Enter Spirit Beauty Lounge. This online mecca of natural beauty products is basically as store version of "Natural Cosmetics for Dummies." Spirit Demerson, founder of SBL, does all of the above and more in selecting their stock. In fact, she wrote a really interesting blog post on the topic, discussing the various factors she considers in choosing her merchandise. Suffice it to say that I feel safe in using any of the products she's selected.
SBL also offers a really fantastic sampler, wherein you select any nine products and receive samples of them for $25. This was my first (but surely not last!) foray into SBL. My sampler included:
So far, I've tried out the Acure Organics Brightening Face Scrub, Acure Organics Argan Oil, RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek, and RMS Beauty Un-Coverup, the Alima Pure Matte Foundation, Vapour Aura Blush Multi Use, and Vapour Soft Focus Foundation. Here are my thoughts on those products:
1. AO Face scrub: LOVE. My dry skin gets irritate easily with (much-needed) exfoliation, but this product made it feel clean and smooth without feeling tight or dry. I drove directly to Whole Foods and bought this after trying it.
2. AO Argan Oil: I've never used argan oil, aka 'liquid gold' before, so I can't compare how this 100% argan oil may compare to other pure argan oils, but I love this for spot-treating dry spots. Other people swear by dabbing this on the ends of their hair and using as a cuticle oil. A little goes a long way, but once I'm out of my sample I'll likely purchase.
3. Living Luminizer: I'm not a big fan of most luminizers, but this was nice--not too sparkly, glittery, or white. I put it in the inner corners of my eyes, on my cheekbones, and on my cupid's bow. It creased slightly on my eyes and was too subtle to notice on my cheekbones. But I still liked the product--I'd love it as a gift but am unlikely to shell out my own cash for it.
4. Lip2Cheek: I'm going to buy this. I loooove it. Blends easily, has great staying power, makes you look naturally flushed. I got it in Smile and thought it was a bit dry as a lip color but maybe with a balm under it? I'll use it as a blush for sure. Love.
5. UnCoverup: I'm split on this. It blends really nicely, changes to your skin tone, and has great staying power...but on my dry patches it really clumped up and made them stand out. For people who are well-moisturized this would be fantastic! For me, I think I can find a product better suite to my skin.
6. Alima Foundation: I keep trying mineral powder foundations and never like the results. I want to try mixing this in my moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer. I will say that I loved the feel of it--very light but great coverage--so for people who enjoy powder foundation I highly recommend this as I like it much better than Bare Minerals. Not for me, unfortunately.
7. Multi Use Blush: Drier than the RMS Lip2Cheek, but really pretty sheer color. It comes in stick form, so the sample I had may not be the best version of it (it was a bit hard to get enough color from my finger to my cheek) but if you got the full size I'm sure it would be fantastic.
8. Soft Focus Foundation: I understand exactly what they mean by 'soft focus'--it makes your skin look petal-y soft, almost airbrushed. Unfortunately this product, like the UnCoverup, emphasized my dry patches, so it doesn't work for me. But I loved the feel and look of it on my not-so-dry skin, so people with better-moisturized skin would probably love this. I'd highly recommend this to my friends but not use myself.
With three free samples with any order and free shipping over $50, I can see that Spirit Beauty Lounge will quickly become the bane of my paycheck (in the prettiest, cleanest way! :) I've already added the RMS Lip2Cheek to my online Spirit Beauty Lounge shopping cart with, have the Acure Scrub in my medicine closet already, and put the Living Luminizer and Vapour Blush on my (too early to be be called a Christmas list) Christmas list!