Upon the semi-official end of the hottest summer on record, it's time to start thinking about transitioning to a less steamy, but just as sexy season. Sometimes when you put on clothes, it makes what's underneath even more alluring. That's one of the reasons I'm so excited about the upcoming Green Shows, a gorgeous eco-fashion showcase between September 12th and 14th.
It's a tricky time, while we're still wearing flip-flops and sundresses and dodging hurricanes, but thinking about boots, jackets, potential Halloween costumes, and trading in iced coffee for hot java. I have to admit that I am obsessed with that back-to-school feeling; the smell of sharpened pencils gets me high.
Luckily, I've been turned on to some amazing green products to ease my skin, hair, and body into the cooler season. Year after year, I'm shocked by how quickly my summer tan fades. I was first introduced to argan oil last summer, while I was researching Eco-Sex. It's quite the "it" oil now, but don't ignore it just because it's popular. I totally vouch for it's miraculous properties. Argan comes from the kernels of the argan tree, indigenous to Morocco; the Berber people have used it for centuries. It can be used anywhere on the body, and works as a light moisturizer (a few drops will do ya) in summer, and mixes perfectly with lotions when the air gets drier in the late fall. It's also beautiful for the decollete, under the eyes (for fine lines) and can be used as a hair oil. And I've found nothing better for a fading tan; it keeps everything oh-so-supple. That's just one of the reasons it's one of my fave green products; it's amazingly multi-purpose. The best brands are fair-trade and made by women's cooperatives in Morocco. Argan Oil Tree is one such brand -- their basic oil is perfect. Note that argan has a distinct smell -- I don't mind it, but it's not necessarily pleasant for all.
If you want something a bit fancier and high-end, but still ethical to the last drop, try some of the fabulous products from Kahina Giving Beauty. Although they don't have official Fair Trade status, they donate 25% of their profits to women's initiatives and their packaging is made from recycled materials. I dig their amber glass bottles, both because they're not made from toxic plastic and because they protect the precious product inside. My current fave is their delicious, delightful eye cream. It's taken me all through the summer and I'm sure it'll be rich enough for the winter months as well. I'm very excited to start using their 99.4 % organic serum again as the weather cools -- it's got an extra kick of deep moisture from sea buckthorn and carrot seed oil.
Next, don't forget to protect your skin from the sun's rays, even though you're not in a bikini on the beach. All summer I've been slathering Luzern Laboratories brilliant broad spectrum, mineral-based La Defense sun block all over my face and body. It's so hard to find products that protect from the sun without awful, harsh chemicals. This stuff is the best I've found for using on its own or under makeup. It's free of synthetics, anti-inflammatory, and has no cakey feel or tell-tale white powder glaze. Luzern is a super pure line that uses a lot of organics in their products. It gets the Eco-Sex seal of approval.
Glowing & Showing the Wonder of Your Hair
In September and October, you're back from the beach and socializing full tilt. Bouncy, shiny hair is a nice plus, but we're often grossly dried out and strawified at summer's end. I am an eco prodcuct-whore, I admit it, but I realize that DIY is greener and always more fun than shopping. We have to wean ourselves off the idea that we can buy beauty, but it's nice to have some tools in our toolbox, isn't it? Try this awesome deep-moisturizing DIY hair mask to get your hair back on track.
(Organic is always best)
One mashed avocado
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix together in a blender, stand over the sink, and apply to clean, dry hair. Make sure all strands are coated. Leave on for 20 minutes, covering in a towel (this gets very messy, be prepared). Wash out very, very carefully, lest you find bits of avocado in your hair a few days later.
Glimmer & Shimmer
Fall is perfect for honing your flirting skills without putting it all out there. If you want to keep a bit of summer bronze in your back pocket, try anything from The All-Nighter line of products. I've been loving their All Over Shimmer Powder this summer. Excellent for bare shoulders and the collar bone on night's out. It's also a lovely highlighter for the face (cheekbones) and even the hair. Speaking of hair, the other product I'm starstruck by is the hair powder (the original All-Nighter). This stuff is amazing for building volume and keeping your hair looking super fresh after you've gone a few days without washing. It seems to last forever. This is one product that's kind of hard to make yourself; paraben-free and made from pure rice and tapioca starches, it's a guilt-free buy. You will likely be an addict, as I am.
Like I say in Eco-Sex, you've got to want to save the world as much as you want to get laid. If you green your routine, you'll save two birds with one stone.