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My Spring Product Slumber Party

by Karim Orange

Welcome to Better Organic Choice (BOC), a column focusing on makeup, skincare and beauty tips, tricks and product advice for the holistically hip. We cover the best in green glam, behind the scenes and in your face (not your traditional crunchy granola here). We are here to help you explore all the beauty treatments you adore! Do you often worry if your beauty products are dangerous to your health? Are you dizzy from analyzing ingredients? Guiding you is my pleasure.

With the emergence of spring (finally!), it’s a great time to transition your beauty routine. The beautiful colors in nature mixed with spring seasonal foods, such as apricots and asparagus, make me love this time of year. Spring is also a time to weed out darker winter makeup shades and heavy moisturizers for something a bit lighter and brighter. My goal was to have a spring slumber party with four of my beauty besties and have them bring over their favorite spring beauty products so we could swap information over organic cocktails, but this didn’t happen. Instead, I’ve chosen to have a virtual slumber party via Organic Spa Magazine‘s blog and share stellar personal beauty picks from myself and a few fellow glam goddesses. Hopefully, we can all meet up for those organic cocktails soon!



Vanessa Rae
Vanessa Rae – TV and web host / reporter / producer and writer

Ethnic Background: Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, German, and Scotch-Irish
Diet:  Vegan
Skin:  Very light, almost glow in the dark.  Relatively even texture.  Definitely not oily, sometimes dry.  ‘I’m kind of a product junkie and always have been since I started experimenting with skincare and makeup.  The products I try are all natural and cruelty-free.  I’m always looking for great products that reflect my values and that perform well.’

My  favorite things for spring:
Health Herbal Magic Roll-on Deodorant
Dr. Bronner‘s Fair Trade Organic Body Soap – I like the almond, peppermint or lavender, which is great for spring.
Do Styling Whip from Yarok – The company is all natural, eco-friendly, and vegan.
Eco tools kabuki retractable brush – It’s great for applying blush, is made from recycled materials, and the powder residue won’t get all over the place when you’re on the go because the brush has a cover.  So I just throw it in my bag for touch-ups.
Stript -I have some great eye shadows, an eye shadow brush, lip liner, and a great concealer pencil from them.



Karim Orange

Karim Orange – makeup artist and natural product consultant

Ethnic Background: African-American
Diet: I’m a vegan: 95 percent raw since January. I’m currently doing a series of detoxes from Renew Life. I drink fresh juices daily and eat every fruit and vegetable I can get my hands on.
Skin: Normal

My favorite things for spring:
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus infused products – I literally dance for anything by this company! I’m currently using their Coconut & Hibiscus Shea Butter Wash and Body Scrub. It smells like a tropical island, and the body scrub exfoliates all of the dead winter skin. I finish with their coconut and hibiscus bath and body massage oil. These products also have a firming and toning aspect, which supports my many hours in the gym this winter. Not to mention, my husband finds the aroma super sexy.

Indie Lee Swiss Apple Facial Serum -This anti-aging serum evens my skin tone. It’s super light, and I can wear it to the gym without feeling greasy. Formulated with the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple. I love this company and the amazing women behind the brand.

Zu-Zu Luxe Oil Free Foundation SPF 18 – I love this because it’s super light, looks like skin, and has sun protection. I don’t like anything heavy on my face ever.

Vapour Organic Beauty Solar Translucent Bronzer in Spicy -This product is one of the best for a quick touch-up. Since it’s 70 percent organic, you can use it on multiple parts of the face. I use it for eyes, cheeks and even lips. You can view my Vapour tutorial here.

Au Naturale Lip Gloss in nude -Super cool color and shine, and goes with any and every outfit.



Calista DeJesus

Calista DeJesus – Body Care Buyer, Whole Foods Market

Ethnic background:  African-American and Filipino.
Diet: I do my best to eat healthy, but every now and then I do cheat and indulge in some pizza, ice cream, burgers, fried foods, etc. In general, I eat a lot of vegetables and whole grains such as rice, millet, barley, quinoa. I do eat meat and fish as well, though the portions are usually smaller. My favorites are lamb and buffalo. I prefer to cook a lot of Asian foods, especially homemade pickles, sea vegetables, miso, etc. My metabolism is high and I eat several times a day rather than three large meals.
Skin: My skin is generally oily though as I have gotten older, it becomes combination in the winter months. I used to suffer from really bad acne, but since I started eating healthier and using natural skin products, my skin has improved so much!

My favorite things for spring:
Mineral Fusion 3-in-1 Color Stick – We just got these in and I LOVE this product! A blush, lipstick and eye shadow all in 1. You can’t go wrong!

Sunwarrior Protein – In my honest opinion, this is one of the best proteins out there. It contains no allergens (soy, wheat, gluten, dairy, etc.), it tastes great, and it gives me energy. I started drinking this because I bike 6.5 miles from Brooklyn to my job in Manhattan each day. It really puts the power in my pedaling.

Lux Naturals Whipped Shea Butter – This shea butter comes in different scents but my favorites are passion fruit rose and chocolate decadence. It’s very moisturizing and it melts right in your hand so a little goes a long way. It smells amazing, too!

Alaffia Neem and Black Soap Cleanser -I use this cleanser every day and it cleans very well without drying my skin out. Also, when you purchase Alaffia products, some of the proceeds go back to supporting fair wages and medical care for women and bicycles for children in the founder’s hometown in Togo, West Africa.

Opus Gaia Clear Away Spray – This spray is infused with essential oils, reiki energy, and gem power. It’s supposed to clear your aura and your space of negative energies. Sounds a little out there, but it works! Working in a retail environment and dealing with all kinds of customers, I use this spray religiously to spray myself and the department, and I really do feel more calm and centered when using it.



Melisse Gelula

Melisse Gelula – Co-founder of WellandGoodNYC.com

Ethnic background:  Jewish, Ashkenazi and Sephardic. Which means, I’m part super-susceptible to hyperpigmentation on one side, and part warm-Spanish undertones. But that was 500 years ago.
Diet:  I interview brilliant nutrition minds all the time and a lot of their great advice has rubbed off. I’m a green-juice-a-day lady, and a pescatarian. I eat a lot of small, high-protein meals, as well as dairy and Ezekiel bread, but I watch sugar like a hawk. I also take probiotics, a great omega blend, vitamin D, and spirulina.
Skin: Pretty good! I chalk it up to a pretty clean diet, getting a facial a month, staying out of the sun, and using a lot of really high-quality natural skincare products. I’m a huge fan of exfoliation, facial oils and sunscreen.

My  favorite things for spring:
One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster Face Oil -Lightweight serum for the skin with raspberry leaf and peppermint.

Red Flower Isla das Rocas Revitalizing Sea Salt Body Scrub in Ocean -Makes the body feel good! Packed with unrefined and enriched health-enhancing minerals, sea algae, and protein.

Amazon Beauty Rahua Finishing Treatment – Great for wet or dry hair.

Suntegrity SPF 30 “5 in 1” – Finding a good SPF is not an easy choice, but this one is great because it hydrates, protects, primes, and covers the skin.

Ilia Beauty Mascara – This mascara is 85 percent organic.


Karim Orange is a nationally known natural cosmetics expert, celebrity personal care products artist and two-time Emmy Award nominee whose work graces the faces of countless stars in television, music, movies and the theater. If you have specific questions about nontoxic beauty products and routines that you would like to see answered in this column, please email me at karim@betterorganicchoice.com. If you would like me to green your beauty routine please visit  www.betterorganicchoice.com

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