July 24, 2011

Soapwalla deodorant: believe the hype!

I am far from the first beauty blogger to talk about Soapwalla deodorant, but I figured I would also personally vouch for this stuff. This product is super good. It prevents odor and keeps you somewhat dry. I've used several other natural deodorants before, with mixed results. Some did almost nothing, some did a good job of preventing odor. None prevented wetness. That was a huge problem for me because my skin would get agitated by the combination of sweat and product, and I would get itchy, red, stinging pits. Yuck! (I know). I favorited Soapwalla about a year ago on Etsy, but I wasn't prompted to actually order it until I read about it in several places (Product Junkies Rehab had a good review).

July 22, 2011

rms beauty cream eye shadow

Recently, I got my hands rms's cream shadows. I was lured in by the beautiful color selection and luxurious glass and metal packaging. They just look so creamy, shimmery and wearable. The good news is that the colors are just as gorgeous in person as they are online:

So, what's the verdict on their performance? I like these shadows, with some reservations. rms is very upfront about the benefits and drawbacks of it's product. They say these shadows are a combination of an eye cream and an eye shadow - so they are actually very moisturizing. They never claim they are creaseless - and they certainly aren't. In fact, the blog instructs that when they crease during the day, you can rub your finger over the shadow to smooth it out. I know some people actually like creased shadow because it looks "rocker chic." I'm not one of them, but if you are, go for this product!

If you lay this product on as thick as they are in the swatches above, you will end up with a gloppy (yet nourishing) mess around your eyes, especially if you are facing hot humid weather. If you lay them on very sheerly, they will work the best, but they won't have very good color payoff:

I found a solution that is sort of a happy medium between these two techniques. I build the color little by little by rubbing a small amount in, and then going over it a few times, making sure to rub it in with each application. These shadows and they are now a staple in my routine. Most of them can also be worn on the face or lips - so versatile! Lunar and Solar are great for everyday eye shadows, and I love using Magnetic and Spark at night. The latter to are the standout colors. Spark is especially fantastic for that reddish coppery look that is so trendy right now. If you are interested in trying them, I suggest ordering samples from spiritbeautylounge.com.

In terms of safety, this company is absolutely awesome. Their ingredients are very pure and straightforward, and reading the ingredients page on their website is not only impressive but informative. This brand deserves to be highly trusted.

EWG rating: 1

Where to buy: $28 at spiritbeautylounge.com

Ingredients: *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil,*Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol(non-GMO), *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract. May contain: Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019, Carmine CI 75470
*Certified Organic

*affiliate links.

July 14, 2011

Etsy find: Good 4 You

I just wanted to do a quick post on a cute Etsy shop I found a while back: Good 4 You (username: good4you). This shop carries lots of natural, herbal products. I love it because the products are very unique, affordable, handmade, and many of the ingredients are handpicked or homegrown. You can't get more natural than that. The packaging is copies of hand drawn designs, which are so adorable. I'm a huge lover of salves and balms, and by my count this shop offers about 10 different types. Here's what I picked up and have been loving.

The Chickweed Salve ($6) can be used on hair, skin and nails. I love the versatility of this, it's a great overall moisturizer. This has a very earthy herbal scent, which I love, but I can tell it won't be for everybody.

The Glow Stick ($6) is a cross between a moisturizing balm and a bronzer. I like to use this on my arms, and rubbed in well on my face for a bit of color before I put on the rest of my makeup.

I got the Quarter Life Crisis Balm ($7) for myself, which works on acne and sun damaged skin, and I bought the anti-wrinkle Rosey Salve ($8) for my mom. I actually gave it to her after I demanded that she use it instead of non-natural stuff she has in her makeup bag. As a matter of fact I should call her and make sure she's gotten rid of that other stuff. Anyone else struggling to convert their family members to natural products? I digress... The Rosey Salve also has a super earthy scent that won't be for everybody.

This shop also carries edible items, including a huge selection of teas. I have a lot of tea to drink up already, so I bought this powder that is packed with healthy greens, The Ultimate Green Drink ($6.50), to add into my homemade juices. This is great because I don't have access to fresh wheat grass or anything like that. This reminds me of the Odwalla Superfood Drinks, but this will make tons of drinks for the price of less than 2 bottles of that stuff.

Overall I really love the items and I encourage you to check out the store! I probably will be purchasing the other salves in the future.

July 13, 2011

Look "Well Rested"

Last week I told you about my current go-to concealer - now I have to share what I set that with! I like to use bareMinerals Well Rested for Eyes. This is a creamy textured, slightly yellow opaque powder. As the name suggests, it’s meant to be used to cover dark circles and make you look awake. There are two really remarkable qualities to this product. This first is that its opacity, which makes it give amazing coverage. The second is the way it not only covers, but brightens dark circles. I love the effect, It just seems to make your eyes more luminous. If you use the triangle method of concealing under the eye (from each corner of the eye and down slightly at an angle away from the nose), this is perfect for that. Just be sure to blend it in well so it doesn’t look too stark. I use on this on my eyes over my Vapour concealer for lasting wear, but I’ve tried this on its own and it still covers dark circles very well. I apply it with an eyeshadow blending brush for even, non-cakey coverage. It's best to avoid getting the product too close to the lash line because it will settle a bit into fine lines.

The yellowish base makes it neutralize other discoloration on the face really well too. I’ve even tried it over pimples, and it cancels out the redness. I don’t know why this works, because according to color theory, green cancels out redness - but it does.

This isn’t as good for very light or darker light skin tones. However, if you are fair like me and use bronzer to give yourself some color, it still works fantastically. The product just needs to be a bit lighter than the rest of your face to brighten. If you have darker skin, I would imagine that the deeper toned concealers from bareMinerals would work just as well.

As you may have ascertained by now, I’m constantly researching products for possible nanoparticle content. Because this product has SPF 20, I double-checked with bareMinerals customer service. They said it has a particle size of greater than 10 microns - not in the nano-sized range. It also has a fairly short list of ingredients that I feel safe putting on my skin. It does have bismuth in it, which many people like to avoid because they are allergic to it.

EWG rating: 1

Price: $18 at Sephora.com

Ingredients: Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Kaolin, Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

July 6, 2011

Concealer: Out with the old and in with the new

Here's a great example of why choosing healthier products is not so black and white. When I switched over to healthy makeup, I was using a little concealer palette from a non-natural brand that I really liked. It had several shades and was super useful for covering up all sorts of problems. I pasted the ingredients - which were only listed online, not on the product itself - into the cosmetics database. It gave a low rating of 2, so I decided to keep using this stuff. Several months later - when my boundaries about what is acceptable to me were more defined - I checked the ingredients again. I was surprised to find that it contained talc and a paraben! These were two ingredients I had decided to avoid all together. Never mind that 2 rating, I threw the stuff out.

Of course I didn't go without concealer. I found something I liked better - the Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer. I first tried this by putting it directly from the stick under my eyes, which didn't work at all for me. That applied the product too thick for the eye area. I found that getting a little of the product on a concealer brush and then dabbing it under the eye worked much better. For concealing pimples and redness, applying it directly from the tube works great. I also like to use this under lipsticks, to make the color on my lips look like it does in the tube. In fact, I am a huge lover of very nude lips, and I am going to pick up one of these in a little bit darker color to use as a lipstick. The packaging is so perfect for this! For all other uses, I like using a concealer just a hair on the light side because in brightens the under eye, while still blending in with my skin tone. As for ingredients, as I've mentioned before I really trust Vapour. They use organic ingredients, no parabens, no nanoparticles, and even are made with wind power. I think the efforts made by this company justify that its products area bit expensive - especially considering many other unhealthy luxury brands charge just as much or more.

EWG rating: 2

Price: $22 at vapourbeauty.com

Ingredients: Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Silica, Essential Oils & Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense)*, Organic/Bio Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi/Holy Basil), Organic/Bio Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers) [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)] *Wildcrafted
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