MARCH PRODUCT REVIEW: Ottilie & Lulu Naturals for Tweens

I’m sneaking in yet another product review for March. (I told you I’d been stockpiling these). This one is a little different since it’s skincare specially formulated for “tweens”. I don’t normally review kid stuff since I don’t have any of my own, but I do have a ton of children to shop for and I thought this might be a great item to get for that 11/12 year old girl that is too old for Barbies but too young for makeup. The gracious folks at Ottilie & Lulu sent me an assortment of their natural skincare line to review.

So first a little about this company:

“Tween skin is delicate, unique and in a state of constant change. Having a daily skin care regime is essential to keeping skin clear and healthy. Using harsh ingredients found in teen and adult products can damage tween skin, and 80% of the damage done to skin happens before the age of 17. O&L products are specially formulated just for tween skin. Our gentle and effective formulas are filled with anti-oxidants, botanicals, and vitamins – exactly what tween skin needs. Dermatologist and allergy tested — but not on animals. Start using Ottilie & Lulu today and show off your natural beauty.”

 Wipes
Ottilie & Lulu, Clean Skin Face Wipes, 30 Wipes
(Retail: $7.90)
Description: “Ottilie & Lulu Gentle Cleansing Wipes with soothing rosewater scent are great for on-the-go cleansing. Use these pre-moistened 100% cotton wipes to refresh and cleanse throughout the day. Feeling clean and fresh has never been so easy. Gentle cleansing eliminates oil and dirt leaving skin feeling soft, clean and smooth.”
Verdict: Hit!
And how cute are the little girls on the label? I’m assuming they are Otillie and Lulu and they have lots of adventures. (The children’s book writer in me is emerging). These face wipes had a nice fresh scent unlike so many other brands that reek of alcohol. I think face wipes are a great idea for kids, particularly when traveling to the eleventybillion activities kids have (like soccer games, girl scout trips and dance competitions.)  Some kids also don’t like getting bogged down in a long bed time routine and these are a quick and convenient way for them to clean their face.

Cleanser
Ottilie & Lulu, Morning & Night Gel Cleanser, Soothing Mandarin Sandalwood Scent, 4 fl oz (118 ml)

(Retail: $7.90)
Description: “Specially formulated for all skin types, our all-natural Morning & Night Gel Cleanser leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and clean. A unique infusion of soothing Organic Aloe Vera Juice, purifying Witch Hazel Extract, and refreshing Mandarin Essential Oil helps keep skin purified and glowing..”
Verdict: Like
A lot of kids products have super synthetic scents but this one felt very spa like. I also think kids will enjoy the gel consistency.


Moisturizer
Ottilie & Lulu, Morning Pure Facial Moisturizer, Southing Mandarin Sandalwood Scent, 3 fl oz (88 ml)
(Retail:$12.90)
Description: Specially formulated for all skin types, our all-natural Morning Pure Facial Moisturizer provides gentle, effective care for dry, chapped skin. A unique infusion of hydrating Organic Shea Butter, calming Calendula Extract, and refreshing mandarin essential oil leaves skin feeling silky soft and smooth, not sticky.”
Verdict: Like, if used with sunblock
I’m not sure it’s really all that logical to have a morning moisturizer for kids and then an additional sunscreen. I feel like for this age group, less steps are better so I’d love to see the moisturizer have SPF included. This does have a nice scent and is a lighter moisturizer which is appropriate for the age bracket we are looking at.

Sunblock
Ottilie & Lulu, Everyday Facial Moisturizer & Sunscreen, SPF 20, Fresh Scent, 2.5 fl oz (75 ml)

(Retail:$16.90)
Description: ” Provides full spectrum protection against UVA (cause of skin cancer and aging) and UVB (sunburn) rays. Recommended for all skin types. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (green tea, algae, and vitamin E) guard against free radical damage.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I guess my wish was granted since this is both a moisturizer and sunscreen.  I love the fact that this is a moisturizing sunscreen with a lovely scent with natural ingredients. The part that leaves me wanting is the SPF level. I think SPF 20 is too low for kids, hell SPF 20 is too low for adults. I think you’d have to use this in conjunction with a higher level sunscreen. It’s a great idea to get kids in a habit of using a sunblock and even better when they include natural products, so hopefully Otillie & Lulu will start offering some in SPF 35 or SPF 50.

Blemish
Ottilie & Lulu, Spot Blemish Treatment, Soothing Mandarin Sandalwood Scent, 2 fl oz (60 ml)

(Retail:$12.90)
Description: ” This oil-free formula helps diminish the appearance of blemishes. A powerhouse extract blend of White Willow Bark, Peppermint Leaf, and Tea Tree Leaf naturally calms skin and provides relief from breakouts. Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint Oil help reduce redness..”
Verdict: Like
This is the biggest tube of blemish treatment I have ever seen. Seriously, Ottilie & Lulu are totally giving you your money’s worth here. Tweens are right on the cusp of becoming hormonal teenagers and I imagine those that get blemishes can feel really self-conscious. You wouldn’t want to give them a harsh acne fighting product so this is a really nice alternative to help them with skin issues.

OVERALL
All Products
Verdict:
Like!

These products all have nice scents and natural ingredients, and I feel like parents could feel secure that they are giving their kids products that are safe for their skin. These could also be a great gift for those impossible-to-shop-for tween girls in your life. The only reason I didn’t give this review a “hit” was just because of the low SPF, otherwise I think this is a unique, fun line and the price is quite affordable for the amount of product you receive.

Do you have any “tweens” in your life that would enjoy this type of skincare?

Coupon Code: If you want to give these products a shot you can use my code at iherb.com: CVF809 for a discount on your first order. They are a fabulous place to buy everything from groceries to essential oils and they frequently offer freebies at checkout.

NOVEMBER PRODUCT REVIEW: Emtage Hair & Beauty

For November, the lovely folks at Emtage sent me a selection of really intriguing products to review. They are a natural beauty brand with products that feature botanical oils.

So first a little about this company:

“Emtage Beauty is born out of genuine passion and commitment for providing pure, premium, natural, multi-use products that are healthy for the body and the planet. We are committed to a lifestyle that focuses on the holistic approach of beauty, from the inside out. Our mission is to use only the purest, highest-quality ingredients that are fairly traded, sustainable and ethnically sourced that are effective and benefit the health of the skin, hair and scalp. We support fair trade women co-ops throughout the world, support human rights and are against the use of child labor and animal testing.”

Emtage has an extensive list of all the natural ingredients they use including things like Certified Argan Oil, Certified Sea Buckthorn oil and Mango Butter.

This seems like a super health conscious line and I’m interested to see how the products work.

Moisturizer
Emtage Island Beauty Balm, 2 oz
(2 Oz Retail: $18.40)
Description: “An exotic blend of organic oils, fruit extracts and butters to nourish, inspired from the Tropics where women are known for their beautiful skin. This multi-use cream moisturizes, nourishes, hydrates and protect face and body. Apply to face, lips, hands, feet, stretch marks, anywhere care is needed. Use a small amount on face as your daily moisturizer, makeup remover and night cream.”
Verdict: Like
This is thicker balm so it’s not something I would use on my face during the day. It is rich and hydrating so I think it’s great for those rough areas on the body that need extra hydration (like elbows, heels,and hands). I also could see using this on your face as a night treatment during the winter months when your skin might be feeling raw. This product didn’t have much of a scent and definitely had a natural feel.

Scalp
Emtage SILKtage Scalp Repair, Pre-Wash Healing Oil Treatment

(2 Oz Retail: $17.00)
Description: “An infusion of nature’s most healing organic botanical oils from around the world. This multi-purpose oil treatment nourishes the scalp, soothe itchness, dryness, eczema, psoriasis, relieve dandruff, strengthen roots and follicles and stimulate.”
Verdict: Like
I get a super dry scalp (especially in winter) which often results in that oh so fun problem of itchy scalp and oily roots. This is a treatment that you apply to your scalp and then leave on for a few hours (or overnight) and then wash off. I felt like this moisturized my scalp but it also made my hair super greasy while I waited for it to do its thing. So if you try this out just make sure you have some time to let it work before having to look presentable.


Styling Serum
Emtage Silktáge™ Rejuvenating Styling Serum
(1 oz Retail:$15.20)
Description: An infusion of nature’s most exotic organic botanical oils from around the world. This multi-purpose hair oil serum is nourishing to every hair type and especially beneficial to dry, stressed, frizzy hair—strengthening hair from the root and restoring moisture lost from styling heat, chemicals, and the environment..”
Verdict: Miss for Wavy Hair, Hit for Straight Hair
So hair oils are super trendy and I’m always up for trying a new one. I have thicker, wavy hair that is prone to frizziness. I tried a bit of this and let it air dry and while it made my hair shiny and helped the frizz, it sort of weighed down the waves and made them odd. It is much better suited for applying to wet hair, then blow drying.  I’m going to set this one aside for my blowout or flat iron days.

Cleansing Oil
Emtage Clear Glow™ – Camellia Cleansing Oil

(4 Oz Retail:$26.00)
Description: ”An infusion of nature’s most luxurious organic botanical oils from around the world. This all-natural cleansing solution combines the ancient beauty secret of Camellia with Olive and Red Palm to calm redness, diminish pores and blackheads, rejuvenate your skin and restore your natural glow. This multi-purpose cleansing oil treatment removes makeup, dirt and impurities and leaves your skin soft and clear while treating your skin and delicate eye area with age-defying antioxidants.
Verdict: Like
Oil cleansers are my absolute favorite type. I gave this one a “like” rating because I found it to easily break down make up and to go on smoothly. This is a natural product and has a nutty (almost cooking oil) type scent which just isn’t my favorite. It’s not overly obtrusive but I prefer a fresher scent in my cleansers, which is the only reason I didn’t give this one a “love”.

I saved my favorite items for last:

 Argan Oil
Emtage Argan Oil Rollerball
(.36 fl oz Retail:$12.99)
Description: “Rich, nourishing Argan oil provides instant hydration and age-defying benefits to nourish skin, soften cuticles and treat split ends. This precious, time proven oil in a rollerball form allows you to target and rejuvenate problem areas with powerful antioxidants, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids for a healthy and radiant glow that’s always with you.”


Argan Rosehip
Emtage Argan Oil Rosehip Rollerball

(.36 fl oz Retail:$14.99)
Description: “Rich, nourishing, luxurious blend of Argan oil and Rose hip oil infused with Geranium essential oil provides instant hydration and age defying benefits to dehydrated, dry skin, wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration. These precious, time proven oils in a rollerball form allow you to target and rejuvenate problem areas with powerful antioxidants, vitamin E, C and essential fatty acids to restore skin’s radiance and youthful glow.”

Verdict: Love!
Oils are great but applying them can be an arduous process. Pure Argan Oil can also be quite pricey. These adorable rollerballs have taken all the annoyance and expense out of using Argan oil. They have a metal rollerball that makes them fabulous for using on the undereye area. It gives a nice cooling effect that feels fabulous when your eyes are tired. These are also safe to use on your lips. I’ve been using the rosehip under my eyes and on my giant forehead wrinkle and I do feel like it’s made a bit of difference. The argan oil roller is perfect on my lips. These go on smoothly and are not sticky at all. Out of all the products I received, these are the rockstars.

OVERALL
Full Collection
Hit!

All these products were of good quality and felt super natural. A lot of the items had multiple applications which helps you get more bang for your buck. I really loved the Argan oil rollerballs so that put this collection firmly in the “hit” category for me.  The packaging on them is wonderful and it’s a inexpensive way to incorporate Argan oil into your beauty regimen.

Do you currently use Argan Oil? If so, do you notice a difference in your beauty routine?

 

Coupon Code: If you want to give these products a shot you can use my code at iherb.com: CVF809 for a discount on your first order. They are a fabulous place to buy everything from groceries to essential oils and they frequently offer freebies at checkout.

March 2014 Product Review: D’Adamo Genoma skincare

Do you give a lot of thought to the science behind your skincare?  March’s product review is on the science focused D’adamo Genoma skincare.  The folks at D’adamo were super gracious and sent me a giant box filled with their entire skincare line for me to review.

First, a little background….The founder, Dr. Peter D’Adamo is famous for his bestselling books which focus on gearing your diet toward your blood type.  He’s brought his science background and the idea of matching your products to your blood type into a skincare line.  It is Dr. D’Adamo’s assertion that “most other skin care products contain irritants for one or more blood types” so this line is “formulated to be right for all types.”

Here’s what this skincare like doesn’t include:

●None of the following common irritants: wheat or milk proteins; corn or coconut by-products, or aloe vera.
●Mineral oil, parabens, paraffin or petrolatum or any petroleum-based products.
●Propylene glycol or other potentially harmful ingredients used in typical moisturizers.
●They also do not test on animals.

What they do include:
●All-natural, wild-crafted and organic botanicals.
●Carnoisine, a powerful amino acid that inhibits the aging process and rejuvenates skin cells.

So what we’ve learned is that this is an uber sciency anti-aging skincare line that should be especially beneficial for those with allergies and sensitivities.

To understand where I’m coming from with my review, I’ll give you some info about my skin.  I’m in my thirties and have combination skin. I am sensitive to certain ingredients, but they most frequently pop up in makeup rather than skincare.  I have large pores and while acne isn’t usually an issue, blackheads can be.

Now enough gross stuff about my skin and let’s try this stuff out already.

Cleanser & Toner
D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Genoma, Rejuvenating Cleanser, 3.53 fl oz (104 ml)

(Retail: $39.95)
Description: “D’Adamo Genoma Cleanser is a creamy, super-hydrating formula that gently removes dirt, make-up, and excess oils without stripping essential oils from the skin. Dr. D’Adamo uses the naturally occurring amino dipeptide carnosine to help block chronic glycation. The Cleanser is enhanced with wild-crafted extract of krameria root, a gentle cleanser, and extract of lemon myrtle, long used for healing by indigenous Australians.  As an added benefit, the cleanser can also be used as a hydrating mask.”
Verdict:  Like
There’s not much of a scent and the packaging is on the clinical side.  Unlike the description, I didn’t find it to be “super moisturizing”, but I also didn’t feel like it stripped my skin either. I think it’s a solid cleanser and would appeal to those who are sensitive to scents and particular ingredients.

D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Genoma, Age-Inhibiting Toner, 3.53 fl oz (104 ml)
(Retail: $39.95)
Description: D’Adamo Genoma AGE-Inhibiting Toner provides continuous hydration to your skin. Dr. D’Adamo uses three natural mineral peptides to enhance toning of the ligaments underneath the skin, helping to tighten soft and sagging facial muscles. Wild-crafted extracts of milk thistle, neroli flower, and krameria root help to tighten pores and expel trapped dirt and debris.”
Verdict: 
Love!
I’ve only ever found a couple toners that didn’t make my skin super dry or sting when I applied them.  This one went on smoothly and lifted any of the stubborn bits of mascara and eyeliner that like to appear even after I use a cleanser.  I also loved using this as a makeup remover.  If I get a little too excited with the eyeliner, I just dab a little onto a cotton pad and voila the smudge is gone and my skin is refreshed.

Day & Night
D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Genoma, Day Light Face Cream, 1.67 fl oz (49 ml)

(Retail: $36.95)
Description: “This hydrating Cream plumps up and softens the skin reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. D’Adamo created two powerful herbal combinations for this Cream: a lecithin, carnosine, and milk thistle complex to stop the stiffening of collagen fibers and a date, pomegranate, and strawberry complex to provide superior antioxidant protection. The addition of wild-crafted extract of cassia seed provides moisturizing benefits similar to hyaluronic acid.”
Verdict: Miss
This is a thin, more liquidy day cream.  Like the other products there isn’t much of scent.  I found it just didn’t do much for my skin.  I prefer my day creams to have some kind of spf or more of a brightening effect.  If you like lighter day creams, then this would probably be right up your alley.

D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Genoma, Restorative Night Cream, 1.67 fl oz (49 ml)
(Retail: $36.95)
Description: “This is a heavier Cream designed to promote a more intense level of restorative support; improving hydration, firmness, and smoothness of the skin, while reducing wrinkle depth. Dr. D’Adamo blends a proprietary extract of mung bean, known for its anti-irritant properties, with carnosine and yerba mate, known for their ability to block tissue-aging glycation. The addition of wild-crafted clary sage enhances the drainage of the lymphatic channels underneath the skin and enhances tissue detoxification.”
Verdict:  Like
This cream was a bit thicker than the day cream but not quite as rich or thick as most night creams I’ve used.  It applies easy and I think folks who dislike really heavy night creams would like this.  I didn’t find it super moisturizing but I did feel like it helped even out my skin tone a bit.

Eye Cream & Serum
D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Genoma, Eye Cream, .5 fl oz (15 ml)
(Retail: $39.95)
Description: “This hydrating cream, formulated by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, firms and protects, reducing the appearance of fine lines and puffiness around the eyes.”
Verdict:  Hit!
This is possibly the thinnest eye cream I’ve ever tried.  One pump is enough to cover both eyes, below and on the lid.  The consistency is actually refreshing and maybe it’s just willful thinking but I did feel like it diminished the fine lines around my eyes a bit.  Like the other products, in this line not much of a scent.

D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Anti-Age Serum, .50 fl oz (30 ml)
(Retail: $29.95)
Description: “This light, refreshing serum does double duty. Crafted from organic Trehalose and all-natural botanical extracts, it provides superior hydration to skin cells, while minimizing the appearance of Age-spots. Particularly suited to dry and sensitive skin, this serum will leave your skin looking lighter, brighter, and more luminous. Only the finest wild-crafted herb and botanicals are used in our products, and there are no mineral oils, parabens, paraffin, or petroleum, which can be disruptive to hormonal activity.”
Verdict:  Hit!
As is the theme with the D’Adamo line this product is light with a thinner consistency and not much of a scent.  I used it at night and I felt it did a really great job of evening out my skin and helping smooth out some fine lines.  Personally it was a bit drying, so I probably wouldn’t use this every day and instead alternate with a more hydrating serum.

Mask
D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition, Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, 4 fl oz (120 ml)
(Retail: $36.95)

Description: “Montmorillonite, a French green clay, has been used for centuries to detoxify and lift impurities from the skin. Dr. D’Adamo blends botanicals, minerals and organic oils to heal, tone and moisturize, keeping skin smooth and supple. Weekly use of Deep Pore Cleansing Masque leaves skin feeling healthy and purified.”
Verdict:  Hit
This product has the typical clay mask application where you slop on some thick sludge, let it dry and hope for the best.  The mask was ready to remove in about 15 minutes.  It wasn’t difficult to take off, although as is par for the course with these, it was a bit messy.  I thought it did a good job of cleaning out my pores and leaving my skin refreshed.  Sometimes these masks can leave your skin super sensitive or bit worse for the wear, but none of that happened with the D’Adamo mask.

Body Cream & Body Wash
Daily Repair Body Lotion
(Retail: $29.95)
Description: ”Dr. D’Adamo blended aloe vera with shea nut butter to create a body lotion that not only moisturizes, but heals dry and damaged skin.”
Verdict:  Miss
With Body Lotions, I tend to like them to have a nice scent and be super moisturizing.  I found this to be not particularly compelling.  Again not much of a scent and while it moisturized it wasn’t at the level of my usual products.   If you have a lot of allergies this might be a good option for you, but it’s a miss for me.

Cellular Renewal Body Wash
(Retail: $29.95)
Description: ”Cellular Renewal Body Wash contains two key ingredients; vitamin B5 which increases the humectant properties of the skin and plays a role in cellular metabolism, and sodium hyaluronate a naturally occurring substance that penetrates the skin’s basal layer to replenish devitalized cells.”
Verdict:  Miss
This is the first product I tried in the line that actually had a scent.  It was light citrus, but it still wasn’t quite as strong as most women would like in a bodywash.  I didn’t find this hydrating enough for me and like the body lotion I found it pretty pedestrian.

Full Line
Overall

I liked this line a lot.   If I had to pick one favorite it would the toner, which I felt left my skin refreshed and did double duty by removing makeup.

This line would appeal to folks who prefer a more streamlined and not uber feminine approach to their skincare.  There’s not much scent, the packaging is more science than beauty and the consistency of the product is a lot less heavy than what you’d expect.  I think if you’re trying to get the man in your life to try a skincare line, this would be a fabulous choice.  It doesn’t have the flowery scents or the girly packaging that often intimidates men from trying out skincare products.  I also think this is a great option for the folks that have a ton of allergies and need to spend an hour reading the label of every product since this line is specifically created to eliminate many allergens.

Overall I enjoyed trying these products. I find the idea that your blood type influences the type of skincare you should use to be very intriguing and something I am going to give more thought to in the future.  The D’Adamo products aren’t as feminine as I typically like in my skincare, but they are solid and high quality.

Do you have any allergies to skincare or makeup?  If so, what products do you find the most problematic?

Coupon Code:
If you want to give these products a shot you can use my code at iherb.com: CVF809 for a discount on your first order.
They are a fabulous place to buy everything from groceries to essential oils and they offer lots of freebies at checkout.