Tag Archives: cleanser

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways - Living Nature - StorybookApothecary.com

It’s that lovely time again!

Today’s giveaway is a big one as there are 3, count them, THREE Full Sized products up for grabs from the much-loved New Zealand beauty brand, Living Nature!

You may remember me reviewing their travel essentials kit and night face oil in the past summer both of which were amazing to use. If not, you can see my original review on some of their products here. The kit included the Vitalising Cleanser which is up for giveaway today and it’s just a brilliant cleanser. Super gentle, extremely softening and great for any skin type, even the most sensitive types. I’ll be doing a review on these 3 in more depth when I have time so stay tuned for that, but so far, they are all incredible! The Nourishing Hand Cream is super hydrating and softening and the bottle is actually quite large – nearly 7 ounces – which is HUGE for a hand cream. I’ve actually been testing it as a body cream as well because it’s so huge. The Nourishing Night Cream is also brilliant thus far – super moisturizing and it is quite thick, but not heavy and absorbs instantly.

After celebrating their 25 years anniversary offering these lovely natural products, they’ve updated their packaging to a “True Colours” range of colors that look super classy, but really stand out as natural, eco and body friendly. Plus, the new packaging is out just in time for the holidays!

This is what the new packaging looks like : 

So these are exactly what’s up for grabs and you can see they’re quite large sizes!

Have a Great Saturday & Good Luck!

Remember to Hurry & Sign Up Right Away!

This Giveaway Will Close in 48 Hours!

Click Here to Sign Up Now!

ISUN Samples from Beauty Habit Mini Reviews!

More Beauty Habit Samples!

This time they’re from ISUN Skincare, a natural cosmetics company that specializes in healing your skin with natural, organic, wild crafted, and eco ingredients in all areas. I really love that they retain most of their ingredients from domestic organic farms and other fair trade organizations to support indigenous cultures worldwide. All products are produced in Colorado, USA.

Firstly, I tried their Blue-Green Algae Mask. This one is a little hard to warm up to because it just looks like green algae sludge, but it smells really nice – just like cucumbers and greens – which I personally love! Also, it is a bit runny to use, but the effects are nice. It helps calm breakouts within 24 hours while hydrating the skin nicely. No dryness, No tight feeling that you usually get with clay based masks – just balance.

Next, I tried the Rosemary-Sage Body Scrub and the Herb-Infused Shea Butter. The Body scrub is a nicely done herbal scrub, but it doesn’t seem more special than any other scrub I’ve ever tried. Then, I was only able to try it once given the small sample so I don’t want to make any conclusions about it. Now, that being said, the Herb Infused Shea Butter is pretty amazing! It smells delicious and does wonders on the face and body. It definitely helps to calm skin irritations – itchy and dryness – especially.

After that, I was able to try the Trim and Tone Body Butter. I don’t know how effective the “trim and tone” claims are as I was only able to try this twice, but it’s still a nice body butter nonetheless and a natural one at that.

The Clarifying Serum was great for calming and soothing breakouts, albeit it took a few days to do so. That might make it less desirable for some given the slow healing time compared to some others, but I like that there’s no negative effects. It just heals naturally. I also tried the Ultra Sapphire Serum  is meant to help hydrate and soothe the skin as well as giving it a natural glow. I don’t how well this works given the amount of time I was able to use the small sample (about 4 days), I didn’t really see any distinctive effects. I do think it’s very hydrating and nourishing, though, without clogging pores or being too heavy on the skin.

Lastly, I tried their loose powder foundation in 3 different shades – Selenite, Citrine & Rubellite. The Rubellite was seriously just way too dark for my skin so I tried to use it as a bronzer with okay effects, but very little glow to it so it just made my skin look dirty. I think it might be okay to use for contour, though I haven’t tried it myself. The Citrine shade worked well for me when I was more tan, but it won’t fit my skin tone now that the tan is fading or during the winter. I will need to use the Selenite for fall and winter months for a more accurate shade. That being said, these are pretty basic mineral powders, though they are naturally made. I do like that they are talc free and include basic minerals only so they are unlikely to clog pores, but other than that, there is nothing too special about them. Personally, I still prefer Alima Pure foundation to these no contest.

Overall, I do really like the ISUN Skincare line, but where they really shine is with their masks and body butters. The Herb Infused Shea Butter is something special and I think it would truly be effective for those with skin irritations or extremely dry, damaged skin. The herbs help to heal damage and calm irritation while the shea hydrates and it’s nicely done. The Blue-Algae mask, though a bit messy, was really nice to use and, most importantly, effective. I definitely recommend these two over all the others, though the serums are nicely done as well so they may be worth a try.

Check out the entire ISUN line – Here! 

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

Cheap & Eco Friendly Clarisonic Alternative : The Konjac Sponge

So excited that I’ve finally been able to try one of these little beauties!

I’ve been wanting one since I did this post back in June and so when the lovely ladies from  BeautyHabit offered to send me one for review, I was SO thrilled!

Of course I had to use it the very first day when I got it in the mail and it doesn’t disappoint!

First off, I was kind of bummed I didn’t get one of the clay enhanced ones at first, but now I really like this one because it is so versatile. It’s not tied down to one skin type or whatever like the clay-enriched ones are and so any skin type can use it and it can be used with a cleanser of your choice as well which works great.

I really love this tool! It’s such a no brainer type of cleansing tool / cleanser in one. I actually think it would be especially brilliant for someone who wants an easy skin routine and even for guys because it’s exfoliating, cleansing, softening and hydrating all in one product! 

The first time I used this, my face felt so super soft, refreshed, cleansed, brightened and hydrated and I used it just as it comes straight out of the packaging with no added cleansers or anything. I’ve since tried it with various cleansers, all with really nice results. I’ve also oil cleansed and then used this and it was great as well.

It’s just such an easy cleansing tool to use and although it won’t give you facial-like deep cleansing results that a Clarisonic will, this is an awesome alternative for people on a budget who want something that cleans well without any irritation or dryness! It really works well to cleanse your face in a super simple way.  You can also use this on your body as well and it’s really nice, though small, and gentle exfoliates so for those, like me, who have sensitive skin this is a nice alternative to a loofah.

I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone, especially those who want a simple routine, have very sensitive skin and also guys. This is something I will absolutely purchase (actually, ironically I have it in another tab as we speak LOL) because it’s so versatile, it can be used on anyone and it’s the easiest way to get clean skin without causing irritation or having to think too hard about it. Another thing I really dig about using this sponge is that it’s super eco friendly, 100% biodegradable and sustainable so  I don’t have to worry about any waste accumulating from my using it.

These are meant to last up to 6 months, but if they start to break down then they recommend you replace it. Also, it has kind of a very subtle strange smell to it, but it’s not too noticeable really, especially if you’re adding your own cleanser to the sponge when you use this.

Other Awesome Features of These Sponges:

  • Eco Friendly & Sustainable
  • 100% Natural konjac potato sponge
  • 100% Free of Dyes and Additives
  • 100% Biodegradable
  • Gentle On Sensitive Skin, even those with psoriasis and eczema
  • Easy to Use
  • pH Balanced
  • Various sponges for face, body and babies

As weird as it may sound (for the 1 guy or so out there who is reading this! Thanks, by the way! :-D) , I really think these would be a godsend for guys out there who want easy cleansing. I forced my boyfriend to try this, as I usually do with everything I try much to his displeasure, and he actually liked it. It’s not difficult to use and it gets the job done. You can easily pick one with your skin type and you may not even have to use a moisturizer if you don’t want (though I recommend you do use one and some sunscreen if you want to be one of those hot older guys, otherwise power on the fast track to wrecked-face-ville, by all means).

Anyone else who wants to use this can and should as well because it’s super affordable $9 USD so even the cheapest bargain hunter scrooges of the world can spring for one!  Aside from that, it works really well and your skin will certainly thank you.

Check out the Original sponge – here!

Check out the clay-enriched sponges – here!

Check out the body wave sponges – here!

What do you think of these konjac sponges?

Would you or have you ever tried one?

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the sample(s) sent to me from Beauty Habit for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own and will always be honest no matter how I obtain said product(s).

Get Clear, Soft Skin with WEI Beauty’s Purify-Chi Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask!

I’ve been wanting to try this seriously beautiful face mask kit from WEI Beauty ever since I saw the review for it on AModelRecommends. Naturally, I was thrilled when WEI Beauty agreed to send me one of these for review!

If you’re unfamiliar, WEI Beauty offers a variety of herbal beauty products that encompass the ideals of traditional Chinese medicine in order to bring balance, beauty and grace to your skin.

The packaging of this is amazing; it really brings a whole other level to beauty when you feel like it’s not just a product, it’s an experience. With this one, that really holds true.

The kit itself comes with 8 little pots filled with the face mask formula and a surprisingly soft facial brush used to apply the mask. As someone who loves calligraphy and art and painting, this was quite a treat! It really makes putting on a face mask feel really elegant and refined as opposed to my usual slap on face mask, rinse, moisturize, etc. which isn’t that graceful.

Not only is applying this mask lovely, but there is quite a bit of product in one pot. I originally thought it would be a small amount, but I really layered the mask on when I used it the first time and I was still able to use that same pot 2 more times before having to open another one.

Another reason I really love this brand of beauty products is that they have several lines within their collection which have different purposes based on ancient Chinese beliefs: Purify-Chi, Energize-Yang, Replenish-Yin, and Correct-Zen. Each of these are aimed at a specific skin concern and all the products in that line follow the same concern accordingly.

I love when beauty products include a mind and body connection because we are more than just our appearances. For every outward issue, there is an internal concern and I truly believe that we need to cover all bases to be in great health and balance within and without.

This face mask is meant for normal, normal – oily , and normal – dry skin types. It’s very “purifying” as they say so you definitely need to use a moisturizer directly after this, but it’s a great skin cleanser and an awesome skin detox mask for me when I’ve broken out or want to get an extra deep cleanse in for my pores after exfoliating.

The Purify-Chi Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask retails at $42 USD.

It looks like WEI Beauty only ships to USA at this time, but if you’re in UK, check them out at SpaceNK. Aussie beauties can check them out at MECCA.

Everyone else, please contact me in the comments if you need help finding them and I’ll do what I can to help!

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

My Massive Guide to Achieving Clear, Acne Free Skin

I get a lot of questions asking what products are good for keeping skin clear, getting rid of acne, and all that jazz so I thought I would do a post on it (of course). If you simply want a guide on how to get rid of blemishes, blackheads and all that, check out this post I did awhile back. This post is more or less about general tips and guidelines to keeping your skin clear or clearing your skin up in general. Anyhow, on with the post!

Some Background on my Skin: My skin is like a woman on her menstrual whose chocolate has been stolen, hidden or eaten; cranky, temperamental and extremely short tempered. Acne sucks and I’m someone who knows first hand how crappy it can be to struggle with getting and maintaining clear skin, but there is a way to keep your skin under control and looking great with these few tips that are easier than you think to do. I’m not a celebrity with an on-call derm or someone with bucket loads of cash to spend on every product that may or may not work; I’m just a girl who has found the light through the ugly darkness that is acne prone, sensitive combination to oily skin and discovered tips that have worked well for me along the way and some that I swear by. I hope they work for you as well. I’m here if you have any questions so feel free to comment below if you have any!

Double Cleansing Is God. 

Straight out of the gate, I swear by double cleansing. The trick to this, in my opinion, is using the right cleansers. A lot of the time, I see people who have bad acne or breakouts, but then they use super drying cleansers as well which can irritate the skin further and aggravate break outs so they worse or take longer to calm down and heal up. When my acne was at its worst, I was no different. I used those horrid Neutrogena acne soaps that are basically just sulfates (creates the foamy lather and dries out your skin) with salicylic acid and so it’s actually no wonder my skin was a dry, red, acne ridden mess.

What I like to use for double cleansing depends on the day. If I am particularly oily or dirty, I like to use a clay based cleanser like the Tea Tree Clay Cleanser from Naruko followed by something more nourishing like the Cleanse Balm from Suti to counterbalance dryness. You can also take the opposite approach and oil cleanse first with an oil like this Olive Oil All-In-One Treatment from ONE Skincare and then use a gentle cleanser afterwards like the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (all time favorite of mine!) or the Vitalising Cleanser from Living Nature. You can also oil cleanse the cheap way by using a raw organic oil such as olive oil, evening primrose, or grapeseed oil. Check out this post to see which is right for your skin type.

If I am battling breakouts and irritation galore, I prefer to use the Triple Action Cleanser with aloe vera from Alpha-H followed by their Micro Cleanse scrub to really get a good clean and help with cell turnover. If you do use this method, though, you don’t need to exfoliate after as the scrub will be enough, but you can use a mask if you like for added cleansing. Just make sure you moisturize after or you’ll be too dry and cause more irritation. Otherwise, if I’m having a normal day or if I feel a little dry or sensitive, I might just use the Cleanse Balm or a Cleansing Oil (try the Natural Glow Cleansing Oil from Antonia Burrell)  followed by a gentle soap free cleanser (try the Organic Face Wash from Juice Beauty). If I want to be lazy and do some easy cleansing that is still effective, I like to use the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish with the muslin cloth because I can get all my makeup, sunscreen, dirt and debris off my face which clears my pores, but also get a gentle exfoliation without having to do too many steps. If your skin is deathly sensitive and you can’t use too much on it, I highly recommend investing in a konjac sponge. It’s super gentle, basic, and lightly exfoliates the skin while you use it. Plus, you can’t beat that price.

If you use a facial cleansing oil, I recommend using any of these face massage methods for excellent skin cleansing benefits. Not only does it help clear pores, it also helps your skin absorb products better so you can get the benefits from what you’re putting on your skin.

Tea Tree Oil - Best Sellers

Spot Treat As Opposed to All Over Treat.

In the past when I would breakout, especially in high school, I would normally attack breakouts with benzoyl peroxide and these cringe-worthy acne pads from Oxy that burned like hell going on ( I now know it’s because they have almost 50% alcohol) and only succeeded in drying my whole face out, making me peel, more red, more irritated and had little to no effect on blemishes. Please don’t do what I did and learn from my heinous heinous mistakes! I now use tea tree oil to spot treat with a Q tip or otherwise I put a bit of mask on each of my blemishes so I can calm the redness, soreness and make them shrink quickly.

Exfoliate Like A Boss.

When I say “Like a Boss,” I do NOT mean roughly. Please be gentle with your skin! It’s a delicate mantle that needs attention and affection. I just mean that you shouldn’t slack on your weekly, bi-weekly or even tri-weekly exfoliation sessions. Most people only need once or twice a week, but if you have really oily or super clogged skin, you may need to do 3 times a week to get your skin under control. Once it’s calmed down a bit, you can take it back to 2 time or even once a week, depending on your skin’s condition, type and the season.

Also, a lot of people think that to exfoliate, you have to use a scrub, but this isn’t true at all. Exfoliation can be easy and gentle and even those with sensitive skin can do it, but you just need to use the right product or ingredient. If you have super sensitive, dry or combination to dry skin, I recommend using a thin layer of milk, yogurt or these Nourishing Facial Refreshers from Dairyface which work really well. They might make you a little red post exfoliation, but it fades within 20 minutes and the effects are worth it. If you have normal, combination to oily, oily or skin that’s broken out, you can use either a scrub like the Micro Cleanse from Alpha-H, a personal favorite, or you can use an exfoliant like this Papaya and Willow Bark Enzyme Exfoliator from Claribel Skincare that requires less work. You just apply a thin layer, wait 10 minutes and rinse. It will feel tingly, but it goes away shortly. Be careful to not overdo it.

If you’re unsure about how many times a week you should be exfoliating, start with 1 time and then work up to more if needed and no more than 3 times. If you really need the pick me up, you can use a mask directly after exfoliating for added effectiveness. ALWAYS moisturize after exfoliating, using a mask and/or cleansing no matter what. I don’t care if your skin is oily, dry, or whatever, find a moisturizer you like and use it every day twice a day. It’s optimal if you can add in some kind of nighttime treatment serum or cream for additional repair benefits, but if not, a basic gentle moisturizer with hydrating ingredients should work fine.

Mask It, But Not with Makeup!

I am pretty obsessed with using face masks. I love to make them (see Natural DIY Face Mask recipes here), use them, whatever. Pretty much any way I can enjoy the fun of using one, I will. Plus, if you prefer to avoid intense exfoliation or you don’t want to put in that much effort, a mask is a fail safe way to get the job done without thinking too hard about it. Some of my favorite face masks are the Rosehip and Mint Clay Mask from Farmaesthetics, Willa Naturals Cucumber Clay Mask, or sometimes I just leave the Micro Cleanse from Alpha-H on for 5 minutes after I’m done massaging it around my face.

Dry Skin Is Not Necessarily Acne Free Skin. Moisturize!

Again, a lot of people think if they can just dry out the whole area where acne is residing, this will make their skin clear. For instance, I used to use benzoyl peroxide or any acne gel I had on hand on my entire face. I did have a lot of breakouts, but rather than deal with them one by one, I just slathered it all over my face. Not only was my face dry, irritated and still broken out, it was also now peeling. Yay. Like I said, don’t make the same desperate mistakes as me! Even if you have breakouts, don’t be afraid to use oil serums on your face (See here for the truth about oil in skincare) because a lot of them actually help with breakouts and irritation on the skin like the Elemeni Face Oil from Max Green Alchemy that helps to balance the skin while treating breakouts. Another more nourishing option is the Radiance Face Oil from Living Nature. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to use oil on your face ( like my mom), the Balancing Moisturizer and Gentle Face Exfoliant from Alpha-H is in my holy grail of products and works really well. It has 10% glycolic acid in the formula so it exfoliates the skin as well. If you use it, you don’t need to exfoliate. It would likely be overkill. Also, sometimes I like to use it every other day so it just depends on your skin. If that seems to intense, another great option is the Extra Hydrating Toning Gel by Living Nature. If you need extra moisture and nourishment on your skin or if your skin is feeling especially red and irritated, the Purity Balm from Suti Skincare is amazing.

Stop Touching Your Face.

Seriously, I mean it. It was one of the hardest things I had to get over and I still catch myself picking sometimes, but you just have to do whatever you can to NOT touch your face. I have a tendency to lean my hand on my chin sometimes as well and that oil, dirt and debris on my hand and fingers would cause breakouts. Do whatever you have to do to not touch your face; it will thank you for it later by staying clear and smooth.

Keep Hair Products Off Your Face.

I’ve had issues in the past with heavy conditioners breaking my forehead out so this is just a heads up as some people may not think about the fact that it might be their hair products breaking them out. Just keep all hair serums, conditioners, moisturizing shampoos, etc. away from your face and be sure to wash your hands directly after applying anything to your hair. I’ve gone and applied hair serum and then caught myself touching my face in some way or another a few seconds later without thinking about it.

Use Acne Friendly Makeup, Preferably the Natural Kind.

I know a lot of people use makeup to cover up breakouts. I was no different. That’s why I created the Fairest of Them All Healing Face Powder because I wanted a powder that would help heal acne while I wore it without drying my skin out like some of the treatments that include sulfur and which tend to make me peel. Avoid liquid foundation, if you can, at least until your breakouts get more under control. If you just can’t avoid it, I recommend investing in a formula that include salicylic acid like this one from SukiColor.

Clean Your Pillows, Sheets, and Wash Cloths Frequently.

This one is something I never thought about until I read it in a blog post. I would source it if I could remember where the hell I read it, but nope. Anyhow, you want to clean AT LEAST your pillowcase once a week, your sheets every 2 weeks, and do not use the same wash cloth more than twice. I bought a small pack of washcloths at Target for like $6 USD. You can also get an organic cotton set of 8 for $11.99 on Etsy here. Otherwise, some people swear by muslin cloths. It’s your personal preference so use what you like, just make sure it’s clean. Lastly, don’t use the same washcloth you cleaned the counter top with on your face. I’ll never forget the day I realized I was doing this. My friend Aaron noticed I was cleaning sink water off my counter with the cloth. I then proceeded to wash my face and was right about to dry my face with that same cloth when he asked me what the heck I was doing. Hello! You just wiped the counter with that! Do NOT put that on your face. So now I’m passing on that advice. DO NOT PUT THAT ON YOUR FACE!

Sleep With Your Hair Up, Geisha Style.

Sometimes, especially in the Summer, my hair gets oily a whole lot faster. I have long hair at the moment and it can get dry as well so I use conditioner a lot. If I sleep with my hair down, I tend to end up sleeping on it and this can cause breakouts, either because your hair is too oily or the conditioner you use is. To solve this problem, I often sleep with a top bun like this one or braid my hair to keep it out of my face.

Stay Hydrated with Fruits + Veggies.

This is pretty basic, but in the beginning I know I never thought about mind / body connection. Actually that’s something I recently truly thought about after reading The Water Secret by Dr. Howard Murad (of Murad Skincare). I know a lot of blogs will advise you to drink a million and five cups of water a day and you should be drinking a good amount of water, but a lot of your body’s hydration (including that of your skin) gets hydrated by food as well, especially vegetables and fruits like watermelon and celery which are made up of mostly water. Plus, the added bonus is they also include vital nutrients and antioxidants to protect your body, skin and rejuvenate and heal it as well. For a list of the most hydrating foods, click here.

Workout To Unclog Pores.

Lastly, a good sweat can help clear out pores. Whenever you get your blood pumping, your cells are moving faster and your metabolism kicks in to high gear which helps with cell turnover and healing rates in your body, including in your skin. I used to dread working out when I was broken out because I felt like all the sweat caused my pores to clog, but actually exercise will help clear your skin. Just make sure to wipe your face with a washcloth instead of your inevitable dirty hands and shower and clean your face directly after working out.

So that’s it; my massive painfully long list of tips.

Sorry for the ridiculous length and the huge amount of links; I just wanted everything accessible and easy to find so yeah.

I hope you found it helpful anyway and maybe you can incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine.

Good Luck & Feel free to ask me questions in the comments!

Rainwater Botanicals Giveaway Announcement!

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know all about my love for Rainwater Botanicals and the subsequent giveaway!

Check out the original post on Rainwater Botanicals – here!

Without further delay, congratulations to our winner

Colleen @ Beauty Botanica!

Please email me at storybookapothecary@gmail.com with a mailing address to claim your  Rainwater Botanical minis!

If you didn’t win or didn’t get a chance to sign up, check out the Rainwater Botanicals etsy shop – here – as everything is super affordable and all organic and wild crafted!

Stay tuned for more beauty giveaways happening all the time!

Welcome to Storybook Apothecary Blog!

Please check out my new Etsy shop by clicking on the logo!

All items are Grimm Fairy Tales themed skin care products made from natural, organic, and wild crafted materials as well as some actives.

I hope you enjoy my items!

Stay Beautiful

&

I’ll talk to you soon : ]

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