Currently viewing the tag: "all natural"

Halloween is upon us (okay, pretty much)! Are you excited? I’m excited. It’s the time of year to let your inner goth shine without anyone pointing at you and laughing. Although, to be perfectly honest, now that I’m an adult I totally don’t care. It’s like I’m a slightly more confident, put together (also wiser and more thoughtful) version of the girl I was as a teenager. And I’m proud. That being said, I very rarely wear a black lip. My day-to-day look, especially  lately, actually involves very little makeup at all. But it’s soon to be October, friends. Magic is afoot. Be bold. Wear black lips with pride, if you don’t already. Don’t wait until last minute, either! Treat yourself to something luxurious. You’ve got plenty of time.

PS. Why is there no bat emoji? Or witch hat?

The following lip products are cruelty-free and/or vegan. I’ve listed them from most indulgent to least, and all (some more than others) are full of natural and nourishing ingredients. I’m serious about treating yourself.

Black Lips for All ::

Axiology/Kat Von D/Nero Cosmetics

  • Axiology / Existential: buy here $28 (cf/v)
  • Kat Von D / Studded Kiss lipstick in Slayer: buy here $21 (cf/many shades vegan, including this one)
  • Zosimos Botanicals / Onyx: buy here $20 (cf/v)
  • Nero / Nevermore: buy here $18 (cf/v)
  • Portland Black Lipstick Co. / Original Black: buy here $14 (cf/contains beeswax)
  • Insomnia Cosmetics / 3am: etsy shop currently down, as creator is recovering from illness $12 (cf/v)
  • Black Widow Balm / Black Magic: buy here $10 (cf/contains beeswax)

Have you noticed that black lip shades always have the coolest names?

Black Lips for All ::

two swipes of product, natural (mid-afternoon) light

Axiology lipsticks make for a totally decadent experience. This is a beautiful, lovingly made product. This is the highest quality lipstick I have ever owned, and it’s one I feel really good about purchasing (plus I got it on sale). Check out the ingredients list here. Existential is highly pigmented and ultra-moisturizing. I prefer to use a lip brush, but the lip color will apply nicely straight from the tube. This goes on smooth, with a light shine. This is a great example of a luxury brand with a wide range of color options. They make non-traditional colors really approachable.

Insomnia Cosmetics lipsticks are all made by hand in small batches. 3am is a semi-matte, highly pigmented black. There is instant gratification with this one. Applies best with a lip brush. I’m hoping this shop re-opens soon, because their products are great, with a lot of character. Moonchild (a bright berry purple) is one of my favorite lipsticks, right now! 3am was originally part of a Halloween collection, but was re-released into regular rotation due to popular demand.

Black Magic wears like a lip balm. It applies sheer and can be built up to your desired level of blackness. What it lacks in instant pigmented coverage, it more than makes up for in texture and scent. This Color Balm is infused with a blend of peppermint, pine, and nutmeg essential oils. I recommend using a lip brush for precise application and color build-up, but if you just want an on-the-go swipe of glossy sheer gray, go straight for the tube. Color Balm is available in a wide range of tints, if black isn’t your thing. This is a good option if you don’t feel 100% comfortable wearing a full-on black lip!

If I’ve missed any of your favorites, please let me know in the comments!

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DIY Black Tea & Rose Petal Body Scrub ::

The scent of black tea is one of my favorites just on its own, but it pairs really well with both citrus and some floral elements. Not to mention that tea leaves make for a nice addition to your all natural exfoliation arsenal. I decided to combine the tea with sugar and coconut oil to make a dreamy all over body scrub. I threw in a handful or so of fallen rose petals (because straight up picking what I assume are my neighbor’s roses would probably be rude), and here we are! Homemade body scrubs are so, so easy to put together, and can be ultra luxurious depending on what ingredients you use. Experiment! No need to bead.

To make this scrub, you will need the following:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • (+/-) 1/2 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1+ tablespoon black tea (preferably loose leaf)
  • handful of fresh rose petals

Measurements are approximate and can be changed based on personal preference.

Check rose petals for any insect friends, then rinse and gently pat dry. Remove any stems or other dirt and debris. Also remove any overly wilted petals, or any that have lost their scent completely. Coarsely chop the petals, and combine with sugar in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon, using the sugar to further break the petals down. You’re using the sugar as a mechanism to extract the oils from your rose petals, which in turn makes the sugar mixture (and your scrub!) smell delicious. Coarse raw sugar would do the best job, but I used ordinary table sugar in this batch. Stir in black tea. Add the coconut oil (you may not need to use all of it!), and stir to combine. If you have rose essential oil on hand, feel free to add one or two drops. Rose geranium is nice here, as well, and is a less expensive alternative.

Store in an airtight container. The coconut oil will melt at warmer temperatures, but you can bring it back to solid form by storing it in a cool place. If you don’t like coconut oil (the smell can be strong), try a substitute. Sweet almond would be wonderful, here, just be aware that your scrub will be liquid and will require stirring before use.

DIY Black Tea & Rose Petal Body Scrub ::

Tortoise Tidbit: Tortoises may sometimes enjoy rose petals (pesticide free, please) as a treat. McCoy wants absolutely nothing to do with them. TIL.

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Dry, chapped lips need some love. Sometimes we forget that exfoliating is important. You can make a beautiful lip scrub with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

You will need:

  • 1 part raw honey (not pictured)
  • 1 part granulated sugar (or brown sugar, or raw sugar)
  • 1 part jojoba, olive, or sweet almond oil (or you can use a combination)
  • drop of vitamin E oil
  • essential oils of your choice (optional)


Amounts will be dependent on the size of container you use, but the ratios should stay about the same. This isn’t an exact science. Feel free to use more oil or honey based on your needs or preferences! The amounts of essential oils you use, and if you use them, is up to you. Be sure to use only oils that are safe for consumption, because you are putting this on your mouth. Read all labels. Just a few basic options:

  • lavender – healing
  • lemon – antiseptic, brightening
  • orange – antiseptic, boosts immunity
  • peppermint – increases blood circulation, antiseptic, improves skin’s texture

Those are four oils that I really think everyone should keep on hand; they are super useful for day-to-day household use and for skincare. If you are interested in learning more about using essential oils, please contact me or leave an comment. I’d be more than happy to send you in the right direction. I primarily use Young Living, but there are a lot of options out there.

I made this tiny batch for a friend, and I used an equal amount of jojoba and sweet almond oil. Coconut oil will also work, but this particular friend has a coconut allergy (which is the saddest thing ever), so I opted for other oils. For my essential oils, I used a few drops of orange and one drop of vetiver. Vetiver speeds up healing and has antiseptic properties; when used in aromatherapy, it helps to calm anxiety. Vetiver oil is thick, and a  little goes a long way. Pipettes are a pretty good investment if you plan on doing a lot of fine-tuned measurements with your essential oils.



Combine ingredients in a small bowl and transfer to your container. Simple!


To use your lip scrub, apply a small amount and rub into lips for 30 seconds to a minute. Allow to sit on lips for a couple minutes, then wipe off with a warm, damp washcloth. Apply lip balm of choice.

Store product in its sealed container  in a cool, dark place. The honey and the vitamin e will help extend the shelf life, but keep an eye on it. I recommend making small batches as needed.

This is super easy to make vegan; just omit the honey and use raw/turbinado sugar!

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karma naturals review

Karma Naturals nail polish remover is a soybean (non-GMO) oil based product, and is free of the harsh chemicals found in standard nail polish remover. My first reaction to this product was pure delight in the clean, calm scent. Have you ever held a bottle of nail polish remover under your nose? Probably not. That would be terrible, and probably a little dangerous, but this is not that. I wondered if this product would even work. I was wondering if maybe this was just too good to be true. We now have access to hundreds of nontoxic polishes that can truly take wear and tear, but can we really make an all natural product that can remove them without a lot of extra work?

Surprise! We can! Science! I tested this out on four different polishes, and it worked really well.

karma naturals review

From left to right: Sparitual Osmium (dark blue creme), Julep Beatrix (clear with mixed glitter), Zoya Lulu (sheer light pink), Scotch Naturals Hot Toddy (tan-grey creme)

I wanted to test Karma Naturals with a few different types and shades of polish. It worked well with even thick glitter, which I was impressed by. The glitter and the darker polish took a little longer to remove than the others, which is to be expected, but eventually came off clean with a soaked cotton ball.

Aside from the smell of this product, the biggest difference is that this feels like an oil. It’s super slick feeling on the nails, and doesn’t dry out quickly like standard polish remover. Also important to note: there is no chemical burn. If you have beat up cuticles, you are safe from pain. I did still wash my hands immediately after use and followed up with a jojoba oil nail serum (read DIY here). This product so much kinder to the skin than acetone, but I would still recommend following with a moisturizer, especially if you have dry or brittle nails to begin with.

Karma Naturals nail polish remover is $12 for a 4 ounce glass bottle, and is available to purchase through Abe’s Market in lavender, tea tree, and unscented with vitamin E. I may try the latter the next time I buy this product, just for the added skincare benefits.

I’m really happy that more and more natural options in both nail polishes and remover are becoming available, and that I have access to them. I think, however, if I truly wanted to push for living a more natural life, I would likely do away with these kinds of products all together. This is something I consider, but I do enjoy dressing up on occasion! It’s nice to have a less toxic option.

If you’ve started making the switch, and have yet to find a nail polish remover you love, I would recommend Karma Naturals.

As for nontoxic nail polish, my favorite still remains Sparitual.

Does anyone have any suggestions for organizing a nail polish collection? I would appreciate any input!

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This post contains sponsored content. I appreciate your support of this blog with all my little heart! ♥

I’ve mentioned Abe’s Market on the blog, before. It’s one of my favorite online vendors of natural and organic products! Their selection and variety can’t be beat, and in addition to carrying some beloved well-known favorites, they also support an amazing collection of small businesses around the United States.  Abe’s just launched a great new sampling program that allows you to purchase full-size product samples for just $2 each, with free shipping. Every day, the folks at Abe’s Market crack open cases of their favorite products such as Quinn Popcorn, KIND granola, and Surf Sweets sour gummy bears (my favorite). You can choose up to three samples every day; it’s a fantastic way to sample new products. Whether you want to try gluten-free snacks, goodies free of additives, or even some new vegan treats, Abe’s probably has something for you to sample.

Abe's Market $2 Samples

Once you receive and try out the products, Abe’s Market will ask for some quick feedback to better improve their selections, and to help sellers discover what consumers are looking for in all-natural and organic products. That’s the best part! You can actually have some input on the kinds of snacks you’d like to see offered. More candy! More popcorn! I wish this was spicy! Maybe you want an easy way to get in a serving of vegetables every day. Here are some of the product brands currently available on the rotation. The ones in bold are ones I’ve tried! And don’t forget, the offerings are switched up regularly!

Barnana – A dehydrated banana snack comprising all of the nutrients of a banana (high potassium!) with the convenience of on-the-go snacking. The organic, non-GMO and gluten-free line includes original, coconut, chocolate and peanut butter flavors.

Fruit.0 – A super portable, compact fruit pouch containing straight up fruit, and nothing but. The 100% organic crushed fruit contains no additional ingredients or sugars and is vegan, non-GMO and free of nuts, fat, gluten, and artificial ingredients.

Birch Benders Micro Pancakery – Certified organic and non-GMO, Birch Benders include all the wholesome ingredients in the package and you only need to add water, shake and cook. The line offers gluten-free options and delicious flavors like cinnamon and banana buckwheat.

Hooray Puree – A perfect way to get your veggies on the go. Hooray Puree picks their organic vegetables at the peak of ripeness and purees them into gluten-free snack packs without adding any preservatives, dyes or acids. So when you’re not near the store, you can always have fresh sweet potatoes, spinach and butternut squash on hand.

Primal Spirit Foods: These meatless jerky strips, in six flavors like mesquite lime, teriyaki and Thai peanut, are a great dose of protein when you’re on the go. The low-fat, non-GMO vegan treats are made of soy seitan and shiitake mushrooms and are certified kosher.

I am not vegan, but these are a healthier alternative to traditional jerky. The hickory smoked flavor is delicious. Give these a sample!

Powbab: Get a daily dose of delicious 100% antioxidants and boost your immunity with vitamins A, C and E from this superfood through tasty acai and pomegranate chews, moisturizing oil, or powder you can mix into a drink. The fiber-packed vegan treat contains no gluten, dairy, soy or nuts.

Health Warrior: Boost your run or workout (or even when you need a pick me up in the middle of the day) with chia-packed, flavorful energy bars. The non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, high-fiber bars with omega-3s come in delicious flavors including chocolate peanut butter, coconut, coffee, and banana nut.

KIND: Load up on healthy and tasty gluten-free snack bars, granola, healthy grains bars and more. KIND products are GMO free, protein packed, high fiber, dairy free and all natural.

KIND is my go-to breakfast and snack bar.

Quinn Popcorn: Quinn reinvented microwave popcorn and made it healthy. Made of organic, non-GMO, vegan ingredients in a chemical-free bag, Quinn makes movie time — or anytime — more delicious with flavors including Vermont maple & sea salt, hickory smoked cheddar, parmesan & rosemary and just plain sea salt.

Vermont maple & sea salt is so, so good. If you like the sampled flavor, give that one a try.

Rip Van Wafel: Just unwrap, place over steaming coffee (or tea!) wait a few minutes and enjoy an all-natural, high fructose corn syrup-free caramel- or cocoa-filled, crunchy Dutch treat!

World Peas: This green pea snack makes it easy to forget about potato chips. With exotic flavors like Sicilian tomato, Santa Barbara ranch, Hungarian garlic and Nagano wasabi, World Peas delights without gluten, dairy or high fructose corn syrup.

The current selection of samples comprises of edibles only (which is really not a bad thing), but who knows! As the program gains popularity, maybe other products will become available?  Remember to keep checking!

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