Flowerevolution with Lotus Wei's Katie Hess

Photo courtesy of Lotus Wei. The featured book: FLOWEREVOLUTION: Blooming Into Your Full Potential With the Magic of Flowers.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Wei. The featured book: FLOWEREVOLUTION: Blooming Into Your Full Potential With the Magic of Flowers.


Photo courtesy of Lotus Wei.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Wei.

BAMBOO
Activate: Unwavering determination.
Message: Make the impossible possible.
Bamboo is a fast-growing tree-like ‘grass’, with some species growing 2-3 feet per day! Bamboo is used in Asia for building materials, because it is as strong as steel. If you’re drawn to Bamboo, you may be planning a big project or about to engage in something that challenges you. Bamboo elixir magnifies strength, determination and power. It also enhances focus, clarity and awareness, so you can accomplish what you set out to do. It dissolves fears and non-constructive enmeshment with others. It strengthens the “I can do it” attitude and helps you make the impossible possible.


When the Lotus Wei team came to me a few months ago and asked if I wanted to take part in a flower adventure blog circle to help promote the launch of Katie Hess' new FLOWEREVOLUTION book, I enthusiastically said yes. I was already a huge fan of Lotus Wei's Aura Mists and I loved the spirit of the Lotus Wei brand.

I chose Bamboo as my "flower," because its flower meaning resonated with me strongly when I read it. When I started to test out the Bamboo Flower Elixir, I was applying to graduate school and I was dealing with anxiety and hesitation about my career path. Would going back to school help me obtain my dream career? Would it be worth it? These questions were constantly swirling around in my head and I didn't have an answer to them until I decided to just go for it. And I'm really glad I took the plunge to go back to school because it's already rewarding to learn and be surrounded by my peers in the field. The Bamboo Flower Elixir guided me and infused me with the feeling that I really can "do it" and make things possible.

I made taking my Bamboo Flower Elixir a slow ritual and my favorite way to take it was in water. The Bamboo Flower Elixir had a slightly sweet, fresh taste and just a few drops made the water I was drinking everyday a little more interesting. The best part of the Flower Elixir magic is that it helped me to be strong, determined - just like bamboo itself.

I'm thrilled for the FLOWEREVOLUTION book and I think it'll be just as inspiring and transformative as the Bamboo Flower Elixir that I experienced.


Jump into the next blog in the flower circle here: Pure Up, Buttercup.

SNEAK PEEK: lotuswei.com/sneakpeek. Click on the link to see a sneak peek of first 2 chapters of the Flowerevolution book, 10 *special message* flower wallpapers + free download of *Magic Flowers* App by Louie Schwartzberg.

Meow Meow Tweet : Deodorant Stick in Lemon Eucalyptus

The Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick in Lemon Eucalyptus is housed in a biodegradable paper tube. The Deodorant Stick pictured here is the 1 oz. size and retails for $10. Meow Meow Tweet has kindly given me the product featured in this review. Note: this is an older version of the mini Deodorant Stick. Meow Meow Tweet has redesigned it to be shorter, wider in diameter, and easier to apply.

The Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick in Lemon Eucalyptus is housed in a biodegradable paper tube. The Deodorant Stick pictured here is the 1 oz. size and retails for $10. Meow Meow Tweet has kindly given me the product featured in this review. Note: this is an older version of the mini Deodorant Stick. Meow Meow Tweet has redesigned it to be shorter, wider in diameter, and easier to apply.


Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick in Lemon Eucalyptus Ingredients:

*helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) root powder, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, magnesium hydroxide, *butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, *theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, sodium bicarbonate, *rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, *eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) leaf oil, *eugenia caryophyllus (clove) flower oil. 

(*certified organic ingredient)


Meow Meow Tweet's Deodorant Stick evokes both the new and old in its form and unique design. It reminds me of those neon orange, ice cream push-pops I used to eat in the summer when I was a kid. But, this deodorant is very much a new thing and I was really excited when I heard Meow Meow Tweet was coming out with a deodorant in an easy-to-use stick form.

I have been using the Deodorant Stick for months now. Although I loved it initially, I had some conflicting thoughts about it as I was close to finishing my first tube.

First of all, the effectiveness of this deodorant is just as great as Meow Meow Tweet's other deodorants like the baking-soda free deodorant. I tested the Deodorant Stick on swampy and gross 90-degree New York City weather (on subway rush hours, no less!) and I still smelled good at the end of my day. The Lemon Eucalyptus scent is amazing - the hint of spice from the clove oil blends really well with the brightness of the lemon and eucalyptus oil. Overall, the Lemon Eucalyptus is the perfect clean, fresh, and hint of spice scent that would work well on all sexes.

There is a hint of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in the Deodorant Stick formula but I didn't notice any signs of irritation on my underarms. No matter how hot or gross my day was, the Deodorant Stick made me smell amazing.

MMTDeoStick2.jpg

However, I have two issues with the Deodorant Stick and they were almost deal breakers for me when I was confronted with the choice of buying another stick or just going back to the deodorant cream formula. The first issue is that the small 1 oz. size tube is fairly hard to use. The cardboard bottom of the Deodorant Stick is very stiff and it takes a bit of muscle to push up the deodorant. There was one memorable morning when I couldn't push up the deodorant so I picked up one of my bamboo knitting needles to do it. Even with the knitting needle, I had a hard time getting the deodorant out of the tube. Further more, I had the Deodorant Stick snap on me twice because I pushed it up too much and I had to gather up chunks of broken up deodorant. Ironically, I placed these broken chunks of deodorant in a jar to use with my fingers.

The second thing, the formula isn't as creamy as I would like it to be. I fully understand that Meow Meow Tweet had to tweak their deodorant formula for it to work in stick form, but the Deodorant Stick formula is a little disappointing. Looking at the Deodorant Stick ingredient list, it shares most of the ingredients with the deodorant cream but it's clearly missing the coconut oil that the cream formula has. The instructions on the packaging says to warm up the tube to make the deodorant to come out easier but that didn't work for me. I had to warm up the Deodorant Stick on my pits or on my hands to get it creamy enough for application. And even when I took the time to warm it up, the deodorant would drag on my underarm skin and pill up. It ended up being a chore getting the Deodorant Stick to apply on my underarms - and this was something I couldn't put up with in my morning routine. Texture often plays a huge part in deodorant performance and I can't help but think that the deodorant would break less if it was more creamy.

With the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant cream, the cream warmed up perfectly on a finger and this was something I couldn't do with my Deodorant Stick. I had really high hopes for the Deodorant Stick but I think my excellent experience with the deodorant cream formula meant that I would always hold the Deodorant Stick to much stricter standards. Also, there are really great deodorant stick formulas out there right now without this problem (though most of them are in plastic tubes). I'm open to trying the larger 4.5 oz size in the future because Meow Meow Tweet has said those are easier to push up. I also wonder if the increased surface area of the larger size would mean it's easier to warm up as well.


Meow Meow Tweet has a real knack for creating deodorant formulas that smell amazing, work effectively, and also doesn't irritate skin. Although the packaging is tricky to master and the formula could be creamier, the new Deodorant Stick proves that Meow Meow Tweet is still really good at making people smell good. The Deodorant Stick didn't make me a huge fan however, and the cream formula is much better in my opinion.


You can purchase Meow Meow Tweet's Deodorant Stick directly from the Meow Meow Tweet website.

*Products featured in this post have been received for review consideration. Please see my Disclaimer Policy for more information.

Agent Nateur N°3 Deodorant h o l i ( s t i c k )


Agent Nateur N°3 Deodorant h o l i ( s t i c k ) is housed in a white plastic tube that can be twisted. The 1.7 oz size (pictured here) retails for $19. Aurora Beauty has kindly provided me the deodorant in this review.

Agent Nateur N°3 Deodorant h o l i ( s t i c k ) is housed in a white plastic tube that can be twisted. The 1.7 oz size (pictured here) retails for $19. Aurora Beauty has kindly provided me the deodorant in this review.

Agent Nateur Deodorant Ingredients: Organic coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, beeswax, sunflower butter, avocado butter, castor oil, raw organic honey, lavender essential oil, hydrogen peroxide, eucalyptus oil.


With the variety and abundance of natural deodorants available to purchase, I think it's safe to say we are truly living in a golden age of natural deodorants right now. Whether you love the ease of a stick deodorant, or completely okay with using your fingers to apply a cream deodorant, finding the right natural deodorant for your body needs is easier than ever.

I have been using the Agent Nateur deodorant for months now and I love that I can go back to using a natural stick deodorant - especially one that looks as gorgeous as the Agent Nateur deodorant. The deodorant is clear-colored in the tube and smells very clean and refreshing from the lavender essential oil and eucalyptus oil. It's a fantastic unisex scent that isn't overpowering.

What I really enjoy about the Agent Nateur deodorant is the ease of application. Getting ready in the morning for work is so much easier when I can directly swipe the deodorant onto my underarms. I don't have to dig out dollops of cream deodorant with my fingers, wait for it to soften, and then apply. The ease of applying the Agent Nateur deodorant is primarily due to the ingredients that make up its formula. The combination of coconut oil, sunflower butter, avocado butter makes up the base of the deodorant and is very moisturizing. Because of these intensely nourishing ingredients, even in the colder months, the deodorant glides onto underarm skin easily.

Another huge plus, is that even though Agent Nateur contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), I experienced no irritation on my underarms. I am mildly sensitive to baking soda so it was a pleasant surprise that the Agent Nateur worked well with my skin and body chemistry. Those with sensitive skin should sample the Agent Nateur deodorant to see if their skin can handle the baking soda in it or not.

Let's talk about effectiveness, which is the most important thing when considering deodorants. The only reason I haven't been shouting from the social media rooftops about the wonders of Agent Nateur, is that some of my natural body odor peeks through towards the end of my day. I don't smell bad, but I definitely do not smell as fresh as I would like. This isn't necessarily bad, but if I'm going to yoga or out with friends after work, I need my deodorant to last. In comparison, my favorite baking soda free deodorant cream can keep me smelling fresh from morning to midnight without the need to reapply in the middle of the day.

I fully understand that deodorant formulas are a tricky thing to nail down. When formulating a deodorant, there needs to be the right amount of ingredients to control moisture and bacteria without causing sensitivity on skin. The Agent Nateur deodorant is very mild and so I wonder if there is enough baking soda in it to inhibit odor-causing bacteria. 

In conclusion, the Agent Nateur deodorant is a good and gentle everyday deodorant with just one downside. The deodorant's mildness might be suitable for those with sensitive skin but it might not fit the needs of people with active lifestyles. I would repurchase Agent Nateur again just to have a nifty stick deodorant to use on days when strong odor prevention isn't my number one priority. But I would still have a baking soda free deodorant cream in my stash for when I need smell fresh from morning to night.

I really hope Agent Nateur formulates a stronger deodorant one day. Everything else about the deodorant, from the creamy texture and the refreshing scent is excellent. It just needs to be a little more effective in keeping me smelling fresh.


Agent Nateur can be purchased directly from the Agent Nateur website or at Aurora Beauty, an online boutique curated with a fantastic selection of artisanal and luxury natural beauty brands.

Conscious Alternatives : Harlow Skin Co. Daydream Body Whip and Wild Heart Body Butter

Harlow Skin Co. Daydream Body Whip is housed in a dark amber 3.5 oz glass jar with a plastic lid. The Daydream Body Whip retails for $28 CAD. Harlow Skin. Co has kindly sent me their Daydream Body Whip and Wild Heart Body Butter for review purposes.

Harlow Skin Co. Daydream Body Whip is housed in a dark amber 3.5 oz glass jar with a plastic lid. The Daydream Body Whip retails for $28 CAD. Harlow Skin. Co has kindly sent me their Daydream Body Whip and Wild Heart Body Butter for review purposes.

Daydream Body Whip Ingredients: 100% crude Shea butter (Ghana), organic/cold pressed coconut oil, avocado oil, organic macadamia nut oil, non-gmo soy butter, blood orange*, bergamot*, French lavender* *essential oil


The most exciting thing about immersing yourself in natural beauty, is realizing that it's really not that hard to find alternatives to conventional products. Better yet, there are alternatives out there that are so uniquely well-made, they are impressive in their own right. That's why I am so excited to introduce a special brand like Harlow Skin Co. here. I love Harlow Skin Co.'s philosophy of surrounding one's self with products that are both stunningly designed and are filled with the best plant-based ingredients available.

Based in Vancouver, BC, Harlow Skin has a well-edited line of face and body products infused simply with botanical extracts and also gorgeous soy wax candles. Everything about Harlow Skin products is thoughtfully conscious - from the minimalist but pure list of ingredients to the glass jars that houses the products.

The Daydream Body Whip has one of the best textures I have ever experienced in a body moisturizer. The Whip is incredibly creamy but it also manages to be lightweight - that seems like a paradox but the Daydream Body Whip really pulls it off. I don't have to dig into my jar of Body Whip with effort, it comes away so light and creamy. The excellent texture is due to an intelligent combination of moisturizing oils and butters. Shea butter is one of the best ingredients to use in moisturizers because it's rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A and E, and emollient enough to moisturize even the driest of skins. Harlow Skin uses crude, unrefined shea butter in their Body Whips and Body Butters. In addition, the Body Whip has organic and cold-pressed coconut oil, avocado oil, and macadamia nut oils in it. And although the texture of the Daydream Body Whip is very light, it's still full of rich ingredients so a small dab goes a long way.

True to its name, the Daydream Body Whip smells dreamy and calming. The combination of warm lavender, bright blood orange and bergamot essential oils gives the Body Whip an extremely soothing aroma. Along with high-quality ingredients, scent plays a huge part in the Harlow Skin's self-care philosophy and every product I have tried from them shows that. The scents are light-handed, never cloying, and boy - do they smell incredible. 

As for effectiveness, I reach for Daydream Body Whip nearly every day and it's absolutely wonderful at treating the dry skin on my hands and body. I work with books and that means I am constantly washing my hands with the harsh soaps provided at work. The soaps are so drying that the skin between my fingers is starting to flake and crack. So to combat that, I bring the Daydream Body Whip with me to work and I apply it right on the flaky, irritated skin. The nourishing and fast-absorbing oils in the Daydream Body Whip quickly soothes my irritated skin and I don't have to wait too long to return to work.


Harlow Skin Co. Wild Heart Body Butter is housed in a dark amber 3.5 oz glass jar with a plastic lid. The Wild Heart Body Butter retails for $28 CAD.

Harlow Skin Co. Wild Heart Body Butter is housed in a dark amber 3.5 oz glass jar with a plastic lid. The Wild Heart Body Butter retails for $28 CAD.

Wild Heart Body Butter Ingredients: 100% crude Shea butter (Ghana), organic/cold pressed coconut oil, avocado oil, organic/natural Canadian beeswax, mango butter, aloe butter, jojoba seed oil, geranium*, grapefruit*, jasmine sambac* jasmine grandiflorum*, neroli*, organic lemon peel* *essential oil.


You can tell by the ingredient list alone, that the Wild Heart Body Butter will be a much more rich and intense moisturizer than the Body Whip. Not only does it have shea butter and coconut oil, it also has organic Canadian beeswax, mango butter, aloe butter, and jojoba seed oil to make the Body Butter that much more moisturizing. Mango butter is another great ingredient utilized here because it has a similar composition to shea butter. That stellar combination of beeswax, butters, and oils means more moisture will be retained in your skin.

And due to the nature of the ingredients in it, the texture of the Wild Heart Body Butter is much more solid than the Daydream Body Whip. Wild Heart is thick and almost looks like slightly blended raw shea butter. I find that it's best to use a little bamboo spoon to dig out a little bit of Wild Heart because the Body Butter is quite firm in cold weather. And because of the densely nourishing nature of the Body Butter, I apply Wild Heart as an luxurious after-shower moisturizer on the driest parts of my body like my ankles and elbows. It takes a few minutes for the Body Butter to be absorbed but it's worth the wait for very soft and moisturized skin.

Ah, the scent of the Wild Heart Body Butter! Two types of jasmine oils (sultry jasmine sambac and sweet, elegant jasmine grandiflorum), grapefruit, neroli, and lemon essential oils - makes the Body Butter smell deliciously citrusy and floral. I find the Wild Heart fragrance a little more stronger than the Daydream Body Whip because of the extra essential oils and possibly because of the higher percentage of rich butters. I can really smell the natural fragrance of shea and mango butters in Wild Heart and it's intoxicating even without the essential oils to make it smell good. The fragrance of Wild Heart lingers gently and it's like the best natural perfume I have ever smelled. Throughout the day, I am constantly unscrewing the top of Wild Heart and taking deep sniffs - that's how much I love the scent of it.

Both the Daydream Body Whip and the Wild Heart Body Butter have become my favorite cold-weather skincare staples. The ingredients, scents, and texture of both body moisturizers knock it out of the park for me. I have tried good body butters before but none have made me ridiculously excited to use them every day like these from Harlow Skin Co. These body moisturizers are seriously good skin food.

Left: Daydream Body Whip. Right: Wild Heart Body Butter. Although they look pretty similar in color and appearance, the Daydream Body Whip (on the left side) is much more lighter in texture and easier to swipe out of the jar.

Left: Daydream Body Whip. Right: Wild Heart Body Butter. Although they look pretty similar in color and appearance, the Daydream Body Whip (on the left side) is much more lighter in texture and easier to swipe out of the jar.


From the minimalist whole ingredient blends, unique scents, to the overall stunning design, Harlow Skin Co. is really raising the bar for well-made products. There is thought and consciousness in every bit of Harlow Skin's products and it's truly admirable in the way they advocate a good life filled with few but mighty goods. Less really is more here.


You can purchase Harlow Skin Co. products directly from the Harlow Skin Co. website (based in Canada). 

*Products featured in this post have been received for review consideration. Please see my Disclaimer Policy for more information.

Beauty

The Soapbox: Woodlot's Original Charcoal Soap Bar

Woodlot's Original Charcoal soap bar weighs 5 oz. and comes in a gorgeous and minimalist white paper box. The soap bar retails for $10. Woodlot sent me their Original Charcoal soap for review consideration.*

Woodlot's Original Charcoal soap bar weighs 5 oz. and comes in a gorgeous and minimalist white paper box. The soap bar retails for $10. Woodlot sent me their Original Charcoal soap for review consideration.*


Woodlot Original Charcoal Soap Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Aqua, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Activated Charcoal, Vanilla Planifolia Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Oil, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Oil, Abies Siberica (Fir Needle) Oil, Pinus Sylvestris (Pine) Oil, Eucalyptus Radiata Oil (Eucalyptus Essential Oil).


Gorgeously thoughtful and minimalist from the ingredient list to the white paper packaging, Woodlot's Original Charcoal soap bar is one of my absolute favorite soap bars of all time. Looking at the soap bar's appearance, it makes sense that the Original Charcoal soap bar is a creation from one of the most creative candle makers out there. My minimalism-loving heart just melts at the sight of the clean, solid lines of the rectangular bar and the beautiful Woodlot stamp.

All Woodlot soap bars are traditionally hand-made and Woodlot air-cures their soap bars for 6 weeks in their Vancouver studio. That lengthy cure time means a much more long-lasting bar because a higher percentage of the water will have evaporated from the bar. This is a soap bar that will last and last throughout many showers. I love the feel of a heavy soap bar and the Original Charcoal soap bar's generous 5 ounces feels just amazing in my hands.

Not only is the Original Charcoal soap palm oil-free, it's also full of nourishing ingredients and lightly scented with earthy essential oils. I love that Woodlot decided to make their soap palm oil-free - this shows just how thoughtful they are about the impact of their ingredients and products.

The light and subtle scent of the Original Charcoal soap is based on Woodlot's Original Candle (a beautiful coconut wax-based candle) and I can see why the "Original" scent is a scent that launched an entire company. The woodsy combination of orange, cedarwood, fir, pine, and eucalyptus essential oils is both invigorating and soothing. It's the kind of scent that you want to smell after a long day of work and when you want to relax.

Woodlot formulated the Original Charcoal soap to be gentle enough for facial skin and I love that they did that. Activated bamboo charcoal is known for having detoxifying benefits and this makes the soap particularly great for people with acneic or problematic skin. When I'm in the shower, I lather up the bar and use the silky soap lather all over my body and my face. The nourishing combination of olive, coconut, rich avocado oil, cocoa seed and shea butter means that the soap lather doesn't dry out my facial or body skin. Everything about this soap bar, from the ingredients to the appearance, makes this one of the best soaps I have ever used.


From the thoughtfully-selected ingredients to the appearance, the Original Charcoal soap is a stunning example of soap made well. Woodlot has spent a long time formulating and perfecting their minimalist-ingredient body collection and the hard work is apparent in every aspect of the Original Charcoal soap bar. Just wonderful.


You can purchase the Original Charcoal soap and other Woodlot products directly from the Shop Woodlot website (based in Canada).

*Products featured in this post have been received for review consideration. Please see my Disclaimer Policy for more information.