The holidays are right around the corner. Now, have you finished all of your shopping? No? Well, then never fear! I’m making a few gift guides geared towards beauty and health. The first gift guide is for that person who gets bashful when you spend a generous amount of money on them and they would rather have you save your money (I’m looking at you, Mom). Or maybe you are on a tight budget these season, but you want to give awesome, non-toxic, and maybe even organic products. If these cases describe what you’re going through then I have nine products that are sure to spread some cheer!
I can’t believe July has already flown by! As you may know, I’ve been busy with Disney and my sense of time has seriously been thrown off, which is both nice and scary at the same time! I honestly feel like Christmas will be upon us before we even know it!
Before I talk about my July favorites I thought I’d include a little history lesson about the Rani of Jhansi who is featured on Rifle Paper Co.’s Monarch calendar for the month. The Rani of Jhansi, whose name is Lakshmi Bai was a completely badass woman of 19th century India. She was well-educated and trained in archery, horsemanship, and she was quite good with a sword. She was the leader of the Jhansi state located in northern central India and she led a rebellion against the British after they disgraced her and her rightful heir. Unfortunately she did not survive in the end, but was revered as a hero and is often called the “Indian Joan of Arc” for her bravery and prowess.
I have to admit, I do not know too much about South Asian/Asian history in general so I had to look up this info and condense it. It’s nonetheless incredible to read and I’ll be featuring a kickass female monarch next month and the rest of the months in 2015 because these women have amazing history.
And now onto my July favorites!
It’s probably one of the longest names for a product, but don’t let this tongue-twister confuse you! This mascara is straight up AWESOME. It easily checks off every quality I look for in a mascara. Does it contain great, non-toxic ingredients? Yes! Does it stay put all day and not transfer onto my lower lash line? Yes! Does it separate my lashes AND gives me buildable volume? Yes!!!
So, if you’ve read my blog in the past you may have come across My Everyday Makeup post where I talk about what products I use, in particular Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara. Now that I’ve had the chance to try both the Aquarian Gaze mascara featured in this post and the Stellar Gaze mascara, I can eagerly say that the Aquarian Gaze mascara is a clear winner. This mascara seriously holds up and I don’t have to worry if it will flake or rub off during the day, which it’s always nice to not worry about one more thing in life.
The wand of this Aquarian Gaze mascara is pretty neat as well. It’s a rubber/plastic type of wand that seems like it wouldn’t do anything for your lashes, but it really lifts and separates while adding volume to your lashes. One coat won’t give you any crazy volume, so you have to apply a few more layers to achieve your desired look.
The name on this mascara says it’s water-resistant, but for me honestly it seems to be waterproof. I haven’t gone swimming, so I can’t attest to how it will hold up in actual water, but I have shed a tear or two and my mascara didn’t even budge! As far as taking it off at night, it does require a little bit more work and patience to get all of the mascara at your eyes (seriously though this mascara is worth the extra removal effort).
Pacifica’s Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Mineral Mascara is available at any Target (that’s where I bought mine) or online through Pacifica in the link above!
Celebrity-endorsed beauty product lines may sound gimmicky, but there are some true gems out there and I believe that The Honest Company as whole is a gem. If you don’t know, the company was co-founded by actress Jessica Alba who had a concern about the ingredients found in conventional baby products. Instead, she created a line of baby products that were safe, non-toxic, and all natural and the company has expanded its line to include personal care, beauty, and cleaning, vitamins and host of other products.
I always admired the company from afar, because their price point is just a tad too high for my budget. I finally gave in though because I was looking for a safe, non-toxic sunscreen that was unscented. That’s where Honest Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 comes in. Lotion sunscreens tend to give off a white cast if they’re not blended in too well, but this sunscreen doesn’t have that problem. The texture is lightweight and silky, which is nice because it gives your skin a slight sheen without being overly greasy.
It contains non-nano zinc oxide, which sounds like some futuristic space terminology, but really what that means is that the zinc oxide that protects your skin for both UVA and UVB rays will sit on top of your skin rather than be absorbed into your bloodstream. Think of non-nano to mean that there are bigger particles that your skin can’t drink up. There aren’t any harsh, toxic ingredients found in this sunscreen and in fact it contains plant and mineral-based ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil and jojoba oil.
The labelling on this sunscreen says its water-resistant for 80 minutes, but I would honestly reapply every 30 minutes if you’ll be swimming just to be on the safe side. This sunscreen is unscented which is perfect for those who are sensitive to products with fragrances and it’s also makes it a great canvas to add scented lotion on top without having two funky smells going on at the same time.
You can find this Honest Sunscreen in-stores like Target or online through Vitacost.com (it’s actually sold out on The Honest Company’s website).
Maybe this is too TMI, but I shed like crazy and I’m not too sure what is going on with my scalp recently. I honestly think I need to go to the doctor to check it out because my scalp has consistently been itchy for the past couple of years.
But this is besides the point. The reason I included this Avalon Organics shampoo in my July Favorites is because it just does a great job at cleaning my hair without leaving it feeling stripped or oily. I can’t speak for its thickening abilities, but just for a moment my scalp doesn’t feel as itchy when I use this shampoo. It has a wonderful smell that reminds me of Sprite. Think of that subtle lemon-lime scent, but without the fizziness and stickiness of an actual soda. This shampoo does have a sulfate in it, which is probably why it lathers up so easily and honestly I completely overlooked this ingredient, but it’s safe to say that I am happy with this product overall. I do want to try a different system, however, once I use up this shampoo.
You can buy Avalon Organics for a really great deal through Vitacost.com!
I haven’t seen any reviews about this particular brand and I only found out about them through Pharmaca because it was a new line added to their store. I was on the hunt to find an oil cleanser because I was tried of DIYing my own concoction so I just wanted something quick and simple. At first, I was thinking of purchasing One Love Organics’ Vitamin B Cleansing Oil that I have mentioned in a previous post, but it was just too pricey and I decided to try a different oil cleanser.
If you’re thinking OIL CLEANSING? ON OILY SKIN? WH-WAIT WHAT? Yes, you can oil cleanse even if you have oily skin. The trick is to figure out what oils will best suit your skin type. Some oils are known to cause acne for some, while other oils are perfectly suited for acne-prone skin.
I love to oil cleanse after a long day of wearing makeup. It just instantly melts away anything and everything that’s on my face. I like taking my time to massage the oil cleanser into my skin for about 2 minutes before I grab an almost too-hot, wet washcloth and wipe off the cleanser. I tend to save my eye area as the last part that gets massaged because the eye area is delicate spot since the skin there is much thinner than other parts of your face. That, and I don’t want to get mascara all over my face.
Kensington Apothecary’s Rose Oil Cleanser is so lovely because the ingredients are so incredibly simple and minimal. It contains organic oils like meadowfoam oil, peach oil, apricot oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and rose oil. It does smell like roses, and if you’ve been following my blog lately you know that I cannot stand powdery rose smells. This oil cleanser smells like true, fresh roses, thank goodness! It just makes the experience feel like a luxury.
If you like One Love Organics’ Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, then I highly recommend this Kensington Apothecary Rose Oil Cleanser because it’s loads cheaper through Pharmaca’s fabulous coupon codes it offers through its website!
Last but not least is a product that I recently mentioned in my 100% Pure Mini-Haul post! Now I love using this balm as a face moisturizer when my skin just feels absolutely parched, but I also found a new use for it! I try to go rock climbing about twice a week and my hands always get beat up after every session (I’m no pro by the way, but I feel like I’m slowly but surely improving!). To soothe my achy hands I like to take just a tiny pea-sized amount of this balm and rub it well into my hands. I recommend doing this after you’re done driving back home from the rock climbing gym because you wouldn’t want your hands to be slippin’ and slidin’ on the steering wheel.
Almost instantly, my hands feel about 10 times better because I’ve put some very needed moisture back into my hands. Climbing chalk can be extremely drying on your hands, which can cause the skin to break and peel easily, but if you use this balm or any heavy-duty hand cream directly after your climbing sessions, your hands will seriously thank you!
You can pick this Intensive Nourish Balm on 100% Pure’s website in the link above or at almost any green beauty retailer.
And these are the products that have seriously made an impact in my life this past July! Hope you enjoyed reading my lengthy reviews, but I also hope that you find them helpful! As always:
Leave me a comment down below if you would like any more information about these products or if you have any recommendations or if you would just love to share what you have been loving for July!
See you in the next one!
The past couple of weeks have been chilly which is weird for Southern California in May. But now, the weather is warming up and I thought I’d share some bright and flirty lip products to match the season! Lip products are notoriously known to contain toxic ingredients like lead and even though these ingredients are found in such tiny, trace amounts I’d rather steer clear of them all together especially if I’m using a lip product constantly. Now, your own purity standards may be quite different from mine and that’s totally fine! I live a “better to be safe than sorry” type of motto when it comes to my beauty products as you may already know from my previous posts. But enough yapping! Let’s dive in!
My bare lips just for reference on how pigmented these lip products are!
Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Hawaiian Smolder
SheaMoisture Lipstick Crayon in Sarah
Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Lingonberry
Pacifica Devocean Lipstick in Rebel Sol
Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Tangerine
If you saw my April Favorites post you would have seen this product featured. Just like I mentioned in my favorites, Hawaiian Smolder is the perfect your-lips-but-better type of color when you want want something on your lips to give your face some life. It gives a matte finish, yet it’s super moisturizing, however, it doesn’t hold up to eating and drinking so you’ll definitely have to reapply this throughout the day. For anyone who is vegan, this product may contain carmine, which I’m pretty bummed about, so I’ll be on the hunt for an affordable lip color that’s vegan once I use this up! According to the Burt’s Bees website their lip crayons are formulated with no added flavor or fragrance and it’s ingredients look pretty clean despite the carmine thing so it’s up to you if you’d like to try this one out honestly!
SheaMoisture is well known for their hair care products, but recently the company has launched a line of makeup that you can find at Target. I decided to pick up a lipstick crayon because I saw a get-ready-with-me video from SunKissAlba and I was super intrigued. The Target near me was running low on lipstick crayons that weren’t tampered with, so the only shade I could find was Sarah. I’m actually not disappointed by the shade in all honestly. It’s a bright fuchsia/magenta with a purple sheen when it catches the light and it’s moisturizing as well. I say this color is more appropriate for going out, but that’s because I think it’s too much to use for the daytime. Again, this lipstick contains carmine, which I really should have researched beforehand. According to Target’s website SheaMoisture lipstick crayons are “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Phthalate-Free, Dermatologist Tested, Paraben-Free, Hypoallergenic, and Non-Comedogenic,”
Vegan Cuts’ May Beauty box was really A+ this month and I’m especially in love with the Pacifica lipstick I received. Rebel Sol is a perfect coral color to wear during the day when you don’t want to wear a red or pink lip color. It’s a perfect stand-out color that isn’t too overpowering. Like the other two products mentioned, this lipstick is super moisturizing thanks to shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. “It’s formulated without: animal ingredients (including carmine, beeswax and lanolin), animal testing, FD&C colors, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, porpylene glycol, SLS, gluten, peanut oil and other ingredients you don’t want on your skin,” according to Pacifica’s website so you don’t have to feel guilty yay!
I don’t normally shop at Sephora because they have a lack of natural products and the ones they do have are pretty hecka expensive for my nonexistent budget. Despite this, I couldn’t help myself when I saw this lip duo in the little “aisle of doom” that you walk through before you pay for your stuff. Now you may think that $12 is a lot for such a tiny product, but you get two colors and both are super pigmented, so you only need a little bit of product to do the trick. I couldn’t really find the exact ingredient list for this lipstick duo, but according to Sephora this product was “created with natural and food-grade ingredients, [and] BITE Beauty lip products do not contain petrochemicals and are certified gluten-free.”
Tangerine is just as it sounds. It’s bright, in-your-face orange color that leaves a true matte finish so I would absolutely wear a lip balm under. Lingonberry is similar to SheaMoisture’s lipstick crayon in Sarah except that it’s a matte shade with no iridescent sheen. Lingonberry is also crazy pigmented like Tangerine. For both colors I like to dab the product onto my lips and then blend it in with my fingers as opposed to just swiping the product onto my lips straight from the tube. I find that this technique gives a much more natural effect, but you still get that bold pop of color, which is what I did in my photos above.
What lip products are you loving for spring and summer? I’d love to know, so leave me a comment down below! I apologize that I haven’t been blogging lately. School is kicking my butt at the moment and I’m trying to do well to end my senior year right. I have only two more weeks of school and then I’ll have more time to blog (hopefully)! Again thank you so much and stay tuned for my next blog post: My May Favorites.
**DISCLAIMER: ALL OF THE PRODUCTS MENTIONED WERE PURCHASED BY ME UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
With Coachella just a few days away to kick off the music festival season, I thought a beauty/skin/fashion post was a must. I live only an hour away from Coachella and I’m not quite sure if I will be going this year, but I just may get a ticket if I can round up my friends to do the same! I’ve only been to Coachella once about two years ago during a Sunday night for just a couple of hours because I had a VIP hookup (thanks again, Jen!).
Even though I wasn’t there during the day, I know how hot and dry it can get in the desert. But good news! The weather for Weekend 1 is looking to only reach the high 80’s to low 90’s, which is not too bad compared to previous years. Despite living in Southern California for nearly all my life, I hate the extreme desert heat and everything else that comes with it (i.e. sweating and sunburns). So, I’ve curated my top essentials that I would actually use or bring with me to survive the 3-day fest comfortably along with three fashion looks for each day of the festival. Now let’s do this thang!
While there are spots to relax in the shade, you’ll definitely be soaking up the sun at Coachella, which means a sunscreen is a must! Seriously, the California sun can be brutal in the desert and protecting your skin should be a priority #1.
I recently purchased this MyChelle facial sunscreen because I wanted to try something different from my Andalou Naturals facial moisturizer that had SPF in it. So far, I’m liking this sunscreen because it has a higher SPF and it creates a matte base for any makeup I wear. The only thing worth noting is that a little product goes a long way, so if you overdo it you can end up with that dreaded white cast. Also, if you skin is on the drier side I would caution you because this is barely moisturizing.
From Mychelle’s website:
“Unscented, environmentally- safe, full spectrum UVA/UVB sun defense that offers powerfully effective protection and is non-irritating near the eyes. Translucent Zinc and Titanium Dioxide provide a safe alternative to harsh chemical sunscreens. The addition of soothing Aloe and Vitamin E help reduce signs of sun-induced irritation.“
I don’t have full body sunscreen, which is bad I know, but I’ve heard great reviews about this one in particular. It offers UVA and UVB protection and it has some awesome natural ingredients in it as well. This Aubrey sunscreen comes in two other scents as well: a green tea smell and an unscented version for those sensitive to fragrance. I’m definitely going to have to try this out and I just may buy it soon. Either way, invest in a good body sunscreen so you don’t get burnt out there!
If you’ve read my March Favorites post, you probably know that I’m a sweaty gal. I also mentioned that the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant is my current favorite deodorant at the moment, but the Greenbody deodorant takes an easy 2nd place. Mainly because this deodorant comes in a stick form, which makes applying this a heck of lot easier and traveling with it is more convenient.
This does have a more masculine smell to it because it does contain Clary Sage, Wintergreen, and Pine but it’s not overwhelming at all. It doesn’t provide as much wetness protection as the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant, but hey it’s better than nothing! I would probably bring this deodorant with me, but my only concern is that this may melt and create a mess inside of a backpack. Still, I would recommend bringing a deodorant so that you’re not smelling like hippie! Looking like a hippie is one thing, but smelling like one is just….ew no, thanks.
To go along with the deodorant, I think cleansing wipes are must-have as well when you’re feeling sweaty. You can probably wipe down your whole body if you don’t have access to a shower. I wouldn’t recommend that, but these wipes can be useful to wipe your underarms, the back of your knees, your face, and anywhere else that you get sweaty and need a little refresher. Acure’s wipes literally free of everything. They are vegan, sulfate-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, PEG-free, petroleum-free, phthalate-free, silicone-free, they won’t clog pores, and they’re 100% biodegradable.
A face full of makeup in the desert heat does not sound like a great idea (at least to me) because that can mean a sweaty, melty disaster. For the festival I prefer a much lighter, natural look that this BB cream gives. Just as a warning, this is an extremely sheer BB cream that will barely even out your skin tone and it only comes in one shade that self-adjusts to your skin tone. If you have problematic skin, a fair skin tone, or darker skin tone you many want to skip this altogether.
I like this BB cream because if gives my skin a little boost of hydration and a glowy, illuminating look thanks to some incredibly fine shimmer particles. As another warning, this BB cream is heavily fragranced with a coconut smell, so if you’re sensitive to smells or you don’t like your BB creams to be scented then I would steer clear of this.
I know, this isn’t a natural beauty product. But before you gasp, let me tell you I have had this blush for a couple years and before I switched over to natural products. I just love this coral shade because it’s super pigmented and it warms up my skin during the spring and summertime. I actually think it’s a dupe for the NARS Orgasm blush, which is why I think I bought this in the first place. This blush also lasts an incredibly long time and I’m pretty sure it can survive through a day at Coachella.
Just as sunscreen is important for your face and body, sunscreen is equally important for your lips because they are just as exposed. I really love this EOS lip balm because I believe it’s the only balm that contains SPF in it, but it still smells amazing. The ingredients are pretty amazing too. It’s petrolatum and paraben-free, gluten-free, phthalate-free, and is not tested on animals.
This may not be an essential for some people, but in the heat you’ll probably want a nice mist to cool you down or to refreshen yourself. Rose water is a great hydrator and I’ve been loving this one from Shea Terra Organics. Rose water is great for overheated skin or rosacea and it is also has anti-aging qualities. Shea Terra gets this rose water from roses in Morocco and it’s the real deal. There are no artificial ingredients, just pure Moroccan rose water. It smells fresh and light like true roses and not like that dreaded old person, stuffy rose scent.
The California sun will be not only be hot, but also intensely bright. It won’t be fun squinting at the stage during your favorite artist’s set, so sunglasses are an obvious must. These retro-inspired sunglasses have 100% UV protection and they can also protect you from the desert’s notorious sand storms that make you feel like you’re on Tatooine.
9. Floral Scarf from Target
To go along with sunglasses, a scarf is a definite must because the Coachella Valley does experience sand storms. I’m not exactly sure if one will roll through during the festival, but it’s a good idea to have a scarf or a bandana to protect your hair and face. Trust me, when I went to Coachella for that one Sunday night a couple years ago a sand storm happened and I was covered head-to-toe in sand. It was in my hair, stuck on my face, in my shoes, and just everywhere! I got this scarf on clearance at Target for about $5 a couple of months ago and I think they may not have it anymore.
10. Faux Leather/Pleather Backpack from Forever21
Lastly, you’ll need something to carry all your stuff. I like the idea of bringing a small backpack versus a cross-body/satchel purse because then my hands can be completely free. I also like that I have more room and more pockets to store stuff. I got this pleather backpack from Forever21 a few years ago and I use it everywhere whether it’s Disneyland or traveling somewhere else. It has a front, magnetic snap flap with a drawstring closure underneath, two external pockets with magnetic closures and an pocket in the inside of the backpack. Because it’s a a pleather material it won’t get dirty easily and messes are easy to wipe off.
Fringe crop top from Forever21
Medallion feather necklace from Forever21
Hi-Rise Artist Flare jeans from American Eagle
Heeled Booties from Old Navy
Wool felt hat from Forever21
Lace top from H&M
Layering bra from Forever 21
High waisted shorts from Forever21
Booties from H&M
Slip dress from American Eagle
Layering bra from Forever21
Hand-me-down eagle pocket watch necklace
Print cardigan from Forever21
Heeled Booties from Old Navy
Faux leather backpack from Forever21
Floral scarf from Target
Now I don’t dress crazy for Coachella mainly because I’m broke, but if I had money you best believe I would be dressing like Vanessa Hudgens (she’s not going to be there this year btw, which I’m pretty bummed about because I love her style). Instead, I value comfort first and foremost. Then I look for style and aesthetics. So I picked three outfits for each day that I know are both comfy AND cute. They’re definitely on the neutral side of the spectrum, but that’s just how I like to dress.
I chose to pair a black fringe crop top from Forever21 with my Hi-Rise Artist Flare jeans from American Eagle and a feather medallion necklace. The flared jeans and fringe total give off a 70’s vibe without being too in your face because of the neutral colors. When I wear my flared jeans I like to wear a heeled bootie just so the hem of my pants doesn’t drag across the floor and get dirty. I also prefer to wear a closed-toe shoe instead of sandals because I don’t like the feeling of dirt in between my toes for a whole day.
I decided to wear a lace/crotchet top from H&M with a pair of black high-waisted shorts from Forever21. Under my top I’m wearing a navy lace layering bra from Forever21 because it’s comfy like a sports bra because it has no underwire and it also has removable padding for coverage. The navy color also adds a nice subtle pop of color under my shirt too. I also chose to a hat as an accessory not only because it’s cute but also because it’ll protect my hair and my scalp from getting burned from the sun.
I chose a flowy, cream-colored slip dress with lace detailing and a printed short-sleeve cardigan as my last look because I wanted to be just a bit more girly. Because this dress is flowy, I like to wear shorts underneath just in case there’s a surprise gust of wind. I’m also wearing the same layering bra in the last look because the dress is pretty strappy and it has an open back. I’ve always liked the look of silky, chiffon cardigans so I added that to accessorize this outfit to give it a bohemian vibe along with the same booties from Day 1, an eagle pocket watch necklace that I’ve had forever, and two bracelets that I’ve gotten as gifts from friends.
You can totally go all out and dress however hippy-dippy you want, but I chose to be comfortable and stylish because that’s just my taste. I hope you like my 10 ten Coachella essentials and my fashion looks for each day of the festival. Let me know if you’ll be going and what you’re bringing because I may just see you!
**DISCLAIMER: ALL OF THE PRODUCTS MENTIONED HAVE BEEN BOUGHT PERSONALLY WITH MY OWN MONEY UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE
On a day-to-day basis I like to keep things simple. I’m not one for dramatic, show-stopping, made-up looks, because frankly, time is my ultimate nemesis. I honestly wish I could quickly do a full-face makeup look that includes eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick, but I would probably be stuck in the bathroom for a good hour (not including the time it takes to wash my face first and then styling my hair). And if you can do a full, glamorous makeup routine in no time flat, please tell me your secrets!! But for now, here’s the products I rely on to not look like a total zombie throughout the day while still making it to my 7:40 am class on time.