10 August 2017

Clean Kiss Organics Kiss My Curls + Kiss Me Clean

Before I jump into today's post, I want to thank you all for such a great response to my last blog post.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm really glad it resonated with so many of you and I appreciate all the lovely comments and support that I've gotten, both on the blog post itself and over on Instagram

Moving on to today's actual topic -- I want to introduce Clean Kiss Organics, a fantastic handcrafted Ontario line that I've had the pleasure of trying out over the last few months.  I met Jodie Pappas, Clean Kiss's founder, at the Holistic Beauty Expo in May and was immediately drawn in by both Jodie's cheerful enthusiasm and Clean Kiss's impressive product range.  (Not to mention by just how good everything at her table smelled!)

Jodie offered me the chance to try out a couple products from her line and I easily decided on the Kiss Me Clean Facial Cleansing Oil* and Kiss My Curls Nourishing Hair Oil Spray*.  Choosing was a bit of a no-brainer for me -- I mean, if there are two things I'm always game to try out, it's a good oil cleanser and new curly girl hair products!  Keep reading for my thoughts on both...



Kiss My Curls Nourishing Hair Oil Spray
Jodie is a fellow curly girl, so I was excited to try out Kiss My Curls ($18 for 236 ml), one of two recent hair additions to the Clean Kiss Organics range.  Made with a mix of rose water, marula, argan, and jojoba oils, and peppermint, rosemary, and lavender essential oils, Kiss My Curls is a unique intermediate between an oil and a milky leave-in conditioner spray.  The spray has minimal ingredients and no emulsifier to hold the rosewater and oils together, so you do have to shake it before each use to recombine everything.  Once shaken, it has a watery consistency, perfect for misting out of a spray bottle, but offers the feel and nourishment of a lightweight oil.  The spray is recommended for use on both damp, freshly washed hair, and on dry, second-day hair as a curl refresher.  

Curly hair is notorious for loving moisture, and while my hair needs some moisture, it's also a bit of a curl oddity in that it starts to feel greasy very easily and can't always handle ultra-moisturizing products.  As a result, I like using Kiss My Curls on damp hair, but it's not ideal for me as a second-day curl refresher.  I use it on freshly washed hair much like I would any other hair oil -- misting a small amount through the ends and length of my hair, but mostly avoiding the scalp.  As a second-day product, it's just a little too oil-like for me.  I imagine it could work really well for those with drier hair, but I just tend to prefer more watery products for this purpose.  I do also enjoy misting a small amount onto my fingers and running them through dry hair to tame frizz and flyaways.  The Nourishing Oil Spray has a mild sweet/minty scent.

Kiss Me Clean Facial Cleansing Oil
I always use an oil cleanser to take off my makeup and Kiss Me Clean ($20 for 118 ml) has jumped right to the top of my list!  With a short ingredient list consisting of just grapeseed, castor seed, jojoba, and chia seed oils, plus calendula and essentials oils, it's a simple formula that really works.  The cleansing oil is gentle, but easily melts off all my makeup and wipes away cleanly.  The oil is pretty lightweight and has good slip to it, making it perfect for massaging into the skin and really breaking down even hard to remove products like sunscreen and eyeliner.  The consistency also means that a little oil goes a long way and you really don't need to use much -- one full pump is enough to completely remove all my face and eye makeup.  I'm a fan of double cleansing, so I usually follow up with a second cleanser, but it's not absolutely necessary since Kiss Me Clean wipes away easily and doesn't leave behind much residue at all.

The product description highlights lemon, tea tree, orange, and bergamot essential oils, and the oil has a mild, fresh/herbal scent.  It doesn't scream citrus to me and, in fact, before rereading the description yesterday, my nose had me convinced there was lavender in there too!  Either way, it's a neutral scent that's pleasant but not overwhelming.  The cleansing oil leaves my skin feeling clean and soft and looking bright and healthy -- it's a product I could see myself buying again and again.

 

The Bottom Line
Great company, great products, great price point.  Clean Kiss Organics was one of my favorite new discoveries at the Holistic Beauty Expo and trying these products only reaffirmed that my first impressions were spot on.  I'm especially head over heels for the Kiss Me Clean Cleansing Oil, a gentle oil cleanser that breaks down makeup like a dream and would suit a variety of skin types.  Kiss My Curls Nourishing Hair Oil Spray didn't work out as a second-day curl product for me, but I do think dryer hair types would appreciate it in this capacity.  Either way, it's a great lightweight oil for curly and non-curly hair alike!  

Have you tried Clean Kiss Organics?


* Press sample

1 August 2017

Real Talk: Green Blogging, Disclosure, Fearmongering, Elitism, Ingredient Shaming + More

It’s been about a month and a half since I published a blog post and while some of that is life and schedule-related, it’s also because I’ve been feeling disconnected from the green beauty community over the last several months.  When I first started blogging in 2011, this community was a lot smaller and while I think it’s fantastic that the community – and overall interest in green and natural products – has grown so substantially these last six years, it also brings with it challenges – growing pains, if you will – and a few things just haven’t been sitting right with me of late. 

Regular content will resume shortly, but first I want to clear the air and put into words what it is that’s been bothering me lately.  If you’re only interested in product-related content, feel free to skip this one!


Ingredient-Shaming + Green Competition
To me, green beauty is predominantly about making healthier choices.   Choices that you, as an individual, are comfortable with.  It’s not about being greener than anyone else or judging other people’s choices.

Still, I regularly see people being shamed and dismissed on Instagram and in green and natural Facebook groups.  Specific instances I’ve seen in the last few months?  Ganging up on a green blogger for going back to some conventional products, dismissing someone's shower gel with phenoxyethanol as "not even natural," berating someone else’s use of prescription acne medication, and ridiculing yet another person who had yet to switch from conventional mascara and deodorant.  Not to mention non-beauty related examples like mouthing off at someone for feeding their children boxed cereal, enjoying an occasional French fry, or using a disposable coffee cup.  

It’s not okay.  Please don’t be someone who polices other people’s choices, even under the guise of help or concern.  I get it – I’ve had my more strident ingredient purist days too, but remember that your standards are just that – yours – and don’t carry over to anyone else.  

Fearmongering
I'm also so turned off by the fearmongering that some brands (and influencers too!) put out there.  I  don't doubt that it sells products in this industry, but it's so tacky.  
  
I really think it should go without saying -- just don't.  There's so many better ways to sell green living and natural products than fear of chemicals and cancer!

Elitism, Overspending + Overconsumption
Luxury beauty will always have its place, but I’ve always believed that there’s a space for everyone (and every budget) in the green beauty world.  I feature products across a range of price points, but I think most of you already know that my heart particularly goes out to affordable gems.  

Whether it comes comes from having more wiggle room for a larger marketing budget or something completely different, a lot of the content out there focuses on high end natural products.  I'm in no way bashing those brands or products, but I hope we'll see a shift towards better representation of all the great inexpensive options out there too!  Better quality ingredients do cost more, but that only goes so far – a $100 clay mask vs. $25 one, for example, is usually more a matter of marketing than ingredient quality.  

I also cringe a little at the overall overconsumption and overspending that’s so rampant in the beauty world as a whole.  I believe basic skincare – and even makeup – can be considered necessities, but beyond that, we’re in luxury territory.  I love seeing gorgeous shelfies and rows upon rows of fantastic green goodies on Instagram as much as the next person, but I do wonder how much it perpetuates an idea of beauty overconsumption as the norm.  

Disclosure, Paid Content + Dishonest Influencers
I’m all for bloggers and influencers being paid for their work, but nothing gets my goat more than undisclosed paid content and brand affiliations.  Earning a living as an “influencer” is still somewhat new and while there are certainly people doing it right, there’s also a lot of questionable behaviour and unscrupulous product-pushing. 

Accepting free product or compensation doesn’t make anyone dishonest, but I think readers and followers have a right to know what’s paid and what’s not so they can judge that for themselves.  The FTC has been cracking down on huge celebrities like Kim K for not disclosing sponsored and affiliated content this year, but since green beauty is tiny fry in comparison, there’s not any real supervision in this regard right now.  

Where do we go from here?
I hope this post doesn’t come across as too negative!  Despite feeling somewhat disenchanted with these particular things, I'm still really excited about other parts of the community and I've got some great content planned for the next few months.

To wrap this up, basically, what I want to say is ---

Be as green as you want to be.
Buy or don’t buy.
Take social media for what it is – a glimpse of a person’s life and what they’re choosing to share with the world.  And also a way to earn a living.

I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the content I create here on Naturalla Beauty.  Whether you’re fully green or just dabbling, I’d love to have you here.  I’ve always been and will continue to be fully transparent about paid content, PR samples, and brand affiliations.  Likewise, I'm always honest in my reviews and will never mislead you just to sell a product.  

Leave a comment and let me know where you stand on all this – I’d love to know if you feel similarly! – and stay tuned for regular beauty content, coming soon.  

     
     
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