July 14, 2009

Eco*Pretty's Last Post

Eco*Pretty is ending. During a time when everyone and their aunt is blogging and tweeting, I'm going offline. I think this social media trend has two, maybe three, more months before people lose interest.

Ha! No, I've been working an increasing amount the past few months as the Chicago sales and education rep for a large organic skincare company. I was recently promoted and given more responsibility that includes frequent travel and, most exciting, health benefits! I'm also writing for the company's blog (= slight conflict of interest).

Thank you for your readership and comments.  It's been so pleasurable serving and interacting with you throughout these 150 posts.  I've tried to feature the best of the growing crop of gorgeous, natural cosmetics now on the marketbeing mindful, during this recession, to include ones that won't empty your wallet.  I hope you've seen great results with anything you've bought as a result of these recommendations.  Good luck in your environmental and beauty endeavors!


Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Buy organic. Eat local.
Plant trees. Take public transit.
Always stop to smell the flowers.

July 7, 2009

NEW The Body Deli Blueberry Fusion Cleanser

When the weather is humid and the sun is unflinching, this skincare junkie can't help but be attracted to a brand with fresh food ingredients and products with names like Sea Cucumber Gelee that require refrigeration.

After a few sessions of sticking my head in the freezer to cool off last week, I found myself typing thebodydeli.com into my browser. (After discovering the brand last summer, I was instantly addicted to its fresh cucumber toner.) This year, I was excited to discover the just-launched Blueberry Fusion resurfacing cleanser. From its rich purple hue, description and ingredients, I suspected it would become my new fav face wash. It is.

Pretty factor: Lactic and malic acids slough off dead skin cells and unclog pores (the wash tingles upon application!), while acai and blueberry extracts feed the skin anti-aging antioxidants. Decyl glucoside, a super mild plant-derived surfactant, gently removes grime and makeup, and oat flour soothes.

If you have extra bucks, try the Sea Cucumber Gelee—a summer must-have mask.  It hydrates parched, sun-zapped skin, calms redness, and helps repair free radical damage. Some of its irresistible ingredients include organic aloe vera juice, sodium hyaluronate, and fresh wheatgrass, dandelion leaf, and kale juices.  Coolest of all:  It ships on ice and must be stored in the frig.

Eco factor:
Body Deli products contain fresh, organic plant, fruit and veggie extracts. No sulfates or other harsh surfactants, paraben preservatives, silicones, petrochemicals, or synthetic dyes and fragrance.

To buy: $38 for the cleanser and $45 for the cucumber mask at TheBodyDeli.com

June 23, 2009

Collective Wellbeing Hot Pore Cleansing Scrub with Active Charcoal

Grill season is here. And while this summer won't find me sizzling slabs of meat over charcoal (a potentially carcinogenic activity), I will be slathering a little of that black, porous rock over my face via a current product fav: Collective Wellbeing's Hot Pore Cleansing Scrub: a purifying mask and jojoba bead exfoliator in-one...that warms on contact!

Pretty factor: I've scrutinized countless ingredients lists, and this one's raised both eyebrows in pleasure. Like a sponge, charcoal absorbs excess oil on the skin (much appreciated during Chicago's hot, humid summers). A physical-chemical exfoliation duo of jojoba beads and salicylic acid reduce and prevent breakouts. Finally, antibacterial tea tree extract zaps acne-causing bacteria that might be having their own summer bash on your skin's surface.

Eco factor: Collective Wellbeing uses organic botanicals and no sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrance or color. They're members of 1% For the Planet and The Chicago Climate Exchange, through which they have completely eliminated their carbon footprint! 

To buy: $14.99 at Whole Foods and collectivewellbeing.com

June 15, 2009

Alo-ha! Pacificia's $9 Solid Perfumes

A few readers have asked why I haven't reviewed the growing crop of gorgeous natural perfumes. One simple reason: too expensive! Most hover around 80 bucks a bottle—which is out of my wallet's range and, I imagine, many of yours given this wretched recession. As a result, the only eau's I've been using have been Stella McCartney's rollerball and whiffs from my essential oil-scented haircare products.

But that changed last month after discovering Pacifica's solid perfumes. Just $9, they come in cool Andy Warhol-meets-South Pacific tins. There are 20 aromas to choose from such as Malibu Lemon Blossom, Tahitian Gardenia and—my favoriteFrench Lilac.

Pretty factor: These perfumes are a lesson in simplicity. Just a few ingredients: organic soy and coconut waxes that "hold" the scents longer and a blend of essential oils. The tins are easily transportable, too. Perfect for your beach or weekend getaway bag!

Eco factor: Pacifica products are free of parabens, phthalates, nitro musks, lead wicks, animal ingredients (including beeswax), and animal testing. Packaging is made with recycled content, the company reuses and reduces wherever possible, and it's working toward carbon neutrality.

To buy: $9 at select Whole Foods, Sephora (which sells 6 of the 20 scents) and pacificaperfume.com

June 9, 2009

Josie Maran Bear Naked Makeup Remover Wipes

I've always favored gentle foaming cleansers over makeup-removing wipes to wash my face. But a lot of women love the no-water-required convenience of wipes.  Plus they're ideal for this time of year; they remove sweat and runny foundation in one quick swipe. Model Josie Maran has launched some nice ones: Bear Naked Makeup Remover Wipes.

A portion of every sale benefits the Polar Bear SOS, a Natural Resources Defense Council initiative that aims to have polar bears protected under the Endangered Species Act. One tragic effect of global warming is that rising temperatures have melted large amounts of Arctic ice. As a result, polar bears must swim further to find land and are drowning in the process. There are some heart-breaking images that document their plight....

Pretty factor: These gentle wipes use a soothing cocktail of cucumber, chamomile, aloe and vitamin E. They're free of artificial fragrance (which can irritate the delicate eye area), instead using a splash of grapefruit oil for a refreshing, zesty scent.

Eco factor: No parabens or artificial dyes or fragrance. A portion of proceeds goes to the Polar Bear SOS, an initiative by the Natural Resources Defense Council to get polar bears protected under the Endangered Species Act.

To buy: $12 at josiemarancosmetics.com and sephora.com