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: *****

Monday, August 15, 2011

 Me in the Munich Residenz (former royal palace of Bavarian monarchs)

So I recently returned from my first trip to Europe, and I'm already missing the food, culture, history, and of course, the beauty pickins'! I learned a lot and feel like I grew as a person in the 10 days I was there. I can't wait to go back!

The whole trip I was hoping to find a drug store where I could pick up some souvenirs, but every apothecary I came across sold only prescriptions and OTCs. From what I can tell, certain European countries keep their pharmacies and drug stores separate from their sundry shops. Finally, near the end of the trip, I found a beauty mecca in Munich. I forgot to check for the store's name, but it was like the biggest, most wonderful drug store with endless aisles of hair products, skin products, and makeup (drug store and higher end brands). I wish I had had more time to shop, but when you're traveling with two men, any time spent in a beauty shop is borrowed time :P

I noticed that the European skin care offerings were more numerous than American offerings, and European skin care seems to be a bit more advanced (e.g. fewer harmful chemicals, better SPF protection, etc). Since I've returned I've been lusting about the items I left behind. Thank goodness for the powers of the internet, and international shipping!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In with the new...

So, I broke down and ordered some things from The offer free shipping on purchases over $25, and I already had eyelash curler cushions and makeup remover in my cart, so....these little babies joined the party and got me free shipping. Better to spend $15 more and actually get something than spending $10 on shipping, right? Right :P

I'm really excited to try out the Love & Toast brand since I've heard so many good things about it! And yes, cute packaging ♥ Reviews to come!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Josie Maran Argan Natural Volume Lip Gloss

Any fellow Sephora Beauty Insiders out there? I recently picked up my 500 point gift (after hoarding my points FOREVER), and I chose this Josie Maran set.*

*My local mall had plenty of these 500-point gifts in stock, and no purchase necessary to cash in those points!

Included in the set is Josie Maran Argan Natural Volume Lip Gloss (normally $20 for 0.12oz.) in Precious. Precious is described as a "petal pink" on the Josie Maran website, but I would describe it as a slightly purple-y pink with no shimmer. The gloss is pretty sticky, but applying it over a layer of lip balm helps alleviate the tacky texture. It has a strong caramel scent, or according to my sister, "It smells like burnt marshmallows!". I love eating burnt marshmallows, but wearing that scent is a bit much for me. If you like wearing warm, sugary scents you might like the scent of this gloss, but otherwise, I advise you to sniff before purchasing!

As far as ingredients go, the gloss does contain organic moisturizers like argan oil, jojoba oil, and  olive oil, but it also contains questionable stuff like (copying from the ingredient list here) Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate and Methyl Nicotinate. I mean, what is that? If I have to google it, I'm not sure I want it on my body.

The gloss also contains Atelocollagen, a protein which allegedly increases collagen production, and Ginger Root oil, which I suspect is meant to boost circulation. I definitely noticed a faint tingling sensation in my lips after applying this gloss, but after 5-10 minutes my lips didn't look much plumper than before. The gloss has a brush applicator, which I generally like, but this applicator was stiff and applied the gloss in streaks. Bummer :(

 Brush applicator

 On my lips! Please excuse my goofy grin and freckled skin, this is my first go at an "on the lips" picture.


Overall, I love the color of this gloss and the ideas behind it but I'm not a big fan of the texture, scent, or ingredients. I find this gloss to be very comparable to MAC lipglasses, and would definitely recommend it to MAC lovers, but unfortunately it's just not for me. Oh well, you win some you lose some!

Green Beauty Blog Rating: 2/5 (I think I'm switching from grade ratings to number ratings...hopefully I'll get a cute "stars" graphic in here soon for rating purposes :) )

Monday, August 8, 2011