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.
I came across CeeCee & Bee on Natural Kath’s blog a little while ago, and my interest was piqued by their creativity, get-to-it-ness, and of course, their pretty, PRETTY all natural/vegan products. Based on the branding alone, I was ready to get on board. What really got to me, though, were the two sisters behind CeeCee & Bee, Charlene and Debbie, who wanted to make products that they could feel good about using. It’s these small steps taken by companies like CeeCee & Bee that start a chain reaction. As Jennifer and I know well, once you “know” about the side effects or potential hazards of some of the harsh ingredients in our everyday beauty and skincare products, it’s hard to “un-know.” So, two sisters who started a feel-good soap company, each bringing their own separate set of strengths, and voila: CeeCee & Bee was born. These two sisters at Unsullied think that’s pretty great.
Based in sunny San Diego, Charlene told me how she picks fresh herbs from her garden and infuses them in her products. Kind of wonderful, don’t you think? Ah, handmade goodness. For my fellow Californians, they’ll be at the Carlsbad Village Faire on May 4, and the Cardiff Dog Days of Summer coming up August 9, so catch them this spring/summer if you’re in the area!
OK, on to the products…read on for a discount code AND CeeCee & Bee’s DIY scrub recipe, if you’re feelin’ crafty!
Hey: put down that manufactured moisturizer! Give your factory-made face wash a break.
While some of my favorite natural beauty brands are big fish, there’s no denying the “warm fuzzy” feeling brought on by using small-batch, natural, handcrafted skincare products. For the past few weeks, I’ve been getting my fix from Natural E.
After I “favorited” some of her products on Etsy, Elaine from New York City-based Natural E reached out to me and asked if I’d like to sample and review a few of them. Yes, please!
One browse through Elaine’s Etsy page gives you an idea of the amount of care, precision and thoughtfulness she puts into curating the natural and often organic ingredients that make up her products: locally-sourced honey (transported by the beekeeper himself – in full beekeeping garb – through Manhattan), scents inspired by an old-time-y apothecary in the West Village…the list goes on. All of the rich scents, textures and colors of Elaine’s products, from the amber liquid in her face serum to the soothing, herbal aroma of her cleansing grains, bring a character and personal touch that is hard to find in more mainstream products. Plus, Elaine seriously knows her stuff. She’s been experimenting with and studying holistic and natural beauty since she was a teenager. She gets major brownie points from us for being an early adopter…it took us nearly 30 years to get even a basic grasp of things!
I’ve enjoyed using all of Elaine’s gentle and effective products, and some of them have become new staples for me (her lip balms, face serum and scrub…so good!). In fact, the one-two punch of using Natural E’s cleansing grains followed by the face serum helped me bounce back from a yucky break-out (!), which was an unexpected and much welcomed outcome.
Read on for the full experience and get your warm fuzzy on.
Etsy is a goldmine for handcrafted, natural skin and beauty products. I could spend hours on Etsy. Wait, wrong verb and tense. I do spend hours on Etsy.
Hence where I discovered Herbivore Botanicals! Man, if I could award a “Best in Show” superlative to any of my natural skincare products, it would go to these guys. Their super sleek, geometric branding caught my eye immediately. SO LOVELY. The good news is the nutrient-rich oils and all-natural ingredients that they pack into those beautiful little bottles are just as good as what’s on the label. Feast your eyes.
I’ve only tried out Herbivore Botanicals’ Facial Serum ($36 for 1 oz.), but I’ve perused their Etsy page at length, and I have high expectations for all of their all-natural soaps, masks and more (I mean…worse comes to worse, it’s still going to look pretty on your countertop. Joking!). I selected their Organic Pink Clay Floral Facial Mask to include in my green beauty swap with Mayah of Call it Vanity. You can read her input over there!
- Me Plus You screen printed organic cotton flour sack towel by Earth Cadets, $16
Beeswax Aromatherapy Beehive Glass in Enlightenment by Big Dipper Wax Works, $14.50
- Scotch Naturals Holiday Black Tie Collection, $60
- Lulu Organics Hair Powder in Lavender & Clary Sage, $30
- bkr Bottle in Crush, $28
I’m just going to come out and say it: I dropped the ball on Thanksgiving this year. I have bookmarked zero recipes and I have no idea what I’m going to contribute to our family feast this Thursday. So, in the spirit of being prepared for at least some of the impending winter holidays, I’m refusing to acknowledge this Thursday’s festivities and instead sharing a few of my picks for holiday gifts – or birthday gifts, for those of you who have Sagittarius friends (I’ve got three in the immediate family). Speaking of, today is KATHRYNE’S birthday! Happy, happy birthday, big sis. One of your gifts is included in the collage above. Betcha can’t guess which one…!
And now, for some rationale: