May 30, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Essie Sand Tropez

Essie Sand Tropez is the nail polish equivalent of khaki pants. It looks polished (no pun intended), but casual. I actually surprised myself by even liking this color because I'm not really a khaki-wearing gal. Also, when I go for a neutral, it tends to be more pink like Essie Mademoiselle or Sally Hansen Something Borrowed. It's a good day for something new though, don't ya think?

Does my hand look weird to anyone else?
What do you think of Sand Tropez? What's your favorite neutral polish?

Weekend Ramblings: A Conversation with Stephanie Ferguson of Säf Organics

Despite the fact that my routine is not completely clean, I've always found an incredible amount of inspiration within the green beauty community. Stephanie Ferguson of Säf Organics, like many other people, started out in clean (or green) beauty because of allergic reactions she was having to conventional products. Then, what started out as an attempt to thwart these reactions turned into a full-blown passion for green beauty! Join me in my conversation with Stephanie as we discuss her skincare journey as well as her wonderful line of products.

*Photo via
 Vanity Talk: First of all, what sparked your interest in natural skincare?

Stephanie Ferguson: I was diagnosed with gluten and dairy allergies almost 10 years ago when I was working for a major cosmetics company.  I noticed I was still reacting to things after changing my diet, which prompted me to consider the products I was using.  Since skin is our biggest organ (we absorb everything we put on it within 30 seconds), I began the journey to “Green My Beauty Routine." Skin is the foundation of the beauty industry—it all starts there.

VT: According to your website, you started your company by creating products out of your kitchen. What was the first product you created?

SF: My first product was lip balm. Growing up, a close friend of mine had chronic chapped lips, which seemed to worsen with the use of Chapstick or Carmex, and so many people in my life currently struggle with the same thing. Since I am also a voice in the gluten free/vegan communities, I set out to make a completely organic, gluten free vegan lip balm with lasting results.  I believe I have succeeded in that. [Vanity Talk Note: She truly has. I’ve been able to use one of her lip balms* and it is the balm dot com.]

*Photo via
VT: What inspires you most in the design and creation of a new product?

SF: Nature remains my biggest inspiration!  I find it beautiful, breathtaking at times, and completely effective in lifting our mood, aiding us in healing and brightening the space around us.

VT: Are there any particular challenges you’ve had to overcome in the natural skincare industry?

SF: It is difficult being the “new kid on the block” so to speak, with small resources.  Putting myself out there has been a bit of a challenge, but the response from those who have tried us and from our repeat clients keeps me going.  They are why I do what I do!

VT: If there was one product from your line that you would consider a “must” in anyone’s routine, what would that be?

SF: Oh mercy…to pick only one?! I would have to say the Clarifying Oil would be a definite must.  You can remove makeup with it, cleanse with it, moisturize with it and use it to dilute essential oils for medicinal use.  It is definitely multi-purpose and perfect for all of us who stay on-the-go.

VT: What are your personal favorite products?

SF: I would have to say my top three are: the Clarifying Oil, Cleansing Grains and Lotion Bars [Vanity Talk Note: I sampled a lotion bar* as well... everyone should have one of these]. I also believe that I have one of the best lip balms on the market (biased, I know) and love that our masks are customizable.
*Photo via
VT: What does your own skincare routine look like?

SF: I use my Clarifying Oil daily to remove makeup/cleanse and moisturize, followed by the Immortal Serum and a bit of Lotion Bar during drier months. I use the Cocoa Superfood Facial Mask (with raw manuka honey) two times weekly, followed with Angelface Botanicals Lavender + Aloe facial toner, and finish with my Vanilla Chai Lip Balm.

*Photo via

*Photo via angelfacebotanic
VT: Is there anything else you would like to tell my readers about the Säf Organics line that I didn’t already ask?

SF: I am really here to help people feel confident in natural products.  There has been a stigma in the natural market for some time now, that we are all nice and work to some level…but aren’t as effective as our synthetic counterparts.  I am here, as I know we all are, to dispel that.  We are and certainly can and will be as, if not more, effective than mainstream beauty products as our ingredients benefit you for many more reasons than why you started using it in the first place. We are also looking to launch a few new things this year, including an expansion of the Beauty line, so stay tuned for that!

So, there you have it folks! Head on over to to check out Stephanie's full product line for yourself. Also, for the love of all that is green beauty, get a lotion bar* while you're there. They really are great!

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

May 27, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Lisa Eldridge "PMS Face"

I'm not sure if it's the fact that she's British or if it's the fact that she's just gorgeous, but Lisa Eldridge makes "PMS Face" (or at least getting rid of it) seem way glamorous. Check out this video and you'll see what I mean.

I wasn't aware that "PMS Face" was even a thing until finding this tonight, but after Lisa discusses it, I know exactly what she means. So, thank you Lisa! Now we all know how to handle this lady issue like professionals.

May 26, 2014

dr. dewy™ Lip Cure

Surgery sucks. Period. Granted, I've only had one surgery in my adult life and it was for my wisdom teeth, but it definitely sucked. I cannot, however, say the same thing about surgery-inspired beauty products. This super teeny, tiny niche group that consists mostly of moisturizing post-procedural cleansers and balms has recently welcomed dr. dewy™ Lip Cure*, a product meant to be used during surgery, and it is awesome.

*Photo via
Created by Dr. Edward Akkaway, the Lip Cure is an outstanding mixture of coconut oil, shea butter, tamanu oil and desert date oil, plus some other ingredients, that is applied to patients' lips before going under so they wake up with soft lips. But, it can also be used by regular Joes (Josephines?), like me, just looking for a decent lip balm.

I really like the Lip Cure, not only for its great ingredients, but for the fact that it doesn't feel like a heavy-duty balm. Its texture is actually quite similar to that of Waxelene, though it does a little more in the way of healing and moisturizing.

dr. dewy™ Lip Cure is a great option if you're looking for a nighttime lip treatment, but it also works wonderfully during the day. If you do a good amount of traveling, this would be also be great to have on an airplane where the air is much drier. Regardless of your reasoning for buying it, though, you can get your Lip Cure here.

Have you ever tried dr. dewy™ Lip Cure? What do you think?

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

May 24, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer

I love a bold lip as much as the next person, but come summertime, I like to tone things down a bit. I mean, who wants to be bothered with constant lipstick reapplication when they're trying to enjoy a day in the sunshine? Not me (and probably not you either).

Enter Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Cherry, the lip color of your summer dreams. I personally can't believe it's taken me this long to discover this product because I'm already a big fan of the classic Beeswax Lip Balm. But, regardless of the late discovery, this stuff is great. 

Cherry is a washed out, balmy version of any classic red lipstick... in a good way. It's sheer and glossy, but also pigmented enough to give you the color you want when lipstick is too heavy. It's pretty wonderful, and to be honest, my swatch below hardly does it any justice.

The only thing this product lacks, in my opinion, is a sunscreen. I'm by no means a sunscreen fanatic (we all no I don't wear the stuff daily), but when it comes to shiny lip products in the summer, they just need to have a little protection in them. Alas, we just can't have it all!

Tell me: Have you tried any of the Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers? What's your opinion?

May 16, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: Greek Yogurt Mask DIY

When it comes to exfoliation, I usually prefer the physical variety (think an actual scrub vs. glycolic acid), but after trying out the simplest Greek yogurt DIY ever last night, I'm starting to understand the chemical exfoliant hype.

You see, Greek yogurt contains lactic acid, which is a gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid (or AHA) that works by encouraging skin's cell renewal below the surface. Also, it moisturizes by increasing ceramides in the epidermis. (source: The International Dermal Institute)

Chemical exfoliants, like lactic and glycolic acid, work much deeper than physical exfoliants. However, they are often viewed as much gentler when used at low concentrations and for that reason, they are really popular for anti-aging and acne treatment. I never really got the hype because I couldn't seem to find an AHA that I liked, but now, I'm feeling a conversion coming on.

If it's good enough for LC... *Photo via
So, let's get to the actual DIY portion, shall we?

All you will need for this mask is full-fat, plain Greek yogurt (I'm personally a Fage Total fan, but any brand will do), a spoon and a cotton ball.

1. Using your spoon, dip out about one tablespoon of Greek yogurt.

2. Dip your cotton ball into the Greek yogurt on the spoon and spread the yogurt over your face, leaving an opaque white layer.

3. Wait 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your skin's sensitivity (you can definitely go longer if you already know how your skin responds to lactic acid).

4. Cleanse your face using your regular cleanser and lukewarm water.

That's it! Of course, you always have the option of adding other ingredients, like honey for an anti-bacterial boost or turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties. I prefer the plain Jane version, though. Sometimes simplest is best!

How was that for an easy DIY? Have you ever used Greek yogurt as a facial mask?

May 14, 2014

Quick Thoughts: An Experiment with Water, Part 2

Some experiments start out destined for greatness and others, not so much. Unfortunately, "An Experiment with Water" falls into the latter category. What started out as an attempt to see if my skin responded well to fewer products ended all too soon because I totally chickened out... well, sort of.

The whole "chickening out" stemmed from me not being able to remember a morning I hadn't washed my face since I was probably 12. I kid you not, I have been washing my face in the mornings religiously since this age. I think this is around the time that my friend and I first started applying her mom's RoC anti-aging masks to tighten our faces as well. I wasn't always the brightest lip pencil in the Caboodles case.

Insert unrelated grad photo here, please.

I probably also chickened out after day two because, to be honest, I just don't enjoy the way my skin feels when I don't wash it. It's this strange combination of tight, oily and gross. No gracias!

Above all, though, I found myself unable to commit to this experiment because I run in the mornings. I definitely could have stuck it out for a week had I not returned from my run every morning with a nice layer of sweat covering my face. Rinsing with only water on those days would have been a severe beauty offense.

So, as much as I like to be a human guinea pig, I couldn't fully commit to this experiment and for that, I'm sorry. BUT, now, my skin isn't doing to shabby despite the humid weather's best attempts to turn it against me. I'll take it!

What are some failed beauty experiments you've tried in the past?

May 13, 2014

Bröö Volumizing Pale Ale Shampoo

As a recent college graduate, I've had the pleasure of experiencing many transitions that come along with growing up from a freshman to "real world" participant, one of those being the transition from sipping a lukewarm Natty Light at a football tailgate to enjoying an ice cold craft beer at my favorite local brewery (shout out to West Sixth!).

If you can believe it, my hair has been experiencing this particular transition as well. Lately, I've been using Bröö Volumizing Pale Ale Shampoo* and whenever I lather up with it, I feel like I'm dousing my scalp in a nourishing, citrus-flavored craft beer. This may sound unappealing to you, but it shouldn't.

Beer is made of barley and hops so it contains all sorts of proteins to nourish your scalp and fight frizz. While the alcohol content could potentially be drying, it also works as a fabulous shine activator. See? I bet beer in your hair is starting to sound good right about now, and Bröö products make it easy to do.

Bröö is perfect for everyone who's considered dumping a bottle of beer on their hair, but was either turned off by the smell or didn't want to actually go through the process of washing, conditioning, opening a beer in-shower and then, finally, beer-ing.

Bröö offers different lines of beer-based shampoos and conditioners depending on hair concern. I chose the Volumizing Pale Ale variety because my hair errs on the oily and flat side, but there's also Smoothing I.P.A. and Hydrating Porter lines.

All talk aside, I really love the Bröö Volumizing Pale Ale Shampoo and Conditioner combo. The shampoo cleanses gently and the conditioner moisturizers just enough so that my hair isn't weighed down. Also, neither product contains sulfates, silicones or parabens.

This line is pretty great and I would definitely recommend it. Also, bonus: putting beer in your hair will not give you a beer belly!

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

*All photos via

May 11, 2014

A Conversation with Dr. David Lortscher of PocketDerm

If you suffer or have suffered from acne, you know how it feels to bounce from dermatologist to dermatologist just hoping one has the answers. It can be extremely costly, time-consuming and irritating (to both you and your complexion).

Thankfully, PocketDerm creator Dr. David Lortscher pretty much cuts out waiting room time and most costs by offering acne-related teledermatology through PocketDerm. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out my convo with Dr. Lortscher for the full 4-1-1!

*Photo via

Vanity Talk: What inspired the creation of PocketDerm?

Dr. Lortscher: It actually came through chatting with one of my patients. For every appointment she drove over 100 miles to see me, and as we did follow-up care it occurred to us that everything we were doing could be handled remotely. We realized that acne treatment had to potential to be MUCH more convenient for patients.

If you don’t mind, can you give my readers an abbreviated description of the PocketDerm process?

DL: You start by answering a questionnaire and securely uploading photos from your smartphone or computer. Then, a dermatologist reviews your file and prescribes a personalized acne treatment regimen. The personalized night-time cream is made at our office in San Diego and shipped to your door. You follow up with your dermatologist regularly so that he or she can make sure your skin is getting clear!

VT: What are some factors a PocketDerm dermatologist considers when formulating a patient’s acne treatment?

There’s no algorithm that we follow, because each patient is too unique. But we tend to consider factors like prior treatments, skin sensitivity, acne type (as seen in the photos), and any medication allergies. We think of it as the art of medicine.

VT: What are some of the most common ingredients used in the customized treatments and how are they beneficial for the skin?

DL: Each patient’s PocketDerm product will contain (usually three) prescription acne ingredients. We don’t guarantee any ingredient to any patient (the doctor needs the flexibility to prescribe the best combination for each patient), but here are the ones we use most frequently:

Tretinoin (also found in Retin-ATM)
    •    Description: Tretinoin unclogs pores, helps reduce skin discoloration, and also helps prevent skin aging. It can cause a lot of irritation, so have to be careful about what strength is prescribed.
Clindamycin (also found in Cleocin-TTM, ZianaTM)
    •    Description: Clindamycin kills Propionibacterium acnes, a type of bacteria that causes breakouts.
Azelaic acid (also found in FinaceaTM, AzelexTM)
    •    Description: Azelaic acid unclogs pores and helps reduce skin discoloration. It also helps prevent bacterial resistance to treatment.

VT: Do you all include things like parabens, fragrance, etc. in your products?

Our products are free of dyes, fragrances, and common allergens (no parabens, lanolin, gluten, sulfa, or formaldehyde).

VT: When using a PocketDerm prescription, what are some good rules of thumb for patients to follow (good moisturizer, sunscreen, on a clean face, etc.)?

A pretty simple regimen is all that’s necessary! We recommend:
    •    AM: Wash face with a gentle cleanser then apply sunscreen (or makeup with SPF).
    •    PM: Wash face with a gentle cleanser, apply PocketDerm to clean skin, and leave on overnight.
But there are a lot more details you can check out at

VT: PocketDerm uses teledermatology, which according to your website, is “the use of secure communication to provide dermatologic care over a distance.” How does teledermatology compare to in-person dermatology visits (especially for acne- related issues)?

Teledermatology can be just as good as in-person care as long as it's practiced by a fully licensed professional and as long as you have situational awareness. What I mean by that is that if the doctor has any hesitations or second thoughts about a particular case, s/he should refer the patient to be seen in person.

VT: In what areas does teledermatology excel in comparison to in-person dermatology?

The most notable area is acne, which accounts for 20% of dermatology visits. The reasons it works so well is that acne can be seen with the naked eye, no biopsies are needed, and we can see the improvement very well with photos (or make changes if there isn’t enough improvement!).

Finally, aside from the obvious convenience aspect, why should readers suffering from acne subscribe to PocketDerm?

My favorite things about PocketDerm is that the products are customized for your skin, and we won’t give up until your skin is clear!

I am a full believer of healing your acne from within, but some cases of acne can be really stubborn. I think if you suffer from acne and you are open to prescription-strength treatment, PocketDerm is absolutely something you should look into. The service is personal and affordable and the customer service is outstanding.

Stay tuned for Part Two of my PocketDerm feature. I've been occasionally using my own personalized PocketDerm product and I look forward to discussing it with you all. That being said, I would love to know your opinions on teledermatology and prescription meds for acne treatment in general. Talk to me in the comments!

Weekend Ramblings: Motherly Beauty Wisdom

Today is the day that we celebrate mothers along with everything they have taught us over the years. I couldn't even begin to describe all of the wonderful things my moms and grandmothers have taught me, so true to form, I thought I would gather up some beauty tips and product suggestions from them to share with you all!

My Mom and Meme, looking beautiful as ever!

My Mom: "One that I think is funny, but does work, is to put a pair of clean panties over your head after you put on makeup if you need to pull your top over your head. This way, none of the makeup transfers onto your clothes. Also, clear mascara and a child-size toothbrush help tame unruly eyebrows." [Vanity Talk Note: I honestly couldn't tell if she was yankin' my chain with the whole underwear thing, but she's dead serious.]

This cult classic really is the bee's knees when it comes to taming brows. *Photo via

My Meme (Mom's Mom): "I have always used Merle Norman products because I have never been allergic to anything that I have used from them... I have to admit, one product that will always be found in my bathroom is the Merle Norman Hex Roll On Deodorant.  I have used this product for as long as I can remember.  It never stains any of my good clothes and never leaves an underarm stain like some deodorants.

*Photo via

I also feel it is very important to remove makeup at bedtime. I use Merle Norman Cleansing Lotion along with the eye makeup remover. After removing my makeup, I apply Merle Norman Nighttime Recovery Creme.  As far as makeup goes, I use a Merle Norman Fine Line Minimizer, Wrinkle Smoother, Foundation Primer Plus and the Flawless Effect Liquid Foundation. I also use the Coffee Bean Eyeliner Pencil [Vanity Talk Note: This is also one of my favorite eyeliners], some color of blush, black waterproof mascara and my favorite lip pencil, Sweet Marmalade. 

*Photo via

I love to shave my legs with hair conditioner and lotion up with one of my bottles of lotion from Bath and Body Works, usually Carried Away. In addition to that, I am a person that also loves pretty nails and a pedicure." [Vanity Talk Note: Meme was taking me to get manicures when I was around five years old. I was basically bound for a beauty addiction.]

My beautful Mamaw and myself

My Mamaw (Dad's Mom): "I just use Nivea Cream to remove make-up and soften my skin a bit at night. If anything has to contributed to how I look (good or bad), I think not smoking and not baking myself in the sun (and of course, my old standby joke that I keep my weight up to fatten out my wrinkles) might have helped a bit to lessen wrinkles, even though I have my share.

*Photo via

I always hated it when lipstick came off on paper cups, glasses, or when I kissed someone on the cheek.  I was happy to find the long-lasting lipsticks that just did not do that.  They are the two step ones that require a gloss after the application of the color. Maybelline makes one, as does Cover Girl, and L'Oreal does too.

*Photo via

I also really like Lancome's Bienfait Multi-Vital Teinté with a SPF 30 sunscreen [Vanity Talk Note: I believe this product has recently been replaced with the Bienfait Teinté Beauty Balm, which is pictured above]. The older one gets, the less foundation is needed because it gets into the creases and wrinkles. Less truly is more." 

From left to right: Mamaw, my uncle, Mom, two of my sisters and Meme.
As you can see from the pictures above, I have some incredibly beautiful women to call "Mom," "Meme," and "Mamaw." I can only hope to inherit half their class, sass and beauty as I get older. Thank you, Mom, Mamaw and Meme, for everything you do. Happy Mother's Day!

Now, do tell, what are some of the beauty tricks the women in your life have passed down to you?

May 9, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: The October Union Green Tea Under Eye Roller

Thanks to Kentucky allergen counts being at an all time high this year, I've found myself waking up with puffy, irritated eyes more than ever. The only thing saving me right now, besides popping the occasional Zyrtec, is the Green Tea Under Eye Roller from The October Union.

The Under Eye Roller is awesome because not only is the liquid product highly soothing (calendula, green tea, witch hazel... oh, my!), but the applicator on the bottle itself is a metal ball. It's so incredibly refreshing and de-puffing. I swear using the roller ball is even better than the cult-status beauty tip of refrigerating spoons then placing them over your eyes. It's wonderful!

And though metal is naturally cold, it is recommended to keep this product in the fridge for an extra frigid boost. That, and there aren't any preservatives in this product, so it needs to be kept cool to stay fresh.

Doesn't everyone stash beauty products next to their mustard?

At $12, I don't feel bad using the Green Tea Under Eye Roller whenever I want (and thankfully so, because I use this thing about three times a day). If your eyes are currently feeling the pollen wrath like mine, I can't recommend this product enough.

May 4, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: A Conversation with Jess MacQueen of Ecoholic Beauty

When I started blogging, I was always looking for inspiration and now, with my interest natural beauty, I am being inspired by a whole new group of people. One of these people is the beautiful Jess MacQueen of Ecoholic Beauty

Recently, Jess kindly took the time to chat with me about her natural skincare journey and some of her favorite products. If you read on, you will easily see what inspired me about her.  I hope you enjoy the interview and in case you haven't already, visit Jess' blog by clicking here.

*Photo via

Vanity Talk: What first sparked your interest in natural beauty and skincare products?
Jess MacQueen: I’ve told the story many times about how my husband had a health scare that really pushed me to reevaluate the toxins I come in contact with on a daily basis. More recently, I’ve become seriously invested in natural beauty and personal care products for two reasons: 1) I’m taking steps to take better care of myself, and pampering with my favorite natural products is a great way to practice self-care 2) I came off of hormonal birth control about eight months ago and since then, I’ve been especially cognizant of how certain toxins effect our endocrine system (hormones!).
VT: What’s your favorite tip to share with people who are natural newcomers?
JM: I like to encourage natural newbies to aim for affordable products with simple ingredients, and fortunately there are lots of great brands and resources out there that make breaking into the green beauty world really accessible (and most are available online!). I always point newbies to a few tried and true resources: 1) iHerb, your one-stop online shop that carries just about everything related to natural beauty, skincare, haircare, health, and food. 2) The All Natural Face and Silk Naturals are both seriously budget friendly natural cosmetics lines.
VT: Who are the major players in your skincare routine right now? How about in your makeup routine?
JM: Skincare staples for me include raw honey for a morning cleanse, organic jojoba oil to remove makeup and moisturize, Heritage StoreRosewater and George’s Aloe facial sprays (I use both for moisture and to set makeup), Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub for gentle exfoliation, and DIY facial masks using things like clay, essential oils, and all sorts of ingredients I find in my kitchen (oatmeal, yogurt, lemon, avocado, strawberries, nutmeg… the list goes on!).

*Photo via

*Photo via
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VT: What is one natural item (makeup and/ or skincare) that you think everyone should own?
JM: A good oil! Now hear me out: oils often get a bad wrap in the conventional beauty world because folks wrongly assume oil is bad and causes acne, but one thing every green beauty knows is how nourishing and moisturizing natural oils are for our skin, hair, and nails. Not only that, oils are often multipurpose, like my favorite: jojoba. I use organic, cold-pressed jojoba oil to remove my makeup, as a facial and body moisturizer, in my hair, on my nails, etc. Other lovely oils include avocado, coconut, almond, argan, apricot kernel, rosehip etc.
VT: You are extremely popular on YouTube! What’s the biggest difference between blogging and creating videos besides the obvious technological differences?
JM: Creating videos is definitely a lot more labour-intensive than blogging, because so much more time goes into crafting a well-executed video. First off, there’s a great deal of prep that happens ‘behind the scenes’ to create an aesthetically pleasing set. I also tend to get a bit gussied up for filming days, unlike blogging in my pajamas. I also rely on great natural light for my videos, so I have a window of time during the day that is best for filming, whereas I can blog anywhere, anytime. Editing videos can be a lot more tedious than editing a blog post, and I often get annoyed with hearing my own voice as I’m editing a video. Aside from the difference in labour, there’s also the major difference of exposure—putting yourself out there! I’m basically on display for the world to see in my videos, which can make me feel a bit vulnerable at times. But so far, the response and support from my subscribers has been really positive.
VT: If people really want to get a sense of what Ecoholic Beauty is all about, what’s the first video or blog post they should check out?
JM: Probably any one of my monthly favorites videos, so you can get a sense of the range of my interests and the products I feature on my channel.

And on that note, I give you Jess' most recent monthly favorites videos...

I hope you all enjoyed this feature. I'm really looking forward to sharing more interviews with you in the upcoming weeks!

Who are some of your greatest blogger inspirations? They can be food bloggers, fashion bloggers, dog bloggers... you name it!

Osmia Organics Protein Exfoliating Mask

What is it they say? "Once an Osmia Girl, always an Osmia Girl"?

Okay, so maybe no one says that just yet, but they should start. After receiving some amazing products from Osmia Organics that I've been adoring, I think I could definitely qualify as an "Osmia Girl for Life." I mean, seriously, I love everything I've tried from them. Today we're going to have a little chat about the Osmia Organics Protein Exfoliating Mask* in particular.

Presentation gets an A+++
To activate this mask, all you have to do is dump a little powder into the provided mixing bowl, add water and stir. This seems fool proof (and it is if you follow the instructions on the label), but given my rebel nature, I went ahead and mixed powder and water with reckless abandon. Afterwards, it took me a few minutes and way more mask powder than necessary to finally get the perfect consistency. Once I finally had the mixture you see on the right below, though, I was ready to apply! 

This mask, made from adzuki beans, quinoa, sandalwood and essential oils, gives the skin a double dose of exfoliation. The adzuki beans and quinoa get rid of dead skin on the surface while essential oils go a little deeper, exfoliating with little enzymes and what not.

For maximum physical exfoliation with the Protein Exfoliating Mask, I use my finger tips and go in little circles all around my face while applying it. The adzuki beans and quinoa are pretty effective exfoliants and far less scratchy than you might anticipate.

As far as the "enzymatic" exfoliation from the essential oils goes, I can't really tell you how much they did. However, my face was glowy and not at all irritated after taking the mask off, so they must have done their job.

At $40, this mask seems expensive, but I can promise you it's a good deal. I can see this mask lasting me up to a year with regular use, as long as I follow the mixing instructions!

Have you tried any Osmia Organics products? What do you think?

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

May 3, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: Derby Day Beauty Inspiration

In case you haven't heard, it's Derby Day y'all! Today, people from all over the world will congregate to watch 2-minute horse race, while pretending they actually care about horse racing. However, those who know the Kentucky Derby know that it's more about Derby hats, social gatherings and of course, mass Mint Julep consumption than it is about horses.

A Mint Julep/cigar photo op courtesy of my very father!

Given the popularity of the Mint Julep, the official Kentucky Derby drink, I thought today would be the perfect time to show off some beauty treats inspired by this famous (infamous?) cocktail. Enjoy!

Savannah Bee Company Mint Julep Lip Balm - $10 for 3 

*Photo via

If you're into the Mint Julep flavor, but would rather not constantly drink the stuff, a Mint Julep lip balm is just what you need. This particular balm is especially great because it's made with organic beeswax!

LUSH Mint Julips Lip Scrub - $10

*Photo via

Before applying your Mint Julep lip balm, give your lips a good scrubbin' with this pick by LUSH. Don't want to shell out $10? Combine a pinch of sugar, a splash of olive oil and a drop of peppermint oil for your own DIY version.

Livin' Legend Soap Company Mint Julep Soap - $7.50

*Photo via Livin' Legend Soap Company

If lip balm and lip scrub aren't enough to satisfy you, this Mint Julep soap should do the trick. It contains raw goat milk and a bevvy of plant butters. Plus, it will leave you smelling like a million (minty) bucks!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque - $5

*Photo via

Though I am not personally a fan of this facial mask, I thought it at least deserved honorable mention for its cult status. Many people have relied on this mask to deep cleanse and purify pores for years.

That concludes my beauty discussion for today, but I can't leave you without a quick Mint Julep tutorial. Check out Howcast's "How to Make a Mint Julep."

Now, do tell: what do you think of the Mint Julep? Are you a fan or not so much?