Entries Tagged as 'hair'

November 10, 2014

beauty secrets | the ultimate guide to natural shampoos

Welcome to another installment of my “ultimate guides” series, this time featuring my thoughts on green, natural shampoos.

This guide will be helpful for you if the following is true:

  • You have fine hair.
  • You have oily hair.
  • You have non-color-treated hair, or very gently color-treated hair that does not require a heavy moisturizing shampoo.

As with all of my “ultimate guides,” this ultimate guide to natural shampoos will be constantly updated as I try new products, and I’ll be sure to ping you with a social media update to let you know when it’s updated.

Now, onto the natural shampoo reviews!

*Indicates press sample. Yes, I do buy my own products, and yes, free stuff gets the same level of criticism as stuff I paid for myself!

ultimate guide to natural shampoos

{So clearly, there is a back-story to this photo of my friend Gina and me, circa 2009. After taking this picture, I looked at it and proclaimed, “Look how beaaauuuutttiful my hair looks!” So it was only fitting to use this as the picture for the ultimate guide to natural shampoos.}

Natural Shampoos I Liked and Will Repurchase

Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo

I like to keep a clarifying shampoo in my hair for weekly use — gotta de-gunk product buildup — but Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo, which features moisturizing avocado, argan and olive oils, is gentle enough for daily use.

I love the generous lather and light, fresh scent. I’ve repurchased this several times and would highly recommend it to anyone new to natural shampoos or looking to introduce a non-stripping, clarifying shampoo into their arsenal.

Acure Organics Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Volumizing Shampoo

When I first met Acure Organics Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Volumizing Shampoo, it was love at first lather.

Affectionately referred to as “the Acure shampoo in the blue and white bottle,” this is my hands-down favorite shampoo that I’ve repurchased time after time and constantly recommend to my fine and oily-haired friends.

My fine hair gets a boost of volume after using this shampoo (seriously, no product needed — just shampoo and a quick blow dry without any teasing), yet never feels depleted of moisture or shine. A+

*Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo

It’s well-documented that I love minty-fresh products in my shower (as I’m a morning shower-taker but not exactly a morning person), so Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo had an easy edge — but scent isn’t the only thing that matters in a natural shampoo, obviously.

I’ve been impressed with how well this natural shampoo has kept my hair looking sleek and healthy (though I’m in need of a trim!) without coating it in a ton of silcones.

*Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo

It’s quite surprising to me how much Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo captured my heart (hair?), but it did, thanks to the incredibly smooth, baby-softness it imparted on my hair without making it feel weighed down.

Seaweed extract, mango and apricot quench thirsty strands’ thirst without dousing them in excess moisture. It’s just enough to tame flyaways and set your hair up for a perfect, sleek blowout.

This shampoo is more expensive than I like to pay for natural shampoo, but it’s totally worth it.

John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo

John Masters Organics holds a special place in my heart. It’s one of the first green beauty lines I fell in love with when I made the switch to naturals back in 2007, and this is one of those solid, staple shampoos that just delivers.

With hair- and scalp-friendly ingredients such as lavender and rosemary, John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo stimulates the scalp and volumizes the hair. The ingredients list is quite impressive, with a cocktail of hair-healthy herbs and vitamins (I love when products include borage seed oil, one of my favorite hair/skin/nails supplement that I also take internally), and the price is reasonable.

Bonus: It’s easily available at Whole Foods and many natural foods stores.

*Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo

I’m glad I received a small sample of Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo in one of my green beauty boxes, because otherwise I wouldn’t have tried it! Now don’t get me wrong — I love and deeply respect Josh — but I tend to avoid moisturizing / nourishing shampoos because of how fine my hair is.

Josh has created a beautiful shampoo that works for various hair types. I’ve talked with my dry-haired friends about this shampoo and they’ve raved about how well it works for them. And here I am, the oil slick of the group, raving about this shampoo.

Again, this is one that’s on the pricier side for a shampoo, but it’s well worth it. Josh is thoughtful with his formulations (this puppy has aloe vera, African black soap, various organic oils and a multitude of hair-healthy herbs packed in!) and is extremely accessible via social media for any questions you may have about hair!

*Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo to Remove Build Up

Another fantastic clarifying shampoo, Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo to Remove Build Up is a great once-a-week treatment to truly de-gunk and start fresh.

I don’t recommend it for daily use, as it’s quite potent with its combination of aloe vera hydrosol, burdock extract, papaya extract, peppermint essential oil, cajeput essential oil and grapefruit essential oil, but it’s damn good at doing exactly what it says it’s going to do: Remove all that buildup!

Pro tip when using this natural shampoo: Be sure to shake it up to ensure all those cleansing ingredients are well-mixed.

Marketing tip for Just Natural: Update your packaging design! The pump bottle is awesome and so is the product, but the design of the label could use some love.

Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo

Healthy hair is dependent on having a healthy scalp, and that’s why Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo is much-loved natural shampoo for me. This is one of those natural shampoos that I like to switch it up with if my scalp if feeling itchy (especially during season changes) and needs some attention.

With its amazing blend of botanical extracts, vitamins and essential oils, this natural shampoo brings out the best in your hair — think strong, beautiful, lustrous hair supported by a healthy scalp that’s free of irritation.

*Stop the Water While Using Me! All Natural Rosemary Grapefruit Shampoo

Another fantastic natural shampoo for scalp stimulation and your morning wake-up call, Stop the Water While Using Me! All Natural Rosemary Grapefruit Shampoo provides a healthy lather and even cooler reminder to your bathroom guests to be conscientious about water use.

Though my hair is not currently color-treated, this natural shampoo, as invigorating as it is, is safe for color-treated hair and even better for fine, wimpy hair like mine that needs a boost. I’ve used this shampoo so many times and gone without my usual volumizing styling products post-shower — it’s that great at offering some lift!

Natural Shampoos I Liked But Will Not Repurchase

John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo

The definition of minimalist natural shampoos, John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo is packed with all the great ingredients you’d expect — jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, white tea and chamomile — without the scent that can conflict with some people’s personal preferences.

For me, though, this was a dealbreaker. I like for my shampoos to have some sort of pretty, clean scent. Everything else — lather, performance, ingredients, pricing — is on point. If you’re sensitive to scents or like to add natural perfume to your hair, this one is for you!

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

I go back on this darling of the green beauty world. Rahua Voluminous Shampoo works well on my hair when it comes to volume, but I’m just a bit unsure on the scent — think black licorice — and I just cringe at paying this much for a shampoo that I’m not totally in love with.

As far as performance and packaging, Rahua is spot-on. Gorgeous and effective! It’s just not quite the right fit for what I want and need in a natural shampoo.

*Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo

Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo takes advantage of luscious oils such as kukui seed, argan, moringa and coconut to drench your hair in a sea of moisture — yet it doesn’t weigh down my baby-fine hair, and it somehow offers a nice, gentle lather that even a newb to natural shampoos would appreciate.

I’m on the fence with this one because of the inclusion of honeysuckle extract as a preservative. There’s a lot of other great natural shampoos out there that omit this controversial ingredient, which gives them the edge.

Natural Shampoos I Did Not Like and Will Not Repurchase

*Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Shampoo in Plumeria

This natural shampoo is simply too heavily scented for my tastes. The lather is great and the ingredients are clean, but I’m kind of wondering if that addition of “fragrance” at the end of the ingredients list is bugging me. Holy smell zone.

Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo

I used Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo two years ago when I was regularly coloring my hair and wanted a safe, gentle, natural shampoo. It served those purposes, but it did nothing for volume

*Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo for Oily Hair

Despite being formulated and marketed for oily hair, Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo for Oily Hair did absolutely nothing for me. I didn’t see any difference in volume after using this, and I had issues getting this natural shampoo to lather up to my liking. You can’t win ‘em all, eh?

*Surya Brasil Amazonia Preciosa Shampoo for Normal and Straight Hair

Another disappointment in the lather department, Surya Brasil Amazonia Preciosa Shampoo for Normal and Straight Hair was extremely runny and didn’t feel like it was getting my hair clean.

I know that lather is not an indicator of cleanliness, but my issue with a non-foaming natural shampoo is that I never have an indication that I’ve used enough product or covered all my hair for a good cleanse. Call it psychological, but those powers are fierce! Besides that, I didn’t notice a difference in volume — in fact, my hair looked a little flat after using this.

October 28, 2014

beauty scoop | dr. alkaitis organic nourishing treatment oil

While I’m all about multipurpose products, I don’t typically think of my precious facial oils as the types of oils I’d slather on from head-to-toe.

It’s not that I don’t want to bathe in most of my facial oils; it’s just that most of my facial oils come in 1-ounce dropper bottles that cost at least $100 a pop.

With Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil, though, I have the luxury of being able to truly go from head to toe in it, and at $90 for a 4-ounce bottle, it’s a bit easier to justify said oil baths.

dr alkaitis organic nourishing treatment oil

{Dr. Alkaitis sent me a sample of its Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil to review. The travel set, which includes the Treatment Oil, costs $55. A full-sized treatment oil costs $90 for a 4-ounce bottle.}

Designed to be enjoyed on the face, body and hair (truly head-to-toe!), Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil is a thicker oil made from a base of virgin cold pressed organic jojoba oil, St. John’s Wort and Andean Mountain rosehip seed oil.

This ultra-luscious golden-hued base is infused with Dr. Alkaitis’ signature thoughtful herbal blend that targets dryness, redness and itchiness.

Wildcrafted herbs such as Indian madder, country sarsaparilla, country mallow, China root, costus, white sandalwood, cuscus grass, eagle wood, nut and bermuda Grasses and ashwagandha work together with organically grown Amazon root, liquorice and tumeric to deliver an incredible dose of antioxidants to troubled skin, soothing inflammation and calming the mind with its dusty, herbal scent that’s perfect for men or women.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Into a base of virgin cold pressed organic oils (organic Jojoba*, St. John’s Wort* and Andean Mountain Rose Hip seed* oils), the following organic and wild-crafted herbals are blended:

Indian Madderº, Country Sarsaparillaº, Amazon root* and Liquorice*. Country Mallowº, Turmeric*, China rootº, Costusº, and White Sandalwoodº. Cuscus Grassº, Olive*, Eagle Woodº, Nut Grassº, Bermuda Grassº and Ashwagandhaº. Also added are natural vitamin E complex (D- alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols) and 100% pure Essential Oils.

* – Signifies certified organically grown.
º – Signifies ethically wild-crafted.

dr alkaitis organic nourishing treatment oil

In the hair, Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil imparts gloss and shine while gently addressing any irritation you may experience on your scalp.

(If you’re seriously acne-prone like me, you know what a literal pain it is to deal with breakouts in your scalp. This stuff moves those little suckers along nicely and without much drama.)

On the face, Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil drenches the skin in a lavish cocoon of moisture. If you’re oily like me, you need to go light on the application — this is a thick oil — but during transition weather and dead-of-winter, this is an amazing choice for keeping dryness and tightness at ease without over-oiling your face and clogging your pores.

I like to use Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil on cooler nights, and sometimes I’ll layer it over a light cream if I’m looking for mega moisture.

What’s great about this truly multipurpose oil is that as I’m layering it onto my face and pulling it down my neck and onto my chest, I can keep the party going onto my arms, stomach and legs, as a couple pumps can cover a lot of ground.

However, I am generous with this oil on my body (as I am with all of my body oils) but mostly because I don’t feel so bad using so much because of the generous sizing in relation to its cost.

(And because I know that I don’t need as much on my face.)

While I’m sure all of you beauties out there are diligent about moisturizing everything, it’s probably safe to say you don’t always go from head-to-toe with one oil or lotion.

Which leads me to thinking … how do you deal with all the scent confusion? With Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil, you can have one signature scent for bedtime, head to toe, that’s actually quite soothing for bedtime.

It’s an especially beautiful pick for autumn and winter, as the herbal-woody scent evokes a cool-weather coziness that puts me at ease.

Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil is a repurchase for me. I’ll keep it stored with my body oil collection, as that will be my first and foremost use for it, but several cooler months out of the year, it will see some play on my face as it adjusts to cooling temperatures.

If you’re into body oils with unique scents, you’ll want Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil in your arsenal!

(And if you’re not sure it’s quite right for you, or you are new to Dr. Alkaitis, the Travel Set is a smart place to start — that’s what I did!)

Have you tried Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil? Do you use it primarily for hair, face or body? What scents are you drawn to during autumn and winter? Tell me in the comments section!


October 24, 2014

beauty secrets | how to gracefully grow out a pixie cut

It’s no secret that I’m growing out my pixie cut (as evidenced by Instagram selfies and #tbt posts to longer hair days).

While I adored my pixie cut, it began to bore me just a bit. There’s less hair to fuss with (bonus!) but, also, there’s less hair to play with, and wearing headbands and clips just got a bit old to me.

In January 2014, I decided I would start the “painful” growing out process, but as documented below, you’ll see that it really wasn’t horrible at all.

Thanks to my talented stylist, who kept my hair shaped-up and mullet-free, there wasn’t a month that went by where my hair was awkward or unmanageable.

(Yes, you have to continue getting the back trimmed every four to six weeks while the front grows out! Listen to your stylist.)

Check out the timeline below, and then read on to learn what I did to encourage my pixie to grow into a pixie-bob and now, finally, a short bob.

(Hint: Patience is a big part of the prescription for gracefully growing out a pixie cut.)

how to grow out a pixie cut

First, let’s just be real here: There are no quick fixes, magic pills or herbal concoctions that will make your hair grow rapidly.

Yes, there are things you can do to keep your hair healthy and strong, but nothing is going to transform you into Rapunzel overnight.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I will say that I integrated a few natural approaches to encourage my hair to break less and stay strong.

Hair Growth Supplements

best hair supplements | growing out a pixie cut

In addition to my regular supply of daily supplements (more on that in a different post), I integrated various hair growth supplements into my routine to 1) make me feel like I was an active participant in this months-long journey and 2) see what worked for my lifestyle.

Here’s what I tried — and please remember, I’m not a medical professional. If you’re interested in supplementing your diet for whatever reason, remember to clue in your doctor. What works for me may not work for you, and may not even be safe for you, depending on your circumstances. Be smart!

*Indicates press sample

Pre-natal Vitamins (not pictured)

Almost every woman who’s gone through pregnancy raves about how her pre-natal vitamins made her hair and nails grow.

While these claims are unproven, as I took pre-natal gummies during this pixie-growing-out experience, I did notice that my nails grew faster and peeled less. As for my hair? Couldn’t really tell.

As far as my body goes (after speaking with my doc), I had no problem taking pre-natals to jumpstart this process in the beginning, but opted to discontinue taking them for social reasons (i.e. when a guy snoops through your medicine cabinet and sees pre-natal gummies, it tends to cause anxiety).

B Complex Gummies (red gummies)

B-complex vitamins are known for their ability to nourish hair follicle cells, prevent hair loss and keep the hair flexible.

I chose to experiment with this supplement next because it seemed that focusing on these healthy-hair vitamins could be key to strengthening my hair during the growing-out process (because with a pixie cut, you do tend to heat-style every day).

This was probably my favorite supplement because 1) it’s in gummy form, which makes it easier to take (yes, I am a child) and 2) it only required one gummy a day, which felt very manageable given the additional daily supplements I take.

*Glow Beauty Vitamin Bubbles (green bubbles)

Of all the gummy-like supplements I took, these tasted the best, and were just damn-fun to take.

Unlike their gummy counterparts, these vitamin “bubbles” were alive with citrus flavor that burst into your mouth as you bit into it. Think Gushers.

In addition to the hair-healthy B vitamins, these also contain beauty ingredients such as grape seed oil, collagen and evening primrose oil, which also contribute to skin health.

Though I loved these supplements, the catch is that you have to take three daily to get the full dosage, and quite frankly, they’re expensive. I’d recommend these if you’re just not good with taking supplements — even gummies.

Country Life High Potency Biotin (small white capsules)

If you’re eating a well-balanced diet and already taking a host of supplements (such as a multivitamin), adding just plain-old biotin to the supplement collection is probably the easiest thing to do to support hair growth.

This is what I’m currently taking, and the high-potency of this gives me some wiggle room in case I forget to take it one some days. Once I finish this bottle, I may go back to my B Complex gummies, but at one pill a day, it’s not too much of a hassle to get down.

*Hair Essentials Daily Supplement (larger beige capsules)

Though it’s loaded with all the right hair-growth herbs, vitamins and minerals, this supplement got moved to the back of the supplement collection because it required three capsules daily and the pill size was bigger than I liked.

If this is the only supplement you’re taking, then three capsules shouldn’t be a big deal. But when it came down to my daily pill cocktail, adding in these three put me at a total of 10 daily. I realistically just couldn’t keep up with this regimen.

Hair Oil Treatments

hair oils to grow out a pixie cut

Besides internal support for hair growth, I also looked to various nourishing hair oils to protect my hair during the growing-out process.

Before I ever went pixie, I regularly massaged my scalp and hair with plant oil to stimulate blood flow and promote relaxation.

Regular scalp massages with organic hair oils also provided my heat-styled hair some much-needed moisture and balancing effects, as I have naturally oily hair that’s over-heated and constantly overcompensating (read: greaseball).

These are a just few of the hair oils in my collection.

Keep in mind that you can use any organic plant oil to perform these massages — it’s all personal preference and addressing your hair’s needs (i.e. dry hair may need a thicker oil, like coconut oil, to deeply moisturize, while oily hair like mine can get away with light oils like sesame and jojoba).

*Indicates press sample

*Badger Argan Botanical Hair Oil

Though this one is marketed for dry and damaged hair, I found that it was just the perfect consistency and weight for my fine, oily hair.

Jojoba and argan are two of my favorite oils, and when they come together in one — with some baobab, sunflower and essential oils mixed in — it makes for a delightful hair treat that smells creamy, citrusy and floral all in one.

*Kumari Luxury Oil Therapy

A bit of a thicker oil thanks to its coconut oil base, Kumari Luxury Hair Oil incorporates time-tested ingredients such as turmeric, licorice, saffron and Indian sarsaparilla.

Needless to say, it has an exotic, warm scent that evoked memories of being pampered at an Ayurvedic spa. I reach for this one during cooler temperatures, as its beautiful spices offer just the right amount of stimulation to make me feel warmed from the outside in.

*Zweena Argan Rose Lustrous Hair Elixir

Leave it to Zweena to complete my rose wardrobe. This hair elixir is just gorgeous — who wouldn’t want hair that smells like roses ? — and harnesses the nourishing power of argan and avocado oils to protect and moisturize the hair and scalp.

Avocado oil is one of those underrated oils that is an absolute powerhouse for hair. It’s high in vitamin E and can prevent breakage with regular use. It’s not a light oil, though (you’ll notice it at the end of Zweena’s ingredients list, cut with lighter oils like argan and meadowfoam), but incorporating it into a blend like this allows your hair to get a healthy dose of moisture.

So, here we are, nine months after I decided to grow out my pixie cut.

It’s in a good spot — short bob that can mostly go up into a baby ponytail with some hair hanging down — yet I can’t really credit any one of these things to the nice growth I’ve seen.

That’s clearly not the answer you want to read, but it’s true. Patience, regular trims and some experimentation with B vitamins will make the time pass faster.

If you notice growth in your nails, it’s likely that your hair is also growing a bit faster, but the only way to really know is to take a picture every single day … and let’s just be real here, if you’re like me and can’t be bothered to take three hair vitamins a day, you probably aren’t going to set up a daily photo shoot, either.

Bottom line: Know your body. Know what’s normal and above average for you. Do some research. Trust your hair to a stellar stylist.

What have you done to help your hair or nails grow? Have you ever had a pixie cut? Share your hair growth tips and stories in the comments section!


September 11, 2014

natural beauty buff | anit hora, mullein & sparrow

When it came to natural beauty products, I never really thought of myself as a packaging person — it was always about how well something performed.

As I’ve gotten more involved in this industry, my thoughts have changed.

A product has to have it all — the packaging, the branding, the story and, of course, the ingredients and performance.

One brand that I’ve been admiring for all of these qualities above (and have been lucky to sample and review) is Mullein & Sparrow, an artisan line based in Brooklyn and founded by the beautiful Anit Hora.

anit hora founder of mullein & sparrow

With just one glance at the Mullein & Sparrow homepage, you’ll be transported to an old-fashioned apothecary, complete with minimal design elements on the labels and an overall clean aesthetic.

A few products, such as the Lavender Hydrosol and Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm, have a bit more styling to them, but in a whimsical, flirty way that totally fits the mood of this gorgeous line.

anit hora founder of mullein & sparrow

Anit’s goal of creating a line that celebrates time-tested skin care traditions, such as those based in Ayurveda, and simple yet effective remedies, comes to life in Mullein & Sparrow, and today she’s sharing a few of her favorite products both from her line and others’.


what's inside mullein & sparrow founder anit hora's green beauty bag

(I’ve starred the items that I also use and love.)

UPDATED: Anit has so generously offered a 15% off code to my lovely readers, valid on any Mullein & Sparrow purchase. Use code “KIMLOC” at checkout!

*RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up

I really love the consistency of this natural cover-up. It is very light, but does a great job at maximizing coverage without feeling very heavy on the skin. Because it has so many great ingredients, you never have to feel bad about wearing it. Also, its small packaging is perfect to throw in your bag when you’re on the go and is great for any quick fix.

*RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

The wear of this product is amazing. It is so light and subtle, but even the littlest bit goes a very long way. It is great for adding a nice glow, but looks very natural. It’s the perfect product to spruce up your look, and you can put it virtually anywhere (i.e. eyes, lips, contour).

*Flawless Volumizing Mascara by BareMinerals and *Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

These two mascaras are the best in the more natural market. They work great and are free from many not-so-good ingredients that you find in most cosmetic products.

*Mullein and Sparrow Face Serum (Get 15% off with code 15% off with code KIMLOC through 9/30/14!)

Our face serum is packed with some of the best natural ingredients and essential oils out there. It is super nourishing and moisturizing. I use it in both the AM and PM and mix it with the Lavender Hydrosol.

Mullein and Sparrow Lavender Hydrosol (Get 15% off with code 15% off with code KIMLOC through 9/30/14!)

This product comes with me everywhere! I use it frequently throughout the day, sometimes as a toner in my skincare routine and other times as a quick pick-me-up when my skin is feeling dry or overheated. It has a wonderful scent and feels so great on the skin. It’s great for any time of the year, but is especially awesome in the summer. It even works as a natural bug repellent!

Mullein and Sparrow Dark Dry Shampoo (Get 15% off with code 15% off with code KIMLOC through 9/30/14!)

Our dark dry shampoo is a life saver! It helps me maintain healthy hair and also gives me great volume when my hair is feeling bit flat. Just a little bit of this product goes a long way and makes your locks look fresh and clean (even if you woke up with some serious bed head).

August 27, 2014

natural beauty buff | garcy fry, eco diva beauty

In addition to all the founders I feature in this “natural beauty buff” series, I’m thrilled to bring you fresh beauty tips from the dear stockists who curate beautiful online (and sometimes, in-real-life) stores for us to let loose.

Many of you know, love and shop Canadian and U.S. green beauty store Eco Diva Beauty, but how well do you know co-founder Garcy Fry and the story behind this luxurious online store?

garcy fry of eco diva beauty

I had the pleasure of meeting Garcy in person at 2013’s “A Night for Green Beauty” in New York City, and was thrilled to chat with her again at this year’s event in Los Angeles.

During our quick conversation, it was lovely to hear about Eco Diva’s birth — the brainchild of Garcy’s whip-smart mother, Charlene — and how Garcy, a professional makeup artist, was leading the site’s growth.

It’s women like this (and especially these mother-daughter teams!) that excite me about the green beauty industry. If you see something missing out there, go forth and create it!

And while you may think “oh, there are plenty of green beauty shopping sites,” each one has a unique personality and style.

Shopping on one may not be the same as shopping on others, and I’ve enjoyed the luxurious experience of shopping Eco Diva Beauty myself. You are taken care of!

And you can only be taken care of by someone who truly knows how to take care of herself.

Below, Garcy shares her natural beauty and health rituals that keep her looking and feeling her best.

Be inspired.

Be healthy.

Be an Eco Diva.

green beauty products that garcy fry of eco diva beauty keeps on her nightstand

On Garcy’s Nightstand

Tata Harper Aromatic Bedtime Treatment

This has become a bedtime ritual for both my husband and me. It almost immediately puts my mind at ease and helps me sleep better.

Vapour Organic Beauty Lux Lip Conditoner

The last thing I do before bed is put on lip balm — I’m an addict. And I’ve been addicted since Lip Smackers were introduced to the market. I don’t know if that damage is reversible, but at least I’m eating organic lip balm now.


Now these are an essential piece on my nightstand, not because I love them, but because I love my husband. If they are not in my ears at night, then the love for my husband decreases ever so quickly.

Good Book

I need to read before bed to help turn my mind off and go to sleep. I love anything written by Khaled Hosseini and stories about life in the middle east.

Liquid Calcium Magnesium (kept in the fridge, but part of the nightly ritual)

Just recently I’ve had some troubles sleeping. I toss and turn all night long, so my naturopath suggested magnesium to help sleep better.

favorite green beauty product picks from garcy fry of eco diva beauty

In Garcy’s Purse / Beach Bag

Consonant Skincare “The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30″

My sun-worshipping days are over, and this sunscreen helps block UVA and UVB rays without all the toxic chemicals. It’s ultra-smooth, grease-free and leaves absolutely NO white residue! And that’s why they call it perfect.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

This has been a staple for me for years now. I just love its creamy consistency, the fresh scent and how I can sweat my tush off and still smell dandy!

prtty peaushun lotion from eco diva beauty

PRTTY PEAUSHUN Skin Tight Body Lotion

I love to keep PRTTY PEAUSHUN in my bag and slather it on any parts of my body that are showing to give me a luminescent glow. It also helps soothe burns and is a natural bug repellant — how cool is that?!

La Bella Figura Tesoro Mediterranean Blend

In Garcy’s Bathroom

La Bella Figura Tesoro Mediterranean Blend

This summer I’ve used this oil more than anything else. I love how light it is and how well it hydrates without leaving my skin feeling greasy.

kahina giving beauty night creamKahina Giving Beauty Night Cream

This is what I call preventative medicine. Wrinkles can take a hike while I sleep, because I’m sleeping with collegan-boosting ingredients like resveratrol. This is by far the best night cream I’ve ever used. Its whipped texture is so lovely and the scent its magical, like all of Kahina’s products.

May 28, 2014

beauty secrets | best pixie hair styling products, part 2

It’s been nearly a year since I chopped all my hair off into a pixie cut.

In that time, I’ve tried several styling products — some clean, some conventional — and have finally arrived upon my favorite three products for keeping my short ‘do sassy and stylish.

View what I used in the beginning and see how the pixie cut has evolved.

best pixie hair styling products

1. Pre-heat Styling Aid

I like the idea of using a heat-resistant spray, but coupled with what I actually need — a pre-heat styling aid to get my hair a bit gritty before drying and styling — I have opted to only use Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment.

Nope, it’s not “natural,” but it is free of sulfates, silicones and oils.

The oil-free thing is necessary for someone like me with fine hair, so I don’t mind that bit of marketing (and you guys know that I love my hair oils — for overnight use only).

I happened upon Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment via a swag bag I received during Kansas City Fashion Week back in March and have been using my trial size daily since then. It’s a repurchase for me (unless some clean beauty brand tells me it has something amazing that mimics this stuff!).

2. Texturizing Agent

After navigating the wonderful world of creams, pomades, pastes, waxes and so forth, I finally landed on one that has the perfect strength, consistency and performance for my fine, oily strands that tend to fly away and bend in funny ones: Aveda Control Paste.

I’ve gone through two tubs of this stuff (purchased at my local Aveda salon, Xiphium, and as my favorite natural spa, Milagro Midwestern Spa & Collective, purged its Aveda inventory in favor of cleaner hair products).

While yes, Aveda is part of big beauty now and could be a lot cleaner, I find that this sticky putty keeps my fine hair under control without weighing it down or making it look greasy.

Side note: I was inspired to try Aveda Control Paste after seeing how well it held up a faux hawk on the young man behind the counter at Miette in San Francisco. Yes, I’m that girl who asks about all your beauty products when you’re just trying to sell me a sweet treat!

3. Hairspray

In my previous post about pixie cut styling picks, I mentioned Davines N°7 Crystal Fixative Lacquer.

I still like this hairspray, but have found that Aveda’s Control Force Hairspray has a better spray mechanism; it’s more evenly distributed in a fine, wide mist.

Aveda Control Force Hairspray also has a slightly better hold (they weren’t joking with that “Control Force” naming!). Anyone with a pixie cut knows that the final spray around the head is essential to locking in a style; to have a hairspray that does this without making your hair hard / crunchy / helmet-like is an instant winner!

Do any of my readers have pixie cuts? If so, tell me what you’re using and how it works for your hair type in the comments below!


May 14, 2014

beauty scoop | saavy naturals moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

One part of my apartment that isn’t overly cluttered with beauty products is the shampoo and conditioner area of my shower.

No, the stacks of hair masks don’t count.

With a pixie cut, I don’t require much natural shampoo or natural conditioner, so it takes me quite a while to get through a bottle of product.

After finishing up my previous bottles, I was excited to move on to the prettily packaged Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner.

saavy naturals moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

{Saavy Naturals sent me samples of its Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner to review. Each 8-ounce plastic bottle costs $15.}

As you can see on the labels, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner is formulated for (shocker) dry hair.

If you’ve been on the blog for a while, you know I’m the oiliest person in the world.

However, I feel that it’s important to drench your locks with a great hydrating wash and rinse if you heat dry a lot (every day for me), and because my scalp can get a bit dry, I like the extra attention a formulated-for-dry-hair duo can bring to my own mane.

Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner definitely delivers hydration and a gentle cleanse to my heat-shocked hair — and does so without the help of synthetics or sulfates.

In fact, the ingredients list for both the shampoo and conditioner is so nourishing that you’d want to eat it — which makes sense, as the founders of Saavy Naturals come from epic foodie backgrounds.

Here’s what’s inside Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo:

Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle) Extract, Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil*, Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) Extract, Aqua/Purified Water, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Aspartic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caryodendron orinocense (Kahai) Nut Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Gluconolactone, Glycerol laurate, Glycine, L-Arginine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) Seed Oil*, Quillaja saponaria Wood Extract, Quinoa Protein, Rhamnus frangula (Buckthorn) Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

Here’s what’s inside Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner:

Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil*, Aqua/Purified Water, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Protein, Brassica Alcohol, Brassicyl lsoleucinate (Cabbage) Esylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Coffea arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Dl-Panthenol, Glucono delta lactone, Glycerin (Kosher Vegetable)*, L-Arginine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) Seed Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Quinoa Protein, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

As you can see, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner take advantage of luscious oils such as kukui seed, argan, moringa and coconut to drench your hair in a sea of moisture.

Neither the shampoo nor the conditioner, though, weigh your hair down, and the shampoo offers a nice, gentle lather and subtle scent of vanilla.

The creamy conditioner has a stronger vanilla scent that lingers a bit after rinsing, giving your head that come-hither scent (even if the only thing coming hither is your Siamese cat, whatever).

All joking aside, one thing I do want to point out in Saavy Naturals’ shampoo and conditioner is the fact that they do both use honeysuckle extract, a somewhat controversial ingredient in the green beauty community.

There’s several schools of thought out there, and I don’t have a fully formed opinion on it, but those who prefer to leave honeysuckle extract out of their clean beauty routines do so because honeysuckle extract acts as a paraben, though it is obviously a natural ingredient.

It contains para-hydroxy benzoic acid, which is readily found in nature yet is said to look structurally similar to synthetic parabens and is said to act in the same way — as an endocrine disruptor.

Those who don’t mind seeing honeysuckle extract on their ingredients lists note that it scores a “0” on the EWG Skin Deep Database and it may not produce the same health risks as synthetic preservatives.

So, you can see why there’s some back and forth on this ingredient. I’d like to learn more about it — and see what you think, too.

And for that reason, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner are on my “maybe I will repurchase it” list.

When it comes to product performance, I loved the formulas — the scent, the moisture, the gentle cleansing and deep hydration.

When it comes to packaging, I appreciate the pretty designs and bold colors — though I was disappointed that the paper labels disintegrated in the shower.

When it comes to ingredients, we’ve got to figure out this honeysuckle thing.

Have you tried anything from Saavy Naturals? What are your thoughts on honeysuckle extract? Please do tell me in the comments section!


November 21, 2013

beauty secrets | the evolution of a pixie cut

I’ve been rockin’ the pixie cut for almost six months now, and as I look back at my outfit posts featuring the pixie cut, I see some highs and lows and definitely know a little more about which pixie chop is best for me.

Though I must admit that I proceeded with caution with the pixie cut (Not too short! Give me some fringe around the face to play with! I need to be able to tuck something behind my ears!), I’ve learned that with a pixie cut, you have to go short to get the best look.

You aren’t really supposed to be able to tuck anything behind your ears with a pixie! That’s what a bob is for.

long pixie cuts

The look on the left (from June 10) was the first outfit post I did post-pixie. I’m kind of floored that this cut on the left is the same as this cut — you always look better straight out of the stylist’s chair!

The look on the right (from June 24) haunts me. There’s just way too much hair on the sides and a bit of poofery happening. I’m feeling borderline helmet here. We live and learn, yes?

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • Go easy on styling product, especially with fine hair. Look for low-hold, low-shine pomades or waxes, and apply a pea-sized amount to your hands and fingers.
  • Invest in a good small/medium metal round brush to use during blow-drying. This is key for volume at the crown and for shaping fringe up front.
  • You have to get your hair cut shorter in the beginning. Remember, it grows out, and even if you are going every four weeks, you will acquire some shag, especially around the ears.
  • Keeping with the point above, forget the hair around the ears! Cut it short. You will look more mushroom / crazy short bob than pixie if you keep it long.

medium length pixie cuts

As you can see from both pictures above, I’m still holding on to the side-swept bangs and glorified pixie-bob.

While I love softness in this look (particularly in the picture on the right), it’s still too long to call it a proper pixie.

What’s great to see, though, is how my shorter pixie may grow out. I’ve heard that phase gets very awkward and frustrating!

The look on the left is from July 8 and the look on the right is from July 17. This is the same haircut just aged by a week!

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • When you have a pixie-bob, play with it a bit more! Use a flat iron or curling iron to add waves, and dress up the long locks with pins.
  • With longer hairs like this — and a bold attitude — consider a fun side shave. I haven’t been able to commit to this, as I feel a little too girly to pull it off, but I admire the badass look of a side shave + long hair.

medium length pixie cut

Aw, a trim! The look on the left could be perfected with shorter hair around the ears (are we seeing a theme here), but the poofery isn’t quite there so this cut was very fun while it lasted.

The look on the right was my attempt at swooping my bangs off my face in some sort of hip fashion. My fringe was too long to spike, but with the right amount of hairspray, anything can be swooped!

The look on the left is from July 22 and the look on the right is from July 29.

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned

  • Know what shape you want your bangs / fringe to be. If you will be spiking your pixie most days, opt for shorter bangs that require less product. If you prefer to wear your bang down and soft, don’t let your stylist cut them too short or risk them not sweeping to the side the way you like.
  • Experiment with styles! So what if your hair is too long to spike? Maybe you can make a fun swoopy thing that you think is cute. Hair is all about fun and creativity; in the end, it’s just hair.

medium length pixie cuts

Here’s a basic before and after of a look from September 23 and a look from September 27.

If you can’t tell, I fancy the side-swept bang and finally went in for the shorter side hair — can you see the difference it makes in thinning out the hair around the ears? It seems to make my face appear thinner, too.

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • Take pictures as you cycle through the weeks post-pixie! You can better see how your hair grows and edit your style from there.

medium length pixie cut

These two looks, from October 4 and October 11, were taken the same weekend as the post from September 27 above!

I must say that this has been my favorite cut in my pixie cut journey thus far. The bangs are soft and feminine and the perfect length; they can spike somewhat easily (hairspray becomes a good friend).

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • When you love your pixie cut, take a lot of photos!

long and very short pixie cuts

Here we go again with this swoopy hair thingy (left, from October 15). I’m going to retire that look; seeing it now, I see that it’s kind of a silly style with the longer hair, but hey, that’s hair styling for you!

The style on the right is new as of last Saturday and the debut of the style on the blog was November 18. I’m still figuring out how to style this ultra-short, buzzed-and-razored pixie.

I have extremely short, spiky layer on top that make it easier for me to — you guessed it — spike my hair.I may or may not have had a few meltdowns post-cut because I was overwhelmed by how short it was, but I’ve had some very good hair days with this style, too.

This tutorial has helped me figure out how to get the spike I wanted without sacrificing the softness in the front. I hope to get photos of that style on the blog soon!

Pixie Cut Lessons Learned:

  • Get rid of the swoopy thing when you’re in need of a cut. It will only accentuate the long ear hair that is growing straight out (thanks, fine, straight locks!)
  • Don’t be afraid to go ultra short! I didn’t communicate with my stylist that I just wanted to replicate my previous cut, but I’m glad she cut me this short — it’s made me figure out how to spike without losing some girlish edge, and I know that as this cut grows out, it may be the perfect length every week (as long as those damn ear hairs don’t poof out).

That’s it, folks! If you’re interested in learning more about what products I use to style my pixie, stay tuned for an updated post to come.

For now, you can reference this post on the best pixie styling products I used during the beginning of my pixie haircut journey!

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