Friday Reading Check In


This week I read two great books that were hugely entertaining. What would we do without the escape of a good book?

Let’s jump right in!

First up is Amy Poehler’s memoir/essay collection/sort of biography,  Yes Please.  I was hooked from page 1 where I realized that I really could be friends with Amy in real life. I think everyone feels that way about her! She’s super funny which we all know but also honest and compassionate and real.

Amy writes about growing up on the outskirts of Boston, how she got her start in comedy and performing, her happy times, sad times and regrets too. She talks a little about her marriage and divorce, and about her two sons. I loved reading about her time at Saturday Night Live and her improv days in Chicago.

If you loved Tina Fey’s  book and Mindy Kaling’s too, add this one to your library!



I switched genres and moved into The Memory Of Violets by Hazel Gaynor. This novel isn’t available until Feb. 2015 so pre-order  now. 

As much as I read, and its A LOT, I had never heard of London’s flower sellers aside from Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. I found the story of these children fascinating, I love a great slice of history that is woven into a captivating story.

Here’s the synopsis: 

1876. Among the filth and depravity of Covent Garden’s flower markets, orphaned Irish sisters Flora and Rosie Flynn sell posies of violets and watercress to survive. It is a pitiful existence, made bearable only by the presence of each other. When they become separated, the decision of a desperate woman sets their lives on very different paths.

1912. Twenty-one-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s orphaned and crippled flower girls, taking them off the streets. For Tilly, the appointment is a fresh start; a chance to leave her troubled past behind.

Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a notebook belonging to Flora Flynn. Hidden between the pages she finds dried flowers and a heartbreaking tale of loss and separation as Flora’s entries reveal how she never stopped looking for her sister.  Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.

I liked the book from the beginning but once I got deeper into the book, I really couldn’t put it down and was anxious to read more when my schedule allowed.

I highly recommend this novel, especially if you enjoy history. To learn more of the flower sellers, go here. And to pre-order go here! 


Clean Beauty from SANTE & Logona



In your quest for green beauty, have you tried SANTE? The parent company, Logona  comes to us from Europe and dates back to the 1970’s.  I love this:

“Our products utilize the highest quality, natural raw materials, such as: premium botanical oils, herbal extracts and essential oils derived from organic agriculture and wild-crafting.”

I am completely in love with the clean, green products I tried from SANTE and Logona.  Why use any toxic products when there are so many lovely clean ones ?

SANTE offers many items but I particularly loved the smooth lip pencils and  creamy lipstick. I use the lipstick often, its perfect in every way being both smooth and long lasting with excellent pigmentation.

The Volume Sensation mascara gives fabulous, buildable volume thanks to a plush brush. I tried the powdered rouge too- this has a  silky texture and goes on well using a large brush.

Eyes get the royal treatment with eye shadows containing ingredients like jojoba oil and essential oils. The eyeliners offer the pencil on one side, a spongy tip on the other for smudging. Start off any eye look with the Eye shadow  base, which help keep eye shadow in place all day. Its a neutral color that you can wear alone, or add color.

One of my favorites was an eyebrow pencil from SANTE, it has a brush on one end and the pencil on the other to really smooth and shape the brows.

I don’t leave home with a dab of powder all over my face, the SANTE compact uses very finely milled pigments and lightly mattifies oily skin.

I want to mention the sleek packaging- the rouge, compact, eye shadows are housed in a kind of frosted glass that is simple but glamorous.

Check out more SANTE goodness by going here.


Now I want to switch gears and talk about Logona which was first introduced years before SANTE.

Logona’s Rouge Duo is smooth and silky, nicely pigmented and easy to build the color depending on how flushed you want your cheeks. The Eye shadow Trio has a similar consistency, easy to blend and long wearing with great pigmentation. The Double Eyeliner Pencil offers two colors- use both at once, layer them up, use them separately, whatever you want to do! I like the colors and the fact you can gently smudge them to get more of a smokey look.

I loved the lip pencils- I had all but given up on trying to find a great lip pencil that was long lasting and smooth. Previously I had  been using a high end, popular lip pencil from a brand that is less than clean, in fact- I am embarrassed to admit how this was my go-to pencil before discovering Logona.

Another terrific product is the Tinted Day Cream Bio Rose and Aloe.  Made with mineral pigments and organic botanicals, this adds color and treats skin by nourishing it thanks to almond oil, jojoba, damascus rose, aloe and pomegranate. If your goal is to add just a bit of natural color while nourishing the skin, this is for you.

I love a good liquid liner provided I have the time to slowly apply it properly…and Logona offers a nice one that doesn’t bother my sensitive eyes. It takes a little time to get the application down, take your time and don’t rush it! See more by going to Logona’s site here.

I highly recommend you check out SANTE and Logona, I am all about clean beauty products, especially color cosmetics! And both brands offer much, much more than what I wrote about here so be sure to take the time to go through both sites and peruse the various products. You are sure to find something you like!





My Top Facial Cleansing Cloths



The easiest way to remove makeup quickly is to use these nifty wipes! I used to use a really effective cream cleanser to remove all traces of mascara and makeup however, since going green I have had to find new ways to quickly get stubborn mascara off my lashes and take off all traces of face makeup.

I’ve used all of these wipes and have had great success in makeup removal very quickly. I always wash my face with water, a wash cloth or a Clarisonic to remove any left over foundation but for a one-step face cleansing, these can’t be beat. I always pack a bunch when I go on vacation! I’ve also cleaned brushes with makeup wipes.

Here are my top picks:

1.  Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover Wipes with Cornflower Water

Fragrance free, paraben free and great for sensitive eyes, the Klorane wipes are extremely effective. They don’t leave a greasy residue, won’t burn eyes and will gently remove makeup (although waterproof mascara doesn’t come off quickly with these). I wish Klorane was greener and cleaner because with a little tweaking on the ingredients, these could be a pure standout. These were among the first makeup wipes that caught my eye and turned me on to using them for travel which is so much easier than toting my various cleansing creams and potions with me!

2. NatraCare Wipes

This brand  uses only organic and natural ingredients.  These use organic essential oils of almond, apricot and chamomile, are very gentle and have received the COSMOS organic standard, a  high seal of approval.

These removed all traces of makeup including a stubborn lipstick! If environmental concerns and the purity of ingredients are your  main issues, then give these a whirl.

3. Acure Organic Cleansing Towelettes

At only $6.99 these are a real bargain for 30 wipes! I love them. Easy to find, affordable and gentle- these are my top pick for the best wipes your money can buy! Feels  nice on the skin, leaves face clean and soft.

4. YES to…Cucumber and 5. YES to…Coconut

I like both of these- YES To Coconut and YES To Cucumber. They are both Cruelty Free, Petroleum, SLS, & Paraben Free as natural brands should be, right?

I personally love the scent of coconut but if that’s not your style, the soothing Cucumber wipes smell fresh and clean. I’ve used and liked  both of these and found them to be gentle and effective. If your skin tends to be sensitive, I might steer you towards the Yes to Cucumber wipes because they seem a tad more gentle.

5. Pacifica

These are easy to find- Target has them!-and affordable, $6 for 30 wipes. These Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes are quite clean and formulated without the toxic chemicals you don’t want near your skin.

I like these a lot. Made with coconut water, aloe, papaya fruit extract, they do a great job of removing makeup- even waterproof mascara. These left my skin clean and soft,  refreshed!




Wellness Wednesday: Shocking! Popular shampoo brands that contain cancer causing chemicals



I was pretty surprised to see so many popular brands on this list of cancer causing chemicals found in shampoo. Its not cheap shampoos either, there are some high end products that I have tried myself over the years.

The chemical that is a possible carcinogen is called cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA) and its very common. If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s the official 411:

*Cocamide DEA is a chemically modified form of coconut oil that is used as a thickener or foaming agent in shampoo. The state of California has outlawed its use, because it may be carcinogenic to humans.

Between worrying about chemicals in personal care products and GMO’s in our food, I feel scared to do or eat anything!

Its very important to do your research and buy reputable brands that contain only the purest of ingredients. You can always go to the EWG’s Skin Deep website to check out the toxicity of products before you buy them.








Three Things for Tuesday



Today I present to you my favorite things as of today. These may or not be beauty related…they change weekly.

Here’s what I am loving right now!



Mediterranean Paleo Cooking: Over 150 Fresh Coastal Recipes for a Relaxed, Gluten-Free Lifestyle

I am so excited to recommend this beautiful cookbook to you! I love paging through the inspiring photos and tasty food.  Even if you don’t follow a Paleo way of eating, you will gain knowledge about cooking in the Mediterranean style.

The husband and wife Nabil Boumrar and Caitlin Weeks, with Dianne Sanfilippo have done a fantastic job of creating meals that suit various health needs. I never imagined that I’d find a cook book that address both a grain free way of life combined with my FODMAP diet which is very very difficult!  There are also notes if recipes contain nuts, eggs, autoimmune protocol friendly, Specific Carbohydrate Diet/GAPS etc.

The photography is incredible, the recipes…well, let’s just say you won’t ever miss grains, and the information is unparalleled. I am completely impressed with this book and want to recommend it to everyone.


Ghee! If you haven’t been cooking with ghee, you are missing out. Ghee is clarified butter with milk lactose removed.  It is hight in butyric acid which is helpful for healing the gut. I love ghee  because it can sit on the shelf for up to a  year without going rancid.

It has a high smoke point which makes it perfect to cook with- I often sautee things using ghee.  Its also vitamin rich and as I mentioned, its good for the digestive system.

I use it on toast, scramble eggs in it, sautee vegetables…it’s delicious! I order mine from

winter skin balm bar

A favorite brand of mine is Celtic Complexion, have you tried it? There are so many swoon-worthy products to check out!

Hand blended, using top quality natural ingredients, this brand was put on my radar several months ago.  I wear the Celtic Complexion sunscreen all the time. I love the cleansers, serums…and now the Winter Skin Balm Bar. 

This nifty product is ideal for chapped lips, dry skin, and as a general moisturizer. The size and shape of the tube easily coats places like heels, elbows and knees.  The light scent of lemon is soothing.

My favorite way to  utilize this stellar product is to keep it by my bed at night and apply to hands, focusing on any cuticles then swiping a little across my lips to keep them hydrated.

Check out the ingredients: Shea butter, jojoba oil, raw organic coconut oil, squalane oil (from vegetarian sources), borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, apricot kernel oil, backhousia citriodora.

Find more here! And on November 24, there’s a BUY ONE, GET ONE free sale! What? YES. Don’t miss it!

By Hello Dollface