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July Favorites!!! – Hang Ten, Tarte, Milani, Anastasia, Giovanni, Badger Balm, Fitness & Cats

Another month has come to a close, which means it’s time for my July Favorites!!! JSummer is seriously flying by, which makes me sad because I love the sunshine and warm temps…though I could do without the humidity! J I must say that I am beginning to feel a hunger for some deeper shades and jewel tones too, but I don’t want the cold! Enough about the weather, let’s just get into the Favorites. And, I must apologize for my erratic posting this month. It’s been rather hectic and if I manage to find the time, I just do not have the energy to write anything. Hopefully August will be a bit better, but back to the topic at hand – on to the Favorites! J

I’m going to start with one of the most important things for Summer beauty – the sunscreen! I have absolutely been in love with the Hang Ten Sunscreens. I have been switching between the three that I have – the Mineral Sport SPF 50, the Classic Sport SPF 50, and the Classic Sport Spray SPF 50. I’ve decided my favorites are the Mineral Sport and the Classic Sport Spray. If I’m in a rush, I grab the Spray – not that the Mineral version takes any time either, it’s just not as convenient. I think I’ve finally decided that the Mineral Sport is my all-around favorite. It’s a great consistency that rubs into the skin quickly and easily, and it is never greasy. It’s absolutely fantastic! The Spray is all those things as well, I just always feel like using the spray in the bathroom leaves a sunscreen film all around me, and it’s just kind of troubling for my semi-OCC brain. JAs for the regular Classic Sport, it’s wonderful too, but it’s so thin that I’m always afraid it’s going to drip all over the place. It just seems messier than the others to me, but I’ll definitely continue using it as well. If you’d like to learn more about SPF and the difference between the formulas, check out my post here. For more detailed thoughts on the Mineral Sport SPF 50 and the Classic Sport Spray SPF 50, check out that post here. And for one last shameless plug, if you’re interested in the traditional Classic Sport SPF 50, you can find that post here.

Wow, that was long! So, moving on…I’ve gone back to using my Tarte Colored Clay SPF 15 Liquid Foundation, but I have found my favorite way to apply it is with a Beauty Blender. That makes two favorites in one! JI have never really used my Beauty Blender much because I never find it to give enough coverage and I feel like it’s such an expensive gimmicky product, but for some reason I really love it with the Colored Clay Liquid Foundation. The two really work well together to create a fantastic finish that looks like natural, healthy skin. The foundation does lose a bit of coverage when applied this way, but it still has a fantastic and buildable medium coverage that works well enough to cover my giant blemishes to the point where just a bit of concealer takes care of any remaining discoloration. Plus, it never looks too heavy or cakey as it sometimes can when applied with a brush or your fingers. If you’d like to read more about the Tarte Colored Clay Liquid Foundation, check out my review here. As for the rather new appearance of my Beauty Blender, I simply wash it right after every use and it comes clean really easily. I know, it’s a pain in the arse, but I feel like germs and bacteria are just waiting to grow all over the thing and at least having it lookingclean makes me feel a bit better about it.

For the eyes, I’ve been absolutely loving my Milani Shadow Eyez in Brown Deluxe. It’s the perfect bronzey shade for Summer and it is so easy. I just scribble it on my lid and a bit under my lower lash line, blend it a bit, add some mascara and maybe a liner and call it a day (these are my fancy days lately btw). It gives kind of a grungy effect that I actually love. Plus, it’s so easy that I can do it in no time – andit’s waterproof! J

For my brows, I finally caved and tried the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Blonde. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve swatched this in a store and thought it was just the complete wrong shade for me and the texture would make for such a strong brow that I’d never use it. Well, I swatched it yet again and decided it might not be so bad after all, and I gave it a shot. It is quite creamy so it can be easy to go a bit too heavy handed, but if you don’t get too much on your brush, the consistency spreads beautifully and fills in my brows with ease – and it’s a lot faster than I would have expected. I’ve really been loving it! I use it with the Anastasia #12 Angled Brush which is perfectfor my brows. It’s quite thin – as are my brows – so it’s great for getting a precise brow shape, or (at least in my case) not going outside the natural lines of your brow hairs. The spoolie on the opposite end is a must for me too, so together, the two have been great for my brows – and the Pomade really is budge proof! Seriously, I have trouble getting it off even after a sweaty workout or even a shower if I don’t use an oil-based makeup remover. Great for sweaty Summer days! J

For my limp, lifeless hair, I’ve found a new combination that’s actually helping! Both products are from Giovanni. The first is the Giovanni 2Chic Tangerine & Papaya Butter Ultra-Volume Leave-In & Conditioning Elixir. It helps condition my hair while taming flyaways and I think it actually does help a bit with volume. After that, I add the Giovanni Natural Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam. This definitely is adding volume to my hair. We’re not talking ‘80s hair or anything, but nice, natural looking body that’s never over-the-top (though I’m guessing you could do that too if you really wanted). I believe this is alcohol-free, which is fantastic since alcohol will dry your hair out – the last thing I need. It can get a little crunchy if you get too much product in one spot, but I use about 2 pumps and start with the lengths of my hair, then use what’s left at the roots since I’m aiming for thicker hair all-around, and I never have trouble with crispiness. I find if I start at the root, they can end up a bit stiff if I’m not careful. But once you figure out how these work best for your hair type, they are fantastic for just adding a bit more life into your locks. Love, love, love Giovanni this month! J

I ran out of my Badger Balm Cocoa Butter Lip Balm in Vanilla Bean, so I grabbed my old favorite this time – Creamy Cocoa. I don’t know if or how the formula between these two differs other than the flavor, but I forgot just how insanely wonderful the Creamy Cocoa version is! It actually seems to be more hydrating and conditioning than the Vanilla Bean for some reason. It makes no sense to me, but I am 100% addicted to the Creamy Cocoa formula! If you’d like to see a full review on this lip balm, check it out here. (I believe this is my third replacement tube, plus I have a few others stashed in various places that are only used occasionally.)

For something I don’t normally include in my Favorites, I’m going to give you a Fitness Favorite and a Cat Favorite. For the Fitness Favorite, I have been addicted to FitnessBlender.com, or just FitnessBlender on YouTube. I cannot stress how much I dislike exercising, but I do like feeling stronger, more toned and in better shape so I’m trying my best to keep it up – I’ve been doing pretty well too despite knee and ankle issues. I actually started with the Tone It Up videos about 2 or 2 ½ years ago, but was getting sick of them. Plus, I was having trouble doing a lot of the exercises when my knee was acting up. I somehow stumbled across Fitness Blender on YouTube and tried a few of their workouts and really enjoy them (as much as I can enjoy exercise). Granted, they’re not as personable as Karina & Katrina from Tone It Up, but they’re better at explaining how to – and how not to – do the exercises correctly for the best results. I swear, in the few months I’ve been doing more workouts from Fitness Blender I’ve noticed more results. Not to mention they have about 6 billion work outs, and if you go to their website, they have an awesome search feature where you can specify workout time, type, intensity, calorie burn, etc., and the results are displayed for your sweating pleasure. If you’re at all interested in working out at home – be it yoga, pilates, strength training, HITT, and more – definitely check out Fitness Blender.

As for the cats, Bailey has had a lot of belly issues so I’ve been trying to find something that helps to keep her regular. Emerson also has had tummy troubles her whole life, but they have never really been addressed too much because she started with a different vet that gave her an enema and sent her on her merry little wet-bummed way. During my research, I found tons of Probiotic products for cats (although apparently there’s no evidence one way or another that shows such things do anything for cats at all). Figuring I had nothing to lose, I settled on some treats hoping that at least one of the cats might simply enjoy them. Well, all five cats seem to love them! They are from Greenies and they are the Smart Bites Digestive Care in the Salmon Flavor. Even little Miss Clover comes running over to get her share, and she never eats any treats! There must be crack in these or something because I have never seen a treat that every one of my cats absolutely devours (they’ll even lick my fingers to get all the dust) – and they generally don’t even like the Greenies treats. As far as aiding their digestion, I don’t know if they do anything, but they certainly do love them. I had to include these because they are apparently the greatest treats on earth in my cats’ eyes!

And that’s it. If you made it this far, I feel like I owe you something. There’s not a lot included here, but I certainly had a lot to say! J I hope you enjoyed seeing my July Favorites and if there’s anything you would like to know more about – more about the DipBrow, my favorite FitnessBlender workouts, a Bailey update, something entirely unrelated, etc. – let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks so much for sticking around through my spotty posting and I hope to get back to a more regular schedule soon. Thanks so much for reading this far, and let me know what you’ve been addicted to this month! J Until next time, love you all!!!

Hang Ten Sunscreens by Coola – Reviews & Comparisons – Mineral, Classic Sport & Spray – Part 2

As promised, today I’m bringing you a review of the Hang Ten Mineral Sunscreen, the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen, and the Classic Sport Sunscreen Spray. If you’d like to learn a bit more about howthese different formulas work, check out my last post (you can find that here – it’s kind of interesting to my nerd brain, so check it out!). Since you’re here for the actual review portion, just keep reading to see my thoughts on the different formulas!

So, now that we’ve gotten a mini science lesson out of the way, let’s talk about these specific sunscreens from Hang Ten. Each one I have tried is for the Body and retails for $12.99. They each have a Broad Spectrum (meaning it protects against UVA andUVB rays – you need this in any sunscreen) SPF 50 that carries the claim of being water resistant for 80 minutes. Awesome in my book! If you prefer a lower SPF, Hang Ten makes each version in SPF 30 too. I always go for the highest protection I can get and the water resistance is important to me too. If you sweat at all, this is important. And, let’s face it, we allsweat – especially in the Summer! I’m losing my point here. J What I’m getting at is that I tried to compare apples to apples within the various formulas.

Let’s start with the Mineral Sunscreen. Many Mineral Sunscreens are known for their white tint that can be difficult to get absorbed into the skin. The Hang Ten Mineral Sunscreen blends in like a dream! It iswhite like other Mineral Sunscreens, but it is absolutely no trouble getting the cream to melt right in, eliminating any potential white cast with virtually no effort. It also feels amazing! It almost seems more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen. It is a bit thicker than the Classic Sunscreen, but kind of like the difference between a cream and a lotion. They both blend into the skin without trouble, and neither feels heavy on the skin. It absorbs almost as soon as you rub it across your skin so there is no sticky or greasy feeling left behind. There is a subtle cucumber-aloe-like scent that isn’t offensive or obtrusive; it’s actually kind of refreshing. This is by far the absolute best Mineral Sunscreen I have ever used! I should add that though the two have the same retail price, the Mineral Sunscreen contains 3.4 fluid ounces (100mL), while the Classic Sport variety contains 6 fluid ounces (177mL). If I had to choose between the two, I’m not really sure what I’d pick because they both feel quite similar and are absolutely fantastic! J

I’m not going to review the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen since I have already done so here. Check out that review for more info.

That leaves us with the Hang Ten Classic Sport Spray Sunscreen. Obviously this is a spray formula that comes in an aluminum can for added convenience, especially on the go. I love that the cap twists to “shut off” the nozzle should you want to throw it in your beach bag and avoid spraying its contents. Again like the Classic Sport version, the spray contains 6 fluid ounces (177mL). The formula is also fantastic! Many sprays seem kind of heavy, greasy, or sticky on the skin, but this is quite the opposite. The fine mist is barely detectable on the skin and it sprays out in a way that doesn’t make you feel the need to rub it in to ensure it’s absorbed or evenly applied. It absorbs on contact so there’s no waiting around to throw on your clothes either. It’s so light that you almost don’t even realize you’ve just sprayed it on your skin! Again, it’s got to be the best spray sunscreen I have ever tried! It has a faint cucumber-aloe scent like the rest of the Hang Ten Sunscreens that is pleasant and doesn’t linger or interfere with other scents. It’s fan-freakin’-tastic! J

I can’t tell you which of the Hang Ten Sunscreens is best because they are all stellar! It really just comes down to personal preference. If you like a Mineral Sunscreen, the Hang Ten is definitely my pick. For a chemical sunscreen (that’s mostly Organic as well – they all are), definitely pick up the Classic Sport. If you need a spray version, you can’t go wrong with the Classic Sport Spray. I seriously love all of the sunscreens! And can I just take a minute to point out the absolutely awesome packaging?!?! J They’re all printed with shades of neon that just screams Summer. So cute! My only difficulty with the Hang Ten Sunscreens is that they’re difficult to find outside of their website. I’m guessing this is going to change quickly since they’re amazing, but for now, you’re best bet is purchasing them online. Slightly annoying, but not really a big deal – and the shipping is quite reasonable as well. I highly, highly, highly recommend giving at least one of these spectacular sunscreens a try!!!

Hang Ten from Coola Sunscreens – Mineral vs Classic Sport vs Classic Spray – Differences? – Part 1 of 2

Recently I raved about the Hang Ten Classic Sunscreen (see the post here). Since I only had a sample, I knew I needed to place an order pronto. I decided to give all three of their formulations a try while I was at it. So, this post will include the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen SPF 50, the Hang Ten Mineral Sport Sunscreen SPF 50, and the Hang Ten Classic Sport Spray Sunscreen SPF 50. Yup. I tested them all so that I could share the finding with you…and satisfy my own curiosity! J

(Keep in mind that I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert in sun protection or the science behind it. This is just what I have learned from my own research.)

Firstly, let’s start out with the importance of sunscreen. Yes, we all know that we should protect our skin from the damaging rays of the sun. But really, we need to protect ourselves from the sun! Not only does it help reduce the signs of aging, but it can help prevent skin cancer. I’m no expert on either of these topics, but I do know that I want to avoid them both! To truly protect our skin, we need to wear it all day long, rain or shine! Even in the Winter, perhaps even more so, the sun’s harmful rays can still damage the skin. But fear not! That’s why sunscreen is so important to apply all year long! I’m not gonna lie, I tend to skip it in the Winter too, but I shouldn’t because the sun’s UVA/UVB rays are still hitting my skin. Enough of the lecturing though. Let’s get into the differences between the sunscreens.

As I said in the beginning, Hang Ten makes three different versions of their sunscreen. One is not necessarily better than the other and what you choose is really just based on your own personal preferences (or in some instances your skin’s sensitivities). So then what exactly makes the Mineral and the Chemical differentfrom one another? I never really gave it much thought, but there actually is a difference in how these formulas protect you from the sun.

Let’s start with Mineral Sunscreens. I always thought of Mineral Sunscreens as the “all natural” variety. And this is basically the case. They use naturally occurring mineral (or physical) active ingredients, predominately Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide, to block the sun’s rays. In fact, that is precisely how they protect us. Mineral Sunscreens actually scatter and reflect away the UVA/UVB rays. They almost keep the sun from even hitting the skin and they are immediately effective. Chemical Sunscreens do essentially the same thing, but go about it in almost the opposite manner.

A Chemical Sunscreen is generally considered every bit as effective as a Mineral Sunscreen, but it doeswork differently. A Chemical Sunscreen uses active ingredients (or chemicals) to absorb and diffuse the sun’s UVA/UVB rays. It basically creates a chemical barrier that prevents the sun from penetrating into the skin. The rays still don’t reach the skin, but they are not deflected like with a mineral sunscreen; the skin has more of an impenetrable shield surrounding it and keeping it safe. Because of this, a chemical sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes prior to being in the sun because it needs times to work it’s magic. The Chemical variety is no better or worse than a Mineral Sunscreen (at least in the case of Hang Ten), just different. Hang Ten’s Classic Sport and Spray Sunscreens are chemical sunscreens, so they work in this manner. The spray just allows the convenience of a spray application, versus the almost watery lotion-like texture of the standard Classic Sport. If you’d like to learn more about the science and how sunscreens work, check out these helpful bits on Coola’s website.

I was going to review each version of the Hang Ten Sunscreens in this post, but it has gotten so long that I’m going to break it into two parts. Stay tuned for my next post, which will include a review of the Hang Tan Mineral Sunscreen, the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen, and the Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen Spray. Hope to see you in a day or two for that post and thanks for checking out this post! J


Hang Ten Classic Sport Sunscreen – A Sample I LOVE!!!

Today I’m doing something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I’m reviewing a product from one of my sample boxes!!! J In my May Ipsy bag I received a 1oz sample of the Hang Ten Classic Sport 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen (see what else I snagged here). I needed a sunscreen that day and this was fresh in my mind, so I grabbed it. I am so glad that I did because I loveit!

Usually I figure sunscreen is pretty much sunscreen, though I do have my favorites. Looking at the ingredients of the Hang Ten Sunscreen, I was intrigued because there are quite a few moisturizers included. Shea Butter is the second ingredient! It also contains Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil and Cocoa Butter – that’s a lot of hydration! (Full ingredient list is at the end of this post.) That could amount to a lot of greasiness, but it claims to be non-greasy. So I went about slathering the lotion on my arms and wow! This is not your average sunscreen!

First, let me get into a bit of background here. Hang Ten is a lifestyle brand that was actually founded in 1960, but has just recently teamed up with San Diego based organic facial sunscreen brand Coola. Coola aims to provide sunscreens that are good for the skin as well as for the environment, and has continued this philosophy with Hang Ten Sunscreens. Currently Hang Ten offers three different lines: Mineral SPF Lotions that are chemical free, Classic SPF Lotions and Classic SPF Sprays. Each line offers a Broad Spectrum SPF of 30 or 50 (the spray is available in SPF 15 as well) and is Water Resistant up to 80 minutes. Much to my surprise and pleasure, they are also available at affordable prices! They run about $13 for a full size. I was not expecting that because Coola’s face sunscreens are around the $35 mark I believe. I never thought I’d be all that excited about a sunscreen, but I really am! J

So, back to the sunscreen itself. It actually has a rather thin consistency, so it can be a bit messy if you’re not careful. The great thing about the thin, almost runny, sunscreen is that it is so easy to rub into the skin! It is in fact quite moisturizing, but it isn’t greasy at all! It does take a minute or two to absorb, but that’s not a huge deal to me. It’s not sticky or tacky like so many other sunscreens and it doesn’t leave any kind of white cast, nor does it take a lot of effort to spread it around. It has a subtle scent that is pleasant – a bit like cucumbers on the beach, if that makes sense! It’s not a scent that will overpower anything else you might want to wear, nor is it something that will overwhelm everyone else at the beach (though I dolove that traditional sunscreen scent).

Of course it has the traditional sunscreen benefits of Broad Spectrum protection against UVA & UVB rays – vitally important! It also leaves out the bad stuff like parabens, Oxybenzone, Retinyl Palmitate, Synthetic Fragrances and Nano-particles. As mentioned above, it is water resistant up to the maximum 80 minute water resistance claim time that is allowed by the FDA! As an added bonus, the packaging is super summery and cute too. The Hang Ten Classic Sport 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen ticks all the boxes and is by far the best sunscreen I have found!!! J
You can find the nearest retailer of Hang Ten Sunscreens on their website, or you can order directly from the site.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Octinosate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 8.5%
Inactive Ingredients: Acrylates Copolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (ORGANIC Shea Butter), Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (ORGANIC Coconut) Oil, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Flavor, Fragaria Vesca (ORGANIC Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Gatactoarabinan, Glycerin (ORGANIC), Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acryate/SodiumAcyloyldimethyl, Taurate Copolymer, PEG-100 Stearate, Phanoxyethanol, Propanediol, Rosmarinus Officinalia (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (ORGANIC Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum (ORGANIC Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Sorbitan Oleate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Theobroma Cocao (ORGANIC Cocoa) Seed Butter, Water, Xanthan Gum

(I hope I got that right – the print is so tiny!)

Body & Beauty Favorites for June 2013!!! w/ OCC, Badger Balm, Jack Black, Trader Joe’s & Kiss My Face

I’m not quite sure what happened to June, but since it’s suddenly over, it’s time to share my favorites for the month! J I haven’t ventured away from a lot of the products I’ve been using in prior months, and I also haven’t been wearing too much makeup in June. But fear not; I still have plenty to share! J

I think my absolute favorite thing this month has been the Coconut Body Butter from Trader Joe’s. I included it in my 5 Summer Must Haves and I must have it! J It leaves my skin so soft and smooth – and the feeling lasts long after it’s applied – and it smells soooo good! Absolutely adore the Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter.

Sticking with soft skin…well, more smooth skin…I picked up the Kiss My Face Pomegranate Grapefruit Moisture Shave and really like it! For years I used the Alba Botanica Moisturizing Cream Shave and, though it works ok, it doesn’t lather at all, and I often find myself wondering if it’s even still on my skin while I’m shaving. The Kiss My Face Moisture Shave, though not as thick and foamy as a standard shaving cream, provides a decent lather that doesn’t fly all over the shower and stick to the walls (is it just me that has that problem?). It seems quite gentle, it lathers up and it definitely protects my skin without drying it out! No, it’s not life-changing, but I’ve definitely found a new favorite shaving cream in the Kiss My Face Moisture Shave.

Keeping with skin protection, I often find myself feeling lazy when it comes to sunscreen. I know I not only need to do it, but wantto apply it so that I know my skin is protected. I really love the Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian & Badger Balm sunscreens, but on days where I just can’t be bothered to take another minute or two to apply a lotion, I’ve been reaching for the Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50. I don’t notice a scent to this sunscreen, it’s not sticky or greasy, and it sprays on quickly and evenly. It is a clear mist and, though I don’t think it’s required, I tend to rub it into my skin after spraying it just to ensure it’s distributed evenly. This is also great for throwing into your beach bag because you can turn the cap to “lock” it and it won’t accidentally spray or leak all over your bag! Love that feature! J Something I don’t love is that it contains alcohol, so it can sting a little bit when it hits broken skin – with five cats, it’s rare I don’t have at least one scratch somewhere! Though I dofeel more protected using a lotion, on a lazy or busy day when I just want to run out the door, but don’t want to forget my sunblock…which has been most of June!…I love having the Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 on hand! J

To keep my lips soft and smooth, I’ve been using a combination of two different lip balms and I love them both!!!
During the day, I’ve been using the Badger Balm Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. It comes in a nice fat tube filled with organic goodness that keeps my lips hydrated, soft, smooth and happy. It has just the right consistency – hydrating and protective, but not too greasy! I’ve been using the “Creamy Cocoa” flavor, which adds a subtle pleasant taste. It’s amazing stuff and I feel lost without it! J
More of a night treatment that I have been using for my lips is the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. It is a bit on the slippery side (it’s in a squeeze tube, so it’s more of a gel formula), which is why I only use it at night – it tends to make other lip colors wear off a bit quicker. However, it is precisely the slicker texture that makes it perfect for nighttime because it is very nourishing. I wake up with lips feeling nicely conditioned, soft, smooth and free from flaky bits. It has SPF 25 as well, so it would be a great balm to wear alone during the day as well.

Since I’m on the topic of lips, one of my favorite lip colors this month has been the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss Lip Tar in “Jealous,” which is a really pretty translucent flushed pinkish-red shade when applied. I really love the color and the consistency. It is kind of like a lip gloss, but with more of the staying power of a lipstick. The finish is not as glossy as I expected – I would say it has almost a high-satin or a low-shine finish, which I really like. It’s very comfortable on the lips and provides a pigmented, yet sheer tint of color. It only takes a little dot to cover your entire mouth, so one tube will last for ages! The brush it comes with is great as well, plus the little pouch is perfect for carrying everything you need for touch-ups throughout the day! The OCC Stained Gloss Lip Tars are great, especially for those of us who are either intimidated by, or just don’t like really opaque lip colors. They are just as great as the original Lip Tars, but much more practical for those days you want a more natural look.

I think that’s going to do it for my June Favorites! There are some favorites I haven’t mentioned because they were in my last few monthly favorites (like the BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector or the Josie Maran Cheek Gelee), or I’ve mentioned them in other recent posts (like the Stila Afterglow Lip Colors). I don’t want to repeat myself too much after all! J I hope you enjoyed this, and please leave a comment with some products you’ve been loving this month – we all need temptation, right?!?! J Until next month, I hope you have a happy and healthy July!!! J

Disclaimer: The Badger Balm Cocoa Butter Lip Balm was sent to me for consideration by the W.S. Badger Company. I receive no compensation for its mention. All other products were purchased by me. All thoughts expressed in this post are solely my opinion.


Top 5 Summer Beauty Products – A Cruelty-Free Beauty Collaboration

It’s cruelty-free collaboration time again!!! J Since the official start of summer is only a few days away, today Liza from Makeup Matters by LNC, Catherine from Buying Cruelty Free, and I are sharing our 5 Must Have Summer Beauty Products! For some reason I had a really hard time narrowing this one down! I’ve gone back and forth over what to include so many times, but I think I’ve finally gotten my list to five – or close enough! J So without further ado, welcome to my humble little blog, and thanks for checking out my Summer Beauty Picks – and don’t forget to head over to Liza’s post and Catherine’s post for their picks as well!!! J



Catherine from Buying Cruelty Free

If you take away nothing else from this post, please realize the importance of sunscreen!!! It is important year-round, but especially in the summertime. I do my best to apply sunscreen every day to any areas that are exposed to the sun in the summer. My all-time favorite sunscreen for my body is the Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Sunscreen Revitalizing Green Tea SPF 45 Broad Spectrum. It protects from both UVA and UVB rays – you need to protect from both to help prevent skin cancer and premature aging! It is water resistant, and it has a pretty high SPF of 45. It smooths on like a standard lotion, but protects from the harmful rays of the sun. It smells pleasant and it’s not a strong or long-lasting scent. It is not too thick, it’s not greasy, and it absorbs nicely so you’re not stuck to your clothes all day. It’s an excellent sunscreen for the body and I absolutely swear by it! J
I’m not including this in my list, but feel I need to mention sunscreen for the face as well. Is that cheating? J I always use a moisturizer with SPF included, but since everyone’s skin is different, I wouldn’t dream of saying one moisturizer fits all, and that’s why this is kind of an aside. For my face, I rely on the Broad Screen SPF 40 from the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer (read my full review here). It’s a great moisturizer and I love that it has such a high SPF because I feel more protected – whether or not I really am! JIf I were to be outside all day, I would probably add a separate sunscreen for my face as well, but I do not have any specific face block to recommend. Just make sure there’s somethingprotecting you from those harmful UVA and UVB rays – both face and body!
Next I actually have two products that, when used in conjunction, will keep your skin soft, smooth and healthy looking…not to mention smelling delicious!!! Since most people are showing more skin during the summer, keeping your skin looking and feeling its best is important! I would highly recommend getting a dry brush to use before you get in the shower. I have the Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush that I found at Whole Foods. You simply take the dry brush and, in two long strokes towards your heart, brush it over your entire body. You want to avoid the décolletage because it is quite sensitive. This brushing will remove any dead skin, improve circulation, and leave you so soft and smooth, plus it will make for a closer shave and better absorption of the next item!
Once you’re out of the shower, you’ll want to moisturize that freshly scrubbed skin and replace the moisture that’s stripped by the shower. I absolutely love the Coconut Body Butter from Trader Joe’s. It smells sooooo good! It has a warm toasted coconut scent that is so perfect for summer (obviously if you don’t like coconut, you’ll hate this, but I adore it)! It’s a nice thick moisturizer, but it absorbs beautifully. It is made with Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin E to leave skin amazingly soft and smooth. And I can’t not mention that it smells incredible again because I love, love, love the scent! J The scent is initially noticeable, but dries down to a faint hint of coconut that no one but you will notice, and it does fade away within a few hours. It’s also completely affordable (I believe it’s around $5 for 8oz) and I think it’s so much nicer than any other body butter I have tried! If you have a Trader Joe’s anywhere near you, pick up a tub. You won’t regret it! J
Moving on to the face, I struggled between a concealer, or a full-face light coverage-type product. I think I’ve finally settled on a tinted moisturizer. More specifically, I lovethe Jouer Matte Moisture Tint! I’ve been using the shade ”Linen.” It is oil-free, fragrance free, hypo-allergenic and contains a broad spectrum SPF 15 (great if your moisturizer doesn’t include sunscreen and you don’t want another step). It’s quick and easy to apply (I just use my fingers) and it provides surprisingly good coverage without feeling or looking heavy. It is buildable for those more troublesome areas too. It looks very natural and, though it’s considered matte, it seems to control shine without reducing radiance! Because of this, I feel like it can work for any type of skin as well. It’s not too greasy for oilier skins, but it’s not too dry for those with drier skin-types. It’s really the perfect every-skin tinted moisturizer! It’s an amazing product and I can see why it seems to be getting a lot of buzz lately! J
Sticking with yet another no fuss kind of summer essential with SPF 15, I have a tinted lip balm! It is the ELF Lip Balm SPF 15 in “Rose”from their Studio Line. It provides a decent punch of a natural flush, while protecting lips from the harsh rays of the sun. I don’t find that I need a mirror to apply this, which I really appreciate, yet it adds enough color to my lips so that I do not look like a corpse. It has a subtle tingly mint taste, and is moisturizing without being greasy. I have tried a few other shades of the ELF Lip Balm SPF 15, and some of them provide virtually no color, but the “Rose” is definitely great for just a sheer wash of visible, but not overdone, color. The “Peach” is nice as well, but the “Nude” and the “Pink” are practically invisible on my relatively pale lips.
Finally, I have a blush that is amazing and perfect for summer! I feel like mascara would make a better “complete” simple summer look, but there’s not one mascara that I would say is in my top five, so I’m sticking with the blush! It is the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée. I have the shade “Poppy Paradise” and it’s a beautiful natural flush of pinky-peach. The color looks scary in the pot, but provides a sheer stain of color that is perfect for summer! It really does stay all day and it is translucent on the skin, so it looks very natural. The color is buildable as well, so you can adjust the intensity. It has a cooling effect when you apply it and it is also water and sweat resistant, giving it another check in the “perfect for summer” category! J The texture is quite interesting as well – it kind of feels like gelatin. Another really unique product that I absolutely adore and feel like it’s one of the best blushes I have for the summer!!! J
So there you have the 5 – ok 6 or 7 – items that I finally decided on as my top beauty picks for summer! I hope you enjoyed them and are ready for a wonderfully beautiful summer!!! J Please don’t forget to check out Liza’s and Catherine’sposts for their cruelty-free summer picks as well because I know they’ll be amazing products as well! Thanks again for checking out my picks and I hope to see you again next time! J

If you’d like to check out the other cruelty-free beauty collaborations Catherine, Liza and I have done, you can find them listed below:
5 Favorite New Products:


Top 5 Cruelty-Free Brushes:



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