The Liebster Award!

To my surprise, I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by the beautiful Carrie Jackson (

The Liebster Award is an award given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.This is a great way to showcase new blogs and to create a tight-knit blogging community.

The rules to receive this award are to answer the 11 questions created by whomever nominated you and to nominate 5-11 bloggers.  Once you have selected 5-11 bloggers you must create 11 questions for them to answer. Simple enough!

Here are my answers to Carrie’s questions:

1.  What are your reasons for blogging?
I wanted to show friends and family members about the dangers that lurk in everyday cosmetics. I also wanted to show them that safe alternatives DO exist and actually work very well!

2.   If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to take with 
This is so hard. Part of me wants to pick my favorite cosmetics but what use is that! The practical side of me needs to answer this wisely… 
#1. A knife
#2. A net to catch fish
#3. Someone to keep me company – probably my boyfriend, if he is lucky ;)

3.   I have a girl crush on Emma Willis - do you have a secret girl crush on anyone?
I am drawing a blank on this one. I don’t necessarily have a girl crush but I know there are ones who I find deathly attractive. I’ll have to get back to you on this one! (weird right, who draws a blank on this question of all questions!)

4.  Sweet or savory?
Sweet, definitely 

5.   My favorite perfume is Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin (closely followed by Sisley No 2) - what is yours?
My all-time favorite perfume is Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf. It has been the only scent that I can identify with. Now that I am trying to stay away from chemicals I don’t wear perfume often (only on weekends). I am trying to find a natural scent that I can identify with. It has been a hard task. 

6.   Dogs or cats? Dogs….cats…I don’t know! I love them both! Give me both!

7.   How much time do you spend on your blog?
I usually try to write 3 blog posts a week. How many hours that is, I don’t know!

8.   What advice would you give your teenage self?
Please take care of your eyebrows. And by that I mean to brush out the foundation from them and to color them in nicely, you need it! – I cringe when I think of this mistake.

9.   What would be your dream job?
I would love to open a makeup store that has only natural or non-toxic products. There are so many great products out there but I need to online shop for everything. My store would be a one stop shop, easy access. I would want it to be the Sephora of natural beauty products!

10.   What achievement are you most proud of? 
There are many things that I am proud of. In addition to my love of cosmetics I also have a passion for design. I have attended University for Design Studies and have taken a diploma program to become and Architectural Technician. I am proud that I have decided to follow my passions in life.

This may sound weird, but for the longest time I hated when people asked “what is your hobby” because I really didn’t have one. What was I going to say, spending time on the computer?! Now I have found my hobby, something that keeps me centered – yoga. I can see it staying in my life forever. I’ll be one of those 90 year olds that practices yoga. I am proud that I have found this. It’s fun to see yourself develop as a person. 

11.  I'm taking part in a 100K walk in May - are there any challenges you would like to  do/have done?
I am currently doing 2 challenges right now. One is the 30 day yoga challenge from Do You Yoga. The other is a 30 day challenge doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) with the Daily HIIT. All of these are avilable on youtube. 

And without further ado, here are my nominations for the Liebster Award. (To make sure I was doing this correctly I looked at followers on bloglovin' and on google for those whom it applies to. Twitter did not count when I made my decision).

Paula -
Shauna -

Some people that I've chose have been around for awhile but still have less than 200 followers. They all have fabulous blogs that are worth checking out! 

Here are my questions for my nominees to answer: 

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is your favorite blog post that you have created?
3. What is your favorite blog post created by someone else?
4. What is your dream vacation?
5. How would you spend your perfect day (I asked myself this question and actually made it happen, it is worth thinking about!) 
6. Who is your favorite blogger or youtuber? 
7. Coffee or tea?
8. What is one thing that you cannot leave the house without? 
9. What in life makes you the most happy? 
10. What advice would you give your younger self? 
11. If you could relive any day, what would it be? 

ILIA Beauty Neon Angel Lipstick

ILIA is a non-toxic cosmetic brand that has products that are filled with bioactive organic ingredients, up to 85%. This brand is really well known among the green beauty community for good reason. ILIA lipsticks have great color and most importantly, staying power! They do not move! These lipsticks are my absolute favorite, I actually prefer them over most mainstream brands (even MAC Cosmetics!).

I purchased a sample of the Neon Angel lipstick. I was a bit skeptical about this color because it is so vibrant. I was worried that it wouldn't be wearable on a day to day basis. To my surprise I found this color to work well with almost everything. It has become my go to color. I was also worried that this color wouldn't be suitable for winter but the way this lipstick transforms in different lighting is incredible. I found that in darker lighting it can give off a red hue, which is perfect for these winter months. I love that this lipstick looks great in all different types of lighting making it suitable for daytime or nighttime wear. Did I mention that it has staying power? I drank a whole cup of coffee and didn't see a lipstick mark once!

At $25 a tube this might seem expensive for some of you but for a good quality lipstick you can never go wrong. Besides, how often are you replacing that certain lipstick anyways? For me, not very much.

Have you tried ILIA lipstick before? What is your favorite non-toxic lipstick?

The All Natural Face - Eyeliner Gel Pot in "That Black" Review

When I first ventured off into the world of natural and nontoxic makeup I wasn't in the position to be spending a lot of money, especially for items that I have never tried before. Luckily around this time there were Groupons available for The All Natural Face. This was a huge score for me because The All Natural Face is already really inexpensive, having a Groupon just put the icing on the cake. If it wasn't for the positive reviews on youtube I would have never bought anything from TANF because unfortunately their website is of very poor quality. 

One of the items that I bought was their gel eyeliner in "That Black" their blackest eyeliner. When I received this item it had black tape all around the container, I wasn't sure why. When I took off the tape I had black all over my hands! Thank god I wasn't wearing white or anything that could be easily damaged. I was worried that if I threw this eyeliner in my makeup bag it would leak everywhere. Thankfully, it didn't. 

I found this eyeliner very easy to apply and never experienced any problems. The eyeliner on its own does not last all day and will need a little bit of retouching throughout. I found that during the summer months this occurred more. A month after wearing this eyeliner I decided to try spraying The All Natural Face - Fix It finishing mist on my makeup brush. This helped tremendously with helping the product last longer. In a few months the pot did dry up which was expected because it does not come in an air tight container. Fortunately if you just wet your makeup brush with water before dipping it onto the pot, you won't experience any problems. 

Despite this products minor flaws I think that this is a great inexpensive (only $4.75!!!) eyeliner for basic everyday wear or for those just starting to wear makeup. I will buy this product again due to its price.

Have you tried TANF Gel Eyeliner before? What are your thoughts? What is your favorite all natural eyeliner?  

Natural Skincare Products Found At the Drugstore

When hearing about natural cosmetics many people tend to think that it's too expensive and inconvenient to go out and buy.  I know where I live I have to drive half an hour to go to a health food store, where as Safeway is just two minutes away.  I decided to do a test and go to the nearest drugstore to see what natural personal care products I could find.

I am happy to report that I found a whole bunch of them!

1. Kiss My Face
3. Natures Gate
4. Desert Essence 
8. Avalon Organics

TARTE Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara Review

Tarte makes high performing cosmetics with better ingredients than most mainstream brands. I'm always happy with anything that I try from them. This is rated a 4 on Cosmetic Database with its most toxic ingredients being Triethanolamine and Phenoxyethanol. As some of you know, I try to stay under a total rating of 4 under Cosmetic Database. For a mascara I am okay with these ingredients as this is not something that I am putting all over my face or body.

That being said, I think that this is a great everyday mascara. It gives volume and length to the lashes. Perfect for both upper and lower lashes.  I also like that this formula is easy to take off. Minimal amount of pulling to the eyes is always better! I do find that this mascara tends to clump up at the beginning of the wand so for best results, of course I take that off. I also lightly roll the mascara wand on the back of my hand just to take off that extra bit of product. I find that by doing this I get no clumping on my lashes. This mascara is also buildable and will do so without any major clumping. 

Of course, as like most Tarte products, I am happy with this purchase and will probably buy this again in the future!

Where to Shop For Non-Toxic Makeup on a Budget

Majority of the time when people hear about natural and organic makeup their immediate reaction is that it's going to be expensive. Just like makeup sold at the drugstore or makeup sold at Sephora there is a wide variety of price range. In fact, sometimes you can find the most inexpensive makeup from small independent companies (I bought a great gel eyeliner for only $5 more than 6 months ago and it's going strong). This doesn't always mean that the quality will be affected. I've gathered the names of some popular non-toxic cosmetic companies so that you'll have an idea about price range. This also works as a great guide if you are just getting into green beauty products. Not all of these companies I've tried, but these are all very well known among the Green Beauty Community. If you aren't sure, just google the name of the company to find reviews on youtube and beauty blogs. I will bold the names of companies that I've tried products from. 

Most Inexpensive $2-16:
Sometimes with smaller cosmetics companies they don't have that professional look on their website and packaging. Don't let this discourage you. They still can create some great products at such a great price! Silk Naturals is well-known for their lipsticks (I have tried these and will do a review separately). The All Natural Face I have bought tones of products from majority of them work very well for me. Honeybee Gardens is on my list next as they have pressed eye shadows for only $8.99. If you would like more inexpensive natural makeup brands check out Etsy as there are lots of independent sellers there.

In the mid and high-end range of makeup some of the brands can be found on online stores like Nuciya Natural Beauty. This is great if you wish to buy products from multiple companies but don't want to pay all of those shipping fees.

Non-toxic makeup still has a lot of room to grow. It isn't as diverse as non-toxic or natural skincare. I hope that by creating this guide it will show you that healthy products don't have to be expensive. If there are any other great inexpensive, non-toxic makeup companies that you love please share them with me!

Priti NYC 5 Free, Vegan & Non-Toxic Nail Polish

A few months ago I purchased Priti NYC products on a Hautelook sale. Not knowing what to expect from a 5-Free nail polish (free of oulene, Formaldehyde, and DBP, camphor and formaldehyde resin) I could only hope that the nail polish wouldn't chip off right away. 

When I received these items in the mail I was shocked as to how small the nail polish remover was (only 2 oz.). I thought that there was no way that this would ever last me. To my surprise, this is the best nail polish remover that I've ever owned. I only need a little bit on a cotton round to take off ALL my nail polish. This is also unscented so I keep this handy in my bag and if I notice that the polish is starting to come off I'll remove it in only a minute or two. I love not having to deal with that awful smell of traditional nail polish.  You know that this is good because they sell it at Anthropology!

Both of the colors that I bought in 546 Spring Song and 114 Brussels Lace last about 4-5 days without chipping. This is perfect and is about the same as any other nail polish that i've tried. I've heard of 5 free nail polish brands chipping in only a day or two so I was pleasantly surprised with this.  I also purchased the 707 Priti Strong Nail Strengthener. This has made a huge difference on my nails. I used to wear fake nails on a regular basis before switching to healthier products. With the use of the Priti Nail Strengthener and Biotin my nails are stronger than they've ever been! I love this brand so much that there is no question that I will be purchasing more products from them. 

Have you tried Priti NYC nail polish or any other 5-free polish? What are your thoughts? 

How Would You Spend Your Perfect Day?

I asked myself that question a few months ago and came up with something wonderful. A one day juice cleanse combined with hot yoga and a trip to the spa. Well...I did it! I decided that doing this now would be the best way to start the new year.

I purchased a 1 day cleanse from Glow Juicery, throughout the whole process the owner Marnie was extremely helpful. She even gave me a guide as what to do before I start the cleanse and even gave a recipe for a salad mid-day.

Here is a list of the juices that I had and what's in them:

Ener-g Glow: Spinach + Cucumber + Pear + Celery + Chlorophyll
Citrus Glow: Orange + Lemon + Ginger + Coconut Water
After Glow: Spinach + Cucumber + Celery + Kale + Apple + Parsley
Vitamin G: Spinach + Cucumber + Carrot + Orange + Lemon + Ginger
Glow Boost: Spinach + Kale + Cucumber + Broccoli + Mint + Acai
Earth Glow: Apple + Beet + Carrot + Cucumber + Ginger

All of these juices were wonderful and in fact after the first one (Ener-gg Glow) I found myself craving more. It was definitely a treat for the body. I don't think that I would ever do a juice cleanse for a long period of time because I just don't think that its necessary, but I do think once in a while for a day or 2 is perfectly good and is a great way to get a boost of nutrition. These juices kept me satisfied throughout the day but they were so delicious I often wished that I had more! Marnie has created an excellent combination of juices. They are great for anyone looking to cleanse and especially for those looking for new ways to get nutritious foods.

I started off my day by going to a Moksha hot yoga class a great way to start the day. I followed that with a trip to the spa. This particular spa uses natural & organic products so it was a real treat. The spa itself is based on Middle Eastern and Indian Ayurveda traditions. It is probably one of my favorite spas because the spa itself is beautiful and I always get the best service. There I was treated to the Hammam / Gommage. The Hammam is a steam room that gradually heats up to 50 degrees Celsius while the Gommage is a highly effective way to to exfoliate the body.  I also had a 30 min. relaxation massage and a bio-organic cleansing facial. They used Comfort Zone skincare for the facial and it was very luxurious, my skin had never looked better. After my trip to the spa I went back to the yoga studio for a 90 minute hot yin class. If you haven't tried hot yin just before bed, you should, it is amazing. After all this I felt completely refreshed and even went to bed at 9:30. It was the perfect way to start the new year.

How would you spend your perfect day?

Comparison: One Love Organics Vitamin E Active Moisture Eye Balm & Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm

This winter my eyes have been extremely dry, to the point where I have dry patches on my eyelids. When I heard about these eye balms I was excited to try them in hopes of bringing back moisture to the skin around my eyes. Both of the One Love Organics eye balm and the Indie Lee Eye Balm have been excellent for restoring moisture but what are the differences?

Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm (left) $42:
Packed with great, natural ingredients such as calendula oil, mango, avocado oil, lavender and vitamin e. This eye balm is completely waterless so you can be sure that you are getting a good amount of all these nutritious ingredients. The mango seed butter helps diminish dark circles while the canlendula oil, mango, and lavender help to increase the skins elasticity. This formula is very rich and soothing to the eye as it just glides onto the skin. It is packed with moisture so for me I would use this only as an evening eye cream. I found that when I did try to use this in the morning it took to long to absorb into my skin and wasn't the best for putting on eye makeup immediately after. I could of also been using to much of this product because it was so soothing to my dry eyes that it felt like such a treat to put on. I would definitely buy a full sized jar of this product. Even though it it's $42 I can see this lasting for months and months (always a huge bonus in my books).  

One Love Organics Eye Balm (right) $48:
The One Love Organics Eye Blam is also waterless and is packed with raw, organic ingredients.

raw organic butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, punica granatum (pomegranate) sterols, polyhydroxystearic acid, tocopherol (vitamin e), raw virgin rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, organic euphrasia officinalis (eyebright) extract, organic panax quinquefolius (american ginseng) extract, organic glycrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, organic lavandula angustifolia (bulgarian lavender) essential oil, organic foeniculum vulgare dulce (fennel) oil

The organic fennel helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes while the pomegranate and gingseng lift the delicate skin around the eye.  At first glance this balm seems heavier than the Indie Lee Eye Balm but I found this to be the opposite. What I liked about the One Love Organics Eye Balm is that you only needed a little bit because you first let the formula melt in your hands before applying. I also felt that this formula was just as hydrating and soothing as the Indie Lee Eye Balm. For me, the One Love Organics Eye Balm was also suitable for the morning and night. It actually worked as a nice base for my eye makeup. 

So what's the verdict? If I had the money I would probably buy both. They are both wonderful products. I would use the Indie Lee Eye Balm for the evening and the One Love Organics Eye Balm in the morning. I found that the Indie Lee Eye Balm was more soothing around my eyes, especially just after taking off makeup. I could see both full sized jars easily lasting a year. However, since that is not in my current budget I would just buy the One Love Organics Eye Balm for now. Probably when the next winter rolls around, I will keep both eye balms handy. 

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

I've been using this product for well over 3 months and I am still loving it. It has become a staple in my everyday routine. This is my go to highlighter as it is perfect for these winter months that can make our skin dry and flaky. This highlighter is ultra creamy but it is formulated so well it will still work wonderfully the during summer. The RMS Beauty Living Luminizer gives a shear and subtle finish. It is very potent so a little goes a long way, be sure not to overdo it as it is buildable (too much highlighter is not good!). The great thing about this product is that it also works well on dark skin without turning it ashy! For 4.25g worth of product it costs $38. This may seem a little steep for some of you but I swear this pot will last you a year!

Here is a list of the fabulous ingredients in this product: 

*Ricinus Communis (Caster) Seed Oil, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beesewax), *Rosemarius Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain [+/-Titanium Diozide CI77891, Mica CI77019/
                                                                     *Certified Organic

Have you tried the Living Luminizer by RMS Beauty? What are your thoughts?

January Wishlist

1. Lily Lolo Molten Bronze Eye Shadow Quad $20
2. Lauren Brook Cosmetiques Cream Foundation  $27
3. KORRES Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer $39
4. May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon $160 (Yep! You read that right, $160. That's why it's a wishlist)
5. Wedderspoon Gold 100% Raw Organic Manuka Honey Active 16+ 
6. Kjaer Weis Crream Blush Compact in Abundance $54
7. ilike Yogurt Powder Peel $78

It seems as if my wishlists will never end! There are so many great products out there and I am obsessed with trying them all! My goal for this year is to get a ton more non-toxic makeup products to test for you guys. Last year I was a bit to obsessed with skincare (I still am!) but I do realize that I need to review more makeup products considering that I am a makeup artist!

Is Tarte Cosmetics Really All Natural?

Tarte is the ever so popular cosmetic brand sold at Sephora. They market themselves as non-toxic and they formulate all their products without the following:

But is Tarte really safe? On Cosmetic Database Tarte has a score of 1-8. This means that some of their products are really good, and some are really bad. After doing some extensive research into the ingredients that Tarte uses I would say that Cosmetic Database is a little bit outdated because it does show that Tarte uses propylparaben in 4 of their products. I can say for sure that as of right now Tarte doesn’t use any Parabens in their products, just as advertised.

Let’s take a look at some items that I’ve used from Tarte (click the images if you are having a hard time reading what the image says):

 Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer

 Tarte Amazonian Clay Mascara

For both of these items the overall score is 4. Which for me is what I personally like to stay under. Again the importance of this changes depending how much of the product I am using and how often.  For the Matte Bronzer on the Tarte website I don’t even see the Retinyl Palmitate listed as an ingredient, so again I believe that this needs to be updated on Cosmetic Database.

If you look at majority of Tarte products on Cosmetic Database you will see that most of them rate under 4 and a lot of them are rated a 2. To me I think that this is great. I think that for a mainstream brand Tarte is doing a pretty good job at keeping the toxic chemicals out. I do however think that there is room for improvement. Majority of the ingredients listed for Tarte products I cannot pronounce, let alone know what they are just by looking at them. Just take a look at the ingredients for Tarte’s Matte Bronzer here:

 Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer Ingredients

Let’s compare this to a well-known brand that uses organic ingredients in their products. Here is the ingredient list of the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer:


I think you can see the difference that I am talking about. Overall I do think that Tarte is safe, since most of their products rate low on Cosmetic Database. However, I would not call Tarte an all-natural brand. I think it’s great that a lot of people use their products not even knowing about the toxic chemicals in makeup and are wearing something that is a lot safer for them than the average mainstream brand.  I do use Tarte products but am very careful about checking the ingredients before making a purchase. I am sure that as time goes by the ingredient list in Tarte products will only improve. 

December Empties

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash: 
So far this is my favorite all natural mouthwash as it contains no alcohol,  so you don't get that awful "burning" feeling. The use of tea tree oil allows it to be very effective yet gentle. I like this one so much that I've already went out and got another. Best part is that it only costs $4.22 on Vitacost. 

The Body Deli Cucumber Juice Elixir:
This is a wonderful toner, during the summer it was one of my favorite products because it is so refreshing as it needs to be refrigerated. The Body Deli remains to be one of my favorite brands for skincare, checkout my full review here.

Say Yes to Tomatoes Acne Spot Stick:
This was the first natural treatment that I tried for acne. I bought this in June and it lasted me all the way until December with continuous use. That's a huge plus for me because I really don't like having to replace a product often. This product is 97% natural  that uses tomatoes, salicylic acid, bisabolol, and ginger to treat blemishes. At first, this was best spot treatment that I used. My blemishes would start to disappear within a day of using this spot treatment. Overall the healing time was significantly less. However, as the months went by this became less effective for me. I don't know if switching from summer to winter would have made a difference but I think that I will try this product again during the summer and see how effective it is. Overall, I do think that this is a fairly good spot treatment as it did work very well in the beginning.

Geisha Ink Mineral Loose Foundation:
I've mentioned before that this is my favorite foundation powder. Before using this product I did not like powder foundation and only used liquid. This stuff gives me such excellent coverage and even works with my dry skin in the middle of winter. I usually wear this foundation everyday. However, depending on how my skin is certain days I may switch back to The All Natural Face liquid or cream foundation. I think it's great having different options around. I highly recommend the Geisha Ink foundation. Click here to see my short original review. Next I am going to try the Lily LoLo Mineral foundation, I've heard such great things about it!