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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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Beauty Obsession: Broo

I know that beer is good for your hair, but I haven’t tried a beer rinse myself—although it’s on my list of things to try (and share with you, obviously!). So when I spotted these new products on the shelf at my local Earth Fare, I decided to take a closer look.

What I tried: Broo Craft Beer Shampoo and Conditioner ($14.95 each).

First impressions: The girl who rang up my purchases said she’d just tried these products, and warned me that she liked them but they “smell weird.” Since I’ve been using natural shampoo and conditioner for several years now, I’m used to the “but they smell weird!” reaction to natural products. The truth is, when most people say something smells strange, what they mean is that is smells different—not like the synthetic fragrances they’re used to.

Here’s what I thought: The shampoo smells just like a good craft brew should—hoppy and fresh. The conditioner, on the other hand, smells less of hops and more like wheat or even bran. Both smell unique and vaguely beer-y, but just like the magic of an apple cider vinegar rinse, once your hair is dry, it just smells like fresh, clean hair.

What caught me by surprise: The texture! There’s a little sticker on the shampoo that directs you to shake it before you use it; the formula tends to settle out and is best when mixed up a bit. I found the shampoo to be silky and satisfyingly foamy—just a pea-sized amount foams into enough shampoo for my shoulder-length hair. The conditioner is rich and left my hair moisturized without feeling heavy or greasy.

Bonus: I love that these products are made with craft beer from Asheville—and according to this story in the Asheville Citizen-Times, the cosmetics chemist who created the formulas is in Kannapolis (about half an hour north of Charlotte). That’s about as local as it gets for me. And that? Is awesome.

Have you stumbled upon a product that you just have to share? What’s your latest beauty obsession? —Aleigh

(Image via Broo)

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Natural Beauty Faves: January 2012

It’s taking me a while to get adjusted to the fact that 2012 is really here, but I have some big plans. First up, a new email newsletter! I’m not planning to launch it for a few weeks yet, but if you’re interested in the newsletter-only goodies I have planned, you can go ahead and sign up here. Here are the products I’m loving this month:

  • Florere Deodorant Cream. I raved about this stuff a little while ago and I’m still loving it. My mom and sister both took it for a whirl while I was in Pittsburgh over the holidays, and I think they were both impressed.
  • Hydrea London FSC Certified Classic Long Handle Body Brush. This was a Christmas present from my Aunt Jackie (thank you!). I’d been meaning to try the dry brushing technique I’ve been reading so much about, and so far I’m liking it but it’s too soon to tell much of a difference aside from feeling really invigorated. More on this brush (and the technique) soon…
  • Broo Shampoo & Conditioner. I just discovered this craft beer body care and shampoo line (it’s straight from Asheville, one of my hometowns), and so far I really like it. It’s not cheap, but the shampoo is so foamy that I really only need a tiny amount, and it’s super moisturizing. Look for a full review of this little hoppy duo soon!
  • 100% Pure Red Wine Resveratrol Eye Cream. I bought this at Ecolicious when I bought the Florere Deodorant Cream. With my (genetic) dark undereye circles, I’m always on the hunt for a new eye cream to try, and I really think the price is affordable for a quality eye cream, especially for such a large container. Plus, in addition to resveratrol (the age-defying substance in red wine grapes), it has hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and tons of antioxidants.

What products are you enjoying lately? —Aleigh

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6 Reasons ‘No More Tears’ makes me want to cry

It seems like all of my friends are having babies these days, so it’s no surprise that baby products have been on my mind lately. (I do love shopping for my friends’ babies!) But here’s the thing: I really don’t think any products for babies, whose immune systems are just developing, and whose skin is so sensitive, should contain ingredients that are linked to allergies, neurotoxicity, cancer or other health issues.

And there’s one ubiquitous baby product that is a major offender: Johnson & Johnson’s No More Tears Baby Shampoo. (I am not linking to this product!) This shampoo that Johnson & Johnson claims is “As Gentle to Eyes as Pure Water” actually contains a few potentially cancer-causing chemicals, plus a few other problematic substances. And it’s definitely not as gentle as pure water. Here’s a breakdown of the troubling ingredients:

  • Quaternium-15: This ingredient releases formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. It’s also an immune system toxicant.
  • PEG 80 Sorbitan Laurate, PEG-150 Distearate and Sodium Laureth 13 Carboxylate (Dioxane): All of these ingredients are potentially contaminated with or release 1,4 Dioxane, widely considered to be a likely carcinogen. It’s been banned in Canada and the European Union (EU).
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine: Has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Fragrance: A common irritant for sensitive or allergy-prone skin. (Also suspect because a label of “fragrance” doesn’t list the ingredients that make up the fragrance.)
  • Tetrasodium EDTA: According to the EU, there is evidence that this ingredient is toxic to the eyes. Ironic, no?
  • Artificial colors including D&C Yellow 10 and D&C Orange 4: Neither of these coloring agents are approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics “around the eyes” (whoops!).

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been, er, campaigning against these ingredients for years, but yesterday, they took this battle to the next level–and it appears to be working! Their new report, “Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic,” came out yesterday, and was followed with this statement from Johnson & Johnson saying that it is phasing out formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from its baby products worldwide. I’ve been planning this post for a few months, but given these recent developments, I thought it was worth sharing sooner.

What do you think? Have you used this baby shampoo on your little angel? Have you ever felt duped by claims of gentleness and purity in the products you’ve used? —Aleigh

(Image via Lawrence Whittimore)

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Link Love Friday: Daylight Savings

Courtney Brooke I can’t be the only one who will be supremely grateful for that extra hour on Sunday, right? I curse Daylight Savings Time every spring, but every fall it sounds so luxurious to have a whole extra hour of sleep. (Sleep is important, you know!) This week, we’ve been talking about winter skin care, the lovely holiday collections from Alima Pure, the story of cosmetics and Indigo+Canary’s very own Pinterest account.

(And, pssst! I just added a new board where Indigo+Canary readers can collaborate–leave a comment or send me an email if you’d like to be added! I’d love for it to become a place where we can share products we love or want to try, images that inspire us…)

Here are the things I’m reading+enjoying this week:

What lovely things are you reading+enjoying this week? Would love to know! —Aleigh

Want more Link Love Friday posts? Find them here.

(Image via Courtney Brooke)

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