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Cruelty Free: Saving Face

I could spend four hours a day practicing yoga, drink two gallons of water daily, and eat nothing but raw vegetables… and still, the face would need some extra TLC. I’ve always been good about cleansing and moisturizing, but as I’ve gotten older and the fine lines start creeping up around my eyes, the term “saving face” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I spare no expense when it comes to my face products, but I also have found some inexpensive products that seem to do the trick quite nicely. As I mentioned in yesterday’s piece, I’m also making the effort to be paraben-free, whenever possible. But before you go throwing out all your old stuff and replacing everything: Tip #1: Check out Skin Deep cosmetic database You can search most cosmetic companies and specific products to get the lowdown. Tip #2: Go gradually I’d been using many of my products for so long that I forgot how many other products I had to try before finding ones that didn’t mess with my complexion. When I introduced a entirely new regimen all at once, my face was not happy; plenty of back pedaling was involved as I tried out each new item and assessed the results. Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to seek out samples! If you’re in New York, head to Jurlique’s store in SoHo! The salesperson there sent me walking away with tons of samples… and it paid off for both of us. Although my skin didn’t respond well to a couple of the moisturizers, one of the samples proved to be marvelous for me and has become part of my daily routine. Tip #4 Watch out for parent companies I call this my “Burt’s Bee’s Lesson.” What’s not to like about Burt’s Bees? The products are natural, inexpensive, and can be found in just about any store or pharmacy. Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free; but it’s now owned by Clorox, which isn’t. You’ll have to decide for yourself where you want to draw the line. So here’s what you’ll find in my bath area — my faves for the face: Zia Skin Basics Moisturizing Cleanser with soybean Zia Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant with rice bran (love this!) Alba Botanicals Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser Alba Botanicals Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask Collective Wellbeing “Whirled Peas” Hydrating Face Mask Dr. Hauschka Eye Contour Day Balm Jurlique Calendula Cream Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream (parabens, but company does not conduct animal...

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Cruelty Free: Body & Bath

When it comes to bath and body products, I’m a real adventurer; I’m always trying something new, though I’m loyal to some of my favorite finds. In addition to choosing animal-friendly products, I’ve tried to eliminate products with parabens and sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate. In my bath area, there’s always a good mix of “luxury items” (translation: costly but worth it) and items that are easier on the wallet.  I’ll leave the topic of “saving face” (cleansers, scrubs, masks, and facial moisturizers) until tomorrow… Here’s what you’ll find in my bathroom: at the sink — EO Essentials Hand Soap (Orange Spice) Nature’s Gate Organics Hand Soap (Lemongrass and Clary Sage) Nature’s Gate Fragrance-Free Moisturizing Lotion for sensitive skin Sparitual “Instinctual” Organic Moisturizing Lotion Alba Botanicals Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser Trader Joe’s Toothpaste with Fennel, Propolis, & Myrrh Desert Essence Dental Floss with Tea Tree Oil Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss Trader Joe’s Deodorant Giovanni Organic Hair Care’s L.A. Hold Hair Spritz Nexxus Headress Leave-In Conditioner *I’ve got a John Masters Organics leave-in conditioner waiting for me to try when I’ve finished with this tube of Headress. at the tub — Collective Wellbeing’s Charcoal Body Wash EO Essentials Hinoki Ginger Bubble Bath — a top-favorite indulgence (only $10 a bottle!) lots of soy candles 🙂 in the shower — Alba Botanicals French Lavender Bath & Shower Gel Alba Botanicals Shaving Foam Nature’s Gate Organics Hemp Conditioner (for dry hair) Aveda Camomile Shampoo EarthScience Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Masque (for hair) Best Value! Whole Foods “365” shampoo and conditioner (fragrance-free) While we’re in the bathroom… Ecover Toilet Bowl Cleaner Trader Joe’s Bergamot & Coriander Air...

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In the Kitchen (products)
Jun23

In the Kitchen (products)

One of the first and easiest places to convert your home and lifestyle to being more animal-friendly is in the kitchen.  And I’m not even talking about the food in the refrigerator yet — we’ll save that for another day! Here’s what you’ll find in my kitchen: at the sink — Trader Joe’s Liquid Dish Detergent Nature’s Gate Organics Liquid Soap Avalon Organics Hand Lotion Environne Fruit and Vegetable Wash under the sink — Method Stainless Steel Cleaner, for appliances Method “Daily Granite” Cleaner, for countertops Method “Wood For Good” polish, for dining chairs, cabinets, and other wood furniture around the house Trader Joe’s Pure Castile Soap, for my butcher block table Trader Joe’s or Seventh Generation Dishwashing Detergent (powder) Ecover Glass & Surface Cleaner Best value! Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cedarwood & Sage Cleaner I’ve used this to clean countertops, the glass windows in the microwave and oven, and as a quick “spray and wipe” clean-up job for a spill on the tile floor. The 34 oz. bottle is inexpensive and very handy to have...

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Clickin’ My Heels
Jun30

Clickin’ My Heels

It was an autumn afternoon in Austin when the package arrived. I had waited weeks for my custom-made tap shoes, delivered all the way from Israel. I slipped my feet into the black leather oxfords, practically orgasmic at the smell, the fit, and then… the sound. One tap on the kitchen floor was like running the bow along the strings of a Stradivarius. I was having — truly, madly, deeply — a ruby slippers moment: unadulterated magic. Since then, I have had many moments of genuine pleasure slipping into my shoes. I could wax poetic about a pair of black boots I had, thick high heels and smooth sexy leather running up my shins. I still get nostalgic thinking about my first pair of grown-up Mary Janes that saw me through my first years as a teacher and seemed to go with all my loose flowing dresses. And didn’t I think I was something in my combat boots during that brooding Bohemian phase. But not until this afternoon have I had another ruby slippers moment. And this time – whaddaya know — it came from the arrival of a pair of red (thankfully, more maroon than red) sneakers.OK, let me elaborate. The sneakers are emblematic of a larger change happening in my universe right now. You see, this weekend, I drove a trunk-load of shoes down to the local vintage re-sale shop and rid myself of ALL my leather shoes. Now, I’m not going to get on a soapbox and start proselytizing — that’s not what this about. But understand that, for me, this is a huge move. It’s like everyone who goes vegetarian and gives up that almighty makes-you-weak-in-the-knees hamburger. Lucky me, I’ve never been a hamburger person; in fact, I’ve been a salad artist of sorts since the age of three or four, so going veg was, I know, not as much of a challenge for me as it is for those who are not as wild about their greens. But how I do love those leather shoes! Admittedly, I think I actually clung to the boot box, lingered just a little too long not to notice, before handing it over to the boutique’s salesperson. So my challenge now, after surrendering the beloved shoes, is finding the vegan replacements. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that even my fabric pumps were not acceptable (ugh — leather soles!). For a few minutes, I honestly thought I bit off more than I could chew, as I stood there sizing up the empty shelves: all that remained were a couple pairs of flip-flops, a pair of Converse, and a single...

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