Monday, September 30, 2013

the natural skincare transition made easy: marie veronique organics has everything you need in one place!

Okay, here's how the majority of my conversations go when someone approaches me about their desire to make the switch to "greener" skincare:

"Okay, well you can look into this brand, this brand and this brand..."

(heavy rolling of the eyes)
"Ugh, really?  Where do I get all this stuff?  I'm exhausted already.  
Can't I just buy everything from one brand?" 

My usual answer was, "Not really," but now that I've tried Marie Veronique Organics, I can simply answer, "Yes, you brat."  

Marie Veronique Organics is the perfect brand to do your one-stop shopping.  The kit that I tested, the Everyday Essentials Kit, was so easy to use that when I opened it up, I actually smiled.  There are two sizes for this kit - the full-sized at $175 and the travel size at $60.  I think the travel size is just right for trying out the line (but make sure to check out the deal below before ordering).   Now, I have pretty dry skin and I found that I wanted a little more hydration with this kit, so if you don't like a super heavy moisture routine, this will be great for you.   

MVO Exfoliating Cleanser:  This opaque, gel-ish cleanser smells wonderful, cleans and refreshes the skin and has adzuki bean powder to gently, and I mean, gently exfoliate.  With the first three ingredients being green & white tea, adzuki bean powder and aloe vera juice, you can't lose.  It has a pretty, herbal scent.

MVO Mist:  This mist smells like tea and since the first ingredient is such, there you have it.  I love a good mist before my serums/creams.

MVO Face Oil:  The key ingredients in their Face Oil (from their site):
  • Krill oil: Omega-3, 6 and 9 balance, this oil is an excellent source of astaxanthin, an extraordinary antioxidant, and phosphatidyl serine, which Korean scientists have dubbed the “anti-aging fat molecule.” 
  • Argan oil: Rich in Omega-6 and 9, Vitamin E, carotenes, squalene, and phenols.
  • Blackberry seed oil: High in natural Vitamin C as well as several types of Vitamin E and lutein making it an excellent ingredient for repairing damaged skin.
MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30:  
This is where it really gets to be one-stop shopping.  Marie Veronique Organics makes tinted moisturizers with an SPF of 30.  The tints come in three shades:  Extra Light Tint, Light Tint (a bit more yellow in it) and Medium Tint.  I received the Light and Medium Tints, but think I could've probably used the Extra Light.  It feels smooth, texture is light and I loved the herbal scent.

This deal expired on 10/12/2013.

*All opinions are my own.  I received this kit to test.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Juice Beauty's Lash Defining Mascara Works...really works!

KAPOW!  Here it is!  I've tried it! Juice Beauty's Lash Defining Mascara.   Because I received many emails from readers wondering how it stacks up, I pushed up the review. 

I was introduced to Juice Beauty's new makeup line by owner, Karen Behnke at Juice Beauty's "Just Juice" event here in NYC earlier this month.  As expected, their new mascara was a big topic of conversation as finding a clean mascara that works requires quite a bit of searching.  

Wonderfully.  There is absolutely no flaking, no smudging and no clumps!  When I came in yesterday after having worn it for over 8 hours, it was as if I had just put it on.

It separates and defines the lashes.  This look is natural, defined, pretty.  I like to apply 2 coats as I'm used to a lot more volume on my upper lashes.  This is not a volumizing mascara, so if you're looking for thick lashes, you might have to look elsewhere.  I think one of the reasons that this stays on so well is because the mascara really dries, so I suggest putting on your two coats before it dries.

INGREDIENTS:  Organic botanical extracts of serenoa repens (organic saw palmetto extract)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe extract)*, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla wax), triisostearyl citrate, hydrogenated glyceryl abietate, brassica campestris/aleurites fordi oil copolymer, copernicia cerifera (organic carnauba wax)*, vegetable glycerin, theobroma cacao (organic cocoa seed butter)*, persea gratissima (avocado butter), methylcellulose, xanthan gum, tocopherol (Vitamin E), sodium hyaluronate (vegetable hyaluronic acid), ethylhexylglycerin, phenethyl alcohol. May Contain: mica, iron oxide.       * = Certified organic ingredient

Would I re-puchase this?  Most definitely.  I think the formulation is fantastic and from what I understand, creating this mascara took Karen and her team many, many, many tries.  I think she's nailed it.  $19

Monday, September 23, 2013

my new fall loves: Intelligent Nutrients, Dr. Alkaitis, RMS Beauty, Sans Skincare, Jane Iredale and GingerChi!


Destress Express Hand Therapy: I had tested this hand cream before it came out and immediately purchased it as soon as it was available.  This is going to be a staple for me come the colder weather.  Why do I love thee?  It's hydrating, the consistency is like a gel/cream, it absorbs sooo fast (I have no patience for waiting for a hand cream to dry before putting my gloves - I know, First World Problems...) and it smells like minty heaven.  $26

Organic Eye Crème:  I'm so happy the people at Dr. Alkaitis contacted me.  I truly forgot how great their products are.  First off, the ingredients are so pure that all of their products are edible.  Now, I'm not suggesting you nosh, but I am saying this is a super clean line.  The base of this eye cream is organic Aloe vera and it's so light, it feels wonderful going on.  Again, it absorbs fast and leaves the under eye perfect for makeup application...I mean, perfect.  I also love the smell of natural. If you don't like heavy creams or oils near your eyes, I highly recommend Dr. Alkaitis' Organic Eye Cream.  I'm really enjoying it.  $60

Oral Detox:  Okay, so you make your own Oil Pulling solution.  I commend you for that, but I have to say that whatever I have made in the past paled in comparison to this.  This is like thee oil pulling solution to beat all.  I love using it.  

But what, you ask, is oil pulling?  From the GingerChi site:  'Based on the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling, our Oral Detox combines sesame oil with healing essential oils to kill bacteria, strengthen the gums, and freshen the mouth. Unlike traditional mouthwashes that are harsh and dry the mouth, oil pulling works with your saliva to create an almost soap like effect that truly cleanses the mouth while strengthening the teeth and gums.'   

I wake up in the morning and before I eat or brush my teeth, I take a tablespoon of the Oral Detox and swish it around my mouth for 20 mins while I'm doing everything else.  My teeth feel wonderful after, and at $15 for a gorgeous bottle, I think the price point is just right.

Demure Lip2Cheek:  I'm big into pinks.  With my fair skin and blue eyes, it just works better than anything else, so I'm always excited when a brand comes out with some new pinks.  Demure?  Oh, my!  I just love it.  I've been wearing it on my lips and my cheeks and, come Fall, I'll use it to give a simple flush of color over my cheeks.  It's a great hue...something like a deeper baby pink, but definitely not Barbie.  $36

Whipped Face Butter:  Creator, Renan Kennedy has created a line that is pure, effective and all homemade.  She's new on the scene and really passionate about what she does.  This mousse-like Whipped Face Butter is light and creamy to the touch, but is seriously hydrating.  You only need a small amount for your entire face.  I tried the Lavender, but she also has scents in Gardenia, Unscented, Lemon Lime and Sweet Orange.  This comes in a good-sized jar and should last you for the entire Fall/Winter season.  $35 

Whipped Face Butter Ingredients: 100% Pure Plant Butters and Pure Plant Oils, Vitamin E Tocopherols, Carrot Seed Oil, Rosehip Oil, Patchouli Essential Oil, Frankincense Essential Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil.

Moisturizing Sugar Scrub Squares:  These are an absolute favorite.  If you're like me and love a good exfoliation in the shower, listen up!  These little squares are super exfoliating and take quite a bit of scrubbing to wear away. They leave soft and moisturized skin in their wake.  One small scrub lasted me about 2-3 visits in the shower and I have to say, there's very few products I've tried that are as fun to use as this!  5 for $15 

PureMoist LipStick:  I was so happy to attend the launch event of the new PureMoist LipStick colors.  I was even more excited to get my hands on them after having seen the new colors at the event.  There is definitely a color for everyone and I think that this formulation is absolutely perfect.  It's somewhere between a balm and a lipstick.  It's hydrating and feels great on the lips.  It smells fruity and I just love it!  $25

*WIN  IT!   Jane Iredale PureMoist Lipstick of Your Choice!

This giveaway has ended.

*Contest ended Monday, September 30th @ 10am.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

better than boys: tsi-la of the best natural perfumes.

TSI-LA ORGANICS...just wow.
I'm not sure what happened, but Tsi-La (pronounced "chee-la") Organics never made it to me in time to get into my big post about natural perfumes.  Initially I was bummed, as I'd heard great things about them, but I actually think it's quite fortuitous as this organic perfume line is fully deserving of it's own conversation. 

Yes, everyone has their taste perfume-wise, but I have to say that I think these scents are just so modern, I can't imagine anyone turning them away. They are fresh, super pretty and just, well, happy-making.  In fact, after having sniffed the samples silly for days, I couldn't take it anymore and went and ordered Fiori D'Arancio (it's rather unreal). But, I must admit, it was a tough choice between that, Ilang Ilang and Fleur Sauvage...yes, I was in love with three perfumes from one company.  Total record, there.  Scent is very personal and I was shocked that each perfume was appealing to me.  

*Oh, and shhh...but the inside scoop is that Annie and Natalie (creators of Tsi-La) are closing in on a vanilla scent (L'Absolu Vanille) that they've been working on for some time now.  It's in the final stages, but you didn't hear it from me...well, you did, but...

First off, let me say that these perfumes are oils, which I love.  It feels so great when you're rubbing them into your skin.  
Let's get to it, what are they made from?  USDA Certified organic ingredients, pure extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, essential oils, plant botanicals and food grade ingredients.  Beat that...I dare you.

Fiori D'Arancio - defined as "Happiness" 
Sheer Candied Citrus
Notes: Orange Blossom, Tangerine, Vanilla & Lemon Grass

Kizes - defined as "Joy"
Elderberry Lemonade
Notes: Citron, Elderberry, Orange Blossom & Jasmine

Fleur Sauvage - defined as "Passion"
Creamy White Floral
Notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Sandalwood & Neroli

Ilang Ilang - defined as "Love"
Sun drenched exotic floral
Notes: Ilang Ilang, Jasmine, Vanilla & Citrus

Kesu - defined as "Calm"
Meditative smoky incense
Notes: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Amber & Davana

Misaki - defined as "Tranquility"
Green Lavender Forest
Notes: Lavender, Moss Bergamot & Vanilla

If you visit their site, you'll see they sell mini perfumes for $44.  It's cool because you can get mini-sets, as well.  Their prices run from $44-$95.   

*I was sent these perfumes for review.  All opinions are my own.  Love the stuff.

Friday, September 13, 2013

like rose? yeah, me too. zweena argan rose rejuvenating serum is hydrating and smells so great, I keep re-applying...ahhh!

Zweena's Argan Rose Rejuvenating Face Serum
You know you love a product when you keep re-applying it even when you don't need to. I've tried one other rose oil-infused face oil, but I found the scent to be far too over-powering. I love the scent of rose, but in small, pretty doses.  Zweena's is just that.

First off, "Zweena" means beautiful in Morocco.  Jayme Barrett, founder of Zweena has a cute story of how her company came to be.

While visiting a friend in Morocco, Jayme met her future husband on her third day in the country (sounds like a Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts movie, no?)  Not long after, her hubby-to-be gave her a bottle of argan oil as a gift and the rest is history.   So, as Jayme fell in love with both her man and the "liquid gold" oil, she soon made the decision to bring pure organic argan oil over to the United States.

I've tried many argan oil blends, but this is, by far, my favorite.  The subtle scent of rose, the way it blends and absorbs quickly into the skin and the hydration it gives is superior.  I also find that at $58, it's a great price.

The Argan Rose Rejuvenating Serum is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamin-rich botanicals.  It's also 100% organic and chemical-free sourced directly from a fair-trade cooperative in Morocco.

Just as an FYI:  Jayme had given me a 2-week supply of the oil and I have to say that it's one of only a handful of products that I've received to test that I've completely used the entire product...that's saying a lot!

Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, ** Rosa Canina (Rosehip Seed) Fruit Oil,* Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil,* Punica Granatum, (Pomegranate) Seed Oil,* Moroccan Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil 

*USDA Certified Organic ,**ECOCERT Certified Organic 

*I received this product for review.  All opinions are my own, gosh darn it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, Canada! Yeah, fable naturals comes out swinging with their eco-packaging, clean ingredients & handmade self. word up. plus, a giveaway!

"You had me at compostable."

Eco-packaging, eco-packaging, eco-packaging.  Those are the buzz words and you heard it here first (or maybe second...okay, third?)  Whatever the case, as more and more natural/organic products gain in popularity, my hope, and belief, is that people are going to start seriously looking at the whole picture.  Mainly, how is this product's packaging affecting the environment?  So, when Gwen from Fable Naturals approached me about her brand and told me that her lip balm packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and breaks down in a home compost, I was smitten.  In fact, I wrote her back, "You had me at compostable."

What's cooler than this compostable packaging?
First of all, you should know that the creators, Gwen and Chris, make everything by hand, bring in Fair Trade Cocoa Butter from Peru, Olive Oil from Palestine and sugar from Paraguay. All of their products carry certification from Fair trade International and they give back:  Fable Naturals contributes to projects in developing countries such as Trees for Life in Palestine which helps plant olive trees to help farmers maintain their traditional olive farming.  Gwen just told me that they're headed to Palestine this, no?

Okay, so back to the lip balms...they balm are awesome. For those of you who love a less emollient and more Chapstick-esq feel without the toxic ingredients, you'll be in heaven. They're vegan and come in three scents: Lemon, Mint and Vanilla Orange (which smells like a Creamsicle).  And with ingredients like Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil and Vitamin E, you've got the best thing for your lips.  $5.99  WIN IT BELOW!

I'm not one of those women who are always making my own products, but I do make my own sugar scrub and let's just say it was looking pretty, pretty lame-o when little Canadian Fable Naturals' Sugar Scrub made it's way into my shower.  I actually felt a little bad for my scrub as I reached for the Lemon and Lavender Scrub during every shower (it also comes in Rosemary & Mint, too).  This scrub is all sorts of excellent.  It really, really exfoliates and it leaves your skin hydrated enough so that you won't need a moisturizer when you get out of the shower (one of my favorite qualities in a scrub, I must say).  It's also not super oily (bonus) and smells sweet!  $11.99
A must-have product for Fall/Winter.  
What truly amazes me about this industry is how easy it is to purchase such healthy skincare with the best of the best ingredients and it's still so affordable.  Fable Naturals' Body Balm has ingredients like  organic coconut oil, olive oil, Camellia Sinesis Seed Oil, Spearmint, Vitamin E, just to a name a few, and it's only $9.99.  This body balm is PERFECT for carrying around in your bag (I've been doing just that).  It also absorbs nicely for something that is so hydrating.  I love the scent and I recommend that your get yourself a tin of this...healthy, inexpensive and with lots of organic, healthy ingredients.  


This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for playing, playas!
1.  "Like" Fable Naturals on their FB page here.
2.  Make sure we have a way to contact you - leave an email, twitter handle or something...please!
3.  Tell me your worst date experience...keep 'em funny...unless they're tragic, but that's still funny!  Leave a comment below or on my FB page here.