Rustic Maka Review + Giveaway

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I am so so so excited to write this blog post! I first tried Rustic Maka in 2016 and have loved this company ever since! They are a small natural deodorant and body care company based out of Michigan. Their products are vegan certified and cruelty-free. I am so happy with their mission to find and use ingredients that are clean and great for your body. This company does not use Aluminum which blocks your pores, not allowing sweat to leave your underarms. Rustic Maka uses natural ingredients that allow your underarms to breathe while neutralizing odor. Are you ready for this? Let’s get into the products!

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The very first deodorant I tried from Rustic Maka was the “Calming Fields” natural deodorant. I also currently have a bottle of this scent. Calming Fields really is such a calming scent of lavender and spearmint. This scent is feminine and fresh. I am not a florally kind of girl, but this deodorant is not overpowering at all. It is very balanced. I have only used the original formula in this scent, but they do have a baking soda free formula as well. Another big positive for this deodorant is that it stands up to my day of moming. I usually do not need to reapply deodorant throughout the day. I have always reapplied (even with conventional deodorant) prior to working out, but other than that I don’t need to reapply with the Rustic Maka deodorant. I love how clean Rustic Maka’s ingredients are! Check these out:

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Powder*, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Shorea Robusta (Sal) Butter, Zinc Ricinoleate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil
*Certified Organic

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The second deodorant that I tried from Rustic Maka was “Rough Rivers“. I had been using this deodorant for a couple weeks, and then it was stolen. My husband confiscated it LOL. This scent is very unisex to me, even though it does say it’s a mens deodorant on the label. Rough Rivers is a blend of citrus and nuttiness. It’s not heavy, it’s very fresh. Both me and my husband love this scent! Rough Rivers comes in the original formula, NOT the baking soda free formula. Here are the clean ingredients:

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Powder*, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Shorea Robusta (Sal) Butter, Zinc Ricinoleate, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil (Bergaptene-Free), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract
*Certified Organic Ingredient

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The most recent scent that I have been using is the “Mystic Garden CBD” natural deodorant. This has become an instant favorite of mine! I absolutely love the smell of this one. You can smell the hemp, but it also has fresh almost minty notes to it. Mystic Garden is another deoderant that I would say is perfect for men and women. The ingredients list contains “natural fragrance” which I chatted with the company about. They said that it is a blend of essential oils and plant based isolates. No harmful synthetic fragrances would be used by this company. This one I was not able to find on the site, so I’m not sure if it’s available yet.

I have also tried one of Rustic Maka’s bodycare items. I have been using the “Purify Exfoliating Mask“. If you follow me on Instagram you have seen my face mask pictures, and know that I am a face mask addict. So of course I had to try Rustic Maka’s face mask! This mask comes as a powder that you mix with water to activate it, and then apply it to your face. It contains mineral rich clays and activated charcoal that help detox your skin. When you put it on, you massage it on in circle motions. You seriously only need this on for a minute or two like the label says. I then gently wash it off with warm water and a soft cloth. The Purify mask left my skin smoother than any other mask I’ve used! I truly feel like it gets all the dead skin off and leaves my face silky smooth. Then I continue with my skincare routine of toner to seal in moisture, and serum with full spectrum SPF.

Something that I think is so cool is that you can use this mask on your face and you can also detox your underarms with it. Rustic Maka has a “Detox Underarm Care System Kit” that contains the purify mask along with a cleansing product and a moisturizing primer. Love that it is a multi-use product!

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Ok, here we go! I am so excited to say that I will be giving away one deodorant to 2 winners! I will give away one on Facebook, and one on Instagram. The scents that I am giving away are “Calming Fields (Baking Soda Free Formula)” and “Rough Rivers (Original Formula). Head to my Facebook page “The Lil Things Blog” and my Instagram “@thelilthingsblog” for details on how to enter!

Thanks so much for reading! Like, comment, and share this with your friends!

Dental Health Favorites

The past few days I have been going to doctor appointments that have made me think about my mouth injury from high school. Which led me to think about my dental health and the products that I use. I have tried many toothpastes searching for something to replace my conventional favorite. I also went on a search for mouthwash options. I narrowed it down to three favorite “toothpastes” and one favorite mouth rinse.

Toothpaste

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The first favorite I’m going to talk about is “David’s Natural Toothpaste”. This is definitely the most expensive of these tooth products, but I REALLY liked this one. It gives you nice minty breath and leaves you feeling super clean. David’s toothpaste is vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free. There are a couple of things that are really cool about the packaging and production of this toothpaste that sets it apart. The metal tube is 100% recyclable unlike conventional toothpaste tubes. The paper for the box is sustainably sourced, and is also created using 100% wind power. How cool is that?! Definitely a top pick of mine!

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The second product I’ll chat about is “Crunchy Mama Bear’s Remineralizing Tooth Powder”. This is completely different than anything I have ever tried for my teeth! Due to the injury I sustained in high school, my teeth aren’t the healthiest. I have a retainer that has 3 fake teeth on it that has slowly caused my other healthy teeth to slowly decay (because I wear my retainer 24/7). I wanted something that would help remineralize or heal that decay. So I decided to give this powder a shot. It is this dark gray powder that smells like Cinnamon. It took a little getting used to because it doesn’t foam or feel like a conventional toothpaste, but it ended up definitely being a favorite of mine. My teeth felt very clean and whiter after using this product.

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The last toothpaste I will talk about is the “Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint All-One Toothpaste”. This paste is very accessible because I can pick it up at Target. I have also found it when I go to ROSS! I love getting a little bit of a deal on what I buy. This toothpaste has a good peppermint taste to it, and leaves my mouth feeling clean. It is made of 70% organic ingredients. If you are looking for a more affordable but well performing option this would be it.

Mouth Rinse

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While using the David’s Natural Toothpaste, I started using “Dr. Brite Cleansing Mouth Rinse in Mint”. I absolutely loved this combo of products. This rinse was not harsh at all! With conventional rinses I always felt like my mouth was burning, but not at all with this one. It’s free of so many harsh chemicals that you would usually find in your rinses and contains lots of organic ingredients. Dr. Brite mouth rinse is also vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free.

BONUS

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The other part of my dental routine that I decided to throw in here is the “Dr. Brite Whitening Pen in Mint”. I always wanted to use strips or something like that to get a whiter smile after my injury, but never did it. So glad I didn’t use those conventional whiteners now. But I saw this pen on Instagram and right away wanted to try it. I have not tried the apple flavor since I am deathly allergic to apple, but the mint flavor is great! You guys…this pen really works! I can tell a difference just after a couple days of using it. This pen is also made of lots of organic ingredients just like the mouth rinse. This pen has super clean ingredients and works, so it is definitely a must try.

Thanks so much for reading! Have you tried any of the products I talked about? What’s your favorite? Comment below πŸ™‚

Spring 2019 “Just Between Friends” sale

 

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you know this week was the JBF Issaquah sale. I go to JBF sales every year to stock up on clothes for E. I’ve gone since I was pregnant and have never stopped. It is more affordable for my family to buy everything Echo needs at the rate he is growing. “Just Between Friends” is a huge kids consignment sale (they have them all over the country) where you can get practically anything you might need for a child for 50-90% off retail. I seriously love this sale, and find such great things. Now I’ll show you everything I picked up and how much I paid.

First thing, I go in with a budget every single sale. I don’t just spend whatever I want. My budget is $100 to get what Echo needs until the next sale. Drumroll please… I came in at $100.65! So this sale I got all the spring and summer items he will need.

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We picked up 4 pairs of shorts at the sale. 2 were jean shorts, one khaki pair, and then 1 athletic pair.

 

We found 9 t-shirts. The really good deal I found with the t shirts was 3 plain white tees for $2! No stains, just little white shirts that we can use to layer under everything!

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Another summer necessity we grabbed was tank tops.

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I found one cute pair of fleece footie pajamas and got them even though it will hopefully be getting warmer soon.

 

I always check out any coats at these sales because they are just so expensive brand new at stores. This sale I found 2! One was a London Fog fleece lined red jacket. The other was a blue Old Navy jacket. Both are ones that Echo can use now and next fall/winter.

 

The next two items were my favorite finds! I found a Burt’s Bees grey and white zip up jacket for $5. Then I found a pair of grey distressed jeans for $5. Together they are super cute (pic at the end)!

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Summer means playing in the water, so I picked up a brand new swimwear set.

 

The last random things I picked up were Elf, a soccer ball light, a firefighter hat, a batman mask, and a couple pairs of shoes

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Buying kids clothes and toys shouldn’t have to break the bank. This sale has been such a great thing for my family. We can get Echo good quality clothes and toys within our means. We also don’t directly support fast fashion. We are able to “reuse” items and stop one less thing from going in the trash. If you haven’t checked out “Just Between Friends”, head to their website www.jbfsale.com to find a sale near you.

Comment below with your favorite JBF find? Thanks so much for reading!

Favorite Clean Lip Balms

 

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Do you carry lip balm with you everywhere? I do! I am that person who has one next to my bed, in my purse, in my backpack, and sometimes in my coat pocket. I’m obsessed. In this blog I’m going to breakdown which lip balms have been my favorites since switching to healthier options.

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First up is “Osmia Lip Doctor“! One thing that makes this lip balm unique is that it has NO essential oils in it. Most green options I have found contain essential oils. This is perfect for those with sensitive skin (like me). I loved that this balm was smooth and absorbed into my lips really well. Also, you get a good amount of product for the $12 and it is made of very clean ingredients.

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Another favorite was the “Splurge Lip Buttah”. Splurge is now 28 Litsea. So the comparable product would be the “28 Litsea Petala Balm“. The lip buttah is so buttery on the lips, it just melts when you apply it. I love putting this balm on at the beginning of applying makeup, so that my lips are super soft when I go to apply lipstick. This balm is your average size for about $7 and has great clean ingredients.

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Next up is “Dr. Bronners Peppermint Lip Balm“. I pick mine up from Target for just under $3. It is super affordable and easily accessible. This lip balm is made with all organic ingredients and beeswax. This is the one I keep in my purse 24/7 and always take it on the go. I love the mintyness and how moisturizing it is.

It’s wintertime and our lips could use a little hydration. These lip balms would be my go to products, and are ones that I own and use regularly. Thanks so much for reading. Like this post and share.

Ditching the Paper Towels

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How many paper towels do you use in a day? I have been taking a look at the amount that we use as a family, and I have been shocked. Paper towels are not able to be recycled so that is a lot of waste that we are creating. Here is a look at a typical day in my house:

*we use the choose your size paper towels

Morning: 3 sheets

Lunch: 3 sheets

Dinner: 2 sheets

Dog: 2 sheets

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Total: 10 sheets/day, 310 sheets/month, and 3,720 sheets/ year

That is a lot of waste to be making everyday which makes me think twice about using paper towels. On top of that, I struggle with the chemicals that they are treated with to make them white and hold together. I want our food and bodies to have the least amount of contact with these chemicals as possible. There are a couple things I still use them for: bacon, dog messes, and cleaning the bathroom.

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I decided to make “paper towels” out of fabric, so that we can cut down on waste and chemical exposure. I used flannel to make 13×13 towels. To make them I cut out 13×13 squares, then folded the edge over about 1/4 inch, then used a zig zag stitch to sew the folded edge. I washed them after sewing the edges, and then cut off the strings from freyed edges.


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I love using them! They are gentler on Echo’s skin (I feel like) when I clean him up after meals. They are just as easy to grab as a normal paper towels. I keep them in a big jar on the counter. I felt like it was a great small step to take in the kitchen to go a little greener. This is something we will definitely continue to use going forward.

UPDATE:

I have had this post sitting in my drafts for so long, because I wanted to add a bunch of statistics on paper towels but I just never did it. So now it has been a year since I made these fabric towels. We absolutely love them still! The jar is still on the counter and they are just as convenient to grab as paper towels. This step of cutting out waste made me feel good. I’m all about taking little steps forward and switching things out as you go. Every little step matters πŸ™‚

Thanks so much for reading! What is one little step you have made to help the environment? Comment below πŸ™‚

DIY Popcorn Costume

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Every year I really enjoy making a homemade costume for Echo. One year he was a duckling, last year he was a Lego block, and this year he was a bucket of popcorn. The town that we live in does trick or treating at the businesses, and everyone loved Echo’s popcorn costume! He looked so cute!

Materials:

-Large cardboard box

-brown packing paper

-packing tape

-white string

-white tissue paper

-red and white acrylic paint

-yellow watercolor paint

-hot glue gun

-tacky glue

-painters tape

My first step was cutting the box to fit Echo. The box we used was long, not square. I taped the box shut like it would be if i got a delivery. Then i stood it up lengthwise.Β  I cut the bottom off so it hit right above his knee. Then I cut an opening in the top leaving about an inch and a half around the edge. I then took two long pieces of scrap fabric (or you could use sturdy string) to make straps to hold the box up. You can secure it with hot glue or tacky glue. Before recycling the remnants of the box, cut two small (about 6″x4″) pieces to make signs for the front and back of the box.

The part that took me the longest probably was painting the stripes on the box. For one color you can section off the stripes with painters tape to get straight lines. For the other I had to freehand it, because the painters tape peeled off what I already painted. Oops! The stripes should be about an inch apart. I think I did three coats of paint on each color stripe. While you’re at it with the paint you can paint your small sign pieces red. After it dries, paint on the word “POPCORN”. Then attach it, using tacky glue, to the box once it is completely dry.

For the popcorn kernels, I rolled up 6″x6″ pieces of brown packing paper into balls. I then used the packing tape to tape completely around it to make it keep its shape. I probably made 30ish of these balls. I then took the white tissue paper and cut it into 6″x6″ pieces.Β  I took one of these pieces and wrapped it around a ball, pinching just below the ball. That is where you tie a piece of string to keep that shape. You can then take the ends of the tissue paper and fold them under and tape them to the ball. This creates dimension. And then you have your popcorn kernel! Then you just repeat that a bunch of times.

 

Next was attaching the popcorn kernels to the box, a shirt, and a beanie. I used safety pins to attach them to the clothing items, and tacky glue for the box. For the red shirt I only did one row of popcorn around the collar. On the inch and a half edge at the top of the box I attached a row of popcorn using the tacky glue. Then I grabbed one of E’s beanies and safety pinned more popcorn to that.

The last step was to paint a little bit of yellow watercolor onto each of the popcorn kernels to mimic butter. You do not want to drench the tissue paper in water otherwise it will fall apart and rip.

This costume does not hold up in rain, so make sure you have an umbrella with you if there is a chance of rain.

 

This costume turned out so cute! Hope you and your little ones enjoy this DIY Halloween costume! Thank you so much for reading! Like and share this post πŸ™‚ what was your little one for Halloween this year?

Baked Kale Chips

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I searched around the internet for an easy kale chip recipe that I can do in the oven. I do not own a dehydrator (YET!). Most recipes had a lot of steps in the recipe, so I threw a couple ingredients together and hoped it worked out. It did! These kale chips have become my favorite crunchy snack! They are hubby, toddler, and friend approved. I took these to a superbowl party and they were all gone very quick. I have also taken them to church groups and they LOVED them! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

KALE CHIPSΒ 

Ingredients:

-1 bunch of organic kale

-Herbamare seasoning salt

-Sari Foods Company nutritional yeast

-organic olive oil (or avocado oil)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Destem and cut 1 bunch of kale into bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl.

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Drizzle 2 Tablespoons olive oil over kale. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Herbamare over the kale. Then sprinkle 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast on kale.

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Mix to make sure all the kale is coated.

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Pour onto a cookie sheet, and spread the kale out into a single layer.

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Dust all the kale with a little bit more Herbamare and nutritional yeast. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.

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Watch the kale closely, it will start to burn pretty quickly after the 15 minutes. Enjoy!

I personally eat the chips on the same day I make them. They are so addicting! I did try storing them for a day or two and they start to lose their crunch. So I would recommend eating them the day you make them.

Let me know what you think of them! Comment below and tell me how they turn out! πŸ™‚ What is your favorite healthy snack?

December 2017 Glowing Beets Box

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I’ve been really excited to share the December 2017 Glowing Beets box with you all! I look forward to getting this box every month, and I really enjoyed the December box! I am an affiliate with Glowing Beets, and share my 100% honest thoughts about the boxes. If you want to subscribe, enter “TLM10” at checkout and it will save you 10% on your first box!

Johnny Concert Eyeshadow Brush

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How chic does this brush look? I absolutely love the look of it! To me the matte black handle and the black and white brush makes it look amazing. This brush is vegan and cruelty-free. It is so incredibly soft too. Another great thing is that it is $6! I have been shocked at what makeup brushes cost in the past, but this one is definitely more affordable.

Johnny Concert Amplified Eyeshadow in Skull

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The second product in the box was a full size Johnny Concert eyeshadow in SKULL. It’s a slightly off-white metallic color. It is very glittery to me, so I would wear it on top of another color. I also thought it added a good highlight to the inner corner of my eye. I was very impressed that this eyeshadow is made of lots of organic ingredients. It’s also free of talc, synthetic fragrance, parabens, dimethicone, and lots of other bad ingredients. This eyeshadow is vegan and cruelty-free. Overall it’s a great clean product.

akar SKIN Nutrient Boost Eye Serum

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This is a power packed little bottle. The Nutrient Boost Eye Serum is 100% organic and wild harvested. It has ingredients like goji, pumpkin seed oil, rosehip seed extract, and then Shiitake mushroom extract (which I have never noticed in a product before). This serum is not floral smelling at all, it is very earthy/musky. The price tag is high, but you literally only use 1 drop so the serum will last a while. My under eye area soaked this right up, one of the better eye serums that I’ve tried.

akar SKIN Ruby Tint Lip Butter

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I opened this little jar up and immediately thought of jelly. It has more of a gel like consistency, than other lip butters I have tried. You just need a small amount to nourish and hydrate your lips. Just like the eye serum, it is 100% organic or wild harvested. It is pretty sheer, so there isn’t a lot of tint to it. It’s a great natural color. I like that it is not super pigmented. It has a floral-citrus scent. Overall, a really great product that melts onto your lips.

Such a great December box full of good quality products! Can’t wait for the January box! Don’t forget to enter “TLM10” at checkout for 10% off your first box. What kinds of products do you like to read reviews on? Comment below. Thanks so much for reading!

November Glowing Beets Review

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In my October review, I got to announce that I am now an affiliate with Glowing Beets. Glowing Beets is a monthly subscription box of non-toxic and cruelty-free products. I have been a customer for 2 years, and because I love it so much I wanted to share it with you all! If you want to sign up for a subscription, you can use my code “TLM10” at checkout for 10% off your first box. This is a 100% honest review of the products that I received in the November box.

Plaine Products Shampoo & Conditioner

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The first products up are the Plaine Products Shampoo & Conditioner in Rosemary Mint Vanilla. I absolutely LOVE the packaging of these two products! They came in little 2.5 oz metal bottles. Love the idea of cutting down on single use plastic bottles by refilling these. They also refill the full size products. These products are vegan, cruelty-free, biodegradable, sulfate free, and color and kid safe. These two contain lots of natural and organic ingredients. The smell is amazing! It’s a very clean and refreshing scent of Rosemary, Mint, and Vanilla.

Ok so performance-wise, I have used the shampoo & conditioner once (I will use it again after the holidays). After washing my hair, conditioning it, and letting it air dry, my hair felt super dry for the most part. Then behind my ears on the underside of my hair it did not get it clean. I have had this issue with a different brand of natural shampoo before. For the moment, I was not impressed with the performance. I know some products your body needs to adjust to and kind of balance itself out, so I will definitely use the entire bottle of each product and update you all!

Abbey Lane Farm Lip Balm in Chocolate Mint

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So buttery! This stuff is so moisturizing. I love really rich and melty lip balms, and this one is just that. I got the chocolate mint flavor which is very refreshing. The chocolate part is not super overpowering which I like. This lip balm is also a good mix of natural and organic ingredients. This lip balm contains beeswax. If you love buttery lip balms, check out Abbey Lane Farm.

Graydon Face Glow

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Graydon Face Glow is a tinted primer and illuminator. Man this stuff is illuminating! I put this product on under my makeup as a full face primer, and it gave me such a glow. I like to glow, so I loved it! The scent of it is almost a powder fresh vanilla type scent to me (there is no baby powder in it). I like that it isn’t a floral scent. I also love that the ingredients list has lots of fruit extracts.

My one drawback to this product is that it is tinted. This product would work for me during the summer after I get some sun. I cannot use this during the winter though because it made my face darker than my neck and body. So I will pull this product back out in the summer!

St. Alabaster La Belle Vie Soy Wax Candle

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Ok so I am a candle-aholic, and was so excited to see a candle in the box! Bonus this candle has a wooden wick which makes it crackle and have that cozy glow. The candle has a pretty strong scent. It is a yummy smelling citrus scent of pineapple, rosemary, and lime. The packaging is a glass jar with metal lid, and a paper with the Glowing Beets coupon code that can be put in your garden and it will grow. Love that idea of making the paper have multiple purposes. The other great thing I read about this company is that you can take your empty candle jars to “Belle Vie” to recycle them. So cool to see companies cut down on waste.

This was a great box to get to try new things, even if they aren’t the best fit for me. I love trying new things! I love the mix of body care, home care, and beauty in this box. Thanks so much for reading my honest thoughts about the November Glowing Beets box! Have you tried any of the products from this box?

October 2017 Glowing Beets Review

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Glowing Beets is a monthly subscription box that I have purchased for the past two years. I get so excited to receive it every month, and seriously love it! You receive about 3-4 products that are either full size or deluxe samples. Each product is carefully picked so the box includes clean, cruelty free, and quality items. I love the mix of skin care, body, and cosmetic products. The box costs $29.95 + $5.99 shipping.

Ursa Major Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum

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The first product in this month’s box is the Ursa Major Vitamin C Serum. I have been wanting to try this brand for probably a year (not joking). There is whole line of skin care for men and women. This serum is full of organic ingredients and is very clean. It has a fresh, musky floral, and citrus scent. This is a lightweight facial serum that really brightens and hydrates. You only need a super small amount, so this bottle will last a little bit. It retails for $54.

Moondani Natural Breath Mist- Mystical Mint

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Next up I got the Moondani mint breath spray. I was so happy to see this in the box, and to discover an alternative to gum or sprays filled with chemicals! The ingredients are clean or organic. When I first sprayed it in my mouth it was intense (because I don’t usually use sprays), but after a minute it had a nice refreshing taste. There was a small taste of fennel, but mint was definitely the prevalent flavor. It retails for $12.99. Overall, a very crisp and refreshing mist to keep in my purse for when I’m on the go.

True Moringa Simplicity Facial Oil

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This month I got a second face oil, the True Moringa facial oil. This one is pretty cool because it came in a roller ball packaging, which I have never seen before. It is made of only cold pressed moringa oleifera seed oil. This oil has a unique scent, almost like a musky nutty smell. I really like it. This oil absorbs very quick and didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy at all. Definitely one to check out if you aren’t into floral scented face oils! It retails for $26 for a 1 oz bottle.

2 Year Customer Appreciation Gift:

Kari Gran Lip Whip- Currant

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I was so so excited to receive this little gift! Just like with Ursa Major, I have been wanting to try this lip whip for the longest time. I got the lip whip in the color currant which is a dark berry color with a slight shimmer. It has a thick consistency, and adds a good tint of color. This is such a moisturizing product! The ingredients are organic and clean. The whip retails for $21. Another thing I really love is that Kari Gran is based out of Seattle! I love discovering products that are local to me.

That wraps up my review of October’s box. I just became an affiliate with Glowing Beets which I’m sooooo excited about! If you sign up using my code I will get a perk. I always want to keep everything 100 with you! I am promoting this subscription because I love this box, and pay for it every month. It allows me to try a variety of products and fits my family’s budget. My code is “TLM10” which will get you 10% off your first box! Enter it at checkout when you sign up on www.glowingbeets.com.

Thank you so much for reading this! Have you tried Glowing Beets?