Monday, April 27, 2009

E-bay Brush Roll

Received a brush roll and brushes I purchased on E-bay for a whopping $4.19. They came from China, so it took about 2 weeks. I bought this specifically for the brush roll. Since they didn't show the brushes in the picture, I figured those would just be a throwaway. I was very surprised. The brushes are not the highest quality, but they are usable. They are a mix of natural and syntheic hair and have pretty pink handles. I just gave them my castille soap treatment wash and there was no dye bleeding and I only lost one hair on the big brush.

The brush roll stunk to high heaven when I opened the package. It is synthetic leather and had that chemical smell to it. It's only been airing out for a few minutes and there is little smell left. The material is a pink opalescent color and is a thick pleather. Everything is very washable - which is what I was after. Below is the link to the seller I purchased from. I've seen others selling it as well.

Link to auctions

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Review: Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara

I purchased this mascara in a haul on Earth Day for pocket change after coupon. I've been using it daily ever since and wanted to drop my thoughts on it.

Overall, I am very pleased. My pre-Paraben HG mascara was Maybelline Full 'n Lush. I had most recently been using Colossal because it does not have Parabens. I have tried a couple of organic mascaras and thought they were awful. Carmindy by Sally Hansen being the worst offender. This is by far the best organic mascara I have tried and definitely up there with regular mascara. It's my new HG.

The container is incredibly cute with the metallic green leaf. It also has a fat bottom and firmly sits on counter tops. It's a nice decorative piece. LOL. The mascara is fragrance free, so no 'mascara smell'. The ingredients list is very impressive and natural.

It comes with a standard rubber wand and the formula is very smooth. I bought 'Ultra Black' and it really makes my eyes pop. I was very impressed with the length this gave me. One coat did it. I noticed throughout the day that my lashed did not feel like they had mascara on them. It was kind of a strange sensation, but I got used to it. It's that light. No flaking or drooping. It still looked fresh at the end of the day.

My only issue came when I tried to take it off. I am used to using a baby wipe to remove my mascara. Well, this time the baby wipe did remove my mascara from my lashes, but rubbed it below my eye. It's not like with waterproof mascara where you have to rub and rub to get it off your lashes, this came off immediately, but then stuck to my skin. I used olive oil to clean it up. Not a big deal, but I was surprised at how the mascara liked to adhere to any surface it touched.

Grade: A, Packaging: A+
Price: $9 list, $6 sale
Size: .26 ounces, 7.5g
Pros: Adorable container, very light on lashes, makes mine long, lashes feel more conditioned.
Cons: Wipes off your lashes very easily with a wet cloth, but then sticks to your skin. Need to use oil to remove from face.
  • Revolutionary 100% Natural Origin formula contains the purest ingredients and provides 5x Lash Boosting for lash length, volume & definition naturally.
  • 100% Recyclable Eco-Brush defines each lash with ultra-soft plastic bristles.
  • 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals, Synthetic Preservatives, Parabens, Clumping, Smudging, Flaking, Fibers & Dyes.

Avoiding the Bad Nail Polishes

I was catching up on some blog reading and ran across an Earth Day posting by All Laquered Up. This is some interesting reading in which she sorts polishes by lack of baddie ingredients. With pictures! Check it out:

All Laquered Up Earth Day Polish Post

(Image from ALU Blog)

I found the brand listings interesting because slowly over the years, companies have been pulling the big 3 offenders out of their ingredients. Formaldehyde, Toulene, and DBP. Cancer in a bottle. But, that list has been expanding to include Formaldehyde Resin (the reason I don't use OPI), and Camphor. You can draw more bees with honey than Formaldehyde. Whether trying to keep up with the industry competition or listening to their customers, I am pleased that so many companies are cleaning up their acts.

With so many safe, quality polishes available, there is no excuse to continue taking chances with your current polish. I don't care if you have been using the same brand since you were a teenager, it's time to check out safer options.

Zoya is running a polish trade-in promotion right now. Send in any brand of polish (not Zoya) and you can pick from their entire collection for $3 a bottle shipped. Regular price is $6 not including shipping. I sent out a dozen almost full bottles of my old polish and it cost around $6.50 to ship them. Check it out!

Currently, I use 3 nail polish brands. I may expand that thanks to ALU's blog post. I will check out the posted version of NYC polish the next time I am in the store. Cheap always makes me happy.

Zoya - straight up nail polish. Huge selection of colors, intensities, etc.
Spell Cosmetics - mineral nail polish. Unique colors. Smells like polish, shake well.
Honeybee Gardens - water based mineral polish. No smell. Limited, standard color set. Regular and peel off varieties. Does not last as long as regular polish. Shake well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coastal Scents 15% Off

Get 15% off at Coastal Scents through midnight April 26th. Discount automatically taken in the shopping cart. Read any ingredients carefully, they use Parabens. I would recommend taking a look at their brush collection. Decent brushes for cheap. Choice of shipping options.

Coastal Scents Brushes

Check It Out: Nvey ECO

Well, I know why they call this line Nvey, I envy the person who can afford it. These products make my mouth water. The ingredients lists read like a love sonnet, but the cost is beyond my pay scale. I'll have to search for it from cheaper sources.

Nvey Eco is what 'organic' makeup should be about - quality ingredients, no fillers, and no dangerous preservatives. Price - $24 - $61

Check out the ingredients list on this LIQUID foundation. I think I can hear angels singing:

Purified Water, Glyceryl Stearate [Vegetable Emulsifier], Glycerin [Vegetable Glycerine], Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis [Sweet Almond Oil], Cetearyl Alcohol [Coconut Derived Emulsifier], Calendula Officinalis [Calendula Oil], Panthenol [Vitamin B5], Tocopheryl Acetate [Vitamin E Acetate], Origanum Vulgare [Wild Marjoram] Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Extract [Thyme Extract], Cinnamomum Zeylanicum [Cinnamon Bark] Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis [Rosemary} Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia [Lavender Flower] Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis [Golden Seal Root] Extract, Anthemis Nobilis [Chamomile] Extract, Cucumis Sativus [Cucumber] Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium [Honeysuckle] Extract, Rosa Centifolia Extract [Rose Absolute]. May Contain [+/-] CI 77019 [Mica], CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 770070, CI 77891.

Pressed powder with NO talc. My precious....

NVEY ECO, a truly certified organic makeup line that doesn't compromise on performance or color range, so well-suited for your ethically-chic lifestyle! Makeup is more than just color at NVEY ECO (pronounced en-vay ee-coh), it's a philosophy of harmony through the interaction of nature and creativity to deliver organic cosmetics that nourish, protect, condition, and energize your skin. Certified organic by the Australian Government as well as the Organic Food Chain, NVEY ECO is paraben free, SLS free, GM free, cruelty free, talc free, and contains no propylene glycol or petroleum based ingredients. NVEY ECO's core is green, it's sexy, it's color, and it's certified organic. There is no alternative.

Check It Out: Cargo Plant Love

Sephora is just full of surprises today. I just ran across a new line of makeup by Cargo called 'Plant Love'. They are a bit pricier than anything I would use, but the containers are cute and overall good ingredients. Again, don't care for talc, but the rest get a thumbs up.

Price: $16 - $36

Sephora Paraben Free Palette

Give me a moment while I get over the shock and awe of finding a Paraben Free makeup palette on Sephora's website of all places. *Deep breath* Wow, seriously, I never thought I would see the day palette makers would start getting with the program. They do use talc, which I am not crazy about, but is common in pressed makeup. Price - $22.

Back in my pre-Paraben Free days, I came SO close to buying the Coastal Scents palettes many times. I would watch Enkore and the girls on You Tube do these great reviews and I would go put them in my cart and then back out. Good thing I did, Mineral Oil, Methylparaben and Propylparaben. That's why I am so shocked by this Sephora offering. I have seen similar palettes and they all have crap ingredients and bad preservatives (especially the ones selling on E-Bay).

Good quality You Tube review I found.

Color Play Palette:
Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Hydrogenated Polysiobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarine (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).
Polybutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Bees Wax (Cera Alba), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phenyl Trimethicone, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Microcrystalline Wax, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera)Wax, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Mica (CI 77019).
Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Hydrogenated Polysiobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).
Talc, Mica, Magnesium Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polysiobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarine (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spell Cosmetics 30% Off VIP Sale!

Had to do an update before I go to bed. Just saw on the Spell Blog that Apr 23 to Apr 26 you will get 30% off with your VIP code.

You can get your VIP code free here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Hauls

I did a lap of Meijer and Walgreens and picked up a few items. Walgreens has a coupon on their website good for today only for a free tote and 15% off regular and 20% off Walgreens brand items.

Link to Walgreens coupon.

At Meijer, I bought the 3-pack of pure glycerin soap I had twittered about last week. $2.99. I also found Physician's Formula Organic Wear mascara on sale for $5.36. I had a $5 coupon so that was 36 cents. Yeah, boy! It's really cute with a green leaf top. Fragrance free.


At Walgreens, I picked up the freebie tote, the Escencia Shampoo I had posted about a few weeks back. Those products have hang tags where you can get your purchase price back after rebate. $7.99.

My last chemical dependency is perfume. The InStyle perfumes are B1G1F this week. $11 for the two.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Best Eco-Mascaras

I love finding new products! Here is a list from Sprig of the most popular eco-friendly 'safe' mascaras. I ran through the product websites and all seem to be free of Parabens and other nasties, but always read the label before buying.

Sprig: 14 Eco-Friendly Mascaras

Sprig has some interesting product lists, so dig around a bit and find something new. Article on Baddies

I'm signed up for all kinds of beauty newsletters and this just landed in my box. An article on ingredients to avoid and a few to find. Worth the clicks for new products and another baddie I had forgotten, Thimerosal. I did find it very telling that PARABENS were not mentioned at all in the article. I'm sure the fact that all of their sponsor products contain Parabens had nothing to do with the decision to omit those. Dangerous Ingredients You Should Avoid

Thimerosal: Preservative made from Mercury and causes brain damage. I looked around and only Paula Dorf cake mascara is listed as having it.

Thimerosal is also known by these names: Mercurochrome? Merzonin; Merthiolate? Mertorgan; Sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate Ethyl (2-mercaptobenzoato-S) mercury
sodium salt; Mercurothiolate Merfamin; Thiomersalate Thiomersal; and Thiomersalan [(o-carboxyphenyl)thio] Ethylmercury sodium salt.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunscreen Ingredients Causing More Damage Than They Prevent?

I was visting the folks this weekend and caught up on my stack of magazines I never have time to read. Good thing I didn't have internet access, because I freaked out when I read the article below in Allure Magazine about the damaging effects of the most used ingredients for sunscreen. There is a study which shows that these ingredients actually increase the number of free radicals in your body as they break down.

I had a hard enough time finding sunscreens without these nasty chemicals. Now, I have to worry about free radicals causing damage. Aaaagh! Read and decide for yourself.

Allure Article

SNIP: When sunscreen is slathered on the skin, molecules in the sunscreen — the UV filters — cut down on the amount of radiation that can penetrate the skin. But according to this UC Riverside study, helmed by lead author Kerry Hanson, three commonly used, FDA approved sunscreen filters —
octyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, and benzophenone-3, which is also known as oxybenzone — can boost the number of free radicals over time when they break down and are absorbed into the skin.

GDA: A.C. Moore Brushes - 50% MAC Dupes!

I was traveling between states this weekend and paid my usual homage to the A.C. Moore store. It's a crafts store much like Michaels. This week, they have ALL of their single artists brushes at 50%. I picked up a couple more
Loew-Cornell Maxine's Mops and a squirrel hair brush. I LOVE the L-C brushes. Goat's hair, super quality and cheap as dirt.

In case you didn't get the memo, roll over to You Tube and do a search for Loew-Cornell, you will find lots of videos showing those brushes compared to the expensive MAC brushes.

Click here to find a store.

Here is a cribbed list of L-C to MAC equivalent brushes: List

Cheapest place I have found online with free shipping: Brushes and

Spell Cosmetics VIP card - FREE!

I'm filing this under 'I'll be darned'! For the month of April, Spell is giving away their VIP discount cards. These are good for 25% of Spell products. I think I paid $12 for mine when I bought it last year. Get it while the getting's good!

You will need to send Spell a note BEFORE you buy anything asking for a code. Free shipping and 25% off? It's ALL good!

Spell card blurb


Spell Cosmetics Gothic Vogue B1G1F

Spell is having a quickie clearance today (4-20) and tomorrow (4-22) on their remaining Gothic Vogue stock. Buy one, get one. More info in the Spell Blog.

Link to the Gothic Pretties.

Don't forget! ZOYA Nail Polish Exchange

Here's another chance to trade in those funky, bad for you nail polishes and trade up to Zoya. Great colors and Toluene, Formaldehyde free. I still need to send mine in. Such a slacker.

Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange

Info is still the same from their previous polish exchange: Blog Post

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Review: Sonia Kashuk Brushes

In the past month, I have saved my pennies and picked up two of the Sonia Kashuk brushes I keep hearing so many good things about. Plenty of uses and washing later, I am ready to review them.

The two I purchased are the 'Highlighting' or skunk brush and the flat head blusher brush. Sonia's products are exclusive to Target.

I purchased Sonia's skunk brush after being disappointed with my MAC Adoring Carmine Special Edition brushes. Sonia delivers where the 187SE fails. Sonia is a full size brush with a slighter larger and thicker head, but side-by-side, they look identical. I lost a couple of hairs the first time I washed it, but nothing since. Shedding was my major complaint about the MAC brush.

I use my skunk mostly for blush and highlighting powder. The pink tinge you see in the photos is the blush. I used it before I remembered I needed photograph it.

I can't say enough good things about this
brush, worth every penny and more. I can't believe a brush this nice is so inexpensive. It has held up through dozens of uses and I wash it twice a week. Like new. These are considered a 'unicorn' product since they are so hard to find in stock.

Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush

Price: $12.99
Location: Target
Pros: Super cheap, high quality
Cons: Hard to find, why did I wait so long?

The second Sonia brush is called a blusher brush. I bought it specifically to use with my mineral makeup. I have been using a flat top makeup brush from Coastal Scents. The Coastal Scents brush was only $4 and natural hair, but a bit to scratchy for me - and it always smells like wet dog butt when you wash it.

I was loving the Sonia brush before I used it and the love affair continues. I use this and the
skunk every day I wear makeup and it has held up wonderfully through all the use and washings. It is synthetic and has a flat head. I don't know how they managed it, but the synthetic feels much softer than real hair. It has a small, tightly packed head that gives a lot of control and lets you get into all the nooks and crannies without having to dig in. Something else I noticed is that it doesn't give you a dust cloud of mineral makeup if you pick up too much. That is a complaint I have about other flat top brushes I have used.

Between these Sonia Kashuk brushes and my Loewe Cornell Maxine's Mop brushes, my set is complete. But, I will continue testing brushes because you just never know...

Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush
Grade: A+
Price: $14.99
Location: Target
Pros: High quality, super soft, no shedding at all.
Cons: Comes in a hard case that will scratch the brush handle if you use it for storage.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Review: Village Naturals Body Scrub

I ran across this at Meijer. I thought Village Naturals was only sold in Wal-Mart, but apparently they are in most stores. Regular price was $3.00, but it was on sale for $2, so you know I couldn't help myself. They have both sugar and salt scrubs. I picked the sugar.

I've never used such a basic scrub before and was kind of put off by all the oil floating on top. I thought it would be more blended. I used it this morning and hated it when I was in the shower, but now I think I kind of liked it.

I gave it a good shake to mix things up before I pulled the protective tab off. The sugar makes a great scrub and it lasts as long as you need it. I did my upper body. Good exfoliation, but I felt like a giant greaseball after using it. I did a once over with soap to get some oil off of me. Once I was out and started drying off, the oil finally sunk in so I wasn't greasy. I think if I had used this in the tub, I wouldn't have been able to get out. It does leave a greasy scum exactly where you are standing, which is dangerous.

Overall, it was okay. I will finish out the jar, but I won't repurchase. Other painpoint aside from sliding around in the shower, is the jar is very cheap, thin plastic that doesn't hold it's shape - or the lid. I couldn't get it back on straight.

Video on making your own scrub

Grade: Product - B+, Packaging: D
Price: $3
Size: 11.5 ounces
Pros: Super cheap, generous amount, good scrubbing action.
Cons: That flimsy jar that won't screw shut. Slip 'n slide in the shower.

Ingredients: Sugar, Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Fragrance

Product Review: Rachel Perry Peach & Papaya Facial Scrub

I picked up a couple items at Marshalls the other day. Marshalls is kind of like TJ MAxx - Big Lots for department stores. I was looking through several shelves of products for something that was fit to use and saw the beautiful words 'Paraben Free' on the box.
I did some research when I got home, and Rachel Perry has reformulated all of their products to be Paraben Free. I found some of the older products in this series and they were full of Parabens and Urea. Yuck!

The product comes in a plastic jar with a deco sticker (I love their box art). It has a nice peachy smell. When I first opened it, I thought it was a clay scrub, but it was actually the ground walnut shell powder. It's a very thick consistency, so you have to dig in to get some. Just a dab will do you. It was smooth on my face and very packed with scrubby bits. The granulation was not as fine as I would have liked, but it was still much finer than anything found in the drugstore - and Paraben Free.

My all-time favorite facial scrub (aside from baking soda) was the Healing Garden's Skin Organics reFine Microderm Abrasion. It used bamboo, but they stopped making it.

The girls on Makeup Alley give this a 90% rebuy, so definitely check it out if you run across it.

Grade: A-
$5.99 - regular retail is $12.00
Size: 2 ounces
Ingredients: Paraben Free. Deionized (Aqua) Water, Propylene Glycol, Walnut (Juglans Mandshurica) Shell Powder, Cocoamphocarboxy Propionate from Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glyceryl Stearate S.E. Titanium Dioxide, Papya (Carica Papaya) Extract, Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Peel Extract, Juniperus Communis Extract, Peach (Prunus Persica) Puree Extract, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) Extract, Clary (Salvia Sclarea) Extract, Evening Primrose (Oenothere Biennis) Oil, Balm Mint (Melissa Officinalis) Extract, Gentian (Gentiana Lutea) Root Extract, Arnicaa Montana Flower Extract, Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens) Extract, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine Lactate, Salicylic Acid, DMDMHydantoin, Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale) Root Extract, Allantoin, Citric Acid (and) Silver Citrate, Vitamin "B" (panthenol), Peach (Prunus Persica) Kernel Oil, Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride), Vitamin "A" (Retinyl Palmitate), Vitamin "E" (Tocopheryl Acetate), Fragrance (Essence Oil).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Follow Me on Twitter


Hi, guys! Quick update before I get back to work. I created a Princess account on Twitter. I've been shooting images and product info up over there since I can do it quickly. I will follow up and post my full product reviews on here when I have the time.