Parabens 2: Still Just as Fresh as the First Time

Hullo all! Finally – it’s Parabens 2! So well preserved it couldn’t not be back for more! Let’s  dig into some paraben-free goodnesses I’m currently enjoying. This is going to be a wild smattering of various favorites. Where it was readily findable, I’ve tried to list what’s used in lieu of parabens to keep these products safe and sanitary, in addition to some short reviews.

First, the return of my favorite face moisturizer/sun protector (because this is, after all, a sequel post), this time accompanied by a new friend, La Vanila deodorant (you know, to keep this franchise fresh).


Earth Science SPF 15+ Almond Aloe Moisturizer

Preserved with: Potassium Sorbate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Citric Acid,Tocopherol

This moisturizer remains my lightweight, go-to daily staple. It has a light, almondy scent, doesn’t feel greasy and doesn’t clog my pores. It’s the perfect base to use as a pale Californian. I know whatever else I do or don’t apply over the top, I’ve got some sun protection, with no additional tint or texture going on. I picked it up at Whole Foods initially, but have since managed to re-buy at TJ Maxx. I wore it while swimming all last summer, and came away remarkably lacking in the freckle department for once, so I’d say it sinks in enough (if applied well ahead of time) to remain decently waterproof for an hour or two. If you’re staying out longer, especially in the water, maybe re-apply, though. The magic is not permanent.

La Vanila – The Healthy Deodorant (in pure vanilla – I believe it also comes in lavender)

Preserved with: Tea Tree Extract, Sodium Stearate

This deodorant is a bit pricy (Tom’s is a cheaper and also paraben-free alternative, which Target now carries) but it’s my favorite hippie deodorant by far. It is not an anti-perspirant, however, so if you’re trying to eliminate sweat altogether, this is not your answer. I use it when I’m working out, because who cares how sweaty I am? I love the raw, not-too-sweet vanilla scent. It almost has a bit of a baby powder edge. After an hour of running like the super-determined sloth-creature I am, I don’t smell like week old underwear or an over-perfumed old lady or a sugar cookie. It’s as if I’ve been sweating happiness and sunshine, like that’s just naturally me. Since I don’t use this all the time, I just grab the travel size version at Sephora, which is $8. I believe they have a two-pack online right now that’ll save you a bit. I might snag a set for summer travel.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Waterproof Concealer (in ‘fair’)

Maybelline's classic concealer (with scare-bens) and Tarte's concealear (without)

Maybelline’s classic concealer (with scare-bens) and Tarte’s concealear (without)

Preserved with: Sodium Hylauronate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, and other goodies

The lightest shade is pretty much the same for both

The lightest shade is pretty much the same for both

I love a good stick concealer for spot treatments. Quick and easy. My Maybelline one was showing some wear and tear (and is not paraben-free), so I decided to give this a go. Tarte’s version has the added benefit of being waterproof, which, again, is a huge summer plus. I’m currently using the lightest shade, but might actually need to move up to the next shade by fall. There are eight different shades, so you’ve got a good chance of a decent skin-tone match in this line. Tarte is, of course, a pricier option, and if you’re cool with the parabens, Maybelline’s concealer is a decent dupe, although they offer fewer shades in their basic stick concealer line (are you ivory or a beige of some sort? no? Well, sorry, that’s the extent of the options… which, blah).

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme (in Brilliant) and Revlon’s Colorburst Matte Balm (in Sultry)


Preserved with: Tarte’s entry contains Tocopheryl Acetate; Revlon’s uses BHT (which is sort of a synthetic version of a tocopherol, and will likely get its own post at some point)

Revlon on top; Tarte on bottom

Revlon on top; Tarte on bottom

Revlon's Sultry

Revlon’s Sultry

Tarte's Brilliant

Tarte’s Brilliant

When I’m feeling bold, I lean toward berry reds. It’s such a nice spring transitional color – bright, but cool. I’ve bought two similar lip crayons at two different price points, both paraben-free. The Revlon crayon swatches a bit redder; the Tarte version, a bit pinker. The Revlon is a slightly more matte version of the Tarte. Otherwise, they’re very nearly dupes once applied.

The Tarte one came as part of a set along with a liner and a gloss, which work to complete my look with either crayon. The full set was $24. The Revlon one is around $9.50, but Ulta and Walgreens often have buy one, get one half off deals on Revlon products, and Ulta almost always has a $3.50 off of any $10 drugstore brand purchase coupon. Check your online circular. Both crayons are decently long lasting (I use them with the liner and a primer) and not super drying. Sorry, not sorry for the total lack of any other make-up on my face in the pics.

Finally, let’s do some blushes!

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush (in Pink Plum and Rose Petal)

Preserved with: hexyl laurate, squishy magic

Pink Plum (left) and Rose Petal (right)

Pink Plum (left) and Rose Petal (right)

Despite ‘rose’ being in the name, the Rose Petal blush is more of a coral color. Pink Plum is a true pink. The consistency of these little guys is strange – like a cream, but in squishy solid form. They apply similar to my blush sticks, with the added bonus of feeling like IMG_20150429_162902286I’m playing with play-doh. I apply with my fingers or a sponge. The blush tends to smush away from brush invaders and it’s difficult to pick up much color that way. I think this formula might be more popular in Korean cosmetics. Is this what an any-cushion is? Whatever’s going on, they’re pretty dang cool and vibrant, and nicely sized for traveling. They’re $8 each at Ulta.

So if you do decide to cut down on your paraben use or if you’re just plain allergic to the stuff, there are definitely tons of options out there these days. Go wild with your label-scrutinizing self! See you again soon, when we’ll be getting jittery and youthful with some good,old-fashioned caffeine.


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