Monday, September 29, 2014

Saint Francis Organics Product Review

I’m always on the search for organic body care products with a great company culture, and was so happy when St. Francis Organics reached out to me to sample their new products which are in the process of  being NSF-certified. Their products are vegan, gluten-free, safe for septic and gray water systems and never tested on animals – wow! I’m impressed by companies that provide great quality products with safe ingredients and that care about the health of their customers as well as the environment in general.  They also have an indieGOGO campaign kicking off now. Check it out here:

My thoughts on their products:

Lavender Hand Soap: Firstly, I absolutely love the scent of lavender ( surprising, no?) so I liked this hand soap right away – it’s like aromatherapy every time you wash your hands!  It doesn’t dry out my hands, which is a common problem I have with most  hand soaps, so that makes it great in my book. Would definitely purchase this. 

Peppermint Vanilla Body Wash: It lathers, but doesn’t have any bad chemicals in it, and smells heavenly - what’s not to like? The peppermint smells clean, and the vanilla balances it out so it’s a bit sweet and not sterile smelling. 

Lemon Shampoo: I have extremely thick hair that tends to get dry easily, so it’s extremely hard to find a shampoo and conditioner that works for me. This shampoo smells great but didn’t do much for my crazy/unmanageable/ difficult hair. I think it would work much better on thinner or oilier hair. I let my mom sample it, and she said she was impressed by it, so it depends on the type of hair you have!

Lavender  Conditioner: Again, I loved the scent, but as mentioned above, it wasn’t moisturizing enough for my hair. That’s not to say it wouldn’t work well on someone with normal hair. I had my mom try it, who has much thinner hair, and she loved and said it made her hair feel quite soft. 

Lemon Body Lotion: I’m a minimalist when it comes to body moisturizer – I generally use either coconut oil or sweet almond oil to avoid any of the unnecessary chemicals and additives found in most body lotions. I was extremely pleasantly surprised by this lotion, it works really well and it smells amazing – it’s a subtle lemon tart smell that is not overpowering but still very pleasant. It’s also one of those scents that’s perfect for any season! It also did an amazing job at moisturizing, so it's definitely worth a purchase!

I would definitely recommend trying out this line – if you do, let me know in the comments below.

FTC: Company samples provided 

Monday, May 26, 2014

What's in my makeup bag - Spring/Summer 2014

I generally like to keep my makeup fresh and minimal, but even more so in the hot Californian summer! Here’s a peek at the things I carry around with me:

Rohto Ice Eye Drops: Spring and summer means allergy season and dry eyes, and these eye drops really do the job.  My eyes literally feel refreshed and moisturized after using these drops, but warning:  “ice” is a very apt description, it’s such an extreme cooling effect that it almost borders on a sting, so you may need to use it a couple of times before you get used to the sensation.

Les Anis de Flavigny Rose Breath Mints: I used to eat these all the time when I was little, so they bring back memories of my childhood. They’re called breath mints, but there is no mint! They are rose-flavored breath candy ( for lack of a better word) with an aniseed in the middle, which tastes like liquorice. The taste is not overpowering, in fact, it’s quite delicious, and it makes your breathe smell like roses – what’s not to like?

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “Tipsy”: This blush goes a long way – I’ve been using it for about 2 years now and have barely hit pan. While Tarte is not THE MOST natural brand, it still uses generally amazing natural ingredients and this blush scores a 3 on the EWG skin deep guide. Tipsy is a lovely peachy-coral shade which is perfect for the warm weather as it gives me a healthy and natural glow.

Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara: This is an amazing mascara that truly does add a lot of volume and impact. I especially like that it doesn’t give me the spider lash look. It does smudge a bit after a few hours of use but that’s something I’m okay with, given the natural ingredients and quality of this mascara.

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in “Raven”:  This is one of the most pigmented liquid eyeliners I’ve used and its ingredients are amazing. Basically a win-win all around!

Primal Pit Paste in “Vanilla Lavender”: I keep the trial size of this deodorant in my bag because it is discreet and perfect to bring with you in case you need to reapply on-the-go, which you most likely won’t because this deodorant is amazing and really works! The scent is heavenly ( I like lavender, in case you haven’t noticed) and since using this, I’ve noticed my underarms are a lot smoother and softer, which I believe is due to the coconut oil and baking soda in this deodorant.

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in “Pink”: I have been loving this lip gloss for a while - read an in-depth description of it from a previous post here. It’s sheer and light – therefore perfect for Spring and Summer.

Ilia Lip Conditioner in “Arabian Knights”: I’ve been wanting to try Ilia for a while now and the lovely Liz from “Smells like Green Spirit” recommended this shade to me – so glad I got it! It’s a sheer but buildable red currant color – very natural and it adds a nice warmth to the face. It’s versatile because you can wear it at work, but can dress it up by adding more layers for a vampy night look.  I will definitely have to try more Ilia products soon!

RMS Un Cover-Up in “22”: The packaging makes this perfect for on-the-go! I use this as a concealer; it blends well and looks very natural. It can be layered for a heavier coverage but I have noticed that this leads to creasing and settling into the fine lines around my eyes, so I avoid that by only using a little, which is really all I need. There is a slight scent to it that reminds me of sunscreen, but it’s barely noticeable.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: This has been a staple in my bag for many, many years now. I’ve used several eyelash curlers and nothing compares to this one!  My eyes look instantly open and more feminine when I use this - it’s crazy what a difference this can make to a bare face. I’ve noticed my eye lashes stay curled longer with this curler as opposed to others and this helps mascara work better. While on the pricey side, it’s built to last, works incredibly, and is certainly worth every penny.

What’s in YOUR makeup bag? And do you have any suggestions for organic blushes?

FTC: all items purchased by me!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

DIY Lavender Coconut Body Scrub

It's been quite a while since I've blogged, and I promise I have some fun posts coming up! In the mean time, head over to the amazing Peaceful Dumpling website for a DIY Lavender Coconut Body Scrub recipe I created with some of my favorite all-natural ingredients! It's both healthy and indulgent at the same time. View my post here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Liebster Award

I feel so honored to have been nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Amber from All Naturally Beautiful ! I started off this blog as a hobby and didn’t expect anyone to really read it, so recognition like this is great inspiration and motivation to keep going! Thank you so much Amber! :)  

Here are the Liebster Award rules:

*Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
*Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
*Give eleven random facts about yourself – they can be anything!
*Nominate eleven blogs that you think are deserving of the award (but they must have less than 200 followers).
*Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
*Give them eleven questions to answer.

So here we go! :)

My answers to Amber’s questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I’ve had a personal interest in organic and toxic-free makeup for quite some time and I kind of became the go-to green beauty person in my group of friends, so I figured I might as well start writing it down somewhere!

2. What is your favorite blog post that you have created? 

I would have to say the Aromatherapy Room Spray post, because it was fun to write and useful as well! It’s truly a multi-functional product!

3. What is your favorite blog post created by someone else? 

I had to think very hard on this because there are so many that I love, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Living Pretty Naturally’s morning routine – it inspired me to be more mindful and health-conscious in the morning!

4. What is your dream vacation?

Japan – specifically Tokyo!

5. How would you spend your perfect day?

Well I think my ultimate perfect day would be pretty outlandish - like swimming with dolphins or something. So a more attainable perfect day would involve waking up and doing some yoga or stretches, enjoying a delicious and healthy breakfast at my favorite brunch spot, then going on a day trip to a beautiful location and enjoying the fresh air and scenery around me!

6. Who is your favorite blogger or youtuber? 

There are so many, but at the moment  my favorite youtuber would be Kassie aka  CloudyApples – she is smart, hilarious, and sassy!

7. Coffee or tea?

This is hard, because I like both and tea is generally more healthier for you, but I can never say no to a proper coffee fix!

8. What is one thing that you cannot leave the house without? 

 I feel guilty admitting this, but it would be my cellphone, I feel lost and unsafe without it. But beauty-wise, it would definitely be lip balm!

9. What in life makes you the most happy? 

Spending quality time with my loved ones, and if there are desserts involved, I’m extra happy ;)

10. What advice would you give your younger self? 

Do what makes you happy and don’t put up with negative personalities in your life – they’ll never change and the stress is never worth it!

11. If you could relive any day, what would it be?

I would want to relive any of the days I spent on vacation in Paris – it’s such a beautiful city and you can’t see enough of it.

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I can speak 4 languages (however I am not completely fluent in all of them anymore)
2. I was almost born on an airplane!
3. I have a big passion for dessert :P
4. I am a huge nerd
5. My favorite book is 1Q84
6. I get scared very easily yet most of the tv shows I like are pretty scary, ie Dexter and Hannibal
7. I hate hot weather….and I live in California
8. I love the scent of figs but their texture and what they look like on the inside creeps me out
9. I was known as the “poofy-haired girl” in middle school
10. I used to live in Canada and will always consider it my home <3
11. Blue is my favorite color

My Questions:

What motivated you to start blogging?
What are two beauty products you cannot live without?
What is your favorite green beauty brand?
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be, and why?
What is your favorite or most useful beauty tip?
What is your favorite dessert?
What is your favorite book?
Where do you buy your beauty products from?
What’s the biggest make-up mistake/blunder you’ve made?
If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
What is one thing on your bucket list?

My nominees:

Arabesque Jacob from ready set glow
Crystal from clean beauty craze
Paula from naturally paula
Rebecca from eco eccentric
Sabrina from chickweed and blush
Mayah and Sabrina from call it vanity
Katie from katie vibes

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Acure Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo Review

I wasn’t planning on doing a review but after using this Acure moisturizing shampoo, I just had to show it some love! I’ve attempted to go as green as possible with my haircare routine but it’s hard to find something that works on my thick and generally unruly hair, and I have yet to find the right ratio of the no-poo method that works for me.  I’ve been using this shampoo for 3 weeks now and my hair feels soft and silky, even when it’s still wet/damp, which is unusual because usually at that stage it’s very dry and frizzy and generally resembles a tumbleweed on my head. I normally have to put some argan oil in my ends but with this shampoo, it’s not necessary - which is a great time-saver! It also has an amazing scent similar to almonds, but more specifically like amaretto cookies so it creates an aromatherapy experience in the shower. The cherry on top is that it scores a 1 in the EWG skin deep database, so it’s an all-around amazing and guilt-free shampoo!

Ingredient list:

Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Rooibos, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (from Coconut), 100% Naturally-derived Betaine (from Sugar Beets), Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Cocoglucosides Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Sugar Conditioner), Sodium Levulinate (from Corn), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar gum conditioner), Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Organic Fair-Trade Certified™ Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin E), Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed oil, Organic Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells,  glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), Almond Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia Bark) Oil

FTC: purchased by me!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Favorite Lip Products Of The Moment

Just like any other makeup-loving girl, I adore lip products and I think they’re the easiest way of experimenting with a new look. I have dry and sensitive lips so during the winter months I tend to stay away from lipsticks as they usually make the problem even worse (cracked and peeling lips are not a good look) but please let me know of any natural and moisturizing lipsticks that I should try out! In the meantime, here are the lip glosses and balms that I’ve been loving!

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in “Pink”

I’ve never had a lip gloss that actually moisturizes my lips, but while wearing this (and even when it wears off) my lips still feel soft, which has never happened before, so I’m seriously impressed. It must be due to the organic blueberry, raspberry, acai and goji berry extracts in the gloss, which makes it full of antioxidants and vitamins! Also, this color is so charming - I would describe it as a sheer light to medium pink with fine lavender-hued sparkles. It adds a subtle shimmer to my lips and makes them look….”juicy” for lack of a better word ( see what I did there?) It has a very light formula and tastes good, so basically the only bad thing about this gloss is that I want to lick it off my lips because it’s kind of tasty.

Bite Beauty Lip Shine in “Raspberry”

I love Bite Beauty because their products are food-grade natural, meaning it’s safe to literally eat them. The color of this lip gloss is a true raspberry pink, it’s very similar to a neutral magenta color and you can layer it to achieve a darker look, which I think is a great alternative to the dark wine colors that are so popular during the autumn and winter months. It’s vibrant but not obnoxious, so you could even wear it in a formal setting. The consistency is very smooth but it does get a bit sticky, but that’s not really a problem for me. The scent does faintly remind me of cough syrup but it’s very subtle so it isn’t distracting at all.

Bite Beauty Honey Lip Lacquer in “Dolcetto”

Another Bite Beauty lip gloss - This color is described as a peachy-pink but I think it’s more of a pinkish nude color which makes it extremely versatile! I like to wear it on its own as well as layer it on top of a darker color to tone it down a bit. I like that it’s a very natural color and doesn’t make you look like a zombie, which also means you can wear it year-round! The consistency of this gloss really is thick like honey, so it sticks to your lips and is long-lasting. Just be sure to moisturize your lips beforehand because it does settle into the cracks of your lips.

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm in “Naked”

I am constantly on the search for organic lip balms that actually work and don’t leave a weird residue or stickiness on my lips. After seeing the amazing CloudyApples recommend this lip balm, I knew I had to give it a try and it was well worth it, because it’s literally the best balm I’ve tried to date! It is smooth and moisturizing, and while it doesn’t have a noticeable scent or color, it leaves a nice sheen on my lips, which almost makes it seem like I’m wearing a lip gloss. This is due to the extremely hydrating and organic jojoba, avocado and hemp oils in this balm. The moisturizing effect is long-lasting so I don’t have to constantly reapply this balm to my lips to keep them looking moisturized and supple. The only reason I would keep re-applying it is because I just love it so much! This balm is also super cheap and since a little goes a long way, it’s a very cost-effective product!

What are YOUR favorite natural lip glosses and lipsticks? Leave their names in the comments below!

FTC: all products mentioned were bought on my own :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Product Review: 100 Percent Pure Tinted Moisturizer

After hearing so many good things about 100% Pure, and loving the idea behind this brand ( everything is made with natural ingredients and the colors come from vegetable and fruit pigments)  I decided to finally give it a shot, especially since I was running out of foundation and needed to buy a new one anyway. I decided to try out the Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer in the color White Peach.  It is described as:

“Tinted with natural fruit and vegetable pigments to give your complexion a flawless appearance while feeding your skin with nourishing white tea, acai oil, pomegranate oil and vitamins. SPF 20 protects your skin against the sun's harmful UVA (ultra violet aging) and UVB (ultra violet burning) rays while antioxidants protect your skin from other environmental hazards such as pollution, smog, smoke, exhaust, etc.”

The coverage is definitely a little sheer at first, but easily buildable, I just used two very light pumps to achieve the coverage I wanted, which still looked very natural and gave me that “my skin but better” look.  I have broken capillaries and a few dark spots and this evened out my complexion and hid the imperfections in a natural way that didn’t make it seem like I was wearing a lot of make-up, which is always a good thing! The shade White Peach is a bit darker than my skin tone but I actually really liked this because it gives me a bit of a glowy tan, which is always good in the wintertime when my yellow-based skin tone begins to resemble that of a pasty zombie :P  

I really love that this product works so well, and is made from such natural and organic ingredients ( I’ve included the ingredient list at the bottom). Because of the antioxidants and moisturizing properties of this product, my skin actually benefits from using it and still looks good at the end of the day when I take it off! Basically I don’t have to feel as guilty about wearing it all over my face on a daily basis like I would with other non-natural foundations, and it has sun protection as well. I was having a bit of a breakout on my forehead and it improved during the course of the week that I started using this, and while I can’t be certain that it got better specifically due to this product, it definitely didn’t get worse, which is what always happens when I put any type of foundation on while I’m breaking out, so this really speaks to the quality of the product.  The coverage might be too light if you suffer from acne-prone skin all over your face, but in that case you could probably use their foundation instead!

Also, here’s a pro tip about using the bottle!  For your first time using it, be sure to flip the bottle upside down and start pumping it to “activate the airless pump” to get the product to come out. I didn’t know this and spent 3 minutes pressing down on the pump with nothing coming out and getting increasingly confused and frustrated ( just picture that scene of Zoolander trying to figure out how to get files from a computer for an accurate portrayal of what this looked like :P ). The bottle doesn’t come with that “pump straw” on the inside, which is admirable and great for the environment but very confusing for functionally-challenged people like myself ( note use of the term “pump straw” above). Yet another example of why it is always important to read directions first!


 I think this is a great option for an everyday foundation – it does the job yet looks natural at the same time. You get 1.7 fl ounces / 50 ml of product in the bottle for $35, which is a great price considering the amazing ingredients and the fact that a little goes a long way.

Overall I really love this tinted moisturizer and can't wait to try more products from 100 % Pure, especially their fruit pigmented Mascara!


Pigments of Peach, Apricot, Carrot, Pomegranate, Cocoa Bean, Goji Berry and Tomato, White Tea, Cucumber Juice, Aloe Juice, Acai Oil and Pomegranate Oil, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Rice Starch, Candelilla Wax, Extracts of Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Grapefruit Seed, Japanese Honeysuckle, Goldenseal and Cinnamon SUNSCREEN ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: 15% Titanium Dioxide and 10% Zinc Oxide

FTC: Not sponsored, and purchased with my own money