3 Brands That Simplify Natural Living

3 Brands That Simplify Natural Living

So excited to share with you 3 brands that simplify natural living.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when detoxing your life.  Trust me I get it!  But it doesn’t have to be.  I like to break natural living into three categories.  The food we eat, the beauty products we use and household products.  These are some heavy hitters when it comes to toxic load.  Getting these detoxed is definitely a priority!  But where do you start?  What brands do you trust and what is effective.  

Check out how to enter the GIVEAWAY happening in honor of my new website launch at the bottom of this post!  

No worries, I got your back!  I’ve rounded out my top picks for where to get clean food for budget options, where to buy beauty products all in one place and what to use for your household products.  I’ve simplified the process for you!  These are tried and true and have worked not only for me but many of my peers and friends.  

After all, detoxing your life shouldn’t feel like work but it should be exciting and fun!  I mean who wants toxins lurking in their food, house or beauty products?  I know you don’t!

Here’s the skinny on 3 brands that always deliver-

The Detox Market-

Detox Market Natural Beauty

Find the best in green beauty at The Detox Market!

This was the very first green beauty store I shopped at.  I still remember angels singing when I visited the actual store in L.A.  Ok, maybe angels weren’t singing but it felt like I had arrived in green beauty heaven!  They have ALL the brands and more.  You want some Josh Rosebrook- they’ve got you covered.  Need some Osmia Organics in your life, sister they have it.  Want some Odacite?  No problem- they have the whole line.  It’s your one stop shop for all things natural beauty!  They have a list of ingredient standards, which lists ingredients they don’t allow in their formulations, so you can be sure your products are squeaky clean. 

I remember hearing about their pop up shop in 2010- I was salivating to go!  It was at the same time I had started to detox my beauty products.  It’s so crazy to think where The Detox Market is today!  There’s so many natural options, compared to 8 years ago.  I love their mission on educating the consumer and bringing awareness.  Forever a Detox Market fan! 

Some Favorites At Detox-

Vitacost-

Vitacost organic pantry

Find all your favorite clean eating and organic food pantry staples at Vitacost.

I started using Vitacost for over a year now and let’s just say I haven’t looked back!  If you haven’t heard of Vitacost allow me to bring you up to speed.  Vitacost is your one stop shop for all healthy and clean dry goods.  Think pantry staples!  Plus, they have some great household items too.  I love stocking up on all my favorite natural brands through Vitacost.  I save so much money when I purchase them there.  Plus, they’re always offering some sort of coupon code to save even more through email. 

I’ve been so impressed with their customer service, and timely delivery of my orders.  I place an order a month and I never have had any broken or damaged items.  I used to shop at other online retailers and I had several products break constantly.  They carry all my favorite natural brands.  I also love that I don’t have to pay a yearly membership to receive the discounts.  

Some Favorites At Vitacost-

Branch Basics-

Branch Basics review

Branch Basics makes simple and clean household products that are effective.

I have fallen for this brand!  I started to try all their products 6 months ago and have loved each one!  They make detoxing your cleaning and household products so easy and simple!  From the cleaner you use to clean your counters, bathrooms, laundry detergent and windows.  It doesn’t need to be toxic to clean!  Their whole mission on why they started is so cool.  Each founder had their own awakening moment that made them realize the impact our environments have on our lives.  Read all about the founder and their journey’s here!  

Branch Basics products are based off their concentrate- which is made from plant and mineral based. I love how simple it is. You basically can remove all your cleaning products with one product- their concentrate.  They give you the bottles to easily make window cleaner from it, countertop cleaner, laundry detergent, bathroom cleaner and even hand wash!  It is hypo-allergenic, peanut free, gluten free, fragrance free, and contains no toxic stabilizers, preservatives, brighteners or surfactants.  It removes grease, dirt, dust and grime.  They’ve made the whole process so simple for people to transition from toxic household cleaners to non-toxic.  Can’t recommend them enough!  

Some Favorites At Branch Basics-

  • Concentrate- This is the plant and mineral based cleaner that does it all!
  • Oxygen Booster- Helps to create an abrasive when added to tubs, toilets or sinks.  I also like adding it to heavily soiled laundry for a boost.
  • Trial Kit- Great to try before buying a large bottle or kit!
  • Mini All Purpose Spray Bottle- Perfect for traveling or on the go.
  • Starter Kits- These give you everything you need to completely overhaul your household cleaning products and start with nontoxic products.

Shop Branch Basics here!

Have you tried any of these brands?  What brand has helped you in detoxing your life? Leave me a comment and let me know!  

So in honor of my new website launch, I’ve teamed up with all three of my favorite natural lifestyle brands to bring you the ultimate giveaway!

  • The Detox Market is giving away $100 gift card
  • Vitacost is giving away $150 gift card
  • Branch Basics is giving away $100 gift card

You will be set with this giveaway loot!  From clean beauty, organic food and natural household cleaners, detoxing your life just got so easy! 

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Comment below sharing what the biggest struggle is for you when detoxing your life?  Whether it’s beauty, food or household products.  Make sure you leave your email so I can contact you if you win.  
  2. Repost my Instagram photo where I share the details of my new website for 10 extra entries. My Instagram is here. 
What I buy at Pharmaca: April Edition

What I buy at Pharmaca: April Edition

What I buy at Pharmaca: April edition is here!  If you haven’t figured out by now I’m a huge fan of Pharmaca.  They really carry it all when it comes to natural living.  I love one stop shops as a mom- even better when they’re online.

*This post does contain affiliate links.  If you do purchase something from one of them I will receive a small commission.  

Want to find out why I can’t get enough of this one stop natural shopping store?  Then keep reading!

1st- Pharmaca carries QUALITY products.

Yes, you read that right.  It’s not some retailer selling random things.  They carry all the big name green beauty brands, natural living brands and supplement brands.  Plus, their selection is amazing!

2nd- It’s all in ONE place.

No more going back and forth between five websites trying to get green beauty brands in one place and supplements in another.  Now, you can just do it all at once and save yourself some precious time.

3rd- Shopping at Pharmaca SAVES you money.

Yes, you heard me right!  They are always having a great sale or gift with purchase.  Plus, you get free shipping after $35- hello.  Most retailers are $50 and higher.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to their website to purchase something and was amazed to find they also carried another one of my products too.  Pharmaca has made my life more streamlined and easier as a mom and fellow natural living enthusiast.

Here are some products you can find at Pharmaca:

Some green beauty brands I love that they carry are:

Every month I’m working with Pharmaca to show you what you can get for $100(it’s pretty incredible).  Here is this month’s order:

*These products were sent to me by Pharmaca, however thoughts and opinions are my own.

Preserve Razor Triple Blade-

These razors are made from recycled materials, some of the recycled products are yogurt cups.  Pretty cool!  Also, the whole razor is recyclable itself. They give my skin a smooth feeling but I don’t feel like they’re so sharp that they are going to nick me easily.  I love that they’re easy to travel with too and budget friendly.  A great pick instead of getting a plastic one you can’t recycle.  Get your Preserve Razor here!

Evan Healy Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir-

Ok, I had heard really good things about this elixir and I was SO excited to finally get my hands on it.  Well, it did not disappoint!  If you’ve been following me long enough on my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of anything Blue Tansy or prickly pear seed oil, well this elixir has them both.  A match made in skincare heaven!  The prickly pear seed oil is perfect for dry or irritated skin, while the blue tansy helps to clam and minimize redness.  My skin literally drank it all up!  I can’t recommend it enough.  I would put it on after cleansing and toning my skin.  My skin felt so nourished and supple.  Plus, the blue tansy smell is intoxicating.  Such a great elixir!  Get it here!

Even Healy Sweet Blossom Hydrating Oil-

Another Evan Healy product but one I’m familiar with!  This body oil has been in my beauty arsenal for 5 years- it’s so good!  I love the smell.  It has notes of frankincense, neroli, and ylang ylang in it.  When you apply it to your skin it soaks right up.  But leaves behind a silly smooth feeling.  Made with a combination of jojoba, sunflower, sesame and apricot kernel oil.  It envelops your skin and leaves lasting moisture.  Get your Body oil here!

Acure Captivating Light Body Oil-

This body oil is great for travel!  I love having it on hand for trips.  It doesn’t come in glass like the Evan Healy one, which makes it perfect for a trip.  You can easily toss it in your bag and not worry about it breaking.  Plus, it smells so good and sprays too- pretty cool.  If coconut isn’t your fave, they also have other scents too.  Snag your body oil here!

U Konserve Mini Containers-

I’m obsessed with these little containers.  Perfect for traveling anywhere.  With kids you always have to have snacks on hand and these are the perfect container. They are stainless steel, which I love- no plastic.  The lids also stay on so easy, another huge win.  I find a lot of small bowls or containers often don’t have great lids.  I fill them with snacks for the kids too even if we’re just at home.  Traveling or not, these hit the mark!  Grab your containers here!

Melissa and Doug Travel Books-

Another reason I love Pharmaca so much- they even have kid’s activities and toys!  I love Melissa and Doug products.  These books are great for when traveling or in the car.  They’re easy to pull out and not make a mess with a ton of markers or crayons.  You just need some water to put in the pen and you’re good to go.  My girls love playing with these.  Get your Melissa and Doug products here!

What I buy on Amazon

What I buy on Amazon

I’m sharing today What I buy on Amazon.  Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things to view on people’s blogs!  Call me noisy but I love seeing what other people are buying up.  My wallet doesn’t thank me but it sure is fun!

Suzi(Gurl Gone Green) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

So I thought I would show you what I buy- I can’t believe it’s taken me this long.  I’ve rounded out some of my top purchases, things I buy on the regular and some items I’ve bought that we use all the time but were just a one time purchase.  You can shop my whole Amazon Store here.  It has all my Amazon favorites in one place.

I’m also going to talk about some of my favorite purchases more in detail below.

Keep checking back too!  I’ll be adding to my Amazon Store as I find cool products and great deals.  I mean who doesn’t have Amazon Prime?!

I want to share with you my go too’s when it comes to saving money and time.  Amazon makes it so easy to buy organic, natural products.  I get them quick with Prime and I don’t have to shop at 5 different online retailers. Plus, as a mom it doesn’t get much easier than having things delivered right to my door!

Nuts/Seeds-

I love buying my nuts and seeds from Amazon.  You can find all the raw organic nuts and seeds you could want.  These come in handy especially for my veggie bread making and my DIY trail mix for my hubs.  They are some of the most budget friendly options on Amazon too.

Grain Free Flours-

I buy most of my grain free flours on Amazon too.  They have so much variety and the prices you can’t beat.  Especially on AIP I’ve bought most of my flours from them since most of them are specialty flours and can’t be found at even some health stores.

Home Products-

I buy a lot of home products from Amazon on the regular too.  From baby products to natural cleaning products.  Amazon makes it easy and convenient to stay on top of my ordering too with subscribe and save.

Those are items I buy on the regular from Amazon!  Check out my full Amazon store here.

Here are some notable mentions that I have to share with you!  These items are one time larger purchases but totally worth every penny in my book.  We use them every week or everyday if not multiple times per day.  I love with some of the items you buy from Amazon you can actually buy them refurbished or used. I know it may sound a little sketchy but it’s not!  The items usually haven’t even been used but just opened by someone and sent back.  You get basically a new product for a fraction of the price!

Blendtec Total Blender Classic– 

I’m obsessed with my blender.  It does it all.  From smoothies, sauces, raw veggie breads, nut butters- I have yet to discover something it doesn’t do!  Why I love the Blendtec specifically is the Blendtec Twister Jar.  So you have to buy this separate from the Blender but it’s worth it!  It is a smaller jar and it literally makes any nut butter in a minute or less- no joke!  No more using your food processor for 20 minutes.  It also makes amazing sauces, like pesto a cinch, smaller smoothies, etc.  I use this everyday!  I can’t recommend the Blendtec Blender and Twister Jar enough.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Another item we use everyday.  I love that it’s stainless steel where it counts, like where heat comes in contact with the product with the steamer and espresso shots.  It makes the freshest espresso shots too because it grinds the beans right before you pull the shots through.  The steamer works amazingly too.  We’ve had this espresso machine for almost 8 years and absolutely LOVE it!  It was well worth the investment.  Plus, it looks so sleek on the counter!

Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator

I’ve had my dehydrator for almost a year now and I can’t say enough good things about it.  It has been so fun trying out different recipes in it.  We use it nearly everyday too.  It makes the best kale chips- trust me, the oven has nothing on kale chips from the dehydrator!  We also use it for raw veggie bread all the time.  You can snag the raw veggie bread course here that I took from Deanna from Real Food Lab.  She’s the expert when it comes to raw veggie bread.  It has literally changed my life!  I’ve never eaten so many veggies and loved it.  The best part is, the dehydrator keeps the food in it’s raw state so all the enzymes are preserved.  It’s genius!  Trust me, check out her course and get the dehydrator! It’s amazing!

SodaStream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit

My hubs and I love our sparkling water- a lot!  This soda stream has been a game changer.  Instead of having to buy glass sparkling water(we wouldn’t buy plastic), we just reuse glass bottles and carbonate our own water.  Not only does it save us money, but also helps the environment.  This Soda Stream offers glass bottles and not plastic!

Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt

I’ve had an Instant Pot for a year now and love it so.  This saves me on so many busy days!  It’s a mom’s best friend and I mean that in the best way.  It can turn chicken into shredded chicken in 30 minutes, make a mean roast in 65 minutes and soups in 20.  It makes you look like Martha Stewart but in half the time.  If you haven’t gotten one, what are you waiting for?

That rounds out some of my top Amazon picks.  What do you love getting from Amazon? Check out my full product list here.  Leave me a comment!

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Natural Nail Polish

Natural Nail Polish

I get questions all the time about Natural Nail Polish.  People usually refer to the words, non-toxic nail polish.  To be honest, I avoid using non-toxic and nails in the same sentence.  I don’t think nail polish is horrible and I use it myself.  I love the look of freshly polished nails.  I don’t live in a bubble, nor do I claim too.  I want to live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible for sure!  But I also want to enjoy my life and not constantly be “afraid” of chemicals.  It really comes down to making an informed decision for yourself.  I used to really avoid anything and everything when I first went green- nothing was safe!  Then I slowly came out of my shell and realized I can’t live that way forever.  It’s about balance!  They say stress is linked to so many health issues- I agree.  Sometimes just relaxing and enjoying life is better medicine for us than avoiding everything.

That being said, I do realize that some people are highly sensitive to nail polish still or just want to avoid using it.  I respect that as well.  My goal as a blogger is to give you the information you need to make an informed decision for you and your family.  What works for me, might not always work for you.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way let’s talk natural nail polish.  When I say natural nail polish here’s what I’m talking about…

Ingredients I Avoid in Nail Polish:

  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Formaldehyde
  • Formaldehyde Resin
  • Camphor
  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Toluene
  • Triphenyl Phosphate
  • Xylene
  • Bismuth Oxychloride
  • Ethyl Tosylamide

Aila filled me in on a few things happening in marketing nail polishes to the natural market too.  A lot of companies will start saying 10-free or 11-free- not that it’s bad but many ingredients they include in their polishes have not been used in nail polishes for years.  It’s a marketing tactic used by many companies to appeal to a natural demographic.

Water based polishes are often touted as being the best option.  However, after trying several brands, they still weren’t giving me the same nail look I used to have with conventional polishes.  I mean who wants their nail polish chipping in a few hours?  What’s the point?!  I’ve tried a lot of “natural” nail polishes and I really have come to love Aila the best.  The formula is so smooth, it doesn’t get gunky, they’re as clean as they come while still being effective and they’re color range is so chic!  I don’t feel I have to sacrifice at all!

I especially love their Better than Gel top coat.  It rates a 1 on EWG and locks in your nail color so well you would think you’re wearing a gel polish but you’re not!  You have to try it!  My other favorites from their nail polish line are:

Room 212- a rich plum color, perfect for fall and winter.

Bodega- the red that looks good on everyone.

I’m Naked, I’m Naked! the perfect barley there nude.

Namaste- a pretty neutral grey tone.

I wanted to dive a little deeper into natural nails to really answer all of your questions.  So I did an interview with the founder of Aila Beauty, Cary Gannon, to answer some of your most asked questions about natural nails!  I thought what better person to answer these questions than someone who owns a natural nail company.  I so loved hearing her thoughtful responses and sharing her knowledge with us about natural nail care.

*Interview with Aila Beauty Founder- Cary Gannon:

QUESTIONS-

1. Is there such a thing as non-toxic nail polish?

Yes and no. I love this question because truth be told ANYTHING (natural or man made) has the potential to be toxic. Natural chemicals can be more dangerous than man-made chemicals. Mother Nature is our best chemist and She can kill you in a heart beat.

Essential oils are ‘natural’ but contain anywhere from 80-300 chemicals per oil and can be toxic when used improperly. Water is another natural chemical that can be deadly if used improperly. Examples of this are the frat boys I see in the ER every year who have been dared to drink a gallon of water in an hour and they die of cardiac arrest FROM WATER.

It seems the green beauty industry is hell-bent on defining toxicity in the binary matrix of toxic vs. non-toxic when there is soooooo much more to it than this from a scientific and medical perspective. There are some bloggers and self-proclaimed ‘green beauty experts’ who read a few obscure articles and proclaim the toxicity of a beauty product when the reality is that toxicity is so much more than one specific natural or man-made chemical.

In my view toxicity should be viewed through 4 different lenses…and thus begins your dissertation…

1) The first question we need to ask is ‘Is the product toxic to the SPECIFIC BODY PART it is being applied to’?

If we are using nail polish as the example then the question is ‘does the nail polish damage the nail specifically?’ We want a nail product that does not strip the nail of all the natural oils or increase rate of fracture of the nail. We want a product that does not increase the bacterial or fungal bio-burden and make our nails more susceptible to fungus. We want a product that is easily removed and does not weaken the nails.

Nails are very different than skin. Skin absorbs way more than nails. Nails have pores and will expand and contract just like skin but they do not absorb chemicals the same way as skin does (similar to hair). You can apply certain chemicals to nails that do not damage the nails and do not systemically absorb into the body. These same chemicals could not be applied to skin because the skin is a different organ all together. Does this make sense? Another example we could use are essential oils. Some oils are safe for the skin but others are toxic to the skin. They are organ specific.

2) The 2nd question we need to ask ourselves about a beauty product is ‘Is the product systemically absorbed and potentially damaging the the ORGANISM AS A WHOLE?’.  Meaning, does the chemical absorb through the nail or the skin and enter the blood stream and potentially create damage to the entire body. Here is where nail polish, skin products, beauty products etc. become scary.

An example of this are parabens used as a preservative in beauty products. We believe that these are systemically absorbed through the skin and we know there is an increase in paraben levels in breast cancer tumors. We are fortunate that most molecules are not able to penetrate the nail plate and be systemically absorbed thus making chemicals that could be systemically toxic irrelevant when applied to the nail.

3) The third question about toxicity is PERSON specific. Meaning there are chemicals that are ‘non-toxic’ that 99% of people can use and be fine but there are always certain people who will be allergic or intolerant to a chemical.

Peanut butter is technically ‘non-toxic’ in every way BUT if you are allergic to peanuts it will kill you very quickly. This is the same for some beauty products. Certain chemicals are considered totally safe and completely non-toxic but if a specific person has an intolerance to it then the product is toxic to the INDIVIDUAL.  I use essential oils as an example here again. Most people can use essential oils without issue BUT some people are highly allergic to some essential oils thus the oil is TOXIC to the INDIVIDUAL.

4) Lastly, can we use the ‘toxic’ component of the chemical to our advantage? Believe it or not we do this ALL the TIME. Even in beauty products.

One of the first examples of using toxicity to our advantage is lip plumping products. Some of these products contain natural chemicals (usually essential oils) to create the ‘bee sting’ appearance of the lips to enlarge the lips and make them look fuller and redder. The chemicals in these products are technically non-toxic but when applied to the mucous membrane of the lip create a toxic reaction that we use to our benefit.

Another example is Botox. Botox is a 100% NATURALLY occurring chemical that is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It can be found in honey. If we encounter this chemical in nature it causes death by paralysis but we have found a way to use this ‘toxic’ natural chemical to our advantage in medicine. The obvious use is in relaxing wrinkles but we also use this to treat migraines, contracted muscularture in Cerebral Palsy, hyperhidrosis etc. Botox is technically toxic but if we use it properly can be non-toxic.

This is how I view all chemicals. My belief is that it is a mistake to put every chemical in a toxic vs. non-toxic matrix because there is so much more than that.

2. What are the most toxic ingredients people should avoid in nail polish?

I guess to me the toxic ingredients that people should avoid in nail polish would be chemicals that are toxic to nails or absorbed through the nail and toxic to the body.

Other than the chemicals listed on our website I consider acrylic nails and gel nails to be highly toxic to the nails specifically. These chemicals literally remove layers of the nails each and every time they are removed and terribly weaken the nails. It takes 6-9 months for fingernails to regenerate and 9-12 months for toenails to regenerate so you cannot attain healthy nails for this amount of time after wearing acrylic or gel.

Systemically I would say avoid all polishes with TPHP in them. TPHP is an endocrine disruptor and has been proven to absorb through the nail bed and enter your blood stream.

3. I’ve often heard that water based nail polish is better than solvent- is this true?

No. I’m sure that people who firmly believe water based polishes would disagree but my answer is a firm no. Water does several things that are unhealthy for our nails and our bodies.

First and foremost water harbors bacteria, yeast, fungus, mold and disease. Water is the perfect environment for bacteria etc. to proliferate and reproduce. Water based polishes will grow bacteria, yeast, mold etc. UNLESS they are mixed with a ton of preservatives to prevent bacterial growth. If the preservatives are not accurately measured then the polish will start to grow bacteria in the bottle. AILA’s formula is 100% bacteria free and will not grow bacteria.

We are COVERED in bacteria, yeast, fungus mold etc. and every time we touch our finger nails or toe nails with the polish brush and then replace the brush in the bottle we are adding bacteria to the bottle of polish. If there is not the correct amount of preservatives in the polish to kill the bacteria then the water based polish potentially spreads disease and the bottle of polish essentially becomes a large petrie dish. Bacteria from one person will grow in the bottle and then the next person using the polish is exposed to the bacteria.

Second, some water based polishes say they are healthy but at closer look their other ingredients reveal that they contain ACRYLIC. The polishes are water based and function well but acrylic is very damaging to the nail.

Third, water softens and weakens the nails increasing their rate of fracture. Overexposure to water is not healthy for skin OR nails. AILA advocates a dry manicure system for this very reason. We don’t want to do anything that weakens the nail. Dry manicures are not new technology and it is well established that applying water to the nails weakens them.

4. Having worked on nails for a time as a cosmetologist, my concern was the smell too.  Does the smell of nail polish warrant concern or is it just being aware of proper ventilation?

It depends on the product. The smell from AILA’s formula is butyl acetate which is an organic compound found in fruits. It isn’t toxic unless the person is sensitive to it. There are some chemicals in certain nail products that should not be inhaled long term. Most of these chemicals are associated with acrylic nail salons. Ventilation can be helpful but is not fully protective.

5. Should you avoid wearing nail polish when pregnant or nursing? (I get this question a lot from readers) 

As a rule, I always refer these ladies back to their doctors. We should never offer our approval for any products for pregnant or nursing mothers because the legal liability is far too high. You definitely do not want to be the person who told a pregnant mother that they can use any product because if anything is wrong with their baby you will have liability. The truth is that every woman wants to have a perfect baby but not every woman gets to have a perfect baby. Most of the time this is through no fault of their own. It’s best to stay clear of this question.

6. Should people be as concerned with nail polish removers as polishes?

Yes. Humans actually produce our own acetone and it is typically present in blood and in urine. Diabetics, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children have higher levels of acetone so in proper amounts it is not toxic to humans systemically. It does however desiccate the nails and remove the nails’ natural oils. When nails don’t have enough oil they break and fracture more easily.   I prefer AILA’s 3-in-1 natural soy nail polish remover with vitamins A,C & E and Argan Oil to nourish and strengthen the nails.

7. What are some tips or advice when wanting a manicure at a nail salon but don’t have the option of a natural nail salon. Are there ways to avoid toxins?

Skip the soaking and go straight for a dry manicure/pedicure. Soaking the nails in water expands the pores of the nail and the skin. All the chemicals they use to ‘sterilize’ the water are immediately absorbed into the blood stream and enter your body. The soaking expands the nail plate and weakens the nails increasing the rate of fracture and breakage of the nail plate. Lastly the soaking expands the nails. The nails eventually contract back down to their normal size but the contracting causes micro-fractures in the manicure and the manicure or pedicure will chip sooner and won’t last as long.

I also recommend taking your own base coat, polish and top coats. Some salons will ‘water-down’ their polishes and when they do that they grow bacteria.

8. What makes Aila different than other nail polish companies?

Our team and our commitment to constantly improve our products. We can have the best product in the world but if our team isn’t committed to each other and to our customers then we will never succeed. Plus our names are hilarious and all of them have some sort of embarrassing story behind them LOL!!!

Did you get your questions answered?  Have any others?  Leave me a comment below on what your favorite natural nail polish is!

Art of Organics December Discovery

Art of Organics December Discovery

I’ve rounded out my thoughts on Art of Organics December Discovery Box Moonbeam.  This is the second time I’m sharing my thoughts with you all about Art of Organics.  This box doesn’t disappoint!  I’m always amazed by the thought and care that goes into each product selection.  It’s such a special treat to get it each month!

If you aren’t familiar with Art of Organics allow me to introduce you to this amazing box!

Their belief is really simple-You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health for beauty.  I couldn’t agree more!  Their goal is to bring people the cleanest, best, and most luxurious products.  Claire the founder, has always been a beauty junkie and on the quest to purge her own makeup bag, she realized she wanted to share her journey with others and raise awareness.  I noticed instantly after opening the box, the attention to detail.  They name their boxes each month as well as follow a theme.  The card inside describes the products in the box so well and gave directions for application.  The box is $38, with a value of $70+ and features each month 2-4 full size products.  They have high standards for their product selection, such as being cruelty free, organic and non-toxic.  They have more specifics on the ingredients they don’t use here on their website.

Ok, let’s dive into this month’s box!

Art of Organics December Discovery

Kahina Moisture Mask-

I was elated to see Kahina’s Moisture Mask in the box this month.  I’ve long been a fan of their products and the Moisture Mask was a mask I’ve come to love since they debuted it last spring.  This mask is so different than any mask I’ve used.  It feels like a rich cream when you apply it to your skin.  Then as you leave it on, your skin actually soaks it up.  They recommend you leave it on for 15 minutes or overnight.  I know you might be thinking overnight- really?  YES!  By the time even 15 minutes is up your skin has soaked up so much of the mask that your face feels so hydrated and moist.  Usually you put a mask on your skin and wash it off. With the Moisture Mask so much of the product dissolves into your skin that you’re left with hardly any to take off.  It’s so gentle too- perfect for even sensitive skin types.  If you’ve been searching for a mask that leaves your skin feeling hydrated and smooth- this is it!  Perfect for winter months when your skin needs some extra hydration.

Moon Boost- Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum-

I was just a wee bit excited to see a lash and brow enhancing serum in the box!  I mean who doesn’t want a little lift in their lashes?  Sign me up!  This natural lash and brow serum is vegan and cruelty free.  It comes in a wand form.  You apply it on the base of your lashes and work your way out. For brows you apply it on clean brows.  They recommend you use it every night for best results.  I haven’t been using it long enough to notice an immediate difference but I can say that it doesn’t irritate my eyes at all, which is a big deal!  I’ll keep you posted on what kind of growth I see for my lashes.

That concludes my review of the December Art of Organics box. The value and quality of this box is amazing!  You pay $39 each month and get access to some stellar products.  You can sign up for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months!  At 6 and 12 months you start saving.  Also, each month a theme is chosen around the box.  This month the theme was all about Moonbeam.  The idea of Moonbeam is to reflect on all the good each night  before you fall asleep and tell yourself something positive.  Also, as a subscriber to Art of Organics you get 15% off all store purchases of green beauty products- talk about awesome!  Sign up here! 

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