Holiday Indie Gift Box Review

I've had Indie Gift Box on my list of subscription services to try for a while, and when they announced that their last box of the year (November and December combined) would be a Holiday Box, I decided to give it a try.


I'm not a crafty person, but I do like getting little trinkets and such, so that's why I was interested in this box. I paid $25 total for this box, $20 for the box itself and $5 for shipping.  Shipping to Canada is $10 and $15 for anywhere else.  I can't find a definitive price on their website at the moment, so I'm going to guess that $20 is the price of every box.  Indie Gift Box is interesting in that there are only a specific number of boxes available -- sometimes only 10-15, but this box had 100 available.  You have to monitor either their blog (I signed up for the email list) or other social media to get updates on when the box will go on sale, and you have only 10 minutes to pay through PayPal or you'll lose your spot.


I wanted to purchase the Holiday Box because after seeing the preview of what brands would be featured I thought that they looked interesting.  I had my boyfriend hop online to grab one for me since I was at work, and he didn't have any difficulty with it since they had so many available.  It shipped fairly quickly, but I can't remember how long it took exactly since I got it a few weeks ago (this review kind of fell by the wayside due to sponsored reviews I had).

I was excited to open the box because I'd never tried a service like this one before, but the items inside left me with lukewarm feelings.  They weren't terrible by any means, but I didn't feel it was worth $25--maybe $15, but not $25.  Here's what was inside:


  • The Shop of Worldly Delights Matryoshka Ornament ($9) - This ornament is really cute but it's not something I would normally purchase for myself.  It's one of the items I felt more "meh" about.
  • PlainJ Body and Home Soy Candle ($7) - This was my favorite item in the box because I'm totally candle-obsessed.  The scent is Cranberry Citrus and it smells fantastic.
  • Kitty Meow Holiday Card ($3.50) - I don't send out Christmas cards, but my parents do.  I'll probably give this to my mom to see if she wants to send it to anyone.
  • Life Created Snowman Tag Kit ($2.75) - I love snowmen and this is really adorable.  Like the ornament, I wouldn't purchase it otherwise, but it makes me smile at least.
  • EEF Etcetera Holiday Necklace ($12) - I didn't end up taking a picture of my necklace, but it's a small silver snowflake charm on a silver chain.  I really like it and it's perfect for winter.


So the value of the items in the box adds up to $34.25, and there were also coupons for other Etsy shops included.  The coupons were the part that I misunderstood; when I read all of the shops that would be included in the box I didn't realize that half of them would just be coupons.  Had I realized that, I probably wouldn't have bought the box.  The vendors included were Megandowntherabbithole, My So Called Chaos, Sebastian Design, Wired Essentials, and issa.ino:handmade.  I did take a look at all of the shops, but none of them piqued my interest so I won't be using the coupons.


Bottom Line: I think Indie Gift Box is a really fun idea for people who love handmade crafts.  I just like handmade crafts, so I probably won't be purchasing another Indie Gift Box in the future.  The only type of box I might be interested in from them in the future would be one that featured beauty items or home fragrance.

Check out more up-close photos of the items after the cut.

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Influenster Voxbox Review

A few weeks ago I received the "oral aesthetic product" Voxbox from Influenster, which turned out to be a Crest 3D White Whitestrips kit.  I was immediately disappointed when I opened it, because I faced a dilemma: Crest is not a cruelty-free company, and I strive to only use cruelty-free products.


I decided to try the strips for a while, using the argument that I didn't purchase the strips, so technically my money wasn't going to the company.  I even made a video on YouTube about my unboxing, since that was one of the optional tasks you could complete for the Influenster campaign.  But all along I knew I was just kidding myself: the whole point of Influenster is to try out products and promote the ones you really like.  I couldn't promote Crest or these Whitestrips because I can't support a brand that isn't cruelty-free.

I'm not perfect--many will probably think that I never should have tried them in the first place.  Maybe if I had known beforehand that the "oral aesthetic" product was from Crest I wouldn't have even accepted the campaign to begin with (Influenster didn't tell us what the product was ahead of time).  But in the end, I realized that I personally would rather not complete the entire campaign.  Originally I was motivated to give it a try because everyone who completes the optional Influenster tasks auto-qualifies for the Holiday Voxbox.  I'd love to get that box, but it's not worth it to me to pretend to promote a brand I can't support.

What do you think?  I'm curious to hear your thoughts about animal testing.  Some people only buy from Leaping Bunny certified companies, others support cruelty-free brands that are owned by parent companies that test.  Some people aren't concerned with animal testing at all.  None of these views are right or wrong!  I fully respect everyone's educated opinion.  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section, but please refrain from badgering mine or anyone else's views.  I don't want to turn this post into a mudslinging debate.

Thanks for reading!

Thermal-Aid Review and Giveaway

I'd been hearing and seeing a lot about Thermal-Aid through other blogs and social media, and I their products had me intrigued for a few reasons: their products are 100% natural, and their Bears and new Zoo collection are absolutely adorable!  I also was interested in trying one of their heat packs because I've suffered from chronic lower back pain ever since I injured my tailbone when I was younger.  When I got the chance to try their Bear and Small Sectional, they didn't disappoint!


Thermal-Aid packs are 100% natural, therapeutic packs that were specifically designed for the medical field to reduce swelling and relieve pain.  They're made from cotton and filled with a corn mixture that was developed by researches with milling engineers from the largest agribusiness companies in the world.  Their unique process allows the specialized corn to hold temperature for long periods of time, and it also allows their packs to be the first washable, 100% natural heating/cooling application.


I received Honey Bear to try, who, as you can see, is a pastel yellow color (retails for $19.95).  I think he (or she, I suppose either could work) is super cute and would be a perfect buddy for a young child.  I like that they can be used as hot or cold packs, so I can see myself using him as a cool pack when I have a migraine or to snuggle with when I'm cold.  I don't have children yet but I'm still going to put this Bear to good use.  I heated him up a few nights ago and placed him near my feet, since they're always cold.  The instructions say to heat in the microwave for 45-60 seconds, or cool in the freezer for 5 hours.  He was warm after 45 seconds, but next time I'll probably heat him up for 60.  I think the 45 second time would be more appropriate if this was going to be given to a child, since you wouldn't want it to be too hot.


I really enjoyed the Small Sectional (retails for $26.95).  It weighs 3.5 lbs and measures 9" x 13"; I think it's the perfect size to use on my lower back.  The instructions state to heat it one minute for every pound, so I of course heated it for 3.5 minutes, and it stayed warm for a good 30 minutes.  It's definitely hot at first, so I wouldn't recommend using this one bare skin.  The best part about the sectional is that it's sturdy and keeps its shape, which is really helpful when I'm using it against my back in a seated position.  I previously was using an electric heating pad, which was nice, but it was flat so I'd have to fold it over sometimes to get it to press against my back.


I'm thoroughly impressed with Thermal-Aid's Bear and Small Sectional!  I love that these products are made from natural ingredients and that they are high-quality.  Thermal-Aid has a broad range of other options, from packs for pets to larger sectionals to their adorable new Zoo collection.  I know that some may think that these are too expensive, but I think they're worth the investment because they aren't going to fall apart after a few uses.  I would definitely purchase these for myself and for others!


Bottom Line: Thermal-Aid offers fantastic options for heating and cooling packs.  There are cute animals for young ones, and sturdy packs for adults and pets.  I definitely recommend these!

Interested in trying out Thermal-Aid for yourself?  Their awesome team has offered enough prizes for six winners!  You can enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form after the cut.

My Favorite Black Friday Deals

I'm not a Black Friday shopper, and I never have been.  I have no interest in fighting over electronics with crazy people.  It might be fun to try someday, or maybe even to observe as an interesting sociology experiment (nothing quite like two moms going at it over a Furby), but for now I'll stay out of the stores.  I prefer to do my shopping online, so I wanted to share some upcoming sales with you that I think are worth checking out.


Keeki Pure and Simple offers lip, nail, and skincare products that are all cruelty-free.  Their lip balms and lotions are made from organic ingredients, and their nail polishes are non-toxic and water-based.
Deal: Use code BF20 for 20% off your entire order on Friday only at KeekiPureandSimple.com


Lovable Labels, Disclaimer, Facebook Page, Twitter, Contact, Label Me Crazy, Pinterest, You Tube Lovable Labels Disclaimer Facebook Page Twitter Contact Label  Me Crazy Pinterest YouTube

Lovable Labels allows you to create personalized labels for use on everything from clothing to bags and much more.  They're holding a sale from Friday to Monday; see the image above for details (the image is clickable).


Beija Flor Naturals is holding a sale from today, November 22nd to November 28th on their natural skin care and hair care products.  I've reviewed some of their products before, which can be read here.
Deal: Use code BEIJA2012 for 25% off of your entire purchase and a free gift with a $65+ purchase at BeijaFlorNaturals.com



Pangea Organics has fantastic skin care items, I love their bar soaps and lip balms.  Their Skincare Discovery Kits are also very popular.
Deal: Use code Black10 for $10 off of $50, code Black25 for $25 off of $100, and code Black45 for $45 off of $150.  These offers end at midnight on the 25th at PangeaOrganics.com


Zoya is by far my favorite nail polish brand!  Their polishes are Big 5 free, vegan, and cruelty-free.  They basically have every color imaginable, and their formula is fantastic.  I really can't rave about these polishes enough!
Deal: Zoya Dream Boxes are now on sale for $20 (regularly $25) with free shipping.  Use code DREAM through the 26th at 11:59 PM EST at Zoya.com.  Dream Boxes are gift sets of three polishes--you can choose your own or choose a pre-packaged set (more details here).

Do you know of any other great deals going on?  Post them in the comments below!

iPad Mini Giveaway!

When I first found this giveaway opportunity I knew I had to sign up!  I'm probably going to end up treating myself to an iPad Mini, but now you all have a chance to win one here, for free!  Thanks to Mom Powered Media for hosting, and be sure to check out the fantastic sponsors of this event, too.  Good luck!

iPad Mini Giveaway Event

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The iPad Mini has a beautiful display, powerful A5 chip, FaceTime HD camera, iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, ultrafast wireless, and over 275,000 apps ready to download from the App Store. The iPad mini is an iPad in every way, shape, and slightly smaller form. Easy for on the go with that same great Apple power punch!

Enter this giveaway after the "read more!"

November Conscious Box Review

I was really excited to receive my November Conscious Box because they advertised on Facebook that it would be packed with lots of items, from beauty products and balms to bamboo toothbrushes.  So to my dismay, I opened up my box and found that it contained none of those things: it only contained food items.  After an email to their customer service department, I learned that there was a mix-up where their marketing person confused the packing lists and that all of those fun items were actually only in the vegan box, to which I'm not subscribed.


November marked Conscious Box's one-year anniversary, so I had high hopes for this box.  I have to be honest and say that I was really disappointed with what it turned out to be.  I've mentioned in past posts that sometimes they'll have boxes that are mostly food, which is fine every few months or so, but I've noticed that recently there have been more food items than anything else.  I actually sent them on email to cancel since I figured that by now I've seen all that CB has to offer, but they convinced me to stick around for December.


But aside from that, Conscious Box has been one of my favorite subscription services.  They've had some hiccups recently with political posts on their Facebook, shipping delays (mostly USPS's fault), and recalled items, but overall I still enjoy them.  I'm also getting the hang of video unboxings, check it out below (and please subscribe!):



If you'd rather read than watch, keep scrolling.



  • Simply Organic Minced Onion - I was craving a cheesy snack the other night, so I sprinkled some of this onto some garlic bread I made.  It was good.  Pretty standard onion, but good.
  • SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Sweetener in Vanilla Creme - No matter how hard I try, I do not like stevia (or any sweetener that isn't sugar, for that matter).  This is a liquid stevia product and it didn't have a terrible flavor, and I'm sure it would be really yummy to those who like stevia, but I just don't like the weird aftertaste I get from these types of products.
  • Justin's Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - These little guys caused some controversy!  Some people (myself included) received items that were included in a recall of Justin's products for potential salmonella exposure.  I'm not mad at CB about it, nor do I care to have them send me a replacement.  It's not worth making them pay the postage; I know I can pick these up at my local grocery store so I'll grab some the next time I'm out.


  • Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix - This mix is gluten-free and contains 8 grams of whole grains per serving (the package itself is one serving).  I love pancakes and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this tastes.
  • Lush Nuts in Dark Cocoa Chili - I haven't tried these yet but I think they're going to be delicious.  They're chocolate-coated peanuts, and I love when dark chocolate is paired with chili.
  • Teeccino Herbal Coffee - There were three Teeccino products total, but the one in this photo is a bag of the 75% Organic Mocha flavor.  I don't really understand what this is supposed to do -- it's "naturally caffeine free," but is supposed to replace coffee.  I drink coffee for the caffeine, so I'm hoping that this gives me the same boost.  Oh well, I'm willing to try it.


  • Freekeh Grains - How fun is that to say?  According to their package, it's pronounced "free-kah."  I've never heard of this grain before, but apparently it's similar to quinoa.  I'm not in love with quinoa but I'm willing to try this.  It's the Tamari variety.
  • L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Caveman Rub - This rub sounds suuuuper yummy.  I'll probably put it on some chicken.
  • Organic India Tulsi Tea - There were two packets inside, one Green Tea and one Original.  I'm up to my ears in tea, so whenever I get more it doesn't really stand out to me anymore.
  • Bloomers! Snow Peas Seeds - The packaging on these is so cute.  I'm going to save these for if I ever start a vegetable garden.  I keep saying I want to, but I just never end up doing it.


  • Teeccino - Lastly, we have the other two Teeccino packets.  One is Hazelnut and the other is French Roast.  These are in tea bag form, which is interesting.  Also USDA organic.
Bottom Line: In the past I've said that I never planned to cancel my Conscious Box subscription, but recent boxes have only been so-so.  If December's really blows me away I might stay on for a few more months, but as of right now I plan to go on a hiatus after December to try out other services.  November's box didn't have the variety I was hoping for, but my past boxes and interactions with customer service have been great.

*Disclaimer: I purchased this box with my own money and was not asked to review it.  I was not compensated for this post in any way and the honest opinions here are entirely my own.

November Daily Dose of Green Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

When Christi, the owner of Daily Dose of Green, contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing one of their boxes, I eagerly said yes.  I love trying new subscription services, and this one appealed to me because it focuses on eco-friendly lifestyle products that can run the gamut from food to beauty to items for your pets.  They also offer a reward points system for members, where points can be earned for referring friends and leaving feedback on items.  These points can then be used for discounts on future purchases.


Users are able to fill out a profile about their lifestyle so that Daily Dose of Green can send them products that would suit them most.  Since I'm not a true member I didn't have the option, but I was still really impressed with the box and I loved all of the items they sent me!


My boxed contained a total of eight items, which is a good amount for a box costing $15.  There was a nice variety of items, something that has been lacking in a similar service I subscribe to, so I was very happy to see that.  Here is what I received:

  • Essence of Vali E.O.V. Perfume - A little perfume vial was included in the orange package in the upper left corner.  It's the brand's signature blend, which was created over 10 years ago for a private client.  I like that it has minimal ingredients (SDA 40B, essential oils, and water), but I didn't care for the scent.  It smells slightly citrus-y, but more appropriate for an older woman I think (no offense is meant by that, it's just the best way I can think to describe it).
  • Be Natural Organics Hyaluronic Serum - This is a pretty good sized sample at 4 mL, and it's an anti-aging blend for all skin types.  The informational card states that hyaluronic acid can be found in ever cell in the body, and this serum helps replenish what gets lost as you age.  I'm interested to try it because it also works to keep pores free and clear of dirt and bacteria.
  • Earth's Beauty Lipstick in Rose Diamond - This was the other item wrapped up in the orange paper.  It's a cute little lipstick sample, and the color is a very pretty pink/mauve.  I have a close-up photo that I'll post below.
  • Original Sprout Miracle Detangler - This Quick Release formula "makes tough tangles history."  I'll definitely spritz this on my hair after washing it because my thick, Asian hair is definitely prone to tangles.
  • Boulder Granola Original - I love Boulder Granola!  I've reviewed their products before, and I was really happy to see a bag of their original blend in my box because it's really delicious.  It's just sweet enough, as well as being USDA organic and gluten- and dairy-free.
  • Eli's Earth Bars Celebrate Bar - This brand is entirely new to me.  The Celebrate Bar has chewy vanilla caramel, dried coconut, gourmet California almonds, and is coated with a dairy-free milk chocolate.  It sounds heavenly and I can't wait to eat it!  It's also USDA organic.
  • Margo's Nutz - I received the Cinnamon Almond Slices.  I would consider mixing these in with a plain Greek yogurt, or eating them on their own.  I don't love almonds, but I think I'd like these because they're coated with honey, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • Humble Seed Tongue of Fire Seed Packet - This is the item that I'm least likely to use because I don't garden.  Maybe I should change that.  These do sound pretty interesting to me, and the package says they're the 'best flavored horticultural bean."

Overall I am very impressed with this Daily Dose of Green box and I would definitely recommend it.  I'm going to add myself to their waitlist and hopefully I'll be able to get a subscription slot soon!  They have two subscription options: monthly for $15/month, or $165 for a year (which adds up to one box free).  I also appreciated how quickly the box arrived at my doorstep -- three days to get from Rochester, MN to Rochester, NY!

If you'd rather watch than read, check out my unboxing video:

  • Visit Daily Dose of Green and learn more about their program
  • Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter

Bottom Line: If you're interested in finding new ways to green up your lifestyle, Daily Dose of Green's monthly subscription service is a great and affordable option.  I highly recommend it!

Want to WIN a Daily Dose of Green box for yourself?  Christi was kind enough to provide a box for one of my readers, so enter after the cut (and check out more photos, too)!

Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow Review

A few months ago I happened upon Dragonfly Beauty Blog, a fantastic blog with plentiful natural beauty resources.  Tiffany, who writes the blog, hosts monthly "Green Your Routine" giveaways that feature high quality natural beauty items, and I was lucky enough to win the September giveaway (you can view the package here, if you're interested).  I was obviously very excited to have won, especially because there were a bunch of new brands in the package for me to discover.  I was already familiar with Tatcha and Revolution Organics, but a new favorite emerged: Alima Pure.


The two shadows I received in this package were Aubergine and Opal.  Aubergine is a gorgeous purple and Opal is a shimmery white.  I had heard of Alima Pure in the past but had never tried any of their products.  I'm so glad I was introduced to these eyeshadows because they're amazing!


Aubergine is on the left and Opal is on the right in the above swatches.  Clearly you can see how great their pigmentation and color payoff are.  I love anything purple, so Aubergine is so perfect for me.  I don't know if I'll use Opal as often, but when I do need a good highlighter color it's an excellent choice.  Since it is so very pigmented, though, you only need a very little (meaning the 2.5 grams will last you a long time!).  These shadows also have a silky texture and apply easily and evenly, both with fingers and with a brush.  I like to pair Aubergine with gold for a fun weekend look.


Another reason to love Alima Pure is because they're certified cruelty-free by PETA.  The shadows are made in the USA and contain only five ingredients, mainly mica.  The others are naturally-occurring oxides that may be byproducts, I'm assuming--given the "may contain" disclaimer.




Bottom Line: I think these two eyeshadows by Alima Pure are amazing, and I can't wait to buy more!  They retail for $12.50 and are available in 46 different colors.

Check out more photos after the cut.

Tilth Beauty Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

I found Tilth Beauty after they followed me on Twitter, and I contacted them regarding their products.  I was intrigued because they're a Leaping Bunny certified company, and I was also looking for a new skincare line to use.


I was really surprised, and very thankful, when they sent me five products to try!  It took me a little longer to get through them all since I like to use skin care for at least a month to see how it reacts to my skin, but I was really happy with the results.


  • Rose Protection Cleansing Gel - This is the cleanser I ended up using the most.  It's good for all skin types, and it contains French Rose Flower Extract to spur anti-aging effects.  When I read the label I thought it would be more of a thick gel consistency, but it actually was a nice liquid that lathered up nicely.
  • Argan-Tangerine Deep Cleansing Lotion - This cleanser is one of Tilth Beauty's most popular products.  It contains "infusions of the tantalizing tangerine blossom aroma, which wake up even the sleepiest of heads."  It also contains essential oils to leave skin feeling soft and help remove makeup.  I didn't like this cleanser as much as the Rose Protection Cleansing Gel, but it was mostly a personal preference.  It performed well and lathered nicely, but for some reason I just preferred the Rose.  I think it was because I liked the scent better.
  • Gentle Poppy Seed Exfoliator - This was my favorite product of the bunch.  It's a dry exfoliator that needs to be mixed with a base, and the label suggest water or a cleanser.  I thought I'd try using it with one of the cleansers to kill two birds with one stone, but it ended up not working so well.  It didn't glide over my skin as well with cleanser, so I ended up using water and it worked just fine.  What I liked the most about this cleanser is that it was the perfect roughness to use on facial skin.  It wasn't too strong or weak.  I used it once a week and my skin felt baby-smooth after.
  • Berry Extract Toner - I haven't used toners very much in the past, so this product was one that I was the most unfamiliar with how to use.  I used it after cleansing and dabbed it on with a cotton swab.  It's a pretty blue color in the bottle, which I liked simply for aesthetic purposes.  Regular use works to "restore, revitalize, and refine skin, while greatly reducing clogged pores and dead skin, and keeping it smooth, soothed, and properly moisturized."  To be honest, I didn't notice much of a difference in my skin after using this, but that may be because I'm still not entirely sure how my skin is supposed to feel after prolonged use of a toner.
  • Refresh Peptide Mist - This is my second-favorite product because I have oily skin and I hate when I start to feel it taking over my face throughout the day.  I kept this in my purse and spritzed it on during work and it took the edge off.  It's made from botanical extracts with a peptide to help protect skin.

L to R: Berry Extract Toner, Argan Tangerine Deep Cleansing Lotion,
Rose Protection Cleansing Gel, Refresh Peptide Mist, and Gentle Poppy Seed Exfoliator
As I stated before, my favorite aspect of Tilth Beauty is that they're a Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free company, meaning their products and ingredients are not tested on animals in any stage of manufacturing.  They are also free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petroleum, silicones, synthetic fragrance, and GMOs.  Some of the ingredients in the products I tried were unfamiliar to me, for example, "Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylclucoside Crosspolymer" is the second ingredient in the Rose Protection Cleansing Gel, but I feel better knowing that they don't contain the above ingredients (information taken from their website).

Tilth Beauty's CEO, Anthony Vargas, has over three decades of industry experience in research and development and has worked to create these and many more consumer-based skin care products.  They also practice environmentally-friendly manufacturing by using wind power to generate 100% of the electrical energy needed to make their paper packaging.  Their packaging partner is an active member in the Green Power Partnership, an "EPA-sponsored program that recognizes organizations demonstrating environmental leadership through green power."


Bottom Line: I'm impressed by Tilth Beauty's products and eco-friendly practices.  I also love that they're cruelty-free.  I would recommend their anti-aging skincare to anyone who is looking to support a company that shares these ideals.

Want to win a Tilth Beauty cleanser for yourself?  They were kind enough to provide me with an Anti-Oxidant Foaming Cleanser for one of my readers to win.  Enter using the Rafflecopter form after the cut.

$50 Zenoobi Gift Card Giveaway!


I love to support all natural, organic, and eco-friendly companies, so when Terri from Terri's Little Haven & jenn too! contacted me about hosting a giveaway for a $50 gift card from Zenoobi.com, I browsed around the site to explore all of the green products they had available for kids and mom. After careful consideration, I knew this was something my readers would be definitely be interested in participating in.

Natural, Organic, eco-friendly
To enter this giveaway, I have provided a simple to use giveaway form (Rafflecopter). The only mandatory entry required is to leave your email address and first and last name (so you can be contacted if you win). There are multiple extra bonus entries included that I'm sure you will want to take advantage of. This giveaway is open to US residents aged 18+ only and it ends on December 5th.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: See Shop Love! is not responsible for sending the giveaway item to the winner. After all entries are confirmed, Terri from Terri's Little Haven & jenn too! will be responsible for sending the winners information to Zenoobi.

November 1-Year Anniversary Conscious Box Giveaway! [CLOSED]

November is Conscious Box's 1-year anniversary, and to celebrate they have offered a November box for one of my readers to win!  I'm a Conscious Box lover and I'm super excited about this box.  All of their boxes have been amazing (I've been a subscriber since January), but this one is going to be their best one yet.  Here's a teaser they posted on their Facebook:


This November all our boxes are geared towards a "Green Gifts Guide" theme. We've got a huge variety from multiple beauty products, body balms and scents to delicious treats, healing potions, spices, and even bamboo toothbrushes! We know many of you say this every month, but the November boxes are our best ones yet. November is Conscious Box's 1 year anniversary and we've truly out done ourselves!

Sound like a good deal (believe me, it is!)?  If you'd like the chance to win this box, enter below using the Rafflecopter form after the cut.  Or, if you'd rather not leave it up to chance, sign up for Conscious Box by November 6th to ensure you'll receive the box!  You can sign up at ConsciousBox.com.

Eco Lips Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

I love lip balms!  I think I've mentioned that before.  When I was approached by Eco Lips to host a review and giveaway, I jumped at the chance because it presented the perfect opportunity to highlight a fantastic organic, cruelty-free company as well as allow myself and one lucky reader to try their products!

The labels are ripped because the photos I took before using the balms came out poorly

I have used a few Eco Lips products before and they've worked amazingly well.  I'll take a natural lip balm over a synthetic one any day (what I mean by synthetic is the ones that contain ingredients like petrolatum, etc) because they just work.  I hate the major-brand ones you can get at any drugstore because they just coat your lips and end up making them feel worse.  Natural lip balms made from organic ingredients have always felt better and performed better to me.


There are so many amazing things to say about Eco Lips that this post could get a little lengthy.  In an effort to keep it from getting tl;dr, I'm going to use bullet points:


  • Eco Lips recently reformulated their products (on 10 October 2012) in an effort to better support fair trade.  They've increased the FTC (Fair Trade Certified) ingredients in their products and are purchasing more FTC raw ingredients.  What does this mean?  By supporting fair trade, Eco Lips is helping to promote ethical business practices by helping fair trade workers earn a living and providing awareness to consumers.
  • Eco Lips products are USDA certified organic.  A USDA certification is only gained when the ingredients used are food-grade quality, meaning you could eat them.  I wouldn't recommend eating one of their lip balms whole, but it makes me feel a lot better knowing that I'm putting organic ingredients on my lips instead of chemicals.
  • Eco Lips has vegan options available that don't contain beeswax.
  • Last, but definitely not least, my favorite aspect of Eco Lips is that they are an entirely cruelty-free company.  Absolutely no animal testing has been done on these products at any stage!

So, in a nutshell, Eco Lips is awesome.  Here are the balms that I was lucky to try:


The Renew: Orange Spice balm from the ONE WORLD collection is perfect for me!  I love all things spice and orange and spice is one of my favorite combos.  This is a nice big, chubby stick (.25 oz) that's made from 40% recycled content.  It's Fair Trade Certified and feels so smooth and wonderful on my lips.  The base is FTC cocoa butter, and it also contains argan oil "to revitalize skin and neutralize free radicals."  I love this one.  The scent, the recycled packaging, the fair trade and USDA organic certifications--what's not to love?  The other scents/flavors are Restore (Coconut Ginger) and Relax (Lavender Lemon).


The Dagoba: Mint balm is my favorite out of the pack!  I was so excited to receive one of these because I received a Roseberry one in an Eco Emi box, but I left it out in my car and it melted (I tried re-freezing it but it just wasn't pretty).  I didn't know until recently that Dagoba is a chocolate company, and Eco Lips paired with them to create this line of lip balms.  The other flavors are the aforementioned Roseberry and also Lavender.  This is mint chocolate heaven!  I absolutely love the scent, and it glides on just as smoothly as the Renew balm.


I really wanted to love the Mocha Velvet EcoTint as much as the previous two, but the shade just isn't flattering on me.  It's a deep chocolate that is in itself beautiful, but it was just a little too dark on my yellow-undertoned skin.  I could definitely see this on someone who wanted a dark, dramatic look.  But aside from the color, it's unscented and still felt smooth and moisturizing.  The other shades available are Moonstone, Sugar Plum, and Coralyte.  All of them contain over 90% certified organic ingredients.


The Eco Lips Gold balm is for the lip balm purist.  It's unscented and colorless, and it's fantastic at providing long-lasting moisture.  I think this one is great for year-round use, but especially for the approaching winter months.  I live in a climate that sees lots of snow and harsh winds, so chapped lips can come easily if you aren't prepared.  I would recommend this balm to anyone and everyone; I promise that it's going to last you much longer than the petrolatum-based junk that you might be using currently.

Bottom Line: I love Eco Lips for providing consumers with organic, FTC, and cruelty-free lip balms.  Even if you don't care about any of those things (ah!), I'm certain you'll still love these balms as much as I do because they just flat-out work.  There's nothing better than an organic, natural balm because they don't just sit on top of your lips, their ingredients work to soothe and last.

  • Visit Eco Lips and view their full line of products, including balms made from Honest Kids flavors!
  • Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter

Well after reading all of that, would you like a chance to win a prize pack of Eco Lips balms?  Their awesome team was kind enough to provide eight of them for one of my readers to win!  Enter using the Rafflecopter form after the cut.
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