18 April 2014

Plump & quench thirsty skin with Olie Biologique 005 Huile Radicale

I first learnt about Olie Biologique on Twitter (@OlieOrganicOils). The brand is very active in connecting via tweets and they also share skin care tips and tricks frequently. Believing in minimal packaging and maximum benefits, Olie Biologique offers a small but impressive range of facial oils concocted from 100% certified organic ingredients.

Having survived a long winter (which paid a re-visit 2 days ago with light snow in New England), my skin has been through a lot of ups and downs. You must be tired of me saying this over and over again, but before my move here I've never had dehydrated and/or flaky skin. Never. And I thought combination skin was a pain. While trying out different combinations of products from my skin care arsenal, I thought I had solved the thirsty skin problem, until I met 005 Huile Radicale*

Nature’s plumper and parched skin quencher. A MUST for dry, dull and damaged and aging skin begging for its radiant glow. Intensive radiance-boosting and rejuvenating, this blend of 8 organic plant seed oils and floral extracts provides all-natural skin quenching properties with lightweight, healing potency. Anti-oxidants, fatty acids and naturally occurring retinoic acid preserve elasticity, plump facial lines and improve firmness while reducing brown spots. Absorbs completely to leave a silky, non-greasy finish. (Skin Type: Normal to Very Dry)
What I like about Olie is that their ingredients list is short and sweet (just like my blog), in line with their philosophy of 'less is more'. Having undergone a recent re-formulation, 005 Huile Radicale is described as an intense treatment for super dry skin, making it the most moisturizing oil in the Olie line-up. Admittedly, I wasn't sure if my skin is going to like 005, reason being I wouldn't consider my skin type as dry since my T-zone does get a little shiny despite the rest of my face feeling parched.

The 005 Huile Radicale is yellow-tinged with medium consistency. On my first use, sandalwood was the most pronounced scent since my nose is most sensitive to it. After subsequent uses then did I detect the rose and geranium oils. I started off with using just 1 pump for the whole face, (equivalent to 1 dropperful) as I wasn't sure if it will be overly moisturizing for my skin. The oil spreads and absorbs into the skin easily, and the scent lingers subtlety if I don't wear makeup over it. After a few days of using 005 in the mornings, my skin felt and looked less dehydrated, and pesky dry patches gradually disappeared. I also tried it as a night oil and the next day I was indeed greeted with plumper, smoother looking skin!

I have to say I'm quite impressed by this oil - I've used camellia oil in my hair when I was in Japan, I never knew it could make such a great conditioner for the skin, thanks to its naturally occurring collagen. Evening primrose oil provides gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) which further stimulates collagen production. Rosehip oil contains natural vitamin A and C which is indispensable for anti-aging, and the blackcurrant seed, rose geranium, and rose flower oil are all anti-inflammatory and help rejuvenate the skin. The 005 Huile Radicale would be perfect for those who face harsh weather conditions, or if you find your skin suffering from dehydration thanks to seasonal changes. I know what my skin will need next winter.

Ingredients: Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Rosehip Oil, Organic Blackcurrant Seed Oil, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Grapefruit Oil, Sandalwood, Rose Geranium Oil, Rose Damascena (rose) flower oil.

And now the treat for everyone: from now till August 31st 2014, use code: 'OlieBB05' to receive 20% off the purchase of a full size bottle of 005 Huile Radicale! If you prefer to sample Olie Biologique's oils first before committing, they also offer box sets which includes trial sizes of various facial oils.

*indicates PR sample

15 April 2014

Green beauty on Etsy (2): Interview with Leah of Leahlani Skincare

Today I'm very happy to introduce to you Leahlani Skincare, founded by Leah Klasovsky in 2006. I have been admiring Leahlani Skincare from afar for quite a while now, adding numerous items to my never-ending Etsy Favorites list. Leah, a certified and trained holistic esthetician, believes in beauty products free of toxic ingredients after having struggled with acne in the past. She ultimately created a skincare line filled with nourishing and natural ingredients that are designed to work in harmony with the skin.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and everything we put on our skin will be absorbed and filtered throughout our bloodstream. All of my products are full of pure essential oils, which are the life blood of plants, flowers and herbs. My essential oil blends will help calm, purify, balance and rejuvenate your body and spirit.
When and what made you become a holistic esthetician?

At 25, I was living on Oahu and pursuing my education to become a secondary English teacher. I always had good skin but all of a sudden, I developed full blown cystic acne. It was awful. I did some research online and found a Holistic Esthetician school in Maui, called Spa Luna, where they offered a full-time 4 month course. My boyfriend was very supportive, and the next thing we knew we packed everything up and relocated to Maui just so I could pursue the course. I was eager to learn and very interested in hands-on healing. It was fate that led me there, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. On my graduation day, the principal told me in secrecy that my struggles with my skin will be a blessing in the long run, because I will be able to help so many people and have an empathetic relationship with those who struggle with skin issues. She was right!

How did Leahlani Natural Skincare come about?

I had developed a love for blending and mixing essential oils and natural butters, since every skincare product I bought from the stores would irritate my skin further. I became the spa director and principle Esthetician at a spa in the Hilton on Kauai. I loved this job because I could utilize my creativity - I made organic sugar scrubs, chocolate facial masks, and fresh pumpkin masks for spa treatments. The feedback I would get from clients was amazing. I offered my own signature facials using products that I created myself. I started noticing that my skin was clearing, and scarring was minimal from using only the products that I had made. I then bottled my creations and sold them at the Hanalei Farmers market, and before I knew it, Leahlani Skincare began to take off. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have my own skincare line - and would be shipping my products internationally. It's amazing.

How does living in beautiful Hawaii influence the creation of your product line?

Living in Hawaii is such a blessing. I'm surrounded by beauty and nature. I come from Southern California, which is a different pace from island life. Being here inspires me to be creative, and I get to meet people from all over the world who come here for vacation and those who purchase my products. Where I live, everyone is very health conscious and into natural foods and skincare, so it inspires me to create. I love Hawaiian raw honey and Hawaiian spirulina and use them in our line. Plus the smell of all of the tropical fruits and flowers are such an inspiration!

I love your jewelry too! Who is the master behind it?

My husband is the artist who makes all of the jewelry. He is a treasure hunter, so he has been collecting shells and sea glass from the islands for years. He started making me jewelry years ago, and everyone would compliment me and ask me where I got my earrings. He slowly turned his treasures into earrings, pendants, and rings. His creations are the most unique, beautiful and refined jewelry I have seen. He has quite the following and is always creating new designs. I'm lucky because I get to wear them.

Name one product from your line that you are most proud of.

One product? Oh that's hard! I love all of my products, but my favorite product is the Honey Microdermabrasion 3-in-1. It's one of my best sellers and has completely transformed my skin. I get emails from people all over the world whose skin has dramatically changed since using this product. Plus, the texture and smell is so unique and amazing that it's actually enjoyable to use. It's my favorite because I know I will use it for the rest of my life.

What is your daily skin care routine like?

In the morning, I spray my face with a few spritz of my Orange Neroli Spritzer to moisten my skin. And while my skin is still damp, I gently massage my Honey microdermabrasion cleanser into my skin for about 30 seconds and rinse with cool water. I spray my face again with the Orange Neroli spritzer and follow with my Aloe Day Dream Cream on my face, neck and décolleté. I always apply adequate amount of my body butter (the mango is my favorite) to my arms and legs before going out for the day because they have a natural broad range of SPF that will protect my skin throughout the day.

In the evening, I always shower before bed. When I get out of the shower, while my skin is still warm and pores are open, I apply my Coco Infusion all over my body. I love using oils at night, my skin loves it. My favorite is the organic coco vanilla. 

Then, it's time for my facial routine. I spritz my face with the Lavender toner to moisten my face. I then stir the Honey cleanser really well to activate the crystals at the bottom of the jar. I apply a fair amount to my moistened face and gently exfoliate for about a minute. I leave the cleanser on my face for a minute or so and then rinse with warm water. Then I spray my face with more Lavender toner and follow with a serum. I alternate between the Champage and the Siren Serum, depending on what I think my skin needs. I always make sure to massage the serum until my skin absorbs it. Then I follow with my Pikake dream cream and Supreme Eye & wrinkle cream.

2-3 times a week I do a deep skin treatment with my mermaid mask. After exfoliating, I apply the mask and allow it to soak in and do it's magic for about 10-15 minutes.

All of Leahlani products are blended with aloha, and the intention of bringing balance and harmony to everyone who uses them.
What do you think of Leah's skincare line that's strongly influenced by the aloha spirit of Hawaii? Seeing that Leah has such wonderful skin, I am really looking forward to trying out some of her products. Stay tuned for a product review of Leahlani Skincare, and meanwhile you can check out her shop on Etsy. Also follow Leahlani Skincare on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and giveaways!

(All photos courtesy of Leahlani Skincare)