Introducing: Sister Spotlight

Introducing a new series on Plein Vanity: Sister Spotlight! Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is have my lovely sister, Monica talk about her personal skincare and beauty journey as she converts from conventional to clean beauty. (And of course with my help!) I think it’s helpful to read about another person’s perspective on skincare and beauty on Plein Vanity besides my own. 

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Holiday Gift Guide for the Seasoned Green Beauty

Last Minute Gift Guide

It’s always fun chatting away on social media with my fellow green beauty bloggers. Sometimes what seems like ordinary Twitter chatter can spark great ideas. Thanks to Kat of Wild Honey Apothecary for the little push, Ru (Short, Small Sweet), Yeiza (Boho Chic Meets Organic), and I decided to team up to bring you a collaborative Holiday Gift Guide. You can head over to Ru’s blog for gift ideas for Green Beauty Newbies or Yeiza’s blog for gift ideas for Stocking Stuffers.

Below is my part of the guide, gift ideas for the Seasoned Green Beauty. (Don’t forget to check out my Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals list too, you can save on a lot of the products below with some promos that are still going on!)

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2 Months Later: August ANFGB GoodeBox Recap

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One of the first large-scale green beauty events I ever attended last year was A Night for Green Beauty, which was the first of its kind and held in New York City. ANFGB brought together green beauty bloggers, enthusiasts, and experts for a fun night of shopping top green beauty brands, makeovers, mingling with like-minded folks, and trying sustainable snacks. This year, the 2nd annual A Night For Green Beauty was held in Los Angeles. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend so instead I poured my sorrows into the next best thing: buying a specially curated Goodebox featuring samples and full-size products from a handful of the amazing brands from ANFGB. This limited-edition box was advertised for August (the month that ANFGB happened), featured 6 items (with claims of at least 2 full-size products depending on the combination), and only cost $22 per box. Unfortunately, my box arrived 2 months later (in October). Darn you, USPS!

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New Releases Radar // 3

New Releases Radar 3

1. Alima Pure By Night Fall 2014 Eyeshadow Collection: I’ve always been so inspired by the different collections Alima Pure releases and the new Pure By Night Eyeshadow Collection for Fall 2014 is no different. This collection consists of 5 beautiful limited edition eyeshadows: 3 Pearluster and 2 Shimmer that can be combined for endless dramatic or neutral eye looks. I’m dying to try the gorgeous “sea green” eyeshadow in Labyrinth!
“Five limited edition eyeshadows to add drama to your look this fall. Inspired by film noir, each shade beautifully captures the light and adds mystery to the eyes with just a simple wash of color. As always, each of these vibrant eyeshadows provides intensity using just three natural ingredients.” $12.50 for .07 oz/ 2g at Alima Pure or Pemberley Jones

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Links to Love This Week Vol. 6

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1. I’ve always felt cursed with my bushy brows (thanks, Dad) but this new brow trend makes me want to embrace it– Into the Gloss

2. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? It’s 1 week away! Here are 5 helpful prep tips to get ready now– The Kitchn

3. For the genius comedy series, “Movies in Real Life”, an 11-year old actor poses as Harry Potter attempting to find Platform 9 3/4 in NYC’s Penn Station. Cuteness overload– Improv Everywhere

4. I need serious help with my hair. Need to hone my skills in time for holiday parties and this Mad Men inspired up-do is super cute– The Cut

5. Ok, the little girl in me is screaming: Hello Kitty wine gift baskets?! What?! Family and friends, are you reading this?– Wine Country

6. Former President George W. Bush is now an accomplished painter (well, sort of). He enjoys painting cats and he’s actually pretty good– Wired

7. Is your area of NYC toxic? PropertyShark mapped out toxic sites throughout the city and created an interactive map where you can search addresses, compare sites and gasp at all the city’s environmental infractions– Time Out New York 

8. Win an entire wishlist from green beauty company, Alima Pure! Create a wishlist with Alima Pure products totaling up to $200 for a chance to win– Alima Pure

9. Think you’ve got green beauty cred? Be a part of the first EcoSalon Beauty Awards and vote for your favorite products alongside choices from the judges who are well-known green beauty experts– EcoSalon

What are you loving this week? Don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’, Facebook and Twitter!

Voluminous Lashes with Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara

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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.

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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

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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.

Ingredients: Aqua, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Lanolin, Stearic Acid, Cera Alba, Euphorbia Cerifera, Sodium Carboxyethylsilanetriol, Cetyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Acrylates/ Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Ozokerite, Glycerin, Panthenol, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Copernicia Cerifera, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate. [+/-: (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)].

You can purchase this mascara online for $22 at the Alima Pure website or at Spirit Beauty Lounge.

Have you tried the Natural Definition Mascara by Alima Pure? What are your thoughts? Have a favorite natural or organic mascara? Let me know!

*I received this product free through a giveaway from Alima Pure but all opinions are my own based upon my experience. 

My Birthday Wishlist: Beauty

Birthday Wishlist: Beauty

Guess what? My birthday is this Friday! I cannot believe it will already be August, the summer is just flying by and I am not ready to be one year older…okay maybe it’s not all that bad!

Of course I was easily able to round up some of the products I’m currently lusting after for my very own birthday list. Now if only I were to get all the things on this list…(Are you paying attention, family and friends? haha) Looking back, I could have been a bit more extravagant in my wishing but what can I say, I’m trying to be realistic even in my dreams…

1) Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow, $54– I’m a lover of cream blushes and there’s nothing I love more than blushes that also double as bronzer. This beautiful suble tan is said to be perfect for light to medium complexions and is easily blendable, plus the ingredients are 95% organic and how could you not love the super-chic packaging?

2) Kjaer Weis Mascara, $38– Okay, I’m on a Kjaer Weis-kick but this mascara has been raved about by almost every beauty-loving eco-chick and is said to be lengthening, long-lasting and luxurious. As far as organic mascaras go, it is the “creme de la creme” and is also refillable (refills are sold separately) so as to avoid bacteria buildup. So cool!

3) RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Promise, $36– I’ve said it before but I love multi-use products and this RMS Beauty product is one I’ve been dying to try. The Lip2Cheek is a cream product that can be used as a lip or cheek tint. Promise is described as a “warm salmon with a subtle warmth” so I believe it’d be a great pop of natural color on my pale skin, perfect for the remainder of summer.

4) ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Bang Bang, $24– I’ve been dying to try ILIA’s Tinted Lip Conditioners as my lips are normally dry and this specific product is supposedly very moisturizing and soothing. Bang Bang is a popular colors as it’s a beautiful, sheer red that is easily buildable.

5) One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster, $48- I’d really love to add some serums to my skincare routine and this One Love Organics serum sounds amazing. The claims are that it “counteracts dullness, puffiness, and unevenness with a intelligent combination of organic ingredients and omega acids. Plus, the zesty lemon peppermint scent provides a natural mood boost.” All the ingredients are soothing to the skin and are organic/plant based including Vegan-sourced Omega 3 fatty acids which “smooth lines and defend against environmental damage.” I also love that the skincare line partners with different artists and designers for unique, attractive packaging designs.

6) RGB Nail Polish in Pool, $18- I’m really more of a nude nail polish color kind of girl but there’s nothing like a beautiful pop of color and from a five-free* nail polish line like RGB (*Contains no Formaldehyde, no Toluene, no DBP, no Formaldehyde Resin, no Camphor). Maybe it’s the influence of the summer season but I’m loving this aptly named, bright baby-blue color in Pool. Perfect against tanned, summer skin whether lounging outside or out on the town. This is also from RGB’s Summer limited edition nail color line.

7)  Bdellium Tools Green Bambu brush set, $89.10- There is nothing more that I love than beautiful makeup besides beautiful makeup brushes. Not only are these brushes super cute (they’re green-colored!) but they are made from soft, synthetic, vegan bristles and sustainable bamboo handles. This set includes 15 professional-grade eco-friendly brushes for face, eyes and brows in a nice rollup pouch.

8) Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, $50-$70 depending on size- I’ve been lusting over all the products from Pai Skincare as many beauty bloggers and makeup artists have raved about this organic, London-based skincare line that focuses specifically on sensitive skin types. I have very sensitive, reactive skin and am curious about this cleanser, a top-selling product. It’s recommended for all skin types but works specifically well for dry and sensitive skin. The formula is alcohol and detergent-free which maintains the skin’s natural oil balance and doesn’t irritate skin. It has hydrating properties, while replenishes the skin with Omega 3 and Vitamins A, B & E and also acts as an eye makeup remover.

9) Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder, $20- I love the concept of mineral foundation, though I’m always hesitant to try it due to my super-dry skin (it has never been a fan or mineral or powder-based foundation). Alima Pure is one of the best natural, mineral makeup lines and I think their Satin Finishing Powder sounds just divine for setting my makeup. The powders come in 5 colors to suit most complexions and the names are just as pretty: Yuki, Keiko, Hanae, Ami, Sayomi. I also love that this product is free of many yucky ingredients: “no bismuth oxychloride (BOC-Free), no carmine(ci 75470-Free), no nanoparticles, non-comedorgenic (won’t clog pores), high pigmented”.

Have you tried any of these products? What’s on your current wish list?