Product Girl Green Guide: Eco Bath & Body Picks

With Earth Day right around the corner, Sunday, April 22, now seems like the natural time to share our top picks in eco beauty. All week long, we’ll be sharing our green recommendations in makeup, shower staples, skin care and more. Today, we’re kicking off with eco-friendly options for bath and body. Read on to find out about “curoxidants,” the best body scrub I’ve ever used and a cleanser you need for your shower.

1. Acure Energizing Body Lotion in Mandarin Orange + Mango. This zesty vegan moisturizer uses Fair Trade Certified ingredients and for every bottle bought, one tree is planted. This good for you and the planet moisturizer includes Acure’s signature “Curoxidant Blend” of five certified organic superfruits and herbs: acai, pomegranate, blackberry, rosehips and rooibos. ($9.99, Acure Organics)

2. J.R. Watkins Naturals Grapefruit Sugar & Shea Scrub. In full disclosure, I am a proud member of the PR team for this brand. I am obsessed with every single Grapefruit product they sell (home + personal care!) but this scrub takes the cake. The sugar and shea oils are perfectly blended in the tube (no annoying separation like so many other sugar scrubs, wahoo!) and they melt into the skin both shedding dead skin and moisturizing at the same time. Also, it’s grapefruit. Need I say more?  ($13.99 J.R Watkins)

3. Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. This one is a shower staple. Sugars and lemongrass extract work to unclog pores, smooth and resurface skin. Rub a nickel size in your hands to break down the sugar a bit and you’ll see it start to foam. Then massage gently into your face and it does the work for you. I have to resist the urge to use this every day (as the last time I did I had to go on an esthetician-mandated exfoliation diet!) ($30, Birchbox)

4. JASON Pure Natural Shampoo and Conditioner. (Super Shine Apricot and Long & Strong Jojoba) You may know JASON for its practically life sized bottles of body wash, but did you know the brand just re-launched its line of Shampoo and Conditioners? The Super Shine Apricot is a mix of organic botanicals, vegetable proteins and vitamins. Hair feels super clean and healthy…and smells great, too! ($7, JASON)

Currently Loving: Suki Eye Repair Balm

Texture is kind of everything to me. In food (no tomatoes, just can’t deal) and in beauty products. Especially eye creams. I’m admittedly very particular when it comes to eye cream. More so than probably any other facial product.  There are very few eye creams that meet my standards.  I find that many are lacking in the moisture department, and don’t live up to expectations. So when I find one that totally knocks my socks off, I need to talk about it. Today, I need to talk about Suki Eye Repair Balm.

It’s like a salve for your under eye. Think of how amazing a salve is for your hands and cuticles. It’s like that, but better. Suki’s Eye Reapir Balm is filled with essential oils, like lavender and grapeseed, and organic carrot and rose hip, with a side of shea, coconut and jojoba oils. It’s an oil-lovers paradise. The delicate skin under my eyes drinks this up, giving an almost plumping effect. I find I need less concealer when I use this. I usually dab a small amount of brightener (like Benefit Erase Paste) and/or a sweep of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder and I’m good to go.

The smell is powerful, but very natural. I can’t quite narrow it down, but I love it. And, the price is rather friendly at just under $34. It’s a win-win-win.

Cyber Monday Beauty Deals, Take Two

Cyber Monday has officially sent me in to a beauty-deal-induced coma. For real…forget the electronics and video games, Cyber Monday is ALL about beauty. Here are the deals that we could not resist sharing. And, to see Cyber Monday deals part one, click here.

Forget a percentage off, Suki is offering BUY ONE GET ONE of the entire line. Suki’s Creamy Exfoliating Cleanser is about the best thing in the world, so this deal is a must in my book. A great chance to stock-up, or try for yourself and for a friend! Visit and enter code thanks2011 at checkout.

Butter LONDON is offering a 30% discount on all online orders today with code CELEBRATE11 at checkout.

Tarte Cosmetics is offering a staggered savings based on what you spend. Use code CYBER at checkout, where you’ll also receive your choice of a full-size gift. Free shipping over $40. May we recommed the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush?

You have until end of day Tuesday, November 29, to take advantage of Dr. Dennis Gross’ Cyber Monday deal. Take 20% off all orders with code CYBER11 at checkout. If you indulge on this one, add a box of the Alpha Beta Glow Pads to your cart (I remain obsessed!)

Receive a FREE By Elizabeth Dehn Face Spray ($28 value) with the purchase of The Serum or Shea Cream. No code needed! These products remain among our 2011 skin care favorites! Check out our initial review here.

If you’re like me and hoard Birchbox points, then this deal is for you. With any purchase in the Birchbox shop (starting at $50+), you’ll receive bonus points. Remember, every 100 points is equivalent to $10 to spend in the Birchbox store. They have tons of new products and gift sets that are totally worth checking out. I am eyeing up this Atelier Cologne Vanilla Gift Set!

Happy shopping! Let us know if you take advantage of any Cyber Monday promotions.

Our Mother's Day Gift Picks

Have you finished your Mother’s Day shopping yet? I am a last minute shopper…unfortunately. I tell myself every year that I will not wait until a few days before to get my mother a gift but it always turns out the same. And it’s the same for practically everything else in my life. I’m a last minute gal. Since I’m still browsing for my mama’s gift, we thought we would show you some of our picks for Mother’s Day.

Philosophy Field of Flowers Set – $35 – My mom is a Philosophy gal. Every time I visit, I find something new in the house from Philosophy. I swear, she has practically every Amazing Grace product ever made, not that I mind the Amazing Grace hand soap and air freshener in the guest bathroom. Although I think it may be time to introduce her to a new scent from Philosophy, one that will be great for spring and summer. This set was created exclusively for Mother’s Day and it includes an 8oz. body lotion and a 2oz. spray fragrance. Field of Flowers is so fresh and airy that you’ll love smelling this on mom.

Stila Mother’s Day Gift Set – $38 – I like this set so much that I want it for myself but my skin needs a little more than a tinted moisturizer. My mom’s skin, on the other hand, does not. Her skin is gorgeous and she barely wears any makeup. This set could be my way of coaxing her into wearing a little more. This set includes a 1oz. Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer, a Lip Glaze in Mayberry (a shade my mom would definitely approve of), an Eye Shadow Trio in Anya (soft peach shimmer/ soft brown/ deep purple shimmer) and a sample of Stila’s new One Step PrimeColor in Per Suede (dusty rose)… I might have to keep that for myself.

Jurlique Roses Gift Set – $45 – My mom likes to store hand cream all over the place and I don’t blame her, a gal’s got to keep her hands soft but I have to admit, I’m not a fan of the ones she has chosen. This is a great time to introduce her to one of my favorite hand creams ever. You know Jurlique makes on of the best hand creams around, right? This set comes with a Rose Hand Cream and Love Balm, a product I’ve always been curious about. Maybe she won’t mind me trying it when I come over to visit. 😉

Bobbi Brown Antigua Face Palette – $55 – This Bloomingdale’s exclusive palette would be perfect for any gal, not just mom. For the most part, the women in my family are not big fans of bronzers but this palette’s Illuminating Bronzer would be perfect way to start. The shades in this palette include Navajo Eye Shadow, Oat Eye Shadow, Caviar Eye Shadow, Antigua Illuminating Bronzer, Kitten Creamy Lip Color, Pink Ballet Creamy Lip Color and Azalea Metallic Lip Color. I think I’m starting to develop feelings for this Antigua Illuminating Bronzer…

Suki Mother’s Day Collection – $60 – If your mom is looking for a more eco-friendly option for her skincare routine, you need to introduce her to Suki, the line is amazing. I’m partial to her Lemongrass Cleanser. The Mother’s Day Collection combines her skincare with her makeup. It includes her Moisture-rich Cleansing Lotion, Concentrated Nourishing Toner, Bio-C 10% Formula Face Serum, Facial Lift Ultimate Firming Cream, Velvet Moisturizing Cream and a Luscious Lips Berry Cream Trio all in an 100% organic cotton sateen white zip case.

Kiehl’s Discovery Treatments – $98 – I’ve been experimenting with a Kiehl’s regimen lately and one of my new favorite products is the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I think my mom needs to get involved with it too and this is the perfect Mother’s Day set for her too. She loves lavender a little too much so the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and the Lavenday Body Scrub are right up her alley. This set also includes the Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and a sample of their Micro-Dermabrasion cream.

What are your picks for Mother’s Day? Let us know in the comments.

Product Girl 2009 Favorite Beauty Products – Skin, Nails & Hair Care

Our favorite beauty products of the year continues with our favorites in skincare, nails and haircare. Are some of our picks the same as yours? Keep reading…

Without a doubt Elizabeth Arden Prevage Moisturizer has been Carla’s favorite moisturizer of the year, she can’t sing its praises enough. It’s definitely pricey but the texture makes it last forever and it tames her skin like nothing else… she is hooked.

This year we got to know Talika Lash Conditioning Cleanser and our lashes were grateful for the introduction. This product not only removes mascara better than most makeup removers but also conditions lashes at the same time.

Sampar Skin Quenching Mist is as good as it gets if you’re obsessed with refreshing your skin with mists like we are. Not only does it have a devine rose scent to it but you can spray on as much as you’d like, no greasy residue left on your skin with this.

Suki Lemongrass Cleanser is another goodie from 2008 that we brought with us into 2009. You can use it as an extremely effective exfoliator or let it foam up for gentler way to clean your skin. Plus the lemongrass will definitely perk you up.

Garnier’s Nutri-Pure Detoxifying Wet Cleansing Towelettes are our top pick for cleansing wipes. These refreshing oil-free wipes have a clean fruity scent and do not dry out your skin if you’re having a “lazy” day and is the only thing you use to wash your face at night. Not that we do that or anything…

Thank you MAC for Style Black and the MAC Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask. It makes our skin so soft after just one use and there is something incredibly therapeutic about slathering sooty black ash all over your skin and rinsing it off with a hint of heat. Love!

Four months under our belt of using NARS Cleansing Oil and it’s still rocking our world. And the best part is the bottle isn’t even a quarter of the way empty!

Duri Rejuvacoat has saved my nails this year. This base coat not only helps strengthen nails (boy does it ever!) but has actually improved how my some of my nails grew. Some of the odd bends I have in my nails actually straightened out a bit.

Since I’m all about nail care this year (hello fellow ex-nail bitters!), It Cosmetics Nail Love has been in my handbag at all times. Why hasn’t anyone though of this before? This nail pen includes oil to condition nails but also has a rubber slanted tip to help push your cuticles back. Convenient, no?

For color, the Barielle All Lacquered Up collection has been my favorite from this year. My friend Michelle from All Lacquered Up helped create a collection of shades that I am absolutely in love with and I turn to them over and over again… I’m talking to you Glammed Out Garnet and Get Mauving.

It all starts with the nail polish remover and Zoya Remove + Nail Polish Remover is my favorite nail polish remover of all time. The delivery method is fantastic, formula is not toxic, conditions the nails and I’m all for a product that helps calm me and steady my hands before applying nail polish. The lavender scent does just that.

We were really excited when we started seeing forest greens step on to the Fall trend scene, which is why we fell hard for OPI’s Here Today, Aragon Tomorrow from the Espana collection. So deep and sultry, even if it did take nearly three coats to get it just right.

When my hair needs refreshing, Ojon Revitalizing Mist takes care of my hair with just a few spritzes. This product is also a leave in conditioner. If I don’t have time for my usual routine, this detangles and leaves hair soft. I hope Sephora brings this back as a Beauty Insider deluxe sample, the small bottles are perfect for travel and I lost mine.

Frederic Fekkai’s Advanced Full Blown Volume Shampoo shampoo gets us excited, ala old school Herbal Essence commercials-style. The smell is refreshing with a hint of lime and gives LIFE to fine hair. The effect is really noticeable when blow drying with a big round brush.

If we could bathe in MoroccanOil products, we totally would… it conditions hair like nothing we have ever used. It is safe to say that MoroccanOil Treatment has completely rocked our world. It conditions, protects against heat, adds shine and tames flyaways. What more could we ask for?

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo isn’t exactly new but it is new to us this year. This product has saved my life in the morning (when I’m running late!) countless times this year and it is the only dry shampoo I keep re-purchasing. Why is that? It is gentle and does not irritate my scalp like other dry shampoos do.

So what about you? What are your favorite skincare, nails and hair products new to you this year?

Introduction to Suki Color: Eyes

Last but not least, I also tried Suki Color Triple Cream Eye Definer. This was also the last Suki Color product that I tried. It’s star ingredient is evening primrose oil, which is very nourishing and healing to the skin.

Suki Color Triple Cream Eye Definer The product comes in some truly gorgeous shades and I was able to try Amber and Smoke. I adored the way Amber looked on my eyes, the shimmer in the shade and finish of the formula left my eyes with a very sexy shimmery sheen, almost glistening. It’s as if my eyes were wet. I love that look but it’s not one I can pull off for very long thanks to my kryptonite lids. Unfortunately, the color started fading into my crease within 2 hours of wear. Perhaps someone with a different eye shape who’s less prone to creasing may have better luck with this though. I like to see how products do without a primer first so I didn’t try this with a primer yet but this something I’ll try next time. I’d really like to see a version of this product that is a little more long wearing though.

The price point for Suki Color products is definitely on the higher end. That does concern me a bit but I try to keep in mind that this is a different type of a product than I’m use and that my skin will thank me for it later. It can be a little discouraging, I know. Personally, I’d love to own all seven shades of the stains but I can’t really afford to. My hope is that the pricing will come down a bit so that this is more accessible to everyone.

Introduction to Suki Color: Face

Suki Color Tinted Active Moisturizer was next on my list to try. When I looked it up, I was shocked to see that only two shades were available; Natural for fair to medium complexions and Bronze for all complexions. I wondered exactly how would this look on a fair gal like myself.

Suki Color Tinted Active Moisturizer When I tried the product, it was a bit too dark for me as I expected. Suki suggests blending a few drops of moisturizer or their concealer to get a more customized color. I tried that and the product was still a wee bit dark on me but it wasn’t that bad so I wore it anyways in the name of research. The coverage of course was sheer but I liked the way it looked on my skin. It evened my skin tone out and it wasn’t heavy. It’s as if I wasn’t wearing makeup at all. It hung on for dear life, which I didn’t expect. The first time I wore it, I had my first session with a personal trainer and I was sweating like crazy. When I got home and went to wash my face, I still had some on.

I also liked what Suki Color Tinted Active Moisturizer did for my skin, it felt good on and I liked knowing it was helping my skin at the same time. It features white willow which is a natural salicylic acid with none of the synthetic version’s side effects.

With all that said, it’s disappointing to see such a limited range of shades. Luckily, I did buy one of the product suggested but I don’t have the other one (the concealer). I would have liked to see how it would have worked for me shade wise if I had this but even then, I shouldn’t have to blend my own custom shade. I’d like to see this product expand their color spectrum to feature more shades with different undertones. If and when this happens, I’d be happy to try it again.

Introduction to Suki Color: Lips

I love Suki’s skincare line but as far as the color products are concerned, they still have a little ways to go but I’m excited to see when and how they get there. There are definitely some positive aspects to the products that I did enjoy though so I’m going to spend the day taking a look at those products.

Suki Color Pure Cream Stain Suki Color Pure Cream Stain is a cheek and lip color in a pot. It comes in seven shades and features natural ingredients like mineral pigments, rose wax, jojoba oil, vitamin E and it’s star ingredient: chamomile to heal and soothe. This would have to be the product I enjoyed the most. On the cheeks this product is easy to blend and on the lips it’s rich, creamy and packed with pigment.

The color didn’t dry out my skin like I expected a stain to, my lips actually stayed moist most of the time. The color didn’t last as long as I would have hoped it would but it still made it through lunch with some color left over. At least I was left appreciating how my lips felt and I think that’s a fair trade off. I love the look of a matte lip so Clay was perfect for me but there are a few shades with some shimmer in them.

These are a little pricey and I’d love to own them all but for now, Whole Foods is just going to have to deal with me coming in to play with the Suki Color line…

Skin Smooth Like Velvet

While the lip balm wasn’t my favorite product in Suki’s line, it didn’t discourage me and I still found other things to love. I tried to stay away from Suki’s Velvet Facial Creme while I was testing other products and it was so hard! I’m glad I can finally get back to it though; I have missed it so much.

Suki's Velvet Facial Creme To say that Suki’s Velvet Facial Creme has a cream like consistency is a little misleading. This moisturizer actually has a very thin serum-like texture to it… my favorite kind! It’s very lightweight and so easy to distribute. And of course as you’ve heard me say quite a bit lately, it’s absorbed by the skin very quickly. I had my doubts as to whether or not this moisturizer would do its job with just a couple of pumps but low and behold, it did and my skin felt great. Just like I wanted, it was smooth and oh so soft. This little bottle even out-performed other thicker and pricier moisturizers I’ve tried recently. I actually think my skin looks a little more radiant from using this moisturizer.

I’ve been battling some redness and this calms it down and soothes my skin when it’s irritated. When I combine it with a few drops of Suki’s Facial Serum with Blue Chamomile and Echinacea, it’s good to help fend off some of the dry patches I’ve been seeing as well. Overall, this is a product I won’t do without and I feel really good about using a skincare regimen that’s based in natural ingredients.

Suki Lip Repair Butter

Since trying Suki’s Exfoliating Lemongrass Cleanser, I’ve been obsessed with trying more of her products. One I recently picked up was Suki’s Lip Repair Butter. At first I was a little dismayed by the price tag. In one local store, it was selling for $14 plus but I ended up going to Whole Foods and picked it up for just under $9. If this was in Nordstrom’s, I wouldn’t think twice but I guess buying this in grocery store made me think twice. I went ahead and did it anyways, I took the hit for my readers. smile

Suki Lip Repair Butter Suki’s Lip Repair Butter is an all natural lip balm that features organic ingredients like jojoba, sunflower and grapeseed oils infused with chamomile and calendula, beeswax, vitamin e and steam distilled essential oils. Based on this, I imagined this to be an amazing lip balm but I was a little disappointed when I tried it on.

While I loved the citrus scent, it wasn’t as emollient as I had expected it to be. The lip balm is thick like I like my lip balms to be but I really had to tug it along my lips to apply it. Even rubbing my lips together was a little tough. Once I warmed it up a little on the back of my hand, I was a bit easier but it still didn’t glide on as I would have liked it to.

With that said, I did find that this lip balm did soothe and soften my lips even though the texture was a bit awkward for me at first. Since then, I learned my lesson and keep try to keep this product in warmer areas of my home or even in my pocket as much as possible.

What it comes down to on this one is preference. While I can appreciate l thick lip balm like this, I know that not everyone else does. This won’t give your lips a sheen, it’s actually on the matte side, but it does have ingredients that make this a more intensive, healing lip balm. And since when have soft, smooth lips ever been a bad thing?