My Summer Festival Beauty Essentials – Part 1

Going to Coachella Music and Arts Festival for the first time was the most an unforgettable experience for me. Aside from the amazing music,  I got really inspired to write again, and can not wait to share my experience with my readers.

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If you are looking to have a great time at a summer festival, you need to be prepared to protect yourself from the blazing sun, dust and germs. Trust me, it won’t be as much fun if you can’t stop coughing, get severely sun burned, or catch a stomach bug. Here are a few items that were great to have in my purse at all times:

1. Respirator Dust Mask and/or Bandana

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No one tells Coachella “newbies” that they’ll have to walk for about a mile from the shuttle stop or parking on a very dusty road. On my first day of the festival I was trying to be all cool, and I honestly regretted it later. Dust mask is a must from walking from/to the shuttle. Bandana or a light scarf will is a more fashionable dust solution. I was wearing a bandana later at night when the wind picked up to prevent the dust and dry grass particles from blowing in my face. One more thing: everything and anything smoked everywhere you go, so bandana comes very handy if you are sensitive to the second hand smoke.

2.  Sunscreen

I have talked about the importance of using mineral sunscreen in my previous posts. When you are on a festival field in the day time you have to re-apply your sun protection every few hours, which is not always easy when you are wearing make up.

I chose a brush-on mineral sunscreen in powder form for my face and neck, which is very easy to re-apply. Peter Thomas Roth makes 2 versions: Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30  (is more translucent) and Anti Aging Instant Mineral SPF 45 (has a bronzing tint to it, perfect for people who are more tan).

Brush on sunscreens blend in great with any make up, can go over your powder or foundation, or can be applied to the bare face. You don’t even need to wash your hands or to look for a mirror to dab the brush all over your face it on every couple of hours. Very convenient and effective for face, neck, and decolletage areas. $24-$27 on Amazon, totally worth every penny!

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Sunology Natural Body Sunscreen SPF50 kept me protected from the sun. 2oz tube fit perfectly in my purse without taking up too much space. $14.99 on Amazon, I highly recommend!

For my lip sun shield I was using Supergoop Mint Fusion Lip Balm SPF30  for the first time. I am a big fan now! $8 on Amazon, great stuff!

3. Hydration Mist Spray

No, it will not dissolve your sunscreen or make your make up run. It will give your thirsty skin the refreshment and the “dewey” glow. I love using Jane Iredale D20 Hydration Spray ($27).  You can use any other more affordable brands, or even the rose water. Just make sure it’s organic and fits in your purse!

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As usual, this blog post is getting way too long, so I’ll have to split it in 2 posts and cover more products next week. Stay tuned and be sure to follow!

Goddess Garden Organic Sunscreen


It’s been a couple weeks since my last post, and a few readers asked me to recommend some good mineral sunscreen products. Today’s post was going to be dedicated ‘Top 5 Organic Sunscreen Brands’, but I got a bit carried away writing about the very first one. So here it is: Goddess Garden Organics.

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I learned about the brand last year, when attending the NACDS convention in Las Vegas, the biggest drug store trade show in the US. It’s a common thing on the last day of the show to give away free products and samples. I walked by the Goddess Garden Organics booth, asking for free samples, and the exhibitor was nice enough to give me a whole bunch of full size products to try, and spread the word about the brand. We talked for a while, and I learned for the first time about the importance of choosing mineral sunscreens, as opposed to chemical-based ones. I also found out a few things about the company’s history.

Goddess Garden Organics was founded in 2004 by a Mom and entrepreneur Nora Covington. Nora was looking for safe sunscreen solutions for her children after they showed signs of allergies to most mainstream sunscreen brands. All of Goddess Garden products are certified organic, biodegradable, reef-safe, cruelty free, non-GMO and non-nano. I’ve always been a supporter of small businesses and self-made companies. Kudos to #GirlBoss Nora. I wish you and your company continuous success!

Here are my personal favorites from the Goddess Garden Organics line:

1. Natural Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF30 – It’s the latest innovation and the only one of its kind on the market. Being a spray-on sunscreen lover myself, I was so excited to finally find a mineral one! I was happy to see that it comes scented or unscented, because the signature scent of a essential oils blend may be a bit too strong for men. I order mine on Amazon for $14.85, and it ships free with Prime membership.

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2. Natural Daily Lotion Lavender Mint SPF15 – I use this product in the morning after I shower as an everyday body moisturizer. SPF15 gives me a great protection for my daily errands around sunny Los Angeles. Lavender / Mint scent is my favorite. It is also available in Tangerine / Lavender and Grapefruit / Bergamot scents. $18.99 on Amazon.



3. Natural Sunscreen SPF30 – Great product for the entire family. Go$13.95 on Amazon. Top rated an EWG best sunscreen pick in 2013 for it’s superior effectiveness and non-toxic formula.

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While reading up some more on Goddess Garden products, I came across a few negative reviews. People were not happy about the thickness, that you really need to rub it in, and that it leaves a slight white residue. Welcome to the world of mineral sunscreens! Every mineral sunscreen brand will actually be that way. Natural sunscreen tends to be a bit more white, and a bit more thick. It leaves your skin a bit shiny, but not greasy. It just needs a little rubbing in. In comparison to other sunscreen brands, Goddess Garden Organics goes on a lot more smoothly and barely leaves any white residue.

Goddess Garden also has specific Baby and Kid’s products in their line. Here is a link to their website:

I want to wish everyone a great rest of the summer. Be safe under the sun, choose organic sunscreen!

Photo credit: Chaz Photographics


Is Your Suncreen Safe?

The summer is here, and I cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a sunscreen. Your skin is your largest organ and deserves the best products to shield it from the sun’s rays. There are so many SPF products on the market nowadays, and it’s so easy to get lost. In this post I want to share some information about choosing the best SPF products, that can actually protect your skin, instead of causing harm.


There’ve been many discussions lately about chemical and mineral sunscreens. There is a big difference in how they work. Chemical-based sunscreen acts as a sponge, absorbing into the skin, where it converts UV rays into a less damaging form of radiation. Mineral sunblock acts as a shield, sitting on top of the skin. It blocks and deflects sun rays, just like a mirror. Natural sunscreens protect skin just as well (or better) than conventional sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens’ active ingredients are Titanium Dioxide & Zink Oxide. Both are non-toxic, ground-up minerals. Here are a some ingredients that are very common in chemical sunscreens: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, and Homosalate.

Many of above listed chemicals can trigger allergic reactions, especially in children. Oxybenzone has been shown to be a hormone disruptor, leading to early puberty and premature breast development in girls,  infertility, breast and ovarian cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.

The latest studies have also shown that instead of protecting you from the harmful UV rays, some chemical-based sunscreens have actually contributed to the risk of skin cancers. How is that even possible? Many sunscreens contain anti-inflammatory chemicals that can prevent skin from looking burned in the absence of painful sunburn. Sunscreen users can falsely assume they were fully shielded from the harmful effects of UVB rays, when in fact they essentially were duped by a chemical trick.

While we are still learning about long-term consequences of the chemicals in sunscreen products, it’s better to be safe than sorry. We have to educate our friends and family to make sure they are using “safe” sunscreen brands. I sure would not want to use anything containing Oxybenzone on my child’s skin.

It is not hard to find a safe sunscreen product. You can look up virtually every brand of sunblock at Skin Deep product data base of Environmental Working Group at   The ones that have 0-2 rating are safe to use. They also provide a list of 748 EWG approved sunscreen products : And in today’s day and age you can get the product of your choice delivered to your door in no time.

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If you are on the way to the beach or on a vacation and have to get your sunblock from a drugstore, here are a few tips on how to choose a safe sunscreen:

  • Look for mineral based sunscreens with Titanium Dioxide and Zink Oxide as main ingredients
  • Look for a Broad Spectrum product, that protects from both UVA and UVB rays
  • Make sure it doesn’t contain vitamin A. Vitamin A increases photosensitivity in the skin, breaks down in sunlight, and forms free radicals
  • Choose non-nano products , that don’t have micro particles that absorb by the skin
  • Lotion based sunscreen products work best

If after reading all of the above you are still not convinced and ready to drench your child in Coppertone, here is another piece of information to consider. Many pharmaceutical companies in the US also own and manufacture mainstream sunscreen brands. For instance, Merck owns Coppertone, Sun Pharmaceuticals owns Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic. These companies also sell cancer drugs…  Some people may consider that a co-incidence, so feel free to come to your own conclusions on this matter.

I know that I only touched the tip of the iceberg  in this post, and there are so many more sunscreen facts to talk about. In the next post I will feature my Top 5 favorite Sunscreen Products. Stay tuned!


Photo credits: James Ellis, Nadia Pandolfo