Browsing Tag

Natural

0 In Beauty/ Face/ FYI

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Hydrosols (aka herbal distillates, hydrolats, or floral/herbal water) have become a common staple in many people’s skincare routines. Personally, I have fallen in love with rosewater and use it multiple times a day. Whether you use hydrosols or not, I would bet you have seen them advertised in stores or online by your favorite beauty bloggers. So what exactly are they and do they actually do anything? Below I answer these questions while filling you in on everything you need to know about hydrosols and which ones I recommend!


What are Hydrosols?

In the beauty and health worlds, a hydrosol is the water left behind after extracting an essential oil from a plant through water/steam distillation. In other words, it is the natural byproduct of making essential oils! They are distilled from various parts of plants such as the leaves, petals, roots, seeds, etc.

How Hydrosols Are Made | smelltheroses.com

Photo: LisaLise

Essential Oils vs Hydrosols

When you water/steam distill a plant, you are left with 2 products: the essential oil and the hydrosol (see picture above). The essential oil is the fat soluble elements of the plant while the hydrosol is the water soluble elements of the plant. Both essential oils and hydrosols provide us with countless therapeutic uses and benefits!

Key Difference: Unlike pure essential oils that must be diluted prior to application, hydrosols are naturally very gentle and can be applied directly to your skin without any sort of dilution. That is why you will usually see them sold in spray bottles or advertised for facial use.


Quality Matters.

Not all hydrosols are the same. Sometimes, companies will manually blend essential oils with water and sell them labeled as floral waters or falsely as hydrosols. The key to finding a high quality hydrosol is to read its ingredients.

What to Avoid

  • “Water” as the 1st ingredient – This is the #1 sign of a poor quality hydrosol! Either the product was not produced from distillation or the company diluted the product to save money.
  • Added fragrance or perfume – A true hydrosol is naturally aromatic/fragrant so it does not need fragrance added back in. Plus, who wants to be spraying a synthetic fragrance across their face?! Not me.
  • Added colors or dyes – Not all hydrosols will have a color and that is okay! Colors can vary from batch to batch or depending on the specie of plant so don’t worry if you notice subtle colors differences. However, added color is completely unnecessary so avoid products that have it.

What to Look For

  • “Hydrosol” is listed in the ingredients! – A high quality hydrosol’s primary ingredient should be the actual hydrosol and not a mixture of water and essential oil! Genuine hydrosols are listed as “____ (plant name) hydrosol”, “____ (plant name) hydrolat”, or “____ (plant name) distillate”.
    • I want to note that it is okay if there are other listed ingredients in your hydrosol. Many companies add additional essential oils for their therapeutic effects.

Rosewater Safe Swap | smelltheroses.com

Mario Badescu vs. Little Barn Apothecary

Shown above is a popular conventional “rosewater” product versus a true rosewater hydrosol. Both advertise the same beauty benefits but which one is better? Let’s take a look at their ingredients:

  • Mario Badescu Ingredients
    • Aqua (Water, Eau), Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rosa Canina Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Citronellol, Geraniol, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1)
  • Little Barn Apothecary Ingredients
    • Aloe leaf juice*, Rose damacena hydrosol**, witch hazel distillate*, Leuconostoc (radish root ferment filtrate) ((*Organic, **Sustainably wild harvested))

The Mario Badescu product lists water as its first ingredient while it’s only mention of rose is from rose extract. It also contains synthetic fragrance and artificial coloring. In comparison, Little Barn Apothecary’s first two ingredients are organic aloe leaf juice and rose hydrosol which happen to be exactly what is advertised on the front of the bottle. There are no artificial fragrances or colors. While the Mario Badescu may be more popular and affordable, its overall formula and quality doesn’t come close to Little Barn Apothecary’s!


Common Plants Used For Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Helichrysum (aka Everlasting or Immortelle)

  • Natural antibiotic/antifungal which helps fight acne & other skin conditions
  • Reduces the appearance of scarring
  • Assists in skin renewal
  • Sunburn relief (hydrating & soothing)

Rosewater

  • Helps control oil production & pH balance of face
  • Works as a lightweight moisturizer
  • Anti-imflamatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness
  • Naturally antibacterial to help fight acne & other skin conditions
  • Rose aroma is a natural mood enhancer

Lavender

  • Soothes irritated skin (great for sunburn or bug bites)
  • Helps to heal/repair so can be used to clean minor cuts & burns
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness
  • Natural aroma is relaxing

Witch Hazel

  • Gentle astringent which protect skin cells
  • Natural mild cleanser
  • Soothing and calming to skin which makes it great for use on eczema and psoriasis
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness

Frankincense

  • Gentle astringent which protect skin cells
  • Helps fight blemishes
  • Reduces the appearance of large pores
  • Helps prevent wrinkles and smooths out tiny lines
  • May decrease the appearance of scars

How to Use Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Rosewater is my favorite hydrosol and I use it multiple times a day. Here are a few ways you too can integrate hydrosols into your beauty regimen:

  • Sprits on your face throughout the day to replenish your skin and relieve dryness.
  • Apply to your face after showering to help your skin absorb the products you apply afterward (facial oils or moisturizers).
  • Spray on your face to set your makeup! This is perfect after applying powder makeup so it stays in place and lasts all day.
  • Use it in place of water when mixing your powdered masks for added benefits!
  • Use hydrosol on a cotton pad to remove makeup.
  • Each hydrosol has its own therapeutic effects so choose one based on your skincare needs (see above)!

My Favorite Hydrosols | smelltheroses.com

Shop My Favorite Hydrosols


I hope this post was informative and you learned something new about hydrosols! As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below or send me a message on my contact page. Thanks for reading!

xoxo Caitlyn | smelltheroses.com

1 In DIY/ Gifts

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: 2017 Cruelty-free Edition!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Hello, everyone! April is almost over which means we’re already less than a month away from Mother’s Day! (Is it just me, or did this month fly by?!) If you are like me and have yet to pick up a gift, I figured I’d throw together a post on some Mother’s Day gift ideas that I’m considering for my own mama! I’ve included gifts for every price range and, as always, all items are cruelty-free! Happy shopping!


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: 2017

 

1. Swarovski Crystal “Mom” Bracelet | Little Words Project

Little Words Project | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: “Mom” Swarvorksi Crystal Bracelet

Other Styles: LWP Mother’s Day Collection

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Little Words Project. Their bracelets make the perfect little gift and they recently launched their Mother’s Day Collection! Their beaded bracelets feature a “little” word surrounded by a strand of Sworvorski crystals. Each bracelet comes with a unique numbered tag so you can register it on their website (so cool). Your mom will wear her little word for as long as she pleases and then, when the time is right, pass it on to someone else (maybe her mom or a mommy-to-be). How cute!?

*Please note, the leather band versions are made of genuine animal leather so I recommend sticking to the crystal beaded bracelets!*

2. Lotus (Mother) Crystal Bouquet | Little Box of Rocks

Little of Box of Rocks | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Lotus Collection

This adorable wooden box from Little Box of Rocks is one of my favorite products on this list. The Lotus Collection is designed for mothers making it the perfect Mother’s Day gift. It comes with 4 powerful crystals: Desert Rose (believed to quiet worries and promote mental clarity), Moonstone (aka “the stone of motherhood”; believed to be a powerful healing gem for women, balancing hormones, relieving stress, and bringing deep spiritual insights), Rose Quartz (aka the stone of love; symbol of the bond between mother and child), and Clear Quartz (believed to amplify the power of other stones or be programmed with your desired intention). In addition, it comes wrapped in a black satin ribbon and addressed with a personalized letter! This collection makes such a meaningful and beautiful gift.

3. Premium Vegan Leather “Cher” Tote | Angela Roi

Angela Roi Cher Tote Light Gray | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Light Gray Tote

Other Colors: Black | Creme

I use to love buying my mom designer bags for Mother’s Day or her birthday. However, when I switched to a cruelty-free lifestyle, I ditched buying anything made from genuine leather or suede! Luckily, there are several designer brands that sell all vegan leather products (learn more about vegan leather here) that are just as beautiful as the real stuff. I’ve had my eye on this tote by Angela Roi for a while now. I love the light gray color for spring but the black is SO stunning. It’s a little on the pricey side but its craftsmanship makes it worth every penny.

4. Organic Bath Bomb Gift Set | Beauty by Earth

Beauty by Earth Bath Bombs | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: 6-pack | 2-pack | Single

*Code “SMELLTHEROSES” saves you 15% off your entire order from BeautybyEarth.com!*

I wrote about these bath bombs in my bath essentials post and knew I had to include them in this gift guide (my mother actually stole one of them from my pack). Unlike the bath bombs you find in Lush or Bath & Body Works, these are made of 100% natural & mostly organic ingredients! That means, no synthetic fragrances/dyes and no animal-testing! Even better, each bath bomb is designed to fulfill a different need (sore muscles, joint relief, relaxation, etc). How cute would this gift box be paired with a new loofa and bottle of wine?!

5. Paper Flower Bouquet | The Lovely Ave

Paper Flower Bouquet | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Lavender Bundle

Other Styles: Tropical | Peony

Flowers are a popular choice on Mother’s Day but, unfortunately, most die after a week or so (and make a mess in the process). These hand-made German and Italian Crepe Paper flowers are a beautiful alternative that will last forever! The Lovely Ave designed 3 bouquets for Mother’s Day and they are all equally gorgeous and comes in small (5 blooms), medium (9 blooms), and large (15 blooms – pictured) sizes! Although they may seem a bit pricey, they are worth the investment. I own one of their small size bouquets and am still in awe that the flowers aren’t real. They are the prettiest addition to your desk or entry table and I know your mom will love them!

6. Vegan Leather Toiletry Bag | Matt & Nat

The Face Oil | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Quartz Toiletry Bag

Other Colors: Black | Cerise | Chili | Glass | Olive

Another great vegan leather brand is Matt & Nat. I actually bought this toiletry bag for my fiance in the Chili color and he loves it! When I saw it in this Quartz color, I fell in love. I included this toiletry bag on my Mother’s Day list because it would be so cute to buy and fill with cruelty-free beauty products for your mom! My mom is slowly trading her conventional beauty products for cruelty-free options, so this Mother’s Day I plan to buy her this bag and fill it with a few of the products she has yet to replace. I love the idea of a gift that is not only thoughtful but will be well used!

7. Every Day I’m Hustlin’ Travel Mug | Ashley Brooke Designs

Every Day I'm Hustlin' Travel Mug | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Everyday I’m Hustlin’ Travel Mug

Other Styles: Lips | Palm Leaf | Now Watch Me Sip

If anyone needs this travel mug it is definitely our mamas! Who hustles more than them?! This travel mug is a new product from one of my favorite brands, Ashley Brooke Designs. It holds 16 ounces of liquid and is insulated so it will keep your beverage hot or cold. It is BPA-free, phthalate-free, lead-free and dishwasher safe. The lettering was hand-drawn by Ashley herself and is shiny metallic gold (so pretty)! It comes with the cutest hot pink heart-shaped and gold-lettered gift tag so wrapping is totally optional. Pair this with a bag of coffee or tea and it makes the perfect inexpensive gift!

8. Vegan Leather Sunglasses Case | Matt & Nat

Sunglasses Case - Matt & Nat | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Quartz Sunglasses Case

Other Colors: Black | Cerise | Chili | Glass | Olive

How cute is this sunglasses case from Matt & Nat? My mother has a slight sunglasses obsession so when I saw this I immediately thought of her. Just like all of their products, this case is made of 100% vegan leather and comes in a variety of colors. Gift it with a new pair of sunglasses or on its own, either way, it makes a great gift!

9. Non-toxic “Gypsy” Candle | Prim Botanicals

Gypsy Candle - Prim Botanicals | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Gypsy Candle

*Click here for a 20% off coupon to PrimBotanicals.com!*

This candle from Prim Botanicals may be my new favorite! It is made from 100% American-grown Soy Wax that is grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides. It is scented with clean fragrance oils and uses a pure cotton wick so you can burn your candle without worrying about inhaling toxic fumes! Not only does this make a great gift because of its beautiful scent, but its packing is also gorgeous! It even comes with an adorable box of matches!

10. The Face Oil | Prim Botanicals

The Face Oil | Mother's Day Gift Ideas | smelltheroses.com

Shop: Face Oil

Other Faves: Hair Oil | Hey Now Lip | Potion No 2

*Click here for a 20% off coupon to PrimBotanicals.com!*

This is hands down my all time favorite facial product and currently the only one I use. I recommend it to all of my friends and family since it is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive and oily skin! Rich in omega fatty acids, it helps fight signs of aging while reducing inflammation and preventing blemishes. It is light enough that it won’t clog your pores but rich enough that it will nourish and moisturize your skin. I use it daily and it leaves my skin looking glowy and fresh! I know my mom is going to love this product as much as I do!


I hope this post helped you find some inspiration for your Mother’s Day gifts! Thank you for reading!

xoxo Caitlyn | smelltheroses.com

 

 

0 In Beauty/ Body/ FYI/ How to...

Staying Safe in the Sun: Nontoxic Sunscreen & Sunbathing Tips

Staying Safe in the Sun: Nontoxic Sunscreen & Sunbathing Tips | smelltheroses.com

Aloha, Smell the Roses readers! Spring is officially here and that means it’s time to start preparing for warmer weather! For some, that means wanting to slim down or get organized. For me, it means making sure I have everything I need to keep my skin healthy and protected when outside in the hot sun. ☀️️  This post outlines my sunbathing tips and recommendations for nontoxic, cruelty-free, & natural sunscreen.

The Importance of Proper Sun Protection

Skin Cancer

It is common knowledge that excessive sun exposure expedites skin aging and increases your risk of skin cancer. In the United States, skin cancer is the most common cancer. Despite this knowledge, rates of melanoma are on the rise. As seen in the graphs below, rates are steadily increasing and highest in white men and women. Although these demographics are at highest risk, anyone of any race can develop skin cancer. (Source: CDC)

Melanoma Rates (CDC) - smelltheroses.com

Sources: CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries and National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.

Melanoma Rates (CDC) - smelltheroses.com

You may have noticed incidence and death rates are higher in men. In 2013, almost twice as many American men died from melanoma as women. A suggested explanation comes from a survey that showed only 48% of men report routine sun avoidance, compared to 68% of women. (Source: EWG)

Skin Damage

Even if you do not develop skin cancer, excess sun exposure will show in your appearance. What’s the worst part about it? The damage does not show up right away. It is a cumulative effect that develops over time and is worsened by every incidence of sun exposure.

Pictured below is a side by side comparison of the same person photographed in both regular and UV lighting. Although UV images do not predict skin cancer, they still highlight the consequences of excess sun exposure (ex. wrinkles, sunspots, red blotches, texture, pore size, etc). By visualizing skin damage normally invisible to the naked eye, these photos raise awareness to the gradual and drastic damage caused by the sun. (Source: EWG)

Canfield UV Camera Photos - Your Sun Damage Wake-Up Call - smelltheroses.com

Source: Canfield UV Camera Photos (EWG)

Vision

Growing up, we were warned to not stare directly into the sun and for good reason. The sun is extremely damaging to the eyes and can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. To keep our eyes healthy and vision strong, the National Eye Institute recommends we wear sunglasses that block out 99 – 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation. The addition of a wide brimmed hat is helpful too! Now you have an excuse to wear more accessories! 🕶️  👒  (Source: NEI)

Infants & Children

Infants (0-6 months) – Babies under six months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight because their skin does not contain enough melanin to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. Their skin is also too sensitive for sunscreen. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that small amounts of sunscreen can be used on infants only as a last resort when shade cannot be found.

Toddlers & Children – Proper steps should be taken to prevent sunburn.One blistering sunburn before the age of 18 can double a child’s risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF 15+ are best to use in addition to shade and protective clothing. Avoid spray sunscreens due to the dangers associated with inhalation. (Source: Skin Cancer Foundation)

smelltheroses.com


Buying & Using Sunscreen

Our skin is the largest organ of the body, and it absorbs nearly everything we put on it. Let that fact soak in for a minute. Although applying sunscreen seems like a health-conscious action, it all comes down to which one you are using. If you are not careful, I believe your sunscreen can be causing more harm than good (for both you and the environment)!

Ingredients To Avoid

Sunscreens can provide one of two forms of protection; chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens contain synthetic ingredients that are absorbed by the skin to block or reflect UV rays. These have the highest incidence of skin irritation and cellular toxicity and therefore should be avoided.

Try to avoid these harmful ingredients: 

  • Oxybenzone | Sunscreen Agent – UV light absorber
    • Hormone disruption (i.e. mimic or alter hormone levels)
    • Linked to reproductive and developmental issues
    • Endocrine disruption – associated with endometriosis in women
    • Known skin allergen
    • Accumulates in people – difficult to excrete
  • Octinoxate | Sunscreen Agent – UV light absorber
    • Hormone disruption (i.e. mimic or alter hormone levels)
    • Linked to reproductive and developmental issues
    • Endocrine disruption
    • Produces free radicles that contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer
    • Accumulates in people – difficult to excrete (has been found in mothers’ breast milk)
    • Ecotoxicity
  • Vitamin A (aka Retinol) | Skin-conditioning Agent
    • Tumors and lesions develop sooner on skin coated with creams containing vitamin A when exposed to direct sunlight (Source: EWG)
    • Produces free radicals that contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer
    • Known human reproductive toxicant
  • Homosalate | Sunscreen Agent – UV light absorber
    • Hormone disruption (i.e. mimic or alter hormone levels)
    • Accumulates in people – difficult to excrete
    • Endocrine disruption
    • Ecotoxicity
  • Methylisothiazolinone | Preservative – Paraben
    • Linked to serious allergic reactions (especially in children) (Source: EWG)
    • Named Allergen of the Year in 2013 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society (Source: EWG)
    • Hormone disruptor
    • Linked to reproductive and developmental issues
    • Ecotoxicity
    • Neurotoxicity

Ingredients To Look For

Physical sunscreens are generally considered the safer form of sun protection. They are made from natural minerals which sit on top of the skin and are not readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Be aware, due to the nature of these ingredients, they do tend to have a white appearance on the skin (some brands are better than others – my recommendations are listed below).

Safe sunblocking ingredient to seek: 

  • Zinc Oxide (non-nano) | Sunblock Agent – Colorant
    • Offers moderate broad spectrum UV protection
    • Low skin penetration – low health risk in lotions

Other Factors to Consider

Broad Spectrum Coverage There are two types of UV light that can harm your skin — UVA and UVB. Too much exposure to either can cause skin cancer. A broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum, sunscreen protects your skin from both. Sunscreens will have this labeled on the bottle! (Source: Mayo Clinic)

SPF Protection There is a misconception that higher SPF levels equal better sun protection. Unfortunately, SPF only applies to UVB rays (those responsible for burning) and does not take into consideration the harm associated with UVA rays (those responsible for age spots and wrinkling). For this reason, the Mayo Clinic recommends rather than focusing on a sunscreen’s SPF, choose one that is broad-spectrum. They state, even the worst burners will get adequate protection using a broad-spectrum SPF 30 when applied properly! (Read more about this topic: Mayo Clinic)

Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 but no greater than 50!

Reef Safety

Over the years I have seen first hand the effects of sunscreen on our oceans. While vacationing on the tourist-dense beaches of Waikiki, there were days you could see a film of sunscreen on the top of the ocean water. I couldn’t help but feel immense guilt as I watched little fish swimming through their chemical infested home. The pollution in our oceans from Oxybenzone has had toxic effects on our coral reefs and has contributed to coral bleaching.

Hanauma Bay Infographic - Reef Friendly Sun Protection | smelltheroses.com

Hanauma Bay Education Program | Hawaii Sea Grant

Pictured above, is an infographic from Oahu’s Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a popular snorkeling spot known for its vast coral reef and diverse sea life. I found this posted when vacationing on my most recent trip and was so happy to see them making a stand against chemical sunscreens. I hope chemical sunscreens will eventually be banned but for now all we can do is try and educate the public on the importance of reef safe sunscreen.

Zinc Oxide has no known negative effects on our oceans and its inhabitants.

Application Types

Lotions | good for dry skin, best for application on large areas, can be messy

Stick | good for application on areas that require precision (i.e. around the eyes)

Spray | extremely dangerous if inhaled (apply in a well-ventilated area and be conscientious of those around you), easy to apply (especially on children), must apply a generous/even coating to ensure proper coverage and to tell where it was applied, great for quick reapplication after an initial coat of lotion

How To Apply

  1. Pick one you like because you’ll be more likely to use it. If it’s hard to apply or messy, I doubt you will be reaching to reapply it as often as your should!
  2. Apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure. Physical sunscreens are typically effective immediately where chemical sunscreens need time to be absorbed.
  3. Reapply at least every 2 hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.

Extra Sun Bathing Tips

  • The best sun protection is avoidance! Always have a beach umbrella or shaded area to retreat to during the hot hours. ⛱️
  • Sunscreen should still be applied on a cloudy or overcast day! ☁️️
  • The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At these times, try to avoid direct sun exposure! (This is the perfect time to go grab lunch in the shade or indoors). To put it into perspective, the following exposures may result in the same amount of solar energy:
    • one hour at 9:00 a.m.
    • 15 minutes at 1:00 p.m.

smelltheroses.com


Non-Toxic Sunscreen

Search for Non-toxic Sunscreen

Listed below are two databases that offer a color-coded rating system for product toxicity. Scores are applied based on each products’ ingredient composition. As a general rule, any product that falls in the green range is a safe choice!

EWG Rating System | smelltheroses.com

EWG Rating System

Think Dirty Rating System | smelltheroses.com

Think Dirty Rating System

smelltheroses.com


My Recommendations!

Beauty by Earth Sunscreen | smelltheroses.com

Beauty by Earth

Facial Sunscreen SPF 20 | Sunscreen SPF 25 | Face & Body Bundle | Aloe Vera Gel 

*Code “SMELLTHEROSES” saves you 15% on your online purchase

Badger is made in the USAEWG Rating | smelltheroses.cpm

smelltheroses.com

Badger Sunscreen - smelltheroses.com

Badger

Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 25 | Unscented Sunscreen SPF 30Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF35

Badger is made in the USAEWG Rating | smelltheroses.cpm

smelltheroses.com 

I put a lot of time and research into this post because I am so passionate about this topic.  I hope you learned something new and will improve your sunbathing habits as a result of this post! If so, please let me know in the comments section below!

xoxo Caitlyn | smelltheroses.com

52 In Beauty/ GIVEAWAYS

January Giveaway: Petit Vour Beauty Box Subscription!

petit vour

WE HAVE A WINNER..

Rhonda H.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED.

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED!

(ALMOST 4,000 ENTRIES INCLUDING INSTAGRAM — THIS WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL GIVEAWAY TO DATE!)


When I first switched to cruelty-free/natural beauty, I spent SO much time researching brands and trying to find replacements for my conventional products. At the time, my mother was receiving the Ipsy Glam Bag and I remember wishing there was a similar subscription service that only included cruelty-free/natural products. I did some research and, to my surprise, I found SEVERAL subscription services that fulfilled my wish.

One of the subscription services I decided to try was the Petit Vour Monthly Beauty Box! Each month I received 4 personalized beauty products ranging from sample to full size for only $15/month (shipping included). This subscription introduced me to brands I would have never found on my own and to several of my favorite products that I still use today.

Since this subscription service was so helpful to me, I figured what better giveaway for the first month of 2017 than a subscription to Petit Vour!?

That’s right, I’m giving one lucky winner a 3-month pre-paid subscription to the Petit Vour Beauty Box! 


GIveaway: Petit Vour 3-Month Beauty Box Subscription

How to Enter the Giveaway:

  • Complete at least one entry option in the “Gleam” plugin provided on this page. Remember, the more entry options you complete, the better your odds of winning but additional entries are not required. Certain entry options are weighted more heavily than others.
  • After completing at least one entry option in the Gleam Plugin, there are opportunities to earn bonus entries:
    • Tag your friend(s) on this Instagram picture and receive 1 bonus point per friend! You may tag as many friends as you would like but tagging brands/blogs/inactive accounts will not be counted.

Rules & Disclaimer: 

  • Open WORLDWIDE to anyone 18 or older with a valid mailing address.
  • You may enter the giveaway anytime between January 12th 8:00 pm EST and January 26th 11:59 pm EST.
  • The winner will be randomly generated using the Gleam Plugin and announced January 27th at approximately 12:00 pm EST on this blog post, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn – any missing likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.
  • I run giveaways for my readers who are genuinely interested in the products I am offering. Entries completed with social media accounts used solely for giveaways will not be counted. Although the giveaway winner is randomly generated, if you are chosen as the winner and I see you did not follow this rule, I will manually invalidate your entry and have a new winner randomly generated.
  • Once a winner is selected, I will personally contact him/her with the email address he/she used to enter the giveaway in order to obtain his/her shipping address. If no response is made within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
  • The 3-month subscription will begin in either February or March depending on Petit Vour’s processing time.
  • This giveaway is in no way sponsored or paid for by Petit Vour.
  • No purchase necessary.

ABOUT PETIT VOUR:

Since 2013, Petit Vour has served as a “luxury vegan destination” to women by offering cruelty-free beauty products, skin care, and accessories. Their monthly subscription box has become popular as a mechanism to introduce women to ethically responsible vegan brands. Any products featured in their boxes or sold in their online store are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and made without “the dirty thirty“.

What does “petit vour” mean?

Petit Vour is a Frenglish word made by combining the French term “petit four” (meaning a small bite-sized confectionery) and the English word “vegan”. Therefore, “petit vour” means a small vegan luxury (in reference to the types of items included in their subscription boxes).

Who should subscribe to their monthly Beauty Box?

I believe their subscription box is best for anyone interested in learning more about the vegan beauty market. This may include, but is not limited to, people switching from conventional to cruelty-free beauty.

What kind of products do you receive each month in their Beauty Box? 

Each box contains 4-5 vegan & cruelty-free beauty products, ranging from sample to full-size. Typically, you’ll receive 1 color item, 1 hair care item or fragrance, 1 skincare item, and 1 body care item. Each box is valued at around $35-40.

Learn more about Petit Vour’s monthly beauty box at PetitVour.com or check them out on Instagram!


Be sure to get all your entries in by January 26th at 11:59 pm! Good Luck!

xo Caitlyn

Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Petit Vour. There are no affiliate links included in this post. All opinions are entirely my own!

4 In GIVEAWAYS/ Home/ Wellness

December Giveaway (Week 1): Clean Air Products from Way Out Wax

Clean Air Giveaway

WE HAVE A WINNER..

Kathleen D.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED.

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED!


Happy December to all my Smell the Roses readers! In case you haven’t heard, instead of my regular monthly giveaway, I am doing a giveaway each week of December to celebrate this holiday packed month! Yup, that’s right… 4 giveaways! 💃🎁
This week (Dec 4-10) I have teamed up with Way Out Wax to give away 3 of their Clean Air Products! (Enter below through the Gleam Plugin or on Facebook)
As part of my new year resolutions, I am switching my cleaning and home care products to natural/cruelty-free options. Continue reading (below the giveaway plugin) to learn why I love Way Out Wax and have made their products a new home staple. 🏠
p.s. code “SMELLTHEROSES” saves you {10%} on your order from the Way Out Wax Online Store. \\ Valid until Dec 24th. Cannot be used to buy gift cards. \\ 

Enter the Giveaway:

  • Open to anyone at least 18 years old with a valid U.S. or Canada mailing address.
  • You have until Sunday, December 10 at 11:59 pm EST to enter.
  • The winner is randomly generated through the Gleam Plugin.
  • The winner will be announced Monday, December 11 at 12 pm EST via this blog post, social media, and email.

Instructions:

  • Use the Gleam plugin below to enter the giveaway (may take a few moments to load).
  • How to Enter: Submit at least one entry option using the “Gleam” plugin provided on this site.
  • There are opportunities to earn extra entries and increase your odds of winning!
    • Simply pick and choose as many or as few as you would like. You need to complete at least 1 entry to be added to the giveaway pool. Additional entries are completely optional. 
    • Certain entry options are weighted more heavily than others.
    • If you are already following on any of the social media platforms, that is fine – just list your name/username for it to be counted!
    • All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn – any missing likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.

Way Out Wax: Clean Air! Giveaway


ABOUT WAY OUT WAX

Way Out Wax has been creating non-toxic and environmentally conscious products in the Green Mountains of Northern Vermont for over 20 years (way before it was the trendy thing to do). Unlike other candle and home fragrance companies, you will not find a single chemical additive, fragrance, or dye in any of their products! This is a company that is passionate about making products that reflect an individual’s connection with the environment.

Their Ingredients:

  • Scents: Way Out Wax believes the healing botanical essences found in nature should be easily incorporated into everyday life. That is why their products are scented using only 100% pure/natural essential oils without any dyes or synthetic fragrances.
  • Wax: Their candles are composed of 100% natural non-GMO soy wax. The soybeans used to make their wax are sustainably farmed and free from pesticides and herbicides. To top it all off, their candles are also 100% biodegradable.
  • Animal Testing: None of their ingredients or final products are testing on animals. Their products are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free! 🐰

Their Commitment to the Environment:

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle:

Way Out Wax believes that “healthy products make for healthy people and a healthy planet”. On top of using natural & sustainable materials, they recycle whenever possible throughout their manufacturing process. They even go as far as reusing packing materials they received from their raw supplies for shipping their customers’ outbound packages.  Even their shipping boxes are often second-hand from a company that sources “overruns” and other gently-used boxes. That is some serious dedication! 🙌

You can continue the reduce/reuse/recycle practice when you’re finished with your products too. Their candle jars and travel tins are easy to clean out and reuse as a storage container.

Read more about Way Out Wax’s Environmental Commitment here

Why I Love their Clean Air Product Line:

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Febreze vs. Way Out Wax:

We all want our home to smell good. For years I used Febreze and Bath & Body Works home fragrances to prevent my house from smelling like a puppy infested stinky sock land 😂 However when I started researching what was in these products and their brand’s animal-testing policy, I immediately had to stop. There is no requirement for companies to disclose ingredients in air fresheners so it is close to impossible to know exactly what is in these products without third-party testing. According to the Environment Working Group, when they tested our beloved Febreze they found AcetaldehydeBHT, artificial fragrance, and propylene glycol, all linked to cancer, allergens, & developmental toxicity. These are just a fraction of the chemicals found in Febreze – kinda scary! While Febreze advertises they will “purify” your air, they are actually just contributing to indoor air pollution.

Way Out Wax: Clean Air Products

If you want the benefits of Febreze without the hidden dangers, I highly recommend the Clean Air Collection from Way Out Wax. I had read amazing reviews for their candles so I was really excited when I found out they had an air-purification line! I have been using it for the past month and have noticed a HUGE difference in the freshness of my bedroom’s air. My dogs sleep in my bed so I always feel like my room smells like them. These products have been a big help in keeping odors at bay! I wish I had found them sooner!!

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Candle:

This product is great for gradual odor elimination. The neutral scent is very light and refreshing, so it works for all individuals’ tastes and for all times of the year. I like that I can light the candle and its clean scent will slowly disburse throughout my bedroom.
Way Out Wax Odor Candle

Odor Neutralizing Spray:

These sprays are great for targeting specific areas of a room. I use the Lavender scent to spray my bed in the AM after my puppies have slept in it all night. They would also work great as an addition to your gym bag to spray your clothes or yoga mat after an intense workout.Way Out Wax Odor Spray

So How Does It Work?:

Clean Air is 100% natural and Scientifically-Proven to eliminate odors by attracting odor particles on a molecular level, attaching to them and neutralizing the unwanted smell.

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Recommended Use:

Way Out Wax recommends their Clean Air Collection for use in the air, fabrics, auto-care, yoga mats, athletic wear, by the litter box, in the kitchen after cooking fish or for accidents when food is burnt. 


Find Way Out Wax in a store near you: Store Locator


0 In Food/Supplements

My Favorite Halloween Treat: Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cup Minis

Happy Halloween!

So.. calories don’t count on Halloween, right?! One can dream! 😂 If you’re like me, it takes a little more self-control than usual to not snack on the bowl of candy intended for the trick-or-treaters. Luckily, being more conscientious about the ingredients in the products I consume has helped me curve most of my cravings. And even more luckily, there are natural candy options to satisfy my chocolate cravings this Halloween.

..So you can imagine my excitement when I was shopping for Halloween candy and saw my all-time favorite candy in Target’s Halloween section and in a bulk bag! 😍

So what candy am I talking about?

If you haven’t tried them yet, allow me to introduce you to Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups! (Caution: your life will never be the same)

Justin’s is a natural brand that specializes in nut butter. After their various kinds of nut butter gained nationwide success, they decided to dive into the world of candy making and added these organic peanut butter cups to their product line (available in dark, milk, and white chocolate)! I discovered these a few years back and I have been addicted ever since (bye bye Reeses)! Originally, the candy only came in a standard 2-pack but last year the company introduced its minis. I dare you to try and only eat one!

What I Love About Them:

  1. The chocolate is super rich and the perfect compliment to Justin’s smooth peanut butter.
  2. They are 100% natural and USDA certified organic (no hidden scary ingredients).
  3. They are Rainforest Alliance Certified (learn more about this impressive certification)
  4. The palm oil found in Justin’s is certified sustainable meaning it does not lead to deforestation and habitat loss!

Fun Fact: I met the one and only Justin at Natural Products Expo West last March and had an embarrassing fan-girl moment 🙈

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Let’s Break it Down:

Ingredients:

  • Organic Milk Chocolate:
    • Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
      • Purpose: The main sweetener in the milk-chocolate.
      • Source: Made from drying cane sugar syrup and grinding the granules into a fine mesh powder.
    • Organic Cocoa Butter (Rainforest Alliance Certified)
      • Purpose: One of the main fat sources in the milk chocolate. Cocoa butter helps the product taste very creamy and holds the product together once the liquid chocolate cools. Similar to palm fruit oil, cocoa butter is solid at room temperature but has a very low melting point; this is part of the reason that chocolate ‘melts in your mouth’.
      • Source: It is a healthy saturated fat source extracted from cocoa beans. When the cocoa beans are being ground to produce cocoa powder, the cocoa butter is a by-product that is collected.
    • Organic Whole Milk Powder
      • Purpose: This is the “milk” component in milk chocolate that is absent in dark chocolate. It provides that nice creamy taste!
      • Source: It is produced when water is slowly evaporated from organic whole milk. The result is a finely powdered milk with the same nutrient component as regular liquid milk. When the peanut butter cups are made and water is added, the powder milk is then rehydrated.
    • Organic Chocolate Liquor (Organic Cocoa Butter)
      • Purpose: This is the “chocolate” component made of equal parts of cocoa solids and fats.
      • Source: This is produced by grinding whole roasted cocoa beans into a liquid/semi-solid.
    • Organic Soy Lecithin
      • Purpose: This is an emulsifier which helps mix fats/oils with water to prevent the fats from separating when mixed.
      • Source: This is extracted from and found naturally in organic soybeans.
    • Organic Vanilla
      • Purpose: It provides a great vanilla aroma/flavor to the product without using any artificial chemicals.
      • Source: This is a pure extract from organic vanilla beans.
  • Organic Peanuts
    • Purpose: Used to create the peanut butter (self-explanatory).
    • Source: Organic peanuts (it doesn’t get any simpler than that!)
  • Organic Powdered Evaporated Cane Sugar
    • Purpose: The main sweetener in the product’s peanut-butter.
    • Source: This is made from drying cane sugar syrup and grinding the granules into a fine mesh powder.
  • Organic Peanut Flour
    • Purpose: It provides the product with that great peanut flavor without having to use so much peanut butter that the fat levels get too high!
    • Source: It is made from real peanut butter. Peanut flour made by removing the oils/fat from peanut butter which results in a dry powder that is only 12% fat and 52% protein.
  • Organic Palm Fruit Oil (Sustainably Sourced)
    • Purpose: It is one of the main fat sources in the product. Palm fruit oil helps the product taste very creamy and works with the cocoa butter to hold the product together once the liquid chocolate cools. Palm fruit oil is solid at room temperature but has a very low melting point. This is part of the reason that chocolate ‘melts in your mouth’.
    • Source: It is extracted from palm fruit! Palm fruit is a healthy blend of both saturated and monounsaturated fats.
  • Organic Vanilla Flavor
    • Purpose: Flavors are used in small percentages in the product but provide a great sensory experience.
    • Source: Organic natural flavors are the cleanest of all other flavor variations (artificial, natural and artificial, or natural). Artificial flavors can get scary, being made up of synthetic man-made chemicals. Organic natural flavors are made up of components that are found in nature and are certified organic by an organic agency.
  • Sea Salt
    • Purpose: Sea salt is a wholesome natural form of sodium chloride. Salt enhances the overall flavor of the product and helps bring out the chocolate and peanut flavors!
    • Source: Produced from the evaporation of sea-water.
  • Organic Soy Lecithin
    • Purpose: This is an emulsifier which helps mix fats/oils with water to prevent the fats from separating out when mixed.
    • Source: This is extracted from and found naturally in organic soybeans.

(Disclaimer: ingredient descriptions come from a certified food scientist who did not develop this product – sources/purposes are assumed based on typical practices in product development)

This product contains peanuts, soy, and milk. Contains trace amounts of tree nuts due to processing on shared equipment.

*These peanut butter cups are vegetarian-friendly but not vegan.

Nutrition Facts:

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Where to buy Justin’s:

 

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Online Store

 

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In-Store & Online

FIND YOUR LOCAL CARRIERS AT JUSTINS.COM

 


Some Extra Halloween Fun 🎃👻🍬

vegetarian-zombies

b53f2fafe0d830518f00fa5e59c100d1tofitots Print veganwitches

waiting for trick-or-treaters!

Belle (the fairy-princess) and Ollie (the knight) patiently awaiting the trick-or-treaters!


I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!

What are your Halloween guilty pleasures? Let me know in the comments!

xo Caitlyn

 

10 In GIVEAWAYS

October Giveaway: Fall Scented Carefull Candles

Enter to win on smelltheroses.com !

WE HAVE A WINNER..

DAYNA F.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED.

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED!


Enter the Giveaway:

  • For U.S. and Canada residents only.
  • You have until Sunday, October 23 at 11:59 pm EST to enter.
  • A winner is automatically/randomly generated through Rafflecopter.
  • A winner will be announced Monday, October 24 at 12 pm EST via social media and email.

Instructions:

  • Use the plugin below to enter the giveaway by performing at least 1 of the dropdown options. You can do as many or few as you like. Certain options are weighted more heavily than others. If you are already following on any of the social media platforms, that is fine – just list your name/username for it to be counted! All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn – any missing likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Carefull Candles:

Carefull Candles is a small business that launched on Etsy this past May. Caroline, the shop owner, started making her own candles after discovering the hidden dangers found in the big-name conventional brand candles. In an effort to avoid her and her family from inhaling toxic fumes, she starting formulating and pouring her own candles using 100% non-GMO soy wax and 100% non-toxic essential oils/fragrances. Loving how her home-made candles came out, she decided to sell them and the Carefull Candles Etsy Store was born! Fun Fact — Caroline also has a podcast called “Being Carefull: Self Care and The Pursuit of Mindfulness”.

I came across Carefull Candles after much research to find a candle company that met my strict standards. Although there are many soy-based candle companies, not all have a completely clean label. I wanted a candle that was safe from its ingredients to its wick, to its container — you can imagine how excited I was when I found this brand on Etsy!Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

  • Ingredients: 100% non-GMO soy wax | 100% pure essential oils and/or phthalate-free natural fragrances | No additives/fillers
  • Wick = Flat Braid Cotton + Paper Fiber (free of zinc, tin, and lead)
  • Container = reusable glass jar
  • Charity = $1 is donated to Hearts2Honduras with every purchase

What we’re giving away: 

  • (1) 8oz Pumpkin Spice Candle ($16 value)
  • (1) 8oz Marshmallow Campfire Candle ($16 value)
A candle that smells exactly like a pumpkin spice latte!! This is the Carefull Candles Pumpkin Spice Scented Candle made from 100% non-GMO soy wax with no additives. The candle is scented using 100% natural essential oils and fragrance. Enter to win this candle at smelltheroses.com or buy it in their Etsy shop where code "SMELLTHEROSES" saves you 20% !

If you were to turn your Pumpkin Spice Latte into a candle, it would be this candle!

This candle smells just like a freshly toasted marshmallow 😍 This is the Marshmallow Campfire 100% non-GMO soy candle from Carefull Candles. Enter to win it at smelltheroses.com or buy it on Etsy where code "SMELLTHEROSES" save you 20%!

Picturing roasting a marshmallow in a fire pit on a cold night and you have this candle! It’s so light and sweet – I’m in LOVE!

Enter to win this candle at smelltheroses.com or purchase from the Carefull Candles Etsy Shop where code "SMELLTHEROSES" saves you 20% off your entire order!

All candles feature a reusable glass jar.

 


Carefull Candles vs. Conventional Scented Candles:

Life would certainly be much more convenient if I didn’t know as much about the chemicals/ingredients in my everyday products. This time of year, Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle have so many amazing scented candles that immediately make you excited for the fall and nearing holidays. However, these seemingly harmless candles hide an ugly truth. When burned, they release toxic fumes which pollute the air and are harmful if inhaled. For instance, big-name conventional brand candles made with parrafin wax produce benzene and toluene (known carcinogens) when burned. Inhaling these toxins are similar to inhaling the fumes from car exhausts.

Remember, chemicals don’t have to have a harsh odor to be harmful; many are actually odorless! Synthetic fragrances may smell nice but they are still chemicals and can be hazardous to your health.

Carefull Candles vs Conventional Brands -- clean up your candle collection by purchasing from the Carefull Candles Etsy Shop where code "SMELLTHEROSES" saves you 20% off your entire order!

Did you know your favorite Bath & Body Works candles contain harmful carcinogens that can be hazardous to you and your family's health? Clean up your candle collection with my "Safe Swaps"! You can still enjoy "Marshmallow Fireside" and "Pumpkin Spice" without the hidden dangers! Enter to win these candles at smelltheroses.com or purchase from the Carefull Candles Etsy Shop where code "SMELLTHEROSES" saves you 20% off your entire order!

Care Suggestions from the Carefull Candles Etsy Shop:

  • When lighting a soy candle for the first time, allow the wax to melt all the way to the sides of the container – this is usually 3/4 hours long. If you do not have 3/4 hours please wait until you do! Trust me, it will extend the life of your candle tremendously. If you do not let the wax melt all the way to the sides of the container, it may cause a “tunneling” effect, and your candle may not last as long as it is intended too.
  • The wicks need to be trimmed before EACH and every burn, failure to do so may result in black spots in the candle, a shorter burn time, and soot.

You can now order the SmelltheRoses.com inspired Carefull Candle in their Etsy shop.

Check it out here!

Carefull Candles Etsy Shop -- code "SMELLTHEROSES" saves you 20% off your entire order!


On behalf of Carefull Candles and Smell the Roses, I would like to wish you all a happy fall season and good luck!

Carefull Candles & SmelltheRoses.com Collaboration! Enter the giveaway at smelltheroses.com or purchase from the Carefull Candles Etsy shop where code "SMELLTHEROSES" saves you 20% off your entire order!


Thank you Carefull Candles for sponsoring this giveaway! 🙂

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED.