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

Friday Finds 1.30.15

1. A lot of Super Bowl ads are coming out before the Super Bowl this year… which to me defeats the purpose. But anyway, if you haven’t see it yet, check out the domestic violence PSA that will air during Sunday’s game. The call in the video actually happened. It will leave you speechless.

2. Ellen’s birthday was this week. The 26th of January to be exact. I love Ellen and her mission “be kind to one another”. I think she is a wonderful human being. So here are some classic Ellen quotes that prove she’s the best.

3. Oh just your typical man-rescues-sick-lion-cub-nurses-her-back-to-health-then-teaches-her-to-hunt story. 

4. Like beer? Drink Stella! Responsibly of course. Stella Artois has partnered with water.org to bring awareness to the global water crisis with their ‘Buy a Lady a Drink’ campaign. Bonus points for the clever name.

5. Check out these cute rescued lab animals photographed in Alice in Wonderland scenes. How can you do your part to stop animal testing? Make sure you buy cruelty free cosmetics. Every little bit of effort helps.


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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!

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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.


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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

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

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!


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3 Cruelty Free Summer Makeup Must Haves

Saturday marked the first official day of summer. Maine still hasn’t gotten the memo. Could we get up to 80 degrees? That’s all I’m askin’. But in the meantime, I have decided to summerfy my makeup routine, so when (if) it does finally get hot, I’ll be ready! Here are three products that are cruelty free, paraben free, and will help you keep your summer makeup routine simple and natural.

3 cruelty free summer products

Item Numero One: Detox Eye Roller by First Aid Beauty

Got seasonal allergies? Mine are terrible.  Every year from the beginning of spring till the middle of summer, I wake up with allergy induced eye puff and it ain’t pretty. Being the busy working gal that I am, I don’t have time to put chilled cucumbers on my eyes or rub ice cubes on my face. Nor do I want to. So the solution: the Detox Eye Roller. This cooling serum uses caffeine extract to brighten, de-puff, and refresh your gross allergy eyes. I don’t drink much caffeine because it makes me crazier than a bag of raccoons, but it sure seems to do wonders on my eyes!

Item Two: Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil by Bite Beauty

Ditch those dark lip stains and say “hello” to the only lip product you’ll need this summer. Like the name suggests, this gloss contains cinnamon oil, which does some cool things to your lips and is tasty enough to eat. The cinnamon makes your lips tingly and naturally flush. This gives your lips a natural splash of color and a fuller, plumper appearance. Because this gloss is oil based, it adds shine and hydration to your lips. Muah!

Last But Not Least: Limitless Liquid Liner Pen by Smashbox

This might just be me, but I have a serious preference to liquid eye liners. It took me my entire junior year of college to figure out how to use this stuff, but the practice paid off.

Waterproof liquid liners are especially convenient in the summer because wax based liners have a tendency to melt, smudge, and ruin your entire look in hot, sweaty weather. But have no fear, the Limitless Liquid Liner is here. This particular waterproof liner comes in dark brown and black. The pointy precision tip pen makes it easy to create looks that are subtle or dramatic.

You can find all of these products conveniently at Sephora (online or in store). So how does your makeup routine change in the summer? What are some staple products you like to use in warm weather?