DIY beauty is one of my favorite pastimes. I mean, I am forever indebted to the cosmetic chemistry industry, but there's also something to be said for the Earth's ability to produce highly nourishing, antioxidant-rich produce like it ain't no thing. Also, it's fun to put on your DIY hat, pillage your fridge and pantry, mash a couple things together, and then walk away with shinier hair or more vibrant skin.
Some retailers, such as Lush Cosmetics and Herbivore, have capitalized on the plant-based, food-grade beauty market, and they're doing a fantastic job. That said, it's a difficult sector to work in, mostly because, well, food goes bad pretty quickly. When your goal is to go all-natural, throwing in chemical preservatives sort of spoils the pot, so the trade-off is a transient shelf life.
Salma Hayek and Eric Helms, co-founders of Juice Generation, have figured out a way to make it work, though: deliver prepackaged, 100% plant-based "Blend It Yourself" smoothies to your door. Once delivered, you throw those bad boys into the freezer and simply pop them out whenever you're craving something cold and ultra healthy. Because they're frozen, they last much longer and are fresher once you decide to use them.
While Juice Generation specializes in smoothies in general, they also offer three beauty smoothies crafted by Hayek herself. According to the site, Hayek "learned early on about the incredible healing and beautifying effects of homemade products from her grandmother, who made moisturizers and masks from local ingredients they had at home." The beauty smoothies include Aloe Greens, Watermelon Hibiscus, and Papaya Avocado, and each can be applied straight to your face and sipped!
I'm testing out the Aloe Greens, which contains pear, aloe vera, kale, spinach, cucumber, avocado, nopal cactus, and mint. As you can see, the ingredients are prechopped and ready to be thrown into your blender. All you have to do is add your choice of liquid up to the fill line indicated on the cup. I like coconut water, but you can also use a nut milk or straight water.
Blend for a couple minutes and then use the included fan brush to apply the mixture straight to your face. You don't need much at all.
The mask is cold and instantly soothing, and I recommend applying a thin layer and then lying down to relax for 10 or 15 minutes. The kale is rich in vitamin A, which stimulates collagen production; the spinach is high in vitamin B, which turns back the clock on sun damage; and the aloe and cucumber are hydrating and calming.
You can also sip on the smoothie, which tastes earthy, fresh, and healthy. Unlike some smoothies, these aren't loaded up with added sugar, and therefore won't kill your daily calorie quota or cause a sugar crash. Aloe Green has 130 calories and the Watermelon Hibiscus and Papaya Avocado have about 240 each. They are generous portions, as well.
After rinsing, my skin was noticeably, and surprisingly, brighter. What really impressed me, though, was how moisturized and plump my skin felt. Normally after a mask, I'll apply an oil or a cream, but I didn't feel like that was necessary here. Even hours later, still sans makeup, my skin felt hydrated and soft to the touch as if I had just applied product. Crazy! When I did apply makeup, I skipped the primer and went straight for the BB cream, which laid nicely.
All in all, I'm impressed with the service and the thoughtfulness of the recipes, and I love that such a healthy snack doubles as a beauty mask.
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