Finding an effective body scrub can be tricky. Some are messy, some leave a slick oil finish around your bathtub, and some just don't smell quite right. That's been my experience with body scrubs/polishes. That's why I was heartened to discover kai body polish, a winner in body polishes. Not only does it emit the soft, delicate, floral scent of gardenias that the brand is known for, but it adds in a shot of sugar, a shake of salt, and a splash of jojoba oil—all ingredients that blend together to create an epic body polish. The Penny Rose highly recommends it.
With tens of thousands of beauty products out there (and intense marketing pressure for many of them), women can feel overwhelmed and confused by the sea of options. That’s where TotalBeauty.com comes in. The site cuts through the noise to bring users helpful, honest opinions and advice. The Penny Rose caught up with Total Beauty’s Lead Beauty Buyer, Sarah Czuleger, to pick her brain on the best eco-beauty options available.
Age and place of residence:
Twenty-eight. Venice Beach, Calif.
In a nutshell, what is Total Beauty?
TotalBeauty.com is the ultimate online beauty destination. We provide expert advice for achieving beauty from the inside out. We recently expanded and now you can purchase products directly from us, as well, at TotalBeautyShops.com.
Why do you use eco-beauty products?
When you actually think about it, this should be a no brainer. We are all concerned about what we eat, working out, and healthy lifestyles in general. Why would we put toxic ingredients on our largest organ—our skin?
When looking for an eco-beauty product, what are some ingredients to definitely avoid?
What beauty brand(s) are you eyeing right now?
Beautycounter, Intelligent Nutrients, and RMS Beauty.
From your perspective in the industry, which natural and/or eco products stand up against the conventional products best?
Name one beauty product for each—an affordable must-have and a worthwhile splurge:
Affordable must-have: RMS Beauty Living Luminizer. This product does not leave my side.
Worthwhile splurge: Intelligent Nutrients Plant Stem Cell Science Renewal Complex. This product would travel with me to a deserted island.
On occasions where you need to get ready in a rush, what is your quick ‘n’ easy beauty routine?
No. 1: VoCe Dry shampoo.
No. 2: Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage SPF 30.
No. 3: Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi-Use Blush (I use this on my cheeks and lips to bring my face to life).
No. 4: Mascara—never leave the house without it!
What is the most unusual or surprising beauty product in your arsenal?
The Skin Perfector by Le Mieux—this new skincare device has changed my life! It uses high-frequency vibrations and deep cleanses your skin while decongesting your pores.
You’re traveling, and can only bring one bag: what favorite beauty/fashion items stay home, and what must go with?
Classic black essentials go with me and the trick to always looking fantastic is accessories. They are much smaller and you can completely change an outfit with a statement necklace, colorful scarf or bold pout. My beauty routine is simplified and I tend to rely on a great beauty oil since it is all you need to keep your skin looking dewy while traveling. My current favorite is Beautycounter’s Lustro Face Oil 3.
Mani or pedi?
Lip gloss or lip balm?
Tinted lip balm or lip stain—I love the lived-in natural look.
Heels or flats?
I have a soft spot for gold and brass minimalistic jewelry. But it can sometimes get a little too simple. So when you're in the mood to honor modern simplicity, but you want to jazz it up, the Faris jewelry line will do just that.
I discovered this line at Legion, one of my favorite stores in San Francisco, and I've fallen in love with all four of the pieces seen above, which range in price from $95 to $258.
Seattle designer Faris Du Graf "explores the complexity and simplicity of shapes," says her website. And that's exactly what she does. Any piece here would elevate an outfit: wear with jeans or a dress. This far-reaching jewelry is versatile enough for daily wear and dramatic enough for a night out.
Denim is having a serious comeback: all shades and styles are making the rounds. But you don't want to look like everyone else, do you? Of course not. You're an independent woman with a creative flair in your wardrobe. That's why we searched and found five denim items on the market right now that will continue to hold through time, and make an original statement day after day.
The jacket (top left) will be with you for the long haul. Instead of a typical denim jacket like everyone else has, this one has length and a blazer style, making it a leader in the jean jacket trend. (It's a lightweight chambray.)
The sweet dress will transition well from summer to fall. Wear it now with sandals and then in the fall with boots and a chunky sweater.
I always love a chambray shirt, but the classic button ups bore me. This boxy, flowy variety from Anthropologie (upper right) is an upbeat twist on the workhorse shirt.
Likeswise, this peasant top from Almond (sold online and at Legion in San Francisco) is a beauty in person. I tried it on recently and was wowed by its slimming effects and boho vibe. Definitely a must-have.
And finally, my favorite clutch right now comes in—what else?—denim. This Denim Moon Bag from Lotfi was a gift that I recently received from my sister-in-law for my birthday. She picked it up at Legion and since giving it to me, I haven't put it down.