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Hi there! Today, I am excited to share a few of my favorite skincare products with you. I say “a few” because I’ve found lots and lots of things I love—but today, I’m narrowing it down to my essentials. These are the things I am buying over and over, traveling with and recommending to friends!

Using clean skincare products has truly changed my life! The biggest change in my skin came when I started to use oils every day, as my moisturizer and a lot of the time in place of serums to give my skin nutrients and ingredients with benefits.

I never really believed in anti-aging skincare … the kind of stuff you can easily spend $300 on at the beauty counter in the mall. I think it’s sad how much money women throw at these products, in hopes of getting younger looking skin. And when I started to look into the scores and ingredients that a lot of these products contain, I was pretty disgusted. But don’t take my word for it—look into it for yourself! (I try so hard not to let these posts sound preachy, but I am so passionate about this subject.)

That said, I want better looking skin too … we all do, right? One thing that I experienced this past year is that I learned a couple tricks that actually are making my skin look younger and more glowy! The first one has nothing to do with products, but it’s about food and drinking tons of water. This book helped change my whole perspective on skincare, and I can’t recommend it enough.

And the second big change I saw was when I started to use oils for cleansing and moisturizing my skin. I’ll talk more about it below. When I was younger, I avoided oils because I mistakenly thought they would cause my skin to break out or be more oily. But since using them, my skin feels dramatically more healthy. It was a complete game changer for me!

Cleansing.
I started to do a two-step cleansing process, using a small amount of oil cleanser first and then a water based cleanser second. If you’ve never tried this kind of double cleansing, I highly recommend it! It does such a better job or removing my makeup and my skin feels softer and more moisturized after.

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil. This is the only oil-based cleanser I have used other than my homemade one, and it made a huge difference in my night routine. I am a now a huge fan of the double cleansing method and will probably always keep it up!

Kale + Green Tea Cleanser. I will be honest that I first tried this product because the bottle is so pretty, but it’s a great product as well. When shopping for a cleanser, it is very important to look for something with no artificial fragrance.

Aloha Ambrosia Elixir. Also pictured here is my morning oil. It’s light and smells amazing. It is primarily made with squalane oil and jojoba oil. When I put on a morning oil I usually let it soak in for 10-20 minutes (coffee time!) before beginning any makeup.

Next, let’s talk about sun care. These are some of the best products I have found! They are a good mix of functional and affordable. I say “functional” because I’ve tried some natural sunscreens that leave a SERIOUS white film on your skin. This makes it hard for me to get my husband to use it, which defeats the purpose of us buying natural sunscreen. The Coola spray is what we mainly use for pool days.

I love Coola because it is easy to apply, leaves no white film on your skin and they made the list of 22 Best Scoring sunscreens for kids by EWG (for reference, here are worst scoring ones). It’s a great sunscreen for our whole family to use.

I also use their BB cream. A lot of the time I use it as my foundation, especially for outdoor days and pool days. I have very sensitive eyes and it doesn’t sting.

One more thing I should mention (sorry I didn’t get it into a photo) is the BEST organic self-tanner. I love Skinerals. I use the original blend (they have a darker blend as well) with a tanning mitt. Before I found this product, I was paying for organic spray tans, but a bottle of this product is less than one tan! It’s a great product, the best self-tanner I have ever used. I no longer feel like I need to get spray tans because this is so easy to do at home.

I am a huge fan of mists. I have tried so many and they are one of my favorite skincare rituals. I use them after every cleansing, before applying any oil or product.

Oxalis Toning Mist. I love this mist because it smells so good, like rose and neroli. I found this company at a local handmade fair and have become a huge fan. The ingredients they use are incredible.

Herbivore Orchid Oil. You all know I am a huge Herbivore fangirl. I have tried almost all of their products and love them. I love this oil because not only is is gorgeous (have you noticed I love pretty packaging yet? haha), but the ingredients are wonderful for your skin. Orchid is a powerful antioxidant, squalane helps to protect and moisturize the skin and the amazing scent comes from jasmine. They also make purse-sized face oils—great for travel!

Last, but not least. Let’s talk about creams.

Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. One of the best smelling products I have EVER used. I love this product and use it every night. Dark eye circles is one of my biggest skin challenges and this product has made some improvements for me; it’s awesome.

Bless Balm. I love this balm! I use it as a moisturizer. It smells incredible and is packed with the amazing things for your skin. It is still oil-based, but feels more like a lotion and it also contains shea butter and organic cocoa butter.

Moon Fruit Night Treatment. I use this often, alternating between this and oils for my night routine. It is filled with super fruits, including Prickly Pear, Goji Berry and Red Raspberry Seed and the bright purple color naturally comes from all natural indigo root powder with a hint of manganese violet and ultramarine. It’s so pretty!

My favorite thing about this treatment is that you are supposed to massage it in until it completely disappears. So it’s very easy to tell when it’s completely worked in. This product is a splurge, but it lasts a long time (most of these product do!).

Alright! Well, there’s my skincare list. I hope it is helpful and if you have any questions at all, just let me know in the comments! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Our Favorite Clean Beauty Face Masks

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Face masks are an excellent self care ritual that you can do at home! I love having a night of the week. (Sundays are my typical day … and sometimes in the middle of the week if it’s not such a great week—haha!)

As with all beauty products, not all masks are created equally, and many are full of artificial ingredients like perfumes, dyes and harsh ingredients that irritate your skin—the exact opposite of what your skin needs.

Real clean beauty products aren’t just omitting toxic ingredients, they’re filled with high performing ingredients from nature. My favorite thing about diving into clean beauty has been learning about ingredients and what they can do for my skin. I’ve said it before, but it’s not that different from learning to read food labels. You learn really quickly how to spot something that is actually healthy vs. something that is advertised as healthy. Knowledge is power—haha!

We know a good face mask can be a bit of an investment, so here are our TOP favorites—our tried and true list!

One Love Organics Love & Charcoal Mask I love this mask for a quick detox after a long week or travel. It cleanses and absorbs excess oil without leaving my skin dry.

Tata Harper Clarifying Mask (This is what we are wearing the photo above.) With a base of honey, it is super hydrating. It is our go-to for glowy skin. It has a small amount of “heat” to it (you can feel the ingredients working) without being harsh. The ingredient list for this mask is a thing of beauty—one of the best of its kind!

LeahLani Mermaid Mask This mask is a cult favorite, and for good reason. It smells like Hawaii and is filled with superfood ingredients to nourish your skin. This is my favorite mask for relaxation and hydration. It is super gentle and can be used as often as you like.

Herbivore Brighten Mask This mask is on the more powerful side—for me it gives a little more “heat” or tingle than others. I use this one when my skin is feeling dull. One important tip for this mask is to make sure you shake or stir it before using it for an even application. I noticed that some of the ingredients tend to settle along the bottom. This is definitely a repeat purchase for me and one of my absolute favorites to give as a gift, too.

Frankincense + Manuka Oils I sometimes like to add a “boost” to my masks by mixing in just one drop of essential oil. Frankincense, in particular, is my go-to for so many reasons. The scent is an acquired taste, it is warm and spicy. I have grown to love it. I recommend Frankincense as a booster for general aging-related skin concerns, although it is great for overall skin health and not limited to that. Out of all of the essential oils, Frankincense is my numero uno.

Manuka oil is what I add if I have a break out of any kind or a cut or scratch. It has similar benefits to tea tree oil (though some sources have said it’s even more effective), with a less medicinal fragrance and is more gentle for use on the skin. I recommend Manuka oil as a booster for acne concerns.

Thanks for reading! xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Elsie Larson. Photo edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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Laura's makeup favorites! (click through for links)Each morning I wake uuuuuup, before I put on my makeuuuuuup…anyone else picturing the dinner karaoke scene from My Best Friend’s Wedding? Love that part. Anyway, today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite makeup products! There are a few that I have been using for years and others that are relatively new, but I think that’s a good sign that hopefully means I’m not stuck in the same routine and my face is so “2000 and late” if you get my drift. Ready for all the deets?

Laura's makeup favorites! (click through for links) First things first—foundation! I have a two pronged approach that I do with foundation depending on how much time I have. If I’m in a rush, I’ll dab this liquid concealer under my eyes and on my chin and blend in with my fingers. Once it’s dry, I use a large bronzer brush and do a few quick strokes of this bronzer (in Laguna) to contour and fight off looking ill in the winter. I’m not one of those lovely alabaster pale-skinned people… I just look like I have the flu.

If I’m doing photos or going out for the night, I’ll spend a little more time and use my bareMinerals foundation kit on top of the liquid concealer. It has a foundation shade and a bronzer, and it provides a lot more coverage to even out my skin tone without looking heavy or cakey.

Laura's makeup favorites! (click through for links)

Mmmm kay. Let’s talk eyebrows. If you look at a photo of me that is taken before 2012, you’ll notice something very obvious about my face—I have no eyebrows. It’s not the tale of high school over plucking mistakes like some of my friends have, they are just so light in color (and rather patchy) that they just don’t make much of a statement. Once I realized that eyebrow pencils and fillers are not just for old ladies, I’ve been hooked ever since. In fact, If I could only do one thing to my face in the morning, it would be my brows because it really does make that big of a difference. I use the brown side of this double-sided brow pencil to outline the general brow shape, and then use an angled brush to fill in the shape with the lighter shade of this brow kit. The brow kit also has a brow wax you can put down first before the color to help it stay better, but the shadow seems to stay well enough on its own, so I skip that part.

Once I have the shape and color filled in, I take a clean mascara wand and comb through the brows in short strokes. I find that doing this helps the brows to look a little more natural and soft and less perfectly outlined. Once all that is done, I use the light beige side of the double-sided pencil and outline the bottom edge of the eyebrow. This really defines your eyebrow and highlights your brow bone. It’s amazing!!

Laura's makeup favorites! (click through for links) Eye know what we should talk about next! So, I have a few time-tested favorites here like my go-to pencil liner and liquid liner that I’ve used for years, but I’ve also started using this volumizing mascara recently, and I like it a lot. Since I have small hooded eyes, I’ve been doing a darker color just in the crease to make my eyes look more open, but I wanted to find a way to keep that dark shade in the crease and not have it spread out as the day progresses. I found out that what I needed was an eyeshadow primer before I used this darker loose pigment shade in the crease, and it works like a charm!

Laura's makeup favorites! (click through for links) Last but not least, it’s lipstick! I used to be a lip gloss only girl into my mid-twenties, but eventually I got tired of the goopy feeling (and my hair always blowing into my sticky lip gloss) and switched to lipstick. Not a gloss in sight these days! My favorite lipstick for any occasion, day or night, is this lipstick (in Pout). I saw the color in the store and thought that it looked exactly like the color that Audrey Hepburn applies in the back of the taxi at the end of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You know, the part where she says, “A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.” Thankfully I actually loved the shade and it’s always in my purse. I also have been getting into more mauve shades lately, and this lipstick (in Fly High) is a great everyday one too. If you are a girl that has to have a matching liner, then I would suggest trying a few colors at ColourPop. I like to use those when I do a brighter shade so I can line the lips as well to reduce color bleed.

Laura's makeup favorites! (click through for links) (From top to bottom: Smashbox Pout, ColourPop Heart On, ColourPop Pony, ColourPop Bossy, Colour Pop Scandy, bareMinerals Fly High). I guess all my lipsticks are in the “cool” family, huh? That explains why all those orangey shades look so terrible on me…

You may have noticed that there are a few more natural makeup choices in the mix (like the Mineral Fusion liquid concealer and mascara). I have been trying to get more and more products that I like that are free of a lot of the toxins added to most makeup, but it’s a slow process to find replacements that you really like for everything you use (and expensive to do it all at once!). So far I’ve switched out my skin cleaning routine and nail polish with better choices, but I’m still working on my makeup options. Let me know if you have a recommendation for any clean makeup items you like!

I actually don’t wear much makeup (if any) a lot of days, especially if I’m just working around the house, but I really do enjoy putting on some tunes and taking my time getting beautified when I have the option. Just don’t put on “Hotline Bling” when trying to apply liquid liner. You will dance. It will not be a straight line. Hope my list gave you some new favorites to try! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Our favorite Thanksgiving recipes

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thanksgiving recipesThanksgiving is almost here!!! Can you tell I’m excited? This is my favorite holiday. The day is filled with nothing but food, family, thanks and food…I said food already, but it deserves two mentions. I host my family’s Thanksgiving because I love to entertain and I love to cook, but I’m not the only one who loves to cook here at jane iredale.In fact, in our marketing department alone we have quite a few very talented ladies who live double lives as chefs at home, and a couple of self proclaimed taste testers as well (who doesn’t want that job)! This year we gathered together a few of our favorite recipes of the holiday to share with each other, and you. We hope these inspire you and maybe one or two of our dishes will make it onto your holiday menu this year.

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s all about good food, great family and friends and taking a step back from everything to truly be thankful for all the wonderful things in our lives, no matter how big or how small. We all have different traditions for thanksgiving. The tradition my husband and I started when we bought our first home is that we host the holiday for our family. We also have a friend who smokes turkeys so we always get our turkey from him every year, which frees up my two ovens to make delicious sides!

One of my family’s favorite recipes is my mom’s homemade mac & cheese. I’ve played with the recipe a bit over the years and it’s turned out pretty amazing. I’ll share it with you below, shhhh don’t tell my mom! You can also read some of the other holiday traditions and yummy recipes, both new and old, from a few of the gals at jane iredale. So keep reading!

baked mac and cheeseMom’s homemade mac & cheese

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 3/4 c. milk
  • 16 oz. cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. uncoocked elbow pasta
  • Italian breadcrumbs
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Boil elbow pasta according to directions.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, sautee butter and onions until onions are tender and tanslucent. Then add salt and pepper.
  4. Add flour and mix until bubbly.
  5. Add milk and heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. You can use any cheese you like but my favorite is a combination of Sharp Cheddar, Colby, Montery Jack and American.
  7. Pour cooked pasta into an ungreased 1 1/2 quart caseserole dish.
  8. Stir cheese sauce into the pasta.
  9. Sprinkle with Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
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Jane’s favorite things

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Christos Panayides

We all have a product (or 7) that are our favorites each season, and Jane is no exception! Here are a few of her favorites for this time of year to keep her skin looking hydrated and beautiful and her face party ready.

Dream Tint foundation1 & 2. Jane never leaves her home in the winter without Dream Tint and PurePressed Base on her face. Dream Tint is a leightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 that keeps your skin feeling hydrated.

purepressed base mineral foundationPurePressed Base provides a foundation, concealer, sunscreen and active skin care benefits all in one with SPF 20.

PureLash mascara

3. Jane always wears PureLash Extender and Conditioner no matter what the occassion is. A single coat of Lash Conditioner before applying mascara will help strengthen, lengthen and thicken your lashes, making the mascara twice as effective.

Longest Lash4. While she usually wears Espresso Longest Lash Mascara, for a really glam party she will switch to Black Ice. Longest Lash Mascara is designed to make lashes look thicker and longer naturally. Packaged in a squeezable tube with a NEW oversized brush that works with this formula to separate and define lashes, prevent clumping, create natural looking lashes

Moonglow bronzer pallete from jane iredale 5. Jane Loves Moonglowfor her cheeks, décolleté and even her legs. Moonglow is a golden bronzer, that can be used to subtly create the “Golden Goddess” look.

PureGloss lip gloss6. Jane always has Red Currant PureGloss in her bag during this season. PureGloss Lip Glosses have a luxurious formula that feels lusciously creamy on the lips, are remarkably long-lasting and are free of petroleum-based products. Red Currant is a shimmering red rose shade.

24K Gold Champagne Dust7. Of course for the holidays she loves Champagne 24-Karat Gold Dust. Apply it to the cheeks, eyes and lips for a delicately gilded look. Mix it with a moisturizer for the décolletage; or into your favorite hair product for luminous locks!

What are your favorite products this season? Tell us below.

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Three of our favorite summer makeup looks.

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Summer is the season where more is often less when it comes to your makeup, except where sun protection is concerned! Here are three of our favorite summer makeup looks, straight from the runways, to help inspire you this season. Each look will also keep you covered with SPF products that protect, nourish and keep your skin looking beautiful!

Bronze and sunkissed

bronze and sunkissed fYou can achieve the bronze and sunkissed look without the harmful rays. Start by applying your shade of Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder with SPF 20 using the Refill-Me Refillable Brush. Use Citrine Mystikol as a shadow, liner and highlighter on your eyes. Apply the deeper shade of So-Bronze 3 along your hairline, below your cheek bones and along your jaw line and the shimmery peach shade on the apples of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose using the White Fan Brush. Finish your look with Iced Mocha PureGloss Lip Gloss.

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Our favorite, new Thanksgiving recipes.

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Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday and I look forward to it all year. The delicious food, acknowledging all we have to be grateful for and quality time with the people I love is what makes this holiday so special. For the past two years we have shared some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes with all of you, it’s no secret that at jane iredale we love to cook AND eat, so this year we have even more yummy recipes that we couldn’t wait to share. What makes these recipes unique is that they are each a new tradition. If you’re looking for even more ideas be sure to check out our recipes from 2014and 2013 as well!

“Every year I like to try one new dish during the Thanksgiving holiday, and this is one I’m really excited about, the combination of ingredients sounds amazing and I’m pretty sure it will be a hit!” Joanna M.

Sausage apple and cranberry stuffing

stuffed apples Recipe from allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
  • 3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
  • 1 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
  3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apple, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Allow stuffing to cool completely before loosely stuffing a turkey.

“Every year there are a number of ‘family favorites’ on our Thanksgiving table. You know the ones that have become a tradition amongst your family and friends sitting around the table. That being said, I like to mix things up a bit to keep the meal and memories associated with my favorite day of the year top of mind. This is one such recipe that I made last year, and will be making again this year for certain!” -Julie G.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Recipe from homeiswheretheboatis.net. Recipe from homeiswheretheboatis.net.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 6 slices Maple Bacon, cooked and crumbled (my grocery store sells Hormel brand)
  • Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (use real Maple syrup)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels; crumble and set aside.
  2. Rinse Brussels sprouts and slice off the tough woody stems. Remove any bruised or dried-out outer leaves. Shred the sprouts using a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, mandolin or knife. Separate the layers into distinct shreds.
  3. To toast pecans: Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add a single layer of nuts. Watch closely and stir frequently with a spatula until the nuts turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and spread out on a plate to cool to room temperature.
  4. Make the dressing by combining the chopped shallot, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify. Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  5. Add pecans, cranberries, blue cheese and bacon to the shredded Brussels sprouts. Pour the dressing over salad and toss until all of the ingredients are coated. Serve immediately.

“This Thanksgiving will be a year for new traditions given my 2015 dietary changes to gluten and dairy free. Trying to find recipes that are close to our usual traditions but that I can enjoy as well, like this little beauty. I’ve learned with a lot of recipes I just need to try it out and make substitutions, like gluten free flour versus regular flour or coconut oil versus butter. It’s made my cooking more adventurous with all these trial runs of recipes and seeing what works.” -Carri Z.

Pumpkin Cookies with Coconut Cream and White Chocolate

pumpkin coconut cookie sandwich Recipe from foodfaithfitness.com.

Ingredients for the cookies

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature (should be the consistency of soft butter)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree, at room temperature

Ingredients for the coconut whipped cream

  • 1 16 ounce can coconut milk, full fat that has been chilled in the refrigerator no less than 24 hours (13 ounces)
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar

Ingredients to garnish

  • 2 ounces white chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil and both sugars with an electric hand mixer, until light and fluffy.

For the cookies:

  1. Add in the vanilla extract, egg yolk and pumpkin puree and beat until well combined.
  2. Stir the flour mixture into the coconut oil mixture and stir until well combined. Thedough will be quite soft and sticky, and not as firm and hard as a typical dough, don’t worry it set up a lot when it’s chilled. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
  3. While the dough chills, you can prepare the coconut whipped cream.
  4. Take the chilled coconut milk out of the refrigerator and dump upside down. Open it with a can opener and drain out all the liquid on top, leaving you with the thick coconut cream on the bottom.
  5. Scoop the cream into a large bowl (it should equal about 1 1/4 cups) and add in the powdered sugar.
  6. Beat the cream with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Place back in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  7. Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 325°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets in 1/2 tablespoon. balls (they spread!) very lightly pressing down. You want the balls taller than they are wide, so don’t flatten them much. Note that your dough will be a little sticky, you can always spray your fingers with a little bit of pam if the dough sticks to them.
  9. Bake the cookies until lightly golden, about 15-17 minutes. They will feel quite soft and under baked, but they continue to bake on the pan.
  10. Let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the chocolate coconut coating:

  1. Once the cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave in 20 second intervals stirring between each interval, until smooth and melted. Pour the coconut onto a plate.
  2. Dip the bottom 1/3 of each cookie into the melted chocolate, gently scraping off any excess, and then into the coconut flakes, pressing them down gently. Place back onto the parchment paper lined cookie tray. I dipped my cookies at a slight angle, so that the undersides did not get covered in chocolate, just the top 1/3 and the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies, being very careful as the cookies are soft and delicate.
  3. Transfer the trays into the fridge to let the chocolate harder for about 30 minutes. For the

For the coconut cream filling:

  1. Once the chocolate is hardened, fill a parchment bag (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off) with the coconut cream and lightly pipe it into the middle of half of the cookies, leaving a little space around the edges for the cream to spread once sandwiched.
  2. Place the bare cookies on top of the coconut creamed cookies.
  3. You can serves the cookies right away, or wait for them to back up to room temperature.

What new recipes are you trying this year? Share them with us below and let us know if you tried any of ours! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

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Elsie’s Favorite Natural Face Masks

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Hi there. If you haven’t noticed by now, I am OBSESSED with natural and green beauty and have been for quite some time. This post is the beginning of a series I will be sharing for the rest of the summer of my favorite green skincare and beauty products, as well as more information about why I made the switch!

Today, I want to talk about masks. I have tried a lot of masks. I LOVE MASKS. But they are not all created equal. Some are better than others, and the ones I want to focus on today are what has left my skin feeling moisturized and glowy, which is always my primary goal!

I stay away from masks that are drying or big exfoliators because they are right for my skin, so if you have extremely oily skin, skip to the bottom where my honorable mentions are listed.

100% Pure Masks. The first 100% pure mask I tried was actually the eye masks, which I LOVE and will talk about below. When I saw that they made full face masks, I had to try them. These masks are kind of like a sheet mask, but they are made of hydrogel (composed from 95% organic aloe water and 5% plant cellulose made to intensely hydrate). They are a little heavy compared to a sheet mask, so when I use them I like to be sitting down or laying down (perfect time to scroll that Instagram feed). I try to leave this mask on for as long as I possibly can, to get the maximum benefits.

There are three types: Green Tea Water Bomb, Caffeine, and Ginseng Collagen. I have tried all three and liked them all, but I think the Caffeine was my personal favorite! Read about the ingredients and what benefits they deliver before choosing.

Unlike a lot of sheet masks out there, these all full of AMAZING ingredients that you will recognize and feel great about putting on your skin. For example, there’s aloe, honey, vitamin c, green coffee, seaweed, green tea and chamomile.

Before I switched over to natural beauty, I used some random sheet masks that made my skin feel irritated and itchy. These masks make my skin feel healthy and moisturized. Highly recommend.

100% Pure Bright Eye Masks. I am OBSESSED with these eye masks. They are one of my favorite things I’ve ever tried of all beauty products, period. So good.

I like to keep mine in the fridge because there are even more benefits when using them cool. They contain matcha tea and green coffee to help with “morning face” (as I like to call it).

I have always struggled with eye circles. Some people just have them more than others. The only trick I have learned to minimizing them (besides makeup, of course) is to keep them really moisturized and I only use natural products because I truly believe that the number one way to have pretty skin is to focus on getting healthy skin. For me, that included drinking a lot more water and replacing some of my cups of coffee each day with herbal tea (these days I normally just have one cup of coffee).

These eye masks are also great for travel and for anytime you have an event or photos and you didn’t get enough sleep. Just wear them while you are eating breakfast or whatever, for as long as you can before putting on makeup and stuff.

Jade Roller. My jade roller was an impulse buy. I didn’t have too high of expectations, but it appealed to me as a natural solution for de-puffing my eyes and face. Honestly, I love anything that I can use to create a home spa experience. I usually do masks and little self-care things like this every Sunday.

Anyway, after using my jade roller for a few months, I am pretty sold on the benefits. It does make a visible difference in how smooth my skin is that day, by reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores.

I keep it in the fridge and use it when it is very cold. It feels so good and is a great addition to my morning routine because it helps me wake up. Kind of random, but I really love it!

Herbivore Brighten Mask. This is probably my number one favorite mask. It goes on clear, as you can see from the photo above. It contains gemstone and pineapple and papaya enzymes that naturally brighten your face. I wear mine until it is completely dry, which can look kind of freaky, and then I rinse it off with a warm wash cloth.

This mask is pretty gentle and really does brighten my skin. Besides eye circles, my biggest struggle is dull skin. I don’t necessarily have dry skin, but I do feel like it looks, especially after my makeup is applied. So I use this once or twice a week to keep my skin bright.

Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask. This mask is similar to Brighten, but it’s a bit more intense. It is blue, but it mostly goes on clear. The natural scent is much more intense. If you want something more exfoliating, I would choose this mask.

Note: These masks are pricey, but they last a long, long time as you don’t use much product in each use. Also, always shake these before each use (that’s a thing with a lot of natural products).

My newest obsession is LeahLani. I have just discovered it and everything smells and feels incredible and the ingredients lists are A+.

Mermaid Mask. My photographer, Amber, had been raving to me about the mermaid mask. To be totally honest, I wasn’t that excited to try ANOTHER green mask. But I eventually did order it and it really lived up to the hype. First of all, if you accidentally get a little bit of the mask in your mouth (I did—haha!), it tastes like honey and all natural ingredients because it IS. What makes it green is the Hawaiian spirulina, chlorella, French green clay and luminess algae.

It’s also one of the best smelling masks I have ever tried.

Meli Glow. Another honey based option. By the way, if putting honey on your face freaks you out, don’t let it! I tried it for the first time in a professional facial and have been obsessed ever since. It feels SO good on your skin and if you just wash it off with a warm wash cloth, it’s not messy at all.

Anyway, this mask smells very fruity and is made to make your skin glow. It’s definitely a keeper in my routine.

OK, that’s it for today! I know I threw a lot at you, but don’t feel like I am pressuring you to buy a bunch of new stuff at once. I am just sharing my favorites that I have collected over time. And one of the things I like about collecting masks is that you can switch it up and they do last for a long time.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, I’d love to answer in the comments. xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Our Favorite Red Carpet Hairstyles

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The red carpet is the perfect place to look for inspiration for glam party hairstyles. After all, award shows are the most glam events of the year! If you’re looking for some fabulous hairstyle ideas, check out our favorite red carpet hairstyles! Plus, we’ll tell you how Viviscal Advanced Hair Health Supplements can help you grow red carpet-worthy hair.*

Our 5 Favorite Red Carpet-Inspired Hairstyles

1. Disco Curls

happy smiling african american woman disco curls ranking our favorite red carpet hairstyles viviscal hair blog

Center-parted, voluminous curls definitely make a big statement. This seventies-inspired red carpet hairstyle can work for wavy and curly hair. Pair with smoky eyes, nude lips and hoop earrings to complete the look.

For naturally curly hair, start by washing hair with Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo and Conditioner. Massage a small amount of styling cream through damp hair, then blow dry hair with a diffuser for big volume.

For straighter hair types, section hair and curl with a ½” curling wand. Since this look is all about having lots of curls and volume, make sure your sections are less than one inch wide. Allow curls to cool, then brush with a boar bristle brush.

2. Messy Dutch Braids

redhead woman side braided updo messy dutch braids ranking our favorite red carpet hairstyles viviscal hair blog

Fishtail braids add a modern twist to this romantic party hairstyle. Start by adding waves to hair with a 1 ½” curling iron. Next, braid hair into two fishtail braids, fastening at the ends with a clear elastic hair tie. Use your fingers to gently pull apart the braids to add more volume. Wrap the braids over your crown and secure with bobby pins, then finish with hairspray.

3. Sleek & Slicked Back

slicked back short pixie cut brunette woman ranking our favorite red carpet hairstyles viviscal hair blog

We love this sleek and sophisticated red carpet hairstyle because it gives more emphasis to your face.

To style at home, start by washing hair with Viviscal Densifying Shampoo and Conditioner. Next, spray hair with texturizing spray from roots to tips. Use a boar bristle brush to blow dry hair straight up, which will give you more volume at the roots. Blow dry the sides and back of the hair until smooth.

Once hair is dry, tease at the top from the hairline to crown to add extra volume. Then, smooth hair backwards using a fine tooth comb. Mist with lots of extra-hold hairspray to finish.

To really recreate a red carpet look, pair this hairstyle with a bold eyeshadow shade like teal or purple.

4. Technicolor Top Knot

woman green top knot hair smiling hoop earrings ranking our favorite red carpet hairstyles viviscal hair blog

Looking for a bold party hairstyle? Look no further. This red carpet hairstyle uses temporary spray color to add a pop of color to your hair. We recommend matching your hair color to your dress for best results.

Start by brushing hair into a high ponytail and fasten with a hair tie. Next, twist the ponytail around its base to create a top knot. Use bobby pins to hold the top knot in place. Use hairspray to smooth flyaways. Then spray hair with temporary hair color. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect! This style looks great when it’s just a little messy.

5. High Double Ponytail

smiling redhead woman ponytail curly volume double ponytail ranking our favorite red carpet hairstyles viviscal hair blog

Create the look of a longer, more voluminous ponytail without hair extensions with this red carpet hairstyle.

Start by parting hair horizontally at the ear level so it’s divided into two halves. Then, pull the top section into a high ponytail and fasten with a hair tie. Take a small piece of hair from the ponytail, and wrap it around the base of the ponytail. Then secure with a bobby pin to hide the hair tie. Next, pull the bottom section into a ponytail directly below the top one and fasten it with a hair tie. Curl each ponytail with a 1” curling iron and then gently tease to add pretty volume and texture. Finish with hairspray.

Red Carpet Hairstyle Tips

  • Add Hollywood levels of body to hair with Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir. This body-boosting treatment nourishes hair with biotin, keratin and zinc to make hair look thicker. Plus, it has a refreshing botanical scent so your hair smells as good as it looks!
  • Healthy hair is always in, both on and off the red carpet. Viviscal Advanced Hair Health Supplements encourages healthy hair growth by providing hair follicles with necessary vitamins and minerals to promote the growth of stronger, more beautiful hair.*

What’s your favorite red carpet hairstyle? Let us know in the comments!

Existing hair growth

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