1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil: Eco-Luxe for Less.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Andalou Naturals brand, but many people seem to be in agreement that the 1000 Roses line is luurrrvely. I noticed the 1000 Roses face mask in Whole Foods and was very tempted, but I already have three face masks I’m using up. I’m trying to buy less, people! However, my dry skin has been crying out for oil lately, and whilst I use argan, jojoba and pricky pear seed oil in rotation, none of these smell particularly nice or feel particularly luxurious. I’ve heard awesome things about face oils from brands like Kypris, Gressa, La Bella Figura and In Fiore, but they are all pretty pricey. I wanted something that felt eco-luxe without the hefty price tag.

I think this oil truly delivers. Here’s a pic of it, in all its 16 dollars glory (actually on sale at Vitacost right now for 13.57!!)



First of all, the packaging (to me) feels very luxe. As you can see, the product comes in a pink glass bottle. Glass is always preferable to plastic, both in terms of being environmentally friendly, and in feeling more luxurious and looking prettier on the bathroom shelf. Second of all, I love pink, so brownie points for that!

Now for the ingredients. The ingredients list is truly stellar, for the price. Take a look:

Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (sunflower), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba), rosa canina (rosehip), punica granatum (pomegranate), vaccinum macrocarpon (cranberry), camelina sativa, argania spinosa (argan) and hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oils*, PhytoCellTec (Alpine rose, malus domestica, solar vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex:[hyaluronic acid, magnolia officinalis bark, Phoenix dactylifera (date) leaf cell and boswellia serrata (boswellin) extracts], sorbitol, caprylic/capric triglycerides, tocopherol (vitamin E), aloe barbadensis extract, camellia sinensis (white tea) and aspalathus linearis (rooibos)*†, citrus tangerina (tangerine) and pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) oils*, rosa centifolia (rose) oil.
*Certified Organic. †Fair Trade.

OK guys, this is a product under 20 bucks, and we’re talking rosehip oil as the third main ingredient! Not only that but we’ve got fruit stem cell extracts, geranium AND rose oil, argan oil, sea buckthorn oil…this is crazy!! It’s like a who’s who of green beauty blogger best ingredients list.

Here are the claims, and they’re hefty:

Rose and Fruit Stem Cells

  • Alpine Rose/Malus Domestica/Solar Vitis
  • Boost Cell Vitality
  • Improve Resilience
  • Counteract Aging

Bioactive 8 Berry Complex

Certified Organic Portfolio of Superfruit Antioxidants; Acai, Aronia, Bearberry, Bilberry, Black Elderberry, Goji, Rosehips, and Sea Buckthorn.

Certified Organic Aloe Vera

Soothes inflammation, oxygenates and hydrates, advances dermal absorption of active ingredients.

So, the question is, does this product deliver on the claims?

WAIT!! Did I mention the smell?! This product smells DI-VINE. I am not kidding. If you don’t enjoy a rose scent, then…well, we can’t be friends. (Joking. Sort of). But if you love the scent of rose and/or geranium, you won’t be disappointed…

Anyway, onto the claims…I’ve been using this product now for about two weeks, and I definitely notice a difference. On application, it’s very soft and silky, rather than heavy or greasy like my bog-standard oils are. So I can put it on before make-up, for instance. I feel like it makes my skin look dewier after make-up application. My skin does look smoother and more hydrated. It doesn’t deliver intense hydration the way that a balm does (my One Love Organics balm delivers more of an instant hydration wallop) but it’s definitely a skin softener and smoother.

Overall, I’m incredibly happy with this purchase. For the price, it can’t be beat. If you’re considering buying an eco-luxe face oil, you might want to check this out first!



Julep’s “Love Your Bare Face”Age Defying Cleanser Oil Review

I was very excited to receive this in the mail yesterday, because it’s been getting rave reviews from Julep customers – plus, you know how I love my oils!

I might be off base here, but I think of Julep as a semi-green beauty company. Their products aren’t totally free of nasties, but the ingredients are pretty darn awesome. This  cleansing oil is a case in point. It’s chock full of lovely ingredients – grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, vitamin E, coffee seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and rosemary leaf extract to name a few. And then they go and spoil it all by adding PEG-30 Sorbitan Tetraoleate (cause for ‘some concern’ on EWG) into the mix. Why, Julep, why?! So, if you’re a purist, best avoid this one. If, however, you’re willing to bend the rules a little when a good product comes along, please read on!

What I like about this cleansing oil is that it’s really light and absorbs well. The instructions call for it to be rinsed off, and it doesn’t leave much residue which is nice – you can even use this in the morning. And I did! I used it in the shower (as always with oils) and my skin was soft and supple all day. I also tried using it as a makeup remover, just swiping it over my skin on a cotton round. Success here too – my makeup came off great, no eye stinging, and it’s lighter than using, say, jojoba oil. Oddly though, my skin felt a little prickly afterward (which didn’t happen when rinsing it off).

The smell is pleasant – a pretty strong grapefruit scent. Which makes sense – one of the ingredients is grapefruit peel.

Since starting to use green products I’ve struggled to find an all-in-one cleanser and makeup remover. I’m not sure this is as good as the SW Basics Makeup Remover, and it’s got that one funky ingredient that gets my goat, but I do really really like it.

It’s available for $28.00 on Julep’s website, but you can also find it at other online retailers such as Ulta.

If you’ve tried it, let me know what you think!




I’m back!!

So, since about November of last year I’ve been off the grid blogging-wise. As you may recall I quit the blogosphere to focus on other things. Things such as…work. Work, work, and more work. Wait? What? That wasn’t what I had envisaged at all! These are the things I had thought that giving up my blog would allow me time to do…

  • write long and complicated poems with ambiguous endings like “and there he stood in shadow” or “trembling moth-like on a spear of grass.”
  • wear long bohemian skirts in art galleries and float serenely through botanical gardens in vintage dangly earrings.
  • cook lovely clean food and sniff (elegantly) organic fruit at farmer’s markets
  • take up a cool but not-too-cool hobby that I could Pinterest about…knitting, flower arranging. You know the sort of thing.
  • write THE NOVEL. THE ONE BOOK that we all know we have inside of us if only we could, you know, give a damn.

As you can probably tell from the tone of this post, not one of those things ever happened. Instead I more often than not would return from work (administrator – enough said!) only to collapse on the sofa and stuff myself full of slightly-healthier than Cheetos chips and watch “Black Sails,” or whatever my current  TV binge obsession was.

It’s really crazy how wide the gap is between our reality and our aspirations, isn’t it? I sometimes think that the popularity of Pinterest, Instagram, and blogs is to bridge that gap somehow…the gap we can never fill except in our fantasies. It’s all rather depressing when you stop and think about it…

…So, let’s not and move swiftly on…

I really like to think that my blog is pretty grounded in reality. At least, that’s my intention. And that’s one of the reasons I decided to start up again. Not only because it’s the only hobby I’ve ever had that I actually have time to do (I love to write, but genuinely don’t have the mental energy to write stories, poems, etc right now) but because I enjoy sharing my thoughts and opinions with you, the lovely reader, and knowing that you know that I’m being honest and open with you in ways I think some blogs aren’t. (No offense to them. Well, maybe a little offense to them).

I’m going to continue blogging about green beauty, my main area of expertise, but as usual I’ll be writing about other things that strike my fancy as well: stuff to do with poetry, art, philosophy, psychology, entertainment, feminism, relationships, and food. There should be something for everyone!

In addition, I’m on something of a journey to reclaim my sanity and find a bit more balance and peace in my life. My job is pretty stressful (so not really something I want to write about here) and I’m definitely feeling out of whack. I love yoga and meditation, and am trying to carve out a place for these things in my life too. So expect to see more posts on these topics as well.

For now, I’ll sign off. Hakuna Matata my friends, and I hope to see you back here soon. My goal right now is to write 1-2 blog posts a week – probably on Saturday and/or Sunday. So check back soon!









#Giving Tuesday: Support Safe Cosmetics!

Hi Friends,

This Giving Tuesday I received the following email from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – I wanted to share it with you guys! I donated – will you? 🙂

December 2, 2014Dear Olivia,
December 2nd is #GivingTuesday, a day to celebrate our nation’s great tradition of generosity and have fun boosting our favorite causes. #GivingTuesday demonstrates that we can do more with our wallets than just shop Black Friday sales, and that we don’t have to be multimillionaires to give back to causes and communities we believe in.

Be a part of the #GivingTuesday movement by supporting our work to make cosmetics safe for all your loved ones.

Did you know it’s legal to use cancer-causing chemicals in cosmetics like shampoo, lotion, mascara, and eye shadows? Outrageous, right? It’s completely unacceptable to us that cosmetics and personal care product makers think it’s ok to expose women, men, and children to cancer chemicals as part of our daily cleaning and beauty routines.W We believe we can change the cosmetics industry for the better and make the use of cancer chemicals a thing of the past.

This year, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics launched the Cosmetics Without Cancer campaign to pressure cosmetics companies to stop using chemicals linked to cancer in their products. We can win this effort, but we need your financial and political support.

On #GivingTuesday, make a gift that makes a difference. Together we can make Cosmetics Without Cancer the new industry standard! 

Thank you. Your support means the world to us.

Warm regards,

Janet Nudelman
Director, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

100 Followers! Feedback?!

Hello Friends!

Yesterday, after a loooong day at work, I came home to find out I had 100 followers! I know that for some of you out there this is mere peanuts, but obviously I am thrilled 🙂 I just wanted to say thank you to those who have been following, reading, commenting, and supporting. I had no idea that blogging was such hard work, and I know it would have been harder if not for you guys!

I’ve been enjoying myself so much on this l’il ol’ blog, but now I’d like your feedback! In particular…

1- Which posts have you been enjoying the most? Product reviews? Feminist rants? Personal stories? The Art/Poem posts? I’d love to hear!

2- What can I do to make this blog better? I’m well aware of some of its shortcomings! The photography is lame, and there are no navigation buttons for separate categories. If you have a blog, do you have any tips?

3- I’m currently posting every day. Too much, or just right?

Let me know in the comments!

I have a few posts in the works, so stay tuned: a Red Apple Lipstick review, the results of my raw honey cleansing experiment, and a natural manicure tutorial…

Liv 🙂

Liebster Award!

liebster awardHello all!
Kaily at Someday Sunny nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I am VERY honored and pleased to accept 🙂 Being new to blogging I initially had no idea what the Liebster award was (shame) but Google has now rectified this situation!

By the way Kaily’s blog is awesome, and as she’s starting to explore the world of natural/green beauty I hope she gets lots of support from our little community, which I am more and more starting to feel a part of and welcomed by!

Here are my questions:

1. What’s your favorite TV show at the moment?

This is tough because my three favorite shows of recent times are “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Mad Men.” But for pure entertainment value I’d have to go with the early 1990’s British cult comedy classic, “Red Dwarf,” which still makes me laugh all these years later!
2. What’s your favorite high end brand? And why.

To be honest, I don’t buy/wear many high end brands! But if they qualify as ‘high-end,’ I do like some expensive-ish natural beauty brands such as Juice beauty and W3LL People.
3. What’s your favorite high Street brand? And why

Gotta be the Yes to Carrots brand. All their stuff works, and smells great!
4. Lip gloss or lipstick? And why

Lipstick, and having just discovered the Red Apple brand, there’s no going back. Lip gloss is too goopy for me.
5. Eye liner.. Liquid or pencil? And why

Both! Liquid on my lids and pencil on my lower lashes. I’m using Pixi’s liquid liner, and Beauty Without Cruelty’s pencil eyeliner.
6. Why did you start your blog?

Good question! I love to write, but getting my writing out there is tough. I wanted a place where I could write and connect with others about things I’m passionate about, and hopefully inspire other women to take the green beauty journey with me.
7. What perfume are you wearing at the moment?

The one and only Pacifica Island Vanilla.
8. What song are you obsessed with at the moment?

I love Pharrell’s “Happy” song…it just makes me…happy! And, erm, “The Nightmare Before Christmas ” soundtrack.
9. What foundation are you currently using?

Yes to Grapefruit CC cream, or W3LL People powder.
10. What’s your favourite candle scent?

Geranium or vanilla.
11. Where do you see your blog in a year?

Hopefully still active, with followers who care about my blog and what I have to say! I’m more interested in quality readership, over quantity. I also want to continue expanding content to include things such as recipes, book reviews, art, and feminist commentary. In my opinion, real beauty is being actively engaged in the world around you, so I would be loathe to stop at product reviews. I’m also experimenting more with DIY beauty, and I’d like to become more knowledgeable about this topic.

I would like to nominate The Hermes Hippie and One Lost Mama, to answer those same 11 questions! I enjoy both their blogs, and feel that their blog goals are quite similar to mine 🙂



Going Green Tag!

I know, another post! But I’m always up for a discussion about Green Beauty! This tag was created at AllNaturalAspirations.com and I’ve since seen it at a couple of other cool sites, including nontoxiquevoyage and Petitepralines

Thanks guys, for the inspiration!

1. What started it all off for you?

Reading the back of a bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo and not understanding any of the ingredients, and feeling duped. I bought “No More Dirty Looks,” and then there was no turning back. I even wrote an article about toxic beauty for elephantjournal, and after that public statement there was no way I could ever turn back!

2. What was the first thing to go? (Ingredient or product)

Good question! I’m not sure I remember, but I think the first thing I actually threw away was my beloved Johnson’s baby lotion, which I’ve used as a cleanser since forever. Sob – but it was packed with parabens and phtlates and other nasties.

3. What are you/did you struggle to let go of?

My Oil of Olay nighttime regenerist lotion. It worked so well.

4. What has been your best find or change? (i.e a green product or a tip that you’re really glad you’ve found/learnt)

No question, it’s been oils. Coconut oil, jojoba oil, and argan oil. They’re all fantastic.

5. What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest to transition or find an adequate green replacement of?

I think the hardest thing has been not enjoying Sephora or Ulta anymore. Sometimes I miss those days of browsing the makeup aisles! The hardest product I’m finding to replace is probably mascara. Natural mascaras don’t seem to work as well, unfortunately. Any tips? Also, giving up Birchbox was tough at first, but now I’ve found Petit Vour and Vegan Cuts, I’m sooooo over it!

6. Anything else to add? Any tips or tricks to pass on?

Serums are the business, and you can’t go wrong with essential oils. I love geranium! A couple of drops of coconut oil in your moisturizer will make you glow, and some good every day brands I love: Yes To Carrots, Mineral Fusion, Pacifica, and W3LL People.

I tag OneLostMama!

ready to launch? the beginner’s guide to safe, healthy beauty products!

So you’ve heard that beauty products contain parabens, pthlates, and other nasties. You really do want to make some changes, but where to start? Here’s my quick guide to dipping your toe into the world of natural beauty!

1. Oil-Up!

One of the easiest and most effective switches you can make (and cheapest!) is to swap out your body lotion or night cream for an oil. Buy organic, coldpressed if possible. For body try coconut oil (available at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and most supermarkets). For face I like jojoba oil, which mimicks the skin’s natural sebum and cleanses pores. This is a good option if your skin is oily. Others swear by sweet almond, and my mom, who has amazing skin, uses olive – good for mature, dry skin. Experiment to find one that’s right for you.


  • Try mixing sugar or salt with an oil to make a lip or body scrub.
  • Make your own relaxing body scrub even more relaxing by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil!
  • Speaking of essential oils, a few drops in the shower will turn your morning routine into a spa-like experience! Choose lavender to calm, clary sage to balance, a citrus oil (like sweet orange) to refresh, eucalyptus to energize and for colds, and rose to relax and renew.

2. Nerd-Up!

There are some great resources out there to help you make the switch. Blogs and websites are awesome, cheap, and keep you current. Here are a list of my favorites, in no particular order (not including mine, of course!) which spotlight eco-friendly and/or cruelty free buys:

Finding One’s Inner Eco Diva: www.ecodivablog.wordpress.com

Dame De Rose: www.damederose.wordpress.com

One Lost Mama: www.onelostmama.wordpress.com

Vegan Beauty Review: www.veganbeautyreview.com

Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database: www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Wellness Mama: www.wellnessmama.com

The Makeup Dummy: www.diytherapy.wordpress.com

The Organic Life Blog: www.theorganiclifeblog.com

Short, Small & Sweet: http://shortsmallsweet.net/

Rainbow Feet: http://www.rainbowfeet.co.uk/

I bet there are tons more I haven’t yet discovered! If you know of some, please put them in the comments…

Books: A couple of great ‘starter’ books on the subject of natural beauty available from Amazon are “The Green Beauty Guide,” by Julie Gabriel (alongside “Holistic Beauty from the Inside Out”) and the breezy, slightly more ‘fun,’ “No More Dirty Looks,” by Siobhan O Connor and Alexandra Spunt. If you’re ready for a more interrogative book about the beauty industry as a whole, check out, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry,” by Stacy Malkin.

You might also like to try the magazine “Natural Health.” I sampled an issue last week, and found it pretty informative.

3. Fill-Up! (the shopping cart!) Save money and effort by starting with simple substitutions for skincare and lipbalm.

The way I’ve started is by slowly swapping out my skincare items, and not worrying too much about make-up. This makes sense, because your skin is a large surface and thus is the primary recipient of toxins when slathering on lotions, facecreams etc. Lipbalms, which we apply every day all day, are another obvious ‘switch-a-roo’ item. But where to find the products? May I suggest a trip to Target? Target has a great natural beauty section where you can find awesome and not-too-expensive brands such as Burt’s Bees, Yes To, and Pacifica. I love the Yes To Carrots moisturizers and CC cream. And while you’re there pick up a Burt’s Bees lip balm! I also love the Mi-Me brand lipbalm (see my review on this site!). If you’re lucky enough to live near a Sprouts or a Whole Foods these have great brands too.

Are you ready to launch?

4. Sign-Up! Explore new brands by signing up for a subscription box.

I’m loving my subscription boxes. Through them, I’m learning about new eco-friendly brands, and their websites are a portal for buying them which is really convenient. I’ve tried both Vegan Cuts ($19.99 a month for a box of full-size and sample sizes; about 5 products) and Petit Vour ($15.00 a month for a box of, usually, sample sizes; about 4-5 products, but higher-end). Another ‘portal’ shop is www.birchbox.com where you have the ability to refine your search to show ‘ingredient-conscious picks’ only. Through them you can buy (and read product reviews of) brands like W3LL People, and explore lesser known brands like Wild Honey Apothecary. I also love http://www.thedetoxmarket.com/

Last, but not least, don’t be overly-perfectionist to start with. We want to do it ‘right,’ and the temptation is to dump all our old stuff and start anew, but be kind to yourself and let the process take time. Even just switching out one or two products is an awesome start, and if money’s tight, find some DIY recipes and make your own products! They’ll be just as awesome, I promise.

I’m still learning, so I know how it feels to be figuring this stuff out. Thus, this guide, which I hope helps. Let me know what you think, and if you’re an eco-beauty fiend, do leave tips and websites in the comments below.