Best of Green Beauty Box 2017 – The Detox Market: REVIEW

The Detox Market is one of the leading purveyors of organic, clean beauty and every year they’ve been introducing a limited edition year-end box that features only their customer favorites. The 2017 Best of Green Beauty Box features 9 of their top-selling, customer favorites: 6 full sizes and 3 travel sizes. This is one of my favorite assortment of products that have a collective retail value over $310 – when you purchase these in The Best of Green Beauty Box, it is only $149 which is basically 50% off (and The Detox Market gives you free shipping). Here’s a breakdown of exactly what you get:

  • Odacité Green Ceremony Cleanser (Full Size | $55 value): The new Odacité cleanser was the first product I used from the box. It’s a powder to foam matcha cleanser that calms my skin while removing all impurities. The foam comes from an ingredient called baby foam derived from coconuts and is a very gentle cleansing agent. The instructions say to use a full dropper (that comes with the cleanser) but I only need half a dropper full of powder and it’s more than enough for my face. I like to leave the cleanser on and feel my skin soaking in this beautiful green tea matcha which is really anti-inflammatory. The cleanser washes off clean with water and also comes with a cool muslin cloth if that’s your preference. Super fun, lovely concept and totally enjoyable product.
  • Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator (Travel Size | $22 value): What more needs to be said about this mist that virtually everyone loves from UK beauty girls including Caroline Hirons to other brand founders who swear by this including May Lindstrom and Rose-Marie Swift? I love the Ylang Ylang -Marshmallow scent, the gentle lightness of the mist and the wonderful herbal ingredients.
  • MV Skincare Rose Soothing and Protective Moisturizer (Full Size | $135 value): The fact that a $100+ moisturizer is currently out of stock should tell you how good it is. I love luxe beauty but very rarely spend that much on moisturizer, yet this Australian brand totally nailed it. The smell is just gorgeous thanks to Bulgarian Rose Otto. It’s excellent for sensitive skin and for skin that becomes sensitive due to dryness as the moisturizer soothes and protects. What makes this more than marketing is that the founder is actually a licensed holistic skin therapist. The texture is on the heavier side that feels comforting especially during winter yet it is never greasy. As the $149 Box features the full size of this $135 moisturizer, I really consider it a steal.
  • The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost (Travel Size | $16 value): The Beauty Chef makes my favorite ingestible products. They always feature very vibrant, nutrient dense plant based superfoods that taste great. The promotion of collagen helps increase skin firmness and elasticity that is lost with age and this booster features probiotics, maqui berries, acai berries, blueberries, papaya, and antioxidant rich grape-seed extract for beauty from the inside out. I consider this the bonus “treat-yo-self” product to an already jam packed Beauty Box of goodness.
  • RMS Beauty Vintage Cake Liner (Full Size | $24 value): Let me be honest, I’m not the buyer for this product. I’m not a huge make-up girl and for me, it’s all about skin care. But that’s the beauty of these boxes, letting you try something you’d ordinarily not buy. RMS Beauty is one of the top organic make-up lines out there and I was really happy this was included. I use this as eye shadow and as my sister says in her Amy Schumer voice, “it’s amazing for the smokey eye”. The pigment is unreal considering it’s an organic product and I’m absolutely delighted to have this for evenings when I have an event to attend.
  • LILY LOLO Natural Vegan Mascara (Full Size | $20 value): The first natural mascara I tried was the original Ilia Mascara and it left me unsatisfied, so I went back to my tried and true Dior. Upon trying Lily Lolo’s natural AND vegan mascara, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it really enhanced my lashes. It’s wearability is similar to the mainstream high-end brands, and I did not run into any problems with smudging or flaking. At the same time, it came off easily with a gentle cleanser unlike traditional mascaras that are notoriously tough to remove. Total winner, super grateful it was included in the box.
  • Soapwalla Sensitive Skin Cream Deodorant (Full Size | $16 value): Soapwalla is kind of OG status in the world of green deodorants so I really looked forward to trying their baking-soda free formula on an original. I’m one of the many who cannot tolerate baking-soda deodorants which has kept me away from natural deodorants. After a week of use including holiday travels (and all the stress and anxiety that produces), I can say that this deodorant works. The ingredients absorb excess sweat and whisk away moisture, while the lovely essential oils keep you feeling fresh. The cream jar formula makes reapplication a bit weird but is nothing that a private bathroom stall can’t fix.
  • Rahua Shampoo + Conditioner (Travel Set | $16.70 value): I reviewed the Rahua Shampoo a while back (check it out here). I loved everything about it except I found it a little drying, which makes this set with the conditioner perfect.  The Rahua Conditioner really enhances the entire experience and gives hair luster. My strands feel so much stronger and healthier. The set is a really good intro for those who are new to organic haircare, and are a really chic option to pack for travels.
  • Davids Natural Toothpaste (Full Size | $7.95): I did not even know that luxury, organic toothpaste existed. This is a marvel. A dental product that is cleaner than brands like Tom’s with a packaging that looks even more premium (in my opinion) than Marvis. Not only are the ingredients clean, they’re organic and sourced from the US. It is fluoride-free, and also does not contain the nasties that can cause dermatitis around the mouth. The toothpaste leaves my mouth feeling really clean and fresh far longer than other natural toothpastes I’ve used. I feel that it has also helped with my enamel as traditional toothpastes are too corrosive. A very luxe bonus is the inclusion of a roller to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the mint-green tube. This was quite a welcomed discovery to me.

The Best of Green Beauty 2017 Box is so well put together with really exceptional products that cover every category from skin, makeup, hair, deodorant to oral hygiene and ingestibles. I know only a limited number of these boxes are made every year so I highly recommend ordering one if any of these products draw your interest as the pricing is truly exceptional.

As the value is already offered at around 50% off, there are no discount codes. But if you’d like to purchase any individual products (linked above), you can use the code TREAT for the next 48 hours to take 10% off your order.

SHOP: The Detox Market


What I’ve Been Using: Nov/Dec

Hello readers! It’s been a longer time than I expected since I last wrote a post. There have been a lot going on in my personal life that I do not share on here or anywhere really. But some things do not change and that is my love of beauty products.

I have been working my way through products and based on your e-mails of “what should I use?” I realize the importance of providing product feedback in a more cohesive routine manner rather than leave them in an individual bubble.

So here is what I’m loving:


African Botanics Fleurs D’Afrique

Holy crap you guys, this is a face oil on steroids! African Botanics was not kidding when they released this “intensive recovery oil” which contains marine micro-algae, retinol, vitamin c and CoQ10 in ONE SINGULAR BLEND! The scent is incredible and it’s not a surprise considering Jasmine Essential Oil and Rose Essential Oil are ingredients 3 and 5! This is over achieving. For anyone who has ever questioned the effectiveness of a face oil, try this and let me know if you still feel the same way. I seriously think this stuff is divine and savor each drop that comes out of the beautiful bottle. Pictures do not do it justice, just bring this up to a light to see the golden oil through the black frosted glass, it’s a thing of beauty. I could only use this 2-3 times a week at the beginning because it was so strong, which is another thing, sensitive skin might want to look at a calmer option like their Pure Marula Oil. But for those of you who just want to put a high quality buffet of actives on your skin in a face oil form, look no further. Buy this, enjoy, you’ve met your perfect match.


Lina Hanson Global Treasures Balm

The first time I saw this balm on Lina Hanson’s Instagram, I knew I had to have it. Sure we’ve seen balms by many a green brand at this point but I was captivated by the gorgeous color and gold specks! Then I looked at the ingredients list and discovered the green color came from matcha, the gold from real 24K gold, and the inclusion of pearl powder. Gaahhh.. what a creation! When it arrived, I excitedly opened the jar and it was the beauty junkie version of what I imagine it would be like to meet a hot guy off of Tinder. “Ohhh that’s how the color looks in person and omg there are those gold specks!” I took a deep inhale and was welcomed with a warm, chocolaty note. I wrote Lina basically saying “Yeah it looks just as amazing in person but how are you not telling people how good this stuff smells?!” I’ve been saving this balm for winter to use on dry spots. But the real secret is how well this works as an eye balm. It doesn’t tug or pull, and gives the perfect emollient feel that lets you know that it’s working to get your skin buttery soft. My eye serums have been replaced by this gem.


Tatcha Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate

This embodies the innovative and quirky aspects of Asian skincare with a bouncy memory serum texture. Overnight Memory Serum is an ultra-concentrated form of Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist which means it is very very hydrating and absolutely packed with the rejuvenating powers of the mist. It is recommended for overnight recovery and I consider it to be extremely effective in combating dry winter air. Tatcha is made in Japan and I think of this as a very luxurious pressed serum/essence, as it is a very concentrated and nutrient packed product that delivers results like a serum. A little does go a long way with this and I use the gold scooper that comes with the jar which measures out the perfect amount. It kind of feels like breaking the super soft Japanese tofu over your skin and I say that in the most fun way. If your skin doesn’t handle moisturizers well (hello acne prone ladies) but needs that surge of moisture in the winter, this is the product you need. On a final note, check out how bouncy it is!


Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo

I’m making my way through green shampoos and the latest stop is at Yarok which I have heard so much about. I believe it was Spirit who praised the way this smelled and although I enjoyed Rahua, I wasn’t completely in love with the palo santo scent so I had my eye on this for a while. I was pleasantly surprised by the gentle and light aroma of the shampoo. The way it smelled and felt reminded me of a fruity syrup. This shampoo was not drying at all, and made my hair feel and look great. I do not think it is really strong enough for my scalp though because it gets oilier quicker. With that said, I still really like this shampoo, my hair seems healthier and it just feels good. I find myself running my hands through my hair often because it just seems healthier. Many organic shampoos lack those chemical ingredients that give hair that “sheen” and “luster” but this brings it back with good ingredients which is incredible. I’m going to continue forward and see if my scalp situation sorts itself out – if it does, this will be a keeper.


Yuli Metamorphic Elixir

When winter arrives, Metamorphic Elixir comes into play in a big way. If any green brand is going to pack in performance alongside the highest quality ingredients, it is Yuli and Metamorphic means business when it comes to hydration in the form of a botanically derived hyaluronic acid that is most compatible to the form of natural present hyaluronic acid in our skin, plant powered retinol alternatives (immortelle flower and frankincense which are both highly rejuvenating are literally ingredients 3 & 4), as well as the humectant glycerin which is a common ingredient however theirs is derived from fatty acids found in coconuts. Also if you love roses, this is flowing with a complex of roses with damask rose as the 2nd most abundant ingredient and also including a very rare white rose which smells soft and delicate. I think it was Chalkboard Mag that called this rose water on steroids for this reason. I first took the plunge to Metamorphic Elixir after hearing The Hermes Hippie and Rebecca Bailey of NMDL both  rave about it and it was love at first mist for me as well. A good face mist is like crack (I assume.. not speaking from experience), you just can’t get enough and already start dreading running out before you’re half way through  – that is exactly the relationship I have with this elixir. Add this to your winter regimen, it’s the tall drink of water your skin has craved.

The $10 Green Shampoo – Available Everywhere


It’s no secret that when it comes to beauty, “budget” is not a word in my vocabulary. Then a couple of things happened: I ran out of my stash of Rahua Shampoos, I was in dire need of a new shampoo & I was at Target. Enter, Acure.

If you haven’t heard of this brand by now, Acure is everywhere: Whole Foods, Target, Vitacost, etc. After giving so many high end lines a try: Rahua, Intelligent Nutrients, Josh Rosebrook, Yarok – I decided why not give Acure a try? And am I glad that I stepped out of my “luxury” only mind frame.

Clarify – Repair – Volume are the three shampoos offered by Acure to address the main needs of customers: clarify for oilier hair, repair for dry/damaged hair, and volume for thin/weak hair. All formulas use natural and organic ingredients, green enough for most green beauty retailers yet at the very easy to handle – $9.99 price point for 8 fl oz (the 24 oz larger size is even better as a deal at $19.99).

Unlike other ‘budget friendly’ lines that tend to use low quality ingredients or only 1-5 ingredients, Acure uses a lot of certified organic ingredients and the typical ingredients list is quite packed with good ingredients like argan + echinacea plant stem cells, organic plant oils (like avocado, coconut, rosehips etc), CoQ10, quinoa, and essential oils like lemongrass, eucalyptus, and lavender. I really was quite impressed at how all these ingredients could be crammed into their price point.

Results Although the shampoos are meant to address different hair types, my dermatologist once told me to think of hair in the same way as we think about skin – an ever changing system where the needs are also changing. Therefore I use all three: clarify for days where I’ve worked out, repair throughout dry, winter days and volume when my hair just feels a little limp, lifeless and flat. I didn’t notice too much different between the three shampoos in terms of how my hair and scalp reacted but that may largely be due to the fact that I use them interchangeably.

The results at first didn’t “wow” me given how impressive the ingredients list is however after about 3 months of use, I realized that they held up and in some cases outperformed higher end green shampoos that I had previously used. My hair felt sufficiently clean, not stripped and my scalp is fairly happy with this system. I was not left yearning to go back to the more expensive brands which in itself is quite a testimonial to the value of these shampoos.

My favorite if I had to pick just one, would be the Volume Shampoo which results wise was like a middle-ground between Clarify and Repair, and smelled the loveliest with peppermint and rosemary. Given the price though, purchasing all 3 wouldn’t be all that outrageous considering that it is still lower priced than a single bottle of a higher end shampoo.

ACURE is widely available, you can try them at your local Whole Foods/Target. I’ve purchased from their website as well and you can check out their extensive hair products collection here.

John Masters Organics Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo


My favorite hair products have always been the more traditional products. I was a huge fan of Bumble & Bumble, and Kiehls, with splurges on Leonor Greyl products when I felt like something extra fancy. My casual dabbling in cleaner hair products often left me disappointed. They never seemed to perform the way I’d hoped, where I could substitute them in for my favorite products. A few weeks ago, I ran out of my Aesop Calming Shampoo and that’s when I remembered that my boyfriend had just bought a bottle of John Masters Organics Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo from Whole Foods a few days ago. My blogger hat instantly came on!

Let’s start with presentation, as someone who loves her luxury beauty products, I feel like this modern and simple dark brown plastic bottle with bold white lettering fits beautifully on any beauty counter. It is subtle to not be glaring but still impactful where you feel like there is a quiet elegance. I’m quite pleased with the overall unisex design and one can easily mistake it for a more expensive shampoo.


I know some people will not touch products with Rosemary & Lavender but I’m not one of them. They have a bad reputation as irritating essential oils but I think sometimes people are afraid of things because they hear others have bad reactions so they won’t try. I personally do not have any reactions to these plants, so luckily, I can use them and enjoy their rich antioxidant properties and in this case – their scalp and hair balancing features.

The shampoo itself is a brown gel that smells herbal but not in a bad way. You only need a little for it to lather. The scent is more lavender than rosemary but definitely nothing too floral. The ingredients include 15 certified organic botanicals including aloe, jojoba seed oil, nettle root, lavender EO, rosemary EO, yarrow, white tea, horsetail, willow bark, chamomile, comfrey oil, borage oil, sunflower oil, and flax seed oil. The surfectants which cause the lathering are rather high in the list which also explains why it lathers so well.

It cleansed my hair really well and left my scalp very happy – not stripped or oily. My scalp is prone to dandruff and I found the white willow bark (a natural salicylic acid) and lavender/rosemary to really help with flakiness. I generally don’t like to use conditioner regularly (aside from a once a week treatment) since I have oily hair but I found that this shampoo left my hair needing that extra bit on conditioning care after a few uses so it might be a tad stronger than I would like. It could also be because this doesn’t contain silicones that really give hair that soft silky texture. To the guys, my boyfriend says he uses this because it is really good at getting out hair product, so if you’re concerned about that, this seems like a good option.

I’m quite pleased with this find and although at $16, I wouldn’t consider it a budget buy – it does prove that you don’t need to shell out high-end prices for something that is both clean and effective. I would happily use this or try other shampoos from their line in the future.

Available at John Masters Organics $16

Apivita Propoline Sensitive Scalp Shampoo

I’ve always on the hunt for new, unheard of products and so I was quite delighted to receive a sample from Apivita, a Greek cosmetics company that is beginning to gain a following the US. Their products are touted as natural, effective, and holistic, so I was quite interested in learning more about their products!

The Shampoo comes in a very unisex, solid apothecary bottle. I was sent the shampoo for sensitive scalp. But they have a huge variety on their website. The ingredients are 94% natural and include goodies such as Honey, Prickly Pear, Calendula, Lavender, and Chamomile. Another thing that makes the formula interesting is that water is replaced with a rosemary infusion which offers more toning and anti-septic action (chronic scalp conditions such as dandruff can be caused by bacteria). The ingredients are free of SLS, Parabens, Mineral Oils, Silicones, Phthalates, Synthetic colors.

My hair felt soft and light after the first use and instantly fell in love! I don’t remember the last time a shampoo made my hair feel so hydrated and silky. I couldn’t help but run my hands through it throughout the day! The shampoo was foamy but not drying, the fluid felt a little bit runny and thin, and I remember wondering how much I would need since my hair would probably just eat this stuff up! But amazingly, a little goes a long way!

Now for the less great news, although this formula is SLS free – it has pretty much SLS’s step-sibling Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate which probably explains the high foam factor, there are also PEG’s, Phenoxyethanol, and Parfums in here. Yes, parfum is an ingredient, I had to read that carefully and then I noticed the packaging only said it was free of Phthalates and synthetic musks, but I guess some synthetic fragrances still made it into the formula. It is just slightly irritating because unless you really focus, the ingredients and labels can be a little bit “sneaky”. I don’t know if these shortcuts are what led to a pretty wonderful performing product, but I will say, I don’t mind a less foaming, less wonderfully scented product if it will decrease the toxic load especially for a shampoo formulated for sensitive scalp. 

Available at Apivita for $20 

Aesop Equalizing Shampoo

I went to a wedding this weekend and stayed at a nice boutique hotel. I was surprised to find they stocked the restrooms with AESOP products, which is a massive  welcome departure from the norm. I usually never bring hair product for a weekend trip (TSA!), with the full knowledge that hotel shampoos will turn me into a dandruff ridden mess. But I was surprised to see Aesop’s Equalising Shampoo ($47) in the shower, after I had read about it in my boyfriends Details feature. 

I was told by concierge that this was part of their ‘Black Label’ – which surprised me since I didn’t know Aesop was trying to be the skincare version of Ralph Lauren. Nonetheless, I’m told that the Black Label is just another way of saying it is their line of hair products. The Equalising Shampoo was formulated for oily scalps to balance sebum production, it is one of 6 shampoos in the Black Label Hair care range.

The formula is true to Aesop: essential oils for scent, 80% clean, 20% not so clean- SLS is included as are PEGs. I’m told the SLS is derived from coconut, so I’m not sure if that makes it better. The shampoo comes out of the pump as a thick gel and lathers really easily (courtesy of the SLS). The scent is wonderful, I know some Aesop products smell weird and others smell great, this falls into the latter. It is herbal-minty. 

I noticed after 2 uses that my scalp didn’t flake nor was it oily which is really pleasant of a surprise for something that contains SLS, which is known to also be a drying agent. I’m not sure how my hair would stand with regular use, but after a weekend, it was fine. It really cleaned my hair leaving it only slightly ‘stripped’ feeling.  

While I enjoyed this shampoo, I do think the ‘normal’ shampoo for normal hair might be more suited for regular use. Has anyone tried hair products from Aesop before?