Entries Tagged as 'natural beauty buff'

December 9, 2015

natural beauty buff | marissa waller, beauteabar

Pop quiz: What do you get when you combine a “hard ass” with a “softie spiritualist?”

Answer: Marissa Waller, the founder of BeauTeaBar, who happens to be a yoga-practicing reformed lawyer.

marissa waller beauteabar

Though she may not be using her tough-gal chops in the courtroom, you better believe Marissa is putting every brand and ingredient through a thorough screening before it comes into her Cold Spring Harbor, New York, store.

Marissa’s eye for detail and knack for introducing new brands to market (I first learned about KYPRIS through dear Marissa!) gives BeauTeaBar that je ne sais quoi.

One thing that makes BeauTeaBar special: Its devotion to beauty teas! That explains the fun naming of this site and supports the idea of taking care of ourselves from the outside in.

Speaking of, Marissa is sharing her top picks for how she likes to take care of herself using the luxurious products she stocks. Read on to see her choices!

*Indicates that I also use and love it!

marissa waller beauteabar

*May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt

This is the product that truly started my obsession with green beauty! This gentle but ultra effective exfoliator makes your skin insanely soft and smooth. Plus, it helps keep my acne-prone skin clear all year long.

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

This product stole my heart from first use. It has a truly exquisite scent. It contains 22 of the most potent botanical ingredients for radiant and bright skin. Every time you apply it, you feel like you are draping your face in the finest cashmere.  After just a few days of using it, I started wearing a lot less foundation because I was so excited to show off my glow!

La Bella Figura Modern Radiance Concentrate

This potent vitamin C gel is my first line of defense against fine lines and hyperpigmentation. After a few weeks of use, I was amazed at how smooth my forehead appeared and how much my dark spots had faded. When I stop using it, I noticed a dramatic difference, so this stays in my routine always!

Agent Nateur Deodorant

Who knew deodorant could be so chic and glam? This beautiful natural (and aluminum-free, of course) deodorant is perfect for everyday use. Plus, the stick form makes it an instant winner in my eyes!

RMS Beauty Skin2Skin Foundation Brush

I love the entire RMS Beauty line, but this foundation brush is my everything! It’s perfect for a more polished and full-coverage look, and it really helps to even out your creamy foundations. It also fits well into the small creases around the nose and is amazing for the under-eye area.

*Evolvh Ultra Shine Moisture Shampoo

I have a really hard time with natural hair care products. I have a very oily scalp that requires a heavy shampoo almost every day, but I also have dry hair, so I can’t use harsh products that strip the hair. This Evolvh shampoo was the answer to my prayers. It gives a generous lather, smells divine and gets my hair super clean, but it never dries it out.

Laurel Honey Berry Enzyme Mask

Whenever I have a special event or I just want to freshen up my complexion, I reach for this mask. The honey is super soothing and hydrating, but the enzymes from the berries naturally exfoliate the skin and give you an unmatchable glow. Not to mention, it’s totally delicious.

Have you shopped at BeauTeaBar before? What are some of your favorite products that they carry? How would you describe yourself? Tell me in the comments!

October 23, 2015

natural beauty buff | shrankhla holecek, uma oils

Lines inspired by different cultures always intrigue me.

But many times, these lines are created by those who may not have a direct connection to the culture.

While that doesn’t lessen the beauty of a line or the thoughtfulness of the founder, I’m more deeply drawn to authenticity in creation. That’s why Shrankhla Holecek and her Ayurvedic line, Uma, catch my attention in this crowded market.

Raised in India, Shrankhla was immersed the cultural traditions of Ayurveda and holistic medicine. You don’t get more authentic than that.

When she moved to the States for business school, she found herself surrounded by misappropriations of Ayurvedic traditions. To counter this, she launched her own line of products that embody her family’s heritage and the time-honored traditions of Ayurveda.

Today, Shrankhla shares both her must-have Ayurvedic ingredients as well as her favorite packaged green beauty products.

She’s a true example of someone who knows how to balance everything this wonderful explosion of green beauty offers while remaining true to the simple staples that work.

shrankhla holecek uma oils

At peril of being labeled a FOB (fresh-off-the-boat) Indian, I need to start with three key Ayurvedic ingredients in my beauty arsenal that I simply cannot live without

I absolutely love honey — both in homemade face masks, as well as a super-powerful yet gentle cleanser. It’s highly antibacterial and great for unclogging pores without the side effects (such as drying) that most chemical face washes can have. It is also a great scar-fading agent.

Turmeric is up next for its healing, anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties. Much loved in Ayurveda for its external (and internal) “repair” properties, I think turmeric doesn’t get used here nearly enough!

Finally, aloe vera is an excellent addition to your skincare regimen, and can be eaten or applied topically as a skin-calming paste. These ingredients can be found relatively easily at your local (organic!) grocer, and I recommend you try them immediately.

When it comes to store-bought product indulgences, here are a few of my faves:

shrankhla holecek, uma oils

W3LL PEOPLE Narcissist Foundation Stick

I love the buildable coverage and how easy it is to apply! I’m usually on the go, and it only takes a few moments to swipe on and blend for a natural finish. The aloe vera in the formula also leaves my skin more hydrated each time I use it.

Uma Total Rejuvenation Night Face Oil

This oil is my night time skin saver – it’s a rich but lightweight Ayurvedic formula, and loaded with essential oils of frankincense and sandalwood for faster cell turnover. It leaves my skin looking and feeling renewed each morning, and is especially helpful for fading pesky scarring and hyperpigmentation for an even skin tone.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Endless Guava

This multipurpose lip and cheek tint leaves a subtle tinge of color — perfect for every day, when I want a natural glow without looking too made up. I dab a bit on the apples of my cheeks for a subtle, dewy look.

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer SPF 30

It’s not just a sunscreen. This moisturizing primer nourishes my skin and gives it an even texture without greasy residue. Not to mention, it keeps my makeup in place all day long!

shrankhla holecek, uma oils

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

This lightweight shampoo is perfect for summer — it infuses my hair with the right amount of moisture and nutrition without weighing it down. My hair feels bouncier every time I use it, and an added bonus is that it’s perfect for color-treated hair.

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

The strawberry enzymes in this cleanser leave my skin brighter with every use. I love to leave it on for an extra five minutes a few times a week for even deeper effects. The natural strawberry scent is divine, so be warned: once you apply, you may never want to rinse off.

Uma Pure Rest Wellness Oil

I don’t always get enough sleep, so when I’m ready to turn in, I want the most restful night I can get. Pure Rest is packed with potent herbs in an Ayurvedic formulation that rivals traditional sleeping aids for a deep and uninterrupted sleep that helps me restore myself physically and mentally every night.

Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil

This rapidly absorbing hair oil is perfect for dry or damaged hair. It moisturizes deeply without leaving hair greasy. With ingredients like lychee, sandalwood, and bergamot, I can’t get enough of the scent!

EVOLUÉ Resurfacing Grains

My skin is at its silkiest after I exfoliate, and these resurfacing grains strike the perfect balance between gentle and effective. My skin feels clean and smooth after each use, and it gets rid of every last trace of dead skin and leftover makeup.

Rose Water

This Ayurvedic toner (and astringent!) is alcohol-free and non-drying, so it’s perfect for restoring your skin’s balance after cleansing. My favorite brand is an Indian brand called Gulabari, but find an ethically sourced local one and you’ll be impressed with what this can do! Thayer’s Aloe Vera Toner in Rose Petal is another alternative.


August 5, 2015

natural beauty buff | marie veronique nadeau, marie veronique advanced


Let’s face it. The green beauty party is getting bigger, and lots of people, regardless of their background, are getting in on the game.

While I respect founders from all walks of life (models, makeup artists, tinkerers, you name it), there’s nothing that piques my interest more than an approachable scientist-founder who takes the time to not only formulate intelligently, but educate tirelessly so we can all be a little bit smarter about how we spend our money and treat our skin.

That’s what you’ll find in Marie Veronique Nadeau, the former chemistry teacher-turned-skincare entrepreneur who, along with her physicist and bio-medical engineer daughter Jay Nadeau, create innovative, clean beauty products for Marie Veronique Advanced.

marie veronique nadeau

What you won’t find alongside Marie Veronique Advanced’s top-notch, effective ingredients (like vitamin C, encapsulated retinols, antioxidants and more)? BS.

Marie keeps the hyperbole to a minimum and instead focuses on the key actives in her products and the explanations for how everything works in harmony. Her blog is a wealth of information, and I seriously devoured every single post when she relaunched her website.

Keep the posts coming, MVA team! I’m a diehard fan.

Marie is such a shining example of a founder getting into the game (um, more than 10 years ago!) for the right reason: Because she has knowledge to share and an elegant way to deliver it — with skincare that does what it says it will do and looks beautiful to boot.

Read on to learn why Marie started Marie Veronique Advanced (MVA) and to see what health and beauty products she loves.

As usual, I’ve starred the items I also use and love. If you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts on the line, visit my Marie Veronique archive! So many more reviews to come, but if you’re impatient, I truly adore and recommend Serum de Jour, Gentle Retinol Serum and Eye Recovery Serum.

marie veronique advanced green beauty products

“I started Marie Veronique because I couldn’t find products that were gentle enough for me and actually showed results, so all of the skin care I use is from my line. These are the products I never go without.”

Marie Veronique Advanced Everyday Coverage SPF 30

“This will always be the last thing I put on each morning. I love it because I know that I’m getting the best full-spectrum protection that’s available with non-nano zinc oxide and a host of other protective ingredients, while it calms and evens my skin.”

Marie Veronique Advanced Rejuvenating Face Oil, Extra Healing

“This is what I use morning and night to moisturize. It’s safe around eyes and lips, and it really penetrates skin to deliver all the goodness to the deepest layers of skin. It also helps my serums penetrate better”

Marie Veronique Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum

“This is from my new PRO Collection, and one of our best-selling products. I absolutely love it! It delivers 7 percent retinol without any irritation, and that’s a big deal because my skin is definitely reactive to harsh products.”

Marie Veronique Advanced Cleanser de Jour

“My newest product, this is a cleanser I actually love (not a fan of cleansers in general) and use twice a day. It is so moisturizing and it will remove my sunscreen easily. I’ve also heard from my friends, customers and team at MVA that it removes really tough — even waterproof — eye makeup easily.”

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

“I seem to always have my shops close to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea, and I am a fan of great tea. I love their hot and iced green and black tea, especially my morning cup of Earl Grey with half and half.”

*Organic, Whole Milk Plain Yogurt

“Besides eating it, I use it to clean my face and make masks. It’s a great moisturizer and gentle exfoliator because of the lactic acid, and it helps keep our microbiota balanced. (I get different brands, but try to keep it local.)”

*Zuzu Lipsticks & ILIA Lipsticks

“These are my go-to choice for safe, beautiful lip colors.”

What have you tried from Marie Veronique Advanced? What do you look for in skincare lines and their respective founders? Tell me in the comments section!

June 1, 2015

natural beauty buff | victoria tsai, tatcha

TATCHA beauty founder Victoria Tsai has a startup story similar to many of those in the clean beauty industry — except her story takes us to Japan and back to the Bay Area.

Like many who work for large corporations, punching the clock and working for a bottom line in which perhaps didn’t feel as connected to, Vicky was seeking to live a more simple, authentic life.

Travel opened her eyes to what could be, and on a trip to Kyoto, she met the muse who would change her entire path.

victoria tsai tatcha

That muse was the geisha, the traditional Japanese entertainer and artist with seemingly flawless beauty and an air of mystery surrounding her very presence.

Vicky uncovered the beauty secrets of the geisha and came away with a new skincare philosophy that many clean beauty enthusiasts adore, but sometimes have trouble actually applying: less is more.

Knowing that the geisha must maintain the utmost beautiful skin beneath all the layers of performance makeup, removing it and reapplying it daily, Vicky was intrigued to learn about the geisha’s focus on local, time-tested ingredients such as rice bran, green tea and Okinawa red algae.

This inspired Vicky to dig deeper into the history of geisha beauty, and it was with this research that that she found an ancient text considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan.

The book details an approach to beauty and elegance, and Vicky knew that this special text would be the foundation of her Japanese- and geisha-inspired line, TATCHA.

In addition to capturing the essence of the geisha, Vicky formulated TATCHA to work with her own finicky skin, which was susceptible to acute dermatitis, or inflammation and irritation. This led her to keep TATCHA free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA and TEA.

Vicky stays true to using cleaner beauty products in her daily life — including Japanese apothecary lines as well as American favorites we’ve all come to know and love.

Perhaps I should bring you a part 2 to this interview in which Vicky spills the secrets of her favorite Japanese lines?!

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love.

victoria tsai tatcha

“I pick my products based on the company’s value systems (animal testing, ingredients, etc.) and also based on what I know of their founders and formulators. Many of the products I use come from little apothecaries in Japan, but when I’m in the States, here are my favorites.”

Jennifer Fisher x RGB Nail Polish in Taken

“I love her jewelry and her nail polish collaboration. This has become my go-to nude.”

Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue

“This is my best friend for photo shoots. I also love Leslie Blodgett — she’s an incredible woman.”
Editor’s Note: Me, too!

*LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla

“It took me so long to find a clean deodorant with that actually lasts. This has become a new staple in my purse.”

Laura Gellar Ombre Baked Blush in Pink Blossom

“Another necessity for going on-air or doing a photo shoot.”

*TATCHA Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers

“I always have at least one pack of these on me. Not only do they wick away excess oil, but they remind me of the first time I ever met a geisha.”

TATCHA Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick

“As a mom and a CEO, I rarely have the time to apply a full face of makeup. A quick swipe of red and I’m ready to go out the door.”

Nonie Creme Color Prevails Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo in Fig

“Nonie Crème, the founder, is a friend of mine and whips up the most amazing colors.”

Have you tried any of Vicky’s picks? What have you tried from TATCHA? Tell me in the comments section!

February 10, 2015

natural beauty buff | annie jackson, credo beauty

“We believe that everyone deserves products that are exquisite, effective, modern, and good — in every sense. We started Credo with the goal of providing you with the world’s most exceptional collection of those very products.”

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in the green beauty world for the past eight years, and it’s been absolutely inspiring to see the various facets of this industry evolve over the years.

  • New natural beauty brands have launched left and right.
  • Conventional beauty brands have slowly cleaned up their acts.
  • Indie brands that started on Etsy are taking over Target.

The biggest trend I’ve seen over the past two years, though, is the explosion of amazing online green beauty boutiques, and Credo Beauty is one of the latest to burst onto the scene with quite an impressive lineup of both product offerings and street cred.

annie jackson credo beauty

Created by Shashi Batra, a founding member of the Sephora USA team, Credo Beauty is setting itself up to be a major online (and soon, brick-and-mortar) green beauty destination.

Today’s natural beauty buff, Annie Jackson, serves as VP of Merchandising and Planning and brings a wealth of experience in branding and product innovation to this exciting new venture.

Case in point: One look at the site gives you an idea of the breadth of brands available (from 21 Drops to Zoe Organics), but what’s extra special about the online shopping experience is the care Credo took to create its “Maker Videos” that bring you a bit closer to the brands and founders you know and love.

To bring you even closer to this exciting new green beauty shopping site that is sure to haunt your dreams, Annie is sharing her top green beauty picks with us today — which, of course, are all available at Credo, which is a bit mind-blowing to me.

And if you’re connecting the dots the way I am, I’m going to be bold and say Credo could be the brand that takes shopping for green beauty to the next level.

Can you imagine what it would be like to walk into a Credo Beauty store anywhere in the country, the same way we can walk into a Sephora anywhere, and play? I’m placing my bets on Credo to bring every green beauty guru’s dream to life with this concept!


annie jackson of credo beauty's favorite green beauty products

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

My skin gets really dry in the winter, and this is a great addition to your moisturizer. The texture is really emollient and gives dull skin a really natural luminosity and feels hydrating.

W3ll People Bio-Extreme Expressionist Mascara

Loads on the volume with no flaking! Mascaras are hard for people to make the jump to natural, and this one does not disappoint!

Armour Lip Gloss

Pigments are really rich, and the formula and scent are to die for! “Gypsy” is a great nude (my favorite), and the rest of Theo’s shades are really wearable.

True Nature Botanicals Pacific Body Oil

I am a body oil fanatic. The texture of this oil is almost hard to describe. It is think, but totally lightweight at the same time. It sinks into your skin, smells like Hawaii and absorbs almost instantly. Gorgeous!

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Super hydrating, and my skin feels clean, with a beautiful hydrated barrier left behind.

Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil

We get asked all the time “What is squalane?” This little gem of a product is 100 percent derived from olives. But what is best about it is not where it comes from, but how it protects — sun damage, wrinkles, discoloration — this is your product. People have even gone so far as to call it the holy grail of skincare. I agree!

Sans Bio Active Body Exfoliant

Amaaaaaazing! Seriously, an at-home spa moment. Sloughs off dead skin and rinses away easily. Your skin feels lusciously plump, and super soft and moisturized all day.

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Makeup Remover

Removes makeup easily, doesn’t leave a greasy residue — great for contact lens wearers. Love the simplicity of their ingredients.

Dr. Alkaitis Universal Mask

Based on active plants — and it feels like it!  Your skin looks smooth and plumped, and it removes redness. It’s like a superfood-packed green juice for your skin.

Province Apothecary Sleep Well Therapeutic Roll On

Works like a charm….for the whole family :-)


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