Category Archives: beauty

Kari Gran All Natural & Organic Skin Care | Review & Giveaway

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A couple months ago, the kind folks at Kari Gran sent me a complimentary starter kit of their three-step natural skin care system. I used it to the last drop, and loved it so much I purchased the full-size cleanser and serum for myself.

I think the secret to great skin is keeping things super simple. Kari Gran skin care products are made in small batches with natural plant oils, essential oils, and vitamin E. That’s it. No parabens, preservatives, petrochemicals, drying detergents, or synthetic fragrances.

I know some people are skeeved out by the idea of using oils on their face, but you guys, it’s so good for your skin. Traditional cleansers use detergents and sulfates that strip skin of important natural oils, so it produces more oil to compensate, which leads to congested pores and breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle.

Natural plant-based cleansing oils operate on the principle that “like dissolves like.” From acne.org:

“Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin.”

The lavender-scented oil cleanser is my favorite at the end of a long day. I slather it onto my dry face and massage it in for several minutes until it dissolves every last bit of grime and makeup (including stubborn eye makeup) and remove it with a warm wet washcloth. I follow it up with the hydrating tonic and essential serum, which work together to leave my skin balanced and hydrated without feeling greasy. It’s all kinds of luxurious; but most important, my skin is clear, even and healthy.

GIVEAWAY TIME! I believe in this stuff so much, I wish I could buy a round for everyone. Until I hit the lotto to make that happen, I thought I’d start by giving away one Kari Gran Starter Kit, on me. To enter, just leave a comment with a way to contact you (email/URL/twitter/whatevs) before Monday, November 10th, at 5pm EST. US entries only, please. Good luck!

ETA: I’ll draw a winner at random!

Blog Schooled | 01

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The Teacher: Cupcakes and Cashmere

The Lesson: Bare Face, Bold Lip

Bright lips on a clean face is one of my favorite beauty looks. I love how it makes me feel pulled together; even with messy hair and a t-shirt and jeans. I liked Emily’s take on making the most of a bold lip with even skin and just a little bronze glow.

Here are the products I used from my makeup stash to recreate it:

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation – I added a little moisturizer to a couple pumps of foundation, then mixed and warmed it in my hands before applying it all over my face for a more sheer, dewy finish. Then I went back and added a few drops of undiluted foundation under my eyes, around my nose, and to any other places that needed a little extra coverage.

 Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator in Bronze Light – I’m no longer afraid of liquid bronzer; this stuff is easy to blend and lasts all day.

Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara

FLOWER Sheer Up Lip Tint in Dewy Rose – Sheer, moisturizing lip crayons make an everyday bold lip almost fool-proof. I did a quick search on Walmart’s website to find this shade, but I think it may be discontinued (sad face). I also love Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry, which is really similar.