Brand Overview: Kinship

I was excited to try Kinship‘s products as soon as I saw them, mainly because of the fun, bright and colorful packaging. Aside from the cuteness factor, their products are cruelty-free, leaping bunny certified, reef-safe, and are free of GMO organisms. Their packaging is also made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, 100% PCR paper and from Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials.

I first tried the Naked Papaya Gentle Enzyme Face Cleanser, which has papaya, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil. It feels as great as it smells, with a light fruity smoothie scent that gently strips dirt and makeup off my face. I love it as a morning cleanser since it makes my face supple enough and ready for the day ahead.

Meanwhile, the Insta Swipe Lemon Honey AHA Pads are also something to love. Unlike most acids, this one isn’t extremely strong and has a sweet, citrus scent. It doesn’t dry my skin out. But even if it’s gentle, it does a great job of smoothening out my skin and reducing those small blemishes and bumps.

The Supermello Hydrating Gel Cream is a favorite too. First off, it smells like marshmallows so what’s not to love? With hyaluronic acid, marshmallow root and coconut water, it keeps my skin extremely soft, without making it greasy. I also love that I don’t need to put a lot of it to feel the effects.

The Pimple Potion, a retinol and salicylic acid acne treatment. It does take a while for it to get rid of pimples, but it’s a good spot treatment if you have sensitive skin and react badly to stronger products.

There’s also the Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen, providing SPF 32 coverage. It’s light, not too sticky and provides a bit of moisture, so it protects my face, without making it feel as oily as other facial sunscreens might. However, I prefer sunscreen with a higher SPF every day.

So while there were a few bumps, overall I’m a fan of Kinship‘s products. They not only look good on my skincare shelf, but they also have a good effect on my skin. Overall, their products are worth checking out as they are gentle and nourishing.

The Kinship Naked Papaya Gentle Enzyme Face Cleanser, Insta Swipe Lemon Honey AHA Pads, Supermello Hydrating Gel Cream, Pimple Potion, and Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32 were provided by @kinship. Available at lovekinship.com

Makeup Review: First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Pores Be Gone Matte Primer with Fig Extract, Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer, and Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF30

First Aid Beauty sent me two primers and you bet your ass I tried the matte one first.

The Hello Fab Pores Be Gone Matte Primer with Fig Extract promises to be an oil-free, matte primer that blurs pores and grips makeup using, you guessed it, fig extract. It also contains nordihydroguaiaretic acid and oleanolic acid to control oil, salicylic acid to improve skin texture, and mineral silica for a soft-focus finish. This amazingly has a creamy texture, almost like a light moisturizer, but it applies thinly and mattifies the skin. It blurs pores subtly as well. I really like using this on warm days because it hydrates the skin and blurs texture at the same time. It’s not as matte or as blurring as my other primers but it’s good enough base for light everyday makeup.

A primer that aims to brighten, hydrate, and smooth the skin, the Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer ($28) uses coconut water, quinoa protein, and a blend of zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, silica. It also contains micro-pearls for a luminous look. Based on the description, it seems heavy but it’s not. It’s creamy, yes, but it feels light on the skin. It has a dewy finish so I like using this when I use an extremely matte foundation for a more natural look. I also reach for this on days when it’s colder because it provides that healthy look to my skin.

They also sent the Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF30 ($28), which works to hydrate and soothe the skin while providing a luminous finish using colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic acid, vitamin e, micro-pearls. I like how this has SPF but it feels a bit thick for my skin. True to its claim, it gives a luminous finish, which for my oily skin, takes a bit of getting used to. My face won’t feel greasy but it’s really luminous. I go for this on times when I want to look a beacon of light, which has its advantages, especially on days when I am looking dull and sallow.

I like how these products are all light and how much they advocate radiance to the skin, whether you prefer a moisturizing or a matte finish or you want SPF. I feel like there is something for everyone here. I still prefer the Hello Fab Pores Be Gone Matte Primer with Fig Extract over the Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer on a normal day but the Priming Moisturizer has its target audience. The Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF30, on the other hand, are for days you want to protect and perfect your skin but still look like you had a good sleep the night before.

The First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Pores Be Gone Matte Primer with Fig Extract, Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer, and Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer SPF30

These products were provided by @firstaidbeauty. Available at firstaidbeauty.com

Brand Overview: Oh+August

Promising to strengthen, brighten, and soothe tired, stressed skin without irritation, Oh+August create skincare products that are #crueltyfree and #vegan. Their products are also formulated without parabens, sulfates, silicones, gluten, talc, and carcinogen.

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Surprisingly made in a watery texture, the Detoxifying Charcoal Mask ($60) aims to cleanse the skin, eliminate dirt and oil, and minimize pores using activated charcoal and kaolin clay. On my first try, the #facemask gave off a burning sensation. I thought it was just normal, but after removing the mask, my face got red and I had bumps on the next day. I got the same result when I gave it a second try. So, this mask might be a little strong for me.

The CC Serum ($60) has that runny and quick-absorbing consistency that I always enjoy. It promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkle, improve firmness, reduce discoloration, and even the tone of the skin using vitamin c and citrus stem cells. After a month of use, this has lightened the dark spots on my face and left it radiant. I also like how it left my skin hydrated yet not oily. Despite me not seeing its firming benefits, this is a good option for those who have #oilyskin and are looking for their first #vitamincserum for brightening.

Made with shea butter and vitamin e, the Lip Balm ($10) works to smooth, nourish, moisturize, protect, and heal dry lips. This is a typical #lipbalm that you can’t go wrong with. If you’re a fan of shea butter, you should go for this.

Advocating skincare for a cause, Oh+August supports the rescue and foster of unwanted pets by contributing a portion of their profits quarterly to a variety of animal rescue organizations.

These Oh+August products were provided by @ohandaugust. Available at ohandaugust.com

Skincare Review: Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius

Brands’ stories always intrigue me and how this brand came about is another interesting one. Founder Kendra Kolb Butler used to work at beauty companies in NYC before deciding to move to Wyoming with her family. It was there were she found wild forests of arnica and chamomile, and the fields of lavender and sage, which became the basis of Alpyn Beauty.

The brand created a sustainably sourced natural skin care line formulated with wildcrafted and hand-cultivated alpine botanicals (proprietary ingredient complex, PlantGenius) grown in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Their products are cruelty-free, vegan, and are free from parabens, formaldehyde donors, sulfates, synthetic dyes, colors, fragrance, MEA, DEA, TEA, phthalates, palm ingredients, PEG’s, PPG’s, gluten, metallic, aluminum, triclosan, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, and toluene.

The PlantGenius Creamy Bubbling Cleanser ($36) promises to leave the skin soft and silk using exfoliants (papaya and pomegranate extracts, glycolic and lactic acid), and natural hydrators (linoleic acid and ceramides.) It also contains vitamin c to protect the skin against free radical damage.

This face cleanser looks like a fairytale with its light shimmery pink color. You’re supposed to apply this on a dry face and with damp hands. It takes about 4-5 pumps to cover my skin and it forms into a light lather. It dries like a normal foaming cleanser would do – without any film or leftover residue. This is really surprising to me because it feels really creamy on my skin. What I really like about this cleanser is it’s so gentle to the touch but I can see its hard work once I rinse my face.

The newest addition in the Alpyn Beauty line-up is the Survival Serum ($68). It promises to be both a brightening serum and an illuminating primer. It contains mica to blur imperfections; bearberry leaf extract, licorice root extract, and vitamin C to reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, azelaic, glycolic, and lactic acid to exfoliate, promote cell turnover, and soothe; sunflower seed oil to protect against free radical damage; tripeptide-29 to plump and diminish the appearance of fine lines; and hyaluronic acid, olive fruit oil, linoleic acid, coconut, squalane to hydrate.

It has the same raw whipped texture that other Alpyn Beauty products have and it leaves a sort of tackiness to the skin once applied but sinks in after a few minutes. Due to its consistency, this is better suited for me at night. It also offers a tingling sensation due to the exfoliators in its ingredients but it subsides after a few minutes. Due to their weight, I have relegated this as one of the serums I use at night.

After a month and a half of using this, I have noticed how this helped brighten, hydrate, and plump my skin. I can’t say that using this alone would help clear up all hyperpigmentation or brighten the skin as fast as other products would. This is more of those all-in-one support products you need as it helps boost radiance while keeping your skin bouncy and hydrated. I like using this after physically or chemically exfoliating as I feel like it is a good support serum. Due to its hydrating and plumping benefits, it helps my skin not feel tight, dry, and dehydrated after exfoliating or after applying stronger actives.

The PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer ($60) contains ceramides and squalane to fortify the moisture barrier, vitamin C to brighten and protect against free radical damage, retinal (bakuchiol) and tripeptide-29 to kick-start collagen production and diminish the appearance of fine lines, glycolic acid to exfoliate and promote cell turnover, and aloe to soothe the skin.

This #moisturizer smells grassy and has a whipped texture. It feels thick once applied but it literally melts onto your face – from a whipped texture to a runny sort of oily feel on the skin. For my #oilyskin, I can only use this at night as it leaves a bit of tackiness on my skin, almost like a sleeping mask. However, I still like using this as it feels nourishing to the skin and I wake up with bright and dewy skin in the morning.

The Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Creamy Bubbling Cleanser, Survival Serum, and Melt Moisturizer were provided by Alpyn Beauty and mba-partners. Available at alpynbeauty.com