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Indigo+Canary’s 12 Most Popular Posts Of 2012

This image doesn't have anything to do with this post...but I think it's hilarious. Don't you?

The end of 2012 is approaching, and once again, I’m looking forward to a new year that’s fresh with promise. I’m not one who believes the world is going to end this Friday, obviously! But I wanted to take a moment to look back at your favorite posts* of the year. Here they are, in all of their glory. Enjoy!

Dry Brushing to Detox Your Skin. I am still doing this most days, and I still adore how invigorating—and exfoliating—this daily treatment is.

Get Shiny, Glossy Hair—Naturally. I wrote this story for Breathe magazine; Julie Ebner offered some great, natural tips!

Natural Beauty Q&A with Michelle Witherby. She’s the founder of O&N Collective, and has great advice. She shares her comprehensive approach to natural beauty (and health), and a few of her must-have products.

Your Questions Answered: Laser Hair Removal. I had laser hair removal every six weeks for nearly a year…and answered your questions based on what I learned (and from asking my technician).

Natural Beauty Q&A with Sally Biondo. She’s a fantastic, all-natural makeup artist, and shared her beauty philosophy, her must-have products, and the one bad beauty habit she encourages everyone to break!

Natural Beauty Q&A with Karen Behnke. The founder of Juice Beauty told us about her path to natural beauty and offered some juicy inspiration.

Reader Question: Battling Hormonal Acne. Unfortunately, hormonal acne is something I continue to battle—and I offered up some techniques that can work on just about any type of skin that’s battling a hormonal acne invasion.

Sustainable (and natural) beauty. This story I wrote for Breathe features six natural beauty companies that take a commitment to Mother Nature very seriously.

Let’s talk about: Eyebrow threading. Threading is my preferred method of brow shaping and one of my favorite beauty treatments for a few reasons: it’s affordable, it’s quick, it’s (almost) painless, and it’s natural.

8 Leaps to Take in Your Beauty Routine. For Leap Day, I put together a special list of beauty “leaps” to try in its honor.

Roundup: Green Tea for Beautiful Skin. As an ingredient packed with antioxidants, green tea has taken the natural beauty scene by storm. And since the polyphenol in green tea, ECGC, has been proven to help rejuvenate and heal skin, fight inflammation, and heal acne, I put together a long list of products that include it.

How do you clean your yoga mat? I sought your advice for this post—and I’m so glad I did! There are some really great suggestions in the comments.

Did you have a favorite Indigo+Canary post this year? Any requests for 2013? —Aleigh

*This list doesn’t include any product reviews—I’ll tackle those in another post.

(Image via Leah Tihia™)

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Beauty Obsession: Leaf People

No visit to the Roaring Fork Valley is complete without a hike around the Maroon Bells.

On our trip to Colorado a few months ago, Ian and I drove into the mountains to visit the Roaring Fork Valley, where my parents used to live. It had been more than ten years since I’d been back for a visit, and I still can’t believe how much things have changed. Case in point: there’s a Whole Foods in Basalt now! (Amazing.)

I get pretty excited to check out the beauty department of any Whole Foods store, since they make such a point of including lots of local products on the shelves. That’s how I stumbled upon Julie from Leaf People. She had a booth set up to offer demos of her new product line. Knowing I had to fly back home (and that my luggage was already overflowing), I snapped up the one product I most wanted to try.

What I tried: Peony Green Tea Eye Serum, $45

First impressions: Peonies are my favorite flower of all time (at my wedding, I carried them in my bouquet and wore one in my hair)—but I didn’t expect this eye serum to smell one. Surprise! It totally smells like my favorite flower. I also really like that the serum rolls on, which makes for easy application in your delicate undereye area.

What caught me by surprise: For starters, I like the ingredients list. The primary ingredients are white peony, green tea, and helichrysum. White peony has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps get rid of undereye puffiness. Green tea is an antioxidant, helping to rid dark circles. And helichrysum has antibacterial healing properties. (Check the full ingredients list here.) Aside from pure ingredients, one requirement I have for any eye cream: it has to feel good. This little serum fits the bill. Plus, all of Julie’s serums are cold-pressed and include botanical extracts and therapeutic oils—she calls her product line “a raw food diet for the face.”

Bonus: This little serum lasts a long time. I’ve been using mine every day for almost four months, and I still have plenty of product left.

To celebrate the grand opening of her new website, Julie is offering 20% off her entire line through the end of the year! Just enter the code “celebrate2012” at checkout. And if you spend more than $75, you’ll get free shipping, too. —Aleigh

(Top image via Indigo+Canary, product image via Leaf People)

NOTE: I only write about the products that I think are truly worthy of being shared with you. View my full disclosure here, and my review policy here.

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Beauty Obsession: Avitalin Vitality

It’s time for me to face the facts. For years, I’ve been convinced that facial moisturizers were not my friend. With my combination skin, they often made me break out or left my skin excessively shiny. But I have to say, I’ve tried some really fantastic moisturizers in the past several months, and I’m coming to the realization that it’s not moisturizer that’s the enemy—it’s that I’d been choosing moisturizers that were just way too heavy for my skin. (Duh!)

This newfound discovery that I can, in fact, use moisturizers without a sense of impending doom (OK, that might be a bit dramatic, but that’s how I felt), led me to accept an offer from Marina Volod, esthetician and founder of Avitalin, to test out her Vitality phytocell complex, which she says is good for all skin types. I’m into trying new things lately (more on that later!), so I decided to test it out. And my skin is glad I did!

What I tried: Avitalin’s Vitality Phytocell Complex, $68*

First impressions: Its earthiness. The formula is vegan, using plant-derived stem cells to rejuvenate skin tissue and boost skin health, and it smells like plants! It has a lovely, herb-y smell that’s pretty strong—so if you’re not into that type of thing, this might not be the moisturizer for you. It also has a slight green tint (see the photo above), which I assume is from all of this plant goodness:

Aloe barbarensis (aloe) juice, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Camellia sinensis (green tea) extract, Euterpe oleracea (acai berry) extract, Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice root) extract, Malus domestica (PhytoCellTec™) extract, embryonic phyto complex, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, cetyl palmitate, sorbitan palmitate, Olea europa (olive) oil, stearic acid, xantham gum, Salix nigro (black willowbark) extract, fragrance (lavender, mandarin, palmarosa, and balsam Peru essential oils)

What caught me by surprise: How much my skin loves this stuff. Normally just one application of moisturizer would give my skin a panic attack. I’ve been using the Avitalin for a week, just a dab at a time (a little goes a long way), and so far I just have smooth, happily moisturized skin. I give it a few minutes to sink in before I put on any makeup, and I’m good to go. I think those with drier complexions would enjoy it, too–just use a more heavy-handed application.

Bonus: I’m intrigued by the moisturizer’s PhytoCellTec™ complex, which is an extract of cultured stem cells from a rare Swiss apple that promises anti-aging benefits.

What do you look for in a moisturizer? Are you a moisturizer-avoider? —Aleigh

*This sample was sent to me for review, but I only write about the products that I think are truly worthy of being shared with you. View my full disclosure here, and my review policy here.

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Roundup: Green Tea for Beautiful Skin

Green tea has long been touted for its health benefits: it can help fight cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, burn fat, and prevent diabetes and stroke. But it’s also a powerful beauty ingredient, with more antioxidants than other typical sources (Vitamins A, C, and E). The polyphenol in green tea, ECGC, has been proven to help rejuvenate and heal skin, fight inflammation, heal acne, and more. So it’s no surprise that it’s landing on cosmetics ingredients lists more frequently (sometimes listed as “camellia sinensis”). Here’s a selection of products that contain the ancient ingredient. Will you add some green tea to your beauty routine? —Aleigh

Clockwise, from left: John Masters Green Tea & Rose Hydrating Face Serum ($24), Suki Intensive Nourishing Cream with Brightening Complex($60.95), Pangea Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai and Goji Berry Facial Mask ($40), Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Facial Moisturizer ($32)

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