Ethical & Sustainable Beauty | Wellness | Pet Holiday Gift Guide

So this Holiday Gift Guide is a little late but better late than never right?! This year I wanted to feature products + shops that are of course natural but also sustainable, cruelty free and in particular no palm-oil use, or little to no use of it. 

The overproduction and unregulated use of palm oil has a led to deforestation + loss of habitat in  Indonesia, however as consumers we can support and shop from amazing brands that do not contribute or use palm and focus on environmentally friendly products! For some of these companies I wrote about why they go above and beyond to create lasting effective products and give back to communities.

But the holidays are meant to be fun, and I like to pick out beautiful Winter gift choices that are thoughtfully crafted and will make any recipient (or yourself…) happy!! All products featured here I have bought & used (with the exception of the True Balm which was sent by my partners at the Detox Market) therefore they have tested and used. Some of these would make great stocking stuffers or little handmade theme gift boxes (which is something I did this season!)

non-toxic, palm-free wellness christmas gifts//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Pacifica is a wonderful company who is also committing to using no palm-oil in their product. Along with creating vegan & cruelty free beauty & lifestyle products they care about the environment using recyclable materials and incorporating zero-waste standards.

Pacifica Natural Soy Candle in Mexican Hot Chocolate | I remember going into a Whole Foods looking for candles and came across this one, it smells so decadent – exactly like a hot-cocoa with warming spices. I can’t get enough, this is probably my favorite cold-weather candle its perfect for any candle-lover or foodies (because it smells so good!) / Pacifica Island Vanilla Natural Soap | Y’all I am a sucker for vanilla & this soap should have been named Tahitian Vanilla because thats what it smells like, its a beautiful amber color and also has jasmine, it is vegan & cruelty free *A Portion of proceeds from all Island Vanilla sales goes to the Ocean Futures Society, a nonprofit marine conservation organization.

Andalou Naturals is an amazing company who choose ingredients that are Non-GMO, Cruelty-Free, Gluten-Free, Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Vegetarian & Vegan. If they ever use a palm oil (which I haven’t found in any of the products I own or on their site) it must be sustainably sourced. They use fruit-stem cells & work with many charities (read more here) including Vital Voices and SHE CAN.
If you know anyone who loves beauty & would like to introduce them to more natural based products (the skin is the largest organ, treat it well!) These cleansers are is a great start off and would also make a sweet stocking stuffer.

Andalou Naturals Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser For Normal & Combination Skin. | This is a vegetarian (contains manuka honey) cleanser for those who have surface pigmentation, uneven tone, and dark spots caused by sun damage. Contains lemon, sea buckthorn & white tea. /
Andalou Naturals1000 Roses Cleansing Foam for Delicate & Dry Skin. | This is a magical product that utilizes fruit stem cells along with purely plant based ingredients to cleanse + soothe the skin. Contains hyaluronic acid & aloe vera.

non-toxic, palm-free beauty christmas gifts//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Copper & Kraft Soy Candle in Pumpkin Chai & Sea Salt Caramel | These candles are made using natural soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, phthalate free fragrance oils and no dyes. Y’all, no lie I spent most of autumn buying a lot of candles & wax tarts from this shop. These do not have any paraffin wax and if you know someone who likes the Bath & Body Work candles these are a natural alternative that smell amazing and come in a variety of scents. They now come in a variety of sizes!
Eco Tools Kabuki Retractable Brush | This is an amazing cruelty free brush that is so soft, free of parabens & phthalates. It comes with a pouch (I lost mine though!) and its extremely effective + good for travel!

HoneyBee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder in Luminous* | I love this powder, and its the first powder I have used (because the drugstore stuff I used as a preteen doesn’t count) I use it with the eco tools and its not “powdery” which was my initial fear. It covers my light freckles. HoneyBee gardens is cruelty free, gluten free & fragrance free & vegan.

*This product contains a palm oil derivative & I have emailed HoneyBee Gardens on future palm use and I will update this when I know.

Purple Prairie BotanicaSunStick SPF 30 | A friend of mine, Sophie, had posted an article on how many sunscreens contains chemicals such as oxybenzone & parabens contribute to coral reef damage(read more here, here & here) So I began searching for sunblocks that do not contribute to this. This Purple Prairie SunStick SPF sunblock is vegetarian (contains beeswax) natural & moisturizing thanks to shea & cocoa butter,  it must be applied ever 2 hours but it doesnt leave any white residue & its safe for kids. The company maintains rigid standards for sunscreen allowed in the protected coral reef lagoons of Mexico.

True Organic of Sweden All You Need Is Me Lotion | I received this lotion a few months ago through the Detox Market and its been a life saver because L.A. has very, very dry weather and I have felt the circumstances of it through my skin. this vegetarian balm protects the skin against weather & wind, irritation, relieves minor sunburn, whitens and reduces age spots can be used anywhere topically.

bobby & bambi grain-free organic dog holiday treats//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Oh Mimi, you got your Holiday gift a little earlier. for the puppies, I like the Bobby & Bambi  Holiday Shop. The cookies featuring the Gingerbread Man are on Amazon & I got the Holiday Biscuits which I also got are still up for grabs and feature the new apple + kale w/ mint biscuits. My dogs LOVE these treats. Especially Mimi, and their other pet goodies are wonderfully made with organic, human grade, grain free they are & vegetarian!

Though not featured…and not for pets!, another animal friendly company is Grounds & Hounds who make amazing coffee and donate proceeds to no-kill animal shelters & rescues.

Well there you have it! Do you use any of these products? I also have some gift items in my shop and a coupon for 10% with the code READER. I hope everyone has a great winter season no matter how you celebrate. Stay warm!

beauty + home gift guide

gift guide

here is the last gift guide, I have being using these products + gifted to others (except the cookie-mix) to be sure they are quality, thoughtful gifts. all are vegan, non-toxic, some organic and most eco-conscious. to me quality is in the effort put into creating products that benefit us & the environment. these are also ideal for stocking stuffers or simply, winter holidays gifts to keep you warm/moisturized/happy.

eden’s garden good night essential oil / this is the year I discovered the glory of essential oils. in fall I began researching on essential oils for my burner and found these synergy blend of Chamomile, Lavender, Peru Balsam, Sandalwood, & Ylang Ylang. It smells divine, you can use essential oils topically if you dilute them with carrier oils, or just opening them and sniffing them. I like this band because its 100% pure (no additives) and really any oil you get be it for culinary or beauty should be in dark bottles, its a pure method of perceiving the oils and keeping them fresh! pair this with Badger sleep balm

kuumba-made vanilla musk body oil normally I dont purchase things labeled fragance but kuumba-made uses oils and resins from flowers, plants, roots and trees. but really I purchased this because it smells so yummy, I love vanilla and I like to rub this on my wrists after a shower as I head to bed.

laurel skin body oil I got this for my mother and she fell in love with this oil, which is a great feat because my mother is particular about (everything) nonetheless I’m not spruced because Laurel uses whole, organic, ingredients in her creations. my mother was a sun-lover when she was a child so she loves this oil because it helps her deal with damaged skin – it has rosehip seed, avocado, and tamanu oils that help protect and keep skin healthy. its also packaged in a dark bottle, which shows they know their chemistry! keeps the oils fresh.

objects with purpose candle tin sampler / comes with three tins of scents at random & matches, I was kind of surprised how much I loved the scents, personally I got gifted, archetype rising & francesca’s chai. they are made with organic coconut butter and when you light the candle, you can use the oil/butter as a body massage oil, moisturizer, etc. Really thoughtful gifts with multi-uses.

free people serenity loose-leaf tea / Winter means indulging in warm beverages (especially on rainy days). I adore this tea. its herbal feat. lemon balm, rose petals, chamomile, strawberry & valerian root. Light and sweet

paine’s basalm fir incense / makes your room smell like a forest, 100% natural and sustainable (most incense are not pure.) so if you’re like me and would rather be out in the great outdoors this is an fitting gift. it also comes with a little stand to place the incense rods in.

free people chocolate/mint cookie mix / *according to the site this one is vegan & gluten free but its not certified g.f. so keep that in mind. nonetheless its a cute looking gift,

Eco-Conscious Gift Guide

Eco-Conscious Gift Guide

the ritual of gift-giving is a part of the winter season, so I thought to join the many others and create a little gift-guide. Some of these products I own, others are definitely on my wish-list but the key factor for most is that their are either ethically made, obtained, or benefit our health in one way of another.

eco conscious holiday set

Apron via The Little Market cotton apron is hand sewn and hand block printed from
Destiny Foundation, based in India, a social enterprise focused on providing livelihood opportunities for rescued women who have been victimized by human trafficking
Kusmi Violet Tea / For the ones who eat flowers and sip tea. 
SKIN Organic Lingerie / This black bra is spun from fine organic Pima cotton-mesh, perfect lounge-wear or layering
Gift card / To me, nothing beats the ritual of reading a book, and a gift-card is a sweet reminder to get lost in the magic of story-telling. 
Laurel Skin Honey Berry Mask / I have written about Laurel’s line of beauty products before and they are ones I use on a personal basis consistently, this is a good product to start off with, featuring organic raw honey, strawberries, royal jelly, etc. Support small organic, non-toxic shops 
Organic Deer Cotton Blanket  / Deer! Sweet, comfy blanket is made from soft, organic cotton. For the little ones or makes a personal shawl.
Sage Candle in Topaz / I love this scent! I have the mini perfume but candles are so dreamy, Sage Mercado’s shop has a lot of eco/ethical goodies. Her candles 100% natural using soy/palm/coconut wax, lead-free cotton wick. Topaz smells of mango, papaya and rosewood.
Fire Tonic / This is a remedy said to support the immune system, many recipes vary but Herbal Revolution’s infuses organic apple cider vinegar from the oldest organic apple orchard in Maine with organically homegrown vegetables and herbs.
Goodnight Tonic / Moon Juice makes a tonic to help sleep, each is a single serving of organic or wildcrafted Polygala, Chamomile, Zizyphus Spinoza, Schizandra, Lo Han Guo, and Stevia.
Gingered Rhubarb Jam / Family owned Shady Acres Organic Farm makes a sweet nectar of certified organic rhubarb and ginger.