Tag Archives: expensive

Activaroma Pure Argan Oil

I was recently sent a small sample of this Pure Argan Oil from Activaroma by The Beauty Box and have really loved using it.

If you’re unfamiliar with argan oil, it’s an oil that comes from the nuts of the argan trees found in Morocco. What marks argan oil as unique from some other various plant oils is the fact that argan has an especially high content of vitamin E and essential fatty acids which are critical for restoring dryness and damage in skin.

Activaroma says that this oil will diminish fine lines and wrinkles, heal spots and blemishes, stretch marks and scars, and restore strength to brittle hair and nails.

I’ve been using this in various ways for about a month and I really do like this oil. The sample I received was pretty small so I haven’t experimented with it on my body or hair as there was not really enough oil to go around, but on my face and nails, this was lovely.

It is very hydrating to the skin while also feeling light and definitely helps combat dryness and dull skin. I really felt like it made my skin look more dewy, glowy and just overall more healthy in condition. I have combination acne prone skin, but this didn’t irritate or break me out – actually I’m convinced it’s helped my breakouts heal more quickly. It smooths the skin’s texture and seems to make scars lessen, though I’m not sure if it would make them diminish completely as I’ve run out of oil. As for my nails, this oil is fantastic for dry cuticles and nails and really does seem to strengthen them.

The full size bottle of this oil comes in a 2 ounce glass bottle which looks pretty luxurious – much like a classy bottle of perfume. I would really enjoy putting it on display as the packaging is really lovely. My only complaints about this oil are that the oil isn’t organic and there’s no note on the sustainability of how it was sourced or grown which I personally like to know about. Also, it’s pretty steep at $55 for 2 ounces of argan oil, but the quality and effectiveness is certainly there so if the price and origin of the product don’t bother you, I say go for it because it’s absolutely a quality product.

Check it out on The Beauty Box – here.

Have You Tried Any Argan Oil Products Before?

Which is Your Favorite?

I’d love to know in the comments!

♥ Tianna

Before I get into my latest face mask favorite, I should probably tell you a bit about my history with face masks. You see, back before I knew anything about anything where beauty is concerned – you know, back in the days when makeup meant black eyeliner and skincare meant any face moisturizer – I solved all of my beauty problems with face masks. Literally. If I had a blemish, I popped on a face mask. If I had dryness, same thing. If I had any problem at all, I popped on my favorite face mask of the moment and they were usually very cheap varieties that were mediocre at best, though I still really love the Queen Helene line of masks, probably for nostalgia alone, and it’s with this history of my face mask obsession that I introduce to you a face mask that has pretty much restored that face mask devotion that I once had and taken it to an entirely new level!

So, on with the review…

I was recently very very lucky to be sent out this face mask from the lovely and most down to earth skincare maven, May Lindstrom, who has an incredible collection of all natural luxury skincare products. She very kindly sent me her Problem Solver Face Mask for review and I am SO glad she did because I think it might just be the best face mask I’ve ever tried. ever. 

I received this amazing box from her about a week and a half ago – doesn’t the wrapping look lovely? I really felt like I was getting such a treat – almost like someone sent me a belated Christmas gift really, only nicer.

Included in the lovely wrapped box was the very large glass jar of the Problem Solver face mask which comes in a dry powder form, a really beautiful handmade mixing bowl and a small sample of her Youth Dew serum. Both the glass jar for this face mask and the mixing bowl that comes in this miracle set are of such high quality so you really feel like you’re treating yourself to something luxurious, special and zen-like, and believe me, you ARE!

To use this face mask, you mix 1 tablespoon of the powder with equal parts water. It fizzes and bubbles when you mix it with water and forms a soft moussey, muddy texture. It smells really lovely – chocolatey and earthy – all at once, but don’t get too close while mixing this powder with water as I think I accidentally got too close and inhaled a bit of the powder which was not too pleasant. It resulted in a ridiculous sneezing fit for like a minute so yeah, try to keep your distance from the powder until it’s been thoroughly mixed with the water before you apply it or get too close!

Once you apply the face mask, it feels quite muddy and exactly like you’re applying mud on your face, though it smells really pleasant and quite relaxing, and the entire experience is a bit more intense than if you slapped on some dirt, surely, though I’ve never done that so I can’t comment too much! Back to the face mask – it feels quite intense once applied – you can feel your entire face heat up, though not like a burning sensation or anything – more like a warming heating sensation with tingling action than anything. Enriched with raw cacao, Fuller’s earth clay, Morrocan Rhassoul red clay, Red Sea salt, Bamboo Charcoal, Lavender, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & even Cayenne, it’s no wonder really about the warmth this face masks brings and though I will say the first time you use this might be a bit uncomfortable, the end result is ABSOLUTELY worth the minor, temporary discomfort! After trying it a few more times, I can say the intensity has lightened a bit now that my skin is a bit more acclimated to the feeling as well.

That being said, the end result leaves your skin looking incredible. Breakouts will clear nearly overnight, overall skin tone is even, your entire face will look clarified and pores look barely visible, scarring is less noticeable, skin texture is smoother and softer, and every serum you apply after using this mask will absorb more effectively and do it’s job better than usual. I used this mask again just last night and applied the Youth Dew sample directly after and a few other moisturizers over as I’ve been quite dry. I awoke this morning to incredible looking skin and small breakouts were nowhere to be seen!

This face mask is seriously a MUST HAVE for me now that I’ve tried it. I was really quite hesitant, at first, because the initial cost for this face mask is quite expensive ($90), but for the whopping amount of dry face mask powder that you receive coupled with the lovely mixing bowl – this mask will last you a very long time and the results speak for themselves.

On a side note, the small sample of the Youth Dew is really lovely when paired with this face mask. It goes on really nicely after using this face mask and smells great as well. I can’t say much for the effects of using it over time as I’ve only been able to get around a week’s worth of uses out of it (I like to test serums for a month or two), but it is a fine serum all the same without knowing long term benefits of using it and will go nicely if you plan on purchasing the face mask. I will also say that they are obviously made in synergy and meant to be used together.

To learn more about the Youth Dew, check out this video with May Lindstrom demonstrating how it should be used – here.

All in all, I think this face mask by May Lindstrom might actually beat out my original face mask favorite – Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Face Mask – and it’s a much more natural alternative to that one as well.

You can see a full video of May Lindstrom, herself, using this face mask – here.

You can see May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver Face Mask on her site – here.

You can see her entire skincare collection – here.

It is also available for purchase on various natural beauty sites online, including the Spirit Beauty Lounge.

What is Your Current Face Mask Favorite?

Let Me Know in the Comments Below!

Congratulations to the winner of my Black Friday Beauty Giveaway – Fiona Naughton from LaBelleDameSansMerci!

I had my boyfriend randomly draw a name out of a bowl so it was completely random.

The picture above shows everything I picked up from Sephora based on what was on sale and what everyone requested. I will also be including a sample size of Miss Dior perfume, some ECOTools Exfoliating Shower Gloves, & a Burt’s Bees holiday minis set.

So Congrats to Fiona – please email me your address at StorybookApothecary@gmail.com so I can mail out your goodies!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated – I really appreciate you all reading my blog and signing up for all my giveaways.

If you didn’t win, don’t fret, I’ll be doing at least a week’s worth of 24 hour giveaways beginning in December so you will have a chance to try again very soon!

Enjoy your weekend!

I’m sooo excited to finally be able to discuss this with you all! I’ve been holding in this brilliant idea (if I do say so myself!) for a few weeks now and I’m so excited for you all to be a part of it and win some awesome goodies!

As you may know, Black Friday, one of the most intense shopping days of the year (no joke, people get stabbed and shot occasionally, it’s that crazy), is coming up very soon.

Sometimes, I try to avoid the shopping insanity, but this year I decided to do something fun as a way to thank readers for following me, reading my posts and supporting me since I started this blog in March. I really do appreciate it.

So, my idea is this – Sign up for this giveaway by commenting on this post, letting me know what you most want me to pick up on Black Friday. All items put in this giveaway pot will be items I’ve picked up on Black Friday and I will make a list of things to pick up based on what you guys comment. There’s no guarantee all items will make it into the pot and I may add some others in if I see a really good deal on it while shopping. Anyone who comments has a chance to win.

To give you an idea of where I’m going to shop, you can check out Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Target online websites for ideas of what you would most like me to pick up. Based on the items in the comments, I’ll determine where I’m going to go (for example, if most comments are items from Sephora and Target, I’ll just go to those 2).

The Rules Are:

  1. You must be a follower of this blog, whether by email or wordpress account. 
  2. You must leave a comment with ONE item you think I should pick up and they must be beauty orientated items. For each bonus entry, you can leave another comment letting me know what you’ve done for the extra entry and also another item you’d like in the giveaway.
  3. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere, so you can still sign up even if you’re not in the US and don’t know what Black Friday is! If you’re unsure what’s available at the aforementioned stores, check their online websites.
  4. You can get extra entries by following me on Twitter @SApothecary, Following me on Pinterest @StorybookApothecary, Pinning this post on Pinterest, Liking my Facebook, and following me @StorybookBeauty on Instagram (I’ll be taking photos on Black Friday to document my shopping insanity haha). If you do any of these extra entries, simply leave a comment letting me know what you’ve done so I can check and then add another entry for yourself by leaving another beauty item you want in the comment.
  5. Please note – There is no guarantee that the item(s) you request will be included in the giveaway. I will do my best to get the majority of what’s asked for based on comment entries, but since I am just one person, I can’t get everything. Please take that into account, thanks!

The Giveaway Deadline to Enter Your Comment Request is November 20, 2012. 

All Entries after that date will be ignored.

To get you all in the mood to pick out things you like, Here are a few of my favorites!

Tarte - Picture Perfect Curler And Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes!™

Tarte – Picture Perfect Curler And Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes!™ – Sephora.Com

Carol’s Daughter Chocolat Smoothing 3-Piece Starter Kit – Ulta.Com

M·A·C ‘All For Glamour – Gorgeous Bronze’ Face Kit – Nordstrom.com

Benefit Sexy Little Stowaways – Bestsellers for Jetsetters Set – Macys.com

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – Target.Com

I hope you all sign up, leave your comments and let me know what you would like. Get in those extra entries, if you want, and thanks again for being amazing and following me thus far! 🙂

Disclaimer :This post/giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with the aforementioned companies. I am funding this giveaway with my own money and of my own free will. My opinions and thoughts are my own, as always.

Summer Travel Kit

NUXE is just one of those cult-ish brands that I feel like everyone wants to try, myself included!

I recently discovered them on Facebook and saw that they’re currently holding a giveaway for their Summer Travel Kit (valued at $15 USD) which ends September 23. A winner will be chosen on the 24th.

I hurriedly signed up, of course!

Then I was thinking, I would be kind of a jerk to not pass this one on to all of you so definitely check them out and sign up for the giveaway on Facebook as well for your chance to win!

You can do so here otherwise you can purchase the kit directly by clicking the link above.

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way. I’ve only posted on this in order to share information about a giveaway, nothing more.

Recently, I was sent this incredible kit from Roques Oneil and although it’s a bit on the expensive side, I really think it’s worth the cost!

Created by the lovely Michelle Roques-Oneil , voted one of the top 10 aromatherapists in the world by Vogue magazine, this woman has over 25 years experience in aromatherapy and sought to create luxurious spa products with quality ingredients that not only treat and care for your skin, but also balance and calm the mind as well.

Here are the contents of the Discovery Spa Kit which feature deluxe sizes of all the Roques Oneil products. If you’ve never tried Roques Oneil, I definitely recommend this kit because it’s a great way to try all their products without breaking the bank ( £32.00 ), but still getting a good amount of product and this little kit offers a sense of spa luxury to it as well.

I first tried all of the products together a few Saturdays ago and it really felt like I was treating myself to a nice, yet luxurious experience!

Firstly, my favorite product is, hands down, the Cherish Skin Repair Serum. It is so softening and easily absorbed into the skin, a little goes a long way, the scent is absolutely divine, and I was able to use this both on my body and my face with much success. I really love this repair serum SO much. It’s the first serum I’ve tried that I could use on my body that didn’t feel too dry or too oily, but just the perfect consistency. Also, when paired with the Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence, this serum works especially well on dry skin. I feel like it would even work well for those with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis because it is so gentle, nourishing and does not strip the skin at all.

Next, I tried the Restore Aura Spray which I initially thought was going to be one of those typical “mind calming” sprays, but which actually turned out to be really lovely and yes, actually quite calming to the senses. Much to my surprise, this comes out in a nice fine mist rather than just a ‘squirt you in the face’ type spray so it really feels calming, gentle and the scent is subtle so you can smell it without it feeling like too much. I also tried the Boost Hair & Body Wash which was my least favorite mostly because I just feel like you really can’t treat the hair and body the same. It works decently enough, but my damaged hair needs a bit more nourishment than what this seems to offer me. I love it as a gentle body wash, but I feel like the Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence does a fantastic job without even needing this. Lastly, I used the Himalayan Detox Bath Salts which are really lovely bath salts which a nice calm scent as well, though this is not something that I think will stand out among the line.

The real super stars of this line are truly the Skin Cherish Repair Serum, Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence and the Restore Aura Spray which all work so well together and really help to balance the skin out and make it glow in that super healthy sort of way. I am seriously considering picking these 3 up in the full sized versions, especially the serum and shower essence because they made my normally skin look like someone else’s! Together, they truly work some kind of magic to balance your skin and make it look it’s absolute best and I can only credit the brilliance of their founder, Michelle Roques-Oneil, for achieving such a lovely balance of wonderful products.

I highly recommend this kit as one kit to definitely try out. It’s so worth it! Although these are deluxe sample size types, they come in beautiful black glass bottles (except the Boost Hair & Body Wash – this one comes in a squeeze plastic bottle for some reason) and look really lovely. Not only that, but I’ve managed to use these all for a few weeks before running out and I still have a bit of the Restore Aura Spray left despite using it on a pretty daily basis. Believe me when I say you won’t regret trying this one out, though your wallet may suffer once every 3-4 months when you’ll want to re-stock!

Check out the Discovery Spa Kit – Here!

Check out the entire 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 Roques Oneil for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own irregardless of how I obtain products.

Circ Cell Thermal Skincare for Pure Pores

I’ve been curious about Circ Cell Skincare for awhile, but I never really got a chance to try them until recently when Beauty Habit send me a host of samples for review.

I really love this brand’s unique products!

First off, they really are thermal. You can actually feel these products heat up on your skin when you use them. I’ve tried some heating thermal types in the past where there was no heating involved at all, but these actually live up to that claim. If you’ve never heard of Circ Cell, they are a more natural luxury skincare brand that works to naturally nurture and nourish skincare without harmful ingredients like parabens, preservatives, fragrances and propylene glycols. They do not test on animals and practice methods that respect the planet and people alike. These products sit firmly in the luxury category with the cheapest product being $35 – their awesome clay cleanser.


I really love the Geothermal Green Clay Cleanser because it does heat up and clears the pores really nicely. It’s not something like the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish that you massage in, more like a once over and wash off type, but it gets the job done anyway and really nicely. Also, it’s not drying despite being a clay cleanser which, often times, can be. It just leaves your skin super clean and matte, but not dry or tight so they have a nice balance going with this one.


Next I tried the Creme E.R.3 which is meant to help reduce wrinkles by 28% in 29 days as well as tone, firm and soften the skin as well. Personally, I ran out of product before I reached 29 days on this little sample so I can’t attest to the wrinkle affects much, but I will say that this did soften my skin, it was very light despite being a cream and left my skin hydrated without any residue. At $150, this is certainly not a cheap one, but the stats are impressive for those willing and able to give it a try. One thing I want to mention is I wish this came in something other than a jar because you really need to scoop it out which isn’t too sanitary. At the least, they should include some kind of spoon utensil to keep the product clean, but that’s just me nitpicking.


Lastly, I tried the Dew Hydrating pH Perfector. This is meant to hydrate the skin while also balancing it’s pH in order to tone, moisturize and calm irritations. I don’t know that I saw any of these effects because, again, my sample didn’t last long enough to see the extent of the results, but in the week I used it, it was softening, gentle, calming and simple nice to use. I don’t know if I would drop the $55 it costs for the full size on this one, but it was really nice to try and it is safe to say there may have been more results had I been able to try the full size.

Overall, my favorite was the Geothermal Green Clay Cleanser with the Creme E.R.3 coming in a close second. I really love the effects this cleanser offers – softening, cleansing, pore clearing and gently balancing. Also, I love that it’s cleans like a good clay cleanser ought to, but it doesn’t dry you out like a lot of them tend to do. The Creme E.R.3 was really nice and I love it when I find a cream like this that is not oily or heavy despite being a cream because the formula is usually really wonderful, which this one is. Although no real conclusions on the effects of my wrinkles (most of which don’t yet exist), this is a really nice luxurious cream. I really liked the Dew Hydrating pH Perfector as well, but I’m just not sure I would drop the $55 for it. One thing I will say is that these are certainly all designed to work with one (I can attest to that much) another so you will probably get the best results if you use them all together.

Check out the full line of Circ Cell products on Beauty Habit – here! 

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples sent to me from Beauty Habit for review purposes. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own irregardless of if and/or how I obtain products.

Chantecaille Radiance Anti-Aging Bronzer Gel

You may remember me posting this lust list back in June where I featured this as something I really wanted to try. Well I was so fortunate because Beauty Habit sent me a little sample of this stuff! (Thanks BH ladies!)

This is like no bronzer I’ve ever used; it’s a really light and watery type gel that doesn’t break me out even though it is a liquid. A little bit goes a long way so you only need a few dots to highlight cheeks and a bit more to give your entire face some beach summery color without looking orange or unnatural. Plus, there’s no glitter and a nice amount of golden shimmer without it looking over the top and it doesn’t give unnecessary attention to flaws or anything.

Check out the Swatches: 

You can see that it gives a really natural color with just a bit of golden shimmer.

Other Benefits According to Beauty Habit‘s Site:

• The weightless and ultra-moisturizing fomula blends easily, adding touch of sun to any complexion without the look of makeup.
• Raspberry Stem Cells repair DNA damage, and prevent inflammation and the absoprtion of free radicals.
• A Youth-Preserving Bearberry Complex provides anti-glycation and anti-oxidant benefits.
• A new polymer provides extraordinary smoothness, natural finish and luminosity for up to 12 hours.
• Vegetal-derived squalane improves skin’s elasticity.

I don’t know that I’ve really seen the stem cell damage repair effects, but one can only hope! This is also super moisturizing, but it’s not oily or shiny. Although I only got a small sample, I’ll definitely be purchasing when this one runs out. It’s a great bronzer for days when I don’t want to wear makeup or if I wear liquid foundation, this look more natural than a powder bronzer. I highly recommend it, though it is a little expensive, it will last you a LONG time. It’s so pigmented that I’ve been using my sample for a couple weeks now and it still looks 3/4 full so I think it’s great for the value.

Check it out on Beauty Habit – here!

Check out all Chantecaille products – here! 

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples sent to me from Beauty Habit for review purposes. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own irregardless of if and/or how I obtain products.

8 Beauty Shopping Sites To Check Out + Some New Finds…

NuboNau – A natural and organic beauty site  based in the USA that sells many brands including Dr. Hauschka, ILIA, Juice Beauty, Lavera, Madara, Pai, Patyka, and more.

Beauty Habit – An extremely luxe website that I absolutely adore! They carry any number of brands you’ve never heard of and many you know and love. I love that they carry really amazingly luxe European fragrances as well as other high end and mid range brands waiting to be discovered! They recently got a hold of the Konjac Sponge Company as well which has been pretty hard to find in the USA so far, even online! Check out this post where I wrote about some products from Beauty Habit – here!

Imomoko – An Asian beauty website that carries TONS of Asian brands from Paul & Joe, Naruko, Lunasol, SK-II and more…

Etsy – If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, please do! They have so much to offer by way of natural and organic beauty, seriously, and I’ve seen shops that are based anywhere from the USA, UK to New Zealand and Australia. I’m a fan of these shops especially – Naturallogic, Claribel Skincare, HM Organics, and Upstate Herb Works (mentioned this one here!).

Beautorium – Off the beaten path, Beautorium offers some great natural and organic brands like Revolution Organics, Saaf Skincare, Melvita Skincare, and Suki Cosmetics.

Rainwater Botanicals – I always love a chance to mention Rainwater Botanicals! I wrote about them here, if you’d like to see some of my favorites from this brand! Based in Washington state, USA, this natural and organic brand offers a variety of skincare, body care and natural fragrance products at extremely affordable prices. Thought you couldn’t afford organic beauty? How wrong you were, my friend!

Living Nature – I recently had the pleasure of reviewing some of the Living Nature products (see the review- here!) and I couldn’t be more happy with them! I’m really eager to try more of their line, especially their cosmetics and body care products!

True Renu – I’ve been shopping at this one for ages. They carry all the Asian beauty brands that can be difficult to find such as HABA, Komenuka Bijin, Nuka Naturals, SeiSei, and Tsubaki.

Other Beauty Sites I Have Yet to Shop With, But Would Like To! : 

Love Lula

Nature of Beauty

Spirit Beauty Lounge

Can’t get enough like me?

Check out my page My Favorite Sites for Online Shopping for more links to great online shops!

I was recently sent a really decadent deluxe sample of the Natural Glow Cleansing Oil by Antonia Burrell from BeautyHabit.com and I am LOVING it!

I have been testing some products from Alpha-H for the past month or so and I’ve been using this cleansing oil in rotation with the Alpha-H Micro Cleanse and Triple Action Cleanser (Check out the full Alpha-H Reviews – Here!) when my skin feels in need of extra nourishment and hydration and it has been a complete godsend.

It really feels so nourishing and hydrating. Basically you pour a nickel sized amount of the oil out onto your palm, massage into the skin without water for around 1 minute and then rinse off. The oil turns a little milky and rinses off leaving the skin very soft and moisturized.

It works really well to moisturize the skin without leaving a residue or making your skin feel oily. It smells incredible and the scent is very relaxing to inhale at the end of a long day.

Infused with cypress, bitter orange, tea tree, lavender and lemon, this cleansing oil works very well for all skin types because it hydrates while calming redness, fending off heinous bacteria and healing acne and other skin issues.

I used it to remove both normal day makeup and even tried it on waterproof mascara with equally great results. I think if you have super oily skin, you could easily use this as an all in one cleanser + moisturiser during the day or at night. It leaves the skin soft, supple and hydrated and I will certainly purchase this soon as I’ve run out of the little sample I was sent. That being said, I had a pretty tiny sample that I managed to stretch out for around a month’s worth of regular use.

I highly recommend this for any skin type, especially those affected by acne and frequent breakouts. The herbs in this help to clear the skin while the natural vegetable oils nourish, heal and hydrate without making your skin feel oily. I really think this can help any and all skin types, including acne prone and sensitive types.

Check out this cleansing oil on Beauty Habit – Here!

Related Articles:

Suti Skincare Minis Review

Carrot Butter Cleansing Balm Review

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm Review 

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.