Hand Washing Away From Home

Hand washing away from home is a dilemma that I think everyone making the switch to natural products runs into at some point.  Do you skip washing your hands?  Use whatever's in the bathroom, even though you know the ingredients are less than ideal?  Carry your own soap?  Use a healthy hand sanitizer instead?

Honestly, this isn't something I've given a lot of thought to before.  I do carry a natural hand sanitizer, but there are times when I just want to go the more traditional soap and water route.  Usually I'll opt for whatever soap is there and figure it isn't going to have much of an impact since I use clean products for everything else.

Recently though, I noticed the beginning of a rash on one of my hands and I've traced it back to the soap in the public washrooms at my work.  At first it was just a few small red bumps on my hand and thought it was bug bites of some kind, but I've noticed a couple more bumps popping up literally within five minutes of washing my hands there. 

Unfortunately it's not the kind of bathrooms where I'd be able to just leave a bottle of soap, but obviously something needs to change there.  So, I'm wondering...if you're someone who avoids certain ingredients or sticks to more natural products, what do you do about dilemmas like washing your hands when you're out and about and away from home?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Win It Wednesday: Goodies for Your Lips!

It's still exciting to me that there are actually people out there who read and follow my blog!  As a thank you, I wanted to have a little giveaway.

I picked out the following goodies for one lucky follower to win:
Silk Naturals Butter Cream Lip Glaze in Dame
I know I've mentioned Silk Naturals' lip products numerous times before.  Dame is a beautiful plummy red that's a little sheer - super wearable.

LUVU Beauty Lip Lovin' Lip Gloss in Vixen
These glosses smell like oranges and are fairly opaque.  Vixen is a pretty purplish pink. 

Crazy Rumors Raspberry Sherbert Lip Balm
Yummy raspberry lip balm from Crazy Rumors' A La Mode collection. 

Deep Steep Honeydew Spearmint Moisture Stick
This is a multi-purpose product that's equally great for dry feet or chapped lips.  Not to mention everything in between that it can be used for!  

In case you're sensing a theme here...I guess this giveaway is tying into my lip product obsession of late!  

All products are, of course, completely brand new.  The giveaway is open internationally and will run for two weeks.  Super simple to enter, just wait for the Rafflecopter widget to load (below the cut) and have at it!

Earth Mama, Angel Baby Ginger-Grapefruit Happy Mama Body Wash

I'm still loving my Bubble and Bee shower gel, but when I was placing an order with iHerb recently, I decided to try out Earth Mama Angel Baby's body wash too.  Earth Mama, Angel Baby is, as the name suggests, a line mainly for babies, mothers, and mamas-to-be, but a body wash is a body wash, so even though I'm not the target demographic, I went ahead and tested it out.

The body wash comes in a foamer bottle, which eliminates any potential issues with getting the soap to lather up.  The bottle is pretty small, at only 5.3 ounces, but it does contain more than 300 pumps, according to the label.  That sounds like a lot, but I find I have to use 8-12 pumps to wash my 5'2 self, so I'm not expecting the bottle to last all that long.  On the plus side, it's affordable, retailing for $10.99 (or $8.79 on iHerb.)

Earth Mama, Angel Baby uses only organic essential oils to fragrance their products, which is awesome, but I'm a little mixed on the scent of this particular product.  I usually love both citrus and spicy scents, but I'm just not crazy about this one.  It doesn't have the freshness or zest I'd expect in a grapefruit scent and the ginger seems to just muddy it up even further.  Not terrible by any means, but not a stand out smell for me either.

The Bottom Line
Ingredients-wise, this body wash gets an A+.  And, while there's nothing specifically wrong with it, it's just not a product I'm in love with.  I've never used a foaming body wash before, but I've come to realize I prefer a more standard shower gel that can be lathered up on a loofah.  That, in combination with the scent, which I was only so-so, means that while this is definitely a product I'll use up, it isn't one I'll be rushing to repurchase.

And don't forget!  If you're new to iHerb, you can save $5 off your first order with my referral code ITI429 :)


Darling Girl Cosmetics Review and Swatches

Darling Girl Cosmetics is one of my favorite indie makeup brands.  I know I've mentioned a few specific colours in favorites posts, but I can't believe how long it's taken me to get the actual review and swatches done!  Susan, the owner, is, if you'll excuse the pun, a real darling, and her eye shadows are some of my favorites.  Shadows are sold in two sizes: petit ($2.50) and full size ($5.90).  There are also sample packs available.  According to the website:
 Full sizes are packaged in 5g jars with approximately 3/4 tsp of product. Petits are packaged in 3g jars with approximately 1/4 tsp of product. Samples are packaged in 2x2 zip lock baggies with approximately 1/8 tsp of product.

My mini jars looking pretty in rows
In terms of quality, Darling Girl makes some of the best eye shadows out there.  Everything, including the more glittery shades, is pigmented and very smooth to apply.  They also wear wonderfully.  Even on days when I've skipped primer, I've had very little problem with creasing.

Now, onto the swatches...this might get a bit picture heavy!

(L to R) Be Mine, Moves Like Mick Jagger, Frolic

(L to R) Electric Lady, Exhale, Sugar Plum

(L to R) Masquerade, Creampuff, Surfrider

(L to R) Surfrider, New Grass, Texas Tea

(L to R) Smoking Gun, Polaris, Deery Lou

(L to R) Cozy nights, Cococat, Dr Pepper Cake

(L to R) Harvest Moon, Chai, Snuggle

(L to R) Donner, Blitzen, Enchanted

The Bottom Line
I'd highly recommend Darling Girl Cosmetics.  Their eye shadows are fabulous quality and they have a ton of colours.  They're also one of the more fun companies to keep an eye on, since Susan is constantly coming out with new products and colours.  One thing to keep in mind is that Darling Girl is basically a one woman show, so turn around time can be a little high at times. (It's currently at 14-16 business days.)  It might not be the best place to order if you need something immediately, but other than that, don't let it turn you off...it's definitely 100% worth the wait!  


Wishlist Wednesday

One of the more long term effects of my years as a mostly out of work student seems to be that, even with a regular paycheck, I'm still a pretty frugal shopper.  I spend a lot of time debating purchases and given the choice, I'll almost always choose the less expensive of two options.  Still, that doesn't mean I'm not tempted by more luxury items.  Here's a peek at what's on my current higher end wishlist:

Bare Minerals Ready Blush in The Aphrodisiac ($22 US/$28 CAD)

A Perfume Organic Urban Organic ($65)

Butter London's Spring/Summer 2012 Collection ($73)

Revolution Organics Freedom Gloss in Freedom ($26)

What products have you been eying recently?


Bare Minerals 100% Natural Lipcolor in Bavarian Cream

As is obvious from my last several posts I've been on a bit of a lip product kick recently.  Today, I want to talk about Bare Minerals' 100% Natural Lipcolor in Bavarian Cream, which I picked up a couple months ago.  Some of you might recall me asking for input a while back on how I should spend a Sephora credit note, and this lipstick, plus a pencil sharpener, is what I ended up getting.

For all that I use a lot of mineral makeup, this is my first Bare Minerals product.  A lot their products are quite tempting, but the price point is invariably a lot higher than comparable products from smaller, indie brands, so I've always opted for those instead.  That said, with the credit note burning a hole in my pocket, I'm really glad I chose this lipstick.

The texture of this is drier than some lipsticks, but I actually kind of like it, since that makes it last longer.  It does wear off, of course, but I've applied this in the morning and come home after a typical day at work, including lunch and multiple drinks of water, and still been able to see some of the colour left on my lips.  It's worth mentioning also that although the texture is a little on the drier side, it's still pretty creamy and I don't find it at all drying to my lips.

Bare Minerals makes these lipsticks in more than 25 shades, but of those, Sephora only stocks six.  I opted for Bavarian Cream, which is a beautiful mauve-pink shade.  In the tube, I can see a small amount of shimmer, but once applied, it isn't noticeable, and has a cream finish.  I didn't initially realize this from swatching it on my hand, but the colour is very close to that of my natural lips, so it's pretty subtle, but adds some definition at the same time.

The Bottom Line
I'm quite taken with this lipstick.  The colour is great and it's on the longer-wearing side too.  Between Sephora, Bare Escentuals boutiques, and other stores, it's great that Bare Minerals is pretty readily available.  Most of my makeup purchases are online, so it was nice to actually be able to test out a product before buying it for a change!  It retails for $15 US/$19 CAD, which after being spoiled by more affordable indie prices, is probably higher than I can justify spending on a regular basis, since I in no way actually need lipsticks.  That said, for a special occasion, or if I were to one day find myself in possession of another Sephora credit note, I wouldn't hesitate to scoop up a couple more colours!


Silk Naturals Kissable Cream Lip Gloss Review

As part of their Spring collection, Silk Naturals recently released a new lip gloss formula: Kissable Creams.    As I've mentioned numerous times before, I'm a big fan of Silk Naturals' lip products, so when I heard about these new glosses, I quickly ordered two to try.  

Like most of Silk Naturals' lip products, the Kissable Creams are packaged in black slimline lip balm tubes.  What's different about these is that they contain cocoa butter, which isn't in any of their other formulations, and as a result, they smell deliciously chocolatey.  They're also very creamy and feel like they melt onto your lips as you apply them.  I don't find them to be extremely long wearing, probably because of how creamy they are, but they feel fantastic and are quite moisturizing.  I think they're the most hydrating of all the Silk Naturals lip gloss formulas I've tried (which is most of them!)

Of the eight colours released, I opted for Twirl and Swing, and I couldn't be happier with either choice.  Twirl is a beautiful light peach coral shade with a cream finish.  It somehow managed to look slightly metallic in my lip swatch, but it isn't at all.  It also doesn't have any noticeable shimmer or glitter.  I've been hunting for a peach colour like this for some time now, so I'm extra glad I picked this one!  It also works as a more subtle version of the bright oranges and corals that are so on trend right now.



Swing is a mauve or plummy pink.  It has some visible shimmer, but it isn't frosty or over the top.  This is actually pretty close to my natural lip colour, aside from the sparkles, so on me, it's a very natural looking gloss.

(Top to Bottom) Twirl, Swing

The Bottom Line
The Kissable Creams might just end up being my new favorite glosses from Silk Naturals.  Both colours I tested are gorgeous and I'm not sure if it's the cocoa butter smell or the way they melt into your lips, but something about them seems extra rich and luxurious.  They're also vegan, and at $4.99 each, super affordable too.  I hope this is a formula that we'll be seeing more of in the future!


Yes to Carrots Color Balm Review + $10 off at Vitacost

 Yes to Carrots is one of the more naturally-inclined brand that's readily available at a lot of drugstores.  Across the line, their ingredients aren't perfect. Though generally good, a lot of their products do contain fragrance and/or one or two other debatable ingredients.  Still, I'd generally consider them a step up from most of the other brands on drugstore shelves.  And, before you write off the whole brand, they do have some products with completely fine ingredients, like the color balms.

These are a fairly new release and have quickly become some of my most worn lip products.  I got Rosy Bloom, the pink one, in a gift exchange a couple months ago, and I bought the other two, Soft Plum and Peachy Keen, shortly after.  Since then, one of these has been on my lips almost every day.  The colours are pretty sheer, but are definitely still noticeable.  They're super pretty, plus they're moisturizing and low maintenance.  In terms of colours, all three are matte, without any noticeable shimmer or glitter.  Rosy Bloom is the most subtle, imparting only a slight rosy tint - a good 'my lips but better' shade.  Soft Plum is more noticeable, but still a subtle plum color, and Peachy Keen is a sheer orange.  The colours last really well for lip balms, and at the same time, they also keep my lips feeling soft and hydrated.

(L to R) Rosy Bloom, Soft Plum, Peachy Keen

The Bottom Line
These have quickly become some of my favorite lip product for work days.  Because of how sheer they are, all three are very wearable and I love that I don't have to worry about them smearing or ending up looking like a hot mess a few hours in.  They're also reasonably priced at around $6, depending on where you purchase them.  I'd love if Yes to Carrots was to expand the line to include a few more colours - I'd be all over a brighter, bubblegum pink and a nude!   These are the first product I've tried from Yes to Carrots, but I'm definitely curious enough that I'll be giving their other products a second glance now.  Their lip glosses look especially promising!

What do you think of the Yes to Carrots line?  Have you tried any of their products?

ETA: I've heard that some people have had a hard time finding ingredients on the Yes to Carrots site, so I wanted to include the link to their ingredients page.  Full ingredients for all their products can be found here.

$10 off at Vitacost
I bought Peachy Keen and Soft Plum from Vitacost, which is another great website I've recently discovered for buying natural products.  They sell all sorts of things - food, bath and body products, makeup, household supplies, and baby products.  And, they've recently launched a new referral program.  All you have to do is sign up at this link and they'll email you a coupon for $10.  The best part?  There's no minimum purchase, so spend $10 or less and you'll only pay shipping.  With the coupon, I paid only $2 + shipping for the two color balms I purchased.  In the interest of full disclosure, if you place an order after signing up here, I'll also receive $10 to spend, and you'll get your own referral code to give out too.


My Beauty Addiction Lipstick Palette Review

The second thing I got from My Beauty Addiction was a lipstick palette.  As I mentioned in my first post, My Beauty Addiction offers a lot of specials on their facebook page.  When I ordered, they were offering this palette free with purchases of $15 or more.  I'd already been eying their lipsticks, so I was excited to try out a few different colours out this way!

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Included in the palette are Drama Queen, Heliotrope, V.I.Pink and Stargazer.  
Drama Queen is a vivid fuschia pink.
Heliotrope is a very vivid pink with a strong purple undertone
V.I.Pink is a deep magenta pink.
Stargazer is a vibrant violet with a magenta/fuschia undertone.
(Descriptions from My Beauty Addiction)

All of these colours are fairly bright, great for when you want a more bold lip.  Drama Queen and V.I.Pink are beautiful pinks, and Heliotrope is a great berry shade.  Stargazer is the only one I have a hard time wearing - it's just a little too purple for me!    The formula of these is great as well, giving vibrant colour without drying out your lips.  I do find it takes a little work to build them up to full opacity, but I think that's just due to the palette form.  In a regular lipstick tube, I'm confident you wouldn't have that problem at all.

(L to R) Drama Queen, Heliotrope, V.I.Pink, Stargazer
These specific palettes were a special, but you can purchase lipstick duos for $8 or mini trios for $5.  They are also available in regular lipstick tubes for $8 (or 3 for $20.)  Another fun thing is that My Beauty Addiction will make lipstick out of any of their (lip safe) eye shadows, so if there's an unusual lipstick colour you've been looking for, you just might be able to find it here.  The duos and trios can also be customized.