Saturday, December 28, 2013

A New Super Natural (And Gluten-Free) Skincare Line: Hana Organic Skincare.

Four years ago, certified herbalist, Karen Reis created Hana Organic Skincare (named after her daughter, Hana).  This gluten-free skincare line has incredibly pure ingredients and is really effective.  I've got my favorites for sure (Gentle Cleanser, Renew Creme and Eye Oil) but I think this is most definitely a brand where you could get everything you need all in one place: your cleanser, mask/exfoliant, face oil, face cream, toner (which I didn't test) and eye serum.
This was a big favorite of mine. Lately I've been really loving super-smooth feeling cleansers.  They leave the skin so soft and do a great job of removing makeup (I like to use a cloth or cotton just to make sure I get everything off).  To use, I wet my face and massaged a little of the cleanser all over.  Then I would take a cotton round or cloth and get off any residual makeup, and rinse.  This cleanser has only five ingredients, all organic:  rose hydrosol, castile soap, jojoba oil and geranium and neroli essential oils - you can't get purer than that.  It feels amazing going on, cleanses perfectly and leaves the skin hydrated.   $28

I'm all over multi-functional products, so when purchasing this, you should know that you're getting both an exfoliator and a mask.  I tried this out both both ways and loved it.  My skin was super soft and not dry at all.  Each jar comes with it's own little Hana ceramic bowl scoop (love) and I used that for carrying it into the shower with me.  These grains are gentle but effective and the ingredients are super pure: white clay; *oats; *+almonds; *poppy seeds; *rose centifolia (rose); *lavendula officianalis (lavender); *calendula officianalis (calendula); *lavender & rose essential oils (*organic)  $36

Lately I find that I'm only using eye oils.  I just feel like they hydrate so well and, with this one, makeup goes on nicely - if you give it a little bit of time to absorb.  I used to think that oils would not work well with concealer and eye makeup, but I find that they absorb into the skin better than a thicker cream (just what I've found).  This will last you quite some time and the ingredients are simple and pure: jojoba & rosehip seed oils; Vitamin E; rose essential oil.  $40 

Renew Crème
I love, love, love this cream...or crème...or cream. This was a standout product for me.  I found that it hydrated like a serum would, but was really nice to actually put on a cream for a change.  So, if you're not a fan of putting oils on your skin, I recommend this as you'll be getting similar benefits, just with a creamy consistency. It's got a pretty floral scent and it's super hydrating. Ingredients? *Rose & *lavender-infused *+almond oil; *rosehip seed oil; *aloe vera gel; *rose hydrosol; pure filtered beeswax; Vitamin E; Leucidal liquid SF ECOCERT; *lavender, *geranium, *ylang ylang & neroli essential oils (*organic +Demeter ® Biodynamic ® Ingredient) $60 

Luxe Serum
This serum is for all skin types.  I'm big, big into face serums, so if you haven't gotten on that train yet, I suggest you hop on!  Hana claims that this can help facilitate cell regeneration.   It also is super hydrating and softening.  The scent is a bit on the smokier side (for lack of a better word), and I'm really into scent, but there are many people who will absolutely love it.  You need so very little as it spreads out easily.  Ingredients: *jojoba, *apricot & *rosehip seed oils; Vitamin E; *lavender, neroli, frankincense & rose otto essential oils.  $60

*These products were generously given to me to test.  All opinions are my own, gosh darn it!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Okay, I'm Going For It. I'm Going To Tackle What I Think Are The Best Natural Deodorants: Fresca, Milk of Magnesia, FreshBod, Schmidt's, Osmia Organics & Meow Meow Tweet

I am either thee worst person on Earth to be doing a full-on summary of natural deodorants or perhaps I'm the best because I, my fellow greenies, have something called Hyperhydrosis, which basically means that my temperature gauge in my body is off and I'm always sweating.  I can be cold, but I'm still sweating.  Yes, it's the bane of my existence and takes a lot of my energy, but we've all got our things, haven't we?  I consider myself incredibly lucky in other areas, so that's that!

Now, as we all know very, very well, a natural deodorant that works well on one person, could make another person smell like a petting zoo after a rainstorm.  So, I'm going to give you my opinion on these deodorants and you can see which ones sound like they might be something that could work for you.  Keep in mind that none of these are antiperspirants.  Sweating is a very healthy and normal bodily function, so we're just looking to keep the odor at bay, here.   And please remember to read all labels and decide what product might be best for you and your precious lil pits!

If you are currently using or going to begin using a deodorant with baking soda, just keep in mind that some people can develop irritation under their arms.  Meow Meow Tweet has recommended using Olive Oil to soothe the area and I think it's a brilliant idea.  Also, some cream deodorants with baking soda can be grainy, so just remember to apply it gently.  Hard rubbing won't do anything more than irritate the skin.


FRESCA NATURAL DEODORANT  It's not my first time writing about Fresca, so you can read my full review here.  This Australian company hand makes their deodorant and it works!  There's no aluminum, no parabens, no alcohol and it's blended with pure essential oils.  There's also six scents to choose from: Citrus Fresh, JaisaraOcean, Unscented, Valley Rose, Wild Lavender and Wooden Spice. $15 - $18

How does it hold up?  I found this to work wonderfully.  And while it does contain baking soda, I didn't find that it irritated under my arms as much as some creams have.  The scents are great, too.

Ingredients:  Hand-made from food grade ingredients of purified water, vegetable gum and an aerated salt (sodium bicarbonate base mineral salt) which is then blended with the highest quality essential oils. 

MILK OF MAGNESIA DEODORANT  I'm always researching new deodorants and this is a favorite of mine mainly because deodorants with baking soda (and this is just MY chemistry, many people don't have this issue at all) turn my clothing temporarily yellow (insert loud groan here).   So, I kept researching to find a deodorant without baking soda and I found this on The People's Pharmacy site.  This absolutely works for me.  Why Milk of Magnesia?  Well, since Magnesium Hydroxide is alkaline, it creates an inhospitable environment for microorganisms (the little guys who feed on your sweat and create odor).  So, if there's no microorganisms, there's no odor.    

How does it hold up?  I find that this deodorant works perfectly for me and remember,  I sweat a lot.  I also showed it to my homeopathic doctor and she gave the ingredients the thumbs-up and started recommending it to her patients, so I 'd say that's a pretty nice endorsement.

Ingredients:  Magnesium Hydroxide, Water, Bentonite (natural clay that suspends the Magnesium Hydroxide and keeps it from compacting in container) and Ethylhexlglycerin & Capryl Glycol (naturally derived preservative system that also contributes to deodorancy).


Fresh Bod Natural Deodorant  New kid on the block over here!  This is working AMAZINGLY for me.  I like to try out any natural deodorant I read about and when I saw this posted online recently, I was really intrigued.  Being that it's a spray, touch-ups during the day are so easy and the packaging is great for just throwing in your bag.  $7.99

How does it work?  I've been using this everyday since I got it and it's fantastic.  I don't have any irritation under my arms (even though there's baking soda), there's no odor and you can also spray this on your clothes as well.  It's become a fast favorite.  It's completely unscented as well, so spray away.  I just ordered a few more bottles for myself!

One of the ingredients in this deodorant is Colloidal Silver.  I asked Erica Thomas, the one of the founders of FreshBod, for her take on this ingredient:  "Colloidal silver is a non-toxic, natural antibacterial solution. Most body odor results from bacteria mingling with sweat and oil. Our colloidal silver and hydrogen peroxide combination create a powerful “1-2 punch” in destroying this odor-causing bacteria, making FreshBod a safe and effective alternative to standard chemical-laden deodorants. We think a lot of the silver controversy centers around its internal use – those who ingest the solution for medicinal purposes. FreshBod isn’t in a position to speak (positively or negatively) about the practice of ingesting colloidal silver as our product is strictly for external use." 

Ingredients:  Sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate, purified water, hydrogen peroxide and  colloidal silver.


Schmidt's Natural Deodorant   I've already expressed the love I have for Schmidt's in my full review here.   Schmidt's deodorant really does work for me.  Many people that I've recommended it to have loved it.  Now, it does contain baking soda, so if you're prone to irritation, I suggest that you use Olive Oil under your arms to soothe the skin.   Also, apply this deodorant gently as it's texture is a bit courser than others.  All of the scents are absolutely wonderful and I can't say enough good things about it.  $8

How does it work?  Really well.  I find that this definitely keeps odor at bay.  I often like to switch back and forth with my Milk of Magnesia (and now my FreshBod) just so I don't get irritated.  

Ingredients (Cedarwood Juniper):  Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Cedrus deodara (Himalayan cedar) essential oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Juniperus (juniper) essential oil, Humulus lupulus (hop) extract

Osmia Organics Deodorant  I'm a big fan of Osmia Organics for many reasons, but mainly because I know how much time and research creator Sarah Villafranco puts into creating all of her handmade products.   This deodorant is 91.9% organic and the ingredients are stellar.  It feels great going on, is very smooth and is perfect for carrying in your bag.  $12

How does it work?  I would recommend this to someone who doesn't sweat a lot.  I used this on days when I knew I wasn't going to be in high-stress situations and it was effective and felt great.  It's light, smooth and perfect for that chick who doesn't sweat excessively, and wants a well-made (and handmade) natural deodorant.  

Ingredients:  Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, tapioca starch*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, sodium bicarbonate, fuller's earth clay, callophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) oil*, vegetable glycerin*, and a proprietary blend of certified organic and wild-harvested essential oils

Meow Meow Tweet Tea Tree Deodorant   I had tested the Tea Tree Deodorant Cream which, if you love Tea Tree oil, you're going to be in heaven.  This cream is super, super soft.  Probably thee softest deodorant cream I've tried yet.  It feels wonderful going on.

How does it work?  Again, I think this would be perfect for someone who sweats like a "normal" person (unlike myself).  I like to carry around deodorants like this for touch-ups during the day, but again, you may not need that.  If you're looking for a really creamy, natural deodorant, you probably are going to want to give this a try.  I could wear this on low-stress days or days when I wasn't running around a lot.  $12

Ingredients:   *Olive oil, *virgin coconut oil, *jojoba oil, *shea butter, *arrowroot powder, baking soda, kaolin clay, tea tree OR lavender essential oil.  *certified organic

Have favorites?  Have some opinions?  Let me hear you in the comments below, woman!

*Some of these deodorants I purchased, others were kindly and generously given to me for review.  All opinions are my own.  I hope you find something here that works wonders for you, stinky!

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Fantasy Trip to Bite Beauty's Lip Lab in NYC's SoHo. Make Your Own Custom Colored Lipstick!

My custom color lipstick being poured at Bite Beauty.  I named the Shade, Feisty.  I think it fits!
If you're anything like me (and you probably are since you're reading a green beauty blog) the thought of creating your own lipstick shade would make you just about implode.  So, when Kristen Arnett of the Green Beauty Team asked if I wanted to come with her to Bite Beauty's Lip Lab in SoHo, I couldn't fire back a "YES!" fast enough.

The Bite Beauty Lip Lab's Pigments
Truth be told, I live in NYC, but had never heard of the Bite Beauty's Lip Lab since they had only recently opened their doors in October of this year.

Upon entering the Lip Lab, you're quickly seated at one of their pretty little "playstations," where you'll grab a metal spatular and mix and match purified pigments on an illuminated light board.  There's so many pigments in tiny little containers and although it seems as though it'd be easy to create a gorgeous lipstick color, there's actually quite a lot of trial and error that goes into it.  For example, that fun-looking bright saffron that you decided to mix into your red will change the color entirely.  Adding a teeny, tiny bit of white to your hot pink, and your shade is a completely different hue altogether.  

After you make what seems to be the final life-altering decision of what your lipstick shade will be, you'll be moved over to choose one of many amazing scents for your lipstick.  Some of the scents include: Vanilla, Mango, Cherry, Peppermint, and Violet.  I chose Cherry and I love it!  

My lipstick after being poured into molds
After you have your scent picked out, you can choose from four lipstick finishes - Sheer, Matte, Luminous Créme or Créme Deluxe.  The technicians then melt down the color pods and then blend them together with essential oils in their centrifuge machine.  It's then poured into the molds and is cooled for five minutes on cooling plates that are -2 degrees Fahrenheit.  You get your custom tear card for your shade and you're out the door with your brand new lipstick that you created!  Awesome, right?

I loved the staff here and I even got to meet the creator of Bite Beauty, Susanne Langmuire.  Susanne is a super knowledgeable woman who really knows her stuff and is on a mission to keep her products as clean as possible while still having  great color and performance.

Bite Beauty lipsticks are formulated with food-grade ingredients and spiked with red wine resveratrol, a super antioxidant.  They are known for their super colorful colors.  

Please read all labels before you make a choice on whether a brand is good for you or not.  I see that some Bite Beauty products include carmine and other ingredients that not everyone will like.   

Have you tried anything by Bite Beauty yet?  If so, what?

Bite Beauty is available in Sephora online and in stores and in NYC's Lip Lab.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Green Product Junkie Is Now On Instagram!

We have so much fun on there...just a bunch of people yapping about skincare, makeup and all things green.  Join us!  I'm thegreenproductjunkie .

Monday, December 9, 2013

Enough With Singing About That Girl Who's On Fire...Let's Sing About That Girl Who's On A Budget!

Christian Schloe's "Portrait of A Heart."   I love this with such a passion.
So, we've all heard that song that Alicia Keys sings about that girl who's on fire, right?  Well, to be honest,  I'm infinitely more interested in that girl who's on a budget since she's the person I'm getting emails from all the time asking me how to do this "green" thing when she's strapped for cash.  Enjoy reading about affordable clean skincare, you girl on a budget!

The green beauty industry is amazing on many fronts, but what's really cool about it is the amount of companies that are making high-quality, toxin-free product that is also completely affordable.


Napa Organics
Great for:  Body and face oils, scrubs, toner, and lotions
Price range: $12 - $32

Organic California Almond Oil $16
So, you're a budget, huh? Well, I'm recommending you try Napa Organics' Plum Kernel Oil as it can be used all over the face, under the eyes, on hair and even as a body oil. What makes this oil wonderful? The scent of cherries and almonds is off the charts! And, it has only one ingredient, 100% pure California Plum Kernel Oil.  I have super dry skin and found this to be on the lighter side, so if you like an oil, but you're not very dry, this will be awesome for you.  At $32, this pure oil is a steal and is going to last you quite some time. My other recommendation from Napa Organics is their Organic Almond Oil for $16.  I've been using this as a body oil and I absolutely love the purity of it, how it blends so well and how quickly it absorbs.  Oh, and don't forget their Prune & Walnut Face Scrub for $12...this is a big size that will last forever! Read more about my take on Napa Organics here.   

Great for: natural face and body sponges
The Amazing Green Tea Konjac Sponge $11
Price range: $10.50 - $11.50
I love these!  If you're not in the market for buying an exfoliator and cleanser and you're the low-maintenance type, having one of these around will be a complete dream for you.  Slightly alkaline, these sponges break down dirt and oils. I keep one hanging in my shower and use it to gently exfoliate my face and body.  I like to clean my face with a cleanser to remove all my makeup, but love giving it a light massage with my Japanese Konjac Sponge to seal the deal.  I also love how it feels on the body. These will last 4-6 weeks...even longer if you don't use it daily.

Acure Organics' Brightening Face Scrub
Acure Organics
Great for:  All skincare and haircare
Price Range: $4 - $25
Most likely, many of you have heard of Acure Organics before.  You are probably also aware of how totally inexpensive their line has always been.  In fact, when someone gives me the, "Well, it's too expensive to buy natural skincare and I don't know where to get it."  I quickly send them over to Whole Foods for some Acure.  I find the majority of their prices hover between $15-$25. The standouts for me? Their skin smoothing Brightening Facial Scrub for $14.99 and their Mandarin Orange Body Cream for $9.99 as it's a great hydrator and so easy to use when I don't have time to let a body oil absorb.

Great for: makeup removal, face/body moisturizer, in scrubs, hair conditioning treatment and on and on...
Price range: $10-$15 depending on size
Coconut oil is my jam.  It's my makeup remover, body moisturizer, a huge ingredient in my homemade body scrub (turbinado sugar & coconut oil) my deep conditioning hair treatment and something I put in my smoothie every morning. Nutiva is my favorite brand mostly because I find it smells the most of coconut and I love that.  Other organic brands are just as great though, so find what you like.  $11

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Unconventional, But Very Cool Holiday Gift Guide That Helps Others And The Earth...I Love These!

So I might not be the blogger with the fanciest makeup & skincare gift guide, but to me, my gift guide rocks.   True, I have no lip gloss trios, no pretty eye shadow sets, no fantastic serum that will change your skin, but I do have what I personally think are thee most important gifts of this season.

As you may or may not know, but I'm big, big, big into the environment.  I'm also super into charity and helping people.  I like things that are a win-win for everyone.  I truly hope that you can find someone on your list who is wonderful enough to receive the ultimate that helps others and the Earth.  

Happy Holidays and thank you so much for reading.  It means so much to me, Katie

The Bogobrush  A recent find for me.  In fact, it was only a few days ago.  I think this is BRILLIANT. I'm going to be ordering a year supply for $40.  If you can find a toothbrush that looks sleeker than this, I'll be impressed.   It's completely biodegradable and with each one purchased, a person in need receives one...I know, right?  Do you have anyone on your list who will understand just how totally mind-blowing this is?   We could potentially rid ourselves of the tons of plastic toothbrushes in the ocean and in landfills...what a thought!   $10 each  $40 for year's supply

The Glass Dharma Glass Straw  Well, I've already written a post on how much I love my glass straw. It sits in my bag in its little hemp case and I'm beyond thrilled when I can stick it in my drink, knowing that I just saved some plastic.  Could it be in my mind, or does everything just taste better out of this beautiful piece of glass?  Get a bendy one, a straight one, one with little multi-colored dots on it...magnificent!   $10 - $12 each

The FEED Bag  This company has grown so much over the past few years and I find that really promising.  Buy a bag, belt, bracelet, backpack, t-shirt, anything and help feed children in need.  When disaster strikes, you can be sure that FEED will be one of the first to create a product to benefit the people suffering.  What's more, the apparel, bags, etc. are very cool.  When I see a chick walking around NYC with her FEED bag, well,  I just know that she and I could definitely be friends.  Prices vary

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Winter Picks: Part The Second - Ilia Beauty, Sellwood Soap, Studio 78 Paris, Splurge Skincare, Meow Meow Tweet.

Ilia Beauty's Arabian Nights - Okay, I might be a little late for this party, but you can't blame me.  I really did think that this lipstick was going to be super dark and I just can't wear those rich berry colors for some reason.  I recently saw this on green blogger, Kasey at an event recently and was shocked at how sheer and pretty it looked, so I quickly bought it and loved it.   This gives a layer-able berry/pink stain-like tint to the lips.  If you want a bolder lip, just apply more.    $24

Studio 78 Paris' Tea Time Shadow - I feel like I haven't really purchased anything fun this season in terms of eye color.  I'm a huge fan of purples/plums so I fell hard for Tea Time by Studio 78 Paris. This color is really unique.  It's like a brownish/plum/aubergine pressed shadow and it's perfect for making a less harsh smokey eye.  I also think it's perfect for Fall/Winter with a berry lip.  They've also got other gorgeous colors and I'm eyeing the gray.  Oh, and there's a mirror on the top of the shadow case, too.  $31

Splurge Skincare's The Rub  - Splurge's latest body scrub is in a Holiday scent called Winter and I was certain it was going to smell like cinnamon spice or Evergreen.  Instead, this fantastic body scrub smells like...snow!  Looking at the ingredients there's some vanilla absolute and lavender, so I'm guessing that's the scent, but to me, it smells like snow...fresh and pretty.  This pure sugar scrub is the perfect mix of ingredients that both hydrates and exfoliates the skin, leaving you soft and  moisturized.  The ingredients are super pure, too.  $26  

Meow Meow Tweet Walnut Oat Exfoliant -  Ah, the name, the look, the mission...all perfect.  This "small batch natural apothecary" is located in Brooklyn, NY and they use nothing but plant-based and food grade ingredients.  Products are housed in glass containers with biodegradable labels (you know how this excites me, right?) so I was really eager to test out some of MMT's line.  I've got many favorites which you'll hear about in upcoming posts, but I think their Walnut Oat Face Exfoliant is great for Winter skin.  This exfoliant is gentle, gentle, gentle, you'll get nothing rough here.  It smells like a delicious bowl of oatmeal and is just as comforting.  Wanna talk natural?  How do you like these ingredients?  Oats, chamomile flowers, black walnut hull and kelp.  That's it, that's the whole ingredients list.  My stars!  $18

Sellwood Soap's Coconut, Shea Butter & Beeswax Hand Balm - I'm a big, big fan of Sellwood Soap Co. Everything I've tried from chemist Rachael Gruen's Portland-based company has been primo! I've had this hand balm on my desk and apply it throughout the day because my desk is near a huge window and my fingers are freezing and dry.  With only three ingredients, you can't get purer than this.  I love how silky (yes, it's silky) it feels and how it absorbs so fast.  And, at only $8 for a glass jar that will totally last you throughout the winter, it's a magnificent deal.  

*Some of these products I was kindly given to review, others I purchased myself.  Opinions are my own.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Spill It: The Green Product Junkie's *Come As You Are* Beauty Tag. What's in your makeup bag...right this minute!

Back in the 50s and 60s, they used to have something called, "Come As You Are" parties.  Now, if the name isn't obvious enough, allow me to explain...

You'd receive an invite in the mail, and you had to show up at the party (whenever it was scheduled for) dressed exactly as you were when you received the invite.  Now, if you had any bit of personality, you showed up dressed completely ridiculously to make all of your friends laugh uncontrollably (and wonder what the heck was going on in your home).  My parents went to one and the pictures were hilarious, so now I'd love to single-handedly bring that a green blogger kinda way.

My beauty tag is a "Come As You Are" party for the makeup bag.  This means that I want to see exactly what's in your makeup bag AS YOU NOW READ THIS.  However...I don't want you to add things, to run and go get something to make yourself look cooler (how would that be possible, anyway?) Just simply, SPILL IT. That's right, spill your makeup bag on the table, the carpet, the couch and take a picture and then explain what you've got and what's going on in there.  Have fun and staging, let's keep this real.  

Couleur Caramel Cils Long Mascara & Brow Pencil - I love this mascara, but only for the top lashes as I think it would smudge on the lower ones.  It's my favorite mascara for volume and kapow.  Oh, and I love their brow pencil.  I'm not sure why, but I always have.  It's got a great little brow brush on one end, too.  Disco!

Dr. Hauschka Plum/White Eyeliner Duo - This is my favorite liner, but for some reason they stopped making this color and this is my last one (insert groan here).  I usually just apply it on the upper lid and the inside upper lid and it naturally smudges to give a slightly smoky eye...perfect for the girl who thinks black is a bit scary.

RMS Beauty - Wow, I never noticed how much RMS I carry around.  No wonder my bag is heavy!  I've got Demure Lip2Cheek, Lunar Cream Shadow, "Un" Coverup in 11, Living Luminizer and Bloom Lip Shine.

EcoTools Retractable Foundation Brush - I love this brush as it stays nice and clean for carrying and it's eco-friendly...always my goal.

Preserve Tongue Cleaner & Mint Toothpicks - Made from recycled yogurt cups, I've got these tongue cleaners in all my bags and in my bathroom.  I love Preserve.  If you don't know about their recycling practices, you should go to their site.  I love their minty toothpicks, too.

W3ll People Narcissist Foundation - What can I say?  My go-to foundation.  Light coverage, evens out skin tone, smells great and is so easy to use.  Oh, and it doesn't cake or look dry.

Tsi-La Perfume in Fiori D'Arancio - I love this lil guy.  So great to have in my makeup bag when I just want to smell pretty...on the sly.

Studio 78's Concealer "Off We Go" - If I forget this concealer, I will implode.  Okay, that's being dramatic, but between the awesome concealer and the fantastic little mirror on the inside top cover, it's a staple.  If I'm feeling dry, I'll put some RMS "Un" Coverup on top.

Zuzu Mascara - I use this on my lower lids because it NEVER flakes or smudges.  I also use it on my upper, but find myself wanting more up volume up there, hence the Couleur Caramel.  This gives a natural, pretty look.

Alima Pure Baila Lip Tint - This is from the new Kristen Arnett Me Encanta Makeup Collection.  It's so smooth and glossy feeling, I can't wait until I beg Alima enough that they start making these in pinks and brighter colors (I've already started..hee, hee)  Oh, and the scent of Cocoa is delicious.

Living Nature Lip Pencil - The color is Laughter and it's almost done, but I have a new one in my stash. This is a great neutral pencil.  

Jane Iredale Lip Gloss in Sugar Plum - This is a favorite of mine and I always carry this around.  It's a pretty medium coverage gloss in a great hot-ish pink.

Maison Scotch Makeup Bag - I love my new makeup bag.  You can't beat getting a pretty one...when I take it out, I feel happy.

Laura Mercier Lip Brush - Someone gave me this in a mini-set of brushes.  It's the only brand here that isn't green...but it's only a lip brush, so take that!

A comb - Uhm...who cares who makes it?

Thanks for playing and the rules are that you need to tag some other green beauty bloggers, keep the title as it is and, of course, have the best time.  

I'm tagging people who are probably far, far too busy to do this, like:  Life In BlushPemberley Jones (don't kill me), Green Beauty Bunny, 312 Beauty and Beauty by Britanie.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Need an excuse to get some new green skincare? Winter. SW Basics, Osmia Organics, Napa Organics & Alima Pure!

Looking for a good excuse to pick up a few new skincare and makeup products?  Winter.

These are some new products that I'm really excited about (almost type 'jazzed about' whew!)  Oh, and stick around for some fun discount codes from SW Basics and Napa Organics and little extra surprises from Osmia Organics!  This is going to be a two-parter because there's so many things I think you'll love this coming Winter season.

ALIMA PURE with Kristen Arnett

Me Encanta Collection - I recently hung out with Kristen Arnett (green beauty makeup artist, Instagram filter pro) in my dear olde East Village 'hood.  When she emailed me about her new makeup collaboration with Alima Pure called Me Encanta, I was giddy; yeah, I love makeup!  Inspired by beautiful flamenco dancers during a recent trip to Spain, this makeup collection is so much fun color-wise, I was so thrilled when I opened it up.

Me Encanta includes:

From top Sombra Contour, Pink Satin Matte Blush & Flamenco Shadow
Black Natural Definition Mascara - Now I haven't had the opportunity to fully test this mascara yet (I'm certain I'll have a review in the future), but I wore it yesterday (upper lashes only) and loved it. What I can talk about at this point is how much I love the brush.  You can get such nice control with it...excellent.  

Flamenco Limited Edition Eye Shadow -  A gorgeous, gorgeous navy mineral shadow.  This will be such a cool change from the typical black smoky eye.  It's deeper than the picture here...more like a midnight.  I'm so happy that Kristen chose a blue as opposed to going for the token brown or black.  This look so much less harsh than black and, in my opinion, makes creating a smoky eye so much easier. 

Sombra Contour Powder  - Kristen has got a video of how to apply Me Encanta makeup collection right here and I have to say a big thank you to her, because I was absolutely clueless about contouring before viewing.  This powder is really natural looking and it warmed up my face.  Oh, and I have a picture of me on my Instagram feed wearing the look, too!

Pink Satin Matte Blush -  I already have been raving about my Rosa blush by Alima Pure.  This blush, called Pink, is a matte and gorgeous pink that I imagine everyone could use.  It's a classic color and I love it.

Baila Lip Tint -  Smelling of rich cocoa, this lip tint is, in a word, luscious.  Truly.  This does not have a balm-like feel, but rather a juicy and smooth feel.  The color is a  warm brownish rose and goes on so smoothly, it feels like a dessert.  I can't wait to check other the other colors, too.  $50 for the collection.


Cream - I've written about this several times, but I have a thing for repeating myself, so here goes. Sure, I could've just written about the mask, but I want you to have one of the best creams for Winter and this is it.  Honestly, your skin will never be softer than this.  Soft, creamy and so effective, this cream is perfect for the upcoming colder months.  It smells heavenly and again, has only three ingredients:  Fair Trade Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil and Olive Oil.  I give this out to friends like it's candy and everyone gets hooked on it.  Do yourself a favor.  $32 for a big jar!  

Organic California Almond Oil  - This is a totally new company for me and the only problem with Napa Organics is that there name isn't all over the place yet.  Hilary Glass' family has been ranching in California since the 1880s.  This is a family-run business and everything is so natural and affordable, I'm excited to share this with ya'll.  I've been using their Almond Oil as a body moisturizer for the past week and it's gorgeous.  It's so pure and feels so wonderful on the skin.  There's just nothing like organic oil.  The thing that I also love about this is that so it's so multi-functional;  this can be used as an intensive hair conditioner, massage oil, body oil and, when applied lightly, a face oil.  $16  

Prune & Walnut Face Scrub -  Prunes (more antioxidant power than blueberries) are mixed with finely ground up walnut shell powder.  This product is a "booster" meaning that you can add it to your cleanser or mask to give yourself some extra brightening or exfoliation.  I love the idea of that.  This can also be mixed with the Organic Almond Oil above for a master hydrating and exfoliating party for your skin.  $12 for what I think is a jar that will last forever!  
Coffee Mint Soap - The first time I learned about Osmia was on Pinterest when I saw a picture of their soap.  I couldn't click quick enough to figure out what the gorgeous pattern was on the top of it.  I am now hooked.  After hearing about how it's made, the care and craft that goes into it, well as a girl who is a huge fan of homemade soap, it was a no-brainer.  I recently purchased three bars and started off using Coffee Mint.  Why am I recommending it?  Because it's a big, gorgeous bar o' soap that smells like mint and EXFOLIATES with fresh coffee.  I just love an exfoliating bar of soap.  $12

Night Body Oil - I fell in love with this immediately.  So much so that I emailed Sarah (creator of OO) and asked her what the heck was in this magnificent body oil.  Turns out that it's some of my favorites, lavender, roman chamomile and some wild atlas cedar.  This is so calming and pretty, I can't get enough of it.  In fact, I have it on my desk because there's a teensy little bit left in the bottle and I sniff it throughout the day.  Suggested use is before bed and I can understand why.  If I had to give it one adjective, I would use "peaceful."  2.0 oz. $20 / 7.5 oz. $65

*I was kindly gifted several of these products and happily purchased others.  My opinions are all my own.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Looking For A Non-toxic Medium To Full Coverage Foundation? Introducing Studio 78's Paris' Chameleon Foundation

It's no secret (mainly due to my big mouth) that I'm a huge, huge fan of Studio 78's Concealer.  It is, by far, my favorite concealer.  And since concealer was one of the last "unclean" makeup products I was looking to replace, I feel really fortunate to have found it.  So, when Hazel from NuboNau recommended that I give the new Studio 78 Chameleon Foundation "We Oxygenize."  a try, I was more than happy to go for it!

the coverage

I've gotten so many emails from women asking if I knew of a foundation with a fuller coverage since many of the "cleaner" foundations are more light with a dewy finish.  Well, I'm really happy to report back this this is, in fact, a medium to slightly full coverage foundation.  In fact, of all the clean foundations I've tried, this gives the most coverage.

Now, my skin is on the dry side, and being that this is pretty matte, I chose to mix it with a moisturizer before applying (I used Dr. Alkaitis Organic Day Cream).  But, if you do not have dry skin issues and love a matte look, this is the ticket.

the shades

I'm ivory with yellow undertones and I purchased the lightest shade, Sunny Terrace.  I don't recommend this for pale Ivory skin as it's got a fair amount of yellow in it.  Currently, Chameleon foundation comes in three shades. Oh, and the reason it's called Chameleon is because this mousse-textured foundation goes on white and changes into said color...don't ask me how, but it's very cool.

*I purchased this foundation myself and all opinions are my own!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beauty Tag!

One of my makeup bins.  There's some RMS Beauty, Intelligent Nutrients, Ilia Beauty, Studio 78 & Vapour
So, every now and again a Green Beauty Blogger will send out a Beauty Tag where they answer some questions and then "tag" us and have us answer them.  This tag, a very cute one I might say, was created by Sonja of Life In Blush.

On my nightstand you'll find:  Sans Lip Balm, Lotus Wei's Inner Peace Serum & KYI Moisturizing Mask (I use it for my hands & face before bed) and my iPad.

The literary character I'm most like is: I'm blanking on this.  You tell me...I'm neurotic, chatty, funny, dramatic and driven.  Go.

I'm currently obsessed with:  Ilia Beauty's Bang Bang (didn't think I could wear red before), Mun's No. 1 Aknari Serum, Lurk's RSW005 perfume (big into rose, here) and Intelligent Nutrients' Plant Stem Cell Science Renewal Complex.  I'm also obsessed with the big plans I have for my blog in the future...can't wait!

My favorite superhero is: Wonder Woman.  Who else is there?  How hot did she look in that little outfit?  And the gold lasso?  She slays me!

Favorite beauty product of 2013: Okay, hardest question ever!  Uhm...oh, I think it's my Studio 78 concealer.  

If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive:  I haven't met him yet, but he's around 6'2", witty and lives in NYC...and he's adorable.  I'm sure he's out there somewhere...

Winter is coming, how do you prep your skin for battle?  I dip into the SW Basics Moisturizer and start removing makeup with coconut oil.

My perfect date night makeup consists of: Crush by Vapour Organic Beauty on the cheeks, Dr. Hauschka liner and Call Me & Love Buzz by Ilia Beauty.  If I'm feeling really feisty (pretty common) I'll go for Sacred by RMS Beauty on lips and cheeks.

My go-to skin-beautifying snack/drink is: Wheatgrass.  God, I detest it, but it works.

My TV boyfriend is: Hmmm...the guy who plays Peter Russo on House of Cards (not conventionally gorgeous, but he does it for me) and uh...the main guy from Walking Dead.  Sure, I'd date him...who wouldn't?

If my evening clutch could hold only one beauty item it would be:  Time to get a new evening clutch.  No, okay, I'll play along...whatever my gloss was for that night.  I don't leave the house without some kind of lipstick or gloss.

One beauty tip I would pass on to my fictional daughter is:  "Be just like your fictional mother.  She's adorable."  Kidding.  Beyond confidence and telling her how cool she is all the time, I would pass on natural sunblock and lead-free lipstick.

The most nostalgic item from my childhood is: My doll Noo-Noo (she was the blond doll in pink that was called "Drowsy").

My favorite show of the moment is:  Well, now that Breaking Bad is over (RIP), I'm going to say I like House of Cards, although I lose the plot whenever Robin Wright saunters on the screen, hot damn!

My favorite quote is: "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.  Always."  Hits home every time I read it.  

I tag:  Alexis from The Green Beauty Bunny, Kasey Michelle from Plein Vanity and Marcella from Naturally Marcy

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Natural Open Sky favorites from Lotus Wei, Lollique Beauté & Waxelene!

When the peeps from Open Sky contacted me and asked for me to pick out and review some products that would appeal to me and my green-minded readers, I was very excited.  These are three products that I just loved.

Lotus Wei's Inner Peace
I love Lotus Wei.  I'm a huge fan of Infinite Love and Joy Juice, but think I've always truly needed Inner Peace (I'm a big worrywart).  I tested out the Inner Peace serum and the mist.  If you've never tried  these, I suggest you do and here's why:  

Inner Peace Mist -  Unlike many other aromatherapy products out there that are kinda strong and medicinal-smelling (why is that?) Inner Peace smells so relaxing and pure.  It's an absolute pleasure to sniff.  I find myself spraying the mist while I'm at my desk and then taking it in my bag and spraying it whenever I come upon it in my makeup bag.

Inner Peace Serum -  I've been keeping this right next to my bed and applying it to my face, neck and hands each night.  It's glorious (yeah, I'm bringing back the word glorious)!  Cup your hands and lift them up to your face and just breathe in to feel "deep calm, confidence and contentment."  This is great for relieving anxiety, nerves over public speaking, stress, etc.  I actually feel relaxed when I take time out to apply this. 

Lollique Beauté
I hadn't heard of this line before and I'm a little confused as to why as their skincare is super natural and really well made. 

Mask de Miel - Honey, honey, honey, it's all I'm hearing about lately...and quite frankly, I love the idea of it.  These ingredients are superb (raw Manuka honey and dried botanical plants, to name a few). This is one super-thick and hearty mask that's handmade in small batches and very high quality.  It left my skin toned, hydrated and glowing.  This can be used as a mask and/or face cleanser.  

Polissant - I have to admit, I'm a huge sucker for a delicious-smelling natural product.  This smells like a just-baked sugar good.  I love using this.  If you're in the market for a great cleanser that will exfoliate gently, this is the way to go.  This product also contains some natural alpha hydroxy acids, so I like to keep it on my skin for a minute, but remember your sunblock post-use!  Oh, and this product contains nuts, dairy, honey and bee pollen...allergic types, take note!

Chamomile Hydrosol - I love a good toner.  I use them constantly...spraying whenever I need some moisture, before I apply my moisturizers and also to set my makeup.  If you don't use one, I'm confused how we're friends.  Lollique's Chamomile Hydrosol was an instant favorite due to the fact that I absolutely love chamomile.  They also have hydrosols in Cornflower (intriguing...) Lavender, Witch Hazel, Rose, Lemongrass, Lemon, Orange and Pure Aloe Vera.

Lipstick Couleur in First Date Pink - I also tried their lipstick/balm in First Date Pink.  If you're looking for a balm with some very subtle pink (bright pink in tube, comes out a light baby pink) I suggest you go for this.  I love wearing it to the gym...a little color, but I don't feel like I've got lots of lipstick on.

I do not have enough AMAZING things to say about this.  If you're using petroleum jelly in any capacity, this is one of the first changes you need to make.  Don't believe me?   Read up on what's in it. Blech!  Not only does this smell like the sweetest honey, it's non-greasy, goes on clear, doesn't clog pores like petroleum jelly and is super multi-purpose.  You can moisturize every body part (including feet), remove makeup, use on your lips and, of course, it's perfect for wee babies.  The ingredients? Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Natural Vitamin E, Organic Rosemary Oil.  Oh, and I will be most definitely purchasing this when my lil tube runs out...and that's saying A LOT!  Get it on Open Sky here!

*I kindly received these products to review and thankfully, I loved them.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

hand blended lurk natural perfumes are beautiful and wickedly alluring

I couldn't even get near it.  When I went to the Night of Green Beauty event here in NYC, I got to meet so many of the creators of my favorite natural skincare and makeup lines, but there was just one little area that I couldn't get near for the life of me due to the crowds of women reaching for these pretty little bottles.  I finally asked someone, "Who the heck is over there, Buddha?" "No," she answered, "that's LURK."  I cocked my head to the side, "Hmmm...Lurk, you say?"  Duly noted.

Why Lurk?  Everyone has their own taste in perfumes clearly, but I think there's something everyone will love here.  The descriptions on Lurk's site capture the essence of the scents perfectly. Currently, they have five perfumes, all hand blended and made using only essential oils in organic jojoba.  Naturally, there's no chemical preservatives or additives.  At $55 a bottle, I also found Lurk to be really affordable.  I'm pretty obsessed with RSW005 - a rose scent that is so calming and pretty, I just keep inhaling.

Who's lurking behind LURK? 
Anne Sanford of Lurk is very cool.   On her site it says she's a perfumer, product development specialist, interior designer and creative director with a background in beauty marketing branding and brand development.  Well!  Way to make everyone else on the planet feel like we are devoid of the Talent Gene, there, Anne.  Sheesh!

   Q & A: 
Why make natural perfumes?
I have been really into oils for about a decade now and really wanted to create perfumes for a while before I jumped into it.  I like the challenge of “all natural” and I also felt that the market needed something a little bit different. Itʼs fun and def not always easy, but I like aspects of it.

Whatʼs your typical outfit for a day? (You seem to have a great look.  If you were wearing mom jeans, Iʼd leave this one out.)
Def no mom jeans here ;).  My typical outfit is jeans (Iʼm obsessed with denim), Vans Old Skool Slip Onʼs or high tops (Isabel Marant), T-shirt, army jacket or sweater wrap.  I love jewelry so I tend to jam a bunch of crazy stuff on my wrists, fingers etc.

How do you come up with a new scent?
It always starts with a image in my mind or something that I have seen.. I identify scent with imagery so once the flow starts I generally start writing down thoughts, ideas and the scents I am attaching to that process. Then I start getting into the oils and seeing how they flow together. Itʼs really fun and the outcome is not always what I think it will be.

I see a luminizer product in your line now, are you planning on getting into makeup and/ or skincare?
Yes, I am currently working on re-formulating the Luminosity Stick (making it more green) and I am also working on skincare for 2014.

What makes Lurk awesome?
Wow, thatʼs a tough question ;).  I think that LURKʼs commitment to keeping things outside of the box yet really simple and straightforward at the same time is cool.  I also really love LURKʼs commitment to purity and doing things our way.   Weʼre not afraid to take chances and that can be very rewarding. 

*I received samples to test.  All opinions are my own.  Try LURK…this is the real deal, Neil.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Greener Mascara Clinic is Open: Come On In, Ladies...featuring Zuzu Luxe, Dr. Hauschka, Couleur Caramel & Juice Beauty!

Zuzu Luxe, Dr. Hauschka, Juice Beauty & Couleur Caramel

ZuZu Luxe by Gabriel Cosmetics  This mascara will not smudge or flake on all!  Trust me on this one.  I use this on my lower lashes everyday and if I'm going for a all around natural look, on my top as well.  If you a more dramatic look, just add another layer.  This mascara is one that I will never stop using, plus the ingredients are great.  This also comes in Espresso and Navy as well as the Onyx.   $16.70


Dr. Hauschka Volumizing   I find that volumizing mascaras can be a little "wetter" than other mascaras and they can definitely smudge.  That's why I only use this mascara on the upper lashes and I'll use my ZuZu on the bottom.  I think this gives a really pretty full lash and is great for adding on for even thicker looking lashes. $29.25

Couleur Caramel Cils Longs This is my favorite for the upper lashes.  Again, there's no way I can wear this on the bottom as it will get all over the place.  So, I wear this on the top and ZuZu or Juice Beauty on the bottom.  I also love the smell of it...I know, strange, but it's got this super clean powdery smell that I love.  $24.25

Separating & Lengthening
Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara  I recently did a full review on this, but wanted to add it to the 'clinic' (who  do I think I am using that term, right?)  Anyway, this mascara is going to define lashes and separate them, but if you're looking for a big voluminous look, this isn't the one for you. This has never smudged on me and if you give a few seconds to dry, you'll be good to go all day.  $19

Some of these products I was given to test, others I purchased, all I loved.