ISUN - Carnelian Body Oil

Three years ago, my (incredibly intense about traveling—don't worry, this part is relevant later) husband and I were in Maui for business. It was a busy time, with precious little lounging on the beach. Between work obligations, we rented a small car and drove along the fabled "Road to Hana," where we met some eccentric local personalities, ate a breakfast of freshly picked starfruit and pineapples on the side of the road, and got the wind knocked out of ourselves by waves on the black sand beach, all before joining a very long, loud party until early the next morning. Our flight was leaving at noon the next day, and I scheduled a massage at the Maui Four Seasons just before we needed to leave for the airport. To say I was tired would be an understatement, but I happily lay in a dream state while the masseuse worked each limb over with this incredible bottle of oil, while recounting her fascinating stories of traveling and living in Goa and Afghanistan during the '70s.

ISUN Carnelian Body Oil

So this oil... it's at once familiar and exciting. The gourmand in me loves the vanilla and citrus notes, but it's not too sweet or pedestrian. Ginger and cardamom gives it an earthy, middle-eastern heft, while powdery and feminine ylang ylang diffuses the incensey-ness. The oil is a blend of apricot oil and sesame oil, so it dries fairly quickly, but leaves the skin feeling nourished throughout the day. I don't do chakras, crystals or anything along those lines, but I love that there's a carnelian stone in the oil. Not that I think it's going to give me any sort of protection, but because Isun is that detailed and thoughtful of a company.

After the massage, I sat in the locker room in my robe, sipping a sweet cup of fresh hot lemon and ginger tea. My cell phone was in my locker, on vibrate, and I could hear my husband repeatedly calling me. I sat there, literally thinking that I felt so wonderful, so healthy—despite so little sleep—that it would be okay if we missed the plane. That a few more hours on this island would warrant the mammoth upheaval of missing our flight. Needless to say, I returned to my senses and ended up on the plane. When we landed back in Seattle, after five hours in a parched airplane cabin, my skin was still glowing and dewy and scented like the spa. Withstanding a cross timezone flight? I can't think of a better testament to the tenacity of a body oil.

Ingredients:
Safflower oil*; sunflower oil*; herb oil (sesame oil*, apricot oil*, ginger root*, cardamom seeds*, licorice root*, orange peel*, sarsaparilla root*, hibiscus flower*, goji berry*); passion fruit oil*; jojoba oil*; rice bran oil*; vitamin E tocopherols; bergamot oil*; clementine oil*; green mandarin oil*; lemon oil*, grapefruit oil*; patchouli oil*; vetiver oil*; sandalwood oil*; ylang ylang oil*; vanilla oil*; jasmine oil*; rosemary oleoresin*; carnelian gemstone.
*Organic or Wildcrafted 

$40 / Beautyhabit

W3ll People Sets

Born out of Austin, TX, W3ll People has become an ubiquitous staple in nearly every green beauty store/blog/make up bag. W3ll People was founded by three (hence the "3" in "W3ll") friends, two of which include a dermatologist and a former NARS make up artist.

What sets this high performance make up line apart is that it has soul. Why? They boast incredible customer service, (Christine from their Austin store is probably the kindest person I've met in this industry), a diverse shade spectrum, and not all their models are exactly... models, but normal looking women. They clearly walk the talk (eco packaging, super clean ingredients) but there is an bon vivant exuberance to their line. 

Gone are the days when the only place wellness and beauty intersected was a vitamin E stick in some dusty corner of a sleepy health food store. (Though I'll always carry a torch for Dr. Bronner's or a henna treatment made by a hippy in Portland.) W3ll People's formulas actually feed the skin; pretty much everything in their line is infused with the insanely hydrating and inflammatory properties of Aloe Vera. 

W3ll People's mascara has earned glowing reviews, but as far as I'm concerned, their star products are their Universalist Color Sticks—#1 is a wildly flattering neutral rose with a dialed in (read: not glittery) gold sheen, whereas #3 is W3ll People's founder Shirley's (the make up artist) goto—which can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks (think NARS Multiples). I'm also a huge fan of their Narcissist Foundation Stick, which is drier in consistency than RMS Beauty's "Un" Cover-Up and has excellent coverage. And their Bio Extreme Lip Gloss is dreamy, spiked with star anise, wintergreen and spearmint. It's cushiony against the lips and doesn't look too wet, just glow-y, much like everything else in the line. 

Even better? Now Anthropologie is offering sets of their line. These curated sets make it easy if you're stumped on where to begin. You can't go wrong with either.

$48.50 / anthropologie.com

Consonant Skincare DHE Mask

There's a spa adjacent to my barre class that smells the way a spa should—aromatic and clean, comforting and refined, something like Aveda's classic Shampure scent. Somehow this mask also captures this olfactory impression.

CONSONANT-ProductIMGS_TheMask_large.png

Generally speaking, masks are meant to detoxify, hydrate, or exfoliate. And this one lives up to the acronym in it's name by somehow accomplishing all three. It's not just that the ingredient list boasts Manicouagan clay—said to be extracted from the site of a 215 million year old asteroid crash in Central Quebec—to mop up impurities. Or that it clarifies the skin with willow bark (a natural form of salicylic acid) and tea tree extract. Or its cocktail of alpha hydroxy acid fruit enzymes to slough off dead skin cells and allow the complexion to breath. Or the slew of minerals, sea algae, and oils (grape seed and olive) to feed the skin.

It's that for once, I've found a mask worth its salt. Upon rinse off, the skin is noticeably healthier, taut, and glowing. A high performing workaholic facial in a tube, this is definitely a must-try. 

$45 / consonantskincare.com

La Bella Figura Beauty Soothing Creme Eye Shadow

I've heard raves about La Bella Figura; their wanderlust inspiring fragrances and anti-aging serums with exotic ingredient lists (barberry fig seed, kakadu plum, etc.) keep popping up on my Instagram feed with admiring reviews. If that weren't enough, they recently launched a Night for Green Beauty—an "evening of beauty, glamour and shopping from the best luxury natural brands on the market today"—and a capsule makeup collection.

The product that leapt out was their first (and then only) cream eye shadow, Damn Elvia, a blackish violet, smoky with a hint of silver. Advertised as buildable and non-creasing. I was sold. I ordered a pot and was thrilled that it smelled like roses. Unlike RMS Beauty's eye polishes, this wasn't based on coconut oil, but camellia seed oil. The formula is thinner, and the color is a wispy vapor of dreamy darkness that would be edgy enough to satisfy a vamp on a low key Saturday but still keep a suburban mother within her comfort zone. Yes, it builds, but it's a universally flattering color either as eyeliner or color wash. However, as much as I love the color, it does crease like the dickens on me. If you're in a drier climate, or have no issues with creasing in general, you're in luck. 

La Bella Figura Beauty Soothing Creme Eye Shadow in Damn Elvia /  Photograph by Casey Broadwater

La Bella Figura Beauty Soothing Creme Eye Shadow in Damn Elvia /  Photograph by Casey Broadwater

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up

Anthropologie (yes, Anthropologie!) is now offering RMS Beauty. I've been using RMS Beauty's "Un" Cover-up as an under-eye concealer for years. Its supple, coconut oil based formula slips comfortably on—no eye cream needed—and it actually feels good on. And these photographs from Anthropologie are swoon worthy. Beware though, I think these photographs make the shades look much darker than they actually are. #11 is too light for me, and I'm quite pale (MAC NC15 pale).

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #00

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #00

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #11

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #11

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #22

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #22

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #33

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #33

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #44

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up  #44

Treat Collection

Hailing from Berlin, Treat Collection is the only 5-free nail polish worth its salt that I've found so far. The bottles are sleek, the formula isn't clumpy or runny, and the polishes dry hard and actually last. Plus, the colors are sublime. I've often gazed longingly at the Chanel polishes since deciding to clean up my beauty products, but Treat Collection ticks all of my boxes. I picked up Sugar Frosting and So Simple and while you can't tell in the picture, both have a very subtle gold shimmer laced throughout. Metallic polishes always last a good deal longer, and I gravitate towards polishes with some glitter or shimmer to help anchor the formula.

Treat Collection Nail Polishes. From left, Sugar Frosting, So Simple, Laughing Out Loud, Picture Perfect, Wonderland, The Girls.

Treat Collection Nail Polishes. From left, Sugar Frosting, So Simple, Laughing Out Loud, Picture Perfect, Wonderland, The Girls.


RMS Beauty Eye Polish

RMS Beauty is the creation of Rose-Marie Swift, a stellar make up artist whose work spans two decades and countless advertising campaigns, runway shows, and magazine covers. (She's also Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bundchen's go-to makeup artist.) After discovering the detrimental effects that working in the beauty industry had on her—and her client's—health, she took matters into her own hands and created an upscale eponymous line. Enter little glass pots of coconut oil-based products that build beautifully and comfortably, resting on the skin with a sheen that looks believable. No brushes required—it's the un-makeup makeup. Once only procured in indie establishments, mainstream stores like Anthropologie are now carrying the line. Check out their gorgeous photographs at right and below....

RMS Beauty's signature eye polishes are cream eye shadows evolved. These pots of color are universally flattering—trust me, anyone can wear any of these colors! They aren't too shimmery, sparkly, or shiny, but rather, are modern and understated, with a subtle gleam. Plus, they're finger-friendly, and the coconut oil in the formulas moonlights as a natural anti-bacterial agent. 

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Magnetic

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Magnetic

However, they're not crease proof. I emailed Rose-Marie and here's what she said: "[T]hey are not guaranteed crease proof, but there are easier ways to apply it. Never have any eye cream or moisturizer underneath. Apply minimally and really work into the eye lid almost like you were polishing. Sounds strange I know, but these eye shadows are unique because the oil in them cause that dewy reflective look and make the eye look younger."  

I asked about using them with a liner, and she responded, "You need to keep a slight separation from the line and the shadow, 1/8 and the shadow will blend down slightly and have room [to spread] when not right on top of the liner.  My new powder can be used, but it will absorb the shine."

I'll pat these over powder shadow for a dewy look, or to tone things down if I get too enthusiastic with my eye makeup that morning. I tried patting Alima Pure shadows to stabilize them, but they still slip considerably during the day. You will need to reapply, especially if you're not in an arid climate. 

However, these pots are multipurpose! I use Solar as a gold highlighter on cheekbones and lips. I'm super pale, but the color gives a warm sheen in the summer months. Seduce and Magnetic look fantastic as an eyeliner on my lower lids; they stay put and soften during the day to a natural gleam—great if you're wanting an understated smokey eye. And Lunar is a great highlighter on cheekbones, cupid's bow, or the bridge of one's nose.

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Magnetic. (used as a primer beneath a gold shadow.) Photography by Bryan Derballa.

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Magnetic. (used as a primer beneath a gold shadow.) Photography by Bryan Derballa.


RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Lunar

RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Lunar

SHADE GUIDANCE  

(Taken from RMS Beauty's website.)

From left to right, beginning with top row: Inspire, Karma, Seduce, Magnetic, Solar, Lunar, Imagine.

From left to right, beginning with top row: Inspire, Karma, Seduce, Magnetic, Solar, Lunar, Imagine.

Lunar: A champagne pearl shimmer that can double as a highlighter for a frosted evening look. 
Solar: A warm, golden bronze that can be used as a highlighter when blended subtly over the skin or lips. 
Karma: The ultimate color for a sultry, smoky eye. A rich, dark brown/black shadow with just a hint of silver makes this a very sophisticated color. Also great when used as a smoky liner.
Magnetic: Her biggest seller is this taupe/silver shadow with a hint of mauve. 
Seduce: A sensuous earthy brown hue that can double as a contour. 
Inspire: Metallic baby blue with a hint of silver, very 60s.

RMS Beauty Eye Polishes in Magnetic and Karma

RMS Beauty Eye Polishes in Magnetic and Karma

Ilia Beauty Mascara Swatches & Review

Ilia Beauty is, without a doubt, on the Dior/Chanel/Tom Ford end of the clean beauty spectrum. First, there were lip conditioners and lipsticks in sleek metallic bullets. Then, there were multipurpose sticks (think NARS multiples). Finally, the line expanded last year to include mascaras. I held off on the first iteration, as the formula did contain phenoxyethanol. (Let's be honest, the mascara wand is housed in a dark, moist container—the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Mascara is probably the most challenging product for a chemist to create under green specifications.) But I was thrilled to see Ilia come out with a revamped formula, sans phenoxyethanol. 

Nightfall, Macao, Shadow of a Doubt, Asphalt Jungle

Nightfall, Macao, Shadow of a Doubt, Asphalt Jungle

I have Nightfall, the deep black shade. I did have to wipe off excess product from the wand the first few weeks, but the formula holds a curl wonderfully. It's not goopy, thankfully, as most clean mascaras are. But it does take about 2 weeks to dry out enough until hitting the sweet spot with just enough product on the brush with each plunge. Along with Coleur Carmel, Ilia is the best substitute for Dior Show that I've found yet. And for maximum benefit, pick up a Shu Uemura lash curler. 

And can I just say how much I love the other shades? Asphalt Jungle is gorgeous on blue eyes, and I'd like to score a tube of Macao to experiment with using it on lower lashes.