Month: November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some appropriate quotes for the day:

  • “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder
  • “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
  • “Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.” — Joseph Wood Krutch
  • “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Epicurean Shea Butter Company

After having seen Epicurean Shea Butter Company being sold on the shelves of big time natural product retailers, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw their booth at DC’s Eastern Market last Saturday! As well as the company is doing, it’s so nice to see them keeping up with this booth that allows people to see and try the entire array of shea butter-based products. I found out that this company was founded on a family tradition of soap making, in a garage in Maryland in 2001. So it turns out they still keep in touch with their point of origin and sell at local venues like the Eastern Market.

After a good deal of debate, I decided on the Shea Butter Moisturizer titled ‘Blessing‘. This moisturizer is unique because it’s a soft solid so you have to dig into it a little bit, but then it goes on really smoothly. And the smell… the smell is absolutely what sold me. Putting just a little bit on the back of my hand makes me think that I’m suddenly in a garden filled with lilacs and gardenias. The scent is that good. It even fills the room when you put it on, but it’s not overpowering because it smells so real! In terms of scent, this is by far one of my favorite beauty products now. Not to mention how smooth and healthy my skin feels when I use it.

Photo Credit: Epicurean Shea Butter Company

Mineral Fusion Cosmetics

All mineral fusion makeup is paraben-free, talc-free, and uses natural colorants. This natural line also offers natural UV protection and contains antioxidants like white tea, red tea and pomegranate. mineral fusion makes foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, eye pencils, mascara, lip stick, and lip gloss. They also have a superb line of brushes and other makeup tools!

Photo Credit: mineral fusion™

I’m particularly fond of their blush and concealer. The blush comes in 7 great colors and goes on sooo nicely! I love the compact size of the blush, making it easy to apply and easy to tote around.

Photo Credit: mineral fusion™

The concealers come in duos of two shades, which is optimal for customization and usage throughout the entire year! Also, it makes it possible to use the same product for both the under eye area and the face.

Photo Credit: mineral fusion™

All mineral fusion products are noncomedogenic and provide moisture balancing benefits, allowing the skin to function normally. mineral fusion is also a great choice for women with skin conditions like acne, rosacea and hyper-pigmentation because the makeup actually provides healing and calming benefits!

Some Healthy Trivia (Answers included)

1.  Botanically speaking, which are the following, a Fruit or Vegetable?

  • Bell Pepper – Fruit
  • Asparagus – Vegetable
  • Squash – Fruit
  • Garlic – Vegetable
  • Pumpkin – Fruit
  • Tomato – Fruit
  • Potato – Vegetable
  • Cucumber – Fruit
  • Avocado – Fruit

2. The average American eats how many pounds of apples in a year? 18.6

3. The citizens of what country consume the most fresh vegetables each year? China

4.  What is the most exported fruit from the United States based on weight?  Oranges

5.  How many bee visits are needed, on average, for proper pollination for large melons? 10-15

6.  A cucumber is how many degrees cooler than the outside air? 20

Certified Organic Fragrances

Intelligent Nutrients make an array of organic health and beauty products including supplements, “functional foods”, skin care, hair care, and aromatics. I was in the market for some new natural fragrance when I came across Intelligent Nutrients’ aromatics. The natural fragrances are available in 7 varieties: Awaken, Seductive, Attune, Nurture, Innercalm, Restore, and Focus. My favorite is definitely the Nuture, which has an overriding aroma of lavender and is certainly a comforting choice (as you would expect from the title). Unlike most traditional fragrances that contain phthalates and other synthetic ingredients, Intelligent Nutrients’ aromatics are made solely with pure plant ingredients. The scents really do smell like they are right from the garden and with each spritz, you actually feel like you’re doing something beneficial for yourself!

I would strongly suggest spraying the aromatics on your skin rather than your clothing because of the natural oils. But these same natural oils that aren’t enjoyable for your clothing can be thoroughly enjoyed by your hair! Don’t hesitate to spritz some of the fragrance in your locks to refresh them and add shine. You can also add any of the scents to a unscented carrier oil (like jojoba, sesame, etc.) to create your own massage oil. The tranquil lavender, sweet orange and geranium of Nuture are a perfect combination for a relaxing massage.

Photo Credit: Intelligent Nutrients®

Free & Customizable Music!

If you haven’t tried Pandora Radio yet, you must try it asap! It’s free internet radio that allows you to create up to 100 unique “stations”. You can create each station based on a specific song, artist, or genre and then that station will play a variation of music similar to your basis for the station. As you listen, you can note which songs you like and dislike so the station will become even more in tune with your individual taste! Try it today: Pandora.com

NVEY ECO Organic Moisturizing Mascara

To be honest, next to deodorant, mascara has been one of my last products “to go natural.” The first natural mascara I recently tried is made by NVEY ECO, a certified-organic makeup line with their Global Headquarters in Australia. This organic mascara is formulated with strengthening and conditioning ingredients like Vitamin B5, nettle, and horsetail. This mascara goes on easily and smoothly. It also stays on very well.

One of the reasons I was deciding to make the switch was because I was hoping that natural mascara would wash off really, really easily. I love wearing eye makeup, especially mascara, but I don’t like to use any kind of makeup remover (even natural kinds) because I feel like it’s stripping that delicate area around my eyes of crucial moisture (and I definitely don’t want to do that!) So I was expecting Nvey to come off extremely easily, but it takes the same amount of effort to get this natural version off as it does to take off any of the popular, not-so-natural brands. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I was just surprised how well it stayed on. It’s impressive how intense natural pigments can be!

I’m curious if there is a natural mascara out there that doesn’t smudge easily, but is super easy to take off. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Photo Credit: NVEY ECO

Weleda Spray-On Deodorant

I really enjoy Weleda products in general and I think they are one of the best natural companies out there today. Their products are all very natural, very high quality and well-balanced. However, I can’t say that I’m thrilled with their deodorant, specifically their spray-on Citrus Deodorant. I found that the scent was not particularly great and it did not last very long at all. Thinking back to when I worked in the retail end of natural beauty products, I’m pretty sure that wild rose was the most popular scent choice so maybe I chose the wrong scent. Weleda’s deodorant is a typical size of 3.4 fl oz with a less typical deodorant price of about $11.00. Maybe if it was $3.00 or $4.00 per bottle I would be less disappointed with this natural choice. Unfortunately, I just did not think it worked well enough or smelled nice enough to be worth the cost!

A Fun & Innovative Lip Balm

I never really stopped to think about how companies could get more creative with their packaging and presentation of lip balm. I’ve always gone for sticks over pots because I apply chapstick extremely often and I know that realistically my fingers cannot be pristine all of the time. Now eos (evolutions of smooth) has created the perfect middle man – Organic Lip Balm Smooth Spheres. I love the shape of the container because the lip balm goes on so easily and smoothly. The sphere also has a noticeably soft feeling (the result of a unique recyclable packaging). The balms are also, most importantly, all natural and USDA certified organic. The key moisturizers include shea butter, jojoba oil, and Vitamin E.

I am currently using and loving the honeysuckle honeydew (other flavors include pomegranate raspberry, sweet mint, summer fruit and vanilla bean). I also really like the Organic Lip Balm Sticks, but if I had to choose I would definitely go with the sphere! At $3.29, these moisturizers are quite affordable and easy to find (retailers include: www.evolutionofsmooth.com, www.drugstore.com, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Duane Reade).

eos_lipbalm

Photo Credit: eos Products

How to fake a green thumb

Now watering your plants can stop being a guessing game thanks to Lechuza‘s Self-Watering Planters. Each planter has a sub-irrigation system that enables your plant to supply itself with the amount of water needed for optimal growth for up to 12 weeks (depending on planter size, plant type and location). These little wonders are available in various colors, sizes, and styles for both indoor and outdoor plants. Starting at around $30 they’re totally worth it, especially for those frequent travelers and unintentional plant killers!

For more information and to shop online: www.lechuza.com

THANK YOU AGAIN!!

Thanks again to everyone who voted and spread the word about the The Body Shop’s Naturally Beautiful Blog Contest! All Natural Annie received 2nd place. I’m really excited and honored by all of the support and enjoyment of my blog! Thank you again so much :)

THANK YOU!

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has nominated and voted for my blog in The Body Shop’s Naturally Beautiful Blog Contest. Natural Beauty is my passion and I couldn’t more thrilled about this nomination!

If you haven’t voted yet, there is still time! The contest ends tomorrow, November 6th.

You can cast your vote here: Naturally Beautiful Blog Contest

Thank you again and congrats to my fellow nominees! :)