Posts Tagged ‘facial care’

New in Beauty: Back to Basics Skincare

Rose by Sebastian Molina

(Stock Photo: Sebastian Molina)

Using some of the world’s most organic and active ingredients, Back to Basics Skincare offers unisex cold-pressed and plant based beauty oils that target different skincare needs, and are affordable as well.

Back To Basics Skincare Rosehip Radiance Oil
(Back To Basics Rosehip Radiance Oil, $48)

With three food grade quality oils to choose from, Rosehip Radiance Oil is by far my favorite. After introducing this excellent green beauty oil to my morning skincare regimen, I saw a significant improvement in the first week! Skin suppleness, check— skin hydration, check— overall brighter youthful skin– check and check! The texture of the oil is medium in weight and absorbs quickly. Only 2-3 drops are needed to cover entire face, so the bottle will last. It doesn’t contain any added fragrance or essential oils that can aggravate sensitive skin. With an impressive list of ingredients you can stop stressing and start aging gracefully.

  • Seabuckthorn berry oil: rich in vitamins a, c, and e and omega 7; replenishes and restructures; supports natural cell turnover.
  • Organic Rosehip oil: an excellent source of topical trans-retinoic acid for skin regeneration.
  • Organic Grape seed oil: possesses unique nourishing and repairing properties.
  • Organic Camellia oil: increases the feel of skin’s elasticity and gives it a luminous glow.
  • Organic Chia seed oil: richest botanical source of omega 3; powerful source of alpha-lipoic acid.
  • Jojoba oil: provides emolliency and gives skin a smoother, healthier-looking appearance.
  • Tomato seed oil: rejuvenates aging skin properties, restores skin antioxidant defences, quenches uv induced free radicals, protects against acute and chronic skin photo-damage.
  • Kiwi seed oil: regenerates skin cells and effectively moisturizes and improves skin elasticity, dark marks, dryness and large pores.
Shop HERE.



Detox & Polish Your Way to Glowing Skin with Alma Botanicals

(Photo: Coveteur)


Less is definitely more when it comes to the ingredients and minimalist packaging Alma Botanicals has to offer. Their philosophy is to simplify beauty regimens by creating multi-tasking treatments that combine essential vitamins and minerals to restore skin to its optimum health and vitality. Natural, simple, no fillers or unnecessary preservatives and dyes. Alma’s products are made with the purest natural ingredients, with an emphasis on ingredients that are plant-based, organic and food-grade.

Alma Botanicals Masks Polish
(Alma Botanicals Fresh Bloom Mask, $22 | Alma Botanicals Super Green Mask, $22 | Alma Botanicals Polish Treatment, $15)


From their two gentle detox masks that are both effective with key ingredients to either restore or revitalize the complexion. To their Polish treatment, that gently exfoliates with organic sugar and stimulates circulation by comfortably polishing away surface cells, leaving the skin revived and renewed which is excellent in combination with either mask. The Polish treatment can be used anywhere on the body, and makes a great lip exfoliator for dry lips in a pinch. An excellent company with excellent products.



Photo: Alma Botanicals
(Photo: Alma Botanicals)

You can feel good knowing that Alma Botanicals uses the best extraction methods available that lead to premium quality. All products are made in small batches in the USA. 




A New Fun Way to Cleanse Your Face

Bask & Co Cleansing Cubes

(Bask & Co Oily Skin Facial Cleansing Cubes, $26)

Brace yourselves because this is kind of a game changer in the skincare department, and we have the natural and sustainable skincare company Bask & Co to thank. We’re talking about cleansing cubes, an innovative and convenient facial cleanser that you crush in your palm, add some water then rinse. They come in two varieties: one for oily skin that contains activated charcoal which draws bacteria, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, and one for dry skin that contains anti-oxidant rich argan oil. We think it’s only a matter of time before other brands get on board and join in on the cleansing fun.

Bask & Co Cleansing Cubes 2
(Bask & Co Facial Cleansing Cubes for Oily Skin, $26)

Bask means to take it in, receive its warmth or revel in and make the most of something pleasing. Founded in 2011 by Teresa, Bask & Co takes their passion for quality handmade soap, skin care, and bath & body to a whole new level by producing products that are not only vegan friendly but safe for the environment. The oils they use are organic, cold pressed, or steam distilled. All of their products are created without synthetic ingredients, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, phthalates, chemicals, fillers, mineral oils or petroleum. 

Trending: K-Beauty COSRX


(COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule, $28 | COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, $22)

COSRX, which stands for cosmetics + RD (prescription), it’s a Korean based brand that creates its products directly from the needs and feedback of their very dedicated customers. It has gained cult status and it seems like nearly every skincare blogger has singing its high praises.

The packaging design of all the COSRX products is simple, minimal and similar. They all come in a white cardboard box with a black area where the product name is written in. The rest of the cardboard box contains detailed descriptions in English and Korean.

COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule claims to heal damaged skin while nourishing it with moisture and nutrients. Ideal for dry and rough skin types, this silky hydrator increases skin softness and suppleness, leaving skin radiant, plump, and dewy. It contains black bee propolis. So what exactly is propolis and why would you put it on your skin? Bees make propolis, which they use to glue the materials of their hives together, by mixing beeswax and other secretions with resins from the buds of conifer and poplar trees. Those resins have natural germicidal properties. In skincare, propolis’s antiviral and antimicrobial action provides wonderful benefits for acneic skin as well as those of us who deal with a lot of environmental pollution. It forms a barrier just like how bees use it, and is very nutritious with antioxidants and vitamins, hence it’s growing popularity in skin care.


You will spot glycerin and hyaluronic acid as moisturizing ingredients, too. Also, the Cassa Obtusifolia Seed Extract has skin conditioning properties, as well as panthenol. If you’re new to ampoules, the consistency will be thick when applied and dry down to slightly tacky. But it makes for a cost effective layer-able moisturizer!

This is COSRX most talked about product: COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. Do you have visible pores? Then you probably know the constant struggle of trying to keep them clean so that they’ll look smaller and less noticeable, especially on the cheeks and in the T-zone. Primers and makeup can work wonders to hide them, but the goal is to have great skin.


Salix Alba, (Willow) Bark, Water, Butylene Glycol, Betaine Salicylate, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Arginine, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan, Gum Ethyl Hexanediol

What do they do?

1. Betain Salicylate is the BHA portion of this toner and comes in a concentration of 4% (which is equivalent to a 2% salicylic acid).

2. Niacinimide is a form of vitamin B3 that can do everything from reduce pores and fine lines while promoting smooth, even skin tone and texture. Miracle ingredient people!

3. Sodium hyaluronate has the ability to boost skin’s moisture content, reduce inflammation and reduce moisture loss to keep skin hydrated.

One thing I really appreciate about COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is the way it feels after application. BHAs can be quite drying, this hydrates and exfoliates yet dries down within minutes and feels just hydrating enough to prevent tightness or discomfort without leaving any discernible residue behind.


It isn’t greasy or slimy and is only slightly thicker than water.

I would highly recommend this product to anyone with acne, blackheads, enlarged or clogged pores, or those with dry skin that are looking for an effective yet gentle acid exfoliating toner. 

COSRX has several alcohol-free toners for different skin conditions, as well as cleansers, moisturizers and treatments.


An Effective All Natural Retinoid Alternative | Kypris Moonlight Catalyst

Kypris Moonlight Catalyst

(Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, $77)

Ask any dermatologist what the gold standard is for anti-aging treatment and prevention, and you’ll receive one resounding answer: retinol. As we age, our skin-cell turnover rates slow down, paving the way for wrinkles, pigmentation and dullness. Retinol (or its more potent prescription form, retinoid) is a vitamin A derivative that speeds up cell regeneration rates for a fresher, smoother surface.

However, like many wonder products, retinol can come at a high price—many users experience skin irritation, dryness, sensitivity to sunlight, blistering, and redness due to the harsh concentration of enzymes in most retinol creams. Some also notice that after several years of use, retinol stops being effective, leaving their skin duller and looking more wrinkled than before. Retinol creams have even been linked to abnormal fetal development, and are not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Holistic skincare brand Kypris create products that are made with organic, wildcrafted, and sustainably procured ingredients. There’s something mystical about the brand’s supercharged skincare – these products are as natural as can be, yet there’s powerful science behind them. The Moonlight Catalyst Serum, for example, uses herbal ingredients to mimic the brightening effects of retinol, but with none of the redness or peeling. Fermented pumpkin enzymes encourage cellular renewal, while biometric EGF – a vegan, non-GM peptide of epidermal growth factor – works to plump fine lines as neroli calms the skin.

Kypris Moonlight Catalyst 2
(Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, $77)

The gel texture of Moonlight Catalyst slides onto the skin and dries to a perfect, moisturizing finish. Your skin never feels heavy, oily or tacky — just perfectly quenched and ready for rest.

After a good night’s sleep, you wake to find my skin looking the way KYPRIS Moonlight Catalyst promises: Refined and renewed. It’s the look of a beautifully resurfaced skin that has fewer visible pores and a smooth appearance.



This Gentle Foaming Cleanser Will Become Your New Favorite

Terra Luna Beauty Nectar Instant Foaming Cleanser

(Terra Luna Beauty Nectar Foaming Cleanser, $34 *Sale)

Looking for a light, airy foam cleanser that uses a coconut based foaming agent instead of the most commonly used commercial sodium laureth sulfate.

The luxurious lather removes impurities and minimizes the appearance of pores and wrinkles, without stripping your skin of its necessary oils. This formula includes cucumber, licorice, and lychee, which effectively brighten, soothe, and revitalize your skin. Willow bark extract serves as a natural beta-hydroxy acid, unclogging pores, diminishing acne, and removing dead skin. This natural blend of vitamin rich botanical extracts and coconut based foaming agents will immediately leave your skin feeling soft, clean, and refreshed.

This soap-free, oil-free, fragrance-free cleanser is intended for all skin types and ideal for combination or sensitive skin.

Terra Luna Beauty Nectar Cleanser 2
(Terra Luna Nectar Cleanser, $34)


Terra Luna Beauty is such a great ethical and effective skincare brand. A portion of their net profits are donated directly to independent animal rescues! Their natural products are:

  • Organic 
  • Cruelty-Free (They are an entirely cruelty-free company, certified by the Leaping Bunny Program)
  • Fair-Trade
  • Handmade
  • Paraben-Free
  • Vegan

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At the Circle of Anti-Aging Beauty with Mun Skin

Mun Skin Care Review

(Mun Akwi Purifying Cleanser | Mun Anarose Rose Toner | Mun Ayour Body Serum | Mun Aknari Brightening Serum | Mun Argan Oil, Travel Set: $75)

Revisiting my favorite serum and a few new favorites from the natural skincare brand Mun. This brand might look familiar to you, I raved about Mun Skin way back in 2012. Mun is still carries my all-time favorite serum, now called Aknari Brightening Serum and switched from infusing Moroccan Rose to Bulgarian Rose in their products. “Aknari is Berber for Prickly Pear, the defining ingredient in the precious elixir. I love the meanings of each product, Mun is pronounced ‘Moon’. The brand works with Berber women’s coop to source Prickly Pear Seed, Argan, and Olive oil, so Mun Skin wanted to honor them.

Confession, I.. Alyssa have an exploratory obsession with Rose scented beauty products and fragrances. Especially authentic rose, and in particular Bulgarian Rose scented products. It actually started with the first rose product I ever tried, Mun’s Aknari Brightening Serum. It was this sensory experience that kicked off my quest to find more rose scented products. But besides the unbelievable aroma, Aknari contains Prickly Pear Seed Oil and Argan oil which together are age-defying and brightening. Packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, the serum is lightweight and never looks greasy. In tandem these oils will have your skin looking soft and wrinkle-free in the long term.

Mun Skin Care Review 2
(Akwi Purifying Cleanser, $60)

The Akwi Purifying Cleanser, Akwi for “awakening”, an apt name for an invigorating balm that brings the skin to life. This oil-based pH balanced cleanser uses Castor oil, Argan oil, Camellia Seed oil, and Rice Bran oil to sweep away impurities without stripping the skin of essential moisture. All while providing antioxidant, anti-aging, and moisturizing benefits. It’s especially effective at dissolving makeup and one pump of product comes out as a white, lightweight cream. As I apply it and begin to massage the skin it turns into a clear balm that looks like a gel but feels creamy and soothing. Starting with dry skin and dry hands, I like to dispense about 8-10 pumps of product into the palm of my hands, which is more than enough to cover my entire face. I keep adding water as needed, and then I grab a clean face towel and  start to remove whatever is left on the skin. The scent is enjoyable–fresh and uplifting, which is the reason behind its name, Akwi.

Continuing with Mun’s complete ant-aging line that includes the Akwi Purifying Cleanser all the way to a body serum. The Anarose Hydrating Toner, Anarose meaning “hope”, this multi-tasking toner safe for every skin type. Infused with hydrating Aloe Vera, soothing and anti-bacterial Rose Water, and exfoliating Willow Bark extract, this formula will become your go-to toner. Especially since there are tons and tons of toners on the market, it can be hard to choose which is right for you. But with Anarose, it doesn’t contain harsh and aging alcohol like most toners. You’ll reach for it time and time again.

Full list of ingredients:

  • Rose Water*
  • Aloe Leaf Juice*
  • Prickly Pear Stem Extract
  • Goji Berry Fruit Extract
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Willow Bark Extract* (Natural Salicylic Acid)
  • Rose Flower Extract
  • Jasmine Flower Extract
  • Daisy Flower Extract
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Glycerin
  • Dehydroatic Acid
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • Maltodextrin
  • Deionized Water
  • *Certified Organic


Mun Skin care Review 3

Mun Ayour Body Toning Serum, “Ayour” is berber for moon, a play on the name of founder Munemi Imai. This powerful treatment for the body softens, smooths and tones the skin. The silky, fast-absorbing formula is enriched with Moroccan Olive Oil, a highly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that brightens and evens out skin tone. Combined with Cucumber Seed Oil, it works to fight free radicals. Together, Rosehip Seed Oil and Prickly Pear Seed Oil minimize the appearance of stretch marks and wrinkles. Lavender, Neroli and Frankincense soothe skin and provide anti-aging benefits. This fast-absorbing serum leaves the skin moisturized and silky-soft. Effective for all skin types. The scent is subtle, rare even, and unique. A body serum that’s silky and skin-quenching, plus has aromatherapy benefits that create a calming, relaxed vibe- what could be better? 

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2 Innovative K-Beauty Products You Need to Try Now

2 Innovative K-Beauty Products You Need to Try Now

(Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask, $24 | Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule, $49)

 Call me a gullible gal, but anytime a skincare or makeup product is labeled with the word “Korean,” I’m hooked. I’ve tried my share of Korean products that have essentially changed my entire skincare routine (hi, sheet masks and essences) and, consequently, the state of my skin, so I trust the efficacy of each new K-beauty product I use with every fiber of my being. And the powerful performance of K-beauty products is only equaled by how fun they are to use.


Seoul Apothecary is the ideal place to shop for all your Korean based skin care needs, from masks that treat hyperpigmentation to ampoule’s than can cure pimples and make wrinkles less apparent. Seoul Apothecary curate and customize bringing together Korea’s best skin care brands and products, creating unique kits and regimens made exclusively for you.

Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask
(Mizon Good Night White Sleep Mask, $24)

Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask is a moisturizing night cream that’s superb for those with dry or uneven skin. It’s nourishing, hydrating, brightening and light-weight enough to be worn all the way into the summer months. If you’re looking for an extra moisture boost, try this sleeping mask- you’ll love it, plus at $24 it’s a budget-friendly steal!

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule
(Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule, $49)

 I was very keen on deciding to try Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule. An ampoule is usually step 8 in the multiple step K-Beauty routine. Ampoules are similar to serums in that they contain high concentrations of active ingredients designed to treat specific concerns like dark spots, fine lines or wrinkles. However, ampoules contain even higher concentrations of active ingredients than serums, making them perfect for giving your skin the boost it needs.

It’s calming, similar to Missha’s Treatment Essence and a small amount goes along way. It contains so many great ingredients like:

  • Probiotics which have been shown to strengthen the skin’s barrier function, which protects the skin from harmful environmental impurities.
  • Chamomile which possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties, Chamomilla Recutita helps reduce redness and irritation. It has also been found to help inhibit the spread of acne causing bacteria.
  • Retinol is naturally found in a number of plants, but most notably in grapes. The compound works as a powerful antioxidant, preventing damage from free radicals that can result in wrinkles and other signs of aging.
  • Saccharomyces Ferment is an excellent source of amino acids and antioxidants, saccharomyces ferment is a naturally derived enzyme from yeast proven to soften and brighten dull skin for an even, dewy complexion.

I like to apply the ampoule in the morning before my moisturizer because it gives such an amazing glow and evens out my complexion.

To try either of these two products CLICK HERE!



Product Spotlight: Discover Your Skin’s Natural Vitality

Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream

(Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, $60)

Winter is still lingering around and your skin can be suffering the effects from dry indoor air. Maybe you’re tired of using your regular moisturizer or facial oil and want to swap out, that’s passable. Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing cream is a 99.6% natural light moisturizer and skin treatment that harnesses the power of two ingredients, New Zealand Manuka Honey and Korean Red Ginseng. It’s for all skin types and both ingredients actually:

  • Boost skin’s natural resilience.
  • Helps fortify the skin barrier, increasing skin’s ability to recover.
  • Accelerates cell renewal for a vibrant glow and improved texture.
  • Healing and calming the skin thanks to the healing properties of Manuka Honey.
Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream 2
(Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, $60)

I find it interesting that Kiehl’s uses the term vitality instead of anti-aging. Do you think the brand made that conscious decision to appeal to millennials?

But back to the actual product itself, the cream’s scent is slightly odd at first, it’s not what you would expect. Maybe herbal-medicinal scent that probably originates from the Red Ginseng. You imagine it would be sticky with honey being the main ingredient but actually this cream melts into the skin. You need so little to feel fully covered and hydrated. It has no parabens, no mineral oil, no synthetic color or fragrance. If you feel inspired to try this out, you can purchase it at Kiehls or Nordstrom!

2 Facial Tools to Bring the Spa Home

Stacked Skincare Review

(Stacked Skincare Micro-Roller, $30 | Stacked Skincare Dermaplanning Tool, $75)

Before I dive imangledfacen the admittingly unnerving world of at-home skin perfecting tools with the words ‘blades’ and ‘needles’ in their description, it can make any skincare aficionado apprehensive. Now I’m not squeamish when it comes to needles, I’ve had lasers and chemical peels all which cause some discomfort, and the thought of rubbing 540, .3mm tiny needles onto my face for the sake of beauty sounded tolerable to me. What I didn’t buy into was the thought of the infection, or not healing properly afterwords. My mangled face, the absolute horror! (see right)

Everyone is different of course, I have a lot of health issues I’m currently dealing with and definitely wanted to proceed with caution. But I came to realize with more information that at home dermarolling is much different than microneedling at a dermatologist’s office or licensed medical spa. They use an actual Skinpen that punctures deep holes beneath the layers of your skin causing blood to draw to the surface. This in turn is stimulating your skin’s natural ability to repair itself and builds collagen.

Created by Kerri Benjamin who used to suffer from severe eczema as a child later in life, she began research to remedy her issue and the company Stacked Skincare was born in 2009. It’s pretty simple, she has broken down Stacked Skincare into categories like serums, peels, and tools. The Micro-Roller is Stacked Skincare most popular tool as it’s easy to see why.

stacked skincare 3
(Stacked Skincare Collagen Boosting Micro-Roller, $30)

By micro-rolling and making those tiny injuries in the skin, you’re putting collagen production into overdrive and literally thickening the skin filling in lines and under-eye bags. I made sure to cleanse my face, apply a priming serum, and started rolling away. I went in all directions, only going over areas once or twice. It was painless, and my skin was a little flushed. I applied a moisturizer and went to bed. Woke up the next morning and my skin looked amazing! I don’t plan on using it more than once a month. But I am looking forward to making this apart of my regular beauty regimen. *Be sure to formally sterilize like any other surgical instrument in between uses, alcohol should work perfect.

Ststackedskincare4acked Skincare’s Dermaplaning Tool is their second most popular tool. Designed to provide similar results to an in-office dermaplaning treatment, safely remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells with this non-invasive exfoliation tool for instantly smoother and brighter skin. This is another tool that can be used once a month and be done with. You’ll be left with baby soft skin. When you’re actually doing it, it may look like something out of a horror movie, but it’s completely painless unless you have a shaky hand. I would suggest you leave it to the professionals.


Stacked Skincare 2

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