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Best of… Organics!

By | skin | 3 Comments

I love a natural product. I swear, the more I move into using natural and organic in my daily skincare routine, the more I see a difference in my skin – healthier, brighter, glowing.  I get it, you can’t give up ALL of your favorite products, but there are quite a few that you can substitute out with their organic alternative that are just as good, if not better. And your skin will thank you!

As promised, here is my list of organic and natural products you need to own NOW:

The Organic Pharmacy Peppermint Facial Wash – My skin breaks out every now and again, this is the first organic cleanser I’ve found that keeps the breakouts at bay. It’s antiseptic and antibacterial, made with tea tree, lavender, aloe and peppermint. 26.50 POUNDS

Arcona Triad Pads – Remember Clearasil Pads? Well, these are the natural alternative. Made with cranberry, vitamin e and omegas 3, 6 and 9, use these pads whenever you need to tone. Also great to remove makeup or simply freshen up. $30.00 for 45 pads

ISUN Ultra Restore – An all-natural oil for normal to oily skin types that moisturizes, energizes, repairs and promotes an even skin tone. It leaves my skin refreshed and glowing. I literally look years younger! This entire line is AMAZING! $88.00

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut – Smelling like a dessert, this all-natural deodorant gives you odor protection via essential oils and antioxidants, sans harsh chemicals, mineral oils, sulfates and parabens. $18.00

The Body Deli Radiance Enzyme Peel – An organic treat for your face that will have you looking years younger – and healthier. This honey resurfacing peel regenerates the complexion to give you a natural glow. All The Body Deli products are made with fresh organic ingredients and have expiration dates! $48.00

Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme – It was a toss up, I love the serum and eye creme almost equally, but in the end the eye creme won. It leaves my eyes incredibly hydrated all day long. And the smell is pure natural. Buckwheat wax and Arnica help to reduce puffiness, while Eyebright Flower brightens. $90.00

Kate Logan Beauty Shea Salvation Balm – By far, the BEST shea balm I have ever rubbed on my body. It literally melts into my skin. And it has a natural lavender scent that radiates health. My skin is left moisturized, soft, smooth and glowing. 16.99 POUNDS

Weleda Skin Food – I cannot write a post on organic and natural products, without mentioning this long-time favorite. Weleda Skin Food is a must-have balm for dry and sensitive skin. I use it on my face in the winter, hands, knees, elbows and feet year-round. Actually, any part of the body that needs a little extra attention. It’s magic! $16.95

Best Of… High End Body Creams

By | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Last week we brought you our picks for best of budget-friendly body lotions (for a recap, click here), this week it’s all about the high end creme.

The biggest difference between high end and low end lotions is NOT the way the work, but rather the ingredients (and price). Many of my picks for high end creams come with alcohol much lower down on the list and a lot more natural ingredients loaded in the lotions.

Alas, here are my picks for best of high end body creams:

1. Jurlique Lavender Body Care Lotion – Lavender, calendula and marshmallow hydrate while this light-weight lotion absorbs quickly and effectively. The calming scent of lavender lingers all day.
application: PUMP
consistency: light
moisture: 8 out of 10
price: $38.00

2. Lancome Absolue Body Premium Bx – It has a fresh citrusy scent and is thick enough to work on really dry skin while still feeling refreshing. Pro-Xylane™, a patented scientific breakthrough: an exceptional and precise molecule, restores essential moisture deep in the structure of skin’s surface while ßio-Network™ – wild yam, soy, sea algae and barley – helps enhance performance for visible rejuvenation.
application: JAR
consistency: medium to heavy
moisture: 9 out of 10
price: $125.00

3. Mario Badescu Walnut Body Lotion – Walnut oil hydrates, softens and soothes dry, itchy skin. Ideal after sun or bath. Super rich but absorbs quickly.
application: PUMP
consistency: medium
moisture: 8.5 out of 10
price: $22.00

4. Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm – A favorite, this super thick cream is inspired by Old World Russian herbal remedies. Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil replenishes dry,tired skin. Has a faint scent if vanilla meets bourbon? This cream is not for the oily skin types as it is incredibly hydrating and tends to be slightly greasy.
application: JAR
consistency: thick
moisture: 10 out of 10
price: $42.00

5. Korres Body Butter in Guava – Most certainly, the best thing to come out of Greece, this shea butter body balm has a tropical scent, the thickness of an actual body butter but the ease of a pump. Shea Butter and quince extract moisturize while sunflower, almond and avocado oils nourish and smooth. All-natural.
application: PUMP
consistency: medium to thick
moisture: 9.5 out of 10
price: $29.00

6. Amore Pacific Time Response Skin Renewal Body Creme – A fresh smelling, delicate moisturizer for even the most sensitive of skin. “A treatment blended with nature’s most potent anti-oxidant, EGCG, a green tea polyphenol and healing Asian botanicals to provide a healthy anti-aging solution for comprehensive and special body skin needs.” Contains Bamboo Sap to enhance skin vitality, theanine to hydrate, sunflower seed, olive and coconut oils to soften and sooth and Matsutake Mushroom Extract to calm.
application: JAR
consistency: thick
moisture: 10 out of 10
price: $220.00

Best of… Budget Friendly Lotions

By | body | 4 Comments

Winter got you cracking up? ME TOO! That’s why I am devoting this entire post to some heavy duty, budget-friendly winter creams for your skin. Anything under $15.00 constitutes budget-friendly for purposes of this post.

Let me first say that what I noticed, to my disappointment, is that with many of the lotions, ALCOHOL was one of the first 5 ingredients. WHY? Alcohol DRIES OUT THE SKIN, not hydrates it. So, yes, my choices are based on ingredient as well as performance and while some do have alcohol in the ingredient list, others do not (I will note if they do).

1. Jergens Naturals – (alcohol is the 7th ingredient) – 95% natural ingredients with jojoba oil and agave to hydrate ultra dry skin. Has a pleasant perfumey smell but if you’re not into fragrances, this isn’t for you.
application: PUMP
consistency: light to medium
moisture: 8 out of 10
price: $4.98

2. Burt’s Bees Body Butter – (no alcohol) – With Cocoa Butter and Macadamia Nut oil to moisturize and heal and sesame, sunflower and rosehip oils to restore fatty acids, you’re skin will feel moisturized while you smell vaguely like honey.
application: JAR
consistency: heavy
moisture: 9 out of 10
price: $12.97

3. Eucerin Plus Intensive Therapy Enriched Lotion – (no alcohol but contains mineral oil) – This is for severely dry skin as it is a bit greasy but if your skin is deydrated I’m quite certain it will soak it right up and keep it moisturized all day. Love that it is great for sensitive skin as it is 100% fragrance-free.
application: PUMP
consistency: medium
moisture: 10 out of 10
price: $10.99

4. Yes To Carrots Body Butter – (no alcohol) – Paraben Free, this cream works best for very dry skin and soaks in quite effortlessly. Blended with carrot seed oil, carrot juice, pumpkin, sweet potato and dead sea mud to offer a most delicious naturally pleasant smell.
application: JAR
consistency: medium
moisture: 9 out of 10
price: $12.99

5. Dove Cream Oil Intensive Body Lotion – (alcohol is 12th ingredient) – I like this lotion because it’s light-weight, smells fresh and unobtrusive but still moisturizes. Great for a man too!
application: PUMP
consistency: light
moisture: 8 out of 10
price: $7.99

6. California Baby Calming Botanical Moisture Cream – (no alcohol) – No parabens, sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol or phenoxyethanol this miracle cream can be used for everything (even eczema), everywhere (even face) and everyone (even babies). Scent is very subtle – like eucalyptus – and all natural.
application: JAR
consistency: medium to heavy
moisture – 9.5 out of 10
price: $14.99

7. Nivea Creme – (alcohol is 6th ingredient) – the original heavy duty cream that reminds me of parisianne women. It’s extremely absorbent and moisturizing and great for spot treatment on elbows, knees, feet and hands. Smells a bit like baby powder meets an orange slice?
application: JAR
consistency: heavy
moisture: 9 out of 10
price: $6.48

Best of… OILS!

By | body | 4 Comments

Say bye-bye lotion (or just combine), hello oil. It’s almost fall, skin needs some extra hydration and oil is where it’s at!

Here are my current top 10 picks for best of oils… every reason, every season:

1. Jurlique Rose Oil – The reason this entire post began. The creme de la creme of oils. Smells like a rose garden, leaves skin feeling like silk. Add to a diffuser to liven up your living area or a cap full in the bath for a rosy bathing experience. TIP: Rosemary actually helps to balance out oiliness. $55.00

2. Davines SU Sun Oil Body and Hair Moisturizing Oil – Everytime I spray (yes, it’s a spray!), I say WOW out loud. The smell is insanely amazing (part cucmber/ part floral/ all amazing). Love it for the hair as it adds shine and softnes and does the same for my body. Also gets rid of the nasty smokey smell, next day hair. This non-greasy formula naturally prevents the signs of aging with Argan Oil, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. Jojoba Oil nourishes and softens and UV filters protect hair from the damaging effects of the sun. $31.00

3. Tammy Fender Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil – With a versatile array of healing benefits, Bulgarian lavender is considered a “cure all.” This pump oil is my ideal oil to mix with lotion and create the most soothing moisture paste to slather all over skin post shower. The oil nourishes, protects and increases the flow of oxygen to the cells via a blend of Bulgarian lavender as well as some of nature’s finest nutrient oils. Spiritualy, this unique blend evokes equanimity. The beautiful packaging doesn’t hurt, either. $65.00

4. June Jacobs Vanda Orchid Dry Oil Body Spray – A unique combination of rejuvenating oils, including apricot and sunflower, work to condition and soothe dry, tired skin. Leaves skin feeling refreshed, soft and rejuvenated and smelling clean, while also protecting against environmental toxins. Never greasy thus great to spray right before bed, allow the oil to penetrate the skin. $45.00

5. – Meant for cellulite concerns in the thighs, hips and buttocks regions, the pump oil contains organic essential oils of juniper berries, rosemary and geranium to tone, Organic essential oils of lemongrass and lemon todrain and grape seed oil to nourish. This oils smells citrus fantastic and gently mists on, a mild rub to get the blood flowing required. $35.00

6. Liiv Botanicals Triple Phase Bath & Shower Oil – A non greasy, super yummy oil to add to the bath or use in the shower for added moisture and softness. Washes off quickly and completely. Smells sweet with a hint of saccharin. Surprise: It’s made by Avon. We heart Avon — and their prices! $12.00

7. Carol’s Daughter Lemon and Jojoba Cuticle Oil – Essential lemon and jojoba oils naturally strengthen nails, soften cuticles and help reduce brittleness and breakage. Made sans PETROLEUM, Paraben, mineral oil and artificial color. The smell is citrus delight. The look is shiny, happy nails. I use this stuff every night before bed and my nails are smiling wide. TIP: If you’re in a nail bind, use cuticle oil to fake the appearance of just manicured fingers. It works! $9.50

8. Kiehl’s Portable Essence Oil – Choose from 6 delicious scents including cucumber, vanilla and grapefruit (my fave), for an all-natural alternative to perfume. These roll-on fragrance oils deliver just the right amount of scent and are perfect for on-the-go touch ups, even fitting into the tiniest of clutches. $25.00

9. Molton Brown Face Oils – Oils are fun for the face — especially when they don’t leave your complexion all shiny but still give you that much needed moisture. All of the oils absorb quickly and easily, refresh and cater to your skin’s personal concerns. I’m loving the Tunisian Neroli Balancing Facial Oil because it replaces a moisturizer at night and my skin is oily but still needs hydration. So, if you’re “over” the whole lotion thing, try a face oil, you may surpirse your skin! $58.00

10. Persephenie Neroli Infusion Body Oil – A wet pump-on oil that smells like decadent baby powder. Gives body the most beautiful glow. Marula Oil helps to maintain healthy-looking and vibrant skin while Certified Organic Jojoba Oil delivers superior moisture to the skin. Shiny and moisturized? Score! $38.00

Best of Scrubs… DAY 7

By | body | 5 Comments

Our contest and review of the Best of Scrubs has come to an end. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we’re gonna stop scrubbing – or stop searching for other amazing body scrubs! Thanks to everyone who helped to make our Best of Scrubs possible!

Today’s scrub is: Rosemary Mint BAIN de~luxe Foaming Body Scrub

What it is: Apricot Seed, Aloe Vera & Vegetable Glycerin foaming body scrub (free of harsh detergents)
What it does: Encourages new skin growth. Removes surface impurities and dead skin. Meant for regular use.
Claim to fame: Exfoliant and body wash in one… it actually foams! Comes in four delicious fragrances including vanilla-citrus and lavender. BAIN de~luxe products are made with quality ingredients and sold for bargain prices (via hot find)!
What we like: 8.4 oz. for $3.99!!! That sort of price is virtually unheard of! 17 fl oz. for $5.99!!! The rosemary mint has a very soothing aroma, and the crushed apricot seeds make this scrub completely safe and effective for daily use. I like the foaming sensation as it does double cleaning duty – a soap like lather to wash the skin and seeds to scrub away dead cells! This is the perfect shower scrub as the flip top tube allows for easy (and quick) application. For folks who want to experience a spa-like scrub, but don’t wanna shell out loads of cash, this is the product for you!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Best of Scrubs… Day 6

By | body | 2 Comments

Only 2 more days left in our Best of Scrubs challenge! And let me tell you, my skin is so damn soft, it feels like a baby’s behind! I think I’ve just about scrubbed off the last 20 years of my life!

Anyway, today’s scrub is: Paradise Potions Sweet Body Smoothie Tropical Sugar Body Polish

What it is:
Hand-made with exotic shea butter, nourishing coconut oil and pure tropical sugar crystals.
What it does: Naturally brightens, softens, conditions and exfoliates your skin to perfection.
Claim to fame: With over 20 different fragrance choices, they’ve got a smell to suit everyone. And it’s not just a body scrub, the company swears it’s great for the face too! Plus, company president, Melba Clark, tells beauty banter, that it’s an incredible shaving cream (???) as well! “Wet legs……rub in SWEET BODY SMOOTHIE, Tropical Sugar Body Polish for about a minute and shave the scrub off…….yep, you heard me correctly, shave the scrub off and then rinse well for the worlds closest and silkiest shave,” says Melba. “Works fabulous on underarms and bikini area too!”
What we like: We LOVE the coconut macaroon scented scrub. It reminds us of another amazing body polish, oldy-but-goody, Pure Fiji’s Coconut Sugar Rub. Both scrubs are coconut-infused, and as my fellow beauty whores know, I adore coconut – the smell, the soothing and softening properties, even the milk! Because the sugar granules don’t irritate my skin and the scrub is infused with so many moisturizing ingredients (but not too many so that the sugar gets lost in massive amounts of oils), I’ve pretty much declared this scrub my everyday exfoliator! I never leave the shower greasy or red, but always step out smooth and radiant!

Rating: 9.75 out of 10

Best of Scrubs… DAY 5

By | body | 4 Comments

Today’s scrub is: Klean Apple Body Polish

What it is: A finely textured, pure unrefined Mexican cane sugar moisturizing scrub containing crushed orange peel
What it does: Energizes a tired body and mind with its zesty combo of apple and orange
Claim to fame: Klean products are made with the finest butters, oils and fragrances, utilizing natural and pure ingredients such as cocoa butter, toasted coconut, shea butter, macadamia nut oil, and green tea powder. They also combine random ingredients like coconut and chocolate, peppermint leaves and sea salt (CLICK HERE for an entire list of scrubs). All products are mixed by hand and you can actually suggest a custom blended fragrance!
What we like: Let’s start with the smell: Candy apple, absolutely delicious! And the orange peel that you can actually see reminds us of the company’s love for the natural. Each scrub is infused with a completely random natural ingredient that aids in giving you that perfect body polish! This is a definite bi-weekly scrub as the sugar bits are very thick and rough, sloughing away dead skin cells by the bucket load! But it works, and well! We can’t wait to test the rest of Klean’s body products!

Rating: 9 out of 10

Best of Scrubs… DAY 4, Part 2

By | body | No Comments

Today’s second scrub is: Philosophy’s Pure Grace Scrub

What it is: Perfumed, hot sea salt in a giant tub with natural extracts to moisturize
What it does: “Scrubs away all of the dead, dull skin cells that are disguising your beautiful, radiant soul.”
Claim to fame: Inspired by the fresh, clean smell of best-selling Philosophy fragrance, Pure Grace; unique and gentle glycerin-based formula exfoliates; skin will be left soft, but never oily; “tub and shower” scrub.
What we like: The enormity of this product! 23 oz. (and it feels like it)!!! And for $25.00, it’s a bargain! After scrubbing, my skin looked incredibly shiny (and I mean, incredibly) and felt impeccably smooth. And the salts washed off without a problem… quickly too. This is definitely a high-powered, no nonsense exfoliator! The smell is super clean, but if you’re anti-perfumes, this product is not for you… because it does leave a fragrant odor.

Rating: 8.75 out of 10

Best of Scrubs… DAY 4

By | body | One Comment

Today’s scrub is: The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ in Brown Sugar

What it is: Brown Sugar and petroleum jelly in the cutest damn container you have ever seen!
What it does: Eliminates dry, flaky skin to leave lips super soft and kissable!
Claim to fame: Formulated specifically for that precious pout of yours! Comes in 6 scrumptious flavors including vanilla bean and almond creme (Why didn’t we think of such a product!)
What we like: No more scrubbing away at your lips with those nasty toothbrushes! The lip scrub is genius in that it literally removes every last bit of unwanted skin… and gently! My lips are constantly peeling. Ever since I started using the scrub on a daily basis, my pout has become soft, luscious and even more plump! (Fellow Beauty Whore, Di Gaeta, boasted about this product in the post “How to achieve a Fabulous Pout” but we felt the need to re-review!) Also, who could say no to a product that literally tastes as delicious as it smells?

Rating: 10 out of 10

Best of Scrubs… DAY 3

By | body | 6 Comments

Today’s scrub is: Maryam’s Soap Nook’s Tropical Paradise Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Glow Scrub

What it is:
Shea butter, Dead sea salts, Turbinado raw sugar, Avocado oil, vitamin E
What it does: An exotic fruit & floral explosion that is exfoliating, cleansing and extra moisturizing.
Claim to fame: All of the products are handmade and all natural using the highest quality of oils, butters, fragrances and essential oils.
What we like: Obviously, we love that the product is handmade and all natural. There’s just something so fresh about this scrub. We’re also quite keen on the multiple scents that the company offers (lemongrass, lime and ginger; jasmine and green tea; etc). But best of all would have to be the double duty of salts and sugars to exfoliate, with shea butter and oils to moisturize! It’s a great exfoliating experience that doesn’t over scrub or over dry!

Rating: 9 out of 10

About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.