Monday, October 28, 2013

hand blended lurk natural perfumes are beautiful and wickedly alluring

I couldn't even get near it.  When I went to the Night of Green Beauty event here in NYC, I got to meet so many of the creators of my favorite natural skincare and makeup lines, but there was just one little area that I couldn't get near for the life of me due to the crowds of women reaching for these pretty little bottles.  I finally asked someone, "Who the heck is over there, Buddha?" "No," she answered, "that's LURK."  I cocked my head to the side, "Hmmm...Lurk, you say?"  Duly noted.

Why Lurk?  Everyone has their own taste in perfumes clearly, but I think there's something everyone will love here.  The descriptions on Lurk's site capture the essence of the scents perfectly. Currently, they have five perfumes, all hand blended and made using only essential oils in organic jojoba.  Naturally, there's no chemical preservatives or additives.  At $55 a bottle, I also found Lurk to be really affordable.  I'm pretty obsessed with RSW005 - a rose scent that is so calming and pretty, I just keep inhaling.

Who's lurking behind LURK? 
Anne Sanford of Lurk is very cool.   On her site it says she's a perfumer, product development specialist, interior designer and creative director with a background in beauty marketing branding and brand development.  Well!  Way to make everyone else on the planet feel like we are devoid of the Talent Gene, there, Anne.  Sheesh!

   Q & A: 
Why make natural perfumes?
I have been really into oils for about a decade now and really wanted to create perfumes for a while before I jumped into it.  I like the challenge of “all natural” and I also felt that the market needed something a little bit different. Itʼs fun and def not always easy, but I like aspects of it.

Whatʼs your typical outfit for a day? (You seem to have a great look.  If you were wearing mom jeans, Iʼd leave this one out.)
Def no mom jeans here ;).  My typical outfit is jeans (Iʼm obsessed with denim), Vans Old Skool Slip Onʼs or high tops (Isabel Marant), T-shirt, army jacket or sweater wrap.  I love jewelry so I tend to jam a bunch of crazy stuff on my wrists, fingers etc.

How do you come up with a new scent?
It always starts with a image in my mind or something that I have seen.. I identify scent with imagery so once the flow starts I generally start writing down thoughts, ideas and the scents I am attaching to that process. Then I start getting into the oils and seeing how they flow together. Itʼs really fun and the outcome is not always what I think it will be.

I see a luminizer product in your line now, are you planning on getting into makeup and/ or skincare?
Yes, I am currently working on re-formulating the Luminosity Stick (making it more green) and I am also working on skincare for 2014.

What makes Lurk awesome?
Wow, thatʼs a tough question ;).  I think that LURKʼs commitment to keeping things outside of the box yet really simple and straightforward at the same time is cool.  I also really love LURKʼs commitment to purity and doing things our way.   Weʼre not afraid to take chances and that can be very rewarding. 

*I received samples to test.  All opinions are my own.  Try LURK…this is the real deal, Neil.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Greener Mascara Clinic is Open: Come On In, Ladies...featuring Zuzu Luxe, Dr. Hauschka, Couleur Caramel & Juice Beauty!

Zuzu Luxe, Dr. Hauschka, Juice Beauty & Couleur Caramel

ZuZu Luxe by Gabriel Cosmetics  This mascara will not smudge or flake on all!  Trust me on this one.  I use this on my lower lashes everyday and if I'm going for a all around natural look, on my top as well.  If you a more dramatic look, just add another layer.  This mascara is one that I will never stop using, plus the ingredients are great.  This also comes in Espresso and Navy as well as the Onyx.   $16.70


Dr. Hauschka Volumizing   I find that volumizing mascaras can be a little "wetter" than other mascaras and they can definitely smudge.  That's why I only use this mascara on the upper lashes and I'll use my ZuZu on the bottom.  I think this gives a really pretty full lash and is great for adding on for even thicker looking lashes. $29.25

Couleur Caramel Cils Longs This is my favorite for the upper lashes.  Again, there's no way I can wear this on the bottom as it will get all over the place.  So, I wear this on the top and ZuZu or Juice Beauty on the bottom.  I also love the smell of it...I know, strange, but it's got this super clean powdery smell that I love.  $24.25

Separating & Lengthening
Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara  I recently did a full review on this, but wanted to add it to the 'clinic' (who  do I think I am using that term, right?)  Anyway, this mascara is going to define lashes and separate them, but if you're looking for a big voluminous look, this isn't the one for you. This has never smudged on me and if you give a few seconds to dry, you'll be good to go all day.  $19

Some of these products I was given to test, others I purchased, all I loved.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My New Crushes: One Love Organic's Skin Savior, Juice Beauty's CC Cream & Eyeliner, Not.A.Sponge, La Bella Figura & Kahina's Fez Body Serum!

I'm going to strongly recommend you get on this. The best thing about Skin Savior?  It is super multi-functional and can be used as a cleanser, pomade, moisturizer and, when mixed with mineral powder,  a foundation.  As a cleanser, it completely removes any makeup or dirt from your face and it moisturizes your skin.  I find that with the majority of cleansers (unless it's oil-based) I have to use a toner afterwards to get any residual makeup off, but not so here. The shammy, a cloth that has a suede-like feel, really removes any and all traces of makeup.  I just rinse the shammy out with some Dr. Bronner's soap and water after each use and I'm good to go.  I also love that this 3-in-1 beauty balm has some of the best ingredients, too: coconut oil, mango seed butter, chia seed extract and vitamin E.  Oh, and the scent is a light orange from the delicious orange peel wax.    $48

Love Buzz over Call Me on lips, Demure on cheeks &
 Juice Beauty's Eyeliner & CC Cream
La Bella Figura's Bio Active Purifying Mask
I've recently discovered that La Bella is a definite force in natural skincare.  The second you open this mask up, you know you're in the big leagues, baby!  This is not, I repeat, not your typical mask.  This feels completely natural and you just know by the consistency that the ingredients are the real deal.  La Bella isn't trying to give you a mask you already own or one that feels like a commercial brand;  they've created a mask that is thicker going on and does what it sets out to do:  hydrate, nourish the skin and gently exfoliate.  I loved having this mask on my skin and felt like someone handmade this for's that pure.   Removing it was easy and my skin was hydrated, sooo soft and bright, like I spent the day in the mountains...which, being in the middle of NYC, I did not.  This mask is recommended for dry and mature types, but I can't imagine that everyone wouldn't benefit from it.  $60

Juice Beauty's Defining Eyeliner
My new favorite!  You're probably wondering what can possibly make a black eyeliner interesting.  But I love this.  In fact, I haven't stopped using it since I received it.  First off, the formulation is great;  it's not too hard, not too soft and it's great for smudging (it comes with a smudger on the other end).  I line the inside tops of my lids and then the top of the outer lids, smudge that and get a great smokey eye.  On top of it all, the ingredients are stellar.  $16

This lil multi-functional cream is getting a TON of buzz lately, mainly because it's so well done. What does CC stand for?  Color correcting.  The first time I saw this cream was on the creator of Juice Beauty, Karen Behnke.  How do I know she was wearing it?  She was glowing and I asked.   I was immediately obsessed.  So what will this jack of all trades cream do for you?  Well, first off, it's got an SPF of 30, but it also hydrates, gives a nice tint of color to correct discoloration and gives a pretty radiance to the skin (and so much more).  I really, really love this and think everyone should own it. As long as you need an SPF, why not have one that does so much else and leaves your skin looking so pretty and youthful?  Oh, and a bonus is that it smells wonderful...a light herbal scent?  $39

I'm very addicted to this now.  Have you tried one of these yet? to explain.  Well, it's made from a vegetable super food called Konjac and it's a great addition to your cleansing routine. When dry, it's a stiff little guy, but when wet, it turns into thee most lovely, super soft and fun exfoliating/cleansing aid there is.  It stimulates new cell growth and gets the blood flowing.  I can totally attest to this as I've found my skin has a lot more life to it since I'm using it.  It gives the skin that, "I just got back from working out" look...fresh and youthful.  I tried the In The Raw sponge, which is the basic one, but they've got so many others and ones for the body, too.  Oh, and it's 100% natural, biodegradable and vegan.  $10-11

Kahina Giving Beauty's Fez Body Serum
Well, it's no secret that I love Kahina.  I mention them every time I'm in a conversation with someone who is contemplating converting to natural skincare.  Their argan oil the first thing I recommend next to coconut oil.  So, it's no surprise that Kahina's Fez Body Serum knocks it out of the park with their new body serum.  It's incredibly smooth...I mean, incredibly.  It's just so well done that you know immediately when you pour it into your hands it's like nothing else out there...I'm not being dramatic, I'm being serious. Their standards are beyond.  In terms of scent, if you love a warm, antique sandalwood/patchouli scent, you will be in heaven.   $98

All of these products were kindly sent to me for review and all are my own opinions!  Hope you find something you love to try out here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

heavenly mun no. 1 aknari nighttime dream youth serum...for face & eyes! Get 10% off here!

"I must not run out.  I must not run out..." 

That's what I keep saying to myself as I pump Mun No.1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum onto my fingertips and press it into my skin every night before bed.  Gosh, I just love the stuff...and I've tried A LOT!

I was surprised to learn that MUN's No.1 Aknari was only launched last year as I'd heard so many great things about it.  The first product created by NYC-based makeup artist, Munemi Imai,  this organic and antioxidant-rich nighttime serum smells so calming and works so well, I can't imagine it not being part of my evening routine from now on.  

An extra bonus is that serum is to be used on the face and under the eyes AND during the day, so if you're a low-maintenance kind of person, this could be your face, eye and neck serum!

why am I so in love with this serum?
  • It's 100% Organic
  • It only has three ingredients:  Prickly Pear Seed, Argan Oil and Rose Essential Oil
  • As I mentioned, it's a multi-functional serum for face, eyes (for dark circles/fine lines) & neck!
  • Absorbs in good time.
  • The scent of a subtle powdered rose is intoxicating and has me running back for more every evening.  It's so brilliant to make something smell so relaxing just before bed.
  • The consistency of the oil is spot-on; it's light, yet you can still feel that it's moisturizing the skin.
  • Hydrates the skin beautifully.
  • Morning skin is clear, bright, soft, dewy and perfect for makeup application.
  • You can use it right before makeup as a primer, as well...just remember to wear your SPF!
get 10% off here
Munemi Imai has been incredibly generous and wants to give you 10% off their wonderful No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum.  Use code: TGPJMUN.  
I hope you'll give this incredible face/eye serum a try as I really, really love it.  I think it's the perfect all-in-one serum and with this irresistible scent, oh, wow!   Have you tried this serum yet?  If not, what appeals to you about it?  $95

*I was sent this serum to review.  All opinions are my own!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I've been tagged! Natural skincare tips from the green product junkie...

Welcome to my world.  Here's two of my medicine cabinet shelves...recognize anything?

Tag, you're it!

I've been tagged by Mary from PureMakeup Blog!  So, it's my turn to answer a few questions she has lined up.  Let me get to 'em!  Thanks.

Describe your skincare routine in five words.  Natural, ever-changing, pure, nourishing and effective.

What's your skin type?  I tend to be on the dry side.

What's your favorite skincare product?  This is incredibly difficult because it changes all of the time.  Whenever I get something new to test that is magnificent, it becomes the new favorite. I would have to say a staple is Kahina's Argan Oil, and I'm also really enjoying La Bella Figura's Organic Barbary Fig Renewal Serum these days...the smell is so fruity and it hydrates perfectly.

Top blemish zapper?  I'm fortunate in that I don't break out that often since I began using all-natural skincare and makeup.  If I do, or if I feel like I'm clogged, I'll quickly do an Osmia Organics' Detoxifying Mask...cleans, exfoliates and brightens the skin all in one mask.  I love.

Face Wipes - yay or nay?  Nay.  They're wasteful.  A cotton cloth that you can wash over and over again seems more eco-friendly to me. 

High-end skincare or high-end makeup?  Tough one...I would have to say skincare.  But anything that you put on your skin must be non-toxic...high-end or not.  Skincare brand Acure Organics is very affordable.  

What's the most unusual skincare product you've tried?  Well, it's not that unusual in that it's an exfoliator, but it's definitely an unconventional way of exfoliating...O.R.G.'s Organic Mineral Peel for Face.  You just spray it on and then rub it off after a few seconds.  It's very cool to see what peels off of your face.

You're in a pharmacy and you can only pick one item, what would it be?  Do they sell coconut oil?  If not, let's see...gosh, I think I just leave!  Really.

What are your Top Skincare Tips?

  1. Please don't use a lipstick or lip balm with toxic ingredients.  You'll be ingesting chemicals.  Find a great lipstick you love from a natural brand.  I love RMS Beauty, Ilia Beauty, Revolution Organics...and the list goes on.
  2. Use a natural sunblock everyday on your face and body parts that will be exposed.
  3. Wash your face every night, but not in the morning.  In the morning, just moisturize.  I love GingerChi for cleansing.
  4. Exfoliate once or twice a week.  I'm loving using Acure Organics exfoliator.
  5. Put a mask on every once in a while...great for the skin.  If you don't have one, plain yogurt on the face is brightening and refreshing.
  6. Find a face oil or serum that you love.  Trust me on this.  Oils are awesome.
  7. Always use an eye serum or an eye cream.  I love Odacité.
  8. Don't use toxic skincare or makeup.  The new green lines are far, far superior to anything you can buy that has chemicals in it.
  9. Hang out with people who make you laugh and think you're great.  My skin always looks better when I'm happy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

studio 78 paris: A great natural concealer, primer and a lipstick you really should own.

I'm not going to play around here, we're not going to do this little dance where I tell you I think you should try a brand; I'm straight out telling you to please try this brand.  The products are so well made, the packaging is gorgeous and they carry the ECO CERT organic certification.

As I've mentioned many times before, Studio 78 makes thee best concealer I've ever used. Ever. Yes, toxic ones included.  You can read about my love for it here.  I love this concealer so much that  before I leave the house, I check to see if I have my phone, keys and concealer. Truth.  And the little mirror on the top of the compact is so fantastic for touch-ups during the day.  $31

So, now that that is out of the way, let's get on to the new products that I tried from Studio 78 that you can purchase at NuboNau (an excellent online store for natural and organic makeup and skincare).

First off, the numbers...99% of the total ingredients are from natural origin and 22% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming.  

I love this primer and have found myself reaching for it as soon as my moisturizer is set.  The scent is a light coconut that I just love.  It's super light but what's really great about this primer is the luminous look it gives to the skin.  It's not frosty, but more of  pale gold-toned look that is just so pretty and makes the skin glow.  I'm fair-skinned and I think this would work well on all skin tones.  This is not a heavy look, but rather very natural and fresh.  $38

The numbers...100% of the total of the ingredients are natural and 40% of the total of the ingredients are from organic farming.

I was sent this to test and although the color was in the brown family and I wear pinks/reds/corals, I had  tested it for a week in my apartment to see how it looked, felt on the lips and wore.  

For starters, the packaging is beautiful.  With a few clicks from the bottom of the lipstick, you're good to go.  The applicator is perfect and it's so easy to apply. 

I love this lipstick.  I think that if you're the kind of woman who likes an opaque lipstick that isn't going anywhere, this is for you.  The color is bold, it feels hydrating, but isn't too glossy on the lips.  I would say this is a semi-matte, full-coverage lipstick.  $32

01 - Ivory Wedding, Classic Nude

02 - Satin Wedding, Pink Nude

03 - Rose Wedding, Rose Pink

04 - Coral Wedding, Summer Orange

05 - Ruby Wedding, Parisian Red

06 - Velvet Wedding, Pretty Purple Plum

NuboNau has pretty much the entire line from Studio 78.  Head on over there to check out their blush, foundation (which I'm going to try next) and eyeshadows!

*I was sent the primer and lipstick to test.  All opinions are my own and I only write about that which I love and think you need to know about!  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

ethereal. what else can you say about roxana illuminated perfumes? natural perfumes as art.

Engraved cases manufactured in the USA by a small family business.
This will be an arduous task.  Writing a post about a woman who creates art that you smell? Yes, it's art...olfactory art.

I hesitated writing a review on Roxana Villa's Roxana Illuminated Perfumes for some time mainly because what she does is done so well and with such care and knowledge, I felt as if I wasn't worthy enough to write and review such a product.  How could I possibly do justice to something that someone has been working on crafting their entire life?  

Roxana's handmade perfumes are not just scents, she's created a world here...from the unbelievably gorgeous botanical scents, to the lovely little pink containers and Victorian-esq cases her perfumes are poured into, to the beautiful little cards that come with the scents offering descriptions of what you're about to take in.  
An excellent way to find your own fragrance. 
The gorgeous velvet green pouch I received in the mail held a bunch of pretty pink solid perfumes, each with its own wax seal stamp on the top which was colored-coded to reveal its scent.  As I started to sniff and read the cards, I quickly realized that these were scents unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  If you're a woman who wants a fragrance to be your own...I suggest you get yourself a small set of these and figure out which ones are for you.

I'd like to tell you about some of the different perfumes Roxana offers so perhaps you could find what appeals to you and order a few.  Her perfumes come in both liquid and solid.  This is my take on the scents I received:


Lavender and sage...if you love lavender, you will love this.  


An earthy Jasmine

Fig. 10 BLANC

Vanilla orchid bean.  This will smell like heaven to those of you who love a true vanilla.  A favorite.

Page 47

Another favorite.  I keep it on my desk to sniff.  Jasmine like you've never smelled it before.
Fresh, sweet and pretty.  I love this.


Jasmine with amber and resin.  Warm and gorgeous.


A true citrus with some fresh herb.  Fresh and happy.

Roxana at work.  Sometimes she uses the beeswax from her own hives of feral honey bees.  
I hope you give these a try as I don't think there's anything quite like having someone hand make a fragrance for you that's natural and made the way fragrance used to be made before the introduction of toxic chemicals.

*I received these fragrances to review.  All opinions are my own.