A Laurel Love Story

Laurel

You greenies have probably read a lot in the past year about Laurel Whole Plant Organics. Or haven’t you? Well, let me tell ya, it seems like everyone in the green beauty/skincare community is learning and raving about Laurel’s entire line. I’m here to tell you all that it’s true: this brand truly is one of a kind.

I had the pleasure of meeting Laurel (herself!) at A Night For Green Beauty in August. She was kind, answered all my questions, and very generously gave me some samples to try out.

So, what principles guide this brand?

“Laurel Whole Plant Organics is a flower and herb based facial care line. We have the highest possible standards for organic ingredients, biodynamic ingredients, and raw, unrefined whole plant ingredients. We source directly from our farmers, making our purity and integrity unparalleled. “

This whole line is so clean, effective, and most important…all-natural! Laurel products are definitely an investment. But in my opinion – more than well worth it!

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A Nourishing Bath and Body Line for Fall: Eu2Be

Eu2Be-line

What’s more fun than trying a new, seasonally suitable brand? Hello, Eu2Be!

Eu2Be, founded by Charla Jones, is named after her globetrotting aunt Eugenia, one of a number of strong women in Charla’s life who inspired her to create her own definition of beauty – which we can definitely get behind.

“We believe beauty is so much more than glamour: it’s a creative force for well-being, and there’s nothing superficial about it.”

Yes. Yes. Yes.

The Eu2Be line is rooted in nourishing oils – prime stuff as we move into autumn – and avoids a lot of common nasties. It’s worth nothing that they do contain preservative phenoxyethanol and fragrance. “Fragrance” on any product label sets off the alarm bells in our heads since a number of nasty chemicals can make up your run-of-the-mill synthetic scent, and manufacturers do not have to divulge their formulas, so it’s difficult to gauge what ingredients you’re spritzing or slathering all over your body. The good news is that the Eu2Be team set us at ease after we reached out about this:

“Eu2Be’s fragrance is unisex and never forward or overpowering. It was created for people who are sensitive to strong, allergy-triggering ingredients. And most importantly, it does not have any phthalates, formaldehydes, hormone-altering or cancer-causing components that are commonly associated with fragrance ingredients.”

As always, read your labels – and peep our review below for our thoughts!

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Meet Your Maker: Jaime Schmidt of Schmidt’s Deodorant

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: deodorant is one of those essential products that needs to work! (No gal wants to clear a room because her well-intentioned, natural deo was a bust.) As you may have seen in our last post, we were very happy to discover that Schmidt’s Deodorant is one of those go-to, dependable products for everyone interested in using a healthy, natural option.

Jaime Schmidt, Schmidt's Deodorant

That’s why we were psyched to ask Jaime Schmidt, founder of Schmidt’s Deodorant, some questions about the natural deodorant biz and the Schmidt’s process. Read on to hear from Jaime, the natural deo master herself: she discusses her process for selecting scents, the future of the natural deo industry, and a bunch more.

Schmidt’s Deodorant has truly glowing reviews. What makes your formula stand out among other natural deodorants? How did you develop it?
Thanks! There are a few things that stand out about the formula. First is the ingredients and their sourcing: we use only the highest quality ingredients available. Then there is the production, which not only requires a specific combination of ingredients, but a very careful and “secret” process that gives us the great consistency and hand feel we’re looking for. This took over two years of R&D for us to get it exactly right. Of course, we put a great deal of effort towards our packaging as well: we want to ensure a positive, new kind of experience with deodorant.

Let’s talk about the “science of smell” and how your ingredients like baking soda and natural plant powders absorb wetness and fight odor. How does that work?

One key is to allow for the body’s natural process of perspiration – we don’t include chemical ingredients like other deodorant brands that are designed to keep you from sweating – rather, we use plant-based powders and top-quality baking soda to absorb the wetness if you do sweat.

These ingredients you mentioned, and more, help to balance our body’s natural odor in a more health-conscious way.

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Overly Excited About Deodorant (Really): Schmidt’s Deo

Schmidt's-Deo

We try out our fair share of all-natural skincare, beauty and body products over here at Unsullied HQ (read: in our respective living rooms). In terms of the products that don’t quite wow us…we don’t lose sleep over a tube of too-sticky lip gloss or odd-smelling soap. But a deodorant that doesn’t perform? There goes our social life. The stakes are HIGH during deodorant trials!

Fortunately for us, we had few qualms about taking all-natural Schmidt’s Deodorant ($9 for 2 oz.) for a test run. Their press page features glowing reviews of tear-inciting effectiveness (“I literally cried after a day of wearing it”) and we’ve heard from bloggers and green beauty fans alike that Schmidt’s has a winning formula. In a world where effective natural deodorants can be a bit elusive…that’s a big deal!

So, how does it work? Schmidt’s contains plant-based powders and high-quality baking soda to absorb wetness and neutralize your B.O., you smelly person (kiddin’). Plus, shea butter and cocoa seed butter act as skin conditioners. Schmidt’s is completely free of the usual suspects that “sully” drugstore deodorants…aluminum, parabens, and more. We wrote nearly a year ago why all-natural deodorant is critically important to us. Underarms are a sensitive part of your body – but more importantly – they’re close to your breasts – and you don’t want any strong or potentially hazardous ingredients/chemicals there. No way, Jose.

Well, the results are in and…YES, Schmidt’s is the REAL DEAL. Rejoice!

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Feeling Like a Teenager Again: Angel Face Botanicals (+ Giveaway!)

Angel-Face-Botanicals

I first was introduced to Angel Face Botanicals through a sample of their Lavender and Aloe Toner in the Ecopique Box full of all natural products I received a few months ago. Until then, I had never heard of this luxurious, spa-like brand of organic green goodness. Now, I’m a convert, and you can be too, because Angel Face Botanicals has generously put together a prize package for one Unsullied reader. Read on for the giveaway!

Based in Santa Cruz, California (one of my favorite places!), founder Jessica Ress works with the Earth to make exquisite natural products. Being a fifth generation Californian growing up in the fresh air and sunny beaches, she became interested in healing herbs in the early ’90s. This led her to experimenting with making homemade spa products and lotions for her friends and family for gifts. Thus, Angel Face Botanicals was born. Located on the beautiful Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Jessica’s boutique facility makes her pure, natural and organic facial care, body care, perfumes, and soaps using aromatherapy principles for maximum enjoyment/effectiveness.

Jessica states her products are made with essential oils, phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, detoxifying minerals, and LOTS of love!

Now, onto why I feel like a teenager again when I use her products.

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Meet Your Maker: The Gurus Behind Healthy Beauty Boutique Follain

Follain-popup

The world of green beauty is growing, but it can still be a bit elusive at times. You have to order your new organic lip color online, praying (praying) that the actual shade matches the swatch on your computer screen. You have to hightail it across town to Whole Foods to restock your favorite shampoo so you don’t look like a swamp creature the next day at work (it’s either that or resort to your old sulfate-riddled shampoo lurking in the medicine cabinet…never surrender!).

So, what do you do when when you unexpectedly stumble upon a complete cornucopia of your favorite natural skincare and beauty products, laid out in a beautiful space, curated by green beauty pros that you’ve revered and followed for some time?

Uhhh, freak out, obviously!

That’s what I did when I discovered the temporary Follain pop-up boutique earlier this year at Union Market in my home city of Washington, DC.

Literally, I went out for home fries and and came home with RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up in shade 11, ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Knights, and a whole lot of inspiration and happy vibes from the incredible Follain team.

If you’re not familiar with Follain: it’s an absolutely beautiful, Boston-based shop that stocks healthy skincare, haircare and cosmetic products. They carry 30+ of the best natural U.S.-made lines, like Soapwalla, Herbivore Botanicals, Farmaesthetics, and so much more. While the DC pop-up is closed for the time-being, they’ve expanded to a second shop in Nantucket, and best of all, you can get the Follain experience anywhere: their online shop is live!

Follain-ladies

I had a complete fangirl moment over the team behind Follain, founder Tara Foley and director of health and safety Holly Moore. I’d been a longtime fan of Tara’s insightful green beauty blog, The NATURAL CHEMYST, so it was a real treat to meet these two healthy beauty savants. They are some of the most knowledgable women I’ve met in the biz…they truly understand every facet of green beauty and have so much knowledge and experience to share: packaging, product, ingredients. They are deeply committed to making real change in the personal care industry as a whole, shedding light on the harsh chemical ingredients in mainstream products and celebrating the wholesome, healthy and effective natural ingredients in the lines they curate and carry. They’re already well on their way!

Anyway, enough fangirl-ing…I’ll let you hear about this shop’s wonder straight from Tara, Holly and Ashley, the Follain team. Read on to discover how Follain’s refillable soap program is spurring positive behavior change in Boston, a list of these healthy beauty pros’ favorite products, some AWESOME DIYs, and a bunch more.

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Hubba, Hubba…! A Night For Green Beauty

Did you know there’s an annual event that celebrates the bountiful world of green beauty? And that it was earlier this month? (Most of you bloggers and green beauty fans are probably nodding, “Yup. DUH.”)

But just in case you haven’t heard of A Night for Green Beauty (ANFGB), put on by green skincare line La Bella Figura and drawing bloggers and product manufacturers from around the country, (kind of like charcoal draws dirt out from pores…OK, terrible green beauty joke…) let me paint you a quick picture.

Twenty-two green beauty brands set up shop at the W hotel in Los Angeles to share their fantastic wares, (and samples…samples!) including the beloved Jose Rosebrook, Osmia Organics, Alima Pure, the list. GOES. ON!

Flowers crowns were sported.

Cold-pressed juice was sipped.

A cornucopia of sustainably and stylishly packaged beauty and skincare products, teeming with powerful natural, nourishing and organic ingredients awaited all in attendance.

I mean…it’s pretty much what you would expect: HEAVEN. ON. EARTH.

I can’t tell you how hard it was going to ANFGB in Los Angeles without my dear baby sister & blogger-in-crime, Jennifer. Well, hard may be an overstatement, heh, because it was like a dreamland I could have never fathomed (sorry, sis!)…it was overwhelming and beautiful! All those green brands all in the same place?! It was so magical!

My hubby came with me to help snap photos. He may not be a fan of shimmery mineral eye shadows and citrus-scented body oils, but he is pretty much the best ever for snapping photos and coming along for the ride while I covered myself in natural perfumes from Lurk and swathed in various facial serums. I might have left looking a little crazy, but by God, it was WORTH IT!

Meeting the people behind the brands and blogs that Jennifer and I have loved, admired, and gained so much knowledge and enlightenment from was truly special. I could go on about it forever. But in the interest of your boredom and my social life, I am going to highlight just a few of my favorite experiences for you!

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Our New Friend from Overseas: Yours Truly Organics

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…those Brits know a thing or two about green beauty. (Read: all the things.) There are so many London and UK-based skincare, bath, body and beauty lines that we covet. So, we were pretty pysched when newcomer Yours Truly Organics reached out to us about trying their products. This should tide us over (for a few months, anyway) while we continue to save our pretty pennies for an overseas green beauty JAMBOREE. Or maybe our UK-based bloggers pals can just Skype us in. We can dream.

Founded by Kelita Bignall, the line was developed based on her own acne struggles (to which we can of course relate). We found that the four-step Yours Truly Organics line works well with acne prone skin, AND skin with fine lines. (Who doesn’t have fine lines here and there? Really, who are you? We want to meet you and you can tell us about your deal with the devil. And where we can sign up.)

The line consists of the Take It Away! Gel Cleanser (£22 or $37 for 150 ml), Balancing Toner (£19 or $32 for 150 ml), Fix Me! Repairing Serum (£28 or $47 for 30 ml) and Face Base Face Balm (£25 or $42 for 100 ml). Overall, the line feels fresh and is very moisturizing. And the products aren’t skimpy – meaning that the gel cleanser is a thicker consistency than other natural cleansers we’ve used; the serum isn’t just a light oil – it’s a nearly opaque, gooey serum that dries matte; and the moisturizer is a thick lotion that also sets matte and makes a great, non-oily make-up base. Though the products themselves are substantial and feel heavier than we’re used to, we both agreed that the line doesn’t weigh our skin down. And the moisturized yet matte finish you’re left with is a huge plus. Did we mention these products smell GREAT? Citrus-y, so fresh and so clean clean.

Yours Truly organic skincare

The products are cruelty-free and bear the Ecocert label, which covers a lot of ground – Ecocert cosmetics must use sustainable packaging, can’t utilize GMOs, parabens or a bunch of other undesirable and non-natural ingredients, and more.

Here are our favorite parts of this new line:

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Petit Vour: Calling all Cruelty-Free Beauty Fans

Petit-Vour-box

That’s all of you, right?! (None of you are evil, ya?) Excellent.

Petit Vour is a luxury vegan beauty box: each month, they send subscribers four to five sample-size and full-size beauty products that are free from parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and sulfates. Most importantly to the Petit Vour brand: products are always vegan and cruelty-free…never tested on animals.

After enjoying the June box (which included some gorgeous NCLA light blue nail polish, EVOLVh shampoo and conditioner, TAY rosehip cleanser and a sample of MUN brightening youth serum), I was SO stoked to receive the July box which is chock full of amazing products I otherwise may not have discovered. The real beauty of this box (I’m too groggy for a better pun, sorry) is that it exposes you to boutique brands and products that use vegan and (mostly) natural ingredients and have solid ethics. Note that if you’re a clean beauty purist, as we try our darndest to be, you’ll want to check labels as not all of the products are 100% natural. Some of the June samples were a bit too small for me to get a clear impression of the products, but the box as a whole is still a smorgasbord of loveliness!

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Giveaway: 1,000 Followers!

Unsullied 1,000 followers giveaway

YOU GUYS! A few days ago, we hit 1,000 followers on Twitter. Once we halted our happy dance, we decided we wanted to give away a pair of our favorite natural skincare products to thank you for following us. We started our blog last November and since then it’s been such a positive outlet for us to share our sisterly bond and write about the products, DIYs and discoveries that make us feel healthy and joyful. We’ve discovered an incredible community of natural livin’ enthusiasts and are so grateful to be a part of it. Thank you so much for reading our ramblings…now claim your rightful rewards and enter the giveaway!

Jennifer’s pick: Herbivore Botanicals Activate Facial Mask
I’m not shy about my love for Herbivore Botanicals…they bring me so much joy when I use their products, not only thanks to their super pure and effective ingredients but because they’re just so dang pretty! I reviewed this mask back in April: it’s a real stand-out because of its bold, inky color and how you can actually see it working. AND it’s powered by tourmaline gemstone. (*BLING BLING*) No matter how often I use masks, it always feels like a nice way to treat yo’self and carve out some time to take care of your skin. Detox with this mask, mist on your favorite toner, and then slather on some of…

Kathryne’s pick: Acure Organics Line Eraser
Acure’s Line Eraser with starflower is my hands down, all time favorite product (check out my full review). I have yet to find something else that not only soothes acne, diminishes old acne scars or regular scars, helps fight fine lines due to aging, and eradicates the occasional eczema flair up on my face/neck. If you have any one of these ailments, I am positive you will love this product as much as I do. (If you don’t have one of these…your face is made of plastic, robot. Be gone!) ENJOY!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for following Unsullied!

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