Beauty, Reviews

Birchbox + Rifle Paper Co. April Box 2016 Unboxing & Review

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After making a commitment to clean up my skincare and beauty routine, I never thought I’d ever try Birchbox. However, they recently released a Limited Edition Box called “New Naturals” and it features big name green brands such as One Love Organics, Tata Harper, RMS Beauty, and Ilia Beauty. For $59, you get a box of 8 products (7 full-size and 1 sample-size) along with a makeup bag, making the box value a total of $215!

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Beauty

March Makeup Favorites

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After all the subscription boxes from the past year, it’s taken me awhile to find products that I really love. I’ve a huge fan of multi-purpose products, especially when it’s makeup that simultaneously functions as skincare. Below is a list of my current makeup favorites:

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Beauty, Reviews

Battle of the Beauty Boxes

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If you love green beauty as much as I do, then there’s a high possibility that you’ve either heard of these beauty subscription boxes or are already subscribed to them. When I first started transitioning into green beauty, I didn’t really know where to start. Sure, I could’ve explored my local Whole Food or Sprouts to pick up some products, but I am the kind of person that loves to do my research before investing in any product. I used Google to find blogs to get some suggestions and reviews on brands that I had never heard of and were only available online. Now, the search for cruelty-free, non-toxic beauty products is simplified with beauty box subscriptions that allow you to try samples or full-size products that have been curated for you based on certain criteria. With so many beauty box options, the hardest part is choosing which beauty box is right for you.

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Beauty

My Top Repurchased Items

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When it comes to green beauty products, I love trying new products as much as the next beauty blogger but when I find products that I love enough to repurchase, I know that I’ve found something special. The products pictured above are products that I have repurchased the most for either myself or my family in the past year.

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Beauty

Summer Sales

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This past year, I’ve been trying to get my family to join the “green” side and switch to more natural body products. My mom is currently obsessed with Desert Essence‘s shampoos and conditioners and her current favorite is the Coconut scent (she previously used the Raspberry one). She just stocked up on the shampoo and conditioner, which are now on sale at Vitacost for $3.97 each! The body wash was on sale for $5.29 and I picked it up for my mom to try as well. It will be interesting to see how this compares to the 100% Pure Coconut Body Wash, which I think is a bit too pricey for me but my mom loves the scent. I think that the Desert Essence products are a great budget-friendly option, especially if you’re looking to transition into green beauty products. If you are a huge coconut scent lover, you should quickly pick these up while they’re on sale!

The coconut shampoo and conditioner each score a 4 on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database due to the fragrance ingredient. So, if you’re looking for a product that has a lower EWG score but is still affordable, Acure Organics is probably your next best bet. Right now, my family is still in the transitional phase, so they’re not quite as picky when it comes to EWG scores. I typically try to only use products that score between 0-3, but I’m not a purist so I am willing to use products that score a little higher depending on how often I use it and if it is being applied to a larger surface of my skin.

According to Vitacost’s website, the Desert Essence products are free of: “parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, phthalates, artificial colors, silicones, EDTA, glycol, petroleum-based ingredients, wheat, gluten, animal testing, and animal ingredients.”

Have you tried the Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo, Conditioner, and/or Body Wash? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

♥ If you’re new to Vitacost, get $10 off your first purchase of $30 here.

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Here are some other green beauty summer sales that are going on right now:

100% Pure – From July 13-July 15, use code #FOOTSIE for 20% off footsie products.

The 20% off applies only to products selected for the Foot Facial promotion and cannot be used towards any other items in your order. Please enter discount code #FOOTSIE when checking out. Online only. Offer is valid until Wednesday July 15th, 2015 11:59 PM PST.

Dermstore – Select Jane Iredale products are 25% off. *Sale ends 7/14/15 11:59 PM PT. Not valid with other offers.

Pharmaca – 20% off $50, $25% off $75, 30% off $100; Code: STOCKUP

*STOCKUP coupon code valid through 7.14.15 9:30am MST only, only for merchandise at pharmaca.com. All discount promotions exclude Avene, Bluebonnet, Clarisonic, DeVita, Doctor Greens, Dr. Hauschka, evanhealy, GroVia, Herb Pharm, Integrative Therapeutics, jane iredale, John Masters, Jurlique, Klorane, Max Green Alchemy, Metagenics, Mrs. Meyers, Natura Health Products, NeuroScience, New Chapter, Nordic Naturals, One Love Organics, Paula’s Choice, Pharmax, Pure Encapsulations, Sanitas, Sigma-Tau, Suki, Sun Warrior, Thorne Research, Vega One, Vibrant Health or Vital Nutrients, gift cards, prior purchases, shipping, products that currently have a Buy One, Get One Free offer or purchases at Pharmaca stores. Not redeemable for cash or combinable with any other offer or discount.

**Orders over $35 ship FREE via Standard Shipping. Orders must total $35 before tax (and after any promotional discounts) to qualify. Surcharges for large items may still apply. Some exclusions apply; see Shipping page for details.

Beauty, Reviews

Yuli Skincare

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I think everyone in the green beauty community (and beyond) has heard about Yuli Skincare by now. I’ve read countless reviews and was a bit skeptical about all the hype. After all, I couldn’t find any real negative review on any their products. The Halcyon Cleanser is constantly being back ordered on Spirit Beauty Lounge, so I knew I had to try it. About a month ago, I purchased the Halcyon cleanser and trial sizes of the Panacea Elixir and the Cocoon Elixir. At first, I didn’t notice much of a difference in my skin. I started to break out a bit during the first two weeks of using the cleanser, but I also noticed that my blemishes were healing much faster than usual. I used the Halcyon cleanser almost every day as well as the elixirs. I alternated between each elixir but I used the Cocoon Elixir the most. To be honest, I don’t normally use toners religiously in my skincare routine. I didn’t think that they made a big difference, so I would only use them if I had specific skincare issues such as acne or dry skin. However, I was really surprised by Yuli’s elixirs. I saw a noticeable difference in my skin after using them, even if I didn’t use them in conjunction with my Halcyon cleanser. I was also really impressed by the ingredients of all the Yuli Skincare products, especially their emphasis on using living nutrients and potent bioactive ingredients:

Our Elixirs are delicately crafted using a base of organic and wild-crafted botanical hydrosols and flower water. These fresh elixirs contain living nutrients and are incredibly active. Our elixirs are free of drying alcohol, synthetic fragrance, and oils. The scent is 100% natural as though you were smelling the actual flower or plant our precious elixirs came from.

Cocoon Elixir ($12 for trial size):

D-Aloe Barbadensis, C. officinalis (Calendula) hydrolat*, R. officinalis (Rosemary) hydrolat*,L. angustifolia (lavender) hydrolat*, M. recutita (Chamomile) hydrolat*, B. carterii(Frankincense) hydrolat^^, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, MSM, R. damascena (Rose) flower petal powder*,M. emarginata (Acerola) extract, colloidal silver

Panacea Elixir ($12 for trial size):

D-Aloe barbadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia(lavender) hydrolat*, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat^, H. italicum/L. angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat*, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale(watercress) extract*, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver

Halcyon Cleanser ($52):

H. italicum/L. angustifolia hydrosol blend*, herbal infusion of (T.pratense*, C. sinensis*, S. media, Z. officinale*, O. fragans), D-aloe barbadensis,vegetable glycerine, sodium cocoyl isethionate (vegetable source), peptides derived from Amaranth protein, jojoba ester*, Rhodophyta (Red Algae) ferment, G.lucidum (Reishi) tincture*, zeolite, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), vitamin C ester, biodynamic fruit enzymes, petitgrain sur fleurs oil*, bergamot (bergaptene-free) oil*, collidal silver

* Organic
^^ Wildcrafted

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Yuli Skincare has now become a staple in my daily skincare routine. I think it might even be HG status. It really is that good. I also want to try one of their serums next. I love the lux minimalist packaging and while I wasn’t a big fan of the scent of the products at first, I’ve grown to like it. I actually share my cleanser with my sister and I still have quite a bit left in the bottle. You only need about 1-3 pumps for each use, so the cleanser will last you a long time. I prefer to use this cleanser at night since I like to let it soak into my skin before rinsing it off. Also, since it’s such a gentle cleanser, I still suggest using a makeup remover to remove your makeup. I think the initial price of Yuli Skincare products may discourage some people, but you really do get what you pay for. If you’ve struggled with finding skincare products that actually work, then Yuli Skincare is an investment worth making.

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