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1 In Beauty/ Face

Erin’s Faces Rosewater Tonic Review

Rosewater Tonic | Erin's Faces | smelltheroses.com

Hello everyone! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I attended Indie Beauty Expo NYC in late August. While there, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the people behind my favorite beauty brands including Erin from Erin’s Faces (yes, Erin herself)! She recently launched a new product that, for obvious reasons (đŸŒč), I could not resist buying! That product was their new Rosewater Tonic.

Rosewater has become a staple in my daily beauty regimen.There are few things as refreshing as spraying cool rosewater on your face and smelling its beautiful natural scent. The use of rosewater even dates back to ancient Egypt when Cleopatra, known for her beauty, was said to have used rosewater on both her face and body. It is one of the most versatile products I own and has done wonders for my skin.

You can read all about the benefits of rosewater and other hydrosols in my previous post, “Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols“. I guarantee you’ll be looking to buy some for yourself after you read about all their benefits and uses!

Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored and I have not been asked to write it by Erin’s Faces. I purchased this product at the show because I genuinely wanted to try it out. 😊 There are no affiliate links in this post. 

Erin’s Faces Rosewater Tonic

Why I Love It

High Quality Ingredients – I’m picky when it comes to my hydrosols. This rosewater tonic has become one of my favorites due to its simple and high quality ingredients. When Erin made this product, she put a lot of time and effort into picking the perfect rosewater supplier to ensure it was the highest quality!

Natural Scent – This rosewater has the most beautiful yet subtle rose scent naturally occurring from the roses used to distill it. That means there is no need for added fragrances.

Effectiveness – I’ve been using this product since I bought it a few months ago and have zero complaints about it! It does exactly what I want it to and makes my skin feel beautiful.

Ingredient Breakdown

Rosa Damascena (Rose) Hydrosol Water – self explanatory, this is the actual rosewater; the rosewater they use is steam-distilled and not diluted with water!

Linatural – a broad-spectrum preservative naturally derived from corn that is paraben free; used in this product to prevent growth of mold/bacteria (any product containing water MUST contain a preservative for this reason)

You will notice there are no synthetic fragrances added to their rosewater which is one of the reasons I love it! Not all rosewater products are the same so it’s important to find a quality product like this one.


CertificationsPETA Cruelty-free Certified & Vegan | smelltheroses.com

Cruelty-free Certified – As with all of Erin’s Faces products, this product is 100% cruelty-free meaning at no point is it tested on animals.

Vegan – This product contains no animal derived ingredients making it vegan friendly!


How to Use Rosewater Tonic

  1. Apply all over face/neck after cleansing and drying your skin to help your moisturizers and oils absorb better. Products absorb into the skin more effectively when applied to damp skin.
  2. Set your makeup by spraying rosewater on your face after application. If you have oily skin, this will help prevent oil build-up throughout the day or if you have dry skin, it will help moisturize your skin! Reapply throughout the day as a refresher or to restore moisture (perfect during the winter months).
  3. Apply to a cotton pad to gently remove makeup at the end of the day.
  4. Puffy eyes? Soak a cotton pad with chilled rosewater and apply to your eyes to reduce redness and decrease puffiness.

A Video from Erin Herself!


As always, thank you for reading! Let me know if you try this product and what you think of it. xoxo Caitlyn | smelltheroses.com

0 In Beauty/ Face/ FYI

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Hydrosols (aka herbal distillates, hydrolats, or floral/herbal water) have become a common staple in many people’s skincare routines. Personally, I have fallen in love with rosewater and use it multiple times a day. Whether you use hydrosols or not, I would bet you have seen them advertised in stores or online by your favorite beauty bloggers. So what exactly are they and do they actually do anything? Below I answer these questions while filling you in on everything you need to know about hydrosols and which ones I recommend!


What are Hydrosols?

In the beauty and health worlds, a hydrosol is the water left behind after extracting an essential oil from a plant through water/steam distillation. In other words, it is the natural byproduct of making essential oils! They are distilled from various parts of plants such as the leaves, petals, roots, seeds, etc.

How Hydrosols Are Made | smelltheroses.com

Photo: LisaLise

Essential Oils vs Hydrosols

When you water/steam distill a plant, you are left with 2 products: the essential oil and the hydrosol (see picture above). The essential oil is the fat soluble elements of the plant while the hydrosol is the water soluble elements of the plant. Both essential oils and hydrosols provide us with countless therapeutic uses and benefits!

Key Difference: Unlike pure essential oils that must be diluted prior to application, hydrosols are naturally very gentle and can be applied directly to your skin without any sort of dilution. That is why you will usually see them sold in spray bottles or advertised for facial use.


Quality Matters.

Not all hydrosols are the same. Sometimes, companies will manually blend essential oils with water and sell them labeled as floral waters or falsely as hydrosols. The key to finding a high quality hydrosol is to read its ingredients.

What to Avoid

  • “Water” as the 1st ingredient – This is the #1 sign of a poor quality hydrosol! Either the product was not produced from distillation or the company diluted the product to save money.
  • Added fragrance or perfume – A true hydrosol is naturally aromatic/fragrant so it does not need fragrance added back in. Plus, who wants to be spraying a synthetic fragrance across their face?! Not me.
  • Added colors or dyes – Not all hydrosols will have a color and that is okay! Colors can vary from batch to batch or depending on the specie of plant so don’t worry if you notice subtle colors differences. However, added color is completely unnecessary so avoid products that have it.

What to Look For

  • “Hydrosol” is listed in the ingredients! – A high quality hydrosol’s primary ingredient should be the actual hydrosol and not a mixture of water and essential oil! Genuine hydrosols are listed as “____ (plant name) hydrosol”, “____ (plant name) hydrolat”, or “____ (plant name) distillate”.
    • I want to note that it is okay if there are other listed ingredients in your hydrosol. Many companies add additional essential oils for their therapeutic effects.

Rosewater Safe Swap | smelltheroses.com

Mario Badescu vs. Little Barn Apothecary

Shown above is a popular conventional “rosewater” product versus a true rosewater hydrosol. Both advertise the same beauty benefits but which one is better? Let’s take a look at their ingredients:

  • Mario Badescu Ingredients
    • Aqua (Water, Eau), Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rosa Canina Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Citronellol, Geraniol, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1)
  • Little Barn Apothecary Ingredients
    • Aloe leaf juice*, Rose damacena hydrosol**, witch hazel distillate*, Leuconostoc (radish root ferment filtrate) ((*Organic, **Sustainably wild harvested))

The Mario Badescu product lists water as its first ingredient while it’s only mention of rose is from rose extract. It also contains synthetic fragrance and artificial coloring. In comparison, Little Barn Apothecary’s first two ingredients are organic aloe leaf juice and rose hydrosol which happen to be exactly what is advertised on the front of the bottle. There are no artificial fragrances or colors. While the Mario Badescu may be more popular and affordable, its overall formula and quality doesn’t come close to Little Barn Apothecary’s!


Common Plants Used For Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Helichrysum (aka Everlasting or Immortelle)

  • Natural antibiotic/antifungal which helps fight acne & other skin conditions
  • Reduces the appearance of scarring
  • Assists in skin renewal
  • Sunburn relief (hydrating & soothing)

Rosewater

  • Helps control oil production & pH balance of face
  • Works as a lightweight moisturizer
  • Anti-imflamatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness
  • Naturally antibacterial to help fight acne & other skin conditions
  • Rose aroma is a natural mood enhancer

Lavender

  • Soothes irritated skin (great for sunburn or bug bites)
  • Helps to heal/repair so can be used to clean minor cuts & burns
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness
  • Natural aroma is relaxing

Witch Hazel

  • Gentle astringent which protect skin cells
  • Natural mild cleanser
  • Soothing and calming to skin which makes it great for use on eczema and psoriasis
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness

Frankincense

  • Gentle astringent which protect skin cells
  • Helps fight blemishes
  • Reduces the appearance of large pores
  • Helps prevent wrinkles and smooths out tiny lines
  • May decrease the appearance of scars

How to Use Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Rosewater is my favorite hydrosol and I use it multiple times a day. Here are a few ways you too can integrate hydrosols into your beauty regimen:

  • Sprits on your face throughout the day to replenish your skin and relieve dryness.
  • Apply to your face after showering to help your skin absorb the products you apply afterward (facial oils or moisturizers).
  • Spray on your face to set your makeup! This is perfect after applying powder makeup so it stays in place and lasts all day.
  • Use it in place of water when mixing your powdered masks for added benefits!
  • Use hydrosol on a cotton pad to remove makeup.
  • Each hydrosol has its own therapeutic effects so choose one based on your skincare needs (see above)!

My Favorite Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Shop My Favorite Hydrosols


I hope this post was informative and you learned something new about hydrosols! As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below or send me a message on my contact page. Thanks for reading!

xoxo Caitlyn | smelltheroses.com

9 In Beauty/ Face

The Big Makeup vs No Makeup Debate

makeup debate

I can’t wrap my head around our culture’s obsession with who is and who isn’t wearing makeup.

I woke up this morning and saw an article posted about an actress who went makeup-free on the latest cover of a major magazine. At first, I was excited to see another celebrity taking off the Hollywood “mask” of perfection and showing they are just as flawed as me and you. However, after seeing the picture I became disappointed. As much as I believe we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, I couldn’t help but notice the cover photo didn’t look like the bare-faced selfies I have on my phone. It also didn’t look like the untouched paparazzi photos I have seen of this celebrity when she is makeup-free.

A professional photographer, perfect lighting, and possible retouching took away the photos credibility and positive message. I feel bad saying this because I know the actress had good intentions behind the shoot. She was probably excited to promote for her fans to be comfortable in their own skin. I also bet she had little, if not no, control over what the magazine did with her photo after it was taken.

Makeup-Free Celebrities

Personally, I have a lot of respect for a celebrity who is comfortable going all natural. They live their lives on a pedestal, balancing between seeming perfect and remaining true to themselves. Reactions to bare-faced celebrities span from people applauding their natural beauty & courage to show their flaws, to people intensely criticizing their natural look or its credibility. I don’t care who you are, no one enjoys being attacked, especially about how they look.

I believe each celebrity has her own motive for posting a makeup-free picture. While some celebrities may do it in vain, others may be trying to spread a positive message. Either way, what shouldn’t be a big deal becomes a controversial subject.

As with all controversial articles I read, I like to skim the readers’ comments. For this particular article, while some applauded the star’s natural look, it was no surprise the most liked comment said: “she may not be wearing makeup but I’m sure there was plenty of Photoshop”. I have to admit, I thought the same thing. As a nurse I meet dozens of new people on a daily basis and yet I have never met a single person with a perfect complexion. Even with their access to the best skincare and beauty procedures out there celebrities’s photos still get retouched. I think that speaks volumes about the non-existence of perfect skin.

Besides photo-retouching, it has been revealed many of the celebrities claiming to be “makeup-free” actually have some makeup on. I know first hand how far a little tinted moisturizer or concealer can go before it looks like I have a drop of makeup on.

Reality of a Makeup-Free Face

A real make-up free face has at the very least some discoloration or visible pores. Most also have dark circles, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, scars, pimples, dark spots, sun damage, and/or other random bumps I don’t know a name for. Our skin is our only form of protection against the brutal outside world and its elements. Being our body’s largest organ, it is extremely sensitive to our diets and the countless chemicals it comes into contact with on a daily basis. For us to expect it to look even and flawless is illogical.

We All Have Our Own Preferences

My Instagram feed consists of a wide range of beauty tastes. I follow mostly natural beauty brands so they advertise both full face and bare face makeup looks (to show you natural products can keep up with all the beauty trends). I also follow girls who are extremely gifted and apply full face makeup as well as the professionals. And then there are others who wear none at all. If you had to ask me what I think looks best, I wouldn’t be able to give you an answer. Everyone has different skin and motives for wearing makeup so who I am to judge a person’s personal beauty choices?

The focus nowadays is to not compare yourself to others, to love your natural self, and to accept your flaws but that is easier said than done. Honestly, that is a lifelong challenge that some conquer sooner than others. I would love to wake up tomorrow and live a life where my physical appearance didn’t cross my mind; I can’t even fathom how much happier I would be. But I know I’m not at that point yet. Until then, I will continue to wear makeup or not wear makeup whenever I want to.

It’s Your Choice

Maybe you wear makeup because
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  • you love how you look with it on
  • you enjoy experimenting with different products
  • it’s fun to apply
  • there are physical features you would like to cover up
  • you feel more confident with it on
  • only for special occasions

Maybe you don’t wear makeup because


  • you don’t think you need it
  • you don’t focus on your physical appearance
  • it makes your skin break out
  • you can’t afford it
  • you don’t know how to apply it
  • if men don’t you shouldn’t have to
  • your culture doesn’t allow you to

Whatever your reason, it is your choice. There are no rules governing beauty although our society may make it seem like there are.

If you genuinely feel beautiful then you are clearly doing the right thing for yourself.

At the end of the day ignore what people expect you to be. If you feel better wearing a full face of makeup, do it. If you feel better wearing no makeup at all, do it. We are given a finite amount of time on this planet; let’s stop wasting time worrying and just do what will make us happy in the meantime. I can personally say I find a person most beautiful when they are happy. If you are lucky enough to be happy with how you look, embrace it!

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!


 And remember, you are beautiful <3