June 5, 2019

The Clean Beauty Box – "Sacred Sky" with Ambar & Moss


Hi Friends!

Before we get into the long awaited box reveal and product reviews, two exciting changes happened this month at The Clean Beauty Box!

Firstly, this past April, the Clean Beauty Box transitioned from being a monthly subscription box to a bi-monthly subscription box. This means, as a subscriber to the Clean Beauty Box, you will receive a box every other month [June, August, October, December] instead of every month. 

Personally, I love this change. Why? Generally, it takes me at least 6-8 weeks to finish up a bottle of a self-care product and I appreciate that this new timeline allows for smarter consumption of products and more breathing space for my skin. Also, this new change will cut down on paper waste which will be better for the environment too! It's a win win.


Secondly, I'm excited to share that I've been inducted in as a Clean Beauty Insider! I've joined a small yet passionate tribe of non-toxic beauty advocates who have been leaders in this field for many years now. Through different social mediums, these women and men are dedicated to sharing and encouraging others to lead a clean and wholesome life. I'm honored to be mentioned alongside these amazing humans and I joyfully look forward to continuing to share honest, in-depth reviews of safe and effective skincare and cosmetic options on the Beauty Cleanse Blog! Thank you all for your encouragement and support this past year! 


A DESCRIPTION OF TODAY'S PHOTOGRAPHS


Inspired by my recent visit to the Morean Art Center in St. Petersburg, Florida I've been itching to express the art of glass blowing though the medium of photography. Through this series, I wanted to recreate the way that colors, as used in glass blowing, melt together in a way that evokes movement and a sense of elusiveness. 

Dale Chihuly's Glass Sculptures


THIS MONTH'S FEATURED ARTIST


Lillian Farag – the genius behind this month's box and inner pamphlet design – is truly an "ART"ist. Her abstract expressionism reminds me of the shades, textures, and whimsical brushstroke-like movement of some of my favorite works by Kandinsky. [like "Final Years In Paris," "Yellow Red Blue," and "Several Circles"]

Ms. Farag's design – the bright pinks, yellows, blues, all watered down to a barely-there presence on a clean white canvas – makes me happy. The dark blue lines and dots give form and weight to the design and helps the viewers eye move from one whimsical section to another. It is a joyful and playful work with streaks of sophistication.

Also, have you taken a look at her stunning leather work? Her Cloud Wash Circle Bag is an art piece in purse form.



FEATURED BRAND[s] 


Click on the photo above to read the story behind Moss [Modern Organic Sacred Skincare] and Ambar [pronounced “UM-ber” which means “sky” in Sanskrit] – two out of three skincare brands by Celestyna Higgins. 

"Our mission is to deliver truly effective, luxurious skincare that doesn’t contain “fairy dust,” toxins or fillers of any kind...Our vision at moss is to deliver superior, non-toxic skincare drawing on the incredible power of plants and botanicals through highly concentrated and powerful formulations." http://mosskincare.com/about/

"AMBAR is g-beauty (green beauty) meets k-beauty (Korean beauty). The result is unusually pure skincare featuring outstanding ingredients in uncluttered and laser-focused formulae that delight and surprise." http://mosskincare.com/ambar/


MICELLER CLEANSING ESSENCE


The Miceller Cleansing Essence by AMBAR has become an essential tool in my double cleansing routine. This essence removes almost all of my eye makeup without any skin-irritating rubbing motion. This cleanser/toner is very gentle on the skin. I can see why it would be acceptable to leave it on the skin instead of rinsing it off completely, even with Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids [a surfactant] in the formula.

I drench a round cotton pad with the solution, leave the pad on my closed eyelid for 5 seconds and then gently [with barely any pressure] swipe the eye makeup away. I say "almost" because on days when I'm wearing black liquid [not waterproof] eyeliner, I do notice that I still need to go in with an oil cleanser to melt the liner completely off my lash line.

According to mossskincare.com, the Miceller Cleansing Essence can be used in a handful of ways:

+ a double cleanser
+ morning cleanser
+ cleanser on-the-go/post-workout/mid-day pick-up
+ cleanser for lazy people who don’t like washing their face but know they need to
+ hydrating toner
+ moisturizing treatment


I tried using AMBAR's Miceller Cleansing Essence to remove makeup from my entire face but didn't find it a hugely practical affair. I needed to drench at least 3-4 cotton rounds with the essence [which used quite a bit of product – about 1/8th of this 2oz bottle] and even after using several pads there still seemed a little more beige foundation residue that would wipe off. For reference, I don't wear much foundation and use a light layer of Alima Pure's mineral powder Satin Matte Foundation or the Tint Skin liquid foundation by Beautycounter.

As I've mentioned in my past reviews, for my face and neck, I personally most enjoy double cleansing with a water soluble oil cleanser. I found this works best to remove not just my makeup, but also the layer of mineral sunscreen that I slather on throughout the day to combat Florida's UV rays. I discovered Moss' Revele Pore Purifying Emulsifying Oil Cleanser while perusing Ms. Higgins' website, and would be curious to see if this oil cleanser would make an ideal pairing with Ambar's Miceller Cleansing Essence. The Moss' Oil Cleanser's unique blend is high in linoleic acid and is said to work well with acneic skin. It's also supposed to rinse off with water, similar to Boscia's MakeUp-BreakUp Oil. That would eliminate the need for rubbing or tugging at our delicate faces with a warm washcloth. I love that.

I've got a weak spot for fun visual effects. Just take a look at how the Miceller Cleansing Essence starts off as a mainly clear solution with a ring of red on the bottom. As you shake it, it amalgamates into a pale watermelon pink! Pretty as can be, now it's ready to be used. 

It's not easy to find effective miceller cleansers in the clean beauty marketplace. I think this one by AMBAR is a gem to be tried by all non-toxic skincare enthusiasts. If you are currently using the popular Bioderma Sensible H20 or Garnier SkinActive miceller cleansers, I'd say, from a clean beauty perspective, stop. Although they might be more affordable, accessible, and effective in removing makeup, according to EWG, they both have iffy chemicals like Cetrimonium Bromide & Poloxamer 184 [human toxicants] near the top of their ingredients lists. 



POTENCI: INTENSIVE DERMAL REPAIR HYDRATING EMULSION


The second product in the Clean Beauty Box's June subscription box is Moss' Potentci Intensive Dermal Repair Hydrating Emulsion.

100% non-toxic and formulated with "safe and gentle ingredients," this moisturizer is said [according to the Clean Beauty Box's inner pamphlet] to "firm and restore plumpness by stimulating collagen[!]," protect the skin from free radicals, reduce "hyperpigmentation and acne scars," "help prevent...water loss" from the top layer of your skin, and to help to "improve skin tone, elasticity and smoothness. 

WOW – If this moisturizer really does what it says it does... it sounds like a miracle product to me! It hits pretty much every box of what I'd want a moisturizer to do for my skin. 


The texture of this emulsion is so lightweight it feels like a hybrid between a conventional serum and moisturizer. I would compare Moss' Potentci Intensive Dermal Repair Hydrating Emulsion with Bella Aura's treatment moisturizers. If you've used Bella Aura's Daily Repair Moisturizer or their
Night Cellular Renewal, you'll know exactly what I mean.

It's a little silky when rolled around in your fingers, almost like a silicone makeup primer, without the silicone. And instead other lightweight moisturizers I've tried that leave the skin still feeling a little dry, matte, and undernourished, this one soaks nicely into the top layer of skin, giving it a little hydrated plumpness, while leaving a glowing finish without the heaviness of straight up oils. 


Moss' Potentci also seems to have a good balance of skin hydrating ingredients like glycerin and Pomegranate Sterols, skin refining actives like Niacinamide, botanical extracts that are high in antioxidants, and skin conditioning oils that keep your face supple and protected.

In terms of the order of application, I like to use about four pumps for my face, neck, décolletage & the back of my hands in my evening routine after my water based serum and before applying face oil. Some nights, I'll skip the face oil and be happily moisturized solely with the Potentci.

I've been using this moisturizer for about two weeks now, and am excited to see if long-term use will in fact lead to some or all of the skin refining effects that are mentioned on the Clean Beauty Box inner pamphlet and on Moss' website. I have high hopes and will keep you posted!



Overall, I've been pleased with the quality and performance of the two products in this month's subscription box. Although this may have been my first exposure to Ms. Celestyna Higgins' skincare lines, I have a feeling that Moss and Ambar will be on my radar and I hope to experience more of their clean products in the near future!

Also, I am so grateful that The Clean Beauty Box has given me and its subscribers an opportunity to experience these luxurious skincare products from Ambar and Moss. Did I mention that the value of these two products sum up to $174?! With a single subscription box priced at $39.95–$41.95, the Clean Beauty Box makes clean beauty accessible for many of us! Thank you Claire!


Wishing you a BEAUTY-Full Day!

xoxo
Grace

All images © 2019 Grace Song Photography
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