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Jonathan Product Mousse

Posted in Green Product Reviews on March 6th, 2013
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Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

I was browsing my local pharmacy’s hair care aisle to see if there was anything that fit my criteria that I could use because I was running out of styling product. I have thick, wavy hair and I generally use mousse to tame it, but sometimes a little bit of gel or anti-frizz spray can do the trick also. I noticed Jonathan Product Infinite Volume Thickening Foam:

I’m not particularly observant of the aesthetics of design, but I really did like the simplicity of the package and how clear and pure the liquid looked. The label assured me it was paraben free, and fragrance free. The ingredients included a variety of extracts (pear, almond, papaya, white tea, pomegranate, ginger) that I hadn’t seen before on a mousse label. I was intrigued.

At $24 I admit it was a little bit pricey. But I don’t use a lot of product and I would rather splurge on something I know is safe and support business that make products I know won’t harm my health than spend any money on something loaded with carcinogens.

Only after I got home did I notice that it was labeled “for fine/thin hair.” I am happy to report that it defined my thick curls very well and I have no complaints about the level of hold. I would recommend it for anyone who uses mousse. It also smells amazing, and I get complimented on that a lot, people think I am wearing a new perfume!

My one complaint is that like Yarok Feed Your Roots Mousse (which I also like) when traveling with Jonathan Product I have to pack it in a separate plastic bag because it leaks. It doesn’t leak as much as the Yarok did, and I think because the liquid is slightly thicker. But at $24 for 5.1 oz a bottle, it’s disappointing to lose any to the inside of my luggage.

Midwinter Resolution: Fair Trade Baking

Posted in Food and Drinks, Green Product Reviews on January 31st, 2013
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Something that “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” reminded me of was that chocolate is frequently farmed with slave labor, and that farmers are exploited by the large manufacturing companies who produce and distribute it. I don’t keep a lot of candy in my house, but I do buy chocolate chips and cocoa powder to use when baking fairly regularly.

I like to give Divine fair trade chocolate as a gift, but last week at the supermarket I thought about the fact that the chips in my cookies might be made by slaves too. I knew that there were human rights problems with Nestle and Hershey (although the latter has said they will only be using slave labor for a few more years) I reached for Ghirardelli, which I honestly think is better quality than those other brands, albeit slightly more expensive. Although they claim they do not use slave labor, Ghirardelli is not fair trade certified.

For Christmas, Adam and I received some Dagoba drinking chocolate which is organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified. It’s also the best hot chocolate I have ever had.

The second best hot chocolate I have ever had was made with Guittard Cococa Rouge, which to my happy surprise is both Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certified! (They should put that on the label!)

So I do have some ideas on which brands of fair trade cocoa powder I will like to use in baking. But, what about chocolate chips? I could buy some fair trade chocolate bars and break them up, but looking around online there are several different companies that do sell fair trade chocolate chips.

The previously mentioned Divine, Dagoba and Guittard sell chips or drops. As do Sunspire and Sweet Earth. I have not yet tried any of these, and I hope I am equal to the task! Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Fun Friday Cosmetics Review – Juara Perfume

Posted in Green Product Reviews on March 9th, 2012
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Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

I have stated that I’ve gone “fragrance free.” What I mean by that is that I try not to use products that have “fragrance” listed as an ingredient. This is because that term doesn’t mean a specific ingredient. It’s a placeholder for a proprietary concoction that could contain carcinogenic chemicals. However, I still like to use perfume for special occasions.

During my last trip to Terrain I picked up

Juara Tiare Jasmine Tea Perfume Oil

Like the Yakshi perfume I have reviewed previously, this is a roll on made from essential oils. It’s a bit lighter and less greasy than the Yakshi however, and absorbs easily into my skin.

This fragrance is a lovely, light and floral. You can smell white tea and jasmine. It’s not overpowering, and quite pleasant. The package came with a small packet of Juara shower gel of the same scent.

Juara seems like a company that takes it’s social commitment seriously. Their website touts that all of their products are vegetarian and free of parabens phthalates, and sulfates and that they do no animal testing. In addition, their packaging is Forest Stewardship Council Certified.

Fun Fridays Cosmetics Review – Yarok Feed Your Roots Mousse

Posted in Green Product Reviews on May 20th, 2011
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Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

Yarok Feed Your Roots

My friend Alexandra has seen my series on eco-friendly cosmetics and recommended I check out Terrain (disclosure, she is an employee). This mousse caught my eye because I have been looking for hair care products that fit some my criteria above. This one is 100% vegan, and contains no parabens or sulfates.

I was actually skeptical that it would work on my hair, but decided to give it a try. My hair is thick and wavy, and can be very frizzy in humid weather or for no reason at all. I usually add a lot of mousse to define my curls on special occasions. Last week, when Ebonmuse and I were going out on the town, I tried it, and it was fantastic. It smelled like rosemary and my hair looked just as good as when I use my typical, loaded with carcinogens, mousse. I would highly recommend this.

Edit: Many months later, I am still enjoying this product. I do have to add that the bottle leaks while traveling on an airplane. If you put this in your checked luggage, make sure you have it in a separate, sealed plastic bag.

Fun Fridays – Cosmetics Review #4

Posted in Green Product Reviews on February 4th, 2011
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Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

Kiss My Face

I decided to try Kiss My Face Moisture Shave because I knew that other shaving creams were loaded with the synthetic chemicals I’m trying to banish from my grooming routine. I was skeptical that it would lather as nice as other shaving products, but it does. You do have to rub a slight amount more, however the difference is negligible.

Vanicream

My dermatologist recommended Vanicream Lite Lotion when I told her I was switching to fragrance free products, and also trying to avoid parabens and phthalates. I like it a lot, it feels like a very light lotion you would use on your hands or body. It’s not heavy at all, is absorbed by your skin quickly, and has no discernible scent. I think it compares well with Yes to Cucumbers.

A final note: It is possible to start small with using healthier cosmetics. Neutrogena makes an oil free fragrance free daily moisturizer I like almost as much as Yes to Cucumbers, and many national brands of products like deodorant and laundry detergent are also available fragrance free. Once you get going, it’s not too difficult to do a little research and read product labels so you can make an informed decision for what you put on your body.

Fun Fridays – Cosmetics Reviews #3

Posted in Green Product Reviews on January 28th, 2011
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Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

Yakshi Naturals Botanical Fragrances

I have stated that I’ve gone “fragrance free.” What I mean by that is that I try not to use products that have “fragrance” listed as an ingredient. This is because that term doesn’t mean a specific ingredient. It’s a placeholder for a proprietary concoction that could contain carcinogenic chemicals. I do still like to dab on some perfume for a special occasion and Yakshi has some great products to choose from, where all the ingredients are listed on the label. My favorite is “Goddess Dreams” which is a blend of jasmine and other essential oils. They are made with a natural base of coconut oil so it’s not quite the same as using an alcohol based fragrance that most people are used to. However I’ve never had it stain my clothing or tarnish my jewelry.

Sun Rose Aromatics

I go to a salon that uses many products that are organic. This product line was recommended to me there. I purchased the “Organic Aloe Vera & Seaweed Gel. It did the job, but it took a while to get used to the feeling of using an aloe gel rather than a cream or lotion.

Yes to Carrots

I first noticed this brand when shopping for some makeup to wear to an 80′s party I was attending. Most of my lipsticks are a deep rose color or a maroon. I needed something RED. I purchased their “C Me Shine Lip Gloss” in “Red Hot” and was not disappointed. I did have to reapply several times to get the color to stay, but that is to be expected from a gloss. I also use the Yes to Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer, which I think is my favorite one of all right now.

Fun Fridays – Cosmetics Reviews #2

Posted in Green Product Reviews on January 21st, 2011
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Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

Burt’s Bees

This is the quintessential granola cosmetics brand, and they don’t just sell lip balm anymore. My favorite of their products is the pomegranate lip balm, although I know the original has a somewhat fanatic following. The Honey scented one does nothing for me, and kind of smells like talc to in my opinion. I’ve used their lip shimmer, available in a wide variety of colors and it gives you the same minty feeling as the original balm. I am currently using their Carrot Day Creme as my daytime moisturizer. It smells heavenly, like a carrot cake. But it is very thick and should be applied sparingly. It hasn’t clogged my pores or caused a breakout but it can get greasy or make you look strange because of it’s yellow color if you put too much on. I have mixed feelings about their moisturizers and body washes. They do the job but the “Milk and Honey” scent smells more like buttermilk or sour cream to me.

Dr. Bronner’s

I couldn’t write a series about natural cosmetics without mentioning the father of all that is crunchy about ablations. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castile liquid soaps are a wonderful alternative to mass market body washes that contain harmful carcinogens, and I highly recommend them. My favorite is the almond, because I can use it every day. The peppermint and lavender, rose and citrus are wonderful too but made with the real oils and as my eyes are very sensitive I have to be careful with them. The bottle claims you can use it to clean anything but I stick to using it as a body, hand and face wash. The one time I used it as shampoo in a pinch was not very pleasant.

They also make a line of lip glosses, shaving creams and other personal care products which are worth a try.

Alba Botanica

I picked up the coconut lip balm when it was on sale at my local drug store. I loved the texture and scent, but it was difficult to find. On another shopping trip, I found the Terra Tints and they are the perfect mix of moisturizing balm and colored gloss. Try these if you can find them.

Fun Friday – Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Posted in Green Product Reviews on January 14th, 2011
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Valentine’s day is a month away, and if you are thinking about what to buy your significant other, we are hoping you will consider the environment when doing your shopping. Here are some suggestions of how to green the more traditional gifts given this time of year.

Flowers

A romantic and traditional gift, it is unfortunate that so many flowers are grown on farms where the amount of pesticides sprayed does harm to not only the surrounding plants and animals but to the local water supply and to the workers of the farms. Give your sweetie a guilt free bouquet by opting for organic flowers or ones from a local farm. I would definitley recommend Organic Bouquet because I have used them many times for birthdays, holiday centerpieces and to send to friends and as get well soon gifts. If you live in New York City, give Gardenia Organic a try. They make gorgeous arrangements to order. This picture is of an arrangement they did for my wedding. Read the rest of this entry »

Fun Fridays: Cosmetics Reviews #1

Posted in Green Product Reviews on January 7th, 2011
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UPDATE 9/2/15: I must temper my glowing review below with the advisory that Origins uses child labor to produce it’s products.

Ever since I read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkin, I’ve slowly started to change the way I purchase and use cosmetics. I frequently consult the Skin Deep Database at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to purchase products that are at least one of the following: fragrance free, have organic ingredients and/or do not contain phthalates or parabens.

I will be reviewing some of the brands of natural cosmetics that I use regularly. To see all of the posts in this series, click here.

Origins

Origins is my absolute favorite brand of makeup. I was first introduced to them when a friend gave me a gift set containing bar soap, lotion and lip gloss. When I was experimenting with different looks for my wedding, I splurged on a few different lip sticks (both flower fusion and rain and shine brands) and eye liners to test shades and was not disappointed. The quality is excellent. I have purchased the products from Macy’s department stores and also from stand alone locations. The staff are always very helpful and will always let you test products. This year they have put out a natural ginger scented perfume. It’s not quite my style but worth sniffing the tester if you see it around.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear

This is the brand of makeup I can use every day. It’s in most drug stores and fairly affordable. I’m not a fan of foundation in general but have used their line. My every day powder is Physican’s Formula, and they make cases out of bamboo and recycled cardboard and also sell refills for your compacts to reduce packaging waste. I like their mascara although it is not waterproof. Their eyeshadow is also good quality but they do not have many colors to choose from currently.

The Naked Bee

The Naked Bee products are usually sold in gift shops, and cannot currently be purchased online unless you are buying in bulk for retail sale. I do stock up when I come across them. The lip gloss has a nice honeysuckle scent and the lotion is one of my favorites to cool irritated or dry skin.