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

Blissoma Holistic Organic Skincare Review

Oh Blissoma, the line that I've been lusting for ever since I switched to natural & organic cosmetics. This skincare line is made with top-quality ingredients, is certified vegan, raw, and organic whenever possible. Their products are packed with organic botanicals, bioavailable vitamins, essential fatty acids, and skin-soothing seed oils. Even Julie herself, the creator of Blissoma is formally educated in art and chemistry and has more than 10 years experience working with herbs and essential oils. Seriously, it can't get any better than this! I was thrilled when Julie agreed to send me some samples for review. I quickly fell in love with her products and am proud to say the Nuciya is the first online Canadian retailer for Blissoma! Here is a review of some of my favorite products from Blissoma:

Fresh Mild Rice Cleanser:
This is the cleanser that I've had my eye on ever since I went natural.  Made with organic whole brown rice flour, willowbark, and oils of Apricot Kernal, Hemp, and Sunflower this is the perfect cleanser for all skin types. It's unique ingredients make this cleanser suitable for acne prone skin, dry skin, normal skin, and even oily skin. The brown rice gently exfoliates the skin to remove dirt while the willowbark dissolves dead skin cells and helps to prevent bacteria build up. I have sensitive, dry, and acne-prone skin and my skin adores this cleanser! It is gentle enough to not irritate my skin but still has effective ingredients to help treat acne. Whenever I use this cleanser my skin is left cleansed, hydrated, and refreshed. As expected, this cleanser did not disappoint and is quickly becoming a favorite. 

Bright Eye Vitalizing Nutrient Serum: 
I'm always on the hunt for a good eye serum that will help to decrease under-eye puffiness and dark circles...then came Blissoma! Made with organic herbs, vitamins, omega fatty acid rich oils, aloe and skin-activated Vitamin C this serum brings life back to the eye area while leaving the skin smooth and supple. The interesting thing about this product is that since the vitamin c is skin-activated you never get more released than your skin actually needs. It also keeps working for hours after application. I tested this product for weeks before I came to a conclusion that it actually worked. While I immediately noticed results I wanted to make sure that my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. For two weeks I only used the product on one eye to notice if there was any difference... and there was! My eye that didn't received the serum had terrible dark under-eye circles and of course puffiness. 

Here is when Blissoma says that you will notice results: 
Results that you can expect immediately: increased comfort in the eye area, decreased puffiness, plumping of fine lines, and last non-greasy hydration. 

Results that you can expect within 1 to 2 weeks: decreased depth of fine lines and wrinkles, improved color of under eye area

So far I am totally head over heels for this brand. Have you tried Blissoma before? What are your thoughts? 

Summer Essentials

With summer here and in full swing, here are some essentials to help you get the most out of this perfect weather!

Prtty Peashun Skin Tight Body Lotion*: This product seems to be on everyone wishlist this year and for good reason! This is pretty much a miracle worker to get flawless skin. Created by celebrity makeup artist Bethany Karlyn, this lotion contains subtle light reflecting particles that concealer minor imperfections such as varicose veins, scars, or even small bits of cellulite. Although this is not a self-tanner you can get this lotion in plain, light, medium, dark and deep dark to enhance your natural color. I received this in medium, which is pretty close to my skin tone. I do like a little bit of color so next time i'll opt for the dark! I think that this is a must have for special events such as weddings, birthdays, or even vacations - really any place where you want to look your best!

Laurel Sun Damage Facial Serum*: Another must have for summer as we all spend those long days in the sun. This Laurel serum will help regenerate your skin and help with cellular turnover. Made with key ingredients such as, Scarlet Pimpernel, Licorice, Sea Buckthorn, Gotu Kola, Rosehip, Chamomile and Marshmallow to help with skin discoloration, collagen loss, and as well as sun damaged skin. I put this on after I've spent time out in the sun to keep my skin looking youthful and vibrant! It is among the highest quality of oils and is easily absorbed into my skin. This serum also contains plants that have been linked to sun protection, such as Red Raspberry Seed, Carrot Seed, Sandalwood and Cistus. I seriously cannot live without this product!

Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate: I felt like I won the lottery when I found this on sale at my local Marshalls. This versatile product can be mixed in with foundation to give a sun kissed glow, used as a contour, mixed in with lotion to give your skin more color, or you can use this straight as is to make your skin looked tanned. I love using this on my legs when I am wanting a bit more color! This is definitely a staple for summer!

Little Rose Fields Organic Rosewater: I am a huge lover of rosewater so when I heart Kate from The Life Cake mention this product on instagram, I knew that I couldn't resit checking it out. Made from the famous Bulgarian Rose Valley from its unique soil and climate this rosewater is sure to have plenty of benefits for the skin. This can be used as a natural facial toner, as a skin refresher during those hot summer days, and can even be used to sooth insect bites.

What are your summer essentials this year? 

*Indicates PR Sample 

Petit Vour Luxury Vegan Beauty Box - June 2014 Review

Just recently I started hearing a lot about the Petit Bour Luxury Vegan Beauty Box. Every month their boxes seem to be a hit and for just $15 for US residents, $23 for those in Canada, and $30 for international customers you can't go wrong! I was thrilled when Petit Vour contacted me to review their June beauty box.

Here's what I received:

TAY Rosehip Balancing Cleanser with Seabuckthorn - sample: 
This was probably my most favorite item to receive as the bamboo packaging immediately caught my attention. I've been wanting to try more products with seabuckthorn so I can't wait to try this out.

MUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum- 1 ml sample: 
I'm a huge fan of MUN products (full review to come in the future!) so anymore that I can get of this product i'm all over. I love this oil because you see immediate results and it works for all skin types! When they said luxury, they meant it!

NCLA Let's Stay Forever Nail Lacquer - full size $18:
This is the first time that I'm trying and hearing of this 5-free nail polish. It comes in the perfect color for summer, so I think that I'll be using this quite a bit!

EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Travel Size $17:
This is another new brand for me! I was immediately surprised by the strong scent and quickly looked at the ingredients. It's very surprising that this can smell like a traditional shampoo but have no synthetic fragrance. Overall the ingredients in this shampoo/conditioner duo aren't too bad so I can see myself trying these out right away.

I am absolutely so happy with this months box! I really love it when beauty boxes have items from all different categories (ie. skincare, hair care, nails, etc.). To me it really shows that there was thought and consideration when picking out the items for the month. Like I've said before, I hate it when you get tons of lotions or hand creams in beauty boxes... in my opinion most times we already have enough of those lying around. That being said this month was a huge success for me and I will seriously consider subscribing to this box in the future!

What is your favorite monthly beauty box? 

Scotch Naturals Nail Polish Review

When I first 'went green', Scotch Naturals was a brand that caught my eye over and over again. What can I say, I'm a sucker for beautiful packaging and colors! Their products are less toxic than 3-free or even 5-free polishes, and it shows in the smell. Scotch polishes don't have that nasty chemical smell that all my other polishes seem to have. Because of the non-toxic ingredients used in these products, in order to get a lasting polish you'll need to follow a very specific set of steps:

1. Add a drop of jojoba oil to each nail and buff gently. 
2. Wash hands with soap and water to rinse remover residue and buffing dust. 
3. Apply 1 cost of the fortifying base coat.
4. Follow with 2 coats of polish allowing 1-3 minutes in between costs.
5. Finish with 1-2 coats of the deluxe top coat for a high gloss shine. 

To remove polish: Soak nails in warm water for a few minutes. Pre-moisten all nails with remover allowing time for polish to soften. Then moisten a cotton round and rub across nails to remove.

I followed these steps exactly and my polish lasted for 3-4 days! The base coat is a "sticky" base so it will allow the polish to stick to your nail-bed. I find this to be a very important step because the polish will not last without it. I spoke with Maureen (Sales Representative) from Scotch Naturals and asked her about this. Here's what she had to say:

"We feel it is necessary to use our Base Coat at all times. As you know, our base coat is "sticky". This is because we want our base to stick to our nail-bed, while adhering to our nail polish. Although, we have many customers that do not use our base coat and are very happy with their manicures. It all depends on how healthy and hydrated our nails are. If they are dehydrated, our nail polish will not stay on as long."

With that being said I will address some reviews that I've come across on the internet. Before I tried Scotch Naturals, I read a lot of reviews of people saying that they followed these steps and still their polish chipped off within a few hours. I believe that if your nail beds are extremely dehydrated from traditional nail polishes and removers, you'll have a hard time with Scotch Naturals products. I believe that the reason why I had such a good experience with the Scotch Naturals polish is partially because my nail-beds are healthy and hydrated. I haven't used traditional nail polish or nail polish remover in over a year, so my nail-beds are in pretty good shape!

On another note, I also found these polishes SO easy to apply. Because they are a water-based formula the polish itself wasn't thick. I was able to easily and accurately apply my layers of polish. This says a lot because I'm usually not the best when it comes to painting nails!

Where to Buy: 

Have you tried Scotch Naturals before? What are your thoughts?