Social Icons

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ecostore Review and Giveaway

Ecostore has been in business in New Zealand for 20 years. They offer baby care products, bath & body care, hair care products, household cleaners, and pet care items. According to their website all of their products are made from plant and mineral based ingredients and free of toxic chemicals. Their slogan is "No Nasty Chemicals."Their products are available on-line and at Meijer stores, if one happens to be in your area. Ecostore USA always offers free shipping on orders of $25 and more.

I was contacted by Ecostore USA to try a couple of their products and write a review. I decided to try the Rosemary Orange shampoo and Lemongrass soap. I was eager for the package to arrive and to try the products. The packaging used for shipping the items were even environmentally friendly: the packaging peanuts made from soy, the news print, packing tape, packing slip, and box all made from recyclable paper.

Lemongrass soap
I loved the shape of the bar of soap. A 2.7 oz bar sells for $4.00. The sides were rounded and it fit easily in my hands. I loved the lemony smell. It didn't dry my skin like some soaps do. The ingredients of the Lemongrass soap are:
Sodium Palmate (palm oil)
Sodium Cocoate (coconut oil)
Sodium chloride (salt)
Vegetable Glycerine
Tetra Sodium Etidronate and Tetra Sodium EDTA (antioxidants used to preserve the stability of vegetable oils in soap base. Derived from vinegar. Safe for skin)
Lemongrass oil
Titanium Dioxide

Rosemary Orange Shampoo
The shampoo cleaned my hair well without drying it or leaving residue. it left my hair soft. When I first saw the price for the shampoo $11 for 6.8 fl oz, I thought that was expensive (being the thrifty person that I am.) Ecostore's products are super concentrated, so a little goes a long way. I've been using it for about 2 weeks and I still have nearly 3/4 of the bottle left. The ingredients of the Rosemary Orange Shampoo are:
Lauryl-glucoside (from glucose)
Derivatives from coconut and palm oil - olefin sulphonate
Polyol Coconut Fatty Acid Ester
Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate (from natural amino acid)
Citric Acid
Certified Organic Cider Vinegar
Essential oils of Rosemary Cineol, Orange Sweet Organic, Pine Scotch, Sage and Cypress.

Now for the giveaway -I'm so happy to hold my first blog giveaway! To enter (US residents only, please) do any or all of the following for each separate entry. Leave a separate comment for each entry:
  • Check out the items for sale at & leave a comment about which 2 items you would like to try if you win.
  • Sign up for the NO NASTY CHEMICALS newsletter at blog ( & leave a comment here saying that you did.
  • Follow Ecostore USA on Twitter @ecostoreusa & tweet about this giveaway
  • become a fan of Ecostore USA on Facebook.
  • subscribe to or follow this blog
  • blog about this give away & post the link here in you comment
Contest ends at midnight Monday, November 2nd. Winner will have 72 hours to reply to my winner notification email.
Update - Winner is Nycole at - Thank-you to all who entered.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"If I make one tiny positive change today, I consider myself green. It can be as simple as flicking off a light switch or buying an organic
apple. My motto is one change makes a difference, and if you can make
tow, that's even better!" Sophie Uliano, Gorgeously Green 8 Simple steps to an Earth-Friendly Life.
The above quote is from a book that I just started reading. I'm so excited! So far I've only read the introduction, but the book looks like an informative and awesome read. The books offers eco-friendly tips in the areas of beauty, home, fitness, style, food, travel, and gardening. So I eagerly await finishing the book and being able to blog about the results.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Natural Hair Color

I've colored my hair on and off since I was 15. My hair was a dirty-dishwater color that I couldn't stand, so I lightened it. Then about 8 years ago I decided to try red. I liked red; it looked good with my skin tone. It made me feel good too, more vibrant.

I made the decision about 2 years ago to use natural products in my hair and stay away from synthetic chemicals as much as I can. After showering there seemed to be tons of hair left in the tub and lots of hair left in my comb after combing my hair. I was getting concerned. I'd seen the older women with thin hair and bald patches. I didn't want that to be me. I switched to a more natural, organic shampoo. (I'd also seen the doctor and had a full blood work-up to rule out thyroid problems or some other medical condition.)

I started using henna on my hair. I loved henna. At first I was turned off by the smell, but I've since gotten used to it. The color is rich and beautiful, plus there's no roots to worry about. I also learned there are more options than just red. There's shades of brown, mahogany, chestnut, sable, and blond. Blond henna doesn't lighten hair, just brings out highlights.

Recently I decided to expand my horizons. I was at the health food store and saw some other "natural" hair care products. I decided to try Naturclolor hair color. I stopped using the henna for a few months. I put some yogurt with lactobacillus like their website suggests to remove the henna.

I opened the container, and "whew!" I smelled a pungent, unnatural aroma. This product is supposed to be natural, but it certainly smelled like chemicals. It may be more natural than the products available at the drugstore and be the "lesser of two evils." I got a shade of color from the "N" series, which is supposed to cover the grey better, but it didn't have any affect on the grey hairs. The hair color made my hair feel dry and straw like. The echinacea hair rinse that was enclosed made my hair feel silky.
After using Naturcolor I decided to stick with henna. It covers the grey, is very economical, natural, and gives my hair more body. It is fun experimenting and trying some of the recipes that are out there on the Internet to make it smell good and enhance the color. 2 of my favorite brands are Light Mountain Natural and Rainbow Henna.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Red Palm Oil as a moisturizer?

I've been using unrefined red palm oil as a moisturizer for about a year. I dab just a little on my face at night before bed. I discovered red palm oil when I saw an ad for an upscale face cream. I found out that the cream was very expensive and way out of my budget. I did some research and found out the main ingredient was red palm oil. So I bought some red palm oil to try.

The brand name cream supposedly is all natural. According to it's website it is supposed to fight aging, prevent the onset of dry crepe paper skin, restore the skin's oils that have been lost due to aging, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and give the skin a moist radiant glow. They boast that it is full of tocopherols and antioxidants.

Red Palm Oil is full of vitamin E, vitamin A, Vitamin K, and COQ10. Vitamin E is itself an antioxidant. I found that it does temporarily help in the reduction in appearance of "crepe paper skin" and fine wrinkles. Unrefined Red Palm Oil is an inexpensive, natural moisturizer.

Palm Oil is, however, shrouded by controversy. Rainforests are supposedly being deforested to make way for the palm tree plantations. This of course has an environmental impact. With such a heavy concern over climate change, many people are opposed to the use of palm oil and it's derivatives. One jar of red palm oil lasts a long time, so when the jar I have runs out I may research the effectiveness of other oils.

I searched a couple of local health food stores and was unable to find unrefined red palm oil. It is available on Amazon with a range of prices.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coupons and Special Offers

Derma e is offering a free sample kit ($4.95 shipping) containing 10 sample packets of their most popular produts. I've not tried their products, yet, but all you have to pay is shipping.

Here are some Special offers & Coupons for some great natural products. These are all brands that I have tried & recommend :)

$1.00 off on The Natural Dentist oral care items

$1.00 off coupon for Boiron Homeopathic Children's cold & cough relief medicine - get link for coupon by clicking picture above - read about the products here.

$1.00 off on Organic Valley dairy & eggs

get $1.00 off coupon on Laura's Lean Beef - cattle never given growth hormone or antibiotics

For some more coupons & offers check out these resources

Mambo Sprouts

Delicious Living

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is your mineral make-up really mineral?

updated March 7, 2011 - Apologies for the links to the original source being dead

Here is an interesting article about testing mineral make-up. The Beauty Bunny tested 5 different kinds of mineral make-up to see if they are truly mineral. The results are interesting.

update 3/27/14

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Facial Mask

I love this facial mask! I try to use it at least a couple of times a month. It leaves my skin feeling so soft. This was emailed to me a few years ago as a forward of a forward, so I don't know who it originated with.

2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup oats
1 large whole egg, beaten
2 tsp. sugar, granulated
1/2 cup milk
1 chamomile tea bag, broken open into mixture
1 Tbsp olive oil or light sesame oil
1 tsp. lemon juice

First cleanse face with a gentle cleanser; then rinse face with warm water to open up pores. Pat dry. Mix all of the ingredients above in a glass bowl, for two mins., to ensure even mixing and to allow tea to moisten. Apply your mask evenly, avoiding eye area. Rub the mask in circular motion in order to allow the sugar to slough off any dead cells,gently! Rinse after 15-20 minutes with warm water.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Photo by Lusi via
I decided to try to live a healthier lifestyle and use less chemicals. After making the decision to be more natural in my skin and hair care regimens, I considered anti-perspirants and deodorants.

Back in September of last year, I decided to go a week without anti-perspirant. I decided to try this after reading about how antiperspirants clog your pores, preventing your body ridding itself of toxins. Then I read some other articles saying they cause cancer. Then there is the debate about the aluminum in antiperspirant being absorbed into the brain, which is linked to Alzheimer's. Well I don't know if the cancer causing element is true or not. It seems there may not be enough evidence to support either argument. You can read this article for more info: Aluminum in Deodorant

I can tell you that I need antiperspirant. I can't stand being moist. I don't want my shirts getting sweat stains, and most importantly I don't want to stink. I've tried some natural deodorants, some left me less than impressed. The crystal deodorant I tried was okay. It was better than going without, but I wouldn't wear it with a fitted shirt at work and raise my arm, if you know what I mean.

The one that I did use and was happy with was Arm & Hammer's Essentials natural deodorant. It is aluminum free and Paraben free. It has baking soda and natural plant extracts. It does contain Dipropylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, and something called Tetrasodium EDTA. Which I didn't know what they were, only that it didn't sound natural. So I looked them up. I encourage everyone to look things up if they don't know what they are. Look at a few, reputable, sources to help you get a good idea. In my next blog I will talk about these items and what I learned.
If you're feeling adventurous here is a website with a recipe for homemade deodorant:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

About Me

I've been blogging for several years on various topics, mostly beauty and health related topics. I'm a mother of two young boys, a writer, and I've been a 911 operator/public safety dispatcher.  I'm now trying to age gracefully and coming to terms with the fact I'm not 25 anymore.

As a teen I wanted to be "beautiful" and glamorous like the women in the magazines. I read every book on beauty, make-up, and hair that the local library had. It took me a few years, but I finally realized that real beauty starts on the inside. Being well groomed is important, but even more so is what is on the inside of a person.

I like make-up and girlie stuff. I've tried to live a "green" lifestyle and avoid artificial ingredients as much as possible. However, I must admit that my bank account rules most of the time, and sometimes the less expensive products win.  but I've made the move to try to be as free of artificial ingredients as possible.  Affordability is really important to me.

Lately I've been turning to less glamorous household duties like trying to figure out how to get rid of fruit flies and how to unclog a drain without harsh chemicals. I'm trying to give up chemicals in my daily routine in both cosmetics and for household cleaning. I love baking soda, vinegar, and borax. They are so versatile!

I'm learning how to feed a family nutritious and wholesome meals on a budget. For years I was hooked on pre-prepared frozen meals, the grocery store deli, and fast food. I also was tired, suffered depression, and generally felt bad. Last year I visited a naturopathic doctor and decided to change my eating habits. What a person eats really does affect how a person feels. The experience was difficult for me because I've never liked cooking.

Questions or comments? feel free to e-mail me at