Products I’ve Used Up: Skincare & Makeup

skinandbodycare

Lots of products I used up during the last half of winter and spring.  Some products I loved, some I didn’t!

Flo + Theo Body Butter in Lemon Orchard – I loved this Petit Vour sample – the scent, the whipped texture, the way it hydrated my skin.  I would consider repurchasing if I ever run out of body lotion/oil/butters, which I never seem to do.

Balanced Guru Scrub Me – Another Petit Vour sample.  I enjoyed this very much the first time I used it, however, after a couple of weeks I opened it to use again, and it had dried out to the point where I couldn’t really use it, which was very disappointing.

One Love Organics Skin Savior – One of the products I used during the winter and early part of the spring to combat my very sensitive and dry skin.  Possibly will repurchase this fall, but there are some other cold weather skincare products I might try instead.

BWC Brown Eyeliner – Yet another Petit Vour sample, this one from last fall I believe.  I tried to like this, I tried not to waste it – but this eyeliner is terrible.  The color payoff is minimal and I had to really tug on my eye to get any to show up.  Not worth it, so I got rid of it.

Balanced Guru Fearless Spray – Another disappointment I just could not get myself to enjoy.  The smell, for me, was terrible.  It just smelled unpleasant.

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub – A staple in my shower that I use a couple of times a week.  So nice and such a great price point.

Hurraw! Lip Balm in Orange – Possibly my favorite flavor from my favorite lip balm company. More here.

Stark Grapefruit Balm – A sample I received with an Integrity Botanicals order last winter, I used this on my winter skin and really enjoyed the consistency and scent.  I did not like it as a cleanser, however.

W3LL People Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara – Favorite mascara, ever. Excellent non-flaking formula, perfect wand, perfect consistency.  Enough said.

Mineral Fusion Oil Cleanser – Bought this on a whim and I basically forced myself to use it up – no other oil cleanser compares to the original formula of the ED4OLO Vitamin B Cleansing Oil.  Sadly, I heard that to obtain ECOCERT status, OLO had to take out one of the ingredients that made their cleansing oil so great.  Disappointing, but I do understand.

Laurel WPO Healing Balm – Another Integrity Botanicals Sample – I loved this balm so much, it was my favorite out of the face balms I used in the winter (OLO Skin Savior and Stark Grapefruit Balm being the other two).  I would definitely consider purchasing a full size this fall.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen Tint – My favorite summer sunscreen, which I recently posted about here.

Evan Healy Rose Geranium Hydrosoul – I love EH hydrosols – there are just excellent quality.  I don’t think you could go wrong with any of their hydrosols.  Expensive, but so nice.

Root Science Youth Serum – An excellent serum.  I would definitely repurchase.

Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Castile Soap – The granddaddy of all-natural multi-purpose products.  I primarily use this watered down to clean my kitchen and bathroom. Look here.

Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rose Water – Such a beautiful rose water.  I picked this up at Whole Foods and absolutely loved it to the last drop. I primarily use rose water to set my makeup or as a pick-me-up during the day.

Raw Skinceuticals Cream Blush – A Petit Vour sample that just didn’t make sense to me.  The color was a weird mauve-lavender and the texture was creamy but somehow still dry.  It didn’t blend easily, either.  No, thanks.

Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator – A cult status product that just didn’t wow me personally.  I got at least 10 uses out of the mini size, which was impressive.  However, I just never noticed a difference in my skin – it was not softer, clearer, or brighter after using.

Lotus Wei Inner Peace Energy Mist – Loved this, but not quite as much as their Infinite Love Energy Mist, which has the most amazing scent. These products truly have an immediate, positive affect on my mood and sense of well-being.

Christopher Drummond Duo Phase Hydrating Concealer (FYI – now Hynt Beauty) – My favorite concealer ever.  It doesn’t crease, lasts all day, and covers my dark circles and redness.  I won’t fix what isn’t broken, so I just keep repurchasing this one again and again.  This company recently became Hynt Beauty and this is the concealer now.  I hope it is exactly the same as the old formula!

 Are any of these products favorites of yours?  Are there any you have tried and were disappointed with?

Recent Emptied Natural Products

februaryemptiesRead on for the “eh’s” “oohs” and “aahs” of some of my recent finished all-natural bath and beauty products!

ED4OLO Active Moisture Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil – I’m on my 3rd or 4th bottle of this luxury product.  It is expensive, but 1) I’ve gotten it on sale every time I’ve purchased it, and 2) less expensive cleansing oils just don’t compare for me.  Definitely a product I wholeheartedly love.  The scent, the way it dissolves makeup and yet somehow is completely water soluble…aaah.

Zylicious Xylitol Gum – I picked up this affordable gum at the all-natural health food store I frequent.  It doesn’t contain most of the nasties that conventional gums do, but it contains titanium dioxide (to make it white) which I’m not a fan of.  The taste was great, though.

Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil – This oil has been on my face every single day this winter.  It’s amazing.  Seriously.

Acure Organic Argan Oil – This is purely a staple in our bathroom.  I haven’t used it often this past winter because I’ve needed extra heavy serums and balms.

Blissoma Fresh Mild Rice Cleanser – I loved using the sample of this cleanser.  I would definitely buy a full-size…if I could get it at a great price.  It’s a bit expensive for my taste, but it is very, very nice.

Honest Company Shampoo & Conditioner – These are also staples in our house.  They are the only products I use to wash my daughter’s hair (review coming soon!).

Hurraw! Moon BalmI love Hurraw!  So….that being said, this is my least favorite flavor/scent that I’ve tried.  I wanted to love it, but the flavor is just funky.  I got used to it after a while, but I was never a fan of the smell.

Lotus Wei Infinite Love Energy Mist – One of the most beautiful scents I’ve ever come across.  I was so sad when this bottle was empty.  I haven’t repurchased, but that’s because I really want to purchase the Infinite Love Perfume and just haven’t gotten around to it….yet.

W3LL People Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara My favorite mascara, maybe ever.  I’m currently comparing a new tube of it to the brand new Lily Lolo mascara…review to come!

Odacite Buriti Lime Serum – This was a sample and I absolutely loved it – the texture, the smell, the way my skin looked in the morning.  Definitely not cheap, but I’d love to buy a full-size in the future.

Gemstone Organic Ylang Ylang Gem Hydrosol – I love GO Cremes…but this hydrosol was just like spritzing water on my face.  It really did nothing for me, and I wasn’t a fan of the scent, either.  I love that they put a piece of crystal in their hydrosols, and I’d be willing to try another scent in the future, but I would not repurchase this one. (At the time of posting this, I don’t see this product available on their website, so I’m not sure if it’s out of stock or discontinued).

Evan Healy Lavender HydroSoul – EH hydrosols are amazing.  The quality is obvious, the fine mist comes out perfectly, and the scents are complex and a pleasure for the senses.  I repurchased an EH hydrosol but in a different scent.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator –  A fantastic hydrosol/hydrating toner.  The smell is delicious, the quality fantastic.  I didn’t repurchase this one because it is expensive.  However, the product is stellar and I will probably repurchase this one in the fall/winter.

HollyBeth Organics Chamomile Foaming Cleanser – I already repurchased this, but haven’t been using it.  Instead, the past few weeks, I’ve only been using oils and cleansing balms due to my very sensitive, dry winter skin.  I’ll add this back into my rotation once the weather warms up.

Stark Skincare Neroli Midnight Oil – This was a sample, and I really enjoyed it.  It didn’t knock my socks off, but even with such a small sample, I could tell it was a great serum.  I didn’t love it as much as the Odacite serum, but it was still nice.

Have you used any of these products?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Finding Clean & Natural Product Deals: Part 3 – Affordable Natural Brands

I really appreciate clean, natural, non-toxic brands that try to keep their products affordable.  Although luxury brands/products  might be fantastic ($125 face serum, I’m talking about you), I have a family, and my budget isn’t of “the sky’s the limit” variety. You know what I mean?

These are a few more affordable clean/natural brands I’ve personally used or heard a lot of great things about:

Makeup

100% Pure – I really like their lotions for spring/summer/fall, and currently use their eyebrow gel in Taupe. Some of their products are carried at Ulta stores.

Pacifica – I’ve used their mascara and lipstick (pretty good!) and they have some products available at Target.

Everyday Minerals – I used EM makeup almost exclusively for YEARS (until I had to switch to a cream based foundation).  They have great quality at very reasonable prices.  Adorable website, too!

Silk Naturals – I’ve been obsessed with their eyeshadows lately, though they have a full makeup line.  Their prices and selection of eyeshadow are AMAZING for clean beauty. I plan on doing a review of their eyeshadows soon…

Brija – A green beauty You-Tuber started this line and shares my name.  Her eyeshadows are so fun, although she has lots of makeup items for sale.

The All Natural Face – I’ve never personally purchased any of their products, but have heard their quality and prices are good.

Honeybee Gardens – Another line I have yet to try, but I’m interested in their eye and lip liners.

 

Nails

Zoya is the only brand of 5-free nail polish that I personally know of that is under $10 a bottle – I’m sure there may be others out there, but this is the only one I have tried. They are also carried at Ulta!  And they have a fantastic range of colors and finishes.

 

Skincare

Acure is my top pick for affordable (yet still fantastic quality) skincare.  Their products are top notch and won’t make your wallet cry.

 

Haircare –

Acure again here, as well as Desert Essence Organics (what I’m currently using), Juice Organics, and The Honest Company.  I’ll soon be doing a review of The Honest Company’s haircare, which are the only hair products I use on my daughter.

 

Home/Cleaning Products

The Honest Company again, Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronner’s, and Planet are all nice options for home and cleaning items.  I personally am smitten with The Honest Company’s products.  The packaging is adorable, the quality is great, and the prices pretty reasonable.

What are your favorite brands for clean, affordable, non-toxic products?

My Current Morning Skincare Routine

morningskincareI’m always changing up my skincare routines, tweaking them to fit the season and my skin’s needs.  I love to try new products, but I also will stick with products that work great for me.  One thing to note is that I try to keep most of my products in the mid-price range: no, my skincare products aren’t the cheapest, but they certainly aren’t the most expensive products out there, either.  These are the products I currently use in my morning routine.

HollyBeth Organics Chamomile Foaming Cleanser – I just love this as a morning cleanser.  My skin isn’t dirty in the morning, but I still want to “wash” – and this cleanser is perfect because it is mild and incredibly hydrating due to all the wonderful oils it contains.  Not only is this a very affordable clean skincare product, but one pump is all I need so it will last a while.

Root Science RS Youth Serum – I am just smitten with my sample bottle of this gorgeous serum.  It has a stellar list of ingredients (including prickly pear seed, tamanu, and sea buckthorn oils), smell wonderful, and is perfect consistency for layering under makeup.  I really want a full-size and this is one of the few high-end products I actually want to buy.  I’m trying to make my sample last long enough to hopefully buy a full-size with a discount code.  Crossing my fingers, because this serum is amazing.

Acure Organic Argan Oil – Argan oil was my “gateway oil” and I still think it’s a fantastic basic oil.  Acure’s version is fairly easy to find and affordable compared to some higher-end brands.  I add a drop or two of this to my skin along with the RS Youth Serum in the morning.

One Love Organics Brand New Day Scrub + Masque – I wrote a post about how I use this with manuka honey when I want a calming face mask on the weekends.  This is a lovely, gentle scrub and the smell is tropical fruit heaven.

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub – I use this dark green scrub about twice a week when I’m in the shower. This contains argan stem cells, chlorella growth factor, and green clay.  It is a nice, affordable exfoliator that smells nice, works well, and isn’t too rough on my skin.

100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Eye Cream – This is a lighter eye cream, so it is better for layering under my makeup in the morning.  I keep reading that people say this smells like coffee, but to me, it smells like an amazing vanilla buttercream frosting.  A bonus is that my tube is lasting forever, making it even more wallet-friendly.

Heritage Store Rosewater Mist – I use this after cleansing and before I put on my serum, and then again to set my makeup.  It smells like a fresh bouquet of roses.  I really love the way this sets my makeup and gives a nice glow to my skin.  It’s like it helps the makeup to really set better on the skin, which makes it look more natural.

Are there any morning skincare products you can’t live without?  Do you use any of these products?

 

My Current Haircare Routine

haircareMy hair is naturally dark ash blonde, not color-treated for about a year and a half now, fine textured, with oiler roots and drier ends.  If you have hair like this, you know how difficult it can be to have hair that is hydrated but not flat.  I have tried quite a few natural shampoos and conditioners, usually with lackluster results.  Admittedly, I have never tried any higher-end natural haircare, so I can’t comment on some brands, but for now I have found a combination of a few products that work fairly well for my hair type.  I’m always on the lookout for the absolute best products for my hair type.  There are definitely some brands I would love to try, but prices make me trigger shy, so hopefully I can snag some samples in the future.

One product not on this list that I’m searching for is a conditioning deep treatment to use about once a week.  Because these types of all-natural hair products aren’t usually wallet-friendly, again, I’m trying to get samples first and find one that works.  I’ve used coconut oil and avocado oil as a deep treatment and it works pretty well, but makes an oily mess in the bottom of the shower, so a less greasy alternative would be nice to find.

Acure Pure Mint + Echinacea Volumizing Shampoo – I’ve tried Acure’s shampoo and conditioner for normal hair as well, but I think this version has a slight advantage for my hair type.  It smells fresh, suds up wonderfully for an all-natural shampoo, and allows me to go 2-3 days between shampoos.  Also, it’s easy to find and affordable as far as all-natural haircare goes.

Acure Pure Mint + Echinacea Volumizing Conditioner – This works great with the shampoo.  It is moisturizing without being heavy – which is critical when you have fine hair.  I’ve tried other conditioners that left my hair too dry, and others that were too heavy and made my hair flat and limp.  This is, as Goldilocks would say, “just right.”

Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner – I am in love with this product.  I’m not one to buy expensive products lightly, so that is a testament to how well this conditioner works (although I did buy a full-size with a coupon code so I got a great deal).  It is heavier than other leave-ins but not so heavy that my hair looks greasy.  Plus, it smells fresh and lemony.  It helps keep my ends from looking dry, which is going to be more important as well the weather gets colder. When my hair is still wet from showering, I spray this from the middle of my hair down to my ends, and comb through.  Sometimes, I even mist a little on my dry hair if it looks like it needs it.

DIY Dry Shampoo – Because I’m not yet willing to fork over money for dry shampoo, I’ve been making my own with great results.  I plan on posting my DIY “recipe” soon, but whatever your preference, you should try a natural dry shampoo, whether you buy it or make your own.  Using dry shampoo has been an epiphany for me.  I’ve been able to go from shampooing 6-7 days a week to just 2-3 times a week.  I dust a little dry shampoo on my roots and the hair around my face, brush through after a minute or two, and my hair is good to go. Fantastic!

What are your absolute favorite natural haircare products? If you use higher-end products, do you feel the results are worth the price?