My Favorites from Tata Harper

I can’t recall exactly how I came across Tata Harper’s line a few years ago, but I do remember falling in love with the brand’s story. Tata Harper uses only natural ingredients and the plant and floral ingredients are sourced from her farm in Vermont. (When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Vermont through watching the show Newhart. But, that’s a story for another day…) Anyway, it really piqued my interest, along with the elegantly gorgeous, green packaging. So, I had to try the line for myself.

At that point, I had used a good number of green beauty products, but they all fell short in some way. Either the product feel was just off (too gritty, too greasy, too watery, etc) or the packaging felt cheaply made. Most importantly to me, was that they didn’t perform as well as my regular favorites. So, when I bought my first Tata Harper products a few years ago, I did a lot of research before making my first order, but I was still skeptical if they would perform as well as the non- green products in my routine.

I was pleased to find that most of the products that I’ve tried from her line are just as effective as conventional beauty products, but are also very luxurious and enjoyable to use. Her brand motto is “Beauty Without Compromise,” and when I use Tata Harper’s products, I can attest that the brand actively work towards that goal. The products contain natural ingredients, but they are also sophisticated formulations that do not sacrifice quality. I also appreciate that the website is easy to navigate and provides the complete ingredient list for each product. I have some ingredient allergies, and it’s incredibly helpful when companies make the ingredient listing easily available for their customers.

Tata Harper’s online shop usually runs great promotions and discounts during the holidays, so this is a great time to buy!  If you are new to Tata Harper and aren’t sure where to begin, here are some of my favorite products from her line.

Purifying Cleanser, $62

Photo: Tata Harper Skincare

This is a non-foaming cleanser that gives a tingly fresh, clean feeling. I typically use this an evening second cleanse. After removing my sunscreen and makeup with an oil or balm cleanser, I pat my face dry, then massage two pumps of Purifying Cleanser onto my face, then rinse. It doesn’t leave a film or residue, nor is it drying. It would also work well as a morning cleanser. I have oily and acne prone skin and always enjoy using this, but it might be drying for those with dry/very dry skin. This cleanser also has a slightly citrusy, lemongrass scent to it, in case you are sensitive to any type of fragrance. The brand does include essential oils in their formulations, so their products do have fragrances from those. I’ve found all of the scents very pleasant and not overpowering, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re sensitive to fragrance.

Nourishing Oil Cleanser, $68

Photo: Tata Harper Skincare

I love the way this smells, like a fresh floral bouquet with a hint of fruitiness. This is a heavier weight cleansing oil and it doesn’t emulsify, so you need a muslin cloth or washcloth/flannel to help remove the oil as you rinse it off. I usually only need one full pump of the cleansing oil to remove my sunblock and makeup from the day.

Resurfacing Mask, $58

tatahaper_resurfacingmask_open_wtop.jpg (1059×800)

Photo: Tata Harper Skincare

This is the first Tata Harper product I bought, and my #1 pick . It has an aloe and rose clay base and also includes beta hydroxy acids and fermented fruits. It’s a slightly thick gel mask that requires a rinse removal. My skin normally reacts poorly to BHAs, but this is pretty mild and my skin loves this mask. It gentley exfoliates to give a fantastic glow. It is pricey at $58 for a 1 oz jar, but this has been so effective at calming my skin when I get really angry, red acne breakouts. I apply this after cleansing and rinse off after 15-20 minutes and my acne is much more calm and less red. If you have sensitive skin, you can just leave it on for 10 minutes. When I use this with acne patches, my acne spots look so much better the next morning. My zits are still there, but they are much less red and also decrease in size. I have repurchased this mask several times and don’t like to be without it. I also love the way it smells, a slightly fruity floral similar to the Nourishing Oil Cleanser.

Be Adored Plumping and Hydrating Lip Treatment, $29

Photo: Tata Harper Skincare

This is a rosy red-tinted lip balm that wears very comfortably on my lips. It has an olive oil and beeswax base, along with some fruit oils, but it doesn’t have a heavily waxy feel. It’s lightweight and provides a sheer wash of color while also protecting lips from moisture loss. This also has a slightly fruity scent, but it’s very mild and pleasant. I haven’t noticed any plumping effect, but it’s still a tinted lip balm that I enjoy using very much. It has a slight sheen, but isn’t glossy. So, it’s perfect to wear to the office when I want just a hint of color.

So Popular Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint, $36

Photo: Tata Harper Skincare

I got a sample of this in a Birchbox earlier this year and didn’t use it right away because I didn’t think a cream- based blush would work well on my oily skin. I finally gave it a try and was really surprised by how well it worked for me and I will likely buy a full size once I’m done with it. It’s very pigmented, so you only need a little bit at a time. I like to apply it with an ELF small stipple brush and it gives a beautifully natural flush to the cheeks and the color lasts all day for me. I was really impressed! Since my skin is so oily, most makeup wears off and I need to reapply it at some point in the day, but this has great staying power. I haven’t used it on my lips yet, so I can’t speak to how well it performs there.

Aromatic Bedtime Treatment, $60

Photo: Tata Harper Skincare

Tata Harper’s marketing team sent this to me recently. I never gave much thought to aromatherapy, but I had been having issues with falling asleep lately, so I gave it a try. I was surprised that it actually worked for me. Like all of the Tata Harper products I’ve used, I love the way this smells! I roll the ball tip across both wrists a couple times, take a few deep breaths to take in the scent and I’m left feeling soothed and calm. The first night that I used it, I was trying to post a photo to my Instagram and I kept falling asleep and I couldn’t figure out why I was suddenly.so.sleepy. It was the Aromatic Bedtime Treatment! It sounds completely goofy, but I was lucky that I woke up before I clicked “Share” on my post filled with typos and nonsense LOL. I would recommend this to anyone who has trouble falling asleep, but would prefer not to take ingestible sleep aids. This is a gentle alternative, as long as you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients.

I hope this post was helpful. Leave me a comment if you have any questions.  Also, let me know what your Tata Harper must-haves are, so I can add some new things to my ever growing Wish List. Happy Shopping!

 

 

Note: littlebitofglow is a participant in Affiliate Programs, designed to provide a means for sites to earn Affiliate Program advertising fees by advertising and linking to online retailers and online services.

 

 

Review: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Empty Milky Jelly on the left. On the right is new Milky Jelly that’s all dressed up “Gude,” with fancy stickers from Renee and Angela of the Beauty and the Cat blog.

If you follow my Instagram, it’s pretty obvious that I love skincare products and change up my routine fairly often.  However, everyone has their small selection of products that they consistently repurchase, and the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser has definitely made its way into my re-buy group.

Although I have very oily, acne-prone skin, I like to use gentle cleansers to help maintain my skin’s moisture barrier. I use acne medications and acids that can sometimes be drying, so I like to pamper and nourish my skin with gentle products in the remainder of my routine.

I love using the Milky Jelly Cleanser for my morning cleanse- one to two pumps massaged onto damp skin, then rinsed with lukewarm water. It leaves my skin feeling soft and clean, but never squeaky clean. It’s a non-foaming cleanser and reminds me of a thicker, bouncier gel version of Cetaphil cleanser.  It has a very mild and slightly plastic-ey rose fragrance. Rose- scented products usually bother me (a lot, lol), but this one is extremely mild so I barely notice it.

I’ve read that you can also use this to remove makeup, but I prefer to do a double cleanse with an oil or balm cleanser first, since I wear medium-heavy coverage foundation and a slightly thick sunscreen. One of the main cleansing agents in the Milky Jelly is an ingredient used in contact lens solution, so it’s gentle enough to use around the eyes.  To use it as a makeup- removing cleanser, apply to dry skin and spread a little extra to the eyelids if you’re wearing eye makeup. I watched Emily Weiss (founder of Into the Gloss and Glossier)  do this on a video.

Another thing that I really appreciate about this cleanser (and the Glossier line in general) is that it’s reasonably priced. The Milky Jelly is $18, so affordable.  If you’re new to Glossier, here is my referral link  to get 20% off of your first order*.  I love beauty discounts and this is a great one. I wish that I had purchased more on my first order, to be honest!

I do have one tiny (honestly, miniscule) gripe about this cleanser and it’s that the pump gets stuck once in a while. The top of the pump sometimes gets stuck halfway up and I have to help it along and pop it up. That’s it, though.

 

*If you use my Glossier referral link, you get 20% off of your first order and I would get a $10 credit. Even if you don’t end up using my link, definitely use someone’s/anyone’s referral since this is a really great discount and only good on your first order!

 

 

Tula Purifying Face Cleanser with Probiotic Technology


Tula Skin Care recently sent me their Purifying Face Cleanser to try. The line was co-founded by a gastroenterologist, Dr. Roshini Raj, and all of their products contain probiotics. I’ve seen Tula products here and there on Instagram and was intrigued because I take a daily probiotic and really believe in their usefulness in improving gut health. I had read that probiotics might also be beneficial for topical use in people who have acne, so I was excited to try it for myself.

The line is free of parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, phlalates and propylene glycol and is also cruelty free. I tested the ph and got between 5.5-6. It’s a foaming, gel cleanser and I’ve been using the cleanser in the mornings for the past two to three weeks. I like that it leaves my face feeling comfortable and soft, with no tight feeling. It’s easy to lather into a thick foam and rinses clean. It does have a noticeable fragrance, but I didn’t see added fragrance on the ingredient list, so I’m guessing it’s the natural scent from the plant and floral extracts. I can’t put my finger on anything specific, but it’s a powdery floral.

Here is the ingredients list, taken from tulaforlife.com and formatted by me:

Water (Aqua), Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia, Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Vegetable Oil (Olus Oil), Camelina Sativa Seed Oil (Camelina Sativa Oil), Yogurt Extract, Lactose, Milk Protein, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus, (Clove) Flower Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Beeswax (Cera Alba), PEG, 20 Sorbitan Oleate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol

I noticed that many (if not all) of their products contain Turmeric and I’ve seen that spice ingredient pop up in beauty articles more and more these days. It’s a popular ingredient in Indian dishes, but it also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. As an acne-prone person, I am all about anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients/products. Turmeric, get on my face!

As far as the probiotic technology goes, I’m pretty sure that the probiotic effect is more noticeable in a product that stays on the skin for a longer time, rather than rinsed away quickly. But, I still think it’s a nice cleanser that is enjoyable to use. As I continue using it, I’m going to see if I notice any new changes in my skin. Using probiotics in skincare is a very interesting concept and Tula uses a lot of other intriguing ingredients, so I’m looking forward to trying more from their line. Their Exfoliating Treatment Mask looks great too, so I will probably buy a jar once my current mask stash runs low. You can view the Tula product line up on their site, www.tulaforlife.com or www.qvc.com and the Purifying Face Cleanser with Probiotic Technology is $28 on both sites.

My experience with Curology (formerly Pocketderm) – almost one year later


I’ve been using Curology (previously known as Pocketderm,)  an online dermatology service for almost one year and I’ve had several people ask me about it on Instagram, so I thought a blog post would be helpful. I have many thoughts about it and it’s just too many words for Insta.

Before I get into it, this is not an easy thing for me to talk about and especially not an easy thing for me to post my photos on the Internet (My IRL friends can probably guess that I’m nervous about this post, because I’m a very private person. Eeek.)  It’s only pictures of one side of my face, so not a big deal right? But, it’s my skin at it’s worst, just bare with no makeup. I never intended for these photos to be seen by anyone other than me,  so the lighting isn’t the same and the quality could definitely be better. They’re simply photos that I took so I could track my progress.

Just keep your eyes on the zits, not the lighting is what I’m saying. LOL. But, seriously, I’m sorry that the photo quality is not better.

I also want to mention that it was a combination of things that helped get my acne under control. The Curology service and medication is a big part of it, but my Asian Beauty routine and changes in my diet were also big factors and I will likely post about them at later date.

I discovered Curology through the wonderful Skin and Tonics blog. I’d been back doing the AB routine for a while, after many years of trying different routines, and had been following Kerry’s blog for several months by then. I’ve had experience with dermatologists, but I would always get the same recommendations. I felt like they weren’t really listening to my needs and merely writing me prescriptions for Retin-A or Tazorac and sending me on my way.  Those meds would always tear up my face by completely drying out my skin and not only did they not help my acne, but would oftentimes cause me to breakout more. I needed a different approach.

By the time I had read the Skin&Tonics review on Curology , my skin was at a really low point. It had been about two years since I had my 3rd child (my son) and my breakouts were awful… (Pregnancy always sends my skin on a downward acne spiral. YAY, babies. BOO, acne.) My face was rough and dull, with lots of acne on the lower part of my face and on my neck. Every morning, as  I’d wash my face, I’d feel new, acne cysts under my skin. It felt like a neverending cycle and was incredibly frustrating and disheartening.  It not only looked terrible, but the acne felt terrible. My face hurt! I had made changes to my skincare routine by that point which helped a small amount (like, the Benton Snail Bee Essence sped up the healing process), but nothing stopped the acne cycle.

I signed up for the Curology service in early November 2014. I sent in my makeup-free photos, completed a brief questionnaire and included some comments about my previous medications. I received a response from my online dermatologist the following day. My online derm noted my previous negative history with Tretinoin (that I had mentioned in my comments!), so he recommended a combination of Clindamyacin, Azelaic Acid and Niacinamide as a first go and they shipped it out that day. I received it less than a week later- everything moved along very quickly. The medication has a creamy base, but it’s a lightweight cream and not greasy or heavy. I used it every night after my essence step and started noticing improvement after four weeks of use. Fortunately, the medication really agreed with my skin and I didn’t experience any irritation or dryness.

The photo below is my best attempt at a Before and After, using the best of the photos that I still have available.


The picture on the left was taken before I started Curology. I began using the Curology medication in November 2014. The photo on the right was taken in June 2015. So, this was after seven months of consistent Curology use.

It is hard to tell in the After photo, but my skin is a lot less bumpy. Actually, it has no bumps. I still have some visible acne spots that are healing in that photo, but my skin is a lot more even toned, less red and not lumpy. There is no active acne there, and no new acne spots brewing underneath the surface. I remember the first morning that I washed my face and noticed that I didn’t feel any new acne cysts/lumps underneath the surface and thinking, OMG.WOW my face is smooth!

My skin is still not where I want it to be, but I’m so glad that I took the plunge and tried Curology. It’s helped my skin so much and their customer service is amazing. They’re very responsive and I can really tell that my online derm is reading my inquiries and comments, and keeping my concerns in mind when he makes recommendations.

My only regret in all of this is that I waited so long to sign up. Seriously! Kerry’s review went up in August and after I read it, I had a million excuses for not signing up and just dragged my feet. Three months later, I finally signed up. I’m kind of notorious for being a slow poke/procrastinator, but I’m kicking myself now for waiting. But, better late than never, right?

If you are like me, and procrastinating and dragging your feet right now, it’s incredibly easy to sign up. I love being able to email my online dermatologist with any questions I have about my medication or my skin, in general.

If you want to get your first month of Curology for free, you can use my referral code here. It is $19.95 per month and they offer a 90- day unconditional money back guarantee. The monthly fee includes your online consultations AND medication and shipping costs.  They also offer anti-aging formulations and I’m looking forward to trying that option out, eventually.

I hope this was helpful to anyone out there who is also struggling with problem skin and for whatever reason, is looking for a different approach in treating your acne. I also want to say thank you to Kerry for posting about Pocketderm/Curology in the first place. You are one of my online skincare saviors, XOXO!

If I missed any details, let me know in the comments. I’m happy to answer any questions as well!

September Empties

We’re almost halfway through with October, so I am pretty late on posting my empties for September!  This set is actually my empties for the last week or so of September. I have more posted under the #missionempties hashtag on Instagram. That was a fun challenge and I’m looking forward to doing that again. Anyway, here are the rest of my empties from September.

Klorane Dry Shampoo– I got this in a Birchbox and it didn’t work for my hair at all. It was no match for my oily scalp and hair. I’ve read tons of raves for this, but I’m guessing those users had drier hair and scalp types than I do. I tried using a little bit, but it didn’t help. Then I tried using more product, and that didn’t help either. It just wasn’t for me.
Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick– this is still one of my HGs. Cleanses well with a nice amount of foam, easy application and good ph level. The rose scent is also very mild and disappates quickly, so it didn’t/doesn’t bother me.
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask– This is great for added overnight hydration, but I’ve since moved on to similar sleeping masks that have additional benefits (like brightening), so I will not be repurchasing this any time soon. It’s still a great sleeping mask, but I like products that do more than one thing, whenever possible. This mask is also fragranced and it may be a bit too heavily scented for some people.
Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Water– I’m still on the fence about micellar waters. I’m just not sure that they clean well enough for me, because I’m super oily, plus I wear heavy-ish sunscreen and I also wear makeup. I feel like I have a lot of stuff to remove from my face, compared to the average person. LOL. However, I did like that this wasn’t heavily fragranced, contained very few irritants and also had fermented ingredients.
Laneige BB cushion in Light– this is the cushion sold at U.S. Target stores. I’ve heard that it’s the same as the Pore Control version that is available in Korea, but I haven’t confirmed that. This provides medium coverage and is a yellow- based shade. I prefer lighter coverage these days, so I have a Hera cushion coming my way and I also still love my Iope XP in the N (Natural) coverage. I won’t be repurchasing this any time soon since there are so many cushions out there that I want to try. But, in a pinch, it’s nice that it’s available at Target. Like most moms, I am always at Target. haha.

Lower Cost and Natural Dupe for Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser

Like many beauty fans, I love my Beauty Blender. I also really like their solid bar cleanser. It cleans my Beauty Blender sponges with little effort, and it also does a great job getting cushion compact air puffs clean. Those cushion puffs get really gross looking, really fast, so I like to wash my puff(s) once a week.

So, with all this frequent washing, I noticed that my tiny round Beauty Blender bar cleanser was getting smaller and smaller very quickly, so it was time to replace or buy something else.  The bar is $16, which is pricey when you consider that it’s bar soap and it is quite small. This led me on a mission to find a less expensive dupe. I Googled and Pinterested and my searches kept bringing up recommendations for Dr. Bronner’s bar soap.

I’ve seen the Dr. Bronner’s soaps in stores and online over the years, but never tried anything from the line. They support Fair Trade and use organic ingredients, but I think the packaging always turned me off.  So.many.words on that label.  If you’ve come across any of their products, you know exactly what I mean.  I am guilty of TL:DR-ing right past them in the store.  Anyway, it was less than $5 at Target, so I bought one in Peppermint.

I’m happy to report that the Dr. Bronner’s soap got my air cushion puffs as clean as the Beauty Blender solid cleanser. I was really impressed and surprised!   In my experience, many natural cleaning products don’t perform as well as traditional cleaning products. But, I was happy to be proven wrong by this. The Dr. Bronner’s also provides a satisfying level of foam, rinses clean and has a mild Peppermint scent, so it’s pleasant to use. I’ve heard that the liquid Dr. Bronner’s is also a dupe for the liquid Beauty Blender cleanser, so I’ll be checking that out, too.