Mapleblume February Beauty Box

There’s a new premium beauty subscription service in town (well in Canada for now and available to the US this April) and it’s a good one! Meet Mapleblume*, a bi-monthly subscription service offering a grand selection of luxury skin care and cosmetics, with a nod to clean and green. Because Mapleblume wants to give you a good feel for a product, you can always expect up to five full-sized or deluxe samples (no one-time use samples here). Each box is seriously loaded to the brim with beauty products from some top-notch brands (check out their December box here). The lovely ladies behind Mapleblume subscribe to a tried-and-true philosophy by only including products that they truly adore.

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Teri Miyahira Beauty Box – June

Green beauty expert and YouTuber, Teri Miyahira, unveils a new monthly subscription beauty box* featuring her own line, Teri Miyahira Beauty. Teri works directly with laboratories and manufacturers in the curation of her own ‘limited edition’ line of skin care and cosmetics featured in each box. With a dedication to an all-natural and cruelty-free lifestyle, Teri creates all of her products using green and clean ingredients. Each months’ selection of products are unique to each other, guaranteeing a diverse selection of products.

“With a very unconventional business model of crossing limited-edition collections with a monthly membership service, TERI MIYAHIRA BEAUTY aims to create luxury all-natural and cruelty-free products for both those that are just starting to transition to green beauty, as well as for the natural aficionado who already appreciates clean ingredients and cruelty-free beauty, and doing so at the most affordable price possible.” – Teri Miyahira

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The Dream Team: Lip Balms

When it comes to lip balms, I say go natural and keep it simple. Many popular lip balm brands contain parabens, synthetic fragrances and petroleum, which merely mask the problem. In actuality these harsh ingredients are only further drying the skin, thus resulting in the dreaded ‘lip balm addiction’. I further recommend avoiding any flavored formulas. Flavored balms will only temp you to lick your lips, and saliva is a no-no for dry lips. Today I’m sharing my top six all-natural balms to keep your lips healthy and kissably smooth all winter long.

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Suvana Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm is an ‘anywhere balm’ that is perfect for the lips. It’s slick, jelly formula contains natural and organic ingredients all the way from Australia. Paw Paw (or papaya extract) and honey are the featured ingredients in this one. It contains only the faintest sweet scent. $14 spiritbeautylounge.com

RMS Beauty Lip & Skin Balm in Simply Vanilla is another ‘anywhere balm’ loaded with coconut oil goodness. Available in either vanilla or cocoa, this multi-tasker keeps my lips intensity hydrated. The vanilla fragrance is subtle and sweet with a touch of coconut. In cooler temperatures is has a tendency to harden, due to its high content of coconut oil, but melts on contact with the skin. $25 anthropologie.com

Ellovi Lip Butter is an all-natural six-ingredient balm. It keeps lips hydrated for hours and is a great value. $5 ellovi.com

S.W. Basics Lip Balm in Cinnamon is all-natural and organic. Its simple, easy, and highly effective with only 3-5 ingredients, depending on the essential oil options you choose. Cinnamon is my current favorite, with a combination of cardamon and cinnamon essential oils. The balm melts on your lips as you apply it, leaving behind a glossy shine. $4 swbasicsofbk.com

Queen of the Hive Organic Lip Balm with Manuka Honey contains Wedderspoon’s fabulous Manuka Honey and Manuka Beeswax. All ingredients are certified organic and it contains peppermint essential oil which gives it a zing. It’s highly effective and I’ll be doling one out to each of my family members this Holiday Season. $4.99 wedderspoon.com

Waxelene Lip Balm Tube contains organic soy oil, beeswax, vitamin e oil, and organic rosemary oil. Waxelene is the a petroleum jelly alternative. I love this simple moisturizer for my body and my lips. $3.99 spiritbeautylounge.com

What are your favorite lip balms?

The Summer Favorites

Do I dare say that summer is over in only a few weeks? Well, it flew by and now I am on a mission to soak it all in. Here are a few of my absolute favorite beauty products that are helping me to look my best as I do it.

  • the-summer-favoritesL’Oreal Voluminous Manga Waterproof Mascara – I deem the recently released Voluminous Manga mascara from L’Oreal, my new current HG of mascaras. It adds more volume and out-curls my straight limp lashes. More so than my previous favorite, the original Waterproof Voluminous. It’s completely swim-proof, I’ve tested it.
  • Hourglass Ambient Blush in Dim Infusion – This peachy-coral blush gives skin a natural, believable flush, with a luminous glow. The formula is perfection, and the look, and shade are perfect on top to an already tanned complexion. (review)
  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow – These gorgeous shadows from Josie Maran create a stunning eye look in seconds. The formula won’t crease or budge throughout any hot summer day. (review)
  • Chanel SOLEIL TAN DE CHANEL Bronzing Makeup Base – I still adore this bronzer for when I already have a bit of a tan, to add some dimension. This lovely mousse-like formula is easy to blend, and feels like nothing on. (review)
  • Juara Candlenut Perfume Oil – My go-to fragrance for the summer. It smells of a tropical breeze. (review)
  • Nars Tinted Moisturizer – Hands down the best TM I’ve ever tried and an all-time favorite. St. Moritz is the shade that keeps my glowing all summer long. (review)
  • Coola spf 30 Cucumber Face Moisturizing Sunscreen – The Ultimate summer necessity, in an chemical-free and organic formula. (review)
  • Clarins Sunscreen Stick – I still haven’t found anything better for protecting my lips and nose.
  • Gressa Bare Lip Boost – I’m all about easy balms for the summer. This ‘lip boost’ from Gressa is the perfect light pink to add a touch of color, while intensely hydrating the lips. (review)
  • Lina Hanson Global Baby Oil – I love this fragrance-free oil for summer. It absorbs instantly, which was a must in the heat. It’s also great for sensitive skin and won’t attract any unwanted pests. (review)
  • Kahina Argan Oil – Forever a favorite, and a saviour for dry patches, cuticles, hair and whatever else. (review)
  • Wedderspoon Queen of the Hive Manuka Honey Lip Balm in Peppermint – An amazing lip balm with Manuka Honey for soothe dry lips overnight.
  • S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Toner – I talk about this toner ALOT. I adore what it does from my skin. It’s also great for a boost post workout, or just when you’re sitting around sweating you’re a** off. (review)
  • Kerastase Spray a Porter – For the ultimate beach hair, this texturizer won’t make hair dry or crunchy but essentially the opposite.

Tell me your Summer Faves!

 *Hat from Madewell, Bikini Top from Athleta

Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in No.06 Almond

The Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow collection ranges from “classic trench coat-inspired shades to smokey-metals” and are said to “adapt to all skin tones.” I have been wanting to further explore the Burberry Beauty brand since trying and loving their Sheer Glow Blush. The stunning selection of neutrals eye shadows has captured my attention for some time, particularly Midnight Brown, Rosewood and Almond, which I have here.

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The Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow contains a hefty 2.5 grams of product housed inside a metal case. The compact is engraved with Burberry’s iconic plaid and is very sturdy with a fair amount of weight to it. The shadow inside is embossed with a plaid design as well. The mirror under the lid stays surprisingly clean because there is zero fall-out with this formula.

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Almond is a medium brown with some warm golden tones. The finish is matte, although it contains the finest amount of shimmer that lends the shadow a lovely sheen. The texture is truly marvelous. The powder is intensely creamy and blends into the skin beautifully. While some powders sit on top of the skin, Burberry’s seem to melt into the skin allowing a luminous finish. I think the name ‘sheer’ comes from the idea that the shadow, while still providing ample color, allows your skin to naturally shine through.

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I’ve layered the shadow in the image above about three times. The shadow works beautifully as a sheer wash of color and layers well for a more defined look. I found that because the shadow blends so easily into the skin I had to concentrate a bit more on my application. The lovely texture doesn’t settle into any lines or creases and wears exceptionally well. Once applied, the shadow does not budge and is by far one of the longest lasting I have come across. Almond appears warmer in the pan and on my arm than when applied to my eye, where it leans a bit more taupe.

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wearing Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Almond

I am quite smitten with Almond which I have been wearing daily. It’s a perfect neutral to wear alone of layered with other shadows. While I think that $30 is a bit of a splurge for a single eye shadow, the amount provided is certainly ample and will last me for a long time to come.

(also wearing NYX Taupe blush as a contour, Burberry Sheer Blush in Peony, and Revlon Kissable Lip Stain in Darling)

Have you tried Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow’s? Any thoughts?

Valentine’s Day Beauty

The concept of Valentine’s Day and the history of such a holiday is logically a bit silly to me. Love and romance should certainly be exercised on the regular and not on a day when the price of a rose is double. Now, with that being said I must admit that I cannot help but be swept up in the idea of a little added tlc. I might put a little more time into my routine, have a go at cooking dinner, or leave a silly little note for my loved one.

Now that I have affirmed just how crazy I am about Valentines Day, I share with you some suggestions for making your day just a little more special. Don’t forget to show yourself some love with a little extra pampering.

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the mood:

  • Lingerie can definitely be a bit intimidating. A one-piece romper or teddy is one of the most flattering pieces to most body types. This one from the gorgeous line Zinke can be doubled as a cami under a blazer.
  • I’m a big believer in the benefits of aromatherapy. Enhance romantic moments with Essence of Vali’s Passion mist. Or try an oral Flower Elixer from Lotus Wei in Infinite Love.
  • Leave your loved one some sweet notes with a red hear-shaped Post-it.

the beauty:

  • Make your skin incredibly smooth with a good scrub. Try this rose scented one from Ren. Get rid of dry skin on your lips and make them kissably soft with Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish.
  • Everyone looks better with a tan. It will also help boost your confidence and make you feel sexier. I absolutely love Tarte’s Brazziliance Self-tanner. Also add a head-to-toe gleam with shimmering dry oil like this one from Nuxe.
  • Keep you beauty simple with a natural and glowing cream blush. This one from RMS doubles as a lip color and will last. Add some highlight to your brow bones, cheekbones, and to the bow of your lip. I love this super natural looking one from W3LL People.
  • Keep hair soft and touchable. Add waves to with a curling wand and add some volume with Oribe Texturizing Spray.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Quarterly Co. and ‘No More Dirty Looks’

‘No More Dirty Looks’ teamed up with Quartely Co. to bring you the “prettiest and most effective clean products on the market.” Quarterly Co. works along with influential contributors to curate a box of products that subscribers can receive quarterly. When I heard that the lovely ladies from the popular beauty and health blog “No More Dirty Looks” were providing such a service, I signed up right away!

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For $25 you receive four very generous samples of clean beauty products from some of the best natural and organic brands. What makes this sampling service different from others, is not only the size of the samples, but that I am honestly pleased with every item I received. I cannot wait to put them all to great use.

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What I got:

  • W3ll People Universalist 2 Multi-use Color Pot
  • One Love Organics Brand New Day
  • One Love Organics Morning Glory
  • Vivare Exfoliating Skin Cloth

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The Universalist 2 from W3ll People is a Multi purpose cream color. This marvelous luminizer was chosen because it “brightens up your face subtly” without any “unwanted sparkle or glitter.” This product does exactly that and is ‘chock-full’ of natural and beneficial ingredients. It reminds me very much of my two other favorite highlighter, the RMS Living Luminizer and Jemma Kidd All Over Radiance Creme. I will definitely be posting more about this one. It’s an absolutely gorgeous product!

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A brand new to me is One Love Organics. Their Brand New Day is a powder that can be combined with water or other ingredients to create an exfoliating treatment or masque. It contains pineapple enzymes to help with exfoliation. I’m definitely looking forward to using this.

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Another product from One Love Organics, Morning Glory is a Brightening Complexion Booster. This serum can be applied morning, midday, or night to “wake up your skin’s natural radiance.”

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This special texurized Exfoliating Cloth from Vivare stimulates skin and blood circulation. This cloth is incredibly abrasive and the ladies from “No More Dirty Looks” have you forwarned. While I think some might be none-to-thrilled with this addition, I am quite delighted to use it. I use exfoliating gloves regularly and this cloth seems wonderful at getting at hard to reach places. I have yet to try it and I will certainly use a light hand.

Sign up here