October 23, 2011

De-grease and volumize your hair on the cheap - naturally

Lately I have seen other beauty blogs talking about the benefits of dry shampoo. What exactly is dry shampoo? Basically, it is a powder or spray used on the hair to remove greasiness and give the hair extra volume. I am all for both of these uses, but there are two things I do not like about dry shampoo:

1. Many brands have chemical ingredients, talc and fragrances that I do not feel comfortable rubbing all over my scalp and,
2. A lot of the natural brands tend to be pretty expensive. I saw a nice looking product that cost a whopping $30!

Luckily, I have never wasted a penny on dry shampoo because I have something that works just the same: baby powder. I started using this my freshman year of college because my roommate always used it. When I was in high school I would wash my hair every single day, but as my life has gotten busier over the past couple of years, I figured out that that wasn't necessary at all. In fact, it is healthier to give your hair a bit of a break. If my hair gets a little greasy in between washes, I just dab a little baby powder here and there and it's good as new. The amount of volume it gives your hair is also awesome. I get more compliments on my hair when it's a bit "dirty" and has baby powder in it than when it's freshly washed.

I do have to warn you to not go overboard with this stuff, especially if you have darker hair. If you use too much, your hair can get a white greyish cast, which can be especially visible with flash photography. Also, it's obviously not a substitute for washing your hair all together.

When purchasing baby powder, be absolutely sure to get one that is talc free. Talc is a dangerous because it acts like and can be contaminated with asbestos. It especially should not be inhaled, which very likely to happen with a loose powder. Also be aware that many baby powders have added fragrance.

My current go to is GentleCare Butt Dust. I love this brand because it is very inexpensive, has simple, unambiguous ingredients, and smells light and refreshing. It can be bought here from Vitacost for $7. There are several other natural brands on that website, but some use natural fragrance that isn't specified, so I feel safer using this because it has lavender oil and rose buds.

EWG rating (preliminary): 1

Ingredients: Corn starch, kaolin (clay), bentonite (clay), sodium bicarbonate, rosa centifolia (rose buds and petals), comiphora molmol (myrhh) gum, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil.

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October 16, 2011

Product review

My friend and I often send each other pictures of the food we are eating, and one time I sent her a picture from a restaurant called The Store. As you could imagine, this was confusing conversation:
Me: [Picture message of food]

Friend: Where is it from?
Me: It's a salad from The Store
Friend: What store
Me: The Store is the only good place for lunch downtown
Friend: What store??
Me: It’s called The Store....

The product I am taking about can cause similar confusion, because it is called, quite simply Product. Can you imagine?

"I love Product!"

"What product?"
"Which one?"

"No, the product is called Product!"

Slight confusion aside, this product lives up to it's title because it is simple, straight forward and effective. As I mentioned in my last post, this is one of my all time favorite beauty finds. It has become so essential to me everyday.

It's primary use is as a hair pomade. You use it by taking a small amount, warming it between your fingers, and running it through your hair. This will help smooth out any frizz. What is really amazing is how much it softens and moisturizes. I found that when I add it to my naturally curly hair, and then flat iron it, I get the smoothest and silkiest texture. Of course a flat iron will make your hair smooth and less frizzy, but I really noticed a dramatic difference in the softness with Product. I now use it everyday, whether I'm leaving it curly or straightening it. It's really nice to know you have something in your hair that is keeping it healthy and moisturized.

Because all of the ingredients are natural and moisturizing, it can also be used as a lip balm. This may not seem like that big of a deal because chances are you already have some natural lip blams or salve, but it is! Before I started using product, I was getting the worst flakey, dry lips. It was 
unsightly and painful. I tried putting every sort of moisturizer possible on them, but nothing was working. When I first tried Product on them, I could feel an instant difference - it smoothed over the dryness and made my lips feel much better. It just melts right into your lips. It is my theory that it somehow absorbs into the lips better and faster than other balms. Maybe it's the ratio of ingredients or the aloe vera oil? Whatever the case this is now my go to balm and it comes with me pretty much everywhere. It's so convenient to have one portable product for hair, lips, or even dry hands and cuticles.

One last note is that Product comes in a sturdy (I've dropped it several times) glass container. This is a really great consideration, because as Rose Marie Swift put it - plastic pollutes the product and it pollutes the 

shea butter*, aloe vera oil*, wild-harvested white beeswax, natural source vitamin E (tocopherol), tangerine essential oil. *USDA certified organic

Price: Retails for $14 at thenameisproduct.com, but you can find it on ecobold.com for $9.99 with free shipping!

Disclosure: A sample of this product was sent to me from the company. My 
opinions are 100% honest. I really, really love this product.

October 5, 2011

Early fall favorites

I wanted to do another post similar to one I did previously about my current favorite products. I really love all of these items, and have been grabbing for them all month long. There's a bunch of items I chose to share, so hopefully there is something you are interested in.

I have a full review of Product coming soon, but I have to mention now how much I've been loving it. I use it as both a hair pomade and a lip balm, and it works absolutely amazingly for both purposes. This is one of my absolute favorite natural beauty finds.
Ingredients: Certified organic shea butter, certified organic aloe vera, natural source vitamin E (tocopherol), wild-harvested (pesticide-free) white beeswax, and food-grade tangerine essential oil. 
Price: On sale at ecobold.com now for $9.99. It normally retails for $14.

Sigma E05 Eyeliner Brush
This brush makes creating fine or thick lines with cream products or wet shadows so easy. I've never been particularly good at putting on eyeliner, but I have noticed an improvement in the evenness of my application with this brush. It has dense bristles, but is doesn't agitate the eye. 
Price: $9 at sigmabeauty.com. Don't confuse this with the E10 Small Eyeliner brush - it is not the same. This link will take you to the right one. 

Sigma F32 Round Top Kabuki
I've used the flat top version of this brush for over a year, and I love how well it buffs product into the skin. I finally purchased the round top version, and I have to stay this is probably my favorite face brush ever. It buffs in product just as well as the flat version, but the round shape makes it easier to move around the contours of your face. It is also very soft and durable, with synthetic bristles. Sigma brushes may not be the cheapest on the market, but I think they are the best overall value.
Price: $16 at sigmabeauty.com

Everyday Minerals Soft Bronzer
I've really been enjoying this bronzer, because it is impossible to make yourself look orange or overdone with it. For pale skin tones, this is the perfect way to liven up your complexion and get and little color, without looking fake. I also love how affordable this bronzer is. Click here for my full review of Everyday Minerals bronzers.
EWG rating: 1
Ingredients: Mica, Lauroyl Lysine. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Price: $4.50 (on-sale from $9) at everydayminerals.com

Coastal Classic Creations Eyeliner in Black Pearl
I keep coming back to this color for eyeliner because it is so easy to wear everyday. It is cool toned, so it will never make your eyes look tired or red. It also works great wet or dry. Check out here for my full review.
EWG rating: 1
IngredientsWhite cosmetic clay; high purity, filtered synthetic iron oxide black (CI 77499) and brown (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491) (also listed as CI 77492)
Price: $18 at coastalclassiccreations.com

Priia Browz Now Mineral Brow Defining Creme in Auburn
The shade of this brow color is a really good match for my hair, and I really like the application of a cream more than powder. This tiny pot will last quite a while because only the smallest amount is necessarily, so it's a good value. Many of the other colors available would also work great as eyeliners. I've been thinking of getting the black and taupe colors to use for that purpose. Also, a little tip: a stiff angled brush is the easiest way to apply the product in the right shape!
EWG rating (preliminary): 1
Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Hydrogenated Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Mica, Iron Oxides. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch.
Price: $13 at priia.com

Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick in Karma
My new favorite natural peachy nude color! Just reviewed and swatched this product here.
EWG Rating: 1
Ingredients: canola oil, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) fruit, beeswax, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, tocopherol (vitamin e), origanum vulgare (oregano) leaf extract, thymus vulgaris (thyme) extract, cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, hydrastis canadensis (gold\n seal) root extract. May Contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, ultramarine blue, carmine, manganese violet.
Price: $11.99 at honeybeegardens.com

By Nieves C Perfect Skin
This serum has really helped smooth out my combination skin on my forehead - the part of my face that always wants to break out. My review full review of the By Nieves line is in the following post.
Ingredients: evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, organic sesame oil, squalane, ascorbyl palmitate, essential oils.
Price: $9 for the trial vial (shown above) or $35 for 2 oz. at bynieves.com

Vapour Illusionist Concealer in 010
I've been using this for months to cover imperfections, and it gives really nice coverage, especially considering how clean and natural the ingredients are. When you use it on an larger area with the Sigma brush from above to diffuse it, this concealer gives a nice airbrushed effect. I also really like that you can put this over an imprefection and know that it is not going to make it any worse. My full review on this concealer is here.
EWG rating: 2
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
Price: $22 at vapourbeauty.com

Zuzu Luxe Mascara in Navy
Up until I started using Zuzu Luxe, I still kept a tube of L'Oreal Voluminious around for nighttime when I needed dramatic lashes. No matter what type of natural mascara I used, I was never satisfied with the volumizing effects. When I tried this mascara, I could not stop looking in the mirror at how thick my lashes looked. Soon after, I threw out Voluminious! This product is just so much better than your average natural mascara. Lately I've been using the Navy color because it is different but not too dramatic. I will have a full review coming soon.
EWG rating (preliminary): 2
Ingredients: Aqua, Cellulose Gum, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol Acetate, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Iron Oxides, Hectorite, Titanium Dioxide, Potassium Sorbate
Price: $16.70 at gabrielcosmeticsinc.com

Disclosure: Zuzu Luxe Mascara, By Nieves C Perfect Skin and Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick were sent to me as PR samples. The Sigma product links are affiliate links. As usual, opinions are 100% honest.
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