Unveiling The October 2013 Goodebox

Tuesday October 8, 2013 | Beauty

October 2013 Goodebox

My very first Goodebox!!!

I subscribed to the Goodebox because I thought it would be a great way to discover natural beauty & personal care products.

The products are selected for their clean, beneficial ingredients and eco-friendly packaging and sourcing of ingredients.

My version of the October 2013 Goodebox contained 5 trial size beauty & personal care products and 1 edible.

October 2013 Goodebox

The products in the October Goodebox are:

1.) ANDALOU NATURALS Lavender Thyme Body Lotion - I am a big fan of Andalou Naturals, so I was happy to find an Andalou body product in the mix. The lotion is a light cream that absorbs quickly. I find it sufficiently hydrating, and I love the lavender thyme scent. Price of full-size product: $11.95

2.) POMEGA5 Green Tea Balancing Cleansing Bar - The first ingredient is olive oil. Followed by anti-oxidant powerhouses, like pomegranate seed oil and green tea leaf extract. I’m not sure which is the ‘cleansing’ agent in this product, but I’m very curious to try this one. Price of full-size product: $22.00

3.) KYI Chamomile Lavender Whipped Shea Butter mask - Although this is presented as a face mask, this is a multi-purpose cream that can be used anywhere on the body. I cannot rave enough about the moisturizing and healing properties of shea butter. So far, I’ve been using this as a lip balm. Price of full-size product: $78.00 (for 15ml… WOW.)

4.) ACURE ORGANICS Moroccan Argan Conditioner - An ultra rich hair conditioner formulated with organic argan oil, argan stem Cells, CoQ10, and ingredients that have high fatty acid content. Provides hydration and shine for dry, curly, or damaged hair. Which sounds perfect for my hair type (I have coarse, dry hair). Price of full-size product: $9.99

5.) ACURE ORGANICS Moroccan Argan Shampoo - This was exactly what I needed. A natural argan oil conditioner & shampoo duo. Price of full-size product: $9.99

* Not talked about (because it was devoured instantly): a NibMor Daily Dose of Dark Chocolate. But I can assure you it was perfectly dark and delicious.

Out of all the products, I will probably be purchasing the full-size version of the ACURE Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner.

I can’t say that I was blown away with the contents of this month’s Goodebox.

After my experience with the French beauty box Ma Boîte A Beauté (which often contained numerous full-size products), my standards have been raised especially high.

But as I’ve said, the Goodebox is useful for discovering eco-friendly beauty products and testing them before committing to the full-size.

Price of Goodebox Monthly Subscription: $16.00.

Would you subscribe to the Goodebox?

My Current Skincare Routine

Monday April 8, 2013 | Skin Care

If you’re curious as to what my current skincare routine looks like…

This Is It:

My Current Skincare Routine

It’s pretty basic, actually.

Ok, you might not believe me from just looking at the photo. But allow me explain.

These products can be broken up into 4 basic categories:

1) Cleansers
2) Moisturizers
3) Toner
4) Exfoliation

My Current Skincare Routine: Cleansers

The MIA 2 Clarisonic Brush: A sonic cleansing system that oscillates back and forth at over 300 movements per second. Also doubles as my exfoliation product. I wrote a review about it here.

Melvita Apicosma Cleansing Cream: This is a rich and gentle cleansing cream that has served me well throughout the winter. This cleansing cream works really well with the Clarisonic. I’m really happy with this one and I also carry this in the Ziba Shop.

Uriage L’Eau Demaquillant: This is an excellent makeup remover that you can find in many french pharmacies. I use this for the delicate area around my eyes and for the days when I don’t use the Clarisonic. It’s great for removing stubborn waterproof eye makeup.

My Current Skincare Routine: Moisturizers

Thémis Eye Contour Smoothing Gel: I can’t believe how long this eye gel has lasted me! I’ve had this since last August. I don’t use this one often because it does not work well under makeup during the day. But it’s excellent at moisturizing the delicate skin around my eyes during the night.

Andalou Naturals Facial Lotion with SPF 18: This has been my absolute favorite daily moisturizer for almost 2 years now!! To find out why this daily protective moisturizer rocks so much, you can read my review of it here.

Eau Thermale Jonzac Light Moisturizing Cream: From the sorry state of the tube, you can tell I’ve been trying to squeeze out every last drop of this cream. This is a really nice light cream that I use mainly at night. It keeps my skin hydrated and matte at the same time.

My Current Skincare Routine: Toner

Sanoflore True Rose Floral Water: If you’ve never tried spritzing some rose floral water on your face, you must! It is absolutely delightful.

Rose has purifying properties. And as a toner, it is non-alcohol based so it does not dry out the skin. I love how rose floral water leaves my skin feeling refreshed, dewy and comfortable.

 My Current Skincare Routine: Exfoliation with the Clarisonic Brush

The Mia 2 Clarisonic Brush: I love my Clarisonic more for its exfoliating abilities than as a cleanser. I’ll explain more in another post where I follow up my first impressions of the Clarisonic with a second look.

MY ROUTINE

In the morning... I wash my face with water. Nothing else. Then I follow this with my sun protective moisturizer, Andalou Naturals Daily Facial Lotion with SPF 18.

In the afternoon, to freshen up my skin, I spritz some Sanoflore Rose Floral Water.

At night, I dedicate the most time caring for my skin. I cleanse by first removing my makeup with Uriage L’Eau Demaquillant. Then I wash my face with Melvita’s Apicosma Cleansing cream. I follow cleansing with moisturizing my eyes with the Themis Eye Cream. Then I moisturize my face and neck with Jonziac Light Moisturizing Cream.

Every third night… my routine changes slightly. I still use my makeup remover, but then I follow this with cleansing and exfoliating with the Clarisonic brush.

The Clarisonic primes the skin to be ready to receive skincare products. So this is actually when I like to follow up with a more potent product, like a serum or retinol. Then I follow up with my usual Jonzac light moisturizing cream.

So you see… my skincare routine really is quite simple after all.

Most of the times, my skincare routine involves only the most basic essentials: a cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliation and a toner.

I wait every third night to bring out the big guns: mainly the Clarisonic, my serums and my retinols. Even then, I make sure to use only one of the more potent creams. I don’t like combining them together.

When I run out of a product, I may switch to a different brand. But the product I choose will still serve the same basic purpose.

In this way, my skincare routine has stayed pretty consistent for the past four months.

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What about you? What is your skincare routine like? How is it similar or how does it differ from the one I just described? 

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum

Saturday March 2, 2013 | Product Reviews Skin Care

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cells Revitalize Serum

I love products by Andalou Naturals!

As do a lot of other people it seems…

One of the most common ways people have found their way onto this site is from searching for reviews on Andalou Naturals products.

Well, here’s another one for you. Today we’re going to look at an age defying serum for dry & sensitive skin: Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum. 

Just to recap, Andalou Naturals is an American natural and organic cosmetics brand based in California. All their ingredients are verified non-GMO. And they are a cruelty-free brand, which means they do not test on animals. So thumbs up to all of that.

But what I especially love about Andalou Naturals is that their products contain an impressive combination of plant-based active ingredients!

Take this Revitalize Serum for example. Its active ingredients include Apple + Grape Fruit Stem Cells to renew, repair and regenerate skin cells. A cocktail of 8 super berries (açai berry, aronia berry, bearberry, billberry, black elderberry, goji berry, rosehips berry and sea buckthorn berry) which are rich in protective antioxidants. And Resveratrol Q10, which is another powerful antioxidant.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Lauric Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Juice*, Vegetable Glycerin, Fruit Stem Cell and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Olive Squalane, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis (Myrtle) Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Glycopeptide, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Glyceryl Monolaurate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Polyphenols, Borago Officinalis (Borage), Rosa Canina (Rosehip), Linum Usitatissimum (Flax), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) and Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oils*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter*, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos), Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*†, Laminaria Digitata (Kelp) Extract, Allantoin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*
* Organic
† Fair Trade

According to Andalou Naturals, all the ingredients in the serum work together in order to protect the skin from environmental damage, repair cellular damage, defy wrinkle formation, stimulate skin-firming collagen and elastin and improve discoloration for brighter, even skin tone and smooth texture.

How To Use: A.M. & P.M. Apply lightly on clean face and neck, prior to moisturizer.

My Experience: I’ve been using this serum for more than two months and I am now just finishing up with it. It’s a small bottle (1.1 fl oz), but I’ve made it last because I only applied it right after using my Clarisonic (which I now use once every 3 days).

I apply the serum on my face and my neck. Though my skin feels sufficiently hydrated with the serum alone, I do follow it up with my usual moisturizer. The scent is Very Berry. It’s really subtle, actually. But the berry scent is definitely there. The fluid has a runny texture, absorbs quickly and does not leave any stickiness.

The Results: When it comes to serums, my biggest skin concern has been these dark spots on my cheeks that were caused by acne. And after two months of using this serum, the results are quite subtle but they’re definitely there.

I have noticed that the dark spots on my skin have shrunk and faded ever so slightly. 

And as proof, I will terrorize you with my Before and After photos!

Now normally I would be tempted to hide these closeup photos of my rather imperfect skin. But I’ll sacrifice my dignity for the sake of objectivity and visual proof.

BEFORE Photo - Dark Spots From Acne

AFTER Photo - Dark Spots From Acne

I call these my battle scars =)

In addition, whenever I use the serum, my skin tends to feel hydrated, smoother and has a nice glow the following day.

As for the part about preventing wrinkles… well, that’s a long-term effect which I can’t make a real assessment on within two months. But I will say this. For a product packed with sooo many anti-oxidants, its protective properties must have something to it.

What I like about it:
- Lightened dark spots
– Smooth, well hydrated skin
– Provides skin with healthy glow
– Packed with quality ingredients
– Natural and organic
– Good ethics behind Andalou Naturals
– Easy to scoop out the last bits of the fluid out of the bottle

What I don’t like about it:
- Nada! I have no complaints.

Would I buy it again: Yes, I would buy this again. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is the “miracle in a bottle” that Andalou Naturals claims it to be. But for a product that’s got so much quality and ethics behind it, and for the positive results that I’ve experienced (especially when it comes to lightening my dark spots), I’ve got to say… this serum is definitely worth it.

How Much: $24.95 on Andalou Naturals, $19.17 on iherb.com (1.1 fl oz / 32 ml)

PHOTOS

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cells Revitalize Serum

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cells Revitalize Serum

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cells Revitalize Serum and Daily Defense Lotion

I bought the Revitalize Serum along with another tube of Andalou Naturals Daily Defense Facial Lotion.

To read my review of Andalou Naturals Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18, go here.