Spring Must-Haves

Happy April, Friends! I couldn’t be happier that spring is finally here and the weather is getting warmer (kind of). I love being outside and being able to actually feel my extremities, so winter isn’t exactly the best season for me. Yet, I live in Chicago. Go figure. *rolls eyes*

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With the sun starting to shine on a (semi) regular basis, we’re all starting to show a bit more skin and if you’re anything like me, these last few weeks brought a huge shock and how neglected my skin was. When it’s cold out and we’re all bundled up, it’s easy to not notice, but everyone wants beautiful, glowing skin…especially when it’s time to show it off! I took it upon my-blogging-self to try quite a few new products to let you all know exactly which ones would be best to prep your skin for spring and summer!

Small disclaimer here, I have a bias towards Lush products so all if the ones below are from their inventory. First of all, and most importantly, they do not test any products on animals. Ever. Period. Second, all of their products are 100% natural. They mix oils and fruit/veggie butters with fragrances to make the best products. Almost all of the products are also vegan, so there will be no fillers or other chemicals to make you “feel” like you’re getting a better product. A great example of a filler would be in hair conditioner. Fillers in conditioner give you that slimy feeling of “moisturized” hair. However, ultimately, that filler dries your hair out more and a lot of times leads to dryness, breakage and frizz.

Below is a list of products that I have used regularly for the last month & my review of them. Enjoy!

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Angels on Bare Skin//Facial and Body Cleanser

Angels on Bare Skin is my morning facial cleanser. It comes in a clump, for lack of a better word, and you break a little piece off and rub it on your face. The little piece will break down, but will not have suds like normal soap. It has ground pistachios in it that act as a natural exfoliator, which is my favorite part because it is not as harsh as sugar or salt-based exfoliators. This makes a great cleanser for daily morning use because it gets the oils off your face that build up overnight. Angels on Bare Skin can also be used as a body cleanser. I don’t, but if you have an acne-prone chest or back, this is a great option for those areas as well because it is so soothing. My only complaint with this one is it is a bit difficult to actually use. When you break off a piece of it and mix it with water on your face sometimes it sticks together instead of breaking apart like it should or it falls in the sink instead of sticking on your face. Neither of those problems is terrible, and honestly, the outcome of using Angels on Bare Skin is worth the little bit of trouble it might give you.

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Vanishing Cream//Facial Moisturizer

Vanishing Cream is absolutely heaven-sent. I use this as my daily face lotion right after washing my face in the morning with Angels on Bare Skin. To use, first, spray any toner all over your face (I use Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air) and immediately rub a small amount of Vanishing Cream in with the toner and then continue with make-up routine as usual. Even after one use, you will notice that it evens our your skin tone and gives you glowing skin that lasts all day. This has quickly but surely become a staple of my daily routine.

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9 to 5//Cleansing Lotion

This one seems a bit strange when I tell you about it, I know, but hear me out. 9 to 5 is an amazing cleanser for right before bed and before whatever creams you sleep with at night (before your coconut oil sleep mask, mom). To use this, take off any make-up with remover, then rub 9 to 5 on your dry face and wipe it off with a cotton pad or ball. That’s it. No water, no scrubbing, no soap. When I first saw this, I didn’t believe it. I didn’t think there was possibly any way that you could not wash your face after having make up on all day and working or working out, anything, but then I tried it. My skin has never been more clear or brighter and I wake up in the morning just as clean as the day before, so it has to be doing something right!

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Oatifix//Face Mask

Meet your face’s new best friend. Oatifix is everyone’s dream face mask and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find it. First of all, the blend of vanilla, almonds, bananas and oats makes this mask smell like cookies. Not like sugary, funfetti crap. It smells like homemade, real cookies and I can’t get enough of it. It is a smaller mask (Lush has two sizes), but you only need small amount and you really only need to use it once a week, maybe even every other week if you want. I used to use Lush’s Mask of Magnamity. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I really wasn’t seeing much work from it. It would definitely clean my face, but that was really it. This mask gives you the best glow and the cleanest feeling (smelling) skin. The only trick with this one is not actually eating it…it’s not actually cookie dough…

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Ocean Salt//Face and Body Scrub

Literally the ocean in a little tub! I cannot rave about this one enough. I use Ocean Salt every other day in the shower before shaving. The actual “scrub” in this is sea salt, which makes it a bit harsher on the skin than Angels on Bare Skin because it is a scrub not a cleanser, so I would not recommend using this on a daily basis. My skin is still a bit dry from the winter so I’m sticking with every other day for now, but I’m hoping to get down to twice a week. I will say that Ocean Salt is the first scrub I have ever felt comfortable using on my face, though. It doesn’t leave you red from being too harsh or take off like an entire layer of skin, just the dead stuff causing your skin to look a little dull. The organic lime juice brightens, the avocado butter softens and the vodka (yes, you read that right. cheers!) tightens. It’s a light blue color and has a layer of sea salt on the top, so it really does look like and smell like the ocean! I really have nothing bad to say about Ocean Salt at all. I will definitely be buying this for a long time to come.

 

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The Olive Branch//Shower Gel

I know it seems silly to have a shower gel that you love because they all really do the same thing, but The Olive Branch is really something special. The olive oil in this shower gel moisturizes your skin on a level that a normal shower gel simply can’t. It does so without leaving you feeling too oily, while also leaving you feeling so clean and smelling absolutely amazing. It honestly doesn’t get any better than that in a shower gel!

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Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner//Skin Conditioner

Okay, this is the only one I have some mixed feelings about. Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is exactly like a hair conditioner, but for your body. You rub it all over in the shower after washing with The Olive Branch and then rinse off. It is meant to replace your after-shower lotion. I think the best way to break this down is a list of pros and cons.

Pros: It does work. If you really rub it in and rinse it off, you really don’t need a lotion post-shower. If you have ever tried to put leggings on after putting lotion on after the shower, you know that this is a real blessing. It also smells great…like a rose garden, but not like an old lady’s perfume. You smell great afterwards, really.

Cons: It is really oily. Not like straight up oil that you’re going to look like a Greek god when you get out, don’t get carried away. I’m talking like the water will bead-off your skin afterwards and then it makes the shower floor all slippery and kind of gross when it dries (I have to wipe down the shower floor like every other shower now). When you towel off after, you pat dry, don’t rub, otherwise all those oils are going to go into the towel. However, once you go through all this, it does look great. Only other con, I usually shower at night before bed. By the time I wake up in the morning, my skin kind of lost all of the oils and butters from Ro’s in my sheets and I’m kind of in need of some lotion. I have used it in the morning, though, and my skin stays really soft all day, so that might just be timing.

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H’Suan Wen Hua//Hair Treatment

When I bought H’Suan Wen Hua, the girl that sold it to me said, “You don’t have to know how to say it, you just have to use it.” She could not have been more right. I still have no idea how to pronounce it, so if I tried to read this blog post out loud, you would all laugh, but I use it once every two weeks and my hair has never felt healthier. The cinnamon smell is a bit strong, but once you wash it all out, it’s not bad. It has so many vitamins and minerals in it, your hair literally just soaks it in. Apply H’Suan to your dry hair 20 minutes before your shower and then rinse out and shampoo/condition as normal and be amazed. I also love that it helps your scalp. Sometimes we don’t realize that our scalp needs love, too! Considering it’s where our hair grows from, how can we expect to have beautiful hair if we neglect our scalp?! Duh. I think everyone should do a hair treatment at least once a month, if not twice, and this one really takes the cake.

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Rehab//Shampoo

This shampoo makes me want to find the creator of Lush and just hug them…for like minimally two to three minutes. A long, tight, bear hug. Anyone who is trying to grow their hair out, or just make their hair healthier, without compromising their everyday volume and shine, this one is for you! Rehab has a minty scent (which goes great with the H’Suan hair mask!) and has seaweed in it to, again, help your scalp. I used to use Lush’s shampoo bars. Like I said about their Mask of Magnamity, I didn’t hate their shampoo bars at all. They’re very convenient and their Seanik one is really great for volume and shine as well, however rubbing a bar in my hair every day was making my hair a bit knotty and the bars weren’t lasting me as long as I would have liked, so I decided to give this a try and I am SO happy I did. My hair has never been healthier!

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Veganese//Hair Conditioner

“Next to every great man shampoo, is a great woman conditioner.” That’s how the quote goes, right? In all seriousness, Veganese is really something. As I mentioned in my intro, this conditioner is filler-free and completely vegan, so you will not have that slimy “moisturized” feeling that you do with other conditioners, but that doesn’t take away the moisture by any means. As a lot of you know, I used to have extensions, even though my hair was pretty long to start out with, it was more for the volume. I had every kind. Clip-in, tape-in, you name it, I had them and it took a toll on my hair for sure. About a year and a half ago, I cut my hair to about my collarbone because my hair was just so damaged and I’ve been on a journey ever since to get my hair back to it’s healthy state and this conditioner has been my #1 fan in doing so. It’s not a heavy conditioner at all, so I can get out of the shower, comb through it and let it air dry without feeling like my hair is oily, stiff or sticky (yes, I’ve had conditioners feel all three of those ways. gross.). I can’t speak highly enough of Veganese (and Rehab) because it goes beyond cosmetic appearance, it really makes your hair healthier.

Quite a few people lately have tried these with me and loved them just as much! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and let me know! If you have any products that you love, leave a note in the comments section. Happy (almost) Friday and Happy Spring!

Al

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