Herbivore Botanicals Review and Discount Code

Our trip to Portland, Oregon last month netted us lots of great things – a much needed break, time together away from our daily responsibilities and an unbelievable three days of eating across the city. In addition to the unfortunate extra few pounds I brought home with me, I also discovered a great new skincare company and picked up as many products as I could fit in my carry-on.

On our last full day in Portland we were walking around East Burnside and happened into Rock & Rose, a sweet local boutique carrying vintage clothing and lots of great products for the home. I started picking up the many lotions and potions on offer and was immediately taken by the smell and feel of everything from Herbivore Botanicals.

I purchased three products and returned after having lunch nearby to grab a fourth that I just couldn’t get out of mind. The beautiful packaging, intoxicating smells and promise of results from all natural products was just too good to pass up.

I have never in my life jumped ship so whole-heartedly to a new skincare routine. I have combination skin that breaks out in blemishes at the first sign of a weather change, let alone a new skincare regime. However, I loved the smell, look and feel of these products way too much not to give it a try.

When I got back to Los Angeles, I trepidatiously put down the harsh chemical cleansers (yes, the ones that all the celebrities hock on T.V.) and gave Herbivore Botanicals a try. I was so in love with the products that I reached out to them to let them know and they graciously sent me a few more things to try. Here’s how it went.

Orchid Facial Oil – This oil is the first product I sampled in the store. It was the incredible scent that drew me in and enticed me to try the other products. I now use the Lapis Oil for my combination skin, but I continue to put the Orchid Oil on my wrists as a light perfume because the scent is that intoxicating. The squalene in this product really made a difference in the texture of my skin when used both morning and night. It seemed to tighten my skin and make my huge pores look ever-so-slightly smaller.

Lapis Facial Oil – If you have oily or combination skin like mine it seems counter-intuitive to use oil as a moisturizer. However, the oils in the Lapis Oil contain azulene which reduces redness, is an anti-inflammatory and helps clarify. After over a month of using the oil, my skin seems brighter and again, pores look a little smaller. One tip – wait about five minutes after applying the oil to put on your makeup as the oil needs to absorb first if you want your makeup to set properly.

Activate Facial Mask – I use this mask once a week. It draws out toxins and helps give my skin that clean, tight feeling I used to count on from my harsh cleanser, but without any chemicals. All of the Herbivore Botanicals masks come in powder form. You mix a small amount with just a touch of water and apply with a brush or your hands. Once the mask is dry, it’s ready to be washed off, leaving your skin feeling clean and healthy – like your face just did a juice cleanse.

Blue Clay Spot Treatment – I use this mask as needed and I did indeed need it as I made the transition from chemical-based products to these all natural ones. I had three blemishes pop up as my skin adjusted to the new routine. This spot treatment helped bring them to the surface faster and definitely reduced the amount of time they hung around relative to what I’ve experienced in the past. If you have skin like mine there’s really no way to avoid a few breakouts when making a change, but this treatment mask helped make them brief and bearable.

Jasmine Body Oil – Herbivore Botanicals body oils are meant to replace your lotion and they do an incredible job as a lightweight moisturizer. I keep mine in the shower and apply right after a light towel dry. It seems to absorb better when your pores are open after a hot shower. On occasion, when my skin was feeling particularly parched from winter weather or the effects of airplane travel, I did supplement with my standard lotion. I don’t see that being an issue in warmer months and expect to use this as my only moisturizer this summer. Like the Orchid Facial Oil, the scent on this one is the highlight.

Pink Clay Cleansing Bar – It was a huge leap of faith for me to set down the chemical cleanser and give this soap a try. I was worried that the cystic acne of my 20s would make a comeback. Instead, I seem to have finally broken the cycle of drying out my skin with a harsh cleanser and trying to replace that moisture with a heavy cream. An added bonus? This soap is a beautiful color and seems to last forever. I’ve been using it nightly for almost a month now and it seems like hardly any is gone.

If you can’t tell already, I am sold hook, line and sinker on every Herbivore Botanicals product I have tried. Everything they create is 100% natural – no artificial ingredients, fragrances, sulfates, artificial colors or unnatural preservatives, but they still work incredibly well. I’m already itching to try more and am planning on giving the Balance Facial Oil and Therapy Hair Oil a go next.

Want to pick up some of their products to try yourself? Lucky for you they’re offering 15% off to J. Frances readers when you use the code JFRANCES15 (good through April 18th). Let me know what you get and how it goes!

*Half of the products reviewed were provided by Herbivore Botanicals. The opinions remain my own.

Makeup Essentials

If you made use of the tips in last week's clearing space post and your makeup drawer is nice and cleaned out, I bet you're left with a selection of your absolute favorite products. I certainly am and it has simplified my mornings to be able to pull open that drawer and get quick access to exactly what I need (along with a few non-essentials that I couldn't bring myself to part with of course).

My absolute must haves for my morning routine are included below. After years of trial and error, more makeup counter mishaps than I care to mention and struggling with skin that has a major tendency to break out, I have assembled this arsenal. Save yourself the trouble and pickup these items to make your morning routine more manageable and more beautiful.


YSL Touche Eclat - This is my all in one miracle worker. It works great as a highlighter and concealer. I also use it for contouring. To keep the contour subtle, get a color just slightly lighter than your skin tone. For a more dramatic Kim K. situation, pump that up to a few shades lighter.

Smashbox Bronzer - This is actually not an every day item for me, but when I'm going for a slightly more "made-up" look, I dust this on. If you're not accustomed to using bronzer, check out this how-to.

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Original Foundation - If you have skin like mine that has a tendency to break out, this foundation is a lifesaver. Using thick liquid foundations and heavy powders left me with cystic acne. I tried everything - even Accutane - and the acne didn't fully clear up until I ditched the heavy products and started using this powder. I've been a devotee ever since. You can brush on a light layer or use more and really blend it in for more coverage.


Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Sticks - These guys single-handedly shortened the time it takes me to get ready and lightened my load when traveling by eliminating the need for separate eye shadow palettes and brushes. I'M IN LOVE. I use two colors daily (Golden Pink and Bark), but the whole line is worth exploring. Just use the pencil to draw eye shadow wherever you want it, blend with your fingers before it sets and then it stays all day. The best.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - I finally switched to liquid liner a few years ago and have tried product after product. This is the best one at there at a reasonable price. It can go on thick or thin and stays put all day.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof - Am I the only one who ends up with mascara rings under her eyes when using anything aside from waterproof mascara? It may be my cross to bare, but at least I finally found this gem. It's waterproof so it stays in place, comes off easily with eye makeup remover (a necessity for keeping all that black smudge off your nice white towels) and it actually lengthens my short lashes without looking clumpy. Added bonus - you can layer it on so rather than starting from scratch, I can apply another coat after work and before heading out for the evening.


YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres' Glossy Stain - Unlike most lip stain that I've tried, this one turns into a creamy lipstick-like feel once it's set. It's long-lasting and comes in a huge range of colors. Pro tip - don't blend your lips together after putting it on - just let the color set. Corail Aquatique and Rose Tempura are the two colors shown.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - Great for applying on the way to work (which is actually where 90% of my lip color gets applied) because it's easy to follow the shape of my lip with the pencil without actually having to look in the mirror. The other drivers in Brentwood appreciate this fact I'm sure. I use Walkyrie as a daily color.