Shopping Natural @ Beautyhabit & Sephora

I don’t like to shop a sale just for the sake of shopping a sale.  However, if there are some items I need to replace soon, I always try to get discount codes or shop during sales.  During Earth Day weekend, Beautyhabit had a 20% off natural skincare and makeup sale.  I mostly picked up items I needed to replace and picked up a couple of long-time wishlist items as well.  Then the following weekend I picked up a couple of items while I was in Sephora.

Beautyhabit:

 

French Girl Organics Neroli Cleansing Wash – As I was running low on my face cleanser, I decided it would be a practical item to go ahead and pick up a new one.  Since it’s spring and we’re heading into warmer weather, I thought it would be a good idea to purchase a cleanser that had some skin-clearing ingredients.  This one contains black willow bark and activated charcoal to detoxity but also has skin-soothing and hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.  Though I’ve never tried this product before, I loved the ingredients so I picked it up. I’ve been using it for about a week now with good results.  It cleans without stripping at all.  The scent is very mild but pleasant.  The consistency is a creamy gel that doesn’t foam.  I use this as my second P.M. cleanse.

 

takesumi detox charcoal deodorant travel cold pressed rose

Kaia Naturals Takesumi Detox Deodorant in Cold Pressed Rose – I love Schmidt’s deodorant, but I can’t use it every single day or my underarms get inflamed.  I like to go back-and-forth between it and a baking-soda-free deodorant.  I’ve heard good things about this one and as it was available in a smaller travel size, I picked it up.  Not only that, but I love the scent of rose.  This doesn’t leave a white cast under my arms – excellent!  It doesn’t irritate at all, the rose scent is beautiful…and it works!  So far, two thumbs up.

 

 

Image result for davids toothpaste

David’s Premium Natural Toothpaste – In my house, people get super picky about their toothpaste.  It is very rare indeed when I come upon a toothpaste that my husband, daughter, and I all like, or even tolerate.  David’s is one of the precious few natural toothpastes that everyone agrees on.  The only downside is that it isn’t available in a ton of places yet.Image result for suti muslin clothes

Suti Muslin Cloths – This 2-pack was on sale, and as I’ve wanted to purchase some extra face washing cloths for months, I snapped these up.  I figured if I didn’t like them for my face, I’ll use them for washing my baby.  They are organic and unbleached, and while they were stiff at first, one wash made them soft and supple.  I’m keeping these for washing my face!

 

Kosas Lipstick in Undone – This is the one item I didn’t need, but the one I wanted the most. Ever since I bought Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater last September, I’ve wanted another of their shades so much!  This one is called “a nude blend of pinks and browns” and looked lovely online.  I thought it looked like the perfect everyday lipstick, which is what I really wanted.  In reality, I’ll probably wear this like crazy in the late summer and all through fall and winter.  It is a gorgeous shade!  It’s not exactly red, nor pink, nor brown, nor coral.  It’s kind of a combination of all those colors.  The finish is absolute perfection – a soft, comfortable long-wearing matte.  I can’t wait to add another Kosas color to my collection.

 

RMS Beauty Un-Powder – I was running low on my setting powder, so I knew it was nearing the time to get another one.  I opted for this one because it is high-quality silica, which looks amazing on the skin.  Silica fills in pores and gives an airbrushed look to skin, but doesn’t dry it out.  Since I was getting this one on sale, I sprung for the best of the best.  I picked it up in their original translucent formula and have been using it in my T-zone every day with great results.  It doesn’t dry my skin out at all and truly blurs pores.

 

Sephora:

 

Image result for drybar triple sec

Drybar Triple Sec – While in Sephora, I asked a couple of the employees for a recommendation.  I wanted a dry shampoo, but this is what two different girls recommended.  The product claims it’s a 3-in-1 that texturizes, amplifies, and refreshes.  I stressed to them that I hated the feeling of product on my scalp.  I picked up a sample with my Sephora points and it was love at first use…so much so that I bought a full-size.  It 100% has lived up to its claims in the two weeks I’ve been using it.  I can expect definite texture and volume, but it isn’t heavy or tacky at all.  It also acts like a gentle refresher – not exactly a strict dry shampoo, but it will definitely work on my second day hair.  I LOVE this product.

 

Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Velvet – Because I loved my Bite High Pigment Pencil in Chablis so much, I wanted to pick up another shade on a whim.  After testing a few shades in store, I picked up Velvet, a “vibrant rose pink”.  It’s somewhat similar to Ilia’s Neon Angel – one of my top three lipsticks ever – but Velvet is a touch more pastel.  It’s a very pretty, feminine cool-toned pink.  Perfect for spring and summer.

 

What are some of your recent all-natural beauty purchases?

Non-Toxic Beauty & Skincare Wishlist

First, a little about my current approach to my skincare and beauty purchases. For months I’ve avoided purchasing products I don’t need.  Mostly, I purchase items as I run out.  Products like lipsticks and blushes are mostly a non-priority until I use up some of what I have.   The first reason for this approach is to budget finances better.  The second is that I don’t want to be consumed by materialism.  The third is that I find it ridiculous to accumulate more makeup or skincare products than I could ever use up before they went bad.

Having gotten that out of the way, here are some products that I’m interested in purchasing as I use up and replace my current items:

 

Purely Simple Face Cream

Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream – It might seem as though something like this wouldn’t warrent a second glance – after all, it even says in the name that it’s a simple face cream.  However, all face lotions are not created equal…far from it.  I’ve tried lots, both mainstream when I was younger, and high end green brands.  This is my favorite and I want to repurchase soon.  It sinks into the skin quickly but leaves it hydrated, all with limited natural ingredients.  Let me just say that is no easy feat.

 

 

Rose Petal HydroSoul - evanhealy

Evan Healy Rose Petal HydroSoul – It’s been a while since I’ve purchased an Evan Healy hydrosol, but they are really great.  I love using rose water hydrosol in spring and summer when I need less moisture.  This one looks lovely and I love the packaging.

 

Image result for jordan samuel plie

Jordan Samuel Plié Treatment Cleanser – I feel like so many people have been talking about Jordan Samuel lately.  I love using a good cleanser that is also affordable.  For me, $20 for 3 ozs of natural face cleanser is very reasonable.  I’m really leaning towards buying this one when my other cleansers run out.

 

Earth Mama Angel Baby line – I want to try several of their products, primarily for my baby who is due this summer!  Currently, I plan on purchasing their Natural Nipple Butter for breastfeeding, their Natural Non-Scents Body Wash and Shampoo for baby’s bathtime, and some of their teas.

 

4.5oz Super Sensitive Organic Body Oil
California Baby Super Sensitive Body Oil – It’s important to me to use no fragrances (natural or otherwise) on my baby for the first few weeks.  Most baby oils contain fragrance or essential oils, which can potentially irritate delicate baby skin.  This is one of the few products I’ve found that is organic, affordable, and completely scent-free.

 


Kosas Lipstick in Undone – OK, I want pretty much every shade they make since I purchased Rosewater, which is an absolutely perfect lipstick.  If I must choose just one, I’d pick Undone, which is a makeup artist favorite, with good reason I’m sure. The shade is a nude pinky-brown and looks beautiful in every photo I’ve seen of it.

 

RMS Beauty Signature Set: Pop – I think these palette sets are brilliant.  RMS is probably my number #1 favorite non-toxic beauty brand if I had to pick, but they aren’t exactly affordable.  This is such a fantastic way to have multiple products for a fraction of the cost.

 

Image result for glossier boy brow

Glossier Boy Brow – I want to purchase a few of their products, but primarily Boy Brow in blonde. Doing my brows is pretty much a daily standard for me, even when I’m not wearing any other makeup.  I’d also love to try their Stretch Concealer and Cloud Paint.

What non-toxic, natural items are on your beauty/skincare/baby wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

My Frustrations: The Green Marketplace

You know the expression, “opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one.”

Well, here are a few of my gripes with the market known interchangeably as non-toxic/green/all-natural beauty.

I say this with love and respect for all those who strive to bring ethical, eco, non-toxic skin and beauty products to consumers. I will always buy and support non-toxic, ethical brands!  But I still get cranky about a few things.  Namely:

 

  • How many times have I struggled, staring at a screen, trying to decide what color or shade would work best on my skin tone?  I’d hate to know the exact amount of time I’ve spent on doing just that. Selecting the right shade of a product is a bit of a gamble at best, and downright frustrating and time consuming at worst.  Unless you are blessed to live in a major city that has a green beauty store, you’re like me and have to rely solely on reviews and internet pictures…or, if you’re super lucky, samples. [And of the websites that DO sell samples, they aren’t all that cheap.  Usually one sample is around $3-5 and many charge shipping in addition. Recently I wanted a sample of a product.  The sample was about $6 and the shipping was more than that.  I chose not to buy the sample.]

 

  • If you buy a product online and the color doesn’t match, your skin has a reaction, or you just hate the performance, 9 times out of 10, you’ve just lost your hard-earned money. It’s happened to me multiple times, and all I can do is toss it or pass it along to a family member who *might* use it. Yes, some companies accept returns, but most don’t and even when they do, it’s a hassle.

 

  • Desire for pure ingredients versus the higher the price tag. What to do when the price of a product exceeds what you can reasonably spend, but the alternative products are not “clean” enough?  There is no compromise sometimes.  A few times I’ve had to decide between the more expensive clean product and the less expensive dirtier product.

 

  • Off the top of my head, I can think of two or three beauty bloggers that I trust what they say.  Like, really trust.  The rest of the beauty bloggers I take with a grain of salt, or sometimes with a very suspicious eye.  Right now, there are a couple of green beauty bloggers I’m this close to writing off because they seem so insincere.  There are quite a few green beauty bloggers that receive lots of PR packages (i.e. free products!) and the reviews are almost always glowing.  It must be a double edged sword for some of these bloggers. Most people feel driven to say gracious, complementary things about gifts.  Think about Christmas time when friends and family give you items you aren’t thrilled with – you wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings by saying something negative, right?  I’m sure beauty bloggers feel torn, too.  Sure, most of them will include a disclaimer that says something about “all opinions are my own” and so forth…but, really?  I’d bet money that if they were all 100% completely honest, free PR products at least sometimes skew their reviews, even if it was done unconsciously.  [No, I don’t receive any PR.  No, I’m not jealous.  Even if I were given PR products, I’d be seriously upfront about my honesty, at the risk of losing that PR relationship.  But…that’s ME.]

 

  • There has been a major push towards “self care” in the women’s beauty space. While a lovely and beautiful sentiment, part of its mantra seems to say, “buy this expensive green product because you’re worth it.” But for women/families on a budget, you really have to think long and hard and make decisions on what to spend money.  Yes, I actually do believe in self-care whole-heartedly and I know that self-care doesn’t always mean you need to buy a product.  Self-care can be as simple as taking a walk or a hot bath or doing yoga.  But let’s be real – a lot of self-care harkens back to using products.

 

  • Some companies will proudly tell you that yes, their products are very expensive because they are luxury, high quality, all-natural products – and I get that, but it alienates people, too.  Why can’t one company have high-end and more affordable products as well?  The short answer is, they could – they chose not to (for various reasons, I’m sure). Everyone is entitled to do their own thing, and I respect that, but it’s disappointing when lovely brands are leaving out an entire population of more budget-conscious women and men.

 

I have been using non-toxic green beauty products for at least 10 years.  That doesn’t mean I went 100% non-toxic 10 years ago, but that’s when I started transitioning.  I wouldn’t go back to the mainstream dirty beauty items of my teens for anything – I’d rather go bare faced than use toxic makeup and skincare.  So, yes, we’re all sisters-in-arms in this green beauty space.  This is all said with love and respect, but it’s also healthy and natural to vent about the things that could be improved upon.

Thoughts on 3 High-End Makeup Primers

I’ve tried 3 luxury makeup primers over the past couple of months. Here are my thoughts and experiences:

 

Becca Backlight Priming Filterhere

The ingredients I couldn’t get over: fragrance (a very vague ingredient term used to hide many other ingredients, so you don’t really ever know what the “fragrance” is made of) and sodium hydroxide. I loved the texture so much, so this was really difficult to return. The look was subtle but noticeable, it played well with skincare and makeup, and I looked a bit glowy throughout the day. I would potentially purchase this again with two provisos: one, if I couldn’t find a better natural replacement, and two, just to use in the winter when my skin needs extra moisture.  The color is a pale champagne.  The finish is a glowy satin. The packaging is a gorgeous glass bottle with an excellent pump.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primerhere

This smelled better and had better ingredients than Becca, but the texture was very thin which I truly did not care for. It seemed to make less of a difference under makeup than Becca. I loved the ingredients, but felt very indifferent to the actual product.  The color is a shimmy pearl.  The finish is a faint pearly sheen satin. The packaging is very beautiful with silver cap and frosted glass jar with a great pump.

 

Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Primerhere

Picking this up a great price was truly motivating, but also a gamble. Although I got it at a great price, unlike the other two primers I tried, I couldn’t return it if I wasn’t happy with it. This is the massive downside to purchasing an item you’ve never tried from the internet .  The color is a pale shimmery pink.  The texture is not as creamy and whipped as the Becca, but definitely richer than the Juice Beauty.  The finish gives a matte satin finish to my skin but it isn’t drying at all.  It almost feels like it has silicone in it, but it doesn’t.  It has the faintest of pale pink shimmery undertones, but don’t let that scare you because it doesn’t really show up on the skin that way.  When I remember, I use this one everyday under my makeup. The packaging is the least chic of the three, and plastic.  The pump is lacking because it dispenses different amounts of product with each pump, which is quite irksome. I’m wondering how the pump will work when the bottle is nearing empty.  Bottom line of truth: the product itself is very pretty and adds an extra layer of moisturizing product to give a good base for makeup.  Do I notice a truly profound difference in the way my makeup looks?  No, and for that reason it’s not an essential product for me.  However, it is really nice and I would recommend it the most out of these three for texture, efficacy, and quality of ingredients.

What makeup primer do you use and love?

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.

Summer 2016 All-Natural Skincare: Evening Routine

eveskinsummer2016This is the evening portion of my current summer skincare routine.  My morning routine is described in this post.  These are the products I’ve primarily been using the past several weeks.  As a reference, my skin is normal – not dry nor oily, and though I’m not prone to breakouts, I do have a stray blemish here and there in the summer.

The very first thing I do is remove all of my makeup with coconut oil, and for about six months I’ve been using Cocovit. This does a great job at removing not only all my face makeup, but all my eye makeup, too (you can read about my love of this product here). After I massage the oil into my skin, I wipe it away with a hot wet cloth.  I’ve used other oils in the past, but have found that when it comes to single ingredient makeup removers, I vastly prefer pure coconut oil over others, such as jojoba oil.

Once my makeup is removed, I do my second cleanse with the Meow Meow Tweet Tea Tree Charcoal Bar Soap (pictured setting atop of the Cocovit).  I actually purchased this soap hoping it would be a more affordable alternative to the excellent Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap, and while I’m not sure that they are equals (OK, they aren’t), the MMT works really well.  It lathers very nicely but is never drying to my skin.  I love ingredients like charcoal and tea tree oil for summer when my skin needs the extra cleaning power.

Après cleansing, I immediately spritz my face with a hydrating toner.  Lately it has been the 100% Pure Jasmine Green Tea Tonique.  Toners are one of my favorite products to try, so I’m not yet loyal to any one particular toner.  I do really like the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, though (but I must confess that I’m not a fan of the white plastic bottle packaging as I prefer glass bottles).

serums

Top: Pacific Night Serum, Bottom: Juice Beauty Booster Serum

Next, I use a face serum, either Pacific Face Serum with Retinol (this product does not exactly exist anymore…I do believe that the Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum is an equivalent product.  Correct me if I’m wrong.) or Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Booster Serum. Serums typically are lightweight and are quickly absorbed into the skin – these two products are no different and do just that.  I use these products as a targeted treatment to prevent fine lines and pigmentation.

Next I use an oil on top of the serum.  This summer I’ve alternated between the Skin Owl Mangosteen Beauty Drops or Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum (which to me is an oil, not a serum) and they are both very nice.

indigobalm

Above: Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm

Occasionally I’ve been using the Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm on my face (maybe twice a month) and I will often use it on my neck and décolletage.  I plan on primarily using this product during the fall and winter, though, due to the fact that it is a balm and therefore much heavier than an oil.

oloeyebalm

Above: One Love Organics Eye Balm

Lastly, I smooth a little One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm under my eyes.  This is my favorite under-eye treatment I’ve used in natural skincare.  It is so thick it’s almost a paste, which I love.  A little bit truly does go a long way and one pot typically will last me around 8 months.

My night routine may seem long and tedious, but it isn’t in actuality.  Furthermore, it is a self-care ritual that I enjoy.  Taking care of my skin is a small thing I do each day, just for me, and it’s relaxing and beneficial mentally and physically.

What products do you love for your night skincare routine?  Have you used any of the products listed above?

Summer 2016 All-Natural Skincare: Morning Routine

july2016morningskinMy skincare routine is ever evolving, but these are the products I’ve been using pretty steadily the past few weeks.  As a reference, my skin is normal.  I don’t have dry skin nor oily skin.  I have the occasional blemish.  My main concern is hydration and preventing fine lines/wrinkles.

Whether or not I wash my face in the morning depends on what my skin looks like.  If it doesn’t look oily, I skip washing, but if it’s a bit oily or I’ve worked out that morning, I like to do a super light cleanse.  One of the gentlest cleansers I’ve used thus far is the Blissoma Mild Rice Facial Cleanser.  It’s very mild and gentle and while I wouldn’t use it in the evening for a second cleanse, it’s perfect for mornings when I just want fresh skin that is prepped for other products.

After I’ve cleansed (or if I haven’t cleansed, before I do anything else), I like to spritz a little hydrating toner on my face.  I stay away from anything astringent for a toner because it tends to irritate my skin, and I don’t really need blemish control.  Lately I’ve been using the 100% Pure Jasmine Green Tea Tonique.  It has a very light, fresh scent, and I love the white glass bottle.

When I remember, I use the Previse Defend Face Serum.  I received this in a Beauty Heroes box last year and for a while I didn’t really use it, but I’ve found it works excellent under makeup in the mornings.  Plus, it is designed to provide not only hydration to the skin, but environmental protection.

The last thing I do before I start on my makeup is sunscreen.  I’ve been using the Kari Gran 365 SPF 28, which is an oil-based physical sunscreen. I received this in the July Beauty Heroes box (I absolutely love my BH subscription – it is money well spent for me).  The Kari Gran 365 is a bit heavy and greasy, but if I let it soak in for a few minutes, it’s quite tolerable.  I’m hoping that it will be excellent for fall and winter.

One last product is the Meow Meow Tweet Spot Serum.  This is an oil-based blemish treatment and it is the best one I have used.  It is mild but is fantastic for calming any inflammed or emerging pimples.  I dab a bit on spots if I see one coming.

That is it!  I have a few other products I rotate into my routine here and there this summer, but these are my staples currently.

What are you using and loving for your morning skincare right now?

Why I Only Use Natural Deodorants & Mini Reviews of 6 of Them

deodorantgroup

Giving up conventional antiperspirant was very difficult for me.  I tend to sweat easily under my arms when I get hot, so thinking about dealing with sweat stained shirts was unpleasant.  After a few years of going back and forth between mainstream antiperspirants and natural deodorants, I finally committed to only using all-natural deodorants for the rest of my life.  I’ve been aluminum-based antiperspirant free for several years now.

My unfiltered thoughts on this subject are this.  In the short-term, I loved using antiperspirant.  They work really well at keeping you dry.  Natural deodorants will never function like an antiperspirant.  They will not keep you from sweating…I’m sorry, I know from the outside looking in it is a pretty big bummer and a huge deterrent from switching to a natural deodorant.

But here’s the rub with antiperspirants – they keep your body from detoxing.  They make your body unable to release sweat, when nature has built us to do exactly that, and for good reason.  We are meant to sweat!  I’m not a doctor so just type “why is it normal to sweat” or some variation of that into a search engine and go on and educate yourself on that topic.  Why you’re at it, search “why conventional antiperspirant is unhealthy”.  It’s scary, OK?

One thing that many people experience with natural deodorant is a sensitivity to baking soda, an ingredient in many formulas.  I’ve used some deodorants with baking soda that left me with terrible, painful rashes that looked like the skin under my arms was raw…and I’ve used formulas with baking soda that worked really well with no irritation whatsoever.

In my humble opinion, I’ve found that the more indie, small brands making natural deodorant tend to be the ones with the highest probability of irritation and low efficacy.  What I’ve found is that some more “well-known” brands have really put a huge amount of effort into creating natural deodorants that are gentle and effective at the same time.  The deodorants I’m mentioning here are merely ones that I’ve tried that work decently without irritation.  There are others out there that have gotten lots of good press (one that comes to mind is the Agent Nateur Holi(stick).

Of the six varieties I’m discussing in this post, I’ve judged them based on these factors: effectiveness, cost, application, ease of availability, scent, and packaging.  I’ve also listed them in order from least favorite to favorite.  Having said that, even #6 is still pretty decent.

 

#6 Jason Naturally Fresh Deodorant

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This deodorant is pretty easy to find in natural stores and online.  It’s pretty affordable and is super convenient because it’s in a typical plastic twist-up tube, just like mainstream antiperspirants.  The efficacy is OK – it’s not the best I’ve used, but it didn’t cause irritation and it worked OK for a day at the office or any other season besides summer.  The ingredients are not clean enough for my liking, but it will do in a pinch.  I won’t repurchase, primarily because I prefer a cleaner ingredient list.

 

#5 LaVanila in Vanilla Grapefruit

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I really like LaVanila deodorant.  This was my first purchase and it has lasted quite a while and there is still product left.  This is not my heavy-duty deodorant – I keep this on my vanity and use it between using other deodorants on days I’m at the office.  I wouldn’t use this on a day I’m going for a hike, for instance.  However, the packaging is beautiful, the scent is light and pleasant, and it works just fine for normal days.  I would repurchase this particular variety, but I really want to try their Sport Luxe formula.

 

#4 Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant, jar

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This deodorant is great – it works really well and smells amazing.  However, I do have a couple points to bicker about.  One: I don’t like applying deodorant with my fingers, and I never will.  I don’t care how good the formula is, I don’t want to scoop out deodorant with my fingers and apply and then have to wash my hands with soap.  It’s just inconvenient for me as a mom with a full-time job.  Two, it’s also a bit pricey for me personally, at $14 a jar.  For me it didn’t seem to last any longer than any other deodorant.  That being said, it is supremely gentle and very effective.  And the scent of sweet, subtle grapefruit is perfect.

 

#3 Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick

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When I heard MMT released a stick version of their deodorant, I bought two travel size sticks.  This formula does contain baking soda, but not so much that it is irritating.  So it works well, smells great, and comes in stick form.  Those are huge pros, but I have a couple of cons as well.  One is the price.  Full size is $22, and at this point in my life, I can’t justify a deodorant at that price.  The second con is the packaging and it’s a double-edge sword.  The packaging is actually bio-degradable cardboard and it scores major eco points for that decision.  However, I have had big issues getting the product to come out.  I’ve pushed and pushed with my finger to have it barely move.  Then I used a pen to help me out and a huge chuck of product propelled out – and once that happens, there is no way to put it back in.  If the packaging could somehow be made a bit more user-friendly that would be excellent.  Still, it is pricey.

 

#2 Blissoma Scentless Stick Deodorant

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At $16 for a full size, Blissoma is cheaper than the MMT stick at the outset, but you get more bang for your buck with MMT.  MMT full size is 4.5oz for $22 and Blissoma is 2oz for $16.  However, I still really enjoyed the Blissoma formula, which is saying a lot.  It has no scent at all for those who are sensitive.  The formula is much drier than MMT, which I actually prefer.  As far as efficacy, it worked really well.

 

#1 Schmidt’s Stick Deodorant in Bergamot + Lime

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For me, this is the cream of the deodorant crop.  It works damn well.  It smells amazing. It is conveniently in a twist-up tube.  It’s pretty affordable at $9 retail for 3.25ozs.  It fairly easy to find (believe it: I bought the one pictured at TJ Maxx for $4).  The formula glides on so easily without being wet or pasty.  It hasn’t caused me any irritation yet, but I typically only use it every other day.  I love this deodorant.

What is your favorite all-natural deodorant?  Let me know in the comments!