Tag Archives: Kahina

Gimme that Gook

kahina beldi soap

Don’t judge the gook by its look. I get it – this doesn’t look like the most appealing jar of soap but I assure you it is magical. It was the VIP of my weekend. Allow me to break down the experience of using a traditional Moroccan Beldi soap. As a bath connoisseur, I’m fascinated by bathing culture around the world. I’m the middle of researching a trip to Finland where saunas are a national pastime. I’m part Finnish so my affinity toward hot steam is perhaps ground into my DNA somehow. I really appreciate the cultural nuances on how we choose to relax and clean our bodies. In Morocco, Beldi soap is used in bath houses called hammams. It’s a process.

kahina beldi soap rose

Pores are first opened with hot water and steam and then Beldi soap is applied all over damp skin like a mask and left on for 3-10 minutes. The texture of the soap is a thick gooey gel – it’s simply olive oil that’s been turned into soap – and usually is scented with eucalyptus essential oil. With steam and heat, it sort of soaks in and softens on your body. Once it’s time to rinse, you use a coarse mitt – called a Kessa in Morocco – and scrub the Beldi off. Along with all of your dead skin. Now you see why I use the word magical.

I learned of Beldi from Kahina Giving Beauty and have only seen a similar product at one other place in Chicago at Merz Apothecary.

I love the luxury of Kahina’s. For me, nothing exfoliates my skin better and the ritual of it all is what I love most. You’re thinking – I have to sit with soap on my skin for 10 minutes without rinsing? How does that even work in the bath or shower?

kahina beldi

Here’s the way I Beldi. I take a bath – usually one where I’m not washing my hair but rather in it to soak and relax. I get in it while the water is still running so my body adjusts to the temperature and I can get the water super hot. Once I’ve been soaking for a bit, I’ll apply Beldi on my limbs, neck, chest – pretty much everywhere and then I’ll sit up in the tub with my legs propped up. That way, I’m not submerging the areas I’ve just Beldi-d. I’ll chill for a bit and then wet my Kessa mitt (Kahina sells one!) and then start scrubbing. It lathers up really nicely and then once you’ve scrubbed it all off there’s usually evidence on the mitt. So satisfying! After I’m all rinsed off, I usually get out of the tub and drench my body oil. It’s unreal how soft your skin feels.

Kahina now has two versions of Beldi soap – the original with eucalyptus oil and now one with rose oil that you can also use on your face. The rose is a little gentler. I wouldn’t go totally ham on your face with an exfoliating mitt but lighter pressure might feel really nice.

There’s nothing quite like scrubbing Beldi soap off of your skin. I highly recommend trying…you totally can get past the look of the gook.

Beauty Sleep

Beauty Sleep

My sleep has been extremely not great this past month. Night owl tendencies have me up until almost midnight – the Olympics aren’t helping, either – and I’m getting woken up by my boyfriend’s alarm clock 30 minutes before mine goes off. He made his own alarms for his iPhone which are entertaining but messing with my last precious REM cycle. Highlights include the Top Gun and Jurassic Park scores and the Doug theme song.

I’m in planning mode for Operation Sleep Better. It will commence after my upcoming vacation, naturally. Post-Labor Day, I’m getting back on track.

I’ve actually already started on a new night time skincare regimen. I’ve used up a bottle (every last freaking drop) of Sunday Riley Good Genes and have been carefully using a few sample sizes I am pretending will never run out. Results are instant – I’m talking smoother, brighter skin overnight.  It has pharmaceutical-grade lactic-acid based which is gentle on my skin. I top it with Luna Sleeping Night Oil, which is like a gentle retinol. It’s good for blemishes, smooths skin and calms redness. It’s blue in color from the blue tansy and chamomile essential oils. It’s only been a few weeks but paired with Good Genes, the combo is incredible.

Have you ever slept on a silk pillowcase? I hadn’t either and then I laid my head on the Slipsilk Pillowcase and was SOLD. The brand is coming to the Michigan Ave Sephora this month. It makes a lot of sense since silk is less absorbent than other fibers so moisturizers and treatments stay on your face where they should. There’s also less friction so less stretching and tugging of your face. Honestly, it just feels a good night’s rest from the second you lay down.

I’m seriously considering splurging on the Everlane Silk Sleep Set. I get a little taste of sleeping in silk and I want more! Nothing against my oversized beer tees, but…

I take a probiotic daily but just started to do it right before bed. I like this one from Amazon. Bladder health is really important to me and well, if you happen to get frisky at night…the timing works to your advantage.

I’m a big fan of nighttime showering (or bathing, come cooler temps!) to save time in the morning. I’m going to start doing it right before bed so that I can ride the serene combo of the lavender-scented Aveeno Calming Body Wash and Kahina’s Essaouira Body Serum that smells like an exotic island vacation.

I try and go multiple days without washing my hair and have been pumping Aveda’s Dry Shampoo (smells like signature Aveda!) along my roots and crown. It has a white cast and instead of massaging it in, I leave it so that it absorbs over night. Bam! Instant volume and clean hair in the morning. It also has a non-aerosol spray so it pumps out with impact but not one that is negative for the environment and your lungs.

Any tips for getting back on track? Also, please share any silk PJ recommendations! I’ve got winter to plan for, too.

Beauty My Way: Kahina’s Katharine L’Heureux

Kahina Giving Beauty

My gateway into the skin healing world of face oils was argan. There weren’t many around marketed for your face and face alone about six years ago. Now, it’s widespread. One of the early adapters of argan oil – maybe thee founder among indie brands – is Kahina Giving Beauty’s Katharine L’Heureux. Katharine works closely with the Berber women of Morocco to ensure that not only is she making the highest quality products but doing so while protecting the natural, human and cultural resources that help make it happen. I think it’s awesome that her business is founded in supporting and protecting women and she is also bringing Moroccan beauty rituals to us in really luxurious and special ways. Beldi soap, anyone?

For any of us that think we know the path we’re on, I hope you’re as energized as I am by Katharine’s story of personal and professional transformation from PR girl to mom to beauty globetrotter. Life is unexpected but it’s the connections we make throughout it that can change everything.

Kahina Katharine L’Heureux

What was life like pre-Kahina for you?
My life pre-Kahina was very different from what it is today. I had an early career in public relations, but became a stay-at-home mom in New York City in 2001 when my children were young. I rarely traveled except to our family vineyard in the Napa Valley. Now, I have just a twelve year old at home (the other two are in college), I travel 1-2 weeks out of every month and am busy with the day-to-day operations of Kahina.

How has travel impacted your life? Do you view the world differently?
Travel has enriched my life in so many ways, and given me a perspective on the world that I wouldn’t otherwise have. It has been especially enlightening to spend so much time in Morocco, a Muslim country and meet lovely people I have come to know there. I am fortunate to have had experiences that help me see beyond political rhetoric and to have made good friends that allow me to see beyond simplistic labels.

kahina traditional extraction processThe Berber women extracting argan oil

What beauty traditions and rituals have you learned from other cultures that you now practice?
When I discovered argan oil on my first trip to Morocco in 2007, I was unaccustomed to using pure oil on my face, which I have since learned is a traditional practice in many cultures. Now, I can’t imagine going without it. I am most intrigued by holistic beauty rituals incorporating regional ingredients and traditions passed down through generations. In Morocco, these include argan oil, prickly pear seed oil, rhassoul clay, rose water and beldi soap. Not only do these natural ingredients work, their farming, harvesting and production techniques help to preserve centuries-old knowledge and traditions while supporting rural populations. The awareness of the history of these ingredients and the people behind them enriches my own beauty experience.

What makeup and haircare do you bring with you on trips?
I keep it really simple when I travel. Argan oil is my best friend for giving me glowing skin and making my hair more manageable. Makeup is minimal, usually our Kahina Lip & Face Balm and sunglasses. If I want something a little extra, I’ll wear a little lipstick (Ilia) and mascara (W3LL People). For shampooing, I use Acure Organics.

kahina Essaouira fortress wallsFortress walls of Essaouira, Morocco; namesake of Kahina’s Essasouira Perfume Oil

Kahina Perfume
You just released a new perfume oil inspired by the Moroccan coastal city of Essaouira. What is the story of this scent and what you wanted it to convey?
Essaouira is a very laid-back beach town on the Atlantic Coast 2 hours outside of Marrakech. The charming port town colonized by the Portuguese in the 1500s has been attracting poets, scholars, craftsmen and artists for centuries and remains a dynamic center of art and music today. Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley both famously spent time there, making it a big draw for music lovers and giving it something of a hippy vibe today. I love how many worlds collide in this small town, which combines European and Moroccan influences, while maintaining its low-key beach vibe. In Essaouira, we wanted to emulate this breezy, exotic and somewhat sophisticated flavor with rose, geranium, lavender, sandalwood, petitgrain and blue tansy essential oils.

Is there a moment in Kahina’s history that stands out in your memory?
Kahina has been such an amazing adventure since it began almost 9 years ago, with so many stories and lessons learned along the way. I’ll never forget my first, order of argan oil from a cooperative. I had no experience in international commerce. I was dealing through a translator with women who only spoke Berber, so we couldn’t communicate directly and they had never shipped their oil to the U.S. before! I ordered 20 liters of oil and had it shipped via the Royal Moroccan postal service. I didn’t even get a receipt or tracking information and assumed it was lost. Three months later, I received a call from the post office at our house in Ulster County New York saying that a suspicious looking wooden crate nailed together was there with my name on it. I am amazed it ever arrived. My name and address in the US, scribed by these women, were barely legible, literally scrawled on the wood in black ink. The US Postal Service earned my respect that day. Of course, things are a bit more buttoned up at Kahina now.

Thanks, Katharine!

*photos 1-4 provided by Kahina

The Best of Beauty: 2015

Best of Beauty 2015

Hey 2015, you were pretty cool. There was that whole living in Toronto for three months, falling madly in love and getting a Smart TV. That last one was a real game changer, let me tell ya. Reflection makes my world make more sense to me and I also love thinking about it through a beauty lens. Remembering the year in beauty brings up fun memories of date nights, shower experiments and great (or not so!) hair days. There were so many great discoveries, advances and ingredients. Somehow, I narrowed my best of beauty down to 10 products. Now, to opine…

Kahina Fez Perfume Oil is the sexiest fragrance I own. I feel traveled and adventurous when I dab this on. It evolves into something spicy and earthy – completely unlike anything I’ve worn before.

Been wearing Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerize on the regular since I met Charlotte this summer. It’s a cream to sheen formula which means it looks so bright and glowy on the lids. The color Jean is champagne perfection. All shades are named after badass women, which is also pretty cool.

Apparently, 2015 is the year I rediscovered my love of cream shadows. Blue eyes really pop with the Ilia Silken Shadow Stick in Next to You. It is a bronzy amber that leans warm and almost orange. I line my eyes on the lower lash line with this, too. Crazy pop!

When I was in Toronto, I didn’t want to keep too many polishes up there because I knew it was just more to bring back. I must have worn Dior Nail Glow for almost two months. My nails looked so healthy without any actual color.

Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen isn’t just SPF. It is an awesome makeup primer and over time helps improve tone and texture.

I’m unbelievably picky with eyeliner, usually favoring liquid but can’t get enough of W3LL People Hyponist Eyeliner in Plum. It is almost navy and a nice change from black.

Those early mornings? Met their match with Bottega Organica Eye Illuminate Cream. It might be the fanciest skin care I’ve ever used but boy does it work. On top of all of the skin care benefits, it also has a yellow tint so automatically everything looks corrected and brighter.

Dry shampoo is the greatest invention and Living Proof’s is the best of the best. Cleans hair and you can actually go a really long time without actual shampoo. Like a week, or more.

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue does everything. It is so hydrating and makes my skin look radiant. I’ve bought several tubes of this since trying it in January. A true staple for all of 2015 – I’ve been using it all year long!

Coconut oil is the most useful and functional item in your bathroom, yet, it never seems to be very pretty. Cocovit changed all of that with a beautiful jar (in three sizes!) This is made right here in Chicago, but sourced from a village in India. It’s the fluffiest coco oil and barely has a scent.

Any beauty discoveries you made this year that stand out?

This Balm is Sexy and it Knows It

Kahina Fez

Balm season is upon us and I’m full on ready. Or should I say prepared? Ready implies eager and that part just ain’t true. Balms are how I survive winter without my face and body completely surrendering to the elements. I’m certain I would be a shriveled mess without. Lotion can’t touch a balm. They rarely moisturize deeper than that outermost layer of skin. It’s why you might get dry and scaly skin despite having slathered an absurd amount of lotion on your entire body H2T just hours earlier.

Kahina Fez Balm

Balms, on the other hand, are restorative beyond all get out. One of the most spectacular takes on a body balm is from Kahina Giving Beauty. Back at A Night for Green Beauty, I met Katharine L’Heureux, the founder of Kahina. She’d just launched the Fez Hand & Body Balm, which is the second product in her line with the Moroccan-inspired scent. I knew it was going to be solid – she makes effective and nourishing skin care – but it is truly INSANE. I’m certain my eyes bugged out of my head a bit when I got all balm-fanatic on Katharine. Balms I go bananas for as is but balms that take on the Kahina Fez scent I go crazy for. It is unbelievably sexy. In that perfect way that isn’t trying too hard – it just is, ya know? Fez is an exotic mix of spice and femininity and completely unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before. Rose and citrus layered with patchouli, sandalwood, ylang ylange, cumin and clove. Sex-ay! I need this to be a perfume (err…hint hint) but in the meantime take great pleasure in massaging the velvety rich balm on my skin. As soon as you dig your mitts in there you can fill the texture start to melt. There’s a heavy dose of argan oil, which is Kahina’s signature,  calendula oil to calm skin, carrot seed oil, shea and mango nut butters and coconut and olive oils. I use it sparingly – but always on my neck and chest so I can breathe in that Fez goodness!

Photos by Lindsay

Let’s Do This Thang! A Night for Green Beauty

A Night for Green Beauty 2014

It’s almost here! A Night for Green Beauty is officially going down on Thursday, August 7. This is the second annual event – the first was in New York last September – bringing together eco beauty brand leaders and enthusiastic people (like moi!) for a night of glamour and luxurious eco beauty. It’s free to the public and if you are in SoCal, I hope to see you there on Thursday. If you’re not, I promise to Instagram my way through the event.  I have been counting down the days since Victoria first shared her ANFGB vision with me back when it was still polar vortexing outside. I’ve heard rumblings of new eco beauty debuts and am way excited to check out everyone’s wares.


Beautycounter Lip Sheer – These gold tubes are as chic as can be and I have a feeling what’s inside is equally so. // Indie Lee Blemish Stick– I’m looking forward to meeting Ms. Lee and it’s high time I tried the blemish stick that everyone is raving about. Laurel Organics Eye Balm – Did someone say BALM? This has a blend of 24 ingredients that address fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. Word is that they are giving out 20 full-sized samples at the event.  // La Bella Figura Golden Corrective Highlighter  – LBF is launching their makeup line this week! Or should I say “more than makeup” since it is skincare first, color second. I need this golden cream highlighter on my cheekbones yesterday. // One Love Organics Vitamin C Body OilI have warm and fuzzies towards this body serum and team OLO is using ANFGB as a focus group for its new body polish. Holla! // Odacite Serum ConcentrateI’m hoping the Odacite crew can give me advice for a custom pure elements plan.  Each drop is a concentrated dose of vitamins and antioxidants and you mix and match to suit your needs. // LURK Perfume OilI first met Anne Sanford of LURK at last year’s event and was enchanted by her beautiful perfume oils. This one is rose on rose on rose and I can’t get enough. Rumor is she has something new coming out this week, too. //  Kahina Fez Hand & Body Balm – Again. Did someone say BALM? Can’t wait to massage this into my mitts!

The Birkenstocks Revival


Birkenstocks are back and now that I’ve got my feet in a pair I’m concerned I may never wear another shoe again. It’s like a cozy cocoon for my feet and I’m just wondering who I have to thank for these being “fashionable” again. I completely get why some people stayed in their Birks since 1994. There really is a better way. Consider me a convert (for now). As my friend Lindsay joked, is this a slippery slope to the land of tangled hair and no makeup for me? Hardly, though the Birkenstocks revival is inspiring a whole new wave of simplified summertime living for me.

Nourish Fig Deodorant. I’ve long gone natural with my deo and Nourish is the one I always go back to. I need reliable in the summer months. // Fez Body Serum. Patchouli and Birks, what can I say, they just go together. But there’s more to this body serum than a stereotype – there’s rose, orange blossom layered with vetiver, ylang-ylang and hints of cumin and clove. Please make this into a perfume, Kahina! //  S.W. Basics Toner. I discovered this apple cider vinegar toner last summer and it balanced my skin and prevented breakouts like a champ. It’s back in action again, morning and night on a clean face. // Madewell Piazza Maxi Dress. The great thing about Birks is they go with everything.  Shorts, jeans and especially flowy dresses. I love this in red and white. // Birkenstocks. I went with the Gizeh Birko-Flor in Golden Brown. On my foot, I thought this fit was the most flattering. A requisite for wearing these non-stop: a great pedi color. // Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castile Soap. This is the soap equivalent of Birkenstocks. The question is: what can’t you wash with Dr. Bronner’s? The rose is my favorite. //  Meow Meow Tweet Tweet Camper’s Kit. Mosquitoes are enemy number one in summer. For a night out on the lake, bring reinforcements. MMTT’s Insect Repellent doubles as a perfume. For real…not just when you’re wearing Birks. // One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo. The longer I go between washes, the better my hair looks. The key is a great dry shampoo and powder formulas are the best.

My Skincare is Buzzing


My skin care nightcap (and nightcap nightcap) is all abuzz right now. You see resveratrol –the antioxidant found in red wine– is making its way into your makeup and skin care, big time. You know the word, because you’ve probably had a glass (or two) of Cab, justified it as dinner and chalked it up to healthy living. Me too.  Turns out, resveratrol is all it’s cracked up to be. Its might is in stimulating collagen production—what helps give our skin that firm and youthful look. At some point in our 20s, this process naturally slows down. And by 30(ish), I really started to notice on my forehead.

It’s been a few months since I’ve put the powerhouses that are SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E and Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream to the test and my skin is at its best. Individually, these work hard and together I feel like I cut in line at the DMV—I hardly had to wait for results.



Kahina is known for Argan Oil and now it is combined with essential oils and active ingredients (like resveratrol) in a cream formula that feels like whipped cream on the skin. I appreciate a heavy cream and thick balm but love that the Kahina Night Cream is neither. As a first step at night, I use SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E – which has the highest concentration of resveratrol on the market today. Mixed with a baicalin (a flavonoid – another antioxidant that does wonders for skin damage) and vitamin E, it is quite the anti-aging cocktail. It’s a splurge so if you’re feeling aight with your collagen situation, hold off for a time (or person – mom?) that needs the assist.

p.s. In my constant state of “research” for this blog, I stumbled on Skinstore.com which seems to always be running site-wide sales. Now there’s 15% off and a SkinCeuticals treat with purchase.

note: samples received of both of these products — and I would definitely purchase myself!

How to Make Foundation Look Natural


I want it all when it comes to my makeup. I especially want that full coverage foundation to look completely natural, like it is my actual skin. The good news, it is much easier to get that second skin look than you think. The first step is a moisturized face — makeup just won’t sit well on dry skin and will only get worse as the day wears on. Dry office air, anyone? It’s the second step, though, that really makes the difference. After applying your foundation (cream/liquid/tinted moisturizer), spritz a toning mist all over your face and buff buff buff. And buff some more. I take my Cargo Magic Brush (the name says it all) and spritz the La Bella Figura Jardin de Fleurs all over. The key is to do it right after applying foundation and before any other makeup. The finish is dewy and natural—so good you could stop right there. But, I’d recommend a few dabs of cream blush on the cheeks for good measure. I adore LBF’s mist with coconut water and hyaluronic acid for hydration and jasmine, honeysuckle, rose, carrot seed hydrosol (see ya redness!) and white peony to balance PH levels in skin. But, you don’t need to spend a lot of dollars to benefit from this trick. The Heritage Rosewater & Glycerin, at about $6 a bottle, is equally up to the task.


A few of my favorites, low-to-luxe style:

$ Rosewater & Glycerin Spray / 100% Pure Organic Rose Hydrasol $$ Caudalie Beauty Elixir / ZENMED Nutrient Boost Spray / ED4OLO Vitamin D  $$$ Kahina Toning Mist / La Bella Figura Jardin de Fleurs / Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence

The List: November 2013


November has its perks. The holidays are in sight and that means lots of sparkle and shine. Everywhere, really. The streets are now glowing with holiday lights and walking into J. Crew this time of year is like strolling through candy land. If winter decides to encroach on the last bits of fall, even that is welcome. You know…big picturesque snowflakes, infinity scarves and warm boots. Everything is just better in November. Here’s what I’m loving for the month ahead.

Dewy skin. Drier air has moved in and I’m feeling it on my skin. Time to break out the moisture-rich Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation. I love the finish and the coverage but tend to avoid it in the summer months. It’s just right this time of year.

Bronzed complexion. Who says bronzer is only for summer? I think it’s fresh and modern to wear bronzer and hardly anything else on the skin. RMS Buriti Bronzer is a cream bronzer made with Brazilian Buriti Oil and can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips (see it in action on Bare Beauty – stunning!) Pur Minerals Mineral Glow Bronzer is subtle enough to dust all over and and for a peachy bronze, the creamy Kjaer Weis Desired Glow is where it’s at.

Incense. Diptyque’s holiday collection is sick, guys. They are the ultimate splurge but my gosh, I need no convincing. Nicky Kinniard of Space NK gifted me with a mini of the Indian Incense – frankincense, myrrh and rose, can you even? – and it’s transformed my living room into some exotic destination. It’s all very “we three kings” and puts me in the mood for the holidays.

Body serum. Speaking of exotic…Kahina’s Fez Body Serum. I’ve never been to Morocco, but I think I have a good idea of what it smells like. I tried a mini sample from a recent Spirit Beauty Lounge order and it was incredible. Stay with me – rose and orange blossoms layered over patchouli, vetiver, ylang ylang with hints of cumin and clove. I’ve never smelled anything like it before. I want to take a hot steamy bath every night and layer this on after. Adding to the allure is this New York Times culture piece on Fez, the city. Kahina may be singlehandedly responsible for boosting Moroccan tourism.

Neutral tote. Leopard print is the hardest working neutral. I’ve added this French Connection ‘Animal Mania’ Tote to my wishlist. It would fit my computer and just about everything else I lug around. What do you think?

Mini oils.  Can it be November 15, already, so this little trio can be mine? La Bella Figura is launching a value set for the holidays – a rollerball of the Daily Elements Defense, Barberry Fig Renewal Serum and the brand spanking new Travel Therapy Mood Booster with some mighty fine soothing botanicals (including rose essential oil – my fav!)

Travel Skincare Diaries


I love skincare minis for travel. Sometimes I’ll even order full-size from certain places just so I can get those minis (Spirit Beauty Lounge, you complete me). Anyone else hoarding minis in a bin under the sink? I find travel can be a great way to test products. Here’s the discoveries I made this past weekend in DC.

I started testing the S.W. Basics Cleanser last week and couldn’t bear to leave it at home for four days. I knew that it would save my skin from any travel breakouts. It’s actually sold in a 1 oz. version so you can bring it with you. The formula is so simple and effective, just three ingredients: organic rosewater, glycerin and tea tree oil. Shake it up, dab it on a cotton pad, spread it over your face and then rinse with warm water. It’s incredibly gentle and is really making me rethink how I cleanse my face.

I had a mini sample of Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum that I’d been saving for just the right trip. Two days would have been too short and I would have ended up throwing part of it away. There is surprisingly a lot of product in those tear away samples! Kahina’s Eye Serum is beyond — I need to upgrade to a full-size stat. It is lightweight, which is great for day and night, but seriously powerful. We’re talking peptides to restore collagen, argan oil and sodium hyaluronate to plump skin, alfalfa to soothe and a botanical complex to depuff and lighten up dark circles. It has a cooling effect on skin, too, which feels so good in the morning.

I just can’t with hotel body wash. I need that touch of home in the shower, so prefer to bring my own. I’m hooked on Molton Brown and the Patchouli & Saffron Body Wash smells insanely good. Intoxicatingly good. There’s a leather note in there that is so sexy. Plus, my husband could use it, too.  The mini was cute, but how adorable is the full-size bottle?

I am a body oil convert, but they can be tricky to pack. Plus, I was excited to try the CV Skinlabs Body Repair lotion. I literally squeezed every last drop from the sample I packed. If you have any type of skin irritation—eczema, dry skin, etc. – this is for you. Every ingredient serves a healing purpose. The founder created this line when her dad was fighting cancer to help him with the side effects on his hair, skin and nails. It’s completely non-toxic and feels wonderful on skin. Dry hotel air did not get the best of me.

Up next? A long weekend in Minneapolis.

Kahina Giving Beauty


These weighty black bottles gracing my bathroom counter represent serious girl power. Kahina Giving Beauty was founded by a woman who now donates an impressive 25% of profits from each product sold to help improve the lives of the Berber women in the Morocco argan cooperative. Every product in the Kahina line contains high concentrations of certified organic argan oil. The products are simple and effective, which is exactly what Kahina is all about. Emphasis on the effective. A few weeks ago, I revealed that I couldn’t get enough of the Toning Mist. Still the case. But trust, it’s more than a just a mist of water. It’s incredibly active, with antioxidants that help oils and serums penetrate skin better, and sodium hyaluronate, a weightless moisturizer that plumps skin on contact and builds skin cells up so they can retain more moisture. When I use this I feel more hydrated and my skin looks it, too.

The Brightening Serum is my secret power serum, but it’s not fair to keep it hush.  I’ve been using it for about four weeks, after toning in the mornings. It is proven to reduce discoloration, hyper-pigmentation and those post-acne marks all while protecting skin from future environmental damage.  And, it’s working. It can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to start noticing a difference, so I’m sticking with it to see how things progress. The key is to apply this to skin first, before any moisturizer, other serums or SPF so the ingredients can penetrate the skin.

As for the Facial Cleanser, I’ve read enough raves from No More Dirty Looks and its community to know that this was something I needed to try myself. It is the “cleanest” cleanser I’ve used, meaning the most gentle and probably not for everyone. There’s no lather or foam, but don’t take that to mean it doesn’t work. I like to use it twice — once to remove makeup, and another to clean my face. You know that tight, super clean feeling you get from a face wash? Yeah, you won’t get that with this, and that’s the part I love.

Earth Day (Beauty) Clean-Up


Are you ready for eco everywhere today?  Honestly, you can’t not love Earth Day. Because even though every day should be eco-minded, every day is not Earth Day. So let’s cheers to the official with a chat about green beauty! Admittedly, I am not 100 percent clean with my beauty routine but I am very ingredient-conscious and the balance is tipping more and more green for me. Especially with skin and body care. There’s no excuse for mineral oil and parabens anymore, ya know? The green beauty industry has majorly upped its game. And many other brands are cleaning up their formulas as well.  The paradigm is shifting.  In addition to spending some of Earth Day with nature, make it your mission to check out some of my favorite clean products and brands below!  An Earth Day clean-up doesn’t necessarily have to be about planting trees and picking up trash…

RMS “Un” Cover-Up. An incredibly effective concealer, made with coconut oil and a blend of cocoa seed butter, jojoba and beeswax. This can be used all over the face on the areas that need a little coverage. Blend with your fingers to warm up the product and watch it melt into your skin. Don’t underestimate the magical powers housed in this tiny little pot. And also don’t fear the oils. Promise! It works wonders (even on oily complexions!)

ILIA Lipstick. The company responsible for making my favorite lipstick. In My Room is my perfect neutral. It’s pinky, with a hint of peach, and enough brown tones to balance it out.

Kahina Toning Mist.  I’m in the middle of testing a few Kahina products, and in the process have become reliant on this moisturizing mist. It’s made with more than 90% organic ingredients and smells ever so slightly of roses. It calms skin, tones and replenishes moisture throughout the day. And, 25% of profits of this product are set aside to the women in Morocco who harvest and produce Kahina’s organic argan oil.

Vapour. Oh, just everything from this line. Seriously, it’s one of the best all-around organic beauty lines I’ve tried. Everything is consistently good, and made from organic plant-based ingredients, minerals and vitamins. This foundation rivals many of my “unclean” favs as do the Aura Multi-Use Blushes.  Oh, and I adore the Siren Lipstick in ‘Au Pair’ — it’s definitely getting some use this spring as I can’t enough of rosy pinks.  

Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm. A brand I’m interested in getting to know more of, based on my positive experience with the Freedom Glow in ‘Blushed’ – a super hot pink that is sheer and dewy on cheeks. The ingredient list makes me smile — coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera and it goes on. The more I embrace these nourishing oils in my beauty routine, the more my skin behaves.

For more Earth Day fun, the ladies at La Bella Figura will be hosting an #EarthBeauty Twitter chat tonight at 7pm central. I’ll be joining in and hope you can tweet along as well!

*note: I received a sample of the Kahina Toning Mist.