How to Stop Using Paper Towels (and Be More Eco-Friendly!)

How to Stop Using Paper Towels (and Be More Eco-Friendly!)

Let’s talk about paper towels. Raise your hand if you know where they come from. Trees. Everyone answered trees there, right? Right?! Well… here’s something that surprises so many Americans. You don’t actually need paper towels. I know! I know! It’s gonna be okay, I promise, this is not the apocalypse!

So I actually grew up never using paper towels. We had sponges and dishtowels that cleaned up all the kitchen messes and used rags for all the other messes. As I got older I eventually realized how disturbing this was to most Americans. It wasn’t all that rare for people to say things such as, “You don’t use paper towels? Such a dirty hippie!” or “How inconvenient, you must like making your life more difficult!” This happened regularly! It was like we offended people, by having a different lifestyle choice. Isn’t it funny how people take differences as insult? We certainly weren’t trying to convince anyone to change their own ways, we just simply said, “Oh we don’t have those,” when people asked for a paper towel at our house and handed them a sponge / dishtowel / rag depending on their need.

Continue reading “How to Stop Using Paper Towels (and Be More Eco-Friendly!)”

Safer Shower

Safer Shower

My shower curtain started to disintegrate. Yay! How happy this made me. Not. I was not pleased. However, this gave me an opportunity to get a more eco-friendly alternative without feeling guilty for swapping my old one out.


One of the biggest toxins no one talks about?  Vinyl. Polyvinyl chloride, PVC, (or as it’s more commonly known: vinyl) is a type of plastic that is rather toxic. It’s toxic during the manufacturing process, leading to the release of many chemicals into the air and water streams. It’s toxic when it’s in your environment, releasing chemicals that are harmful to reproductive organs, cause breast cancer, birth defects, and endocrine disruption. As well as being toxic after we finish with these products and dump them into the landfill where they will stay for millions of years, leeching more of these chemicals into their surroundings. The main ingredient in vinyl that is so terrible is one of the plasticizers that gives plastic that flexible characteristic: phthalates. There are two kinds of phthalates, ortho-phthalates and terra-phthalates. The adverse health affects of ortho-phthalates are more known and they are, although legal, increasingly more regulated by private companies such as Home Depot. Basically, although many companies and government agencies are aware of these horrific affects of this toxin (and the many other chemicals that compose vinyl), it is sadly, still not illegal. Vinyl is heavily used throughout the toy, construction, any many other industries.  My personal theory is that vinyl will become the next asbestos. But I am not a scientist, I’m just guessing. I may be way off, but until proven otherwise, I make efforts to avoid vinyl.


Basically, my old shower curtain was vinyl and I wanted a much healthier replacement. The LA Times even wrote an article on the toxins associated with vinyl shower curtains. We’re talking liver cancer, nervous system damage, nausea. I wanted something that I could breathe a little easier around! I hoped for a waxed organic cotton liner, but I had difficulty sourcing one in the short time frame I accidentally caused for myself (I tossed my shower curtain liners before actually purchasing new ones… oops!).


My search led me to Target where I ultimately purchased two of these Threshold Shower Curtain Liners  (one for either side of the clawfoot bathtub). At $18 each, they were not the cheapest liners. But they’re made of polyester which doesn’t release the type of vicious toxins that vinyl does.  Although I still wish I could find some in cotton, these made a good alternative for now. Next time I’ll do my research before tossing the old liners!


Shower Curtain Liner | Land of Laurel


As for how the polyester fabric holds up to water compared to vinyl, I have not noticed a difference! These new liners keep all the water in just as well as the more plastic-y feeling vinyl curtains did (an important thing when you have a clawfoot bathtub/stand up shower and wood bathroom trim!). Plus they look and feel so much better!


Polyester Shower Curtain | Land of Laurel


Overall, I am so happy with this purchase! The liners look great, I feel better about their chemical make up, and they’re just a little bit wider than my old curtains keeping more water in! The bathroom is coming along now (you may notice I’ve hung some art!). I’ll have some finishing touches to share and then I can call this room done!


Is anyone else terrified by the adverse affects of chemicals in vinyl? Anyone know where to get a good wax-coated cotton shower curtain liner?

Drought Tips: Easy Ways to Save Water

Happy Earth Day! How are you celebrating? A walk? A hike? Instagraming your favorite sunset picture? I wish I could get out there and go for a hike. But, alas, I am sick! I caught an annoying cold this weekend which has me locked inside with lots of tea and tissues. I wanted to do something to commemorate today though. So in celebration of Earth Day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite nature pictures and some some basic water saving tips and tricks!


Saving Water | Land of Laurel



  1. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. So simple right? You don’t need the water running, you’re not using it. I know some people may be thinking, “Well, duh.” But, you’d be surprised! Many people just leave the water running, a habit that can easily be broken.
  2. Use a tub, or plug the drain, when washing dishes. One of my roommates turns on the water when he starts doing dishes and leaves it on until every pot and pan is washed and all the dishes are put into the dishwasher. It drives me crazy! A typical kitchen faucet is regulated to use no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute of use and most average between 1.5 gpm and 2 gpm. That seems like not that much, but when you multiply it by 20 minutes of dish doing that adds up to 30-40 gallons of water! Try filling a bin with warm soapy water for washing and then rinsing in another bin of hot water. At the very least, turn off the faucet between dishes.
  3. Put the dishwasher to work! Dishwashers use significantly less water and energy than handwashing! So put down the scrub brush and fill up the dishwasher. That said, fill your dishwasher efficiently! Stack plates, bowls, and cups as the manufacturer intended so you can fit the maximum number of dishes. Avoid running the machine until it’s truly full. Using up precious dishwasher space with bulky pots and pans reverses the water and energy savings though, so go ahead and hand wash those.
  4. Get a shower bucket. We use plenty of water in washing. I am totally guilty of taking longer showers. But I stick a large bucket in the shower before I turn the water on and let it fill up while the water gets hot. I use grey-water safe products in the shower, so I keep the bucket in the shower while I wash. Then, I have a bucket of water to use in the garden or for my (many!) house plants. Guilt-free water for California summer plantings? Count me in!
  5. Thinking about getting a new hot water heater? Avoid Tankless options! Tankless water heaters, touted as great energy savers, end up causing huge overuse of water. My parents installed one at their home about four years ago and were shocked at how much more water they ended up using. Let’s face the truth, in today’s world, there is an expectation that you’ll turn on your tap and get hot water. With a tankless option, not only will you wait for the water to turn hot, but you’ll get frustrated by the amount of time it takes. Tankless hot water heaters do save energy, but unless you have a tiny one at each water source in your home, you’ll end up running that tap for 5 minutes straight until the water gets hot enough for you to wash your face. Instead, go for an energy efficient option with a tank and save the water.



And now, on a different note, here are some of my favorite pictures of Mother Earth:


This guy I took just last month in Oregon at Multnomah Falls. The lush greenery– everything covered in moss and ferns– mesmerized me. It was so gorgeous.

Multnomah Falls | Land of Laurel


This magical view is from the top of Thunder Mountain near Kirkwood, CA.  It’s a destination of many a hike taken from Two Sentinels, the camp I volunteer with each year. The white of the granite is such a contrast from the evergreen trees and blue mountain lake.

View From the Sentinels | Land of Laurel


This I took during an evening bike ride during my trip to Istanbul, Turkey. Some friends an I took the ferry to the Prince Islands for an afternoon. Everything on the islands was beautiful, nature unmarred (for the most part) by humans.

Istanbul Sunset | Land of Laurel


Finally, this image is from Majorca, Spain. I spent 4 or so days there in the Spring of 2012. The water and the rocky island captivated me. The water was so blue in some areas. I loved that the greenery clung to every last bit of rock possible before the cliffs plunged into the sea.



How do you conserve water? Do you have any tips and tricks? Are you out there celebrating Earth Day? Enjoy it!

Silver Succulents

I mentioned here that while Nicole and I visited in Portland, Oregon we stopped in at the Goodwill Superstore on the Southeast side. Wowza! If you live in Portland, go there! It was amazing! Huge! There were rows and rows of clothes and entire section devoted to books. Books organized by genre! I’ve never been to a thrift store with a) so many books or b) books this well organized! Only United Airlines strict carry-on baggage allowances kept me from buying a large stack. That and the fact that I recently spent $40 on used books (that’s like 30+ books!) at the Blackoak Books moving sale in Berkeley. Hello my name is Laurel and I am a book-aholic.


This Goodwill Superstore had an entire aisle full of sterling silver, priced extremely low. This is where Nicole and I got truly excited. I had the idea of buying one of the smaller silver pieces and filling it with succulents. Because how adorable would that be? The answer is extremely adorable! We both decided to get small, packable, objects. Nicole ended up with a creamer and I found this fantastic sugar bowl which was missing it’s top. Perfect, since I needed it to be topless for the succulents anyways. We were ready for our friendship succulent planters now.


Goodwill Sugar Bowl | Land of Laurel


At home, I unpacked my sugar bowl. It was still adorable. Yay! This was such a great way to upcycle something sad and unwanted into something cute and happy. Here it is next to Fred for comparison sake. The little sugar bowl is  about 5 inches wide from tip of handle to tip of handle and only about 3 inches high.


Fred and the Silver Sugar Bowl


I didn’t want to go out and buy succulents, because, why spend the dough when I can get them for free? Plus I need teensy tiny succulents. What did I do? I raided the driveway, which is lined with three varieties of succulents. I sliced off a few of the smallest off shoots from each variety and was ready to go!


I quickly popped a few small pieces of gravel into the bottom of the sugar bowl, added some potting soil, and gently stuck in the succulents. The sterling silver sugar bowl ended up being everything I imagined!


Sterling Silver Sugar Bowl Succulent Planter | Land of Laurel


Not only was it super cute, but it was somehow playful and sophisticated. It makes makes me want to sip a hot cup of tea and speak in a British accent. Or should I say, “Ahhcksent?” Yes, maybe the latter is best.


I thought about polishing the sterling silver, but ended up deciding against it. Partially, because I am truly lazy, partially because I don’t have any silver polish lying around, but mostly because I love the patina it already has. The tarnishing is kind of beautiful and I love it, just the way it is.


As for the little mini-succulents– they were a perfect fit! I tried to find sprouts that varied both in height and size so there would be some movement. It worked out pretty dang well! My favorite variety are the little guys at the top that are tinged with purple at the tips. Anyone know what they’re called? I have planted several of them (there is even one in Fred). I’m a bit worried that they’ll grow crazy tall (like the one in Fred did), but until it happens, I’m not going to stress about it! I’m not sure why they grow so tall inside (maybe lack of sun?!), outside they get much larger and wider rather than growing straight up all skinny. I ended up bending the one in Fred underneath one of the leaves of the aloe vera, because it got so tall it started falling over. Crazytown!


Sterling Silver Sugar Bowl Mini-Succulent Planter | Land of Laurel


Overall, I’m pretty psyched about this guy. My only issue is that now I want like fifteen more! I initially thought they’d look awesome on the window ledge above my bed. Then I tried to stick this little guy up there and realized that the window ledge in that room is shallower than elsewhere in the house. The little legs on the sugar bowl basically make it instantly attempt to catapult off the ledge. Don’t worry, I drop things so frequently that I am now fantastic at catching them. Some of the time. The sugar bowl is safe! RIP glass mason jar completely full of apple cider (I missed the fridge shelf yesterday afternoon…).


But clearly, I need to hit up Goodwill a few more times and pick up a few more sterling silver pieces to use as succulent planters. I can see them scattered everywhere in a house, sitting on top of stacks of books. Very English countryside. Very me. Especially the part about the books. Have you read Living History by Hilary Clinton? I read it several months ago and ironically what struck me the most about the book was a few simple paragraphs describing the interiors of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ home. Filled with books! You got it people, if Jackie O did it, then it is beautiful, timeless, and oh so classic. Or at least that’s what I plan on telling anyone who asks if I need as many books as I own. Because, yes, yes I do. They make me happy.


Anyways, my new little sugar bowl is too cute and I am excited to make a whole bunch more! They would make fantastic little gifts, don’t you think? Party favors, wedding favors, birthday gifts, I can think of so much more!


Sterling Silver Sugar Bowl Succulent Planter | Land of Laurel



I’ve decided to stick this little guy on my nightstand for now. We’ll see if that’s enough light to keep him happy. Hopefully so, because who doesn’t want to wake up next to something that dang cute?!


Have you ever upcycled something into a planter? Have any advice on raising succulents? Know what varieties of succulent I’ve found from my driveway?

Wooden Crates are So Great!

Happy Tuesday! Happy March 1st!  Did you have a good weekend? Enjoy the Oscars? Outraged by the winners or happily agreed with the votes? I didn’t watch! Just read about it and enjoyed the dresses online. I went with my family to eat at Gather here in Berkeley instead. So yummy! I had a very chill weekend overall and got many things done, so I got to prep some blog posts for y’all! Yay!


Remember my living room? Those glass coffee and side tables always make me cringe. As I am among the World’s Clumsiest People, glass in places I can easily fall/trip over makes me… nervous, to say least. Because the tables are pretty perfectly sized for the space and I don’t have the budget to invest in new ones (plus, where would I put my roommates if I did?), I wanted to make them a bit more visually prominent in hopes I wouldn’t break them and time soon. Or, ever, really. Yes, let’s concentrate on not breaking them ever; that sounds much better, really. My attempts to make the table more prominent involved holiday displays, trays, and plants. It helped, but it didn’t quite add the visual weight I hoped for…


Living Spaces | Land of Laurel


A while ago, while driving down Highway 101 on the way home from a job site, my co-worker and I stopped for sustenance at a fruit stand. We were so hungry! Among the piles of various fruits and nuts they had piled old wooden cherry crates and were selling them for only $5! I see crates like these all the time at the Alameda Flea Market but always priced more than $30! I could have played it safe and bought one or two, but do I ever play it safe? Hell no! I hopped on that deal like a monkey on a banana! I bought eight cherry boxes for a total of $40. Worth it! Then I stuffed them into our already full (of chair samples!) van and called it a #colddeadfingers find worthy of Mandi! Here’s the pic from the overly excited text I sent to my two best friends, my mom, my sister, my aunt, my next-door-neighbor, and my next-door-neighbor’s dog. Let’s just say, I was pretty freakin’ excited about this!


Great Crate! | Land of Laurel


They were a little dirty, but I knew they’d clean up quick! At first, I had no idea what I’d do with them, but I knew I’d figure it out quickly. Produce crates aren’t hard to come by, but at that price, I felt so overly joyed. I was ready to celebrate! When I got them home, I wiped them down with a sponge and some Honest Multi-Purpose Spray. They were pretty clean by the time I was done, but I think in the future I’d like to try some furniture wax or polish to bring out the wood tones even more. For now, they’re just fine!


Because we had two side tables and the coffee table, I went and stuck four of the crates in the living room. The X-support under the glass of the coffee table ended up being absolutely perfect for the crates! They fit perfectly and we nice and stably balanced. More importantly? The coffee table went from barely there to having actual visual weight! Here it is before; see how your eye just glances over it? Not great for someone who needs many visual queues in order to not trip into things!


Glass Coffee Table | Land of Laurel


Then, look with the cherry crates stacked neatly on the bars! Boom! You can actually see the thing!


Cherry Crates Under Coffee Table | Land of Laurel


Not only were the crates very stable on the X-support, they actually extended the perfect amount, just a couple inches less than the width of the table. That meant, your eye could distinguish the edges of the glass and my brain could tell my body to avoid falling into it. Yay!


At first I just stacked the boxes under the glass of the tables, but then, as you can see above, I got a better idea! I filled the boxes with the design magazine I have lying around all over my house. Not only does this clear out the stacks I had lined up against the wall in my bedroom, but it provides reading material for any guests. Many of our visitors glance through them while we’re in the kitchen or chatting around. It’s nice to see the magazines in use and not gathering dust!


Magazine Storage | Land of Laurel


And there, my friends, is a ten minute fix to a small problem that will hopefully prevent me from dying a glassy death. I’ve definitely noticed that I bump into the table far less frequently now! Plus, I have four more cherry crates sitting in the attic waiting for another project to come by. Hmmm… any ideas for how I should repurpose them? Do you like glass tables inside? Do you notice the visual weight of items in your home?

Scrappy Headboard

Hello everyone! Hope everyone has had a wonderful first couple weeks of January! I can’t believe how fast the month has been going. Please excuse my radio silence; I’ve been trying to re-find my footing post-holidays! It’s been a crazy few weeks. Crazy good for the most part. But now — on to the good stuff.


Because my bedroom is on the first floor of the house, people always place their coats and bags in there when we have a party or people over for dinner. I don’t mind at all – in fact, my inner show-off likes to have people parading through that room. Plus it means I really truly have to clean up in there on the reg. Which, for me, is a much needed incentive as I tend to let things (clothes) pile up. By far, what people comment on the most after going into my room is my headboard.


New Bedding | Land of Laurel


I built my headboard while I was home for the summer during college. I used entirely scrap wood my dad had piled up (maybe this piling is genetic?) in the garage. It was a great way to get rid of some of the left over wood in a fun and useful way. Plus, some of the scrap wood was high quality walnut or cherry. The kind of wood you don’t want to just lie around forever! While I’d seen others use scrap wood to make headboards, most people seemed to be trimming it in, laying it horizontally, or cutting it into the outline of a more traditional headboard. I hadn’t seen anyone really let the mismatched wood take the point of focus. I wanted the scrappiness of the wood to take center stage. I wanted it to be obvious that the wood was collected and different.


I started by going through the wood in my parents’ garage. I wanted pieces that not only differed from each other, but were also different lengths and widths. Most of all, I wanted wood boards that had character, that looked like they’d live an entire life as something else. I found what I could, but when I first started grabbing, I realized many were looking quite similar.  You can see here that several boards were about the same length and width. That wouldn’t do!

Pre-Cut Wood | Land of Laurel


Once I’d laid out all the planks I needed for my new headboard, I marched several to be cut. Some I wanted shorter, some I wanted to rip two or three inches off to make two boards and break up some of the monotony. The whole dream for this was variation, differences, a story. To do this, I enlisted the help of a table saw… And my father. At the time, he felt I wasn’t to be trusted alone with a table saw. Silly man, I may be ridiculously clumsy, but I’ve never seriously injured myself! At the time though, I appreciated the help. I marked exactly where I wanted each board width ripped and handed those off to him, while I used a chop saw to alter some of the lengths. You can see here, how uneven I wanted these cuts. The boards were not being ripped right down the middle!


Ripping Boards for a Headboard | Land of Laurel


Once we’d made all our cuts, the boards showed so much more variation! It was exactly like I’d pictured, everything different, each plank it’s own story. My clear favorite was – and is to this day – the wide grey board with a knot hole missing from it. That was the kind of character I was hoping for! Now it was just time to figure out what order they would rest in. Again, I wanted contrast, short next to long, wide next to skinny. There needed to be some flow as well and I made sure to pay some attention to symmetry. I wanted to make sure the headboard wasn’t tall on one end and short on the other!


Scrap Wood Headboard | Land of Laurel


Once my boards were all cut and an order had been decided upon, I numbered them all with a pencil and brought them inside. I lined them all up against a straight object (a window seat in this case), and began the process of fastening them all together. There are a variety of ways I could have done this, but the whole idea at the start of the project was to use only things left over from other projects. So I grabbed a two by four and cut it’s length to match the width of my headboard. I did this twice so I ended up with two matching two by fours.


Scrap Wood Lined Up | Land of Laurel


I wish I had more pictures, but I worked on this project so long ago, I didn’t take them with a blog in mind! These pictures were all taken with an old point and shoot camera too, so excuse the graininess! You’ll have to imagine this next part. I laid both of my two by fours horizontally, perpendicular to the planks of scrap wood. One board I placed close to the top and one closer to the bottom. Then I took a bunch of left over drywall screws, got out a drill, and drilled a screw through the two by fours and into the scrap wood over and over and over until each piece of scrap wood was held on by two screws. Once the whole thing was held together, I took my new (and heavy!) headboard back outside onto the sawhorses.


I wanted there to be variation and character in the planks, but this was, first and foremost, a headboard. Which meant it needed to be smooth, without splinters to catch on linens, hair, or my skin! I got out an electric sander and went to town! I evened out the wood board transitions and made sure nothing was left to catch on anything. After I finished this, I missed some of the natural scratches and lines on the boards though. What to do? How to fix this?


If you ever want to beat something up, this is the project for you, my friends. I took out a hammer and some nails and bolts and started going to town. I made little divots by laying the bolts and nails down on the boards and then hammering them. It was actually really fun! I’ve heard you can also use bicycle chains and pretty much anything else you have laying around to give wood some character.


Then, once my boards were nicely beaten up, it was time to stain! Still outside, I took out a can of dark mocha stain left over from another project (aka free!) and gave the entire thing two coats, waiting between coats as directed on the can. After I wiped down the second coat of stain I went back and dripped additional stain on a few places on the headboard. I was hoping to add a bit more personality to the wood in this way as well. The spots of extra stain became much darker and some combined to create organic shapes.


After the stain had dried, cured, and off-gassed outside for several days, I brought inside and leaned it up against my bed. My bed was a birthday gift when I was twelve. At the time, I was completely enamored, but several years later, I was over the cold, silver metal and modern look. It had come from IKEA and had held up well, but just wasn’t my style anymore. I tried to find a picture of it and I did manage to – the picture is just old and showcases my crazy high school bedroom in all it’s holiday finest! Bet you never thought you see something this exciting! Look at that plate holder turned CD rack, the headboard in the center of the room, the extreme mess… so glad I’ve grown up! Haha!

High School Bedroom | Land of Laurel


Anyways, the metal headboard? Out! The bed itself? Totally reuseable. In fact, I placed my new scrap wood headboard directly in front of the old metal one and held it in place with eye hooks and twist ties! Now, you can hardly tell the old metal bed lives underneath that gorgeous scrap wood headboard! Plus, my new West Elm bedspread hides all those metal bed legs. Bam! Whole new look! Cost? Absolutely free. Pretty good deal if you ask me!


Garden Trellis Bedding | Land of Laurel


Have you made a headboard before? Or repurposed scrap wood to make something new and unexpected? It was a fun challenge to make something like this for absolutely nothing!

An Honest Review

I have been following the Honest Company pretty much since it was founded a few years ago. I was absolutely ecstatic about a company that embraced the same eco-friendly practices I strive to live by. I read both Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life and Christopher Gavigan’s Healthy Child, Healthy World, which gave me answers to many of the questions that had been nagging me for much of my life. If you haven’t checked out either of those books yet, I highly recommend you do! They’re both incredible informative. Healthy Child, Healthy World is a particularly good guide on jumping head first into a healthy, sustainable life. I am constantly impressed by the Honest Company! I have a subscription to one of their bundles and get their products delivered to me every 6-8 weeks. As if that wasn’t enough information on my love for this company, I actually applied for jobs at their Santa Monica office after college. I was even was flown from Oakland to Los Angeles for an interview (spoiler alert: I did not get the job!) where I met Christopher Gavigan and Sean Kane as well as many of their other staff. It was during this interview in October of 2014 that I learned the Honest Company was making strides into the world of beauty products. I’ve basically waited an entire year in anticipation of Honest make-up!

When the Honest Company’s Honest Beauty branch went live last month, you know I signed up! I ordered their free skin trial (oily) and the Truly Kissable Lip Crayon, Demi-Matte in Honey Kiss. A week or two ago, my order was delivered to my house!! Yay! I was excited to dive into Honest Beauty!

Honest Beauty Box

The boxes came in all their glory. They’re about 12″ x 8″ roughly (I’ve already recycled mine). I love that the Honest Company makes their boxes more interesting than any old cardboard box. It definitely adds to their branding and makes each box seem special. The fact that the Honest Beauty Logo is so similar to the Honest Company’s butterfly logo, yet also encompasses two B’s and an H is just good graphic design. Whoever came up with that is one talented designer!

Honest Box from the Side

When you open it, it just gets better.

Honest Beauty Box Inside

It’s just cute right? It’s so much more interesting than a plain box. Can you tell I love design?? Seriously though, it’s little things like this that seem silly, like no big deal, that really pull a design from good to great. I love it! Enough about the box now, 400 words is probably just plenty! On to the actual products!

So my trial came in one box and my lip gloss came in a separate box which was the same size. This was a little silly and kind of a waste. I wished they’d been packaged together, but I’m assuming the free trials are all packed ahead of time. My Oily Skin Trial came with Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser, Dependably Clear Oil Free Moisturizer, and Beyond Protected Daily Beauty Fluid Oil Free SPF 30. I am particularly excited about that last one, because ever since I found out my favorite daily face sunscreen is rated a 4 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (say that five times fast!), I’ve been experimenting with replacements. Ideally  everything I use would be a two or below on their scale; this is the one product that I’m finding difficult to replace.

The first thing I tried? The lip crayon! It is definitely a nude. I like the way it looks a lot. Perfect with a smokey eye or heavy liner (my favorite looks). I think it would look even better layered with an Honest Beauty Lip Gloss like they recommend… but they’re so expensive, I’m a little hesitant to buy anything else quite yet. Dang though is thing thing long lasting! When I wear it to work it will last me all the way through lunch no matter how many cups of tea or scones I snack on in the morning! It’s awesome! And I just love the texture. All of the Honest Beauty products I tried had such a smooth, light texture. It’s not cakey at all! It feels like my lips and face could breathe through the make-up, moisturizer, and sunscreen! It’s kind of indescribable and oh so amazing!

Honest Beauty Products

That night I got to try the rest of my samples! The cleanser smells really great! Very perfume-y and feminine though, so probably not for you guys. I was actually surprised by the scent. Most of the Honest products have more mild scents. I am particularly sensitive to smells, so although this threw me off for a second, as soon as I got over my surprise I found the scent to be floral-y, but mature.  The cleanser works really well guys! It easily stripped off make-up without leaving my face feeling dry.

Next up? The moisturizer. Now, I don’t normally use moisturizer. My skin is plenty moist unless I’m bombarding it with benzoyl peroxide in a war over lurkers. I once had a dermatologist tell me that my skin really didn’t need moisturizer, so I don’t keep any on hand. Because this was part of the trial, I decided to try it anyways. The moisturizer was really lovely! It’s a great consistency that blends really easily and left my skin feeling incredibly refreshed and somehow smoother. I might just get some for those days when I need it!

Finally, the product I was most excited about: sun protection! I wear sunscreen on my face every single day you guys. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have seen too many people get skin cancer. I had pretty bad acne in my teens and went to several estheticians and dermatologists. I’ve gotten tons of advice on my skin and keeping it clean, clear, and wrinkle-free– a lot of it conflicting– but one thing stands out. Every single professional I’ve ever consulted has insisted on the benefits of wearing sunscreen on your face every single day. So I do. Dermatologists I’ve seen have taken this a step further and let me in on a little industry secret: sunscreen only works if it contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Do you know how many products out there claim to be sunscreens, but don’t contain either ingredient? SO MANY you guys! SO MANY! Now, I totally understand not loving these ingredients, because they have heavy white pigments that make them difficult to rub into your skin, but they are the only thing that actually protects you! Think life guards and the white zinc nose, guys. That is who you want to be!

The Honest Beyond Protected Daily Beauty Fluid Oil Free SPF 30 rubs in so well though. It’s really light! I’ve been experimenting with a lot of daily facial sunscreens lately and have been so disappointed in so many products. This is a feasible alternative to what I’d previously used! This guy is a little bit shinier than the Eucerin, but it seems to sink in to your skin after a few minutes. Some products I’ve tried have left my face so oily that I had to wash my make-up brushes after using them just once! That means my skin was so oily from the product that even after waiting a few minutes and applying liquid foundation, the oil clogged my brushes when I applied powder! THIS IS INSANE. And if it’s doing that to my brushes what’s it doing to my pores?! The Honest Beauty Oil Free SPF 30 didn’t do this at all! My face was totally matte after I applied my make up. Thank god. My natural oils provide plenty of shine, thankyouverymuch. The Oil Free SPF 30 does have a bit of the whitening affect that all suncreens with zinc dioxide have, but not nearly as bad as so much of what is out there. This is good stuff guys! I’m pretty committed. Once my trial is all used up, I’ll bite the $28 per 1.5 fl.oz. bullet and finally be happy with my daily facial sunscreen!

That brings me to my one and only complaint about the new Honest Beauty products: the price. Having always been a drug-store make-up kind of girl, some of these prices are difficult for me to wrap my head around. I have to pay how much for how many fluid ounces?! It’s too much for my current budget. As much as I’d love to replace everything I currently use with the clearly far superior Honest Beauty products– I can’t. I don’t have the free income to spend for these products at these prices. 😦 I’m totally disappointed, but I knew this before I ordered my trial and I knew they’d be so amazing it would suck to have to give them up! Don’t get me wrong, I plan on planning my finances so I can get what I can in the future, but I certainly don’t expect or plan to be able to convert my entire beauty routine to Honest. 😦 I’m totally bummed, but I hope that so many people love them, the prices go down, and they become even more readily available! Until then, I’ll be stalking the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database waiting to see how the Honest Beauty products score! I’m guessing low.

What about you? What do you spend on the beauty products you use every single day? Do you think paying more is worth it or do you too rock the drug-store brands? I know everything I use from the drugstore still rates 2 or less on the Cosmetics Database, so you don’t have to pay too much for a healthy product. Have you tried the Honest Beauty line? Did you love it too?