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Am I the only one who gets immediately overwhelmed when it comes to thinking about going green and ‘doing the right thing’, especially when it comes to cosmetics? Earth Day is the perfect excuse to take a step beyond neurotic thinking about how you should have recycled that soda can and into proactive research on how to start making better decisions for our health and our environment. Thankfully there are several websites that have taken this complex issue and simplified decision making with their informative databases and articles. These three sites are dedicated to helping you make safe and informed decisions about the products you use every day, without needing a degree in chemistry or environmental science. 
 
1. Skin Deep Cosmetics Database: Reporting to be the world’s largest personal care product safety guide, Skin Deep was launched in 2004 by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group to provide “practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals”. Their aim is to fill in where the beauty industry and government have left off by creating online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. They have eight categories including: Sun, Makeup, Skin Care, Hair, Nails, Fragrance, Baby & Mom, and Men’s.

2. GoodGuide: This site states that it “provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on health, environment, and social impacts of consumer products.” With over 145,000 products rated using a combination of scientific experts and a “sophisticated ratings system”, the Good Guide helps consumers make purchasing decisions that reflect their preference and values”, whether it be issues related to health, environment, or social responsibility.

3. No More Dirty Looks: As opposed to the first two recommended websites which are databases of product ratings and reviews, No More Dirty Looks is a clean beauty and lifestyle blog. Written by Siobhan O’Connor, an editor of Prevention.com and Alexandra Spunt, art director for Everlane clothing, the authors believe that “making safe, natural, and responsible choices can not only be easy but also luxurious and — the part that matters most — effective.” Easy to navigate and fun to read, the website turned into a book deal for the duo, No more Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products— and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, your guide to greening your beauty shelf.   

Image from Redbook Magazine    
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Confession time: I used to shampoo my hair daily. The world of dry shampoos seemed a lovely fairy tale that made for a great story, but would do nothing for my very real greasy hair dilemmas. Naturally I sought to prove everyone praising dry shampoos wrong and began testing out as many dry shampoos as I could get my hands on. Some did nothing, some left my hair greasier than it started, and others left a powdery mess. But then it happened. I was proven wrong. Without further ado, I present you with the two dry shampoos that work so well I’ve been able to cut my hair washing in half. 

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: A friend from Switzerland originally introduced me to this French beauty brand. As a dancer and international traveler, she swears by the brand as the most effective in cutting down oil, giving her hair a fresh look despite dancing for hours and the minimal white residue quickly disappears after you comb the product through the hair. I’ve become addicted. 

Oribe Dry Texturing Spray: Advertised as a “brilliant alternative to dry shampoo”, the first thing I fell in love with about this product was the smell. The amazing, luxe fragrance that I’d like turned into a perfume, body lotion, and a candle (please Oribe!) is only one part of the overall ‘brilliant’ experience. The spray left no residue in my hair, left it with more volume as promised, and quickly absorbed any excess oil. This product has become a guilty pleasure that I’ll use in my hair whether its dirty or clean.      

Photo from Etsy
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If your hair is more baby fine than big and bouncy you’ll want to pay close attention to this beauty lesson. In general, fine, thin hair doesn’t require daily washing, but without a proper wash and blow-dry, your hair may be positively flat by day two. Enter hair thickening powders — I don’t know how long they’ve been on the market, but I recently discovered them and found the secret to reviving my limp locks in between washings. There are two powders in particular that I am a big fan of: One of them is Unite Expanda Dust (available for $26 at shop.unitehair.com); after I found out it’s role in Julianne Hough’s amazing Golden Globes’ hairstyle I had to check it out myself. Packed with ingredients and starches that are intended to thicken hair this powder delivers, and quickly. The other powder that’s become a must-have is Aveda’s Pure Abundance Hair Potion (available for $24 at nordstrom.com). Sprinkled directly in hair or emulsified in your hands with a little bit of water, the effect is the same, thicker, more voluminous hair.

Some things to remember when working with hair powders, a little bit truly goes a long way — the powders might seem light, but they deliver big! In general you need to just sprinkle a little bit at your roots and tousle hair with your hands to evenly disperse the powder throughout.  I generally follow up with a round barrel brush and a hair dryer to add some more depth to my roots and some curly bounce to the ends.
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A woman should always have a good eye cream in her beauty arsenal. Recently I gave Kiss My Face Eye Witness Eye Repair Crème a test run and have continued to use it daily ever since. I like how it feels when I put it on and I like the effect it has even more. I swear my eyes seem brighter and the skin’s definitely more supple and soft. And one of the best parts of the Kiss My Face products are the natural ingredients. I’m a sucker for skin care that repairs without layering on more toxins.

You can buy Kiss My Face Eye Witness Eye Repair Crème for $19 at kissmyface.com.
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With my delicate, sensitive, often dry, fair skin I can have a heck of a time finding the right moisturizer. Add to all that my skin’s reaction to sulfates and I swear I find myself spending more time reading labels then actually caring for my skin. In my quest I stumbled upon a great moisturizer from mark, their See Things Clearly Brightening Moisturizer.

They describe their formula as, “Mulberry, molassesand licorice combine for a unique brightening complex that, with the help of antioxident-rich lotus flowerworks to improve skin clarity.” In basic beauty speak this means it aims to revive skin and restore radiance with a brilliantly formulated mix of super fruits and super foods.  I don’t know about you, but one of the most depressing parts about winter for me is how dull and lifeless it can leave my skin, especially my face after braving the cold, brutal winds. And from my experience the past several months, I can say this moisturizer does all it sets out to do — My skin is soft, moisturized, and brighter, and as a bonus, I feel like my skin tone is more even! And, I have to give mark credit for their ingenious packaging. While it takes a little bit more effort to get the product going through the dispenser at first use, because of the kind of pump they use, your products will have a longer shelf life.

You can buy mark See Things Clearly Brightening Moisturizer for $10 at meetmark.com.

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