Best Natural Beauty Products of 2016

2016 was a banner year for natural and organic beauty.  With so many amazing brands and products to choose from, we naturally-minded organic beauties are no longer limited to choosing from insanely overpriced celebrity brands or crafted in someone’s basement hippie brands (not that we’re not obsessed with many of those).  Now we don’t have to sacrifice selection, effectiveness or budget to stock up our bathrooms and makeup bags with beautiful products that work wonders on our skin, hair and bodies, without harming your health or the environment.

Below are some of our favorite new (or new to us) products from the last year, all of which follow our strict criteria of natural beauty.

THE online beauty shop for all you choosy chicks

The Online Beauty Shop for Choosy Chicks

When it comes to beauty products, I am nothing if not supremely choosy.  I mean, I created a whole blog about it.  But most of us who are not professional bloggers and wellness experts just don’t have time to research a million different beauty brands and ingredients, or cross-check everything with the EWG database.  So finding a great online beauty shop that does the work for you is just, plain awesome.  We’ve featured many different natural beauty shops on The Organic Beauty Blog, and there are a lot out there to love.  But what I love about The Choosy Chick is that they carry such a wide variety of natural beauty brands, at a variety of price points.

A big complaint I hear from our readers is that going all-natural/organic is expensive.  Thankfully, with the explosion of the natural beauty scene over the last few years, this is no longer the case! The marketplace for natural beauty products now mirrors that of conventional products in terms of price — with super effective, budget-friendly brands rubbing elbows with smaller scale, luxury brands. But the big difference in quality (and of course safety!) still applies.

Perfect Remedy for Thirsty, Damaged Hair

Remedy for Thirsty Damaged Hair | The Organic Beauty Blog

As soon as my formerly blond hair starting turning less-than-blond in the 5th grade, so began my lifelong affair with hair lightening.  First it was Sun In (that early-90’s peroxide spray that gave us all beachy sun-streaked hair), then at-home highlights done by my mom, and then later all those professional highlights done 2-3 times a year for the last 20 years.  Needless to say, my hair has been through a lot.  I’ve spent years searching for the perfect remedy for damaged hair that will save my fried locks.  And clearly I refuse to let my hair go natural — oh the non-blond horror!!

Over the years, I’ve developed a routine for healing thirsty, damaged hair — it’s not perfect (there’s no way to completely mitigate the damage from color-treating, especially bleaching, and especially for already dry hair types like mine), but it does turn dry, frizzy locks into more luscious, hydrated hair!

5 Step Remedy for Thirsty, Damaged Hair

My Summer Skincare Routine

One of the amazing benefits of being a beauty, wellness and lifestyle blogger is the amount of super cool products I get to try and write about.  It is one of my missions to discover the best in natural beauty, health, and sustainable living products, and to share with you everything I’ve discovered!  To that end, I’m starting a seasonal series of updates on my current skincare routine.  Due to the sheer number of products I get sent, my routine changes pretty regularly, but favorite products tend to stick around.

In the summertime, I go for three big factors in my skincare routine:

  1. Keeping pores clean (due to the natural buildup of oils in the hot weather)
  2. Antioxidants (to offset damage from the summer sun)
  3. Sun protection (SPF all day everyday, yo)

So here is my current summer skincare routine:

Best one-stop natural beauty shops!

The last few years have been super exciting in the world of natural beauty. Not only are major retailers like Amazon, Sephora, and Target carrying many organic beauty products side by side with beauty industry mainstays, but the last few years have also brought on a whole new crop of online natural beauty retailers only carrying products that meet a strict set of guidelines regarding ingredients and quality.  Whereas I used to have to scrupulously read every single ingredient in reportedly natural products at major retailers, now I can pretty much completely trust that if a product is stocked in one of these online one-stop natural beauty shops, they meet my high standards of safety.

I’ve been using several products from each of these awesome online shops for the better part of a year now, and love the brands they carry, their great mission statements, and their commitment to quality, safe, organic beauty.

Here are my three favorite one-stop natural beauty shops!

The 3 beauty products every woman needs

3 Must-Have Beauty Products | The Organic Beauty

I get asked a lot about my favorite natural beauty products.  Since I test and review so many different products on this blog, picking favorites is a tall order, and my top picks really do change from month to month.  But regardless of what specific product I’m currently obsessing over, there are 3 basic products that I simply can’t live without.  These three puppies are the main workhorses of a great complexion and slowing the signs of aging.  Find a natural version of each of these three that you love, and you can toss pretty much 80% of the stuff pouring out of your cabinets.

Here are the 3 beauty products every woman needs:

Holistic New Baby Essentials + Giveaways!

Ok guys, we’ve gotten through the essentials for first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy, natural birth and now… your natural new baby essentials!!

I cannot overstate the importance of utmost absolute vigilance when selecting the products you use on and around your baby.  This guide has products I have used and loved with my own baby, as well as a couple of vetted items that I didn’t get much use out of, but come highly recommended by my mommy community.

In general, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting products for baby: safety, purity, and intention.  Little babies are so sensitive to their environment, and the choices we make in the first months of their lives set them up for a healthy and happy childhood and rest of their lives.  Choose the easy, cheap, unresearched route, and your child will likely battle issues like hormonal imbalance, allergies and asthma, behavioral issues and ADD, and even more serious long-term effects.  Maybe a few items are a little more expensive than their drugstore or box store counterparts, but when it comes to your little one, it is soooo worth it.  If budget is a concern, skip a few weekly trips to Starbucks and you will more than make up for the difference in cost.

In general, here are the rules I follow when choosing products for my baby:

  • EVERYTHING must be BPA, SLS, phthalate, and paraben-free
  • Wood or glass over plastic
  • Organic or bamboo fibers whenever possible
  • Simple items with developmental value over battery-powered products that make noise or blink lights

holistic-new-baby-essentials

What to Pack for Your Natural Birth

As I learned from my somewhat unexpected birth experience (which you can read all about here), the key to a more pleasant and confident birth experience is to be prepared for what may come. We were planning on a birth center birth, and were adamantly against the hospital. As it turned out, we had a bit of both.. What both experiences had in common was our desire for a natural birth, and in retrospect, I am so grateful that we thought to pack the tools necessary for the birth we wanted, both at a birth center, and at the hospital.  I did plenty of research to make sure everything I brough with me was as natural, healthy, and safe as possible, both for myself and for my new baby! Here are your must-have’s for your natural birth, wherever it may be*:

what-to-pack-for-natural-birth

Last Minute Beauty Gifts for the Naturalista + Giveaway

Leclisse-natural-makeup-holiday-gifts

As you can tell by the name of this blog, I’m pretty obsessed with all things organic beauty.  “Natural” and “organic” used to be synonymous with “ineffective” when it came to many makeup and beauty products back in the day.. not so anymore.  There are SO many amazing natural beauty products out there that not only work, but work wonders on your skin!

I believe anything we put on our skin should not only make it look better, but also make it healthier, so I get really pumped about natural makeup that promises and delivers just that. L’eclisse creates super high quality cosmetics using the finest minerals that are actually healthy for your skin.  Free of synthetic perfumes, dyes, fillers, or chemicals, the ingredients in their makeup work to soothe sensitive skin, heal and protect from environmental irritants, and hydrate without clogging pores.

If you have a natural beauty on your gift list, L’eclisse has you covered with their awesome holiday gift sets.  Easy peasy last minute gifts for a glowing goddess.

The Holiday Glow Gift Set ($59.99) includes:

  • The Pressed Mineral Blush is silky smooth, and is formulated without talc or fillers, and is loaded with skin protecting grapeseed oil and sunflower seed oil, as well as skin perfecting rosemary.  It comes in three flattering hues that provide beautiful, sheer coverage for just the right amount of glow.
  • The Blush Brush which is vegan, cruelty-free, and made from high quality hypoallergenic fibers for a soft and smooth application.
  • The Natural Lip Gloss made from lip beautifying organic, antioxidant-rich ingredients like coconut oil, carrot powder, rosemary and citrus extracts that heal, protect, and hydrate lips with the most beautiful shimmering shades.

The Mistletoe Kiss Stocking Stuffer ($39.99) features:

  • Three of the Natural Lip Glosses in three beautiful, universally flattering shades that look good with any complexion

Enter to win a Holiday Glow Gift Set!

L’eclisse Holiday Glow Gift Set Giveaway

Nourish Your Skin with Nourish Organic + Mega Giveaway!

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The biggest complaint I hear from my readers about switching over to healthier, natural products is the cost.  I get it! Sometimes you have other things to spend that money on, and your beauty products just aren’t that high a priority.  So I get really excited when I discover effective, organic beauty products that are also affordable and accessible.