Credo Beauty's Holiday Gift Guide (+ Friends and Family Discount!)

The indisputable mecca of clean beauty is SF's Credo Beauty. Created by one of Sephora's original founders, Credo covers the spectrum from cult classic, small batch indie brands to the ubiquitous products found in most mainstream make up artist's bags. Seriously, if you can think of a clean brand, chances are that they carry it.

And it gets better. Not only do they carry my favorite brands and gifts to give, but from December 8th through the 11th they are offering a Friends & Family promotion for 20% off your purchase with the code “CredoLovesFriends.” Below are some of my holiday picks.

African Botanics' Marula Oil is one of those multi-tasking products that beauty bloggers consistently rave about. Marula joins argan, coconut, and jojoba oils as top shelf mainstays, but this marula (and I've tried others) is by far the best yet. Molecularly light, this isn't a traditional slippery oil, but a lightweight serum that plumps up skin cells with fatty acids, blocks and repairs skin damage with vitamins C and E, and quells inflammation (read: heals breakouts) with phytonutrient flavanoids. This wild harvested, cold-pressed serum nourishes even the driest of patches without clogging pores. My fussy, sensitive skin breaks out with the slightest provocation, but this beautiful golden bottle is a ready remedy. Name a skincare need, and this will tend to it.

Lake & Skye is a 100% pure fragrance line by Courtney Somer, a Kundalini yoga teacher, aromatherapist, and mother. Her personal creations include a line of roll on fragrances suspended in jojoba oil.

Mother is a cool and powdery floral experience. Feminine neroli and jasmine are kept bright with bergamot (the citrus that gives Earl Grey tea its character), and the whole fragrance is anchored with frankincense, which stays in the background throughout the dry down, keeping the scent ladylike and strong. 

11 11 is an aquatic, unisex blend inspired by Kundalini yoga and the color white. Anyone who's ever carried a torch for Davidoff's Cool Water, Aqua di Gio, or Issey Miyake will love this. A blend of white ambers, it's neither warm and sweet nor overtly woodsy. It's a gentle scent, clean without veering soapy, and reminds me of sweet cucumbers and the ocean. My eldest daughter took a whiff and announced that it smelled of "strawberries, salt, and coconuts." I'd agree on all three counts.

ILIA BEAUTY nailed their holiday gift-set with minis of three of its bestselling shades, housed in a custom BAGGU leather pouch. The half-moon zippered pouch is made with soft, naturally milled leather with a metallic copper finish, and features a custom ILIA pattern printed along the front. I'm particularly thrilled to have a makeup bag small enough to fit in my modestly sized Lo & Sons Pearl purse! 

The lip colors include two lip conditioners—the versatile Nobody's Baby, a translucent and universally flattering nude, and Bang Bang, a bright poppy red that's a perfect starter for experimenting with the bright lip trend—along with the lipstick Femme Fatale, a warm and moody wine that makes for a striking evening statement or a blotted on the lips for a berry stain effect. All three shades were chosen to be layered over one another, and the smaller sizes make it easy to carry them around. Plus, I love dabbing ILIA lip colors on my cheeks for a hit of blush during mid-day touchups. 

Finally, clean eau de parfum is difficult to formulate, but Pour le Monde has it down to a science. Their Envision scent, in a traditional perfume spray, is a restrained combination of fizzy citrus top notes that bubble down to a simmering incense cocktail of pink peppercorn, patchouli, and sandlewood. Hints of lavender, rose, geranium, and vanilla balance out this well-built scent, keeping it elegant and not too bohemian. It's a bit unusual, and perfect for cooler months. A few spritzes on your winter coat will keep things festive.

These picks are only the tip of Credo's clean beauty iceberg, so head over to their site and don't forget the promo code, "CredoLovesFriends." Happy holidays!

Maui Vibes

My first trip to Maui was on business, which meant lots of running around, working and late night parties. I clocked in a scarce 4 hours of sleep the night before we left, but I felt amazing getting on the plane and slept like a baby.

My skin was glowing from the humidity, and the amount of fresh fruit and fish I was consuming (roadside farmers markets make the best fruit bowls! A halved papaya brimming with starfruit, apple bananas, and pineapple slices was one of my favorite indulgences). But also because I booked an hour long massage at the Four Seasons in Maui that ended minutes before we left for the airport – I thought this ingenius; my husband thought I was nuts.

The massage included oils from Isun, a Colorado based company that makes the most decadent, compelling fragrances. Their Carnelian body oil is by far my favorite, but you can't go wrong with any of them. 

And the spa serves a hot fresh ginger, lemon and honey tonic that rejuvenated me to the point that I wasn't relying on my standard coffee to get through the day. I still make this on my stovetop when I'm feeling a cold coming on, or after a period of overdoing it, with.

The porch outside our hotel room at Lumeria.

The porch outside our hotel room at Lumeria.

When I went back – this time as a mom and on vacation – I knew I wanted to stay at Lumeria, a former retirement home for sugar cane plantation workers, which is now lush retreat nestled in bohemian enclave of Paia. Guided meditations and yoga classes before breakfast, hot tea around a fire pit, Balinese daybeds on the porch for naps, reading and zoning out while watching the rain fall, and moonlit dips in the outdoor saline pools were exactly what we needed. I wasn't ready to leave, but I picked up bottles of locally made facial washing grains and oil from their reception desk to take the golden vibes home with me. These didn't disappoint, and neither did the Lomi Lomi (a Hawaiian message practice that mimics the rolling waves of the ocean) body oil from Isun I took home as well.