Activated Charcoal Skincare Kit Giveaway

derma e activated charcoal skincare giveaway

If derma e looks familiar to you, it may be because I spotlighted the charcoal face mask in a recent favorite things post. A couple weeks after that, I got invited to host this giveaway through FitFluential. It’s the sponsorship scenario every blogger hopes for: A product you already love, use and promote now the topic of a paid post. Woop! derma e activated charcoal skincare giveaway derma e activated charcoal skincare giveaway

What I like about derma e

  • Products are paraben-free, phthalate-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, sodium lauryl sulfate-free, petrolatum-free, mineral oil-free and dye-free.
  • Products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free (never tested on animals).
  • Products are made with recyclable material.
  • derma e Purifying products are specifically designed for oily, active or “city-living” skin types (the infamous BP oil spill ain’t got nothing on my face).
  • The Purifying line is my favorite color. I’ll admit it, there’s a certain cool factor that I can’t help but attach to a skincare product that’s black (lotion rubs in clear though).

The Purifying skincare line

derma e activated charcoal skincare giveawayThe standout ingredient in the Purifying skincare line from derma e (which one lucky reader will win!) is activated charcoal. When carbon is infused with oxygen, an extremely porous surface is created that acts like a sponge, able to absorb 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities. I’m not a scientist so can only go by what I read, but it makes sense that something that’s been used to purify water for centuries would have similar benefits to the human body. I mean we’re over 60% water!

For transparency’s sake, the turnaround time for this sponsorship was a little tighter than I’d ideally like in terms of getting to try out the products. With skincare, I like to give products at least a couple months of regular use before I feel confident in my review of them because there are no instantaneous wonder creams out there—you have to give things time. So for that reason, I want to focus my review on the Purifying Oil-Free Moisturizer and the Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask. I’ve been using these two items for almost six months and feel 100% good about recommending them to you all (I love them!). The other products in the line have been great so far, but again, I’ve only been trying them out for a week and a half.

derma e activated charcoal skincare giveawayMy favorite thing about the moisturizer is how lightweight it is. I have naturally oily skin so this is huge! If I’ve just showered and am going to apply makeup, this is the moisturizer I use because it absorbs so easily into the skin and doesn’t leave any of that thick, sticky feeling on your face. I actually hide this from Joe because he loves it too and uses SO MUCH OF IT. Shhh don’t tell…

derma e activated charcoal skincare giveawayThe mask is great because of its gritty texture. As you rinse it off, you lightly scrub it around your face for a deep exfoliation. I try to use it once a week because my face feels uh-mazingly soft and smooth afterwards. This past weekend in Maine, Joe and I actually did masks while my dad was downstairs with his motocross buddies eating elk he’d hunted, slinging back whiskey and trading snowmobiling stories. Lollllll how’s that for opposing interests??

derma e activated charcoal skincare giveawayOk let’s get to the goods…

Enter to win your own “detox” kit

derma e activated charcoal skincare giveawayTo win, post an image from this blog post to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #dermaedetox16 and follow me (@nicoleperr) and @derma_e on the social network you choose. One winner will be chosen Sunday evening.

Must be 18 years of age or older and a US resident to enter. You may post as many times as you like, but spam and giveaway accounts will be disqualified. 

Discount code for all you losers

I kid, I kid. You’re all winners in my book. But if you don’t happen to be randomly selected for the kit, you can still take 25% off a derma e order with the code Detox16. Derma e is sold online and in health food / natural product retailers nationwide (such as Whole Foods, Ulta, Fruitful Yield, Vitamin Cottage).

Big thanks to derma e for the awesome giveaway! You can follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest & Facebook.


This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of derma e®.

How to (Subtly!) Put in Hair Extensions: Before & After

How To Put in Clip-In Hair ExtensionsLets take a break from fitness and talk about hair today. When Irresistible Me reached out about trying their clip-in hair extensions, I was beyond excited. I have a lot of hair, but it’s fine, and I’ve always wanted to try using extensions to add some volume.

I ended up going with the Medium Brown color (which matched my hair PERFECTLY) and got 18” extensions, which is only a little longer than my real hair. Again, my goal here was volume—I’m not a fan of super long hair on me, and my biggest concern was a natural look. I wanted my hair, just a little more of it—and that’s exactly what I got! LOOK AT THAT VOLUME (!!!):

Clip-in hair extensions for added volume

I’m still a total novice when it comes to putting them in and arranging them, but I wanted to share with you all how I’ve found the best way to go about it is. This way adds volume and a bit of length, but is subtle enough that no one has once guessed that I’m wearing extensions. When the hair compliments come without the “is that your real hair?” question at the end, you know you’ve done it right. 🙂

Because I have fine hair, I have to be really careful about only putting a few in so that they don’t show through my real hair. That’s the worst—have you ever been out at a bar and spotted some girl with her clips peeking through her real hair? My biggest fear is being that girl. Well, my biggest fear is actually spiders, but you get what I mean…

Anyway, if you have thicker hair, repeat the steps outlined below with additional clips. As a reference, here’s a picture of all the pieces that come with the 200g 18” extensions. I only use the ones with arrows pointing at them. I’m sure a hair pro could get more on my head without the clips showing, but I’m only confident wearing a few at a time.

Irresistible Me clip-in hair extensions

How to Put in Clip-In Hair Extensions

How To Put in Clip-In Hair Extensions (Pictorial)

  1. Part your hair horizontally, low on your skull (roughly around the top of your ears). Secure the top up with a clip or hair tie.
  2. Use a comb or brush to tease the hair that’s still down, right at the top along the part. Creating the tease will give your extension clips something to hold on to so that they stay put.
  3. Grab the largest hair piece you’re going to use. In my case, I used the four-clip extension. Make sure all the clips are snapped open.
  4. Line the clips along the part. Start with the center clips and then move outward. Sink the teeth into your teased hair and snap the teeth closed.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 a little higher up your head (make a new part), and with the second-largest hair piece you’re going to use (in my case, a three-clip piece). Make sure you still have enough hair left at the top of your head that when you let it down it fully covers the clip parts of the extensions.
  6. Add final touches with the small hair pieces (in my case, the two one-clip pieces). Add them on the sides of your head, closer to your face, to fill out the front of your hair (the previously applied pieces will have the back of your head covered).

How To Put in Clip-In Hair Extensions

Clip-In Hair Extensions Before & After Pictures

As you can see in the below pictures, the difference is subtle—exactly what I wanted! Fuller, thicker hair that looks natural. None of that Real Housewives shit. 😉

Before & After: Clip-in Hair Extensions (front view) Before & After: Clip-In Hair Extensions (back view)If you’re in the market for clip-in extensions, definitely check out Irresistible Me—I absolutely love mine! The quality is great, you get a ton of different options for clip-ins, and I found the color to be spot-on. I’m also excited to offer you 10% off your order with the code IrresistibleNicole. Just enter it in the promo box at checkout.

If you have fine or thin hair, you probably don’t need more than 140g, but I do like that I have a lot of extra pieces since I got 200g. I could never put them all in at once, but now I can play around with different combos and maybe even try cutting and/or dying a few of the clip-ins if I ever switch up my hair style.

Do you ever wear clip-in extensions? Have any tips to share? Leave a comment!

Have a wonderful 4th of July tomorrow to all my readers in the USA!


Why Rosehip Seed Oil Is My Skincare Superstar (Health Benefits and Uses)

Rosehip Seed Oil -- health benefits and skincare usesSince taking an essential oils workshop a little over a year ago, I’ve turned into this crazy oil lady. Kind of like a crazy cat lady, except instead of cats slinking around all over my apartment, I have little vials of oil overflowing every drawer and bathroom shelf. And I definitely get the same eye rolls from friends when I’m offering them such-and-such oil to cure their such-and-such ailment as I’d probably get if I were introducing them to Nibbles, my eleventh pet cat…

Pfff what do they know, anyway.

There are countless different essential oils out there, all with different health benefits and uses (and some with very similar health benefits and uses), but when it comes to skincare, rosehip seed oil has become a standout favorite of mine. I should point out that if you hear one person telling you coconut oil is the best for skincare, another swearing by grape seed oil, and have me over here brown-nosing rosehip seed oil, don’t feel confused. Many essential oils have similar skincare benefits, and it comes down to personal preference—one isn’t necessarily better than another; the bottom line is that oils, in general, are amazing. Find the ones that work for you!

Rosehip seed oil has become my personal favorite because I love the smell; the consistency works well with my skin type; and it’s particularly amazing for repairing sun damage and discoloration, which is a major concern of mine seeing as I grew up on a beach, lifeguarded throughout college, and still am an admitted sun worshipper.

Rosehip Seed Oil -- health benefits and skincare uses

Rosehip Seed Oil Quick Facts:

  • Comes from the seeds of the rosehip fruit, a wild plant that grows in Chile
  • Extremely high in essential fatty acids (over 70% of the rosehip seed is fatty acid)
  • Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, Vitamin A (retinol), and linoleic and linolenic acids—all superstars for skin and hair health
  • Was used by the Ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans for its healing properties

Health & Skincare Benefits of Rosehip Seed Oil

  • Corrects UV damage from the sun
  • Reduces appearance of scars, burns and stretch marks
  • Treats fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hydrates dry skin
  • Great for eczema and psoriasis
  • Evens skin tone = awesome if you have hyper-pigmentation, age spots or other minor skin discolorations

I wanted to focus on skin care, but it’s also great for brittle nails and damaged hair (which all go hand in hand).

Rosehip Seed Oil -- health benefits and skincare uses

How I Use Rosehip Seed Oil in My Skincare Routine

I used to really struggle with my oily skin—I had shine marks in all pictures taken with a flash, I’d have to wash my face multiple times a day, and I always seemed to have pimples. It seems counterintuitive that putting oils on my face would help reduce my natural over-production of oil, but it has totally balanced things out. Oils (and especially rosehip oil) are now a permanent part of my skincare routine—I’m obsessed!

As a makeup remover. I put a bit on a cotton pad and rub it over my eyelids to remove my eye makeup before washing my face at night. It works better than any makeup remover I’ve bought in stores.

Rosehip Seed Oil -- health benefits and skincare usesContrary to my facial expression, rosehip seed oil is not deathly boring.

In a toner spray. I love reading interviews with professional models about the skincare products they use (I mean, it’s their job to have amazing skin!), and again and again kept seeing rosehip seed oil come up. One in particular mentioned Rosehip Tonique by Eminence (an organic skincare line) as being great for balancing out oily skin. I’ve been using it for about six months now and love it. I should also add that I swear this toner smells a little bit like beer…which might be why I like it so much…

In a moisturizer and as a moisturizer. Rosehip seed oil is often described as a “dry” oil (one that is easily absorbed into your skin, leaving no oily residue). I don’t find this to be completely the case, however. It definitely absorbs into my skin, but it also leaves my face and neck looking greasy (I have naturally oily skin, so I’m sure this is a partial cause). For this reason, I can’t use pure rosehip seed oil as a daily moisturizer, and only do so at night.

  • Daytime moisturizer: I use Rosehip Whip Moisturizer by Eminence. It’s light enough to apply before putting on makeup, but still leaves my skin feeling hydrated—I love it!
  • Nighttime moisturizer: I’ll apply rosehip seed oil directly to my face and neck with a cotton pad and let it sit there for 10-20 minutes or so as I finish up getting ready for bed. I’ll then take another cotton pad and gently wipe off any excess before going to sleep. In the morning, my skin feels so smooth and amazing!

Rosehip Seed Oil -- health benefits and skincare uses

For cuts. I made the fatal mistake of wearing a new pair of heels out to a club last month (dancing + alcohol + new heels = foot homicide) and the result was not pretty. I had a scab on the back of my ankle that was literally like 4 inches thick. Don’t all line up to date me at once, boys.

Anyway, rosehip oil is said to help prevent the formation of scar tissue. I’ve been rubbing rosehip seed oil on my battle wound at night and the discoloration is almost all gone. No scar for me!

For dry, cracked heels. This winter in Boston has been brutally cold (although it does happen to be nice out today), and as a result my feet have been super sandpaper-y. I’ve been rubbing some rosehip seed oil into them with a cotton pad and then add a thicker moisturizer and it’s helped massively.

Where to Buy Rosehip Seed Oil

I buy my rosehip seed oil from Mountain Rose Herbs, but countless skincare companies have it as well. I personally liked Mountain Rose Herbs right from the get-go because just by the website you can tell the company is run by a bunch of tree-hugging hippies. When it comes to natural, organic products…I trust hippies. 🙂

I also like that MRH’s rosehip seed oil is cold-pressed. It can also be extracted through a heating process (not that I totally understand either to be perfectly honest), but I’ve read that this slow-cooking can alter and damage some of the nutrients. Cold-pressed is the way to go. It’s recommended that you keep the rosehip oil refrigerated, which I actually just found out about (whoops), but even if you don’t, it’s said to have a two-year shelf-life.

Do you use rosehip seed oil? What are some of your other favorite oils for skincare?


Cultivating Herbal Friendships
For the sake of keeping things real, I just wanted to add that the links to Mountain Rose Herbs are affiliate links (if you go to their site and buy something, I get a teeny tiny percentage of the sale). However, I had been buying and loving Mountain Rose Herbs products for almost a year before I found out about their affiliate program and applied, so I assure you none of my opinions are influenced by the four cents commission I might make off your potential rosehip seed oil purchase. 🙂