LUSH’s Toothy Tabs makes brushing teeth fun!

I talk a lot dental health. Mascara ain’t got nothin’ on healthy teeth and gums. And my dentist didn’t even pay me to say that. 8) Point is–if there is a super cool dental health product or brand, you can bet that I’ll want to check it out and review it for y’all. Take LUSH’s Dirty Tooth Tabs for example….

Made without preservatives but WITH natural ingredients, these Dirty Toothy Tabs are super ideal for traveling and teeth brushing on the go. While I’m not sure I’d trade my traditional toothpaste for these, I think the Toothy Tabs may find a permanent spot in my traveling case. Will the tabs remove plaque and leave your teeth feeling clean? Absolutely! But the fresh breath babe that is me needs to feel a burst of freshness and you just won’t get that with these tabs. You also don’t get the “whitening” agents in Toothy Tabs. I love toothpastes that also whiten and would consider using the Toothy Tabs daily if they had properties that assisted with that. The good news is, they are super easy to use. The instructions are right outside of the packaging.

And they don’t foam up as much as a traditional toothpaste but it does enough to where your teeth will feel clean. Even better is that you can get 40 of these teeth tab-ies for $3.95.

That’s about the same price as traditional toothpaste AND you can easily recycle the cardboard container. Is it cost effective going from regular toothpaste to Toothy Tabs? Maybe. The average person brushes their teeth twice a day so 40 tabs at twice a day in a month equals 60 tabs. That’s just for one person. Of course you’d need more tabs for more members in the family. Going through 2-4 boxes of Toothy Tabs a month at $3.95 a pop isn’t THAT much of an investment for dental health.

I do however find these to be extremely practical for traveling. They take up less space and while you don’t get that super minty breath like you would from a store-bought toothpaste, I love the way they make my teeth feel. Even though they don’t provide enough for me to use every day, I wouldn’t mind using these every now and then every time I take a trip. Plus, they’re just fun to use. They come in 6 different flavors and you can grab them at LUSH locations and LUSH.com.

The Sweaty Betty Diaries: How a natural deodorant saved my pits.

I’ve had a love hate relationship with deodorant for as long as I’ve been allowed to wear it. Love because the stuff keeps me from smelling like a goat and hate because although it keeps the funk at bay, it wrecks havoc on my sensitive underarms. And then I got to thinkin’…the skin under the arms happens to be super sensitive. Why then are we using deodorants and antiperspirants with super harsh ingredients in them? Especially after shaving? A light bulb went off and to my beauty bin I went to retrieve a natural deodorant I’ve had for some time but stop using.

I received the Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal to review almost a year ago. I tested it for a good week but found absolutely no results. Fast forward to a few months ago and now you couldn’t pay me to go back to a traditional deodorant.

Here’s the thing about natural deodorants…you have to prep your pits for using them. No matter how hard you scrub, it is often pretty hard to remove deodorant from under your arms. I gave my pits a good scrubbing using baking soda. It took a good 5 minutes per pit, but I was ready! While a traditional deodorant have waaaay too many ingredients listed, this deodorant crystal has two. Dos. 2. That’s it.

My pits were already breathing a sigh of relief. The crystal looks just like, well…a crystal.

Cool, uh? To “activate” it, you wet the top and apply a generous amount under your arms. My issue was always that I’d be left with wet underarms but they dry pretty quickly. Ohmigoodness y’all…when I tell you this stuff works, I mean it WORKS. Aside from it keeping me from stinking, I found that it has kept my pits in so much better condition. My underarms are smoother and not as dark.

Pro’s

-It’s affordable. Retailed at $5.99, this crystal will last for months and months and months.
-It doesn’t have a fragrance.
-It is gentle enough for even the most sensitive of underarms.

Con’s

-It loses its power after 10+ hours
-It may be hard to find.

“Yo B, what do you mean it looses its power after 10+ hours?”

Good things don’t always last forever. The same can be said for this natural deodorant. I’ve been in situations where I went from smelling fresh to smelling less than pleasant in 3.2 seconds. What happened? The deodorant simply wore off. I have no shame in tellin’ y’all that me without deodorant is stinky. Funky. I mean, it’s bad… I have since learned and keep the Spray Mist version of this deodorant in my purse at all times. The Spray Mist is super small and tote-able so it makes transferring it to different purses a breeze. If I feel like I’m going to be away from home more than 8 hours, I head to the ladies room and attack the underarms. And bam…the stinkies stay away. I’ve also learned that I have to continue to thoroughly scrub my pits every time I shower. I scrub with a combination of my body wash and baking soda. A good cleansing creates a nice clean base for another fresh application.

I’m a believer and as much as I’ve loved my traditional deodorants, me and my pits are just happy rolling with Naturally Fresh’s Crystal Deodorant. I’ve heard many guys and gals say they’ve given up on the natural deodorant because they simply…don’t work. I say give ‘em another go ’round. If you’re interested in using gentler products under your arms, it may take some time and diligence on your part. Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal comes in crystal, Spray Mist and Roll-On. You can grab it at Whole Foods and other natural food stores as well as online.

Any natural deodorant lovers in the house? If you aren’t one, would you give one a try?

Mascara Monday: tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart mascara

What don’t I love about tarte? From their lippies to their blushes and bronzers, tarte always knows how to make a gal feel special. Thing is, though, I’ve haven’t had much luck with their mascaras. They’ve always been average at best, for me.  Can this Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart mascara change my mind? Let’s see…

 

Price: $19 at Sephora and Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: Per Sephora.com

This amazing mascara delivers a 406% increase in lash volume and long-term reparative, rebuilding, and strengthening benefits with each swipe giving you instant results and better lash health. Just as it intuitively restores hydration and texture in skin, Amazonian clay intuitively hydrates and replenishes dry and brittle lashes to prevent fallout. High performance natural™Amazonian clay performs all day by absorbing oil to balance mascara and keep product in place for flake-free longer wear. It lends itself to deepen pure color pigments creating a volume-boosting formula with higher intensity and truer pure color. The result is healthier and more voluminous lashes that won’t ever flake or transfer, naturally. After daily wear, lashes are intact, healthier and stronger. This mascara prevents lash loss and promotes lash health.
The Truth: Hmm, I may be able to get down with this one. 

What I Loved About It: The formula feels niiiiice. And the packaging. I mean, come on…it is hands down one of the best dressed mascaras that I’ve ever seen.

What I Didn’t Like: It wasn’t super volumizing and got a little clump-alicious around the second coat.

Overall: This may very well be my favorite tarte mascara. While it didn’t provide the kind of volume that I really wanted, it’s better than the other tarte mascaras that I’ve tried. So yippie to that! tarte’s been on this “amazonian clay” bandwagon for quite some time and while I can’t say I know everything about the clay’s properties, I do know one thing, it certainly enhances their products. Remember the Amazonian Clay blushes? Those totally rocked the house.

406% increase is a bit of a stretch. I only tested this mascara for a week so I can’t speak much on the long-term aspect. What I do know (and I’ve probably said this a dozen times) is that a mascara must be off the charts to encourage one to use it repeatedly to see results. That said, this mascara is definitely one that I could see myself using for weeks and months at a time. The wand makes application a cinch.

tarte has always been really good with wands so I certainly wasn’t worried. Mascara novices and professionals both won’t have any trouble using it. But like all tarte mascaras, if you’re looking for insane volume, you won’t find it. Which, for me, is okay sometimes. Most times I want lashes from here to Timbuktu. I’ve come to expect this from natural mascaras. What you don’t get when it comes to volume is a green mascara that is gentle on the eyes and without all of the synthetic ingredients and preservatives. Another issue I had with tarte’s mascaras is I felt as if they didn’t last as long. The Amazonian Clay mascara lasts significantly longer. Yaaaay! It may flake away by the end of the day, but if you don’t blame on running in the rain, working out and dumping your face in a bucket of water, we amazed at how well this does hold up. Like most natural mascaras, this kid won’t leave your lashes hard and brittle. Your lashes will be soft and wispy.

 

Bare Lashes


Lashes with 2 Coats of mascara


 

Do I recommend it?: Yep. It is definitely one of the better tarte mascaras. I’m impressed!

Any tarte lovers in the house? Have you tried this one yet?

 

Face sunblockin’. Protect thy skin!

The minute summer struck, I was on a mission to find great and all-natural sunblocks for my face. The all-natural part was very important to me considering my super sensitive skin is prone to break out when I use products heavy in synthetics and fragrances. Insert Nature Gate’s FaceBlock with SPF 25.

I am absolutely in LOVE with this sunblock. It is everything that this brown girl with sensitives skin could ever need and love when it comes to sunblocks.

Well, well…look at that. Not only does it exclude fragrances (yes!), it is also rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Both help to keep the skin moisturized while the UVA/UVB protection to help prevent sunburn. And honey, forget what you’ve heard. Brown girls burn too. The way I see it, any and everyone with um…skin can burn. This sunblock has been my shield against those rays. The consistency is a little different than your average sunscreen. In fact, when I first used it, it was a bit on the watery side…

But it thickened up when I rubbed it in.

One of the problems that many brown girls run across when it comes to sunscreens is the ghost-face that it tends to give us. Nothing sucks more than walking around with that white cast all over. It’s hard to find a sunscreen that doesn’t give that effect but I happy to say that this one is ghost face-free. Yay! When applied all over, it doesn’t look like I have on anything at all.

I look so sessy, don’t I? Ha!

Which is exactly how I like it. Like most sunblocks, you’ll have to apply every few hours (and more often when swimming) but I was impressed at how well it stood up against sweat, wind and ocean water. It’s a sturdy sunblock alright. It goes for less than $9 which can be considered a steal for an all-natural brand like Nature’s Gate.

You can grab it at Whole Foods and I’ve even spotted it at Amazon for close to $4. Score!

Have you been wearing sunblock on your face, darlings?

*Insert the “You better say yes” emoticon here*

Soap Hope: All-natural products with a purpose

It’s one thing to love a product but it’s something else to love the mission behind a company. Such is the case with Soap Hope. Not only do they offer premium, all natural cosmetic and beauty products at affordable prices, but every single dollar goes into programs that help lift women from poverty around the world. Amazing, uh? I got the opportunity to test drive some of the fabulous brands that Soap Hope has to offer.

If you’re a natural beauty products lovin’ girl like I am, you’ll be aware of many of the brands. I’ve played around with Hugo Naturals before, have heard of Pangea Organics and put Mahya Cosmetics on my radar. But it was the stunning soaps from Indigo Bar that stole my heart.

Just how gorgeous is this Citrus Mint goat milk soap?

And trust me, darlin’. They feel as lovely as they look.

Formulated with all-natural everything (including dyes and fragrance), I have taken a total liking to Zum Bar. I found it to be super moisturizing, which is usually the case with all of the goat milk soaps I’ve tried. The price is about right too at $3.99. While I’ve been using this for face and body, I think it’s just too darn purty to NOT use as a handsoap as well.

So while I’ll be ordering more of these beautiful soaps, I’m also going to check out Zum Clean, Indigo Wild’s natural laundry detergent. I can’t use traditional laundry detergent because of my sensitive skin.

For more information about Soap Hope and to get your shop on, visit their website. Oh, and did I tell you that in addition to already having lower prices, they often offer coupons. Woo hoo!!

Shea Moisture’s Organic African Black Soap wash is the bee’s elbows!

Yes, I am still in love with Shea Moisture. Chances are I will try and do a post on every single one of their products. This is a mission that I will gladly accept because I haven’t been this smitten with a skincare line like this in quite a while. Funny thing about their products…they have the longest names ever.

Shea Moisture’s Organic African Black Soap Shea Butter Wash.

Meanwhile, in 2016….

Am I right? The super long names crack me up. Doesn’t mean I love Shea Moisture any less though.

Pooka Pure & Simple

 

Nothing excites me more than getting the opportunity to review products from up and coming brands. I fell in love with the Pooka Pure & Simple at first sniff. This women-owned business has a passion for natural skincare and haircare products. I soooo wish I could translate a smell into words. But since I can’t, you’ll have to fall for the pics. Brace yourself…