Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Naturopathica giveaway is Isabel! Congrats Isabel!! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy your winnings very much :)

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Naturopathica Giveaway! {Closed}

I’m so excited to host this giveaway from one of my all time favorite lines – Naturopathica. You have the chance to win a full size Vitamin C Revitalizing Complex ($58), one of their latest products that I have tried and truly love.

The Vitamin C Revitalizing Complex is a lightweight moisturizer that can be worn on its own or layered under your favorite moisturizer for increased hydration.  This “antioxidant cocktail” contains Vitamins A, C and E to neutralize free radicals and prevent premature aging. The scent is light, fruity and fresh and the consistency is serum-like. It’s really hard not to love everything about this product.

HOW TO WIN:

  1. Leave a comment below and let me know if you have tried any Naturopathica products before
  2. For an extra entry, “Like” the Naturopathica Facebook page and leave a comment saying you did so
  3. For an extra entry tweet about this giveaway and/or like the All Natural Annie Facebook page (please leave a separate comment for each of these actions)

You have until 10:00pm ET Thursday, September 6th to enter. Visit on Friday, September 7th to see if you won!

All of my readers can also receive free shipping on any order now through December 31, 2012 — just use code vitc2012.

Sun + Perfume Don’t Mix

It’s best to avoid wearing perfume or cologne when you’re going to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time. Perfumes and colognes, especially those that contain oils from musk, sandalwood, citrus, bergamot, and vanilla, can actually be chemically changed by the sun. This chemical change can trigger an allergic reaction in the skin and increase the chance of hyper-pigmentation (age spots).  Yikes! But prevention is easy – the next time you’re headed to the beach don’t forget to use a healthy, natural sunscreen and skip the fragrance!

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Product of the Week

This week’s pick is LATHER’s Clear Head Balancing Balm. If you frequently suffer from headaches or any other upper body tension then this balm is for you. Put a dab on the problem area to relax nerves with soothing menthol and a relaxing, uplifting blend of lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and mandarin oils.

But you really don’t have to be in pain to put this balm to good use — it’s also ideal for healing any areas of dry or irritated skin. At only $9, I suggest always keeping this multi-use balm on hand.

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LATHER donates $1 from each sale to benefit the National Headache Foundation for headache awareness, education and outreach.

Product of the Week

This week’s pick is Plant Bio-Active Serum by The Pure – Natural Skincare. This serum contains some of my favorite natural and nourishing ingredients all compliments of the marvelous honeybee — propolis, royal jelly and honey.

What I love about this serum (and serums in general) is that it’s light weight and quickly absorbed by the skin. The structure of the molecules in a serum is generally smaller than that of a moisturizer allowing the serum to penetrate deeper into your skin.

The Plant Bio-Active Serum can be used daily for all skin types including sensitive. You only need a couple of drops to cover your face and neck so the 1 fl.oz. ($43) goes pretty far. You can use this serum under your usual moisturizer for extra toning and texture benefits. Or, I like to use it as an overnight treatment and in hotter weather, as a daytime moisturizer.

Body Oil Giveaway! (Closed)

I’m so excited about this week’s giveaway. Starting today, you can enter to win Kō Denmark’s Jasmine Neroli Rose Body Oil (a $42 value)

Description: A luxurious body oil leaving the skin silky-smooth and glowing. Enriched with precious jasmine, neroli and rose flower oils, this deeply nourishing body treatment helps smooth the skin, restores the skin’s elasticity and locks in moisture.

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This body oil is vegan-certified and totally free of all the body care bad guys like parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrance, PEG (Polyethylene glycol), TEA (Triethanolamine), DEA (Diethanolamine), glycol, phthalates, mineral oils and silicone.

To give you a better idea of how special this oil really is — it takes 8,000 handpicked blossoms to produce just 1 ml of jasmine, neroli or rose oil. Kō’s jasmine absolute is from India, the neroli essential oil is from Tunisia and the rose absolute is from Bulgaria.

HOW TO WIN:

1. Visit and leave a comment below saying what product you would most like to try

for extra entries (leave a separate comment for each):

2.  “Like” Kō  Denmark  on Facebook

3.  Follow Kō  Denmark on Twitter

4.  Subscribe to Kō  Denmark’s email newsletter

5.  “Like”  All Natural Annie on Facebook

Good luck. You have until 10:00am ET this Friday, March 4th to enter. Visit on Friday to see if you’ve won!

Mother’s Day Gift Inspiration

Here are some gift ideas that I love for those very important women in your life whether it’s your mom, your sister, your wife, or a mom-like person. Hope this guide helps lead you to the perfect gift :)

Mother’s Day is May 13th this year – just a little over 2 weeks away!

Pacifica’s Gold Collection Soy Candle Gift Set – Bestsellers $45.00 (a $54.00 value)

9 clean-burning 3-oz Soy Candles in Pacifica’s most popular blends including Mediterranean Fig, Tuscan Blood Orange, Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Mexican Cocoa, Lotus Garden, Malibu Lemon Blossom, Tahitian Gardenia, California Star Jasmine and French Lilac.

House of Steep’s Large Indulgence Gift Basket $75

The basket includes:

  • House of Steep Signature Tea Blend – 4oz
  • Tea Infuser
  • “Balanced” Aromatherapy Soy Candle
  • “Balanced” Take(me)Away tea bath bags (3)
  • “Balanced” Smoothing Foot Balm
  • “Balanced & Carefree” Bath Salts
  • Cleansing Calm Foot Spray  (I make this one for the line!)
  • 16″ galvanized tub to soak the feet at home

Gaiam’s Massage Stick $14.98

Targets pressure points, increases circulation and alleviates sore muscles. Includes a downloadable massage guide to ease away stress and restore the health of tired and sore muscles throughout the body.

Bonsai Forest from Uncommon Goods (a really great source for unique gifts) $50

This kit includes everything she needs to grow tiny trees that are actually ancestors of the giant California redwood! Kit includes: tree and moss seed, recycled steel seedling training pots, seed starting wafers, growing medium, bonsai scissors, rake with spade, river stone, and directions

Here are some additional gift ideas from Uncommon Goods: top gifts for gardeners here, cool gardening gifts here, unique office accessories here

Sibu Beauty Mom’s Must Haves Kit $55 (a $82.50 value)

Trio includes:

  • Sibu Beauty Balancing Facial Cleanser
  • Sibu Beauty Hydrating Serum
  • Sibu Beauty Clarifying Toner
  • plus a FREE box of Sibu Omega-7 Chocolate Truffles in each kit

Happy shopping! ~Annie

Naturally Fresh Deodorant

The two main reasons that I was drawn to trying Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal was performance and price. I kept hearing how great it was and I saw how it flew off the shelves (when I worked as a Body Care Buyer at Whole Foods). In addition, at about $3.99 this deodorant is a comparatively good deal in the natural deodorant section.

I realized how good this deodorant truly is when I went camping for a few days. With only a lake as a shower and a strict scent-free to be bear-free policy, this natural deodorant really showed its true quality. When I’m not in the woods, I do miss having a deodorant with a scent, but this one works well enough that I still continue to use it (as well as my other, more pricey favorite by Lavanila).

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal is 100% natural, contains no harmful parabens or aluminum*, and is made with pharmaceutical grade mineral salts. This is a smart natural choice for people with sensitive skin. This deodorant kills odor-causing bacteria while still allowing your pours to naturally detoxify.

*Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystals contains the naturally occurring compound Alum, not to be confused with harmful, processed aluminum (Aluminum Zirconium or Aluminum Chlorohydrate). Technically speaking, aluminum is a metal while Alum is a compound.  Many of these processed aluminum molecules can be absorbed into the skin and bloodstream. Alum molecules create a barrier against odor causing bacteria and contain a large molecule which does not penetrate the surface of the skin. {via}

Keep in mind: when switching from an anti-antiperspirant deodorant to a natural deodorant, your body might take some time to adjust to this healthier, natural choice…Give it time because it’s well worth the health benefits!

Product of the Week

This week’s pick is SILKtáge Rejuvenating Styling Serum

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  • Main ingredients include argan oil, camellia oil, monoi oil & coconut oil
  • Rich in vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids
  • Contains no harsh chemicals, silicones, or preservatives
  • Repairs, softens, and adds shine to hair
  • Promotes healthy hair growth
  • Nourishes the scalp
  • My favorite use for this oil is putting it on dry/split ends and fly-aways
  • Totally amazing for hair, but also great for skin too (it has at least 30 benefits all together!)

Let me know if you give this one a try. Have a very happy weekend readers!

Healthier Options – Mascara

When it comes to switching to beauty products that are better for our health, I think deodorant and makeup are often at the bottom of the list when it comes to “going natural”. Deodorant because the ideas of sweating and/or not smelling pleasant aren’t appealing (but I swear there are excellent natural options out there — see previous post: Best Natural Deodorant) and makeup because women are skeptical of the quality and performance of the natural versions.

Well I was skeptical myself, but I’m happy to say that I have found natural versions of every piece of makeup that I would recommend to my readers. Today’s focus for a healthy switch is mascara.  Here are some options that are better for you yet still as effective as you would hope:

Mineral Fusion Lengthening Mascara — This is a great pick for making lashes dark and thick. It really feels like it’s nourishing your lashes with each stroke. This one is free of gluten, parabens, artificial colors, fragrances and talc.  It’s also hypo-allergenic. Costs around $14.99.

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Organic wear® 100% Natural Lash Boosting Mascara –100% of the ingredients are of natural origin and 44% are from organic farming.  I love this one because it goes on really easily and doesn’t clump. It’s great at separating lashes and adding length. It usually retails for around $9.95 and you can even find it at CVS!

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Bring Out the Blonde

For those of you who are somewhat blonde to begin with, here’s a natural way to bring out the blonde even more:

  • Make a strong cup of chamomile tea and let it cool
  • After washing your hair and while your hair is still wet, pour the tea all over your hair
  • Then blow dry or let your hair dry naturally (I suggest blow drying because the heat helps bring out the highlights more)

I do this every so often and I definitely notice a subtle difference each time. Let me know if you give it a try!

 

Product of the Week

This is the start of a new series – Product of the Week – where I’ll highlight one of my latest favorite healthy products. Please let me know if you have any specific category requests!

Today’s pick is a face mask by Naturopathica. Naturopathica, founded by a clinical esthetician and herbalist, has quickly become one of my go-to lines for beauty products, especially face masks.

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The Aloe Replenishment Gel has two desert succulents as its main ingredients – aloe and prickly pear cactus.  I love that this mask goes on clear (just like aloe) and I found it gentle enough to leave on overnight.  It’s a perfect choice for anyone who experiences redness, dryness and/or breakouts. It’s also great for unproblematic skin types who just want a healthy boost.  To make this mask even more calming, try storing it in the fridge.  An interesting fact – 88% of the ingredients in this mask are derived from organic farming!

 

Start Your Morning Off Icy Cold

I know the title of this post doesn’t sound pleasant, but I strongly predict this habit will quickly grow on you.

The habit I’m referring to is very quick and very easy — I start every single morning by splashing my face with ice-cold water about three times. So simple yet it makes a noticeable difference in terms of my alertness as well as the quality of my skin. The cold water is excellent for reducing puffiness, closing pores and getting the blood circulating, which all equate to a more radiant complexion.

Will you give this a try or maybe you already share this morning ritual with me?

(If ice-cold water is too much for you to handle, then try using cool)

New Beauty Regimen

As you all know, I am constantly trying out new beauty products — some aren’t for everyday use (like face masks), others are too pricey so I don’t re-buy unless I think they are really worth it, and then some are just not awesome enough for a second chance.

Today, I wanted to share what I’m currently using on a daily basis. It’s my latest and possibly my favorite beauty regimen to date. Here are the very natural, multipurpose, and affordable products I would highly recommend:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Liquid Soap – My new daily face wash. It gets rid of dead skin like no other, but doesn’t over-dry or irritate my sensitive skin. It’s powerful stuff so they recommend diluting it, but to be honest – I don’t! I use just 2-3 pure drops, put it directly on my skin, and wash it off quickly. If you google a bit, a lot of people have found this to be extremely helpful for acne. Added bonus – this soap literally has at least 17 other uses. I think I have finally found a face wash that I will use for life. ($6.39 for 8 oz)

  • Baking Soda – Combine about teaspoon with a little water in your hand and you have yourself a incredibly cheap and effective yet gentel facial scrub.  I use this 1 – 2 times per week. ($1 for 16 oz)

  • Heritage’s Rose Petals Rosewater – A perfect facial toner for all skin types, but especially sensitive or mature. It’s so simple yet so luxurious – it smells like pure roses! Naturally loaded with vitamin C, it aids in collagen production. I put a little on a cotton ball and use it on my entire face and neck after I get out of the shower. ($5.49 for 4 oz)

  • derma e® Hyaluronic Acid Serum – I am LOVING this as my daytime moisturizer. My skin absorbs it so well and it has such a nice light scent of plumeria. The hyaluronic acid draws in moisture plumping skin and reducing the signs of aging. It’s oil-free making it a great choice for those who are blemish-prone or just don’t like a heavy moisturizer. ($29.50 or less for 2 fl oz)

  • Egyptian Magic – A friend told me how she was using it around her eyes (to prevent lines) so I decided to give it a try. This all purpose balm has some of the most therapeutic natural ingredients around. When I occasionally get eczema on my hand, it clears it up within an hour or two. If used only as an eye cream, a little goes a long way so then the price becomes incredibly reasonable for the size ($37.20 for 4 oz ).

  • Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick – With a roller ball applicator, this all natural blemish treatment is so quick and easy to apply. I love that it goes on clear, unlike many blemish treatments. Also, studies have shown tea tree oil to be as effective as benzyl peroxide for treating pimples! ($6.59 for .33 fl oz)

  • Aloe Vera Gelly by Lily of the Desert – I use this as my night cream becomes I am so sick of products (natural and not quite so natural) clogging my pores. This cooling gel leaves skin noticeably nourished and calmer by morning. It’s an excellent choice in general if you’re prone to redness/irritation.  ($4.59 for 4 oz)

Do you have a beauty regimen? I would love to hear what it is!

Natural Beauty Recipes

If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet (thanks again to my friend, Abby, who exposed me in the early days) then welcome to my favorite online past time – well next to blogging, of course.

Today I thought I would share one of my Pinterest boards that is highly relevant to this blog – NATURAL BEAUTY RECIPES <– Click there to see some of the recipes I’ve collected so far from a DIY Color Booster for Blondes to a Mocha-Frappuccino Facial Mask .

{Whole Living’s DIY Color Booster for Blondes}

On Pinterest already? Follow me here: http://pinterest.com/allnaturalannie/

New Zealand’s Living Nature

I recently had the chance to ask Lorraine Downes, spokeswoman for Living Nature, a few questions to help my readers get an inside look at this natural skincare line. Hope you enjoy. This will be the first of many more company interviews to come!

  1. Please tell us a little about your journey and the founding of Living by Nature. Living Nature approached me to be their first ever spokesperson. It was perfect timing as at that time, I was seriously looking at my life and how I was going to approach my 40’s and the aging process. After making the decision that I was going to age naturally, and trialling the product for six months, I joined forces with Living Nature. Living Nature was founded in 1987 by Suzanne Hall who started using NZ native plants to make skincare products for her own skin as she wanted to use only natural ingredients. Today it is privately NZ owned.
  2. How does living in New Zealand impact the formulation of the line? NZ is known for its nature and its native plants which have been used medicinally by Maori (people of NZ) for centuries. So, the range is based on the unique native botanicals like Harakeke Flax, Totarol, Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Hallo Clay and Kelp found only here in NZ.
  3. What sets Living Nature apart from other natural beauty companies? Firstly, all the products are 100% natural and not many companies can say that. Living Nature’s products carry the BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics Seal which is a world-leading independent auditor of natural skincare, and set some of the most rigorous standards worldwide for naturalness. The products are made here in NZ at the Living Nature’s own factory where all product development, formulation, filling and dispatching is done. Even the packaging has no nasties in it and is recyclable and 100% free from BPA and phthalates. The recyclable paper packaging uses vegetable dyes and inks and no chloride or dioxin.
  4. Could you choose one or two Living Nature products as your favorite(s)? I find this really hard to do as I love so many of the products equally! But I would say the Radiance Night Oil which my skin just loves because of the wonderful bouquet of naturally healing and restorative oils-calendula, jojoba, rose,rosehip oil, frankincense, the smell is blissful! Lovely to apply just before bed. The Extra Hydrating Gel is exceptional as it truly nourishes and balances the skin and restores the vitality to my skin which at my age is a must.
  5. What products would you recommend to someone trying Living Nature for the first time? Obviously, the products should be in harmony with a person’s skin and its needs ie dry/oily/normal/mature etc. But I think The Radiance Night Oil, Vitalising Cleanser which is a very gentle and effective cleanser, Eye Make Up Remover-again so gentle, no stinging or oiliness with this product and Firming Flax Cream- fantastic for softening fine lines.

 

Lorraine Downes, New Zealand’s only ever Miss Universe and former Dancing With The Stars champion, joined Living Nature in 2010 to encourage women around the world to turn to 100% natural skincare as the healthy, safe and effective alternative to synthetic beauty products. Lorraine’s love of New Zealand and the miracle properties of the ancient native botanicals is what propels her to help women discover what she has discovered — you can take the healing and rejuvenating properties of nature and apply them to yourself. As a professional image consultant, she has worked with women for 25 years.

  {Louise Henderson, Living Nature’s Global Marketing Manager

& Lorraine Downes, Living Nature’s Spokeswoman}

Gifts of Health & Beauty

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I’ve been caught up in some week-long birthday celebrating.

Here’s a glimpse of a few of my favorite gifts — my friends and family know me oh too well.

{Terra Essential’s Aroma Roll On in Pink Lotus}

{Coconut Shampoo by Desert Essence}

{Rich Shampoo with Hibiscus and Honey by LOVE & TOAST}

{birthday card made by my 8 year old nephew :)}

Happy weekend everyone!

Gift Ideas from Pacifica

I love to use Pacifica products because of their high quality natural ingredients and incredible fragrances. I also love to give Pacifica products for these same reasons plus their colorful and eye-catching packaging just make them perfect for gifting.

These are some of my latest favorites from the line:

Island Vanilla Take Me There Set ($18.00 ($26.00 value)) – contains a 2.5 oz Body Butter, .33oz Perfume Roll-on & their new Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint. You can currently find this set at Sephora.

Crème de Menthe Soy Candle 3 OZ ($6.00) – tiny and cute, but it a packs a strong scent of chocolatey peppermint goodness. Burns cleans for up to 30 hours.

Satsuma Pillar 3 X 3 ($16.00)- a spicy citrus scent that is sure to lift your spirits. Burns up to 50 hours.

 

Free shipping on orders over $50 right now!