The December 2013 Goodeboxe

Thursday December 12, 2013 | Beauty

YUM. That’s the unifying theme of this month’s Goodeboxe.

Every product was chosen with sensuous self-satisfaction in mind.

The curators of Goodeboxe nodded in acknowledgement to the Holiday season. Then cheerfully put together a box of “pure indulgence with zero guilt.”

Goodeboxe December 2013

Every product was chosen to stimulate, soothe, and titillate the senses.

Sweetriot Nibs

1) Sweetriot – Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs.

YUM! Tasty, anti-oxidant packed, fairly traded and only 1 calorie per “peace.” Comes in this small reusable tin can.

Inside, there was a little piece of paper with my “fortune.” Kind of like a fortune cookie.

Maya Angelou

[Good quote, but I’m pretty sure it’s spelled Maya AngeloU]

Sweetriot sources their chocolate only from farmers in Latin America so that you can enjoy chocolate that’s “sweet for the world & sweet for you too!”

An upgrade from the Ricola cough drops of last month.

Deep Steep - Candy Mint Foot Stick.

2) Deep Steep – Candy Mint Foot Stick.

This smells so YUM!

But what if, in an absent-minded moment, you use this on your foot and then accidentally take it to your mouth? And then lick it?! That would happen to me.

This is a festively hydrating stick that you can use for your heels and cuticles. The peppermint and spearmint essential oils works to refresh and promote increased circulation, while cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil & beeswax provides softness and healing.

I love the roll-on stick form that this product comes in. Just be sure to clean your feet first…

Lotus Wei - Infinite Love Mist & Inner Peace Mist

3) Lotus Wei – Infinite Love Mist & Inner Peace Mist.

I have been obsessed with aromatherapy in the form of spritzers and mists!

My greatest love of all is fresh rose floral waters in a chilled spritzer bottle.

But these mists by Lotus Wei have taken me deeper into the world of aromatherapy mists and sprays. YUM!

The Infinite Love Mist is made from the exotic blend of wild fireweed, Hong Kong orchid, pink magnolia and other aromatic plants “to dissolve irritation, codependency, past trauma & hard heartedness.”

The Inner Peace Mist is made from pink lotus, arctic lupine & red hibiscus, just to name of the flowers which work together “to dissolve high levels of stress, anxiety, lack of feeling supported & heart palpitations.”

Choose your flower

Because these mists mainly contain plant and flower essential oils, they are noticeably stronger than floral waters.

During times of stress, you can mist these above and around your face, on your pillows, sheets, office space, friends, loved ones, etc.

Hip E Chick - Winter Wonderland Soy Candle

4) Hip E Chick – Winter Wonderland Soy Candle.

This is a 100% hand poured pure soy wax and essential oil candle. Scented with a blend of Mexican wild greens, fruits & poinsettia.

The smell is soothing, though slightly too faint for me to cry YUM!

But you can be at ease knowing that this candle by Hip E Chick is lead free and devoid of synthetic dyes or additives.

 Shea Radiance - Ultra Rich Shea Butter Cream

5) Shea Radiance – Ultra Rich Shea Butter Cream.

This is a rich and decadent body butter. The main ingredient is shea butter which is healing and beneficial for all skin types, even oily and blemish prone skin. And ideal for chronically dry, sun damaged, or eczema prone skin.

The smell is sweet and spicy and just YUM!

When you apply it, the texture is thick and feels a little sticky. But it absorbs quickly.

And the yummiest part is how long my skin feels soft and velvety.

This body butter is great for combating winter’s drying assault on the skin!

THOUGHTS

This month’s Goodeboxe was quite a treat!

Every product offered some unique and titillating delight to the senses. Titillating! That’s not a word you can just toss around all the time.

The winning product of this box is the Ultra Rich Shea Butter Cream by Shea Radiance. The cream is divinely moisturizing. And the brand’s mission includes the promotion of sustainable development for women-led cooperatives in West Africa.

Which makes this product both luxurious and a thoughtful gift to give this Holiday season!!

Shea Radiance is currently offering a 20% promotion throughout their online shop. So get on it!

The November 2013 Goodebox

Monday December 9, 2013 | Beauty

Moving right along!

Here is a quick glance at my version of the November 2013 Goodeboxe.

November 2013 Goodeboxe

The November 2013 Goodebox

Pure - Sensitive Skin Soothing Complex

1) Pure – Sensitive Skin Soothing Complex. This is a multitasking cream that’s “perfect for picky complexions”. The cream feels cool and soothing. It has a very light vegetal scent.

LashFood - Phyto-Medix Natural Eyelash Enhancer

2) LashFood – Phyto-Medix Natural Eyelash Enhancer. This is a lash conditioner that strengthens and lengthens frail and brittle lashes. It has a clean, non-irritating formula. Results may take 4-8 weeks to be visible.

Ricola - Throat Drops Stick

3) Ricola – Throat Drops Stick. Ricola cough drops? In a beauty box? Really? Okay, I’ll take it.

The Seaweed Bath Co - Wildly Natural Seaweed Body Butter

4) The Seaweed Bath Co – Wildly Natural Seaweed Body Butter. Even though it looks like deodorant, don’t use it as such. It’s called a body butter, but it’s actually more like a balm. Great for skin with eczema. Smells a bit like lemongrass.

Valia - Cleansing Milk

5) Valia – Cleansing Milk. Removes impurities from the skin while nourishing and refining it. Suitable for normal/dry skin.

W3ll People - Narcissist Stick Foundation

6) W3ll People – Narcissist Stick Foundation. Awarded the Green Star label by Elle magazine. This is a foundation stick that conceals while at the same time working to diminish blemishes, balance tone and brighten skin.

 

THOUGHTS:

Hands down, the winning product from the November 2013 Goodebox has got to be W3ll People’s Narcissist Stick Foundation. It blends beautifully! And I feel like my skin can breathe while wearing this. I’ll probably be purchasing this one full-size.

Second mention goes to the Seaweed Bath Co Body Butter (ahem, Balm). I had a terrible cut on my finger, and I’m telling you, this balm worked like magic to heal the cut.

While I’m interested in trying the Pure Soothing Cream and Valia Cleansing Milk, I’m careful about switching skincare products too quickly and too often.

As for the LashFood Eyelash Enhancer, there’s really no excuse for why I haven’t tried this one yet :-x

Discovering Ayla, A Beauty Micro Shop in San Francisco

Saturday December 7, 2013 | Beauty Events

Last night I attended a charming and intimate holiday soirée hosted by Ayla, a small beauty shop in San Francisco.

Ayla Beauty Shop

The event featured a one-on-one skincare evaluation, dark chocolate squares for nibbling, light sips of champagne, and a brief makeup lesson on holiday looks by the rather knowledgeable makeup artist of The Organic Pharmacy.

The Organic Pharmacy Makeup

[Makeup lessons by The Organic Pharmacy’s top makeup artist]

The Ayla beauty shop offers a small and carefully selected collection of topnotch skincare products that are very niche and hard to find.

In fact, the shop itself was not that easiest thing in the world to find. It’s certainly a hidden gem, tucked in the back of a narrow driveway next to a massage therapy salon in San Francisco’s Japantown.

When I asked Dara, the founder of Ayla, about the story behind her skincare shop, she told me that effectiveness was the most valued attribute in her products.

What’s more, she only features products if they are safe and eco-responsible and mildly formulated to suit reactive and sensitive of skin types.

 Kahini Skincare
[The Argan oil used in Kahina products are of the finest quality. Tempted to try Kahina argan oil next.]

You can imagine how happy I was to find a beauty shop like this!

Ever since I moved back to the U.S., I’ve been doing most of my skincare shopping at Whole Foods. But honestly, who wants to buy their skincare products next to their cheeses and meats?

In all seriousness, my real complaint is that I’ve been buying super expensive natural and organic products from Whole Foods that do not quite deliver the same results that I became used to with the natural and organic skincare products in France.

Ayla features products of the quality level that I’m looking for. And not only that, they provide personalized skincare evaluations and recommendations.

Organic Glam

[Organic Glam Makeup line by The Organic Pharmacy]

As a beauty blogger, I have a habit of picking the brains of people who are deep in the world of beauty. So of course, I had to ask Dara all about her skincare routine and her favorite cleanser, moisturizer, toner and sun protection and all that jazz.

But also, as someone who dreams of someday opening my own small natural and organic beauty shop featuring some of the best skincare products from around the world, it was just really nice to meet another entrepreneur who is living and making her dream come true.

I left the Ayla shop last night with an amazing new moisturizer in my hand, less lunch money in my pocket, and lots of bright new ideas and inspiration for Ziba :)