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

Yours-Truly-line-above

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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Wild About Pemberley Jones! Alima Pure and Weleda For The Win!

Pemberley Jones

Alright, so if you are in the green beauty community and you also happen to blog, chances are you most certainly know about a certain Ms. Pemberley Jones. Her blogs and reviews are super helpful, from DIY hair masks to informing you about her newest favorite eye cream. (You know my weak spot is eye creams…I can’t get enough!)

When Pemberley launched her store a few months back, I was not only extremely happy for her, but I was ready to get on that bandwagon. Her motto is so universal yet so supremely awesome:

Go natural, stay beautiful.

She features brands like Caru Skincare, Meow Meow Tweet, Weleda, Osmia, Lina Hanson, Kahina Giving Beauty, Acure, Benecos, Alima, Waxelene and RGB…just to name a few! She offers free shipping on orders over $75, and you will receive the most adorable little polka dot-packaged surprise in the mail, as well as some samples of our favorite natural brands.

Here’s what I got and LOVED from my #pemjo haul!

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Talkin’ tans, toners & more: Q&A on Edible Facial

Ever wondered how to (safely) fake a tan worthy of a Floridian grandmother, or make your own all-natural deodorant? You’ve wondered BOTH, you say?! Well, look no further: today, we’ve got a Q&A that covers all that & more over on Edible Facial, the blog written by the always-inspiring and positive Sarita Coren (thank you, Sarita!). Check out an excerpt below and read the full ramblings here.

Organic beauty products

What are you using right now to cleanse and tone your skin?

KATHRYNE: I am using several products on rotation, including Acure Facial Cleansing Creme Argan Oil + Mint with Acure’s Seriously Hydrating Toner. I use this combo if I have had a particularly sweaty day and feel grimy. If I have had a low key day, I will simply use a warm washcloth and then moisturize. I have also been really in love with Angel Face’s Lavender Aloe Toner for a fresh midday pick-me-up.

JENNIFER: For cleansing, I’m using Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap, morning and night. It’s gentle, nourishing and effective. When I feel a bit of build-up, I cleanse with Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub – usually a few times each week. It’s a very gentle exfoliant with clay and lemon peel, so it has just the right amount of grit!

For toning, I love Herbivore Botanicals’ Balance Facial Toner. It’s gentle, refreshing and smells INCREDIBLE. I love me some neroli-scented spritz!

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Etsy Find: Meadowlark Botanical

Meadowlark Botanical Etsy

It’s HOT here in Cali! 100 degrees of dry sauna insanity in my backyard. Six months out of the year I am taking two showers a day (short ones…water conservation!), which is no bother, because that’s twice as many cool new products I can try and blog about. Woo!

I wanted to spend some of my tax return money on independent skin care brands. I started to dive into research mode, with some really exciting results…

I came across Meadowlark Botanical on Etsy, and after having some really awesome and informative conversations with Jessica, the owner, I was beyond jazzed to buy some of her gorgeous products. Jessica hails from beautiful Colorado, and is passionate about making products that are safe for you, your babies (if applicable!), and your home. She makes soaps, body oils, scrubs, facial masks, dry shampoos, cuticle cream, and much more!

Jessica started this company in 2013 after she started suffering from a rare autoimmune disorder that makes most commercial beauty products impossible for her to use. She wanted to create products for herself and others than were not only effective, but mindful of the environment and simple in their nature. In a word: SAFE.

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The Osmia Experience

Osmia Products

Finally trying Osmia Organics after a half-year of writing this blog is sort of like Dorothy reaching Oz. (Except in our story, he really is a wizard.)

Osmia is a stand-out natural skincare + soap brand formulated from pure, gentle, all-natural ingredients. The products feel luxurious and are super effective. The ingredients are ultra-pure and thoughtfully curated.

A quick bit of background, because this meticulously formulated brand deserves explanation. Osmia, started by the incredible Sarah Villafranco, MD = “sense of smell.” And the website reads: “Every Osmia product is made with utmost attention to the scent and its aromatherapeutic benefits.” Well, ain’t that the truth. These products smell sweet, herbal, compelling and soothing. I’ve never met an Osmia product that my nose didn’t like. But there’s a deeper meaning in those beautiful smells, y’all:

Stop what you are doing and really see the color of the sky. Notice the taste of your coffee, even if it’s the same type you drink every morning. Feel how your child’s hand feels in yours – soft, little, warm. Hear not only the music, but the silence that happens when you turn off the music. Because if we don’t sense our lives, and all the precious beauty that can be found in a regular old day, well that’s really just silly.

Yep. This brand’s philosophy rules. And you know what else does? THE PRODUCTS. Here’s what I received in my haul:

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30 Days of Eatin’ Vegan: Mission Complete

It’s been A FULL MONTH since I decided to try out eating vegan for 30 days (check our my first post on the topic for more background!).

Vegan recipes

Phew, that went fast! I gotta say, I may or may not be in the majority here, but this truly has not been that hard – or not nearly as hard as I had imagined. The most encouraging thing I have learned from this experiment is I don’t miss cheese (thought I would). Not even a little! I MAY have cheated and had a few eggs here and there…so that’s been the main block for me. But the most important outcome of this experiment has been how I FEEL. And that’s been amazing. I have energy, I feel vibrant and I haven’t felt hungry or unsatisfied. I’ve tried to keep a good balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. And while I may not always eat 100% vegan going forward (someday, maybe!), I will definitely continue to enjoy vegan meals and principles. It’s a great, healthy feeling.

With some help from my vegan and vegetarian friends, lots of inspiration from online recipes and a little willpower, I have had SO much fun making meals! Here are my favorite vegan meals: filling, flavorful, and fast!

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Best of Acure Organics: Jennifer’s Favorites

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub

I’m bringing up the kaboose here in our Acure Organics blog series. Hope you’re not sick of us…or Acure…yet. Oh, you’re not, you say? Well then, by all means, click on over to our Q&A with Acure’s President & Formulator Amy Halman, and take a gander at some of Kathryne’s favorite Acure products!

Back? Great. The truth is, we both had a go at a bevy of products by Acure (my favorite affordable, natural, easy-to-find brand!) and we couldn’t cram all of those reviews into one post. As you may have noticed…we’re a little verbose over here at Unsullied!

Acure sent me some products to help out with my problem-child skin and super dry hair (*tumbleweed blows by*). My can’t-live-without-’em favorites are Acure’s Brightening Facial Scrub and their Leave-In Conditioner. Pure magic, and so reasonably priced. But there’s more to love…

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