Beauty Review: Moisturizer Mania

review of three face moisturizers - dr hauschka quince day cream, juice beauty green apple moisturizer, arcona magic dry ice

This is the true story of three face creams picked to live in my house. Find out what happens when seasons and climates change, and great skin starts getting real.

Ok, now that that’s out of my system…in all seriousness, these are three creams I’ve been transitioning through since last December. Yes, December! It’s been a bit of an experiment re-working my skincare routine with temperate weather and higher humidity here in California, hence all the product tinkering.

All of them have great things going for them, and since I love hearing about what other people are trying and using, I thought I’d share my experiences with each of these, in case you’re looking for a new brand to try. This way to gorgeous skin:

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Post Photographs by Victoria McGinley   •   All items purchased by reviewer

"All we wanna know is where the stars came from, but do we ever stop to watch them shine?" - Jon Bellion

Herbivore Botanicals

All natural skincare that looks gorgeous in your bathroom

herbivore skincare set for oily skin

herbivore botanicals facial oil

Ok, I’ll cop to it: this isn’t a rave review of any particular new beauty product. In fact, I haven’t had the pleasure of trying anything from Herbivore Botanicals yet (chalk it up to a medicine cabinet that’s currently overflowing, trying to use up products I already have, and secretly waiting ’til I have a bit more storage space in San Francisco). But do you ever come across those brands that have you so captivated from their philosophy, product line, and packaging (!) that you know it’s probably going to be a home run? That’s how I feel about Herbivore.

I started coming across images of Herbivore packaging on Pinterest sometime last year. Funnily enough, they would always spark my interest from a design perspective, and I never really stopped to explore the products behind them. Happily, when I was sourcing brands that produced charcoal beauty goodies, I re-discovered Herbivore in a product capacity, and I’ve been crushing on them hardcore ever since. This is one of those product lines where you absolutely want to try everything — which keeps getting harder, because I feel like every time I stop by to peruse their site, even more products have been added to the mix!

herbivore calm dead sea salts

Based out of Seattle, Herbivore has completely exploded in the last few years, selling a huge array of products for both face, body, and even a men’s line. The clean, modern aesthetic of the package labels? Amazing. Totally all-natural, non-toxic beauty products? Ohhhh yes. Founders Julia and Alex emphasize that the company doesn’t use any fillers in any of their products, meaning virtually every ingredient in an Herbivore product is an active one. As they write, “This results in pure, highly concentrated and effective formulas that are a rarity in the skin care and cosmetics world today.”

My need-to-try picks? I’m intrigued by some of the aroma inspirations behind Herbivore’s products — specifically anything jasmine, which is one of my favorite scents ever, as well as this body scrub that smells of coconut and rose. I’m also itching (literally, on recent cold winter days) to try the Phoenix facial oil, which is deeply hydrating and packed with CoQ10. More recently, Herbivore launched a coconut milk bath soak, which I’m going to order once we are back in California. Do you know how hard it is to find good all natural bath products? Ok, salts are relatively easy, but milk soaks like this are much, much tougher. I like that the coconut milk bath soak has baking soda in it, which I’m thinking means it’ll fizz a bit when it hits the water.

herbivore coconut bath soak

herbivore clay masks

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Herbivore started out on Etsy, and you can still purchase products from there. These days though, they also sell on a separate site, are in small boutiques all over the world, and even sell online at retailers like Urban Outfitters. It’s a good idea to check a few different sources if you notice products are sold out in one place; for example, Herbivore’s bar soaps — one of their original and most popular products — are often sold out on their main website, but you can find them on UO and on Etsy. I can’t wait to place an order this spring. Have you tried any of Herbivore’s products yet?


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Products pictured:

Skincare Collection for Oily/Combination Skin  |  Facial Oils  |  Calm Dead Sea Bath Salts  |  Coconut Milk Bath Soak  |  Facial Masks

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Beauty Trend: Charcoal

When a lump of coal is a good thing.

charcoal beauty trend

The beauty trend a lot of my girlfriends seem to be buzzing about right now? Charcoal. Activated charcoal has been a go-to in the natural beauty and wellness communities for a while. I first heard about it when Kathy wrote this guest post for me ages ago, recommending it as a natural tooth whitener (note: some dentists advise against this, for whatever that’s worth). And you might remember when I shared this article; despite activated charcoal’s reputation as an excellent detoxification agent, results can be, shall we say, mixed. But recently, a lot of New Yorkers have been raving about activated charcoal juices (people seem to love Juice Generation’s Activated Lemonade; I’m curious to give it a taste).

While I’m intrigued to try activated charcoal as a toothpaste or as a hangover cure, there are so many charcoal masks currently out there that this seems a more reasonable place to start! It’s interesting how charcoal has gone mainstream, since it’s roots are much more home remedy/kitchen beauty (I like that you can find great, affordable all-natural charcoal masks on Etsy, or at clean-beauty retailers like this). Nevertheless, a few tried and true mostly-natural brands have also come out with masks worthy of a home spa night (this one from Origins has great reviews online, and Boscia also makes a gel mask that sounds like it would be really refreshing). If I were splurging? May Lindstrom is an amazing all-natural brand who makes the most gorgeous facial oils (I LOVE her Youth Dew oil), so I’m sure her ‘problem solver’ mask would be no different. Spirit Beauty Lounge actually lets you order sample packs of all their products, which I’ve done a few times to test out pricier brands before fully committing, and I think my next sample pack will include a pot of this mask for sure!

And in between trying charcoal masks, I’ll let you know if I snag a charcoal juice at the grocery store one of these days. What about you? Have you tried any charcoal-related beauty products or regimens? I’m especially curious if anyone uses it regularly for teeth whitening or for digestive detox! Definitely share your results below, if you feel like it.

Beauty and health trends are such interesting and funny things, no? But I can say I discovered one I will NOT be trying…camel milk.


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Background image by Folkert Gorter for Super Famous, with graphics added by Victoria McGinley. Image used under CC 3.0.