Category Archives: Eco-friendly

[all natural] summer beauty.

While the seasons are changing, so are my beauty products! Check out some of my favorite all-natural picks for the summer months:


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  1. SPF lip balm to leave lips moisturized and protected
  2. Body polish to keep dry and dull skin at bay
  3. Protective hair veil to prevent damage and color fading
  4. SPF sun screen (this is a no brainer people!)
  5. Bronzer for a golden glow sans sun
  6. Waterproof mascara for all those outdoor and water-related activities
  7. Cucumber face wipes for a refreshing way to remove makeup
  8. Sea salt spray to get that tousled “fresh-out-the-beach” hair look

What are your must-have beauty products for summer?

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happy earth day!

Happy Earth Day! – A day dedicated to increasing worldwide awareness and appreciation for our environment!

Head on over to my Earth month post to learn more, or check out my post on easy ways to go green to do your part in honoring this special day!

Not only do people all over the world celebrate Earth Day, but big businesses do, too!

Stop into your local Caribou or Starbucks with your reusable mug today for a FREE fill of coffee! Dunn Bros is offering a FREE beverage when you purchase any regular priced retail travel mug.

Or visit your nearest Target to receive a FREE re-usable bag (quantities limited). Target also currently has a link to a wide variety of coupons for earth-friendly products that you can print: http://coupons.target.com/earth-month-coupons  Go green while saving green – win, win! :)

How do you plan on celebrating Earth Day?

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happy earth month!

It’s pretty common knowledge that April 22 marks the official date of National Earth day, but did you know that April is Earth month!? While not everyone recognizes April as ‘Earth month,’ there are a few of my favorite companies/businesses that do: Aveda, Whole Foods Market, Origins, Seventh Generation, plus many more!

So what exactly is Earth month? It’s a month dedicated to inspiring awareness of the environment and implementing ways to preserve it for generations to come!

With that being said, I challenge you this year to get involved by doing one ‘green’ thing each day for the month of April. Whether it be something as simple as picking up a piece of trash from the sidewalk or as large as buying all of your produce organic, every step counts! Better yet! – I challenge you to perform one act of green-ness each day, no matter what the month, because when it comes down to it, every day should really be Earth day, right?

Get started by reading my top 10 easy ways to green up your act.

Don’t get why being green is so important? Here is a brief article for your reading pleasure.

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the power of plants.

While indoor plants serve as a nice way to freshen up the look of a room, did you know they have a lot of health benefits, too? Here are just a few convincing reasons for why you should consider making a trip to your local Gerten’s and pick up some plants!

  • Plants can help fight colds and fatigue
  • Plants can remove airborne contaminants and a variety of toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene
  • Plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, ultimately improving air quality
  • Plants are natural humidifiers
  • Plants can improve productivity
  • Plants have been shown to increased positive feelings and reduce feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness

Considering how low-cost most indoor plants are in addition to the benefits listed above, I can’t really find any good reason not to invest in some indoor plants!

Happy Friday!

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shop farmer’s market fresh

Spring is well under way and summer is just around the corner… do you know what that means? It’s time for the farmer’s market! The farmer’s market isn’t just for getting awesomely fresh produce, but it’s also a great way to be sustainable by supporting your local farmers!

So when it comes to shopping fresh summer produce, here is your quick guide for the best in-season fruits, veggies and herbs! –

Fruits: Apricots, Avocados, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Figs, Grapes, Kiwi, Mangos, Melon (Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon), Nectarines, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries

Vegetables: Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chard, Corn, Cucumbers, Green beans, Eggplant, Jicama, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Okra, Onions, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Summer Squash, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary

What are some of your favorite items to buy at the farmers market, or recipes you like to make with fresh summer produce?

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eco-friendly birchbox alternatives.

Does anyone else feel as though Birchbox is all the rage right now? I love the idea of paying only $10 a month to receive a wide variety of brand name beauty samples, however, I cringe at the thought of many of those items being more than likely laced with a copious amount of not-so-natural ingredients. While I recognize that a Tarte or Juice Beauty product might randomly end up in a monthly box, it’s not enough to entice me to join. Luckily there are some similar eco-friendly alternatives to Birchbox for all of those green peeps out there such as myself! (Bonus – all of the following are always wrapped in earth-friendly packaging!)

Green Grab Bag
Cost: $15/month or $145/year (a 20% discount) + free shipping
What you get: A minimum of six natural, organic and vegan beauty samples including skincare products, makeup or fragrances.
Check it out: http://greengrabbag.com/

Goodebox
Cost: $16/month + free shipping
What you get: Six or more trial-size healthy, eco-sensitive beauty and personal care products, along with occasional samples of natural & organic health and wellness products from brands that are committed to creating products that respect people, animals and planet. Bonus – you can gear the products toward your specific concerns and skin type.
Check it out: http://goodebox.com/

Eco-Emi Box
Cost: $15/month + free shipping
What you get: Five to ten samples of natural, organic, eco-friendly, cruelty free, vegan, vegetarian or Fair Trade products. The items can be everything from animal-friendly makeup, to organic herbal tea, to all natural perfume, to sustainable laundry detergent, to vegan chocolates, etc!
Check it out: http://ecoemi.comConscious Box –
Cost: $12/month; $33/3 months; or $64/6 months (+ shipping for all)
What you get: A wide variety of products and samples focusing on “sustainability, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility” – anything from organic food to green household items to vegan beauty products.
Check it out: http://www.consciousbox.com

What are your thoughts on a more eco-friendly alternative to Birchbox? Which one sounds the most appealing to you?

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green beauty buys #3

My gradual switch to as many “green” beauty and body products that I can should come as no secret by this point. As I make this slow transition, I am sharing with you some of my favorites. (You can see past posts here & here). Without further ado, here is segment numero tres showcasing a few eco-friendly products I’ve picked up this past month that I am adoring! Check it out:

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The low-down:

  • Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion – Don’t let the title fool you – this is actually a face moisturizer, not a body lotion. Since the seasons are changing, I decided to switch over to a light-weight moisturizer. This one is just the right consistency and gives a pleasant, spa-like scent that is not overpowering or feminine, so I would recommend this for men as well. Just like all Aveda products, this one if made from naturally-derived ingredients. The only down side? No SPF. Wah, wah, wah.
  • Essie Nail Polish in “Go Overboard” – I picked this bottle of beautiful brightness a few weeks back as an impulse buy – hey, the increased temperatures and emerging spring colors got the best of me! So you might be wondering why this falls into the category of a ‘green’ beauty product. Unlike many other nail polish brands, Essie is formulated without DBP, toluene, and is formaldehyde-free!
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation – I can’t say keen on the price of this foundation (a whopping $38), however, I can say that I’m ecstatic over the wear of it. After reading several positive reviews and testing out a sample from my local Sephora, I was ultimately sold and shelled out the 38 bucks without a mere second thought. Despite its light, mousse-like texture, it’s a ‘12-hour full-coverage’ foundation that gives skin a flawless finish – just what a foundation should do. Added bonuses – it’s SPF 15, cruelty-free and is formulated without mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Coconut Oil – Although this is a cooking oil and baking ingredient, it also serves as a great makeup remover and moisturizer! You can read my recent “kitchen cabinet beauty” blog post to learn more about this multi-purpose oil and why you should consider adding it to your daily skincare regimen.
  • Gud Shampoo in “Vanilla Flame” – I recently bought this on a whim when I saw it was on sale at the Whole Foods Market, plus it just so happened that I needed a new shampoo at the time. ‘Gud’ is Burt’s Bees latest product line featuring hair and body products in three scents: Vanilla Flame, Orange Petalooza and Floral Cherrynova. All of these scents smell fantastic but the vanilla one stands out from the rest, in my opinion. One thing is for sure – I’m definitely tempted to buy the rest of the products after using the shampoo! Not to mention this line doesn’t contain any parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals. (You can ‘like’ their FB page for a free lotion sample!)

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kitchen cabinet beauty.

Today I am featuring some of my favorite ways to green your beauty routine by using things you can often find in your kitchen! Check it out…

Baking Soda = Face wash! Yes, I said it – face wash! Simply mix a quarter-size amount of baking soda with water in your hands to form a paste. Cleanse your face with this simple concoction for just the right amount of exfoliation. The best part? It’s probably the cheapest face wash you’ll ever buy!

Coconut Oil = Makeup remover, moisturizer, hair conditioner! This oil isn’t just for baking but also a multi-purpose item for your beauty regimen. Apply all over face and remove with a soft wash cloth to take off makeup; rub on rough areas of skin such as cuticles or feet for intense hydration; or use it on ends of hair for a deep-conditioning treatment (make sure to rinse)!

Cucumbers = Eye de-puffers – one of the oldest tricks in the book! Chilled, sliced cucumbers work wonders to decrease puffiness on the eyes as well as help in temporarily diminishing under-eye bags. Plus you can’t beat the refreshing smell! (Other great kitchen options: cooled tea bags or cold spoons).

Honey = Soothing face mask! Honey is known as natural humectant, meaning it has the ability to attract moisture and hold it. Simply apply a thin layer of honey onto your face, letting sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove honey with a warm, damp washcloth to reveal soft and smooth skin.

Oatmeal = Cleanser/gentle exfoliant! Oatmeal is known to relieve itchiness, redness, dryness and minor irritations. That being said, it is the perfect ingredient to add to your everyday face cleanser for added gentle exfoliation, or it can be used as a cleanser alone. Just mix it with water for a 100% natural face wash that is just as easy on sensitive skin as it is on the wallet!

Olive Oil = Hair and cuticle treatment! Coat hair in olive oil and cover with a shower cap. After 30 minutes, shampoo and condition your hair as normal. Once dry, you’ll notice added shine and softness to hair. To soothe dry or cracked cuticles, simply rub olive oil on them for a quick smoothing solution!

Yogurt = Cooling face mask! Yogurt contains lactic acid, which can help to exfoliate and smooth out the skin. To use, liberally apply plain yogurt all over the face. (This might be a good time to use the cucumber slices on eyes as well)! Rinse off with warm water after about 20 minutes. Immediately your face will feel clean and refreshed. Yogurt is also a go-to item for reducing redness and pain associated with sunburn.

What are your thoughts on incorporating everyday cooking and baking items into your beauty routine?

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green up your act.


It should be no secret by now that I am a strong advocate of sustainability and incorporating eco-friendly acts into my everyday life. Not only is this helpful for the environment, it’s also easy on the wallet. Here are my top 10 favorite ways to go green:

1. Shop used. Visit your local thrift stores for gently used clothes and household items. Second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean second-best. The majority of the outfits I feature on my blog are created completely from thrift store finds, many of which I found brand new or barely used. Reuse while saving money, win-win! Check out my top thrift tips here.

2. Buy local. Consider the amount of pollution created in getting food from the farm to your table (the average travel is 1,500 miles). That being said, buy from farmers’ markets or local co-ops whenever possible. This reduces the amount of fossil fuels and carbon emissions from products being flown or trucked in, plus it is a good way to support your local economy.

3. Use your reusables. I’m talking coffee mugs, water bottles and bags. This is one of the easiest ways to cut down on waste! Utilizing reusable bags and bottles is a great way to prevent plastic piling up in landfills.  Bonus – Many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring in a reusable mug, and some grocery stores even offer a discount for bringing your own bag.

4. Bank online. It is estimated that if all households in the U.S. paid their bills online and received electronic statements instead of paper, we’d save 18.5 million trees every year, 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide and 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste. Wow, right?!

5. Rethink transportation. Bike or walk when possible. Three bonuses here – save money on gas, reduce emissions, get exercise. If your destination is too far to walk or bike to, consider metro transit or car pooling.

6. Green your beauty bag. Buy beauty items from companies that make products free of parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. Also try buying products that come in recyclable packaging or packaging made with post-consumer recycled material. I like Tarte, Aveda, Origins, Burt’s Bees and LUSH, to name a few!

7. Select sustainable materials. Aside from products made from recycled materials, think about buying items made from organic cotton, bamboo, or cork.

8. Switch your scents. Did you know that candles made with soy wax are clean burning and don’t produce the black soot like paraffin-based candles do? Reed diffusers made with essential oils are also a great alternative to standard paraffin wax candles.

9. Keep it cold. Wash your clothes in cold water. Most loads don’t need hot water, and 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating. The higher the water temperature, the higher the cost to both the planet and your heating bill.

10. Use non-toxic. Household cleaners, that is! Environmentally friendly cleaning products help improve indoor air quality and reduce the health problems that traditional products can cause. You can make your own or buy one of the many eco-friendly brands available such as Mrs. Meyers.

Just think how we could really improve and sustain our planet if everyone implemented just a few of these things into their lifestyles. How do you go green?

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green beauty buys #2

Hey everyone! Remember my green beauty buys post from a while ago? Well I am back to share with you more eco-friendly products I’m currently loving! I bought/received these products over the holidays, meaning I’ve had a good few weeks to test them out and tell you why I think they’re so great! Read on…

Korres Quercetin & Oak Regimen Kit

This 5-piece kit includes a travel-size day cream, night cream, face serum, eye cream and foaming cleanser. It is said to be “clinically proven to dramatically reduce wrinkles while increasing skin elasticity and improving overall skin texture.” Since I’m all about age-prevention (hey, it’s never too early to start), this was a wonderful purchase to test out the products. The night and eye cream have been my favorite from the kit and I will definitely consider purchasing the full-size when I run out. These Korres items are great for sensitive skin and don’t contain all of the parabens, sulfates, phthalates, etc. that we so commonly find in the average face product.

Aveda Balancing Infusion Oil

I was introduced to this product at a facial I recently had at an Aveda salon and couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. The conclusion? – I was back at the salon just a few days later to purchase a bottle. This oil has a very invigorating yet relaxing, spa-like scent that I can’t get enough of. In fact, the fragrance alone is enough reason to buy this item, in my opinion! Because the oil is very light-weight, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave your face looking like an oil slick. I like mixing it in with my Korres night cream (mentioned above) each night for extra hydration. (This is definitely an investment-worthy purchase for winter if you suffer from dry skin)! Bonus – you feel like you’re at the spa every time you use it. No wonder I find myself reaching for this little bottle multiple times a day…

Tarte ‘Lights, Camera, Lashes!’ Mascara

After reading countless positive reviews about this [paraben-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free] mascara, I didn’t hesitate to put it on my Christmas list. Now that I’ve been religiously using it for several days, it’s safe to say that the reviews don’t lie – I am in love with this product! It creates the perfect balance of volume and thickness. The only downside is at $19 a pop, this isn’t an item I can justify paying for every 1-2 months when it’s time for a replacement.

What have been some of your favorite beauty buys as of late?

P.S. Are you in the market for new makeup brushes? – For the rest of January, Sigma Beauty is offering 10% off any purchase! (Enter code 0112XJML at check out). My favorite is the vegan Mrs. Bunny Essential Kit!

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