Tag: skincare

An evening skincare lineup too good to not share

by: mercedes | may 25, 2016 | filed under: skincare


As soon as I stepped out of the bathroom, evening skincare routine complete (literally half an hour ago), I knew I had to share it with you. I pretty much feel like a new human. It was just the right magical amalgam  of products in my cabinet to induce insane happiness and bliss. My skin and soul are so happy right now!  So here’s what went down:

1. I removed eye makeup (jojoba oil) and face makeup (One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing) oil [not pictured here because I use those things all the time and they’re not what made this whole routine interesting].

2. I decided to reach for my Earthbody Sacred Skincare (now OmCali) Brighten Mask because I have been doing nothing but alternating between Mahalo’s Petal and True Nature Botanicals’ Protein Exfoliating Mask for my exfoliation since February, neglecting my physical exfoliators. I mixed the powdered mask with a scoop of Wedderspoon manuka honey and a few drops of water, left this on for probably 25 minutes. Then hopped in the shower.

3. Out of the shower I toned with my NEW OBSESSION, the Essential Apothecary Alchemist Hydrate spray for skin/body. I talked about this in a recent video, and my friend Lauren just sent me a birthday gift with a full size of this GEM, along with some other EAA samples to try! Brand overview/review forthcoming.

4. I’ve currently been using the Kahina eye serum both morning AND night since I find my Suki eye balm now too heavy for evening. I’ve been using this Kahina product loyally since it came in a Beauty Heroes box last September, and I really like it. It’s lasted this whole time, and I probably have at least another month of use out of this bottle.

5. After a long mask treatment, my favorite serum to reach for is always Mahalo’s Vitality Elixir. It’s SO freaking nourishing and soothing and calming and brightening and balancing on my skin and soul, it’s literally liquid gold. I used just one pump, employing the Caroline Hirons “therapist swipe” technique! God I want to go to holistic aesthetician school. If such a thing exists, in a credible way.

6. I let that sink in a few minutes because I wasn’t sure I was going to need a balm on top, but after doing my body moisturizing, I opted for a pea-sized amount of the original Mahalo balm – mostly because I love the scent profile of the original paired with the Vitality Elixir, but Mahalo Indigo would have been just as amazing.

Et c’est tout!

I am beyond blissed out now – gonna go watch last Sunday’s Game of Thrones (yeah yeah, I’ve been busy!) and be so grateful that I have the luxury of indulging in skincare that just makes me SO happy.

What does YOUR evening skincare routine look like tonight? TELL! xoxo.

March Beauty Heroes: SkinOwl’s Mangosteen Beauty Drops PM + Return of the Facial Steam!

march 2, 2016 | by: mercedes | filed under: skincare, videos



I really loved getting to try the brand SkinOwl in this month’s Beauty Heroes box – I’ve been curious about them for years, and always felt drawn to the simple formulations with high quality ingredients. I think this is now the largest bottle of face oil I’ve ever had in my skincare drawer, and no complaints – I’ve been using it AM and PM, interchanging it with my other (extensive) slew of products. Hear the rest of my (pretty glowing) thoughts here, and in the description box of the video on YouTube I also link to the video I did last year on how to do an At-Home Facial Steam! Which is life changing, FYI:

To subscribe to Beauty Heroes to receive the March Hero product and sidekick from SkinOwl:

To give a Beauty Heroes Gift Subscription:

A Capsule Approach to Eco-Beauty: Holiday Gift Ideas, Skincare Edition

december 7, 2015 | by: mercedes | filed under: skincare

The second part of this little series I decided to do, let’s chat my top skincare picks. So think of this as both my current skincare essentials/recommendations, as well as gift ideas – because really all of these would make lovely individual gifts. I covered all the steps of a skincare routine I personally think are essential: cleanser, toner, eye product, serum, moisturizer, and mask (and for some I give a couple of options). Please keep in mind that these recs come from my own experience and ergo my own skin type – which is mostly normal with a tendency towards dryness and dehydration, and I’m focused on balancing, brightening, reducing redness, and anti-aging (apparently Caroline Hirons hates this phrase. I might consider a phrase change as well, given the energetic connotation?). Anyhow, on with the capsule selections:

1. One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (+ white washcloths)

If I had to pick just one cleanser to recommend to people, this would be it. It’s pretty universally loved across skin types, and after #reformulationgate it’s now back to its original state and as perfect as ever. I’m so happy to have a bottle back in my life after a little swap with Ru (Short Small Sweet) – she took my Blissoma Mild Rice Cleanser from the Petit Vour box off my hands, in exchange for this. You could also gift this with a pack of white washcloths, which is a really nice way to remove this cleanser and get a nightly mini-facial steam in the process. I like the Tranquility washcloths from Bed, Bath + Beyond.

olo vit bwashcloths

2. Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator

This is my favorite face toner to date. Bam. I said it. And it’s for two main reasons (because frankly I don’t think toners make THAT much of a difference to the skin, they’re mostly an experience product): this one smells insanely good (kind of a light vanilla marshmallow sort of scent), and the mist is UNPARALLELED in its fineness. It’s like a micro mist. I personally really enjoy this, and find it just distributes the product supremely well. Could not recommend more. Sadly I’m out, but will be replacing at some point soon.


3. Arcona Eye Dew; Suki Eye Balm

The two eye products I’d recommend aren’t ones I currently own, but have owned the Arcona Eye Dew, and am working on a sample of the Suki Eye Balm. I picked these because of performance and price point. Eye products can be so EXPENSIVE (Oculus, you’re amazing but I’m looking at you) and for someone just starting out, I’m not sure I’d say you need to drop $70+ on an eye product. Arcona’s eye dew is SO hydrating and cooling and I just adore it. And Suki’s eye balm is a great evening product, very moisturizing and I kind of prefer a balm texture to an oil I think.


4. Mahalo Vitality Elixir + Mahalo Balm

So I mention this combo because I think they work *really* well together, but it’s the Vitality Elixir that’s my serum pick. If you were to invest (for yourself or for a gift for someone) in ONE skincare product, I would recommend a high quality serum. If you find one that is targeted at your particular skin concerns, I think it can have the biggest impact on your skin above and beyond anything else in your routine. I’ve truly seem great results from the Mahalo Vitality Elixir – it has evened out and brightened my skin, reduced redness, and just really enhanced the overall quality and appearance of my complexion. OBSESSED. The Mahalo Balm is just icing on the cake – if you can get used to the initially strong smell of these products, you might find you CRAVE them, as I have! If you want more info, I did a whole video on the Mahalo line, and talk more extensively and from an updated perspective in my Current AM/PM Skincare Video.

mahalo 1mahalo balm

5. Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer with MSM and DMAE

So to me this is a bit of a superfluous product because I’d rather use a facial oil or a balm, but if you or someone you know loves moisturizers, my pick would be the Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer. It’s by far the nicest facial moisturizer I’ve ever tried, experience-wise. It’s very cooling to the skin, absorbs quickly but really does leave the skin moisturized and protected, and is unscented but also pleasant at the same time if that makes sense. It’s just lovely! Nothing more to say.

odacite day cream

6. Osmia Organics Protein Exfoliating Mask; Leahlani Mermaid Mask

Any for good measure, I have two mask recommendations. The Osmia Organics Protein Exfoliating Mask is just SO good at sloughing off dry patches and revealing BEAUTIFUL, smooth, even skin. This is my favorite mask find from the last year. If you want a more hydrating, nourishing mask I’d suggest the affordable Leahlani Mermaid Mask. It’s really pleasant when it’s on (smells like citrus) and all the green algae that’s in it makes me feel like it’s a topical antioxidant boost. Skin feels really soft and well-moisturized after.


Meeting Katharine L’Heureux (of Kahina Giving Beauty) Tonight!

november 24, 2015 | by: mercedes | filed under: skincare


[screen shot taken from Follain’s website, full article and interview with Katharine can be viewed here:]


Kahina was one of the very first green beauty brands I ever tried, probably four or five years ago now – so it maintains a special place in my heart. I’ve always loved the simplicity, quality, and purity of the line, and feel they work for so many people/different skin types. Over the years I have purchased and tried:

+Kahina Argan Oil

+Kahina Toning Mist

+Kahina Eye Cream

+Kahina Travel Basics

In addition, I’ve sampled:

+Kahina Brightening Serum

+Kahina Antioxidant Mask

+Kahina Fez Body Serum

And now, thanks to Beauty Heroes I have the Kahina Eye Serum and Facial Lotion in my regular rotation, and have been really happy with them.

Curious about Katharine’s own skincare routine? I was fascinated to read this [also taken from the Follain blog post:]

What is your personal daily beauty routine?

I created the Kahina line for myself and my own skincare needs so I use every single product. For the cold New York winter coming up, I will especially need to layer on the products. My daily facial routine at the moment is as follows morning and evening:

1. Cleanse with Kahina Facial Cleanser
2. Spray a few pumps of Toning Mist
3. Apply a couple pumps of the Brightening Serum
4. Massage oil into skin – Argan Oil in the morning and Serum at night
5. Follow with an emulsion – Facial Lotion in the morning and Night Cream at night
6. For my eyes, I’ve been using the Eye Cream lately since my skin is drier with the change in seasons. If I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll layer it over the Eye Serum, which is my morning go-to product, especially for when I wake up with puffiness and dark circles.”

I’m SO excited Follain has put this Meet the Maker event together, and it’s been a minute since I’ve been over there (will.not.spend.money). My other green beauty youtuber/blogger friends Andie (The Green Queen) and Ru (Short Small Sweet) are going as well, so product sample swapping between the three of us shall inevitably ensue.

Happy Tuesday!

Current Skincare Routine (AM/PM) + GIVEAWAY featuring Nuciya Natural Beauty

november 23, 2015 | by: mercedes | filed under: videos, skincare




If you missed it on YouTube or Instagram, I uploaded my current am and pm skincare routines yesterday. It’s a topic I LOVE talking about, as a good skincare routine really is the foundation for everything else beauty-related. Knock on wood I’ve been really pleased with my skin lately, and it just keeps improving – becoming more even, less red, reduced hyperpigmentation, maintains hydration and stays balanced. It’s an ever-evolving practice (like everything!) but I feel so fortunate to have had the pleasure recently of incorporating stand out products from the Beauty Heroes subscription boxes and the Mahalo skincare range.



There’s also an opportunity for you to win a $25 gift certificate to the online eco-beauty boutique, Nuciya Natural Beauty! Details about the boutique and how to enter the giveaway are in the video and description box, but in short:

How to enter Nuciya Giveaway:
1. Subscribe to L’amour et la Musique on YouTube
2. Follow Nuciya Natural Beauty and L’amour et la Musique on Instagram (@lamouretlamusique and @nuciyabeauty)
3. Visit Nuciya’s website to view their product inventory, and leave a comment on this video telling me which product/products are at the top of your wishlist!


$5 off any order over $25 CODE for Nuciya: 153083 (good for 30 uses)

I will record your name in a spreadsheet in the order in which you leave a comment, and use a random number generator to select a winner.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Wednesday November 25th, 5PM EST
Winner will be announced both in the comments of this video as well as on Instagram on Thursday, November 26th (Thanksgiving!)

Bon chance!

Products sent to me by Nuciya –
Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask* http://bit.ly/1MGEOVq
Laurel Facial Elixir for Normal/Mature Skin* http://bit.ly/1PEu6om
Laurel Honey Berry Enzyme Mask* http://bit.ly/1NgJg2W
Laurel Eye Serum* http://bit.ly/1X2TtEC
Laurel Healing Balm* http://bit.ly/1SM0rHC

Products Mentioned –
AM Skincare:
R.L. Linden + Co. Thousand Petal Beautifying mist http://bit.ly/1PR6D1X
Laurel Facial Elixir* http://bit.ly/1PEu6om
Kahina Eye Serum* http://bit.ly/1MsWjLh
Andalou Naturals Dermal Wrinkle Filler http://bit.ly/1S92V31
Living Libations Rose Cellular Renewal + Frankincense Firming Fluid http://bit.ly/1Oj8tXr
Badger Damascus Rose Face Oil http://bit.ly/1h8Cf2G
Odacité Day Cream http://bit.ly/1NgLq2x
Kahina Face Lotion* http://bit.ly/1O88AHm

PM Skincare:
Desert Essence Organic Jojoba Oil http://bit.ly/1l9wZR8
In Fiore Lustra Cleansing Essence* http://bit.ly/1T544Jx
In Fiore Treate Cleansing Emulsion* http://bit.ly/1T5424g
R.L. Linden + Co. Thousand Petal Beautifying mist http://bit.ly/1PR6D1X
Laurel Facial Elixir* http://bit.ly/1PEu6om
Josh Rosebrook Oculus* http://bit.ly/1Qytgtn
Laurel Eye Serum* http://bit.ly/1X2TtEC
Mahalo Vitality Elixir* http://bit.ly/1X2TWH6
MyChelle Perfect C Serum http://bit.ly/1NHcdzg
DIY Immortelle Serum
Mahalo Balm http://bit.ly/1QytwJ2
Mahalo Indigo Balm* http://bit.ly/1NgK7AE
Osmia Organics Spot Treatment http://bit.ly/1QT0wea

Two-Part Summer Skincare Video Series

Happy Sunday, my most favorite day of the week! Since I am hugely passionate about natural and organic skincare – as part of my broader obsession with natural and organic beauty products – I wanted to film my current morning and evening skincare routines. I have extremely dry and dehydrated skin, so I always aim to ameliorate this. My skin is markedly less dry in the summer, though it’s a persistent concern.

So this is just my daily routine, and doesn’t include any special treatments – like masks or facial steams – I do on a weekly or semi-monthly basis.

Enjoy Part I, the AM!

A Mini Pamper Sesh

With my skin looking a bit lackluster and a little extra time on my hands (ok who are we kidding – there are only so many jobs one can apply to in a day…), I decided to do a little self-pampering. This is a quick, pared down version – just a face mask and hair oiling, which I left in for about an hour before taking a shower. So the process went like this.

1. Apply oil (any kind – coconut, almond, sunflower – I happened to have a Thai Lemongrass scented sample from a past Goodebox) from roots to tips, and leave on any where from half an hour to overnight.


2. I was only wearing a CC cream on my face, so instead of washing I lightly exfoliated with a Dr. Sponge konjac sponge, then applied a hot washcloth to my face for 30 seconds to steam and open up pores. Then, I mixed together the last bits of a sample I had of May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver (I got 3 masks out of this sample!) with some raw wildflower honey (ideal would have been manuka honey). I’ve also just mixed this with water, and it actually spreads better and I think activates better with water than with honey…


3. I watched an episode of Breaking Bad with an oily bun on top of my head, and a mud mask on my face:



After a thorough shower, and my regular nighttime skincare routine, I woke up with a lovely, bright complexion. The mask is pretty amazing…might have to pony up for the full size once I finish up my Clean Dirt…


The Winter Dry Skin Chronicles

I have extremely dry skin. I pretty much always have. I can never remember being oily, even during the teen years. My skin usually behaves beautifully in the spring and summer months (I’ve always lived in 4 season climates), but come winter, things get dicey. Try as might to keep things so well moisturized, slathering on the richest products I can afford, in the last month I started witnessing some really distasteful dry, almost eczema-like patches on my face, right around my chin and cheeks.

There are multiple potential culprits – since I oil cleanse and tend to forgo traditional face cleanser, was I not cleansing my face properly? Not enough exfoliation? Was it the tap water? Or…a product (of the countless) I’ve been using?

I went on a Chelsea Wears youtube binge this weekend while my boyfriend was out of town for work (love her snarkiness, and love for NARS lip products), and in one of her videos she mentioned how she was letting up on the acid products on her face (like Vitamin C, often found in products that claim “brightening”) and how her chin acne was responding well. I realized that THIS could be a contributing to my problem:


I picked up this little one per a vlogwithkendra video (oh, you have no idea how deep my youtube beauty vid obsession runs). I hadn’t been using a serum with any regularity previously, and thought I’d start with baby steps, using a nice affordable option. Unfortunately it just went back to Whole Foods this weekend because I think it was part of my issue.

In tandem, I also picked up this:



Which I’d heard about and seen before, but curiosity piqued most recently from a Pure Makeup blog post, I think. Anyway, I’ve been lusting Egyptian Magic for awhile now (still  might pick some up, at some point soon), but I’ve gotta say – this little cheap gem has been a multitasking miracle! I’ve been slathering it on my extra dry patches at night, using it as a lip balm, AND even highlighting my cheekbones and cupid’s bow with it during the day, and it’s a beaut.

So far, my dry patches seem much better with the subtraction of the acid and the addition of the Waxlene. I’m also seriously lusting the Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner, which seems like a miracle product. Oh, and I’ve also been dabbing on Arcona’s eye dew on my dry patches in the mornings, and I think it be the hyaluronic acid that’s doing the trick.