Summer '14 Natural Beauty Product Hits & Misses

pr sample

Watch my video to see the natural beauty products that were hits and misses for me this summer!

Products mentioned:
Giovanni Moisture Shave
Preserve Razors
Jason Sea Fresh toothpaste
Clear Conscience Multi-Purpose Solution
JustNatural Peppermint Natural Foot Lotion
L’oreal top coat
EcoTools Kabuki Set
Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in blush
Physician's Formula Organic Wear CC Cream
Physician's Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara
Sante Eyebrow Pencil
Alima Pure Satin Matte Eyeliner
Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap
Vanicream Shave Cream for Sensitive Skin
100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream
Kiss My Face Under Age Ultra Hydrating Moisturizer
Tom’s toothpaste
Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Some products mentioned in this video were sent by the company or the company’s PR group. All opinions are my own. PR companies never receive preferential treatment. For my full disclosure, click here.


Natural Deodorants Stink...Literally

Since switching to all natural products, I have had the worst time trying to find a deodorant that works. I have now tried 6 different types and have been struggling!

My problem is I'm stinky but not sweaty. Apparently finding a deodorant that helps with stanky ass pits but doesn't irritate them is like finding a needle in a haystack. I thought I would go over the ones I have used in hopes this helps other people with similar body chemistry. If anything, I am learning which types of formulations don't work for me.

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick, $5.99 drugstores: This was the first natural deodorant I tried because there were hundreds of great reviews. It's a mineral salt based product that you dampen and work into the pits. Unfortunately, this did not work for me whatsoever. It was painful to apply and I smelled horrific within 30 minutes to an hour. I did a full review of it here. EWG rating: 1 (low hazard) GoodGuide health rating: 10 (best)

Crystal Body Deodorant Roll-On, $4 drugstores: I picked this up after the Crystal stick because I thought if I was able to apply more product, it may work better. Well, I was wrong. It was just as bad as the stick. I have a full review here. EWG rating: 1 (low hazard) GoodGuide health rating: 10 (best)

DIY Formula: I found several recipes for deodorant. The one I had been using was 4 tablespoons each of coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch with 4 drops of essential oil. In terms of stank repellant, it was amazing. It was actually better than the clinical strength ones I used to use. Unfortunately, it irritated the hell out of my pits. They were red and itchy. It's also difficult to travel with because it melts easily. I have a friend testing it and she loves it. She's had no reactions to it. EWG rating: 0 (low hazard)

Dr. Mist Deodorant Body Hygiene Spray Fragrance Free, $6.99 drugstore.com: After my pits were throughly irritated by my DIY formula, I bought this. Again, the reviews were good. Plus, it had won a Geneva award for invention and innovation. This is another mineral salt based formulation but you spray it on. Similar to the Crystal roll-on, it took forever to dry. Within 30 minutes, I smelled like a barnyard. After three tries with these types of deodorants, I learned that my body chemistry does not agree with mineral salt based formulations. EWG rating: 2 (low hazard)

Jason Purifying Tea Tree Deodorant, $5.99 drugstores: Since the DIY formula worked with my stank, I thought the Jason may work because it had similar ingredients. Yeah, I was wrong again. It lasted much longer than the salt formulas but I had to reapply 3 or more times per day. Plus, it was very sticky. It didn't irritate my pits, though. It also doesn't rate well either, which is a bummer. EWG rating: 4 (moderate hazard) GoodGuide health rating: 5 (average)

After failures with two more store bought deos, I made the DIY one again but reduced the baking soda and corn starch by half. I also added more tea tree oil. It didn't irritate but I was smelly again!! I ended up going back to a chemical laden clinical formula.

If y'all can help a lady out, I would really appreciate it. Please leave me your recommendations! By the way, Lavanila is often recommended but I won't go for it because it does not rate as well on EWG (4, moderate hazard) or GoodGuide (6, above average) as I prefer (btw those are exact the same ratings Secret Clinical Strength has).



How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WalgreensBeauty #CollectiveBias

There are two things I love to indulge in: pedicures and massages. For my summer beauty routine, I find it important to keep my feet sandal ready. I go for a pedicure about once a month but the price adds up quickly! To save some cash, I decided I needed I needed to do a little at home pampering in-between pedis. I found, at Walgreens, the Studio 35 Manicure and Pedicure kit which includes all your needed tools for an at home pedi.

Walgreens carries an array of products to help you with your nail care needs. Their Studio 35 line has kits, pumices and buffers. The line is a bit less expensive than the brand names, which is another win for me. My entire mani/pedi kit was less than $10!

Walgreens is also offering a free gift with purchase until 8/30/14. If you spend $20 on beauty or personal care (excluding baby) you can get a free travel sized brush kit. To get the coupon, click here.

In addition to my pedi kit, I picked up a new Essie polish and L'oreal topcoat.

What you need:
  • A pedicure kit with tools. I like the Studio 35 kit because it has a file, buffer, cuticle pusher, scissors, brush and clippers.
  • A large bowl or tote to soak feet in
  • Towel
  • Polish remover and cotton balls
  • Polish and topcoat
  • Optional: bath bomb or essentials oils, pumice, lotion and/or kettle full of hot water

How to get your pedi on:
  • Start by removing any polish from your toes
  • Fill up a bowl with warm-hot water. Place a bath bomb or essentials oils in the water. If you want to keep the temp warm, have a kettle full of hot water nearby to periodically add in (without your feet in of course, you don't want to burn yourself!!).
  • Soak your feet for 5 minutes

  • Dry one foot and let the other continue to soak
  • Use the the brush to clean off your nails and foot
  • Clip nails to your desired length
  • File and buff
  • Push your cuticles back
  • Use the cuticle remover to carefully remove any dead skin around your nails
  • Place your foot back in the water and repeat the process on your other foot
  • Place both feet in the water and use a pumice stone on dry patches
  • Dry your feet and slather with lotion.
  • Finish with the polish of your choice!

A couple of tips:

  • Only file nails in one direction, otherwise you risk damaging nails.
  • Do not remove your cuticles!!! This is not good for your hands or feet, as cuticles protect your nails!
  • When buffing, use circular motions and only 1-2 swirls max. Again, too much buffing can damage the nail.
  • If you have the tendency to get polish on the skin, slap a little petroleum jelly or thick lotion on the skin around the nails. This will keeps the oops at a minimum.

What are your favorite pedi products?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Collective Bias and I received monetary compensation for writing this post. All opinions are my own. For my full disclosure, click here.


Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner Review

When I first began switching to natural products, I was lured into Josie Maran. I had not used the brand but had read great things. I had been using the Blinc Eyeliner Pen to death, so I knew I needed  clean alternative to it. I picked up Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner in hopes it wold be a good alternative. 

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

The liner runs $22 and is available at Sephora or online. It's only available in one shade-ink. Here's a little on what the packaging claims:

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Ingredients: Water, Butylene glycol, Beheneth-30, Ammonium acrylates copolymer, Sodium polyaspartate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil,Phenoxyethanol, Pentylene glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Aminomethyl propanol, Sodium dehydroacetate, Iron oxides, Ferric ammonium ferrocyanide, Titanium dioxide

I could not find an EWG rating for this one but GoodGuide gave it a health rating of 4 (here's a link to the report). A 4 is below average. This is a perfect example of one of those products I picked up before knowing about rating websites. The box has wonderful claims that lead one to believe it's clean but in all reality, it's not.

The liner itself comes with a thin applicator and the color is grayish-black. As I used it more, it became darker.

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner

Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner


  • very easy to use, packaging wasn't too bulky to create lines
  • very thin and precise applicator
  • pigmented
  • able to make it throughout the day without fading or smudging
  • good alternative to the Blinc liner I loved


  • It's not actually a clean product
  • The color was not what I was expecting, I prefer a deep black

I have been a fan of this liner because I am able to create precise lines with ease. Plus, it lasts throughout the day. With some layering, I can get it to a deeper shade but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I tend to pull this out on days when I want a softer eye look. Having said that, I really wish the ingredients were cleaner. Once it's out, I don't plan on buying it again solely due to the ingredients. 

What's your favorite clean eyeliner?

xo, arielle


Walk Your Way to Savings with Walgreens #BalanceRewards

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

Throughout my week I try to stay as active as possible and make healthy choices. I don't think going to the gym everyday is the only way to stay active. If all else fails, I think walking is an excellent option. I have found, personally, it's a great way to clear my mind. Plus, I have times when I know I can't make it to the gym but I know I can slip in a walk over my lunch hour.

Every morning, I wake up early and take my pup for a quick jaunt. She loves it and it's a great way to start off my day.

For my lunch walks, I was lucky because my office was near our local river walkway and the historic district. I loved taking a relaxing walk around these areas. It recharged me while I burned some calories!

My new office has treadmills, which I plan to use. I've also seen people walk around office buildings or up and down flights of stairs to get a workout in. Find what works for you and make the effort to fit it in!

Since I have a lot of ways I try to stay fit and make healthy choices, I use severals apps to keep track. There's everything out there from calorie counting, pedometers and mapping. Little did I know, there was a way to track my healthy choices to earn rewards!

I recently discovered that Walgreens Balance Rewards program offers an app called BR for healthy choices. Walgreens Balance Rewards is a program where you rack up points to earn rewards. For every 10,000 points, you get a $5 coupon to use at Walgreens. With the BR for healthy choices, you can track all kinds of healthy choices such as steps, running, sleep or even blood pressure. You also earn points for setting goals for yourself.

I recently downloaded the app to check it out for myself. I had already been using Walgreens Balance Rewards, so I was excited to have another way to earn coupons through the program.

To join the program, first set up a Balance Rewards account, if you don't already have one. Then, download the Walgreens app and select the BR for healthy choices option. If you want to access it online, login to your account, select health services & info tab then Balance Reward for healthy choices.

Once you earn your points, you can go to Walgreens and use your Balance Rewards coupon! I stopped by my Walgreens to pick up some protein bars.

Have you used the BR for healthy choices app?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Collective Bias and I received monetary compensation for writing this post. All opinions are my own. For my full disclosure, click here.
Blogging tips