I’m excited to talk to you all today about this US-based boutique brand Antonym Cosmetics! It was founded by a French born makeup artist, Valarie, who believes natural make-up can not only make you looking stunning, but it can be skin-friendly as well! Today, Antonym is an eco-luxe brand that is growing a niche presence in the US market and has also expanded to Australia and New Zealand.
What makes them Green?
Ecocert Certified Makeup with organic ingredients (Ecocert certifies that a brand’s products use natural and/or organic ingredients and that a company practices strict standards of quality control to ensure environmentally respectful manufacturing,packaging and storage. Click here to read more.)
Vegan certified brushes: no animal testing and do not contain any animal products.
Support and donate to organizations that promote ecological awareness.
All compacts and brush handles are made with bamboo which is a natural and sustainable material.
I am excited to share with you my thoughts on the products sent to me from Antonym! They’ve been so, so great in my makeup kit!
I must say their bamboo compact caught my eye immediately, with its eco luxe vibe, and I LOVE the magnetic closure with the large, deep-set mirror – for touch-ups on the go. The formula of this blush starts as a creme that is then baked in terracotta pans in a process that naturally binds it into its domed shape. This process transforms into a fine, silky powder with a buildable, transparent finish. The blush is mesmerizing to look at with its marbled combination of several shades of rose, and some other pinkish hues. Because of how the colours are marbled together, this blush packs a few color options into one compact, so you can really tailor your look to your liking. It even looks great on the eyes! In fact, Antonym has a look right now that you can achieve using this blush! (Click HERE to view)
This has quickly become a favorite and a great addition to my makeup-up kit. It’s long-lasting waterproof formula and awesome natural ingredients (100% natural with over 14% of its ingredients derived from organic farming) allow this lipstick to glide on smoothly, and it provides moisture thanks to the sunflower oil and shea butter in it. This lipstick pencil offers precise, professional application and definition, which I love!I would say Pinkish is a little bit shimmery (but I can totally handle it) and it leans more towards a dark pink/coral. The formula is super long-lasting, so it stays put, but yet looks feminine, beautiful and understated all on its own.
This Lip Brush is essential for precision application, as well as prolonging the life of your lipstick. The plump, synthetic bristles are super soft and luxurious, they are comparable to the finest natural bristles. I love that the brush handle is made of sustainable bamboo with light weight, black aluminum ferules – honestly, it’s the most sleek and prettiest lip brush I’ve ever owned.
If you like this brush, well..it doesn’t stop there! Antonym has a full collection of 20 vegan makeup brushes that I know every makeup artist (and non-makeup artists) would love to own! Those wooden handles…ahhh, I just love ’em. I can’t wait to expand my collection of Antonym brushes in the near future!
Want to follow Antonym Cosmetics online? Check out their:
I love a great natural online shop, and with the slew of options and different products offered in each shop, it makes green beauty buying a breeze!
Enter Nuciya, a Canadian based online beauty retailer that focuses on natural & organic cosmetics. Nowadays, consumers are becoming more aware of the harmful ingredients used in cosmetics, the toxicity levels, the dishonest marketing. Nuciya wanted to make sure that clean, safe products were more accessible. And so it was birthed: a one stop shop for all cosmetics including skin care, makeup and bath and body products.
Founded by green beauty blogger Amber Wikstrom, Amber wanted to share her favorite natural beauty products with the world. So, she teamed up with entrepreneur & the president of Wisdom Survival KitsPavel Dolzhenko, in order to make this dream become a reality.
Nuciya believes that what we put on our skin is just as important as what we eat. Amber and Pavel are consistently searching to find amazing products with rave reviews, and healthy ingredients that are not easily accessible to Canadians. The store offers competitive shipping rates (free shipping on orders over $65 for US/Canada; $100 international!) so that those inside or outside of North America can enjoy all natural & non-toxic beauty products. So, what makes Nuciyadifferent? All of their products are brands that Amber Karlson – certified makeup artist – has personally tried and recommends. They’ve basically done all the work for you; checked the ingredients, tested the products in order to give you a stress-free shopping environment. Shopping with them is a no-brainer when you can confidently pick the best (tried, tested and true) products for your skin!
L-R: Lily Lolo’s Finishing Powder in Flawless Matte, Karen Murrell Lipstick in Peony Petal and Josh Rosebrook Firm Hold Hair Spray
I have so many great things to say about all three products, but let me first start with my current absolute favourite:
Okay, this stuff is AWESOME! JR’s Hair Spray works to control almost any hair style (including my sweet, sometimes unruly locks) while encouraging strong hair growth – gotta love that! The formula is pure, lightweight and made from non-gmo yucca and other pure plant ingredients. This allows natural movement without feeling sticky, flaking or drying the hair and scalp – THANK GOODNESS, that’s one of my least favourite feelings/things. There are active herbal infusions in it as well, to stimulate follicle circulation supporting continued hair growth and a healthy, nourished scalp.
One of the most unique things about this Hair Spray is that it has benefits on benefits! That almost NEVER happens with regular (especially the real toxic) types of hairsprays! Josh Rosebrook infuses their Hair Spray with organic herbs of Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Lavender, Sage and Horsetail. This combination of herbs creates a potent Synergy that works to stimulate the follicle, calm and protect the scalp. When the follicle is properly stimuated, increased circulation nourishes the hair bulb. This cellular process strengthens the hair shaft for strong, beautiful hair….HELLO, you’ve got a fan in me!
Oh my gosh, how to describe this amazing lipstick?! Creamy…vibrant…smells like cinnamon! Yep. You read it right, CINNAMON. I mean, how could you NOT love a lipstick that has that scent? It’s almost like freshening your breath, without freshening it, ya know? But, Karen Murrelldoes describe the lip colour beautifully here:
“Delicate pastel hues of coral and peach unravel on the lips like the breathtakingly Peony flower in full bloom.”
Of course, this lipstick is made with all natural ingredients, is long-lasting, creamy (like I mentioned above) and it goes on like a dream – silky smooth. Plus it’s nourishing for the lips AND it comes in biodegradable packaging (PLA).
Some of the key active ingredients in this lipstick are:
Candelilla (Euphorbia cerifera)
The candelilla plant grows in the semi-arid environment of northern Mexico. Plants growing in the hottest and driest areas produce a protective covering, which yields a hard vegetable wax of superior quality after processing. Candelilla wax is yellow, and is celebrated in lipstick production for its hard, brittle, glossy and slightly tacky properties.
Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) Rich in omega-6, soothing and very moisturising.
Castor oil (Ricinus communis)
Excellent emollient properties and a high-acting pigment dispersant. Due to its high viscosity, castor oil also helps to suspend pigment in the manufacturing process to avoid settling when hot. KM Lipstick pigments are milled into castor oil in a ball mill. The milling process reduces particle size and ensures even suspension and distribution.
Seriously, ladies. Go and get you aKaren Murrell Lipstick! You will not be disappointed!
I LOVE setting my makeup with a great finishing powder, and this Flawless Matte one by Lily Lolo is wonderful! It’s great for controlling shine, seriously..it really rids me of any “greasy” look I may be sporting in this hot summer heat.
The key ingredient in this powder is Kaolin, which is a clay mineral that has oil absorbing properties – in turn, giving you a flawless, shine free finish or base to your makeup. When I say base, I mean you can apply it before foundation to create a long-lasting base for your foundation to stick to. I just apply it to my face using a large, soft powder brush and voila! Shine-free, makeup-set face!
If you’d like to follow and shop more amazing brands, such as these above, check out Nuciya’s website and social media accounts!
Just in case you’re completely new to this and don’t feel like clicking on the links I so GRACIOUSLY put…haha, jk…I’ll give ya a little run-down! Every month one of these pretty pink boxes you see above arrives in my mailbox! It’s full of luxurious, non-toxic, vegan beauty goodies for me to try out. In every box received, you’ll get 4-5 decently sized products. Sometimes they’re sample sized, sometimes regular sized! However, for the just $15 a box, I’d say that’s a pretty great deal!
This is a gentle, yet effective everyday cream cleanser. Its ingredients include organic plant oils, wild harvested witch hazel and a touch of castile soap to lift away impurities while providing protective nutrients and leaving my face refreshed and soft. It’s super fresh smelling and it has a great blend of restorative essential oils to combat blemishes and tone the skin. I don’t typically use it at night, just because I find that it won’t remove makeup very well, and I like more of a lather to really get off all my makeup. However, I do enjoy using this in the morning! It gently cleanses my face without stripping the skin of it’s vital moisture – it’s kind of like an oil cleanser that rinses off.
This Cleanser Brush gently exfoliates, eliminating dirt, makeup, dead skin cells and surface pollutants. It is made with extremely soft and gentle synthetic fibers that will exfoliate your skin while you clean, giving skin a beautiful, refreshed glow.
This Scrub Mask is suitable for normal, aging, sensitive, oily & combination skin types & ANY hair type. It contains activated bamboo charcoal that draws dirt and oils out of pores, improves skin texture and absorbs odors. It has some of mother nature’s best clays including rhassoul, activated bamboo charcoal and bentonite.
Some of its key ingredients are: Sea kelp, which is an anti-inflammatory and a natural source of vitamin A, B1, B2, C, D and E. Tamanu oil, which is hydrating and helps to regenerate skin cells. The mask is also rich in fatty acids to reduce the risk of acne and fights free radicals with its antioxidant properties all found in almond meal, and is rich in iodine to combat free radicals and to help keep skin nourished and moisturized.
This eyeliner is a rich chocolate brown, with a semi-matte finish. It is 100% natural and vegan, and made with certified organic antioxidants and soothing ingredients, gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. This pencil is perfect for smudged out smoky eyes, in no time! The creamy moisturizing nutrient-filled formula was designed not to tug or pull on the eye, and it really does the job! (I can’t stand pulling or tugging – who does?!) I really love that this pencil is free of harsh chemicals, dyes, parabens, GMO’s and toxic ingredients.
I can’t wait to see what July’s box holds! :) If you would like to learn more or sign up, it’s super easy! Just head on over to the Petit Vour site to get started, don’t forget that you can cancel at any time! (NO PRESSURE!)
It’s not everyday you feel the absolute need to rave on products so well made and so effective…you guys, Herbivore Botanicals is amazing! Allow me to digress…
Herbivore Botanicalsis a 100% natural skin care and beauty company. They create products that are truly 100% natural, safe, non toxic, and highly, HIGHLY effective. Every ingredient included in HB products is there for a specific therapeutic reason. There are no fillers of any kind, which means almost every ingredient in their products is an active ingredient. This is why they’re so effective! Their products contain highly concentrated and effective formulas that are a rarity in the skin care and cosmetics world today. All formulas are original, created and tested by them, on real people, never on animals and always from scratch – no pre-made bases are used. To top it all off, all of their products are 100% vegan with an emphasis on organic and exceptionally high quality, therapeutic and food grade ingredients. We should all know by now that everything we put on our skin quickly absorbs into our bodies, HB ethically sources the finest raw natural materials the earth has to offer. With ingredients ranging from Japanese Bamboo Charcoal to Brazilian gemstones, they formulate treatments that are luxurious, truly effective and all natural by combining essential vitamins, minerals and botanicals to restore skin to its optimum health and vitality.
Nice right? Yeah, they’re great. They stand by their mantra and are consistent with the products they present. Natural, non-toxic, high quality and just plain good for your skin/body. I wanted to highlight my three favourites at the moment and give you the low-down on why they’re so awesome! So, here we go!
Pink Clay Exfoliating Masque: As HB states, “This is a truly beautifying and skin softening mask. Great to use before a night out or anytime your skin needs some extra nourishing and TLC. There are no fillers in this mask, just skin softening totally natural botanicals and clay.”
To be completely honest, this mask was not my favourite at first. I didn’t feel like it was doing anything. I thought it was just a pretty pink mask that simply sat there and maybe just calmed and softened your skin a bit. NOPE. This mask is no joke one of my new favourites! The ingredients are amazing, and after a couple of uses, I noticed a lot of benefits! Smoother, brighter, clearer, calmer skin. Here’s a list of the ingredients that make up this wonderful mask:
French Pink Clay: Pink Clay is for cell renewal, skin rejuvenation, and improving elasticity. It is very good for mature skin, bust firming, broken capillaries, and puffy dark circles under the eyes. It is high in Iron Oxide and Silica and helps to regenerate connective tissues.
Rosehip Powder: Rosehip combines the traditional cosmetic use of Rosehip with a new application of Rosehip Seeds: exfoliation. Traditional use of Rosehip is mainly based on its sensorial properties, which convey an image both of delicacy and effectiveness. In the same way, Rosehip exfoliates the skin in a mild but efficient way, giving the skin a healthier and more radiant appearance.
Chamomile Flowers: Soothes skin rashes, minor burns, and sunburns. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, Chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection.
Full ingredient list: French Pink Clay, Rose Petals, Rosehip Powder, Chamomile Flowers
Sea Mist Hair Texturizing Spray: “Sea Mist Hair Spray is formulated with the same salinity as ocean saltwater. This spray is great for adding beachy texture and waves to hair naturally. The essential oils of coconut and vanilla give off an exotic aroma.”
Fortunately, HB has changed the scent of this hair spray to coconut + vanilla…which, yes please…sounds amazing! Anyway, I LOVE this texturizing sea salt spray! It’s like the Bumble + Bumble, or Kevin Murphy beachy waves spray…but formulated without all the alcohol, chemicals and toxic ingredients. It provides texture, a beautiful, light scent that lingers and it’s refreshing! You can also use this spritz for your body! It contains aloe water to hydrate your skin, and it’s also safe to use on your face. I just love all of its uses!
Aloe Vera: There are certain benefits of Aloe Vera that produce healthy hair. The gel obtained from a freshly-cut plant has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can be enjoyed when the gel is applied on the hair and scalp. It helps to clear itching, dry scalps, and brittle hair.
Vanilla Essential Oil: This oil has a relaxing and calming effect on the brain and the nerves that provides relief from anxiety, anger, and restlessness.
Full ingredient list: Purified Water, Aloe Vera Water, Dead Sea Salt, Coconut CO2, Natural Vanilla Oil, Lime Essential Oil, Leucidal
Lapis Facial Oil: I saved the best for last! THE BEST, everyone. I kid you not, this oil has been a lifesaver for any inflamed, red, problematic skin I’ve had.
"Lapis Lazuli, a favorite stone of ancient Eygpt, is known for its gorgeous deep blue color. Lapis Facial Oil is named for the precious blue oils it contains, including Blue Tansy and Blue Yarrow. These oils contain a component called Azulene which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial that aids in reducing redness and clarifying the complexion. Formulated for combination, oily, and blemish-prone skin types or any skin in need of relief from inflammation."
The ingredients in this facial oil are unbelievable and truly one-of-a-kind:
German Blue Chamomile: A highly sought out oil in the skincare world, due to its anti-inflammatory soothing properties. Excellent for calming inflamed skin due to acne blemishes. Also, reduces redness and broken capillaries in any skin type prone to red irritated skin conditions. Blue Chamomile is also a natural antibacterial that works to prevent blemishes from forming in the first place. This oil is steam distilled and is naturally a beautiful shade of deep aqua with a high Azulene content. It is also an antioxidant protecting the skin from the oxidant effects of free radical and premature aging.
Blue Yarrow and Blue Tansy: High in Azulene content giving them a deep inky blue color naturally. Azulene is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial that aids in reducing redness and clarifying the complexion. Additionally, blue oils are excellent at balancing oily skin without drying.
Jojoba Oil: Has amazing moisturizing capabilities due to being so similar in structure to our skin’s own natural sebum; it is easily absorbed and also helps other oils to absorb more deeply into the skin. This oil is also ideal for combination/oily skin types because it will never clog pores.
Squalane: Our Squalane is derived from a vegetable source — olives to be specific. Vegetable-derived Squalane has excellent emollient properties and acts as a light protective barrier to keep moisture in the skin. It also protects the skin against hyperpigmentation and premature aging.
Jasmine Sambac Oil: Comes from the night blooming variety of Jasmine. It is a sweet and exquisite oil that has been used in skincare and perfumery for centuries with good reason — the scent is intoxicating and the oil itself works to increase the skin’s moisture content and increase its elasticity. Our Jasmine Sambac comes from the steam distillation of thousands of jasmine petals.
Full ingredient list: Blue Tansy, Blue Yarrow, German Blue Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Colorless Jojoba Oil, Jasmine Sambac Oil, Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Squalane, Vitamin E Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil
I mean, you can’t get any better than that. I use it every night, and sometimes during the day as a spot treatment – if needed! It is a skincare kit MUST.
Back in the day, (2009-2010 to be exact) when I was a lot “newer” to organic products…I remember walking into Whole Body in Nashville (where I lived at the time) and thinking ‘WHOA, there are some cool lookin’ skincare products here that I’ve never even seen or heard of before. Not to mention, really great ingredients!‘ Acure Organics being that specific product. I remember going a bit crazy in the store and purchasing their Brightening Facial Scrub (which is like holy grail to this day), their Ultra Hydrating Body Lotion and their Superfruit/Chlorella Eye Cream! I used the mess out of them, and to this day have (and always will) love me some Acure Organics products.
I recently received these wonders, and have absolutely loved using them! So let’s get right into it!
That’s a bit of a mouthful, eh? I was a bit skeptical about this shampoo, it had amazing reviews, nothing bad to be said – and yet I was certain that I wasn’t going to like it because of its oil base. My hair is fine, there’s a lot of it, but it can get weighed down easily. Well, did it ever prove me wrong!
This shampoo states that it is for normal to dry/damaged/curly hair. I don’t necessarily have the latter, but I’d say my hair is pretty normal to dry. It provides amazing, lasting moisture leaving my hair soft, manageable and silky smooth. The Organic Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cells, CoQ10, and Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil–high in Omega 7, make up their patent-pending Triple Moisture System. Pumpkin Seed Oil –high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, adds shine. “Hair repair with serious flair.” Annnnd BAM, it’s (thank goodness) safe for color treated hair*!
In conjunction with the shampoo, this conditioner provides lasting moisture to even the most dry and damaged hair. It’s left feeling oh so soft, tangle free, healthy, repaired, and overall lovely. Safe for color treated hair.
Lord knows no one wants all the chemicals and crazy toxins found in your everyday foaming shaving gel! But, don’t sweat it! This organic, chemical-free foaming shaving gel is powered by air! This shave gel actually FOAMS and dispenses just like ‘dad’s old stuff‘! No nasty gases or environmentally insensitive bag-in-can packaging. This package is 100% recyclable PET with a patented air compression dispenser that creates real shaving foam packed with soothing Aloe, Calendula + Blue Chamomile. HELLO? Talk about amazing. It leaves my legs feeling incredibly soft after I’m done shaving. Not to mention, if I don’t wash it off…it’s like a leg lotion.
Last, but certainly NOT least – cus it’s my favourite, favourite Acure product!
It is no surprise that this treatment has received all the praise, and amazing reviews. It was even voted as Best Natural Beauty Productin Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine. This blend of brightening lemon probiotic and proprietary organic chlorella growth factor help to smooth out your skin’s texture and tone. Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) Stem Cells help prevent photo-aging and oxidative stress.
The Resurfacing Treatment has the consistency of a somewhat thick cream; it’s not runny at all, which I love! (No mess, ftw!) The smell is quite herbal; it’s kind of tough to describe. It can take a bit of getting used to, but ultimately I enjoy it. To apply this treatment, I use one pump from the dispenser, apply it directly to my face, and pat it in. It is so great at smoothing things out, and works great under make up – which is GREAT news for women like myself who like having a smooth surface to apply make-up, without relying on silicone-based primers. Overall, this treatment will be a consistent must-have for me! I have already noticed a difference in the redness I carry in my cheeks, as well as some blotchiness in other areas. This stuff is amazing!
I recently came across this skincare line that claimed to balance the pH of the skin and act as emollients or conditioners for the skin. The entire line, working in a “positive manner with the body’s bio-system to aid in skin restoration, which expedites the recovery and repair of skin from various unpleasant and unattractive skin conditions.” That was pretty impressive to me, and so, I dived right in to see if what these skincare products claimed to do was true.
Aleavia‘s products are alkaloid based bio-stimulants which actually feed a wide variety of friendly microorganisms on the skin causing the healthy bacteria to go into a feeding frenzy. This ultimately results in much higher activity levels of normal friendly bacteria. Over a short period of time, the “good guys” will completely overwhelm any harmful bacteria, virtually eliminating skin disorders of many types. These skin care products accomplish this on a molecular level using a combination of 100%-natural, organic, and environmentally safe ingredients.
Pretty great, right? I mean, why subject your skin to any sort of harsh chemical or toxic ingredient? Aleavia has been such a Godsend to me. Simple, cleansing, soothing, restoring and refreshing. I’ve been loving it!
Immerse Lavender Prebiotic Soothing Body Wash
Boy, was I ever impressed (still am) with this extremely moisturizing, and calming body wash. You know, I remember back in the day when I’d use a generic body wash (full of terrible ingredients) that claimed a lot of these same properties, but wasn’t living up to the hype. I’d wonder why my body felt super dry and almost “squeaky”…not realizing I had stripped it completely void of any natural and beneficial body oils. This body wash does exactly the opposite and is amazing and definitely leaves me smelling lovely, fresh and feeling smooth and clean.
Immerse Lavender Prebiotic Soothing Body Wash
Cleanse Prebiotic Neutralizing Facial Cleanser and Makeup Remover
No lie, my hands-down, favourite facial cleanser right now! When I want a serious cleanse from a full-face of makeup – this is it.
It’s hard to find an organic, chemical-free, natural oil based cleanser that does the job of completely getting off ALL makeup. Sometimes it’s tough because there isn’t enough lather, or you feel like you need to really “wipe” all of what’s left, off with a cloth or something. The best thing about Cleanse is it is 100% organic, and it removes make up quickly and entirely, all in one wash. Seriously, the best facial cleanser I’ve come across yet.
Cleanse Prebiotic Neutralizing Facial Cleanser and Makeup Remover
Restore Prebiotic Skin Restoration
This…spray…is…awesome! It was specifically created to take unhealthy skin and restore it back to healthier conditions. Of course, with all natural ingredients, the Restore spray is truly..well, restorative, ha. It not only can be used on your face and body, but your scalp as well. Lord knows with all the crazy ingredients in hair care products I’ve used year after year, prior to detoxing my skin/body care, my scalp needs some healing! It can tend to be dry, sometimes itchy, so I welcome any organic/clean hair care product that claims to soothe and restore.
Lately, after I shower, I towel dry my hair and section off some front pieces (where I get most dry) and spray it with Restore. It immediately feels refreshed and soothes any irritation I may still have – I’ve definitely noticed a difference! Along with the uses mentioned above, this spray is also great for those with rosacea, eczema, acne or scarring.
Restore Prebiotic Skin Restoration
I really do love this whole organic skincare/body care line and recommend it to anyone and everyone! The simple, prebiotic ingredients are seriously amazing and I can personally say that I am very happy with the results. I will continue to use Aleavia and look forward to healthier, happier skin!
Ok, so now for some long awaited music! I’m SUPER proud of this band (Les and Jake are good pals) – they’ve come a long way from their Nashville days to their recent move to L.A.! These dudes are SO talented! You can read more about them in an interview I did with them last year, here.
Their new song Someone Else has been on repeat since it released Tuesday! It’s sooo good. So go ahead, check out LANY:
If you’re keen, here are some of their upcoming tour dates! You DO not want to miss out on their shows!