Beauty

Valentine’s 2016 Gift Guide

February 9, 2016

Here is my first annual Valentine’s Day gift guide. I will try to keep it succinct as much as possible. I personally love every single item here and use it daily. Starting from left to right…

Valentines 16 gift guide

1. Amaki Skin Care Flowers & Salts Bath Soak: Just perfect for a long day to ease your achy muscles. And the scent is intoxicating!

2. Amaki Skin Care Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil: If all oils were this beautiful and in this quantity. I am absolutely impressed by this oil. I use it on my face, body, and hair. I even put this on my children and no one has yet to have any kind of adverse reaction to this amazing oil.

3. Tatcha Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder for Dry Skin: This. is. everything. If you’ve been using St. Ives or something with plastic beads, please, I beg you, switch to this. My skin has transformed after using Tatcha. I wholeheartedly believe in their products and will be a customer for life.

4. Gressa Skin Lip Boost in Radiant: One of my favorite colors of all time and the formulation is truly moisturizing. I really love my berry shades!!! I will have a full review of this up shortly. In the meantime, I implore you, this is a must have!

5. Zabana Essentials Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick in Lime Berry Basil: ZOMG. I cannot use any deodorant without breaking out in painful cysts. Then enter Zabana. I’m telling you, everything is amazing from this company. Try all the things. Immediately.

6. Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Crimson & Clover: If this isn’t the most moisturizing vibrant red on earth, I don’t know what is.

7. Aila Nail Lacquers: LOOK AT THE COLORS. These are 8-free and as “safe” as you can get from conventional nail polish without going completely vegan-water based.

8. Pearl Earrings from Etsy: These are hypoallergenic and made with surgical steel. Frankly, these are the only earrings I can wear comfortably.

9. What I love About You Journal: So cute but so. extensive. Seriously, start this 6 months before you need to give it to someone. Really fun and thoughtful gift!

10. Kjaer Weis: If you search through my blog, you will know my love for Kjaer Weis. Get everything.

11. Honest Beauty Eyeshadow Trio: So fun. So fun. Very pigmented, affordable, coming to Ulta Feb 28th! I love the Smokey Grey one!

12. Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation: If there’s one Asian makeup line you should invest in, this is it. It’s not 250% organic, but it’s formulated without a lot of the bad things, parabens, mineral oil, artificial color and fragrance. It’s cruelty free also. It’s amazing. Just amazing.

13. Hourglass Blush/Bronzer: AH, I love Hourglass!!! Again, it’s a great upgrade from mainstream makeup because they formulate without parabens, cruelty free, etc., but not organic. Fine with me. Such amazing, beautiful products!!! You can’t go wrong with their powders!

14. Brushes:
A. Sonia Kashuk (glittery one): If you live in the U.S., if you are a girl, you’ve been to Target. And you’ve seen Sonia. Her brush are really amazing for the price. They are cruelty free and depending on which one you get, they are synthetic so that “could” quality for vegan I suppose. Super soft, never sheds, washes well, and great investment since they will last you a very long time. Also, soo cute and luxe!

B. Furless Cosmetics: These are vegan and cruelty free. Perfect for the green beauty purist. These are soft, efficacious, and the sets are so well priced. These are similar to Real Techniques!

C. Wayne Goss Brushes: Wayne is my boyfriend but he doesn’t even know it. Anyway, I’ve been following this amazing MUA since 2005 and he’s really an awesome person. He funded his brush set himself, they are cruelty free but made with animal hair. So soft. So amazing. The investment is worth. every. penny. The most luxurious brushes my face has every had the honor of meeting.

15. West Elm Candle Holder: (That white thing to the right of Hourglass) You need candles if you’re taking a bath right? West Elm has all the cutest everything. West Elm, here, take my money.

Beauty Skin Care

Leven Rose Coffee Bean Oil Review

February 5, 2016

I saw the word coffee and I had to have it. I really have a problem, but a good problem! But really, what kind of sorcery is this?! I knew there were coffee scrubs, coffee face masks, coffee candles, coffee rubs for cooking, coffee for drinking, but never coffee bean oil for the face!

I have a real love for oils. I honestly believe my skin has transformed since I incorporated oils into my skincare in 2011. It started with oils for my ginormous belly that looked like I was carrying twins- but nope, only 1 both times, thank you. The same oils somehow found its way to my face and I never looked back. I’ve tried argan oil, good old Trader Joe’s coconut oil, some expensive pregnant belly oil blend, and finally settled for maracuja oil (more on this another time).

A good friend I made on Instragram, Michelle Paradis, had a post about hair oils which piqued my interest. A few hours of Googling about oils and all their different benefits later, I’m Amazon Prime-ing this Leven Rose Coffee Bean Oil for same day delivery (for qualified purchases over $35). Seriously, anyone else LOVE Amazon?

What is Leven Rose Beauty? Founded by a husband and wife team, Iyatho and Frances in 2013 in Colorado, who were trying to find a cure for their daughter’s keratosis.

What are the ingredients? 100% Natural Pure Cold Pressed Unrefined Coffee Bean Oil (Arabica Beans from Brazil).

PRODUCT: 100% Pure and Natural Coffee Bean Oil. Made in USA (Colorado). Net wt. 1 oz/ 28.35g. $18.97

Levenrose Coffee Bean Oil

PACKAGING: Sturdy glass bottle with a dropper applicator. Flattering pink art with clearly labeled product name and logo.

Leven Rose Coffee Bean Oil product

SCENT: As the name suggests, this oil smells exactly like coffee. There are no other scents that I can detect. I would say it smells like a medium roast coffee. No floral and citrus notes like those found in Ethiopian coffee. But since they used arabica beans from Brazil, these beans generally have chocolate, nutty, and a slight sweet notes which I picked up in my scent test. It is not overpowering nor does it linger on your face for hours after application. How I wish blogs had a scratch and sniff because this is seriously delicious!

FIRST DROPLET: The viscosity of this coffee bean oil is definitely on the runnier side, mimicking that of rosehip oil and maracuja oil, perhaps a smidge thicker. But, not as thick as castor oil, argan oil, or olive oil. Definitely, don’t cook with this! But wait, can you?

Leven Rose Coffee Bean Oil swatch

APPLICATION: As with oils of light to medium viscosity, it applied easily and absorbed quickly.

EFFICACY: Leven Rose claimed this coffee bean oil would do the following:

“increase collagen and elastin in the skin, naturally, for younger looking skin.”

Now, I can’t measure how much collagen or elastin has increased in my skin to say that it actually increased for sure. But, to my naked eye, I can tell my skin appears to be in better condition. My skin feels firmer in that when I poke my cheek, it seems to bounce back almost instantly rather than stay indented for 3.5 seconds. Directions say to pat around the eye area, but I just slather it all over my face. My eye area does seem less puffy and strangely, I look “well rested”. How I am measuring how well rested I look is that I don’t need to use as much under eye concealer as I did prior to using this coffee bean oil. Using a magnifying mirror and being my own personal harsh critic, can I claim my skin looks younger? I don’t know if “younger” is the right word, but I would honestly have to say it does look and feel better. I do not say this lightly- my fine lines around my eyes appear softer and my face feels more supple. So, in my honest opinion without actual testing by a dermatologist, I would say this product is highly efficacious.

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: Never would I thought I would be talking about coffee bean oil over coffee, but I feel like this is my actual dream come true! Short answer- YES!! Long answer: If I could drink this oil, I would, but I’m not prone to “tasting” my skin care or makeup no matter how “clean” it might be. I’m not 3 years old even though I might be the same height of some toddlers. How are kids so super tall these days?! Anyway, I’ve already put this item in my Amazon cart for “buy later” meaning when I have 1/4 left, I’m Prime-ing this baby over. I feel like I can add this to my moisturizer or apply it in the middle of the night after putting the kids to sleep for the 80th time and it just soaks in so effortlessly. I don’t wake up greasy or smelling like stale coffee. It has also made makeup application significantly smoother and easier because I no longer have any dry patches. I highly, strongly recommend this if you want to combat puffiness, dull skin, or if you “feel” like your skin is “saggy”. I don’t quite know how to quantify that unless your cheeks are hanging out with your knees. But you know what I mean! Give it a try! You might just add this to your collection of oils!

Let me know what you think if you do try it!

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Leven Rose Beauty or Amazon.

Beauty Cosmetics

Gressa Skin Eye Tint in Bronce and Eye Brush Review

January 29, 2016

Viewer Discretion: VERY LONG. VERY DETAILED. Also, UP CLOSE TO MY EYELIDS.

What an honor it is to be sharing this new Gressa Skin product with you that will launch in February 2016! It’s an eye tint that is multifaceted and beautiful- exactly the words I would use to describe Gressa Skin as a company. It’s not everyday that someone like me gets to meet and befriend the creator, owner, and mastermind behind such a coveted brand. What I really love is that Svetlana is so down to earth and emits such genuine warmth. Fifteen minutes into our first meeting, her and Drey (her aesthetician) were already asking about my family and by the end, we were joking about giving birth (wait, not Drey though). Then, at the pre-launch, I got to meet her whole staff- Erin the makeup artist, Kerry her right hand woman, Drey, Mr. Svetlana aka her husband, and Sophia the logistics manager! They have such an incredible chemistry and love between each other that far surpasses regular, old coworkers. I believe this connection ultimately affects the process, mission, and quality of their products.

I’m excited to share with you this beautiful product as well as the results of my experiment I did over the course of 2 days! Let me tell you before you keep reading, Svetlana generously gave me this eye tint and brush PLUS the illuminating serum. Just like that. I tried to give her my money and even cried a little but she was insistent. You guys, I’m telling you, this. just. doesn’t. happen to me!

But, scientist cap on and the review is as unbiased as humanly possibly below! Please enjoy!

What is Gressa Skin?

The Gressa brand is a brand that celebrates glamour and sex appeal and still remains free of silicones, preservatives, and anything that is harmful for your health.

What ingredients are in this eyeshadow?

Since I’m sharing this with you before it even launches, I do not have this information quite at the moment. However, please check back maybe the end of Feb and I will have this all updated! For now, you can check out Gressa’s website here!

PRODUCT: Eye Tint in Bronce. Made in USA. Net wt. 0.24 oz./ 6.8g. $TBD

Gressa Eye Tint Bronce Package

PACKAGING: Sleek, not overly glossy, true black. Light weight twist-top circular container. Extremely travel friendly! Definitely for those who like to take care of the appearance of their products, this will not smear or get that “greasy” look in the event you touch the product then touch this cute container thereafter.

Gressa Eye Tint Bronce

SHADE: I will update directly from the website once this product info is available. Directly looking into the pot, it’s very bronzy with red undertones with a gorgeous iridescence. At some angles, it looks very brown but coppery and other angles, it looks like a cappuccino with shiny cinnamon specks.

Gressa Eye Tint Bronce Swatch

INITIAL SWATCH:
Top swatch: A lighter swatch that blended out to this smokey, sexy, warm, brown, bronze shade. Where the swatch is lightest at the edges, you can see how it leaves you with the true meaning of a clean blended out look. I applied with with my fingers obviously but even with fingers, sometimes cream shades can “skip” a little on the lids leaving a spots where the shadow is missing.

Bottom Swatch: A heavier swatch, but this only took 2.5 swipes of my finger to achieve this opacity. Can you see that iridescence I mentioned earlier? I see pink and purple in this bronze. The cream applies very, very evenly. This was one swipe, lift, swipe again, lift. I did not have to redo the swatch halfway through my swipe if you know what I mean.

Gressa Eye Tint Brush

Gressa Eye Tint Brush close up

APPLICATION: With fingers, it was effortless. The cream shadow glided on very, very smoothly. Depending how much product you picked up on your finger, you can absolutely build this shade to your desired level of opacity.

However, there is a specially made brush for this eye tint that actually works very well! How many times have you bought the brush that was made for a product that didn’t really work? This brush in its entirety is very sleek with a matte appearance. It is light weight and a great length for control and accuracy of application. The bristles are cruelty-free, synthetic, and beautifully tapered. I was able to use this brush to apply the eye tint by tapping on the lid, and then using the tip to blend out the edges.

EFFICACY: Below is where I conducted two experiments over the course of two days using the same eye lids both days (I did a joke here, did you catch it? *wink*). My lids are surprisingly oily, they are also hooded, and so it is a rarity if shadows never crease.

Control: I washed my face and applied my skin care consisting of 2 Korean skincare products, a moisturizer, and a little bit of rosehip oil at 8:00am. I let all this sink in for 3 hours and did not apply any makeup products nor did I engage in any brow grooming, thus the craaazzyy brows. Please don’t unfriend me. I also did not leave the house during these days. At 11:00am, I applied the eye tint using the Gressa brush. At 9:00pm, my husband took eye lid pictures for me. Total wear time: 10 hours.

Gressa Eye Tint Concealer vs Nothing

Exhibit A: Concealer Versus Bare Eye Lid Skin, Conducted on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
Left side: I used RMS UncoverUp. Minimal fading or creasing. The eye tint was as opaque at the culmination of my experiment this day as it was upon initial application.
Ride side: As I predicted, my bare eye lid skin ate up the product. There was noticeable fading and creasing.

Gressa eyetint primer no primer

Exhibit B: Primer Versus Bare Eye Lid Skin, Conducted on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.
Left side: I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer (it’s Cruelty-Free). The eye tint stayed very opaque. In the outer-v of my lid, it really stayed “smokey” and rich.
Right side: Again as predicted, creasing and fading. Compared to the left side, there is a noticeable different in how much the eye tint had disappeared and creased- look at how the eye tint really tried to move into my crease.

Results: Clearly, I need all the primer. My eyelids are shadow vampires. With primer, the eye tint in Bronce stayed on for 10 hours, comfortably, flawlessly, no fading, no creasing, and did not irritate my eyes whatsoever. The color remained opaque and I was able to enjoy looking at my left eye lid throughout the day to admire its iridescence and sultriness. For the right eye lid though, I was shaking my head every couple of hours passing by my mirror. How can someone with such dry skin have the oiliest eye lids in the universe??

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFFEE? Well, if you’ve read the entire way through, you either needed a nap AND coffee twice or it’s already obvious that I could absolutely share lots of information about this product and the Gressa company over coffee! I really loved not only this multifaceted shade but I loved how comfortable it was to wear!! It did not gravitate towards a stickiness or tackiness after 10 hours of wear. It did not get “heavy” in a sense where I could feel it on my eyes and it did not travel into my eyeballs. I believe this might THE shade for that warm summer date night with a gentle breeze because it is so sultry, does not look “dirty” in the lower lash line, and has a magical way of picking up the light. I almost think *some* women might even be able to make it work as a bronzer on some level! Aside from the great ingredients if that is what you are interested in- it is cruelty free, organic, and vegan, the product is extremely efficacious. For those who are transitioning to safer products like my mommy friends who love the Maybelline Eye Tattoo, this would be a lovely substitute. Furthermore, this eye tint could be used as a base (for me, over a primer) for a realllly dark smokey eye or a really amazing bronze cat eye! Honestly, the possibilities are endless and I highly recommend this product! Amazing product and even more amazing company!

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE:

Directly at Gressa Skin! Free shipping over $100.