Archive for February, 2009

picture-1 Alima Pure is fast becoming my favorite makeup.  I totally dig the huge selection of colors they offer.    I must have 97 samples of their eye shadow and a little goes a long way.    I have fun playing with all of the colors and dressing my eyes up to match my mood.  For me this is big.  I’m a neutral girl at heart and generally pick something up to match my brown eyes.   I’ve been trying to be daring and use more color and thankfully, I don’t have to sacrifice my health in order to do that. All of their makeup is free of chemicals and preservatives and are pigmented with mineral colors.

Now Alima Pure has put out their new spring eyeshadow collection and I have to say, I’m loving it!  It makes me long for warmer spring weather and a cute spring outfit.

Get it: You can get your own samples (which are a great size and are rather inexpensive) directly from AlimaPure.com

BONUS! We’re giving away 3 sample sets of Alima Pure’s “April in Paris” gift collection.   To enter simply send an email to safemama.contestsATgmail.com with the subject “Alima Pure Giveaway“.  In order to qualify we need:

1. Your full name, and address.

2. Your favorite Alima Pure product.  (If you haven’t tried them yet, you can go to AlimaPure.com and pick something you’d like).

Your name and address are only needed so that we can notify you if you win.   LovelyMama does not sell or otherwise use your information in any way.  Contest is open to US residents only and ends at midnight on March 4th. Winners will be chosen at random.  Good Luck!

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Categories: Alima Pure, Eye Shadow, Giveaways & Contests

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dearlm100x100 We’ve been planning a new segment here at LovelyMama.    If you’ve read our sister site, you’re familiar with Dear SafeMama, a weekly “column” where we give you advice and answer your questions regarding just about anything you can think of.     Introducing LovelyMama.   We love all things beauty and we’ve learned a lot about green beauty over the last year and a half and we’d love to share that with you.    From questions about favorite chemical free beauty to advice on what works best, we want to help you achieve eco-gorgeousness.

You can submit your questions via the LovelyMama “Contact Us” page.  Simple choose “Dear LovelyMama” in the drop down box.

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Categories: Eco Beauty News & Tips

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clayEver since I’ve started the journey into living a “greener” life, I’ve come to the realization that we rely so much on commercial and processed products, if only for the convenience factor. And I’ve also come to realize that it’s so much easier and cost effective to make a lot of these beauty products at home. Look, I’m a total sucker for beauty products. I love my stuff, but after realizing how horrible most of this stuff was for me, I pitched/freecycled everything that I knew I would never use again. And you know what? I’ve gotten along without most of it just fine, for well over a year. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t still make the attempt to take care of my skin. I don’t mess with it the way that I used to and I find that it looks better (when I’m not pregnant and the wind isn’t whipping my skin raw) than it did when I had a whole ritual of crap I put on it every night.

But there are certain measures you should take to at least do the bare minimum for your skin, to keep it healthy and youthful looking.

One of those things would be clay masks. I love a good clay mask. It makes my skin feel great for days afterward, and helps to draw impurities out of your skin that soap can’t. Clay has been used for eons as a beauty staple, because it’s so multi-purpose. It cleanses, purifies, exfoliates, and the list goes on. There are quite a few different types of clays out there and each one has a different property due to it’s mineral content.

You can go and buy a clay mask at your local drug store on the cheap, but of course, it’ll have a bevy of chemicals and preservatives so that it can sit on that shelf for as long as they’ll let it. Or you can buy one that’s greener and chemical free (ultimately more expensive), but for as often as you use it, will probably be more cost prohibitive, because it’ll have a shelf life. Or you can make one yourself for a fraction of the price, as needed and feel good knowing that it’s two ingredients.

Here’s a basic white clay mask that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, and is safe enough to use every day:

  • 1 tablespoon of white clay
  • 1 teaspoon purified water

Combine in a bowl to form a paste and allow to thicken. Spread on your face with your hands and allow to sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse. You can also make this in larger quantities if desired for all over the body. It can be used as an exfoliate or cleanser.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing dry clay is to make sure that it’s cosmetic grade clay. Regular clay contains very high traces of lead. So don’t go raiding your kids art cupboard. You can purchase cosmetic grade clays online, which are relatively inexpensive. I found a great site that has white clay for about $8 for 8 ounces, which should last awhile. The more you buy, the cheaper it is. They guarantee their product to be lead free.

I’m beginning to think that our ancestors got it right the first time.

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Categories: DIY Recipes, Masks

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100percentpineappleI know I need to shut up about 100 Percent Pure products, but they’re quickly becoming favorites of mine.   And when I find something I love, my loved ones want to stage an intervention.   But this is for a good cause.  For research, and for living a healthier life.  Yes, that’s it.

I’ve been wanting to try some sort of mask that I can use weekly to help keep the dry flaky skin to a dull (or maybe more like a healthy glow) roar.   So I picked up some of the 100% Pure Pineapple mask.  I was surprised that it was a powder.  One extra step of mixing it with water will make me lazy, but I mixed some up per the directions and slathered  it on my face and waited.  It doesn’t smell that great, and when it tries, it’s hard to crack, so your face looks like a 90 year old’s.   It washes off really easily with some soap and water.

But I will say, it made my skin soft as anything and I had no dry skin afterwards.  I haven’t felt skin that smooth since I was in grade school.   I was pretty impressed.  I used it a second time a week later, and the results weren’t as good, but they were still far better than nothing at all.  The jar will last awhile and if it keeps the flaky skin to a minimum, I give it a thumbs up.

Get It: You can order the pineapple mask via our Amazon Affiliate store, or buy their products directly online.   OR you can find some of their products in Bath and Body Works flagship stores.

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Categories: 100% Pure, Exfoliation

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It’s no secret that I pretty much hate my hair. I could link to countless reviews of conditioners and the like, and you’ll see that I have impossible hair. Only made more impossible by the lack of chemicals that keep it looking like a brillo pad and of course, pregnancy.

I also generally don’t take too much time doing my hair as having a toddler doesn’t allow for countless hours of primping.   And I’m ok with that.  I get the time to shave my legs, and for that, I’m thankful.   It’s the little things, you know?

So when I actually do get some free time to blow out my hair and make it look hot and sexy, I try to stretch it out a day.   One problem I have though, and that’s oily roots.   I generally must wash my hair every day, but when blowing it out, it’s not only time consuming, it’s taxing on my hair.

There are countless powders and sprays out there to help with oily roots, because they say next day hair is sexy.  Most of it though, has all the chemicals we like to avoid.   And there’s always always corn starch or baby powder.  I’ve had limited success with those, and there’s also the problem of looking instantly like your white haired gramma.   No thank you.

I took my Weleda deodorant spray and sprayed it at the roots and in some other oily areas of my head and viola!  Worked like a charm.   Not only did my head smell good, but I didn’t have that heavy dirty hair feeling all day.   It’s a miracle!

I wouldn’t recommend this for use every day, since Weleda’s deodorant is alcohol based, but once in awhile, it’s a great alternative use for deodorant.   I’m keeping a bottle on hand as my new secret weapon.

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Categories: Deodorant, Styling Products, Weleda

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orgchocSo we covered the bedroom and now we need to get to the serious stuff.  Candy.  There’s nothing like a good box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day right?  Now there are companies creating fair trade and organic chocolate for our sweethearts.  Not to mention the antioxidants in chocolate make it a better choice than other candy…  it can have a higher content of antioxidants than black tea and red wine.

Organic Chocolate

basketFair Trade Heart Basket: Give your sweetie, or your mom, this basket of gourmet organic heart shaped chocolates in a bamboo basket.  Both the basket and the chocolates are fair trade and these special treat baskets contain a luxurious combination of foil wrapped solid dark chocolate hearts and dark chocolate cherry truffle hearts. Yum.

Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate: These delectable bars of organic chocolate, elegantly wrapped, are available almost everywhere.  I know truffles are traditional but I think a stack of chocolate bars tied with a red ribbon is just as sweet.  They have a dozen variety’s…my favorites being Maya Gold or the the Caramel.  Find them at the grocery store, target or health food stores in your area.

intempchocIntemperantia Organic Chocolates: Need those truffles that look like actual truffles? Here you go. Cocoa trees are some of the most pesticide sprayed trees and are usually grown near and around forests. The pesticides damage the forests around them and the cocoa plant holds pesticides more than any other fruit. Yick!  So organic chocolate is the way to go! And don’t they look fancy??

Rapunzel Lady Truffles: These cute lady bug organic chocolates are perfect for the kids or anyone you love.  Toss a bag into your partners laptop bag with a love note or put a couple in your kids lunch box as a special treat.  Doesn’t everyone love a milk chocolate covered hazelnut truffle crème shaped like a lady bug?

Sustainable Gift Giving

A box of chocolates not enough for your sweetie? Flowers are a big source of pesticides due to the mass growth of them for occasions such as this.  What is a better alternative? We thought you’d never ask…

rosesOrganic Bouquets:  All their blooms are sustainably grown and certified Organic (VeriFlora or FlorVerde) and grown with the least environmental impact.  All flowers will be  wrapped in eco-friendly packaging too.  They make sure all their flowers and growers adhere to fair labor and sustainable crop production to bring you the best in organic cut flowers.

Lucky Bamboo: Another gift idea, which I know I’d love, is a bundle of lucky bamboo stalks for your home.  Lucky bamboo is one of the best plants to have in your house.  Why? They are super low maintenance and they clean the air in your home better than most other plants.  Plus they’re a calming addition to any desk. Ahhh…

We hope everyone enjoys Valentine’s Day with the ones you love.  And for the anti-Valentine’s Day people – remember that your Valentine can be your mom or your best friend.  They need a little extra love these days too!

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Categories: Gifts

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We’re into the thick of Valentines Day Extravaganza Week over here at LovelyMama.   I figured I’d spice things up a bit by talking about sex.   Sex is a natural part of living.   Sure, it makes you giggle like a prepubescent teenager when mentioned, but sex is a beautiful natural thing.   Sex creates life (in most cases, anyway).    Sex has also been so commercialized that we’ve gotten away from the natural beauty of it.   Just as with anything else, we should strive to be greener, not only starting with the sheets (but that’s another post for another time) but between the sheets as well, and I plan to help you out by covering a few angles here:  personal lubricant, vibrators, and birth control.

Lubricant that’s better for you!

I’m sure you’re thinking that all lubricant is the same.  And sure, conventional lubricant is all pretty much the same.  That is to say, it’s all synthetic chemicals, polymers and other nasty junk that is not only horrible for you, but also a lot of times, very irritating to the skin.   Before finally figuring out how bad regular beauty products were for me, I had the worst time finding a lubricant that didn’t make me wince in pain after it had been on my skin for awhile.  I’m not typical in that regard, but still, if it was bothering me that much, I know even people who don’t have sensitivities have to be irritated by it sometimes.   The great thing is that we’ve found some great personal lubricants that are free of the nasties.

And the winners are:

Firefly organics – I was actually lucky enough to receive some samples of Firefly last year and published my review of it, which you can read here.  In short, I LOVE this lubricant.  It doesn’t burn or sting in the slightest.  There’s no stickiness and it doesn’t start to become tacky after time.  It performs with the same stability from start to finish.   It’s an oil, so you feel a little slick, but nothing that isn’t easily removed  with soap and water.   Did I mention my love for Firefly?

gcllubeGood Clean Love – The good folks over at Good Clean Love have got it nailed (and I only slightly mean that in a punny way).  They’ve got a huge array of products that are free of the chemicals we try so hard to avoid.   They not only have plain lubricant, but FLAVORS, and they’re all natural.   On top of lubricant, they have massage oil, candles, pleasure butters and body desserts.

Yes Lubricant – Appropriately named, Yes lubricant is another of the natural varieties, that has no harsh chemicals.   Yes also comes in either water based or oil based, which is nice for those that like the choice.  The other thing is that Yes comes in a few different sizes, including not only sample sizes, but a 6 pack of samples sizes, you know, so you can buy gifts for your friends.

Now, about those toys….

Now that we’ve got the lubricant down, let’s move onto toys.  Vibrators, whatever you like to call them, a good portion of us have them.  Sex toys are the second biggest industry to porn.  So, some of you are lying about what’s in your nightstand.  Most of the products you quickly purchase off the shelf at the adult store, red faced and giggling, are cheaply made in china and contain phthalates.   But, the good thing is that there’s tons of options out there that will fit any one’s desires.

And the winners are:

Sinnflutt rechargeable vibrator The Sinnflutt is made from 100% silicone, which not only makes for great bakeware, but also for great vibrators.   Silicone is non-toxic, non porous, and hypoallergenic.  Plus, it’ll last forever. On top of that, it’s rechargeable, which is great for keeping batteries out of the landfill. This little (or not so little) gem will set you back about $140, which may seem steep, but investing in a good vibrator is never cheap, and so so worth it. Plus, it’s made in Germany, and you know what they say about German engineering…

lelolilyThe Lelo “Lily” – (pictured).   There are very few vibrators that I come across that I covet.  I figure, if they’re safe and they get the job done, I’ll take it.  But Lelo’s products are different.   The Swedish based company uses the attractive Scandanavian design to put forth a product that is as much beautiful as it is functional.   Not only would you not want to hide this in your nightstand, you’d want to show it off to your friends.  Lelo’s products are made with 100% elastomer, which is a great phthalate free alternative to rubber or PVC.   The Lily runs about $120-130, and is also rechargeable, lasting about 7 hours on one 2 hour charge.   Bonus! It can also be locked so that there are no embarrassing moments at the airport!

Glass dildos – While these aren’t battery operated, they definitely deserve a spot on our list.   Glass dildos are the ulimate in green sex.  They’re recyclable, completely hygienic, and hand blown, so there’s no chemicals of any kind involved in making these.   Because they’re all hand blown, each one is unique and looks like a piece of art.   You might think glass would be dangerous, but they’re totally solid, so there’s no worry that too much errr, rough housing would cause it to break.   Glass will probably outlast any vibrator.   They’re also less costly.  Ranging from about $30 to $150.  Ok, so maybe not all of them are less costly, but you’re sure to find one that doesn’t break the bank.

But what about birth control?

Not everyone having sex is aiming for procreation here.   Plus, just because you’re practicing green sex, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be protecting yourself from unwanted pregnancies and STD’s.   Either of those situations is sure to put a crimp in anyone’s lofty Valentine’s Day plans.  Greener birth control is a tricky thing and not entirely green.   You can either pump yourself up full of hormones, to avoid the pregnancy aspect of things, or use a spermicide (more icky chemicals), but that won’t take care of the STD aspect.  Or you can use condoms.  Both latex and polyurethane condoms wreak havoc on the environment and then there’s the aspect of latex allergies.   You have to weigh your options here and make the choice that’s right for you.   But here are a couple of different (and better) types of condoms to get you started:

And the winners are:

Naturalamb sheepskin condoms – Sheepskin condoms are great…. if you’re in a monogamous relationship.   They’re made of a more natural material, which is better for the environment.  However, they do NOT protect against STD’s because they’re porous enough to allow bacteria through, but not sperm.   Of course, it should stand to reason that no method of birth control is ever 100% effective, but when used properly, condoms are about as effective as you can get.

Skyn Polyisoprene condoms – Skyn are a great alternative to both latex and polyurethane.  They’re made from polyisoprene, a synthetic counterpart to natural rubber.   The drawback is that they’re still a synthetic, but they DO protect against both pregnancy and STD’s.   It’s also a great alternative for people that have latex allergies.   They’re a little thicker than latex and polyurethane, which some people may or may not like.    But it’s also stretchier than polyurethane.

And there you have it, the skinny on greener sex.    And you thought any ‘ol vibrator would do!

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Categories: Greener Sex, Personal Lubricant

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lm-vday1Valentine’s Extravaganza Week continues with massage oils!  Granted, there isn’t a whole lot of massaging going on around my house considering I’m pregnant.  However, making a point to put each other first is important in any relationship! Typically, massage oils are made with mineral oils that use up valuable resources that are taxing on the environment.  Plus, wouldn’t you rather put a natural unprocessed oil on your body rather than some refined petroleum?  Me too.

There are a few store bought brands that use natural ingredients if you’re looking for a nicer gift… or you can stick to the tried and true at-home ingredients that are both affordable, multipurpose and make your skin feel great.

Massage Products We Love

Mountain Rose Herbs Massage Oils: These oils contain only blends of natural essential and organic oils like organic olive oil and organic almond oils and vitamin E.  They offer a range of scents, scented with rose, chamomile, and lavender and come in 4oz pumps and 1oz sample kits!

weledamassageoilWeleda Massage Oil: This is a great massage oil for those of you with active lives… whether you’re chasing kids or a workout king – this oil helps restore tired, aching muscles before and after physical activity.  Weleda is one of our favorite lines using only natural and organic ingredients.

AuraCacia Massage Cream in Tangerine Grapefruit: A cream instead of an oil this might be a little less messy.  Based with grapeseed oil and scented with oils like tangerine and grapefruit this sweet smelling citrus rub down will refresh and awaken the senses for a fun night out. Rawr!

DIY At Home Massage Treatments

Pure Coconut Oil: Available at your local health food store or aisle, this ingredient is great for your skin.  Use it to moisturize after a shower, soften cuticles or massage your muscles.  Better yet, you can cook dinner with it too. Add it to a romantic meal with stir fried veggies and shrimp to add a full flavor.  Also, we hear it makes a good personal lubricant. *Tee Hee*

Make Your Own: You can make any kind of massage oil concoction that suits you with a few simple ingredients from the health food store.  Pick up organic vegetable and nut oils, such as olive (great for skin and hair), sweet almond, jojoba, avocado and some vitamin E to make your own sexy combination’s.  Add drops of your favorite essential oils like lavender, orange, or arnica to spice it up.

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Categories: DIY Recipes, Massage Oils, Weleda

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lm-vdayI think Valentine’s Day is one of those days you’re either fond of or you’re not. In general, I’m not a fan of the commercial aspect, and on another level, I feel that you can tell someone you love them any day of the week. BUT, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to hide our really cool Valentines Day finds from you. Afterall, even if you aren’t into the commercialism aspect, you’re still into being eco-conscious, sexy AND green all year ’round. Right?

We’re starting off the week with candles. Who doesn’t love candles? They’re great for romance. They’re great home accents, and they’re great when you just want a refreshing pick me up in the form of a pleasant scent. I absolutely LOVE getting candles as a gift. For the home, it always makes a great gift, and from that special someone with a little nudge nudge wink wink, it takes on a whole different meaning. And it’s also something that lasts a while, unlike candy and flowers (although, I still LOVE getting candy and flowers. *hinthint*).

But you don’t want to just go out and get any kind of candle.   You want to find a candle that is phthalate free AND made of soy.

A lot of conventional candles are made from artificial fragrances that are impossible to create from nature.   Therefore, they’re made with parfums, which are made with phthalates.   Like we need more of those in our house than are already floating around.   Stick with candles that are made from natural essential oils.   This limits your choices, of course, but you still find some really great scents.

Why soy?  Soy is a cleaner burning wax that, because of its organic nature, doesn’t emit toxins into the air when burning, unlike paraffin, which often has petroleum based ingredients in it.  Soy also burns cooler and lasts longer than regular paraffin.  Another bonus to soy is that it cleans up much easier with soap and water.   The benefits of soy wax are just all around better.

Soy candles are becoming increasingly popular, but it’s a little harder to find them without phthalates.

Our top picks!

than2Timothy Han candles are beautifully simple.   They’re completely unobtusive and fit in well with any type of decor.   I really love the plain design of these candles.  They are a bit expensive at about $50 US dollars, but they’re about 6.5 ounces and provide about 50 hours of burn time.   Try saying that about any phthalate laden paraffin candle!

breadbadger2 There is NOTHING you can’t find on Etsy.   I stumbled across these really great soy candles that are contained in a hand cut recycled wine container.  I don’t know about you, but I love anything that features recycled goods.   There are many scents to choose from, and while not all of them are phthalate free, a great deal of them are and are noted as such.     The jar also features a hand etched design of your choice.   For $28 dollars, this is an absolute steal!

Do it yourself!

It’s also really easy to make your own soy candles.   There are really great directions on ehow and you can find soy wax at just about any craft store.  The beauty of making your own is that you can be really creative in the scents you choose as well as your container.   It’s a great way to recycle old candle containers, instead of throwing them out.  You can use an old glass, a mason jar, or find something eclectic looking at a yard sale.   It’s a a great thing to do with older children.   And an inexpensive way to give a gift.    Nothing says love like a homemade gift!

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Categories: DIY Recipes

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milkI’m a sucker for bath products.  I mean, tell me what girl doesn’t love a good pampering spa day?   I know that’s where my love of all things bath for the home, stems from.   Of course, it’s a little harder now that I don’t have:  a.) dispensable income and b.) limited choices in the name of greener beauty.   But that’s OK, because there are a lot of things you can make for a nice luxurious spa like bath for a way smaller price tag.   Of course you have to listen to the hum of a monitor with your martini (organic vodka, of course), instead of that new agey soothing music, but hey, it’s a little time for Mama, and that’s what really counts, right?

Let’s talk about milk baths.   Milk baths are popular at swanky spas and resorts.  Why?  Because they’re great for the skin.  They’re great for nourishing really dry skin, because the lactic acid helps to loosen dead skin cells.  Milk baths date back to the days of Cleopatra, who swore by milks beautifying properties.   The best thing is,  you can make a nice milk bath from products you probably already have.   I found one in a book, that’s really quick and easy, and also easy to alter based on your needs.  You’ll need:

1 cup of heavy-cream, half and half, or regular milk.

1/2 cup raw honey.

That’s it.   Just blend together,  add to your running bath and swish.   If want a little more luxurious, add some of your favorite essential oil.   If your skin is extra itchy, blend a cup of oats in a blender or food processor and add to the mix.   If you’re lactose intolerant, you can try goats milk.   One of the other great things about this recipe, is that you know exactly what’s in it.  No hidden ingredients like you might find in the overly processed, high priced “milk baths” out there at a beauty store.

I have heard that the thicker dairy products might leave your skin feeling a little oily afterwards, which makes sense, since you’re basically soaking in milk fat.  You could also use lower fat milk to acheive the same effects.   I’d stick with at least whole milk at the very least, if your skin is really dry.

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Categories: Bath & Body, DIY Recipes

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