Friday, June 24, 2016

"Treat" your lips to organic balms & scrubs

As you know, my kiddos are on summer break, which means I might not post as much as usual or I may include them in the process. Lucky for all of us, I had recently won Organic Beauty Lover's Earth Day giveaway, which included these organic, cruelty-free, beegan Treat Beauty Old Fashioned Jumbo Lip Balms and Scrubs. My daughter Hayden happily volunteered to help test them out and review them all.

Hayden and I made a girls day out of it. We've been hanging out in our pineapple bikinis (mine is from Pineapple Bikini and hers is from Target) and treating ourselves to these fabulously fun lip products. Just look at all of those tasty Treat flavors in large containers that remind me of old-school Bonnie Bell (but better for you).

I was like a kid in a candy store. Honestly, I can't tell you the last time I've had bubble gum or cotton candy, which happen to be some of my favorite lip balm flavors as a child. I quickly snagged up the Bubble Gum Lip Balm, while Hayden went for the Soft Candy (it's described on the Treat website as a "sweet and fluffy cotton candy, with a touch of soft vanilla. A super-girly favorite!").

Oh my gosh, this Bubble Gum Lip Balm actually smells and tastes like traditional pink bubble gum (it's sweetened with stevia), but it's anything but sticky. It's healthier combination of ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter and vitamin E melt on your lips and make them so soft.

Hayden was in agreement about the Soft Candy Lip Balm. She said it makes her lips feel "smooth, soft and silky, and it smells like vanilla."

These lip balms are seriously addictive, as I must admit that we tried them all. Hayden was ready for a sugar-free sugar rush, staking her claim on Sugar Cookie (it smells like those flower-shaped butter cookies with the hole in the center) and Marshmallow Cream (the scent is closer to a cookie than a marshmallow, but still sweet).

Of course, Hayden had to have the Marshmallow Cream Lip Scrub to match her balm. It literally is a dense sugar scrub encased in a jumbo lip balm container, which made it easy for her to use. I'll let her describe her experience for you.

In Hayden's words, "You rub (the lip scrub) on your lips like sugar, and then you wash it off at the sink. It can get a little messy, but it makes my lips soft like silk. Then, I can apply more lip balm."

Good job Hayden. Now I got to use the Sherbert Lip Scrub (it reminds me more of strawberry lemonade with a strong citrus scent) with the Peaches & Cream Lip Balm (this really smells like peaches and cream). I enjoyed the scrub, as well, and was happy with the results. The Peaches & Cream Lip Balm was a good match for the Sherbert.

Last, but not least, we tested the Confetti Cake and Coconut & Cream (my favorite, as it's extra coconut creamy and dreamy) lip balms. The Confetti Cake smells like a vanilla cake, but there's no confetti to be seen. Instead, it's a feeling you get when you apply this clear, yummy lip balm (it is almost good enough to eat, although not recommended). In fact, all of these lip balms are free from artificial colors, harsh chemicals, and known allergens, including parabens, phthalates and alcohol. They are all natural, USDA-certified organic and made in the U.S.A.

A big thank you goes out to Organic Beauty Lover and Treat Beauty. These lip Treats are perfect for some mommy-daughter time.

Have you tried Treat Beauty? What natural beauty products bring back childhood memories for you? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Organic Beauty Lover and Treat Beauty sent me these lip balms.
All opinions are my own (and my daughter's, too).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rahua for healthy, lustrous hair and scalp

This is just a quick, spontaneous post, because I'm very happy I rediscovered this natural hair care brand. I was running low of my usual shampoo and conditioner this morning, so I finally got around to opening these Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner samples I received from Petal & Post (I guess I was saving them for a rainy day; today actually is a rainy day, which explains the poor photo quality).

It's been a while since the last time I washed and conditioned my locks with Rahua, but my love for it returned the minute this shampoo came in contact with my hair and scalp. This 100% natural, organic, gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan shampoo gently cleanses my dry hair and oily scalp with a nice lather and lightly sweet scent (from clean ingredients, of course; you can find the full list of ingredients on the Petal & Post site). My head is left feeling clean and in balance thanks to Rahua's pH of 4.5-5.5, which is the same range found in healthy hair and skin.

All of Rahua's hair care has a pH in this range, including this conditioner, which looks and smells amazing, like a rich tropical butter. It's star ingredients include Rahua oil (it fortifies weak, damaged strands, while nourishing the scalp), Palo Santo (Rahua's signature scent), quinoa (this gluten-free superfood vitalizes hair and promotes healing and moisture retention) and aloe (also a wonderful moisturizer). Although luxurious, this conditioner does not weigh my thin hair down, while providing the exact amount of conditioning it needs. My hair is left soft, shiny and tangle-free (it also smells intoxicating).

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can find Rahua hair care products at Petal & Post, which only sells products that are free from sodium laurel sulfate, sulfates, parabens, propylene or butylene glycols, petroleum, PEGS, TEA, DEA, phthalates, GMO, silicones, pesticides, BPA, lead, artificial dyes, harmful synthetic fragrances or animal by-products. In other words, you can be assured that brands purchased from this site are safe to use. U.S. and Canadian customers can get free shipping with the code: rawdorable-SUMMER (the code is good for one use through 9/30/16).

Have you used Rahua hair care products? What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* I received these Rahua samples from Petal & Post.
All opinions are my own :)
* This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#GetTheGoodStuff from Beauty Brew

Recently, I discovered Beauty Brew on Instagram, when I entered for a chance to select a sample from the line's "beautifully brewed holistic skin care." I was so curious about these holistically-handcrafted products in their cute little jars with vintage looking labels. They're made in small batches and are 100 percent free from preservatives, chemicals, parabens, phylates and fillers, as well as being cruelty-free.

At first, I was immediately drawn to the Flower Power Bath Soak with European Sea Salt and Organic Wild Flowers. That's what I picked as my sample. The name is so cute, and the dried wild flowers make this bath soak extra special. The full list of ingredients include organic wild rose buds, organic hibiscus, organic butterfly pea, organic chamomile flowers, Greek Mountain Sideritis buds, organic dried lavender, European sea salt, sweet orange oil, tuberose oil, rose oil, lavender oil, bergamot oil, peace & love. 

As you know, I tend to reserve floral bath salts for foot soaks with my daughter, and this one has got to be a new favorite. It smells fresh, sweet and floral (this needs to be made into roll-on oil blend in a glass container, so you can see the flowers inside it; hint, hint), and is packed with plenty of fresh flower petals and buds that appear to bloom in the water. I just adore it.

I was lucky enough to also be offered a full-size product to try, when I picked my sample. I have to say, I'm totally loving this next product, even more than the bath soak.

The Beauty Brew Argan & Birch Balm for Cellulite, Circulation & Spider Veins is the bomb. I was hoping it would be more than just your average balm, and boy did it deliver. This combination of shea oil, cacao butter, beeswax, argan oil, birch oil, shea butter, vitamin E and vanilla smells a little like natural Bengay (I always liked that smell; it clears my sinuses) and has a texture similar to Vicks Vapor Rub, but it works when applied in circulation motions to your butt, thighs and anywhere else that may be stretched and dimpled.

For some reason (I wonder why), my hubby wasn't down with me taking closeups of my derriere or the back of my legs, so you'll just have to trust me. This concoction relaxes your muscles (it just has an overall aromatherapy-like calming effect), softens and plumps those dimpled and stretched areas (it seems to temporarily make cellulite and stretchmarks less visible during the time the balm is applied, although I have noticed some improvements with frequent use). It also increases circulation, causing spider veins almost disappear (not all the way, but almost) for a little while. Again, you'll have to keep using this balm to maintain results.

I don't know why it didn't occur to me right away, but I recently started to use it on my stomach to reduce the appearance of stretch marks from having two lovely children. Although I consider them to be a badge of honor, I don't mind keeping them a secret from time to time, and this balm gives me the ability to be nearly stretch mark-free in a bikini. Heads up that this works better for when you are laying out or staying out of the water. I think it works pretty well.

I have to say that I'm really impressed with Beauty Brew and would recommend the line. Obviously, I picked these two products to get beach ready for summer, but there's a lot of facial products worth checking out, too. If you join the Beauty Brew mailing list, you can get a $5 coupon toward your purchase. If you use it, let me know what you get. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Beauty Brew sent me these products for review. All opinions are my own :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bloom Custom Botanicals to Nourish the Skin

I feel refreshed from my brief blogging break, and so does my skin after using Bloom Skin Essentials, a natural, organic, cruelty-free and gluten-free line of custom botanical skin care designed to nourish your skin with vegan and vegetarian ingredients (the products I received contain only organic, steam-distilled, medical-grade botanical and essential oils, as well as herbs, roots and plant extracts; however, some of the line includes USDA organic ghee and milk powder). Bloom is free from harsh chemicals, toxins, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, parabens, nanoparticles, silicon, sodium laurel sulfate, alcohol, petroleum-based products, fillers (including water), GMOs, PEG, phenoxyethanol, pesticides and insecticides.

The lovely Misty Litt (here she is pictured with her daughter Beatrice in 2015; this photo is taken from the Bloom Skin Essentials website) founded Bloom, inspired by an early interest in skin care (she recalls making her first facial mask out of oatmeal and honey at the age of 10; she apparently tested it out on her reluctant big sister) and her daughter (isn't she a cutie?), who was diagnosed with a slew of health issues (more information on this personal story is posted on the "Our Story" page of the site). Wanting to live the most natural lifestyle possible, Misty focused on learning more about what we eat, drink and put on our skin, as well as about the therapeutic properties of food and plants. She began experimenting with skin care on another level, no longer just rubbing olive oil into her skin, but by getting into truly customized, deeply rooted skin care. The result is Bloom.

Misty was kind enough to send me her Bloom Skin Essentials Glow Daily Tonic, Hydrate Hydrating Botanical Mist and Nourish Essential Facial Serum for Combination Skin. They all come in 100% recyclable glass bottles with eye-catching, brightly colored labels.

Glow is the first product in this particular 3-step skincare regime. It can be used on face and body to gently remove dirt and makeup (I like to apply it with a cotton round, so I can see it getting the job done; then, I wash my face with it, as usual), leaving your skin cleansed and simply glowing. I happen to adore oil cleansers for their ability to clear away impurities without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. They're also nice for a good facial or body massage during the cleansing process (you could also include Polish into your routine for a deeper cleanse). This one happens to have an intoxicating herbal scent from only natural ingredients, including apricot kernal oil, olive oil, palmarosa, lavender, lemon peel and non-GMO vitamin E.

The next step is to hydrate and nourish your skin. The two products with these names actually work hand-in-hand, as they both hydrate your skin and give it a dewy glow. Hydrate starts the process and preps the skin for Nourish, while Hydrate is also nice for refreshing your skin throughout the day.

Hydrate is my favorite product out of the three. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know how I've been taking it everywhere with me. I love spritzing this combination of Bulgarian rose hydrosol, aloe, palmarosa, lavender, Moroccan rose and lemon peel from head to toe for instant hydration on the go. Somehow, it does a spectacular job of both cooling down and calming my skin in heat and humidity, while still delivering the benefits of a body lotion, without the fillers and emulsifiers. The sweet, refreshing floral scent is also a lovely, energizing pick-me-up. Oh, and of course, it does an excellent job of setting my makeup, especially on these summer days.

Last, but not least, is Nourish, which comes in three different formulas. There's one for dry skin, one for oily and another for combination skin. I happen to have combination skin, so that's what I received. It contains jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, apricot kernal oil, rosehip seed oil, sandalwood, Moroccan rose, palmarosa, lavender, vetiver and non-GMO vitamin E.

It's important to select your serum based on your skin type to ensure the best result. For example, my skin is in a state of confusion, with a case of Peter Pan syndrome. Although I have mature skin, it doesn't want to grow up yet, making it still prone to breakouts. The combination skin serum lightly moisturizes, plumps and firms my skin, giving it a youthful glow without looking too oily or clogging my pores. I was surprised at how little I needed to use and how well it absorbed into my skin, especially when applied right after Hydrate. Similar to Glow, it's perfect for massaging into the skin and enjoying its aromatherapy benefits.

I have to say that using Bloom is definitely a spa-like experience, a daily treat for your skin. If you are a fan of facial oils and oil cleansing (or have been curious about them), it's definitely worth a try (you can use the code: RAWDORABLE to get 15% off your Bloom Skin Essentials purchase). When you do, let me know what you think. You can find my on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

Btw, Bloom Skin Essentials supports The Plant A Billion Trees Campaign, planting a tree with every order. Gotta love that.

* Bloom Skin Essentials sent me these products for review.
All opinions are my own :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

St. Tropica Organic Coconut Oil Hair Mask

Recently, I won a box of St. Tropica Organic Coconut Hot Oil Hair Masks from Leaping Bunny. After posting them on my Instagram page, I got a lot of requests for a review. Now that I've had some opportunities to test them out, here are my thoughts.

First of all, these St. Tropica hair treatments come in these individual use packets. They are 100% organic, natural, cruelty-free and vegan. Ingredients include organic coconut oil, organic coconut butter, organic coconut fruit extract, organic biotin, organic horsetail, organic amla, organic hibiscus and organic green tea.

To use St. Tropica as a hot oil mask, you can heat the PBA-free packet in the microwave for 20 seconds or set the packet in some hot water, although I like to just massage it in my hands on these really warm days. Be extra careful cutting the packet open, especially if it's hot.

The directions say to squeeze the ingredients out of the packet; however, I caution that this stuff pours out when warm. You'll need to apply it to your dry hair and scalp, and massage it in gently. I believe the entire contents is meant for one use, but I've found that my thin hair prefers only half of the packet. When I've used the whole packet, it took two days to wash out.

Once you've applied your desired amount of the product, leave the treatment on for at least 20 minutes or even overnight. You may want to cover your coconut oil-masked hair with a hair cap, towel, old t-shirt, etc., to protect your pillow at night or whatever else your hair may be in contact. Speaking of a t-shirt, I wouldn't advise wearing your favorite top while doing this, unless you're able to wash melted coconut oil drops out of it.

You'll need a good clarifying shampoo to cleanse this coconut oil treatment out of your hair. If it's too moisturizing or doesn't make any suds, than this mask isn't going anywhere. It's advised to shampoo your hair twice, although, it could take a couple more, depending on your hair type, shampoo and the amount of hair mask used. It takes me about three or four rounds of shampoo (most likely because I use natural, sulfate-free products, and my hair soaks up stuff like a sponge), followed by one round of conditioner to get my desired result.

This treatment makes my hair soft, smooth and shiny. It tames flyaways and tangles, and makes my hair feel stronger. Other reviewers claim that it's helped their hair grow longer (most likely by reducing breakage) and made their scalps healthier. Apparently, this hair mask is good for dandruff and dry scalps, but since my scalp tends to be oily, I try not to focus too much on applying it there.

My main focus is the length of my hair, which has a tendency to dry out the further it gets away from my oily scalp. The back often likes to knot up, but this product helps keep it tangle-free and more under control.

I'm also guilty of washing my hair daily and using a hairdryer most of the time, so my hair definitely benefits from a moisturizing treatment like St. Tropica. For best results, it's suggested to use it weekly, so make sure to get more than one packet (they're sold in groupings of 2, 6 or 12).

Do you use hair masks? What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* I won these St. Tropica hair treatments from a Leaping Bunny Instagram giveaway.
All opinions are my own :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Suja Mango Berry Bliss Slushie Smoothie

Now say that name ten times fast. I almost called this cool beverage a Suja Mango Magic Philosophie Berry Bliss Slushie Smoothie to be more specific, but that really would be a mouthful.

I started this blog as a raw foodie and since transitioned to green beauty. However, I do like to go back to my raw foodie roots and give you a recipe post from time to time. Since it feels like summer around here, of course, I had to post a smoothie, or in this case, a slushie smoothie. It's named for the generous scoop of frozen strawberry "slushie" (just purée some frozen strawberries in a personal blender or mini food processor to make a strawberry slushie/frozen treat) added to this basic mango banana smoothie.

The mango smoothie tastes like something from Orange Julius, especially when made with Suja Mango Magic Cold-Pressed Fruit Juice Smoothie as the base (it contains organic apple juice, organic mango purée, organic orange juice, organic pineapple juice, organic banana purée and organic ginger juice).

I just blended some of this juice with frozen banana and some Philosophie Berry Bliss Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder (organic acai, organic goji, organic sprouted rice protein, organic pomegranate, organic camu camu, organic mangosteen and organic maca). It also tastes yummy with a 50:50 ratio of this juice smoothie and almond milk as the base.

Once you've blended your smoothie, serve it up with some of your frozen strawberry slushie piled in the center. If it's crazy hot where you are, it will get a little melty like the one you see here, but it still tastes delicious, especially when the temps and humidity are high. Don't forget your straw and spoon :)

Let me know if you try this slushie smoothie. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Suja and Philosophie did not send me these ingredients.
I'm just a fan of the brands :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Henné Organics keeps my lips kissable

I don't know about you, but I've been obsessing over those little black jars filled with luxury lip balm. Henné Organics has been tempting me with their sleek product design and high fashion photos all over Instagram for about a year now (the company recently turned 1, btw; happy birthday Henné!), so I'm beyond excited to get my hands on both their Luxury Lip Balm and the Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator.

As I mentioned before, Henné Organics products come is these sleek little black jars that have a nice weight to them and a simple, yet sophisticated design. They are quite eye-catching, but it's what's inside that makes them truly luxurious. The sight, the scent, the feel; my senses come alive when I use these.

I was especially in need of this dynamic duo after all of those lip gloss changes lately (see yesterday's post reviewing 18 lip glosses). I like to start with the Henné Organics Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator, which is a pretty pink crystal lip scrub with a lovely vanilla rose scent. The high quality list of certified organic ingredients includes sugar, coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, vanilla, jojoba oil, vitamin E, red chokeberry and rose oil. I just apply it to my damp lips, massage gently and rinse it off with warm water. It makes my lips so soft and smooth without any irritation.

Following this exfoliator (or anytime I want to experience a little lip luxury), I nourish my lips and give them a healthy shine with a generous dose of the Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm. It's so rich in texture, moisture and natural fragrance, with a heavenly, decadent white chocolate scent from the pure ingredients (there aren't any added artificial fragrances). It contains certified organic coconut oil, beeswax, avocado oil, shea butter, cacao seed butter, jojoba oil and vitamin E. Not only does it give me kissable lips (now that's luxurious), but it also can be used on hands, feet, elbows, etc.

In my opinion, Henné Organics did not disappoint. Have you tried this cruelty-free, organic, beegan, luxury green beauty brand? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Henné Organics sent me these products as a gift. All opinions are my own :)