Swapouts: Natural Version of Clinique’s Black Honey

Swapouts: Natural Version of Clinique’s Black Honey

natural version of Clinique's Black Honey

I didn’t even blink when I didn’t repurchase my sulfate-ridden shampoos. No whining from me when I switched to 5-free polishes.

But wait, Nars Orgasm Blush is off the table? My trusty Lorac Wet/Dry Powder that I tell myself was formulated just for my tan/freckled olive skin is now considered UNCLEAN? I’ve worked so hard to find the shades that suit my complexion and now I have to go through it all AGAIN?

Yes, friends. These were my reactions after reading things like this. Oh, and this frightening piece of literature about some of the most ubiquitous cosmetic brands.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The natural beauty product market has exploded in the past few years and I’ve found clean replacements for most of my products that are comparable in efficacy, and most of the time, surpass the performance of the ‘dirty’ products.

But then there are those holy grail items. They are the staples in your beauty regimen for which you seemingly can’t find a natural, clean replacement. I’m in the throes of this struggle, y’all.

Vapour's 'Torrid' on the left, Clinique 'Black Honey' on the right

Vapour’s ‘Torrid’ on the left, Clinique ‘Black Honey’ on the right

Wearing Vapour's Siren Lipstick in Torrid

Wearing Vapour’s Siren Lipstick in Torrid

The first time I tried Clinuqe’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey was in the Century City Sephora in 2009. Yes, I was late to join the cult following that this little lipstick touts. I recall trying it on and feeling glamorously adult; sophisticated with just one swipe of that rich, sultry, deep-berry shade. Fellow cult-members understand how flattering and unique it looks on all types of skin. I purchsed it and have always had one in my makeup kit until a few months ago when my last tube ran out and I didn’t repurchase becuase holy shit, I found that Black Honey, and dozens of other Clinique products, tested positive for led. LED! I believe they have reformulated, but the brand’s lipsticks still rate an average of 4 out of 10, a medium level of concern on EWG’s Good Guide. Overall, I would not consider Clinique anywhere near a clean cosmetics brand.

I’ve tested samples of all sorts in the past few months, with the goal of finding a similar replacement for the shade. Hold on to your socks becuase I’ve found IT.

I have now joined the cult of Vapour’s  Siren Lipstick in ‘Torrid‘, where members are slightly less crazed due to the lack of led in their brains and have bushier eyebrows…or something.

While the consistency of the Siren line is lipstick-y, I have found that applying lip balm as a base then applying Torrid with a light hand gives almost the same shade as one swipe of Black Honey, a dark plumb glisten. This shade is buildable if you’re wanting to achieve a striking, bold look (also great if you happen to be a professional witch, ha ha).

Buy on Vapour’s website or, if you’re in the L.A. area, try it and buy at The Detox Market.


Let’s Talk About Sweat, Baby (and natural deodorant options)

Let’s Talk About Sweat, Baby (and natural deodorant options)

This post is going to make me sound completely granola, but I’ve gotta do it.

I have always been a healthy eater sweater. I remember picking up the the clinical strength deodorant as a teenager, praying for it to solve my embarrassing underarm sweat circles that appeared on my shirt, from just sitting in class, not even doing anything – WTW?  I am proud to say that at almost 30, my hormones have finally mellowed out but I still have some crazy-active pits, man. I now know that sweating is a very, very good thing and a sign of being healthy and hydrated. You know, if you like the whole rosy-cheeked, glowing skin thing. Sweating out the nasties is approximately 89% of why people practice hot Bikram/hot yoga.

Toxins and bacteria leave the body through sweat; it’s perfectly normal to have a bit of musk at the end of the day. Biologically, our natural odors serve multiple purposes; attracting partners, hormone regulation, detoxification, and aiding our immune system. Women have been brainwashed by big corporate personal care brands into thinking that we must smell like dainty exotic flowers at all times of the day and that our hair and skin must be squeaky-clean. Guess what, my little bunnies – this is all money-making messaging that is harming consumers. The majority of commercial personal products include nasty, synthetic fragrances that make us feel clean, but are dirtying up our endocrine systems. I’ll go au naturale and deal with a little 4 pm armpit funk rather than bubblegum-rose scented carcinogens

And yes, I DO still wear deodorant and adore pretty-smelling things, but I have sworn off any products containing aluminium. This is the active ingredient that allows a deodorant to be labeled as an antiperspirant. It can accumulate in your body and essentially plugs your sweat glands, blocking the toxins carried in your sweat from being purged from the body. Those toxins have to go somewhere, so they are absorbed back into your lymph nodes and proceed to wreak havoc. Again, not natural in the slightest. While the scientific literature on the aluminum-breast cancer link is not conclusive, I’ve chosen avoid the risk and allow those nasty toxins to leave my body, not remain floating around doing who knows what to my lymph nodes! For those of you exploring natural deodorants, you will rarely find one labeled as an antiperspirant because the ingredients would never be healthy or holistic choices for truly natural deodorant formulas. Unfortunately, among the 6-8 natural deos I’ve tried, only a couple were fairly effective.

But alas my fellow healthy sweaters, I have found the pièce de résistance, the creme de la stank-no-more:

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream – After reading about the hype, I broke down and bought this at The Detox Market in West Hollywood.yes,  I was the girl standing in line genuinely excited to be buying a jar of deodorant.  At first, I was a little weirded out about the idea of having to dip my finger in the cream and get intimate with my lady pits. But after a couple days, I got over it and and discovered that holy kerschmoles, this stuff works!! Bonus – since switching to this deodorant, I have noticed smoother armpits, less prone to razor bumps from shaving.

Let me say that again: IT ACTUALLY WORKS!

photo 2 VV Blog

I have been using this deo for about a month and it has done its job, even on super sweaty dance and yoga workout days. I do still sweat, but any odor is neutralized by the essential oils of lavender and tea tree. I think it’s the also the cornstarch and kaolin clay that do the trick. At $14 a pop, it’s not the cheapest find out there but it looks like my jar will last a while – about 3 months.

Some ingredients to look for in natural deodorants:

Clay, corn starch, chamomile, and essential oils (peppermint, tea-tree, lavender, etc.).

Other natural deos I’ve tried:

Dr. Bronner’s Rose Liquid Soap – One of the many ways to use this is as a deo. I applied directly to the skin, no dilution. Worked for a few hours per day, then needed another application. Experienced a white residue. I love it as a body wash and all-purpose household cleaner, but not as deo.

Toms Lavender Deodorant – Just no. Don’t even. Like putting lip gloss on my armpits. Did nothing.

Lavanilla The Healthy Deodorant – Smelled amazing. Was effective for days at the office but left me smelly on gym/yoga days. Absorbed quickly. At $18 a pop, It is definitely a splurge. I would recommend to those transitioning from mainstream to natural deo.

Burt’s bees spray – Skip. One of the first ingredients is alcohol- I guess they wanted to sanitize the shit out of their customers’ armpits? Ended up with dry, irritated, sweaty skin. Smelled like bug spray and hospitals.