naturalhairjourneyexperiences A Lunch Community <![CDATA[ Skincare products that are good enough to eat!]]>
I certainly agree with that motto. Though this might not always be possible for everyone, it is something to strive toward - especially if this is coming from the skincare industry. Intelligent Nutrients is a pioneer, providing certified USDA organic, food-based skin and hair care products. Though our ancestors have used food to care for their body for centuries, now after years of toxic potions people are going back to healthy and nutritious ways to care for skin. 

No compromises here. It is not just 'natural', or 'made with organic ingredients', not 'less toxic'. It's food for your skin! Isn't that what skincare is about? I still don't understand the point of petroleum in skin care products. Intelligent Nutrients was kind enough to let us try an array of their incredible, nutritious skin food. I am really excited to be reviewing truly the best for all my followers and readers! Plus, if you have kids in the house, this is the stuff to have around. You will not need the poison control number if they get their hands on it! :)

Certified Organic Total Body Cleanser: This is perhaps my favorite product simply for the fact that it has so many purposes. It can be used as a body wash, shampoo, shave cream, baby wash, pet wash, even to wash your food! Not that I would actually do the later. Now, if you are used to the average shampoo, you'll be surprised that this cleanser doesn't really have a lather. At least I was, I'm used to a lathery soap and shampoo. But let me ask, does the food you eat lather? I thought so. This nutritious cleanser smells so good! I really wanted to eat it, tempting. It is very light and smells a little citrucy; it has the consistency of banana puree. ($29)

Certified Organic Hair Conditioner: Just like the cleanser, I felt like I was putting nutritious pureed food on my hair. This smell is different from the cleanser. It is very fragrant and as I would say - woodsy. It is really strong when you are using it, but once your hair is dry it isn't overpowering. Just fresh and fragrant. I wash it out lightly and then comb my hair once it is dry. It makes my hair look healthy and shiny. ($34)

Certified Organic Hand Purifier: Finally a non-toxic hand sanitizer, these are hard to find! Though it does contain organic alcohol, you will not find things like triclosan in here. Just vanilla fruit extract, peppermint oil, aloe, and tea tree oil. It smells great! I keep it in the diaper bag, it is great for playgrounds, pic nics, and road trips. We just went to a local animal shelter with my sister and her three boys and my daughter. All of them played with the cats and dogs. When we left I shared this sanitizer with them and my sister noted "That's sanitizer?! It smells so good!" It really does, it smells like sweet vanilla, just want to eat it. ($12)

Certified Organic Lip Delivery Nutrition: Smooth, light, non-greasy. Smells so good that it is hard to hold back from taking a bite. I love the combination of beeswax and coconut oil with the blend of other oils that make up this lip balm. Even when I use this every day  it seems like it will never end. Though it costs $12, it will last a while and it is one of the best I've ever tried.

Certified Organic Anti-aging Mist: Alright, so I'm only 26. But it is never too early to start an anti-aging regimen. Not that I feel like I need it, it actually never crossed my mind until now. At this opportunity I decided I would give it a try. As far as I see it, it's more for the purpose of keeping my skin looking younger longer, rather than reversing the effects of aging and giving me baby skin! The mist is just a refreshing prep for the serum. Sort of like a drink of clean water for your body. It can also be used after shaving. This blend of oils does not actual feel oily when you apply it, it is very light  and has a pleasant rose water smell. ($35)

Certified Organic Anti-aging Serum: I really like the serum. At first glance I thought it looked like olive oil, and it does. It has a more distinct smell though. It is made from safflower oil and a blend of a myriad of other nutritious oils. Just like all Intelligent Nutrients products it also has the Intellimune Seed Oil Complex (black cumin, pumpkin, red raspberry, red grape, and cranberry oils). It absorbs very well into the skin. Though it looks green when you pump it out of the bottle, it blends right into the skin. I like using it instead of facial lotion. A little goes a really long way. I usually use it after every time I shower. ($60)

Certified Organic Total Body Elixir (Focus): When I was a teenager I used perfume religiously and well into my marriage as well. When I got pregnant though I could not stand any perfumes because they made me want to gag. I just could not get past the artificial smells. This body spray though is something I think I would use when pregnant. It is citrusy and refreshing, it is completely natural and actually good enough to eat! It also last a while, my husband could still smell it well on me on the second day after I put it on. ($30)

Certified Organic Perfect Hold Hair Spray: This is the only product I haven't tried yet. Since I have long hair, it takes a while to make any kind of hairstyle. I am going to a wedding in June though and this will be the ultimate test! I love curling my hair for special occasions, but it is sort of a love/hate relationship because my stick straight hair will never stay curly for more than two hours. I abhor the smell of toxic hair sprays, that usually becomes the reason I refuse to style my hair. Now it doesn't have to be that way! I just love that it has no petrochemicals. It keeps hair in place using Acacia Gum. Plus it has all these yummy smelling things like Mandarin Orange Peel Oil, Lavender Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, and Grapefruit Peel Oil. ($29)

I'll have to say that these are the most expensive skin care products I have ever tried. They are also the best performing products, so I understand the reason for the price. Unlike other companies, Intelligent Nutrients grows their own organic ingredients for the products. You can check out their website when you get a chance (see Wiki on right). They have many other great items, from certified organic room sprays to supplements and organic dark chocolate!

Intelligent Nutrients is generously offering one Eco-Babyz Community member a prize pack of USDA organic skin care products valued at $148!!! See here for how to enter. Ends 5.12.2010.]]> Fri, 23 Apr 2010 21:27:17 +0000
<![CDATA[Veggie Grill Quick Tip by jrjohnson]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2010 06:41:12 +0000 <![CDATA[ Best Vegan Americanized food!]]>
So I fell in love with this place.

My favorites are the Bali Bliss (burger), sweetheart fries, soups and salads, and the really good homemade strawberry lemonade - so real that there are strawberry seeds all over.

We brought our carnivore Mc Donald's loving friend here and he loves it to (and later around 5 other meat eaters who couldn't taste the difference). So it's a safe place for all diets.

The negatives for this place are: a little pricey..and if you don't want a burger or salad - you don't have much else. But if you don't care to pay a little more for REAL ingredients, then you have to go.]]> Thu, 1 Apr 2010 04:11:38 +0000
<![CDATA[ Best Polishing Spray for Some Seriously Shiny Locks!]]> amazing.  It adds shine to my hair and eliminates frizz, greatly taming it.  I've been using it for about two years now, and I'm still seriously in love with it.  I first started looking into CHI products after extensive research on the best hair straightener led me to the CHI hair straightener.  All the message boards and reviews that I read about the straightener suggested using CHI products in conjunction with the straightener, so CHI product hunting I went!

Surprisingly, I was able to find CHI products at Target, since, for a time, they were only available at salons.  These are somewhat pricey, but as long as they lived up to the hype, I didn't care.  I've tried out quite a few CHI products and this has got to be my favorite one because its got great results that I can actually see and feel. 

The directions on the bottle are pretty ambiguous and don't really tell you when or how to use it, so I've experimented a bit.  I found that when straightening, it's best to spray it on before using the flat ironing.  My hair comes out shiny and soft as silk!  When I don't plan on straightening, I spray it on anyways, whether it's right after a wash or before I go out because it definitely adds a shiny boost to my locks.

Each bottle is only 5.3 ounces, but since it's an aerosol spray can that sprays out a very fine mist and coats hair evenly, a little goes a really long way.  Spraying too much will make your hair greasy, so take it easy.  As with other CHI products, the smell isn't great, somewhat akin to men's cologne, so I would suggest picking up some hair scents, like Aquolina's Pink Sugar.  Other than that, this is a great hair product with fantastic results.

Just a little spray and you're ready for your close up! ;)]]> Sun, 24 Jan 2010 03:44:11 +0000
<![CDATA[ Great for a fast meal, but not my first choice veggie spot.]]> website says- Our purpose at The Veggie Grill is to serve you delicious and wholesome food. By wholesome, we mean good calories and good fats that are 100% plant-based.

I love this statement. Also, Veggie Grill is the brainchild of the co-founder of another of my favorite restaurants - Native Foods. So in theory I should love the chain...but there is just something that is keeping me from a "5" rating. Since I'm feeling so conflicted, I'm going to break this down by category:

The Decor
Ok, I get it. Veggie Grill wants to be modern and hip (which they are) but they decor is just so much. It reminds me of the inside of a Pinkberry - same 5 bright colors used everywhere, super clean and sterile. It does feel unfair to rate them poorly on such an insignifcant thing that I'm surely biased on, but for the love of god at least turn the lights down a little! I felt like I was under a heat lamp of intense brightness!
Also, the el Segundo location is REALLY poorly planned out. If you order to-go, after you get your food the only option (if you don't want to walk through people eating at tables) to leave is squeeze past customers ordering their food. It feels like you're in their way.

(via jeckman)

The food is delicious (I've had several of the sandwiches but never anything else). The ingredients are pretty standard and you will find many repeats on the menu. I expect this because they ARE a fast food place and need to be able to whip up meals quickly (and that they do - I've never waited more than 10 minutes for a burger/sandwich). I like that they still have a variety in protein though - tempeh, fake chicken, and fake beef (I'm hoping the beef is seitan not soy but I actually have no idea). I like the "healthy" fast-food vibe but I'm surprised at the lack of soy/veggie/rice cheese! I feel like it would definitely spice up a few of the options - the standard dressing for all the sandwiches is lettuce/tomato/other veggies plus vegan mayo, some chipotle sauce variation, or pesto. A cheese add-on option could be good. Who doesn't love cheese.


Not bad but not great. My main issue with the menu is that each meal lists other toppings for a fee. So everytime I look at the menu I'm like, "hmmm this sandwich looks great..'add avocado'...'add portobello'..that sounds DELICIOUS on that - oh wait it's an extra $2-3." On top of the standard $8.50-ish for the original option? Noooo. It's rare that I'm inclined to spend upwards of $11 for one sandwich.
Each burger comes with an option of sides: red cabbage slaw (slightly too sweet for my tastes but still acceptable), chili (sort of a weird side because it comes in a small condiment cup [same as the slaw] so it's not enough chili to be soup-like..I wonder if people put it on their burgers?? Weird), or Kale, spring salad, or sweet potato frieds. Those three cost $1.50-$2.25 extra. I've only had the fries..they were more like sweet potato chunks than fries - very thin coating but I kinda dug it.

Despite the unfavorable lighting/decor, I like their logo. I also like their brand engagement - they have a promotion where they send you something for your Birthday if you sign up! :D Also, I ate there last night because they had a promo called "Veggie Grill Virgin Night" wherein you bring someone to the restaurant who has never been. If you tell the cashier you have a "Veggie Grill Virgin" in your company, his/her meal is on the house! I thought this was a remarkable way to get some attention and business, and I CERTAINLY loved getting a free meal! I think the cashier messed up and took off the more expensive meal. But I am certainly not complaining!

Overall, I like Veggie Grill. There is location near my work and it's a good break from the gross fast food/corporate places in the area. I'd recommend it for people who are "new" to eating healthy or "new" to eating vegetarian/vegan. If you're a seasoned vegan, you know way more innovative places to go and I'd leave this one for a fast lunch when you want something that feels like junk (but isn't! Yay!)]]> Wed, 13 Jan 2010 20:58:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ A Quick, Temporary Fix Conditioner For Dry Hair]]> Guide to Fabulosity list.  Well, this CHI Infra Treatment is one of my newest discoveries.  CHI products use to be only be available in salons, so I was totally surprised to find this at Target.  Not only that, but they were prepackaged in sets of two and were on sale for for buy two for the price of one.  Since it's CHI, I couldn't pass it up.

I have no idea what "infra treatment" means, and the directions on the bottle are a little fuzzy, but I take it that this product is to be used as a conditioner.  I have pretty dry hair from all the hair straightening I do, so I was hoping that this would hydrate my hair.  The directions simply say, "After shampooing the hair, apply a generous amount of CHI Infra Treatment and work into the hair evenly.  Leave on hair for 2-5 minutes and rinse thoroughly".  I did just that and allowed my hair to air dry as a I usually do.

Typically when I air dry my hair, my hair dries kind of frizzy and I always have to style it before leaving the house, so I was pleasantly surprised that post-CHI Infra Treatment, my hair looked decent with less frizz and more shine.  No styling necessary!  Here's the unfortunate part though, at least for me: every time there's some sort of change, such as me straightening my hair, the weather becoming more moist, or being sleeping on it, etc, my hair would revert back into its puffball stage.  I've never experienced a hair conditioner that did this before, but I guess this product is more of a one day thing.  At least its short term results are good.

There is just one more thing that irks me about this product -- its scent is reminiscent to men's cologne.  I wish it smelled more girly and... flower-y, but I guess that's where Aquolina comes in handy, right?  I'm still on the look out for the ultimate +5 hair treatment though.  Maybe the Je Veux or MOROCCANOIL that some of the ladies of Lunch have been raving about?  Until I find that above average hair treatment though, the CHI Infra Treatment will be satisfactory enough.]]> Mon, 2 Nov 2009 16:48:35 +0000
<![CDATA[ Cholesterol Might Be Bad for Your Body, But It's Pretty Good for Your Hair]]>
What's so significant about Queen Helene's hair cholesterol to me?  I'm a big Augusten Burroughs fan, and in particular, a huge fan of his memoir Running with Scissors, and for some reason, he mentions Queen Helene hair cholesterol in his memoir A LOT.  I was always a bit curious about it, but figured it probably wasn't in production anymore since I had never heard of it before and his book is set in the 80's.  So finding it at Target totally caught me by surprise.  As I examined the tub in the aisle of Target, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, found in the 'Ethnic Hair Care' section, seemingly highly recommended by a gay ex-wannabe hairdresser, and it only costs $2.49... Okay, I'm sold".

I followed the directions on the tub, which were shampoo, cover hair in hair cholesterol, put on shower cap, and wrap in hot towel.  It suggested leaving it on for 15-30 minutes, but if you get enthralled in something, as I did (I watched Law & Order, Lunched, and eBayed!), it never hurts to leave it on for longer.  After an hour, I rinsed and didn't shampoo as the directions instructed me not to do, and then dried it.  My hair was... Okay.  Definitely no miracle cream.  I didn't understand why Augusten Burrough wrote about it so much, and why it was still around in 2009 if these were the results.  Was I just using it wrong? 

I had to consult my trusty ladies at MakeupAlley, and they had a thing or two to say about this product.  The best sounding suggestion that I received was to add olive oil to it.  So I decided to try the hair cholesterol once more.  I debated between stirring olive oil into the tub, and applying olive oil directly to the ends of my hair and then covering it with the hair cholesterol.  I decided on the latter because I figured the cream would lock in the olive oil.  I went through the same routine again with this change, and when I dried my hair, it was silky smooth!

I give Queen Helene's Hair Cholesterol a +3 on its own and a +5 when used with olive oil, so I'm just going to average it out to a +4.

Random story:  After my second try with Queen Helene's hair cholesterol, I just had to share with my mommy this hair product that I discovered that makes my hair all shiny and managable, "It's this stuff called Queen Helene's hair cholesterol and I use it with olive oil".  My mom was like, "Queen Helene?  I used to use that stuff by the gallon tubs back when I was a hairdresser in the early 80's".  Then she went under her bathroom sink and pulled out this literally gallon tub of Queen Helene hair cholesterol, straight from the 80's (she never throws anything away!).  Her tub looked EXACTLY like my tub, except on steroids.  Too weird, too weird.]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2009 23:11:49 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Secret to Sleek, Straight Locks]]>
The Farouk CHI took literally 10 seconds to heat up to 240 degrees, and with one swipe through each section of hair, my hair became instantaneously straight.  No need for a second or third round like other flat irons!  Within 15 minutes, all of my hair was straight, shiny and gorgeous.  That's pretty darn impressive for doing it myself.  One look in the mirror and I knew I had to purchase a Farouk CHI flat iron of my own.

Tip #1: CHI also has an awesome line of hair styling products that can be purchased at beauty supply stores or even Target.  Before flat ironing your hair, I suggest spraying it with CHI's Iron Guard spray, and then post-flat ironing, finish it off with CHI's Shine Infusion spray.

Tip #2: As fabulous as this flat hair iron is, I wouldn't use it religiously because all that direct heat can really damage your hair.  I only run it through my hair when it's extra unruly or if I'm going out for a night on the town!]]> Tue, 9 Dec 2008 11:00:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ I got bangin' highlights for 11 bucks. And my hair is in great condition!]]> Pros: Easy to use, no foul odor, great conditioner, highlights to the exact color on box

Cons: L'Oreal tests on animals, highlighting the back of your hair is tricky

The Bottom Line: No orange! This kit is easy to use and the conditioner makes hair soft and silky. If L'Oreal would stop animal testing, I would use this kit all the time.

I just used L`Oreal Hi Light Styliste Hi Control Brush On Highlights, for Medium To Dark Brown Natural or Color Treated Hair Amber Glaze last night and like the results. I thought I would share my experience with you. I have used this brand of highlights before but in a different shade so I knew what to expect as far as prepping, which is simple.

This highlighting kit is easy to use and the results are exactly what they claim they will be on the box.

In the Box

Inside the red box is a foil packet of blue highlighting powder, a bottle of developer, a large tube of conditioner, two different applicators - one is similar to a large mascara brush for thin highlights, the other is a little brush with five sets of synthetic hair groups for chunky highlights - and a plastic mixing dish.

Also included are complete instructions and gloves. I do caution you to read the instructions because the first time I used this kit, I mistakenly squeezed out the conditioner in the powder and had to get a whole new box. Plus there are other facts you should know before starting the process.

To Use

I didn't do a strand test but the instructions do urge you to. You simply mix the developer and powder together and stir well with the pointy end of one of the applicators. The final result will look like light blue cake batter. No clumps should be present at all.

This highlighting kit is for medium to dark brown hair (colored or not), which I have. It isn't subtle. It will definitely give you highlights that are very visible so, if you are looking for just a subtle lift, you may not want to play with this kit!

Once you mix the stuff together, you choose whether you want chunky highlights or thinner ones and use the correct styling applicator to apply the product. You should alternate sides as you highlight to get even color. There is no strong odor and the mixture is so thick that it doesn't get all over the place.

Once you have covered the areas you want to highlight, you can literally see your hair lightening. At least I could. I was a little freaked out by how fast my hair was going from dark brown to what looked like very, very light brown. The usual time to leave the mixture on is 25 minutes but you can remove it sooner if you obtain the shade you like.

I left the mixture on for 20 minutes and then got scared that I would end up with white hair. I rinsed it out, used the excellent conditioner that came with it, and fearfully looked in the mirror after towel drying.

I saw orange. ACK! I was already planning my strategy of coloring over the bight orange highlights as my hair dried. I let it air dry so as not to damage it right after highlighting. I took a look (fearfully) after about a half an hour and liked what I saw. The highlights dried to a nice shade of very light brown. Some pieces were lighter some were darker which is the look I wanted. It isn't super subtle but it is really pretty and my hair is shiny and in great condition.

For a do it at home kit, this is my favorite and I have tried many highlighting kits. I didn't get bright orange highlights and got exactly what I saw on the box. It isn't messy or smelly and the conditioner leaves my hair feeling and looking great.

There are many shades for people with all hair colors and can be used on color treated hair. My hair is not color treated at the moment and the results I got were apparently "warmer" than the results I would have gotten if I used this kit on colored hair. All I care is that I didn't get bright orange streaks all over!

My hair is in wonderful shape and I really like it. Had I not, I would have just covered over my whole head with a medium brown shade of color for five minutes and toned down the highlights to almost non visible. I have had to do that many times but, thankfully, not this time.

Buying Info

L`Oreal Hi Light Styliste Hi Control Brush On Highlights, for Medium To Dark Brown Natural or Color Treated Hair Amber Glaze can be found at drugstores and mass-market stores on and offline. It costs between $10.50 and $11.99 where I have looked. Of course, you can always wait for a sale. I usually pay well over $60.00-$70.00 for highlights at a salon. I don't see much difference between the highlights I have now and the professional ones I pay a ton of money for. The only drawback to doing it yourself is that it is tough to get the mixture on the back of your hair. Recruit a friend to help you! I didn't and everything came out fine.


L'Oreal's catchphrase "I'm worth it" is true as far as I am concerned. I am not a fan of L'Oreal because they still test on animals and I try NOT to buy their products. In fact, I didn't even buy this kit myself. I asked my sister to pick me up a kit when she was at Wal-Mart and told her what I wanted. I hesitated and it sat around in my bathroom for a few months before I finally used it. I recalled having used it a few years ago and my hair responded well.

I like this highlighting kit and feel it is better quality than many others I have tried. If L'Oreal would stop testing on animals, this would be a 5 star product for me. I will give it 4 stars. The highlights brighten my whole face and look kind of cool. Just remember, they aren't super subtle so check the photo on the box and know you will get the shade they show and nothing less.

Yes]]> Sun, 17 Feb 2008 12:00:00 +0000