Entries Tagged as 'natural beauty buff'

April 11, 2014

natural beauty buff | karen ries, hana organic skincare

Karen Ries of HANA Organic Skincare has set a new standard for the natural beauty buff series.

Basically everything that she has shared with us is local to her (she hails from the Pacific Northwest), and though I cocked my head at the inclusion of heavy cream in her list, of course she mentioned how to use it in your green beauty treatments!

karen ries hana organic skincare natural beauty buff

Karen created HANA Organic Skincare in 2011 and is committed to fresh products that are handmade in small batches.

As a certified herbalist, Karen understands how to choose potent, medicinal herbs for use in her collection.

She obviously also understands how to treat herself; between the inclusion of heavy cream, spiced chai and Theo Chocolate (a favorite of mine!), Karen’s picks had me drooling and, subsequently, craving/needing a bath.

karen ries hana organic skincare natural beauty buff

Her picks have inspired me to think about the food and beauty companies that are local to me and how I can continue to support them in everything I do.

As always, I’ve starred the items below that I also use and love!

Read my reviews of HANA Organic Skincare products!

HANA Organic Skincare Eye Oil

I really love oils for my skin, and I especially wanted to make something uncomplicated and gentle for the eye area. There are few ingredients involved, but they blend nicely to smooth your skin. I apply once in the morning and at night.

Dragonfly Chai

In my humble opinion, the best chai in the world! Handcrafted from a microbrewery in Portland that uses organic fair trade teas. In addition to improving digestion, chai enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. I especially like to sip on their Spicy Black Tea when I’m relaxing in the bath.

Twin Brook Creamery Heavy Organic Cream

Besides tasting incredible in a Dragonfly chai, this local cream works wonders when added to *HANA Organic Skincare’s Lavender Grains. The addition of cream to the grains makes this a moisturizing, rejuvenating and gentle face mask. Plus the packaging is as simple as you can get, the cows aren’t fed any antibiotics or hormones and I love reusing the bottles as flower vases when I’m finished.

China Rain, from Tenzing MoMo

This apothecary store has been in Pike Place Market for more than 37 years, and their China Rain has been my absolute favorite body scent since 1987! The blend of essential and base oils create their fresh, floral scent.

*Theo Chocolate

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and major health benefits. I snack on Theo’s dark chocolate which is made in their Seattle facility (the first organic and fair trade chocolate factory in the country).


These unique glass candle votives are hand blown at their Seattle studio. The founder’s story is truly inspiring as are her charitable donations (each sale donates to various causes). I have a few scattered around the house, but I keep this one to light by the bathtub when I want to unwind.

March 24, 2014

natural beauty buff | rachael pontillo, holistically haute

Though most of my “natural beauty buff” features have centered around skincare line creators, there’s always those pioneers within the broader green beauty industry whom I admire and must reach know more about.

Rachael Pontillo is one of those people.

How could you not want to know what a health coach / aesthetician / Reiki practitioner / trained-in-Ayurveda beauty expert uses on her own skin?

rachael pontillo holistically haute natural beauty buff

The brains and beauty behind Holistically Haute and author of Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, Rachael’s glowing skin, robust online community and girlfriend-to-girlfriend style book got my attention.

Rachael’s created Holistically Haute after experiencing her own struggle with acne and self-esteem issues, which rings all too true for me and I’m going to assume, you, dear readers.

Most of us end up in the green beauty space after frustrating runs with over-the-counter, prescription and every other harsh medicine our skin can handle.

It’s inspiring to see more people carve out these spaces online so that perhaps someone may look to the green beauty space first instead of as a last resort to solve their skincare problems!

If you haven’t already become friendly with Rachael online, check her out and get to know her even better via her book. I felt like I was having a conversation with a best friend while reading her book!

As always, I’ve starred the products I also use and love!

rachael pontillo beauty products minerals™ softLINES™ eyeliner pencil

I love this eyeliner pencil for several reasons. First, it’s one of the cleanest natural formulations of eyeliner I’ve come across — all natural waxes, oils, and mineral pigments — no parabens (hard to find in an eyeliner!), coal tar dyes or lead.

It goes on smooth and stays on all day without fading or smudging — and the most fun part is that there is a sharpener built right into the cap! This is convenient and ensures a sharp point with every use. I keep it in my makeup case at home.

Lavera Naturkosmetik’s Trend Sensitiv Natural Liquid Foundation

I’m normally a mineral powder foundation girl all year round, but this liquid made me switch during colder, drier weather and on days when I’m going for a dewy look. It applies and blends effortlessly, doesn’t get stuck in fine lines, doesn’t create lines of demarcation and doesn’t oxidize or get greasy or streaky throughout the day.

The pump lasts long too — a little bit of this foundation goes a long way! I love that it contains all-natural and many certified organic ingredients, and no synthetic preservatives or fragrances too. I keep this in my makeup case too.

doTERRA® Pepperment Beadlets

I’m obsessed with these. They are all natural, top quality and very potent. Peppermint essential oil is great for uplifting the mood, increasing energy (better than coffee) and also freshens the breath. I carry these in my purse every day — no more need for gum or mints.

*Eco Tints Tinted Lip Balm

I absolutely love these super-moisturizing tinted lip balms! They come in great colors, are made with 90 percent organic ingredients, are gluten-free (I try to avoid gluten) and provide great color and moisture that looks natural, but still polished. They smell and taste great too, and are flavored with all natural essential oils and plant extracts. I like to keep a couple different shades of these in my purse every day.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One” Organic Fair Trade Hair Crème

This is a great haircare product for adults and also kids, since it’s certified organic and fair trade, contains nothing artificial, and goes a very long way.

A pea-sized drop is all I need to detangle my long, straight hair and my kids’ long wavy hair after a wash, and it also helps with light styling. It doesn’t give a greasy or heavy feel — it leaves hair shiny, soft, and tangle-free. I keep this in the bathroom cabinet.

Body Ecology™ CocoBiotic Natural Probiotic with Coconut Water

Probiotics are essential for beautiful, healthy skin and a healthy body, and I love this one for a few reasons.

First, it’s a whole foods-based fermented beverage that contains nothing artificial whatsoever. It contains live cultures that have been tested for compatibility with each other as well as with the human digestive tract — believe it or not that isn’t the case with a lot of the probiotics on the market. I also like that you can adjust the dosage.

One dose is a one-ounce shot, but you can add more on days you feel you need more digestive or immune support, or you can half the dose for kids, which is what I do. It’s an acquired taste, like many fermented foods are, but the benefits are so worth it.

I keep this in my fridge and have one shot in the morning and one before bed. My kids have one before dinner.

NeoCell’s Super Collagen Types 1&3 powder and Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid

I listed these together because I take them together every day. Collagen and hyaluronic acid are excellent for building and hydrating healthy skin cells (in addition to others) from the inside out. I love NeoCell’s because they source their ingredients from organic, grass-fed animals with ethical manufacturing practices.

I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the appearance and health of my hair, skin, nails and also an improvement in the health of my joints and eyes since using these products. I keep them in my kitchen, and drink them together in my morning cup of hot water with lemon.

January 28, 2014

natural beauty buff | issa dixon, hollow & ridge

I’m thrilled to present the first “natural beauty buff” feature of 2014 to you: Welcome Hollow & Ridge founder Issa Dixon to the lineup of amazing beauties featured on since 2012!

Issa is the wizard behind Hollow & Ridge’s line of essential oil fragrances, toners (lavender and rose — review coming soon!) and balm that I’m especially eager to try.

issa dixon hollow and ridge

Issa’s green beauty story echoes many we’ve heard from other inspiring founders; she was raised by conscientious parents and appreciated the great outdoors and the amazing healing gifts Mother Nature brings us.

The West Virginia-born beauty became captivated by herbs, which lead to her fascination with aromatherapy and eventually the launch of her company rooted in beneficial essential oils.

As much as she loves essential oils and aromatherapy, Issa also, like the rest of us, indulges in other beauty products. Here’s what she uses regularly.

As usual, I’ve starred what I also use and love!

natural beauty buff issa dixon's favorite beauty products

Lush BIG Sea Salt Shampoo

“I have thick unruly hair. This stuff tames my flyways while giving me a fresh beach hair look. I don’t need any additional products for my hair when I use this stuff. I love the scalp exfoliation you get from the sea salt.”

Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue

I have recently acquired all kinds of seasonal allergies. I have tried 100’s of eye creams. This cream reduces the dark puffy skin under my eyes like no other. Morning circles and bags are gone.”

Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum

“This was my first fancy attempt at pushing back Mother Nature. If you need a quick, fix this stuff works. It immediately tightens the skin making wrinkles and pores less prominent. Instead of makeup I wear this much of the time.”

Organic Puna Body Butter by Island Flower Alchemy

Handmade Puna body butter is what my entire family uses for dry cracked winter skin. It is a mixture of raw Hawaiian beeswax, organic cocoa butter, and a secret mix of local botanical extracts and flower essences. I love to mix a few drops of our Hollow & Ridge blends with my Puna Butter for an all over body rub. The Balance Blend mixes the best.”

*Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

“Always a great choice. I use Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Lavender soap all summer long. It’s great for camping. You can use this multipurpose soap for washing out clothes, washing dishes; in a pinch I’ve even brushed my teeth with it. Smell goods, leaves skin clean and feeling fresh.”

November 28, 2013

natural beauty buff | hope gillerman, h. gillerman organics

I’ve been a fan of Hope Gillerman’s line, H. Gillerman Organics, for a few years now.

Hope is always at work with me via her Tension Remedy, an office staple; she’s also always by my bedside via her Sleep Remedy, an incredibly soothing mix of lavender, blood orange and clary sage.

Today, Hope is on my blog sharing her approach to clean, simple skincare and is inspiring me to become less of a product junkie and more of a pared-down princess.

hope gillerman of h. gillerman organics

{Hope Gillerman, founder of H. Gillerman Organics, works her aromatherapy magic. Photo Courtesy Hope Gillerman}

Who knows if I’ll ever rid myself of my product junkie ways (I’m a blogger, after all!).

But with Hope’s story today, I’m seeing how I can find harder-working, multipurpose products to streamline my routine, saving time and money while still supporting the beautiful brands I love.

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

what's inside hope gillerman's green beauty bag

I was a beauty product junkie in my youth and my skin and health suffered painfully.

Now, I take my time trying new lines, look for multi-tasking products and keep my routine super simple: Cleanse/hydrate and exfoliate/mask a couple times a week.

I confess to my extremely discerning point of view, but I know this works best for me, and I can’t bear the smell of synthetic anything.

I look for products that are preservative-free, toxin-free, perfume-free and with a bare minimum of chemist-altered naturals.

I look for straight from the plant — no tampering with mother nature’s best — but with an evolved refinement.

These are giving me solid results:

Evolue Exfoliating Cleanser

One of the big differences between facial creams and facial oils is that the former sits mostly on the surface to hold moisture in and the latter is absorbed into deeper layers of the skin to nurture and regenerate — but not if pores are blocked with pollution and dead skin!

I am a big believer in very gentle exfoliation, not skin-scratching scrubs — the word tells all.

This very fine powder of oats and milk (lactic acid) does a fantastic job of sloughing dead skin to prepare the dermis to absorb the botanical oil in face oil. I put some in a small cardboard tube (lip balm size) for travel size.

Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic PureLuxe Shampoo & Conditioner

For luxury hair-care (and yes, I am worth it) I go to THE MAN: Horst Rechelbacher.

A hairstylist before he created Aveda, I trust Horst’s ingredients more than any other hair care products.

I find others are always sneaking in preservatives, emulsifiers and perfumes while claiming green.

I pour into small travel bottles and pack in my waterproof, zip-close cosmetic bag so I have it wherever I go and don’t worry about spilling in my suitcase.

At home, I keep the shampoo and conditioner in the shower.

*Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil

Morocco may be the home for the miracle argan oil, but not all are sourced and maintained as perfectly as this brand does — I completely trust founder Katharine L’Heureux.

This is a truly 100 percent organic, unadulterated product, providing the optimal healing benefits.

Because of the high levels of vitamin E, EFAs and anti-inflammatory soothing effect, I am using it right now to make a special healing salve with Helichrysum Serotinum essential oil for my Mom who just had a spot removed from her face and wants to have an invisible scar.

Love this oil! Too precious to carry this gorgeous bottle around. I use it at home, a few drops at a time, as an eye serum that works in perfect harmony over my HGO Neroli Face Oil. There are so many ways to use argan oil; everyone should have it as a staple.

H. Gillerman Organics Flowers Face Balm

The main thing about using face oils is not to slather them on, but to use 5-8 drops, tops, and massage into damp, clean skin in upward strokes.

To seal in moisture, instead of overdosing on face oil, I apply a thin coating of my HGO Face Balm, warmed and dissolved in my hands first — patting and lightly stroking on dry patches with a very thin coating of the balm. Makeup goes right over it.

The regenerating/healing power of balms can go way beyond creams.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Green makeup artist Jessa Blades suggests detoxing your personal care routine by starting with the armpit/breast and eliminating antiperspirants that clog up the important area.

For me, this essential oil-loaded balm has been a lifesaver for my feet since I live in my cloth Toms shoes, which can cause foot odor when you wear them barefoot!

I put this on in the morning after the shower, making sure to spread between toes — it is a natural anti-fungal.

*RMS Beauty

I use all of it!

Again, because Rose-Marie Swift — a brilliant makeup artist who understands skin has to GLOW to look young — sources only the best ingredients.

My skin never gets clogged, dry, erupted or hidden by these brilliant balms, powder and coconut oil and the concealer works to block the sun (I am allergic to sunscreen).

I always include an almost finished jar of “Un” Cover-up #22 in my small Alison Oliver-illustrated, gold zip-up Baggu leather pouch that includes: HGO Sinus and Tension Remedies, my lip/hand balm and a nail clipper (gotta keep my nails as short as possible since I do healing touch).

H. Gillerman Organics Aromatherapy Products

These are my travel but also my basic combo for fall because they support the immune system, detox with every use, boost energy and help the mind/body adjust to shifts in temperature and climate.

This time of year is the hardest on my health — more prone to pick up a cold, strain a muscle or get overwhelmed, so I rely heavily on these remedies to get me through, and so far they have succeeded in preventing me from getting sick/jet-lagged/slowed-down by stress, achey or weary.

H. Gillerman Organics Pure Breathing Sinus Remedy

I never leave home without it. I keep it — bottle only — in the Baggu bag which sits at my hip for easy-access in my cross-body wallet/mini-everything bag. This way I can access instantly while standing on a subway platform, on a plane, when somebody sneezes in my face (!) or around lots of kids — anywhere where I need some anti-viral/bacterial armor.

For my morning does of inspiration, I put a drop inside each nostril. And if I am getting a sore throat or feeling on the verge of ill, I put a couple drops on my neck over my lymph nodes, and I am good to go.

H. Gillerman Organics Pure Breathing Chest Remedy

Helps me meet the challenges and stresses of fall head-on since it is an adrenal stimulant, immune booster, deepens breath, clears the chest and helps me get unstuck from the kind of obsessive thinking many of us are prone to.

I roll on neck, shoulders and low back after the shower. If my legs are tired or sore, I roll on in stripes and smooth in like a lotion, targeting sore areas, or take a bath in it.

I keep a bottle on my dresser or in my bathroom and always pack in my leak-proof cosmetic bag when traveling.

H. Gillerman Organics Natural Rest Travel Remedy

To eliminate jet lag when used day of travel and three days after. These days I alternative this roll-on with Chest Remedy every 3-4 days.

This is a great bath oil too. It helps with adjusting to seasonal change, relaxes and soothes muscles and balances my psyche.

Recently I have been rolling on my right knee which seems to have trapped fluid caused by a big giant dog ricocheting off me during Mary Martin’s morning walk in Fort Greene Park.

I keep a bottle on my dresser or in my bathroom and always pack in my leak-proof cosmetic bag when traveling.

November 14, 2013

natural beauty buff | soraya hendesi, snowberry

It seems there’s a group of you out there who have a little love for New Zealand green beauty brand Snowberry.

I’m relatively familiar with the brand (I’ve tried the facial massage oil and a sunscreen), and am excited to explore it a bit more.

The next step in deeper exploration is getting to know its founder, Soraya Hendesi, and what products she loves.

soraya hendesi founder of snowberry

Like many beauty company founders, Soraya’s vision for Snowberry stemmed from frustration in finding a natural, effective skincare line.

She wanted to bring green beauty to New Zealand — and the world — that was both pure and active.

This meant combining the the finest ingredients from nature with functional peptides, enzymes and antioxidants to create powerhouse formulations the deliver.

what's inside soraya hendesi's green beauty bag

In reading through Soraya’s submission, I’m tickled to see that dark chocolate, lipstick and sunscreen are her beauty bag staples — isn’t that all we need?!

I’m excited to put a few of these products on my list of “things to try.” Enjoy!

Loving Earth Raw Organic Goji & Camu Camu Dark Chocolate

I carry it in my Snowberry Bag and have a little with a late morning flat white coffee with my friends. I love it for its intriguing taste and authenticity. It also revs me up. I buy from Huckleberry Farms shop in Greenlane Auckland.

Living Nature Summer Rain Lipstick

The best 100 percent natural lipstick ever made. It is the only lipstick I have ever found that does not cause my lips to dry and peel. I carry it with me everywhere.

Escorial Handmade Merino Wool Scarf

I don’t wear this often, but when I do on special occasions, it is such a work of art. It is captivating.

Snowberry Everyday Broad Spectrum SPF 15

The best 100 percent natural broad spectrum sun protection. This Snowberry SPF was formulated because I wanted a natural certified broad spectrum sun protection, stand alone, that would not appear white after application and did not feel sticky. Many have mistaken this product for something that includes chemical screens and yet it does not!

Snowberry Travel Cosmetic Bag

This bag we designed and had hand-made in New Zealand and of the finest quality materials we could find as a limited edition to our range.

I loved it so much I had to buy one for myself. It makes a great city bag but works very well as a travel bag with its own cosmetic inner compartment and lag.

I use this most days but treasure so much I am mindful of where I take it!

Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini

I am not a great fan of phones, however being Persian, we are always in touch with family and friends…daily! So I find this a great little phone as it does everything a PDA should and it fits perfectly in to my busy life style.

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