Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lady Soma Giveaway: LAST CHANCE TO ENTER!

I recently was given the chance to try some lovely products from Lady Soma




LadySomaGiveaway



Lady Soma is a company with products made especially for the needs of women.  For example, I take their Cranberry Concentrate with Vitamin C because I have a long history of UTIs. I've suffered from them for more than half of my life, in fact.

They also have created some other fabulous products on their site.

LADY SOMA GIVEAWAY

And we want to share them with you!

First of all, Lady Soma is sponsoring this month's giveaway! They are giving one of my fabulous readers the Lady Soma Full Body Kit, valued at $92.97.

The 3-piece kit includes 1 Renewal Serum (which we love here on the blog), 1 Antioxidant Berry Masque and 1 Skin + Nail Treatment. Enter to win below!


FREE MASQUE FOR MY READERS!

In addition the fantabulous giveaway which ends on 2/28, the company wants to GIVE each and every one of you a free full sized product! We know that only one reader will win the Full Body Kit so Lady Soma is giving each and every one of you an Antioxidant Berry Masque valued at $32.99 when you buy a Renewal Serum for $42.99.  This offer is valid ONLY to Chic & Green readers using code CHICANDGREEN.  You need to enter both items in your cart and then when you enter the special code, they will take off the $32.99.









a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Surya Brasil

I was recently introduced to a brand of hair care and body care prooducts called Surya Brasil.

This is an affordable brand of Ecocert-certified products from the Amazon Rainforest.  Products are vegan, cruelty free, and truly kind to the environment.

I have tried many natural hair care brands before and have only been impressed by a couple of them.  I'm about to add another to the list, because Surya Brasil is fantastic.



Surya Brasil Review


Let's see what I have tried so far:

Today I am reviewing a shampoo and conditioner from the Color Fixation line. All products in this line are free of SLS and SLES, paraben-free, non GMO, mineral oil free, and free of artificial colors and fragrance.

Color Fixation Restorative Shampoo ($9.99 for 8.45 ounces)

One of the problems I have with natural shampoos is that most of them leave my hair feeling greasy.  Other than a couple standouts, my hair just doesn't look clean after using them.  This product is an exception.  While the shampoo doesn't lather up, my hair is left feeling clean and silky, but not oily.

My color doesn't fade and seems more vibrant when I use this shampoo.  In fact, compared to my other favorite natural shampoos, this one works best at keeping my hair looking shiny with lasting color.

I love the ingredients in this shampoo.  There are so many luxurious ingredients from nature, such as cupuaçú seed butter and buriti fruit oil.

I also have to say that this shampoo, while less money than other natural shampoos, has far more natural botanicals and less fillers.  It really is a lovely shampoo and I highly recommend it.

If you have color treated hair, I am quite sure you'll like this!


I also would like to note that this is vegan certified and gluten free.

Color Fixation Restorative Conditioner ($9.99. 8.45 ounces)

The conditioner from Surya Brasil is also quite lovely!  It leaves my hair feeling silky smooth without being weighed down.  I need VERY little conditioner with my pixie, but I do use it. In fact, I use less than a pea-sized amount for my length of hair and it is nourishing enough for me. Amazonian buriti oil and cupuaçu butter, as well as 15 botanical extracts are also in this formula.

I love that this leaves my hair feeling like I applied a high end salon formula for about the price of hair care products found at Target.


I also had the chance to try several lip balms from this company. Wow! The flavors are so unique (and they are made without artificial flavoring agents).  For example, I had the chance to try a delicious Chocolate Mint, tart Acai berry, and have a couple other flavors to try as well such as Cinnamon Cupuaçu and Strawberry Buriti. 

Surya Brasil Lip Balm ($3.49)

The lip balms are truly among the best I have ever tried--and I have tried MANY lip balms over the years.  The lip balms are vegan, all-natural, and leave my lips feeling soft for hours.  I love knowing that when I use this lip balm (and other Surya Brasil products) that I am supporting sustainable harvesting in the Amazon. What a great company with great products!

The C & G Bottom Line

Ladies (and gents), I do have other products I still need to try from this brand for review.  I just haven't had a chance to do so yet.  If you are looking for a new line of all natural products at affordable prices, I can recommend Surya Brasil without reservation.




*Disclosure: I was sent products for possible review at no cost.  This in no way has affected the outcome of this review and all opinions are my own.




Monday, February 25, 2013

Get the Look: Pale Pink Lips

There were so many stunning looks on the red carpet last night at the Oscars. While I loved the classic bold red lips spotted on celebrities from the gorgeous Adele to the flawless Jessica Chastain, the pale pink lipstick trend caught my eye as we head into spring.

In fact, I am on the hunt for a pale pink lipstick for me to try to branch out of my plum rut.

Here are my 3 favorite pale pink lip looks from the Oscars:






Origins Flower Fusion Lipstick in Buttercup
$16.50



Red Apple Lipstick is paraben free, gluten free & toxin free.
$23.50


I actually have this one. It is a very sheer, pale pink with a glossy finish from Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty.
$16



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's In It Wednesday - Another Round of "Is it Vegan?"

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed the rising number of skincare products being sold on Etsy that are mislabeled as Vegan.  Since that post, I thought I would check back to see if there are new additions to the listings.  I was able to find these listings in less than 10 minutes today:








Honey and Almond Handmade Liquid Soap - All Natural (Vegan Friendly)


Ingredients: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Glycerin, Castor Oil, Water, Honey, Sweet Almond Oil, Potassium Hydroxide (for saponification), and Essential Oils.

Honey is not vegan.

Here is the item description for Peppermint Beeswax Vegan Lip Balm:

"Made 100% Natural and Vegan

Loaded with antioxidants and several vitamins naturally enclosed in the best quality butter and oils, combined with local raw beeswax to seal moisture!
No Chemicals, No Parabens, No Synthetic Colors. 
They come in an easy to use tub srink wrapped for your protecction!!!

I only use the oils and butters that are really helpfull, like:

Avocado Oil -- Unrefined Apricot Kernel Oil
Jojoba Golden Oil/Wax Coconut Oil -- Organic
Sweet Almond Oil Cocoa Butter -- Organic
Tocopherols -- Vitamin E Raw Beeswax
Peppermint Essential Oil -- Organic"


Because we know nothing says VEGAN like beeswax!


"All Natural Handmade Cold Process  Natural Vegan Goat Milk Soap" 


Let's see--milk. Not vegan. Something from a goat (like its milk)? Not vegan.

Today's prize goes to this Etsy handmade soap seller:

"All of our products are created with love on our Ohio farm. Our soaps are formulated to create lots of fluffy, cleansing lather. Using a bath pouf will intensify the lather. You will leave the bath feeling clean, soft, and refreshed.

All of our soaps are vegan and contain do not contain “ANY” animal products. We use only the finest sustainable and organic oils and natural additives. We support sustainable, organic, and fair trade practices.

All bars weigh between 4.5 – 5.5 ounces. Each order is for one bar of soap unless otherwise specified.

Ingredients: Sustainable palm oil, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic canola oil , organic Shea butter, organic beeswax, honey, milk solids, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, fragrance, and mica."

Beeswax? Not vegan.  Honey? Not vegan.  Milk solids? Not vegan.


Chic & Green says:  This issue is just one of many right now that is going on with several dozen Etsy sellers, if not more.  In addition to all of the erroneous health & skincare claims, as well as formulation issues, calling products VEGAN when they are not is a big deal.  I am not a Vegan. I have many friends who are--and I was for a couple of months last year. It is a big deal to purchase a Vegan product only to find out that there are very NON-VEGAN ingredients in it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

NEW! The (seed) Market is open!

You all know I have loved (seed) Body Care since my very first time trying their Fragrance Free Hand Cream nearly three years ago.

I love everything about the people behind the company, Rebecca and Benjamin Gournay, and am so fortunate have been able to meet them! They're created a truly lovely product line and it is accessible to EVERYONE.




I love that when my hand cream runs low, I can even ask Tom to pick it up while he is at Wegmans.  He knows to look for the purple tube :)

I wanted to share they (seed) recently -- as in YESTERDAY -- launched the brand spankin' new (seed) Market. It's a beautiful site and you can buy all of their products right in one place.  Check it out!

To celebrate the launch, (seed) is offering freebies with all orders through Valentine's Day, too!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer

In the midst of my pink eye adventure, I told you that I had to order some new makeup since I had contaminated my other products because of my infection.



I've had the chance to try everything new I ordered, so today I would like to share my thoughts on one of those new products: Illusionist Concealer by Vapour Organic Beauty.

May I make a confession? When it arrived, I had buyer's remorse. I opened it up and saw how DARK color 030 is. I was ticked that I listened to all the reviews of going a couple shades darker. Not with my PALE skin! I thought I'd have to ship it back to beauty.com and try a lighter shade. And when I first saw it, I said, "Why on earth did I just spend $22 for a concealer?"

Well, shock of all shocks, I can be W-R-O-N-G. Yes, as much it pains me to admit it, this girl ISN'T always right. I have been using this concealer for a little more than a week and this is really, truly holy grail material.


  • First of all, you need SUCH A TINY AMOUNT of this concealer because it is so nicely pigmented that this will last longer than other formulas (my usual go-to seems to be chronically out of stock--that was the concealer with the wand from 100% Pure).
  • Color 030 is PERFECT for me. I usually get the lightest neutral/warm concealer shade available and while it does LOOK dark in the tube, it is a great match once applied.
  • I love how this is in a lipstick type tube. The consistency is FABULOUS. I generally use a concealer brush to apply my concealers, but I use my finger and very gently dab it in for blending.
  • It genuinely works amazingly well on dark circles. After we all were sick in this house and with lots of writing projects, I have been EXHAUSTED lately and it shows! The dark circles are nearly invisible with this concealer.
  • The texture is amazing.  It isn't too moist and slippery, nor is it too firm. It is perfect. And how often does this sometimes overly critical blogger use the word perfect?
  • One of my biggest concealer pet peeves is that my sensitive eyes get irriated. Usually, by the end of the day, my eyes are sore because the concealer has somehow migrated a bit too close to my eyes. This doesn't happen with Illusionist from Vapour!
  • This concealer DOES NOT accentuate or settle into fine lines, making it great for those who aren't 19!
  • The best part? The ingredients! Here they are-- Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Silica, Essential Oils & Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense)*, Organic/Bio Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi/Holy Basil), Organic/Bio Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers) [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)] 
    *Wildcrafted


I can honestly say that this is the best concealer for the undereye area that I have used since I started needing a concealer for my dark circles. This is the best product I have ever purchased after having buyer's remorse, too!

Yes, I love to find a green beauty bargain. I do not personally call a $22 concealer a bargain. HOWEVER, this is the best truly natural concealer on the market and I have tried several! Like I said before, I don't buy $500 handbags. I am a huge bargain hunter in nearly every aspect of my life. You only have ONE set of skin; one face---and these dark circles deserve to be concealed :)

I give this an A+. If I issued A++++++++++++++ as a review grade, it would get that. Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer is fantabulous!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Head Scratching Etsy Skin Care: VEGAN Edition

It's time for another look at some of the handmade skin care products being offered on Etsy.  I am always amazed at some of the product claims, lack of formulation knowledge, and highly unusual descriptions in the skin care section at Etsy, and today is no different.



One thing I have noticed is the number of products described as VEGAN that are nowhere near Vegan. For reference, Vegan products do not contain any animal ingredients or by-products like milk, honey, beeswax, or silk.

Let's take a look--


Product #1 is being marketed as a VEGAN lotion. Take a look at the item description:

"Soothing, Moisturizing all Natural Vegan lotion unscented for those who prefer it that way. A great and lasting moisturizer containing coconut oil, shea butter, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, vegetable glycerin, mango butter and most important, beeswax!! There are NO chemicals, preservatives or anything other than vegetable oils and butters with pure water."

This was is a definite head-scratcher.  First of all, even if you overlook the formulation concerns of water + oils and butter sans preservatives, BEESWAX is not VEGAN. That is like saying, "I think I'm going to order the Vegan Beef Barley Soup."

Look at these product listings:

*Oatmeal Milk & Honey Lotion - Vegan Hand and Body Lotion


*Milk & Honey Shea Body Lotion Vegan


*Coconut Milk Vegan Body Lotion with Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Silk Amino Acids 


Here is another very un-vegan product described as vegan:

"Soft texture, familiar smell, enriched with natural Beeswax, Grape oil, Shea butter, Cocoa butter combined with Chocolate flavour, Vitamin E and honey's tears"

First of all, I reiterate that BEESWAX is not vegan....and "honey's tears"?

How about this listing--it comes to us from a store with "vegan" in the name with a big blurb on their page about everything being Vegan:

Ingredients: Shea Butter, soy butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, aloe butter, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, oat oil, silk amino acids, honey powder, vitamin E, whole vanilla bean, vanilla absolute, ylang ylang essential oil.

Today's Biggest Head Scratcher?

*Organically + naturally preserved...no synthetics!
*Vegan 


The above are statements made by a Buffalo-area Etsy seller for these ingredients:

Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Lactose (Milk), Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Distillate, Cocos nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Palm Stearic Acid, Vitis vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Vaccinium myrtillus (Organic Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum officinarum (Organic Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer saccharinum (Organic Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus auranium dulcis (Organic Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Organic Lemon) Extract, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Mannan, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid

FYI -- MILK is not Vegan. Phenoxyethanol is a SYNTHETIC preservative. Both the "vegan" claim and "naturally preserved - no synthetics" are completely false. On the flip side, since this does have milk, it is a good thing that phenoxyethanol is the preservative.


I already have started writing my next installment of this series, so stay tuned!