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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Let’s Talk Natural Beauty

After plenty of thoughtful and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there is a serious need for a blog that delivers accurate information on health and beauty for young women.

The government won’t do it, the 71 billion dollar beauty industry won’t do it. So I will.

So let’s talk beauty, shall we?

 

Our health is at risk. Grave, serious, detrimental risk. I keep hearing how more women are having tough times getting pregnant or diagnose with breast cancer. I have family members of my own struck with illnesses that seemingly came out of the blue. I, myself, have noticed my skin becoming more and more irritated by products breaking out in rashes and red bumps. At the age of 24 my gynecologist found a lump in my breast. Luckily it was a cyst, but why am I having to get scanned at such a young age? What is going on?

Take a look at what we are placing on our bodies and in our bodies and we have an answer.

Each day women on average are using 12 different personal care products- The Story of Stuff Project

In those twelve different products are chemicals such as lead, coal tar, talc, formaldehyde, parabens, toluene, and titanium dioxide to name a few. Never in my right mind would I assume that what I use to clean my hair or protect my skin from sun damage would actually harm me. Go ahead and take a look at your lipstick’s ingredients and see what you find. What are these chemicals and what are they doing in our cosmetics?

Shorthand answer? They are toxic to our health, yet incredibly cheap to produce.

So, I am on a new mission. I am willing to test “natural” products, shed light on misleading advertisement, and provide information that will guide in make healthier beauty choices. I have already added a few new helpful tools and answered common misconceptions. I am learning with you, so if you have advice or information to pass along send an email my way! I’d love to hear from you.

It is about time to take matters into our own hands. Let’s become educated, informed consumers. Let’s demand a change in the beauty industry and in the U.S. government.

Feel free to sign up for the weekly newsletter and follow along on social media for daily information.

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Can you believe these are not DESIGNER?

Designer duds are expensive. I know, I get it. As beautiful as they are, sometimes it is not practical, to throw down a thousand dollars every time you fall in love with a purse. Ah, the struggle is real!

But fear not, there is a way to get what you want and on any budget. And I am here to help! Using my eye for detail, I scouted for top designer looks that cost a fraction of the price. I went to Target, yes Target, to find these perfect matches that look identical to the real thing!

Flip through the slide show to see for yourself how to score the look for less. The first slide show is all the steals! While the second features the actual designer pieces that inspire each pick. You can choose where you want to splurge and save. Or just completely save on every piece!

Let me know in the comments below if this was helpful and something you would like to see more of in future posts!

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The Nékter Classic Cleanse Detox Review

The Nekter Juice Cleanse

When I arrived in California about two years ago, I would hear the phrase “juicing” over and over. I thought, “that’s strange, why is everyone taking steroids?” I am from New York, the only people who juice are athletes… illegally. So when I discovered that “juicing” is a juice cleanse consisting of veggies and fruits, I became relieved and bewildered. How can someone drink just juice for three days? And why would anyone want to do that?

Fast forward a year and a half later, and I accepted the juicing challenge . For three days I just drank juice using the Nékter Classic Cleanse detox. This is what happened.

WHY I JUICED

It was right after Easter and I needed a change. I was tired of eating overly processed junk food, and felt sick looking at the family size bags of chocolates my mom gave me for the holiday. Up to this point, I had never done anything remotely like a juice cleanse, but I have tried a few juices and discovered they tasted pretty nice! Who would have thought something so green could taste delicious.

I figured if I really want to be serious about my health, which I did, then I have to get rid of all the junk inside first. I immediately placed all the chocolates in the freezer (no way I could throw them out just yet), and made a trek down to my local Nékter Juice Bar. The only reason why I went with this company was 1) convenience 2) the juice packages were on sale.

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse

DAY ONE 

I bought one of Nékter’s super lime green thermal bags filled with six different juices, numbered and labeled. A small brochure was inside explaining what to expect and how to use the package I just bought.

Getting home I opened up bottle number one, a green mixture of apple,cucumber, kale, spinach, celery, mint and lime. Drinking it I thought, “Well, this shouldn’t be too bad.” Famous last words.

It wasn’t until the late afternoon that my body started craving solid food. I was hungry, foggy, and craving everything that I had consumed in the last 72 hours. It was as if my cell’s were reminding me my last meals as they detoxify. It was weird.

I drank bottle, 2,3,4,5 of the Nékter Classic Cleanse with ease, allowing 2 hours in between each bottle. I loved the lemon, agave, and cayenne pepper drink the most. It was super refreshing. It might also be because I love the taste of lemons. Drink number 6 was the hardest one to consume. It was vanilla cashew milk, and it was disgusting! I love cashews, but apparently not blended. And I hate vanilla. I was so looking forward to this last drink too after having all fruits and veggies all day. Alas, I plugged my nose and took big gulps to get it down. The only plus was it did fill me up substantially, and I slept like a baby that evening.

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse

DAY TWO

The next morning, I got up and literally said out loud “Ha Ha. Well, I am never doing that again.” The first day was hard, and I had no interest in returning to Nékter to buy a second round of juices. As I went to prepare breakfast, I realized the milk in my fridge had spoiled. As I began lacing up my shoes, the most bizarre thing happened. I began craving some of that green juice!

Before I knew it, I had another lime green bag in my hand, and I was on day two. Day two wasn’t as bad as the first day. I had a better idea of what to expect. The hunger pains weren’t as horrific. I was still pretty foggy, which came out in my work. I submitted a writing project that was completely rejected and asked for plenty revisions. But, I made it through the day and evening just fine.

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse

DAY THREE

There was no question about doing day three, mainly because I spent the money and invested in this detox I might as well go all the way. I was rather proud to be picking up my third and last lime green bag of the Nékter Classic Cleanse detox. I announced that this was my last day. The cashier said congrats, and I waved goodbye.

Things seemed to be going really well, had an easy time getting the juices down, didn’t feel as hungry. I did nibble on a few almonds, which in the pamphlet said was allowed. I met up with my cousin for quality time and was actually even able to hold a conversation. The fog was starting to lift.

The only complaint I had was that when I reached for the sixth bottle, the nasty cashew drink, I noticed that this time it was spoiled! It smelled rotten and was a yellowish color. I decided to toss it out and go to sleep. I was officially done with the cleanse!

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse

THE BENEFITS:

  • The detox really did get EVERYTHING out of my system
  • It tasted great (except for drink 6)
  • It was affordable
  • It jump-started my healthy eating habits
  • It caused me to look at food in a whole new light

I would have never thought that a simple three-day detox would change my perspective of food as much as it has. It opened up my eyes to realize how much crap we as a nation put into our bodies daily, AND we think it is normal! It made me realize how completely unnecessary a double bacon cheeseburger is. I realized how bombarded we are as a whole with media advertisement of fast food, unhealthy eating, quick fix unnatural dieting tactics. This detox drastically showed me how much better homemade, whole foods are for my body. The process of transitioning into a better eating plan was so much easier because of detoxing first. It truly reboot my whole system, mind, body and soul.

MY TIPS 

  • Check the bottles before buying to makes sure they aren’t spoiled.
  • Drink plenty of water! It helps with the detox process.
  • If you need to eat almonds or veggies, just do it. It will help you get through the process without completely giving up.
  • Use a pre-planed prepackaged juice cleanse to start. I had no clue what I was doing, so having it together for me was perfect.
  • As always, check with a doctor or a nutritionist before doing anything!

Stay tuned! It has been six months since I last did a detox, and I am ready for the next cycle. This time I am making my own juices and lasting a few days longer!

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New Designer: Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

This past weekend, I attended the Open Runway show at the W Hotel Westwood. Four incredible designers showcased their summer line in front of fashion bloggers, fashion influencers, and media. The designer who stuck out the most was Isle Poni Lo and her swimwear collection. The vibrant colors, the tropical prints, and the incredible silhouettes were gorgeous. It didn’t hurt that  the collection fit perfectly with W Hotels palm tree-lined pool.

After the show I was able to take a look at the swim apparel first hand. I wanted to see first hand the quality of the fabric, the built, and the structure. I wanted to get a feel for it myself. Luckily Isle Poni Lo had a hut in the corner selling their fab bathing suits with the designer nearby for any questions.

Of course, knowing me, I wanted to hear what inspired the designer. Little did I know, I was in for a beautiful story. The designer and creator of Isle Poni Lo swimwear, Ashley Morgan Foster is from the Big Island of Hawaii. She remarks how Isle Poni Lo means wild ponies, which there are apparently many on the island roaming freely. Foster believes that every woman has that wild carefree side of her as well, and created a swimwear line to represent that inner nature.

What I was incredibly taken back by is Foster’s attention to detail. She mentioned that once Isle Poni Lo is more established she is looking for a charity or organization she can give back to. She further explained how the eco-friendly materials are SPF 50, and the tags (with all the information) can be planted to grow wild flowers! Isn’t that insanely beautiful?

Why I fell in Love with Isle Poni Lo:

  • The gorgeous colors, and prints that are used
  • The braiding and structural design of each piece
  • The quality of the bathing suite
  • The fun story around the collection

What do you think about the collection?

Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

Isle Poni Lo Swimwear

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What’s in my purse at all times!

Because we are human, and that means we are nosy by default. So here’s what is inside my purse!

Tory Burch Purse; Moo Business Cards, Ray Bans Sunglasses, Burts Bees Chapstick, Aveda Stress Relief Hand Lotion, iPod, Babyganics Sunscreen, Billionaire Boyfriend Perfume roller, Henri Bendel iPhone + Wallet Case, Car Keys

I am obsessed with my pale pink Tory Burch purse for this summer season. I love the adjustable straps that easily convert into a cross body. I am also incredibly impressed by how much stuff it can carry. Speaking of which…

I always carry my business cards. These beauties are from Moo Cards. I love how rich they feel, and professional they look. You never know who you may meet during your day…

Ray Bans, of course. What else is new. I love these baby’s and how they protect my eyes.

Chapstick by burts bees and hand lotion by Aveda to keep my skin hydrated all day long.

My trusty iPod for fun tunes to help bump to during work at the market place.

Sunscreen by Babyganics, because I truly am a child. No just kidding, I bough it because it is free of: paba, phthalates, parabens, fragrances, and nano-particles. Plus it is TEAR FREE! Which is huge because I kinda had a problem with that in my last sunscreen (boy does that burn the eyes)

Billionaire Boyfriend roll on perfume, because doesn’t everyone want to smell like works of art. Plus I just love the name. Drool.

My absolute favorite floral wallet by Henri Bendel! It is a wallet plus and iPhone carrier. I am seriously obsessed by it.

Then of course my car keys. I live in LA, this is how life works.

What’s in your purse? Let me know in the comments bellow.

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Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Review

Don’t you ever wish you can get your eyelashes looking like they are inches long but don’t want to glue on ugly falsies. Yep me too, mainly because I have no hidden talents in gluing structured hair onto my face. I tried once and the lashes became extensions to my already full-figured eyebrows…it wasn’t pretty. And while I love my natural eyelashes (work what you have, girlfriend!) I also have so much fun testing out beauty products that essentially make me feel like a movie star.

Enter Younique 3D Fiber Lashes. As a gift from the lovely Debi Jackson who works for Younique, I was able to try out the amazing beauty product that enhances lashes within minutes. The best part is that they are paraben free! Only registering a 3 on Think Diry App as containing ingredients that could possible cause irritation. This blew my mind on how healthy this product is compared to other leading names on the market.

What is Younique 3D Fiber Lashes:

Well, to clarify it is not false eyelashes, and it isn’t exactly mascara. The formula of success for this product is a balance application of black gel and tiny black fibers applied in a similar manner as mascara. The gel is not glue, thank goodness or I would be in the ER with doctors trying to pry my eyes back open. Instead, what I experience was the gel having very similar consistency and look as mascara but slightly more fluid and stronger to hold the fibers in place.

Total time to apply the product was maybe 2-3 minutes. Pretty quick. Which brings us to…

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Review
Top is the mascara holding gel; Bottom is the fibers!

Application:

It is easy. Again, thank goodness! Just like regular mascara you swipe the gel onto the lashes first, then follow it by swiping on the 3D fibers. You can repeat this process depending on how long and full you want your lashes. I did the process twice and that created the perfect Hollywood glam look I wanted.

To seal the fibers in, you can use the gel or a mascara. But frankly I wanted to see what happened if you used neither. Would the fibers fall off, or fade throughout the day? To really put this product through the ringer, I walked by the beach and let the salt-water air brush against my face.

Guess what happened? The fibers were still in tack! I didn’t have any random pieces under my eye, nothing running down my face. I was amazed how well they held up. My hair was another story, but the lashes still looked amazing.


Rinse off:

What is great about the Younique 3D Fiber lashes is that they wash off easily at the end of the day. I used warm water and tear-free soap to rinse away the beautiful lashes without a struggle. When I went to pat my face dry, there was no residue on my towel. Score! Looking back in the mirror, my natural eyelashes were still entact and looking healthy. I mean, this product made me smile from start to finish. It has been a long time since I’ve been this impressed with any type of makeup.

Final thoughts:

Why are you still reading this, go get the product! I rarely suggest buying something immediately, but this is one of those treats that just will make your day. It is perfect for the holiday season with tons of events and parties to attend. It is fun, photographs well, and makes me fee so glamorous. I know my New Years Eve look is now complete because of Younique 3D Fiber Lashes.




For more information on product ingredients, or to order, feel free to contact Debi at Younique!

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