Summer Product Obsessions 2019

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To me, summer simplicity is using only these 4 staple natural products before I strap on my cross-body bag, put on my sunglasses, and leave the house feeling pulled-together and prepared. On easy days, I can get away with using these 4 products only— and so I had to share them with you here as my obsessions of summer 2019.

Schmidt’s Lily of the Valley Deodorant, Sensitive Skin Formula, $10.99

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Sometimes I can’t resist beautiful things, and this Lily of the Valley deodorant from Schmidt’s had me from the moment I spotted it. The great thing about Schmidt’s deodorant formulas is that they are tried-and-true to work on me (everyone’s pH is a little different, so while I do recommend this one to all, definitely give it a test if you’re a Schmidt’s first-timer). The base of this deodorant (I wear the sensitive skin formula because the standard baking soda versions give me a skin rash, as is very common) is coconut oil, arrowroot, and shea butter, scented with essential oils. The light scent reminds me of a day at the beach; I think it shares fragrance notes with a natural sunscreen I used to wear as a teen. In any case, I am loving smelling it on hot summer days. One unique angle of this special edition deodorant is its partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. 5% of the purchase price is donated to the Jane Goodall Institute for its conservation work (and lily of the valley is one of Dr. Goodall’s favorite flower aromas). So much beauty in this one, inside and out!

Ere Perez Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint in Fun, $26

Back in my beauty editor days, Benefit’s Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain was a staple in my desk; I loved applying a few dots to lips and having its just-eaten-a-popsicle rose hue stay put for hours. When I cleaned out my beauty cabinet to switch to naturals, I had to toss it because of parabens, BHT, and synthetic fragrance (which I didnt want near my mouth— blah!). Years later, I’ve finally found a natural stain to replace my beloved Benetint, and it’s become a staple in my bag this summer! Meet Beetroot Lip & Cheek Stain from Ere Perez (the shade I have is Fun, an ultra-vivid pink that mellows out when applied). Apply 3 or 4 dots to clean lips, rub it in (I use my finger), and it stays put so well! I sometimes top with clear lip balm if my lips feel dry, but that seems to reduce its staying power a bit. A single dot also colors cheeks into a fresh flush. This formula is enriched with antioxidants from beets and carrots, plus rose extract and vitamin E. And if you haven’t checked out the entire Ere Perez line of natural cosmetics, it’s seriously a must see!

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Spray SPF 30, $14.99

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In my 10+ years working in natural beauty, I’ve tried and tested dozens of mineral sunscreens. And my husband has tested them right along with me— usually not thrilled with the extra rubbing time required, the thick textures, the whitish mineral layer left on his skin and stuck in his beard stubble…you get the picture. “It’s worth it!” I've assured him of the move to leave behind those easy-to-apply, invisible chemical sunscreen formulas (the same ones that use active ingredients like oxybenzone that pose risks of hormone disruption). But I’ve always felt a bit guilty every time he had to coat himself head-to-toe in white in order to sit oceanside. That is, until now. We’ve finally found common ground in this Bare Republic Spray sunscreen, which uses the safest mineral sunscreen ingredient, zinc oxide, and is free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, and the chemical sunscreen ingredients I seek to avoid. He loves it, uses it (that’s the key, right?), it applies via spray nozzle in seconds and leaves no thick white layer (my tip for spray formulas is to spray it into my palm and then rub it into your skin so you’re not ever breathing it in). I can buy it at Target— for $15 (or less when it’s on sale). And while it’s not quite as natural as my go-to 5-ingredient Badger formula, this one is accompanying us to the pool and beach all summer long, for the foreseeable future.

Ayuna Velo, $156

I received Ayuna’s new hybrid sun protection/moisturizer/light skin tint/anti-aging treatment Velo (billed as a ‘6-in-1 suprastratum protection’) in the May Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, and I liked it immediately. But as I started using it more frequently, I realized that I outright loved it. I’m obsessed. This formula is everything I want and need in one step, feels amazing, smells divine, and leaves my skin looking like I’m just naturally flawless, dewy and glowing. The irony here is of course that this is a high-end, ultra-sophisticated $156 formula that I love because it makes my everyday routine ultra-simple. It works for my speaking and coaching events as well as for the park and grocery store. It’s a lot to pay for that simplicity. But I had to include Velo here because it’s truly an incredible formula that I am delighted to use each day. (This formula carries an SPF 30 rating in Europe, but is not yet approved to claim that in the US). To note: I dont think this product would have quite the same complexion-evening effect on darker skin tones; it seems best for light to medium tones. And I do hope that the leaky packaging gets a revamp in the near future— this product is too precious for me to waste any (you can be certain I’ll use it til the very last drop).

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the above Ayuna and Ere Perez products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Spring Product Obsessions 2018

Alleluia, it finally feels like spring on the East Coast. This season is a natural cue to detox, and that includes cleaning out the products that are old or just not serving you. It could also mean experimenting with something new. Today I gathered up the natural products that are my latest springtime loves, from a very extra new deodorant to a milky serum to a travel version of a product that I’m betting you already rely on. Maybe one of these six winners will be your next healthy beauty purchase…

Vapour Aer Next Level Deodorant, $24

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Next Level Deodorant— such an amazing name. And it speaks the truth; Vapour took things to the next level when they created this product, from the formula to the delivery system to the statement-making natural scents (are you more Palo Santo Blood Orange or Lavender Myrrh?). It took the company 5 years of lab time to perfect Aer, and I have to say, while I was not in the market for a new deodorant for my own routine (still in love with my fave Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free deo), I can’t find a single flaw here. I got my Aer Deodorant in the Beauty Heroes April Limited Edition Beauty Discovery Box, featuring Vapour. If you hurry, you can get one here (this will sell out fast), or you can always grab the product itself in the Beauty Heroes store. Switching to a natural deodorant from a conventional formula often feels daunting, but I tell you there’s never been a better time to make the switch.  Conventional anti-perspirants contain ingredients that you don't want on your skin or next to your breasts every day (aluminum and synthetic fragrances are two), and they block one of your body’s major detox pathways. Aer is a natural deodorant (read: not anti-perspirant), and it worked for me from Day 1. Now, on Day 20, it’s still working well and I have yet to experience any irritation from the “just a pinch” of baking soda in this formula. If you’re baking soda sensitive, you might actually find that you’re okay here. The cream-to-powder formula doesn't feel wet and cold under your arms after you apply (one reason I usually avoid cream deodorant sticks like this one) and you only need a tiny amount, so this stick will last you at least 2 months— likely far more. And the scent— let’s just say I never expected to have palo santo-scented pits, but I’m kind of loving it. Thank you for working so hard to hit the mark on this, Vapour!

W3ll People Bio Bronzer Cream Stick, $23.99

I was thrilled to discover this cream bronzer-in-a-stick just as the weather started to warm. The stick delivery system makes it easy to swipe anywhere, and the cream formula blends in quite well, so that the tiniest dot mimics the effect of sun on my face. I’ve found that a warmer bronzer shade like this one (mine is Natural Tan- 01) looks even more realistic on my skin than pink-toned blush. For spring/summer, I’m keeping it close at hand. W3ll People, a green beauty pioneer, has perfected its formulas, so you can’t go wrong with any of their natural makeup— this one especially. It also comes in a small pot ($11.99), in case you prefer a tinier size.

 

Coconut oil is just about everyone’s multipurpose beauty and health staple, and this eye-catching tube makes it so easy to transport. I use coconut oil regularly for oil pulling, and have always loved it for makeup removal, and recently was shocked to find that I can toss this tube in my bag without fear of leaks! It’s designed for travel, and made with Fair Trade, cold-pressed coconut oil. Each purchase also feeds one child a meal through Feeding America food banks. If you’re a coconut oil devotee and you travel a lot, you absolutely need to give this pretty tube a try.

 

Confession: I haven’t worn foundation since my wedding day, almost 7 years ago! After living with acne for almost a decade and clearing my skin with changes to my diet and lifestyle, I live in as little coverage as possible. My daily staple for sun protection and barely-there coverage is Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Tinted Face Sunscreen. But I got curious about Ilia’s new True Skin Serum Foundation— a mix of skincare and makeup that sounded too good to pass up. The pros at Aillea helped me match my skin to shade F1 (I thought there was no way I could be the lightest shade, but even though the formula looks extremely pale in the bottle the match is great), and I have to say that I really love this formula! It’s loaded with nourishing ingredients like baobab, rose hip, and jojoba oils, in a base of aloe and coconut, and that seems to ward off any chalky dryness. Dimethicone also helps it apply with a silky finish (a feature you don't want to compromise on for your base makeup). It’s buildable and light enough that I don’t feel like I’m wearing a heavy foundation. This one is a new staple when I want a little more coverage.

 

de Mamiel Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir, $135

I was introduced to this exquisite skin treatment in the April Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, which has long ago sold out, but I had to share it again here because it continues to impress me as I use it. De Mamiel’s founder and formulator, Annee de Mamiel, is an esthetician, aromatherapist, and licensed acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her products are inspired by the needs of her clients and she truly practices slow beauty— sometimes taking years to develop, trial, and perfect her products, which work on the physical, emotional, and cellular levels. This would be beautiful in theory alone, but in practice I can tell you that my skin truly glows after using her Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir— a milky serum that protects from environmental damage and stimulates regeneration and repair. Using both first and second generation antioxidants (including the powerful ferulic acid and superoxide dismutase), as well as incorporating principles of vibrational beauty, this formula continues to work over time, with continued use. Though de Mamiel’s handmade products (made in the UK) may be a true skincare splurge that’s not in the budget at all times, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to use this elixir and its Beauty Heroes sidekick, Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar. Beauty Heroes has introduced me to some amazing brands, but this one might be my most favorite new discovery!

 

CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion, $14.50

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I have long loved this natural lotion, and routinely recommend it to clients with eczema and sensitive skin that is healing from a number of conditions— including radiation irritation. Its combination of anti-inflammatory reishi mushroom, turmeric and bisabolol, as well as calendula and beta glucan, does wonders for compromised skin. You will see a difference in your skin’s condition after one application, and continued use heals skin (if you’re experiencing eczema or skin rashes, this lotion helps skin heal topically while you are working from the inside out to change the root cause of the skin issue). Had to share it again this spring— the season when we start to bare more skin, and of course want it to be clear and healthy.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these Vapour and de Mamiel products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Winter Product Obsessions

 

Winter's still hanging on here on the East Coast— we're so close to spring, yet so far!

 

So what's been on my vanity, tucked in my purse or stocking my bathroom cabinet during this season of record-setting chills? Here are the natural and organic products that have become my absolute favorites for beauty this winter...

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On My Skin in January...Nourish

I had a chance to try some outer skin nourishment this month, with the USDA certified organic beauty brand Nourish, and I found at least one product that I'll be buying again and again: a fab organic deodorant.

If you're a regular reader of Beauty Is Wellness, you know that I talk a lot about foods that nourish skin from the inside out. And you also know that the beauty ingredients you put on your skin are kind of like food as well, since they end up inside your body.

I had a chance to try some outer skin nourishment this month, with the USDA certified organic beauty brand Nourish, and I found at least one product that I'll be buying again and again: a fab organic deodorant that I encourage you all to pick up if you need a serious alternative to your old aluminum-containing deodorant and antiperspirant formulas. At $8, Nourish Organic Deodorant is a worthy buy, and it's easy to find at Whole Foods and at nourishusda.com.

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