September 29, 2011

By Nieves skincare

I was recently contacted by Heidi of By Nieves cosmetics to sample their line of natural skincare. They make five products: Face Fix, Cloud of Protection, The Balm, C Perfect Skin Serum and Bath Salt. I recieved sample sizes of all of these products in a nice muslin bag, available on their website as the "Dabble Bag" for $20. Here's a little overview of the products:

Face Fix is a powder that you make into a masque by mixing it with basically whatever you want. I mixed it with Bragg's apple cider vinegar, and it smelled like apple pie on my face. It was a nice change up from the Aztec Secrets masque I usually use.

Cloud of Protection is a fragrance that can be used in the home or one yourself. I'm terrible at describing scents, but this has the smell of something kind of acidic, but not citrus. I think it smells very clean and fresh. In any case, it's very unique: I haven't smelled anything quite like it before. It's great to spray around the house to freshen everything up. The small bottle that comes in the kit is enough to last quite awhile.

The Balm has a very soft texture, and when you smell it straight for the container it has a faint licorice scent. However, when you apply it to your skin it smells completely different. I don't know how to describe it but it's really, really nice. Like, I'm a bit obsessed with the smell. It's also very moisturizing. I don't like to use this on my lips much, but it's great on my arms, elbows, hands, etc. The scent mixes well with the Cloud of Protection spray. I would definitely purchase the full size of this product - at $14 it is relatively affordable.

C Perfect Skin is a serum meant to help diminish signs of aging, sun damage, dark spots and scarring while protecting against further damage. I am lucky enough to not suffer from these skin problems, so I cannot speak for that. I did find it to be moisturizing, and it helped smooth and even out my skin. It smells very similar to the Cloud of Protection spray.

Bath Salt - I'm not really someone who uses bath salts, but this did make my tub smell very nice. 

I really enjoyed all of these products, especially when I followed the instructions card that came with it and used them all together for a little spa session. The thought was put into formulating them really shows. The C Perfect Skin and The Balm were the real standouts from the collection, and this kit would be a great little gift for any fan of natural beauty products. By Nieves products are available in stores in the Bay Area, and at

Disclosure: These products were sent to me as a press sample by By Nieves. My opinions are 100% honest and I am not compensated for this review.

September 26, 2011

Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick in Karma

I have found a truly nude natural lipstick, and I'm so excited! I think I've mentioned before that I'm a huge, huge fan of nude lips. Not like "your lips but better" or natural colored, but close to flesh tone lips. It's a very modern, sophisticated look, but still very wearable. Many of the natural brands out there do not make very trendy colors of lipstick; I've seen a lot of deep mauves, taupes and muted reds available, and that's just not what I wear. I'm a fan of bright corals, orangy reds, baby pinks and nudes, most of all. That's why I'm so excited that Honeybee Gardens makes a lipstick that is truly nude and truly natural.
It's even more nude than it looks here...
The color is "Karma" and it a peachy toned nude. At first I thought it smelled a little funny, but now I kind of like it. It smells like thyme, which is much different than what you normally see in cosmetics. It is a full color lipstick - very opaque. You can dab it on for a more subtle color, or build it up. I don't think that this is a color would only look good on certain skin tones, I am personally of the opinion that anyone can pull off nude lips. Exfoliating the lips beforehand is an absolute must though.
The color is very similar to the very popular Revlon Soft Nude, which I used to love in my pre healthy makeup days. Here are some comparison swatches:

As for the ingredients, this lipstick is made of good for you ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter. There's also no artificial colors, which is very impressive for a lipstick! In terms of ingredients and performance, this product is a definite winner. I have my eye on some of their other colors, like Soft Kiss, a baby pink, and Desire, a bright red.

EWG Rating: 1
Ingredients: canola oil, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) fruit, beeswax, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, tocopherol (vitamin e), origanum vulgare (oregano) leaf extract, thymus vulgaris (thyme) extract, cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, hydrastis canadensis (gold\n seal) root extract. May Contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, ultramarine blue, carmine, manganese violet.
Price: $11.99 at

Disclosure: A sample of this product was sent to me by Honeybee Gardens. Opinions are 100% honest and I am not compensated for this review.

September 4, 2011

Everyday Minerals bronzers review

One of the items I hauled from Everyday Minerals was their bronzer, in all three shades. On sale now at only $4.50 per container, this is an item that isn't any more expensive than the drugstore! I am really enjoying all three shades for different uses. The lightest color, Soft Bronzer, is the fairest shade I have ever seen for a bronzer product. So much so that on many skin tones it would actually lighten rather than deepen it. Since I'm very fair, this color actually works on me for a very subtle bronze. However, I'm a bit of a bronzing addict so I often mix this color with the two other darker colors. I would definitely recommend Everyday Bronzer and Happiness Bronzer for mid to deep skin tones. The darkest color, Happiness Bronzer, when used very lightly is great for contouring. 

What I really love about these bronzers is the packaging. It is much larger than a typical mineral product at 0.17 oz (Bare Escentuals is 0.7 oz). There also have a genius rotating piece inside the packaging that prevents product from spilling into the lid when you're on the go. Anyone who has traveled with minerals know what a mess it can be. Lastly, the lid is a much bigger circle, so you actually have plenty of room to work the product onto the brush. I'm not normally that into packing, but this product's packing is not only attractive but functional.

EWG rating: 1

Ingredients: Mica, Lauroyl Lysine. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Ingredient note: very little information is available on Lauroyl Lysine. It is a derivative of lauric acid and l-lysine. It is also biodegradable. This ingredient is not particularly alarming to me, but it is something to consider before purchasing Everyday Minerals products. It is derived from coconut oil, so it does increase the chance of allergic reactions to the product.

Price: $9 at

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