Starting a Non-Toxic Beauty Regimen, #BeautyCommunityUnite, Pretty Wellness TV, Episode 9

I can’t seem to remember my first makeup purchase. However, I have many vivid memories of embracing beauty trends ever since I was in elementary school. Many days were spent scouring the drug store for the right iridescent pink Wet & Wild lipstick. All the shops also sold Almay plum eyeliner, navy blue mascara and multi-colored Lee press-on nails, so my caboodle was filled with vibrant colored make-up. Though I spent a considerable amount of time getting dolled up with my girly friends, we only have a few Kodak Disk photos to show for it.

Today, us make-up lovers have many ways to share our experiences. Since changing my diet toward organic and non-toxic foods, I’ve also revamped my beauty routine. It took some researching and experimenting with various brands, but now, I’ve figured out how to easily shop clean for my skin-care regimen. I share with you how I started on this journey. Episode nine on Pretty Wellness TV showcases how to take small steps toward eliminating toxins in your beauty routine.

Small Steps Toward Better Beauty Habits: Make-up

I received many comments, questions and notes after a previous post about my beauty and cleansing routine. So, I decided to open up my make-up bag and showcase what products I’m using now for a healthy glow. For an all-natural look, these items are utilized in my daily routine. My criteria was: vegan ingredients, no soy and low ranking (no higher than a three) on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. This site evaluates the ingredients in beauty products and associates a toxicity ranking for each item included. Below are my favorite items for a neutral look.


My favorite mascara is: Mineral Fusion Lengthening Mascara

When I started trying different organic mascaras, this one just worked. The brush was soft against my eyelashes and the mascara consistency wasn’t too light. Mascara is my very favorite product, so I can be picky. I wanted one that can be brushed on easily with staying power. I also use a lot of this product (about 30-brush strokes per eye) for an evening look, to enhance the length and volume. I found Mineral Fusion mascara to work well for both. I utilize other products of theirs and have found it consistent with the company’s mission to “improve your complexion while nourishing the skin, all while being appropriate for even the most sensitive skin types.” It is also easy to find the brand, sold at local Whole Foods Markets, so buying it was convenient.

My favorite colored lip-balm is: The Naked Bee Plum Orchid Natural Lip Color
A brunette my whole life, those summer icy-pink lip balms only made me look washed out. Even during the day, wearing a bright color makes my teeth look whiter and my smile pop. I used to wear fruity lip balms to give a deeper colored gloss with a Chapstick feel. This product does a little of both even better. I like that the brand promotes using natural and clean ingredients, so they are free of parabens, propylene glycol, dyes and pigments.

My favorite concealer is: Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick Concealer
Many of the healthy vegan concealers have soy, so this one was found after reading a multitude of product labels. It is technically not a stick, rather a creme in a tube. However, a few dots covers up dry spots and blemishes effectively. Most ingredients in the concealer are certified organic as well as derived from plant oils. I am still looking for a better alternative with less ingredients, even though I only use a dab at a time.

My favorite nail system: polish and remover is: Mineral Fusion
I’m a huge fan of this brand and I’m not being paid to promote them. I just like to be loyal if I find products that work for me. Their assortment of nail polish colors is vast and creative, more than 60 to be exact. While I lean toward the light mauves and pinks, I’ve often considered the yellow or teal hues for fun summer toe-nail colors. They also are free of formaldehyde and phthalates. The nail polish remover is gentle and acetone-free. It doesn’t dry the nails or cuticles either.

My favorite facial creme is: Juice Beauty Oil-free Moisturizer with SPF30
Gone are the days of baby oil and tanning cremes with lower than SPF30. This product can be utilized as a daily moisturizer as well as SPF coverage. My doctors recommend using SPF30 even in the winter. If I’m beach bound or exercising in the sun for hours, I will re-apply after a few hours.

Stay tuned of more information in this series, Small Steps Toward Better Beauty including more of my favorite clean and green products. Please comment with questions or your personal favorite products. 

Small Steps Toward Better Beauty Habits: Feeling Fresh & Clean

In my pursuit of taking small steps toward health, happiness and being beautiful, I decided to not only cleanse my eating, but also overhaul my many beauty products. After all, our skin is our body’s largest and fastest growing organ. This fall, my shopping spree started with reviewing the most important daily necessities including soaps, face washes and deodorants, to name a few. In doing so, I looked for organic and vegan products and used the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to better understand the ingredients in my beauty products. I was willing to spend extra money, but luckily I was recently able to find some  items that worked well and were reasonably priced. Loving to shop and try new beauty products, I continually keep my eye out and try new products. Here is a snapshot of the items I am using this spring and summer. If you prefer to use the gallery photos, my favorites are indicated by the three-stars. The pics next do it are the items I no longer use.

My favorite face wash: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Tea Tree Oil. The slight lather cleanses well, combined with the essential oils that leave my skin smooth. I also use this to wash my makeup brushes as recommended by a makeup artist.

My favorite body soap: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint. I use this for body soap daily and sometimes for shampoo and face soap when I need an all-in-one product. The mint has a refreshing smell and effervescent tingle on the skin, too.

My favorite deodorant: LaVanila Laboratories – The Healthy Deodorant. I love the vanilla lavender smell. I tried several organic, non-aluminum deodorants and most only worked for an hour or two. I find this one lasts at least half the day and definitely through a long workout session. Like all-natural products, though, I tend to re-apply throughout the day.

My favorite eye make-up remover: Coconut oil. It is easy and smells so sweet. Just rub a little on your face and use a tissue to wipe off.

My favorite toothpaste: Tom’s. I use the Whole Care toothpaste. Many of the conventional toothpastes have added sugars and artificial colorings. I find this one works well to clean my teeth, keep them white and wards off stinky breath.

My favorite sunscreen: Kiss My Face with Hydresia SPF 40. This has minimal ingredients and is clear of the toxic ones. My 5-year old has very sensitive skin and does well with this brand, too. Note – when I buy beauty items, I look at the ingredients for each one because not all brands are consistent with using non-toxic ingredients in all products.

My favorite hair ties: While not a true necessity, anyone with long hair knows that the daily face cleansing, makeup removal and beautifying process is much easier with a great hair clip. For years, the problem was that trendy hair bands always left a mark. Emi-Jay ties are the best. I use them during my nighttime routine, to sleep in or even wear my hair in a bun. As soon as I take it out and brush through, my hair looks remarkably flowing without the kinks.

What are your favorite beauty necessities? Are you in search for something new?

Green Beauty Products Review: Journey to the Natural World

I LOVE beauty products! Ever since I was a kid, I paged through “Dynamite,” “Seventeen” and “Tiger Beat” magazines in hope of finding the right product to transform me into a beauty queen. Plum eyeliner, tubes of the latest L’Oreal mascara and Lee Press-on Nails were among my favorites. Even well into adulthood, I still played with makeup. Thanks to my former roommate, who worked in the beauty industry, we hosted lipstick naming brainstorm sessions and enjoyed unique samples. I seldom veered from my favorites, though. Until this fall, when helping with my vegan diet, a nutritionist friend questioned whether I planned to go vegan with my products, as well. Then and there, she ignited a new adventure – finding natural and vegan girly-stuff.