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Sustainable Furniture

Sustainable Furniture

Sharing my complete sustainable furniture guide with you on the blog.  I get asked about sustainable furniture a lot, what is environmentally friendly and so on.  I wanted to do a deep dive into what sustainable furniture is, what brands offer sustainable furniture, how furniture is eco-friendly and if there is affordable sustainable furniture brands.  There is so much to consider when looking for sustainable furniture and I want to make sure and cover every last detail so you can make an informed decision when you are looking for options for your home.  Another term that fits sustainable furniture it eco-friendly furniture. I'll be talking more about how they are intertwined below.

Sustainability involves so many aspects of a business!

 

What Is Sustainable Furniture?

 

Let's first answer the question, what is sustainable furniture.  Sustainable furniture is furniture that keeps the environment in mind and is thoughtful about how it is made, where materials are sourced and the impact it has on people and the world.  

This is the next generation of furniture.  Just as we consider what we buy when it comes to our clothing, food, so is the same with furniture.  I believe this is the next wave in the sustainable movement.  Eco-friendly furniture is another term that I like to use when talking about sustainable furniture.  When we refer to something as eco-friendly it means it's safe for the environment.  Often this can be misinterpreted.  Although something might be safe for people, does not means it's safe for the environment.  Eco-friendly at it's core is ensuring that from packaging to production, the product is safe for the environment and taking measures to make sure it is.  I believe truly sustainable furniture companies do that.

Also, with sustainability comes safer furniture.  When furniture is more thoughtfully made and sourced ingredients and materials are considered much more.  Through the process a cleaner and safer product is made.  Did you know that when it comes to cotton, organic farming produces 46% less C02 than conventional farming practices?  

This is one thing that sets sustainable furniture apart.  Not only is the process safer for the environment but also for the consumer as well.  If you start to dig a little deeper in furniture it's easy to start to see how toxic it can actually be.  Chemicals found in furniture today are downright horrible for the body and yet we can be potentially exposing ourselves to them everyday.  Some of these ingredients are, polybrominated diphenyl, phthalates(1), formaldehyde(2), benzene(3), acetaldehyde(4), vinyl acetate(5), hexabromocyclododecane (6), perfluorooctanoic acid(7), perchloroethylene(8), and trichloroethylene(9).  These chemicals pose a serious threat to our bodies from being known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, skin irritants, causing reproductive issues, respiratory issues, nervous system damage, and more.  As the furniture gets used, these chemicals come out into the air, settle into dust, and land on the floor.  We are not only touching them and being exposed as we sit on the furniture, or touch it but also from air we breathe.  Babies and toddlers have the greater chance of being exposed as they are smaller and are constantly on the ground, crawling and touching things.  

Sustainable furniture tells a story.

“Several studies suggest associations between exposure to some flame retardants and poorer neurodevelopment in children,” Asa Bradman, associate director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley. (10)

Flame retardants started being added to furniture in 1975 by California after the California Flammability Standard was formed.  This standard set a new precedent for all furniture companies as many started to adopt it and add flame retardants to their furniture.  Companies didn't want to have to make specific furniture just for California and different furniture for other states.  Therefore flame retardants were added to any furniture contains foam.  In 2014, lawmakers realized that the flame retardants weren't needed, however, there have been no ban on flame retardants being used still as most furniture you purchase will still have the flame retardants on it. 

Flame retardants are just one of the big heavy hitters when it comes to harmful chemical exposure from furniture. There are so many more chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis because of our furniture.  This is one of the reasons I love digging into sustainable furniture.  It takes all of this into consideration from planet to consumer.  

I want to share some more topics that make sustainable furniture different than conventional furniture:

  • Supply Chain
  • Ethical Practices/Labor Practices
  • Material Sourcing
  • Sustainable/Green Business Practices

 

Sustainable furniture requires focused sourcing and creation.

 

 

Supply Chain

If you're not familiar with a supply chain, it is the start to finish of a product.  How a product gets made.  This takes into account, the sourcing of the materials, the manufacturing, all the people involved in making it happen, to how it's organized- every resource used to get a product to a consumer.  With the advancement in technology in the last 20 years sustainable supply chains have become more and more the way of the future and are almost expected among consumers.  I love this!  In the past supply chain was more of an afterthought to a product.  However, now consumers are asking questions and wanting more transparency.  There are many facets a company can focus on when considering creating a sustainable supply chain.  One such area is how the supply chain and production is going to affect the environment.  For example, how can a company successfully source their materials from a sustainable farmer who is giving back to the land, while also being cruelty-free?  This is something that sustainable furniture companies have to consider when thinking about their supply chain.  More questions are being asked by the consumers and they're wanting to know all the details of the supply chain and what that looks like.

It's not enough to source wool used to make furniture, a sustainable furniture brand must tell the story of how it was sourced from farmer, to region, if the employees were compensated fairly and how it actually got to the manufacturer.  The details all matter!  As I mentioned earlier with the help of technology sustainable supply chains are becoming more and more prevalent.  Technology is the best way for companies to accurately analyze their supply chain from start to finish and see what actually is working and how they can improve overall.  It's an exciting time to see companies step up to the plate and improve their supply chain to make it more eco-friendly and sustainable overall.  This is one area that makes sustainable furniture unique, the supply chain matters and is considered!

Sustainable furniture gives back.

 

Ethical Practices/Labor Practices

When it comes to ethical practices sustainable furniture companies are going above and beyond to ensure that all aspects of a business are supported through ethical practices.  From how the customer is treated, to how the worker is compensated, to being honest when it comes to sales, ethical practices including the business as a whole.  Ethical practices also include how a company considers their mark on the environment and how they are helping to lessen the impact they have on the environment too.  They are uploading themselves to a higher standard of conduct to ensure not only are they using ethics when it comes to people, but also how their company affects the environment around them.  

Labor practices go hand in hand with ethical practices.  If a company sets up a standard of ethical practices to adhere too, it's often going to include what they deem safe for working conditions and pay within the company.  Something that falls right under labor practices.  It's easy to see what type of labor practices a company has in place after reviewing their ethical practices.  Knowing how a company views labor practices is paramount since it determines how workers are compensated, how their working conditions are and more.  When it comes to labor practices in sustainable furniture it's important to look for ethical standards that a company is adhering too.  Then it will be clear how they are prioritizing labor practices within their company.  For example, you could look at a companies ethical practice standards and better understand if they are putting the workers needs and environment first.  This ensures you're getting a truly sustainable product from start to finish!

Material Sourcing

Where the material is sourced is very important when it comes to sustainable furniture.  Is it being sourced from around the world where the cost and footprint is great because of shipping and distribution?  Is it sourced from a farm that doesn't use pesticides and also is uphloding ethical practices of their own?  These are all things to consider when looking at material sourcing.  Responsibly sourced is another term you may come across when shopping for sustainable furniture.  The material may be clean but is it responsibly sourced, meaning as a whole there are no negative effects on people and the environment through the process.

Sustainable/Green Practices

Things to look for when it comes to sustainable/Green Practices-

  • Partnership with employees- Share the mission and sustainability goals with your employees.  This also helps to ensure there is accountability within the company to uphold green practices.
  • Water and Electric Conservation- Is the company actively looking to be sustainable when it comes to water and electric use.
  • Recycling- Does the company recycle?  Is it recycling furniture?  What about paper products, light bulbs, electronics, etc.
  • Sustainable Company Policies- Are their sustainability practices clearly defined and shown on websites and easy to find.
  • Chemical/Waste Management- How is a company lessening the overall chemicals being used in production and managing the waste in a sustainable matter. 
  • Education- This is an important one.  How are they educating the consumer when it comes to sustainability and not only what they are doing but what we as consumers can do as well.
  • Material- Again it's important to consider how the fabric and material are sourced when it comes to sustainable furniture.  Is the fabric doused in flame retardants, formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals that are not only dangerous for people but also for the environment?

 

Now that you have a better understanding of sustainable furniture let's dive into sustainable furniture brands.  Some common sustainable furniture questions I'll be answering:

  • Where can I buy sustainable furniture?
  • What is sustainable wood furniture?
  • Affordable sustainable furniture?
  • Sustainable furniture company materials?
  • Is IKEA Eco-friendly?

We are going to tackle some of the most prominent questions surrounding sustainable furniture so you can be informed as you shop!

Where can I buy sustainable furniture-

While there weren't that many companies in the past when it came to sustainable furniture, the tides are changing and now more than ever there are so many more brands to choose from.  I'm going to list them below, and share what makes the brand sustainable and sets them apart from other sustainable furniture brands.  Some of these brands I've experienced first hand through buying their furniture, I'll note that as well.

West Elm is making waves when it comes to sustainability practices.

 

West Elm

This is a company I do have experience with when it comes to sustainable furniture.  Not only are they are a well known commercial brand, but they are making waves in the sustainability department.  Their prices are more middle of the road.  Some being higher than others.  Definitely not the highest of the high, but also not the lowest of the low.  The are more modern in their design and very with the current style.  

What they offer when it comes to sustainable products:

  • Bedroom, living room, baby cribs, office, and dining room. 

Here is what West Elm currently offers when it comes to eco-friendly and green practices:

  • Fair Trade- Their fair trade factories support over 13,000 workers and their families. That's a total of 16 fair trade facilities total.  West Elm was also the first home retailer to join Fair Trade USA.  These facilities support fair working conditions and fair wages.  Here's a quote from their website, “We've paid 4.7 million into community development funds. Workers invest these funds in needs of their choice: commuter bicycles, cultural services, hot lunches, hygiene kits, and more.”  How cool is that?  By 2020 their hope is that 40% off their products are fair trade certified.  The items that are fair trade certified will have a fair trade certified symbol on them and be noted in the description on the website or at the store.
  • Responsible Sourcing- 100% of all cotton is organic.  Because of this 2.3 billion liters of water was saved in 2019 alone.  10,000+ chemicals & VOCs screened when producing their GREENGUARD Gold certified furniture.  Additional certifications they use are OEKO-TEX certification.  Meaning that a product is tested for harmful chemicals or substances. Check out more information on responsible sourcing here.
  • Environmental Protection- Not only are you supporting fair working conditions and fair wages when you purchase their sustainably sourced furniture, but you are also protecting forests globally and ecosystems. They are also Forest Stewardship Council certified. Many of their products are also up cycled, recycled or reclaimed when it comes to wood. Which means less waste overall. 
  • Supporting Local Economies- They support their local artists, designers, to help their businesses grow.  They also support local economies around the world with their handcrafted goods.

*For a full list of their certifications and partnerships check out the full list here.

When it comes West Elm's wood furniture, it is GREENGUARD Gold certified, meaning that a product has been tested for low chemical emissions.  Meaning it will only give off low level VOCs.  Their are products that are GREENGUARD Certified, but those that are Gold certified as well eliminate even lower levels of VOCs(11).  Another reason to appalled West Elm as they are also GREENGUARD Gold certified too!  You will also see depending on the wood furniture what finish it has on it.  Most of them are covered in a nontoxic water based finish. 

West Elm doesn't just offer sustainable furniture but also sustainable accessories too.  From pillow, bedding, mirrors, art, rugs and more. 

My Experience with West Elm Furniture-

My husband and I have their Mid-Century Modern Acorn Bed Frame and love it! We've had it for almost 3 years and it's held up great. I love that it's made of real wood- no particle board or manufactured wood. Since a bed is such a large piece of furniture I didn't want it off gassing harmful fumes. It also couldn't be cloth or fabric.  Although I do like the look of the cloth headboards, from research I've learned how dust mites can live in them!  Plus, I wondered how they would really get clean, since you can't take the cloth off.  The bed frame is not only made with real wood but fair trade as well.  The price wasn't so crazy either.  I found most furniture made from all wood can be very costly.  I'm SO happy with the purchase!  It didn't even have a smell when we opened it other than just a pleasant real wood smell.  My hubs was impressed with how well it was made too.  Can't recommend it enough!  Shop the Mid-Century Modern Bed Frame here.

Shop all of West Elm Sustainable Furniture here!

Love the strides Crate and Barrel is making when it comes to sustainable furniture.

 

Crate and Barrel

This is another mainstream company that I have firsthand experience with.  Crate and Barrel offers some environmental initiatives from upholstery, packaging, furniture and housewares, catalogs and sourcebooks, energy conservation and recycling and outdoor.  It's so cool to see a mainstream company upholding a higher standard when it comes to sustainability and furniture as well as green practices.  

What they offer when it comes to sustainable products:

  • Bedroom, living room, baby cribs, office, and dining room. 

Here is what Crate and Barrel currently offers when it comes to eco-friendly and green practices:

  • Upholstery- Crate and Barrel now offers over 50 styles in eco-friendly upholstery.  Their products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.  They also are using less petroleum based foam in their cushions and instead replacing it with soy, corn- based foam and fibers.
  • Packaging- All of their black and white boxes are made with renewable fiber that contains post-consumer recyclable material. Also, their shopping bags are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.  This means that a minimum of 85 percent post-consumer waste certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.  They are also printed with water-based inks.  They also use 100% recyclable tissue in their shopping bags and boxes. They also use GreenWrap or air pads to package and protect their products.  GreenWrap uses 100% recyclable paper.  It can go directly into a recycling bin.  The air pads are made from source-reduced packaging. Every pad is 98% air and 2% recyclable plastic. You can pop the pad and disposed of in the recycle bin.
  • Furniture and Housewares- A good amount of the wood dining room and office products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.  As Crate and Barrel states on their website, “The gold standard designation for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally appropriate and economically viable.”  They also do a great job of using woods that would otherwise be tossed and instead making furniture out of them.  Such is the case with their Mango dinning collection.  They also repurpose wood from from buildings no longer in use in China, Indonesia, and Brazil. They also offer bamboo in many of their kitchen and bath collections.  Bamboo is known for being naturally anti-microbial and sustainable.  They also offer recycled glass for some of their dining options.  In addition, they offer OEKO-TEX certification for some bed and bath linens. 
  • Catalogs and Sourcebooks- All of their catalogs are printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and that is not bleached with chlorine.  They also offer catalogs online as well.
  • Energy Conservation and Recycling- They operate one of the largest headquarters of Crate and Barrel at their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED) on the West Coast.  They also have LEED certification at one of their stores in Durham, NC.  They also have switched to lower energy lighting at all of their stores. They have a thorough recycling program at their stores and are working towards zero waste.
  • Outdoor- Crate and Barrel has taken their sustainability and green practices and have carried them over into their eco-friendly outdoor furniture as well. For example, they use only Forest Stewardship Council certified teak that is plantation grown.  They also use nontoxic resins for their outdoor wicker furniture.
  • Social Responsibility- Crate and Barrel is part of California Transparency in the Supply Chains Act which prohibits any human trafficking or slavery of any kind. Also, they have a Code Of Conduct that all vendors have to adhere too.  This ensures that all who work for them are treated fairly.  For more information, check out their social responsibility here.

*For a full list of all of their certifications and partnerships check out the list here.

When it comes to Crate and Barrel's wood furniture, it is made from certified sustainable hardwood that's kiln-dried to prevent warping.  Some of their products are made from teak and are Forest Stewardship Council certified as well. 

My Experience With Crate and Barrel

I bought their Lounge Chair last year and love it!  It didn't have a strong smell at all when I got it.  It is extremely comfortable and fits nicely in our space.  I loved that I could go and check out the chair at a local furniture store if I wanted too before purchasing.  Makes for an overall easier experience for the customer.  It's held up well too- and that's saying a lot with three kids!

Shop all of Crate and Barrel sustainable furniture here!

Room and Board supports wood makers across the country!

 

Room and Board

This is another company that is in the mainstream furniture business but very sustainable as well.  They have many pieces of furniture that meet the sustainability requirements as well as really advocating for a more sustainable future overall.  I applaud their work they are doing!  I do not have any direct experience with using Room and Board but have read much about their company, products and standards.  I also have several friends who have loved their products.

What they offer when it comes to sustainable products: 

  • Bedroom, living, office, dining room and outdoor furniture.

Here is what Room and Board currently offers when it comes to eco-friendly and green practices:

  • Design- Their sustainability efforts start with their design.  Holding true to timeless and classic design that's made from quality craftsmanship that helps to eliminate 10,000 tons of furniture that ends up in landfills because you have the furniture for a lifetime. 
  • Manufacturing– More than 90% of their products are manufactured in the U.S.  Plus, the materials like solid wood, and natural steel are sourced from the U.S. as well.  Not only cutting down on overall carbon footprint but investing back into the lives of the American citizens. 
  • Founding member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council-  Companies are scored based on their sustainability practices.  From using sustainable materials, recyclable materials, how returns and reuses are handled.  Another thing I love that they check for is actual documentation on the chain of custody.  Meaning they are reviewing legal documents on where their wood is purchased.
  • Air Pollutants- They choose materials that contribute to lower air pollutants overall.  Asking vendors for low environmental impact textiles. 
  • Local Sourcing- They implement a 500 radius for a certain amount of their products. This means they extract, manufacture and ship within 500 miles for a certain portion of their products. Lowering overall carbon footprint.
  • Education- They are continually educating their employees on sustainability efforts and how they can do better.
  • Real people and real materials- Room and Board believes in supporting local craftsman and real materials.  They use real wood, often that's reclaimed, and recycled natural steel for their furnishings.  Their plastic is recycled plastic and their nylon is as well.  Supporting local craftsmen helps to reduce travel, and overall carbon footprint.
  • Stores and Office Buildings- From their retail stores to their office buildings they make a conscious effort to ensure sustainability is a priority.  From taking over old buildings, to adding LED lighting to their buildings, and landscaping with native plants.  
  • Support- Room and Board financially supports organizations that are leading the charge when it comes to sustainability.  They also give their staff members opportunities to volunteer too. Last year they donated $320,000 to the Nature Conservancy.

*For more information on their sustainability practices, check out their website here.

Shop all of Room and Board here!

Burrow is filling the gap when it comes to sustainable furniture that is affordable and accessible.

 

Burrow

This a new sustainable furniture company but one I've been reading lots about and I'm excited to share with you!  The founders wanted their couches to not only be comfortable but also sustainable too.  There were too many furniture companies that were too expensive or too flimsy, so they created their own!  This is a  more affordable approach to a sustainable couch in my opinion without sacrificing the important things. I don't have any personal experience using the brand but if you read the reviews they are enough to make you want to buy a couch from them!  I am in the market for a new couch soon and Burrow is definitely on the top of my list.  They also offer a 30 day trial too!

What they offer when it comes to sustainable products: 

  • Couches- from loveseats, to sectionals, and sleepers, armchairs and ottomans, media storage, wall shelves, tables and benches, and rugs.

Here is what Burrow currently offers when it comes to eco-friendly and green practices:

  • Shipping- Since Burrow's furniture is modular it can come in normal shipping boxes, which saves a lot of money on shipping, unlike other furniture companies.  The boxes they are shipped in are 100% recycled cardboard boxes.
  • Eco-friendly materials- Burrow uses upcycled materials and sustainably harvested wood that is sourced from responsibly managed forests.  
  • Wood- All wood used in Burrow products is grown in either Louisiana, or Mississippi.  in responsibly managed forests.  The wood suppliers are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council(FSC).  They didn't just stop there, they are also certified through the American Tree Farm System(ATFS) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SFI).  These certifications help to ensure land is managed responsibly and there is long term planning.
  • Nontoxic Fabric- They don't add any chemical additives to their furniture or treatments and the fabric is free of formaldehyde's, lead, phthalates and flame retardants.  Plus, they allow minimal VOC content less than 0.5 PPM.  Their stain resistant fabric is not doused with Perfluorinated Chemicals like so many other furniture companies but instead they use a fabric called olefin that uses upcycled polymers that are naturally stain resistant.
  • Made in the U.S.A- They make their furniture here which not only offsets carbon footprint but also helps support local businesses.

*Read more about their sustainability efforts here.

Shop all of Burrow products here!

Medley takes the cake when it comes to sustainable practices and nontoxic materials.

 

Medley 

I have read much about Medley. This is the the best of the best when it comes to sustainable furniture brands.  They really have it all when it comes to nontoxic furniture that delivers on the sustainability front as well.  This also comes with a heftier price tag too!  However, this is a great option if money is not a concern and you are chemically sensitive or if you just want to make sure your furniture is free of everything.

What they offer when it comes to sustainable products: 

  • Living, Bedroom, storage, dining, office, and accent tables,

Here is what Medley currently offers when it comes to eco-friendly and green practices:

  • Manufacturing- They manufacture in California, to lower carbon footprint.  Their mattresses are made in Chicago.
  • Wood- All the wood used is real wood and not plywood.  It is Forest Stewardship Council(FSC) certified. They also use bamboo which rapidly renews on it's own.  The wood furniture polish is made from 3 ingredients- beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil.  
  • Foam- They offer two kinds of foam.  The first is a polyester foam that is certified through CertiPure, this is the highest certification you can get for foam.  The second option for foam is organic natural latex.  This is made from the sap of rubber trees, and is very durable and breathable.  Getting organic latex is as good as it gets when it comes to nontoxic furniture. 
  • Wool- Not only do they use wool to fill chairs and sofas but also has an upholstery fabric.  It is naturally, flame resistant, temperature regulating, stain-resistant, antibacterial and hypoallergenic. Plus, it's extremely biodegradable and renewable.  Their wool is also OEKO-TEX certified and sustainably sourced, as well as cruelty-free.  
  • Fabrics- They take their fabrics to the next level when it comes to sourcing and toxins.  They use fabrics such as certified organic cotton(certified by the Global Organic Textile).  If they do use synthetics their is a purpose- nothing goes unnoticed with Medley.  If there is a synthetic fabric used they are either Greenguard Gold Certified or OEKO-TEX certified- ensuring they are safe. By using organic cotton, Medley produces 46% less CO2 than conventional farming.
  • Customization- You can customize the furniture to your liking.

*Read more about their sustainability efforts here.

Shop all of Medley products here!

What sustainable furniture brands have you tried? 

If you liked this post, be sure to check out past posts below:

Resources:

  1. Environmental Protection Agency. Risk Management for Phthalates. Retrieved from: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-management-phthalates
  2.  National Cancer Institute. (2011 June 10)Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet
  3. American Cancer Society. (2016 Jan 5). Benzene and Cancer Risk. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/benzene.html
  4. PubMed.gov. (1995 July). Acetaldehyde: genotoxicity and cytotoxicity in human lymphocytes. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7596360/
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2010). VINYL ACETATE. Retrieved from: https://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/4764#:~:text=Health%20Hazard%20Vinyl%20acetate%20has%20been%20related%20to,undergo%20spontaneous%20exothermic%20polymerization%20on%20exposure%20to%20light.
  6. PubMed.gov. (2013 Oct 22). Effects of low-level hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) exposure on cardiac development in zebrafish embryos. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23903933/
  7. Environmental Pollution Centers.org. (2018 Feb 21). What are PFOA and PFOS and how dangerous are they? Retrieved from: https://www.environmentalpollutioncenters.org/news/what-are-pfoa-and-pfos-and-how-dangerous-are-they/
  8. EHS Daily Advisor.blr.com. (2020 May 15). EPA Evaluation of Perchloroethylene (PCE) Reveals Many Risks. Retrieved from: https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2020/05/epa-evaluation-of-perchloroethylene-pce-reveals-many-risks/
  9. Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (2014 Jan 16). Health effects linked with trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride exposure. Retrieved from: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/tce_pce.html
  10. TIME Magazine. (2016 Aug 24). You asked: Can my couch give me cancer? Retrieved from: https://time.com/4462892/couch-cancer-flame-retardants/
  11. UL.com. What does GREENGUARD Certified mean? Retrieved from: https://www.ul.com/insights/what-does-greenguard-certified-mean#:~:text=GREENGUARD%20Gold%20Certification%20means%20products%20“emit%20even%20lower,a%20bigger%20dose%20of%20whatever’s%20in%20the%20air.”

 

OSEA Skincare- A full review

OSEA Skincare- A full review

Sharing a full review of OSEA skincare today! I've been using this brand for so long and thought it was high time to create a video that showcases all their amazing skincare products! They have it all when it comes to natural skincare. From facial skincare products to body products.

*This video is sponsored by OSEA- thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you're not familiar with OSEA Malibu allow me to fill you in on this natural skincare line.  This brand is truly unique.  I was so intrigued by the founder Jenefer’s story of how she started it.  She was inspired by her grandmother who credits the ocean to healing her.  She had been on bedrest after a severe leg injury.  Her grandmother recalls having a dream about the sea and the next day went for a swim.  A few weeks later her grandmother was healed!  Jenefer went to her roots when creating OSEA.  From what she learned from her grandmother of the healing properties of the ocean and her knowledge, she chose seaweed as the base of her skincare line.  Seaweed contains powerful minerals and ingredients to help restore and nourish the skin.

Use code: gurlgonegreen10 for 10% off your first order through June 15, 2021!

 

Watch the full OSEA Skincare Video here!

 

Shop all of OSEA here!

If you liked this video, check out past videos below:

 

 

 

Credo Beauty

Credo Beauty

If you're not familiar with Credo Beauty allow me to introduce them to you.  This is one of my favorite online natural beauty retailers.  They have it all when it comes to clean and effective products.  They’re like the Sephora of clean beauty.  All the “IT” brands in one place!  I've been to several of their retail locations and every time I've been to one I do a little happy dance.  If you don't have a Credo Beauty close to you, no problem!  Their online stores have it all and make it so easy to shop from the comfort of your home.

What makes Credo Beauty extra special is that they have a Dirty List like no other!

“Europe has banned over 1300 ingredients. The U.S.? Just 30. And Credo? Over 2700.” (1)

The best part is that all of their brand partners agree to not use any of the 2700 banned ingredients on Credo’s Dirty List, making shopping with this retailer so much easier!

The Credo Beauty Clean standard goes even further than their Dirty List.  This standard includes the following:

  • “Use official ingredient terminology (called INCI) and use ingredient source codes where possible
  • Obtain documentation on their ingredients’ composition, purity and sourcing information
  • Conduct basic consumer safety (on humans…that volunteer!) and product stability testing
  • Back up product and ingredient claims
  • Be transparent about “fragrance”—at a minimum they must categorize the type of fragrance they use, and we encourage full disclosure of all fragrance ingredients.” (2)

Credo Beauty has 5 categories they recommend to start with when swapping out your conventional beauty products for clean ones.  For each of these 5 categories I am going to share my top clean product picks that are available through Credo!

 

Mascara

At first glance this may not seem like the most obvious beauty product that you would need to swap out.  However, according to Women’s Health:

Sixty-five percent of women swipe on mascara, making it the most popular type of eye makeup.” (3)

Here’s the oh so scary news about this popular makeup product:  Most mascaras contain mercury, coal tar, formaldehyde releasers, petroleum distillates, vinyl, parabens, phthalates, and triethanolamine…can you say scary… three times!  And not only does it contain all these big word ingredients but over half of us are putting them near our eyes every single day! 

Credo Beauty makes it so easy to swap any beauty product out with their extra high standards! 

Here are my fave mascaras that they have available:

Ilia has a patented brush with one side for curling and the other side for lengthening. It really does give my lashes a curl boost and makes adding length to them even easier.  The formula is a little on the wet side, but not too wet that it smudges all over.  

This is a formula that gets better as time goes on.  It adds a good amount of product on the lashes.  It is buildable, gives a good amount of volume on the lashes and can build the length the more you apply on the tips of lashes.  

This mascara definitely gets some good product on your lashes. It gives your lashes some drama and lift. Because it is a wetter formula it can be a little harder to build the product on the lashes unless I wait a minute or two for the first coat to dry.  I feel the formula got thicker and better the more I used it and air got to it…it will make your lashes stand out for sure!  

All 3 of these mascaras are featured in my Natural Mascara Guide plus so many more!

Check out all of Credo Beauty’s mascaras here!

 

These two moisturizers are some of my favorites in clean beauty!

Moisturizers

Considering we slather moisturizer all over our face and body daily if not more than once a day, this is not a surprising product to want to swap out for a clean version. Not to mention we are applying them to our largest organ (the skin) which increases our exposure just based on surface area alone. 

According to the CDC:

Dermal absorption is the transport of a chemical from the outer surface of the skin both into the skin and into the body. Studies show that absorption of chemicals through the skin can occur without being noticed by the worker, and in some cases, may represent the most significant exposure pathway. (4)

Yikes!  All the more reason to make sure that what we are putting on our skin is of the best quality.  Credo carries so many amazing moisturizers that it is hard for me to pick just a few to showcase. You will not be sacrificing anything when you make this switch! 

Here are just a couple of my faves:

This has been the perfect moisturizer to add on top of my oils in the morning and at night for a little extra hydration.  Not only does this cream moisturize but also provides great anti-aging benefits with it's naturally rich antioxidants.  It seeps into my skin so well, and doesn't feel greasy.  My hubs has been stealing this from me too-that means it's good people!  He can be pickier than me at times.  With a price tag of $48, this is a steal for a green beauty cream that works and is full of great ingredients!

This is the perfect everyday lotion for the face.  It feels hydrating but isn't greasy at all.  Such a great weight overall.  Perfect for under makeup too.  A lot of daily moisturizers can feel too heavy, but this feels so light and airy on the skin.  This formula is full of seaweed, shea butter and Omega- rich oils.  It is one of those products I recommend a lot and everyone always loves it!  

I absolutely love this brand! Their products perform so well, are not too harsh and yet super effective. It also helps to calm my redness too.  A must try for anyone with redness or sensitive skin.

Check out all of Credo Beauty’s moisturizers here!

 

holding up deodorant

If you haven't tried this Sublime Sage Deodorant- you need too!

Deodorant

This is one area when it comes to swapping out products that I want to shout from the rooftops!  Needless to say I am not surprised that Credo thinks so too;)

Toxic ingredients in mainstream deodorant can include- triclosan, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, fragrance and aluminum.  Add to it that most of us use deodorant nearly daily and you can easily see why this is a product that you would want to swap out!

Philip Harvey, PH.D., editor in chief of the Journal of Applied Toxicology reports that: 

“Research also shows that some compounds used in deodorant are absorbed and stored in fat cells, which are prevalent in the underarm area.  Your underarm tissue also contains hormone receptors, which could react to some of those same deodorant ingredients.” (5)  

It is for these very reasons that experts (as well as consumers) are concerned that these toxic ingredients found in antiperspirants and deodorants could contribute to or cause developmental issues, reproductive issues or even cancer. 

*For more information on how to detox your underarms, other natural deodorant reviews and more check out my full natural deodorant post here.

Here are 2 of my favorite deodorants from Credo Beauty:

This is one of my husband's favorite deodorants-he loves it and it also works well for me! Just like it says, the scent is so fresh with a blend of eucalyptus, ginger, rosemary, grapefruit, chamomile and lemon.  It lasts all day and even reminded my husband of a mainstream deodorant.  I didn’t note any staining although my hubs did on his workout shirts.  And, no irritation!  Such a great unisex deodorant.

To put it lightly, when I first used this I wondered where it had been all my life!  This deodorant really delivers!  When I looked into it more I learned that sage actually helps dry up underarm sweat.  It smells fresh but not too potent. The kicker and what makes it extra special is the fact it doesn't get all over your clothes!  And guess what?  My hubs absolutely loves it!  I can't recommend it enough!

Check out all of Credo’s deodorants here!

 

Love a Kosas Lipstick!

Lip Care

When you consider that what goes on our lips is probably licked off to some degree, it makes sense that we could all benefit from making a swap in this area.  Especially after seeing your lip balm can contain ingredients like: parabens, fragrance, phthalates, butylated hydroxyanisole/butylated hydroxytoluene, octinoxate and/or retinyl palmitate

Here are my top lip care picks from Credo:

I love that this balm comes in a stick form, making it easy to apply to the lips without getting your fingers all messy. Plus, it hydrates for a long time! The ingredients are not just amazing, but squeaky clean too.  They even have tinted lip balms that I also love.  

These are definitely a go to of mine in clean beauty. Their formula is unlike any other.  Not too hydrating where they bleed but definitely moisturizing enough.  I’m also digging their lip glosses!  They are more of a serum than a lip gloss feel- which I love. It not only plumps your lips, but hydrates and treats them with nourishing oils. 

Check out Credo’s lip care products here!

 

Clean Beauty Brands

This not only acts as your sunscreen but also your foundation!

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is another big category that is so important to find a clean option for in your beauty routine.  Sunscreen can cause a lot of exposure when it comes to harmful chemicals. In order to share the benefits of clean sunscreen, we first have to dive into the harmful effects of chemical sunscreen. Instead of blocking the sun's rays, like natural sunscreens do, they absorb the rays, and turn them into heat, which are then transferred from skin to the air.  These chemicals are known hormone disruptors.  The scary fact about these chemicals is the high absorption rate, compared to other ingredients. 

Clean sunscreens are known as physical or mineral sunscreens.  These sunscreens either use titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or a combination of both.  They are natural minerals that are ground up.  The main benefits of clean sunscreens are the minerals reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them, and they offer broad spectrum protection. 

*For a deep dive into natural sunscreen and a full review of many natural sunscreen products- check out my recent EWG Sunscreen post here!

Here are my fave facial sunscreens that you can get at Credo:

I love this formula!  It feels hydrating, yet not greasy.  It absorbs so well. The specific one I love is their unscented sunscreen.  It works great for babies and kids too- so you only have to bring one sunscreen.  It comes in a tube and they offer tinted facial sunscreens as well that are so great.  I wear their tinted facial sunscreen a lot in the summer. 

I love this option with a higher SPF.  It is a thicker consistency and gives a really great coverage, more like a foundation.  Helps polish off my look more than most tinted moisturizers.  I like it for everyday use or, with a higher SP,F I even use it on days when I am needing extra protection from strong sun rays.

All of Credo’s sunscreens can be found here!

 

All the best clean beauty brands at Credo Beauty!

While swapping out your beauty products, these 5 categories are so important, but they hardly scratch the surface of what Credo has to offer.  A few more of my fave clean beauty brands they have are:

When it comes to hair, Innersense knows how to create great products.  I use so many of their styling products on the daily.  I can’t get enough of their I Create Lift Volumizing Foam.  This foam is the best for giving your roots and hair the body and volume that lasts all day! I also love their Inner Peace Whipped Cream Texturizer for defining my curls after styling and smoothing away frizz without greasiness.  Their I Create Waves Salt Spray is another favorite.  I spray this in my hair after styling and it gives it the beachy look so effortlessly.  Check out all of Innersense here!

This skincare line does no wrong! I love their Super Couple Serum– an incredible antioxidant serum/oil for your skin that transforms it. This is the serum that started my infatuation with Maya Chia!  I noticed hyperpigmentation fade and an overall glow to my skin.  Also, their Optimist Hydrating Essence is a standout.   Smells divine with hints of neroli, sweet orange, and ylang ylang.  The formula itself feels so hydrating on the skin and refreshing with white tea, antioxidants, fatty acids and phytonutrients.  The Straight A Serum is Maya Chia’s newest product.  It has all the top natural ingredients for anti-aging.  I have been using this for a while and definitely can speak to the overall experience of it  Check out all of Maya Chia’s products here!

Beauti Skincare’s Beauty Sleep Elixir Oil product is one that has really wowed me. The Sleep Elixir feels rich on the skin but not overly oily.  I apply it morning and night after cleansing and toning.  It’s made especially for sensitive skin too.  After trying their Pomegranate 3-in-1 Enzyme Cleanser I was once again sold.  I continue to use both products daily!  I use the Enzyme Cleanser in the morning.  I love how it really wakes up my skin and doesn’t feel stripping.  Yet, it doesn’t feel super oily right before I apply my makeup. 

Hopefully you see how much Credo Beauty has to offer.  Their products meet the highest standards and what started as just one store is now the largest clean beauty retailer on the planet with stores across the nation and they are partnered with 130+ brands that meet their clean beauty standards.  Shop Credo Beauty’s Best sellers here!

What are your fave products that Credo Beauty carries?

 

Learn more about Credo Beauty with some of my recent blog posts:

 

References:

  1. Credo Beauty (n.d.)  The Dirty List.  Retrieved From: https://credobeauty.com/pages/the-dirty-list-1%20
  2. Credo Beauty (n.d.) The Credo Clean Standard.  Retrieved From: https://credobeauty.com/pages/the-credo-clean-standard-1
  3. Women’s Health Magazine (2010 Oct 1).  Mascara Master Class.  Retrieved From: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19916311/best-mascara/
  4. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. (2013 July 2).  Skin Exposures & Effects.  Retrieved From: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/skin/default.html
  5. Time. (2016 July 5). 5 Things Wrong With Your Deodorant.  Retrieved from: https://time.com/4394051/deodorant-antiperspirant-toxic/

 

 

Minimalist Makeup Tutorial

Minimalist Makeup Tutorial

Sharing my minimalist makeup tutorial with you in my newest video!  I show you step by step on how to create a minimalist makeup look from start to finish.  I go over everything from how to prep your skin to the makeup products that really make your whole look come together.  It's so easy to think that it's all about the makeup products but it's actually not!  Skincare plays a huge role when creating your minimalist makeup look.  It takes an average look and makes it a 10!  It's all in how you prep your skin before makeup.  As I always say, good skincare requires little makeup!

 

Watch the full minimalist makeup tutorial here!

 

I also have a whole blog post on my minimalist makeup look and what to consider when creating your minimalist look.  Check out the full blog post here!

If you liked this post on minimalist makeup tutorial, check out past posts below:

 

 

Sharing my full minimalist makeup routine in my newest video!

 

Indie Makeup Brands Worth Supporting

Indie Makeup Brands Worth Supporting

So excited to share my Indie Makeup Brands worth supporting post!  I've been wanting to compile a post for a while that showcases all the smaller Indie Brands – here it is!  

 

What actually is an indie makeup brand?

 

Simply put, an indie makeup brand is a brand that is independently owned and operated.  Typically the brand is doing something that is considered progressive; they may have a new product, a different ingredient that other beauty brands aren’t using or a new way to solve an age old problem.  Indie brands are becoming so much more common that even Amazon has an entire beauty category dedicated to indie beauty brands!

“The landscape of the beauty industry has shifted in large part because of the emergence of millennial and Gen-Z buyers whose preferences have helped indie brands carve into the market share of longstanding beauty corporations.” (1

I have had the pleasure to work with some of the best indie beauty brands and even attend the Indie Beauty Expo in previous years.  These Expos allow me to meet the creators of many of these brands and test out their products…so fun!  

According to Jillian Wright, co-founder and CEO of Indie Beauty Expo:

“Since the indies have become the topic of conversation in the past 5 years, so has integrity, authenticity, and transparency.” (2

Who wouldn’t want to support businesses like this?!  And that is why I wanted a complete list of the top indie makeup brands worth supporting in clean beauty for my readers to reference when looking for natural makeup options.  So many good ones, but these ones made the cut for me! 

 

Best Natural Indie Makeup Brands To Support-

 

Fitglow Beauty

Fitglow Beauty is on a mission to create beauty products that work with your skin.  They use science to select ingredients and create formulations that meet 3 requirements:

  • Ingredients that the skin can recognize
  • Nutrients the skin is able to absorb
  • Key actives that the skin is able to maximize

By meeting these three requirements, FitGlow beauty products are able to work in sync with your skin.

I can’t help but mention the owners of each of these indie brands.  Anna Buss, the founder of Fitglow, battled sensitive rosacea skin.  She wanted products that would help her skin not turn bright red during workouts, be effective and stick with her throughout her day. Thus the mission for wanting beauty products that work with the skin was born!  

Just a few of the must have FitGlow products include: 

  • FitGlow Lip Serums -Completely clean, hydrating, and filled with antioxidants to keep your lips looking fresh and young.  They're not goopy or tacky like some glosses.  They are perfect in texture and pigmented just enough.  Plus, they smell like vanilla! 
  • FitGlow Conceal+ – This is the best concealer for covering hyperpigmentation in clean beauty- no joke.  It's too heavy for under eyes but for covering redness or scarring, it's perfect.  It's thick enough and stays put the whole day. A top pick in my Best Natural Beauty Concealers post and a top pick in Harper’s Bazaar The Best Organic, Natural, and Non-Toxic Makeup.
  • Night Lip Serum – I use the night serum EVERY night and sometimes in the morning too when my lips need a little extra moisture.  Since the skin on the lips is the thinnest and ages so quickly you want to make sure you're taking extra care to ensure it is well nourished. The Night Lip Serum is full of actives that help to plump the lips, fight signs of aging and keep moisture intact.  And it feels so good on the lips! 

Shop all of FitGlow Beauty here!

Aether Eyeshadow Palette is constantly on rotation in my makeup routine.

Aether Beauty

Aether Beauty is a sustainable clean beauty brand that was founded in 2018.  For this company, being sustainable goes into everything they create – the formulas, the ingredients and even the zero-waste, recyclable packaging (no mirror or magnets makes it FULLY recyclable)!

Tiila Abbitt, the founder of Aether Beauty, launched her business with just one palette – the Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone palette. After working for Sephora for years, she felt there was a huge hole in the clean beauty space, specifically choice of color, trend and completely sustainable packaging. It was also through this position at Sephora, which is a global brand, she had to learn how to formulate with a large chemical ban list.  This is because:  

  • There are only 11 banned chemicals in color cosmetics in the U.S. (3)
  • There are over 1300 banned chemicals in the European Union (4)

And it is with this knowledge and experience, she was able to launch her business with just one eyeshadow palette.  And Tilla really hit it out of the park with this one.  I have featured that very palette in both my Best Of Natural Beauty-January blog post and in my Valentine’s Gift Guide because Aether is easily one of the top indie eyeshadow brands.  

  • The Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Palette features the perfect mix of shimmers and matte colors, not to mention a great range of colors. This would be perfect even if you have mature eyes as the shimmer shadows aren't sparkle looking but more subdued.  With ingredients like shea butter, rosehip oil and coconut oil, the formula feels so silky smooth on the skin.  Trust me, you'll be hooked after your first swipe!

Aether Beauty also features more eyeshadow palettes, highlighters and cheek palettes.

You can shop Aether Beauty products here!

There are few Ilia makeup products I don't like!

ILIA Beauty

After her mother encouraged her to read the ingredient list on her favorite lip balm, ILIA’s founder Sasha Plavsic found that many of the ingredients were unsafe.  According to Sasha:

I started looking on the back of the boxes and not only did I realize that there was a lot of ‘green washing’ but a lot of products didn’t perform either.” (5)

So, she set out to recreate her lip balm with ingredients that would be safe and effective.  While ILIA started as a brand that focused on lip products, they have expanded to offering so much more in clean beauty!  

They were also one of the first on the clean beauty scene years ago and continue to keep making exceptional beauty products.  From their True Skin Serum Foundation, to their Ilia Beauty Lipsticks- Ilia has it going on.   They consistently deliver drool worthy products that perform so well.  They are such a good alternative to conventional makeup…you won't feel like you're sacrificing at all!

Here are some of my fave ILIA Beauty products:

  • Limitless Lash Mascara This mascara comes with a patented brush.  One side is for curling and the other side is for lengthening. It really does give my lashes a curl boost and makes adding length to them even easier.  The formula is a little on the wet side, but not too wet that it smudges all over.  It can be found on Glamour’s Beauty Awards: The 23 Best Natural Beauty Products of 2019 
  • Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation LOVE this foundation because it doesn’t feel greasy to me and the longevity is great.  It is a liquid but then it sets after a while and you get a great long wearing foundation.  It really feels and acts like your skin, yet I still feel like it gives my skin great coverage. This is definitely one of my favorites in my Organic Beauty Foundation Guide. 
  • Chromatic Liquid Eyeshadows These are everything!  They go on so smooth and stay put!  Yes, they don’t budge. Which is unheard of in clean beauty for a cream or liquid eyeshadow.  I even use the lighter shades for highlighters for my face!  So many uses.  So good I put them on my Best of Natural Beauty 2020 list!

Shop Ilia Beauty here!

Love Kjaer Weis Cream Blushes.

Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis is an indie makeup brand that is not only luxurious and high performing, but organic and sustainable.  When looking for a nontoxic makeup brand, what could be better?!

The founder of Kjaer Weis, Kirsten Kjaer Weis, is a Danish born makeup artist that has managed to combine the minimalism of Scandinavia with an unapologetic NYC spirit.  

And if you have ever seen or used a Kjaer Weis product, you know they nailed this on the head.  The makeup packaging is gorgeous and unique, while still sustainable.  The makeup speaks for itself in its performance.  A must try brand if you haven’t yet.

A few of my fave Kjaer Weis products include:

  • Kjaer Weis Lipstick: These feel very similar to a conventional lipstick.  It isn’t super hydrating, but more weighty in texture.  They have an opaque and heavy feel to them and more matte look.   It wears well and lasts!
  • Kjaer Weis Cream Blush: If you've followed me for a little bit, you know I love a good cream blush.  Especially for those with mature skin. Cream blushes make your skin look dewy and moist, bringing back the youthful glow.  This blush even made Allure’s Best of Beauty 2020 list!
  • Kjaer Weis Foundation: This comes in a solid cream compact. It is a great option for those who like a heavier foundation and full coverage.  I can literally apply this in the morning and still look fresh faced by 7 at night. It’s great for days you need long wear and days you just need more coverage.  I featured this foundation in my Organic Beauty Foundation Guide!
  • Kjaer Weis Lip Gloss: I love this lip gloss as it doesn't feel goopy at all.  It glides on and leaves great color pigment along with a nice sheen.

Shop Kjaer Weis here!

Kosas keeps making standout Indie Makeup products!

Kosas

Kosas offers some of the best natural beauty makeup products.  From their tinted face oil, to their lipsticks- you can’t go wrong with a Kosas product.  The pigments are rich and colors are beautiful!  They remind me of my conventional favorite MAC products.

Kosas was founded in 2015 by Sheena Yaitanes and began with the Weightless Lip Color collection, with all orders shipped from her kitchen table. Since then, Kosas breakthrough products have included Tinted Face Oil and 10 Second EyeShadow because of their totally new approach.

Some favorite Kosas products include:

  • Kosas Tinted Face Oil This is a hydrating spin on foundation that feels light and leaves you with a glow. I thought I wouldn’t like it originally but after I gave it a try, I realized how wrong I was. 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! Especially great for skin in the winter as it gets colder.  Check it out in my Organic Beauty Foundation Guide and on Allure’s Best of Beauty 2019 list! 
  • Lipsticks They’re definitely a go to of mine in clean beauty.  Their formula is unlike any other.  Not too hydrating where they bleed, but definitely moisturizing enough.  These lipsticks are highly pigmented, last and plump the lips all at the same time.  They come in so many great colors too.  Honestly, I haven’t found a color I didn’t love.  
  • Revealer Concealer I included this new concealer in my Best of Clean Beauty Concealers, but wanted to pay a little tribute to it here.  I have been loving the formula which really is unique compared to other brands I’ve used in the past.  It’s very brightening and really wakes up your whole complexion.  It also helps to hide dark circles. I love that it has caffeine to help de-puff the under eye area and hyaluronic acid to add hydration.  If you’ve been looking for a new concealer, look no further!

Check out more Kosas products here!

RMS Beauty

RMS Beauty was founded in 2009 by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift when she noted there was a need for beauty products that were as pure as possible.  She uses her 36 years of beauty industry experience to create products that are clean and high performing.  This allows her customers to focus on their makeup looks and not what is in their makeup!

I have used RMS Beauty since the beginning of my clean beauty journey.  These are some of the products I continue to love:

  • RMS Beauty Concealer: This was the first natural beauty concealer I used 10 years ago.  It’s been a long favorite of mine. I featured it in my Best Natural Beauty Concealers post. This concealer melts so easily into the skin, which I love, and gives you such a natural look, yet it still offers some coverage. Often I’ll just wear this and not wear any foundation.  I just apply starting in my t-zone area and then blend out for a really natural look.  This concealer has received a ton of awards over the years, including Allure’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2020.
  • RMS Beauty Hidden Desire Palette: This palette includes 6 shadow colors, a highlighter and a blush color.  They are all pressed powder pigments.  It comes in a sleek white case and with a big mirror.  The colors are perfect for everyday wear.  So rich and beautiful! 
  • RMS “Un” Powder: This is a translucent powder (there are tinted ones too!) that I use to set my foundation/concealer.  It’s really good if you tend to have oily skin and/or an oily T-zone.  I also prep my eyes for eyeshadow with this powder.  It soaks up the oils so my shadows don’t crease as the day goes on! 

Shop for more RMS products here!

These makeup brushes and mascara are some of my faves from Erin's Faces!

 

Erin’s Faces

Erin Williams, a makeup artist, is the founder of Erin’s Faces.  This is another clean beauty brand that began as a 1 woman show with orders being fulfilled from Erin’s kitchen table.  The brand was born out of Erin’s want to work with women of all backgrounds, not just models. The brand really took off and by 2019 Erin’s Faces was able to move to a commercial space and out of her home.  

Another unique part of Erin’s Faces story, is that it didn’t start out as a clean beauty brand.  It was a conventional brand that was a little ‘cleaner.’  As Erin learned more, she changed up the ingredients.  First, she cut petroleum out of her lip glosses.  Next, no more chemical SPF and so on.  Eventually they became known as the clean beauty brand they are today!

Top Erin’s Faces beauty products include:

  • Erin's Faces Brush Collection – This is a newer collection from Erin’s Faces.  The set comes with 4 brushes (double concealer, powder, foundation and eyeliner brush) that you need for your makeup routine plus a cute canvas bag to store your brushes in.  They are so soft and make a makeup routine so much easier!  I love how soft they feel and they don't shed!  
  • Matcha Mascara-  The brush is an hourglass brush that really delivers on length and volume.  You instantly get pigment on your lashes.  I do each side and then go back and add a little more just on the ends to pump up the length. From length, volume, thickness- this mascara does it all! It wears great throughout the day as well – no flaking or smudging!  

Shop for Erin's Faces here!

 

Exa

Exa Beauty was launched by Credo Beauty last year and its name represents so much.  According to the press release on Exa Beauty:

“Our name comes from the decimal unit prefix 10 18 (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) because our range is big, our impact is bigger and our inclusivity is Exa.” (6)

This includes 43 shades of foundation and a primer.  In the clean beauty space the most shades available by any one brand was 19 shades, which was quite limited when it comes to color matching.  These 43 shades include cool, medium and warm undertones for each shade family…so everyone can find a match!

  • High Fidelity Foundation: This foundation features a buildable medium-full coverage.  It has a semi-satin finish that works for all skin types.  The end product is an amazingly dewy finish that will stick with you till the end of the day!  It was named the Best Foundation in the 2020 Shape Beauty Awards: Makeup.
  • Jump Start Smoothing Primer: This is a silky primer that will create a semi matte base for all skin types and skin tones. The amazing ingredients of cocoa fruit powder, CoQ10 and fatty acids will smooth any fine lines, minimize your pores and protect from free radicals. 

Shop all of Exa Beauty here!

Ere Perez gives the most natural looking color options!

Ere Perez

Ere Perez was co-founded by a husband and wife team, Ere and Juan Perez, in the sunroom of their Australian apartment in 2002.  A Latin heritage is obvious in their brand as both Ere and Juan were born in Mexico and later migrated to Australia.  It was Ere’s mother who got her interested in more natural choices, as she loved home remedies and beauty recipes.

With little budget to work with, Ere Perez’s first product was mascara, which she knew every woman could use.  Since that first product launch, there are now 41 beauty products, with over 120 colour variations that make up this clean beauty brand.  They have an approach to beauty that is clean and conscious, while using natural ingredients are affordable.

Top Ere Perez beauty products include:  

  • Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint: This 2 in 1 product comes in two super vibrant colors.  As the name says, it can be used on both the lips or cheeks for a splash of color that lasts all day!
  • Carrot Colour Pot:  This is another multi use product that you can use to add color to your cheeks, lips or even eyes.  It comes in 5 colors that are natural looking and create a dewy look on your skin.
  • Arnica Concealer: This concealer is so good and reminds me of my RMS concealer.  It is so creamy and goes on with a natural, dewy look.  You can use it as a concealer or even more like a foundation to hide redness and imperfections.

Shop Ere Perez beauty products here!

So many great indie makeup companies!  Let me know in the comments…what’s your favorite indie makeup brand?

 

If you liked this post on top indie makeup brands to support be sure to check out past popular posts below:

 

References:

  1. Gupta, Pritika. (2021 March 4).  The Quiet, Quick Rise Of Indie Beauty Brands.  Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/columbiabusinessschool/2021/03/04/the-quiet-quick-rise-of-indie-beauty-brands/?sh=6883b7c932c1
  2. Culliney, Kacey. (2020 Jan 27). Expert: Indie beauty has brought ‘integrity, authenticity and transparency’ to the fore.  Retrieved from https://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Article/2020/01/27/Indie-beauty-brand-values-and-sustainability-inspiring-says-Indie-Beauty-Expo-co-founder?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright
  3. Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients In Cosmetics (2020 August 24). FDA. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-laws-regulations/prohibited-restricted-ingredients-cosmetics
  4. Cosmetic Ingredient Database: List of Substances Prohibited In Cosmetic Products (2018 Dec 14). European Union Open Data Portal.  Retrieved from: https://data.europa.eu/euodp/data/dataset/cosmetic-ingredient-database-2-list-of-substances-prohibited-in-cosmetic-products
  5. Taylor, Meggen (2018 April 30). ILIA Beauty: Meet The Sibling Duo Behind The Pragmatist's Clean Cosmetic Line. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/meggentaylor/2018/04/30/ilia-beauty-meet-the-sibling-duo-behind-the-pragmatists-clean-cosmetic-line/?sh=44d91c626703
  6.  Exa Beauty (n.d.). Exa Beauty About Page. Retrieved from https://exabeauty.com/pages/about

 

Sharing the best Indie Makeup Brands on the blog!

Clean Beauty Box Roundup- April

Clean Beauty Box Roundup- April

The clean beauty box roundup for April is here!  Can anyone believe it's April?!  So crazy.  It feels like time is flying by.  This month is full of all the natural beauty boxes. If you're new each month I share all the details on the best natural beauty boxes in clean beauty.  Some come out at the beginning of the month and others come out a little later.  I update the post as things roll out!

First up this month is Beauty Heroes and Boxwalla.  Next will be The Detox Box and The Clean Beauty Box.

*Be sure to check back as I update the blog post as things continue to roll out.

Beauty Heroes- Mukti Organics

A hydrating mask like you've never experienced!

The brand Mukti is from Australia and really is a pioneer when it comes to incorporating their native resources into their products.  Their mantra is to be organic, sustainable and ethical in all that they do.  Their formulas are the real deal and don’t contain any unnecessary fillers.  Just potent botanical ingredients that do the work for the skin. I love that their ingredients are third party tested, ensuring that products are in fact eco and meet their strict criteria. They have an advanced extraction method that helps them to preserve the products so they are represented in their most potent state.  They really take it to the next level when it comes to creating something truly special in a skincare brand. I feel like there are two heroic products for this month, even though technically one is a sidekick- read on to see why! Love that you can get this Australian brand at Beauty Heroes.

Deep Cleanse Antioxidant Masque- This green hued masque is unlike any mask I've used.  I love how this masque came at the perfect time.  The seasons are changing and spring is coming upon us.  Just as the seasons change, so does our skin.  This masque really helps to set the skin up for success in this new spring season. Not only does this masque detoxify but also uses enzymes to gently exfoliate the skin.  You might think the masque is drying like so many masques, but it's actually not.  Instead this emollient masque stays very much like pudding on the skin, giving your skin all the antioxidants, phytonutrients and essential fatty acids.  You can thank ingredients like coconut, macadamia nut and jojoba oils for all the extra love.  The green hue comes from matcha and chlorophyll.  

I would apply a thin layer to damp skin, and then let the masque do it's magic.  After 5 minutes I would rub in circular motions and massage the jojoba beads all over my skin, polishing my face.  Then rinse.  You're left with baby soft skin!  Such a skin treat indeed.  

Age Defiance Eye Serum- This eye serum is good.  Although I can't speak to the long term effects because I haven't been using it that long, I can speak to the overall feel and consistency.  I love how fast it absorbs under the eyes- no greasy residue feeling.  My eyes also looked brighter overall the next morning.  It includes a blend of potent peptides, as well as emu apple and quandong.  These all work together to help diminish dark circles and puffiness.  Plus, with a heavy does of aloe vera and shea butter, your eye area will feel light and airy.  A new fave for an eye serum. 

This Beauty Heroes Discovery is valued at $180, but you can get it for $58.95!  Get it here before they sell out.

 

Boxwalla- TWELVE Beauty

Another winning box from Boxwalla!

In case you're not familiar with Boxwalla– allow me to introduce you.  This box delivers some of the best of green beauty.  I find that's what sets them apart from other green beauty boxes is their thoughtful curations.  I always find they go out on a limb and really find brands and artisans that I haven't heard of- which I love!  If you're into trying new brands and discovering people that truly love their craft- this box is for you.  I also love that this box is bi-monthly versus every month.  It helps me to savor each box and really get to know the products.  Their selections are always cruelty free as well.  

A quote from Boxwalla's website sums up Twelve Beauty as brand-

The April Box features the award-winning Spanish brand Twelve Beauty, founded by Pedro Catalá. Sporting a Master’s in Cosmetic Science and a PhD. in Natural & Formulation Technologies, Pedro creates magic by combining the beauty and potency of nature with the rigors of science.

Twelve Beauty Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil- This facial oil is nothing short of extra in every way!  It's made with unsaponifiables.  Now you might be wondering what unsaponifiables are!  

They are fractions of plant oils that are brimming with incredible vitamins and minerals, capable of repairing the skin's barrier in a very short span of time by stimulating its filagrin production.

They are not easy or cheap to extract, however, Twelve Beauty made sure to include 4 of them in their Frontier Facial Oil!  It's pretty cool how this oil can work for any skin type.  From dry skin to oily skin and even sensitive skin because of it's base of Meadowfoam and Sacha Inchi oil, which is full of linoleic acid that suits most skin types.  

The oil feels rich on the skin but still soaks in so well and leaves behind no oily residue.  I love how soothing it feels!  

Twelve Beauty Nutritive Repair Emulsion- I LOVE this cream.  It's the perfect everyday cream for your skin.  It is quick to absorb into the skin and doesn't leave it feeling greasy.  It has a perfect semi-matte finish.  It is herbal and antioxidant rich, soothing stressed out skin.  I love how this cream lasts and feels good well into the day.  My hubs is a fan too!  

This box is valued at $287!  But you can get it for $49.95- I know crazy!  I would hop on this now because word on the street this box will go fast.  You can get it until October 10th.  Get the box here!

The Clean Beauty Box- Live Botanical

Live Botanical has been a brand favorite for years!

 

Live Botanical is a gold mine of clean beauty products.  The line is not only organic, non-GMO, ethically wild-harvested, local, sustainable and fair trade but also budget friendly.  The maker and founder of Live Botanical, Carolyn, is an herbalist and so passionate about this skincare line! She really goes the extra mile.  She also uses glass packaging too-something I swoon over.  I mean it's kind of rare to check all the boxes but also be affordable!

Ambient Moisture Liquid- This had me the first time I used it!  This was a new launch from Live Botanical in 2020 and one that definitely was a hit.  It's a moisturizer, yet it doesn't feel a like a tractional moisturizer.  It is full of aloe and feels so lightweight, yet completely nourishing on the skin.  It's like a moisturizer but feels similar to how a serum would feel.  Full of skin loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that leave your skin feeling dewy and smooth.  I love applying this right before my moisturizer in the morning.  It really draws even more moisture to my skin and preps my face perfectly before my makeup.  

Tidal Moon Moisture Mask- This mask just screams hydration and my skin just loves that!  This mask is over flowing with nourishing ingredients from butters, to raw honey and oils- it's jam packed to give your skin the moisture it craves.  It's a pretty blue color that is reminiscent of the moon.  It's amazing as a mask but also as a moisturizer!  Just add a few drops of water to the formula and rub into the skin.  It's really unlike any product and such a standout for the year!  Your skin will drink it up.

This is such a stellar box!  I love anything Live Botanical makes and this is no exception.  Get the box here before it sells out!  

Detox Box: Honua Skincare

This facial mist has some of my favorite skincare ingredients!

So I haven't tried a ton of products from Honua, so I was excited to see them in The Detox Box!  Honua skincare line is based off of the healing practices and medicinal herbs found on the Hawaiian islands.  The founder Kapua Browning, the founder is a native Hawaiian herself.  She grew up on the beautiful island of Oahu.  After growing up in the sun she started to notice skin damage in her early 20's.  She studied aesthetics, herbalism and after years of practice created what is now Honua Skincare.

Being a native Hawaiian, her goal is to share her love of the Hawaiian culture and practice in her creations. Once you smell her skincare treats you will feel transported to the island life.  After all the skincare line is named Honua in Hawaiian, which means earth.  The founder loves to protect the land where she grew up and donates a portion of her proceeds to three organizations preserve such things as coastlines, forests, reefs and wildlife.

LIHAU Facial Mist- This facial mist feels so refreshing, just as the name suggests, on the skin. It contains sandalwood, neroli flower hydrofoil, aloe vera leaf juice and blue tansy.  This helps to give the skin some amazing properties that are anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.  It also has hyaluronic acid which helps to seal in the moisture.  It's very soothing on the skin.  My skin soaks it right up.  I love the scent too!  Smells of sandalwood and vetiver.  

Aloha Youth Serum- This is the perfect morning serum for the skin.  It instantly wakes it up.  It's not necessarily hydrating on it's own.  If you have dry skin you may need an additional lotion or oil on top of the serum.  The serum's scent is a total floral Hawaiian scent.  You're transported to the island vibe when you smell this serum.  The consistency is milky, different than many serums.  It has a blend of Hawaiian kava kava and kukui.  It gives your skin a glow- especially great in the morning when skin needs a little pick me up.  

This box is valued at $146 but you can get it for $55!  Get the box here.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out past posts below:

 

Trust me, I get it, switching products over can be expensive and mentally exhausting. But I’ve taken out the guesswork with my top 10 Best Budget Friendly Green Beauty Swaps!

Trust me, I get it, switching products over can be expensive and mentally exhausting. But I’ve taken out the guesswork with my top 10 Best Budget Friendly Green Beauty Swaps!

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