Thursday, November 26, 2009

November Eco Living article update (Green and Eco-friendly Living)

I haven’t done an Eco Living article update in a while!

A few weeks ago I posted my new Eco Living article on the anb (all natural beauty) mall’s website, which is called: ‘Natural and Organic Products, Part 2: What Is Organic?’. In November's article I defined what organic is, went over the USDA’s National Organic Program’s categories, discussed the difference between natural and organic, and brought up the issues of finding truly organic cosmetics.

Last month I posted part 1 (‘Natural and Organic, Part 1: What is natural?’), which defined the term ‘natural’ and discusses natural and naturally derived ingredients in cosmetics in depth.

Other articles I’ve posted over the last year include ‘Li’s Quick Eco tips on green house cleaning on a budget’, and also ‘Li’s Quick Eco tips on books, packaging, and reusable bottles’. These articles include simple to do tips to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. I write a lot of ‘Quick Eco Tips’ articles to show that being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive (a lot of eco-friendly tips are inexpensive or, while they may be more expensive initially, in the long run they save you money, not to mention they are better for you and your family’s health). I also wrote an article that discusses moisturizers, including the importance of water rich ingredients and oils in skin care, and the difference between moisture/hydration and moisturizers (which are not the same thing). There is also an article on different online plant and environmental resources—very useful in researching ingredients, plants/herbs, or some environmental subjects.

A good past article that many may find useful is my article on autumn and winter skin care that I wrote last year (I also have written one on anb mall’s site on spring and summer skin care, which may interest those who live in the southern hemisphere). Skin conditions can change with the season, and as conditions change, you may need to switch your skin care; in this article I give tips on how to do that for your whole skin care routine.

I've written many other articles (including many natural skin care recipes), and I will be writing another one shortly. Many experts in the natural skin care, aromatherapy, or herbalism fields also have contributed great articles to anb mall too :) I hope you enjoy the articles!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Liquid and Pressed Mineral Makeup List (Natural Cosmetics)

Many women have asked me where to find liquid mineral makeup (mmu) and also pressed mmu. I've previously posted a partial list on liquid mmu on this blog but have written an expanded list and also a list of a few brands of pressed mineral foundation. (This list is longer than the one that I emailed to some people.) Happy sampling!

Here is a link to that old post on a few liquid mmu brands and also how to make your own :) Burt's Bees tinted moisturizer (which is mentioned in my old post) is no longer available.

Where can I find liquid mineral makeup (mmu)?

Monave makes several wonderful liquid mmu. The moisture moose (rose one) is actually good for all skin types (not just normal/dry as they recommend. The ingredients are very balancing for sebum levels in all skin types). They also have one made for oily skin (liquid matte), and also a cream foundation. The company that makes them for Monave is headed by someone with an aromatherapy and herbal background (and she really knows her ingredients). The only drawback, shelf life is about 1-3 months, maybe a little longer for the liquid matte because of the container that one is in. It is actually less expensive to buy one of their face creams (which contain many of the same ingredients as some of their foundation bases, but in different proportions so slightly different in texture) and add your own mmu. I highly recommend their face creams and body lotions.

Real Purity and Dr Hausckha and Lavera and Miessence sell natural makeup (including mascara). Dr Hausckha and Lavera can be found at some Whole Foods, Wegman's, or health food stores. Miessence is organic. Shelf life of Real Purity--a couple to a few months. Dr Hausckha and Lavera probably have the longest shelf life as they are preserved with alcohol, so probably will be fine for up to 3-5 months after purchase (depends on how long they have been in the store, shelf life is measured when ingredients/products were made and not when you buy them). Lavera: check out the clearance section of their website, sometimes they are onsale. Miessence's shelf life probably a few months or longer (assuming their extracts contain alcohol; I've never tried their foundation but have tried their creams, which do).

Paul Penders also offers liquid mmu. They should be available at Cosmetics Without Synthetics' website, which sells many different brands and they have samples (if they don't have it yet--since the liquid kind is new, contact them). Shelf life, I estimate about max 3 months or maybe a little more. Here is the link to Paul Pender's website (where you can read about the liquid foundation, but you'd need to buy from Cosmetics Without Synthetics).

Cosmetics Without Synthetics website also sells some of the above brands too in addition to Paul Penders, so you may want to try here so you can get samples. They sell a lot of natural brands, from skin to hair care to makeup.

Cory cosmetics also has liquid mineral makeup.

Essential wholesale (a diy ingredient vendor) has liquid mmu. They sell mostly in bulk but for a few products they sell single regular sized units too. Nearly all natural to natural based, but there is one ingredient they use in some (not all) of their makeup that I don't particularly care for (Tetrasodium edta). I haven't tried their mineral makeup yet, I may try some of them (except for the ones that contain this ingredient). EW is truly a green company (they are carbon neutral).

All of these brands, the liquid mmu foundations double as moisturizers, so you may or may not need to use a separate moisturizer with it (depends on your skin).

All these companies and websites also sell nice skin care :)

What brands sell pressed mineral makeup (mmu)?

For pressed mineral powders, Every Day Minerals has some (but not all) colors available as pressed. I really like the formulation (they pressed with only fractionated coconut oil and vitamin E, no other additives) but the colors I can wear aren't available. (The one I have is a tad orange for me, but it works well underneath my eyes). They also have a few pressed blushes and sometimes pressed eye colors and bronzers (but the pressed blushes, eye colors, and bronzers are usually rotated, on a limited run). I love the pressed summer bronzer. I am not a blush or bronzer person but have been using this as blush and I love it since it gives just a very sheer hint of color/a glow. (The bronzer was pressed with jojoba oil). I really missed not having makeup in compacts so I love their pressed products. Now if they would only come out with more foundation colors! :)

For the brands below, see links above.

Nvery Eco has one but I haven't used it yet. It is organic though but only has a couple colors. They are an australian company. (Available on Cosmetic Without Synthetic website).

Real Purity has has some pressed (Available on their own website, and some colors are on Cosmetic Without Synthetics website).

Essential Wholesale has some pressed mmu like eye shadows, no foundation yet I think but they keep adding more products.

Not pressed but Cory Cosmetics has a mica free foundation stick too.

Lavera and Dr Hauschka also have pressed but they are talc based which I do not recommend (talc while natural is sometimes contaminated with abestos, and in some studies even the non-contaminated ones are thought to be potential carcinogens. It is a highly debated ingredient on if it's safe or not, personally I think it is better to be safe than sorry).

You can also press your own (mix a few drops of a carrier oil or alcohol in a little blender, and then press into a compact and let dry).

Friday, March 06, 2009

Eco Living: Aromatherapy Milk Baths

My newest Eco Living article is up on anb (all natural beauty) mall's website. This month it is on all natural aromatherapy milk baths (vegan suggestions are included too!). Milk baths are great for the skin, and super relaxing! :) Enjoy!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Eco Living: Aromatherapy body and massage oils

Just in time for valentines' day. My newest article Eco Living on anb mall's site is a super easy recipe for an aromatherapy body/massage oil. Perfect for relaxing, de-stressing, meditating, or to use as a sensual blend :) Includes many notes on essential oil safety too!
Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Comments FAQ: vegan melt and pour base, a nice comment, rose essential oil

I am bad at answering comments :( (I have been super busy with my thesis and starting my business, etc, and my health has been on the fritz, more so than usual, the last couple months). It is really better to email me; you'll get a faster response most of the time, though recently I have been slow on answering emails too. Honestly if you want an answer on the same or next day, it is best to post on one of the blogs I frequent, for eco questions or natural skin care lines and aromatherapy/herbal questions, crafting, etc, probably best to ask on all natural beauty's forum. I apologize for the long wait for answers.

So I've decided to start posting my answers to comments as blog entries (in addition to answering them in the comments) to make the answers easier to find, and also increase the chances of the person who asked about it, seeing their answer since some of them were posted a couple months old, and I am only now answering them :( Still have several to go through, will get them done soon.

Anne asked on the "How to make your own herbal soaps” post:
"Can anyone tell me if the glycerin base used for melt and pour soups is vegan (no animals products)?"


Sorry for the very late response (been super busy with my thesis, business, etc).

It depends on which company and which base, since some companies make soap with animal tallow (though most I've seen use vegetable/nut oils), while others may add honey or goats milk to their bases. Was there a particular base that you were interested in? (most companies should post the ingredients on their website, but if they don't I recommend contacting them for a complete ingredient list).

Small Footprints posted a very nice post on the current blog update about liking my blog.

Thank you! I feel very bad as you posted your very nice comment months ago (been super busy so have not been blogging much; very sorry to get back to you so late).
I will be sure to check out your blog soon too!

Genevieve asked about where to get organic rose essential oil (and about the differences in quality and prices).
Hi Genevieve

I apologize for the long wait in response (not much time to blog anymore; thesis and starting a business, etc, have been overwhelming me as of late).

People debate on whether Bulgarian or Turkey is the best damask rose with most people saying that Bulgarian damask rose is the best. A lot of factors goes into scent, especially how they are distilled (some distillers are better than others) and also weather/climate, etc (rose crops around the world in the last couple years haven't been doing well in some areas).

Personally I love both Bulgarian and Turkey damask rose; I don't think one is superior over the other but they are both lovely in their own right. Actually the best smelling rose I've ever tried (and I have sampled from several companies and several different species of roses) is an organic damask rose from Turkey from AV-AT. Butch claims his rose is the best on the market and I have to agree with him; all of his essential oils are superior quality. Both his rose essential oil and absolute are so rich and intense (that distiller in Turkey who he's been getting his rose from for many years, knows what they are doing). They are organic but not certified organic (many farmers in Turkey can't afford the organic process but Butch is originally from Turkey and I believe has seen the places where the crops are grown).

I also like the roses from Mountain Rose Herb (excellent quality). They have a sampler kit of Bulgarian, Turkey, and Chinese (the Chinese is a different species of rose, and not the damask rose but still lovely). I think only the Bulgarian is certified organic though but most of MRH's essential oils that are not organic are tested to be free of pesticides etc.

Be sure to dilute the essential oil well (to 1-2% concentration; a small bottle should last you a very long time :) )

Rose essential oil is very expensive (it costs $300-400 or more for 1 ounce, wholesale price; about $1-2 a drop) so most places will cost a lot (once business costs are factored into the retail price). It is also commonly adulterated (people add other essential oils or synthetics to it to stretch it as it is so expensive). Sometimes the different in price is due to quality of the product, though there are many who charge too much for an inferior product.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Eco Living: Li's New Years' Eco Tips (Eco Living article series)

My newest Eco Living article is up on anb (all natural beauty) Mall's website! It is filled with many of my favorite simple green living tips, perfect for implementing in your life during the New Year :) One reason I am writing this article series is to show that living more eco-conscious doesn't have to be time consuming, expensive, or difficult to do; I hope you find it helpful! Happy New Year! Xinnian kuai le!