Tag Archives: eco friendly

TONS of Naruko Skincare Samples: Speed Reviews

{All Naruko Skincare Samples were Provided for Review by Naruko USA}

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Naruko skincare. Their favorite products are the night jellies that they offer, but they also have various lines of skincare for different skin types, issues and concerns and I was lucky this past winter/ spring season to be able to test out a few of them for a few months.

Here’s a look at everything I received for review. Naruko has been super generous to me and I couldn’t be more grateful to have the opportunity to try more of their products because they are a brand that I would purchase from no matter what. If you’re unfamiliar with this brand, Naruko is a Taiwanese beauty brand that mainly offer a variety of skincare products for all your skin concerns including acne, dry skin, discoloration or pigmentation, and more. The brand is known for selling products that are naturally effective and include a variety of all natural ingredients combined with some scientific research to ensure the best results for your skin.

Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Cream

The first item I tested out was their Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Cream. It comes in an air tight plastic container which dispenses the perfect amount of cream out of a hole in it’s center when you press down on the top. It’s really sanitary and effective way to keep your cream clean as well as keep it from oxidation which will make ingredients less effective over time so I really like the packaging for it’s practical function. Aside from the packaging, this is a great cream for those with dry skin or combination skin who are dry in the winter or spring seasons. I got really super dry skin this past winter and this was a really nice cream to keep my skin from dehydration.

Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Mask

I absolutely love sheet masks! They are super easy to use, effective and very mess-free. They come in rectangle envelopes with face shaped cotton masks that are pre-soaked in the mask ingredients so you literally just pull them out, place them on your face and relax for 10-15. A lot of them don’t even need to be rinsed off, though you can if you’d prefer to. This one is super hydrating and softening.

Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Foaming Wash

This face wash was hit and miss for me. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the gratifying peeling that happened when I used it. It basically lathers up really nicely and when you massage it onto your skin, it starts to peel the dead skin off your face to reveal brighter skin beneath and you can literally see the skin coming off in little pieces. It’s not painful and there’s very little to no abrasion going on so it’s done more chemically than anything. It doesn’t feel like a face scrub much at all so, if you’re not into scrubs, this doesn’t feel like that. Instead, it just massages dead skin off your face and reveals new skin after. I really liked the peeling bit of this face wash, but as for treating dryness, it was not nearly as much hydration as I wanted and needed in a winter cleanser. I actually think face balms work much better for me than this, which I found to be brightening, but still a bit drying. It may work better for others, but for me, it didn’t hydrate enough. This might be great for those who battle oily skin, but also have dryness.

Tea Tree Oil Out Peeling Gel

This is another peeling type product that’s super fun to use. It does feel more like a scrub as it has tiny little beads in the formula, but they aren’t rough at all to use. To use this, you apply a small amount to skin and massage it around your face gently (avoiding eye area) for a minute or so. You will see small pieces of skin come off in the same way as the face wash and you need to rinse after using this to get all the little pieces completely off. I liked this better than the face wash, but it still didn’t hydrate my skin enough. I really just enough the scent of the Naruko tea tree products, to be honest. This is a great one for acne prone skin types.

Rose & Snow Fungus Classic Hydrating Night Eye Gelly

This hydrating night eye jelly is perfect for under the eyes. It’s super thick and goopy feeling, but it will soak in completely within an hour so that does go away eventually. It really does hydrate the eye area and protect it nicely. It didn’t cause breakouts on my skin at all so that’s a great bonus for those who have dry under eyes, but experience eye sensitivity and acne, because it’s very hydrating without being heavy or causing irritation.

Rose & Snow Fungus Classic Hydrating Night Gelly

Although this hasn’t taken the place of my favorite night jelly, it’s still a really lovely Night Jelly and it’s especially beneficial for dry skin types or those currently experiencing dryness. It has a really lovely, yet subtle rose scent and feels hydrating, but light on the skin.

AMPM Super Triple HA Skin Hydrator Seru

AMPM Super Triple HA Skin Hydrator

This very hydrating, yet light serum has a high concentration of B vitamins and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate, plump, and soothe skin. I really like how light this serum is, despite the fact that it’s very moisturizing. I think this is perfect for combination and oily skin types who have trouble finding serums that both hydrate the skin and are not super heavy. This is a great one for those who have trouble with heavier moisturizers, but still want a hydrating serum to use.

Facial White Illuminating Cotton Pads

The last item I received is this box of texturized cotton pads that are unique to Naruko. They are dual sided with one side being very smooth and one side being cross-hatched for gently buffing the skin. These are fantastic to use with facial toners or to remove makeup because the cross-hatched side really buffs the skin clean and gently exfoliates while the smooth side polishes and smooths the surface. I really saw a huge difference in my skin with using these alongside a toner and I definitely think they’re worth the little extra cost.

Overall, these products from Naruko, unsurprisingly, were really awesome. They all work really well at hydrating the skin and putting some life into otherwise dry skin cells. I definitely had an issue with dryness this past season and these products all helped a lot. I don’t think there was anything I really loved out of this bunch, but they’re all pretty solid as good skincare choices in my book. I don’t think I’d use them in the Summer time really as my skin can’t really handle it and prefers oils to lotions. I know that sounds weird and backward, but that’s how my skin is. If I had to pick favorites, I would choose the Night Eye Jelly, the Tea Tree Peeling Gel and the Cotton Pads, but these are all worth a look if hydration is what you need so definitely give them a look!

Have You Tried Any of These Products from Naruko?

What Are Your Thoughts on Taiwanese & Asian Beauty Products?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

♥ Tianna

Related Articles:

Get Clear Skin with Naruko’s Apple Seed & Tranexamic Acid Line

Brand Spotlight: A Closer Look At Naruko

Summer Acne Breakout Savior – Naruko Tea Tree Night Jelly

 

I’ve gone through a bit when it comes to the whole Beauty Box subscription service thing.

I really love the idea of it, but I feel like, most of the time, the value just isn’t there.

I realize the price is quite low, but I’m a thrifty gal who wants her money’s worth and if the product is good, I’ll buy a full size.

Also, I’ve often times found myself subscribed to services which I mostly like, but which mostly seem to offer samples of products I’m not that interested in.

Aside from that, I’ve been wanting to subscribe to a new beauty box subscription service which offers natural products that are also appealing and fun to try.

The Conscious Box seems to be a really great deal, though it is slightly more expensive than others I’ve tried ( $20 / month , and it seems to have more value to it.

That being said, I’d love your feedback on this if any of you currently subscribe or have subscribed to the Conscious Box in the past – I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences with the service!

Learn more about the Conscious Box Mission & How it Works.

Otherwise, you can Subscribe to the Box – here.

If you’ve never tried Conscious Box, I’d love to know what your favorite subscription box service is, whether beauty or otherwise, and why in the comments!

Thanks for your help!

Go Green with EkoMiko Luxury Intimate Massage Candles!


I was contacted by the very gracious Bradley from EkoMiko Candles about doing a review on these and, at first, I was a little hesitant. After all, it’s an intimate massage candle so I didn’t know how up my alley that would be, but I am very glad I decided to give it a go and was able to receive this lovely candle with an impressive message!

First off, it’s seriously so much more than just a luxury candle.

It’s made of 100% natural coconut butter wax and other natural, organic and eco certified ingredients to nourish and feed your skin for massage or as a hand / body balm.

Check here to read more about the ingredients.

The candle wax is a lot softer than your typical candle. Actually, it feels more like a body balm than a candle. I used a bit to moisturize my hands and it worked really well, whether the candle was lit or not. The candle I received, EkoHeroine, has a very feminine floral scent that is really nice and uplifting. They also have EkoHero, a scent that seems to be aimed more toward men and/or as a night time scent, that I received a small sample of and which is much more musky and masculine (obviously) than the EkoHeroine scent. I actually prefer the EkoHero scent, to be honest, but they are both really well-scented nonetheless.

The box packaging itself is seeded, meaning it can be planted directly into the ground and wild flowers will grow from it!

How cool is that?!

As if that wasn’t enough, the jar is made of recycled wine bottles, with a thin wood wick, and something I’ve never heard of before; the leaflets that come with this candle are made not from paper, but stone! It’s pretty shocking when you actually get to feel the little fold out leaflets because they are really glossy and very soft. Nothing about it says stone at all. Technology has come a LONG way if this is what they can make with stone!

That’s right; ^ this paper is made from stone!

Crazy, right? I thought so too!

I really love the overall message of this product. It really seems to promote a healthier, greener, more earth-friendly lifestyle and I love that. I only used this once for massage, much to my boyfriend’s displeasure, and only for his hands, but I felt the effect was really nice. I feel like this is literally a body balm in candle form. The fact that it’s meant for couples’ type massage is really awesome, but I love that the massage itself helps your skin soak up the impressive ingredients and the scent allows for a totally relaxing experience.

Although I think that $59 USD is extremely steep for any kind of candle, I do feel that this candle certainly offers more than your typical candle in every aspect. It’s truly an all-inclusive earth friendly product that I really love with a scent I will continue to enjoy during bath time and relaxing evenings at home without worry of inhaling unfriendly chemicals, damaging the ozone, endangering plants or chopping down many trees.

The price truly is the only drawback to this candle…other than their really awkward demo video which I can’t wrap my head around; it just seems bizarre, creepy (especially the staring bit), and a bit ludicrous that a woman would be like that in any situation, ever, and I really hope it’s supposed to be funny. Otherwise, if you are marketing to women, I just don’t really get it. (sorry! Lol. It made me giggle, but then maybe I’m just immature like that.)

I feel like a demo video would be better served if you highlighted the incredible nature that is encompassed in this product as opposed to random chick moisturizing in a suggestive way because, in my opinion, that only works for adult and lingerie type retail sites. I get that it’s an intimate massage candle, but it just seemed a bit off point to me.

Okay, rant over and out!

 Anyway, that aside, I do love the candle and the incredible feat they have achieved with their completely green, packaging and paper included, luxury massage candles that are definitely worth checking out.

Learn more about their message of No Guilt with these luxury eco candles- here! 

Check out the EkoMiko Candles blog – here!

To purchase one of these incredible candles – click here! 

Have you ever experienced these candles from EkoMiko?

How do you feel about eco friendly green luxury products?

What did you think of the video?

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

Honeybee Gardens Party Girl Face Palette Review + GIVEAWAY!

I was so happy when Honeybee Gardens sent me this palette for review and I’ve been trying to post on it for ages! I’d actually done some looks with it awhile ago and I was all set to post on it and show you all the fun looks I created with these shadows when, like a complete idiot, I deleted them off my phone without thinking. Then I had to move so it’s all been one thing after another! So, I apologize for the delay on this because I have been wanting to show it to you for awhile now and I finally did some brand new looks for it! I hope you enjoy!

I think this palette is fantastic because it has such vibrant colors for the Summer that anyone can wear and look great. The number one thing I love about this eye shadow palette is the ingredients. It includes a lot of natural ingredients in these eye shadow colors such as kaolin clay, vitamin E, roman chamomile, cucumber, and aloe. Plus,  these colors are totally customizable and can be toned down or built up for eye-catching makeup looks that work well for day and night.

This palette features 4 extremely pigmented and bright colors – Velour (deep purple), Mojito (mint green), Cupcake (soft pinkish violet) and Shipwreck (deep blue). It also includes a really nice quality dual ended eye shadow brush made of bamboo which I found to be really handy to use when I was out an about.

One thing I really love about Honeybee Gardens in general is their commitment to natural beauty and this palette truly highlights that with the fact that their ingredients are natural and skin beneficial as well as being eco-friendly AND cruelty free!

A Closer Look At The Colors:

Makeup Look With Cupcake and Velour: 

For this look, I’ve added a color shimmer shadow over the top as these pigmented colors are basically matte with a very subtle shimmer and for some reason, I’m all about gold lately! I’m also wearing the Eyeko eyeliner I got in my June Birchbox (see that review – here!). I wore this look for a subtle evening type makeup look as I was going to the movies with my boyfriend!

Makeup Look with Shipwreck: 

 

See what I mean about the gold obsession?

Sorry for my crazy eye look haha. I don’t know why I’m squinting my eye so much; I think I must be trying to “aim” my eye at the camera, but that’s just ridiculous and obviously didn’t work out to well for me. Anyhow, just avoid trying to stare at my random crazy eye too long and focus on the eye shadow! LOL.

I feel like it goes really nice with those glowy dewy type looks and I’ve really enjoyed wearing it especially with the CARGO HydraBronze Powder I recently bought because it just feels really Summer-y! So this look also includes the gold because I’m just that obsessed with gold at the moment, but I also added some nude shimmer and beige colors  because I’m spontaneous like that.

Makeup Look with Mojito:

 So this is the last look and my favorite! It’s pretty sea and mermaid inspired and I really like the way it turned out. On the inner third of my eye, I’ve used gold shimmer shadow (of course!) and then the mojito in the center and then a deep bronze shimmer shadow on the  outer third of my eye. It looks a bit strange in the photo, but in person I promise it looks very ethereal and mystic! It’s a really pretty look, though I didn’t actually wear it anywhere. I just sort of played around with it a bit and had some fun. I think this would work well for something theatrical like a Halloween costume look or a fairy whimsical look. I feel like it totally embodies Summer though and I hope you like it!

I really love this eye shadow palette and I’ve been using it a lot for creating fun looks for when I’m out and about on the weekends. Honeybee Gardens carries a number of other equally lovely shadow palettes and they’re all very affordable and have really cute themes for each season and every look. If you’re not too deep into makeup, they also carry a number of awesome skincare, body care and even a men’s line of products!

Check out the Party Girl palette – here!

Check out their entire line of makeup – here! 

Check out all Honeybee Gardens’ products – here! 

PARTY GIRL PALETTE GIVEAWAY!

The lovely people at Honeybee Gardens are offering Storybook Apothecary readers a chance to win their very own Party Girl palette! Yay!

To enter, click the link below!

A winner will be chosen this Tuesday so hurry up and enter!

You’ll have multiple chances and ways to enter to win so good luck!

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED.

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

Cheap and Easy DIY Green ECO Friendly House Cleaning Recipes

I know I normally do DIY beauty recipes, but someone requested that I do some for green cleaning so I hope you still enjoy and get some use from this!

Green cleaning recipes are super simple! They require very little effort, very little ingredients and you can customize them however you like. Also, contrary to popular belief, green cleaning doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Many people think that green products are overpriced and a lot of them are, but you can make some very simple and effective cleaning recipes with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen already. If you don’t have them, you can get everything you need for $20-$40 USD, depending on what you want, and those will last you at least 6 months. So the next time you want to go purchase some overpriced cleaning products, bookmark this post and make one instead!

Cost of ALL Cleaning Ingredients:

Distilled Vinegar $7 / Gallon

Apple Cider Vinegar – $10 -$20 / Gallon, depending on size, quality and brand

Water $0

Sea Salt $3

Baking Soda $1-$3

Essential Oil $3-$5 USD

Plant Hydrosols $5 – $20, depending on amount

Olive Oil – $5 – $20, depending on amount

Optional – Scrub Brush, Old Toothbrush, Newspaper

  • All Purpose Grime Cleaner – This is incredibly easy to do! All you need is some baking soda and/or sea salt, water, vinegar or lemon juice and essential oils of your choice. You will also need a scrub brush, old toothbrush or sponge. If you want to use soap, try adding a gentle castille liquid soap to this, but you really don’t have to and it will clean and disinfect just as well. You can do this one of two ways; the first is to add the baking soda directly to whatever tile, shower or wall you’re trying to clean and then spray the mixture of the rest of the liquids over the top before scrubbing. The other is to mix all the liquids together in a spray bottle and then add the baking soda last – try 1/2 teaspoon to start and then add more if needed. Use the baking soda sparingly as it will cause foaming. Be careful not to shake the bottle or it will foam more. Eventually the foam diminishes, but if you would rather not deal with that, I recommend putting the baking soda into a sifter jar that you can use to shake out small amounts onto whatever you want to clean first and then spray the other ingredients over the top. You can add sea salt to the sifter jar or directly if you are dealing with a particularly hard stain. In the case of essential oils, you can add whatever sent you like or have on hand, but some great ones for cleaning that have antibacterial cleansing properties are tea tree, rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, and eucalyptus. You can also swap out the water in this recipe and use a plant hydrosol instead. It’s up to you.

Ingredients:

  1. Baking Soda / Sea Salt – Mix and Put in a Sifter Jar or Bowl. If you use a bowl, shake it out using a spoon or slotted spoon.
  2. 10-20 Drops Essential Oil of Your Choice, Vinegar, Water and Lemon Juice – Stir together and put in a spray bottle of your choice / 1/2 Teaspoon of Liquid Castille Soap (Optional)
  3. Scrub Brush / Toothbrush / Sponge of your choice

If you are unsure where to start, here’s what I do:

For the Shower, Toilet, Floors or Tiles, I keep baking soda and sea salt mixture in a sifter jar that I pour onto the walls and floor of my shower / bath before anything. Then, I lightly spray a mixture of the following: tea tree oil (10-20 drops) in 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup vinegar (distilled is cheaper, but I feel apple cider is more potent in killing bacteria) and fill water to the top. Shake to mix. I spray this mixture of the baking soda and salt which makes it foam up. After that, I use a scrub brush / toothbrush for small spots to scrub away dirt and grime on my shower. After rinsing the shower / bath off in hot water, I spray a mixture of 2 teaspoons hydrogen peroxide in water all over the shower walls and floor, anywhere mold can grow. This is known to prevent mold and bacteria from growing in your shower. For the toilet, it’s basically the same except you don’t need to spray the hydrogen peroxide at the end unless you want to. On tiles, the same method is applied to your floor, but after scrubbing problem areas of the floor or grout, you can use a mop of your choice. Personally, I use a steam mop from Shark that makes steam from water to clean and disinfect. Check it out – here! 

  • All Purpose Counter Top Spray Cleaner – This recipe is basically the same as the one above, but you don’t need any baking soda. You can make your own paste from equal parts baking soda and water to use as a scrub for particularly difficult stains, but otherwise this should work fine. If you’re cleaning a stain or your stove where food or grime has been sitting for a time, pour hot water over the area lightly and let it sit until the water cools to lukewarm before you add your baking soda and salt mixture.
  • Window Cleaner – This is so easy to make! All you need is distilled or apple cider vinegar with a few drops of lemon juice or your choice of essential oils and that’s it! You can use regular paper towels to clean your windows, but newspaper works better and prevents streaking. I have found that using vinegar to clean my windows actually seems to work better than windex and other store cleaners. Plus, I like to use this to clean my window sills and frames because apple cider vinegar is a bug deterrent.
  • Carpet Cleaner – Mix equal parts salt, borax and vinegar to form a paste. Cover whatever carpet stains you have in a small layer of this and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. After, scrub with your brush, vaccum excess paste and rinse by spraying with hydrogen peroxide and water mixture you made to help prevent mold (see above!). Let air dry.
  • Wood Polish Cleaner – This is SO easy to do! All you need is 1 tablespoon of olive oil, strained juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of water. Shake in a small container to  mix. Use a small cloth and pour small amounts of cleaner to cloth before using the cloth to polish the wooden furniture of your choice!

So that’s all I can think of at the moment, but if something occurs to you that I haven’t mentioned, feel free to ask me about it in the comments!

Oh, and Happy Friday everyone!

Naruko Beauty Supplements!

More Naruko goodness!

If you’ve been following for awhile, you’ll have heard all about my love for Naruko Skincare. Otherwise, you can see an overview of the brand here and some reviews on their products here and here!

So yesterday, and you’ll know already if you’re following me on Instagram, I was at an actual Naruko Boutique in Rowland Heights, California, picking up night jellies and I stumbled across these skin supplement drinks they’ve come out with!  One is meant to be taken during the day while the other is meant to be taken at night before bed.

Of course I had to try them!

They are both skin supplement drinks that focus on repairing the skin and encouraging collagen production, but the daytime version focuses on brightening the skin while the nighttime version works to firm the skin while you catch some beauty sleep.  The day one is the Berry Brightening Collagen Drink – Day and the night one is the Lychee Firming Collagen Drink – Night.

I tried the night one last night because, like an overexcited 5 year old, I just couldn’t wait and then I tried the day one this morning.

Firstly, I have to say that the sales rep completely lied on these or she has heinously bad taste. When I asked her what they taste like, she just told me they taste great. Mind you, I’d try them anyway with hopes of boosting collagen, glow and firming my skin up, but these taste like crap. I mean, it may just be personal preference because these remind me of what energy drinks taste like except much more potent and I hate the taste of energy drinks. The taste makes me feel like I’m drinking healthy gasoline because the taste seriously smacks you in the face. It is NOT subtle!

That being said, I think I may invest in a few of these.

I know, I sound kind of like a masochist given I’ve just compared the taste to drinking gasoline, but the vitamins in these are beneficial to skin health and overall bodily health actually.

The day version includes a variety of vitamins, minerals, fruit extracts and brightening plant extracts while the night version includes a similar variety of vitamins, minerals, and berries along with CoQ10 and other plant extracts known to firm and tone the skin.

No real effects seem to be showing up just yet as I’ve only tried them in the past 24 hours, but I do sense a glow in my skin, though that may be due to the 100+ F degree weather we’ve been suffering through here in Cali.

All in all, I still think I’ll try these again as I’m a fan of natural supplements, especially where vanity and skin health is concerned (yeah, I’m shallow like that, problem?). Plus, in the end, I think I’m just like most everyone else when it comes to these miracle drinks – easily pulled in by the promise of eternal youth in a bottle. Then again, maybe I’m alone in this, but at $5 a bottle, it’s not hugely expensive to try a week’s supply and see if I feel, or look, any different. That being said, I think these must be very new because I cannot find them on the Naruko USA website. They only seem to be available in Asia at the moment so I don’t know how they were available at the Naruko Boutique, but if you’d like to try them, you can find a pack of this day + night supplement combo here!

What do you think of beauty supplements?

Are they too gimmicky or have you seen any effects from taking supplements like this?

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

Sequoia Beauty Samples Review UPDATED!

UPDATE!– I recently spoke to owner Laurel about her items and she said that she does not dilute any of her products with water. Since they are all concentrated, they are meant to be mixed with water when you are ready to use them so when you read this review, I think it’s safe to say that any of them would now be safe to use on ANY skin type as long as you dilute them (if you’re a bit more on the oily/combination side). Otherwise, you could probably use them as is as well and that won’t hurt you either unless otherwise noted.

Good Luck!

Recently, I was sent some small samples from Sequoia Beauty to try out. If you’re unfamiliar, Sequoia Beauty is an organic natural skincare company based in California, USA, that focuses on utilizing organic flowers and herbs in their skin care products in order to heal and nourish your skin in the most natural and body-friendly way possible. With an emphasis on buying local ingredients to support the community and green living, Sequoia Beauty offers products that are free of chemicals, parabens, artificial fragrances and anything of synthetic nature.

Hydrate and Renew Cream Cleanser

This cleanser is seriously super gentle! It doesn’t foam at all; instead, it feels like a really super light cleansing lotion or even serum that you massage into the skin and then rinse off. It leaves your skin really soft and calm. My only qualm with this one is that it may be too moisturizing for oily skin and might make someone feel too oily if they have combination skin and use this in the summertime. I was okay using this on a cold day, but when we had a hot day I noticed I got oilier quicker. My advice if you want to benefit from the awesome ingredients in this without the oiliness : double cleanse with a gel cleanser or something beforehand and then use this cleanser. If you have super oily skin, you might be able to skip using a moisturizer. Otherwise, anyone can use this year round as a very gentle makeup remover; it is amazing for that!

Check this cleanser out – here!

Honey Berry Enzyme Mask

This face mask was just okay for me. As a young woman in my 20’s, I just don’t think my combination – oily skin will benefit from this kind of mask. I did see that it somewhat brightened my compexion, but other than that, I prefer clay and gel masks to this type. Plus, it was very sticky and messy to use. It literally felt like putting pure honey on my face, but I suppose if you’re into that or willing to suffer through it for the nice effects, it may be worth your pain! Also, it really does smell amazing. Just like berries and honey and I was pretty tempted to eat it at some point using this. If you have a drier skin type or even a more sensitive skin type that can’t handle regular type exfoliants, this may benefit you. It does feature some great ingredients for brightening and moisture including honey (obviously) as well as organic strawberries and blueberries.

Check out this mask – here!

Sun Damage UV Repair Serum

This was my favorite sample of the three. It feels really nice and smooth going on the skin, but it’s not heavy at all. It just feels like a nice light facial oil that the skin absorbs immediately. It actually feels a little bit like the Elemeni Face Oil I recently reviewed from Max Green Alchemy (see that review – here!) except the scent is a bit different.  I think any and all skin types would benefit from using this serum, especially if they have spots from sun damage or any kind of hyper-pigmentation or discoloration on their skin. Even someone who experiences blotchiness on the skin may benefit from this serum because it really seems to help even out the skin tone overall.

Check this serum out – here!

Overall, I really like what Sequoia Beauty stands for in terms of sourcing locally harvested ingredients, nourishing and healing the skin through nature, and promoting sustainable living through eco friendly practices and green packaging.

Check out the entire Sequoia Beauty line – here!

Have you tried Sequoia Beauty products?

What are your thoughts on skincare made with organic locally sourced ingredients?

Related Articles:

Awesome Facial Oil for Oily and Acne Prone Complexions!

Affordable and Organic: Rainwater Botanicals!

Ultimate Cure for Body Skin Dryness: Max Green Alchemy Skin Rescue Cream Review!

Amazing Olive Oil All-In-One Nourishing Treatment for Hair, Skin and Nails!

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

A Closer Look At One of My Favorite All Natural Asian Skincare Brands: Naruko Skincare + A Surprise!

When people tell me they have never heard of Naruko, I get really excited telling them about one of my most favorite natural skincare brands from Taiwan.

Created by Niuer (or Niu Er), one of the most (if not THE most) trusted skin care professionals in Taiwan, Naruko was created with the most precise and natural ingredients. Many in Taiwan, China and other Asian countries refer to Nuier as the “Beauty King” because he is so well known as a skin guru and expert.

In fact, Niu Er travels globally to research and find skin care ingredients and find the most top quality essentials for his brand.

Even more amazing is the fact that all end product formulations are tested by Niuer himself for any allergic or negative reactions before being released for sale.

He is famous especially in Asia for his skincare brands’ attention to detail and effectiveness as well as a dedication to nature, even being praised and used by Asian celebrities.

As if their founder’s attention to detail isn’t enough, Naruko also has a dedication to using natural, but advanced and effective ingredients in their product formulations while also promoting ECO consciousness which is why all of the Naruko products include natural ingredients and many of them include boxed packaging that can be re-used and formed into small decorative boxes (patterns on inside can be cut out to form a box) to promote ECO conscientiousness.

I have been a huge fan of Naruko going on a few years now.

Originally I found out about them from all the YouTube beauty vloggers and, having never experienced a Night Jelly before, I opted to try them.

Since then, I have tried most of their night jellies, about 3 of their serums and a couple toners.

I really haven’t had one bad experience.

My favorites are definitely in the Apple Seed and Tranexamic Acid Set, but I also really love the Tea Tree Oil line, especially that Night Jelly which is awesome for breakouts, skin irritations, and boyfriends who refuse to moisturize. It’s the only thing mine will tolerate me putting on his face. Read my review on the Tea Tree Oil Night Jelly – here.

Recently, I was so lucky to be sent a ridiculous amount of products to review by Naruko.

They have been so generous and helpful and it makes me love them even more!

That being said, I have been using their Apple Seed and Tranexamic Acid Skincare Set for a few weeks now and I LOVE it.

Not only does it brighten my skin, it helps clear breakouts (not a single spot on my face at the moment!), and is hydrating, but not oily.

Read More On the Apple Seed and Tranexamic Acid Skincare Set – here – where I’ve done a thorough review on the entire collection.

Anyhow, so back onto the fact that I have a lot of great Naruko samples.

Since I have a lot of samples, I have decided to give some away.

That being said, I will be giving away 3 small deluxe type Naruko samples, each from a different collection.

Check them out:

I will choose 3 winners; each will randomly be selected (out of a hat because I’m old fashioned like that!) and sent a random set to try.

PLEASE NOTE: This giveaway is open to any of my subscribers anywhere in the world. Although I received these samples free from Naruko Skincare, I will be shipping them out at my own expense so please sign up! I am not rich, but I want to show my appreciation for your support and readership, and I promise you will enjoy these samples!

To Enter: 

  • Must be subscribed to this blog
  • Must follow me on Twitter @SApothecary and “Like” Storybook Apothecary on Facebook – here
  • Must “Like” Naruko USA on Facebook
  • Must comment below letting me know you’ve done all the steps and with which set you most want to win!
3 Winners will be announced here on 6/9/12
PLEASE NOTE: A winner will be chosen on the aforementioned date; if any winner does not contact me within a week of the announcement, another will be chosen in their place as an alternative and they will forfeit their winnings.
Good Luck! 
Stay Beautiful
&
I’ll Talk To You Soon : ]
Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the free samples that were sent to me from Naruko Skincare to review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

DIY Lip Recipes

Lip Recipes are actually a lot easier to do than you think.

In fact, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make at least one of these recipes.

Although there are more complicated recipes, I like these because I find that the fewer ingredients, the more often I am inclined to make them as opposed to purchasing lip balms.

Plus, a lot of the ingredients are easily used for a multitude of things so you don’t just need to use it to make your lippies.

Experiment and Be Creative!

You may find you like your custom lippies better than the store bought kind as you can really customize the tints, if you want a tint that is, and you can control what moisturizing ingredients go into the formula.

Before I get into the easy ways to make lippies, I will give you the breakdown for a more complicated formula that you can manipulate if you really want a really put together lip balm recipe. You can make a lot at once to last you also or for parties.

Basic Lip Balm Recipe:

  • 2 Tbs. Shea Butter
  • 2 Tbs. Beeswax
  • 2 Tbs. Any Oil of Your Choice – some good options include Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Olive Oil, or any other natural vegetable oil that you like.
  • 1-3 Drops Flavor Oil of your Choice – Cherry, Strawberry, and Grape are popular varieties! Try cinnamon essential oil for a stinging lip plumping effect (no more than 1-2 drops for the whole recipe!!) Otherwise, you can use spearmint for a cooling effect (again no more than 1-2 drops!)
  • Lip Balm Containers – Either Tubes, Tins or Jars work depending on your preference.
Now, if all of that seems like WAY too much work, then read on for the easier lip recipes!

The first thing you need to decide when making an easy lip balm recipe is what you want to use for your base.

Some of my favorites include coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, and olive oil for lip glosses and balms. The harder oils/butters such as shea butter, kokum butter, and coconut oil can work well for balms, though coconut will melt quickly in the heat and may be better suited as a gloss in the summertime, depending on the climate. Any liquid vegetable oil will work for a gloss.

If I want a tint, I pick one from extra eye shadow pigments that I have sitting around. I have made red, coral, pink and beige. For beige, I use face powder or bronzer or a mix of the two, depending on the tint I want. For red, I usually use some old blush, but depending on the colors you have lying around, you may not be able to get the exact red you want. I had some old goth shadow that was blood red sitting around so I use that, but whatever you have on hand is fine!

If you get it from a hard pan compact eye shadow, you have to take a butter knife to chip off some of the shadow onto a plate. Then you use the outside of a spoon to smash up the shadow into small pieces. If you have loose shadow already, you can use that or if you have a mortar and pestle sitting around, that may be more convenient than using a spoon to crush up the pigment.

After your shadow is crushed, pour your chosen oil/butter into an old lip gloss container (you may want to wash beforehand to avoid bacteria!)  or otherwise an old lip balm jar. If you use a jar, you will have to apply the gloss with a brush so it’s up to you! Otherwise, you can purchase lip containers for gloss and balm very cheaply on Ebay or other websites online.

Once your container is 3/4 full with oil/butter, add in the pigment and shake until evenly distributed. You will only need about 1/8 teaspoon for one lip gloss.  This really is my lazy way of doing things, but there is a more orderly way.

If you prefer, you can mix 1/8 cup of oil with a fair amount of pigment in a separate bowl and keep adding pigment until you get the desired color that you want. Then, when you’re finished, you can pore a small amount into your container and keep the rest in a tupperware until you are ready to use or refill your tube.

You can customize your lip recipe by adding a flavor oil (you can find these online or at craft stores such as Michaels – if in the USA). You can add essential oils such as cinnamon for plumping effects or spearmint for cooling effects as desired also.

Other really SUPER easy ways to make a lip balm/gloss are by mixing petroleum jelly (Vaseline) / petroleum jelly natural alternative – like this one – with pigment. I have also applied Egyptian  Magic Cream to my lips when they are especially dry just by itself and it works really well as a nighttime treatment, although the smell may be off-putting to some.

 Other DIY Lip Recipes: 

  • Honey Sugar Lip Scrub – Mix 1 Tbs of Honey and 1 Tbs. of Brown Sugar together and apply to lips in circular motions, massaging lips for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rinse and apply a lip treatment.
  • Healthy Lip Stain – Soak 1 Cooked Beet or 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds In Very Small Amount of HOT water for up to 30 minutes, or until the small amount of water takes on a dark color. You can put the liquid into a container or simply use a lip brush to apply directly to lips. You can also mix Kool-Aid Fruit Punch with a Small Amount of Water, then apply directly to lips. Make sure lips are moisturized before applying.
  • Sea Salt Olive Oil Lip Scrub – Mix 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt with 1 Tbs. Olive Oil. Apply to lips in circular motions, massaging lips for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rinse and apply a lip treatment.

Do you like DIY Recipes?

What DIY Lip Recipes Have You Tried & Loved?

Let me know in the comments below!

Also, Feel Free to Request DIY Recipes for Anything of Interest in the Comments As Well!

I will do my best to make it happen!

Hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday!

Stay Beautiful

&

I’ll Talk To You Soon : ]

My First Guest Post

Hello Everyone!

I am so excited to tell you guys that I’ve just done my first guest posting on my fellow blogger, Helene @HealthyFrenchie’s blog.

I am SO excited!

I hope you guys will check out my post on health and wellness on her page – here!

I hope you enjoy reading and be sure to follow her as her posts are always great as well!

That’s all for now.

Stay Beautiful

&

I’ll Talk To You Soon! : ]

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