I am here today to
tell you about rave about my current beauty routine. I finally bit the bullet and got the line I’ve been coveting for a while, and I’m so glad I did!
There are four categories I look for when it comes to beauty products, each ranked by order of importance:
- AMAZING smell. If it smells good but not great, it’s not good enough. Smell is most important for me! I am not interested in unscented or bland smelling products. I want a botanical experience.
- Organic, natural, green, or at least not full of chemicals. I prefer these but they’re not a requirement. See smell comments above.
- Effective. I don’t care how green it is, if it doesn’t work, what’s the use? So I at least want to see a little more even skin, glow, dewey look, etc. Wrinkles disappearing TBD.
- Price. If the above three criteria are satisfied, I’m willing to pay whatever it takes for the product, but I’m not going to pay a lot for something that doesn’t smell the.best.ever. – even if it works really well and is organic.
For years I used Paula’s Choice. It’s a solid line, and I still like it. It definitely works and is reasonably priced, but the smell was just so-so, on the verge of neutral. I also wanted something a little more natural. I liked the Nurture x Nature line I wrote about last year and they have a great price, but again, I kept coming back to smell. I have tried products from Mary Kay, Arbonne, and Beauty Counter, but nothing wowed me to keep buying it again.
You know what always wowed me? The Eminence products that Alyssa uses for facials at the ACAC Spa. I get a facial every other month or so (I got more around the time of our wedding) and every single facial was a total botanical experience. Fully stocked with samples, though, I couldn’t justify the cost of bringing them home. So I waited, and waited, and waited, and finally I decided it was time to buy just the basics that I needed. (Ideally I’d add a treatment mask and all the extras, but I just can’t justify the cost right now.) I’ve been having Alyssa tell me each product that she puts on so I can keep track of the ones I like the best. So I bought my VERY FAVORITES from my facials and filled in a day and night cream with an over-the-counter smell favorite: Alba Botanica Sea Minerals.
I am going out to make a very large proclamation: that these Eminence products have the very best smells on the planet. My two favorite main ingredients are the Monoi and Stone Crop lines. If you are all set on beauty products, at the very least find these in person just to give them a sniff! Learn all about them at the Eminence website, but Amazon has them all for easy Prime shipping and review reading : )
So I start in the shower with this Monoi Exfoliating Cleanser. It has tiny, tiny particles so it’s a very gentle exfoliator. Great for everyday. I use just a tiny bit so this baby will last forever!
After my shower, I squirt x2 of the Stone Crop Hydrating Mist on a 2×2 and use it as a toner.
Next comes the Bamboo Firming Liquid, which I use for anti-aging. I love that the packages have ingredient lists that look like something out of an organic restaurant: Swiss Green Apple, Coconut Water, Monoi, Carrot Extract. If plants are so good for us on the inside, it’s no doubt they are good on the outside.
I then follow with my Alba Botanica day time moisturizer with SPF. Basic.
At night, I use this Rice Milk 3-in-1 Cleansing Water (Cleanser/Toner/Make-up remover) on a 2×2 instead of a face wipe. (Note you can’t use it for heavy eye makeup, so I have a separate remover for those days.) Smells sooooo good!
I follow with another pump of the Bamboo Liquid and finally this Alba Night cream. I might be tempted to switch to the Eminence Monoi night cream when I run out of this! It smells very good though.
The products run from $30-60, so while they aren’t cheap, they are not super break-the-bank either. I think my whole purchase was about $150. And I’m definitely doing the little-goes-a-long-way strategy to make them last. You can see that many of my favorites made their top 10 list too. (The coconut night cream is awesome too!)
This post isn’t sponsored at all. I just wanted to share something I was super excited about! (Was that clear enough? Haha.) There are affiliate links, FYI!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
I love a product that smells good, but it’s so hard to find one that’s not overwhelming! Going to check out your recommendations. Thanks, Kath! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
loooove skincare posts!
Ann Duncan says
Love Eminence. And you’re right, the smell is amazing!! I feel so good putting the products on. Another of their products to recommend: The tinted moisturizer with SPF 25. Great smell and makes my skin feel amazing! Very light coverage but a perfect base for the summer day face 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recommendations…I’ve added the cleanser to my wishlist!
I haven’t tried that but sounds like a great all in one summer makeup!
I must say, it’s really refreshing to read a skincare post that isn’t sponsored or schilling products from an MLM—thank you!!
I’m adding some of these to my Amazon list. 🙂
Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run says
You’ve tried some Beautycounter products, correct? What do you think? They definitely go in-line with your requirements: smell great and sans toxic ingredients.
They just don’t smell good! And I think they are super expensive. Maybe they’re the same as these but they are more than I’d want to spend. I do love their branding and I’m sure the ingredient lists are good.
I always think your skin looks great so thanks for sharing this! I had a pedicure once with Eminence products and they smelled soooo good. Have you ever tried any Glamglow products? I love their Gravitymud and Supermud masks.
I haven’t heard of those!
Thank you for the recommendations! I’m interested in some good, natural products so will check these out after my current stuff runs out.
I’m old school – my face isn’t clean unless I wash with noxzema 🙂
I love Noxzema!! I’m sure you know my mom is obsessed too.
Linda @ the Fitty says
I have to regret. They sure look good! The only smellz however, that I use, are essential oils. I’m really loving bergamote
I find it so interesting how important smell is to you! I was surprised to read you will pay anything if something works well, but won’t buy something that works well if it doesn’t smell great.
I know I’m weird! I won’t pay much for something that smells great but doesn’t work though…
What kind of facial do you recommend at ACAC? Thanks from a local :)!
If you go to Alyssa, just ask for the Kath Facial – haha! She knows what I love 🙂 I would do the custom facial and ask for the Eminence line. Alyssa and Amy are both great and friends of mine. They can tailor the facial to your skin’s needs.
I discovered Paula’s Choice because of your blog and I love it. I will have to give Eminence a go too.
I am obsessed with Alba products-shampoo and conditioners are amazing(I color my hair so I am always looking for products that aren’t drying and make my color last).I also use the facial cleanser and moisturizer.I’m going to have to check out Eminence ….I got some great samples of a Korean line (Dr Jart?i think)at Sephora but it is sooo expensive!And I am with you on the smell.It does stick with you for a while so if the smell isn’t great you def notice.
Sold!! Smell is #1 priority for me, too, so I don’t think you’re weird! I absolutely love the Love Beauty & Planet products you recommended recently. Just ordered the bamboo liquid to try it out 🙂
You will love it! And I am still loving that shampoo. Have it air drying right now in my hurr!
Also highly recommend this body wash in the same line:
Christina @ montessoriishmom.com says
I’m not super into makeup, but love trying different cleansers and moisturizers – can’t wait to try these, they sound amazing!
Thanks so much for this Kath! I’m on the hunt for good products without chemicals, but my issue with some of the au natural stuff is that it just doesn’t work and sometimes smells like dirt lol. Do you have any makeup recommendations that are a little greener but still get the job done?
My make up is still pretty mainstream – mostly from Birchbox. I think the Beauty Counter line is supposed to be very green? Not sure of $ though.
I love checking out new skin care especially if it isn’t $$$. My one easy tip is for eye makeup remover I use coconut oil. Works great and really moisturizes the eye area!
It looks like the Eminence organic line is cruelty free. I’m curious if this is something you consider when choosing skin care products. My top priorities for skin care products are Effectiveness, Cost, and Cruelty-free commitment. I’m also a little wary of Alba because I used one of their masks and I had a bad reaction. My whole face was bright red and burning.
I think it’s a wonderful plus and often goes hand in hand with the greener focus.
Jessica from Durham says
Thanks Kath. I’ve been noticing some aging signs in my face over the last year. I’m excited to try these products out – they’ll be a Birthday gift to myself.
I love good-smelling products too! I think it’s useful for folks to know, though, that a lot of those fabulous smells come from natural oils or synthetic fragrances that can be really irritating to the skin. I like to compromise by using a scented body wash in the shower and using unscented products for my face and for leave-on body products like lotion.
Thank you for this post! Are you able to use all these products while pregnant? I have the same due date as you (yay!) and am looking for new skin care products safe for baby! Thank you
I believe so! There are no retinols and they are natural ingredients.
I love Alba Botanica skin care product.
I absolutely love Alba Botanica products. They are really amazing.
Lisa Hill says
I really like your skincare routine and these all products seems good to try out. I will definitely try some of them. Thanks for sharing.