{eco beauty} super natural: a green + cruelty-free morning routine

50 natural, vegan + cruelty-free beauty products

one of my fave fashion icons is diane keaton; i love her la-di-da, screwball persona clad in relaxed chinos, patterned neckties + bowler hats {diane later shared in her autobiography that her wardrobe choices were inspired by real life exploits + the street style of new york: she pieced together her off-beat + brilliant boy-meets-girl ensembles herself that were used in movies she starred in}.

diane keaton is my girl crush. probably because she represents the ultimate form of beauty to me: she exudes joy. i believe her most beautiful physical asset is her joyfulness, her positive energy + her smile {and that laugh!}.

and honestly, i love what she has had to say about beauty + acceptance of self over the years: 

diane keaton_.jpg

in a 2014 interview with vogue u/s diane was asked, "do you think there's an age at which you learn to accept the way you look?" her candid response was, "i don't think so. i think the more distracted you are, the better you're off in terms of looking at yourself."

see, self-acceptance, well, there's a secret to it all. and this is what i know about it.

i've been a busy gal for most of my life {with the biggest portion of my life devoted to volunteering + working in the field of education with inner city youth}, and with that, i've often felt that i haven't had time to dwell on any possible physical flaws that might exist. and to be honest, i don't subscribe to the idea of flaws: i believe we're all born innately beautiful, exactly the way we were supposed to come together. because god doesn't make mistakes.

i came to understand long ago that confidence can be equated with beauty. and when we compare ourselves to others, we forget to focus on our own light + innumerable strengths, and all of the beauty we each possess.

in truth, i feel most confident when i'm healthy + happy. and i'm usually feeling most joyous when i'm contributing to the happiness + well-being of those around me. as for my health, this starts from the inside out, and is reflected in my skin. as a plant advocate, i like to eat the plants, and i like to wear the plants.

i love to use products that promote clear + dewy skin. our skin is host to myriad species including bacteria, yeast + fungi. good bacteria informs our skin cells to create our own antibiotics that kill off harmful bacteria, however an imbalance in our skin's microbiome, due to harsh chemicals found in commercial products or an overly sanitized way of life, can disrupt our bodies natural acid mantle + lead to break outs, acne, ecsema or rosacea.

my morning routine consists of the bare minimum: toner {does everyone know about the magic of toners?}, lip balm, plant oils as moisturizers + a little mascara. 

voilà! 

if i'm feeling fancy, i'll put a little bronzer + eyeliner on. for me, confidence comes from feeling good about the way i'm presenting myself to me. i've put together this list of fave products that support your natural beauty + long-term health. i've test driven some great, plant-based brands. each product listed here is made sans fillers, additives, petrochemicals + preservatives, instead each is made with love from active ingredients including fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, flowers + berries.

without further ado, these are my top natural beauty brands {50 distinct eco brands in all} + my fave vegan products from each cruelty-free company: 

{soap bars} s/he studio // scratch goods // dr. bronner's // osmia organics

{facial cleansers + exfoliators} root science // precious skin elixirs // shamanuti // aster + bay

{toner} poppy + someday // herbivore botanicals // french girl organics // kani

{facial oils + moisturizers} kahina // pelle beauty // my skin + bones // mun // poetic blend

{mascara} pacifica // w3ll people // lily lolo // jane iredale 

{eyeliner} w3ll people // bwc 

{blush + bronzer} antonym // devita 

{lip gloss} juice beauty // 100% pure // emani

{lip balm} unearth malee // ellovi // hurraw // mi me

{body moisturizers} forager + this list of 4 fab lotions will keep your skin super nourished + moisturized.

{make up brushes} eco tools // alima pure 

{dry shampoo} lulu organics is tops. here's a list of my 4 fave dry shampoos + how to apply so you don't look like someone threw a snowball at your head. i just tried this dry shampoo by mullein + sparrow from trunk collective; it has a dark hue for the brunettes of the world + is chocolate scented for the cocoa lovers of the world {comes in a teeny tiny container for travelers packing light}.

{wet shampoo + bar shampoo} here's a list of 6 amazing eco shampoos to keep your tresses shiny + strong. 

{leave-in conditioner + hair texturizer} yarok // acure // eco sevi // captain blankenship

{don't forget the tip} when it comes to choosing bath + beauty products that are made with pure, safe + organic ingredients, i turn to my favorite experts {these gals will never lead you astray, from lipstick to foundations, they're the real deal}: andrea at organic beauty lover yenny at eco chic beauty trish at ni hao new york

petit vour remains my numero uno for clean + cruelty-free beauty where you can find most of the goods listed here, yes, all in one place. hop to the right side bar here at finny + dill for a list of more eco apothecaries or scroll down if you're on your phone. and don't forget that knowledge is power, so get some of that good info + learn the truth about conventional beauty products by reading no more dirty looks or not just a pretty faceuntil next time, stay green dear hearts!

{header image + artwork by ev // made in the usa zip pouch by talented designer + artist

chotnelle}

eco beauty: shampoo bars, for great hair days

shampoo bars h-2.jpg

the first time i read about shampoo bars, i was truly intrigued + a little skeptical, kind of the way i felt about dippin' dots when i first laid eyes on those tiny little ice cream pellets as a kid. innovation is always welcome, but i had to wonder: will it yield the same satisfying results?

i've been a dedicated user of shampoo bars for five years now. i love this zero-plastic + minimal waste option, the simple + safe ingredient lists, and the results. in a previous post sharing 5 easy tips to green your bathroom {which includes saying au revoir to plastic soap dispensers + using old-fashioned bar soap as well as trying bottle-less shampoo, aka shampoo bars}, i discussed why this product is one of my favorite bath + beauty products: because it truly works.

whether you have moody hair {straight one day, wavy the next}, reliably frizzy hair, or predictably straight hair, this product is great for nourishing your locks, and it's great for maintaining healthy tresses whether you have dry hair, oily hair or you're somewhere in between. here's how to use a shampoo bar + what to expect from this tiny, yet mighty product:

shampoo bars have a creamy consistency, so they don't quite lather as a liquid shampoo might, but they are super effective, yielding healthy, shiny locks with just enough volume. rub the bar across your head + hair, and then massage away. bars might require conditioning after washing if you're prone to frizzy hair or hair that is naturally wavy; i always rotate my liquid shampoos throughout the months + supplement with a shampoo bar.

i have mercurial hair, sometimes it's wavy, other times it's straight; shampoo bars always define my waves, so this would be the perfect product for gals with curly hair or girls lovin' the beachy waves.

here's a list of my fave vegan + cruelty-free brands offering organic, fair trade ingredients {no chemical preservatives, no synthetic fragrances and no detergents}:

1/ ethically engineered: made with softening camellia oil. chemical free + animal friendly. find it at whole foods in the usa. handmade in the chicago

2/ dr. bronner's: made with hydrating organic coconut oil. fair trade + organic ingredients. find it at walgreens pharmacy or your local grocery stores in the usa. made in the usa

3/ j.r. liggett's: made with conditioning olive oil + argan oil. each bar is hand cut. find it at whole foods or online at vitacost. made in the usa

4/ unearth malee: made with nourishing jojoba oil + argan oil. organic + vegan ingredients. hand made in california.

a heaping serving of natural + handmade shampoo bars can be found on etsy. i'm going to be trying ethique, which has a shampoo bar and a conditioning bar. i'll let you know how that goes. let the good hair days commence. if you're in france, lamazuna offers a vegan shampoo bar which i've used + like beaucoup.

if you're a gal or guy looking for green, clean bottled shampoo in a store near you, here are my fave bottled shampoos, all natural + all vegan of course.

{don't forget the tip} shampoo was named after a popular indian head massage {champ in hindi}. while the indians used oils, the main ingredients in our shampoos today are detergents, water, surfactants {sodium laureth sulfate, SLES, or sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS}, and alcohol.

shampoo bars don't quite lather up like most conventional liquid shampoos, but they're fantastic at nourishing your locks. remember, foaming agents such as lauramide DEA or cocamide DEA + MEA are not our friends, so an easy green tip to remember: lather is not necessary + it's also potentially dangerous to our health because when a product sits on a shelf, the ingredient DEA reacts with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, carcinogens linked to cancer.

when SLES or SLS is ethoxylated, a process meant to soften the harshness of the chemical, it produces a carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane, which does not have to be listed on product labels as an ingredient. surfactants are wetting agents that help trap oil and the dirt stuck to it, allowing the water to rinse it all off. unfortunately, in the process, this also strips hair of its natural oils. this make our hair feel clean, but it also perpetuates a cycle that demands more and more products. * so choose healthy bath products that keep you and your locks healthy. 


until next time, stay green dear hearts!

eco beauty: shea brand body butter

i have this visual that used to replay in my head when i first started blogging: it's a western film, the scene: a shadowy saloon, and a thirsty cowboy sits bar-side waiting for his drink; the bartender slides a frosty glass across the bar top. in the movies, the cowboy usually picks up the beverage and downs it, but in my mind, i imagine the drink being slid back across the bar, right back to where it came from.

in my imagination, the cowboy is actually me, and i'm sliding a bath or beauty product back because it wasn't effective. that was years ago when i was still learning which natural skincare brands truly worked wonders, as promised. these days, i have a list of clean + cruelty-free favorites that are tried + true. and i'm adding a new plant-based moisturizer today.

recently, when i ran out of my regular facial oil + body balm by pelle and when my travel bottle of lotion by beauty without cruelty was completely empty, i turned to a new organic + animal-friendly product shea brand whipped organic butter for a little hydrating help. the results? let's just say, i'm one happy cowgirl + i will not be sliding this softening body butter back across my fictional counter. this is shea brand: new to the green beauty scene is this fantastic product, handmade in brooklyn, boasting no chemicals and no palm oil. a cruelty-free product, this regenerative product comes in a petite cylindrical tin that fits easily into your make-up bag or even your pocket. it twists open + shut, so there's no spillage.

i've tried shea-based products before as body moisturizers, and none have had the same powerfully nourishing effect as this little butter. i use oils + butters on my skin, hair and face, and i'm always careful not to apply too liberally because shiny is good, but sticky is not on my agenda. this product has the perfect texture.

from our friends at shea brand

shea is a powerfully nourishing daily moisturizer, and a little bit goes a long way. thick, reliable and protective, yet soft and rapidly nourishing, shea’s fatty acids replenish important lipids and strengthen cell membranes in the skin. regenerate, soften and protect dry, dehydrated, healing, and sensitive skin and hair. use on eczema, to eliminate scars, prevent stretch marks, smooth keratosis pilaris, and heal burned and damaged skin.

distinctive benefits:

  • muscle aches and fatigue
  • mild insect repellent
  • scent provides headache and nausea relief
  • protect skin from toxins and bacteria

as an avid traveler, this product is also tops on my list for being small in stature + easy to pack. ready for silky soft? pop on over here. for more of my fave small batch, organic + vegan lotions, hop on over here

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

green crush: meet yenny of eco chic beauty

yenny dang is known as an upbeat, approachable + authentic critic of organic skincare + beauty products. she is to the world of natural + nontoxic beauty what roger ebert + gene siskel were to the world of film critique. 

over 4 years ago i decided to make the switch to clean beauty products. i walked confidently into a corner pharmacy in america, determined to pluck a healthy alternative off the shelves. no petrochemicals or phthalates for me, thank you. these ingredients may be good enough for vinyl flooring + building materials, but they are not good enough for our faces + bodies. i found a lotion with the letters "organic" scrawled across the top of the bottle in bold letters. i paid + went home with product in hand only to find out that there wasn't a single organic or natural ingredient inside. 

this life lesson is called reading the labels.

i scratched my head. this wasn't as easy as i thought it was going to be. fast forward to 2015; i have finally amassed an array of truly organic + cruelty-free products. but there are experts that exist in our universe: people with knowledge. people with moisturizing lip glosses in their purses that taste like fresh fruit salads + remarkably effective lotions lying resplendent across their nightstands. 

these experts devote their time + energy to spraying, slathering + soaking in myriad green products, then they reveal the results. do you know who benefits? you + i do, my friends.

where are all these experts you may ask? well, right this way. 

yenny caught the attention of the ig community with her pithy posts delivering the things skincare, hair care + beauty. she gives her honest opinion about everything from label design to the efficacy of each product she reviews. she is warm, genuine + so easy to talk to. 

i had the opportunity to ask yenny a few questions about what exactly drives her passion for the perfect green product + what makes this beauty happy. dive in to learn about the one product she thinks every eco girl should own, who she admires most + what book she believe is the "green beauty bible". this is yenny:

f+d: what is one small action you might encourage others to take to live a more sustainable lifestyle {beyond recycling}?

yd: i would encourage people to think for a minute about how every purchase, decision or action they make affects the environment, animals or people.

f+d: what is your favorite eco online retailer or brick + mortar shop? 

yd: ahh, i can only choose one? ;) i love beau.tea.bar and the detox market for both their online retail stores and their brick and mortar shops. i also love follain and cap beauty for their brick and mortar stores. as for the online retailers, integrity botanicalseco diva beauty and safe + chic are great! 

f+d: was there a book/movie/aha! moment which put you on the path to clean beauty/green living? 

yd: yes! no more dirty looks! it's like the green beauty bible!

f+d: what is one personal quality about yourself that you would never change? 

yd: i would have to say my loyalty and my big-heart. i am fiercely loyal, and i genuinely care about people, animals, and the environment. i try to help out wherever, whenever, as much as i can. i'd very much rather give than receive - i'm a huge giver! seeing a smile on someone's face, making someone's day, or doing something impactful in a positive way, means the world to me.

f+d: share four things that make you really happy. 

yd: only 4? lol. i would have to say: my furbabies {i have 2 little chihuahuas}, sunny/beachy weather {that vitamin d though!}, travelling, green beauty, good food, good music, my family and friends... i could go on and on. :)

f+d: it takes a lot of time + dedication to post regularly + create a community around that which inspires you. what motivates you to do so? 

yd: the sense of community and being able to share my passion with like-minded individuals. the admiration, inspiration and respect we have for one another is unreal. i've made so many great friendships through the green beauty + clean living community, some of whom are very close friends of mine now!

f+d: which person do you most admire and why?

yd: wow, this is a hard one, because i truly admire a lot of people, especially in green beauty. since i can't choose just one person, i'll tell you who i admire in the realm of sustainability. i would have to say elon musk and stella mccartney. elon is an innovative + creative genius; and stella makes these gorgeous pret-a-porter / runway-ready clothes. they are proof that you can make ethical, conscious, sustainable products that are both luxurious and good for the environment. conscious, eco-friendly, sustainable products don't always have to be boring or too "granola."

f+d: i'm so curious as to your fave beauty brands. what is one beauty product you would recommend that every woman should have in her purse or medicine cabinet?

yd: oh, this is too hard! there are SO many green beauty products that i absolutely love! but if i were to recommend one product, it would have to be may lindstrom's the problem solver. it was one of the first green beauty products i ever tried and it hasn't let me down since. if you've had a stressful day or have an important day coming up, this mask does wonders for your face and for your psyche! it really is like magic, it makes all of your problems go away! ;)

f+d: one last question, do you have a favorite quote or motto?

yd: do all things with love. :)

follow yenny's eco beauty adventures on instagram!

{header image + center image c/o jen jar photography// skincare imges c/o eco chic beauty // elon musk c/o nbc // artwork by ev}

{eco fashion guides} from head to toe: sublime socks, star shampoos + more

i love lists: i've said it before, and i'll say it again. so, i've rounded up my favorite lists of eco faves for friends, family members + readers alike who have been asking for recommendations on everything from underoos + socks to deodorants + shampoos. 14 green guides, all cruelty-free, vegan + perfect for healthy living:

"can you tell me about any eco brands that make good socks?" a friend recently inquired while holding up a sad sock with holes in the toes. the thing is, i can go into esoteric raptures about all things eco + ethical, but i tried to keep it short, "i have a list on my blog!" i told her. prompted by my gal pal's request for recommendations for everything from socks + shoes to underoos, i decided to gather up all the lists of goodies that i've compiled here on finny + dill. let's get started:

cruelty-free, vegan bath + beauty products

1/ lip balm: keep 'em moist; hydrated lips for everyone

2/ deodorant: don't sweat it, green hearts; think fresh, citrusy thoughts 

3/ shampoo: here i effuse about organic shampoos; shine on, mon amis

4/ dry shampoo: the mother of all inventions; an ardent fan i am

5/ facial oil: restore your skin's natural glow; clear + pH balanced skin for you + you +

you!

6/ body moisturizer: wellness rituals should always involve body butter

7/ perfume: fetching fragrances for him + her; when pheromones just won't do

ethical + organic clothing

8/ sweaters: mmm, warm + cozy options for cool-weather months

9/ 12 artisan brands: satisfy your appetite for rare, handmade goods + your yen for unique finds

10/ 12 ethical brands: move over fast fashion, these classic treasures are here to stay

fair trade + animal-friendly footwear

11/ socks: put your best foot forward with fair trade + organic options; i like 'em dotty

12/ boots: change is afoot with these innovative, animal-friendly creations; wear the pineapple you want to be in the world

eco outdoor gear

13/ camping gear: these makers, they've got what you need for good, clean fun

14/ insect repellent: the thrill of the chase; when you're not being chased by those little critters, it is a thrill indeed

undies

bonus: i promised underoos, so i'm including this rad list from noveaux magazine on some sweet + sensual lingerie + underwear brands.

check out these beauties here + more sexy, sustainable lingerie here

swimwear

double bonus: eco cult brings us this fantastic list of sustainable swimsuits + bikinis for fun in the sun. wherever you are, i hope there's plenty of sun. it's that time: vitamin d for you + me

until next time, stay green dear hearts! ♥