Friday, August 30, 2013

carefree organics: handmade skincare with lots of organic ingredients & a chance for you to win my favorites!

I just love handmade skincare.  There's just something so cool about knowing that someone made something with their own hands just for you.  In my opinion, it's art, it's old school and that makes it incredibly cool.

Mother of two, Rebecca Pastore of Carefree Organics makes all of her own products (her hubby makes the soap bases).  With stellar ingredients and handmade great skincare products, it's pretty incredible that Carefree Organics is so affordable.  Purchasing over-priced products that are mass produced and filled with chemicals vs. handmade, organic products made with love? No contest.  Oh, but actually,  there is a contest, but we'll get to that.

My favorite natural products are ones that have great ingredients and serve multiple uses.  A quick favorite was Carefree Organics' awesome 3-in-1 Eco Acai Scrub.  Not only does it exfoliate your skin in thee most gentlest way, but it leaves your skin so hydrated from the many oils that there's really no need to moisturize after using it.  I like to apply it in the shower and leave it on whilst I do all my scrubbing up.  Using this is like a big treat because it feels wonderful to apply and I love the feeling it leaves on the skin.  It comes in both Lavender and Eucalyptus and, at $15.00, it's super affordable.  Can also be used as a shaving cream on my legs, but my face wouldn't allow it. 

Bonus?  The ingredients are all organic and pretty much perfect:  Euterpe oleracea fruit (acai) extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, butyrospermum parkii fruit (shea butter), laminaria digitata (sea kelp) powder, lavandula officinalis (lavender) oil or eucalyptus globulus leaf (eucalyptus) oil.

I love myself a good cream eye cream...and an all-organic one? Disco!  Lately I've been on the eye serum train and although I love it, sometimes it's nice to put on a hydrating cream with a thicker consistency.  I liked Carefree Organics' Essential eye cream immediately.  Not greasy, this cream/balm has a the feeling of a drier shea butter (so it's not sliding down your face).  
I think this is going to be great for the upcoming colder weather. It's so smooth to the touch and with these ingredients, I'm totally recommending this.  I also have been wearing it under my eye makeup and it's perfect.  Oh, and if you can imagine, it's only $9.99 in a jar (BPA-free) that will last you.  

Contest is closed.  Thanks for playing!

Yep! The super generous Rebecca of Carefree Organics wants one of you to win her full-sized 3-in-1 Eco Acai and a full-sized Essential Eye Cream.  

To Enter:

1.  You must like Carefree Organics on their FB page here...who doesn't want to be popular?
2.  Name the three cheesiest songs that you just love to sing along with and keep 'em funny please!  :)

Type your entries here or on my FB page!

Have at it & I hope you win!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some Of The Best Non-Toxic Perfumes...Woman, You're Gonna Smell SO Good!

If you've ever said that you can't replace your favorite perfume with a natural one because you don't know where to look for one, I hope I can guide you in the right direction.  I've gotten so many emails from women saying that fragrance is the one thing (along with mascara and concealer) that they can't seem to replace.  Nonsense, I say!  Not only will you find something you'll love, but once you start wearing a natural perfume, your nose will get itchy when you smell someone get on the elevator with something you used to think smelled so darn good. 


Jasminas by Intelligent NutrientsMust love Jasmine. We're talking serious Jasmine here. Pretty and super concentrated, this opaque amber perfume comes in the perfect little bottle.  You need just the tiniest bit to smell so pretty and fresh.  Apply behind the ears or in the hair.  $45

Prima Ballerina by Strange Invisible Perfumes - I'm constantly sniffing my wrist while I'm wearing this as I keep getting a faint hint of rose and I'm liking it.  With rose, sage, lime and botanical musk, it's a gorgeous rose powderish perfume with a modern twist!   $150


Prima by Osmia Organics - Okay, I'm highlighting Prima, but I have to say that I found all of Osmia Organics' perfumes to smell earthy, herbal, fresh and just full of nature.  Sarah, the line's founder, definitely gets inspired by her Colorado surroundings.  If you're an Earthy girl, put your bags down as you've arrived, woman.  $75

Woodland by Forager Botanicals - This unisex fragrances has notes of cedar wood, high alps lavender and sweet, rich herbs.  Casey Coyle, the woman behind Forager Botanicals, is a Brooklyn-based graphic designer who longed for more natural, simple fragrances. $120


Love Coconut by  Honoré des Prés - My favorite perfume.  No, you won't smell like you've just slathered on tacky sun oil from the Eighties.  It's light, subtle and just so pretty...ah! 100% natural and organic.  $95

Vamp `a NY by Honoré des Prés -  How to explain? and feisty, it's described as having Tuberose and rum.  Allow me to just say that if you can get your hands on a sample, chances are you'll fall in love pretty fast & will be getting yourself a bottle, you sexy woman!  $98


333 by Tallulah Jane - If you like chamomile and lavender, you're going to love this.  I got hooked as soon as I tried a sample and have been through many bottles.  Eleanor, the creator of Tallulah Jane, also has these available in awesome body oils and Eau De Parfum.  $58


Halona by Tallulah Jane - Lime, fresh ginger and spices.  This is a gorgeous scent that is uplifting and happy.  If you like citrus and peppy scents, you'll love Halona.  I also have the body oil...I highly recommend.  $48

Urban Organic by A Perfume Organic - With lemon sorbet, bourbon, lime peel, basil ginger and smoky vetiver, I think this is next on my list to purchase.  I'm a citrusy girl, what can I say?  $65

Trip by Honoré des Prés - 100% natural and organic, this delish perfume is all about pure tangerine extracts, Mediterranean oranges, yellow and green lemons and spicy pepper taken from trees in the Philippine Islands.  Although I love this, keep in mind that citrus scents don't last very long and will need to be reapplied.  $84


Trusque by Osmia Organics - Fruity, Spanish lavender and plant-based musk. Perfect for the upcoming cooler months...seriously well-made perfume here.   $150

Mejica by A Perfume Organic - I'm smelling gorgeous spices (clove?) mixed with Vanilla...but real Vanilla, not what synthetics have made us believe it smells like.  This is the real deal.  I'm thinking this is going to be perfect for Fall/Winter.  $65


Aiyana by Tallulah JanePure Moroccan Rose,Vanilla, hints of pear and Rock Rose all brightened with a delicate scent of Italian Lemon. This is super feminine and hard to describe.  I love wearing it.  Also comes in a perfume, but I covet the body oil!  It's hydrating and feels amazing on the'll love sniffing your forearm during the day!  $38

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum - Again, not a conventional perfume, this body oil smells so good that I had to add it in here.  With Vanilla, Yuzu and grapefruit, I'm looking forward to Lina making this a perfume soon...and if I'm correct, I think she's doing just that!  $63

Nuture by Intelligent Nutrients Not a conventional perfume, this is an anti-aging total body elixir serum and it smells just wonderful.  Lavender, sweet orange and geranium.  Subtle, pretty and relaxing.  $30

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who Knew I'd Fall In Love with An Oil Cleanser...or Ginger? I'm Constantly Reaching For GingerChi Since I First Tried It! Wanna win it?

GINGERCHI'S PURIFYING OIL CLEANSER $28 can I start this review?  The reason why I'm not sure is because I so love this handmade cleanser and really want to get the point across that it is very different from anything else I've ever used.  

With many cleansers I have to follow up with a toner because I'm just not trusting the cleanser to get rid of all of my makeup. With GingerChi's Purifiying Oil Cleanser, I take a little, massage it into my skin to loosen up makeup and impurities (eyes included) and then hold a warm washcloth over my face for a minute and then wipe it off. After using the cleanser, my skin is so soft, clean and because it's an oil cleanser (which I'm starting to think is thee best thing ever) it's super hydrated.  This oil cleanser really makes a lot of sense.  

In a nutshell, GingerChi uses ginger for its healing properties, unlike many companies that use a ginger fragrance simply for scent.  Two of the many benefits of ginger include:

  • Slowing the aging process as it's rich in antioxidants which prevent and repair damage from free radicals.
  • Enhances skin tone as ginger boosts the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid

The scent is light and citrusy and the ingredients are awesome:  Camellia oil, coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E and essential oils of fresh ginger, grapefruit and lavender.


Beyond how it makes the skin feel, the smell of GingerChi's Rejuvenating Ginseng Toner is absolutely heavenly.  It smells like a light ginger tea with lemon. I adore.  Using this is an absolute pleasure for many reasons, but mainly because it's so refreshing, tones the face and is so pure. This is wonderful to freshen up during the day.

The ingredients sealed the deal for me, too:  Rose water, melissa water, ginseng tincture, aloe vera concentrate, Siberian ginseng, NFF moisturizer, sea silk, eco preservative, essential oil of fresh ginger.

Who do I think could benefit from GingerChi's cleanser and toner?  Uhm...everyone?  I just think that there's so many cleansers out there that are stripping the skin as opposed to adding hydration while cleansing.  So, if you're looking for an effective, handmade skincare line that is effective and smells wonderful, I say, you've arrived.  


The winners are:  Laura Brubaker, Sarah Weber, Lauren Pollicino. Congrats!

GingerChi has generously offered three (3) sets of their:
  • .5 fl oz Face Cleanser
  • .5 fl oz Face Toner
  • .125 fl oz Face Serum
  • 1 organic muslin face cloth
  • Small muslin bag.  
I'm so excited for you to try it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Seventh Generation's Boosts: A Natural Face Oil That's Truly Affordable & Works. Wanna Win it?

Who knew?  Seventh Generation's Boosts
Like many of us, I was pretty shocked when I heard that Seventh Generation (of whom I am a big fan) was coming out with a line of natural face oils.  I purchase all of their paper products and detergent (my fav is the eco-packaging on this one) but never thought of them as a beauty brand...until now.

I received the Hydrating Boost to try and have to say, it's really effective AND super, super affordable.  I mean, this is the kind of thing that you could comfortably recommend to someone who says (to be read in a whiny voice)  "But I need something I can buy in a drugstore aaaaand it can't be expensive!"  Well, with a price of $13.99 and stellar ingredients, it's not going to get better than this.  

I used this for a week and I have to say that my skin was soft, hydrated, the oil absorbed really quickly and the scent was nice.  So, if you're looking for a natural face oil, don't want to spend too much, I'll say go with one of the Boosts.  They come in: Hydrating, Revitalizing, Soothing, Clearing, Firming and Protecting.

These are the ingredients for the Hydrating Boosts:  

Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, passiflora edulis (passionflower) seed oil, oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, euterpe oleracea (acai) fruit oil, orbignya oleifera (babassu) seed oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, vanilla planifolia bean extract, and rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.  

Big kudos to Seventh Generation for bringing a green beauty product into the drugstore arena. This is a great sign that natural products and ingredients are picking up steam and becoming more accessible to everyone.

This giveaway is closed.

Become my fan on Facebook & tell me in the comments here or on FB page:

1.  What oil you would love to try
2.  Why you think that you, above everyone else, deserves to win this and remember to keep 'em funny!

Friday, August 9, 2013

...And The Kitchen Sink is a Natural Cleaner That Does EVERYTHANG! Oh, And You Can Win It!

I don't usually write many posts on environmentally-friendly home products mainly due to the fact that I'm most often asked to review natural skincare and makeup.  So it's a lot of fun for me, especially considering that I'm a Virgo who is constantly cleaning her NYC "compartment" (as I like to call it).   So, trying out something pure and natural to clean with is right up my alley.  Cassandra Iams of ...And The Kitchen Sink, has created this eco-friendly and fun cleaner after working in the eco-cleaning biz and not being impressed with what she was using.

Three things to love about...And The Kitchen Sink

1.  IT DOES WINDOWS & EVERYTHING ELSE!   Yep!  This cleaner will not only clean pretty much everything in your home, but it will also clean your WINDOWS!   Now you can literally go into your bathroom and spray your mirror, sink, shower...everything with one product.  Bonus: This cleaner can take the place of 12 products, saving lots of plastic and space.

2.  FUN SCENTS!  I'm such a sucker for scents and this cleaner comes in six fun ones. Currently, I'm using Fresh Lemon Mint.  It smells fresh and clean and it's not overpowering at all.  Note: if you get the Snack Pack, you can try all six!

  • Fresh Lemon Mint
  • Cedarwood, Rose & Lavender
  • Cucumber Melon
  • Sweet Basil & Citrus
  • Juniper, Fir Needle & Eucalyptus
  • Elevation Blend (Geranium, Juniper, Lavender & Tangerine)
3.  SAFE INGREDIENTS: Love, Water,White Vinegar, Soap, Borax, Hydrogen Peroxide, Essential Oils, Phthalate-free & nitro-free fragrance oils

4. REFILLS:  You can refill your spray bottle 11 times with the concentrated refill bottle to save money and plastic.

So, who is ...And The Kitchen Sink?

Cassandra Iams is the founder and creator of this super fun natural brand of cleanser.  In 2006, she was working for an eco-friendly housecleaning service and found the products to not only be really expensive, but she also found the ingredients to be sort of fishy with ingredients that weren't that effective.  So, she created her own.  

Giveaway is closed.
1.  Be nice and "like" ...And The Kitchen Sink's Facebook page here.  AND...
2.  Tell us what cleaning job in the house you absolutely DETEST and make it funny, would ya?
This contest is closed.  Winners are Beverly Boyce Hazen & Cheryl David!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

super cool osmia rockstar cool. yeah, like that.

Sarah Villafranco, creator and founder of Osmia Organics...gorg or what?
I tweet back and forth with a lot of green beauty goddesses who run their own companies, but I have to say, Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics is pretty damn cool.  The kind of cool where you wish she lived in NYC so you could yap green with her and watch her create all of her awesome skincare products.  I mean, this woman even discusses the recyclability of each of her products here.  I wanted all of you to get an idea of who Sarah is as a person, so I asked her a few questions which follow my review.  

DETOX EXFOLIATING MASK  Dare I say it's the best mask I've ever used?  Yes, I dare.  Please don't think this mask is for oily skin because it's got the word "Detox" in its name.  I have skin that can easily become dehydrated and I found this to not only clear my skin and make it bright and fresh-looking, but also leave it hydrated.  It comes in a bottle along with a little ceramic mixing bowl and spatula (love).  I find myself reaching for this whenever my skin is looking a little dull and clogged.  This is a favorite.
Key Ingredients:  Purifying clay, raw cacao, manuka honey and activated bamboo charcoal. $50

FACIAL CALIBRATION SERUM  This serum is pure, the consistency is light and not at all thick.  This serum is designed to help skin become more even and smooth and assists in regulating sebum production. It's a serum is for all skin types, but I love the fact that it will calm down skin that's acting up...something that happens often with women and our hormones!  $50
Key ingredients:  Olive squalene, kukui oil, powdered acai and organic black seed oil.

LIP LUSTER  I'm a sucker for a lip gloss or lipstick, so when I had read that Osmia's gloss that gets its color from beet root, well I just HAD to know about this company.  The scent is a subtle vanilla and I would say the color is like you were eating some blackberries.  You can make it as deep or light as you wish, depending on how much you apply.  I loved the consistency of this - not too thick, not sticky.  $15  Key ingredients: Beet root, Castor bean oil.

FOREST BODY OIL First off, this body oil comes in several scents, I just tested Forest.  One thing that strikes me about Osmia is that many of their products have an Earthy scent...creating scents in Colorado will probably inspire that!  This scent smells exactly like a bunch of evergreen trees in a forest.  It's bold and rich, but softens when on the skin.  This oil gave me that glow that celebrities have on their legs when they cross them on Dave Letterman. You know what I mean...just a pretty glisten, not oily.  It absorbed quick and was wonderful to wear.  I would love to try the Flower oil one day! $20
Key ingredients:  Ambrette seed oil, evergreen oils.


What new products are you working on now...if they’re not Top Secret, of course!  They are SO top secret, but I'll tell you anyway.  I'm working on a vitamin C lifting serum and a beautifully simple, organic exfoliant, both of which are pretty divine. 

What do you have in your makeup bag?   I have an eyelash curler and tweezers, my two most important items (I'm 40 now - I get whiskers).  I have our Luster lip gloss, RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, and some Chantecaille eyeliner.  The next on my list to try is Kjaer Weis mascara. 

What green beauty industry women would you love to sit around and talk shop with?  I'd love to chat with Rose-Marie Swift, Gwyneth (does she count?), Mandy Aftel (smart and funny), and pretty much every green beauty blogger out there - you guys keep it real, keep our egos in check, and seem to find as much joy doing what you love as I do!  When should we do it?

Name three adjectives to describe yourself.  Go.  Motivated.  Fun.  Alive. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

They say it's a great summer look, but Jane Iredale's Dream Tint, Smooth Affair & Lip/Cheek stain is going to be a year 'round for me, baby!

When one of the lovelies over at Jane Iredale contacted me and said that they thought I would love their Simply Summer look, I was all in.  Consisting of their Smooth Affair primer/luminizer, their Dream Tint tinted moisturizer and my all-time favorite, Forever Pink Lip & Cheek Stain, it's truly the dream team, but I won't be wearing this simply in Summer!

Although I usually prefer a stick foundation in the colder months, I had never really found a great tinted moisturizer that would allow me to put away my stick for good during the warmer months.  I often found tinted moisturizers to be either drying or without much coverage.   That all changed when I tried Dream Tint.  To be honest, I've worn it every single day since I received it.  It's my new favorite and I'll definitely be recommending this. What makes Dream Tint such a score:

  • TEXTURE  The texture of Dream Tint is so smooth and velvety, it's like you're putting a lotion on your skin.  It feels super light and it's perfect for when you don't need a lot of coverage, and perfect for when it's warm out and you don't want to feel like you have on a mask of makeup.
  • SUN PROTECTION  It's got an SPF of 15 and provides water resistance for over 40 minutes.
  • THE LOOK  It leaves the skin with a smooth surface (never dry and cakey) so that it never looks like you're wearing makeup.  I would say that this is light coverage, but what I really like about it is that it totally evens out the complexion.
When you're trying to make the switch from toxic to non-toxic makeup, a good primer can be a pretty big deal.  This is a great primer.
Smooth Affair is both a facial primer and a brightener.  While many luminizers can make you look greasy and made up, this is so just brightens the skin.  It looks great under Dream Tint and I love the fresh scent.  The benefits of Smooth Affair:
  • THE LOOK It smooths skin and readies it for makeup.  It gives skin a brighter, more radiant tone without being too shiny or - worse yet - sparkly.
  • BENEFITS Helps makeup stay on longer, evens out skin tone, smooths and hydrates skin.
I really wish that I had tried these products earlier as I would've definitely used them the entire Summer but, like I said, I'm going to be using Dream Tint and Smooth Affair year 'round now.

What more can I say that I haven't said already here?  I can't tell you how many of these Forever Pink stains I've gone through.  If you love a pink lip, you've got to have it.  

*I was sent these products to test and I love 'em.  All opinions are my own!