Kristina’s Beautiful Green Beauty Picks – Part 1

Green beauty. What is so interesting to me about so-called green beauty trend, besides the fact that it empowers consumers to make environmentally-conscious decisions, is the fact that many of these formulations are rather old-fashioned and simple. Some jojoba oil maybe, perhaps a little chamomile infusion, and maybe some tea tree oil or aloe vera. This is not to say that they aren’t sophisticated formulations but they are ultimately somewhat basic. 

It is so tricky to know if we’re making the right choice for our skin or our wallets when we buy that new moisturizer or some celebrity-approved concealer. We don’t know how our skin will react and we often don’t really know if it’s really good for us to put on our skin in the first place. By virtue of it being on a store shelf or approved by someone we know, we might assume it’s at least safe… but it might not be the right solution and we might still end up tossing it out as we find out it’s not really that miracle product. And when you shop for beauty products, maybe you go in thinking your choices are constrained by how much disposable income you have and you feel you should buy the least expensive option that appears to give you what you need. Or maybe you buy the most expensive option because you think that it’s probably more likely to “do the trick”. Or maybe you’re in-between those two profiles. Whatever the case, it ain’t easy being green. (Okay, sorry, I just wanted to put that in there)

The modern pharmacy is no longer a place to pick up your prescriptions, but aisles and aisles of another drug of choice. Cosmetics! Trust me, I *AM* addicted too. Endless choice of lotions, washes, eye creams, mascaras, shampoos, nail polishes, scrubs… The list of beauty enhancing products goes on and on. The problem for me is that the ingredients lists to your average product ALSO go on and on. Many preservatives, alcohols and petroleum-derived chemicals make up the “simplest” of products and I think this is a really sad reality about the mainstream beauty industry. As a disclaimer, I’m not an expert in this by any means, but am just mentioning it to illustrate a point that in this day and age, you would be hard pressed to find one simple cosmetic product in your local pharmacy or department store, even among those that use keywords like ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘eco-friendly’. You will rarely spot an unadulterated bottle of Aloe Vera gel or a bottle of witch hazel that is alcohol-free at Shoppers Drug Mart or its equivalent. Things are getting better though.

Like I’m sure many of other women, it’s been a process of trial and error. Online communities like Makeupalley and beauty blogs can help us all share and occasionally commiserate on the results of our own personal beauty experiments and help each other make better decisions.

Evan is a holistic beauty guru and makes some of the most wonderful products for her line evanhealy , but my absolute HOLY GRAIL moisturizer that I want to tell people about is her Rosehip Treatment Serum (Blue). It’s really an oil and you need so very little to get major effects. Literally a few drops on your fingertips is more than enough.

I love everything about the line. I’ve tried just about everything, but I think the Rosehip Serum is the most simple and most wonderful. I won’t lie, my skin went through a bit of a purging phase as it adapted to Evan Healy’s skin care philosophy. But I stuck with it, and after a couple weeks, I honestly could not believe how good I felt – not just in how my skin felt, but also because the routine was just so pleasurable. This oil smells like heaven and it just feels so good on the face with a little bit of a toning mist/hydrosol. She advocates for using the oil on your skin during the day, and nothing at night. What, no night cream?? Well, she says you don’t need it. Anyway, trust me, this stuff rules! You only need to use a few drops (max!) to get a completely moisturized, hydrated face. And you don’t get an oily after-effect.

According to evanhealy website:

“Rosehip seed oil is rich in the naturally occurring vitamins A and C. It has considerable amounts of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (EFA) containing 80% gamma linolenic acid (omega 6) and linoleic acid (omega 3). As a result it significantly regenerates and strengthens cell membranes aiding in the prevention of early signs of aging. With daily use, Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum works to fade hyper-pigmentation (brown spots), minimize and soften scars, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It also soothes dry, sunburned and sun-damaged skin. This Serum helps to balance excessively oily skin, minimize the appearance of large pores, and detoxify impure skin prone to pimples. Used on a consistent basis, your skin will look smoother, fresher and suppler.”

Ingredients: No GMOs, petroleum-based products, parabens, or synthetic fragrances. Cruelty free. Rose hip seed oil (Rosa canina seed);* essential oils of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia maillette),* blue chamomile (Matricaria recutica), immortelle (Helichrysum italicum), carrot seed (Daucus carota), and vitamin E (tocopherol).

The pitch doesn’t lie, folks! This is good stuff. I’ve been using it for over a year now and I cam honestly say that no other moisturizer has ever held my attention this long. In fact, because of using this serum, I find myself needing to use the moisturizer less often altogether simply because my skin is so happy. Love it!

Evanhealy products can be purchased on her website, as well as at select natural foods stores across the United States and Ontario. You can also find her on Facebook and follow her Twitter.

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

Can you believe it? Christmas has come and gone already. Phew! What a whirlwind. I will never. Eat. Again. Hope Santa brought you some beauty goodies! Our beauty blogging friends were busy this week, like Santa’s elves, helping you find the best of the best. Check out our favorite features from the last week.
We are smitten with Chanel’s Ombres Perlées de Chanel for Spring 2011. Check out Café Makeup for Amy’s review, The Beauty Look Book for Sabrina’s review, and Best Things in Beauty for Charlestongirl’s review. Think we love it? Get a gift card for Christmas? This could be your purchase – treat yourself! We reviewed other products from Chanel’s spring collection, so make sure to read all of this week’s Chanel features.
Kari found a makeup primer that can be used before or after your makeup application. Intrigued? Find out more about Dior’s Crystal Nude Primer at Fab over Forty.
Want a golden glow for New Year’s Eve? It’s not too late to pick up Guerlain’s L’Or Makeup Base. Find out why you need it from Gaia at The Non-Blonde.
Was Jennifer hoping for Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar in her stocking? Recently featured in Oprah’s “Ultimate Favorite Things,” Oprah loves this product. Read Jennifer’s review at BeautyXposé.
Benefit granted two Christmas wishes for Laurie: 1) they gave her an awesome spray tan, and 2) a new boxed blush, Bella Bamba! Benefit’s newest face powder brings something new to the Benefit line-up, with promises of a 3-D brightening effect. Read all about it at Product Girl.
Kelly proved she’s game for anything at Gouldylox Reviews. Water Marbling isn’t for everyone, but if you find yourself snowed in, it’s a fun look to try.
Find out why Debbi’s knocked over by a Dior advertisement from 2007 – still airing, still alluring. When you visit DivaDebbi, let her know if you think Charlize Theron knocked it out of the park for Dior.
Was Santa good to you? Hope you enjoy your holiday!

Getting To Know Our Weekly Roundup Members #2

The Non Blonde is the first beauty blog I started reading. Gaia has an intelligence, sensibility and reverence for all things beauty that is a rare combination. She has exquisite taste, and I know if she loves something that it is worth investigating. She has a killer sense of humour- very dry and smart- and I often laugh out loud at her posts. She has an uncanny ability to find the most incredible images- they never fail to amaze and are always perfect for her posts. Her passion for beauty is true and she shares it with her lucky readers. She is an inspiration to me as she has a way of engaging her readers that I so admire. She is in my Top Ten People To Go Shopping With and I think I would happily add “Have Lunch With” and “OK Dinner And Wine Too” to that list as well. Meet the lovely Gaia- The Non Blonde.

When did you start blogging and why? April 2006. I’ve been reading beauty and perfume blogs for about six months at that time, but kept feeling that none of them completely addressed my needs and tastes. I also realized I had quite a bit to say, and finally decided to give this blogging thing a shot, though I wasn’t even sure anyone other than my mom would ever read it.

Every blog seems to carry a special voice. What’s your special message for your blog? I write the blog I want to read. I’m interested in luxury products, perfume, the beauty & fashion business in general and I’m a bit too sarcastic for my own good. But the main thing is that I want to show that talking about beauty (and all that related to it) is not necessarily the domain of the “mean girls” from high school. Smart and nerdy girls love lipstick, too.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m 40, married and child-free. I have 10 cats (not a typo) love reading, antiquing, old movies and NYC. I’m also a vegetarian and a sci-fi geek.

What’s your daily beauty routine? I’m a skincare fanatic. Gentle cleansers that prepare the skin for more- serums, creams, hydrating mists. All the things that give makeup a boost from beneath. Then I start with color- usually there’s at least one new thing I’m testing at any given time. It’s never boring.

How many lipstick/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time? Four or five. The problem is the number of handbags I have in rotation. It makes for interesting times when I’m trying to locate a specific gloss that is an absolute must to complete the look I’ve envisioned.

What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received? “Never skimp on skincare”- My mother.
How often do you actually go to stores or events to research new products or releases? Let’s just say that Bergdorf Goodman is “where everybody knows my name” (and skin tone and lipstick preferences)…

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

The countdown to Christmas has begun. Here are some great shopping ideas, whether you are still searching for the perfect gift, doing a little shopping for yourself, or saving your money for spring.
This week, Sabrina shared some hard-to-find Chanel colors at The Beauty Look Book, lip and eye colors that were exclusive to Saks and Find out why they were worth the hunt!
Julie Hewett, a Hollywood favorite, never misses. Check out The Non-Blonde to find out why Gaia is buying Julie’s Hue Color Creams.
Kari’s biggest makeup frustration is foundation. She was testing up a storm at Fab over Forty after reading makeup artist Pat McGrath’s recommendations. The winners? Head over to see.
Giorgio Armani Beauty has a new eye shadow formula, Eyes to Kill. Three shades were introduced for holiday as a preview of what’s to come, and Amy showed us at Café Makeup how they stack up against some other favorites.
At Gouldylox Reviews, Kelly gave us the 411 on a Bare Escentuals steal. Shimmer and shine for the holidays – at a discount!
Charlestongirl got her hands on photos of Chantecaille’s Sea Turtle Palette and new Hydra Chic lipsticks. See the gorgeous colors for spring – and find out how you can help save the “gentle giants” at Best Things in Beauty.

Kate Somerville, skin care guru, has a new miracle product. Find out from Carla at Product Girl why you are going to want Kate’s CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment.
Many of us fret about our holiday hair styles. Kristin showed us how to maintain our curls for the party season. Ever heard of Miss Jessie? You’ll be looking for her after reading BeautyXposé.
Debbi was also thinking about her holiday hair style as she tried a dry shampoo. Find out why she gave Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray a rave review at DivaDebbi.
We’ll be in touch before the official start of the holidays, but just in case you head off early, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!

Photo from

Random Beautiful Thoughts

Music– The car is where I do my best listening…on heavy rotation lately is Kanye West’s new album with heavy repeat for Lost In The World with Bon Iver and All of The Lights for car dancing and singing with my girls, but Cee Lo Green has won me over and made me want to go out dancing with Bright Lights Bigger City
Book- Late to the party with the poignant and so far sad On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. It’s been sitting unread on my shelf for ages and I’m glad to have finally cracked the spine. Every time I think I can put together words that are meaningful, all I have to do is read Ian McEwan and I am reminded of how the English language is something to be mastered…
Food- Every year after Christmas baking with 3 lbs of unsalted butter I say never again….almost there…
Fashion- my black leather Hugo Boss riding boots with the fantastic rubber sole have been serving me well so far. Deep snow, slushy snow, these things are indestructible. Paired with my black puffy jacket from Joe Fresh Style, I am a warm & dry living example of High-Low fashion.
Perfume- quite unseasonal but Chanel’s iris masterpiece 28 la Pausa has been getting a lot of love lately. It is so luxurious and smooth, it’s almost as if I can feel it’s purple velvety iris as well as bask in the gentle tranquil scent. Synesthetes take note.  There is a quiet melancholy beauty to this scent, and perhaps it grounds me during this semi hysterical season.
Beautiful Thought- Christmas is the soft smell of pine wafting through my house, the silence of snow falling, watching my girls laugh and come together at home to bake and decorate. Knowing that these times are precious and wishing I could stop time. Feeling like when I’m looking outside at the snow and we are all together, it kind of feels like I have.
Brigit and Emilie Christmas 2009
LipFusion Objects of Desire Are Beautiful for Holiday Lips

LipFusion Objects of Desire Are Beautiful for Holiday Lips

I love LipFusion Lip Plumper. It is the only lipgloss I keep on hand at. All. Times. Nothing gives a better softer lip while conditioning and giving me full pillowy lips. Some come close, but none match the performance, texture, taste and feel of LipFusion. I have the standard milky/clear tube as well as Sweet and love them both equally. I am a gloss girl through and through and just don’t do lipstick. I often use Benefit Benetint under the LipFusion with fantastic just bitten rosy lipped results.
I saw the Objects of Desire Collection at Shoppers Drug Mart and the first thing I noticed was the pretty packaging and that it was priced less than the usual LipFusion. At $40 for the usual, this was enticing. Yes this is an expensive product, but delivers and frankly a tube lasts me a long time.  The Objects of Desire are actually smaller than the original but I didn’t notice that until after I purchased. I suppose if I also wore lipstick I’d be less keen to spend this much on gloss but….So the packaging seemed Holiday-esque and I had been looking for a berry pink for my lips after seeing THIS post.  I quickly grabbed Show Off (2nd from the left in photo), a deep raspberry tone, and was quite excited. It is very pretty, and frankly the perfect shade of raspberry. Just enough of a blue tone to give that white teeth look but doesn’t wash me out. 
My only complaint is the frost. I feel at a certain age (cough cough) you can have shiny or you can have a hint of frost. But you can’t have lots of both in the same product, it’s just overkill. Less is more, as I have said before. So this would have been perfect if it had been the normal LipFusion formula with a raspberry jelly tone. I will wear it, as the colour is so lovely and my daughter told me I looked pretty, but I will use a light hand, and possibly dab to eliminate too much of the frosty look.
Because too much frost is not a good thing

Getting To Know Our Weekly Roundup Members

I’ve been posting a weekly roundup with a group of bloggers for several months now.   Some are new additions to the group and a few originated the group.   We thought it would be a great idea if you got to know each of us a little better and what drives the beauty passion in each of us.   This week we meet Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book.

When did you start blogging and why?  It started with a hard-to-find brand called Le Métier de Beauté.  I’m curious by nature and when I noticed something new on I googled the brand, but I could find no reviews or real photos anywhere about their products (except their mascara).  I took a risk and ordered some glosses sight unseen over the phone.  I was very nervous spending $30+ a tube on something I never had seen before, but I fell in love!  Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog was asking for guest writers at the time and she published my first blog review!  She was so supportive and I had so much fun I was inspired to start my own.  I hoped that in writing about my discoveries and featuring comparisons, other women would be able to get a better idea of what a certain product looked like rather than relying on over-the-phone descriptions or sketchy online retail swatches.
Every blog seems to carry a special voice.  What’s your special message on your blog?   The main focus is on the things I like; high-end luxury brands, some hard-to-find brands, a few outfit features here and there.  I try to feature things in a new and creative way, such as my color-focus features or monthly highlights.
Have you always been a beauty fanatic or did it come later in life and what made it blossom?  At the age of 2 – I was a beauty disaster (aka every mother’s nightmare).  I would pour shampoo down the toilet, twist up my mother’s lipsticks and smash them, and draw all over the wall with beauty products.  I once cut my mother’s hair while she was napping!  At age 4 I cut my 2 year old sister’s hair when my dad was “babysitting” us.  Of course I don’t remember any of this, but apparently I had a “thing” for scissors. In my teens I only wore makeup for ballet recitals and swore I’d never wear makeup or anything pink off stage.  Then I hit the age of 17 when I discovered Stila and MAC and my obsession with beauty products took off.  I’m not exactly sure why the drastic change, but I went from being anti-girly to girly overnight.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m 29, married, and just finished my master’s degree.  I currently work full-time as a finance and marketing analyst.  No kids, but we have our pets (2 dogs and a cat).  I enjoy baking and cooking when I have the time and like watching TV.  My must-see weekly shows are 30 Rock, The Office, Fringe, Bones and The Closer.
What’s your daily beauty routine?  It usually takes me about 45 minutes to get ready in the mornings. I’m not a morning person, so I have to admit, sometimes I’m running out the door with only powder/foundation and finish the rest in my car at stop lights.  When I do have my act together the routine is:  straighten hair, wash face, prep skin with something (different every day), foundation/powder, Edward Bess highlighter or bronzer.  Next comes eye makeup.  I usually do the lips the last thing after breakfast or morning coffee.
How many lipsticks/glosses can be found in your handbag at any given time?  Probably 4-6.  There are times when I clean out my purse and find 10 different lip products.  I usually throw in a couple per weekday, sometimes I forget to take the previous day’s lip items out and gets out of hand.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?    “It’s just makeup, have fun, if you mess up you can always start over,” from one of my favorite Chanel makeup artists.
What’s the most surprising thing you have learned since starting your blog? There are good angles and bad angles for taking pictures, not just for your own face, but for products as well.

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

Have the malls gotten a little too crazy for you? Then try some beauty shopping from home and see what the beauty gals have tried, tested, and recommended for you this week. We’re sure you’ll find something you’ll fall in love with.
Meet Alex Chantecaille at Best Things in Beauty and discover the new Chantecaille makeup and skin care launches for the next few months. The next blockbuster palette will feature sea turtles, and Charlestongirl will be the hare, not the turtle, in ordering it!
Sometimes, we wonder if at-home skin-care treatments really work. Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews shared with us her experience using the Personal Microderm kit, and the results looked professional. The kit may allow you to skip your next trip to the dermatologist.
Holiday beauty collections are enhanced by the product and the packaging. Gaia from The Non-Blonde showed us one of her favorites of the season with the Clarins Baracco Eyeshadow Trio. This beauty is definitely worth a look!
Love for the holiday beauty collections continued for Kari at Fab Over Forty. This week she showed us the lipstick from the L’Wren Scott for Lancome Holiday Collection. Is this a shade will brighten your holidays?
Carla from Product Girl is in a contest, and if she wins you could win big too! Check out her Make Up For Ever’s Lips to Love contest and vote. If she wins, she can give away 10 train cases with Make Up For Ever beauty inside!
Are you a fan of Edward Bess lipsticks and glosses? Well, you can’t help but fall in love with his newest set of three lipstick and three lip gloss collections. Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book shared them with us. The shades are lovely, and her swatches are spot on!
Debbi has some tried-and-true products that she’s featured recently at DivaDebbi. This week, she shared with us a foundation she loves, a mascara she likes, and a shampoo and conditioner that, well, sadly disappoint.
Do you have several holiday parties to attend, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on all new clothing? Chelsea from BeautyXposé showed us a new, affordable way to wear designer clothes to all those parties!
Amy from Café Makeup had us thinking spring! It may be cold outside, but the new Chanel Eyeshadow Collection Côte D’Azur Promesse gives us thoughts of warm sun, the sparkling ocean, and sandy beaches.

Maybelline The Falsies For Beautiful Lashes

I’ve tried many mascaras. I know I am not alone in this. My mascara criteria is that it must last, it must lengthen, and it must add some volume, but not be thick, clumpy and overly “mascara looking”. I have found waterproof formulas have addressed the longevity issues for me perfectly. My skin tends to be oily and a non waterproof mascara is half gone by lunch. It doesn’t even leave raccoon eyes on me, it just melts away and disappears. I do mascara maintenance, meaning every 10 days to 2 weeks I take a tissue and completely wipe off the brush. Waterproof mascara tends to have a slightly drier formula than regular mascara and over time, clumps and dries to a slightly chunky consistency on the brush at the end of the wand. I can guarantee smooth even application by just wiping off that brush. It may seem wasteful but I’ve got some bad news for you. Mascara, by nature, is a product that is full of waste and it is already drying out in the tube before you ever will get a chance to use it all. After 3 months I still have mascara left, but its getting really dry and its time for a new tube.

Expensive department store mascaras vs drugstore mascaras- interesting debate. Even before I used waterproof exclusively I would vacillate between high and low end and to this day, I have yet to really be impressed enough by a department store brand that justifies the fact that is often three times as expensive as a drugstore brand. My go-to brand has lately been L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof for lengthening  and a bit of thickening. I don’t like thick clumpy lashes that look obviously mascara’d but I do like a nice fringe. Having seen some buzz online I decided to take Maybelline The Falsies for a test run. Verdict? Great! I am not a fan of the brush, the curved design with variable brush length makes no sense to me- a lash brush is a lash brush and I really don’t think design wise there are innovations to be made. Yes the silicone brushes are neat (Buxom Lash is a great example of this- if ONLY it came in waterproof…) but don’t get me started on the battery operated “oscillating” brushes. I know that a buzzing mascara brush will not improve application because I was not. Born. Last. Night.

no mascara

one coat of mascara (focus fail- sorry!)

The Falsies lengthen very well, hold a curl and have a lovely black colour. No clumping and easy to layer, I have have added The Falsies to my mascara stash permanently.  Length of comfortable wear is not quite as long as Voluminous- by the end of a long day I am ready to stick my fingers in my eyes as I am pretty sure little pieces  of mascara are breaking off but that could be the -14 degrees weather we’ve been having. I’ve often wondered if frozen mascara gets more brittle. I use Lancome Bi Facils or Marcelle Waterproof Eye Make Up Remover Pads to take it off. The Falsies gives me a more glam look than Voluminous so it will be my go-to party look mascara for the holidays. Two thumbs up for The Falsies. Will buy again for sure.
Maybelline The Falsies mascara is available at drugstores

Beautiful Blog Weekly Round-Up

Our favorite beauty bloggers had a lot to show you this week – makeup, fragrance, hair styles, nail polish, and gift ideas for the holidays. Please join us for our weekend roundup tour!

We can always count on Gaia to find a new and exotic fragrance to tempt us. She gave Ineke Ruhland’s newest perfume, Gilded Lily, a thumbs up! Find out why at The Non-Blonde.

Want to change up your hair for the holidays? Kari’s got you covered at Fab over Forty. Check out her ideas for party-perfect looks.

Charlestongirl received her new Edward Bess colors this week, and she tore into the new Deep Shine Lip Glosses. You can see the pretty pinks at Best Things in Beauty.

Sabrina is dreaming of resort collections and the warm beaches they evoke. Head over to The Beauty Look Book to see how she got in the mood with a Chanel cruise-inspired manicure and pedicure.

Kelly is having her biggest giveaway ever at Gouldylox Reviews! For 10 days, she will be listing a new item going into one (or both) of her two prize packages. Like KORRES, Bare Escentuals, and body wash? She’s got them and more! Definitely drop by to enter her contest.

Worried that your skin might not be holiday-ready? Debbi and Jane had some ideas for you this week.

Debbi featured Ultherapy at DivaDebbi. Ultherapy uses “uplifting ultrasound” to improve any laxity on your face and neck in a completely non–surgical way. Taking “years off your face in minutes” grabbed her attention!

At Product Girl, Laurie was smitten with Dior’s limited-edition 5 Couleurs Gold Edition eye shadows. These shades may be just the thing to jazz up your holidays.

Amy at Café Makeup joined the beauty bloggers who have crowned YSL’s TOUCHE D’OR Golden Touch/Highlighter for Face the way to shimmer and shine for holiday festivities.

Still trying to figure out what to give your beauty addict buddies for Christmas? Kristin shared some great beauty gift ideas at BeautyXposé. You can spend $10 or $149 – any of her suggestions will be loved. We’re all hoping she plans to buy a Clarisonic Mia for each of her “roundup friends.”

Happy shopping! Whether you’ll be online this weekend or prowling your favorite stores, we’re betting many of you will be shopping!