Monthly Archives: May 2015

What’s in your make-up?

Think your expensive make-up is better for your skin? Think again…

Today I’m researching the luxury brand Chanel. This brand embodies opulence and poise, sophistication and timelessness. Which makes this information that much harder to digest. (I’m sorry Danielle!) (My best girlfriend has been using Chanel makeup for years, so I know she’ll not be happy to read this!) I’m going to specifically highlight the Chanel pressed powder, which contains many harmful and highly toxic chemicals. Many of the chemicals have existing FDA Warnings and lab studies proving harmful effects. Below is a breakdown of the dirty ingredients; after reading this, I hope you think twice before spending a high premium on this makeup which is supposed to help you feel more beautiful but are hiding very ugly evidence. Below I have a few suggestions of safe, natural and organic products that you could use to replace this dirty one.





*rates a 10 on the Dirty List


ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE – also known as Octinoxate 

  • Usage: used in cosmetics to protect against UVB radiation.
  • Health impacts: It is a known and studied endocrine disruptor, effecting estrogenic and thyroid activity, affecting several body functions including development, brain and metabolism. Estrogenic disruption has been linked to breast cancer. Avoid use whenever possible. Possible Carcinogen. Organ system toxicity. Estrogenic effects were noted in laboratory animals, links to Breast Cancer.


  • Usage: used as abrasive, film forming and viscosity controlling agent
  • Health impacts: Non biodegradable. Microplastic pollution. Allergenic for some individuals. Carcinogenic in lab studies. *This is the same ingredient used to make those scrubbing microbeads in exfoliating body washes, they are extremely harmful to the plant.
  • Explanation: Polyethylene is the most common plastic. Currently being proposed to be banned in New York, California, Illinois, Minnesota. The accumulation of plastic in the marine environment is today recognized as a serious, global environmental issue. Read more HERE: Beat the Microbead International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics.

 PARFUM – also known as Almond Fragrance, Aroma, Baby Powder Fragrance, Coconut Lime Verbena Fragrance, Cucumber Melon Fragrance + more 

  • Usage: a combination of nearly 3000 fragrant ingredients is added to most personal care products to mask odors or add a pleasant scent
  • Health impacts: Hormone disruptor. Allergen.
  • Explanation: The major concern with fragrance is that is is not required by law to disclose the individual ingredients used to produce it. Therefore, many fragrance ingredients which are harmful can be omitted from the label. While is is often a mix of synthetic and natural ingredients, fragrance commonly consists of harmful constituents such as phthalates. (read more about Phthalates below).  *Please note: our favorite perfumes and colognes are also extremely harmful to us! Links to Cancer! So scary. 

From the Breast Cancer Fund website:  THE GIST: Phthalates, pronounced THAL-ates, soften plastics and are known to disrupt the body’s hormones. A 2012 study found that women working in the automotive and food-canning industries have nearly a fivefold increase in risk for premenopausal breast cancer, likely because of their exposure to phthalates, BPA and flame-retardants. Phthalates have also been linked to birth defects, asthma, neurodevelopmental problems in newborns, fertility issues and obesity. Though phthalates are banned in children’s toys, they can still be found in school supplies, cosmetics and personal care products such as nail polish and shampoo. Read more HERE. 


  • Usage: used in a wide array of personal care products as an antioxidant and to mask unpleasant flavors or scents. It is also used as a preservative in personal care and food products.
  • Health impacts: Possible Endocrine Disruptor. Mild irritation, itchiness, redness when contact with eyes and skin from some individuals.
  • Explanation: BHT has been linked to a number of adverse health effects (endocrine dysfunction, tumor promotion and organ system toxicity).


  • Usage: used as an antimicrobial and preservative.
  • Health impacts: Allergen. FDA Warning.
  • Explanation: This compound is a known muscle relaxant. FDA issued a warning for this compound in 2008, stating that oral consumption by infants may cause nervous and respiratory system depression. (A muscle relaxant?!? And Chanel uses it for makeup that you use on your face? WTF.) 


  • Usage: known as hydrated magnesium silicate, used as abrasive, absorbent, anti-caking, bulking and skin protecting agent in cosmetics. Avoid use of the chemical around mouth and nose, especially for children. (Mother’s please note: use TALC-FREE baby powder on your little ones). 
  • Health impacts: Respiratory and skin irritation. Possible Ovarian Caner Carcinogen. FDA Warning.


USE THESE PRODUCTS INSTEAD! All these companies have high quality organic and natural makeup, your skin will thank you! I highly recommend any of these below: 

W3ll People Mineral Foundation (*rated 0 on the Dirty List)

Elate Clean Cosmetics Veiled Elation (*rated 0 on the Dirty List)

La Mav Mattifying Powder (*rated 1 on the Dirty List)

W3ll People Bio Brightener Powder (*rated 1 on the Dirty List)

RMS Beauty Tinted “un” Powder (*rated 1 on the Dirty List)

100% Pure Healthy Flawless Skin Foundation (*rated 1 on the Dirty List)


100% Pure Healthy Foundation Review


I adore my new natural makeup by 100% Pure. I’ve never been one to wear foundation because;

1. my face would break out

2. foundation feels like wearing a greasy mask

3. gets on your clothes

4. I like the more natural look and foundation always felt like too much makeup

But I’ve been converted, this product is so light and takes the place of my powder, the color is perfect for me and makes my skin feel amazing. Everything typically makes me break out, my skin is so sensitive but this foundation actually feels healing to my skin. It’s more of a light coverage, so if you’re looking for a full coverage foundation, this is not the one. This evens my skin tone with light coverage. Finally a product that has no harmful chemicals and makes my skin feel divine. 100% Pure makeup is pigmented with fruit color, love that! 

W.E.L.L. Summit

I am beyond excited for this beautifully curated event that will be held in Boston. I’m new to this city, so I’m thrilled to see there is a great community of wellness enthusiasts in Boston! Click HERE for tickets and more info.

From the W.E.L.L. Summit site: 

You’ve heard the buzz, but what is The W.E.L.L. Summit exactly, and why should you book your tickets for Boston as soon as possible?

Wellness. Empowerment. Learning. Luxury.


The inaugural W.E.L.L. Summit will be held in Boston, MA from Friday, November 6th to Sunday, November 8th. The W.E.L.L. Summit was created to celebrate living a life of wellness in all aspects of your life: from the best of clean beauty, organic food and exercise to nourishing your spirit and living your passion, this is the place for inspiration.

We’ve carefully curated The W.E.L.L. Summit both for wellness enthusiasts looking to learn more and make like-minded friends, and for the wellness professional seeking to expand their area of expertise and looking to network.

Let the Luxury Begin!

Upon check-in at the Wyndham Beacon Hill you will be greeted with your exclusive W.E.L.L. Summit gift bag. Later that night, you’ll receive an additional gift: a bag full of healthy goodies that will help you relax and refresh for Saturday, a full day of W.E.L.L. Summit breakout sessions.

Eat. Drink. Love.

And we hope you’ve packed your appetite! We’ve chosen healthy, organic meals to nourish you for the weekend ahead.  Our WelcomeDinner is an offsite Farm-To-Table affair serving locally sourced, gourmet food prepared for the most discerning palate, complemented by custom organic cocktails.

We’ll have a breakfast bar and brunch with energizing food to power you through your days. A sit down lunch with a keynote speaker one day and a gourmet lunch buffet the next. And of course, coffee, tea and water stations to keep you well-hydrated and  wide awake so you won’t miss a minute of the inspiration!

Q & A in a Whole New Way.

The W.E.L.L. Summit is the place where you will have a chance to ask your questions and get your questions answered! How? All of our interactive and educational breakout sessions will be capped at 30 people. You’ll have the opportunity to converse with our wellness leaders & speakers, soak up their expertise & take it all home to apply to your daily life.

We’ve chosen each of our speakers with you in mind. At The W.E.L.L. Summit, you’ll have the chance to go from a yoga or DIY beauty class to a cooking demo class complete with take-home recipes. We’re providing a holistic view of wellness from top wellness leaders to empower you to live W.E.L.L.

L.I.V.E. W.E.L.L.

If you’re interested in supporting companies that share your ethos,  then you’re going to love our L.I.V.E. W.E.L.L. party! On Saturday, November 7th you’ll have the opportunity to browse, and shop W.E.L.L. Summit approved vendors. They’re vendors we’ve vetted for the quality of products they carry, their sustainability practices, Fair Trade certifications, and overall commitment to their consumers’ health.  We’ve gathered the leading companies in healthy beauty, skincare, organic food, fresh juice & smoothies, Fair Trade & Organic clothing, bedding and home accessories. It’s a no-pressure opportunity for you to browse, chat and if the urge strikes, to shop the Summit!

The W.E.L.L. Summit is a retreat for the mind, body and spirit. It’s a weekend getaway. It’s an event inspired by you, created for you…and we can’t wait to have you join us!



Thrive Market

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This my favorite new online store! Wholesome Products. Wholesale Prices. Thrive is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone! This online store is amazing, all the products are 25%-50% below retail. They are committed to bringing the highest quality healthy and natural products, not to mention they are committed to sustainability and social justice. Beautiful mission, beautiful site! The prices are amazing. They are currently offering free shipping on orders over $49 and 15% off your first order. Go to Thrive Market here.

“Growing up on an organic farm where we ran a buying club for wholesome products directly from the makers left an indelible impact on me. Thrive Market is the realization of my life’s goal to make healthy living accessible to all — now everyone can get the good, nutritious and high-quality products they love at fair prices.”

-Gunnar Lovelace, CEO/Co-Fo

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Sun worshippers beware 

 Why do we use sunscreen? To protect our skin from the sun’s rays so we don’t get burnt and don’t develop skin cancer. But what is scary is that most of the products on the market are full of carcinogens and toxins that can cause cancer! Octinoxate is linked to breast cancer, that’s just one of the harmful chemicals in this product. Coppertone scores a DIRTY 10 on the Think Dirty list, and this is a baby formula. Scary that this product has been used on children for years!

Instead of Coppertone (or any sunscreen that you buy at the pharmacy) try Coola! Coola is my favorite organic and natural sunscreen. The formulas are light and don’t make me breakout, they smell great too! They rate from a 0 to 3 on the Dirty List, score!

Leahlani Skincare Review

These products were love at first sight. Holistic, organic, skin healing, tropical and made with love. Then I read about how Leahlani Skincare evolved from her personal healing journey of dealing with cystic acne all her life, so I knew I had to try these products. I have also dealt with cystic acne my entire life and have spent obscene amounts of money on products, laser treatments, dermatology visits…a continued battle that always brought me back to square one with no positive results.

A few years ago, I found out I have Celiac Disease, after eliminating gluten from my diet, most of the cystic acne disappeared but I’ve still battled with regular acne and skin irritation. I’ve also eliminated dairy (causes my chin to break out), I drink lots of water and eat endless greens and other veggies that are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A. I’m nourishing my body correctly, I feel amazing but my skin still wasn’t glowing. It dawned on me, what was going into my body was so clean but what I was using on my face & body was far from clean, products full of harsh and harmful chemicals. All claiming to reduce breakouts, brighten skin, reduce irritation, reduce redness….when all they were doing were making my skin worse!

About a month ago, I started to cleanse my face with a mix of olive oil & castor oil. For someone with acne all their life, put oil ON my face??? This sounded crazy but I’m down to try anything at this point, the worst it’s going to do is cause yet another breakout, I can deal another day. To my surprise, it’s now a month later and my skin is SO happy, much calmer and breakouts have been minimal. All this time, all this money spent and all I needed to do was use products my Grandmother has talked about since I was a kid…just put some Castor Oil on it. (note: castor oil can tend to be a bit more drying, so you need to balance with a nourishing oil like Olive Oil, Jojoba or Almond Oil). Here is a link to The Wellness Mama who has more information about Oil Cleansing. 

So my skin has been much happier since I’ve been Oil Cleansing but that still isn’t enough, I need to exfoliate and moisturize. I started seeing many Instagram posts for Leahlani’s Mermaid Mask. Mermaid vibes and a natural healing mask…yes please!

Mermaid Mask: “This mask is superfood for your skin. With Hawaiian raw honey, Hawaiian spirulina, Chlorella, sea buckthorn, luminess algae and 15 botanicals. Your skin will drink up this elixir and radiate from within. Organic Hawaiian Spirulina is nutrient dense and full of protein and amino acid. It also contains most all known antioxidants. It helps with premature aging, acne, redness, uneven skin tone and dryness. I combined it with Hawaiian raw honey for the added bonus of honey being a humectant and another superfood for your skin. Luminess algae is a micro algae, and helps restore the glow of youthful skin through enhanced cellular energy and improved vitality and also increases cellular turnover. Sea Buckthorn is one of my favorites. It has a high amount of vitamin A, C and E. Sea Buckthorn helps cellular regeneration, heals wounds, heals scarring and acne. It promotes radiant and glowing skin.”

Leahlani Skincare is based in Hawaii but my package came across the Pacific and arrived in Boston in a quick 4 days! I ordered the Mermaid Mask and Mahana Organic Perfume and this beautiful package arrived (seashells not included). These products transported me to the tropics instantly and you can feel the love in them.

The day the package arrived, I was having a bad skin day…I had my period, cheated & ate some dairy, so my face was broken out, irritated and dry. I used the Honey Love 3-1 sample to cleanse my skin, so yummy and skin felt so refreshed! Then I used the Mermaid Mask, I kept it on for about 5 minutes and rinsed off in the shower. I could not believe how my skin felt the moment I stepped out of the shower, it honestly felt like a miracle treatment in less than 10 minutes. My irritation had calmed and my skin was absolutely glowing. Honestly, magical healing power! The other sample I received was the Siren Serum, my skin craved it after the mask, it felt divine. The great thing about all of these amazing products is that a little bit goes a long way. I’ve already ordered the Honey Love and Siren Serum because my skin is loving this regimen, truly incredible results, I’m blown away.

Thank you to Leahlani Skincare for putting so much love and thought into your line. These products are new staples in my daily routine. Visit the Leahlani Skincare shop on Etsy here to order. For a 10% off coupon code, go visit the beautiful site of The Organic Bunny here.

Read my review about the Mahana Organic Perfume HERE.

Aloha beauties!

Boston General Store @ SoWa


South End Open Market @ SoWa is a must on Sundays in Boston. Amazing vendors, food, art, jewelry, vintage finds and sweet treats. I was excited to see this cute set up by The Boston General Store. Go check them out today until 4p.

#southendopenmarketatsowa #naturalskincare #organicbeauty #organichome #organic #greenbblog #greenbeauty #greanbeautyblog #greenbeautyblogger #boston


In my opinion, there is no safe amount of added sugar or sugar substitutes. Sugar is also hidden in everything; coffee creamer, bread, dressings, cereal, yogurt, etc. Look above at all the aliases sugar has in hopes to disguise itself within the ingredient list on food labels. Sneaky.

Naturally contained sugars in fruit and vegetables are balanced by the fiber, vitamins, enzymes and other properties of the fruit/vegetable which slow sugar digestion and help the body deal with it more easily. Added sugar, on the other hand, provides none of these benefits and instead:

  • Stresses the Liver
  • Increases Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides
  • Can contribute to Leptin Resistance which creates an addictive sugar response in the brain.
  • Weight gain, cravings, sleep trouble

Sugar doesn’t fill you up but instead encourages you to eat more. Stick to naturally occurring sugar in fruits and veggies! My only sugar exception is dark chocolate. 🙂

Back Bay Yoga

468058_10151095256473528_1811891510_oMy boyfriend and I recently were relocated for his job from New York City to Boston, so we’ve only been living in Boston since April. Thankfully we missed all the snow! I’ve never spent anytime in Boston before, so it’s all a new adventure!

My friend Danielle asked me to join her for Yoga at her favorite studio last weekend and I’m so happy that I tagged along. Maybe it’s just me but going into a new yoga studio sometimes feels like the first day of school but not at Back Bay Yoga,  I was greeted with positive energy the moment I walked in.  My first Boston Yoga experience was nothing but genuine, humble, no frills, just Yoga.

Our teacher Renee was so refreshing and very witty! Nothing like laughing so hard in Navasana (boat pose) to make your abs burn even more. Not to mention the fact that Renee had us lower and lift into Navasana 20 times in a row, I thought she was kidding at first but she was on her mat doing them right along with us. This Yogini is down to earth, funny but very challenging! I love teachers who can command a class but not take themselves too seriously, it creates such a great energy and experience for the entire room. We just can’t take ourselves so seriously all the time and especially in Yoga. As a Pilates and Yoga teacher myself, it’s a challenge to teach a group of people that are staring back at you with nothing but stern and serious looks. (New Yorkers are the most guilty of this, so intense sometimes!) Relax people, it’s just Yoga, it’s okay to smile or laugh during your Down Dog. Breathe and let your self go.

I definitely recommend Back Bay Yoga for anyone – cool teachers, great vibe and easy sign up. This place is solid. They have a new student special, $25 for 2 weeks unlimited classes, which is great deal! They also have a deal up on Gilt Group right now. Don’t miss out! I doubt I’ll be signing up for their “Black Light Yoga” or “Hip-Hop Yoga” classes anytime soon but if house music and yoga are your thing, then you’re in for a treat. I’ll stick to regular Vinyasa for now. Namaste!