Thursday, May 5, 2011

a proper goth doesn't stink...

Perhaps you are like me and have had your senses offended by some less than careful black clad monster on the dance floor. They twist and twirl, all the while kicking up a stink that can only be described as "barnyard". Everyone knows a good and proper goth does shower regularly and makes an effort to smell good, or at least, non-offensive.

One of the more daunting challenges to my beauty regimen was finding a good deodorant. Keep in mind that deodorant and antiperspirant are two very different things that are usually combined in most conventional formulations, but not in naturals. You will still sweat with natural deodorant, but a good one will keep the stink at bay. I am going to list most of the deos I have tested for your benefit because unfortunately many did not hold up to an all night dance party...


  • Price: $3-7 at various healthfood stores
  • First impression: Very clean smelling. Has propylene glycol :/
  • Lasting impressions: I was absolutely horrified at how I smelled after a few hours.
Yes, yes anyone who has switched from conventional deo/antiperspirant will tell you that there is always a "detox" period the body undergoes where it leeches out toxins while it adjusts to the healthier you. This can make you smell a million times worse than you normally would using something natural. Not the case for me! I had already suffered through the "stink week" with another blah deodorant, and was still amazed at how I could reek like a football players lucky socks with this concoction. Kiss my face? More like kiss my ass!

  • Price: $3-7 at various drug and health food stores.
  • First impression: Wow this smells really, really good! Has propylene glycol :/
  • Lasting impressions: Oh dear God I am willing to possibly get cancer to avoid smelling like this ever again!!
Tom's of Maine is one of those "healthy" brands that can be found easily for the neophyte. They have marketed themselves very well in the last several years and are thus fairly popular among better for you brands. Greenwashed or not I used this during the first week of my healthy deo challenge. I showered and shaved and put this on. It sort of burned after shaving. Never-the-less I forged on. It smelled very nice at first, then morphed into some cloying mix of peach jolly ranchers and onions. BAD BAD BAD! It's also very sticky under your arm. Because I initially liked the scent, I decided to give this another go after my "stink week" had passed. SAME results. Ew, ick, bleh.

  • Price: $9.85 from 
  • First Impression: Geranium Lime? No propylene glycol? Awesome!
  • Lasting Impression: A crumbly mess!
Oh Stephanie, I really wanted to like your pit putty! After doing a ton of research I came across your site and was so excited about all the great reviews. This stuff comes in many different scents and has ingredients that totally make sense, and some that even work to wick sweat away! Sadly this was just too unwieldy for me. It's very crumbly and balls up under your arm. Lots of it falls off and gets onto your clothes. Since I happen to wear mostly black and dark colors, this was truly unacceptable. You simply cannot have deo stains under a black light can you? I even went back to the site and read the FAQ recommendations on how to use this best and still had issues with crumbles and the like. Stay tuned for there is redemption for Steph and Bubble and Bee coming later...

The Good:

  • Price: $3-7 at most health food stores.
  • First Impression: Yay it's not sticky! Has propylene glycol. :/
  • Lasting Impression: Next day go to deo!
Desert essence is one of those faker green washed organic companies. Although I am very opposed to this and stopped buying their products, I am still using up what I have left of this one. This has no scent but works like crazy. If you have been working up a bit of a stink just swipe this on and the smell is gone!

  • Price: $10.85-$11.85
  • First Impression: Wow this really works! No propylene glycol!
  • Lasting Impression: Fabulous!
Bubble and bee redeemed themselves with these "design a spray" deodorants. There are tons of scents you can mix and match and all are highly effective due to the quadruple distilled organic grain spirits. You can also pick from ready made scents which are available. I use this before putting on anything else and sometimes as a body spray.

Next we come to one of the greatest discoveries on my hunt for healthy...ETSY! There are a myriad amount of people making their own formulations on this site. I can't go through all of them, so I will just speak about the ones that I have tried and think deserve a try from you as well.

  • Price: $7-14
  • First impressions: WOW! So many pretty scents!
  • Lasting impressions: A texture more like conventionals, and it works!
Sobe botanicals is a fabulous storefront that makes one of the best deos I have found among other things. They are creamy and with just the right amount of scent. They are free of propylene glycol and come in yummy flavors like aquolina's pink sugar, so you don't have to smell like a hemp factory or patchouli wagon.

  • Price: $7-14
  • First impressions: I SMELL LIKE CAKE!
  • Lasting impressions: I STILL SMELL LIKE CAKE!
 LuckyGirlBoutique has even more awesome scents to choose from and the same creamy formula that is free of propylene glycol. I use bubble and bees spray first and then one of these deos rubbed in. I can personally attest to the fact that this combo holds up to a full night of dancing and anything that might happen to you afterwards. ;)


  • Price: $9.95
  • First impressions: It's like frosting for your pits!
  • Lasting impressions: My absolute favorite!

Bubble and bee recently created the absolute best deodorant I have used and have thus ended my crusade against stink. "Pit putty creams" are everything I was looking for: easy to use, no white marks on your clothing, fantastically scented, healthy ingredients, and above all insanely effective! They have a base of organic shea butter, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and aluminum-free baking soda. With scents like geranium lime, lemon clove (my particular favorite), "jasmint", lemongrass, spearmint tea tree, and "super pit putty" which is a blend of lemon clove and patchouli, there is something for almost everyone.


Bubble and bee have recently come out with a new scent of pit putty cream! Orange vanilla!! It smells amazing and I can't wait to try it out on the dance floor and let you know how it works!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

fundamentals...a primer.

Primer helps your make-up to last longer, smooths fine lines, and fills in pores, giving you a seemingly marble visage. This is very important if you like to sport a perfect deadly pale look as I do. Primer has been by far one of the hardest components of my make-up kit to find a healthy version of. I have tried almost every one Sephora has to offer. My favorite product was Smashboxes Photo Finish, but it's filled with all sorts of beasty ingredients. I loved how it made my skin feel though, and it filled every little crack and crevice like spackle! Here are some of the products I tried on my pilgrimage to primer perfection...

Bare Escentuals Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer
  • Price: $21 for 1oz.
  • Can be found at or
  • First impressions: Yay it doesn't have silicone!
  • Cons: Pricey for just an ounce. Isn't as silky or smooth as products with silicones.
  • Pros: It has witch hazel and other anti acneic ingredients.
Prime time worked fairly well. I could still see some imperfections after I applied my powder however.

    Korres Vitamin E/Silicone Free Face Primer
    • Price: $28 for 1.01oz.
    • Can be found at and
    • First impression: I like the minimalist packaging.
    • Cons: Takes a long time to rub in. Felt almost soapy.
    • Pros: Is silicone free.
    Overall this primer took some getting used to. It seemed to froth up on my skin almost like soap and took a good while to rub in completely. I gave it several tries. but it didn't manage to impress.

     Korres Quercetin and Oak Age Reversing Primer

    • Price: $33 for 1.01 oz.
    • Can be found at and
    • First impression: Felt a little silkier than the regular primer.
    • Cons: Didn't help foundation glide on.
    • Pros: Is silicone free.
    The texture of this primer made me hope it would be better than Korres original formula. Once I put it on and got it all rubbed in it went sticky and my foundation wouldn't glide on how I like. I tried it on another occasion and got a little better result. Still not worth the price for such mediocre performance.

     Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfector

    • Price: $54
    • Can be found at
    • First impression: Pricey!
    • Cons: The price.
    • Pros: Feels just like Photo Finish!! Comes in a few different shades.
    This primer is so silky! It smooths without feeling as heavy as my beloved Photo Finish. This was an unexpected bonus, especially when layering so many products as I do to get my palest pale when going out. So pleased to have found something just as good as, if not better than, Smashbox and without all the crap!

    Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Instant Skin Perfector

    • Price: $44
    • Can be found at
    • First Impression: A convenient stick form!
    • Cons: A little harder to blend than the cream form.
    • Pros: Can apply stick directly to face.
    Haven't much negative to say about the stick form of this primer other than I have a little more trouble blending it on my nose. I'm sure some practice will eliminate any issues.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011


      Let's visit another one of the fundamentals shall we? Moisturizers. A good moisturizer is going to set the stage for make-up magic. Your skin will be ready for whatever you want to slather on it, as long as it's healthy, after it has been properly fed. Remember, you want to look dead, not actually be dead. Moisturizers come in so many forms it can be absolutely daunting trying to find one that you like which works best with your skin type. I can't possibly speak on them all, so I'll just go through some of what I've tried for my specific needs as I test them.

      I have oily to combination skin that can become sensitive if fooled with too much, especially around my nose, and unfortunate occasional blemishes. Pretty standard I suppose. I am fair with more neutral undertones. I abhor the sun. I realize this is a goth cliche, but if I could somehow develop albinism or vitiligo and live out the remainder of my life by moonlight, I would do so gladly. So you can expect that I value a day moisturizer which includes good sun protection! A good one helps you protect your pale without all the nasties like:
      • 4-Methyl-Benzylidencamphor (4-MBC)
      • Oxybenzone Benzophenone-3
      • Octyl-methoyl-cinnamates (OMC)
      • Octyl-Dimethyl-Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid (OD-PABA)
      • Homosalate(HMS)

      Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection SPF 40+
      • Price: $14 for .5 oz or $34 for 2oz
      • Can be found at and
      • First impressions: I love the glass bottle! 
      • Cons: Is somewhat thick, you need to really rub this in to avoid a coated in zinc oxide look.
      • Pros: High SPF. No discernible fragrance that I could detect.
      Redundant name aside, I found this product to be fine. It was thick and took some work to get it all absorbed, but it helped my powder stick nicely. I would continue to use this in a pinch, as it has a high level of spf and is reasonably healthful when compared to other facial sunscreens. I am fairly light, so it's possible "chalkiness" doesn't bother me, in fact I find it to be a plus when making myself up to go out.

       Josie Maran Argan Sun Protection for Body Spf 30+

      • Price: $24 for 4 oz.
      • Can be found at and
      • First impressions: Alright, it's for the body, but lets try it on my face.
      • Cons: Only spf 30.
      • Pros: More product for the $.
       On my continued quest for the perfect combination of high spf, non greasiness, and value I came across another Josie Maran product. The formulation is designed for the body, but I figured I would give it a try since it's a much better value than the other from her line. I found it to be slightly too greasy for my face and so back to the spf 40...

      Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone Daylight Savings Spf 25 Moisturizer
      • Price: $38 for 1 oz.
      • Found at
      • First impressions: Smells like lemonade!!!
      • Cons: Ingredients could be a little better.
      • Pros: Very sheer texture. 

      I wanted this one to work out so badly! I loved almost everything about it! It was perfectly light on the skin, no greasiness or chalkiness, and it smelled of lemonade. I could certainly deal with the slight lack of spf for all these other benefits...Then I did more research on cosmetic ingredients and the magic was ruined. Oh the curse of knowledge! I discovered new beasties like phenoxyethanol, ethoxylated compounds, and dimethyl MEA. All of which were in what I thought was the perfect daytime moisturizer.