Still need to do holiday gift shopping after all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? I’ve rounded up some inspiration for cool and unique personalized gifts for him and her to help if you’re still lost on what to get.
COOL GIFTS FOR HER
These holiday themed gift sets come in different varities with skincare or makeup bestsellers like the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, Bright Eyes Mask and Lip Gloss sets.
Happy almost Thanksgiving and Black Friday! I present to you my first and what is, in my opinion, the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals guide to organic and clean beauty. I decided to message dozens of organic and natural beauty brands to put together this guide that is as helpful as possible if you’re trying to get your holiday gift shopping done or stock up for the year. From big brands like Honest Beauty and Acure to indie eco-luxe brands, this is a very well-rounded Black Friday sales shopping guide.
This is the one time of the year when organic and natural beauty brands have their biggest deals and gifts with purchases, and many people use this opportunity to get their organic beauty shopping done affordably. You’ll find tons of skincare brands, some makeup and even lifestyle brands in this guide. Meanwhile I’ll be searching for the best Black Friday Cyber Monday TV, laptop and phone deals because I am in desperate need of new tech!
Spend $10+ = get 1 free mist. (Use PromoCode: GWP10)
Spend $20+ = get 1 free mask. (Use PromoCode: GWP20)
Spend $30+ = get 1 free moisturizer. (Use PromoCode: GWP30)
Spend $50+ = get 2 products of choice. (Use PromoCode: GWP50)
HOW TO USE: 1. Shop your favorite APTO products. 2. Once you know your subtotal, select a qualifying free product and ADD IT TO YOUR SHOPPING CART. 3. Enter the correct promo code at checkout and continue with the checkout process.
For full transparency, this brand uses synthetic colors in their makeup. I would recommend avoiding these: Orange 5 (CI 45370); Orange 5 Lake (CI 45370); Red 4 (CI 14700); Red 6 (CI 15850); Red 6 Lake (CI 15850); Red 7 Lake (CI 15850); Red 21 (CI 45380); Red 21 Lake (CI 45380); Red 27 (CI 45410); Red 27 Lake (CI 45410); Red 30 Lake (CI 73360); Red 33 Lake (CI 17200); Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090); Blue 2 (CI 73015); Green 3 (CI 42053); Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140); Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985)
Items are hand-dyed, treated, and quality controlled in LA; uses Tencera denim (derived from Tencel)
Uses organic cotton and reclaimed factory surplus lace; handbags made from conventional leather eco alternatives like Pinatex (pineapple leather), cork leather, and recycled polyester; made in LA; 10% of profits are given to environmental organizations
This is the broke girl’s trustworthy guide to the best crazy affordable natural, organic and clean beauty brands. Even at full size these are the really, really affordable products that are all under $30, mostly under $20 and often under $10 – at full size NOT sample or travel size.
As a former true broke girl coming out of college with $60k of debt (that story here), and who still sometimes finds herself broke on a higher level, I understand exactly what it´s like trying to find good products at even better prices.
So here is the broke girl’s guide to organic beauty on a budget…not the I-can-still-pay-$35-for-a-face-mask budget, but I need it practically free budget. If you broke broke, look out on Black Friday because many of these brands are having sales. If you like it and care to support me, be sure to share on Facebook or Pinterest.
Lastly, this guide does not contain fake organic or greenwashing brands like Avalon Organics, LUSH or Jason. These are brands I simply do not trust nor would I recommend to any broke girl trying to use organic beauty. All of the brands in this guide are tried and true, both by myself and/or by the Organic Beauty Lover community. Disclaimer: The Honorable Mentions section contains brands that I cannot personally vouch for, but are recommended by organic beauty lovers.
1. ACURE BEAUTY
Acure is at the top of this ultimate guide because they are seriously affordable and offer every product type you need from skincare to shampoo and sunscreen to body wash. This is a great line to start with when you’re just starting on your organic beauty journey or you are truly broke. Acure usually has one of the best Black Friday sales, but you can always check out Amazon for the most competitive prices.
35% off sitewide from Friday 11/29 to Tuesday 12/3 for Black Friday
2. MAD HIPPIE SKINCARE
Based out of Portland, Mad Hippie was started by husband-wife duo Sam and Dana who believe in all natural simplicity. They take responsibility for the planet seriously and use BPA-free, fully recyclable airless pumps, print solely with soy inks and run the entire facility off alternative energy. Insanely affordable and highly effective, Mad Hippie also has one of the best budget Vitamin C serums on the market.
A pioneer in the natural beauty industry, MYCHELLE was first to use anti-aging peptides, plant stem cells and clinically proven dermatological ingredients. Sold across Whole Foods, Sprouts and other natural retailers, they create clean and conscious skincare that’s bioactive, ethically sourced, and formulated with high-performance ingredients. MYCHELLE is most known for their sunscreen, but they also have a wide range of clean skincare products.
35% off purchases of $75 going on now for Black Friday
4. BADGER BALM
One of the crunchiest OG natural and organic beauty brands, BadgerBalm offers dozens of suncreen products, simple yet effective skincare products as well as aromatherapy products. They’re a small, family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly company in the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire, blending organic plant extracts, exotic oils, beeswax, and minerals to make the safest, most effective products possible. This was one of the first brands I used when starting out my organic beauty journey out of college with $60k of debt looming over my head.
With a brand new modern look, Cocokind wins over the hearts of everyone with straightforward, natural and organic ingredients. Priscilla Tsai, the founder, is fiercely dedicated to making organic, conscious products accessible and affordable for everyone. Their Matcha Stick is a cult favorite along with their skincare products, and they recently came out with a few exciting new launches.
At Indigo Wild they create a huge variety of all natural and organic body, skin, baby, pet, home, aromatherapy and soap products using goat’s milk, soy wax, jojoba oil, shea butter, argan oil, dragon’s blood, meadowfoam seed oil, rosehip oil and botanical extracts. They not only rescue dogs but also buildings- Zum factory is made up of two old Kansas City buildings they made on their own.
USDA Organic lip balms and lip scrubs galore, ECOLIPS is also now a skincare brand with affordable facial products added to their impressive line. I met them at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim and they are the nicest bunch. Their new Organic Tinted Lip + Cheek Tints are nourishing, creamy and come in three beautiful shades.
Apto Skincare is literally on a mission to democratize clean beauty and believes that everyone should have access to clean beauty at an affordable price. They offer a luxurious line of cost-conscious products all priced between $5 and $25 without sacrificing clean beauty values. They also believe clean beauty is an art and partner with artists, poets and musicians from around the world who help them make clean beauty creative and fun. I was only able to try one of their products from attending Indie Beauty Expo, but their new fall 2019 product launches look just as great.
Based in Colorado but with roots in the Pacific Northwest, Goddess Garden Organics makes reef-safe mineral sunscreens, natural facial care, pure essential oils, and aromatherapy perfumes. From humble beginnings the husband-wife founders worked from their house and are now sold in retailers across the US. They recently launched a wide array of adorable baby products.
EO makes a wide range of beauty, body and aromatherapy products using safe, natural, organic, and sustainably-farmed ingredients. Many products are EWG verified and they’re fully transparent about every ingredient in every bottle.
Green People is the UK’s most loved natural and organic beauty brand. Thankfully, they are available worldwide with free global shipping via online store Naturismo. The selection is diverse with everything from skincare to bodycare, haircare to suncare, mom and baby to men’s, and dental to makeup.
Based in Southern California, Honeybelle makes organic skincare products focusing on quality, simplicity and affordability. Honeybelle’s large organic rosewater face toner is just $22, Makeup Remover Cleansing Oil $16 and their DIY powder masks are $26. They also offer a wide range of gua sha and jade roller tools (currently on sale for $15) as well as soaps and bath bombs.
30% off sitewide plus sale items going on now for Black Friday
13. BALM BALM (40% Off Black Friday)
Balm Balm makes 100% Organic skincare, face balms, floral waters, serums, oils, mother, baby, natural perfume and aromatherapy blends in Yorkshire and they´re extremely broke girl friendly. They pride themselves on being gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. Take 40% off with code FRIDAY40 until Dec 3, 2019. Free shipping worldwide offered for orders over $25.
Based in Philadelphia, Best Friend Beauty crafts thoughtfully blended, luxurious amounts of the finest natural ingredients that produce maximum skin results. Their new facial oil products are beautifully formulated with pure and powerful ingredients likeBlue Tansy, Blue Yarrow, Prickly Pear Seed, Desert Date, Elderflower and Tamanu – and are under $25! The Best Friend Beauty 6oz jar of SPF 50 sunscreen that’s completely pure and natural in either Lavender or Vanilla scent is wildly popular – it does not get any better aka more affordable than this. Code SMALLBIZ saves 15%.
Apsara has since had a packaging rebrand since I tried their products, but they are still as thoughtfully formulated as ever. Ayurveda based, Apsara’s mission has been to popularize beauty products that are rich in natural active ingredients, and to make them available to consumers at a reasonable price. They have remained true to this mission over the years, and have greatly expanded their line to include not only skincare, but also haircare, baby, body and men product lines. For instance, while most luxury masks come in 1.7 fl oz, Apsara offers a lot more quantity (3.3 fl oz) for a fraction of the cost.
Founder Jamie created a truly honest, natural, and 100% pure skincare line after surviving a deadly parasite and becoming a gut health and whole food activist. She saw that natural beauty lines would have 90% clean ingredients while still containing 10% synthetic nasties and artificlal preservatives. So she created a line that would revitalize skin without compromising health. Valentia also supports the Change for Women collective, which works to bring equality and opportunities to women and girls everywhere. This line is so accessible with products under or near $20 and the incredibly rare & powerful prickly pear seed oil around $30, which is usually included in ultra eco-luxe products that are priced extremely high.
With a strong emphasis on transparency and simplicity, Amaki curates the best organic ingredients for their small yet powerful line. Their Anti-Aging Face Oil cuts no corners with Camellia Seed Oil and Rice Bran Oil as the first ingredients.
SIBU is not only an affordable beauty and supplement brand sourcing sea buckthorn berry from the Himalayas, but code OBL (not affiliated) saves you an extra 30% – my biggest discount code ever, really. I reviewed their skincare line here.
I would be remiss not to include Jessica Alba’s HONEST Beauty, because although their formulations are not perfect, they do have some great affordable skincare and makeup products. HONEST is widely accessible via Target and comes in chic minimalistic packaging.
Luminance prides itself on pristine, organic and high quality ingredients in perfectly pH balanced formulas. Their Delicate Cleanser, ideal for oily, dry or unpredictable skin, is silky and creamy and costs $20 for a 4oz glass bottle. Pumpkin Exfoliator Mask is only $20 and contains pure and organic ingredients like Tamanu, Pumpkin Enzyme, Borage, Sea Buckthorn and more.
This EWG-verified Korean beauty brand uses natural formulas and organic herb extracts to create effective, unique skincare. They have a wide range of beauty products that include hair care, suncare and bodycare. If you’re looking for an organic K-beauty essence, their Rose Absoute Serum is a cult favorite.
Founded in 2010 by Adam and Allison, The Seaweed Bath Co harnesses the power of sustainably hand-harvested certified organic seaweed off the coast of Maine to create proven, effective formulas that naturally detoxify, replenish, and protect skin and hair. They offer a wide range of face, body and haircare products and are widely available on-line and in-store (Target and Whole Foods stores, Amazon, iHerb, Thrive Market and more). You can also check out my review here.
Beauty By Earth creates natural and sustainably minded products that work – without any of the junk. They are most known for their natural looking, effective self tanner, but they also have a dozen other skincare products that you can find at online beauty store Safe & Chic and Amazon.
Shake the Snow Globe for 30, 40 or 50% off on 11/29
25. EARTH MAMA ORGANICS (30% off CYBERMONDAY)
Earth Mama offers a wide range of organic baby, mama, postpartum, pregnant and breastfeeding products to help women at all stages of their lives. I have not found a better tinted organic sunscreen stick than their LadyFace. Take 30% off for CyberMonday (no Black Friday deals) with code CyberMonday + Free Shipping til Dec 2, 2019.
OZNaturals is a really, really affordable natural beauty brand with an extensive array of effective products. Some may include chemical preservatives, but they are great value for the price and effective. I enjoy their Vitamin C serums, cleansers and masks.
Weleda is a Swiss multinational making both beauty products and naturopathic medicines. You can’t go into any drugstore, department store or pharmacy in Europe without seeing Weleda, most of the time with an entire wall section to themselves. They offer a wide range of skin, body, baby and wellness products at affordable prices. The packaging pales in comparison to other brands, but I’m a big fan of their Skin Food.
DermaE is an eco-ethical vegan skincare brand widely available across the health food stores and ULTA. Using natural and organic ingredients, they offer an enormous selection of skin, hair and body products, and even while affordably priced, have sales going on often. I have gotten to know this brand over the years through meeting their Marketing Director and other employees at industry events and they truly believe in transparency. Please note they do use phenoxyethanol.
Green Tidings is an all-natural, vegan skin and bodycare line started by Jenny, who after losing her sister to cancer when she was 19, studied natural health and nutrition as a means of preventative health. Their products are nontoxic, vegan, cruelty-free and organic- made in a solar-powered facility and packaged by a nonprofit who provides meaninglful employment to people with disabilities. You can read my review here.
They recently came out with a well thought out line of skincare products and I greatly appreciate that water is not used as the first ingredient. Instead, the products are packed with certified organic ingredients like Organic Aloe Vera Leaf, Oat Bran, Myrtle Leaf, Palmarosa Leaf and more.
One of the first bodycare brands I ever tried, but have never forgotten, Bare Bones Body made it easy for a broke girl out of college like to me get started on her organic beauty journey. This small and passionate women-run team handcrafting all natural beauty products without toxins.
Banyan was founded in 1996 in Albuquerque, New Mexico with the mission of providing the highest quality Ayurvedic herbs and products to Ayurvedic practitioners. They offer an affordable range of Ayurvedic oils, herbs, oral care, extracts and syrups. I love using their Ayurveda oils as hair masks to try to achieve the luster and healthy shine that Indian women are blessed with.
NOW Foods has been making natural products to help people lead healthier lives since 1988 and are famous for their vitamins, supplements and essential oils. While not all products are organic, they recently launched an impressively large line of clean beauty skincare products that I was able to try this year. If you’re looking to DIY or need certified organic oils, this is a great line to look into. Please note some products contain phenoxyethanol.
I only consider 100% Pure affordable during their Black Friday sale when products can be up to 80% off. Currently they´re having their $10 deals where if you add $45 regular priced products to your cart you unlock a bunch of $10 items.
A high-vibrational crystal infused line, Chasin Unicorns creates organic, vegan, non-toxic skin, bath, body and home products. Each product contains crystal powder, comes with a full sized crystal and in luxurious recycled/reusable packaging – impressive! Currently they’re having 50% off across the site, making this line even more crazy affordable.
The skincare brands below are affordable lines loved and recommended by the organic beauty community.
Started in 2007 in Melbourne, Australia, Sukin offers effective, sustainable and affordable natural skincare now sold across the globe. They boast of line of over 60 products across face, body and hair that contain no nasties and all products seem to be under $20 or $10.
Sea El is a crazy affordable kelp-infused skin, hair and body care line that’s made with a natural preservation system. They denote the exact percentage of organic ingredients in their products and use fermented Bull Kelp for easier penetration through the skin.
Inesscents is an impressive organic company using only certified organic, wild harvested and fair trade raw materials. They have been Ital Certified since their birth in 2000, a B Corportation since 2008, Certified Organic since 2009 and Certified Fair Trade since 2014. Every material and every small farmer matters to them, from their organic farm that grows calendula and almonds to the West African village woen who produce their shea butter.
A longstanding natural skincare company, Andalou Naturals offers a line of 98% nature-derived, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegetarian and gluten-free products. They have a cult following of fans who love their products but please note that they do use some questionable ingredients like Phenethyl Alcohol, which is why I consider this an Honorable Mention brand.
C’est Moi offers EWG-Verified products that focus on clean ingredients and thoughtfully formulated skincare and makeup. Most products are around $10 and are widely available via Target and Amazon. I found that some contained ingredients I am not a fan of, so please look carefully at the ingredients of the product you’re interested in to make sure it’s to your standard.
BRANDLESS offers broke girl-friendly, natural beauty products free of synthetic fragrance and 400 other toxins. They have a huge selection of health, wellness, baby, beauty, food, cookware, CBD and pet products. The entire food assortment is non-GMO and over half is certified organic. Get $10 off with this link (this also gives me $10 off).
50% off home, pet and travel products for Black Friday
Started by MIT grads, MAELOVE is a radically affordable skincare line priced entirely under $30. Their cult favorite Vitamin C serum is considered a direct dupe of the Skinceuticals Vitamin C E Ferulic Serum. Please note this line does use phenoxyethanol & Disodium EDTA in some products.
Pink Beauty is a made to order skincare line run singlehandedly by a mompreneur. She uses only certified organic ingredients and makes all products fresh to order (except for creams, butters and lotions which are stocked in small batches). What’s impressive is she listens to what her customers ask for and creates products accordingly.
The All Natural Face offers vegan, cruelty-free and clean cosmetics with a focus on mineral makeup and pure skincare. Their makeup does not contain any bismuth, talc, carmine, silk powder, or D & C Lake colors and they try to use USDA certified Organic ingredients. Their packaging is very granola but the prices are insanely low.
Please note these makeup brands may include organic ingredients, but they are not certified organic brands. They are commited to making all natural and nontoxic makeup products at reasonable prices.
37. W3LL PEOPLE
W3ll People is probably the best truly affordable natural, clean makeup lines and the most accessible. They are sold across Target and most products are under or around $20. They pride themselves in premium natural ingredients tested for superior performance, innovative botanical complexes and hydrating formulas. You can check out my full review of W3ll People here. My favorite products are their:
A newcomer to the clean beauty scene, PYT Beauty adopts a lean, non-toxic, & natural approach to beauty that starts from the inside out. They believe in real ingredients that provide real results, and are already available at ULTA and Credo Beauty. I was able to meet them at Indie Beauty Expo 2019 and see the whole line in person as well as take home a few goodies to try.
Clove and Hallow is a clean makeup brand that combines both natural and synthetic ingredients, like Kosas and ILIA do, but at low prices. They offer professional makeup that performs like conventional classics. I was not a fan of their new Flex Lash mascara or Lip Glosses but I do love:
GABRIEL offers organic skincare and vegan & gluten-free cosmetics at affordable prices and prides itself on transparency and integrity. They have a brand new more luxe look with the same low prices. I really liked their lipsticks, which comes in 27 different shades, and multi pots.
Root creates natural, organic, mineral makeup & skincare products without any fillers or harsh irritants. They’re highly affordable and have an endless number of shades available to choose from. They might not have the most luxurious packaging, but they more than makeup for it in pigment and quality.
Saint makes gluten, cruelty, and toxin free luxury makeup designed for light and dark skin tones and for long wear. They have a new high-end look but their prices remain affordable, especially with code OBL saving 20% off sitewide. They also have an OUTLET section while their supplies in the old packaging last.
A new brand I discovered at Expo West, Noyah Cosmetics make food-grade and natural lipsticks and lip glosses in a variety of fun, wearable shades. They use ingredients like Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and antioxidant rich Vitamin E and package them in beautiful, earth-friendly bamboo.
SPF 50, under $12, delicious pineapple scent that’s pleasing to women, babies and men alike, and pure ingredients makes this sunscreen a must have for any broke girl who needs a good organic sunscreen.
All Good started with Caroline, a massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast who, after working in emergency care on an ambulance, had the vision to create a product that would harness nature’s power to heal. She first developed what was to become All Good Goop healing balm in 1997 on a northern California organic family farm where she lived and worked. They’re now headquartered in Morro Bay, California where they work by their organic farm which provides food for the team and Calendula for All Good products.
All Good offers deodorants, sunscreens, healing salves and lotions but they are most known for their deodorants and sunscreens. I got to meet this team at Natural Products Expo and they are so kind and friendly.
Available at Target, Ulta & many drugstores, Bare Republic offers cruelty-free sunscreens combining antioxidant-rich oils, plant extracts, and non-nano mineral actives Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Almost all sunscreen sticks are priced under $10, lotions under $15 and the whole line under $20.
Raw Elements certified natural sunscreens are safe and effective using only certified natural, reef-safe ingredients. Though these are priced a little higher than the other sunscreens mentioned here, code OBL can save you a few dollars at checkout.
For my Europe gals, below are broke girl friendly European brands from various countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, Lithuania, France and more. Some of these brands I have tried and recommend while others are highly recommended by OBL members in Europe, including fellow Germany-based green beauty blogger Rachael of The Green Edit
51. TRUE SKINCARE
True Skincare is one of those virtuous organic beauty brands whose goal is to make certified organic, efficacious products accessible to all. With the founder’s background in beauty marketing, she’s seen firsthand what it costs to actually make products versus what they are sold for, and she made a conscious decision to reduce margins to make organic skincare accessible to everyone. Highly elegant, beautiful packaging, certified organic ingredients and super affordable prices – True Skincare ticks all the boxes.
Created by two passionate friends & broke girl friendly, Uoga Uoga is all about natural, true, handmade and always fresh beauty. They only choose ingredients of the highest quality: natural unrefined oils, clays, flower waters, Lithuanian honey and herbs, organic essential oils. And their make-up line is created using natural minerals and it is further enriched with pure Baltic amber. Uoga Uoga is recommended by fellow green beauty blogger Rachael based in Germany of @the.green.edit!
Fushi is a brand I tried and loved whiel living in Europe. They offer pure, ethical health and beauty products formulated with ingredients sourced from the most ethical producers and freshly blended in their London workshop. They’re available worldwide with free shipping via Naturisimo.
Despite its Latvian origins, Madara is sold in 80 countries worldwide and have greatly expanded their organic skincare line to include luxury makeup. They believe in using pure, raw and precious ingredients that pay homage to their Nordic roots.
Founded in 2009 by Lisa, a qualified clinical aromatherapist, after experiencing years of skin problems and eczema. LJNatural uses the highest quality ingredients (certified organic, wherever possible) and freshest essential oils to create their products. Ingredients are ethically sourced and wherever possible we support other small UK companies.
French at heart but global in reach, Couleur Caramel is an eco organic makeup brand with a slew of certifications. Most products are certified organic by ECOCERT or QUALITE FRANCE and all come in eco-designed packaging. For physical locations visit here.
Balm Balm makes 100% Organic skincare, face balms, floral waters, serums, oils, mother, baby, natural perfume and aromatherapy blends in Yorkshire and they´re extremely broke girl friendly. They pride themselves on being gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. Take 40% off with code FRIDAY40 until Dec 3, 2019. Free shipping worldwide offered for orders over $25.
You & Oil has an EcoCert certification under its belt and will soon reach 100 holistic products for beauty and health. Their extensive line of skincare, beauty shots, kids aromatherapy, oral care, CBD and more contain ecological oils, essential oils, plant extracts, and scientifically provven bioactives. They´re also passionate activits for transparency in the beauty industry and are among the founders of the International Wellness Cluster, which aims to ensure a higher level of transparency in the market of beauty products, where around 75% of remedies marked as natural ones actually include synthetic and chemical ingredients in their composition.
A line of organic skincare, suncare and skincare products, Laboratoires Biarritz is certified organic under the Ecocert and Cosmos standards and have the CosmeBio label. Their products are up to 96% organic, going above and beyond the industry standard of the organic label, and they are entirely made in France, using French suppliers and production predominately based in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques. With ocean lover founders, they use patented active ingredients that come from Gelidium sesquipedale, a red seeweed that is specific to the Basque coastline.
Based on the Welsh borders, award-winning Silvan Skincare hand blends the highest quality organic and sustainable ingredients in small batches to ensure fresh ingredients and maximum goodness. Their ethos is to create products that are truly natural, which don’t irritate or harm your skin or the environment. Best of all, they’re super affordable.
Cut Le Crap creates 100% natural, ethical, toxin-free and sustainable beauty products in London by husband wife duo Maya and Ben. They are also passionate about guiding people towards sustainable and ethical living. Their sustainable packaging is unisex and caters to both men and women.
This summer Earth Mama Organics launched their Lady Face Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 40 in 2 shades and I genuinely loved this product from first use until its last. It’s of course a completely clean & non-toxic formula, safe for babies and adults, but what I really appreciated among all its other assets, was that it was non-greasy/rich/overly emollient and the shade matched my skin perfectly.
About the Lady Face Sunscreen Stick:
Non-nano zinc formula with NO concerning chemical sunscreens and NO artificial fragrances
Oftentimes, organic face sunscreens will be too rich or look greasy when applied, but the Lady Face has a drier formula and leaves a semi-matte if not matte finish. The shade is a very natural looking light beige not the dark cocoa shades that many organic tinted sunscreens have.
What I love about the stick:
Provides fantastic coverage for me so no foundation is necessary
Stick applicator allows for easy hands free application AND re-application (spf must be re-applied every few hours and every hour if directly in the sun)
Not much blending required because it applies rather matte and looks like my skin shade
Goes on smooth without tugging (aka the formula isn’t too dry either)
Broke girl friendly at $14.99
I took both sticks to Aruba and they protected my skin from the scorching Caribbean sun well – no extra sunspots nor did I get any tanner after nearly 2 weeks of floating in the ocean. The Medium/Dark stick is much too dark for all over face use for me, but it looks great when used to contour my cheekbones and jawline. It’s like wearing pure spf as makeup.
Menstrual cups are a lifechanger, no joke. Also called a period cup, these bell shaped cups with a stem, usually made of medical-grade silicone, are designed to be inserted into the vaginal canal to collect blood. They eliminate the need for pads and tampons, are eco-friendly and save TONS of money. You no longer need to buy period products each month, deal with messy and gross tampons and pads, or have to change them every few hours.
I have tried period underwear, organic tampons and organic pads (many of which I love), but nothing has gotten me hooked quite like period cups have. It can be difficult when first trying them out, but once you get the hang of it, they’re a piece of cake. Many brands usually offer them in different sizes, small or large, and firm versus soft. Here’s why you should be using a menstrual cup:
+ Safe, effective & affordable + Economical: Saves you up to a hundred dollars each year + Sustainable: Better for the planet because they are reusable while tampons and pads must be thrown out after each use + Lasts up to 10 years + No more risk of toxic shock syndrome from tampons + Comfortable: Once you insert it, you can’t even feel it’s there + Hassle-free: They can be left in for up to 12 hours, meaning you can leave it in and forget it about all day, changing it just before going to bed and leaving it in throughout the night.
HOW TO SANITIZE YOUR CUP BEFORE USE
Menstrual cups don’t come in a sterile state, so you need to make sure to sanitize it correctly before inserting it. Boil it in hot water for 4-5 minutes, not longer, and hold it in place with tongs or other utensil so that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot.
HOW TO INSERT YOUR CUP
There are various ways to insert it and with practice you’ll discover which you find easiest.
1.FOLD THE CUP
C-fold or U-fold: This is my preferred method. You press the sides of the cup together with your thumb and index finger. Then fold the cup in half, so it looks like the letters C or U from above.
Punch-down fold: Put a finger on the top rim of the cup and push it into the center of the cup (near the base) to form a triangle.
7-fold: Press the sides of the cup together so that from the top it looks like a long oval. Fold one side down diagonally, so it looks like the number 7.
While some people can easily insert just by lifting one leg up on the sink or sitting, I have found that I can only attempt to insert once I’m in the lowest squat position possible. Imagine how a frog sits on a lilypad and that’s how you should be squatting. Relax your vaginal muscles so that they loosen and widen.
TIPS ON INSERTING
“Lubing” the cup can help you slide it in more easily. Try wetting it before folding and inserting.
Lie on the bed and lift your legs up high while inserting (tip provided by OBL member @hananasrkt
You can use one hand to open up the labial folds. Then push the cup and stem all the way into the vagina and then twist it around a full circle to make sure the folds all open up. I have never been able to successfully rotate my cup an entire 360 degrees, but I try to move and wiggle it around to make sure it isn’t still folded. Generally it opens up easily on its own. If it hasn’t opened up you’ll experience leakage, which is what we want to avoid.
HOW TO REMOVE YOUR CUP
After leaving it in for 12 hours, it’s time to dump out the collected blood and re-insert it for another 12 hours. I find the best way to do this is by sitting on the toilet so you can easily dump out the blood without having to look at it (the grossest part). Once you’re sitting, instead of pulling down from the stem, you should use your forefinger and thumb to grip the base of the cup. Then push your fingers together to release some pressure. This makes it a lot easier to remove. Once some suction is released, you can then pull it out and quickly tilt over to dump into the toilet and flush. If you find that by pulling the stem you can easily slide it out, then use the method that best works for you.
+ Tip to Prevent Staining: While black cups do not stain, if you have a lighter colored cup it can get stained from your period. While it’s perfectly safe to use even if stained, it just doesn’t look appealing. After you remove your cup first rinse it with COLD water not hot water to remove the blood. Once it’s clean, I recommend using hot water and soap to thoroughly sanitize the cup before inserting it in again.
+ Boil in hot water for extra sanitation between each use + Pooping with your cup in can sometimes cause it to slide out. Try removing before doing the deed. + Be sure to wash your hands well before inserting or removing the cup to prevent bacteria from getting around your vagina + You can absolutely trim the stem of your cup if you find it uncomfortably long
Saalt PERIOD CUP
This blog post is not sponsored by Saalt, but I recently worked with them on the first National Period Day and wanted to highlight this amazing company. They are everything you want in a period cup company and more.
Saalt cups are toxin-free and made with medical-grade silicone, come in Himalayan Pink or Ocean Blue, and in Small or Regular size. A Small holds two to three tampon capacity and a Regular holds three to four tampon capacity.
I love the passionate activism and giving back that Saalt is commited to. They invest in women by funding educational scholarships and life skills training, donate reusable period care products, and they work tirelessly to bring awareness to and end the stigma around periods. They have started 12 cup pilot programs in 10 different countries, donated 2,553 Saalt cups, and funded 1800 days of school for girls in rural Nepal. They are making a direct impact in countries with the most need like Kenya, Sudan and India. They also partner with Period: The Menstrual Movement, a global youth-run nonprofit started by activist Nadya Okamoto you should absolutely be following.