Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Talk About It - Tatcha

As a beauty blogger, I get to try a lot of products that I never would have otherwise. I don't necessarily believe that a product has to cost a lot of money to work but I do get really excited when I get to test out a luxury product that I would never splurge on for myself. Being ill like I am means I have limited funds so dropping $150 on a brightening serum is out of the question, but I truly believe in investing in the health of you skin so if you have some extra money lying around, I highly recommend checking out Tatcha and their line of fabulous products.

Tatcha is a Japanese skin care company with products created after discovering a 200-year-old manuscript detailing the daily routines of geishas. "Having heard that many of the world's greatest beauty secrets originated with geisha, we explored scientific journals, unearthed historical archives and studied the ageless beauty rituals of the iconic geisha to shed light on a highly evolved approach to beauty."

Using ingredients like green tea, Okinawa red algae, and rice bran, Tatcha has formulated several products that the geishas of old would be proud to use. In addition to being made with time tested and healthy ingredients all Tatcha products are free of mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, PEGs, PPGs, urea, DEA, TEA or phthalates.

I have been using several of Tatcha's products for a little over a month now and I cannot even begin to express how much I love this line. I even got my Mom hooked – she purchased a jar of the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder the day after trying out one of my samples. My skin has looked and felt so amazing, I can't even explain! My skin looks radiant, even, clear, and healthier than ever before. My pores are somehow almost non-existent now!

The company so kindly sent me The Tatcha Sampler Set and a full sized bottle of their Deep Brightening Serum. The Tatcha Sampler Set comes with 6 trial-sized essentials (including 3 packets of each POLISHED Rice Enzyme Powder for a total of 9, 0.5oz PURE Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil, 0.5oz RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum, and a 0.3oz SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream) and a full sized pack of Original Japanese Beauty Papers.
The Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil is the first step in the Ritual. It's a very light cleansing oil that I only use when I have makeup on since it removes makeup so easily. It's extremely hydrating and nourishing and cleanses without making skin feel tight, dry, or uncomfortable.

Next up is the exfoliating step. The Rice Enzyme Powders can be also be used as a daily cleanser if you're not wearing any makeup. This comes in 3 different formulations, Gentle, Classic, and Deep. It is a powder that turns into a cream once water is added. I love the Classic variety but I would have to say that the Gentle is my favorite. My skin cannot tolerate the Deep version. This product leaves skin feeling clean and super soft.

My favorite product from Tatcha is their Deep Brightening Serum. I use this every night, and most days. One pump is enough to cover my entire face. I look forward to applying this serum and have noticed a change in my skin already! Like I mentioned above, this serum retails for $150 but I'm not kidding when I say it is completely worth it. It feels incredibly light on the skin but also hydrates. It's ingredients list is comprised of Squalane, Rice Germ Oil, Rice Extract, Silk Protein, Algae Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin (Soy Derivative), and Green Tea Leaf Extract. This is one of my new Holy Grail products!

I always follow the serum with Tatcha's Moisture Rich Silk Cream, which is a great moisturizing cream for all skin types. It provides heavy moisture while sinking into the skin quickly. It continues to hydrate the skin all day or night and makes skin feel silky while doing it. It works alone or under makeup. A little of this cream goes a very long way.

The final Tatcha product I got to take for a test drive is their Original Aburatorigami beauty papers. These are all-natural, powder and fragrance free leaflets that absorb excess oil without ruining your makeup. I have been using blotting papers since I was 13 but I have never experienced any like these. Tatcha's Original Aburatorigami papers have two ingredients - 100% abaca leaf and gold flake. Gold flake! How cool is that? These absorb more oil than any other blotting sheet I have ever tried and leave my skin looking fresh!

I'm so in love with all of these products and have nothing negative to say other than the fact that my skin can't handle the Deep Rice Enzyme Powder. Other than that, this line is a real winner and I can't recommend it more whole-heartedly. The company also has outstanding customer service and simply elegant packaging. To learn about the company, products, or to shop visit Tatcha online or on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cocoa Facial

Chocolate is becoming a hot commodity in the spa and beauty industry, especially in the form of facials and body treatments, however these sweet treats for your skin can get a little pricey. Instead of forking over your hard-earned cash each time you want to pamper your skin with cocoa, try making your own mask at home for a fraction of the cost.

What you need:
1 tablespoon of pure organic cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of kaolin clay
1 tablespoon of honey
½ tablespoon of cream
Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl together before adding the honey and cream. Stir the mixture until it is fully combined and smooth, then apply the mask to clean skin. You want to apply the mask evenly so your entire face is covered. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Make sure to apply your favorite moisturizer after any mask, scrub or treatment.

The ingredients in the mask act to brighten, exfoliate, purify, and soften the skin. When your finished your skin should feel fresh, clean, and rejuvenated. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Talk About It - Scientific Organics Eyelight Cream

It's another homerun for EmerginC's Scientific Organics. The company knocked it out of the park (again!) with their Eyelight Cream. I have been using this cream for a little over a month now and have seen such a remarkable change in my under eye area. My Mom actually looked at me the other day and said, "Your eyes look so bright and nice. What eye cream are you using?"

I have experimented with a lot of different eye creams but I feel confident saying that this one is my absolute favorite. This cream is made with ingredients like Aloe Leaf Juice, Shea Butter, Olive Derived Squalene, Glycerin, Olive Oil, Grape Extract, Vitamins E and A, Apple Extract, Cupauca Butter, Rosehip Seed Oil, Brazil Nut Seed Oil, and Evening Primrose Oil, just to name a few. It also has several active ingredients like Asthaxanthin (a natural antioxidant that is even more powerful than Vitamins C and E), Aquacell (which is a blend of watermelon rind and lentil) and Derm SRC (a bamboo and pea extract).

It is a very thick cream that glides easily across the skin. It absorbs quickly so it doesn't look or feel greasy or oily. It is extremely hydrating, nourishing, and illuminating. I'm 25 and I have started to see some fine lines but this cream plumps up my skin so it looks smooth and line free. It has decreased the severity of my dark circles and puffiness. I am seriously amazed at how bright my eyes look when I use this. I have noticed that it has even improved my tone and texture when not wearing it.

I apply it twice daily, both morning and night, and can't wait to apply it every day as part of my routine. It feels so luxurious and lovely! Not only is the product wonderful the packaging is also chic. The Eyelight Cream comes in a 15 ml green, glass jar with a white lid. The cream itself is a thick, white cream with a very slight, clean scent to it.

Scientific Organic's Eyelight Cream is fantastic and highly recommend by me. It retails for $65. I have now tried 3 of their products and have absolutely loved each and every one of them. I even love the fact that for every Scientific Organics retail-sized product sold EmerginC will plant a tree. How cool is that? 100% natural products created by a company who gives back to the environment by planting trees!

Please visit this website to learn more about the company or product. You can also purchase this product online on their website or SkinStore.com.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lip Licking Lip Balm

Today, we are talking chocolate. Whether you are a fan of milk, white or dark you'll really love this simple, DIY lip balm recipe.

What you need:
1 teaspoon of cocoa butter
½ teaspoon of coconut oil
1-3 Chocolate chips or 1 square of a chocolate bar (you can use any type of chocolate you want)
A few drops of Vitamin E Oil
Optional: A couple drops of vanilla or peppermint oil

Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter together slowly over a double boiler and then add the chocolate and Vitamin E. Add the essential oil at this point if you would like. Mix everything together and pour into an old lip balm tin or container. Pop into the freezer until it sets. Feel free to apply as often as you like. Keep in mind that the chocolate will add a slight tint to your lips.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Talk About It - July 2012 Yuzen Box

Ted and Jen, husband and wife have created a new kind of monthly subscription service; a service dedicated to reconnecting with the quiet, peaceful and wise place inside of each and every one of us. Yuzen (which gets it's name from Chiyogami, a Japanese paper that is included in each month's box) is all about natural and/or organic and eco-friendly products that are good for your skin, body, home and peace of mind.

 Even though this one costs a little bit more than other subscription boxes, ringing in it at $26 a month, the contents of each Yuzen box is valued at $60 or more. Many of the featured products inside Yuzen boxes are deluxe sample sized or full-sized and are carefully chosen after being evaluated for a number of different qualities. The Yuzen website states, "We evaluate its performance, experience the benefits first hand, and then we share our favorites. The selected companies are the highest of quality, transparent in mission, and beautiful."

 July's box was filled with an assortment of wonderful goodies for the home, complexion, and taste buds, with a value of $79, including products from Primavera, Lotus Wei, Himala Salt, PeopleTowels, Kopali Organics, and Teatulia.

Primavera's Revitalizing Facial Scrub is the product I was most excited to discover upon opening my Yuzen Box. This product is full sized and retails for $28. It's a really gentle yet effective exfoliating cleanser. It leaves skin feeling so silky, smooth, and clean without stripping or damaging the skin. It's completely natural, pure and healthy!

From Lotus Wei were three glass vials of their mists in Infinite Love Mist, Quiet Mind Mist, and Joy Juice Mist. Joy Juice is absolutely divine and hands down my favorite although all three are nice.

Also included was a 1.8 oz shaker of HimalaSalt Himalayan Pink Salt, which I have tried before. I'm a salty kind of girl and I really like this one. I had run out of it so I'm glad to have more!

PeopleTowels are a really great eco-friendly company that created an alternative to paper towels. I had heard of this company before but after receiving one of their towels in my Yuzen box I'm even more interested. They use lightweight fabric and eco-friendly dyes while encouraging people to create less waste. They are a very cool company with a really cool product.

Like I mentioned, I have more of a "salt-tooth" than a sweet-tooth but I do like dark chocolate so I was intrigued by the Kopali Organics Dark Chocolate Covered Mulberries. I had never had a Mulberry before so I wasn't sure what to expect but these are so yummy! My entire family likes these and I can't wait to get my hands on more.

The final products included in this month's Yuzen Box were a couple of bags of tea from Teatulia in Organic Lemongrass Herbal Infusion Tea and Organic White Tea. I really dislike lemongrass so I'm not going to try that one but I do love white tea so I'm excited to test that one out.

If you're interested in learning more about the company you can visit their website. You can also order your own Yuzen box by clicking here. Overall, Yuzen is an innovative and eco friendly company offering a sampling of a wide variety of products. It is well worth a second look. Visit them on their website or Facebook today!

(FTC: The company generously provided me with the July box for review consideration. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Argan Oil Benefits and Zinn Review

Argan Oil comes from the nuts of the Argan Tree, which can only be found in select areas of Morocco. Moroccan women, and even men, have been using Argan Oil for beauty, medicinal, and nutritive purposes for generations and it has recently been made available across the globe. Argan Oil has been gaining popularity in the US for a few years now, and with good reason - The oil has double the amount of Vitamin E that olive oil has, a high level of essential fatty acids, Vitamin A, and antioxidants.

Argan Oil is considered to be a miracle for skin and hair. It can be used to help balance and clear oily and acne prone skin, moisturize and nourish dry skin, heal scars, repair skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, and slow down the aging process. I especially love using Argan Oil as a facial moisturizer after doing a mask, scrub, or peel since it is so nourishing. I feel like it helps my skin regenerate and leaves it looking and feeling healthy. It also works great on dehydrated skin, cuticles, and rough feet.

When it comes to hair there are many more uses for Argan Oil. It easily penetrates hair to nourish, hydrate, and improve condition. It helps to prevent breakage since it strengthens and improves elasticity. I really like using Argan Oil as a leave in conditioner (I apply it to my ends while my hair is still damp). Doing this has really helped keep my ends from becoming damaged or split. I also love using it as a pre-cleanse scalp treatment and to tame flyaways when my hair is acting up. I don't color my hair but it is really useful for bringing health back to the hair of those who do.

Some Argan Oils can be a bit pricey but Zinn Beauty offers a certified pure and organic bottle for only $29.99. I really love the fact that it is handmade in Morocco! It comes in an absolutely gorgeous 2 FL OZ bottle, with a cute little tassel, that will last a very long time. A little bit of "liquid gold" goes a very long way. The oil itself is a clear, light golden color. It has a very slight, inoffensive scent that disappears upon application. You can purchase this Argan Oil online as well as at ULTA, Duane Reade and Ricky's.

I know many people get nervous at the thought of using oil to moisturize their skin and/or hair but trust me when I say there is nothing to worry about! Argan oil in particular is incredibly light, quick to absorb, and long lasting. It doesn't leave skin or hair looking greasy or dirty; in fact it's just the opposite. Try it out and let me know what you think!

(FTC: The Argan Oil I mentioned was so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own and honest.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer of Beauty Giveaway

Summer is my favorite season so to celebrate the warm weather and gorgeous sunshine I'm pleased to announce the Beautiful Basics Summer of Beauty Giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will receive a prize package with beauty goodies perfect for summer that total $95! US ONLY but I do have an INTL giveaway coming soon!

The prizes are:
Verdant Homemade Natural Soap in Tropics ($5)
Mineral Fusion Skin Renewing Facial Scrub ($13)
Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 40 Facial Moisturizer ($20)
Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 30 Brush on Sun Defense ($20)
Yarok Feed Your Sunshine Hair Serum ($26)
Mad Gabs Juicy Mango Wildly Natural Lip Butter ($3.50)
Delizioso Skincare Passion Fruit Body Cream ($6)

Summer Strawberry Scrub

One of my favorite things about summer is the fact that good, ripe fruit is so abundant. I consider myself to be a fruit-itarian. I could totally live on nothing but fruit if it was healthy to do so. I have especially been enjoying strawberries lately and I'm actually eating some as I type this. Sadly, I picked up a bad bushel of berries the other day and rather than tossing them I decided to play around with them and see what I could come up with beauty wise.

My Mom suggested we experiment by making some sort of foot scrub since both of our tootsies have not been looking or feeling very soft or lady-like lately. Sandal season often comes with rough, dry, cracked heels and toes so to remedy this we whipped up a batch of this berry scrub, which we also used on our hands.

What you need:
A handful of strawberries (we used about 10 of them for both of us, but depending on the size of your berries you may need more or less)
2 tablespoons of Grapeseed oil (or other skin friendly oil)
1 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of raw sugar

Mash the berries with a fork, food processor, or hand blender and then mix the ingredients together in a small bowl forming a paste. Massage the paste onto your skin and gently massage in small, circular motions. I apply onto dry skin but if you would like a gentler exfoliation you can apply the mix onto damp skin. When finished rinse off with warm water and pat dry. Don't forget to lock in your new silky, smooth skin with your favorite body lotion, cream, or butter!

Oh, and be warned that this is a very messy recipe so I advise you to do this only in your tub, shower, or sink for easy cleanup. It smells really good and makes skin feel great so it is fully worth it! Enjoy!

Don't forget to enter my Summer of Beauty giveaway for a chance to win a prize package worth $95 by clicking HERE.