The lovely Brandie from Organic Beauty Talk interviewed me for a “Meet the Organic Beauty” series. I am honored to be featured on the site today as Organic Beauty Talk was one of the first sites that inspired me to start my own blog.
You can read the entire interview here. More exciting things for my blog coming soon….
Let me start this off by saying, I never win ANYTHING. So it was a bit abnormal yet exciting for me to see my name staring back at me on Facebook after I noticed I’d won a free mascara giveaway from Alima Pure! Finding a natural mascara that performs well and gives you all the perks of a mainstream mascara is definitely hard to come by. It’s a tough one in the green world but more and more companies are vying for the title of best performing, natural mascara.
Among the newer released natural mascaras out this year, the Natural Definition Mascara has been a highly anticipated product among Alima Pure fans and other natural makeup lovers. Like their renowned mineral makeup, Alima Pure’s Natural Definition Mascara is 100% cruelty-free and the mascara pigments are derived from pure minerals. Available in black or brown, the Natural Definition Mascara consists of more than 90% natural and naturally derived ingredients including natural oils and waxes.
How did I like this natural mascara? I’ve been using this mascara for a couple weeks now but my initial reaction after first swipe was, “HOLY VOLUME!”. This mascara sure packed a punch in the volume department and with only 2 coats, my limp lashes immediately perked up, full and plush with no sign of clumping or flaking. I found the formula to be a bit on the wet side but was not irritating or heavy on my lashes. The definition this mascara gave to my lashes was amazing! It was pretty much on par with my much-loved, non-natural, voluminous mascaras: Benefit’s They’re Real or Maybelline’s The Falsies. The mascara brush surprised me after initially thinking the bristles seemed hard and plastic-like. The wand is not too thick or long but is the perfect shape and material for combing out lashes and naturally separating, lifting and defining.
Update: Detailed photo below
The bad: While I loved that this mascara did not feel heavy on my lashes, gave amazing volume and natural definition, I did experience a bit too much smudging than anticipated. Even after my initial 2 swipes of mascara, I noticed the mascara smudging and transferring on my eyelids and under my eyes. After over 8 hours of wear, the mascara lasted and definitely kept my lashes defined, seperated and curled, but throughout the day I found myself wiping away the remains of mascara under my eyes.
All in all, the Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara is wonderful in providing beautifully defined and voluminous lashes. If the formula didn’t smudge as much on me, this would have been a perfect mascara for me. I’ll still be wearing this mascara and think it’ll be great as a base-coat mascara.
Willow bark is widely known as a natural pain reliever and has been historically used by herbalists to make medicine. Dating back to 400BC, Hippocrates left behind historical records documenting that patients suffering from pain and fever were advised to chew on willow bark or drink willow bark tea. Though still used today, willow bark was used for pain treatment throughout history by the Egyptians and by ancient Asian and European civilizations.
The herb is commonly used to cure pain (including back pain and osteoarthritis), headache, inflammatory conditions and also acne treatment. It can be found in supplement form, as an extract or as a tea. Willow bark is categorized as the bark from different tree and shrub species within the willow family. Native to Europe, Asia and some parts of North America. Commonly known species include white willow or European willow (Salix alba), black willow or pussy willow (Salix nigra), weeping willow (Salix babylonica), purple willow (Salix purpurea) and crack willow (Salix fragile).
Willow bark contains salicin, a chemical compound similar to aspirin and which when metabolized in the liver, becomes salicylic acid. Combined with the herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds, flavonoids, willow bark’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects is thought to be attributed to salicin.
Salicylic acid is also why willow bark’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a natural acne treatment. Tannins, catechins, and flavonoids in willow bark provide antioxidant, fever reducing, antiseptic and astringent properties. The FDA has approved willow bark as a topical acne treatment.
In the 1800s, acetylsalicylic acid or, aspirin was developed combining salicylic acid with other chemicals after researching the effects of salicin in willow bark. According to studies, willow bark appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin yet its observed effects may last longer. Historians believe that willow bark contributed to Ludwig von Beethoven’s death. His autopsy report recorded Beethoven had ingested large amounts of salicin before his death and that he had a specific type of kidney damage that can be caused by salicin.
Taking willow bark as a pain reliever may increase the risk of bleeding yet less than when taking aspirin. There is little or no toxicity information on the use of willow bark, the EWG’s Skin Deep database rates the herb with low scores ranging from 0 to 2. It is advised that patients should monitor for blood in stool, nausea or vomiting and stomach or kidney irritation if using willow bark for pain relief.
When I started going green with my skincare routine, I knew I would have to invest in something that could handle my sensitive skin and was gentle for everyday use. After much research, sampling and searching, I took the plunge and indulged in products from Pai Skincare.
Pai Skincareis a UK-based brand whose products are much adored by beauty bloggers and skincare fanatics all over the world. The products contain organic ingredients (no synthetics), with no fragrances, alcohol or irritating chemicals. Most importantly, products are formulated with sensitive skin and allergy-prone skin types in mind. The brand also focuses on transparency in listing exactly what is put into their products, something I admire:
You won’t find “parfum” on any of our ingredient lists – a term that legally allows manufacturers to include up to 200 synthetic chemicals, including phthalates, in their products without declaring them on the label. Pai was the first skin care company to list all ingredients in plain English, so you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand what’s in the bottle.
There are many products you can purchase from Pai Skincare depending on your skin type. Here are the products I chose and love using everyday:
1)Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser: I love how creamy and hydrating this cleanser is! The formula is very gentle, has a pleasant (but not strong) scent and does not contain harsh detergents or alcohol like my old cleansers did which dried out my skin. This is moisturizing enough to use twice a day (morning and evening) although I’ve taken to using this most evenings as this cleanser is great for removing makeup as well. After cleansing, my face feels extremely soft! Using the recommended muslin cloth to exfoliate, the cleanser clears my face of any dirt and buildup and my blackheads instantly disappear. Recommended for all skin types.
2)Lotus & Orange Blossom Bioaffinity Tonic: This toner is great for spritzing on the face whenever you want a quick refresh or feel dry. I spritz this on my face after cleansing and it instantly soothes my skin. The citrus scent is heavenly and nothing about this formula is irritating. Rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, this toner is great for hydration and protecting the skin. Not to mention it’s improves skin tone and texture by naturally balancing the pH in your face. Recommended for dry/sensitive skin.
3)Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil: My favorite product and the part of my skincare routine I look forward to the most, this oil is simply amazing in its ability to moisturize, protect and provide an overall glow to my skin. As someone with sensitive and reactive skin, I was never a believer in facial oils and was hesitant to try any. This oil opened my eyes to the wonders of facial oils and started a love affair. You only need to rub 2-3 drops of this elixir (ingredients include cold-pressed rosehip seeds) to the face for instant hydration and conditioning of the skin. Rich in Vitamin A, I’ve noticed my dark spots lesson after using this and my face looks brighter and feels healthier after use. If there’s one Pai product you should try, it’s this oil! Recommended for all skin types.
4) Geranium & Thistle Organic Combination Skin Cream:This moisturizer is extremely gentle and does not leave the skin oily or greasy. This cream doesn’t block pores and actually leaves quite a matte finish. I like using this before I apply my makeup and rotate between using alone or with the Rosehip Oil at night. I like how this cream smoothes and moisturizes the skin and feels very light on my face. You only need a few pumps to apply on your face and I did not find it caused any facial irritation or breakouts. It has a light, fresh scent reminiscent of lemons. Recommended for combination, oily, combination-sensitive skin.
These products form the basis of my daily skincare routine and I believe they have truly transformed my face. Every product is gentle and effective for my sensitive skin and include naturally-derived ingredients certified by the UK Soil Association. Read more about the company ethics here.
You can purchase Pai Skincare products from the U.S. website here. I’ve also found BeautyBay.com provides Pai products at lower prices but takes a bit longer to ship as it’ll ship directly from the UK.
Don’t expect any ominous spells or tricks from this witch…
Witch hazel (hamamelias virginiana), also commonly known as winter bloom, is a low-growing shrub found in many areas of North America and Canada. Witch hazel extract is used in many healthcare products today but use of the plant has been traced back to medicinal practices of the Native Americans. The shrub’s name is said to have come from using the twigs in dowsing, a mystical practice involved in finding water sources.
Traditionally, Native Americans boiled the leaf, bark and twigs of witch hazel to produce an extract used to treat swelling, inflammation and tumors. Today, this practice is still commonly used through distilled witch hazel extract which is included in many products functioning as an astringent. Astringents are substances or chemical compounds which shrink and constrict skin tissue. Witch hazel is also topically used to relieve many skin irritations like itching, pain, bruises, hemorrhoids and bug bites.
Witch hazel is a natural astringent due to the high concentration of tannins in the plant. Witch hazel can be used topically to tighten pores and remove excess oil which makes for a great natural toner and also for reducing acne. Specific tannins in witch hazel; procyanadins, resin, and flavonoids, all add to the plant’s soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.
While it is less common, witch hazel can also be ingested as a remedy for many ailments. Drinking witch hazel tea can relieve sore throats, diarrhea, colds and respiratory illnesses.
However, do NOT try to ingest common drugstore witch hazel products, which are usually distilled with isopropyl alcohol or similar chemicals.
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database (EWG) ranks witch hazel with a score of zero citing its low health concerns here.
During New York Fashion Week, I was invited to a fun event for NYC-based green beauty bloggers hosted by Juice Beauty. We gathered at a hotel rooftop to learn about Juice Beauty’s new makeup line (which launched online last week) and of course, we were able to test out all the products before they hit the shelves! Fittingly, we sipped on delicious juice concoctions from the beloved, New York City-based cold-pressed juicery, Liquiteria. Heaven!
I had a great time chatting with all the other green beauty bloggers, meeting the Juice Beauty team and the brand’s founder, Karen Behnke (who was so friendly and knowledgeable) while playing around with the new makeup products. Just like their acclaimed skincare line, all the new makeup products have juice-based ingredients and are USDA certified organic. I was pleasantly surprised at the lovely pigmentation and lasting-power from the new makeup products as well as the cute packaging! I admire Juice Beauty as brand that is truly creating effective, organic products that defy and perform better than most conventional, mainstream beauty products. Learn more here.
I received the Reflecting Gloss lip gloss in the color, Guava from the Just Juice event. Guava looks very dark in the tube and is a shimmery, deep, raspberry-red color. I was excited that I received Guava as I normally tend to choose darker lip colors. Once swiped over my lips it was a beautiful, my lips-but-better, pinkish-red. (Note: my lips are a bit pigmented than most ladies.) The shimmer was not overwhelming and produces a gorgeous, reflecting shine to the lips.
I’ve never been much of a lip gloss-loving girl but in all honesty, I love this lip gloss! It’s not sticky, lasts throughout the day, is very moisturizing and applies so smoothly. I can barely feel anything on my lips! I also like that the Reflecting Gloss leaves a nice tint of color to the lips even after a couple of hours of wear. The best part is that when applied, the Reflecting Gloss tastes as if you’ve just bitten into a juicy guava! Very fruity and slightly sweet, it smells and tastes very fresh on the lips. Not to mention the awesome, organic ingredients that make up this beauty of a gloss. The Reflecting Gloss is loaded with nourishing antioxidants including organic raspberry, goji, blueberry and acai berries while mixed with organic agave for a natural sweetness, Vitamin E to heal and repair the lips and lastly, sesame seed oil to hydrate and condition.
I love that Karen mentioned she was inspired to use berries for the colors in these lip glosses after remembering how her daughter would eat handfuls of blueberries and after, would have a deeply-stained mouth. Karen knew she had to use that powerful, natural pigmentation in her lip products. I love wearing my Reflecting Gloss for an easy, everyday look paired neutral eyeshadow and mascara on the eyes or for evening events, with dramatic, cat-eye liner and dark eyeshadow. This gloss is also great to wear over lipstick for an overall, glam shine.
I can’t wait to experiment some looks with Juice Beauty’s new Defining Eyeliner, Lash Defining Mascara, Conditioning Lip Color and Glowing Cheek Color! More to come…
Thanks to Juice Beauty for a fun and educational event! 🙂
Shop Juice Beauty’s new makeup line online here or online at Ulta.com and also at an Ulta store near you! Have you used any Juice Beauty Products? What products from the new makeup line are you dying to try?
Made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Not tested on animals. See the Juice Beauty website for more info here.
I’ve never been much of a foundation girl and besides from occasional acne breakouts, I’ve been blessed with clear skin. Even from the time I started wearing makeup in high school, I never wore foundation as it always felt too heavy on my skin and seemed to make my skin worse rather than better. I liked the lighter consistency of tinted moisturizers and that they helped improve my skin without totally hiding my natural features. I’ve dabbled with quite a number of tinted moisturizers over the years and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found an amazing, organic tinted moisturizer, the Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizerfrom 100% Pure.
I was searching for the perfect tinted moisturizer that would even out my skin-tone, provide me with some sun protection, was lightweight and was healthy for my skin. I first checked out the 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented TInted Moisturizer at a nearby Duane Reade in NYC within their prestige cosmetics section, the LOOK Boutique (within select Duane Reades but there’s also a freestanding LOOK Boutique on Wall Street). I have a difficult time matching my skintone but thankfully at Duane Reade I was able to find a good match before ordering online.
There are 7 colors to choose from on the 100% Pure website and I found my perfect match to be White Peach, the 2nd lightest color in the line. I’m also able to use the Golden Peach color for when my skin is tan but it’s a bit too orange-toned for my regular skintone . Keep in mind, because the ingredients are based on the use of peach pigments, there does seem to be an orange-peachy tint to the colors (at least in the lighter tones).
100% Pure says this tinted moisturizer is medium coverage but I would say it is actually light to medium coverage. If you have blemishes or spots you want to cover, you’ll probably want to use a concealer or a foundation on top of this tinted moisturizer. I have various sun-spots and light freckles in areas under my eyes that are still visible even after putting one layer of this tinted moisturizer on. However, I do find the tinted moisturizer does cover up my redness well. I love how lightweight it feels and I sometimes forget I have it on my face!
Top to bottom: White Peach, Golden Peach
The Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer is lightweight, moisturizing and is a goodmatch for my skin tone. The smell is pleasant and fruity yet the scent doesn’t last long after application. My favorite part about the Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer is that it’s made up of antioxidantsthat nourish and protect your skin. I enjoy wearing this everyday and though it’s light coverage, it gives me a nice “my skin but better” overall-finished look. I never feel like I’m wearing make-up when I have this tinted moisturizer on rather, I feel like I’m feeding my skin and making it healthier especially because I know the ingredients are healthy for my face.
Other yummy ingredients include white tea, acai oil, pomegranate oil, peach and apricot pigments and Vitamin E. It also has natural sun protection from the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide ingredients. Since it is a tinted moisturizer, my face looks more dewy than matte after use so I’d recommend using a finishing powder or mineral foundation if you want to avoid this or have more oily skin. Personally, I have dry skin and do like the glow and dewiness that’s produced but I’m not sure if I’d wear this for evening events or if I am expecting to be photographed.
Wearing 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer in White Peach, eyeshadows from Red Apple Lipstick, Lip2Cheek in Smile from RMS
I like that 100% Pure’s mission is to offer products that are 100% free of synthetic chemicals, fragrances, chemical preservatives, harsh detergents, artificial colors and other unhealthy toxins. In addition, their products are vegan (no animal testing nor use of animals in products) and the brand is very transparent in aspects of ingredient labeling and product descriptions. Also, being about to find their products in select Duane Reade drugstores is also a plus!
In addition, the customer service at 100% Pure is phenomenal. I initially received a damaged bottle of the tinted moisturizer: the pump was broken and product was spilled all over the bottle and packaging when I opened it. I sent the company an email with a picture of it and the next morning, a member of the online sales team sent me a response and an invoice with shipment tracking for a brand new bottle, free of charge. Probably the best online customer service I’ve experienced in a long time! 🙂
Have you tried the Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer or any other products from 100% Pure?
Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinited Moisturizer Ingredients:Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Pigments of Peach, Apricot, Carrot, Pomegranate, Cocoa Bean, Goji Berry and Tomato, White Tea, Cucumber Juice, Aloe Juice, Acai Oil and Pomegranate Oil, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Rice Starch, Candelilla Wax, Extracts of Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Grapefruit Seed, Japanese Honeysuckle, Goldenseal and Cinnamon
This post was not sponsored. All products were purchased by me.
Wow, the long Labor Day holiday weekend definitely flew by! I needed a long weekend to relax. And I can’t believe tomorrow is finally the biggest event for Green Beauty during New York Fashion Week: “A Night for Green Beauty”! I’m excited, anxious and know I’ll be squirming in my cubicle until I’m able to dash out of work and hop on the subway. It’ll be a fun night of makeovers, presentations, shopping and mingling.
My wallet’s been burning in my purse as I’ve been saving to buy some of the incredible products that will be featured at the event. Here are just a few that are on my list:
1)Kjaer Weis Mascara– By now you should now that everyone has been gushing over the wonders of Kjaer Weiss mascara. It’s a luxurious, natural, high-performance mascara that I must have. If there’s anything for me to buy from this event, I know it’s this mascara. Besides the gorgeous, super-chic packaging, did I mention it’s refillable?
2) Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum– I still suffer from the wrath of hyper-pigmentation and post-acne spots and I’ve heard great things about this Brightening Serum. It’s formulated with many soothing and effective organic ingredients such as argan oil, Japanese wakame seaweed, and green tea. I also love the brand’s commitment to cultural and environmental sustainability, specifically that donations are made to the Berber women of Morocco, who are solely responsible for the farming and production of argan oil. Read my post about argan oil and the Berber women here.
3) ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Crimson & Clover– I’ve been wanting to get my hands on ILIA’s Tinted Lip Conditioners but I’ve been too picky with lip shades to make a decision. I hope at the event I can swatch a couple I like. ILIA’s Crimson & Clover is a beautifully, bold red which has been brought back as a limited-edition shade. I hope this is available at the event otherwise the shade Bang Bang is my next option!
4) Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm– I love multi-purpose products and I’d love to try this cool stick from Revolution Organics which has been talked about by many. It’s 100% natural with 85% organic ingredients and provides a healthy glow as well as a tint. The website describes the product as an “all-in-one balm infuses lips, cheeks, eyes, and décolletage with a natural, dewy radiance. Perfectly portable and ideal for on the go, the easy-to-use formula provides skincare and color in one for a hydrating hint of tint.”
5) One Love Organics Skin Savour– In my previous post, I mentioned I received a sample of this product and absolutely love it! I’d like to purchase a full-size as it’s great for removing makeup, moisturizing, and taming hair frizz.
6) La Bella Figura Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir– I can’t not purchase something from the awesome brand hosting the event! I’m always looking for good, natural hair product that will tame my annoying hair flyaways and La Bella Figura’s Hair Elixir sounds divine. Not only will the Hair Elixir smooth frizz, it sounds like it will moisturize and maintain the health of one’s hair due to the array of nutritive oils and natural ingredients in the product.
That’s about it for this lust list but I can’t be sure how crazy I might get!
Are you attending the event tomorrow? What products are on your list?
Cha-cha-cha-Chia! I’m not going to be talking about those cute plant creatures that grow in a tabletop pot, but Chia seeds, the seeds from those plants.
Chia seeds have been all the health-food rage since it’s 2012 induction, dubbed as a super-foods supplement, chia seeds are super-nutrients that helps control hunger and enhance one’s diet. Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and are also considered a concentrated food as the seeds are loaded with antioxidants, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium and protein.
It’s no wonder why I couldn’t turn a corner at work without seeing ladies spilling this into their yogurts, mixing it into their drinks, or just plain munching on some seeds. And it seemed my own encounter with chia seeds was inevitable as I walked to work and health-food promoters practically threw packets of free chia seeds to me on the street. (Seriously.)
A couple of these Chia Shots were thrown to me while walking to work…
Chia seeds are derived from a flowering plant known simply as the Chia plant(salvia hispanica) which arenative to many areas in central/southern Mexico. The use of chia seeds date back to the times of the Mayans and Aztecs when chia seeds were also eaten as a staple food and believed to be an energy booster. It’s still used in Mexico today as a nutritious food source, ground or sprinkled into drinks or on food.
Not only are these super-nutritious seeds good to eat, they’re also a beneficial natural beauty ingredient. When chia seeds are cold pressed into an oil they have proven to do wonders for skin. Chia seed oil is very moisturizing and hydrating to the skin and can also calm redness due to a high level of vitamin B3, a natural anti-inflammatory. The antioxidants in the oil also help protect skin from free radical damage such as aging and UV rays. Since Chia seeds are rich in omega 3-fatty acids, as an oil, the acids aid in encouraging collagen and elastin formation, allowing skin to stay firm and supple.
Although I’m not hooked on Chia seeds in my daily diet, I think they are a beneficial health supplement. I’ve seen so many more natural/organic beauty products using Chia seeds or oil as an ingredient and I’d love to try some out in my skincare routine! Would you add chia seeds or chia oil to your beauty and health routine?
I received a sample of this balm with a recent order from BeautySage and I love it! It’s great to moisture the skin, remove makeup and a favorite use of mine: tame flyaway hairs! I think I’ll purchasing a full-size in the future. The One Love Organics skincare line mostly features Chia seed oil.
When shopping, ever find yourself browsing the newest “organic” or “natural” product on the market and trying to make sense of the ingredients only to find a long, convoluted list of names and chemicals?
Many times I’ve put a product back on the shelf because thinking about the ingredients was too frustrating and due to my inner research-nerd, if the ingredients are too incomprehensible or unrecognizable I don’t initially end up buying it. I’ll usually research products or ingredients on EWG’s Skin Deep database or on Google but I’ve always wondered, isn’t there an easier way?
Well, now it seems there’s an app for that. Enter, the Think Dirty app. Think Dirty is a product-comparison app that lets you scan barcodes or search for specific products or keywords which will then give you instant information about the general safety or harmfulness of the chemicals inside products.
The Think Dirty app seems like it could be a game-changer the next time you’re out shopping. The app boasts a growing-database of over 10,000 beauty and personal care products and if you don’t see a product or ingredient you can send specific product information to the database for it to be included.
According to the developer, the app rates products based upon information gathered by U.S. and Canadian-based non-profit and governmental agencies regarding potential health impacts and toxicity of ingredients. Products and ingredients are rated by toxicity level on the app’s “Dirty Meter” scale based on a level of 0-10 and among 3 categories: Carcinogencity, Developmental & Reproductive toxicity, Allergies & Immunotoxicities. The app will also provide you with “Cleaner Options” to the product or ingredient you have searched.
For now, the Think Dirty app is in Beta format and only available for iPhone and iPad though the developer has stated that future versions will be available for Android as well.
This sounds like an interesting resource, though since it’s a bit new, I wonder how much information (and credible information) is really given and what the ease of using the app is like. You could also wait until September when the EWG has announced the long-awaited release of a mobile version of their Skin Deep database, which is known as the world’s largest personal care safety guide. Woohoo!
Would you use the Think Dirty app? Have you tried this app or anything similiar?
Download the Think Dirty app for free at the iTunes store here.