Clean beauty blogger confessions: non-organic beauty products that I cannot live without

This may not be what you expect to hear from clean beauty blogger. However, I have to honestly admit that since I’ve replaced the majority of my toxic cosmetics with organic ones (and I’m so happy about that!) there still are some products that are¬†nearly impossible to replace, or after replacing them I miss the non-organic formula that I got used to years before.

Better, but worse alternative?

There are many products that are clean, organic and USDA certified, which is great, BUT… not all of them are good quality products, even though they are more expensive than drugstore brands. Don’t believe me? Let’s start from hair wash routine. I’ve tried dozens of natural shampoo brands, and since they are great for natural hair, after I had my highlights done (another thing that is potentially toxic – bleach, because how do I naturally get cool/silver blonde shade…?!) these usually herbal based shampoos made my hair yellowish and brassy, that I do not like. So I had to go back to my more ‘toxic’ color protecting shampoo made by professional brand that is not 100% clean (no silicones and parabens, but it has some other stuff). hair-1744959_1920
Another thing that I have really hard time with is… nail polish. There are organic nail polishes or less toxic ones like Zoya which I really like, but because of hard water and the fact that sometimes it happens that my dishwasher is broken or I just cook a lot and need to constantly wash my hands, (or any other non toxic or even toxic) nail polishes simply last up to one week. Then, I have to do them again, wait until each layer dries which takes a lot more time than I would like it to… and I am not patient. I do my own shellac that lasts me 3 weeks, so the question here is: is it better to put on nail polish every week and breathe it in (even if it does have less toxic ingredients it isn’t as clean as water, believe me) or is it better to do shellac once a month and enjoy strong nails? I cannot get over that idea, shellac takes me 40 mins and there is no need to dry, just led lamp and you look gorgeous!
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Last thing that I find pretty annoying is mascara. Yes, there are many organic, clean brands, or at least vegan, but every time I try one, I struggle. It works at beginning and then it flakes, dries super quick or blows up… like tarte 4in1 mascara for 23$ did to me. And the price 23-27$ is not cheap at all! I am really tempted to go back to my favorite Dior or Lancome mascara and just kind of forget that those are not clean. At least I will have pretty lashes all day, no clumping, flaking and itchy eyes…cosmetics-2116368_1920
In my opinion it is great if you can replace at least some products that you use daily with organic ones, however 2-3 exceptions won’t make you die. Isn’t it right? Of course if someone will invent organic shellac, hair bleach for highlights and super volumizing, but natural mascara that does not clump and flake, I’ll use them, let me know! ūüėČ But for now… I do not think I can get over these three products.
Do you have any non-organic products you cannot live without or they are so hard to replace? Let me know in the comments.

Introducing: Safer Beauty by Beautycounter

Winter is not too gracious for skin and I bet you can feel it and notice on yourselves… Since the temperature in Texas is bellow 30 F, I was happy to be able to try Beautycounter cosmetics including moisturizer for two weeks now. Effects? Read bellow!

About Beautycounter

You may think it is another company like Avon with consultants trying to sell you low quality, toxic products. In this case the only similarity is that you may become a consultant, but you don’t have too. Beautycounter’s mission is to¬†get safer products into the hands of everyone and they’re really doing it. The online store is available for everyone, at any time. Formulas are clean and explained on their website. No hiding and no lies about ingredients. How about that? ūüôāCategory-HeaderImage-Desktop
From 3 products that I received from Ashley who reached out to me via Instagram (check out her profile  @frostbeautyco) I definitely loved the moisturizer the most.

What I’ve got

  • Lash power couple:
    Volumizing Mascara: 6 ml / 0.2 fl oz
    Instant Eye Makeup Remover: 30 ml / 1 fl oz (20$ value)
  • Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion full size: 50 ml / 1.7 fl. oz. (48$ value)

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Let’s start from moisturizer, because I’ve liked it the most. It naturally adapts to your skin‚Äôs hydration needs, without using silicones or synthetic polymers. The result? Smoother skin in 2 weeks. I was using it recently everyday and I love everything about this moisturizer (OK, maybe except the regular price that is 48$), but it’s worth it!

Light as a cloud

The lotion is super lightweight, so it doesn’t leave any sticky layer on skin. It’s great to use under makeup during the day if needed, as well as for night. I like the packaging that comes with pump which gives you just perfect amount of the product every time (I use 1-2 pumps for face and neck). I also like delicate scent that comes from plum oil (plum oils smells like almonds).

Great results

My skin feels way better hydrated and smoother. I did not notice any acne even though formula contains plum oil – it does not clog pores at all!

Lash power couple

Mascara is suppose to give volume, but it didn’t do much to my lashes to be honest. I don’t know if anything can beat 4in1 by Tarte, so I’m very picky now. For those who love VERY delicate and natural look- go for it, elegant packaging, good brush is what you need and Beautycounter has it!
Makeup remover – it works, however I’m not a big fan of water + oil formula because it makes my eyes feel oily and ‘unclean’ after using, so this is not my favorite product. It also has pretty strong, floral scent that makes me wanna sneeze. Only if you like flower scents and kind of oily cleansers formulas you’ll be pleased with this product.
To sum up, I’d definitely buy the lotion! I think it’s one of the best natural face moisturizers I’ve ever used.
What are your favorite cosmetics from beautycounter? Have you tried any yet? If not, you can buy some of the best products with 30% off discount using code WINTERSALE.
‚ö†ÔłŹDisclaimer: all products have been provided for free, but review is 100%¬† honest opinion of mine.

Cruelty free, organic cosmetics or marketing creations? Do not be deceived.

It’s sad to say, but nowadays it is really hard to find a legit brand that does not play with words: organic, vegan and natural in their marketing campaign just for sales growth. There are brands on the market that claim being organic, but when you look closer, the ingredients they use in formulations are toxic (or at least VERY controversial) for your skin. Some brands also claim they are cruelty free (not tested on animals), but it is not completely clear if their products are cruelty free or not: for instance they still sell cosmetics in China, where skin care products testing on animals¬† is required by the law.

Organic… package

I don’t know how about you, but I find this very disappointing: every time I research a product that seems to meet my expectations according to the label and producer’s promises (+ it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients which I just do not tolerate), it is not cruelty free or it contains silicones, which aren’t considered as toxic by the law, but I do not think they are the best for your skin either. How to recognize real, 100% organic products? You’ll find the response few paragraphs bellow, but first let me explain why I do not think silicones should be considered organic or safe at all.

Why are silicones not the best choice?

First of all, I must emphasize that generally silicones are considered as low hazard for your skin which means “safe”. There is no prove that they cause cancer. However, when used daily, they may accumulate in your body and this is not good news. Also some of them, like siloxanes, according to Health Canada are harmful for the environment. Now, let’s say your cream or lotion contains harmful for environment ingredients and you spread them over your body, and according to most sources they are safe for your skin, but not safe for the environment… Not sure how you feel about it, but I am not willing to experiment on my skin.make-up-1209798_1920
Nowadays silicones become the new normal in most of beauty formulations and you can find them almost everywhere: in skincare products, foundations, primers or even shampoos and hair conditioners. It is also hard to detect them, because they are hidden under many names. You can still do it though: simply read the ingredients list and if the label says any of the words that end:
  • -cone,
  • -siloxane,
  • -conol,
don’t buy or at least reconsider buying such a product.
Examples of silicones: dimethicone, methicone, polydimethylsiloxane, dimethiconol. If you start checking your cosmetics you may be surprised how many of these names you will find. Do not worry if the majority of the bottles on your bathroom shelves contains silicones – it is always hard to start. Eliminate these cosmetics and little by little replace them with a truly organic, natural brands. Soon, your shelves will be full of organic and safe products.

Both sides have a point

There are diverse opinions and I know some people love the layer of silicone on their skin or hair, because it makes skin & hair look smoother. Honestly – and that’s the thing! – the skin or hair only LOOK smoother. Silicones work outwardly and the layer which they built on the surface does not improve condition of your skin or hair, it only builds a water resistant seal on the surface: this is why you struggle to wash off your make up at the end of the day, this is why your hair seems to be very shiny after washing, but oily at the end of the day. And yes, I must admit that silicone makes your hair smooth and good looking, your foundation application smoother, but these things won’t last forever, not even long – just until next hair or face wash. Here is the question: do you want your skin/hair to look better outwardly only or to look and feel better even without layers of makeup or cream on it?

Deceived by marketing campaigns

Here it comes: the hardest part of this post. It basically reveals all the lies we all are fed by. How does it work? You go to the store, choose a nice, green box that says “organic” and you’re probably happy, because you have just switched to natural beauty products. I am sorry to say that, but it may not be true.
Have you asked yourself what big “mother company” owns the “organic” or cruelty free brand you’ve just bought? If the brand is owned by a big corporation, there is a huge chance that the product is not certified organic at all, which means – you have bought campaign and package and nicely designed label, my friend.

Distinguish organic from fake organic

You already know you should be alerted if willing to buy real, organic cosmetics. How to detect pseudo organic products? I always look for a natural, certified ingredients plus I do not want to support any animal testing, so before I buy anything new,¬†I am checking if the brand is owned by a big company such as L’oreal. They not only use toxic ingredients or at least suspicious, but also test on animals (there’s no doubt about it). Another well known corporation¬†Estee Lauder, sells in China where testing on animals is required by law. This is why I do not buy brands which logo you’ll see bellow.
In general there may be a few exceptions when¬†the brand confirms not selling a particular product line in China, however, if I can find other brands which are certified organic, why should I even consider buying the ones that big companies with suspicious policy owns? I’d rather invest in a better, truly organic brands.¬†
loreal
source: businessinsider.com
If you really need to buy products from L’oreal or Estee Lauder, but at least looking for better ingredients or cruelty free one,¬†go to the company website and check what the brand says. Like in the case of Too Faced, vegan, cruelty-free brand which now belongs to Estee Lauder –¬†they still have some (not all!) 100% cruelty-free and vegan products available, featured online. If there is the slightest chance that Too Faced sales will grow more than the other non cruelty free brands owned by E.L., maybe the whole company will finally change the policy? This would be a huge step since Estee Lauder owns so many brands:
estee lauder
Source: businessinsider.com
As you see the list is long. Also in some cases, not only the campaign is deceiving, but also the name or brand appearance: green bottles, plants in logo etc.

Organic, but not truly organic

If you still think that if the product label says “organic” it surely is, keep reading. Let’s take brand named Origins with two trees in logo – seems organic, brand¬†assures that they are organic, but even though they made the formulas lighter and more natural I still have some doubts that the products are clean. Most of the formulas seem good (natural oils based), but many¬†products contain silicones and controversial¬†geraniol which is¬†known allergen and toxicant. It has been¬†banned¬†in the European Union (!) and is on the list of restricted fragrances due to the fact that it is known to cause skin and lung irritation. Geraniol is naturally derived fragrance, but still may cause some irritation, so how can the cosmetic still be called natural? As for me, natural’s brand ingredients shouldn’t be questionable at all.
plantscriptionI gave Origins second chance. Right now I am looking for an organic foundation in a decent price, so I went to this category on their website and I found bestseller РStay Tuned Balancing Face Makeup.
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origins.com
Neat, green package – nice! List of ingredients? So long. Contains¬†geranium again, and some comedogenic ingredients (pore clogging) silicones: dimethicone, polethylene (which is…the most common plastic!). I do not think this combination will “balance” your skin like producer says. Instead, it may cause more breakouts for sensitive skin. I am not saying all of these ingredients will cause disaster on your skin, but they are more likely to make your skin allergic or irritated, than balanced. This is not natural at all. Also for prices that Origins offers: serum 77$, foundation 26,50$, you can find much better quality, really organic and 100% cruelty free products with no silicones, I assure you.
Another example of marketing misleading may be Pureology hair cosmetics brand. The name “pure” brings high hopes, but since the brand is owned by L’Oreal,¬†products are not certified¬†organic¬†by USDA. Not all of Pureology shampoos are composed of all natural ingredients. Some lines contain¬†Methylisothiazolinone¬†preservative which¬†has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. I cannot tell you if the amount of this ingredient in Pureology shampoo is so harmful or not, but I do not understand why even add this ingredient to a product which is suppose to be “clean” and “pure”?
As you can see organic in this cases is more like a marketing image the brand have created. Sadly, there are thousands cases like that. I understand that some of you do not have enough time to check them all, so this is why I wrote this post – to make it a little bit easier for you and to show you that maybe you’ve been a victim of a ‘green’ marketing campaign.

Distinguish organic from non organic brands

To sum up, stores are full of the fake organic brands. What you can do to protect yourself from lies:
  • Pay attention to the labels and if brand is USDA certified: USDA Organic Certification is the ONLY standardized, government-regulated system that exists to ensure the safety of products we put on our bodies. Other certifications or consumer’s prizes labels are not such important (most of them the company can actually purchase). If the brand is not certified yet (it may be awaiting) check if the ingredients they use are. USDA certified brands must contain only certified ingredients.
  • Find 3-4 certified brands and stick to their products. You can always visit my instagram profile for pictures and mini reviews of my favorite, organic cosmetics and green beauty products.
Also, very soon I will have a free sample & product surprise for you. Stay tuned!
If you liked this post, do not hesitate to share it with your friends on Facebook. I feel like so many people have a good intentions of buying organic products, but they just do not know how to recognize the real ones in this cruel world. Raise awareness of natural ingredients.

6 Fall Skin Care Tips

The seasonal change may be a little tough for your skin. Lower temperature, windy or even rainy weather may be shocking for your complexion. Dryness, redness or breakouts are more likely to occur. How to keep you skin healthy and radiant despite cold weather? Check my favorite tips.

1. Sunscreen is your best friend

It may seem like sunscreen is useful in the summer only. Nothing more deceiving. The fact that the temperature is lower in autumn, does not mean that the sun is not there. Sunscreen protects your skin against UVA and UVB radiation and helps to keep your skin healthy and young. Choose organic sunscreen like this one from Beauty by earth or Coola.frond-1101434_640

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliation¬†involves the removal of the oldest dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface helping to expose your “new” skin. Dependently of your skin condition you¬†may want to try natural scrubs available in organic stores or you can make your own sea salt scrub with essential oil or coffee scrub. If your skin needs more than that, go to¬†a professional salon and have¬†microdermabrasion or chemical peels done. Ask dermatologist what is better for you.¬†¬†coffee-206142_640

3. Hydration is the key

When it is colder, you may not feel an urgent need of drinking much water. However, proper body hydration can support your skin look. It won’t be too dry, it will glow instead. You can also try to hook up the humidifier in your room – it’ll moisture the air, preventing your skin from drying out. You can add natural, essential oil, so your room will smell nice and fresh. My favorite is lemongrass or peppermint scent. drops-of-water-578897_640

4. Moisturize

If you drink enough but still have this feeling of tightness of your skin, invest in a good moisturizer. If you are planning to use sunscreen during the day, you may want to buy serum or cream to use at night. We do not want to create unnecessary layers of cosmetics on your face if you wear makeup during the day, right? I do recommend checking out Instanatural brand Рthey do have both serums and creams. Good quality, decent price and natural. You may also make your own moisturizing avocado mask: blend half of avocado with 2-3 olive oil drops, put on your face for 30 minutes and rinse off. Your skin will be satin-soft! alternative-906138_640

5. Supplement 

You may be already taking some supplements, but if you want your skin to be radiant especially in autumn/winter season, you should make sure that you are taking collagen. After age of 25 collagen production in your body decreases causing your skin to be less elastic and eventually become wrinkled… Add some collagen to your daily routine to delay this process! You can get collagen in capsules or powder and add it to your smoothie or soup. It has no taste, but it will make your skin beautiful, strengthen your nails and hair. img_20161126_104126

6. Apples

Yes, I mean it! Apples are not only delicious (especially in Autumn season) but also they contain alpha hydroxy acids like malic acid. In cosmetology, these acids are used in chemical peels to treat acne, rosacea, scarring and other skin conditions. By eating apples you deliver yourself skin-friendly nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and fiber which also helps to keep your skin healthy & radiant.apple-496977_1920-e1507066617658.jpg
Do you know other skin care tips? Share in the comment.