Monday, November 2, 2015

Lenus Handcrafted is a hidden gem

Since I've been on Instagram, I've discovered so many small beauty brands that are really hidden gems. Once found, I can't wait to tell you all about them, like today's review of Lenus Handcrafted. Owner/Maker Laura Lisauskas was kind enough to send me some samples to try of her Etsy line (you can also contact her to order other specialty products seen on her Instagram and Facebook pages).

This busy mom of three, interior designer, devoted gardener, cook and fan of all things homemade, somehow manages to find the time to make these amazing, natural, plant-based (although sometimes "beegan," using raw, clean, organic, local San Diego bee products from a family-based hive) skincare products in small, high-quality batches. Therefore, if she ever gets the time to use a facial mask, she makes sure it's packed with good ingredients, like her No. 58 Honey Mask. It contains raw honey, pumpkin seed oil, Oregon grape root, cinnamon, yarrow, chamomile oil, red grape seed, apricot kernel, kaolin clay, diatomaceous earth, Indian clay, sweet orange oil and benzoin oil.

I was lucky enough to get a few uses out of this sample. I applied it to clean, dry skin, left it on for about 15-20 minutes and washed it away in a circular motion to continue the exfoliating benefits. It smells so sweet, is gentle, yet still leaves my face as soft as a baby's bottom. The mask itself is a bit sticky from the honey, so make sure you put your hair up out of your face while wearing it. The best part is that it also seems to improve my complexion and keep it clear.

On the days that I used the honey wash, I followed up with the No. 91 Facial Oil Light. I didn't see it on the Etsy page, but it's a combination of Marula, Blackberry and Frankincense oils. It's meant for combination/normal skin, which is probably why she selected it for me. I never outgrew that oily T-zone, while still experiencing some dryness in other areas. I'm getting fine lines, yet still prone to the occasional breakout. This oil does not clog my pores. It absorbs quickly and balances my skin. I only need a small amount, so this sample really lasts a while.

For extra moisture, I've been using the face creams and eye creams designed specifically for day or for night. The No. 10 Day Face Cream with sunscreen contains red raspberry oil, rose hip oil, Olive squalane, green tea extract, aloe vera, grape seed oil, hazelnut oil, shea butter, frankincense, apricot kernel oil, chamomile, carrot seed, sweet fennel and yarrow. Together, these ingredients help protect your skin from daily environmental damage. "The cream provides skin nutrients, free radical fighting/anti-aging elements, and light sun protection," according to the Etsy page.

I found the cream to be rich, yet fast absorbing. In fact, my skin may have started out a bit parched, because I needed to apply more initially to cover my entire face (it would absorb before I could spread it out). The more I used it, the less product I needed.

In addition to the Day Cream, I have been applying the No. 17 Eye Cream that's not yet available on the Etsy site (you can contact Laura directly via her Instagram or Facebook page to find out more information and how to order it). It's very similar to the Day Cream, but richer in consistency. It plumps up fine lines, while still tackling any puffiness from lack of sleep. I can even wear makeup over it without any issues. It also doesn't irritate my eyes.

As for the No. 12 Night Face Cream, it really works its magic overnight. It nourishes and repairs with aloe vera juice, witch hazel, cupuacu butter, chamomile, babassu oil, wheatgerm oil, meadowfoam oil, borage oil, pumpkin seed oil, black seed oil, coconut, frankinsence, calendula, clary sage and Melissa leaf. Again, this is really rich, but since it absorbs well, I needed more than the recommended pea size amount to cover my face. I honestly didn't realize how much my skin was craving moisture until I started to use this. After a couple weeks of use, I wake up in the morning looking so refreshed.

Just like the other eye cream, I didn't see this No. 12 Night Eye Cream on the Etsy site, but I highly recommend contacting Laura to place an order. When used with the No. 12 Night Face Cream, my straight-out-of-bed no-makeup face has never looked better. I need to order more of this.

But wait, there's more. I also received a sample of the No. 61 Nighttime Face Scrub, which I've used a couple of days per week. This combination of raw sugar, raw honey, sea salt, neroli, lavender, golden seal, comfrey, rosemary, chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood, sweet fennel, lemon, Indian clay, myrrh, jojoba oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil and castor oil gently exfoliates while relaxing you. It's very calming to the skin, as well.

Honestly, I highly recommend these products and plan to order more in the future. Have you tried Lenus Handcrafted? What other small brands do you recommend? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

If you missed it on Instagram, here's my lipstick of the day (I post the lipstick I'm wearing each day on Instagram and tweet it when I get a chance) and how my skin looks after using these Lenus products. My lipstick is Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Ornate. It's a bronze berry shade that's perfect for fall. It's also available exclusively on the Target website.

* I was given these Lenus Handcrafted samples for review. All opinions are my own.