Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vegan products

I'm not a vegan myself (I'm a vegetarian, and I don't eat a lot of dairy, but still very far from being a vegan), but here's some info for you vegans out there regarding beauty products.

I realise that many vegans try to avoid animal ingredients not only in their food, but also in their lifestyle, and when it comes to beauty products, this means staying away from ingredients like beeswax, honey, propolis, lanolin, carmine, goat's milk, non-vegetable source stearic acid, and emu oil. As a vegetarian, I won't use any beauty products that have been tested on animals, and I avoid carmine, because it comes from crushed beetles, but I'm ok with ingredients like honey. But many vegans will want to avoid any ingredients that come from an animal.

Good news! There's plenty of options out there. A'kin, Sukin, and Natural Instinct products are all free from animal ingredients, and, like all brands I endorse on this blog, do not test on animals. Some of Trilogy and Evolu's products are vegan, but I think all of Living Nature's products contain honey. A lot of Lush's products are vegan.
Vegan makeup can be a bit trickier to find, but mineral powder makeup generally tends to be free from animal ingredients. I've posted info about mineral makeup here and here.
Living Nature's awesome eyeliners are free from any animal ingredients, using vegetable waxes instead of beeswax.
The only natural vegan lipsticks and lipglosses available in New Zealand that I've come across so far are made by Immersion Cosmetics. The lipsticks come in eight shades, and are $39.38 each. The lipglosses (called Lip Glazes) come in seven shades and are $37.13 each. They can be bought online at, and the website also has a list of stores which stocks them. They have quite a range of makeup, all vegan, except for their Lip and Eye Pencils, and their Lip Gloss Pots. Their mascara and concealer and the only natural vegan ones available in NZ that I know of.
As a cheaper alternative for a lip colour, you could mix mineral blusher, eyeshadow or bronzer with a vegan lip balm (like A'kin Sweet Blossom and Jojoba Pure Essential Lip Balm) to make your own lip tint. I haven't tried this myself, so I'm not sure how well it would work.
So yeah, quite a lot of options for vegans - to find appropriate products it's often simply a matter of reading ingredient lists - which, as a vegan, you'll be used to doing anyway.

Guest blog post

I've written a guest blog post, about New Zealand natural beauty brands and their availability in the USA, on the cool blog Almost Natural Beauty. Check the post out here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eye makeup removers

I have to confess, the eye makeup remover that I use is not at all natural. I wear contact lenses, and the only natural eye makeup remover I've found that states it is suitable for contacts lens wearers is Aveda Pure Comfort Eye Makeup Remover, $54 for 125ml, which is too expensive for me. I wear eye makeup every day, so I go through remover pretty fast.

Before I wore contacts I used almond oil, which worked well, although it was...oily, but then you'd expect that, using an oil. It made my eyes a bit blurry, but that was ok, because it would be just before going to bed that I'd take my eye makeup off.
Apart from the Aveda one, the only natural eye makeup removers that I've seen available are Living Nature Eye Makeup Remover, $25 for 100ml, and Viola Organics Eye Makeup Remover, $9.50 for 25ml.

I could maybe try and make my own remover, though I don't know what I'd use. Aloe vera and glycerin, maybe? Any contacts lens wearers who are reading this have any tips?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New product range for mums and bubs

Living Nature has recently launched a range of mother and baby products, 'Kekemama and 'Kekebaby. The 'Kekemama products are:

Soothing Leg Gel 100ml $30
Beautiful Belly Oil 100ml $30
Nipple Ease Balm 12ml $17.50

The Beautiful Belly Oil can be used during and after pregnancy.

And the 'Kekebaby products are:

Little Body Wash 100ml $17.50
Little Body Bar 70g $7.90
Little Body Lotion 100ml $17.50
Calendula Massage Oil 100ml $30
Little Botty Balm 50ml $23
Sensitive Bits Gel 50ml $23

There are also two gift packs, which would be great to give to new parents:

Little Body Gift Pack $29 (contains Little Body Wash 50ml, Little Body Lotion 50ml, and Little Body Bar 70g)
Little Body Essentials $49 (contains Calendula Massage Oil 100ml, Little Body Lotion 100ml, and Little Body Bar 70g)

For more details about the products, check out

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shampoo and Conditioners

Shampoos and conditioners need to share a blog post. They go together like peas and carrots. I use Sukin Purifying Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner, both suitable for all hair types. Both shampoo and conditoner are $12 each for 250ml, $17 for 500ml, and $27 for 1 litre. I have both them in the 250ml, and I've had them for about four months - they're nearly empty now. I only wash my hair twice a week though, and I'm the only one using them. Actually, the conditioner only gets used once a week, because I use a hair mask weekly.

I have also used Ecostore Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner, for dry/damaged hair (my hair is dry and frizzy, though my roots can get a bit greasy). I've also used their Manuka and Sandalwood Shampoo and Conditioner for dandruff, as I have mild dandruff. Ecostore also has Rosemary and Orange Shampoo and Conditioner for fine/oily hair, and Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner for normal/dry hair. All are $10.95 each for 200ml, and $35.95 each for 1 litre.

Some other options:

For fine/oily hair: Trilogy Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner $25 each for $250ml (these and all Trilogy shampoos and conditoners can be used for all hair types, but are especially good for those hair types specified)

For normal to oily hair: Giovanni Golden Wheat Shampoo and Conditioner $20 each for 250ml

For normal to dry hair: Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Shampoo and Conditoner $20 each for $250ml

For dry/damaged hair: Nature's Gate Chamomile and Lemon Verbena Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner, $16 each for 350ml, Trilogy Gentle Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner $25 each for 250ml

For colour treated hair: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo and Conditioner $20 each for 250ml, Aveda Color Conserve™ Shampoo and Conditioner $39 for 250ml of shampoo, $39 for 200ml of conditioner, $94 for 1 litre of shampoo, $109 for 1 litre of conditoner

For dry/colour treated/frizzy hair: Trilogy Smooth Shine Shampoo and Conditoner $25 each for 250ml

For dry/flaky scalp: Nature's Gate Organics Tea Tree and Blue Cypress Soothing Shampoo $16 each for 350ml, Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo and Conditioner $20 each for $250ml

For sensitive scalp: Holistic Hair Sensitive Scalp Shampoo and Conditoner $25 each for 250ml

For itchy scalp or oily hair/scalp: Aveda Scalp Benefits™ Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner $34 for 250ml of shampoo, $34 for 200ml of conditioner, $81 for 1 litre of shampoo, $81 for 1 litre of conditioner

For all hair types: Natural Instinct Natural Shampoo and Condtioner $9.99 each for 250ml, $14.99 for 500ml, and $24.99 for 1 litre, Nature's Gate Lavender and Aloe Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner $16 each for 350ml, Aveda Shampure Shampoo and Conditioner $10.50 each for 50ml, $29 for 250ml, $69 for 1 litre

For volumising: Nature's Gate Organics Lemongrass and Clary Sage Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner $16 each for 350ml, Aveda Pure Abundance™ Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner $34 each for 250ml, $81 for 1 litre of shampoo, $69 for 473ml of conditoner
For curly or wavy hair: Aveda Be Curly Shampoo and Conditioner $35 for 250ml of shampoo, $35 for 200ml of conditioner, $94 for 1 litre of shampoo, $94 for 1 litre of conditioner
For men: Aveda Men Pure-Formance Shampoo and Conditioner $45 each for 300ml

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Body Lotions

I slather body lotion all over myself when I get out of the shower. I'm currently using Sukin Hydrating Body Lotion ($15 for 250ml, and $22 for 500ml). Works well, smells good, and it's a great price! I also like Pure Innosense Body Lotions, $11. They come in Reviving (Chamomile and Feijoa), Relaxing (Lavender and Iris), Summer Skin (a gradual tanning lotion, scented with Vanilla and Mandarin), and Sensitive Skin (fragrance free). I use the Summer Skin lotion in spring and summer to give me that 'golden glow'.

I have also tried Avalon Organics Hand and Body Lotion in Peppermint, but it made me really cold because of the large amount of peppermint in it! I guess this might be good to use in hot weather though. This lotion also comes in Aloe Unscented, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, and Ylang Ylang. $21.30 for 350ml.

Some other options:

$15 and under: The Herb Farm Rose Body Lotion 100ml $15, The Herb Farm Rosehip & Citrus Body Lotion 100ml $15

$20 and under: Natural Instinct Body Lotion 250ml $19

$25 and under: Giovanni Hydrate Body Lotion 250ml $23 (available in Cassifluer White Tea, Cucumber Song, Grapefruit Sky, Lavender Vanilla Snow, and Raspberry Winter), Evolu Invigorating Body Lotion 125ml $24, The Herb Farm Body Lotion 200ml $24.60, The Herb Farm Rosehip & Citrus Body Lotion 200ml $24.60

$30 and under: Living Nature Refreshing Hand and Body Lotion 200ml $26, Living Nature Nourishing Hand and Body Cream 200ml $26, Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion 100ml $26.90, Weleda Wild Rose Body Lotion 100ml $28.90, Natural Instinct Body Lotion 500ml $29, Trilogy Nourishing Body Lotion 200ml $30

$35 and under: Comvita Huni All Day Body Lotion 250ml $35, Blue Earth Body Moisturiser 300ml $35

$40 and under: Tebe Body Moisturising Milk 250ml $37.40

$45 and under: Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Lotion 354ml $40.90 (available in Coconut, Pineapple, Frangipani, Starfruit, and Passionflower)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So Hot Right Now: Mineral Makeup

A lot of not-particularly-natural beauty brands are bringing out mineral makeup. Some of these I wouldn't try, (because of some of them have parabens in them, which is something I try to avoid, and one brand that I won't name tests on animals which I ALWAYS avoid), but I am quite keen to try Bloom's mineral makeup.

Bloom has Pure Mineral Powder Foundation in Light, Medium, and Dark, Pure Mineral Radiant Touch Bronzer in Sunkissed, and Pure Mineral Radiant Touch Blush in Rosie. They can be bought at Kirkaldie & Stains. The foundation is $45, and the blush and bronzer are $40 each. So not that cheap, but a lot cheaper than Bare Escentuals - their foundation costs $70 at Hardy's, and $75 at Nature Unplugged. I have tried Bare Escentuals before, but I bought a small size for $25, and even though I liked it, I don't think I'd buy it at full price, because it's pretty expensive.
Miessense also has mineral makeup - $39.95 for Mineral Foundation Powder, which comes in Fair, Medium, Tanned, and Dark. They also have Mineral Blush Powder in Desert Rose Silk, Desert Rose Satin, Apricot Dew Silk, Apricot Dew Satin, Ginger Blossom Silk, and Ginger Blossom Satin. The 'Silk' shades are matte, and the 'Satin' shades are shimmery. Unfortunately I haven't seen any Miessense makeup in any stores for quite a while, but you can order it from
Jane Iredale also has quite a few mineral makeup products. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the prices for them in New Zealand Dollars, but for stockists in New Zealand, go to
I mentioned Natio Mineral Radiance in a previous post, but I haven't yet tried it. I'd really like to try the blusher, but it seems that a lot of other people would too, because it's sold out at the three different Farmers stores that I've looked for it in! The eyeshadows are still in stock though, maybe I should try one (or more) of those before they sell out. Hopefully the blusher will be available again soon.
If you aren't too concerned about parabens, you could try Physicians Formula Mineral Wear. I saw the Pressed Powder (34.95), Loose Powder (29.95), and Foundation (can't remember the price, sorry, and I can't find it online). The range does have a lot of other products in it as well, but I'm not sure if they're all available in New Zealand. There is also an Organic Wear line, but I don't think that's available over here. If it ever is, I'd be keen to try it. Check out the Physicians Formula website: for more information. By the way, I think the girl who's pictured on the page about Mineral Wear looks like a younger version of Bree from Desperate Housewives. Just putting that out there.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Body washes

I prefer body washes to soaps, as I find them more moisturising. I like Sukin Botanical Body Wash. It costs $12 for 250ml, $17 for 500ml, and $27 for a 1 litre refill. I have the 500ml bottle, which I've been using for nearly five weeks, and there's still some left! It's not at all drying, and it smells great.

I also like Pure Innosense Shower Gels, available in Reviving (Chamomile and Feijoa), Relaxing (Lavender and Iris), Energising (Rosemary and Citrus), and Hydrating (Peach and Geranium). I've tried them all, and I don't really like the smell of the Energising one, but I really like the other three. All of them cost $11, and can be bought at Woolworths and selected pharmacies.

Another good option is A'kin's body washes. They have Aromatherapy Jasmine, Aromatherapy Lavender, Aromatherapy Orange Blossom, Aromatherapy Sandalwood, and Unscented Very Gentle. $13.85 for 225ml, and $26.80 for 500ml.

Or you could try Natural Instinct Body Wash, $9.99 for 250ml, $14.99 for 500ml, and $24.99 for 1 litre. Or Trilogy Botanical Body Wash, $26 for 500ml. Plenty of options! Some more:

$15 and under: The Herb Farm Lime Shower Gel 125ml $13.80, The Herb Farm Rosehip & Orange Shower Gel 125ml $13.80
$25 and under: Miessense Sunflower Body Wash 250ml $20.95, The Herb Farm Lime Shower Gel 250ml $22.20, The Herb Farm Rosehip & Orange Shower Gel 250ml $22.20, Giovanni Cleanse Body Wash 310ml $23 (available in Cassifluer White Tea, Cucumber Song, Grapefruit Sky, Lavender Vanilla Snow, and Raspberry Winter), Bod The Hydrating Blend Shower Gel 250ml $24.90
$30 and under: Living Nature Nourishing Body Wash 200ml $26, Living Nature Refreshing Body Wash 200ml $26, Dr Hauschka Lemon Body Wash $29, Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Shower Gel 250ml $29 (available in Coconut, Pineapple, Starfruit, and Passionflower)
$40 and under: Aveda Calming Body Cleanser 250ml $40, Aveda Energizing Body Cleanser $40

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bath products

I don't take baths very often, I tend to be too lazy to wait for the water to run, and just have a shower instead. Actually, I don't think I've had a bath in about a year and a half. But I realise that many of you probably do take baths a bit more regularly than that, so here's a bit of a run-down on what natural bath products are available.

Australian brand Bod has bath salts, available in The Princess Blend, the Goddess Blend, and The White Lotus Blend. They come in 125g sachets (13.20), and 275g jars ($24.90). Bod products can be bought at Hardy's and Nature Unplugged.

New Zealand brand Kereru also sells bath salts. They are available in Body Revive (Pine, Lemon, Majoram and Rosemary), Pamper (Rose Geranium), Passion (Orange, Patchouli and Ylang Ylang), Sweet Dreams (Lavender and Mandarin), and Vitalise (Lemon and Lime). They cost $4.50 for 125g, and $8 for 300g. Kereru products are available at Commonsense Organics.

If you prefer a bath milk, you could try one of Weleda's. There is Citrus Bath Milk, Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk, Pine Reviving Bath Milk, and Rosemary Invigorating Bath Milk, all $26.90 for 200ml. Weleda also has a Wild Rose Cream Bath, $31.40 for 100ml.

If you want a bubble bath, there's Bod for Bubs Bubble and Squeakie Clean. Yes, it's intended for babies, but there's no reason why adults can't use it, I guess! Another baby bath product is Ecostore Sleepytime Bath, $10.95 for 200ml, available at Commonsense Organics, Health 2000, Woolworths, Foodtown, Pak N Save, New World, Homestead Health, and Hardy's.

For bath oils, you could try one of Living Nature's body oils. These can be used for moisturising or massage, but can be also added to a bath. They have Body Form Oil, Energy Body Oil, and Tranquility Body Oil, all $23 for 100ml.

If you're after a moisturising bath treatment in solid form, you could try one of Lush's Luxury Bath Melts, like Ceridwen's Cauldron, $10.90.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Green and on a budget

Many of you may be thinking something like 'Ok, I want to use more natural beauty products, but I don't really want to spend $50 on moisturiser'. Yeah, I'm with you. While I realise that sometimes you will pay more for natural/organic beauty products, I still try to save money to a certain extent. Here are some tips on how you can too.

Tip 1: Work out what brands best suit your budget

There's a huge variety of brands out there which make natural/organic beauty products, and a huge range of prices. A rough guide to brands:

Super-duper low-priced brands: Sukin (skin care, body care and hair care, Natural Instinct (skin care, body care, hair care, sun care, baby care, and household cleaners)

Affordable brands: The Herb Farm (skin care, body care, hair care, mother and baby care, men's products, room sprays, essential oils, and healing products),Weleda (skin care, hair care, body care, mother and baby care, men's products, oral care, homeopathic ointments, and over-the-counter medications)

Mid-range brands: Living Nature (skin care, hair care, body care, mother and baby care, men's products, and makeup), Trilogy (skin care, hair care and body care), Evolu (skin care and body care)

More expensive brands: Dr Hauschka (skin care, hair care, body care, sun care, and makeup), Ayurda (skin care and hair care)

High-end brands: Aveda (skin care, hair care, body care, men's products, makeup, fragrances, and candles), MV Organic Skincare (skin care and body care)

Tip 2: Shop around

There are a lot of natural beauty brands available at health stores, but also check out pharmacies, supermarkets, gift shops and Farmers stores. Prices vary between stores as well, so if you see something you like, maybe check several stores to see if have it, so you can make sure you get the best deal. Also check out offers like gift with purchase, or buy one get one free. Look out for sales, but make sure you check the expiration dates on the products, because sometimes products which are nearing expiration will be sold at half price.

Tip 3: Make use of loyalty cards

Farmers stocks Giovanni, Trilogy, Natio, Living Nature, Evolu and Dr Hauschka. Any purchase from the beauty department will put points on your beauty club card (1 point per dollar), and after spending $200, you get a $20 voucher. I always use mine to put towards buying Dr Hauschka makeup. Life Pharmacy also has a loyalty card, and they stock Living Nature, Trilogy, Evolu, Antipodes, Comvita Huni, Tebe, Weleda baby products, Made 4 Baby, and Kosmea. Their loyalty card rules are slightly different from Farmers' (see for details), but it's good because anything purchase over $5 you make at their stores (with the exception of prescription medications and discount fragrances) will give you points.

Also, Onecard can be used at Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets, which stock Skinfood, Pure Innosense, Primal Earth, and the Ecostore baby range. You have to spend, like $2000 before you get a voucher, but if you do your regular grocery shopping there, then you'll probably get points fairly quickly. Also, there are often a lot of discounts available for Onecard cardholders.

In addition to this, some brands have loyalty cards of their own, like the Evolu Eleven-for-ten card, and the Living Nature Truly Natural You card. Trilogy also has one, but it can only be used at Health 2000 stores, whereas the Evolu and Living Nature ones can be used at anywhere which stocks those brands.

Tip 4: Try samples, or buy travel/trial-size packs

Some stores have small samples (I think they're free - probably best to check before taking them though!) of Evolu and Living Nature products. These are a good way to test out the product without actually buying it.

A number of brands offer travel/trial packs. Living Nature has quite a few different ones - check them out at Trilogy has Trilogy Travelers - for $60 you get 50l Cream Cleanser, 50ml Hydrating Mist Toner, 50ml Energising Face Lotion, and 50ml Nourishing Body Lotion. Evolu has a Travel Tower, $39, which contains 10ml Creme Cleanser, 10ml Moisturising Day Cream, 10ml Night Cream, 10ml Soothing Eye Gel, 10ml Purifying Mask, and 10ml Hand+Cuticle Cream. Evolu also has the Travel Valet, $35, which consists of 10ml Refreshing Facial Mist, 20ml Day Cream with SPF15, 20ml Silkening Shampoo, 20ml Invigorating Body Lotion, 10ml Healing Lip Treatment, and a luxury facecloth, all in a zipup pouch.

If you want to try out a more affordable range, The Herb Farm has six different trial size packs. Check them out at

Tip 5: Make your own

I tend to be too lazy to do this, but if you'd like to try making your own beauty products, there are plenty of recipes available at Sometimes this can cost a bit of money if you have to buy ingredients, but there are also things you can do, like using olive oil as a hair treatment, that will save a lot of money.