Good For You Friday: Strawberry Basil Smoothie

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I’ve been experimenting with this recipe and it is so delicious!  Strawberries and tomatoes share a lot of the same flavor notes, so while the combination seems a bit unexpected, it is a natural winner.  The basil gives the berries somewhat of a floral accent and the coconut milk acts like a creamy mozzarella.  So basically, this smoothie is a caprese salad.  Alright, that sounds weird.  And gross.  Just trust me, you need to try this before strawberries go out out season!

| Strawberry Basil Smoothie | (serves 1)

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (this is my favorite)
  • 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • the juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tablespoon dried goji berries
  • stevia or other natural sweetener to taste

Blend all the ingredients together in a powerful blender or Vitamix until smooth and enjoy immediately.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  I hope you enjoy this last gasp of summer :)

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Tata Harper’s Open Lab

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Have you checked out Tata Harper’s Open Lab program yet?  It is by far one of the most intriguing interactive website features I’ve ever come across!  You definitely need to take a look, especially if you ever find yourself asking, “So, what makes a Green skincare product so much better for me than a conventional one?”  The open lab and traceability program offers absolute transparency and lets the consumer take a peek into the sourcing and production process at Tata Harper Skincare.  You can even look at a bottle of something you already own and trace it on their website to see when it was made and which team member made it, as they batch all their own formulas in-house.  This is the kind of nerdy Green beauty stuff that gets me excited :)

You all know that I love Tata Harper products, so I thought I would share with you my three cannot-live-without-all-time-favorites.

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  • Aromatic Bedtime Treatment – I basically huff this gorgeous essential oil blend every night to help myself doze off.  It totally works and it smells sooooo good.  Cost: $60 for 5 ml.  Purchase it here.
  • Resurfacing Mask – I think I’ve probably blogged about this product one hundred times.  It is, hands down, the best mask I’ve ever used.  I can see a visible difference in my skin when I rinse it off.  I even sleep in it once or twice a week; it works wonders on blemishes.  Cost: $55 for 30ml.  Purchase it here.
  • Regenerating Cleanser – This is the only exfoliating cleanser I’ve ever used that doesn’t irritate my skin or make matters worse.  It is extremely gentle, yet detoxifying, and the fresh grapefruit scent wakes me up every morning.  Cost: $75 for 125 ml.  Purchase it here.

What are your favorite Tata Harper products?

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My Dirty Little Secret

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I have a confession to make: one of the “un-Clean” products that I still use on occasion is dry shampoo.  The aerosol kind.  I know.  It’s really bad.  I hate using it, but sometimes there just isn’t time in the day to wash my hair and I don’t prefer to look like a greasy street urchin, soooo…..

Just why is aerosol dry shampoo so bad for you?  I knew you would ask me that.  For one, it always contains synthetic fragrance, which contains phthalates, which are known endocrine-disruptors and suspected carcinogens.  (They are especially dangerous to fetuses.)  Remember, everything that contains “perfume”, “parfum” or “fragrance” that is not 100% naturally derived most likely contains phthalates.  Conventional dry shampoo spray contains Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, which is essentially an Aluminum Salt.  This is also found in antiperspirants.  While it soaks up oil, sweat and odor very efficiently, this nonessential metal is terrible for you.  Aluminum is a neurotoxin and our scalp is some of  the most porous skin on our entire body.  Do the math there.  Aerosol dry shampoos also contain butane, propane – yes, what lights your grill in the backyard – and isobutane.  And, lastly, when we spray this junk, we are inhaling it, even if we kid ourselves by holding our breath.

So now what do we do?  Luckily, I finally found an awesome Green alternative that works. (!!!!!)

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One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder is the best thing that’s happened to dry shampoo since dry shampoo happened.  First of all, I know this sounds weird, but it is not as messy as many other dry shampoo powders and a little goes a long way.  OLO’s unique kaoline clay-hyalaronic acid-bamboo formula absorbs excess moisture without drying out my hair or making it feel brittle or chalky.  Every time I’ve used it, my hair feels clean and soft and it smells great.  (Full disclosure: the girls from OLO gave me a canister of Healthy Locks to try at A Night for Green Beauty and it’s a damn good thing they did.  I boarded my plane with unwashed hair the next day and I didn’t get home until almost 24 hours later.  If it weren’t for this magical powder, I could have fried a chicken in my hair that night.)  Cost: about $12 for 0.8 oz.  Purchase it here.

Ingredients: oryza sativa (rice) starch, organic zea mays (corn) starch, kaolin, sodium bicarbonate, tapioca starch, bambusa (bamboo) arundinacea stem extract, silica (and) sodium hyaluronate, proprietary natural and organic fragrance compounds

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Good For You Friday: Shrimp and Avocado Salad

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I am trying to get back into my cooking groove now that summer is coming to a close.  I love to cook, but I feel especially proud of myself if I can prepare a dinner that is not just healthy and delicious, but also quick and easy.  (How enjoyable can the meal be for anyone else if the chef comes to the table stressed and sweaty?)  This recipe is from Giada de Laurentiis’ latest book, Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets and it’s inspired by The Ivy’s famous Chopped Salad.  It is super-yummy and you can serve it as lettuce wraps or as a traditional salad.

 

|SHRIMP AND AVOCADO SALAD| (serves 4)

SALAD
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (I used coconut aminos instead)
1 garlic clove, minced
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound large shrimp (about 24), peeled and deveined
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 medium avocado, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

DRESSING
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
1 tablespoon light agave nectar (I used maple syrup instead)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head butter lettuce, separated into leaves

 

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE SALAD

1. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the soy sauce, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, chives, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush the zucchini halves with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Grill until tender, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Grill the shrimp until pink and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini and shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces.
FOR THE DRESSING

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, agave, mustard, salt, and pepper until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, shrimp, and avocado. Add the dressing and gently toss until all the ingredients are coated. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the salad into the butter lettuce leaves.

 

Enjoy.  By the way, this salad makes really good leftovers, too.

Happy Weekend!

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A Guaranteed Good Hair Day

 

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted about haircare.  While it seems as though there is a new natural skincare line popping up every day, there are just a handful of Clean haircare lines that have a cult following.  I guess it is just more difficult to make products like shampoo and hairspray that are both Green and effective…

Well, let’s add Josh Rosebrook to that handful.  I’ve been using his shampoo and conditioner for two weeks now and I really love them.  My hair is stick-straight and on the fine side, but I truly think this duo would work well for any hair type.  In fact, it probably would work even better on thicker, wavier hair.  After just one use, my hair felt silky, smooth, moisturized, manageable, and swingy.  I barely need to comb it when it’s wet, which has happened to me never.

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Hey, I have to document my good hair days. In Charleston, they are few and far between.

The Josh Rosebrook Skin and Hair Care line is hand-crafted in small batches with the highest quality all-natural and organic botanical extracts.  I normally don’t pull all the product benefits straight from the line’s website, but I had to here.  Just look at all this good stuff!

· Raw foaming agent African Black Soap and Saponified Coconut oil gently cleanses and purifies hair, follicle and scalp while preserving your hair’s natural protecive oils.
· Sage, Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme and Lavender are packed with penetrating antioxidants, concentrated vitamins and the potent phytochemical Thymol combined with Cinnamon’s strong anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, promote follicle stimulation, healthy scalp and strong hair growth.
· Deeply nutritive Camelina Seed and Grape Seed oil further balance moisture level and deliver protective vibrant gloss.
· Rosemary, Horsetail and Burdock combine to stimulate follicle cell regeneration that help reduce hair thinning.
· Evening Primrose, Hemp Seed and Apricot oil contain essential fatty acids that help soften and add shine while reducing frizz and dry hair.

Bottom line: I think you should try it – they even make trial sizes.  Cost: about $30 for 8 oz for each the shampoo and conditioner.  Purchase them here.

Shampoo Ingredients: CERTIFIED ORGANIC ALOE VERA JUICE; DISTILLED WATER, ORGANIC AFRICAN BLACK SOAP, SAPONIFIED ORGANIC COCONUT OIL; ORGANIC OILS: CAMELINA SEED, HEMP SEED, JOJOBA, COCONUT, GRAPE SEED, EVENING PRIMROSE & ALMOND; ORGANIC HERBS OF: CALENDULA, NETTLES, CATNIP, ALFALFA, ROSE HIPS, FLAXSEED, DANDELION, ROSEMARY, LINDEN, BURDOCK, HORSETAIL, SAGE, CHAMOMILE, GINSENG, THYME, OREGANO, LAVENDER, PEPPERMINT, GOLDENSEAL, CINNAMON AND CAYENNE; ORGANIC XANTHAN GUM & POTASSIUM SORBATE; ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OILS OF: LAVENDER, ORANGE AND PROPRIETARY BLEND OF OTHER ESSENTIAL OILS.

Conditioner Ingredients: CERTIFIED ORGANIC ALOE VERA JUICE; DISTILLED WATER; ORGANIC SHEA BUTTER, ORGANIC OILS: CAMELINA SEED, COCONUT, MEADOWFOAM, OLIVE AND HEMP; ORGANIC HERBS OF: CALENDULA, NETTLES, CAT NIP, ALFALFA, ROSE HIPS, FLAXSEED, DANDELION, ROSEMARY, LINDEN, HORSETAIL, BURDOCK, PEPPERMINT, SAGE, CHAMOMILE, GINSENG, OREGANO, THYME, LAVENDER, GOLDENSEAL,CINNAMON AND CAYENNE; ORGANIC PALM KERNAL; GUAR GUM; ORGANIC XANTHAN GUM & POTASSIUM SORBATE; ORGANIC VINEGAR; ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OILS OF: LAVENDER, ORANGE AND PROPRIETARY BLEND OF OTHER ESSENTIAL OILS.

NO animal testing, parabens, sulfates, petro-chemicals, synthetic ingredients, preservatives, colors, fillers, fragrances or GMOs.
MADE IN THE U.S.A

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Green Beauty Goings On

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The morning news is so bleak lately, so I thought I’d share some Green Beauty news with you, which is much more fluffy and upbeat :)

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A couple of weeks ago, I pressed pause on my family vacation on Lake Michigan to fly out to Los Angeles for the second annual A Night For Green Beauty.  If you remember, I went last year when it was held in New York.  I was eight months pregnant and not feeling very energetic, but I knew it would be an opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers of the Green Beauty movement.  It was one of the best decisions I’ve made since starting this blog.  This year, it was hard to leave vacation bliss and my little one behind, but again, it was totally worth it.  It is safe to say that if they plan it, I will come – no matter what city it’s in next!

A Night For Green Beauty was held on the rooftop of the W Hotel Westwood

A Night For Green Beauty was held on the rooftop of the W Hotel Westwood

Victoria and Karen of La Bella Figura Beauty

Victoria and Karen of La Bella Figura Beauty

A Night For Green Beauty is planned and hosted by Victoria and Karen of La Bella Figura Beauty.  (Their line of products is incredible and I can’t wait to tell you more about it soon.)  This event is so unique because it is open to the public.  Anyone can go, sample, meet brand founders, ask questions and buy their favorite finds.  I also love it on a professional level because so many of my relationships with brands, retailers and other bloggers are so cyber-centric.  Getting together once a year enriches and strengthens those relationships and it also creates opportunities to make new connections.  (You guys, I have so many new brands and products to tell you about!)  And since Green Beauty has a heart, $20,000 was raised for to Baby2Baby, which assists low-income families in Los Angeles.

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Lucques, a farm-to-table restaurant in West Hollywood

 

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Samjhana of Embody Beauty

 

Before the main event, I attended a lovely brunch at Lucques hosted by Samjhana of Embody Beauty.  It was a perfect way to kick off the day.  It was my first time meeting Samjhana, who really is as beautiful on the inside as she is outside.  That is saying a lot, because she is GORGEOUS.  I was also able to hug some blogger friends that I hadn’t met in person before and I spent some QT with Katharine L’Heureux and her daughter Grace (Kahina Giving Beauty), Munemi Imai (Mun Beauty), Sarah Villafranco (Osmia Organics), and Suzanne LeRoux and and Ashley Caddell (One Love Organics – practically my neighbors – from St. Simons Island, GA).

RMS AD

 

 

Back at home in Charleston, I co-hosted an event with Celadon to celebrate the launch of RMS Beauty‘s Wearable Brights (see my review on the collection here).  The girls from RMS brought loads of products to sell (and sell, they did) and Ooh Beautiful’s Katie Shayda did transformative makeovers on several shoppers.  It was so fun to chat with everyone about Green Beauty and brag on one of my very favorite Clean makeup lines.  It was an amazing night!

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Charleston beauties checking out all the great RMS products

 

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Me with Martha Worth of Exhale Pilates

If you’ll excuse me, I have some product testing to do….

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Blue Crush: Oille Natural

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I have a crush on Oille Natural’s Recover Healing Intelligence Face Serum.  I’ve been using it for about six weeks and it is a miracle worker.

Clinical and Holistic aromatherapist, Kirsten King, developed this serum specifically for sun-damaged skin.  While I always use SPF 30, I don’t always remember to reapply.  If I am a little pink or leather-y feeling after a day in the sun, I slather a few drops of this serum on my skin before bed and I swear I can feel the heat leaving my face.  The next morning, instead of waking up to dry skin, I am pleasantly surprised with a bright, hydrated glow, no kidding.  The results are unbelievable.

Also, due to my crazy-persistant adult-acne, (that was supposed to end along with my pregnancy, WTF) I went in for my first blue light treatment at the dermatologist this week.  The long term results are said to be incredible, but the treatment leaves you with a slight “sunburn” for a few days, similar to that of a laser treatment.  I’ve been applying the Recover Serum multiple times a day and it immediately calms and relieves my parched red face.

King’s Recover Serum contains some seriously active organic essential oils like German Chamomile and Blue Tansy, which are known to calm, cool and heal inflamed or burned skin.  Also, I am sitting here huffing this stuff; it smells amazing. Although it contains no fruit oil, I think it smells like a natural version of fruit loops.  (This is probably just me.)

Cost: about $52 for .5 oz.  Purchase Oille Natural (pronounced Oy-elle Nat-ur-elle) Healing Intelligence Recover Face Serum here.

Ingredients: Macademia Nut Oil, Tamanu Oil, Lavender Oil, German Chamomile Oil, Blue Tansy Oil, Balsam Copaiba Oil.  All ingredients are Organic.

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Operation Lose Baby Weight Wednesday: Juicing as a Mental Exercise

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I forgot to tell you guys how much weight I lost juicing two weeks ago!  Before setting out for Lake Michigan (family vaycay) and LA (A Night for Green Beauty) I juiced for four consecutive days with my friend Callie of The Organic Giraffe . Damn, she makes a delicious juice.  I ate an organic, raw, all-vegetable salad two of the nights for dinner so I could chew, as this is the longest juice cleanse I’ve done so far.  If you ask any detox coach, that is not cheating, FYI.

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A Day’s Worth of Juice from The Organic Giraffe

I’m a fairly-seasoned cleanser, so I don’t experience too many withdrawal symptoms anymore, but I do become tired a little earlier than usual in the evenings.  I try to cleanse when I know I will be busy as hell; it keeps my mind off of food and it gives me more time to mark off my checklist (less time cooking, grocery shopping, etc).  I also continue to exercise while juicing and I drink two or three liters of water per day; this pushes the toxins out of my body even faster.

I ended up losing four pounds, which puts me just three more pounds away from my “skinny” pre-pregnancy weight, or what my friend Katie calls “driver’s license weight”.  I also finally fit in my smaller pair of white jeans, which is enough to make me happy for the rest of my life (or the summer).  Four pounds doesn’t sound drastic, but keep in mind that I already eat super-healthy and exercise five days a week.  If I regularly ate bread, refined sugar and processed foods, I would have lost more weight, as what one is losing when cleansing is water and (a symptom of inflammation in the body).

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One of my favorites: carrot, apple, ginger, turmeric and lemon.

That is all for today, just a quick check-in with you to keep myself accountable.  I am about to juice again for a couple of days, as now I’m coming off a family vacation, which requires heavy drinking when you’re with my people.  Interpret that how you’d like ;)

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The Natural Beauty Files: Marysia Reeves

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Many of you may already wear her amazing swimsuits, but I wanted to introduce you to my dear friend, Marysia Reeves, of Marysia Swim. Her gorgeous line is sold at Shopbop and written about in Vogue and she has over 25,000 Instagram followers (!), but unlike some popular designers, she has worked so hard to be where she is – all while juggling marriage, two young daughters and English as a second language. She remains humble and has a great sense of humor to boot. Marysia used to be a professional ballerina in her native Poland and was one of my first friends to try the GOOP cleanse back in the day. She is a natural beauty in the truest sense and I love to chat with her about all things Clean, Green and glamorous.  We caught up  last week over dinner at Farm Shop in Brentwood while I was in town for A Night For Green Beauty.

BB: You are in amazing shape and such a Clean eater! Have you always paid close attention to these things or was there a turning point in your life that shifted your focus?

MR: My husband is a health freak..hehe… and he cooks in our household so I didn’t really have a choice, but it was really when I was trying to get back in shape after the first baby that I had to make a change. I grew up in Poland where we always ate fresh meals my mom or grandmother cooked for us daily…I never had a frozen meal in my life…not even in college! We had our own garden growing up as well so I think it’s just in me anyway.

BB: Between being a former ballerina and designing swimsuits, is it a challenge to maintain a healthy body-image?

MR: I didn’t fall into the ballerina trap, but there has always been a need to be skinny….I like food too much to starve myself so I just have to make the right choices now.  I avoid dairy, gluten and anything with highly refined sugars.

BB: What is your favorite way to relieve stress?

MR: A bath!

BB: I miss our Pilates classes together in Charleston!  What is your typical exercise routine these days? What is your favorite work-out?

MR: I have been seeing a PT, actually.  After having babies I have had hip and neck issues, but little by little I hope to be able to do yoga, pilates and barre on regular basis again. I also surf from time to time if my work load allows.

BB: You recently moved from NYC to LA. How has it altered your day-to-day life? Do you feel crunchier and healthier already?

MR: There are lots of healthy options here for food and beauty…I still need to figure a lot out, but yes, the general vibe is healthier here.

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BB: How did you become interested in Clean beauty? What are your favorite Clean products?

MR: I definitely started thinking about that when I was pregnant… you all of the sudden start thinking about all that’s going inside of and onto  your body. I became super sensitive to things that didn’t bother me before, which was my baby telling me…”mommy that hurts!”  Hehe, I started to listen to my body more.  I like Tata Harper’s rejuvenating serum (as a moisturizer) Good Genes and Bionic by Sunday Riley for night, Pratima sunscreen, Isis face oil for day and night, John Masters Organics Primrose shampoo, REN moroccan rose otto bath oil ( it doesn’t leave the bath an oily mess).

BB: What do you hope your daughters learn from you and from Marysia Swim?

MR: I hope they learn to work hard and believe in themselves. I think the believing part is most important and surrounding yourself with those who believe in you is equally as important.  I hope I can be a great mother to my kids and lead by example and I hope they’ll want to take over the company one day:) I’m so lucky to have a husband who is interested in food so he educates himself (and then us) about what’s good for us and how we should eat….we are big believers that you are what you eat and so we do our best:)

Thank you, Marysia!  Miss you already!

*Note: Sunday Riley isn’t the Cleanest, Greenest skincare out there, but it isn’t the worst, either.  I just felt like I had to say that.  :)

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RMS Beauty Wearable Brights

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Happy Monday!  You know that friend who you love dearly, but she never calls you back?  Well, I know I’ve been a little like her recently, but I’ve been working hard behind the scenes and I have some great posts coming your way this week.  I’ve been playing with my new RMS Beauty pre-fall colors for a couple of weeks and I am excited to share this review with you!  The RMS team is calling this new release “wearable brights” because, well, that is exactly what they are.

At first glance, I must confess that although these are some of my favorite colors in the rainbow, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pull them off – on a day-to-day basis, I’m a neutrals girl.  However, I know that Rose Marie Swift of RMS Beauty is a genius so I faithfully gave them a shot.  I assumed that since the colors are so bright, I would have to take my time to carefully apply them with precision (not a talent or luxury I currently have).  However, on my first try, I just smeared them on as I do with my other RMS favorites and it totally worked.  Score!

What is great about these ultra-saturated hues is that a little goes a long way and their creamy coconut oil texture allows you to build the color if that’s the look you’re going for.  And, if you are a fellow neutrals girl, or if you don’t have twenty-plus minutes to apply your makeup, these will work for you, too.  They are flattering, easy to apply and pair well with a summer glow.

Without further adieu, here two looks that took me about five minutes each:

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RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in “Imagine” and RMS Beauty Lip Shine in “Royal”

 

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RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in “Inspire” and RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in “Curious”

 

 If you are local to Charleston, see the post below.  On Thursday, RMS Beauty, Celedon and I are hosting an event to celebrate the launch of RMS Beauty’s new, pre-fall wearable brights.  This will be a great opportunity to try any RMS products you’ve been curious about.  We will have a makeup artist on location doing mini make-overs with purchase and the RMS girls and I will be there to offer our own tips as well.  There will also be giveaways, cocktails and light bites.  It is going to be a fun event; I hope you can join us!  If you are not local to Charleston, the new colors are available at RMS Beauty.

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