Caroline: Describe yourself in one sentence (i.e. the maker of magic):
April: I am a deeply grateful mom, wife, friend, daughter, entrepreneur and believer in true beauty.
C: She is also the creator of the most magical and transforming product I have ever put on my face and refuse to be without.
C: What is your definition of beauty?
A: True beauty is a light in your heart that shines through everything you do.
C: What is your "skin story" / what prompted you to create your own product?
A: I struggled with my skin all my life. Cystic acne and discoloration were my biggest issues. For me, putting oil my face for the first time felt like jumping off a cliff, but it was love at first drop. Creating Vintner’s Daughter took that love for face oils and pushed the boundaries to the very edge on activity and performance.
C: I think when you first told me that you used to have cystic acne (and the fact that you almost knew it would work for my "hormonal/anxiety cheek issue"), I fell in love with you. And you were right! Similarly to you, if you had told me 3-4 years ago I'd be cleansing and treating with oils, I'd think you were out of your mind. But of course, Vintner's is so much more than that, which is why so many people are seeing incredible results.
I had a different post planned for today, but I felt like this needed to be said first. After talking about bee farm friends and being surrounded by so much love this week, I need to emphasize the fact, again, that skincare is about so much more than skin. When I wrote in this post that skincare is a form of self-care, I was not kidding. Until a few weeks ago, my Instagram bio read, "I just really enjoy taking good care of my face." And yes, that is a very true statement; however, I realized that I no longer wanted that to be the first thing people saw when visiting my Instagram--because it's about so much more than me taking good care of my face.
Included in the final giveaway this week:
I get a lot of questions about whether or not I apply SPF daily. Because I am so fair-skinned, I have always been super obsessive about staying out of the sun and protecting my skin. Now, because of my scars, I'm more obsessive about sunscreen than I've ever been. As in, while walking down the streets of SoHo and realizing it's gotten super sunny, I pull out a travel size and reapply in the middle of the road (true story).
Here's the thing with Tula: they've been under the radar for a long, long time. I first heard of the brand when they reached out to me this past June. My Instagram was new, and they were a very new, growing brand. As they have grown (congrats!), I have grown. I almost feel like we've grown in the skincare world side by side. And let it be known, there is something super charming about their blue jars (that are not plastic).
These two products are my TULA favorites, and if you're going to try anything from the line, I'd start here.
SURPRISE! To celebrate my one year anniversary on Instagram, I'm filling this week with giveaways and other happy things. I chose to begin with Tatcha for two primary reasons: I recommend their cleansing oil to literally everyone + I know how difficult it is to get internationally. Thus, this giveaway is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. The more obvious reason is that I simply adore the brand. Hopefully, this introduction to my most favorite Tatcha products will be a way for you to fall in love with the brand like I have. The detail Tatcha puts in their products, packaging, handwritten notes, and customer care is simply unparalleled. They have loved and supported me, and I just want every single person to say they have at least tried their beautiful camellia cleansing oil.
Until a couple of years ago, I was using one Dermalogica cleanser AM and PM, with a Neutrogena oil free SPF 35 during the day. How DARE I put oil on my face when I classify myself as "oily combo, easily congested/dehydrated and slightly sensitive" ?! Those were my products--that is how I "took care" of my skin. And then, I was reading ingredients, learning about new types of cleansers, reading results from lab tests, and oohing and ahhing over acids, serums, oil cleansers, balms, the works. I'm a particular person to begin with--but skincare takes that claim over the edge. On March 29, 2015, I decided to start a skincare Instagram account. I took my first picture before heading out to Sunday brunch. It was for me, and if you had told me I would still have it a year later, I'd laugh.
For me, this is about way more than skincare. this has become self-care.
Note: This post was published August 8, 2015. One of the questions I'm asked most frequently is how I know what to use in each routine / how I know what my face needs / why I don't do the same routine every morning and night. The short answer as to why I don't do the same routine is that my skin isn't the same every morning and night. If I don't pay attention to what my face wants/needs, it goes downhill pretty quickly. If you have a headache, you take an Advil and get a coffee. If you're going out, you wear a different outfit than the one you put on to get coffee that morning. That being said, if you're hormonal, you reach for a purifying cleanser. If you're dehydrated, you reach for milk or oil. If you're super oily, you reach for a clay or gel. It depends. I was reminded of this topic this last week, as I hit a dry-spell in the middle of the week. Why? Who knows- perhaps lack of sleep, stress, and too much acid than my skin was really wanting. Thus, I had to completely change up my nightly routine. Instead of Tata's purifying cleanser, one which I often use in the evenings, I reached for oils. I used an oil to cleanse, no acid tone, a moisturizing toner, a hydrating serum, an oil as treatment, and my favorite moisturizer for dehydration- Clinique's moisture surge. Dryness (lack of oil) and dehydration (lack of water) + stress are definitely not a good combination. Would I ever think I would be using multiple oils and hydrating serums in August? Absolutely not- I'm usually slightly oily; however, it happens.
Note: This post was published July 14, 2015. Because I am so fair-skinned and because I know the importance of sunscreen, I never leave the house without SPF on my face. For many, many years, I was devoted to Neutrogena's Oil Free SPF 35 moisturizer. Yes, Neutrogena. I still love the way it sinks in and feels. However, once I started becoming more efficient at researching skincare ingredients, I realized I wasn't quite sure I wanted to be putting that on my face every day. It has some iffy preservatives and other things that raise some eyebrows in scientific research. Do I still use it from time to time? Yes; however, I realized I needed a better product for the majority of days.
This SPF has not disappointed. My only complaint is that it takes a bit of extra work getting off at night if you apply a thick layer and/or reapply. However, when initially applied, I don't use more than a pea-sized amount.
-Titanium Dioxide 1.5%: Sunscreen.
-Zinc Oxide 17%: Sunscreen.
-ProVention-R™ Complex (Green Tea Extract, Cranberry Fruit Extract, and Pomegranate Extract): A skin-protecting antioxident blend safe for acne and rosacea-prone skin.
-Vitamin C: Helps brighten and repair signs of photo aging.
Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Silica, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Polysilicone-15, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Iron Oxides, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Camellia Sinensis (GreenTea) Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract.
For those completely against using a chemical sunscreen, this would be a great option for you. This is completely natural derived and mineral based. Also, notice that this is a sunscreen and not a moisturizer. Thus, if you're dry, you would still use a moisturizer prior to putting this on. Because I'm slightly oily and it's summer, most of the time this is all I need. Another positive about this not having moisturizing ingredients as well as SPF is that it's a great option for those with acne / those prone to breakouts. It also contains silicones, meaning it can also play the role as primer if need be. As a lightweight and smooth cream, it glides on easily, sinks in readily, and provides a matte finish. This has not irritated me in the least, and I am slightly sensitive. Overall, I am very impressed with the ingredients and MDSolarSciences. I will be trying more of their products in the coming weeks!
Note: This post was published July 3, 2015. Many of you have asked, so I finally decided to give in--I created a blog! When the Tata cleanser comparison was very much wanted, I thought it would be best for me to have more space to write. I wholeheartedly agree with Caroline Hirons when she mentioned Tata's cleansers were the best on the market right now. My skin is absolutely loving them. Granted, everyone is (always) entitled to their opinion. Before I get started reviewing, you should know a bit about my "skincare philosophy," as I like to call it. I use what works for me. I don't believe in buying something just to buy it. I don't believe in buying something to take a picture. When my skin feels good, I feel good. I have always loved taking care of my skin; as I'm very fair, everything is simply more noticeable and sensitive. Water intake and SPF take you a long way. Beauty to me is having a glow that comes from within. Makeup will always be secondary, and I'm rarely wearing more than tinted moisturizer, blush, and mascara. And lastly, I believe everyone is capable of having a healthy routine. I mix and match between less expensive and more high end, but at the end of the day, I think spending a bit of extra money on your face is worth it. Skin type: I am slightly sensitive and slightly oily, prone to hormonal/stress congestion, and can get dehydrated if I'm not careful.
On to Tata! I will do these in the order I acquired them: