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!

Kahina Giving Beauty

It seems argan oil is officially a thing now. The insanely nourishing and anti-aging oil is no longer a cult beauty product and you can readily find products touting it within the aisles of Target. (Though argan is old news, the fact that goats will go to these lengths for argan fruit will continuously be a source of amusement for me.)

However, not argan oil is equal. I tried the Josie Maran's argan oil, which left me underwhelmed. The more wallet-friendly Acure Organics version was my favorite for years, I used it to cure a family member's eczema, heal old acne scars, prevent breakouts and even rapidly heal my cat's surgical scar – my vet was duly impressed!

Green beauty bloggers, however, have been unabashedly gushing over Kahina Giving Beauty's argan oil for years. It's definitely a splurge, but I always make an exception for a travel set and fortunately, they curated one. I picked mine up from Saffron Rouge (whatever happened to them?) during the past two winters. I was blown away by how my parched winter complexion (made even more complicated by pregnancy) responded to the set, and then picked up a second one the following year just because it was so good. 

Kahina Giving Beauty Travel Basics

Their travel collection consists of 30 ml bottles of the following:

• Argan Oil: 100% organic & certified by Ecocert
• Facial Cleanser: now Ecocert-certified organic & natural
• Facial Lotion: 100% natural, 95% of botanical ingredients are organic

The Facial Cleanser is very creamy with the viscosity and texture of a body lotion. As milky as it is, the cleanser does take effort to removing eye makeup. Because it leaves a lingering emollient behind, this for me is a morning cleanser. 

The Facial Lotion is light weight, and nondescript. It's scentless, absorbs readily, hydrating and very much a basic lotion. SPF free, I liked this patted over the Argan Oil to seal everything in before heading to bed.

However, it's really the Argan Oil that knocks this set out of the park for me. Everything just looks better immediately and hours after application.  My skin is at it's best after months after continuous use. All this time, I thought it was the set, but now I know it's really the Argan Oil.

If there was a starter oil I'd suggest to anyone, this would be it. Oils are lipophilic, which means they quickly are absorbed through the layers of the skin into the collagen producing cells, immediately plumping the skin and preventing dehydration. When antioxidants are in a carrier oil (and argan oil is rich in antioxidants) the free radical protection goes further into the skin, fending off premature aging.

My next Kahina Giving Beauty purchase is going to be a larger bottle of their Argan Oil, though their eye cream also looks intriguing.


Kahina Argan Oil: argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil*

Kahina Facial Cleanser: aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, aqua, argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, glycerin*, leuconostoc (radish) root ferment filtrate, cocoglucoside, coconut alcohol, carica papaya (papaya) fruit extract*, glyceryl oleate, salix nigra (willow) bark extract, lauryl glucoside, vanillosmopsis erythropappa (bisabolol) wood oil, sclerotium gum, citrus aurantium (neroli) flower oil*, chamomila recutita (matricaria) flower extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, tanacetum annuum (blue tansy) flower oil*, hydrogenated lecithin, p-anisic acid, PCA, xantham gum - See more at:

Kahina Facial Lotion: water, argan oil*, glycerin, japanese honeysuckle extract*, shea butter*, sodium PCA, sorbitan olivate, xanthan gum, betaine, acacia gum, behenyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, argan leaf extract, lecithin*, beeswax*, phospholipids, glycolipids, soybean oil, soybean sterols, levulinic acid, potassium sorbate, sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid

*Ingredient from Organic Farming

$85 / Kahina Giving Beauty