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Infinity Jars Review

Beauty, Body, Health, Natural Hair, Skincare

I love DIY beauty and cosmetic formulations using herbs, oils, and butters. I haven’t made my own products in a while but I’ve been itching to get back into it. There was a time when I made my own deep conditioners and body oils. So when Infinity Jars sent these to me for review I thought this would be the perfect time to start again.

Infinity Jars is an ultra violet glass which blocks out visible light and keeps contents fresh with an air tight seal. Plus they are gorgeous! They just motivate the kitchen chemist in me to start concocting beauty treatments. You can also use these to store herbs, spices, and other kitchen items as well.

I decided to get the 100 ml jar for DIY deep conditioners and face masks, 50 ml spray bottle which is great for hair or facial mists, 100 ml pump bottle for gels and oil mixes. I’m so excited to start making us of these jars. Stay tuned for some DIY beauty mixes coming in the next few weeks.

The Honey Pot Feminine Washes Review

Body, Feminine Hygiene

In the past I have used my share of douche’s and feminine washes. Some had burning sensations and all sorts of side effects but foolishly I kept using it because I thought that’s what my female parts needed. Since going natural in my health and beauty routine I have since stopped using all those harmful products. continue reading

How to Switch to All Natural Deodorant

Body, Feminine Hygiene

I stopped using traditional aluminum deodorant about 5 months ago and I have never looked back!

 

Most people wear deodorant to control the odor from perspiration or sweat. Sweat is a natural process that the body uses to cool your body down from getting over heated and also release toxins. The truth is sweat is actually odorless! The reason some people get body odor is because the bacteria from our skin’s surface mixes and eats the perspiration molecules which in turn produces odor.

 

Aluminum is the active ingredient in antiperspirants that keep underarms fresh and free from odor. Aluminum can be harmful to your health; if you didn’t know here’s a little info on why. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin and hormone disrupter that goes directly into the blood stream once it’s applied to the skin. This ingredient has also been linked to breast cancer in women since it goes underneath the arms near the breast tissue.

 

The aluminum deodorants block the sweat ducks so that the sweat cannot get out. If the sweat doesn’t get out then it doesn’t create the fowl body odor smell. Unfortunately this is not a natural process, as I stated before sweating is a normal body function. We don’t want to stop or prevent that from happening.

 

Natural deodorants that are free from aluminum are formulated to be pH balanced to neutralize the activity of odor causing bacteria. All while leaving you smelling fresh and odor free. There are plenty of natural options to choose from. I reviewed a few that I personally use such as Piperwai and Real Purity.

 

Before switching to a natural deodorant I suggest that you detox your underarms. Detoxing helps to remove any toxins or left over chemicals from your underarm skin tissue. Plus it helps to make switching to a natural deodorant easier.

 

1-tablespoon bentonite clay

1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

 

Just mix the two ingredients together until they form a paste. Apply to your underarm area and allow the clay to dry. After about 10-15 minutes just simply shower or use a warm cloth to remove.

 

 

You can do this process as often as you like or feel that is needed.

 

Since switching to the all-natural route I actually only wear deodorant when I need to. For instance if I’m exercising or if I’m going to be out all day while it’s hot outside. I’m not a person who sweats a lot. I know some people sweat more or less depending on their activity. Just gauge it based on your body’s needs and your lifestyle. Also be sure to drink plenty of water, as this will help your body rid itself of toxins as well.

 

Are you ready to switch to natural deodorant? Have you tried so already? Let me know in the comments below.

PiperWai Natural Deodorant Review

Body, Feminine Hygiene

The lovely people at Piperwai scent me their natural deodorant to try. I recently made the switch to using all natural deodorants a couple months ago. I’m still experimenting to find the best choice for me and my lifestyle.

 

I first learned of Piperwai by watching Shark Tank and the owners and their story immediately intrigued me. Of course I loved the fact that they were an all-natural green beauty brand owned by women. Plus Barbara Corcoran invested in them! Sorry big time Shark Tank fan here 🙂

They were gracious enough to send me a full size 2oz jar of their deodorant. This deodorant is different from all the other natural brands because they use activated charcoal to balance the underarm pH levels. It comes as a paste that you simply scoop out a pea-sized amount with your fingers or a cosmetic spatula. Rub it into your underarm area until clear. I found that it absorbs pretty quickly.

PiperWai 2 copy

The smell is like a refreshing peppermint scent without being too over powerful. I enjoyed the scent but it doesn’t linger on for hours like most traditional deodorants where you can still smell it even after application. Which is a plus in my opinion.

If you’re not used to using a paste as a form of deodorant it may take some time to get used to. A lot of natural brands I found actually come in a paste; many of the DIY homemade deodorant recipes are paste also. I have recently heard that they are trying to come up with a roll on stick formulation hopefully to be released by the end of 2016. I’d like to try this once it’s released.

I do also want to mention that I do not wear deodorant often, as I’m not a person who perspires much. I typically wear this if I’ll be out for longer periods of time or outdoors during hot weather. For those who are more active and or exercise often this will definitely work for you because it’s formulated to prevent the body odor that stems from sweating.

You can purchase Piperwai by clicking here.

 

Have your tried Piperwai? If so let me know in the comments.

 

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Spring Beauty Must Haves | Natural & Organic

Body, Feminine Hygiene, Natural Hair, Skincare

Even though spring is almost over and we have like one more month until it’s officially summer (yikes!). I thought I would share some green beauty items that I am absolutely loving this spring and will continue to use into the summer. Some of these are products that I’ve been using for a while and others are new.

 

Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Lotion

Whoa I know that’s a mouth full! I have tried so many of the body lotions from Shea Moisture and I have to say that this to one so far is my favorite. The first two ingredients are aloe vera juice and coconut water. Both of which are very light yet hydrating at the same time. Most of the other lotions I’ve tried from this brand a very thick and heavy, the texture of this cream is on the lighter side but still provides so much moisture. Another plus for me is that because the formula is so light weight its makes for easy application. For those who may be curious is has more of a pleasant fruity smell not coconuts.

 

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant in Lavender + Sage

I have been on the hunt for a good natural deodorant that is actually free of toxins and actually works. While strolling through the isles of Whole Body I came across this deodorant and decided to pick up since it was on sale. I notice a lot of natural deodorants are formulated as a cream instead of the stick that we are used to. Although from what I hear Schmidt’s has actually come out with a stick version. However I picked up the cream and at first the texture was a little weird for me I could feel the baking soda. The directions say to take a little and rub it between your fingers then apply to underarm areas. As for smell and protection I would say it did well. I’m not a girl who perspires much so I can’t really give an opinion on the effectiveness of that. But I didn’t walk around with an odor and that is what matters to me! Also another brand (who shall remain nameless for now) gave me a horrible rash afterwards. So I’m happy to say that I didn’t experience that with this product.

 

100 Percent Pure Seaweed Shaving Cream

If you truly follow me or this blog then y’all know how much I stan for this brand. I was sent this shaving cream a while back but wasn’t really able to put it to use until now. If I’m not waxing then I’m shaving or touching up certain areas at home. I was never a fan of shaving cream because most come in a foam and I am not using Nair for the obvious toxic reasons. I was more than happy to test this product out. It’s texture is very lightweight almost runny if you are not careful. A little goes a long way. What’s beautiful about this product is that not only does it help you remove all the unwanted hair but it leaves your skin feeling so smooth and soft afterwards.

 

Karens Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave in Conditioner

My hair has loved KBB since they first started in that little shop in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Back in my super early natural hair journey days I would go there personally to pick up some sweet smelling natural goodies for my skin and hair. The best part about this is that their formula has still not changed, the only thing that has is the packing. I have tried many other natural hair products but the Sweet Ambrosia is what makes my hair so uber soft like nothing else has. My hair can get weighed down easily so I light to use light weight products. Sweet Ambrosia is very light weight thin consistency and my hair drinks it up! I included this in my Spring/ Summer favorites because why not and second the essential oil based fragrances this comes in are perfect to have your hair looking and smelling good this season.

 

Okay ladies so those were my Spring Green Beauty Must Haves. Have you tried any of the products listed above? If so leave me a comment and let me know what your thoughts.

 

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Spring Clean your Beauty Routine

Body, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

Clean out your makeup If you follow me then you know I’m all about green beauty. Out with the old and in with the new. At the start of each new season you should clear out your old makeup. Lipsticks can last over 6 months but just to be sanitary, wipe them off with alcohol just to ensure you’re not applying bacteria to the lips. The biggest health concern is with mascara. You should toss out your mascara after 3 months. If you haven’t switched your mascara out yet here are a few natural alternatives:

100 Percent Pure Black Tea

Red Apple Lipstick Mascara

 

Change your daily moisturizer- The cold winter months leaves your skin needing a rich moisturizer. Since most of us don’t have the same skin care needs all year round you may need to switch to a lighter moisturizer for the spring and summer. Make sure that your sunscreen contains an spf of at least 30. I notice brown girls feel that we don’t need to use sunscreen as much as our other sisters however we do, especially for those who have problem skin or suffer with dark spots. Here are a few non-toxic spf moisturizers I personally like:

100 Percent Pure Green Tea Oil Free Moisturizer

Devita Naturals Solar Protective Moisturizer 

Real Purity Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

 

Increase Hair Hydration- Our hair still needs moisture even in the warmer months. Staying in the sun for long periods of time can actually dry the hair out. Taking long breaks in between washes can leaving your tresses thirty. Try washing your hair at least every 5-7 days. Because our hair contains up to 80 percent water you cannot properly moisturize without water. After washing apply leave-in conditioners that list water as one of the first ingredients. These are creamy water based leave-ins that I keep in my personal stash:

Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia

Soultanicals Knot Sauce

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

 

Brighten up your palette- Spring is all about bright beautiful bold colors. Try introducing new nail polish and lipstick colors that match the season. I personally love pinks, purples, and even yellow. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with colors you’ve never used before.

Real Purity Dew Berry Lipstick

100 Percent Pure Primrose Fruit Pigmented Lipstick

Au Naturale Organic Lipstick in Wild Lotus

 

Exfoliate, Exfoliate-Our skin can accumulate a lot of dead skin during the winter. Of course we all like to show some skin come spring and summer. Show off your beautiful glowing skin by regular exfoliation. You can exfoliate up to 3 times weekly. Opt for a natural body scrub that contains sea salts and sugars with natural oils that slough off the dead skin to reveal a smooth bright complexion. Try these gentle yet effective body scrubs:

100 Percent Pure Lavender Body Scrub

Shea Moisture  Super Fruit Hand & Body Scrub 

 

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Why Women of Color Should Opt for Non-Toxic Cosmetics

Body, Health, Info & Tips, Lifestyle, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

When I refer to women of color I don’t just mean those of Black or African decent. The term includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including Latina, Native American, Asian, and Indian. As a fellow brown girl my passion and drive for creating this blog is to serve as a resource and motivation to chose organic and all natural options when it comes to cosmetics. My goal with this blog is to at least get women to consider their health when purchasing beauty products and to show that there are safer alternatives.

 

Cosmetics are a $71 billion industry. Of that number women of color spend close to three times as much than any other group. Cosmetic products marketed to women of color have improved in providing safer ingredients. The natural hair care industry has grown from only a select few companies to several; most of which are now offered in local beauty supply stores and big box retailers. I remember a time when there were only a select few available exclusively online.

 

According to the Environmental Working Group many ingredients used in traditional personal care products are known carcinogens, which have been linked to breast cancer. Unfortunately in the United States there is no system in place to regulate potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics. Cosmetic companies are not required to have their products tested for safety by the FDA or any other agency. This means we as consumers have to be careful to read our labels and understand the ingredients in the products we use in and on our bodies daily.

 

The average US woman uses beauty products that contain nearly 200 different chemicals. Of these chemicals many include parabens, mercury, artificial dye, phthalates, formaldehyde, and toluene. All of these substances have been proven to cause many adverse health risks with prolonged use. Some of these health concerns are fibroid tumors, infertility, birth defects, hair loss, cancer, and this is just to name a few! Women of color are at a greater risk for these fibroids, breast cancer, and other diseases.

 

I often hear women of color especially in the black community stay away from certain ingredients in their hair care products but why not extend that to your makeup, skincare, and other beauty products. While it may sound overwhelming at first you can make small changes one product at a time. As a woman of color I understand where the challenge comes to finding cosmetics that are a perfect match. Hopefully this blog will introduce you to some natural alternatives that won’t compromise your health in the name of beauty.

 

Here are some resources if you want to do more research:

Story of cosmetics

Safe Cosmetics.org

Environmental Working Group

 

 

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How to Go Green with your Beauty Routine

Body, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

If you’re new to the green beauty community and not sure where to start then this post is for you. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way in transforming my beauty routine to toxic free.

First things first…….Don’t throw everything out going on a rampage tossing everything in sight!

 

You don’t have to go cold turkey. If you’re new to the all-natural game take baby steps. When I first started I was so excited and ready to just throw all my toxic beauty products in the trash. Wean yourself off chemical dependency slowly. For example if your normal facial has not so safe ingredients only use it once a day instead of twice. On the alternate days try using a natural alternative instead.

 

Replace products as you run out– One at a time with healthier choices each time. Go for the biggest impact. Body wash , lotion, shampoo, and hair products are the easiest to swap out. If you are a woman with natural hair then you probably already use natural hair products. Although some toxic ingredients are starting to show up in those too as manufactures are getting smarter about using the word “natural” on labels. So be cautious and read the ingredient list before you buy.

 

Learn to read labels. Know your ingredients. If you’re not sure what something means do your research to understand before you apply it to your skin. There are tons of resources like this blog for instance J Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and EWG Skin Deep are also good resources for information. I like using the Thinkdirty app, which allows you to scan the barcode of products while you are in the store. It scans for toxic chemicals and ingredients in beauty products then rates their safety so you can know before you buy. You can find this in the Apple App store or Google Play.

 

Makeup will probably be the hardest and take the longest to replace honestly. Especially if you are a makeup girl whose put in time and money to build up your makeup stash. With makeup start replacing your foundations first. Ask for samples or try smaller sizes. Especially us brown girls who have a hard enough time already finding our perfect shade. Nowadays many companies have a 30 day return policy so even if you buy a full size and it doesn’t work for you, you can get your money back.

 

Sign up for some organic beauty subscription boxes. Here are a few that I personally have tried.

Sometimes you even get full size products to try. The great thing about subscription boxes is they allow you test out multiple products at a fraction of the cost to purchase them individually.

 

Important points to remember: It can be scary and overwhelming especially when you start learning about the dangers in many beauty products. Remember why you are doing this in the first place. Don’t sacrifice your health for beauty. Yes you can still be glamorous and healthy at the same time.

 

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DIY Cocoa Body Butter Recipe

Body, Skincare

Since we are right in the heart of winter our skin can get a little on the dry side. I know this cold wind and snow here in NYC has kept my skin thirsty for extra moisture. I decided to whip up some homemade body butter. I’m a simple girl so I need something without a long list of ingredients that I would need to order from offline. If you’re like me then this recipe is for you!

 

All I used were 2 simple ingredients cocoa butter and coconut oil. Growing up my Granny (RIP, Love you!) always used those cocoa butter sticks on our skin and it always stayed moisturized. So I thought why not stick to what worked. If it’s not broke don’t fix it right.

DIY Body Butter Collage

Cocoa butter has some amazing health benefits and properties known for it’s maximum hydration and gentleness on the skin. Coconut Oil has the amazing ability to deep penetrate the skin so the moisture gets locked in.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Raw Unprocessed Cocoa Butter

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Optional: essential oils like Tea Tree and Lavender.

 

Directions:

Using a double boiler method melt the cocoa butter until it becomes a liquid.

Add coconut oil and mix until it is well combined with the cocoa butter

Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes

Using an electric mixer, whip mixture until it turned into a fluffy almost whipped cream texture.

Place in a mason jar or air tight container

Rub into skin and enjoy soft supple goodness!