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Beauty & Tutorials

The Beauty Breakdown No. 1

A rundown of our favorite recent clean beauty and self care buys
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

Hanacure mask, coconut pulling, nontoxic makeup and more on

Well, guys, by now you’ve realized how much of beauty buffs we are.  In fact, we were starting to run out of names to call these roundups!  Ha!  So say hello to our new series, The Beauty Breakdown.  In this series, we’ll be sharing our current favorite beauty and self care finds, and any and all products that we’ve recently tried that are worth talking about. 

First up, I HAD to get my hands on a Hanacure face mask after seeing the crazy photos of everyone wearing them, looking 2348234 years old.  And I was really impressed with W3LL PEOPLE for its completely nontoxic line of makeup.  I’m so thrilled that makeup is starting to offer benefits of skincare, with clean ingredients that make us look great AND nourish the skin while they’re at it.  

On this list, also, is Osmia Organics, a brand that’s new to me but worthy of the much coveted counter space on my vanity.  Think luxurious, velvety textures with subtle and irresistible scents.  They make self care easy!  

Below, I’ve also linked to my favorites from The Well Code collection in our shoppe: Skinny & Co. coconut oil pulling, Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Milk Bath Soak and the cutest sugar scrub cubes that your bath has been missing.  

Tell me, what self care finds are you digging lately?  Are there any specific ones you want to see on the next roundup?  Truly, MKR

P.S.  Check out more clean beauty favorites HERE. xo 



Multi-Action Treatment Mask

Hanacure, $110

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Like everyone else, I had seen the ads for this miracle mask and I couldn’t help but be intrigued.  This multi-action treatment mask promises to dramatically transform the appearance and texture of the skin.  It works to remove the impurities from your skin, helping it look more firm and lifted, smoother and evenly toned. 

I was completely shocked to find out that the mask ingredients list was a lot “cleaner” than I expected.  It’s formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and it’s hypoallergenic and not tested on animals. 

My verdict?  I’ve got to admit that the tightening was really intense after applying.  I mean it was TIGHT.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling, too, and I noticed my pores appeared smaller afterwards.

Skinny & Co. Coconut & Peppermint Oil Pulling Kit

Waiting on Martha Home, $40

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Oil pulling is an ancient practice that is receiving recent interest thanks to its key role in oral hygiene.  I especially love this brand because it’s the only 100% raw, alkaline coconut oil in the world.  It’s been cold-processed, and kept under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it truly raw.  Most coconut oils can have up to 20% fillers according to the current FDA regulations; this one is 100% pure. 

If you’re just starting out with oil pulling, try to swish the oil around inside your mouth for about 5 minutes, then work your way all the way up to 20 minutes.  It’s the cleanest your mouth will ever feel! 

Aveda Shampure Composition Oil

Nordstrom, $30

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A luxurious multi-use oil?  Sign me up.  This one by Aveda is great for your body, bath and scalp.  The nourishing blend delivers a really calming scent as it moisturizes your skin and hair.  It works its wonders in the bath too, with a few drops added to the warm water as you lay back and unwind. 

Apricot Sugar Scrub Cubes

Waiting on Martha Home, $26

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I can’t get enough of these sugar scrub cubes from our shoppe!  Available in several “flavors”, they exfoliate and nourish the skin, offering just the thing to pamper yourself after a long week. And to my surprise, the apricot is my favorite! Makes a sweet gift when paired with other simple self care favorites.

W3LL People Invisible Setting Powder, Translucent

Birch Box, $21.99

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This all-natural setting powder from W3LL PEOPLE might just be our desert island product: used alone, the translucent formula controls oil, minimizes pores, and smooths our complexion; used over foundation, it provides serious staying power creating a polished, soft-focus, matte look.

Osmia Organics Brighten Facial Serum

The Detox Market, $50

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You know me, always on the hunt for a serum that brightens my skin tone and smoothes my complexion.  I recently tried this one by Osmia, and I’ve really enjoyed its velvety texture and irresistible scent.  It works fast to soothe any redness or irritation I may have, and it has made the feel of my skin improve tenfold. 

Osmia Organics Spot Treatment

The Detox Market, $22

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If I’m ever experiencing a pesky breakout, I know I can act fast with a spot treatment (I have several in my stash!).  This one is at the top of my list right now; it’s proven to be really effective with a breakout even before it fully surfaces.  While it’s a natural acne treatment, it actually doesn’t have tea tree oil in it, so the scent is a lot nicer than expected. 

Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Bath Soak

Waiting on Martha Home, $18

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If you’re looking for a deeply hydrating, luxurious addition to your bathtime ritual, look no further.  Welcome a light, yet indulgent scent of natural coconut and vanilla to your suds, and prepare to feel silky soft skin afterwards. This bath soak, which is also incredibly affordable and giftable and a bestseller in the shoppe, only contains four natural ingredients too. #winwinwin

Rejuvenating Eye Cream

beautycounter, $58

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My eyes are starting to show my age, so any and every nontoxic eye cream is welcome by me.  I’m especially impressed with beautycounter’s version; it works to reduce morning puffiness, while also tightening the fine lines and helping any sign of dark circles under my eyes. 

Like the rest of the beautycounter line, this product’s ingredients are good too.  It’s made up of a soothing blend of wild algae, caffeine, flower extract, vitamin E and more. 

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturizer SPF 30

Birch Box, $28.99

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Love a good skincare-makeup hybrid!  This organic, tinted SPF 30 has quite the lineup of benefits, including a boost in collagen, hydration, as well as smoothing and brightening effects.  I’ve found that it gives me medium coverage; my pores appear smaller and my overall texture is a bit smoothed out.  It’s winning major points in my book because it’s completely nontoxic.

W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Mascara

Birch Box, $21.99

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Nontoxic mascara that actually works well is hard to come by.  Believe me, I’ve tried a bunch of them.  That’s why this one by W3LL PEOPLE is worth sharing; its all-natural, pro-grade formula really gives mine a boost.  The wand is designed to not clump, instead hitting each and every lash for consistent application.  My lashes seem to be happier and fuller, now that they’re getting the nutrients they deserve (instead of being stripped of them like with other mascaras!). 

Bio Extreme Lipgloss

W3LL PEOPLE, $14.99

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Love, love, love this new vegan Bio Extreme Lipgloss from W3LL PEOPLE. The “bio active” lip plumping system uses peptide technology, volumizing liquid crystals, hydrating coconut oil and soothing organic aloe to give your lips the attention they deserve.  SUPER hydrating with coconut oil and organic aloe…I’m in love!

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

9 Clean Beauty & Personal Care Products That Work

I've tried and tested a lot. These clean products have me never looking back to their toxic counterparts
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

I’ve been really interested in clean beauty and personal care products for awhile now.  And I know that’s a result of working for Waiting On Martha, which has led us to launch a sister wellness brand called The Well Code.  It’s also as a result of following a lot of wellness folks, and having a boyfriend who avidly researches “biohacking” on the reg.  I’m become a true believer that clean beauty matters in my everyday physical and emotional wellbeing.  

But I have to admit that I still struggle with finding a simple explanation to give to friends and family when they ask me WHY, and if it’s actually worth it.  I usually get a lot of “everything is bad for us at this point”-type jokes.  So literally, just last week, when I stumbled on this post by Colorful Eats on the Primally Pure Skincare blog, I was thrilled to find a clear explanation that summed it up well.  

In the post, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Caroline Potter explains that many of our well-known, been-around-forever beauty and personal care products include endocrine disruptors, or man-made chemicals or substances that interfere with the body’s endocrine system.  These endocrine disruptors cause hormone imbalances, which lead to problems with development, reproduction, brain health, the immune system and more.  Estrogen starts to take over, and estrogen dominance in our bodies can cause adrenal fatigue, severe menstrual cramping, hormonal acne, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, miscarriage, uterine fibroids, PCOS and just feeling “off” in general when it comes to your energy, emotions and hormones.  It’s really scary how much of our emotional and physical is affected by hormones…and especially when they’re all out of whack because of the products we’re putting into our bodies! 

Okay—whew—so with that being said, I’d be lying if I said it was all an easy switch in finding these solutions. It took a lot of trial and error…and some patience and faith that there were actual alternatives out there.  So today I wanted to share a few easy swaps that I’ve made recently, and literally have me NEVER looking back to their respective and toxic counterparts.  These are all safer, yet equally effective products.  

And a disclosure: I also know that I’ve probably had more patience than many to do the product trials; swapping out your favorite mascara and dry shampoo can feel like a lot of work, especially when you find some that don’t work!  Not to mention, it can put a dent in your wallet when you spend money on a lot of duds.  You may try a natural deodorant to find that it doesn’t work, then you wonder if it’s even worth it at all to try to find another one.  Which, P.S. I’ve FINALLY found a natural deodorant that works for me and doesn’t make me get stinky throughout the day from Primally Pure…listing it below but you can also find it here

I’m writing this today to hopefully give you a few shortcuts on effective, clean beauty products that are even better than their counterparts.  Good luck!  Cheers, Kat




TARTE Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

Sephora, $23

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I have been using L’Oreal Voluminous mascara for years.  Any other diehard fan out there?!  It’s just the only mascara that gave my lashes enough shape without clumping them together.  Other mascaras even make them look THINNER than they regularly are.  

I figured mascara would be one of those things I could never find a clean swap for.  I was willing to give up and just use the toxic stuff.  After all, by then I had a pretty clean lineup for the rest of the products on my counter.  Well that was all until I found TARTE’s Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara.  

It’s considered a reparative AND volumizing mascara that’s infused with Amazonian clay. It’s said to deliver a 406 percent increase in lash volume, which I can’t deny.  And it helps to repair and rebuild the lashes for the long term.  Amazonian clay apparently is known for intuitively restoring hydration and the skin’s texture, and it works to hydrate and replenish dry and brittle lashes to prevent fallout.

Seriously, it’s good. It gives me the same effect as when I use that beloved grey Voluminous mascara with gold top. This one, however doesn’t have parabens, sulfates or phthalates. It’s also vegan and never contains mineral oil, sodium lauryl or gluten. 

Use this mascara instead of L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo

Sephora, $31

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I’ve tried a lot of clean, organic shampoos.  Man, I thought it would be an easy switch.  A lot of them, I’ve found, leave my hair feeling brittle, definitely a lot dryer, and just blah.  I have a lot of hair too; it’s thick, with a bit of wave and definitely lots of volume.  So finding a good shampoo that made my hair smell good, feel soft, and that wasn’t super toxic was a BIG challenge for me.  

Enter Bumble & Bumbler’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil line.  Typically most Bumble & Bumble products rate pretttttty toxic, not horrible but not good, because of their fragrances. But this one includes six natural oils that are super hydrating and can help dry, coarse, frizzy hair. 

This shampoo rates a 4 out of 10 in toxicity on the Think Dirty app (download NOW if you haven’t already). That’s a really good number for me when I take in all the factors of the good results compared to other alternatives.  No parabens, sulfates, phthalates or alcohol that dries out hair. 

Use this shampoo instead of Nexxus Therappe Luxurious Moisturizing Shampoo

Sensitive Deodorant in Lavender

Primally Pure, $12

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Oh my gosh, have I tried enough natural deodorants to give up!  I mean I’ve literally gone back to Secret deodorant several times after being so frustrated that I can’t seem to find a deodorant that doesn’t make me smell funky. 

I want to scream it from the rooftops now that I found Primally Pure, and the sensitive version to be exact, that has finally given me the protection I need during my day. 

One thing to note, however, is that it is NOT an anti-perspirant.  We’re supposed to sweat, and we’re hurting our bodies when we try to block that important daily process. That being said, once you use natural deodorant for a few weeks or months, you’ll find that you really aren’t sweating as much as you were before, because you most likely are on the road to detoxing your body from those funky chemicals that were making you stink in the first place!  
I know you might not believe me, but I’ve seen a huge difference in the past few weeks. You just need to be patient.  I can’t recommend this deodorant enough!  I have the Sensitive in Lavender because I get pretty bad razor burn there, but I know the other scents and variations are probably just as effective. 

Primally Pure’s ingredients include tallow from grass-fed cows and organic and fair trade coconut oil.  I also love that the product is packaged in BPA-free plastic twist tubes.  

Use this deodorant instead of Secret Shower Fresh pH Balance Deodorant.

One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

Waiting on Martha Home, $42

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It’s incredibly important to thoroughly wash ALL of your makeup off your face and neck every night in order to keep your face looking and feeling fresh, and to remove any lingering chemicals or added substances from your skin.  

My absolute favorite makeup remover is by One Love Organics.  In fact, I think the entire WOM team is obsessed with this very product.  It basically made me start to enjoy washing my face; it’s a luxurious, non-stripping oil that smells absolutely incredibly and it effortlessly lifts away all impurities and makeup.  

It also plays double-duty and restores your natural moisture barrier of the skin and pH balance.  I’ve found that a lot of cleansers, even organic ones, can leave the skin feeling really dry.  This oil has the absolute opposite effect. I’m OBSESSED.

Use this makeup remover instead of Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent.

Smith & Cult in Pillow Pie


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Nail polish cannot be good for you with all those fumes, right?!  Yes.  Back in 2015, the EWG reported that most popular polishes contain a suspected endocrine disruptor called triphenyl phopshte, or TPHP.

I’ve tried several organic, all natural brands of nail polish and keep coming back to the only one that really works as well as my favorite OPI and Essie polishes…Smith & Cult.  But this brand is free from formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl, and it gives me peace of mind when I have it on my fingers 24/7, while also saving me a boatload of money by avoiding the nail salon. 

Use this nail polish instead of OPI Mod About You

Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo

One Love Organics, $29

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Ah, dry shampoo.  Many of us use this stuff A LOT.  So it should be a bit alarming that it usually comes with a long ingredients list. 

I’ve been using OLO’s dry shampoo for awhile now; it smells amazing but never overpowering, and it blends really easily in my brown hair.  It includes good ingredients too; think a unique blend of highly absorbent Georgia Kaolin Clay, hyularonic acid, and silica rich bamboo extract.  It successfully works to soften, strengthen and nourish your hair in between shampoos and whenever you need a little va-va-voom. If you’re putting it on your scalp every day, don’t you want it to be working double-duty for healthy locks, too?! 

Use this dry shampoo instead of Suave Professionals Keratin Dy Shampoo

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap - Baby Mild 32 oz.

Target, $15.99

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Body wash is a super easy switch, in my opinion.  Dr. Bronner’s is an age-old, super clean and simple solution that comes in several different scents.  I personally love this unscented, mild version as well as the Peppermint and also the Almond. All of the formulas  are made from natural ingredients, and it’s very gentle on soft skin.  Added bonus? You can use it for about 20234928304 purposes too.  Five generations and 150 years of soapmaking have proven the safest way to stay clean.  Read about the amazing Dr. Bronner’s story here

Use this body wash instead of Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

COOLA Unscented Matte Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Nordstrom, $36

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The majority of conventional sunscreens are toxic in that they literally place a chemical barrier on top of your skin to block the sun’s rays. They usually use chemicals like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

COOLA rates relatively low on EWG’s toxicity scales, just stay away from the scented products in the sunscreen line.  I especially love to apply this lightly tinted, broad-spectrum SPF 30 mineral sunscreen under my makeup in the morning.  It has antioxidant benefits and a matte finish that offers a bit of coverage without feeling too greasy or heavy.  It also has rose hip oil that’s rich in free radical fighting vitamin C and hydrating shea butter to help skin improve elasticity and retain moisture for an overall healthy complexion. COOLA is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, oxybenzone-free, cruelty-free and vegan.  Boom!

Use this face sunscreen instead of Neutrogena Clear Face SPF 30

Charlie's Soap Fragrance Free Laundry Powder

Amazon, $16.99

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Another really simple clean swap is with laundry detergent!  Even the seemingly safe option at Target or Walmart is probably laden with chemicals and fragrance that will disrupt your body’s vibes.  Think about how much time you spend in your bed sheets, wrapped in your towels and wearing your clothes!

This laundry powder is incredibly clean, and just as easy to use as all powder laundry detergents. Now that I’ve gone all natural with this step, I literally never consider going back.

Use this laundry detergent instead of Tide Mountain Spring Turbo Powder Laundry Detergent

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

End of Summer Hydrating Skincare & Hair Essentials

My current favorite products for a little much-needed TLC
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

End of summer always finds me with a renewed desire to give my skin and hair a little TLC after months of sun rays, humidity and what-have-you. Today’s list of products includes some of my favorite hydrating, detoxifying, clarifying and all around MVP products worth giving a whirl this time of year. 

We recently introduced Herbivore Botanicals into the shoppe.  And I’m already such a huge fan; the Phoenix Facial Oil, Blue Tansy gel mask and the Detox and Calm bath salts are already some of my favorites in my entire beauty routine. I’m finding that the Blue Tansy mask is the perfect soothing, cooling gel that my skin is craving right now.  

As for hair: I’m really digging Aveda’s line right now.  Made without parabens, sulfates and phthalates, the collection of products bring moisture, nutrients and body back into my strands, and at a relatively affordable price point too.  I’m sticking to the Damage Remedy conditioner to help repair dry, brittle ends.  Have you tried any of their products lately?  I’d love to know your go-to’s and favorites!

Read on about the rest of the products below, and like always, chime in with must-try brands and products I should know about!  Truly, MKR

P.S. Discover more of my favorite all natural products HERE. xo 



Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask

Waiting on Martha Home, $48

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I’m all about the cooling nature of this resurfacing clarity mask.  The blue gel gently exfoliates, smoothes, and resurfaces skin’s texture, leaving it feeling and looking rejuvenated. Perfect for end-of-summer skin! 

Savvy Minerals Lipstick in Wish

Young Living via The Well Code, $22.75

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Young Living, my go-to for essential oils and nontoxic home products, just came out with an all natural makeup line!  I know, I know; great news.  I bee-lined to try this lipstick and I am such a fan.  It offers plenty of shine, plus nice and natural looking color, and it’s made of natural ingredients.  Since I basically eat lipstick, finding a nontoxic option is really important to me.  It’s been formulated without parabens, phthalates, fragrances, etc.  Added bonus: it moisturizes lips and is anything but dry; the creamy texture glides on so smoothly, and stays on for hours!

If you’re interested in joining the team over at The Well Code, aka receiving major discounts on YL products and learning about all natural skincare and nontoxic household must-haves, click HERE

Savvy Minerals Lipgloss in

Young Living via The Well Code, $27.50

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As I mention above, Young Living’s new natural makeup line is incredible.  I also tried out the new lipgloss, and it does not disappoint. Like the lipstick, itt’s been formulated without parabens, phthalates, fragrances, etc.  It gives me sheer coverage that looks great alone during the day or on top of lipstick. 

If you’re interested in joining the team over at The Well Code, aka receiving major discounts on YL products and learning about all natural skincare and nontoxic household must-haves, click HERE

Aveda Damage Therapy Restructuring Conditioner

Nordstrom, $30

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Quinoa in haircare?!  Yes, yes.  This conditioner includes a quinoa protein to bring life back to damaged hair.  It’s suitable for all hair types, and I’ve found that it helps to majorly detangle my hair.  Like all Aveda hair products, I’m super impressed. 

Aveda Thickening Tonic

Nordstrom, $29

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I like to apply this thickening tonic post-shower to towel dried hair.  It’s a great nontoxic formula, 97% naturally derived in fact) that’s paraben free, sulfate free and phthalate free.  I feel it gives my hair a little more ooph during a good blow-dry! 

Herbivore Botanicals Detox Bath Salt

Waiting on Martha Home, $18

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Bath time has become some sort of a ritual for me; it’s my time to relax, unwind and detox.  These are my favorite bath salts to do just that; the blend of lavender, eucalyptus and Cambrian blue clay works together to detox impurities and clear my mind. 

Erno Laszlo White Marble Brightening Face Mask

Nordstrom, $80

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I’ve heard a lot of hype about these face masks so I just had to try them.  The pair acts as a hydrating peel-off mask duo that promises to soothe, cool the skin and brighten your entire complexion. 

My verdict? The mask feels amazing, and it packs results you can literally see immediately.  Though a splurge, I’ll be masking up with these when I need a whole lot of hydrating TLC! 

Moon Juice Brain Dust

Waiting on Martha Home, $38

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Getting my hair, skin and mind right in the post-summer haze is important to me.  I’ve been mixing in a tablespoon of Brain Dust to my morning coffee and/or afternoon tea.  It includes an special blend of adaptogens that help promote clarity, creativity, alertness and the capacity to handle whatever stresses come my way. Seriously, a must-try!

Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil

Waiting on Martha Home, $88

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Here’s another current favorite from Herbivore Botanicals: Phoenix Facial Oil.  Not only do I feel a bit magical as I use this, I love the all natural ingredients and the luxe blend of botanical oils.  It packs some SERIOUS moisture back into my skin, dramatically rehydrating and rejuvenating it at a cellular level.  As a result, my skin feels silky and smooth.  If you’re looking for some concentrated moisture after a summer full of sun, this is your oil.

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Spot Treatment

Waiting on Martha Home, $22

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The Blue Clay Spot Treatment Mask is another favorite of mine when I need some quick spot treatment on blemishes or if I’ve feeling like pollution or other factors may have taken a toll on my skin.  It does the trick and diminishes breakouts almost overnight.  It is a bit drying, so I always follow it with an ultra-moisturizing cream or facial oil. 

Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts

Waiting on Martha Home, $18

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Another favorite blend of bath salts, this calming blend is incredibly soothing.  It has ylang ylang, natural vanilla and Himalayan pink salt crystals for ultimate relaxation and flora, mood boosting effects.  Love the idea of gifting these to a friend along with a candle or dry brush! 

Mini Fascia Blaster

Ashley Black , $60

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 I’ve written on here about the Fascia Blaster before; it’s a wonder tool to help “knead” the fascia, as it appears as cellulite, on the body.  This mini version has a convenient shape with a handle, 1 claw, and a nugget tip that allows for easy transitioning between FasciaBlasting and pressure point therapy for hard-to-reach areas in your traps, neck, upper back, deltoids, lower leg, and inner thighs. 

Healing Foot Butter

Waiting on Martha Home, $13

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I always find myself needing to give my feet a little extra TLC this time of year, and I’ve turned to our Healing Foot Butter from the shoppe.  It’s made of essential oils like grapefruit, patchouli and lemongrass, and works to soothe and soften dry and tired feet.  Paired with a Merben dry brush, it has the perfect healing effect.

James Read Tan Coconut Melting Tanning Balm

Dermstore, $35

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By now you know how fair my skin is, and that I probably don’t wear self tanner a lot.  Until I discovered this one.  It has a blend of organic virgin coconut oil and a hint of self tan, so it’s a deeply hydrating formula that gives a nice subtle glow. 
Not to mention, it smells amazing.  Most self-tanners smell like garbage but this one is all coconuts! 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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