My Lipstick Collection: October 2016

As far as natural lipsticks go, they don’t last for an extremely long time – 18 months to two years – and I like it this way. There are so many opportunities to use the beautiful colors I own, and I’d rather have perishable lipstick than lipsticks bathed in chemicals to preserve them which last for years. Frankly, I’d be weary of using these. You put these colors on your lips, ladies.

Hence, I wear natural and as-non-toxic-as-possible lipsticks. These are all the lipsticks I own and wear, not counting samples:

Burt’s Bees Lipsticks

Juniper Water





Magenta Rush
Magenta Rush
Lily Lake
Lily Lake
Ruby Ripple
Ruby Ripple

Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick

Vintage Merlot
Vintage Merlot

Pure Anada (old formulation – now they are formulated with rosehip seed oil and castor oil)








Silk Naturals Velvet Matte Lipsticks



Red Apple Lipstick


Back to the Fuchsia
Back to the Fuchsia
Coral Crush
Coral Crush
Wine & Dandy
Wine & Dandy
Plum Sexy Crazy
Plum Sexy Crazy
After Hours
After Hours
Ooh La La
Ooh La La

On My Wish List: Lily Lolo Filthy Rich Eyeshadow Palette

Lily Lolo's new Filthy Rich eyeshadow palette - just in time for fall
Lily Lolo’s new Filthy Rich eyeshadow palette – just in time for fall

As far as non-toxic eyeshadows go, many people immediately think of colored powders in tiny jars and a bit of a mess as far as application goes. Although I do like the eyeshadow samples I’ve received from Pure Anada and Silk Naturals, I not-so-secretly prefer the ease and convenience of pressed. (On a side note, Pure Anada does offer pressed shades you can customize into your own palette, and Silk Naturals offers a pressing kit which is not for the faint-hearted.)

However, pressed natural, non-toxic eyeshadows are not as ubiquitous as non-toxic lipstick, and if you do happen to find them, many times prohibitively expensive (ahem, Kjaer Weiss), especially for a mother of three ready for a steady writing job.

After some research, you can imagine my joy when I discovered Lily Lolo’s eyeshadow palettes! Lily Lolo is a natural and non-toxic cosmetics company based in the UK.  I’ve been eyeing Laid Bare and Smoke & Mirrors since spring. At $34 for 8 little shadows, they’re a bargain, especially when you consider the quality of the ingredients. From the description:

“Organic botanicals, Pomegranate oil acts as an anti-oxidant while Manuka oil is anti-bacterial.  Silky and creamy consistency   Oil free, Non-drying, comfortable formula suitable for all skin types.  Non-comedogenic, allows skin to breathe easily.   Winner of the Green Beauty Bible Award.  Does not contain chemicals, bismuth, talc, or dyes (FD&C, Lake).   Vegan Friendly.  GMO-Free.  Gluten Free. Organic.  Preservative Free.  Fragrance Free.  8g”

This is quality stuff, gals.  I was game, but I couldn’t decide which palette to choose. I contacted Lily Lolo and I received a quick response.  Happily, the company was coming out with new palettes for the holidays.

Luckily, fall 2016 is here, and Lily Lolo features a brand new palette: Filthy Rich.  Oh my shadows, this palette is just what autumn ordered. Aptly named, it contains rich bronze, copper, sumptuous chocolate, and gold.

Compact enough to stick in your purse
Compact enough to stick in your purse

These colors are beautiful and versatile. I find this comparable to Laid Bare, only better for me, as my skin is medium-deep tan. I can see pulling these off for daytime as well as glamming it up for those fall and winter parties.  Some reviews claim these eyeshadows are not extremely pigmented, but Lily Lolo offers an eyelid primer to increase both wear time and depth of color.

Check out the swatches on a fair hand – gorgeous, no?

Lily Lolo Filthy Rich eyeshadow swatches
Lily Lolo Filthy Rich eyeshadow swatches


Clean Dozen: My Current Top 12 Nontoxic Beauty Brands

I’ve recently gotten into natural, non-toxic make-up -henceforth makeup for ease and convenience. In my quest for truly non-toxic products, I found natural means different ingredients to different people. Others are concerned about being cruelty-free – a worthy goal – but without caring much about the safety of beauty products for general health. Others are the opposite. Ideally, all beauty products would be cruelty-free and non-toxic, but until Monsanto gives up its hold on US agriculture and Trump’s hair looks great, we have to settle for sleuthing each and every product we encounter.

I also learned natural doesn’t mean products are going to be good for skin or not toxic for you. There are plenty of toxic, natural ingredients in nature – poisonwood oils anyone?

As a result of my research, I came across multiple brands I had never heard of. I also saw some familiar ones. Origins is not as non-toxic as I’d thought previously. This is a brand I’d been using for years, albeit sporadically as just recently, at the ripe old age of 39, I started using makeup regularly again. Why, you ask? Why the sudden interest in makeup when I wasn’t interested, since my first makeup experiences in early adolescence? (With the nasty smells and icky applications of the early nineties, that past interest died a quiet death.)

It all started when I received Origins trial skincare sets for my birthday. So exciting! I’d mentioned I loved Checks & Balances frothy face wash and I was only too glad to start using it again. It’s the best face wash I’ve ever used. It leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed, not dry, and a little goes a long way. I bet that trial size is going to last me six months.

My Origins gift also includes Andrew Weil skincare products, which smell fine with essential oils, but stings my skin. After washing my face every day, I felt so clean and moisturized. There was this ball coming up soon and alas, my Origins makeup was too old. Off to get new makeup. The subject of my budget-conscious (hastily made) natural make-up choices is best left for another post.

This post is about the natural, non-toxic brands I was exposed to and I either ordered (first three) or I’m ordering samples from in the near future (the rest):

  1. Honeybee Gardens (ordered samples, currently using several lipstick colors, including Burlesque, and the mineral pressed foundation)
  2. Red Apple Lipstick (several sample shades, including Back To The Fuchsia, plus the Rallye Lip Balm)
  3. Pure Anada (ordered several liquid foundations and two lipstick colors, including the shade Sienna)
  4. Lily Lolo (haven’t ordered yet, but intrigued by company – and it’s British!)
  5. Alima Pure
  6. Pacifica
  7. Silk Naturals
  8. 100% Pure
  9. Axiology
  10. Zuzu Luxe (eyeing the eyeliner – see what I did there?)
  11. Nudus (Dirty Diana lipstick shade is to die for)
  12. Burt’s Bees (drugstore brand with an organic line and some good products)

Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation Samples Are In!

The Opening Ritual

Few things are as electric to me as receiving a package in the mail with samples. It’s like Christmas in August! I ordered Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation samples a few days ago – they came in quickly, and I’m pleased as a peach. As soon as I’m safely in my locked bedroom inner sanctum away from the kids and the noise, I open up these beauties. I like the packaging already – neat and cute, with the a-P distinctive of Alima Pure:


Here they are outside the packaging:

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Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation Find Your Match

Pretty, aren’t they? Alima Pure has a vast array of Satin Matte Foundation shades, 45 to be exact! How to choose? The site is easy to navigate and Alima Pure has a couple of choices. You can order a special 10-shade set which the company has procured for you for $24 when you click “Find Your Match” – below. You choose from the sets, which are numbered 1 through 8. When you order a set you get a kabuki brush and $10 off on your full-sized Satin Matte Foundation when you have determined which shade is your match. 

Find Your Match


 DSC01023  DSC01025

How I’m Going to Find My Match

Alima Pure also sells individual samples for $1.75 each. Since each full-sized satin matte foundation is $28 and I was already close in determining my shade, I chose the latter option. I took my time picking out the right shades. I have medium-deep olive/neutral tan skin which means it can be tricky to find the right foundation. I am from very mixed ancestry, which I’m exploring. Ultimately, I selected six shades:

Beige 5, Beige 6, Neutral 6, Neutral 7, Olive 2, and Olive 3

The other reason I didn’t go with the $24 offer was that curiously, all of these I had selected were not included in one 10-sample Alima Pure curated set. For instance, with my complexion, I would have picked either Set 5 or 6. These are what is included in each set:

Set 5:  Cool 5, Cool 6, Neutral 4, Neutral 5, Beige 5, Beige 6, Warm 5, Warm 6, Olive 3, Olive 4

Set 6:  Cool 6, Cool 7, Neutral 5, Neutral 6, Beige 6, Beige 7, Warm 6, Warm 7, Olive 4, Olive 5

I know I’m not of a cool undertone, so the two cools would have been wasted on me. I’m not warm either, as warm in other foundations I’ve tried tend to look orange on me. I’m either neutral, olive, or beige. I selected beige if neutral or olive wouldn’t work out. It’s sort of my backup plan.

Since last week Alima Pure had a sale coupon, I used this to get 10% off on my sample order, which brought my own carefully selected six-shade set to $9.45.

Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation Samples

Trying Out The Mineral Powder Foundation

I can’t wait to try all of them out. So far I’ve already tried Beige 5, which has lasted all day and miracle of miracles, my face has not shone all day! I’m usually slick as an oil well by midday, but so far, so good. Must be the kaolin in it. My skin looks polished and sophisticated. I didn’t even use finishing powder as I wanted to test the actual foundation’s staying power.

The samples are cute and generous, and if I have to guess, I could use each sample at least 5 times.

Beige 5 Shade

As far as color is concerned, I feel I can find a better shade as it looks as if it’s slightly off in color, but it remains to be seen when I compare it to the other shades. The change I saw while putting it on was ever-so-slight, but I’ve been squinting my eyes to really see which foundation will be my perfect match. To offer a comparison, I’ve been using Pure Anada’s Niagara Fawn shade, but I feel my shade is closer to something between Pacific Tan and Niagara Fawn, if this only existed in pressed form.  The closest match to date has been Pure Anada’s Medium Pressed Sheer Matte Foundation.

Why Alima Pure?

In my quest to only use non-toxic and truly natural products, I’ve narrowed down a set of ingredients which I avoid. Alima Pure has none of those, and I’m happy to see it uses only high-quality ingredients.

Conclusion of First Look at Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation

Anything with matte in a foundation’s title is going to get my attention. I appreciate Alima Pure’s choice of 45 shades as women of mixed ethnicities (as I am) most often have a hard time finding the right shade.