What a beautiful summer it has been so far. Very a props pros to dedicate a post to natural beauty, I must say. The warm balmy nights and hot and humid days can do wonders for our skin and emotional well-being. It's such a magical time of year and the one where I think most people feel their best. There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables to eat, more chances to enjoy the outdoors, and overall just a lighter feel to everything. Sometimes I think it's a miracle that we actually make it through the winters. ;)
I try my best to purchase all natural and organic beauty products, although I have a few weak spots... Tom Ford ahem... There is so much toxicity whirling around in the cosmetic industry, it can be very hard to avoid, but that said, organic and natural beauty products have come a long way and there are so many great brands to choose from, as long as you know where to look. For further information on cosmetic safety, spend some time on the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Here, you can look up many consumer products and see what the health hazard rating is, as well educate yourself on the most hazardous chemicals used in mass produced drugstore brands.
Although there are some pretty good products available in health food stores, I have been most satisfied with the brands available through two Canadian websites; Eco Diva and Fresh Faced. They both offer free shipping over a certain amount and buying through them helps to alleviate some of the exchange and duties that you might pay normally. On both sites you will receive samples with your order and you are also able to purchase samples of specific products that you would like to try before you invest the money. This is how I have been able to accumulate favorites without breaking the bank, or at least not as much. ;) There are so many quality products out there now so it's just a matter of trying a few different ones out and seeing what works for you. If you're having trouble making a decision and want to read more reviews on certain products to decide head over to Spirit Beauty Lounge (U.S. based) which carries more products and lots of reviews. From cleansers to serums, to toothpastes, below are my recommendations, based on what has worked for me.
My absolute favorite brand for skincare has to be May Lindstrom Skin. Her products are über luxurious to use and although they are pricey, I believe they are worth every penny. It may sound silly, but I get so much pleasure out of using these amazing potions of natural ingredients that she creates out of her studio in Los Angeles. I also really like One Love Organics which is slightly more economical, but very high quality, and Tata Harper.. These are all luxurious and high quality brands whose products smell incredible, and will do wonders for your skin. If you're used to buying department store brands, then you can certainly make the switch, these are no more expensive than your high end brands but are a lot more friendly to your body.
The following is a list of my current favorites. I have tried to include the most accurate pricing for Canada, but please do not quote me on these prices as they are indicative of the dollar and the site on which it's sold.
SKINCARE - Cleansers
My ultimate favorite to date in this price range. Great scent and works beautifully with my clairsonic which I use every evening. I also think it is fairly priced and one pump gives you all you need. Works well for makeup remover. Available on both sites.
This is slightly exfoliating, and smells like freshly juiced grapefruits. If it was a little bit less pricey I would buy it more often but is a nice treat once in awhile just to change things up. Good cleanser to bring traveling. Available on Eco Diva.
A great all-purpose face cleanser that I keep in my gym bag. Does the trick and you won't be stressing out if you leave it in the locker room! Available at natural food stores.
Just picked this up the other day at my local health foods store and really like it. Smells good from the pure essential oils and plant extracts of hibiscus and rose.
This is definitely the most fun out of the three. A little more time consuming so best used in the evening. More of a face mask with clay and cinnamon this is a beautiful product and leaves your skin feeling super luxurious and soft. Available on both sites.
A very luxurious way to end your day. As with all of May's products, a little goes a long way. Incredibly sexy scent, loaded with goodness for your skin. A total treat. Available on both sites.
SKINCARE - Serums and Face Moisturizers
Absolutely incredible product, as with all of May's creations, this is pricey but worth it. This youth dew gets its name from 20 different regenerating plant and botanical oils infused with "time-stopping" coenzyme Q10. Such a treat.
Good bang for your buck here. This large bottle lasted me a very long time. Recommended to me byJoy McCarthy of Joyous health this is a no-nonsense serum which works great, although it is definitely not as luxurious to use.
A well priced vitamin C serum that works great. Pure and Simple often has sales and offers a loyalty program which is appealing.
I never used to be one for serums but after using this one I became totally hooked and don't even both with a moisturizer. The vitamin C makes a huge different in the appearance of skin.
Pricey but a little will go a long way. Tulsi, also known as holy basil regulates sebum production without clogging pores, thus encouraging a healthy balance on the skin. Very luxurious to use and I love the scent.
Another vitamin C based serum, I absolutely loved this, but it is expensive so have settled for samples for now.
A very uplifting serum to use every morning. Great scent and extremely moisturizing.
Love this lip balm. It's the only thing that comes close to working as well as my go-to drugstore alternative.
Organic Coconut Oil $13 This is a mainstay product in my bathroom. I use coconut oil with an organic cotton pad to remove eye makeup and this doubles as an eye cream as well. Mix with coffee granules to make an all-body and hand exfoliator and rinse with warm water for amazingly soft hands. Use it for shaving, and for a natural spf. Coconut oil is antibacterial, and just the best all-purpose product ever. I use it as an all body moisturizer after showering in combination with dry body brushing before showering and never have to complain about dry skin. Try it!
Hagina Original Japanol Oil $23 Available in Health Food Stores or online.
This is great for sore muscles and smells amazing, although very strong! It also comes in very handy for the pesky bloating and abdomen cramping that annoys the hell out of me every single month. Also really nice mixed with coconut oil for massage oil around the neck and shoulders.
Super awesome product! Doubles as bubble bath just as good as shower gel. I have tried the other scents as well but just love the tropicalness of the coconut and lemon. Have also used as Shampoo and works great!
Soapwalla Luxurious Body Oil $28 - This is a beautiful body oil that has a beautifully soft intoxicating lemon scent. I use this in place of my standard coconut oil when I am going out for a subtle fragrance and shimmer.
Nuxe Body Oil $30 - Although this is not an organic product it is still a more natural product for a drugstore brand and gives a beautiful shimmer to the skin whiteout being over the top. Use this before you board the yacht in Saint Trop and pair with a gold hardware bikini. You'll be golden, literally. :)
I am obsessed with this product. How could I not be when it is sold on May's site as, "Enviably privileged skin that whispers its sensuality and begs to be touched". I try hard to save it for going out as it's more of a treat, but sometimes it's just too hard to resist. With it's intoxicating scent, you might call this lingerie in a bottle... Especially amazing for summer nights and lubing up your legs after a long winter.
Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion $27 and up
Great body lotion for silky smooth skin. Another must have for summer or vacation. All over subtle shimmer with a cult following.
I use this self-tanner pretty religiously along with coconut oil to imitate a sun-kissed glow year round. In the summer this lotion also helps smooth out any annoying tan lines that will inevitably develop. No gross ingredients and no fake looking orange streaks. Thumbs up. Available on Eco Diva.
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream $19 - Really great deodorant that works great and goes on creamy and smooth. Smells fabulous as well. It is so popular that most times I try to buy it along with my regular purchases it is sold out. So because of this have started making my own deodorant and haven't looked back. Check out my recipe below.
SLT's Homemade Deodorant
Mix the following in a food processor and store in a glass jar. Apply as needed
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil ( I use Maison d'Orphée)
- 1/4 cup baking soda (organic with no aluminum)
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- a few generous drop of essential oil (I love Neal's Yard Remedies Lemon - smells amazing)
You might have to keep this in the fridge in the summer months, and also reapply as needed if it's a hot day!
I have to admit, I still use some more conventional products with my makeup (as long as they are paraben free), but have also tried and enjoyed a lot of natural and organic ones. Here is the run down:
Alima Pure Bronzer - Belize $25
Ilia Beauty - various products
RMS Living Luminizer $38 USD
I am a huge fan of Rose Marie Swift's line. She uses all-natural ingredients and her products do not smell stale or funky like so many other natural and organic make-up lines do. Shipping is $5 to Canada and I haven't had to pay duties on my purchases in the past when ordering directly from the website. This Living Luminizer lasts a long time and is great for helping you look as luminous as you feel. I use it to highlight cheekbones and inner corners of eyes.
RMS Eye Polish $28 USD
Love these eye polish's for their quick and easy application. I have used the Lunar (can also double as a highlighter), Solar, and Karma (great for the smokey eye) colors, but want to try the Seduce and Magnetic. Because these are also coconut oil based they might bleed slightly onto the upper lid before they have dried. Just make sure to check again before you leave the house.
RMS Lip2cheek $36 USD
Great multi-use product offered in a variety of colors.
RMS "Un" cover-up $36 USD
I do not use foundation very often and prefer to just stick with a good concealer under the eyes and bronzer for my day to day makeup routine. This is a fab concealer that does the trick while still blending beautifully into the skin.
My naturopath recommended this line to me and I was quite pleased with this product. I have purchased it online at Pure and Simple, and also at a local store called Cambrian Pharmacy. This is a thicker, cream based concealer that I use on "problem areas" shall they arise. Also works nicely to fill in any scarring if you have any.
Great everyday mascara.
Works the best out of all the ones I have tried at a similar price point. Available at health foods stores.
Another great product at a great price. Available at health foods stores.
Although I am not a fancy shampoo kind of gal, I have tried this one from Rahua and loved it. Amazing scent and works beautifully! Available on both sites.
I haven't yet found a hair spray that works as well as the Bumble and Bumble brand but I have tried this one and would recommend for up-do's. If using for when your hair is down, it can be okay but might need an additional brush through to prevent the straw look...
Overall the ones I've tried I prefer this toothpaste, however it is quite thick and ends up clogging up my drain after lots of use. Just an FYI! :) Available at health food stores.
Available at health food stores.