Saturday, December 31, 2011

Physician's Formula Organic wear 100% Natural Origin Tinted Moisturizer

I've been using Physicians Formula's Organic Wear 100% Natural Tinted Moisturizer ($12/1.5 oz.) over the past few weeks and I really like it! It's a thin, lightweight moisturizer which comes in four shades: Ivory to Fair, Fair to Light, Light to Natural, and Natural to Tan. I'm pretty pale, and I've found that the Ivory to Fair is just the right shade for me. It evens out my skin tone and provides good coverage without looking mask-y. I'm not sure if the shade range is wide enough to be accommodating to all skin tones, but maybe the fact that the product is sheer/tinted will help each shade work for many skin tones.

The product is entirely formulated with natural ingredients, with about 80% of those ingredients being USDA organic. It is also SPF 15, which is great, and the sunblock in it is mineral rather than chemical, which is even better :) I have copied the full ingredient list below for interested parties:


Overall I'm really digging this moisturizer - it's relatively cheap, available at most drug stores, 100% natural, 80% organic, and it works really well!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Burt's Bees Güd Products

How do I type an umlaut (u with two dots above it)? Lol.

Burt's Bees recently released a new line of natural skin and hair care products called Güd. The products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, or petrochemicals and are not tested on animals. The line includes a body mist, body butter, body wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hand wash, and hand cream. Each type of product comes in three different scents - Vanilla Flame (Vanilla and Rice Milk),  Floral Cherrynova (Cherry Blossom and Almond Milk), and Orange Petalooza (Hyacinth and Blood Orange). Personally I'm most excited about the Orange Petalooza scent :)

The products are all pretty reasonable priced, from $5 - $12 USD. They are not currently available in stores but should be within the next couple weeks. Store location information should be available through Güd's store locater soon, so check back!

Hope you enjoyed, and happy new year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New balms :)

School and work were a little hectic the past few weeks, and as a result I neglected my poor blog! But I'm on the brink of a 6-week school break now, so here I am....

After turning in a final project last week I decided to treat myself with some retail therapy, so I hit the Target near my office. I'm always impressed with Target's beauty section - they carry lots of normal beauty brands and a fair amount of natural/organic beauty brands. The Target I was at last week even carried Love & Toast :) I was mainly there to buy Christmas gifts, but I did pick up a couple items for myself: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Pink Grapefruit (Refreshing) Lip Balm ($2.99), and Yes to Carrots Color Balm in Soft Plum ($5.99).

I'm pretty sure both are new products as I had never seen them before, and I can't find much information about them online. The BB Pink Grapefruit lip balm is amazing - it seems to have the same colorless, cushy formula as the Mango and Acai Berry Lip Balms, but smells exactly like fresh grapefruit. I almost feel like the lip balm could double as a fragrance stick - I'll have to test it out and check back in.

The Yes to Carrots Color Balm was a bit less exciting. I was hoping the balm would have a thin, slick texture and fruity scent, but the texture is more waxy and the product has that cosmetic-y lipstick-y scent. The tint is nice, but the color is definitely not plummy to me - it's almost like a muted blue-based red. I'll have to upload a swatch. This product wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I'm going to keep using it and see if it grows on me. Yes to Carrots Color Balm also comes in a warm pink and a coral shade for interested parties :)

Glad to be back blogging, hope I can keep this blog going and grow it a bit more!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel

I'm back! This time I'm here to review a cheapie fave of mine, T.N. Dicksinson's Witch Hazel.

The product is essentially witch hazel extract in alcohol. I use it as a toner to remove excess oil and prep my skin for moisturizing. The alcohol strips away oil and the witch hazel soothes skin and reduces inflammation. I am acne-prone and have used other astringents in the past, but witch hazel is my favorite. It doesn't dry out or irritate my skin, but gently grabs all the oil and grime my cleanser didn't catch. Some people use witch hazel as a makeup remover, but the alcohol vapors can sting eyes. Personally, I use a separate eye makeup remover.

You can find witch hazel at almost any drug store or grocery store for under $5 (I usually find it in the first aid aisle). I buy the T.N. Dickson's brand, but there are lots of other offerings out there. A company called Thayer's offers their witch hazel in a ton of scents - Cucumber, Lemon, Peach, Rose Petal...the list goes on! They also offer an alcohol-free version, which substitutes water for the alcohol.

Hope you enjoyed! Have a good weekend!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tree Hut Shea Body Butter - Hawaiian Kukui and Tahitian Grass

Back at the beginning of the year I reviewed Tree Hut's Shea Body Butter in the Original Shea and Coconut Lime scents (click the links to visit my reviews). Tree Hut Shea Body Butter (TH SBB) is also available in Almond & Honey, Brazilian Nut, and Hawaiian Kukui scents - I'm here to give you the inside sniff on Hawaiian Kukui.

Check out that luscious whipped texture!
Kukui is a nut tree native to certain parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Its nuts have a high oil content and will burn when they come in contact with flame, earning the kukui tree the nickname "candlenut tree". Pacific Islanders have used kukui nut oil as a hair and skin moisturizer for centuries, and kukui nut oil is a star ingredient in Tree Hut's Shea Body Butter in Hawaiian Kukui.

Hawaiian Kukui's scent is hard to describe, but to me, it is equally nutty, floral, and fruity. I originally thought it might be a little too sweet for me (anything even remotely sweet turns saccharin on my skin), but it's growing on me. I pick up a light, pretty banana note in this scent that reminds me of fresh, local bananas I ate on Kauai. It's not overpoweringly banana-y at all, and I'm curious whether other sniffers would even pick out the same note. I'm still pretty faithful to the Original Shea scent, but Hawaiian Kukui takes me on an irresistable mental vacation every time I catch a whiff.

TH SBB in Hawaiian Kukui, hanging out under the plumeria tree with TH SBB in Tahitian Grass (discontinued). If you're curious how Tahitian Grass smells ask away!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Monday, October 24, 2011

October Wish List

Kind of eclectic this month!

Kiss Naturals All Natural Lip Balm Making Craft Kit, $19.98
*Soap, perfume, and bath fizzie making kits also available!

I know, vinyl isn't the most eco-friendly material, but it's waterproof, easy to clean, and durable, so this bag should last for years. Plus the transparency makes it easy to find things I'm looking for :) My current makeup bag (another clear vinyl bag I've had at least 6 years) is falling apart.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Susan G. Komen Natural Inspirations

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer affects millions of women around the world, and I have personally watched loved ones struggle with the disease. I am so thankful that the disease is now highly treatable if caught early. Improvements in treatment are largely due to the work of non-profit organizations like Susan G. Komen, which raise funding for research and increase awareness of the disease. 

Susan G. Komen is now the beneficiary of a body care line by Fragrance Marketing Group called Natural Inspirations. The line is is available at select Target stores and at According to Fragrance Marketing Group, the products in the line are "nature-based". I was not able to find ingredients online, but if I see the products in a Target store I will check out the ingredients.

The line includes a hand wash, hand lotion, body butter, shampoo, conditioner, and facial towelettes. It will soon include lip care items as know I'm excited about that!

Each product is available in three scents: Purifying (Orange Ginger), Energizing (Eucalyptus Rosemary Mint), and Relaxing (Lavender). They're not the most creative scents, but they're certainly easy to make using natural essential oils and sure to be popular with a wide range of consumers. Personally, I'm most excited about the Purifying scent. The hair care items are marketed as having different benefits depending on the scent. The Purifying hair care is smoothing; the Energizing hair care is volumizing, and the Relaxing hair care is nourishing.

The packaging is pretty, and the price points are reasonably low ($5.99-$12.99). I think they would make great gifts, or treats to pamper yourself with. With a portion of each sale going directly to Susan G. Komen, it's easy to justify finding these a home :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tinted Lip Balms

I'm quickly working my beloved Labello Fruity Shine lip balm to a nub, so I'm on the market for a tinted lip balm to take its place when it goes bye-bye. One possible contender - Hurraw! Tinted Lip Balm in Black Cherry ($3.80/.15oz.).

Hurraw! lip balms are, in their words "all natural. organic. vegan. raw. good." The red tint in the Black Cherry lip balm is actually derived from Alkanet (borage), a blue-flowering plant whose roots are used to make red dye. Awesome!

Hurraw! lip balms are currently carried at American Apparel stores, so I swatched this balm at my local store over the weekend. It smells delicious - like a real cherry, no artificial nonsense - and it leaves a beautiful sheer, dark red tint. It applies thin and shiny, vs. thick and waxy, which I tend to prefer. For $3.80, it's a steal. And it should be a good stand-in until I can get over my Labello...or buck up the courage to pay international shipping for lip balm :P

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wet N' Wild Natural Blend Lip Shimmer

I recently purchased this Wet N' Wild Natural Blend Lip Shimmer in Berry (104) as a pick-me-up on a particularly dull day. At $2, it was a pretty easy purchase for this lip junkie to justify! Unfortunately, in this case, I got what I paid for.

Though I give this lip shimmer kudos for its wholesome ingredients (natural oils and extracts + beeswax) the finish isn't shimmery. It's frosty, almost foil-y, and opaque, too. I think that has something to do with the iron and titanium oxides in it - those are the same chemicals that make mineral sunscreens white! I tend to prefer a sheer, shiny finish, so this isn't my cup of tea. But for someone who is looking to try a frosty/foil-y look, this might be a good choice for you.

The lip shimmer has a medicinal, vaguely minty scent that is not very appealing to me. I think maybe they mixed too many essential oils in the formula (peppermint, cinnamon, lavender, oh my!).'s not very moisturizing. It kind of sits on top of the lips rather than sinking in. So those looking for a lip moisturizer, look further.

Swatched next to my beloved Labello Fruity Shine Lip Balm in Pink Guava. Wet n' Wild on the left, Labello on the right.

Sadly this lip shimmer did not impress me (it will be going straight to the circular file), but I am glad I tried it out. And I give Wet n' Wild mad props for introducing a natural/mineral line. Hopefully they'll tweak the formula on these lip shimmers. If they do, I'm willing to try again!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Monday, October 3, 2011

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Face Cleanser

My current facial cleanser of choice is Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Face Cleanser ($6/6oz.). It's part of a fairly new line of natural skincare products released by Neutrogena. Since I have combination acne-prone skin, I tend to use gel cleansers containing blemish-fighting salicylic acid. Before switching over to natural face cleansers, I swore by Phisoderm and Cetaphil's cleansers. At the same price point, NN Purifying Face Cleanser treats and prevents acne just as effectively, but with naturally-derived ingredients like salicylic acid gathered from willowbark.

Ingredient List

This cleanser is a medium-consistency gel cleanser with a light apple-y scent. I wash my face with it once a day (at night) and have not noticed any drying qualities. It removes makeup well, though I sometimes have to sweep away some remaining mascara with makeup remover. Please note I do not use longwear or waterproof makeup, so gals who do may need to do more work with the makeup remover.

You can easily find this product at most drugstores and shopping marts, as well as online retailers. And at about $1/oz., the price can't be beat! I bought my second bottle (yep, I re-purchased!) at Target, where it was bundled with the face & body bar shown below. I haven't tried the face & body bar yet, but I plan to start using it at my boyfriend's place once my bottle of cleanser there runs out.

Great skin is a tenet of beauty, and this cleanser makes great skin easy. I really hope Neutrogena keeps their Naturals line around for a long time and *fingers crossed*, maybe even expands it!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Monday, September 19, 2011

geoGirl Update

Back in May I posted about a new line of natural beauty products called geoGirl, which is marketed towards young girls and tweens (check out that post here). At the time I could only locate geoGirl products at my local Walmart store, but now the line is available at! Check them out here. As far as the geoGirl website, the status is still "Coming Soon", but maybe there will be more developments in the next few months.

Maybe I need to grow up a bit, but I personally love the line's spunky attitude, fun flavors, and cute packaging. The natural ingredients and affordable prices are bonuses, of course! Holla to all the other grown-ups who are secretly kids at heart ♥

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Puffy Eyes

It's been a while since I last posted. Between work, school, and crazy things going on in my personal life, I haven't been getting as much sleep as I should be. The result - puffy eyes! I never, ever get puffy eyes, but for the few weeks my eyelids have been slightly swollen (just slightly, and no redness, so I won't be visiting the doctor). I've realized that the only true way to combat puffy eyes is to catch up on the sleep I've been missing, but in the meantime I've been using a few natural remedies to keep them in check.

1. Ice cubes
I run them over my eyelids when they're feeling especially puffy - the icy temperature constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling.

2. Tea bags
After making myself a cuppa tea I've been saving the tea bags and popping them in the freezer for a few minutes before applying to my eyelids. The caffeine in the tea and the chilly temperature, again, help with swelling. It feels so good....ah...

Now, off to catch some zzzz's.........

Monday, September 5, 2011

Elixir of the Gods

 Mocha from Cocola Bakery, Photo by Me

I started drinking coffee in college to power me through late-night cram sessions, and since starting a 9-5 job a couple years ago my love for coffee has only grown stronger :) I used to drink it only occasionally, then it was 1 cup, now I am up to 2 some days. I haven't had a cup of coffee yet today, and I am craving it. Oh, caffeine, you addictive little chemical.

Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it shrinks blood vessels. This makes it ideal for reducing inflammation, evening skin tone, and de-puffing swollen areas. Coffee has also been shown to shrink fat cells, which gives hope to women who struggle with cellulite. And of course, caffeine in the form of coffee smells and tastes amazing! In honor of coffee, the tastiest workhorse beverage, I have pulled together a list of skin care and beauty products which contain or are inspired by coffee. Drink it up!

(Currently out of stock on the Pacific website, but available at Sephora stores and other sites.)

(Made and marketed for kids, but I think this shade would be lovely on grownups for fall!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


 San Francisco Ferry Building (Photo by Wikipedia user JaGa)

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so from time to time I end up at the San Francisco Ferry Building. I love the Ferry Building for many reasons, one of them being the excellent shopping :) A company called beekind has had a kiosk in the Ferry Building for a while now, and I always walk past but have never stopped. In a moment of curiosity I checked out their website and I am now committed to visiting beekind next time I am in the city.

Not only does beekind sell natural honeys, soaps, lotions, candles, and other treats, they also teach beekeeping classes and sell beekeeping supplies! Awesome! Below is some additional info about beekind pulled from the Ferry Building website:

Beekind Honey Shop:   Beekind is run by the husband and wife team of Doug and Katia Vincent, and daughter Bri.  Doug and Katia opened their original Beekind store in Sebastopol in 2004.  At the Ferry Building, Beekind specializes in honey and beeswax candles. The shop sells honey Doug and Katia have collected from their own bees, along with honey from many Bay Area beekeepers, and major varietal honeys from around the U.S.  Doug has taken home Gold Medal awards for his candles from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

It sounds like a lot of love goes into the business, which makes me excited about their products (especially the Eucalyptus Honey). If I bring something home from my visit I will be sure to share :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beachcomber Budd's Pure Coconut Oil

 Kona, Hawaii

I'm back to school next week, and right about now I am foaming at the mouth for a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately I don't have the time and money to take a vacay now :( Coming through in the clutch is Beachcomber Budd's Pure Coconut Oil ($8.29/8oz.), helping me imagine myself in paradise when I can't quite get there.

Beachcomber Budd's Pure Coconut Oil is pretty much that - the only ingredients are coconut oil and fragrance. The fragrance is probably synthetic, which I could do without, but it does make the oil smell even more wonderfully of coconut. I was concerned that the oil would make my skin too greasy, but it soaked right in after a bath and left my skin feeling really soft. I've heard people rave about coconut oil as a hair moisturizer and styling product, so maybe I'll try it for that purpose next!

Price-wise, you pay about $1.00 per ounce of oil, which is pretty reasonable in my book. I picked up my bottle of Beachcomber Budd's at the ABC store in Hawaii, but if you aren't traveling to the islands soon, you can find coconut oil at most grocery stores and Asian food markets. Hey, if it doesn't work out as a moisturizer, at least you can cook with it!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Thursday, August 25, 2011

She's the sweetest honey pot...

The title of this post is a shout-out to my favorite band ever, Jimmy Eat World, who evidently share my love for honey ;)

I've used honey-scented body products in the past, and after using the King & Queens Nefertiti Body Wash, I am on a honey kick again. Check out these sweet honey-scented picks:

And to help set the mood, Paddywax Journey of the Bee Candles in Raw Honey, $5-$38

How beautiful are those black votives with the golden bee stenciled on?! Major lust happening right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum

Many people say that a person's hair is a good indicator of how they feel about themselves. I've had my fair share of hair battles, most of them having to do with frizz. Frizz definitely makes me feel frazzled, and probably makes me look frazzled, too.

My hair is fine and breaks easily, so I have a lot of flyaways. I've used many products over the years to try and keep the frizz in check, but I still look for that one product that tops them all. Recently I received a sample of Josie Maran's Argan Oil Hair Serum ($30/2fl.oz.) in my Sephora Beauty Insider 500 point perk, and it's doing a nice job for now.

The serum is made with various organic oils including jojoba, avocado, grape seed, and of course, argan. The serum also contains bergamot and geranium oils, which fragrance the product. The serum has a jelly-like consistency, and comes in a glass bottle with an eyedropper. One or two drops of product is usually enough to style my hair, which means that the product can be expected to last a long time. That makes the $30 price tag (for the full-size bottle) a bit more manageable, right? ;)

Performance-wise, the serum coats my hair and makes it SUPER-shiny and soft. It does an awesome job of tackling flyaways. The only problem? Silicones. The first three ingredients in this products are silicones. Silicones do a wonderful job of making skin and hair supple, but they may also be toxic to people and the environment. Research on silicones' health effects is still being conducted, but in the meantime I try to avoid them if possible.


One strange thing about the serum - I think it's started to separate since I got it. Not sure if this is normal or not. I tried shaking the bottle but the oil and jelly stuff don't seem to incorporate. I usually just try to catch some of both with the eyedropper before applying.

Overall, I like this product's performance and no-mess packaging, but I'm pretty sure I can find another styling product for the same price or cheaper that contains fewer synthetic ingredients. I'll definitely use this hair serum up, but I probably won't purchase the product.

I feel bad that I've had bum luck with Josie Maran so far! But I'm not giving up on these guys yet, they have a pretty wide product line and I have a few more of their products to try. So, fingers crossed :)

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Love & Toast Perfume

Say hello to my little friend! Love & Toast Perfume in Gin Blossom ($9/0.33 fl.oz).

This guy is definitely diminutive, but he sure packs a punch in the fragrance department. And he looks good, too :P Love & Toast says the fragrance includes the following notes, and I think their description is pretty spot-on:

"Citrus Zest, Spring Dew, Mandarin Blossom, Verbena Leaves."

Sounds refreshing, right?!

I've been intrigued by perfumes that claim to contain alcoholic notes (for example, Fresh's Citron de Vigne or Demeter's Gin & Tonic), but I always worried they would make me smell like I'd had a few. This perfume provides the cool freshness of a gin cocktail without making me smell like an alchy :P

The 0.33 fl. oz. bottle is small, but the price is properly adjusted for that. And if you want to road-test a Love & Toast perfume before committing to a larger $28 bottle (or if like me, you like to try new things all the time), this size is ideal.

The perfume's only ingredients are alcohol and fragrance. Since Love & Toast doesn't provide much information about the origins of the fragrance it's hard to say whether it's natural or synthetic (unfortunately, I would guess that it's probably synthetic), but at least there are no other questionable ingredients listed.

The bottle has a stopper top with no spray tip, so you have to douse it on. That can be a bit messy, but I think I've gotten the hang of it now :)

Next to Love & Toast Lip Balm in Cherry Lemonade for size comparison.

I really enjoy this perfume and think the size is perfect. The fragrance in it is a mystery, and the application takes a little extra work, but overall I think the scent is worth it!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love & Toast Lip Balm

Last week I received the Love & Toast items I purchased from and so far I'm enjoying them a lot!

Love & Toast is a line of body products designed by Margot Elena, who also created the popular lines Lollia and Tokyomilk. Love & Toast's business philosophy is that doing good is just as important as looking good. So, a portion of each Love & Toast sale goes to Girls, Inc., a nonprofit organization which empowers young women through local programs and advocacy.

One of the items I purchased is the Love & Toast Lip Balm in Cherry Lemonade ($9/0.22oz.). As far as first impressions go, Love & Toast gets top score! How cute is this packaging?


The lip balm has a thin, oily texture and provides a light amount of moisture. It's packed with natural moisturizers like olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, cocoa seed butter, and hemp oil. The lip balm smells more like tart cherry to me than cherry lemonade and has no taste that I can discern. I've been using it for the past couple days and my lips are craving a bit more moisture, but overall it does a good job.

Overall the lip balm has a great scent, great look, great ingredients, and great philosophy behind it. The price is a bit steep, and my lips could stand a bit more moisture from this balm, but all in all, it's a keeper.

Interested parties: is currently offering a deal on these lip balms where if you buy two you get a third free. At last check some of the flavors were out of stock, but there are several left to choose from!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: *****