Archive | July, 2013

The Search for the Perfect (Natural) Mascara

25 Jul

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Mascara: For each GOGO mascara purchased, Josie Maran Cosmetics will donate one mascara to a City of Hope cancer patient/survivor.

Finding the right mascara is a tough one. . . especially when going natural. I have tried many natural brands that work fairly well, but all seem to fall short in some area, whether it be volumizing, curling, or lengthening.

Mascara is a personal preference, and everyone seeks a brand or a type depending on their needs. For those looking for a lengthening mascara, 100% Pure’s Ultra Lengthening Fruit Pigmented Mascara is a great option. As you might presume, it’s coloured with 100% pure fruit pigments. The mascara comes in four colours: Black Tea, Blackberry, Blueberry and Dark Chocolate. The brush is narrow and the bristles are fine which is perfect for separating and defining each lash.

My lashes are extremely straight (I mean absolutley NO curl), fairly long, and relatively light in colour. So when I seek a mascara I look for one that is volumizing and curling. Josie Maran’s GOGO Instant Volume Argan Mascara works for me in both of these departments. It comes in one shade, ‘Pitch Black’, which glides onto lashes in a rich glossy colour with no flaking and minimal clumping. The brush aids in lifting and curling the lashes while the mascara thickens and adds volume. My only complaint with this mascara is the size of the brush. It took me a while to get used to the width, which makes it more difficult to cover short lashes and get into the corners of the eyes. All in all though, it’s a winner in overall performance.

Disclaimer: For those of you who are used to using mascaras with plastic polymers, unfortunately you will never get the same length with natural mascaras. 

No mascara

No mascara

Now you know my secret. . .

With Josie Maran Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

With Josie Maran Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

On the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database, Josie Maran’s GOGO mascara is rated as a ‘2’, which means that the ingredients pose a low hazard. The mascara contains no cancer causing ingredients (and no formaldehyde, thank goodness!), but does contain some irritants. Most notable is phenoxyethanol, which is a common cosmetic preservative. I would prefer not to have this in my mascara, but sometimes you pick your battles. For those who have major sensitivities, I would recommend 100% Pure’s mascara instead. It is also rated as a ‘2’ on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, but does not contain the same irritants as Josie Maran’s GOGO mascara.

Josie Maran Cosmetics are conveniently available at Sephora, another reason why I love this product! Now, I am a strong advocate for independent shops and local retailers. Unfortunately though I can’t always be running around the city, or waiting a week for the mail to arrive. If buying synthetic products is motivated solely out of convenience, and if it means more people will opt for the natural version, than I am all for the option of buying amazing natural products at big commercial stores. Just note: not all Josie Maran products are created equal and some are not as natural as they say. Be aware of what you are buying, check out the EWG’s Skin Deep database for yourself, and always look out for greenwashing!

So natural beauties, what amazing makeup items have you found that rival their synthetic counterparts? Please share!

– Seanna

Clash of the Eco-Deodorants: Soapwalla vs. Leaves of Trees

7 Jul

Poor deodorant. . . we put such pressure on this small odour battling- perspirant fighter; always cursing it and blaming it for foul body odour when it fails us at our best and worst of times.

Good news though! We put some eco-deorodant titans to the test which we consider superior to some others we have tried. Here’s a look at their strengths and some of their weaknesses.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Lina:  I’ve had my fair share of trial and error with eco deos. I’ve tried products that are homemade, high-end, scented, and unscented only to result in utter disappointment. My main concerns are application and effectiveness. I want a no-fuss product that keeps me dry without having to re-apply halfway through the day. I also prefer a fresh scent but not overpowering to the point where it’s basically perfume. Until now, soapwalla is the only product that has risen to the occasion, with its high-end appeal in an adorable little blue box. The instructions recommend stiring the pot before use in order to combine the natural agents that may have separated. I instantly noticed its gritty texture that felt rich and substantial between my fingers. At first, application was a bit awkward because you had to literally rub the solution into your hands before applying to the underarms. While I typically prefer a stick over a cream for this very reason, the formula was relatively easy to apply and didn’t leave a sloppy mess on my hands. I did have one major setback: the deodorant initially caused some discoloration on my underarms. After my first few tries, I noticed a reddish brown rash-like patch where I had applied the cream but there was no itchiness or irritation. After using it a few more times, the pigmentation returned to normal and hasn’t returned since. . . strange indeed! Ultimately, this product is highly-absorbent and left me feeling super fresh all day long. I’m actually still in denial that I have found a natural deodorant that works!

Shown here: Lavender Tangerine Deodorant

Shown here: Lavender Tangerine Deodorant

Leaves of Trees Deodorant

Seanna: On a recent trip to the Eco- Beauty Market, hosted by Environmental Defence, I came across this lovely brand which specializes in argan oil products. The lotions and the lip balms all smell and feel divine, but what really attracted me to the booth that day was the deodorant (unfortunately this product is so new that it is not yet on their website).

Ever since trying Soapwalla I was on the hunt to find other deodorant creams to see how well they stood up to the competition. On first impression, I really loved that the Leaves of Trees deodorant came in a tube (unlike many that are packaged in a jar). It comes in two scents, Lavender Tangerine and Eucalyptus Mint. Both smell amazing, but I love the latter, which smells so fresh and reminds me of the spa. The texture is soft and creamy just like a moisturizer –but no surprise there since it is based on the same formula as the argan hand and body lotion. Even though it is extremely moisturizing, it does leave a slight white residue and the soft texture can get messy. . . I have accidentally smeared it all over my shirt (apparently it’s best to apply before you put on your clothing). All in all, I quite like the Leaves of Tress deodorant. I don’t normally perspire too heavily (outside of the gym and job interviews) and it has not failed me yet. It doesn’t always keep me dry (I must give that one to Soapwalla), but in terms of smell, it keeps me just as fresh and leaves no skin irritation or discolouration –a big bonus for someone with sensitive skin.

The Verdict: Choosing a victor between these two was harder than we had anticipated considering we have our own preferences centred on our individual beauty needs, i.e. Lina prefers Soapwalla for its staying power, while Seanna is happiest with the texture of Leaves of Trees.  While there is no clear winner, we both agree that deodorant creams are definitely the best option over deodorant sticks. After all, they let us work up a sweat without fear of losing friends.

But let us know your own experiences and what you think!

– Lina & Seanna

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