By: Ariana Palmieri
You know when you find really cool Etsy stores that sell products you can't resist? That's basically how I felt when I found TaraLee Natural Beauty - I loved all her items as soon as I saw them. Thankfully, I was able to try some for myself - Tara Bolin was kind enough to send me some free samples for review. I adore roses (this is no news to those who know me), so I went for her rose themed products. As a disclaimer I feel I should say I wasn't paid to review these items. I am simply expressing my honest review of them. Want to see what I have to say? Then keep scrolling, greenifiers.
TaraLee Natural Beauty
About the company
Etsy is a great place to find the most unique, hand crafted items. This business is no different: It is a one-woman run shop based in Logan, Ohio that features many different products from sugar scrubs to mouth wash. Created by Tara Bolin, this shop mainly specializes in natural skincare products, but does offer a few other products for hair and oral care. All her products are free of harsh chemicals like fragrances, parabens, and sulfates. Plus they're super affordable: None of her products surpass $10! That's a win just in and of itself. Tara opened her shop on June 16, 2014, so it's still relatively new. She also has her own website, where you can follow her blog for fun DIYs, and check in on which of her products are up for sale on Etsy. All the ingredients she uses in her products are all-natural and have great scores on EWG (Either a 1 or 2 - which means very low hazard). The products I tried all had ingredients with low hazard scores (mainly 1s - and only one 2, which is still really good), so I was satisfied with the safety of these goodies. You can find Tara on various social media sites, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more information on her line (her YouTube channel is especially fun to watch, FYI). Just make sure you snatch u the goodies you want quick - she's always changing her inventory around to make sure her products are as fresh as possible!
Why you want it: This rose face wash won't irritate your skin (because it's very gentle) and actually helps reduce breakouts.
Its value: $3 - 9.50 (depends on size you want - I tried the 4 oz)
My review: After sticking strictly to Juice Beauty products for so long (I was using their 30 day acne solutions kit - read about it here), it was refreshing to switch up my skincare routine. I thought this face wash looked interesting because I've never tried an all-natural rose cleanser before. To apply, I just shook the bottle, lathered some of it in my hands, and then massaged it onto my face. To be honest, I would've liked to smell the rose scent a little more. Instead I couldn't quite pin down the smell (it wasn't a bad one, but it kind of had a doughy-scent for some reason). In terms of effectiveness, it didn't irritate my skin (like some other cleansers have in the past), but it didn't do the best job of getting rid of my makeup. To be fair, the face wash never claims to be a makeup remover, but I assumed it was. I used it morning and night and it always preformed better in the morning. However, after using it at night I would notice my eye makeup would still be on, so I had to wash that area repeatedly and thoroughly in order for it to come off. It didn't sting my eyes or anything like that, but I was hoping for something a little more powerful. I later realized she had an eye makeup remover available for customers in her shop (you can get it here), which would've definitely came in handy. However, I must say this stuff is very moisturizing and did an even better job of clearing up my acne than the Juice Beauty kit did! The day before I started using this stuff I had a really big pimple on my cheek. The next day, after I used this and the clay mask, it went down a lot. I won't lie, I was impressed. So while I have some critiques of this face wash, I must admit it's very nourishing and didn't strip my face of any nutrients. I actually really liked it and would recommend this to anyone who doesn't wear much makeup and is looking to try out a new facial cleaner. Plus, I wouldn't be apposed to trying another one of her face washes in the future (compare and contrast, you know?).
Vitamin E oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Castile soap, Distilled water, Glycerin, rose water, rosehip oil, rose geranium essential oil
Why you want it: This lovely rose mud mask will make your skin feel super soft when you wash it off, and help get rid of pimples.
Its value: $9
My review: I have a soft spot for masks, let alone rose masks. As soon as I saw this product I perked up. It sounded like something made for me, and let me tell you, it didn't let me down. When I first opened it, I actually thought it had dried up, but I quickly discovered I was wrong. The mask isn't one of those add-water-then-mix sorts: You apply it, as is, directly to your face. I loved how it came with a little tiny scooper too. I used that to scoop some of the mask (about the size of a dime) onto my finger. You can use it as a spot treatment, but I decided to cover my entire face with it. The only place I avoided was my eyes. Once it was on, I made sure to leave it there for 10 - 20 minutes. The longer the better. Eventually it dried on my skin and got really tight, which meant it was working. I could barely move my lips and it looked like someone had rubbed actual mud all over my face. When the 10-20 minute mark passed, I simply washed it off with water. My skin felt super soft and moisturized afterwards. So much so I kind of became a little addicted to it. I used it three times week, as advised on the package, and was tempted to use it for more days (but didn't because I needed to give my skin a break). All in all, I definitely recommend this mud mask to anyone who wants clearer skin, loves masks, and adores roses.
Rose Clay, Bentonite Clay, Vitamin E Oil, Rose Geranium Essential Oil (I love how simple this list is).
The (quick) rundown
The pros: The pros definitely outweigh the cons.
- I really admire TaraLee Natural Beauty's standards for clean beauty.
- I still have more left over from each sample.
- I really loved the rose mud mask, but I believe both products are wonderful for clearing acne (not so much makeup though).
- Tara Bolin was super kind, understanding, and accommodating, making her so much fun to work with!
- All the ingredients in the products were listed on EWG and had a low hazard rating.
- Tara surprised me by sending me both the full-sized products I asked for when I thought I'd be getting just one (thank you Tara!).
- Each product is super affordable (nothing over $10).
- Purchasing these items at full price would go to a great cause: Supporting home-run green businesses!
The cons: Not many cons at all, honestly.
- The face wash didn't get all my makeup off, which was a little bit of a downer.
- I noticed the ingredients on the label were the same as the one on Tara's Etsy, but they weren't in the same order - not a big deal, but it made me a bit confused as to how much of each ingredient was in my product.
Conclusion: All in all, I really enjoyed sampling these products. While the face wash could've done a better job at getting rid of my makeup, I still enjoyed using it. None of the products irritated my skin or made me break out. My skin actually looked clearer using these products alone than when I was using the Juice Beauty acne solutions kit. I definitely recommend this small run business to other natural skincare lovers on a budget. Plus, I really want to see women as inspiring and eco-conscious as Tara Bolin succeed. As a young woman myself, it's always motivating to see other women making the switch to natural, eco-friendly makeup. I want to keep supporting all she does, and hope you will too. We greenifiers have to stick together, you know?