Four Eco-Friendly Products I Am Currently Using

Eco-friendly products are the hype nowadays. Everyone wants to be conscious about the products they are purchasing and what goes on behind the scenes when that product was made. Everywhere you go, you see the terms “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” on most of the labels. Being eco-friendly is becoming more mainstream each and every single day.

If you are a beginner at finding eco-friendly products, it can be overwhelming. Therefore, it can be difficult to discover what is worth your money and purpose in buying the product and what is considered to be “green washing.” I am going to share four eco-friendly beauty products I am currently using. I will give you a little background information about the company and the price points they have on their products. 

UpCircle Beauty Facial Scrub

If you have been following along with my blog from the beginning, you know that I have done a couple of reviews on their moisturizer and facial scrub from UpCircle. Their belief is that you should have to pay a lot of money in order to be sustainable and ethical. I really like this scrub because it is made out of used coffee grounds collected from local coffee shops in London. The scrub does a great job exfoliating the dead skin cells while leaving your face feeling fresh in the end. They do not use artificial fragrances in their products which took some time for me to get used to because the scents are quite different. Overall, I would recommend this facial scrub to everyone. You can purchase the scrub from the UpCircle website or ULTA for $20.

Melixir Vegan Lip Butter

I’m going to be honest with you…I am a long time fan of Burt’s Bees chapstick. However, within the past few months, I found that their chapstick was feeling too watery and not nourishing my lips quite well. I bought Melixir Vegan Lip Butter as an Amazon purchase last February. As I continued to dig deeper into the brand, I found that they wanted to go against the grain in the beauty industry and refuse to test their products on animals. I also found that the company wanted to create a skincare brand that allowed consumers to be mindful in what they consume in their bodies every day. The Vegan Lip Butter is creamy, soft, and very nourishing on my lips. You can purchase this product from their website for $12.

Kevin Murphy Angel Wash Shampoo and Conditioner Set

I discovered these products at a local salon in Chesapeake, VA. Based in Australia. Stylist Kevin Murphy wanted to create products that are natural and sustainable. All their packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable. The products are also concentrated which means you use less of the product while still getting that cleaning experience. As of right now, I really like how my hair looks after shampooing and conditioning. My hair is shinier and softer after each use. I will be doing a review on these products in the future to let you know what I truly think of the products. The shampoo and conditioner set is going to be the most experienced product I am  presenting (Shampoo is $35; conditioner $36). You can purchase these products from the Kevin Murphy Hair website or find the nearest Kevin Murphy retailer near you.

Earth Harbor LA SAL Mineralizing Soap Bar

Earth Harbor is a little different from the rest because it specifically focuses on oceanic life. This brand created products that are non-toxic and synthetic free.  Now that body bars are becoming popular again, I wanted to find something that did a great job cleansing without stripping the oils from your body. The bar is actually fragrance-free which I also like because I am not a huge fan of fragrances as I get older. Although it contains minerals, the bar is not as textured as you think. Overall, I am pleased with this product and will continue using it in the future. You can purchase Earth Harbor’s Mineralizing Soap Bar for $12 from their website.

I hope sharing these four brands will get you started if you are thinking about making the switch. My advice to you is to find small businesses, research their core values of the brand, and support them by purchasing directly from them. I believe this is where you are going to have more bang for your buck if you are looking to be more conscious when purchasing products. 

If there are any eco-friendly products that you use, let me know. I would love to check them out and give them some business.

Stay adventurous,

Natalie

Natalie’s Beauty Takeaway: Kristin Ess Hair Micellar Shampoo

Since July, I have been on a hair journey to have healthier, fuller hair. I used to wash my hair ever single day. Last June, I begin to notice my hair was dry, brittle, and frizzy. I also noticed the amount of hair I was losing when I was in the shower or when I brushed my hair. I was getting very concerned about what was going on. I began doing a little bit of research on how I can train my hair by reducing the amount of times I washed it. 

I started my journey on July 1st by washing my hair every other day. I would schedule the days I was washing my hair and took note of what my hair was doing on non-washing days in my agenda. Fast forward to January 2022, I am currently on Phase 2: washing every three days. 

This phase has been an interesting one, particularly during the winter time. There are days where my hair looks just as good as it did the day I washed it. On other days, my hair is super flat and oily. It’s been a rollercoaster for my scalp. I began watching YouTube videos and read articles about using a clarifying shampoo before using your regular one.

Why?

Clarifying shampoo is used to remove all the oils and impurities your regular shampoo may not get. I like to view this item as a reinforcement for cleansing. My issue with shampooing on day 3 was that my shampoo wouldn’t penetrate to the scalp because of the amount of oil buildup in my hair. Therefore I had to shampoo twice. I wasn’t a fan of shampooing twice because I was still using the same amount of product as I was in Phase 1. Something had to give.

I came across Kristin Ess Hair product line back in October when I was watching shampoo and conditioner reviews. Many Youtube influencers were giving her line a thumbs up. Last month, I visited her line of products at Ulta and decided to give it a try. Therefore, I picked up the Kristin Ess Hair Micellar Shampoo.

Who is Kristin Ess?

Kristin Ess is a celebrity hairstylist, colorist, and social media influencer. She is also the co-founder of http://www.thebeautydepartment.com. Kristin has over twenty-two years of experience as a top stylist and colorist. She is also an expert in providing insights on what products are needed to create beautiful hairstyles.

Why is Kristin Ess Hair so significant?

Kristin Ess Hair is known for luxury haircare and styling products that was affordable to everyone. Kristin wanted everyone to have the opportunity to create modern, perfectly-imperfect hair. Each product can be used either alone, with other products you use in your haircare routine, or combined with products in her haircare line.

What are the key ingredients?

I couldn’t find any key ingredients on the Kristin Ess Hair website. However, this is what I have found listed on both the website and the bottle. 

WATER, SODIUM LAUROYL METHYL ISETHIONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GLYCERIN, OLETH-5, FRAGRANCE, PHENOXYETHANOL, DISTEARETH-100 IPDI, SODIUM LAUROAMPHOACETATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, POTASSIUM SORBATE, POLYQUATERNIUM-7, PANTHENOL, TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, HYDROLYZED PEA PROTEIN, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, EQUISETUM HYEMALE LEAF/STEM EXTRACT, EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF EXTRACT, HYDROLYZED RICE PROTEIN, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) LEAF EXTRACT, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, ALGIN, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, CARRAGEENAN, CHITOSAN, COCO-GLUCOSIDE, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) FRUIT EXTRACT, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) EXTRACT, MANGIFERA INDICA (MANGO) SEED BUTTER, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO) OIL, RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR) SEED OIL, SORBITAN OLEATE, XANTHAN GUM.

Is it affordable?

Kristin Ess Hair Micellar Shampoo is affordable. You can find it for $12 on Amazon and other major retail stores.

Pros: 

-Kristin’s haircare line is cruelty-free, vegan, color & keratin safe, free of sulfates, paragons, phthalates, & silicones.

-The formulation is lightweight.

-The product has a very light scent.

The formulation is clear and lightweight.

Cons:

-The tip of the bottle is a little tricky because I couldn’t figure out whether I needed to twist the tip or pull up. 

-When applying directly on the scalp, it was difficult to know if any of the product did come out. There were times were I would just squeeze a small amount on my hand and then worked it on my scalp.

My Takeaway:

The micellar shampoo does a good job cleaning my scalp. I was impressed with how much life it gave my roots after a wash and a blow dry. However, I recommend flip flopping between this and your regular shampoo. I was using it first and then my shampoo for the second wash. Over time, I noticed my scalp was getting dry and itchy. I’m don’t want to say it is the main cause of my dry scalp though because we are in the middle of winter. I have been swapping back and forth for each wash and have noticed my scalp not as dry. This is something you would have to do trial and error on yourself. Just make sure you take note of any itchiness and flakiness.

If you are on a hair journey like me, I would recommend this product as you are extending your washing days past day 2. I was impressed based on the affordability and formulation of the product. I look forward to going back and trying out more Kristin Ess Hair products in the future. If you use any of her products, let me know in the comments what you think or if there is something you would like for me to review.

Stay adventurous,

Natalie

UpCircle Face Scrub Review

Last month, I did my first beauty review on the UpCircle Beauty Beauty Moisturizer. If you have not read that review, you can find it here. I really liked using their moisturizer so I thought I would buy their Coffee Face Scrub. I am a fan of facial scrubs because my face can get dry and uneven. I wanted to purchase a product that didn’t have harsh chemicals, but was able to do its job.

I bought the product right before they changed their packaging. Before they moved to the glass jar, UpCircle used a recyclable aluminum tube to package the product. I also purchased the metal key to roll the tube down. Rolling the tube with the key was a pain because the key wanted to fall off the tube. I can understand why UpCircle moved to a better alternative.

Before I give you my takeaway, let’s go over some information about the company and product.

Who is UpCircle?

UpCircle was created by two siblings who live in London, England. They realized local coffee shops were throwing out used coffee grounds. Starting in 2015, the siblings began collecting the used coffee grounds from one coffee shop. Today, they collect used coffee grounds from hundreds of local coffee shops in London.

Why is UpCircle so significant?

UpCircle’s goal is to create sustainability while providing a natural skincare line that does not harm your skin while not breaking the bank. Their coffee grounds are reused in their skincare line. If you’ve never used UpCircle, you’re probably thinking that it is super weird and very DIY. I thought of the same thing when I discovered the company. However the coffee grounds buff away the dead skin cells while the shea butter mixed with the coffee grounds provide nourishment in the skin.

What are the key ingredients?

There are a few options you can choose from based on your skin concerns. I picked up the Coffee Face Scrub for Acne.

Other than coffee grounds, the key ingredients include:

Rosemary- antibacterial and antiseptic for whiteheads and blackheads.

Thyme- contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight against breakouts.

Tea Tree oil- anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that treat acne-prone skin.

UpCircle Face Scrub is made up used coffee grounds from local coffee shops in London. How neat is that?

Is it affordable?

Unlike some skincare lines, UpCircle is affordable. You can buy a 3.5 ounce jar of moisturizer for $20 in the United States.

Pros: 

-All the ingredients are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

-The packaging, including the lid, is recyclable.

-UpCircle is affordable.

-The scrub feels like an actual scrub. It isn’t watery nor creamy when it comes out of the tube.

Cons:

-The smell is an acquired smell. In the beginning, the strong fragrance of rosemary and thyme was very over powering.Over time, I got used to the smell.

-The initial formulation was very watery if I didn’t shake the tube before use. Once the tube was shook, then the formulation was fine. I am hoping this isn’t the case anymore in the jar.

-The tube key was a pain to use, especially in the beginning when the tube wasn’t fully rolled. It was a neat accessory, but It the function wasn’t all there.

-Right after using the scrub, I noticed it left an oily film on my face. I had to use my face cleanser to take it off.

My Takeaway:

Overall, my skin was softer and more even. I wasn’t a fan of the heavy, oily film on my face post-scrub because my face gets oily enough throughout the day. Using a cleanser afterwards does help if you aren’t a fan of the oily film. The smell was hard to get used to because of the strong scents from rosemary and thyme. If you’re sensitive to fragrance, I would recommend using a very small amount on your face until you get used to it. For $20, I would recommend this product for those who want a natural face scrub that doesn’t feel like plastic and drying to the skin. Since it has done the job for my skin and I’m used to the scent, I would buy this product again.

Interested?

You can order the facial scrub from the UpCircle Beauty website.Want a discount? Use the code provided and receive $10 off on your order when you spend a minimum of $15. 

I hope you enjoy this product. It is nice to get out of my comfort zone and try a face scrub that is beneficial to my skin and the environment. Although there were some cons to this product, I would like to give this product another try because UpCircle has made some improvements on their products since I last purchased from them. If you try this product or you have tried it, let me know your thoughts!

Stay adventurous,

Natalie

January Beauty Review: Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Shampoo & Conditioner Set

As a hunter, I struggle finding hunting related shampoo and conditioner sets because quite frankly, it is nearly non-existent. In big box stores, you find the all-in-one shampoo and body wash. There’s maybe one or two brands out there who sell shampoo and conditioner sets for women, but they are usually out of stock. 

I decided to take the leap and look for fragrance-free. It’s basically the same principle, right? I began searching for brands that offer fragrance-free while being conscious about the ingredients for the sake of my fine hair. I came across Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Shampoo and Conditioner.

NOTE: This review is a little different because this review is also for those who are looking for fragrance free shampoo and conditioner for hunting season. However, if you are interested in finding fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner sets because you’re sensitive to fragrance or you are looking for a more natural shampoo and conditioner set.

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind
Shampoo & Conditioner Set

Who is Briogeo?

Briogeo Hair Care was founded by Nancy Twine. Twine was inspired by her grandmother, a resident beauty guru who was well known for her homemade hair care in a West Virginia town (How cool is that?). She later traded out her homemade essentials for store-bought when she moved to New York City. Twine realized that the natural hair care market simply didn’t live up to its claims. Therefore, she collaborated with a natural chemist team and her grandmother’s beauty recipes and created Briogeo Hair Care.

Why are they significant?

According to Twine, “We should treat our hair the same way we treat our skin; by nurturing it with ingredients that detoxify, hydrate, and protect.”

Briogeo is inspired by individuality, positivity, and transparency. They create regimens that support the issues we all have with our hair. They think about repair, volume, and curl care and give you the products that support these things. Their products do not contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates, silicones, paragons, phthalates, DEA, and synthetic color. Each product includes an exact percentage of ingredients and its source.

SOURCE:

https://briogeohair.com/pages/our-story

What are the key ingredients?

The following key ingredients are found in both the shampoo and conditioner.

Aloe Vera: provides anti-inflammatory benefits

-Oat Milk: rich in omega-6 fatty acids and provides nourishment and moisture

-Green Tea Extract: Antioxidant 

-Meadowfoam Seed Oil: hydrates and maintains moisture for the hair.

SOURCES:

https://briogeohair.com/collections/be-gentle-be-kind/products/be-gentle-be-kind-aloe-oat-milk-ultra-soothing-shampoo

https://briogeohair.com/products/be-gentle-be-kind-aloe-oat-milk-ultra-soothing-conditioner

Is it affordable?

The shampoo and conditioner is a little pricey. For the set, it will cost you around $52 ($26 a piece). However, if you sign up for a subscription, you would be paying $23.40 (10% off). 

Pros:

-Conditioner formulation: I really like how creamy the conditioner is. It wasn’t a chore massaging it on the ends of my hair.

-Less frizz: After using the set during hunting season, I noticed I had less frizz in my hair after I blow dry it. I’m not sure whether it is due to the lack of fragrance or if it is the ingredients in the formula.

Cons:

-Shampoo formulation: I felt like the formulation was a little watery. I felt like I needed a bigger amount in order for my scalp to feel clean. 

-More tangles from the shampoo: I had a little more tangles after using the shampoo. Whenever I applied the conditioner, I had to use a little more of it and be gentle when working the conditioner in my hair.

My Takeaway:

Scent-free, manageable hair

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Shampoo and Conditioner met the expectations of being fragrance free. Initially, it took a couple of washes for the fragrance to come out. I was pleased with the outcome during hunting season. If it wasn’t for the price, I could switch over to using this on a regular basis. I look forward to trying out their other products in the future.

If you are interested in trying Brigeo, you can click on the link below and receive 10% off when you spend $40 or more.

http://rwrd.io/fhhyek9 

Stay adventurous,

Natalie Paige

CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser

I have had acne since I was 12. At 31 years old, I still fight with acne and blackheads. For many years, I tried everything and anything under the sun to clear and maintain the breakouts. Everything from DIY to drugstore to high end products to prescriptions. I wish I had recorded the amount of money I had spent on these acne products over the years. I’m sure it would have been enough to buy a new car.

My go-to product was a drugstore product (they will remain anonymous because I am not here to bash products). I was a longtime brand loyalist because I felt it did its job to the best of its ability. The issues I had with it were lingering blackheads and post wash tight skin. I used it for so long without even thinking of looking for another drugstore brand. When you get older, change is not your forte. 

It was time for me to bite the bullet and look for another cleanser. My initial requirement was for the cleanser to be a daily scrub. That is what I was used to using on my face because I felt like it was taking care of the blackheads. Unfortunately, I was just lying to myself. The daily scrub was NOT taking care of the blackhead issues.

I came across CeraVe’s new line of products. I tried their moisturizers before, but never the cleansers. I thought to myself, “It’s not going to hurt to give this a try.” Therefore, I purchased their <a href="http://<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/CeraVe-Treatment-Salicylic-Purifying-Blackhead/dp/B097WFJ5H2/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=cerave+acne+foaming+cream+cleanser&qid=1641844947&s=books&sprefix=cera+ve+ac%252Cstripbooks%252C99&sr=1-2&_encoding=UTF8&tag=arrowsxadvent-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=edd30302044e7d2d77eca68f4719d620&camp=1789&creative=9325">CeraVe Acne Control CleanserCeraVe Acne Control Cleanser. Before I give you my takeaway of the product, I want to review some information about the product and why it stands out from all the products I tried. I also linked the sources if you would like to read more information about the product.

Source: CeraVe website

Why is CeraVe so significant?

Owned by L’Oreal, CeraVe was developed by a group of scientists who noticed a common issue with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin: a compromised skin barrier. Scientists created a formulation that contained three essential ceramides, fatty acids, and hyaluronic acid to restore the skin barrier issue. These ingredients would also maintain long-term moisture for the skin after it has been applied. (Source: https://www.loreal.com/en/active-cosmetics-division/cerave/).

What are the key ingredients?

-Salicylic acid 2%: loosens the “glue” that holds the skin cells together. By loosening the glue, it allows the dead skin cells to shed away and reveal new skin cells. As a result, it reduces clogged pores and minimizes acne. 

Source: https://www.cerave.com/ingredients-in-cerave/salicylic-acid

-Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): soothes and restores the skin moisture barrier after it is “stripped” by the salicylic acid. It also reduces skin dehydration and visible effects of environmental damage. This ingredient promotes healthier and more radiant skin.

Source: https://www.cerave.com/ingredients-in-cerave/niacinamide

-Ceramides: Our skin contains natural ceramides which are lipids that make up 50% of the skin composition. These lipids work together to form a “glue” to hold the skin cells together. This “glue” seals moisture in and keeps impurities out.

Source: https://www.cerave.com/about-cerave/the-ceramides-difference

Is it affordable?

CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser is pricier than the product I used to use, but it does not break the bank. You can find it at your major big box stores such as Walmart, Target, Ulta. Depending on where you shop for your skincare products, it will cost you between $11.99-14.99. 

Pros:

-Formulation: I was surprised by the formulation of this cleanser. The product comes out like a gel and converts into a foamy cleanser once water is applied. It does not take a lot of product for my face to be clean.

Before water is applied to the cleanser.

-Fragrance-free: I have used a lot of facial cleansers that contain fragrance. As I get older, I noticed how sensitive my skin is to fragrance (aka essential oils). I am at the age where I do not care if my cleanser smells like roses. I just want my cleanser to do its job.

Cons:

-If you use too much product, it will be extra foamy. I’m sure this is just me, but all that extra foam leads to a mess on my arms and sometimes my bathroom counter. 

-Post-wash feel: Although it has ceramides in the product, I have noticed my skin feels a little tight after I wash it. Of course, keep in mind this may occur if serums and moisturizers are not applied right away.

My Takeaway:

I have been using CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser since October. I am quite surprised with how well it’s cleared my face. I wish I had a picture of my nose before I began using this product. The pores on my nose were severely clogged and uneven. Since using this cleanser, most of my pores are clear and even again. It has also maintained my acne breakouts. The only downfall I have with this cleanser is the post wash feel, but I know I can take care of the issue by applying my serums and moisturizers right after I wash my face.

I would recommend this product to anyone who suffers with mild acne. It’s affordable and gentle on your face. CeraVe is like no other product I have used in the past, drugstore and prescription. Although these breakthroughs take time, I wish this cleanser was available years ago because I am curious to know how well it would have taken care of my teenage acne. 

If you have tried this product, please let me know what you think. I’m curious. If there is a product you would like for me to try let me know and I will check it out!

Stay adventurous,

Natalie Paige

December’s Beauty Spotlight: UpCircle Beauty Moisturizer

Hey everyone!

For the last couple of months, I decided to take on the journey by being more conscious of the products I buy. I look for products that contain more natural products and sustainable packaging. As I’m getting older, I’m becoming more aware of how certain ingredients affect my well-being.

UpCircle is my very first beauty review. I wanted to share this product with readers because it is coming up in the mainstream beauty world. At first it was available on their UpCircle website , but it is now available at ULTA. Before I share my takeaway, I want to give you some background information on the product and makers behind the scenes.

Who is UpCircle?

UpCircle was created by two siblings from London, England who found out local coffee shops were throwing out coffee grounds once they were finished making coffee for their customers. The siblings began collecting the used coffee grounds from one coffee shop in 2015. Today, they collect used coffee grounds from hundreds of local coffee shops in London.

Why is UpCircle so significant?

UpCircle Face Moisturizer

The used coffee grounds are reused in their skincare line. At first, you’re probably thinking that is super weird (I thought the same thing.). However, the coffee grounds in the moisturizer are not recognizable. The grounds do provide a light scent mixed with the ground argan shells, but it is not overbearing. UpCircle’s goal is to create sustainability while providing a natural skincare line that does not harm your skin while not breaking the bank.

What are the key ingredients?

The key ingredients include:

Ground Argan Shells-rich with Vitamin E

Cocoa Butter– hydrates and nourishes; improves skin elasticity.

Sage Oil– eliminates toxins, diminishes appearance of blemishes, relieves skin irritation.

Linseed Oil-reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Aloe Vera– moisturizes and reduces appearances of uneven skin tone.

Blood Orange– fights inflammation.

Is it affordable?

Unlike some skincare lines, UpCircle is affordable. You can buy a 1.7 ounce jar of moisturizer for $24 in the United States.

Pros: 

-All the ingredients are all natural.

The formulation isn’t too heavy nor watery. 

-I love the packaging. The orange tinted glass and metal lid gave it a vintage feel with a modern twist.

-UpCircle is affordable.

Source: UpCircle Beauty website

Cons:

– When I read the reviews, consumers loved the smell. When I first used it, I thought it smelled very musty. When I looked into it, I realized that there are no essential oils in the moisturizer. The smell does take some time to get used to because I am used to the essential oils used in other products. Over time, I became used to the scent.

My Takeaway:

After using the entire jar, I noticed my skin was softer. I also noticed that there were a few uneven tones on my cheeks. I have noticed a small difference in improving fine lines and wrinkles, although I’m sure it could take longer than a month to notice a significant difference. Although the smell threw me off in the beginning, it no longer bothers me when I apply it to my skin. For $24, this moisturizer is worth the money. 

Interested?

You can order from UpCircle Beauty website or buy from your nearest Ulta store. Want a discount? You can the link provided and receive $10 off on your order when you spend a minimum of $15. 

I hope you enjoy this product as much as I do. It is nice to get out of my comfort zone and try something that is beneficial to my skin and the environment. If you try this product or you have tried it, let me know your thoughts!

Stay adventurous,

Natalie Paige