Aveda Skin Care Review

Aveda is a brand I’ve circled around for more than two decades.

Every five years or so, I come back to Aveda, but I never stay loyal.

There are just too many other good beauty brands out there for my fickle heart.

Two weeks ago I had some time to kill before a work dinner and stopped into the Aveda Experience Center, which is conveniently located across the street from my new office.

Did I mention my new office is in a dangerous location, one that is perilously close to fine retail offerings?

To be honest, I’ve never been particularly impressed by Aveda’s skin care line. While I generally love how Aveda products smell, when it comes to efficacy, I don’t want flower extracts, I want ALL THE CHEMICALS that science can deliver to magically make me look ten years younger. 

But there was something appealing about Aveda’s new Tulasara line that captured my attention.

This brush first caught my eye:

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This soft brush exfoliates dead skin cells at the surface and preps skin for further treatments. It’s meant to dry brush clean skin and then be followed by this pleasant smelling oil.

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It’s a bit complicated, but Aveda describes using these two products together to create a “Radiant Awakening Ritual” (see the video here) that makes skin glow.

The brush is first swept across the face, neck and upper chest in upward circular motions for a minute, then downward strokes are done to cover the same surfaces. This is followed by application of the above oil, which is massaged into the skin for a minute and then allowed to soak in for four minutes before the skin is cleansed with your regular cleanser.

If you’re puzzled, so was I, and if you’re keeping track, this is now adding a whole extra step to skin care, including making the face oily and then washing said oil off.

For the record, I can get behind the idea that the brush may be gently exfoliating, and while the oil smells pleasant, I haven’t noticed any amazing glow. I’ve been trying to use this in the morning, when my skin is basically clean from the night before. After the oil step, I am using one of my regular cleansers (not Aveda) in the shower to wash my face.

I still love my Bliss toner for general use, but since I was in such an Aveda mood, I also picked up this toner-ish product as a post-cleansing step:

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Two more Tulasara products are rounding out this regimen. The first is this concentrate:

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The texture is ok, maybe a touch sticky but I am also probably using too much at any given time. Of all the products, this one smells the most like kitchen spices. The smell reminds me of these cumin roasted carrots I made over the weekend. 

The final step is this rich moisturizing cream:

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Aveda describes this as an overnight masque, but honestly, it’s like a rich moisturizer that could be used for everyday wear if you have dry skin. The smell is more pleasant than the serum above and I’ve been using it as moisturizer. The Aveda employee who helped me at the Experience Center mentioned this was perfectly fine to do, but he cautioned that this doesn’t have SPF in it. Good to know.

Was this the end of my Aveda spree? Unfortunately, no. I also bought a bunch of hair stuff, which I will review at a later time.

However, they did give me a free head massage, two cups of tea, and a deluxe size bottle of Rosemary Mint concentrate for being such a great customer that day at the new Aveda Experience Center!

While I’m still waiting for an amazing glow and transformation, I have pretty low expectations for these products and am enjoying them for what they are, namely great smelling lotions/potions/elixirs that promise a Zen-ish lifestyle to which I aspire.












Over the years (ok, decades), I’ve fallen in and out of love with Aveda.

I’ll use a product for a while, move on to something else, drift back, and repeat.

My brand loyalty is fickle, particularly since I’m like a magpie who’s always moving on to the newer, shinier (smellier) thing.

One constant, though, is that I’ve always loved the complex scent of Shampure, one of Aveda’s signature products.


I’d be hard pressed to describe the scent of Shampure, other than it’s really nice and it’s oh-so-Aveda-y.

Aveda officially calls it a blend of 25 botanicals and lists rosemary and lavender as key ingredients.

It previously came as a shampoo and conditioner, then a candle was introduced to the line.

Most recently a body/hand wash, lotion and now a body oil are being launched.

I saw the oil – called “Shampure composition” – in a magazine this month, but it’s so new that I can’t even find it yet on the Aveda website. I’m excited to try it. For now, though, I may have to get a candle to tide me over.


Workout Recovery

Last Thursday  night after work, I was feeling pretty strong and decided to run my own half-marathon.

Good news: I came in first place!

Bad news: I also came in last place!

And on Friday morning, I was plenty sore.

I should rely on these strategies more often, but here’s what I’ve found helpful for muscle recovery. foam roller

  • Foam rolling. Oh, it hurts so good. This exquisite torture is worth the myofascial release on the other side, but it really, really kills! One of my friends told me she had to drink two beers every night before getting on the roller. This compact foam roller targets trigger points and gets the job done.


  • Legs up the wall. I always forget to do this! But it’s great for recovery. Hold as long as you can, ideally several minutes. This is a legit yoga pose; learn the fine points here. 


  • Aveda active composition. This blend of wintergreen and menthol smells like a Wint-O-Green Life Saver and is a much classier version of Ben Gay.


  • The Stick. I first saw – and purchased – one of these at the Expo for my first marathon, waaaay back in 2006. It’s a rolling massager for the legs, and it is really helpful to work out lower extremity knots. If only I could find mine! Argh.


  • Elemis Musclease Active oil mixed with Instant Refreshing Gel. A recipe for heaven. Get them here.


  • Natural Patches of Vermont Arnica Patches. These were a recent discovery, but they seem to be helpful. They apply like a Band-Aid and can be worn for up to 24 hours. They also have several different essential oil blends for other concerns, like headaches and stress.

I hope these ideas are helpful! Drinking lots of water is also a key to recovery.  

Chapped Lips

Lip balms have been mysteriously disappearing around Fancy Pants Ranch as of late.

I suspect the timing and events are largely due to MGM’s recent discovery that mint-favored Chapstick is both therapeutic and delicious. I went to use one of the lonely remaining ones on my nightstand the other day, and there were definitely some bites taken out of the stick. Ick.

Trixie has a fairly large stash of Lip Smackers – one of my all-time faves, even now – but no one can ever seem to locate one when they’re needed.

Hands down, I think Aveda Lip Saver is the best lip balm on the market. The texture is just right – not too sticky or waxy – and a thick layer will stay on all night while you slumber. It’s $8.50 a pop, so definitely not a Chapstick-level bargain, but I think the quality is worth the price.


However, Naturopathica’s Honey Vanilla lip balm is close contender:


For the price, it’s hard to beat Yes to Carrot’s lip balms in grapefruit, pomegranate or blueberry. Regular price is only $2.99 but their website has them listed for less than $2. Worth stocking up if your kids use them as snacks like mine do.


On the other end of the price spectrum is Aerin’s Rose Lip Conditioner. At $28, you really need to hide this one from the kiddos. It definitely feels luxurious, though.


Want to try your hand at making your own lip balm? Here’s a guide.

P.S. I spent waaaay too much time on the Lip Smackers site while researching this post. It’s awesome!