MAY PRODUCT REVIEW: Innersense Organic Haircare

So for May, I’ve got a real treat for all of you that love organic and natural beauty products. The wonderful folks at Innersense sent me their haircare line to review. I’ve got a ton of fun products for all different kinds of hair types, so let’s get to it.

First, let’s start with a little bit about Innersense Organic Beauty:
“Nature is at the Center of Innersense Organic Beauty. Our products are crafted from pure, certified organic plant ingredients your hair will love. Enjoy the hydration, moisture, shine and color protection only pure nature can provide and fall in love with the beautiful truth of innersense organic beauty.”

Who doesn’t want nature to make their hair pretty and shiny? It’s so much better than when machines do it.

“Innersense products are handcrafted from a rich combination of carefully selected certified organic and biodynamic plant extracts, rich in emollients and nutrients, high in antioxidants. Our products are built to restore hair’s natural balance, leaving it healthy, full of body and shiny.”

Am I the only one who gets excited when I hear the word “antioxidants”? I think it tricks my brain into thinking I can undo all the damage pollution from the Lincoln Tunnel has done to me.

It’s also important to note that Innersense is a certified green company, for those of you looking at beauty companies that are  into environmental sustainability.

Now my hair is naturally red, thick, wavy and currently so long it’s bordering on sister wife territory. It’s prone to tangles, frizziness and I often get dry scalp (maybe a little TMI on the last one). Just so you have a reference point for my product experiences.

Shampoo
Color Awakening Shampoo

(Retail: 8.5 oz: $24.00; 32 oz: $60.00)
Description: “A gentle cleansing therapy for color-treated hair, this formula creates a gentle bath for the hair and scalp. Sunflower seed oil, a natural anti-oxidant, protects color from fading and leaves hair naturally clean without residue or dryness.”
Verdict: Love!
This shampoo had a wonderful citrus scent that I adore. It didn’t irritate my sometimes sensitive scalp and had a nice lather (which is hard to come by with many natural shampoos). It also didn’t weigh down my wavy hair like other brands have. My hair isn’t color treated, so I can’t speak to it’s properties in that regard, but it definitely felt gentle. This one was a winner for me.

Conditioner
Color Radiance Daily Conditioner

(Retail: 8.5 oz: $26.00; 32 oz: $68.00)
Description: Formulated to nourish color-treated hair with natural proteins, aromatic oils and flower essences, this beautiful formula prevents build-up and includes sunflower seed oil for color protection..”
Verdict:
Great for folks with Color Treated Hair
My first impression on this was the scent – unlike the light citrus of the shampoo, this had a heavier floral scent. For me, it was a bit too strong, but I could see other people really enjoying it. This conditioner did a fabulous job of making my thick knotted hair, soft and manageable, but I noticed that when I used it every day I got a bit of build-up that weighed my hair down. I offset this by using a clarifying shampoo. I think because this is made for color-treated hair, it may be a bit strong for my natural locks, but it really did a remarkable job of getting the tangles out of my hair. I think this would work amazingly well for folks with color treated hair, so if you’ve got a fab dye job, you may want to try this conditioner out.

Scalp Treatment
Harmonic Healing Oil Soothing Treatment

(Retail: 1 oz: $22.00; 4 oz: $65.00)
Description: “A rich blend of sacred healing oils and flower essences, this product is ideal for soothing dry skin and scalp. With certified organic safflower and evening primrose oil, and the healing properties of sacred tamanu oil, this luscious oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and antioxidants. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for deep tissue massage and dry or irritated skin.”
Verdict: Like!
I’ve tried a lot of scalp oils and products and I really liked this treatment. It smelled lovely, (whereas other natural brands sometimes just smell like cooking oil) and it wasn’t super greasy. I haven’t tried it for my skin yet, but I really like that it’s multi-purpose as well. My favorite scalp treatments are scrubs and I’d love to experiment with combining this treatment oil with some salt to exfoliate.

Leave In
Sweet Spirit Leave In Conditioner

(Sale Price 8.5 oz: $19.79)
Description: “Natural oils, fragrant herbs, flower essences and a touch of honey leaves hair perfectly balanced and ready for any style. The natural orange blossom fragrance makes this a refreshing delight for all the senses.”
Verdict: Like
This has a lovely scent, wasn’t too heavy, and left my hair soft. It didn’t really make much of a dent in my frizziness, but it left it feeling refreshed.

Frizz Control
Curl Control Quiet Calm
(Sale Price 8.5 oz: $19.79)
Description: “Certified organic shea butter sets and hydrates curl while rice bran oil and oat kernel extract combines to protect hair when blow drying smooth.”
Verdict: Like
This had a soft scent and wasn’t harsh or heavy on my hair. I don’t blow dry my hair often so I didn’t get to try this out as much as the other products, but I really like having a natural product I can use to protect my hair against heat styling.

Gel
I Create Hold Styling Gel
(Sale Price 8.5 oz: $19.79)
Description: “Take control and embrace your style. Certified organic honey acts as a natural resin; organic rooibios tea adds antioxidant protection, while rosemary extracts crate incredible shine.”
Verdict: Okay
I’m not a gel person, I’m much more of a sea salt spray, let it dry, bohemian type. This gel wasn’t super heavy or tacky like some can be, but it didn’t work so well with my normal wavy style. I imagine it would work better with other hair styles and textures.

Volume
I Create Volume Volumizing Lotion

(Sale Price 8.5 oz: $19.79)
Description: “Add lift from roots to end with certified organic honey and aloe. Wheat germ amino acids combined with eucalyptus provide moisture and nutrients to improve elasticity and shine.”
Verdict: On the Fence
My hair is already thick, so I’m not sure I’m the target audience for this. I’m also accustomed to volumizing products that give a big bang and this one is a bit more subtle. I think this is a product suited for folks with thinner hair.

Hairspray
I Create Finish Finishing Spray

(Sale Price 8.5 oz: $19.79)
Description: ”This versatile spray, provides hold and manageability. Aloe and rice proteins provide moisture and strength, and certified organic lavender soothes the senses.”
Verdict: Like!
I’m not much of a hairspray person. And I hate, hate, HATE stuff that makes your hair hard or sticky. This is a lighter hairspray so if you want to beehive your head, I don’t think it’s going to work, but for less aerodynamically challenging hairstyles I think it works well. I like that it doesn’t harden my hair or smell like a chemical factory.

A couple products they sent me were more suited for short styles, so I couldn’t really try them out, (nor did I know anyone with suitable hair) but there’s no reason I can’t share some info on them with you all:

Texturizer
I Create Inner Peace Whipped Crème Texturizer

(Sale Price 3 oz: $16.20)
Description: ”This crème will leave any style peacefully texturized throughout the day. Certified Organic shea butter and fruit oils are whipped with wheat protein to condition and strengthen hair, while sunflower seed extract prevents color from fading.”

 Polish
I Create Inner Reflection Finishing Polish

(Retail 3 oz: $18.00)
Description: ”Add control and reflection to any style. Shea butter, wheat grass an sunflower seed extract condition hair and protect color form fading.”

Innsersense Haircare
Overall: Hit!
Except for the Color Radiance Conditioner, whose scent was a bit strong, I thought the products all smelled lovely. They were natural but not overpowering. Since I’m fairly no frills when it comes to styling, my favorite product was the Color Awakening Shampoo which I’d gladly purchase on my own. The styling products all come in really generous sizes and with most of them, a little product goes a long way so even if you are paying $20ish for a bottle, it will definitely last you awhile. I’d love to see Innersense expand the line a little more with a conditioner with the same scent as the Color Awakening Shampoo, an exfoliating scalp treatment and a sea salt spray.

The products all have a very natural feel to them and if organic beauty is important to you, this is a great line to check out.

 How important is it to you that your beauty products be organic or natural?

NOVEMBER PRODUCT REVIEW: Emtage Hair & Beauty

For November, the lovely folks at Emtage sent me a selection of really intriguing products to review. They are a natural beauty brand with products that feature botanical oils.

So first a little about this company:

“Emtage Beauty is born out of genuine passion and commitment for providing pure, premium, natural, multi-use products that are healthy for the body and the planet. We are committed to a lifestyle that focuses on the holistic approach of beauty, from the inside out. Our mission is to use only the purest, highest-quality ingredients that are fairly traded, sustainable and ethnically sourced that are effective and benefit the health of the skin, hair and scalp. We support fair trade women co-ops throughout the world, support human rights and are against the use of child labor and animal testing.”

Emtage has an extensive list of all the natural ingredients they use including things like Certified Argan Oil, Certified Sea Buckthorn oil and Mango Butter.

This seems like a super health conscious line and I’m interested to see how the products work.

Moisturizer
Emtage Island Beauty Balm, 2 oz
(2 Oz Retail: $18.40)
Description: “An exotic blend of organic oils, fruit extracts and butters to nourish, inspired from the Tropics where women are known for their beautiful skin. This multi-use cream moisturizes, nourishes, hydrates and protect face and body. Apply to face, lips, hands, feet, stretch marks, anywhere care is needed. Use a small amount on face as your daily moisturizer, makeup remover and night cream.”
Verdict: Like
This is thicker balm so it’s not something I would use on my face during the day. It is rich and hydrating so I think it’s great for those rough areas on the body that need extra hydration (like elbows, heels,and hands). I also could see using this on your face as a night treatment during the winter months when your skin might be feeling raw. This product didn’t have much of a scent and definitely had a natural feel.

Scalp
Emtage SILKtage Scalp Repair, Pre-Wash Healing Oil Treatment

(2 Oz Retail: $17.00)
Description: “An infusion of nature’s most healing organic botanical oils from around the world. This multi-purpose oil treatment nourishes the scalp, soothe itchness, dryness, eczema, psoriasis, relieve dandruff, strengthen roots and follicles and stimulate.”
Verdict: Like
I get a super dry scalp (especially in winter) which often results in that oh so fun problem of itchy scalp and oily roots. This is a treatment that you apply to your scalp and then leave on for a few hours (or overnight) and then wash off. I felt like this moisturized my scalp but it also made my hair super greasy while I waited for it to do its thing. So if you try this out just make sure you have some time to let it work before having to look presentable.


Styling Serum
Emtage Silktáge™ Rejuvenating Styling Serum
(1 oz Retail:$15.20)
Description: An infusion of nature’s most exotic organic botanical oils from around the world. This multi-purpose hair oil serum is nourishing to every hair type and especially beneficial to dry, stressed, frizzy hair—strengthening hair from the root and restoring moisture lost from styling heat, chemicals, and the environment..”
Verdict: Miss for Wavy Hair, Hit for Straight Hair
So hair oils are super trendy and I’m always up for trying a new one. I have thicker, wavy hair that is prone to frizziness. I tried a bit of this and let it air dry and while it made my hair shiny and helped the frizz, it sort of weighed down the waves and made them odd. It is much better suited for applying to wet hair, then blow drying.  I’m going to set this one aside for my blowout or flat iron days.

Cleansing Oil
Emtage Clear Glow™ – Camellia Cleansing Oil

(4 Oz Retail:$26.00)
Description: ”An infusion of nature’s most luxurious organic botanical oils from around the world. This all-natural cleansing solution combines the ancient beauty secret of Camellia with Olive and Red Palm to calm redness, diminish pores and blackheads, rejuvenate your skin and restore your natural glow. This multi-purpose cleansing oil treatment removes makeup, dirt and impurities and leaves your skin soft and clear while treating your skin and delicate eye area with age-defying antioxidants.
Verdict: Like
Oil cleansers are my absolute favorite type. I gave this one a “like” rating because I found it to easily break down make up and to go on smoothly. This is a natural product and has a nutty (almost cooking oil) type scent which just isn’t my favorite. It’s not overly obtrusive but I prefer a fresher scent in my cleansers, which is the only reason I didn’t give this one a “love”.

I saved my favorite items for last:

 Argan Oil
Emtage Argan Oil Rollerball
(.36 fl oz Retail:$12.99)
Description: “Rich, nourishing Argan oil provides instant hydration and age-defying benefits to nourish skin, soften cuticles and treat split ends. This precious, time proven oil in a rollerball form allows you to target and rejuvenate problem areas with powerful antioxidants, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids for a healthy and radiant glow that’s always with you.”


Argan Rosehip
Emtage Argan Oil Rosehip Rollerball

(.36 fl oz Retail:$14.99)
Description: “Rich, nourishing, luxurious blend of Argan oil and Rose hip oil infused with Geranium essential oil provides instant hydration and age defying benefits to dehydrated, dry skin, wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration. These precious, time proven oils in a rollerball form allow you to target and rejuvenate problem areas with powerful antioxidants, vitamin E, C and essential fatty acids to restore skin’s radiance and youthful glow.”

Verdict: Love!
Oils are great but applying them can be an arduous process. Pure Argan Oil can also be quite pricey. These adorable rollerballs have taken all the annoyance and expense out of using Argan oil. They have a metal rollerball that makes them fabulous for using on the undereye area. It gives a nice cooling effect that feels fabulous when your eyes are tired. These are also safe to use on your lips. I’ve been using the rosehip under my eyes and on my giant forehead wrinkle and I do feel like it’s made a bit of difference. The argan oil roller is perfect on my lips. These go on smoothly and are not sticky at all. Out of all the products I received, these are the rockstars.

OVERALL
Full Collection
Hit!

All these products were of good quality and felt super natural. A lot of the items had multiple applications which helps you get more bang for your buck. I really loved the Argan oil rollerballs so that put this collection firmly in the “hit” category for me.  The packaging on them is wonderful and it’s a inexpensive way to incorporate Argan oil into your beauty regimen.

Do you currently use Argan Oil? If so, do you notice a difference in your beauty routine?

 

Coupon Code: If you want to give these products a shot you can use my code at iherb.com: CVF809 for a discount on your first order. They are a fabulous place to buy everything from groceries to essential oils and they frequently offer freebies at checkout.

AUGUST PRODUCT REVIEW: Honey Girl Organics

So I’m just sneaking in my August product review. I like to hold these until the end of the month, so I have lots of time to try out the products. This month I have some skincare from Honey Girl Organics. (Isn’t that an incredibly adorable name? It totally sounds like a Japanese anime character). The Honey Girl folks were super gracious and sent me a sample of products to share with you guys.

So First let’s start with a little background on Honey Girl:

Honey Girl produces Certified Organic skin care products in Hawaii. They describe them as “Completely natural skincare made with nature’s best organic ingredients including honey, olive oil, beeswax, and propolis.” They also state that “…We collect these ingredients from our hives located in forested areas on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii , from our holistically managed hives..”

Foraged in Hawaii from holistically managed hives? Sounds awesome, sign me up for a jar of that.

Face & Eye
Face & Eye Créme
(1.75 fl. Oz Retail: $29.44)
Description: “This luxurious emollient will soften, moisturize and repair your skin, reducing fine lines while providing protection from the harsh elements. It hydrates and nourishes to bring out your natural radiance. This crème is extremely beneficial and gentle enough to use on the delicate tissue around the eyes.”
Verdict: Like
This product is super moisturizing and quite rich. Because it’s natural, once you open it, there tends to be a little bit of oil that’s separated at the top. A quick stir and the cream is perfectly fine. This is definitely a product more geared toward those with dry skin, or for use during the colder seasons. If you have oily skin, I’d say you should probably skip this one. The scent is slightly herbal, but not particularly strong or distracting. I found this to be super gentle around my eyes (which can be a problem area for me). The packaging is quite attractive and a little of this product goes a long way. If you have dry, sensitive skin this might be the perfect product for you. (Honey Girl also has an extra sensitive version of this product as well.)

Polish
Facial Scrub
(1.75 fl. Oz Retail: $24.69)
Description: “HGO Facial Scrub whisks away dead skin cells and increases blood circulation, helping to diminish fine lines, revealing plumper, younger skin and leaving it silky smooth.”.”
Verdict: Like
Of course at first glance I adored the itty bitty metal jar. I’m a sucker for tiny packaging. Once I got into it, the facial scrub had a really unique consistency, almost like a rubbery sort of texture. It was really intriguing. I found that this product to be a good exfoliator and quite gentle. Some scrubs can leave your face feeling a little worse for the wear, but this one left my skin soft without any irritation. I think it would work really great on those with sensitive skin. Honey Girl says you can use it once or twice a week.

Mask
Rejuvenating Mask
(1.75 fl. Oz Retail:$25.64)
Description:Enhance collagen production and stimulate new cell growth with HGO’s Rejuvenating Mask. It softens and moisturizes while providing the skin with the nutrition it needs to be the best. Good for all skin types..”
Verdict: Miss
Unfortunately, I’m someone who really doesn’t like sticky masks. I know that honey cleansing is the rage right now, but the consistency of this on my skin just didn’t work for me. While the herbal scent in this product was similar to the one in the cream, it was a bit more overpowering. My skin did feel tighter after using this mask, so it’s really just my preference for the texture of it. If you don’t mind honey type masks, you’ll probably like this one.

Lip Balm
Lip Balm
(.33 fl. oz Retail:$6.36)
Description:A luscious antioxidant lip treatment that soothes dry and chapped lips and protects them from dehydration.”
Verdict: Miss
This balm had a nice citrus taste and scent. Both the texture and wear reminded me of the Eos balms. It’s a harder balm and you just put a thin layer on your lips. The positive is that the balm will last you a long time, the negative is that because it’s a thin layer you’ll have to reapply frequently. I prefer thicker balms (like the Rosebud salve) so this one was a miss for me. It does feel nice on, and I love the scent. Because of the thinner application, I think this balm would be perfect layered beneath matte lipsticks. It won’t interfere with the color, but it will give you some extra moisture  to combat the uber drying characteristics of most matte lip products.

Cuticle Balm
Cuticle & Nail Créme
(.5 fl. oz Retail:$12.82)
Description: “This nourishing crème soothes protects and moisturizes whil providing nutrition for stronger and healthier nails.”
Verdict: Love!
You guys know I have a polish obsession so cuticle crème is right up my alley and I totally fell in love with this one. It is super rich and a little will go a long way. I found it really moisturizes my cuticles and nails and I’ve left the jar on my desk so I can apply frequently. I highly recommend this if you have problems with dry cuticles and peeling nails.

Foot Balm
Foot Balm
(2 fl. oz Retail:$17.49)
Description: “Our rejuvenating and moisturizing Peppermint & Lavender Foot Balm instantly soothes, nourishes, restores and softens your tired and overworked feet. It will also help with dry and cracked skin.”
Verdict: Love!
I love, love, love this product. It does exactly what it says and the peppermint smell is present but not at all overpowering. I tried this cream on my feet and put some socks over it. I checked back in just a half hour and the dry skin on my feet was so much improved. This is my favorite product and the best foot balm I’ve tried.

OVERALL
All Products
Hit!

I really enjoyed trying out this organic line. All of the products were super moisturizing and had that natural feel you expect from organic skin care.  Even the products that I found weren’t the right fit for me, would be great for someone with a different skin type or preference. This line is a great option for those with dry, normal or combination skin as we head into the fall/winter season. If you’re into manis and pedis, I highly recommend grabbing the cuticle and foot balms. You won’t be disappointed.

Do you regularly use organic skincare products? What are your faves?