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Trust me, I’m a professional. Your skin’s transition from summer to fall is the single most crucial of the year. Week after week of moisture-zapping heat, sweat, and sun have likely congested your pores and slowed your skin’s ability to repair, rejuvenate, and breathe. This is the best time for a professional facial, especially if you’re intent on rocking the “no-makeup” makeup look. A professional will safely clean out your pores, remove dead skin dullness, and replenish skin with the moisture and minerals it’s thirsty for. Want to bring the spa treatment home? Check out this Brooklyn-centric skin care guide I put together after putting a dozen brands to the test. While there were many fantastic products sent in by many great Brooklyn-makers, I will just be mentioning the best of the best in this post.

Armour V Lip Gloss1. Armour Beauty: Armour V Lip Gloss

Lipgloss with staying power that’s actually good for your lips? Yes, please. After emails back and forth with founder Theo Kogan (in which prancersizing was mentioned), I became “jump up and down” excited for the arrival of her lip glosses. Perfecting the pouts of eco-glammy models and celebs who don’t skimp on glamour but do skip the grody stuff like parabens and animal testing, these glosses are a go-to. When the package arrived, my staff and I dove in like it was Festivus. Amazingly, there was a shade that each one of us felt drawn to and flattered our different skin tones. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the gentle, vegan ingredients, this gloss is rock-n-roll. She’s got staying power. The texture is on the thicker side, think “melted lipstick,” which might explain it’s super-hydrating benefits too. I’ve been wearing “Diana” everyday like it was my job.

Bar Soap Brooklyn2. Brooklyn Bar Soap: The Equilateral: Black Gold

The packaging of these triangular soaps alone made me a bit weak in the knees. The color combinations, perfect.  I used what I thought was the coolest looking of the soaps on my face and body. Turns out it was made using activated charcoal and gold metallic mica. Pardon? After getting over the fact that I had to disrupt the gorgeous packaging, I lathered up, rinsed, and repeated. And repeated. What on earth was that delicious scent wafting through the steam? Soap. It was soap that smelled like soap. It was monumentally satisfying. I mean, when is the last time you used a cleanser or body wash that didn’t smell like an orange or a coconut? Brooklyn Bar Soap smells like soap, in the best way. These Brooklyn bars also rinse nice and clean because seriously? Eff residue, it dulls. I also tried the ” Morning Breeze” body scrub which would be great for those with sensitive skin looking for a less abrasive abrasion. I don’t have to tell you about the smell, right?

jiva-apoha-sundara-handsome-face3. Jiva-Apoha: Body Oil/ Face Oils

I apply Jiva-Apoha oils several times a day, not because I need to but because I love them. Founder Angela Shore is so passionate and meticulous about what goes into her therapeutic blends that she has travelled the world to explore, learn, and source ingredients. The result is truly magical. A healer, using an Ayurvedic base with shamanic techniques, Angela’s clients began to request the healing oils that they were treated with during their sessions. Each one of these sacred blends feels like a special gift, turning your self-care ritual into a true honoring of yourself. Packaged in handmade medicine bags, each amber glass bottle is beautifully adorned with Jiva Apoha’s signature feather and is like liquid love for your skin. I went to dinner at a friend’s home and passed the oils around and let’s just say the neighbors sure heard some moaning that evening. Comments like “It smells like my father’s beautiful home in Switzerland” and “I am going to drink this” were the tip of the iceberg. We marveled at how intrinsically unique each scent was, like each had a story. Every night I have been using Sundara {Handsome} Face Oil on my face, and each morning I am amazed. My skin feels like velvet and I am pretty sure that the aromatherapeutic properties have been responsible for my sweet dreams.

moon-bloom-energetic-skincare4. Moon and Bloom: Energetic Skincare

Using flower essence blends to compliment her clinical training, Heidi created Illumine Face Oil and practices what she calls “Integrative and Flower Essence Therapy.” Taken internally or applied topically, flower essences are said to provide healing using the patients subtle energy field, as acupuncture and homeopathy do. Using this essential oil/flower essence blend made me feel like I’d just fallen into a fresh garden of flowers. I not only applied the serum to my skin, I used it as aromatherapy in the morning. It’s rich density and absorbability did wonders on my extra dry spots.

SkinnySkinny Organic Anti Acne Treament5. SkinnySkinny

I was very excited to have SkinnySkinny arrive and to see the care that went into the presentation. Someone is proud of their product, and rightly so. A certified aromatherapist and esthetician, founder Clara Williams started by making her first soap for her mom. A sufferer of chronic acne, nothing was working to clear up her skin so she created her own line packed with healing ingredients. My package was an A-Z acne clearing protocol from cleanser to serum. Not an acne sufferer myself, I asked my esthetician to incorporate the products into her acne prescription facials. Many products contained rosemary (a powerful anti-bacterial) and soothing essentials, a winning combination. The feedback from the facial room was a rave. The products were superbly blended for maximum penetration and left skin “squeaky clean” and yet, not stripped bare. Our acneic clients felt extra pampered during facials that are often very clinical.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream6. Soapwalla: Deodorant Cream

In a sentence: This cream is the first and only natural deodorant that I’ve used that works for me.

SW Basics Toner7. S.W. Basics: Toner

I could talk to you about the importance of toning all day. Not only does it pick-up what your cleanser left behind, it rebalances your skin’s PH (the balance of acids and alkalines in your skins barrier). Too much acid can lead to breakouts. Too much alkaline can lead to dry skin, even eczema. S.W. Basics Toner stinks, unless you find the scent of apple cider vinegar to be pleasing. It’s five simple ingredients will make you think “I could make this” but guess what? You didn’t. This blend of ACV and essential oils is hands down the best toner I have ever used. My pores are minuscule, and for a person plagued with blackheads, I can see them a bit less these days. This stinky stuff should be a skincare staple for anyone.

The next time you shop, remember that shopping local means keeping money within your local economy and saves energy. Spa-ing local will save you 20% when you book a Clarifying Facial at Tres Belle Spa now through October 31st.

Happy Fall, Brooklynites!
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  • Rima Brindamour - September 30, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    Great post as always, Allison! I went out and bought the SkinnySkinny serum as soon as I finished reading this! XOXOReplyCancel

Back-To-School

Summer is winding down and for many of us (myself included) it’s time to get back to school. I’ve put together a list of essentials for making the transition a little easier. First on the list is Tattly‘s New York Set. All of Tattly‘s temporary tattoos are fun but this set is my personal favorite. Sending your little one off to kindergarten this year? These are great for kids too!

Second is Knot & Bow‘s Me & You Pencil Set. These are the kind of pencil nubs you won’t want to throw away after having used them all semester. And they help to solve the mystery of who stole your pencil…

Third is bkstyled‘s Recycled Fabric Notebook. I love carrying around small notebooks throughout the school year. I can throw them into my purse, backpack, or even pockets! It just makes it easier for me to write any ideas that come to mind or to keep track of all of my homework.

Fourth on the list is BAGGU‘s backpack. These bags come in so many colors and with summer coming to an end I feel like having a nice bright bag to remind me of sunnier days. I picked one up in poppy for myself (see picture below by Rima Brindamour) and am loving the way it effortlessly works with just about everything I wear.

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Fifth on this back to school list is BAGGU‘s Small 3D Zip. While this can be used for so many things, I see this being a perfect pencil-case to keep all of your school supplies tidy.

Want to win everything on this list?? Enter our giveaway below!
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  • Erin - September 21, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    I love Baggu. I have baggus tucked into baggus.ReplyCancel