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7 Favorite Products of 2012

There are so many wonderful natural and organic products on the market, and I’m a big fan of each and every one I review on Indigo+Canary. But there are always a few extra-special products that I find myself thinking about well after my review has been completed, that I go back to over and over again. Here are my seven favorites from 2012 (in no particular order).

Broo Shampoo & Conditioner. I still love everything that originally attracted me to these products. When I’m not testing out a new shampoo or conditioner, they are what I come back to, especially now that my hair is starting to be a bit on the dry side. (Side note: my sister now swears by these two products, too. Success!)

Black Pepper & Rose Organic Dry Shampoo by SkinnySkinny. One beauty resolution I’ve had no problem sticking with is Julie’s rule to wash my hair only twice or three times a week, and my SkinnySkinny dry shampoo is the reason why. I still get compliments on it all the time—it just smells great.

Omega Woman, Evening Primrose Blend by Nordic Naturals. I have become a bit of an evangelist about omega-3s, and this blend in particular. It doesn’t just help me get glossy hair—it helps me keep my hair full. (I have major shedding issues!)

Balancing Facial Serum by Co-Op 108. For me, 2012 was definitely The Year of the Facial Oil. I discovered that it works so well, even on my tending-to-oily skin. Now, a great facial oil is part of my daily complexion plan. I love Co-Op 108′s blend for its lightness, ingredients, and that it smells ever-so-faintly of lemongrass.

Acure Organics Cell Stimulating Facial Mask. If you’re looking for an affordable natural facial mask, this one from Acure is a great option. You can get a bunch of applications out of this large jar. It’s so thick and luxurious, it feels spa-quality. And your skin will look and feel smoother and softer once you rinse it off.

Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel. I use this foaming gel with my fingers and my Clarisonic—it works equally well. I have witnessed this cleanser’s ability to clear up my skin without drying it out, and I love that I can close the pump to easily pack it for travel.

Osmia Organics Facial Calibration Serum. My other favorite facial oil of the year. Sarah calls this a serum, but it’s not thick or heavy—it’s light and delicate, a blend of kukui, safflower, macadamia nut, rosehip seed, grapeseed, shea, acai, and black seed oils.

What are your favorite beauty discoveries of 2012? If you’ve added a new favorite to your natural beauty routine, I’d love to hear all about it. —Aleigh


(Image via AndreaRenee)

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YQA: Styling products for baby-fine hair

Another month, another Your Questions Answered post! (The first YQA post, back in March, answered your questions about laser hair removal.) Here’s the request, from Katie:

i’m looking for some sort of tonic, gel, etc. to put on before blow drying. my hair is baby fine (but there is a LOT of it), slightly wavy and i live in really warm and damp climate. if i don’t use something to smooth it and provide a bit of hold it turns into a weird mass of frizzy, limp, yet somehow frighteningly bushy, hair. i would really appreciate any suggestions!

Tricky, tricky. Baby-fine hair, lots of it, plus a warm and damp climate. Here are two product suggestions for you, Katie.

First: Yarok Feed Your Roots ($18), a leave-in conditioner spray. It has lots of great ingredients like organic evening primrose and jojoba oils, but it’s a light enough formula to offer a bit of light smoothing and hold without weighing down your fine hair. It was created to protect your hair heat damage, and is meant to be used pre-blow dry.

Second: Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner ($20). This is a good product for using with your hair dryer or for those days when you’d rather air dry. It’ll smooth your hair and give a little control, and it can be used on dry hair, too. Plus it has some yummy ingredients like Tamanu oil (an oil that Polynesian women have been using for many years), and a touch of honey for volume and manageability.

If you haven’t already tried it, I also recommend Julie’s apple cider vinegar hair rinse technique. The ACV will help clarify your hair without stripping it of moisture (and make it shiny). Plus, it should help with the frizz and limpness.

Do you have a question about natural or organic beauty? Ask in the comments or email me directly: aleigh AT indigoandcanary dot com.

—Aleigh

(Image via Horia Varlan)

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Beauty Obsession: Acure Organics Hair Care

A few weeks ago I snapped up several Acure Organics products—including their Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner ($10.99 each), which I’d been coveting for months.

Spoiler alert! I’m about to add one of my own.

First impressions: When they arrived, I immediately cracked open both bottles to see how they smelled. For some reason I had become absolutely (and irrationally) convinced that they would smell like coconut. (I despise coconut in just about every form.) I was relieved to discover that both the shampoo and conditioner smell deliciously almond-y, a scent I happen to adore.

The ingredients lists are delicious, too. There’s acai, blackberry, rosehips, pomegranate, aloe, sugar beets, plus argan oil, pumpkin seed oil, and sea buckthorn oil. (And no sulfates, parabens, or pthalates.)

What caught me by surprise: I know I can’t be the only person who reads the shampoo and conditioner bottles nearly every time I’m in the shower…and I love when people and companies don’t take themselves too seriously. And I spotted this little gem in the directions on my shampoo bottle: “Feel free to belt out some horrible 80s tune that you listen to when nobody’s around. Whatever, you totally do it.” 

Now that I’ve been using my Acure shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks, I can officially say that I’m hooked. I think the price is reasonable, and I love that the shampoo is foamy and the conditioner is sleek. Most importantly, I love, love, love that my hair, which has been somewhat dry and frizzy as it goes through a weird texture evolution from super straight to somewhat wavy, feels moisturized and healthy again.

Bonus: There’s an Acure shampoo and conditioner combo for every type of hair. Next on my list? The Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner.

Have you tried any Acure Organics products? —Aleigh


(Top image via Acure Organics, bottom image by me)

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8 Leaps to Take in Your Beauty Routine

Change is good, and if you’ve been looking for an reason to shake up your beauty routine, Leap Day is the perfect excuse. It only happens once every four years, and it’s sort of like getting a bonus day! Here are some tips to help you make the most of it.

Start your day with a little dry brushing. If you haven’t tried this technique yet, today’s the day. It’s invigorating and great for your skin.

Create a signature shade. Layer your lipsticks, mix your favorite shades of (3-free) nail polish…come up with a new color that’s so you. Then take it out on the town and wait for the compliments!

Take a trend for a test drive. Love the hot pink lips trend but think you can’t pull it off? You might be surprised! Stepping outside your beauty comfort zone gives you a dose of daring that just might lead you to discover something new about yourself. (And hey, if you don’t love it, at least you gave it a try!)

Try a DIY. Do an apple cider vinegar rinse. Make your own cheek stain. Or come up with your own DIY idea…and please, if it’s a success, share it with us!

Go for bold. If you’re a lip-gloss-everyday girl like me, take a chance—try out a bolder shade of lipstick. If you want to tread lightly, dab a little lipstick on in thin layers using your fingers (instead of straight from the tube)…it’ll give you a way to build the color to a saturation you like.

Do—or don’t do—your ‘do. If you’re a hair-up kind of girl, wear it down (and vice versa). Commit to your new look for a day. You might be pleasantly surprised when your significant other and your coworkers take note!

Go bare-faced. Skip the makeup for a day and get reacquainted with your natural self. Enjoy it! You can even turn this into a self-exploration journey…how does this experiment make you feel? (Don’t skip the sunscreen, though.)

Give yourself a compliment. Because the truth is, you’re already lovely—and most of us tend to be our own worst critics. Being kind to yourself is important.

What beauty leaps are you taking today? —Aleigh


(Image via charamelody)

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Link Love Friday: Sadness

Cooper

The sweetest dog I’ve ever known died yesterday: my parents’ golden retriever, Cooper. We’re all big dog people in my family, so we’re all pretty torn up about it. Cooper was a lucky dog, though! He got to live in some great places—Nebraska, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Montana—and spent his twilight years on my parents’ farm. We are going to miss him.

If Cooper could have shared his beauty tips with you, I think this is what he’d say:

  • Kindness is always beautiful.
  • Healthy meals are always better when they’re shared. (Especially yours. And you should share it with him.)
  • Sleep is important.
  • A happy person is a beautiful person.
  • Mud is the best beauty ingredient out there.
  • Exercise keeps you happy, healthy, and looking your best.

Meanwhile, my favorite beauty blogs have shared lots of (more practical) beauty advice this week. Here’s what I’m reading+enjoying:

  • Ashley at Our Little Apartment wrote about how she’s refined her no ‘poo technique for changing seasons and her particular hair type. Have you tried this technique?
  • Alexandra wrote a great post about the Seven Beauty Mistakes of the Personal Care Industry. For the most part, I agree with her—except about the eye cream. I’m a girl with genetic, dark undereye circles, and you do not want to come between me and my eye cream. Period. Which mistakes do you agree or disagree with?
  • Jolene shared the details of gomasio, a condiment that I’m definitely going to try. What are your go-to beauty foods?

—Aleigh

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