BEAUTY

OBS is 10!

Pineapples at Unsplash

Yep, I started this little blog a decade ago. Since then, my business has definitely evolved. And my blog design along with it, thankfully. Just for chuckles, check out the OBS original home page, below.

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Ouch, right?!

Way back when it all began I had a preschooler and a kindergartener, and would spend any time they were sleeping researching this whole toxins in beauty products thing. In March of 2006, after spending a good 6 months reading and asking and emailing, I decided to start a blog sharing this knowledge with others. The plan was to eventually open an online store selling my favorites.

But the writing bug soon took over and before I knew it organic beauty professionals were asking me to write for them. I may spend most of my time now writing for other businesses and websites, but I am still just as passionate about the organic beauty/heath + wellness movement.

Not only have I and my blog changed, but the organic beauty scene has changed big time too. Back when I was starting out, researching my brains out and scouring the web for organic brands that were actually walking the talk and not just utilizing good marketing skills, naturals were different. Sure, there were those that have always been both high performance and safe at the same time (Lavera, Primavera, Dr. Hauschka, I’m lookin’ at you), but many were sloopy, sticky, stinky concoctions I did not enjoy using.

I think these days women are looking for products that act, look, feel, and sometimes even smell like conventional products. I know I am. Lucky for us that is happening. Today we have a huge selection of nontoxic products and brands to choose from. Truly safe, high quality, act like you want them to, beauties.

We are fortunate. There is nothing standing in our way of looking and feeling great while making healthy choices. I’m so happy to have been a part of the organic beauty movement over these past 10 years and want to give a huge shout out to my sisters and bros in the organic beauty game too. All of the amazing bloggers, editors, online shop owners, brand creators, and PR peeps who’ve lent their time and products to my journey…a big smooch to you. Couldn’t have done it without you!

If you’d like to talk about my writing services, please get in touch via my contact page. For organic beauty info, hit up the Resources tab. The Shop page will get you started on some beauty products I’ve picked out from one of my fave shops. Or dive into the posts to see what’s going on in my green beauty world.

As always, thanks for reading and come back soon!

Top image by Pineapples at Unsplash.com has absolutely nothing to do with OBS turning 10. I just love pineapples and beaches:)

List Love :: Spring Beauty

List Love SpringBeauty

Isn’t this a weird time of year? It’s warm, it’s not warm. Our skin is dry, then it breaks out because of the up and down temps. We want to bust out the fun springtime makeup hues, but our face is still stuck in hibernation mode.

Know what fixes those end of winter, almost spring blues? An exciting beauty shopping list! Here’s what is on mine right about now:

French Girl Organics Bronzing Oil :: Ummm, cuz oil + bronzing sounds a-freakin’-mazing. This brand was featured in the latest issue of domino. Domino is one of my all time favorite magazines (I have every single issue ever published and now write for domino.com, in case you didn’t know) and what they say goes.

One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum :: We’ve talked about body serums here before. And boy, are they perfect for spring. Nix the heavy balms and greasy moisturizers. Let a luscious oil blend sink into your skin and give the ol’ bod a sweet glow. This one smells fabulous and is one of my staples.

RMS Master Mixer :: Because I am, possibly, RMS Beauty’s biggest fan, this one is definitely a must try. Rose-Marie Swift, creator of RMS and green beauty icon, has a knack for coming up with super cool, unique beauty products that turn into cult hits. This is for sure gonna be one of those.

OM Caviar Eye Cream :: This baby is receiving rave reviews and is said to diminish wrinkles and dark circles. When anything says that, I say…bring it on.

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist :: The idea of misting my skin with rose water when the weather is warm is so appealing. Think I must do. These guys were also featured in that domino green beauty round up I mentioned before, so there’s that.

SW Basics Oil Serum :: It’s no secret I worship facial oils. If they were a person, I’d bff them for life. If they were edible, I’d drink them for breakfast. If they were a song, I’d have them on repeat. You get it. This beauty has both turmeric and coffee oil, which is pretty dang exciting. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and gives skin a lovely glow. Coffee helps to tighten and brighten. Come to mama.

ILIA Beauty Lip Exfoliator :: Lipgloss is my favorite makeup item. Heck, it’s my favorite beauty item. I’m sure most of you are with me. Since your lipgloss glides on so much better if your lips are soft and smooth, we all must try this cool new lip exfoliator in a stick. For smoothing your pucker on the fly.

Olio e Osso Balm French Melon :: I’ve been hunting for the perfect blend of peachy-pink lip color since binge watching every season of the new 90210. This may be it, guys. I shall try it out and let you know.

Here’s to the most gorgeous spring you’ve know yet!

Replaced :: Aquaphor

Replaced :: Aquaphor

Are you so tired of cracked skin on your hands? Or maybe the skin on your face is looking irritated or ruddy? How about eczema? These skin conditions all come with the winter territory.

Go to the doctor or dermy and they’ll tell you to pick up a tube of Aquaphor, or some similar petroleum jelly type product, at the drugstore and you’re all good. Why is that? Because petroleum jelly works in the short term. It almost instantly makes skin feels softer and soothed, and helps to seal in moisture our skin is crying out for right about now.

Trouble is, petroleum jelly (petrolatum) often contains cancer causing contaminants. As a matter of fact, the European Union considers the ingredient carcinogenic and restrict its use in cosmetics.

Aside from that nasty news, petroleum jelly is occlusive, meaning it forms a barrier on the skin. In the moisturizer world, there are humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants draw moisture from the air to the skin. Emollients are moisturizing ingredients that soak into the skin, filling dry cracks and areas.

Occlusive agents are meant to hold in moisture and prevent dryness. They usually feel greasy on the skin and can cause clogged pores and acne. Some natural ingredients are also occlusive (beeswax, mango butter, cocoa butter…) and work the same way as petroleum jelly, creating a water loss barrier on the skin only sans the carcinogenic contaminants. Due to the comedogenic nature of occlusives, it’s a good idea for those with oily or acne prone skin to use minimally.

But here we are in the midst of dry skin season. Even if you are on the oilier side, now is the time to get in on some of the benefits of these ingredients to deal with problem skin.

I have three favorite petroleum-jelly-type products that are all natural and work even better. You are going to love them!

True Organic of Sweden All You Need is Me :: Love the name, love the product. This one is new to me this season and can’t imagine going through another winter without it. It looks and feels just like Aquaphor coming out of the tube, but once you rub it into skin…seems to evaporate with no oil slick left behind. I use it religiously on my fingertips, cuticles, dry spots on face, and anywhere else that is just a little bit ( or a lot bit) too dry.

Waxelene :: Called “The Petroleum Jelly Alternative” this is the one to get if you are into using petroleum jelly straight up. It’s a simple four ingredient mix that comes in a either a tube or jar. No icky stuff, just real deal moisture for ultra parched skin.

SKIN Claramint Lip Balm :: I had to include this one here, even though it is decidedly minty, unlike Vaseline or Aquaphor. It is the exact consistency of petroleum jelly, super smooth and clear, and works like a charm on dry, chapped lips. I use it every single night before bed and it is always on when I wake up in the morning. Oh, and a lil dab’ll do ya.

Image :: Yegor Chekmarev at Unsplash.com

Highlighter Goes Old School

Highlighter Goes Old School

Happy New Year! How were your holidays? Mine were fun, fast, and full of activity. Now for the not so fun part…repairing your skin and body post holiday festivities.

My skin was left looking like uncooked pizza crust, lightly dusted with flour (only minus the elasticity), once I got back into reality this month. All of that extra salt, sugar and fat, paired up with no exercise and less sleep, was not exactly a recipe for gorgeous skin.

My first inclination? Reach for the self tanner. It is a great way to fake it til you make it. But then I came across a new idea. Well, actually an old idea. As in, back to basics.

While writing an article on earth toned makeup I came across a makeup artist who uses a throwback way of instilling glow. No highlighter required, though I am a huge fan of some highlighter.

What’s the trick? Good old fashioned cleansed and exfoliated skin. And lots of moisturizer. Love this idea for dry ol’ winter.

Here’s what I’d use if I were going this route, and I definitely am:

Exfoliating is the insta-remedy for dry, lack luster, or otherwise down in the dumps skin. It feels good and leaves skin looking renewed. Here’s the deal though. Going nuts on this step can leave you with a whole new problem in the form of redness and irritation. Not the look we are going for here. So let’s do this thing right. I love One Love Organics Brand New Day for jump starting a good glow. Go ahead and use on your neck and décolletage too.

For good clean skin that isn’t stripped of natural oils I couldn’t be happier with Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser, which you can pick up at your local Whole Foods. Just foamy enough to get skin nice and clean, but emollient enough to not dry it out. When my skin is feeling super dry, I use Lavera Basis Cleansing Milk 2-in-1.

Ah, now for the best part. Let’s ramp up our moisture! I like to start with a good layer of my fave facial moisturizer, Lavera Mattifying Balancing Cream. I’ve tried many and just keeeeep coming back to this baby. It is light yet hydrating, not greasy, works well under makeup, has no weird scent, and even helps to balance oil. Perfection!

Ok, next up let’s add some oil. This is the step that takes your complexion to the next level. Choose one that works for your skin type. RMS Beauty Beauty Oil works well on everyone’s skin and is like silk in a bottle. Getcha some pronto.

Worried makeup will slip right off of your well oiled skin? Here’s the trick: Use a dusting of powder on areas you don’t want shiny (tip of nose, chin, forehead) and where you want makeup to stick (eyelids).

Whatd’ya think? Gonna give this old school highlighter look a try this winter?

Image :: Brooke Cagle at Unsplash.com

Reconstructed :: Jennifer Lawrence Vogue Cover

Reconstructed :: Jennifer Lawrence Vogue Cover

How great is J Law’s makeup on the cover of Vogue this month? Hey, I’m all about the holidays and getting in the spirit and looking festive. But, I’ve gotta say…this fresh, bronze-y look has me hackerin’ for something a little more warm weather.

So, yes, it is ok to pair your warm neutrals with your wintery style, or even as a low key holiday look. Why not keep face and hair simple and let that smashing new outfit you got for the season do the talking?

Here’s what I’d use if I were recreating Jennifer’s look. And you better believe I am!

W3LL People Bio Bronzer :: Going nuts on the bronzing powder is always a bad thing. But a little dusting of this will take skin straight from December to July. For the fair skinned, mix a bit of bronzer with your regular facial powder. The idea here is fresh glow, not just came back from a tropical vacation.

Ilia Beauty Pure Eyeliner in Sweet Jane :: Just the right amount of depth without being harsh or too glam. Which is exactly what I love about brown eyeliner.

Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Shadow in Glow and Tiger Eye :: Create a warm yet illuminated look, followed by your choice of black mascara. Mine? Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara all the way.

Ilia Beauty Lipstick Crayon in Come Undone :: Think slightly plummy nude. A true nude would make this look boring. The slight hint of color adds a hint of natural color. If you into something a bit glossier, and who isn’t?, RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Honest works beautifully here.

Ecobrow Defining Wax :: Make those eyebrows pop with a bit of definition. Not sure how to pull off on fleek brows? Here’s a little tutorial for ya.

List Love :: November Edition

List Love :: November Edition

I know what you are thinking…It’s November! What should I be puttin’ on my face and bod?

Great question! Let me fill you in on my little listy-poo of stuff I am in love with for the month of earth tones, warm clothes, pumpkin everything, and gearing up for the holidays.

The latest addition to the ever-awesome Kjaer Weis collection includes a smokin’ hot Cream Blush that I can’t get enough of. The beauty of Above and Beyond is that it is so universal. Looks great on my fair complexion but would also work perfectly on medium and darker skin tones. Way to go again, KW!

How much do you adore those red/black ombre nails up there from the OPI Venice collection? I know I saw a how-to on Instagram but now can’t locate it. If I were doing it, and I probably am, I’d use RMS Beauty Nail Polish in Beloved and Diabolique. Tried out Sublime and have to say, the color is brilliant and lasted longer than the brand I normally use. Great stocking stuffers too.

Aster & Bay Glow Body Serum. Want this Jasmine scented skin hydrator in my life so bad. Keep away dry skin and smell completely vibe at the same time? Yep!

Think earthy makeup shades are only for summer? No way, Jose! Earth tones are super in for fall and winter this year. Try out warm, caramely Kjaer Weis Eye Shadow in Charmed. A neutral means you can go for something ultra dusky on lips, like RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Diabolique. You know, to match your nails.

Yes, the holidays are coming. Yes, they’ll be fun. And yes, they’ll smack the energy straight out of ya. This year I may try getting a little extra something from Urban Moonshine Energy Tonic. This natural ingredient combo is said to suppress fatigue, boost mental clarity, and ramp up energy. That oughta get you through to New Year’s, unlike regular moonshine which does the opposite.

How cool is this funky black and cream scarf? And how handy would it be right now? Throw it on with jeans and a sweater, pants and blouse, over your coat, with your jammies…kind of up to you.

As for reading. I’ve been taking a class on fiction writing and haven’t wanted to read any fiction to mess with my mojo flow. So I’ve tapped into Medical Medium by Anthony William which is doing all kinds of good stuff for my life. Have you heard of this guy? Definitely worth a look.

PS :: In case you didn’t know, I’m writing over at Domino.com. Check out my fun stuff there, like how to carve out a vanity in tiny digs and how to share a closet with your SO, daughter, roomie…without losing your ever lovin’ marbles (or any of your stuff).

How To :: Shop Beauty at Whole Foods

How To :: Shop Beauty at Whole Foods

Whole Foods. I mention beauty items you can find there from time to time. Thought it was time I shared my WF beauty shopping list.

While I try and curb my Whole Foods experience due to my desire to go on vacations, buy some cool clothes, and one day send my kids to college, I do end up there fairly regularly. Not only is their fruit selection much better than my beloved Target, but it is an easy place to pick up some of my favorite natural beauty essentials.

The key to shopping WF without going broke is to go prepared, get your shiz, and get the heck outta there! So, here’s your list for the beauty aisle. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

AcurehairWF

AcurebodywashWF

AcurelineWF

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Acure Organics :: I love that WF carries this fabulous line. Acure makes skin, body and hair care basics, reasonably priced, and no nasty ingredients. They work great too. I pick up the Eye Cream, Day Cream, Radical Wrinkle Complex, Sensitive Facial Cleanser, body wash, and shampoo and conditioner. Target does carry some of this line too.

TrilogyWF

Trilogy :: Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is one of my first organic beauty loves. So good. Brightens, diminishes lines and dark spots, hydrates, and makes skin glow. A prize.

EvanHealyWF

Evan Healy :: A bottle of Pomegranate Repair Serum is a must for the beauty kit this time of year. Sinks into skin to moisturize and soften. I like to use it at night over my usual moisturizer once the indoor heat season starts up.

LipbalmWF

Whole Foods Lip Balm :: What if I told you WF makes one of my absolute fave lip balms?. For real. I love this lip balm more than most I’ve tried over the years. And since I am a lippy junkie, there have been many. It is super smooth and soft, not too greasy or too waxy, and comes in lots of fun flavors. Cheap too. Grab one at the checkout aisle as you are avoiding the bakery and making a mad dash for your car.

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Dr. Hauschka :: I also love that WF carries Dr. Hauschka. This guru of organic beauty has high quality formulas and several products to choose from. I don’t purchase these products regularly, but if they start carrying Dr. H Volume Mascara that’ll change real fast.

There you have it. My personal Whole Foods beauty shopping list. Now put your blinders on and go buy yourself some healthy stuff.

Product Love :: Beauty Beauties

 

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Product reviews. Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Don’t really care about ‘em?

I used to love to write product reviews. My passion for beauty products and writing all swirled into one happy place? Dream come true!

Lately I’ve been spending more time writing on organic beauty business ideas and strategies, and the real how-tos and what’s-ups of organic beauty and wellness. Yes, lots of products too. But reviews? Not as much.

So that is why it has taken me so long to get around to these two products I’ve had sitting around for a while. It is not that I don’t love them (because I only review products I truly like for myself or feel others would super duper benefit from), it’s just that reviews have sorta been on the back burner.

Anyway…the thing about these two beauties is…they are actual beauties. Inside and out. As in, the packaging is as pretty as the product. So while they have not yet appeared here on the blog, they have been a constant presence in my bathroom.

What are these two lovelies? One is a beautiful bottle of fabulously scented, highest quality oils by the stellar Kypris. This is a high end oil that acts like, well, a high end oil. This dream in a bottle was offered to me all tied up in a giftie navy blue bow. Product experience, anyone?

The other product (or products, actually) are not at the organic beauty royalty level of Kypris, but definitely deserve a serious turn of the head. I’d not heard of Formulary 55 when they were offered to me, but I am so glad I accepted them. These packets of face and body powders in mask/scrub form made my skin so unbelievably soft. For real!

Both of these exquisite beauty items make for some serious eye candy. Which got me to wondering…how much of our buying experience hinges on product appearance and packaging? There are always those must haves that could come in the least attractive bottle and we’d still buy them. But when we are talking expensive, luxury or specialty products, don’t we kind of need some experience to go along with them?

It’s like going to get a massage or spa treatment. This is a luxury, right? A treat. If the place is drab, rundown or otherwise unappealing the massage won’t seem like as much of a treat. It may not even be worth it.

So, there is something to this whole visual appeal thing, which led me to write a recent article for Domino.com on products that give good shelf esteem. This whole idea got my wheels spinning and I started asking around – How important is product packaging to you? And, not surprisingly, it is pretty dang important to most people. Women and men alike admit to putting a lot of importance on the way an item looks when buying.

Both Kypris and Formulary 55 outdo themselves on quality and aesthetics. Worthy of your skin and vanity/bathroom shelf.

List Love :: Autumn Adoration

List Love :: Fall Fancies

Change of seasons always leaves me hankering for new stuff. New beauty stuff, new home stuff, new closet stuff. Here’s what’s on my list for fall…

RMS Beauty has come out with…wait for it…nail polish! How exciting is that? And it gets better. Each polish shade matches up to one of their makeup colors. Living Luminizer in a polish? *swoon* Of course, they are 5-free.

One of these headbands from Domino.com would also make a pretty cool bracelet.

And how about this adorable little duffle?

My white faux sheepskin obsession has branched off into a black faux sheepskin obsession. So. Dang. Cool.

This Aster + Bay Glow Body Serum is said to make skin glow, slow aging, and smell like jasmine? I’m in. Update: It looks like the Aster + Bay Body Serum is no longer available, but I love this one just as much:)

That’s it for now. What’s on your shopping/wish list for fall?

Rise + Shine :: How to Look More Awake

Rise + Shine :: How to Look More Awake

Here’s the deal. Sometimes your eyes look tired. Even after a restful weekend. Even when you’ve been doing your daily meditation. Even when you’ve eaten your organic fruits and veggies like a little champ.

Sometimes your peepers just need a bit of help to pop.

And that’s ok, because guess what? There are products built to do just that. Check it out…

Nothing creates instant awake-ness like a white liner. Line lower rims of eyes and lash line with Benecos Natural Eyeliner in White and you will be amazed at how alert and raring to go you look. This little trick may be all you need.

But if it’s not, this one will definitely get the job done. You know that luminizer you are such a fan of? Did you know it can be used places other than cheeks? Use it as an under eye concealer, or patted over your usual concealer, to brighten this area and reflect light. Promise you won’t hate this. I, like the rest of world, am in love with RMS Living Luminizer.

Your eye shadow could be working against you. To play up bright eyes go for peachy, sandy, or cream colors. Good choices are Kjaer Weis Eye Shadow in Cloud Nine, W3LL People Elitist Shimmer Mineral Shadow in Gold Twinkle, and RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Lunar.

Brows not on fleek? Those unkempt caterpillars hovering over your beautiful eyes may be causing a disheveled look. Get groomed to perfection with this easy how to tutorial.

Image :: julia caesar at Unsplash.com

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