Product Reviews


Current Beauty Regime

il_fullxfullMany friends, clients and family have been asking what green beauty products I use, so below are my current favorites. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is very different, what works for one may not work for someone else. I’ve tried and tested many products and continue to refine my beauty routine.

As someone who has suffered from acne into my 30’s, I’m happy to finally say that my skin has never looked better! Someone the other day told me that I had beautiful glowing skin…I was so taken aback, I’ve never received that compliment before, it made my heart explode! This did not happen overnight or by some magic potion or cream, this has been a journey. I’ve always had a healthy diet but it still needed to be streamlined (our diet can ALWAYS be better). Especially by understanding which foods trigger my sensitivities and which foods and superfoods to add into my diet with anti-inflammatory and healing properties. I’ve not only changed my beauty routine to green products but even changed our home and laundry cleaning products.

There are many factors that go into changing/healing your skin and it all starts with what you put IN your body, not just ON it. I will most more about this topic later! I highly recommend the book “Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out” by Jolene Hart. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Jolene at the Well Summit in Boston two weeks ago, she presented a lovely session about eating for the Fall/Winter season while nourishing your body, energy and skin. Our vegetables, spices and superfoods can heal our skin from the inside out. Please stop buying harsh skin products that promise to resolve problem skin (that are doing you more harm than good) and beauty starts from the inside! Jolene’s book is great resource to help you get started on the journey to eating for beautiful skin. Find Jolene’s book HERE. 

Onto my current product list!

Face Wash: Aleavia “Cleanse” Neutralizing Facial Cleanser ~link 

Makeup Remover: Coconut Oil *I remove makeup and first cleanse my entire face with coconut oil, then gently wipe off with a hot wash cloth. Then I use Aleavia – this is known as “Double Cleansing”. In the shower, I just use Aleavia and often just use warm water in the morning.

Eye Cream: 100% Pure Coffee Bean (I received a sample, so I’ve been using for about 2 weeks) ~ link

Face Exfoliator: Leah Lani Skin Care Honey Love ~ link,  Acure Brightening Facial Scrub ~ link 

Face Masks: Mahalo Care Pele Mask ~ link,  Leah Lani Skin Care Mermaid Mask ~ link

Body Scrub: Organic Bath Co. – SubLime Organic Body Scrub (Gianne who organized the AMAZING Well Summit is also the founder of this amazing Boston based organic skin care line – incredible woman!) ~ link

Body Wash: Dr. Bronner’s Almond Pure Castile Liquid Soap ~ link 

Deodorant: Funkless NYC (made by my friend Kevin Steinmuller, this is the one and only natural deodorant that works to keep me dry & funkless, even during the sweatiest workouts.) I use Jasmine/Bergamot and my boyfriend uses Tea Tree. ~ link 

Toothpaste: Jason Sea Fresh ~ link 

Perfume: Leah Lani Organic Perfume Oil Mahana ~ link

Sunless Tanner: Chocolate Sun Cocoa Fleur 1 Atomizer ~link 

Moisturizers
Face (Day): Acure Day Cream (only $16.99 Available at Target and I usually order on Vitacost.com) ~link 

Face (Night): Organic Rose Hip Oil *I’m currently searching for a great winter face cream, my skin gets extremely dry. I’m going to Follain today to get a sample of Josh Rosebrook Day Cream (link). I had the pleasure to spend time with Josh during the Well Summit conference. This beautiful soul has so much passion for life, meditation and the products he created. Knowing the people that have created the products themselves and with so much love…yes please!!!

Body Lotion: Deep Steep Body Lotion & Body Butter in Passion Fruit Guava – I absolutely LOVE this scent! I also make my own body butter at home for the Winter. Only $10.95, available at Whole Foods & on Vitacost.link 

Lip Moisture: Soapwalla Lip Locked Coconut Lime ~ link

Hair 
Shampoo: InnerSense Organic Beauty Color Awakening Hair Bath ~ link

Conditioner: InnerSense Organic Beauty Color Radiance ~ link
(LOVE this brand! My scalp is so sensitive, most products make my hair line breakout and give me an itchy scalp but no longer with these amazing products. All of InnerSense’s products score a ZERO on the Think Dirty list. Woo-hoo!) 

Hair Brush: Wet Brush (Where has this been my entire life!?  Not that this is “green beauty” product but had to list it because it’s amazing. With long hair, after the shower, I’m always ripping knots out of my hair but this brush makes life SO much easier. $3.99 at Marshalls or you could find at Target or CVS). ~ link 

 

I’ll post my Makeup and home cleaning favorites in a separate post!

 


Organic Bath Co.

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Organic Bath Co. is one of my new favorite companies and they are also from Boston! I love these products because they are so simple and fresh. Everything is gluten free, vegan and 100% Organic. I’ve been making my own oils, scrub and lotions at home but they just get the exact mixtures correct and perfectly balanced. I’ve been using the SubLime Organic Body Scrub which is absolutely divine, the perfect mix of coconut and lime. Salt water, sea air and the right amount of summer sun in a little jar. For this product, click HERE.

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I also love the RefreshMint Organic Body Oil, it gives your skin instant moisture; replenishing and revitalizing dry skin. I’ve been using this oil after showering from a day at the beach, my skin soaks up the oil and feels healed and represhed. The oil is softly scented, the mint is very subtle, I tend to not like mint scented body products but this is a perfect balance and I love it, very fresh. It contains Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Almond Oil, Camellia Seed, Grape Seed Oils and Green Tea Leaves – filled with antioxidants! For this product, click HERE. 

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Natural Deodorant Review ~ Schmidt’s

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Natural deodorant that keeps you DRY and smelling fresh! Yippee! Free of aluminum, synthetics and other chemicals. All Natural, Vegan & Cruelty Free. SCHMIDT’S DEODORANT is now an essential part of my daily routine.

I like that SCHMIDT’S DEODORANT comes with a little spatula, it makes application easier so I don’t get deodorant under my nails. This product gets a bit dry and flakey as you scrap off the top but once you get in on your fingers, you rub your fingers together to warm the ingredients. Then it becomes creamy and applies easily. You do have to wash your hands after applying but I much more prefer this method than wearing aluminum under my arms.

Aluminum is linked to cancer, our armpits are full of lymph nodes that are close to our breasts, that is WAY to close to comfort for me. Think about how much we sweat from our underarms, this is a sensitive part of our body and we are ingesting whatever product we put in the area. I will never again use Degree!

I’ve tried MANY natural deodorants, I’ve never had to much trouble with B.O. but I sweat a lot and I hate having wet underarms. Most natural deodorants are just highly fragranced with essential oils to cover any smell but they lack any anti-persperant element, which prevents wetness (what aluminum is used for). I workout almost everyday and work in Fitness, so it’s very important that I have a deodorant that keeps me dry, fresh and can hold up even during my sweatiest workouts. Schmidt’s is the one!

My favorite scent is Bergamot + Lime, it’s extremely fresh and not overpowering. My first couple applications of this deodorant caused my underarms to break out but this often happens when switching deodorants. I decided to stick it out, I’m happy I did because my body adjusted and I’m no longer breaking out. I HIGHLY recommend this product, hands down the BEST NATURAL DEODORANT on the market! One jar is $9.00 but a little bit goes a LONG way. You only need to use a very small amount. This product is made with Shea Butter, baking soda, cocoa seed butter, essential oils & vitamin E.

Visit the SCHMIDT’S DEODORANT website HERE


100 Percent Pure Makeup Review

 

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I’m loving my new makeup from 100% Pure. NO harmful chemicals, 100% vegan, 100% natural and the makeup is fruit pigmented. The mascara and bronzer are pigmented with Cocoa. Smells like chocolate? Bring it on.

Here is a full review of the newest additions to my makeup bag:

BRONZER: “Cocoa Glow” –  This bronzer is one of the best I’ve ever used, hands down! It’s called “Cocoa Glow”. It gives you that perfect summer sun kissed glow. I used to love NARS Bronzer but unfortunately NARS uses chemicals with harmful carcinogens in their makeup giving them a big fat “10” on the Think Dirty list. The 100% Pure Cocoa Glow trumps all the other bronzers I’ve ever used. This is by far my favorite product from this company. Buy it HERE. 

LONG LASTING CONCEALER WITH SUPER FRUITS: What I like the most about this concealer is that it doesn’t irritate my skin. Finally, makeup that doesn’t make my skin break out. Nothing is worse than using makeup to cover up a blemish and it just makes it worse. The color “Peach Bisque” is also a perfect match for my skin. I emailed 100% Pure about my concerns of picking out the right color online, they sent me color swatches and also had me send them a photo of my face (without makeup) so they could suggest the best color. Utilize their sales team for this before ordering online because the color match was perfect! The concealer blends nicely, the consistency is very creamy. The cons: it isn’t full coverage and isn’t very long lasting. Great if your looking for light coverage. I’m going to give their Everywhere Concealer next and hope that one will be more full coverage. Buy it HERE. 

LIP & CHEEK TINT: This is another favorite! I want this in every color. I currently have “Pink Grapefruit Glow”. It gives me rosy cheeks and fresh pink lips. I love using one product for lips and cheeks, it makes application so quick and easy. Pink Grapefruit would be too pink on my lips for the winter but it’s a perfect bright grapefruit/coral pink for the summer. After I apply my bronzer, I apply the cheek tint on the chubbiest part of my cheeks, rub in with my fingers then apply to my lips and I’m ready to go! Buy it HERE. 

FRUIT PIGMENTED MASCARA: “Dark Chocolate” – Maybe I just love this mascara because it doesn’t have ANY chemicals but also because it smells like CHOCOLATE. It gets the dark chocolate color from fruits, black tea and cocoa, so after applying, you smell like chocolate for 10 minutes. Chocolate is the way to my heart, so I love this product. I steer towards mascaras with more lengthening over volume, so I was pleasantly surprised that this product delivered just that without any clumps. My only hang up is that it smudges easily and I’ve been left looking like a raccoon an hour later. But honestly, I’ve always had this problem with mascara my whole life. Maybe I need to wear more powder under my eyes to prevent this? If anyone has any tips on better application tricks, I would love some suggestions! I’m not ready to throw the towel on this mascara, I want it to be great, so I’m going to keep trying! It also comes it a few other colors: Black, Blueberry & Blackberry. Buy it HERE. 

I love that 100% Pure sends you samples with every order but I wish they gave you a LITTLE bit more so you could really give the product a good test. I need more than 3 drops of shampoo to wash my hair. I would buy more products if I love the samples, so I wish they could be a bit more generous. Otherwise I adore this company, I’m looking forward to watching them grow, I’m sure their products will continue to improve as they develop their formulas, thus far they are on the right track. Keep it coming!

Visit the 100% PURE for FREE SHIPPING with no minimum. www.100PercentPure.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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CHANEL HEALTHY GLOW SHEER POWDER 

*rates a 10 on the Dirty List

HARMFUL INGREDIENTS: 

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.

POLYETHYLENE

  • 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. 

BHT

  • 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).

CHLORPHENESIN

  • 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.) 

TALC

  • 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

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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! 


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!


Hair Spray

My Mom just texted me; FullSizeRenderIMG_3446 (1)

So we’ve found her a replacement that scores a “1” on the Dirty Scale: Yarok Feed Your Hold Style Sustaining Hair Spray so she can ditch the Tresemme Tres Two Extra-Hold Hairspray that is no doubt a “10″ on the Dirty Scale. Love you Mom!

Finally, there’s a way with this all natural, non-aerosol, non-sticky hair spray free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates and cruelty. Now you can sustain your style and the earth’s atmosphere at the same time with medium-weight control. (i.e. just enough to keep your style going all day long without gunking up your hair or punching a hole in the ozone.)

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