Category Archives: Product Reviews

Don’t Sweat It

Posted by: Jordan

First of all, I’m sorry for the major hiatus in posting.  I had my 2nd child over the summer and it’s definitely been a juggling act!  Plus, who has the time to take care of themselves and try new products when just showering is a daily win?!  But my dear, thoughtful friend Emily met me for a bday lunch last month and gave me the MOST awesome bday gift ever and I’m OBSESSED and have to share all about it quickly while the baby naps!  Behold the best bday gift: Agent Nateur deodorant!  Granted, you really do have to have a special bond to know that giving the gift of deodorant isn’t going to offend the recipient, and Emily knew that I’d be thrilled to try this amazing new deodorant (that both our husbands also love, incidentally).  It’s chic, holistic, easy to use, and most importantly, SUUUUUUUPER effective.  As in, I don’t have to shower every day (shhhh!).  And y’all–my breastfeeding hormones usually leave me smelling pretty grody every morning.  Not when I have my Agent Nateur on, though!  Mama is ready to throw on her sweats and run the older child to school without offending passerbys on the sidewalk!  See?  Best gift ever–especially for a time-crunched mom! Or, really, anyone since there’s a LOT to sweat over in recent world news.  Lordy be.  At least there’s joy in this ridiculously amazing deodorant that won’t have you smelling rancid while marching in protest and calling your reps in congress.

Available in 3 scents:

No 3 holi(stick) –unisex (a very subtle lavender-eucalyptus)  This is the one I’m using and loving right now

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No 4 Holi(rose) –Rose and sandalwood scent (next on my list to try!)

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No 5 holi(man) –a unisex but more manly scent with vetiver, rose, sandalwood, leather, and cedarwood

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Now, onward with my unshowered but unstinky day!!!  Cheers to a happy and stink-free 2017!

UPDATE: Happy Valentine’s Day from PJR and Agent Nateur! We’re offering a special 15% off discount for PJR readers from now through 2/20/17 using code heart2017

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Filed under Deodorants, Product Reviews, Uncategorized

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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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:
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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.
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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/
Piperwai
(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!
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(and their sensitive version has magnesium hydroxide, so is much like my combo above: http://meowmeowtweet.com/products/baking-soda-free-deodorant-cream)
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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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Ready for Spring with Jane Iredale BeautyPrep

Posted by:  Jordan

Jane Iredale Beauty Prep

Emily and I recently had the treat of being invited to Jane Iredale’s launch of their new BeautyPrep line of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.  On a blustery winter day in February we were transported into an oasis that smelled, tasted, and looked like spring!  The launch was held at Bouley Botanical, which was a much-needed respite for the winter-deprived senses with all the herbs growing in planters along the walls.  David Bouley served up small plates of botanical-infused delights as we tested out the new products.

Jane Iredale and David Bouley

Jane Iredale and David Bouley

Jane spoke about her love of the new Eco-Cert certified line (with the exception of the moisturizer, which is–rest assured–100% natural but couldn’t be listed as Eco-Cert due to the Rose Stem Cell extracts not being Eco-Cert certified yet).  I am IN LOVE with this line. The smell is like a blast of spring, full of extracts of lemongrass, rose, cucumber, pear, apple, carrot–the list goes on but, let me tell you, it’s just so incredibly refreshing to use this gentle 3-step cleansing/toning/moisturizing set!

Jane Iredale Spring 2016 event

BeautyPrep Cleanser ($28)

I love the ease of this cleanser–no water required!  I usually use a bit of coconut oil on my eye makeup, wipe off with a tissue, and then use a cotton pad doused in the cleanser to remove the rest of my makeup and any residual eye makeup.  So simple, quick, and provides gentle but thorough cleansing.

This no-rinse cleansing water provides a deep pore cleanse with nourishing Oat Amino Acids. Ideal for removing makeup and cleansing skin prior to toning and moisturizing, it contains a proprietary micellar water with dual Cucumber Extracts in liposome form that gently hydrate, smooth and protect the skin. Removes environmental pollutants and is antioxidant and vitamin rich to help reduce free radical damage. May be used with or without water, leaving no oily residue on the skin.

BeautyPrep Toner ($33)

The toner might be my favorite product of the line, though I love all three!  I use a couple pumps (the dispenser is so handy!) on a cotton pad and swipe over my just-cleansed face, and to my initial surprise there was no makeup or city grime left behind on the pad.  The toner left my face soft and ready for my serum and moisturizer.

This gentle toner refines pores and moisturizes with organic botanical liposomes. Prepares skin for layering moisturizer and makeup and is infused with Herbasome, a fruit extract infused water, to provide deep skin hydration. Contains organic Lemon Grass, Apple, Pear, Carrot and Coconut Water to balance pH and restore the surface of the skin

BeautyPrep Moisturizer ($45)

This moisturizer is perfection.  Creamy yet lightweight, it’s ideal for all seasons.  I layer it over my serum of choice both day and night.  And, as I mentioned, it smells divine!

This soothing cream moisturizes skin and helps prevent transepidermal water loss while protecting the skin from airborne pollutants. Prepares the skin’s surface so makeup goes on smoother and lasts longer. Contains four organic Rose Stem Cell Extracts:

·        White Rose supports natural cell regeneration and the skin barrier, while restoring suppleness.

·        Damask Rose helps to tighten pores, purify and smooth the skin.

·        Rosa Canina (Rosehips) calms and brightens skin and helps prevent transepidermal water loss.

·        Pale Rose helps to rebuild the moisture barrier and provide suppleness for the appearance of newer, softer skin.

Jane Iredale Spring '16 event 3

In addition to the face care line, Jane Iredale also launched a supplement that’s intended to help skin from the inside out.  I haven’t had a chance to try this yet since I’m pregnant, but as soon as I’m allowed to take supplements again, I can’t wait to test these out!

This scientifically advanced supplement is designed to treat acne and improve the health of the skin from the inside out, with a formula that combines Vitamins A and C with a highly-active phytonutrient found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale.  Results show Skin Accumax helps clear the redness and irritation associated with acne breakouts as early as ten to twelve weeks after starting the program, and the unique skin supplement offers healthful benefits for skin problems by promoting important steps in maintaining skin integrity and restoring a well-balanced and natural appearance. Skin Accumax is easily absorbed by the body, has no harsh chemicals and will not cause dryness or flaking. There are no artificial colorings, flavorings or wheat in the product. Skin Accumax comes in an easy-to-take capsule and is suitable for adults 16 years and older who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.  The recommended regimen includes taking four capsules per day until results are seen. Some who have continued on the program reduce to two capsules a day. jane iredale is the exclusive distributor of Skin Accumax in the United States, and both Starter Packs ($115) and Single Packs ($65.80) are available at janeiredale.com.

Jane Iredale Skin Accumax

If you’re searching for a new line of facial care products, I can’t recommend Jane Iredale’s new BeautyPrep enough.  In the mornings I tend to just splash my face with warm water, apply toner (either the BeautyPrep or spritz on some Jane Iredale Hydration Spray in either Pommisst or Smell the Roses) and then follow with a Vitamin C serum, and moisturizer/sunscreen.  A quick swipe of Jane’s PurePressed foundation, followed by another spritz of the hydration spray to set the mineral foundation, and my skin is ready to face the day.

Jane Iredale Spring '16 event 4

Enjoying Bouley’s rose ice cream as I test out Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation, now available in eight new darker shades.

 

Cheers to spring, and to Jane Iredale for this amazing new addition to their collection!

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Filed under Cleansers, Foundation, Moisturizers, Product Reviews, Toner

Worker B Treatment Stick

Posted by:  Jordan

Ok, so now that Spring weather is officially in our future (73 degrees this week in NYC!?!  Where’s my glass of sparkling rose to celebrate?! ), this might not be the best timing for a recommendation for a winter skin savior, but no matter.  A savior is a savior no matter what time of year, right?

My two favorite skin saviors that got my whole family through this winter (and will continue to be used daily in our house) were the Beret Jane Miracle Salve, as I previously raved about in December.  The other mega-healing, skin-softening item we relied on is the Treatment Stick from Worker B.  This is absolutely my favorite lip balm of all time (and I’ve tried close to 1,000 I’d guess!).

Worker B Treatment-Stick

So creamy and moisturizing, and I love the oversized tube that feels like it really moisturizes my lips and the wrinkle-prone skin around it.  I use it every night before bed and every morning after brushing my teeth. My 4 year old daughter loves it too, and it’s so healing on her lips and nose that were constantly chapped all winter. Not only to be used as a lip balm, it can be used on dry patches anywhere on your body.

It’s rare that I would ever buy the same lip balm again because of my love to constantly try new things but this one will definitely be a staple in our medicine cabinet forever.  I’m a fan for life–thanks Worker B!

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Strange Invisible Perfumes Body Wash & Lotion (+Giveaway!)

Posted by: Jordan

It’s a new year and we’re ready to introduce our readers to some amazing new companies we’ve been loving this Fall/Winter!  First up is the incredible natural perfumer, Strange Invisible Perfumes, who have graciously offered a giveaway to one lucky reader!  Read on for details on how to be entered into this heavenly giveaway.

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Emily and I got to smell a lot of Strange Invisible Perfumes’ products at the Indie Beauty Expo this past Fall, and we’ve been loving the samples we received ever since.  I’ve tried out all the scents of the body wash & lotions and each one is so sophisticated and beautiful.  It’s hard to choose a favorite–they all smell gorgeous–but if forced to choose, I’d have to say the Sage + Rose scent is a standout for me.  But I think my absolute favorite is the Lavender + Vetiver scent.  The scent lasts at least half the day, and every time I catch a subtle whiff of it, I continue to love it.  Ever since switching over to completely natural products with no synthetic fragrances in 2010, I’m extra sensitive to scents.  Anything too strong, cloying, or artificial gives me an instant headache.  All of SI Perfumes’ bath and body washes use only 100% natural botanical scents–nothing artificial here!  So the scents are naturally fresh and pretty.  I’ve found that the Lavender + Vetiver scent seems to last the longest, which I appreciate–I should mention that these high quality products are not inexpensive.  I can justify the price of the body wash and lotion since they basically double as a perfume for me.

SI Perfumes recently came out with their Zodiac line of perfumes.  For a complete review of these, read the beautifully written write-up from Scent Hive.  They’ve created a perfume specifically for your zodiac sign.  So fun to read what your sign smells like!

Aries: The Innovator. Element: Fire. The first sign of the zodiac, Aries is able to make incredible things happen quickly. Hydro-distilled essences of cinnamon, rose, and angelica fuel a vibrant imagination. Frankincense, benzoin, lavender, and sandalwood cool fiery impulses, encouraging the composure needed to realize visionary plans.

Taurus: The Sensual Realist. Element: Earth. Ruled by Venus, Taurus is a compassionate sign resistant to the influence of others. Lush earthy notes of geranium, maté, oakmoss, vetiver, and frankincense encourage flexibility and optimism without compromising shrewdness. Neroli, rose, and grapefruit court the senses and lighten the mood, allowing Taurus to shine even more brightly.

Gemini: The Mastermind. Element: Air. Gemini, symbolized by the twins, is an agile thinker with the dazzling ability to see all angles of an issue. This sign is associated with duality, a concept often confused with duplicity—hence the misguided characterization. Charming notes of violet, gardenia, and angelica echo Gemini’s alluring presence and sparkle against a darker backdrop of amber and leather.

Cancer: The Levelheaded Bohemian. Element: Water. Cancer is the only sign of the zodiac ruled by the moon. While being adventurous and free spirited, those born under Cancer are known for their cleverness, generosity, and devotion to family. Mandarin, patchouli, and lily of the valley encourage Cancer’s mischievous sense of humor, while sumptuous notes of Tahitian vanilla, amber, and leather make this sign feel right at home.

Leo: The Ringleader. Element: Fire. Leo is the only constellation ruled by the sun. Hydro-distilled essences of neroli, bergamot, lemon, and cardamom reinforce Leo’s charisma and inviting style of leadership while smoothing out domineering tendencies. Ambrette seed and jasmine sambac tame Leo’s fire, making gratification come more easily.

Virgo: The Exacting Romantic. Element: Earth. Virgo is the guardian of quality, and this sign’s pursuit of excellence is often mistaken for arbitrary perfectionism. Baked earth and palo santo reflect deep introspection and a dedication to nuance. Sparkling notes of neroli, temple mandarin, and rose speak to Virgo’s need for beauty and precision, sweetly quieting the critic.

Libra: The Connoisseur. Element: Air. Libra, ruled by Venus, is the most approachable of all air signs, balancing elegance, wit, and mischief with legendary skill. Centering essences of rose, grapefruit, and iris fulfill Libra’s unyielding need for beauty, while golden champa, myrtle, and basil calm Libra’s tendency to worry.

Scorpio: The Enigma. Element: Water. Scorpio, the dark horse, the infamous rock star of the zodiac, is nothing if not a mystery. Vetiver and palo santo both respect and soften Scorpio’s iron will, while frankincense and cinnamon reflect Scorpio’s deep spiritual wisdom and vast knowledge. Leather and white Cognac encourage Scorpio’s brooding intellect to lighten up and live joyously in the moment.

Sagittarius: The Rolling Stone. Element: Fire. The iconic nomad sign, Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius lives for adventure and tends to be a social butterfly. Neroli and lime reflect Sagittarius’s innate optimism, mutability, and fiery ambition. Grounding essences of cypress, bay leaf, and honeycomb encourage this nomadic sign to appreciate present surroundings.

Capricorn: The Force to Be Reckoned With. Element: Earth. Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is famous for a nearly heroic sense of commitment, patience, and drive. Iris, frankincense, and Tahitian vanilla speak to Capricorn’s earthy, sensual side and strong need for stability. Neroli, jasmine, and white Cognac invite Capricorn to let go of routine and enjoy the rewards of spontaneity.

Aquarius: The Rebel with a Cause. Element: Air. Aquarius, the third and final air sign, is one of the most charismatic signs of the zodiac. Neroli and rosemary fuel Aquarius’s independence, intellect, and humanitarianism, urging Aquarians to put their global ideals into action. Lavender, white sage, and frankincense soothe anxiety, grounding Aquarius when airy detachment sets in.

Pisces: The Dreamer. Element: Water. Empathic and sensitive, Pisces, the twelfth sign of the zodiac, is seen as the wisest and most reflective of all. Grounding essences of frankincense, cedarwood, and black pepper guide Pisces through occasionally stormy seas of emotion. Night-blooming jasmine, kewda, and lime keep the waters of creativity abundantly flowing.

Now for the really fun part: a giveaway!!!  One super lucky winner will win a lotion of their choice (value $75) PLUS a bottle of the Zodiac Perfume in your sign (value $125)!!  I wish I could win this giveaway myself!  To enter:

  1. Leave a comment with your zodiac sign and the lotion scent you would choose.
  2. Earn an extra entry each for liking PJR on Facebook and/or Twitter.
  3. Same goes for liking Strange Invisible Perfumes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to tell us in the comments what you’re following.Giveaway open to US residents only.

Deadline for entry is Tuesday, 1/12/16.  Good luck and happy new year!

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Filed under Cleansers, Cool Companies We Love, Giveaways/Freebies/Discounts, Moisturizers

PiperWai Natural Deodorant

Posted by:  Jordan

 

Piperwai

Introducing my newest favorite natural deodorant: PiperWai.

A direct quote from my husband, “This is what I’ve been looking for my whole life.  I don’t want the aluminum and junk in my deodorant, you know, but until now I haven’t tried one that actually works all day for me.”  I usually do the majority of product testing around here, and if it’s something that I think works really well, and he might use too, I make him put it to the test.  Test was aced and PiperWai is now officially replacing my husband’s conventional “man cologne” smelling Speed Stick.

PiperWai was founded by two girl friends (much like myself and Emily) on a mission to find a healthier alternative to chemical-filled anti-perspirants that actually works all day and won’t irritate sensitive skin.  It’s the first deodorant on the market to use activated charcoal, which makes it super absorbent and odor-eliminating.  The cream rubs in clear and easily, and has a pleasant gender-neutral herbal scent.  Despite the initial weirdness I had for the play-doh like texture, after testing it for several weeks now, I can officially say that our family is in love with it.  I don’t often gush about natural deodorants, as there aren’t many on the market that work all day and keep both me and my husband from smelling too “natural”.  Sometimes I’ll try one and like it for a few days, but then the effectiveness starts to fade.  Not so with PiperWai.  I have a feeling it will be a permanent staple in our bathroom from now on.  If you’re still on the hunt for the ultimate natural deodorant for you and your family, I definitely encourage you to try this out!

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