Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Province Apothecary Custom Facial + A GIVEAWAY!

A glimpse of the gorgeous Province Apothecary studio. 

I know I've been gone for awhile, but I've got something good for you dear readers! I recently visited the lovely Julie Clark of Province Apothecary and made an appointment for one of her miracle-working Custom Organic Aromatherapy Facials. I've never had much luck with facials in the past, but I put my trust in Julie and she did not let me down. In fact, I could not stop staring at my radiant skin after she was done with me. Oh yes, she's that good. If I lived in Toronto, I would have a standing monthly appointment with her. So what makes a Province Apothecary facial so special? She starts by deeply cleansing the skin with her silky cleansing oil followed by a thorough exfoliation. Julie then applies a mask - and not just any mask - a custom creation based on your skin type. Mine was a mixture of lightening and brightening strawberries and pineapple, which I plan to recreate at home. After the mask is removed, Julie begins a relaxing facial massage and finishes everything by smoothing on a custom blended serum. Yes, there are extractions involved with this facial BUT they won't leave you red and blotchy. I promise. You will leave Julie's studio with a mega-watt glow. I'm counting down the days until I can go back!

And did I mention that Julie's custom blended serums are a little bit magic?! She fine tunes each serum to perfectly address your skin's needs and concerns. Julie will rattle off all of the carrier and essential oils she included and the reasons why, but the only thing that will matter to you is the insanely velvety texture and euphoric scent. Which brings me to my surprise...

Julie wants to blend a custom serum for one lucky reader! Yes, you read that right. Any skin-related woes that you've been suffering from - Julie wants to solve them! How you might ask? Well over Skype of course. You got to love technology! 

Here's how to enter:

(1) Leave a comment below explaining why you need Julie's help; 
(2) Follow Province Apothecary and Seed to Serum on Instagram; 
(3) And share, share, share!!! (via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, whatever!) 

This giveaway ends on August 4, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. CST. I will announce the winner on Instagram and back on this page. Don't forget to check back!

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: R.L. Limited Edition Seasonal Summer Box

Beautiful Colorado - home to the beautiful R.L. Linden & Co.

Hurry! There are still a few R.L. Linden & Co. Limited Edition Summer Boxes available! What are you waiting for?! This box includes a scrumptious tea, a heart-healing flower essence elixir, a skin softening clay mask, and a FANTASTIC sugar scrub. 

The Royal Lemon Balms tea is a bright, refreshing, lemony blend that is perfect for summer. In fact, it's one of the best herbal teas I have had in a long time. I love it. I would buy it by the case if I could. 

Speaking of buying items in bulk, where can I get a vat of the Lemon + Petitgrain Enzyme Sugar Scrub? It smells unbelievably gorgeous (which is not surprising at all given how wonderful every other R.L. Linden product smells) and isn't overly oily. Hallelujah! I hate slipping and sliding around in my shower after using a body scrub (okay, okay, I don't hate it, but my husband does!) And perhaps most importantly, this scrub leaves my skin buttery soft and is helping to rid me of some annoying bumps on the backs of my legs! Let's add it to the line full time, Robin & Lynn? Please! 

And for those of you that have been experiencing unexpected (and unwelcome) summer breakouts, you may very well find salvation in the Whole Lotta Roses mask. This perfectly pink mask contains a host of intriguing ingredients, including pink clay, rose powder, strawberry powder, yogurt powder, rosehip powder, honey powder, and a beautiful mixture of essential oils. Strawberry, yogurt, and rosehip powders help stimulate cell turnover and reduce the appearance of pesky sun spots and post-acne marks, i.e. exactly what your skin needs right now. Whole Lotta Roses is truly a fresh take on the classic powder clay mask!   

Now you understand the urgency - go get your limited edition box! Now! I can't wait to see what's in store for August. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

On My Radar: Camp Skincare

It has been quite some time since I've written an "On My Radar" post so I thought it was high time to remedy that (I know you readers love discovering new lines as much as I do!) Meet Camp Skincare. This line has everything that I adore - a powder exfoliator, decadent creams and balms, and a nutrient-dense face oil. And I am dying over the ingredients - coconut milk powder, black cumin seed oil, mango butter. Clearly, Camp recognizes the importance of incorporating only the highest quality ingredients to achieve effective, lasting results. What's more, the packaging is adorable and the tagline "Wildly Beautiful Skin" is fantastically catchy. I want it all. 

Pretty, pure, and potent - Camp Skincare, I need you in my life!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Five Questions: April Gargiulo of Vintner's Daughter

After yesterday's post, I hope that I have piqued your curiosity about Vintner's Daughter. With that in mind, I decided to pick the lovely founder's brain in order to gain more insight into the brand. I am in love with simplicity of her routine and I am dying to get my hands on a few more In Fiore products. Without further ado, I give you Five Questions with April Gargiulo:

Five Questions for the Founder:

(1) What have been the most exciting changes you've seen in natural beauty?

Natural products are much more performance driven today than the smell good formula’s of yesterday. Vintner’s Daughter is a perfect example of this change. Our Active Botanical Serum was formulated for results first and aroma second. 

(2) What inspired and continues to inspire the particular products in your line?

After finding out I was pregnant with my first daughter and learning the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy I quickly realized that my highly touted skincare products were on the “don’t” list. As I researched more and discovered the cumulative damage these products have on our systems I sought out toxin-free alternatives; everything from expensive cult creams to coconut oil out of my pantry. What I found was that many all-natural products either weren’t truly chemical-free or they ceded activity and results for a smell-good formula, so I set out to create exactly what I was looking for; a toxin free, multi-correctional SUPER SERUM. 

(3) Describe your daily skincare/beauty routine.

Simple – I cleanse, tone, massage Active Botanical Serum into my skin, put mascara on and go. People always ask me if I just had a facial because my skin is glowing, but believe me this hasn’t always been the case. I’ve struggled with my skin my whole life. If I’m going out to dinner or have an event to attend, I will add a couple drops of Active Botanical Serum to BB Cream for a more finished look.

(4) Name three products you can’t live without.

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum – I designed this for myself so its my ultimate product! In Fiore’s Visage Vitale – no one makes anything like this toner/treatment lotion. I also love Fresh mascara. It gives your lashes a wet appearance, which sounds a bit crazy, but is awesome.

(5) What’s next for Vintner’s Daughter?

We formulated our Active Botanical Serum to do so many things that we don’t need to add much to the line, but we do have a few key products up our sleeves! First up will be a nourishing body balm with firming and light reflecting botanicals that will make your body look toned and radiant. 

April, you are an inspiration! I can't wait to see what's in store for Vintner's Daughter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Favorites: Facial Serum

Discovering a new face oil or serum that surprises me is rare. Of course, I often find an ingredient list that delights, but it's a distinct few that contain something new and exciting. Enter Vintner's Daughter. This exquisite blend contains a host of antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense carrier oils, extracts, and essential oils. In fact, the ingredient list is so spectacular that I will just let it speak for itself:

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil
A powerful foundation oil with maximum absorption and anti-oxidant properties.
Corylus Avellana (Hazelnut) Oil
A key foundation oil rich in linoleic acids that strengthens skin’s elasticity and its small particle size allows it to reach deep into skin.
Citrus Aurantium var Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil
A time-honored oil that inhibits melanin synthesis; lightens and brightens skin.
Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil
An oil rich in Vitamin E and a serious free-radical avenger.
Calendula officinalis (Marigold) Extract
An oil prized for centuries for its potent healing and soothing powers.
Rose Damascena (Rose) Absolute
An ancient skin healer and hormonal skin balancer
Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil
An oil rich in Vitamin A that is a super charged cell regenerator and wrinkle reducer
Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil
A powerful healing and anti -inflammatory oil that also acts as skin balancer
Rosa Rubignosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil
An oil that uniquely targets damage and discoloration caused by UV exposure
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel
A botanical that inhibits melanin synthesis to lighten and brighten skin
Lavandula x Intermedia (Lavender) Flower
A deeply healing and highly anti-inflammatory ancient botanical
Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf
A potent detoxifier with dense phytonutrient content for cell regeneration
Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf
A botanical with maximum vitamin A and C content to combat wrinkles and sun damage.
Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Leaf
A potent detoxifier with dense phytonutrient content for cell regeneration
Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil)
A sought after oil that increases blood circulation allowing serum to penetrate skin’s layers
Citrus Aurantium var Amara (Neroil) Flower Oil
A powerful and ancient aromatic for spiritual and skin health.
Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract
An anti-microbial botanical that also helps to reduce acne
Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit
A deeply nourishing oil that contains the entire family of Omegas 3, 6, 9 AND the rare Omega 7.
Curcuma Longa (Tumeric) Root Oil
A super-charged anti-inflammatory, skin brightener and free radical avenger.
Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Leaf Oil
An oil that increases blood circulation, strengthen capillaries and delivers oxygen to skin.
Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower
A rare and sought after oil that promotes skin elasticity and increases cellular renewal.
Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Oil
A deeply nourishing oil prized for its rich fatty acid content readily available for skin absorption.
What's more is that each ingredient is present in the highest concentration possible to achieve maximum and noticeable results. The lovely founder, April, made sure of it. How many serums can say that? 
This oil feels light to medium weight on the skin. It absorbs quickly with little shine left behind. I love layering it under my favorite night balm to quench my unusually dry skin. Though this oil is marketed as an anti-aging wunderkind, it is also perfect for acne prone skin. Hazelnut and grapeseed oils are light and help to regulate sebum; dandelion and alfalfa offer deep detoxification; and turmeric is intensely anti-inflammatory. Not only does this serum aid in controlling oil production, it also helps to lighten post-acne hyperpigmentation. After a full month of use, I can definitely see an increased glow and a reduction in the annoying dark marks on my skin. More importantly, it seems to be keeping my acne at bay! This gorgeous serum is a miracle worker. 
The scent of this oil is stunning as well. April was so focused on crafting a potent, transformative serum that she initially forgot about fragrance entirely. She sought out the help of In Fiore's, Julie Elliott, to capture the essence of Vintner's Daughter and let me just say that Julie hit the nail on the head. The scent is the perfect mix of floral and woodsy. More importantly, each essential oil that Julie used furthers the anti-aging purposes of the serum. There are no superfluous ingredients in this blend. 
Admittedly, this oil is pricey BUT it offers a potent roster of ingredients that impart noticeable results. Worth every penny in my book!    
*sample generously provided