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Beauty Obsession: Osmia Organics Detox Mask

I’m always excited to try a new release from Osmia Organics, but truly, few things make me happier than a great facial mask treatment on a weekend afternoon. When that afternoon includes a fresh mask from Osmia plus relaxing with a great book (I just finished this one) and a glass of sparkling water with lemon, there’s almost nothing better.

If you’ve shied away from dry facial masks in the past, this may be the perfect one to try. Yes, it can take a few tries to get just the right ratio of mask to water (start with the mask, and add a tiny amount of water bit by bit), but these dry masks have two big pluses, in my opinion: they last a really long time (if they ever expire), and you control the mixing, so you can customize them to get the perfect consistency for your skin. Plus you can mix up exactly the amount you need, whether you’re doing an all-over mask or just a dab for a spot treatment. —Aleigh

What I tried: Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask, $50*

First impressions: As with all of the Osmia products I’ve tried, the packaging for this facial mask is simple and beautiful. This new mask is a dry formula and comes in a glass bottle tucked into a small box with a small ceramic bowl and spatula. It’s potent (and pure), with three types of skin-purifying clay and activated bamboo charcoal. If you’ve got troubled or problematic skin—or just feel like your complexion is a bit dull—this mask is a great option, especially because with finely ground walnut shells, it’s also an exfoliator.

What caught me by surprise: Sarah warned me that because this mask does exfoliate and detoxify, my skin might be a little red for 10-15 minutes after I rinsed off the mask. And, frankly, I fully expected this—my skin has been a bit more on the sensitive side lately. (I always slather on a great, soothing facial moisturizer after a facial mask.) But after testing this mask several times, I haven’t experienced redness once. I can absolutely feel the mask tightening up my skin as it dries, and it does offer some great, gentle exfoliation when it’s rinsed off. (Note: when you rinse, move your fingers in a circular motion, gently—don’t scrub!) But my skin is just absolutely glowy post-mask, and it definitely calmed a recent cystic acne bump on my jawline.

Bonus: This mask comes with its own little ceramic bowl and spatula—such a great touch. I’ve been stealing bowls from my kitchen cabinets to mix up my facial masks in the past. No more!

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

(Images via Osmia Organics)

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7 Favorite Products of 2012

There are so many wonderful natural and organic products on the market, and I’m a big fan of each and every one I review on Indigo+Canary. But there are always a few extra-special products that I find myself thinking about well after my review has been completed, that I go back to over and over again. Here are my seven favorites from 2012 (in no particular order).

Broo Shampoo & Conditioner. I still love everything that originally attracted me to these products. When I’m not testing out a new shampoo or conditioner, they are what I come back to, especially now that my hair is starting to be a bit on the dry side. (Side note: my sister now swears by these two products, too. Success!)

Black Pepper & Rose Organic Dry Shampoo by SkinnySkinny. One beauty resolution I’ve had no problem sticking with is Julie’s rule to wash my hair only twice or three times a week, and my SkinnySkinny dry shampoo is the reason why. I still get compliments on it all the time—it just smells great.

Omega Woman, Evening Primrose Blend by Nordic Naturals. I have become a bit of an evangelist about omega-3s, and this blend in particular. It doesn’t just help me get glossy hair—it helps me keep my hair full. (I have major shedding issues!)

Balancing Facial Serum by Co-Op 108. For me, 2012 was definitely The Year of the Facial Oil. I discovered that it works so well, even on my tending-to-oily skin. Now, a great facial oil is part of my daily complexion plan. I love Co-Op 108’s blend for its lightness, ingredients, and that it smells ever-so-faintly of lemongrass.

Acure Organics Cell Stimulating Facial Mask. If you’re looking for an affordable natural facial mask, this one from Acure is a great option. You can get a bunch of applications out of this large jar. It’s so thick and luxurious, it feels spa-quality. And your skin will look and feel smoother and softer once you rinse it off.

Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel. I use this foaming gel with my fingers and my Clarisonic—it works equally well. I have witnessed this cleanser’s ability to clear up my skin without drying it out, and I love that I can close the pump to easily pack it for travel.

Osmia Organics Facial Calibration Serum. My other favorite facial oil of the year. Sarah calls this a serum, but it’s not thick or heavy—it’s light and delicate, a blend of kukui, safflower, macadamia nut, rosehip seed, grapeseed, shea, acai, and black seed oils.

What are your favorite beauty discoveries of 2012? If you’ve added a new favorite to your natural beauty routine, I’d love to hear all about it. —Aleigh

(Image via AndreaRenee)

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Black Friday+Cyber Monday Beauty Sales

It’s Thanksgiving week, which means—in addition to one of my favorite holidays of the year—sales! Here’s a list of what’s coming. I’ll update regularly as Turkey Day approaches (and I spot more opportunities for savings).

Alima Pure

Spend $45 of more and receive shadow-sized jars of two special, limited-edition blushes, plus a mini kabuki brush! Offer good Nov. 22 through Nov. 26, and applies to orders totaling $45 or more before shipping charges and after any discounts.

Aucocisco Naturals

From Nov. 23 through midnight Nov. 26, free U.S. shipping on orders $40+ with code “SHIP40”


Spend $50+, save 10% (code “SAVE10”), spend $150+, save 15% (code “SAVE15”), spend $250+, save 20% (code “SAVE20”)


30% off everything from Nov. 22 to Nov. 25 with code “mnblack”

Nature of Beauty

$25 off your next purchase of $100 or more when you donate $25 to the charity of your choice between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25. (To get your $25 credit, email a copy of your donation receipt to Credits will arrive as gift certificates via email and expire Dec. 31, 2012.)


Through Nov. 28, 30% off all orders. Code “BF2012”



25% off and free shipping for “Green” Friday (code: “GREEN”), and 50% off all products on Cyber Monday with code “CYBER”

Osmia Organics

Through the end of the year (!), free shipping for Twitter followers and Facebook fans, with code “FREESHIP”

Pangea Organics

$10 off purchases of $50 or more (code “BLACK10”), $25 off purchases of $100 or more (code “BLACK25”), $45 off purchases of $150 or more (code “Black45”), plus free shipping through midnight Nov. 26.

Saffron Rouge

Black Friday 4-Day Sale, beginning Friday and ending Monday. All Dr. Hauschka, Suki, and Living Nature products will be 20% off.

Una Biologicals

Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals: 20% off Luxe face creams and masques, 15% off lip balms, 20% off Headache Relief (perfect timing!), and free gift wrapping (ask about it at checkout).

Vapour Organic Beauty

Black Friday through Cyber Monday: 30% off all Vapour products (except samples) with code “blackfriday12”


Am I missing a sale? Send me an email with details or leave a comment on this post and I’ll add it right away. Happy shopping! —Aleigh

(Image via alles-schlumpf)

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Link Love (and our Osmia Organics winner!)

Ahhh. I can't wait to get to the mountains this weekend!

Today’s Link Love is kind of all over the place—similar to the way I’m feeling this week! I’m heading to the mountains tomorrow for some fun and a much-needed change of scenery. But before I go, here are the things I’ve read this week that I wanted to share with you (and an announcement about the winner of our Osmia Organics giveaway!).

  • Crunchy Betty has introduced me to the maca root. It sounds a little too good to be true, but CB does link to a few cautionary tales, so be sure to check those out if you’re considering giving it a try. (And if you do, I want to hear all about it!)
  • I love this tip about taking good care of your hands over at the Clean Beauty Blog. The backs of your hands are one of the first places to show signs of aging (really!), but they’re often neglected. It’s a good reminder to give them some love.
  • I’m adding ginger to my diet after reading this post on No More Dirty Looks. Do you eat or drink ginger regularly? How do you incorporate it into your diet?
  • This post from Organic Authority just reinforces my avoidance of pthalates. The prevalence of parabens and pthalates—my top two avoided cosmetics ingredients—is what solidified my natural beauty obsession in the first place. Those are two substances I just don’t want floating around in my body if I can help it.

And…drumroll please…the winner of our Osmia Organics giveaway is: Manda! Look for an email from me so that Sarah and I can make sure you get the Aspen Walnut Micro Scrub you had your eye on. And be sure to let me know what you think! —Aleigh

(Image via Lois Elling)

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Fangirl Alert: Osmia Organics (+ a giveaway!)

Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics

A few weeks ago, Sarah Villafranco emailed to tell me about her natural product line, Osmia Organics.

She started her company after spending six years in emergency medicine. Even though she liked her job and was good at it, she felt unfulfilled—but a conversation with her college roommate helped bring a new goal into focus. She’d always been obsessed with what her husband calls “lotions and potions” (an obsession I can definitely understand) and she decided to try to make them herself. She enrolled in a soap-making class. She re-discovered her love of chemistry. She spent two more years working in emergency medicine, but otherwise shuttered in her lab, fretting over emulsifiers. (While also juggling being a wife and parent to two little girls.)

Now, a few years later, Sarah is dedicated to Osmia Organics full time. As I scoped out her website, I noticed that she lives in Carbondale, Colorado—not far from Basalt, where I spent a few college summers. It’s a place I often think about, and it’s not a stretch to say that living there, in a few small ways, helped me start on the path to discovering natural products. And her products are extremely natural, so I was excited to test one out.

You guys, she sent me practically her entire product line. And here’s the thing: I can’t pick a favorite one to review. I honestly, truly adore every single thing I tried. So instead of my typical beauty obsession post, I’m going full-on fangirl when it comes to Osmia, with mini-reviews of everything she sent.

Read on for my roundup of mini-reviews, and details about a generous giveaway from Sarah!

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