Low-Budget Organic Beauty Finds , 1 Comment

Living the organic life may not be the easiest on your bank account, but beauty products are certainly the last area where you'd want to skimp. Below, some of our favorite (affordable) finds that will keep you glowing.

1) Aura Cacia Nourishing Cocoa Butter ($7.49 for a 4 oz jar) - Fair Trade certified, this skin care oil is vegan and not tested on animals. Because it is solid at room temperature, I recommend keeping something on hand to scrape it out of the jar with (the end of a spoon or a pair of metal tweezers work just fine). It smells delectably of chocolate in the container, but leaves a barely-noticeable, anonymous, sweet scent on the skin. Use your tool of choice to shave thin pieces off the top, and then rub them between your palms to warm & melt them before using medium pressure and a slow, circular motion to apply the butter to your body. 
2) Evan Healy Whipped Shea Butter for Lips with Raspberry Seed ($7.95 for a 0.25 oz tube) - Before you say that eight dollars is way too much for lip balm, consider that this one is actually twice the size of normal tubes (which means it will last you twice as long). Delicately scented and effortlessly smooth in application, this has become a staple in my evening routine. A few swipes of this after brushing my teeth, and I awaken in the morning with a plump pucker and a barely-there sheen to my lips. Also, it's great for late-night smooching, as it doesn't go on too thick or have a noticeable taste!
3) Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Unscented Baby-Mild Pure Castile Soap ($10.99 for a 16 oz bottle) - where do I even start with this? It's a god-send! The bottles are enormous, so they'd last you a long time even if the formula weren't so potent. It's billed as being 18-in-1, but my favorite use for it is as a daily body wash. A little drizzle of this on my shower pouf, and I can suds up my entire self with non-irritating, non-drying bubbles. After a good rinse, my skin emerges from the shower clean (but not dehydrated) and unscented. Delicate enough to use on your lovely lady bits, it is also perfectly suitable for men. 
4) Alteya Organics Melissa Water ($9.95 for a 3.4 oz bottle) - I have long been a fan of alcohol-free toners for the skin, and this flower water works perfectly as one. Melissa, more commonly known in the States as lemon balm, is revitalizing for the spirits and calming for the skin (especially if you are sensitive or have troublesome areas). Four or five spritzes on a cotton pad is enough to leave your entire face, neck, and decolletage area soothed and prepped for moisturizing. And if your skin is looking a little dull or feeling troublesome during the day, this is great to use as a facial spray as well! Simply mist over cheeks and forehead, breathe in the uplifting aroma, and continue conquering the world.
5) Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara ($9.99 for a 0.26 oz tube) - first of all, I love the packaging on this mascara! The metallic, green tube is curved and engraved to look like a leaf, and makes the prettiest addition to my makeup bag. The formula, like most organic ones, can go on a little wet (so keep your eyelash comb on hand and use it to separate your lashes and brush out any clumps between coats). I recommend curling your lashes before applying you first coat, and waiting at least one minute for the formula to really dry before applying a second (or third) layer. Since it isn't waterproof, touching your eyes at all while wearing this is a no-no, as it does smudge easily (especially in hot, humid weather). But it comes off easily with just water, so removing it at night is laughably simple, and it doesn't irritate even my sensitive, allergy-prone eyes.

- Maria Vasylivna