Beauty Blast: Urb Apothecary's Cheeks & Lips Stain

A dear friend of mine has been on the hunt for a simple, straighforward, effective, easy-to-use lip/cheek stain for quite a while now. She keeps picking up varieties at various stores and hasn't yet satisfied her desire to have one product that offers a spash of color on her lips while imparting a natural blush to her cheeks. So while she's been off hunting for the perfect product, I decided to try to help her out and went on my own hunt. And, here's what I discovered: Urb Apothecary's Cheeks & Lips Stain. This sweet product comes in a regular formation and a vegan option. It's a buildable color, meaning that you can swipe on one simple layer or put on more and more to increase the hue. Simply apply like chapstick on both your lips and cheeks, then blend a little bit. For $11, this is a product that will last you quite a while. I'll have to surprise my friend with her new favorite product. 

Find Urb Apothecary's Cheeks & Lips Stain at Stripe in Santa Cruz and online here

Beauty Blast: 3 Favorite Face Masks

Every so often you fall in love with a beauty product line. Some of my favorites are a moisturizer by Acqua e Sapone and the Balance Serum/facial oil from Wonderland Organics. I can't live without these things. New to my cache of favorites is the Matcha Scrub from Urb Apothecary, a company that's based out of my hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif. This exfoliator is gold—it leaves my skin flake-free and feeling oh, so soft. Last week I reviewed the Matcha Scrub on The Penny Rose and this week I'm tackling a trio of the company's face masks which I also can't get enough of.

1. Cacao Mousse Mask: With a slight chocolate smell, you just might be inclined to lick your lips here, but don't. This is a face mask only, and a powerful one at that. When your skin needs a serious pick-me-up, this bold mask will do the trick. It smooths skin, ceases inflammation, and "works wonders on blemish/pimple prone skin." $15.

2. Pretty Mud Mask: OK, so you might not look your best while this mask is settling in, but afterwards, you'll have a whole new face. This mask comes in a powder form and you add apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, or water to it and create a paste, which you then spread on your face. (I used aloe vera.) Use two to three times a week to "brighten dull skin, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, and clear up problem skin." Brilliant stuff that works. $8. 

3. Charcoal Mask: Ready to tackle that acne and give your skin an all-over boost? Combining clay, Ho wood essential oil, and calendula, this mask doesn't mess around. Be prepared for smooth, tight, cleansed, fresh skin after one use. $8.

Learn more about this smart, effective, powerful skin care and body line here and find it at Stripe in Santa Cruz and at Little Paper Planes in San Francisco.