Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Indie Lee - All Natural Beauty Products - Sale Tomorrow

I wanted to give some props to a great creator of natural beauty products, Indie Lee.  Her story is amazing and inspiring and I hope you will take the time to look into her products. She is also very sweet as I have learned from tweeting back and forth with her on Twitter. She has a wonderful learning center on her website that I have linked to in my ingredients info page.  I suggest you check it out: http://indielee.com/learning-center/instruction/


The exciting news is that Indie Lee products are going to be on sale at Hautelook tomorrow with some fabulous deals.  I cannot wait to place an order and hope you do too.  You can access Hautelook through my invitation link if you don't already have an account there: Heather's Hautelook Invitation Link
Indie Lee's Story: 

From www.indielee.com
Hi, I am Indie Lee. On Earth Day 2009, I was given another chance at life and a new perspective on beauty.  I awoke from brain surgery to discover that a potentially fatal tumor had been successfully removed. Having learned that environmental toxins may have been the culprits, I began devoting myself to leading a healthier lifestyle.  Using the finest, all natural ingredients, I created a luxurious line of beauty products. Remember, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.  This experience has also taught me a very important lesson: Life is a gift, treasure every moment. Always let your inner beauty shine through.
XOXO ~ Indie

For more info on Indie Lee and her amazing products, I suggest you check our her website www.indielee.com or the wonderful write up about her on Hautelook.  There are also these other sites & blogs who have showcased her and her product line.

Brain Tumor Survivor: ''World Was in Technicolor''

Moxie Reviews: All Natural Beauty Products & Interview: Indie Lee


Beautylish: Spotlight on Indie Lee






I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Top Choices for Natural Beauty Holiday Gifts - 2011

This holiday season, I am trying to give more natural gifts and thought my readers might want to do the same.  Here are my top natural or low-chemical gift ideas for this 2011 Holiday Season.  This list is full of items I would love to receive &/or gift this holiday season!




Bare Escentuals Year of Beauty Collection $72.00 (*Hint: Wait until early December for their Friends & Family Sale to be announced, you can save 20%). A whole year of beautiful mineral colors for your eyes.











Sephora by OPI's Glimmer Wonderland 18-piece mini nail color set.  Great colors, lots of variety and tons of fun for someone who loves to paint their nails. $48











Pacifica Take Me There Collections, exclusive to Sephora. Choose one of their amazing natural scents and get a 3-piece kit for only $18. Great gifts for most anyone. My fave: Indian Coconut Nectar.




Sephora's Hello Kitty Noir 5-piece Brush Set contains an adorable Hello Kitty with 5 synthetic bristle brushes and her blinged out bow.  Gotta love anything with Hello Kitty.  $55






Want more affordable brushes? Go for Eco Tools! They make wonderful yet affordable synthetic eco & animal friendly brushes and other products. They have a great little holiday set as well as some other sets available year round.  You can find them in local drugstores like Walgreens or in most Target stores. You can also order them a Drugstore.com which is currently offering a gift with $20 Eco Tools purchase.
My faves:



Eco Tools Bamboo 6-piece mini eye brush set
$7.99











Eco Tools 5-piece Bamboo Brush Set
$10.99









Eco Tools Limited Edition Beautiful Expressions Kabuki Set 
$14.99










Need some aromatherapy with a kick? Try Lotus Wei Organics Mini Serum Kit. Try all 6 mood boosters in Joy Juice, Inner Peace, Infinite Love, Quiet Mind, Inspired Action, Pure Energy. These are some of the best aromatherapy products I have ever tried. $40








A great way to try out 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Cosmetics and Skincare: The Strawberry Box Set. Get a tinted moisturizer with SPF, Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, Strawberry Gel Cheek Tint, Strawberry Lip Glaze, an eyeshadow/liner in Fig and a vegan eyeliner brush, all full size for $65  100% Pure can also be purchased at QVC or from Alex & Von.




Burt's Bees has some great gift sets out this season.  I have seen them on display at Target or you can order online.  Check out my top 2 stocking stuffer choices:




The Burt's Bees Tinted Balm Shimmer Combo: Comes with a Red Dahlia tinted lip balm and a Fig lip shimmer. $9.99









Burt's Bees Simply Shimmer: a 3 pack of lip shimmers in Peony, Fig & Champagne.  $9.99







Some great little gift sets are from Badger Balm. I love their gift bags.  They have some great gift sets available as well as individual products.  Shop their website before 9am EST on December 1 and get 15% off their whole site! They are also available at Ulta. My top 2 scent choices are:


Stress Soother.  The Stress Soother gift bag comes with a tin of Stress Soother balm and a cocoa butter lip balm.  $11





Cheerful Mind.  The Cheerful Mind Gift Bag comes with a tin of Cheerful Mind Balm and a Sweet Orange Lip Balm. $11






Want to support a natural small company?  Try Goat Milk Stuff.  They have this great Gift Box which contains a soap, a lotion stick, a lip balm, a bath fizzy and a sugar heart scrub all for $35 







Another small company I highly recommend is McGillycuddy's Naturals. The products are made locally to my home and the owners are really great people. They sell a lot more in their shops but have some fab products available on their website. Pick up a variety of items for skincare, bath & body or some wonderful natural soaps.   Prices range from $3.95 - $12.95





My final choice, so far, this holiday season would be the Lather Pamper Pack.  You get a mini tub of their AHA hand cream with evening primrose, lavender & eucalyptus foot cream, bamboo lemongrass foaming body scrub and manuka body butter, all for $25.  Lather is also available at QVC.







I am not affiliated with these companies.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Soapmaking Class Continued

The soap I made at soapmaking class is still curing.  You can read all about the class on my blog at  Soapmaking with McGillycuddy's Naturals 


I decided today, since I had time after Thanksgiving dinner, to finally cut and shape my soap.  The soap is still curing and is still moist so it was pretty easy to slice.  I borrowed my mom's chef knife so the cuts would be smooth and sliced bars out of the soap.  I had some ends and trimmings left so I made mini bars of soap and molded the rest into little soap balls.

My 1 brick of soap that I made turned out to give me 24 full size bars of soap, 9 mini bars of soap and 13 soap balls!  The soap has to finish curing but will be ready to use or pack as gifts soon. 



I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Burt's Bees Facial Towelettes with White Tea Extract

image from the Burt's Bees website
Since I am a huge fan of natural facial towelettes, I had to try the new ones from Burt's Bees.  The Burt's Bees Facial Towelettes with White Tea Extract were in my local Target so I picked them up.  I normally use the Yes to Cucumbers Towelettes but opted to use these instead for a while to see how I liked them.

From the Burt's Bees website:
Remove make-up, cleanse and tone in one easy step. Infused with White Tea and Cucumber Extracts plus Aloe, these towelettes clean your face naturally. So you can give your skin the care it needs no matter where you are.
  • Removes dirt, oil and make-up without rinsing
  • Formulated with White Tea and Cucumber Extracts
  • Dermatologist-tested and ophthamologist-tested
  • FSC Certified, natural fabric
Ingredients: aqua (water), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, glycerin, camellia sinensis leaf extract*, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, tocopherol, citric acid, parfum (fragrance)**, xanthan gum, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, dicaprylyl carbonate, caprylyl/caprylpolyglyceryl-4 caprate, dicaprylyl carbonate, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, glycine soja (soybean) oil, benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, amyl cinnamal, citral, citronellol, limonene, linalool *White Tea Extract **Natural Fragrance 

My review: 

I have to say that I really liked these facial towelettes.  The scent was nice and natural, not too overwhelming.  I think it is more feminine than the Yes to Cucumbers scent but not too bad.  I am not sure if my boyfriend would use them though he will use the Yes to Cucumbers variety.

They made my skin feel nice and clean.  They did an okay job removing my eye make up and removed my face make up well.  Burt's Bees lists them as 99.1% natural vs the Yes to Cucumbers Facial towelettes which are 98.7% natural.  I find both to be excellent options and it really depends on your scent preference.  I think my personal preference is still for the Yes to Cucumbers ones because their wipes seem to do a better job at removing my eye make up.  I am not sure if it is the texture of the towelette or their ingredients but they work well for me.  I will gladly use the Burt's Bees towelettes too.  I give them an A!!! These are a great item to keep in your purse, your car, your gym bag or on your sink or night stand. You can't beat a natural way to freshen up, clean your face, be gentle to your skin and remove your make up in a 30 pack for $5.99. 



I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Soapmaking with McGillycuddy's Naturals

I was so happy that I was able to sign up for a soapmaking class with McGillycuddy's Natural's.  They only had 2 left this season and after I had a little fender bender, I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it so I had to wait until late this week to register.

The soapmaking class was held at their farm in the Cobleskill NY area, a little town called Dorloo.  This is about an hour trip for me and the class ran from 9am-12pm so I had to get up really early to make sure I got there in time.  I was shocked that I actually woke up before my alarm went off though I prefer to wake up before the alarm goes off because I hate hearing the alarm.  I got ready and headed out with my GPS to guide me.  I took a route I didn't expect to get there but I think it was a good thing because the route I expected the GPS would take actually had a lot of construction going on and I might have run late.

We got to learn about soapmaking, some history, some chemistry and some of the McGillycuddy's Naturals background story.  Our class was actually being held in the room where they produce all of their soaps so it was cool to get to see behind the scenes. There was a station with supplies set up for each member of the class.  We all got info on how to make soap so we know how to make it on our own if we want to, though a lot goes into it.

My soapmaking station
We started by mixing lye with water.  You have to be really careful with lye because it is a corrosive alkaline substance (also known as sodium hydroxide).  It is safe to use but you have to be careful while it is in this form because it can burn your skin.  When we mixed it in powder form, it looked kind of like crystals, with water, we had to wear protective goggles, face masks and gloves. We stirred the mixture and took the temperature.  It got hot and smoked.  It was fascinating and felt like science class.  We left them outside on a table so the temperature would drop to where we needed it. 
My Safety Gear
We went back into to each measure our mixture of coconut oil  & soybean oil, already melted for us.  We got to pour this into a bucket on a scale until we had the right amount.  Then we mixed olive oil with it which cooled the temperature pretty quickly.  Once the lye mixture was cooled down to around 100 degrees, we brought them inside.  To take the temperature of the lye mixture, you should stir it a bit first.  When I stirred, I accidentally rested my arm where my mixing spoon had been sitting on the rim and it had left some lye there so my skin started to itch pretty badly.  I let them know and was immediately shot with Windex! Just like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding! I swear! It did help cool down the burning itch I was feeling.  My skin is so sensitive so it looked pretty red immediately even though it felt better.  This is why you have to be careful when dealing with lye and making soap.  When I went to explain what happened to my boyfriend, I started to explain what lye is and he said, I know about lye...Fight Club.  I quickly remembered as it is one of his favorite movies and books, oh yeah, they made soap LOL  Don't worry about the safety of lye, when you add it to the oils, they neutralize the lye. 
My oil mixture
Once the lye mixture and oil mixture were within 5 degrees of one another, we mixed them together.  We carefully poured the lye mixture into the oils and stirred and stirred and stirred.  It started to thicken a little. As we stirred, they mixed our custom selected scents for us.  We got to smell all their essential oils and fragrance oils and pick what we wanted.  We could have 1 scent alone or mix 2.  I stuck with the essential oils and wanted to mix orange with ylang-ylang but didn't know how they would go together.  They did a mix test with me and added a drop of ylang-ylang first since it is strong and then one drop of orange at a time until we liked it.  Once she hit 4 parts orange to 1 part ylang-ylang we both seemed to really like it and I went "oooooooh" so I knew that was the mix. They brought my essential oils over to me and I asked if I could add oatmeal and she said yes and brought me some. The oatmeal was ground up in a food processor.  We could also add dried rosebuds, camomile, rosemary, peppermint leaves, poppy seeds, apricot kernals, etc for texture, exfoliating or other properties.  I opted for oatmeal since it is so good for your skin, soothing and balancing.
Me pouring my soap mixture
I used a hand blender to mix the oils and lye until it thickened and got to a trace point.  This is when you start to see a pattern left behind as you move the blender and it starts to look thick like cake batter.  Once it got to that point, I added my essential oils and oatmeal and blended away.  When the mixture was ready, I slowly poured it into a sterlite storage container (shoebox size) lined with saran wrap.  After the soap is poured, I carefully wrapped the saran wrap around it so it was enclosed.  I sealed the sterlite container and wrapped it all with my thick beach blanket to keep it warm and shielded from light.  We all actually finished early so we got to hang out and chat and ask questions.  They gave us all samples of their soap, one milk soap and one olive oil soap.
The soap poured into the container
After I headed home,  I carried my soap in, still wrapped in it's beach towel.  It felt really hot, somehow that surprised me.  I found a safe spot for it since I was not supposed to open it for 24 hours.  I let it sit, wrapped for all that time.  I could smell it a bit through the container and towel and I was excited and wanted to see how it turned out but they said if you peak at it, you might ruin your whole batch.
All snuggled up in a beach towel
I waited until the afternoon on Sunday and opened it.  I removed the top layer of saran wrap and decided to plop it out onto the lid of the sterlite container. It was still pretty soft.  I am leaving it to cure some more before I slice it. When I finally slice &/or shape my soaps in a day or two, I will share pics and info.
My brick of soap

To see the next steps, view the following blog posts:

Soapmaking class continued:
http://www.beautyaunatural.com/2011/11/soapmaking-class-continued.html

My Handmade Soap Gifts:
http://www.beautyaunatural.com/2011/12/my-handmade-soap-gifts.html


I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

***Please do not use the content or images from this blog without crediting the source and linking back to this blog. Doing so without permission and crediting the source is copyright infringement.Thank you.***
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint Trio Pics & Review

I was able to place a small order during Pacifica's Love This Sale sale, woohoo for 20% off! 

I picked up a refill of my fave Indian Coconut Nectar Body Wash, a Tahitian Gardenia spray perfume and a Bali Lime Papaya Solid perfume to try.  The one item I knew I had to order was the Color Quench Lip Tint Trio and I am so happy I did! I also have to rave about Pacifica's shipping.  If you spend $50 you get free shipping and it is UPS and arrives insanely fast from the West Coast.  I placed my order on Nov 4 and it arrived in NY on Nov 7.

The Color Quench lippies are a bit chunkier than what you usually think of as a lip tint or lip balm which is nice.  They will last a while.  Some of them are  more sheer and others are more pearly.  The scents are great, not too much and more natural so they aren't too overwhelming.  They are like scented lip balms for grown ups made with coconut oil so they are super moisturizing, not like those chapsticky ones of our childhood.

Some reviews complain that they don't have enough color or that they are gritty.  They are natural and they are just supposed to be a tint so that explains the lack of bold lasting color to me.  The gritty feeling is only felt when wearing the sparkly ones and it isn't that bad.  I think they are quite pretty but I also have full pouty lips so they work well for me.  At $18 for a set of 3 full size lippies, I don't think it is bad at all.  The packaging is beautiful, I am saving the box though I am not sure what for, maybe an art project someday.   I think these would make a great treat for yourself or stocking stuffer.  They do have these individually at Sephora stores so if you live near a Sephora, stop by and swatch them to see how you like them.  Since they are not bold heavy colors, I think they are great for wearing with a more dramatic eye look.

Info from the Pacifica Website:
  • Moisturizing EFA's with avocado and coconut oils
  • Spot-on sheer color; subtle, natural flavor
  • Perfectly Portable, 100% recyclable tube
  • 100% vegan.  Cruelty-free
  • Free of phthalates, parabens, mineral oils, GMOs, triclosan, propylene glycol and petroleum
  • Shades: 
    • Guavaberry – A quintessential berry stain
    • Coconut Nectar – Shimmer, golden raisin
    • Blood Orange – Sweet coral with a pop of pink
 My pics (all taken via Ottlite lighting):




Blood Orange
Guava Berry
Coconut Nectar
Blood Orange
Guava Berry
Coconut Nectar



I am in an affiliate program with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Dust Organic Mineral Cosmetics

Thanks to their website for the image!
I finally got to stop by the Body Lounge in Saratoga Springs to check our Dust Organic Mineral Cosmetics.  Another great eco-friendly and cruelty-free mineral make up line.  This one was created locally in my area by Aleah who is both a Certified Licensed Esthetician and Master Makeup Artist.  Aleah owns the Body Lounge in Saratoga, a very different kind of spa.  Of course, the part I was most excited about was her line of mineral make up, Dust.  I got to sit down with Jennifer who is the Body Lounge's make up artist.  She helped me pick out some colors I liked so I could finally try them out.  

The eyecolors I picked up were Orchids & DiamondsSagebrush Pearl, and Golden Green. I took a lot of pics and wore them recently.  Here are my pics and comments: 

Pros: 
  • Local company, made in the USA
  • Cruely-free animal friendly
  • Earth friendly
  • Gorgeous color selection, vibrant shades, fabulous depth, some opalescent/holographic-like effects
  • Chemical free, natural and organic
  • I have a local place where I can go pick them up or if you order only shipping is a flat rate
Cons:
  • A little pricey ($20 each for eyecolors)
  • Smaller jar size
  • Fill level of the jars isn't "full" which I know is important to many
It was suggested that I poke a hole or two in the seal to get the color out but that didn't work well for pics
Pics of open, unsealed jars
Side by side jar comparison with a Bare Escentuals mini eyecolor
A pic of the jar fill level
Colors applied dry first, then wet (foiled) Top to Bottom: Golden Green, Sagebrush Pearl, Orchids & Diamonds
Orchids & Diamonds with BE B&B Liner in Indigo

Golden Green on lids with Sagebrush Pearl in Crease & V, BE B&B Charbronze liner


I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted.

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