I can’t believe it’s almost August! We’ve still got a little summer left, though (and where we live, it’s basically summer year round), so I thought I’d share some of my faves and essentials that I’ve been loving the past few months.
Hey guys, this is my absolute favorite shampoo and conditioner right now! I’ve been seriously struggling to find a clean haircare line that *really* works like I expect it to since I started cleaning up my self care & beauty products about 6 months ago.
Hey guys! I was recently asked by the founder of Sagekat to collaborate with them on an article for their new site. After discussing some ideas, we settled on an easy, pretty, one brand daytime look featuring Lily Lolo. I think this look is perfect for summer and I hope you like it!
Check out my featured article here.
Let me know what you think!
I have been a fan of RMS Beauty for a couple of years now. They have really lovely products that all have super clean and nontoxic ingredients. They just came out with their first makeup palettes, called Signature Sets, and are available in Mod Collection (warm peach and brown tones) and Pop Collection (cool pink and red tones). Both palettes contain a balm, two of RMS’s popular Lip2Cheek tints as well as two of the brand’s cult favorite highlighters/luminizers.
I chose the warm-toned Mod Collection, which features a cocoa balm, Master Mixer and Living Luminizer highlighters, and Lip2Cheek tints in Smile (coral) and Spell (neutral rose/brown).
Overall, I really like this palette and all of the products in it. I love the Spell Lip2Cheek so much for a natural look on both lips and cheeks. It is so flattering and one of my favorite colors. I love a good coral cream blush and Smile is just right for a bright peachy tint. The highlighters are pretty subtle but leave a lovely glow and are a great consistency. Very smooth and silky but not slippery or overly silicone-y feeling if that makes sense?
I think this product is a 9/10 for portability, color selection and product variability. I like that you kind of maybe just need mascara or eyeliner and can go! There is no scent of flavor to the products except for a very slight cocoa scent to the balm. If you have been wanting to try RMS’s hilighters like I have, this is a great way to get more than one for a good price and in an adorable and functional package. On their own, each product isn’t necessarily remarkable, but this collection is cute and fun for sure. The package isn’t as air tight as the screw cap glass jars that they are sold in individually, but there is significantly less product in this palette which isn’t meant to last as long as the full sizes. Considering that each individual product costs $36-$38 and this set sells for $44, I think it’s a great deal as well!
In the picture below, I am wearing this palette on my lips, cheeks, and eyes! I have Smile on my lips, Smile and Spell blended on my cheeks, Master Mixer under my eyebrows and inner corners of my eyes, and the Living Luminizer down my nose and Cupid’s bow.
Let me know if any of you have tried RMS products and if so, what are your faves?
I love a great makeup collab/collection. I have also been wanting to try one of Vapour Organic Beauty’s eye palettes, their lipgloss, and their highlighter ever since I started with clean beauty. Every girl also needs a good clean black pencil eyeliner, so this set seemed like a perfect choice!
I didn’t know who Kimberly Snyder was prior to purchasing this collection, but she is a writer whose latest book, Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself from the Inside Out, was co-authored with Deepak Chopra. According to this collection’s description, “Snyder’s holistic approach to nutrition, wellness and skincare…dovetails seamlessly with Chopra’s history as an advocate for alternative medicine and spiritual health. Radical Beauty takes the approach that your connection with your spiritual self is reflected as the glow and sparkle in your eyes and also the expression of joy in your face that would be a true transformation from the inside out.” So there is a lovely sentiment to the book that inspired this collaboration, and I love collecting things that have meaning behind them.
Kimberly is a big fan of Vapour Organic Beauty, and she recommends many of their products on her personal website. This particular collection includes Vapour’s Meditteranean Eye Palette, an Elixir Lip Gloss, the Halo Illuminator stick, and Mesmerize Eyeliner in Ink or Truffle. I chose Ink (black) but will probably also buy the Truffle (brown) eyeliner at some point!
Below are swatches of the collection on my arm with a flash (first) and in regular indoor light (second). From top to bottom are Halo Illuminator in Moonlight (hard to see except for subtle shimmer at top of picture), Elixir Lip Gloss in Delite, Mesmerize Eye Color in Sugar, Mesmerize Eye Color in Flash, Mesmerize Eye Color in Enigma, and Mesmerize Eyeliner in Ink.
This collection is priced at $126, which is exactly how much it would cost to buy each product individually. So there isn’t really any added value to this collection other than the fact that it’s a collaboration with Kimberly Snyder. Since this isn’t a limited edition or even exclusive collection, I’m going to rate each product individually rather than as a whole and you can try any or all of the products included depending on what you decide!
First of all, I am going to personally give the Halo Illuminator in Moonlight a 7/10. This is a great subtle highlighter and the packaging is convenient. Stick-formulated makeup is usually either 1) creamy, thick, and soft (think opaque lipstick and certain concealers) or 2) thin, sheer, and hard (like sheer lipsticks and some stick blushes/multi-use sticks). This highlighter is definitely the latter. I prefer a creamier consistency to my highlighter since it is usually applied as one of the last steps in my makeup routine and I don’t want to have to work hard applying and blending and risking disrupting my other makeup. This highlight is so pretty and subtle, though, that I do really like it for areas like under my eyebrow arch, down my nose and above my Cupid’s bow where using a stiffer brush won’t disrupt my makeup. I will be looking for something else to highlight my cheeks. Also, I had some trouble with the scent of Vapour’s Multi-Use Stick, and this seems to have the same scent which is unpleasant to me. It isn’t overwhelming or offensive at all; I just don’t prefer it.
Second, I think that the Elixir Lip Gloss in Delite is an 8/10. I love the color, consistency, and shine. I don’t mind the scent or flavor. The applicator is a little brush and I usually prefer a sponge tip wand for lipgloss.
Third, I think that the Artist Eye Palette in Mediterranean is an 8/10. I LOVE the Sugar shade, which Vapour describes as “golden peachy pink.” It is a perfect highlight or sheer shimmer for around the eye. Flash is described as “mushroom taupe,” which is so right up my alley with my coloring and eye color. I really like this shade as well. Enigma, described as a “luscious deep brown” was a little underwhelming to me. The formula is a little slippery and it creased almost immediately on my eyelids. The colors were also pretty sheer, which I don’t necessarily mind. (I have hooded eyes, though, and most shadows eventually crease. I don’t have a clean eyelid primer yet, and that will probably help with color intensity, blending and staying power.)
Finally, I give the Mesmerize Eye Liner in Ink a 10/10! It’s a great black pencil eyeliner and has a handy smudge sponge on the other end. As I mentioned before, I will probably pick up the brown shade as well.
I am wearing all of the products in this collection below:
I recommend Vapour’s Mesmerize Eyeliner and their Elixir Lip Gloss. If you are comfortable with/skilled at applying cream shadows, I would also recommend their Artist Eye Palettes! I want to try two other Artist Eye Palettes called Murmur and Soiree next. I definitely need to practice using and blending cream shadows, though!
Have any comments, suggestions or questions? Leave them below!
I’ve got to be honest, contouring kind of intimidates me. I’ve never known quite what to do with it, what brush(es) to use, or how much to apply. And probably the hardest part is getting the right shade for my skin tone. Luckily for me, highlight/contouring face charts and tutorials seem to be everywhere these days and many companies make products now that make the process seem much easier. A highlight/contour duo is hardly a new idea, but I have only seen a few good options in the clean beauty industry so far. The first one I tried is the Lily Lolo Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo.
Lily Lolo is a London-based mineral cosmetics brand that makes beautiful and high performing products that are free from parabens, harsh chemicals, synthetic dyes, fillers, and contain no nano-particles. They are also cruelty-free and 90% vegan. I have been very impressed by this brand so far!
Here is the product info for the Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo according to Lily Lolo’s website:
Product Description: Meet the totally foolproof trick to glowing skin, enviable contours and sky-high cheekbones. Sculpt & Glow Contour Duo gives nature a helping hand, creating a flawless, beautifully defined and contoured canvas and casting your features in their best light. The skin-flattering bronzer makes for effortless contouring and comes in our easy-to-use, natural pressed formula. The light-reflecting highlighter can be used sparingly for a subtle, fresh daytime glow or intensified for a luminous, killer evening look. Long-lasting, skin-loving wear thanks to anti-ageing Argan oil and marine extract. Plus it’s fragrance and talc free, gluten-free and vegan.
Ingredients: MICA, OCTYLDODECANOL, ARGANIA SPINOSA (ARGAN) KERNEL OIL, PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE) SEED OIL, CANDELILLA CERA, TOCOPHEROL, RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR) SEED OIL, POLYGLYCERYL-2 SOSTEARATE/DIMER DILINOLEATE COPOLYMER, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL. LEPTOSPERMUM SCOPARIUM (MANUKA) OIL, SODIUM HYALURONATE, ERYNGIUM MARITIMUM CALLUS CULTURE FILTRATE, [+/- CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDE), CI 77492 (IRON OXIDE), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDE]
Overall, I would personally rate this highlight/contour duo a 6/10. I really like the ingredients and brand ethos. I love the packaging and size. The powders are not chalky or drying at all and feel very lightweight on the skin. The contour shade is a little difficult to blend or buff out if you accidentally use too much product, so I suggest starting with a very small amount on your brush, tapping off any excess, and only adding more in small amounts if needed.
If this was labeled as a bronzer rather than a contouring duo, I would probably give it an 8/10. My main problem with this product, though, is that the darker shade is too rich and warm to be a good true contour shade on most fair and light skin tones. As I mentioned above, I’m hardly a contouring expert, but I have found that the best shades to really try to define your face with mimic actual shadows that would be cast by your features. It is also important that a true contour be completely matte. Taupe shades work best on my skin tone to actually add definition to my cheekbones, jawline and nose. The contour shade in this duo is just too bronze for me. It doesn’t have any noticeable shimmer to it, but I don’t think it reads totally matte on my skin either.
Here are the shades swatched on my arm:
Below I am wearing only tinted moisturizer, mascara, and the Lily Lolo Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo on my face:
I do think that this duo gives a nice overall glow to my face. (I apparently had some trouble blending by my hairline and only caught it after looking at the pics, haha). If you look at the color of the shadow in the hollows of my collarbone, though, you will see that it is a noticeably different color than what is on/under my cheeks. When using this contour to try to define my features, I found that it was just too warm and ended up leaving a bit of a bronze/orange tint to my face that wasn’t the look I wanted. I prefer to use a contour shade that is more of a taupe/almost slightly grey color that I honestly haven’t been able to find in a clean/nontoxic formula yet. I think that this will be a nice bronzer for my skin especially in the summer when I have a little more of a tan. And though I usually prefer more pearlized and silver undertones for highlighters, this golden shimmer highlight is really pretty. I think that both shades would look beautiful as eyeshadows on every skin tone.
For medium and tan skin tones, this might be a good contouring option. For fair and light skin tones like mine, though, it is just a nice warm bronzer and a pretty golden shimmer highlight. Lily Lolo makes some of my favorite clean and nontoxic makeup so far (their eye palettes are to die for!), but this duo isn’t at the top of that list. I do think that it is a lovely and safe formula with great texture and feels good on the skin. If you’re looking for a good nontoxic bronzer, I would suggest trying this product! If you have fair or light skin though and want a true contour shade, this probably isn’t what you are looking for.
What are some of your favorite ways to define your features? Do you have any highlight/contouring tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments below!
Okay, so I made the switch to clean beauty just under three months ago, and I can already say that I’ve found a product that is a 10/10 in my opinion and I recommend wholeheartedly to everyone I know! These are my favorite clean/green/nontoxic skincare product that I have tried so far.
Okay, so these are my favorite lipglosses right now! Crunchi is an awesome brand and I have loved everything that I’ve tried from them so far. I currently also use their primer, foundation, and blush.
Today’s toxic chemicals are ethanolamines, specifically DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine). All of the products pictured below contain these chemicals.
Ethanolamines are a chemical group comprised of amino acids and alcohols with links to cancer and other health problems. They are clear, colorless, have an ammonia-like smell and are used as solvents, ph-balancers, emulsifying agents and detergents. Ethanolamines are organic compounds, commonly derived from soybeans or coconut oils, but “when they are used in the same product as certain preservatives that break down into nitrogen, they can form nitrosamines, [which] the International Agency for Research on Cancer lists as possible and known carcinogens” (source).
- Products that commonly contain these ingredients: products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleaners. They’re also found in eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases and foundations, fragrances, body lotions, hair care products, hair dyes, shaving products, and sunscreens (source).
- What to look for on the label: Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide MEA, Myristamide DEA, Oleamide DEA, Stearamide MEA, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Triethanolamine
- Health Concerns: These hormone-disrupting chemicals have also been linked to cancer, eye, skin and lung irritation, and organ system toxicity (prolonged exposure can result in kidney, liver, or nervous system injury). “…Animal studies with DEA and MEA have shown a tendency for these chemicals to encourage the formation of tumors and to cause developmental abnormalities to an unborn fetus” (source).
- Regulations: Ethanolamines are already heavily regulated or banned in Europe but are still used in U.S. despite the fact that we may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day (source). The European Commission prohibits diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetics, to reduce contamination from carcinogenic nitrosamines (source). The World Health Organization lists DEA as an unclassified carcinogen (source).
- ” The FDA became aware of a National Toxicology Program study (in 1998) that found an association between the topical application of DEA… and cancer in laboratory animals. Despite this, (and according to the FDA’s website, which acknowledges the NTP study), “the FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the use of these substances in cosmetics. However, consumers wishing to avoid cosmetics containing DEA or DEA-related ingredients may do so by reviewing the ingredient statement that is required to appear on the outer container label of cosmetics offered for retail sale to consumers” (source).
So the FDA is aware of the dangers, makes the information about DEA’s potential as a carcinogen available to us via limited resources (you have to specifically search for it in their database), and then basically says ‘buyer beware’ rather than implementing any actual restrictions or stricter regulations.
I absolutely agree with consumer education and encouraging everyone to read ingredient labels and know what is in all of the products they are using. I even understand that the FDA can’t possibly regulate and enforce laws on every single self-care/beauty/personal product on the market (hello lady who sells handmade soaps at the farmer’s market). I do think that laws should be written and enforced especially on giant companies and in certain industries when links to cancer have been found. My biggest problem is with companies who, rather than spending time and money on making packaging and ingredients safer and more transparent to consumers, are actually deceiving people and using keywords on packaging that actively dissuade them from doing their own research:
Safe for Baby/Baby Formulation
None of these are necessarily outright lies (although I would argue against many ‘sensitive’ and ‘baby’ categorizations based on some of the ingredients they often use). They are, however, misleading and giving buyers a misplaced sense of comfort and trust in the products despite the fact that they may contain very harmful and toxic ingredients. There is a term for intentionally misleading consumers when it relates to environmentally friendly or ‘all natural’ products and it is greenwashing. For example, a company may advertise a product as Natural, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, or emphasize that packaging is recyclable, but said product may actually be made with many toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies and/or the environment. I will do a post on greenwashing in the future, but the bottom line is the same: read and research ingredients and make choices for yourself about what you want to put in and on your body.
With that in mind, here are some alternatives to the toxic products pictured above:
- Moisture/Shine Shampoo: Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture Shampoo
- Anti Aging Facial Cleanser: Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser
- Acne/Combo Skin Facial Bar Soap: Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap
- Body Lotion: 100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream comes in lots of flavors/scents using no synthetic fragrances! (This lotion contains Japanese Honeysuckle, an ingredient that is becoming controversial in the clean beauty community because apparently some studies have shown that it can be chemically similar to parabens. I have not done extensive research on this ingredient yet but if you are concerned about using it, I recommend using raw coconut oil or squalane oil as a body moisturizer instead)
- Nourishing Hair Care: Josh Rosenbrook Hair Care
- Pump Hand Soap: Dr Bronner’s Hand Soap
I know that it can seem overwhelming to be super diligent about checking ingredient lists for everything that you buy, especially when some of them are so long and the terms are so scientific/confusing sometimes. I hope that information like this can help demystify some of the ingredients you might see and especially raise red flags when you see the chemicals that I discuss in my Toxic Tuesday posts. I promise that it gets easier and quicker to scan labels, and as long as you do your best most of the time, when you accidentally (or purposefully) buy or use an occasional product with one questionable ingredient, the toxic load on your body won’t be nearly as heavy of harmful. I just want to make sure we are making informed and deliberate decisions about most of the products and chemicals we use. If everyone became just a little bit more aware, imagine how much of a difference it could possibly make for our collective health and our environment!
Format and info of my Toxic Tuesday posts adapted from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website
*UPDATE: As of August, 2017, I am not using this product anymore. It contains carrageenan which is an ingredient I am choosing to avoid for now. For more info, check out my August Empties post here.
So now that I am on my second tube of Davids natural toothpaste, I thought I’d write a little review just to explain why I like it so much. There are a few great natural and safe toothpastes out there (Dr. Bronner’s and Dr. Brite are also good) but this is my favorite so far.
First of all, Davids is fluoride free. According to the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep database, concerns of fluoride use and exposure range from developmental toxicity to musculoskeletal toxicity and its use is restricted in cosmetics in Canada (source). Fluoride is a pretty hotly debated topic, especially when it comes to requiring children to use it as cavity prevention and whether or not it should be added to everyone’s household and drinking water without our consent. There’s not a ton of specific and hard evidence saying that fluoride use and ingestion is absolutely 100% toxic. I, however, choose not to use it in my dental care products and we also use a water filtration system in our home to avoid drinking fluoridated tap water. As always, I recommend researching this chemical yourself to decide what is best for you and your family’s health.
The second thing I like about Davids is that it doesn’t contain sulfates. Many conventional toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which acts as a foaming agent. Unfortunately, SLS is also an irritant and can cause or worsen allergies. It is also suspected to be an environmental toxin. For more info on SLS, read my first Toxic Tuesday post that discusses it here.
Third, Davids is family owned and operated and 100% made in the USA. I love supporting American businesses, jobs, and ingredients.
Davids toothpaste is also all natural, EWG verified for safety, has no artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives, is vegan and cruelty-free, is made from sustainable and recyclable packaging and the carton is made with 100% wind power. I mean, it’s hard to find something not to like!
It smells and tastes great, really cleans your teeth, and I do think it has a subtle whitening effect.
This toothpaste also comes with a metal turn key that slides onto the end of the tube to help squeeze out all of the product as you go. If you have a curious and mischievous person in your household, I recommend keeping the key hidden until the tube is at least half empty. My husband put it on and turned it too many times after a couple of uses and I had an overflowing tube of toothpaste for a few days, haha.
As you can tell, I really do love this toothpaste. If you’re interested and don’t mind carrageenan as an ingredient, I recommend checking this brand out and seeing if it works for you!
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