Beauty, Uncategorized

The Petite Yogini Tries Natural Lipsticks

Like many women I love makeup, and lipstick is my absolute favorite. However, a quick google search on this particular product might make you want to kiss it good bye. The FDA does not regulate cosmetics, many lipsticks contain dangerous ingredients such as lead and heavy minerals, and by some accounts we swallow between three to seven POUNDS of lipstick in our life time (realistically it’s probably much less, but holy!). Luckily there are more and more natural and even organic products. But how well do these products work? I tested a few out and share my thoughts below.


Burt’s Bees Lipstick

Color: 14 available. Tested: 532 Russet River; 502 Suede Splash

Key Claims: 8 hour wear, 100% natural, smooth satin finish.

Packaging: Recyclable. Made of 100% #5 plastic and 60% PCR content.

Featured Ingredients: Beeswax, Moringa Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil and Vitamin E.

EWG Skin Deep Rating: Not rated.

The trial: This product has a light delightful smell and goes on smooth. I loved both of the colors I tried out, they were very natural, vivid and super long lasting. The packaging is interesting and unlike any I’ve seen before. I found my lips dried slightly with repeated wear, but I have the same reaction to Burt’s Bee lip balm; overall a great product.

Vapor Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick

Color: 26 available. Tested: 401 Tempt.

Key Claims:  Industry’s healthiest lipstick, full coverage, cruelty free, made with wind power, no nano particles, no irradiation.

Packaging: Blue and silver skinny tube. Inner and outer packaging recyclable.

Featured ingredients: Castor seed oil, beeswax, Jojoba seed oil.

EWG Skin Deep Rating: 4

The trial: This product has a light, pleasant smell and taste. The shape of the lipstick itself is squared, but is thin enough to apply smoothly. My lips felt great wearing this product and after. The shade I chose is the perfect my lips but better color for me. I was impressed that the color was true to the swatches on the website, it looks the same on as in the tube and lasts and lasts. I would definitely buy more of this product and would try more of the awesome colors.

Jane Iredale PureMoist Lipstick

Color: 25 available. Tested: Margi and Liz.

Key Claims:  Vegan/Gluten free, cruelty free, moisturizing, antioxidant protection, vivid pigments and luscious flavors.

Packaging: Gold tube.

Featured ingredients: Triiosterayl citrate, mooring oil, avocado and sunflower seed oils, coffee seed extract, blackberry and pomegranate extracts.

EWG Skin Deep Rating: 3 (tested color not found but all available colors have this rating).

The trial: Both of the products I tried had a pleasant fruity smell/taste, probably due to the blackberry and pomegranate extracts. The colors were both bright (much more so than they looked online) but were long lasting and had a great feel.

Logona Naturkosmetik

Color: 11 available. Tested: 05 Almond

Key Claims: German personal care product, many certified organically grown ingredients, eaves out the synthetic preservatives, colors, and petrochemical derivatives, no animal testing, deliciously silky and soft texture.

Packaging: Gold and clear tube

Featured ingredients: vegetable oils, waxes, natural Vitamin E

EWG Skin Deep Rating: 4 (tested color not found but all available colors have this rating)

The trial: While this product had a slightly mineral smell, it didn’t have an off-putting taste. I really liked how this product went on, and the color was super wearable with a shiny finish.

Ilia Beauty

Color: 15 available (in the lip conditioner). Tested: 365 Bang Bang

Key Claims: Certified organic ingredients, best selling red

Packaging: gold tube

Featured ingredients: Castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, beeswax, candelilla wax, fruit oils

EWG Skin Deep Rating: 2 (tested color not found, but the one available for Ilia’s lipstick had this rating)

The trial: While this is a lip conditioner not a lipstick, I wanted to include it in the trial as it is highly pigmented and this color is fairly well known. I really liked the sheer color and it feels delightful on the lips both while wearing it and it leaves your lips soft and comfortable, though the mineral smell/taste did bother me a little bit.

The Bottom Line: There are lots of great natural lipsticks out there, and the few I tried hold up against mainstream lipsticks I’ve used. If I had to choose, I think the Vapor Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick was my favorite but I liked all of them. While it should be noted that natural lipsticks are not perfect and some still contain ingredients that may cause concern, they may be a safer option. When choosing a lipstick whether mainstream or natural check the ingredients, make use of tools like the EWG Skin Deep Data Base  and like anything please use in moderation.



Welcome, 2016!

The new year has arrived, a wonderful time of year that provides us with an opportunity for change and growth. In this spirit many people chose to make resolutions for the new year ahead. A resolution I hear often is to begin a regular yoga practice. This is an excellent goal with many rewards, but where do you begin to make such a practice successful? Here are a few suggestions to help you help you succeed.

  1. Set realistic goals. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have to dedicate to your practice, where you are at with your practice now, and what your goals are for a regular practice. Having realistic expectations will help make a regular practice sustainable and enjoyable.
  2. Make the time. Few of us have extra time or schedules that never change. Try to find a time that you are likely to be able to and will want to practice.  For instance, if you are not a morning person is it reasonable to believe you will get up an hour earlier every morning for your practice?
  3. Be flexible. If you typically practice in the morning and you miss your practice, can you find another time to work in your practice that day? If you don’t have 60 minutes, can you find 10? If you’re not feeling up to a full practice can you do some sun salutations or maybe just rest in savasana? Being adaptable will keep your practice on track.
  4. Everything in moderation. When you begin your practice start out slowly. If you practice for 90 minutes and are sore the next day it will be hard to motivate yourself to keep practicing. As active as you are, remember that you also need rest. Some days you will be too sick to practice or something will intervene, and that is okay; the best part of a regular practice is that it will be there for you to return to.
  5. Keep it fun! Routines can become pretty, well, routine. To help keep yourself motivated be sure to change up your practice by trying new poses, practicing to a new playlist, practicing along with a new video by your favorite teacher, or treating yourself to a new mat or yoga pants. Rejoice in all your successes, not matter how small, and do not be derailed by set backs. Most of all, always remember it was love of yoga that created your desire for a regular practice and never lose that joy.

It’s Apple Season!

It’s apple season here in Maine! During my last visit to my parent’s house I picked a 5 gallon pail of apples from their heirloom Wolf River apple tree. These large apples are great for baking and I’ve been cooking up a storm-apple pie, apple muffins, and one of my favorites-apple butter. Over the years I have learned to love this fruit butter; the preparation is simple, it smells and tastes delicious and as it is rarely sold in stores these days, it makes a great gift. Looking to make a batch of your own this season? Below is my recipe for an apple butter sweetened with another Maine staple- maple syrup.

Maine Apple Butter

4 cubbed apples (10-12 regular apples or around 8 Wolf River)

2/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3 tbs lemon juice

Wash apples. Cut out cores and cube apples leaving peel. Cook apples on medium-low heat stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until soft. Scoop softened apples into a blender and blend until smooth and the peels have disappeared. Poor mixture into pan and cook over low heat stirring frequently until the mixture has become very stiff, about 30-40 minutes or until it stands up in the bowl of a spoon without running to the edge and has a buttery consistency.  Remove from heat and add maple syrup, spices and lemon juice. Taste and adjust syrup and lemon juice as needed. Spoon into prepared jars leaving 1/2″ head space and removing as many bubbles as possible. Process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, turn off heat and allow jars to sit for an additional 5 minutes before removing.




Our new home came with a surprise- blackberries! They’ve finally started to ripen, so I picked every berry I could. While I’d normally save small batches to eat fresh, add to cereal, etc., we are headed up north for a wedding. Not wanting to lose the berries, I decided to make a small batch of jam. My recipe is below can be easily modified for the amount of berries you have (use half the sugar as amount of fruit).

1 1/2 cup of berries (crushed)

3/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 tbs lemon juice

Add ingredients to large, non-reactive pan. Blend ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil until mixture is greatly reduced and thick (about 5-10 minutes depending on the heat of your stove). Spoon into prepared jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Blackberries 1 Blackberry jam