Review | Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner by LUSH

Ro's-Argan-Body-Conditioner-LUSH

I am not sure how I made it through the past 31 years without using a body conditioner. Life = changed.

This little moisturizer puts in some serious work.  Applied like a lotion post-cleansing, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner doesn’t seem like it’s doing much until it comes in contact with hot water.  Then, like magic, the cocoa & cupuacu butters and argan & almond oils just melt leaving nothing but super-moisturized, rose-scented skin behind.  I used it at night, and woke up to incredibly soft skin. And did I mention the light rose scent? So lovely!

Bonus: if applied post-shaving, it helps reduce razor burn (especially in the super-sensitive bikini area).

It is a bit more than I would typically spend on a body moisturizer, but $32.95 is money well-spent when the product WORKS.  Plus, LUSH has a super admirable code of not sourcing from companies that engage in animal testing, and strive to use organic, natural ingredients whenever possible.  Plus, I dig that the products are handmade, and labeled with a sticker telling me who at LUSH was responsible for crafting my little pot of rose-scented heaven. Well done, LUSH.  Well done.

REVIEW | Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 for Eyes & Lashes

Vichy-LiftActiv-Serum10-EyesandLashes

I am a sucker for anything from a French pharmacy, so when I started to hear some buzz about the effectiveness of Vichy’s LiftActiv Serum 10, I had to give it a try.  I am so glad I did.

I picked it up because I was looking for an eyelash booster that was safe for the super-sensitive skin around my eyes.  I’ve experimented with different overnight lash growth serums in the past, but they left my eyes gooey, red and irritated by the morning…and there are ZERO THINGS worse than trying to put a contact lens into an irritated eye. ZERO THINGS. Vichy’s formula promised fortified lashes plus a reduction in crows feet, and I am all about killing two birds with one stone (pun totally intended).

This serum may be pricey ($47 a pop…but I had a coupon!!), but it delivers.  I use it nightly, not the recommended twice a day, but I have noticed a significant decrease in lash loss!  And the little lines in the corners of my eyes (I hate the term “crows feet”) and under my eyes have diminished a bit as well. But the best part about this serum is how gentle it is! It’s lightweight and super moisturizing, and leaves my skin looking refreshed and renewed.  And I know I say this a lot, but a little goes a long way!  One pump at night is enough for both eyes, and I’ve been working on this particular bottle since March.

Have you used any products by Vichy?  Have a favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

REVIEW | Rahua Shampoo

Rahua.Shampoo

A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished the massive 33 oz bottle of Aveda Madder Root Shampoo I’d been working on for about a year, and decided to switch things up.  I read a review of Rahua Shampoo on Genuine Glow and, since I’m in the process of “green-ing” my beauty routine, I opted to give it a try.  SO GLAD I did.

What makes Rahua rock?  Oils.  Lots and lots of oils.  Coconut oil is used as a gentle cleansing agent, which is great for my color treated hair. Rahua oil works to strengthen strands and stimulate the scalp. Quinoa promotes healing and moisture retention.  Then there’s the Palo Santo, which provides Rahua’s “signature scent.”  The smell definitely drifts into the realm of aromatherapy, but doesn’t linger in my hair.  It’s nice in the shower…I just don’t know that I’d want to smell it all day.

That said, my hair has never looked this glossy and has never felt so soft.  Regular shampoo dries my hair out, but when I use Rahua, I barely even need conditioner, which is HUGE considering how quickly I usually go through conditioner.  I use this every other day and alternate with a volumizing shampoo, since my hair is fairly fine, so when I finish this bottle, I’m thinking about trying the volumizing formula.

Overall:  Well worth the $32 price tag, especially if you have color-treated, dry or damaged hair.

REVIEW | Acure Exfoliating Body Wash

Acure-Exfoliating-Body-Wash

I have recently recommitted myself to taking care of myself. When I get busy and stressed, I tend to eat for convenience, mindlessly, and slam caffeine, mainly in the form of Coca-Cola.  No bueno.  So I’m detoxing.  Not some ascetic-level-Master-Cleanse-type detoxing.  I’m detoxing gradually.  I switched from Coca-Cola to green tea.  I’ve swapped out my morning bagel for a smoothie. And I’ve switched out my chemical-heavy body wash to a natural option.  Why?  A huge percentage of the chemicals that we put on our skin (like 60-70% from what I’ve read) go right into our bloodstream. There are some things I’m not yet willing to give up (umm, like deodorant that works!), but I am all about exploring natural brands for things like body wash, hand soap, body lotion, shampoo, etc.

I really like Acure’s Exfoliating Body Wash.  Along with this detox, I’ve also been recommitting myself to my yoga mat, so I wanted to try a body wash that reduces body breakouts, an unfortunate side-effect of sweating. It smells minty and amazing (it’s formulated with peppermint essential oil) and leaves my skin feeling tingly and fresh, which feels awesome both post-yoga and when I drag my sleepy-ass into the shower each morning.  It also contains lilac stem cells, which are shown to fight/reduce breakouts. Unlike a lot of anti-acne body washes, it isn’t drying!  It contains sea buckthorn, CoQ10, and Argan Oil, which are super hydrating. Can I get a “hell yes!”? HELL YES!!!  And on top of all that awesome, it’s vegan, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free, gluten free, contains no synthetic fragrance and is 100% biodegradable, which is better for the fish!

Next up:  cutting wayyyyy down on sugar and white flour…

Overall:  Definitely repurchasing.  I got my tube at Whole Foods’ Whole Body for about $10, but Spirit Beauty Lounge also carries Acure products.

REVIEW | Delicate Jasmine Shower Oil by Sabon

Sabon-Delicate-Jasmine-Shower-Oil

I have a bit of a crush on Sabon‘s Delicate Jasmine Shower Oil for several reasons:

Reason the first:  It smells like I imagine Paris or Provence to smell in early spring.  From what I remember, neither place actually smelled like jasmine the April I visited, but in my imagination, it does.  So there.

Reason the second: This shower oil has a much different consistency than most shower oils, in that it operates more like a shower gel than a traditional oil.  It’s not runny, it doesn’t turn my shower floor into a slip-and-slide, and it lathers up nicely to deliver some serious moisture.

Reason the third: It’s not greasy.  I have a hard time with shower oils that don’t absorb and leave a thick film on me and my towels post-shower.  Sabon’s shower oil rinses cleanly but still leaves my skin hydrated.

Reason the fourth: It’s S.L.S. and paraben free.

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I received this cute little pump bottle free with purchase, but the larger 500ml bottle is super fairly priced at $20. If you’re not a New Yorker (or live in the small handful of cities where they have stores), their products are available online.  Just a heads up: their website looks like it was designed by your grandmother (as does most of the products’ packaging), but they do provide samples with every order!

Overall:  the perfect shower oil for that funky winter to spring weather transition, when skin needs a little extra TLC.

REVIEW | Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rose Water Organic Toner

This past winter, I’m not sure what my skin would have looked like without my Rosewater Toner:

Bulgarian-Rose-Water

Used by women around the world since the beginning of time (approximately), rosewater has tons of benefits:

  • rose oil has anti-inflammatory properties
  • rosewater also has astringent properties, which opens and unclogs pores
  • rosewater helps your skin maintain its natural pH balance
  • rosewater also has antioxidant properties, which aids in cellular regeneration (which is why I use it at night)

The toner I’ve been using is Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rose Water.  Not only is it 100% organic, the only ingredient is steam-distilled Rosa Damascena Flower Distillate.

This is actually my second go at rosewater toner.  The first I tried was by Boots Botanics, and I wasn’t impressed.  Though it smelled AMAZING, I found it to be drying and a bit irritating to my skin.  Then I looked at the ingredients and it contained alcohol.  Alcohol can actually be quite drying to skin (which defeats the purpose of using a toner to hydrate and refresh skin post cleansing). So I decided to try a rosewater toner that was JUST rosewater, and my skin rejoiced.

Overall:  Lovely.  Alteya’s version smells a bit sweeter and more concentrated than the Boots version, but is far more hydrating.  Packaging tends to vary, but  I picked up my 3.4oz bottle at Whole Food’s Whole Body for about $12.   An unanticipated bonus:  it pairs really well with my moisturizer, Fresh’s Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion, which also contains Rosa Damascena Flower Water.

 

REVIEW | Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

Two words:  Black. Magic.

Boscia.Luminizing.Black.MaskI am a HUGE fan of Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask.  It’s one of those skin treatments that just feels like its working.  My skin tightens and tingles…and there’s just something weirdly satisfying about the act of peeling it off.  Like I’m really getting the gross toxins out of my skin.  Maybe that’s TMI…

Anyway, onto the good stuff:

Ingredients (according to the Boscia website):

Calcium Montmorillonite Clay:

  • First discovered in Montmorillion, France in the 1800s
  • Contains 67 minerals
  • Absorbs excess oil, impurities, and toxins
  • Gently exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores instantly and over time

Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Glucoside)

  • Helps brighten skintone and
  • Minimizes fine lines as it defends against free radical damage

Maritime Pine Bark Extract

  • Improves skin elasticity and hydration, helping to prevent the first signs of aging
  • Provides antioxidant and soothing benefits

Rosemary Leaf Extract

  • An effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps to firm skin and visibly reduce the appearance of pores
  • Has natural anti-bacterial benefits and aids in circulation

Eucalyptus Extract

  • Provides antiseptic and antibacterial benefits,
  • Calms inflammation and leaves skin invigorated

Jojoba Leaf

  •  Helps to prevent free radical damage while nourishing the skin

Willowherb

  • Helps to calm skin inflammation and reduce visible redness and irritation

Pro-tip:  try to steer clear of any baby hairs on your face (especially along the hairline).  Once this mask dries and you’re peeling it off, it will take everything it’s attached to with it…and that can be a bit painful…I learned that the hard way.

Overall:  I use this a couple times a week whenever my skin starts to look congested.  What I love about this mask is its flexibility:  it works really well as a targeted spot treatment.  It also leaves my skin tingle-y, clean and glowing, with noticeably smaller pores.  And at $34, it’s reasonably priced.  One qualm:  it does take a thicker layer to get the mask to peel off when dry, so if you’re doing a full-face application regularly, you may find yourself going through a lot of product.

If you’re looking for an equivalent product at a lower price point, I also love Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, which retails for $24.  It rinses off, rather than peels off, but absolutely helps clear congested skin…and the tube usually lasts a little bit longer since it doesn’t require as thick an application.