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.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Foxy Boxes has something for everybody

As you know, I'm a bit of a health nut and love to work out everyday (honestly, I never skip a workout, because I actually enjoy it). Therefore, when Jess Fisher of Foxy Boxes offered to let me try one of her subscription boxes, I quickly responded with an enthusiastic "yes" (thanks, btw).

For those of you not familiar with Foxy Boxes, it's a monthly care package for women athletes. Packed with 8-10 full-size and sample-size healthy snacks, supplements, beauty products and accessories, these boxes are available in paleo, vegan, endurance and gym options for just $25.99-$29.99, depending on the length of the subscription (the product value is $50-$100, so that's a deal). I selected the vegan option, which means everything in this post will be vegan.

I was so excited when the box arrived. I couldn't wait to open it.

Can you believe the box was full with all you see here? That's way more than I expected, but I'm not complaining :)

Since there is so much to see at once, let me break it down for you, starting with these yummy Benefit Foods Vbars in Sunflower/Ginger (organic crispy brown rice, sunflower seed butter, white sorghum syrup, coconut, ginger, cane sugar, raw cashews, vanilla and Himalayan sea salt), Almond/Fig/Carob (organic crispy brown rice, almond nut butter, white sorghum syrup, coconut, roasted almonds, figs, carob powder, vanilla and Himalayan sea salt) and Sunflower/Cashew (organic crispy brown rice, sunflower seed butter, white sorghum syrup, coconut, raw cashews, vanilla and Himalayan sea salt). They're vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and have 5 grams of plant-based protein from nuts and seeds. They are perfect for toting along in your purse of gym bag for a delicious, healthy snack.

Speaking of healthy snacks, this box also contains another bar and some bite-sized treats. The Raw Rev Glow Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bar with Raw Superfoods is actually a from a new line of bars made by Raw Revolution (I've been a fan of these raw bars for years; I love that Raw Revolution can be found on my local grocery store shelf). It's organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo, has 11 grams of plant-based protein (peanuts, pea protein, brown rice protein, raw organic chia seeds, raw organic hemp protein, raw organic virgin coconut oil and raw organic flax seeds), 13 grams of fiber, only 3 grams of sugar and omega-rich superfoods to make you "glo from the inside out." It also combines peanut butter, chocolate and sea salt, so I can't say no to that :)

Continuing the chocolate trend is this pack of Somersaults Crunchy Sunflower Seed Bites in Dutch Cocoa. They are vegan, nut-free (although not gluten-free, so I'll be giving these to the kiddos), non-gmo, and contain 5 grams of plant-based protein (from sunflower seeds, of course, as well as sesame seeds). They're like teeny tiny baked chocolate cookies with crunchy sunflower seeds and only 4 grams of sugar. I've seen these on both grocery store and Target shelves.

I can see my daughter and I fighting over the next snack. It's Chosen Foods Bites with Chia in Mango (we love mango in this house). They're a nutritious combination of nuts, chia seeds and mango, much like those energy bites you find in the bulk bin at the health food store (they're so good). They're vegan, non-gmo, a good source of fiber and are packed with omega3, calcium and 4 grams of plant-based protein.

All those snacks would be nice with a cup of tea, so it's good to see this Jade Leaf Organics Japanese Matcha, along with a Perfect Matcha Latte Recipe. Although this culinary grade, stone ground green tea powder makes an energizing warm beverage, it's also great in smoothies, baking (or unbaking, if you check out my Rawdorable Take on a Green Tea Topped Vanilla Cupcake) and other recipes. This packet contains 30 servings and is all-natural, gluten-free and vegan.

I also received an energizing SPORTea bag. It's green tea that's amped up with vitamin C, electrolytes and Siberian Eleuthero Root. I'm always a bit nervous about energy teas, so I may need to pass this one on to my hubby.

My hubby also will be the tester for the other energy-boosting products in the box (he's quite "foxy," too). The Runa Clean Energy Berry naturally flavored beverage has his name written all over it. With a total of 120mg of caffeine, this drink provides clean energy from fair trade certified, brewed organic guayusa leaves and is sweetened with organic sugar cane.

Next up is BioTerra Herbs Energy ... Boing vegan, gluten-free, natural dietary supplement. Again, I'm always a bit nervous about putting certain herbs in my body, but my hubby offered to try it. It's basically Asian ginseng (root), astragalus (root), ophiopogon (root tuber), schisandra (fruit) and grass-leaf sweetflag (rhizome). I don't know much about these ingredients, which is why I won't be trying them myself.

Also in the above pic is five packets of Overtime Shotz sugar-free electrolyte replacement/time released energy in various flavors. They are single servings in Orange, Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime, Raspberry Blue and Grape. They seem to be a very convenient way to recharge after a workout, but the ingredients are not my cup of tea. I guess my hubby gets everything in that particular photo.

Okay, so let's get back to some ingredients I can use, like All Natural Daddy's Gourmet Herbs and Spices, Sea Salt Infusions in Luscious Lemon. It's a combination of lemon basil, lemongrass, dry lemon and black Himalayan Sea Salt. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Next up is Go Veggie! Dairy-Free, Lactose-Free, Cholesterol-Free, Non-GMO Grated Parmesan Style Topping. It's gluten-free and vegan, but not soy-free. These days I limit my soy consumption, but will allow a small amount from a sprinkling of this. It's quite yummy.

Most of you know that I love making smoothies with additions like plant-based protein, so I was initially happy to see the next two products in the box. The first is a packet of Yuve Raw Chia Seeds & Cocoa Plant-based Nutrition Shake. It's vegan, non-gmo, and soy-free with 16 grams of plant-based protein (pea protein and rice protein), 4 grams of fiber and 25+ superfoods. I'm not sure if it's gluten-free or not, but since it contains stevia (I didn't notice it at first; bummer), this might go to my hubby (recently I discovered that stevia bothers my stomach and gives me headaches). If it didn't have stevia, I'd try it.

I had the same positive first impression about the NutraSumma Pea Protein in Apple Pie Flavor. It's vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, non-gmo and has 20 grams of protein. That apple pie flavor sounds delicious, but sadly, it also has stevia in it. Oh, why does everything have to contain stevia? For those of you that are not sensitive to stevia, you'd probably enjoy these products. Let me know what you think.

My favorite part of this box is the fashion, of course. There's a DivaFit headband (I think mine is in Red In Motion), along with a discount coupon to DivaFit. I already used it to purchase the Midnight Mermaid leggings that you can see on the card pictured above. If it weren't for the coupon in this box, I never would have known about them. They'll probably appear in a future Instagram post. Oh, and the headband is pretty cute, too. The website sells more patterns to match all of their leggings (I might need a mermaid one; I'm a big fan of anything mermaid-themed).

The last product is this sample of Hex Performance Power+ Laundry Detergent. It's a high performance laundry detergent with long-lasting odor eliminating technology. It's also free of dyes, perfumes and optical brighteners. I used it on my daughter's pom uniform, and now it looks and smells better than ever.

I have to say that although I couldn't use some of the products in this box (I wish I wasn't sensitive to stevia), I still think the rest of the box is worth more than the price. The bars and bites are scrumptious, the matcha tea is so me, the seasonings are quite tasty, the laundry detergent came in handy, the headband is a stylish way to keep my hair out of my face and I'm anxious to get my mermaid leggings. There really is something in this box for everybody.

Have you tried Foxy Boxes? What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* I was sent this Foxy Boxes subscription box for review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Flora's new scrub smells like the holidays

Hi everyone. I can't believe I haven't gotten around to posting about Flora Body Care's latest body scrub until now. More than half my first pouch of it is almost empty, so I probably should tell you my thoughts before it's gone.

I mentioned the new Mint + Cacao Natural Body Scrub on Instagram a couple weeks ago, comparing it to my favorite Vanilla + Coconut Natural Body Scrub. The texture is similar, and they both look like brown sugar. The Vanilla + Coconut looks like light brown sugar (I also like to compare it to golden sand on a tropical beach), while the Mint + Cacao resembles dark brown sugar. The main difference is the scent.

The Vanilla + Coconut smells like baked goods, which is especially nice with the new Mint + Cacao. It reminds me of hot cocoa with a candy cane stirrer. It brings back memories of playing in the snow and warming up with a mug of chocolaty goodness (who am I kidding? I still do this with my kids).

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but it's been warmer than usual around here. I think it's going to be in the 70s for Christmas. I've actually gone bare-legged in skirts and dresses lately. Using this scrub has left my skin soft and silky, which is why I have no need for stockings (except for the ones hung up for Santa).

Just like the other two Flora Body Care scrubs, this new one is a dry scrub. It makes it especially nice for travel, and it preserves the gritty texture of the sugar longer, as you can see on my shoulder. This scrub really gets the job done.

I recommend pouring the desired amount of scrub into a separate cup or container, so the moisture from the shower doesn't effect the rest of the bag of scrub. Apply it to wet skin, rub in circular motions and leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it away. If your skin is oily, you may want to follow up with a light body wash. I like to also use a firming lotion and/or dry oil spray when I'm done.

Just a reminder, Flora Body Care Natural Body Scrubs are vegan, cruelty-free, and free from parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, synthetic oils and aluminum. You can get 20% off your order with the code: RAWDORABLE20.

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

* Flora Body Care sent me this body scrub. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Red Velvet Cake Batter Smoothie

I know that it's Christmas time, but to some it may appear that I've moved on to Valentine's Day. For one, I tried to post this Red Velvet Cake Batter Smoothie on Instagram unsuccessfully due my overuse of hearts (I'm currently blocked for too many duplicate comments, which in my case, involves leaving heart emojis on things I like), and two, because it's a Red Velvet Cake Batter Smoothie (red velvet either makes me think of Valentine's Day or the bleeding armadillo groom's cake in "Steel Magnolias;" I think I prefer to relate it to the holiday).

Anyway, this smoothie is very similar to the cake and muffin batter smoothies I posted over the summer. Basically, I just blended half a bottle of Suja Organic Sweet Beets cold pressed juice with an equal amount of almond milk, a frozen banana, a couple of heaping spoonfuls of almond flour (that's what makes the texture cake-like), Philosophie Cacao Magic Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder and some vanilla (that's what really makes it taste like a baked good). I garnished it with a sprinkling of more almond flour and Cacao Magic, as if they were cake crumbs. Yum!

Fingers crossed that I'm able to post on Instagram again soon (don't be surprised if you see this smoothie as the first thing I post). Until then, I'm on Twitter at @Rawdorable.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Good Medicine Beauty Lab is worth it

A while ago, Good Medicine Beauty Lab contacted me about trying their products. They offered to send me a fragrance and maybe some skincare. I was under no obligation to post about the products, although the company seemed to be confident in the fact that I'd enjoy the products enough to at least mention them.

Obviously, my review is positive, since I am posting about my experience. For starters, the presentation was more than memorable. To be honest, I've been a tad burnt out from blogging and social media, even considering the possibility of "throwing in the towel." However, when I received this package, it reminded me how special this hobby can be (yes, I do this for a hobby; it is not a career by any means).

I just had to walk you step-by-step through the process of opening this meticulously wrapped gift. I already showed you the rich gold tissue paper with the logo seal. Once broken, it revealed a product information packet and a thank you (as if I needed a thank you; I should be thanking them. Thanks, btw).

And beneath the literature, I found a box with a bow like a present. Can you see why I was feeling so special? I couldn't wait to see what was in the box. What did they send me?

Okay, so you'll have to wait for one more photo to find out (I did, too). The suspense was killing me. Inside the box was more literature, some fun packing shreds and these lovely paper feather cutouts (seriously, they thought of every detail).

To my surprise, within the paper packing shreds was all you see here. The wait was more than worth it. I thought for sure it would only be a couple or possibly a few products, but I ended up receiving 6 products to try. I almost did an unboxing post for you at the time it arrived. Then again, I wanted to make sure I liked the products before I got your hopes up to high (I know I had some pretty high expectations at this point).

Now that I've been using these for a couple weeks, it's safe to say that they deserve this post. For my vegan readers, I'll give you a heads up that some of these products are "beegan," and a couple of the products are vegetarian (I forgot to mention my preferences before these were sent). I thoroughly tested the vegan and beegan products, while my hubby tackled the other two.

You know I love a cleansing oil, so Rain was perfect for me. It's a combination of sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, rose hip oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera oil, primrose oil, castor oil, tamanu oil, vitamin E T-50, and essential oils of carrot seed, rosemary, rosewood, rose geranium and rose. As with any cleansing oil, I applied it to my skin, massaged in a circular motion to remove dirt and makeup, and gently rinsed it away with a soft cloth. This does an excellent job of removing my makeup, and doesn't dry out my skin and/or irritate my eyes.

In addition to the Rain cleanser, my hubby tried the Ashes Reincarnation Cleansing Grains, which contains potato, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, 50+ trace sea mineral salts, organic cane sugar, organic milk and powdered pearls, and essential oils of juniper berry, pine needle, cedar wood, lime, vetiver, rose geranium and lily of the valley. Heads up about the milk and pearls for those of you who'd avoid them.

My hubby first tested this scrub/cleanser out with the Rain cleanser, although it works well on its own. He was more successful when applying the products to dry skin to really take advantage of the scrubbing action. Otherwise, the product has a tendency to ball up like powdered milk (I actually experimented with washing my face with powdered milk in my teenage years), which makes sense because there is powdered milk in it. He did say that it left his skin soft and smooth (I can vouch for that).

The next two products are beegan and probably my personal faves. The Honey Bee Blossoming Revelation Mask smells like a yummy apple treat. It's made out of wild raw honey, organic aqueous tincture of wildcrafted desert sage, wildcrafted juniper berry, wildcrafted larrea, organic dandelion, organic alfalfa, and pure extracts of organic limes, organic aloe vera, glycerin, organic apple cider vinegar, citric acid, apple pectin and polyaminopropyl biguanide. Essential oils include frankincense, myrrh and amber.

This mask is a little sticky from the honey, so I'd advise wearing your hair up when using it. Also, the consistency stays the same while it's on your skin, which makes it hard to tell when to remove it. The instructions recommend 2 minutes, but I got a little crazy and left it on for closer to 15 min. I splashed it off with some water and applied the Honey Dew Youth Serum. Together, these products make my skin glow, in a good way.

The Honey Dew Youth Serum is like your toner/serum in one. It's quite refreshing, balancing and hydrating. It contains purified water, freshly juiced organic grapefruit juice, organic cucumber, organic potato and organic lime, organic aloe vera, xanthan gum, organic olive oil, organic plant-based lecithin, raw honey, sodium benzoate, co2 extracted calendula, vitamin E T-50, and essential oils of juniper berry, frankincense, myrrh and amber. It helps to prep your skin prior to the moisturizer, but I've had success using it without a moisturizer on some days, as my skin is not that dry.

My hubby took the Clarity Awakening Face Cream for a test drive. Heads up to both vegans and beegans; this product seems to be vegetarian. It has organic aqueous tincture of wildcrafted desert sage, wildcrafted juniper berry, wildcrafted larrea, organic dandelion, organic alfalfa, organic olive oil, organic aloe vera, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, sodium stearyl lactylate, rice powder, organic sugar cane, glycerin, organic cold-pressed coconut oil, organic co2 calendula extract, raw honey, lactobacillus ferment, ascorbic acid, rosemary extract, wasabi extract, vitamin E T-50, vitamin B, and essential oils of juniper berry, grapefruit, gardenia and red rose.

The hubs was a little concerned that the floral oils would make it smell too girly, but they are quite light and overpowered by the juniper and wasabi. He mentioned how he could feel a bit of heat from the wasabi on his skin, but nothing to be concerned about. It softens and smooths out fine lines, plumps and firms the skin, and lightly exfoliates. I have to say that this stuff makes him look good, although I've always thought he was easy on the eyes :)

All of these skincare products are great for both acne-prone and aging skin, so they are a win-win. As an extra plus, the scents are very calming and therapeutic.

Speaking of scents, Good Medicine Beauty Lab also sent me their Medicine Woman Epoch Botanical Perfume in a ample trial size. According to the website, "Epoch is a scent designed to balance and raise your frequency ... A scent grounded in deep, earthly aromas while whispering soft elegant notes of sweet orange, tangerine and jasmine. It's a sensual musk that blooms with sweet indulgence."

I don't really wear perfume, as I just rely on the scents from my bodycare and skincare. Therefore, I'm not very knowledgeable in this department. However, I can say that it reminds me of a more potent version of some of the scents found in the skincare. It has the same calming effect, yet somehow energizes me at the same time. I don't see me wearing this everyday, but it is nice every once and a while.

All in all, I would recommend Good Medicine Beauty Lab. It's good for your mind and skin. It's very luxurious, too.

Have you tried Good Medicine Beauty Lab products? What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Good Medicine Beauty Lab sent me these products. All opinions are my own (and my hubby's, too).