Category Archives: Sunscreen

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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Be Prepared for Summer with Jane Iredale (Giveaway!)

Here in New York we’ve been hit with an intense heat wave already this summer.  So, being the super generous and timely people that they are, jane iredale has put together a really great giveaway for our readers consisting of a beach-ready cosmetic case filled with all the SPF, bronzing and hydrating essentials needed to enjoy warm summer days, whether you are hitting the beach or just faking a golden glow at the office. The set includes:

  •  Tantasia (two deluxe samples), a 2-in-1 self tanner and bronzer
  •  Powder-Me SPF (deluxe sample, in Translucent), a dry mineral sunscreen for face and body
  •  LipDrink SPF 15  (deluxe sample), a quenching fruit-infused protective balm for lips
  •  POMMIST Hydration Spray (full size), a refreshing spritz with UV-protective pomegranate that sets makeup and soothes inflammation
  •  A jane iredale  clear cosmetic case, perfect for traveling and packing into a beach bag

Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF TranslucentAll of these products are suitable for every skin type and tone (even the translucent Powder-Me SPF works for dark skin tones).  I’ve been using the Powder-Me SPF in Translucent for a couple months now and really enjoy the flexibility of dusting a little SPF protection after applying my makeup.  It’s also great for stashing in your bag and quickly touching up any areas that are prone to getting too much sun, despite my diligent sunscreening (for me that’s my chest and nose).

We’ve yet to try the LipDrink SPF 15 balm, but on a side note, Emily has been using another Jane Iredale lip product that she Jane Iredale PureGloss Sangria is enjoying (not included in the giveaway).  She  previously reviewed her first Jane Iredale lip gloss here, and since then, got her wish to try one of their shimmery PureGlosses since the nice people at Jane Iredale sent her one to test out!  Says Emily, “Well, my friends, it lives up to my hopes! Shiny, sticky (in the good way), and yes, shimmery, Jane Iredale’s Sangria has made the cut as one of the few lip products I keep in my purse (currently sharing that honor with Alima Pure’s Nourishing LipBalm in Fig and W3LL PEOPLE’s Universalist #4, which I will be writing a lot more about soon!).  When you really want that old-school gloss feeling, PureGloss is a great option.  Like all glosses, it doesn’t last long, but you get the joy of reapplying, where you get to smell the scent all over again and feel refreshed and new.”

Jane Iredale POMMISST

I haven’t tried the Pommist Hydration Spray yet either, but it sounds so lovely that I want to pour it in a summer cocktail!  I’m currently using a rosewater mist for lots of uses: to set my makeup, use as a toner, and as a refreshing spritz in the afternoon.  But the added UV protection of Pommist sounds perfect for this weather.

Leave a comment below to enter this generous, summery giveaway.  Bonus entries for following Jane Iredale @janeiredale on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Facebook.com/janeiredale.  Just let us know in the comments what bonus entries you’re eligible for so we can give you extra entries.  This contest is open to US shipping addresses only and will end on Monday, 7/22/13 at midnight EST.

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Filed under Giveaways/Freebies/Discounts, Lipstick/gloss/balm, Sunscreen, Toner, Travel

Our Favorite Natural Sunscreens of 2013

Posted by:  Jordan

Just in time for all of the 4th of July activities comes our roundup of the best natural sunscreens we’ve been using this year.  Bring on the beaches, boating, picnics and poolside fun while safely protecting your family’s skin with these fabulous sunscreens.

 

Sun Putty SPF 30

sun puttyThis sunscreen, formulated especially for the sensitive skin on your face, is incredible!  It truly does go on clear–as advertised–and Emily claims that it’s the only sunscreen that doesn’t make her face look shiny and oily.  The ingredients are 100% natural, water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and boast 20.5% zinc oxide (most physical-blocking sunscreens use a much lower concentration of zinc oxide and they still leave that awful telltale white residue on your skin).  The reason for the high level of protection,  zero white residue, and a drier texture (which is somehow still moisturizing plus has anti-aging properties) is the two years of research that was put into reformulating the sunscreen with the addition of Z-COTE, a form of zinc oxide which goes on clear.  You may remember that I fell in love with this sunscreen back in 2010 and was devastated when they took it off the market in order to improve their formula (which I loved back then, and love even more now!).  The EWG Skin Deep Rating is still just a 1.  You can buy Sun Putty for $28 for one ounce (or a sample 1/4 oz size for $8).

 

Honest Company Sunscreen SPF 30

Honest sunscreen spf 30You know we love everything from Honest and their newly reformulated sunscreen is my favorite for using on both my daughter and on my own body (south of my neck).  Their new formula–also scoring a 1 on EWG–is light years better than the old SPF 20 formula.  The texture is thicker and creamier, yet it blends in easily and doesn’t leave you looking ghostly with a white film, like the former version did.  Like Sun Putty, they use 20% non-nano zinc oxide, which is water resistant for 40 minutes.  You can buy the 3 oz tube (the travel friendly size for your carry-on is much appreciated!) for $13.95, or if you choose to do an Essentials Bundle like I do, it comes to $7.19–hard to beat for such an amazing all-natural sunscreen!

 

Coola Plant UV Face SPF 30

Coola Plant UV faceThis is another great sunscreen specifically formulated for your face.  Perfect for daily use under makeup, it dries quickly and of course leaves no white residue (which is not ideal anywhere on your body past the age of 10, but especially not on your face!).  This sunscreen has 12.61% zinc oxide and also includes ingredients like beet root and mushroom extracts which help protect against premature aging.  As with the previous two, this sunscreen scores a 1 on EWG.  For a 1.7 oz tube, it retails for $42 (or I found it on Amazon for $32!).  Coola actually has a ton of interesting products in their line, which I haven’t tried yet.  I’d love to try their Plant UV SPF 30 for Body, or any of the sunscreens from the Mineral or Baby Collection, as well.  One thing to be aware of is that the Classic Collection uses chemical sunscreens such as Octinoxate, so as a consumer just do your research–as always–on the ingredients you feel comfortable with before you make a purchase.

Please share with us your favorite natural sunscreens that you’ve been using so far this summer, or any that you’re wanting to try!

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The PERFECT Tinted Moisturizer

Posted by:  Jordan

It is a goal of mine to try every Eminence product there is because I have yet to try one that is less than perfect.  My latest trial, the new Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 25, is hands down the best tinted moisturizer ever.  I challenge anyone to find a better one because it truly is perfection.

There have been a lot of “BB Creams” introduced in the Western market this year, and I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of sick of the bubbly 17 year olds on the big cosmetic companies’ commercials gushing about how her 8-in-1 BB Cream does it all, from brightening her skin (is a 17-year-old’s skin not bright enough?) to providing powerful anti-aging protection.  What in that petroleum-based, paraben-packed ingredient list provides anti-aging protection, other than sunscreen?  Personally, I’m tired of the whole “BB Cream”…maybe it’s just the name that makes me think it’s all just a gimmick.

Eminence blessedly spared me the fingernails-on-chalkboard annoyance by not calling their new  organic tinted moisturizer with SPF a “BB Cream.”  Thank you for taking the high road and not giving in to fads, Eminence.  Now, their ingredient list truly is something to make a 17 year old gush (as well as a 33-year-old like myself).  Here are some highlights, but of course the rest of the list is completely natural and meets Eminence’s high quality standard.

  • Linden Tea: supplies bioflavonoids, nourishes, hydrates, and rejuvenates the skin
  • Shea Butter: moisturizes and repairs the look of skin
  • Aloe: soothing and refreshing
  • Corn Germ Oil: enriches, supports and increases moisture levels within the skin
  • Jojoba Oil: supports and hydrates with one of the best absorption rates
What makes me love this product so much is its lightweight, fresh-smelling formula that gives me just enough coverage to make me feel like I applied foundation without the feel of heavy, greasy foundation.  It’s the perfect addition to your Fall beauty routine because I know I’m a little less vigilant about applying sunscreen daily, and this is like a sheer tint of skin-perfecting color that just happens to have some sun protection hidden inside…kind of like those brownies that sneak fruits and vegetables in them.  (If anyone tries this recipe, let me know…I’ve been meaning to test them out!)  I ordered the Vanilla Latte color, which blends in perfectly to my fair skin.  Thank you, Eminence, for never letting me down!  I had my eyes on this product for months and, as predicted, it was nothing short of perfection.

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I Love You, I Honestly Love You! Sunscreen Review: The Honest Company

Posted by:  Jordan

Unbelievably, another summer is coming to an end.  And so it’s time to recap my favorite sunscreen of the summer from The Honest Co.  This is an incredibly gentle, unscented, effective sunscreen that our whole family has been loving.  My husband even commented on how he liked it (it’s a major sign of how great a product is when it’s comment-worthy from a man!)  As pretty much all physical sunblocks do, it will leave a slight white tint if it’s not rubbed in well.  But, as my husband commented, it rubs in really well for a physical sunblock.

We used this on our baby and ourselves while we were spending a week on a lake this summer.  As any mom knows, wrestling with your child to put on sunscreen is no fun task, no matter which sunscreen you use.  So it’s definitely a bonus when a natural sunscreen is water-resistant because that’s just one less time I have to worry about reapplying (though don’t let that deter you from reapplying every few hours.  That’s important with any sunscreen, and I’m a huge culprit of forgetting to do this while we’re having fun outside.)  My only wish was that the sunscreen had a slightly higher SPF than 20.  SPF 30 is my comfort level for our fair-skinned family.

It goes without saying that the ingredients in this sunscreen are totally natural and safe:

ONLY contains the following 8 organic, natural, and edible-grade ingredients: 25% Zinc Oxide, Eldorado Springs Artesian Water, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Shea Butter, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax NF, and Vegetable Vitamin E

I subscribe to the Diaper Bundle from the Honest Company (amazing diapers, if you are in the market for chemical-free, plant-based, disposable diapers.  I could go on and on about them, but that’s another post for a non-beauty blog!) so I added this sunscreen to my monthly shipment of diapers.  The price is completely reasonable, $13.95 for 3 oz.  I will definitely be reordering it with our next shipment.  As of right now the sunscreen is only available to purchase through their website, but hopefully in the future they’ll start distributing their amazing natural goods to retailers.  I haven’t tried any of the other personal care products, but I’m anxious to try as many as possible and report back.  From what I’ve heard from other people, and what Emily has experienced, all the products are equally fantastic!

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Babies Eat These Sunscreens Up (Hopefully Not Literally)

Posted by:  Jordan

We took our 3 month old baby girl to Puerto Rico for a little vacation last month and I asked the pediatrician if I could use sunscreen on her (I’ve read conflicting views of sunscreen on babies under 6 months).  She said to just make sure I did a test patch on her to be certain there were no allergies.   Of course, I also had to make sure that the ingredients were safe and all-natural. Being the product junkie that I am, I couldn’t be satisfied with just bringing one sunscreen with us on vacation–no, I had to bring three.  All three of these sunscreens are listed on EWG’s Safest Sunscreen list from 2011

First in my bag was my tried-and-true Marie Veronique’s Kid Safe Screen (see my review of that sunscreen here), which I mainly used for myself, but I did use it on my daughter occasionally as well…it just happens to be one of my personal favorites so I didn’t exactly want to share.  Mom of  the year award??

 

I had some leftover Badger Unscented Sunscreen from last summer that I also brought with us.  This one used to be my husband’s favorite until he tried the Marie Veronique sunscreen (again, I was reluctant to share).  This sunscreen was great for covering large portions of my daughter’s body because it was so thick and spreadably creamy, so it was simple to make sure we had all portions of exposed skin covered.  Notice the 2.9 oz size–thank you for thinking of air travelers, Badger!

 

Finally, I bought a travel and diaper-bag friendly sunscreen stick from California Baby, which is so convenient!  The small, lightweight size makes it perfect for keeping in your bag for spontaneous trips to the park, which we’ve been doing a lot this past week since we’ve been blessed with 70 degree days here in NYC.  The trick to this sunscreen is to apply it to your fingers first, and then spread it on your baby’s face, ears, etc; otherwise, if you apply it directly to the skin it can sometimes leave tiny clumps that are hard to blend in.   The stick form is great for baby’s face because when you’re applying sunscreen to a squirmy child they have an annoying tendency to want to turn their head away from the sunscreen blitzkrieg.  The stick makes it less likely for you to accidentally get sunscreen in baby’s eye as you’re trying to pin him or her down.

With this arsenal of safe and effective sunscreens, hopefully I’ll prevent my daughter from having to get her sunspots removed via light-therapy in 30 years, like I recently did.  Curses to you, pre-prom tanning beds.

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Another Winner of a Product: Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Sheer Coverage, Plus a Giveaway!

Posted by:  Jordan

We’ve got another product review from Marie Veronique Organics to rave about!  Plus, you can enter to win them; what could be a better way to start your Fall skincare regimen than by winning luxurious, natural products  from MVO?!

Over the summer I was in love with the Moisturizing Face Screen SPF 30, which you can read about here.  I’m still loving that tinted moisturizer, but now that the weather is getting cooler and I’m spending more time indoors (plus with my first baby due in just 3 weeks I’m trying to conserve my energy and rest up!), I’ve found myself gravitating towards the Everyday Sheer Coverage with an SPF of 20.  It’s slightly more lightweight than the Moisturizing Face Screen, but offers more anti-aging support, thanks to the powerful antioxidants like green tea and coffee berry extract.   While the Moisturizing Face Screen offers more sun protection with 20% zinc oxide, the Everyday Sheer Coverage still offers substantial protection with 16.6% non-nano zinc oxide.  I find the Moisturizing Face Screen to be a heavier application than the Everyday Sheer Coverage due to this increase in zinc oxide.  I love how this product evens out my skin tone, but still looks completely natural.  You will still need a good concealer for any dark circles, scars, or discolorations you’d want to cover up (and for that I recommend Vapour Organic Beauty’s Illusionist Concealer).   Everyday Sheer Coverage used to be known as Anti-Aging Day Serum, but after changing the name to more aptly describe it, plus changing the ingredients slightly in order to give it a little face-lift, it’s now known by its current name and retails for $50 for a 2 oz bottle.  You can choose between 4 shades (light works for me, but I received a sample of the medium tint as well and I find that right now, after having just a tad of summer color on my face, combining the light and medium tints works best.  But in a few weeks I’ll probably be using just the light tint.  But don’t worry too much about getting the exact matching shade for your skin–this product is so sheer and blendable that it’s almost idiot-proof!)

As the weather is changing I definitely need a little boost of moisture underneath my Everyday Sheer Coverage, so for that I really enjoy applying 3 drops of the Anti-Aging Oil Plus right after washing my face while it’s still slightly damp.  This stuff is so luxurious!  It contains a bounty of good-for-you fatty oils which are too numerous to even list.  By layering this underneath my Everyday Sheer Coverage, I’m all set for the day–not a trace of dryness or mid-day oiliness on my skin!   I’m not sure if I’m benefiting from some end of pregnancy good-skin-hormones, or if it’s just the glorious high-quality Marie Veronique products I’ve been using for the past few months, but my skin has honestly never looked better.  I’m sure it will go through yet another change in a few weeks once this baby arrives, but until then I’m just going to be thankful!

Now, on to the really fun stuff–the giveaway!  The extremely generous people at MVO have offered to ship our winner a full-size 2 oz bottle of Everyday Sheer Coverage,  and a 1 oz Anti-Aging Oil Plus (Total value $130!).  All you have to do is leave a comment below about why you’d love to win these products.  You have a week to enter; the contest will end on Wednesday, 10/12/11 at midnight EST.  The winner, chose by random.org, will be announced on Thursday, 10/13 (pending I’m not in labor, in which case I apologize for the slight delay in announcing our winner!).  Sorry, but only residents of the US and Canada can enter this contest.  Are you really excited to win?  If so, for extra credit you can “like” Marie Veronique’s Facebook Page and/or Product Junkies Rehab’s Facebook page.  Just be sure to let us know in the comments what you’ve done so you can get the extra entries (if you’re already a FB fan, let us know that as well–it will still count for an extra entry as we love our old readers as well as the new ones!)  Good luck, and I can’t wait to announce the winner because I know you’re going to fall in love with these products, just like I have!  

UPDATE – Gift with Purchase: Not only can you enter to win these amazing products, but if you want to buy anything, you can use the special Gift with Purchase for trying Everyday Sheer Coverage: Receive a free 1/4 oz Anti-Aging Oil+ with purchase of Everyday Sheer Coverage (choice of 4 tints).  Use “Special Offer” code at checkout: ProductJunkiesRock.  Code will expire 10/15/2011

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Giveaways/Freebies/Discounts, Moisturizers, Product Reviews, Serums, Sunscreen