A non-toxic beauty blog focusing on botanical ingredients, honest reviews, affordable options, lifestyle musings, and more than a touch of humor.
"I now look back fondly at those being the most constructive years for preparing me for life in the real world...You have to have pretty thick skin and you have to have big shoulders." - Tom Curley

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Running the Natural Mascara Gauntlet

Oh hey look, a new post! Let's not make a big deal out of.

Mascara is one of those things that's incredibly difficult to find a clean version of, at least one that's comparable to to all of those nasty, toxic brands. It's right up there with deodorant. While there are plenty of options to try out, the vast majority of those options have problems: smudging, flaking, clumping, lack of staying power, long drying time... You get the picture.

However, a few brands have come out with some decent (some more than decent) clean mascaras. Let's take a look at the natural mascaras I've tried out so you don't have to suffer through the not-so-great ones!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh hi didn't see you there

Howdy, dear readers!

I just wanted to drop a quick note to apologize for the unscheduled hiatus. Life's been kicking me in the face recently, so I just haven't had the time to update. In between packing up all of my belongings, holding a last-minute garage sale, celebrating a bunch of birthdays (including my own!), keeping myself busy at work, brushing up on my long-neglected art skills (or lack thereof), and fighting the patriarchy, it's difficult to make time for obsessing over stuff I put on my face.

But fear not! There will be much updating in the future. In fact, here's a few things you have to look forward to:
In the meantime, check out some of these other rad clean beauty blogs:


This is how excited I am to see you again

Friday, June 7, 2013

Adventures in Hair, Part II: Or, How to Survive Life When You Have Severus Snape Hair

Hey, remember that time we had an extensive talk about my hair? Yeah, let's revisit that. But first, a story.

I love Harry Potter. Pretty much anyone who's ever met me knows this to be true. I was one of those people who waited in line for hours to get the new book, who saw the midnight premiere of all of the movies, who obsessively read and re-read the books in preparation for a Harry Potter trivia night, who spent (and still spends, I have to admit) hours online scavenging for undiscovered information and, yes, that bane of fandom... fanfiction. I'm the adult woman who spent a small fortune traveling to and buying souvenirs at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. And I'm not ashamed. You know why? Because Harry Potter is awesome.

Product Review: Sweet Anthem Perfume - Lucille Perfume Oil

Check out my previous post on Sweet Anthem here!

The second perfume oil I tried out from Sweet Anthem was Lucille. Here is the description from their website:

"From an old Germanic ballad: The linden-maiden rests beneath an illuminated grove / night-blooming jasmine fastened in her hair / Surrounded by the memory of ash and smoke and trove, the linden-worm takes flight / off they climb together, through the salty air...Notes: Amber, Jasmine, Linden Blossom, Rosewood, Sea Salt, Tonka Bean."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Product Review: Sweet Anthem Perfume - Rebecca Perfume Oil

Sweet Anthem is just one of the many gems I came across at the Austin Renegade Craft Fair. I passed up the two other perfumeries that caught my eye at the fair, Rebel + Mercury and Imaginary Authors, to try out Sweet Anthem. I even had the pleasure of speaking with perfumer Meredith Smith herself. As if the amazing scents, cruelty-free manifesto, and charming packaging hadn't won me over already, Meredith was sweet, patient, and informative. I'm quite the indecisive shopper and she didn't seem to mind a bit. She even threw together a custom sample packet for me!

My sample set included three scents: Rebecca, Lucille, and Annabelle. Perfume is one of those products that, to me, is notoriously difficult to shop for. Oh, I can oogle and drool over any number of scents online or in-person, but it's hard for me to pull the trigger on a purchase, in part because of the expense of perfume and in part because I've found that high quality perfumes really evolve once you put them on. That's were sample packages like this one come in.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fashion Friday: Green Your Work Wardrobe

I'm going to start off by saying that I don't know a lot about fashion. I don't really consider myself a terribly fashionable person. If you're looking for advice on how to color block or match your nail art to your trendy bubble necklace or wear clashing enameled bangles all over your body, I'm not going to be very helpful. However, one thing I do know how to do is appear professional, proficient, and generally well put-together while maintaining my secret hippie ways. If you want to learn some simple ways to go green and stay green when it comes to office attire, read on.

Despite living in a notoriously hip, eco-conscious city full of social media start-ups and boutique marketing companies, the office where I work maintains fairly traditional, business/business casual dress expectations. I'm expected to wear things like slacks and blouses and close-toed shoes (whatever those are) while everyone else in this town is donning flip-flops and fashionably worn-in band shirts. Let me put it this way: they technically can't tell us not to wear jeans on Fridays, but the boss will not be impressed if it happens.

I'm also a young professional, only a few years out of college and recovering from several months of unemployment, so with rent, food, bills, and debt to worry about, my budget is fairly limited. Maybe there are folks out there who can ditch all of their collared shirts and navy pencil skirts for organic hemp harem pants and bamboo pashminas, but I am not one of them. I'm pretty sure you're not one of them either.

Yeah I can't wear this to work

The point is, office dress code and budget can really get in the way of being a dirty hippie when it comes to clothing. So here are some easy-to-follow steps (as well as some good food for thought) to follow to build and maintain a planet- and human-friendly wardrobe:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

TMI Thursday: I Went Camping for 5 Days and All I Brought Was Dr. Bronner's and a Diva Cup

Yeah, I think the title says it all.

So, for those of you who don't know me IRL, I went to Burning Flipside last weekend. I'm really not the camping type, but I make a special exception for this event. It really is something I think everyone should experience. But I digress. It's time for some TMI!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hippie Trick: Use Honey for Pretty Much Everything (But Specifically to Heal/Prevent Ingrown Hairs)

It's no secret that you can use honey for pretty much everything. It's one of those ingredients like apple cider vinegar, baking soda, or castile soap. Got a problem? Just use some _______ and it'll be fine!

For example, have some patches of dry skin on your face? Honey. Want to reduce blackheads and oiliness? Honey. Need some oomph in your 'do? Honey. Cutting back on refined sugars but still want to eat cake? Honey.

You get the picture.

So it's established that you can use honey for all sorts of health- and beauty-related dilemmas, but I'm about to tell you to put it someplace that you've never thought of before (no, not there!): your armpits. That's right, slather that stuff all up in there. Seriously, it's a godsend.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Product Review: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

I'm kind of obsessed with lip products. Lip gloss, lip balm, lip shimmer, lip tint, lipstick... I love all of it! Which is silly, since I'm not the kind of person that spends a lot of time putting on makeup. I think that's why out of all of the lip products I stuff in my purse, my current favorite is this Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm.

I picked up the shade "Hibiscus," which is a lovely pink/magenta sort of color. Whatever, it looks great.

There are countless things that I love about this balm. Number one is that it's a balm. Even with natural, clean products, lipsticks and other lip color tend to leave my lips feeling a little dry. Glosses by themselves make me feel like I'm in high school again. This balm is creamy, moist, and contains just the right amount of color for everyday wear. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to make up, so I hate standing in front of a mirror and attempting to expertly apply lip color. I can slap this baby on in the car or at my desk and it always looks great. Nice and natural, but with enough shine and color to pop. All in all, it's fantastic and I highly recommend it. I may even try some of their other colors.

A word about Burt's Bees and other mainstream brands:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Adventures in Hair, Part I: Or, How I Learned That Maybe My Hair Isn't Completely Crap

Okay, so here's the thing: I'm just not that into my hair. This isn't to say that I don't like it -- I happen to like it quite a lot these days -- it's just that I'm not gonna do much with it. I'm not going to blow dry it. I'm not going to curl it. I'm not going to use volumizing mousse on my roots and some other stuff on the ends. I'm not going to use a round brush in one hand and juggle a chainsaw and a flat iron in the other. I'm not going to take it out for a fancy dinner. There, I said it. This is something I have to explain every time I want a hair cut.

Not to say I haven't tried. It seems like every time I get a hair cut, the stylist somehow talks me into buying some new stuff that's soooo simple and easy and you can totally do it it'll take like five minutes. I'll try it for a few days, using the product, blow drying, attempting the bit with the brush and the blow dryer together... But eventually I just stop. Because here's the thing: no matter what fancy business I try with my hair at first, it basically ends up looking the same at the end.

Here's what I'm actually going to do to my hair: Step 1, wash. Step 2, towel dry. Step 3, comb and maybe arrange with my fingers a bit so I don't look like a homeless person. Step 4, occasionally brush throughout the day. If you're lucky, maybe I'll smoosh some product into it every now and then. And you know what? I'm finally getting to the point where I'm okay with this. Do you know why?

Because my hair has become (unbeknownst to me and without too much work on my part)... wait for it... fabulous. I will now regale you with the story of my hair. It's not that long and it has a happy ending, I promise.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Product Review: Jane Iredale Eyeliner Pencil

I dropped by the Beauty Store Salon & Spa the other day because it's the only place you can find Jane Iredale products here in Austin (that I know of). I've heard about this brand many times before, but I always seem to confuse it with Josie Maran. Note: they are not the same thing. I learned this the hard way.

I was actually on the look out for something similar to this little do-dad that was recently featured in an awesome Beauty by Britanie video. However, per usual, I forgot what I'd come for and got distracted by eyeliner. I've been somewhat underwhelmed by the natural eyeliner I've purchased before, which is sad because if I'm wearing makeup, eyeliner is a must. The liner I most recently tried out basically snapped in half and I'd been awkwardly attempting to keep using it, but was getting pretty fed up. That's when I met the Jane Iredale Eyeliner Pencil. Here's a picture from their website:

Pretty standard-looking pencil, am I right? But no my friends, this pencil is magical. Like I mentioned before, I've often been disappointed with eyeliners -- natural or conventional. I've tried using dark eyeshadow as a liner, but I can't get the definition I like. Even when I used conventional, chemical-filled eyeliner pencils (before I knew better), it was hard to find one I liked. I was committed to a drugstore brand called Prestige before I switched to clean products and nothing so far had lived up to that precedent... until now.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

To Tone or Not to Tone?

I have a confession to make.

I am addicting to toning.

Growing up, I never really understood the purpose of toners or astringents. To be perfectly honest, I still don't completely understand their purpose. I think it has something to do balancing pH levels or the skin's acid mantle.

Once I started actually caring about the state of my skin in my teen and preteen years, I happily scrubbed, polished, cleansed, oil-free moisturized, mattefied, and Biore pore-stripped, but never, ever "toned." The only toners I knew of seemed to made primarily of Listerine and flesh-eating bacteria. They smelled like alcohol, tasted like alcohol, and -- shockingly -- were mostly alcohol. No wonder I didn't like them. What sane person would want to slather artificially colored rubbing alcohol on their face? However, sometime around the same time I started reading labels, washing my hair with a lumpy soap bar, and using apple cider vinegar for absolutely everything, I reexamined my relationship with toners.

Oh, how wrong I was. Toning is awesome! Whether they call it toner or not (synonyms include astringent, mist, hydrating spray, clarifying lotion, etc.), it's a great way to refresh your skin, improve the absorption of your moisturizer, and add some great, skin-loving ingredients to your routine.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Tribute to Soap

So I know that I've completely neglected this blog and I am truly, deeply sorry. It pains me at night to think of the countless anonymous internet users who may have missed out on my wisdom regarding grapeseed oil or exfoliation techniques. But have no fear! I plan on revving things up in earnest here. Partially because I need an outlet for my obsession with all natural health and beauty, but mostly because I have too much free time on my hands right now. Plus, whenever I try to talk to my wife about this sort of stuff, she gets this odd glazed expression on her face. I'm not sure it's healthy.

To really kick things off with a bang, I am composing a tribute to soap. Soap is amazing. It's simple, effective, and altogether incredible. Don't listen to those stupid Dove commercials.