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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Product Review: Madison Street Beauty Eyeshadows & Bronzer + SWATCHES!

Okay guys, here's what you've been waiting for... swatches of all of my beautiful Madison Street Beauty samples! Just an FYI - Madison Street Beauty is doing a freaking AMAZING sale right now -- 60% off everything in the store! Unfortunately, this sale ends tomorrow, April 1st, so jump on that soon.

Now, without further ado, the swatches!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

W3LL People Mascara Launch!

 Oh my gosh, you guys! Did you know that one of my absolute favorite green beauty brands, W3LL People, just launched a new mascara? Be still my heart!

It seems like all sorts of wonderful green brands are putting out mascara these days -- RMS Beauty, ILIA Beauty, Juice Beauty, Kjaer Weis, just to name a few -- and I couldn't be happier! Mascara is a notoriously difficult product to transition to "clean." I've heard complaints from even the greenest beauty mavens, and it's one of those dirty products that many people just can't give up.

I've been lucky enough to find several green mascaras that work fairly well for me, but they're far from perfect. One thing that I would love is a bolder, more voluminous look from my mascara. I have long-ish, medium thickness lashes that are lighter in color, so without mascara, there's really nothing to make my eyes pop. I'm constantly jealous of my wife, who has beautiful lashes that are naturally crazy long, thick, and gorgeous! Of course, she couldn't care less about makeup. Such is life.

While I haven't gotten my hands on this new W3LL People mascara (or any of the aforementioned mascaras... a little out of my price range at the moment), I was gifted a green mascara that I've heard good things about from Honeybee Gardens. I'm looking forward to trying that one out and passing the info on to you fine folks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Revisiting LUSH - Let's Go Shopping!

I know what you're saying. Now Sadie, you threw a lotta shade at LUSH back there, then said that you support it! What gives? Which products are actually safe?

Well, lucky for you, I'm a crazy person and I've compiled a huge list of all of the products at LUSH that I consider clean and safe, plus their ingredient lists!

A couple of notes: in most cases, I don't use products that contain perfume, parfum, fragrance, or flavor, because it's nearly impossible to figure out what's in them and they're notorious for hiding nasty toxins like 1,4-Dioxane. After some research, I've determined that LUSH is trustworthy enough not to do that. Fun fact: LUSH is one of (if not the) largest purchaser of rose essential oil and rose absolute. These are horrifically expensive fragrance and skin care ingredients and there are plenty of cheaper, sometimes toxic synthetics that could be used instead. To me, that speaks volumes. A brand willing to spend more on the better ingredient? Shocking.

Also, several of the products listed contain potentially abrasive botanicals: Geraniol, Eugenol, Limonene, and Linolool. These are components found in some essential and fragrance oils that some people may be sensitive or allergic to. I have never had any trouble with them. They can also have harmful effects when exposed to certain other factors, such as sunlight, but in products that never see the sun and are only used occasionally (masks, bath bombs, etc.), I consider them fine. If you have problems with these ingredients, or are uncertain, just err on the side of caution and don't use them.

Without further ado, here are my picks!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Revisiting LUSH - The Good, the Bad, and the Sort of Questionable

I've noticed more and more green beauty blogs talking about LUSH. You know the place -- it's like a more hippie chic version of Bath and Body Works. Overflowing with (admittedly delectable) scents, quirky packaging, a myriad of bath bombs and soaps stacked like colorful fruit ripe for the picking...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Just checking in...

Howdy, dear readers! Just a quick check-in to apologize for my slight absence. It hasn't been long, I know, but I miss this blog too much to go on without it! There's a lot on my plate at the moment in non-blog land, namely work, some freelance writing, and tinkering around with a very special green beauty project that I'm eager to share with you soon...

I know I gave you a little review yesterday, but here's a sneak peak of what you have to look forward to on the blog in the near future:
As previously mentioned, it's SXSW here in Austin and I'm planning on checking out some new brands at the Renegade Craft Fair tomorrow, plus maybe catching some free shows over the weekend. I'm seriously wondering how my fellow beauty bloggers manage to keep everything together!

But enough about me. What is everyone out there doing with their weekend? How are you dealing with this crazy weather? And most importantly... what would you like to see on the blog next?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Product Review: Claribel Nourishing Eye, Lip & Facial Oil

Howdy folks! Sorry for the lack of posts last week. It's been pretty crazy over here in my world, and now that SXSW has invaded my home city of Austin, TX, I find myself a bit too caught up in all of the excitement to do my usual posts! Psst, I'm going to a secret show tonight, so keep an eye on my Instagram for pics.

As a consolation, here's a quick little review of a lovely facial oil that I've been using:

claribel skin treatments & cosmeceuticals is a small green brand with a wide array of luxurious yet affordable products. I'm a complete Etsy junkie, so I'm constantly on the look-out for up-and-coming indie brands, which is where I originally found claribel's shop. That Etsy shop is still around, but now they have a fancy new website, too! claribel has been on my list for a while and I finally settled on their Nourishing Eye, Lip & Facial Oil.

I originally bought this oil as an eye makeup remover because my usual cleanser wasn't cutting it. Now that I have my amazing ED4OLO Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, I no longer need it for that purpose, but it's still an excellent product.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Product Review: Skin by Ann Webb Peppermint Milk Skin Brightening Cleanser

There are a lot of lovely people out there that can get by in the morning without cleansing.

I'm not one of them.

I guess it's a similar compulsion to my need to wash my hair every single day. If I don't wash my face it the morning, it simply doesn't feel clean to me. I can tell myself all sorts of things about the delicate acid mantle and my skin's need to stay moisturized by its own healing oils, but it makes little difference. If I don't wash my face, it feels greasy and unclean to me. My oiliness is the major problem, but then there's also the fact that I'm a delicate princess and I drool and sweat and flounder around all night long.

I've also found that if I don't wash my face in the mornings, my skin looks greasier throughout the day. It can affect the wear of my makeup. There are a lot of perks to having oily skin: reduced fine lines, less need to moisturize, much fewer signs of aging, and a general glow that many folks have to get from a spritz of hydrosol or some kind of dewy luminizer. I am grateful for all of these things. What I don't like is the feeling and look of greasiness, especially at work or when I'm out somewhere trying to look pretty. So I wash my face every morning.

All that being said, I've become much more cognizant of the need to be careful with my face, especially as I get (gasp) older. I don't want to strip my skin of nutrients and moisture, I just want to remove any sweat, dirt, or grease that's accumulated overnight. I want something gentle and refreshing that will provide the proper base for makeup. I used to use raw, local honey --  which works fantastically, don't get me wrong! -- but I think I've found something even better.

Skin by Ann Webb is a local brand here in Austin that is something of a cult secret. I suspect that it will become less so now that it's being carried in several area Whole Foods. This is a brand that I want to talk more about in a later post, so I won't ruin that for you and I'll just focus on the product that got me started with Ann Webb: Peppermint Cleansing Milk.