January 24, 2012

Review: Sibu Beauty Cleanse & Detox Sea Buckthorn Facial Soap

You may recall seeing a box from Sibu Beauty in my haul from VitaCost last month. I had heard about this natural company through a YouTube guru who uses mainstream products, and was surprised to see that their items really did have good ingredients. I loved that the facial cleansing bar was so affordable, so I decided to pick one up.

I've been using the soap at night for about a month now, and I've really been loving it. I know a lot of people don't like it when you wash your face and your skin feels tight after, and this does not do that. It has a very mild scent, and it feels very gentle. I liked the scent at first, and it has grown on me the more I get used to it.

The best part is its effect on my skin. Ever since I incorporated this cleanser into my routine, my skin is calmer. It's just not freaking out. I have gotten a breakout or two, but much milder and less often then normal, and they go away quickly. I have an oily forehead that just never seems to get clear, but this has made it far more even and smooth. I've even gone more days with less makeup.

I really look forward to using this every night, along with my
homemade toner and a moisturizer. It's a simple, clean, affordable and effective product. What's not to love?

EWG Rating (preliminary): 0

IngredientsCoconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil, glycerin, purified water, oatmeal, sodium hydroxide (not in end product), sea buckthorn puree, sorbitol, sorbitan oleate, fragrance orange/lemon*, soybean protein, sea buckthorn leaves, titanium dioxide. 
*I called the company and they said that the fragrance is from essential oils of orange and lemon. I love that they had a phone number where I could just talk to someone directly about ingredients. No waiting for an email response!

: I got mine off of Vitacost for $5.91. You can also get a pack of three on their website for $16.95. Whatever you choose, this is an affordable product!

January 22, 2012

Homemade rosewater & witch hazel toner

Lately I've had a fascination with homemade beauty products. I've been bookmarking websites left and right that have recipes and ideas. I was thinking about making a toner out of rosewater, witch hazel and glycerin, because why not combine three ingredients you like?

I searched for recipes to get an idea for proportions, and found this one with the exact ingredients I wanted to use. I adjusted a little bit, because I wanted a slightly higher proportion of witch hazel. I think you can really alter the proportions however you want, but I wouldn't add too much more glycerin. 

It is extremely simple to make, you just put everything into a bottle, shake up, and voila. I used a glass bottle that my kombucha came in, because I am trying to reduce my plastic usage. Unfortunately, all of the ingredients did come in plastic bottles.

So far, I am loving this toner. I use it right after washing my face, and it removes makeup my cleanser missed. My face feels clean after, but it is gentle and does not sting. I like it better than the witch hazel alone, because it  is milder and the glycerin is a humectant that helps the skin retain moisture.

I do not like the smell of witch hazel, and I was hoping the rosewater would overpower it. Instead, it combined with it, so the toner does have a bit of a strange scent. It won't be for everybody, especially if you don't like the smell of roses. If you're sensitive about scents this is probably not the right the right thing for you. However, I've noticed that after I put it on, I can slightly smell the rosewater, but the witch hazel scent is gone. 
Rosewater and Witch Hazel Toner 
1.25 cups rosewater*
1 cup witch hazel
8 small squirts of vegetable glycerin
*If you want to add another DIY element to this, you can make your own rosewater, but then it will need to be stored in the refrigerator. 
Recommended Brands

Witch Hazel: Humphrey's Homepathic Remedies
$3.60 at iherb.com

Rosewater: Heritage Store
$6.52 at iherb.com

NOW Foods Vegetable Glycerine
$6.87 at iherb.com

*Use code JOB127 at iherb.com for $5 off your first order or $10 off your first order of $40 or more.

Contains affiliate links.

January 10, 2012

TKB Trading micas

Here's a great option for those of you who like bargains and super pigmented eyeshadows. Try buying mica in its unmixed form from a company such as TKB Trading. After watching YouTube videos and checking out blogs, I decided to order some micas from them. They have a huge array of super gorgeous colors, including many neutrals. A sample size costs $1.50, but it's not a "sample" by any means! One sample baggie has more than enough to fill a blush container to the brim. 

These are micas, not eyeshadows, and you may be asking how they can be used. In fact this is the most asked question on TKB's FAQs:
Question: Can the colored mica be used as pigment eye shadows or do you have to do anything special to them to be able to use them as eyeshadow? 
Answer: There is no particular harm in using our eye-permitted micas and pigments directly as an eye shadow. The problem is that the results will probably not satisfy you. The mica will fall off too easily. 
As they note, the mica alone is loose alone and will fall off too much. However, there are several ways to remedy this. My favorite way is to mix it with a medium or foil it and then apply to the lid. Another way to do it is to apply some type of base with a little bit of creaminess or stickiness to the lid first and then applying the shadow. Then, it is easy to use and the results are great! I've worn these pigments plenty of times, and you can also find tutorials all over YouTube of how to work with them.

Here's some swatches of the ones I got:

Though they all look glittery in the direct sunlight, Honey Mica and Antique silver are the only ones that actually are in normal light. The rest are more shimmery or frosted. My absolute favorite is Chameleon, a warm reddish brown that has a blue duochrome. It's warm in some lights, cool in others: it's just so neat and sophisticated! I'm also a big fan of Bronze Fine and  Moonstone Mica. I use all of the warm toned ones on the face for blush, bronzer or highlight, or mixed in with my mineral products to add extra shimmer and pigment. They are so versatile!

Ingredients: Varies for each pigment. Most contain a combination of mica, titanium dioxide and iron oxides. Some also contain carmine, tin oxide, bismuth oxychloride, ferric ferrocyanide or FD&C dyes. When purchasing pigments I recommend avoiding colors with FD&C dyes, ferric ferrocyanide, or bismuth oxychloride. Ingredients are available for each individual color on the website. All pigments are sold uncoated and do not contain nanoparticles.

Price: $1.50 each at tkbtrading.com

January 4, 2012

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Creme Concealer

I recently ran out of my favorite Vapour concealer, and even though I was happy with it, I wanted to test drive one from another natural beauty brand. Originally I was looking at rms "Un" Cover-Up, but then I found this concealer from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques for literally a third of the price. It has a great list of ingredients, including jojoba oil, rosehip oil, green tea and raspberry extract. It even has carrot seed oil and eyebright extract to help heal blemishes. All of the brand's products are free of nanoparticles, chemical preservatives, synthetic dyes, and all those other nasties you wouldn't want in your makeup.

Here's natural light and flash swatches of the light neutral concealer I bought, along with swatches of the samples of light warm concealer and guava lip glaze that were included with my order:
Both of the colors match me pretty well, but I think the neutral one does better - so I made the right choice. And I have to say I love the performance of this stuff. It is very creamy and gives a nice amount of coverage. It also looks very natural. When I think of many full coverage products, I think of cakeyness, but this product applied looks like skin. You could even use this as a thick foundation if you have larger problem areas. The concealer is available in 6 colors: light medium and dark in both warm and neutral undertones. 

As for the guava lip glaze, the swatch on the right is much more true to color. This is not my kind of color for the lips, but it actually has worked nicely on me as a cream blush. 

Another great thing about this brand is that it participates on Healthy Beauty Social. So if you want, you can actually talk to Lauren herself about her products through the network. I also love that my order came with two samples in a nice little organza bag.

Overall I'm highly satisfied with this product, I think I may even like it a bit better than the Vapour concealer. For $10 less, I definitely like the price better! Lauren Brooke makes a lot of other nice looking foundations, including a pressed one that I really have my eye on. So this is definitely a company you will be hearing more from me about in the future!

EWG Rating: 1

IngredientsCaprylic/Capric Triglyceride (edible plant-based oil), zinc oxide, certified organic beeswax, certified organic jojoba oil, silica, certified organic rosehip oil, neem oil, certified organic green tea extract, certified organic olive extract, eyebright extract, carrot seed essential oil, certified organic raspberry extract, natural vitamin e oil, certified organic lime extract, certified organic tangerine extract (+/- Iron Oxides, Ultramarine, Mica).

January 3, 2012

Móa, The Green Balm

Here's a post special for my U.K. readers. 

Have you guys read about balms and salves enough on this blog yet? I personally won't ever get sick of them, they are a natural beauty addict's best friend. So here I go with another one to share with you. This one is called Móa, or The Green Balm.

This little balm is made of great ingredients like coconut oil, sweet almond oil and tea tree oil. Because the coconut oil is the base, it is softer and smoother than other balms. What I enjoy the most about it is that it is very mildly aromatic. This isn't like Mentholatum or anything - it's just cooling in a subtle way. It also has a great clean smell to it. 

The balm is great relief for chapped skin, such as around your nose during a cold or dry winter hands. I also love this to remove eye makeup, relive itchy eczema skin, and to put over bug bites and cuts. Their website also has whole lists of things you can use it for first aid and beauty.

The price point is affordable, and I love that they have a smaller size available to try. I recommend checking this out if you need an all purpose balm, especially if you live in the U.K.! This is the perfect little balm to carry around in your bag.

IngredientsCoconut oil, sweet almond oil, soybean oil, beeswax, yarrow extract, water, tea tree leaf oil, limonene (from tea tree oil). Note: yarrow extract has an EWG rating of 3 for allergies/immunotoxicity.

Price£9.99 at thegreenbalm.com, and they ship internationally. Smaller sizes are also available for 
£4.99. In the U.S. it is available for $13.08 with free shipping at feelunique.com.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me to try as a PR sample. Opinions are 100% mine and I do not feature products I do not like. 

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