Fresh Summer Look with Tarte

 

The summer heat is wonderful for BBQ’s and pool days, but not so great for our makeup. Overhearing constant complaints of eyeliner running and foundation not staying in place, I figured why not talk about makeup that will last even on the hottest days. Using Tarte makeup, I created a beautiful, fresh, summer look.

tarte

 

tarte makeup

Always begin with clean skin. Before bed, I make sure my makeup is completely washed away from the day. Not only is it healthy for your skin, but the products you place on will last longer and will be more effective! Microcleansers, such as Clinique Sonic Purifying brush, are wonderful tools to assure all the gunk is gone. Once with a clean face, begin by adding a sunscreen moisturizer. I love Tartegaurd all natural sunscreen with SPF 30. It is light and absorbent. If you are in the sun for hours on end, make sure to reapply your sunscreen in order to keep your face protected and free from premature aging.

Next select either a BB cream or light foundation. My go to is Tarte amazonian clay foundation in light sand. This stuff stays for the whole day without wearing off. It is also easy to apply, especially with the soft moisturizer from Tartegaurd. I have been wearing this specific foundation for nearly three years.

Adding a kiss of blush or bronzer will help give your cheeks a little summer pop while not weighing down your fresh look. Here I am using the Thrilled Tarte blush. I also love Park Avenue Princess bronzer to highlight and contrast. I recommend using one or the other to perfect your clean summer look.

For a day look, I added a light pink LipSurgence called Wishful. It is the perfect color without being overly dramatic. I also love lip stains for summer becuase they are less likely to melt off in the humidity and heat. If you are heading out for the night, I love Tarte’s eyeliner called emphasEYES and a swipe of Gifted mascara. The mascara especially really opens up my eyes and elongates my lashes. Plus, it has never clumped on my lashes before! I believe that is a miracle.

There you have it! The perfect, stay-still, summer look. What are you tips and tricks when it comes to makeup that lasts? Let me know in the comments below.

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Pura D’or Hair Care Review

My mom always told me that with great hair and nice shoes you can do anything. It didn’t take long into my 20’s to realize how right she was. Like with many products, the haircare industry is hard to navigate. Many shampoos and conditioners say they are healthy, nourishing, and replenishing, yet are loaded with toxic chemicals like Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Parabens. Which is why I was super grateful when Pura D’or, an  organic and natural hair care line, reached out. I am constantly looking for products that actually take care of my hair and health at the same time. When I receive a few gigantic size bottles of Pura D’or products, I could hardly wait to step in the shower and give them a whirl.

healthy hair pura d'or

 

What I received:

Pura D’or Hair Loss Prevention Therapy Shampoo

Pura D’or Healing Conditioner

Pura D’or Argan Oil

What I Experienced:

Starting with the shampoo, I was amazed by the very unique smell. It is invigorating and refreshing! There are cedarwood and lemon scents to it, which I appreciate after using so many floral and fruity fragrance shampoos. This one stuck out.

The conditioner has a soothing scent of cocoa butter and the consistency is very thick. I didn’t need much of the product to cover all of my hair, and I have a lot of hair! It consists of a rich texture and full of moisture. The quality is impeccable.

The argan oil is 100% oil, not watered down at all! This is the real deal. For that reason, again, I didn’t need too much for it to make a difference. I used the oil for styling and as a heat protected when flat ironing my hair. It worked beautifully.

pura dor

healthy hair products

The Ingredients:

All of Pura D’or products are free from SLS, Parabens, and chemical preservatives. The Argan Oil is USDA Organic certified and only consists of organic Argan kern from Morocco. It is registered as a 1 (very low) on the Think Dirty App for toxicity. An excellent and healthy product.

As for the Shampoo, the ingredients are derived from non-GMO products. I really appreciated that there are no use of fragrances and that each listed ingredient had a thorough explanation of what it is. Most of the ingredients registered as a 0-2 in the EWG’s Skin Deep database with the exception of the following:

Cocamidopropyl Betaine- (4) fair data reporting concerns of allergies and immunotoxicity

Zinc Pyrithione- (3) limited data reporting concerns of allergies and of toxicity

Phenoxyethanol- (4) limited data reporting concerns of allergies and of toxicity

The conditioner is 99% plant-based ingredients and no added fragrance once again! With fewer ingredients and each listing under a 2 rating in the EWG’s database, this is an incredibly conditioner.

Overall, Pura D’or is a wonderful choice for a healthy hair care solution. I love the smell, the texture, and the way it has made my hair shine consistently this past week. If you have questions feel free to reach out or comment bellow!

“COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701520/COCAMIDOPROPYL_BETAINE/>.

“PHENOXYETHANOL.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704811/PHENOXYETHANOL/>.

“ZINC PYRITHIONE.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/707074/ZINC_PYRITHIONE/>.




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Are These Sunscreens Really Healthy?

Summer is here, and that means plenty of time in the sun. Protecting our skin is essential, but do you know some sunscreens can cause more problems than help? Even “natural” sunscreens contain elements that are pretty toxic.

So, I went straight to Sephora and bought the two highly advertised “healthy” sunscreens. Due to my reward points, I was able to obtain a free sample of a well-recognized healthy face sunscreen. Score! So, are these really toxic free? Here is what I discovered.

coola

 

First is Coola, a sunscreen used by the popular Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina! I am initially drawn to the beautiful packaging and fun name. Marketed as a sunscreen that uses certified organic ingredients, I bought the unscented in SPF 50. I know well enough to avoid fragrance, and anything under 50 SPF is best. I would have purchased the lotion form if it were available, but Sephora only had the aerosol can.

The rest I went to EWGs Skin Deep database to learn more. I found my purchase was rated a 3 in toxicity while there were many others rated a 1 (considered a great rating in the database). The reason for concern is that there is an ingredient Octinoxate that may cause disruption in the endocrine, developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as other organ toxicity. The data on these concerns are limited, and the determination of how severe is still to be decided. Overall, a 3 is considered low exposure and much better than most sunscreens on the market.

From my personal use of the product, I discovered it left me feeling very sticky if I didn’t rub in the lotion properly. There is a shiny glaze, looking like I had put oil on my skin. I didn’t mind that as much, but some might be put off by the effect.

My personal opinion is that I would rather purchase the baby suncare that is listed as a 1 in toxicity in lotion form.

supergoop

Next is Supergoop! I saw so many bloggers last year raving about this sunscreen and couldn’t wait to test it out for myself. On the can, it reads that it is non-aerosol and uses 35% less alcohol. It is infused with vitamins and antioxidants, which rarely means anything. I went straight to EWG to discover that it is chock full of toxins. Rated a 4, and considered moderate, it contained higher marked ingredients than Coola. Not only did it contain Octinoxate, but also alcohol, homoslate, octisalate to name a few. Most of these are used for skin absorption. The effects are for such ingredient may lead to cancer, reproductive disruption, and organ toxicity.

My personal experience is that I coughed each time spraying the solution on. It is pretty potent stuff. I also still felt like I was being burned from the sun on my shoulders even though I placed ample sunscreen on. Though a 4 is still better than most, I feel that if I am going to spend $20 on sunscreen I want better quality and a product that won’t cause me to cough when applying. To me, I will pass.

tarteguard

 

Lastly is the little sample I received of Tartegaurd. I was happy that it came in a lotion and is specifically for my face. The brand as a whole is known as a natural, paraben-free company. But what about their new sun care line?

Here is what I found. It is formulated without parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, and triclosan much like most of Tarte’s products. Since it is a new sunscreen, it is not on the EWG or Think Dirty database. So I looked up the rest of the ingredients one by one. Most inactive ingredients registered as a 0-1 (very low), with the exception of the following:

  • Polysorbate 20- (3 score) contaminant concern
  • Phenoxyethanol- (4 score) irritation
  • Propylene- (3 score) irritation
  • Fragrance- unknown ingredients

Active ingredients are:

  • Titanium dioxide- (1-3 score) May be carcinogenic if in aerosol form.
  • Zinc Oxide- (2-3 score)  might be linked to allergies, and occupational hazard when in aerosol.

Overall, this product contains low toxicity! I loved that if felt like lotion when applied. There was no stinging or irritation.

After all the research and testing, Tartegaurd is my personal favorite healthy sunscreen. Let me know if you have any toxic free favorites!

 

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Rain NYC Store & Product Review

Recently, I was fortunate to have been invited to the Rain NYC store located in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Intrigued by their mission on using wild harvest ingredients, and promoting fair trade work, I was eagered to learn more! Exactly how invested are they in bringing natural products to consumers? Do they live up to their promises posted on their website? And what about quality and smell! Needless to say, I eagerly booked a date to go and find out all the answers to my questions.

Arriving at the infamous 30 Rock building, I quickly located the beautifully bright Rain store along the North Side of 49th street. Before even entering, I noticed the beautiful display of avocado shaped soaps and jars full of what I later discovered were “earth eggs”. I was immediately allured! I could have easily mistaken it for real food.

Rain NYC Store Review
I was greeted by this beautiful display.

Stepping through the heavy doors, I was immediately hit with all the calming scent of lavender. Wow, was it beautiful inside! Rows of fresh products organized so neatly. The manager for the day gave me a private tour of all Rain’s products. I was blown away as she explained how each oil is the perfect cure for different skin ailments. I noticed quickly that the products are grouped in themes. There is one whole section dedicated to honey bees, and another to wild cotton. There is a whole wall dedicated to pressed oils, and the middle section equipped with any type of soap you might ever need. I could spend all day in the store listening and learning about the ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, how exactly do this products live up the to the organic way? Good question. On the Rain website, it states the company use ingredients grown naturally in Africa. There are no Parabens, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, liquid paraffin, or petroleum chemicals used in any other their products. I’d say that is off to a great start.

They also use local women who know how to harvest the fields to work for their company using fair trade wages. No child labor of any sort is involved. The fact that I loved discovering the most was how dedicated the company is in providing jobs, especially to women and the disabled. Low technology involvement and high labor are the root to their success. The quality of the products are extraordinary better due to it.

Rain Africa New York City Store Review
All sorts of bathtime fun.
Rain Africa product review and NYC Store
Rock shaped soaps!

Which brings me to quality and smell! The Rain NYC store sent me home with three deliciously smelling products to test and try for myself. All included the beautiful, relaxing lavender scent that I adore. The body scrub I received was very gentle to my skin yet got rid of dead skin. The body butter was super luxurious! It melts in your hands and is the most incredible feeling ever. It moisturizes even the driest part of my skin. The last item I receive was the artisan soap bar. I was most impressed on how long it lasted. Usually, bars of soap goes quickly, but this one lasted and left me feeling refreshed. Each included some sort of oil that helped nurture my skin.

Rain Africa Oil 100% natural
A wall dedicated to natural oils.
All natural baby products from Rain Africa NYC store
They even have a line of baby products.

 

How does it measure up in regard to the EWG’s Skin deep database? It is currently not on the database, but I am in talks with the company for a precise list of ingredients. The fact each product excludes parabens, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, liquid paraffin, or petroleum chemicals is a huge step above the rest of the products on the market. I also appreciate that the ingredients are organic due to the natural harvest method. I do wish to learn if any perfumes are added, or additive ingredients to create lathering effects.

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Unlisted Contaminant Linked To Cancer

Did you know the largest chemical contaminant in our personal care supply is not even listed on labels? Yes, you read that correctly. A contaminant so powerful that it has made the list of probable carcinogenic for the US environmental protective agency, a confirmed animal carcinogenic in the National Toxicology Program, listed in CA Prop 65 chemicals that could cause cancer, and banned in Canada… And yet it is not required to be listed on the label of our beauty products!

Say hello to 1,4-dioxane. It is a contaminant that occurs when a company decides to use a harsh chemical ingredient and tries to make it “less harsh” via a process called ethoxylation. Within ethoxylation, a chemical named ethylene oxide is used, this said chemical is also linked to breast cancer. So basically companies take a potent ingredient and make it even worse by using a carcinogenic to dilute the ingredients, which in turn creates a disruptive contaminant. Makes sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me either.

Best part of this madness is that the FDA doesn’t require this process or the contamination to be listed in the label of ingredients. Making it entirely difficult to know if 1,4 -dioxane is in our products or not. But boy is it present. Environmental Workers Group have reported finding the contaminant in 46% of personal care products. Almost half the products we use has 1,4-dioxane.

How can we make sure we are not purchasing products that do not contain this contaminant? Here are are few tips:

  • It is most commonly found in products that produce foam or lather (so be most mindful of these products)
  • Look for and avoid products with the ingredient Sodium Laureth Sulfate. The -eth in Laureth indicates the process ethoxylation has been performed.
  • Similarly, avoid products with PEG compounds or ingredients with -xynol, -ceteareth, and -oleth
  • Certified USDA organic products do not allow the process of ethoxylation, and are the safest way of avoiding 1,4 dioxane
  • When in doubt check the product in the Skin Deep Database or Think Dirty App listed in the tools page.

References

“1,4-dioxane – Safe Cosmetics.” Safe Cosmetics. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2015. <http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/14-dioxane/>.

“1,4-DIOXANE.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/726331/1%2C4-DIOXANE/#>.

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