Thursday, April 28, 2016

I need my Vitamin Sea & more from OSEA

If you saw my Instagram yesterday, you're probably wondering what's been delaying this post. I mentioned how gloomy it's been and my need for vitamin "sea," specifically this OSEA Vitamin Sea Serum. I also said that I hoped to blog about it and these other OSEA gems last night or earlier today. Instead, I spent that time waiting to get my cable and Internet back after someone cut our line (it's a long story).

Now, back to these amazing products, which could not have come at a better time. I'm a firm believer in switching up your skincare routine based on the current condition of your skin and the weather. It's getting warmer and more humid around here, so my skin is especially loving this sea-inspired skincare line. 

I just adore the background story of this brand, which is posted on the website (I snagged these family photos and summarized it for you; above is great-grandma Elsa). It's "the story of four generations of women who fell in love with the sea, as told by the youngest generation, Melissa Palmer." Her great-grandmother, Elsa Reuschle, was one of the very first female chiropractors. Over 90 years ago, Elsa had a bad accident that ripped several tendons in her leg. One night, she dreamed that the ocean would heal her, so when she awoke, she demanded that her husband bring her down to the beach on that cold December day to swim. Her daily swims helped to heal her leg.

Elsa passed down her knowledge and faith in natural healing to Melissa's mother, Jenefer, insisting that she (Jenefer) had "healing hands" (above is a photo of Jenefer with Melissa, as a small child, from the OSEA website). In her early 20s, Jenefer sought her own natural healing practice and began her studies in the healing arts. She later became the spa director of the renowned Murrieta Hot Springs and began searching for a natural skin care line. Unsatisfied with the options available at that time, she opted to develop her own skincare line. "She knew she wanted an ingredient-conscious skincare line and she could only think of one place to begin: it was time to return to the sea."

Jenefer and her family moved to Malibu, California to start developing the foundation of her skincare line, which combines ingredients from the sea with essential oil blends. She spent the next 12 years refining her formulas in their kitchen and testing them out on friends, family and even total strangers.

As the popularity of her creations grew, so did the family-run company. Melissa, her brother David, stepsister Mary and stepdad Steve are all involved, adhering entirely to Jenefer's vision: "to produce products that support skin's natural health and beauty, and are designed with ingredient-conscious skincare consumers in mind."

Being an ingredient-conscious skincare consumer, I couldn't wait to try this line for myself, starting with this OSEA Ocean Cleanser. It's for normal, dry, combo skin, so basically, if you have skin, this cleanser has you covered. This organic cleanser "is rich in minerals, algae, dermal proteins, vitamins and mineral salts" and smells like some kind of sweet candy from my childhood (very nostalgic). It's pH balanced and gentle enough to remove dirt and makeup without irritation. It's somehow light and creamy at the same time, like various other algae-containing skincare products I've tried. It leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed. It almost has a cooling effect. Something tells me this cleanser is especially nice for cleansing sunburned skin, although I hope I don't have to experience that.

Next up is that OSEA Vitamin Sea Serum I teased on Instagram. According to the website, this "potent serum contains an anti-aging blend of seven organic seaweed extracts in a hydrating hyaluronic acid base. Packed with powerful antioxidants, including ferulic acid, turmeric, and walnut seed and green tea extracts, this serum will plump up moisture-depleted skin and restore a youthful glow."

No lie, this serum does what it claims. It plumps up my skin to hide fine lines and gives it a youthful glow. It's not overly oily; it's very light and absorbs really well. It also has that cooling effect I mentioned with the cleanser. Oh, and don't be concerned about the turmeric, as it doesn't seem to stain. I seriously need more of this when it runs out (these photos were taken weeks ago, so it's now half empty).

As for moisturizer, I've been using the OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream. It's for normal, dry, combo and sensitive skin, so again, this one's got you covered. It's "a lightweight moisturizer that protects skin from dehydration and damage from environmental aggressors. The super emollient algae base ensures instantaneous absorption while the advanced blend of dermal proteins increases elasticity and leaves a matte, silky finish. An amazing, invisible base for makeup application."

This moisturizer is light, yet gets the job done. Again, I think this is perfect for sun-parched skin (it also has that cooling effect), as my skin wanted to drink it all up. It keeps my skin soft and balanced all day long. I have to agree with the makeup application; it acts like a primer, keeping my makeup smooth and in place. I also had success using it under my eyes like an eye cream to reduce puffiness without irritation.

Obviously, I'm over the moon (or in this case, the sea) with these products. I'm pretty sure I know what line of skincare will be going on vacation with me this summer (OSEA, of course).

Do you change your skincare with the seasons? What products do you use during the summer? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* OSEA sent me these products for review. All opinions are my own :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Amaki Rose Water is a bouquet in a bottle

Mother's Day is right around the corner, so it's time to start thinking of what to get that amazing lady in your life. I usually make sure to get my mom flowers, but sometimes it's fun to put another spin on that tradition.

Personally, I'm really into green beauty, so it's not unusual to see me hinting to my household for some lovely pampering products for the occasion. For example, I was all about this Amaki Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil and Flowers & Salts Bath Soak for Valentine's Day. These luxurious products actually have real flowers inside them.

Just in time for Mother's Day, I got my hands on this Amaki 100% Pure & Natural Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner. Although it doesn't have little flowers floating around inside the bottle, it smells like a fresh bouquet of roses (it also lasts longer than that bouquet).

This rose water toner really is 100% pure rose water with nothing else added. I just can't resist spritzing it all over, as it has so many uses (okay, so maybe it won't last as long as I thought). I love leaving it's sweet scent on me and using it to freshen up on these humid days (as the temps have been raising, so has the humidity around here).

Of course, it's excellent for prepping my skin for moisturizer after cleansing my face, but it also reduces puffiness under my eyes (just soak some cotton pads with rose water and apply around your eyes for a few minutes) and sets my makeup for the day. It even makes facial masks more special when you mix your favorite face mask with rose water, instead of plain water.

According to Amaki, this rose water can work as a hair treatment. "After shampooing, add a cup of rose water to your hair and use it as a final rinse. Your hair will feel soft and refreshed. The amazing scent will last for hours."

I'm a little more conservative with my bottle of rose water, so I haven't tried that method. However, I do like spraying it in hair to make it soft and floral-scented.

In honor of Mother's Day, Amaki is selling this gift set. In addition to the Amaki 100% Pure & Natural Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner, the set also contains that Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil I already mentioned, along with two Konjac Facial Wash Sponges (one charcoal and one green tea) in a gift package with a hang tag. It's got you and your mom's skincare routine covered.

Do you like giving or receiving floral natural beauty products with or without a traditional bouquet? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Amaki sent me this rose water toner for review. All opinions are my own :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Baby your face w/Lani's new fruit mask

You know I adore Lani, and now I have yet another reason to love the brand in the form of a new face mask. Yes, I did just post about the Tropical Cacao Detox Mask, but I'm referring to an even newer addition to the line, the Tropical Fruit Radiance Mask.

If chocolate isn't really your thing (I don't know how that's possible), then maybe you'll want to try this fruity version. According to the website, "mango, pineapple and passion fruit enzymes gently resurface skin, while nourishing banana, baobab, and coconut protect from moisture loss, delivering a replenished feel and restoring a dewy luminosity from the first use"

It really does what it claims in the first use, but I'll get to that it a moment. First, let me show you how to use it.

As you can see, it comes in a powder form, much like the cacao mask. Simply scoop some out of the jar and into your hand or a small bowl. About 1-2 tablespoons should be enough for one use.

Mix 1-2 tablespoons of the mask powder with just enough water to make a paste (I added a few small drops at a time). It will look a little like baby food, and for those of you who have had a baby or babysat, it smells and possibly tastes a little like baby food (fruity baby food isn't bad; it's just pureed fruit).

Apply a thin layer of the mixed mask to your face and let it baby your skin for about 20 minutes or until dry. In photos, it appears to be the same color of my skin, so I had trouble getting it to show up clearly (I guess it doesn't help that I tend to use facial masks in the evening hours).

Here's the photo I posted on Instagram during my first use. As it dries, it gets tighter and makes it difficult to smile naturally. However, it did not irritate my sensitive skin (I'm not allergic to any of these fruits, but if you are, I wouldn't advise using this mask, as it could cause an allergic reaction. Use your own judgement).

This mask is easy to wash off, but try to avoid getting it in your eyes. It's a tad gritty, and fruit isn't meant to be in your eyes anyway. Speaking of the fruit, their enzymes actually do exfoliate your skin, leaving it soft and smooth. The addition of the coconut really does keep things balanced, so this mask is not over-drying. I like to follow this mask with some of the Tropical Super Serum, just because it's so good.

Have you tried Lani? What's your favorite product from the line? Let me know on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Lani sent me this mask for review. All opinions are my own :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

RawBox was meant for me & you, too

Although I've transitioned more into the green beauty blogging world, I started this blog as a raw foodie (I still eat raw vegan foods the majority of the time; it's just not my focus these days). Therefore, when I came across RawBox, I knew it would be the perfect fit for me.

RawBox is a monthly subscription box that's packed with raw, plant-based snacks and clean lifestyle products, which means you won't find any gluten, soy or dairy. Each package contains 10-12 products with a total value of $40-$80, in a mixture of both full-size and single servings. The best part is the convenience of having raw products arrive right on your doorstep. Let's take a peek inside to see what I received in the March box (I'm a little late posting this, as we are now in April, but you get the idea).

Like I said, it's packed with a ton of goodies for the raw foodie or just those looking to clean up their lifestyles. It makes me hungry just typing about it :)

It's Friday, also known as "pizza night," so let me begin with the Wrawp Pizza Crust. It's one of the most convenient ways to whip up a raw pizza in a pinch. This all-natural pizza crust is 100% vegan, raw, paleo, organic and low-fat (that's not always the case when it comes to a raw pizza crust, as many are made with a lot of flax). This one (actually, there are two in the package) contains organic carrot, organic zucchini, organic apple, organic sprouted buckwheat, flaxseeds, organic sunflower seeds, organic turmeric, black salt and cayenne pepper. These are so yummy as a pizza base or a wrap, too.

Moving on to dessert (I probably should have saved this for last, but I can't wait for dessert), these Laughing Giraffe Organics Vanilla Snakaroons are so good. Raw macaroons are very simple to make, but they are even better when they're already waiting to satisfy your craving (the same is true for this brownie, but I'll get back to that it a minute). These tasty vanilla treats are just organic unsweetened coconut, organic agave nectar, organic almonds, organic extra virgin coconut oil, gluten-free organic vanilla extract and Himilayan pink salt. They are surprisingly fresh tasting for a prepackaged snack.

As for the brownie, it's a little mouthful (sometimes one bite is enough, but in a good way) from Righteously Raw. It's so amazingly delightful and decadent. You can even smell the chocolate through the package. Don't worry, though, as it tastes like it was sealed well. The description says, "coated with a healthy dose of our award-winning raw cacao and packed with raw dates and raisins, these treats are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth." I know it sure satisfied mine :)

Although premade treats are nice to have on hand, it's also fun to make your own raw creations. That's why I was happy to see this big bag of Foods Alive Chia Seed (you can make chia pudding, blended puddings, smoothies, smoothie bowls and other desserts; it also subs well for flax in various recipes) and single-serving pack of Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (there are times when you only need a tablespoon of coconut oil in a recipe, like to make your unbaked goods richer and almost "buttery;" it's also great for oil-pulling, hair treatments, moisturizing, etc.).

After all those raw sweets, sometimes you need to balance it all out with some greens. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm very curious about this MacroLife Naturals Apple Ginger Superfood Bar. I'm always toting raw bars in my purse for emergencies and this one looks right up my alley. It's a cold-pressed, 100% natural, raw superfood bar, derived from fresh, raw, certified organic, vegan, whole food MacroLife ingredients. It has brazil nuts, dates, agave syrup, rice protein, freeze-dried apples and MacroGreens Blend. It even contains vegan probiotics.

The March RawBox also had this bottle of Pure Planet Best of Greens. This powder is a combination of organic and nonGMO grasses, algae, vegetables, and sea plants in a sweet lemon flavored powder. It's sweetened with stevia.

I've been buying Yogi tea for years, and I was excited to see it featured in this box. The Detox tea is quite yummy with its spicy blend of burdock, dandelion and juniper berry, but the Ginger tea has always been my fave. It also has lemongrass, licorice and peppermint in it.

I hope you washed your hands before consuming all that raw goodness. Thankfully, RawBox include this full-size Murchison-Hume Superlative Hand Soap. It's a gentle cleanser made from 99% naturally-derived ingredients, including shea butter to soothe dried-out hands. It looks quite luxurious. It's also fragrance-free.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I'm now a natural beauty blogger, so I was over the moon when I saw this Ariya Apothecary Anti-Aging Serum. Although small, it lasts longer than you'd think. It's handmade in New Orleans out of vegetable glycerin, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, avocado oil, jojoba oil, geranium essential oil, rosemary essential oil, frankincense essential oil, rose hip seed essential oil and lavender essential oil. It makes your skin glow. Oh, and it came in this cute little cloth pouch.

Now you can see that RawBox was meant for me. What about you? Check out their site to find out how to subscribe. If you follow me on Instagram (I'm @Rawdorable), stay tuned for a giveaway, too.

* RawBox sent me this box for review. All opinions are my own :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

True Boxers isn't fast, it's fair fashion

After posting about Starch Slides and Ninalu not too long ago, I became more aware of other small companies making sustainable fashion. I thought it would be fun to occasionally highlight some of their designs, starting with this playful boxer short line.

I recently came across True Boxers on Instagram. Although I don't currently own a pair of True Boxers, their campaign did take me back to a time when it was trendy for both males and females to wear printed boxers. I, myself, remember wearing them to sleepovers, pom practice and even to the mall (I'm so dating myself).

The difference between this boxer line and the boxers I wore in my early teens is that these are, in fact, sustainable. Just let the statement on the True Boxers website explain:

"[The True Boxers] mission is to create durable boxer shorts with fun prints without compromising on fit, quality and ethical production. Most brands these days purposely make goods which are meant to fall apart after a few years. We want to create boxer shorts that are fashionable, but made from materials that are durable. We call our mission 'Sustainable Fashion'.
"In other words, True Boxers aims to be an apparel label that enables you to have sustainable but still fashionable boxer shorts."
True Boxers takes their mission seriously. They use a certified cotton supplier with the same mindset and manufacturer with fair working conditions. The cotton is environmentally-friendly dyed poplin to ensure the the softest, most comfortable and sustainable fabric possible. You can watch their Kickstarter video to see how they were developed.
If you took a moment to watch their Kickstarter video, you'd see all the time in effort the founders of True Boxers put into making their dream a reality. In the end, they were able to produce a high quality, ethical product out of 100% natural materials with extreme attention to detail.

Speaking of details, True Boxers offers free initial embroidery for that special touch when you order at least three pairs. Does anyone else get excited when something comes with their initials on it?

As for the prints, I love how they mixed and matched colors and patterns. At the moment, there are twelve options on the site, including polka dots, stars and chevron stripes.

Although the boxers are made for men, they sure look cute on women, too. Maybe my hubby and I should get matching pairs.

As for comfort, I haven't tried them, but this model seems to be feeling good in them. Maybe it's because he's helping True Boxers eliminate fast fashion and move toward sustainable fair fashion.

Let me know if you order any True Boxers and your thought on the brand. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* True Boxers did not send me anything in exchange for this review.
It's just something I wanted to do. All photos are from
the True Boxers website and Instagram.

* True Boxers is a European brand. Worldwide shipping is currently free
on orders exceeding 29 EUR.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's All Good Organics By Deb is good

"It's all good" is a phrase I find myself saying a lot. It's catchy, so of course, It's All Good Organics By Deb got my attention. These handcrafted organic beauty products in their bright and whimsical packaging really are good.

It's All Good Organics By Deb was started by a woman named Deb, of course. While watching her mother lose a battle with cancer several years ago, Deb noticed the effects chemically induced drugs took on her mother's body (but never her spirit). She knew there had to be a better way to take care of our bodies, both inside and out. She became more aware of what she ate and put on her skin by educating herself, choosing organic as much as possible, growing some of her own food and making soaps. She now makes a variety of other clean beauty products, all by hand.

Lucky for me, I had a chance to try some of those products with fun names like Keeping It Real Face Wash. The ingredients are simple, yet effective. It's just organic jojoba oil, organic aloe vera, pure castile soap, kaolin clay and essential oils. Although I was hesitant to wash my face with anything that contained soap (I'm more of a cream or oil cleanser kind of girl), this face wash was surprisingly gentle and not over-drying. It suds, due to the pure castile soap, but it doesn't irritate my skin or make it feel tight. It cleanses off all my makeup, including my eye makeup. Just be careful not to get it in your eyes.

I've been following the face wash with the Keeping It Real With Rose H2O & Witch Hazel Toner. It contains organic handcrafted rose water, organic handcrafted witch hazel and essential oils. This toner is light and does a good job of prepping my skin for my moisturizer and keeping my pores clear. I also like its soft rose scent.

The next two steps in this facial routine include the While You Sleep Happy Face and Eyes Rest Assure, which come in these cute glass jars. I'll definitely be reusing these.

The While You Sleep Happy Face is a night time face cream, although I've been using it day and night. It contains organic jojoba oil, tamanu oil, organic avocado oil, organic almond oil, organic grape seed oil, organic coconut oil, organic castor oil and essential oils. It looks a little like honey mustard, yet smells more medicinal (I guess that's how it works its magic). It's a bit greasy when first applied, but if you let it set for 10 or 15 minutes, your skin will drink it up. My skin appears refreshed when I wake up in the morning. I've also had success wearing it under makeup (just make sure to apply it lighter than in the evening). I was pleasantly surprised with this moisturizer.

The Eyes Rest Assure Eye Cream is more of a balm in my opinion, but that's what makes it so great. It's a blend of organic avocado butter, organic shea, organic castor oil, organic almond oil, organic calendula and carrot seed oil. This balm warms to the touch and is easy to apply to the delicate skin around your eyes. Since it is a balm, it seems to work like a paste to gently control those fine lines. I felt like it kept those pesky creases at bay. Although I just described it as a paste, it doesn't feel like you are wearing anything sticky or glue-like. It also works well under makeup, if you allow it time to absorb first. The best part is the size of the container. You get a full 2 ounces, which is a generous amount for this type of product.

It's All Good Organics By Deb is an excellent way to clean your beauty routine economically. The prices are very reasonable. It's worth checking out. Let me know if you do on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Although It's All Good Organics By Deb sent me these products,
all opinions are my own :)