The Art of Oil Cleansing with Captain Blankenship Blue Chamomile & Lemon Oil-Based Cleanser & Makeup Remover*

Indie beauty brand favorite, Captain Blankenship sets sail in the lush lands of the Hudson River Valley, creating highly effective beauty products from all natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients. My love affair for Captain Blankenship’s products began in 2014 and, with great momentum, continues to grow along with the brand’s collection. This past Spring the Captain debuted some new products, including two new masks (rave reviews forthcoming) and the Blue Chamomile & Lemon Oil-Based Cleanser & Makeup Remover*.

Captain-Blankenship-Blue-Chamomile-and-Lemon-Oil-Cleanser Continue reading “The Art of Oil Cleansing with Captain Blankenship Blue Chamomile & Lemon Oil-Based Cleanser & Makeup Remover*”

A Luminous Summer Look

A luminous makeup look starts with the skin. Exfoliate, cleanse, hydrate and protect your skin to reveal your most radiant complexion. I always emphasize that it is “skin first, makeup second.” Once your skin is prepped, opt for creamy products with luminous finishes and natural ingredients to protect and nurture the skin as they further work to optimize your natural radiance.


Even Things Out: I am a big fan of self-tanning. If you are stuck in the old way of thinking that self-tanners just don’t look natural, think again! There are so many amazing formulas out there that deliver a natural looking tan, sans the damage. Having a bit of a tan will help to even skin tone, allowing you to use less product. Follow up with a lightly tinted, luminous moisturizer with SPF, like Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation or Suntegrity 5-in1 Tinted Sunscreen.  I must mention I do not supplement any CC creams or tinted moisturizer for a moisturizer.

Cover: To conceal the under-eye area and other areas of the face that may need more coverage, the RMS Un-Coverup is an indigenous product. With the use of a damp Beauty Blender, strategically place extra coverage wherever you desire. The RMS Un-Coverup provides fuller coverage while brilliantly creating a dewy and luminous, skin-like finish.

Bronze & Blush: To create subtle definition and to promote a healthy summer glow, use liquid and cream bronzers for the most natural effect. Gressa’s Minimalist Contouring Serum is in a league of its own. Just one drop of this brilliant bronzing serum, rich in skin-healthy ingredients, creates the most natural tan. Use this beauty to add some subtle contour. Gressa’s Air Focus Foundation Brush is a must for seamless application. For some additional luminosity apply some RMS’ Buruti Bronzer to the high points of your face. Create a subtle flush to the apples of the cheeks with W3LL People’s Universalist Multi-Use Stick in #9 Nude Flush.

Eyes & Lips: Keep it simple on the eyes and lips and leave the focus on your skin. Create subtle definition on the eyes by using natural bronze and nude tones with the Pacifica Power of Love Eye Shadow Palette. Open the eyes, and make them pop with volumizing mascara, L’Oreal Butterfly Intenza Waterproof is a good one. For a natural glossy pink pout I simply adore Gressa’s Lip Boost in Bare.


Glow on girls.

Manuka Honey for the Skin and Some Love for Our Honeybees #beeaware

When friends, family and readers inquire about a product suggestion for the treatment of acne, my constant recommendation is honey! Actually, you don’t need to ask, I’ll point my finger to your spot and tell you to “just rub a little honey on it”. I must strongly emphasize that I am not referring to just any honey, but specifically raw, organic manuka honey with an activity level of 12-16. You can rub any run-of-the-mill honey into your skin until you are red in the face and not receive the benefits specific to this certain variety.


Manuka Honey hails from New Zealand and is collected from honeybees that pollinate the native Manuka bush and it is powerful! No prescription strength cream or OTC spot treatment works in the wondrous ways as this “medical honey.” With naturally occurring antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (due to a naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide component) it works in numerous ways to treat, heal and prevent pesky break-outs. Manuka Honey is also a natural humectant and helps to draw moisture into the skin.

Manuka Honey has been achieving a ton of buzz as it has been revealed a skin care staple for some well-known celebrities including Jessica Alba, Karlie Kloss and Petra Nemcova, and its no surprise. This special variety is a skin care superhero of sorts for treating a multitude of skin concerns, while leaving your skin soft, smooth and glowing. You can incorporate honey into your skin care in a multitude of ways. Use it as a cleanser, mask (alone or mixed with other powdered masks or spices) and as a spot treatment. Since Manuka Honey works wonders on the prevention of breakouts, its rare that I need to use it as a spot treatment, as long as I am using it regularly. A few of my favorite spices to add to a Manuka Honey mask is cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg or raw cacao. For a super hydrating and exfoliating mask, I mix in avocado and plain yogurt. I whole-heartedly recommend ingesting this magical nectar as well.


When it comes to choosing a honey, Wedderspoon sets the standards for providing RAW, NATURAL and UNPASTEURIZED honey and they are the first and only Non-GMO verified Manuka Honey nationwide. As a eco-conscious brand, Wedderspoon has teamed up with the Rodale Institute (a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach) to celebrate honeybees. This campaign was created to raise awareness around the decline in honeybee populations due to the effects of toxic agricultural chemicals (CCD). As I have discovered the benefits of Manuka Honey, I have gained a great amount of love and respect for our honeybees. They are an integral part of our food system as pollinators. So join me in helping to support our honeybees by following the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #beeaware.

ILIA Cosmic Dancer ‘Limited Edition’ Iluminator

ILIA’s new ‘limited edition’ highlighter in Cosmic Dancer will deliver an enviable glow to your complexion this holiday season. 


Cosmic Dancer is a warmed up version of ILIA’s best-selling Illuminator Polka Dots and Moonbeams. This golden-hued highlighter delivers the most believable glow as it nurtures and conditions the skin. It contains all natural and organic ingredients, including Rose Hip Oil, Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E to keep skin healthy and happy.


Cosmic Dancer perfectly illuminates the high points of one’s face. Apply is to cheekbones, brow bones, cupid’s bow, bridge of nose and the inner corners of the eye’s. Cosmic Dancer is not well suited for paler complexions.


I suggest to hurry and pick up Commic Dancer before its gone. It is also available to purchase in a duo along with the complementing golden gloss in White Rabbit.


ILIA Cosmic Daner $34

I got mine at

Kahina Giving Beauty Antioxidant Mask

When Kahina Giving Beauty sent over a sample of their Antioxidant Mask for me to try, I’ll admit that I was already a big fan of the mask. I had received a generous sample of the product along with a purchase I made in early November. So when this mask arrived on my doorstep I was thrilled to say the least.

The Antioxidant Mask contains Kahina’s high quality organic Argan Oil along with rhassoul clay and extracts of pomegranate and acai. The combination of ingredients “detoxify by drawing out impurities at the deepest level, replacing them with trace minerals. Stimulate collagen production and improve skin strength and elasticity. Deliver potent antioxidants to fight free radical damage and reduce signs of aging. Gently exfoliates while leaving skin toned, smoother and more supple.”


The Antioxidant mask comes in Kahina’s signature violet glass packaging (an important element in helping to preserve the all-natural and organic ingredients). The multitasking mask works in minutes to instantly smooth, detoxify and soften the skin. Applied to pre-moistened skin, the mask is left on for a duration of 7-10 minutes. The mask does not harden and remains moist on the skin. The way in which you remove it, by gently buffing it away with dampened fingertips is one of my favorite elements of this mask. You can continue to remove the mask with water then apply your skin care. I actually sometimes choose to buff it away and then leave it on because my skin feels so comfortably moisturized.

The Antioxidant mask has the most delightful scent of natural botanicals and mint. The eucalyptus and mint ingredients gently provide the mask with a refreshing and rejuvenating feel that instantly perks up the complexion. The mask applies clear and because of this I found myself using much more than necessary at first. I have discovered only a small amount is necessary to be effective, about 1/4 teaspoon is sufficient.


The mask is a great multitasker with quick and easy results. Unlike other cleansing clay masks, Kahina’s Antioxidant Mask is not dying but quite the opposite, in fact it’s incredibly moisturizing. The mask contains small granules that effectively exfoliate the skin in the gentlest way as you remove it. After use, my skin feels cleansed, smoothed, plumped and intensly hydrated. Visually my skin looks glowing and more radiant. I use this mask 2-3 times a week and before an event. I know I can count on it for an instant boost.

The Antioxidant Mask is another exceptional product from the Kahina Line of skin care. The mask is a perfect fit for my skin and the results are clear. I will be replenishing my stock once I run out and I highly recommend it to any skin type. Those with sensitive skin might want to try before they buy because of the of eucalyptus and mint ingredients.

Kahina Giving Beauty Antioxidant Mask $62 (here)

Have you tried anything from Kahina? What is your favorite clay mask?

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) provided by PR for my consideration of review. I am never provided with compensation for my reviews. All opinions expressed are my own and presented honestly and true to my own personal experience.

Hourglass Ambeint Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Hourglass has recently released a finishing powder called Ambient Lighting Powder in six shades. I can’t quite recall this much hype surrounding a new release in the beauty world before. Of course I had to see for myself what this magical powder was about. After much debating I’ve finally settled on the shade, ‘Diffused Light’.


Hourglass Ambient Powder is “a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on the skin. Ambient’s illuminating particles are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities.” The six powders come in a variation of shades with different illuminating abilities.


The powder is finely milled and utterly silky. It contains the finest shimmer that softly reflects light in the most flattering way. I go for an all over face application with this both day and night.


Diffused Light is a soft, warm yellow power said to reduce redness, eliminate shine and give skin clarity. While the powder is mainly marketed as an all over finishing powder you can certainly use them as a highlighter as I am seeing some people do. The Ambient powder doesn’t have the setting abilities as my usual go-to and I must layer it on top on certain areas especially my under eye. As a person not to keen on powder and its mattifying finish, I am a huge fan of this one.


Diffused light does not give me a powdery finish but rather a luminescent, ‘lit from within’ look. It softens and blurs imperfections and any color inconsistencies. It works beautifully to diminish any red-tones. This shade worked well for my light complexion and I have tested and approved it on my tanned skin as well.


Does Hourglass Ambient Powder’s live up to their hype? I say, absolutely! The powder is stunning and has made its way into my everyday routine. Whether I use a tinted moisturizer or a medium foundation Diffused Light works to give me a perfect finish.

The six shades:

  • Diffused Light – reduce redness, eliminate shine, gives skin clarity
  • Ethereal Light – and opalescent sheer, cool white powder that mimics a moonlit glow
  • Radiant Light – extend a summer glow, enhance your overall complexion with a believable subtle warmth (see it reviewed on The Beauty Sample)
  • Mood Light – mimic the softest most-forgiving light and reveal your lightest complexion
  • Dim Light – the perfect balance of warm and cool tones, blur imperfections and bring light to your most radiant complexion (see it reviewed by Glitter Geek)
  • Luminous Light – soft, incandescent candlelit glow (see it reviewed on the beauty look book)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is $45 and available at Sephora and Nordstrom

Dreamy Picks January 2013

With pleasure, I bid January farewell. It’s long, cold nights are not something I will miss and I welcome the approaching warmer months. I have been introduced to some lovely products these past couple of weeks. Two samples have even found their way into my favorites post, both of which I will be purchasing full-sized versions of – a rarity if I do say so myself. Yay for samples!


Burberry Light Glow Blush in No.04 Peony – This blush has seen lots of wear this past month. The sheer color is perfect for an everyday subtle look. Peony is a gorgeous blue-based pink. (review)

Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil – This organic Argan Oil has been a savior to my skin. I apply it to my skin in evenings and mix it into my foundation. No complaints about dry skin since incorporating this beauty into my routine. (product website)

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #8 – Of course I had to include the new YSL lipstick in my favorites this month. Loving this pale-pink shade for every day. (review)

Becca Shimmering Perfector in Opal – I received this sample along with a Becca purchase I made in December. I mix a bit into my foundation for a natural-glowing finish. I am quite in love with the results and will definitely be picking up a full-sized.

W3LL People Universalist 2 – Another sample, this one I received in a monthly subscription beauty box. This highlighter has replaced my previous favorites. I apply it to the inner corner of my eyes, brow bones, cheekbones, and cupid’s bow. The look is naturally luminous.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink – This liner is long-lasting, always soft, and a dream to use. One of my go-tos for created a winged eyeliner look. Also great for beginners or for those with a shaky hand.

Japonesque HD Dual Sided Brush #110 – I love this brush for applying foundation. One side has natural bristles and the other has synthetic bristles. It gives me a perfect finish. (review soon)

What are some of your favorites this month?