2 Top Organic Beauty Experts to Love

Ellen Holder and Spirit Demerson

Good products made by good people are easier to come by now than they were even a few years ago. Still, you have to read your labels and follow brands you trust.

One such brand is made by my awesome friend, Ellen Holder. I’ve talked about Ellen here before, who, until very recently, owned CarenOnline. Now she is fully dedicated to her baby, B Leaf Botanics.

Ellen does her research and is focused on making super clean, high quality products. All totally free from harmful ingredients and made with the most beneficial ingredients she can find. One of my favorites is her eye cream, plus I a little birdy told me she is working on new stuff, so stay tuned.

Another one of my faves has just had a birthday. Spirit Beauty Lounge is 5 years old and also one of my favorite places to shop. SBL carries some of the top natural beauty brands, has a terrific sample program in place, and gives you that true beauty experience with products you can trust.

As a special thanks for supporting them, Spirit Beauty Lounge is giving 10% off all orders through this weekend only with code TYSBL10. A great time to do your green beauty shopping.

Put your money where it counts. Support these businesses who are doing it right. It only means more of a good thing.

Why It’s Important to Choose Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral Sunscreens

If there is one item I look forward to stocking up on each year, it’s sunscreen. Why? It means warmer weather is almost here!

Choosing the perfect sun protection, on the other hand, can be quite tricky. It has to be effective and safe, of course. I also have to like the look and feel of the product. If it is too greasy or white, not going to use it.

In an effort to find the best sunscreens, I have tried many. Some I pass on to those less selective about their protection, others keep on coming back. No matter your level of pickiness where sunscreen is concerned, make certain you are using broad spectrum protection.

What, exactly, is broad spectrum?

There are two kinds of UV rays that cause damage to skin. UVB rays damage top layers of skin, responsible for sunburn. UVA rays penetrate to deeper skin layers, causing potential long term damage, like wrinkles and skin cancer. Broad spectrum means the product provides protection against both type of rays.

Which sunscreens provide broad spectrum protection?

Mineral sunscreens all the way! This type of sun protection forms a physical barrier on the skin, preventing penetration of UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, work by absorbing into the skin. This, of course, allows those nasty UV rays to reach deeper layers.

Another advantage to going with mineral sunscreen, they work instantly. Chemical sunscreens recommend allowing 30 minutes post application to be effective.

Mineral sunscreens made with other natural ingredients are the safest and most effective means of UV protection for the whole family. Yes, mineral sunscreen can be white and greasy. Some of my favorite natural cosmetics brands have worked to solve these issues, and create very wearable and easy to use formulas. Check the following list for my favorite natural mineral sunscreen brands and stock up for spring/summer.

True Natural – This line includes several mineral options, including a convenient Sport Stick and two new formulas. My favorite is the Caribbean Coconut.

Purple Prairie Botanicals – I can’t get enough of the Sun Stick from this line, and love the Sun Stuff Lip Balm.

Suntegrity – Probably the most wearable mineral sunscreen I have tried. Not at all white or greasy, and the Tinted Face Sunscreen is fabulous.

A French Fix for Dark Circles

Dark Circle Fix

Hey, how was your spring break? Or are you on it now?

Well, I must say mine was a much needed dose of sun, humidity, warmth, and relaxation. My fave stuff. I’m still dreaming of palm trees and sand from the Midwest.

But anyway, back to reality.

You know how your beauty issues change? Season to season, time of life, when you are under stress… All of these and more can goof up how you look and feel.

One issue I’ve been dealing with this past year or so is dark under eye circles. While I’ve used under eye concealer for years, I haven’t had a problem with truly dark circles until recently. Whether it is age (skin does thin as we become older), my diet, stress….who knows. What I do know is, those puppies are very hard to cover up.

Then I read this article.

Aside from her love/hate with exercise (which I, and most of you, can very much relate to) I am in love with her theory on dark under eye circles. French women can even chic up raccoon eyes? I mean, c’mon!

For now I am choosing to go with it, and haven’t broken out my beloved concealer since returning from paradise. Albeit, I am sporting a pretty sweet glow, so once that wears off I may not be so confident about flaunting my big ol’ circles in public. We shall see.

Do you have dark circles? Are you cool with them? Or do you work hard to cover them?

*Image by Cross Duck at Flickr.com

Spring Fever, Pretty Stuff + a Giveaway

Spring Fever, Pretty Stuff + a Giveaway

While spring may not be here quite yet, it is starting to feel like it’s peeking around the corner. I have the fever + can’t wait to add some spring-i-ness to my scene. Brighter colors for wardrobe, pretty makeup hues, floraly scents. C’mon Spring, we’re ready for ya!

So in the spirit of spring, here is what I’ve been writing about this week and last:

Want to smell yummy? Getcha some Tata Harper Love Potion. Cute name, cute bottle, beyond awesome smelling scent. And it’s all natural too! Gotta love the Love Potion. I wrote a full review at Feelgood Style about this too good stuff.

In sticking with the Spring Cleaning event theme at Crafting a Green World, I kicked the week off at FGS with product expiration and knowing when to chuck stuff. Do you even think about expired products? Many of us don’t, but natural products aren’t designed to have that turbo shelf life of synthetic loaded junk. So…read up on when to get rid o’ the old shiz in your beauty kit.

And, of course, I could not talk spring cleaning without covering my springtime makeup faves and the little items on my wishlist. Doesn’t the season just make you dream of bright pink lips, rosy cheeks, and lilacy lids? It sure as heck does me.

And lastly but not leastly, you have to get in on this ultra eco chic + healthy giveaway we are running at FGS. One lucky winner gets themself a bkr reusable glass water bottle. These are the prettiest reusable bottles you can find and this one comes in Cupcake. You are gonna love! Get yourself entered by tomorrow night and don’t forget to tell your friends!

I’m going to go play in my makeup drawer. Happy reading and spring break goodness to all of you lovelies.

*Image by Cas Cornelissen at Unsplash.com

B Leaf Botanics Replenish Review + Giveaway

B Leaf Botanics Replenish Review

You love a great eye cream, right?

One that’s moisturizing but not greasy?

Has some anti-aging benefits?

Works well under makeup?

Perfect for day or night?

Found it! Actually it found me…my friend Ellen, creator of the fabulous B Leaf Botanics and owner of CarenOnline.com, sent me a bottle to try out. A brand new airless pump bottle, to be exact.

B Leaf Botanics Replenish is its name and pampering the skin around your eyes is its game. It’s light, yet hydrating. Plumps and makes skin supple without being greasy. Even seems to help diminish the severity of these dark circles I’ve been sporting lately. Ellen also recommends applying to lips to soften and smooth.

B Leaf Botanics is a line of skin care solutions made with natural and organic ingredients designed to not only be safe for your skin and body, but to heal the skin. And this eye cream comes in hot off the press new packaging, a brand new airless pump bottle to deliver on safety + quality down to the very last drop.

Would you like to try Replenish? We just happen to be holding a giveaway today over on Facebook. Enter to win yourself an airless pump bottle of this luscious eye cream. Head over to the OBS Facebook page now for the deets on how you can enter to win. Don’t forget to tell your friends!

List :: Love

List Love January 2014

Yee haw, it’s Friday again! Fun plans for the weekend?

Nothing big here, which means the iPad & I are gonna get cozy + do some reading. Here’s what that will look like:

Kinda want to try this, just for home (using this, of course)

May give swapping a try, have you done it?

Ogling over these beauties, these too

I would do almost anything this gal says

Probably going to buy myself this sweet stuff

And hopefully work on this resolution

That’s it for now…hope you enjoy doing whatever it is you do!

Product Love :: Blades Natural Beauty

Blades Natural Beauty

Boy do I have a lot of products to review!

Seems like a ton of them came in over the holiday season. Always fun, but I am a bit behind in reviewing them.

Here’s one, though, that I had to get right to. Jessa Blades has been on my radar for a long time now. She’s a makeup artist who seriously knows her stuff about nontoxic products. Walking the talk, you might say.

So, when I found out she now has her own line of skin care, Blades Natural Beauty, I just had to check ’em out.

Packaging: Gorgeous

Products: Wonderful

Informational tidbits that came along with: Super goody, good.

Enough of my fluffy adjectives. Get yourself to Feelgood Style where I wrote all about it.

Now have a lovely Wednesday!

What the Heck Are “Natural” Beauty Products?

What the Heck Are “Natural” Beauty Products?

In the latest issue of InStyle magazine they included some coverage of natural cosmetics. I always love to see stuff like this in mainstream media. Even if they don’t get it exactly right, at least it brings more attention to natural products.

Ok, so the article Do They Really Work? included some truly safe products, along with definitions of cosmetic terms; natural, naturally derived, and organic. The article did state that the definitions were created by InStyle Magazine (along with the help of a cosmetic chemist) to help consumers “navigate the products on these pages and in stores”.

Do we need these terms defined? Yes, I wholeheartedly believe we do. But because there is not yet a true legal definition of these terms it is hard to follow something you read in a magazine. Sure, if a product carries the NaTrue or ECOCERT certification logo you can be assured that the product meets natural requirements…their natural requirements. These would be clearly defined on their websites.

But just the terms “natural” or “naturally derived” on a product label with no natural cosmetic certification? These terms are so vague and loosely thrown around that there are no, as yet, clearly defined universal definitions.

In order to clear this up, here is how I view the terms “natural” and “naturally derived”. These are my own definitions, and are very vague, not unlike how the terms are most often used.

Natural – Ingredients derived from the earth (fruit, vegetable, herb, mineral, animal). Products labeled natural contain some amount of natural ingredients, or ingredients that started out as natural. This amount can make a large portion of the product or a miniscule amount. Also, these products may still contain toxic ingredients and natural does NOT mean organic.

Naturally derived –Ingredients (fruit, vegetable, herb, mineral, animal) taken from the earth, which are then processed with either chemical or natural means. The end result may be natural, or not so much.

The problem lies in the assumption that natural = nontoxic. It doesn’t. Natural, to most of the world, means good, wholesome, pure. Natural cosmetics – sounds good for you, right? Not always, and definitely not often enough to be reliable.

I do not put a lot of stock in either term. As always my best advice, and the practice I follow…Read.Your.Labels.

Flip the products over, read the ingredient listing, check my Ingredients to Avoid list. If it looks clean, buy it. If not, don’t. If you are shopping online and cannot find a full ingredient listing anywhere, do not buy the product. If you have questions, get in touch.

Image by Morgan Sessions at Unsplash.com

Not Your Ordinary Article on Aging

Woman in silhouette by Sunset Girl at Unsplash.com

Aging is a controversial topic. On the one hand, we hate the thought of wrinkles and age spots, not to mention disease and decline. But, let’s face it, we all want to get older because the alternative stinks.

Since hitting 40 I have tried to embrace aging. In general, I have always been of the “You are as old as you think you are” adage, but I have noticed a few, albeit subtle, changes. My once normal skin is getting drier (as is my hair) and there is a little more sagging and a few extra fine lines.

But really, do we want to look 25 (or 30) when we are 40 and up, or do we want to look healthy for your own age?

An article from WE Magazine really tells it like it is but in a very uplifting and positive way. They lay out the facts but they also put a few notions out there that you don’t usually read about. Check out this paragraph from the article:

If it’s reassuring to know we age at our own individual rate, NIA research is also helping us understand other aspects of the effects of time on the body, such as the distinction between aging and disease. A study of patients over a 50-year period showed that even though our bodies over time become more delicate and can decline in certain ways, these changes are distinct from diseases. In other words, if we take care of ourselves, we can avoid maladies such as diabetes, hypertension or dementia and even minimize or overcome any genetic predispositions. Through a proactive approach, we can affect our aging processes for long-term health and vitality.

Cool, huh? And we all know what it takes to do that; eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, keeping stress to a minimum and eliminating as many toxins from our lifestyle as possible. Love Lula has a great guide to keeping you looking and feeling your best.

It sounds so cliché but true beauty really is inner beauty. Who do you think looks more beautiful, the woman who is all made up and “perfect” or the woman who obviously takes care of herself and seems comfortable with who she is? For me it’s hands down the latter.

*Image by Sunset Girl at Unsplash.com