For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Be My (Conscious) Valentine?

Valentines day is right around the corner and while giving gifts is fun, giving socially conscious gifts is MORE fun. Here are a few twists on the typical chocolate and flowers. All of the products below are socially conscious in a variety of different ways and are sure to make the guy or girl in your life happy.

Chocolate:

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To me chocolate is great any time of day, month, year, etc., but chocolate on Valentine’s Day is always a little extra special. It’s a great time to splurge on a pricy piece of chocolate that you normally might not gravitate to for your daily (or weekly/monthly/not at all if you have a better self control than I do). I love the Endangered Species Chocolate bars, which are in fact not made out of endangered species, but give 10% of profits to endangered species organizations. My favorites are the dark chocolate with espresso beans and dark chocolate with peppermint crunch. You can find this brand at a variety of grocery stores, but if you can’t find this particular brand, Whole Foods usually has a decent selection of socially conscious chocolate.

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This next one is a type of chocolate you might not want to eat. This Too Faced eye shadow palette is made with cocoa powder so it smells delicious. The soft texture, high pigmentation, variety of neutrals and statement colors, and the oh so delicious chocolate scent make this palette something special. Another thing that makes it special is because Too Faced is a cruelty free brand.

Flowers:

Before starting my blog I would have never thought to look into the flower industry’s effect on the environment. But with the upcoming holiday, the idea popped into my head and I started to do a little research. Did you know that 80% of cut flowers sold in the U.S. are imported? Between transportation costs and the pesticide usage, there are plenty of reasons to look into flower alternatives. Luckily there are some alternatives:

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  1. To ensure your flowers are local, stop by a farmers market. You’ll be supporting local business too.
  2. Order flowers from a USDA certified organic companies such as: OrganicBouquets.com, LocalHarvest.org, or Veriflora.com.
  3. Not into flowers? Buy some herbs! A potted herb is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s nothing like having fresh herbs for cooking. So convenient and so tasty.

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Leave your plans in the comments below!

 

 

 


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2015 Gift Guide for Makeup Lovers

The holiday season is upon us and that means the gift buying, wrapping, giving, and receiving is in full swing! I’ve picked out some of the chicest, trendiest, and luxurious products that are sure to satisfy everyone’s holiday fix. All the products below are great for both beauty gurus and beginners.

For an added bonus, all of the products I’ve picked out are cruelty free. Avoiding products that are tested on animals is very important to me and while I understand that it isn’t the most convenient way to shop, I wanted to show you that you don’t need to sacrifice quality for consciousness. I’ve done all of the research for you and all of my picks are from great brands that are committed to keeping their products cruelty free. If you’re interested in checking to see if your favorite brands are cruelty free, you can use this searchable database from PETA.

Whether these items spark your own interest or give you inspiration for gifts to give to loved ones, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

2015 makeup gift guide

1. Highlight and Contour Pro Palette by NYX Cosmetics: Contour palettes are all the rage in the beauty community. This one by NYX is high quality, but also affordable.

2. Tartlette 2 In Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette by Tarte: This palette has everything you need for the perfect smokey eye. The buttery smooth eyeshadows come in a mixture of colors and finishes (matte and shimmer), which make it a great buy.

3. Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Champagne Pop) by BECCA: Add a natural glow to the holiday season with this bright highlighter. It works as a cheek highlight, eyeshadow, and you can even mix a little into your lipgloss for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

4. Jasmine Body Oil by Herbivore Botanicals: This plant based oil packs a luxuriously hydrating punch and smells amazing!

5. Lip Exfoliator by e.l.f.: Exfoliating can be a messy process, but not with this lip exfoliator. It is compact, very easy to use, and gets the job done.

6. Agave Lip Mask by Bite Beauty: I love Bite Beauty because they vow to make all of their beauty products safe enough to eat. And while I don’t recommend eating this stuff straight from the tube… I do recommend sleeping with this on your lips so you wake with a soft pout.

7. Oval 7 Brush by Artis: This new brush’s odd shape isn’t just for show. The curved handle mimics your hand and helps to evenly distribute and blend out products for a flawless finish.

8. Glitz & Glam Nail Lacquer Collection: This four piece set is the perfect way to prepare for New Years. The three pastel colors pair perfectly with the glittery gold polish for some blinged out, New Years nails. This nail set is also 5-free, which means it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

9. Butter Gloss by NYX Cosmetics: These glosses are extremely hydrating and the color is very subtle. I love pairing them overtop a lipstick or wearing it alone for a little extra touch when I’m wearing minimal makeup.

10. Clay Mask (Green) by Fig and Yarrow: Aside from a day at the spa, there are few things that are as luxurious as a good face mask. This all natural, detoxifying mask from Fig and Yarrow works on all skin types.

11. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D: Along with contour palettes, liquid lipsticks are taking the beauty industry by storm. This version by Kat Von D is highly pigmented and lasts on your lips for hours (aka it won’t smudge during your New Years kiss *wink wink*).

12. Blush Palette by e.l.f.: This four piece palette holds a variety of extremely pigmented blushes that are perfect for mixing to create your own signature shade.

I hope this gift guide has given you some inspiration and gotten you excited to go shopping. Are there any beauty buys you’re currently obsessed with? Leave your favorites in the comments below!


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Holding on to Summer, While Fall is Right Around the Corner: How to Subtly Transition Your Makeup Look

I will start by saying, I’m not the kind of girl who counts down the days till flannels, boots, and pumpkin spice lattes. I hold onto summer for as long as possible. So while everyone bid farewell to summer over Labor Day weekend, I (un)kindly reminded everyone that summer is NOT over. Summer doesn’t end until September 23rd at sunset. That means there is still an entire week left!

I also understand that it’s exciting to embrace the fashion and makeup trends that go along with colder weather, but because flannel and vampy lipstick look a little out of place while the weather is still hot and the leaves are green, I prefer to very slowly ease my way into fall. If you’re interested in easing along with me, I have gathered a list of beauty products from cruelty free brands that will help you hold on to summer a little bit longer and make your transition a little less… dramatic.

Fall Glow: Too Faced Matte Bronzer
Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer

Saying good bye to summer usually means saying good bye to sun kissed skin. Luckily there is bronzer. Transitioning your bronzer look from summer to fall is simple. Instead of shimmery shades, opt for a matte finish to tone it down and create a more natural glow.  I recommend the Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer from Too Faced. Not only is the formula creamy and blendable, it smells like chocolate. I repeat: it smells like CHOCOLATE.

Avoiding Chapped Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Reason #85,490,283 why I love summer: no chapped lips. I understand it can still happen, but with the summer warmth and humidity I rarely reach for my chapstick. That is until last week when temperatures dropped and I had my first near chapped lips experience. It was an unwelcome reminder that cold, dry weather is on its way. So in order to keep lips moist as the weather get dry, try the Bite Beauty Lip Mask. It is made with nourishing ingredients such as: organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, and vanilla extract. Apply it before you go to bed for an overnight boost of hydration.

Subtle Vampy Lips: Lipstick Queen (Hello Sailor, Bete Noire Possessed, Medieval)

Lipstick Queen

This fall lips are all about dramatic colors like fire red and almost black plum and burgundy. And while it’s fun to paint on a dramatic lip and pretend you’re a vampire for a day, it’s hard to get into character when you’re trying to soak up the very last bit of summer sun. So instead of using rich, opaque lipstick, try using sheer versions of trendy colors. These three shades from Lipstick Queen not only provide just the right amount of sheer color, but also contain Vitamin E for a super silky feel. For a pinch of plum try Hello Sailor. It may look blue, but the shade work in conjuncture with the pink in your lips leaving a pleasant purple tint. For a bit of a blackberry tint, try Bete Noire Possessed. And for a flattering dash of red, give Medieval a try.

Beachy Waves: Herbivore Sea Mist Texurizing Salt Spray

Herbivore Sea Mist

Messy waves are always in style. But that I-just-went-to-the-beach look is kind of hard to get when it’s too cold to go to the beach. Enter the Herbivore Texurizing Sea Mist. It is made with the same salinity as the ocean and unlike a lot of sea salt sprays, this one doesn’t dry out your hair. It contains aloe vera which leaves hair soft and with just the right about of texture to style natural waves. Bonus: the spray is made of simple, all natural ingredients. Double bonus: you can also use it as a refreshing skin mist and/or toner.

Darker Nails: Zoya (Ryan, Genevieve, Giada, Hannah)

Zoya Fall Nails

The simplest way to transition you nails into fall is to take you favorite summer color and pick a darker version. This summer was all about pops of blue, gray, and mauve. So to take those colors into fall think navy, steel gray, and rich purple. Not feeling any of those colors? A basic fire red is a fall staple that’s bright enough to still feel a little summery. The shades I picked out are from Zoya, which have the added bonus of being 5 free (do not contain: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene, camphor, and formaldehyde resin).

In the comments below, let me know how you plan to switch up your makeup routine and what fall trends you can’t wait to embrace.


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 9.11.15

1. A story from 9/11 that you don’t often hear. I can’t believe it took me years to learn about this.

2. A fisherman saves a whale.

3. Beautiful moments.

4. Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company just Honest Beauty on Wednesday, which sells makeup and skincare products. I can’t wait to get my hands on a few items! Comment down below if you’d like a product review on my blog.


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 7.31.15

1. I usually stop at nothing to get the last drop of whatever remains get stuck in a bottle. So this is pretty much a dream come true. The environmental impacts are pretty cool too.

2. Another… unique invention to help the environment by cutting down shower time. 

3. Say hello to the conscious version of Sephora. And excuse me while a make a few purchases…


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Green Your Routine

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Although Earth Day is a great reminder of the beautiful planet we live on, I think Earth Day is something that should be celebrated everyday. So I have complied a list of three everyday items that you can incorporate into your daily routine to decrease your environmental footprint. It’s that simple. Let’s get started.

Phone RoutinePhone Earth Day

Solar energy is responsible for creating approximately .5% of U.S electricity. So why not replace .5% of your electricity usage by charging your cell phone with a solar powered charger. Simple enough, right? There are quite a few on the market if you google “solar power phone charger”, but I personally love this ultra fashionable Henri Bendel one. Now I know exactly what some of you are thinking: “but Annie, I charge my phone at night”. I can totally understand that. I’m one of those people too. Instead you can use this hand-powered charger and get a little bicep workout in while you charge your phone. Depending on how often you use your phone, these items may not fully replace your current phone charging routine, but they’re a start. Also I think either of these would come in handy while traveling because 1) You don’t have to fight at the airport for an outlet and 2) Traveling to a foreign country and forgot a converter? No problemo, muchacho.

Bag RoutineBags Earth Day

Snack bag. Grocery bags. Dog poop bags… Disposable bags are used in daily situations and while they may be super convenient, they’re not super great for the environment. So in order to green your bag routine, try swapping disposable bags for more eco-friendly options. For instance did you know that 20 million sandwich bags end up in our landfills… a day!!! Bleh! Check out these reusable sandwich/snack/anything bags and you will no longer be part of the 20 million. Other bags you can switch out are plastic grocery bags for these super cool market bags. Make grocery shopping chic. And lastly dog poop bags.  It’s a sin these days if you don’t pick up after your dog. But instead of using just any old bag, use these instead. It won’t make picking up poop any easier, but it’ll be better for the environment.

Beauty RoutineEarth Day Zoya

And lastly, green your beauty routine. I wrote about Zoya in a post last week. Zoya is very passionate about keeping harmful chemicals out of their nail polishes and it’s no surprise that they are also very passionate about keeping chemicals out of the environment.  In honor of Earth Day and for a limited time only, Zoya is offering to give you free nail polish! Sounds too good to be true, right? But it is true! All you have to do is send in old bottles of nail polish (from any brand) and they will send you new bottles of Zoya. For free. Zoya will dispose of your old polishes in an environmentally friendly way. Definitely beats throwing them in the trash. You can check out more details here.

How do you plan to green you routine? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below! And if you still need some more inspiration, check out last year’s post: 7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day.


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Zoya Oh Boya!

I first heard about Zoya from my friend and nail enthusiast extraordinaire, Becky. Before she came across Zoya on Instagram, Becky was a die-hard Essie girl. She has accumulated 40 bottles of Essie polish, but it only took one bottle of Zoya to convert her. So when she told me it was the best polish she’s ever used AND they’re made without harmful chemicals, I knew I had to see for myself if this was too good to be true. IMG_1574
Zoya began in 1986 and revolutionized the nail industry by creating polishes that were free of toxin ingredients. All of their polishes are “five free”, which means that are made without: toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP. So what’s so bad about these chemicals? I’ll give you the rundown.

Toluene: When breathed in, this chemical can be harmful to your nervous system and can cause light-headedness and nausea. I already struggle to paint with my left hand so I don’t need any light-headedness to make it that much harder.

Camphor: In high doses this chemical can cause seizures. It also acts as a seal on your nails that deprives them of nutrients and can cause yellow staining. Definitely not something you want in your nail polish.

Formaldehyde- This is the stuff that’s used to preserve and embalm dead animals and humans. If that hasn’t turned you off, formaldehyde is also a carcinogen.

Formaldehyde Resin- This is derived from formaldehyde, and although it isn’t as toxic, it can trigger skin allergies and irritation.

DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)- In 2006, companies began eliminating DBP from nail polishes because it is a suspected teratogen (causes birth defects). It is banned from children’s toys and should probably be left out of nail polish too!

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So after doing some research about Zoya, I bought a few (ok a lot of) bottles to try out. A couple weeks ago there was a buy one get one free sale and I took FULL advantage of it. They have a huge color selection so picking out a few favorites was definitely a challenge. A tip Becky taught me for buying nail polish online is to do an image search of the polish to see what it looks like painted on someone’s nails. When my products arrived, the first color I tried out is called Pinta and it is a so-dark-it’s-almost-black-purple. I love it. The color is super pigmented and the consistency thick enough to keep it from being runny and thin enough to make applying it manageable. IMG_1549 I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’m trying really hard to avoid harmful chemicals that can linger in beauty products. So I’m definitely trying to incorporate “five free” polishes into my arsenal. Of all the “five free” nail polished I’ve tried, I really think Zoya is my favorite. Other “five free” polishes I’ve used chip easily or never fully dry. That’s not the case with these. Zoya is definitely proof that you don’t need these chemicals to make a good polish.