Month: October 2012

Indie organic brand to try: Sunny Girl Organics

Love organic skin care? Love indie brands? Then you should check out Sunny Girl Organics! Reader Sheena Mariee gave me the heads-up about this little skincare brand, based out of New York and selling a variety of organic and vegetarian goods like body wash, lotion, and lip balm.

Sunny Girl has a great deal available that lets you try three product samples for the very low price of $2.95, with no additional fee for shipping! You get to choose your own samples, so I decided to try a body wash, lotion, and scrub.

My order arrived pretty quickly. I’m not sure why, but a fourth item was included in my order: a lemongrass spray mist, made of essential lemongrass oil. I don’t know if this was a special bonus or what. I’m guessing this is a mini of the lemongrass spray mist that’s sold as a natural insect repellant; it’s made of distilled water and lemongrass oil, and the 8-oz. bottle retails for $9.99.  This product is vegan!
You can see that my Lemongrass Body Wash sample is in fact not a sample, but a deluxe or travel size sample–two ounces!! This is also lemongrass scented; a 16-oz. bottle sells for $13.99.

As you can see from the ingredients label on the back, the body wash is all-natural and vegan! If you don’t know what lemongrass smells like, be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart. I can smell it without opening the bottle. Some people compare it to citronella, which I suppose is true, but I think this is more pleasant than a mosquito candle. It is however very strong, so I would definitely suggest sampling it before going full-size, especially if you don’t typically like strong scents.

Finally I sampled their Lemon Lavender Hand & Body Scrub ($10.99/six ounces) and their Lavender Body Lotion ($9.99/eight ounces). Both of these arrived in tiny pots and are strong-smelling as well, though in the best, most natural way possible. Both are vegan.

In fact, as far as I can tell, all of the products offered by Sunny Girl are vegetarian, and all of them are vegan except for their lip balms (containing beeswax) and their Anti-Wrinkle Creme (containing honey). The icing on the cake: all of these products are affordable! Finding a company that’s vegetarian/vegan, organic, and affordable can be difficult, so I’m pretty happy to add Sunny Girl to my shopping list!

If you want to try Sunny Girl for yourself, click here to go to their e-commerce site or click here to order your own sample kit!

Little Bear the cat wants to walk! Please take a moment to read and share…

Hi everyone! As you all probably know by now, I’m a huge animal lover, which is why I wanted to take a few minutes out of the usual fashion/beauty/hair routine to share this story with you. Say hi to Little Bear:

Little Bear was born with a deformity that has left his front legs severely crippled. He is missing the radii in both arms, which means that they are bent and do not allow him to walk, run, jump, or play like a normal kitten. He has a hard time getting around and has sores on his elbows from scraping along on the floor. He can’t defend himself, navigate stairs, or do any of the other things normal cats (and we normal cat owners) take for granted.

Surgery to repair Little Bear’s legs is possible, but it’s also very costly: his owner, Allie, has been told that it could run somewhere around $3,000 (and that’s probably a low estimate). She can’t afford that amount out of pocket, so she’s trying to get the word out about Little Bear’s condition and raise money to fund his surgery so he can have a normal, active life.

There are several ways you can help Little Bear! First, you can visit Little Bear on Facebook by clicking here. Like and share his page, status updates, and photos with everyone you know, and don’t stop at Facebook: Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media channels are also awesome for getting the word out.

Second, please vote for Little Bear in the Petco Howloween Make A Scene Photo Contest. The grand prize winner could snag $5,000, which would go a long way toward funding life-changing surgery for Little Bear. To vote for Little Bear, please follow this link to Little Bear’s entry on the Petco contest page. You’ll need to ‘like’ the Petco page in order to vote. Then just click where it says “Vote” in red letters next to Little Bear’s picture. Don’t forget to share Little Bear’s contest entry with your friends so they can vote, too! You can vote every day through October 28, so be sure to bookmark the page so you can vote again every day!

Third, click here to visit Little Bear’s page on ChipIn. (You can also donate directly using the widget in my sidebar.) These donations only benefit Little Bear; they do not benefit me in any way. I know that in this economy many people are pressed for spare cash, but even a few dollars helps, so if you can help at all please do so!

Fourth, click here to check out Little Bear’s wish list on Amazon and pick out a gift for him! There are lots of basic necessities to choose from, including litter and cat food. But there are also some other things that Little Bear especially needs because of his disability, such as kitty gates, baby socks (leg warmers for his sore elbows), and cozy beds.

Check out Little Bear in action down below. What a spunky little guy!

Please share this post with as many people as you can, through whatever social media channels are available to you. Pin it, e-mail it, tweet it, like it, whatever–or do ’em all! The more people see Little Bear’s story, the better chance he has of finding enough donors to fund a life-changing surgery that will allow him to finally walk and play to his heart’s content.

Want to see more of Little Bear’s adorable photos? Click here to view his full photo album on Facebook. Photos and video used in this post are all courtesy of Little Bear’s owner, Allie.

Product review: NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil (swatches in Pink Nude and Irish Coffee)

It’s been quite a while (almost two weeks) since I picked up these lip pencils from ULTA, but I just wasn’t ready to post a review quite yet: I really wasn’t sure what to make of them when I first tried them, and I didn’t want to just post something negative without giving it a little time and thought.

So, here at last is my review, plus a few swatches.

Product: NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil ($4.49), shown here in Pink Nude and Irish Coffee

Claim: “It’s double or nothing with this lip liner and lipstick in one. Our masterful Jumbo Lip Pencils infuse lips with alluring, nourishing color, and help you create a precision pout. That’s line, define and color with one jumbo pencil. Plus the mineral oil formula does not dry out your lips and it goes on smoothly.” (From their website)

I tried it: The product sounds great, and the packaging is pretty. I picked up a couple of pinky-nude shades in the hopes of finding a good everyday lip color that I could apply on the go–no liners, brushes, or gloss toppers needed.

First, I have to say it: that pretty packaging disguises the fact that this pencil does not twist up or sharpen. What you see at the tip is what you get. Unfortunately, what you get is not a whole lot of product, which makes the price seem a little high.

On to the formula itself: I’ve tried a lot of lipsticks, pencils, and glosses in my time, and I don’t think I’ve ever found a formula this slippery! It really feels like I’m slicking vegetable oil onto my lips. I appreciate that the formula is supposed to be non-drying, but this is taking it a bit far.

I don’t like the coverage level, either. It goes on like a full-coverage lipstick, but it’s very smeary and splotchy. Consequently, the color looks really patchy and poorly applied.  I feel like my lip lines and chapped lips look extra bad with this pencil.

I don’t really have a lot to say about the two colors I bought. I thought I would really like the Irish Coffee, but it just doesn’t look right for my skin tone. In the picture it looks okay, but in person it has an odd peach undertone that highlights the yellow in my skin, and I just don’t like the way it looks. (This pic came out really oddly–I’m wearing a black shirt, not a blue one, and my hair is NOT green. Odd lighting today!)

As you can see in the close-up pic, the coverage is very splotchy; it looks worse in person. Lip lines ahoy!

The Pink Nude is loaded with shimmer. It’s a pretty color in the pencil, but it’s so frosty I don’t think I would wear it for every day activities. It might be nice as a highlighter over lipstick.

I’ve tried these a few times, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether I prep with lip balm or not: the lines still show up and the oiliness cannot be beat. After you’ve worn it for awhile the oiliness goes away, but so does the color. It’s not long-lasting and rubs off very easily.

One more thing: lip liner? I don’t think so! This formula is way too slick and smudgy to properly line your lips. It might be good as a topper for regular lip liner or lipstick, but on it’s own, it’s just too smeary to look good. I can’t imagine what it would look like in a very dark color.

My vote: Meh. I’m really disappointed by these lip pencils; they don’t perform at all like I thought they would, and the skimpy product size is a turn-off. I’m sure somewhere out there are people who like these pencils, but I’m not one of them.

Accessory Friday: tartan scarf

Fall and plaid go hand in hand, don’t you think? Right now I’m loving a classic tartan scarf like this one from Target–it’s just the thing to ward off the October chill.

Merona Red Classic Tartan Scarf, $14.99, Target

How-to: kitty cat manicure

After seeing a really cute kitty cat manicure in the Lulu’s fashion blog, I decided I wanted to recreate this nail art myself! Obviously I love cats, but since it’s October, a black cat manicure is also a cool piece of festive nail art. Here’s your step-by-step how-to:

1. Start with two coats of base color. You can use any color you like; orange would be great for Halloween, but I used bubblegum pink because it’s one of my favorite nail polish colors.

2. Apply black nail polish in a half-circle shape at the tip of each nail. This forms the kitty cat head. You don’t have to use black; white, grey, or brown would be cool, too. Why not use a color to match your own pet kitty cat?

3. Use a dotting tool and a dab of pale pink polish to create the nose. I used an eyeliner brush.

4. Use your dotting tool and gold paint to create two little dots for the eyes. You could use green, blue, or another color of paint; I picked gold because both of my cats have gold eyes.

5. Now that your face is done, move on to ears and a tail. Use your eyeliner brush and the black paint to draw two little triangles above the head; this forms the ears. Then draw a curvy line that floats above the head and down to the side to connect to the body; this forms the tail.

6. Once you’re done, add a couple of coats of top coat to protect your manicure and lock in plenty of glossy shine.

7. Now you’ve got a handful of adorable kitty cats!

Prefer to see this tutorial in video form? No problem–I’ve got a video tutorial on my YouTube page.