Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Aroma M Camellia Perfume Oil

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So you switched to natural perfumes and haven't found anything that rivals your favorite Sephora scent? I think I've found an answer. Say hello to Aroma M Camellia Perfume Oil. It is the closest I've found to that traditional bold floral with a hint of earthiness scent. A little bit Chanel, a little bit Hermes, entirely unique. My love for this scent is not entirely surprising. Just one glimpse at the roster of essential oils had me swooning. Jasmine, gardenia, neroli, geranium, rose, frankincense, camellia - you would be hard pressed to find any essential oils more exquisite than these. I imagine that the warmth and sultriness of this perfume oil will provide the perfect antidote for long, dark winter nights.

The complexity and depth of this scent is exactly what I have come to expect from Aroma M. I am never let down by the utterly unique, geisha-inspired creations! Keep them coming!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Portland Bee Balm

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When beekeepers decide to create a lip balm, you know you're in for a treat! Portland Bee Balm combines local Oregon beeswax, organic cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil, and organic California extra virgin olive oil to create an amazingly smooth and reparative lip treatment. It's impressive how wonderful three little ingredients can feel. And as you may have noticed, all of the ingredients are sourced from sustainable and/or local sources. Honestly, it puts Burt's Bees to shame.  Especially the Oregon mint flavor - cooling, refreshing - I completely understand the mint lip balm craze!

And I haven't even gotten to the packaging yet. Paper mills devastate the environment so Portland Bee Balm has chosen to forgo paper labels in favor of non-pulped wood. As a result, its labels use fewer chemicals and less energy in their manufacturing. Additionally, the labels are printed and cut by a local Portland company. Talk about socially responsible. 

So what are you waiting for? Go grab a tube or three!

*samples generously provided but The Seed only speaks the truth! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What's New: Root Science

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Iceland Inspired, California Crafted.

Gigja, Founder of Root Science
Dear readers, it's time to give Root Science a second look. The indie brand has gone from nice to downright dreamy. And we're talking more than just packaging; Root Science has incorporated game-changing ingredients. Cooling scrubs, healing serums - this line has it all. Like I said, it's time for a second look. Let's discuss a few of my Root Science favorites, shall we:

RS Youth Serum - If you are a person that tends to think that all serums are created equal, then you haven't tried Root Science. This serum combines a breathtaking (and thoughtful) array of skin-saving oils, including jojoba, prickly pear, cranberry, tamanu, camellia seed, and sea buckthorn. And while I love an ingredient list, the more serums that I sample, the more of a texture snob I become. RS Youth Serum does not disappoint. It feels like silk on my skin and leaves just enough oil on the surface to create that beautiful glow that we all crave. My favorite way to apply this oil is to pump a few drops into the palm of my hand and combine it with toner before applying to my face. The addition of toner helps to carry the serum deeper into the skin where real transformation occurs.

Triple R Complex - I also sampled this magical serum, which is perfect for nights when skin is feeling incredibly dry. It contains two of my favorite healing oils - rosehip seed and argan - and feels amazing on the skin. I actually found myself mixing a few pumps of the Youth Serum with a few pumps of this serum on many occasions. The resulting concoction left me with baby soft skin! 

RS Face Scrub - I love the idea of exfoliators, but rarely love the actual product itself. Most exfoliators are too rough, too gentle, too grainy, you get the idea. As a result, I have a few staples that I love and don't find myself straying very often. So it was with general reluctance that I poured the RS Face Scrub into the palm of my hand. And I have to say, it's pretty awesome. The addition of peppermint leaf and spearmint leaf make this scrub truly unlike anything that I've tried before. It actually feels cooling as it sloughs off dead skin cells. How many exfoliators can say that? More importantly, the texture is spot on. It's not mealy or clumpy. And it left my skin feeling smooth and happy (there is nothing worse than angry, red skin following exfoliation.) Definitely a keeper for me! 

RS Reborn - My skin has been acting crazy lately and every clay mask seems to leave it red and grumpy. It doesn't matter how many times I have used a particular mask in the past, my skin wants nothing to do with it now. But in the name of science (okay not science, maybe just curiosity), I knew that I had to try RS Reborn. This mask features a spectacular roster of ingredients, including turmeric root, licorice root, chaga mushroom, and camu camu fruit. So you see, I had to try it. And I'm not kidding when I tell you that my picky skin loved it. No reaction, just glowing skin. I simply used water, but this mask would work beautifully with honey or yogurt. 

Root Science is truly remarkable. I highly recommend giving this line a try!

Monday, October 20, 2014

An Introduction: AS.AP

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I feel terrible that it has taken me this long to discuss AS.AP with you - a beautiful line that has found its way into almost every aspect of my skincare routine. There is not a single AS.AP product that I have not fallen completely in love with. A rarity indeed. Perhaps it's the small batch distilling process, maybe it's the masterfully chosen ingredients - whatever it is, there is something deeply special about this line. Rather than simply throwing together pretty ingredients, AS.AP's products are thoughtfully crafted so that their effects are more than superficial. The essential oils incorporated into each blend actually address the underlying problems stressing our skin. Let's get into the weeds, shall we?

Face Cream #6 - Meet my new favorite day cream. The light, fluffy texture absorbs easily leaving behind little to no shine. More importantly, it keeps my skin happy and hydrated the entire day. Additionally, it layers beautifully beneath sunscreen and makeup. While most skin types could use this cream morning and night, those with dry skin (me!) may require a little more oomph at night. I recommend layering it over a more hydrating serum. I chose #6 because it contains essential oils proven to fight acne-causing bacteria, including lavender, sandalwood, and grapefruit. And while I love it, my adventurous side has me itching to try Face Cream #3 next - the combination of rose, myrrh, and frankincense sounds fantastic! 

Lavender Aromatic Water #20 - Oh lavender, how I love thee. I never expected to fall so hard for such a well-known scent, but I have to say, lavender is one of my favorites. That's why I had to try AS.AP's rendition. English lavender is distilled on site to create this breathtaking aromatic water. Though this can be used for everything from insect bites to ice cream, I went the more traditional route using it as a toner/mist. And what a beautiful toner it is - calming, healing, and cooling. And once again, while I loved it, I'm thinking of sampling Clary Sage or Rose next. (As an aside, if you haven't tried lavender ice cream, you are missing out. I'm willing to go so far as to say that it's the best flavor ever. EVER.) 

Cleansing Oil #5 - A small bottle, yes, but a little goes a long way. And one look at the ingredient list had me ridiculously excited to cleanse my face. Jojoba, borage, calendula - I can't think of a more perfect combination of oils. The feel is light and it spreads easily over the skin. Unlike some cleansing oils that cling to the skin for dear life, this one is easily removed with a few swipes from a damp washcloth. And it removes makeup with ease making it the ideal first step in your double cleansing routine. 

Lip Balm #9 - I am obsessed with this tiny little jar of lip balm. OBSESSED. It's far and away my favorite lip balm in my collection. It's soft, cushy, and insanely moisturizing. I use it day and night. A simple perusal of the ingredient list may leave you scratching your head and asking "what makes it so amazing?" And I really don't know. Maybe it's the honey or maybe it's the craftsmanship. I'm leaning towards the latter. I purchased #9, which is scented with rose geranium and myrrh, but I am loving the sound of Lip Balm #7, which contains lavender and vanilla. (Did I mention that I like lavender?)

Body Butter #6 - Last, but certainly not least, I received a small sample of Body Butter #6 with my order. The texture is rich and almost creamy, yet somehow manages to avoid the heaviness and greasiness typical of most body butters. It might be the choice of lighter oils like jojoba and almond that make this body butter such a success. I really can't say, I just know that I love it! I might just have to buy this one in bulk come winter. It's fantastically hydrating.  

Oh and did I mention that Amanda, the founder/creator/distiller extraordinaire, included a small sample of silver-tinged lavender essential oil with my order. Perfect for dotting onto blemishes and anywhere else that needed a hit of antibacterial action. Just another perk of purchasing straight from the distiller! 

Truly a beautiful line that I cannot recommend highly enough. In fact, I'm planning my next purchase as I write this!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

An Introduction: Spa Heroes

So you love subscription services, but sometimes samples just don't cut it? Hey, I hear you. Especially when it comes to serums, creams, and any other products claiming to miraculously transform my skin. It's going to take more than 1-2 uses to convince me. That's where Spa Heroes comes in. Each box contains a full-sized product valued between $50 to $100 plus a few surprises. And that's really just the beginning. Spa industry pro and founder Jeannie Jarnot is serious about your skin health. That's why every product chosen contains only smart, beneficial, high-performance ingredients. But don't just ask Jeannie, ask the panel of spa experts that also vetted each product. Spa Heroes is serious business. 

My first Spa Heroes box contained a full-sized Sumbody Truth Serum plus a few delicious-smelling samples. The Truth Serum is a true serum, featuring a water-like texture. It absorbs quickly and easily into skin with zero shine. Perfect for layering or for those crazies that avoid oils. This serum promises to brighten, tighten, and plump and if you subscribe to Spa Heroes, you'll have an entire bottle to see if it lives up to those lofty claims! (I also have to mention that I am in LOVE with the sugar scrub sample that was included. It made my bathroom smell like citrusy heaven!)  

Subscriptions cost $39/month and all Spa Heroes subscribers receive a 15% standing discount at the Spa Heroes Shop. 

*Sample generously provided, but The Seed only speaks the truth.