December 31, 2015

YÜLI Skincare Panacea Elixir

After I finished my first block of exams in September, I wanted to treat myself to something extra special. YÜLI is a luxury green skincare line that has received about as much hype as any green beauty brand I've ever come across, so it seemed to fit the bill. I decided to give their Panacea Elixir ($68 for 3.4 oz) a go because the fresh, pure, organic ingredients list drew me in, and it's made to calm skin and treat breakouts.

December 30, 2015

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream

Finding the perfect, holy grail natural deodorant truly is hard. I must admit, after over 4 years of blogging, I still haven't found that end all to be all product. But facing down a humid, stink-inducing summer in the south, I purchased all three Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Creams ($14 each for 2.4 oz) earlier this year to try out.

December 21, 2015

Cold weather favorites from Weleda

I am officially done with my first semester of med school! It was more grueling than anything I could really put into a brief summary to start to this blog post, but I am very, very excited for my two weeks off. I'm hoping to get a bunch of posts up in my off time, so hopefully I can remember how to write beauty products instead of cramming the names of arteries into my brain. Even though it's much less of a focus these days, I'm still as into natural beauty products as ever. I love walking down the beauty aisle at my local natural grocer, and many times my study break is spent browsing deals at iHerb. On one such break, I ordered Weleda Cold Cream ($12.67 for 1 oz) and Everon Lip Balm ($4.61 for 0.17 oz). These two products are some of the brands most heavy duty options for dry winter skin.

November 23, 2015

Whole Foods find: holiday edition 365 Maximum Moisture Body Lotions

As I mentioned in a recent post, this year I am all about holiday scented body care. I think it's really fun to try something new in seasonal scents that aren't available the rest of the year. One of my recent finds is the Whole Foods house brand 365 Maximum Moisture Body Lotions ($4.99 each for 8 oz) in Limited Edition Sugar Plum and Peppermint Vanilla scents.

November 21, 2015

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Cleansing Foam + Floral Toner

These days it's really hard to make any time for my blogging hobby, and I have a major backlog of new products that I want to talk about. Since I have a few minutes now, these Cleansing Foam ($10.36 for 5.5 oz) and Floral Toner ($10.36 for 6 oz) from Andalou Naturals' 1000 Roses line are at the top of my list.

November 18, 2015

Frosty Zum Hand and Body Soap

For whatever reason, I keep finding myself so drawn to holiday bath products this year. I haven't bought many yet, but I picked up this Frosty Zum Hand and Body Soap ($12.19 for 8 oz) on a whim from Vitacost, and was surprised just how much I like it. The formula is so perfect, kind of like a slightly thickened castile soap that rinses absolutely everything off my hands without being drying in the least bit. The scent is mainly pine, with just a touch of peppermint. It's not strong or overpowering at all, just enough for a light scent when you wash your hands. It's a little on the pricey side for a hand soap, but a little goes a long way, and I like it enough that it was totally worth it.

October 24, 2015

kimberlyloc x Rachel’s Plan Bee Limited Edition Body Oil

Smelling good is a luxury for me these days. As part of the first year of medical school, I spend big chunks of time in the anatomy lab, and afterwards, the smell of formaldehyde comes with me. When I finally get a chance to clean off, I feel downright rejuvenated, and I savor the chance to smell nice for the rest of the day. And that's where this new Limited Edition Body Oil from kimberlyloc and Rachel's Plan Bee ($26 for 2.8 oz) comes in.

September 19, 2015

August + mid-September empties

You may have noticed that I've been pretty absent from blogging for the past several weeks or so. That's because I started medical school in August, and I have so much more free time than I used to! Just kidding, I'm studying all the time. Do you know how much you study in college in the week before one of your big exams? Being in med school is like that, but constant. Even though it's rough at times, it's also really, really exciting to finally be here.

As you might know, one of the first classes in med school is gross anatomy, in which we have to dissect a cadaver to learn about the detailed structures of the body. I was surprised how fast I got used to being in a room full of dead bodies, but the formaldehyde used preserve them is probably the worst part. Every time my tank mates and I open up a new cavity, the chemical burns our eyes, and when I come out of lab I wreak of it. I get home as quickly as I can to scrub off the smell, and for that reason, I've gone through a ton of shower and cleansing products lately. The rest of my routine is certainly more simplified than it's been in the past, but I still do my makeup every morning, and try to keep up a skincare routine. Spending a little extra time with beauty products can be a nice little escape from the daily grind of med school. Here's what I've gotten through in my last month and a half or so:

August 11, 2015

Eartheasy Conservation Soaps: lather up and help animals at the same time

It's been well documented on this blog that I have a passion for the mundane-sounding, but actually quite exciting soap bar. I just find them more convenient and eco-friendly than a bottle of body wash. As such, I definitely didn't want to pass up the chance to try Eartheasy's Conservation Bars* ($5.95 each for 3.75 oz), which have the dual purpose of creating lots of suds and saving endangered animals. As you can tell, each box features a different animal, and 100% of the profits of each one go to specific conservation foundations for that species. Pretty neat, right?

August 8, 2015

Block Island SPF 30 Suncreen

For me, the absolute most important beauty item in the summer time is sunscreen, and I've got a new one in my arsenal from a brand called Block Island ($17.99 for 3.4 oz). This SPF 30 Sunscreen lotion stands out because it has non-nano zinc oxide, but doesn't feel heavy on the skin.  Most natural, higher SPF sunscreens have greasy textures that are not all that comfortable to wear outside in the heat and humidity, but this one easily absorbs into my skin and leaves it feeling dry to the touch. I really, really like it.

July 21, 2015

Getting the glow with Silk Naturals

I always am a fan of glowy over matte when it comes to skin, but in summertime I tend to lean towards powders, which don't slide off my face like creams and liquids in the humidity. Even though powders are more practical, I really miss the glowy look that you can achieve with liquid and cream products. For that reason, I really wanted to get some powder products that give me the luminous skin. After searching around, I found that Silk Naturals, by far, offers the best selection of this kind of thing. They have powders for pretty much anything I could possibly imagine. I picked up all three of their Tinted Perfecting Powders for all over face color, and three of their Glows for highlighting and blush as well. If you want to jump on that whole "Strobing" trend, these would be great products to check out. 

July 20, 2015

Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant

Weleda Citrus Deodorant is one of the few products I've repurchased over and over again, but I switched things up this time, and tried the Rose Deodorant ($11.99 for 3.4 oz). Would this floraly fragrance be able to do the trick like it's citrusy counterpart?

July 19, 2015

Badger Navigator Class Man Care: for him + her

What is a men's product line doing on this beauty blog?

We all have dads, boyfriends, brothers and male friends that we want to get in on this greener personal care thing, and where better to look than one of my most trusted body care brands? I'm so excited to share some reviews today on Badger's Navigator Class Man Care products.

July 13, 2015

Bare Minerals California Bronze Palette

I really, really like bronzers. My old username on MakeupAlley is literally ilovebronzer. Unlucky for me, there actually isn't that wide of a variety of bronzer products that are made by natural companies, especially pressed ones without silicones. My absolute favorite bronzer is from the Bare Minerals READY line, so I couldn't help but try the California Bronze Palette ($29) from the brand's spring collection. As you can see, it features two bronzers and a golden highlight.

July 12, 2015

The Honest Co. Haircare

In the past couple of months, I've made several orders from The Honest Co. This is a brand that was started by Jessica Alba after she adopted a more natural lifestyle. I am not someone who gravitates towards celebrity-endorsed products, but I started noticing that The Honest Co. was gaining widespread distribution in retailers like Costco and Target. I am all for expanding access to natural products, especially in stores that usually carry conventional ones, so I decided to check them out. I was really impressed by the ingredients, and even more so by the low price point. I made my first orders because I was in need of natural cleaning products, but of course I couldn't help but get some beauty stuff as well. I have a whole load of products to review, but today I'm starting with the haircare: the Shampoo + Body Wash ($9.95 for 8.5 oz), Conditioner ($9.95 for 8.5 oz) and Conditioning Detangler ($5.95 for 4 oz).

July 10, 2015

June 2015 Petit Vour Box

This month's Petit Vour Box* was another hit. This box continues to impress me with well-established natural brands, and sizes that actually give you your money's worth. The theme this month is Bright Eyed & Fresh Faced, and includes a full-sized eyeliner, plus three mini skin cleansing products. Three of the brands were already on my radar: Meow Meow Tweet, Jacq's Organics and 100% Pure, while Fior Minerals was completely new to me. Read on for my thoughts on each product:

July 8, 2015

June favorites

I'm a little late on June empties and favorites posts, because I'm on vacation in Oakland. There's so many people in tune with this whole greener lifestyle thing in the Bay Area, and I was excited to see one of the earliest green beauty brands that I tried, By Nieves in a local store. I wish I had more time to check out more local handmade goods, but there's not enough time on this trip...

On to June favorites. This month I was really into makeup, and in particular, skin products that are bronzey and glowy. I also found a fantastic daytime serum, another great hand cream bargain, and a truly natural shampoo that really works.

July 6, 2015

June empties

Are you ready for June empties? It's a big one. Even though I did make a new purchases in the past month or two, I still have been focusing on using up products that have been sitting around on my shelf. Right now, I've really honed in on getting through all my body moisturizer products, because I just have too many. This month I also used up no less than four different deodorant products, plus a little bit of just about everything else.

June 28, 2015

What I pack for a weekend away

As I posted about earlier this week, I'm having a weekend at the beach! I already shared what's in my beach bag, but today I'm showing absolutely everything that comes with me for a weekend away. I try not to be too high maintenance, but I also want to cover all the bases so that I can keep clean and do a full face of makeup. Products I've already reviewed are in bold, while other products are linked to where you can find them.

June 25, 2015

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Now that summer is in full swing, using a daily SPF is more important than ever. I'm always on the lookout for sunscreens that meet my ingredients standards, and Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer* ($22.99 for 2 oz) was next on my list. This 2-in-1 product is designed for oily and acne prone skin (I fit into the latter catagory), and is one of the few sunscreens I've tried that actually feels moisturizing on the skin. And most importantly, the SPF 30 does a great job of protecting me for the sun.

June 24, 2015

Why I love my Fitbit

This is the first time that I am writing a post solely focused something that is not a beauty product! But since I write a green beauty blog, I think it's safe to assume that we're all interested in other aspects of health, and what's more healthy than exercise? Today I wanted to share my experience with the Fitbit, a gadget that has really helped me maintain an active lifestyle in the past four months. It has provided with me so much encouragement, and I wanted to share my experience with this product.

June 23, 2015

What's in my beach bag

This weekend, I'm headed to the beach! I'm excited to be near the ocean, and am hoping it will be a bit cooler and drier than it is at home. However, as someone whose summer uniform is hat, sunglasses, long sleeves and leggings, I'm already planning for how to protect myself from the sun's harsh rays. While I'm at it, I've put together my essential beauty items, and a few other things I want to carry along too.

June 22, 2015

Primavera Balancing Cleanser Gel

Primavera Balancing Cleanser Gel ($20.99 for 100 mL) was featured in my May Favorites post earlier this month, and I wanted to share a full review of this awesome product. I experiment a lot with my facial cleansers, and I think this gel is unique for it's ability to cleanse oil throughly without stripping the skin.

June 20, 2015

Jane Iredale Lip Pencils

As I'm sure you might have noticed, lip liner has really become a thing in the past year or so. I used to only own a red pencil for wearing under bright red lipstick, but I was really missing out. Nude-toned colors can not only add longevity and dimension to other lipsticks, but they can be worn alone under a lip balm for a low maintenance look. When it comes to neutral-hued lip liners with natural ingredients, Jane Iredale rules. I own the brand's Lip Pencils in Nude, Peach and Spice ($13 each).

June 19, 2015

Budget cream foundations from Erzulie, Silk Naturals and The All Natural Face

Cream foundations are a popular natural product, for good reason. They are formulated with oils, butters, waxes, and minerals, so they require minimal preservatives. They often have buildable coverage that can be sheered out or layered heavily, and many can also be used as concealers. There are many natural brands that make cream foundations, but surprisingly few are in the affordable price range. I've scoured the internet, and found three that are all less than $20: Erzulie Perfect Match™ Cream to Powder Mineral Foundation ($15 for 3 oz), Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation ($6.50 for 10 g) and The All Natural Face Cream Foundation ($12.45 for 20 g). All three of these products come from handmade, indie sellers (yay!).

June 18, 2015

Silk Naturals Peach HD Cream Concealer

When I first started switching over to natural beauty products, I was pretty obsessed with Silk Naturals. This company offers a huge, huge array of products, great quality, and  amazing prices. I started to stray away from the brand, mainly for the shallow reason of not loving their packaging. However, they have expanded their line even more, and I just had to try some of their new products. One of the items I picked up earlier this year was the Peach HD Cream Concealer ($5.50 for 3 g). This product was mentioned in my "what's in my bag" post, and I but I wanted a full review.

June 17, 2015

Pure Life Soap Co. Papaya Shampoo + Conditioner

I've been on a streak testing out new haircare lately, and today's affordable option comes in bright, pretty packaging: Pure Life Papaya Shampoo and Conditioner ($6.69 each for 15 oz). I might have spoiled things a bit by featuring the conditioner in my disappointing products post, but I actually really enjoy the shampoo. Read on for my more in-depth thoughts on both:

June 16, 2015

T.J. Maxx Haul

A new T.J. Maxx opened in my area recently, and I pass it every time I go to work. I've never been a much fan of the store, but I was surprised to find that they actually carry many natural beauty brands. Every time I go in, there's different items, so there's no guarantee you'll find what you want on any one trip. But over the past couple of months, I've actually found a few things that I'm pretty excited about. Shopping at this store can make you prone to impulse buying, but I've been fairly restrained about what type of products I let myself buy. Hair care and deodorant will always get used up, so that's mostly what I've purchased. Here's what's in my stash from T.J. Maxx:

June 15, 2015

Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser

When it comes to cleansing, I really feel like Acure cannot let you down. I've reviewed the brand's Cleansing Creme and Cleanser Gel in previous posts on my blog, and I loved their Brightening Facial Scrub too. The Sensitive Facial Cleanser* ($9.99 for 4 oz) is the last in the line for me to test out, and I think it's a pretty great product. This one is touted to be a natural alternative to the inexplicably popular Cetaphil cleanser, and it happens to be available in Target now, a few aisles away from that aforementioned face wash. To take a step back for a second, I think Acure is demonstrating that products can perform just as well as their chemical counterparts, contain great, safe ingredients, and they're accessible too.

June 14, 2015

Miztera Butters

I love trying products from small, handmade lines that get their start on Etsy, and today's finds come from a small company out of Oakland (where I'll be visiting in a few weeks!). Miztera's products are made of100% natural ingredients, and are housed in apothecary-style amber glass jars with cool labels that include the batch number and date made. I tested out two heavy-duty body moisturizers from the brand: The Wonder Butter* ($22.99 for 4 oz) and Divine Blossom Body Butter*($24.99 for 4 oz).

June 12, 2015

My current haircare routine

Today, I'm sharing all of the products that I use my haircare routine. When I see all the things I use in my hair, I feel quite high maintenance, but I actually don't spend that much time on my hair at all. Plus, like many natural enthusiasts, I only wash my hair once or twice a week, which I think is key to avoiding overproduction of oils. Here are all the current products in my rotation:

June 11, 2015

May 2015 Petit Vour Vegan Beauty Box

Throughout my time blogging, I've received several different beauty box subscriptions. I've never actually chosen to review one, because I am often disappointed by the item selection. Since you're not getting to pick your products, I feel that beauty boxes need to contain items that are well over the value of the box, and not too many samples that you could get for free anyway. When I opened up Petit Vour's May Box* ($15), I was actually pretty excited about the contents. The first thing I noticed was a full sized Lippy Girl lipstick, a brand that's been on my radar, but I've never tried. Then there was a full sized dry shampoo from a brand that's new to me, Zabana Essentials. It also inclues a luxurious rose toner from MUN, which was highly recommended by Lilly from Genuine Glow, and a body scrub that leaves behind shimmer from nyl. Here are my thoughts on each product:

June 10, 2015

Acure Day Cream: revisited

One of the earliest posts on my blog was a review of Acure Organic's Day Cream*($16.99 for 1.75 oz). It was the very first product that I tried from the brand, and I knew this would be a line that I would keep coming back to. Though I think I was a bit out of touch with my skin when I wrote the review (I said my skin was combination. What?? My skin is normal), I still love this cream. Though I strayed from it for a while, it's just as good as I remember it.

June 9, 2015

iHerb Haul #2

I was super frugal for the past couple months, and I finally broke that streak and picked up a few new things from iHerb. Here's what's in my latest haul:

June 8, 2015

Kaia Juicy Bamboo Cleansing Cloths

I've seen Kaia Juicy Bamboo Cleansing Cloths* ($15.50 for 30 cloths) on several blogs, and when the company contacted me, I was curious to try them for myself. The cute, juice box packaging was definitely a draw, and while I don't use facial wipes everyday in my skincare routine, they do seem to come in handy for removing makeup on the fly or wiping down my face after the gym.

June 7, 2015

Acure Cell Stimulating Body Wash

If you read my blog regularly, you might notice that I'm somewhat obsessed with bar soaps. I literally collect the boxes. But sometimes, I like a good body wash too. Unlike bar soaps, they don't disintegrate in the shower, and it's just so nice to pour some gel on a konjac sponge and get completely sudsed up. My current favorite? Acure Cell Stimulating Body Wash* ($9.99 for 8 oz). This product has long been on my list to try, and I really love the new, pretty, bright packaging.

June 4, 2015

May favorites

I have skipped favorites posts for the past couple of months, because the products I've been using have stayed very consistent. However, this month I've been particularly into makeup, and I also have added a couple new skincare items to my routine. It's still a small post, but I did want to post some kind of update for y'all.

June 1, 2015

May empties

It's time for empties already! For most of the month, I continued to avoid buying products, and that made me use up many more products. At the end of the month, I did make a few purchases from T.J. Maxx and iHerb, and I'll be sharing those in upcoming haul posts soon. In the mean time, I did work my way through a lot of body care, some skincare and even a few makeup items:

May 29, 2015

EO Everyone Hand Sanitizer Sprays

I use hand sanitizer all the time at my job, and I finally got fed up with putting the synthetic stuff on my skin all the time. I looked around for something with a natural scent, ethyl alcohol (the kind you drink) as its antibacterial agent and no dimethicone. EO Everyone Hand Sanitizer Spray in Peppermint + Citrus and Coconut + Lemon ($1.99 each for 2 oz) fit the bill exactly. The public health major in me must point out that washing your hands is always better option, but there are always situations where you can't get to the sink, and that's where these little bottles come in. 

May 25, 2015

Blissoma Citrus Natural Deodorant Aromatic Spray

Blissoma is one of the absolute best natural skincare lines in the game, and it's been much too long since I've featured any products from the brand on the blog. Today I'm reviewing a (relatively) new product: the Citrus Natural Deodorant Aromatic Spray*. This lightweight deodorant is supposed to be gentle enough to use after shaving, leave no residue and offer medium strength odor protection. I usually don't need the most powerful deodorant ever, but am prone to irritation, so this sounded perfect for me.

May 14, 2015

Disappointing products

In the past couple months, I've focused on paring down my collection of beauty products, and using up what I already have. In the process, I've found that there are a handful of products that I just don't like, and I thought I'd share them in a disappointing products post. I am hesitant to do this type of post, because if any products are featured on my blog in the first place they pass on ingredients safety, which is really the most important thing. But these were products that just didn't work out for me, personally. All of these brands make products that I love too, so this isn't meant to discourage you from trying out these lines at all.

May 4, 2015

Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara

I'm always drawn to Dr. Hauschka products because of their truly natural ingredients, cool packaging, and because the brand been around long before green beauty was trendy. The line's Volume Mascara* ($30) has gotten many good reviews from other green beauty bloggers, so it was next on my list to try out. I picked the purpley Aubergine color because the shade is unique, and I thought it would bring out my green eyes.

May 3, 2015

Badger Lip & Body Balms

If you've been following this blog for a long time, you've seen a lot of Badger products, but this extensive line still has so much more for me to explore. I shared that I picked up the Badger Highland Mint Lip & Body Balm  ($3.59 for 0.75 oz) in my December iHerb haul, and I liked it enough I grabbed it in the other scent, Tangerine Breeze, too.

April 30, 2015

April Empties

April has been another good month for empties. I basically went on an informal no-buy; I only purchased shampoo, conditioner and bar soap. I realized I have too many products all over the place that really need to get used up before I get any new ones. I'm actually loving being on a no-buy and will probably continue this until my stash is pared way down to the minimum! As for empties, last month's lot was all body care, while this month I actually have a bit of everything.

April 21, 2015

Kari Gran Lip Whips: best lip balm ever?

I have so many lip balms. I really do. Yet among the all the tubes, I keep reaching for pots of Kari Gran's Lip Whips* ($15 for 7 mL). These products are serious contenders for my holy grail lip balm. They have simple ingredients, yet feel so luxe and elevated at the same time. Is $15 a little ridiculous for a lip balm? Probably. But is this product really that good? I'm surprised to say yes!

April 17, 2015

Andalou Naturals Hand Creams: my current obsession

Let me introduce you to my current obsession: Andalou Naturals Hand Creams. These tubes of goodness helped my hands through the cold winter weather, but even as it starts to hit 80 degrees, I'm still benefiting from their goodness. I first bought the lavender hand cream because it was on sale at iHerb for only $3.99, and I liked it so much I bought the other two scents. Then, with my luck, the other two actually ended up going on sale for the same price. Needless to say, I think they are worth it either way (but the clementine and lime blossom scents are still on sale!).

April 15, 2015

The Kari Gran Skincare System

Kari Gran is a company that projects elegant simplicity. The skincare line consists of only three products that are designed to work for any skin type: a Cleansing Oil* ($30 for 100ml), a Hydrating Tonic* ($35 for 100ml), and an Essential Serum* ($60 for 30ml). The products boast organic, wildcrafted ingredients, and come in understated black bottles that protect the products from light damage. I put all three of their skincare essentials to the test.

April 6, 2015

Interview: Marie Veronique

When it comes to high end skincare, one of my top brand picks is consistently Marie Veronique. Her Everyday Coverage is a fantastic multitasking base and sunscreen, and her Treatment Oil was the key product in helping me get over a yearlong bout of persistent acne. Marie has been busy releasing a whole new line of products in her Pro Collection, and she's also starting a new watchdog organization called The Natural & Organic Monitor. I had the chance to interview her about this new project, plus get the scoop on some of her favorite products.

What spurred the idea for the Natural & Organic Monitor?

Seeing companies who knew better take advantage the public trust. It’s pretty infuriating. All a company has to do is claim it is “natural,” and somehow this translates into “safe” and no one questions whether their claims are based on fact or are just part of an overall marketing ploy.

April 3, 2015

Badger Face & Body Soaps: Moroccan Mint + Rose Geranium

This blog might be in danger of becoming Bar Soaps by Mary B. We go through a lot of soap around here, and I just love trying new brands and scents. I've already sampled so much of Badger's line, but I thought it was about time to give their soaps a go. They make six varieties, and I tried out the Face & Body Soaps in the Moroccan Mint and Rose Geranium scents ($5.84 each for 4 oz).

April 1, 2015

March empties

March has been a great month for empties! I haven't been purchasing many new products, besides the essentials, and I'm in use-up-everything mode. Does anyone else know that push-pull feeling between wanting to be an organized, streamlined minimalist, but also wanting to try absolutely everything? I guess using up products is my way of working towards that. This month everything I went through is body care, and I have full reviews on almost everything already. Also, FYI, I am skipping March favorites this month because my favorites are pretty much the same as the past couple of months.
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