Deal on Juice Beauty

I’m passing on another great deal on organic makeup & skincare. There
is currently a Groupon for $22 for $45 at Juice Beauty. I have never tried this brand, but many of their products get good remarks on No More Dirty Looks in terms of being a clean brand. This is an easy way to try out new products.

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Josie Maran Escape to Morocco Holiday Lights and Brights Set

I had never tried any Josie Maran products until I picked up this kit (Josie Maran Holiday Lights & Brights), which unfortunately isn’t available anymore.

josie maran 2013 holiday set

Image source: Sephora

I am now a total fan of Josie Maran products. It also helps that I’ve been watching her Youtube videos and she seems like a really sweet woman.

I love almost everything in this set. The Light Argan Oil has replaced Yes to Carrots as my nighttime moisturizer. The Carrot Night Cream is too thick on some days, and I’m sick of the strong fragrance. The argan oil is just right. My skin seems to feel more plump since I’ve been using it. And best of all, it is only ONE ingredient which is the best!

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Josie Maran Argan Color Stick in Spice

My second favorite item is the Argan Color Stick in Spice. It smells like tea tree, just like my many homemade skincare concoctions. I didn’t have much experience using cream blush but now I have the hang of it (I hope?). It does look very natural because it has no glitter or shimmer. It stays on all day too. The shade is too brown to use on my lips. At $22 for the full size product, this is one that I can actually afford to buy again. I have my eye on this set though. Maybe after the holidays if there are any left…

Then there is the Illuminizer. This champagne colored creme is more flattering on me than other highlighters I’ve experienced. The shimmer particles are very fine which give it kind of a candle-light glow effect. I have a miniature of Benefit High Beam and it seems unnaturally shiny. I think High Beam looks great for photo shoots but in real life I feel like it looks too space-age. The Josie Maran Illuminizer is a little more natural. I’m still a little afraid to use it often for fear of looking too sweaty or too done up but I think it gives a nice look. One awesome way to use this to pump a drop in your hand, add a few drops of oil, then mix it up and put it in your hair.

The only thing I did not like from the kit is the Luscious Lips High Gloss lipgloss. I liked the minty fragrance but that was all. The gloss is very thick and sticky. While the color on my lips was nowhere near as bright and rosy as it is in the tube, it certainly lives up to its high gloss label. It reminds me of the super glossy lips that were popular in the early 2000s. It just felt like goop sitting on my lips and my hair was constantly getting stuck.

This set was a steal for $24 during the VIB sale. That’s kinda how it goes right? It’s like drugs. The first one is free/cheap. I don’t know how I’ll be able to afford this habit because the full size products are above my budget. On the other hand, it may be worth paying more for these products. The items have very few toxic ingredients and are cruelty-free, and she claims to use fair trade practices when sourcing ingredients from Morocco and gives a lot of proceeds to good causes. I can’t think of any mainstream brands that would even utter “fair trade.”

I leave you with this confession – I made some profits selling Urban Decay palettes on eBay so I went ahead and bought myself this set too:

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Josie Maran Escape to Morocco – Holiday Hair and Beauty set

This set is all skincare stuff so I’ll get a deeper look at whether the argan-infused stuff lives up to the hype.

Have you tried Josie Maran products? What about other argan oil products?

New skincare routine

Some time around June, my face started on a slow downward spiral. It wasn’t too obvious to outsider (I think) as you could see that I’ve posted pictures of myself since then, but it was noticeable to me. You can’t see it much in my photos because it was more small bumps & clogged pores rather than big cystic acne. Then around the middle of July it started getting really bad, to the point that I was considering seeing a dermatologist and I was prepared for whatever stuff s/he would prescribe me. My mother even said to me, “I haven’t seen it look this bad since high school.” I couldn’t find good photo evidence because as I said, it was more small bumps, but I will be very brave here and try to show you one:

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Even though that’s a low-res front camera photo, you can see some of the bumpiness.

I decided to really attack the problem and make changes. Things that did not work: washing makeup brushes every day, Neutrogena On The Spot acne treatment, Burt’s Bees Acne Solutions spot treatment. Then I hit on some things that did work and suddenly this week, the clouds lifted. I believe that my skin has never looked this good. For real, dude. Sorry if this whole post comes across as vain, but I was getting really self conscious about my breakouts and am now so amazed at the improvement.

I’ll share with you the changes I made, but since I did all of this at the same time I’m not sure which one change was the most important factor.

1. Started using eye cream. I had never used eye cream before but after I saw this picture, I had it on my mind. I am using Ava Anderson at night and Obagi Nu Derm (not a green brand) during the day. Since it’s only been about 3 weeks, I can’t say much about wrinkles, but just the fact that I am moisturizing has made the area under my eyes look better.

2. Stopped drinking protein shake. Since I’m kind of a hippie, I figured something in my diet must be contributing to the problem. I racked my brain trying to figure it out and then it dawned on me that I started breaking out around the same time that I started drinking GNC Lean Shake for breakfast every morning. I know, this processed shake does not fit into my eat-mostly-whole-foods advocacy but it was one of my concessions. I’ll get into that another time. I had never heard of protein shakes causing acne but sure enough, I typed it into google and found a lot of testimonials. A lot of people even said it was mainly in their chin area, which was exactly my biggest problem.

3. Replaced protein shake with a daily green smoothie. I was drinking these once a week or so, but for the past 3 weeks I’ve had one nearly every day. My usual recipe is two cups of raw leafy greens, one piece of fruit (a whole apple or banana), and a cup of coconut milk, all blended up into a shake. This is different than a juice because I’m eating the whole thing, fiber and all. I believe this is one of the greatest factors for how healthy my skin looks now but that’s just a wild guess.

4. Started using Yes to Grapefruit CC cream. I’m not saying this is a miracle product yet; it may be a coincidence that I started using this around the same time as I made all of the other changes. I now wear this every day as my day moisturizer. It has vitamin C in it, which speeds up cell turnover. I think my freckles and hyperpigmentation are lighter and it could be from this product.

As I said, it seems like this week in particular is when I suddenly noticed the difference. Not only is my skin blemish-free and smooth, it just seems to look healthy from the inside. Dare I say, radiant. At first I wasn’t sure if it was just a placebo effect, but it has been confirmed by the following sources:

  • a young buck 25 year old chica found out that I am 29, and stated “I never would have guessed! You have great skin for being almost 30!” (kids! amirite?)
  • out of the blue my friend said that my skin looked really nice and glowy
  • a photographer snapped this picture of me:

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Need I say more? Blown up to to full size, I confirmed that my face does indeed look normal again.

Maybe some of these tricks will work for you. Let’s hope I didn’t jinx this by talking about it.

$20 for $50 worth of Yes To Carrots

$20 for $50 worth of Yes To Carrots

If you are interested in buying any Yes To… products, jump on this deal! Stay with me on this one. Living Social is currently offering $25 for $50 at Yes To Carrots. Living Social is also running a promo code that gets you $10 off the $25 voucher purchase, so:
 
$25 Living Social voucher
– 10 coupon
+ 5 shipping
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$20 for $50 worth of Yes To products including shipping.
 
Click here to shop and use coupon code AUG10 when you check out from Living Social. Make sure you choose the $50 voucher or else the coupon won’t work.
 
The voucher says you can’t use it on bundled products, but I used one last time to get the lip balm bundle, so try it anyway. The Yes to Carrots/Grapefruit/Blueberries/Cucumbers line is not organic and not the “cleanest” stuff out there, but if you don’t have access to or can’t afford specialty products, their products are a better choice.
 
I haven’t used much from this brand, but I am loving the Grapefruit CC cream! I might even buy more of it during this sale just to stock up.