Smart Sheep wool dryer balls

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Giving these a shot. Wool dryer balls. They’re supposed to be a healthy natural alternative to dryer sheets and they’re supposed to reduce dry time too!

• Unscented / fragrance-free laundry
• Eco-friendly and not plastic
• No Xenoestrogens (and other unhealthy ingredients found in dryer sheets)

Mostly it’s hard to find unscented dryer sheets and every fabric softer I’ve tried doesn’t work well in my ancient washer (or at least clothes still ended up staticky and wrinkled.)

Fingers crossed!

Natural deodorants roundup and review

Anyone want to guess which natural deodorant is my favorite? 

Natural deodorants roundup and review: EO Organic Deodorant Spray (Vetiver), Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant Roll-On (unscented), Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On Deodorant (fragrance free), Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant (Mexican Lime & Bergamot), Nourish Organic Deodorant (unscented),

The least effective is the Nourish Organic Deodorant (unscented) for me – unless I just want moisturized underarms. Unscented sure but ineffective for me.

My favorite is the EO Organic Deodorant Spray in Vetiver but a spray bottle is idiotic for a deodorant so I bought an empty roll on bottle to fill. They have a lavendar scent and a citrus scent as well but no unscented.

The Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant – Mexican Lime & Bergamot is a last resort because it’s a bit sticky feeling. The scent is wonderful however. They have an unscented but it wasn’t available locally at the time.

And the other two I love BUT I have become temporarily allergic to them several times (underarm rash is no fun) so I can’t use the Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant Roll-On (unscented) or the Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On Deodorant (fragrance free) daily. Quick note on scent for these two: the Tom’s of Maine “unscented” actually smells like Fruit Loops cereal for some reason and the Naturally Fresh “fragrance free” actually smells like a light masculine musk. While neither of these has any added fragrance, not even of the natural variety, if you were expecting something in a deodorant with no smell at all you aren’t likely to find that.

I’ve been using the EO deoderant daily for months now no problem though and I haven’t reacted to it like I have some of the others. Only down side is that it smells a bit like gin and I had to buy a separate roller bottle. Why don’t I like a spray? Because FAR too often I’m dressed before I remember deodorant. I can apply a stick or a roll-on under a shirt but a spray doesn’t work well when this happens. EO I would LOVE it if you offered these in a roll-on. ALSO you have forgotten about the 3 oz rule for travel liquids and the spray bottle would be thrown out by the TSA.

None are as effective as chemical laden deodorants at fighting scent on an intense day but I can say that four of these come pretty close for me. (I threw in the Nourish Deodorant because it’s popular right now, unscented, and if it works with your body chemistry, it’s the healthiest.) None are antiperspirants – not sweating is not natural … but I don’t want to smell bad doing it.

Please keep in mind when dealing with natural deodorants that your own personal body chemistry may have an impact on the results you get. I know I’ve tried a couple (not shown) that were so useless for me that I trashed them without thinking twice but had decent reviews from other people (some people say that the Nourish deodorant works for them!)

TMI? 🙂

So here’s the breakdown of each of these natural / organic deodorants from the Cosmetics Database (in order of which ones work the best for me):

  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3EO Organic Deodorant Spray (Vetiver) Cosmetic Database 3 Ingredients: Organic Ethanol, Purified Water, EO® Essential Oil Blend [Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Organic Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Organic Geranium Maculatum Oil, Organic Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Organic Cedrus Deodara Wood Oil, Organic Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil]
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant Roll-On (unscented) Cosmetics Database 3 Ingredients: Propylene glycol, Water, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Organic), Witch hazel water, Zinc ricinoleate, Glyceryl laurate, Zinc citrate, Hectorite clay, Chamomile aqueous extract, Coriander fruit oil, Cymbopogon schoenanthus (Organic Lemongrass oil)
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 1Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll On Deodorant (fragrance free) Cosmetics Database 1 Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum), Zinc Ricinoleate, Xanthan Gum, Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis Flower), Phenoxyethanol
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant (Mexican Lime & Bergamot) Cosmetics Database 2 Ingredients: elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, saccharomyces ferment, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, sorbitan olivate, oryza sativa (rice) hull powder, bisabolol, tocopherol, allantoin, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf extract, glycerin, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract
  • ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 0Nourish Organic Deodorant (unscented) Cosmetics Database ZERO (zero is the healthiest possible) Ingredients: Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Organic Saccharomyces Ferment

July 2013 Birchbox vs Ipsy

Unboxing video for both the July Birchbox as well as the July Ipsy:

In my July 2013 Birchbox:

  • Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow – perfume free is a pro on this one … but there are two forms of dimethicone in this. Some good ingredients in this and some ingredients I recognize to not be so healthy. I can’t find the ingredient list online to copy and paste and it’s rather lengthy so I’m not going to run it through the cosmetic database for a score (it’s not in there without the custom report.)  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – I don’t know how accurate or current this ingredient list is but it does say there is dimethicone which rules it out for me personally. There are too many ingredients here for me to type it all into the cosmetic database for you to check the score to see if it is otherwise healthy for you. Generally it doesn’t look too bad but for me this is a  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars  (Can more companies or Birchbox start posting full ingredient lists online in a way that’s more accessible? This gets frustrating even outside of Birchbox at times.)
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo – fragrance and two types of dimethicone. Custom cosmetics database report on the ingredients brings it up as a 6 which is not exactly healthy either. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Condition –  fragrance and  dimethicone. Custom cosmetics database report on the ingredients brings it up as a 5 so again not exactly healthy either. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • FRAIS™ Towelettes Individualsamazing ingredients but I think this has to be one of the most expensive per use products to date. Cosmetics database ranks it a 2 which is excellent and there are a lot of healthy oils and other ingredients in this AND it’s supposed to remove waterproof mascara. However most makeup remover, moisturizing facial towelettes come in packages of 30 for between $6-$10 (so at most about $0.33 each.) This is $8 for a package of 7 towelettes! ($1.42 per use!) Since it’s individual packets I do think this might be good for travel but … I just can’t see using this regularly. Then again Birchbox hooked me on the LA Fresh nail polish removers for $0.50 a pop when regular bottles of nailpolish removers are only a couple of dollars and last an untold number of uses. So we shall see. Since I haven’t docked any others for price I’m going to leave this at starstarstarstar 5/5 stars

In my July 2013 Ipsy:My July 2013 Ipsy bag - cute hot pink!

  • POP Beauty – Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush – No dimeticone but it does use fragrance and petrolatum and mineral oil. A custom cosmetics database report brings it up as a 4. Between that and the fact it doesn’t have dimethicone I’m going to give it a try. It’s not super healthy but it’s … ok. If the manufacturer would skip the fragrance it would bring it’s score down quite a bit and be healthier even though it still would still not count as a natural product. I have tried this on and the shade is a little odd on me … I’m still undecided on it. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 3/5 stars
  • BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample – mineral oil, talc, parabens. Meh moving on. I know I don’t want to use it. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • COOLA Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer –  I checked out this company’s full line back when I received the COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face back in the May Birchbox and pretty much everything looked awesome. So good in fact that I bought the unscented sport sunblock already but had been hoping to try the unscented face spf at some point. Scents right on your face can get a little old quickly if you aren’t in love with them and I wanted to see if this was something that worked better for say somewhere you might be out all day that isn’t the beach. starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars
  • Sexy Hair – Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray – at first glance I thought “well it’s only the fragrance I’m annoyed about. Then I ran it through a custom report with EWG’s skin deep cosmetic database and ended up with a 10 … TEN out of ten for highly hazardous ingredients. Bah! Ten is the worst possible score! But no dimethicone in this one… ugh. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • derma e – Microdermabrasion Scrub – 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, glycol-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free. No dimethicone or synthetic fragrance either (it does have a natural scent to it that smells fairly lemony.) And it ranks a measly 2 with the cosmetic database so this is a winner for being a healthy product and I look forward to trying it. Fingers crossed! starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars

Birchbox 05/25 stars = 0.2 stars total staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
Ipsy 13/25 stars = 1.92 stars total starstarstaremptystaremptystarempty

If I had to choose between the two boxes, month after month Ipsy has been winning hands down for me personally. It’s just those occasional gems and finding out about new brands along with Birchbox’s points system…. and well basically all the things I wrote about in this post that’s keeping me with Birchbox. It is what it is. 🙂

Hilary's July Birchbox vs Ipsy review and video

PS – my fun and funky straw fedora came from Kohl’s. Since Birchbox mentioned Power Plays being “A move that puts an individual in a position of victory and strength and/or maximizes one’s happiness or confidence and allows for extreme freedom”… I would have to say this hat would be my current power play. I hate having to dry my hair in the summer and this hides the fact that I keep washing and running or going to the pool and then not having styling tools with me… or for today it was an instance of not washing so I could make it to an early morning meeting and then my hair looking a little frazzled by the end of the day but I still wanted to get this video done so I plopped on the hat. I also wore it to Forecastle Music Festival so my forehead and ears didn’t get burned (with or without sunscreen my forehead seems to burn if out way too long) but I do think I need to find a hat that has a bit better ventilation because this one has a tendency to heat up when it’s 85+ degrees outside! 🙂