May Coop Raw Moisturizer

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer Review

Despite the scarce number of reviews for May Coop's Raw Moisturizer, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the rest of the Raw line since their Raw Sauce is beloved by so many people. The moisturizer is the most affordable cream in their lineup to incorporate the star ingredient: Acer Maple Water. Keeping within the same range isn't a priority. It is more likely to happen if I hear good things about any one item, adding a sister product seems like a no-brainer.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer packaging

Peach & Lily's description:

The Raw Moisturizer is a unique formula moisturizer that contains a powerful combination of 70% maple tree sap, aloe, baobab tree and cactus extracts that easily absorb into the skin. Leaves skin feeling deeply hydrated and smooth. Perfect for all skin types.

If the Raw Sauce is the perfect prepping agent to ensure your skin will drink the following steps of moisture and nutrition, the Raw Moisturizer is the perfect seal, holding everything in with a silky non-sticky finish perfect for both morning and evening wear. Take full advantage of all the steps of your skincare routine, from start to finish.

Apply as the very last step of your skincare routine to seal your skin for maximal moisture retention.

Peach & Lily (80ml): USD $40

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer out of packaging

Unlike the Raw Sauce, the Raw Moisturizer only has 70% maple tree sap. Peach & Lily mentions a bunch of other extracts. However, those are listed further down on the ingredients list—meaning amounts used are small and benefits typically minimal. For those with sensitive skin, the moisturizer does have silicones, mineral oil, fragrance, and parabens.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer inner cover stopper

Nice packaging is the one thing I can confidently say I love about May Coop. Frosted glass jars are such a pleasure to look at every day. Although it doesn't matter so much for a jar per say, I generally appreciate see-through properties of glass packaging more as I can tell when the product inside is running low.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer closeup shot of texture

May Coop's Raw line has a bunch of different moisturizers:
Raw Moisturizer 80ml - USD $40
Raw Concentra Day Cream 50ml - USD $48
Raw Concentra Night Cream 50ml - USD $65.

I chose the Raw Moisturizer because of it's clearly larger size and cheaper price. The biggest difference ingredient-wise between the three are their maple sap percentages (70% vs. 90% vs. 80%) and various additional extracts. The fact that May Coop decided to balance out the lower percentage of maple sap with more product is very much appreciated.

After having gone through a majority of my tub of Raw Moisturizer, I am curious of just how much more moisturizing the extra percentages of acer mono sap really is in cream form. Would it really be worth the extra money and less product for a higher concentration?

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer swatch

There is a scent to the cream. I can't place my finger on precisely what it is. It definitely isn't mapley as one would expect nor is it overpowering. Regardless, the fragrance doesn't linger once applied.

The moisturizer is very lightweight - it is heavier than a gel but far lighter than most creams. My skin takes it in really well. I can easily apply a generous glob of product (2-3x shown above) and my skin would drink it right up without leaving any stickiness. It might not be heavy enough for those with drier skin though. The moisturizing-ness doesn't last all day for my driest and flakiest parts. Raw Moisturizer would be just right for normal, combination, and oily skin.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Moisturizer swatch applied to hand

Even when I wake up, my face, for the most part, feels moisturized without being oily. It is normal for me to feel some kind of leftover tackiness in the mornings but I didn't have that with this moisturizer.

I have also used this very generously (heaping dollop) and moderately (stingy scoop) on various occasions. Like with Raw Sauce, this cream shows better results when a liberal amount is applied. I would recommend using more than "just enough" to cover the face.

Peach & Lily accurately describes the finish as "silky non-sticky finish". I assume this is a result of all the silicones it is formulated with in addition to the maple sap being able to sink into the skin more easily. The moisturizer even spreads like a typical silicone-based primer would. There is definitely a visible lack of the moist look minus the pore-smoothing effect.

For comparison's sake, I have applied the Raw Moisturizer on half my face and neck before. It was weird because the moisturizing difference didn't look drastic. The side with moisturizer did feel softer and smoother but it could very well be all the silicones.

My skin looks less oily of late. I cannot tell whether or not this moisturizer is the reason for it or if my skin is still in cold & dry weather mode. There are tons of reviews that claim this cream is mattifying and keeps their oilies at bay. I won't argue with that because it does have a satiny finish after applying. What I can say from my experience is the Raw Moisturizer is slightly lacking in the deep moisture department for my combo-dry skin. My face looks just right in the oily spots throughout the day but for the drier and flakier sections, it just isn't enough—very similar to the Raw Sauce in this respect.

Maybe I just used this moisturizer during the wrong seasons? Maybe I need to find a way to better exfoliate those darn dry flakes from my face? I wonder if my opinions towards May Coop's Raw Moisturizer would have been any different under different circumstances. It is a great product in the areas that aren't overly troubled and I have never tried a moisturizer of all things to have such a satin finish. Chances of me repurchasing are kind of low right now; perhaps if my skin gets oilier in the summer I might consider Raw Moisturizer as a tried-and-trusted option.

May Coop Raw Sauce

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Sauce Review

Whenever there is a new hyped up product in the beauty world that I end up trying, I always hope I will love it the same way everyone else does. I can see why there is so much affection for May Coop's Raw Sauce. The essence came up a tad shy of being on my LOVE IT list.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Sauce packaging

Sephora's description:

What it is formulated to do
This essence helps effective ingredients penetrate into skin, thanks to its unique maple-tree sap base. The innovative formulation is packed with nourishing botanical complexes, along with ingredients possessing antioxidant properties, which neutralize free radicals and support natural skin cell regeneration. This luxuriously silky liquid has a smooth, non-sticky texture that quickly absorbs into the skin for an instant boost of hydration, resulting in skin that's not only healthier-looking, but better able to obtain the benefits from any product applied afterwards. It’s further enriched with unique, botanical, herbal, and floral complexes to intensely hydrate and promote a radiant complexion.

What else you need to know
Maple tree sap particles are almost the exact same size as our bodily fluids (even smaller than water) and enable the formula to easily absorb deep into the skin. The essence intensively hydrates and delivers critical nourishment to skin, creating a healthy-looking glow from within. It also helps prep skin to better absorb subsequent products, such as serums and moisturizers, so that you get the most out of both your morning and evening skin care routines. This product is cruelty-free.

After cleansing and toning, apply to face and neck in upward and outward strokes with your fingertips or a cotton pad. Pat remaining product into skin until fully absorbed.

Sephora and Peach & Lily (150ml): USD $43
Peach & Lily (40ml): USD $14

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Sauce safety seal sticker

Retailers categorize this as a 3-in-1 product: toner, essence, emulsion. I would only call the Raw Sauce an essence at most. Like I mentioned in the previous Kate Somerville toner post, I associate toners as being residual dirt cleaners and pH balancers (whatever that is supposed to mean). Essences in my books are pat-in and leave-on watery-like products that aim to at least hydrate and better prep the skin amongst other skin benefits. Essences can be a type of toner but not all toners are essences. Emulsions, technically speaking, are when two liquid components that don't normally mix well are combined together (i.e. oil + water)—which would categorize most serums, lotions, and creams as emulsions. In the skincare world, where there are a bajillion and one terms for everything, I classify emulsions as a runnier-type light lotion that tends to be milkier in color.

While I prefer to have a separate toner, essences and emulsions are interchangeable product types in my routine in the sense that I don't have to incorporate both steps at any given point unless I feel like being excessive. Whether I have an essence or emulsion on hand largely depends on the time of year or just how I feel when I go skincare shopping. If I want something lighter, essence. If I want something slightly heavier but still not that heavy, emulsion. My other exception is if I choose to forego a cream-type moisturizer, then I will use both an essence and an emulsion.

Most of the info I found on acer maple water (acer mono sap) benefits for the skin usually references to May Coop Raw Sauce. They all say the sap is small in molecular size which evidently penetrates the skin better. Some articles and blogs say the maple sap also has antioxidants and minerals for better hydration.

*I came across a May Coop Raw series leaflet on the interwebs. If anyone is interested, click here. But take it with a grain of salt since it is their marketing material.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Sauce out of packaging

Everything about the packaging is luxurious. Okay maybe except for the box and the lid, those can use some improvements. But I digress. The frosted glass bottle is wrapped in a canvas pouch straight out of the box. It is very hefty and doesn't feel cheap at all.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Sauce bottle stopper

It has a traditional screw-on plastic bottle cap. New bottles will come sealed with a plastic stopper. The spout itself also has a stopper with a small hole to help control the amount of product that comes out. Since the essence is quite runny, it flows out easy enough.

I would personally prefer something with a flip-top to shave off the time it takes to open and close the product. But I do understand why May Coop decided on what it currently has; a screw-on top looks a little fancier and users are meant to take their time to appreciate and apply the essence since it is on the pricier side.

lavlilacs May Coop Raw Sauce swatchThe consistency is thicker than water but not extremely viscose. It is surprisingly not sticky for something made with maple water. The essence sinks into my skin quickly and doesn't leave any residue. This could be due to two main factors: 1) May Coop claims maple tree sap is about the size of our bodily fluids so our skin will naturally absorb it more easily. 2) Alcohol is the 2nd listed ingredient.

There is some debate on the alcohol content though. Peach & Lily says the Raw Sauce is made up of 93% maple tree sap which would imply the remaining 7% consists of everything else, therefore making the alcohol negligible. Some people say the Raw Sauce could not possibly have 93% concentration of the maple tree sap ingredient because then it would practically be pure syrup which, in turn, would be way too sticky. Who's to say for sure which is true but from actual use, the alcohol doesn't seem to be doing harm to my skin (as of now). It doesn't dry me out or make me feel more sensitive.

I don't think the essence has a strong scent. I read many reviews and there are people who say the alcohol is very intense. I have to sniff really long and hard to pick it up. It is there, but I think I apply the essence so quickly and the product soaks in long before my nose is even irritated by it.

Typically I will use around 5 drops (quarter sized amount) per layer that I apply. I prefer to pat in at least a blob of product on my face and do a separate round of patting for my neck. Raw Sauce is a great product for layering (i.e. 7 Skin Method) for those who don't find the alcohol too irritating. My skin seems way more hydrated and bouncier after applying even just an additional layer versus only one—it feels almost as if I have applied nothing when I only apply it once. I would not recommend using this with a cotton pad because it seems like a waste of product. Raw Sauce isn't meant to clean up the skin like traditional toners do.

I used this exclusively when I was recovering from the facial allergic reaction and loved how lightweight and fast absorbing (or evaporating) this was. Because of the itching, I needed moisture but without the feeling of having anything on my face, which this delivered. It didn't provide the deepest hydration though—if there are flakes, continuous use will gradually soften it but it won't magically make it seem less apparent after applying, which is what I was hoping for.

I cannot tell if it really does help with the "better absorption of subsequent products." Sure, the Raw Sauce is so lightweight that it doesn't seem like it is creating an extra barrier between my skin and the next step in my skincare routine. However, whether or not my skin takes in the next product better is debatable.

In my opinion, May Coop's Raw Sauce is great for normal, combination, and oily skin types. It just doesn't seem enough for drier & dehydrated skin—people with those skin types would probably have to use way too much product to achieve similar results and most likely wouldn't like the alcohol in it. Considering how much I have to use to get good results and the cost of a bottle, I probably won't buy it again. It was a nice reintroduction to the essence step in the skincare routine for me though. I may look into other pat-in essences with more skin benefits besides just hydration and better absorption and something that is truly formulated without alcohol.

Smorgasburg | Tastes, Craves, and Wishes

It's mid-week and I cannot stop thinking about sunny food-filled weekends. Even though Smorgasburg at any location is usually unbelievably crowded, there is nothing else like it where a group of friends can disperse and buy a bunch of treats to share picnic style at the park. It is hard to pick a wrong spot when each of the 20 something odd vendors are handpicked by the organizers. Some are brand-spanking new Smorgasburg-exclusive food ventures and quite a good bunch are long-time Smorgasburg favorites.

Call it a tourist trap if you'd like. Crowded and expensive it definitely is. But then again so is a majority of the eateries in the rest of New York City. To each their own! The best I can recommend is to pick a good time to visit either their Williamsburg or Prospect Park location. The earlier it is, the less packed it will be. Most people are probably still asleep at 11 AM on a Saturday or Sunday. If an Instagram trendy vendor is a must-try, pre-noon is a wonderful time to avoid lines. They only get busier and busier as the day progresses. The only other times when crowds are small and lines short is when the forecast is dreary. While most vendors do end up showing up, the number of visitors who turn out pales in comparison. Downpours aren't fun for anyone; drizzles are perfect.


lavlilacs Smorgasburg Raindrop Cake

Raindrop Cake. The hype for this water jelly last year was unreal. I get it, the perfectly smooth round blob looks beautiful in person and in photos. The taste is refreshing and light—a stark contrast to typical Western delights that are carby and creamy. But if you really think about it, this is just congealed water with syrup and soybean powder and it costs almost $10. Make some at home with honey and peanut powder.

If experimenting in the kitchen isn't your thing but you "gots to have", split one amongst 2+ friends. Otherwise it isn't worth it even for a photo.

lavlilacs Smorgasburg Carnal Beef Short Rib and Bone Marrow

Carnal. There is something so primitive yet so satisfying about being served meat on the bone. Short rib is one of my favorite types of beef, but I have only ever had it braised and grilled. Smoked and slow-cooked is something completely new to me. Having such a large slab of short rib is even more uncommon.

Don't be fooled by their sign; even though it is described as Beef Short Rib with Bone Marrow, the meat part is the star. Don't even think about being civil. Going hands in and gnawing is the best option. The ligament that holds the meat to the bone is not quite cooked down enough in this fashion to eat with a fork and knife. Pack a toothpick or flosser, be prepared to stand on a long line, and get ready to munch on some good meat.

lavlilacs Smorgasburg Mofon•GO Fried Pork Mofongo

Mofon•GO. My favorite part about Smorgasburg is discovering new foods. I tend to gravitate more towards Asian flavors whenever I search Yelp, especially if dining in Manhattan. Even though I would love to try other cuisines, the number of options and unfamiliarity to the menu is intimidating. Vendors at Smorgasburg, however, are specialized. Many have 1-3 item menus and the variety comes in the form of toppings and sides.

Mofongo refers to the Puerto Rican dish of fried mashed plantains and stuffed with meats. The one we tried was filled with fried pork and served with sriracha mayo. I think they currently offer it with shredded pork. I am not sure if I am not a fan of mashed plantains or if this could have used something juicier/saucier. I remember it being on the drier side. Is this normal for mofongo?


lavlilacs Smorgasburg Lumpia Shack Sampler

Lumpia Shack. Hands down favorite at Smorgasburg that my friends and I get at least once every year we visit. Skinny lumpia is pure love and joy. If frying foods at home wasn't so messy, I would gladly make and stock my freezer with these babies.

Although Lumpia Shack is must-have in general, it isn't a must at Smorgasburg if you'll ever be around the West Village and Washington Square Park as they have a Lumpia Shack Snackbar nearby.

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Goa Taco. I wish I knew about the deliciousness that was paratha tacos earlier even after taking just one bite. Even though I have eaten scallion pancakes before, it was just a dish on its own. Wrapping it around meats and veggies is ingenious, might I daresay even better than standard corn tortilla tacos! The flatbread is crispy but still has flaky chewy layers.

Like Lumpia Shack, Goa Taco has 2 storefronts in the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village. If the crowds at Smorgasburg are unrelenting and there are other vendors to try, take a walk across the Williamsburg Bridge afterward and grab Goa Taco on the other side.

lavlilacs Smorgasburg Big Mozz Mozzerella Sticks

Big Mozz. How can anyone not like fried cheese sticks? Lactose-intolerant excluded. These are giant and heavy in all respects. The mozzarella core is the chewiest and stretchiest. Yet it is worth all the calories.


Since I haven't gone to Smorgasburg yet this year, here's a list of a few new vendors I want to try.

Burrito Juárez. I just love food wrapped with anything carby. They supposedly make their tortillas fresh and don't stuff with rice (which is usually what a majority of burritos are filled with).

Kreung Cambodia It is still Asian eats but Cambodian food is definitely something new even in New York. I think I read somewhere that said profits made go back to helping the owner's farm in Cambodia.

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Ube Kitchen They had me at ube. I won't deny my bias towards anything purple. While halo halo seems easy enough to put together at home, the hardest part is having just enough toppings on hand to not be eating the mixed dessert all week long.

Rutte's Dutch Waffles Stroopwafels are the perfect combination of everything I like: sugary, gooey, and crispy but soft. I've only ever dreamed of having it fresh and hot. All my praises to the person who finally brought the made-to-order version of the Dutch treat Stateside!

Dulcinea Churros & Co. Because one ice cream snack is never enough for an ice cream monster. Although, I am sure I would regret wishing for an ice cream sandwich. My sensitive teeth and (assuming) the hot sun will not make good friends with this sweet treat. looks delicious!