Natural tooth whitening. Does oil pulling work?

I was delighted to read a recent article about Alicia Keys and her #nomakeup position. As someone who is a belly dancer that wears make up and blogs about make up that may seem strange. I love make up but there is a time and place for it. The thing is, there is a lot of pressure on women to be something else, not just on stage, but all the time. I can relate to her comments about wearing masks and hiding. There was a time in my life when my skin was often red and angry and I never left the house without a full face of make-up. Thankfully after many years of work with natural therapies and deeper self-development that problem  passed. I now feel I have a healthier relationship to myself. I can accept and love how I look without make up and do the same with it.  So despite me vowing to publish all the half written make up reviews I have been accumulating on my computer I will jump this piece forward. This is about trialling oil pulling as a tooth whitener – something natural, easy to do, cheap and looks good, with or without make up.

When I first heard about oil pulling, I was like “Yuck, seriously?”.

Purple veil eye close up

One way to pose if you want to draw attention away from your teeth!

After I heard it mentioned many times, I decided to look into it a bit. From the numerous websites and forums I looked at, oil pulling has been claimed to cure everything from ingrown hairs to arthritis. I can’t attest to its curative abilities but the one thing everyone agreed on was it does make your teeth whiter so I decided to try it. It was super cheap compared with the $400 chemical shit storm the dentist offered to whiten my teeth.

So what is OIL PULLING?

It is putting a spoonful of oil in your mouth and swishing it for about 20mins or so and spitting it out.

It is said to draw out toxins (hence its claimed healing benefits). It may or may not help with health issues but in accordance with what every one else said online, it did make my teeth whiter. You do this on a daily basis for 2 weeks. I was a bit sporadic with it so my results were not as strong as my son’s. He tried it and was much more disciplined and his teeth became super white, my daughter tried it too and it temporary fixed an enamel discolouration she has on one tooth (it stayed white for many months and goes white again when she does the oil pulling, her dentist was impressed with the results).

What oil do you use?

Well the first articles I read about it in years ago recommended organic sunflower oil which I tried and did not really like. The next site said sesame oil was the ancient way, so I tried that too. I preferred the taste but it was strong. The oil of choice for most modern oil pullers is organic coconut oil. This was the best flavour in my opinion. If yours is solid just scrape out a spoonful, it melts really quickly in your mouth.


What is it like?

I won’t lie to you, I don’t like the texture of that oil in my mouth. It took me many attempts before I could tolerate it for the full-time frame but you do get used to it and some people don’t mind it at all.



Whiter teeth! It really worked for me, my friends and family. Some people do it in the shower (just remember to not spit it into your drains), some while reading, doing yoga or meditating.



My summary: 5/5

Product: Organic Coconut oil (various brands)
Effectiveness: 5
Packaging: n/a
Safety: 5
(Effect) Suitable for day wear: Yes
(Effect) Suitable for stage: Yes
Price: varies but you can get start for less than $10 and that jar should last you for a long time!

Where to get it

Everyone is crazy about coconut oil in Australia these days and you can buy this stuff at woolworths, coles, go-vita and probably any health food shop you go to. For locals – it is also stocked in Kombu in Bellingen.

I would love to hear form my overseas readers if organic coconut oil is easily available where you live too.

Have you tried it? How did it go for you? Comment below.




The information contained here is for information purposes only. You should always seek advice from a qualified health care professional before you change, start or stop any part of your healthcare plan including physical activity and exercise.

Best stage eye shadow yet! Natural make up review.

I have so many natural cosmetic products I have trialled recently to review but this is one of the most exciting! So much bling!

Today’s review : Inika precious metallics silver collection

Jade Belly Dance Inika Silver Review (3)

(Available as a free gift for a short time when you make other Inika purchases, so now is the time to decide if it is for you!)

As always if you don’t want to read the details, just scroll down to the summary at the bottom for the review in a nutshell.



A fancy black cardboard box with a fabric handle is how this upmarket natural make up product is presented. Gorgeous graphics and design make you feel that maybe spending $85 on eye shadow was not so extravagant after all. But to be fair there is more than eyeshadow in the box. Inside you get your shiny silver make up bag, platinum mineral eye shadow, gun metal mineral eyeshadow, angle brush, shadow brush, certified organic eye liner in graphite and a Berry vegan lip whip. Presentation is excellent.

The 2 included brushes are full size and appear to be decent quality. They are also 2 of the most useful types of brushes to own for applying makeup. If you don’t already have an angle brush and shadow brush then go get some!!!Jade Belly Dance Inika Silver Review (9)


The eyeshadows are in powder form in small 1.2g screw top containers with the usual plastic regulator cap with the little holes that helps you to not spill the lot or overload your brush. Personally i prefer pressed powders as i find them easier to use. I seem to get less fall out on my face when i use them.

With these products you have to be extremely vigilant to avoid getting silver sparkles all over your cheeks. Tapping out any excess on your brush helps as well as tilting your head back a bit when applying. If you apply them to someone else get them to hold a tissue under each eye to catch the pixie dust.

I tried the eyeshadows out not only on myself several times through the last few weeks but on 2 fellow dancers for a performance we did on Sunday. It was a hot sweaty day and my good friend Ash has this amazing ability to absorb all eyeshadow applied before she gets on stage. Not so with these eyeshadows – she still looked made up when we started to strut our stuff.

The platinum eyeshadow could also be used on its own for a dramatic highlight under the brows or in the inner corners of your eye.

The certified organic eyeliner in graphite applies smoothly and comes with a cap that is also a sharpener. This is a nice touch as it sooo annoying not being able to find your sharpener when you are in a hurry. It looks good when used with the 2 eyeshadows however for stage I added black eyeliner for more drama.

The biggest dud in this otherwise decadent package is the lip whip. Lip whip is a fancy term for lip gloss. The shade provided does not work for my complexion at all, even when done up with all the silver eye make up and using an Inika foundation. I think i will give it to my daughter to play with, I don’t really have any use for it at all. I would have been far more impressed with a proper lipstick included.

Due to the highly reflective shine and completely unnatural look, I think these products would be a bit much for most day jobs. They are, however, glorious for stage and night wear. I am in love. My only wish is that this product was cheaper!!

silver eyeshadow close up

The state the eyeshadow was in after wearing it all day and on stage – not bad I think!


INIKA is a luxury natural cosmetics brand. Half of the INIKA product range is Certified Organic, the other half comprises of 100% pure mineral makeup.

According to the wonderful EWG data base the:-

Inika lip whip – berry scores a 1 (ie very low toxicity) with all ingredients being either 2 or 0 in toxicity. For reference everything under a 3 is given a low toxicity rating which means this product is pretty darn safe based on current knowledge.

Inika Gun Metal Eyeshadow also scores a 1 although it had a few more ingredients with 2’s, I have to say I am very impressed by the quality and safety.

Inika Platinum Eyeshadow :1

Inika Eyeliner Graphite:2  Not quite as safe as the other products as it had one ingredient that was considered moderately toxic (TOCOPHERYL ACETATE). Still the overall rating was low toxicity.








Inika certainly sounds committed to providing quality products here are their vows from their website:

  •  No petrochemicals and other synthetic substances
  • Non-organic products of animal origins
  • No talc
  • No fragrances and other colour components of non-organic or synthetic origin
  • Anti-microbial agents not produced from organic sources
  • No chelating agents based on EDTA and its salt
  • No fatty chain source material of petrochemical origin
  • No sulphonation, ethoxylation or propoxylation
  • No alkyl sulphates (eg sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium coco sulphate, ammonium lauryl sulphate)
  • No alkyl ether sulphates (eg sodium laureth sulphate, ammonium laureth sulphate)
  • No polyethylene glycol (PEGS)
  • No polysorbates (eg polysorbate 20)
  • No ethanolamides (eg cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA)
  • No chemically synthesized sunscreens
  • No potentially harmful preservatives such as parabens, sodium benzoate & parfum

My summary: 5/5

Product: Inika precious metallics silver collection

Effectiveness: 4.5 (looses .5 for fall out and because the lip whip is silly)

Packaging: 5

Safety: 5 (pretty outstanding safety considering how well it lasts on stage)

Suitable for day wear: not so much

Suitable for stage: YES!!!!


AUSTRALASIA : $85 AUD online as a set but available as a free gift when you purchase $100 worth of Inika products online, you also get free postage so it’s kind of like a $95 bonus available until the end of March 2013.

AMERICAS:  the package is only $68US with free postage (because you are spending over $50). Makes me want to pretend I am in the US

UK & EUROPE: £45 also with free postage as it is over £32 in value

NEW ZEALAND: $97NZ and free postage as its worth over $60

Where can I buy it: Online for Aussies – click here. For the rest of the world click here

Locals you can also buy it at Kaboodle in Sawtell and Beauty on the Promenade in Coffs Harbour, Studio 287 Coramba and from Millissa Rossow at Moonee Beach.

I have no affiliation with Inika.

Liked this review? Jade publishes natural make up reviews for home use and stage and is passionate about dancers looking fabulous without toxic ingredients.  Follow the blog so you can save money and buy what works best.

Lavera natural cosmetic lipstick review

It’s well past time for another natural make-up review item. I tried Lavera naturkosmetik lipstick in 09 Maroon Kiss. I purchased this at Kombu – a local health food store and I have seen this brand in numerous health food stores in Australia.


It came in a standard lipstick case that you twist to get your lippy out. It is black circular shaped and understated. I like the clear end that allows you to see the colour – saves you from having to open it if the writing has worn off.


I bought this to replace my Rimmel lipstick in ‘Heather shimmer’ – one of my favourite shades for day use. The Lavera 09 Maroon Kiss and Rimmel product are such a close match that I have put each product on one half my lips and no one I asked could see the difference. They both have a pleasant shimmer to them. I think the Lavera product doesn’t last quite as long as the Rimmel one – particularly if you eat, but the difference is very marginal indeed. Let’s face it, if you want perfect lippy you usually need to touch it up after eating whatever product you use.

The taste was minor, it tasted like other lipsticks but not dry and waxy like previous natural brands I have tried. It is quite a moist lipstick.

I love it for everyday use and totally recommend it.

For performance I have not used this shade as I like something more dramatic, but the shimmery tones and decent staying power means that I can’t see why it wouldn’t work for stage too.


I laboriously checked all ingredients against the ewg database as the individual product was not listed. All in ingredients were in the safest category most of them listed as 0 (i.e. the best).

Finally, a product that works just like the mainstream brands only is non toxic – YAY!!

For comparison the previously mentioned Rimmel products scored a 6 (that’s the high end of the moderately toxic category)

Here are the claims from the Lavera website:-

  •  Certified Natural Cosmetics set by BDIH in Germany, apparently the toughest certification process anywhere in the world for making sure our products are natural and organic.
  • Lavera was ranked #1 in a study on safe cosmetics conducted by Oeko-Test Magazine.

Lavera and LAVERÉ products are:

  • Designed for sensitive skin
  • Made with pure, organic plant oils, herb and flower extracts
  • Free from parabens, SLS and synthetic preservatives
  • Free from fragrances, emulsifiers and petroleum based ingredients
  • Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, GMO Free

Ingredients: * indicates ingredients from Certified Organic agriculture

Castor Seed Oil*, Hydrogenated Rapeseed Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Carnauba Wax*, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Candelilla Wax, Sweet Almond Oil*, Shea Butter*, Coconut Oil*, Cocoa Seed Butter*, Olive Fruit Oil*, Argan Oil*, Alcohol*, Vitamin E, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sea Buckthorn*, Sunflower Seed Oil, Mallow Flower Extract*, Linden Flower Extract*, Rose Flower Extract*, Camelina Oil, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin C, Water, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Flavor. May contain: Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Manganese Violet.

Natural Minerals: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Tin Oxide, Carmine, Ultramarines.

My summary: 5/5

Product: Lavera naturkosmetik lipstick in 09 Maroon Kiss

Effectiveness: 5

Packaging: 4.5

Safety: 4.5

Size: 0.15 oz

Suitable for day wear: yes, A+++

Suitable for stage: yes

Price: $20 online in the US / $27.95 from kombu

Where can I buy it: I purchased this at Kombu – a local health food store and I have seen this brand in numerous health food stores in Australia  in the US go to the Lavera website

As with all my natural make-up posts to date – I have no affiliation with either Lavera or Kombu.

Liked this review? Jade publishes natural make up reviews for home use and stage mostly on Mondays.  Follow the blog so you can save money and buy what works best.

What’s your favourite lipstick?  Comment below.

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