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Mother's Day Green Beauty Gifts

You gave your mom a handprint, a noodle necklace, a subpar bowl you made in art class and a haiku you wrote in third grade.  This woman deserves something good this Mother's Day.  We've got green beauty goodies for everyone in a few price points - noodle necklace-free:

Roses on the Go ($75) is the perfect gift for someone you'd love to pamper!  Valued at $82.50 it contains:

  • 2 oz Rosewater Tonic Spray - vegan
  • 1 oz Rose Quench Serum - vegan
  • Erin's Faces Logo Makeup Bag
  • Gift Card
Let's get real for a minute - I don't know a single mother who isn't in to lifting, firming and brightening and the Rose Quench Serum is our top selling product for just that.  It will work on normal/combo/dry skin and is a lovely lightweight texture.  The Rosewater Tonic is perfect to use in the toner slot, after cleanser, to set makeup or even as a mid-day hydration boost (and theis size makes it TSA-friendly!).  And then there's our cotton catch-all makeup bag to fit all of her lotions and potions in - Mom is ready for her next vacation!

If she's a fan of growing things in the backyard our Garden Goodies Bundle ($50) is a flower and fruit combo (yep, cucumbers are fruit!) that's sure to please.  Valued at $55 it contains:
  • 4 oz Rosewater Tonic - vegan
  • 1 oz Firming Eye Gel - vegan
  • Gift Card
The glass bottle of the full size Rosewater Tonic is just super pretty and feels luxurious on her bathroom counter or vanity, in addition to being soothing and hydrating.  And the Firming Eye Gel is a DREAM - made with an Organic Aloe base and Cucumber Seed Oil it elevates the whole "cucumbers on your eyes" situation to one that depuffs, tightens and feels (and smells) like a spa treatment.  

What mom doesn't love a smooch from their little, or big, ones?  Kisses + Roses ($25) keeps her kisser looking cute and her skin in good shape.  Valued at $27 it contains:
  • 2 oz Rosewater Tonic Spray - vegan
  • Blushed Fair Trade Tinted Lip Balm (soft sheer pink shade)
  • Flushed Fair Trade Tinted Lip Balm (deeper strawberry shade)
  • USDA Certified Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint
  • Gift Card
Our best-selling Peppermint Lip Balm keeps her protected any time while the Tinted Lip Balms can be for a laid back day with Blushed or fancier occasion with Flushed.  And the Rosewater Tonic - can you tell we're super into it?!  

And what's this gift card we keep talking about?  Not to be confused with a $ gift card, this is one of those old fashioned things that people used to write a note on back in the old days, around the time you drew that portrait of your mom with stick arms and pasta for hair.
We'll personalize our beautiful new gift cards, or leave them blank for you to fill out, and include them with any purchase of these three goodies.  Aren't they so pretty?  I just want to frame it.  

And if you just want to grab a bundle for yourself that's good too :) - Happy Mother's Day everybody!


Easy Ways to Go Green

You go to the gym on a regular basis, you eat organic when you can, you’re a fan of green juice but you’re not sure how to navigate the world of “green beauty” – what should you avoid, where should you start?  It can be overwhelming!  Here’s an easy way to make a few changes to start with – we’ll bump up to other options in coming months.

First off, I’d look at who’s cruelty-free – we’ll do a post just about this in the future but it’s worth checking a website to see if your fave products are tested on animals or not because, at this point in the game, testing on animals isn’t necessary or, honestly, very nice so I’d rec checking it out.  PETA and Leaping Bunny are good places to start and most companies will say if they are cruelty-free even if they’re not certified.  Cruelty-free doesn't mean vegan, but it does mean that they don't test on animals.

Photo from Instagram @meowmeowtweet

Aluminum and parabens aren't awesome for your armpits so grabbing a deodorant that is aluminum and paraben-free is a great place to start (studies are mixed on if these ingredients play a part in cancer but most people who get cancer are advised to switch to an aluminum and paraben-free deodorant by their doctor so it's up to you to be the judge).  Pit Paste is a great line that works well for people who aren’t sensitive (in a jar or in a stick).  If you are sensitive, the Lemon Eucalyptus stick from Meow Meow Tweet is effective and won’t irritate or you can go baking soda-free from them and do the Grapefruit or Tea Tree options. 


Okay, if you (or your husband or children) are using ChapStick, Blistex, Aquaphor, Carmex, Vaseline, C.O. Bigelow or Khiel’s lip balms chances are high that they’re petroleum based.  Ingredients to avoid in your lip products are Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil or Polyisobutene as they all fall under the petrochemical umbrella and, long story short, you’re eating it.  You eat the equivalent of one tube of lip balm/year and it ends up being 7-9 pounds in your lifetime – it’s serious y’all!  It's what made me want to create ours which are USDA Certified Organic and come in Peppermint, Coconut, Lemonade and Lumberjack which have the slip of a petrochemical based balm without the nasty ingredients.

Photo from Instagram @drbronner

There are all kinds of ingredients in our toothpastes that are no bueno for you: Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfates, Artificial Sweetners, Flouride and Propylene Glycol are ingredients to look out for.  My current favorite is the Dr. Bronner's Toothpaste in Peppermint  (it also comes in Cinnamon and in Anise).  Mouthwash is another area where there’s Alcohol, Aspartame, Dyes (bright blue anyone?) so avoiding those is a good goal.  My two faves are this one from Tom's of Maine or this one from Dr. Brite (also avail in Strawberry). 


I wrote a whole blog post and did a video on this but here’s the short story – you want physical, not chemical, SPFs.  What does that mean?  The FDA sees sunscreens as drugs so look at the “Drug Facts” or “Active Ingredients”.  You want physical SPFs, not chemical ones:

Most chemical SPF's are linked to unfortunate stuff , the worst being Oxybenzone.  It hurts you and the coral reefs (you've seen reef-safe SPFs) so just skip it and stick with Non-Nano Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide, preferably in a liquid/cream format and not a powder or spray.  Want to know more?  Read that blog post :).

For a safe daily sunscreen I love our Peptide SPF 30 which is a triple hitter - SPF, firming serum and lightweight moisturizer all in one.  We've also got an SPF for body, a stick for easy application and a lip balm with sunscreen.

Aren't you glad this isn't our reality?!

I typed "feminine hygiene" and it sounded like I was in a 6th grade health class so I'm going to go with "period stuff" instead.  Long story short you guys, at the very least use fragrance-free tampons/pads.  At the LEAST.  Your vagina is a receptive lady and she will absorb whatever she encounters.  Fragrance is linked to endocrine and reproductive issues so I vote to skip it.

Photo from Cora

Studies are mixed on if the levels of dioxin in conventional tampons is harmful, same story for having rayon in your tampons but, to me, if we can negate even having them in the equation then let's jump on the organic tampon bandwagon.  For every purchase of a box of their organic tampons CORA  provides pads and reproductive health education to girls in need around the globe - I'm super into their situation.  You can also use a menstrual cup from Lena or the Diva Cup which you can reuse.

We'll talk about other ways you can go green but I feel like these are an easy way to start - let me know if you have any questions!

*this post contains affiliate links from products I use and love :)


Green Beauty Holiday Gift Guide 2017

*cue music* "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" - and it IS you guys!  We've been bottling and jarring everything up and are so excited to get it out to you!  We'll start with the new goodies and you can see how much I love my rainbow wool garland :) :

In a recent client survey you guys said yes to an oil-based body moisturizer and Orange was the scent that was your top pick.  Enter our new Valencia Orange Body Butter which literally smells like freshly sliced oranges due to the massive amount of Orange Oil we pack into it!  Coconut and Almond Oils round out the formula for a major thirst quencher.  Avail in 8 oz ($25) & 4 oz ($15) sizes.  Vegan.

Our new Sugar Lip Scrubs ($14) are made with Brown Sugar, Honey, Coconut Oil and Shea Butter, amongst other goodies, and feel SO good!   They come in Valencia Orange (see what we did there?) and in Peppermint and they are a great gift for guys and girls alike.  The scent comes from essential oil and the flavor, yep! flavor!, comes from Organic Orange and Organic Peppermint Flavoring.  Give an exfoliation to your lips and follow with your favorite lip balm.

And speaking of lip balms we have a new one!  Our USDA Certified Organic Lumberjack Lip Balm is perfect for the lumberjack, or lumberjane!, in your life.  They're flavored with Peppermint Oil and hydrate, have a great slip and have a super outdoorsy axe on them - manly enough?  Available on its own ($4), or in a trio ($10), all of our lip balms also come in trio sets - PeppermintLemonade and Coconut - and are GREAT stocking stuffers.  Or, great to pair with a Sugar Lip Scrub :).

Our Aromatherapy Spray Set ($18) is always a hit as you can split it up or give it as a single gift and it's super versatile - as a room, pillow or body spray (it's based with Organic Aloe Juice) and can even be used at a diaper changing table, post yoga classes and to spruce up a car full of kids.  SO, this year we made our usual Classic Set with essential oils of Lavender, Grapefruit and Peppermint scents and added a new Holiday Set -

with essential oils for Orange Clove, Forest Crunch (evergreen) and Cinnamon that works with our candle fragrances of the same name and the Sugardoodle candle for the Cinnamon.  Vegan.

We've got majorly cute, new Erin's Faces Logo Makeup Bags ($12) that are my new favorite thing - they've got gussets at the bottom so you can fit a LOT of stuff!  And, if you've got a makeup fan, we have our top-selling Enchanted Mineral Lip Gloss and choice of Magic (gold) or Fairy (champagne) Dust Mini in our Mineral Lip Gloss & Holiday Shimmer Set ($35) which is a $48 value!

The Mason Jar Soy/Beeswax Candles ($24) are great to keep in your gift closet - they burn 50+ hours, have cotton wicks, use phthalate-free fragrance oils and are ranked 0 on Think Dirty (that means they're super clean!).  Grab a white paint pen, write "Happy Holidays" on the chalkboard top, tie a ribbon on it and you're done.  They come in 
  • Forest Crunch - freshly cut pine and evergreen
  • Orange Clove - Valencia oranges, cloves, chili pepper, bergamot and cassis - a beautiful pomander
  • Sugardoodle - it literally smells like cookies baking in the oven - vanilla, maple syrup and creamed butter with cane sugar and cinnamon
  • Applejack Cider - apples and citrus zest mulled in cinnamon and spice
  • Blushing Grapefruit - a true grapefruit - tart and bright with hints of jasmine and vanilla

Want a mini version?  These Mini Soy/Beeswax Candles ($6) are the baby sisters of the Mason Jars.  They burn 5 hours and are the perfect teacher/nurse/postal worker gift.

Our Handmade Soaps ($8) got a makeover this year and are even more giftable with their super cute boxes.  Made with filtered rainwater, oils and mineral pigments, they are triple hitters as they're safe for use on your face, body and are also a great shave bar.  Vegan.

As you know, we've got the Valencia Orange Body Butter and also returning this year is the Shea Butter Body Balm ($15-25) which is fragrance-free and more of a whipped texture.  It's VERY hydrating, is a little lighter weight texture-wise than the Orange is is perfect for moisturizing winter skin.

Oversharing but our body scrubs save my booty, literally!, in cold weather - the Peppermint and the Chocolate Sugar Body Scrubs ($15-25) are oil and sugar based and leave you feeling hydrated.  The Peppermint uses Peppermint Essential Oil and Olive Oil while the Chocolate uses real Organic Cocoa Powder and Organic Coconut Oil.   For a cleaner rinse the Lemongrass Bamboo Body Scrub ($15-25) is a great bet as it's a drier formula that foams up with water and is great pre-shave, self-tanning or even post gardening.

Can't decide?  I feel you - which is why we've got a ton of combos ($25)!  Mix and match to your heart's delight - 


Green Beauty Holiday Gift Guide

It's my favorite time of year!  I love a gift guide - they're my favorite part of December magazines.  If you like shopping small business, handmade, green and made in the USA goodies you're in the right place :) - here we go:

The Mason Jar Soy/Beeswax Candles are the easiest gift ever - they burn 50+ hours, have cotton wicks, use phthalate-free fragrance oils and are ranked 0 on Think Dirty (that means they're super clean!).  They come in 
  • Forest Crunch - freshly cut pine and evergreen
  • Orange Clove - Valencia oranges, cloves, chili pepper, bergamot and cassis - a beautiful pomander
  • Sugardoodle - it literally smells like cookies baking in the oven - vanilla, maple syrup and creamed butter with cane sugar and cinnamon
  • Applejack Cider - apples and citrus zest mulled in cinnamon and spice
  • Blushing Grapefruit - a true grapefruit - tart and bright with hints of jasmine and vanilla

Want a mini version?  These Mini Soy/Beeswax Candles are the baby brothers of the Mason Jars.  They burn 5 hours and are the perfect teacher/nurse/postal worker gift.

These would make literally anyone happy - I promise :).  Eight ounces of organic vegan scrubs and a fragrance-free soothing body moisturizer - they're great for boys and girls alike:

If you can't decide the sets are a great way to go as you get two 4 oz jars and a number of combos:

For the makeup lover in your life the Nudes Makeup Palette is the definition of Christmas happiness!  12 Eyeshadows (9 shimmer/satins, 3 mattes) and 12 Lipstick Shades that double as Cream Blushes in neutral colors that are all wearable.  

The Aromatherapy Spray Trio is one of my faves as these are great as a room spray but also work on linens, clothes, stinky cars (soccer practice anyone?), post yoga class as a body spray or at a baby's changing table.  Made with essential oils they're synthetic fragrance free, 91% organic and vegan.

For your glamour girl we've got the Mineral Lip Gloss & Shimmer Set which comes in a cute gold makeup bag.  You get our best-selling Enchanted Lip Gloss with a mini shimmer - your choice of Magic Dust or Fairy Dust - which works as a beautiful cheek highlighter or eyeshadow.  

If you want to go classic our top-seller Red Satin Lipstick is a great holiday bet for you or your favorite gal pal.  Full of yummy ingredients like Coconut Oil, Illipe Butter and Beeswax it soothes lips while delivering saturated color.  

Love your lips to feel hydrated but hate petroleum lip balms?  Our USDA Certified Organic Lip Balms and Fair Trade Tinted Lip Balms are fan favorites and make the PERFECT stocking stuffers.  They come in all kinds of duos and trios and are great for men, women and little ones alike.  

Last but not least these soaps are handmade with filtered rainwater, oils and mineral pigments.  They are triple hitters as they're safe for use on your face, body and are also a great shave bar.  Vegan.


Erin's Face of the Month - Afshawn Ostowari

What you love most about your job?
Being able to help customers and building that personal relationship with them.
Any fun interests/hobbies?
I love to dance, cook/bake, hike and go wine tasting. I like reading and learning more information about where our produce and meat come from as well as educating myself on where my skincare/makeup products come from - being aware of what ingredients are in them. 

Best Skincare Advice?
Keep yourself hydrated - it will help the look of your skin. Also, use high quality natural skin care products - make sure to read and understand the labels/ingredients in products.
Speaking of hydration - do you have a favorite moisturizer?

Silk Cream
Any other skincare faves?

Firming Serum
Best Makeup Advice?
Less is more. I love my makeup to look natural/effortless/flawless. 
What's a must have for that natural look?

Mineral Sheer Tint
Highlighters are so in right now - what do you like to use?

Fairy Dust
Why do you use Erin’s Faces?
I love that Erin's Faces is green/clean skincare/makeup line. Cruelty free. Erin only uses the highest quality ingredients (organic wherever possible) in her products and really connects to her clientele unlike other makeup/skincare lines I've inquired about. She answers any questions you may have and helps pair you with products she thinks will be compatible for your skin type.

Aww, thanks Afshawn! xo


What I Learned at Necker Island

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
This spring one of my favorite clients got married in the British Virgin Islands on Richard Branson's private island, Necker Island, and I got to tag along to do makeup for the wedding (sidenote - if anyone ever invites you to Necker Island drop everything you are doing and GO).  Beautiful beaches, incredible food and wonderful company were on display the whole time but some good reminders came up for me as we go into summer - here's what helped me -

Beach and pool at Turtle Beach on Necker
Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
That whole reapplying sunscreen thing is a THING.  You must do it if you're going to be at a pool, on a beach, or just in the sun all day in general.  Reapplying every 2 hours if dry and 40-80 minutes if wet or if you towel-dried is super annoying but I didn't do it and I got burned.  I had my white thighs looking up in direct 11am sunshine snorkeling in the ocean and had covered them with my Mineral SPF 32 for Body and was untouched.  Hours later (with no reapplication) I went swimming around 4:30pm (sun was low) in a slightly shaded pool for under an hour and got toasted.  Reapply!

Use a physical SPF - if you don't know what that is click HERE to read all about it - but bottom line, you want Zinc and/or Titanium Dioxide as your active ingredients in your sunscreen.  They're sometimes marketed as Mineral or Reef-Safe (but check your ingredients!).  The Mineral SPF 32 for BodyPeptide SPF 30 for Face and Sweet Mint SPF Lip Balm are Non-Nano Zinc and/or Titanium Dioxide.  Chemical sunscreens literally bleach and kill coral reefs (read the post linked above to see which ones) and there are alternatives so why not choose them?

If you DO get a sunburn I am a fan of Organic Aloe Gel (like this one from Aubrey Organics) followed up with my Monoi Tiare Oil - the combo seriously hooked up me up when I got burned after aforementioned lack of reapplication of SPF.  The Aloe Vera cools and heals skin and the Monoi Tiare Oil hydrates and does more healing as it pushes the moisture further into the body.

Get a suit that you feel great in.  When in doubt I love the Esther Williams suits - the one pieces have a double layer in the front and the outer layer is ruched.  The bust gives decent support with the built in bra and halter neckline.  The booty doesn't ride up at all and you feel pretty but modest all at once.

Those rash guard shirts are genius.  I got one from Hiho in the gift shop and LOVE it.  It's a Suntek SPF 50 shirt, is super lightweight mesh so it dries quickly and wasn't hot (some of them were thick and looked like they would be hot in the sun).  I'm in.

See below for links to cover ups
If you're maxing and relaxing and don't want to do an SPF shirt I think the longer beach cover ups are so tropical and lovely - I vote for a loose fit in a flowy fabric - they billow in the breeze, aren't hot, but give you some leg coverage which you'll need if you're lying on a lounge chair (a lot of coverups are short). 

Links to cover ups: White with colors, white V-neck, navy and white, multi-colored, white with lace.

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
Also - wear a hat!  See those fun little straw numbers on the bed?  They give you those on Necker and they are fantastic - but any hat will do - baseball, fedora, sombrero - just don it and wear it in style.

Also - the Virgin Islands are home to a bunch of flies and mosquitoes that like to take a bite out of visitors so carry on some bug spray - for real.  The night of the wedding everyone was wearing these mosquito repellent bracelets and they were getting devoured.  I am normally the one who the bugs love to chomp on, and I was wearing a backless dress, but I had sprayed myself up and down with my Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent and I had nary a mark on me at the end of the night.  In fact, everyone near me at the table ditched their bracelets and sprayed down with my stuff as they were tired of getting bitten as well.  Just saying, it works :).

On to the fun stuff - here's a pretty pic of my gorgeous bride, Marissa

Photo courtesy of Virgin Portraits
And a few more from the wedding -

Clockwise: Marissa and her sisters (Photo Courtesy of Virgin Portraits), a fun table shot of all of us at the wedding, the happy bride and groom (Photo Courtesy of Virgin Portraits) and the obligatory wedding selfie of yours truly.
And then a few more of Necker Island because it is so so pretty - 

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
This is the great house where we got Marissa ready - great views and tons of room.
Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
This was the living room and private pool that was just for our room.  When the guy who was showing us our room told us that I think my jaw hit the floor.  

Clockwise from top: 
*My desk while we were there - it was heavenly!
*Me taking a bath in the biggest tub I've ever seen (which had an incredible view of the ocean as it was outdoors - naturally)
*The view from the private pool from the room
*What my bedroom looked like when I came in at night

*contains affiliate links