Morning Routine

 

As much as I enjoy trying new products, nothing beats having reliable favorites that are also a pleasure to use. The above are products that I come back to time and time again, and right now, each one is being used in my morning routine.

After many attempts at finding the perfect facial cleansing oil, I finally settled on Laventine’s just over two years ago. Its high quality, natural ingredients, subtle but lovely aroma, and exceptional efficacy made it the clear winner. I use it every morning when only a gentle cleansing is needed and oftentimes at night to wash away makeup prior to a foaming cleanser. Laventine allows for a wonderful facial massage which aids in its purifying action. I remember reading a post over at IndiePerfumes that delved into the benefits of Ayurvedic facial massage. I’ve never done the full massage described in that post, but I do a mini one quite often which is relaxing and restorative.

After cleansing with the oil, I pat my face with a towel very gently so my skin still feels hydrated from rinsing. I then warm up a large pea-sized amount of Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Cream in my hands and apply it all over my face, making sure it’s most liberally applied under my eyes. I mentioned this moisturizer in my “favorites list” last spring, and still feel the same way. Even though it feels lightweight, it hydrates like a cream and its effects last all day.

It’s now time to swirl my EcoTools Bamboo Finishing Kabuki around the pan of my Jane Iredale PurePressed Base and then spritz it with some evanhealy Rose Geranium Hydrosol which imparts a slightly dewy finish to the mineral powder. Applying the powder with the EcoTools Kabuki is unbelievably soft and gives moderate coverage since its fibers are not too dense. This makes it really easy to blend, and also build coverage if you prefer more. A few other pluses about this brush are its price point ($7), it doesn’t shed, and it holds up well after cleaning.

As for the PurePressed base, I can’t say enough good things about that either. It has an SPF of 20, a very natural look and does an excellent job at covering up “spots” -say it with a British accent like Lisa Eldridge- as well as dark circles. That’s why I concentrate the Quince Day Cream under my eyes as I apply a good amount of PurePressed Base atop my often visible dark circles with the EcoTools kabuki. In the photo, you’ll see a smaller brush below the kabuki, and that’s my Giorgio Armani Blender Brush. I adore its shape, soft bristles and its ability to blend foundation in hard to reach areas, like the eyes.

After all that, which just takes a couple minutes, the variety begins. It might be simply an eyeliner, mascara and lip balm day, or possibly more with eyeshadow, blush and lipstick added. Either way, I’m set for the day.

Visit The Non Blonde for a full review of the Giorgio Armani Blender Brush.

Laventine Facial Cleansing Oil $24.95 for 8oz
Dr Hauschka Quince Day Cream $35.95 for 1oz
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base $52 for refillable compact. (My first lasted 2 years! Worth the money)
evanhealy Rose Geranium Hydrosol $23.50 for 4oz.
Giorgio Armani Blender Brush $48

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Getting Dramatic. Natural lipstick reviews continue.

On left: Dr. Hauschka Lipstick in Mezzaforte (04) On right: NVEY Eco #356

Last Friday I wrote about my burgeoning love for lipstick. Yet, and this is just my opinion, to fully embrace the lipstick-love one needs a couple high drama colors on hand. For me, that means busting out of my “warm brownish pink realm” and into the red zone.

Finding a red lipstick that compliments your skin tone is quite a challenge. Those of you who have gone on the perfect-red-lipstick-hunt already know this. If the red has too much orange it can leave you looking clownish and if it’s got too much purple or blue, it can wash you out faster than pulling an all-nighter. The key is finding a red that has subtle nuances of warm or cool tones that essentially looks neutral on your lips.

Since I have warm/olive skin, lippies that lean warm with orange or brown are best for me. (If you have cool skin with pinkish or reddish undertones, red lipstick with blue or pink are best). Dr. Hauschka Lipstick in Mezzaforte has a warmth that is spot on. It’s a deep orange-red with a hint of copper which steers it away from over-the-top drama. There’s no shimmer, and it’s not matte or glossy, just creamy perfection that I now expect from Dr. Hauschka. As I mentioned in the last post, Dr. H’s lipsticks have the same formula as their lip care stick which provides excellent hydration and feels soothing.

NVEY Eco also makes fabulously pigmented lipsticks, but unlike Dr. H lipsticks, they do necessitate a dab of balm for added moisture. Of course that’s just my preference and I know many of you would be thoroughly pleased with its ample hydration from ingredients like organic castor oil, jojoba oil, beeswax and vitamin E. My red color pick from NVEY Eco is #356, a brownish ruby color with a subtle shimmer. I do need to be careful not to apply too much of #356, as its rich brown-leaning tone creates a garish look on me if applied with a heavy hand. Luckily, one swipe gives light to medium coverage, no blotting necessary. On my lips, #356 is a stunning berry that I have been enjoying on evenings out.

My favorite look with both of these red lipsticks is a nude blush (Alima Bisque), lots of mascara (Dr. Hauschka and Gabriel are my current faves) and a touch of champagne eyeshadow (NARS All About Eve or Alima Jacquard from their “Perfectly Tailored” collection for fall). Dr. Hauschka’s Lipliner in 02 works well with both Mezzaforte and #356. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite red lipsticks and what you like to pair it with.

My swatches left to right: NVEY Eco #356, Dr. Hauschka’s Mezzaforte (04), Dr. Hauschka’s Lipliner (02)

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick in Mezzaforte is  $22.90 at Saffron Rouge. NVEY Eco is $27.95 and is available at SaffronRouge.com and SkinBotanica.com. All items in this review were purchased by me.

Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish

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I'm growing up. Lipstick is now in my purse.

I’m knocking on wood as I write this, but I think my sons have made a successful transition into school this year. The older one transferred to a new school which is always a little scary (probably more so for me than him) and my little guy had his first day of kindergarten. Both responses were “great” when asked how their days went yesterday and while I haven’t enjoyed a full exhale yet, I do feel like I can finally sit down to write about some pleasurable frivolities, like lipstick.


There seems to be two camps of lippie-wearers, lipgloss people and lipstick people. Since I was 10 years old I have had both feet firmly planted on the lipgloss side. In the spirit of being a good sport, I have made attempts at the more glamorous feel of lipstick, yet I must confess they were feeble. But something has recently changed in my adulthood- I finally feel grown up now that I have two kids in school- and I have made a shift. One foot still resides in the lipgloss camp, but I’ve got my other one firmly planted in the lipstick zone.

From the left: Dr. Haushcka Lipstick in Dolce (09), Primitive Corsica, NVEY Eco 362

I have been a devout fan of Dr. Hauschka’s lip care stick for a couple years as its smooth and soothing texture is beyond compare. When a sales associate at Whole Foods informed me that the Dr. H lipsticks have the same formula in their base, I was sold. I picked my favorite of the bunch, a warm pink, and was good to go. Dolce (09) is a nude to medium pink that leans brownish-bronze with a hint of shimmering peach. It’s highly pigmented, smoothes on effortlessly and feels great on the lips. Unlike the majority of lipsticks, Dr. H’s are very moisturizing making gloss or balm unnecessary to increase its hydration. In fact, the Dr. H lipsticks feel like a pigmented version of their lip care stick. My only gripe is I wish this lipstick were available in more colors.


Another lovely all-natural lippie is made by Primitive, a cosmetic line you’ve probably passed a hundred times at your local health food store. I know that’s exactly what I had done. But with my newfound desire to become a lipstick gal, I got one. Aside from the vanilla scent- I do not like my makeup scented- this lippie is darn near perfect. Corsica rides the line between red and pink with enough brown to keep the color neutral and day/work appropriate. You can see in the above picture (Corsica is in the middle) that it’s on the warmish side, but neutral enough to look good on most skintones. In contrast to Dr. Hauschka’s lipstick, Primitive’s feels drier, but nothing that a little swipe of balm over the top can’t fix. Most Whole Foods carry the Primitive lipstick line, so give them a try and let me know if the vanilla scent is a deal breaker for you.


Luckily, NVEY Eco’s lipsticks are unscented and gorgeous! Their No. 362 is probably one of the prettiest lip colors I have ever come across. In the above photo, No. 362 is on the right and the photo is quite true to the color. It’s a vibrant warm pink that takes it up a notch from my usual “your lips but better” colors.  While it gives me a shot of bright color that I normally don’t go for, I feel really comfortable wearing it. NVEY Eco’s lipsticks are as pigmented as Dr. Hauschka’s but not as hydrating. I find a swipe of my lip care stick necessary, but it’s worth it for such a gorgeous color and it lasts several hours before a touch-up is needed.


Check back in a few days as this post will continue. I will feature two more Dr. H and NVEY Eco colors that are usually outside my comfort zone.

My swatches.  From the left: Dr. Hauschka Dolce (09), Primitive Corsica, NVEY Eco No. 362

All of the above lipsticks are 100% natural. Dr. Hauschka Lip Stick ($22.90) is available at Saffron Rouge. Primitive ($16) is available at Whole Foods. NVEY Eco ($27.95) is available at saffronrouge.com and skinbotanica.com. All items in this review were purchased by me.

Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish

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Pick a Bunch of Natural Peach Blushes

clockwise from top: Alima Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa, NVEY Eco 953, Dr. Hauschka Rouge Powder 01, Everyday Minerals Rhapsody in Peach

 

I’ve always had a preference for pink blushes. Pink is one of my favorite colors and when it comes to blushes, they’re hard for me to resist. This spring, I decided to branch out into the world of peach blushes, and have found four fabulous ones to choose from.

 

An easy place to start was in the soft peachy pink realm so I chose Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa, which means there is no shimmer but yet it imparts a subtle glow. Mimosa is slightly warm, on the apricot side of peach, but has enough neutral pink to create a soft, pretty flush that never leans orange. NVEY Eco’s #953 looks slightly lighter in the pan than Mimosa, but it gives the identical effect. The only difference between the two is that Mimosa is a loose powder blush and #953 is a pressed pan blush. I love both of them equally, but do reach for NVEY Eco more frequently since the pan is so convenient. (It also costs twice as much as Alima’s blush). Since Mimosa and #953 are my go to blushes when I want a natural, healthy look, I highly recommend them both.

 

The deeper peach blushes I tried were Dr. Hauschka’s (01) Warm Terracotta and Everyday Minerals’ Rhapsody in Peach. Warm Terracotta is the perfect name for Dr. Hauschka’s blush as it’s a matte, burnished apricot with a hint of brown. It is highly pigmented, therefore I only apply it with a skunk brush. With a light touch, Warm Terracotta brightens your cheeks with a warm peachy color that would move into bronzer territory if it had a bit more brown in it. Rhapsody in Peach is not a terracotta color, but rather a bright pinky peach with fine gold shimmer. It differs from Mimosa not only because is has a shimmery quality, but mostly because it is a much deeper color and would not be suitable for light skin tones. Again, I use this with a light hand and achieve a peach flush that is more intense than either Mimosa or NVEY’s #953 but still looks natural.

 

Left: Everday Minerals Rhapsody in Peach.   Right: Alima Mimosa

All of these blushes are 100% natural and contain no petrochemicals, phthalates or parabens.

-Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa is available at Saffron Rouge, $16.95 for a 5gm jar.

-NVEY Eco #953 blush is available at SaffronRouge.com for $28.95

-Dr. Hauschka Rouge Powder in Warm Terracotta is available at SaffronRouge.comfor $29.95

-Everyday Minerals Rhapsody in Peach is available at EverdayMinerals.com in their On The Reef Collection for $34

 

Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish

 

Disclosure: All of the blushes are from my own collection, except for Rhapsody in Peach which was sent to me by Everyday Minerals. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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HAIR Part Trois

I’m in a really good place with my shampoo and conditioner situation. I am still using and loving Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced line with John Masters Organics (JMO) Citrus and Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner. Once out of the shower, I smooth Weleda’s Rosemary Hair Oil all over my hands, and then run my fingers through my hair and air dry. I’ve tried some other shampoos, conditioners, and “products,” but this is the regimen I keep coming back to.


I am however, looking for ways to keep my hair fresh between shampoos to save on water and time, both being very precious resources. I was anxious to give John Masters Organics Shine On leave-in treatment a spin to see if it could assist me in my endeavor. It’s a thick gel without any scent, and distributes with ease despite its consistency. I’ve discovered that too much will easily make your hair greasy, and too little won’t do much for you, so it’s all about finding the perfect amount for your hair. I have long, thick hair and about a nickel-sized amount applied throughout damp hair does the job. It adds a little bit of extra shine, probably not noticeable to anyone but me, and helps my waves/curls maintain their shape. Honestly though, it wasn’t anything extraordinary. Not until I applied a little bit on my dry hair to tame frizzies did I discover Shine On’s true glory. All I need is a dime-sized dollop rubbed in my palms and gently smoothed on the spots that need some control. This is especially effective when I have my hair pulled back and my renegade strands need reining in.

 

While JMO’s Shine On helps me achieve a tidy “hair-pulled-back” look, Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Lotion keeps me from feeling like I need to put my hair in a ponytail in order to look presentable. The Haucshka literature and on-line reviews tout Neem Hair Lotion as beneficial for oily and fine hair. It keeps the greasies at bay and adds body to fine hair. Well, I have neither of those, and I still love it. Much to my surprise, the extracts of neem, arnica, birch and calendula work wonders on dry, thick hair as well. I’m willing to concede that my following conclusion might be a placebo effect as I am a huge fan of Dr. H to begin with, but this little elixir gives me soft, shiny hair, even on day 3 or 4 post-shampoo. It’s now a part of my Dr. Hauschka arsenal.

 

Hair powders can also be used to combat the greasies and give life to your bed-head. My favorite is LuLu Organics Hair Powder, a talc free, essential oil fragranced powder. Other ingredients include organic corn starch, organic rice powder, and white clay. I only have a few samples of the powder from a local hair salon, but the full sized has beautiful labels that are hand-screened by The Paper Moon Project. Not only are they gorgeous to look at, the corn-starch based tubes are also recyclable and biodegradable. Since my hair and scalp lean dry, I don’t reach for the powder until 3 days of unwashed hair and prefer the Neem Hair Lotion for my daily needs. But for those of you with normal to oily hair, this is an ideal product, especially when you’ve got to hurry somewhere and don’t have time for a shower, or even after exercising. The samples I have are over 6 months old and the scents (I have lavender and jasmine) are very faint. They might be more pronounced in a fresh tube. Either way, these Hair Powders are sweet in their soliflore simplicity and practical in their efficacy.


All of the above products are 100% natural and contain certified organic ingredients.

John Masters Organics Shine On is $30 for a 4oz jar at SaffronRouge.com

Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil is $29.95 at SaffronRouge.com

Lulu Organics Hair Powder is $9.95 for a 1oz travel size or $39.95 for a 4.5oz full size at SaffronRouge.com

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: The sample of JMO Shine On was sent to me by their PR. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

image from theartreaddict.com

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Pretty in Pink Natural Blushes

At this time of year, we’re all feeling a little pasty aren’t we? I guess I should qualify that and say here in the Northwest we certainly are. I’ve got an extra pallor at the moment as I am recovering from an unexpected surgery last week. All is well, but I will be counting on the above blushes to do their job by giving me a pop of pretty springtime pink.


My newest pink blush is Dr. Hauschka Rouge Powder Duo. When I first opened it, I fell for its sheer prettiness. I love the two-toned pan and the embossed floral design. The product is large enough to pick up one of the colors with your brush, or swirl over both to blend. The lighter pink is very subtle and perfect for a hint of color. The warm rose gives a deeper color, and both have more peachiness than the above photograph. Rouge Powder Duo is somewhere between the swatches to the left and the above group shot. This duo is matte and provides a natural flush, especially when applied with a “skunk brush”. I use the one from Lancome that I have had for years. Eco Tools includes one in their set if you prefer a greener option.


NVEY ECO #955 blush is a warm baby pink that is similar to the blended color from the Dr. Hauschka Rouge Duo. #955 might be your preferred choice if you like a subtle shimmer in your blush. NVEY Eco uses jojoba oil as their blush binder, so it goes on smoothly and creamy and never looks dry or chalky. Again, it’s difficult to get the exact color from a photograph, so imagine #955 somewhere between the close-up at the right and the group shot above.


Everyday Minerals has so many pink blushes that it’s hard to decide which one to pick. I have a few them including Walkie Talkie, Nick Nack and Soft Touch. But Apple is the one that escapes from my blush drawer most frequently because its warm, reddish pink color is really flattering on my light-medium olive skin (MAC NC30 for reference). I always use my skunk brush when dusting Apple on my cheeks because it is intensely pigmented. A little bit goes a long way and my full-sized pot will last me forever. And for $8, it’s an incredible bargain. Like the Dr. Hauschka and NVEY Eco blushes, Everyday Minerals blush is all natural, cruelty free, and highly recommended for adding beautiful, pure color to these last days of winter.


Everyday Minerals Blush is available for $8 at the Everyday Minerals Website.

Nvey Eco Organic Powder Blush is available for $29 at Saffron Rouge.com 

Dr. Hauschka Rouge Powder Duo is available for $29.95 at SaffronRouge.com

Posted by~Trish

“Group Shot”  and Nvey Eco close-up are my photographs. The other two are stock, manufacturer photos.

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A review of natural mascaras.

For well over a year now, I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka’s mascara in both formulations, “Mascara” and “Volume Mascara.” Occasionally I venture into new territory and try other brands, only to come back to my beloved Dr. H. I reviewed Physicians Formula’s Organic Wear Mascara here, and at the time was pretty impressed with it save for its funny smell. Ultimately I couldn’t get past that and never ended up wanting to put it on my lashes.


Real Purity’s Mascara was another one I experimented with as it receives many positive reviews on other green blogs and has the simplest ingredient list I have seen: purified water, beeswax, glycerin, candelilia wax, cellulose, pure plant extracts (sage and ivy), and iron oxide. The price point is reasonable as well, $12.99 a tube as compared to over $25 for both Dr. H’s. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as impressed with Real Purity as some of my fellow bloggers. It took at least 2-3 coats to notice that I had on any mascara, and even then, the results were minimal (or very natural depending on your taste). Having said that, there are many people who have not been able to tolerate mascara of any kind until discovering Real Purity, so thank goodness this option is available as it does create darker lashes and comes in black, brown, and navy.

Tarte’s Lash Hugger, which is touted as their “natural” mascara, was also another one I bought. I have natural in quotes because some of the ingredients are questionable, most notably, phenoxyethanol. The gals over at Fig & Sageand Marta at TruthInAging looked closely at this ubiquitous synthetic presevative and have rightly questioned its use in products labeled “natural”. If someone is educated about the other chemicals in Lash Hugger like cyclopentasiloxane, triethanolamine, aminomethyl propanediol, and chlorophenesin, I’d love to know if they are truly natural. (Google searches didn’t lead to much definitive info). Until I know for sure, I won’t be buying another tube even though I did like this mascara’s ability to thicken and separate my lashes.

Which brings me to Dr. Hauschka. The Mascara formula (non-volume one) is great for a natural look. It gets your lashes dark and glossy, and gives an amped up version of your own lashes with one or two coats. It also makes them longer, and fuller with more. And since it doesn’t clump, adding layers is a cinch. One warning, it does take a minute for the mascara to dry, so no vigorous batting of the eyes immediately after applying! But this is the only negative, aside from the price tag, that I can report. I love the blue color option, and have taken a liking to it as of late. The color pictured at the right shows a real royal color, but on my lashes it’s more of a navy and creates a deep blue tinge that is appropriate for work and daytime errands.

The Volume Formula also comes in different colors, black being my personal favorite. Pearl Anthracite and Aubergine are the other colors I have tried, Pearl Anthracite ranking as my least favorite. It’s nice enough, but unlike the Black and Aubergine, Pearl Anthracite didn’t go on as smoothly and seemed to clump easily. I don’t know if it was just the tube I got, or if it’s the formula of the mineral pigment, but it was not as impressive as the others, especially the Black. The Black Volume Mascara is very smooth, glossy, and easy to apply. I love its ability to create full lush lashes with one coat, and then a really dramatic look with two to four. I wear Dr. H’s Volume Mascara almost everyday. The Aubergine gives a subtle flash of burgundy on my lashes, but it’s not that noticeable. I think black is the best bet as it’s the richest, most lustrous of the colors I have tried.


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HAIR: The Sequel

This spring, I was pretty much set in my haircare drill. Giovanni 50/50 shampoo and conditioner, along with John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler left my hair clean, soft, and shiny, and continues to be the backbone of my routine. In HAIR: Part I I had also become quite partial to hair oils rather than styling gels or creams, and Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil was the first one I used and I found it to be very effective at taming frizzes, adding subtle gloss, and curl definition.


hair.wolfgangsvault

 

But, having a natural beauty blog means staying open to new products, especially when there’s interest from readers. My HAIR post continues to be one of Scent Hive’s most popular, so here are more reviews:

 

Aubrey Organics is a brand that has long interested me, and I can’t express enough how much I appreciated turning a conditioner bottle over to read the ingredients and seeing this statement at the top:

100% Natural Ingredients. No Parabens or Petrochemicals

At the bottom you’ll find: No Animal Testing, Vegan, Biodegradable

 

So Aubrey covers a lot of bases, including many organic ingredients of course. Since my hair is thick, wavy, and leans frizzy, I tried the Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner for starters.

 

Rose Mosqueta Shampoo, is wow…super scented. Rose musk anyone? And the scent lasts all day long. So if that’s a deal breaker for you, go ahead and jump to the conditioner review. It’s not entirely a deal breaker for me depending on the day. If I want my hair to be my scent of the day, then I’ll go for it because this shampoo is high quality. It has an excellent lather, which is not to say it will be sudsy like a mainstream shampoo, but for a natural shampoo, it’s lovely. My hair felt well hydrated after using Rose Mosqueta and was shiny to boot. I only wish it weren’t so intensely fragranced. I’ll admit that musk is not on my preferred scent list so I might be a bit sensitive to it. But if you like musk, you will love this shampoo.

 

Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner also gets high praise for its performance. It’s thick and rich and I love its first ingredient; coconut fatty acid cream base. Give me more of that in my hair please! I love running a comb through my hair when it’s being conditioned, and this allowed for smooth combing action. (Not quite as effortless as John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler, but smooth nonetheless). With a name like Island Naturals, I was expecting a tropical scent of pineapple, mango, coconut or a hint of gardenia, but instead found mint and rosemary on my head. Fine by me, just not what I was anticipating. Indeed, you will find balm mint and rosemary oil in the ingredient list, with some coconut as mentioned above, but apparently the aromatic herbs are too much for the little island fruit (or seed to get technical). Regardless, my thick hair met its match in Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner and will be in rotation among Giovanni 50/50 and John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler.

 

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner says it’s for “Dry Brittle Hair”, but I found Island Naturals to be far more hydrating. The Island Naturals Replenishing provided so much moisture, that fine hair might be too weighted down by it, but I think the Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner could be doable in a small amount. If you find that starts coating it too much, give Blue Chamomile Hydrating Conditioner a try, it gets rave reviews on the Aubrey website from the gals with thin, fine hair.

 

As for styling products, I’ve been keeping it simple with hair oil after the shower. My routine: Towel dry, 3-6 drops of oil rubbed all over the hands, distribute through middle of hair, ends, then hairline. Comb it. Wrap it up in a clip for a while. Done. I’ve discovered Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil and have found my new favorite styling product. No doubt that Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil is a quality product, but Weleda’s helps tame the frizzies a smidge better and makes my hair just a bit softer. And the rosemary scent is delicious.

 

For some fun, not so serious hair care, give John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender a go. While it added too much body to my hair, it would be perfect for someone whose thin hair needs some life. Or if you’ve got some bedhead and need to give it a boast, spritz this on and refresh your hair with a lavender scent and a little wave.

 

If you’ve got some favorite natural haircare products, by all means, please share your discoveries by hitting the comments button below!

 

Posted by ~Trish

image from http://blog.vva.org/?m=200808

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HAIR

hairposterforweb

Hair. Let’s face it. It’s a big deal. I dropped my non-green products cold-turkey. No problem. Sure, I still spritz a Guerlain or Chanel perfume once in a while, but my everyday products that didn’t make the environmentally friendly cut? Gone. Except one thing. My hair products. I clung onto those silicones and heavy weight conditioners for dear life. I was afraid. Very afraid, to see what kind of frizz-ball mess I would be left with if I abandoned the coating of 30 weight oil on my hair.
 

Let me put my hair in context. It’s very thick, wavy, and frizz-prone around the hair-line. My sister can vouch for this. Any time we go to the salon, the stylist invariably exclaims to us, “my god you two have a lot of hair”! It’s not a complaint, just laying the ground work here to let you know that if I can wean myself off the hard stuff, anyone can. 

 

200Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced Shampoo was my scary leap into the no sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) realm. SLS is a foaming agent that gives soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, etc a great lather, but also can be drying, as well as a skin and eye irritatant. I chose 50/50 Balanced because it got rave reviews on the hair care board at MakeupAlley and is reasonably priced. For a shampoo with no SLS, it foams nicely, which was my initial concern. It also smells pleasant, rinses well, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling like straw, which is a common complaint with natural shampoos. I now use Giovanni’s 50/50 routinely, but I like to mix it up a bit with John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo which lathers really well and smells amazing. The rosemary scent is fresh and invigorating. I also love Dr. Hauschka’s Macadamia Orange Shampoo, which has a bitter orange scent, and leaves my hair really soft. Both the John Masters and Dr. Hauschka shampoos would be my first choices, but they are more expensive than the 50/50 Balanced, so I use that more often. Costco used to carry 50/50 Balanced in large bottles, but from what I understand, it is harder to find there these days.

 

20081010_157082900499For my conditioner, I started with John Masters. His Citrus and Neroli Detangler got so many amazing reviews on MakeupAlley, I had to use it right off the bat when I was weaning myself off the silicone conditioners. I also used his Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner to curb the shock of the withdrawal. Surprisingly, I found the Neroli Detangler to be so effective that I only needed the Intensive Conditioner a couple times a week, if that. Since my hair is so thick I also used, and still do, the Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner. Again, this is not the cheapest product ever, so I did check out Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced Conditioner, and I do like it, and use it regularly. But I always use the John Masters Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner, no matter what.

 

 

21bdx98ychl_sl500_aa247_I have to admit, it took me a lot longer to let go of the “out of the shower” routine. It was just one product, but I felt like it was the one thing that really kept the frizzies under control; Frederic Fekkai’s Glossing Cream. I was addicted to it and only found the courage to try something new about two or three months ago. Intelligent Nutrients Organic Styling Creme has made it easy to come off my Fekkai habit, which unfortunately contains petrochemicals, parabens, silicones, and possibly phthalates as “fragrance” is listed as an ingredient. Intelligent Nutrients Organic Styling Creme doesn’t have that creamy consistency, and it smells a bit like salad dressing, but it works and is 25% off here. And that slightly vinegary smell, it lasts for a mere two seconds and then it’s gone. I also have become a big fan of Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil. Just a few drops rubbed in my palms and then distributed throughout the ends of my hair gives defined wavy curls and helps it last that way for a couple of days. The Neem Hair Oil is the only product I have mentioned thus far that might not be appropriate for those with fine or thin hair. It would most likely be too heavy as a little goes a long way. 

 

So if you’ve been curious about switching to a greener shampoo and/or conditioner, my recommendation is to start with Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Shampoo and John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler. They are both widely available and a great introduction into hair care that’s better for you and the planet. 

posted by ~Trish

image from Swine Palace, a non-profit, professional company, serving the greater Baton Rouge Community and supporting the educational mission of the LSU Department of Theatre.

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Trying Something New. MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser

3182143705_4cbfea7a3d1I have been a Dr. Hauschka skincare devotee for quite sometime now. I use their Cleansing Cream and Cleansing Milk religiously, and even go so far as to integrate the Lavender Bath oil into the process. Sometimes I just cleanse with the Milk; sometimes just the Cleansing Cream. Sometimes both. When I have enough time I fill the sink with warm water, add a few drops of Lavender Bath oil and rinse my face with the aromatic brew and feel like I have just treated myself to a relaxing ritual. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Hauschka’s products, they are beyond lovely. They employ sustainable farming, fair trade practices, and of course no synthetic ingredients.  And because they take into account the cycles of the moon when they plant their flowers that are harvested for their organic formulas, I feel like little celestial fairies have somehow helped create my tubes and bottles of goodness.  

 

The only downside, is that they are a German company. If you are in Germany, that’s great! If you are in a different part of the world, that means your skincare has to be flown over the ocean to get to you. Not ideal if you are trying to decrease your carbon footprint. Not to mention the high cost of their products. It’s an expensive routine. But breaking my Dr. Hauschka skincare habit is a tough one. I’ll illustrate it with a true story. 

 

A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant with my husband and older son. I got a cell phone call that I had to take, and excused myself from the table. While I was away, my son asked who I was talking to. My husband said, “Mommy’s talking to a doctor.” My son then asked, “Oh! Dr. Hauschka?” Yeah, even my son knows about Dr. Hauschka; even how to pronounce the name correctly. I’m a little attached. But, in the spirit of looking for more locally made skincare, at least on this continent, I went shopping.

 

38859hnydewcleansrunsc44oz1MyChelle Dermaceuticals has been my first attempt. MyChelle is based in Colorado and does not use phthalates, parabens, or petroleum ingredients in their products. Some, but not all of the ingredients are organic, such as organic honey, blue algae and glycerin in the Honeydew Cleanser. I have heard  about their high quality reputation over the years, so I figured this was a good enough place to start. And well, Colorado is a lot closer to the Northwestern US than Germany. I saw a travel sized bottle of their Unscented Honeydew Cleanser at my local health food store about two weeks ago and decided to take the plunge. I am happy to report excellent results thus far.

 

I like to warm a nickel-sized amount in my palms and massage it on my face. It has a silky slip when applied and rinses nicely with warm water.  The consistency is creamy but does not leave a residue. Nor does it leave my skin feeling taut; just clean and soft. (As an FYI, my skin in general is fairly normal, but prone to dryness in the winter and breakouts every now and then). After two weeks’ worth of use, my skin looks as good if not better than it does when I use my beloved Dr. Hauschka routine on a twice daily basis. Even though the Honeydew Cleanser is labeled as “unscented” there is a mild, slightly floral scent that is very pleasant but does not linger. 

 

For those of you who enjoy a cream cleanser, I encourage you to give this one a try. I don’t think I will ever stop using Dr. Hauschka’s Cream Cleanser, which is not creamy but rather granular and more of an exfoliator. And I won’t abandon the aforementioned cleansing ritual entirely. But I think I am ready to let go of the Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk and allow MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser to be its lovely, and far more reasonably priced, replacement.

 

~MyChelle is sold at Whole Foods and many health food stores. See this link to find a store near you in the US.

~MyChelle Unscented Honeydew Cleanser is also sold online at a discount at Vitacost.

 

posted by ~Trish

photograph by muffet on fllickr

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