Monday, April 23, 2012

Behind The Blog: My Eco Style Notebook

Hello, readers! Hope everyone is doing well. As for me, I'm just hanging out, doing a little scrapping with my notebook and I thought it would be a neat thing to share with you. You see, I'm a huge magazine junkie. I'm always tearing out articles and pictures, hanging them on my tack board or making collages out of them. Anything related to sustainable fashion most certainly gets saved. These particular pieces then make their way into my Ecosystem notebook.

Photo via Instagram with the help of PicFrame

I know this seems like a dorky thing to do, but I love it. It helps me stay on top of the latest eco trends, thus allowing me to always have fresh topics to blog about. Whenever I read about a new brand or upcoming collection, I scribble it down in my notebook so I don't forget about it. I also like the fact that I'm reusing magazines instead of just chucking them out after reading (I do recycle them afterward, of course). Some of my favorite features are "Easy Eco" in People StyleWatch and "Feel Good Fashion" in Marie Claire. Both of them are great at bringing green fashion and beauty into the mainstream world of style.

I definitely recommend checking out Ecosystem notebooks and journals. They're made out of 100% post-consumer recycled paper, but I swear it looks and feels just like normal paper. They come in fun colors and different styles. The one I have has a little folder in the back where I keep all of my cutouts. I'm totally obsessed. Anyone who writes or draws should definitely scoop one up.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty

Despite all the negative press surrounding Alicia Silverstone and her baby feeding methods, I still respect the crap out of this woman. She's extremely passionate about animal rights, clean beauty, and saving the planet. She's written a vegan guide, The Kind Diet, and also keeps up with her website, The Kind Life. So who cares if she's a little weird? Her activism is super inspiring.

Next up on Alicia's list of eco-friendly projects is her collaboration with Juice Beauty. After teaming up with EcoTools, Alicia is definitely no stranger to working with popular green companies. Just in time for Earth Day, the collection for Juice Beauty has debuted with five items ranging from nourishing skincare to quick application color that will keep you glowing and gorgeous.

Currently, I use two Juice Beauty products that I absolutely love: the blemish clearing serum and green apple peel. The combination of these two keeps breakouts at bay and helps fade post acne marks. As a brand that's both effective and natural, I'm eager to try more. Alicia's Irresistible Glow Facial Highlighter is totally up my alley.

Check out the rest of the collection here. Happy Earth Day, everyone! :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Steal: Volcom Meadow Tank Dress

So in order to motivate myself to blog on a weekly basis, I've been working on some regular features. First up is the Saturday Steal where I will be featuring eco-friendly fashion and beauty items for affordable prices. I really love to promote the idea of being earth conscious on a budget. So first up is a super cute dress by Volcom, made of 65% recycled cotton. With a pretty floral pattern and fitted bodice, this dress is a great lightweight option for spring and summer. And for just $39.50, this is a sweet steal with a conscience.

Available at PacSun online. Check out other V Co. Logical items by Volcom on their website.
And stay tuned for more Saturday Steals!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Trend: Yellow

Nothing screams warm weather like yellow. It's just so happy and vivacious. Crowned as "the color that celebrities love right now" by Instyle, yellow is an easy way to brighten up your wardrobe. And even though my boyfriend isn't the biggest fan, I'm going to wear it anyway (added perk: it makes me look tan). Here are my eco-friendly and fair trade picks for this sunshine hue.

Organic Cotton T-Shirt by Zara - $16.90
Organic cotton at a super affordable price?
Yes, please. But seriously, these shirts go quick.

Fairtrade Skinny Jeans in Lemon Sorbet by Monkee Genes - $109.07
"No slave labour. No child labour."
Fairly traded and crafted in Soil Association certified 
organic cotton, Monkee Genes are both ethical and stylish.

Honey Dipped Cookie Dress by Curator - $149.99
Made of hemp and organic cotton, this lovely dress by Curtor
is made sustainably in the United States. Available through ModCloth.

Ariel Ombre Clutch by Mar Y Sol - $79.99
Handmade and woven from sustainably sourced materials,
Mar Y Sol's beautiful clutches and handbags promote fair 
trade practices and environmental conservation in Madagascar.

Classic Espadrilles by Soludos - $50.88
Made with eco-friendly jute and all natural cotton, these
shoes are absolutely perfect for summertime.

So, what do you think? Will you be wearing yellow this season?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What I'm Loving: Bamboula Ltd. Bags at Madewell

Beach season is coming up and the best thing to pair your suit with is a cute carry-all bag. Featured in the May 2012 issue of Glamour, Bamboula Ltd. makes beautiful bags all handcrafted in Africa. The Pennsylvania based company has been working directly with African artisans for over 30 years. Using fair trade practices, Bamboula Ltd. aims to highlight Africa’s indigenous artistic talent in design and craftsmanship. Aside from handbags and market totes, they also sell decorative housewares, wall d├ęcor, small furniture items, garden accessories, holiday ornaments, jewelry, and other gift items.

From right to left: beach bag, little market bag, and market bag

Clip from Glamour magazine May 2012

Currently, Madewell is carrying several of Bamboula's bags in three diferent styles. Ranging from $58 to $95, the bold colors and stripes are a perfect compliment to anyone's summer wardrobe. For other styles, check out Bamboula's online store.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Affordable Eco: Natural Beauty Finds Under $10 + Money Saving Tips

Whether you're on a budget or not, I'm pretty sure every girl out there loves to find beauty products on the cheap. Seriously, there's nothing better than a great steal. And when it comes to adopting an eco beauty lifestyle, money is definitely a hot topic. So many of my readers have expressed concern about the high cost of natural and organic beauty items. While this is definitely true in a lot of cases, I assure you, there are affordable options out there! I've dedicated this post to helping you ladies stick to both your budgets and a clean beauty routine :)

First, I would like to defend the natural/organic products that do sport high price tags because most of them have every right to charge more. Clean beauty brands generally use high quality ingredients that are both effective and safe. Obviously, high quality = more money. We live in a society where if something's cheap, we ignore questions like what's in it? or where did it come from? I try my very best to shop responsibly and support companies that are honest. When it comes to my personal care routine, I would much rather splurge on something that's full of nourishing ingredients than save money on a bottle of harmful chemicals that make my skin and hair look like crap. What's really silly is the fact that many women splurge on "luxury" brands like Chanel or Nars that contain the very same garbage as their cheap counterparts! I understand that not everyone can afford top notch organic beauty (I know I can't!). But if you do choose to splurge, just make sure your money is going to something that's truly worth it.

Okay! Now that I got that out of the way, here are some natural picks that are all under ten bucks. See, I wasn't lying. They do exist!

Jane Iredale Lip Crayon - $10.00
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer - $8.79
Whole Truth Solutions Bath Bar Raw - $6.50
Acure Calming Body Lotion - $9.99
Tarte Lash Hugger Eco-Friendly Mascara - $10.00 (originally $18.00)
Everyday Minerals Blush in Like Lady Bird Lake - $5.99
Sula Natural Eye Shadow in I'm In Heaven - $8.00
Love&Toast Daily Shampoo - $9.99

Before you go, I also want to leave you with a few money saving tips. My goal is to help you realize that it's definitely possible to be an eco beauty without breaking the bank.

Tip #1: Sample, sample, sample! Nothing's worse than spending money on a truly awful product. Most natural beauty brands are happy to give out samples so you can find your right shade or formula. Spirit Beauty Lounge is amazing for this. You can order a custom package of trial sizes for $25 and as always, they send you free samples with every purchase. Want to test out stuff in person? Go to your local Whole Foods Body to sample in store. They also have sample packets to take home and try out. Another good idea: be familiar with return policies to ensure extra safe shopping.

Tip #2: Invest in a multi-purpose plant oil. Argan, coconut, and jojoba are all really great options. You can use these to moisturize your face and body, remove make-up, soften cuticles, tame frizzy hair     the possibilities are endless! Try to shop for multi-purpose products in general. Lip to cheek colors, shower & shaves, 2-in-1 shampoos, etc. Less items = less money spent.

Tip #3: The ladies at No More Dirty Looks really opened my eyes to this concept: don't splurge on things that you wash right off. Why spend money on powerful active ingredients and then watch them go right down the drain? Save your money for the stuff that stays on your skin. That way, the ingredients will actually have a chance to sink in and do their job. Examples: I use a cheap Burt's Bees shampoo but then treat my locks with a great leave-in conditioner by Intelligent Nutrients. I wash my body with a simple $3 bar of soap but use the best natural deodorant out there.

Tip #4: Don't you dare buy a sugar scrub. Easiest thing in the world to make! 2 parts raw sugar to 1 part plant oil. Done. Other easy items to make? Lip balm, facial toner, sea salt spray for hair. You don't have to be a chemist to make these things at home. Plus, they make great gifts and it's a neat little hobby to get into.

Tip #5: With natural beauty, less is always more. The cosmetic industry has brainwashed us into thinking that we need a product for every little flaw and that's just bogus. Stick to the necessities, don't slather on every cream and lotion on the planet. Heck, go a day without make-up and let your skin breathe! And if you're feeling extra brave, maybe experiment with movements like no-poo (aka not shampooing). Our bodies are very capable of balancing things out and keeping everything in check     we just need to give it a chance! Once again, less items = money saved.

Tip #6: I know this is cliche and you're probably sick of hearing it but there's no product that can do the job of a healthy diet. If you approach issues such as acne or dull hair from the inside out, you'll discover that you won't need as many products. Drink tons of water, take omega supplements and vitamins, eat your veggies, exercise and I swear you'll feel gorgeous.