Have/Love/Want: Face Balms

posted by: Emily




Have: Isa’s Restoratives Immortelle Beauty Balm



The only reason this is a “have” and not a “love” is that it’s basically un-scented. I’m pretty obsessed with strongly- and naturally- scented things these days, but if you’re not into strong scents, this one’s for you. It’s effective, it’s luxurious, and it’s really good to wear during the day under sunscreen!


Love: May Lindstrom Skincare’s Blue Cocoon



OMG. Seriously. It’s like heaven. It smells so amazing, but in an unexpected way, unlike anything else I’ve ever smelled. And it’s so healing! I use it on my face at night, but also dab a bit here and there, on patches of eczema or blemishes, and it’s so soothing. I adore this balm so much, and I literally have nightmares about running out of it!


Want: Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm



This one also smells incredible, in a totally different way than the Blue Cocoon. I got a sample of it recently and I’m hoarding it like you wouldn’t believe. I’m terrified of finishing the sample– I know I can order more– but it’s just so dreamy. Great for my face, but also incredible as a lip balm, where I can enjoy its scent right below my nose!, and as cuticle balm, etc. Check out the whole line of Leahlani Skincare, in fact. I recently discovered it and fell hard in love.

Bonus round:

from bottom to top:


Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm is great for all over, especially on stretch marks or pregnant bellies!

Zoe Organics Nipple balm, great for nursing moms!

One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm works so well as a makeup remover!

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Current Obsessions

posted by Emily

Since we’re Product Junkies, we are always trying new things. As a result, we develop new obsessions with products on the regular! Periodically, I love to go through and tell you all what I’m using and loving at this moment. For even more regular updates, follow us on Instagram! We’re going to be doing a big giveaway on Insta very soon, so join up and follow!


Now, here are the things we just can’t get enough of lately:


All things May Lindstrom. There’s just not a dud among the lineup of this indie brand. May keeps the product list tight so there’s nothing that isn’t just perfectly fabulous. It’s all luxurious and every product smells better than the last. I’ll give a particular shout out to the Blue Cocoon and The Honey Mud cleansing silk, but honestly, I love everything.


ThinkBaby sunscreen for the whole family. It’s the only thing I put on my kids, and my husband and I use it, too. Nice, subtle orangey smell, and this stuff is more spreadable than most natural sunscreens! Also, their website provides great info on what makes sunscreen safe and how it all works!!!! http://gothinkbaby.com/learn


Isa’s Restoratives Immortelle Beauty Balm has become my go-to basic moisturizer. It’s like the perfect blend of an oil and a balm– not too heavy, not too runny. It smells good, but not overpowering. I use it all the time!


Axiology Lipsticks! So many colors! Amazing texture! And you have to read about the boxes the lipstick comes in— it’s a great story. My favorite shade: Worth. Try it! (All their products are organic, vegan, and awesome!)



Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation: OMG YOU GUYS. This stuff is incredible. It’s a serum, so you’re taking care of your skin while wearing makeup (which is kinda the dream, right?!) and it dries like a powder, so that’s one less product you need to add. And the coverage is just PERFECT. Email the Gressa team for help finding your shade, and/or try their new sampling program to see what shades work for you! (And bonus, you get to sample two Lip Boosts, which are top-notch, too!)



Innersense Beauty Shampoo and Conditioner. I have finally found the brand that works for my hair. These guys score incredibly low (that’s a good thing) on the EWG database. And they really work. It doesn’t get better than that.


Head over to our Instagram to see photos of me (Emily) using this great stuff and of the products in action! And let us know in the comments or on Instagram what you’re obsessed with right now!



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Favorites from Beauty Counter

Posted by:  Jordan


Direct sales beauty companies can sometimes be tricky to navigate finding honest reviews, because you never know if someone is giving an actual honest review, or if they just want to make a sale.  So, here is an honest, unbiased review of a few things I’ve tried from Beauty Counter.

First of all, Beauty Counter isn’t an “all-natural” company, and they don’t claim to be.  What they are is very transparent about their ingredients, which I really appreciate.  They even put their EWG rating right next to each product on their website, as well as an easy-to-find ingredient list (I hate when I have to google through several links to find a product’s ingredient list on various websites!)  I’ve seen some people attack the cleanness of some of the ingredients they use in their products, but Emily and I are firm in our belief that as long as a company isn’t trying to hide something or greenwash their packaging/marketing, it’s ultimately up to the consumer to read what they’re putting on their body (and therefore in their body–remember that our bodies aren’t made of plastic.  We absorb what we put on it, so treat it as you do with food: a little cheating here and there is fine, but try to avoid artificial chemicals, colors, and preservatives as much as you possibly can.)

That all out of the way, here are the 3 highlights I’ve tried and really liked from Beauty Counter and one slight letdown:

Beauty counter Protect All Over Sunscreen


Protect All Over SPF 30 Sunscreen

This stuff is EXCELLENT.  A bit pricey (but not ridiculously so), so I don’t actually use it for my whole family; rather, I reserve it as my special sunscreen for my face, chest, and shoulders.  My husband and daughter can have the slightly thicker, cheaper, leaves-a-white-tint kids sunscreen!  Selfish?  Perhaps a little.  But it’s a really nice sunscreen that blends in amazingly well, isn’t greasy, and leaves no tell-tale mineral sunscreen whiteness.  From the company’s website, “Many sunscreens use chemical sun blockers like oxybenzone, which soaks through skin, triggers allergic skin reactions, and may be a hormone disruptor. Protect All Over uses non-nano zinc oxide, which is a safer, effective, natural mineral sunblocker.”  The ingredients are all super pure, and this water-resistant, zinc oxide mineral sunscreen is on EWG’s Top Beach/Sport Sunscreens of 2016 list with a rating of only 1.  Definitely will be buying this as part of my summer beauty routine daily use!



Beauty counter Any Time Eye Cream Any Time Eye Cream

It’s rare that I really like an eye cream.  To me, they’re all just miniature versions of the same lotion I use on my face.  But what I really love about this eye cream (aside from the amazing scent!) is how it really seems to moisturize while absorbing immediately, so it’s perfect for using in the morning under makeup.





Beauty counter uplifting day cream

Uplifting Day Cream

I’m a bit obsessed with Vitamin C in my products, so I love that this day cream includes it.  I wear it over my Vitamin C serum on a day when I won’t be outside much or it’s rainy outside.  Otherwise I’ll wear a moisturizer with SPF.  This lightweight moisturizer is quickly absorbed and smells absolutely incredible.  It makes my skin feel soft and smooth, and is a great primer for powder mineral foundation. A small amount goes a long way with this moisturizer (which is a benefit since it’s not exactly cheap!)



Beauty counter cleansing balm


Countertime Cleansing Balm

This was the product I was most excited to try.  I liked it, but I can’t really rave about it in the same way that others have raved in a natural beauty FB group I follow (maybe they were Beauty Counter consultants who were raving so highly? Maybe I wasn’t using enough?  Who knows!)  Bottom line is, it’s a great cleansing balm that can also be used as a moisturizing mask overnight.  But for $80 I wasn’t exactly blown away.  I wanted to be blown away, so maybe the issue was my expectations were too high.  A great product, but I’ll probably stick with my trusty coconut oil for the same general idea of a makeup remover/moisturizer.


So there you have an honest, unbiased review of several products I’ve tried from Beauty Counter!  My highest recommendation goes to the sunscreen–a real knockout of a product that I’ve been searching for in my daily routine!

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Prim Botanicals

posted by: Emily


Okay. Stop all the presses. Back up all the trucks. Shut all the front doors.

I have a new favorite brand.


I know I tend to gush. I write in hyperbole. I fall in love with new products like… well, like a product junkie! And it’s all true– everything I’ve fawned over on this blog was something I was genuinely, honestly loving at that moment or enjoying that week; all my reviews are true, and there’s no limit to the new discoveries I can crush on.

BUT. There are only a few products or brands that come along that could join my very small list of bankable, perpetual, constant favorites. You know, that list of 4 or 5 brands you can rattle off to friends or people who ask what clean or green beauty lines you love?

For me, it’s long been these sacred 4: RMS Beauty, W3LL PEOPLE, Tata Harper, and (whisper with me in a reverent tone:) Weleda. Those 4 brands are the ones I know I can count on to be reliably excellent, to be the source of my basics. These lines are slam dunks. I can trust their ingredients, buy their products without even reading the labels (though I do anyway), and know that everything they make is effective, safe, and luxurious.

So I am not going to say this lightly, but I am adding a 5th brand to my list of bankable go-to favorite brands. Drumroll, please…..

Meet Prim Botanicals. I’m just so smitten.


I met Stefanie, one of the co-founders of Prim Botanicals, at the Elev8 Show a few weeks ago, but I knew before then that I was going to fall for Prim. In the weeks leading up to Elev8, the show producers listed all the brands participating on Instagram and other social media, so I did my research and learned about all the brands who were going to be there.

Some were old favorites (Bottega Organica, Strange Invisible Perfumes). Some were bright new stars you’ll be hearing a ton about from me soon (Gressa Skin!! LOVE it!). Some were cool, unexpected new discoveries for me (Captain Blankenship! See my instagram post for awesome hair from the Captain). But in all the research I did, I knew I had to make a bee line for Prim as soon as I arrived.

Meeting Stefanie was like connecting with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years but still adored. But more importantly, every. single. product I tried at the Prim table was more amazing than the one before. Like any kind of falling-in-love experience, it’s hard to describe what made me so smitten, but I will try and break it down for you.

  • Efficacy: In this case, the best example I can give is the scents. Wow. I mean, WOW! My biggest complaint about natural beauty is that it’s hard to find good scents that actually last. THESE ARE AMAZING AND THEY ACTUALLY LAST! How does Prim do it?! I have no idea, but whatever it is, I know it’s safe and clean, because…
  • Clean, safe ingredients: The FAQs on their website say it best:

Q: Is everything truly plant-based and natural?

A:Really and truly, yes! Our gorgeous scents are only ever from carefully blended steam-distilled essential oils (in gentle dilutions) and ALL our ingredients are natural and of the highest quality. We scrimp on nothing!

Q:Are you paraben, gluten, dye, synthetic and cruelty free?
A: Absolutely! And the only animals we test on our ourselves and we are Leaping Bunny certified.
  •  Luxury: In addition to smelling absolutely incredible, these products are so much fun to use. There’s the pretty packaging, the cute and funny names, and the rich, silky oils that leave your skin feeling awesome.

I could write a book about Prim Botanicals, and while I won’t do that here and now, I do plan to post many follow-up reviews, and an interview with the brand’s creators, but in the meantime, I want to tell you about a few of their products I am obsessed with at the moment.


The scrubs: Spoil Yourself Silly and The Debauchery Detox

I love them both. Choosing one favorite would be like choosing one’s proverbial favorite child. Both of these scrubs leave my skin so soft and smooth, and are so moisturizing that I don’t need to add oil or lotion after my shower. And the smells– I can’t even begin to describe the lush, floral, tropical goodness. The smells linger, as I mentioned before, and hours later, I’m still smelling my arms and smiling. That’s how good the scrubs are. And look at how cute the packaging is! And the names! And the little mother-of-pearl spoons that come with!


The Hair Oil:

I didn’t really think I needed hair oil. I WAS WRONG. I need this in a big way. Not only does it make my hair shiny and smooth, IT SMELLS SO GOOD!


The Lip Sheens:

Rich pigments, smoothing moisture, and lasting plumpness?! Yes, please! Both of these shades, Hey Now and Pretty Perfect, are universal colors. They’re sheer– they’re balms, not lipsticks, but they do last! And the value you get for $22 is incredible. (Also, like every Prim product, they smell amazing!)


Yes. I’m in love. I can’t help it. Prim Botanicals has actually, truly, literally made this last week of my life better. When I smell the lingering scent of the Debauchery Detox on my skin, I instantly feel happier. When I put on the Hair Oil, I feel like I’ve just been to the salon. It’s a transformational brand, and I know I’m going to be in love for a long, long time.

**Bonus: Through tomorrow, 5/3, the body oil is on sale! Click here!

**Also, get 15% off if you join their mailing list. Which you should, anyway!

**All photos in this post are from PrimBotanicals.com. See FAQs for specific credits!

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Mother’s Day Gifts 2016 Roundup

Posted by: Jordan

It’s coming!!!  Every mom’s favorite day where she gets spoiled all day long and hopefully taken out to a great brunch and showered with love (and possibly a nice gift!).  So what are you getting the special mom in your life (please feel free to forward these hints to any husbands/sons who desperately need some ideas!)


Violets Are Blue

Violets are Blue beloved line

I was recently introduced to this woman-owned, local NY company and have fallen head over heels for their products as well as their  beliefs and mission.  You can read more about Cynthia, the delightfully sweet owner, and how she started her company here.  An incredibly thoughtful gift for a mom going through cancer treatment would be a gift set from their Beloved line, which is unscented and specifically formulated to be safe for dry, parched treatment-ravaged skin which needs some extra love without the possibly intolerable extra scents.  I have been using the White Tea and Carrot Seed creamy cleanser, the Carrot Seed and Rosehip serum, and lip balm from the signature line and love how gentle and effective they are.  My skin feels soft, clean, and calmed after using all three products, plus the scent is fresh and light.

Tata Harper

Tata Harper mother_s_day_set_box We are so in love with this brand, it’s ridiculous!  Our yet-to-be-checked-off-the-bucket-list dream is to visit Tata’s organic farm in Vermont to see this amazing company up close and personal.  This Mother’s Day Spa Kit is a comprehensive, indulgent introduction to the brand that every mom is sure to love.  From now through 4/30 if you spend $150 or more, be sure to use the code MASKLOVE for 3 deluxe samples of their Resurfacing Mask, Moisturizing Mask, and Purifying Mask (Don’t you love getting freebies for yourself when purchasing gifts!  Though I suppose you could be super generous and pass along the free gift to mom…)

Bembli Body

Bembli Body For the budget-conscious gift that seems like you spent a lot more than you did, check out the handmade natural products from Bembli Body.  I have the body scrub, face scrub, and body cream (which my 4.5 year old daughter confiscated from me and now only wants to use that after her baths!).  The scrubs are made with brown sugar, organic green tea, and raw organic honey.  My skin feels insanely soft after using both the face and body scrubs, plus they come in a wide array of natural scents from therapeutic-grade essential oils.  Shipping is free over $25 plus as a gift for PJR readers get 15% off your order using code RJ15.


Honest Company Essentials Bundle

Honest Essentials bundle Get mom a gift certificate to an Essentials Gift Bundle.  You can choose a single delivery for about $40 or a 3 month/6 month/full year subscription.  She has the choice of a huge array of body, face, and home supplies to add to her bundle and can customize it how she’d like.  I’m looking forward to trying the newly reformulated sunscreen in my next bundle.

Jane Iredale Greatshape Eyebrow Kit + Brow shaping by Carrie Lindsey

Jane Iredale Greatshape eyebrow kit

For a unique gift idea, how about a gift certificate to have mom’s eyebrows shaped, paired with this handy new eyebrow kit from our well-loved Jane Iredale? I have the kit in Blonde and it’s the perfect shade to fill in my sparse light-colored brows, plus I love having the wax, the dual-sided brush, and brow powder all in one handy little kit.   If you’re local to NYC I recommend a gift certificate for the full shaping and tinting treatment at Carrie’s Lindsey’s new salon in Fort Greene.  I’ve trusted only Carrie with my brows for a few years now, and even though she’s moved from the storefront in my neighborhood to her own salon just a short train ride away, I’m following her.  She’s the BEST.  In Carrie we trust.

Kahina Giving Beauty

Kahina giving beauty Emily wanted to add in that anything from Kahina Giving Beauty would be a great gift for any mom who wants to support other women around the globe.  In this case, Berber woman who inhabit the argan forest in Southwest Morocco. Says Emily, ” I met the founder/CEO at the Elev8 event [earlier this week in NYC] and was so moved by their philanthropic mission and the brand’s incredible ethics, sustainability, and efficacy! Definitely a brand we should all be aware of (and using!).”

Neal’s Yard Remedies

NYR lavender gift set

A brand I was introduced to when I stopped in their London store 6 years ago when I was first venturing into the the world of natural beauty, Neal’s Yard Remedies is offering 20% this month on their Lavender shower gel and lotion set.





Cocoon Apothecary

Cocoon Apothecary Kahuna gift set

How cute is the packaging on this organic bubble bath and lotion gift set from Cocoon Apothecary?  The scent, which I’ve yet to try, but sounds divine, is citrus and floral with a tropical twist.

True Moringa

True Moringa Mother's Day Gift Set An incredible Mother’s Day gift set from True Moringa includes their lemongrass body oil, a bar of Theo coconut almond dark chocolate (my favorite–so delicious!), and a soy candle scented with essential oils rather than artificial fragrance oils.  Each hand poured candle was made by a woman who has resettled from a refugee camp and is working to build a better life in the states.






I haven’t tried anything from this mom-founded organic skincare company yet, but the Mother’s Day gift sets are very cute and at a great price point!  Save an extra 15% off sitewide using code MOM15.  I think I’d have to choose the Grapfruit Gift Set!  Sounds lovely.





We want to wish a happy mother’s day to our own mothers and mothers-in-law this year, as well as all of our mom readers.  May everyone’s day be filled with some extra love, attention, and gratitude for all that moms do!

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Now I’m a believer (LOTUSWEI!)

posted by: Emily

I was skeptical.

I really wanted to believe in the revolution, because the promise is amazing.

“Be at your best all the time with Flower Remedies.”

Jordan and I met Katie Hess back in August at the first Indie Beauty Expo. She is enchantingly lovely, and radiates calm, positive energy. Sure, I thought. I want to be like that!
I read more about Lotus Wei. I gifted some of the Aura Mists to my friends and family at the winter holidays. I was a fan, I guess.
But then… I happened to get a sample of Modern Mineral Makeup‘s lipgloss collaboration with Lotus Wei. I put it on my lips, took a deep breath, and…
Wow. It smelled fantastic. I had to have more. I couldn’t stop smelling it. And not only did it smell good, it filled me with a sense of well-being. I would put the lip gloss on at night before bed, even though I didn’t really need violet-pink lips to sleep, just to smell the scent!
When I discovered that the scent in the lipgloss is Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love, I knew I had to revisit Lotus Wei. I went to ABC Carpet and Home, where they have a stellar collection of natural and organic beauty brands, and sniffed the Infinite Love Anointing Oil. I was completely smitten.
Lotus Wei sent me one to use, and I can honestly say, it makes me feel happier and more at peace and calm!
I posted this on Instagram yesterday:
And here’s what the caption said:

Dear @lotuswei, This potion is magic. Whenever I find myself grumpy and snapping at my kids for no reason, I get out my #infinitelove#anointingoil, put it on my pulse points, and take several deep breaths. Without fail, I return to my family with more patience, understanding, and, well, #love, than before. It is really helping me be the mom and person I mean to be. Thank you.


And get this: the delicious scent ACTUALLY lasts LONGER than other natural perfumes I’ve tried! So in addition to getting new benefits from reapplying the recommended 5 times a day, the incredible scent really lingers in between!

We will definitely be writing more about Lotus Wei soon and often. There’s so much good to share. But for now, go check out their website for yourself: http://www.lotuswei.com/, and take the flower quiz on the Lotus Wei homepage. Find out what flowers you’re most attracted to and what it means! (Oh, I love personality quizzes!! They are what I loved most about teen fashion mags of the ’90s– RIP, Sassy!)

And, in case you didn’t notice, We’re on Instagram now! Please join us there, and follow us to find out about some BIG, upcoming giveaways!





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The Big Natural Deodorant Question

posted by: Emily

In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten three separate emails from readers about natural deodorant. It’s a popular question, and although we’ve posted about it in the past, it’s something we should probably address perpetually and often! New options come out regularly, and our tastes change as we change and try new things.

Here’s the current info on your Product Junkies’ deodorant preferences.



What I currently use:
1. First I layer on a swipe of DeodoMom  (I like the roll-on best).
It’s basically milk of magnesia. I’ve used it for years. It really works, and I love it. It’s unscented, which is especially great if you have a newborn baby or don’t love essential oils.
2. Then I layer on Bubble and Bee Pit Putty cream in Jasmint or Spearmint Tea Tree for a little scent and extra protection. I like most of these scents– you can order samples. **Important– it’s the CREAM not the stick!** I think the cream is the easiest to apply and is the most effective.
I find that combo is amazing and I’ve had absolutely no issues with odor!
I also love this one: http://www.piperwai.com/
(Jordan uses it, and wrote about it here!)
BIG disclaimer on this one, though: I have psoriasis on my underarms (I know! ack!) and it’s easily kicked up by anything drying or with small particles. PiperWai is both. It’s too bad because this stuff WORKS– it’s definitely the best I’ve tried. And I can use a small amount every so often without side effects, but if I use too regularly, it irritates my arm pits and, boom!, psoriasis flare.
Here are some other brands to consider:
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
I know so many people who swear by this, and it’s a really cool, Brooklyn company!
(and their sensitive version has magnesium hydroxide, so is much like my combo above: http://meowmeowtweet.com/products/baking-soda-free-deodorant-cream)
Haven’t tried this one but the internets are IN LOVE with it. I haven’t tried because it contains raw honey which must be kept away from babies under 1 year in all forms, so I have been holding off. Now that my youngest is over a year, maybe I’ll try it… stay tuned!


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