3 more natural deodorants that actually work

Since the first post, I’ve had some time to experiment with different brands of deodorants and I’m happy to report that I’ve had success with three more all-natural deodorants.natural deodorants that ACTUALLY work

This wasn’t explained in my first post, but I think it needs to be said now. Most of my life, I’ve had issues with commercial-brand antiperspirants wearing off. I was never a big sweater so sweat stains or wetness weren’t a problem for me, but odor was. For whatever reason, even the strongest formulas would wear off midday and I’d have to reapply. I am NOTORIOUS among my family for two things: 1.) pouring the milk in my bowl before the cereal and 2.) carrying deodorant with me wherever I go. Since I’ve made the switch to natural deodorants, I haven’t had to reapply at any point throughout the day. Weirdly, I still carry deodorant in my purse because…old habits die hard (I’ve been doing this since I was twelve). BUT! I never need to use it. And that’s huge.

Now I’m not saying that my experience is typical. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But I do know that if you are an antiperspirant-loving lady, but you’d like to give these here a try, you’ll have to allow for some time (two to three weeks, at least!) for your body to adjust to the new ingredients. You might find that within the first week of trying a new deodorant, you’re much sweatier and perhaps smellier, but this is to be expected. Your body is detoxing. These are deodorants, not antiperspirants, so they are not going to block your sweat glands (nor should they) like the aluminum in a stick of Degree or Dove would. But trust me, work through it! Just know that eventually, your body will catch up and pretty soon you’ll be chucking the yuck-filled stuff and replacing those with ingredients you actually recognize and trust. It took about three weeks for my body to fully adjust. Sometimes, I was uncomfortably sweaty, but after using the new deodorant for a while, the sweating subsided considerably. If you want more tips on how to make the switch as painlessly as possible, read this.

 

1. Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant, Lavender

Pros: Very long-lasting. Has a mild, lavender scent. Available on Amazon and Amazon Prime. Vegan and cruelty-free.

Cons: The texture is a tad bit gritty and a little too soft to be in a tube. Sometimes, if I press too hard while applying, some of the product will smear on the sides of the tube. It can get a little messy. The formula is a tad bit thick so some residue may cling in the creases of the armpits. All that said, these are not dealbreakers for me and I will continue to use regularly (just maybe not with tank tops).

 

2. Primal Pit Paste, Lavender

Pros: Very long-lasting. Creamy,  smooth texture. Has a subtle lavender scent. Easy to apply with your fingers. Dries quickly and almost clear. Available on Amazon for about $11 which puts this at the cheapest price of the three. You can also order on their website for a few bucks less but free shipping is only awarded to those spending over $49. Vegan and cruelty free.

Cons: None that I’ve experienced!

 

3. Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream, Lavender

Pros: Very similar (or almost identical) to Primal Pit Paste, in terms of texture, effectiveness, scent, longevity and ease of use. Available in a few stores around the U.S. Vegan and cruelty-free.

Cons: It’s also available on the Meow Meow Tweet website, which charges for shipping fees. Other than that, there’s nothing negative I can say about the actual product.

As with any skin product I recommend, it’s always smart to read the ingredient list and spot-test before using, just to check for irritation or allergic reactions.

Click here to see the first post, 4 natural deodorants that actually work.

the easiest way to clean your makeup brushes

Sephora brush cleaner

Go out and buy a brush cleaner. The end.

I’m sorry if that was anticlimactic but I actually didn’t know this existed until a few months ago and it completely changed my world because until then I’d gone an embarrassingly long time without cleaning my makeup brushes. Like I don’t even want to tell you for fear of judgment, that’s how long. But when I did manage to clean them, the process was just…ugh. Like who sits at home and thinks, ‘I know what I’ll do with this free time – wash my makeup brushes!‘? If you are that type of person, bless your heart and you’re a much more productive person than I’ll ever be. If you’re not that type? Fist bump, I’m right there with you.

Also, waiting for the brushes to dry is like watching paint dry. Only you’re not watching, you’re waiting. So waiting for paint dry. Is that something people say? Bottom line, it can be a pain when you don’t have more than one of the same type of brush.

So I like shortcuts. I don’t mean to sound trite but since becoming a mother I have very little time so I like to use every bit that I have wisely and joyfully, if possible. Cleaning your brushes? Not the most joyful activity, so shortcut it is.

brushes

Enter the brush cleaner (I use Sephora’s Citrus Brush Cleaner, but there are a few others on the market that also have good reviews and are affordable to boot). You spray the product directly on a napkin or soft cloth and run the brush over the damp area using circular or windshield wiper motions. Watch the magic happen as all the grime transfers to the napkin. It’s oddly satisfying.

It dries quickly too. Smaller brushes may only take a few minutes, while thicker, denser brushes may take a little more time. My larger blush brush took less than an hour.

cleaning makeup brush

Of course, you can always DIY (and that may be the most economical option), but…why would you want to? #lifeisshort

my 5-minute “no-makeup” makeup routine

5-Minute No Makeup Makeup Look

In years of wearing and experimenting with different types and brands of makeup, I’ve learned the trick to looking polished in a very short amount of time is to simplify: find your best, most beloved products and really know how to make them work for you. Find your best products and leave all the other stuff for another day. Sure, I love a strong red lip or a fun electric blue liner (not together, of course), but when I have only so much time to look put together, I reach for the products I know are easy to work with and are going to flatter my face the most. These are the products I use pretty much every day  and some you might have heard me rave about a few of these before:

New York Color Classic Eyebrow and Eyeliner Pencil: Above all else, EYEBROWS. It’s the first thing I do. Because in the event I have to run out of the house for whatever reason, at least my eyebrows are done and that’s crucial in my book. As a person who wears glasses almost everyday, eyebrows need to be on point. I use this cheapie brow liner in Sable just to fill in the sparse spots. I prefer a brow pencil over powders or gels because the formula is slightly waxy which is ideal for taming and keeping brow hairs in place. Pencils are also much quicker to work with.

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer with a Beautyblender: I dot my problem areas (undereye area, eyelids and a few blemishes, if any) with concealer and then blend out with a damp blender. The beautyblender is a godsend! If you don’t have it and you wear face products, you need to GET. IT. Since I’ve started using it, it’s cut my concealer-applying time in half, yet delivers this flawless finish that you just can not get with a brush or your fingers. Bonus: if it’s early in the morning, you might find the cool dampness on your face refreshing (I do). I skip foundation as I’ve found that after years of wearing it, I didn’t actually need it and that spot-concealing did a much more effective job for way less time and effort. BUT. If you do sport foundation, the beautyblender is awesome for blending that out too.

Milani Multitasking Face Powder in 03 Medium: Dip a soft, fluffy brush in matte face powder and lightly pat the concealed areas to set and keep the makeup long-lasting. Seven seconds tops!

CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara: Like my brows, the lashes are another part of my face that makes a huge difference when enhanced. I’m recently become a CoverGirl mascara convert. So far, I’ve found that Clump Crusher and Lashblast Fusion are both fantastic at  lengthening, volumizing and separating lashes with zero clumps, which is what I look for in a mascara. Fusion is a tad better at volumizing, if I’m being honest. You’re definitely not going to get a dramatic false-lash look with this mascara, but for everyday purposes, you don’t need to. I think it makes lashes look amazing! The formula is on the dryer side so it’s much easier to handle than wet, clumpy mascaras.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed: Blush is the key to brightening up a dull complexion. Tarte’s Exposed is what I see as a universally flattering shade (See for yourself!). I’ve been using it for months and still harbor the same adoration for it as I did when I first started using it. I apply to the apples of my cheeks and lightly dust it over the tip of my nose for a more flushed effect. I was never a blush-wearer until I found Peaches by Mac—my first love! Then suddenly it was like, Wow my skin looks like it’s glowing from within. Game-changer! Matte blushes are my favorite and are great for achieving that natural “I woke up like this” look.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Pretty Natural: I always save the lips for last because it’s the easiest thing to apply on the go, if that’s what it comes to. For these purposes, I like to stick to shades that are more muted because they’re more forgiving than bold colors (no lip liner necessary!). Lately I’ve been loving this creamy, warm mid-toned pink Milani lipstick in Pretty Natural, but something glossy always looks youthful and fresh. Depending on my mood, I’ll go for either or both.

6 favorite drugstore natural skincare products

6 amazing and effective natural skincare products - all from the drugstore

1. Gud from Burt’s Bees Natural Body Lotion

This stuff smells so delicious, I slather it on like it’s going out of style. Any scent in the line smells heavenly, but Vanilla Flame is the winner in my book.  It softens and moisturizes moderately dry skin well, but mostly I love it for its quick absorption and, of course, how fantastic-smelling it is. I’d say this line is very comparable to the Bath & Body Works Lotion line, only with better-for-you ingredients like shea butter and fruit extracts. If you apply Vanilla Flame before bed, your bed sheets will smell like cake in the morning and it is a-mazing!

2. Yes To Grapefruit Even Skin Tone Moisturizer With SPF 15

This face moisturizer is a favorite because it’s inexpensive, 97% natural, contains SPF and don’t feel heavy or greasy. All of these components are hard to find at the drugstore and yet—there they are in one 1.4 oz. package. The formula is on the lighter side so I prefer to use it during the warmer months, as the harsh winter calls for something a bit more heavy-duty (see #3!). My only gripe would be the sour grapefruit scent, which I’ve grown accustomed to but can see being an issue for some. If that is the case, any of the other face lotions in the Yes To line should suit your fancy (Carrots comes unscented).

3. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Not really a drugstore product, but it’s easy to find and it’s priced cheap so I lumped it in here with the rest. Due to its composition, coconut oil has been shown to improve and soften skin and I, for one, have reaped its benefits. Since I’ve replaced my daily moisturizer with coconut oil for the winter, I haven’t had any issues with flakiness on my dry cheeks. I apply twice daily, once after I wash my face at night and  again in the morning and that keeps my face moisturized all day sans the greasiness you’d expect from an oil. Is it really the miracle product that everyone says it is? I think so! You can even use it as deep conditioner for hair. Just look at the abundance of other uses for it here. Genius.

4. Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes

For those nights when I’m too lazy to wash my face before bed, these wipes do the trick of quickly and efficiently removing my makeup, while leaving my face with that refreshing just-washed feeling. I’ve tried several drugstore brands that claim to effectively remove makeup, but these are the best at actually doing it. It’s great at removing water-resistant mascara and it does so with safe and gentle ingredients. The scent is light and fresh and not at all cloying or perfume-y.

5. Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, Unscented

Hang on before you dismiss this one as a pregnancy-only product. Sure, I use it to prevent stretch marks from my growing belly, but it’s also a hydrating yet lightweight body butter for any part of the body. It’s unscented, contains shea butter and vitamin E so it’s the perfect no-nonsense formula for those who just like to keep it simple. Bonus: it’s cheaper, but just as good as the more popular The Body Shop butters.

6. Egg Yolks

An unusual item to put on a list of drugstore skincare products, but technically, you can find eggs at the drugstore and it can be used on your skin (it has been for ages). I’m not a fan of buying food just to slather on your face (way too expensive and I’d rather eat it than wear it), BUT if I’m making something in which I omit an egg yolk , I’ll pop that sucker into a container and refrigerate for later use as a moisturizing face mask. Waste not, want not. Yolks contain vitamins A, B2 and plenty of protein which work wonders on inflamed skin and nourishes and protects from free radical damage. I might look insane with literal egg on my face, but my skin always feels and looks supremely soft and smooth afterward. Worth it!

You can try the many variations of the yolk mask here, but I prefer to keep it cheap and simple with the one below:

Simple Egg Yolk Mask

Ingredients:
1 egg yolk, separated from whites and beaten

Spread a thin layer of yolk over clean, makeup-free face with your hands or a brush.
Leave on for about 15 minutes or until it dries completely.
Rinse off thoroughly.

 

my favorite beauty products right now

It’s that time again! A list of my favorite beauty products of the moment. Makeup lovers unite! And be sure to leave any suggestions down in the comments, if you feel so inclined :)

1. LORAC Skinny Palette in Nude

lorac paletteThis palette is incredibly versatile in that it can be worn for a natural daytime look (which I often achieve with the 3 matte colors in this palette) or a more dramatic night-out look. I love it because shadows are smooth, pigmented and there’s a good ratio of light-dark and shimmery-matte shades. The colors are warm-toned (which I tend to graviatate to), so if you’re looking for something a bit more neutral or cool-toned, the sister palette in  Navy is available at the same price of only $15!

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed

tarte exposed

This color might look unremarkable. Maybe a little too brown. Boring even. Let me be the one to tell you, you are wrong on all accounts! This is the prettiest nude pink blush.  I love it so much that I haven’t worn any other blush since I picked this up at Sephora a couple of months ago. It looks completely natural, as in your natural cheek color and not overly rosy, but not overly mauve or brown. It’s kind of hard to explain because I feel like this color looks a bit different on everyone (google image search it and see). I would have shown it on me, except my camera couldn’t pick up the color very well. I liken Exposed to the “traveling pants”. You know, the pair of jeans that looks great on all the friends, in spite of their shape or size? I wouldn’t say it lasts for 12 hours as it claims, but it is still a long-lasting blush at about 7 hours of wear, which is completely acceptable to me. This goes down as one of my top favorite blushes (MAC Peaches is up there too).

3. Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fig

melted fig

If you’re looking for rich, saturated lip color, then any tube in the Melted line is for you. Ugh, every single color is just impressively gorgeous. I’d snatch up almost every shade in a heartbeat if not for the $21 price tag. I’m particularly infatuated with Melted Fig which is a pretty plum-pink color that’s perfect for fall and winter. Although in the photo above, it photographs a tad brighter than it actually is. It’s a liquid lipstick that dispenses as you squeeze the tube, so you’re in control of how much product you use. The result is pigmented, long-lasting statement lips. Definitely not for the color-shy!

4. SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Cream Lipstick in Charmer 19

sephora-charmer

This is an amazing everyday pinky-nude lipstick. Not the most terribly exciting shade, but it’s beautiful, flattering and I get a lot of compliments on it. Charmer is probably my most worn lipstick of the past two months because it fits all occasions so well, especially very casual ones like lunch dates or weekend errands. The formula is creamy, comfortable and pairs nicely with smokey eyes or a bare face. My only gripe would be that it highlights any dryness you may have, so moisturized lips are key! Which brings me to the next product…

5. e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator

lip exfoliator

In order to pull off any matte or dark lip colors, lips must be moisturized and flake-free. Even if you’re not a lipstick wearer, soft lips are something most of us desire, especially in the cold, dry months. The exfoliator is basically a lip balm flecked with tons of coarse sugar crystals that serve to scrub away the dead skin. I found that exfoliating my lips by way of brushing them over with a toothbrush wasn’t as effective for me, so I’ve started using this exfoliator and it is very effective at getting my lips super smooth. Sure you can make your own scrub (I did for a while), but at $3 a pop, you just can’t beat the convenience.

6. Nicole by OPI Matte Top Coat

matte topcoat

It’s difficult to find matte nail polishes, but no worries because this is even better. You can transform any color into a matte shade with this clear topcoat and it completely freshens up the finish. I tend to get bored of my limited selection of nail polishes quickly, so it’s refreshing to be able to change it up. It’s a nifty product to have!

my favorite beauty products right now

 1.) L’oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Bronzed Taupe

LOreal-Infallible-Eyeshadow-in-Bronzed-TaupeThe staying power on this shadow is pretty fantastic. Does it last 24 hours like it claims? Well, not on me it doesn’t. But it does last for about 7 hours without a primer and I classify that as having good (enough) staying power. The name accurately represents the color, which is really pretty on the lids. It’s the kind of shade that’s neither too light or dark, and manages to look great during the day and in the evening. Wear it alone for a more neutral smokey look or paired with a dark matte brown in the crease for something a little more dramatic. I love it both ways!

This applies best when the color is applied with the ring finger, as opposed to sweeping it on with a brush. The only time I use a brush for this shadow is when I need to blend out the edges.  If you’d like to see how it looks on the eyes, I think these photos are very true to life.

2.) NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in BeigeNYX Megashine Lipgloss in Beige

It’s widely known that this color isn’t beige, it’s more of a neutral mid-toned pink. The color is lovely because it’s pink (but not too pink) and sheer (but not too sheer) and I can see it being flattering for a wide range of makeup looks and skin tones. The texture is creamy, comfortable and not at all sticky. The scent is cherry-licious!

3.) Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer (SPF 30)MD Perricone No Bronzer Bronzer

BEST. BRONZER. EVER. I haven’t worn bronzer in years because I think the majority of them make you look like you’re wearing bronzer, which in my opinion, defeats the purpose of wearing it. It looks dark in the bottle, but once you blend it in, it gives your skin this subtle warm glow that looks incredibly natural. It’s gorgeous. I’m not a fan of countouring myself, so I like to wear it where the sun would naturally hit: the high points of the cheeks, upper forehead and a tiny bit on the nose and chin. The bottle is priced at $35 for 0.3 fluid oz, which may seem like too much for too little, but the quality of this is superb and a tiny bit goes a very long way. In other words, I think it’s worth it. If you don’t want to commit yet but would like to try it, ask for a sample of it at Sephora (which is what I did). Even the tiny sample is enough to last you for a few days!

4.) Jimmy Choo Rollerball PerfumeJimmy-Choo-Rollerball

This smells of sophistication and femininity so I usually wear it for a day at the office or during some kind of evening event (e.g. dinner, a party, etc). I love that it’s so small and slim because I can just toss it in my bag and reapply at any point. I’m such a fan of rollerball perfumes because they’re so handy and there’s less of a chance of overapplying since it dispenses a little bit at a time. I also find them to be economical since you’re getting every last drop in this, as opposed to just spraying it everywhere (and spraying half the bottle in the air).

5.) Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Rosé

Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose

This is probably one of my favorite lip products of all time (and I mentioned it before here). I love it because it not only makes your lips feel pillowy-soft, but it makes them look soft and healthy too. It’s a balm with a rosy sheer wash, so no mega glossy shine, glitter or crazy bold color. It’s perfect for just swiping on without a mirror. It has built-in sun protection, so this has been my go-to summer staple.

6.) Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Flamingo PoseMilani Lipstick in Flamingo Pose

This color is pure summer fun. As in hot, flirty and perfect for this time of year. It’s definitely not a color for everyday wear, so I reserve it for weekends and parties. Milani lipsticks, as a whole, are just killin’ it. They are velvety, long-lasting and richly pigmented. And you get all that at the drugstore for a great price. Told you…killin’ it.

View a lip swatch of this color here.

Raise your hand if you’re a makeup-o-holic like me! And don’t forget to share your current favorites down below.

And check out my past favorites!
My favorite beauty products right now (August 2013)
My favorite beauty products right now (February 2014)

4 natural deodorants that actually work

I started using natural deodorant almost two years ago and have since found, like everything, some work and most don’t. This list I’ve compiled are the absolute best I’ve tried yet. All are affordable, with the most expensive being about $16. I think it’s a small price to pay to avoid aluminum chloride and parabens. While there isn’t concrete evidence of these ingredients causing cancer or other diseases, I like to err on the safe side and opt for natural (or as natural as I can get) when it comes to skincare. If you do too, then read on!

4 natural deodorants that actually work.

1.) Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Roll-On

I’ve raved about this one before. It was the first natural deodorant I’d tried and I was delighted it worked so well, considering all the horror stories I’d heard about going natural. Just to be clear, I am only endorsing the roll-on. I had once tried the solid gel form and it worked terribly. One time I wore it, I’d given Bob a hug and he promptly pulled away, made an ick-face and flat out told me, “Yeah, you kinda’ stink”. And that was the end of that. Roll-on, all the way.

Pros: Applies completely clear so it’s ideal for sleeveless days. Vegan-friendly and doesn’t test on animals.
Cons: Applies very wet and takes a while to dry. Not much in the scent department, though the cucumber green tea is pretty good. Some other scents have hints of patchouli which I’m not crazy about, although that’s more of a personal preference.

2.) Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

It’s a cream, so you apply it with your fingers. Weird, right? Trust me, you get used to it and once you do, it’s a dream to apply since it’s so smooth and allows for thoroughness. Just make sure you have clean, dry hands and you’re good to go. I love this stuff.

Pros: Blends easily, comfortably and invisibly. It’s the only one that I felt actually improved the texture of my underarm skin. Uses organic ingredients, is vegan-friendly and doesn’t test on animals. It has a mildly minty scent.
Cons: Only available online (from what I’ve seen) and shipping fees are unavoidable.

3.) Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

This was recommended to me by my friend Jen as the only natural deodorant that ever worked for her. It reminds me of a product like Secret or Dove, with its wide range of vanilla-infused scents and the white solid stick.

Pros: Whichever scent you choose will smell fantastic! It applies very comfortably too. It’s available at Sephora (in stores too) or online.
Cons: Leaves a faint white residue, so not the best for going sleeveless.

4.) Lavilin Roll-on Deodorant

This product claims that it works for 72 hours, even with showers in between. That’s not the case for me, however, it is long-lasting at about 8-12 hours depending on my activity level. To be fair, there are plenty other reviewers that claim this Lavilin works for the full 72 hours and sometimes even longer. I really like how fresh this smells, but it is on the strong side so if that bothers you, then you may want consider using the cream formula instead. Side note: my experience with the cream was okay. While it worked well, it was difficult to apply because of how thick and sticky it was. The white residue was very visible and I found my underarms got very dry and irritated after two weeks of using it. But it seems I may be in the minority, as I didn’t see any reviews online that shared the same complaints.

Pros: Applies completely clear. Dries quickly. Lovely fresh-smelling scent.
Cons: It applies cold and wet. May not last as long as it claims, though this will depend on your body chemistry.

—–

One thing to consider is if you’re switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant, it will definitely take some time to transition to a new formula. Don’t give up on them right away!

Note everyone’s body chemistry is the same, so what works well for me may not work as well for you. Please keep this in mind, if trying any of these suggestions. Good luck!
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