When a Whole Foods Market arrives in a NYC neighborhood (or anywhere else), residents, rejoice. They know that this foods supermarket chain and major purveyor of “natural and organic products (and a lot more) will make life easier, with a wide array of great products they won’t necessarily find in an ordinary grocery store. For those fortunate enough to have a Whole Foods nearby for their shopping pleasure, Whole Foods is not just a place to get the freshest meats, fish, poultry and vegetable, or a place to enjoy prepared foods that actually taste good (and are good for you), it’s also a major marketplace for green and healthy products for body, mind, spirit and home. For those who must have green products and want to work with companies that care, they’re happy to know that Whole Foods has been ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed third on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Top 25 Green Power Partners.
Although I don’t personally have a Whole Foods anywhere nearby, one of my favorite events is the editor’s round-up for Whole Foods. Editors have a chance to personally sample some of the products for mind, body, beauty and spirit that Whole Foods stocks, including some that are exclusive to the store. At the most recent event, I found some exceptional and unique products and brands. Even if you couldn’t care less whether or not something is green, healthy, natural or organic, you will want to try some of these. I can’t review every single exhibitor or you’d be reading this all day, and even if I did, it’s only a teeny, tiny fraction of what you can find a Whole Foods. So I am listing what for me, were some of the standouts:
I was introduced to Mineral Fusion Cosmetics at the last Whole Foods event, and I really liked their products (read my review). Mineral Fusion Makeup and skin care touts its products as “minerals on a mission.” Their goal is to beautify with natural products that also help to simplify your beauty routine. The makeup is all natural, but the colors are genuinely flattering, and the products are user-friendly. Another plus (for me) is that while these are mineral based (even the new nail polishes), the cosmetics are pressed powder, so they’re not messy like loose powder mineral makeup can be. They’re travel-friendly, and still good for your skin. Another thing to like about Mineral Fusion is their charity component. A portion of Mineral Fusion’s profits support the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a nice touch since women are the biggest users of mineral makeup. Mineral Fusion cosmetics have natural minerals, of course, but also (depending upon the product) includes a melange of good for your skin ingredients such as licorice root extract, cucumber extract, mangosteen, papaya, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, shea butter, greet tea, grape seed, jojoba oil, olive oil, marine clay, meadowfoam, calendulam aloe vera, organic aloe, cocoa butter, white tea, red tea, sea kelp, pomegranate, plus Vitamins C and E.
The new “star” in the Mineral Fusion line are the Mineral Fusion Nail Care products. My photo shows some of the range of 30 colors and formulas, including trendy glitter top coats, all free of Formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate. Each polish arrives in an ergonomic bottle (with a nice, extra thick brush for smooth application). They are just $7.99 each. While I don’t generally think of nail polish as being particularly good for you, these are infused with anti-oxidant-rich minerals in 30 shades. The polish goes on smoothly, dries fast and to a sinfully shiny luster. Mine manicure, expertly applied at the event, lasted nearly a week. Also good are the Strengthening Base Coat ($7.99); Polish Perfecting Top Coat ($7.99); and Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover ($7.99). The latter is impressive, but gentle. I watched as it easily remove an editor’s glitter polish (and you know how hard glitter is to remove). Each formula is 100% Vegan. Mineral Fusion is available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide, as well as other fine health food stores and at: http://www.mineralfusion.com/.
Badgers are awfully cute, but Badger Skin Care is serious skincare. Their mission is to create fabulously pure and effective products of the highest natural quality, based on simplicity and thoughtful preparation, with the intention to protect, soothe and heal;” and to: ” run a business that is fun, fair and profitable; where money is fuel, not a goal; and where our vision for a healthier world finds expression through the way we work and through the way we treat each other and the people we serve.” In case you’ve never seen a badger, they’re short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae and there are 11 different species.Today, badger hair is used for brushes (mostly from China), but, according to Wikipedia, badger was once one of the main meat sources in the diets of Native Americans and white colonists and were also eaten in Britain during World War II and the 1950s.
When it comes to healing products, you can count on the W.S. Badger Company, purveyor of healing products, balms, potions and portable aromatherapy. No badgers are harmed or used, but adorable badger characters are featured on the colorful, product labels. There are a generous selection of oils, hair care, body lotions, sun screens, lip balms and more. One line, Damascus Rose, has a light scent of genuine rose and pampers Dry, Mature, or Combination Skin with restorative, nurturing oils, antioxidants and oil of rose of course. I didn’t personally sample everything, but note-able in the line (and great for a stocking stuffer) are the double-ended Badger Lip Tint & Shimmer Balms ($5.99). One end of a swivel up stick has a shimmery sheer lip balm (very silky) and the other, a lip tint that is semi-opaque, with enough to really enhance lips. Add the shimmery balm on top to for a different look. These are 94% USDA Certified Organic ingredients with no added fragrance; tinted with safe, USP-grade minerals (Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, and Mica.). The antioxidant and nutrient-rich balms are really moisturizing as well as beautifying. Available in four colors, they’re a perfect all season lip companion. For the rest of the family including guys, there are regular lip balms (Srp. $4.99) too (Classic with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, beeswax and aloe), cocoa butter, and solid in tins ($3.99).
Since I’m a stickler for sunscreens, I also want to point out that the Badger line of certified natural organic sun screens SPF 34 come in a nice variety (including one for babies, and one that smells like citronella and repels bugs). With colorful graphic tubes featuring flip tops, you’ll want to try these, too.
When it comes to bath and body products, one of the most appealing in terms of scent and packaging that I discovered at the Whole Foods event is Nourish Skincare. This new company has beautiful packaging with graphics depticting the featured scent of that item: Lavender Mint, Almond Vanilla, Fresh Fig and Wild Berries (there is an unscented collection, too). These products boast six different eco-friendly seals certifying they are vegan, gluten free, certified USDA organic, and Organic Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO), plus the Leaping Bunny Logo (a cruelty-free standard for companies producing cosmetic, personal care, and household products assuring consumer that no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers). Finally the company boasts a recycling logo that signifies their packaging is made with at least 25% post-consumer recycled content, and everything is recyclable. And, if that’s not enough green, natural and organic for you, these made-in-the-USA products are crafted without : parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances or preservatives, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, sulfates, synthetic dyes, triclosan, edta, or aluminum. The company also contributes to a number of organizations and charities including The Women’s Center, Association for the Blind, City Rescue Mission, Meals on Wheels, and the Salvation Army, along with local sports teams, schools, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. They regularly donate surplus materials and products to worthy organizations, too. Note that I am telling you all of this before I even discuss the products! If it sounds too good to be true,well, think again. The products are very good and affordable. The organic body butter at $22.49 is the highest priced item in the entire line!
I tried the Organic Hand Wash and the Body Lotion. Both are nicely scented. The hand wash makes cleansing pleasurable, with beautiful fragrance and an attractive pump bottle. The body lotion absorbs quickly, leaving no greasy feel. In the Winter, both washing hands more often helps keep the germs at bay a bit more, but it also dries out your skin. Winter weather, in general, sucks moisture out of your skin. So hydrating it with a body butter or lotion, is an absolute must. The rest of this new line includes organic: Body Butter, Body Wash, Stick Deodorant, and Exfoliating Body Polish. While I haven’t tried them (yet) I assume they are impressive, too. If you’re intrigued and want to try the products, visit the Nourish Skincare Web Site and purchase “Signature Scents” of various products, also worthy of holiday gift giving. You’ll get $5.00 every day shipping if you’re not near a Whole Foods.
Whole Foods also features good for you and the planet, clothing. For example, Threads for Thought Sustainable Apparel has a beautiful collection of soft, wearable, clothing that will appeal to men, women and girls of all ages. Their colorful patterned leggings col 60% organic cotton and 40% modal tees with various necklines including a pretty and more sophisticated V-neck, will make layering in the Winter or wearing tees in warmer climes, prettier, more comfortable, and pamperingly-lovely. The leggings collection (there were also cute lined finger-less long gloves in patterns), will be exclusive to Whole Foods, and I was so excited looking at the array to tees, tanks, shirts and more, that I forgot to take a photo! But they will be in your local Whole Foods, soon. Editors also looked longingly at soft as a kitten, flowing tunics and tops including some festooned with sparkling sequins, versatile (and pack-able) skirts, and tees.There is a really cute line of tee shirts with garden-centric” graphics ($28.00) that benefit T4T and the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots Program. The New Roots program is a grassroots campaign to make locally grown, affordable, and healthy food attainable for families and communities in need. The graphics on the tees reflect the types of produce that are being grown. The slim fit tee has a feminine, scoop neckline, short sleeves, and is soft as a kitten, 0% organic cotton, 50% recycled polyester.polyester. Threads for thought also generally supports two charities: the .the International Rescue Committee and the Natural Resource Defense Council, providing financial support, and creating and donating Shop the Cause products, sponsoring events, acting as a “cause” partner to promote humanitarian or natural crises.
While there were literally a dozen or more food, lifestyle and beauty related companies I don’t have space to mention, Whole Foods has so many different quality brands and really, none of them will be brutal to your budget. 365 Everyday Value, MyChelle, Dr. Haushka, Avalon Organics, Garden of Life, and Health warrior (deliciously addictive chia-based snack bars) and quite a few other brands offering health and beauty, wellness, hair care, and healthy foods, were there.
If you want to be amazed, inspired, and start shopping for the holidays, don’t think of Whole Foods as just a place to get, well….food! The store lets you hold the Whole (Foods) world, in your hands! Visit: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ or find your way to your nearest Whole Foods Market.