…between the two of us, we can really work our way through (nearly) a whole product line. Some may call it addiction or obsession, but we call it…research.
Kahina Giving Beauty is a brand that we as a green beauty blogging duo (read: seestars) have coveted since we launched Unsullied back in November 2013. Has it been that long? Oh my.
Jennifer dove right into it shortly after we launched and bought/reviewed Kahina’s eye cream, and gave a great primer on the brand in general. Check it out. The basics: Kahina = a high quality argan oil-based line that’s also mission-based, empowering and giving back to the Berber women who harvest and produce the argan oil. Pretty freaking awesome. Cue the music: These are a few of our favorite things…
Fast forward to a few months ago, when we worked with Kahina’s team to identify some products from across their line that would work with our individual skin types and needs (and wants…). We each sampled a handful of products, *including* their liquid gold argan oil – the lynchpin of the entire line – and are sharing with you the best of what we think Kahina has to offer! These are not budget products, so beware – but Kahina is doing some great things by offering fair wages to the women who extract their argan oil. That’s worth paying for.
In addition to testing out the two products that I review below, I also tried the Fez Body Serum, which didn’t totally delight me in the scent department. But these two products delighted me in the…”everything” department. All the departments. They’ve both been indispensable for dealing with winter weather and subsequent skin dryness. THE BOMB.
This year was special for us in so many ways. It was our first full year as green beauty bloggers, and we learned so much from this awesome community – the warmth and kindness that met us this year is something we will never forget. We became closer as sisters who live 3,000 miles apart, and Unsullied has been a great way for us to keep in touch and share knowledge and ideas with each other. THAT said…drumroll, please…here are our favorite products of 2014, out of the plethora we slathered all over our sometimes confused and disconcerted skin/bodies (all for the sake of the blog and furthering our green beauty education, y’all). If you read our blog regularly, you probably won’t be surprised at ALL at our picks! (Hey, when we like something, we LIKE something!) We included some tidbits from our original reviews. Onward!
Acure Organics: Line Eraser
May 21 – Best of Acure Organics: The Line Eraser is my absolute, hands down, FAVORITE Acure product. The Line Eraser is not only a product I have ALREADY bought for myself, (and will again, and again…) but this little pot of heaven is your answer to most skin care problems. I started with putting it on my “lines” – forehead, laugh lines, etc. Then I started putting it on old acne scars, new acne scars, my eyebrows…you name it! (I started deliberately putting this on my eyebrows at night because I realized that it has helped them grow in thicker. Who doesn’t want THAT?) It’s like a healing salve, and so much more. You can put it on burns, cuts, scrapes, eczema, psoriasis, etc. It’s 100% organic. The Line Eraser’s rich, almost Vaseline-like texture lend itself to really, really working wonders on your skin. It lightens and brightens scars, and has worked literal miracles on my brow/frown lines, the things I am most self-conscious about. Even if you COVER yourself in it, as I have everyday, it will last you a solid 6-8 weeks.
We’re in the midst of an Acure Organics streak over here. Haven’t ya heard? (Make sure you check out our interview with Acure’s President and Formulator, Amy Halman.)
For the past few months, I’ve been testing out a big haul of their lovely products, kindly sent to us by the knowledgable team at Acure. I’ve featured all my favorites below!
Acure was kind enough to include a lot of really targeted products for my combination/dry skin and color treated hair. I wanted to highlight the products that really moved me, so no better place to start then the product that is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever tried since switching to an all-natural beauty regime. Get ready for your newest, soon-to-be obsession…
The Line Eraser (19.99 for .5 oz) is my absolute, hands down, FAVORITE Acure product. The Line Eraser is not only a product I have ALREADY bought for myself, (and will again, and again…) but this little pot of heaven is your answer to most skin care problems. I started with putting it on my “lines” – forehead, laugh lines, etc. Then I started putting it on old acne scars, new acne scars, my eyebrows…you name it! (I started deliberately putting this on my eyebrows at night because I realized that it has helped them grow in thicker. Who doesn’t want THAT?) It’s like a healing salve, and so much more. You can put it on burns, cuts, scrapes, eczema, psoriasis, etc. It’s 100% organic. The Line Eraser’s rich, almost Vaseline-like texture lend itself to really, really working wonders on your skin. It lightens and brightens scars, and has worked literal miracles on my brow/frown lines, the things I am most self-conscious about. Even if you COVER yourself in it, as I have everyday, it will last you a solid 6-8 weeks. Not everyone will marinate in this like I do, so it will probably last you longer: I work from home mostly, so I am generally inclined to slather myself in anti-aging products and answer the door in a terry cloth robe looking like I belong in a wax museum. Thanks, delivery guy! Don’t be afraid of me! Come back soon!
Fact: the green beauty realm is home to some serious change makers, who are applying the ethos behind natural products (sustainable, healthy, etc.) to solve real world problems. From companies who support the local communities where they harvest ingredients to those who stand up against animal testing, the vast majority of the green bath, body and skincare products we know and love are championing sustainable business and giving back. Just another reason the green beauty community is unique. And just another reason to LOVE it, and feel great about it.
Case in point: Skincando. When Sara from Skincando reached out to us about reviewing her samples, we were pretty psyched – not only because of her all-natural lip balms, creams and anti-aging products, but also because her brand is mission-driven, donating Skincando’s Combat-Ready line of products to troops overseas since 2005 through Operation Sand Flea. Skincando’s Combat-Ready products are powerful, designed to soothe skin irritated by extreme conditions. And we think it’s pretty inspiring and excellent that Skincando is so dedicated to bringing helpful, natural products to troops overseas. Check it out!
The good news for natural product enthusiasts is that between Skincando’s two lines (Combat-Ready and Luxe), we found some products that we love as much as Skincando’s commitment to doin’ good. Read on!
Tata Harper, to the natural beauty, is sort of like caviar to the foodie.
It’s one of the most luxurious and trusted companies out there that supports the use of all natural ingredients that are biocompatible with our skin. According to their website, Tata Harper packs between nine and 29 active ingredients into each bottle, (most cosmetic formulas contain between one and three) and they manufacture in small batches so you know that your product is fresh and hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for two years.
All right, enough love for now! Jennifer was so kind this Christmas and got me Tata Harper’s Restorative Eye Créme ($90 for 15 ml). Being an eye cream junkie, you can imagine my glee! I want to tell you what sets Tata apart for me in the eye cream department.
Leave it to Kathryne to buy more facial oils. I just can’t get enough, OK?! My skin is having a renaissance!
Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil 100% Purified Squalane ($38 for 1 oz.) caught my eye while I was researching facial oils because it uses the word “oilless” in its name. How can an oil be oilless? What is happening?
Two sisters means we have two favorite brands of argan oil and two love stories about our oil of choice. Here goes!
KATHRYNE: PURA D’OR
I found Pura D’or argan oil on Groupon. That’s right, I said it. At the time, I wasn’t even actively seeking it out. I had just heard really great things about it online: that you could use it on your hair, face, body, cuticles, you know. It seemed like an ideal product for someone like me who is always searching for a new way to de-age myself. Preserve? I don’t ever want to go under the knife or needles, so preservation is key!
I had this idea in my head that pure, organic argan oil was super duper expensive, thus it was a purchase I delayed for some time. When I saw a Groupon offering 4 oz. of Pura D’or’s 100% argan oil for 20 bucks, I jumped on it! In addition to being cheap, most brands sell argan oil in 1 or 2 oz. vials, at most, so this seemed like a killer deal. I researched the product and the company before I bought it, and it not only had stellar customer reviews, but it was praised as being “the real thing.” There are companies out there that are slapping together various oils, including soy and sunflower, in addition to argan oil, and marketing it as “pure.” I wanted to make sure I was getting true argan oil, and by golly, when it arrived, it was glorious.
You know who put the fear of God into me when it comes to under-eye wrinkles? KATHRYNE.
…starting when she gave me my first eye cream on my 19th birthday (thanks, girl). I wish I could say that I’ve been extraordinarily proactive since then, taking utmost care of my delicate under-eye skin, wearing SPF 60 everyday and teaching myself how to smile without crinkling my eyes (could that work?). The reality is, I’ve been doing nada for my under-eye skin for the past four years or so (I’m sorry, sensei!).
This Cyber Monday, my fear of aging finally eclipsed my nonchalance (the 20% off sale at Beauty Sage also didn’t hurt). I’m in my mid-twenties now, and while I think society’s obsession with preserving youth can be pretty disturbing, I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t want to look as fresh-faced as possible for as long as possible. It’s empowering to take care of your skin, body and face in a way that maximizes your happiness and makes you feel good about your choices (that’s what this blog is all about!). And right now, for me, it feels good to use a natural, luxurious eye cream to ward off wrinkles.
Enter Kahina Giving Beauty’s Eye Cream.
All right, listen. I have a sordid history with eye creams and products. The skin around my eyes is pretty sensitive. I think most people have relatively sensitive skin around their eyes, right? One generally doesn’t have “tough” eye skin – unless you’re like, a cowboy, or something. I have used everything from Chanel to Olay, Mario Badescu to Garnier. I would never say I have tried it all, but my quest to have moisturized, young-looking and dark circle-free eyes has really run me a relative fortune.
Since going “all natty,” though, I feel I have become a hermit of epic proportions: staying on my computer for hours looking up reviews on a gaggle of different natural eye creams. Waiting for my “sullied” products to run out, I wanted to find THE BEST possible creams for my face. My goal was to find something that was going to help me combat fine lines, puffiness, and would really moisturize the heck out of my eye area. We all know what it’s like to have to reapply moisturizer whether it’s on your face or body because it simply absorbs too quickly. My budget was anything up to 60ish dollars. That may seem like a lot for an eye cream, BUT – with a regimen of using my DIY eye cream coupled with a newly bought eye cream, I estimate it will last me four or five months. That’s not bad, eh? That’s like, 12 bucks a month. Doable!
After finding some favorable customer reviews online of Suki Eye Lift Radiance Renewal Cream, I felt ready to push off and finally make a purchase. Their ingredients were on par with my ideals (the eye cream includes jojoba oil, shea butter, green tea extract, and many others – full list below) but I was scared. I won’t lie, I have been relying on the products listed at the top of this article for so long, and although I know now that they contain crap that is totally bad and TOXIC for me… they still worked! I was happy with them! What if what was preserving my skin was the BAD stuff? What will I do now?! I await the arrival of my Suki box like a father expecting his first child in the waiting room of a 1950s hospital. I’m ready to take up chain smoking and make small talk. “When’s yours due, pal?” “I don’t know, UPS said three days, but I don’t know, okay?!”
I love skincare. Oh my, oh my…I am a skincare sucker. As far as products go: does it promise me eternal youth? Can it shrink my pores? Will it preserve my 20s for me even when I’m 50? I’ma buy it. Got $60 to my name? I DON’T NEED TO EAT.
I have had a love affair with high-end skincare since I was 19. It all started when an 80-year-old woman stopped me on the streets of NYC. She took my hand and looked into my eyes and said, “You look so angry, you’re furrowing your brow. Stop that or you’ll look like me in 10 years! Take care of your skin!” I kid you not. It haunts me to this day. Afterwards, I walked into Macy’s and bought everything I could find that said “anti-aging” on it. I didn’t know at the time there were ingredients in some of those products that were harmful to me. Like…really harmful.
Instead, I believed what it said on the (beautiful) bottles of serums, plumping agents and moisturizers…claims that are rarely ever true. Now, at nearly 29, I care far less about preserving my young face than I do about being really healthy and CLEAN about it. I don’t want to hurt animals, the environment, or use scary chemicals to make sure I am line-free. Plus, I happen to think my laugh lines are ridiculously adorable, thankyouverymuch.
Here is the all-natural, homemade eye cream I have been using to fight aging, puffiness and dark circles. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Organic virgin coconut oil
- Vitamin E oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Essential oil(s) of your choice (optional)
- 2 oz. or smaller container (try and use an old eye cream container, preferably made of glass!)