Archive for January, 2009

100percentfacewashI think it’s safe to say, that when I find a particular brand that I like, I first drool over every product they have available, and then I go out and buy them.   I know that’s the case for me with conventional products, however safer beauty products are a bigger deal.  For one, they’re more expensive.  Two, sometimes you might finally find something in a line that works for you, but the rest of the products fall short of the mark.

I can honestly say so far, that the 100% Pure line is all fantastic.   At least the many products that I’ve tried.

I was on the hunt for an actual face wash.  Previously, I had been using Dr. Bronner’s, which works fine, but I noticed that it was making my skin too dry for the winter.   I figured that I would give the 100% Pure facial cleanser a try.

The face wash is very similar to the body wash, save for a few ingredients, which I’m guessing is to make the face wash a little more gentle on the skin.   I’ve used the body wash on my face before and it stung a little, and unless I leave the face wash on for a long time, I don’t have that problem with this.  Consistency wise, it’s the same.

Like the body wash, it foams nicely, and doesn’t dry my skin out, which is exactly what I was looking for.   I’m not too keen on the one that’s packaged in glass.   I like the glass factor, it’s the dispensing that I don’t like.   Think tabasco sauce bottle.  They recently came out with a pump version as well, which I may purchase, once I use what I have.

I’m definitely digging the 100% Pure line.  I can actually pronounce the ingredients and if there was ever a testament to its “purity”, it would be that nearly everything that I’ve ordered has arrived almost frozen (my lotion represented a thick milkshake!).  I can’t really say that about any chemically laden beauty product that I’ve gotten.   You’ll definitely see more reviews in the future.

Get it:  100% Pure foaming face wash comes in four “flavors”,  organic lavender honey, organic cranberry, cucumber juice and lemon juice.   You can order any of them off of their website.

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Categories: 100% Pure, Face Wash

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redflowerGoing organic with my beauty and health meant really eliminating so many things I enjoyed.  Perfume being one of them.  I sadly set aside my array of commercial perfume and went on a hunt for something safer that lacked phthalates and synthetic fragrances.  While at the gym reading a magazine I stumbled on an obscure article in a magazine that mentioned an organic perfume called Red Flower perfume oil.

These perfumes are created with a pure flower and herb distillation using USDA Certified Organic oils.  I always knew that oil based perfume vs. alcohol based perfumes were more pure and long lasting due to the slower evaporation, but since using Red Flower I do believe they work a whole lot better.

Red Flower organic perfume oils come in 3 beautiful scents: Champa (the one I like) has a floral feminine scent without smelling too much like a big flowery mess.  It’s subtle and girly… I get compliments on it often.  They also have Ambrette, more of am amber, golden warm scent and Guaiac,  which is a little bit earthy, woody but with a pretty feminie side.  Really lovely scents.

Get It: Red Flower oils come in a small 1-ish ounce glass roll on with a stainless steel roller ball for $48, or in a larger elegant crystal cut vintage bottle and stoppe, made in france for $186 – all available on their website RedFlower.com.  Red Flower also carries hair care, candles and body care items … all that I am dying to try out.  They all look  like elegant indulgences!

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Categories: Perfume & Scents, Red Flower

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eminenceA friend turned me on to Eminence Organics a while back and I was able to try a few of their products.  Their lines all are free of parabens, mineral oils, petroleum and SLS and they have some really divine products.  I got a few samples their DiVine collection which included a Mimosa Body Scrub and Mimosa Body Lotion.

Let me tell you, this stuff actually smells like a real mimosa – without making you smell like a drunk.  It a light citrus champagne scent and the body cream is really luxurious.  My hands are instantly soft when I use it.  Pampering is tricky when you’re trying to go as natural as possible and these don’t make you feel like a hippy… they feel like a real spa treat.  They have other delicious scents like Cucumber Mint, Pear & Green Apple  and a Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel. It’s too bad you can’t order these online or I would – but they are available at select spas!

Get It: Eminence is only available at partner spas and salons – call toll free at 1-888-747-6342 to learn of a spa near you.

aubrey_conditionerI’ve written extensively about my impossible curly hair.  Prior to having kids, my hair had a nice wave to it.  It wasn’t too hard to fuss with, but as I’ve now had one child and am pregnant with my second, my hair has become very hard to deal with.  There’s been quite a few days in the last couple of months where it has taken every ounce of willpower not to go running back to my tried and true Redken line of products.

Because of this, I’ve become somewhat seasoned when it comes to shampoo and conditioner.   My favorite conditioner so far has been John Master’s Avocado and Lavender Conditioner.   I use it almost exclusively, but in an effort to keep the grocery bill under budget, I opted to try something different.   I hesitantly grabbed some of the Aubrey Organics off of the shelf and called it a day.

I should have known better.   I’m a hair product snob.  I’ll admit.  I firmly believe that salon quality hair care works better.  You pay, but it lasts longer and absolutely is worth the price.   Maybe it’s due to the type of hair I have and what I’ve experienced with lesser quality products.

I really gave this conditioner a good week to get used to it, and I absolutely  hated it.    It took me 20 minutes to get a comb through it and that was with all of my other detangling products.  On top of that, my hair felt horrible when it dried.  Like wiry clay.    I don’t expect my hair to look great all the time.  I’m a mother of a toddler after all.  Some days, just getting a shower is a challenge, but I don’t like combing my hair until my head feels raw.

This conditioner might be great if your hair is straight and isn’t really finicky.  But if you have curly hair that tends to knot easily, this conditioner isn’t for you.

Get it: After telling you my awful experience, I don’t expect you to run right out and buy an Aubrey products, but if you’re so inclined to experiment yourself,  you can find Aubrey Organics on their webesite and Whole Foods.

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Categories: Aubrey Organics, Conditioner

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seamistIt’s no secret around here that John Masters Organics is one of our favorite lines for hair and body care.  They take great care to ensure they use safe natural ingredients and avoid preservatives and harmful fragrances.  One item they make I have been coveting for some time is their Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender.   I have naturally wavy hair and typically, I put a little leave in conditioner or a curl cream and let it air dry.  Voila, nice even waves and super easy.  However I noticed that my best hair days? Were days when I’ve been swimming in the ocean and it air dries.  Something about the salt and the texture it creates makes for very sexy, full body waves.  But I don’t have time to swim in the ocean each morning to get that effect.

Enter John Masters.  I received this in the mail the other day and wow.  This is a great product.  There is some skill associated with using it for sure… too much and you’ll feel like a scarecrow complete with straw hair.  I let my curls air dry until almost completely dry and the give my hair a few spritz’ from underneath.  The sea salt give your hair enough texture to manage and you can even twist it into clips or let it hang free in its curled awesomeness.  The lavender helps your hair from drying out from the salt and gives it a nice soothing scent.

I don’t think this product is for every hair type, but if you aren’t into pomades (like me) and are looking for a natural alternative to my old favorite Dream Curlz by John Freda, this might be the product for you.  Each bottle is 9 oz and $16.50 but this will likely last me the entire year since I use it sparingly.

Get it: You can pick your Sea Spray up on the John Masters Organics website or on Amazon.com

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Categories: John Masters Organics, Styling Products

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alimalipbalm I’m seriously turning into Kathy, and quickly.  This winter has been very raw and dry for us.  Something I don’t quite remember last winter, our first one back after living in California.  We’re all feeling the pain of dry skin, and my lips have been no exception.  Even my son has been becoming friends with lipbalm.  I have at least 17 tubes of it in my handbag and I use every single one.

For Christmas, my husband surprised me with some Alima Pure nourishing lipbalm.   What I love is that this lipbalm also comes tinted too.

I really love Alima Pure’s makeup.  I ended up with tons of eyeshadow samples for Christmas, which I’ve been loving all of.  But this lipbalm, I love, because not only has it been keeping my lips soft, it also adds a bit of color, which actually lasts, thanks to natural pigments.  The light colors are great for a hint of color for daytime and the darker colors are great for going out.  Use it as a base for your regular lip gloss or lipstick to keep your lips from drying out or just use it by itself.  And because they’re just a regular tube of lipbalm, it’s not big and bulky, which means you can fit one, or 20 in your handbag.

Alima Pure has several shades of this product, along with all of their products.  One of the many things I love about them.

Get it: You can order any of Alima Pure’s products, directly from their website.

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Categories: Alima Pure, Lip Balm

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nveyI received an Nvey Eco eye color palette from Statia for my birthday last year during our “make up greening” frenzy and have been using it ever since.  Nvey Eco is a certified organic make up company that produces a wide range of cosmetics with high quality in mind.  Not to mention their products are free of talc, parabens, preservatives, SLS, propylene glycol, gm’s (genetically modified), petroleum based ingredients and they don’t test on animals or use nano technology.  That’s make up I can use without too much worry.  But do they work? YES.

I really love the performance of Nvey Eco’s eye shadows… they have a nice range of color palettes and each palette comes with 5 shades that are coordinated to fit your style for day or night.  I’ve abused the palette I own but the investment is worth it… it has a lot of miles left on it.

Nvey Eco also creates foundation, powder, blush, and lip colors and treatments.  All for a top  price but the products stand up to the challenge.  I’ll be an Nvey Eco customer for sure.  I’ve got my eye n eye shadow palette No. 5…

Get It: Buy their products on the Nvey Website, on Amazon or on SaffronRouge.com

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Categories: Eye Shadow, Nvey Eco

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aloeconcealer One of the goodies I got for Christmas from Kathy, was Afterglow organic aloe concealer.   I generally don’t wear concealer, because of the weight factor, but you know, with a toddler and another on the way, I probably feel like I look more haggard than I am.  Or maybe I really do look that haggard.  Either way, I totally understand what my mother used to complain about when she said “getting old sucks.”

This is mainly meant to be used as an on the spot treatment, not as an all over foundation, but just for fun, I wanted to see what it would feel like if I used it as a foundation.   It’s not heavy.  It’s a little weird feeling.  Almost chalky at times.   It didn’t bother me to wear it, though, and it covered evenly.  I also used it as recommended and it was fabulous on the dark circles under my eyes and also worked great as a primer for my eye shadow.  I tend to notice that mineral shadow doesn’t stay on my eyelids as long, unless I use a good primer and this works perfectly.

The other benefit to this stuff is that it makes my face feel awesome after I wash it off.  The next morning, my face is not only clear, but there’s not a flake of dry skin to be found.    I’ll probably mention that again when I review the mineral powder in the near future.  It’s pretty amazing, given that my skin looks horrific due to the weather and pregnancy.

The one drawback to this, is that it does contain phenoxyethanol, which isn’t exactly a favorable ingredient, but since I use it only on special occasions and in small areas, I don’t mind that much.   But I did email the company to find out if they have any plans to switch to an alternative, and I’ll post any response I get to this review.  Other than that, the concealer comes in three different shades (which they’ll happily exchange if it’s not the right one for you) is otherwise free of other icky ingredients we like to steer clear of.

Get it: You can order any of Afterglow’s great products directly from their website.

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Categories: AfterGlow Mineral Cosmetics, Concealer

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big_mascaraI’m an unfortunate soul who has jacked up stubby lashes.   I never really cared too much about what type of mascara I used, because nothing is going to magically transform my stubby puny lashes into something even remotely resembling that of a super model.  I don’t care what sort of promises the commercials make.   They’re so bad that not even false eyelashes stay on.    So in the past, I’d buy something on sale and settle for marginally better lashes.   It’s a curse, but then again, my sister always complains that I got the boobs in the family, so I guess we’re even.

But, then I started to worry about the issue of chemicals in my mascara.   Not only petrochemcicals, but anti bacterials, fragrance,  minute levels of…. mercury?   So I stopped using mascara after my son was born.   Much like everything else, I rarely had time (or reason) to wear it when he was really young.    But for Christmas, I wanted all the girly goodies to feel good about myself again, and one of the things I asked for was some 100% Pure fruit pigmented mascara.   Even though I really love all of the 100% Pure products that I had tried, I was still kind of skeptical about how it would work.   I mean, isn’t chemicals what gives you those so-called fabulously long lashes (well, in other people anyway)?     But much like everything else in this greener journey, the only way I’ll find out is by trying.

Fruit pigment me surprised, this stuff is pretty good.   It hasn’t turned my lashes into supermodel lashes,  but it did make them look more presentable.  It doesn’t clump and it also didn’t irritate my eyes, which has happened to me in the past and I know is also a big factor for a lot of people with sensitive eyes.   It also didn’t smudge or fade.  And came off easily with some soap and water.   Also, I should point out that it smells awesome.   Yes, mascara that smells good.   It actually smells like fruit.  It’s kind of bizarre at first, but it grows on you.   I’ve also heard a lot of people complain about this mascara being dry.  I’m not an expert, but so far, I haven’t found that to be the case.  In fact, most of the conventional drug store mascaras that I’ve used have always been too goopy for my liking, so this stuff works like a charm for me.   I’m definitely loving this stuff,  so why ruin a good thing?

Get it: The 100% Pure makeup line, including the mascara, is only available through QVC, which you can order directly online.  However, my husband was able to find some on ebay for a little bit cheaper, so it’s worth trying to shop around.

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Categories: 100% Pure, Mascara

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primaveraI joined Saffron Rouge’s sample club a little while back, figuring that it would be nice to try different products without having to buy them.   Given the economy and the price of natural/organic skin care, this is a great option for people who are looking for some new favorites without worrying about wasting money on something that ended up never being used again (something Kathy and I have both done a lot since starting this journey).

One of the samples I received was for a few different Primavera products, which I had been wanting to try out for awhile now.   Included were two different facial moisturizers, one was a nourishing face cream and the second was a hydrating face cream.  Primavera is a German based company, using the highest quality ingredients.   I don’t generally see their products in stores that often, and only in a few places online.  Their products are really expensive, given their ingredients and the fact that they’re from Europe

Both of them were nice.  They worked well, and didn’t smell offensive, but to be honest I didn’t really notice a difference between the two.   If I had to pick a difference, I’d say the hydrating cream was slightly more oily, which is to be expected, but they both soothed my dry flaky face without causing redness or irritation (great for those of us with sensitive skin).   Would I buy it for myself?  Probably not at $70-80 a jar, but it’s definitely something that I will put on a wish list for birthdays and Christmas.  In the meantime, there are other less expensive alternatives out there that work just about as good as Primavera.

Get it: If you’re in the mood to pamper yourself, or you have some extra cash lying around, you can get the full Primavera line at Saffron Rouge.

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Categories: Moisturizer, Primavera

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