Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss



This Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss was a no-brainer for me to try because (1) I really like all of their other products that I’ve tried, (2) I respect Burt’s Bees’ company policy, and (3) the glosses are sold at grocery stores and pharmacies, so they’re super accessible and relatively cheap (about $7).

The gloss is super shiny but not sticky. There’s no weird taste or smell. The color is not saturated (as one would expect from a gloss); it’s just the right amount of color in my opinion. And the color you get on your lips is what you’d expect from looking at the color of the tube. My favorite colors are Nearly Dusk, Ocean Sunrise, Rosy Dawn, and Sunny Day. All of them have shimmer, and all the glosses are 100% natural.

Burt’s Bees also make Lip Crayons (deep, matte color), Lip Shimmers (not much gloss; lots of shimmer), and Lip Shine (less color; more glossy).

SheaMoisture Curl & Style Milk


SheaMoisture is a company that makes bath, body,face, hair, and baby products from natural, organic ingredients. Its line of products is extensive–it even makes hair dye! The company has a pretty cool history too: Sofi Tucker started selling Shea nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. She then created hair and skin products with those Shea nuts and started selling those. Her grandchildren started SheaMoisture and today are continuing her legacy. Its products are free of lots of the baddies we’re supposed to avoid like phthalates, parabens, artificial colors and fragrances, mineral oil, and petroleum. And of course the company is cruelty free.

SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk is a great leave-in styler and curl tamer. In the summer months, my wavy hair gets really frizzy. If I let my hair air dry without any product, it would triple in volume. I know that I could blow dry it, style it, etc., but I’m SUPER lazy and let it air dry every day even though I know it will look terrible.

This styling milk is the perfect solution for people like me who are hair-lazy. I towel dry my hair and then comb a generous amount of this product through my hair. Then I braid it or put it in a bun (I suppose curlers would also work) and leave it alone. When I eventually let my hair down, it’s not frizzy; the curls are defined. Other pluses:

  • Smells lovely, like sweet coconut
  • Is not sticky at all
  • Acts as a detangler, so great for wet hair
  • Hard to use too much (i.e., doesn’t seem to weigh my hair down even if I use a bunch)

hello Toothpaste


hello is a company that makes vegan (and therefore cruelty-free) oral care products: toothpaste, tooth brushes, mouth wash, and breath spray. Its tagline is “naturally friendly,” but I can’t find any evidence that the products are actually natural. But it is clear that they don’t contain alcohol or artificial sweeteners, colors, or dyes.

I was browsing the toothpaste at my local grocery store and saw hello toothpaste. It may sound strange, but I hadn’t even thought about cruelty-free oral care. So of course I bought two tubes to give it a try, excited that a cruelty-free toothpaste was available at the Giant! (Target, Walgreens, and CVS also sell hello, as does the online store Soap.com.) I tried the hello fluoride toothpaste in supermint and sweet cinnamint flavors. I really liked the supermint flavor. The cinnamint… not so much. It’s too sweet for me (but it’s probably great for kids). The toothpaste also comes in mojito mint and pink grapefruit mint flavors.

Aside from the flavor, I have two notes about the toothpaste:

  • The toothpaste itself seemed to do a fine job cleaning my teeth and tongue. It was foamy (it does contain SLS), and a normal-sized glob was enough to do the job for 2 minutes of brushing.
  • The “tottle” (hello’s toothpaste packaging that is a combination of a tube and bottle) looks great and stands up easily so you don’t have to squeeze much to get the product out. HOWEVER. When I got to what I thought was the last of the toothpaste (because I couldn’t squeeze any more out), I thought the tottle was still suspiciously heavy. So I cut off the top and, lo and behold, there was still a lot of toothpaste left at the bottom. Like, 15 more uses worth. I know because I dipped my brush down there to get the last of it.

So the short of it is that the product is good and the packaging is wasteful. If you don’t mind scooping your own toothpaste, I suggest giving hello a try.

Carley’s Clear and Smooth Mineral Foundation

It’s so hard to find good cruelty-free make-up! This is the first review of make-up on my blog because natural/cruelty-free make-up is (1) so hard to find, (2) so hit or miss, and (3) SO expensive. I have a hard time forking over the money to test products that may not be very good and that I may not be able to find again.

But trying this mineral foundation from Carley’s Clear and Smooth was a happy no-brainer. Everything I’ve tried from Carley’s Clear and Smooth has been perfection, so I was happy to try it. But most importantly, the company sent me a free sample of the foundation with my last order. 🙂 (You should know that the fact that it was free has not influenced my review of the product! It really is just great mineral foundation.)

I had been using Bare Minerals foundation for several years, and, as a result, I’m addicted to mineral make-up. I won’t go near that liquid stuff anymore. The natural mineral powder is so great for my sensitive, acne-prone skin because it doesn’t clog pores and absorbs oil really well. But Bare Minerals goes for over $25 per compact (8 grams of powder)! Carley’s Clear and Smooth mineral foundation is $19 per compact (10 grams of powder). And it works just as well: good, even coverage; good oil absorption; nice selection of shades. On top that, it’s the only mineral foundation I could find that’s cruelty free. Which, really, is worth almost any amount of money.

Best of all, you can buy $3 sample sizes to give it a try and to find the best color match. (And you could probably return the product if you chose the wrong shade–Carley’s is good about returns). When I run out of my other products, I plan to buy its blush and bronzer to round out my cruelty-free make-up collection.

Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment

Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment is a little tin pot of heaven. I use it on all kinds of bumps and scrapes, and it really does the trick. It soothes itchy spots (like the poison ivy I’ve got on my arm!) and covers and protects ouchy spots (like the scratches I got from pruning my trees!). It seems to also be reducing the swelling on my poison ivy bumps. I bet it would also be good on mosquito bites.

One drawback is that it’s made with beeswax, which gives it a sticky consistency. That’s a good thing because it really coats and clings to your skin, but it’s a bad thing because it doesn’t get absorbed. So, for example, if you’re typing on your keyboard and rest your forearms that are covered in poison ivy and Res-Q Ointment on the table, you’re going to leave behind a little smear. I guess you could use band-aids to prevent that–I’d rather just wipe off the table when I’m done. 🙂

It’s 100% natural, made in the USA, and, of course, cruelty free. Check out the Burt’s Bees site for more information.


Carley’s Clear and Smooth Daytime Moisturizer

I’ve reviewed another Carley’s Clear and Smooth product before (its amazing acne scrub that works wonders for my adult acne). This review is about what I follow up with after I use the acne scrub.

The Daytime Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin is the perfect complement to the acne scrub cleanser. Right after I dry off my face, I use one pump of the lotion and cover my face and neck. This stuff has never made my face break out. It is light feeling and absorbs well, but it keeps my skin moisturized well enough that I never get dry scaly spots (that are sometimes the result of other acne treatments). With other moisturizers, my skin can become an oil slick by the end of the day, but with this product my skin is just its normal, slightly oily self. In other words, this moisturizer makes my skin not too dry and not too oily but just right.

As an added bonus, Carley’s will send along a free full-sized bar of their wonderful natural soap. You’ll love the feeling of this soap on your skin: sudsy and soft. It’s gentle enough to use everywhere on your body because it’s not scented and because it’s made from all natural ingredients.

Carley’s Clear and Smooth Acne Scrub

To kick off my product review, I chose one of the first great cruelty-free beauty products I ever tried. I bought my first bottle of this acne wash in 2007 on eBay. I have pretty bad acne, and it’s gotten worse since I recently went through some, ahem, hormonal changes. This scrub, which is a true exfoliating scrub with benzoyl peroxide, keeps my acne mostly at bay. I use it every night (and when I skip nights, I really notice a difference), and I love it. A note: Because it contains benzoyl peroxide, it will bleach clothing. I always dry off my face with a white towel.

Carley’s sells a bunch of other great beauty products, like moisturizers and make-up, some of which I will review on this site. Everything they make is all natural, made in the USA, and cruelty-free. Check out their store at http://www.clearandsmoothskin.com/shop/. I promise you will not be disappointed!