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5 Firming Facial Masks I Love

Technology makes staying in touch with far-flung friends so much easier. Lately, that’s meant the most fun three-way text conversations with two of my besties. Our conversations touch on everything from pop culture to food, but there’s one topic we consistently revisit: skincare.

Which is how I received a request for a roundup of skin-firming facial masks. Here are my top five*. Do you have a favorite? Please share! —Aleigh


Una Biologicals French Green Clay Masque, $10

Since they arrive in powdered form, Una’s facial masks are long-lasting—it’s easy to mix up just as much as you need. (Just don’t use metal utensils or a metal container. If you use powdered masks regularly, you may want to splurge on a set like this one.) This super-clean masque’s main goal: to firm up your skin as it cleanses.


Dr. Hauschka Firming Mask, $52.95

Dr. H’s firming mask has potent rose water, rose petal extract, rose wax, and rose essential oil to help tackle fine lines and promote elasticity in the skin, plus mango butter and beeswax to hydrate and moisturize.


Acure Organics Argan Stem Cell + CGF Facial Mask, $15.99

I’ve mentioned this mask several times, and the truth is that I honestly just love it. The formula is thick and luxe, a little goes a long way, it lasts a really long time, and it’s packed with really potent ingredients, including French green clay, Argan stem cells, sea buckthorn oil, chlorella growth factor. Plus, it’s affordable. It has skin firming benefits (from the French green clay), but its primary benefits include detoxifying and skin renewal/anti-aging properties.


ilike Sour Cherry Gel Mask, $40

I haven’t yet met an ilike (pronounced “ILL-ick-a”) product I don’t like. This enormous product line features a huge roster of facial masks, and is used in many natural/organic spas because it’s pure and there are so many options that it can be very tailored to each client’s skin. This sour cherry gel mask has great firming, brightening, and pore-refining qualities—perfect for mature, dry, and/or loose skin.


Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel, $45

OK, so this is technically a peel and not a mask. However, even though it’s more of an exfoliating treatment and not a moisturizing one, it still offers skin brightening and firming qualities, plus it’s a good option for skin with hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.


*Note: If you have sensitive skin, be sure to test a small patch of your skin before you go all out with a facial treatment. Many of these masks are really potent and not necessarily the best fit for sensitive skin. 

(Top image via Auntie P; remaining images via brands+boutiques)

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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”


Beautorium

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


MarieNatie

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 info@natureofbeauty.com. Credits will arrive as gift certificates via email and expire Dec. 31, 2012.)


Naturopathica

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

 


Nourish

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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Natural Beauty Faves: November 2011

I’m so happy November is here! I’m already planning my Thanksgiving Day menu (have I mentioned that I love to cook?) and all of the leftover inventions that go along with a massive holiday meal. Yum. November, I love you! And speaking of love, there’s a new batch of favorite products on my sidebar that I’m excited to share with you:

    • Una Biologicals Luxe Face Cream. I’ve written about this magical little face cream before, but I can’t say enough about it. The ingredients are really pure, it’s super emollient and just a little dab will keep your whole face moisturized and smooth. It’s too heavy for me in the summer (except in the undereye area, where I’ve used this with great results), but in the wintertime, my skin just drinks this stuff up. My husband pointed out a few days ago that after I apply this stuff, I always make a really big happy sigh. Simply put? It feels good.
    • Shea Moisture Lavender and Wild Orchid Body Oil. I’ve stopped using body lotion entirely in favor of body oil—and this stuff, which I discovered at my local Target, is my latest favorite. It’s not expensive, it has lovely ingredients and it keeps my legs and feet and elbows from getting dry. (I’m planning to write a Beauty Obsession post about this lovely little oil and how I use it instead of body lotion. Stay tuned.)
    • Dr. Hauschka Hand Cream. I can’t believe this hand cream hasn’t made my list until now—it was one of the first natural products I tried, and I was amazed. It’s perfect for anyone who works at a computer all day, because it doesn’t leave your hands feeling greasy or slippery, so you can use a dab (a pea-sized amount is all you need), rub it into your hands, and then get right back to tapping away on your keyboard. It’s on the pricier side at $24.95, but it lasts a really long time, and it’s on sale right now for $19.96. I’m definitely going to snap up a new bottle…
    • Mommy-to-be Milk Bath. OK, so…I’m not a mommy or a mommy-to-be, but I do love my big jacuzzi tub—and I also love a good milk bath. This USDA certified organic milk bath comes in a powder with essential oils of lavender, lemon and sandalwood that dissolves in warm water…ahhhh.

What products are you loving this month? I’d love to hear about your favorites! —Aleigh


Want to check out my previous monthly favorites? Find them all here.

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Beauty Obsession: Una Biologicals

My baby sister gave me two Una Biologicals products for Christmas last year (she knows how to warm my little beauty junkie heart), and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share them with you. Una Biologicals is based in Pittsburgh, where my sister lives–along with about 90% of my family. I was really impressed with the quality of the face cream and clay masque I tried, so I reached out to the company’s president (and chief product guru), Jessica Graves, to get a list of ingredients. The result? Let’s just say these are two of the purest products I think I’ve ever used.

Here’s what Jessica had to say about the ingredients she uses: “As I tell people all the time, I leave out the garbage and add in some love.” Indeed.

What I tried: Luxe Face Cream ($25) and French Green Clay Masque ($10). You might not geek out quite the way I do over ingredients lists, but here’s what you’ll find in the face cream:

Distilled Water, Organic Apricot Oil, Organic Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Organic Rosehip Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Citric Acid (plant based preservative), Rose Oil, Lavender and Lime essential oils.

And the masque:

French Green Clay, Organic Rose Petals, Organic Lavender Flowers, Organic Calendula Flowers, Organic Chamomile Flowers.

First impressions: The packaging is very simple, and I love the little jar containing the face cream. (Since I used it all up, that glass jar is now in my recycle bin…although I do have to admit that I considered keeping it to stash little things in.) Plus, the luxe face cream really does feel luxe–it only takes a dab to moisturize your entire face, and it’s super emollient. Meanwhile, the clay masque has actual little bits of dried clay and plants that you can see when you open up the jar. It’s sort of like looking at whole grain bread, where you can see all the little bits of sunflower seeds and grains that went into the dough.

What caught me by surprise: The face cream didn’t make me break out. It’s so rich and moisturizing that I thought for sure my tending-to-oily skin would completely freak out. And yet, no. It didn’t. Jessica says this is because she uses ingredients that your skin can completely absorb, allowing for deep hydration without greasiness or clogged pores. As for the masque, I wasn’t sure how I was going to apply it without making a mess in my bathroom, but I scooped up a little in my hand, added water, and voila! Mud mask. (Note: I did take a picture of myself with the masque on, but it was scary. I might be persuaded to share it, but only if you promise not to blame me if it gives you nightmares.)

Bonus: If you use these two products together…be prepared for glowy, clear skin.

I can’t wait to try out a few more of Jessica’s products (and share them with you, obviously). What’s your newest beauty obsession?


Want to read about more of my beauty obsessions? Here’s where you can find them.

(Photo via Una Biologicals

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