{eco beauty} herbivore botanicals: sweet tansy, why so blue?

everybody strives for balance in their lives: drinking plenty of fluids, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep + making time for friends, family + self {and don't forget to exercise!}. it's a good feeling when you strike that balance between work, social life + self care. finding a brand that is natural + cruelty free, and keeps your skin perfectly balanced feels good too!

i've been using oils to cleanse + moisturize for almost ten years now; i started out with olive oil, and over the years have experimented with argan oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, hemp oil + jojoba oil, and now i've tried blue tansy oil, a botanical ingredient in a beautiful shade of azure found in herbivore botanicals' lapiz blue facial oil. so what is blue tansy and what are it's magical, healing properties?

tansy is an essential oil derived from a european herb with a brilliant blue color. while tansy is poisonous, when used in small doses it has myriad medicinal + beneficial properties. tansy is anti-bacterial + an anti-inflammatory, helping to hydrate + soothe skin. this reparative oil works as a gentle moisturizer, helping to calm irritated skin + balance sebum levels {which our exocrine glands in the skin secrete to help protect + lubricate our hair + epidermis}.

herbivore botanicals' blue lapiz facial oil contains no animal byproducts or fillers, like water + emulsifying agents which can be found in commercial products, just the good stuff: blue yarrow, german blue chamomile, grapeseed oil, kukui nut oil, jojoba oil, jasmine sambac oil, bulgarian rose absolute, amaranth squalane, vitamin e oil + coconut oil. 

the results? my skin looked great + felt smooth. 

this quickly became one of my fave oils, as it is light + effective. you can purchase the lapiz facial oil roller as a part of their s|s skincare kit: the roller is great for traveling {small + spill proof, pictured above}; or you can purchase the oil in a glass bottle with dropper, separately, in a larger size. trying new plant-based soaps is one of life's simple pleasures for me, and they have a selection of fragrant soaps that come in pretty boxes including pink clay, blue clay + charcoal + bath salts for a little self love. all perfect for sensitive skin.

{don't forget the tip} my advice for anyone trying a new oil is this: always apply to wet or moist skin. post shower or post wash. if you prefer a morning spritzer or facial toner, then by all means go with it. try it on a portion of your skin first, perhaps your inner arm, before applying to your face. and if you decide the viscosity isn't quite right for your visage, then use it as a body oil on your legs + arms or use it as a hair serum to help smooth frizzy hair + add shine to your locks.

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{eco beauty} natural oils: time for a change

i read a post by an ethical fashion blogger recently in which she shared the fact that she doesn't use oils or lotions to moisturize at all. i am deeply in awe of any one who can go through life sans a little skin hydration help. if you ever ask me to recommend my top three beauty tips, i'll tell you every time: ample sleep, lots of water + moisturizer!

while i drink lots of h2o + eat plenty of high-water-content foods {like juicy grapefruits + watermelons, broccoli + cauliflower}, each morning my skin still feels like i've spent 40 days trekking through the sahara dessert without a water canteen or a bonnet {that's what my french friends call my beanies}.

i was lost, but then i was found. well, at least, my real epidermis seemed to be lost + i found the dreamiest solution to my parched skin dilemma: oils. the right oils are lightweight + easily absorbed; they don't leave your skin feeling greasy, but they nourish in the most delightful way. while most conventional moisturizers contain preservatives linked to cancer + reproductive health problems, there are a slew of natural alternatives for soft, supple skin.

known for their low pH, they help balance + protect the skin's natural acid mantle while delivering essential fatty acids, vitamins + proteins. my favorite trick is to use them while i'm bathing or showering. i massage the oil onto my legs, arms + face, then pat dry once i'm out. i also use on my scalp and hair ends during cold weather months. smells great + leaves my hair shiny + my skin aglow!

pictured above is a trio set of oils by acure {with certified organic ingredients}. it's a great + affordable way to dip your toes in the oil. this little starter kit includes rose, coconut + citrus oils made with argan oil to restore texture, elasticity + tone. you can find them at most health shops or online here {check out whole foods in the usa + naturalia in france}. more fave oils from sustainable + indie brands to come!

until next time: stay green, dear hearts!

{eco perfumery} essence + alchemy: 8 sensual, sustainable scents

"scent has a profound impact on our lives. smell is one of our strongest senses with the power to evoke different states of mind, and to change our perceptions." lisa hanson

perfumes, like personal style, are such a beautiful expression of self. mandy aftel, renonwned natural perfumer, observed that "aromas can take us anywhere." they serve to comfort + soothe: a deep, bright aroma can uplift + invigorate; a warm, softly aromatic perfume can calm your mood + restore your body's balance.

natural, clean perfumes are created with organic essential oils + plant extractives derived from nature's bounty {flowers, fruits, leaves, roots + more}. most commercial cosmetics + personal care products are made with unsafe petrochemically derived ingredients created in a lab {synthetic fragrances, phthalates + parabens*}. lucky for us, there are lots of sustainable + naturally derived alternatives.

the ingredient lists of eco perfumes often read like a botanist's private journal through a field expedition: notes of birch, amber + pine {those are ingredients worth trying} or cedar, juniper + vetivert {now we're on the right track}. the following bespoke perfumes offer sweet, sensual + downright intoxicating aromas!

{the goods} here are just a few of my favorite eco, artisan perfumes, because the nose knows:

1/ florescent: susannah compton, a self-professed "maker at heart" is the founder + formulator of florescent fragrances, a line of hand-crafted, 100% botanical perfumes made from real flowers, herbs, balsams + spices. susannah is a clean beauty enthusiast who launched florescent in 2015 after working with botanical aromatics for years, blending for therapeutic purposes. eventually she embarked on a personal journey to craft rare botanical essences. sans synthetic fragrance, sans chemical additives + cruelty-free

2/ one seed: seeing a gap in the market for natural perfumery, liz cook decided to yoke her passion for natural health + cosmetics to her passion for entrepreneurial business. liz creates artisanal perfumes made with organic + natural ingredients in the land down under {that's australia!}. she uses plant extracts + essential oils to create original + earthy fragrances, with 10% of profits donated to organizations that help disempowered people throughout the world including australia hope international. one seed offers custom-designed fragrances + aromatherapy blends. organic ingredients, sans synthetics + cruelty-free

3/ lurk: founder + perfumer anne nelson sanford notes that "scent is a really intimate thing. when you have a crush on someone there's this deep affinity for what they smell like. when we use natural elements we're unlocking actual sense memories, rather than approximating through chemistry." * a self-declared tomboy, sanford was always interested in beauty products from a science perspective. sanford was inspired by a passion for sustainable living, eco beauty + the power of essential oils to create . she hand pours and blends her gender-neutral perfumes with organic ingredients. sans synthetics + cruelty-free

4/kahina giving beauty: pioneering entrepreneur katharine l'heureux has put thought into every aspect of her ethical business, from sustainable sourcing to green formulations and environmentally-responsible packaging since 2008. she is dedicated to protecting the environment + giving back to the indigenous people of morocco who grow, harvest + produce her raw ingredients. kahina's warm + exotic fragrances are made with fair trade ingredients sourced from small family farms + cooperatives {offering marginalized women a means of financial and social independence}. 1% of annual revenue is donated to organizations that directly benefit the women of south morocco. organic ingredients + cruelty-free

5/ skin + bones: crowned the natural "oil mixologer" heidi jenkins considers her work with clean skincare + aromatics a part of the burgeoning safe cosmetics movement. heidi launched skin + bones in 2009 with only a single product, her jojoba-based moisturizer. it has since expanded to include a warm, luxurious parfum. heidi believes what you put on your body should be as pure as what you put in it. learning of the healing powers of essential oils {the skin-restoring benefits + therapeutic properties} + drawing upon traditional native american medicine, heidi created her own potion of nurturing essential oils derived from organic botanicals. organic ingredients, sans alcohol, sans chemicals

6/ french girl: kristeen griffin-grimes describes herself as a musician, a dreamer, a former author, and a "farmer at heart with a vaguely engineer-like mind." she's the creator behind the popular, organic skincare line french girl, founded in 2010. kristeen handcrafts her pure + simple products in seattle, washington from wild-crafted ingredients. organic essential oils are sourced from around the globe including the south of france, north africa, australia + the mediterranean basin. organic ingredients + cruelty-free

7/ethica: this online ethical retailer has a collection of scintillating scents for eco boys + girls including perfumes from hi wildflowers botanica + williams + murray + soul sunday aromatherapy rollers {all made with botanical ingredients}. all natural, vegan perfumes. ingredients are sourced from companies who use only ethical practices in line with their own. natural ingredients + cruelty-free

8/ olo: self-taught perfumer heather sielaff hand blends and bottles each fragrance to order in portland, oregon. heather started olo in 2009 with only $200 + an assorted collection of essential oils. her talent truly flourished when she harnessed her creative outlet to her own indie startup vision. olo's blends contain locally sourced essential oils, fractioned coconut oil, key accords and absolutes. sans aldehydes, sans alcohol + cruelty-free

{*the skinny} most cosmetics + personal care products are unregulated in the u.s.a., hence manufacturers are allowed to use hazardous chemicals without labeling them as toxic {fragrances, which are used to scent, are neurotoxins + allergens; phthalates like dbp, which are used to hold scent + color, are reproductive and developmental toxicants}. essential oils have been used throughout history for their physically + emotionally healing properties {and to tempt would-be lovers: legend has it that cleopatra had the sails of her ship soaked in jasmine to lure mark antony}. essential oils boost immunity, ease tension + headaches, promote focus + relaxation, and even help treat depression + insomnia. join the clean beauty revolution. for more information, read no more dirty looks.