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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

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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.

Scooting Around Electric Style

18 Oct

SCOOTERS! I’ve been wanting one ever since I can remember. I first saw them in Martha’s Vineyard scooting along the island with their calm and cool drivers enjoying the fresh ocean breeze running through their hair. Then I saw them on a trip to Italy, where everyone and their mother drives around on these small and compact little vespas. But lately I’ve been seeing more and more of them around the neighborhood, a sign that people would rather shell out some cash for a low-emissions scooter than to keep driving their gas guzzler around.

Combining my love of scooters and anything green, I was very intrigued when I came across an article about an electric scooter called the ‘MINI Scooter E Concept’, this scooter is made by MINI (a sub-division of BMW and maker of the famous MINI Cooper) and is completely electric!

MINI Scooter E

That’s right, no gas tank for this bad boy because it runs completely on a lithium-ion battery (installed under the scooter’s seat) which can be recharged at any conventional power socket using an onboard charging cable. And the electric motor is integrated into the rear wheel.

charging cable

This scooter is not only ahead of it’s time with it’s zero-emission electric motor, but it also decided to technologically pave the way with it’s unique smart phone dock that serve’s as the vehicle’s key, display, and central control element. The smartphone can be used as a navigation system, music player or telephone, while the front panel also provides speed and battery charge level.

smartphone dock

The MINI Scooter was first introduced to the world during the 2010 Paris Motor Show and MINI has yet to make a statement on when they will be available for purchase, how much they will cost or how many miles the vehicle can travel on one single charge. But this innovative vehicle will surely be something to look out for! Sleek, fun and eco-friendly? Check! These zero emissions scooters are the way to go! Check out these other pictures of the MINI Scooter, which comes in both single passenger and double passenger styles:

Green your Laundry Room

12 Oct

Ahhh, the smell of fresh laundry on a crisp autumn day. Doing laundry can be such a therapeutic experience (only downfall? folding and putting away clothes..) but it’s time to stop using products that douse our clothes with chemicals and then go on to pollute our water system. Consider biodegradable detergents, laundry softeners and dryer sheets. They’re clean, chemical free, they don’t test on animals and they seriously get the job done! Three brands that are leading the way in this field are Method, Mrs. Myers and Seventh Generation. And they’re all super easy to find at Target or any local supermarket.

Green Tips for Laundry:

  • Only buy 2x concentrated detergent. By cutting water out of the solution, you’re opting for smaller packaging, less plastic, and saved energy.
  • Buy detergents that are plant based rather than petroleum based because they are biodegradable and we can stop relying on oil for these products.
  • Make an effort to only do full loads of laundry (to save water) and to use cool water (to save energy used to heat water)
  • When doing loads of white clothing, opt for baking soda to keep them bright rather than warm water.

Crazy Fact: if every household in the US switched just one of their petroleum based detergents to a natural plant based detergent, then we could save 466,000 barrels of oil which is enough to heat and cool 26,800 U.S. homes for a year. That’s insane! And too easy not to take part in! Check out my favorites below:

 

 

Method Fresh Air Detergent, 50 Loads, $15.50

 

 

buy Mrs. Meyer's basil detergent (64 loads) & dryer sheets together online, $18 (savings of $5)

 

 

Seventh Generation Delicate Care Laundry Detergent

 

 

Did you know that most fabric softeners are filled with animal by-products? Yuck! Go vegan with this Method Aloe & Lily Fabric Softener, $7, which uses plant oils to make your clothes soft and fresh

 

 

Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach (Kosher, Non-Toxic and not tested on animals!)

 

Allergic to fragrance? Then enjoy these products that are free & clear of perfumes and dyes:

 

Mrs. Meyers Scent Free Detergent, 64 Loads

 

 

Method Free and Clear Detergent

 

 

Method Squeaky Green Free & Clear Dryer Sheets

 

Home Remedies brought to you by the one and only, Martha Stewart:

Whiten with Lemon: Fill a pot with water and a few slices of fresh lemon; bring the water to a boil. Turn off heat, add linens, and let soak for up to an hour; launder as usual.

 

mmm.. lemony fresh!

 

Launder with Baking Soda: A baking soda paste (4 tbs baking soda mixed with equal parts water) can be used to treat stains, cut grease, etc.  Just treat the stain with the baking soda paste, and then launder as usual. Have large items that need to be treated pre-wash? 1/4 c. baking soda mixed with 1 gallon of water should do the trick.

 

cheap. easy. effective.

 

White Vinegar: When added to the rinse cycle, white vinegar cuts grease, softens water and whitens fabric. Consider adding 1/8 c. – 1/2 c. to the the first rinse cycle, followed by an extra rinse (to get all vinegar out).

Martha actually also has her own line of plant-based products that you can find here. Enjoy!

 

laundry detergent

 

Bags with a Purpose

30 Sep

I was at the Whole Foods two years ago when I first spotted this “FEED 100” bag. It was a clean crisp organic white cotton bag with a sturdy burlap bottom that could zip into a pouch. I loved it! And with the purchase of this bag, the World Food Program would donate 100 meals to children around the world that needed it.

Since it first began, the FEED Foundation has sold over 500,000 bags and provided more than 54 million meals, such an incredible feat! I love to use this bag for groceries, going shopping at the farmers market and as an everyday bag to tote my crap around. These are such a great idea for gifts (since the holiday season is nudging around the corner). They’ve expanded their line to feature some seriously adorbs bags and backpacks—so check out my favs below!

The FEED bag that started it all! Each bag purchased provides 100 school meals to kids in Rwanda.

FEED 100; $30

Oh hello ikat! These beautiful FEED 3 bags will provide daily nutrient powder for 3 children in Guatemala for 1 year. Small bags will provide 1 child in Guatemala with nutrient powder for a year. $39 and $19 at Lord & Taylor.

FEED 3 Guatemala Bag, $39 & FEED 1 smaller bag $19

This FEED 2 tote is reversible, made of organic cotton and burlap with a messenger strap. Feeds 2 children in school for an entire year through the United Nations World Food Program.

FEED 2 Burlap and Organic Cotton Bag, $100

Looking for a new backpack? Do it for a good cause! For every FEED Health Backpack purchased, FEED will donate the same backpack to a Community Health Worker (CHW) working in a Millennium Village in Africa. This backpack helps to establish their community presence as healthcare providers and to conduct their medical exams, as each backpack is packed with medical essentials.

FEED Health Backpack, $125

FEED 2 Kenya Bag: can’t get enough of this! This bag is made in Kenya by a co-op of women and deaf Kenyans working under fair labor practices. For every bag purchased, $100 goes to support the World Food Programme’s School Feeding operations in Kenya. In total you’re supporting the Kenyan artisans, the WFP School Feeding operations in Kenya, and it gives nutritious school meals to 2 Kenyan children for one year.

FEED 2 Kenya Bag $195

And since Halloween is right around the corner, this FEED Trick-Or-Treat bag on HSN is an awesome way to be stylish and feed a child for one year. $13.20 on HSN

Trick-Or-Treat!

Looking to go green but at a cheaper price? Below are some of our other favorite reusable bags:

Gecko Traders Recycled Market Bag, $23. These bags are Fair Trade market bags made from 100% recycled rice bags. They’re made in Cambodia in small batches by a women’s co-op.

Gecko Traders Recycled Market Bag $23

Baggu Resuable Shopping Bag Set of 3, $22

Also comes in pinks and greys!

Lunchskins Sandwich Bags, $9

And the LunchSkins Snack Bag,$8