Neon Pink Lips & Other Ways to Combat Warm Weather Envy

From what I hear, back home in North Carolina spring has officially arrived! Flowers are blooming, pollen is in the air, and eighty degree weather is urging everyone down I-70 towards the beach for the weekend. Of course, if you’re living in or around the Denver area, you may have just experienced EIGHT INCHES OF SNOW. Yes, it is thirty degrees in mid-April and while the freshly blanketed snow is very pretty and reminiscent of more festive, Christmas-like times…again, it is mid-April.

Naturally, all these spring false starts, combined with pictures of friends from home lounging (smugly) poolside have made all the bright, spring-y things I’ve been compulsively buying seem like (at least slightly) deserved consolation prizes. Despite days that call for ice scrapers rather than open windows, a quick look around the mall reveals that Denver stores, like much of the rest of the nation, have moved on to a warmer state of mind. Beauty trends this spring are all about color: shades of turquoise, coral, tangerine and emerald add excitement to wardrobes and pop against skin and nails.

Along with warmer weather (PLEASE), here’s my spring wishlist. What’s yours?

1. Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics in Anime: Because what says spring like a bright pink lip? This stuff (for lack of a better term) goes on like gloss but lasts like a lipstick and is super, SUPER pigmented. Available in literally all spectrums of the rainbow, lip tar will brighten your complexion and add interest to otherwise understated makeup. Available for $16 at Sephora.

Colors don't get much brighter than this. Via

Colors don’t get much brighter than this. Via

2. Feather Effects Nail Polish by Nails Inc. in Brighton: If you come out with a new nail “effect” and package it cutely, I’ll probably be interested. In this case, the feathery effect of the nail polish and use of bright colors makes Nail Inc.’s new line perfect for warm, spring weather. Pair with bright white and make these nails a central focus of your outfit! Available for $18.29 from ASOS.

These feathery nails remind me that, like a bird, I should've headed south for the winter. Ok, end of complaining. Via

These feathery nails remind me that, like a bird, I should’ve headed south for the winter. Ok, end of complaining. Via

3. Body Tint by Lush in Black Stockings: So, I really want to bask, nap and read in the sun from dawn until dusk. But even once it reaches a pool-worthy level of degrees here (approximately sometime in mid-August), I’m not going to do that. Because here’s the thing: I don’t want to look like I’ve aged 50+ years by September, and that’s where Lush’s tinted body bar comes in. Packaged like a soap, this stick of lotion seeps into skin easily and leaves a subtle glow on skin that mimics a perfect, slight tan ideal for skirt and tank top-wearing days. Available for $10.95 at Lush.

Don't let the rich, warm color deceive you; you can customize color to suit almost any skin tone. Via:

Don’t let the rich, warm color deceive you; you can customize color to suit almost any skin tone. Via:


Pantone’s Fall 2012 Color Report

Wondering which beauty products to invest in this fall? Pantone released its 2012 fall fashion color report, predicting which shades will likely trend this season in everything from eye shadow to handbag color. Including darker, more serious tones like “french roast,” this palate is also big on pops of color, such as “pink flambe” and “bright chartreuse.”

We’ve searched for our favorites of these shades in some of our go-to all natural brands and come up with a list of products that will help you stay on trend this fall (the all natural way!):

  • Tangerine Tango: Zoya’s all natural nail polish in “Paz” is a great way to add a spot of bright, attention-grabbing color to an otherwise neutral outfit. Vibrant and long-lasting, this nail color is also free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Rhapsody: Try Afterglow Cosmetic’s mineral eye shadow in “Velvet” for a subtle way to incorporate muted purple into your makeup routine. With certified organic ingredients including grape seed and rosemary extracts, these eye shadows are gentle on skin without sacrificing vibrant color.
  • Rose Smoke: For understated lips with a hint of rosiness, try Primitive Makeup’s lipstick in Sedona. Moisturizing and all natural, this product includes calendula, green tea and rose hips for a beautiful, conditioning treatment for your lips.
  • Pink Flambe: To wake up your complexion, try a dash of bright creme blush by Real Purity Cosmetics in “Pink.” Free of any FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol, parabens, chemicals, this blush delivers easy-to-apply, creamy color to naturally brighten winter skin.

What’s your favorite Pantone color this fall? Do you plan on investing in fall colors? Let us know!



Strong Styles With Romantic Touches Reign for Fall

Temperatures are slowly dropping, the humidity has been replaced by a slightly crisper breeze, and up in New York, Fashion Week has begun to reveal some of the styles that we’ll be seeing for the upcoming season.

I’ve checked out the runway photos, compiled some of the new beauty trends that most excite me, and put an all-natural spin on these fashions:

  • Lips: Look for vampy, romantic shades of burgundy, purple and deep red. Dramatic lips paired with more neutral eye colors will be making a major appearance this fall. Try Honeybee Gardens Natural Lipstick in Vintage Merlot for a paraben-free take on this trend, complete with all-natural moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter.
  • Hair: Perfectly coiffed, intricately styled hair is making way for lower effort, simpler styles this fall. Think low, sleek ponytails, hair that looks as if it’s been air dried, romantic styles involving loose braids and twists and more casual versions of 1960’s bouffants. Check out Harper’s Bazaar’s slideshow for inspiration, and for an all-natural way to keep hair smooth and styled in a braid or updo, try Kiss My Face’s Natural Styling Gel.
  • Nails: Tired of neons? For those who favor the classics, you’ll be happy to learn that rich, elegant jewel-tone shades will make a comeback in the upcoming months. Shades like wine and eggplant, along with neutral grays and metallic coppers will make for less trendy, more tasteful nails for the fall season. I’m loving Zoya Nail Polish’s formaldehyde-free polish in Toni, which they describe as a “dark, warm raisin-wine cream.” Yum.
  • Accessories: Headbands, which have gained popularity in the last couple years, are still popular going into fall. Look for beaded and sequined designs with a vintage flair to lend interest to an updo or to loose, wavy hair. Check out these handmade fall favorites from Bethany Lorelle’s shop on Etsy.

What are your favorite fall trends? Who’s ready for cooler weather, boots & tights?

Frazzled From Summer Travel? Bounce Back with DIY Treatments




I just returned from a wonderful, fun-filled and entirely draining week in the beautiful city of Chicago. While I enjoy the kind of vacation involving beachside napping as much as the next person, I also love the hectic exhilaration of spending days on end sight-seeing, flavoring new foods, catching a live show and browsing hole-in-the-wall boutiques for the perfect surprise presents to bring friends back home.

We usually envision ourselves returning from vacation rejuvenated, ready to tackle the piles of work that have stacked up in our absence, with slightly fewer bags under our eyes. Of course, after running around the city under a blazing sun for a week, compiled with the joys of public transportation and navigating O’Hare airport, I’ve naturally returned more frazzled than before I left. And I’m just going to guess that it was some sort of city toxin/airplane dryness combination that has left my skin dull and hair frizzy.

Are you feeling the effects of mid-summer skin, hair and body stress? For me, it’s the perfect time to treat myself to a night of all-natural DIY beauty treatments (while doing loads and LOADS of post-trip laundry, of course). Here’s what’s on the menu:

1.  Carrot & Honey Face Mask

  • What it does: This mask is perfect for rejuvenating tired skin since carrots are full of antioxidants that help fight free radicals (think: city smog) that cause your skin to look less radiant, and honey is a great natural antibacterial cleanser and moisturizer. This easy recipe also includes witch hazel (tones and cleanses pores), cucumber juice (soothes irritation) and lemon juice (contains vitamin C; plumps skin), which all work together to help your skin rebound from post-travel dullness.
  • What you’ll need: 1/2 cup cooked mashed carrots, 1/4 cup honey, 1 teaspoon witch hazel, 1 tablespoon cucumber juice and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • What you’ll need to do: Find the freshest ingredients possible; this will ensure that they’re full of the powerful antioxidants you’re after. Start by mashing the carrots (bring water to a boil, reduce heat and add carrots, and allow to cook covered for about 20 minutes or until they are tender; then simply mash the carrots into a smooth consistency). Next, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix together until consistency is thick and pasty. Massage and layer it onto skin and allow for it to sit for 25 minutes or longer. Rinse off and follow with a non-alcoholic toner (witch hazel is great as a toner by itself!) and apply a light moisturizer.

2.  Rosemary & Lemon Foot Soak

  • What it does: For all of us who strongly regret our footwear choices after extensive walking on trips, this soak can be a lifesaver. The rejuvenating properties of lemon, combined with the soothing and calming qualities of rosemary make for the perfect (and aromatic) foot soaking experience. This recipe also includes oat flour, which reduces inflammation, rashes, and works as a powerful moisturizer.
  • What you’ll need: 2 drops lemon essential oil, 2 drops rosemary essential oil, and 4 tablespoons organic oat flour. Note: Essential oils can be found at most whole grocery stores or health food stores.
  • What you’ll need to do: Add ingredients to a warm water foot bath. (It doesn’t have to be fancy! A small plastic tub would work). Soak feet for 15 to 20 minutes. For added moisture, rub on some hand or foot cream afterwards (or alternatively, have someone nice massage it in).

3.  Coconut & Avocado Hair Mask

  • What it does: Both coconut and avocado are full of fats needed by hair to look shiny, soft, bouncy and healthy. When applied from roots to ends, these ingredients can help smooth hair at the cuticle and repair the appearance of split ends.
  • What you’ll need: 1 large avocado, mashed; 1 tablespoon solid coconut oil (I get mine at Trader Joe’s); 1 tablespoon aloe juice; and 1 teaspoon jojoba oil.
  • What you’ll need to do: Combine ingredients with either a spoon, or for a smoother consistency, with a food processor. Apply to damp hair from roots to ends as evenly as possible and cover with a shower cap to avoid too much drip-age. Let sit on hair for 30-45 minutes and rinse, wash and style as usual.

4.  Vitamin E Cuticle Soak

  • What it does: This one is simple. As you probably know, vitamin E is fundamental in delivering smoother, healthier skin, and cuticles are no exception. Combined with a powerful hand lotion, your nails will be looking great in time for the weekend!
  • What you’ll need: A few drops of Vitamin E, which is available in most grocery stores.
  • What you’ll need to do:  Simply add a few teaspoons of the oil to a warm bowl of water and soak your hands for 10-15 minutes. Shea butter is also great for rough cuticles, so try finding a hand lotion containing this ingredient for maximum soothing power.

Happy summer travels, everyone! Do you have a trick to help you recharge after a tiring trip? Let us know!

Save Your Nails Without Sacrificing Vibrant Color

Three reasons I know I’m a bona fide nail polish addict: 1. I bought a large decorative basket to house my nail polish collection. Then had to add another one for expansion purposes; 2. My best friend knows the birthday present with which to “surprise” me when she’s short on cash is a bottle of the newest shade I’ve been admiring; and 3. I don’t remember the last time my nails were unpainted/I find myself feeling “naked” when the coats of polish I’m wearing start the chipping process. Like almost anything as gorgeous as freshly painted, brightly colored nails, however, my passion for polish is not without a few not-so-beautiful side effects. Take, for example, my nails’ tendency to occasionally become dry and brittle, the layers peeling away and silently crying out to me, “Lay off the chemicals, please.” I found out recently, however, that not all nail polish is chalk-full of toxic chemicals, and better yet, that non-toxic nail polishes come in shades just as beautiful, vibrant and diverse as what you might find from OPI or Essie.  Some of the non-toxic polishes I found (and plan on trying!):

1.  Non-Toxic Nail Polish by Priti

  • The story: D’amato launched Priti NYC in 2005 with the purpose of supporting organic farmers and decreasing the amount of chemicals poisoning the earth and its inhabitants. Long-wearing and safe for kids and adults, these polishes are also fine for use by mothers-to-be.
  • What they have to offer: They are 100% biodegradable, vegan and never tested on animals.
  • Chemicals they’re free of: Priti Polish doesn’t contain toluene, formaldehyde or DBP.

2.  Zoya Nail Polish

  • The story: Originally a classical pianist in Russia, Zoya earned her cosmetology license in 1979, immigrated to the US and began her career in delivering quality, healthy, and all-natural ingredients to her clients through unique products.
  • What they have to offer: Over 300 long-wearing colors and treatments that are vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Chemicals they’re free of: Zoya doesn’t use formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor or dibutyl phalate.

3.  Scotch Naturals

  • The story: “Smart, fun, and forward thinking,” Scotch Naturals is concerned with keeping its products healthy for both its customers and the world around us.
  • What they have to offer: Safe and eco-friendly, these polishes are made up of a revolutionary water-based formula that delivers long-lasting color in an array of unique shades and are vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, fragrance-free and paraben-free.
  • Chemicals they’re free of: Scotch Naturals steers clear of ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone and heavy metals.

And for when your nails, like mine, just want to breathe:

4.  Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover

  • The story: Karma Organic Spa became one of the first organic spas to open in New Jersey in October of 2007, offering an eco-friendly environment with organic products as a healthy alternative for beauty needs. These products are now commercially available in nationwide stores such as Whole Foods.
  • What they have to offer: This product is a soy-based remover derived from farm crops and packaged in 100% recyclable glass bottles.
  • Chemicals they’re free of: Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover does not employ petroleum ingredients and is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic (and actually smells good!)