Are you enjoying this never-ending winter? Here in the Midwest there is still a TON of snow on the ground, but at least we’re beginning to see the sun. Since it’s still dry outside I’ve been using face masks more frequently. Here are a couple of my current favorites.
BeautiControl Tierra Azul Thermal Fango Masque
This has to be one of my all-time favorite masks. With ingredients like marine mud, grapeseed oil, olive oil, and and fig extract, this mask draws the impurities from your skin and leaves it feeling amazing! Plus it’s a warming mask so it feels incredibly relaxing to apply. It doesn’t dry on the skin, forcing you to scrape and scrub in order to get it off. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated but not oily, which is important for a combination/oily girl like myself. At $24 USD for 5 oz this baby is definitely worth picking up! If you’re not sure where to order this in your area, you can find it here.
Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask
Filled with clary sage, this does as it says. It is incredibly hydrating, but again does not leave the skin feeling or looking oily. Very easy to apply, leave this on the skin for 5-10 minutes and then rub in or wipe off excess. This is also noncomedogenic and won the Allure 2013 Best of Beauty Award. The cost is $15 for 4oz of product and can be found at most drugstores or by clicking here.
I love the ingredients in these masks. You will find no parabens or dimethicone. The Burt’s Bees mask is 99% natural. While I have not found the fango mud mask rated on ewg.org/skindeep or goodguide.com, I know that the company seeks to keep products more natural and low-toxin while staying effective. Plus both masks also have anti-aging properties-bonus!
Interested in DIY face masks and scrubs? Below are a couple of recipes I posted on YouTube last year.
If you try these products let me know. What are your current favorite skincare products? Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.
“Oh LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12
LUSH Collection and Storage. Photo by somethingtoconsiderblog.com
Hello Friends! I had a request to do a Lush storage video and decided to do also a collection video to make it a more interesting two-fer. I know some people like to use their Lush items as decor in bathrooms in vase-like containers. This can look very pretty. A caveat to that is being careful of using more than one kind of bath item in that way. The scents can get melded together as they absorb each others’ aroma. They can also get a bit messy if the items begin to crumble (unless you don’t care, then go ahead and throw caution to the wind! After all, these are just bath products we’re talking about). So if you are interested in seeing my current (ish, I recorded this in October) Lush collection, click on the video below. Many of the items were purchsed during the December 26 buy 1 get 1 free sale. As always, thanks for reading/watching!
Giveaway rules and details:
1. must subscribe to my channel
2. thumbs up this video
3. if you are under 18 years old, please ask your parents’ permission to give out your address/receive a package
4. leave 1 comment (ex. favorite lush items, future videos you would like to see, etc.)
5. make sure your activity is public so I can see you’ve done the above
For Additional Entries:
-follow me on instagram, leave a comment on a post with “enter me”
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-favorite this video & let me know you’ve done so
-giveaway will be open until the end of Christmas day, December 25 11:59pm EST
-giveaway is international
-i will message the winner and list here the week after Christmas (if winner does not reply after 1 week a new winner will be chosen)
-winner will be chosen using a random number generator
Good luck and thanks for participating!
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
*This post is not sponsored or affiliated in any way (I wish! :p). Items can be purchased at www.lush.com
Up for your consideration are the Tinted Mineral Moisturizer and Refining Finishing Powder by Juice Beauty. I spotted these in Ulta awhile back, and since I’m always on the hunt for effective low-toxin products, I thought I would give theses a shot. Here’s a bit of background on Juice Beauty in case you are unfamiliar.
Founded in California, their goal was to create healthy and effectual personal care products. They have created antioxidant and vitamin-rich, organic, juice-based formulas that strive to be more effective than their high toxin-counterparts. Using juice as a base eliminates the need for petroleum derivatives that many other companies use, which suffocate the skin and frequently contain harmful chemicals. Juice Beauty is a certified organic brand, so you can purchase their genuinely natural ingredients with confidence. But enough chat about the company. How well do the products actually work?
The tinted moisturizer has an SPF of 30, which is a bonus so no added sunscreen is necessary. Obviously the ingredients are a major plus. Not that all of my makeup is completely natural/organic, but I prefer anything that goes all over my entire face to be as natural and low-toxin as possible. It is very moisturizing, and since I am an oily girl, I do not use any supplementary moisturizer with it. This leaves the skin with a very dewy finish. For dry skin this is great; however, if like me you are more slippery, I would recommend using the refining powder to set it. The loose powder is very light and leaves the skin with a very natural finish (as in the middle ground between dry and oily). It does not look cakey, and for me it seems to last all day, even in the summer. Not everyone cares for loose powders, but they do not bother me if they perform well. I noticed it settled a bit into my smile lines throughout the day but not terribly. I saw no noticeable difference with how it looked when I used a primer underneath or not. The refining powder scores a 2 (low toxin) on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. The tinted moisturizer scores a 2 in the shade ivory, 3 in sand and tan (which puts them just into the moderate range). For more information on what these ratings mean, visit http://www.ewg.org/skindeep
For the tinted moisturizer, I dot it all over my face with clean fingers and then massage into the skin. I usually then go over it with my Bare Minerals precision face brush just to even it out. I apply the refining powder with the Bare Minerals flawless face brush, tapping off any excess product into the cap.
If you’ve been burned by tinted moisturizers that lack any semblance of coverage, this will not disappoint you. However, if you are in search of a full coverage product, this (or any tinted moisturizer for that matter) is not the item for you. While the price point is a bit steep (the tinted moisturizer retails for $29 for 2 oz of product; the refining powder goes for $22 for .28 oz), you get plenty of product. Could the health score of the tinted moisturizer be better? Of course (in the darker shades that is). So if you are really uncomfortable using anything other than low-toxin products, you will want to pass on this. Overall I think you get what you pay for: high quality, natural products that do pretty much what they say they do. And if you purchase them from Ulta and are dissatisfied, you can return them for a full refund or store credit (at least here in The States).
Have you tried them? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and skin type. Of course I purchased these with my own money and these thoughts are my own. Thanks for reading.
Info on the company found at http://www.juicebeauty.com
Skin Deep database: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep
Interested in seeing how these products look on the skin? Watch my YouTube video:
English: Makeup before attendance. Српски / Srpski: Шминкање пред наступ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.” -Ninon de L’enclos
Have you ever stopped to think about what is in your makeup? Unfortunately we cannot assume that if a product is allowed on the shelves it must be okay. In fact, it may even be toxic. Thanks to being born the only girl in a house full of boys, makeup has never been that important to me. Still, I like to get dolled up on occasion, and I want to feel good about what I am putting on my face. This post is not an alarmist scare tactic. Rather, my opinion is that people should be educated about their products so they can make an informed decision. Below is a list of personal care ingredients that are suspected toxins known as the “dirty dozen,” a brief description of the serious health concerns to which they are linked, and resources for finding non-toxic products.
BHA & BHT
Coal Tar Dyes
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
While each ingredient affects us differently, some are known carcinogens, linked to organ toxicity, as well as birth defects, hormone disruption, cancer, skin rashes and irritations, allergens, asthma, and reproductive problems for both genders from either direct use or in utero exposure. I enjoy makeup, but it is absolutely not worth those risks. Some argue that many of these ingredients are considered low risk in small amounts. However, people are not just exposed to them in a one-time use product. Unfortunately, most personal care products contain one or several of these toxins, from lipstick to shampoo, lotion, soap, and more each and every day (not to mention toxins in other products such as food and cleaning products). I would rather yield to the Precautionary Principle and limit them as much as possible. It seems inconceivable that these ingredients would be allowed in so many of our products.
“Most consumer products are unregulated in the U.S., so manufacturers are allowed to use hazardous chemicals without demonstrating the safety of the products and without labeling them as toxic.” (Malkin, 2007). Stronger regulation of cosmetic ingredients would help reduce or eliminate the risk posed by these components from the products that we put on our skin. As the skin is our largest organ, the majority of what we put on it gets absorbed into our bodies. Some of the ingredients above help products penetrate more deeply into our skin, causing us to absorb even more. Many in-depth resources have been written about toxic ingredients and the lack of laws regulating their use, such as the references listed below. If these ingredients are in so many products, how can they be avoided?
If you are like me, trying to decipher the ingredients list on a package can make your eyes cross. What’s more, many of these products are listed under multiple names, such as the many types of siloxanes (generally they are listed as words ending in “–siloxane” and “–methicone”). Luckily there are search engines available that provide information on the safety of product ingredients. I use Good Guide at www.goodguide.com and Skin Deep at www.ewg.org/skindeep. Each site pulls up a detailed rating regarding ingredient safety and toxicity. Good Guide even has an app for smart phones. Although I have found the regular search engine works a bit better, it is convenient to have it at my fingertips in the store. It has enabled me to avoid purchasing a product with a low health rating numerous times. Before you think this message is all gloom and doom, be encouraged that many products are available with safe ingredient alternatives (both affordable and high end). And if you are motivated, you can take action.
-Support health-conscious businesses by purchasing their products that have safe ingredient ratings. Do not assume that if a product is labeled “natural” or “organic” that they truly are. Companies recognize that many consumers are interested in healthier product ingredients. They are trying to capitalize on that, labeling products as natural and organic which are not. This also happens due to the lack of regulation. Also do not assume that just because a company makes certain products with low-risk ingredients that all of their products will have the same rating.
-Reduce the number of products you use each day. And remember, you do not need makeup to be beautiful! The times in my life I’ve worn the most makeup were when I was most insecure, which is no good reason to wear it.
Don’t be discouraged. Many companies are making the move toward safer products for their consumers; products that work just as well if not better than the toxic alternative. It simply takes a little extra time on our part to find them. Each time we purchase them, we send a message that toxic makeup should be a thing of the past. Companies will make what people will buy. Thanks for reading. Please let me know your favorite low-toxin personal care products in the comments below.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1Peter 3:3-4
Malkin, S. (2007). Not Just a Pretty Face: The ugly side of the beauty industry. Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers.
As pregnancy winds closer to an end in expectation for birth, one of the to-do list items to check off my list is packing the hospital bag. Whether you are packing your bag months in advance in anticipation, or if you are a procrastinator packing at the last minute, below is what I consider my hospital essentials when having a baby.
Slippers for doing laps around the birth center to get dilated
Warm, fuzzy socks to keep my feet warm
Reusable feminine pads to manage bleeding (for vaginal childbirth). Reusable pads are better both for mom (no harmful chemicals like dioxin) and the environment. I use Lunapads which you can find at http://www.lunapads.com
Nipple cream for breastfeeding mothers. This is essential. When nursing my daughter, I somehow missed the memo about nipple cream and they were so sore it made nursing almost unbearable. A few days later my friend asked me if I had been using any cream and mercifully filled me in on it. What a difference it made! I may have given up on breastfeeding without it. An alternative that I’ve heard works well is using breast milk. After your child has finished nursing, rub a small amount of breast milk on the nipple and let it air dry. The nipple cream I like is Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, a 100% natural product. This can be found at http://www.abesmarket.com/store/earthmama/products/?gclid=CMe-jcrN8LUCFetAMgodo1QADg
Headphones and MP3/iPod for music to help relax or distract you through contractions
Camera for taking pictures/video
Lip balm for hydrating lips that get dry from all of that deep breathing
Book or magazines
Cloth diapers-I am packing some Bum Genius 4.0 one size diapers. These may not work for babies that weigh less than 8 lbs, so just in case I am also packing some Kissa’s newborn prefolds and Thirsties extra-small diaper covers. My favorite website for cloth diaper essentials is http://www.kellyscloset.com/ or even craigslist/on-line yard sales for gently used ones for very cheap
Clothes-onesies, bodysuits or pajamas, and an outfit for newborn pictures
Small amount of olive oil (I use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil)-put this on baby when changing their diaper. This will help the ever-so-sticky meconium clean off like a dream.
Receiving blankets or swaddlers
Some women like to bring pajamas or robes from home that are more comfortable than hospital gowns. If you do this make sure you are okay with them getting stained by the plethora of fluid that accompanies childbirth. My list may seem very modest. I remember with my first child I completely over-packed as I was not sure what I would need. You may have additional items that are essential for your comfort. Pack whatever you feel you need. I recommend keeping it simple so that packing to go home will be a simpler process.
Thanks for reading. Please leave me your hospital bag essentials in the comments below.
Here is a quick and easy recipe for a do it yourself face mask that will leave your skin feeling hydrated and soft. Why spend a ton of money on store bought masks that have harmful chemical ingredients that your skin absorbs? For this you only need four ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen.
What You Will Need:
1 medium sized ripe banana
¼ cup of rolled oats (preferably not quick oats)
Approx. 10 drops of almond oil
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
Blender or food processor
Mix all ingredients together in your blender or food processor until well blended and oats are ground. You can adjust the thickness of the mask by adding or subtracting oats. I prefer the consistency to be quite thick as it spreads on easier, but do what works for you. Start with a clean face either just after a bath or after steaming your face to open up pores in preparation for the mask. Use your fingers to spread the mixture relatively evenly over your face. Note that this mask is a bit messy and should be done over a bowl, at a table, or in a shower with a drain catcher. Store any extra mask in the refrigerator (toss out after a week or two). Let sit for 10-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water and a wash cloth. If you have dry skin you may want to moisturize afterward (for oily, combination, or normal skin this most likely will not be necessary).
Who is This Mask For?
This mask is great for most skin types, including dry, normal, combination, oily, and some sensitive skin types. While oatmeal has many calming properties, if you have highly sensitive skin you may want to check with a dermatologist before trying this mask. If you have very oily skin (or if you live in a very hot, humid climate) and you find this mask too hydrating, try reducing the amount of banana used. This mask is great for winter months when everything is drier. If you have acne-prone skin, do not be afraid to try this mask. I have oily, acne-prone skin that is more combination during dry weather and I love this mask. It leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated but not oily and it has never caused me to break out.
Why These Ingredients?
Banana-very hydrating for the skin!
Oats-soften, trap in moisture, calm the skin
Almond oil-moisturizes, removes dead skin cells, has anti-aging properties
Pure vanilla extract-an antioxidant
Thanks for reading. Please leave me a comment below if you try this mask with how it worked for you and your skin type. Also let me know what masks you enjoy using!
Check out my YouTube video on this where you can see my friend Ruby apply her mask 🙂 :