I’ve tested quite a few natural and organic eyebrow products over the years and it’s pretty amazing to see the wide range of effective and unique brow products that are now on the green beauty market. No longer consisting only of scratchy brow pencils in a limited variety of colors, the green beauty brow sector has expanded and evolved tremendously. The Canadian natural beauty brand, Plumeknown for their brow and eyelash growing serum, has introduced a groundbreaking product, their Nourish & Define Brow Pomade, which I was excited to try out.
When it comes to lip products I generally tend to gravitate towards lipstick rather than lipgloss. Most of my lipgloss experiences have been with products that were too sticky, too shiny, very drying or had little pigmentation. Thankfully, I’ve had more luck with lipgloss as I learn more about the type of ingredients that are best for my lips. I was able to try out 2 lip products from Red Apple Lipstick, a brand based in Texas that offers makeup that is vegan and free of gluten, parabens, soy and lead. All RAL lip products are also enriched with gluten-free Vitamin E which give products an extra moisturizing quality. Due to the brand’s focus on gluten-free ingredients, it may be great for those with celiac disease or anyone looking for unique natural products. Read my review on the brand’s eyeshadow products here.
I must have subconsciously chosen products that would help me achieve that perfect nude lip just in time for Fall. Here are the 2 products I picked out and tried:
Mint2Be Lipgloss in Honey Badger- With the trend of nude lips, I was always a fan but always felt I hadn’t found the right product to give me soft, neutral lips without looking lackluster. The RAL Mint2Be lipgloss in Honey Badger is a beautiful, opaque nude-pink gloss that adds natural color to my lips with a moderate shine. The formula is very moisturizing, applies smoothly and doesn’t make my lips feel sticky. There is an interesting cooling effect with initial application of this lipgloss and because it is from the Mint2Be line, natural spearmint gives the product a refreshing minty aftertaste. I was surprised that the formula lasted on my lips for most of my workday and after eating and drinking, my lips still seemed tinted and moisturized. Described by RAL as a medium pigmented, nude with pink and brown undertones, this gloss is a great for those wanting to try a nice, natural nude lip that is moisturizing and pigmented. I think it’s great to wear over lipstick as well!
R-evolution Lip Liner in Blush- I’ve never been one to use lip liner, though I know it helps to lock in the lasting power of lip products. I was attracted to this product due to it’s interesting packaging and color: a retractible lip pencil described to be an orange-based nude color. The consistency of this lip liner is creamy and the formula does not pull nor budge on the lips. The color was very similar to my bare lips and would be pretty enough to wear on its own. I do like how the formula allows my lip products to last longer and does actually add a slight pigmented color to my lips. The retractible packaging is also very attractive and convenient. This was a perfect lip liner to wear underneath the Honey Badger lipgloss, with a more colorful lipstick on top or even by itself for a matte lip look. I am definitely intrigued by lip liners now and looking forward to experimenting more.
Have you tried any products from Red Apple Lipstick? What are your favorite nude lip products? Shop for Red Apple Lipstick products at the company website here.
*The products mentioned in this post were provided to me for free from Red Apple Lipstick. This post contains my honest opinion based on my personal experience with the products. I am never paid to give my honest opinion and only review items that I enjoy using or want to share my experience with.
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.
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.
I have to make up for lost Au Natural Factual Fridays, sorry! Today’s ingredient is Jojoba Oil.
Jojoba oil is a liquid wax derived from seeds of the Jojoba plant (simmondsia chinesis), a shrub that grows in dry regions of the southwestern US (Arizona and California) and in northern Mexico. Jojoba oil is increasingly used in makeup, skincare and hair products as a natural ingredient due to its emollient properties and similarities to the sebum produced in our own skin which makes it moisturizing.
Jojoba plant with seeds
The shelf life of jojoba oil is much longer than synthetic ingredients as it also has natural fungicide properties. Also used in its pure state, jojoba oil is a natural skin soother and can be applied directly to the skin to aid in acne, psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin.
Pure jojoba oil is also a great natural hair product used for moisturizing, conditioning and smoothing hair. Some people believe jojoba oil can decrease balding as it also unclogs hair follicles, which may encourage the regrowth of new hair.
Jojoba oil is known as a natural alternative to petroleum jelly and its nasty derivatives like cetyl alcohol. It’s a more sustainable alternative to petroleum jelly since it’s derived from plants rather than fossil fuel, plus there no whales harmed in the process! (And whale blubber isn’t included in your products.)
Some popular organic products which contain jojoba oil (of some form)as an ingredient:
Growing up, I always admired, Mandy Moore for her flawless transformation from a 90s teenybopper-pop princess to an indie/alt.rock singer to a comedic star on the silver screen. (I mean, who didn’t fall in love with her tear-jerking role in A Walk to Remember?)
Confession: I own all her CDs and probably know the lyrics to every single song…
She always seems so poised, down-to-earth and genuine in all that she does. I might also be more in awe of Mandy now as she’s also a professed fan of natural beauty!
Mandy Moore recently shared some of her beauty routine favorites with PEOPLE Magazine at a launch event she hosted in support of a new, clean skincare line called Beautycounter. The company website features pages with the “Ingredients Glossary”, “Ingredient Selection Process”and “The Never List” (ingredients they never use) with everything clearly listed and explained. Pretty impressive!
In the interview with PEOPLE Magazine, Mandy listed RMS Beauty and Josie Maran as some of her favorite organic and natural beauty brands. Read the full article here.
I like that Mandy admits she hasn’t gone fully organic or all-natural but mentions she’s been increasingly active in using cleaner, healthier products in her beauty and skincare routine. It’s tough to be in the limelight (and also not, for us average folk) and commit to fully using all organic or natural products but everything is a process that you must be active and willing to pursue.
I respect everyone who is on this journey and it’s encouraging to see others, celebrity or not, who are becoming more beautifully green!
Is there a celebrity you admire who’s gone public with their natural or organic beauty routine?
I’ve always been an eyeshadow-lover and before I learned about more natural makeup alternatives, it was always the product that gave my skin trouble. In particular, after regularly using a plethora of amazingly colorful, pigmented and chemically harmful products, I was on my way to the dermatologist with itchy and dry eyelids.
When I discovered I had eczema on my eyes, I vowed I’d find a healthier alternative to mainstream eyeshadows without sacrificing color pigmentation or quality. I was also on a hunt for a less wasteful option to eyeshadow palettes. How many empty or half-used clunky, non-reusable palettes did I have in my drawers? Let’s not go there.
And that’s when my constant web-surfing and online research brought me to the Texas-based company, Red Apple Lipstick. Though the company’s name highlight’s their gluten-free lipstick line, there is much more to Red Apple Lipstick than just their natural-based lip products. All Red Apple Lipstick products are 100% gluten-free. You’ve heard of gluten in food, but gluten is often used as a binding agent in cosmetics and is the source of many allergic reactions as well as gastrointestinal problems.
What attracted me to Red Apple Lipstick was that they offered gluten-free, mineral eyeshadow in individual magnetic pans (to be put in reusable palettes like the Z-Palette) AND they also offered pre-made or customized Z-Palettes featuring their eyeshadows. There are not many companies out there selling natural-based eyeshadows in refillable, reusable palettes nor in individual pans. I excitedly purchased 2 individual eyeshadow pans and 1 pre-made Z-Palette named “Autumn Harvest” which came with 4 eyeshadows. (I also purchased 3 lipsticks but will save that for another post.) I ordered during the July 4th holiday weekend where the company was offering a great 20%-off promotion and limited edition lipstick colors. They have frequent deals and are always offering bonus items with every purchase.
My shipment arrived in a timely manner and in quite cute packaging. The lipsticks were individually boxed and in a small canvas pouch with the Red Apple Lipstick logo stamped on it. The Z-Palette had simple, useful instructions on how to apply the brand’s eyeshadow as well as details about the ingredients. The eyeshadows themselves were securely packaged in separate plastic containers with small magnets to keep the pigments in place during shipment and were wrapped in green tissue paper. I received a free floral makeup bag with my purchase in which the eyeshadows and a bonus lip balm were packaged.
All eyeshadows are 100% gluten-free and contain natural ingredients like jojoba oil, shea butter and candelilla wax. Each eyeshadow product contains different ingredients so check the website for specific details.
The colors included in the “Autumn Harvest” palette ($56 including palette) I purchased were a neutral, brown-leaning selection: Iced Mocha (shimmery, light taupe), Violet Vixen (sheer gray-purple w/silver shimmer), Vamp (smokey brown-red) and Lucky Penny (metallic gold-copper). The other 2 colors I ordered for a pop of color in my palette were Midnight Lagoon (deep sea-green w/blue reflects) and the usually sold-out, Olive This Color (shimmery deep-green). Each individual pan is $16.75.
Swatches (L to R): Iced Mocha, Vamp, Violet Vixen, Copper Penny Midnight Lagoon, Olive This Color
Did the eyeshadows measure up? I was looking for great quality, pigmentation and ingredients that were better for my sensitive, allergic eyes. I was pleased with the color payoff from one swipe though most of the colors seemed to be sheerer than I expected. Perhaps the colors I chose were on the sheer side of the formulation. The good thing is that the shades I purchased are buildable in color. I found it took about 2 or 3 applications to the most visible pigmentation. The eyeshadows have a smooth, blendabletexture and are not irritating to my skin. I did detect a small amount glitter fall out when applying, but mostly from the sparkliest colors (Iced Mocha and Violet Vintage).
I love the idea of choosing the colors I actually want to use as well as having the option to reuse my Z-Palette and purchasing more colors! Red Apple Lipstick has a variety of purchasing options ranging from a pre-made palettes containing 2, 4, 6 or 9 shadows, create-you-own palettes, or individual eyeshadow pans without a palette. Prices range depending on the option you select.
I would recommend trying out Red Apple Lipstick and I really like the eyeshadow options available as well as the fact that they are all created with natural, gluten-free ingredients. I will definitely be trying some more colors from Red Apple Lipstick soon!
What do you think about reusable eyeshadow palettes like the Z-Palette? Have you tried any Red Apple Lipstick products? What are your favorite natural or organic eyeshadows?
When it comes to celebrities and beauty, there aren’t too many in the limelight that promote natural/organic makeup or feature themselves wearing it. Nor are there many public figures who advocate for the use of less chemicals and irritants in personal care products without looking like a total-granola-hippie.
Miranda Kerr- beauty behind the words
And then there is Miranda Kerr: the Australian model, celebrity-married, darling of our day. I’d heard she created an organic skincare line, Kora Organics, but it was not until a recent interview posted by Into the Gloss, that I truly took notice of Kerr’s lifestyle and her insight on beauty.
As a model in the industry where your face and your body is under constant direction and slathered with so many harsh products, it’s a wonder that Miranda Kerr has a good outlook on natural beauty and natural living.
From looking at the website, Kora Organics products seem to be free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates as well as it is Australian made and owned. Products are vegan and not tested on animals as well as certified by ECOCERT Greenlife.
Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr
Though many celebrities may come up with a fashion or beauty line as more self-promotion, it seems that Kerr had a respectable mission in mind when creating Kora Organics:
“I started Kora because I was looking for a certified organic skincare line that gave me results and was aesthetically pleasing. I couldn’t find one. I’m not against non-certified products, obviously—I use them all of the time for my job—but I try to minimize my exposure to chemicals. It’s a balance.”
I do empathize with this, finding certified organic products that are effective and aesthetically pleasing are definitely things I always try to check off my list when shopping! And like Kerr states, though it’d be ideal to be totally free of exposure to chemicals, in this day and age we all must find a healthy balance.
“You don’t have to be 100% strict with yourself. It’s about balance, being kind to yourself, and knowing what works, but not feeling like you have to do everything. For me, it’s 80% health-conscious and 20% indulgence. I try to avoid saying ‘always’ and ‘never,’ because we’re human beings, and it’s not always possible. But to be educated and aware of what you’re doing before you do it is the key.”
I too share her ideology that we cannot always be 100% natural or 100% strict in using chemical-free products but it is most important to be self-educated and aware of the ingredients we are using for our bodies.
For myself, I’ve been working towards using less chemically-heavy products and using as much natural ingredients as possibly in my daily life. I believe it is difficult to truly be 100% natural in all aspects of my life but having an awareness of what I am putting on and in my body while understanding the biology of personal care products and educating others is most important to me.