Most recently, I tried Infusion Organique's Açaí Rain fragrance ($35), which is made with organic sugarcane-derived alcohol, certified organic açaí extract, and organic orange oil. (It's also paraben- and sulfate-free). From the ingredients you might expect something tropical and fruity, but what it actually smells like is a tart, light tea rose that's exactly the right weight for hot days. It's also not hippie dippy in the least, lest you worry that organic means smelling like patchouli and 1969, and would actually be more appropriate for a tea party than a drum circle.
If you'd prefer a spray, there's California Baby Natural Bug Blend ($13), which is nontoxic and made with organic ingredients as well. For people who love towelettes, there are BugBand Bug Repelling Towelettes ($7), which are made with bug-repelling geranium extract that also happens to smell great on people. And if you're running to the drugstore quickly to pick something up? Try Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent ($8), which blends citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary for a lovely, light scent that bugs hate.
While probably best known for their fresh, clean, perk-you-right-up aromas, deodorant soaps such as Zest, Coast, Irish Spring, and the like didn't always have the reputation of being the most moisturizing. Formulas have improved over the years, but I've still always had a fondness for the eye-awakening aromas they deliver.
Recently, I came across a natural dupe, Pre de Provence's Shea Butter Soap in Sage ($4). While the body cleanser's not an exact replicate of those revitalizing soaps I grew to love back in the day, it is still rather reminiscent of them. And while Pre de Provence's version isn't exactly cheap (call it a reverse dupe, if you'd like), it's made with eco-friendly pure essential oils and a vegetable base. It's also free of parabens and packaged up in biodegradable cellophane. Not only that, it has those feel-good loofah-like bits in it that I like so much. Full of natural win.
I'm a big proponent of going natural when you can, but confused by the term "hippie" when it gets thrown around to talk about ecologically conscious products. There are instances where it can be funny, like this cute Stinky Hippie Body Wash ($13.50), whose illustrated "hippie" girl with fragrant underarm is meant to be amusing. However, a lot of times when people use the term it's pejorative, and suggestive of being not as clean or as well groomed as other people. This is despite the fact that most who use natural products actually take great care with their appearances.
I think being an actual hippie in the late 1960s could have been pretty cool, but I don't know about the term now, especially when it comes to cosmetics and personal care. What do you think? Is it rude to call someone a "hippie" just because they like eco-beauty, or is it just one of those terms that's connected to the green movement and unlikely to go away?
Which is why certified organic lip balms are a good idea. They pass the USDA's rigorous standards, and only contain natural ingredients you'll probably have heard of before. They work just as well as regular balms and glosses, and the organic certification doesn't necessarily mean they cost more. So the next time you're thinking about picking up a balm at the drugstore, try looking for the USDA Organic seal, and check out the widget below to see some brands you can be looking for.
Of course, Pure & Natural isn't the only large brand to appeal to ecologically minded consumers. After the makers of Clorox bought Burt's Bees, its store presence has expanded greatly, and Noah's Naturals, Yes to Carrots, and other smaller brands are making inroads. On the more luxurious end, Lancome has introduced a 100 percent natural-origin Juicy Tubes lip gloss.
Critics may cry greenwashing on some products, so it's not a bad idea to read labels to see what you're really buying. But even if large corporations aren't going strictly eco-friendly, they're definitely appealing to a green-leaning consumer. What do you think? Are you more likely to pick up a "greener" product if you have the option?
Here's why we're excited. First, the line aims to incorporate organic and natural ingredients as much as possible. Expect ingredients like avocado, olive oil, orange, lemon, and rosemary leaf extract. (Yes, the products smell amazing.) The entire line is free of parabens, SLS, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and animal products. What's more, the shampoos and conditioners cost less than $10, which lets you go more natural without spending too much green.
Finally, one more reason we're excited: If you're in New York, you could win a haircut (worth $500!) from Tara. She'll be introducing her line at Duane Reade in Herald Square tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. Stop by to say hello, take a look-see, and cross your fingers that you'll be the lucky lady who scores a cool cut. Your friends will be green with envy — and your hair care will be green, too.
Secondly! For bikini-wax virgins, the spas (locations here) are offering 20 percent off your first bikini wax throughout April. If you're a waxing newbie, Bliss is a good place to test the waters. Their wax is gentle, doesn't stick to your skin, and makes hair removal much less stress than it might be. If you decide you want to try waxing, this is definitely not a bad way to start.