Top 15 of 2015: Standout Skincare, Hair Care, Body Care + Makeup

As 2015 draws to a close, I've been thinking back on the evolution of Naturalla Beauty.  What first started as the occasional and pretty random product musings of a bored uni student has grown into much more and I'm so grateful to everyone that's been along for the ride!  Thank YOU for reading, commenting and supporting my blog over the years.  I love sharing this crazy thing called green beauty and I can't wait to see what 2016 brings.

I was fortunate to try MANY wonderful products throughout the past year, so narrowing it down to just these 15 took some serious pondering!  These are the things that really stood out to me - products I used for a significant portion of the year and things I see myself continuing to use for the foreseeable future.  In cases where I've previously talked about a product in more detail or done a full review, I'll link that as well, in case you're looking for more info.
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash   [Review]
I didn't realize how much I missed foaming cleansers until I tried Ursa Major's Fantastic Face Wash early this year.  It offers the lather and clean feeling of a traditional gel/foaming cleanser, but it won't leave your face feeling dry or tight.  A great option for both men and women, and it smells awesome too!

Andalou Naturals Chia + Omega Radiant Skin Polish
I've felt a little like Golidlocks trying scrub after scrub over the years, but this one checks all my boxes.  With a creamy base and just the right amount of grit, it does a great job exfoliating without irritating my sometimes fussy skin.  My second tube is on its last legs and I already know I'll be picking up a third very soon.

Balanced Guru Calming Masque   [Review]
Not an unknown product to longtime readers, the Calming Masque remains a firm favorite on my skincare shelf.  Contrary to what the name suggests, it isn't actually a product I'd recommend for ultra-sensitive skin, but I think it's fantastic for just about everyone else.  This mask offers a wonderful intermediate between a detoxifying clay mask and a nourishing treatment and is packed with soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients like calendula, marshmallow root, and aloe vera.

Crazy Rumors Lip Balms
I have mixed feelings about some of the individual Crazy Rumors flavors - which I've talked about many times before - but what I am fully decided on is that I love their actual lip balm formula.  Vegan and ultra-buttery, it does a wonderful job keeping lips healthy, plump, and protected all year round.  My two favorite flavors (so far!) are the Plum & Peppermint and the Leaping Bunny Plum Apricot.

Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is my go-to essential oil for any skin woes.  It has strong regenerative properties, which explains why it's included in so many anti-aging skincare formulas, but it's also astringent, making it great for acne or clogged pores.  Most often, I mix a drop or two into a face mask or use it as a spot treatment on blemishes and breakouts, but I've also used it in homemade toners and body oils.  It's also, of course, wonderful for a whole host of non-skin related things too!  As always, I'd stress the importance of using high quality, unadulterated oils.  

The Honest Co. Conditioning Detangler   [Review]
With a good conditioner, my hair isn't overly tangly, but with a subpar one, it's knot city!  I tried a number of new hair products this past year and the Conditioning Detangler became a hero product when other stuff just didn't cut it.  A few spritzes lets hair be combed through easily, plus it tames flyaways and doesn't leave hair greasy or weighed down.

Blissoma Scentless Stick Deodorant   [Review]
I've been using another deodorant the last few weeks that's quickly added itself to my top deodorant shelf alongside this one (more on that in the new year!) but Blissoma's deodorant stick was my favorite for much of 2015.  This unassuming stick has no scent of its own but still does a phenomenal job disguising odor.  It does contain baking soda, but less than most formulas, and tempered with lots of skin soothing ingredients to minimize the likelihood of irritation.  I haven't had any problems with it and I've heard the same from several other people who also struggle with other baking soda deodorants.

Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo + Conditioner   [Review]
I used this duo briefly a few years ago, but I fell back in love with it this year. The shampoo has a creamy consistency and lathers up into plenty of bubbles and the conditioner does a great job hydrating hair without weighing it down.  Both smell minty and lovely and are also packed with tons of good-for-your-hair botanicals. 

Nourish Organic Body Washes

With several great scents and a luxurious creamy formula, Nourish's body washes have been one of my favorites for years.  They produce a light lather - more if you use a loofah - and won't dry out or irritate your skin.

Studio 78 Off We Go Concealer   [Review]
I've said time and time again that under eye concealer has been the product I've struggled most with in the green beauty realm, so finding Off We Go, a concealer specifically designed for covering up dark circles, was a joy.  This highly pigmented product has a unique cream-to-powder finish that stays put and wears really well throughout the day.  The color range is somewhat lacking, but if you have light to medium skin, I recommend giving it a try.

Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tints   [Review]
The Sheer Moisture Lip Tints are pretty much my perfect everyday lip product.  Under $10, sheer but buildable color + a great formula that keeps lips comfortable and hydrated.  The only downside is that the lids have a tendency to pop off, so be careful when toting them around with you!

Bare Minerals Frame & Define Brow Styler   [Review]
I like full brows, but I want them to look natural and not overly filled in.  The lighter shade of the Frame & Define Styler is a perfect color match for my brows, so it does just that.  I also like that it wears all day without budging and that it's a twist up pencil that doesn't need sharpening.

Silk Naturals Lovelace Sheer Blush
Lovelace, which is sold as a dupe for Nars Deep Throat, was probably my most worn blush of 2015.  It looks a little orange in the pot, but on the cheeks, it just gives a beautiful peachy flush that goes with everything.  Silk Naturals' sheer blush formula is hard to overdo and great for blush-shy beauties, but it's also very buildable if you like a little more punch to your cheek color.

Pacifica Natural Eye Pencils   [Review]
These pencils are seriously awesome.  They're pigmented and glide on easily, and while they can be smudged initially, they don't move around once set.  My two favorites are Jet, a super dark and rich black, and Bare, a nude that's great for lining the waterline.  There are only four shades currently, but I'm hoping for more colors in the new year.

What products did you love this year?  Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy 2016.

Contains affiliate links

Niora Naturals Alpha Clear Adult Acne Treatment (Alpha Clear Cleanser + Exfoliant)

My skin isn't very acne-prone anymore, as many of you will already know, so I don't usually review acne products, but I made an exception for Niora Naturals, an affordable adult acne line whose products rely on fruit-based alpha hydroxy acids (AHA's) to simultaneously target anti-aging concerns and clear acne.  Used at low levels, these fruit acids are gentle and great for balancing oil production, exfoliating away buildup and dead skin cells, improving skin texture, and fading scars and age spots. 

Niora very generously sent me their entire range of Adult Acne products, but for today's post, I want to focus on the two products that have really stood out to me: the Alpha Clear Cleanser and Alpha Clear Exfoliant.  These two are at the center of Niora's line and together they make up the company's two-step acne treatment system.

Alpha Clear Cleanser
Described as a "moisturizing cleanser for adult acne," the Alpha Clear Cleanser is a creamy cleanser, boosted with AHA's.  My skin leans a little dry this time of year and I wouldn't say I find the cleanser particularly moisturizing, but it isn't drying either.  My favorite thing about it is its light emollient texture that has great slip on the skin and rinses away cleanly.  Niora avoids both chemical emulsifiers and emulsifying waxes, and instead uses lecithin phospholipids, creating a light-textured emulsion that won't clog pores or leave behind any kind of waxy film or coating.  On my skin, the cleanser feels a little too potent for everyday use, but I've enjoyed adding it into my routine as more of a treatment cleanser every two or three days.  

All the Niora products have a mild scent that I can't quite put my finger on.  The cleanser contains ylang ylang and orange essential oils, but all I smell - across the entire range - is a somewhat nondescript, almost sunscreeny scent.  Keep in mind that my nose is extra sensitive and while it's not my favorite scent, it's not offensive either.  

Alpha Clear Exfoliant
The Alpha Clear Exfoliant is my number one pick from Niora's line.  It's basically an exfoliating toner - something hard to come by in the green beauty world - that works to gently resurface the skin.  By flushing out pores and exfoliating dead skin and debris, it works to create an environment less conducive to acne and breakouts.  The AHA's also trigger increased cell turnover, helping to reduce wrinkles and fine lines and speed up the fading of scars and age spots.  I've definitely noticed that my pores stay cleaner - and therefore look smaller - since incorporating this product into my routine.  

The fruit acids are well balanced in a base of aloe vera and glycerin and the exfoliant feels quite gentle on the skin.  I noticed some tingling when I first started using it, but my skin got used to it within a few days and I haven't experienced any sensitivity since.  That said, I do prefer to use it just once a day - usually at night - rather than the twice daily recommended by the company.

The Bottom Line
I don't love how they smell, but I'm impressed with everything else about Niora Natural's Adult Acne Treatment system.  Whether you struggle with acne or are looking for AHA products for more anti-aging purposes, Niora is a great line to look into.  The products are well formulated with low levels of acids, and further gentled with soothing and nourishing ingredients like aloe and jojoba oil, making them suitable for even sensitive skin, though perhaps with less frequent application (ie. once daily rather than twice), as I've found myself doing.

Have you tried Niora Naturals?  What are your favorite products for fighting acne + breakouts?  

*Press sample

Holiday Gift Guide #6: Last Minute Gifts

It's officially one week to Christmas, so what better way to wrap up this year's gift guides than with some last minute gift ideas?  Maybe someone new got added to your list or maybe you just weren't able to find that perfect gift for someone.  Either way, you're left scrambling for a gift at the last minute.  Most of your online options are exhausted at this point, but don't worry - there's still hope!  For these last minute picks, I stuck with brands that are pretty widely available, although - as always - that may vary depending on where you're located.

Local Handmade Soap
Handmade soaps make a great gift, and I always think locally made ones are THAT much better.  If you're in Ontario, two of my favorites are Ground Soap and Mamma Oceania.

Gabriel / Zuzu Luxe Makeup
Gabriel and Zuzu Luxe make some of my favorite green makeup products and since they're stocked at Whole Foods and other natural food stores, they're pretty easy for many of us to get our hands on!  These two brands rarely disappoint, but my favorites for gift giving are the Zuzu Luxe liquid eyeliner and the lipsticks from either line

Andalou Naturals Get Started Kits
I tried a lot from Andalou this past year and they've quickly become one of my favorite inexpensive skincare brands.  The Get Started Kits are a great way to sample a variety of products and contain everything your recipient needs for a basic skincare routine.  The sets are available for each of the four ranges: Brightening, Age Defying, Clarifying, and Sensitive, and like everything from Andalou, are non-GMO project verified, and free of the regular nasties.

Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil
Rosehip oil is great oil to begin with and Pai's Bioregenerate Oil takes things up an extra notch.  Made from both the seed and fruit oils, it offers enhanced regenerative properties and more antioxidants than the seed oil alone.  It's also sourced from GMO and pesticide-free rosehips and is CO2 extracted, not cold pressed, which offers a longer shelf life and better preserves the properties of the plant.  

Hugo Naturals Bath Products
Hugo Naturals has a great range of bath products that are perfect for creating a bath/pamper kit.  We don't always get the seasonal/Christmas scents near me - though if you can track them down, the Vanilla Peppermint is lovely - but I can always find the regular bath bombs and bath salts.  They might not be quite as festive right off the bat, but it's nothing a little gift wrapping can't fix, and they're just as great in the bath! 

DIY / Homemade Goodies
Homemade gifts are extra special and even if you're not a DIY expert, it doesn't take a lot to make your own scrubs, lip balms, body butters, or body oils.  There are TONS of easy recipes online and you probably already have at least some of the ingredients on hand.  Track down some pretty jars or bottles, make a nice label, and you're good to go! 

A Gift Certificate
In a pinch - or for those extra hard to shop for people - a gift certificate is a great option.  Lots of green beauty retailers are offering them this year, including The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty, and The Choosy Chick

And that's a wrap on this year's gift guides!  In case you missed any, you can find all six guides HERE

Contains affiliate links.

Holiday Gift Guide #5:Green Beauty Gifts for the Makeup Lover

Are you completely sick of gift guides yet?  I hope not, because this week's is probably the one I was most excited to put together!  As the title suggests, these are all makeup gifts, perfect for any makeup lover on your list.  Nontoxic makeup has come a long way in the last few years and I think all these items would be well received by both green and conventional makeup junkies alike.

Jane Iredale Eye Steppes
The Eye Steppes are unique multi-level compacts with five eye shadows apiece, and unlike most of the Jane Iredale pressed products, they contain no silicones.  The compacts are sturdy and the individual layers snap apart, allowing you to customize your palette and only carry what you need.  The goWarm set, pictured above, features peachy neutrals and is one of my most reached for eye palettes, but if warm toned neutrals aren't your cup of tea, there are four other Eye Steppes to choose from.

Hynt Beauty Discovery Kit
Face makeup is generally tricky to buy for someone else, but because these discovery kits are intended to help someone find their shades, they're something of an exception.  There are six configurations and each one comes with Hynt's iconic Duet Perfecting Concealer (previously the Christopher Drummond Duo Phase Concealer), two colors of powder foundation, two finishing powders, a vegan mini flat top brush, and a makeup bag.  

Alima Pure Ultimate Lipstick Kit
Alima Pure's Velvet Lipsticks have garnered nothing but raves since they launched late last year and this kit is a gorgeous way to try all eight shades.  Or, if that's too big an investment, opt for one of the smaller Ultimate Lipstick Duos instead.  For each holiday set sold, Alima Pure will donate $5 to the Global Fund for Women.

Antonym Baked Blush
Antonym's hit it out of the park with these gorgeous blushes.  As if the stunning marbling of the product itself wasn't enough, the blushes are also packaged in beautiful, eco-luxe bamboo compacts.  Yes please!  

100% Pure Eye/Cheek Palettes
100% Pure recently released three new eye and cheek palettes, each containing three eye shadows, a blush, and a luminizer/highlighter.  100% Pure's previous pressed shadows got very mixed reviews, but it seems like they've stepped it up with these palettes - the pigmentation looks fantastic!

Fitglow Beauty Holiday Gift Sets
Fitglow's products are beautiful and their packaging is always on point too.  I've got my eye on the Give Glossy Lips - Nudes (pictured above), which features three lip glosses in wearable everyday shades, and Give Nude Eyes, made up of Fitglow's two neutral eye shadow trios, but there are several other holiday sets available too.  

Lily Lolo Laid Bare Palette
The Laid Bare Palette, which is the closest thing the green beauty world has to an Urban Decay Naked Palette, was a much anticipated release last year, and assuming your giftee hasn't picked it up for themselves already, would make a fantastic present!  Lily Lolo shadows are very blendable and easy to work with and the Laid Bare Palette, with eight great neutral shades, is both work appropriate and travel friendly.

W3ll People Fall/Winter Natural Beauty Essentials Set
The Fall/Winter Essentials Set was put together to provide everything you need to achieve a healthy, flawless, radiant look.  It's a great introduction to W3ll People and contains the Expressionist Mascara, Universalist 3 (Berry Aubergine Multi-Stick), Bio Brightener Stick, and Bio Extreme Lip Gloss in Berry.  

High Quality Makeup Brushes
Every makeup lover needs good brushes, right?  Pictured above are the Real Techniques Deluxe Gift Set, a limited edition holiday release, and the Sigma Travel Mrs. Bunny Kit.  I've had good experiences with both Sigma and Real Techniques brushes and both these sets contain only vegan, synthetic hair brushes.    

If you missed them, check out the rest of my 2015 gift guides, and stay tuned for the final one next week, featuring my best picks for last minute gift hunters.  

Contains affiliate links.

Rocky Mountain Soap Apricot Hand Cream

I'll be the first to admit that products like hand cream often fall by the wayside here during the warmer months, but as soon as temperatures drop, you better believe I start slathering them on again like nobody's business!  My most recent pick?  Rocky Mountain Soap's Apricot Hand Cream ($11 for 50 ml/1.69 oz).

The formula and overall feel of the cream is lovely.  It has a silky, creamy consistency that feels rich and hydrating, but it also doesn't take long to absorb.  I wouldn't say reach for a touchscreen immediately after using the cream, but you're good to go within two to three minutes.  

The hand cream is loaded with nourishing ingredients like sunflower, olive, jojoba and apricot kernel oils and mango and shea butters, and I've found it very effective at keeping dry, papery hands at bay this fall/winter.  It also contains date palm extract, a powerhouse antioxidant with proven anti-aging benefits, and honey extract, a gentle humectant that helps the skin absorb and hold onto moisture.  

I'm not crazy in love with the apricot scent, but there's nothing wrong with it per say.  Smelling the cream straight out of the tube, it's very fresh and fruity and I love it, but once it touches my skin, my nose also picks up a kind of milky note that I'm not as crazy about.  It's not an offensive scent by any means, just not a favorite for me either.  

The Bottom Line
Rocky Mountain Soap Co. is a great Canadian company and I'm really happy with how well the hand cream works.  It's rich and moisturizing but doesn't leave you with greasy hands or unable to touch anything for a prolonged period.  I'd likely opt for a different scent next time, but it's a product I can definitely see myself buying again!

October + November Empties / Products I've Used Up

I hardly used anything up in October, so I skipped an empties post, but I think I more than made up for things in November!  I've got a lot of things to talk about, so I'll try to keep things brief.  If you have any questions or want more details on anything, let me know in the comments.  


Acure Fragrance Free Ultra-Hydrating Body Lotion
I've gone through many tubes of this lotion in the last few years, raved about it multiple times on the blog, and even got my sister hooked on it, but I'm pretty sure the formula changed along with the packaging.  I mentioned it in my most recent iHerb haul and a few people have agreed with me since.  The ingredients are only slightly different, but it feels like a completely different product - not nearly as hydrating and with a very watery feel as you rub it in.
Repurchase? I've got one more tube to use and then I doubt it, unless Acure goes back to the previous formula.

Andalou Naturals Shea Butter + Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream
I like this hand cream, but I don't love it.  The clementine scent is nice and it's a good one for your desk, in that it sinks in quickly and doesn't leave you with greasy hands, but I feel like there are better products out there in terms of long term moisturization.
Repurchase? I'm not sure.  I still have a tube of Andalou's Shea Butter + Coconut Water Hand Cream to use before I decide.

Mamma Oceania Skin Nourishing Soap*   [Review]
Mamma Oceania soaps are beautiful hefty bars of soap, handmade here in Toronto.  The soaps are free of palm and canola oils, have no added scent ingredients, lather up nicely, and each bar lasts a good long while.  The Skin Nourishing bar is made with rosehip, banana, and kelp and - as is common to all the soaps in the line - feels lovely and gentle on the skin.
Repurchase? Yes, once I've used up some other soaps.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Juicy Orange Facial Bar
Rocky Mountain also makes soaps without palm oil, though theirs do contain canola and cottonseed oils, which I don't love.  That said, they're another Canadian company, their scents are nice without being overpowering, and the soaps feel good on the skin.  I can't speak to how the Juicy Orange works as a facial bar as I used it strictly on my hands and body, but I did enjoy it.  
Repurchase? Maybe.

Ellovi Mint Chocolate Butter (sample)
I have mixed feelings about this product.  I loved how it smelled and am tempted to buy the larger size for that reason alone, but in terms of its performance as a body butter, it had a very similar feel to moisturizing with straight coconut oil, which I don't find heavy or hydrating enough to use on a consistent basis.
Repurchase? I'm not sure.


Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash*   [Review]
I remember liking this when I first reviewed it, but when I started using it again in October, I really started to love it.  Now, I'd go so far as to say that it's one of my favorite cleansers.  It's a traditional foaming gel wash but not stripping or drying, and it also offers gentle exfoliation from sugar cane and fruit extracts.  It smells gorgeous too - a mix of woodsy trees and spearmint.
Repurchase? Yes! I just ordered a larger bottle in the Black Friday sales.

Shea Terra Argan & Green Coffee Around Eye Serum*   [Review]
This is a great serum in terms of hydration, but it didn't do a lot for my dark circles.  I ended up using probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the bottle as a makeup remover/oil cleanser and hair oil.  It worked great for both, but I wouldn't buy it specifically for those purposes.
Repurchase? No.

La Mav Anti Dark-Circle and Ultra-Firm Eye Gel*   [Review]
This eye gel has quite an impressive ingredients list, but unfortunately it didn't live up to its name for me.  If your under eyes are less problematic than mine - aka minimal darkness and puffiness - I do think it's a nice product and the gel consistency is mind-bogglingly good.  It feels incredibly light going on and sits super well under makeup, but it actually leaves my under eyes feeling more plump and hydrated than many richer, heavier creams and oils.  
Repurchase? Not right away.

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel (sample)
I find the Soothing Gel a bit too drying to use all over my face, but I like it as a spot treatment for any breakouts or blemishes.  Now that I've been using it for several months, I feel like it's become less effective in that regard, so I may take a break from using it for a bit.
Repurchase? Not right away.  I've still got a couple more samples.

Kaia Naturals Pure Moringa Oil
This small vial of Kaia's moringa oil comes with their Bamboo Tapioca Beads.  The oil didn't make a huge impression, so it isn't something I'd go out of my way to get more of - and I don't think Kaia sells the oil by itself anyways - but I do really like the actual Bamboo Tapioca Beads.
Repurchase? The Bamboo Tapioca Beads, yes.

Bare English & Co. Sweet Peppermint Lip Balm
Another local Toronto product!  I like the Bare English lip balms a lot, but this scent was just so-so for me.  It had a prominent coconut oil smell alongside the mint, and I didn't love the combination of the two.
Repurchase? Probably not this particular flavour, but the Bare English lip balms, yes.

Shiro Cosmetics Longcat Intertube
Shiro stopped making the Intertubes a while ago, which is a shame because they were a great formula!  Longcat was a clear balm with white/silvery sparkles and it made a fantastic rich lip treatment.
Repurchase? Not possible.

Triumph & Disaster Gameface Moisturizer (samples)
This was an okay moisturizer.  I started out using the samples on my face, but I ended up finishing them up as a body cream.  
Repurchase? No.

Suki Eye Life Renewal Cream - Day (sample)
I actually threw out most of this sample.  All the reviews and photos I've seen show this eye cream as a pale yellow color, while my sample came out of the packet an orangey-brown.  I figured it was very likely the vitamin C having oxidized, so I didn't want to use it.
Repurchase? No.


Silk Naturals Brightening Concealer #2 (sample)
I really like this concealer, which is supposed to be a dupe for Anastasia's Banana Powder.  It's a yellow powder that does a good job brightening up under the eyes and has a bit more coverage than Silk Naturals' Sleep in a Jar, which I've used and loved for years.
Repurchase? Yes, I plan to buy both this and the lighter, #1 shade in the future

Benecos Brown Kajal Liner
Benecos' liners are so frustrating!  They're inexpensive and I love the creamy formula, but the colors are never what I want them to be.  This one was a very warm-toned, almost orangey brown and I just didn't love it.
Repurchase? No.

Pollen Cosmetics Saddle Up Eye Shadow (sample)
Pollen Cosmetics isn't around anymore, unfortunately, but Saddle Up was a great matte mid-toned brown, perfect for the crease.
Repurchase? Not possible.

Brija Cosmetics Perk Blush (sample)
Perk is a subtle pink blush with some shimmer.  It's pretty, but I often felt like I had to pack on a lot of product to get the color I wanted, making it a little too sparkly for me.  Other days I loved it and felt like it was perfect as is, so I'm a little conflicted.
Repurchase? I don't think so.

Bare Minerals Universal Light Frame & Define Brow Styler
I love this pencil for my brows, mainly because Universal Light is a perfect color match for me.  The twist up style is also convenient (no sharpening!), but I'd strongly advise against screwing the pencil up all the way to check how much product is left, as, in doing so, I somehow managed to break the mechanism in mine, wasting probably 1/3 of the product.
Repurchase? Yes, I already have.

Physician's Formula Organic Wear CC Curl + Care Mascara
Physician's Formula mascaras are very hit or miss for me and I didn't like this one at all!  It wasn't very noticeable on the lashes, plus it smeared and actually seemed to crumble off in chunks by the end of the night.  My lashes have a natural curl also, so I'm not sure how it does in that regard.
Repurchase? There are other Organic Wear mascaras I'd buy again, but the CC one, definitely not!

Jane Iredale Black Ice Longest Lash Mascara

This mascara, on the other hand, I really liked.  It's a fiber mascara, which is something I haven't seen anywhere else in the green beauty world, and it does a fantastic job adding volume as well as length.  I also didn't have any issues with smudging or flaking.  I don't love how pricey it is ($33 USD/$42 CAD), but it's a great mascara.
Repurchase? Maybe.

Total Products Used Up in October + November
Skincare: 5  (Lip Balms: 2 )
Bodycare: 4

Haircare:  0
Makeup: 4
Skin/Body/Hair Samples: 6
Makeup Samples: 3

Total Products Used Up in 2015
Skincare: 37 (Lip Balms: 10)
Bodycare: 38

Haircare:  10
Makeup: 15
Skin/Body/Hair Samples: 68 

Makeup Samples: 32

*Press sample
Contains affiliate links

Holiday Gift Guide #4: Green Beauty Stocking Stuffers

Can you believe it's less than four weeks to Christmas?  If you didn't get all your shopping done this past weekend, I've still got a few gift guides coming up with ideas.  This week, I'm looking at green beauty stocking stuffers.  These are smaller items - in both size and price - and make great gifts whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukkah, or any other winter holiday.

Badger Balm Ornaments
Badger comes out with these ornaments every year and they make fantastic gifts!  Each ornament contains a mini 0.75 oz. tin of one of Badger's most popular USDA certified organic balms.  Pictured above are the Aromatic Chest Rub and Sore Muscle Rub, but ornaments are also available for the Original Badger Balm and Sleep Balm

Province Apothecary Essential Oil Incense
I discovered these at last week's Mindful Beauty Pop Up, where I also had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Province Apothecary's owner/creator Julie, and I think they're brilliant!  Charcoal incense sticks are hand-infused with wild crafted essential oils to create gorgeous incense without synthetic fragrance or other toxic chemicals.  My favorite is the warm, spicy citrus scent of the Sweet Orange and Bay, a limited edition scent for the holidays, but really, I don't think you could go wrong with any of the four scents.

Balance Me Heavenly Hands Duo
Winter and dry skin often go together, which is why hand creams make such great gifts this time of year.  I haven't tried a ton from UK brand Balance Me, but what I have used has been really nice.  The Heavenly Hands Duo comes with smaller 1 oz sizes of the company's popular Rose Otto and Super Moisturizing Hand Creams, all wrapped up in a box that looks to be the perfect size and shape for stuffing in those stockings!

Young Living Lip Balm Gift Set
Young Living's balms are one of my favorite lip balm formulas and the holiday kit sets you up with all four flavors in one go, plus a reusable bag.  My favorite is the ultra-moisturizing lavender, but I also love the seasonal Vanillamint, which is only available in these sets.  

Zoya Dream Box Holiday Sets
Zoya polishes are 5 free and available in every color of the rainbow.  The Dream Box Holiday Sets include three polishes in a Zoya branded black box, with the option to choose from several pre-selected sets or create your own.  Alternately, even just a single nail polish or two would make a great gift!

EcoLips Lip Scrubs
When lip balm alone isn't cutting it, a good lip scrub can be a real hero product.  Available in Mint, Vanilla Bean, and Brown Sugar flavors, EcoLips' scrubs use fair trade sugar and minimal ingredients, and are USDA certified organic and fully edible. 

Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tint Trio
The Sheer Moisture Lip Tints were one of my favorite makeup discoveries this entire year and the trio is a great way to try three popular shades from the line.  As the name suggests, these lippies offer moisture and a sheer wash of color, though some shades can be built up to a decent opacity.  The trio includes Glisten, a gorgeous nude and my favorite in the range, Adorn, a pretty plum, and Blush, a soft purple. 

Buff Her Mini Scrub Kit
Buff Her's scrubs are gentle powder exfoliators handcrafted from natural and organic food ingredients.  The company's motto is "Feed Your Freakin' Face," and with varieties like Oatmeal Blueberry Cookie and Sweet Potato Pie, you can do just that!  There are two Mini Scrub Kits available, each containing mini sizes of four different scrubs. 

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