Nota bene: I am a Pura Vida Bracelets rep! That means I will receive a commission on all sales that use my coupon code (NAOMIDENSMORE20)! While my code cannot be used on Pura Vida Club subscriptions, it can be used for everything else. Thanks for your support! I love Pura Vida, and I think you will, too. ♥
It’s the first unboxing of 2017! I’m happy to kick this off with a review of the Pura Vida Club box for January. I wasn’t planning to pay any attention to this box whatsoever when it was unveiled last year, because I don’t really like surprises when it comes to jewelry and accessories. When teaser photos were shared of this month’s bracelets, though, I caved. I’m a sucker for anything with an ocean theme. Thankfully, this subscription is very easy to pause if you decide you need a break.
The Pura Vida Club box is $14.95 each month, shipped. Each month’s shipment includes three coordinated bracelets, which may include Club exclusive designs. Each bracelet is made by hand with wax coated cord, and is 100% waterproof. Charm and beaded bracelets might require a little extra care, obviously. Pura Vida provides jobs for Costa Rican artisans, supports a number of non profit organizations, and is a member of 1% For the Planet.
January’s Club included: Gold Wave Charm ($15 value), Braided Sea Nights ($15 value), Wave Chaser Original ($5 value)
I already knew I was going to love all three bracelets (the wave especially), so obviously I couldn’t be happier. These bracelets make a perfect stack, but can also easily be paired with a number of Pura Vida’s other designs. My only minor complaint with the subscription is that marketing materials are sent with every order, and I wish there was a way to opt out. As a Pura Vida rep, I like being able to give away stickers, but the extras still seem unnecessary. Still, far less waste and packaging here than with many subscription boxes! So Kudos on that note. ♥
As evident in my photos, it snowed six inches or so yesterday, so the arrival of this package was timely and very much appreciated. I needed a little brightness and color! Besides, my love for the ocean is certainly not seasonal! Honestly, this southern Maine/New Hampshire stretch of seacoast is beautiful this time of year.
2016 was a year of eco friendly and cruelty free discovery, for me. I thought I’d return from my lengthy and accidental blogging hiatus by sharing some of my new favorite beauty products.
While I am an omnivore, cruelty-free (no animal testing) personal care products are a top priority. The products listed below all happen to be vegan, too, but I do use products that make use of animal ingredients (like beeswax and goat’s milk) fairly regularly. I’d also like to note upfront that this is not a sponsored post. These are just companies that I feel really good about supporting!
- Hurraw! Balm Papaya Pineapple 100% natural / certified vegan & cruelty-free / GMO-free / made in the US $4.49
If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, or if you follow me on social media, you are probably familiar with Hurraw! I’ve definitely gushed about them before. This company is good people. The Papaya Pineapple was a new variety to me, this year. It’s a tube of tropical perfection in my snowbound New England. I want to keep one in my purse, and one in the car, and one… you get the idea. Whenever I order from Hurraw!, I order four or five tubes, and they have always included a free balm with my purchase. This time around, because it had been a while, I also received a very sweet handwritten note on my invoice that said, “Naomi’s back!” I can’t say enough good things. If you can’t find Hurraw! balm at a local retailer, it’s absolutely worth ordering through the mail.
- Trust Fund Beauty Nail Lacquer vegan & cruelty-free / 10-free / GMO-free $15
My nail polish collection has been toxin free and animal friendly for about six years, now. It includes a variety of brands in all price ranges (proving that the way you choose to spend your dollar 100% counts, because ten years ago the options were incredibly limited). I discovered Trust Fund Beauty over the summer, and this brand is now at the top of my list when it comes to polishes. My first purchase was Hot in the Hamptons, an ultra bright shimmery pink, perfect for summer. I immediately fell head over heels for the coverage and durability of this product. This is the first polish I’ve used in ages that didn’t just chip off immediately. I’m looking forward to purchasing a couple nude shades (including pictured, Bitches Who Brunch) when I have the budget for it.
- Zao Organic Volume Mascara 100% natural / cruelty-free / free of petroleum derivatives and parabens $33.20
I’ve used a few different cruelty-free mascaras, but never anything quite so luxurious. The price point reflects the quality, and for the one cosmetic item I use almost daily, I do think it’s worth it. I love the bamboo packaging. I received this in a Love Goodly subscription box!
- OSEA Malibu Atmosphere Protection Cream 100% natural / vegan & cruelty-free / made in the US $48
Oh my goodness. So. To be honest, the name of this product made me giggle a bit when I first got it (another amazing Love Goodly subscription box item), but it is so, so good. I will never giggle at it again. This is not something I can afford to replace at the moment, and I am incredibly sad to see that my bottle is nearly empty. This is honestly the nicest daily moisturizer I have ever used. It smells great, it feels great on my dry, sensitive, and aging (bwamp bwamp) skin, and it’s full of nourishing ingredients.
- Schmidt’s Deodorant Rose + Vanilla Stick certified vegan & cruelty-free / free of aluminum, parabens, and phthalates / made in the US $8.99
I finally found my dream deodorant. I’ve been using strictly natural deodorants for the last four years or so. It’s been a bit of challenge finding the right one for me. Flash forward to the release of this particular scent (in stick form), and I decided to give Schmidt’s another go, after not being 100% in love with their jar formulas. I am so thankful that I did just that. Natural deodorant is tricky, for a lot of people. It’s something that’s really important to me, so I’ve kept at it over the years. The price point is right, I love the ridiculously girly scent, and this product actually works.
- Acure Ultra-Hydrating Body Wash certified vegan & cruelty-free / paraben & sulfate-free / $9.99 (price varies)
I discovered this after searching for the “best moisturizing body washes” when it started to get cold. I’m never looking back. I do, admittedly, feel a little guilty about the plastic bottle (because we’ve been really good about using bar soaps with minimal packaging since I moved into the house), but this product really is incredible. And it smells so good.
I’m really pleased that I managed to discover some new things over the last year, even if a couple of them are definitely out of my price range right now. It’s important to me that I continue to support the companies that are ethical and genuine, and that the self care products I use regularly are ones that I can feel good about, in more ways that one.
If you’re reading this, bear with me. This is some serious, but short, word vomit.
I am hesitant, and fretful. This space has not been put to very good use over the last few weeks, despite my best intentions. I am feeling particularly down on myself, frustrated that I have so little to offer the world. I feel anxious and, admittedly, short-tempered.
I feel like I am definitely not the best version of myself I could be, but I don’t know how to change that, or even if I have the spirit to do so. I’m tired a lot. I have a bunch of grand ideas, and despite having nothing but time on my hands, I lack the energy and talent to implement them. All I want to do is curl up on the couch. I recognize this is not the best method to improve one’s self. I get it. Getting out of the hole you dug for yourself is not an easy task.
I’m not a wordsmith. I don’t know. I’m just saying I’ve dug myself a warm cozy burrow, but it’s kind of gross and dark down here and I’d like to come up, now. Obviously I’m not the first person in the existence of mankind to feel this way.
I’d like to think another PURGE OF ALL THE MATERIAL THINGS might help. It’s possible. It’s also possible that being back in class will solve some of my anxiety issues. Schedules are good. I need a schedule. Change of diet? Sure. That definitely wouldn’t hurt anything. But I don’t know if these changes are just bandaids, or if that even matters. What’s wrong with a bandaid, really? Let’s patch this mess up so we can focus on more important things.
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my scattered life on the coast of Maine. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here.