New Series! The Green Beauty Librarian

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” 

Neil Gaiman

Many of you know that I am a Reference Music Librarian.  The heart of my work is to carefully parse questions, then help lead the library patron to the most helpful resources and materials.  Sometimes I am intimately familiar with the items they are seeking, sometimes I have just a casual knowledge.  Sometimes I have no idea about what they are asking for, but it's still my job to connect them with answers, whether it be piece of music, a recording, or a three sentence newspaper article from 1948 about their Great Aunt, the harp player.  

As this blog grows, I have been fielding more and more questions about specific recommendations for products.  I am always thrilled to answer them, and honored to be asked!  I'd like to share my answers with all of you, donning the mantle of the Green Beauty Librarian.  As with my Library work, sometimes I will recommend products I know and love.  Sometimes I will suggest products that come from highly reputable brands I trust, or that have kick ass ingredients, or that have been highly praised by others in the Green Beauty space.  I'll try to suggest a variety of price points whenever possible.  Let's kick things off, shall we?

Danielle, one of my dearest friends, texted me from an airplane(!) the other day:  “What eyeshadow should I be using?  I’m experiencing a lot of unpleasant side effects from the conventional stuff I’m currently using.”

I recommended she check out three brands: Kjaer WeisLily Lolo, and Modern Minerals

Neutral, elegant and refined.

Neutral, elegant and refined.

Now, the Kjaer Weis shadows are incredibly amazing.  They go on like a dream, are richly, deeply pigmented, and absolutely nail the colors.  When you buy their taupe, it’s the final word in taupe-ness.  They come in two packaging options: the refillable metal case, which is substantial and gorgeous-something your grandmother would have carried, or the refill alone.  I choose the refills, and put them in a Z-Pallete, creating my own collection over time.  And I do mean over time, because as you may surmise, these are not inexpensive.  I would say, in fact they are very expensive.  The refillable case will run you $45 per color, and the refills are $27.  For Danielle, who wants only two or three colors total, she might want to splurge.  If you’re looking for many colors, it’s a collection to build.  But for real?  These are my favorite eyeshadows of all time.  Toxic or not.

Buildable, blendable and perfect for everyday.

Buildable, blendable and perfect for everyday.

Fear not, I’m not going to recommend spending $45 on a single shadow and head back to my mansion!  Another fabulous option is from Lily LoloThese palettes are sleek, slim and packed with great colors.  And at $34 for 8 colors, it’s a much more affordable option.  I have the Laid Bare collection, which is full of warm nudes.  The colors go on smoothly and complement each other beautifully.  The color pay load is not as strong as the Kjaer Weis, but for many of you, you will actually prefer this, I think.  You can go with a quiet wash of color, or build layers for a more intense look.  For Danielle, I think the Smoke and Mirrors collection will be the best.  It’s a cooler, more varied collection with endless options.

Dazzling and playful.

Dazzling and playful.

Modern Minerals creates loose mineral eyeshadows in a gorgeous array of colors.  Seriously the colors are spectacular.  They are each $12.50.  I've written before about loose powder shadows, and the learning curve involved, but these are an excellent option if you want to go that route.  

The main ingredient to avoid with eyeshadow is talc.  There's a lot to say about talc and it's been in the news recently because of a high profile lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson.  Bottom line: Talc is a problem because of a high risk of contamination by ASBESTOS.  Yep, that asbestos.  So just stop with talc.  I hope it goes without saying that all three brands I've profiled here are exceptionally clean and sustainable, no asbestos in sight.  They are vegan (with the exception of a few KW colors) and do not test on animals.    And they are great choices if you are transitioning to Green Beauty.   

So, my lovelies, what are your pressing questions about Green Beauty?  Are you transitioning your routine?  Are you stuck looking for that one elusive product (cough deodorant cough)? Are you unsure of an ingredient in one of your favorite?  Let me know!  I love to answer questions, and I promise not to shoosh you!


Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse= Crazy Sparkle!

There are two facts, many would say shameful, that you should know about me.

  1. I am a vegetarian who despises mushrooms.
  2. I am a green beauty devotee who can’t stand coconut.

Seriously.  Coconut is just a deal breaker.  I’ve tried so many times to like it.  It’s benefits are legendary, it’s fans legion.  But I just cannot get past the taste or smell.  So for me, the idea of oil pulling, i.e. swishing coconut oil around in your mouth…just…no.

A few months ago, I was thrilled to discover oil pulling’s kid sister: Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse.  Basically a mouthwash, it contains food grade Hydrogen Peroxide and a nice balance of essential oils.  The first time I used it, I actually understood what is meant by a sparkling smile.  So white and shiny!  I actually pranced over to my husband and smiled in his face.  Look at my teeth, I exclaimed!  He agreed.

According to the company, food grade hydrogen peroxide is made without the stabilizers of the regular drugstore variety.  These contain chemicals laden with heavy metals.  Not the stuff of a healthy mouth.  It is also formulated without glycerin, alcohol and sodium laurel sulfate, common ingredients in toothpaste and mouthwash.  Interestingly, glycerin is found in most ”natural” toothpastes as well, and inhibits the the ability of the teeth to re-enamel themselves.  I checked my toothpaste, and sure enough, glycerin was the third ingredient.  There are many other health benefits, too numerous to list.  The one I’m most excited about is as a cure for (and probably a preventer of) canker sores.  I’ve suffered mercilessly my whole life, and I can’t wait to see the results.  

How do you use it?  Easy!  They’ve created a protocol!  

“Toxic Morning Mouth Protocol

First thing in the morning when you wake up:

Squirt a small amount of the Brushing Rinse in your mouth.

Swish for a minute or so while you multitask.

With the Rinse still in your mouth, brush your teeth and tongue.

Spit out the massive amount of foam.

When you drink your morning water, your immune system will be thrilled that you haven’t re-ingested yesterday’s toxins.”

Now, I have to admit, I don’t always do the first-thing-in-the-morning part.  While I dream of a lovely morning filled with self-care rituals and intention setting, life with a 3 year old is generally more about being awakened with a start, and hurtling headlong into giggles, demands, questions, and other pre-schooler delights.  Occasionally I remember to rinse first thing, but it has replaced my toothpaste, and I’m never looking back.  

My only complaint: it’s hard to travel with.  So I haven’t completely kicked to old toothpaste to the curb.  I also dream of a more luxurious looking bottle.  Something about squirting it into your mouth is less than…glamourous.  So when we get a new bottle, I decant half for myself into a lovely container, and the other half goes in the shower for my husband.  

Coconut oil, who needs you?