Olga’s Organics Brand Spotlight: Review & Swatches!

Olga’s Organics is a relatively new Indie Cosmetics brand that came onto the green beauty scene about 2 years ago and it was love at first try for me! The brand is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, 100% Natural and/or Organic with pure, simple, and effective ingredients. I’m so excited to share my thoughts and experiences with this mom-led, small company founded by Olga Reding and based in Salem, Oregon. I first heard about Olga’s Organics (OO from here on out!) from my friend, @lydiadyria on Instagram (please see her blog at greenisthenewblack.me) when she reviewed the Organic Loose Face Powder in Translucent. My mother and I placed an order together for this Face Powder and it was love at first sniff due to the glorious spiced lavender scent from the clove, cinnamon, nutmeg spices and lavender essential oil! All of the products in this post were purchased by me, half of which I received a blogger discount code in collaboration with Olga once I had already formed a love of the brand! OO is an affordable brand with some products in the mid-range price level, offering both cosmetics, as well as two body-care products (as of May, 2018).

What I particularly love about baby indie companies is the incredible promise the company has because there are so many possibilities where the company can go, how they can grow, and how we as educated consumers can collectively help these brands grow! Olga is essentially a one woman show and she carefully and lovingly hand-makes all of her products! There is a growing trend in green beauty that I’ve been observing where brands are simply purchasing pre-made, wholesale products at incredibly cheap prices that are formulated, created, and produced by outside labs with the brand’s label slapped on. There’s nothing necessarily wrong about this, but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth because one of the main attributes of buying from an indie brand is the unique nature of the products and the fact that I can only get those products by one brand. If you look closely enough, you’ll find the same exact green beauty products being sold under different brand names at all different price points and they’re IDENTICAL products, which is proof that luxury products aren’t better, they just cost more!

So, I say all this to highlight why I’m choosing to feature, support, and represent brands that AREN’T doing this! OO is one brand that is at the heart of what Indie Beauty is all about: truly unique, exceptional, and 100% Natural & Organic cosmetics/skincare made and formulated by the owner herself. Of course, when small companies grow, I have absolutely no issue with the owner using outside labs to make their products in large quantities, as long as the owner is the actual person who is behind creating the original formula. Another thing I love about supporting small businesses is that Olga is there for any questions or concerns relating to her products and will talk to her customers directly, from one human being to another.

What also makes Olga’s line truly unique in the indie cosmetics scene is that she chooses not to use iron oxides and titanium dioxide in all of her products, with the caviat that there may be trace amounts in the actual mica she uses, which is much smaller than traditional mineral makeup products that use these two ingredients as the main two ingredients that create their pigments. Iron oxides and titanium dioxide, in particular, have gotten some slack in the green beauty industry with purists believing that these ingredients are carcinogenic and harmful to our lungs if we regularly breathe them in, which is inevitable to some degree with loose pigments. I will be 100 straight forward in stating that I, myself, am not a purist and I don’t necessarily agree with this. I don’t think titanium dioxide is going to kill us and I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world if we breathe it in, although, I would advise doing your own research and trying not to breathe in your makeup particles as a general safety measure. I do feel that it’s really nice to be able to have options that don’t include these ingredients because it shows how we can use other natural ingredients to get the same job done and that’s the beauty of supporting different indie brands!

Swatches & Products

Let’s start with the product that captured my heart from the start! The Organic Loose Face Powder in Translucent and Light. This powder is unlike any other finishing powder I’ve tried because it contains no mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, boron nitride, silica, magnesium stearate, etc. that you will traditionally see in setting powders. This loose powder has arrowroot powder and bentonite clay to control oil (i have very oily skin so oil control is a must for me!). This powder smells like every nostalgic feeling I’ve ever had due to its spiced lavender scent that makes me feel so warm and calm. I literally apply this powder every single day, with or without makeup and I genuinely look forward to it! What makes this powder really unique is that it’s pigmented with spices: cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove so I can see some larger brown particles even in the Translucent one I have, but when applied on my skin, it all blends evenly. This powder works beautifully to set my foundation, both cream/liquid, and powder foundation and it works very well to minimize my pores. This powder also has soothing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties from the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, as well as the lavender essential oil. Cocoa powder has an incredible amount of antioxidants, which is very important in fighting free radicals, which aids in overall skin health. If there is one product you absolutely need to try, this is it!

It retails for $32 and comes in three shades: Translucent (for all skintones), Light (light to medium skintones), and Medium (for deeper skintones or for use as a bronzer).

Ingredients:

Arrowroot Flour*, Cacao Powder*, Cinnamon*, Nutmeg*, Bentonite Clay, Ginger*, Lavender Essential Oil*, and a proprietary blend of Non GMO Vitamin(s) and USDA Organic Oils – at least 95% USDA Organic or above. (VEGAN)

*USDA Certified Organic Ingredient.

If there is one criticism I can make, I’d like to suggest that these loose powders come in sifters with a locking mechanism like the eyeshadows and blushes, otherwise, it can be quite messy if you’re traveling or want to carry this in your purse. What you can do, in the meantime, is only open up a few of the holes in the plastic covering that your powder will come with so that you have more control over how much powder comes out.

Top to bottom: Light and Translucent

Lip Tints

I absolutely adore lip tints… Tinted lip balms are the best of both worlds because they deeply nourish my lips while also adding a bit of color! The more you swipe on, the more color you’ll have! I’m one of those people who can never have bare lips; I have to be wearing something at all times or I feel naked and my lips will become instantly dry (chronic dry lips problems….). I have to stay on top of nurturing my lips in order to keep them looking and feeling their best. Olga’s Lip Tints are quite possibly my favorite lip tints because they deeply moisturize my lips in ways that others just don’t. They’re on par with my HG Silk Naturals lippies and are much, much better at moisturizing than Root’s Pretty Balms, despite Root’s otherwise impressive ingredients list. @redrose_n_ashes, Ashlynn, was talking about this on Instagram about the difference between ingredients and formulas. A product can have what seems to be a super long list of impressive ingredients, but if not formulated in the proper combination, it doesn’t mean anything and will not yield an effective product. This is why I think Olga’s lip tints work better than Root’s pretty balms and I only compare the two because you’ve heard me talk about both products and because I find this topic incredibly fascinating! If I go a day without using Olga’s lip tints throughout the day, I feel the difference! And whenever I get a bout of dermatitis on my lips, Olga’s lip tints clear it up within a day or two! I have 5 of the 6 available shades.

The Lip Tints retail for $12

Ingredients:

Ingredients: Cocos butyric (Cocoa Butter)*, Butyrospemum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Oleum (Coconut Oil)*, Cera Candelilla (Candelilla Wax), Micha (Mica),
Essentialis Peppermint Oleum (Peppermint Essential Oil)*.

(VEGAN) 77.3% USDA Organic Ingredients
May contain: Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides.
*USDA Certified Organic Ingredient

Arm swatches top to bottom: Nydia, Sedona, Rose, Rylea, Iris

Lip Swatches:

Nydia Lip Tint: Nydia is a cool-neutral, light-medium blush, baby pink that I have been searching for, for my entire adult life! Pinks are tough to get right and finding a truly neutral pink is really hard! Nydia is a lip tint, so due to its medium opacity, it can be more forgiving than other pinks. It doesn’t make my teeth look yellow (yaaay!) and doesn’t wash me out AT ALL! In my humble opinion, this is the perfect pink! It has a slight sheen, but no overt shimmer particles.

Sedona Lip Tint: is a medium, sheer berry with rose undertones and a sheen, but no overt shimmer. This was the first lip tint I purchased and it was immediate love! This is my most worn lip tint because it goes with anything and everything. The pigment can be built up to create quite a bit of opacity and will deepen up the shade to more of a medium-deep, rose tone. (this swatch is a medium level of application)

Rose Lip Tint: is a medium-deep, brick red with earthy brown undertones that is pretty sheer in terms of opacity in comparison to the other lip tints I have from Olga. There could be some differences between different batches, due to the handmade nature of the products. I did have some difficulty with this shade clinging to my dry patches and the pigment was sort of moving around within the base on my lips, so I had to keep rubbing my lips together to evenly disperse the pigment. This is my least reached for shade due to this, but the formula itself still feels really nice on the lips.

Rylea Lip Tint: is a unique sheer copper with overt gold shimmer particles that is on par with the 24k lippie trend! This is the most wearable gold lippie I’ve tried because it doesn’t wash me out and adds enough color on its own to be used as a standalone lip product, whereas other gold lip shades I’ve tried only work for me as lip toppers. You have to be comfortable with shimmer for this one, though, as you can feel it a bit on the lips, but not nearly as much as some other lip products I’ve tried. The shimmer also fades gradually and does not leave behind huge chunks of glitter on dry lips, which is a big plus! My bare lips hardly have any pigment on their own and this shade doesn’t wash me out at all and gives me quite a bit of color on its own! I absolutely love this color for Spring and Summer!

Iris Lip Tint: is a stunning and truly unique light-medium nude with blush undertones and an overlay of silver sheen that adds such beautiful dimension to the shade! Since I’m so fair-skinned, I have a lot of trouble finding nude shades that actually flatter me, rather than wash me out or just look very “blah” on me. Brown nudes are the absolute worst for me so the fact that Iris has that hint of blush undertones makes it so, so pretty!! This is hands down my favorite nude lippie of all time!

Eyeshadows

I have three eyeshadow shades to share! I love that Olga’s packaging color coordinates to each product! Each shade is rather sheer in nature, due to the fact that mica is the primary pigment and mica is a sheer mineral. The shades are very buildable and blendable on the eyes. They last all day with a primer underneath. I use the Prime Time Eyeshadow Primer by Red Apple Lipstick

Retail Price: $10

Eyeshadow Ingredients:

Arrowroot Similae (Arrowroot Flour)*, Mica (powder, spheres and pigments), Magnesium Sterate, Silica.

May contain:
Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides.

*USDA Certified Organic Ingredient

Thea Eyeshadow: it’s hard to tell on Olga’s site, but I bought this shade thinking it is the lightest of all the eyeshadow shades for the inner corner and for all over the lid. It’s a light gold shade with some shimmer particles and since I’m so pale, I do need a lighter shade to use all over my lid and inner corner because if I use Thea, it looks gold in comparison to my skintone. It does have a beautiful sheen that makes this gold a brightening shade.

Adora Eyeshadow: a light, medium gold with a hint of beige and overt silver shimmer particles. Adora is a beautiful one and done warm-toned eyeshadow shade and adds depth and dimension to my eye. It also works well in the crease because the shimmer can be buffed out.

Magenta Eyeshadow: is a medium, earthy rose gold color with very subtle rose undertones and a pearlescent, satin sheen. This is my favorite color of the three I have and it’s unlike any other shade I have in my collection! At first, I saw the name Magenta and read Olga’s shade description, which described it as a pink shade and I wasn’t sure… I can’t pull off pink on the eyes, it just makes me look sickly. When I saw this shade in real life, I was very pleasantly surprised! It’s a totally wearable warm-toned shadow that still falls in the neutrals category.

Eyeshadow Swatches

Top to bottom: Magenta, Adora, & Thea under Studio Lights

Top to bottom: Magenta, Adora, & Thea in natural lighting

As you can see, Thea and Adora look very similar when swatched. I think the main difference is that Thea is straight up gold, whereas Adora has a bit of beige.

Blush

Olga carries two blush shades in her line: Niva and Venice. These blushes are sheer in nature, as well, which I actually prefer in a loose blush because super pigmented loose blushes can be difficult to not over-apply. These blushes remind me of Silk Naturals’ Sheer Blush formula, which was the first natural blush I ever purchased almost 12 years ago! Both blushes offer a slight sheen, but do not have overt shimmer, which offers a very natural effect. I’m a total blush addict and both shades are very, very pretty! They retail for $16 each.

Ingredients:

Arrowroot Similae (Arrowroot Flour)*, Mica (powder, spheres and pigments), Magnesium Sterate, Silica.

May contain:
Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides.

*USDA Certified Organic Ingredient

Niva: is a very unique medium, dusty rose with earthy undertones and a hint of brown/bronze! This is a beautiful nude blush with rose undertones that adds depth and dimension. I can wear this shade and not feel the need to use a bronzer or contour product. It also makes a very pretty eyeshadow shade!

Venice is a medium berry shade with plum and red undertones. I absolutely love, love, love blushes that include some element of red because that’s what our natural flush looks like and it’s so incredibly flattering to add that bit of red back to our cheeks in a subtle way! Imagine what your cheeks look like when you’ve just come in from the cold and that’s the effect Venice will give. The sheen is super, super subtle and the color is very buildable so even the fairest of the fair won’t have any issues with this color being too harsh. This is the kind of color that would look beautiful on skin-tones across the board and is a staple shade for any time of year or occasion.

Blush Swatches

Left to right: Venice and Niva

Whipped Body Butter: In Grapefruit Lavender, which is a beautiful, peaceful yet uplifting blend of grapefruit and lavender essential oils! You can choose from a list of different fragrance options, derived from different essential oils. These whipped body butters are made from a blend of organic oils and butters with the addition of arrowroot powder to assist in slip and absorbing into the skin when applied lightly. A little bit does go a long way and these have no fillers or preservatives since they are oil based with no water. I’ve been battling horrific eczema this winter like I have never experienced before (literally) and at first I thought this body butter was really helping, but alas, the eczema won the war and I’m defeated. I can’t make any promises that this body butter will cure your eczema or dry skin related issues, but I do love using this body butter after I get out of the shower all over my body, especially after I’ve shaved my legs because I’m very prone to ingrown hairs and general irritation from shaving. This body butter melts upon application so I rub it between my hands and use it over larger areas of my body, lastly rubbing it into my hands and arms. I adore the grapefruit lavender combo and really enjoyed the sample size of the rosemary scent! If you’re looking for one of the purest body butters out there, then this will be your go to!

Retail price: $34

Ingredients: Raw/Unrefined Shea Butter*, Coconut Oil*, Jojoba Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Arrowroot Flour*, and a proprietary blend of Non GMO Vitamin(s) and USDA Organic Essential Oil(s)
*USDA Certified Organic Ingredient
VEGAN product At least 99% USDA Organic

Olga’s Organics is a newer brand full of so much promise! The only thing that I feel could be improved, overall, is that the colors are not well represented on Olga’s site or her Instagram page and the shade descriptions could use some help. When I placed my order, I honestly had no idea what I was actually going to get, in terms of color, because the shade descriptions aren’t necessarily accurate (IMHO) and there were no swatches at all when I placed my first order! When buying products online, we need a better and accurate representation of what we’re getting by seeing real people model the products. A lot of brands make the mistake of “modeling” products using a professional photographer, a pretty & young woman wearing colors that can’t even be seen in detail because she’s too far away… Aside from looking pretty and polished, this doesn’t do much to show the consumer what the product looks like in real life. This is where good shade descriptions, up close arm swatches, and lip swatches come into play. We need to be able to see products in action on a wide variety of people with different skin-tones, of all ages. I’m all about being real and I love seeing products on real people, flaws and all! Hopefully we’ll see more of this on Olga’s site and Olga’s Instagram page in the future. I have no major criticisms of the products themselves, though, and I was very happy with my orders when they did arrive!

Overall, I feel good about supporting Olga’s Organics as a brand and I’m really looking forward to what’s in store for us in the future as she releases more products!

Have you tried this brand? What products are you the most curious about? You can shop and check out the brand HERE!

I hope you’re having a beautiful week!

Love and light,

Julie

***Note: This post contains affiliate links. I am only an affiliate for brands that have absolutely won my heart! I strive to support small, indie brands that have integrity as well as amazing products that truly stand out against the rest. Using my links helps to support me if you like the content I share with you. My goal here is to share green products that I truly use and love. I’m not here to convince you to buy anything you aren’t already interested in purchasing. Thank you so very much for your love and support!***

 

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