Organic Haircare Review: Acure Organics Everyday Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner
My master bathroom has a rather large shower with a rather large built-in bench. You could spend a lot of time in there. Woah, now! Hold on just a minute!
Before you let your dirty little imaginations run wild, let’s remember that I am a beauty blogger. We don’t have normal, sexy-type lives. We have shelves filled with products and we spend our shower-time testing, analyzing, sniffing and thinking deep thoughts about ingredient labels.
But this morning, even I had to admit it was getting pretty crowded in there. On said bench sat not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR shampoo and conditioner sets. This doesn’t include the no-poo chemistry set and a bottle of BRAGG’s apple cider vinegar. The most shameful part is, I haven’t told you about any of it.
Over the past several months I’ve been looking for a natural shampoo solution. I have long wavy hair and tons of it. This isn’t a hair-brag, that long wavy hair is DRY. Like, Atacama Desert dry. Most shampoos build up and weigh it down after just one use. Despite my best efforts, I still don’t look like Connie Britton and finding a sulfate free shampoo has proven to be a challenge of deodorant proportions.
Alas, I’m happy to report I’ve finally found a shampoo that works for me: Acure Organics!
This shampoo doesn’t contain the silicone that was causing so many of my hair woes in the past.
It doesn’t build up in my hair, dry it out, weigh it down, or cause frizz!
What’s more, the texture of my hair has actually improved since I started using it a month ago, even after adding a swimming habit into the mix.
I can honestly say no other shampoo I’ve tried so far can make all of these claims, give me the suds I crave, and boast a great ingredients list. Acure Organics does all of the above and smells great while doing it! If you are suffering from similar hair problems, try this. At $11, the price is right, but if that doesn’t cheer you up, the fresh lemongrass scent will.
Now, in an effort to restore my blogdignity, how about a future post on all the shampoos that didn’t work for me? As my cluttered, non-sexy shower would suggest, there is quite a long list.
Have you tried any Acure Organics products? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
All products were purchased by me, all thoughts are my own.
Organic Skincare Review:
La Bella Figura Beauty
The first word that comes to mind when I talk about this brand and their beautiful products is: creative! The ingredients La Bella Figura uses and the exotic formulations they create are truly inspired. I first came across them during a green beauty twitter party. (Yes, those are a thing. You should join us sometime!) A little while later, a sample of their Découverte Under Eye Repair Serum appeared in my Goodebox. I was officially in love. I began talking more with the creators Victoria and Karen via twitter and was happy to discover that they are truly passionate about their creations and the green beauty movement. Also, like all great makers and artists, they are constantly experimenting and creating new things. So when Victoria of La Bella Figura offered to send me some samples, I was thrilled!
Below are the products I tried:
Rainforest Hydration Treatment (top):
This isn’t like anything I’ve ever tried. It’s a waterless balm packed with nourishing oils including buriti and sachi inchi oils, as well as plenty of the skin-friendly vitamins A, C & E. (The list of goodness goes on and on. You can read the full ingredients list here.) When you initially scoop the product out it feels dry, but once you warm it between your hands and apply, it melts over your skin like a light jasmine dream. Yeah, I said a light jasmine dream. I’m serious. I can’t get enough of this stuff! I mentioned before that I’ve been using this after a gentle scrub twice a week. It’s perfect for hydrating your skin after exfoliation as it hydrates and reduces inflammation. This combination has done wonders for my skin. In fact, you’d never know I went on three different beach vacations this summer. It’s that good.
Bio Active Purifying Mask (bottom)
Green in color and richly scented, this easy to apply mask is great for anyone with problem prone or oily skin. While I don’t have severe acne, I do suffer from the occasional breakout along with some rather stubborn blackheads. This mask gets a boost from the antibacterial properties of manuka honey as its base. Australian sandalwood lends its earthy scent and antimicrobial properties to a combination of natural clays that draw impurities from your pores. To top it all off, the mask becomes a gentle micro-scrub upon removal. I really enjoyed using this one and it smelled so good I didn’t want to take it off! You can read the full ingredients and purchase it here.
Bio Active Healing Mask (middle)
The color of this mask instantly struck me. It’s a beautiful purplish raspberry color with berry and jasmine scents. (And no, it won’t stain your skin!) It’s appropriate for dry, irritated or mature skin. While thicker than the purifying mask, it shares the same base of manuka honey but also boasts aronia berry powder, jasmine and amazonian white clay to calm redness, nourish and even gently exfoliate. While the purifying mask best matched my skin concerns, I liked this mask a lot. It was very calming to my skin but also had that bonus micro scrub when I removed it. That’s a tough combination to top! You can read a complete list of ingredients and purchase it here.
I look forward to trying more La Bella Figura products in the future. Everything I try from this brand is an absolute delight to the senses and to the skin! Victoria recently announced that they are working on some makeup products and gave a sneak peek of a lip color that will be coming out soon. I can’t wait to see what they come up with, I have every confidence that it will be as amazing as everything else they make! This is definitely a brand to keep your eye on for 2013. You can read more about them and purchase their products on the La Bella Figura website.
Full disclosure: As I mentioned in the start of this review, these samples were provided to me for my consideration. All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for stating them. I just love sharing great brands with you!
*Background photo Urban Outfitters catalogue.
Have you ever tried anything from La Bella Figura? What products do you have on your wish list? Let me know in the comments!
My apologies, dear readers! It’s been a while since I’ve done a hippie aisle review for you. These last few months I’ve been doing a lot of shopping and not a lot of sharing! Well it’s time to fix that!
Once I finally got the deodorant situation figured out, I decided to make November the month I solve all my hair problems. So far, it’s not going well. When you give up traditional shampoos and conditioners you avoid lots of nasty ingredients (yay!), but you also invite a whole new set of problems into your life (boo!). For example, I no longer wash my hair every day, which is a practice that even non-hippie haircare advocates recommend. However, I now find that my weeks require a lot of planning. Choosing which days to wash your hair also means choosing which days you can handle looking like a greaseball and which days might be more frizzball appropriate. Theoretically, in between those days, you will have one or two “good” hair days. But let’s face it, that’s not guaranteed either. Now, add running and exercise into the mix. Do you see why I’m hair-flustered these days? But I’m keeping the faith! Why? Because if my non-toxic journey has taught me anything, it’s that no matter how smelly or greasy things get in my life, with enough all-natural-hippie perseverance I know I can figure almost anything out.
Did you think I forgot this was a review? No, I didn’t silly! I’m just putting off being mean. The above conditioner is NOT going to be part of the answer to my hair woes. I purchased the Earth Science deep conditioning masque at my favorite local hippie store. It was a “staff recommended” product, as well as a favorite of my very own hippie aunt. Actually, it works pretty well. My hair is certainly healthier-looking after I use it, as long as I don’t use it too often.
There’s just one problem. I generally don’t enjoy smelling like I rubbed the September issue of Vogue and its 98 perfume ads all over my head. I just don’t. One of the best parts of going all natural has been the constant source of absolute aromatic ecstasy that surrounds me. So WHY on this beautiful green earth would a company that claims to be all natural use synthetic fragrances?? And HORRIBLE ones at that? I can’t figure it out, and I cannot recommend them. Sorry Earth Science, I’m not giving up on you forever, but I won’t be buying this product again and I’ll certainly make sure to sniff before I buy from you again!
What’s the best or worst thing you’ve found in your local store’s hippie aisle? Is there something you are dying to try? Let me know in the comments!
Review: Handmade Organic Skincare from B Free Organics
Whether you’re talking about chocolate chip cookies or skincare products, there is nothing more luxurious (or delicious!) than handmade. A couple of months ago Cassandra Davis, esthetician and creator of B Free Organics Skincare, contacted me about trying some of her products. (And by the way, when someone who looks like Halle Berry’s more beautiful twin sister asks to share any beauty secrets with you, you say yes!) I’m really glad she found me because the products I’m going to share with you are now part of my permanent rotation!
Basil Scrub This was the first product I opened, and since doing so, I’ve probably shoved it under at least a dozen noses. All those noses agree, this stuff is sunshine and happiness in a jar! More importantly however, it’s a perfect exfoliating scrub that’s safe for anyone to use because the sugar melts away at exactly the right moment. I am usually wary of recommending scrubs because they are probably one of the most commonly misused products on the market. (People, this is your face, not a plank of splintered wood, please be careful!) The beauty of this scrub is that it lasts long enough to lift off the dead skin but melts before you can do any damage. It’s also packed with oils that moisturize and treat your skin, I always see an immediate glow after I use it and I use it about twice a week. I will buy this again and again!
Fresh Facial Cleanser If you’re looking for a gentle cleanser, (trust me, you should be!) then this one is for you. This fresh smelling aloe vera gel based cleanser is not like any I’ve ever tried before. It’s entirely soap-free so it doesn’t lather. You actually massage the cleanser into your skin and leave it on for 2-5 minutes before washing it off. If you’re scratching your head right now, consider this: the mixture also contains glycerin, a humectant that attracts water to the skin and Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. The pure gentle ingredients make this cleanser appropriate for all skin types.
Facial Toner My two favorite ingredients to use as toners are rosewater and witch hazel. This toner has both, plus tea-tree essential oil to give it an acne-fighting boost! Like all of B.Free’s products, it smells fresh and invigorating and it’s a new favorite in my already extensive arsenal of toners. I use it both to remove any last remnants of makeup after cleansing and as a hydrating spritz before moisturizing.
Shea Lotion: Shea butter and grape seed oil combine with essential oils for a light, fresh scented lotion that I just can’t get enough of. It’s very plumping without being heavy or greasy so it’s also perfect for use at night. The shea butter also makes this a great quick treatment for your lips!
I reviewed all of the products I received, because I truly loved every one of them! If there were any disappointments when trying this line it was that I finally found a holistic, non-toxic esthetician only to learn that she doesn’t live or work anywhere near me! So, if you live in the Los Angeles area, please take advantage of your luck and go visit her at the lovely Oasis City Spa at the O Hotel! If I ever find myself in LA, it will be one of my first stops. You can purchase Cassandra’s products at her website, B Free Organics or at the Oasis City Spa.
Note: These products were provided to me for my consideration, but the opinions expressed here are my own and I received no compensation for reviewing them. I genuinely love handmade products, and I believe in supporting those who care enough to make them!
Have you ever tried anything from B Free Organics or do you see something you’d like to try? Let me know in the comments!
It’s that time again! “What time is that, PJ?” It’s “too much information about my armpits time”, that’s what! I’m not going to apologize, because I happen to know that all you really want to talk about is natural deodorant. How do I know this? Because every time I tell a new person about my “non-toxic journey” as I’m calling it, I immediately witness a shifty-eyed glance around the room followed up by a nervously whispered question:
“Have you found a good natural deodorant yet?”
I finally have a positive answer: “Yes! Yes, I have and her name is Soapwalla Deodorant Cream and me and my armpits just LOVE her!”
When I was in skincare school, our teacher would cringe when we used the indelicate term “armpits”. “They’re not armpits! They’re underarms!”, she would scold. At the time I begged to differ. They stink, they sweat, and they grow icky hair that has to be removed. They’re armpits. As modern ladies, we torture our poor armpits. This is especially cruel because this area is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Hot wax, quadruple blade razors, lasers and daily doses of poisonous chemicals like aluminum salts and parabens. Gee, why would I want to change any part of THAT routine? It’s like.. a routine, right?
My poor armpits have had a miserable life, and after years of abuse they’ve grown bumpy and irritated. Surprisingly, I was never a sweaty person. In fact, I’d have to work pretty hard to get my stink on. Yet, somehow when I changed to natural deodorant, I became what is commonly referred to as…a dirty hippie. I suddenly owned a pair of what one reader unaffectionately termed: “swamp pits”. What had happened to my life? I was slinking behind corners sneaking pit-sniffs left and right. I stank. I carried deodorant with me. I still stank. I thought I’d tried them all. From Tom’s of Maine, THE WORST, to the lovely Weleda, what I thought was the best. Sure, spraying myself with alcohol burned
a lot a little, but only for a second! What was a natural beauty blogging girl to do?
Luckily for my armpits, I still had faith that things could be better. Soapwalla was getting a lot of buzz in the natural beauty world, so I placed my first order with Spirit Beauty Lounge. Thank the naked-forest-dancing-deities I did, because I am back to my old, dry, non-smelly self again!
As you can see above, Soapwalla is a deodorant cream. This concept may be new to some of you, but consider this: my armpits can be called underarms now! Think about it. Instead of harsh chemicals, you’re spreading a mixture of organic oils and superfine organic vegetable powders under your arms. That’s a recipe for soft, smooth skin! No more bumpy, irritated armpits here! Just dry, ladylike, underarms. Ahhhh.
This stuff WORKS and it works all day long. It smells fresh and natural upon application, and then you’re dry and worry-free all day! I am so happy I found this wonderful product, I just had to shout it from the Bloggin’-tops!
So, trust me. If you’re on the same miserable, sweaty journey that I was on, don’t waste any more time! Purchase some Soapwalla today! You can find it on their Etsy site, or at Spirit Beauty Lounge!
Have you tried Soapwalla? Did it change your life? Let me know in the comments!
**Every once in a while, when I get spastically excited about a product I feel the need to remind you: In no way was I compensated for this review! I just love it and I want you to love it too!
Juice Beauty. In a Word: Yum!
In the eyes of the average, non-beauty-blogging person, I probably have way too many skincare toys to play with. However, when Juice Beauty offered to send me some products for my consideration, I said “heck yeah!” I’ve had my eye on Juice Beauty since I started researching natural skincare. I mean come on, the whole idea just sounds yummy. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed! Here are my three favorite items I tried:
This month’s box was definitely not as exciting as the last (I prefer lots-o-makeup), but I still feel like I’m winning with Goodebox because I can USE everything I get! The pink item you see is a witch hazel toner, which I’m super into these days. I find they really help with fighting oiliness and blackheads. Also, I’ve been wanting to try out a new non-toxic shampoo and conditioner, so the selection was actually quite timely.
I realize there is no such thing as a beach genius award, but if there were, Hylunia would have won it last week. Now don’t go hatin’ folks, this is an atypical summer. I was lucky enough to go on another beach vacation last week. This time, I went with a large group of friends and family. As you can imagine, when you go on vacation with an aesthetician/beauty blogger, she will chase after you with skin-protecting serums and non-toxic sunscreens. That’s a promise, and here’s why:
Sun exposure accounts for up to 90 percent of skin’s aging. NINETY PERCENT! That means that not only do you need to prevent sun exposure, you also need to reverse the damage caused when said exposure is unavoidable. I am happy to report that after an entire week of sea-bathing, my skin is only slightly tan, albeit very freckled, but it is SOFT. Softer than it’s been in a long time! I credit this to the following products, in order of use:
Hylunia Gel Cleanser - This might be my all-time favorite cleanser. Zinc oxide sunscreens can be thick and even waxy feeling, so you need a cleanser that is strong enough to remove them, but gentle enough not to dry out your already sun-stressed skin. Like many of Hylunia’s products, it contains the miracle skin-softening ingredient, hyaluronic acid. I recommend this product to almost everyone, it’s just that good.
I haven’t talked about the makeup I’m wearing daily in quite some time; I’ve been so damn confused about it! Not to mention I don’t have to go into an office every day so I don’t wear a lot. But today I’m going to the library so I figured I’d spruce up a bit! I’m happy that I’m finally able to rotate in some more natural-ish makeup. I wish I had more of it, but one thing at a time, eh?
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I love Birchbox, but am tired of donating all the items that are chock-full of the toxins I’m trying to avoid . Lately, I’ve been donating almost everything I receive. Well, no longer. I signed up for Goodebox about twenty seconds after hearing about it. It’s everything I love about Birchbox, beauty samples delivered to your door every month, but all natural and organic. No toxins here! I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got this package yesterday. There’s not one thing in here I’m giving away. I love it all! Thank you Goodebox for not letting me down!