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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 Skin Care

Maya Chia The Super Couple Review

August 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing about Maya Chia with Rifle Paper Journal

Writing about Maya Chia with Rifle Paper Journal

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

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

What are the ingredients?

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

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

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

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

Maya Chia Dropper

Maya Chia Dropper

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

Maya Chia The Super Couple Swatch

Maya Chia The Super Couple Swatch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In long… er, maybe longer…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*commence happy ugly cry face*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at Maya Chia.

Beauty 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 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

Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation Review

February 12, 2016

*SUPER LONG READ FOLKS. I WARNED YA!*

This has been a long review in the making. I feel I’m always “late in the game” when it comes to posting a review. I’m generally not the first one to know about new releases either. I think it’s natural and easy to say that a product works really well after the first try within the first 26 minutes. But, things change- the weather, skin, hormones, diet, water intake, skin care, sleep, Instagram filters, and all of this affects how the product performs.

I have been testing the Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation for seven weeks now (check my IG to see my first pic with Gressa, that was 7 weeks ago). When I test a product, it’s almost like a dating game. I want to get to know the product, test it under different skin conditions, and application methods before I can really speak about it. My friends always call BS when they know I don’t have a lot to say about something and they ask me, “Dude, you got this last night right?” Anyway, they keep me in check and thus, at this time, I feel confident in bringing this product home to my parents. *wink-was that a bad joke-wink*

So, who and what is Gressa Skin all about? Ok, here’s the part where I will quote directly from the Gressa website. This is only done to be as unbiased as possible. You will soon see why in the conclusions.

I often say that GRESSA is a fusion of science, love and art all bottled up in a beautiful violet glass bottle. And it really is just that: years of formal education, tradition of ancient medicine, and my heart and soul poured into it creating the beauty behind each formula.

When creating the GRESSA concept my intention was to transcend green beauty. I wanted to take the stigma and stereotypes out of the word ‘green’. I wanted my product to represent what every woman deserves: an efficacious line that is couture yet remains uncompromising of purity.

What ingredients are in her makeup line?

*Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Coconut Alkanes (and) Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Silica, GRESSA Healing ComplexTM *Silymarin, *Neem (Azadirachta indica) Extract,*Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract, *Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) Extract, *Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Extract, *Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Seed Extract, *Elder Flower (Sambucus nigra) Extract, *Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate Non-GMO, Coenzyme Q10, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, (Vitamin C), *lecithin, *glycerin, mica, iron oxides, titanium oxide. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

PRODUCT: Minialist Corrective Serum Foundation in Shade 1.5. Made in USA. Net wt. 15 ml. $54

Gressa Foundation

PACKAGING: Black bottle with a drop applicator carefully thought out for those who value and need sanitary application. Clean, classic logo in white clear font with a black background. Simplicity and minimalistic packaging at its best.

Gressa Foundation Swatch

SHADE: The shade I use is 1.5 which is described as “Fair to light, with warm undertones”. This is an accurate description in my opinion as I am light with generally neutral undertones according to most makeup lines. But, I do lean a tad towards warm rather than cool undertones.

Gressa Foundation Swatch 2

INITIAL SWATCH: In the initial swatch, there are a few things you need to do before you get the product out of the bottle. As instructed by Ms. Svetlana herself, you must 1. shake the bottle, 2. squeeze the dropper to get any product out first, 3. squeeze the product back in, 4. then dispense 2-3 drops for the first level of application. Once I took these steps, the initial swatch out of the dropper onto my hand and wrist needed fast action. The consistency is runny like a an oil-serum. The viscosity is similar to that like a very light oil such as rosehip. There’s also a cushion-like feel to it, reminiscent of a soft goose down pillow.

Gressa Swatch
APPLICATION: As depicted in the swatch, one can already assume that with the consistency being like a lighter oil, that the application would be effortless. You know those chocolate fountains at weddings or Bellagio buffet in Vegas? Imagine your face being a strawberry and coating that strawberry with that silky, warm chocolate. That is Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation.

EFFICACY: The claims are the following:

It’s a serum. It’s a foundation. It’s a multivitamin for your face. Perfect your face with long-term benefits of this revolutionary serum to powder foundation.

Let’s break this down one point at a time.
1. A serum: Most serums I’ve tried have a specific consistency to it. Gel-like and a thicker viscosity than your runniest oil. They are generally quick to absorb into the skin and very light weight. Does this foundation FEEL like a serum? Yes. And most serums, generally over time, improve the condition of your skin with consistent use. Did this improve my skin? Yes. I had dry patches prior to using this product and  I am happy to say I am no longer the owner of dry patches. Please note that using this foundation in combination with two more face oils may have improved my skin simultaneously. This is promising in that this foundation also works beautifully with face oils, so there a positive compounding effect happening here. Level 1 efficacy: Check.
2. A foundation: A foundation at its most basic level is supposed to even out your skin to some degree of coverage. That’s it. Not make you look unrecognizable or transformed into Beyonce. Did this foundation even out my skin? Absolutely. Level 2 efficacy: Check.
3. A multivitamin for your face: If you ingest a multivitamin, the expected outcome is that you should “feel better” in some way or “see” some level improvement in your health whether it be: physical, emotional, or mental. If you take a prenatal, you shouldn’t gag. But rather, it “should” keep you and your unborn child healthy and nurture you all the way through pregnancy and beyond. If you take biotin, it “should” grow your hair and nails like wildfire. Given this product is applied to your face and claims that it is also a multivitamin, then one should see some level of physical improvement in one’s skin’s condition- be it texture, complexion, elasticity, or so forth. Did I see an improvement in my skin’s physical appearance on some level? Yes. Level 3 efficacy: Check.

I am confident in concluding that the Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation is efficacious on all levels of what they claim their foundation should be doing for your skin. Furthermore, talk about a really effective title. Minimalist- yes in the packaging and application. Corrective- absolutely it evens out your skin to give a very fresh, natural glow. Serum Foundation- yes, in how it has great potential to help your skin while providing a beautiful base for your canvas.

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: Based on my 7 weeks of testing, I will say absolutely YES this is worth sharing over coffee -like so much coffee that you end up feeling light-headed and sleepy. This foundation is so perfect for the everyday- no fuss-no full coverage wanted-kind of woman or man. For the busy mom or dad who has 1.5 minutes each morning, you pretty much needed this foundation yesterday. Given that the application is really seamless whether you use a brush or your fingers, you will get the same outcome every time. The product is consistent in its performance and you can be confident walking out the door knowing you are well blended with very little effort.

In terms of how the product builds, it is light coverage at first swipe. But, wait for that to dry a little and you can continue building up to medium-medium not medium-full coverage. Because the product has a serum-luxe oil consistency, I don’t think you will get full coverage. However, I feel that is not the goal of this product nor any other “green” product. Brands generally want your skin to improve so you can wear less and show more of your natural face with a little help from some good ingredients. You want your skin to breathe while having even, clear skin. If you want full coverage, you will need a different product or oodles of powder to cover up this foundation. Honestly, that would basically go against the very meaning of what Gressa wants you to do with your face and she definitely wants you to smile.

Just with Kjaer Weis, another beautiful luxe organic product, or any other facial cosmetic product from any brand, you will need to take care of your skin. That bare skin needs to be in somewhat decent shape if you want ANY type of foundation- organic, mainstream, light coverage, full coverage- to even work well. It’s the simple truth of the matter. I can’t wake up with 500 dry patches and cystic acne the size of my SUV and expect a product to make me look like I have perfect skin, especially products that are geared for “natural beauty”. We have amazing lines in this day and age such as Makeup Forever and MAC that have cultivated the technology to meet such challenges. But even then, you need to at least moisturize/prime. With Gressa, you should prep a little bit so that the product performs to your satisfaction. If you are dry, oil up. If you are oily, prime. If you are normal, moisturize. If you’re going outside, sunscreen I beg of you.

I mentioned dry patches when I first had this applied to my face by Svetlana herself. *OMG SHE TOUCHED MY FACE.* *OK, STOP.* She topped the foundation with some of her purifying oil while tapping, not buffing the brush onto my face. I walked out of her apothecary looking like I had a great facial. I love that I can spritz some oil on my face if I am super dry halfway into the day and the foundation stays in place. This product wants to be friends with everything- oils and mists, that it ends up working beautifully with these products without ruining your foundation. My skin has improved significantly and I didn’t really change my diet, read: did not reduce coffee intake. I can almost go pretty bare faced most days now. We are our own harshest critic but I am 86% confident running to Target without makeup these days. Ok, I lie, I still need my brows and blush.

I completely recommend this product for everyone and anyone. I think Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation has the potential to improve your life in several ways- less time spent on your face since most likely, it could very well improve your skin over continued use and will inadvertently give you more time to do other things in your day, e.g. blend eye shadow, do those brows, or brush some hair.

Continue reading on your own accord:

Let me just rave about Gressa’s creator, Svetlana Sanchez. I mean look at me, I’m just a kid who likes makeup. A kid with 2 kids. I’m kidding, I’m old and need help with my face. Anyway, I met her by chance, and then next thing you know, she’s making time for me amidst her busy schedule to have coffee and brownies. The first two times I met her, I was like crazy fan girl and she was completely like “OMG, please, STOP this SH*T immediately.” When we had coffee, I was secretly sweating, trying to play it cool, but then I actually felt cool with her. She’s a normal, down to earth person who like donuts, laughs at my jokes, listens to my feedback, asks about my family, tells me about her life, talks about breastfeeding. I was thinking, OMG, I think..I think she really wants to be my friend? Fangirl moment: SVETLANA IS MY FRIEND!

Anyway, calming down now… some people might look at her products and think, “OH. Another green thing” or “What? $54? Why?”. I see none of this because I know the intention and heart behind this brand. I will forever support Svetlana in all her endeavors because she’s a good, wholesome person. I’m not one for throwing my money at the next popular thing. My husband works hard for my makeup problem, so I am adamant on finding those brands with a heart. Svetlana talks passionately about her craft, she doesn’t push her products and she doesn’t say anything bad about other products. People, she worked so hard on Gressa, she lost her eyesight!!! That’s dedication and passion of the utmost degree. I have to say it is a privilege of unimaginable levels that I am friends with a creator of a makeup brand. I’m talking like, I can text her some weird b.s. and she’ll send me a bunch of LOL emoticons back with a heart. Who does that even happen to? Only very popular people and I’m not popular! But, Svetlana would tell me to shut my mouth if I continue to talk like this and then she’d give me a brownie. So, if you are in doubt about Gressa Skin, trust me when I say the PERSON behind the brand is one big walking beating heart of a woman who wants you to basically feel confident, beautiful, and most of all loved. How can you not support and love that?

Rating Scale:

 

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at Gressa Skin

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

Hourglass vs. Kjaer Weis: What to Splurge On?

February 4, 2016

My good friend asked me if she should splurge on the Hourglass (HG) Edit Palette or get the Kjaer Weis (KW) Foundation. I thought she was mad to ask me such a thing. But, she looked at me with serious eyes and wanted a serious answer. Granted that these are different cosmetic products all together, it invoked some deep, careful thoughts and a calculator.

Hourglass & Kjaer Weis

Several points were taken into consideration before I came to the final conclusion based on pure scientific logic. Just kidding, but seriously, a lot of thought went into answering this life-changing question. Peruse the chart below.

Hourglass Edit Palette VS. Kjaer Weis Foundation

Breakdown:

Product Price/USD Amount Price/Ounce
Hourglass (Singles)
                  Powder $45 .34 $128.57
                  Blush $35 .15 $233.33
                  Bronzer $50 .39 $128.21
Hourglass Palettes
                  Powder (3) $58 .35 $165.71
                  Blush (3) $58 .33 $175.76
                  Edit (6) $80 .29 $275.86
Kjaer Weis
                  Foundation $68 .26 $261.54
                  Foundation Refill Only $40 .26 $153.85
                  Blush $56 .12 $466.66
                  Blush Refill Only $32 .12 $266.67

Hourglass Blush Palette

Price Per Ounce:
Without going into ingredients, taking into account your personal beauty philosophy, etc., KW appears to be expensive across the board. A KW blush refill is almost the same price as the HG blush that comes with its own packaging.

Then, looking at HG, it appears comparatively more affordable. However, in looking carefully within the HG blush products – a single HG blush is as expensive as the Edit Palette that contains 6 different shades. The best bang for your buck here is basically the single HG bronzer and the HG powder.

But, wait, don’t click Confirm Order on the HG palette just yet.

Better Value Overall?:
The Powder palette is the best value out of all the HG palettes. However, if you want to try the HG blush, the palette would be the way to go. Unless you are 250% sure of the color you want in the single blush, price/ounce HG palette $175.76 vs. HG single $233.33 would be considered a drastic difference.

Here’s where KW only looks more expensive, but in actuality, it is not. If you look at the KW blush refills, they are $32 vs. HG $35 which is not a huge difference for the actual product. Thus, it comes down to what finish, ingredients, and color you would like in your blush. I have reviewed several KW items here and here. You can always put the refills in a pretty little Z-palette if price is the issue. Even comparing bronzer and blush- again two different makeup products generally aimed to do different things even though you can use bronzer as blush. HG bronzer is $50 while KW blush in its compact is $56- again not a significant price difference.

Foundation is simply different from the blush breakdown in the chart above, so speaking to it in a comparative fashion would be a travesty to all the millions of years of my doctorate training. I can already see my advisor’s face..that “don’t even go there” face. Uy. It is possible though to use a darker shade of foundation as bronzer/contour…..but let’s not even go there right now.

Kjaer Weis

Need or Want?:
When the want is strong enough, the need is not even a question. But, do any of these products harness a true need to complete life? It really depends on who you ask and makeup comes down to personal preferences. I am only here to display the facts! I will leave you to search your soul on this one.

For the makeup admirer: It might come down to packaging which both have done beautifully. Hard to choose!!!

For the makeup lover: It might be price, need of product, and whether you’ll actually use it.

For the makeup obsessor: Like me, you’d probably just get both!

For the makeup lover who only uses organic products: Kjaer Weis would be the winner!

But if you want my opinion, keep reading…

Pulling out a calculator to look at price per ounce? I’ve seen parents (me) do this at Target/Costco in the diaper section because Target is the trickiest- buy 4 boxes of any of 2 sizes- newborn or size 1 (but I need size 4). Only in the big box not the mega box. Then you may get a $25 gift card. But wait, Cartwheel this deal, buy 3 more boxes of only size 5 (but I need size 4) in the mega box and get another $15 gift card. WHAT EVEN!? Just stop Target!!

But for luxury makeup, it should be easy – if you like it and you feel it’s worth the price tag- get it. Luxury makeup is luxurious, it’s a treat, it’s special, and dwindling it down to cost per application takes away from the luxuriousness of it all. The amount of makeup we wear per day, even the people in theater or whatnot can not be compared to Target diaper deals. Nothing can be compared to Target diaper deals! So, in my humble beauty practices, I rarely ever look at the price per ounce when I’m purchasing makeup- read: this was the first time ever I did this in my life for my good friend. To be really honest, even looking at the last column is giving me the sad feels.

Clearly, these are such different products!! Obviously, I own both and have enjoyed. In the end, even though I am blush lover, I still suggested (read: pretty much forced) my friend to splurge on the KW foundation because really amazing organic foundation in incredibly beautiful packaging is very hard to come by! But, that blush palette! See, I couldn’t really decide either!

What would you splurge on? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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.

Beauty Cosmetics

Kjaer Weis Eyeshadow in Grace Review

January 25, 2016

I already know what you’re thinking.

But, can you blame me? Once I feel like I’ve struck the holiest of grails, I just start building my collection and I don’t look back. To some, I might be a borderline hoarder slash addict on some level. But, I become a loyal fan who simply believes in and has confidence in what companies produce.

We all know holy grails are hard to come by. We all know that even though there are a bajillion neutral shades of brown, there are only a handful that any of us enthusiasts would consider “the one”. You know, the one you’d stock up on and panic if it were ever discontinued. There are so many aspects to the perfect netural brown: the formulation, finish, lasting power, and whether that one brown shade does what we need it to do. Does it look natural? Can I build up to a dramatic look? Is it smokey enough? Does it contour, define, but still look classy? And heaven forbid, does it make me look dirty? It’s a picky business when it comes to eyeshadows!

So, for someone who has little time each day to even look at my eye lids, I need a color that will give me zero hassles and zero worries hours later. I can’t worry as to whether it has traveled somewhere without permission or faded away… like my youth. I need a shadow that stays on, stays the same color even 8 hours later, and at the end of the day, I won’t feel that pang of regret when my eyeballs are red and itchy.

What ingredients are in this eyeshadow?

Please refer to this link to review all her ingredients.

PRODUCT: Eye Shadow in Grace. Made in Italy. Net wt. 0.043 oz./ 1.2g. $45 (with compact) /$27 (refill only)

Kjaer Weis Grace packaging

PACKAGING: I honestly wish that I bought the compact now because I feel like I’m missing something in my life. But, as I’ve said 5 times now- it’s luxurious!

Kjaer Weis Grace eyeshadow

SHADE: As described on their site: ““A luscious, light mocha color with a semi-matte finish.”” What I appreciate about all the descriptions on their website is that it is accurate! It’s not fluffy or full of unfulfilled promises- just beautifully straight to the point. This is definitely, absolutely “The One” for me. Do you ever just want more natural definition to your eye? This is the perfect color. What I LOVE is that you cannot mess this one up! I’m not sure what magic is bestowed upon this and all other shadows, but even my puppy did my eye makeup using this shade, it would still look flawless.

Kjaer Weis Grace swatch

INITIAL SWATCH: Just as with Divine, Grace is semi-matte and breathes life into your eyelid. It is smooth and color translation from pan to skin is impeccably perfect. There is no fall out yet the shadow is very buttery.

APPLICATION: I am trying not to repeat myself, however the consistency among products and within products is stellar. Again, Kjaer Weis created yet another shadow that has seamless application properties. You can build Grace as much as you need to and it will never look too overdone, muddy, or sloppy.

EFFICACY: Did this give the illusion of not wearing makeup? Yes. Did this create subtle depth but also perform well enough to provide a dramatic look? Absolutely. Everything Kjaer Weis promises in this eye shadow, she delivers!

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: YES! From baby steps to professional level usage, Kjaer Weis meets all levels of needs. How amazing is that? And the plus for those who are interested but absolutely not obliged in my eyes, the ingredients are top notch and cruelty free. I would wholeheartedly suggest Kjaer Weis as one of my top 3 when my friends ask me “What’s a good neutral brown?”

I love using Grace to blend out the edges of my smokey eye when I use Grace. It’s so perfect and definitely makes you look like you had your smokey eye professionally done. I believe this look is achievable for skin tones similar to mine up to medium. For tanned beauties, I believe this shade would be a beautiful highlighter shade or a shade to layer underneath another shade to help make that shade more vibrant. I personally feel that the best thing about these eyeshadows is you can LAYER and it just never seems to get cakey or overwhelming. Not many organic shadows have this level of versatility. I also feel that for people who are just starting out with makeup and are not quite experts with the shadow-brush dip pressure, how much to pick up, how much pressure to apply, and what direction to blend things, Kjaer Weis shadows would help them learn beautifully! I’ve been in a place where I got a palette, the color was “too much of everything” and I wasn’t able to blend, unblend, apply correctly, and I completely got turned off to eyeshadow all together.

My final answer is: GET ALL THE SHADOWS!

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.