Sneak Peek: Saks Summer Beauty Week

IMG_0023Hello, lovelies!

Tomorrow, hubs and I are heading out on vacation- woohoo! We are heading back to our honeymoon spot in St. Barth to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, and I am super excited for some R&R. Be sure to follow along on Instagram this week at @sweetcarolinerva if you want to see some snaps of our travels!

Before jetting off, I wanted to make sure you knew about a celebration coming up next week at Saks Fifth Avenue at Stony Point Shopping Center. The beauty squad at Saks is hosting Summer Beauty Week (June 1-4), and it’s going to be amazing!

The team at Saks is showcasing products that will beat the heat and give you that gorgeous summer glow all season long. PLUS, you get a gift with your beauty purchases. Score! Here’s the skinny on the Summer Beauty Week events:

  • June 1: Complimentary brow threading with any purchase from 6pm-8:30pm with Style by Zahra
  • June 3: Stay cool with King of Pops (yum!) and enjoy a fashion show at 1pm, featuring summer inspired beauty looks.
  • June 4: Infused water tastings with Brewed Well from 1pm-3:30pm

I got a sneak peek today, and it was so much fun! The YSL national makeup artists were in Richmond this week, so I had the special treat of having my makeup done by their team of talented experts. But first, I had to hit up the Saks’ shoe department (because sale. Duh.) How adorable are these Tory Burch Shaw Espadrilles? Perfect for St. Barth!

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I was then pampered by the YSL beauty team with a morning makeover! All of the YSL products— from skincare to makeup–look and feel fabulous. My skin has felt hydrated and plump all day, and the makeup is just beautiful.

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(P.S. How cute are these two?)

I started off with the Or Rouge Cleansing Creme. This stuff smells amazing and I instantly felt my skin transform. It felt wonderful going on and was so refreshing!

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After I was fresh faced, I had my makeup done using all YSL products. I was really impressed with all of the products she used on me– from the eyeshadow palette to the blush! There were three products that really stood out to me, though!

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Eye Zone Serum

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This stuff is magical! I haven’t slept well this week– stress? vacation excitement? binge-listening to My Favorite Murder podcast? who knows?– so my eyes have been feeling a little tired and blah. This serum was cooling and refreshing, and really, really perked up my eye area. I looked soooooo much better after she applied this serum (you do not want to see the “before.”)

Click here to purchase!

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighter

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This bad boy has a cult following, and it’s easy to see why. Highlighter + concealer + contour = magic potion for your skin. This gives you an instant glow and really gives your makeup a polished, dewy, and clean look.

Click here to purchase!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick No. 70 – Le Nu

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This is the PERFECT lipstick color for summer! It looks great on any skin tone and is the perfect pink — slightly brown, slightly coral, super flattering. I had to snag a tube for myself!

Click here to purchase!

Here’s the final result!

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I love the fresh and summery look! 

If you’re looking for high quality, beautiful skin care and makeup, get yourself to Saks and the Yves St. Laurent counter! You can thank me later!

Thank you to my friends at Saks for a fun day of beauty! Can’t wait to return for Summer Beauty Week, June 1-4!

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Beauty on the Go: Travel Essentials

untitledWorking in the travel and tourism industry, constantly being on the road and on the go is part of the job. It’s an amazing way to meet new people, see new places, and learn new things– all of which helps me do my job better.

As wonderful as traveling is, it certainly can disrupt your normal routine: sleep schedule, diet, exercise habits- even your day-to-day beauty regime. Whether you’re traveling for a couple of days or for a couple of weeks, it’s important to continue to take care of yourself even though you are away from the comforts of your home.

Some of my favorite travel essentials come from my favorite local beauty and skincare store, Elements of Carytown (ElementsBeautyShop.com). I’ve been a loyal customer of Elements ever since my good friend Christina of Tiramisu for Breakfast introduced me to it!

Here are some of my favorite products as a gal-on-the-go.

REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot

After hours on a plane or in the car, my skin always looks a little…well… tired. This firming serum gives your skin an instant hydrating boost and glow – it’s like an espresso for your face! The Beauty Shot especially comes in handy if you’ve only got a few minutes between checking in to your hotel and zipping to your next event. A little goes a long way, so this small bottle will last you a long time (which means it’s also TSA 3-1-1 compliant!)[$54, click here to purchase].

Malin + Goetz Essential Travel Kit

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I was first introduced to Malin + Goetz while staying at the TriBeCa Grand on a work trip to New York City a few years ago. I’ve loved the brand ever since! This colorful combo kit has literally everything you need for your daily routine: face wash, moisturizer, body wash, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner. This little kit is great for people with sensitive skin, or if you’re picky about hotel-brand toiletries. You can trust that you’ll love everything in this kit! [$30, click here to purchase].

Erno Laszlo Hydrating Cleansing Ritual Trio

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I love all of Erno’s Cleansing Ritual Trios (and anything Erno, period, for that matter!) I especially love this set for traveling, especially if you travel by plane. Dry air and high altitude absolutely zap your skin of all its moisture and inner glow, so it’s imperative to hydrate and nourish once you’ve landed. Dry, stressed skin will feel luxuriously soft and moisturized after use. It’s a great pick-me-up after a long day of travel! [$45, click here to purchase].

TOCCA Bianca La Dolce Vita Travel Set

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The TSA 3-1-1 rule really irritates me sometimes, because it means that typically, I can’t bring along my favorite perfume in large format. Luckily, one of my favorite scents, TOCCA’s Bianca, comes in a sweet little travel set, complete with a body scrub, body lotion, and eau de parfum. Spritz a little on before and after travel to smell fabulous all day long. [$40, click here to purchase].

COOLA ECO-LUX Sport Continuous Spray Suncreen SPF 50 Guava Mango – Travel Size

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Even in the winter, it’s important to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays. I love how summery and tropical this sunscreen smells – and I can’t wait to continue using it when the weather gets cooler to remind me of sunnier, warmer days! [$24, click here to purchase].

Those are just a few of my travel favorites- but there is so much more you can discover both at ElementsBeautyShop.com and in-store, conveniently located in the Shops at Carytown! You can discover more of my favorite Elements beauty products on my Elements Wish List Pinterest board, too!

Why You’ll Love Elements:

  • This boutique beauty shop is located in the heart of Richmond’s famed Carytown shopping district, so feel free to grab brunch with your bestie after loading up on your beauty goodies at one of the many restaurants dotting Cary Street.
  • Can’t make it to the brick-and-mortar? No problem. Just click here to visit their online shop. You can order from the comfort of your home. Even order in your PJ’s, if you want!
  • Elements has a great selection of premier luxury and natural beauty brands from all around the world. The ladies who own Elements are constantly on scouting missions trying to find you the best of the best.
  • You will find all-natural and organic products, as well as the most technologically advanced anti-aging skin care. Whatever you choose, all products at Elements are 100% Cruelty-Free.

Loyalty Points Program: Spend to Save!

Earning Loyalty Points is easy! When you place an order through ElementsBeautyShop.com and register for an account at the checkout process, you will automatically receive 1 loyalty point for each $1 you spend. Each point is worth 10 cents off your next purchase. In other words, if you spend $100 today, you’ll receive loyalty points worth a $10 discount to use on your next order. It’s that easy!

10% Off for Sweet Caroline Readers!

You can also receive 10% off your next purchase by using the code SWEETCAROLINE at checkout, just because I love you!

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This post is a sponsored collaboration with Elements Beauty Shop. All opinions are my own.


Five Fragrances for Spring

Spring has officially sprung, and it’s a great time to update your signature fragrance for warmer weather.

Winter is all about lush vanillas, ambers and sandalwoods– while spring should be light, airy, sweet and bright.

Here are five of my favorite fragrances for spring this year!

1. Bond No. 9 ‘Madison Square Park’

Click here to purchase.

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Madison Square Park was the height of fashion in the Gilded Age. Today, it’s back in hip-and-cool revival mode. So now is the time for a neighborhood eau de parfum. Notes: grape hyacinth, huckleberry, prairie dropseed grass, red leaf rose, red hunter tulips, teakwood.

2. Burberry Brit ‘Rhythm’

Click here to purchase.

DETAILS

Rhythm for Her Floral is a sensual, floral eau de toilette with an unexpected fruity twist. Fresh top notes of orchard fruit, Sicilian lemon and orange open up to an intoxicating heart of Egyptian jasmine, lotus blossom and dewy lilac. Base notes of ambery woods, driftwood and musk give a sultry dry down. Its bottle is covered in a subtle, signature check pattern. Notes: – Top: orchard fruit, Sicilian lemon, orange. – Middle: Egyptian jasmine, lotus blossom, dewy lilac. – Base: ambery woods, driftwood, musk.

3. kate spade new york ‘Walk on Air’

Click here to purchase.

DETAILS

walk on air by kate spade new york is a fragrance that celebrates the graceful confidence of its wearer. Sweet and tender layers of lily of the valley, magnolia and crinum lily caress the skin like a breath of fresh air. The fragrance exudes delight. It’s an invitation to seize the day and envelop yourself in the promise of something wonderful. Notes: – Top: linden blossom, maiden’s hair fern, soloman’s seal, calabrese bergamot, Tunisian neroli. – Middle: lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, Egyptian jasmine, narcissus absolute Orpur®. – Base: crinum lily, white iris, violet leaf absolute Orpur.

4. Bvlgari Omnia ‘Paraiba’

Click here to purchase.

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Omnia Paraiba is inspired by one of the world’s most magnificent gemstones, the Paraiba tourmaline from Brazil. This captivating and joyful fragrance is a fresh and luscious Eau de Toilette with a floral signature imagined like an olfactive fusion, intertwining fruits and flowers in a lively rhythm. Exotic ingredients selected with passion, result of the lavish and enchanting Brazilian nature.

5. Jo Malone ‘Peony & Blush Suede’

Jo Malone Peony Blush & Suede Perfume For Women in 2016

Click here to purchase.

DETAILS

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Cologne features a charming mix of peonies, red apple, jasmine, rose and gillyflower, all mingling with a sensual blush suede. Notes: – Top: red apple. – Middle: peony. – Base: suede.

  • Jo Malone London scents can be worn solo or layered for truly individual effects. Create a scent that fits your mood or occasion with Fragrance CombiningTM.
  • In celebration of Jo Malone’s passion for the elegant art of gift-giving, the cologne comes presented in a signature box tied with a ribbon.
  • By Jo Malone London.

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Favorite Lazy Girl Hairstyles: Out the Door in 5!

I’m definitely a morning person.

…if I get enough sleep. And it’s not too cold outside. Or raining. Or a Monday morning.

OK. So, maybe I’m not the perfect morning person, but I do enjoy mornings…most of the time. But even though I am a beauty junkie, I am not a morning person when it comes to primping.

I would much rather spend that extra 15-20 minutes curled up with a cup of coffee and the Today Show in bed than fiddling with a curling iron or mastering contoured cheeks.

Spending less time on your beauty routine doesn’t mean you have to look any less glam walking out the door — it just means you simply spent less time on your beauty routine. 

Here are a few of my favorite “lazy girl” hairstyles that I swear by!

1. Easy Chignon

Easy Chignon

Click here for the tutorial

2. Quick Curls

quick curls hair DIY tutorial / photo: erikadelgadophoto.com / hair & makeup: omgartistry.com

Click here for the tutorial!

3. Lazy Girl Blowout

Click here for the tutorial!

4. 2-Minute Elegant Bun

Easy Messy Bun Updo Hairstyle for Medium Long Hair Tutorial

Click here for the tutorial!

5. Lauren Conrad’s Beachy Waves

What are some of your favorite get-out-the-door-quick tips? Leave them in the comments section below!
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Holiday Gift Guide: For the Beauty Lover

photo credit: Jenny McQueen

Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide continues today with gift ideas for the Beauty Junkie in your life. All of these luxurious beauty products come from one of my favorite shops in Richmond – Elements of Carytown! If you’re not an RVA native- or prefer to do your holiday shopping online- you’re in luck. Elements has all of their products online, too!

If you’re new to Elements, check out my introductory post here. I know you’re just going to LOVE these products! And as a special treat for Sweet Caroline readers, beginning on December 3, 2015, you will get 20% off your purchases! This special only lasts until December 10th, so be sure to get your beauty shopping in fast! Just use the code “SWEETCAROLINE” at checkout at ElementsBeautyShop.com or mention my blog in-store.

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BONUS! Want to win a $50 gift card from Elements? Show us your #ElementsBeautyHaul! All you have to do is post a photo of your purchases on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #ElementsBeautyHaul for a chance to win a $50 gift card. They pick one winner each month! Score.

Now, without further ado, here are my favorite products for the Beauty Lover in your life!

Peter Thomas Roth Must-Have Holiday Kit

I am a certified PTR addict – I love all of the masks, serums, peels and cleansers! (Don’t believe me? Check out this post devoted exclusively to my main man Peter!) This holiday kit not only comes with a beautiful, festive gold bag, but it also includes some of my favorite products: Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, To Die For Mascara, and Irish Moor Mud Mask. This is a perfect combination of some of Peter Thomas Roth’s best products. Click here to purchase ($38) [Read more…]

Five to Try | The Organic Pharmacy

Happy Monday, lovelies! The rain poured down all weekend long, but the gloomy weather can’t put a damper on my excitement to share with you five new beauty products I absolutely love.

My dear friends at Elements Beauty Shop loaded me up with some amazing samples from The Organic Pharmacy, a new line they are carrying in the boutique and online. I’ve been blown away by the quality and effects of this UK skincare line, and really enjoyed doing some research into the history of the company, as well. The Organic Pharmacy’s high-quality products provide the tools needed to restore the body and bring about balance and health. And, celebrities like Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, Demi Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker are all loyal customers to the Organic Pharmacy.

If this chick is 52 and looks like THIS, I’ll have what she’s having.

Check out this introductory video:

So, here are my Five to Try from the Organic Pharmacy. All of these products are available in-store or online at Elements Beauty Shop. Remember to use my code “sweetcaroline” at checkout for 10% off!

[Read more…]

8 Best Nail Polish Colors for Fall 2015

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Fall is finally here, which means it’s time to transition from bright, electric summer shades on our nails and toes in favor of more moody, dramatic colors.

Here are my top eight nail polish colors for Fall 2015:

What are your favorite fall shades? Leave your faves in the comment section below!

Beauty Brand I Love: Peter Thomas Roth

Image result for peter thomas rothGreetings, bellissimas! I’ve taken a bit of a summer hiatus from the blog the past few weeks due to lots of traveling, work, and events! Being so busy, sometimes it can be a challenge to find time to take care of yourself — on the inside and out. But even at my busiest, I try to find time to squeeze in a workout, some quiet time, a glass of wine, and to take care of my skin. A common misconception about skincare is that it eats up a big chunk of your pre-bedtime ritual. Not so, especially when you have the right products in your arsenal!

My end-0f-day beauty routine is down to a science now, primarily because of the great education I have received from the owners of Elements Beauty Shop and my fellow Elements Beauty Bloggers. Through those conversations, I have come to rely on Peter Thomas Roth Labs as my go-to skincare line, from start to finish. I still have a few other brands on my counter (Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer and REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water), but I SWEAR by Peter Thomas Roth for just about every other skincare need. Here are a few of my favorites!

All of these are available for purchase at Elements Beauty Shop (online or in Carytown). Be sure to register for an account and use my code “sweetcaroline” at checkout for 10% off your purchase.

PTR Rose Stem Cell  Bio-Repair Gel Mask

I am in love with this powerful, soothing mask. Christina of Tiramisu for Breakfast turned me onto this product. I actually put it on right before bed and sleep in it – and it’s even more refreshing if you pop it in the fridge before application. It’s made my skin feel more plump, brighter, and rejuvenated – and it also helps attack fine lines and wrinkles. I will continue to buy this again and again as a go-to in my beauty routine. ($45, click here to purchase)

PTR Power K Eye Rescue

Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue

This is a new product in my beauty routine – I just bought it a few days ago and can already tell a major difference. Sherry and Jeanie from Elements have both been using this for weeks and swear by it – it’s great for undereye circles and puffiness. I had been using Erno Laszlo’s Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair (which I adore), but I think I’m a new convert to this amazing eye treatment. Loaded up with Vitamin K, just a small amount has the power to transform tired, puffy eyes and make them look like new again. Obsessed! ($100, click here to purchase).

PTR Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel

After using the Rose Stem Cell mask for the past few months, I recently discovered this amazing cleanser from the same line. A little dab will do ya! Just a small amount leaves you with a rich lather. It also helps speed up cell turnover and repair! This has been featured in ELLE and Vanity Fair magazines, as well. I like to use a dime size of this cleanser with my Clarisonic for an even deeper clean. ($38, click here to purchase).

PTR FirmX Peeling Gel

I first tried this product at one of our Elements Beauty Bloggers events with the rep from Peter Thomas Roth. She put a small amount on the back of my hand, then asked me to rub it in across my skin. A few seconds later, I noticed some grainy, tiny balls that were rolling under my fingertips. Yep — DEAD SKIN! This is a really gentle way to exfoliate and clear your dead skin to reveal younger, more healthy skin underneath. It’s non-abrasive but powerful, and a good treatment to use about once a week to really freshen up your face. ($48, click here to purchase).

PTR Irish Moor Mud Mask

Trust me when I say this: the first time you use this mask, you’re going to feel like you look ridiculous. The mask is black and thick, so it really looks like you have just spread a bunch of dark mud on your face! But, the results are so impressive and fabulous it’s worth the silly feeling. My favorite word to describe this mask is “decongesting,” because it does just that. This is a perfect way to refresh your skin and revive it after airplane travel, pollution exposure, a long weekend of celebrating, or when you just need a pick-me-up.  The ingredients actually come from Irish moors, and are chock full of nutrients. This is a great mask to use every other week or whenever you need “decongesting!” ($58, click here to purchase).

Those are just a few of my favorite Peter Thomas Roth products. Remember, be sure to use my code “sweetcaroline” at check-out, in-store or online, for 10% off!

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What’s your go-to beauty brand? Leave your comments below!

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Summer Pool Party Essentials

The past two weekends have been so rainy in Richmond, and it’s put a major damper on my pool time. I’m so looking forward to the next sunny day to spend poolside with friends and my favorite pool accessories!

While I daydream about lounging by the pool, I thought I would share some of my summer must-haves:

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Sunglasses: Taylor Morris LDN // Water Bottle: Define // Sunscreen: COOLA // Beach Bag: Sole Society // Swim Suit: kate spade new york // Beach Read: Beautiful Ruins // Beach Towel: Target // Gem Speaker: ban.do // Sandals: Jack Rogers

What are your summer essentials?

If you love COOLA as much as I do, swing by Elements Beauty Shop in Carytown (or visit them online) to grab a bottle (or two!) of COOLA’s Face SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray. It’s my must-have of the summer! Don’t forget to use my code “sweetcaroline” at checkout to get 10% off!

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Beauty Line I’m Loving | Beautycounter

It’s no secret that I’m a beauty junkie – my vanity is full of lipsticks, lotions, masks, serums, mascara- you name it. I love trying out new products and especially love sharing them with you! That’s why I was so excited to hear from my friend, Jen, who introduced me to Beautycounter.

Beautycounter, a Santa Monica-based company founded in 2011, creates safe and effective skin care and cosmetics for women and their families. It’s getting a lot of buzz in the beauty community, and celebrities — like Mandy Moore and Lauren Conrad — swear by it. And, it doesn’t hurt that it comes in ultra-chic, beautiful packaging!

My friend Jen is super-passionate about the brand and the products:

Bottom line: the EU has spent the last two decades banning over 1,400 ingredients from all personal care products. To date the US has banned 11!  The last law passed here that governs this industry was in 1938.  When you think of all the advancements and new products/ingredients that have been introduced since then, it is shocking that there is no system in place to ensure the products we use day in, day out, are safe.  At Beautycounter, we ban over 1,500 ingredients that are linked to human health concerns.

We are an education first company, and believe in empowering women to make safer choices for themselves and their families.  We publish and actively promote our neverlist, a list of 35 ingredients we will never use that are commonly found in personal care products.  I checked the ingredients in my products when I was first introduced to Beautycounter and was SHOCKED at what I was unknowingly putting on my skin.
What I love most about Beautycounter is that the products aren’t just safe, they perform just as well, if not better than the products and skincare I was using prior to learning about Beautycounter.

After hearing how much Jen loved Beautycounter, I was so excited to try out  some of the products. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lustro Face Oil No. 2

A luxurious blend of seven radiance-boosting oils—including organic argan nut, organic grapeseed, organic marula, meadowfoam seed, rosehip, rose otto and sea buckthorn—deeply nourishes skin with antioxidants and vitamins. This concentrated, yet lightweight elixir is easily absorbed, sinking into skin for lasting moisture (and making it the perfect primer for makeup). Jasmine oil provides a sweet floral scent—plus it promotes the appearance of increased elasticity, and is excellent for dry or mature skin. ($64)

Every Day AM Hydrating Cream

This light, unscented face cream is easily absorbed for daytime use, so it’s perfect alone or under makeup. Richly hydrating thanks to a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil and aloe, our paraben-free formula locks in moisture without a greasy feel. Pure botanicals like antioxidant-rich açai berry, lavender, and pomegranate extracts, help support healthier-looking skin. ($40)

Every Night PM Hydrating Cream

This unscented nighttime hydrating cream softens your skin as you sleep. Formulated with richly moisturizing organic coconut oil plus vitamin- and amino acid-packed aloe, this non-greasy cream melts into skin, so you wake up looking fresh and hydrated. Need a little extra hydration during the day? This botanically-infused formula can be applied whenever skin feels dry. ($44)

Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream

The Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream sweeps away dead cells and impurities to uncover fresh, glowing skin. Non-abrasive jojoba beads provide gentle exfoliation while organic coconut oil conditions and soothes skin. Hydrating aloe nourishes even the most sensitive skin types, while a mix of botanical extracts—like geranium, lavender and green tea—support skin’s health. Meadowfoam seed oil delivers essential fatty acids and vitamin E (essentials for a radiant-looking complexion). Lightly scented with citrus essential oils. ($30)

If you’d like to learn more about Beautycounter, just click here!

Have you tried Beautycounter before? What are some of your favorite products? Leave them in the comments below!

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