19 July 2013

The Products in the Bag...

Our sponsors spoiled us ROTTEN at the Natural Beauty Night.  We seriously scored with a huge bag of new products.  For the most part, I got to curate the products.  There were a few surprises (which was fun!) , but so many of the products were ones that I chose, based on lots of product testing that I've been doing over the last many months.









OK, let's get started with what was in the bag....


DEODORANT:

Deodomom.  aka THE BEST DEODORANT EVER.  $9 (for ABAL readers)
This stuff shocks me.  Maybe you can tell I'm trying to get the word out because I know natural deodorants that actually work can be tricky to find.  I had no idea something that worked this well could even exist (um, this stuff works even in this NYC summer, even after a run, and even after the next morning...or afternoon :).  Before going natural, I used to use Mitchum, Arm & Hammer, Secret, etc.  Yep, Deodomom works waaaay better than all of those.  And as for natural brands, it also works tons better than anything I've tried including Weleda (yep - this used to be my favorite for years...but no longer), Tom's, Kiss My Face, Crystal (salt stick), Nature's Gate, and even...Soapwalla & LaVanilla (these last two are known as the cream of the crop and work really, really well, but they are still my runners up...I don't think they are as fail proof like Deodomom.)  I'd love to hear if you try this and if it works for you! 

FOR HAIR:

Love, love this brand.  I mean, under $10 for an organic shampoo & conditioner?!  That's really, really good.  I love both the Repairing Argan Shampoo/Conditioner and the Everyday Lemongrass Shampoo/Conditioner.  [I kind of like to mix it up here and there so I have some of each.]  Note: when you switch to less harsh shampoos, your scalp my produce more oil than necessary for a short period - because it's used to overcompensating due to being stripped of it's natural oils.  So if you find your hair is a little oilier when making the switch, just stick it out - it should improve. 

This stuff is no joke.  Just a tiny bit will go a long way and last for days.  

FOR FACE:

I have hardly missed a day of using this stuff since I've gotten it a couple of months ago. I am using it straight on my face as a night cream (but you could use it anywhere...it's a multi-use cream.)  It's made of olive oil, bee pollen, royal jelly and some other healing ingredients. You only need to use a bit and it seems it will last a long time. 

This can be used for both day & night.  I've been really happy with it as a day cream (since I'm using Egyptian Magic at night.)  

Maybe three times a week, I will use my Clarisonic and once in awhile I will combine it with this facial scrub, which has been awesome.  For me, this routine makes a noticeable difference. 

SO, I still LOVE washing my face with coconut oil morning and night...I wrote about that here. I still no longer using a cleanser on my skin.  But...I have found that it's easier/faster to use the tiniest bit of cleanser to get my mascara off quickly.  Coconut Oil will take off mascara...but I guess I just prefer the cleanser.  And this cleanser by Acure is a great one.  

Unrefined, organic Coconut Oil is a must have!!  

This oil is super nourishing and smells so very nice.  I *LOVE* using oils on my face at night or during the day (unless I'm putting make-up on straight away.)  I love that this one has antioxidants and I'm just all around impressed with this face oil.

Acure Argan Oil. $14.99.
I use Argan oil on my face every once in awhile.  I guess I love to mix things up. And I want to try using it in my hair. 

I've been loving serums, too, and have been able to try a few that I really like.  This brand is amazing.  It's 99% organic and made from cold-pressed, raw, unrefined oils.  I've been really happy with it.

Acure Eye Cream. $18.99.
I actually don't use eye creams as it's just one more thing (do you?  do you think it makes a difference?)
But Acure wanted to send this one and it does seem really nice.  

FOR LIPS:

So many lip balms seem to make my lips severely chapped, instead of the opposite (I think it might be related to gluten in the products or in the Vitamin E, which I have heard is sometimes extracted from wheat.)  I have found a small handful of favorites, though, and this one for Badger is on that short list. 

This one I actually didn't test out prior.  I've used it a few times and it's seems fine so far...and the price is cheaper than many.

MAKE-UP:

I heard from some guests at the Natural Beauty Night that they really love their new lipgloss.  :)  It's a really pretty gloss.

I actually have a mascara problem.  There's only one mascara on earth that doesn't transfer to the skin underneath my eye during the day.  And unfortunately, that mascara is not a natural one...so I'm still looking.  But for the rest of you, I think this mascara might work.  I tried it and it seems better than most and I like the way it applies.  

Couleur Caramel.  This is a great brand.  They sent a variety of products that were different for each bag.  I haven't been able to try much yet, so maybe I can report back soon.  

This is a super light weight moisturizer and is a great product for that level of coverage.  

SUNSCREEN:

COOLA Unscented Face Sunscreen - SPF 30.  $32.49.
COOLA Unscented Body Sunscreen - SPF 30.  $42.00
Looove these brands.  They don't leave me looking chalky white!   

BUG SPRAY:

All natural, 100% certified organic.  I love the woodsy smell (think cedar, rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, and a cabin on a lake). 

FOR THE BATH:

This stuff is heavenly.  It's scented with natural rose petals and essential oils.  When I'm taking a bath, our entire apartment smells amazing (even Danny commented on how much he loved the way it smells).

Lavender is the perfect scent to have in the bath right before bed or after a stressful day as it's properties are very calming.  I loove using this in the bath, especially if I ever recognize I need to slow down and relax.

I'm more a fan of bar soaps (instead of gels).  This one just smells so fresh to me.  It's also a decent price compared to many fancy soaps out there.

This brand is amazing. They carry lots of my favorite products.  And this soap smells really great.  

One of my favorite things to do is use body oil after a bath or shower. 

FOR WOMEN:

Love what The Period Store is doing.  They provide monthly care packages for women.  For the event, they sent along mini care packages for each guest and it was a sampling of what you would get with your order: tea, meds, a beautiful little piece of artwork, and...a dark chocolate bar.  

FOR WELLNESS:

I keep this by my computer and love to use it as a hand balm.  And the smell really is quite invigorating.

AND:




OK, that took forever!!  But it's worth it to share this stuff.  I know how it is to buy products that end up not working out - it's such a waste of money.  So, I figured I'd do my best to find some good products that I could pass along.  I hope you enjoy this list.  And - - btw, there are many, many more products I'd like to tell you about based on my product testing...I'll have more posts in the coming weeks.  This was just a sampling.  :)

And for now, shop away on my own custom page at Vine.com.


Photography by Kylie Whiting.

The Natural Beauty Night was sponsored by Vine.com. Gift bag sponsors included: DeodomomBadgerJuice BeautyAcure OrganicsEgyptian Magic CreamMychelleHello MellowCOOLA SunscreenThe Period Store100% PureAnthology Organic 

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63 comments:

  1. I have been thinking of going natural on skin care so this was great to read!

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  2. I clicked on the link to the deodorant and it has jar listed as one of the options. I'm curious how does deodorant in a jar work?

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    Replies
    1. It's kind of like a cream and you just rub it on.
      It's a bit different to do it that way, but I don't mind it and it's totally worth it w/ deodomom.

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    2. I should add that I do prefer the cream in the jar over the roll-on (as that seems like it takes longer to dry.) The cream doesn't seem to need any drying time.

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  3. I've been so curious as to what all those goodies were. Thanks for the details. I loved the idea in the previous post about replacing products with natural ones as you use what you have already. Seems like lots of folks who go natural advocate making a clean sweep of everything and starting all

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  4. I just recently started using LaVanilla, but after reading this post I will definitely have to give Deodomom a go!

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    Replies
    1. Alexis, which LaVanilla scent do you have? I have the vanilla, but don't like the scent. Maybe it's just me, but curious about what you think.

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  5. Oy. I wish I lived close - I would have been there in a heartbeat! Sounds like a WONDERFUL night!

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  6. Oh, wow, what an amazing list!!! I'm almost out of deodorant and have been wanting to try that one you've recommended! Looking forward to digging through this list. And how great that all of the products are so affordable! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. What awesome products. I seem to remember Design Mom talking about those fun packages The Period Store.

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  8. This is fantastic! Thank you. I'm loving learning more about natural products and incorporating them. I appreciate the recommendations!

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  9. I started using Deodomom a little over a week ago and I'm super impressed. I got both a jar and roll-on to see which one I prefer and so far I prefer the jar (I tend to over-apply with the roll-on). A little goes such a long way! It works and I love it. Now to get my hubby to try it........;-)

    I'm inspired and excited to try out some of your other recommendations!

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    Replies
    1. yay!!! Thanks for reporting back - it's so fun to hear that you like it! And um, yes, time to get the husbands on board. I cannot get Danny to try it. I was so close one time as he was out of his Speed Stick or whatever and had a late night meeting and I figured the next day he'd have to try deodomom...and then he showed up at nearly midnight after his meeting with a bag from the pharmacy. ha. So I need to work on that again.

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  10. Okay you convinced me - I just purchased deodomom. I can't wait to try it! And I love 100% pure too! Have you tried their mascara? It's my favorite. I've wanted to try their foundation, but it is almost always sold out so I haven't been able to yet. I'd love to know what foundation you recommend. Thanks for putting this list together!

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    Replies
    1. SO glad you're giving it a try. Would love to hear if it works. And yes, I LOVE 100% Pure. I've tried their mascara and once again, it didn't work for me...but I think I am a really, really unique case that was because no mascaras work for me (except a Clinique Long Lasting, but it's not natural.) And - for foundation...my favs lately are by Mineral Fusion, Emani, and Juice Beauty. I'll have a full report soon!

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  11. What a great resource, thanks for all your hard work in researching this!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a lot to do...but it was the kind of work that was so, so fun, too.

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  12. I am definitely going to try deodomom! Thank you for all the infomation. I've been using coconut oil since you posted about it and really love it. (I use it as a post-shower lotion in the winter time)
    Thanks for everything!

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  13. It sounds like you had a fun and informative night. Thank you for taking some of the leg work out of researching these products. Please consider hosting a night like this in Nashville. It could be a fun mini-vacation!

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    Replies
    1. Nashville! Fun. I've never been there. K, I seriously need to figure out how to take this on the road. :)

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    2. Yes you do! It could be a blast!

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  14. Thanks for all the great recommendations, Mara! I just ordered the ACURE face scrub and shampoo/conditioner. I hadn't heard of this brand before, but sounds like a fantastic find. Many thanks for spreading the love and inside scoop on your favorite all natural beauty products.

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  15. https://sapphocosmetics.com/products-page/liquidfoundation/ - here's a link to another Organic Makeup line, Gennifer Goodwin uses it and her skin always looks amazing!! I haven't tried it yet - but, Mara if you do, or have would love to hear about it.

    Mara - I have an extremely sensitive stomach, or digestive tract. I am lactose intolerant, but other than that, I have not been diagnosed with any other food allergy, or ailment. I often have an upset stomach after eating, as well as feel extremely nauseous and often extremely tired (like my whole body, it's very disruptive for my daily life). I have been tested (with getting my blood taken) for hypoglycemia, diabetes, etc and everything has come out good. Any ideas, or suggestions on what I could do to find out what it is. Would one of those allergy tests work - you know where they prick you with those needles? I do take levothyroxine for my Thyroid and have my thyroid checked every 3 months - my levels are good and have now always been good. Any advice/idea would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Aubrey - I've studied this stuff for years - and based on what I know about gluten and dairy and the digestive tract and thyroid issues (which I have), you should absolutely go off of gluten and dairy both (100%)!!! Doctors will not recommend this. I've had doctors admit this to me...that most are drug based and they just don't offer lifestyle advice that could CHANGE SOMEONE'S LIFE AND HEALTH. I never was diagnosed with any allergies or intolerances, etc. But several wise holistic practitioners were treating me and all said that my body had too much inflammation ...and dairy and gluten are the worst culprits. I was skeptical at first...but the proof is in the pudding. My life changed completely when I removed them from my diet. Go off of it cold turkey for 3 months and see how you feel. Then you can know what works, regardless of what someone might say. You can totally do it. I promise. It's sooooo worth it!!!! I love following the blog of Dr. Frank Lipman in NYC, Chris Kresser, and Dr. Mark Hyman. They provide tons of great info. online. And in addition, you could also do one of those allergy tests. Some people have multiple allergies that are undiagnosed.

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    2. Thank you so much! I don't eat gluten, well as far as bread, pasta - any of the more complex things. I guess I will have to eliminate it completely. I do eat a lot of chocolate though, so maybe that's the cause :( - If I come across any other important diagnosis, I will report back.

      I am going to have a REALLY hard time with the chocolate -

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  16. Thank you for this info! This is a great jumping off point for me to try some new products - it is so difficult to make a major change, like switching to all-natural beauty and cleaning products, but I'm slowly making these changes and it's oh, so nice to have your personal recommendations! Can't wait for my new treats to come in the mail!!

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  17. What a great list! I feel like switching is so overwhelming so these recommendations will really help. Thanks!

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  18. So I bit the little bullet and bought the deodorant. I'm looking forward to seeing if a natural product can match a commercial and more chemical filled one. Fingers crossed :)

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    Replies
    1. awesome - I'm so excited to have you try it.
      Now, know that deodorants don't stop people from sweating...so that part is what it is...but it works great as far as odor goes...

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  19. wow! those products look awesome! Thank you for sharing what was in your bag with us so we can go and get some too!

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  20. Oh my goodness! All this stuff looks amazing! So many things to try and so little money. Sigh... I'll bookmark this post and come back to it when our supply of something needs replenishing! :)

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  21. I just ordered the deodorant and can't wait to try it. I've been using a homemade version with coconut oil, arrowroot, and baking soda but it's just not cutting it. I'm excited to try deodomom.

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  22. I am so excited to start trying some of these products.. Thanks Mara. Abraços pra você e Danny. Elane.

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  23. Hey Mara!

    I am so interested in going all natural with my products, but I'd love to hear more feedback from you. Now that I know WHAT products you love, I'm interested in the difference it has made for your overall well-being. Can you tell a difference when you use natural/organic products vs. other brands? Energy levels, health, skin appearance, overall feeling and health? Or do you go all natural for the sake of not putting toxins in your body, but you can't quite tell a difference. Maybe just knowing that you aren't putting harmful things on your skin is enough! I would just love to hear your thoughts.

    xoxo

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  24. My son loves to gnaw on my chin since he is teething. I think it's the cutest thing ever! But, I have to admit, your natural beauty makes me wonder what is in my make up that is on my chin he is gnawing on, you know? Thanks for all these wonderful products. Love!!

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  25. wow, what an amazing array of products you have here. I use some, and want to use others. I use Tata Harper's products but they are so so expensive.

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  26. Natural Beauty night looks amazing! I would love to come to one of these. I just ordered the deodorant, and I can't wait to try it! I've been wanting to make the switch, but so far nothing I've tried has worked well. I love your recommendations on natural beauty products. I tried the 100% Pure cheek tint (and LOVE it), and I've also been using coconut oil. Thank, Mara! xoxo

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  27. Thank you! Do you have any recommendations for a natural eye make up remover?

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  28. I've really been loving the ACURE face wash and face creams. I'd been wanting to find some new face products--and I think these are it! And, I just saw that my neighborhood health food store sells them, which is awesome! The Kiss My Face mint soap is also so nice. I love the natural minty fragrance these products have. So much better than heavily perfumed soaps and lotions.

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. For great 100% Natural products check out www.appleblossomnaturals.com. ! They even have adorable cupcake soaps that look like real cupcakes and bath shakes with cherries on top & sprinkles! All-natural and Fun at the same time!

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  31. For great 100% Natural products check out www.appleblossomnaturals.com. ! They even have adorable cupcake soaps that look like real cupcakes and bath shakes with cherries on top & sprinkles! All-natural and Fun at the same time!

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  32. I've really been enjoying the all natural sunscreen I've been using this summer. I've been trying to find more natural beauty products to use since they really do make your skin feel healthier. Thanks for sharing!

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  33. Anything to excessive can cause cancer obviously. Everything is in moderation. Honestly no matter where you look up anything about any cosmetics there’s going to be a really hard cosmetic to find that is ALL NATURAL. if you are unless making it by yourself and you know that everything is safe then yea.. Parabens believe it or should be at the bottom of the list of any cosmetic unless if you made it solid product then it does not need it. but seriously if you did buy a product without it in it then is going to spoil very quickly. Its funny too because bread and blueberries have natural parabens inside of them but…. not complains about that do they.. Also when a shampoo or shower gel says “sulfate free” and your product still bubbles when you use it unfortunately its not “sulfate free” as much as it is hard to believe that, thats is the truth you can look it up, its a scam that companies will do so they will not loose any customers. In this day in age everyone needs to make money so they are going to tell you this. I used to work for lush and I would never BS my customers and I would educate them because they did not know. Yes Lush does used sulfate, parabens, dyes, but they are honest unlike most companies. If you are going to want a colorful soap its going to have a color dye unless you buy dial or irish spring but no one wants to have dry skin do they now? No one wants to purchase soap that doesnt have any color or appeal to it. In the end it is completely up to you where you want to go and get your cosmetics. Lush has fresh face masks which are fantastic but they only last 3 weeks so if you are looking for great skincare product they are there.

    Also I had noticed that I read in a comment that had this snippet of information so I quoted it and I will tell you why. “ALL ESSENTIAL OIL IS TERRIBLE FOR SENSITIVE SKIN for redness prone skin.” That is not true. EVERYONE had different needs for their skin, NOT EVERYTHING is going to work for EVERYONE. Yes suggesting is very nice but there are other calming ingredients that are great for sensitive skin BUT depending on what you are sensitive TOO. NOW this could be Tea tree, rose water, rose absolute, aloe vera, lavender etc.. but believe it or not rose, aloe vera, calamine are known to calm the skin to reduce any redness. BUT like I said NOT EVERY INGREDIENT is going to react the same to EVERYONE. If you are not sure what your skin is sensitive to then go to a professional. If you dont have the income try to figure out what is making your skin react. This could be a daily moisturizer, even makeup etc.. But seriously everything is trial and error. You can look online and see that someone did not like a product but you wanted to try it out, but dont go by what they said try it out and see how you like end of story. Samples are great but they dont give you the full effect. If anything if you have the money for the product buy it and if you dont like it after a couple of weeks return it. Just make sure you have your receipt and you know the companies return policy.


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