Monthly Archives: May 2014

By Nieves

Spotlight On: By Nieves Natural Skincare

ByNievesSkincare

I recently discovered and was able to sample the products from “By Nieves” thanks to some readers, who saw that I was into non-toxic, organic skincare.

You’ll recall that in my last skincare post, I said that I used to have dressers full of skincare products (true). I also said that I like my stuff to work. (I can be fairly impatient when it comes to seeing results, I’ll admit. Those “see results in 6-8weeks!” lines really don’t draw me in.)

All this is to say that if I am going to be a repeat user of any product, it should be doing something for me that my organic coconut oil, caster oil, and apple cider vinegar can’t already do for less cost.

That said, you certainly won’t be surprised when I tell you that in order to see how I felt about these products, I first scoured through and read their entire website, along with any reviews I could find.

I’ll tell you the first thing that really struck me: the ingredients lists. Nieves likes to say that every ingredient is an active ingredient, so you’re never paying for fillers or preservatives. What a brilliant philosophy. It shouldn’t be revolutionary, but unfortunately, no big label skincare lines (even organic ones!) that I’ve come across can boast the same thing.

I know enough about herbs and essentials oils by now to see, at first glance, that these ingredients pack a powerful punch. It would cost me way too much to gather all these together myself, though, so I’m happy that Nieves has done it and has it available for me in an affordable size and quantity. (God knows I wouldn’t have pulled off the beautiful scents they all somehow also have.)

So the herbs and oils are promising. They’re also almost completely organic. Another bonus.

“Face Fix” herbal/clay scrub and mask.

I wore this mask overnight for maximum effectiveness. (The ingredients were too fancy to waste on just a scrub that I would rinse off right away!) The mask doesn’t change form too much or harden like some masks might, so I slept with a towel over my pillow to protect it from the mask rubbing off.
I mixed my mask with a coconut oil/ghee combination to make a paste, and rubbed it in to exfoliate the skin so that it could absorb the nutrients even better.

Here I am, looking really beautiful, with the coconut oil/ghee/herbal-clay mask on. (Sorry about the picture quality)

Here I am, looking really beautiful, with the coconut oil/ghee/herbal-clay mask on. (Sorry about the picture quality)

So, I’ll admit, I haven’t been exfoliating my face very often these days, and that helped me feel like the skin-smoothing results of this mask were really wonderful. My makeup went on smoother, and stayed put longer, and overall I had a nice “glow” that I wasn’t super used to after the winter months. I could swear something in the mask made everything less puffy, something made my skin brighter, too, but I haven’t pinpointed which. Like I said, this stuff is full of ingredients that do good things.

I can’t say much about how this mask works for acne, because I haven’t had any breakouts yet since I’ve had the mask on hand. But I do like that I wake up feeling like I can notice a difference, versus the clay masks I usually have in my regime, which soak up oil while they’re on my skin but don’t have any noticeable results after removing them. That’s a big plus.

Check out this ridic ingredients list:

Organic Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus), Organic Chamomile Flower Powder (Anthemis nobilis), Organic Comfrey Root Powder (Symphytum officinale), Organic Grapefruit Peel Powder(Citrus paradisi), Organic Horsetail Powder (Equisetum arvense), Jojoba Beads (Simmondsia chinensis), Organic Lavender Flower Powder (Lavandula angustifolia), Organic Licorice Root Powder (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Organic Neem Leaf Powder (Azadirachta indica), Organic Orange Peel Powder (Citrus aurantium amara), Organic Rose Petal Powder (Rosa centifolia), Organic Rosehip Powder (Rosa canina),White Kaolin Clay, Organic White Willow (Salix alba)

“C” Perfect Skin Moisturizer/Serum

Alright, this was my favorite product, I think. It felt so luxurious to put on my skin. We all know I’m not afraid of slathering oils all over my body, face, and hair, so with ingredients like sesame oil, jojoba oil, seven different essential oils and a few antioxidants to boot, this was right up my alley.

Luckily, this is not like my old friend castor oil, which is not for the faint of heart. These ingredients may be intense, but the serum itself, surprisingly, is not. It was so light and absorbed so nicely that it didn’t seem like an oil at all, while still providing all the benefits of one (because it is one!). It smelled great and made my skin feel heavenly.

I would buy this serum again and again. I’ve used many serums, all full of silicones, to achieve the same effect that Nieves achieves here without synthetic plastics on top of your skin. I know I keep repeating this, but it feels so good to put something on my skin that is actually good for it, and really WORKS, too. I call this one “glow-in-a-bottle” because that’s what it is. Perfect, healthy, dewy skin in one little serum. My under-eye circles loved it, too.

I ran out of this product the fastest because I slathered it on every day, sometimes twice a day. I got a little jealous of Nieves when I read that she does this too, saying, “I can- I make it!” Ah, Nieves. To live like you do..

“Cloud of Protection” Aromatherapy/sanitizing spray

Ah, this is tied for first as my favorite product. This product describes itself as “defense against illness, bad vibes, and stinkiness”. And it smells soooooo good. I even used it as a perfume some days. I also used this as an air sanitizer, hand sanitizer, bad-odor-eraser, and mood uplifter. I loved to use it during meditation. It seemed to work well for each job. I haven’t been sick since I got it four months ago. And I work with a LOT of sick people at my job, and I have a small child. I’m talking about coming into contact with a crazy amount of germs. Still, nada, no illness, not once.

I love that this product naturally protects against germs, because I am not particularly fond of most anti-bacterial products, as the main germ-killing chemicals are carcinogens (cancer-causing). Not so with Cloud of Protection, which is made up completely of essential oils. (That’s why it smells so amazing!)

I was thrilled that even with multiple-times-daily use, my little bottle lasted me a nice long time. It’s actually about time to get a new one.

Bath Salt

This bath salt was “magical”. On a couple of occasions, when I had a stressful day, I would run myself a bath and pour some of Nieves’ bath salts into it. I never expected much, because I’m a girl who likes her “spa days”, so I’m an old pro at salts and oils and detox mixes in the tub. But let me tell you what: I usually have trouble falling asleep, a mixture of poor circulation (similar to RLS) in my legs which can be painful, caffeine, and a busy mind. Each time when I had a bath with these salts, I was so relaxed that I was able to get to sleep two hours early. I woke up in the morning feeling completely refreshed. From bath salts! I know!

I definitely thought it was the epsom salts, which are magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is known to relax your muscles and your mind and deficiencies of it are known to make a person prone to stress and anxiety. So I went and bought myself epsom salts and took baths with cups of it. Nada. I have lavender essential oil which is very calming and good for sleep. Nothing. Both of them together? Still nothing.

I would try and duplicate the formula myself, but as I stated earlier, she has pretty fancy ingredients, so it’s easier for me to just let her work her magic and enjoy the benefits.

Repeat buys: Perfect “C” Serum and Cloud of Protection Spray
Special splurge: Face Fix Mask
If I Had More Money: The rest!

Total Grade: A++

To order By Nieves or view the products, click here. To view the ingredients lists of all these products and what they do, click here.

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The Invitation

paint

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer*
(*Disclaimer: I should specify that I did not write this, nor can I seem to find a specific author. This poem was very personal and moving for me so I decided to share!)