If you follow a lot of green beauty bloggers, you know that many of them have posted their holiday gift guides. After all, most people like to finish their gift shopping early – the presents purchased, wrapped lovingly and placed under the tree with care soon after the Thanksgiving turkey has been made into the first of many sandwiches. This guide is not for them. No, this is for all of you rushing around like coked out squirrels at 5 pm on December 23rd and sending desperate “do you think Jennifer would like a scarf” texts to your exasperated family members. This is for you, the brave souls who spend more on shipping than they do on gifts, because everything has to be delivered overnight. This is for the procrastinators, the overspenders, the bad children and the the flighty aunts. You are my people. I feel your pain and I am here to help. I will mostly keep to a single product per category so you have some money left for those shipping fees. As for those of you smug overachievers, you might just find some stocking stuffer ideas on this list.
Greetings, gentle reader. I ask that you brace yourself, for I am about share something with you that no beauty blogger should ever admit and something that will make you question every bit of advice I have ever given you and my sanity itself. Here it goes: I hate sunblock! If you are horrified and appalled, I understand. After all, the first thing every skincare professional, columnist and busybody (myself included) will tell you, is that sun protection is not just necessary for your health: it is, unquestionably, the best and most effective way to prevent sun damage and subsequent aging. So what gives?
Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Not the path to the dark side, but my path to anywhere when I travel. Or at least it used to be…
Hello once again from The Englishman. I call myself that only as guest writer here, but HH is so taken by my moniker, that I fully expect her to start introducing me as it in public. Anyway, I digress. It’s been while since I accepted my lot in life as a green goddess’s sidekick and things have moved on for me in my own green journey since I spoke to you all last. So I thought it worthy of a smattering of prose to convey quite how happy I am that green beauty is no longer just for travel, but has become a daily routine too.
In making the switch to green beauty, some products are particularly hard to replace. In this series of posts I will highlight the treasures discovered during my search for products that work as well, if not better, as their conventional counterparts.
If you have been reading HH in the blog’s early days, you might remember that when I first started, I was planning on making The Replacements into a regular feature. As I started my exploration of green beauty in earnest, however, I found that “subjects” for the series were not easy to come by. For the most part, I find green beauty and skincare to be not so much replacements for, but rather upgrades on conventional counterparts. Sure, I think the creams and serums from La Bella Figura, Vintner’s Daughter, Bottega Organica et al are far superior to La Mer, La Prairie and their conventional cohort, but I couldn’t claim that clean product X was a direct replacement for a conventional product Y.
Then there are also some areas (makeup, mostly) where clean beauty can’t quite measure up to conventional. For example, I found a clean mascara that works for me, but I don’t think there is one that works universally well for everyone and most of them still leave something to be desired. As for eyeliner, I have pretty much thrown in the towel on trying to find a clean version that lives up to my expectations. And then there is clean deodorant…
As regular readers of this blog know, my husband, the Englishman, has rather strong opinions about skincare. One of his pet complaints is that most green beauty brands seem to neglect “the blokes”. They are too flowery/frilly/pretty and don’t have enough, I dunno, fire trucks and lasers for the butcher beauty junkies. Up until recently, he was only able to find solace in the minimalist and elegant embrace of his (and my) beloved Josh Rosebrook, but then we discovered Ursa Major: the brilliant small brand out of Vermont. Now, I could have asked the Englishman to write this post because he is well and properly smitten. Unfortunately, a man’s perspective is not what I need. See, Ursa Major actually has the male market on lock. With glowing press mentions in GQ, Men’s Journal, Gear Patrol (?) and the decidedly butch-leaning Outside Magazine, it’s actually one of the more successful green beauty brands out there (evidenced by the fact that when I posted a picture of it on Instagram and FB, I had all these male friends coming out of the woodwork to sing its praises). Yet, it’s a rare case of a brand slightly hobbled by its own marketing success: Ursa Major is an emphatically unisex brand, yet it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as known or beloved amongst the ladies. This, my sisters, is a mistake and one I am here to correct.