A Year of Green Beauty Blogging: 2014 Favorites

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Hello Friends! So it’s been a year since I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution. I am really glad that I did and impressed that I managed to do nearly a post a week. There are a lot of things I don’t do—videos, perfect photos, FOTDs, OOTDs…but what I have managed to do works for me, and my schedule. Maybe I will incorporate some of the other stuff in 2015—we shall see. I suppose I can at least get on Instagram. Anyway, I am glad to still be at it and more importantly that I still enjoy it!

It has been a fun year of exploring green beauty. Truly, I have thoroughly enjoyed it—especially on the skincare front. I thought I would sum up some of my best product hits of the year for you. (Most, but not all, are pictured above.) Enjoy!

Most Repurchased Items:
One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil, Yuli Halcyon Cleanser, First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads,and Pratima Rose Neem Facial Sunscreen. These seriously rock. That is all. Reviewed here, here, here, and here.

Most Luxurious Item:
May Lindstrom’s The Honey Mud. This isn’t the most expensive item I’ve tried (especially since I got it through a great sale), but it’s the most show-stopping. The packaging; the scent—oh my goodness, the scent; the look feel and texture of the mud…it’s a heavenly experience in a jar. It’s actually two experiences in a jar since you can use it as a cleanser or mask. Look for a review soon.

Most Surprising (in a very good way) Item:
Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation. Early in my green journey, I gave up on finding a green liquid/cream foundation. Gressa changed my mind. Reviewed here. Honorable mention to Alima. I may prefer liquid, but this powder is very good.

Samples that Convinced Me to Buy:
I have tried LOTS of samples. Only two convinced me to take the plunge and get the product. The first was Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask. Exfoliates without irritating at all. Reviewed here. The second was One Love Organics Morning Glory Oil. Plumping and moisturizing; sinks in fast, plays well with sunscreen and makeup. Review coming soon!

The Cosmetic Brand I Have the Most Items From:
This is a two parter. One: My lip color wardrobe in now totally clean in large part to Ilia. I now have seven colors and have my eye on two more. My fave is Shell Shock. I wore that all spring and summer and some days in fall and winter. Whether you want to go green or not, this is a great lippie brand. Honorable mention: RMS Lip Shines. You need at least one of those too. Two: Kjaer Weis eye shadows. I have Divine, Cloud Nine, Magnetic and Wisdom. Beautiful colors and great performance. I say: skip the luxe packaging and buy the pans. You can put them in a Z-palette and use the savings to buy additional colors. I have my eye on charmed. I really need to do a post on these. And I will!

Best Cheap Thrill:
Waxlene and The EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush are tied for this one. These are too cheap not to try. Reviewed here and here.

The Hero:
Youngblood’s Eye Illuminating Duo Pencil. Wakes my peepers up on the daily! Reviewed here.

Ahhh….Favorite Spray Toner:
I’ll end on this one because it feels so good…I fell for spray toners hard this year. And I didn’t come across a single green option that I didn’t enjoy. This is one step in my routine that I don’t leave out. Not just because it tones or preps skin for max moisture. It’s because it feels so darn nice! Yuli’s Panacea Elixir does occupy the top spot BUT One Love Organics, Suki, and Zen Society have lovely toners as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a Powder: Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation

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Despite getting sucked in by infomercials for mineral foundation–all the swirling, tapping, buffing–I have never been tempted to buy any. Loose powder is messy. Liquid and cream foundations are just easier. Right? Except that I now use a loose powder mineral foundation. Yeah, no one is more surprised than me. It’s Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation (not sold on tv, or at least I don’t think it is). If you are looking for a greener foundation, you sort of have to consider mineral foundations. Like our favorite movie stalker, they’re no gonna be ignored. Here is why I picked Alima:  their approach to ingredients, their certifications, use of the word “matte” in the product description, the nifty foundation finder tool on their site, and the very reasonably priced samples ($1.75 each).

I used the foundation finder tool and decided on 4 sample colors. They arrived in beautiful packaging with a tiny kabuki brush. I couldn’t wait to try it out…and when I did…I hated it. It looked patchy and didn’t cover well. I put the samples in a drawer that serves as my makeup purgatory. Then one lazy Sunday, I didn’t want to deal with foundation and finishing powder. I remembered the Alima samples. I skipped the brush and used a powder puff because I thought it would be faster. And it worked much better. I liked what I saw enough to use up the best color match of the samples over the course of a few days and then ordered a full size—on sale for $20/.23 oz. (It’s usually $25.) I also got myself a flocked sponge which works much better than the puff I had been using. An aside: flocked sponges, why am I just now learning of you? Of your awesomeness?

I am so glad I gave this another chance. It just turns out the brush isn’t for me. Instead it’s all about the flocked sponge and perfecting my own approach, which includes: making sure to moisturize first (and let it sink in), applying it in light layers, and setting it with my beloved Zen Society Hydrating Rosewater Mist whenever it looks a little dry. (Zen mist reviewed here).

It is very light, yet buildable to a medium coverage. It feels nonexistent on your skin–unless you put on too much! It’s totally gentle and non-irritating, or at least it is for me. Here’s what’s in it:

Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). Nothing more.

It comes in tons of shades and undertones. My first purchase was Beige 2. I later purchased it in Beige 3 so I can adjust the color as the seasons change. I do notice that as the day progresses, I get a little shiny in the t-zone. Funny thing is, it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. It looks glowy. Some foundations look better after they’ve been on awhile and I think this is one of them. I may get their finishing powder for summer. We’ll see how much glow I can handle before needing to mattify. In the meantime, I am digging it. Good job, Alima.

Quickie: A Product I Reach for Every Day

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Yeah, I know. There are products we all reach for everyday— sunscreen, foundation, English muffins. Those are all MUSTS for me too. This product one I don’t have to reach for, but I do.

I was never a fan of lining the waterline for a smokey eye. It doesn’t stay on, it smudges, you have to retouch, it gets on contact lenses. But what about lining with a light nude to wake up those peepers? Well, then the fading/smudging isn’t such a big deal–especially if the nude liner is fairly close to your skintone. I have always a fan of a little luminosity on the inner corner of the eye and brow bone. Now I am able to do all three things with one product: Youngblood Eye Illuminating Duo Pencil.

I use this thing every day. I generally don’t take the time to do eye shadow in the morning. Instead, I sweep the shimmer side of the YB pencil under the arch of my eyebrows and dab some in the inner corners of my eyes.  The pencil is very smooth and applies without tugging. The color looks champagne-like in the swatch, but I find it to look more of a pink champagne and when applied to the inner corners. It brightens without being overly sparkly and stays put. I use the matte site on line my waterline. That doesn’t stay put all day, but I don’t expect it to. I also think the matte nude in this pencil is preferable to lining with a white liner. White seems too noticeable to me. I’ve also never had any irritation from waterlining with this product.

This is definitely a secret weapon for me. This, a little liner and mascara and guess who looks awake and ready to face the day? Love.

Read about the brand and ingredients here.