Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Skincare Tips for the Spring

Spring is almost here!

hydrangeasA few weeks ago, we started to have double-digit temperatures!  It was such a treat to be given a sneak peek into Spring.  I celebrated by going for a long walk with my son in the baby carrier.  Sadly, the high temps did not last and we’ve had more snow since then.  In fact, as I write this, I’m looking out the window at a snow shower.  Nevertheless, I know that Spring is close and it’s time to get ready for sunshine and outdoor fun!

Spring also means that my skin will have different needs. Here’s how I’m planning on taking care of my skin.

Spring Soap

DSC_0017

I just whipped up two small batches of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap.  I made a few bars of soap using green clay and scented them with Patchouli.  In the past, I’ve sometimes overdone it with the Patchouli scent.  Fortunately, I’ve learned from that and these bars are nicely scented.

I also made some bars of soap with pink clay.  I use these on my face.  They are gentle and are able to clean my skin without removing all of the natural oils. I scented these bars with Grapefruit essential oil.  I like to call these bars Pink Grapefruits!

Light Moisturizers

I’ve been using the Emollient Wheatgerm cream this winter.  It’s been great.  Now that the weather is turning, I’ll be using face oils only.  I love the Suti face oils.  They have a delicious scent and are light on the skin.  I also make my own face oils and have experimented with all kinds of oils.  Once I finish the batch that I have in my cabinet, I’ll be making some more to try!

It’s also time to switch to a light lotion.  I always need to help my skin with moisture.  However, I can get away with a light lotion during the warmer months, rather than a thicker lotion or cream.

Coconut on BeachHair Care

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of reverse hair washing.  I just love the results and I continue to wash my hair this way.  With the added humidity that comes with Spring, my hair can get a bit frizzy. I find that a weekly hair mask is just what it needs to stay under control.  My favorite mask right now is plain coconut oil.

How do you pamper your skin during the spring months?

This post is part of the GiG Spotlight #5: Spring Fever.  Thanks to Caity of Moi Contre La Vie and Mari of I Love Green Inspiration for hosting this wonderful event.  Are you wondering what GiG is?  It’s the Girls Inspired Group.  Click on the image below to check out their blog and join!

gigspotlight1

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Oil vs. Lotion – Which One Do You Use?

Do you use a moisturizer on your face or skin at least once a day?  My guess is that most of you do, even if you are one of the lucky ones who does not suffer from dry skin.   Assuming you do use a moisturizer, what do you use?  Oil or lotion?  Or, do you use a combination?

My Daily Routine

For as long as I could remember, I have used a moisturizer on my face.  I have tried various different creams and lotions to treat my dry skin and keep it hydrated.

Then, some time ago, I learned how to put together a face oil.  I tried it on my face and I loved it!  I was so anxious about applying an oil to my face.  Fortunately, it turned out great and I was so happy to have found a moisturizer to use on my face that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg at the store!  Plus, I could make this on my own.

Suti SamplesA few months ago, I tried a sample of Suti’s Nourishing Oil.  I liked it even more than the one I had made.  The scent was lovely and it made my skin feel great.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I had a facial.  It was pointed out to me that my skin was a bit dry.  What?!  How could it be?  It certainly didn’t feel dry to me!  Yet, after an hour of exfoliating, steaming and moisturizing, I could feel a marked difference in my skin.  It felt so smooth!  I even received a few comments on how great my skin looked.  I left the spa with a jar of Pure Creations’ Emollient Wheat Germ Cream that was used on my face.  It’s a rich cream and good for moisturizing my skin during the dry winter months.  I’ve used it once a day ever since the facial and my skin still feels great.  Stay tuned to my blog for a full review on this product!

And all of this lead me to ask which is better, lotion or oil?  Did I make a wrong turn when I started using a face oil?

Lotion

There are so many lotions and creams available on the market.  They can have all kinds of additives, like Vitamin E and oils that are beneficial for our skin (my most recent favorite oil to use is Kukui Nut Oil).  Lotions come in varying degrees of greasiness.  The ideal lotion is one that doesn’t leave a greasy film on your skin.

Lotions are designed to penetrate the skin.  This allows your skin to absorb all of the great ingredients in that lotion, thus replenishing the look and feel of your skin.

Oil

Body and face oils are used widely in certain parts of the world.  Like lotion, they can contain oils that are beneficial for your skin. Oil Where oils differ from lotion is that they tend to prevent moisture from leaving your skin.  However, they are not necessarily designed to penetrate your skin like a lotion.

Check out these links to learn more about the differences between lotion and oil.

http://www.rodale.com/moisturizers

http://www.vivawoman.net/2009/11/24/is-oil-better-than-a-moisturizing-lotion/

Baby’s Skin

The best test I’ve found was on my son’s skin.  Like many babies, he had dry spots on his skin in the first few weeks following his birth.  I used a bit of coconut oil on them and for the most part, they went away.  However, there were a few very persistent spots that the coconut oil simply would not address.  On a whim, I tried a wee bit of lotion that I had made. It was very basic and did not have any essential oils in it.  Surprisingly, it worked immediately and eliminated those pesky dry spots. I couldn’t believe it!

Baby Skin

Oil vs. Lotion – The Verdict

So, which one is best?  Well, it depends!  Both oils and lotions have their place in providing extra moisture for your skin.  Right now, I use an oil on my face in the morning and a cream on my face at night before bed.  That combination has worked great during the dry months of winter.  I have no doubt that I will have to change that routine when the weather warms up a bit and it’s not so dry.

What do you use to keep your skin hydrated?


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Fabulous Foot Balm By Suti

feet

A few months ago, when I was well into my pregnancy, I won a beauty giveaway from Donah at Sweet Jelly Bean.  She sent me a few samples of some great Suti products.  I tried each one, except for the Fabulous Foot Balm.  That was the only one that was not considered safe during pregnancy, due to some of the essential oils on the ingredient list. Check out my product review here.

Now that I’m well past being pregnant and I can reach my feet once again, I treated myself to my sample of Suti’s Fabulous Foot Balm.  As expected, I loved it.

First Impressions

The balm is scented with a few essential oils.  I found that it had a refreshing scent of eucalyptus.  It reminded me of the spa and I immediately started to feel pampered!

Shea Butter

Shea Butter

Texture

The balm looks and feels a bit grainy.  The grainy texture comes from the unrefined Shea Butter in the balm.  It melts on contact with your fingers, so it’s easy to massage into your feet.  The balm was oily, without being greasy.  It is perfect for treating the dry skin on my feet!

After just two treatments of this balm, my feet were much smoother and feeling moisturized.

Recommendation

I have very dry feet and they need lots of attention all the time.  I would certainly recommend Suti’s Fabulous Foot Balm to anyone who needs to pay the same amount of attention to their feet.  Not only does this balm do a great job of moisturizing your feet, it smells great and has a lovely texture.


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A Review of My Suti Stash

My Suti samples arrived a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of D at Sweet Jelly Bean!  Thanks again, D!

I was so excited to try these little gems after reading great reviews about the Suti line of products.

My Suti Stash

Here’s what I received as the free Suti giveaway.  I got samples of two face oils (Rejuvenate and Nourish), a Fabulous Foot Balm, a Purity Balm and a Cleanse Balm.  To top it all off, it all came in this cute little pouch.  I’ve been busy trying all of these (except for the foot balm) and inasmuch as I’ve made my own facial oils and balms, I ended up comparing them to my own personal experiments.  Here’s what I came up with.

Face Oils

Both of the face oils were smooth and had a great scent.  The Rejuvenate Oil is good for day wear.  However, since it uses citrus based oils, you wouldn’t want to wear it out in the sunshine.  The Nourish Oil is intended for night-time to help your skin repair itself as you sleep.  I really loved this oil.  The scent is great and the oils glides on in a really smooth way.  I didn’t think that oils could have different “glide” factors, but this one definitely felt like it went on to my skin easier than my own face oil.

I already use my own homemade face oil as a moisturizer, so I’m used to the idea of these oil blends.  I absolutely fell in love with the scent and feel of the Nourish Oil.  It’s quickly becoming my new favorite!

Balms

Each of the balms makes use of unrefined Shea Butter, which looks and feels grainy.  However, it melts on contact with your skin and

Shea Butter

Shea Butter

provides lots of moisture.

The Cleanse Balm is best for cleaning the skin and it can also be left on as a face mask.  I used it as both and found that it was a great moisturizer for my skin.  The first time I tried it, I applied and left the Balm on my face for about 20 minutes.  I then steamed and rinsed it off with warm water.  My skin felt really supple and I didn’t need any kind of extra moisturizer following that.

The Purity Balm is great for those dry spots of skin.  I tried it on my elbows, which often get neglected.  😦  It worked like a charm!

The Foot Balm looks great, but I will have to wait until I’m done being pregnant before I try it.  (There are three essential oils that are not recommended for use during pregnancy.)

How Does Suti Rate?

I enjoyed each of the samples that I received.  I can’t wait to try out the foot balm (just as soon as I reach my feet again!).  Out of all the samples, the Nourish Oil was my favorite, by far.  I truly fell in love with the scent of the oil.  I tried looking Suti up on both Skin Deep and The Good Guide.  Unfortunately, Skin Deep is down right now and the Good Guide hasn’t rated Suti yet.

So, all I can do is give these products my own personal rating!  From what I can tell, Suti is good about using “clean” ingredients and avoiding all of the unnecessary chemicals. Suti clearly lists all of the ingredients in each of their products on their website.  In other words, they are completely transparent.  Based on that alone, I would have no hesitation in recommending Suti to anyone who was interested!

Have you tried a Suti product yet?


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Tag, You’re It – It’s This or That Beauty Tag!

Beauty Tag

Beauty Tag

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Just before I went to bed last night, I saw that I’d been tagged in a fun beauty game by Tianna at StorybookApothecary.  I went to sleep thinking about all the great beauty tips everyone has to share through a fun game of tag, like this one!   

Thanks so much to Tianna at StorybookApothecary for thinking of me!

The Q&As are great and I encourage you to read both Tianna’s and D’s at SweetJellyBean (D. tagged Tianna yesterday!). You never know, you might read about the perfect beauty must-have product that you never knew about! 🙂

1. Blush Or Bronzer? Most days, I would go without both.  For special days, a little bit of blush is just what I need to brighten up my complexion.  I like a pressed blush.  I’ve found the cream blushes way too strong for my skin.

2. Lipstick or Lipgloss? For the most part, lipstick.  I almost never the house without a good dose of colour on my lips. My favorite right now is Halle by Jane Iredale.  In a bind, a tinted lip gloss can stand in for my trusty lipstick.  However, I’m definitely not a fan of the sticky glosses that you tend to find out there.  I’ve started making my own glosses, but have yet to perfect the recipe…

3. Chapstick or Lip Butter? Lip Butter!  I make my own and I would never turn back.  It’s so easy to combine a few oils a bit of wax to make the perfect lip butter for yourself.  Once I learned how to make my own, I got rid of all my store-bought lip moisturizers.

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow? Matte eyeshadow for me.  I like to keep my makeup fairly low-key and matte colours do the trick for me in that department.  If I’ve got a special occasion to attend, on the other hand, I wouldn’t put it past me to whip out a little bit of sparkle!

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner? I tend to stick to the basics when it comes to eye liner.  I’m just not skilled enough to use the liquid or gel liners!  Pencils work for me!  I just started using a new powdered eyeliner from Jane Iredale.  It’s definitely a bit more challenging to apply than a regular pencil, but I love the different effects you can get with it!

6. Foundation or Concealer? I use concealer daily.  Right up there with my lipstick, I don’t leave the house without it.  I just dab a bit on under my eyes to even out my skin and it does the trick.  Right now, I’m using a concealer from Jane Iredale (can you tell I LOVE her line of makeup?!) and it blends really well into my skin without looking flaky.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? I used to use powder religiously.  However, after I made the switch to safer makeup products, I found that I could go with out.  You won’t find any foundation or powder in my makeup bag now!

8. Neutral or Statement Eye? I love the smoky eye look.  It’s my favorite, by far.  Even so, I tend to stick with the low-key smoky eye, even for special occasions.  It lets me stick to what I know!

9. Pressed or Loose Shadows? I like the pressed shadows.  They are less messy and easier to apply.  I always find I use way too much product with a loose shadow!

10. Waterproof or Non-Waterproof? I stay away from waterproof and try my best not to cry!

11. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers? Fingers.  I have the best control of the makeup (read: concealer) I’m patting on when I use my hands.  A brush or sponge just confuses the whole process for me!

12. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters? I’ve never actually used a highlighter!  Can you believe it?  I guess I’ll have to experiment with it one day and let you all know how it goes!

♥ Spill your beauty secrets! (Additional Q for you by D (Sweetjellybean.com)♥

Can’t Live Without Skincare Product?

So hard to choose!  I really depend on my lip scuff.  It’s another homemade product of mine that I use day and night.  It keeps my lips soft and supple, avoiding any dry skin whatsoever.  When I’m running low, it’s a bit of a crisis in my house!

Favorite Makeup Blusher?

Can you guess?  I’m in  love with Jane Iredale products these days!  And that goes for the pressed blush too!

Take-it-with-me-always beauty product?

My lipstick.  The colour is Halle by Jane Iredale.  It goes with me all the time.  The lipstick feels great on my lips…it’s moisturizing and it isn’t sticky!  What more could you ask for?

Bonus Question from Tianna @StorybookApothecary!

What Is One Beauty Item You’re Willing To Splurge On Even Though It’s Expensive?

Having just started using the Nourish Face Oil from Suti, I think I might be hooked!  I absolutely love the scent and the texture of this oil blend.  I’d have a hard time justifying buying it since I regularly make my own face oil.  On the other hand, my oil just isn’t as luxurious as this one!  Stay tuned for a post on my Suti stash soon!

Bonus Question from Alia @AuNaturelEssence!

What is the one beauty product you could do without for a week?  If you absolutely had to give one thing up, what would it be?

This is a tough one for me.  I’ve really paired down my makeup routine to the bare basics, so it’s hard to know what I could do without.  Perhaps it’s my mascara.  I do love the volume it gives to my lashes.  However, if forced to make a sacrifice, I think I could live without it!

And Now, It’s Time for Tag-sies!

Related Articles:

Beauty Confessions – This or That Tag – You’re It!

Something Fun: This or That, Beauty Tag – You’re It!

Tag: This or That!


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My Name Was Picked in a Free Giveaway!

What a great way to start a Saturday!

For once, I decided to enter a giveaway contest.  The giveaway was too good for me to pass up, so I plunged in and today, I found out my name got picked!

It was hosted by Donah at Sweet Jelly Bean.  Entering the contest was simple. I liked the post that announced the contest, reblogged about it later this week, tweeted about it etc…

Now, I happily await a package of skin care products from Suti.  I’ve checked out their website and their products look like they are right up my alley, free of any unnecessary chemicals!

Stay tuned for a product review!