Tag: all-natural

Friends & family: “Katey, which natural shampoos and conditioners do you use?” Me: “I’m so glad you asked!”

April 8th, 2012 — 8:17pm

Without some product and a little time and focused attention, my hair is super dry and frizzy. In humid climates it expands. When I’m by the ocean or in the jungle, my hair curls right up into frizzy little ringlets and sticks out all over my head. I hope someone will remind me of this the next time I fantasize about cutting my hair to chin length again. I’ve learned that keeping the length of my hair past my shoulders is a must if I don’t want to put three ounces of product in it to weigh it down every morning.

There are so many ‘green’ hair care companies on the market today putting out great products that really do the job of cleansing and smoothing without any of the harsh chemicals that our scalps and ultimately our blood streams and water ways just don’t need. You can take your pick from shampoos that make the most of every hair type- from thin and fine, to thick and coarse, as well as conditioners made to keep colored hair looking vibrant longer and unruly hair in-check. I love the scents of all-natural hair care. I was always really turned off by the highly synthetic floral and fruit fragrances available from mainstream brands. I can smell them now a mile away.

Early on in my journey down the natural section of the shampoo and conditioner aisle,  a friend and I were discussing how unhappy we were with how our hair looked, sharing that we each felt so sad that our once silky and shiny locks were no longer so vivacious.  We had a good laugh when we simultaneously blurted out which shampoo and conditioner from our local health foods store we’d both been using for the past month- it was the same one, and we both hated the results!  I promptly switched mine up and saw a big difference. It’s really all about trying a few until you find one that’s right for your hair type. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years, and I will admit that on occasion, I’ll stray from the all-natural world of conditioner if I feel that my hair looks less than optimal, even after I’ve sat with coconut oil coating my tresses for an hour.  A little silicone from any one of the mainstream conditioners, and my frizz is usually back in check for weeks to come. Says a lot for the lasting power of silicone, right?! Kind of scary, kind of wonderful.

My current all-natural favorites are:

The two main things I keep in mind when evaluating which products in my beauty routine are the most important for me to keep as free from harmful chemicals as possible are:

  1. Will I be using this on a daily basis, and
  2. Will this come in contact with a large surface are of my body

Because shampoos and conditioners are first massaged into the scalp and then essentially coat the entirety of the skin (our largest organ!) as they’re rinsed off, they are at the top of my list of must-go-green items.

Next in line to try: Intelligent Nutrients, and Rahua. I’ll keep you posted! As always, if you love the products you’re using and want to share, please drop me a line.



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Happy Green Beauty Month Everyone! Don’t already know about these lip colors from ILIA? you’re in for a real treat.

March 31st, 2012 — 2:35am


My first introduction to ILIA lipsticks happened last year while poking around ABC’s apothecary section (I think that ABC, in NYC, is one of the most well edited, well curated stores, both in content and aesthetic.) In addition to a ton of beautiful things for the home, they carry the best of the best when it comes to non-toxic hair/face/body products. When you’re in NYC you have to check it out. It’s beautiful, you’ll want to own everything, and you’ll be bummed that so much is so expensive. That said, these well designed, sleek little silvery tubed lipsticks caught my eye, and were reasonably priced compared to other high-end lipstick lines. When I gave one a try on the back of my hand, I was surprised to find how well pigmented the color was, and how smoothly it went on. The only down side was that there were only 6 or 7 different shades available.

I came home and wrote to the ‘info’ email address from the ILIA website and asked some questions. Almost immediately I got really thorough answers back from owner and creator, Sasha Plavsic (who hails from Canada, but now calls LA home). She explained to me that she’s learned  a cosmetic can still be completely non-toxic, even though it contains a very small percentage of synthetic color.  Synthetic doesn’t mean bad for us, just as all-natural isn’t always good for us.  Without allowing for that teeny percentage of synthetic pigment, she explained, there’s no way to achieve the rich intensity of the colors we love in favorite lipsticks from MAC, NARS, and Tom Ford, to name a few. So the base into which she mixes the color is all-natural, organic, super nourishing, healthy for the lips and perfectly healthy for the rest of you – which is important since we all eat and absorb our lipsticks into our bodies every day.

Sasha worked diligently to create a product that would meet the Environmental Working Group’s strict guidelines (if you aren’t familiar with the EWG, please check them out.) They are highly informative and influential as an online encyclopedia for ingredients found in cosmetics and rates their levels of toxicity. I will absolutely write about them in their own post this month, and found a way to offer all the intensity of bold colors like orange, pink, and red, that have been missing thus far from all-natural lines. Then Sasha put them in great-looking containers. I’m a sucker for packaging, and this woman knows what she’s doing, with her strong background in design and marketing within the branding world.

The best news ever is that ILIA just launched a new collection, complete with 14 lip colors – 6 are highly pigmented, and the other 8 are still well pigmented tinted lip conditioners.  I’ve been wearing ‘Nobody’s Baby’  and ‘In My Room’ the past few days, which look like my lips, but better. I also love the hot pink lipstick shade ‘Neon Angel’. In addition Sasha’s also come out with some cheek tints and highlighter creams in a tube that look wonderful. (highlighter creams are for cheekbones, eyelids, bridge of the nose, cupids bow, etc.)  I’ll give them a try over the next few weeks and report back.

Finally, I really love her no-color lip balm. It’s one of my new favorites for sure.

My only request: ILIA, can you work on coming out with a a bright orange-red for your next edition?  I’d proudly wear it every day.

*note about the photo above: this is how much of a beauty product nerd I am – I got the products from ILIA on Friday around 6 and I decided to call off my plans that night so I could stay home and play with them, and play with taking pictures of them for the blog. Don’t they photograph beautifully?  Thanks, ILIA!!!

ILIA is sold at a good number of locations across the country and around the world (GO ILIA, GO!), see here for specifics as well as online at www.spiritbeautylounge.com


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