Friday, June 8, 2018

The Skylar Body Perfume Sample Palette

For the longest time, I wasn't able to wear perfumes, or any scented lotion, because I am so easily prone to headaches. However, a couple of years ago, I discovered that if I found the right brands, the right scent notes, and only wore them on special occasions... I can wear perfumes. However, I am still extremely limited on which ones. So, around Christmastime, I heard about the brand Skylar Body, and their approach to natural and organic ingredients in their perfumes. I asked for their sampler set for Christmas, and since then? I have become obsessed with this brand! Every scent is beautiful, natural, made with clean ingredients, and above all something I can wear daily.

The scents: Arrow, Coral, Isle, and Meadow. They do have a new scent (Capri) coming out this summer! I hope they redo the sampler set with Capri in it, because the description sounds amazing.

ARROW:
from the website... 
Warm, spicy, and seductive, Arrow pairs well with confidence (and a good smoky eye). Like you, Arrow is memorable with notes of midnight jasmine, warm patchouli, and vanilla. At the office or on a date, this fragrance is your perfect accessory.

Ingredients: organic sugar cane alcohol, distilled water, jasmine, rose, neroli flower, labdanum flower, vanilla, patchouli, tonka bean, birch tar, schinus molle, parfum (Skylar Body's own fragrance blend with natural and essential oils).

CORAL:  
from the website...
 
Feeling happy never goes out of style. With hints of grapefruit and a touch of apple blossom, Coral is bright and sun-kissed without being too sharp. This unique, fruity scent is perfect for every occasion and will give you a little boost each morning when you put it on.

Ingredients: organic sugar cane alcohol, distilled water, black currant, sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin resin, parfum (Skylar Body's own fragrance blend with natural and essential oils).

ISLE:
from the website...

You deserve a vacation. Every day. Inspired by the purity of water and the ease of a day spent near the ocean, Isle is clean, fresh, and renewing. With a subtle citrus and spiced sandalwood scent that’s lasting yet understated, you’ll be elevated with each wear.

Ingredients: organic sugar cane alcohol, distilled water, bergamot, cardamom, sandalwood, parfum (Skylar Body's own fragrance blend with natural and essential oils).

MEADOW:
from the website...

For dreamers and doers, Meadow is intriguing, feminine, and elegant. Infused with soft notes of tuberose, jasmine, and orange blossom, this light and flirty scent embodies everything we love about flowers without being overly fragrant. Worn alone or perfectly paired for scent layering, Meadow lets your natural beauty shine through.

Ingredients: organic sugar cane alcohol, distilled water, tuberose, rose, baie rose, patchouli, cistus flower, parfum (Skylar Body's own fragrance blend with natural and essential oils).
 
Each of the perfumes is $78, which is significantly cheaper than a lot of high-end conventional perfumes. They also offer a scent duo option, which allows you to buy two perfumes and save $36.

During New Year's day, Skylar Body ran an amazing sale that offered two of their scents for the price of one, plus I had a $20 coupon that came with the sample set, so I now own a full-size bottle of Isle and Meadow, and am dying to get Arrow and Coral. By the way, Coral is probably my favorite from the whole set, even though I LOVE every one of these!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

'The 100' 5x06: My Bellarke Breakdown Analysis

Thank you guys so much for all of the love I have been getting on Twitter for this analysis of Tuesday night's new episode of The 100. I know it is a difficult time for all Bellamy and Clarke fans, so I couldn't help but take a deeper look at the episode, and find the bigger, more important, meaning of the episode. So many people are focused on Bellamy and Echo, but I can actually see where canon Bellarke can develop from this episode and beyond.

Here's my breakdown...

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, and by devil I clearly mean Jason. First, I have been shipping Bellamy and Clarke since 1x02, when everyone still thought Finn and Clarke were going to be the endgame ship, hahaha. Second, I violently gagged during every Bellamy/Echo scene Tuesday night, and even woke up several times from Becho-related nightmares, and the ensuing cold sweats. So, I hope I’m making this clear how much I adore Bellamy and Clarke, and how much time I invest in their relationship.

What I took away from 5x06 is a few things: one being Bellamy’s absolute desperation. Right from the beginning, Echo’s life was at risk. Bellamy, the bleeding heart he is, would obviously try and do everything to protect someone he cares about. I know, I know, we all are upset that that is Echo, but remember he was doing this in 4x12 (when he kept Murphy from taking the suit) and in 4x13 (when he convinced Echo to go to space with them). Bellamy cares deeply about the people around him, so it is expected that he would go above-and-beyond to protect Echo. Remember in season three when he went after Clarke, and almost got himself killed? He's impulsive when he's desperate! As I already stated, it seems like every Becho scene was one of impulsive actions, rash decisions, etc. Interestingly, those scenes also transitioned either immediately to Clarke or from Clarke, which (to me) indicates another connection to Bellamy. Even though he has these desperate feelings towards Echo, Clarke is still present (in the connecting scene) in some way.

When I think about how much I want Bellamy and Clarke together, I can’t help but want them to reach that happiness in the correct timing. Right now, they are both so raw and so new to each other. Example: I have family that lives in another state, and in another country, and the bonds that we have are totally different. I don’t talk to them as much as I used to, and when we do see one another in person, there are awkward moments and lulls in conversations. It’s unavoidable when we don’t see the day-to-day lives of each other anymore. Six years, for Bellamy and Clarke, has changed them. They’re older, wiser, and more rooted in familial foundations. Bellamy has Spacekru, whereas Clarke has Madi. What they have to focus on now is finding a balance of merging those two together.

I LOVE 5x06 because of this reason: pushing aside Bellamy and Echo, I believe this episode was primarily focused on the bond between a mother and daughter. This bond is important to the story line, because as Bob has commented, Madi is going to play an integral role in Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship. What we saw Tuesday night was Clarke’s unwavering love for her Madi, and the lengths she was, and is, willing to go to in order to keep Madi safe. Bellamy, on three separate occasions, witnessed Clarke as a mother. He saw first-hand what Madi means to Clarke. Clarke is willing to start a war, walk away from people she cares about, stand up to Octavia, and even get herself killed in order to keep her daughter safe. The scene that tore me up is when Clarke tells Madi to find Abby if anything happens to her. Clarke didn’t tell Madi to find Bellamy, or any of her friends, no… she told Madi to find HER MOM because she now knows what a mother is willing to do and sacrifice in order to keep her child safe. Clarke knows that Abby will look after Madi with her life, because that’s what mothers do in order to protect their children. We, as Bellarke fans, would like to see Clarke depend on Bellamy, but right now? Bellamy isn't in a position to guarantee Madi's safety. He's too connected with Spacekru, his family, and of course Octavia. I believe this is what will help Bellamy see Clarke in a new way: he'll see her as a mother, and that will slowly help reconnect them on a different level.

Let's be honest, Bellamy and Clarke have already proved how much they still care about one another, and how their chemistry is still off-the-charts. 5x03 and 5x04 are crucial because they reconnect Bellamy and Clarke before all of the Becho scenes in 5x06. This is done purposely to allow us to see that even though there’s still relearning to happen, Bellamy and Clarke have an unbreakable connection to each other. Time has gone by, but even after six years, they still WANT to be the “head and the heart” as was seen in 5x05. When Clarke asks Bellamy what his head says about going to war he answered, "same as yours", indicating how in-sync they still are. However, now it’s just a matter of reestablishing their bond on a deeper and more cohesive level.

Throughout 5x06, Bellamy saw that he and Clarke can no longer just be Bellamy and Clarke, but instead Bellamy, Clarke, AND Madi. Clarke will only completely give herself to Bellamy if he proves to her his unwavering allegiance to her and Madi. Right now, Bellamy’s all over the place. He’s scared, he’s confused, and he’s trying to find his place in Clarke’s life again. In the end, as we've witnessed in season three, when Bellamy forgave Clarke for leaving, Bellamy and Clarke always find their way back to each other. They keep each other accountable, they lift each other up, and they care deeply for one another. Season five is now focused on rebuilding everything these two characters are to each other, and will ultimately culminate in something we've all been dreaming about since the beginning.

We need to keep our chins up, because I see so many positive things happening from 5x06 and beyond. Our canon WILL happen, and when it does, wow!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Building A Credo Beauty Wish List

When I build a wish list, I don't think of it as a list of everything I necessarily need right this minute. Instead, I see it as a list of things I want, or am interested in. These lists also come in handy when I do need something, yet forgot which product and/or brand I had in mind. Plus, birthdays, holidays, and special occasions when people ask me what I want? I can easily refer to my lists! With that in mind, I've complied a small list of products, mostly from Lily Lolo, that I definitely have my eye on.

One of the places I like to browse (online) is Credo Beauty. I've made a purchase from them in the past, so I decided to choose this place as my first "wish list" style post!

BRANDS: Lily Lolo, Han Skin Care, Suntegrity.

PRODUCTS:
Eyeshadow, sunscreen, eyeshadow primer, lip gloss, blush/highlighter, and finishing powder.

Total cost for this purchase would be: $170. Total cost if I bought two glosses & powders: $207.

Not only am I interested in trying more products from Lily Lolo and Han Skin Care, I like that they are on the affordable scale of natural, organic, and green beauty. The eyeshadow palette is $20 cheaper than an Urban Decay palette, and the lip gloss is $21 cheaper than YSL. So, you can see that there are some great natural products out there that can be purchased for less money!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Deodorant

Guys, it's starting to get hotter and hotter in Southern California, and I am reaching for my deodorants faster than my makeup these days. The last natural deodorant I posted about was the Native one, and I'm just about ready to call that one an empty, so it's time to start talking about the Lemon Tea Tree one from Desert Essence. Several months ago, I did a giant deodorant haul, and yes I was terribly embarrassed at what the packers of that box must have thought about me.

Can you imagine packing a box with (at least) six different deodorants?  

I'm really not a sweaty person, I swear!

Anyway, I wanted to try different brands and formulas, so Desert Essence is just one of many natural deodorants I'll be posting about on here over the next several weeks.

When I first tried out the Lemon Tea Tree deodorant, I was immediately taken with how amazing it smells. It's so fresh, lemony, and with just a hint of tea tree oil not to be offensive. Unlike other natural deodorants, this one from Desert Essence rolls on super easily, and does not rub harshly against my skin. I have a Schmidt's deodorant that needs to be warmed up before it will apply smoothly, so I enjoy the ease of application with this one. The one real complaint I have is the texture of it. It's extremely sticky, and if it gets on my shirt, and I touch it, I have to find something to clean my hands with because it doesn't just rub away. Other than that, I think this one is long-lasting and performs well for me and my personal needs!

INGREDIENTS:
Propanediol, Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Sodium Stearate, Zinc Ricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Leptospermum Petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sucrose Cocoate, Silica, Allantoin

WHERE TO BUY:
- Desert Essence's website / Regular: $6.25. Sale: $4.38 (as of May 11th).
- Vitacost's website / Regular: $6.25. Vitacost Price: $4.69.

FINAL THOUGHT:

Now that I've been using this Lemon Tea Tree deodorant for several weeks, and have grown used to it, I can definitely see myself repurchasing it, and other scents from Desert Essence.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My Natural and Green Beauty Graduation Makeup

It feels so strange to be writing a post like this, but after year of hard work, I've finally finished my degree! Monday night, I got my degree in English from Arizona State University, but yesterday was the day I could have walked for my school's convocation ceremony. Since I was not in attendance, and opted to have a more casual lunch with family, I thought I'd share my less glam and more everyday makeup that I used to celebrate my big day.

Everything is organic, natural, green, and cruelty free. I have been trying products from different brands, so you'll see a variety of some of the products that are fast becoming some of my all-time favorite makeup products... and I'm talking about e - v - e - r, and not just natural. The lipstick (below) is one that I can see myself bringing out for most special occasions. I love it.


PRODUCTS USED:

- Foundation - Lily Lolo Foundation (loose) SPF 15 in China Doll Fair. $22.
- Powder - Modern Minerals Translucent Powder in Tea Rose. $22.
- Blush - From the 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette. $47.
- Highlight - ((new to me!)) Venus Organics Diamond Glow Skin Illuminator in Marry Me. $25.
- Mascara - 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea. $26.
- Eyebrows - Z Skin Pumped Volcanic Mineral Mascara. $18.99.
- Eyeshadow - I used all three shades from the 100% Pure Pretty Naked Palette. $47.
- Lipstick - Au Naturale Eternity Lipstick in Cha Cha. $25.

I got the Z Skin mascara as a sample in a Vegan Cuts beauty box, and decided I love it for my brows. The wand is really small, which could be because of the mini size of the product, but it's perfect for my brows! I'm thinking that when it runs out, I still want to purchase the regular size and make it work for me, because I've been happy with tinting my brows with this mineral mascara.

Because I just got the Venus Organics illuminator last week, I didn't really feature it in this post. I'm still trying it out before I talk too much about it. Plus, it's currently sold out on their website.

Finally, I leave you with the Au Naturale lipstick in 'Cha Cha' which is fast becoming a favorite lipstick of mine! I love the matte formula, the color, and wear. I'll definitely feature it soon.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

My Vitacost Haul: Skincare, Hair and Cleaning Supplies

Is it just me, or do you hate it when everything you need runs out at the same time? It makes for a pretty random, and sometimes boring, haul. It's not so fun having to buy lotion and wood cleaner at the same time, but such is life. Anyway, for a few years now, I've been buying most of my skincare and cleaning supplies on Vitacost.com, but have recently dipped into buying hair care as well. Once I made the final push to use natural/organic/green shampoo and conditioner, I've tried to buy from different brands carried on Vitacost's website. Since natural beauty and hair care is expensive, I wait until Vitacost has sales, and on top of those I can usually utilize a coupon code they have on offer. Needless-to-say, I was in need of some products, Vitacost was having an amazing sale, and a box of stuff was purchased.

SKINCARE:

- Glonaturals Essentials Collection Sweet Almond Oil (16oz.). Regular: $8.24. Sale: $7. They had this on sale with a BOGO 50%, so my mom and I went in on this deal. What I use it for: I use this as an eye makeup remover. It takes off ALL of my mascara and eyeshadow. The smaller one (4oz.) is less than $3, but I decided to splurge on the bigger bottle because I already know and love this oil.
- Glonaturals Essentials Collection Almond Castile Lotion (16oz.). Regular: $4.49. Sale: BOGO 50%. I've never tried this lotion before, so I will report back on if I like it or not. I bought it to use as an after shower body lotion.

HAIR CARE:

- Acure Organics Curiously Clarifying Shampoo Lemongrass (12oz.). Regular: $9.99. Sale: $6.78. My hairstylist recently told me to start using a clarifying shampoo once a week. Since my hair tends to get oily, she had to double cleanse my hair, and told me to buy one to keep on hand. Of course, I looked online to see what was offered in the natural hair realm, and found this one... plus it was on sale! I'll report back how I like it.

CLEANING SUPPLIES:

- Seventh Generation Wood Cleaner Lemon Chamomile (18oz.). Regular: $6.49. Sale: $4.79. I had to stop using conventional wood cleaner a few years ago because the scents always gave me headaches. I couldn't stand how the scent seeped into my skin, and how rough the products were on my nails. I happened upon a review of this Seventh Generation Cleaner and decided to buy it. I'm pretty sure I'll never use anything else now. This is my third repurchase! I love the way it smells, the way it cleans my furniture, and how the scent doesn't linger in my room when I'm done using it.
- The Clean Collection Glass Cleaner Unscented (32oz.). Regular: $2.89. Sale: None. For the same reasons stated above, I looked for a glass cleaner that not only worked, but one that wouldn't give me headaches. This is my second repurchase, since the bottle is so much bigger, I don't use it up as fast. I love the price, and will definitely continue to re-buy this cleaner!

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Good, The Bad, The Cocokind Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer

I cannot even begin to tell you guys how long I've been sitting on this post and debating if I should post it or not. To tell you the truth, I'm only posting this because I genuinely believe this product will be beneficial for a lot of people out there. For me, though, it kept breaking me out... which really makes me sad because I wanted this to work for me and my skin so badly.

Several months ago, I thought I'd try my first cocokind product, and settled for the Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer. I like that it is made with only a handful of ingredients, most of them being oils, and claims to rejuvenate, hydrate, and freshen skin. When I first got it, I noticed that it smells mostly of coconut oil, yet is green like matcha, which made me excited to start using it. Unfortunately, after a few nights of using this on my face, I noticed spots popping up around my eyebrows, and one nasty one on my cheek. It took FOREVER for it to heal and go away. At that time, I was also experimenting with a new cleanser, so I stopped using both in order to determine which product was breaking me out. A few weeks later, I tried the moisturizer again, and guess what? My face started breaking out in the same exact areas. I was so sad that it was in fact the cocokind product breaking me out, because my skin was actually incredibly smooth where it wasn't irritated. Again, I stopped using this moisturizer and put it back in my drawer.

Fast-forward to the beginning of this year, I thought I had the genius idea to use the moisturizer on my body instead of my face. You know, I'm never one to waste products. Every night after my shower, I'd gently rub the moisturizer all over my body... until about a week of doing this... when spots began appearing on my chest, shoulders, and arms. UGH. GROSS! So, some ingredient in this product absolutely hates my skin, because I can't put it anywhere without breaking out.

I'm sure you can guess that I've since stopped using this moisturizer, and have deemed this one one that I'm allergic to. However, I wanted to talk about this only because my skin (face and body) felt so nice and soft before I started breaking out. I don't want to deter anyone from buying this, because it is affordable and probably incredible for those of you that aren't sensitive to one (or more) of the ingredients.

PRODUCT INFO:

For Dry Skin or PM Use
Hello antioxidants! Our nutritious Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer assists in keeping skin fresh, recovered, and hydrated. Packed with antioxidants, our matcha cream protects and rejuvenates skin, evens skin tone, and helps heal any irritation or redness through its anti-inflammatory properties.

INGREDIENTS:

Organic virgin coconut oil, organic matcha tea powder, organic pomegranate oil, organic bergamot oil. (via cocockind)