Let's chat about indie beauty discoveries ft. Amazon

I have exciting news today!

[And sorry for the absence on the blog lately—work has been a bit crazy due to high turnover.]

Anywho, thanks to Palm (@joinpalm) and Amazon (@amazonlifestyle), I was able to try some amazing brands from Amazon’s new Indie Beauty shop. So today, I want to talk about the products I had the opportunity to try, as well as invite you all to shop through Amazon’s curated indie beauty collection. Maybe you’ll discover your new holy grail products, like I did!

To prep for the cozy fall season, I received two decadent body creams that smell sooo delicious. Vervan, wow. This Vervan Shea and Almond Oil Nourishing Body Butter legitly reminds me of almond tea. The scent is so nostalgic and warm. I just can’t get enough. Plus, I feel like after I started using this nightly before bed, my skin has been clearer and less irritated. In my box, I also received the Basd Creme Brulee Body Lotion. The plant-based body lotion smells like a cupcake, sweet & luxurious. I love the rich scent. However, if you’re sensitive to fragrance, I’m not sure if this product would be a good fit for you. I use it post shower and it absorbs into my skin in a pinch. All that’s left is smooth, moisturized skin. My hyper-sensitive KP-prone skin really seems to appreciate it.

Next, I got the opportunity to try two serums from Eleni & Chris and Vervan. If I had to choose, I would say my favorite is the Eleni & Chris anti-aging serum. While pricey, this antioxidant-rich serum delivers results. It contains cloudberry seed oil which makes my skin feel so plump, hydrated, and healthy. I have yet to attest to the anti-aging properties, but I believe that the extra TLC this serum give my skin will have great anti-aging benefits in the long run. Only time will tell. The Hadria by Vervan Brightening Serum is another great serum. It applies like a lightweight lotion and is crafted with Vitamin C and magnolia extract to “improve skin tone and give luminosity.” I’ve been alternating between the Eleni & Chris serum and this one and so far, my skin tone has seen major improvement. My skin has seriously been glowing these days.

Final thoughts. I’m so excited to see what else Amazon’s indie beauty shop has in store. The curated collections feature so many great natural beauty brands which range from cosmetics to skincare to hair care. You can shop these brands through my Amazon Associates affiliate link below:

https://amzn.to/2xg27WX

Special thanks to Amazon and Palm for sponsoring this post. Full disclaimer: As always, my opinions are 100% my own. I do receive some commission if you shop through my Amazon Associates link. The compensation would really help support my blog.

Until next time, Megan.

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The goodbeing review: august edition

September - fall season - is now here. So, let's recap on Goodbeing's August box.

First, the contents. In the August box, I received some all-natural, good for the soul skincare products, including the Rutz Natural Physical Attraction Hydrating Serum, Good Medicine Lab Every Little Thing Balm, and Sade Baron Vulcano Castile Soap. To top it all off, I also got another Aila Cosmetics nail polish in a very fall-appropriate dark gray-taupe shade. 

To elevate my skincare routine. So in fall weather, it's a lot more brisk in the mornings. Thus, I find that my oil-based serums absorb into my skin a bit too quickly after cleansing. The Rutz Natural serum creates the perfect buffer for layering on my oil-based serum and moisturizer, since it's a gel serum. Plus, the added hydration is pretty nice.

Next, this Good Medicine Lab balm has been a miracle worker for random dry patches, especially on my hands/cuticles, and for healing any cuts/broken skin. It also makes a great lip balm. Only downside is that it has a slight earthy, medicinal smell. It doesn't really bother me, but if you're sensitive to scents I would be cautious of this one. Nonetheless, I found this product to be super handy on my recent trip to Seattle. 

The Sade Baron Vulcano Castile Soap--this product checks all the boxes on the list of things I look for in a body wash. It has detoxifying properties from the activated charcoal, making it very suitable for those who suffer from body acne, like me. However, this liquid soap contains an arsenal of hydrating ingredients--avocado oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, to name a few. This product also smells soooo delightful and fresh because of jasmine and peppermint. I have yet to try it as a face wash, but I definitely plan to soon.

Lastly, the Aila Cosmetics nail polish. First of all, I love Aila Cosmetics' nail polish for several reasons. The formula glides on smoothly, doesn't dry out my nails, and is cruelty-free. The nail polish also removes easily with the Aila Cosmetics wipe or regular nail polish remover. I'm pretty obsessed with the shade I received in last month's box too. It's a perfect taupe-gray shade that is soft, yet has a slight edge. So perfect for the fall.

 

As always, special thanks to Goodbeing for gifting me their latest box. If you are trying to make the transition into clean beauty and lifestyle, this subscription box is a great start. Plus, it's very affordable at $24.95/month. 

And because we all love free products, you can use my referral code to get a bonus item in your first box. 

*Disclaimer: As a Goodbeing ambassador, I do receive a commission through this referral code. This would help me continue to purchase products to review on the blog, so your support means everything to me!

 

Until next time, Megan

 

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The goodbeing review: july edition

Hey all! I'm back at it today with another monthly Goodbeing box review. For those who are new to my blog and this subscription box, Goodbeing is a monthly service that provides you with a curated box of sample and full-size goodies intended to nourish the body & soul. You have two options for curated products. You can either select the wellness box, which will include a wide variety of snacks, beauty products, and aromatherapy products, or the beauty box, which will be tailored towards skin, hair, makeup, and body. 

Here's what I received this month:

In the July box, I got a mix of interesting products that I never knew I would need--a lip nectar, post-shave serum, cuticle oil to name a few. I have been partnering with Goodbeing for several months now, & they never cease to surprise me with these thoughtfully curated boxes. The two things I was most excited about were the lip nectar from Delia Organics and the Ursa Major Face Wipes. I've always seen these babies from Ursa Major around but never got to try them until now. They really come in handy when I travel or just need to clean my face quickly after a long day of work. Seriously a no fuss refresher to my skin--especially with my crazy work schedule at the moment.

The lip nectar from Delia Organics is one of my favorite lip products right now. It smells like oranges and leaves a smooth, glossy finish. I love a good lip product that also doubles as a gloss. 

The Lauren B. Beauty Reparative Cuticle Oil has been a major lifesaver for my calloused fingertips. Lately, I've been working such long hours that I let all my chores pile up until Sunday. Since I've been spending my entire weekends deep cleaning the apartment, honestly my fingers have gotten super dry and rough. However, this cuticle oil has seriously helped my hands recover. It's a concentrated oil that targets dryness for hands and nails. Plus, I really love the little dropper/squeeze tube hybrid. I'm a sucker for thoughtful packaging.

"Sexy Vulva" When I saw the writing on this Ultra Soothing Hydration Serum from Gorgeous Glo Body Care, I giggled for a good minute. Although this serum is targeted towards sensitive areas like your bikini line, my skin is honestly pretty prone to irritation in general. I shave my legs quite regularly and for that reason, I'm always getting razor bumps and patches of irritation on my legs. I've been alternating between this serum and my Fur Oil, and I have to say, my skin is a lot calmer these days. This serum is definitely a lot thicker than the Fur Oil, so for that reason I'll reach for the oil more. However it's got the soothing hydration part down. The peppermint oil is also a nice touch for post-shaven skin. 

    Lastly, the all-natural setting powder. For the longest time, I was using the Honest Beauty Invisible Blurring Powder. It was so mattifying that it would sometimes be a bit too drying. This Setting Veil from Gia Minerals, on the other hand, has a semi-matte finish that is more comparable to my Glossier Wowder, which is my holy grail. The light tint is great for blurring those pores as well. I still find that throughout the day, the shine starts to peak through, but it's expected. The only thing I'd have to say is the packaging can get a bit messy. Other than that, I have no major complaints.

As always, special thanks to Goodbeing for gifting me their latest box. If you are trying to make the transition into clean beauty and lifestyle, this subscription box is a great start. Plus, it's very affordable at $24.95/month. 

And because we all love free products, you can use my referral code to get a bonus item in your first box. 

*Disclaimer: As a Goodbeing ambassador, I do receive a commission through this referral code. This would help me continue to purchase products to review on the blog, so your support means everything to me!

Until next time, Megan

 

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Fur smoother hair and skin, everywhere.

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A few weeks ago, Fur reached out to me about a social media collaboration. When they asked me which product I would like to try, I knew that I had to try this cult-favorite.

For those who are new to this brand, & this oil, it's marketed to nourish and soften pubic hair. However, the product itself is so much more than that. It's actually multi-faceted for use on your hair, body, and face. 

To keep this short and sweet, the oil is composed of grapeseed and jojoba oils as the carrier oils, and essential oils (such as tea tree and clary sage) that refresh, soften, and soothe. I personally love the light citrus scent that the Fur Oil has. It's super lightweight and soaks in very quickly for instantly soft, lush skin and hair. If you're new to oil-based skincare products, this one is definitely a great one to start off with. It hydrates without the greasy shine. Overall, I've been using this oil nightly with my Elemis Superfood Night Cream and my skin's texture has improved drastically. Plus, it has done a great job of calming my skin down since it's been so irritated and red from work-related stress.  I've also seen less of those pesky ingrowns, so that's an added benefit. At $44, I really believe the Fur Oil is well worth the price tag. Besides, a little goes a very long way. The 75ml bottle is intended to last 6 months.

Special thanks to Fur for sending this product my way! 

Until next time, Megan

 

currently: curology update, insecurities, & mejuri everyday

Let's chat.

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I promised myself I would be braver this year & start posting more self-portraits, including this one, on my blog and social media because I want to be completely honest about my skin journey, etc. 

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CUROLOGY

 I've been using Curology for several months now & I have to admit, if it wasn't for this treatment I would probably be more hesitant to photograph my face/skin. This acne treatment has been so good to me. I still get small pimples here and there from stress or hormones but for the most part, my skin has cleared up. I haven't had cystic acne since I incorporated Curology into my routine. In my previous update, I mentioned that I was experiencing dryness and irritation. I'm happy to report that my skin has fully adjusted to the treatment and I no longer experience any dryness or itchiness. I don't know how long I will continue to use Curology, but for now it's a godsend.

INSECURITIES

I want to broach on the topic of insecurities today because it's something I have struggled with a lot throughout the ages. I'm far from perfect & I know that but sometimes I tend to focus on those imperfections a little bit too much. A lot of it is superficial too--just being uncomfortable in my own skin. When I see a photo of myself, the first thoughts that run through my head are always ugh my skin looks so oily today, or my skin looks so blotchy and textured. I also suffer from body acne as well, which used to make me feel very self-conscious. Up until college, I never wanted to wear tank tops or anything that would show my back or chest. And when it's not my skin, I'm attacking the fact that I have hooded eyes or a big nose. The importance of self-image mixed in with our ideals of Western beauty being the only definition of "beautiful" really ruined my confidence when I was younger. However, as I get older, I'm learning to accept my flaws. I'm learning to embrace natural makeup looks and mascara-less eyes, and very minimal foundation. 

MEJURI

On a lighter note, I've been loving a few pieces from Mejuri. I decided recently to splurge a bit and pick up the Bold Sphere Studs and the Starburst necklace because Mejuri has quality that I can trust. First of all, the studs are so beautiful. I ended up wearing them during my wedding reception because they add the flair of pearl earrings, yet are lightweight and easy to maintain. For the longest time, I was wearing my Claire's starter studs and they were a pain to take off. For that reason, I never wanted to change out my earrings. I noticed the quality of these Mejuri earrings immediately. The backings slide on and off so smoothly, like buttery smooth if that's a good way to describe it. I love that the studs are quite big but I barely feel them throughout the day. The Starburst necklace is also another amazing staple to my jewelry collection. The necklace is simple but really ties an outfit together. The length is perfect as well. It falls right at my collar bones for a nice bit of shine. 

Ps. The lip look features Milk + Honey's Cardamom Vanilla Lip Butter, Glossier Gen G Lipstick in Zip and Lip Gloss

Until next time, Megan

 

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The sun-kissed, out of office motd ft. Goodbeing

A 100% cruelty-free glowy, summer makeup look.

I feel like I have grown quite the clean makeup arsenal since I started my collaboration with Goodbeing (@joingoodbeing). Therefore, today instead of the usual monthly review, I have decided to do a summer motd featuring products that I received from the May and June boxes as well as boxes from previous months. 

et alors,

Every makeup look should start with SPF, so let's start off with the Suntegrity "5 in 1" Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen from the June box. This sunscreen has a pretty thick texture that can get a bit greasy if you have oily skin. However, it doesn't have a white cast and definitely has the moisturizing factor down. Since this sunscreen is super hydrating, it acts as a good base for priming the skin for makeup.

Next, I like to go in with a bit of light coverage foundation or just concealer on areas of my face that are prone to redness. The key is to keep the foundation light and to a minimum for extra comfort in the summer heat. Then, I'll apply the Suntegrity Staycation Botanical Bronzing Shimmer Serum to the high points of my face and the hollows of my cheeks for a natural, tanned glow. Since my skin is pretty textured from years of acne, I prefer not to apply this serum to my entire face. Similar to the Suntegrity sunscreen, this serum is very hydrating and smells like tropical fruit punch. I find that this bronzing serum absorbs into my skin better than the sunscreen. The last step to the face, I like to dust on a bit of the BellaPierre Mineral Blush in "Amaretto" onto my cheeks and across the bridge of my nose.

To prep the lips, I will first use the kVoss NYC Lip Lover Scrub and follow with the Ellovi Vanilla Lip Butter to get soft, smooth lips. Then, I'll swipe on my Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Luminous Lip Crayon in "Malibu," which is a really great "my lips but better" rose shade.

For the eyes, I have been obsessed with this Orglamix Mineral Eyeshadow in "Cardamom". It's a gorgeous bronze, shimmer shade that just screams summertime to me. Plus, the staying power is amazing--I'm talking about minimal creasing. The only downside is that since it is a loose powder pigment, the packaging gets pretty messy. But I love the cute little tub it comes in. C'est la vie. To finish off the eyes, I like to apply a couple coats of the Pure Anada Black Mascara.

The extras. 

To finish off the look, I used several other beauty products for an overall healthy, natural look. First up, I have using the NKD Skin Gradual Glow Daily Tan Moisturizer to help my skin look more toned. To get my hair super silky and soft, I like to spritz on the Evolvh SmartStart Leave-in Conditioner and the Superfinish Polishing Balm to minimize the flyaways I get from air-drying my hair.

My favorite thing to do everyday before I leave the house is to apply a fragrance. For this look, I decided to keep things earthy and natural to match my makeup look. And so, I applied some Gypsy Soul Organics Gypsy Woman Solid perfume to the wrists and behind the ears. I really love this scent. It's warm and musky with a light touch of floral. 

As always, special thanks to Goodbeing for gifting me their latest box. If you are trying to make the transition into clean beauty and lifestyle, this subscription box is a great start. Plus, it's very affordable at $24.95/month. 

And because we all love free products, you can use my referral code to get a bonus item in your first box. 

***Disclaimer: As a Goodbeing ambassador, I do receive a commission through this referral code. This would help me continue to purchase products to review on the blog, so your support means everything to me!

Until next time, Megan.

 

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An ode to Commodity fragrances

COMMODITY

I think I'll take one of everything, please.

It's funny how one's taste in fragrances changes so much depending on the seasons. Fall and winter, I crave a scent that envelops me in warmth and spice. Spring and summer, I can't get enough of those vibrant, tangy floral scents to match the California sun. 

Commodity scent me these perfumes awhile back in conjunction with their Spring launches. I thought it would finally be a good time to share my thoughts. 

BOIS //

Such a beautiful, clean, gender-neutral scent. It just borders on the verge of masculinity in its muskiness but with a woman's touch. The scent is very lived-in and for some reason, I find that there is a bit of warmth to it that reminds me of sugary coconuts. The thing I like the most about Bois is that not only is it unique, it's also very layer-able. I love to spritz Nectar and Bois for a truly balanced scent.

NECTAR //

Oranges--or any citrus really--in my eyes, are the epitome of summer. When you combine that with a rich floral, you get perfect harmony. This scent is vibrant and intriguing, yet light. The scent lingers, but doesn't overwhelm your senses. It smells so natural and I find myself reaching for it quite often.

VELVET //

I'm so happy to receive a back-up travel size of Velvet. The smell of burnt almonds adds a lot of warmth and depth. The rose gives it sweet balance to the smokiness of the almonds. This fragrance is very rich and lasts a long time on my skin. 

They also sent me a 40-piece sampler which was absolutely heavenly. While the darkest scents are a bit too musky for my taste, they work fantastically as room sprays. I love the grey and white collections, which include some of my OG favorites like Gold, Magnolia, Vetiver, and Orris. I honestly gifted some of my favorites to my sister and mom to spread the wealth. 

Special thanks to Commodity for sending these fragrances my way. 

Until next time, Megan

 

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The favorites: volume no. 4

L'ete luxueux

Beauty faves are always a must and since I last touched base with you all, I've accrued quite the **luxe** collection. Therefore, I feel it's fitting to talk about some beauty products that are on the pricier side of the spectrum that are so worth it. 

First up, let's talk about the classics: Chanel, ooh la la. 

So I might have a bit of an addiction. However, I'm blessed to have received so many gift card redemptions at work lately, which have been funneling into my recent acquisitions of Chanel makeup. Chanel beauty is well worth the hype and the products themselves live past the pretty packaging. So far, I've picked up two products from the Les Beiges collection (the Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 in No. 50 and the Sheer Healthy Glow Moisturizing Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30), the Palette Essentielle Ete from the Cruise Collection 2018, and the Poudre a Levre Lip Balm and Powder Duo in 410 - Rosso Pompeiano.

The Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Powder is the perfect bronzer for my medium skin tone. It imparts the perfect natural, glowy, sun-kissed look and is so effortlessly achieved. I really love the half moon shaped brush that comes with it. It makes applying the powder to my cheeks so easy. I use the healthy glow powder in conjunction with the caramel cream highlighter shade in the Cruise Collection 2018 Palette Essentielle Ete for a super bronzey glow. On days when I just want to do a fuss-free, simple makeup look, I will just dab the gold cream highlighter from the same palette onto my eyelids. It's my favorite makeup look to do lately--especially since with the time I save on my makeup, I can take Sunflower (my puppy) on longer walks.

The Sheer Healthy Glow Moisturizing Tint is super dewy, yet lightweight and covers just the right amount of redness and spots. At the end of the day when I remove my makeup, I find that the glow stays with my complexion. Some days when i find it to be a bit too dewy, I like to tone it down with a bit of Glossier Wowder, especially on the t-zone and forehead areas. 

With that being said, let's talk about some Glossier products that I have recently fallen in love with.

I picked up the Wowder Duo back in April and at first, I felt that the product didn't really help keep the oiliness at bay. However, after using it for about a month and a half, I would beg to differ. I love that this powder isn't too matte to the point where dry patches start to appear yet helps gives off a silky, soft-matte finish. The tint acts as a light mid-day touch up when some of the natural redness in my t-zone starts to peek through my foundation (this tends to happen since I prefer to keep my foundation coverage very light). 

One of Glossier's latest launches, Lash Slick, has been the perfect addition to my no-makeup makeup arsenal. This mascara is surprisingly lengthening and seriously smudge-proof (even though it's not waterproof). I've heard mixed reviews, and admittedly, this mascara does not hold a curl on Asian monolid eyes. But, it does lift my lashes, which is good enough for me. I'd take this over smudging on my eyelids, any day.  

Final mentions.

The last two items that I want to talk about fall within the realm of body and fragrance. I discovered Le Labo's Fleur d'Oranger perfume after receiving a sample in a Nordstrom order. I've always had a natural affinity for the scent of orange blossoms and this one really hit the spot. It's light and fragrant and just transports me to the warm weather seasons. I've been rocking this scent nearly every day and I'm still not sick of it yet. This last beauty product I purchased on a whim because Madewell's in-store beauty section is just so captivating. I've always wanted to try something from French Girl Organics and I decided to pick up this Body Silk Creme Du Jour because of the roobidos scent. I love the earthiness of this body cream. Further, it has a slippery, gel-cream texture that soaks into my skin in a pinch. I'm all for a body cream that hydrates, without aggravating body acne. 

Until next time, Megan

 

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Good habits to live by with Vitruvi

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about incorporating new routines to the daily grind--especially new habits that help ease my anxiety levels after a long day of work and bring peace and comfort to my home. That's when Vitruvi reached out to me about a collaboration. 

They sent me their iconic White Stone Essential Oil Diffuser (also available in black) and a selection (and might I say, very generous) of their 100% natural essential oils. I also received three of their essential oil blends (Quiet, Dusk, and Grove) which all smell really lovely. Now I've never used a diffuser before but I was honestly surprised at how easy it was to set it up. Simply fill the water cup to the measured line, add 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice, cap, and start diffusing. Although I really have no gauge on what is considered a top notch diffuser, I feel that this Vitruvi one is luxuriously handcrafted. It diffuses a very smooth, fine mist into the air and really encapsulates the room. A thoughtfully-added feature to is the light at the bottom. It's enough to give a sense of ambiance which I feel is such a nice touch. 

Currently, I like to mix a couple drops of Grove (a woodsy, morning dew scent--think fresh grass), Geranium, and Peppermint. I've found that adding mint is so refreshing and revitalizing. I plan to experiment with different scent combinations depending on my mood. But that's the fun part right? I think Lavender and Quiet will be great for a post-work unwind. 

 

Some precautions to diffusing

1. Never keep the diffuser on for longer than 30 minutes. Keep intervals--ie. diffuse for 30 mins, then air out. 

2. Not all essential oils are pet friendly. If you plan to use a diffuser, make sure your pet is able to leave the room if it is too strong for them. Don't diffuse around fish, reptiles, or birds.

3. Be sure to use very low amounts of strong antimicrobial scents to avoid potential irritation.

Credits to this Growing Up Herbal article for the tips on diffusing safely. 

 

Special thanks to Vitruvi for sending me these products to test to my heart's content! 

Until next time, Megan.

 

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the goodbeing april review: a month of discoveries

It's been awhile since my last post. I've been dealing with a nasty combination of an allergic reaction and work stress. However, one thing that I always look forward to each month is this lovely box from Goodbeing! So without further ado, let's jump into the review.

In this month's box, I received the Pacifica Hot Vegan Probiotic & Spice Rehab Mask, a mascara from Pure Anada, the Shave with Benefits foam from Eco-Armour, the Bedrock Porefector (sample), and the Himalayan Pink Salt Organic Popcorn from Buddha Bowl. It was a good mix of makeup, skincare, body, and wellness treats. Leave it to Goodbeing to cover all the bases.

The items I want to highlight today are the Pacifica mask, the Pure Anada mascara, and the shave foam from Eco-Armour.

First off, I have to say that the Pacifica Hot Vegan mask smells delicious. It smells of coconuts and has a clear gel texture. I love using this mask as a post-workday pick me up when my skin feels dull and congested. However, if you have sensitive skin like me, be cautious about leaving it on past the suggested 10-15 minutes. I once left the mask on for too long (regrettably, I was watching an episode of Supernatural) and my skin was a bit red and itchy after I washed off the mask. Overall, this mask was my favorite item from this month's box.

The Pure Anada mascara. I honestly had low expectations for mascaras in general because pretty much all mascaras smudge on me and any non-waterproof formulas do not hold a curl to my stick-straight, short lashes. This mascara proved me wrong. I couldn't believe how well it was able to lengthen my lashes, without any smudging after an entire workday. The formula feels really light too. The only thing is that I find it to be a bit dry. It takes a couple coats to really get a nice even application. If you're interested in an organic, green mascara, definitely give this one a shot.

Lastly, I want to highlight this Eco-Armour Shave with Benefits Foam. I haven't used a shave cream/foam in a very long time & for one reason, it adds an extra step to my shower routine. I'm now convinced that it is a necessity. Not only are my legs smoother and less irritated, using a shave foam also has the benefit of maintaining the condition of the razor. Plus, this shave foam washes off very easily and leaves a nice minty sensation to my skin due to the eucalyptus.

As always, special thanks to Goodbeing for gifting me their latest box. If you are trying to make the transition into clean beauty and lifestyle, this subscription box is a great start. Plus, it's very affordable at $24.95/month. 

And because we all love free products, you can use my referral code to get a bonus item in your first box. 

***Disclaimer: As a Goodbeing ambassador, I do receive a commission through this referral code. This would help me continue to purchase products to review on the blog, so your support means everything to me!

Until next time, Megan

 

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