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.