@Birchbox unboxing and reviews November 2013 #moregood

Birchbox unboxing and reviews November 2013 - ClothingCult.com

Mox Botanicals Bath Milk in Vanilla and Coconut – “All Mox Botanicals products contain no parabens, sulfates, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances or dyes.” YES!!! So excited. I’ll list out the ingredients for the Bath Milk for those who have strange allergies, since I couldn’t find that info online but the company’s philosophy rocks! Ok … not on the product packaging either so I’ll have to email the company… More than likely these would rate a 1 … but that’s just guessing! ūüôā

Ahmad Teas Assorted Teas – ok it’s tea, I’m good, not wowed but I suspect the quality will be good on these (though coffee would win though if you pit in a fight to the death against each other.) English Tea No. 1, Raspberry Indulgence, and Jasmine Romance. Probably not going to review these here late. ūüôā

Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace¬†– I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I got this in one of my ipsy bags¬†back in June and I’m actually running low on this and needed to reorder. It’s a great multitasker. It’s a concealer, it’s a light highlighter, it blends well AND it’s super healthy!!! When I saw this was a possible product in this month’s box I got super excited … not only at the possibility of getting one in my box but I was hoping that at the very least I could snap a few more up with the free shipping that typically accompanies products included in a specific month. It has lasted about 4 months which is not bad for a multitasking product I use a LOT. I’ll be ordering more of these!! See my Chella Highlighter Pencil Ivory Lace swatch and review¬†here as well as the¬†¬†EWG cosmetics database review (it’s a 2!)

Miss Jessie’s¬ģ Original Leave-In Condish – the only major negative with this is the fragrance… pretty good on the ingredient list otherwise. It still ends up a 4 with the cosmetic database … synthetic frangrance really takes it’s toll folks! (And I’m not just going on what I’m told, reducing the number of synthetic fragrances in my life has been one of MANY factors in reducing my allergies.) I may give this a try still as long as it doesn’t make my nose immediately rebel (there are some that are more intolerable than others… heck I don’t even do well personally with some natural florals.)

Nope nope – Miss Jessie, the scent killed this one for me. Tim gaged and coughed when I walked into the room and said I smelled like an old lady and I thought it smelled like VERY strong laundry. I started to feel like I wanted to get away from the scent after about 15 minutes but I couldn’t because it was ON my head so there was no getting away. I ended up drying my hair just to see if heat would help remove some of the scent and it didn’t. It felt like if I had let it air dry I would have had amazing curls though. But the overpowering scent led to me washing my hair three times and still smelled like it but at least it was more tolerable. If they got rid of the scent I would try it again.

Allergies and synthetic fragrance toxicity aside, if I wanted to wear a perfume of my choosing, this product would obliterate that as well. Why do companies feel the need to so much scent in everything? I know that scent is tied to emotion and can make some products more desirable but there’s really a limit how far you should take that.

And please please please … if you’re going to tout natural, paraben free etc. maybe think about the scent being natural as well please! SO close on this product!

Color Club¬ģ Harlem Lights Collection¬†in Baldwin Blues¬†– I don’t think I’ve met any Color Club nail polish that I didn’t like. This collection has a few standout colors. The Baldwin Blues is one that was my top pick and Sugar Rays is an interesting subtle holographic shade that looks like it will change based on the angle you look at it (I might go back and buy this one.) The Baldwin Blues looks a little bit more blue online but in person it’s a little more teal. Like a perfect deep deep creamy teal perfect for fall and winter. I’m already in love with this one! Swatch video coming soon.

So my top pics from the November 2013 Birchbox¬†are …

the Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace and the Color Club nail polish in Baldwin Blues. I think I may like the bath milk as well but I’m not big on taking a lot of baths.


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Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

Empty & repurchased – love the¬†Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist! Isn’t that the true test of loving a product is when you buy it again when you run out? I think this is the second time I’ve repurchased since I use this almost daily!

No hold despite what the bottle says (this is NOT a hairspray) but excellent detangler and light shine / moisture. It’s more like a leave in conditioner spray that keeps your hair feeling happy and healthy.¬†Works well for both curly and straight hair styles. I’ll talk about it more when I cover natural hair styling products!

Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

Natural & Organic Shampoo & Conditioner
{My Natural Hair Series Part 1}


I once heard what sounded like some great advice: if you find a shampoo and conditioner you love, try the hair sprays, volumizers and other styling products in the same brand and you’ll probably end up liking them too.

The only problem is that really doesn’t hold true particularly when you hit organic and natural product lines. Worse is that many natural and organic companies that make shampoo and conditioner are very sparse when it comes to styling and finishing options.

And even worse than that, I have issues with anything rose scented and Tim can’t be around me if the rosemary or lavendar is too strong (and rosemary makes my hair look A-Maz-ing! Argh!)¬†I would be using Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo¬†and their¬†Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner¬†but the rosemary in them gave Tim a headache. :/

So what’s a girl to do when she she has allergies, her¬†significant¬†other has allergies AND she wants to go with a natural product? Research a LOT and try a LOT of products until one clicks.

For reference and for those familiar with the¬†Naturally Curly hair types,¬†I’m either a 2b or a 3a since most of the time the curls don’t go to the crown of my head, sometimes they coil but sometimes they just do a simple “s” and I can also straighten my hair (not pin straight) without too much trouble (unless I go out in the rain.)

So let’s start with the basics,¬†Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo & Conditioner:


Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo | Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner
The¬†shampoo is a 2¬†with EWG’s Cosmetic’s Database, and the¬†conditioner is a 3

This is not my be all end all perfect combo but it’s what I can use daily and my hair looks good without killing me or Tim. I do want to try some of the other Desert Essence Shampoos and Conditioners but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet and keep rebuying this one.

What I love about these Desert Essence Fragrance Free products :

  • It doesn’t weight down my hair.
  • It doesn’t build up in my hair.
  • You can use it week after week with the same results instead of feeling like it’s no longer doing it’s job after a few weeks.
  • I don’t have what I would call “hippy hair” like I have with some other natural shampoos & conditioners (Dr. Bronner’s, I’m sorry, but I’m looking at you.)
  • “Fragrance Free” is NOT a gimmick and scents are not masked by “light” added fragrances like some other products. There is a light light scent when sniffed directly in the bottle, but that’s really from the product ingredients AND it really does rinse out. I recommend reading over the ingredients to see if there’s anything you know you personally might have a problem with but this is one of the best fragrance free products I’ve found.
  • It’s a good base for everything else.
  • No: cones (dimethicone), parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates

What I don’t like:

Where I would suggest starting if you don’t already use a natural / organic shampoo, conditioner or other styling products – Shea Moisture kits:

Now that I’ve spent all of this time talking about the Desert Essences Fragrance Free line, I’m going to switch gears. If you are looking for somewhere to start in your journey for natural hair care products, I would highly recommend starting with the Shea Moisture kits. Particularly since I’m going to talk about some of their styling products from these kits that I DO use:


Shea Moisture Organic Curl & Shine Kit Coconut & Hibiscus | Shea Moisture Hair Repair & Transition Kit Raw Shea Butter & Argan Oil

I was able to pick both of these up at my local Walgreens. And don’t worry too much about the fact that they’re in the ethnic hair care section. Unless your hair is super thin and straight, I think at least a couple of products in these kits will work for many different types of hair.

Like the Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner, the Shea Moisture products are also free of: cones (dimethicone), parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates

If these don’t work for you or you have allergies or scent sensitivities I would move on to the Desert Essence¬†Fragrance¬†Free line.

Some other brands of natural / organic shampoo and conditioner that I’ve tried and thought were ok:

  • Avalon Organics: The¬†Lavender¬†OR Rosemary shampoos and conditioners I’ve tried and are good. And after I shower they aren’t intense enough to bother Tim. However when compared to the Desert Essence, my hair looks better with the Desert Essence. I haven’t tried the rest of the Avalon Organics line. Rosemary Shampoo is an EWG 4 and Conditioner is an EWG 3
  • Aubrey Organics: This line is very hit or miss. From my recollection one of my main problems with these was that there was product buildup. I needed to switch back and forth between two shampoos and conditioners to keep certain ones from weighing down my hair and others from stripping too much oil out. Some of these however would be excellent options for the more curly girls out there which is why I’m mentioning it. One of my favorites from their line is actually the¬†Swimmer’s Normalizing Conditioner for Active Lifestyles – it’s a really thick and luxurious conditioner and I didn’t seem to have the same buildup problem with it. I used it for awhile with the Avalon Rosemary Shampoo.

I tried the following were “meh” or didn’t like them:

  • Burt’s Bees:¬†I wanted so much to love these shampoos and conditioners but they just did not cut it for me. I tried at least two of their shampoos and conditioners and they did nothing good for my hair. I did so just after they came out (mentioning in case they adjusted the formula.)
  • Nature’s Gate:¬†just meh. Not good, not bad for the hair just … nothing special. A little harsher on the hair than some of the others I’ve mentioned. Also some have parabens and some other ingredients I’m trying to reduce.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap:¬†Serious Hippy Hair … ugh. I love this company but I just can’t bring myself to use the castile soap for anything. I tried the castile soap for my hair over a period of three days once and it just never felt clean and wasn’t looking good either. Tangly, ratty, hard to work with and dirty feeling. I really hate having to say this because they do make some good products and I know some people who can and do use the castile soap instead of shampoo but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Do NOT start here and judge natural hair care based on this alone.

Others I haven’t tried but would / should:

  • Jason Naturals
  • Alba Botanica / Alba Hawaiian – I’ve tried practically their whole line but not the shampoo and conditioner yet
  • Say Yes to Carrots

Do YOU have a favorite natural / organic shampoo & conditioner that I haven’t mentioned here that I should try? Have you tried any of the products I mentioned and want to share your thoughts? Feel free to post in the comments below! ūüôā

Up Next in { My Natural Hair Series } :¬†Natural / Organic Styling Products I’m currently using