Mauve Magic: A Colorful Winter Look

Purple Zuii Combo

Create this colorful winter look using Zuii Organics certified organic makeup.  Products shown: Zuii Raspberry Organic Flora Eyeshadow ($27.50); Zuii Organic Maple Lip Tint ($29.95); Zuii Organic Granite Mascara ($27.50); Zuii Grape Flora Eyeshadow ($27.50); Zuii Organic Cashmere Lipstick ($26.95).


Natural and Organic Baby Care Products For Winter

New Research Exposes Hidden Risks

New Research on BPA Exposes Hidden Risks

Recently, there’s been some research suggesting that many common chemicals cause more harm than we know, and create damage that may be passed on generation to generation—causing harm not just to ourselves, but our children and beyond.  See more

Dr. Alkaitis Products: New Year, New Look

Some of you may have already noticed that we’ve been offering Dr. Alkaitis’ new environmentally friendly packaging for the Day Cremes, Night Cremes and Eye Cremes. The cremes will be the same size and weight, but sport a sleeker, more eco-friendly look.  The Dr. Alkaitis facial masks also have revamped packaging, and we are hoping to have new pictures of them soon.  So stay tuned!

The new packaging consists of boxes made with 80% post-consumer mixed media (post-consumer waste material is recovered after being used by a customer as opposed to waste from industrial processes). The packaging also features environmentally friendly inks made with renewable resources such as soy, linseed, cottonseed, tung or china wood oil. In addition, the new packaging is made with 100% wind power. (Both the mill that manufactures the stock and the printing company is 100% wind-powered.)

What do you think about the new packaging?  Please drop us a line and share your thoughts and comments.

Just In – Intelligent Nutrients USDA Certified Organic Antioxidant Lip Gloss

Introducing an exciting and totally revolutionary cosmetic product.  Packed with certified organic fruit and vegetable juices and extracts from blue berries, cranberries and purple corn, Intelligent Nutrients USDA Certified Organic Antioxidant Lip Glosses  ($24) are all natural and completely free of synthetic colors, mined minerals, iron oxides and potentially toxic, lead-laced heavy metals.  It is the first USDA Certified Organic cosmetic product that we know of.

Antioxidant and nutrient rich, these USDA Certified Organic lip glosses not only look and feel great, but taste great too!  Our shipment came in today and I tried it on immediately and fell in love instantly.  What’s not to like? Imagine the sweet aroma of smooth Coconut, Caramel and Vanilla and the taste of juicy raspberry and sweet agave. It’s simply addicting – and delicious. I found myself constantly licking my lips!  But I had to remind myself that it was ok, because Intelligent Nutrients Organic Lip Glosses are made with food-grade ingredients that are non-toxic and beneficial.  These natural lip glosses contain oils of acai, rosehip and black cumin blended with soothing waxes and butters that are high in antioxidants and help fight the signs of aging.

The slim, squeezable tube container comes with a brush-tip applicator which coats and nourishes lips with a natural, moisturizing shine.  Bonus: The Intelligent Nutrients Antioxidant Lip Gloss in Purple Maize (a beautiful berry color) won Allure’s 2011 Best of Beauty Award.

The USDA Certified Organic Lip Glosses come in two shades: Purple Maize and Clear Frosting.  And during the holidays, two new colors will be introduced, along with holiday gift sets.  So make sure to stop by to check them out.

Why not try them for yourselves?  We dare you to not to get addicted.

A Word About Zuii Organic Cosmetics…

Our motto is “Truth in Beauty.” We strive to be as transparent as possible by keeping our customers in the loop.  We don’t take this responsibility lightly and so when an issue presents itself, we do the most thorough research possible and present the facts.

It has come to our attention that Zuii Organics, a brand that we’ve touted, recommended and endorsed as a USDA Certified Organic cosmetic line, does not in fact meet the USDA standards for being certified as containing 95% organic ingredients. 

We come to this conclusion after extensive research and fact-finding. We requested documents through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) from the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) which concluded in a report that “the products produced by Zuii Organic were erroneously certified as ‘organic’ by TOFC (The Organic Food Chain) because the products contain prohibited ingredients and do not contain enough organic ingredients to qualify for the ‘organic’ designation, which requires the products to contain 95% or more organic ingredients by weight.”

The USDA regulations require that USDA certified organic products not only have 95% organic ingredients by weight if they are to carry the USDA Certified Organic seal, but also the products must not contain ingredients other than what is on the USDA’s National List of approved ingredients for organic products.  The USDA rules are quite stringent as they apply the same standards for food products to personal care items that are certified under the program.

The USDA report stated that Zuii’s products contained materials not on the National List such as sorbitan olivate (derived from vegetable wax), ascorbyl palmitate (fat soluble form of Vitamin C), magnesium stearate (magnesium salt), among others, and the mineral colors mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, manganese violet, and zinc oxide.

Please note that none of the “prohibited ingredients” are unsafe or illegal. They just are not allowed in USDA certified organic products.

Interestingly, the USDA puts much of the blame on TOFC, an Australian certifying agency. The USDA concluded that the certifier, TOFC, was in violation of the National Organic Program (“NOP”) regulations because it erroneously certified all Zuii products as organic and “upon investigation, continued to deem the products to be properly labeled as ‘organic.’” The USDA also noted that “TOFC inefficiently investigated the complaint and provided some obtuse answers to NOP’s questions…Also, it should be noted that during the investigation, Zuii Organic contacted NOP directly and provided documentation to NOP, noting that it was dissatisfied with its certifier’s (TOFC) response to the complaint investigation. Zuii Organic’s response to the NOP was significantly more timely and complete than TOFC’s response…”

Bella Floria has emailed both Zuii and TOFC to get a response regarding the investigation and have not received any response at this time.

The issue regarding Zuii’s certification status came up a few months ago when a blogger alleged that Zuii was using the USDA logo illegally because it was not certified, and could not possibly be certified. (The blogger did not name Zuii but used images from the company website.) We investigated this allegation and gathered information along with the help of some of our friends (Thanks Fig+Sage!).  It turns out the blogger had jumped the gun; we wanted more facts, since at the time, the USDA said that Zuii was legally using the USDA Certified logo, and was certified by the Australian agency, TOFC.  However, after a lengthy investigation by the USDA, including laboratory testing of the products and obtaining opinions from legal and scientific experts, the USDA concluded that Zuii did not meet its standards.

After receiving the USDA official findings, we’ve taken this step to inform our customers about what we’ve found. We’ve also taken down all the “USDA Certified Organic” claims on our website, including the USDA Organic logo. Zuii Organics has done the same on its own site.

Because this was an error by the certifying agency, and not a willful misrepresentation of Zuii, we have decided to continue carrying Zuii products, which are Australian Government Certified organic (and certified organic by TOFC). See here for Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service  AQIS” standards.

We still believe that Zuii organic cosmetics are of good quality and contain significant organic content, even if they currently do not meet USDA certified organic standards. That is why we will continue to offer them and recommend them to our customers.

Introducing Code SC – Eco-Friendly Natural Skin Care for Men

We’ve been on the hunt for some time for an eco-friendly skin care brand made specifically for men.  We wanted to expand our organic and natural skin care offerings with a unique brand that was clean and different.  Well, our search is over.

Meet Code SC.  Modern. Original. A little quirky. Code SC, is a natural, eco-friendly skin care company for guys (and gals) who want to go green without sacrificing style. Each product is made with botanicals, wild harvested quality medicinal plants and herbs from the deserts and mountains of the Western United States.

Code SC is also an environmentally conscious company, and is concerned about keeping its carbon footprint very small. All Code SC products are made from wild crafted, natural and/or organic plants and herbs derived from sustainable sources. The company also uses recyclable containers made in the U.S. and doesn’t package its products in boxes. Based in Spokane, Wash., Code SC is the brainchild of skin care vet Amy Townsend, and her husband Chris.

I knew this brand was special from the moment I met Amy. She spoke with so much passion and enthusiasm for creating a truly eco-friendly and clean skin care line. Although Code SC Skin Care is made specifically for men, I have heard from women who love it too!  Especially the Get Set Shaving Cream ($19) (great for legs ladies) and On Your Mark Organic Pre-shave Oil ($15), two products that can be enjoyed equally by both sexes.

These products make great gifts for grads and dads.  Get yours today.