21 December 2016

12 Days of Gift Guides {Clean + Ethical Beauty}

Hey y'all,

The holiday season has taken a lot out of me with 6 parties in the last 2.5 weeks along with lots of babysitting, gift grabbing, and post office runs so it looks like y'all will only get 6 of the 12 planned 12 days of gift guides (unless I post like crazy Friday evening when I get off work). One of my sweet friends and fellow bloggers, Traci of Choosing Better actually decided to help me out with a gift guide focused solely on clean and ethical beauty. Traci over the past 12 months has been working on a challenge to transition her beauty produces to more safe and ethical options. You can read all about her journey and some of her favorites she has discovered on her blog here. So check out her recommendations below if you are shopping for a beauty lover or are just curious about what clean beauty encompasses.

The Christmas season is always a super fun time for beauty lovers, because all of our favorite brands come out with pretty holiday packaging, exclusive sets of the newest winter hues, and lots of sales and deals to entice us to buy new goodies for ourselves and our friends. But how much do you really know about the popular beauty companies you typically purchase from? Sometime last year, I realized that I loved buying new makeup and skincare products and indulged this habit frequently, yet I didn’t really know much at all about the companies I was supporting, the research and methodology behind how they made their products, and most importantly, what was actually in these products I was putting on my skin each day.

Over the last year, it’s been my goal to educate myself on ingredient safety and to become more knowledgeable about the world of “clean beauty," which encompasses beauty and skincare products that don’t contain chemicals that are toxic to the human body. I've also learned to ensure that the companies I support are cruelty-free, meaning they don't employ animal testing in their development process. I’m so excited to share some of my discoveries with you in this gift guide! Check out these beautiful, safe and ethical products that you can feel great about gifting to yourself and your friends this holiday season:

1. 100% Pure Eye Shadow PalettesFor the eyeshadow lover, these palettes from 100% Pure are the perfect gift! Each palette comes with three coordinating shades of eye shadow, a blush and a luminizer, making this one of the most useful and versatile palettes I've seen. I love these palettes because they use 100% natural formulas, deriving their rich colors from from the pigments of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and seeds. Most importantly, they are free from talc, which is contained in most conventional eyeshadows on the market and has some concerning safety data. 

2. Alima Pure Eye SetsAlima Pure’s motto is “minimal ingredients for maximum impact.” They strive to provide high-performing cosmetics free from any unnecessary or harmful fillers, and I love them for it. They’ve created two eye makeup sets just for the holidays (Smoky Eye Set and Soft Metallic Set) which each include two shades of eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, and a cosmetic bag, all for $75. As if their gorgeous and clean products weren’t exciting enough, they’re also donating $5 from every holiday gift set purchased thru January 15th to the Global Fund for Women

1. S.W. Basics Organic Lip Balm Flight: I rarely wear color on my lips, but I adore a good lip balm set and always have one (or two!) on my Christmas list. S.W. Basics is a darling little company based in Brooklyn, NY that believes in plain and simple ingredients (most of their products contain 4 or less) and responsible, ethical sourcing and production. Their philosophy is that the simpler your skincare is, the better. They released this adorable lip balm set for the holidays, which includes Peppermint, Cocoa, Citrus and Cinnamon flavors. At just $15, it’s a perfect stocking stuffer!

2. Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Tint: When I do wear color, I love subtle shades that go on smooth and moisturize my lips. This coconut oil lip tint from Herbivore Botanicals fits the bill perfectly. The versatile shade complements a variety of different skin tones, and the nourishing ingredients are great for sensitive skin, especially during the dry winter months! 

3. Savannah Bee “Bee the Balm” Gift Set: Savannah Bee is another one of my all-time favorites for lip balms. Their founder, Ted, is passionate about beekeeping and educating the public on the value of these hard little workers and the natural resources they create. Savannah Bee lip balms use organic beeswax as a base, along with a host of other natural and nourishing components. I adore their unique, delicious flavors! This adorable set includes their 7 classic flavors in a cute zipper pouch, all for $22.50.

1. Little Barn Apothecary Aloe + Rosewater Balancing Facial Mist: LBA is a luxury clean skincare line based in Atlanta and founded on the principles of simplicity and nature. Their Aloe + Rosewater Balancing Facial Mist smells divine, feels light and luxurious on the skin, and is great for toning after cleansing, setting makeup, or just providing a refreshing pick-me-up. I would certainly love to find one of these in my stocking!

2. Hidden Forest Theo Face Wash + Mask: Hidden Forest is the premiere natural skincare line from NC’s own Be Pure Beauty, and this gem is one of my favorite discoveries of the year! Theo is a multi-tasking chocolate face wash and mask. (Yes, real chocolate). It has 8 simple ingredients, all hand-picked to deliver maximum nourishment to any skin type. Plus, it smells like the most decadent dessert you can imagine. This is perfect for any chocolate lover in your life!

3. 100% Pure BB Cream: Another great option for the makeup and skincare lover is 100% Pure’s BB Cream. The simplicity of only 3 shades takes the guesswork out of gifting, and the smooth, creamy formulation works beautifully for a variety of skin types. And of course, the ingredients are natural and nourishing!


C & Co. Skin Therapy Gift Set: I can’t resist mentioning one of my favorite brands for all-natural body care: C & Co Naturals. C & Co. products are handcrafted in their flagship shop in Asheville, NC by talented skincare artisans who know their stuff. I adore their soap and lip balm (of course), and use their lotion bar on the regular - so this set that includes all of those goodies, plus their luxurious sugar scrub, is a huge home run in my book. This gift is perfect for anyone who could use a little pampering!

Raven + Lilly Ashoka Plume Print Organic Cotton Makeup Bag: Last but not least, I couldn’t resist including these beautiful organic cotton makeup bags from Raven + Lilly as the perfect accessory to hold any clean beauty treasures you plan on gifting! These bags are from their India Collection, and provide employment opportunities for women who have been freed from sex trafficking. Isn’t it empowering to know that something as small as the bag you put your makeup in can have a positive impact on someone’s life around the globe?

Thanks, Traci for all of your recommendations! I am adding the Hidden Forest Theo mask to my "to buy" list!

Did you miss a gift guide:


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  1. I love this list and can't wait to try out a few things. Thanks to both of you for sharing, and I hope things calm down for you very soon!

    NCsquared Life

  2. Oooh I keep hearing about Herbivore products and am intrigued by them. And I love the Savannah Bee gift set!

  3. Love these gift ideas! As I've gotten older, I prefer organic skincare so this is great.


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