40 Natural Holiday Gift Ideas

40 Natural Holiday Gift Ideas

I’ve rounded out 40 Natural Holiday Gift Ideas! Ok, so it’s less than two weeks until Christmas and if you’re anything like me you still haven’t wrapped up your holiday shopping.  I know, shame on me but life’s been a bit hectic lately- can you blame a girl?!  But I thought if I’m doing this, how many other people are doing the same thing.  So I thought I would share some gift ideas that I’m gifting to my family and friends and some gift ideas that are just always winners.  Plus, so many of the gift ideas can either be bought on Amazon- quick and easy or Pharmaca- and they’re always having sales!  Basically, I’ve got your back this holiday season.

Pharmacy-Natural-beauty

Pharmaca has all the top clean beauty brands but discounted!

Pharmaca- (Always having sales, and you can get clean beauty, kid’s toys and even herbs all in one place)

  • Juice Beauty Brow Envy Gel- This eyebrow wand is amazing!  Best eyebrow wand I’ve found in green beauty.  I wear the color medium-dark.
  • Inika Organic Makeup- This makeup brand is a cut above and their formulations are dreamy!  Their mascara is awesome, their eyeshadow duos and baked foundation.
  • ZuZu Luxe Liquid Liner- This liner is my fave! It’s inexpensive, stays put and comes in a variety of colors.
  • Intelligent Nutrients Hair Spray- Ok, I’ve found another green beauty hair spray I can’t get enough of. It’s so good!  And with Pharmaca’s sales a steal! 
  • John Masters Hair Paste- This hair paste my brother and hubs love!  It is clean and budget friendly! Also, doesn’t give your hair the wet look.
  • AER Vapour Deodorant- This deodorant is one of the best in green beauty and you can get it for a pretty good discount on Pharmaca! 
  • Melissa & Doug Toys- Pharmaca offers so many natural options for toys!  We love this wooden house.  My girls love using the keys for it.
  • Stasher Bags- These silicone bags are my fave!  I use them for anything and everything.  They freeze well too.  Say no to plastic and grab these instead!
  • S.W. Basics Cream- These easy creams are nice to take with you on the go.  Put one in your car, one in your purse, kitchen- hands will never be dry!
  • RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek- These are one of the first multi-use products I tried in green beauty and I still can’t get enough- so versatile. Use on cheeks, lips and eyes.
Online green beauty retailer Pharmaca

Best organic and natural green beauty at Pharmaca.

Amazon- (Quick turnaround with Amazon Prime and best deals)

Beauty Counter Review

The Classic Eyeshadow Palette. Satin Powder Blush and Color Intense Lipstick.

Beautycounter- (All clean beauty in one place and they’re having a sale Dec. 15th-17th off holiday sets)

  • Necessary Neutrals Palette- Love this eyeshadow palette!  Best eyeshadows I’ve found in green beauty.  The longevity is amazing!
  • Highlighter Palette- This highlighter palette has 3 shades and is so gorgeous on anyone!
  • Mini Lipgloss Vault- This lipgloss set is a great option to give as one gift or to break up into smaller gifts.
  • Color Intense Lipstick Vault-  This lipstick set is so fun!  It has so many different shades you can try out- they’re hydrating and pigment is so rich.
  • Instant Awakening Trio- I use the lotion before makeup application, the resurfacing mask every other night and the eye masks in the morning- perfect skincare set!
  • Best of Beautycounter- This gives you a taste of the best of Beautycounter skincare products.  It’s such a great gift idea for someone just getting started.
  • Travel Size Cleansing Balm- A bestseller in Beautycounter- it works so well.  Now you can try it for a little less money with the travel size before buying the full size.
  • Counterman Kit- This is a men’s essential kit that comes in the coolest bag- any guy would be lucky to get it!
  • Travel Body Essentials- I love anything travel friendly.  Makes it so easy to grab when packing- this set is all the body products you need when on the road!
  • Intense Moisture Body Duo- This set will keep your skin so hydrated throughout the winter! Such a great gift idea!
Best Labor Day Sales in Green Beauty and Natural Living

Holiday gift ideas galore! Kosas lipstick, Josh Rosebrook, True Botanicals and Aila nail polish.

Misc.- (Green Beauty/Bedding/Water Filter/Nontoxic Cookware)

See anything you’re going to snag as a gift?

Why I Decided To Join Beautycounter

Why I Decided To Join Beautycounter

I’m so excited to share why I decided to join Beautycounter!  This post has been a long time coming.  If you would have told me 6 months ago that I was going to be joining Beautycounter I would have laughed.  For those of you who have followed me for a long time this may come as a big surprise to you.  That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to share why I decided to join Beautycounter.  To not only share why I changed my mind but also share more about Beautycounter and their mission- because they mission is great and something I had no idea about.  I didn’t care to listen, read, or watch.If you don’t care about reading about why I joined and just want me to share my experience with the product- then scroll to the end! 🙂 I’ve got pics of me wearing the products!  And my thoughts.  Plus, don’t forget to shop right now!  Beautycounter’s Black Friday Sale started today!  They rarely have sales- like hardly ever, so this is pretty big.  Shop 15% off sitewide plus, free shipping on orders of $50 or more!  Shop here!

I want to share first why I used to be against Beautycounter:

  • I didn’t like the MLM or direct sales model- whatever you want to call it.  I’ve been pitched to about Beautycounter more than I can count.  Some have been nice and thought out but others to be honest seemed really salsey and impersonal.  It turned me off.
  • They had ingredients in their products that I thought were bad.  Specifically talc and phenoxyethanol.  I’ve since done a deep dive into both and I’m no longer fearful of either.  I’ll share more about it this below.
  • All other green beauty bloggers around me were against it and so of course so was I.  I guess you could say I followed the pack!  Everyone has their standards and I can only make this decision for myself.  It just feels good to make MY own educated decision though and have researched it. I think it’s easy to get swept up in things, and listen to what bloggers say as Bible.  People think what I say is absolute all the time.  I constantly want to encourage others to do their own research- us bloggers don’t know everything- far from it.  We are all on a journey!

Overall, I didn’t give Beautycounter a chance.  I didn’t read up on them, or even entertain conversations about them.  I simply looked at some of their products on their site and that was it.

Ingredient Deep Dive- Phenoxyethanol and Talc

Phenoxyethanol- This is used as a preservative in products.  If a product contains water or aloe, it needs a preservative otherwise mold, yeast and bacteria can grow.  There is a lot of false statements about phenoxyethanol out there on the internet.  Trust me- I’ve read them!  Beautycounter uses a pure form of phenoxyethanol, which has been tested twice by Tufts University.  They have also had 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide tested on their raw form and it came back negative.  Phenoxyethanol is not bioaccumulative so it’s not something that builds up in your body like many chemicals can. Beautycounter only allows products to contain less than 1% of phenoxyethanol in all their products.  They work with formulators to only use what’s absolutely necessary.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had multiple green beauty products have mold in them!  Preservatives have been made to be the villain.  We need them in formulations.  Obviously, there are good ones and bad.  Would I recommend you use any brand that has a product that contains phenoxyethanol-no.  It’s important to know the sourcing.  I trust Beautycounter’s work and efforts to make sure they have a clean source and our third party testing to ensure it stays clean.

It’s also important to understand the studies done and the percentages used.  Many people are citing studies that have used 100% phenoxyethanol!  I don’t care what chemical you use, you’re going to have some negative impacts when used at that high of a dosage.  Some reports also state irritation when using phenoxyethanol.  I would say to check if the source is clean but to also see how much they’re using in a product.

Made Safe and EWG the two most credible third party non-toxic certifications enable phenoxyethanol to be used at less than 1%.

The thing I love and respect about Beautycounter is that they are constantly wanting to improve and find better solutions.  They don’t claim to know it all!  They are working with industry leaders to always find a newer list of preservatives to use.  They have worked to create a Safer Preservative Challenge and Sustainable Chemistry Alliance.  I would also be cautious of new preservatives that have come out on the market that claim to be clean when no research has been done on them.  Let’s always keep asking questions!

Talc- I had thought talc was a big no, no since I went green 8 years ago.  But I’ve quickly learned I was wrong.  Talc isn’t bad, it’s the by product of talc- asbestos and other heavy metals that can be the problem.  Beautycounter works only with a certified company that is asbestos free and they don’t stop there, they then third party test all their talc to ensure there’s no contamination. Once again, Beautycounter always takes their efforts to the next level!

My biggest piece of advice as I preach all the time as a green blogger is to do your own research and be your own advocate!  Don’t just believe everything you read, hear or see.

Fast Forward several months and now I want to share why I decided to join Beautycounter and why I changed my mind.  I thought about this and it really boiled down to 5 main things.

Third Party Testing-

For those who might not be aware of what third party testing is, let me explain. Third party testing is an independent organization that tests the product to ensure it is what it’s supposed to be.  They make sure it’s safe and has the ingredients it’s supposed to have in it.  For ex. Beautycounter had to recall some of their face cream back in 2017 because of a failed preservative and microbial growth.  I don’t know any green/natural beauty brands that are third party testing their products!  The FDA is so loose on regulations for beauty products.  A company could manufacture a product and list the ingredients on the label but the ingredients could be different then what’s actually in the label- and no one would know.

Beautycounter’s mission is to create laws that would force companies to be accountable. To be honest, I really didn’t fully understand this or think it was a big deal when it came to beauty until my own health journey with hashimotos.  I learned that heavy metals could be a trigger for my thyroid condition!  I also had a doctor share her own journey with heavy metal toxicity and an autoimmune condition.  I’m not sharing this to bring fear but to be aware.  I’ve been in this space for a long time and I wouldn’t have thought about heavy metals in products before.  Beautycounter tests their makeup line three times for 10 heavy metals before they put it out for the consumer.  Since natural makeup contains many minerals from the earth, even though they’re natural, they still can carry a load of heavy metals.  If you’re using these consistently that can produce a heavy metal load.  The fact that Beautycounter third party tests all their products is huge.  I literally know what’s in each product!

They aren’t just third party testing for heavy metals but for common toxic ingredients like phthalates, formaldehyde, 1,4 dioxane, etc.

Counteract Coalition-

This coalition is pretty amazing!  Beautycounter created this alliance of companies that supports the Personal Care Products Safety Act.  If you’re not familiar with the bill it would require manufacturers to post complete label information about products online and force beauty companies to provide the Food and Drug Administration with information about the ingredients used in their products. The last time a bill was passed to regulate personal care products it was 1938!  I think it’s time to start linking arms and make our voices heard.

Companies in the coalition are well known green beauty brands.

  • Vapour Organics, Annamarie Skincare, Follain, OSEA, Rahua, Silk Therapeutics, S.W. Basics, Vinter’s Daughter, and TenOverTen to name a few.  Beauty Counter unified everyone and created something so much more impactful than if everyone was on their own. There are power in numbers!  I love that Beauty Counter isn’t trying to bring other companies down but create positive change together. I love the quote from founder Gregg Refrew-

I set out to get safer products in the hands of everyone, not to get Beautycounter products into the hands on everyone.

Beautycounter is creating change and that’s something I want to be a part of!

Beautycounter Review

Wearing Beautycounter’s BC Red Color Intense Lipstick, Satin Powder Blush in Guava and The Classic Eyeshadow Palette in Ivory, Sahara and Copper.

Beautycounter Spreads The Clean Beauty Message-

Isn’t that what it’s all about?  Getting the clean beauty message out!  Beautycounter is pioneering this.  For so long I was against one of the companies making the biggest impacts in the natural beauty industry.  Instead of linking arms to join in the support to raise awareness I was fighting it.  They have the resources and have set it up where people are getting educated and empowered to make better choices for themselves and their families.  I want to be part of a movement that is supporting the clean beauty movement and women in business.

The amount of work they are doing to clean up the industry is amazing.  You can literally get email updates on their advocacy work by signing up here!

We can do more TOGETHER!

Builds Community- 

This is one of my favorite aspects of Beautycounter.  The people you meet.  Women seriously passionate about making a difference and sharing it with their friends and family.  Beautycounter first and foremost wants to educate the consumer and the amount of materials and resources they share is amazing!

Learning from one another- that’s what it’s all about.  Not, I know more than you, here’s what to think, but an open dialogue where we are always growing.  People aren’t just detoxing their beauty but their lives.  It opens up the conversation. When you have a community of women who are sharing together- good things happen.  You can lean on one another.

Beautycounter Supports Women Building Businesses-

Ok, this point is one that I strongly believe in and I’m so passionate about.  I love that women can create a business that fits their lifestyle.  A business that can support their family.  If you would have told me I would be in direct sales 6 months ago, I would have thought you were joking.  But now I get it.  When your passion lines up with it, it’s impossible to say no.

Gregg, the founder, set it up as direct sales because she wanted it to be personal and relational.  She wanted to educate the consumer.  She could have set it up to be a retail but she didn’t.  She wanted consumers to know ingredients and to ask questions.  That’s why she chose direct sales.  The stories I’ve heard from women being able to support their families are definitely moving to say the least.

From being able to buy healthier food now for their family because of earning extra income through Beautycounter.  To being able to take their family on a vacation or affording a mom to stay at home with her kids.  Beautycounter has literally changed these women’s lives.

I recently watched a video where Gregg the founder shared why women need stop apologizing for being in direct sales.  Why are we apologizing?  Because we now can afford to live the lifestyle we want?  To pay for those ballet lessons for our child or educate others about nontoxic products?  It’s silly!  We need to own it and realize the change we’re making!

Those are my 5 reasons why I joined Beautycounter.  These are my why’s.

Beautycounter Review

Beautycounter’s Classic Eyeshadow Palette, Guava Satin Powder Blush and Color Intense Lipstick in BC Red.

I also wanted to share with you some of the product I’ve tried and their bestsellers-

As I mentioned above, don’t forget to grab some product now!  Beautycounter rarely has sales of any kind and their Black Friday sale starts today 12/20!  It’s 15% off sitewide and free shipping over $50!  

The products I’ve tried are their Classic Eyeshadow Palette, Satin Powder Blush in Guava and their Color Intense Lipstick in BC Red(this was a limited edition, but they have one super close to the color called Girl’s Night, it’s your classic red).  I’ve been super impressed with the products!  The performance is amazing.  The eyeshadows are the best I’ve used in green beauty.  They’re highly pigmented, and stay on the whole day!  The blush is also highly pigmented and long lasting.  Guava is the perfect pop of pink to warm up the cheeks.  The lipstick color is 100!  Literally, if you’ve followed me for a while you know I love me a good red lipstick and the BC red does not disappoint.  It also lasts crazy long.  It has a rich feel to it.

I’m going to be sharing my experience with other products too- follow me on Instagram to get the most up to date looks!  Also, don’t forget to shop the Holiday Collection!  From what I’ve been told, it’s a limited edition, and they only bring back a few select items. Shop Holiday here! 

Here are some Best Sellers from Beautycounter:

Ok, that’s all my thoughts on why I joined Beautycounter for now!  Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to head to Beautycounter’s website to shop some product and stock up for the holidays!  I hope you feel informed, and educated.  If you have any questions or want to become a consultant, feel free to email me at suzi@gurlgonegreen.com.  I would love to have you on my team!

 

 

34 Natural Products That Changed My Life

34 Natural Products That Changed My Life

In honor of my birthday I thought I would share with you 34 natural products that changed my life.  I really thought long and hard about these and wanted to give you products that truly made the cut for me.  I’ve been on the this real food journey for 10+years, this natural beauty journey for 8 years and creating a nontoxic home for 2 years.  It’s totally a journey but one that is doable!  Remember it’s not a sprint but a marathon.  Keep your sanity and slowly detox your life.

34 Natural Products That Changed My Life-

  1. Berkey Water Filter- I got a Berkley water filter for my home 7 years ago and I haven’t looked back.  After learning what’s in our drinking water I knew I needed to get a water filter.  The average drinking water can contain pharmaceutical drugs, fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals- just to name a few.  Berkey is not only filters out all the nasties but also is pretty affordable.  You can choose what size you need depending on your family.  Get one here!

  2. Doterra On Guard Essential Oil- This essential oil was introduced to me by my friend Steph Duford.  I’m beyond grateful for it now!  I use it as a cleaner in my house to kill bacteria and parasites.  Many natural cleaners don’t kill parasites.  But On Guard does!  I make my own DIY cleaner with it and my house is so clean.  I fill a squirt bottle- (the size of a normal apple cider vinegar bottle).  Get On Guard here!

  3. Kiddobloom- Love these stainless steel eating trays and utensils for kids.  They aren’t plastic and don’t leach chemicals! The silverware is rounded at the edges, so really great for kids.  They even have the cutest mugs. Shop Kiddobloom here!

  4. Kosas Lipstick- These lipsticks are my fave in natural beauty!  They offer a ton of color options, are highly pigmented and last.  Plus, they’re hydrating.  Trust me, you’ll be hooked in no time.  Some favorite colors I love are Thrillest, Royal, and Rosewater. Snag a lipstick here!

  5. Josh Rosebrook Hairspray- If you’ve been transitioning to natural beauty for a hot minute then you know finding a natural hair spray can often feel like a daunting task.  Well, I’ve literally tried them all and the only one that meets my standards is Josh Rosebrook.  Get it here and thank me later!

  6. Live Botanical Luna Rose and Honey Mask + Cleanser- Basically my holy grail when it comes to morning routine.  I apply this to my face, while I brush my teeth and 5 minutes later I’m left with skin that glows.  It’s magic in a jar!  Plus, so budget friendly.  Use my coupon code: GURLGONEGREEN for 20%!  Snag one here!

  7. Pharmaca- Oh Pharmaca how I love you!  So as many of you know I’m an esthetician.  Well, I worked as an esthetician at Pharmaca years ago.  I loved it!  For those who don’t know what Pharmaca is, allow me to explain.  It’s your one stop shop when it comes to living a natural lifestyle.  They have natural supplements, natural beauty products and natural baby products.  There’s really not much you can’t find at Pharmaca.  I love how I can find everything in one spot, but I also love how Pharmaca is constantly having sales!  It’s kind of amazing.  They are usually offering 20% off all the time, which means more money in my wallet!  Shop all of Pharmaca here!

  8. Elite Fuel Iron- This iron literally changed my life.  My iron depletion was severely low in the summer.  So much so that after workouts I would feel dizzy.  I knew something was up.  After having my blood drawn I saw that my levels were crazy low.  My naturopath recommended this specific iron supplement.  It had been shown to increase iron absorption much faster.  Usually if you take an iron supplement it takes a while to build up storage again.  I noticed a difference after a couple weeks!  Can’t recommend it enough!

  9. Naturpedic Organic Mattress- Sleeping on an organic mattress is pretty life changing.  The amount of toxins in conventional mattresses is pretty disheartening.  Since we sleep a 1/3 of our lives.  It’s important to know what your sleeping on and what your body is absorbing.  My husband and I have LOVED our naturpedic mattress!  It’s seriously so comfortable.  This is the naturpedic mattress we have!

  10. White Lotus Home Pillows- Finding organic pillows that my husband, myself and kids love has been no small task.  But thanks to White Lotus Home- it’s been so easy!  My husband literally won’t stop talking about his shredded latex pillow- he loves it.  My kids and I love our Kapok Pillows.  They offer such great customer service, can help you figure out which pillow is best and offer so many varieties depending on your pillow needs.  Check out all their pillow options here!

  11. SOL Organic Sheets– These sheets are a game changer! They’re soft, and not filled with toxins.  I love that they offer several options depending on what you like.  They’re luxury sheets but at affordable prices.  Check out the sheets here!

  12. Fitglow Beauty Lip Serums- Say hello to your new favorite lip serum- but for real!  These are my favorite lip glosses in green beauty. I hadn’t found a favorite until I used these.  Now I can’t go back!  They aren’t sticky, or goopy like you might think.  They are so smooth, hydrating and nourishing.  The founder actually made them to act like a lip serum for the lips that is filled with antioxidants and vitamins.  Check out all the lip colors here!

  13. Crunchi Foundation Brush- This foundation brush is EVERYTHING!  It’s so soft, love that it has a flat top and is vegan.  I know it sounds funny but when it comes to foundation brushes this brush takes the cake!  Get yours here!

  14. Blendtec Blender- Yep, a quality high speed blender changes lives.  I’ve had my Blendtec Blender now for over 4 years and I can’t recommend it enough.  I love that it gets my smoothies so smooth, and can make nut butters.  It gets used at least once a day if not twice. Check it out here!

  15. Cuisinart Food Processor- I didn’t get a food processor until this last year and I’m kind of kicking myself that I waited this long.  It’s seriously SO amazing!  I use it for my raw veggie bread, kale chip recipes, protein balls, granola bars- the list is endless!  This is the one I have!

  16. Vitacost- where do I even start with Vitacost?!  I love this online health food store.  It has all my favorite natural products for food and living but at a fraction of the cost.  Plus, they’re always offering coupon codes!  I can’t recommend them enough! Shop Vitacost here!

  17. If you care parchment paper- I know how has a parchment paper changed my life- well it has, allow me to explain.  Parchment paper can actually be really toxic.  It’s bleached and can contain many toxic chemicals.  Things that you don’t want in your food and eventually in your body.  In comes If You Care Parchment Paper- it’s unbleached, and nontoxic.  So basically you can have your cake and eat it too!  I love using parchment paper everyday for cooking. It makes cleaning after cooking so easy!  Get your parchment paper here!

  18. Body Love Book- This book really opened my eyes to how our bodies process sugar, carbs, protein, fats, etc.  If  you’re wondering why you’re feeling low on energy, can’t lose the weight, or other health issues- check this book out.  She breaks it down so simply!  Get your book here!

  19. Honest Beauty Mascara- This mascara is my FAVE in natural beauty!  It works like no other mascara and stays put.  Plus, you can get it from Amazon for $14.99!  Grab one for yourself and a friend here!

  20. Reusable Water Bottle- I don’t think I need to explain why this is such a life changer but I’ll give you a brief overview.  Plastic bottles aren’t going away and the more we stop using them, the more change we can create.  Plastic contains a host of problems in our bodies too.  Have you ever drank out of a plastic water bottle? You can literally taste the plastic!  Grab a reusable water bottle and change your life and the environment!

  21. Raw veggie Bread Ebook- I love raw veggie bread.  Sounds weird but it literally has changed the way I eat and consume veggies.  I dabbled in raw veggie bread here and there but didn’t start consistently making it until 2018.  Wow, what a difference that made!  My hubs is addicted and so am I.  Imagine consuming a ton of veggies in a piece of bread that is made with healthy fats like nuts or seeds, olive oil and flaxseed…you would become addicted too.  I use mine for veggie wraps, dip in hummus, egg wraps, and to just eat by itself.  Check out the e-course I took here!

  22. Excalibur Dehydrator- Have you ever made kale chips in the dehydrator?  Yeah, it’s life changing as well.  Once you make them in the dehydrator, you’ll never go back to the oven.  Plus, in the dehydrator all the nutrients are kept intact, since it’s not cooked past 115.  I use my dehydrator for making raw veggie bread too, fruit leather, dried fruit, sprouted nuts- again the list is endless!  Check out my Excalibur Dehydrator here!

  23. OSEA Ocean Cleanser- I found this cleanser this past year and I haven’t looked back.  I’m already on my second bottle and these are large bottles!  I love that it I can use it on my eyes to remove all my eye makeup and it doesn’t sting.  I also love that it foams up ever so slightly and that it washes off with water- no washcloth needed.  Another product that everyone loves!  Plus, it smells amazing!  Get yours here!
  24. True Botanicals Antioxidant Boost and Cellular Repair Serum- I’ve been using these two for a serious dose of antioxidants and vitamins for the skin for several years.  They seriously work!  I always tell people if you’re looking for products that deliver in natural beauty, then look no further, these are it!  These products are what are going to help with those fine lines and help to age gracefully.  Get them here!

  25. Activ Whey Protein Powder-  If you follow me, you know I love Activ Whey!  It’s a goat whey protein that comes in vanilla and chocolate. Tastes amazing- you will become addicted.  It also   is so light, not heavy at all.  It’s completely different than cow’s whey.  It’s hypo-allergenic versus allergenic, is immune boosting and promotes healthy digestion.  Check it out here!

  26. Waseda Farms- I just discovered Waseda Farms a couple months ago and I’ve been hooked!  I get nothing from recommending them, other than hopefully more business sent their way.  They are the best organic, pastured meat delivery farm I’ve found.  Most meats deliveries are organic but not pastured- Waseda is both!  Their selection is amazing too!  From pork, chicken, beef, lamb, and turkey.  The taste is amazing too- you won’t be disappointed.  Plus, they deliver it right to your front door!  That’s my favorite part.  For so long I had to go to all these farms to get it but now I just go to Waseda!  I have my good friend Steph Duford to thank!  Check out all their offerings here!

  27. Stasher Bags- These silicone bags have changed my food storage game for the better!  I don’t use plastic bags anymore.  But use these instead.  They aren’t leaching any toxic chemicals, and I save money because I’m not constantly buying plastic bags.  Plus, you’re saving the environment!  Get yours here!

  28. E3 Live- This is an organic algae that has given me energy and helped my hashimotos.  I started taking it over a year ago and I have felt so much better taking it!  It gives my body all the nutrients!  Algae supports digestion and the immune system, helps with mental clarity, and brain health.  Trust me, this stuff is SO good!  Get your E3Live here!

  29. Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation- I talk about this foundation all the time and sometimes I feel like a broken record but it’s because I just love it!  It doesn’t look heavy on the skin, covers redness, and creates and overall polished glow.  You’ll be loving how your skin looks.  I’ve tried all the natural foundations and this one always calls to me!  It performs just like it’s name- True Skin Serum Foundation.  I wear the color SF3. Snag it here!

  30. Almond Cow- I never knew I needed this clever gadget until I started to use it- now I don’t know how I got along without it.  It makes making nut milks a breeze- I mean seriously so easy!  You’ll love it!  Get your Almond Cow here!

  31. Xtrema Cookware- I started using this nontoxic cookware several months ago and wow it’s a whole new world in the kitchen!  Things don’t stick like they used too, it’s so easy to clean and it continues to look good.  I’m going to be giving these as gifts!

  32. Agent Nateur Holi Rose Deodorant- I probably had tried 50 natural deodorants until Agent Nateur Holi Rose.  Once I tried it though, there was no going back.  This deodorant doesn’t mess around.  It has never irritated my skin, and keeps me smelling fresh all day long.  I’m not the only one that thinks this.  This is a holy grail among green beauty bloggers!  Snag one here!

  33. Kosmatology Hand Soap-  There’s hand soaps and then there’s Cosmetology hand soaps.  These hands soaps are squeaky clean, don’t dry out your hands(hello) and come in a ton of fun scents.  Get one for you and for a friend here!

  34. Aila Nail Polish and Nail Polish Wipes- I’ve tried a lot of natural nail polish and Aila has stolen my heart.  It goes on so smooth, isn’t goopy at all.  Love all the colors!  They have a top coat called better than gel that literally acts like a natural top coat on top of your nails.  I also love their nail polish remover wipes.  I can easily take them anywhere because they come in a wipe form.  Get your Aila nail polish and wipes here!

See anything you love too?  What are some natural products that have changed your life?

The Best Nontoxic Cookware

The Best Nontoxic Cookware

I finally rounded out the best nontoxic cookware!  I have received this question so much within the last 6 months that I knew I needed to write a blog post.  It’s crazy how many toxic chemicals can be lurking in cookware.  It might not seem like a big deal but over time these chemicals add up and produce a toxic load!

So What’s In The Average Pot or Pan?

I’m sure you’ve either used nonstick pots or pans or heard of them.  These pans may make it easy to cook your food with but unfortunately they carry dangerous toxic exposure as well!  Nontoxic cookware usually contains this chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.  Science has shown that it can stay in human bodies for long periods of time.   It has even shown to cause cancer in lab studies done on animals.

While cancer is nothing to bat an eye at, it also can cause infertility, liver damage, plus delayed development just to name a few other things.  Of course PFOA isn’t the only ingredient you want to avoid in your cookware.  Things like aluminum, plastic, lead, teflon, and cadmium.  These all pose a serious risk to our health and should be avoided.

When living out a natural lifestyle one of the foundations is cooking your food.  It’s no secret that when you cook your own food, you’re getting more nourishment usually then when going out.  However, if the cookware we constantly use is leaching out harmful toxins we may be doing ourselves a disservice.  As I mentioned earlier it’s the toxic load over time that really adds up.  These chemicals are literally getting into the food we’re eating and then absorbed by our bodies.

So What Is Safe?

There are some great options out there now when it comes to nontoxic cookware!  I will say some of the cookware definitely are a little pricier than non-stick- however the investment is worth it.  These pots and pans are going to last you a lot longer than many conventional pots and pans and won’t carry the toxic burden.

Favorites-

Cast Iron-

This was the first type of nontoxic cookware that I switched over too and I still love it.  It really has been around forever and that’s one of the reasons I love it.  It does take a little bit of time to get used to it but once you’ve worked with it you figure it out.  I really love the Lodge cast iron pans.  They’re easy to find at Target or you can order them on Amazon.  They’re also budget friendly!  I use this pan for cooking eggs,  meats, frying- really the list is endless. A couple tips when using cast iron.  Make sure and slowly add heat.  I found this works best instead of blasting the food with heat.  It helps to not burn food.  Cast iron retains heat very well.  Also, make sure you season it regularly. This helps to create a type of natural nonstick surface.  If you’re unsure how to season it, The Wellness Mama did a whole blog post on it here.  When you season a cast iron it’s basically adding a good oil to keep it hydrated and then baking it.  I avoid cooking acidic foods in cast iron because it can break down the seasoning or patina that’s been made on the cast iron.  Cleaning cast iron can seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually not.  You don’t want to use soap with cast iron- it can damage the seasoning and dry it out.  Instead, use some salt to clean it.  I just shake salt on top and then take a scrubby and scrub away.  Then rinse with water. Then you want to dry it and rub in a cooking oil. *The one caution I would make is that cast iron has been known to leach iron so if for some reason you have an abundance of iron you might want to switch up your pans every now and then.  I’ve been the opposite more anemic so I welcome all the iron I can get! Check out Lodge Cast Iron here!

Stainless Steel-

This is another option.  It is unique because it comes in many varieties and types.  In other words not all stainless steel is created equal. Stainless steel is made up of a combination of metals.  Some of the most common metals are chromium and nickel.  The chromium is what helps to protect against rusting and is nontoxic for the most part in the body.  Our bodies do need chromium in small amounts but it’s not that much and if you eat a fairly healthy diet you may already be getting more than you need.  Nickel on the other hand is used to give stainless steel that extra hardness and to give it that polished look.  However, it isn’t great for our bodies.  There is virtually no reason for us to consume nickel.  Your best bet is to buy food grade stainless steel.  When shopping you will see numbers like 200, 304, 316 and 430.  These numbers represent the series of stainless steel.  For example, a 300 series may corrode easier then a 400 series. Whereas a 400 series is going to be the strongest and have almost no nickel.  Of course the 400 series will cost more!  I wouldn’t buy anything less than a 304 for overall quality. You will also see numbers 18/8, 18/10 or 18/0. The first number represents the amount of chromium and the second number the amount of nickel.  It’s also important to not use harsh cleaners when cleaning stainless steel because it can cause damage to the lining. When the lining is damaged the heavy metals can leach into the food a lot easier.  Personally, although this option is safer than many I still prefer not to cook with it all the time because of the possible metal content leaching into food, especially if the food your cooking is acidic. Also, many stainless steel cookware has a layer of aluminum in between the stainless steel.  So it’s important to note that if your stainless steel was to get scratched you need to stop using it. You may also see copper sandwiched in the in-between layer as well.  They do this because both aluminum and copper are heat conductors.  From what I’ve read and researched since the aluminum isn’t coming into contact with the food and is protected by stainless steel it’s fine to have it in the cookware. *Some people already have high levels of heavy metals in their bodies and cooking with stainless steel wouldn’t be a good idea.  However, many people might be fine.  I know a lot of people who use it only for certain things and then other foods that might be more acidic they use different cookware.  One more important tidbit is that commercial kombucha is brewed in large stainless steel vats and since kombucha is acidic it is soaking up all those heavy metals. Even though it’s housed in glass it’s best to steer clear of  store bought kombucha and make your own at home. Check out this great set of stainless steel cookware here!

Xtrema

This has been my newest cookware option that I’ve started to use for the last several months and really have come to love!  It is different than both stainless steel and cast iron.  From the glaze on the cookware to the core it’s made with 100% ceramic.  Ceramic is awesome because it’s completely inert- meaning it won’t leach any harmful toxins.  All of Xtrema has been tested for heavy metal content and is free from glues, polymers, coatings and dyes. If you want to see their testing results check them out here.  Plus, it’s dish washer safe- something all the mamas can get behind! It heats very evenly too.  You can even take a dish from the fridge to the stove or oven- it’s very versatile. It also can withstand high temperatures.  It’s easy to clean Xtrema cookware too, just use warm soapy water.  You can also use baking soda or an abrasive scrubby if you need to.  The best way to heat an Xtrema is to turn the heat on low or low medium.  Since it’s so great at heat conduction you don’t need or want to crank the heat up to high.  Doing this would result in foods sticking or burning.  It’s best to turn the heat on a couple minutes before you start cooking and then add a little cooking oil once it’s heated.  I like avocado oil, ghee or coconut oil.  Don’t add the oil to a cold pan, wait until it’s heated up or it will cause foods to stick.  Personally, I love cooking with Xtrema!  I have their 8-inch Versa Braiser.  It’s nice because it has a lid and can be used for cooking meats, quiches, casseroles etc, but also can be used for cooking eggs with.  *Beware, there is a lot of deceptive marketing around ceramic cookware.  It may say ceramic but it is coated with a nonstick chemical.  The only company I’m aware of that is a true ceramic, with no additives is Xtrema.  Xtrema

Porcelain Enamel-

There has been a lot of confusion I’ve noticed about this type of cookware.  It is cast iron but then has been given a coating of enamel.  This enamel is a type of glass.  It is completely safe.  There has been some controversy about the enamel being made of clay and therefore having lead but from various tests performed on it, there has been no lead detection reported.  A common brand you may think of is Le Creuset.  Their cookware is made in France.  One might think that porcelain enamel is similar to cast iron and that is true but it does have it’s differences.  Porcelain Enamel will not rust where regular cast iron can if not seasoned properly.  Also, porcelain enamel won’t leach iron because of the coating, where cast iron will.  Porcelain enameled is also nice to have for acidic foods like chili or spaghetti sauces.  Acidic foods as I mentioned above can strip cast iron of it’s seasoning, especially when simmered for a long period of time.  For cleaning you can use some mild dish soap on it and a scrub pad of some kind.  For stubborn stains or food that’s stuck you can boil some water in it with a few tablespoons of baking soda.  Let it sit for a few hours or overnight.  *Personally I love having a porcelain enamel skillet on hand too.  It’s great for using with acidic foods or making stir frys, soups, or stews.  I would stick with Le Creuset.  To my knowledge they are the only ones that have been tested for lead content and come back negative.  The only small trace amounts that were found were on the outside of the lids and pots where there was some color but not inside.  Also, I’m a skeptic of things made in China as they have been known to have higher metal content and most of the other porcelain enameled is made there. Check out Porcelain Enamel cookware here!

Glass Cookware-

This is a great budget friendly option that’s available almost anywhere cookware is sold.  One of the most common glass cookware is called Pyrex.  It is inert, meaning it doesn’t add or take away from the food.  I have several casserole or baking dishes whatever you like to call them.  I use them for both casseroles and special desserts.  I also have a round glass dish with a lid that’s great for soups or stews that I use a lot.  For making breads I like to use a glass bread loaf pan too.  *Glass is a great option for those starting to detox their cookware and looking for accessible and budget friendly options.  I have even seen really good deals on Pyrex glass sets at Costco! Check out this Pyrex set here!  Check out this great set by Anchor Hocking here!

Bakeware-

When it comes to baking you can use a lot of the cookware I mentioned above but there are a few other options too.  For the ones mentioned above you can use cast iron to bake breads, or porcelain enamel for desserts such as crumbles, cobblers or pies.  Also, glass cookware is a great option for baking too, as well as stainless steel.  Stainless steel is especially nice for cookie sheets or cake pans! These are a great option for stainless steel cookie sheets! If you’re still concerned about the possible metal leakage just use some parchment paper.  I love this brand that doesn’t leach any toxic chemicals.  I use parchment paper when baking always because it makes clean up so much easier and is sometimes essential when making cakes.  You can also get stainless steel muffin trays.  Another option I haven’t talked about is stone cookware.  They have stone baking sheets, loaf pans and cake pans.  I personally haven’t used them.  I know that you have to be really careful when cleaning as you can’t use soap or get them wet.  They’re also heavier too. Rada is a good American made brand that is lead free.  *When it comes to bakeware think about what you use the most and swap that out first.  As I mentioned earlier, you can always buy some nontoxic parchment paper and use that as a protectant too.  I also like these nontoxic paper muffin liners. 

I have never used silicone for cooking or baking other than some silicone muffin liners.  However, I stopped using them because I started to wonder if they were actually safe.  I had read a lot of information saying there just isn’t enough research out there yet and I agree.  Until more long term studies come out, I’m going to stick with using silicone when food isn’t heated or cooked.  

I do think it’s important to switch out your cookware because this is something you use all the time and the accumulative affect is great.  Even if you could replace one item every quarter, by the end of the year you would have a whole new cookware set!

What nontoxic cookware option do you love?

The Best Fall Organic Beauty Must Haves

The Best Fall Organic Beauty Must Haves

I’m rounding out the best fall organic beauty must haves!  I’ve got some skincare, and makeup.  Some tried and true products and some products that I just discovered.  Green beauty just keeps getting better and better!  Keep reading to find out what I can’t stop using.

E3Live Tamera E3 Light Creme-

Best Organic and Natural Skin Cream for sensitive and dry skin

Best Organic and Natural Eczema/Irritated Cream For Angry Skin

This cream saved my neck a couple weeks ago- no joke!  So my neck had been feeling irritated for a while- almost sensitive.  Anyways, I applied a mask and my neck literally broke out into the biggest rash.  It covered my neck and looked like eczema almost.  It was dry, and patchy.  So I used the E3Live cream on my neck and it literally changed my skin!  I put it on at night and the next day my neck was actually healing and not irritated.  It continued healing each day and now is gone.  I had tried several different oils and creams and everything made it worst.  But the E3Live actually felt soothing and healing!  The ingredients are great.  I think the ingredient that did the trick was the algae extract.  My naturopath had actually told me about the cream originally.  He said it is one product he has seen help his clients more than anything when it comes to skin conditions- especially eczema. I’m a believer!

Get your E3Live Click Here!

Leahlani Aloha Ambrosia-

I love this Morning Moisture Elixir!  It leaves my skin feeling so dewy and hydrated.  I put it on in the morning before my makeup.  It helps to fill in all the cracks and smooth out my whole complexion.  I find it has been perfect for the transition to cooler temps.  Plus it smells amazing!

Get your Aloha Ambrosia here!

Live Botanical Luna Rose & Honey Mask-

Ok, if you’ve followed me for a hot minute you know I’m seriously obsessed with this product!  I’ve gone through several jars since discovering it last year.  It is the perfect cleanser/mask for in the mornings.  I put it on in the morning and then leave it on while I brush my teeth.  It gently exfoliates and gives my skin a serious glow.  My skin feels overall awake.  I can’t recommend it enough!  People always tell me that they love it once they’ve used it.  I even have a 20% off coupon code too!  Use the code: GURLGONEGREEN for 20% off!

Get your mask here!

Natural organic mask and facial serum beauty review

Best Natural and Organic Facial Serum and Brightening Mask

Laurel Sun Damaged Repair Serum-

You know a serum is good when your blogger bestie Lisa from This Organic Girl shows up with the same Face Serum!  We both attended Natural Expo East last week and we both brought Laurel’s Sun Damaged Repair Serum.  When two green beauty bloggers show up with the same serum- there’s something special about it.  This serum is perfect all year round but I especially love it after the summer months.  It helps to repair and rejuvenate the skin after sun exposure.  Minimizing dark spots and brightening skin.  I seriously can’t recommend it enough! It smells divine, is the cleanest of the clean when it comes to sourcing and really works- what more could you want?  You can thank me later!

Get Laurel’s Sun Damaged Repair Serum here!

Laurel’s Brighten Mask-

Yes, another Laurel product because I can’t keep quiet about this brand.  The brighten mask is another fave that I’ve been having on rotation for the last several weeks.  It’s also perfect post summer months.  It’s full of vitamin c and raw fruit acids that help to brighten discoloration.  It has 12 plant active ingredients!  I’m not joking when I say you will see a difference after one use- trust me!   It’s just one powerful mask.  I love that the mask comes in a powder form too, so it’s not activated until you add water.  You’re getting the most potent mask the minute you use it!

Get Laurel’s Brighten Mask here!

Aillea + Organic Bath Co. Organic Citrus Lemongrass-

This is a new find for me and I can’t get enough!  This fabulous collaboration is between Organic Bath Co. and Aillea- sounds like a match made in green beauty heaven. The scent of citrus and lemongrass literally wakes me up and feels so refreshing.  I apply it after I shower and my skin feels so hydrated.  It is a whipped body butter and turns into a nice oil when applied to the skin.  I love that it comes in a glass jar.  Plus, there are only 5 ingredients and they’re all organic!

Get the Body Butter here!

Maya Chia Optimist-

This toner is my absolute favorite!  There have been many hydrating mists that I’ve tried in my years as a beauty blogger but this one takes the cake.  Why?  Well, for starters the formula is divine.  It completely hydrates the skin and feels so refreshing with antioxidants and amino acids.  Your skin will feel plump and perfectly hydrated.  But the kicker of the whole experience?  The actual bottle and pump applicator- it’s amazing!  I know sounds funny to even say but after having so many bad experiences with mists I know a great one when I use it.  The Optimist is just that- GREAT!  It doesn’t squirt out unevenly or in a harsh stream but a nice even mist that seriously feels so good.  It’s stolen my heart!

Snag Maya Chia’s Optimist here!

Favorite Organic and Natural Lipstick reviews

Kosas Natural Lipstick In Electra- The Perfect Candy Apple Red

Kosas Lipstick-

I mean does Kosas lipstick even need an introduction?  I talk about them all the time and I can’t stop!  The formula and colors are just divine.  I keep trying new colors and I have yet to find one I don’t like.  Is that even possible?  I just can’t get enough.  I’ve tried 3 new colors recently- Fringe, a nice brick red for fall, Electra, your classic candy apple red and Violet Fury, a limited edition magenta that looks good on both warm and cool tones. Trust me, you’ll love them!

Get your Kosas Lipstick here!

Best Natural nail polish review

Aila Natural Nail Polish in Room 212

Aila Nail Polish- Room 212

Aila nail polish isn’t new to me, but one I can’t get enough of.  Once the weather starts to turn cooler I love grabbing the color Room 212.  A rich plum color that reminds me of warm drinks, the changing colors of leaves and chunky sweaters.  Any of their colors are great though!  Just love their formula in general.  Don’t forget their Better than Gel topcoat– seriously the best topcoat in green beauty!

Get your Aila Nail Polish here!

Kosas Tinted Face Oil

I have been using the new Kosas Tinted  Face Oil for a month now and I can’t stop!  I thought I wouldn’t like it originally but after using it I realized how wrong I was.  The formula is a lot thinner than I expected.  It reminds me of Gressa’s foundation consistency.  I always say Gressa’s foundation reminds me of paint thinner.  Haha, I know a crazy example.  The Kosas Tinted Face Oil offers such good coverage, a lot better than I thought.  It gives my face an overall polished and pulled together look.  Plus, it looks so dewy and fresh.  My skin literally looks like it’s glowing!

Snag your Kosas Tinted Face Oil here!

See any faves?  What are you loving right now?

 

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