Non-Toxic Skincare Favorites

Have you ever flipped a bottle of shampoo around to read the ingredients? How about a tube of sunscreen? Whenever I read the labels, all I see is xyxyzyzzzyyyyzzyyxx. Totally normal ingredients that I want to be slathering into my skin, all over my body and willfully subjecting to this stuff absorbing into my pores. That’s why I’ve been transitioning my skincare picks from ingredients with zyyyyyxxxyyy to thinks like jojoba oil, lapis lazuli, and squalene. Now—these are all ingredients I can pronounce.

non-toxic skincare

Here are my favorite non-toxic skincare picks.

Volition Helix AM/PM Eye Gel 

Have you ever heard of a company that asks their customers about what their next product should be? Meet Volition Beauty—the company that asks you to submit an idea, then for everyone to vote on which product they should make next and then, boom—it’s on the shelves at Sephora. Plus, all of their products are non-toxic and never tested on furry friends. This eye gel is the bomb too for depuffing and moisturizing that sensitive, around-the-eye area.

Would I purchase again? Yes, for sure.

Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm

If you haven’t washed your face with a balm, you’re missing out on a very fulfilling skincare experience. This cleansing balm by Farmacy really does melt everything off—including waterproof mascara. Farmacy partners with two farms (like actual farms!) to gather the honey and echinacea that are key ingredients in most of their products. Plus, their very chic packaging is recyclable and printed on paper from well-managed forests.

Would I purchase again? Yes, for sure.

Herbivore Botanicals Facial Oils

The first swap that I made was switching my nighttime moisturizer to face oils by Herbivore Botanicals—a brand that I was itching to try out. Founded by a Seattle-based couple (quite literally in their kitchen), their focus is on creating high-concentrate products with food-grade ingredients with no fillers (aka non-active ingredients).

Would I purchase again? Big yes. I particularly liked the Phoenix and Lapis oil, the first for everyday moisture and the second for balancing my skin.

Farmacy Honey Drop Moisturizer

What’s up, honey? Yup, pure honey goes into this lightweight moisturizer that lasts all day. I’ve been a fan of mixing in the Herbivore facial oils with Honey Drop for added moisture throughout the day. Something new and fun too? Cupuaçu butter beads that go from full-on beads to melting into the skin after taking it out of the jar.

Would I purchase again? Probably not—it’s a little pricey for my bones at $45 for a jar, and doesn’t pull the weight that I need to feel like my skin is moisturized.

What are your favorite non-toxic skincare products? Give me the scoop!

The Glossier Products Worth Buying

If you really know me, you would know that every other sentence that comes out of my mouth contains “glossier.” But if you don’t know me, you’re probably thinking that you say it like gloss-ee-errr. And if so, we are no longer friends, not even acquaintances. If you happen to live in San Francisco (like me), I have some exciting news for you: Glossier is coming to town. I repeat, Glossier is coming to town and their pop-up is popping up in the Mission at Rhea’s Café.

Glossier Products Worth Buying

To help celebrate, I thought I’d wrap up my favorite Glossier products (for now) so you have the slightest idea of what to buy tomorrow (if you’re local) or what to buy on their website (if you live far, far away).

Here are the Glossier products worth a shot. 

Priming MoisturizerHello, I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite everyday moisturizer. If you’re not moisturizing during the day, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING THEN? Even for combination skin like mine, Priming is light but still feels like enough. The only downside on this guy is that there’s no sunscreen, so wear sunscreen (see below).

Balm Dotcom: “IT’S WINTERTIME,” said pop sensation Cardi B. Apparently my lips got the memo too. Whenever they get a little chapped, I just do a little dab of balm dotcom and everything is smoooooth sailing from there. I prefer the original, unscented version but there’s also rose, mint, cherry, birthday cake and coconut flavors too!

Haloscope in QuartzGlossier basically trademarked dew. Fresh, morning mist had nothing to do with dew with it. If you don’t know what “dew” is, start using Haloscope as your highlighter and you’ll look like you just had a jog through the subtlest of fairy dust that still looks natural and never too much.

Boy BrowWhen I was younger I was so, so foolish. I once thought that my bold, thick brows were a curse, an even bigger sign that life is unfair. But now that I’m old, refined and wise, I now know that bold brows mean you never have to touch an eyebrow pencil ever in your life. I love Boy Brow (a cult-like, nope—a cult) favorite of Glossier virgins and veterans.

Stretch ConcealerAh, Stretch Concealer, my very first concealer. I always thought that concealer was going to heavy and cakey, but Stretch feels anything but. It’s light, blends easily and keeps those deep, dark, dehydrated bags under my eyes under wraps all day.

Body Hero moisturizerThe first time I put on Body Hero, I just thought to myself, “MY BODY FEELS LIKE A DOLPHIN.” So yeah, it’s good. Expect a subtle neroli scent, the teensiest bit of sheen and a pleasantly weighted body lotion that leaves you feeling slippery (hm) and moisturized all day long.

WowderWe are getting to know each other pretty well now—yes, I have combination skin and yes, I get a little shiny even when I’m not sweating and/or nervous. A brush of Wowder and I’m covered for most of the day, but to be honest, it could have a little more staying power. But don’t be afraid to pack this guy in your purse for a to-go moment.

Invisible Shield sunscreenSorry, I have to end on a dark note. We are all aging and we can do nothing about it, except eat our vegetables and wear sunscreen. Another point of honesty, but Invisible Shield isn’t good for an all-day hike to the peak of a mountain, but it is great for everyday wear in a congested city where you may be weaving in and out of tall buildings all day. Plus, it layers over Priming Moisturizer and under Stretch Concealer like a dream.

Found something you might like? Here’s a Glossier referral code for 10% off.

In SF and need directions to Rhea’s Café? Map it below.

Fall Beauty Essentials

Fall’s almost in full swing (officially). To gear up for the new season, I’ve been rounding up my favorite beauty products that are going to make me, my skin and my hair presentable for the change in weather. From the cheapest body moisturizer I’ll probably ever use, to the most luxurious glycolic serum I’ll ever own, here are my favorite fall beauty essentials.

Almay Smart Shade concealer: I think I got tan this summer. To cover up any imperfections with my new, golden glow, I added in Almay’s concealer which lasts all day long and really does match to my summer skin tone (whatever that may be).

365 Maximum Moisture lotion: I hope you have a Whole Foods nearby and $3.99 to burn. It’s light but deeply moisturizing and inexpensive. And organic. I’m also fairly certain the bottle is recyclable. Basically Mother Nature’s best friend.

Bumble and bumble brilliantine review

Bumble and bumble Brilliantine: Almost every morning, I strive for that languid, beachy wave look but more often than not my curls end up looking a little too pageanty. A little bit of Brilliantine tousled through the ends roughs them up a little and adds a very good gardenia-floral-esque scent.

Caudalie Glycolic Mask Review

Caudalie Glycolic Peel mask: They always say, start ’em young, so that’s the same approach I’m taking to my anti-aging regimen (along with plenty of SPF). I’ve been using this 2-3 times a week, before bedtime and afterwards my skin feels nice and fresh.

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: Drunk Elephant might be the most decadent thing I own. I don’t know if I’m totally quite on the serum train yet with this, but it did turn me onto the beauty of having a nighttime skincare regime with more than one product.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer:  Okay, you know the drill. Can’t do one beauty post without one Glossier plug. When I first started using Glossier, I actually thought this would be my least favorite product (and the least important in my regimen). Turns out, it’s my absolute favorite. I’ve definitely noticed softer skin since using this every morning. Can’t argue with that.



Winter Beauty Essentials

Winter Beauty Essentials

Winter is coming. Kidding, it’s totally here. The other day I put on a puffer coat just to move my car, so for a born & bred California girl it’s safe to say that anything less than 50 degrees is freezing. I might be eating my words in a week, but I’m lucky enough that my skin doesn’t suffer from any dry spots once the temperatures drop. So let’s dive into my favorite essentials from this winter.

  • belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched: After reading review after review of gel cleansers (and trying out Milky Jelly by Glossier), I hopped on the gel cleanser train. I’m all aboard now, since this one takes out every last drop of makeup, especially when you cleanse a dry face at the end of a long day.
  • Living Proof Dry Shampoo: I’ve also been skipping washes throughout the week (only every other day, okay!) since it’s way easier to curl my hair on a skip day. I can’t say I love this dry shampoo, but it does the job. I’m still looking for “the one” though.
  • Rose balm dotcom: I’ve already counted the ways that I love balm dotcom, so I’ll spare you. This winter, I’m reaching for this lightly tinted balm with the same all-day moisture.

Winter Beauty Essentials

  • Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream: This bb creamI’m a slather on and go type of gal. I have no patience for blending and disdain anything that feels like a layer of vaseline on my face. sinks right in and covers up those imperfections from any late night or too many pizza slices.

Winter Beauty Essentials

  • Moisturizing Moon Mask by Glossier: This one’s lightMaybe the trick to banishing any dry spots is a serious relationship with any and all face masks. , but doesn’t skimp on the moisture. Plus, I’ve read that you can sleep with it on. Now that’s a two-in-one mask.
  • Harry’s razor: Winter might not be the most optimal time for silky smooth legs. But when you discover Harry’s razors (now sold at Target too!), it’s hard to not shave even if your legs aren’t catching the faintest glimpse of the sun.

Winter Beauty Essentials

  • Replenishing Gel Cream by REN: Even if my skin’s not having a meltdown, I like to give it a bit of upkeep when it comes to preventing blemishes. I’ve been using this daily, underneath my moisturizer, to keep it 100%.
  • Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner by Marc Jacobs: Branded as a gel pot eyeliner in a crayon, this is my one-way ticket to a quick and easy lined eye. I like to put it on before a big night, that way the smudges look more semi-smoky rather that unintentional by the night’s end.

Wednesday Wants: Summer Beauty Essentials

Summer Beauty Essentials 2016

Summer is here in San Francisco, but it’s not hot, hot, hot! On one hand, I’m lucky that I’m not stifled by humid air and dewy by the time I get to the office. But, there are (many) days where I wish that I could just wear a dress to work without getting goosebumps. But I guess having an SF summer means that my beauty routine doesn’t have to drastically change or lighten up. Here are this summer’s beauty essentials, in order from left to right, top to bottom.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer, SPF 45: Having an oily t-zone means that you look sweaty by the middle of the day, regardless of whether you worked out or not.I can’t recommend this for a visit to the beach, but I can recommend it for daily city venturing and in-office wear. It’s lightweight, moisturizing and has a pleasant fragrance to boot.

Belif, The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb: My love for Belif has been documented already and it’s definitely not coming to an end anytime soon. I’ve been using this moisturizer every night and my skin is baby smooth in the morning and hasn’t felt cracked or dry at any moment.

Balm Dotcom by Glossier: Another repeat appearance of this beauty essentials, but it really is the cure-all for anything chapped or uber-dry. I use it exclusively on my lips and all I have to do is apply it once a day—it’s that good.

Boy Brow by Glossier: Alright, you might be thinking by now that this is just recycled content because of another repeat appearance from Glossier. I have been #blessed and #cursed with thick brows and Boy Brow tames up the ever-increasing bald spots and keeps them in place all day.

Florence by Tocca: If you ever meet my mom, she’ll probably tell you the story of how we went to Sephora, I sprayed on too much of this and then she was stuck in a small car with me for the rest of the day. I guess if that’s the most embarrassing story she can tell, I can consider myself lucky. Filled with my favorite  notes of jasmine, tuberose and gardenia, it’s the ideal scent if you’re looking for something a little woodsy and a little floral.

P.S. You can still get 20% off at Glossier with this link here!


All About Glossier Phase 2

Glossier Phase 2 Review

I’m not one to pine for compliments and when people do give me actual compliments, I cringe a little, mumble a meek ‘thank you’, then descend into a tumult of thinking over and over again, “DID THEY REALLY MEAN IT”? The other day, I completely lost my s*&# when my aunt dropped this gem, “Have you heard of Glossier? They totally remind me of you.”

A Little Bit About Glossier

Now that I’m done with my internal mini-meltdown, let me introduce you to Glossier in three sentences. Glossier is the brainchild of Emily Weiss, the founder Into the Gloss and head of the coolest girl gang on earth. Back in 2014, the brand launched their Phase 1 collection which cemented their status as the coolest skincare line and their spot in the beauty cabinets of cool girls everywhere. Phase 1 also introduced their “skin first” mantra with their milk jelly cleanser, a priming moisturizer, and a universally acclaimed skin salve aptly named, “balm dotcom.”

Glossier Stretch Concealer in LightGlossier Boy Brow in BrownGlossier Generation G in Cake

It was only natural that they venture into makeup with their next kit, and that’s just what they did. Earlier this month, Glossier released their Phase 2 set which includes a concealer, brow wax, and matte lipstick to round out their complete mantra of “skin first, makeup second” which I’m a full-blown fan of.

Glossier Phase 2 Review

My Makeup Routine with Glossier Phase 2

I was already a fan of the “no-makeup makeup” look (oxymoronic, I know), but Glossier really hit it out of the park on this one. My makeup routine is now an even quicker process which includes: moisturizing, SPF, the Stretch Concealer, the Boy Brow, mascara, and a swipe of Generation G as partially demonstrated by these gifs.

stretch_concealer glossier_boy_brow glossier_generation_g

I snatched up the Stretch Concealer in light, the Boy Brow in brown, and Generation G in Cake.

What I L.O.V.E. about Glossier Phase 2: 

  • Stretch ConcealerAs a concealer-virgin, I’m in love with the lightweight texture of the Stretch Concealer. It feels like I’m just dabbing a moisturizer over those not-so-pretty spots and areas. Layer it for heavier coverage, or use just a dab for a quick touch-up.
  • Boy BrowAnother new tool to my makeup arsenal was any sort of brow grooming product; just getting my eyebrows threaded was grooming to me. But with the Boy Brow, there’s nary a strand out of place or weirdly slanted to the point where I self-consciously swipe my index finger over my brows every hour. Plus, it’s super easy to apply the mascara-like formula with the teeny wand applicator. If you’re also new to the eyebrow game, I read this article to help me pick my shade (I was deciding between black or brown).
  • Generation GMarketed as a matte lipstick, this really performs like an upgraded chapstick, which is not to say that it’s lacking in staying power. Cake is an orangey-nude hue that gives your lips a healthy flush of color without drawing too much attention to the mouth. It’s the perfect off duty shade and just fine for the office, too.


I’m still not a cool girl, but major props to Glossier for blessing us all with Phase 2. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Phase 3!

Get 20 percent off your order with Glossier by clicking here! Shipping is also free on all orders over $30! 

Wednesday Wants: Beauty Essentials

This week’s Wednesday Wants aren’t things I’m craving. Rather, they’re the things I can’t live without in the beauty department. My morning routine consists of a quick 10-minute slather of things onto my face. No more, no less, I’m all for the quick makeup routine. Hair? That’s a different story. It takes work to make it look effortless, but that’s for another day.

Body Time Zara Perfume Oil – Berkeley based Body Time makes some of my favorite skincare products, I am never not using their Clarifying Face Wash for as long as I can get my hands on it. Their perfume oil is inexpensive at $13, so it means that you can have a whole army of perfume oils without emptying out your bank account. Zara is a fresh, fruity and barely floral scent that I’ve been rocking since Spring.

Giorgio Armani ‘Eyes to Kill’ Waterproof Mascara – My lashes are notoriously difficult when it comes to holding a curl and keeping mascara on my eyelashes. Luckily, a dear friend bought me this mascara for my birthday and forever changed my eyelash game. It holds a curl, stays on all day, and not once has it made me look like a raccoon.

Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder – I was a bit skeptical of this powder before I tried it. I was not keen on spending over $30 for…powder. But, I was wrong! It mattifies, it smoothes, and it cuts down on any and all sheen.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer – Tinted moisturizer is one of the best things to have ever been invented. Sunscreen, moisturizer, and coverage in one tube.  This one’s not too heavy and not too light, and I’ve definitely noticed softer skin in the weeks that I’ve been using it.

NARS Blush in ‘Deep Throat’ – We all know the most popular NARS blush shade, but my personal favorite is its second cousin. This peachy shade with just a touch of shimmer is versatile enough to be taken from day to night and from summer to fall. The slight shimmer adds just enough light reflectors to give me an extra bit of glow and the subtle peach tone can be flattering on just about everyone.