Monday, February 27, 2012

Everyday Minerals Anti Shine

I have been having some problems with oiliness recently. My T-zone gets oily, especially my forehead. I only notice it under the unflattering lights in my workplace restroom, but it was really bothering me. So, I decided to re-start using some of the powders that I own for the this purpose. My go-to foundation is Everyday Minerals Matte Base, so I decided to do a post on their Anti-Shine Finishing Dusts.

Everyday Minerals' Finishing Dusts are translucent powders that are meant to be used to set your makeup and get rid of excess shine. According to Everyday Minerals' website, these finishing dusts (also known as anti-shine powders) are suitable for all skin shades, from fair to dark.

Using these powders after your foundation gives the skin a matte finish and smooth appearance. You can also try using these powders on their own if all you need is sheer coverage. The prices below are the current prices for the "Big" size. They are getting rid of all the products except for the original Finishing Dust. I hope they are going to replace these because I think they work really well to combat shine!

Finishing Dust ($12) - this is the most basic finishing dust; it sets your makeup and reduces shine. For me, this is the absolute best of all the powders at actually preventing oiliness/shine. It really makes my face feel perfectly smooth. :)

 Kaolin Powder Fair ($12) - this is specifically designed for those with Fair to Light complexions.This adds a bit of extra coverage, which is nice on my "bad skin" days.

Kaolin Powder Soft Bronze ($12) - is designed for those with Medium complexions, or can be used by Fair to Light complexions as a contour shade or for all-over glow. This is too dark for me, but may be usable as a bronzer in the summer months.

Sunlight Finishing Dust ($12) - this has a tinge of yellow to combat skin flaws such as redness or dark circles.

Bamboo Face Powder Yellow ($10.50) - infused with bamboo and kaolin powder. This has a yellow tint that is supposed to help adjust skin tones. This is just too yellow for me, so I only recommend it for people who have a lot of redness. Like the other powders, this creates a matte finish. They also have this product in the shade "Medium."

To use these, first, moisturize your skin. Apply a powder foundation of your choice and blend completely. Shake a small amount of the finishing powder of your choice into the lid. Lightly dip your brush into the powder. (Everyday Minerals suggests using their Kabuki, Flat Top, or Large Mineral brush.) Tap away excess powder. Apply to face using sweeping and circular motions.

If you have any issue with oiliness, I think these will help you out!

~ Susan

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 2012 Eco Emi Box

My February Eco Emi Box came yesterday! Eco Emi is a green product sampler service. Every month, for $15, members receive between five and ten samples of organic makeup, skincare, candles, food, and/or other items.

February Eco Emi Box, unboxed

 This box marks the one year anniversary of Eco Emi. :)

This box contains:
  • Sunblock by Dr. Robbins - this is an all-natural, chemical-free sunscreen with an SPF 30. The formula contains quinoa, oat, and green tea extracts. Get $10 off any Dr. Robbins for Kids purchase of $24 or more with the code "SPRINGFREE" through April 30th
  • Eco Emi bumper sticker
  • Freem Lip Gloss by Revolution Organics - this lip gloss is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It's ingredients are 85% certified organic. I received the shade "integrity" Get 20% with the code "ECOEMI" through March 15th
  • Dagoba Lip Balm by Eco Lips - I got the lavender flavor
  • OluvSuds Soap by Oluv Skin - this is a moisturizing hand and body soap that hydrates, nourishes, and cleanses the skin. It is created from naturally-grown , estate-cold-pressed, 100% extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, citrus sage, and lemongrass essential oils and salt
  • Organic Energy Shampoo and Conditioner by Greenbody Greenplanet  - these pure and clean hair products are designed for fine/normal hair. These give hair "weightless hydration and balanced nutrition." Get 20% off with the code "ecoemi12"
  • Greener Living Organic Soap Nuts - soap nuts are small, berry-like fruits with a hard shell that grow in warm, tropical climates. These are used as laundry detergent.
  • Body Butter by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques - this has the scent "Sweet Chai," and is made with organic butters and oils
  • Herbal Chocolate Mint Truffle Tea by Mighty Leaf Tea - this rooibos tea is made with a blend of cacao nibs, mint, and rooibos leaves. Get 20% off of all tea pouches and loose teas with the code "ECOEMI20" 
  • Lavender & White Tea Towelettes by Crystal Essence - Crystal Essence makes my favorite deodorant! These are bio-degradable deodorant towelettes are made with all-natural mineral salts, lavender and white tea extracts, and essential oils


~ Susan

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Favorite Deodorant

My favorite deodorant is the Crystal Body Deodorant Roll-On.

This deodorant contains no aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, parabens, or phthlates. It is made of natural mineral salts, and it really works to keep odor at bay. I have tried a couple other roll-on mineral salt deodorant, and this is the only one that keeps the stink away even through a vigorous workout. I love this stuff - it works without that "fragrance" scent that comes in many conventional deodorants, and there's no itchy feeling that sometimes accompanies natural deodorants.

I use the original, unscented version. It retails for $3.99 at Walgreens. One deodorant lasts about 6 months.

~ Susan

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 2012 Conscious Box

Conscious Box is a monthly subscription service that focuses on "sustainability, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility."

According to the Conscious Box Website each month subscribers:
  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products
  • Sample organic food to vegan beauty products
  • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes
  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use the box
I have actually been getting this box for a while. I love how many samples they include! Because there are so many, I usually end up forgetting some of the stuff I got. When I rediscover it, it's like I got a whole new sample. :) A month-by-month subscription costs $12 plus $7 shipping. I paid $64 for six months plus $7 per month for shipping. This comes out to about $17.67per box. This seems like a lot, but I think it's a good deal. I feel like I get substantially more than I do in my Eco Emi  boxes for just $2.67 extra per box.

I believe boxes usually get sent out around the 10th of each month. I received this one on the 13th. The theme of this month was "Unwrap An Open Heart." 

My box, opened up. Underneath all the samples are little flyers/brochures that contain more information on the products as well as some coupon codes.

Inside was:

  • Bloomin Seed Paper - adorable, yes?  This pink heart is made of paper embedded with annual and perennial wildflower seeds; all you have to do is plant it under a thin layer of soil and water daily. It came with a coupon code "CB2012" that gives you 10% off your first order from

  • Dr. Cleangreen Instand Hand Purifier - this is the same sample that I received in my January Eco-Emi box.  Though it doesn't contain any harsh chemicals, this kills 99.99% of germs on contact. It's 100% natural and 99% organic. It also smells like cinnamon. :)
  • Badger Balm Lip Tint and Shimmer - though I've tried Badger Balms, I don't have any Badger lip products. This smells strongly of cocoa, which I don't really like.
  • Soapbox Soap - this smells like lavender. For every bar of soap of theirs that it purchased, Soapbox donates one to people in need. For now I'm sticking this in my drawer to make my clothes smell good.
  • Scientific Organics Kombucha Cleanser - this cleanser is suitable for all skin types.  

  • Agape Oils Frankincense Moisturizing Serum - this is an organic, highly-concentrated moisturizer
  • Mayron's Goods Barrier & Diaper Cream - I don't have a baby, so at first I was "huh..." However, it was accompanied by a sheet that listed adult uses for the cream. It can be used to soothe chafing, bug bites, excema, and dogs' hot spots. 

  • C3* for Stress - this sample contains two packets of all-natural, sugar-free, effervescent drink mix in the flavor lemon lime.These are meant to "clear away tension, restore calm, and connect you to your natural energy."
  • Natural Vitality Natural Calm - this is a raspberry-lemon flavored "anti-stress drink." It combats stress by supplementing your magnesium intake.
  • Himala Salt Himalayan Pink Salt Shaker -  this is pure Himalayan Salt with no additives but plenty of essential trace elements.
  • Nutcase Crunch - this is a "nut-based, naturally gluten free cereal" made of almonds, pecans, coconut, and pine nuts. I think I'll stick to regular cereal, but I will use this for the apple crisp recipe that was included with the product.
  • Love Grown Foods Simply Oats - this granola-like snack is made with gluten-free oats with organic agave syrup. 

  • ResVes WineTime Resveratrol Bar - this is a Chocolate-Raspberry flavored snack bar which contains "more Resveratrol than 50 glasses of red wine."
  • Nature Crops Quinoa and Prunes Bar - hmmmm... I like quinoa, and I like prunes, but somehow this sounds less than delicious. I will give it a try, but I find this bar a bit dubious.
  • Treehouse Herbs Organic Vitality & Energy Tea - I love tea, I always have at least a cup a day. It has an interesting blend of ingredients including alfalfa and St. John's Wort.
  • Olbas Pastilles - these are maximum strength herbal cough drops made with menthol to help clear the head and soothe the throat.

*******************************ADULT PRODUCTS********************************

These were discreetly packaged in the burgundy tissue paper in the first picture above. Conscious Box sent us an email before the boxes were shipped to warn us these were included. I thought that these were an odd addition to the box, but I suppose it went with the love theme of February.
  • Good Clean Love Personal Lubricant - this lubricant is organic and free of petrochemicals, parabens, and glycerin
  • Blossom Organics Natural Moisturizing Lubricant & Pure Pleasure Arousal Gel - these are pH balanced, latex-friendly, glycerin-free, and aloe-based

And on that note, this post is done!

~ Susan

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 2012 Julep Maven Box

Yesterday, in honor of Valentine's Day, I painted my nails a lovely red-pink shade. It came in this month's Julep Maven box. The Julep Maven program is a monthly mail subscription of nail polish/nail polish related things. Every month, you get an email letting you know what you'll receive as well as the option to switch to different items if you don't like what you see. You can also choose to forgo a month or sent your box to a friend.

Everything is always neatly packaged. Over the past couple of months they have switched to smaller packaging, and I hope that they continue to eliminated as much waste as they can.

The boxes always come with a little extra. This month, it was a piece of dark chocolate in the shape of an Oscar. In the past the extras have been small sample packets.

The second polish is the one I used yesterday. It only took one coat to make it completely opaque. I really enjoy this subscription because I love these polishes and it's nice to know that I have control over what I'll be receiving.

You can sign up here. If you use the code "SHAREONFEB" you can get your first box for $1.

~ Susan

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yes to Carrots Color Balm

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Here's what I'm rocking on my kissable Valentine lips. :)

When I saw a display with the new color balms from Yes to Carrots, I picked up the shade Soft Plum so I could try it out. I liked it so much that I headed back and picked up the other two colors - Rosy Bloom and Peachy Keen.

These impart a little bit of color and a lot of moisture. Soft Plum is the most noticeable on the lips, while Peachy Keen doesn't really show up at all. They have a nice sheen, but no sparkle.

Swatches from left to right: Soft Plum, Rosy Bloom, Peachy Keen
Same order, under slightly different light

These are nice tinted balms that are easy to throw on, even without a mirror. These are good choice for Valentine's Day - they amp up your natural lip color, but you don't have to worry about them getting smeared while kissing. :)


If you're looking for a bit more color, Yes to Carrots make "Lip Tints" that are much more opaque.

~ Susan

Friday, February 10, 2012

Drugstore Deals

I stopped by Walgreens today to pick up some razors and while I was there, I checked out the natural beauty section (they usually have Burt's Bees, Yes to Carrots, Dr. Bronner's, and other brands grouped together). They had some good deals on items that have been discontinued, so I thought I'd share them so y'all can take advantage of them if you'd like.

I picked up shampoo, conditioner, and a color balm from Yes to Carrots. The shampoo and conditioner were on clearance, so I got each for $2.39 (I think they usually retail for $7.99). The price had kept me from trying these before, so I was excited to pick these up for even less than what I spend on my hair pair from Trader Joe's. The tinted balm is new and a coupon next to the display gave me $2 off which brought the price to $3.99. 

 The display said that this line of tinted lip balms (or "color balms") is new. They had three shade available and I chose the darkest, soft plum. I tried it out and it's very smooth, not waxy at all. It's a very nice balm, better than most of the others I own, but I prefer the texture and color payoff of the Burt's Bees tinted lip balms just a smidge.

Lip shimmers from Burt's Bees, some items from Shea Moisture, and a bar soap from Dr. Bronner's were also on sale for under $3 each, but they were all sold out. /:

A couple nice deals on the internet: LivingSocial is selling a voucher for 100% Pure. For $25 you get a voucher worth $50 to spend on 100% Pure's website. You can access the deal here. (It ends tomorrow.)

Rainwater Botanicals is giving 15% off all purchases with the coupon code "4LOVE" through February 14th.

~ Susan

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: john masters blood orange and vanilla body wash

This body wash is divine!

It smells wonderful. I end up using too much of it because I want to keep smelling it. The scent doesn't linger on the skin after washing, it's gone once the body wash is. It has the perfect body wash consistency - not so thin that it runs out of my hands when I pour it out, and not so thick that I really have to work to get it to lather. It has great ingredients as well --

Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera leaf juice) gel,* aqua (water), decyl glucoside, sodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium cocoyl sulfoacetate, panthenol (vitamin B5), glycerin, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), hydrolyzed soy protein, silybum marianum (milk thistle) extract, vanilla planifolia (vanilla) extract, arnica montana (arnica) extract,* calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract,* chamomilla recutica (chamomile) flower extract,* lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower/leaf/stem extract,* camellia sinensis (white tea) extract,* allantoin, glyceryl cocoate, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil,* linum usitatissimum (flaxseed) seed oil,* borago officinalis (borage) seed oil,* sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, citrus sinensis (blood orange) peel oil,* citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil,* bourbon vanilla planifolia (bourbon vanilla) oil* 
(* = NOP Certified Organic)

The only drawback is that it is rather pricey ($18 for 8 oz.). However, you can usually find it on sale somewhere. (Right now you can get 20% off all items, including this one at
MMmmm... try it! I bet you'll love this scent too!

~ Susan

Monday, February 6, 2012

Agape & Zoe Naturals Going Out of Business Sale

Agape & Zoe Naturals is an online company that I read about on a couple of natural beauty blogs. I decided to check out their website, and was surprised to find that they are going out of business. When I saw the deeply discounted natural perfumes, their loss became my gain - I purchased several items. I decided to do a short post so that you could take advantage of this huge (but also sad) sale as well. (The last day items will be available for purchase is February 10th, which is only a few days away.)

I purchased:

These are both 1 oz. spray bottles
  • Nighty-Night Calming Pillow Spray - this spray is lavender scented and is meant to help you get to sleep at night
  • Angelic Soul eau de parfum - this smells like vanilla, almond, and coconut. (I love me some sweet scents.) The only ingredients in this eau de parfum are organic grain alcohol and 100% organic flavor oils.

These are both all-natural perfumes in jojoba oil
  • Pure Innocence 1/6-ounce roller ball - this is described as smelling of a blend of citrus and floral gardenia. I am not very good at picking out different notes of perfume, so to me it just smells sweet.
  • Sugared Crush 1/6-ounce roller ball - they both say they're 1/6-ounce, though Sugared Crush is clearly larger than Pure Innocence. This one is the sweetest smelling of the perfumes I got. A little bit goes a long way, so I just dab a bit on one of my wrists, and I'm good to go. I love catching whiffs of this throughout the day.

These have roller ball applicators and a very thin consistency
  • Grape organic lip gloss
  • Orange Bubble Gum organic lip gloss

  • Sweet Stuff lip & body balm - an all-purpose balm. I like the smell which is sweet but not too strong. It has a good consistency - it's definitely a solid, but I'm able to pick up product without having to apply lots of pressure

I also got a complete sampler set of their perfumes. I know it could be frustrating if I end up really liking one of these because I won't be able to nab it in the future, but it takes me forever to go through little vials of perfume, and I wanted to grab a variety of natural perfumes while they were available at such a low price. (These used to go for $20, they're currently offered at $2.50 a pack.)

So, if you're interested, check out their website and Etsy store before the11th! They also have natural hand sanitizer and deodorant.

~ Susan

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Green or Unclean: Bare Escentuals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum

Bare Escentuals has a new serum. They've been giving free samples of this with purchases and for stopping by their boutiques. I got a sample myself recently.

This has a Skin Deep Rating of 4

This serum promises to work while you sleep to help create firm, healthy, and younger-looking skin.

This is formulated without:
- parabens
- sulfates
- synthetic fragrances
- synthetic dyes
- petrochemicals
- phthalates

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Glycerin, Xylitol, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, Glycyl Glycine, Methyl Gluceth-10, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Soil Minerals, Soil Minerals/Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Zizyphus Jujuba Seed , Phytoecdysteroids Extract, Maltodextrin, Ppg-13-Decyltetradeceth-24, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Peg/Ppg-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Trisodium Edta, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Limonene, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum

In general, I'm okay with using products with a Skin Deep Rating under five (I am transitioning to using all natural products). However, I saw that the ingredient was Butylene Glycol, which reminded me of Propylene Glycol, an ingredient I avoid. It turns out that Butylene Glycol is a humectant. However, sources vary on whether or not it's a good  ingredient. The FDA has approved it for use in cosmetics and as a food additive. Yet others list this as a skin, lung, and eye irritant. The books on green beauty I have also differ about whether or not this is an ingredient to avoid. O.o I suppose it's better safe than sorry, so I'll put this aside in favor of a more natural serum.

Can anyone shed some light on Butylene Glycol?

~ Susan

Thursday, February 2, 2012

NMDL - The Desert Island Challenge

On February 1st, Siobhan and Alexandra of No More Dirty Looks challenged their readers to see if they could go three days only using five products (excluding toothpaste and deodorant). I've been thinking about the products I'm going to use when I try it next week (I'm going out this weekend and want to wear makeup).

My products will be:

- Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil Pure Vegetable Soap
- Trader Joe's Shampoo
- Golden Argan Oil
- Everyday Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer
- Physician's Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara OR Burt's Bee's Tinted Lip Balm in Rose (I'll have to choose /: )

Are you willing to give it a go? Which products would you use? Let me know and make sure you check out the original post. :)


~ Susan

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Eco Emi Bonus Box - Feb 2012

I couldn't help myself... when another round of Eco Emi bonus boxes were for sale last week, I nabbed one. :) The contents were slightly different than the last one, and I ended up getting some things from previous boxes that I really wanted. I did receive a couple of repeats, but I think it's nice to have a couple of travel-sized things on hand. Also, sometimes one sample packet isn't enough to determine if you really like something.

Eco Emi is a subscription service that provides natural, organic, and green samples once a month. It costs $15 per month for those with a shipping address in the United States and $30 per month for international customer ( price includes shipping). The boxes ship at the end of each month and subscribers get at least five samples per box. Every once in a while, bonus boxes made up of extra items from previous items go on sale. An announcement gets sent out via email to current subscribers and also gets posted on their facebook page.

Contents of beige bag

Contents of entire bonus box

In this box I received:
  • AuraCacia Soothing Organic Milk & Oat Bath
  • Neuma hair styling products (blow dry lotion, smoothing creme, and style texturizer)
  • Neuma hair renew shampoo & conditioner
  • Soul Flower pin
  • Big Dipper Wax Works candle in Rejuvenation
  • Artisana Raw Coconut Oil
  • PB Peach Blossom oolong tea
  • Eden Organic Small Vegetable Shells (pasta)
  • Dr. Hauschka Lemon Body Wash 
  • Organic Hojicha Chai Roasted Green Tea with Spices
  • naturally it's clean Floors by Enzyme Fresh Home
  • Gabriel Organics Seaweed Revitalizing Bath & Shower Gel
  • Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques lip moisturizer
  • Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques eye shadow in  Sandalwood
  • SheaTerra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Soap & Mask
  • JR WatkinsHand & Body Lotion in Aloe & Green Tea
  • small candy cane

This should be my last package from Eco Emi for at least a little while!

~ Susan