2020 Cruelty-Free Holiday Gift Guide Part 1–Small Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

Black Friday is only a few short days away and Christmas is right around the corner. I never feel ready for it, but it’s time to start thinking about gift ideas. My favorite types of things to buy as gifts are self-care items, because I think proper self-care is often overlooked, especially during busy times in our lives. 

I recognize that self-care doesn’t look the same for every person, but beauty-related self-care is what always comes to mind for me since that is what I’m passionate about. For weeks, I’ve been contemplating the idea of putting together a cruelty-free gift guide, and I’m going for it! I hope this guide will be helpful to you, whether you’re interested in any of the specific products, or if I simply provide you with some inspiration.

I’m going to begin with small gifts and stocking stuffers. I think these are some of the most fun products to give and receive. They’re usually easy on the wallet too, which many of us can appreciate during this tough year.

You will see some repeats in this gift guide from previous posts. These will be products that I’ve tested and enjoy so much, I want to recommend them again. Other items will be products that I have not personally tried, but that are from cruelty-free brands I trust. I will also make sure all products that I haven’t personally used, have very high ratings. I want to make sure I only recommend the best!

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

Beauty by Earth Organic Lip Scrub

Nothing says self-care like lip scrub, especially during cold winter months! Beauty by Earth Organic Lip Scrubs provide luxurious exfoliation and hydration. These come in three flavors: berry, mint, and vanilla. For the holidays, I don’t think you can beat mint! Plus, it’s very refreshing.

Where to buy: BeautybyEarth.com ($11.99) or Amazon.com ($14.99)

You can also purchase these lips scrubs in a gift set. The set includes three lip scrubs, one in each of the three flavors. This set would be a nice gift for someone that you know LOVES lip scrub, or you could split them up and use as individual stocking stuffers for three people. 😉

Where to buy: BeautybyEarth.com ($25.99) or Amazon.com ($29.99)

Beauty by Earth Organic Lip Balm

If you know someone that would enjoy the Beauty by Earth Organic Lip Scrub, they may also like the Beauty by Earth Organic Peppermint Lip Balm. These two products make a great pair to keep your lips looking healthy through the dry, windy winter months. This lip balm is full of nourishing ingredients that lips will love! It comes in five options: 

  • 4-pack unflavored
  • 4-pack honey/vanilla bean (2 of each flavor)
  • 4-pack superfruits (one each of acai berry, asian pear, grapefruit pomegranate, green tea)
  • 4-pack peppermint
  • 12-pack variety (4 peppermint, 1 acai berry, 1 asian pear, 1 grapefruit pomegranate, 1 green tea, 2 vanilla bean, 2 honey)

The Organic Peppermint Lip Balm would be the perfect companion gift for the Organic Mint Lip Scrub!

Where to buy Organic Peppermint Lip Balm (4-pack): BeautybyEarth.com ($10.99) or Amazon.com ($10.99)

If you’re shopping for a lot of people that enjoy lip balm, it might be more cost-effective to go for the big 12-pack gift set. 

Where to buy Organic Lip Balm Gift Set (12-pack): BeautybyEarth.com ($24.99) or Amazon.com ($26.99)

I haven’t tried the Beauty by Earth Organic Lip Balms, but I do have their SPF 15 Lip Balm in the piña colada flavor. The SPF 15 Lip Balms come in 2-packs in two flavors: piña colada and key lime. These are a great option for anyone looking to include sun protection in their lip care. These lip balms are high quality and would certainly make great stocking stuffers just like the Organic Lip Balms, but they are a little bit more expensive per tube.

Where to buy: BeautybyEarth.com ($10.99) or Amazon.com ($10.99)

Milani Keep it Full Nourishing Lip Plumper

I couldn’t include a lip scrub and lip balm without also including a third lip product to add a little holiday sparkle, now could I? Milani Keep it Full Nourishing Lip Plumper is a high-shine hydrating lip gloss. Perfect for the holidays! There are 15 shades available and ten of those have shimmer. I think shimmer is so pretty in lip gloss, especially for festive holiday makeup looks. This lip gloss would make an excellent stocking stuffer!

Where to buy: MilaniCosmetics.com ($8.99) or Amazon.com ($5.98-$13.97) (Please note that there are only 12 shades currently available on Amazon.)

E.l.f. Bite Size Eyeshadows & Face Duos

For the makeup lover in your life, e.l.f. Bite Size Eyeshadow palettes might be the perfect stocking stuffer. They’re small but mighty, filled with beautiful eyeshadow shades that perform impressively well. There are eight unique palettes, ranging from standard neutral to bold and bright, so there’s an option for every style!

Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com ($3.00)

Soon after the Bite Size eyeshadow palettes were released, e.l.f. put out the Bite Size Face Duos, which include a blush and highlight. These would be another great stocking stuffer because they’re the same small size as the Bite Size Eyeshadows. Not only are they adorable, but these little face duos are highly pigmented. I haven’t reviewed these yet, but I do own two shades: Spiced Apple and Cantaloupe. These are awesome little palettes and they can’t be beaten on price!

Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com ($3.00)

Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Milani Eyeshadow Primer is the perfect companion gift for e.l.f. Bite Size Eyeshadows, or any eyeshadow! I always use Milani Eyeshadow Primer if I’m going to wear eyeshadow. Eyeshadow wears beautifully over this primer all day long without fading or creasing. For the purpose of this post, I’ll also point out that it’s very small! Only a small amount of this product is needed, so it comes in a small tube with only 0.30 ounces of product.

Where to buy: Ulta.com ($6.99)

E.l.f. Artist Mixing Palette

The e.l.f. Artist Mixing Palette is a handy little tool to keep on hand for mixing cream or liquid products. Most people use the back of their hand, but this is a cleaner, more convenient option. It’s easy to use because there is an adjustable strap attached to the back, which is used to secure the palette in place over the hand or wrist. I’ve been using this product for a couple of years and I love it! I pump out the amount of product I’ll need onto the palette and then pick it up with a brush or sponge from there.

Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com ($2.00)

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I generally prefer a brush over a sponge for applying my foundation, but I know many people are the opposite and may also use a sponge to apply powder and other face products. The best sponge I’ve tried is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I always use this sponge damp. Once it’s fully saturated and the excess water is squeezed out, it’s the perfect size and texture. It does absorb a good amount of product, but I find that to be the case with all makeup sponges. This sponge can be purchased with a travel case, and I find that case to be so helpful. It has openings in the side so if the sponge is still damp when it goes into the case, air can still get to the sponge.

Where to buy Miracle Complexion Sponge + Case: Amazon.com ($6.98)

There is also a limited edition version of this sponge that comes packaged in a holiday ornament. It’s very cute and would make the perfect small gift or stocking stuffer!

Where to buy Limited Edition Miracle Complexion Sponge: Amazon.com ($4.89)

Pacifica Beauty 7 Free Nail Polish

What is prettier for the holidays than red nail polish? Pacifica makes a clean nail polish formula called 7 Free Nail Polish. I rarely wear nail polish myself and have never owned any from Pacifica, but I trust Pacifica and their nail polishes come in the most beautiful shades. The product description for their nail polishes states that the formula is long lasting and does not include many of the chemicals found in traditional nail polish. The shade “Cinnamon Girl” is a true red and absolutely perfect for the holidays!

Where to buy: PacificaBeauty.com ($9.00)

Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Moisturizing Hand & Cuticle Cream

If you’re gifting nail polish to someone, you might as well make sure their hands and cuticles are well cared for too! That’s easier said than done with all the hand washing we’ve been doing this year, but Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Moisturizing Hand & Cuticle Cream can help. I’ve been using this hand cream for a long time and I can tell you that it’s not nearly as greasy as most hand creams I’ve tried, but it’s still very nourishing. It’s great to keep on hand for reapplication after hand washings.

Where to buy: Amazon.com ($5.99)

Pacifica Sheet Masks

I never buy sheet masks for myself, but I think they’re a lot of fun to receive as gifts. My mom usually puts one in my stocking and it’s always a fun and special treat! Pacifica offers several types of sheet masks. I haven’t tried these specific products, but I have used a lot of Pacifica skincare over the years and I think it’s all very good quality. No matter who you’re buying for, one of these sheet masks will probably be appropriate for his or her skin’s needs. All of these can be purchased for $4.00 each:

Mane Club Hair Masks

Along the same vein as sheet masks, I think hair mask packets also make great stocking stuffers! They’re compact and inexpensive, but provide enough product for a few uses. Mane Club makes six unique hair masks for a variety of hair concerns. They also have fun names and cute packaging, which are great for gifts! These hair masks can be purchased directly from Mane Club or Ulta.com, but they are more expensive from Ulta. I have not personally used these hair masks yet, but they all received high ratings. All of these can be purchased for $3.00 each:

E.l.f. Cruelty-Free Pins

If you have someone in your life that is passionate about “going cruelty-free,” they might enjoy one of e.l.f.’s cruelty-free pins! These pins are so cute and would be perfect on a backpack or jacket. There are five options and each one features a different animal. The options are:

  • Bunny
  • Cat
  • Hedgehog
  • Sloth
  • Dog

Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com ($5.00)

E.l.f. Retro Paradise Makeup Case

If you like these gift ideas, but you don’t want to use them as stocking stuffers, a good alternative is to gift them in a makeup bag! You can find makeup bags everywhere, but I think this one from e.l.f. is especially cute. It’s big enough to hold several small items without being too bulky. This would also be perfect for small school supplies if you’re shopping for a student!

Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com ($12.00)

Shipping from all online stores mentioned

All of these stores ship within the USA, but some do not ship internationally.

  • Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
  • BeautybyEarth.com ships internationally for a flat fee of $28.00.
  • MilaniCosmetics.com ships internationally, but they currently don’t ship to Mexico, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Iraq, or Turkey.
  • ElfCosmetics.com ships to the USA and Canada only.
  • Ulta.com ships to the USA and U.S. territories, but does not ship internationally.
  • PacificaBeauty.com ships to the USA and Canada only.
  • ManeClubNYC.com ships internationally.

I hope this list has been helpful! I tried to provide a lot of good affordable options for stocking stuffers or small gifts.

There is so much more out there than what I was able to discuss in this post! If there is anything you’re interested in buying as a gift, but you aren’t certain that it’s cruelty-free, please reach out to me and I’d be happy to help. 🙂

Looking for gift sets or luxury cruelty-free gifts? Stay tuned because that will be “Part 2″ coming on Wednesday!

Lauren

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Beauty by Earth SPF 15 Lip Balm–Natural Organic Lip Balm that Nourishes and Protects

For many of us, our lips are kind of an afterthought as far as self-care is concerned. There are so many factors, environmental and otherwise, that can dry them out quickly. Think about drying lipsticks, sun exposure, wind, dry air, excessive licking of the lips, and even certain medications. All of these things can cause your lips to get dry or chapped! 

To combat this dryness that all of us have encountered at some point, it’s important to keep lips hydrated. My favorite product to keep my lips healthy and properly hydrated, is lip balm. It’s important to note, however, that not all lip balms are created equally. During the day, it is best to wear lip balm that contains SPF. The best lip balm nourishes and protects! Don’t forget to use a lip scrub a couple of times a week as well–the combination of hydration and exfoliation in your routine will keep your lips in tip top shape. 😉

In addition to SPF, I also look for natural ingredients that will condition and soften my lips. I care more about natural ingredients in my lip products than I do in other types of products because I reapply lip balm throughout the day and it’s inevitable that I’ll consume some of it as I eat and drink. According to Dr. Oz, the average woman consumes over 6 pounds of lip product every ten years! Gross, I know…but definitely something to keep in mind when selecting lip products that you plan to wear regularly.

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

My top lip balm pick is Beauty by Earth SPF 15 Lip Balm in the Piña Colada flavor. This lip balm checks both of my boxes for the perfect lip balm: it provides sun protection and the ingredients are natural and organic so I don’t have to worry about ingesting anything that could be dangerous to my health.

Product claims directly from BeautybyEarth.com

Tired of rough, chapped, sunburned lips? Give them a vacation! Our Piña Colada SPF lip balm soothes tired lips while preventing sun damage. Use it as needed for SPF 15 protection, amazing natural ingredients, and delicious piña colada flavor. 

Not a fan of oxybenzone? Neither are we. That’s why our Piña Colada Lip Balm uses non-nano zinc oxide as its active ingredient. Zinc oxide protects you from the sun without entering your skin. This means it’s safer for you. 

Other product details

  • Price: $11.99 (2-pack)
  • Net weight: 0.15 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • 100% Mineral broad spectrum sun protection
    • Active ingredient: Non-nano uncoated zinc oxide 10.5%
  • Reef safe
  • Water resistant
  • Reapply at least every 80 minutes when you’re exposed to UV rays
  • No artificial flavors
  • Flavor options: piña colada and key lime (there are additional flavors that do not include SPF)
  • Where to buy: BeautybyEarth.com or Amazon.com (currently only $8.99 on Amazon!)
  • Overall rating: 9.4/10
    • Ease of application: 10/10
    • Hydration: 10/10
    • Sun protection: 8/10
    • Ingredients: 9/10
    • Price: 10/10

Ease of application

This lip balm comes packaged in a traditional twist-up tube. This is my preferred packaging for a lip balm. I think it is so much easier to use in this format, versus a squeeze tube or a jar.

As far as the lip balm itself, it has a very smooth texture that easily glides over the lips. There is no tugging or rough texture. No fuss, very easy application all around. 🙂

Hydration

This lip balm feels very hydrating immediately upon application. Most lip balms do feel nice and moisturizing at first, but most don’t hang on for very long. This one is thick enough to keep my lips feeling comfortable and moisturized for hours without feeling heavy or sticky. I’ll discuss the ingredients that make this lip balm so hydrating later on in the review.

Sun protection

These Beauty by Earth SPF lip balms have an SPF of 15 which means 93% of UVB rays are blocked. I normally look for an SPF of 30 or higher (SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays), so that is why I took two points away from this category. Unfortunately, most SPF lip balms only provide SPF 15 or 20, so it is not surprising that this one is only SPF 15. I do appreciate that this lip balm provides broad spectrum protection, which means that it protects from both UVB and UVA rays. 

While this lip balm doesn’t give quite the level of sun protection I would like, I think 93% of UVB rays blocked is still pretty good! If you’re going to wear this lip balm in direct sun, I definitely recommend reapplying at least every 80 minutes to make sure you’re always protected.

Ingredients

Active ingredient: Non-nano uncoated zinc oxide 10.5%

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Beeswax*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Natural Flavor, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Tocopherol (Sunflower Derived Vit E), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil.*    

*Certified Organic Ingredient

I won’t beat around the bush; the ingredients in this lip balm are awesome! There are only 13 ingredients and nine of those (including the zinc oxide) are beneficial to the skin. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know the drill… 🙂 I’m going to give you details on the impressive ingredients found in this lip balm:

  • Sunflower seed oil
    • Improves damaged or irritated skin barrier
    • Loaded with fatty acids that moisturize
  • Coconut oil
    • Moisturizes and seals in moisture
  • Shea butter
    • Emollient moisturizer
    • Skin-soothing
    • Antioxidant-rich
  • Raspberry seed oil
    • Antioxidant
  • Cocoa butter
    • Rich emollient that’s highly moisturizing and nourishing
    • Contains fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E)
    • Antioxidant
    • Strengthens skin barrier
    • Additional UVB protection
  • Jojoba seed oil
    • Wax ester that stays on the skin surface to moisturize and make skin soft
  • Tamanu Seed Oil
    • Nourishing and moisturizing
    • Loaded with fatty acids
    • Has healing and regenerative properties
    • Boosts SPF and antioxidants

The only questionable ingredient in this product is the “natural flavor.” There is no way of knowing what this is. It is likely that this isn’t anything to be concerned about, but I did take away one point from this category due to this unknown. I can tell you that the flavor of this product is very subtle so I don’t think it’s coming from essential oils (which are often irritating or sensitizing). 

The remaining three ingredients are “neutral” as far as skin benefits go in my eyes. The beeswax is a thickener. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an ingredient I hadn’t seen before; this one makes the skin feel smooth. Lastly, Polyhydroxystearic Acid is a dispersing agent used with mineral sunscreens that may reduce white cast. I’m glad that one is included in this formula because I cannot stand the white cast that is common with mineral sunscreens. This lip balm does not give off any sort of white cast!

Price

This lip balm is a little bit more expensive than the average lip balm at $5.50/tube ($10.99 for the 2-pack). However, most lip balms do not include any sun protection. I think this is so important; lips burn just like any other skin! They need that protection when exposed to UV rays. 

Additionally, most lip balms do not have an impressive ingredient list like this one does! Organic ingredients always cost a bit more than non-organic, for good reason. There is no risk of potentially dangerous chemicals getting into the product.

I think this product is definitely worth the price!


I was on the fence about writing this product review because I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read about lip balm. This isn’t just any old lip balm, though. I love that I can feel confident wearing this every day because it’s made with natural, organic, safe ingredients. I of course love the sun protection as well!

Every other lip balm I’ve tried that has SPF, has either left an unattractive whitish cast or has a distinct sunscreen smell. This one doesn’t leave any kind of white cast (it is completely clear) and the scent/flavor is very mild and pleasant. No chemical sunscreen smell here since the SPF comes from zinc oxide (mineral). 🙂

I would recommend this Beauty by Earth SPF 15 Lip Balm to anyone! I think it’s great that it’s sold in 2-packs because it’s nice to have a tube at home and one in your purse for on-the-go application.

What is your experience with lip balms that contain sunscreen? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Lauren

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Beauty by Earth Lip Scrub–Reset Button for Dry or Chapped Lips

Our lips are at higher risk for dryness than other skin on the body because lips do not have oil glands. My lips will start feeling dry or chapped any time of year, especially if I haven’t been making an effort to keep them hydrated with a good lip balm. For some people, it’s only an issue during colder months when the air is more dry. Since the colder months do lend themselves to dryer skin and lips, I take the current season into consideration when choosing which products to use in my self-care routine. 

As we transition from summer into fall, one product that I plan to start using more often is lip scrub. I’ve always thought of lip scrubs as a reset button for dry or chapped lips! Even if I keep my lips properly hydrated, I feel like my lips are much softer and smoother after using a lip scrub…so it’s never a bad time for a lip scrub. 😉

Disclosure: IntegriBeauty includes affiliate links within product review posts. I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. IntegriBeauty is independently owned and all products discussed within IntegriBeauty product review posts are thoroughly tested and given honest reviews.

A wonderful natural lip scrub that I recently discovered is the Beauty by Earth Lip Scrub in the mint flavor. This lip scrub is so natural, in fact, that it’s safe to eat. That’s good news for me because I often get a little bit in my mouth when using it…and it actually tastes really good!

Product claims directly from BeautybyEarth.com

Chapstick is great, but sometimes it’s not enough. Give your lips the full treatment by gently exfoliating away dead skin cells. As our sugar scrub clears away the junk, it also adds nourishment that your lips need. When you’re done, you’ll have lips that look (and feel) incredible.

Other product details

  • Price: $14.99
  • Net weight: 0.7 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ingredients are natural and USDA organic
  • Fair Trade Certified ingredients
  • Flavors: mint, vanilla, and berry
  • Where to buy: BeautybyEarth.com or Amazon.com (note that the price is $12.99 on Amazon)
  • Overall rating: 8.6/10
    • Ease of application: 7/10
    • Exfoliation: 10/10
    • Hydration: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 8/10
    • Price: 8/10

Ease of application

We’re going to get the lowest-rated category out of the way first! Please keep reading after this one because there is a lot more to take into consideration than the ease of application with this product.

This lip scrub is not the easiest to use. I generally prefer lip scrubs that come in a tube like lipstick, just because their firmer texture makes them easier to apply. This one comes in a small jar that you dip into with a fingertip. The instructions say to apply a pea-sized amount to the lips, gently use a circular motion to rub scrub into your lips, let that sit for 1-2 minutes, and then rinse off. 

This lip scrub can be quite messy! It’s important to apply it over the sink or in the shower, because it’s very crumbly. It’s also difficult to “stay inside the lines,” since the texture is oily and very gritty. Those qualities make this lip scrub more effective, but I’ll explain that in the next two sections.

Exfoliation

For a lip scrub to be effective at exfoliating away dead skin, it needs to be gritty. This one has just the right amount of grit to be perfectly exfoliating, while also being gentle. Some lip scrubs are so rough they lead to redness, swelling, and sensitivity, but I have never had that problem with this one. My lips always feel perfectly exfoliated after I’ve used this lip scrub.

Hydration

I like lip scrubs that not only exfoliate well, but also leave my lips feeling hydrated and soft. This one does a great job at leaving my lips feeling hydrated and healthy after I’ve rinsed off the sugar. The hydrating property of this lip scrub is thanks to some of the oils on the ingredients list. I’ll go into more detail on that in the next section!

Ingredients

Fair Trade Certified (TM)*Sugar, *Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) Essential Oil, *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Essential Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tocopherols (Vitamin E), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, *Eupatorium Rebaudianum Bertoni (Stevia) Leaf Extract. *Certified Organic Ingredients

As usual, ingredients are my favorite thing to review! I was amazed to see that there are only eleven ingredients in this Beauty by Earth lip scrub. Might not sound like a big deal, but every other product I’ve reviewed has had 20+ ingredients!

The majority of the ingredients in this lip scrub are excellent, making it very effective at exfoliating, hydrating, and soothing the lips:

  • olive oilSugar is the exfoliator in this product, doing the actual “scrubbing”
  • Jojoba, olive, and coconut oils are all very moisturizing
  • Vitamin E
    • Antioxidant
    • Strengthens skin barrier
  • Rosemary leaf extract
    • Contains rosmarinic acid, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • Calendula Flower Extract
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Antioxidant

To make this lip scrub smell and taste good, spearmint and peppermint oils are added. This product smells amazing which definitely adds to the experience. The downside to these oils, is that they can be irritating to the skin. I have never had any problems with sensitivity from this product, but those with sensitive skin might, so that is something to keep in mind.

Price

This lip scrub is very effective and pleasant to use. I also appreciate that most of the ingredients are skin-loving, naturally-derived, and organic! These qualities usually do not come cheaply in any type of product. This product is $11.99, and while I think that is a little high for the amount of product provided, I also understand why they charge that price. These ingredients are pricey, but worth the extra money.


Despite my complaints about this lip scrub being a bit tricky to use, I think it is a fantastic product. Every time I use it, I wonder why I don’t use it more often! It’s recommended to be used twice a week, and that’s how I’d like to start using it.

Beauty by Earth Lip Scrub will keep your lips feeling healthy, hydrated, and comfortable year-round. I think now is the perfect time to give it a try, before the dry air moves in with the cold weather. This lip scrub would also make a great stocking stuffer gift! If you want to get more than one (for yourself or as gifts) I’d recommend buying the Lip Care Deluxe Bundle which includes all three flavors of the Beauty by Earth lips scrubs as well as a peppermint lip balm. That bundle is more cost-effective than buying each item individually.

Have you tried any products from Beauty by Earth? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Lauren

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Organic Natural Skincare ft. Beauty by Earth

Clean beauty is not a new concept, but it has grown and evolved in recent years. The clean beauty movement came about because of consumers’ fear of toxic chemicals being used in traditional skincare products. There is much fear of toxins entering the bloodstream and causing allergic reactions, interfering with hormones, or even causing cancer. 

What is clean beauty? 

What it boils down to, is that a product is “clean” if you can use it without risking your health. All ingredients must be safe and non-toxic.

“Clean” is interpreted in different ways by different people. For many, the best way to ensure that a product is clean, is to verify that all ingredients are natural (not synthetic) and organic.

There is definitely comfort in reading an ingredients list and recognizing every ingredient as something found in nature! Organic natural skincare has grown in popularity, because if all ingredients are grown organically, there is no risk of chemical residues getting into the individual products. 

What’s the catch?

There are cons associated with some “clean” or natural skincare products. They have a reputation for being less effective than traditional skincare. This is true in some cases. However, it comes down to which ingredients are used. Like all skincare ingredients, some natural ones will perform better than others. 

Natural skincare also is not always “safe.” For example, many essential oils can be irritating to the skin. Just like with the efficacy argument, consumers must pay attention to which ingredients are being used. If you know your skin is sensitive, avoid products with ingredients that will irritate your skin. 

Where I stand on natural ingredients

Personally, I think there are both good and bad natural ingredients, just like there are good and bad synthetic ones. I have a combination of traditional and natural products in my collection. As previously stated, I look for what works without causing any adverse effects. I think most of the skincare products I own would be considered “clean” in the most basic terms, but they are not all natural.

I am interested in trying more natural beauty, especially skincare. A brand dedicated to creating quality natural products that I’ve been introduced to somewhat recently, is Beauty by Earth.

natural ingredients

Beauty by Earth’s history

Beauty by Earth opened in 2014 in Dallas, TX with a single product launched on Amazon: organic argan oil. In 2015, Beauty by Earth had a team of only four people, but they worked hard to create more innovative, natural, and organic products. In September of that year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) awarded Beauty by Earth products their top rating. Beauty by Earth expanded to sell its products in Canada in 2016. In 2017 the company’s catalogue expanded to include 40 products! Beauty by Earth won TWO awards in 2018: Official Best Skincare in Texas and Indie Beauty Awards (Best in show Eye Treatment). 2019 was another huge year for Beauty by Earth! The team expanded to 16 people, their collection expanded to include 70 products, and the company was ranked among America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies by Inc. 5000.

What makes Beauty by Earth so special?

Beauty by Earth makes its products with 100% natural organic ingredients. All products are USDA certified organic! To get that certification, a company must use at least 95% organic ingredients in its products. Most of their products are vegan, too! The only products that aren’t vegan (like their lip balm) contain beeswax that is harvested responsibly. 

They are also cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified. 🙂 Products are gluten-free, and only non-GMO ingredients are used. All formulations are manufactured in the USA in a FDA certified facility.

Most products labeled as “clean,” “natural,” or “organic” are very expensive! Beauty by Earth is committed to keeping prices low so their products will be accessible to all. Their goal is to encourage more people to join the clean beauty movement by making it more approachable and affordable.

You might be waiting for an explanation about the EWG rating I mentioned in the last section. The EWG rates products based on the level of health hazard from ingredients. “1” is a very low health hazard while “10” is a very high health hazard. I looked through the Beauty by Earth products on the EWG website and there are eight products with a rating of “3,” 23 products with a rating of “2,” and the other 46 have the coveted rating of “1!” This doesn’t sound all that impressive until you look at some other brands. You will be astounded by the difference! You can search for any product’s rating here.

Beauty by Earth collections

Beauty by Earth has really come a long way since 2014 and now has over 70 products available on BeautybyEarth.com. They started out only selling argan oil, but now they have a variety of products in the following categories:

  • Skincare
  • Body care
  • Hair care
  • Lip care
  • Sun care
  • Tools for face and body

Boss Beauties Elite rewards program

Beauty by Earth has a rewards program very similar to those of other beauty brands I’ve discussed here. Points (or “Beauty Bucks”) are easily earned in several ways:

  • Sign up for the program
  • Birthdays
  • Follow on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook
  • Place orders on BeautybyEarth.com
  • Refer a friend
  • Leave a review

There are three statuses in this program. This seems familiar…noticing a trend? 😉

  • Everyone starts out at the “Admirer” status in this program
    • 1 Beauty Buck earned per dollar spent
    • Birthday reward 100 Beauty Bucks
  • Once you reach $250 spent, you’ll upgrade to “BFF” status
    • 1.5 Beauty Bucks earned per dollar spent
    • Birthday reward 150 Beauty Bucks
    • Two free shipping vouchers
    • Early access to new products
    • Exclusive promotions
    • Welcome gift (valued at $10)
  • “Soulmate” status once you’ve spent $500
    • 2 Beauty Bucks earned per dollar spent
    • Birthday reward 200 Beauty Bucks
    • Early access to new products
    • Exclusive promotions
    • Free shipping on ALL orders
    • Welcome gift (valued at $25)

Every 100 Beauty Bucks can be redeemed for $10 off! You can let them accumulate for a larger discount, or use them right away.

This rewards program is extremely similar to others I’ve seen lately, but I still think it’s worth mentioning. It’s great getting some extra perks when you shop!


I have only used two products from Beauty by Earth so far, but I’m very impressed by both and look forward to trying more very soon! 

My mom is the one that really got me interested in Beauty by Earth and I’m so glad she did! The last time I was at her house, I saw her Beauty by Earth moisturizer and checked the ingredients label (I’m always curious about ingredients). I was blown away! I recognized nearly every ingredient and they are good ingredients.

I look forward to bringing you some Beauty by Earth product reviews soon! 🙂 In the meantime, if you’d like to check out Beauty by Earth, please use my referral link to get $10 off a $50+ purchase! I will also receive $10 in Beauty Bucks if you use my link.

Have you ever tried natural beauty products? What did you think of them? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Lauren

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Cruelty-Free Beauty on a Budget ft. e.l.f. Cosmetics

There is a common misconception that quality cruelty-free beauty products can only be found at high-end prices. That may have been true many years ago, but there are many budget-friendly cruelty-free brands available today. When I think of high-quality cruelty-free beauty brands that are also affordable, e.l.f. Cosmetics is always the first one that comes to my mind.

e.l.f. Cosmetics assorted products

e.l.f. Cosmetics history

E.l.f. Cosmetics was founded in 2004 with the goal to produce high-quality cosmetics at affordable prices. There were many “drugstore” brands available before e.l.f. Cosmetics’ debut, but none of them could boast the very low prices that e.l.f. was offering. At that time, all e.l.f. products could be purchased for less than $5.00 each! 

While e.l.f.’s prices have increased through the years, they are still lower than all of the more well-known competitors’ prices. E.l.f.’s overall quality and variety have also improved greatly, which explains the need for price increases. 

E.l.f. is an innovative company that is always growing. The company has expanded rapidly over the past sixteen years and e.l.f. products are now available in eighteen countries!

Cruelty-free beauty products that won’t break the bank

How does e.l.f. continue to keep their prices reasonable while making such high-quality products? They were kind enough to provide a little insight on their website:

  • E.l.f. states they “take a small, indie approach to working, learning, and testing. fast.”
  • They also have relationships with some of the best manufacturers in the world, to meet demand and support their ever growing collection of products. 
  • E.l.f. listens to customer feedback to improve formulas that need some help and to bring us new products that we want!

E.l.f. also keeps prices low by using more basic/inexpensive packaging than other brands. I enjoy nice packaging, but it isn’t necessary for me. I don’t see e.l.f.’s lower-end packaging as a bad thing because it is still perfectly functional and helps me spend less money on products I enjoy.

What kind of a name is “e.l.f.” for a cosmetics company? 

I went many years seeing e.l.f. products at every drugstore and grocery store without knowing the origin of the company’s name. You might be in the same boat, so I have to mention that “e.l.f.” stands for “eyes lips face.” I think it’s brilliant and memorable! 

E.l.f.’s name alludes to the idea that they make products for all of your face’s needs. They definitely deliver on that expectation!

e.l.f. Cosmetics’ wide range of makeup and skincare

E.l.f. Is a great company to check out, particularly for young people just starting a collection of products, or anyone shopping on a budget. At elfcosmetics.com, you can find everything you need to build a whole makeup collection or skincare regimen, all at affordable prices.

E.l.f. has all of its makeup products categorized on the company’s website by “eyes, lips, and face” to be consistent with their name. It is very easy to find any type of product you might be looking for. As e.l.f.’s formulas have evolved, their makeup is now most well-known for primers, concealers, and blushes. Don’t let that keep you from trying other products, however. There are all kinds of unexpected and amazing finds within e.l.f.’s makeup collection.

e.l.f. brushesDon’t forget tools! E.l.f. is also known for their high-quality brushes. They offer a wide range of face and eye brushes to blend all of your liquid, cream, and powder products. I currently have six brushes from e.l.f. and they are all very well-made (see photo to the right). In addition to brushes, e.l.f. offers other tools like sponges, tweezers, bags, brush holders, and more!

E.l.f. originally only offered makeup and tools, but in recent years they have launched many interesting skincare products. I was skeptical at first, since I always knew e.l.f. as a makeup brand, but I have heard many promising reviews for their skincare. 

E.l.f. includes a lot of ingredients that can be found in much more expensive brands’ skincare products. All of their skincare is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. They even have a wide-range of fragrance-free products that are great for anyone that has sensitive skin. I have not tried any of e.l.f.’s skincare products yet, but I definitely plan to! I will be sure to provide reviews of any e.l.f. skincare products that I test.

e.l.f. Beauty Squad

E.l.f. has a loyalty program called “e.l.f. Beauty Squad” that offers some great perks and opportunities to save even more money on their already affordable products! There are several ways to earn Beauty Squad points:

  • Create an account (that’s right, you get points just for signing up!)
  • Complete your beauty profile
    • This is to your benefit because e.l.f. will be able to provide a more personalized shopping experience if they know more about you
  • Subscribe to e.l.f.’s email list
  • Subscribe to receive text messages from e.l.f.
  • Purchase e.l.f. products (2 points earned per dollar spent)
    • You’ll get bonus points for ordering from elfcosmetics.com four times per year
  • Refer friends to elfcosmetics.com
    • You get a lot more points if they make a purchase!
  • Add products to your wish list
  • Connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Write a product review

A unique thing about e.l.f. Beauty Squad is that you can earn points from in-store purchases in addition to purchases made on elfcosmetics.com. There is a “receipt upload” feature that allows you to take pictures of your receipts. I’ve never seen this option from any other beauty brand, so I think this is very cool!

What can you use all those points for? Points can be redeemed for rewards that are worth increments of $2.00 off. Rewards range from $2.00 off (100 points) to $10.00 off (300 points). $10.00 off doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider how inexpensive e.l.f. products are, $10.00 really is a good discount.

There are three tiers in the Beauty Squad program, called “extra,” “epic,” and “icon.” These levels are based on the number of points you’ve accumulated. There are special perks for each of these tiers:

  • Birthday gift (all tiers)
  • $5 off $20+ purchase (bonus offer for epic tier)
  • Double point events (epic and icon tiers)
  • Early access to sales (epic and icon tiers)
  • 25% off purchase (bonus offer for icon tier)
  • Early access to new products (icon tier)

I signed up for the e.l.f. Beauty Squad today and look forward to enjoying the benefits!

e.l.f. Discovery

E.l.f. has a very cool page on its website called “e.l.f. Discovery.” This page includes the following resources that are great for those discovering e.l.f. products for the first time or anyone that is new to the beauty world:

  • Tutorials for a variety of makeup looks
  • Lookbooks provide an overview of product collections and some individual products
  • Quick tips are recommendations for the best ways to use e.l.f. Products
  • Skincare finder will help you select the right skincare products for your unique skin type and concerns
  • Primer finder suggests primers based on your skin type and preferences

e.l.f. Cares

e.l.f. toolsE.l.f. Is dedicated to supporting diversity, communities in need, and animals! They are doing a lot of great things and I’d like to share a couple of statements directly from their website.

“Celebrating the beauty of every eye, lip and face is fundamental to our DNA. It’s in our name and inspires us as a company. 

We are committed to creating a culture internally – and in the world around us – where all individuals are encouraged to express their truest selves, are empowered to succeed and where we do the right thing for people, the planet and animals.”

These are some of the steps e.l.f. has taken to make the world a better place:

  • Partnered with the “It Gets Better Project” to empower and bring together LGBTQ+ youth around the world
  • Donated to several civil rights organizations working to support black communities
  • Donated to food banks across the United States
  • Donated $15,000 in profits from Jkissa’s “To the Rescue” eyeshadow palette to Angel City Pits which is an advocacy group for pit bulls
  • All e.l.f. products are, and always will be, vegan and cruelty-free!

E.l.f. Cosmetics is close to my heart for many reasons, but the biggest reason is their business model. E.l.f. continues to make high quality, innovative products, while keeping their prices affordable. I appreciate that they keep their prices low to make their products accessible to all…every eye, lip, and face

I recognize that many people do not have room in their budgets for makeup or skincare items. While many see these items as “frivolous,” I see them as self-care items that shouldn’t be out of reach to anyone. E.l.f. makes that possible, without compromising on quality.

I’ve used many e.l.f. products through the years, and I look forward to trying more! I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying from this amazing cruelty-free brand. Please comment below to share your thoughts!

Lauren

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Mindful Beauty ft. Pacifica Beauty

Recyclable packaging. Free recycling program. Cruelty-free. Vegan. Clean ingredients. 

Pacifica logo

All of these things and more can be found in one affordable,accessible, and often overlooked brand–Pacifica Beauty. Pacifica is all about mindful beauty and offers a wide variety of products. Pacifica has been one of my favorite independently-owned cruelty-free brands for years. I love what they stand for and have enjoyed using many of their products. Not only are Pacifica products high quality, but they also come in cute packaging that looks great sitting on your bathroom counter or vanity! 

Pacifica products

Pacifica is a very impressive beauty brand. Not only do they maintain high ethical standards, but they have created a line for almost every beauty product you could imagine. You can find all of the following types of products on PacificaBeauty.com:

  • Skincare
  • Suncare
  • Makeup
  • Lip care
  • Nail care
  • Hair
  • Bath & body
  • Perfume
  • Wellness

I have not tried Pacifica products from all of these categories, but I can tell you that I have enjoyed the products that I have tried so far. I mainly gravitate toward their skincare, bath, and body products.

Pacifica’s FREE recycling program

I always knew Pacifica was a great company, but they are doing more than I realized! I recently learned about an amazing program they offer to make their products easier to recycle. Not only is their packaging recyclable, but Pacifica also offers a free recycling program that comes with perks! I am so excited to try this program for the first time soon.

This is how Pacifica’s recycling program works:

  1. Gather empty Pacifica containers
  2. Go to https://www.pacificabeauty.com/pages/recycle and enter up to eight products that you want to recycle
  3. Fill out your name, email, and address to get a prepaid shipping label
  4. Return your containers to Pacifica using the prepaid shipping label
  5. Receive 100 loyalty points once package is received (you must be logged in to your account to receive loyalty points)
  6. Plastic containers will be recycled and given new life as Preserve brand razors and toothbrushes

I was particularly excited to see that Pacifica’s containers are being recycled to make Preserve razors and toothbrushes, because I made the switch from my old Gillette razor to a Preserve razor a couple of months ago! (Fantastic product, by the way.)

If you wish to take advantage of Pacifica’s recycling program, please ship your empty containers within 30 days of receiving the prepaid shipping label. Otherwise, it will be voided. 

Girl Code Rewards Program

It seems like every company has a rewards program these days and Pacifica is no exception! Pacifica’s is called the Girl Code Rewards Program. It is a fairly straightforward program with many ways to earn points:

  • Create account
  • Make purchases on PacificaBeauty.com
  • Refer a friend
  • Birthdays
  • Follow Pacifica on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Participate in the recycling program
  • Write a product review

Points can be redeemed once you reach 100 points or you can let them accumulate for a larger discount later. Points are redeemed for vouchers that are worth increments of $3 (that is the smallest voucher that you would receive with 100 points).

Pacifica has three different levels within the Girl Code Rewards Program:

  • Friend status – no minimum amount spent
    • 1 point per $1 spent
  • Girl crush – spend at least $200pinky promise
    • 2 points per $1 spent
    • Early access to new products
    • Free gift ($10 value)
    • Two vouchers for free shipping
  • Bestie forever – spend at least $500
    • 3 points per $1 spent
    • Free shipping on all orders
    • Early access to new products
    • Access to exclusive events and private sales
    • Free gift on birthday

While the name of this program and the names of the three levels within the program are quite silly, the rewards are actually pretty generous!

Keep in mind that you will only be able to earn points for the Girl Code Rewards Program if you purchase Pacifica products directly from PacificaBeauty.com.

Where to find Pacifica products

Pacifica Beauty was formed in 1997 and has gained a reputation as an innovative and sustainable company. As they have grown, their reach has also expanded. Pacifica Beauty products can be found in Ulta Beauty (of course!), Target, Whole Foods, and Sprouts stores in the United States. Pacifica has a store locator on their website if you want to find your nearest Pacifica retailer. You can also purchase some Pacifica products from Amazon! To shop the full range of Pacifica products, you’ll need to visit PacificaBeauty.com.

Unfortunately, Pacifica’s products are currently only available in-store in the United States, and online orders from PacificaBeauty.com can only be shipped within the United States and Canada. My apologies to international readers!


I appreciate the wonderful things Pacifica Beauty is doing, and also the fact that their products won’t break the bank! Every time I go to Ulta or look at the “new” section of Pacifica’s website, I find more products I want to try. I look forward to supporting their efforts by recycling my empties and purchasing more products in the future.

Please comment below if you’ve tried any Pacifica products!

Lauren

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Beauty Products That Give Back ft. Thrive Causemetics

It’s always exciting to find a company that creates high-quality products. What’s even better? When those companies exhibit compassion toward others and sell products that give back in some way.

The majority of companies out there only care about the bottom line, but occasionally you’ll find special companies that are doing their part to make the world a better place. One of those companies is Thrive Causemetics. They are having a positive impact on thousands of women and communities in need across the United States.

Ways Thrive Causemetics helps women and communities thrive

Karissa Bodnar officially launched skincare and makeup brand Thrive Causemetics in 2015. Charitable giving has been at the heart of Thrive Causemetics since before this fledgling company made its first sale. Karissa initially focused on women fighting cancer as she had just lost a close friend to cancer.

On New Year’s Eve in 2014, Thrive Causemetics held its first giving event. Women battling cancer were invited to receive professional makeup applications. Thrive also donated 1,000 sets of faux lashes and lash adhesive.

The donations given by Thrive Causemetics are made possible with every product sold. For each product sold, Thrive donates that same product, a different Thrive product, or a monetary donation to one of their giving partner organizations.

Through the years, Thrive has partnered with many charitable organizations to help thousands of women by donating products. In addition to supporting women battling cancer, they’ve expanded to help cancer survivors, domestic abuse survivors, women that have been homeless, and women that are actively serving or retired from military service.

In 2018, California was experiencing wildfires that displaced many residents and animals. Thrive made its first cash donation to many of the organizations that worked to assist those affected by the wildfires.

Thrive celebrated its four-year anniversary in 2019 by donating $250 million worth of products to over 50 partner organizations!

Not surprisingly, Thrive is still at it in 2020. 100% of profits from March 27 sales, which totaled $350,000, were donated to Meals on Wheels, Baby2Baby and Feeding America. These organizations assisted those people that needed it most at the onset of COVID-19 here in the United States.

The Thrive Causemetics COVID-19 Response Fund was created to provide ongoing assistance to women impacted by the pandemic. Thrive has committed to donating a total of $1,000,000 which will be split between cash and product donations. These donations will go toward helping frontline healthcare workers, women-owned small businesses, and employees of those small businesses.

For more details on how Thrive Causemetics is giving back, visit their website here.

Thrive Causemetics is doing great things, but are their products worth the investment?

I think we can all agree that Thrive Causemetics is a wonderful company that has helped a lot of people, but you might be wondering about the quality of their products. Fortunately, with Thrive Causemetics, everyone wins. Thrive products are top-notch! Thrive products boast the following:

  • 100% Vegan
  • 100% Cruelty-Free
  • Formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or fragrance
  • Formulated with skin-loving ingredients
  • Many of their makeup products are waterproof
  • Shade ranges are inclusive for all skin tones

An added bonus is that you get a cute makeup bag for free with every purchase!

Where to find Thrive Causemetics products

The full range of Thrive skincare and makeup products can be found on thrivecausemetics.com. Ulta is currently offering a limited range of Thrive products that are available in-store only, so remember to take a look the next time you stop by your local store! I’m hopeful that someday Thrive Causemetics will partner with Ulta or Sephora to offer all of their products in-store and online so that the brand will be accessible to more people.


Thrive Causemetics is a company that I believe in and I’m proud to support. I am excited to see what they do next!

Please comment if you’ve tried any skincare or makeup products from Thrive.

Stay tuned for Thrive Causemetics product reviews. 😉

Lauren

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