Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Favorite Things: Crystal Body Deodorant - Paraben Free - No Aluminum Chlorohydrate - Environmentally Friendly

I have been using Crystal Body Deodorant for a decade now. I initially started using the rock crystal because it was really budget friendly. A rock if used and kept properly can last you for years. No joke. I used my last crystal deodorant stone for three years before I needed to buy a new one.

Crystal deodorant paraben free
But don't you stink? Um, no. The minerals in crystal deodorant create a barrier on your skin that helps prevent bacteria from forming. No bacteria, no funk. I did experience a week of weird smells as I transitioned from using a solid stick deodorant to the crystal. I think my body was actually detoxing from having my pores clogged up by Secret for so many years. Learn more about how mineral deodorants work.

I  have tried the spray and roller versions of Crystal Body Deodorant but prefer the simple rock. It's just a big rock of mineral salts with a little tray. It's cheap and I'd rather not use a tube or plastic bottle when a good alternative is available.

Benefits of using Crystal Body Deodorant:
  • It's paraben free, aluminum chlorohydrate free and doesn't clog up your skin.
  • There's no scent! 
  • It's safe for all ages.
  • You won't be throwing out plastic deodorant tubes X times per year.
  • It doesn't stain or smear your clothing. No more white stripes! Minerals are clear.
  • You will save crazy money by using a crystal. I bought a 5 ounce rock on sale at Trader Joe's for $5.50. My 3 ounce rock lasted 3 years. You do the math on 3 years of deodorant tube$.  
  • It travels easily. No worrying about spills or airport security.
  • You can use anywhere on your body. Say goodbye to stinky feet.

My recent purchase of a 5 ounce deodorant crystal from Trader Joe's. It comes with a little storage tray. If you look closely in the circle, you can see the sliver remains of the 3 ounce crystal I used for three years. These crystals will last forever if you use and store them correctly.

How I Use & Store My Deodorant Crystal:
  • After my shower (and I shower every day), I wet the crystal in the sink and give my underarms a couple of swipes. That's it. If you are still shower wet, you can use the crystal dry but I prefer a little extra moisture.
  • I give the crystal a quick rinse under the faucet and then store it in the tray in my bathroom cabinet.
  • Store it wet side up. If you store it face down, it will melt a bit (it is essentially salt) and create a rough texture on that side. 
  • Enjoy the savings, being paraben free and environmentally friendly!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Product Review: Circa Beauty by Eva Mendes

When I first discovered the Circa Beauty line by Eva Mendes, I was really excited. The products looked solid and I loved the art deco vibe of the packaging. The reality of my product experience is not a positive one. All but one of the 5 products I purchased ended up in the trash within the first 30 days. I've held off on doing a review because I was so aggravated and disappointed, I needed some distance to review objectively.

Circa Beauty by Eva Mendes

Circa Beauty by Eva Mendes. Available at
Walgreens.com, and  Drugstore.com - even though the Circa website says it's only available at Walgreens.

My first post about Circa was over a year ago. I ordered foundation, concealer, lipstick, lip butter and mascara from Drugstore.com for $58. My receipt is at the bottom. When I started unwrapping and unboxing items, I noticed how poorly made and cheap the plastic packaging felt. It was pretty but the package quality reminded me of Wet 'n Wild. That was my first disappointment. There was so much more to come. Looking back, I should have boxed everything up and sent it back to Drugstore and spent my $58 somewhere else. I was just too stubborn and determined to make these products work for me.

My Circa Beauty product reviews:

Circa Beauty Color Balance Liquid Foundation Review

Circa Beauty Color Balance Liquid Foundation, 1 ounce - $15. This is a very high quality foundation for the price. It is extremely thick and I have to cut it with a drop of facial oil. I may purchase this again.

Solid glass bottle with a pump. The lid is cheap, ill-fitting plastic. I could turn the bottle upside down and shake it and the lid would fall off. I dropped this on the floor multiple times because of the lid. I eventually threw the lid away.

Circa Beauty Studio Edit Full Coverage Concealer Review

Circa Beauty Studio Edit Full Coverage Concealer, .15 ounces - $12. This concealer crayon was broken when I received it. I pulled off the cheap plastic cap and half the product fell to the bathroom floor. I cleaned it off and shoved it back into the tube. I tried to use this product a couple of times, but the crayon felt dry to me. I thew it all out after the product fell out onto the bathroom floor again.

Circa Beauty Optical Illusion Lash Lengthening Mascara Review
Circa Beauty Optical Illusion Lash Lengthening Mascara, .25 ounces - $11. The first time I opened this tube of mascara, the cap on the end came off. Just slid right off. I don't think it was even glued to the wand handle. I tried to glue it back on myself, but the cap just kept coming off. This went into the trash after two weeks.

The mascara itself was very good quality and had staying power. The wand did a good job of application. I had to really work to remove this mascara at the end of the day.

Circa Beauty Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipstick, 07 Vivien Review

Circa Beauty Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipstick, .12 ounces - $10. This is in the color Vivien. I actually laughed when I opened this tube. You can see in the product photo that it appears to be a subtle shade of pink. The actual lipstick was more of a coral neon flamingo. It was bright and it was loud, really loud. The packaging on this was slightly better quality than the others, but the lipstick was unusable to me. $10 out the window.

I did try it on just to test the product. The lipstick is thick and provides full coverage. I left it on about five minutes before I could feel my lips drawing because of lack of moisture.

Circa Beauty Color Treatment Tinted Lip Butter Review
Circa Beauty Color Treatment Tinted Lip Butter, .1 ounces - $10. This is in the color Sheer Poppy. I received the color in the photo. The packaging for this was just awful. They packaged what is essentially a skinny Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer stick into a lipstick case. Not much product at all. That clear plastic lid just sat on the base, it didn't snap on. I tried carrying this in my purse, but after the third time the lid came off, I was tired of it smearing the inside of my bag. This went into the trash.

The lip butter itself was nice. Subtle color and good moisture. I would buy it again if they would just package it in a regular lip balm tube.

In the end, the only product from the Circa Beauty line that did not make it into the trash within 30 days of my purchase is the foundation. I still have a quarter of the foundation left and save it for when I need thick coverage. Overall, I think the Circa Beauty line has some quality products for the price. However, any advantage they may have with quality is being overshadowed by the cheap packaging impacting the user experience. Would you use a product that fell out of the tube every time you picked it up?

Drugstore.com Circa Beauty Order
Drugstore.com Circa Beauty Order

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What's NOT an Ingredient a Selling Point for Paraben, Gluten, and Sulfate Free Products

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about how marketers are now touting what's not in their products. The NO labels have been gaining strength the past couple of years. I have found these labels useful when scanning shelves for new products. I will pick up these items before ones without special labeling. Regardless of what the front may say, you need to read what is on the back of the package. Just because a product may not have one of the ingredients you are avoiding, that doesn't mean it automatically checks off the rest of your list. If a product has even one of the ingredients that I avoid, I won't buy it. Not everyone will be as hardcore in their purchase decisions, but I have been doing it for years and have managed to survive.

Ingredients that I avoid:

Parabens and BHT can be in just about any product, including bars of soap.
  • BHT
You will find these in shampoos and conditioners. Major skin irritants. Can cause scalp blistering and hair loss.
Common ingredients in sunscreen and most any product with an SPF. They can cause serious skin irritation and chemical burns. I use products with zinc and titanium dioxide instead.
No toothpaste with SLS. This is actually a skin irritant and blisters the inside of my mouth.

If you have a question about whether an ingredient is safe, check it in the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

In the U.S., women use on average 12 products a day containing a total of 168 unique ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that researches chemicals in consumer products, among other things. Men use an average of six products with 85 unique ingredients.- Wall Street Journal

Read the full Wall Street Journal article.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gwyneth Paltrow Joins Juice Beauty to Create Organic Phyto-Pigments Makeup Collection - Paraben Free

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow wants to put her goop on your face. But that's not a bad thing when the goop comes from Juice Beauty. The new Phyto-Pigments collection looks promising. The pricing for this line is comparable with some of the higher end brands and may be a nice transition from those to something more organic - and paraben free.

Gwyneth Paltrow Juice Beauty Makeup Collection
Gwyneth Paltrow for Juice Beauty

The collection contains mainstay pieces. The price point is a bit above what I normally would pay but they are definitely going on my wish list. Currently available on the Juice Beauty website and Ulta. Gwyneth also has a line of her skin care goop by Juice Beauty on her official site.


Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Flawless Serum FoundationPHYTO-PIGMENTS Flawless Serum Foundation - 1 ounce, $42

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*, carthamnus tinctorius (organic safflower oil)*, organic glycerin*, potassium cetyl phosphate, sorbitan sesquioleate, coconut alkanes, coco-caprylate/caprate (plant derived), gluconolactone (plant derived), cetearyl olivate (plant derived), sorbitan olivate (plant derived), sodium benzoate, decyl glucoside (plant derived), silica, hydroxyethylcellulose, sodium bicarbonate, citrus limonum leaf cell extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower seed oil), vitis vinifera (organic grape seed oil)*, tocopherol (Vitamin E), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (Vitamin C), argania spinosa (argan shell powder), rosa gallica (rose flower powder). May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Juice Organics PHYTO-PIGMENTS Last Looks Cream Blush
PHYTO-PIGMENTS Last Look Cream Blush - .11 ounces, $24

Cocos nucifera (organic coconut oil)*, ricinus communis (organic castor seed oil)*, copernicia cerifera (organic carnauba wax)*, helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*, rhus verniciflua peel wax, methyl dehydroabietate (plant derived), mica, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla wax), simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed oil)*, isopropyl jojobate, jojoba alcohol, jojoba esters, tocopherol (vitamin E), helianthus annuus (sunflower seed oil), oryza sativa (rice bran extract), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary leaf extract), polyglyceryl-10 heptahydroxystearate, butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter)*, vitis vinifera (grape seed oil), sclerocarya birrea seed oil, rosa gallica (rose flower powder), malus domestica fruit cell culture extract, citrus limonum leaf cell extract, vegetable glycerin, phospholipids (plant derived), silica, magnesium silicate, betaine (plant derived), sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides (77491, 77492, 77499).

Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Satin Lip Cream

PHYTO-PIGMENTS Satin Lip Cream - .11 ounces, $24

Ingredients: Ricinus communis (organic castor seed oil)*, helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*, copernica cerifera (organic carnauba wax)*, butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter)*, methyl dihydroabietate (plant derived), simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed oil)*, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange peel wax), sucrose acetate isobutyrate (plant derived), euphorbia cerifera (candelilla wax), helianthus annuus (sunflower seed wax), hydrogenated jojoba oil, malus domestica fruit cell culture extract, citrus limonum leaf cell extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower seed oil), oryza sativa (rice bran extract), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary leaf extract), tocopherol (Vitamin E), polyglyceryl-10 heptahydroxystearate, vegetable glycerin, magnesium silicate, silica, vitis vinifera (grape seed oil), betaine (plant derived), sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, phospholipids (plant derived), rosa gallica (rose flower powder), melia azadirachta leaf extract, melia azadirachta flower extract, amino esters-1, coccinia indica leaf extract, solanum melongena (eggplant fruit extract), aloe barbadensis flower extract, ocimum sanctum leaf extract, ocimum basilicum (basil flower extract), corallina officinalis extract. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77499), mica.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gluten Free Vegan Beauty Products - Actress Jennifer Esposito Introduces Eclair Naturals - Gluten, Soy, and Paraben Free

Eclair Naturals - Gluten Soy Paraben Free Beauty ProductsI'm really excited about this one. I ran across an article on how actress Jennifer Esposito was helping launch a new company called Eclair Naturals which sells organic, gluten free, soy free and paraben free beauty products. I dove in to find out more.

I am familiar with Jennifer's story of how her celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder where exposure to gluten damages the small intestine) nearly ended both her career and her life. She adheres to a strict diet regimen and actively avoids any products that contain gluten. Much like with my paraben free awakening, she realized that nearly all of her beauty products contained gluten. It really is a shock when you discover your medicine cabinet, shower products, makeup and even your toothpaste are negatively impacting your well being.

Now to the Eclair Naturals product line. Made in the USA. Vegan, gluten free, soy free, non-GMO, cruelty free and no Parabens. That's quite a line up. They also come in a wonderful selection of natural scents. These products look yummy - and they are all under $10.

Available at Rite Aid, Target and HEB stores.

Eclair Naturals Gluten & Paraben Free Shampoo - $8.99
Eclair Volumizing Shampoo - 12 ounces, $8.99
 Alanine, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Leaf/Root Extract, Aqua/Water, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Gluconolactone, Glyceryl Laurate, Glycine, Histidine, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Isoleucine, Lauryl Glucoside, Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Natural Fragrance Oils, Panthenol, PCA, Phenylalanine, Proline, Quillaja Saponaria Molina (Soap Tree) Bark Extract, Serine, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sorbitan Sesquicaprylate, Threonine, Valine, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract.

Eclair Naturals Body Butter - 4 ounces, $9.99
Eclair Naturals Body Butter - 4 ounces, $9.99
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, Glycerin (Kosher/Vegetable), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Natural Fragrance Oils, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol – Natural Vitamin E, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract.

Eclair Naturals Fizzy Bath Cupcake
Eclair Naturals Fizzy Bath Cupcake - 6 ounces, $4.99
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Flower Extract, Amino Esters, Annatto Extract, Aqua/Water, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, Coccinia Indica (Ivy Gourd) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Glycerin (Kosher/Vegetable), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Iron Oxide, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Lycopene, Melia Azadirachta (White Cedar) Flower Extract, Melia Azadirachta (White Cedar) Leaf Extract, Mica, Natural Fragrance Oils, Ocimum Sanctum (Holy Basil) Leaf Extract, Pearl Powder, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate – Baking Soda, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopherol – Natural Vitamin E, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch.

Original story: http://www.aol.com/article/2016/05/20/gluten-free-skincare-products-are-a-thing-and-you-should-know-a/21380799/