For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer

1 Comment

Friday Finds

Friday Finds 3.6.15

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

1. Love is love.

2. Northern California may be known for its wine, but it is also home to some awesome, natural beauty brands. 

3. After watching this I not only want to eat a massive amount of jelly beans, but I also want to make the most of my day. 

4. Fast fashion is out and slow fashion is in.

5. So what are you up to on Sunday around 1 o’clock (EST)? The correct answer is watching Emma Watson’s #HeforShe and Gender Equality discussion live on Facebook. I’ll bring the popcorn!

1 Comment

Lotioning, Oiling

Winter came early this year. Up in Maine we got snow on Thanksgiving when usually the white stuff holds out until the end of December.

This was not good for my dry and sensitive (aka angry and high maintenance in the winter) skin. Everyone experiences some degree of skin dryness unless you’re lucky enough to live in the rain forest.

But for those of you that are stuck else where like me, Ive got you covered from head to toe. You no longer have to waste your whole winter lotioning and oiling because everyone gets to a point where you can’t take it any more…

So you don’t get to that point, I have come up with four products for your body, hands, face, and lips that will keep your skin satisfied all winter long with minimal applications. All of these products are natural, cruelty free, and really do work!


For your body: Coconut Oil

Remember how in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Windex was considered a cure all? Coconut oil is kind of the same idea, but less chemically. There are soooooo many health benefits of coconut oil and ways to use it. Coconut oil can kill bacteria, it’s great nutritionally, you can use it in your hair, or what I like to do, use it on your skin. The fatty acid in coconut oil makes it easy for your skin to absorb. And there are obviously no artificial scents, which can irritate skin, yet the oil smells amazing. It’s like a tropical getaway.

You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores. When you’re buying the oil I would recommend getting unrefined because some refining processes use chemical distillation that use harsh solvents. I also like to make sure it is USDA Organic Certified. And as a personal preference, I like the pressed oil, which is come is a more solid form. I find its easier to put on, but again, personal preference. Bonus tip: don’t try to put spandex on right after you apply it. It will feel gross. Coconut oil usually need a minute or two to dry on your skin.

For your hands: Fig & Honey Bambino Lotion

Even though I have been searching for the ultimate hand lotion since November, I’ve only recently come across Fig & Honey. I was looking for something natural and with few ingredients and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. So after searching and trying lotions for a month or so, I finally stumbled upon Fig & Honey’s website and ordered this lotion out of what was most likely desperation. When I got it in the mail, I was beyond exited to find out it worked.

This lotion is made from olive oil, aloe, and neem oil with essences of yarrow, rose, chamomile, and vanilla. Because it has an olive oil base, it does take a second to dry and soak in, but after that you don’t have to worry about greasy residue. I love that it keeps my hands moist for a long period of time so I don’t have to worry about constantly reapplying. The smell is definitely on the earthy side, but I like it. I also like the fact that the smell isn’t overwhelming. I can apply a heaping amount and don’t have to worry about killing my coworkers with the overpowering perfumes most hand lotions have.

For your face: Josie Maran Argan Oil

Ingredients are very important to Josie Maran. With her cosmetic line she hopes to prove that make up doesn’t need to be bad for you and that luxury and conscience can come together in the cosmetic industry. What I love most about this moisturizer it that it is made out of one ingredient. It was easy to assure myself that I wasn’t slathering on something full of chemicals that weren’t safe. The oil is sustainably harvested, uses fair trade practices, and uses eco-friendly packaging. And on top of that it serves as a primer for your foundation.

For your lips: Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

I have tried tons of lip balm and chap sticks and in all my years and I don’t believe any come close to Burt’s Bees. I love the peppermint scent and how it tingles and soothes chapped lips. You can find it at most pharmacies and grocery stores, which is super convenient.

Ingredients are very important to the people at Burt’s Bee’s. They are committed to using ingredients that work with your body naturally. It is probably no surprise that this chap stick is made mostly of beeswax. I also love Burt’s Bees commitment to sustainability. In order to reduce their carbon footprint, Burt’s Bees use energy-efficient lighting, resource management software, and efficient production equipment.

1 Comment

Friday Finds

I’ve been busy the last few days spending time with family and friends, enjoying the holidays, and eating as much food as I can fit in my belly. Today I’m back to the grind, eating healthy, and waking up before 11. Sigh. Here are a few links that cheered me up today and hopefully will make you smile too.

Friday Finds 1.2.15

1. As if Taylor Swift couldn’t be more perfect, she’s also Santa Clause. You can also check out these super cute Swift inspired resolutions.

2. Ever since I saw Catching Kayla, I have been obsessed with watching E:60 stories. Here is another inspirational story about a special friendship between a boy and his dog.

3. Missing the beach and warm weather this winter? Check out this all natural sea mist for your hair and body. Made with purified water, aloe vera, dead sea salt, and essential oils such as sage and lavender, it’ll bring the ocean to you.

4. And lastly, the most powerful photos of 2014. 

Leave a comment

Friday Finds

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

Friday Finds 4

1. Check out the airplanes of the future and how they will be better for the environment.

2. This New Yorker doesn’t own a trashcan because well, she doesn’t need one. Read all about her “no waste” lifestyle. Think you could do it?

3. Vending machines that dispense natural beauty products are popping up in airports everywhere.  So cool! And so dangerous for my wallet.

4. Speaking of beauty products… Target has put together a natural beauty box you can order online for only $5! (and free shipping whoop whoop)

5. This is a heartwarming story about a homeless man who put out a personal ad to find someone to share Thanksgiving. I love happy stories like this.

6. When 3 year old Ariana saw a video of a sick girl without hair her response was, “Oh, she can have some of mine.” So cute!


I Come From The Land of the Ice and Snow…

I went to Iceland! Did ya miss me? I sure missed blogging. While I was away I thought of so many ideas for future posts and I can’t wait to get started. But first I would like to share a little about my trip and see how many times I can write the word “Iceland” without annoying everyone.

Right now you might be thinking, “Annie, what does Iceland have to do with your blog?”. I promise it relates. Icelanders are very conscious, environmental, and sustainable folk. You have to be when you live in such an isolated place where it can snow for 75% of the year.

First, I would just like to say that my trip to Iceland was an extremely fun and beautiful and inspiring experience. I highly recommend going on an adventure in Iceland if you get the chance. There are so many things to do and beautiful things to see and fascinating places to explore. I got to walk on a glacier, snorkel between tectonic plates (yes, the water was absurdly cold), hike in gorgeous national parks, trek through an ice cave, relax at a geothermal spa, ride a zodiac through a iceberg ridden lagoon, eat delicious local food, explore cities, and see more sheep, waterfalls, and rainbows than I have in my entire life.

I traveled around Iceland on the Ring Road, which follows the perimeter of the island.  It is about 1,332 kilometers (828 miles) and we did it in 9 days. Some days we drove three hours and others we only drove one. The driving wasn’t even bad because: a) there isn’t any traffic and often times you go miles without even seeing another car and b) the sights are incredible. It was cool to see how the geography changed from region to region. I really feel like I was able to get a good feel for the entire country.

Here are a couple pictures I took that’ll show you just how pretty this country is. It was so impossibly hard to narrow the pictures down to just a few from the 300 that I took…

Iceland 3

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss. Foss means waterfall in Icelandic. So many fosses in Iceland!

Iceland 12

Iceland 2

That white part on the mountain is a glacier. It is a part of the biggest glacier in Iceland, Vatnajokull. Jokull means glacier in Icelandic.

Iceland 11

They gave us axes to use during the glacier walk. We were suppose to use them for support if we needed them, but I think they were mostly just for show. Naturally I had to test mine out. It worked. Oh and the black/gray stuff on the ice is ash from past volcano eruptions.

Iceland 10

Iceberg dead ahead! The ice is a pretty blue because when the ice breaks off of the glacier it is super compact and all of the air is super compressed. So when light enters the ice all but the blue light waves are dissipated. Science. It works like the blue in the sky.

Iceland 8

Iceland 13Iceland 7

And the pictures don’t even do the landscape any justice! You really have to see in person to experience the actual beauty.

All the people we met had a distinct respect and appreciation for nature and the beauty of their environment. Most of our local guides were excited about the volcanoes erupting, which is the exact opposite reaction I was expecting. Before I left when I told people I was going to Iceland they all asked if I was worried about the volcanoes. So I assumed Icelanders would also be freaking out about an eruption. And in some ways they were, but it was excitement freaking out and not worried freaking out. They talked about watching the eruption streaming live online and how areas around the volcano have to be blocked off during the eruptions because people will literally walk miles and miles (or kilometers and kilometers) to catch a glimpse of the volcano and sometimes they get a little too close. They have such a passion for the land and its geology and preserving the environment around them. It’s admirable.

On top of that, nearly 100% of Iceland is powered by renewable energy. Hydro and geothermal energy are responsible for powering almost the entire island. I got the see the largest geothermal energy plant and man did it smell! The stink is from the hydrogen sulfide in the steam collected from the geothermal reservoir.

photo 1.jpg

Imagine the stench of 100 rotten eggs. Now multiply that by the area of this plant. That’s how bad it smelled.

Although Iceland might seem like the environmental dreams, it is also suffering from the effects of global warming. When I did a glacier walk, I learned that the glaciers are melting faster than ever before. It is natural for glacier to through cycles of growing and shrinking, but the rate at which the glaciers are currently melting is unnatural. And what would this world be without giant chunks of ice in Iceland?

Icelanders are also very conscious when it comes to food. I went to Iceland expecting to have some to have some interesting meals. I’m a fairly picky eater and had read a few articles about strange and gross Icelandic food (sheep head, no thanks!), which worried me. Would I be able to eat? Huge concern. But I’m hear to tell you not to believe any of that hoop-blah! Sure they eat fermented sharks and eggs, but I don’t think those foods really represent Iceland. I literally didn’t have a bad meal while I was there. Everything was incredibly fresh and delicious. I had some of the best seafood of my life and I live in Maine!

Because of Iceland’s small populations, high environmental consciousness, strict government regulations, and geographic isolation, the meat and seafood are some of the healthiest and purest in the world. Om nom nom!


LIttle sheep butts covered all the hills, valleys, and fields.

Another cool thing: in the summer they all let the animals roam free. We saw mostly sheep and horses wandering around. The animals are kept in a certain area by natural barriers such as rivers and mountains. Then at the end of the summer all the farmers from each town get together and heard all the sheep together then sort out whose is whose. Total teamwork.

So have I convinced you to go to Iceland yet? Maybe? Well if you’re on the fence, just check out this song. You are guaranteed to hear it 100 times while you’re there. I have no idea what the words mean, I just hope it’s nothing bad. Can’t you just picture yourself driving through the country with that infectious beat? I promise you won’t get sick of it at all….. ok maybe a little.

And if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to help!

Iceland 14

1 Comment

Three Amazing Cruelty Free Brands You Can Find At Sephora

As you know, after my original Makeup Breakup panic, I have been slowly incorporating more and more cruelty free products into my makeup bag. Since most cosmetic brands try to keep their animal testing hush hush, it can be a struggle to find the truth in their policies. So I’ve had to do some serious digging. But alas! I have found three brands that I can confidently share with you. And for your convenience, I’ve made sure all of these products are available at Sephora aka the makeup emporium.


tarte is known as a leader in eco-chic cosmetics. They pride themselves on providing products that are healthy and natural, but glamorous at the same time. I think tarte is best known for their blushes. I have never heard anything bad about them and I personally love them.  I have both the powder and the stain blush and I like them each for different reasons.

The powders are made with Amazonian Clay, which is harvested right from the banks of the Amazon River. Sustainably harvested of course. The clay is rich in nutrients because it picks up fruit and plant matter as the river flows along. Then the sun naturally bakes the clay, which locks in all of the nutrients. Pretty cool, right?

The cheek stains are made with extract from the longevity fruit aka the goji berry. Goji berries are known to help with skin conditions like allergies, rashes and psoriasis. So this product is excellent for people with sensitive skin.

Both blushes have serious staying power. I don’t think I’ve every worried about reapplying during the day. The powders provide build-able color, while the stains give you more of a natural tint. I was nervous about using a cheek stain for the first time, but I assure you, if I can figure it out, you can too. It takes about 20 seconds for the stain to dry after you apply it, which is plenty of time to blend out and fix any mistakes. Sometimes I even use the stain on my lips. I dunno if you’re supposed to do this, but I like it!

tarte Blush

Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty only sells lip products. So you could say they’re pretty much lip experts. They offer everything from glosses to scrubs to balms, sticks, pencils and everything in between. They even offer a moisturizing lip mask, which I find incredibly intriguing.

Their mission is to “create lipstick that is high performance and healthy enough to eat”.  Now I’m not saying you should go take a big bite out of your lipstick, but making lip products safe to consume kind of makes sense because you’re bound to get a little in your mouth. I know I’m guilty of getting lipstick all over my teeth!

So many pretty colors! See any you like?

So many pretty colors! See any you like?


Julep is all about celebrating ladies! The brand functions on the idea of women connecting with each other instead of competing against each other, which I think is a great message. They also give back to women by donating $1 of every nail polish sale to an organization that empowers women. Right now you can buy their “Malala” polish (below) and 100% of the proceeds go to the Malala FundMalala Pink Julep Polish

Along with giving back, Julep works hard to keep icky chemicals out of their products. All of their polishes are “five free”, which means they don’t contain: Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor. These are all potentially harmful chemicals usually associated with nail polish.

Their polishes use a patented oxygen technology, which allows 30% more air to reach the nail bed and helps to keep nails stronger and healthier. This technology also makes the polish dry faster and last longer. Below are a few colors from their September 2014 collection to get you ready for fall, which is inevitably on the way.Julep Nail Polish

These obviously aren’t the only three cruelty free brands at Sephora, but they’re a good place to start. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to find more and more. And I’m always up for suggestions!