Beauty Quickie: Best Balm

Who: Osmia Organics
What: Best Lip Balm
When: My lips are cracked or extra dry
Where: In my bed
Why: This natural lip balm – containing shea butter, pumpkin seed oil, lanolin and beeswax – goes on so light and smooth that you almost don’t even notice it’s there. But swipe it onto dry, cracked lips before bed and come morning cracks will be repaired and your silky smooth kiss will be restored. The best part? It doesn’t bother the sensitive, breakout-prone skin around my mouth. This balm will be a trusted friend in the winter months ahead!

Cherry Picked: Osmia Organics Lip Gloss

Osmia Organics Lip Glosses in Luster and Whisper

Osmia Organics Lip Glosses in Luster and Whisper

I’m the kind of girl who likes to keep my makeup to a minimum during the summer months, but there’s one summer beauty look that I am loving right now: red lips. There’s something so bold and fun about a (mostly) bare face and a glossy red lip, whether your shade is candy-apple or brick.

This year, I’ve been feeling a darker red, and my hands-down favorite shade is Osmia Organics Luster Lip Gloss, a silky smooth gloss that leaves me looking like I’ve just eaten a bowl of perfectly ripe cherries. In truth, the gloss is colored with organic beet root, but the effect is a beautiful deep red. It’s also extremely moisturizing, not the least bit sticky, and the packaging could not be any cuter.

Red not your color? Try Osmia’s Whisper Lip Gloss, Luster’s little sister. This gloss features the same smooth texture and will leave your lips feeling just as soft, but this one has more of a fuchsia tint.

Note: Samples provided by Osmia Organics

April 2014 Empties

I know it’s a bit early in the month for an empties post, but considering the pace at which I’ve been using up products these past few weeks, it just makes sense. This month I’m saying goodbye to a couple of old standbys and discovering some new favorites:

Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle: Even if you’ve never read this blog you’ve probably heard of this drugstore dynamo. It is hands down the best conditioner I have ever used. It’s ultra nourishing, leaves hair shiny and detangled but never greasy or limp, smells great and has a drugstore price tag.

Caldrea Coconut Fig Leaf Body Lotion: A nice lightweight body lotion that absorbs quickly and with absolutely no stickiness. I recommend this lotion for warmer weather as it isn’t very heavy and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft, even on humid days.

Clinique All About Eyes Rich: This has been my go-to eye cream and I’ve recommended it to many friends and family members who are now devoted fans as well. The cream improves just about any eye issue you might be trying to fix – puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles, you name it.

???????????????????????????????Thymes Lavender Body Lotion: I slathered this deliciously scented body lotion on my hands and arms before bed. Not only did I sleep like a baby every night I did this, but I awoke with soft skin and a light lavender scent still lingering on my arms and pillow. A definite winner – adding to the “must buy” list!

Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena Volumizing Shampoo: My only complaint about this shampoo was that I wish I had a bigger bottle! It has an exotic scent that brightened my whole day, cleaned both hair and scalp exceptionally well, and left my hair so soft and light that I couldn’t stop touching it all day.

Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena Volumizing Conditioner: A decent conditioner, it shares the delightful scent of its shampoo sister and worked wonderfully as a stand-in shaving cream.

Osmia Organics Spot Treatment: This organic blemish fighter is my skincare secret weapon and I am very sad to see it go. It is made up of a blend of oils that zap blemishes, pimples and random skin bumps in a matter of days, sometimes hours. If you have any lingering spots that you can’t seem to shake, buy this now. You won’t regret it!

Blemish Blasters

Over the past few months, something unpleasant has happened to me. You see, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had pretty great skin. Sure, I’d get the occasional teenage breakout, the random hormonal pimple, but by and large I had clear, even-toned skin. I could even get lazy and not wash my face for a few nights without many consequences. But since my last birthday, I’ve been battling breakouts that I’ve never had to contend with before. Tiny little bumps showed up on my forehead; blemishes and pimples dotted my cheeks and chin.

Naturally, being a beauty blogger and wanting my pretty skin back, I’ve been testing and trying every possible solution I can get my hands on: face washes, face masks, moisturizers, serums. And I am very happy to report that I have stumbled upon a skincare regimen that has eradicated the bumps and demolished the blemishes. I may no longer be able to skip a nightly cleansing, but at least I’ve got my face back.

The products:

Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser is great for cleansing combination skin.

Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser is great for cleansing combination skin.

Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser: This foamy face wash cleanses and tones skin and is ideal for gals with combination skin, because it isn’t overly drying. Simply washing with this cleanser noticeably reduced my forehead bumps almost instantly. Tip: I find I get a better result when I use two pumps of the cleanser rather than just one.
Osmia Organics Spot Treatment is made with eight different organic oils and zaps zits almost overnight.

Osmia Organics Spot Treatment is made with eight different organic oils and zaps zits almost overnight.

Osmia Organics Spot Treatment: I credit this tiny little power player with the most drastic improvement in my skin. Made from eight different organic oils, including lavender, lemon and evening primrose, it erases blemishes and zaps zits basically overnight. I dab it on all my trouble spots before bed – I’ve used it nightly since it arrived at my house. After my second use the size and redness of my blemishes were both drastically reduced. After one week my skin was virtually blemish-free! I still use it nightly on any new little spots that pop up, and as a preventative measure on my forehead. So far, so good!
Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer keeps oil at bay and helps minimize pores.

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer keeps oil at bay and helps minimize pores.

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer: This is an old favorite that I’ve blogged about before. I returned to it recently when I realized that all of my nighttime moisturizers were too thick and heavy for my new, oiler complexion, especially now that summer has arrived. This is such a great summertime moisturizer – it provides nice light moisture, but it’s oil-free and contains salicylic acid which helps keep oil at bay and treat pimples. Another bonus: since switching to this my pores are basically invisible.

Organic Lip Gloss: A Natural Winner

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Fig

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Fig

I’d like to live in a world where every all-natural, organic beauty product is a cosmetic homerun; a world where less natural ingredients simply don’t work as well and the very presence of recycled packaging indicates a higher-quality concoction. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. Don’t get me wrong, if I discover an earth-friendly product that rocks my world I immediately add it to my beauty repertoire. But more often than not, “natural” products leave me longing for something a little, well, prettier.

That’s why I was very pleasantly surprised by the pre-launch tube of Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss that came in my May Ipsy bag. Initially, Juice Beauty’s tagline, “The Organic Solution,” made me a bit weary of the product. I assumed the gloss would have an odd texture or unpleasant aroma. I was sure it would have virtually no staying power and that after one trial I’d probably throw it away or let it sink to the bottom of my makeup bag. Boy was I wrong. Not only did I not throw it away, I’ve become completely enthralled by it. It’s by far my favorite new cosmetic item of the season. I use it every morning, take it with me to work, and swipe some on anytime I head out at night, whether I’m meeting friends for dinner or running to the store for a late-night Sour Patch fix (I have a bit of a problem).

What makes this gloss so great – other than the whole good-for-you, good-for-the-planet thing – is how amazing it feels. It has the smoothest, silkiest texture. I really have never used a gloss that feels this smooth. It doesn’t have even the slightest bit of stickiness to it, meaning your hair won’t get caught it in and gunked up by it, as is the case with so many other glosses. And amazingly, considering the lack of stickiness, it has great staying power! In my experience, the lighter a lip gloss feels, the quicker it usually fades away. Not so with this gloss. One swipe lasts through sipping, talking, even kissing! And it passes the fiance kiss-test: the lack of sticky texture or weird scent means he doesn’t run off in search of a napkin the second I smooch him with this stuff on!

Speaking of scent, this has a very mild, sweet scent, almost like a citrusy cinnamon bun. It certainly isn’t overpowering and I don’t really notice it other than when I first remove the wand from the tube. I received the gloss in Fig, a rosy bronze shade that gives a pretty wash of color with a tiny hint of shimmer. It’s definitely my go-to summer gloss. When the days turn hot and humid I certainly don’t want to worry about some heavy lip product melting down my face. This gloss is so light and pretty, the only thing I’ll be worrying about is where to buy more of it.