Influenster Violet Vox Box

I'm excited to say that I qualified for a recent Influenster Vox Box! If you're not familiar with Influenster, they are a company that sends free products to members for testing purposes. Influenster selects members for boxes depending on their demographic info and interests. Influenster Violet Vox Box Other companies can send their products to Influenster to get targeted feedback via surveys. I received everything in this box totally free from Influenster. Here's an overview of everything that was included in the box.

Influenster Violet Vox Box

First up is a dry shampoo from Not My Mother's. I typically use a homemade dry shampoo, but this might be nice to have on hand in a pinch.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

Going along with the hair theme, I also got this head band from Goody. It's supposed to keep your hair back while you exercise and wick away moisture (aka sweat) from your hair. It has a Velcro back so it's adjustable for a better fit and less risk of headaches. Goody Headband Goody Headband

I also got a SoyJoy bar. I don't typically go for these just because the ingredients aren't my favorite. Plus, the ones I have tried haven't tasted the best. Jasen thought it was ok, but I spit it out in the trash. SoyJoy Banana Flavor

Next up is a face mask from Red Earth Clay Spa. I have super sensitive skin, so this will be a pass for me as well. Red Earth Clay Spa Mask Last, is a nail polish! This is from the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine line and is in the color Blow Bubbles. The Triple Shine line is 5-free, which makes me very happy. :) I've got some different swatches of it below, all taken in natural light. Sally Hansen Triple Shine Blow Bubbles Sally Hansen Triple Shine Blow Bubbles

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Blow Bubbles Swatch

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Blow Bubble Swatch

That's everything I got in my box! To see me unbox the Violet Vox Box , watch the video below!


My Favorite Skin Care + 25% OFF!

I don't know about you guys, but it is seriously dry in our house. We got a humidifier a little over a week ago, and that has certainly helped, but there is only so much you can do to combat this cold weather menace. About a year ago, I was having some intense dry skin issues on my face. I was using natural moisturizers like olive and coconut oil, but it seemed my face was too dry and the oil too heavy for it to really make a lasting effect. Kinda like hard, heavy rain on super dry ground. It just didn't soak in. Michael Todd True Organics

Just in time, I came across an amazing brand. Michael Todd True Organics is a natural skin care company that has a wide range of products for all skin types. I can't say enough good things about their stuff!  After a short time of using the line, my skin totally changed. It was moisturized and silky. I was so excited, I was prompting people to touch my face and see how amazing my skin felt! I also have extremely sensitive skin. I mean, even things that are advertised as safe for sensitive skin cause irritation for me. After a year of using Michael Todd's products, I have had zero issues. Another great thing is that you can buy each product individually, or you can buy the entire set for your specific skin needs and get a big discount.  The best thing is, the price point is totally reasonable. They're not bargain bin cheap by any means, but with so many $300 creams out there that are full of chemical junk, I think the prices they charge are reasonable for what you get. Plus, I only have to repurchase one or two times a year.

If you're interested in trying their stuff, be sure to use the code THANKU25 at checkout for 25% off everything on their website. The coupon expires on December 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.

My Nail Painting Essentials


  1. Zoya Remove +. This nail polish remover is my all-time favorite because its smell is much milder than other removers and it comes in this convenient pump bottle that locks when not in use.
  2. Butter London Base and Top Coats. This is my go-to duo for manicures and pedicures. I love the formula, plain and simple.
  3. Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat. If you constantly fall victim to post-manicure smudges or zombie hands, this is the top coat for you. It cures under a regular light bulb in 2 minutes or dries normally in 5 minutes with a gel-like shine.
  4. Manicure/Pedicure Sticks. Great for cleaning up polish that pools at the cuticle or sides of your nails along the way.
  5. Angle Brush. Dip in polish remover or pure acetone and sweep along the edge of nails to clean up any dry polish on the skin. Go for a cheap one, as this is solely for nail care.

See how I paint my nails in the video below!


What are your nail painting essentials or favorite products? Let me know in the comments below!

Ending Body Hate and Embracing the Bikini

While I was eating my breakfast this morning (plain yogurt with cinnamon, apples, and granola, if you were wondering), I saw a news story that I knew I had to share with y'all. Fashion blogger Gabi Gregg, a plus size beauty, posted some photos of herself on vacation in a bikini. She got so much positive feedback that she decided to make a gallery of photos of other women showing off their own plus-size bikini bods. It serves as a celebration of beauty in every size and encourages other women to embrace where they are right now, not where they were or where they want to be.

Now, some have criticized Gabi for promoting overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle, but I totally disagree. Yes, overweight and obesity are serious health concerns, but so is self-hate. So many women, including myself, feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit. Many let that uncomfortable feeling impact their enjoyment of summer-time activities. Some won't even step foot in a pool or on a beach just because they don't feel beautiful as they are. No one should miss out on their own life just because of their size. It's important to remember that health is a journey, not a destination. You might see someone who is overweight and assume that they are unhealthy, when really the may eat clean, whole foods and exercise 5 days a week.

In addition, this message isn't just for those who are overweight or obese. Many people, no matter how "perfect" the body, have their own hang-ups or insecurities. Everyone can learn something from this beautiful lady and her wonderful attitude. Nothing is sexier than confidence.

What do you think of Gabi's bikini photos? Are you inspired to break out the bikini or do something else you've been afraid of?  Do you think her pictures promote overweight and obesity? Answer in the comments below. : )

Eco-Emi February 2012

Hi everyone! I made this video to introduce y'all to a new product I'm in love with. Also, let me know if you like the video format and if you'd like to see more videos in the future, or just stick to the written word. On that note, if you like the idea of videos, what kind of stuff would you like to see?




Choosing Safe Self-Care and Beauty Products

We all know how important it is to put healthy foods in our bodies, but sometimes we forget about all of the lotions and potions we're putting on our skin every day. Shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, moisturizers, sun-screen, make-up and many other products play a huge role in our every day lives, so it is important to make sure you are getting the least toxic versions possible. However, when we stop and take a moment to think about all of the products that touch our skin day after day after day (especially for us gals) it can seem a little overwhelming to consider researching all of these products for safety and then having to find new, safer products to replace many of them. Let me introduce you to your new best friend, the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Here's a startling fact: the vast majority of ingredients in cosmetics and personal-care products are not reviewed for safety by regulatory agencies. And while the ingredients these companies use may not kill you out right (that would be bad for business), many have toxic effects that can build up over time. You may hear people say that the chemicals used in these products are in such small doses that they have no impact on human health. However, this doesn't hold up if you consider two factors: (1) the large number of these products people use and (2)  the potential for toxin storage in our fat tissues. First of all, we aren't using just one or two of these products every once in a while. We're using several products every single say. I know I personally use around 15-25 different products from shower to out the door each day, including makeup. That's insane! Now let's consider where these toxins might go once they enter our bodies. Many toxins are stored in our fat cells and can build up over time. When you use something every day for years or even decades, the cumulative effect can be staggering.

Despite all this, you don't need to feel helpless when it comes to your self-care product. This is where the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database comes into play. All you do is enter a product,  brand, or ingredient into the search bar and find what you're looking for in the results. Each product and ingredient is given a score for safety on a scale of 1 to 10. Scores from 0-2 indicate a low hazard, 3-6 indicate a moderate hazard, and 7-10 indicate a high hazard. Also, for each product, you can get a breakdown of the score for each ingredient, what effects that ingredient is associated with, and how strong the evidence is to support that rating. This is especially helpful because an ingredient may have a low score, but have little research backing it, meaning new research could later prove that ingredient to be harmful. In addition, you can pick a product category and peruse the rankings starting at scores of 0 (least toxic) if you're looking for something new to replace your old stuff.

Another great option is to make your own. For example I use coconut oil as a makeup remover and facial moisturizer. It works wonders, is totally non-toxic, and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.

This is all great information, but how can you apply it to your everyday life? Don't worry, it's not as scary as it my seem. My best advice is to replace products as your run out. Getting low on shampoo? Search your current product on the database and find out its score. If you're not happy with the results, look into where you can get something safer. Before you know it, you'll have cleaned up your whole beauty routine. Lastly, don't be psychotic. This isn't about being perfect. Any improvement is better than no improvement.

What are your favorite non-toxic beauty products? What product are you struggling to find a safe replacement for?