Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Juara Skincare Review

Juara is a vegan skin care line based on historical Indonesian herbal and botanical treatments.  Using traditional Indonesian botanical remedies like healing teas, sandalwood, turmeric, tamarind and rice, combined with western science, these products have an east-meets-west attitude towards anti-aging and skin health.
Juara was kind enough to send me some samples of their daily skin care regimen of cleansing, toning and moisturizing.  Here's what I found:

Rice Facial Cleanser
This foaming, suflate-free cleanser leaves skin soft and hydrated, removing all traces of dirt, oil and makeup.  With rice starch as the active ingredient, known for its soothing and softening properties, as well as its ability to decrease moisture loss, this cleanser works great for all skin types.  
I found this cleanser to have an amazingly pleasant smell, almost like slipping into a tropical vacation - with sweet citrus and warm coconut scents, it's a great way to wake up the senses in the morning.
I especially liked using this cleanser with my Clarisonic - it left my skin feeling super clean and soft!  The only thing I didn't love is that it left my skin feeling a little too "squeaky clean," probably due to the foaming or fragrance ingredients, but after using the toner (reviewed next), my skin felt perfectly soft and supple.
Water, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Rice (Oryza sativa) Starch, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycol Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenypropanol, Fragrance.

Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner
Juara describes this product as a "toner serum", and I completely get why.  This toner is super hydrating, just as the name implies, with a slightly thicker consistency than most toners.  It comes out of the bottle with a brownish tinge, which threw me off a bit, but it disappears perfectly into the skin, leaving it soft and glowing.  The oil-free liquid contains all kinds of skin-loving ingredients, like black, green and white teas for a super antioxidant boost, and tamarind extract to boost hydration and sooth skin.  It also contains rice bran extract to minimize irritation and de-stress skin, and hyaluronic acid to further hydrate and plump.
This product has the most impressive ingredient list of them all, with mostly actives in the list:

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Tamarind Seed (Tamarindus indica) Extract, White Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea (Camellia sinensis) Extract, Rice (Oryza sativa) Bran Extract, Honey Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate.

I swiped this over my face and neck after cleansing and loved the way my skin felt afterwards!  It left me with a great glow and smooth, softened skin.  It also relieved any tightness or "squeakiness" I felt after cleansing. It definitely feels a bit more conditioning than most toners, which is probably why it is dubbed a "toner serum".  Whatever you call it, it's good stuff!

Sweet Black Tea and Rice Facial Moisturizer
This lightweight moisturizer contains fermented black tea (aka Kombucha) to soften and brighten, and Rice Bran Oil to hydrate as its active ingredients.  Rice Brain Oil is an excellent source of natural fatty acids and Vitamin E, both of which are really important for softening, hydrating and protecting skin.
I found this moisturizer to have a great consistency that soaks right into the skin and leaves it with a hydrated glow.  My skin didn't feel oily or dry all day - it was comfortable and soft, which is a big feat because my skin is pretty bipolar when it comes to its dry and oily zones.
Water/Eau, Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Avocado (Persea gratissima) Oil Unsaponifiables, Rice Bran (Oryza sativa) Oil, Cyclomethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Illipe (Shorea stenoptera) Seed Butter, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Squalane, Saccharomyces/Xylinum Black Tea Ferment, Hydroxyethylacrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenypropanol, Fragrance/Parfum. 

Bottom Line: REALLY LIKE!  The products are really unique in their use of Indonesian botanicals and herbs to soften and hydrate skin.  While I don't love the addition of fragrance in the cleanser and moisturizer, and found the cleanser a bit too... cleansing, I did appreciate the texture and feel of all the products, especially the toner.  If you're looking for a good, hydrating line with strong natural antioxidants, this is a great line for you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photography Workshop Session

I had the incredible pleasure of working with two of my favorite photographers, Lola and Nasim Mansurov, of Mansurovs Photography this past weekend.  They were holding a photography workshop, and were teaching the art of photographing a model, taking into account lighting, color, shadows, etc.
Here are some of the gorgeous pictures they took:
I LOVE the colors in this shot.  They grey of the dress, yellow of the paintings, and red lips make such a statement!
This shot really allowed the contours of our beautiful model's face to show.  I enhanced them with makeup, and lighting did the rest.
 Beautiful colors again.
Working with a good photographer makes all the difference in the world.  It's also really important to develop a good relationship, as you want to work closely with them to ensure that the makeup is photographing as you intended.  The result will be breathtaking.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Easy Summer Makeup - Bright Lips

90 Degree summer days call for a less-is-more approach to makeup. One of the easiest and most sweat-resistant ways to get a made up look without a lot off product is by wearing a statement lip on an almost nude face - it gives your face a bright pop of fun summer color without the melt-off. Here are some perfect summer colors that promise to make your pout

Buxom Big & Healthy Lipstick Sydney

I've been obsessed with bright pink lips as the new red ever since seeing Jessica Biel in this perfect color:
This lipstick by Buxom is the perfect bright pink that looks great on all complexions. On top of that, the liner-like texture makes sure it wears all day and doesn't bleed.

This color by Guerlain is the perfect mix between red and berry. It creates a beautiful stain on the lip and comes in a beautiful gold case, so you'll feel luxe just pulling it out of your purse.
For the perfect summer look, just combine these bright lip colors with a clean, dewy complexion and a couple of swipes of mascara for a chic and sweat-proof look.
What are your favorite summer lip colors?