Holiday 2016

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We are now full in the throws of the Christmas Season, and for all of you who may be short on ideas for Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers, here are a few¬†ideas for the ladies in your life, including yourself ūüôā

     Pacifica, a brand that up until this year I had not used, is not my go to brand for mascara.  The Stellar Gaze Length and Strength Mascara would make a great stocking stuffer at only $14 and is available at Ulta.  I also wrote a review for it here.

¬† ¬† ¬†For something in a bit more expensive that can be exchanged as a present, Pacifica also makes a wonderful perfume. ¬†The bottle and packaging¬†is nice enough to wrap but the¬†modest price of $22 will keep you smiling. ¬†The Island Vanilla Spray Perfume is by far my favorite scent, it¬†just smells so delicious¬†and warm without being too “food-esque”, and is also available at Ulta.

¬† ¬† ¬†Honest Beauty hit the shelves of Ulta this year. The line created by Jessica Alba boasts beautiful eyeshadow trios that are smooth, creamy, blendable, and stay put all day. The colors really are splendid and the packaging makes it nice enough to gift under the tree, plus for only $25 it won’t break the bank. The Smokey Grey¬†Eyeshadow Trio is my favorite.

     Another stocking stuffer option is from a company I recently discovered called Savannah Bee.  Their Beeswax Hand Cream is amazing and a must have for the cold winter months.  It features honey and beeswax as top ingredients and is just so luxurious and nourishing.  and with a price tag of $14, it is perfect for a stocking stuffer and is available online here.


Pacifica Stellar Eye Trio


¬† ¬† ¬†I picked up this kit at my local Whole Foods on an after Christmas clearance sale for only $5 (originally $20)! I was looking for a new mascara and eyeliner, and I figured it was a steal so why not. I have never tried Pacifica before, and figured there really isn’t a better way to get a feel for a company that to try a few different products at once. ¬†They are a natural makeup, skincare, and perfume company from Portland that is 100% vegan and cruelty free; and portion of their proceeds go towards keeping the oceans clean.

¬† ¬† ¬†Because this was a holiday item, the kit is no longer available, however, the mascara and eyeliner are apart of their regular line¬†and can be purchased¬†on their website, or in store/online at¬†Target and¬†Ulta, or¬†at your nearest Whole Foods. In comparing their ingredients online with what is on the packaging, it appears that they have since reformulated, however the ingredients remain quite similar and the products have the same names and packaging. The eyeshadow is the only item that is now longer available, but that doesn’t really matter and you will soon see why.


     My immediate thoughts after trying this kit is that I should have bought more, if not just for the mascara, because I really truly like it. It has a naturally pleasant and mild smell, is exceptionally creamy and goes on well.  Even though it has great staying power, it is quite easy to remove with a cotton round and some face oil. I like how pure black the color is.  In addition, it looks great and never caused any irritation.

Stellar Gaze Mascara in Supernova (black)

Ingredients:  Aqua, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sorbitan Olivate, GLycerin, Citric Acid, Acrylates Cross Polymer, Xantham Gum, Tocopherol,  Jojoba Esters, Panthenol, Arabia/Acacia Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Cocos Nucifera, Chamomilla Sativa Fruit Extract, Algae Extract, Cucumis Sativus Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Hydrolyze Oriza Sativa Extract.  May Contain:  Iron Oxides, Mica.

     The eyeliner is the perfect companion to the mascara because it is also exceptionally creamy, yet firm enough to draw with. It goes on gently and stays on well, yet also comes off quite nice with my oiled up cotton round. Overall, it is the best eyeliner I have had in recent memory.

Natural Minerals Eye Pencil in Jet (black)

Ingredients:  Hydrogenated Simmondsia Chinenesis Seed Oil, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil,Simmondsia Chinenesis Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Titanium Dioxide, Canola Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Iron Oxide, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera, Glyceryl Caprylate, Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate.

¬† ¬† ¬†The eyeshadow duo is just ok. I LOVE the sugar plum color (at least that is what I call it), but the golden, yellowy highlight shade is just not flattering on me or with the purple. In addition, the case leaves something to be desired as the lid is quite flimsy and keeps popping off. Also, the two colors are in the same pan, so I can’t even just take one out and put it in a magnetic palette and ditch the other one.

     But even despite all of this, I really love the purple.  The texture, although a powder is not powdery. It is one where you really need to get your brush in there, I think that is due to the oils in it. It is build-able though and lasts all day.

Natural Eyeshadow Duo

Ingredients:  Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol Acetate.  May Contain: Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Titanium Dioxide, Ferroferric Oxide.

¬† ¬† ¬†Looking at their other palettes online, they all seem to have color schemes that are quite odd, and contain colors that I do not care for. So, I would not buy one of their palettes for full price for only a couple of colors. Also, the trios online are a creme to powder finish, and cremes just don’t stay on my eyelids. I really hope they create singles so I can choose my own colors, or start making better paired sets.

     The ingredients overall are also just ok. I have found myself having a bit more leniency lately with ingredients (i.e. not being a purist) because it is really hard to find products I genuinely like. For example, I am not liking the Hydrogenated Oils, but at the same time, there are no artificial colors or fragrances, parabens, petroleum/mineral oil, or talc. So, it seems like a good compromise.

¬† ¬† ¬†Overall, it was a steal, and a great way to try multiple products from a company I had never used before. I discovered that I love their mascara and eyeliner, and their powder eyeshadow formula, I just need more freedom with the colors since their pairings don’t do it for me. I hope to have the opportunity to try some of their skincare products and perhaps their nail polishes because some of the colors just look amazing.

Christmas Gift Guide 2015

Christmas Gift Guide

¬† ¬† ¬†It’s that time of year again, and I decided to make a Christmas Gift Guide as I have found them to very helpful. ¬†I included a few items that are¬†suitable for both genders and encompass a variety of budgets.

     The first should come as no surprise due to my exuberant love of Zoya! I just love the idea of receiving one of these beautifully curated holiday boxed trios.  Not only is Zoya non-toxic, but it also wears better than any I have ever tried before. With the EWG announcing that yet another nail polish ingredient has been linked to endocrine disruption, Zoya remains a great option as it does not include TPHP. The set sells for $25 which is a wonderful deal for full sized nail polishes.

¬† ¬† ¬†The second item is my all time favorite toner, the Devita’s¬†Moroccan Rose Facial Toner. Now, toner may seem to be an odd gift, but for someone with whom you are very close with¬†and¬†has a love for luxurious skincare products, it may be just the perfect gift. It comes beautifully packaged in a box and glass bottle, which makes the price of nearly $23 totally worth it.

     My husband bought me this 5mm Manduka LiveON Matt for my birthday this year and I truly adore it. It is made from 100% recyclable material, and when you are done with it can send it back to be recycled. It retails for $58 but the 3mm one is on sale for only $36!

     The Foreo Luna Mini is my go to skin cleansing devise. I literally threw out my Clarasonic when I received this as a gift from my husband for Christmas last year.  I have only charged it 2 times since I first opened it 11 months ago. You never need any replacement heads, so even with the high price of $139, it is very economical. They have larger more skin type tailored version for $199.

¬† ¬† ¬†Another perfect gift for a dear friend with a skincare fetish is Worker B’s Honey Wash. ¬†I originally resisted purchasing this because I thought that because the main ingredients are raw honey and kukui nut oil which I already have, I could just make it myself. And I tried, but when I received a free sample there¬†was no comparison. ¬†It retails for $36.

     Lastly, the GRID Foam Roller is actually not something I can personally recommend as I find it too hard, large, and difficult to use. So why is it on this list?! Because my husband loves it.  Literally every single night this bad boy comes out and my husband is able to get a deep massage that I am not strong enough to do. So if you have a man in your life who likes deep massages, for $65, you might just be able to hit the spot.

Honey Cleanser


I recently had the opportunity to try a raw honey facial cleanser by Worker B. ¬†I have been wanting to try a cleansing mud for a while but many of them are very expensive. ¬†This one however meets my ingredient requirements and doesn’t break the bank. ¬†I have cleansed with raw honey before , but this was an entirely different experience.

This cleanser has a very delightful understated aroma.  The consistency is not like using pure raw honey. This is because of the unique formula including skincare oils.  This honey wash seems to melt onto your skin.  It is an effective cleanser and has been quite good at treating my hormonal outbreaks.

It has the best of both worlds of honey cleansing and oil cleansing.  It removes more easily than oil cleansing.  My previous experience with honey cleansing was a mixed mag. Just using raw honey was difficult because of the sticky consistency.   I also would experience a breakout after consistent use for a couple of weeks.

I have not used this product consistently so please take note. ¬†I use it for about a week a month during which I would normally breakout from my monthly cycle. ¬†I highly recommend the “normal to dry” formula due to it containing non comedogenic oils that are perfect for acneic skin.

Ingredients: Raw Honey, Organic oils of Rosehip Seed, Kukui Nut and Sesame Seed, Worker B Propolizer Tincture and Organic Elderberry Extract

Available at:

Devita Cucumber Toner


¬† ¬† I have previously posted about S.W. Basics toner and while I still love it, it was time to try something new. Because I only oil cleanse and moisturize, I don’t get to experiment with new cleansers and moisturizer. Toners, and such are the only products I can switch up and try out new brands. ¬†When I discovered this toner I was a bit hesitant over the price ($17 on Vitacost).

¬† ¬† ¬†I read multiple reviews and finally decided to give it a go. ¬†Immediately upon opening it I hated it. The rose smell was so strong! I wanted to return it. I decided to give it a go because my skin was badly broken out and I wanted to see what it could do. Within a couple days by skin was noticeably clearer and very soft. I also noticed that I hadn’t been bothered by the smell either.

     So I kept it and it has been a  few months now. My skin is still soft, and has experienced less breakouts. I do not mind the strong rose smell anymore. It has lasted quiet well and proved its high price. I am only about a 1/5 of the way through the bottle and think it will last me the rest of the year at this rate.


Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), hamamelis virginiana distillate (witch hazel) extract, lactic acid (natural fruit acid), maleic acid (natural fruit acid), glycolic acid (natural fruit acid), camellia acid (Japanese green tea) leaf extract, allantoin, rosa centifolia (rose) essential oil, salvia officinalis (sage) essential oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) essential oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil.

     As you can see, it is non-comdogenic. There are anti-microbial essential oils, acids for resurfacing, nourishing and moisturizing ingredients aloe vera, and witch hazel extract to minimize pores.  If these ingredients interest you , you may want to give it a try. Let me know if you have tried it or the other scent (cucumber) and what your thoughts are on them. Also, let me know if there are any other toners you love.