Must-haves for Fall!

Greetings, beauties!

Fall is the season of change and transition. The days get shorter, the leaves start to change colors…and it gets colder!  But what does that mean for your skin? Do lackluster skin, low levels of moisture and cracked lips sound familiar? Fret not, I got you covered with some great products you’ll need this season.Fall essentials picmonkey

 

Undo sun damage

Best post-summer care. After all the excesses of summer (sunburns due to sun worshiping!), it’s time to get your skin into rehab and give it the nurturing it yearns for. I Kahina brightening serum pic monkeylove using Kahina Giving Beauty‘s Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening serum*,  if you give it time and are consistent with your routine, it will help fade discoloration and hyperpigmentation, which will in turn even out your skin tone. I did notice a slight change around my jaw, where it was darker.  If you have acne scars, this will help you tremendously. I love the silky texture of this serum, it absorbs fast and leaves your skin feeling velvety . This argan oil based serum also protects against future environmental aggressors (thanks to the antioxidants blend) and lessens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  If you’re familiar with Kahina Giving Beauty, you know it’s a powerhouse and you can’t miss, whatever the product. This brightening serum is a hit!

Ingredients:  aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, water/aqua/eau, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, undaria pinnatifida extract, lactobacillus ferment, glycerin*, pancratium maritimum extract, oryza sativa (rice) seed extract*, spirulina platensis (algae) extract*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) nut butter*, sodium hyaluronate, diglycerin, pinus pinaster, cetearyl glucoside, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf/flower oil*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil*, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, tanacetum annuum flower oil*, vanillosmopsis erythropappa (bisabolol) wood oil, boswellia carterii (frankincense) resin extract, maltodextrin, mentha spicata (spearmint) leaf extract, sclerotium gum, hydrogenated lecithin, p-anisic acid, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, xanthan gum

Price: 72$/30ml | http://kahina-givingbeauty.com/

Reveal new skin

‘Tis the season for pumpkins!  Pumpkins have so many benefits whether you take them internally or externally. Elaa Skincare’s Pumpkin Elaa Skincare Pumpkin mask 2 Pic MonkeyRadiance/Renewing enzyme mask* is by far one of my favorite exfoliating masks! Pumpkins are filled with enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that remove impurities and dead skin, which promotes skin renewal and will give you the most radiant skin. Pumpkin seed oil contains the fatty acids necessary to moisturize and protect your skin. This mask also has raw Manuka honey, perfect to heal any cracked or dry skin, irritations, burns as well as eczema and psoriasis. There’s also a plethora of spices, such as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. If you have sensitive skin, it might tingle a bit upon first application, so proceed with caution:do a patch test before. Elaa Skincare is a an organic brand focused on raw, living and active ingredients as well as superfoods. Believe me, this mask is a treat! Everytime I use it, I’m amazed that my skin can look so radiant and glowing.

Ingredients:  Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Raw Pumpkin, Raw Wild Manuka Honey Active MGO 450+, Apple Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Calendula Oil, Organic Turmeric, Organic Green Tea Extract, Radish Root Ferment, Organic Veg Glycerin, Sclerotium Gum (100% natural vegan gum – a polysaccharide produced through fermentation), Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Nutmeg, Organic Allspice, Organic Vanilla, Organic Essential Oils of Mandarin, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg.

Beegan (contains therapeutic, wildharvested honey) 

Price: 24$/30ml or 45$/60ml|http://elaaskincare.com/

 

Recharge your skin

As the colder temperatures set in, my skin gets dehydrated. I generally have normal to very dry skin, so I’m always reaching for a facial oil. Putty alone pic montage However, my skin also needs to be quenched. Enters Graydon Moffat and her genius brand, Clinical Luxury. If you follow my Instagram account, you know how gaga I am for this Canadian brand. I’ve reviewed the Serum, here. I’m an oil and balm hoarder, but I love this brand’s creams and lotions. They are made with the most natural ingredients that literally feed the skin.  The Putty* is a great pick, if you want to transition from your summer gels and light lotions to this season’s heavier creams and facial oils. It’s the perfect balance of liquids (mainly aloe vera juice and rose water) and oils (avocado, buriti, seabuckthorn oils among others). This lotion is so soothing you’ll forget about your skin woes! The Putty is amazing for all skin types, but is ideal for sensitive/reactive skins. If you have any dermatological issue, it will help calm redness and irritation.  I like the light and fluffy consistency, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very moisturizing cream. When I need an extra boost of moisture in the winter, I simply add 3 drops of the Serum to the Putty, and voilà!

Ingredients: purified water (aqua), vegetable wax: (caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, coco-caprylate/caprate, dicaprylyl ether, sodium olivoyl glutamate, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol), cetearyl alcohol, beeswax (cera alba), citric acid, aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) juice, vegetable glycerine, vegetable emulsifier: (lauryl glucoside, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, glycerin), manuka honey (leptospermum scoparium), jojoba (simmondsia chinensis) seed oil,avocado (persea americana) oil, grapeseed (vitis vinifera) oil, hemp (cannabis sativa) seed oil, rose water (rose damascene), cocoa (theobroma cacao) butter, shea (butyrospernum parkii) butter, calendula (calendula officinalis) oil, arnica (arnica montana) oil, argan (argania spinosa) oil, buriti(mauritia flexuosa) oil, st. john’s wort (hypericum perforatum) oil, seabuckthorn (hippophae rhamnoides) oil, tamanu madagascar (calophyllum inophyllum) oil, vitamin e (mixed tocopherols) oil, xanthan gum, vegetable derived preservative: (glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate) spiked with a soothing blend of all-natural essential oils including: helichrysum (helichrysum italicum),carrot (daucus carota) seed, chamomile (anthemis nobilis), lavender (lavandula angustifolia) and nothing else!

Price: 32$/50ml | 59$/240ml| http://clinicalluxurybynature.com/  and  http://www.clementinefields.ca/ 

Butter up!

Ooooh! This body butter is a dream for your skin! I don’t know how I ever made it without it! The texture is off the charts! I’m talking about a luscious, sultry texture making your skin feel like it’s cashmere!  Made of a combination of shea and cacao butters as well as  Metta Body Butter pic monkeyjojoba and coconut oils it just melts onto your skin when you apply it, while the warm, relaxing scent comforts you.  I’ve said it enough times: I have the driest skin.  So, this Metta Body butter* is a godsent. It truly restores my skin’s elasticity, keeps my skin moisturized for hours on end. No more ashy skin either!  With each application, my skin gets smoother and softer.  I have old scars left from minor surgeries that are getting less noticeable. Even though there’s a thick consistency to this butter, it sinks quickly into my skin and leaves no greasy residue on my clothes. I’m going to use this butter all through the winter.  I can’t do without it anymore!

Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil* (contains linalyl acetate, linalool and limonene as naturally occurring components of lavender essential oil) * denotes certified organic ingredient

Price: 47$ | http://store.mettaskincare.com/

Keep that summer glow!

Summer is over, but SO WHAT? There’s no reason for you to lose that glow, girl! Face Glow* pulls double-duty: it’s skincare with the attributes of a cosmetic product. Graydon The Glow montage I’ve been loving it ever since I started testing it! It’s amazing in the summer, but it also works all year.  First, it is NOT a highlighter, so don’t expect that strobing effect (read: highlighter on steroids)!  Face Glow is a lotion that will instantly brighten your skin and impart a nice subtle glow. Graydon uses brown mica: a free flowing lustrous powder with a shimmering copper appearance, used to reflect light, which creates a pearlescent effect on skin.  Nourishing ingredients such as pumpkin, raspberry and seabuckthorn oils moisturize while giving your skin the fatty acids it needs to look fresh and young. Your skin will also be protected against the environmental elements.  I really can’t say enough about this product: I use it as a primer or alone, for a fresh-faced look.  I even put a bit on my decolleté. The possibilities are endless! Ladies, you need this in your handbag!
 Ingredients: purified water (aqua), non nano zinc oxide (zinc oxide), shea (butyrospernum parkii) butter, mica + iron oxide, vegetable wax: (caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, coco-caprylate/caprate, dicaprylyl ether, sodium olivoyl glutamate, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol), vegetable emulsifier: (lauryl glucoside, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, glycerin), vegetable glycerine, cherry (prunus avium) kernel oil, aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) juice, buriti (mauritia flexuosa) oil, cocoa (theobroma cacao) butter, rice bran (oryza sativa) oil, pumpkin (cucurbita maxima) seed oil, raspberry (rubus idaeus) seed oil, seabuckthorn (hippophae rhamnoides) oil, spirulina (spirulina maxima), vegetable derived preservative: (glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate), green tea (camellia sinensis), rosemary co2 extract (rosmarinus officinalis l), xantham gum, citric acid and nothing else!

Price: 32$/50ml |http://clinicalluxurybynature.com/

 

This fall, be patient with yourself and with your skin… Have you spotted some favorites? Feel free to suggest and share your Fall must-haves!
Until next time,

Arabesque xo

*PR Sample

Advertisements

Feed your skin!

Greetings beauties!

If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin”  The first time I read that quote (on Dr. Alkaitis’s website) I didn’t think much of it (no offense to the author!).  The more I thought about it, the more I found it was profound.  I had what Oprah would call an “ah-ha” moment!  If we consider that skin is our largest organ, then it makes perfect sense that we should protect it, treat it as a living, breathing being, and feed it with natural, fresh, raw and live ingredients that are going to keep it in its optimal state.  I’ve become an avid label reader and I pick products with nourishing and healing ingredients that will keep my skin healthy in the long run.

Of course, we know healthy skin begins inside, by eating the right foods.  Skincare implements what clean eating, exercise and a healthy lifestyle do. But don’t you love it when you find products your skin can literally eat?!

Each of these products contains a special food ingredient you can eat or drink everyday! Bon appétit!

 

Green Tea

Brand: Aenon’s

Product: Green Tea +Aloe face oilAenons (16) Pic Monkey

Benefits:  We all know green tea has detoxification benefits, it aids in weight loss, it’s anticarcinogenic,  and it helps against stress and fatigue.  Sipping tea is not the only way you can get it to nourish your skin.  Applied to skin, green tea can also work wonders! I promise, there’s no splashing tea all over your face! Green Tea+Aloe Face oil has a lightweight texture, so it makes it easier for your skin to absorb and there’s no greasy feeling.  I use it during the day and it really helps if you have dry eczema like me.  I had to be patient with this one, results were not instant. I felt and saw a noticeable difference after a solid 3 weeks of constant use (1-2 times a day).  Depending on your skin type and condition, it might take more or less.  I’m glad I stuck with it, because it made a world of difference! My doctor had prescribed an ointment (laden with skin irritants), but I used this oil instead. The frustrating aspect of my eczema is the fact that it’s dry and  that I  can barely see it.  But it’s there because I feel the itchiness and the burning sensation, which is alarming to me. Thankfully, this oil worked really well for my skin!  It reduced the itching and calmed my skin’s burning sensation. I love using it with the Immortelle facial toner from the same brand which has healing properties.  If you have dry, itchy, irritated skin, this oil is for you!

Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf (and) Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf (and) Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Infused Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Fruit Extract, Essential Oil Blend, Tocopherol.

Price: 42$/30ml

Prickly Pear

Brand: Kahina Giving Beauty

Product: Prickly Pear Seed OilKahina Giving Beauty Prickley pear seed oil Pic Monkey

Benefits:  Have you ever eaten a barbary fig/prickly pear or a cactus pear? It’s really good for you! It’s shaped like a pear, ranges in color from yellow to deep red or purple.  It’s a great source of fiber, so it helps your digestive system. This Kahina Prickly pear seed oil is a superstar! It’s really been a powerhouse for my skin. I tested it for several months. It really does it all!  The Prickly pear seed oil is the only ingredient (here’s to less being MORE!), and if you’re familiar with Kahina, you know it’s pure! We already know this brand for its high quality and fair-trade argan oil.  It’s unlike any I’ve tried, it’s so smooth and silky. The Prickly Pear Seed oil is just as smooth, but a bit richer than the argan oil.  Although, you can use this day and night, I use it for my nighttime routine so I can reap fresh, radiant skin in the morning. My skin is really dry and thus far, this oil is one of the few products that keeps my skin moisturized throughout the night…and day. My skin feels less tight, less itchy, more supple and smooth. I use on damp face after a few spritzes of the Kahina Toning mist.  A little goes a long way! Basically, if I were to be stranded on a deserted island, I’d want to have this oil with me!

Ingredient: opuntia ficus indica (prickly pear seed) oil*

*Ingredient from Organic Farming, 100% Organic and Natural

Price: 38$/10ml and 150$/50ml

Plums

Brand: Napa Valley Organics (Agribeauty)

Product: Plum Kernel OilNapa Valley Organics Pic Monkey

Benefits: This oil is cold-pressed from the seed of California prune and is rich in Vitamins A and E, oleic acid, beta-carotene and essential and non-essential fatty acids.  It’s a great everyday treatment oil and also a great carrier oil, so you can add to your creams or body scrubs.  In general, plum oil might not be very trendy, but it’s notorious for culinary purposes. Founder of Napa Organics, Hilary Glass uses local agriculture ingredients to create her Agribeauty line.  The very essence of this brand stems from nature; everything we need to care for our skin should be simple, raw and unprocessed. The Plum oil is perfect for dry skin, and especially if you have sensitive, mature and acne prone skin.  It has a light scent of plum and almond. It seals in moisture (which is what I mostly need). I use this after exfoliation with Prune and Walnut face scrub and my skin is renewed and refreshed. Also great for hair and nails. An multi-purpose face oil and a definite must-have!

Ingredients: 100% California grown Plum Kernel oil

Price: 32$/30ml

Berries

Brand: Graydon Skincare (Clinical Luxury by Nature)

Product: The SerumGraydon The Serum by Pic Monkey

Benefits: I love berries: blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, etc.  Whether they are raw, juiced or in my smoothies, they are yummy! They keep us full, protect our cells from free radicals, prevent diseases and give our brain a boost. I am loving this serum which you can read more on, here. It contains 50 pounds of fresh Canadian berries (in 30 ml). When I use this serum, I make sure not to forget my neck. Consistent use of this serum will help you keep your skin’s youthful appearance and natural radiance.  It just makes your skin feel and look healthy. I use in conjunction with the Face Food mist, which you’ll read about in other posts.

Ingredients: cold pressed blueberry seed oil (vaccinum myrtillus), cold pressed cranberry seed oil (vaccinium macrocarpon), cold pressed red raspberry seed oil (rubus idaeus), meadowfoam seed oil (limnanthes alba), grapefruit seed extract (citrus grandis) and nothing else!

Price: 46$/30ml

 

Final thought…

These products speak volume about what eating healthy can do for our skin. I love using any of these products at any given time, but the key is discipline and consistency in your skincare routine.

Stay tuned for Part 2 soon! More yummy products to come on Ready, Set, Glow!

 

In the meantime, feed your skin…and soul!

with love,

Alex xo

 

*PR samples 

Giving Back: Kahina Giving Beauty

Greetings natural beauties!

 

“Beauty catches the eye, but kindness catches the heart.”  

– Author unknown

 

Kahina Giving Beauty

I have started a series on the issue of Giving back and I’m featuring several brands who make it their mission to help those in need.  Obviously, when I think of green beauty and giving back, my mind goes straight to… Kahina Giving Beauty! The name says it all, giving back is the premise on which founder Katharine L’Heureux created her brand.

Fun fact about Katharine: her last name means “the happy one” in French.

 

A trip to Morocco

It all began in 2007, when Katharine took a trip to Morocco and fell in love with the story and the incredible power of argan oil.  She loved it so much, she decided to create a pure natural line of skincare in which argan oil would be at the heart of every product.  Kahina Giving Beauty was born.  We all know and love her products, we can all agree that her argan oil is the purest and of the highest quality, but I really want to focus on the humanitarian aspect of the brand.

Kahina, the Queen of Berber women

Did you know “Kahina” is the name of the Queen of Berber women?

What is unique about KGB (Kahina Giving Beauty) it’s that their philanthropy is directly connected to their product. Argan oil comes from the kernels of the argan tree and the process of extracting the oil can be time-consuming and labor intensive for the Berber women who work at it: it takes up to 8 hours to produce 1 liter of oil.  That’s a lot of nut cracking! Harvesting argan oil creates social and economical opportunities for the Berber women, and Katharine makes sure they are fairly compensated and treated with dignity.

It is clear to me that Katharine L’Heureux (means “Happy” in French, by the way) has developed a deep sentiment of reverence and admiration for her women.  That is the perfect example of a woman empowering other women…as it should be!  It doesn’t matter where you come from, women should be supportive of one another, and when you help women, you help children and families, that’s what a community is about!

 

Giving Beauty

Kahina Giving Beauty gives mainly through:

  • its own foundation, created by Katharine, where she donates money directly to the 46 women of her cooperative. Thanks to that foundation, her women and their families are able to get access to drinking water, something we take for granted everyday. Katharine also purchased sheeps so that the women would have dairy and wool for their weaving. The women also get solar ovens: so no argan tree is cut for firewood not to mention it’s also a safer alternative to smoky cooking fires that can contribute to diseases.

 

  • Education For All Morocco (EFA): this organization provides schooling for girls who wouldn’t have an education past 3rd grade because high schools are not financially accessible for their parents. The schools are also located too far from where they live. Thanks to the EFA, the girls in rural Morocco can complete their education, have free rooms in boarding houses, they also get school uniforms and academic material. As a high school teacher, I think Education is a right, not a luxury.  Please support this cause.  Note:  For the rest of September, when you buy KGB’s argan oil (30ml or 100ml), 100% of the profits go to EFA (only here).  Hurry! This could be your chance to try the brand, or just an opportunity to give…just because!

 

  • High Atlas Foundation: the mission of this foundation includes several projects to help disadvantaged communities in Morocco.  They address issues like organic agriculture, clean energy, youth and women’s programs, cultural diversity and more. Because the harvesting of argan oil insures an economic resource for Moroccan communities, KGB teamed up with the HFA to plant more argan trees. This initiative also protects the integrity of the nuts. They have planted 200 argan trees in  nurseries this year.

 

Kindness is beautiful…and always in!

For me, Kahina Giving Beauty evokes respect, kindness and unity.  I salute Kahina’s Givng Beauty’s mission.  It inspires me to do the same, I just want to get up and get out of my comfort zone. But as I’ve said before, giving back doesn’t have to be some grand gesture, it only has to come from the heart. This is a brand I want to support because it’s about women, it’s about giving, it’s about being open to others and…it’s about skincare! My favorite things! Now, I know everytime I buy one of KGB’s product, it will be absolutely life-changing for my own skin, but mostly for women in Morocco.

 

Warm Regards,

Arabesque xo

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Back: Green Brands that Give Back!

Greetings !

 

Giving Back. It is such an important issue, and more than ever, humanity needs compassion and generosity.  In this series, I want to feature Green Beauty brands that give back no matter what month or time of the year it is; brands who make it their mission to help those in need, whether it’s next door or all over the world.

giving-back2 colors winston churchill

Here’s a reality check: we are NOT all born with equal opportunities, equal chances.  In some parts of the world, men, women and children lack the basic resources we ALL take for granted.  Hunger, poverty, AIDS, wars, violence, illness, abuse, etc. We sometimes wonder how we can help, how we can get involved.  We often feel powerless and irrelevant to the injustices of this world. The truth is: we can ALL do something, it doesn’t matter how big or how little it is: some people volunteer for cancer patients or give blood, others help out at soup kitchens, some might donate money, there are so many people in need, therefore so many ways to get involved.  If there’s anything I learned from giving back, it is that I receive a lot more than I give. That’s the beauty of giving back. The lessons are valuable and priceless!  Of course, it would be easier to do nothing and let the government take care of it, it would be easier to try to rationalize everything and stay within our comfort zone, remain in our comfortable lives.

Green Beauty and Giving Back go hand in hand…

If you’re part of the green beauty community, it’s because, somehow you care.  You care about the planet, you care about your health, you care about people, you care about life.  Believe it or not, using natural products has transformed me into an even more caring person.  Indeed, I’ve developed an eco-conscious mind as well as an ethical mind, making me a responsible consumer.  As a beauty blogger, I love to discover new products, but when I know that the cream or lotion I lather myself with also helps someone in need, it gives me peace, purpose and a sense of accomplishment.  Isn’t it empowering to know that the profits of the luxurious mask you bought to pamper yourself will feed a child or will help a woman get a vaccine that will save her life? These are merely examples of what can happen if we use our money wisely. If we’re going to be consumers and buy, why not do it with others in mind? Just imagine the impact it would have in the world, if we put our money where it counts, if we purchased products from brands that give back! Just imagine!

In this series, I want to celebrate and feature the philanthropy of brands I love …

  • Organic Bath co.;
  • Jacq’s Organics;
  • Kahina Giving Beauty;
  • Lina Hanson;
  • Pour Le Monde Perfumes;
  • CVSkinlabs;
  • Botanical Me;
  • Graydon;
  • Province Apothecary;
  • Balanced Guru;
  • Au Naturale Glow
  • online shop EcoDiva Beauty;
  • and more to come as I discover more brands in alignement with my values.

note: Eco Diva Beauty is an online shop who has a wonderful Giving Back program, so I thought I’d include it.

Stay tuned, and get to know how your favorite brands are changing the world!  I hope you join me!

 

What does Giving Back mean to you? How do you give back? Share your thoughts with me!

 

Sincerely,

Arabesque xo