Green Beauty Journal | May ’16

May was such a month full of new (to me) products and skin care product testing. Much of that still going on so expect to see more skincare reviews during June! Makeup has taken a back seat on the blog for awhile, but I will be making an effort to share more makeup musings and I have a tinted moisturizer review coming on Thursday, which I will touch on in this post so be sure to look out for that!

My Green Beauty Journal posts are a month-end collective of favorites, new products, empties, updates, and more from the past month. I quite enjoy this format I’ve chosen for discussing these things because these are items that I just want to quickly touch up on or discuss thoughts on without having to post a dedicated review. This month’s post might be a bit long, but bear with me! Let’s look back at May!

Favorites 〉

It took me awhile but during May I finally finished up my Shea Moisture Raw Healing Lotion and was ready to try something new, and something with a very minimal ingredients list. I’ve been using natural body lotions for years, but in an effort to minimize the plastic packaging in my life and the aforementioned want of something with minimal ingredients, I knew body butters would be the area to start my search. I figured I’d try Etsy and came across the Butter Up Body Butters by the shop Selah, Be. I hate to be a snob, but most products on Etsy have some of the least aesthetically-pleasing packaging, so that Butter Up body butter stuck out like a sore thumb and drew me in! Beautiful packaging, glass just like I wanted, and the ingredients are minimal and perfect (I picked up Sweet Orange + Ylang Ylang):

• Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Raw Unrefined Cocoa Butter, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, 100% Pure Sweet Orange Essential Oil, 100% Pure Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

I rarely get THIS excited about a body moisturizer, even if they work well, but holy does this body butter moisturize the heck out of my skin. AND without making it feel greasy, oily, or heavy on residue. Once you warm the product between your hands or massage it into the skin it melts into a luxurious silky oil that provides deep moisture and will seriously soften any rough patches you might have. The most amazing part is how quickly absorbent it is given how richly it moisturizes the skin! Within 15-20 minutes, I’m just left with the silkiest, deeply moisturized and nourished skin. I feel like an infomercial but it’s real and I can’t remember any body lotion ever doing this for my skin, even when I thought they did this body butter ended up proved ’em wrong! Even 24+ hours after previously moisturizing my body with this butter my skin still looks so hydrated and supple, which has really helped to improve the look of my skin. It looks so healthy these days! It really doesn’t take much product to moisturize either which is a huge plus because it’s always annoying to run out of a body moisturizer so quickly. If my praises aren’t enough to convince you, I also passed on a big sample of this to my mom and it was an instant hit for her, in all the same ways it was for me. She’s 60 with dry, matured skin so if it works for her, it has to be awesome! She also mentioned using it on her lips, and said it’s probably the best moisturizing lip product she has ever tried. It converted her from using a Neutrogena lip balm, so MAJOR success there! I said this on Instagram, but serious props to you Shenaye for your body butters! <3 If you’re in need of a new body moisturizer that actually works, I highly recommend that you check out Shenaye’s shop! She sells this body butter in a few different scents (and unscented) and in different sizes. If your skin needs some prep (or repairing) for the upcoming Summer months, this body butter will do you good!

I posted a review on the Amaki Skincare Rose Water just around Mother’s Day as it was included in a mother’s day gift set that I reviewed, which you can read here. I really enjoy this rose water as a toner, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks back that I started religiously using this rose water and it was all due to an older post by Sarita Coren from the blog Edible Facial (read it here). The gist of the article was that oil lovers (as in, oil cleansing only, moisturizing with oils only) are probably missing out on actual hydration (oils moisturize, but do not hydrate or replenish lost water) and how adding water back in via toners and water/aloe based serums and moisturizers could improve the skin. Since March I have been moisturizing with argan oil only, and haven’t been consistently using toners with the exception of testing here and there. I took heed of Sarita’s advice and started using my Amaki rose water every morning and night. This rose water is just one of two toners I had on hand, and chose this one since it is a basic water and contains no ingredients that could interfere with testing the theory. When I use a facial mist or a spray-toner (whatever you want to call them) I do NOT go spritzing it all over my face. That will give you an uneven application, product gets wasted being sprayed in the air, and you will probably feel most of it evaporate off the skin. So, I just do about 4-5 spritzes into my hand, evenly distribute between hands and then pat onto my face. My skin’s hydration levels have improved so much, and my skin has seriously improved in terms of appearance. It looks hydrated, it feels hydrated, and my skin is nicely balanced these days. I highly recommend to read Sarita’s article and to test out this advice on using water-based toners and water/aloe based moisturizers and see what it does for your skin. You can still moisturize with your oils, just add drops of it to the moisturizer or layer it on top!

New 〉

I’m giving this product a quick mention here because it’s new to me and was an instant favorite, but I will be posting a more in-depth review on the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream later this week. I picked up the shade birch 1.5 which I believe is a new shade recently added on to this product’s shade range. It’s a tinted moisturizer (with SPF 30) that gives sheer-medium coverage and leaves the skin with a slightly dewey finish, but goes semi-matte when set with a powder. It actually has a relatively clean formula (or else I wouldn’t be talking about it!) and it has a few emollient benefits, providing both moisture and hydration. I’m totally impressed with this tinted moisturizer and already know it’s going to be a long-time love for me! Which feels weird to say as a mineral powder kind of girl (This is literally the second liquid/cream base I have ever used in all my makeup wearing years!) Check back on Thursday morning for an in-depth review and a swatch!

I received some fun little samples this month with Tata Harper and Ursa Major orders, mostly skincare with one sweet makeup sample. I instantly fell in love with the Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm and will most likely be purchasing it in the future. It has the look of a balm but it’s runny in consistency like a serum, and wears like a really hydrating/moisturizing serum that’s good enough for daytime moisturizer-wear as well (unless you have really dry skin). I really loved the combo of wearing this balm with my Kahina Giving Beauty Argan oil on top. I found that combo to be better suited for night time because of the shine, but it could be do-able for daytime wear if you use a mattifying primer on top of it prior to makeup application. I used the Ursa Major Essential Face Wipe to wipe off oil-cleansing makeup residue and it was really nice for that. These face wipes contain toner-like ingredients so these would be great for travel, whether you need them for makeup removal/toner or as a skin refresher.

I absolutely love the Tata Harper Lip & Cheek Tint that I got to sample, in the shade very vivacious. It’s creamy, it has great pigmentation, and it’s long-lasting. I’m dying to try the shade very nice, which is a pinkish everyday nude. The Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer was very so-so for me, because it left my skin feeling a bit dry. I have no problem adding oils into my moisturizer, but I would prefer to have a moisturizer that will do the job on its own and then I can add oils in for a moisture boost. The Tata Harper Purifying Mask is a really nice, cooling clay facial mask. Although I didn’t see anything significant happen with my skin, it was really pleasant and I enjoyed the cooling effect while it dried. It’s nothing I will run out and purchase right now, but still a very decent clay mask.

I picked up another Auromere Ayurvedic bar soap on iHerb, this time in the Tulsi-neem scent. Read about my experience with another Auromere bar soap here. I really enjoyed the vanilla-neem bar (and picked up another one) so I’m kind of obsessing over these bar soaps! I have not yet used the Tulsi bar, but will report back on it after I use it up.

Empties 〉

I finally finished up my first tube of the Root 100% Lash Mascara! I reviewed this mascara back in March, which you can read here. Be sure to check out the bottom of that post for a link to save 10% on your first Root order! It’s an all around amazing mascara that gave plenty of volume, didn’t flake, didn’t smudge, and was easy to remove. I had it in the shade brown and it made my lashes look so full and soft! I’m going to repurchase another mascara soon after I finish up an old tube of another mascara.

I quickly used up my new duo of Andalou Naturals Brilliant Shine shampoo and conditioner (and then quickly bought up another)! I went in-depth on this duo in my last iHerb haul, which you can read here. I absolutely love this shampoo because it clarifies without leaving my scalp and hair feeling stripped, and as the name suggests has given my hair a lot of shine. The best part for me is that my second day hair doesn’t look as greasy as it used to, so perhaps it’s giving my hair and scalp the balance it needs. The conditioner conditions my hair perfectly, without imparting a heavy residue and leaves it soft and manageable. Highly recommend this duo!

May was full of particularly great finds that are definitely landing their places in my life as staples that I cannot live without! A couple of them being products that I’m still testing just in case, but will be posting reviews on them during June hopefully. I can’t believe that June will mark half a year since I started my blog! I’m having more fun with it as time goes by and I’m making new friends along the way, so I have no intentions in stopping any time soon!

I’ll see you at the end of June for another look into my green beauty journal!

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