Summer Empties: Part One


I have been doing empties posts on a seasonal basis because I just don’t seem to finish things very quickly. But it would seem summer is an exception. I was going to wait until September, but the bag I was using to hoard hold the empties was pretty full, so here is part one.

Beginning on the left:

Alba Hawaiian Body Oil ($10.50; 8.5 ounces) I got this from my local health food store when I first started exploring body oils. This is a affordable, very moisturizing oil. However, it scores a 4 on EWG. It’s one of the items in the bunch that is nice, but easily replaced by something cleaner–and has been. I’m currently using One Love Organics Vitamin C Oil. After that, I plan to blend my own concoction! More on that later.

Derma E Vitalizing Pomegranate Cleanser ($11 or $12–I can’t recall; 6 oz) Again, I got this early on in my transition to greener options. I think this particular cleanser may have been discontinued by Derma E. Since I have moved away from foaming cleansers, I finished this by using it to clean my brushes.

Yes to Carrots Shampoo ($6.99; 16.9 oz) This shampoo is affordable, scores a 3 on EWG, and produces lots of lather with no SLS. Now that it’s finally used up–you only need a little and it’s a BIG bottle–I am going to crack open Yarok’s shampoo. I cannot wait (yeah, I know, I’ve got to get out more).

Yarok Feed Your Ends ($13.20; 2 oz) I love this stuff. I’ve already gotten the large size. I love the speed and convenience it offers. I don’t miss conditioning in the shower at all. A few spritzes of this organic conditioner leaves hair glossy, moisturized and manageable. And it smells divine.

One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil ($42; 4 oz) This is my last bottle in the old packaging. I just opened my backup. This stuff rocks on so many levels. Great ingredients: Check. Effective at removing makeup–including mascara: Check. Appealing scent and feel: Check. Any very important to me–it emulsifies when you add water so you don’t have to remove with a washcloth unless you want to. This product is probably my most repurchased skincare item. See my review here.

Yuli Panacea Elixir ($68; 3.4 oz) Ever try a product and fall in love from first use? That’s me and Panacea. It’s a luxurious, clean, expertly formulated balancing toner. Gorgeous. Gorgeous, I say! Review here.

Pratima Neem Rose Facial Sunscreen SPF30 ($28; 2 oz) Not one, but two empties of this one. If you want a sunscreen that has a short, clean ingredients list, feels like a light lotion, and plays well with makeup then look no further. Review here.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (a bloody fortune; 1 oz) This antioxidant powerhouse does work to make sunscreen more effective. It’s so pricy I can’t bring myself to look up exactly what it costs. Thankfully Kimbery Loc just did a great review of Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum. I just ordered it (at like a quarter or fifth of the price of Skinceuticals). Kimberly is pretty spot on with her reviews, so I think it’ll be good.

Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner ($58; 1.7 oz) I really liked using this as a  light layer of moisture before a little oil on nights I wanted to give my skin a break from acid or retinol products. It is very soothing and I like clean scent and cooling gel texture. First impressions post here.

Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil ($25; 2 oz) This oil smells damn sexy–citrus, floral, vanilla and none of them obvious. It’s also very moisturizing and I thought it had a firming effect. I received it with an Osmia Soap Stash for Mother’s Day. Osmia makes perfect pampering gifts that are clean and dreamy.

Waxleene ($4.00; 1.95 oz) I love this stuff. It is my only night time lip balm.  The tube above isn’t empty. It turned on me a bit because I didn’t use it fast enough. It’s got soybean oil and beeswax and is the perfect combo of moisturizing and waxy (I like waxy balms as they stay put). I have since replaced it with their new (smaller) lip balm size/packaging. Review here.

Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel ($21) I love the miniscule brush on this. If you are like me and don’t have any major areas to fill in, then you can skip pencil with this. The tiny brush allows you to comb the brows and use the tiny tip to add color where you need it. I have the Tarte and Jane Iredale brow gels and confess to dipping the Tarte brush into the JI brow gel. Both reviewed here.

Nature’s Gate Toothpaste in wintergreen ($4.29; 5 oz). I really liked this toothpaste. It’s SLS and fluoride-free; tastes good; and has a smooth gel consistency.




Empties: Spring Edition


Deep Steep Grapefruit Bergamot Hand Cream

I blogged about this as part of a Whole Foods purchase. Here is what I said about it:

Deep Steep Hand Cream in Grapefruit Bergamot ($9.95, 2 oz): This is a pretty good hand cream with a lovely, subtle scent. Nice ingredients, sinks in fast and smells good. Might be a better warm-weather option as it’s light. I like it, but not enough to go out of my way to get it again.

In life, it’s important to admit when you’re wrong. So I will. This hand cream is so worth going out of your way for. In fact, I have purchased 2 more tubes since I wrote that post. After I finishing the first tube, I went to a brand I had used before and it made me appreciate Deep Steep. I should also add that whenever I put this on anyone within smelling distance compliments me. It’s very popular with my coworkers.

Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen (SPF 30)

A staple. This empty already had a backup in the wings. I love this stuff. If you are looking for sunscreen with a short, natural ingredient list and a non-greasy finish that plays well with makeup, I encourage you to try this. See here for my review.

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

This one is on my list of things to repurchase. It’s the closest to a glorious, luxe, silicon-y department store serum foundation as you can get and still be green. It performs. Period. I initially got it in shade 3 which was a bit too light. Shade 4 is too dark from what I’ve seen in photos of people blogging about it. I recently asked whether they would  consider adding shade 3.5 to their line and it sounded like they are considering it. I suppose I could buy the two shades and mix, but I have more than enough base products tide me over. Read my previous post about it here.

Derma-E Soothing Face Crème

This cream…uh sorry crème (so fancy) was part of the purchase that included the Deep Steep hand cream. Here is what I initially reported:

Derma-E Soothing Face Creme ($26.96, 2 oz.):  I have already made a serious dent in this one. It’s medium-weight, sinks in well, and has helped to soothe my skin. Lately, I have found it more helpful than my heavier, fancier moisturizers. It contains an antioxidant called Pycnogenol which derived from the park of a french pine tree. Read more about it here. It’s a versatile cream. I use it in the evenings and on some mornings mixed with One Love Organics Morning Glory Oil. I let it sink in and top with sunscreen and makeup. It’s in a pot, which isn’t ideal, but I think I am using it fast enough that it won’t have a chance to get contaminated or affect the efficacy of the antioxidants.

I stand by all that I said. It is a good, solid product—which has been my experience Derma E on the whole. I haven’t repurchased this one because I recently picked up Andalou Naturals Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream (again from Whole Foods). Never fear, I showed Derma E some love by getting their hydrating eye cream. There will more on both of those purchases soon.

The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer

Can you spot the brown makeup on the brown table? This one isn’t finished, but I finally hit pan which means it’s time to start looking for something new to try. Not that there is a rush. I originally blogged about this bronzer last July. It wasn’t even new then and I am just hitting pan.  But still. If you have suggestions for a clean/matte/pressed bronzer, please let me know! Here is what I’ve said about this one previously:

Bronzed Skin – Courtesy of The Balm’s Bahama Mama, a matte bronzer that is sort of famous as a contour. I do a combo of bronzing and contouring with it. (This is not expert contouring. Some people refer to it as shading. Check out this quick and simple guide to contouring and highlighting by The Beauty Department—a favorite site of mine. They’re using cream, but this powder works just as well and keeps it simple.) Bahama Mama is one of the products that I bought early in my journey of going greener—when I went paraben-free as a start. EWG rates it a “one” so while it’s not perfectly clean, I am keeping it and will decide whether to replace with something else once I finish it. I also pop a tad of matte pink blush (not pictured) on the apples of my cheeks so my complexion doesn’t look too flat.

Sample – Sunday Riley Luna Oil

What’s that unlabeled pot all about? The one with traces of bluff stuff? Well I got a sample—a pretty generous one—of the Sunday Riley Luna Oil from Sephora a few weeks ago. Caroline Hirons’ post about it made me do it. The Beauty Idealist also did a post on it this week. Don’t go by me, if these two ladies are fans, it’s worth a look. Caroline Hirons said she saw a difference after just one use—and so did I. This stuff is serious. Here is how it is described on the Sephora site:

With an advance retinol complex, Luna helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while simultaneously correcting damage caused by the sun, time, and pollution. Use this oil before bed to notice firmer, clearer skin by morning. Trans-retinol ester fights the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity while an essential oil complex calms and soothes skin. Cold pressed avocado, chia, and Concord grape seed oils sink into skin for quick absorption of actives while boosting radiance.

I had enough in the sample pot to use it a few times a week over (approximately) 3 weeks. Like Caroline Hirons, my pores were smaller after just one use. With continued use, my skin seemed glowier and a bit tighter. Of course retinols work at boosting collagen and softening lines over time, so hopefully there will be more positive change with continued use. My only gripe with it is that they’ve added coloring to it. The oil contains blue tansy, but I guess it wasn’t blue enough. I think they could have left it or gone with a blue bottle. It’s also not cheap–$105 for a 1 oz. bottle. But you really can do your whole face with 3-4 drops if you spray toner on to help spread it around. I found it best to let it sink in and add some moisturizer over it. I have been impressed enough to get over the dye and buy the full size (luckily on sale). I’ll do a full post in a few weeks.