• Beauty,  giveaway,  product review,  vegan

    Review + GIVEAWAY: Hurraw! lip balm

    Hurraw lip balm

    Today I have a review and a giveaway for you! I’m going to tell you about my favorite lip balms and then give you a chance to win a few of your own. You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post!

    The product: Hurraw! vegan lip balms, $3.79-$4.29; available in 22 flavors at hurrawbalm.com or in select natural foods stores.

    The claim: Smooth, not too sweet or sticky, free of animal ingredients or harsh chemical additives, and won’t melt in your pocket. It’s (take a deep breath) raw, organic, vegan, and fair trade, and it’s free of gluten, soy, shea, petroleum, parabens, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and GMOs. Whew!

    Core ingredients: Almond oil, coconut oil, cacao butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, castor oil, sesame oil, and candelilla wax; flavors and colors are naturally extracted or distilled.

    I tried it: I’ve gone through several tubes of this lip balm and somehow never got around to writing up a review. As you can see from the above picture, my current faves are chocolate, grapefruit, mint and chai, all of which taste exactly as you’d expect. The formula is super-smooth and not too slippery or tacky. I slather it on all day long and even use it under lipstick to keep my lips comfortable. I feel like the formula is far superior to some other lip balms I’ve tried that turn gritty or slick halfway through the tube.

    The balms have a faint scent and taste pertaining to their flavor, but it’s nothing artificial or overpowering. I love knowing that I’m not putting nasty chemicals on my lips when I use this lip balm. The lip balm comes in a flattened oval tube with bright, cute, simple packaging. I like that these tubes fit well in pockets and also that the product doesn’t melt in the heat or turn hard when it’s cold out.

    There is an SPF lip balm (made with zinc) for the summer months if you want sun protection for your lips, but I love the flavored non-SPF tubes the rest of the time, especially in the winter. They really make my lips feel great and I love that I can layer them under other lip products without my mouth turning into a slippery mess. (Chronic chapped lip sufferers know: if you can’t layer it with a lip balm, you’re not wearing it during the winter months! Great lip balm is a must for wearing bold lipsticks and lip glosses when the weather turns dry and cold.)

    Speaking of the winter months–I like that this balm is really gentle. When my lips are dry and sore (or heaven forbid, cracked), the last thing I want is a balm that’s going to irritate them further. This stuff moisturizes without stinging, no matter how thickly or how often you apply it.

    My final rating: 10/10. I could not be happier with this balm. It feels great on my lips and comes in so many yummy flavors that I can keep a different one in my purse, my car, my desk, my nightstand, etc. and sample several at any given time! I also love the company’s commitment to natural and green business practices (read more on that here). I love the price. I love the cute packaging. In short, I love everything!


    And now on to the giveaway!

    Visit the Hurraw! website and choose your own trio of flavors, then use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. It’s open worldwide through the 20th. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Ten on Tuesday

    Ten on Tuesday: the oldest trick and fresh herbs

    1. I can’t stop laughing at this TV ad. Madest thou look!


    2. I’ve starting snipping the herb garden to dry. We have bundles hanging from the ceiling, which makes me feel vaguely like a medieval medicine woman.

    3. The power was out again last night! That’s the downside of summer storms, I guess. Nothing like trying to get ready for work in the pitch dark.

    4. I just discovered dark chocolate almond milk and I’m in love.

    5. This month I’ll celebrate seven years at my job. Seven! I can’t believe it’s been that long.

    6. Flipping through the fall fashion magazines, I’m realizing that a lot of the hot clothes are items I already have in my closet from a few years ago. Total win!

    7. I can’t stop eating chips and guacamole.

    8. Excellent belated birthday present from one of my besties: bright green Chuck Taylors. My mom got me hot pink for my birthday, so now I have two awesome pairs to wear everywhere!

    9. We got a new boss in Saturday night (actually an old one that I’ve worked with in the past) and he’s driving one of my other bosses crazy. It’s kind of funny to watch, in that terrible way that you enjoy seeing someone annoying be annoyed by another person. I don’t know of a delicate way to tell him that I know exactly how to keep this guy happy without implying that he’s doing a terrible job, so I guess I’ll just sit back for now and shake my head.

    10. It drives me nuts when someone nags at you to be speedy in answering their emails, then takes forever to get back to you. It’s just rude, and it makes it really hard to complete work if you’re waiting on a response!

  • Beauty,  Fashion,  feminism,  health,  magazines

    Monthly covers: August 2014

    I thought it might be fun to start doing a monthly run-down of the magazines I’m reading for the month and what’s inside. I read quite a few, but these are the more popular fashion and beauty-related titles that showed up in my mailbox this month.

    Monthly covers Aug14 1

    Allure. On the cover: Rachel McAdams. Highlights: Finding out that lots of fall’s hottest clothes are already in my closet. Not so hot: Yet another article on the “new” nude makeup. (Is there really anything “new” about it?)

    Elle. On the cover: Kristin Wiig. Highlights: Guys, Kristen is wearing my uniform, aka my Olivia Dunham outfit. Not so hot: More of the same ol’ “miracle products” and “sexy hair without a blow-dryer” articles that have been done to death. Yawn.

    Glamour. On the cover: Katie Holmes. Highlights: An awesome ’60s-mod fashion shoot with Anna Kendrick. Not so hot: Most of this issue was a bit of a yawn, which is weird, since I normally love Glamour. Oh well.

    InStyle. On the cover: Zooey Deschanel. Highlights: Zooey talking about feminism. Not so hot: So much fur. Why does fall fashion have to include so much fur?

    Monthly covers Aug14 2

    Lucky. On the cover: Solange Knowles. Highlights: A piece on fall’s pants silhouettes, plus some neat jeans to shop for autumn. Not so hot: This was another issue that just felt really snoozy to me.

    Marie Claire. On the cover: Zoe Saldana. Highlights: Zoe’s interview. She’s so feisty. Not so hot: Everyone’s going bonkers about denim right now, and so many of the pieces featured are just out of my budget range or not at all suited to my body.

    Natural Health. On the cover: Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Highlights: I didn’t know Jenna was a vegan! Some interesting articles on mediation, yoga and natural stress relief. Not so hot: Product recommendations that are only partially natural or are tested on animals.

    Women’s Health. On the cover: Shailene Woodley. Highlights: Shai’s interview; I feel like we’d be great friends in real life. Plus, a really interesting article delving into the possible root cause and recommended cure for most types of chronic pain (like migraines). I struggle with migraines so any chance at a natural cure is always interesting to me. Not so hot: Swimsuit magic? Please. It’ll take more than a magic swimsuit to get me beach-ready. I like fitness magazines because they inspire me to be healthier, but I also feel like some of the articles can really trigger self-loathing–if people who are already so hyper-fit are looking for visually slimming swimsuits, what hope is there for the rest of us?


  • music

    Music Monday: Truth Is No

    This song sounds like the result of infusing a song by Of Monsters and Men with a little bit of dubstep. (If the song sounds familiar, it’s because it’s currently playing in promo spots for the final season of The Killing on Netflix.)

  • Thought Questions

    Thought Questions #148-#154

    Hot air balloon

    (photo by Austin Ban via Unsplash)

    Time for another round of Thought Questions! Please be sure to check out my friend Celeste’s blog too, as she’s also answering these questions each week.

    #148: What would you do if you made a mistake and somebody died? Probably beat myself up for the rest of my life. I would like to think I’d do something to honor their memory instead of getting wildly depressed and unstable. But I tend to feel guilty very easily.

    #149: Who do you trust and why? I trust my husband because he’s demonstrated before that even in the middle of our rough periods, when the chips are down, he’s got my back 100%. I think trust is something that really has to be built over time.

    #150: If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it? I initially thought about this question in the context of “a disaster strikes and you have to flee with what you can carry on your back” and for a while I was worried that when I came to this question, it would be really hard to answer. And it’s funny, I feel so attached to most of my stuff and yet I realize I have trouble answering this question, because there just aren’t that many things I am so terribly attached to that I couldn’t do without them. And yes, I realize that it’s easy to say that, but the older (and wiser?) I get the more I realize that very little is necessary. Plenty of things are comfortable, like a cushy duvet for the bed, my collection of candle lanterns in the living room, etc. But necessary? Hmm. It’s not that I’m ambivalent, I just can’t think of many things that I couldn’t live without.

    I’ll assume I’m already wearing my favorite outfit (complete with my favorite boots and scarf) and add to the backpack: a tablet for endless Kindle books and music; some photos of my family and cats; a tube of amber body butter (my favorite scent); my electric blanket; a camera; a scented candle; some tea and my mug; food for meine katzen, who would of course come along; and my trench knife, just in case. I think that’s all I would absolutely have to possess to set up anywhere and be okay. I’d be sad to lose the rest of my possessions that are comfortable or fun or useful, but in the end there’s ultimately very little that can’t be replaced.

    #151: When does silence convey more meaning than words? When you’re angry. I think the weight of someone’s anger always feels worse when they say nothing, because you’re left with your own thoughts and imaginings of what it is that they’re holding back.

    #152: How do you spend the majority of your free time? Um…look at my blog title!

    #153: Who do you think of first when you think of ‘success?’ I don’t know that I do think of any one person…sorry, I can’t really answer this question! I’m interested to hear what other people say, though, so leave me a comment.

    #154: What did you want to be when you grew up? So many things: singer (until I learned I couldn’t carry a tune), ballerina (too much exercise involved), photographer for National Geographic (until I saw the behind-the-scenes photos of the teams covered in bugs or camped in the snow waiting to start shooting). I definitely didn’t see myself with the life I have now, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it away.