February 29, 2008

7 Reasons to Drink Green Tea

Spotted this article on Yahoo! and thought I'd pass it on. I absolutely agree with the last point that tea burns calories. I'm often asked how I stay so thin since I don't work out. "Lots of tea!" I always say as one reason. (The others are walking and cleaning like I have OCD.)

I prefer white tea to green tea; it's the least processed of teas and thus retains the most antioxidants. It also has a delicate flavor and contains the least amount of caffeine. Lately, I can't get enough of Revolution's White Pomegranate Tea.

Eco factor: This tea isn't organic, I concede, but Revolution has started making all of its teas without a string and little paper tag to reduce waste.

To buy: $5.99 at revolutiontea.com

February 27, 2008

L'Oreal Bare Naturale Foundation with SPF 19

I've been leery of the numerous drugstore mineral lines that have cropped up like wildflowers in recent years. Most them still contain talc as well as other harsh ingredients. Talc is technically a mineral—but a cheap and dehydrating one. However, oily-skinned gals, especially teens, can benefit from a mineral powder with talc; it'll keeps the greasies at bay.

A good friend mentioned that she and her roommate have been using L’Oreal's Bare Naturale Foundation SPF 19 and really like it: good coverage and their face is significantly less shiny at day's end. Plus, Bare Naturale is easier on the wallet than high-end mineral makeup lines.

Pretty factor: This loose powder contains 5% active zinc oxide, which is a natural sunscreen and redness-soother. (It's the main ingredient in diaper rash creams.) Aloe vera further soothes and panthenol, aka vitamin B5, conditions the skin.

Eco factor: No parabens or synthetic fragrance and dyes

To buy: $15.25 at drugstores nationwide and drugstore.com


February 25, 2008

Perianne Skin care: Fall/Winter line

I'm giddy about this new line—it combines two of my favorite things: beauty products and seasonal food! Perianne Skin care, the brainchild of a Brooklyn-based woman named Cora Michael, is inspired by the changing seasons and their effects on the skin.

There are two lines: Fall/Winter, composed of a milky cleanser, gentle toner and a rich face cream, and Spring/Summer, composed of a foaming cleanser, more purifying toner and a light facial lotion. Women with dry or mature skin can use the Fall/Winter line year-round and those with exceptionally oily or acneic skin can use the Spring/Summer line year-round. Or, of course, you can combine items. Creamy cleansers aren't cleansing enough for my oily skin, but I've been using the Fall/Winter toner and rich face cream with MyChelle's White Cranberry Cleanser and have had impressively softer, more supple skin.

Pretty factor:
Perianne Skin Care products are loaded with herbs, essential oils, botanical extracts, including amazing-smelling seasonal ingredients. For example, the Fall/Winter line contains pumpkin seed oil (rich in skin-plumping omega-3 and -6 fatty acids), cranberry seed oil (high in vitamin A, which promotes cellular turnover), and fennel essential oil (reduces inflammation and detoxifies).

Eco factor:
Organic ingredients and no parabens, petrochemicals, harsh surfactants (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate), or synthetic colors and fragrances.

To buy: $20 for the cleanser and toner and $40 for the cream at perianneskincare.com

February 22, 2008

NVEY ECO Organic Cake Eyeliner

I’ve never worn eyeliner—my unsteady hands usually produce lines as straight as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. But I was recently sent NVEY ECO’s Organic Cake Eyeliner, looked at the ingredients list and thought, This just might work.

I dashed to the drugstore, bought a sponge-tipped liner brush and have been successfully working the smoky-eyed, bare-lipped Parisian look. Mmy French ancestors would be proud.

Pretty factor: Corn silk, jojoba oil and triglycerides provide an amazingly soft, smooth application that's easily blendable. Chamomile extract soothes the delicate eye area and vitamins A, C & E provide free-radical protection.

Eco factor: NVEY ECO is an Australian maker of high-quality, certified organic makeup that hit the states last year. No drying talc, petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrance or colors, propylene glycol, silicones, genetically modified ingredients, animal ingredients or animal testing.

To buy: $24 at sephora.com and econveybeauty.com


February 19, 2008

NEW Paddywax Candles Eco Collection

I love luxely scented soy candles...but hate their price stickers—$40 for a candle the size of a tea cup? Come on. A few months ago, I discovered Paddywax at Whole Foods and became hooked by their heavenly smells yet affordable prices. So, I was thrilled to recently learn about the company's new Eco line.

Pretty factor: The Eco line includes 15 highly concentrated, ahhh-inducing scent-pairings like Mediterranean Rosemary and Citrus and Bordeaux Fig and Vetiver.

Eco factor:
They come in quickly biodegradable, chlorine-free pulp boxes that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and soy-based ink. All Paddywax candles are 100% natural, made from a soy blend and real essential oils. In September 2008, the environmentally committed company went carbon-neutral, teaming up with Verus Carbon Neutral, to measure its CO2 footprint and monetarily give the green debt to the Chicago Climate Exchange, which funds fund carbon-reducing projects.

To buy:
just $18 at select Whole Foods and paddywax.com

February 15, 2008

Juice Organics Brightening Moisturizer

If you're thinking that this packaging looks a heckuva lot like Juice Beauty's, you're right. Juice Organics is the drugstore version of Juice Beauty, the certified organic skincare line sold at Sephora. There's minimal difference between the two brands' ingredients—and JO's prices are half of JB's.

I've been using Juice Organics's Brightening Cleanser for several weeks and it works. My face is two shades lighter. Seriously. If you have to pick between the cleanser and the moisturizer, though, go with the moisturizer. Because it stays on longer, it'll be more effective.

Pretty factor: Know how you can use lemon juice and hot water to get rid of scum and mineral deposits in the kitchen or bath? Well, it does a similar job on the face. Juice Organics products contain organic lemon juice, whose natural hydroxy acids exfoliate, detoxify pores, and help fade age spots and red marks from acne. Malic acid from apple juice and glycolic acid from sugar cane additionally exfoliate. Aloe leaf juice alleviates any redness that might result from the acids and honey moisturizes. The moisturizer is also loaded with antioxidants including green tea, coenzyme Q10, and alpha-lipoic acid.

Ideal for: All skin types

Eco factor: Juice Organics products are made with 100% certified organic ingredients. No parabens, synthetic fragrances, petroleum derivatives, artificial dyes, harsh sulfates, or phthalates. Juice Organics has a strict no animal testing policy and contains vegetarian ingredients.

To buy: $9.99 for the cleanser, $14.99 for the moisturizer; at Ulta stores, Ulta.com and juiceorganics.com

Ingredients: cleanser moisturizer

February 12, 2008

NEW Tarte Double Dose Berry Boost & Gloss

If you're anything of a beauty nut, you've probably heard the stat that women consume 2 to 4 pounds of lip gloss each year. It's better than that rumor that we also munch on 6 spiders in our sleep, but it nevertheless gets you thinking about what you're putting on your lips!

Tarte Cosmetics is the leader in healthy lipstick. Last year, it debuted Inside Out Vitamin Lip Gloss, a you-can-actually-eat-this collaboration with BORBA Neutraceuticals. Well, the product now comes in even purer form: Double Dose Berry Boost & Gloss, free of parabens and petroleum and loaded in fresh berry extracts.

Pretty factor:
The glosses contain an antioxidant-bursting blend of today's uber-fruits: goji, acai, maracuja, acerola and pomegranate. Peppermint oil, in a larger amount than the fruit complex, freshens breath and stimulates circulation to give a slightly plumper pout.

Eco factor:
No parabens, petroleum, mineral oil or phthalates. Every purchase of a Tarte product that has its new T5 Super Fruit Complex supports the Sambazon Sustainable Acai Project, a Brazilian organization that provides companies worldwide with organic and fair trade acai berry while re-building the Amazon rain forest via planting of acai trees.

To buy:
$21 at Sephora stores and sephora.com

February 7, 2008

Clark's Botanicals Skin Lightening Kojic Cream

It's Fashion Week here in New York, which means parties upon parties. After reading about Clark's Botanicals in a recent issue of Vogue, I wanted to check out the brand. I got lucky when an editor-friend invited me to a PR party for Clark's last night.

The event
was co-sponsored by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (actor-party boy Wilmer Valderrama was there for some reason). This month, a percentage of sales from Clark's Skin Lightening Kojic Cream will go the CDRF. To learn why, read this short article on CB's tragedy-turned-blessing origins.

Pretty factor: Unlike hydroquinone, a chemical skin bleacher that's banned in Europe and most of Asia because it's absorbed into the blood stream and causes mutations in lab animals, kojic acid safely and naturally lightens the skin. Derived from a fungus, it inhibits the production of melanin as effectively as hydroquinone, and you don't have to stop using it after 2 months (as you do with hydroquinone).

Ideal for:
Anyone with pigmentation problems, e.g. sunspots/liverspots or red marks left over from zits.

Eco factor:
No parabens, phthalates, petroleum or mineral oil.

To buy: $85 at clarksbotanicals.com

February 6, 2008

PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics Nail Polish

We all want to have pretty, feminine hands. But have you ever wondered if that potent chemical odor in nail salons just might not be best for your brain cells? If so, you're right. Chemicals in traditional nail polishes (specifically formaldehyde, toluene and acetone) are big-time indoor air polluters, potentially carcinogenic and allergy-causing.

Pretty factor: PeaceKeeper's polishes come in 8 varying shades that suit a variety of personalities, from vibrantly punchy to demurely soft. My favorite is Paint Me Luminous: creamy and natural-looking with a pretty, subtle shimmer.

Eco factor: PeaceKeeper products are free of harsh chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, artificial coloring. The company gives an impressive chunk of its profits to women's health and human rights organizations (thus its name PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics). And, of course, it does not test on animals.

To buy:
$12 at Whole Foods and iamapeacekeeper.com


February 4, 2008

Still My Favorite Lip Product: Jane Iredale Puregloss™ for Lips

I've used countless natural lip glosses the past year, but Jane Iredale Puregloss™ remains my fav. It's all about the invigorating ginger root extract, top-notch antioxidants, and numerous shades to chose from (20 to be exact).

Pretty factor: Jojoba esters plus coconut, palm and soybean oils give above-and-beyond moisturization. Grape seed, green tea leaf, and pomegranate extracts pack an antioxidant punch.

Eco factor:
No parabens, phthalates or chemical dyes or fragrance

To buy:
$19 at janeiredaledirect.com