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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

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.

Beauty

Tatcha Pure Camelia Cleansing Oil Review

March 25, 2016

Reader’s Discretion: Yup, seriously another long one since this has been a year long review in the making! Get coffee, go pee first, and snuggle in for a read.

This might very well be the. most. important. review I will write because skincare, especially for anyone who is suffering from acne or just prone to it- is a serious matter. Your face, your skin, without being vain, is everything. It’s almost your first step in self confidence to face the world and when you “suffer” from something that makes you want to hide, you are desperate to find things that work. What I hate the most is finding products, reading reviews, and it’s for people with perfect skin who can generally use anything and still be fine.

Acne- like a voodoo curse from someone who hates you. That’s how I feel about it! A pimple here and there is bearable- you know it’s going to go away in a few days. But the ones that come from deep under the skin, the kind that throbs, takes weeks to emerge, then months to heal. Ugh. You may think, “uh,you have good skin, you know nothing John Snow”, but trust me, I know the feeling of NOT having decent skin.

How cystic acne feels: My heart starts racing when I feel that huge, swollen nub under my skin. I rush to apply all the medication I have and that’s all I can think about every moment of the day until it starts to go away. I get mad that I “missed” the signs of this zit. Maybe I didn’t take my vitamins or drink enough water. How could I let myself get another pimple?! I keep checking the mirror, did it get bigger or smaller? OMG, it’s getting bigger. I’m defeated. It’s throbbing now. It’s the size of Mt. Rainer. I don’t want to go outside. I don’t want to do anything but nurse this dang thing off my face.

To touch base briefly (yes, I can do brief) about the cleanser I used prior to Tatcha: Olay Sensitive Skin recommended by my GP because in 2010, I was that bride who freaked out and broke out. I washed, scrubbed (St. Ives apricot), toned (Nivea), and medicated (Retin-A, salicylic acid) far too much. My skin needed to build up its defenses so I needed to go extra gentle. But, there came a day when Olay stopped working and my life turned upside down.

**FINALLY I shall talk about Tatcha, that’s what you came here for, right?!**

Tatcha came to my skin’s rescue in March of 2015. I walked into Sephora with a bandaid along my jawline & dark circles from staying up many nights worrying about this eruption. I was juggling my baby, toddler, and kind of hating the world. And sometimes, Sephora can make you feel really beautiful or they will tell you straight away “UY, what’s on your face, you’re breaking out, you’re dry..Christ, your pores!” I avoided all the sales people and went straight to this white bottle on display.

To be honest, I had a mindset that I would try anything. Maybe not anything at Target but Sephora was the next step up. What more could I lose than my skin that was already falling off from 50 acne cysts growing on top of one another. I saw “pure oil cleanser”. I did a quick google search and saw positive reviews and just bought it. None of my usual 6 days of research, consulting my makeup junkie friend JB, I just slapped my credit card on the counter and bought it. I didn’t even realize until afterwards that it was almost $50 dollars and even at that point, I could not have cared if it was twice this price.

What is Tatcha? Tatcha is so many things but the most important thing to note since I am reviewing this product with regards to acne and skin care:

Victoria Tsai created the line after suffering from acute dermatitis and developing a keen awareness about the importance of ingredients used on the skin. Pregnant with her daughter, Alea, at the time, she made certain every product would be as gentle and safe as it was effective.

What are the ingredients?

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Formulated without:
Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.

PRODUCT: One Step Pure Camelia Oil Cleanser. Made in Japan. Net wt. 5.1 oz./ 150 ml. $48.

Tatcha Front View

Tatcha Front View

Tatcha Back View

Tatcha Back View

Tatcha Package

Tatcha Package

PACKAGING: Nice, recyclable, cardboard box that has a sturdy case where a pearl-like bottle lives. The bottle itself is sleek, classic, white bottle with a dainty purple and gold symbol. The product is dispensed from a controlled push top to ensure non-contamination.

Tatcha Bottle

Tatcha Bottle

Tatcha Pump Bottle

Tatcha Pump Bottle

SCENT: The oil cleanser is scent-less from my non-bloodhound nose. No fragrances to irritate those who are sensitive.

Tatcha Oil Swatch

Tatcha Oil Swatch

FIRST PUMP FROM THE BOTTLE: The viscosity of the oil is very similar to that of castor oil. If you are not familiar with castor oil, it is a a tad thicker than EVOO.

Tatcha with Water

Tatcha with Water

APPLICATION: The application was exactly as expected based on the description: massage this oil onto a dry face with dry hands. Work the oil into your skin. The oil will turn slightly milky when mixed with water and wash off easily.

EFFICACY: The claims of this cleanser are the following:

* A gentle, two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser that melts away even waterproof makeup, leaving behind purified, silky soft skin.
I normally wear light to medium coverage foundation and non-waterproof mascara (Tarte- Lights, Caemera, action or whatever) and eyeliner (Physician’s Formula eye booster). This oil cleanser washes everything off, completely and I never have to re-wash to remove any of this makeup. There have been times some other cleansers (i.e. Burt’s Bees) left behind residue from the mascara. Thus, I’d say this oil cleanser is efficacious with this claim!

*Nutrient-rich Camellia and Rice Bran oils combine to beautify skin, emulsifying completely with no residue.
Post cleansing, I would absolutely say that your skin feels amazing. It is not tight, dry, itchy, and or parched 5 minutes later. Your face feels comfortable as if you’ve already moisturized and it does not feel “squeaky”. The oil emulsifies with the warm water turning into a milky watery substance that washes off completely without leaving that film-like feeling. I’d give this claim a huge check!

*All skin types. Non-comedogenic. Non-irritating. Non-sensitizing.
My skin is sensitive, my husband’s is not and I’ve even used this on my young children with no adverse reactions. Definitely check across all skin types!

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?:

Short version is: Here, let me wash your face for you real quick so you can feel this! Absolutely worth sharing over coffee and will definitely remain one of the top 2 cleansers in my nothing of “Things to Bury with me when I Die”. Hey, I want good skin in the afterlife, too!
Long version of this is: This oil cleanser changed everything and within 2 weeks, I saw noticeable changes in my skin- less dry patches, less dry overall, and “bouncier”. When friends ask me what’s a good cleanser, I’d say the top choice is Tatcha, send them the link and they usually text me back with “Are you serious? This is $50 bucks?!” Right before they unfriend me, I tell them this 1 bottle will last them 1 year- morning and night use! 1 year/$50 bucks is super worth it! You only need a leeeeeeetle bit to wash your face without makeup and you’ll walk away feeling clean and refreshed. It’s seriously my “spa experience” in a bottle! I love that it’s cruelty free of course and it’s an amazing product for those who are transitioning from conventional to super green but are still skeptical if the super green goodies will do something weird to your skin.

This is how I suspect this cleanser will perform if you have the following:
Normal skin: Whoa, you never feel dry? What? But, seriously, you probably won’t need to heavily moisturize after using this cleanser. Maybe an SPF and go on your merry way.
Oily skin: Despite what you may think, that you need to strip those oils, don’t! Oils are GOOD for you, it keeps your skin plump, healthy, and you’re not going to shrivel up like a prune! Cleansing using oil will, I believe, help balance your skin! When you over cleanse to remove the oils, your body produces more to counteract. I feel this cleanser would be your first step in trying to balance it all out. I am not a professional esthetician though, so you may want to confirm with your skin savior. This is just my humble opinion.
Acne prone skin: You’re talking to someone with acne prone skin who’s used this cleanser for a year and my skin ain’t half bad. It hasn’t caused more break outs and has never irritated my skin whatsoever.
Dry skin: Ugh, me again. See my whole review above and where I say I want to be buried with this.

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at Tatcha.com, Sephora, or TATCHA Camellia Cleansing Oil Face Wash

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

Era Organics Complete Natural Face Moisturizer Review

March 7, 2016

Welcome to my Era Organics Complete Natural Face Moisturizer review!

Reader’s Discretion & Absolutely NOT Sponsored: This is going to be pretty long. If you think I’m diligent in my makeup reviews, you just wait. Skin care is something I take to heart because good skin is a lifetime commitment. It costs money, tears, and affects your whole well being. I will make jokes but this isn’t a laughing matter in any sense. Get some coffee, tea, water, put on a mask, tuck yourself in, and let’s get started. Take pee breaks if you need to.

If you don’t peruse Amazon during children’s nap time like I do, you might not know about Era Organics. So, let me have the privilege of introducing this line to you. I stumbled upon them when I was having a very horrendous hormonal cystic acne eruption back in March 2015. Let me tell you, hormonal anything PLUS Amazon Prime is a dangerous place to be. It’s instant gratification plus emotional desperation that will lead you to buy all the things. I bought that Egyptian clay mask and ugh, I’ll review that another time. I rarely like to review things that are meh to keep things a little positive and lively here but meh will come soon.

I knew I wanted to go a more natural route because having tried all the topical stuff at Target, I knew that my skin would only die from it. The burns, the peels, the redness, the healing that felt like 500 years in the making, and the “why, baby jesus, why me?” Seems like I talk to baby Jesus a lot. Anyway, I needed my skin to heal, normalize, and live to see smooth wrinkles.

Why I put Era Organics in my cart to begin with is honestly an easy answer. The number of reviews and ratings. Yes, a lot were verified customers and a lot were reviewing for a discounted price. Sure, people could possibly inflate their reviews because they got something for free, but it’s still a review and it’s up to me to take it for what I think it’s worth. It’s like I have to know that if I buy this sports bra from Nike because I see Jennifer Lawrence looking cute in it- I’m totally not going to get the 6-pack abs, Oscar, cute dimples, Gale, or win the Hunger Games.

So, who is Era Organics all about?

We are a family owned and operated company based in sunny California. While we gather the best ingredients from around the world, including New Zealand and Hawaii, our products are made and bottled in the US.

We have done the research and experienced the benefits. We have worked with doctors, nutritionists, scientists and other health specialists to provide unbiased information- all backed by science.

What ingredients the Complete Natural Face Moisturizer?
Free of: parabens, harsh chemicals, toxins, unless fillers, alcohol, dyes, mineral oils, and cruelty free.

Organic Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka Honey) Mel, Butyrospermum Parki (Shea) Butter, Centipeda Cunninghamii (Cehami), Glycerine (vegetable derived), Emulsifying Wax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Spirucosm (Blue Algae), Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp Seed) Oil, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Methyl Sufonyl Methane (MSM), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Oat Amino Protein, Frangipani Extract, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment Hydrolysate, Saccharomyces/Potassium Ferment Hydrolysate, Adenosine Triphosphate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Tapioca Starch, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, Carbomer, Glucose, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Sodium Hyaluronate, Geogard Ultra (Glucoonolactone and Sodium Benzoate), Phenoxyethanol

PRODUCT: Complete Natural Face Moisturizer. Made in USA. Net wt. 4.0oz./ 118.29ml $23.87 (Amazon.com).

Era Organics Complete Moisturizer pkg

PACKAGING: White, plastic, twist top cap with a clean, clear logo. Simple and minimal yet classic with a hint of luxe and cute.

SCENT: A mix of faint coconut and sweet honey. I also detect a hint of almond-ness which I suspect is the shea butter. Overall, very faint, dissipates quickly, but is refreshingly pleasant and uplifting.

Era Organics moisturizer swatch

FIRST DIP IN THE JAR: This product is a cream of thicker consistency. Thicker than a gel moisturizer, but not as thick as the typical 100% shea butter type of product.

Era Organics moisturizer product

APPLICATION: The moisturizer is smooth, creamy, and absolutely lacks any tackiness or stickiness. While it is semi-think, it does not skip on the skin as some thick products sometimes do. It basically glides on your face like if you were to “slide” onto a patch of black ice in the middle of a Nebraskan winter.

EFFICACY: Here’s where serious face gets turned on. This part was critical because I purchased this to cure with my acne not just to help a random dry patch on my elbow. They are making some huge claims so let’s go the important ones in more detail.

* This moisturizer can be used for any skin condition and any skin type.
My skin has been sorta normal, sorta dry, dry, and super dry. I’ve had dry patches and sheets of skin falling off with every breath. Definitely, this moisturizer has been applicable for all different skin conditions and there have been absolutely zero negative affects from using it.

* Experience immediate and long-term relief with our unique 10-in-1 formula.
The 10-in-1 formula is speaking to the ingredients which are all meant to moisturize and heal the skin. I’d say for this part, I did experience immediate relief from dryness and have been feeling long term relief that’s been lasting longer than most celebrity marriages.

*Acne: I hate acne, all forms of it but particularly the ones that seem to grow on top of each other and take over your face. Contrary to what we’ve all been taught, over production of oils clog pores forming pimples, we actually need oils to keep our skin healthy. Stripping your face by over washing, over scrubbing, over exfoliating, and using harsh topical medication can make things worse in my humble opinion. Keeping the skin “gently” cleansed and very moisturized has actually helped pimples to ripen quicker, exit the face in the same dramatic fashion, and encourage healing. This cream has performed to my impossible standards of keeping my skin moisturized during my horrific breakout. It has not made the existing outbreak worse nor has it caused new breakouts, ever. It also encouraged healing (along with other vitamins) of my skin at a significantly quicker rate and to this day, I have very, very minimal scaring and pigmentation from this specific break out in March 2015. I’d give this claim a huge, gigantic check!

* Dry/Damaged Skin: Check!
* Sensitive/Irritated Skin: Check!
* Fine Lines/Wrinkles: Check!
* Eczema/Psoriasis: Personally, I don’t have this, but my kids do get very minor patches at times. This cream helps to clear it up within 48 hours. No joke.
* Scars/Stretch Marks: Uh, I’ve had 2 kids, I am a walking tiger who’s been sliced open twice. I haven’t used this cream specifically for these conditions consistently, so I can’t say if it fades these types of scars. But, it sure did help moisturize my huge belly at the time of impregnation.
* Dermatitis: Didn’t Kim Kardashian have this? Me, N/A.
* Rashes (Including Diaper Rash): Have not used this on any baby butts because this is a cream for my face, only. Totally not double dipping here. Thus, N/A for this specific review.

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: It’s worth sharing over a whole carafe of coffee as that is what you’ve already drank since reading this review. Amirite? But, when you find something by chance, that happens to benefit your skin in so many ways, it deserves a long winded review. This product is Ph balanced, like everything in their line, and I honestly believe this is the miracle of all miracles. I will have another post all its own about the importance of Ph balanced products!

Skin care is not like really good healthy makeup that evens out your skin beautifully and makes you look like a better version of yourself. Skin care makes you look like your dang old self with everything- dark circles, wrinkles, and all. And the effects of skin care are not immediate like makeup. It takes 6-8 weeks for your skin to adjust to new skin care and regenerate itself. If you have acne, 6-8 weeks might as well be 5,000 years. You can’t tell immediately if your new moisturizer is working, you only feel it and even then, the mind can play tricks on you if you desperately want something to work. This product is heaven sent. And not to be arrogant or vain in any bit, my skin is proof this product works.

The first time I ran out and used another product, I instantly regretted it. Never again will I use anything else and I will always Amazon Prime this to my doorstep before I ever run out. If I have to escape my home because of a zombie apocalypse, I’m grabbing this. Even if I to pay the $55 airline luggage fee to bring this cream with me everywhere, I’m willing to pay it. I highly, strongly recommend this product for the simple reason is that it works. It nourished, healed, and saved my skin. But, beyond the vanity of it all, it saved my self confidence. If anyone has ever suffered from acne, you know this feeling of wanting to hide from the world. The feeling of being diminished to nothing other than a zit. And if you’re past the age of puberty and still getting acne, then the pain is so real. I whole heartedly advise to give this cream a try, it could possibly change your life as it has definitely changed mine.

I hope you check out Era Organics and please let me know what you think!

Read on if you haven’t keeled over yet….I told you this would be long.

SIDE NOTE: OMG, yes, I am still writing. Let me just briefly tell you about this company from a personal experience standpoint. I have had many emails with the owner, Tyler Chase, and he’s come to be a great friend and educator. He takes the time to email every.one. back and answers all your questions. I will have a post dedicated to my interview with him shortly. I can tell you that I believe he really cares about his customers and his products. I’ve read his interactions with his customers on Amazon and Tyler is the epitome of kindness and exudes professionalism. If you are unhappy with anything, even the colors of his packaging, he’s willing to refund your money and will provide you with a product that makes you happy.

I’ve never once felt like he just wanted to make a sale or push a product by selling his soul to the devil. I’m not getting any of these products for free, I can show you my receipt if you feel this is too inflated. Tyler and his team are full of genuine character, heart, and are honest to goodness good people. I’d say I’d have them over for dinner, that’s how much I like them.

I am a big advocate for supporting small companies but even big ones who have real heart – not just a well written mission statement, but the ones who treat their people really well. I’m not talking “really well” like “Here’s a free product, review it nicely and we’ll give you more.” I’m talking about mutual respect, appreciation, and a willingness to take the time to connect with their people on a real level- asking about how they like the product, how they can improve, how your family likes it, how your friends like it, randomly checking in to see how your skin is doing, etc. All I can say is without a doubt, I will be a lifelong customer and friend of Mr. Chase. I can’t recommend him enough and his products are super stellar. Truly a hidden gem in the green beauty world.

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon.com

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 Cosmetics

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Embrace Review

January 7, 2016

If I haven’t raved enough about all things Kjaer Weis, I will soon. This is going to add to my collection of raving. I’ve reviewed her foundation here, and will now be sharing with you my all time favorite cosmetic item: Blush.

How much blush can one person have or need for just 2 cheeks on a face? It’s all just varying shades and textures of red, pink, coral, orange, mauve, and berry. But that’s exactly the point! There are so many varying shades and textures, so I just need them all! Something about blush makes me so happy, it can brighten your face instantly and application doesn’t have to be painstakingly accurate for it to look decent.

So, who and what is Kjaer Weis all about?
*this section is a repeat of my first post in case this is your first post!*
Kristin Kjaer Weis was born in Denmark and is a makeup artist based in New York City. She is the creative mastermind behind the makeup line that is organic, all natural, gluten free and free of irritants that performs as well as other cutting edge high-end luxury brands on the market. Her packaging is highly luxurious- think of Chanel or Burberry- yet completely environmentally friendly – each product casing is refillable.

What ingredients are in her makeup line?
Please refer to the link here to review all her ingredients.

PRODUCT: Blush in Embrace. Made in Italy. Net wt. 0.12 oz./ 3.5g. $56 (with compact) /$32 (refill only)

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush- Embrace

PACKAGING: One word, stunning. Exactly like the foundation packaging only different dimensions. Again, nicely weighted compact that just feels and looks luxurious.

KWembraceupclose

SHADE: As described on their site: “This nude-pink is my go-to when just the palest hint of blush is needed. Best for light to light medium skin tones.” Admittedly, I am the kind of girl who isn’t afraid of blush- I love those stand out colors since this is usually the only product I am comfortable with on my face. Lips and eyeliner take time and careful application which at times I don’t have. This is the lightest shade I own and I quite enjoy it! It is so understated and definitely gives a “within glow” look. The perfect shade to pair with a bold lip or eye makeup.

Kjaer Weis Blush Embrace

Kjaer Weis Blush Embrace

INITIAL SWATCH: Just like KW foundation, this is quite creamy and dense. The color is just as described- nude pink and light. It exudes classic, clean looking beauty- no fuss, no mess, and seriously, I don’t think you can mess this up even if you tried.

APPLICATION: So, unlike the foundation which I discuss here, once your face is already prepped, foundation has been applied, the blush is pretty seamless to apply. I use the Wayne Goss 13 Brush to apply it and sometimes with my fingers- flawless application every time. Easy to blend and easy to build color while still feeling weightless on the skin. Think of it as spreading Kerrygold Butter on warm toast- sooo buttery smooth.

EFFICACY: As with ALL cream blushes, the lasting power is a not as long as compared to powder blushes. This does NOT make this product less efficacious though. It is perfectly pigmented and applying a touch of powder over it WILL make it last longer. KW does not make any claims about how long this product will last, but she does claim natural, green beauty with an understated touch of color which she absolutely delivers.

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: Short answer here is: YAS!!!! Again, just like the foundation, when my friends ask me what new product they should get- I tell them KW. Not everyone needs five different foundations, so I simply tell them, “Get. all. the. KW. blush.” However, not everyone likes cream blush. I understand people like to apply blush one time in the morning and have it last until they are done with the day. People retouch foundation/use powder, but rarely do I ever hear the same sentiment with blush. They key point here in using this product is that what you put on your face gets absorbed into your body. I feel comfortable knowing all the ingredients in this product are harmless, so absorb away body! I also feel confident that every time my children slobber all over my face with their kisses, I am not harming them with my vanity.

But, goodness, I adore blush so I think most blushes are seriously amazing. Even though this one is much lighter than what I would normally be drawn to, it’s so classic and gorgeous that it’s making me rethink life! I’m like Mimi from the Drew Carey show who likes bright, bright colors! So maybe a quick tip- if you just won the lottery- then don’t even think twice- make a mass order of everything Kjaer Weis, right now. If you haven’t won the lottery, then get one blush with the compact because everyone needs at least ONE Kjaer Compact to show their friends how fancy we are! Otherwise, buy a Z-palette and fill it up with all the refills- much more affordable and looks just as pleasing to the eyes!

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at their website, or Beautylish, Spirit Beauty Lounge, BeautyBar, The Detox Market, and Citrine Natural Beauty Bar. Each of these sites have enormously generous and kind customer service. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact them. They are all generally free shipping after $50/$75. For the fastest shipping, literally 48 hours, Beautylish.com is the place to go. They also have free U.S. shipping for orders over $35.