Swatched: Favorite Lipsticks for Spring

In the past few years, I have really developed a love for lipsticks.  In my twenties I rarely wore lipsticks, but would occasionally wear lip gloss.  Now I have a lot of fun experimenting with different formulas and finishes of non-toxic lipstick.  My favorite is a soft matte that is very comfortable and non-drying on the lips, as my lips tend to be dry year-round.

I’ve been wearing these shades of lipstick heavily, and have very rarely worn a lipstick other than the 5 mentioned here the past few weeks.  I’m very fair skinned so I don’t like dramatic colors on my lips. I love pinks, warm nudes, and corals.

Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater – Probably my most used lipstick ever.  Think about how profound that statement is given that I’m in my mid-30s!  I wasn’t much of a lipstick wearer until more recent years, but I’ve definitely had lip products in my life since I was in my late teens.  This lipstick is the closest to perfect I’ve personally owned.  It’s not matte but it’s not so moist that the color slips all over the place.  It has great wear time and almost gives a slight stain to the lips.  It’s an everyday mauve-rose shade that I absolutely love.  It smells like vanilla.  I wear this lipstick all.the.time.  It’s really versatile and could be worn year round, hence why I’m including it in my favorite lipsticks for spring.

Red Apple Lipstick in Oh My Guava – This is the color I put on when I have a bolder eye look – liner or smokier shadow.  The color is a pinky nude on me.  The formula is creamy and nicely pigmented but not super long-wearing.  This is the only nude I have in my lipstick collection right now and I’ve really enjoyed using it.  It doesn’t have too much brown in it, which is important for me when wearing a paler shade of nude lipstick.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Chablis – The High Pigment Pencil has become my favorite Bite Beauty formula.  The Amuse Bouche formula is too moist and not very long wearing in my opinion.  The Matte Creme Lip Crayon is too matte and drying for me.  The Pencil is Bite’s Goldilocks in my humble opinion!  The colors almost melt into the lips, giving a stain-like effect if you blot down the color.  It’s not uncomfortably matte but it’s not moist and it has great staying power.  This very soft coral red is my favorite red right now.  Being very fair, I can’t easily pull off a red lip unless I want to look ultra glam or very obvious.  Definitely not a look I go for.  Chablis is such a gorgeous soft red for my fair skin tone and I just love the formula.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Velvet – So I liked Chablis so much that I decided to pick up another shade in the High Pigment Pencil formula.  This time I picked up a super spring-summer shade called Velvet, which is a vibrant cool-toned rose pink. Although it looks very similar to Ilia’s Neon Angel in the swatch, it is more cool toned and more pastel than Neon Angel.  Also, the formula is more of a soft matte whereas Neon Angel is creamier and more moist.

Ilia Lipstick in Neon Angel – In my top three favorite lipsticks ever.  I absolutely love the shade and undertone of this gorgeous hot pink lipstick.  I can use it more lightly for a pop of pink or layer it heavily for really bright hot pink lips.  Somehow it’s not immature or too “Barbie” – it really is just a beautiful, fun shade of pink. [Pic of me wearing this color]

RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Sublime [not pictured] – One extra lip product I want to mention is this beauty.  I very rarely want a glossy lip, but when I do, I absolutely love this shade.  The formula is quite sticky to me and definitely has a lot of pigment, but it’s beautiful.  I only wear this indoors or on a day I have my hair pulled up (wind + long hair + wet lips = disaster).  This is an adorable bubblegum pink shade but is incredibly wearable for all ages.

What are your favorite non-toxic lip colors for spring and summer?

 

All-Natural Haul: I Bought THIS Not THAT (a sort-of Anti-Haul…)

No doubt, I am a very budget conscious person.  I have a family, a dog, a mortgage, and am pregnant with my second child.  As such, I definitely do not have a lot of disposable income to spend on myself every week or even every month.  It is important that I weigh the pros and cons of each skincare/makeup/wellness product I buy.  Sometimes it really is worth it to buy the more expensive product, but sometimes it just isn’t.  Here are a few purchases I’ve made in the past few weeks and why I chose it over a more or less expensive option.  I’ll also talk about whether or not I would buy said product again. [Is this post an “anti-haul”?  Not really…but there are parallels…]

I bought Nourish Organics Face Cream NOT Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream – With medical bills to pay and baby items to buy, I’ve been significantly curtailing how much I spend on my beauty products.  I felt a basic face moisturizer would be an easy place to buy a less expensive option.  After doing a bit of hunting, I settled on the Nourish Organics Face Cream, when what I really wanted was something like the Osmia Organics face cream.  The only upside to this was that I saved a lot of money – the Nourish cream was about $19 for 1.7oz, and the Osmia is $60 for 1.5oz.  Would I keep repurchasing the Nourish over something more high quality like Osmia?  No, not if I can help it.  The Osmia is vastly superior, feels better on my skin and seems to hydrate better.  However, it’s also possible there are still other more affordable options out there that I simply haven’t tried yet.  Then there is the matter of all the ingredients I prefer to avoid in my skincare and, well…it gets tricky.  I touched on this frustration on my post here.  In the end, it will still have to come down to how much I can afford to spend when the time comes to buy another moisturizer.

 

 

 

I bought Lily Lolo Mascara NOT Hynt Beauty Mascara – When I was placing an online order about a month ago, I really wanted to buy the Hynt Beauty Nocturne Mascara, but decided to purchase the Lily Lolo Mascara instead.  The Hynt is $24 and the Lily Lolo is $19.50.  Even though I’d tried the Lily Lolo in the past and disliked it, I thought I’d give it another shot because I was saving money.  A mistake.  I still really dislike the Lily Lolo formula, no matter how many people love it.  I find it to be very thick and it often makes my lashes clumpy.  I’m using it up because I don’t want to waste it, but that’s it for me – I won’t buy the Lily Lolo again, even though it’s cheaper than other non-toxic mascaras.

 

 

I bought Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil Free Moisturizer NOT Kypris Pot of Shade – Personally, a chemical-free non-toxic physical sunscreen everyday is a must.  So many of the natural sunscreens are outrageously expensive.  Yes, they have amazing ingredients, but I cannot afford upwards of $100 on a sunscreen.  I was looking at the Kypris Pot of Shade Heliotropic, which looks very nice, but at $68 for 27ml (slightly less than 1oz) it is quite pricey.  Instead, I purchased the Juice Beauty Organics SPF 30 Moisturizer which is $29 for 2oz and it contains the same 20% non-nano zinc oxide as Kypris.  Yes, the Juice Beauty has a couple of less-than-stellar ingredients, like ethylhexylglycerin, but as it is one of the last ingredients, I compromised on this.  Would I repurchase the Juice Beauty sunscreen if I needed to save money again?  Yes.

 

 

 

I bought Desert Essence Organics Haircare NOT Innersense Organic Haircare – I’ve tried quite a few non-toxic/green beauty hair care brands.  Josh Rosebrook, Innersense, Rahua, Briogio, and more.  The problem with me and high-end hair care is that I simply don’t need fancy ingredients. Right now I have virgin hair that leans oily and all I really need is a decent non-toxic volumizing shampoo and conditioner for my fine hair.  Nearly all of the high-end green brands I’ve tried tout how moisturizing they are, which is great if that’s what you need…but I don’t.  I did play with the idea of trying the Innersense hair care line for volume but at $26 for the 10oz shampoo (“Hairbath”) and $24 for the conditioner (“Create Volume Lotion”), I find $50 for a shampoo and conditioner set to be completely unnecessary for my hair needs.  Thus I went back to my much loved Desert Essence Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner, which I can buy on Vitacost for around $6 per 8oz bottle.  I will say that their ingredients aren’t 100% ideal to me – but they certainly are far from bad.  My hair gets weighed down so easily by other haircare, and I know this set won’t do that.

 

 

 

I bought Raw Rev Glo Peanut Sea Salt Bars NOT Lara Bars or Luna Bars – Thus far, the Raw Rev Glo bars are the only protein bars that check every single box on my wishlist: high protein, high fiber, very low sugar, minimal ingredients, vegan, moist, tasty, and somewhat affordable.  I bought a box of 12 bars for $22, which equals about $1.80 per bar.  I can buy Lara or Luna Bars or close equivalents for around $1 per bar.  However, the cheaper bars always have something undesirable – the Lara bars are high in natural sugar and not as high in protein as I’d like.  Luna bars aren’t as high in fiber or protein and have a lot of ingredients.  I’m willing to pay more for a high quality bar I actually enjoy eating.

 

 

 

I bought Nature’s Way Alive! Prenatal Gummy Vitamin NOT Garden of Life MyKind Prenatal Vitamin – This has been a difficult choice.  On the one hand, of course I want to take a high quality vitamin while pregnant, but on the other hand, I’m not sure if there is a substantial difference between a medium quality drugstore prenatal and an exponentially more expensive natural vitamin.  I had the GoL MyKind Prenatal in my hand at Whole Foods, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay $40+ retail for a one month supply of prenatal vitamins.  Additionally, I have a very difficult time swallowing large pills that have a dry, grainy texture like these.  I took some early in my first trimester and the pill would usually get lodged in my throat and I began to dread taking my vitamin. The daily serving of the GoL MyKind Prenatal is 3 pills! I found the Alive! Prenatal Gummy for around $15, and while far from perfect, it was a reasonable cost for a decent vitamin.  I’ve read about how lower end vitamins are made – it’s not great.  But these seemed like a compromise.  They are gelatin-free gummies, have a fruit and veggie powder blend, and have all the vitamins I most need.  They do not contain iron, but I’m supplementing my iron.  Would I keep repurchasing more affordable vitamins?  I don’t know.  The high-end vitamin and supplement market is still a head-scratcher for me…I’m not decided on whether or not the extremely high prices are justified.  If money were no object, I would absolutely buy the most high-quality vitamin available, although that still doesn’t take into account how difficult it is for me to swallow large vitamins.

What products have you purchased lately that made you think about cost, quality, and value?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

 

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.

 

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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!

Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? My Recent Natural Beauty Samples

makeupsamplesBecause many non-toxic, clean beauty brands are considered luxury green brands – i.e. relatively expensive – I always like to sample products before I purchase a full-size.  Sometimes this helps me find products I love and am willing to purchase full-sizes of….but sometimes I find that the products don’t work for me.  In fact, there is only one product from all these samples that I would potentially purchase a full-size of in the future.  I purchased five samples from Bella Cuore for $25 and received good sized samples within a few days of my order.  The rest were complementary samples received in a recent Integrity Botanicals order.  Read on for my experiences and thoughts on each product, from RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, and Jane Iredale.

sampleswatchesPhotos above and below are the same exact swatches – the photo above was taken in indirect sunlight, and the bottom photo is in direct sunlight.  Swatches, top to bottom: RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up in shade 00; Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream in BB1; Kjaer Weis Foundation in shade Lightness; Jane Iredale Active Light Concealer in shade #3; RMS Beauty Master Mixer; Kjaer Weis Dazzling Bronzer; Kjaer Weis Radiance Highlighter

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Here are my thoughts and experiences with each of the products:

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up in shade 00 –  This is the product out of the group I’d be most likely to purchase in a full-size.  The “Un” Cover-Up is very pigmented and emollient.  It is great for multiple uses – it can be best used as an all-over medium-to-high coverage foundation, or as a spot concealer for blemishes or red spots.  It could also be used under the eyes, but I don’t like using it for that purpose because it is too thick and I like a more liquidy under eye concealer.  I really like this product and have been using my sample for spot treatment of red spots here and there.  In comparison to the Kjaer Weis foundation, this one is more of a yellow undertone and is more moisturizing.

Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream in BB1 – This shade is by far one of the lightest foundation shades I’ve ever come across.  Typically, I’m always a match for the lightest shade of a company’s foundation.  However, BB1 is too light for me.  I cannot use this at all, which is disappointing because I’ve heard such great things about the formula.  I’d love to try one of the darker shades that would be a better match for my skin tone.

Kjaer Weis Foundation in shade Lightness – I actually really enjoyed this foundation (you can see it on me in one of my Instagram photos here).  However, it is a little too drying for my skin.  When first applied, it was gorgeous, but as the day went on, it showed signs of wear – breaking up a bit and accentuating dry patches.  This may be perfect for me from July-September, but for most of the year, it’s not hydrating enough.  However, it really is a beautiful foundation!

Jane Iredale Active Light Concealer in shade #3 – This concealer was nice as far as moisturizing my under eye area.  However, as far as coverage, it isn’t heavy-duty enough for my dark under eye circles.

RMS Beauty Master Mixer – I was so excited to try this, based on all the hype and positive reviews.  You can see from the swatch on my arm that it looks like a rose-gold bronze shade on me.  I cannot use it as a highlighter – it did not look flattering.  I did try it as a blush topper, and it’s OK for that purpose.  Overall, though, I wouldn’t purchase this because it’s just not my personal cup of tea for my skintone.  However, I fully plan on buying the Living Luminzer once I finish my current highlighter.

Kjaer Weis Dazzling Bronzer – I liked this bronzer, but I don’t like it as well as RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer.  The Dazzling Bronzer has a drier texture and a warmer undertone.  In contrast, RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer is creamier, easier to blend, and has a more neutral undertone that can more easily be used as a slight contour.  I’m going to repurchase the Buriti Bronzer once the heat of summer is over.

Kjaer Weis Radiance Highlighter – This is, by far, the product I’ve wanted to try the most.  I’ve been excited to try it for months.  When I finally got my sample, I was really disappointed.  This highlight did not show up well at all on my skin.  That seems odd considering I’m fair skinned – but this is the issue: lightly applied, the highlight wasn’t very noticeable on me – and more heavily applied, it looked unnatural.  I just couldn’t make this work for me, though I will say it is beautiful and would be great on someone else.

Given my experiences with these products, I really love being able to sample makeup products before committing to a full-size.  It is often far too difficult to tell from photos online what foundations, concealers, highlights, and bronzers will look like and feel like once applied to my particular skin.  I’m grateful that there are online shops that are willing to include samples with purchase or samples for a reasonable cost.

 

What are your experiences with all-natural makeup samples?  Have you ever gotten a sample of something you thought you’d love, only to find it did not work for you at all?  Let me know in the comments!