Nuciya 2014 Winter Must-Have's

With the official start of winter just around the corner, I picked the 2014 Nuciya Must-Have's for winter! You can't go wrong with any of these products.

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La Mav Organic Skin Science Review

La Mav is an Australian made, certified organic, and cruelty-free skincare line. All of their products are 100% plant based and provide anti-aging results. I've been testing out their products for a few weeks and am blown away by their formulations. La Mav is one of those brands that you wouldn't know is natural unless someone told you. This makes La Mav the perfect skincare range for people transitioning to green beauty or for anyone who's looking for well formulated, high performing products with a reasonable price.

Hydra-Calm Cleansing Creme*:
The Hydra-Calm Cleansing Creme is an extremely gentle, hydrating, and of course creamy cleanser. Right now this is a perfect cleanser for my extremely dry skin (due to harsh Canadian winters). It has a very faint scent of rose, which I love! It isn't too overpowering so it's perfect for those who are sensitive to strong scents. As for performance, this cleanser takers off majority of my makeup and leaves my skin feeling smooth and refreshed.After a few days using this I noticed the amount of redness in my skin reduced. At $26.95 for 100ml this is a fabulous value!

 Ingredients:*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice; *Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate; *Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract; *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil; Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate; *Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Oil; Sodium Levulinate; Sodium Anisate; Bisabolol; *Glycerin (Vegetable); Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E – plant derived); *Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract; *Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Seed Oil; *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil; *Avena Sativa Kernel (Oat) Extract; *Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract; *Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil; *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter; Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Extract; *Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea); *Eleutherocous Senticosus (Ginseng-Siberian) Extract; *Ginkgo Biloba Extract; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract; Glyceryl Caprylate; Essential Oils of *Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli), Rosa Damascena (Rose), *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) and *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender).
* designates an Australian certified organic ingredient

Anti Dark-Circle & Ultra-Firm Eye Gel*: 
I'm always on the hunt for a good eye cream that will help with my dark circles and anything that helps with under-eye puffiness is a bonus! During the winter months my under-eyes are in extra need of some TLC. Thankfully the La Mav Anti-Dark Circle Eye Gel did the trick for me! I find that half a pump is plenty of product. I love this because it ensures that this product will last a good amount of time.

Ingredients: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice; *Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate; *Glycerin (Vegetable); Sodium Levulinate; Sodium Anisate; Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate; Chlorella Vulgaris Extract; *Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Oil; Hyaluronic Acid; Glyceryl Caprylate; Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract; Rumex Occidentalis Extract; Cassia Alata Leaf Extract; Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract; Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C); *Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Nut Oil; Xanthan Gum; *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil; *Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Seed Oil; Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E – plant derived); Essential Oils of Rosa Centifolia and *Citrus Sinensis (Orange Sweet).
* designates an Australian certified organic ingredient

Anti-Aging Mineral Foundation with Broad Spectrum SPF15*:
I was immediately drawn to this product because it has SPF15.  I am a huge fan of mineral foundations because they provide excellent coverage (something that surprised me when I transitioned to green beauty products) and this product is no different. It offers medium-full coverage and is easily buildable. Mineral foundation usually isn't the best for my dry/combination skin during winter but this formulation didn't leave my skin looking dry. The performance is very comparable to the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation.

Ingredients: Mica (CI 77019), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, *Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Extract, may contain (+/-) Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Tin Oxide (778161).
* designates an Australian certified organic ingredient

If you haven't tried La Mav yet I highly recommend that you do! It's just one of those lines that you can't be disappointed by. They also have really good deals for new customers here

*Indicates product sent for review purposes

November Wishlist

*Click photo to enlarge* 

Finding and testing out new products is not only a hobby of mine but it has become my job (how cool is that?!). At Nuciya we're always looking to expand our product line in order to offer new and exciting products to our customers. While I've been lusting over many products these past few months, here are the ones that made the top of the list!

1. Cocoon Apothecary Starter Kit $30: 
I've been following this Canadian based brand for quite some time now. All of their products are biodegradable, cruelty-free, vegan, made in Canada, and are made with certified organic ingredients. Their eye-catching packaging and their fantastic list of ingredients make it hard for me to pick just one item to list here, so I've included their starter kit which includes their Rose Dew Facial Cleanser, Rose Dew Facial Toner and Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream. Their starter kit sounds like the perfect combination for my dry/sensitive skin!

2. Mitchell and Peach Kentish Coconut Scrub $65:
This super luxurious bath and body company crossed my radar a few months ago. I have been lusting over their products ever since. This company grows their own ingredients and hand blend their products. The Mitchell and Peach body scrub contains Coconut, Sweet Almond, Palmarosa, Ylang-Ylang and Lavender oil - what's not to love!?

3. Pure + Simple Hydration Serum $50: 
I'm a sucker for Ayurveda based skin care lines and this is exactly what Pure + Simple embraces. They believe in living a holistic and healthy lifestyle. The Pure + Simple line contains skincare, makeup, body care, and even tea. It's hard to pick just one item that I would like to try but since winter is nearly here my skin is in need of some extra TLC. Their 100% vegan Hydration Serum contains key ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Kelp, Vitamin F, Phragamites Commuis Extract and Pria Cocoa Extra (used to reduce inflammation and skin sensitivity). 

4. Mario Badescu Silver Powder $12:
Mario Badescu was a brand that I quickly wrote off because I assumed that their products didn't have good ingredients. After further investigation I quickly learned that a lot of their products contain non-toxic and natural ingredients. Many of their products sounds so appealing, especially the ones used to help treat acne. My favorite budget friendly product is their Silver Powder. This is an oil absorbent powder that helps to unclog congested pores. It prevents blackheads and promotes a healthier complexion. My dry/combination skin is almost always congestion and thus I get acne. This definitely sounds like a must have for anyone who suffers from acne!
5. Mu London Organic White Chocolate Elbow, Knee & Heel Cream $35: 
This product speaks for itself. The name already makes it sound divine and the ingredients are even better. This award winning product seems to live up to it's name. I've been lusting over this product for the longest time, especially after reading so many rave reviews. These types of creams are a must for me during the winter months so hopefully I'll get my hands on this product soon!
6. Juliets Room Milk & Honey Vanilla Cardamom Hand & Body Lotion $21:
That was a mouth full! But doesn't that sound fantastic? I tend to neglect my skin during the summer months but as soon as fall/winter approaches I can no longer ignore my dry, itchy skin. I simply can't ignore the rave reviews for this lotion or the delicious sounding scent. I think that this will have to be the next body lotion that I purchase! 

7. The Bathory - Invent Your Perfect Bath Soak $30: 
I first saw this product on Savannah Wallace's channel on YouTube. I was immediately impressed with this company and what they offer. For only $30 you can custom blend your own bath soak. They have 3 different kind of blends - Soothe, Bask, and Detox. From there you can pick up to 3 essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and bergamot etc. I of course want to try all 3 blends but I'm mostly interested in the Soothe blend as it contains epsom salts, oatmeal, honey, and buttermilk. I think that this is such a great idea and is perfect for Christmas gifts! Did I mention that shipping  is only $5 worldwide and ships within 48 hours? 

8. Pura Botanicals Cocoa & Rose Luxurious Body Oil $36:
I've been hearing a lot of buzz surrounding Pura Botanicals. Once I found out that this company is based in my hometown I knew that I would eventually have to give their products a try. I find that using body oil just out of the shower help keeps my skin hydrated, especially during the cold winter months. This cocoa and rose blend sounds heavenly! 

Laurel Whole Plant Organics: Travel Set Review

Laurel Whole Plant Organics is one of my favorite skincare lines. From the formulations to the beautiful packaging this whole skincare line just screams luxury. I'm a huge fan of travel sets, as it's not only great for travelling but also for testing out a new skincare line. Travel sets give you plenty of time to make sure that the products are working for you. The Laurel Travel Sets lasts approx 3-4 months and retails for $68. Each travel set comes with a cleanser, elixir, serum, facial exfoliant, and lip balm (love!). I ended up trying the Gentle Travel Set but ended up swapping out the Anti-Inflammatory Serum for the Balance Serum.

Normal/Dry Cleanser (30ml): This might just be one of my favorite items included in this travel set. My skin just adored this cleanser! It is lightweight, moisturizing, and best of all it removes ALL of my makeup. I found myself looking forward to using this cleanser day and night. The light scent seemed to always put me in a good mood, I couldn't get enough of it! It is very rare that I can find a light, creamy cleanser that packs a punch (aka: cleans my skin & removes my makeup, including eye makeup!). I look forward to purchasing the full size bottle of this and adding it to my daily skincare regime.

Normal/Mature Elixir (30ml): Toning will always be my favorite part of any skincare regime. It's not only the most important (restores your skins pH level & closes your pores) but it is so refreshing. To me a good toner must remove excess dirt/makeup from my skin and add a bit more hydration..thankfully this is exactly what this elixir does. I love that this elixir is non-alcoholic and therefore non-drying. It also contains beautiful yet beneficial ingredients such as Rose Geranium, Rose hydrosols, Witch Hazel, and Calendula - ingredients used to sooth, tighten and heal skin.

Balance Serum (10ml): I decided to trade in the Anti-Inflammatory Serum for the Balance Serum because I was testing out this travel set during the summer. During the summer months I tend to get oily around the dreaded t-zone area so I opted for the balance serum. With a base of jojoba oil this serum is perfect for oily, combination, and break-out prone skin. I love that only 1-2 drops of this serum goes a long way - making this luxurious facial serum more cost effective.

Almond Grain Exfoliant (10ml): I love this exfoliant as it isn't too harsh for my sensitive skin yet effectively removes dead skin cells. This exfoliant contains excellent ingredients such as oats, chamomile, nettle, and rose essential oil - making this perfect for all skin types. The sample included in this travel kit is enough for 2 uses.

Lavender Lip Treatment (5ml): This is by far my favorite lip balm of all time (I don't mean to sound cheesy when I say this!) Its buttery, nourishing, and soothing to the lips. A little goes a very long way, in fact I still have this sample but plan to buy a full size jar once I run out. This is definitely going to be a life safer for my lips this winter!

All in all I think that this is a fantastic value for $68. A luxury travel set that lasts 3-4 months is perfect for anyone looking to test out a new skincare line. With Christmas just around the corner (yikes!) these beautiful products come neatly packages in a gorgeous cotton Laurel bag. I can definitely see myself gifting this set to a few people this year!

Where to Buy:

What are your thoughts on the Laurel Whole Plant Organics Skincare Line? 

My Daughter Fragrance Giveaway Hosted by Nuciya!

Since the beginning of my journey to switch to natural & organic products I have been on the hunt for a non-toxic fragrance. As if finding a good fragrance wasn't already hard enough (I'm super picky). Finding one made with high-quality, safe ingredients was even harder. Little did I know that just in my backyard resides My Daughter Fragrances (no really, we're only about 20 minutes away from each other!).

My Daughter Fragrances was created by Janey Ganson. She works with a fellow Canadian who currently resides in France to formulate the fragrances.

My Daughter Fragrances are feminine, elegant, and made with non-toxic ingredients. In fact these fragrances are made without:

Animal Products

You can really smell the use of high quality essential oils used in My Daughter Fragrances and this picky person fell in love with this brand from the first sniff.

To celebrate this new additon to Nuciya Natural Beauty we have teamed up with My Daughter Fragrances to host a giveaway! That's right, a full-size bottle (50ml) of the scent Joyful is up for grabs! The giveaway is open internationally and will end on September 29th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just Natural Hair and Skin Products Review

Just Natural is a new brand to me so I'm so excited to write this review! They kindly contacted me a few months ago and asked if I wanted to review some of their products. Right away I was so impressed by the extensive list of products on their website. They have products for EVERYONE. They have hair care products for all types of hair including African hair. They also have products for all skin types including acne, anti-aging, and  psoriasis. It was so hard for me to narrow down what products to try but here's what I picked: 

Just Natural Leave-In Conditioner: I'm always on the hunt for a leave-in conditioner. Sometimes I like using multiple leave-in conditioners including a spray and a cream. For only $26.99 you get this huge tub (16 fl oz.) of product. I do find this a bit heavy for my hair currently as we are in the summer months but this does come in handy when my hair is being stubborn. I can see myself getting tons of use out of this during the winter months and even using this as a hair mask! Next I am going to try their spray detangler.

Just Natural Heat Protecting Hair Treatment: Ever since I went back to my roots and dyed my hair brunette, I've been loving to blow dry it straight instead of leaving it naturally curly. I've have since been on the hunt for a light weight, natural leave in-conditioner. This has been the answer! Another good sized product (8 oz) for $26.99

Just Natural Manuka Acne Treatment: I LOVE this product! It contains key ingredients such as manuka oil, tea tree oil, basil essential oil, jojoba oil, and karanja oil. Full list of ingredients here. Since manuka oil is the base for this treatment it is very heavy and doesn't absorb too fast. I use this after toning at night and I wake up with refreshed, bright, and clearer skin. I will definitely be repurchasing this as soon as I use up this bottle. With that being said, I am always very generous when applying this product and I still have a ton left!

Just Natural Acne Spot Treatment: This spot treatment is also such a beautiful product. It is highly concentrated with a gorgeous blend of oils to help heal acne spots quicker. I also find this spot treatment to be a bit on the heavier side so I use this at night. The combination of this and the acne treatment make a huge difference in the overall appearance of my skin!

Acne Facial Day Cream (sample): I've been using this face cream during the day (of course) and it has been lightweight and fast absorbing! While this was a nice product to use during the summer, I don't think that it would have enough moisture for my dry skin during the winter months.

I am beyond impressed with this brand and I already know that I will be purchasing some new products with them. The price range and size of products are all fantastic. I love how they have something for everyone!

Have you tried Just Naturals before? What are your thoughts on this brand? 

Golden Milk aka Turmeric Milk

I stumbled across this drink and quickly became intrigued because Turmeric Milk comes from Ayurvedic practices. Turmeric is used to help with sore throats, colds, flus and even stomach aches. Since turmeric is high in antioxidants it also works to boost immunity, maintain cholesterol levels and to regulate metabolism.

This warm, spicy and nutty drink is best consumed before bed because it is comforting and relaxing. The original recipe that I started using was from Nutrition Stripped, although I've added a few of my own variations! Since this drink is easy and quick to make I can see myself enjoying this often, especially as the weather starts to cool down. 

2 cups of almond milk 
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil (optional) 
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg 
small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger

***adding black pepper with turmeric enhances your body's absorption of turmeric by 2000%!***

Pour all ingredients into saucepan, bring to a light boil and drink warm 

Next time I make this drink I am going to add a touch of vanilla and cardamon! Have you ever tried golden milk before? What are your thoughts on this drink?  

Arya Essentials Review

Ayra Essentials is inspired by ancient Ayurveda. Their products contain pure botanical ingredients that are used to heal, rejuvenate and nourish the skin. All of their products are handcrafted in small batches in Brooklyn and contain no parabens, GMOs, sulfates, synthetic dyes or fragrances.

Face Oil*: 

This beautiful luxurious oil is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skins. It contains a delicious blend of essential oils and herbs such as:

                                                                                      Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)
Seed Oil 
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond)
Centella Asiatica (Brahmi)
Rosa Rubiginosa (Rose Hip Seed)
Santalum Album (Sandalwood)
Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla) ExtractTocopherol (Vitamin E)Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi)
Azadirachta Indica (Neem)
Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang)
Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil

Together these ingredients work together to boost collagen production, prevent aging and to reduce visible signs of wrinkles. I found this oil to not only look beautiful, but it felt beautiful as well. It is fast absorbing, non-greasy and full of skin loving ingredients. I do quite enjoy the natural scent but I feel that it might be too strong for some. After using this oil my skin always felt refreshed, balanced, and vibrant. 

Body Oil*:
Another beautiful oil which has a slightly more mild scent that will leave the skin hydrated and refreshed. This oil again contains a beautiful blend of oils such as: 

Sesamum Indicum (Sesame Seed Oil)
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut  Oil)
Citrus Aurantium (Neroli Oil)
Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper Oil)
Centella Asiatica (Brahmi Oil)
Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli Oil)

Coconut and Sesame oils keep the skin radiant while essential oils of Rosehip Seed, Neroli and Brahmi help to regenerate cells, delay aging, and boost collagen production. Again this oil is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skins. As with most oils, I applied this body oil directly out of the shower while my skin as still wet. I again found this oil to be fast absorbing and hydrating. It also left a pleasant scent on my skin throughout the day!

Do you have a favorite skincare line that is based on Ayurveda principles? What are your thoughts on Ayra Essentials?

*Indicates PR Sample 

A Night With MIYU: Prettea Little Tea Quartet Review & Interview with the MIYU Founder

MIYU Beauty {pronounced mee-you} is a natural union between tea & beauty.  MIYU combines scientific advancement in skincare with ancient Chinese beauty wisdom. Their collection consist of two unique pairings; Hydrate Mi Pairing and the De-Stress Mi Paring.  Included in each is tea and a beauty essence (part serum, part facial mist). 

MIYU Beauty kindly sent me their Prettea Little Tea Quartet for review. This four piece introductory tea and skincare kit contains the following:

Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence (15 ml)
1 De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence (15 ml) 
2 Sachets of Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea
2 Sachets of De-Stress Mi Beauty Tea 

The entire collection is gorgeous. The tea's taste divine, with my personal favorite being the Hydrate Tea as it contains rooibos tea with goji berries, rose petals, snow pear essence and candied pearls. The De-Stress Tea is also beautiful as it has peppermint, licorice root, organic chamomile blossoms, and candied pearls. 

Although the facial mists are not 100% natural, they do contain good holistic ingredients. All ingredients are listed at 4 or under on Cosmetic Database which I can also appreciate. I found the facial mists to be a perfect refresher throughout the day or to use before my daily moisturizer. I love that they are not only a mist but combine the same concentrated, nourishing ingredients that a serum has. 

Here are the list of ingredients for the Beauty Essence: 
Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence: water (aqua), pentylene glycol, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed pearl protein, camellia sinensis leaf extract, paeonia albiflora root extract, hydrolyzed viola tricolor extract, rosa centifolia flower extract, lycium chinese fruit extract, garcinia mangostana peel extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, sodium PCA, panthenol, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, proline, serine, glycine, glutamic acid, lysine, alanine, arginine, threonine, sorbitol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, phenoxyethanol, betaine, polysorbate 20, disodium EDTA, ethylhexylglycerin

De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence: water (aqua), pentylene glycol, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed pearl protein, camellia sinensis leaf extract, paeonia albiflora root extract, saccharomyces/zinc ferment, saccharomyces/iron ferment, saccharomyces/copper ferment, saccharomyces/magnesium ferment, saccharomyces/silicon ferment, mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, taraxacum officinale (dandelion) rhizome/root extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, sodium PCA, panthenol, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, proline, serine, glycine, glutamic acid, lysine, alanine, arginine, threonine, sorbitol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, phenoxyethanol, betaine, polysorbate 20, disodium EDTA, ethylhexylglycerin

Interview with MIYU Beauty Founder Connie Tai 

What inspired you to start MIYU?                                     
When I was living in New York, I began developing skin sensitivities in ways I had never seen before.  At the time, I was doing product development for another beauty brand, so I had access to some of the best products in the industry.  However, nothing seemed to settle my irritations.  I turned to my father for inspiration because he was just in the middle of building his own pharmaceutical company using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  I started to take an interest in this field and began reading more about Eastern philosophies and its approach on health.  I quickly came to appreciate that our health and ultimately our skin is affected by so many external factors including diet, sleep, stress, etc, something we don't address enough in Western culture!  For this reason, Eastern medicine teaches us to match what you do on the outside with what you do on the inside.  When I looked around me, I realized that today's beauty products are too narrowly focused.  An ideal beauty ritual should not be limited to just creams and lotions.  Rather, it should also encompass the lifestyle choices that you make, all which may have a material impact on your skin.  I wanted to create a line that would target lifestyle-inflicted skin concerns from the inside out, while marrying Eastern philosophies with the latest in skincare technology.  I wanted to redefine our current idea of "skincare" and expand it to include "self-care".  The result is MIYU - a beautiful line that pairs teas with skincare to nourish the complexions from the inside out.  
Photo Credit: MIYU Beauty

Your products are beautiful! What motivated the elegant design of the MIYU line?
Thank you so much!  I found that many skincare brands that boast some serious science tend to have very clinical-looking packaging.  Although the science behind our formulas are also robust, I wanted the packaging to look different than any other skincare brand.  I wanted the products to look so pretty, that you would want to display them on your vanity.  And what can I say, I'm a sucker for pretty packaging!  As you can probably tell, I love intricate detail and soft pastels.  Much of my influences have been drawn from my trip to London, Paris and Japan several years back, because I was so impressed with the thought and attention they put into their packaging.  

Facial mists & tea pairings are such a unique and creative idea! What inspired this idea?
I wanted to create pairings of beauty essences and teas that address specific lifestyle concerns rather than skin type.  The reason for doing so is because I discovered through my research that more than 80% of skin aging is due to environmental and lifestyle factors, while only 20% is genetic!  I found this statistic extremely empowering because environmental and lifestyle factors are well within our control!  Our beauty essences are a unique hybrid between a serum and a facial mist, delivering the nourishing and treatment benefits of a serum, but dispensing as a convenient and refreshing mist!  The reason why I chose to pair beauty essences with teas as opposed to any type of face cream is because I wanted a product that you can switch out easily as your lifestyle concerns change.  Since our pairings are beauty boosters to your existing regimen, you can swap them out as you please without overhauling your existing routine.

I love the fact that you’re Canadian and originally from the same city as me! What influence (if any) did Canadian and New York culture have on MIYU? 
It's always nice to meet a fellow Edmontonian!  Canada definitely influenced my affinity for tea - we have such a big tea culture here!  I also like to think that we incorporate the friendly, heart-warming Canadian spirit into MIYU, through all our interactions with others - be it customers, suppliers, retailers or partners.  New York has influenced me tremendously in terms of art, design and how to NOT be afraid to push the envelope and embrace innovation.

MIYU Beauty Webpage

As you can tell I'm totally head over heels for this line and it's founder Connie. I think that this is a beautiful line that would be perfect for events like bridal showers. In the future if I ever do open up an brick & mortar store for Nuciya I would love to have this for my customers during a customer appreciation event. What are your thoughts on this unique line? 

Petit Vour Luxury Vegan Beauty Box - July 2014 Review

This is my second month receiving the Petit Vour Luxury Vegan Beauty Box and I am yet again thrilled with the products received. This months box was the Set Sail collaboration with Logical Harmony. All items in this box are items that Logical Harmony personally uses and recommends.

Here's what's included in the July box:

LVX Nail Lacquer in Lolli (Full Size): 
This 5-free nail lacquer comes in a beautiful soft pink. Something which I'm so happy about because it's a color that I'll wear all the time! I have a soft spot for light, feminine, easy to wear colors.

Schmidt's Deodorant in Lavender & Sage (Deluxe Sample): 
I am really happy that this was included in July's box because I have used Schmidt's deodorant in the past and loved it. This deluxe size sample was the perfect size for me to take camping!

Pelle Beauty Facial Oil in Luxe (Deluxe Sample): 
This Canadian made beauty oil retails for $68 for 30ml. This is a natural anti-aging face oil containing 10 plant based floral extracts and botanicals. This sounds super lovely and I cannot wait to try it!

Modern Minerals Eye Shadow in Cherish (Full Size): 
This highly pigmented eye shadow is a beautiful mauve color that I've been wearing and lovely. It's highly versatile and can be used as a crease contour or all over the lid.

Shop the July Box 

I'm really happy with the selection and versatility of the products recieved in this months box. For only $23 a month for Canadians I really think that this box is a good value!

What is your favorite beauty box subscription service? 

Nuciya Natural Beauty: Launch Mega-Sale!

It's been just over a month since Nuciya has launched! We wanted to say thank you for your support and to give everyone an opportunity to see what we're all about! We're offering once in a lifetime deals and giving you plenty of time to take advantage of our sale! 

Karen Murrell Lipsticks Review & Swatches

Colors from left to right: Peony Petal, Camellia Morning, Poppy Passion, Carnation Mist, Coral Dawn, Lavender Laughter, Orchid Bloom, Violet Mousse, Scarlet Blaze, Moisture Stick 

Karen Murrell popped onto my radar a few months ago. I was seeing them all over instagram and on various blogs. They have such beautiful shades, I knew that I had to get my hands on these lipsticks! The Karen Murrell lipsticks come in 17 different shades including the Moisture Stick which can be applied over lipstick,  used as a lip gloss or as a lip pumper! Their packaging is eco-friendly as the canisters are made from PLA (polylactic acid) which will start to dissolve back into the earth within 100 days. 

Colors from left to right: Peony Petal, Camellia Morning, Poppy Passion, Carnation Mist, Coral Dawn, Lavender Laughter, Orchid Bloom, Violet Mousse, Scarlet Blaze, Moisture Stick 

These lipsticks smell so good, have excellent color pay off and are super creamy. I find them easy to wear and easy to apply - they have excellent control. Even with the dark colors I can quickly apply the color without using a brush if I'm in a rush. The best thing about these lipsticks? The shades that I have ALL compliment my skin tone and features. This doesn't happen too often, before I went natural I only liked two shades of the MAC lipsticks. 

Ingredient List: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Simmondsia, Chinensis (Jojoba) Esters, Isopropyl Jojobate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Alcohol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Limonene, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cinnamal, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Butter (Shea)Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon) Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Linalool, Eugenol, Tocopherol

Product May Contain: CI 77019 (Mica), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxide), CI 77499 (Iron Oxide), CI 15850 (Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 27 Lake), CI 17200 (Red 33 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 45370 (Orange 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77861 (Tin Oxide), Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Silica, Corn (Zea Mays) Starch

I've been testing out these products for a while and am so happy with them! These work so well on my dry lips, smell incredible, and have an excellent range of colors. I am also happy to announce that Nuciya now carries this line!

Have you tried or heard of Karen Murrell lipsticks before? What are your thoughts?

Caru Skincare Review

I'll be honest, the first thing to draw me towards this brand was its beautiful and unique packaging. After a little browsing, I knew that this line was a must try! Caru Skincare is a small NYC based company that handcrafts their products in small batches. Their ingredients are simple, pure, organic and fresh. What I really like the most about this company is that their packaging is sustainable and they even tell you how it's made here. Their paper is 100% post-recycled seed paper that is biodegradable. They also use soy and water based inks. How fabulous does that sound?!

After learning more about the Caru Skincare brand I contacted them for samples to review on my blog and for wholesale consideration at Nuciya. Here's what they sent me:

Activated Charcoal Dead Sea Salt Face +  Body Soap: 
A vegan soap that detoxifies the skin with activated charcoal. Activated charcoal helps to draw out any impurities in the skin. Dead sea salt nourishes the skin while the tea tree and neem oils help to kill bacteria. I personally love this soap as I have acne prone skin. I find that it helps calm my acne without being too harsh. I also love that the dead sea salt gently exfoliates the skin!

Ingredients: Olea Europaea (olive) oil*, Cocos nuciferas (coconut) oil*, Reverse osmosis water, Elaeis guineensis (sustainable palm) oil*, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter*, Azadirachta indica (neem) oil*, Activated charcoal, Dead sea salt, Tea Tree essential oil*, Essential oil blend*

Cucumber + Lime Facial Toner: 
This alcohol and preservative free toner restores your skin's PH after cleansing. The cucumber gently soothes and calms the skin while the lime cleanses and clarifies. This toner smells exactly like cumber and lime! I find this toner so refreshing especially during the summer months. I love to spray it on throughout the day, especially if it's one of those really warm summer days.

Ingredients: Cucumber Hydrosol*, Lime Hydrosol*, Hydrosol Blend* *organic

Immortelle Serum:
Immortelle is made with blue chamomile, cypress, grapeseed, and hempseed to deeply nourish your skin. I found this oil to be fast absorbing and to help normalize my natural skin oils as I can be oily in some areas and dry in others. This serum is perfect for those with oily or blemish prone skin. I think that using this with the activated charcoal soap will really help to keep acne away!

Ingredients: Jojoba oil*, Pomegranate oil, Grapeseed oil*, Hempseed oil*, Immortelle essential oil*, Blue chamomile essential oil*, cypress essential oil*, essential oil blend*
*certified organic ::

So far I am very impressed with the Caru Skincare line. I love it's use of simple but nourishing ingredients and also their sustainable packaging. I am strongly considering this line to add to Nuciya! 
Have you tried Caru Skincare before? What are your thoughts?

Update: Psst! Caru Skincare is now available at Nuciya! I couldn't resist, I loved this line too much. Shop now at!

Au Naturale Beach Bombshell Box Review

Au Naturale popped onto my radar when they kindly asked me if I wanted to review their Beach Bombshell collection. As this brand is new to me, I jumped at the opportunity! Their Beach Bombshell Box was created with supermodel and Spots Illustrated model Julie Henderson. Julie Henderson has hand picked all the colors in this collection to create a perfect, natural look for summer.

This collection comes in three different boxes to suit all skin shades - light, medium, and deep. I received the collection in light. All of Au Naturale's products are are cruelty-free, nontoxic, hyoallergenic, and made with organic ingredients. Included in the light box is (pictured left to right) : 

Natural Lip Gloss in Flirt 

Organic Creme Bronzer Stick

Organic Creme Highlighting Stick 
Organic Cream Eye Shadow in Palma 
Organic Lipstick in Innocence 
Organic Creme Concealer in Beige 

Natural Lip Gloss in Flirt: I was pleasantly surprised with this gloss. In the tube, this gloss looks bold and daring. However, once you put it on it adds just the right amount of color which is neither too bold nor too light. I really like this color because I feel that it finishes off the whole look and is a universally flattering color. 

Organic Creme Bronzer Stick: I personally find that makeup in a stick form is a bit harder to work with. So for an everyday look I still like to use a makeup brush to pick up & apply the color while using a beauty sponge to blend it out. At first glance this bronzer looks far too dark for light skin. However, the formula of this bronzer is so easy to work with that it can be applied lightly for a sun-kissed glow or added in layers to work as a great contour. 

Organic Creme Highlighting Stick: Lately, I've been loving highlighters that have more of a pink/peach undertone which is exactly what this has! I find that pink undertones work so well for a highlight on the cheek bone. It creates a healthy glow without looking too white or false. 

Organic Creme Eyeshadow in Palma: This summer I've been loving a bronzed look for the eyes. This is really a fabulous color that can be used all over the lid or in the eye crease for a contour. Just a note when using this product, make sure that you don't use any concealer underneath as the color will be harder to apply. Instead lightly dab some finishing powder once the product is applied to set your look. 

Organic Lipstick in Innocence (pictured above, first photo): A beautiful light, sheer pink that is easy to wear everyday. However, it doesn't last as long as I would like. Probably only about 1-2 hours. 

Organic Creme Concealer in Beige: At first I thought that this concealer would be too light for me. However, it ended up blending into my skin perfectly. I use this to cover blemishes and it creates a seamless look. So far, I love it!

Organic Lipstick in Cora (pictured in 2nd photo): Not included in the Beach Bombshell collection. However, this lipstick was also sent to me for review. Like the other lipstick, this is a very sheer light coral shade that is easy to wear on a day-to-day basis. 

Overall I think that the Beach Bombshell collection is a fantastic deal. For $98 you get 6 products (regularly priced at $187). The collection does do what it was set out to do - create a natural, easy, summer look. I do however find stick formulas a bit harder to work with, so I wouldn't recommend this kit for beginners. Also, personally I like a bit more color pay off. However, if the collection did have more color pay off it wouldn't create the look that it was made for. I would like to try more of Au Naturale's products to see how they compare!

Luminance Skincare Review & Giveaway + more!

Luminance Skincare is a small, three person company that makes hand-made all natural skincare products. Their products contain no synthetic chemicals, no alcohols and no waxes. Kim Emanuel developed Luminance Skincare with his wife Priscilla when she started to develop severe reactions to toxins. It got to the point when Priscilla couldn't use soap, hair spray, perfume or even laundry detergent. The pair soon realized that finding products without these toxins was difficult. Frustrated with the lack of chemical-free products on the market Kim and Priscilla developed Luminance Skincare - a clean skincare line that is free from synthetic chemicals and toxins. Every product is formulated and handmade by Kim, assuring a high quality product.

Delicate Cleanser*: 
This unique cleanser is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skins. It is vegan, raw, and produced without any synthetic ingredients. This is probably the most unique cleanser that I've tried as this is a soap and comes in a spray bottle. My whole life I've been told to never use soap on my face so this is still a new concept to me! I guess the only reason why people say that is because mainstream soaps contain alcohol, metals, solvents, and petrochemicals - all which are extremely drying to the skin and strip the skin of its natural oils. However this soap is pH balanced so it is extremely good and nourishing to use on your skin.

I've been using this cleanser for a few weeks and am so far very impressed. I like its unique application method (spray bottle) and that the soap has a little bit of natural foam. I am finding that this soap gently cleanses my skin without being too harsh or drying. It also hasn't caused an acne break out, which is a really good sign! I'm finding that I'm looking forward to using this product every morning and night. Luminance has a really wonderful guide of how to use their products for acne prone skins here. 

Organic Rosewater Toner*:
You guys know that I am a huge rosewater lover. I love its simple ingredients and its ability to treat and heal all skin types. Rosewater acts as a pH adjustment to correct dry, oily and combination skins. Luminance says that tap water is too alkaline for your face, so you should spray a bit of rosewater on your skin after it is exposed to tap water. I really love rosewater so I'm happy that it's part of the Luminance Skincare line. I feel like this should be in everyone's medicine cabinets!

Hydration Face Moisturizer*: 
Made with organic rosewater, this moisturizer was designed for youthful skin. It is a light moisturizer and can be used day and night (depending on what your skin needs!). It is made with rich anti-inflammatory ingredients like Evening Primrose and Meadow foam oils. It also contains Argan Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Jojoba Oil for skin hydration. With a list of ingredients like that, who wouldn't love this face moisturizer!? When using this moisturizer, I find this to feel like a simple yet effective cream. It is fast absorbing and non-greasy, making it the perfect moisturizer for summer. I feel like this is a really good day moisturizer for most skin types. However, once fall/winters comes around again I'll need to try their Deep Hydration Moisturizer!

Acne Serum*: 
I was so happy when Luminance Skincare contacted me because I spotted this acne serum on instagram last year but didn't know where I could get it! Made with tea tree oil and matcha tea this sounds like the perfect acne treatment. Both ingredients are pretty much made for acne as they are anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants! This serum is not meant to treat existing blemishes but instead to help prevent new blemishes from occurring. So far I've been so happy with this acne serum as it is non-drying and fast absorbing. My skin is starting to look clearer as well!

Maitake Mushroom Face Mask*(not pictured): 
When I saw this product on the Luminance Skincare website I knew that I had to try it. I mean I have never tried any skincare product with mushrooms! This very interesting face mask is made with organic Mataki Mushroom, Kelp, Matcha Tea, and food grade clay. Together these ingredients work as a detoxifying mask to pull out impurities from your pores. The first time I tried this mask my skin was looking dull, lifeless, and had a ton of blemishes... all due to not eating well. Immediately after using this mask (and of course, the rest of the Luminance Skincare line) my skin looked better. Since then I've been eating healthier and my skin keeps looking better and better. I really applaud this mask for kick starting my skin detoxification!

(the mask is not pictured because I unfortunately dropped the container and broke it! Thankfully, I managed to salvage the product!)

Sweet Marzipan Soap: 
This delicious bar of soap smells so sweet and so much like Marzipan. You can also smell the pure almond essential oil with a very slight touch of cherry. So far I am loving this soap as it is creamy and gentle. I think that this product speaks for itself!

Well, that was a long review but completely worth it! I'm happy that I got to sample this line and find the acne serum! Luminance Skincare is hosting a giveaway! There are three prizes:

1st Place: $150 credit to use on the Lumiance Skincare website 
2nd Place: $100 credit to use on the Lumiance Skincare website 
3rd Place: $50 credit to use on the Lumiance Skincare website 

To enter please follow the steps of the Rafflecopter widget below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway's not over yet! Luminance Skincare is offering a 20% off coupon code to their online store! Just use the coupon code: NATURALBEAUTYBLOG14 at the check out!

*indicates PR sample