Monday, February 8, 2016

Flowers in my hair; flowers everywhere

Just the other day, I posted about Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soak, mentioning that Amaki also makes a beauty oil with flowers in it. I promised to let you know when I got an opportunity to try it. Who would have thought it would be so soon?

To my surprise, almost as soon as I posted my bath soak review, a box containing this lovely luxe oil arrived on my doorstep. Manika from the Natural Beauty Corner must have read my mind. Of course she knew I'd be interested in the bath soak's partner in pampering.

I couldn't wait to remove the bottle of Amaki Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil from the box and put it to the test. But first, I had to admire its beauty. Inside this simple glass bottle, you can see a handful of sweet little rose buds floating in a combination of certified organic oils, including evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, bergamot essential oil, rose geranium essential oil and jasmine oil.

The fragrance is heavenly (its a sweetly seductive floral; I love the hints of rosehip and jasmine) and the oil itself looks like liquid gold. It glides on every inch of my skin with ease (it's excellent for massage). It also absorbs well, so you don't have to wait all day to get dressed ... unless that was your plan.

Since this oil absorbs well, it can also be used on your face, day or night. I haven't used it enough to give a thorough review on that, but I can say it gives you a healthy glow.

I have been using it on the length of my hair for the past few days. It works as a leave-in treatment and brings new life to my dry ends.

Seriously, I put almost a hole dropper worth of the oil into my thin hair, and I can still walk around with my hair down, instead of it a bun (in other words, my hair doesn't look greasy). It also smells amazing and keeps that light floral scent within nose-reach for hours (although I'm not a huge fan of perfume, I do love the scent of natural oils).

I've been enjoying using this Amaki Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil from head to toe, especially after a good soak with the Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soak. It has Valentine's Day (or week ... or month, etc.) written all over it.

If you're interested in ordering the Amaki Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil and/or the Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soak in time for Valentine's Day, you'll be happy to know that both products can be found on Amazon and are eligible for Amazon Prime free shipping.

What do you think about flowers in your natural beauty products (I happen to think they're really romantic)? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* I was sent these Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soaks via the Natural Beauty Corner for review. All opinions are my own :)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Flowers in my bath from Amaki

As you know, I've said it time and time again; I'm really particular about the products I accept for review. I like to keep my reviews positive, yet honest. Therefore, I tend to say yes to those that I suspect will meet my personal wants and needs, such as today's luxurious handmade Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soak.

Recently, I took a break from Instagram and blogging to spend more time with my family and to create a better balance between my online presence and home life. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I'd even return to the blog world, but to my surprise, I've been back in small doses.

The lovely Manika from the Natural Beauty Corner happened to catch me at the right time about trying out Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soak. Somehow she knew that I was looking for the right product to highlight for Valentine's Day (I always recognize this holiday in some way, so I'll probably also post a Valentine's wish list and/or food item, etc., before the big day arrives; I'm a bit of a romantic).

One look at this floral bath soak and I was sold on testing it out. I already love natural bath salts for the occasional relaxing bath (they're just what I need after a good workout; is anyone else doing Tone It Up's latest challenge?) or mini spa day with my daughter (we like to use bath salts in foot soaks; it's a great way to have some mother-daughter bonding time), but the floral addition makes this one extra special. It has Valentine's Day written all over it.

Manika advised using the provided reusable muslin drawstring bags to prevent clogging my bathtub drain, which are quite helpful when it comes to clean up. Simply fill 3/4 of a bag with the bath salts, tie the drawstring and drop the bag into the bath water, like you're making tea. You get all the relaxing benefits (it eases my sore muscles and the scent has an aromatherapy effect), but without the mess.

The bags were convenient in the bath; however, sometimes it's nice to have the total beauty experience. There's something so romantic about having flowers in your bath and seeing them is part of the appeal. Therefore, my daughter and I let them float freely in our foot soaks, as I'm sure you could also do in your tub. Just be prepared to skim them out of the water before draining it.

My daughter agreed with me that these bath salts are quite lovely and smell like a fresh bouquet. It's the perfect product to balance my beauty blogging with my family time. These bath salts are just what I needed right now.

If flowers in your beauty products gets your attention this Valentine's Day (or any day), you may also want to check out the Amaki Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil. It's definitely on my radar. I'll let you know if I get a chance to try it.

What natural beauty products are on your wish list for Valentine's Day? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* I was sent these Amaki Flowers & Salts Bath Soaks via the Natural Beauty Corner for review. All opinions are my own :)

Friday, January 8, 2016

#LoveLani tropical treats for hair, body, face

I can't believe it's taken me so long to post about these colorfully cute bottles of magic. Less than a week ago, I Instagram-posted my hopes to review this lovely Lani Gift Set some time this week. It's now Friday, so I'm running out of week (not to mention the fact that I've had my eye on these gems for months).

My hubby ordered this set of cruelty-free, vegan, natural oil blends for my Christmas present a couple months ago. I was counting the days until I could open this box full of tropical hair, body and facial treatments. I had been obsessed with wanting to try the hair and body treatments since the summer, and the Tropical Super Serum was a bonus.

Once the Tropical Hair Treatment and Tropical Body Treatment were in my possession, it wasn't long before I had them in my hair and all over my body. This is how my hair looks with the hair treatment massaged into the length on my strands (I also use it on my scalp). My thirsty long locks seemed to drink it right up, so I added more to get the wet appearance you see here.

The directions recommend leaving this combination of camellia seed oil, coconut oil, kukui nut seed oil and macadamia nut oil in your hair for at least a half hour, although I've left it in for an hour or more. You could also leave it in all day with your hair up in a topknot or perhaps overnight. It does have that buttery macadamia and coconut smell that I really like.

When you wash the treatment out of your hair, you may need to shampoo twice and then follow with your favorite conditioner (I'm currently using 100 Percent Pure's Glossy Locks line). I felt as though it left my hair very soft and bouncy in my first use. It deeply moisturizes without weighing your hair down; however, I did notice that my hair can be slightly stringing on day one, if I didn't wash it out thoroughly. The next day is when my hair is at its best.

Now that I've used this product multiple times, I feel as though my hair is stronger and more protected from the elements. It also tames my flyaways (there's a lot of static this time of year), especially when I add a small dab of the product to the ends of my hair. I love how there is a plastic stopper in the bottle to help control the product flow.

The Tropical Body Treatment has the same plastic stopper, which should make it last just a little longer. I'm telling you; I could swim in this stuff. That stopper slows me down when it comes to applying this luxurious combination of almond oil, coconut oil, camellia seed oil, baobab seed oil, moringa seed oil and ylang ylang oil. I can't really describe the scent, but it somehow smells like something my late grandmother used. Don't get the wrong idea, though; my grandma was a hip lady. I was always sampling her beauty products.

Of course I love body oils and have quite the collection. This one is similar to a dry oil and would be a great one for those who tend to prefer lotion. This is still an oil, but it has a richness to it. This body treatment glides onto the skin and almost melts into it, absorbing quickly enough that you can get dressed without having it rub off onto your clothes. I've been using this daily to moisturize and firm my skin, so I'll probably cry when it's gone. Oh, and did I mention that it works well on stretch marks? I'm a mama of two, so of course I have a few subtle ones. When you use the right products, you can keep them a secret.

This mama also is turning 40 in a matter of months. Therefore, I'm always up for trying a good facial oil/serum. I'm so glad this Tropical Super Serum was included in the Lani Gift Box. I didn't test it out as quickly as I did with the hair and body treatments, but I have been enjoying it for the past week.

Like the body treatment, it feels rich, yet absorbs like a daytime moisturizer. It can be applied as a serum prior to your favorite moisturizer, although I've had success using it on its own (after washing my face with Flynn & King Revive Oil-Based Cleanser). It's packed with watermelon seed oil, marula seed oil, jojoba seed oil, camellia seed oil, passion fruit seed oil, vitamin E and jasmine oil that makes my skin glow, as seen in my no-makeup selfie on Instagram yesterday. It softens my fine lines and seems to even my skin tone without clogging my pores. The best part is that, although this serum gives me the confidence to go makeup-free, I'm able to wear makeup over this product without it "slipping off my face" (it's perfect under Kjaer Weis foundation, which can sometimes be a tad drier/more difficult to blend). As for the scent, it somehow reminds me of a field of wildflowers. It must be the jasmine.

All three products in this Lani Gift Set (this particular photo is from the Lani website) come in these pretty glass bottles that can be reused for whatever your little heart desires (I think they'd be adorable flower vases). The treatments are made with love and in small batches (you can read Viola's story about how she started the line here; I've heard that she's going to add more products soon). I'm totally in love with this brand and I believe you will be, too.

Have you tried Lani? Which product is your favorite? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* My hubby purchased these Lani products for me as a gift. I'm only posting a review because I love these products so much and I think you will, too. You'll notice that most Lani reviews are from satisfied paying customers. It's just that good :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wouldn't it be "Lovely"

I just love "My Fair Lady," so it's no surprise that the song, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," came to mind while typing this blog post (notice how I changed "loverly" to "lovely"). I recently won (via Instagram) two "Lovely" products that are worth posting. "Lovely" is the name of the brand, which is also describes this face mask and facial toner to a tee.

According to the website (yes, I totally snagged the above photo from the Lovely site. It was taken by Morgan Sessions, who specializes in wedding photography at Ryan Lewis did all the beautiful watercolors for the packaging; you can find more of his work at, "Lovely is an artisan line of small batch, handcrafted, all natural beauty and skincare products. Every material used is specifically selected and designed to evoke beauty, health, and purity for the user.

"All products are created from scratch and are tested by people, on people - never animals. No unnatural preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial dyes, chemicals, synthetic ingredients, animal ingredients, parabens, or fillers are ever used in Lovely's products."

Obviously, these products are right up my alley. I was sent the Pink Clay Mask and Moisturizing Facial Toner (I was able to pick my mask, so I couldn't resist the pink one).

The Pink Clay Mask is simply a combination of French pink clay, rosehip powder, coconut milk powder and jasmine essential oil. This powder can be mixed with enough water to create a paste to apply to your face, although I also like to substitute the water with the toner (it dries faster, but is still effective). It draws out impurities, but somehow manages to moisturize my skin at the same time. It exfoliates, softens fine lines and leaves my skin soft as a baby's bottom (seriously, I'm a mom, so I know what I'm talking about). It's a little miracle in a glass jar. It's actually more brown or orange in person, but I'm willing to overlook that.

As I mentioned, I like to prepare the face mask with the Moisturizing Facial Toner, so that's one of the ways I've enjoyed this product. The toner contains witch hazel, aloe vera gel, rosewater and ylang ylang III essential oil. It's very similar to the Flynn & King toner I reviewed yesterday, which is probably why I found these two lines to work quite well together (they really do). Although it has astringent qualities from the witch hazel, it also keeps my skin moisturized with aloe and rosewater. This toner actually has a toning effect, making my mature skin look and feel firmer. I also love the rose scent.

I've been using this mask and toner with the Flynn & King cleanser and dry oil I reviewed yesterday, occasionally alternating the two toners. I really love both lines, mainly due to their simplicity, gentleness and ability to keep my skin soft, smooth and clear. It's also nice to support small businesses that make pure and clean products with a conscious.

Do you support small businesses? What are your favorite finds? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* I was sent these Lovely products as a prize. All opinions are my own :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Do good, look great" with Flynn & King

During my time on Instagram, I've met some very talented people and have been offered opportunities to try products made by small businesses in small batches (these products are all about quality, rather than quantity). For example, I was lucky enough to be contacted a few weeks ago by two lovely ladies, who sent me their natural skincare creations.

Corina McDonnell and Summer Dinh Manske (I totally snagged this photo from their website, because I think it's so cute) are the founders of Flynn & King, "a small company based in Brooklyn, NY, committed to creating an all natural, organic and multi-functional skincare and lifestyle collection for gender neutral use," as stated on their site. In their words, "We are conscious of everything we do, from the sourcing and quality of our ingredients to the packaging of our products. We are an ever evolving brand that not only respects and values our earth and the inhabitants in it, but is driven by and designed by our modern lifestyles. Growing with our Do Good Collaborations, our perpetual journey of goodwill through a variety of projects, we work with organizations to find ways to give back to our community."

These ladies use only the best natural, organic, sustainable and wild-crafted ingredients (all the ingredients in their products are clearly typed out on their site) to hand-make their products in small batches without chemicals, cheap fillers and preservatives. They even make sure their packaging is recyclable and refillable.  

Since I love how Corina and Summer sum up their brand, here's one last quote: "At Flynn & King, we believe eco-conscious and style-conscious don’t have to be mutually exclusive ideas. Nor should they be “exclusive” ideas. We strive to not only supply you with natural products, but to educate on the attributes and properties of our ingredients and inspire others to roll up their sleeves and get their hands...clean. We think every product and every person has the power to: Do good. Look great."

Now that you know a little more about the brand, can you see why I said yes to sampling some of their favorite products from the line? Of course you do :)

I was sent the Revive Oil-Based Cleanser with Argan and Rosehip Oils, Balance Facial Toner with Aloe and Rose Geranium, Replenish All Over Dry Oil with Kukui Nut and Argan Oils, and Detox Neem and Activated Charcoal Soap. The cleanser, toner and dry oil all came in these simple, yet practical glass containers that can be reused/refilled.

Lately, I've been starting my daily skincare routine with the Revive Oil-Based Cleanser, although the first time I tried these products, I accidentally cleansed my face with the dry oil (more about that in a minute). It has a very natural scent that is quite gender neutral. It's a very moisturizing, creamy oil cleanser that easily removes all traces of my makeup and does not bother my eyes. Although it doesn't foam like some cleansers, I still feel like it deep cleans my pores and keeps my skin clear (must be the tea tree oil in it).

After cleansing, I've been balancing my skin with you guessed it, the Balance Facial Toner. It has a sweet, mildly floral fragrance that even the most manly man can rock with confidence. I like to apply it with a cotton round to ensure I removed all my makeup with the cleanser (the cotton round never shows any signs of leftover dirt and makeup, so I know that cleanser is working). This toner is truly balancing, as it contains witch hazel to tighten and diminish pores; patchouli, Melissa and Rosewood essential oils to control pore clogging bacteria and balance oil production; and aloe leaf juice and rose geranium hydrosol to replenish and moisturize the skin. It's exactly what my mature, but with an occasional teenage breakout, skin needs.

I've been following up the toner with the Replenish All-Over Dry Oil as my moisturizer. Since I'm used to oil cleansers, I accidentally used this dry oil as both my cleanser and moisturizer on my first day. I can honestly say that it works great for both, although it does not deep clean as well as the actual cleanser. Being that it is a dry oil, it absorbs quickly, as long as you don't apply too much. I've even had success applying it in the daytime, prior to my makeup (I just wait a few minutes before putting on my makeup). This moisturizer keeps my skin soft all day and night, and it does not clog my pores. It also is great as an all-over dry oil, as the name suggests; you'll just need a bigger bottle :)

Lastly, I tried the Detox Neem and Activated Charcoal Soap on my face a couple of times, but found it a bit too drying for my mature skin. However, My teenage son enjoyed using it in the shower, mainly across the top of his back/shoulder area. It does help to keep his skin clear. Although my sample slice was sent in this cute chevron-striped paper bag, the full-size bar comes in an even more adorable reusable drawstring cloth bag.

All in all, I can give Flynn & King a very positive review and would recommend them to a friend. Thanks so much to Corina and Summer for sending their products :)

Have you tried Flynn & King? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Flynn & King sent me these products for review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Prim Botanicals is "prim, not proper"

Recently, I was blocked from commenting on Instagram because I made too many duplicate comments (I posted "thank you" a few times in a row right when it happened; even positive comments need to fall in line with the rules, so I learned my lesson). To my surprise, I actually won this Prim Botanicals Body Oil during the time I was blocked.

I first discovered Prim Botanicals via Amanda of the Organic Bunny (don't be intimidated by her gorgeous outside; she's really is just as lovely on the inside, too). I had missed out on her first amazing subscription box, so I did this quick sketch to inform my followers about it (her subscription box has continued to be a success; make sure you check it out). Notice the Prim Botanicals Oil in the bottom left-hand corner? Since it was featured in one of Organic Bunny's subscription boxes, you can be sure that it's pure, natural and scores low on the Think Dirty app.

I was beyond excited to find out I had won my own bottle of this body oil to try. It came beautifully presented in a box of yellow paper shreds with a note closed with a fancy wax seal (my mom had a metal stamp similar to this one; I loved to use it to seal special notes with wax drippings from a candle). Even the box itself has a luxurious palm leaf print.

Inside, the body oil is in a sleek glass bottle with flat sides that make it easy to grasp with oiled up hands. The instructions on the bottle simply state: "Feel sexier. For best results, shake well. Apply to your body while skin is still damp. Can be used as a bath oil. Pay special attention to areas prone to stretch marks and dry/rough patches. Feel free to ask someone else to apply this for you."

"Because we're prim and not proper. We fully support being independent. That being said, this is best enjoyed when applied by someone else."

Of course, my hubby immediately volunteered to apply it for me. It's great for a body massage, as well as just to moisturize your skin after a shower (I have yet to use it as a bath oil). A little goes a long way, so this body will last longer than you think. Unlike a dry oil, this takes a tad longer to absorb into the skin, but it's worth the wait. It makes my skin soft, smooth and shiny; as a mom of two, I can say that it does make any stretch marks less noticeable.

This combination of hazelnut, camellia, almond, andiroba and pracaxi oils, along with jasmine, rose, black pepper, bergamot and rosemary, smells quite herbal right out of the bottle, but once apply to my skin, it takes on a sensual smell. It's more sweet and floral. I really love it.

Prim Botanicals also makes a hair oil, face oil, potions and lip balm is cute containers (these additional product photos are from the Prim Botanicals website). I can't wait to try the rest of the line, which is all 100% natural and cruelty-free.

Have you tried Prim Botanicals? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Although I was sent this Prim Botanicals Body Oil, all opinions are my own.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Get Glossy Locks w/100 Percent Pure

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned on Instagram that 100 Percent Pure had brought back and extended their Glossy Locks haircare line. I remember using the original coconut-based shampoo, conditioner and hair balm, before it was replaced with the 100 Percent Pure haircare line still sold on its site. Now Glossy Locks is back and better than ever in four different collections that can be mixed and matched (Moisture Drench, Repair, Glossing and Grow More).

As a 100 Percent Pure Approved Blogger, I was lucky enough to receive a Glossy Locks shampoo or conditioner from each collection for review. I got the Moisture Drench Conditioner, Repair Shampoo, Glossing Conditioner and Grow More Shampoo. I love using them in any combination, but I'm most likely to pair the Repair Shampoo with the Moisture Drench Conditioner and the Grow More Shampoo with the Glossing Conditioner.

Although I definitely have long hair, the Glossy Locks Grow More Shampoo is my favorite of the four products I received. According to the 100 Percent Pure website, "Grow More Shampoo is formulated to promote new hair growth and minimize shedding by the power of natural ingredients. Sake and apple cider vinegar gently cleanse the hair and follicle pores by removing residue left by hair products and excess oil production. By removing residue from the pores, nutrients such as green coffee, caffeine and biotin can penetrate the follicles to stimulate the hair to grow stronger. Our formula is safe and gentle enough for color treated hair and does not contain color stripping sulfates, detergents or synthetic chemicals."

Since I have an oily scalp, it's so refreshing to get it clean with this minty shampoo (the lavender and mint together are so relaxing, like a spa treatment) that suds just enough to get the job done. It removes any product residue, but does not strip my hair of its natural moisture. It also does not cause my scalp to get dry and itchy. I have noticed that my hair does not shed as much. Fingers crossed that thicker hair is in my future.

Most of the time, I use the Glossy Locks Grow More Shampoo with the Glossing Conditioner. According to the 100 Percent Pure website, it "brings dull hair back to life. Sea buckthorn berry contains omega-7, vitamin B-1 and B2, which work together to prevent thinning hair and breakage, and add a glossy shine by sealing the cuticle. When the cuticle is closed, further damage is prevented and the hair is able to reflect more light. By adding ginger and coconut oil, our formula brings additional moisture so hair looks and feels healthier and stronger."

This conditioner is especially nice because it makes my hair shine with moisture, without weighing it down. It's so light and fruity. I just adore the smell (the green apple stands out the most), and how this conditioner makes my hair easier to comb.

Next up is the Glossy Locks Repair Shampoo, and boy do these locks of mine need it. The 100 Percent Pure website's description makes me feel like royalty by saying, "Give your hair the royal treatment with our repair shampoo made with honey and royal jelly. As a humectant, honey attracts moisture and prevents it from escaping your hair. It's full of antioxidants and nutrients that penetrate the hair follicles and cuticles to give it strength and shine. The proteins and amino acids found in royal jelly aid in restoring damaged hair while biotin stimulates the production of keratin."

As you can see, I have very long hair, which is subjected to a long time of damage. Trims only take care of the ends (btw, I probably need a fresh trim), so this conditioner does a lovely job of smoothing out any splits further up the hair shaft. It's also very moisturizing and has a sweet scent that puts me in a good mood.

The Glossy Locks Repair Shampoo pairs quite nicely with the Moisture Drench Conditioner. The 100 Percent Pure website says, "Our Moisture Drench Conditioner hydrates and restores health back into dehydrated hair. Our proprietary technology allows avocado butter and seaweed collagen to penetrate deep into the cortex to nourish dry, brittle hair, and make it soft and flowy. Horsetail and green tea help strengthen hair to make it resilient to future damage and helps it maintain its shine."

I haven't colored my hair in more than a decade, although maybe I should. I'll be 40 in the spring, so it's no surprise that I have some grays that usually get mistaken for highlights (sometimes I have trouble identifying the gray versus the blonde). The length of my hair, combined with those unruly grays (for those of you that don't have any gray yet, let me tell you that those gray hairs are a different texture and have a mind of their own), have my locks screaming for more moisture. This conditioner certainly helps to keep my hair soft and under control without being too heavy. It works well as a leave-in conditioner on my ends (I use just a tiny amount, less than a pump). It also smells lovely, like the other products.

All of the Glossy Locks products are all-natural, and free from sulfates or any other harsh detergents, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives or any other toxic ingredient. They are cruelty-free and either vegan or vegetarian (some contain bee products). Best of all, they leave your locks healthy and happy.

Have you tried Glossy Locks? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* 100 Percent Pure sent me these Glossy Locks products for review.
All opinions are my own.