Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2016

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant

I have tried countless natural deodorants over the years with disappointment.   So after a month of rigorous testing (giving birth and nursing a baby in the summer qualifies as rigorous in my book) I’m excited that Schmidts works beautifully.  

When you have but a few precious moments to get ready in the morning, every product counts. And while deodorant may be the most pedestrian of beauty products, this one is worthy of a quick post. 

The ylang-ylang scent is lovely but not overpowering in the way that some can be. And because it’s aluminum free and natural I feel good about using it and having a baby be so close.  So while I may not have enough time to put on makeup, at least I’ve found something to help me feel fresh!  

P.S. Some of my other favorite natural beauty products are here or here.
*this post was not sponsored

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sweet Cheeks: Call Me A Beauty Counter Convert

After months of piqued interested, I reached out to a local Beauty Counter representative and asked to  sample some of their products.  Luckily, they started shipping to Canada about 8 weeks ago and their makeup line will be available here starting this month.

I've been especially interested in trying their face wash, but wasn't sure which one was for me.  I have mentioned before how hard it has been to find a replacement for Cetaphil that is more natural.  After a few weeks of using their Nourishing Cream Cleanser, I can confidently say I'm a convert.  I love that it is gentle enough to double as a eye makeup remover and also makes my skin feel cleansed but not tight.  

In preparation for having a newborn, I've been thinking a lot about the beauty products I use.  Especially when they are so little and you have so much skin-to-skin contact, I like to be mindful of what I am putting on my skin as it will be shared.  I feel great about these products! Void of harmful chemicals; they are made with stringent standards (more here).

Coincidently,  they recent came out with a line of baby products too.  I was able to sample the baby balm and am hooked.  This stuff is gold! 

James Robert has suffered with eczema since he was a baby.  His cheeks are an area that tend to especially suffer; they get ruddy and chapped easily even in warmer weather.  Many doctors have recommended aquaphor, which is a useful product, but not at all natural.  The baby balm from Beauty counter cleared up his chapped cheeks in just two applications.  It easily massages into the skin and doesn't leave a residue or stickiness.  After trying literally dozens of products, I can say this one has worked the best for us by far. 

This is in no way a sponsored post, and after sampling I eagerly purchased both of these on my own. but These two products were too good not to share!

 P.S.  Here are some of my other green beauty favorites.  Or click on the wellness tab above for more!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DIY Sugar Lip Polish + Whipped Sugar Body Scrub

This pregnancy is flying by. I’m astonished that we’re over half way to meeting this baby boy and can hardly contain my excitement.  I’m also relishing every moment of the second trimester while I have energy and feel good! Looking back, my third trimester with James Robert was challenging- I had pregnancy induced arthritis and I generally didn’t feel great.  So this time around, I’m determined to take better care of myself-- a little pampering can go a long way, right?! 
Trouble with pampering is that it usually takes a lot of time and often I'm ready to crash at the end of the day.  But these two recipes proved to be a quick and easy pick-me-up with ample time leftover. 

The dry winter cold is taking a toll on my skin and although I’ve been eyeing the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish forever, I haven’t had a chance to make it to the mall (and was too impatient to wait for it to be shipped).  Yesterday, I had an I-need-it-now kind of moment. So, on a whim, I tried my hand at making two scrubs- one for the body and one for the lips all with ingredients in my pantry.  

I’m not typically a DIY beauty type of girl.  But these saved me time, money and are 100% natural which makes me feel great about the end result.  There are a ton of recipes on pinterest, and I’ll link to the ones I used below, but in general, there are some easy formulas to follow.   

Both scrubs are very effective at sloughing away the winter blahs and feel totally indulgent. I consider this little project a  nap time success!
Lip Scrub:
Mix equal parts sugar (granulated or brown) + honey + coconut oil*.  I also added a dash of bourbon- vanilla (from TJ's) for extra deliciousness. For my little pot I only used about 1 teaspoon each. 

Apply in circular motion to lips for about a minute and then wipe away (I dare you not to eat some). 

Whipped Sugar Body Scrub:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coconut oil*
1 teaspoon of corn starch (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
essential oil (optional)

1) Mix equal parts olive oil + coconut oil in a pan.  Melt over low heat.  Do not let boil. 
2) Pour into a large bowl (I used one that goes to my stand mixer) and then put in freezer for 10 minutes. 
3) Once the edges start to harden, whip the oil on high speed for about 2 minutes.  It will become opaque.  Add cornstarch if desired (it will have a less oily consistency) and continue to whip for another 2-3 minutes. 
4) Once the oil becomes a cool whip-like consistency, gently fold in 1 cup of granulated sugar. 
5) Add essential oils if desired. I added about 10 drops of lavender and 5 drops of ylang-ylang. 

*Quick note on coconut oil. I LOVE coconut oil.  I wrote about it during my first pregnancy here.  My favorite brand is this one

I used two glass containers with lids from emptied beauty products, but you could easily use a mason jar or whatever you have on hand! What tips and tricks do you have for at-home pampering?  I'd love to know! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites for Winter Hair

This morning we are headed to our 19 week ultrasound- I'm on pins and needles with excitement and nerves to hear if everything with the baby looks OK.  My biggest wish is to just hear the doctor say the words healthy.  I'm also crossing my fingers and toes that they will be able to tell us the gender.  So, I hope to be back on Monday with an update!

In the meantime...when I find something that works, I can't wait to share it with friends.  And after 32 years, I think I finally figured out a formula for good hair days in the winter.

When the weather turns frigid, it just isn't an option to air-dry my hair like I usually would do during the summer.  I would prefer to remain low maintenance, but out of necessity, I found that this process is a time-saver in the long run.

I should preface these recommendations by admitting that I dread blowdrying my hair.  However, I consider the technique shared below to be 10 minutes well spent.  If I style my hair following this tutorial and use these products, I can stretch my blow-out for 3+ days (shhhh)! 
First things first, watch Marianna's tutorial.  I promise if it seems like a lot of work, after doing it twice, it will be like second nature.

To save as much time as possible, I like to put my hair up in this towel when I  get out of the shower.  It soaks up so much water and cuts the hair drying process in half.

I tried the mousse that she recommended and found that it had a lot of hold which provided volume, but weighed my hair down more than I'd like.  Therefore, I suggest using her technique with Aveda's smooth infusion instead.  When I put my front layer in the velcro roller (life-changing I tell you!) I like to give it a quick spray of the hairspray.

At the end, I finish everything off with a pea-size amount of the Redken Outshine. My hair stylist recommended this as a great way to tame the static that plagues hair this time of year and I love it.  It helps fly aways and doesn't feel heavy.
hair on day 3
And let's be honest.  One of the only things that I like about winter hair is that I can get away with wearing a cute hat which doubles as a great way to cover a few day old blow-dry.

Hope this works for you if you try it- let me know!  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gift Guide: For the Girls

1) When I saw the new collection by Little Ghost, this clutch jumped to the top of my wish list.  The size is perfect for a diaper bag keep-all but equally suited for a night on the town.  My dear friend, Amber, is the brains behind the brand; she has the whole I'm-a-mom-but-still-unbelievably-cool-thing down, so I take notes. 

2) What girl isn't a tab bit obsessed with Instagram?  This mini instagram projector will perfectly highlight the past year's favorite memories.  It's a keepsake that she'll enjoy as much the kids.

3) Earrings that play double-duty work just as hard as she does-- whether or not that's in an office, these are the perfect pair.  

4) It may seem pedestrian, but I assure you this hair towel changes the way she'll get ready.  

5) Because regardless of where you live (ah 'em, Canada) it's always a good idea to have Southern cuisine at your finger tips.  And even if you can't get all the ingredients in this cookbook, the stories by the folks of Garden and Gun will make it a must-read. 

6) Making everyday a bit more decadent is a French art form.  Case in point, this French ceramic butter dish that will keep your butter soft and spreadable.  Novice to experienced foodies can appreciate that. 

7) Guide her to greener pastures- this Aura multi-use color stick in the color spark is said to be the green beauty dup for the cult classic Nars multiple in orgasm.  Universally flattering and non-toxic.   

8) If I could plaster my walls with Lulie Wallace's art work, I would.  But I think most girls would settle for wearing her prints instead.  The upbeat and cheerful nature of her work suits this scarf perfectly. 

9) Honest beauty's Magic Balm claims to hide a myriad of minor tragedies while doubling as a subtle highlighter. Sounds to me like a girls best friend. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Favorites: Green Beauty

Way back when I started this blog,  I was living in New Zealand and my eyes were open to making more eco-friendly decisions.  In particular, I become much more aware of what some conventional beauty and cleaning products were putting in their ingredients.  On the bright side, I also became aware of how many wonderful green alternatives there are.

Over the years, I have tried a lot of different products.  I don't claim to be an expert.  I don't even claim to only use clean products... but my motto is, it's not about doing everything, it's about doing something.

It's been forever, so I thought it would be fun to recap some of my more recent favorites. So if you're just dipping your toes into the green beauty scene, of if you're a green beauty maven, I hope this list of some of my current favorite products will be fun to read through.

What are your favorites? Please let me know!
Green Beauty Favorites

1) The Cleanser by Graydon:  I have had the hardest time swapping my old standby, Cetaphil, for something less toxic. In fact, I held on to that the longest.  But, I finally found something that performs similarly for my sensitive skin.  It foams a bit more than Cetaphil, but the consistency is similar.  It makes your face feel thoroughly cleansed but never tight.  I'm really in love with this product.

2) Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Toner:  I used to be skeptical about toner, but after using it religiously for over a year, I can say that it does indeed make your other product work better.  I like this line of products, but this toner is my favorite.  I've used other more pricey toners, but keep coming back to this one and you can't beat the price point (you can usually get it on sale at WF). Plus it smells great.

3) Antipodes Serum:  This stuff is a miracle worker.  It makes your skin feel plump and supple instantly.  It is the extra moisture boost I need without feeling sticky or like there is an extra layer on your face.  It's a game changer.  Side note, this product line originated in New Zealand. It's harder to find in the states, but you can get it at Whole Foods in Canada.

4) Acure Night Cream:  This is a light weight night cream that doesn't feel heavy, but gets the job done. With the winter months approaching, I have turned to this for a the needed moisture protection. I alternate between using this and #5 nightly.

5) I like to make my own face oil with a mix of grape seed oil and frankincense and lavender essential oil.  I use it every couple of nights and in the dead of winter, I will use it every night.  It smells wonderful and it beautifully restores skin over night and doesn't feel heavy.  If I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll do a little face massage with it like this.

6) Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask:  There is a reason her stuff has a cult following- it is that good.  I use this mask about once a week.  I may have been known to fall asleep with it on a few times and it truly makes your skin feel brand new.

7) Burt's Bees Blemish Stick: For pesky little spots, this is a life saver.

8) Rescue Aromatherapy by Rocky Mountain Soap Co: I was introduced to this product line while in Banff.  I have been using this mist as a great way to banish the stuffy noses that come with this time of year.  I like to spritz it before bed and inhale deeply. It doesn't do anything for my skin as much as just make me feel refreshed and relaxed.