i have this thing with black candles // @jojotastic

Black candles, amiright?? There’s something about the moodiness of black wax, the depth of fragrance… that makes the flickering light even more romantic. Plus, with Halloween right around the corner, black candles are the perfect addition to your space — especially if you’re not super into kitschy decorations (like me).

i have this thing with black candles // @jojotastic

And there are a tonnnn of options these days. One of my very first jobs was designing candle packaging and I always wanted to include black wax in my designs… but was always shut down because it was too weird. You better believe I’m patting myself on the back for the influx of black candles now ;)

  1. Diptyquemy personal favorite!
  2. Aspen Bay faceted jar
  3. NARS Acapulco candle
  4. Archipelago Botanicals jar candle
  5. Illume Blackberry absinthe talisman tin
  6. JOYA marbled glass candle
  7. Fornasetti sun and moon candle
  8. Neom Organics + Jennie Packham candle
  9. Bond No. 9 lidded candle
  10. Acqua di Parma cube candle
  11. Matter & Home candle
  12. Byredo Bibliothèque candle

shop the post:

top image credit: Brooklyn Makers by Jennifer Causey.

giveaway + hand in hand

Everyone has different little tricks for jumpstarting their day, and aside from an absolutely mandatory pour-over coffee, mine is scent. I start my morning routine with bright, fragrant lotions, aromatic soaps, and sweetly scented sprays. It helps me slows things down and start my day calmly and aware of all my senses. That’s why I’m so excited about this week’s giveaway with Hand in Hand!

giveaway // hand in hand

These gorgeous bath and beauty products from Hand in Hand are completely natural and come complete with striking scents like the almond, jasmine and vetiver from their Espere Collection. Not only is their line of bath and beauty products completely natural and meticulously produced with eco-conscious methods, Hand in Hand’s main mission is saving lives through both their products and proceeds. “For every product purchased, Hand in Hand’s Espere Collection provides essential small business loans, which empower entrepreneurs in developing countries to to create jobs and strengthen their community.” Quite an amazing mission statement, huh?

giveaway // hand in hand

I’m always so blown away by people like married couple Bill and Courtney, dedicated to fixing global issues in new, creative ways. The Espere Collection grew from Courtney & Bill’s many visits to Haiti, where they were donating bar soaps and providing water to children in orphanages. They wanted to give back to the country in a different way, so they started a micro lending program and created the Espere Collection to focus specifically on that cause. Now Hand in Hand has three different collections, all made in the USA and are 100 percent vegetable-based, vegan and made with organic ingredients.

Enter below for 7 chances to win. One winner will be chosen at random by Tuesday August 18 at 10:30 am PST. Open to US residents only. Winner will receive 1 $125 gift card to shop Hand in Hand. Good luck!

Click here to view this promotion.

giveaway // hand in hand

photography and styling by Jojotastic.

meet @onomiebeauty + enter to win amazing beauty products! #giveaway

I tend to keep things pretty straightforward when it comes to skincare and makeup. Typically, if one product pulls double-duty I’m alllll about it. Recently, a friend from college launched an amazing new line called Onomie and gave me a sneak peek before the launch. What can I say… it’s true love. Currently Onomie offers two products: the A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment (my personal fave) and the Bright Concealing Elixir. With summer upon us, I’ve been wanting my makeup to feel casual and  carefree, but still with a bit of highlighting to make my brow bone and cheek bones pop. The eye treatment is perfect for that – I sweep on a tiny bit and it’s sort of like my face glows in the best possible way. The philosophy of Onomie is to simplify beauty as much as possible — and they’ve done just that. I really can’t wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves.

Onomie offers home try-ons, which I highly recommend to help you find your perfect shade. Plus, this week we’ve partnered with them for a giveaway!

meet @onomiebeauty + enter to win amazing beauty products! #giveaway

Enter below for 7 chances to win. One winner will be chosen at random by Tuesday July 7 at 10:30 am PST. Open to US residents only.Winner will receive one Home Try-On Shade Starter Kit and the Onomie Eye Essentials Duo valued at $61. Good luck!
onomie giveaway

meet @onomiebeauty + enter to win amazing beauty products! #giveaway

Disclosure: I received product to review for this post. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the content that keeps Jojotastic awesome.

photography by Jojotastic.

a review of Living Proof's new curl product line + a giveaway // details here:

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my hair for about 25 years (I was pretty bald my first few years on this planet). It’s not curly, but also not straight. It’s not super thick, but also not thin. And I’ve got about 2,500 stubborn cowlicks. In college I embraced the flat iron trend wholeheartedly, waking up hours before class so I could get glassy smooth locks. Thankfully, the trend these days is wayyy more appropriate and achievable for my hair texture. Now that I’ve embraced my natural waves and learned to part my hair in a way that works with my cowlicks, my beauty routine has gotten LOADS easier and I’ve long said goodbye to my flat iron. Now it’s a matter of which products I use to help me maintain my waves without weighing them down or letting my lightened ends get too damaged.

Recently, Living Proof offered to send over their newest line, Curl, and I loved it. Rather than a shampoo, I used a conditioning wash which was the perfect way to get moisture into my hair, but not in that heavy kind of way. The curl detangling rinse was great, too, especially because my hair tends to work itself into complicate little knots constantly. Lastly (and my favorite), the curl defining styling cream… I don’t even know where to begin. My waves came out perfectly. No frizz, no weird kinds. Not too curly and not too straight. They were just… exactly what I wanted.

Oh, and this week I’ve partnered with Living Proof on a giveaway!

a review of Living Proof's new curl product line + a giveaway // details here: www.jojotastic.comIt’s easy to enter: follow both Living Proof and Jojotastic on Instagram. Then leave a comment here saying you did so (please note: comments left elsewhere won’t count, so please be sure to leave your comment below!). One winner will be chosen at random by Tuesday May 19 at 10:30 am PST. Open to US residents only. Winner will receive the entire Curl collection, valued at $132. Good luck!

This post is a partnership with Living Proof. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

my latest favorite candles

Here’s a fun fact: my very first job out of college was designing packaging for candles that were sold at Target. I really think this experience kind of… shaped me in how I view fragrances for the home. It’s sort of like perfume and let’s just say I have somewhat sophisticated tastes as a result of that first job. I tend to avoid florals and anything overly sweet. Instead, I love smokey notes, things that make me nostalgic for campfires and my grandpa’s fireplace. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with 3 specific and very different candles.

portable fireplace candle - smells just like the real thing!First up: the portable fireplace candle by D.S. & Durga. I picked this one up at a local boutique in SF and it immediately blew my mind. This one smells EXACTLY like a fireplace. To be more specific, it reminds me of sitting in my grandma’s pea green velvet reclining chair over the holidays as a kind. If I close my eyes while this candle is lit, I’m immediately transported back to that time. I can even hear my grandmother’s voice and taste my grandpa’s sausage gravy and biscuits.

campire candle by p.f. candle coNext, this campfire special candle from P.F. Candle Co. The notes are smoke, pine, soil, and a natural sweetness that reminds me of roasting marshmallows over an open fire. This one isn’t as powerful as the others, so I prefer to light it when I have guests over. It’s just mellow enough to set the scene for casual hangs and bourbon drinks.

side table stylingLastly, I discovered Lola James Harper candles while shopping at Love Adorned in New York. I picked up the Promenade in Vincennes Wood candle and find it to be totally different than anything I’ve ever purchased before. The fragrance evolves every time I burn, I swear.  The notes are described as green tea, lily, and wood. I definitely sniff out the tea notes more than anything else though, which is why I love this one for all those bubble baths I take.

my latest favorite candlesDo you have any candles that you’re loving lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

photography by Jojotastic

French pharmacy favorites

Hello + bonjour everyone! I’m Susan – a francophile, interior designer, small business owner, and twin mama. I’m excited to be guest posting while Joanna is on her European adventure! You can find my musings + links at!

I could spend hours in a French pharmacy – you can find so much luxury there, at a reasonable price. For my last trip, I made sure to do plenty of research beforehand so that I could bring back some serious loot. I had planned to pay a visit to the largest one in Paris, City Pharma, but ended up finding these items at the one near my apartment in the Marais. Armed with my list, I didn’t deviate much from it, with the exception of #5, which came highly recommended from a very knowledgeable salesperson. I was impressed with how helpful everyone was (maybe they saw the length of my list)… I was able to test a number of products and was attended to with great care. Keep in mind many of these items can now be found in some shops in the states + online. Even if you don’t buy, be sure to browse when in France!

French pharmacy favorites

  1. Bioderma Crealine H20 – This cleansing water is incredible, and I’m so I glad brought back two huge (heavy) bottles of it…you can wipe your makeup off without rinsing!
  2. Nuxe Reve de Miel – By far my favorite lip balm of all time (and I’m obsessed with lip balm)…it is so rich and smooth and smells + tastes amazing.
  3. Avene Eau Thermale – A refreshing thermal water spray, which is basic but better than the others I’ve tried.
  4. Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo – One of the best dry shampoos (so I’ve heard from stylists)!
  5. Hormeta Huile Séche – this is the one I ended up with, despite having the Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse on my list. This radiant dry body oil shimmers without being greasy, contrary to the Nuxe. After testing both, I chose this, which was slightly higher in price but worth it after comparing the two. I’ve actually never worn body oil before, but it feels like such a luxury, and the sheen is lovely in the summer.
  6. Darphin Cleansing Balm – If you’ve never tried a cleansing balm before I suggest you do! This is a popular one in France that got great reviews. What you do is you massage the balm on your dry skin for a minute or so. Enjoy the massage. Then you take a warm wet wash cloth and press it against your face for a few seconds. Then gently wipe away the balm. So luxurious and great for dry skin.
  7. Roger & Gallet Rose Lotion – A luxurious basic…like everything in French pharmacies!
  8. La Roche Posay – Anything from this brand is amazing. You can also buy this in the states, but since it’s also a French line, I figured it was worth mentioning.
  9. Homeoplasmine – This is probably the most boring item on this list, but probably one of the most widely used in Paris from what I have read. It’s basically an ointment that you can use for anything! Cuticles, chapped lips, burns, dry skin, any kind of irritation you may have.
  10. Vichy ProEven Daily Eye Corrector – A lightweight cream infused with caffeine… perfect for depuffing!
True Nature Botanicals

I’m sort of a beauty product nut. I’m not a high maintenance girl, but I like to know what I’m using and be a really informed consumer. So recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to True Nature Botanicals, a gorgeous shop in Mill Valley (just north of San Francisco). Founded by the immensely impressive Hillary Peterson, True Nature Botanicals is practically obsessed with educating their customer and providing the very best possible ingredients in their products. Actually, what they do is more of an art form than anything else.

True Nature BotanicalsFor example, the solid perfumes are created using 100% natural “noble materials” — known to be the purest and most precious in the world. Some examples include orris, tuberose, and liquid amber, so every scent is pure and authentic. While I was in the shop, Hillary treated me to sniffs of each individual noble material and it really opened my eyes (nose?) to how off target my perception of certain fragrances are because of mass production. For example, I typically don’t like rose because I feel it’s too powdery and granny. However when I smelled the noble version, I was awestruck by how lovely and fresh the fragrance was.

True Nature BotanicalsOne of my favorite treats that True Nature Botanicals shared with me is the solid perfume. I don’t ordinarily go for that type of application, but in this instance I loved their reasoning for a solid: Solid perfumes hold natural scents far longer and interact with the warmth of your skin to reveal a fragrance’s complexities. How awesome is that?

True Nature BotanicalsTrue Nature BotanicalsHillary also shared her other line called Pacific Skin Care. We spent some time chatting about some concerns I’ve had about my skin lately and she walked me through a personalized regimen to help get my complexion back on track. I’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks and I’m really started to see results — these guys know their stuff.

True Nature BotanicalsThe next time you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by True Nature Botanicals: 29 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, California 94941 or you can shop online here.

photography by Jojotastic

Disclosure: I received product to review for this post. All opinions are my own, and I would never endorse something I didn’t completely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.