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10 Sep

Introducing Italian Brand Istituto Ecologico Edelweiss

Instituto Ecologico Edelweiss

My trips to Italy has given me memories that can never be replaced. Whether it be their creamy gelato, the warm breeze hugging my skirt as a walk through the streets of Florence, or the beautiful pedestrians in their gorgeous outfits, Italy is truly one of a kind. So I was thrilled to be introduced to a one of a kind skincare brand, Istituto Ecologico Edelweiss. Based in Lombardy, this family owned skincare company harvests their herbs locally and fuses it with technology to create effective and environmental skincare.

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03 Sep

Nalia Organics: Pure & Safe Skincare

Nalia Organics

I always believe that certain scents trigger specific memories or feelings. That scents are what bring us back to a certain moment in time. I’m never one for strong overbearing scents, but when it’s comforting and inviting, I tend to return to it and become attached. It’s the same with skincare. As I’ve cleaned out my cabinet of artificial fragrances and started exploring skincare products that include essential oils that not only smell divine and have beneficial skin properties, I’ve become more excited when I open up a new bottle or cream or take my first sniff at a new oil. And Nalia Organic’s Kerala skin care line does just that.

Base in Australia, Nalia Organic’s Kerala skin care line offers an exquisite range of products that pinpoint skin problems. Pure and safe skincare is their philosophy. Since I have combination skin, I was delighted when the two products I received for review were right up my alley.

Kerala Cleansing Gel

Lemongrass & Geranium Anti-Oxidant Cleansing Gel

Having combination skin is definitely a challenge. Huge pores, excess sebum, occasional breakouts, dry patches; you name the skin issue, and I have it. This cleanser manages to address all my skincare needs. Aloe vera gel moisturizes and soothes the dry bits, while lemongrass and rose geranium helps to minimize my pores, control excess sebum. Plus the ingredients are certified organic, which is a major plus for me.

The scent of this cleanser is great for when you’re still half awake in the morning as the lightly scented citrus floral scent will definitely wake up your senses. The gel is light and feels gentle on my skin. I always do my cleanser test. Rinse, pat dry, and then wait for 10 minutes to see if my skin gets tight or dry. This cleanser passed the test; my pores were not begging for moisture.

Kerala Nourishing Facial Cream
Shea & Patchouli Nourishing Cream

Luxuriant oils and creams is something I’ve been gravitating towards more lately. Growing up, all the magazines I read taught us that oil-free was the right path to solving oily complexions. Ever since going natural, I’ve learned the exact opposite applies. So I’m not longer guilty about slapping on the creams and oils anymore, as I now know that a moisturized face is a happy face. And this nourishing cream has been keeping this girl’s complexion very happy.

It’s main ingredients include shea butter, which moisturizes and encourages cell renewal, macadamia oil, a non-greasy oil that boosts the skin’s moisture levels, and patchouli, which is great for diminishing acne scarring. Every time I take the cap off this tub of cream and inhale the citrus scent, I’m brought back to Thailand, which is a very good thing.

So if you’re looking to a try a skincare brand from down under, Nalia Organics has got you covered. Their Kerala skin care line is certified organic and will not disappoint.

27 Aug

Moroccan Natural Skincare Line

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I’m sure you know by now that I have a love for Moroccan oils. There really isn’t anything better than a pure and simple bottle of Prickly Pear Seed oil that has been lovingly harvested and cold-pressed and delivered to my door. Moroccan oils have delivered amazing results to my skin, moisturizing it without clogging my pores or causing breakouts, and evening my skin tone. My skin drinks it up and loves it.

That is why when Moroccan Natural, based in the U.K., provided me with some of their samples, I was instantly excited to try their product range. Here are a few of my favorites:

Soothe and Smooth Eyes

soothe_and_smooth_eyes_10ml

This roller-ball eye serum is a lifesaver for my morning puffy eyes. The mixture of argan and prickly pear seed oil work harmoniously to moisturize the delicate area around my eyes, coupled with the cooling sensation of cucumber oil, and eyes look refreshed, not puffy. The roller ball applicator makes it easy to apply, but I would suggest just rolling a tiny amount under your eye socket. If you apply the serum directly under your eyes (where dark circles or puffy eyes would normally appear) you run the risk of it going in to your eyes, which we don’t want. After apply a small amount under eye socket, use your ring finger to gently pat the product into your eyes, you can also bring some of it to your brow bone as well. Overall, this product leaves my puffy and tired morning eyes looking rejuvenated and awake, saving me a run to the coffee shop in the morning.

 Argan Hair Treatment

hair_treatment_oil_30ml

Lately, I’ve been suffering from dry scalp, so I was happy to try out the Argan Hair Treatment that claims to soothe my hair condition with a mixture of Argan oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil, cedarwood oil, and sea-buckthorn oil. Before washing my hair at night, I would spritz the hair treatment onto my scalp and massage it in. I’d leave it on for around 10 minutes while I tended to other things (brushed my teeth, put on a face mask, and drink some mint tea). Afterwards, I hopped into the shower and did my usual shampoo routine. The first time, I decide to let my hair air dry to inspect the results of the argan hair treatment. I was not disappointed. My hair dried smoother and my scalp did not get itchy the next day. I also let the hair treatment do double-duty as a frizz controller. I spritzed the product into my palms, and rubbed the product from the middle to the ends of my hair for a smooth polished look. This is definitely going to be a staple in my hair care arsenal.

Precision Shaving Stylo

Manatude-Precision-Stylo-10ml1

Moroccan Natural was gracious enough to include a sample of one of their products from their Manatude line. With a mixture of argan oil, tea trea oil, sesame oil, and vitamin E, the musky scented oil comes in roller ball form, making it easy to apply to facial hair for smooth and easy shaving. My boyfriend volunteered to test it out and gave it thumbs up after the shave left him with a smooth complexion.

Have you tried Moroccan Natural before? Which products were your favorite?

20 Aug

Introducing MoringaConnect

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We are so excited to introduce you to this up-and-coming organic skincare brand that is based in our hometown of Boston! MoringaConnect is more than just a skincare brand; the Co-Founders Emily Cunningham and Kwami Williams use it as a vehicle to alleviate poverty in Ghana.

While traveling in Ghana, Emily and Kwami discovered the “miracle tree” that produces pure Moringa oil. The leaves of the Moringa tree contain high contents of vitamin A, protein, and iron, and the oil seeds are rich in antioxidants and moisturizing properties. Emily and Kwami realized that this tree would be able to help small families in Ghana find their way out of poverty.

Emily and Kwami combined their engineering and business skills and created and extraction system that would product Moringa oil, and they trained families how to harvest Moringa oil seeds, extract them, and cold-press them to create an oil that would feed their families and create a stable economic future for them.

That is why we are so happy to have come across this brand and we are honored to be working with Emily and Kwami to spread their mission and message!

 

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Now let’s find out more about this gorgeous Moringa Oil.  This oil is really a gem because it works wonders on the face, body and hair. It’s high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids, which plumps up the skin, prevents wrinkles, and gives you that extra glow. It has a very subtle nutty scent and absorbs quickly into the skin. For my face, I use about 4-5 drops and warm it up between my balms. As I massage the oil into my skin, I notice that my pores take to it immediately, as if it’s aware that it’s filed with nutrients that it’s lacking. No greasy film left on the skin, just a soft and revitalized complexion. I’ve also been using on my hair a lot as well and am pleased with the results. When I decide to air dry my hair, I rub a few drops from the mid shaft to the ends of my damp strands and let it air dry as usual. Once it’s completely air dry, I notice that my hair is less frizzy than usual and is soft to the touch. I also like to run a bit of the oil through my hair after I blow dry it to give it polished look and keep stray strands under control.

This gorgeous oil is available in original unscented, and also available in Lemongrass and Peppermint scents! The Moringa Oil with Lemongrass essential oil contains Vitamin A, which targets acne, and contains antioxidants. The Moringa Oil with Peppermint essential oil soothes inflammatory and sensitive skin.

To celebrate our collaboration with MoringaConnect, we will be hosting a #nibellaparty on Twitter next Thursday August 28th at 7 pm PST/ 10 pm EST. The Founders will be sharing with you how they started the company, their mission, and any questions you may have about the brand and their Moringa oil. To attend the Twitter event, please RSVP in the comment section below with your full name and twitter alias.

For a chance to win a bottle of MoringaConnect oil, complete the entries in the rafflecopter below. You are allowed one entry per day. Contest ends 8/28 midnight EST; the winner will be announced 8/28 at 11pm EST on Twitter during our #nibellaparty.  Good luck everyone!

Please note, the giveaway is for U.S. only. But everyone is welcome to join our #nibellaparty to learn more about MoringaConnect. We look forward to Tweeting with everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

31 Jul

Beauty Food: Goji Berries

goji berry

goji berry

We’re revamping our food series but giving it a new name. Instead of Friday Food for Thought, it’s now known as Beauty Food. Shorter, but still the same intention. To highlight the fact that self-love means knowing what you put on your body AND in your body.

We’re kick-starting off by featuring one of our favorite antioxidant-filled foods: Goji Berries!

What’s Goji Berries & Why Are They Good For Us?

Goji berries are full of antioxidants. Goji berries have been used by Asians for over a century. This berry, indigenous to Tibet, China, and Mongolia, is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals, making it the smallest berry that packs the biggest nutrient punch. Goji berries are known to lower blood pressure and fight diabetes and free radicals.

Goji berry

3 Ways To Use Goji Berries

Eat It: To get the most out of this super fruit, eat it on its own as a snack, or mix it with some nuts. One of my favorite food bloggers, Joy the Baker, created a recipe for homemade granola with goji berries.

Drink It: You can also let it steep in hot water and stir in some honey for the perfect tea substitute. The goji berries release a subtle bitter taste, so adding honey will naturally offset the bitterness. Other additives that you can substitute honey with is ginger, chrysanthemum, and rock sugar.

Put it On Your Face: Pangea Organics features a great antioxidant mask that boasts goji berry, matcha tea and acai berry as its main ingredients. It’s basically an anti-oxidant triple threat in a squeeze tube. Used during an at-home weekend spa will result in a double take in the mirror — after you wash it off of course.

How do you incorporate this beauty food into your diet?

23 Jul

Why Your Sunscreen Could Be Harming Your Health

harmful sunscreen

harmful sunscreen

It’s a known fact that all sun protection is necessary to protect our skin against the potential risk of skin cancer as well as pre-mature aging. But you what may not realize is that the chemicals found in mainstream sunscreens may be doing us more harm than good. For one, the FDA does not monitor the ingredients that go into our skincare and makeup products.

Taken directly from the FDA website:

“FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from our authority over other products we regulate, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives.” That means as long as there is proper labeling of the products, then the product, no matter how many harmful chemicals it may contain, can be put on display for sale.

What we can do about this problem is by educating ourselves. Here are list of harmful sunscreen ingredients and types of sunscreens to avoid:

Spray-On Sunscreens: Consumer report recently released a statement announcing that the FDA is investigating the potential harm of spray sunscreens. Toxic chemicals are added to spray-on sunscreens to improve their performance. The toxic chemicals in spray sunscreens may be inhaled into the body using, leading to double exposure of the toxic ingredients.

Oxybenzone: Studies show that this chemical, which is prevalent in most chemical-based sunscreens, is a hormonal disrupter.

Octinoxate: This chemical is also a hormonal disrupter, where it may harm the reproductive system, thyroid, and cause behavioral changes.

Vitamin A: In the chemical form known as Retinyl Palmitite, it can do more harm than good. Research proves that it can actually increase the risk of developing skin tumors and lesions.

So which types of sunscreens aren’t harmful for us? Here’s a breakdown:

Mineral Sunscreens: This type of sunscreen is the safer alternative as it uses ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. There is no evidence that these two ingredients cause hormonal disruption and they do not get absorbed into skin.

Go for no fragrance: No fragrance is better than chemical infused fragrances.

Protect your skin with clothing: When I decide to forgo sunscreen, I gravitate towards sheer longer sleeve tops, and a big pair of shades and/or hat to protect my skin. Clothing actually provides SPF 15!

What are your tips and tricks for safe sun protection? Share below!

16 Jul

3 Beauty Tips to Achieve A Summer Glow

summer skincare tips

SummerSkin

I have to admit, feeling sun rays on my back makes me happy and gives me an extra pep in my step. But we all know that too much sun exposure will do more harm than good. Achieve that summer glow without risking a sun burn with these 3 beauty tips.

Dab some serum or facial oil onto your cheekbones for a dewy look.
Dewy skin gives off the impression that you’ve slept for 8 plus hours and downed 8 glasses of water. If you’ve been pulling all nighters lately or not purposely dehydrating your skin with a drink or two, add some dew to that complexion of yours with this simple trick. Put a drop or two of your favorite serum or facial oil onto the back of your hand, and use a beauty blender or stipling brush to apply it to the high points of your cheek. Then gently pat with your fingers to help the product settle. And yes, this is after you’ve finished your face makeup. You’ll love the natural dew that the facial oil gives off. My favorite facial oil for the Summer is Misoves Rejuvenating oil; it’s light, but moisturizing.

Keep your lipstick or lip stain with you for double duty touch-ups.I love a bright lipstick or lip stain during the summer months. It give my face an instant pick-me-up. I like to carry my bright pucker in my purse at all times, for lip touch ups, and as my blush! Rather than using powder blush, I find the formulation of lipsticks as a blush gives a dewy (notice the pattern) natural flush. Simply use two clean fingers and apply the lipstick color on your cheeks in a dabbing motion. Gently dab and pat until you get your desired effect.

Spritz your favorite facial mist or toner throughout the day. This simple trick helps your skin cool off when the temperature climbs and is great for keeping your makeup fresh and your skin feeling hydrated. Simple give your face a few spritz throughout the day, and gently pat into the skin. Your complexion will feel fresh and revived.

What are your tricks for a gorgeous face during the Summer?

10 Jul

My Thoughts on the Media Shaming Female Body Hair

Neet Body Hair Removal A

yodora

I remember driving to a family friend’s beach house one summer. I was around 13 years old. My family friend had a daughter that was just one year younger than me, so she became my personal tour guide for the beach house. We chilled and talked about our favorite movie, favorite celebrity crush (N’SYNC!) at the moment. And we talked about our love for lip gloss and dressing up. Then she nonchalantly pointed out that during the summer, she has to get her arms waxed once a month. She proudly showed me her smooth arms, while her father commented, “yep, the ladies on our side of the family have a lot of arm hair. She wanted to get rid of it, so I let her go get it waxed.” As a child. that comment shocked me. It was the first time that I recognized that body hair was unattractive on girls.

As a teenager, I would use Veet Hair Removal Cream on my legs, and I even got my baby sister in on it. Once, I left it on 2 minutes too long, and suffered a leg burn for a whole week. But that didn’t stop me. I was addicted to washing off my leg hair, and revealing smooth silky legs.

Then I attended a women’s college and just got lazy and stopped stressing over leg hair. After letting my hair grow as it pleased throughout the first and second semester, I accessed the damage that Summer. That’s when I realized my hair wasn’t as obvious as I had thought. And it didn’t bother me as much. I slipped on a pair of shorts and ventured out.

Recently, I read an article about a Gender Studies Professor giving their students extra credit if females didn’t shave for the semester and males shaved their body hair from chest down. It got me thinking about why society would believe that body hair removal is necessary on women, but not men.

Thankfully, on Pinterest, I found these self-explanatory vintage ads for deodorant and hair removal cream.

original

Starting in the 1920s, sleeveless dresses became all the rage, and as an effect, underarm hair was no longer welcomed on the dance floor.

Neet Body Hair Removal A

Then, leg hair became an unfashionable thing, as hair removal cream became introduced into the market.

It’s shocking that the media, back then and today, can influence consumers’ perceptions and standards in beauty. Although some brands are now catching on and celebrating female empowerment and individualism, it is still far too few. Rather than succumbing to society standards, we should feel comfortable enough to make our own judgments on what we believe is beautiful. So shave if you want to, but don’t shave if you just don’t feel like it.

What are your thoughts on female body hair and the effects of mass marketing on female beauty standards?

02 Jul

Sunburn Soothing Cucumber Yogurt Mask

Cucumber Yogurt mask

Cucumber Yogurt mask

I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited for 4th of July weekend! Barbecues, family gatherings, and booze (because, yes, I’m very much over 21, thank you!). Instead of sipping a glass of wine at dinner, this weekend, all the adults will be sipping on wine coolers all day long, and leaving their stressful work week behind them.

To prepare for this fun-filled weekend, treat yourself to a cooling and relaxing facial mask. And in the event, that you’ve given yourself a sunburn, whip up this easy mask for sunburn skin. All you need is a cucumber, some organic Greek yogurt, and a food processor.

Ingredients:
1 Cucumber, peeled and diced,
1 cup of organic Greek yogurt (or any organic yogurt is fine)
1 teaspoon of honey (optional, but great if you have dry skin)

Directions:

Wash and dry the cucumber and, then, with a potato peeler, remove the skin. Dice up the cucumber and drop it into the food processor. Add a cup of organic Greek yogurt, and a teaspoon of honey if you like, and then let the processor blend the ingredients together until smooth. To use, wash your face with your usual cleanser and pat dry with a gentle wash cloth. Apply the mask with a foundation brush, or just your fingers. Leave it on for about 15 minutes or until dry, and rinse with lukewarm water. Continue with your usual skincare routine.

Skin Benefits:
Cucumbers provide skin with a boost of natural hydration; it is also a great mask ingredient to help soothe puffy skin and sun burn. Yogurt works hand-in-hand with cucumber to soften and soothe the skin. This will be a mask if you end up staying out in the sun for too long and your face turns to the shade of a ripe tomato. For added soothing effect, replace the optional honey with aloe vera gel.

Do you have a face mask that you use to sooth sunburned skin? Share below!