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Summer Essentials!

8 Jul

Hope y’all are having a great summer! I’m embarrassed by my lack of blogging lately, but summer is my favorite time of year and I try to spend most of my time outside! But here’s a few of my favorite things for summer, all green and eco-friendly of course! Enjoy this beautiful weekend!My Eco-Friendly Summer Essentials

Guy Grooming– Tested & Approved

5 Mar

Getting guys to take care of their skin can be as tough as trying to put mittens on kittens (It’s Always Sunny anyone?!). But after many nights of research and some actual product testing (only on my boyfriend Ray, not on any pets) it’s possible that Green Tex has found some seriously stellar- and green- products that will not only make a guy enjoy taking care of his skin, but also help give him a beautiful complexion! So pass this post on to your boy friends, guy friends, home boys, papas, brothers or even Justin Beiber wannabes, cause they’ll want to read it!

This post is important because men’s skin may require some extra gentleness. Most men, unlike women, do not put their face through the routine of makeup everyday so their skin is a little more sensitive and requires some extra TLC. Their face is also not used to having globs of lotion slathered on, so the actual process of having a ‘de-puffing’ eye cream put around their eyes can actually bring them to tears!

Like it or not, guys are used to having their skin irritated due to the massive amounts of chemicals, parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and fragrances in typical products like Axe, Old Spice, Head & Shoulders, and all of the other crappy products out there. Time to toss out those old products and try some of these great skin friendly products listed below that are formulated without all of the junk! As always, none of these products are tested on animals, and oh ya they actually work! Enjoy!

Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave, $16

The product that started it all! For a new internship, Ray had to lose the grizzly beard and actually shave every morning “like a big boy”. He tried the Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave at a friend’s house and actually raved about it (discussing beauty products is not usually part of our everyday convos!). Can be found at Sephora.

Jack Black All-Over Wash, $15. Face, hair and body, all taken care of with one product!

Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub, $18. Great for guys with alligator or dull skin. Also helps with ingrown hairs in the beard area!

Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20, $27

What’s better than a product working double duty? SPF for sun protection (and wrinkle/age spot prevention for down the road) and a moisturizer! Don’t believe the buzz on these Jack Black Products? Read the comments on each product– they speak for themselves!

Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm, $3. Let's be honest, this stuff ROCKS! It works wonder and leaves your lips with a slight tingle so you know its working.

Method Marine Naturals Refreshing Body Wash, $6.50. I know I've mentioned this before, but this body wash is fav for guys, especially the marine naturals scent!

Avalon Organics Peppermint Lotion, $12. Great lotion and can be found at the grocery store!

Burt’s Bees, Avalon Organics & Method Body was can all be found at most grocery stores! Method’s full line is also sold at Target.

Ready for My Close-Up!

29 Jan

Taking care of your face is something to start off doing young– make it your routine, learn that giving a little extra TLC to your face can really go a long way. The three things you should always do is clean, protect and moisturize your face!

  • Clean– find a mild cleanser according to your face type (dry, normal, oily or combo) and use it first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
  • Protect- always use SPF! even if it’s SPF 15 or 20, the protection will go a long way to help prevent wrinkles and sun spots, as well as more serious issues like melanoma and skin cancer
  • Moisturize- the skin on our face is fragile and incredibly sensitive and we put it through a lot! Replenish your skin with some moisture, a serum or day cream during the day and a night cream for PM, as well as a dab of eye cream for all hours! Your face will both feel and look refreshed!

While the previous 3 steps should be something you incorporate into your daily routine, there’s other steps to take to keep your face in tip top shape!

  • Exfoliate- use a gentle scrub every few weeks to get rid of dead skin and to make your face look seriously refreshed– for even better results slab on a rich cream so your healthy skin can absorb some much needed moisture
  • Masks- face masks are an instant dose of moisture. There’s all sorts of masks out there– ones with clay will cool any redness in your skin while moisturizing.
  • Facials- facials are a great way to get a professional examination of your face. While there’s lots of pampering involved (cleanse, toners, moisturizers, masks, extractions and lots of relaxation!) your aesthetican will also give you their opinion of your skin type and the things you can do to keep it in great shape!

Whether you’re interested in high-end face products or products you can find at a local drug store, there are plenty of green options to choose from! The best thing to keep in mind is to stick to what is good for your face– if scrubs usually make you turn bright red for hours, then it’s probably best not to use scrubs. But here are some of my favorite products, both expensive and non-expensive! Enjoy!

Cleansers:

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash, $32. My favorite face wash-- gentle and cleanses without leaving your skin feeling dry!

Burt's Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser, $10. Green, clean, and cheap this creamy formula is perfect for dry skin.

Burt’s Bees found at Target.

Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser, $25. Acne-prone or just really looking for a deep clean? This formula is perfect for you! Not sure if it will work? Try out their travel size version for $10

Clarisonic Mia, $149. Looking to give you face wash a boost? This tool helps clean 6x better than with cleanser alone. Comes in 6 colors.. love it!

Found at Clarisonic.com!

SPF:

Alba Facial Sunblock, SPF 20, $10. This sunscreen skips the greasy residue, feels very light, and is so great that it can also double as a moisturizer! Comes in plenty of natural fragrances and different levels of SPF!

Found at Alba.

Moisturize:

Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum, $65. Absolute favorite product for my face! The serum feels oily at first, but then dries and has a silky/powdery feel! It's fabulous and packs some serious moisture

Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer, $65. Love this extra moisture for when my skin really needs it! Also a favorite of my sissy, Eve!

Josie Maran Organic Argan Oil, $14 or $48. Not only is Argan oil the hottest product on the market right now, but this product is ORGANIC and purchased through a women's co-op in Morocco (where it's grown) in order to support their social & economic welfare. Good for you, good for the people growing it.

Found at Sephora.

Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel, $38; Word on the street is that a well-known reality star who has 8 kids, started using this gel, and the tabloids went crazy saying it was Botox. The truth? Not sure about her, but this gel must really do some good!

Found at Sephora.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, $30. It's award winning and can do some work on dark circles/puffiness.

Aveda Green Science Firming Eye Creme, $45. Created with Aragan oil from Morocco, this eye cream delivers some serious nutrients to your lids!

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins, $36. A night cream to help with discoloration and combo skin!

Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Night Cream, $25. Extra-gentle, non-sticky and seriously does work on wrinkles.

This green gem is found at Target.

Scrubs:

 

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $85. This product is what Kate Somerville is known for and will give you immediate results!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle, $65; The gentle (and cheaper!) version of her signature scrub.

St. Ives Apricot Blemish Control Scrub, $3.30 at Target; Budget friendly and seriously great product! Scrubs away dead skin to reveal healthier skin!

Found at Target!

Masks:

Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque, $29. This mask recharges my skin with nutrients and moisture. A must-have during the summer for recovery after long days of sun!

Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask, $21. This mask literally sucks out the dirt, toxins, and debris sitting underneath your skin. Put a warm moist towel on your face beforehand to open your pores, then apply this miracle worker!

Facial/Intro Kit:

Kate Somerville Discovery Kit, $90. Great kit to try out all these KS products. Warning: you may become addicted!

A little info on these brands:

Aveda is basically the pioneer of beauty companies going green. They don’t test on animals, their formulas are created without the nasty stuff, they use renewable energy to create their products and this company is also the largest purchaser of organic ingredients among all beauty companies. Now thats green!

My go-to brand, Kate Somerville, not only makes great products that your skin will love, but the brand also refuses to test on animals, and their products are made without the crap usually found in other beauty items (parabens, sulfates, synthetics dyes & fragrances, phthalates, and GMOs).

Origins products are not tested on animals, made with renewable resources, and made from organic and natural ingredients. Basically doing good all over!

Found at Target and/or Walgreens: Burt’s Bees, Alba, Jason & St. Ives.

Pretty & Polished

14 Nov

Nail polish is one of the best ways to instantly have a little ‘pick-me-up’. But whether you go to the nail salon or do your nails at home, that toxic chemical smell coming from the polish and remover is overbearing. So get rid of most of the chemicals with all these nail polishes & removers that are “three-free”. This means that they are free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DHB) and formaldehyde— all which are known carcinogenic ingredients. Getting rid of cancer-causing chemicals that are hard to pronounce? Total benefit!

 

Priti broke down what these nasty chemicals are:

TOLUENE which causes rapid, shallow breathing, chemical pneumonia, blurred vision,  dry, cracked skin, and drowsiness also effects the kidneys and the nervous system.  It may also cause an exaggerated feeling of well-being, headache, staggering tremors, and convulsions.
FORMALDEHYDE is a strong allergen and irritant to which humans have a very low odor threshold, also a known carcinogen.  It increases airway resistance when inhaled, probably because of local irritation and release of inflammatory mediators.  Additionally, formaldehyde is a strong contact allergen.  Acute and chronic dermatitis was once a common complaint in the beauty parlor industry because of using formaldehyde in fingernail finishes.
DIBUTYL PHTHALATE (DBP) is linked to reproduction system problems and underdeveloped genitals in newborn boys.

 

One-word summary? YUCK! Go for some clean and three-free polish. Not only will we make a safer, chemical-free environment for ourselves and salon workers, but we will also be doing a favor to pregnant women who are having boys. ENJOY!

 

 

Zoya (Vegan, Cruelty Free) $7

  • Zoya is the product of pregnant aesthetician and her chemical engineer hubby. After being exposed the smell of chemicals all day long, Zoya decided she wanted to use products without all the harsh ingredients. Together with her husband, they created the first line of vegan, cruelty-free and three-free nail polishes. Did we mention they’re very reasonable priced as well?

Zoya- Julieanne... such a pretty deep purple! Perfect for TCU games 🙂

Zoya- Veruschuka. A deep green matte color. The true meaning of green polish!

Zoya- Ibiza. Deep/dark blue. LOVES!

Zoya Remover, $10. Flip-top so you won't spill. Three-free and cruelty free!

 

 

Priti (Vegan, Cruelty Free, Organic Ingredients) $12.50

  • Another nail polish brand started by a pregnant woman, Priti became an emerging leader in luxury and eco-friendly nail polish. The company’s mission is: “to support organic farmers and todecrease the amount of chemicals poisoning the earth- and it’s inhabitants-one manicure at a time.” You can find out more about the company and their green initiatives here. Priti also has a recycling program for salon’s old nail polish. How awesome is that? Other favorites below.

 

MUST HAVE: Priti Soy Remover, 4oz for $22. 100% Biodegradable, Non-Toxic and Non Carcinogenic.

Priti Cooksbridge Giant Orchid

 

 

Deborah Lippman (Three-Free and No Animal Testing) $16- $20

  • Deborah Lippman’s nail lacquer collection is like the go-to for celebs. About half of her nail polishes were created for celebs, so they’re obviously going to bring the glam. She’s the queen of sparkle and everything pretty. Celeb’s she’s worked with? SJP, Mary J Blige, Kelly Ripa, the diva herself Mariah Carey, Rene Zellweger, Pat Benatar and designer Zac Posen to name a few.

 

Across the Universe, $18

Bad Romance, $18

Don't Tell Momma, $16. Mood altering color between blue & green!

 

 

OPI (Three-Free and No Animal Testing) About $8

  • Since 2006, OPI changed their nail polish formulas to be three-free, which I’m happy to hear because my nail polish drawer is full of OPI! They also don’t test on animals, and are always releasing new colors so you can spice things up!

OPI Bubble Bath- the perfect balance of pink & nude!

 

OPI Eiffel For This Color- Not quite as dark as 'Linkin Park After Dark' with purple and burgundy colors

OPI Elephantastic Pink- LOVE this color for the summer!

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress. Deep, shimmery red-- perfect for the holiday season!

 

 

Spa Ritual (Three-Free & No Animal Testing)

  • If my world revolved around nail polish, the Spa Ritual’s Quick Dry Topcoat would be a life changer! I’ve used tons of different topcoats that seem to never dry, goop up, chip, and basically not get the job done. But this top coats dries my nails quickly, leaves them super shiny, and keeps my nail polish on (and chip-free) for days on end. Its worth the money, especially since the bottle lasts a long time!

 

Spa Ritual- Quick Dry Topcoat, $15

 

 

Great 3-Free polishes that can be found at the drug store? Revlon & Sally Hansen!

Revlon

  • Although it bewilders us that Revlon doesn’t brag about banning animal testing throughout the company and having a nail polish line that is three-free, that seems to be the case. Besides being green with their products, Revlon is also easy to find at drugstores and is very reasonably priced.

Sally Hansen

  • Sally Hansen has started marking three-free nail polish, and according to their website they do not test on animals. They carry a must-have color for the military trend: charcoal!

Commander in Chic, $7

 

The National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance (yes– this really does exists) has created its own little wallet guide for you to print out and stick in your purse so that you never have questions about which brands are toxic, and which are three-free. It’s way too easy not to print out. So stick that sucker in your purse and never go to the salon without it!

 

Three-Free Nail Polish Guide

And if you’re curious if the above brands are cruelty free, check out the “Be Nice to Bunnies” app from PETA. Search by Product –> Nail Care –> Nail Polish, and then a list of cruelty free brands will appear.

Health Warning: Brazilian Blowouts

9 Nov

Good morning! Since it’s been all over the news, I thought I should update my fabulous Green Tex readers on the new hair phenom Brazilian Blowouts. The process helps to straighten, relax and de-frizz hair, and the results last up to 4 months. Some women swear by it, saying its the best thing to ever happen to their hair and they can now skip blowdrying and flat ironing their hair. It sounds like such an amazing process that I’ve definitely looked into it as well! But it’s been in the news lately because Environmental Health groups and Toxicology groups in Oregon and California tested the product, after stylists and patients complained of burning eyes, headaches, nose bleeds and trouble breathing.

The brand claims that it is free of formaldehyde but when the testing was done, the 4 different testing methods showed formaldehyde levels in the product between 4.85-10.6%. Formaldehyde can cause lung damage and increase you chances of cancer. Some salons are taking precautionary measures of wearing industrial use gas masks and having ventilators in the salon to reduce the air borne formaldehyde. But the main thing to be worried of is the formaldehyde in the product that is being put on your hair and being absorbed through your skin.

Green Tex is not discouraging anyone from getting the treatment done– instead we encourage you beauty mavens out there to use the internet to your advantage and do some research! Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic and the reports in the news are to make consumers aware of the potential dangers.

Would you still try the Brazilian Blowout if you had the means to? Or is sticking with the blowdrying/straightening routine a better option than compromising your health?

Pamper yourself with… Hair Masks!

3 Oct

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. If you’re using this gorgeous day to catch up on things, do homework, or if you’re just enjoying the day watching football, then consider doing some double duty by putting in a no-hassle hair mask!

don't let this happen to you!

Hair is stripped of its nutrients because of the various different processes we put our poor hair through: harsh shampoo, color, highlights, curling, straightening, blow drying, etc. Every once in a while our hair needs some serious help to restore and moisturize it! Weekly hair masks are one of the simplest ways to do this—simply throw one on to clean and moist hair. Avoid your roots, as they tend to get greasy and make sure your ends are heavily coated, as this is usually the most damaged area. Once the mask is on, your can wrap your hair/head with plastic saran wrap to keep natural body heat in, or you can use a shower cap. Don’t have access to either? Then simply put your conditioner coated hair in a bun and blow-dry it on low heat for a few minutes. Below are some great hair mask picks: all are cruelty-free and will make a mah-jor difference in your locks!

Bumble & Bumble Deeep $25

B&B Deeep $12

Burt’s Bees Hair Repair Shea & Grapefruit Deep Conditioner $8

Can be easily found at Walgreens!

Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Masque $25. Formulated without parabens and silicone, this mask is filled with sunflower conditioning oils including Vitamin E, B3, B5, and B6.

Splurge worthy & great for colored hair

You can find this one at Target! From L’Oreal’s new natural brand EverPure, this is the Moisture Restorative Masque for $8. I personally love this one—it works wonders and has a soothing smell!

mmm rosemary & mint!

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment. This is one of Aveda’s bestsellers—it’s a weekly treatment filled with quinoa protein along with castor, jojoba and meadowfoam seed oils to smooth hair’s surface. $26

ready to repair some serious damage

This new brand has made quite the splash in the hair care industry. This rich and creamy mask leaves hair soft and shiny!  MoroccanOil Intense Hydrating Mask, $31

so much buzz around this product! I've also spotted it at HEB

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment, $21, can be found at Sephora. Formulated without water or silicones which dilutes the formula and causes buildup. Also made without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and petrochemicals. This special edition also donates $5 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

serious repair and it's for a good cause!

Don’t have time to go buy one? Simply whip one up in your kitchen with these natural recipes.

Recipes:

Rich Conditioning Yogurt Mask: Mix 1c. plain yogurt, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 vitamin E capsules until you have a smooth consistent thickness. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse

Egg Mask: Mix 1 egg with a tablespoon of water. Work through hair and leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Avocado Mask: Mix 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Leave on for 20 minutes, followed by a rinse and shampoo.

Olive Oil Mask: 2 Tablespoons olive oil with 1 egg. Leave on 15-30 minutes and then rinse. (Egg can also be replaced by 1 tablespoon of honey)

in love with… BOBBI BROWN!!

28 Sep

Makeup should be FUN! The days of grabbing makeup from Walgreens because it comes in a pretty bottle or because it’s a beautiful color in the packaging– these days are long gone! Too much hassle, disappointment, frustration over not being able to try it on or return it! The odds that a Maybelline or L’Oreal product will look as good on me as it does on their models is slim to none. Plus, these companies still use the outdated practice of testing on animals. Poor innocent bunnies get products thrown in their eyes, mouths, etc just to see its reaction. Mind you, the ENTIRE beauty industry knows the reactions to ingredients, because the results have been out there for years. Why they still continue to kill harmless furry friends is a mystery. So take your $$ elsewhere, for makeup and products that WORK and to companies that care about it’s moral ethics. For these reasons, I’ve turned to a makeup brand that has been a powerful figure in the industry since I even started wearing makeup– and her name is Bobbi Brown!

Beautiful Bobbi herself

to-die-for professional BB makeup kit. this is beyond

Bobbi Brown is the definition of a self-started. She started her beauty brand with a line of 10 lipsticks that sold at Bergdorf Goodman that all had brown undertones. The response was enormous, and two years later she debuted her line of foundation sticks that have yellow undertones. (The reason for yellow is that it balances out the natural pink found in a person’s skin, while other foundation formulas have pink undertones that enhance, rather than blend, the pink). She went onto skin care, gel eyeliner, beauty books, TV segments, store’s worldwide and an online store.

The reason I keep using Bobbi Brown is not only for her skin and makeup products that work and look fantastic, but also for her dedication to keeping her products safe and clean.

Bobbi’s products:

  • Have not been tested on animals
  • Do not contain sulfates
  • Do not contain parabens
  • Do not contain hydrogenated oils

While I know Bobbi Brown runs on the pricey side, this post is to simply put the idea out there that the money you spend on beauty products acts as a vote for the quality and care you want in a cosmetics company. It’s taken years to build my makeup collection– first starting with a brush set, then buying shadows/blushes one by one to fill my palette, a moisturizer here, a concealer there… I’ve even gotten on the BB e-mail list to know when I can get discounts, free items and all that good stuff! Take a little to time to research the products your using, and feel good about nixing the animal testing and chemicals. Below are my favorite BB items! Enjoy!

Basic Brush Collection-- Great starter kit with the basic brushes you'll use everyday! $175

Creamy Concealer Kit-- don't leave home without it! Seriously, this works wonders! And the powder underneath sets it in place! $32

In the mood to splurge? This Intense Hydrating Face Cream is beyond fantastic! It's as if it repairs my dry skin overnight, $58

BB's first original 10 lipsticks.. classic! Lip Color, $22

Life changer! This gel eyeliner stays put all day long.. I love the black mauve shimmer ink color! $21

This BB Illuminating Bronzing Powder is beautiful bronzy blush-- love the Antigua color! $33

this is my FAVORITE makeup book! I could read it 100 times and still find something new! Lots of great tips, advice, step-by-step application! $32

my own makeup drawer-- shamelessly full of BB. Price= ridiculous

My favorite palette with colors (starting top left & going clockwise): Navajo, Nectar blush, Caviar eyeshadow for lining & Ash. Right is the new Black Velvet eyeshadow.. so pretty for a night out! Palette $10, Eye Shadows $20 each, Blush $22. Sparkle Eye Shadow $24

BB doing what she does, best! Getting your makeup done by Bobbi = Priceless

One of my favorite quotes from Bobbi, on what her idea of beauty is: “When you accept and feel good about who you are, that’s when you are at your most beautiful.”

**Editor’s Note: Parallel Universe post will be coming soon– will include high quality, green and clean makeup but at a lower price than BB… stay tuned!