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 www.target.com. 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 well...you 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!). And...it'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: *****