Nancy Newsom, founder of Botanic Organic natural skincare, embodies what “unsullied” is all about: she changed her diet to make more conscious, organic choices, and soon after…examined what she was putting on her skin. Was it chock full of irritating ingredients and harmful additives? The answer was yes. We feel you, Nancy.
She decided to take the ultimate step toward positive change and start an organic skincare line, after plenty of research on natural ingredients that would cleanse, moisturize and treat. Nancy used her own formulations to diminish the appearance of sun damage on her face (dark spots) and her skin became softer and more nourished. Her empowering attitude and positive outlook on healthy choices really inspires us. Plus, her products pack a seriously effective punch, the ingredient aromas will make you feel like you’re at the spa, and the product sizes are generous: often two or three times the size of what you get at a typical green beauty boutique.
She graciously sent me some samples that I want to tell you all about!
…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.
I first was introduced to Angel Face Botanicals through a sample of their Lavender and Aloe Toner in the Ecopique Box full of all natural products I received a few months ago. Until then, I had never heard of this luxurious, spa-like brand of organic green goodness. Now, I’m a convert, and you can be too, because Angel Face Botanicals has generously put together a prize package for one Unsullied reader. Read on for the giveaway!
Based in Santa Cruz, California (one of my favorite places!), founder Jessica Ress works with the Earth to make exquisite natural products. Being a fifth generation Californian growing up in the fresh air and sunny beaches, she became interested in healing herbs in the early ’90s. This led her to experimenting with making homemade spa products and lotions for her friends and family for gifts. Thus, Angel Face Botanicals was born. Located on the beautiful Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Jessica’s boutique facility makes her pure, natural and organic facial care, body care, perfumes, and soaps using aromatherapy principles for maximum enjoyment/effectiveness.
Jessica states her products are made with essential oils, phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, detoxifying minerals, and LOTS of love!
Now, onto why I feel like a teenager again when I use her products.
Finally trying Osmia Organics after a half-year of writing this blog is sort of like Dorothy reaching Oz. (Except in our story, he really is a wizard.)
Osmia is a stand-out natural skincare + soap brand formulated from pure, gentle, all-natural ingredients. The products feel luxurious and are super effective. The ingredients are ultra-pure and thoughtfully curated.
A quick bit of background, because this meticulously formulated brand deserves explanation. Osmia, started by the incredible Sarah Villafranco, MD = “sense of smell.” And the website reads: “Every Osmia product is made with utmost attention to the scent and its aromatherapeutic benefits.” Well, ain’t that the truth. These products smell sweet, herbal, compelling and soothing. I’ve never met an Osmia product that my nose didn’t like. But there’s a deeper meaning in those beautiful smells, y’all:
Stop what you are doing and really see the color of the sky. Notice the taste of your coffee, even if it’s the same type you drink every morning. Feel how your child’s hand feels in yours – soft, little, warm. Hear not only the music, but the silence that happens when you turn off the music. Because if we don’t sense our lives, and all the precious beauty that can be found in a regular old day, well that’s really just silly.
Yep. This brand’s philosophy rules. And you know what else does? THE PRODUCTS. Here’s what I received in my haul:
Ladies (and possibly gent: Dad, are you reading?), may I present to you my latest haul from my beloved Herbivore Botanicals?
I fell in love with this brand’s simple and striking design and now that I’ve been using their facial serum (check out my review) for the past three months, I can vouch for the quality, purity and simplicity of their all-natural ingredients, too. When I recently saw that Herbivore Botanicals had restocked its shop with some new products, ranging from exotically scented body oils to a blue tinted facial serum (blue!) my credit card practically jumped out of my wallet. I don’t treat myself to an overabundance of things, but these well-designed products double as countertop decor, so it’s a deal, y’all.
The products I picked, their Luminous Body Oil in Neroli Blossom and their Activate Deep Pore Cleanse Mask, both introduced me to new ingredients I’ve never used or applied to my body/face – and so far, I’m loving the results!
KATHRYNE: S.W. BASICS HIBISCUS MASK
We are no strangers to the awesome-ness of the S.W. Basics brand. And this Christmas, Jennifer spoiled me with the S.W Basics Hibiscus Mask as one of my lovely, all-natural presents ($22 for 2.5 ounces). Now, outside of doing a random mask that I might get as a free sample when ordering other goods, I don’t really do masks. I am a washer, a toner, a moisturizer, but not really a “mask” girl. The reason being: I spent the majority of my teen years absolutely destroying my skin with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in layers over layers in an effort to make my pimples disappear and my oily skin go away. Masks have the connotation of being “tightening” and “drying” to me. Now that I am older, I really only like to put moisture back IN my skin, not take it away. I embrace it! Hence, why I generally don’t buy masks for myself. But this turned out to be a really sweet surprise!
With direct-trade hibiscus, french green clay and lavender powder, the mask arrives as a powder. You mix one teaspoon of the mask powder with one teaspoon of water, yogurt or honey. Mix and apply, and you will look SOOO funny! My fiancé said it looked like I just got done murdering someone – the mask, when applied, is BRIGHT red! As S.W. Basics encourages, take hilarious pictures of yourself with your hair up, in pajamas, on your couch with pizza! (Or salad. Salad.)
You know how love compels us to do things we normally wouldn’t? Like…eat arugula, for example. (My boyfriend abhors arugula, but choked down a pizza covered in it on our first date because he didn’t want to seem picky). Or, in my case, watch and cheer for the Patriots? (I’m from Bills country. I am in trouble.) Cue the Meatloaf: “I would do anything for loooove….”
Welp, the aptly named skincare line One Love Organics elicits similar actions. Minus the emotional hangover.
You see, I’m usually knee deep in labels, looking up every individual ingredient and triple-checking products to ensure they live up to their all natural claims. But due to its stellar reputation among bloggers and customers, I let my guard down with One Love Organics…and I don’t feel a bit guilty about it. Instead, I feel confident that the ingredients used in their products are 100% clean, as stated on their website. That’s a great feeling, when you find a transparent and trustworthy brand. Saves a heck of a lot of time, too! (Though, for the record, since I’m sharing these products with you on the blog, I did do some due diligence and look up every ingredient on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Old habits die hard? The good news is I found zero, zip, nada to be afraid of.)
First, a few quick facts about the brand:
- 100% natural
- Organic where possible
I wanted to try a bevy of One Love Organics products, so I put their “Essentials To Go” travel kit on my Christmas list. Thanks, Santa!