Testing: Tom’s of Maine deodorant

A few months ago I wrote an article about eco-friendly beauty products. The gist of it is that there are a lot of controversial ingredients in shampoo, makeup, face wash, etc. that are cool with the FDA, but not with a lot of consumers. Either because they’re harmful to the environment after they swish down your drain or harmful to us because they contain carcinogens and various other yuckiness.

I’m not thrilled about the idea of smearing carcinogens into my skin, so I figured I would try to stop buying a lot of products that have 50 ingredients on the back I can’t pronounce. I’m also trying to buy bar soap instead of body wash in plastic bottles to save packaging.

Anyway, I was a little dubious about switching deodorants as I am a super sweater (strangely both when I’m really hot and really cold), and Degree has always worked for me. But most regular deodorants contain aluminum and other weird stuff, so I decided to try Tom’s of Maine. The apricot smell is absolutely delightful. If it wasn’t creepy I could sit around smelling it all day. The price is about twice as much as I’m used to paying for a deodorant stick, about $6.

So how does it work? It’s labeled long-lasting, and I did find that it was still smelling fresh at the end of the day most days. But when I got really hot (like when I was cleaning out the car) the funk returned. I definitely had to reapply, something I rarely do with Degree. I still think I will keep using it, though.

I also switched salons to an Aveda location that I can walk to downtown. I was really impressed with their multiple, multiple efforts to be eco-friendly in packaging, saving water, using more natural ingredients, offering refillable tubes and on and on. Prices are pretty high, but it’s nice that Aveda salons are all over so the stuff is easier to find.

If you have greened your beauty regimen, please share!

I got my mind set on you

I’m definitely one of those people that when I decide I want something, I will do everything in my power to get it or make it happen. My OCD kicks in, and trying to change my mind is pretty much a lost cause. Such was the case with the Toyota Yaris. I saw those little hatchbacks driving down the street and I just fell in love.

So I made it part of the plan. Sell the big car, get a small one, save $15 on every tank of gas. Makes sense to me!

I have to admit, the day before I went to trade in my old car I got to thinking about everything that had happened in my life since I bought that car and it made me a little weepy.

The CR-V was a bit of an impulse buy. I took my Civic to get an oil change, and while I was waiting I wandered over to the showroom to peek at new cars. I’d been thinking I needed to upgrade to a bigger car after all the trouble I’d had navigating my car through Iowa winters. The truth is that all I needed was front wheel drive and a few lessons on snow driving, but that was only part of why I wanted the car. I’d never had a new car before. I’d never walked into a dealership and stood on my own two feet through the oh-so-fun process of wheeling and dealing. I’d just moved into my first apartment I could call my own. This was the next big step.

So I did it, and I was pretty proud of myself. I talked the saleswoman down twice until I got a price I could handle. And then I drove my baby home. It snowed less than a week later. And as my parents like to recall, I told them it was “not an issue.”

I packed that car to the ceiling when I found out I was moving to Colorado. I drove it to Iowa and back several times in 2005. And I packed it to the ceiling when I found out I was both losing my dream job and yet finally getting to live with Mike. Then together we drove it all the way to South Carolina and back in 2006.

I don’t know. After all that, the car just meant a lot to me. In some ways it was my companion. I couldn’t let it go without a thorough vacuum and scrub.

But it was also part of the reason I’ve struggled so much financially the past few years. Sometimes getting what you want means getting what you shouldn’t. And that car just wasn’t a good match for someone who spends 90 percent of her time driving alone. Reggie sure loved to hang her head out the window and let her tongue dangle in the breeze. Now she’ll have to compromise in the back seat of the purple car. I don’t think she’ll mind too much. As long as she’s going somewhere with us.

I hope the Yaris is the next step in truly living what we believe. It’s rated at 36 mpg on the highway (which means it can get even more), so it should significantly lower my gas bills. It probably won’t be the right car for us forever, but it’s great for now. And let’s face it, it’s cute as hell.