Apr 27, 2013

Etsy Finds: Aucocisco Naturals

       If you read my post, "What I Want Today: Etsy Edition" you know that I am really feeling Etsy's Bath and Beauty section these days.  I have long been a slave to Sephora and Ulta, so Etsy has indeed been a refreshing switchup.  Each shop is so unique and deciding which products to purchase first was quite the challenge.  This girl's got a budget, so buying everything on the website was unfortunately not an option.  After a cutthroat item removal session with my "Cart", I decided upon a few items from Aucocisco Naturals and boy, am I glad I did!

I just love the amber bottles!
       Aucocisco Naturals really caught my eye with their simple packaging and when I looked further into the brand, I was thrilled to find that the ingredients were equally simple. The Aucocisco Naturals products that I will be reviewing today are the Parsley+Rice Cleanser and the Apricot+Blackseed Serum*.  I did buy one other product, the Honey+ Pink Clay Mask, but it is a birthday gift for one of my friends, so until I get the chance to give it to her, you all will just have to hang tight for a review on that one.  Perhaps she will be my first guest writer!  What do you all think?  Anyways, here is my opinion on the aforementioned products.

Dry cleanser
Cleanser mixed with water
       At first, I was skeptical about the effectiveness of a dry cleanser which has to be mixed with water in order to be used and I had never tried anything like it before.  To be honest, I had mainly purchased this out of curiosity.  However, the texture of my skin was so incredible after the first use of this cleanser that all of my doubts were erased.  This product contains THREE ingredients (yea, you read that right) and still manages to provide a pleasant cleansing experience.  Color me impressed!

       I couldn't figure out a good way to capture this product in a picture, so I will describe it to you: clear with a tinge of yellow color.  How was that?  I have never tried any of the four oils in this product (apricot kernel, blackseed, rice brand, and lavender essential), so I am currently in the process of patch testing.  This is my second day wearing it on my chin, one of the most reactive areas on my face,  and I have experienced no adverse effects thus far, just really soft skin.  The texture is wonderful and very light.  I actually put a little on the ends of my hair and I was looking quite Pantene-Commercial-esque.  Quite a lovely product!

In addition to having lovely products, the Aucocisco Naturals shop has a lovely owner, Alyce, who was extremely communicative and very friendly when I asked her a few questions about getting into the cosmetics business.  I highly recommend this brand and I encourage you to check it out here or here.   

The * denotes a product which I was sent free of cost.  Reviews will remain objective, regardless of how the product came to me.

Apr 23, 2013

What I Want Today: Etsy Edition

       My beauty wishlist is/ always has been/ always will be rather extensive.  I am constantly researching and discovering new products, which in turn leads to the addition of at least 1 new product to "The List" a day.  Ever since I've found the Bath & Beauty section on Etsy, I've upped the ante to about 3 new products a day.  I probably only end up buying 1/10 of everything on my list, but it's just fun to keep tabs on what I'm liking at the moment.  The following Etsy products have caught my eye with their packaging, natural formulas, and overall brand aesthetic.  

The Gnarly Whale Beach Waves- $12: They had me at coconut lime verbena, one of my favorite scents ever.  I haven't given in to the whole beachy-waves-trend yet, but I am coming dangerously close to committing with this one.

Good4You Apricot Rose Scrub Mask- $8: I dare you to check out Good4You on Etsy and not be tempted to buy at least one item.  Not only are the items all natural, but Jes, the shop owner, also gathers the majority of the ingredients locally and illustrates her own labels.  That's a whole new level of dedication to beauty.  This particular scrub includes skin-loving ingredients, such as honey and bentonite clay, and can be used as either a scrub or mask.

Aucocisco Naturals Face + Body Wash in Cedarwood Orange- $19: I've already purchased the Parsley + Rice Cleanser from this brand (it just arrived, reviews to come!), but not long after I made my purchase, this baby popped up on my radar.  I love a multi-tasking product and I love blood orange.  This whole brand just exudes natural perfection.  Their labels are clean and simple and their products are no different.

Have you ventured into the world of Etsy beauty yet?  What is your fave Etsy beauty discovery?

Apr 22, 2013

Something to Consider: Dove Real Beauty Sketches

       We all have those days when we feel a little less than pretty.  Dove has created an amazing campaign to show us that we can be exceptionally hard on our own features.  Have a look...

       Now the next time that you are having an "ugly" day, remember that we are our own toughest critics and that you are beautiful! 

Apr 21, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: Findlay Market

    Aside from having sorority formal on Friday, I have had a pretty relaxing weekend.  On Saturday I went home, where I spent a day doing nothing but lazing around and eating takeout Chinese.  Being a busy college student I have really learned to appreciate these rare lazy days.  Sunday was a little more eventful, though, as I got to go to Cincinnati's Findlay Market, a large outdoor/indoor farmers market, with my sisters, best friends, and grandmother.  The selections of produce and products were a little smaller than usual, but that is to be expected when it is still chilly outside.  I did manage to buy some different herbs from Colonel De, which I intend to use in some homemade skincare, and a hand salve from a little place called Bee Haven.

If you're ever in Cincinnati, I highly recommend paying the Findlay Market a visit. There is something for everyone there!

Apr 18, 2013

Where Have You Been All My Life, Tea Tree Oil?

       I hope you're not sick of hearing about organic products yet, but my recent journey into the realm of organic skincare is turning up some really great finds, especially when it comes to skin clearing ingredients (manuka honey is my new ride or die).  I've always been a huge fan of benzoyl peroxide for the occasional pimple, but the tea tree oil I've been using as of late works amazingly and doesn't cause half of the irritation that BP is notorious for.  I bought a 0.5 ounce bottle of Dessert Essence 100% Tea Tree Oil at Lexington's Good Foods Market for about $8, but you can purchase yours at Whole Foods or on Amazon.com.

 To Use
1) Patch test on your forearm.  Tea tree oil may be natural, but it can still cause allergic reactions.  By patch testing on your forearm, you are ensuring that it is safe to use on your face.
2) Moisten a cotton ball or Q-tip with water.
3) Place 1 or 2 drops of the tea tree oil on the moistened cotton ball or Q-tip.  The water on the cotton ball/ Q-tip dilutes the tea tree oil.  Many people find that it is too strong to be used on facial skin at its full potency. 
*Warning: Tea tree oil is not recommended for use by pregnant women*

Do you have any recommendations organic pimple reducing products? Non-organic suggestions are welcomed as well!

Apr 15, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Revlon Colorstay Concealer

        My skin is usually in some state of aggravation, whether it is because of the latest products I've slathered on myself or a result of sleep deprivation.  This makes concealer one of the biggest necessities in my beauty reserve.  I'm always finding decent concealers, but it's been quite some time since I've found anything great.  I'm already a tad biased towards Revlon since they make my favorite foundation (Revlon Colorstay fans stand up!), but I swear they've done it again!
*Photo Credit: Revlon.com
         The new Revlon Colorstay Concealer is a highly pigmented liquid concealer that comes in a tube with a wand.  The formula goes on easy and dries quickly, but not quite as quickly as the Colorstay foundation so you have a little more time to work with it.  It lasted all day in warm weather on my oily skin.  Bonus: it didn't break me out!  Looking for a new concealer?  This one comes highly recommended from yours truly.  You can pick a tube up at Target for about $9.

Drugstore brands are really stepping it up these days!  Do you have any favorite drugstore concealers?

Apr 9, 2013


       Before I give a full intro of my new favorite product, I am going to go ahead and acknowledge the obvious:  I am becoming a huge fan of natural products.  I've still got the usual toxic-chemical-paraben-laced-carcogenic stuff lying around, but I keep getting all these fun, organic products that are only reinforcing my new found love.  The specific product I want to address today is coconut oil.  In recent years this stuff has become the bee's knees in the beauty world and I am quite late to the party.  People are going crazy with it.  I mean hair, body, face... it's being used everywhere.  We all love a good "do-it-all" product, so of course, when I read about all of coconut oil's reported benefits, I wanted to give it a try.  For you skeptics out there, I found a good article by The Huffington Post that reinforces these benefits, but not in a fluffy, too-good-to-be-true way. 

       I am sad to report that I am not one of the people who can use it on their face.  I used it as a makeup remover one night and woke up with a few new spots the next day.  This was a bit surprising to me as CapriClear (post here) had no adverse effects on my skin the first time I used it.  I am thinking it is because CapriClear is 100% fractionated coconut oil containing only caprylic tryglycerides (a.k.a only the good stuff), whereas the 365 Everyday Value Organic Refined Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil from Whole Foods obviously has everything in it, good and bad.

        But never fear fellow breakout-prone ladies!  This stuff works wonders as a body lotion or a deep conditioner for dry hair.  Unlike most oils, coconut oil absorbs very quickly when used on the body.  I was really surprised the first time I used it as I was expecting to be greasy for a few minutes afterwards.  If you plan on using it on your hair, however, it will take a little longer to work its magic.  I recommend applying it to dry ends and then wrapping your hair into a bun,  tucking the oily parts into the ponytail holder.  This allows you to go about your normal activities without worrying about getting it on your face or clothes.  Additionally, I have heard great things about coconut oil when used to combat eczema symptoms.  It supposedly calms the itch and moisturizes like no other.  If you're suffering from this condition, it seems to me that there is nothing to lose by giving it a try.
        Coconut oil is reasonably priced and Amazon.com offers different sizes for various prices.  I'd love to know your opinions on coconut oil.  Are there any other uses that I've missed?   

Apr 8, 2013

Makeup Crush Monday: Getting Cheeky

     Makeup junkies know that it is important to occasionally get back to our roots.  The drugstore makeup we were trained on isn't something that should be left to waste away in the medicine cabinets of yesterday, but something that we should occasionally return to when the aisles in Sephora get a little too big and scary.  I was reminded of this on Thursday afternoon as I took a stroll down memory lane, past the Wet 'n' Wild and CoverGirl sections at Target.

       Prior to this trip to Target, I had picked out a dress to wear to Keeneland (see it here), but lo and behold I could not find a matching, spring-appropriate blush in my stash.  Clearly the only answer was to go buy a new one.  When is that not the proper solution?  I didn't feel like sifting through the craziness that is Ulta and I didn't want to shell out major bucks on a Sephora purchase, so Target was my closest, most reasonable option.

What brought me to draw the comparison between my most recent beauty purchase and the good ol' days is the fact that my search for a reasonably priced blush at Target reacquainted me with CoverGirl Cheekers.  I think one of my first blushes ever was a CoverGirl Cheekers dusted rose color that my mom passed down to me when she had hit pan.  Why I haven't been back to buy a few more of these in recent years, I do not know.  They only cost $3.74 a pop and the pigmentation is pretty great for the price.  I chose a color called Natural Rose, which is a bit more like a Fusion Coral if you ask me (and yes, I did consult Pantone on that one; color number, 16-1543).  It lasted all day at the racetrack and then some.  A downside of this product is definitely the talc-y smell, something that CoverGirl seems to really enjoy.  But, if you can get past that, then these blushes are a great pick!

Apr 6, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: What I've Been Up To

       Hello, lovely readers!  Once again, I've been slacking on blog posts.  I promise things will pick up once this semester is over (26 days, but who's counting?).  It's hard work looking for an internship, starting a student organization, and taking 19 hours all in one semester.  I finally had some time for a little social activity this weekend and so of course, I took myself straight to the Keeneland for College Day.  For those of you who do not know, Keeneland is a famous race track in Lexington, Kentucky.  The guys go there to place bets, but the ladies, with a few exceptions, go as an excuse to dress up and skip Friday classes.  Plus, if you show a student i.d. on College Day it's complimentary goodies and free taxi rides all around!
My lovely little sis, Hannah, and I
My besties and roommates for next year!
       As for what's going on right now in my beauty blogosphere, I have a few posts coming up involving:
- Coconut oil
- Simple Sugars Green Tea with Tea Tree Facial Scrub
- Revlon Colorstay Concealer
       I have this theory that if I tell you all about my future blog posts ahead of time, you will hold me accountable and therefore, I will be forced to post them within a reasonable time frame.  Help me out people!  I love blogging and I just don't do it enough.