Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lavender Loves

I've been really loving the scent of lavender recently, and I thought I'd share my favorite lavender-scented products.

Lavender Loves <3
Products from left to right:

Dr. Bronner's Hair Conditioner & Style Creme

I use this as leave-in conditioner for my long hair. Dr. Bronner's is a great company - this product is organic, free-trade, and not tested on animals, while the bottle is 100% post consumer recycled.

Ingredients: Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Ethanol, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Lavender Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol 

Bath & Body Works Sleep Pillow Mist

I spray this on my sheets before I go to bed. Vanilla and lavender smell so good together, and I think breathing them in actually does help me relax. When this is gone, I'll make my own mister with distilled water, lavender essential oil and vanilla absolute.

Ingredients are not available.

Dr. Bronner's Organic Hand Sanitizing Spray

The hand sanitizer gel I was using contained triclosan, so I picked up Dr. Bronner's spray at Target to replace it. The smell of lavender is intense! It lingers for a long while after the alcohol has evaporated.

Ingredients: 62% Organic Ethanol, Water, Organic Glycerin, Organic Lavender Oil

Badger Organic Sleep Balm

I rub this balm on my hands and wrists before I go to bed. Once again, I think this smells divine. :)

Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Essential Oils of Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Verbenone), Zingiber Officinale (Ginger), Abies Balsamea (Balsam Fir) and CO2 Extract of Zingiber Officinale (Ginger)

Do you have any favorite lavender-scented products?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sephora Friends & Family Sale 2011

Get 20% off of online Sephora purchases at:! If the page says they're having technical difficulties, check back in a couple of hours or try a different browser. (I found out that it doesn't work with Firefox, but it does with Internet Explorer.) The deal lasts through November 2nd. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Haul: Rainwater Botanicals

Rainwater Botanicals, an Etsy shop that specializes in natural bath and body products, is having a fall sale. I had never purchased anything from the store, so I decided to take advantage of 15% off everything (promo code FALLING4FALL) and sample a bunch of its products.

All the stuff I got - I think their packaging it adorable!
Rainwater Botanicals has been around since 1999. The company is committed to using high quality, natural ingredients and offering products at low prices. Their products are paraben-free, phthalate-free and sulfate-free.

Rainwater Botanicals' Etsy shop pages have a lot of text, and were a bit difficult for me to navigate. The titles of different products are cut off, so you need to know what you're looking for in order to find it. (Hopefully this post will help!) The "Shop Sections" bar on the left side of the shop's page is helpful if you know what type of item you're looking for (deodorant, hair care, skin care, etc.). I do really appreciate that all of the ingredients are listed online so you know what's in the products before you buy them. The ingredients are also listed on the packaging as well.

The names of the products don't seem to follow an over-arching naming system, which can make it hard to find the products you're looking for. To make the products I purchased easily search-able, I used the exact names from the Etsy Shop.

I'm in the market for some natural skin care products, so I got one of each of their sample packages of their different skin care lines: Troubled Skin, Nourishing Skin, and Sea Buckthorn Nutritive. My skin seems to pretty much hate my current routine (I finally switching from my Clinique 3-step), and I'm hopeful I'll some of this stuff.
Try Me Size Troubled Skin Care Kit

This kit contains samples of:
- Troubled Skin Toner
- Troubled Skin Serum
- Troubled Skin Facial Cream
- Troubled Skin Facial Soap
- Pimple Potion

Nourishing Facial Try Me Travel Size Kit

This kit contains samples of:
- Nourishing Facial Toner
- Nourishing Facial Serum
- Nourishing Facial Cream
- Nourishing Facial Soap
- Eye Serum

Sea Buckthorn Skin Care Try Me Kit for all skin types

This kit contains samples of:
- Nutritive Face & Body Lotion
- Nutritive Day Hydration
- Intensive Eye Cream
- Nutritive Facial Soap
- Sea Buckthorn & Pomegranate Serum

The long awaited sample size deodorants
I've been looking for the perfect natural deodorant.

I got the sample kit of all the deodorants - there are two different sample kits, one offers samples of all 8 scents, the other offers samples of 3 of your choosing. I also got a full-size deodorant in Lavender Vanilla since my boyfriend always liked it when I wore my Lavanila deodorant in that scent.

Dead Sea Mud & Pumpkin Facial Mask Antioxidants and Enzymes
I love masks, they make my skin feel so good. I got the sample size of both masks that Rainwater Botanicals sells.

The Dead Sea Mud contains a large range of highly concentrated minerals. It helps to remove excess oil and dead cells from the skin's surface. This 1 oz. jar can provide 4 to 5 facials.

The primary ingredient in the Pumpkin Facial Mask is... pumpkin! According to the website, pumpkin is a rich source of antioxidants & enzymes that act like alpha-hydroxy acids and that can help reverse the signs of aging.  This 1 oz. jar can provide 3 to 5 facials.

Antioxidant Facial Serum Woodland Blueberry &
Skin Repair Serum For Scars Wrinkles and Acne

I've been trying out a bunch of different serums. I'm over moisturizers - serums hydrate my skin without leaving a sticky feeling behind all day, and these: a) are really cheap for serums packed full of antioxidants and b) have great ingredients.

Intensive Repair Cream for face and body

This face and body cream is formulated with antioxidant oils and extracts to battle the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, acne, and stretch marks.

Herbal Healing Salve for Natural Healing

This was Rainwater Botanicals's first product. They say this is good for all sorts of ailments - cuts, scrapes, cracked skin... I thought this could be useful to have, so I got the smaller size to keep in my purse even though the larger size is a much better price per ounce.

Moisturizing Coconut and Dead Sea Salt For Hair

I'm hoping this spray will give me beachy waves. There's another version without coconut, but my hair is pretty dry, so I went for this version.

Free Samples!
I was pleasantly surprised when I found that some free samples were included in my package!

This is a full size of the Ginger Nut Tinted Lip Balm and samples of two of their natural perfume oils. I already tried out the Lip Balm - smells like gingerbread - sooo good!

I feel good about all the things I got - they have great ingredients - and I'm looking forward to trying them all out. There was an issue with my order - an item I bought got left out - but Sara (the shop owner?) responded to my message within an hour and I got a notice of shipment from USPS within two! Honestly, that just made me like the shop more because this is the fastest response I've ever gotten from a company.

The coupon code lasts until October 31. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Argan Oil

Less than a year ago, I never would have considered putting moisturizer, let alone oil, on my face. I've had issues with break-outs since high school and was always careful to purchase oil-free foundations and to eschew moisturizers because I believe that they would just make my skin worse. However, after watching/reading many skin-care routines online, I realized that a lot of people attributed their good skin to moisturizing daily. After adding moisturizer to my skin-care routine, my skin looks the best it ever has! (Not awesome, but much better than before.)

I've been having trouble finding a clean, natural facial moisturizer, so I've starting using an oil to moisturize. Right now I'm trying out Argan oil.

Like all oils, Argan oil helps to keep the skin moisturized. Argan is specifically promoted as being able to minimize fine lines and heal acne blemishes and scarring.

I purchased this oil from I've been using it on my face at night after I cleanse and tone and on my hair while it's still damp. So far everything's good. I haven't seen a great improvement over my old moisturizer, but I haven't broken out like crazy like I used to fear I would with the slightest bit of oil coming into contact with my face. My hair also looks better on the days that I treat it with Argan oil. Once my hair is done air-drying, I'm good to go without any styling.

Have you ever used an oil as a moisturizer? Do you have a favorite facial moisturizer to recommend?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen

Everyone seems to really like the VitaZing moisturizer by Origins, so when I had the chance to get a sample a while ago I did. This moisturizer promises to hydrate, energize, and protect your skin. Though it appears white at first, this moisturizer gains a tint when applied to the skin that is supposed to impart radiance.

This has a Skin Deep Rating of 4
The skin-tone matching ability seems a bit off, this product came off as too dark/orange for me. It also makes my skin look greasy, so I need to use powder to set it... so there's no point for me to use this instead of a regular moisturizer.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (3%), Octocrylene (2.7%)

Other Ingredients: Water; Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Water, Ethyl Macadamiate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Peg-100 Stearate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Barosma Betulina Leaf Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Abies Sibirica (Pine) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Amara (Bitter Almond) Kernel Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Field Mint) Leaf Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil, Limonene, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caffeine, Cholesterol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Trehalose, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linoleic Acid, Squalane, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Citric Acid, Stearic Acid, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

The ingredient list - which wasn't included with the sample, don't you hate it when that happens? - was crazy-long. It was interesting to note that the ingredient "limonene," which can be found in citrus, has the highest rating out of all of them.

I'm glad that I didn't buy this, as it's quite pricey ($35 for 1.7 oz.) and it doesn't work for me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Green or Unclean: Benefit Powderflage

Benefit Powderflage is a concealer, but I use it as a setting powder for my concealer. It
 really helped with the problem I was having with mascara transfer. It can also be used to camouflage fine lines, dark circles, and spots. It comes with a brush, but I find that it just gets the powder everywhere, so I use my finger to apply.

This has a Skin Deep Rating of 3
 Ingredients: talc, mica, silica, dimethicone, titanium dioxide, hdi/trimethylol/hexyllactone crosspolymer, vinyl dimethicone/methicone/silsesquioxane crosspolymer, dimethicone, vinyl dimethicone crospolymer, trimethylsiloxysilicate,ethylene/methacrylate copolymer, ultramarines, manganese violet, polymethyl, methacrylate, sodium dehydroacetate, methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropyl titanium triisolstearate, iron oxides, tin oxide, tocopherol,glycinre soja(soybean)oil, ascorbyl palmitate

This has a decent rating (on the low side of "moderate hazard"), so I'll use it up; however, it has parabens, which I really want to avoid, so I won't be re-purchasing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sephora Haul

I'd been waiting for a good deal to come up before I made another purchase from This month's VIB promotion is a gift set from Smashbox including O-GLOW! As soon as I saw it, I decided to buy some things things from my wishlist.

Korres Buttered Up - Pomegranate

The Glaze has a Skin Deep Rating of 2
This has a Skin Deep Rating of 4
 This set comes with a Lip Butter and a Lip Butter Glaze. Doesn't that color look gorgeous?

smashbox studio must-haves (VIB promo)

  • Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starburst
This has a Skin Deep Rating of 5
 I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with this...
  • O-GLOW Intuitive Cheek Color
This has a Skin Deep Rating of 0
 The one on the right came with this set. The one on the left is the full-size, for comparison. For more information on this product's ingredients click here.
  • Bionic Mascara
This has a Skin Deep Rating of 2.
 It's always nice to have more mascara. :)

I'm very pleased with everything I got! If you're a VIB, you can get this Smashbox kit with the code "VIBSMASH3".