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Lauren Singer's Zero Waste Bathroom Essentials

Jessica Assaf

Lauren Singer lives a completely zero waste lifestyle in Brooklyn, New York. I met Lauren in college at NYU, when she was a fearless activist fighting against hydraulic fracturing. She has since become the model citizen for a lifestyle free of waste, which she documents on her blog, Trash is for Tossers. Lauren proves that it is possible to live a fulfilling, sustainable life in the city, while saving money and motivating others to take action. 

Image courtesy of   Trash is for Tossers

Image courtesy of Trash is for Tossers

Watch her share her zero waste bathroom essentials that anyone can make at home. 

Here is a list of what she uses: 

Organic Corn Starch - as dry shampoo
Baking soda- exfoliant or pimple remover
Zero Waste toothpaste- applied with my bamboo toothbrush (recipe here)
Bamboo Toothbrush can be found HERE
Face Oil - calendula oil or sweet almond oil
Zero Waste Body Butter (recipe here)
Zero Waste Deodorant (recipe here)
Stainless Steel Safety Razor
Soap: package free, organic, vegan soap 

Learn more about Lauren and her inspiring lifestyle on her blog, Trash is for Tossers.

The History of Mascara

Jessica Assaf

Before women used synthetic dyes to color their eyelashes, they mixed ingredients like ashes with elderberry juice in their homes to create a natural colorant. Things didn't change until 1830, when a French perfumer moved to London and began developing cosmetic products, starting with perfume. His son, Eugéne Rimmel, mixed coal dust and Vaseline petroleum jelly to create the first mascara product on the market. Eugéne's product was widely used across Europe and the word "rimmel" became synonymous with "mascara." 

In 1917, Maybelline (a product from Maybell Labs) introduced the "cake mascara." This was the first product that was presented with a small brush, to be used with a mixture of sodium stearate soap and pigments. Maybelline became a market leader in cosmetics, later bought by L'Oreal and renamed Maybelline New York. They continued to develop new, innovative products, focusing on eye products like eyebrow pencils and mascaras. 

In 1933, women used Lash Lure eyelash and eyebrow dye to enhance their eyes. Advertisements for Lash Lure Eye Lash and Brow Dye promised their "new and improved mascara will give you a radiating personality, with a before and an after". Lash Lure contained a dyeing agent that was extremely toxic to the body. Many women became permanently blind after using Lash Lure, and one woman died. Several states banned eyelash dyes after multiple incidents. Finally, in 1938, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act became a law. 

Revlon launched the first mascara in a tube in 1958, which included the spiral brush that is still used today.

Our cosmetic safety laws have not significantly changed since 1938. 

Why I Love OSEA

Jessica Assaf

There are some people you meet who make you believe in the universe. Melissa Palmer is that person for me. We met on a group trip to Israel, but our first conversation was so quick that all we had time to discuss was that we needed to talk again soon, for a very long time, about everything. What we didn’t know was that we had a history together, beginning when I was fifteen years old and her family’s company, OSEA, supported my teen-led campaign with free products and sponsorship. When we finally spoke, our vision for clean beauty products were so similar that we instantly started finishing each other’s sentences. Melissa is the light at the end of the corporate beauty tunnel. Her energy is electric and her conviction in her family’s company is unbreakable. Her work is an extension of her identity, as pure and natural as the ingredients in OSEA, her family’s line of vegan skincare "from the Sea." 

When I think about why OSEA is different from so many brands, I think of the story of a family with an ancient history traced back to the sea. It started with Melissa’s great-grandmother’s relationship with the water, her daily swims and her belief that the sea would heal her. Jenefer, Melissa’s mother, created the company to honor her grandmother and reinforce the power of the sea to soothe and heal the skin. To this day, the products are perfectly formulated with the highest quality ingredients sourced from the sea.

Jenefer "believes in the sea," and is deeply motivated by the potential harm of synthetic compounds found in most mainstream products. She spent twelve years in her kitchen formulating the purest organic skincare using ingredients sourced from the sea. Jenefer has approached every business decision holistically, and now she works with her daughter, Melissa, to grow the brand while remaining authentic. 

OSEA is so much more than an organic skincare company. It is a longstanding movement built on trust, transparency, health, and results without compromises. I am so honored to know and love this family.

Meet Three Women Changing 2016

Jessica Assaf

When I started business school, I imagined that I would spend the two year program figuring out how to apply business strategies to improve public health. I was focused on developing leadership skills and a solution to my problems with the beauty industry. Everything changed as soon as I started meeting my female classmates. Suddenly I was surrounded by smart, fearless global women who were also vulnerable and authentic and invested in challenging me intellectually and emotionally, from day one. Now, as I prepare for my last semester, I know I won’t remember most of the cases or class discussions. But I will remember the women who were not afraid to stand out.

Never have I learned more than from the women around me. I want to honor all the women in the world leading a good kind of change. To start, here are the stories of three powerful women changing health in 2016.

Robin Berzin MD, Parsley Health 

Robin Berzin is a doctor and visionary with a holistic, root-cause approach to healthcare. She started Parsley Health, a new functional medical practice, to make functional medicine affordable and modern. Robin went to medical school at Columbia University and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. She is also a certified yoga instructor and a meditation teacher. Robin believes in medical treatment that is tech driven, affordable, and preventative. She searches for the root causes of problems and advocates for lifestyle changes before prescription drugs. Her practice gives us hope for the future of our broken medical system.

Constance Finley is the cancer pharmaceutical industry’s worst nightmare. For the past five years, Constance has been producing the purest and arguably most powerful cannabis oil in the world. At the age of 44, Constance became very ill with an autoimmune condition. After a near-death experience caused by the prescription drug, HUMIRA, she desperately tried cannabis to heal herself and it worked. Constance studied cannabis cultivation at Oaksterdam University and learned how to make her own cannabis oil. Once she realized the medicinal and life-changing properties of cannabis oil, she was determined to perfect her process and technology so she could help others. Her Constance Pure Botanical Extracts “cancer protocol” has helped many late-stage cancer patients reach remission, including dogs. Many well-known integrative oncologists now refer hundreds of patients to her for treatment, and her oils are being tested in multiple clinical trials by top researchers. Constance is breaking the stigma of cannabis while saving lives.

Tara Foley, Follain 

Tara Foley is leading the #beautyrevolution. In 2013, Tara launched Follain, a beauty store featuring only the safest, healthiest, and most effective beauty products from brands we can trust. Her passion for clean beauty started when she worked for a product manufacturer and learned every aspect of the industry. Tara wrote a blog post about the difficulty of finding safe products in New York City, and soon after made it her goal to open a store of her own. After she finished business school, she entered and won a national business plan competition and used the funds and mentorship to open Follain. She has opened four Follain stores so far, in Boston, Nantucket, and Washington DC, and she has plans to expand across the country. Follain carries a curated selection of skincare, hair care and cosmetic products by 35 U.S. brands and also offers bulk products like liquid hand and body soap in refillable glass bottles to reduce plastic use. But beyond selling products, Tara is setting new safety standards for the brands she endorses, demanding full transparency and ingredient disclosure. Not only is she creating beautiful boutiques that give small, indie brands a place to shine, but she is also protecting her consumers in a way the FDA is not. 

These three women are setting new standards for health and wellness. The most inspiring part is that they will only succeed if other women believe in them. Together we can create a movement of women helping women lead change. 

PLANT: Gourmet Goods With A Conscience

Alexis Krauss

The husband and wife team behind PLANT Apothecary goods are making some of our favorite organic grooming and bath products that are 100% free of petroleum, parabens, PABA, sodium lauryl sulfate, silicones and all other synthetic nasties. We were thrilled to feature PLANT Apothecary goods in our Holiday Gift Guide and we're even more excited to share this exclusive interview with founders Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

PLANT Organic Bodywashes

PLANT Organic Bodywashes

1. Holly tell us about how you formulate for PLANT? What are some of your favorite organic skincare ingredients?

We create our formulas using a broad base of knowledge about natural herbs, oils, extracts and minerals that I've accumulated over years of personal study. I'm sort of obsessed with learning about the potentially therapeutic compounds different natural ingredients contain, what effects those compounds have on the skin and mindset, and how they can work together with the compounds found in other ingredients. It's incredible what studies show about the healing and age-protective qualities of pumpkin, pomegranate and sea buckthorn oils, for example. And sea buckthorn, which is one of our favorites, offers very real sun protection--as well as fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and even help heal burns (like sun damage) faster. Nature is such a gold mine of healing ingredients!

2. How does living in Brooklyn inspire the design and formulation of your products? 

I'm not sure that living in Brooklyn has had consciously had an effect on our formulas—but we're both really inspired by the incredible ethnic diversity of Brooklyn, so it could be that that has subconsciously influenced our choice of ingredients that are traditionally used in skincare all over the world. Matcha tea and rice bran in Japan, for example, and sea buckthorn in Scandinavia and Asia... We try to pull the best ingredients from the many different natural skincare traditions around the world. As for our design, though, I can say this: There's such a huge and active design community in Brooklyn, and NYC in general, that we never hesitated to bring out a very minimal, design-conscious brand appearance in a market that, at the time (2011), wasn't nearly as saturated with that look as it is now. We felt pretty hopeful from the beginning that at least locally, there would be a positive response to our package design. And we've been very fortunate to find that to be true.

Bjarke and Holly, founders of PLANT

Bjarke and Holly, founders of PLANT

3. What is it like working as a husband and wife team?

Oh, boy! It's not always easy, especially when you're growing a company from the ground up. It's tricky to navigate differences in opinion about how the business should go while leaving your personal relationship intact. And the long hours a young business requires can easily mean being together all day every day, and not every otherwise compatible couple is compatible enough to sustain that! We're happy to say that we're doing fine, but we also look forward to the day when we're able to hire enough help that we can at least sometimes step back from doing the day-to-day logistical work together, and focus on more creative aspects of the business separately. But that said, as far as Bjarke and I in particular are concerned, his leaning toward perfectionism and my emphasis on just getting things done often end up complementing each other nicely in the finished product....after a small battle has ensued....

4. Tell us more about why you decided to collaborate with BKLYN UNLTD?

We both come from backgrounds where our parents put a big emphasis on social responsibility and community involvement, so when we started PLANT, it was always part of our mission to make products that aren't just environmentally responsible, but socially responsible as well. And years ago, when was producing the travel spice kits that are now part of PLANT's gourmet line under a different name, I had learned about the existence of nonprofit workshops for people with mental and physical disabilities. It seems only natural that if there's a component of our production that the can do, we should give it to them—it means so much, to many disabled people, to have the ability to earn money for themselves, and also just have a place to go every day and be around other people. After working with other similar workshops in the New York area, we learned about the BKLYN UNLTD from Gaia DeLoreto—the fabulous owner of the local store By Brooklyn, who carries some of our products.

5.  I love how inclusive your products are and that you market your skincare line to EVERYONE! Tell us a bit more about the "For The Skin You're In" campaign.

We came up with the “For the Skin You're In” campaign after noticing that so much of the marketing and branding surrounding organic, natural skincare is focused almost exclusively on young, slender, caucasian women. Meanwhile, of course, people of all ethnicities, ages, genders and body types deserve to know about and have access to healthy and environmentally safe products as well—without feeling like they're somehow crashing the party! So we're trying to make a point of the fact that our brand, at least, really is meant for everyone: women, men, black, white, green... and everything in between. We'd like to get a bit more age diversity into the campaign, as well as more diverse body types, so we're working on that.

6. What's next for PLANT?

We've been happy that we've started getting contacted by stores from more far-flung corners of the globe than ever, so we're expecting to expand into even more far-flung markets than we have so far. And the big news is that in mid-January of next year, our bodywashes will be launching at Target stores! They've been taking on a number of all-natural beauty brands lately, and we're super excited to be part of that. We think it's great that people in such a socially, economically and ethnically diverse audience as Target's will have easy access to safe, environmentally friendly skincare products. And other than that, we'll be adding some new products to our line in 2016—but you'll just have to wait and see what they are!


Holiday Gift Guide

Alexis Krauss

Our Holiday Gift Guide is here! Check out the safe, sustainable, effective and fabulous products that we think you should share with your loved ones. Happy Holidays! Xoxo Alexis & Jess



The ultimate clean, green beauty box machine!! If you're going big then this is the gift to buy. The box includes best-selling products from Odacite, W3LL PEOPLE, RMS, Hurraw, Kypris Beauty and One Love Organics.

ALL YOU NEED IS ME by True Organic of Sweden

True All You Need Is Me.jpg

This simple yet nourishing formulation creates the ideal all-in-one balm, perfect for all your parts. Get it for the on-the-go-gal or guy in your life. Makes a great lip gloss too! Ingredients: Castor Oil, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Shea butter, Vitamin E and Blueberry seed oil



This luxurious compact makes a stunning gift for all those fancy ladies out there. Available in 3 beautiful shades. Ingredients:  Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Heptyl Undecylenate; Cera Alba (Beeswax); Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax Tribehenin; Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Seed Butter Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil; Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract Tocopheryl; Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil; Rosa canina (Rose Hip) Seed Oil Octyldodecanol; Jojoba Esters Trihydroxystearin


Know someone crafty who's looking to learn more about clean skincare? This is the gift for them! Ingredients: Lavender Essential Oil, Lavender Hydrosol, Aloe Vera Powder, Rosewater Spray, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Shea Butter, Sea Salt, Witch Hazel Distillate, Jojoba Oil


Fragrance is very personal thing, so instead of picking one why not give him some options! Juniper Ridge fragrances are 100% natural and sourced from the most wild places on earth. Ingredients: Organic sugar cane alcohol; 100% natural fragrance: tree pitch, plant sap/juice, steam-distilled essential oils. Extractions of mountains plants, bark, needle and other things found hiking in the backcountry.


My quest for a truly natural and sustainable exfoliator was one of the major inspirations behind the launch of this blog, so it's no surprise I love this gentle but slightly exfoliating rice and chamomile mix by PLANT. It's a perfect stocking stuffer for both men and women, and it's on sale now! Ingredients:  Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran), Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flowers, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) 


Need something else to cap off Mom's gift? Get her this moisturizer! Trust me, my mom LOVES it! Ingredients: Aqua (Purified spring mineral water), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Extract*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)*, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Herb)*, Tagetes Erecta (Marigold)*, Arctium Lappa (Burdock)*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Bean) Gum*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary)*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice*, Glyceryl Stearate (Palm Kernel), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Glycerin (Vegetable)*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Oil, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum*, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Oil*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract/Sodium Chloride (Salt)/Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Extract/Trifolium Pratense (Red Clover) Extract as Eco-responsible plant preservative, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil (*Certified Organic)


If you know someone who loves the experience of burning a candle, but can't stand being bombarded by synthetic fragrances then Trailside is their dream candle! Its scent is subtle but warming and 100% natural. Ingredients: This is a 100% natural soy (non-GMO) wax candle with an organic cotton wick.  Made with highest-grade natural ingredients (100% natural) sourced wherever possible from family-owned, sustainable growers. Never any petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance or color, glycols, silicones or PEGs.

Our Guide to Non-Toxic Nails

Alexis Krauss

Here at Beauty Lies Truth we love nail polish but we're painfully aware of just how toxic some polish formulations are. While it's always healthier to opt out of polish and go for a buff instead, some polish brands are safer than others and choose to formulate without harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. Renowned nail artist Ria Lopez has compiled a list of her favorite clean polishes and we're thrilled to share them with you. Also, check out some of Ria's favorite eco-friendly NYC nail salons. Xoxo Alexis

OCC 5-free polish in Radiate.

OCC 5-free polish in Radiate.






tenoverten polish in Austin. All tenoverten polish is formulated without formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylaminde, xylene, and parabens, making it 8-free. tenoverten products are also cruelty free, vegan and made in the USA. 

tenoverten polish in Austin. All tenoverten polish is formulated without formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylaminde, xylene, and parabens, making it 8-free. tenoverten products are also cruelty free, vegan and made in the USA. 








JINsoon 5-free Polish in Charme.

JINsoon 5-free Polish in Charme.











Recipes from S.W. Basics' DIY Skincare Essentials

Jessica Assaf

You probably know by now that we love everything about S.W. Basics and founder Adina Grigore's vision of simple, minimalist, effective skincare made with 5 ingredients or less. We are so excited to share these easy recipes from S.W. Basics' new DIY Skincare Essentials, a line of potent and effective ingredients you can use alone or with others. These recipes were inspired by Adina's bestselling book, Skin Cleanse, which we promise will change the way you think about skincare forever! Get ready for some magic: 

DIY Hydrating Treatment: 
1 heaping tablespoon aloe vera powder
1/4 cup brewed chamomile tea (cooled) or just water!

Mix well (the aloe vera powder will take on a gel-like consistency as it rehydrates), then apply like a mask. Leave on until dry, and then feel free to rinse off if you'd like. 

DIY Face Scrub:
3 sprays rosewater 
1 teaspoon oat flour 

Mix well in your hand and gently scrub onto face. Rinse immediately or leave on for a few minutes to dry before rinsing. 

DIY Moisturizer: 
1/4 cup shea butter
10-20 drops essential oil of your choice 

Mix well and then let sit at room temperature until your new, scented shea butter re-solidifies. Use on stubborn dry spots. 

P.S. Use promo code "TRUTHBEAUTY" on the S.W. Basics online store to receive a special discount! 

The Power of Essential Oils

Jessica Assaf

Aromatherapy is "the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being." The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils have the power to stimulate brain function and alter one's mood and physical health. The benefits of essential oils are immediate, with only a few drops needed to experience profound results. While the full history of aromatherapy is unknown, we do know that the term was invented in 1937 after French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse effectively healed his burns with lavender essential oil. Aromatherapy was later used to heal the wounds of soldiers in World War II. Now aromatherapy is widely accepted as a powerful healing tool for a variety of health conditions.

Essential oils are currently used to treat headaches, poor digestion, depression and anxiety, and they also promote relaxation, sharpen focus, boost energy, and help with circulation, heart problems, and respiratory conditions like asthma. Topically essential oils can combat redness and skin irritation and heal acne. Because essential oils are so potent, you should used them with caution if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. You only need a few drops to feel a difference. 

You can use essential oils topically, on their own or blended with carrier oils (like olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil) or you can use them in a diffuser. Here are 5 basic essential oils you should try right now: 

Chamomile oil is extracted from the leaves of the Chamomile flowering plant through steam distillation. It is a calming agent and mood lifter, with antibiotic and antiseptic properties. Chamomile has a soothing scent that will promote relaxation and a positive mental state. 

Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint herb flowers and is then steam-distilled. It is a cooling agent with many therapeutic benefits and it can be used to enhance your mood, sharpen focus, alleviate headaches, heal irritation and redness of the skin, assist with digestion, and relax the body. 

Tea Tree
Tea Tree is extracted from the leaves of the alternifolia tree and is then steam distilled. As one of the most popular essential oils, tea tree is used to boost the immune system and fight infections. It is highly effective as a skin treatment for burns, cuts, acne, and cold sores. Tea Tree is also a natural insecticide and a powerful treatment for muscle aches, respiratory conditions, and flu-like symptoms. Topically, tea tree can be used alone on the skin or mixed with a carrier oil or lotion. 

Eucalyptus oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs of the Eucalyptus tree. It is highly effective as a treatment for respiratory conditions and also has the power to improve concentration, fight migraines and fevers, and heal muscle aches and pains, with a similar "cooling effect" as peppermint. 

Lavender is extracted and distilled from the flowers of the lavender plant. It has powerful stress-relieving effects and can treat headaches and promote relaxation. Lavender is also a natural antidepressant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory with vast applications. 

You can find most of these essential oils (and more!) on Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs

P&G's Response To Our Letter

Jessica Assaf

Here is P&G's response to our open letter asking the company to disclose the ingredients in their tampons and pads. What do you think? Join the conversation and comment below. 

Jessica and Kiran,

Mr. Lafley forwarded your letter to me. Thanks for taking the time to ask us about our product safety. Nothing is more important than the safety of the women who use our products. For decades our feminine care products have provided protection and comfort for women around the world, and that protection begins with safety.  The safety of women is the foundation of everything we do.  We share our feminine care product information with independent experts including medical consultants, university scientists, and the FDA so that women can use our feminine hygiene products with confidence.  In addition, our products are medical devices in the US and are required to meet the strict safety expectations of the FDA.  We have also added more detailed product information about Tampax and Always at:

In addition, the materials in our feminine care products are commonly used across the industry.  Thus, for more information, another contact would be Lawrence Sloan, Deputy Executive Director for the Center for Baby and Adult Hygiene Products (BAHP) at

We would be interested in hearing your feedback on the information we have on our Tampax and Always websites as we consider additional updates in the future. Please reach out if you have further input. We have joint interest in product safety, helping women have access to menstrual education & products, and reducing embarrassment about periods.