Update

19 Mar

I have so many video/post ideas, and a few videos that are almost 100% edited, BUT I have been short on time since early February. So if anyone is wondering: yes, more content is coming!

I also wanted to talk about how great it is that there seem to be ever more articles (newspaper/blog) on non-toxic cosmetics and household products. I was surprised to see articles on TheGloss (or an affiliated site, Blisstree, I don’t remember) on lead-free lipsticks, and making your own mascara. Over the last few years, beauty blogs have occasionally tested or mentioned natural products, but I have the feeling that bloggers are starting to take natural products and toxicity issues more seriously. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the tides are seriously turning.

Of course, the increased availability of actual products that respond to increasing demand for less/no toxins is fab as well. The increasing demand itself is reassuring to a certain extent; I am obviously glad that people are aware of potential dangers and are requesting better formulations, even better regulations for household and cosmetic products. However some have said that this phenomenon (household purges and then purchase of “green” products) is a fad, or just another way from consumers to continue to consume albeit with a lighter conscience. Does that make sense? I may be expressing myself badly. The New York Times recently ran an article that takes on this issue:

Is It Safe to Play Yet? Going to Extreme Lengths to Purge Household Toxins

I’d like to think that the motivation behind a switch to natural products is always honest (often it is done in the hopes of protecting your infant/child, as discussed in the article above), however there are ways of going about your switch that are better for the environment than others. The NYT article references the fact that many are perpetuating the cycle of consumerism despite having good intentions, which can be true. When you toss toxic products, you don’t have to replace each and every one with a “green” alternative. You could take this opportunity to think about your needs: what items can I actually completely live without but only feel like I need? A lot of specialized household cleaning products are superfluous, and a lot of others can be easily made at home or replaced by an effective natural all-purpose cleaner. Beauty salespeople/bloggers/vloggers definitely feed a consumer’s perceived need for a complete palette of eyeshadow (lipstick, etc) shades, but you can achieve most looks with a pretty simple makeup kit. I have a video planned for this topic and will hopefully be able to record it soon.

My head is totally buzzing with more ideas but I am, as usual, pressed for time. I will hopefully come back to these topics soon, in the meantime, thanks for reading!

Favourite products for 2011 and brand rec’s

6 Feb

I meant to do this video earlier, but basically I wanted to let you know what my favourite products were for last year so that you could see which products stand the test of time. I like almost all of the natural cosmetics I purchased last year but these were the stars of the bunch! Also, it’s not Figs&Butter! Figs and Rouge… I have a bad memory. Also, this video is HD! I just have one other that was filmed on my Mac, all other new vids will be HD.

Products mentioned (and later today I’ll update this to tell you where you can buy them):

  1. Eco Tools blush brush
  2. Brush Guard
  3. BareMinerals Big & Bright eyeliner
  4. Ecco Bella blush
  5. RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek
  6. Tarte Dark Circle Defense concealer
  7. Pacifica Persion (not Wild!) Rose perfume roller
  8. Kariderm Shea butter

And the beauty lines I talked about briefly:

BM Beauty

Figs&Rouge

A few household recipes

29 Jan

Quick cleaning mixes to get your house spotless!

Fridge cleaner:  1/2 cup warm white vinegar, 1/2 cup warm water, juice of half a lemon.

Wood treater: 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 8 drops lemon essential oil. (for big jobs! reduce proportionately if you only have a small table or so to do)

Toilet cleaner: 1/3 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup water, 6 drops essential oil.

All-purpose cleaner: 2 tbsp baking soda, 2 litres hot water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, about a teaspoon essential oil (eucalyptus, lavender, etc.)

Super-fast Thai Soup

28 Jan

I was starving this afternoon and had some Thai-like ingredients hanging around so I came up with a not-particularly-authentic (but delicious!) Thai soup:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mild-tasting vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised/cut (but not sliced, for easier retrieval afterward!)
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 squirt Sriracha (about 1/2 – 1 tsp, or to taste; some people love their heat!)
  • half a 227g/8 oz package of brown (Cremini or other) mushrooms
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1/3 454 g/16oz block of tofu, cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the Sriracha, mushrooms, pepper and tofu cubes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sauce(s) and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste before serving – I don’t put all that much salt in my food, if the soup is too bland for you, go ahead and add a bit more soy sauce :)

Ladle into bowls and squeeze a little lime over top if you like, then serve!

C’est tout!

Evaluating and shopping for natural products

17 Jan

This video is a general overview of some toxic ingredients and a bit of a shopping guide. Hopefully you’ll find it useful! There are some links to other, excellent, shopping guides and ingredient lists below the video.

Just Beautiful Personal Care Products Shopping Guide (Environmentaldefence.ca)

Dirty Dozen Pocket Shopper’s Guide (David Suzuki Foundation)

Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics (Environmental Working Group)

*edit* Maybe a list of the ingredients I name in the video would be helpful! Should have posted this originally:

  1. Synthetic/coal tar dyes
  2. Formaldehyde
  3. Fragrance/parfum
  4. Hydroquinone
  5. Mineral oil (another note: it coats your skin, locking in moisture, which is the so-called “hydrating” effect advertised for certain products, but it prevents the skin from releasing toxins; it’s an artificial way of having “hydrated” skin)
  6. Parabens
  7. Polyethylene glycol/propylene glycol (and 1-4-dioxane)
  8. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  9. Talc
  10. Triclosan
  11. Oxybenzone (disappointingly, is present in my Origins lipstick)

A less toxic kind of tutorial

7 Jan

I’ve decided to film some makeup tutorials, not because I am an expert but because there are not all that many natural/less-toxic makeup tutorials available online, and I’ve done quite a bit of product testing so I thought I would put that to work. This is a basic look but I’m planning on filming some slightly more advanced tutorials in the future; mostly re-creating popular looks, however.

Anyway, on to the video!

Products used:

  • Avene: Eau thermale
  • Green Beaver: Gluten-free lip balm
  • Couleur Caramel: Teint Hydracotton, cream foundation, in colour #2
  • Tarte: Dark Circle Defense concealer, in Fair/Light
  • BareMinerals: Eye shadows in Nob Hill and Queen Phyllis, and Big & Bright Eyeliner in Black.
  • Physicians Formula: OrganicWear mascara in Black, and pressed powder in Light.
  • BareEscentuals: Lipstick in Rock Candy.

 

Why make the switch? Why choose natural cosmetics?

26 Dec

References:

Studies on phthalates:

and the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate
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