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Author: mysmallstore

Michael Kors Handbags

Michael Kors Handbags Everything You Need to Know

Most women carry their entire world in their handbags, wouldn’t you agree? Think about it, from wallets to glasses to makeup to pepper spray, what don’t these totes hold! Not to mention, they are the perfect way to take an already chic outfit to the next level.

Now, if you’re a handbag fanatic or even remotely into fashion, you’ve likely heard of Michael Kors handbags. The brand delves into every aspect of style, including clothing, accessories, and even jewelry. However, if they have one product that continues to dominate the world of fashion, it’s Michael Kors purses! 

Are you looking to add one of their classy pieces to your collection? If so, this tell-all guide is just what you need!

Michael Kors Handbags

What styles do Michael Kors handbags offer?

One of the primary reasons behind the popularity of Michael Kors handbags is the variety they hold. No matter what kind of tote you are looking for, rest assured you will find it here!

  • Satchel: One of the brand’s most recognized handbags is the flat-bottomed satchels. For convenient carrying, the bags have both top handles and shoulder straps. Michael Kors Women’s Selma Medium Top-Zip Satchel is one of the best ones available in the market.
  • Tote: Michael Kors offers a long line of chic and fashion-forward totes that come with unique design elements. For instance, some bags may have a chain link or even removable shoulder straps besides the traditional leather ones!
  • Shoulder Bag: Perfect for the younger generation, the brand offers a plethora of shoulder bags. Not to mention, these come in different materials, shapes, and sizes.
  • Crossbody Bags: These are the handbags that are most abundant in the Michael Kors line. The simple reason behind this is that many of their totes and shoulder bags also fall into this category. Michael Kors Women’s Large East/West Cross Body Bag would be a nice pick.
  • Backpacks And Duffels: Another bag targeted at their younger demographic, the brand offers quite a few backpacks. Also, they hold a wide range of versatile duffels.
  • Clutches And Wristlets: Can you picture a handbag collection without clutches? Well, neither can Michael Kors! So they offer a wide variety of these upscale wristlets. If you’re looking for one, Michael Kors Women’s Jet Set Travel Double Zip Wristlet would be an excellent pick. Some are so small that they can only hold a smartphone!

What materials does the Michael Kors handbag product line use?

Did you catch on that we didn’t mention anything about the materials when discussing the bag styles? That’s because we want to give them a whole section! Here’s what you need to know about the materials that go into manufacturing Michael Kors handbags.

  • Leather: Leather is likely the most common material you will find among Michael Kors Handbags. Every handbag style has a leather version included. These are often on the pricier side, but the artisan craftsmanship makes them worth it! If you don’t like heavy bags, you might want to steer clear of this one.
  • Cloth: Quite a few handbags from this brand use cloth, and they are pretty popular! The material makes them both elegant and lightweight, so they are ideal for toting around. Not to mention, they are softer and more convenient to store than leather ones. That said, they do absorb moisture, so they are not the best in wet weather.
  • Nylon: Michael Kors handbags of this material are often the most affordable, a favorite of the younger generation. Versatile and light enough for traveling, these bags are among the handy ones. However, if you fill them up too much, expect a lumpy-looking bag.
  • Snakeskin: One of the more exotic materials the line uses is snakeskin. These bags are very durable and supple, which they should be considering their price. That said, they do look very upscale!

FAQs About The Michael Kors Handbag Line

Before you invest in a Michael Kors handbag, you may have a few more questions. Well, this section covers some of the most popular ones.

Are Michael Kors snakeskin handbags genuine snakeskin?

Yes, the Michael Kors snakeskin handbags use only genuine snakeskin in manufacturing. 

Are all Michael Kors bags real leather?

If the tag on the handbag professes that it is leather, then it certainly is. However, the line does also offer pleather and other such synthetic material handbags.

Are Michael Kors handbags luxury?

Michael Kors handbags are luxury bags. However, they are an accessible luxury. These bags are more affordable than high-end brands, but you cannot class them as cheap.

Which other handbag brands compare to Michael Kors?

While highly unlikely considering the surplus of options at Michael Kors, say you don’t find a bag to your liking. Well, you don’t have to give up and end the search there! Here are a few Michael Kors handbags competitors that are worth checking out:

  • Tory Burch
  • Kate Spade
  • Coach New York
  • Burberry
  • J. Hilburn 
  • Ralph Lauren

Wrap Up

Most women out there cannot do without a handbag. So if you are looking for a sturdy yet stylish one to use, look no further than Michael Kors! The brand offers more styles, materials, and features than you could ever dream up. 

Without a doubt, you can find one that appeals to both your aesthetic sense and your practical requirements. Not to mention, you can do this far more cost-effectively than if you were to stop at a high-end store!

What's the difference between Versace and Versace Couture

What’s the difference between Versace and Versace Couture?

Is Versace Jeans couture real Versace? We already looked at Versace Jeans and Versace, let’s look at the jeans Couture.

What’s the difference between Versace and Versace Couture?

Is it the brand that people think it is or a knock-off? Is it really the high-end fashion label that many of you have heard about or seen associated with high-end designers? It seems there is a lot of confusion about this famous Italian fashion house.

Versace Jeans is the first-ever diffusion line by Italian luxury fashion house, currently owned by the fashion conglomerate, Versace which in fact is owned by Capri Holding which is a Micheal Kors creation.

The iconic brand is recognized worldwide for its cutting-edge, trendsetting styles, stunning prints, striking colors, and sophisticated, understated designs. For most women, Versace Jeans is synonymous with Versace sunglasses, shoes, handbags, and apparel – Versace Jeans Couture is coming soon to My Small Store!

difference between versace and versace couture

This is not a misunderstanding because the brand also produces a variety of denim and designer jeans and has been successful in bringing the products to the consumer market.

The new fall/winter collection will be the most recent innovation by Versace into the world of jeans couture. A new classic denim product called the “Versace Denim Logo T-Shirt” is part of the lineup and it is designed by renowned New York artist, David Hall. The garment is completed with an authentic leather zipper featuring the letter “V,” a white oval, and textured material.

Versace Jeans couture merchandise will be sold both online and in traditional stores. In addition to the jeans couture logo t-shirt, the line will offer other denim products like shirts, tops, skirts, dresses, and shoes. You can choose from a vast selection of colors including black, cream, charcoal, and cream. All of these items are accompanied by exquisite accessories that make your book stand out.

Each item in the collection is made with a special blend of denim. This design is developed by expert designers who have studied the art of making denim work for a long time. These designers pay extra attention to the fading process and the fabric’s texture to ensure that you get a comfortable fit. When you try one of their products, you will instantly understand what we mean when we say that they make you look and feel great. This is evident by the enormous customer base that Versace has.

The difference between Versace and Versace couture that sets them apart from other designer jeans is the use of genuine Italian textiles. This means that the overall design is more expensive than any other designer jeans on the market. However, the cost is worth it for the superior durability and comfort that you receive. What many people find concerning designer jeans is that the fading colors begin to appear almost immediately and that the fabric starts to lose its elasticity. Versace keeps its colors looking vibrant even years after they have been worn.

Another great thing about Versace’s denim is that it offers a variety of styling options. You can get slim, straight leg jeans, boot cut short, long leg, baggy short, and even long slim fit designer jeans for women. The styles are available to cater to the preferences of different age groups as well. Teenagers will find the various colors and designs a bit confusing, but adults find that they look great.

The durability of the items is another reason that you should purchase them. The designer jeans that you purchase should be able to last for several seasons even with daily wear and tear. The denim used for Versace’s products is stain resistant, so your clothing will last for many years to come even without a lot of taming. This is great news for consumers as this is a crucial element that will save them money and keep them happy.

Is there a difference between Versace and Versace couture, yes there is but both brands are real and quite beautiful!

Using Essential Oils

Risks and Dangers of Using Essential Oils

While many alternative health therapy practitioners swear by essentials oils, you might be prone to severe allergic reactions while using Essential Oils. 

These potent extracts from plants serve medicinal benefits, but most often, the risk of using them is far more damaging. 

From naturopathy to aromatherapy, people have been using essential oils in home remedies and to cure ailments that western medicine has failed to correct. From mild to severe dermatitis, inflammation, allergic reactions, blisters to even complete skin pigmentation loss are the horrifying side effects of using these oils wrong. 

Before discussing the potential risks and dangers of using essential oils, let’s see what they are. 

Using Essential Oils Spray

What are essential oils?

From peppermint essential oil to soothe your cold and lavender essential oil to cure your insomnia, we all have had some experience with essential oils. But if we have to look at the definition of essential oils, it is a liquid extract from plants with useful compounds. 

The essential oils are very potent in smell and active ingredients from the plant they are sourced from. Manufacturers of essential oils use two methods to extract the goodness from plants. The two types of techniques are steam or water distillation and cold pressing. 

Many manufacturers sell the essential oils as they are in the pure form or mix it with a carrier oil like coconut, sunflower, or castor oil to make more quantity of the same oil. 

Essential oils have garnered popularity in the beauty and wellness industry for being a naturally-sourced, often considered ‘vegan’ product. However, many people blindly turn to use essential oils without understanding the dangers and risks. 

Essential oils promise relief, but at what risk.

With the popularity of essential oils and their benefits, people swear these for all small and big ailments. Essential oils have a very high concentration of compounds, and they can be equally harmful to your body. People overlook these dangers and risks while using Essential Oils in the quest for better health, which is doing more harm than good. 

That is why before you use essential oils, it’s best to know the possible side effects that you will have to endure. 

Side effects of essential oils

Although essential oils are natural products, they are known to cause allergic reactions. While some people may never experience any side effects even after prolonged use, it’s best to see what you’re getting yourself into. Some of the possible side effects while using Essential Oils include:

  • Skin Irritation and Blisters
  • Skin Inflammation and Burning 
  • Asthma Attacks 
  • Headaches 

How to manage the side effects of essential oils

Now that you know the possible side effects, you need to know how you can prepare if they do happen. Most side effect reactions are minor and can be controlled at home; however, if you are having a severe reaction to using essential oils, it’s best to seek medical professionals’ help. 

If you get skin irritation from using an essential oil, use heavy cream or oil to wipe away the remaining essential oil from your skin. If you accidentally ingest too much of the essential oil, then contact your nearest poison control center. After that, proceed to drink full-fat milk and avoid vomiting while you seek help. 

Are essential oils safe for pets?

The research in this area is very scarce and has not shown improved results. If you have cats, dogs, or birds, it’s best not to have essential oil diffusers in the room or administer oil directly to the pets. 

How to safely use essential oils 

Precaution and safety while using essential oils are vital. You might use essential oils on the excellent suggestion of your friends, but it might not work the same way for you. We have rounded up some safety guidelines you should follow when using essential oils: 

Always Dilute 

Essential oils are powerful and can have toxic effects on your skin that might even be permanent. That is why it’s recommended to dilute the essential oil in appropriate carrier oils like avocado, coconut, or jojoba oil.  

Do a Patch Test 

If you’re already on medications, then using essential oils will cause all kinds of drug interactions. That is why we recommend a small patch test before using the essential oil in the affected area. 

Wash Your Hands after Using Essential Oils

The remaining essential oil from your fingers can cause adverse reactions with your eye and ear. You should thoroughly wash your hands after application of essential oil to prevent any complications. 

Avoid Ingesting Essential Oils 

Avoid ingesting essential oils unless an expert recommends it. It is best to stick to external use as the high concentration of compounds from the oil may damage your esophageal tract.


Act responsibly and weigh the risks and advantages of using essential oils. Avoid blindly following trends and not seeking medical attention for your problems, and self-diagnosing with essential oils.

Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser

The Healing Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are taking over the world by storm as centuries-old western medicine fails to provide relief. Let’s discuss the benefits of Essential Oils.

As many people try to avoid opioid dependence, essential oils offer a natural and non-addictive path to cope with their chronic ailments. Despite their popularity, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, making their use riskier.

Frequent users of essential oils claim to have seen improved health and better mood. Using essentials oils is safer and is backed by alternative health practitioners such as aromatherapy. While there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the use and side effects of essential oils, they are widely popular.  

The Healing Benefits of Essential Oils

How do essential oils work?

Essential oils are vital in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a centuries-old Egyptian tradition of using burnt incense made from herbs, spices, and aromatic wood. The essential oils in aromatherapy help with innumerable problems like insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, pain, nausea, and allergies. 

Since the FDA has not regulated the use of essential oils, there is hardly any research that stands behind the effects of using them. Essential oils are wholesome because they have pharmacological, physiological, and psychological benefits. You can use essential oils by inhalation or by applying them on it on skin. 

The chemicals and compounds in the essential oils can react with your body in countless ways. Breathing in the essential oils can invoke your limbic system associated with emotions, long-term memory, and sense of smell. Certain smells have different effects on people because of their history. 

When applied topically, oils are absorbed by the skin and move into the bloodstream from there; it is carried to the affected areas and liver to metabolize. Topical use of essential oils is often linked to cosmetic use or to treat chronic pain. 

Benefits of essential oils

Even though essential oil has widespread use, its effects on health conditions are not proven. Let’s delve into some health conditions that essential oils have had considerable positive developments.

Anxiety and Stress

Aromatherapy, along with clinical therapy, can help to alleviate stress and anxiety further. Many people also report that the smell of essential oil during massages helps relax the mind even more. While there is no documented proof that essential oils help anxiety, many people seemed to have calming effects. 

Chronic Migraines and Headaches 

A Persian headache remedy involves using sesame and chamomile essential oil to temples. You can also use a combination of lavender and peppermint oil to treat headaches. While some studies have shown relief, there needs to be more extensive research in this area. 


The lavender essential oil has marvelous effects on people who struggle to sleep. It has positive effects on your body and makes you relax better and fall asleep. 

Antimicrobial and Antibiotic 

Tea tree essential oil and peppermint essential oil has shown exceptional antimicrobial properties. These essential oils are used widely in cosmetic treatments and lotions because of their ability to fight bacterial infections and treat inflamed skin. 

How to choose the correct essential oils

Being a $12 billion industry, essential oil manufacture is not regulated. That makes it especially hard to look for quality products that have good composition. With so many companies in the market, look for the following things very closely before you settle for essential oils:

The purity of the essential oils

Look for essential oils that have aromatic compounds. Avoid the ones who have synthetic oils and artificial additives. Look for pure oils which mention the botanical name of the plant it is derived from. 

Quality of Manufacture

The best quality essential oils are the ones that will change the least during the extraction process. Look for essential oils that are chemical-free and have been extracted by cold pressing or steam distillation. 

Reputation of Brand  

A brand’s reputation never lies. Look for brands that are known for producing high-quality products. Do proper research and read customer reviews of essential oils before you buy from any brand.  

Benefits of Essential Oils Their Uses

  • Bergamot: promotes skin healing and relieves anxiety.
  • Chamomile: alleviates symptoms of cold, nausea, and fever 
  • Clove: helps to relieve dental issues and pain.
  • Eucalyptus: decongestant and topical pain-reliever
  • Frankincense: enhances mood and reduces stress 
  • Lavender: calms the nerves and helps with insomnia 
  • Lemon: disinfectant 
  • Oregano: heals inflamed skin
  • Peppermint: boosts energy and helps relieve symptoms of cold and flu. 
  • Rosemary: boosts hair and skin health and helps with joint pain.


If used correctly and safely, essential oils can provide an extra kick to your already ongoing treatments, great benefits of Essential Oils. Essentials oils react differently with different bodies, so what works for someone might not be effective at all for you. Seek help from a professional aromatherapist to use essential oils for the treatment of chronic ailments. Use essential oils responsibly and see for yourself the therapeutic benefits.

Peppermint Essential Oil

How To Choose The Best Essential Oil?

Essential oils are used for multiple purposes such as aromatherapy, hair growth, skin care, etc. Still, you may have heard about both the positive and negative effects of essential oils. So, how to choose the best essential oil for your specific need?

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about essential oils. Starting with the basics, what are essential oils?

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are basically the chemicals extracted from various parts of plants such as leaves, flowers, etc. It is done through varying methods such as distillation, cold press, and more. The extracted compound (oils) carries the goodness of the plant they have been taken from.

Why Are Essential Oils Important?

Essential oils have been playing a significant role in aromatherapy as well as hair and skincare. When you smell the scent of these oils, it stimulates a sense of relief and relaxation in your body. Apart from that, several types of essential oils are also used for medicinal purposes.

These oils are blended with fragrance-free light oils such as coconut, jojoba, etc., to be fit for use. So, which essential oil is best for your body? You cannot use just any of the essential oils available. Moreover, all of them may not even prove to be effective enough.

What Is the Best Essential Oil?

The benefit of essential oil depends upon the source it has been extracted from. Here are a few top selections for the best essential oil.

  • Lavender: It is one of the universal essential oils that have a plethora of benefits and uses. From relieving stress and headaches through aromatherapy to reducing itching and other skin ailments, it is an all-rounder. With a herbaceous yet sweet and floral fragrance, it is indeed the best essential oil.
  • Rose: From skin treatment to mood upliftment, rose is indeed a beneficial essential oil. The sweet and floral aroma of rose helps reduce anxiety and instantly cheer you up. Furthermore, it is an excellent remedy for acne and gives clear skin when applied in small quantities.
  • Sandalwood: From stimulating hair growth and helping with indigestion and diarrhea to treating anxiety and fatigue, sandalwood has a multitude of benefits. It is an excellent essential oil for reducing oil, dark spots, and acne, resulting in brighter skin.
  • Peppermint: If you are looking forward to freshen-up your mood, peppermint is the best essential oil for you. The herbal and minty scent of this oil will instantly enrich your mind and body. It can also help alleviate muscle pain and provide relief from itchiness and sunburn.
  • Ylang-Ylang: The strong and spicy aroma of ylang-ylang is an excellent aid for relaxation. When used topically, it is the best essential oil for hair growth, wound healing, and reducing scars. The oil is also an excellent insect repellent.
  • Jasmine: Another all-rounder, jasmine essential oil has multiple mental and physical benefits. When used in aromatherapy, it helps to reduce stress and improve your sleep. You can also use this oil to nourish your hair and moisturize your skin.

We carry hundreds of essential oils – check them out.

Peppermint best Essential Oil

Are Essential Oils Dangerous?

Despite the excellent benefits of essential oils, they may be harmful when used excessively. Also, if you do not use the essential oil in the appropriate manner, it may be dangerous for your health. Furthermore, pregnant women must consult the doctor before using any of these.

Several manufactures add artificial chemicals to the oils and sell them as pure ones. As a result, using essential oils can end badly, causing burns, blisters, and more. So, how to use essential oils? Here are a few tips for using the best essential oil.

My Small Store essential oils are 100% pure, we provide an official certificate upon request.

Tips to Use the Best Essential Oil


  • Thoroughly check the essential oil before purchasing. It must be pure, chemical-free, and from a reputable company – like My small Store 🙂
  • Your essential oil must be tested by a 3rd party and a Certificates of Analysis, Country of Origin of the plant(s) used, and a Safety Data Sheet should be available.
    Careful, we have seen “cheap” oils sold online on a large marketplace with mentions “FDA approved” – but essential oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration thus no FDA approved.
  • Ensure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Use on a small patch before applying to a larger area of the body.


  • We do not recommend ingesting essential oils – unless it’s specified for consumption like Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Marjoram, Thyme, Lime, Helichrysum, Black Pepper, Fennel, etc. Remember that oils are very concentrated and can burn your mouth, esophagus, gut lining, and beyond in the digestive tract. The best is to consult with a Medical Doctor before adding essential oils to your favorite beverage or food.
  • Use oils on babies and children.
  • Apply too much undiluted essential oil on the skin – it may burn.
  • Use oils during pregnancy.
  • Use essential oils with synthetic ingredients.
  • Put these oils in the eyes, ears, genitals, or open wounds.

Wrap Up

Essential oils are known to have more benefits than you can count. From reducing stress and anxiety to promoting the health of skin and hair, they have significant uses. Most importantly, essential oils have proven beneficial to uplift mood.

That said, these oils can also prove to be dangerous for your skin. You must always consider a few things, such as diluting before use and thoroughly checking its ingredients. To avoid any medical emergencies, make sure you study enough about the oil before using it.

You can only determine the best essential oil for you by checking its qualities as well as your health condition. Choose wisely, and enjoy the ultimate scent of essential oils!

Are You Still Baffled by Organic Cosmetics? 2

Are You Still Baffled by Organic Cosmetics?

The popularity of organic products is taking a toll. Not only food but even organic cosmetics are now on all the shelves. Do you think the concept is all hype? You may have a plethora of questions about cosmetics but no one to answer. Do not worry, as this article has got you covered!

Without further ado, let’s go down the organic trail!

What Are Organic Cosmetics?


Organic cosmetics refers to products having 95% natural ingredients. Additionally, these ingredients must 100% natural ingredients. Simply stating, the ingredients used in organic products should not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc., for their growth. Additionally, the final product must be free of parabens, sulfate, and other chemical ingredients.

So, how do you know a product is organic? Check the list of ingredients and look for the FDA stamp. These products must adhere to the regulations set by the Food and Drug Association to be termed as organic.

That said, you will see a plethora of natural cosmetics, but they all may not be organic. So, what is the difference between organic and natural makeup?

Organic Cosmetics

Are Organic and Natural Cosmetics the Same?

You may have seen the words ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ being used interchangeably. However, they do not mean the same. While natural cosmetics include nature-based ingredients, that is not the 100% composition of the product.

In some cases, only 5-10% of such items will include natural ingredients, while the rest 90-95% is chemical-based. On the other hand, some natural products may consist of a multitude of natural composites from chemically-fertilized plants.

These points make for the prime differentiating factors between natural and organic cosmetics. In the end, cosmetics need to meet specific standards for reaching the organic category, while it is not mandatory for natural.

How Is Organic Make-up Beneficial?

You can check out the benefits of organic cosmetics below. 

Works for the Long-Term

Organic cosmetics include natural ingredients that protect your skin from the sun and slow down aging. Also, they contain antioxidants to help your skin breathe and maintain health in the long run!


Chemical, non-organic products provide immediate results, which is why you may love them. However, what about after a few years. Your skin will start aging sooner than you know, and it will be too late to take any action. Organic products are chemical-free and protect your skin cells from getting damaged.

Nutritious Value

Natural ingredients such as essential oils from rose, almonds, avocados, olive, jojoba, etc., have more benefits than you can count. Organic cosmetics comprise only and only plants, fruits, vegetables, and other natural extracts. These ingredients are significantly-nutritious for your skin.

Why Use Organic Cosmetics?

Eco-Friendly and Substantial

 Ingredients such as aluminum, lead, petroleum, etc., are hazardous for the environment. They damage the soil, rivers, air, and also animals. Moreover, these chemicals are incredibly harmful to your skin. Organic cosmetics end not only the use of these materials in their composition but also their farming methods.

Safe for the Body

While you may be allergic to a specific fruit/vegetable, most organic products are anti-allergic as they are 100% natural. They keep your skin entirely irritation-free while restoring its moisture, oxygen, and essential oils. Additionally, you can rest assured about its quality that eliminates the question of cheap, harmful products.


You may have heard of how brands conduct animal-testing of their products to ensure safety. However, organic products entirely ban such cruel acts. They are naturally harmless, which is why they do not require any testing.

What Ingredients Make Cosmetics Harmful?

So far, you know there are certain chemicals that you should avoid, but what are they? To solve your dilemma, here is a list of the 10 harmful ingredients commonly used in cosmetics.

  • Artificial Perfume
  • Sodium Sulfate
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Diethanolamine
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Oxybenzone

Now that you know which cosmetics can harm your skin, make sure to avoid such non-organic products!

What are the Top Organic Cosmetics Brands?

The use of all-natural and no-chemical ingredients make organic cosmetics better and more effective. You also know that you must look for the same in the list of ingredients and certification on the product pack. Still, it can be difficult to identify real organic ones.

Here is an especially-curated list of the top organic and non-toxic brands for your reference.

Juice Beauty

  • USDA-Certified
  • Eco-friendly
  • Vegan and Cruelty-free


  • Environment-friendly
  • Natural vitamins and oils

100% Pure

  • Recycled packing
  • Natural fruit pigments


  • Safe, waterless formulas
  • USDA-certified


  • Vegan and handcrafted
  • Plant-based ingredients


  • Cruelty-free
  • Botanical formulae

RMS Beauty

  • Recyclable packaging
  • Raw and organic ingredients

Au Naturale

  • Natural and handcrafted
  • USDA-certified

Summing Up

Using organic cosmetics is more than just skincare. It includes enriching your skin with valuable nutrients that can be lost due to the use of chemical-based items. Needless to say, you are doing a big favor to the planet by using substantially-manufactured products.

This article answers all your questions about organic makeup and why it is better than the rest. To look and feel beautiful, you need not harm your skin anymore!

Do Aromatherapy And Essential Oils Really Work? 3

Do Aromatherapy And Essential Oils Really Work?

That a question that comes back often “do aromatherapy and essential oils really work?”

To be honest, 10 years ago I had no idea until my wife started using essential oils at night in a diffuser – she called it aromatherapy and I was clueless – it does happen when you don’t know.

Aromatherapy and essential oils stimulate smell receptors in the nose thus the name derived from the word aroma. Those receptors send messages to the limbic system, part of the brain that controls emotions and memories. The oil molecules also go through our lungs and end up in our bloodstream.

Good examples are smelling freshly baked cookies brings back childhood memories and calm down anxieties or popcorn smell makes us want to watch a movie – weird but true, I’m sure you experienced it.

Don’t go bake cookies yet 🙂 Modern aromatherapy uses essential oils which are also used during massages to help relax tight muscles.

How do you use aromatherapy and essential oils?

Essential oils used in aromatherapy are concentrated extracts from plants – it can be from flowers, leaves, or even stems. To extract oils it’s “easy”:

  • Steam Distillation – Steam breaks the oil’s cells of the plant which is later collected through a condenser – about the same process as alcohol stills.
  • Expression – an old word that means squeezing – oils are squeezed out of the plant then collected.
  • Enfleurage – another old and long process that involves fat to absorb oils then alcohol to dissolve the oils. Not used industrially but I visited a few labs that manufacture essential oils this way.
  • Maceration – used to make diluted oils by macerating pant in vegetable oil – very slow process and mostly for massage and also very long.
  • Solvent Extraction – not my favorite as it’s a chemical process that produces”absolutes” that are then used to manufacture essential oils – this process extracts up to the last drop of oil and is mostly used for jasmine, tuberose, etc. These flowers are pricey to produce.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction – this modern way is the best as CO2 is completely inert and is used at a low temperature (33 °C or about 91°F) and high pressure some 200 times the normal atmospheric pressure – in these conditions the liquid CO2 becomes a solvent. To harvest the oils, the pressure is released and the CO2 evaporates.

The latest, more industrial provides the best and purest oils as they are not heated or dissolved. Expression is a great process but it takes many more plants for the same result.

Now that we saw how to make essential oils, let’s see how to use them. A common way, if not the most common is to inhale these oils, open one, and sniff deeply. We also use essential oils in diffusers and humidifiers, as well as diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin.

One I did and it was a mistake was to add drops at the entrance of my nostrils… these oils are very strong and it burned. I put one or two essential oil drops to the palm of my hands and deeply breathe in them.

The idea is not to use too many drops… 🙂

Aromatherapy and essential oils have a large spectrum of medicinal and healing properties. They are antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral making essentials oils a must-have in our medicine cabinets.

Do aromatherapy and essential oils really work?

Yes, but they do not work for everything and if issues persist, check with a qualified medical doctor or an aromatherapist.

Let’s see the major essential oils and their effects – but first let’s check if you are allergic to that specific oil… I am allergic to Eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil which both have many similar compounds. They make me sneeze like there is no tomorrow.

The best is to put a drop of the essential oil mixed with vegetal oil and apply it to an area the size of a quarter on the inside of the forearm. Wait for 24 to 48 hours to see if any reactions occur. In my case, Eucalyptus oil shows a nice pinkish circle where the mixture was applied.

Did you know that essential oils are mostly used for their fragrances? To make soap, perfumes, deodorants, and anything with a great smell.

A very short list of essential oils – I know about 338 between organic, CO2 extracts, blends, etc.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Neroli Flowers – Citrus Aurantium var. Amara
  • Lavender oil: Many find lavender smell relaxing. We used it to relieve stress and anxiety thus promote good sleep (it works for us in a night diffuser quite well).
  • Tea tree oil: This essential oil is used for acne, athlete’s foot, and insect bites – I’m allergic to it, the smell makes me sneeze.
  • Peppermint oil: I sniff it when my nose is clogged, works like a charm. Some use it topically for headaches.
  • Lemon oil: Some find the scent of lemon oil a spirit booster. When I lived in Africa, we used it as an insect repellent and it does work very well.
  • Neroli Oil: oil from the flower of the bitter orange tree. It’s quite rare and the essential version is a bit expensive (Organic Egyptian Oil $344 for 1oz) and is mostly used for depression, anxiety, etc.
    Careful, many sell “Neroli Essential Oil” for less than $15/oz but it’s an absolute with much less potency than the real essential oil.
  • Agarwood Oil: Used for mental relaxation and focus. Agarwood is an extraordinary oil for meditation. Also appreciated purely for its fragrance. Many use it in a personal inhaler. Originally from Southeast Asia (Vietnam), Agarwood is at the center of the Arabian perfume called Oud. quite expensive at $711 for 1 oz.
  • Helichrysum Italicum Oil: is the golden sun of Italy – used for perfumes and skincare, many call it the super arnica of aromatherapy. But it comes with a price tag of around $200/oz 🙁
  • Jasmine Oil: THE feel-good oil which is used in 80% of the perfumes in the world… thus the “real” essential oil comes with a price tag of around $250/oz while cheaper versions sold on Amazon are at $5.5/oz…
  • Yuzu oil: citrus with origins in Tibet and Central China but mostly cultivated in Japan and Korea. The oil has soothing effects and can help reduce tension and anxiety. Not a cheap one @ $82/oz

Many types of oil to choose from some are inexpensive, some are extremely expensive. In any case, avoid oils too cheap to be real, often they are vegetable oils mixed with essential oils at 1 or 2% dilution.

How to use aromatherapy and essential oils?

Simple Aromatherapy

Three main ways:

  • Aromatically – this is the most well common way by using a diffuser, that fills the air with the essential oil. It lets it into your lungs through your nose and finally, it ends in your blood.
    A water-based diffuser works well in the bedroom, just be mindful of the oil to water ratio. A bowl of hot water, a few drops of oil, and a towel works fantastically for nose congestion and sinus infections – see picture
    During the day, I like putting a few drops into the palm of my hands. Cup them around my mouth and nose and take deep breaths in. Works like a charm for cold, allergies, etc.
    We will bring back the plastic pocket inhaler.
  • Topically – this is becoming a very popular way to enjoy essential oils benefits. Place drops of oils on your forehead, behind your ears, wrists, etc.
    If the smell is too strong, dilute the oil with an unscented carrier, such as coconut oil, grape seed, etc.
    I use topical oils at night and they works well when I had a tough day 🙂
  • Internally – this option is getting some buzz even though I am not confident it’s 100% safe. Some ingest essential oils by adding drops as ingredients – a few brands got the FDA approval to use their oils in recipes. Ingestion provides more benefits for the oils at the fastest rate. We do not sell these oils but I’m sure, It will be coming soon.

I would recommend using aromatherapy and essential oils at first then using skin application and why not adding a few drops of FDA approved oils in your favorite recipe. A warning though, what works for me might not work for you!

T-Shirts with sayings

Beautiful T-Shirts With Sayings

We all love T-Shirts with sayings, don’t we? @MySmallStore (check them here) we have quite a few and we continue to hunt for more. Catchy words, meaningful ones, funny short sentences, we get them all – almost all. We avoid crude T-Shirt slogans not only not to make the wearer look bad, but also because we feel it’s not what we want.

When we pick T-Shirts with sayings we skip copyrighted material illegally manufactured – like branded themes, bands, etc. for example, all our AC/DC T-Shirts are tagged “Officially LICENSED Band Merchandise.” 

When selecting a tee, don’t go too cheap and don’t overpay because some “artist” designed it. I say “artist” as some are not afraid of copying a t-shirt design and making it their own – I receive weekly “offers” from those. 

Avoid cheaply made in China tees – around $5 free shipping. Often they are made of broadcloth cotton which should be good enough unless the cotton blend is from poor quality raw material. Completely skip licensed designs from big sites such as Alibaba, Aliexpress, etc. Sellers can claim they are licensed while they are not and trouble could occur while importing these. We read horror stories about it.

Now that we set the discussion 😉 let’s see what t-shirt you want to wear, what are you looking for? A funny Christmas sayings t-shirt, a dark humor tee, or a t-shirt design that is like you? This is important but for us, the important part is the material used. 

T-Shirts with Saying

Let’s see options for T-Shirts With Sayings:

100% cotton tee

These are quite common and come with a few downsides as the material is not very soft, may shrink after wash. 100% cotton doesn’t mean it’s the highest quality and the treatment that comes with it can cause itching – you know the bleach and all the chemicals uses to grow cotton 🙂 Remember that to grow enough cotton for a tee about 9oz., it takes about 18 teaspoons of chemical! 

100% organic cotton t-shirt

These are quite different you would say but no, they are not. They are way softer… nope. The cotton is exactly the same as the conventionally grown cotton. It’s definitively more environment friendly but not softer. If you go that route, always verify that it 100% organic cotton and not n% organic, n% polyester and nn% conventional cotton – if it does, it would be a very funny sayings t-shirt 🙂 

100% Ring-Spun Cotton tee

We do sell those ring-spun cotton ones. The cotton is spun processed which allows having long fibers twisted together making the cloth very soft, difficult to shrink, and quite comfortable to wear. We noticed that print “stay” in place as the cotton doesn’t deform during washing. Ring-spun cotton exists in 100% organic and conventional.

Blend Cotton t-shirt

These tees come in many flavors:

        • Polyester and cotton blends – they come a bit softer than classic cotton t-shirts, some come with recycled polyester with a higher price tag. 
        • Rayon, polyester, and cotton blend, or tri-blend tees, or next level tri-blend. Rayon is a natural manufactured product and it’s plant-based: wood pulp, but the process is very chemical. These tees are very soft as rayon can be manufactured to feel like silk. A must-try but these T-Shirts with sayings or without can be very expensive up to $40 for real tri-blends tees without any design.

Alternative t-shirt material 

 Opening a new can of worms for your next T-Shirts with sayings:

        • Bamboo or cotton bamboo blend. Bamboo is known to be anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking (keeping moisture out of the skin). Quite an expensive option with 100% bamboo tees tagging at $30+ and no design. Read the tag, many manufacturers have no issue claiming bamboo when in fact it’s a little bamboo and mostly polyester and cotton.
        • Viscose – don’t say it… viscose is like rayon derived from wood pulp 🙂 not 100% natural due to the process but it’s still better than polyester. Like Rayon, Viscose can mimic almost any material.
        • Hemp or cotton/polyester blend tees. This is quite the big hit of this century and I do not agree at 100%. First, the cost can be outrageous – Jungmaven basic tee for $42 which is in fact 30% hemp and 70% cotton. The 100% hemp tee is priced at $98 and that without your favorite funny quotes 🙂 
          I do not agree as for bamboo and wood pulp the process to transform hemp into silk feel cloth takes a lot of energy and chemical products. 
        • Recycled material tees. Another greyish area as we can feel recycled is great but the recycling process can be very extensive thus not that great for the environment. As for the others, check the tag to make sure that the recycled part is not a tiny % of the overall material.  

So, my favorite Star Wars T-shirt is… 100% organic ring-spun cotton – much cleaner for the environment, a plain mechanical process to go from raw cotton to the cloth, quite soft and light without any degradation of the graphics or shrinkage due to washing – about $20+ before prints.

My big problem with bamboo, hemp, wood pulp for my next set of T-shirts with sayings is all the process needed to transform them into useable fibers. I’m a bit concerned when I read words like sodium hydroxide, carbon disulfide, sulfuric acid,  cellulose sodium xanthogenate, or N-methyl morpholine-N-oxide…  not toxic to humans but what about the rest of the environment? I recommend reading the thesis of Fardous Wahid Anik for more information. 

Organic cotton is much better for the environment compared to traditional cotton which is a very pesticide-intensive crop as it consumes 16% of all the insecticides and 6,8% of all herbicides used worldwide for 2.5% of the worldwide agricultural land.

What is Ring-Spun Cotton Used in T-Shirts?

Many ask what is ring-spun cotton used in t-shirts we sell.

In short, ring-spun cotton is softer, thinner, and feels more comfortable than classic carded open-end cotton.

T-shirts described as 100% cotton are manufactured from a less refined open-end cotton, offering good value for less expensive tee shirts.

Let us look at these two main variants:

Ring-Spun Cotton

It means that the cotton goes through a spinning process – about the same as wool. This process straightens each fiber.

The cotton arrives in bales, which are mixed, it’s called blending. It then goes through filters to remove particles like leaves, pieces of stems, etc.  Then it goes through carding – aligning every single fiber of the product carded – my Grandma, who was a farmer, carded wool by hand using wooden paddles. Carding is used for any vegetal or animal fibers. As of today, cotton is still carded by hand in many countries – see picture below of a carder in India.

What is Ring-Spun Cotton Used in T-Shirts?

Carding provides a uniform thickness of the fiber (still untwisted) called sliver. The cotton fiber is almost ready for spinning, felting, and inexpensive cloth making.

When fine yarns are needed, combing follows carding. Combing removes short fibers, providing a thread of long fibers all parallel to each other. The combed cotton is already smoother than the carded only one.

Spinning is the significant next step – to make it simple, spinning takes multiple slivers and combines them into one. There are multiple types of spinning: simple, ring, and adhesive-aided ring spinning

As you can imagine, it all depends on the type of cotton, some have mostly short fibers, others have mostly long fibers which is chosen for the ring-spun cotton. 

You might have seen statements such as “organic cotton is softer.” It’s true and not that true. Spun cotton organic or not will be softer than carded cotton – be careful, we saw “organic” cotton mentions about ring-spun traditional cotton t-shirts. Softer doesn’t mean organic, it means a better manufacturing process.

Carded Cotton

Carding is a cheaper process of turning cotton into usable yarn. In this method, cotton fibers held together by a fiber that runs around the slivers, while in ring-spun processed cotton, all of the fibers are aligned in the same direction. 

This process makes the fiber bulky, and much less smooth compared to the spun one.

Carding machines are not that simple as there are five steps to the card: Lickerin, cylinder, flats, offer, and coiler.

The lickerin is covered with coarse teeth; the cylinder, flats, and doffer are composed of thousands of fine wire teeth; the coiler delivers the high quality carded cotton.

Other Cotton Processes

Soft Spun Cotton is a modern way (less expensive) to produce spun cotton yet the result doesn’t provide smoother cotton compare to the ring (wheel) spun version.

Twisted Cotton is a part of the spinning process, ring-spun cotton is definitively twisted.

Air Jet spun Cotton is manufactured in Rieter carding machines and air-jet looms. Most of which deliver open-ended cotton 

Fun cotton facts

Did you know that cotton will stretch only 8 to 10% before breaking and its tensile strength is about 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms)? Remember that that is for one fiber… cotton products at composed of thousand of fibers 🙂 – by the way dry cotton is less resistant than wet cotton.

Did you know that cotton is absorbent, breathable, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic? Remember that printing ink can be toxic and allergenic. We saw t-shirts printed with arsenic-based inks 🙁 

Did you know that cotton is made of cellulose? As are rayon and wood pulp fibers! Cellulose is a naturally occurring molecule. This makes cotton 100% biodegradable – careful, colored, and printed cotton may/will lose the biodegradability unless you chose a 100% biodegradable one but then… the colors fade with washing… I know, lose, lose situation 🙂

Did you know that good quality ring-spun cotton doesn’t shrink? Well, unless like my ex did, boil then heat dry my favorite ACDC T-Shirt 🙁 –  regular wash and dry will not affect the size of your tees or any other good quality ring-spun cotton outfit.

Did you know that cotton dust can cause Byssinosis? A lung disease also called brown lung disease. It’s caused by inhaling cotton, hemp, and flax particles – no worries it affects workers in poorly ventilated with no air filtration factories. 

Hoping this answers the question: “What is Ring-Spun Cotton Used in T-Shirts”

What Branded Bag is Worth Buying?

Another great question: What branded bag is worth buying?

So you’re in the market for a designer-brand bag and you’re not sure exactly what you want or what to look for? Fear not, we’re here to help. It’s true there is a few factors your need to consider before investing in a brand new bag. And a designer bag is a sure way to get quality, durability, and looks for a long time.

But which one is right for you? We’ll talk about four different brands today and tell you about a few reasons that make all of them great options for this holiday season and pretty much all year, no matter when you’re reading this.

Versace Jeans

This is a brand that’s really playful and bold when it comes to design. You can find very minimalistic, beautiful models or you can get a more “in your face” look, but still an elegant one nonetheless. This confidence in looks is what makes Versace Jeans a great option to consider investing in.

Of course, it also has one of the most iconic and recognizable logos out there so no matter which look you choose people will always know what you’re using. Consider this if you want to go for a more discreet look that doesn’t attract too much attention.

Michael Kors

Michael Kors is an amazing brand for those who look for style and durability. Their bags are made with equal focus on function and construction as well as on looks. A wide variety of colors is also a great way to choose exactly what you want to go with your favorite look or style.

They’re also pretty good with organization bot on the interior and exterior of each bag so you’ll have pockets for everything you need to carry with you on an everyday basis. Just very convenient!

Another great What branded bag is worth

Love Moschino

Answering what branded bag is worth buying? We can’t help but loving Love Moschino (no pun intended) because they offer a wide variety of designs that are all fun, colorful, and unique. You really can’t have two models of this brand that look similar and this uniqueness is very much appreciated.

Of course, they also go the extra step and offer vegan synthetic leather in many of their most beautiful bags. So you’ll be enjoying your bag with the peace of mind provided by knowing no animal was harmed in the production of your favorite bag.

Coach New York

Coach has been evolving into a luxury brand that’s stronger each year thanks to three main reasons: exquisite materials, great construction, and terrific versatility. Some of their bags give an open option to be used in more than one style (i.e. a shoulder bag with an adjustable strap can become a crossbody bag) and all styles look great without subtracting function from the equation.

With this high quality and focus on adaptation and evolution, Coach is a pretty safe bet for an investment whether it’s your first bag or the hundredth one.

Of course, there are many other brands to consider, but this would just be too long. Want some names? Try Hermès, Chanel or Louis Vuitton. All of those brands have amazing options for everyone. Just be mindful they could be a little pricier than the ones we spoke about today.

But at the end of the day, what branded bag is worth buying? It all comes down to personal preference and specific needs you may have for your bag. Looks, function, size, style, material… all of those are important and should be considered before making an informed decision. What branded bag are you going for next time you make a purchase? Let us know which one you like the best and why. You could have very valuable reasons that we didn’t talk about here!