Monday, August 24, 2009
I just can't control myself from branching out to spread the word about greenwashing and natural home products! At kitty's "Zen of Homekeeping" I'll be telling you everything I have learned and experienced in the world of green cleaning! You know how I do it! Brutal honesty about what we're inhaling, bioaccumulating and washing down the drain. Goodbye migraines and allergies, hello healthy cleaning! Peace and Love, Your Kitty!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Aloha, kittens! As I plunge into football world, and the testosterone practically drips from the walls of my house (just cleaning up from the Madden 10 tournament last night - did I really bring in an entire team of dudes?!?), I wanted to pass along this link to get you a deal the next time you shop for your organic/natural beauty products from Beauty.com. One thing I like about this joint is the availability of hard-to-find brands, like my beloved Arcona. I am soooo into it! Now get over there and love on yourself a little with some nice cosmetics!
Spend $75 on Beauty.com and get a $15 Gift Card! While supplies last.
Spend $75 on Beauty.com and get a $15 Gift Card! While supplies last.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I come from a long line of perfume wearers, and I myself have a list a mile long of favorite scents. Smell is so evocative; I remember the scent of people long after I have forgotten more important things about them. I recall events, thinking of what perfume I was wearing at that particular time in life (Amarige by Givenchy on my wedding day; Elizabeth Arden's True Love the day Hubbs proposed; Lolita Lempika the day I became a Godmother, Clinique Happy the day I found out I was pregnant - and promptly became nauseated by that late 90's scent).
So let me be clear: I love perfume ... it just doesn't love me anymore. I can't handle the fumes of colognes, eau de toilettes, dryer sheets, detergents, hairsprays, candles etcetera. Unless a scent is totally natural (ie: coming directly from the petals of a flower, essential oils, or real baked goods), I can't survive without getting sniffly, sneezy and itchy. Often, I'll get a migraine headache, and sometimes cloying smells will actually make me barf.
About a year and a half ago, I began phasing out toxic chemicals in my life in hopes of managing my allergies, headaches, and endocrine/immunological problems. I found out that most synthetic fragrances in cosmetics, perfumes and household products are chock full of things that make my body go haywire. As I subtracted things, and greened up our home, I noticed many of my symptoms disappeared.
Now for my rant: does Abercrombie & Fitch want me to keep dropping hundreds in their stores, even in this crappy economy? I have a young man who insists on dragging me into this store, then proceeds to bat his big brown eyes at me as he makes off with a huge loot of overpriced leather flip flops, tight polo shirts and plaid shorts. He looks fantastic, but my oh my do those clothes STINK!
A case in point: after school shopping there and practically taking one of everything in every color, I found myself with a throbbing headache. It wasn't the ridonkulous block rocking beats they're blasting in there. It wasn't the staggering bill. It was the smell of those damn clothes, which their employees feel compelled to douse every 10 seconds with their awful cologne!
It's not enough to stink up the entire Fashion Mall. It's not enough to be bowled over by the smell inside the store. Once the motherlode of late summer fashions came into the house, the scent was overpowering. Even after I removed all the clothes from his closet and ran them through the wash, I could smell that awful cologne. His whole room smells like it now, and even he is sick of it. Why, oh why is this necessary?!?
A friend told me the brand is trying to create a total sensory experience. Rather a total sensory meltdown. Maybe all the girls want to smell teenage cheapo cologne, reminiscent of their first date (Oye, who can forget God-awful Drakkar Noir or Polo Cologne - the smell of puberty in 1985), but enough already!
I've discovered one way around this quandry is to get the clothes from their website, shipped directly to the house in nice factory wrappings sans stink. But that's bad for them, because I am always more restrained from the confines of my office without brown eyes blinking up at me begging for just one more shirt!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I want to like these products. But I don't. Well, for the most part, I don't. Let's just say I won't be adding them to my cart again any time soon. Let's begin from the left with the Juice Beauty SPF 30 Mineral Sheer Moisturizer.
Pros: Readily available, works well to protect skin from the sun, easily recyclable in a glass bottle. Cons: It's expensive at about $29, works too well to grease up my skin, and it's not nice on my face under makeup. I use it off-label, so to speak, saving it for my neck, chest and arms. I confess I used this last summer, as well and I'm only about three quarters of the way down into the glass bottle. Sephora now sells it in a tube instead, so that is an improvement. This is a product which scored relatively well on the Environmental Working Group's 2009 Sunscreen Guide, so it is better than many on the market. If your skin can handle the oil slick and you don't intend to put makeup over the sunscreen, it's OK I suppose. Meh.
Next on my list of things I wish hadn't bought is Caudalie's Creme Contour. Sounds delicious, doesn't it? It comes in beautiful packaging, boxed, foiled and shiny. It's French and fancy. I love French and fancy. This stuff is OK. I thought it would be economical to spend over $50 on this product because it is packed chock-full with anti-aging ingredients, and it is formulated for eyes and lips: double duty. I want so badly to love it. But I don't. My sensitive skin gets little tiny pimples when I use it by my lips. Perhaps I should apply with a swab; maybe it's my fingers (doubt it, though because you know I wash my hands every five minutes and before I touch my face). My disappointment stems from its outrageous price more than anything. You'd better believe I will use it on my eyes till it's gone, but I don't plan to buy it again. I feel moisturized, but unprotected from Father Time.
Cost brings me to the Alba Botanica Mango Moisturizing Conditioner. Although I don't often shop at Walmart, I found myself there after a friend told me our local store had been revamped. She said they had cleaned it up, reorganized and made shopping there a much more pleasurable experience. I stopped by and was excited to see a "natural beauty" section. I found the Alba conditioner, and thought it might make a less expensive alternative to my favorite John Masters Organics Honey and Hibiscus conditioner. At about $8.50, the Alba stood to save me about $20 over my preferred product.
Alba gets some decent marks from the Environmental Working Group, but this conditioner clocks in with a rating of "5," which is right in the middle of the road. Better than a lot of products, but not as good as many. It seems as though the vague ingredient, "fragrance" is what concerns the EWG. See, "fragrance" is considered proprietary and therefore doesn't have to be broken down into its constituent parts. That means the delightful scent in question could contain gross stuff like formaldehyde fixatives and other gross stuff that can be toxic to our immune systems and inflammatory to allergy sufferers.
In my experience, manufacturers who merely list "fragrance" as an ingredient are probably using something yucky. When cosmetics companies use natural essential oils to fragrance their products, they are very proud to say so. And the cost of such products is going to be higher because essential oils are expensive. I like the smell of this Alba conditioner, but my foray into natural cosmetics began because I was constantly battling irritation, inflammation and headaches. Until Alba Botanica begins disclosing what's in their "fragrances," I'm not buying it again - even though this is a decent conditioner. In fact, I hopped over to the Beautoium (see sidebar above) to get the aforementioned John Masters.
Hello, kittens. I've been remiss in posting my adventures in green cosmetology for you; I've had house guests who don't dig the blogosphere as much as we all do! I've missed you all and thought of you often as I stole moments at my Mac, but I never managed enough time to post anything other than comments on others' blogs. Rest assured, I've been diligently field testing natural cosmetics for your consideration, so let's get right to it, shall we?
First, Lavanila's Healthy Body Wash. Love, love, love Lavanila Laboratories! This body wash is indeed la-la-lovely. I've used every precious drop of this 12 oz bottle of the "pure vanilla" flavor. Layered with the perfume of the same name, I smell like a delicious sugar cookie at all times, without overpowering others or giving myself a migraine.
Lavanila products do not contain anything toxic (click here if you want the complete low-down) such as parabens, pthalates, or sulfates. That means the products are safe for you and the environment once they rinse down the drain.
They have a really cool interface on their website that allows you to search their ingredients for safety, efficacy and origin. The products are readily available on their site, the beauty warehouses, and QVC (did you hear that, Mom?). I have mine shipped with my monthly beauty.com order. Lavanila is now making a natural deodorant, so I'll let you know as soon as I have tried it!
I've raved on and on about Dr. Hauschka skin care. I can't live without Moisturizing Day Cream. According to the bottle, it "activates and balances." It also "enlivens pale, lifeless skin without leaving an oily film." Affirmative. It smells like roses, which to me smells like a million bucks. Further, it comes in a glass bottle which can be easily recycled.
Here's the only thing: it contains no sun screen. And that's a no-no-no! I use the product at night and wake up with a fresh happy face, which is the best foundation a girl can have. My dear Mextacy asked some time ago if I could recommend a good natural night moisturizer, and this is definitely it! Mex, darling, the cat is out of the bag: your Kitty uses day cream to sleep off the fuglies! Dr. H is a little expensive, but as is the case with all well made products, a little goes a long way. My 3.4 oz (100 ml) bottles last every bit of 2 months. I will, however, be on the lookout for less expensive, more available options. Until we meet again, toodles! Love, kitty.
UPDATE: If you're thinking of getting the Dr. H moisturizer, you'll want to buy from Beautorium (see the sidebar, above left). This particular product is half as expensive there right now as it is at Beauty.com! I just scored 4 free little Dr. H tubes and saved a bundle on my refill! Sweet!