Recent Acquisitions: Non-Toxic Beauty

recentsI’ve rounded up the beauty products I’ve acquired over the past few weeks.  For the most part, these reviews will be short & sweet, as opposed to lengthy reviews.  However, I do plan on doing a dedicated post in the future on the two Fitglow Beauty products I have.

If you’ve tried any of these products, I’d love to know what your thoughts are!

eyebrightFitglow Beauty Eye Bright – I had super high hopes (i.e. expectations) for this under-eye corrector.  Not only does the company claim it covers under-eye darkness, but that it treats the eye area with peptides, oils, and vitamins.  This is not a one-product under-eye concealer for me.  I typically cover my entire eye area with Eye Bright followed by a just a bit of regular concealer. It looks great at first, but for me, the wear time is disappointing.  I always set my under-eye with a light dusting of natural silica powder, but for some reason within a couple of hours, the purple darkness under my eyes starts creeping out.  I need to keep experimenting with this product to have a definite opinion.shampureAveda Shampure Dry Shampoo – All green-brand dry shampoos I’ve come across have either made my sensitive scalp itchy, or I’ve hated the application.  Most powder dry shampoos dispense product via holes in the top of the container, and you have to hold the bottle upside down to get it out, which for me is messy.  So many times I would get powder all over my work clothes.  Yes, I should use the dry shampoo before dressing, but it just didn’t pan out like that in reality.  Thus, I’ve been sparingly using aerosol dry shampoo, and though the application is easy, I loathe the fumes and the ingredients.

Shampure Dry Shampoo is my compromise.  The applicator is genius.  It is powder, but you squeeze the bottle to dispense the product out of a single hole in the side of the cap, which then comes out in a sort of “smoke-like” puff.  Love it!  The first two ingredients are corn starch and a type of French clay, and none of the other ingredients raised a red flag for me. They claim their fragrance is natural and derived from flower and plant essences.  I actually really love the scent, if I’m being honest.  It’s almost like hair perfume, but not cloying at all to me. Best of all, it works really well without irritating my scalp.  I’d like to do more research into Aveda as a whole company. My salon is actually an Aveda salon, and where I picked this up.  It’s my best “clean” option in the area I live.  Overall, I’m happy with this so far and I feel that the bottle will last quite a while.

bitebalmBite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Lychee – This has been living in my purse and I’ve used it every single day since I purchased it over a month ago. I wanted a hydrating lightly tinted lip product – not a lipstick, not a lip balm, not a tinted lip balm.  This hybrid product is just what I wanted.  It feels so comfortable and hydrating on my lips.  The color is a very sheer pale pink.  Perfect for when I want a touch of color that is hydrating.fitglowfoundationFitglow Beauty Vita-Active Foundation in VF1 – After I’ve used this foundation through the end of summer and early fall, I’ll probably have a better idea of my true feelings – especially if I use it in the winter when my skin is usually very dry.  However, I’ve been using this foundation for three weeks, and I really like it so far.  The consistency is light and watery, which makes it extra hydrating.  The coverage for me is light to light-medium (just fine for me, but if you have heavy pigmentation or scarring, it might not be full-coverage enough).  The wear-time seems better than average, and I’ve noticed it tends to break-up around my chin and nose far less than other natural foundations.  sutiSuti Honour Coconut & Roses Face Cream – I’m wondering if I should dedicate an entire post to my thoughts on why the best skincare routine includes a water-based lotion, oil, and serum.  With the green beauty market being absolutely flooded with face oils, face creams and lotions have been pushed to the back burner.  I think that is very unfortunate.  A face oil, no matter the ingredients, will never actually hydrate your skin, which is what your skin needs!  I’ve found that whenever I stop adding a water-based face lotion to my routine, my skin is lackluster and thirsty.  I got this Suti Honour Face Cream on sale at a fantastic price (and I love the glass bottle).  The ingredients are great overall, with the main ingredient being organic rose water. I probably would not repurchase, as I would love to try other face creams (I’m always looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!).brushesSonia Kashuk for Target Brush Couture Set – These brushes may be limited edition – I actually picked them up on clearance at Target one day.  It’s not the style or brand in particular, but more the size and shape of these brushes that I love so much. Now, apparently two of the brushes are goat hair, which I was not aware of when I purchased these (I’m making strides towards eliminating these types of products from my life, but I’m not perfect).  The synthetic hair orange brush is dense and very small, and much to my surprise, pretty darn multipurpose.  I have enjoyed using it for under eye concealer, cream blush, and cream bronzer.  The small size really helps me control where the product goes.

 

Even shorter reviews….

Pacifica Super Kale Shampoo and Conditioner – Exclusively available at Ulta, this combo claims that it is especially good for fine, oily, or color-treated hair.  It practically jumped into my shopping cart after I read that.  I’ve been using this combo for two or three weeks, and I like it really well.  The scent is minimal, and it does leave my fine oily hair clean, hydrated, and a bit bouncy.  I think it performs closely to the Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner, but I couldn’t say definitely which is better.

Dr. Brite Teeth Whitening Pens in Green Apple – Super short story, these truly work and they don’t hurt my sensitive teeth!  I truly have noticed a difference in my teeth.  I am a big coffee drinker, FYI.  After I’ve completely used these two pens, I might to a lengthier review.  I think these will absolutely be a re-purchase.

Kari Gran 365 SPF 28 – I like this – it is definitely super high quality with only the finest ingredients.  I just don’t like the greasiness of it.  Maybe that’s just because it’s summer.  I used to only use Coola sunscreen in the summer – that stuff has the absolute best consistency I’ve ever used in a sunscreen for summer – like light, whipped mousse.  I don’t think I’d repurchase this because of the heavy, greasy texture.  Then again, maybe I’ll change my mind later.

Farmacy Lip Bloom in Strawberry Basil – This looks like Vaseline in the pot and it has a similar feel, but this is petroleum free!  The scents are all so nice.  I keep this on my bedside table and apply it every night.  It’s not working miracles, but it is very nice.

RMS Beauty Coconut Oil – When it comes to makeup remover, I am a coconut oil convert.  It is typically affordable for the quantity compared to other green beauty makeup removing oils, and it feels and smells great.  One issue I had with other makeup removers was that they would sometimes burn my eyes, but not coconut oil.  I like this one as well as Cocovit.

5 Axiology Lipsticks: Swatches & Impressions

axiology1[Edited 11/02/16 – In July 2016, I had a 6 month old tube of Axiology lipstick go bad, which the company replaced.  In September 2016, I had an 11 month old tube of Axiology lipstick go bad, which was not replaced because I was told the lipsticks have a one year shelf-life…and I just let it go.  I am a big supporter of small companies that make natural products…however, I will not repurchase anymore Axiology lipsticks for the foreseeable future due to this recurrent issue with their lipsticks.  I realize that there are a lot of obstacles that all-natural makeup companies deal with, and I can’t imagine how much time, energy, and effort go into making a beautiful product that people will love.  I respect that.  But I will not spend $28 of my money on a lipstick whose shelf-life is so unreliable.]

 

I’ve done this once before with Axiology lipsticks, here, but I have three new shades to swatch and I love a good swatch post myself, so here are swatches of 5 shades!

I also want to note that I had an issue with one of my other Axiology lipsticks (not shown in this post) and after contacting Axiology’s owner Ericka, she responded right away with exceptional customer service.  I truly appreciate when companies stand behind their products, treat customers well, and have great attitudes.

Axiology just has great lipsticks and gorgeous packaging.  Yes, I do consider these luxury lipsticks, as they retail for $28 each – but you’re paying for high quality, all-natural vegan lipstick.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to ingest something, I want it to be natural and free of any toxic chemicals (and yes, if you wear lipstick you are absolutely ingesting some of it).  When I wear these lipsticks, I know that vegan, natural beauty doesn’t mean cutting corners or sacrificing quality, color, or wear-ability.axiologyswatch2Enlighten looks lavender when you swatch it heavily, but applied sheer it is actually beautifully understated.  It could absolutely be an everyday lipstick, especially if you are someone that already gravitates to anything with purple or lavender undertones.  It also has a subtle silver shimmer to the formula – very feminine and girly. Average wear time.

Philosophy is a salmon pink with strong pale orange undertones.  On my skintone, it doesn’t flatter when I apply it heavily.  When I apply one coat, however, it’s a very pretty warm-toned salmon color, suitable for daily wear. It is somewhat sheer and creamy. Average wear time.

Devotion strikes me as an amped-up version of my lips.  The color is a pink with subtle brown undertones.  Very pretty and office appropriate. Moderate coverage and creamy finish. Decent wear time.

Attitude is an electric pink.  Compared to my favorite pink ever, Ilia’s Neon Angel, this shade is slightly metallic and has more of a deep raspberry tone to it.  Semi-opaque and creamy. Good wear time.

Worth is a brick red with orange, so beautiful year around, but especially lovely for fall.  I actually haven’t used this lately, but it really is a gorgeous shade unlike any other lipsticks I have.  The finish is opaque, matte, and has a slightly dry consistency. Staying power is quite good because of the opaque finish.

What is your favorite Axiology lipstick shade, or what shade would you most like to try?

Pretty, Glowing Highlights: A Swatch Comparison

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Years ago, before the face highlight market exploded, I always wondered how model’s skin in magazine photos looked so young and dewy, like they were just naturally glowing.  Now I know that makeup artists use highlight and nearly all makeup brands have at least one type of highlighting product in their line.

Right off the bat I’ll say that I am absolutely not a fan of highlight that “can be seen from outerspace”.  For me, makeup is primarily about enhancing natural beauty and not about looking perfect or over-the-top or doll-like.  That’s just me, no judgment on others, but it does indicate what types of highlighters I like – glowing and natural.  No disco-ball aspirations here.

Here are my quick-takes and swatches of the highlighters of which I’ve had either full-sizes or samples of in the past year.  These are all cruelty-free, and mostly natural with no nasty toxic chemicals.

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W3LL People Bio Brightener Stick (retail $23.99 USD) – This one has the simplest application – just swipe on and gently blend.  The color is the lightest of the highlighters I’ve sampled/owned, a pale white-gold with shimmer.  It’s a cream highlight, but it’s not heavy or greasy.  The consistency is more of a dry cream base.

Everyday Minerals Powder (retail $15 USD) – They have discontinued the product I actually own, but I’m pretty confident that their All Over Shimmer powders are an equivalent product.  These are more of a translucent glow that you can apply all over your face, if you wish (somewhat akin to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders), or just on the high-points of your face.  As it can be used all over the face, the powder is very fine and very subtle but rather gives a nice glow.  Especially nice type of product for those on the oily side or prone to breakouts who do not want to use a cream product or something very shimmery.

ColourPop Lunch Money (retail $8 USD) – The consistency of this cream highlight is similar to a mousse texture – fluffy, light, and creamy.  The color is beautiful and is in the middle as far as impact – it packs more punch than an all-over powder, but is a bit more subtle than something like W3LL People.  I really love this highlight, it’s a soft pale golden hue that works really nicely with my fair complexion.  It’s not a green brand per se, but the ingredients are decent enough that I’m OK with using it on occasion.  The price point is great, too.

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Modern Minerals Moonstone Cream Highlighter (retail $30 USD) – This cream highlighter was launched exclusively through the Beauty Heroes subscription box.  As of this writing, I am fairly certain that it can only be purchased through the Beauty Heroes online shop.  Moving on, this has been my favorite highlighter since I received it several weeks ago.  The formula is so silky, spreads over the skin like butter, and leaves a gorgeous gleam that is the Goldilocks of highlights – not too subtle, not too obnoxious.  Looking at the swatch on my arm, it looks as though it would be too dark of a highlight for my fair skin, but it works really well and is beautiful.  One caveat, I really dislike the packaging.  It feels cheap and looks unattractive – but what’s inside is worth it.

Silk Naturals Homecoming Queen Highlight (retail $4.50 USD) – While *technically* this is listed as an eye shadow, look through the reviews and you’ll find people who sing its praises as a highlight.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  This is pushing it in terms of subtle highlighter for me, but it’s not completely over-the-top.  It is such as beautiful pale gold color, and the price is unbeatable at $4.50 for a full-size (which is the eye shadow portion of product…but, for the price, who’s going to squabble?). As an aside, in the top photo Homecoming Queen is shown pressed in an eye shadow pan – but the product actually is sold loose and I pressed it myself.  (Want to know how to press your loose eye shadows?  Look here.)

Fior Minerals Sweets Ignite Illuminator (retail $24 USD) – This cream product is unique to the others I’ve tried in that it is free of shimmer and sparkle.  It’s purpose is to give skin a luminosity.  The color is a soft rose.  I don’t prefer it over my other highlights, but it would be a nice option for someone who really loves rose-toned highlights and doesn’t want shimmer and sparkle.

RMS Beauty Master Mixer – (retail $38 USD) There was a huge hoopla surrounding the release of this multi-use product earlier this year – understandably so, because RMS Beauty is hands-down one of my top all-natural beauty brands.  This is too dark on my skin when used as a traditional highlight.  To be fair, Rose-Marie Swift absolutely calls this a multi-purpose product and not strictly a highlighter.  However, when reviewed strictly on its merits as a highlighter, it would only work for someone with darker skintones than me.  When I tried to use it to highlight, I just ended up with rose-gold streaks on my cheekbones.  That wasn’t really the look I was going for.  It has other functions, thankfully, and would work for a sheer flush of color for the cheeks, as a subtle lip tint, or gorgeous gloss over the eyes.

And just for the record…Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance (retail $56 USD) – I had a sample of this highlighter earlier this year.  By far, this was the highlighter I most wanted to try.  However, I was really disappointed in what it did for my particular skintone.  When it was lightly applied, it didn’t really show up or make an impact at all.  When I built it up more heavily, you could see it, but it looked unnatural due to the slight lavender undertones.  On others, it seems to work really well…but on my fair skin (neutral to golden-leaning undertones) it just didn’t work.

What’s your favorite non-toxic highlighter?  I really want to pick up RMS Beauty Living Luminizer next!

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