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5/4/15

How Monoi Tiare Oil is Made


There are a few poseurs but the REAL Monoi de Tahiti Oil is made in Tahiti.  You can tell who's using it based on if they show the Appellation symbol either on the label/box or on their website - 


In order to use it you have to use the certified Monoi de Tahiti and are required to use certain amounts of it in your products.


So first they've got the Coconut Trees which are growing on coral sand beaches.  The coral is full of nutrients and, as a result, your coconuts are already more power-packed.


They carve out the meat of the coconuts by hand to press for the oil.


It takes a lot of coconuts!


Then the Tiare Flowers come into play.  An island version of Gardenias they smell AMAZING.


They're picked by hand,


Stacked in groups



They then are macerated (mashed up like crazy) in the coconut oil and sit for about 10 days.  They then strain the flowers out


And are left with the beautiful liquid gold that is used in daily life as well as religious ceremonies.

Monoi Oil is used as 
*a facial moisturizer
*a body moisturizer/oil
*baby oil
*massage/bath oil
*after sun care
*hair treatment mask 
*hair protectant pre heat tools 

Here are some of my favorite products with Monoi - 


I loved it so much I added it to my line!  I have the Monoi Tiare Oil ($25 - 2 oz) which has no additives, just the pure oil, and then the Monoi Tiare Body Lotion ($25 - 8 oz) which is an organic/vegan lightweight moisturizer that I fold the Monoi Tiare Oil into by hand.


Carol's Daughter was my gateway into the world of Monoi and her Monoi Longer, Stronger Set ($98) has the Shampoo, Conditioner, Repairing Hair Mask and Repairing Anti-Breakage Spray which are all awesome products for dry hair and smell super yummy.


Elemis's Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow ($58 - 16.9 oz) is the trifecta of flower happiness - it has Tiare, Frangipani and Hibiscus Flowers in an exfoliating salt scrub for the body.


NARS pops a couple of actual Tiare Flowers into their Monoi Body Glow II ($58 - 4 oz).  They add a few stabilizers and preservatives to the oil. 

So grab one of these products to carry summer with you wherever you go!

4/27/15

My Favorite Finds from the Green Festival


I went to the New York Green Festival this past weekend and found some awesome small green companies that are doing great work.  Here were some of my faves:


If you are into essential oils then you need to know about Noctua-Diem.  Founded by Certified Natural Health Professional, John Vega, the line is all created by hand and the serums are all essential oil blends and range from Camphor Blemish + Spot Serum (with Chamomile and Geranium Oils) to the Carrot + Pumpkin Seed Anti-Aging Serum (with Lavender and Evening Primrose Oils) covering all skin concerns.


Most Shea Butter moisturizers need "mixers" - oils or other butters - as Shea Butter is generally quite thick and hard to blend into skin on its own.  It has a cousin, Shea Nilotica, which is only produced in Uganda and the Sudan, is referred to as East African Shea Butter and it is AWESOME.  Kiroja's is certified organic, fair trade, processed by a women's co-op and it melts into your skin.  My favorite "flavor", Lavender, only contains the Shea Nilotica and Organic Lavender Essential Oil - love!


You know I love Peppermint anything and Alapure's Botanical Handmade Marula Mint Soaps are made with Peppermint Oil, Organic Mint Leaves and Marula Oil - Alapure's key ingredient - which is from Marula trees in South Africa and is high in Vitamin C and has numerous healing properties.  I'm into it.


Violets Are Blue defines philanthropy as they give each woman who enters Mt. Sinai's chemotherapy program for treatment of breast cancer their Beloved Skincare Package.  It contains a facial cleanser, body lotion, facial serum, foot salve and lip balm to combat the drying nature of chemo and all products are fragrance, chemical and dye-free.  You can also purchase this package as a set or individually in addition to other assorted goodies that they make.


Hydroquinone is the leading ingredient to help with fading hyperpigmentation (spots on the skin due to age, sun or hormones) but it gets into your blood stream and is linked to all sorts of unsavory situations.  The Ayurvedic based line, Om Botanical, has a product called Skin Glow which employs Sake, Licorice and Tumeric instead of chemicals.  Founder, Sudhir Shah, showed me a before and after pic that would make you sign up on the spot (no pun intended!).


And out of left field, beauty wise anyhow, I wanted to share the company Bees Wrap - it's so cool!  Think of how much Saran Wrap you use - for wrapping cheese, covering plates of leftover dinner, etc - and how much plastic you're throwing away - no bueno for the Earth (nor is plastic super healthy for you and your kiddos).  Bees Wrap is made with organic cotton muslin, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.  They're reusable, antibacterial and washable.

The Green Festival is open to the public and will take place later this year in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland so if you live nearby check it out!


4/21/15

Why Tea is Awesome in Your Skincare



Teas are super antioxidants and are amazing when taken orally or topically.  But what does that mean?  What's an antioxidant really?  First off, think of what happens when something oxidizes -



Metal rusts, apples turn brown and thus those items break down, right?  An antioxidant helps to slow down the process.  For example, it's why my mom squirted lemon juice on the apple slices she put in my lunch box in elementary school - it kept them fresh and pretty :).

In our skincare that translates as blocking what we call free radicals - those are the jerks that cause damage to our skincells (in the world of the apple it's what makes it turn brown and shrivel up).  Think of them as fancy lemon juice for your face - keeping you bright and shiny.

Green Tea contains a cocktail of potent antioxidants called catechins (which are also anti-bacterial- bonus!) that are Power Ranger types for fighting those free radical.  It also is anti-inflammatory and can help with redness/rosacea in skin.  


Rooibos Tea is not a true tea but an herb and boy is it power packed!  It's super soothing so it's idea for acneic or irritated skin (even sunburns) and has Alpha Hydroxy Acid which encourage cell turnover making it an ideal anti-ager.


White Tea will seriously hook your skin up - it has been tested to be 3-6 times more effective than green tea as a skin matrix protector - meaning, it keeps your skin firm and wrinkles at bay. 

Some products with White Tea include Erin's Faces Clarifying Serum (are you noticing a theme here?  I almost called this guy Three Tea Clarifying Serum for a reason), Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea (Origins is killing it on the White Tea front) and DERMAdoctor's Wrinkle Revenge Ultimate Hyaluronic Serum.

So, bottom line, tea is awesome in your skincare - so give your skin a drink!


4/9/15

DIY All-Natural* Dishwashing Detergent


I am all about the DIY situations for home cleaners and this guy works great!  I've been using this "recipe" for the past year or so and it does a wonderful job, doesn't leave spots on your glassware and is CHEAP.

You need 
*Borax
*Washing Soda
*Salt (technically Kosher Salt but I went with what I have)
*Citric Acid (OR Lemonade Flavored Kool Aid - remember, you have to add the sugar to lemonade so the lemonade flavor is basically just citric acid and lemon fragrance - built in fresh smell!) 


Throw 1 cup of the Borax and the Washing Soda 
together with 
1/2 cup each of Salt and Citric Acid (about 17 packets of Lemonade Kool-Aid)


In a blender (or you can mix it in a bowl)

And that's it!!


I use a little scoop/spoon from a canister of powdered greens I had but you can use whatever you want - and it just takes one scoop!

You can also throw a little white vinegar in the dishwasher's rinse aid reservoir for added goodness. 

For my DIY All-Natural Laundry Detergent click HERE
For my DIY All- Natural All-Purpose Cleaner click HERE 

*and no, the fragrance in the Lemonade Kool-Aid isn't all natural but I'm okay with it :)

3/30/15

New Honeyed Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes

If you can't view the video click HERE to see how well these guys work at getting a full face of makeup off

At every trunk show/workshop I do I have at least one women who timidly raises her hand during the skincare portion of the evening and says "I use face wipes, is that okay?"  After turning to my dermatologist and getting the approval that face wipes are indeed okay I was emotionally on board so the answer is yes!  I still prefer a traditional cleanser myself but I have to carry wipes in my kit so I can have a clean slate before the makeup applications that I do so I'm always on the hunt for good ones.
I started using the Honeyed Grapefuit Facial Cleansing Wipes from Beekman 1802 ($7 for 30 wipes) a few months ago because they met my criteria for wipes (which is surprisingly hard to meet!):
  • Alcohol-Free (dries you out)
  • Petrochemical-Free (no bueno for your face)
  • Sulfate-Free (drying)
  • Fragrance-Free (irritating)
  • Dye-Free (irritating)
  • 100% Biodegradable (being nice to the Earth)
  • They must get every stitch of makeup off of your face - mascara, eyeliner, the whole nine

These guys actually list Fragrance as the last ingredient on list so I talked with them about it and they clarified that the Fragrance was Honey with Grapefruit, Lemon Blossoms and Guava.  Nothing synthetic.  Bueno!  I'm in!

So, I used them in my kit and people went NUTS for them (I had been sent an advance set of them - they weren't even on the market yet so I couldn't direct people to the Beekman site).  I have wanted to add cleansing wipes to Erin's Faces for a long time because so many of you use them and I want you to have something  healthy that works.  A few of my labs have them but their ingredient lists don't meet my requirements.  There are manufacturers that make wipes and I could control the ingredient list but I'd have to buy 10,000 of them.  You guys - we are not there :) - yet!  So, until we are I'm going to carry these crazy yummy Honeyed Grapefruit ones.

Aloe, Calendula, Goat's Milk
What's in them?  Okay - we've got Aloe Vera (healing), Calendula (anti-inflammatory), Goat's Milk (soothing), CoEnzymeQ10 (reparative), Vitamin C (brightening) and Vitamin E (hydrating). What's not in them?  Alcohol, Petrochemicals, Sulfates, Fragrance and Dye.  And they are 100% Biodegradable and get everything off!

Where can you get them???  Here :)!

3/21/15

DIY Eyebrow Tinting

First off, you're not supposed to tint your eyebrows - so there's that.  The box literally says don't use this on your lashes/brows because it can blind you.  Amazing.  So I'm not brave enough to tint my lashes but I'm down with brows.
I used RefectoCil's Brow and Lash Tint in 4.1 (also avail on Amazon).  It comes with a little plastic applicator that doesn't look like it would actually do anything but it ends up working very well.  

You can buy a mixing plate or just use a piece of foil or a disposable plastic plate or something and you squirt some of your color on there and then mix in some of the developer (pictured above) which is basically the same thing as Hydrogen Peroxide just FYI.  You're supposed to put a bit of the Eyebrow Tint on the plate and then eyeball adding the developer to it, which honestly feels a little scary when you're not a professional hair stylist but I just thinned out with like 10 drops and it was fine.

So then you use the little plastic applicator and paint it on your brows.  There's a chart that says how long to leave it on.  You get your "time" based on your natural brow color (I'm between a 6 and a 7) and the color you're going to dye it.  So for me it was 10-20 minutes (which seems like kind of a large timeslot!) so I split the difference and did 15 minutes.  If you're nervous I would err on the shorter timeframe as you can always go back and dye them again if they're too soft.  I then used a makeup wipe to get it off.  It does dye your skin too which you can clean up pretty easily with the makeup wipe but the skin under your brow will stay dyed til you take a shower (but it just looks like you filled it in with brow powder).  People do who do it regularly do it about once a month.


Here you can see way the dye picks up on every hair - the ends of this brow are white and don't show up so it's nice that after dying them they DO show up.


So what's the verdict?  I LOVE not having to fill in my brows everyday and feel much less like a redhead poser since I'm not rocking a brown eyebrow with red hair.  That said, my red hair is a copper gold (warm) and this dye color was a cooler, pinker red so I'm just going to get my actual hair dye color (or a couple of shades deeper) and use that with the developer BUT, I'm so glad I went ahead and tried tinting my brows as it was super easy!

3/11/15

New Makeup Palette for Spring - Eyeshadows/Lips/Cheeks

All of my shadow, liner, cheeks, highlight and lip are from the little guy on the left :)
You guys!  I am SO EXCITED to share my new Nudes Eyeshadow and Lip/Cheek Palette ($75)with you for Spring.  It sold out within the first 10 days of launching it (yay!) but I'm getting more in so worry not.  Most shadow palettes on the market come in with a dozen shadows at around at least $50.  For the price of one lipstick you get that plus not one, but twelve, lipstick shades!

Here's the story - you get 12 Eyeshadows - 3 mattes and 9 satins/shimmers that work as shadows, eyeliners, cheek highlights and (if you're blonde/brunette) brows.  You also get 12 Lip Shades that double as Cheek Colors.  The video below walks you though a couple of different ways to work with it.

Click HERE if you can't see the video

I've been asked if there are any doubles with any eyeshadows I currently carry - these are the color equivalents - 


Here are some other fun palettes new to the market this season -


Stila's Nouveau Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($49 for 12 eyeshadows) and their Convertible Color Palette ($49 for 12 lip/cheek shades) which are sold separately give a similar offering but with brighter lip/cheek colors.

Tarte's Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette ($44 for 12 eyeshadows) is a good pick if you are a matte shadow fan


Not new but Urban Decay's Naked Palettes ($54 for 12 shadows and brush) are the ones who launched 1,000 ships...err...eyeshadow sets.

Hourglass just came out with seven of these beautiful Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes ($58 for 5 colors) so there's one for every skintone.