Sunday, December 26, 2010

Korres Never Enough Set

I just can't get enough....

...of Korres's bath and body products! Between the great formulations, artsy packaging, and awesome scents, what's not to love?!

My first experience with Korres products occurred after I picked up a set of three body butters from TJ Maxx. They were AMAZING! The body butters are creamy, thick, and wonderfully scented. A little goes a long way, and the product really keeps my skin moisturized. I loved those three little body butters so much that three months later I bought Korres' previous Never Enough set. I enjoyed Korres' showergels as much as the body butters - the showergels are very fragrant and clean well but don't produce a lot of unnecessary foam. And again, a little goes a long way.

Having loved my first Never Enough set to bits, I logically could not resist the Never Enough set that debuted this fall.
In the Fall 2010 Never Enough set you get five 1.69 oz. showergels and five 1.69 oz. body butters in Basil Lemon, Jasmine, Japanese Rose, Guava, and Fig. Since the bottles are each under 3 oz. they can fly with you (I took my Guava showergel and body lotion with me to Kauai :) ). They're also small enough to gather in the bathroom, so you can pick a different scent everytime your shower. It's like the shower-equivalent of a candy shop. AND, you could easily break out the five scent pairs for quick, easy and economical gifts.

I bought my Never Enough set for $35.00 but Sephora currently has it on sale for $20. That breaks out to about $2 per bottle (aka A STEAL!). I hope you try them and fall in love with them (re: become addicted) like I have!

Beauty Blog Rating: A+++! Gold star!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Burt's Bees Fragrance Free Shea Butter & Vitamin E Body Lotion

I appreciate Burt's Bees for being a forerunner in the green beauty industry - I remember getting a Burt's Bees gift set for Christmas back in the '90s and I loved everything in it. But as I've tried more of the Burt's Bees line I've realized that their products can be hit or miss. Their peppermint lip balm is, of course, a gold standard, and I love their pomegranate lip balm, lip glosses, and medicated acne treatment as well. But certain BB's products I've tried have been disappointing - the pungent sunscreen with a chalky consistency, the deep pore scrub that leaves a weird film on my skin and makes me break out, the night cream that feels like a mask. I still have mad love for the brand but I'm always wary when I try one of their products for the first time.

I had high hopes for BB's Fragrance Free Shea Butter & Vitamin E Body Lotion but, unfortunately, it was one of those products that left me unsatisfied. The consistency is great and keeps my skin well hydrated for a long time. But the scent seems off. At first I thought it smelled like chlorine, but after using it a few more times I think it smells more like wet dog (sorry BB!). I've continued to use it because my broke/cheap self can't throw it out, but I'm still thrown off by the scent. I wonder if I got an old bottle? Or maybe I'm just detecting the scents of the natural ingredients? I might mix some essential oils in with it and see if that helps...

If you have a sensitive nose, I would strongly recommend that you sniff this lotion before buying! If you don't mind the scent, then this lotion might be a great option for you. But if you're turned off post-sniff, you might want to keep looking...or stay tuned to see if mixing in essential oils can save this product :)

Green Beauty Blog Rating: C-

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I'm broke. Anyone in the same boat?

If I had $100 to re-stock the beauty cabinet, this is what I would buy (grand total comes to $99, leaving me $1 for Sour Patch Kids :P).

It's been a while...

Wow, I haven't updated in over a is picking up! My schedule is packed nowadays and it's a struggle to make social plans let along update this blog. I did grab some time last weekend to go shopping with my mom, and came home with the treat below:

It's Sexy Bath's Pumpkin Oatmeal Body Bar! It was only $3.50 at Marshall's - amazing. I've been noticing more green beauty products popping up at discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall's and I love it!

Lovers of the Philosophy brand can expect a similarly delicious experience with this product. It smells sweet and spicy - like Thanksgiving dessert in soap form. It's definitely a festive pick-me-up as the days turn grayer in Nor Cal. It lathers nicely but rinses clean and leaves the faintest scent on the skin. I even used it to lather up my legs before shaving and no nicks!

I threw away the packaging and can't find an ingredients list online (doh!). But I do remember that the bar contains natural plant oils as well as Vitamins A, C, and E which protect and smooth skin. Thankfully it does not contain parabens or Trisodium EDTA. A quick search revealed that Sexy Hair Concepts, the brand behind Sexy Bath & Body, may be fading out this product, so if you are curious to try this snap it up online! Or try your local Marshall's :P

Green Beauty Blog Rating: A+

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yes to Cucumbers Facial Hydrating Lotion

Everyone's heard that a couple slices on cucmbers slapped over the eyes work wonders to brighten and soothe skin. So how about cucumbers in your face lotion?

This lotion contains organic cucumber and aloe vera extracts to soothe the redness and roughness associated with sensitive skin. It's my go-to night cream. It has a nice, thick texture but soaks into skin easily and most importantly, it doesn't break me out! I recently bought a new bottle after a few days of using other products and I've already noticed a difference in my skin. My skin is brighter, smoother, less red, and much more even (this lotion seems to do a pretty good job at fading acne scars).

I pick mine up at Walgreens, but this product is also available at Target, other drug stores, and online. It's a little pricey (~$14.99 for 1.7 oz) but it lasts a long time - one small pump is all you need to get your face and neck.

For those with sensitive noses, it does contain fragrance - I detect a jasmine-y floral scent. But on the plus side, it does NOT contain parabens, petroleum, or Soduim Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)!

Eco-Conscious Rating: A+
In addition to the great stuff this product contains (and the icky stuff it doesn't), the packaging is recyclable and a portion of proceeds from every bottle is donated to the Yes to Carrots Seed Fund, which connects kids and young people with organic gardening and healthy food sources.

Green Beauty Blog Rating: A+++!!
Tempts to check out the other stuff in Yes to Carrots' line...!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

OCB - Obessive Compulsive Beauty

So it's been a while.....!

In my last post I discussed over-purchasing of beauty products and the benefits of keeping things simple. In this post I tackle my own beauty obsession - lip stuff.

My addiction probably goes back to the first BonneBell I cracked open. If I'm at the drug store and I find a cool lip balm that's $4 or under, it's going in the basket. I am powerless to resist. I show better restraint at Sephora, mainly because the lip products there usually cost as much as half a tank of gas. But in some cases I do succumb, usually after more thought and deliberation than 0.3 oz. tube of lip junk deserves.

I've tried to rein in my habit and consciously remind myself every time I see a shiny new lip lacquer than I have dozens hanging around at home. But sometimes there's nothing better than a cheap drug store lip balm to pick you (and your kisser) up. In my search I have found some stellar products, those from EOS, Korres, and Burt's Bees being my favorite. And if the journey gives me something to write about, that's good, right? :P

Recently I finished off some lippies and gifted my little sis with some others. So, my collection has been dwindling toward a reasonable amount. Hopefully I'll be able to keep my OCB in check going forward. Just gotta think about keepin' those dollahs...

In the interest of full disclosure, please find my stash below.

What's your beauty weakness? And what's your favorite lip product?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Want not, Waste not

I read an article recently which stated the average Japanese woman uses something like 19 skincare products daily. 19!!! Outrageous, right?!

Well, I got to thinking about the skincare products I use, and....I'll save you the laundry list, but I can say my product count is safely in the double digits. It makes me think not just about the TIME I must spend working on my skin, but the amount of product and packaging I must go through in any given time period. I do agree with the idea that one should take good care of their skin since after all, it's the same skin one has for the rest of their life. But there's got to be a way to streamline my routine and conserve resources, right?

Flashback to a couple months ago, when I was staying at a house my boyfriend was renting in the Mission district of San Francisco. The house was owned by a couple with two kids under 3. I peeked in the bathroom cabinet (yeah, I'm a peeker!) and was amazed at how empty is was. Compared to my bathroom cabinet, which usually has all sorts of bottles and jars tumbling out of it, this cabinet contained 5 items:

1) A bottle of three-in-one facial cleanser which tripled as a makeup remover and toner.,
2) A tube of Garnier moisturizer with SPF,
3) A travel size bottle of fancy shampoo,
4) A travel size bottle of the corresponding conditioner, and
5) A toothbrush.

That's all, folks. Super hardcore - not even a stick of deoderant!

As I myself consider the big move to the city (possible bringing the boyfriend along with me), I imagine it would be a lot easier, cheaper, and eco-friendly to buy and use fewer skincare products in general.

Americans are often criticized for being overly self-indulgent and I can see where we get that rap. But hope that as our generation progresses, we learn to lead simpler lives - buying less, working less, eating more healthfully, appreciating the outdoors more, and relying more heavily on the things that cannot be bartered for - love, life, and family (blood relatives or not).

I hope that cutting down on my product consumption will take me one step closer to leading a simpler life. And a less hectic life, too :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick

With both work and the weather heating up, two things are causing me to break out like no other: stress and sweat! Above is the weapon I'm currently using to battle these foes - Burt's Bee's Herbal Blemish Stick.

It contains:

-Willow bark, a natural source of salicylic acid which helps to fight zits.
-Tea Tree and Juniper Oils, natural antiseptics which kill bacteria and reduce oil.
-Calendula to reduce inflammation.

The product smells a little like licorice and the scent does stick around a while after application but I like it The liquid has a golden hue but it rolls on clear. This stuff works for me because it performs as well as Neutrogena and Clearasil products I've used but it doesn't irritate or dry out my skin. The roller ball is compact and seals tightly so it's easy to throw it in your bag for later applications.

When I first bought this product the roller ball would sometimes stick and I would have to mess with it a while before it got moving. Now that I've had it a while, though, the ball is rollin' freely, and I haven't hit a jam in months. The next time I buy a stick I might try fully coating the ball in product so it rolls better.

Wow, this post is starting to sound a little softcore a la the Axe Detailer commercial :P

With daily applications my pimples usually recede within several days. You can buy Burt's Bee's Herbal Blemish Stick at most drug stores, natural food stores, and value stores (I got mine at Walmart). To buy online and/or read more reviews, visit

Green Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Eco-Conscious Rating: A+ - The ingredients are 100% Natural!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Green Beauty Abroad

I just got back from a trip to Vancouver and I must say, those Canadiennes sure know how to stock a drug store. It was like a beauty freak's holy grail - they had so many things there that we don't have in the states! They had a makeup counter just like a department store! And so much more of the product is green! I swear, I must have hit a drug store at least once a day. There were so many things I wanted to bring home, but alas, my 1 quart bag was already packed to the gills! Lucky for me, one of the drug stores I visited has a website where you can shop online - enjoy!

It makes me wish that the USA was as "on the boat" with the green movement as some other countries, but I am thankful for the strides we have taken. And I am especially proud that my home state (California love!!!) is one of the United States at the forefront of all things eco-friendly.

I guess we'll see how things pan time!

For anyone interested

How green is your country/state/city?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Eye Makeup Remover Fluid

In two words this product is: cheap, easy (who doesn't like that ;) ). If I can have one more word, this product is: super-green! Most of the ingredients are produced from organic, eco-conscious farming; earning the product an ECO CERT seal; and the metal packaging is recyclable.

A few months ago I bought two 4fl oz. (120mL) bottles of this stuff at Target for $6.97 each (one bottle for the boyfriend's place, one bottle for mine). I still haven't finished either. You can either buy a bottle of the fluid (which I've recently seen with a pump on top for easy dispensing) or a tin of thin cotton rounds pre-moistened with product. The big pro about the tin of rounds is that it has a screw-on top, so it doesn't dry out like many packaged wipes can.

This eye makeup remover is one of those products you can find at the drug store, most value stores, and even some natural food or grocery stores with beauty sections. It smells like a field of blooming lavender. Sometimes for kicks I use it as a toner.

Anyway...It's hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive eyes, so contact wearers / itchy eye people take note! Its mix of water (seriously, first ingredient), natural extracts, essential oils, and aloe juice magically remove the remnants of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara that hang around after I wash my face. I do find that if I'm removing makeup after a night out on the town, I might need to make a couple go's before all of my eye paint is gone.

I should say- I haven't used this remover on any long wear makeup, other than Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, which it seems to remove. I doubt it would be able to remove waterproof mascara or say, that Maybelline concealer that is supposed to stay put for 24 hours (?!!). So for girls that prefer long wear makeup, you might stick with a remover that packs a bigger punch. For girls like me, that wear a medium amount of non-long wear makeup from day to day, this product is a must!

As stated on the packaging, this product is:

-100% Free of Harsh Chemicals
-100% Free of Synthetic Preservatives
-100% Free of Parabens
-100% Free of GMO's (Geneticall Modified Organisms, like genetically-engineered plant strains)
-100% Free of Synthetic Colors
-100% Free of Synthetic Fragrances
-100% Cruelty Free

Green Beauty Blog Rating: A+ against regular wear makeup
Eco-Friendly Rating: A+

Avalon Organics Vitam C Vitality Facial Serum

I am in my early 20s, on the pale end of the spectrum, and prone to redness in the nose and cheek area. I like this product because:

1) It fades acne scars from the zits I deal with from time to time,
2) It claims to reverse signs of aging due to sun damage, and
3) It calms down skin irritation.

The last tidbit suprises me, because for some reason I expected the antioxidant ingredients to be slightly irritating. But with ingredients like lavender, chamomile, white tea, and aloe barbadensis extracts, this magic potion from Avalon Organics seriously calms my complexion.

The shining stars in this serum, however, are magnesium ascorbyl phosphate - a stabilized form of Vitamin C - and tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E). Vitamin C plays a big role in the body's process of generating collagen and elastin, which provide skin with the appearance of fullness and maintain skin's elasticity, respectively. Vitamin E protects cells membranes from damage.

Experts are still uncertain whether topical antioxidant treatments may measurably reverse signs of aging or improve skin's appearance, but for the girls on the frontlines - go ahead and give this product a try! I've been using it for a few months and I feel I've seen results - my skin tone seems more even and my skin seems softer and brighter.

One drawback about this serum is that it has a limited shelf-life and can be a little high maintenance. Antioxidants can oxidize and degrade quickly, so most beauty experts give antioxidant serums a six-month lease on life. After that, they're tossers. You can prolong the life of your serum by sticking it in the fridge or keeping it in a cool, dark environment. To determine if your antioxidant serum is still good, check for a yellowish tint or take a sniff (oxidized serums may have an "off" scent).

Another drawback - this baby ain't cheap. I picked up my 1.0 oz (30mL) bottle of serum from CVS for around $22.50 - Avalon Organics sells the same product from their website for $23.95 (follow the list for full ingredients list, too). Recent college graduates like me might consider buying their time and saving the $$$ to move out :P

I would recommend this product to:

-women in their 30s and 40s hoping to reverse signs of aging
-women in their 20s with a little extra moolah hoping to slow the clock

Green Beauty Blog Rating: B
Eco-Conscious Rating: A

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss

How many of my girls out there like their lip gloss? I'm raising my hand with you :) When I was a kid I was obsessed with BonneBell lip balms (and Rainbow Brite - ya feel me, '90s girls?). As I grew older I moved on to Urban Decay's lip gunk and now I'm loving Korres' lip glosses...but back to the product at hand!

In the past few years, Burt's Bees has expanded its product line to include glorious, glorious lip gloss. For those who are just hopping on the "green" train, I would recommend Burt's Bees Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss as a good product to start with. It has a non-sticky consistency, sheer tint, lots of shimmer, and a nice citrus-y scent.

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss in Sweet Pink

Rather than synthetic or petroleum-derived emollients, this lip gloss contains moisturizing castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, acacia decurrens wax, and sweet almond oil. These ingredients contribute to the slippery texture, which doesn't catch hair in the wind and keeps lips feeling smooth, not tacky. They also help to make it 100% natural.

You can find this lip gloss at virtually every drug store, Target, Walmart, and natural food store with beauty section - usually at $7 or under. It also comes in six colors from clear to spicy red. To buy online, visit

Green Beauty Blog Rating: A
Eco-friendly Rating: A!

Has anyone else tried this gloss? What did you think?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Here's the wrinkle....

The semantics involved in the green beauty industry can be pretty hairy sometimes. While my goal, along with many other conscientious consumers, is to use more natural and organic products, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what you're really getting from a product labeled "natural" or "organic". Add to that ingredient lists that can read like the Magna Carta, and the waters get even murkier.

I'll do my best here to provide some information regarding the terms "natural" and "organic" as defined by US agencies. We'll get to the trick ingredient lists later. Feel free to keep this information in mind next time you hit Sephora or the drug store :)

Natural: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet defined the term "natural" or put regulations in place to govern the use of the term "natural". So, any manufacturer may use the term "natural" to describe their product regardless of what the product contains. If you run across a product that is represented as "natural", do your homework and consult the list of ingredients. If you feel comfortable with what's listed there, then by all means, go for it! But be aware that many products which claim to be "natural" may contain potentially harmful preservatives and synthetic ingredients.

Organic: In accordance with the Organic Foods Protection Act of 1990 (OFPA), The U.S. Department of Agriculture has implemented the National Organic Program, through which farmers may certify their crops as "organic". Some certified organic crops are processed and used in the production of consumer personal care products. Consumers will find the USDA seal on products where 95-100% of the ingredients are organic. Manufacturers may also use the following labels to represent their products, depending on the percentage of organic ingredients their products contain:

  • 100% Organic
  • Organic - 95% or more of ingredients are organic
  • Made with Organic Ingredients - 70% or more of ingredients are organic
  • Less than 70% Organic Ingredients - Organic Ingredients denoted in ingredients list only
Outside the U.S., many international bodies have established standards for what products may be considered natural or organic. For information regarding standards bodies in your area, contact your local or national agriculture agency.

I hope these tidbits of information make your next shopping trip easier. Please feel free to post any additional information you feel is relevant!
Before diving into this blog, I want to put a disclaimer out there...

I am a recent college graduate using this blog to explore and expose eco-friendly beauty products. I am not a doctor, dermatologist, esthetician, botanist, or medical professional. So, if you have any questions or concerns about an ingredient or product mentioned on this blog, please contact a professional. I am more than happy to give my opinion, but unfortunately my degree in Business does not qualify me to provide medical advice :P

Thanks for your consideration!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

At the beginning of 2010, one of my New Year resolutions was to be more discerning about the personal care and home care products I use. My goal is to incorporate as many all-natural, certified organic, and "green items" into my life and beauty routine as possible. Being a child of the 21st century, I naturally (no pun intended!) ventured to the World Wide Web in search of green beauty resources and tips. I was surprised to find that not too many blogs focus solely on green beauty products. So, I am starting this blog to help fill this niche, and to motivate myself to green-ify my life. Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to ride this train with me!