Tag Archives: brightening


    Hello Everyone!

I’m back again (yay!) with another giveaway sponsored by yours truly. I got these free full sized products when I spent a certain amount at my local Naruko Boutique and I had been saving them for giveaway purposes so this is what is up for grabs today – 1 Narcissus Total Defense Night Brightening Serum & 1 AmPm Skin Wakeup Hydra Refresher. I personally have not tried either of these as of yet, but I absolutely love Naruko products and haven’t had one bad experience with them. I’ve done many many posts on their products, but you can learn more about the brand (if you’ve never heard of it) by checking out a post I did on it here. If you want to hear about my specific experiences with several of their products, you can read this post here.

If you want the short story and prefer not to read any posts, Naruko Skincare is a beauty brand from Taiwan which utilizes natural essential oils and extracts in order to heal and revitalize the skin. They have many different lines which focus on various skin types, though I’ve found many products from various lines have worked for my skin even if they aren’t specifically marketed to my combination to oily type. The Narcissus line is marketed to normal skin, but their serums are quite good for almost any skin type, in my opinion. I haven’t tried a whole lot of their AmPm line, but it’s more anti-aging oriented and will aim to assist with wrinkles, fine lines, collagen rejuvenation and the like.

Something I really love about this brand is the fact that the founder himself is a scientist and expert in essential oils and natural plants and tests all products on himself personally for the ultimate in product quality, effectiveness and safety.

Remember to Hurry & Sign Up Right Away!

This Giveaway Will Close in 48 Hours!

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Good Luck!

Seventh Day of Christmas Giveaway - 12 Days of Xmas Giveaways 2012 - StorybookApothecary.Com

Hey everyone, I’m back again with another giveaway today in my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways event. and today’s prizes are numerous, though smaller than the others. No full sized products today, but tons of sample minis and deluxe minis from loads of brands.

I did my best to get everything in a photo so you can see, but I can’t remember if this is everything or not. Sorry if it seems a bit stilted today – my family dog was just put down this morning and I found out about an hour ago so I’m a bit out of sorts right now and quite sad at the moment so I apologize if my spirit seems out of it.

Anyway, here is what you stand to win, for the most part – I may throw in a few more samples or so, so keep that in mind.

TONS of Sample Minis are up for grabs soon at StorybookApothecary.com!

As you can see, you do stand to win quite a bit of samples!

Although not everyone gets jazzed about samples, I think they’re awesome for traveling and trying out new brands and products that you’ve never tried before without the immense cost so I hope you’ll all sign up to win these!

Remember to Hurry & Sign Up Right Away!

This Giveaway Will Close in 48 Hours!

Click Here to Sign Up Now!

Good Luck!

12DaysofChristmasGiveaways - AlphaH - StorybookApothecary.Com

It’s another day for a giveaway in my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways event and today’s prize is the Tinted Moisturizer by Alpha-H in Medium!

I’ve been a huge fan of Alpha-H for awhile now from their face masks to their Liquid Gold, moisturizers, face cleansers, and the list goes on. They have incredibly effective products that work, especially on acne prone problem skin. I also think their products would be quite effective against hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tone as well. You can check out my original post on Alpha-H here if you would like to learn more about their incredible products.

A special thanks goes out to Alpha-H for sponsoring today’s giveaway and providing this lovely product. Thank you so much for giving me such great opportunities to try your products and review them – it has been fantastic discovering more and more of your products. I haven’t yet met one I don’t like.

Remember to Hurry & Sign Up Right Away!

This Giveaway Will Close in 48 Hours!

Click Here to Sign Up Now!


As I’ve been so busy preparing all the giveaway posts for my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Event, I just have not had the time to do all the reviews, makeup looks and other normal beauty posts I’d normally be doing about now so sorry for the lateness on this favorites post and the lack of a typical collage that I’d normally do. This is just real quick and then it’s back to the grind as I’ve got to prepare for tomorrow’s flash giveaway. If you haven’t done so already, definitely hurry and sign up for the 2 giveaways that are open as the first closes in 12 hours or so and the second closes in less than 48 hours!

Click the Links Below to Sign Up Now:

On the First Day of Christmas Giveaway

On the Second Day of Christmas Giveaway

And onto my November Favorites!

{Click the Links to Read My Reviews!}

  • Alpha-H Liquid Smoothing & Perfecting Face Mask.  This one has been a real life saver! My skin has been all over the place since the weather started to change and this mask has kept breakouts in check and helped smooth out patchiness, brighten dullness and just wake my skin up. It’s a great pick-me-up mask and it has the great tingling effects with the results to back it up! Highly recommend this one!
  • Living Nature Foundation. I’ve really been loving this foundation as it has a lot of healing ingredients in the formula including harakeke flax gel and manuka which are said to heal, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin and I really can attest to these effects! Although the coverage is not full, it has a general light to medium that’s buildable and really seems to even out the skin without covering it up. I love that it lets my skin breath and doesn’t break me out. Plus, it’s nicely hydrating and looks even more polished when used with the Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Primer.
  • Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener. This primer is so great! Although I covet my Korres primer because it is silicone free and I’ve had something of a phobia when it comes to silicone primers given how often they seem to make me breakout, I really love this one and it does not make me break out so that is fantastic! Instead, it gives that fantastic poreless finish we all associate with silicone primers with none of the typical irritation associated with them. Normally, in the past I’ve felt like, well I’d like the poreless look today so let me use this crap primer and pray my skin doesn’t react in the five hours I’m wearing it and I’d usually break out. But with this primer, I don’t have to worry because I never break out! It makes my skin look great and gives the natural foundations ( like the Living Nature or Jane Iredale ones) a fuller coverage that still looks natural, though a bit more finished.
  • The Leakey Collection Marula Oil. This has been such a great oil for hydrating my skin! I love that it’s just pure marula oil and that it’s a product I can really stand behind in terms of ethics and things. The oil itself feels so silky and yet it absorbs almost instantly into the skin and no residue. This is something I would absolutely repurchase though I’d need to save up a bit as it’s a little bit of a splurge!
  • Suti Skincare Cleanse Organic Balm. Last on the list, but nonetheless amazing! If you follow then you’ll have somewhat of an idea of the extent of my little obsession with Suti products. They just have such greatly formulated products and these products actually work! Some natural products are all natural and then their formulas suck despite their fantastic ingredient list, but these are so effective! I love this cleanse balm for any time, all the time. It just seems to really straighten my skin out when it’s going haywire for no reason and that’s whether it’s summer, winter, whatever. This. Just. Works. Try it. It’s amazing and it will nourish and smooth your skin in a beautiful way.

So, that’s it for my November favorites!

What are you loving this winter season to keep your skin in great shape or get the perfect fall makeup look?

I’m soo happy to share this awesome face mask with you today!

I’ve been wanting to try it for ages and only recently did I get my hands on one to test out.

First off, I just want to say I think those with super sensitive skin should steer clear of this one. It’s pretty intense as a skin treatment mask, but if you can hack it, it’s a seriously great face mask that will give you the results you want in very little time.

I find it seems especially effective for me now and that may be because, in winter, my skin is drier and has a tendency towards dullness, but this is just the perfect pick-me-up my skin needs to look it’s best!

Formulated with 15% glycolic acid, rose and lavender oils, honey, and wheatgerm oil, this face mask works quickly to slough off dead skin cells, encourage cell turnover, and infuse the skin with antioxidants and hydration all at once.

I love how super effective this mask is without taking too much of my day away.

All you do is apply a thin layer over the face and neck area, leave on for no longer than 10 minutes, and rinse off with warm water.

You definitely get the sense that this mask is working while you wear it as it has the awesome tingling factor, but it also shows an immediate difference when you rinse the mask off as well.

It’s important to mention that you really only need to use this mask once a week. It’s that potent of a treatment that any more might be too much for your skin and cause irritation instead of good. That’s not because the mask is harmful, it’s just very concentrated so use it sparingly and wisely.

Although this mask is pretty pricey, it’s well worth it in the results it gives you, in my opinion.

You can find it on Alpha-H.com or otherwise, Beauty Bay carries Alpha-H products as well and always has great deals and offers free worldwide shipping!

Find it on Beauty Bay – here.

What’s your favorite face mask for bright, clear skin?

Thanks Humaira! Awesome Nurture My Body Exfoliating Face Cleanser!

I’ve been meaning to do this post for ages and I just haven’t had a chance to do so, but I’m glad it’s finally happening! Yay!

First off, a special thanks to HumairaBeauty for hosting the wonderful giveaway that I won this awesome cleanser from! Also, a thanks to Nurture My Body for making such an awesome dual cleanser + exfoliator product that is gentle, cleansing and brightening.

I really love this cleanser and I am so happy that I won it! It smells of citrus which, for me, is brilliant in the morning when I’m half dead and need a pick-me-up. Aside from the really lovely scent, this really works, but gently so. It feels a bit like a scrub, but it has jojoba beads and almond meal so it’s not very scratchy to use or anything. It doesn’t feel like it’s shaving away at your skin, rather giving it a nice massage which leaves your skin cleaner, brighter and more hydrated.

I love that it works as both a cleanser and exfoliator in one product because it really does save a lot of time and effort. It does hydrate the skin as well, though you may need something more if you’re on the dry side of things. This is also great because it helps any skin treatments and serums absorb into the skin more efficiently as well; a feature I really like about it.

Also, this is a very natural beauty company. This cleanser includes loads of beneficial essential oils, carrier oils and plant extracts so it’s no wonder it works so well. Some notable ingredients include aloe vera gel, green myrtle essential oil, and   chamomile and lavender infusions. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a gentle, natural product that has a host of awesome natural ingredients, but is also very effective in a very gentle way. It’s pretty affordable at $30.57 as well.

You can check out this cleanser – here!

Thanks again to Humaira for hosting such a great giveaway.

Be sure to follow her lovely beauty, fashion & lifestyle blog – here! 

Special 2 for $20 For Fairest of Them All Healing Face Powders!

Normally priced at $15 each, for a limited time, Storybook Apothecary readers can get 2 full sized powders for only $20 !

Hurry While This Offer Lasts!

Purchase 2 Fairest of Them All Healing Face Powders for $20 – Here!

The Answer to All Your Skincare Woes: Alpha-H Skincare

I am SO excited to tell you about this amazing skincare brand from Australia, but bear with me, this is likely to be a bit on the long side!

If you’re American like me, you may not have heard of Alpha-H yet, but you’re going to want to Pay Attention!

This skincare has totally changed my skin for the better!

I cannot even begin to describe the amazing-ness? of these products, but for the sake of this blog, I will do my best!

First off, Alpha-H Skincare is an Australian skincare brand that has been raved about by many beauty bloggers. Their Liquid Gold, specifically, has been ranted and raved about across the girly intra-webs for a few years now, especially in the UK and Aussie circle of beauty bloggers.

I, much like a lot of beauty bloggers will do, have been reading review after review on their products. I especially hear a lot about them on AModelRecommends, where she counts many of their products among her holy grail circle of beauty so of course I was dying to get my hands on any and all of these products for review!

As luck would have it, they are finally expanding out to USA so they will soon be available in stores near us, aside from online retailers that is, and I was able to receive the above 5 products for test and review on this blog.

Anyhow, onto the individual product reviews!

Triple Action Cleanser with Aloe Vera

This cleanser is super basic, but what’s great about it is that it’s very calming and gentle. It is a non-foaming gel that doesn’t have much in it other than aloe vera, glycerin (to lock in moisture) and some gentle cleansing agents so it is safe for most skin types. Someone with dry skin may need a bit more, but for anyone with normal – combination – oily skin, this  works great as a basic gentle cleanser. I used this alternatively with the Antonia Burrell Cleansing Oil (See that review – here!) because the moisturizer (see below) did cause some dryness if I used it too often. I found it helped to alternate between using the cleansing oil which helped to nourish a bit more than this cleanser and this gel cleanser which helped to remove all impurities and detox bacteria from the pores.

Micro Cleanse Exfoliating Face Scrub with 12% Glycolic Acid, Cucumber Extract and Rice Bran

I am so surprised to find that this is a new must-have product for me! It is basically an insanely effective all-in-one product: face scrub, polish, exfoliator, mask and deep cleanser. It truly works and is effective at making your skin look clearer, smoother, softer, and cleanser instantly. Right after I use this, my skin has a nice clear glow to it and I certainly have seen a reduction in acne, discoloration and dullness since using it for about a month , twice to three times a week. I was so surprised because even though I had heard about how amazing Alpha-H is, I just wasn’t prepared for any of these products to live up to the built hype around them. The funny thing is, I am not even a scrub kind of girl. In fact, I was in the school of thought that preaches using natural acids to exfoliate the skin or maybe occasionally a Clarisonic, but not those abrasive gritty scrubs because many of them are too harsh and they tend to cause breakage in the skin which can do a lot of damage. This is NOT like that! This is just abrasive enough, but use some common sense and massage around the face (avoiding the eye area) softly. You don’t need to press down really at all for this to work it’s magic. It has 12% glycolic acid (sugar acid) and uses rice bran which lends impressive deep cleansing action and smooths the skin’s texture while the glycolic helps to exfoliate and brighten the skin. Both help to fight breakouts. This may be too intense for very sensitive skin types, unfortunately, but every other should be okay. They actually carry a more gentle exfoliant for sensitive types – here!  I will certainly be purchasing this once I run out!

Balancing Moisturizer and Gentle Exfoliant with 10% Glycolic Acid Formula

This is another of my must-haves from this line! It is a bit intense and likely not suitable for sensitive skin, but anyone else is okay to use this and IT WORKS! If you use this directly after the Micro Cleanse or any face mask, it can be a bit intense and you will experience some odd tingling sensations, but it goes away and definitely helps clear breakouts, moisturize skin and smooth and refine the skin surface. It also helps with scarring and discoloration. I have some acne spots here and there (chin, nose and cheeks areas), some scarring on my cheeks and chin and a bit of discoloration around my mouth. This has definitely helped my skin in every one of those areas and I can directly attribute it to this moisturizer and the Micro Cleanse. It says this should help with wrinkles and fine lines, but I don’t think it has been long enough for me to see those effects. I will report back in a few weeks if I see anything to report!

Liquid Gold Perfecting Daywear with Bronzing Minerals and Hyaluronic Acid

This is such a nice little extra! It feels like a really light serum and moisturises really well, likely due to the hyaluronic acid in the formula. It goes on so smooth and I have been using it as my makeup primer with much success! It does have bronzing minerals, but they just light diffuse; they don’t really show up or give you an extremely noticeable shine or glow so no need to fear if you have oily, sensitive, or acne prone skin. This will not break you out! It feels amazing and helps keep my skin hydrated. I may purchase this once I run out, but it’s undecided at the moment!

Daily Essential Moisturizer SPF30+ with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera

I wasn’t a huge fan of this as I like to use more natural physical sunscreens, but I was impressed that this doesn’t give that annoying white cast, it doesn’t break me out and it simply feels like a light lotion even though it comes out of the pump looking really thick and creamy. It’s not heavy at all. I just wish the formula was more natural. It has the typical chemical sunscreen smell as well. I will likely go back to using my sunscreen from Rainwater Botanicals (see more on Rainwater Botanicals – here!) now that I’ve tested this one enough.

Overall, I love Alpha-H Skin Care! I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to try the Liquid Gold after reading so much about it, but for the most part, everything I got was amazing so I can’t complain. I can’t really imagine my skin routine without the Micro Cleanse and Balancing Moisturizer now because that’s how much of an effect both have had on my skin. This was even more of an effect than what I experienced with Naruko (see that review – here!) and that is impressive as hell to me! My only qualm with this brand is that it’s not as natural as it could be. It is SO effective and I really feel that a lot of the products include amazing ingredients that really work to help whip your skin into shape, but I wish that the formulas featured more nature – derived ingredients so I could feel less guilty about using them. If you don’t care about that, then power on because this seriously works magic!

Also, it is important to mention that they do not use many fillers or unnecessary preservatives so the formulas are pretty good as far as concentration of ingredients. You are getting your money’s worth, in my opinion, especially where effectiveness is concerned. The only thing is you need to use it as per the instructions specifically and don’t overdo it on the exfoliation. It can be so easy to do with these products because they feature a lot of highly concentrated glycolic acid in their formulas. I would alternate the Micro Cleanse with even a Cream or Oil Cleanser if you have straight combination skin like me. Same goes for dry to mature skin types. You may find you need more nourishing, oil based ingredients. If your skin is more on the oily side of things, the Triple Action Cleanser is a great choice. Aside from that, expect to experience an unpleasant first week or so. I saw my skin get a million and one spots the first week and a half and I literally thought I was having a bad reaction to the products, but I am now sure this was just my skin being purged as I likely had acne sitting underneath the skin clogging my pores. At around week 3-5, you should start to feel some relief and see some clarity going on with continued regular use per their instructions on the Alpha-H site and all packaging. So, basically if you stick with it for a time, you should see results for sure.

Lastly, if you are interested in trying Alpha-H’s line, but you are unsure where to start or what would be right for your skin, they offer a service where you can consult a skin therapist for advice on which would be the best products for you. You can do that – here.

Check out the entire Alpha-H line – here!

Have you ever tried Alpha-H products?

What are your holy grail skincare items?

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Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Alpha-H Skincare for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

One of My Favorite Affordable Naturally Brightening, Skin Smoothing and Blemish Clearing Exfoliation Treatments!

Papaya & Willow Bark Smoothing Enzyme Exfoliator; $14.95

Happy Friday Everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know about this amazing skin exfoliator I have used that has a pretty natural ingredient list, an awesome price (see above), and really great results.

The Papaya & Willow Bark Smoothing Enzyme Exfoliator by Claribel Skincare is ultra gentle and very effective. I purchased it off Etsy for only $14.95 USD, which is an incredible price, and I was very surprised at the results.

The formula is pretty simple and includes aloe vera, papaya enzymes and willow bark extract to gently exfoliate the dead skin cells off your face in only 2-10 minutes!

It’s a very watery type consistency, but it comes in a dropper bottle to ensure you get just the exact amount that you will need, which isn’t a lot by the way.

You apply a thin layer to your face and leave on for 2-10 minutes. You will feel a light tingling and sometimes a little of an itchy type sensation, but that’s supposed to happen. Obviously you want to wash it off right away if you experience anything more than that. It doesn’t really dry out or anything, it just feels a bit tingly and then you rinse after it’s been 2-10 minutes, no longer than that. It really is quite gentle as far as exfoliator treatments go, but see what time you’re comfortable with within the 2-10 minutes of recommended time. Everyone is different so you may find that you only need 2 minutes or you might need all 10. Your skin may change over time as well; just gauge it on how your skin feels and you’ll be fine.

Anyhow, so after I wash this treatment off my skin feels incredibly soft and smooth. I do experience a little bit of redness directly after using this, but it goes away within 30 minutes of washing this off and applying moisturizer.

What I love about this treatment is that there are “No Sulfates, Synthetic Preservatives, Petroleum, Parabens or Silicones.” Also, it’s gentle enough to use twice a day if you need it.

From my experimenting with this treatment, I have found that these are the best uses for it:

  • Acne Treatment
  • Blackhead / Whitehead Treatment
  • Pore Cleansing
  • Unclog Pores
  • Clear Dead Skin Cells
  • Slough Off Dry Skin / Flakes for Mature Skin
  • Regenerate and Stimulate Cell Regeneration
  • Get Healthy and Naturally Glowing Skin

I really love this product because it combines modern technology with natural plant power. I love natural and organic ingredients wherever possible, but I have found that when it comes to acid exfoliation, technology usually wins. Also, I hate purchasing a product that’s natural or organic and usually expensive only to find that it doesn’t work. I like the idea of Claribel Skincare taking the best of both worlds to offer affordable products that certainly get the job done, but without all the fillers and other unnecessary crap ingredients found in many mainstream brand products.

Check out this exfoliator – here!

Check out the entire Claribel Skincare line – here! 

What is your experience with exfoliation treatments?

Do you have any tips or tricks?

Please share in the comments!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way. I purchased this product with my own money and of my own free will. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

Just thought I’d mention really quick! The lovely Courtney Leiva @TheDollhouseBlog recently reviewed Storybook Apothecary’s Fairest of Them All Healing Face Powder and Snow’s Eternal Youth Elixir Serum!

Check out the review – here!

Also, definitely check out her other posts on health and beauty and follow her @CourtneyLeiva on Twitter for the latest in beauty, giveaways and more!

Thanks again Courtney!