Thursday, February 28, 2013

NATURAL BLOGS! (And some others)


             I was introduced to the wonderful community of natural bloggers sometime in early December by the wonderful Caitie. I love these girls and their blogs SO much. I love chatting with them (most, if not all, have twitters!) and they have introduced me to so many new products!

As always, I recommend keeping up with new blog posts via Bloglovin
Follow my blog on Bloglovin here

*Blogs that recommend products similar to the products in my videos

(In no particular order) 
Britanie - Beautybybritanie (her youtube)
*Caitie - Naturalla Beauty
*Mary - Pure_Makeup (her youtube)
Hayley - The Flaxen Owl (her youtube)
Pemberley - Pemberley Jones 
Sarah - Sugarpuffish (her youtube)
Kimberly - Kimberly Loc
Heather - Beauty Au Natural
Vanessa - LonelyKiwee
Aaron (boyfriend!) - lifestyle, humor, movie reviews - ARK's Ramblings
Shoudra Stargleam - FOTD, Pumpkin and Poppy, etc - Starshine (her youtube)
Andrea - Reviews, gorgeous photos, more! - From Inside My Closet (her youtube)
Nancy - Makeup! Indie brands, tutorials, etc - Dark Side of Beauty
Phyrra -Makeup! Indie brands, mainstream, tutorials swatches galore - Phyrra

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Foundation Routine/The All Natural Face's Cream/Liquid Foundations

First, some links!
Products Used in the video:

The All Natural Face's Cream/Liquid Foundations
**I DO use the powder foundation (in the same shade - Porcelain Kissed By Honey) as a spot concealer after I set my foundation with the Sobe Botanicals powder foundation. I personally don't like using a mineral powder foundation alone with nothing else under my skin as it can make me look super dry. 

1 oz for $13.80

Site Claims:

"This formula rocks. The special ingredients in this formula are Organic Jojoba Oil and Squalane Oil, both are wonderful for your face and skin.  Squalane is a known wrinkle fighter.  There is also glycerin in the formula to help protect your face from the environment and control oil and dryness at the same time. You will get wonderful coverage from this foundation as well. Available in all 51 shades of my foundation. Don't know your color?  Try a sampler and get the perfect color in powder.  No more "just close enough " Get the perfect match!  We do not offer samplers in the liquid foundation."

My thoughts: The formulation is very thin - I would consider a very light coverage foundation, but more so a tinted moisturizer without being a moisturizer (if that makes sense).

I used to really like this foundation, but the formula hasn't worked on my skin type lately. I used it a lot in the spring of last year, but now my skin is drier (less acne though!) and no matter how I apply it, it usually looks dry and cakey. Applying it with a kabuki brush leaves streaks, and the beauty blender doesn't give much coverage for me - when I used it I applied it with my fingers!

I think it would be great for people with normal to oily skin (more on the oily side). It does have some preservatives, as all liquid products need, but these ingredients are MUCH better than the ingredients of drugstore foundations.
Rating: 2/5
Slightly blended

Ingredients: purified water, glycerin, mica, oxides, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide(sunscreens), organic jojoba oil, squalane oil,boron nitride(mineral),Ceteareth-6 Olivate(olive based emulsifier), xanthan gum(co-emulsifier),cosmocial cq (preservative) potassium sorbate(food grade preservative)

10g for $6.50
20g for $12.45
Get Ready With Me video (Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki)
Review/Demo (SOHO Beauty Blender)

Site Claims:

A lot of folks have asked and we listened. The other formula was dense and had dense coverage. With the new formula you won't lose any of the coverage but the application is much creamier and feels just wonderful! Now you can get your foundation color in a great cream pot! Offered in every color of foundation. Incredibly easy to travel with, fits in your purse or pocket! Never leave home without it!This pot has replaced the stick. The pot makes for easier application and the formula is now a little creamier. Comes in a 10 gram pot or a 20 gram pot. Each pot also has a puff for application. The foundation can be used as a concelaear or as a foundation. You get fantastic coverage with this formula!
My thoughts: I've used this same product as a concealer alone (not all over the face) for about 3 years now. It matches my skin perfectly (Porcelain Kissed By Warm Honey - the neutral porcelain, not too pink or too yellow). 

I love the consistency, and it's creamy and moisturizing. The ingredients are fantastic and there are no preservatives. With a brush, I do still get a bit of a cakey look (keep in my my skin is dry). 

The way I apply it as you can see in my review: a few sprays of my George's aloe before I scoop out the cream (as shown in the photo to the right, although I usually use more), warm it between my fingers, dot it on my face, another two sprays, and start blending with my wet beauty blender from SOHO. The cream is quite thick to only use a dotting motion with the beauty blender, so I do have to drag it a bit. 

EDIT: I used the tiniest bit this morning and applied it with my hands to act as a "tinted moisturizer" almost. Still great coverage, leaves your hands OILY so if you apply with your fingers, be prepared! Let a great finish too. 

It gives medium coverage, the perfect amount of coverage without looking like a mask, in my opinion. It looks so natural! I do have to go back with a brush to add just a bit more to my acne hyperpigmentation though. 

*One of the reasons I love using this foundation is that it's FAST to apply. I don't need to use any effort to blend it in at all. Applying it is faster than when I used a small brush and went over my hyperpigmentation and acne individually over and over to get the coverage I want.
Rating: 4.75/5
Ingredients: organic jojoba oil, organic argan oil,candelillia wax, mica, oxides, tuitanium dioxide and zinc oxide(sunscreens)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Go Natural Ep #2: Hand/Body Moisturizers

Episode 2 on Hand/Body Moisturizers is here!

I was excited when Jen requested this for our next topic because I've been loving my hand/body creams lately! Lotions and creams for the body are less subjective than face moisturizers, which can be very specific based on skin types. (My skincare routine!)

The goal for this series is for Jen to switch more of her items to natural, and me to help others make the switch with some help from my acquired knowledge about ingredients!
Here you will see all of the important information written out so you can come back to it when you need it! I also linked some of my older videos for parabens, sulfates, and silicones. (I'll eventually get around to redoing these ;P)

(does have phenoxyethanol which I do recommend avoiding, 
but it's better than drugstore lotion by a long shot and doesn't have silicones!)
Waxelene (great for targeted dry areas)

*Kinds of moisturizers-
Lotions with water will typically be thinner and less moisturizing than a cream or body butter with no water at all. A cream with pure shea butter and oils, such as the Nourish Body Butter is SUPER thick and oily, and great to apply to the hands and feet at night. The RB Monoi cream has water and is thinner and perfect for daytime use. 


-Silicone is used to create a barrier on the skin making it feel soft and moisturized, when really it prevents any moisturizer from going to and from your skin. It is especially important to avoid in body and hand moisturizers because they will prevent them from getting thr most moisture possible. 

-Most common names are dimethicone, amodimethicone, and clyclomethicone . Other names/derivatives found here
-These can be found anywhere in an ingredient list, so read the ENTIRE list. 

My video: Parabens
-These are a no-no, especially in body wash and products that cover large surface areas of your body. -Most common names are methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben.
-These will usually be found towards the bottom of a product (where MOST preservatives are located, but not always).

Numbers/ Can you pronounce the ingredient?
-Numbers usually signal a chemical ingredient that usually has a complex name. If you can pronounce the ingredient and it doesn't "sound" chemical, that's a good sign.


Alcohol is very drying and it won't help you In a moisturizer at all!  

Essential oils (for fragrance);
-Essential oils are made from natural sources and whilst they are strong, they are not at all like synthetic fragrances.
*Be careful with these when spending time in the sun/in the summer, as essential oils on the skin can cause skin sensitivity when in the sun and this is really important to keep in mind when applying a body lotion. I recommend using something with less essential oils or in an unscented formula. 

Natural butters:
Shea butter, cocoa butter,
-Shea butter is an ingredient I ALWAYS look for in my hand and body moisturizers. I've even used it alone too. Butters are incredibly moisturizing and a great base to add additional oils too, as listed below!

Natural oils
-Olive, coconut, jojoba, argan, avocado, etc! There are tons! These are THE BEST for your skin and the MOST important in a moisturizer. 
What's great is that you can use all of these ingredients ALONE as moisturizers! I love coconut oil for my body!

*If a moisturizer has a huge ingredient list and only a few are natural oils and butter, put it aside and find one that has an ingredients list comprised of most of these things. 

As always, feel free to ask any questions you have or shoot me a list of ingredients via youtube or my email for help! Let me know if you decide to purchase any body washes and if you have suggestions for future episodes/posts!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

SIC: What I've Been Spending $ On!

I haven't done a SIC 'Shopping in Control' update in a LONG time - mid October to be exact!

If you'd like to see my previous ones, you can check out the SIC Tab on my blog OR:

My friend Mary created a Makeup Spending Plan for 2013, and that reminded me to update my blog on purchases I've been making lately for this series.

In my prior  updates in the Fall, you can see I was very much dedicated to clothing, fashion, and shoes. I was constantly going to Goodwill for thrifted finds and looking online window shopping all the time. I would jump at the chance to buy something on sale.

A goal of mine for the year specifically clothing wise is to spend money on something I love and know I will wear, even if it's a little more expensive, rather than buying a bunch of things on sale. I purchased a sweater from River Island (Asos) in November, originally $60 (I got it for $42!) that I LOVE and I wear it all the time because I love it. So far this goal is going well for the few clothing pieces I have bought.

That brings me to what I've been spending the most on lately - Home Decor and Makeup!!

Since I purchased the Chevron blanket at Tjmaxx that you can see on the chair in my January Favorites, I have been obsessed with looking at home decor. I won't so much look online, but at tjmaxx, target, etc - now I will always go to the home decor section in a store before/INSTEAD of the clothing section.
And, I love that when I buy something for our room - I can look at it all the time rather than a piece of clothing I'll wear once every month.


I think Wheatenbeauty1 with all her Postman Cometh videos made me jump on the bandwagon to getting into pigments, as well as the Cream Shadows I tested out.
The other thing I've been spending money on is makeup, specifically pigments and shadows! I have been LOVING doing my eye makeup and experimenting (you can see some looks in my Eye Looks of the Week post). I've been ordering from a lot of indie companies a lot, but when I buy makeup - I will never buy more than 5/6 pigments at a time because I love to try the new shadows first rather than buy a TON at once. Lately I've purchased from The All Natural Face, Shiro Cosmetics, Pumpkin and Poppy, and Silk Naturals! I'm waiting for a shadow I got from Geek Chic (their collections have STICKERS!), Darling Girl Cosmetics samples, All Natural Face cream blushes and LOTS of things for a giveaway (shh!) and a larger Silk Naturals order with some lip products this time. My ANF cream blush collection is coming too!

What are your favorite shadows to use lately? And your favorite companies to buy pigments from?!
Please share!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get Ready With Me #1!

For this video I tried out a bunch of new products/techniques.

-Thoughts on the ANF cream foundation all over the face
          As most of you know I've been using the All Natural Face cream foundation as a concealer for probably two years, but I had never tried it as a full foundation. For this video I applied it with my sigma brush and followed up with my beauty blender slightly wet with Georges Aloe Spay. I had to work the product into my skin quite a bit, but I'm super happy with the coverage it gives.
           I've tried the foundation twice more since the video and realized I prefer skipping the brush and doing all the work with the beauty blender because it prevents the dry look (although I do still get some). The ingredients are better in the cream than the liquid foundation, and the cream has more coverage!

-Mermaid eyes!
I tried out the new Pumpkin and Poppy cream shadow in 'Beauty Sleep' as a base as well as some new turquoise/purple pigments from the ANF. Quite a bright look for Winter! :P

Pigment Fall Out Protector

All Natural Face cream foundation in 'Porcelain Kissed by Honey'
All Natural Face blush in 'Suntan' as bronzer
All Natural Face cream blush in 'Touch of Pink'
Sobe Botanicals oil control powder - My (quite old) Review
Sobe Botanicals mineral foundation in 'fairly light'
RMS Beauty un cover up in 11 - My Review
P&P 'Beauty Sleep' cream shadow
ANF pigments in 'Ocean Green', ''Mermaid's Choice', 'Twilight', 'Pale Lilac'
Shiro Cosmetics in 'Alkahestry'
Geek Chic Cosmetics in 'Angel of Thursday'
P&P cream liner in 'Blue Ruin'
Benecos Deep Black Mascara

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Eye Looks of the Week!

I've been experimenting a lot with my eye makeup lately and I thought I would do an 'Eye Looks of the Week' style post showing you my favorite shadows of the week as well as the looks I created with them!

My favorites from this week are:
Zuzu Luxe Pressed Shadow in 'Vixen'
Shiro Cosmetics in 'Chimera' and 'Day of Reckoning'
Geek Chic Cosmetics in 'As You Wish' 
All Natural Face 'Rose Gold'
Pumpkin and Poppy 'Blue Ruin' Cream Eyeliner


On Monday I did my Everyday Neutral Eye with a pop of teal/light turquoise on the lower last line - Sea Breeze from My Beauty Addiction. Admittedly, I really didn't feel comfortable wearing this look because of the bright lower lash line. It could be because it was the first day of classes and I felt it might have been too "out there". I do love this look on other people though.


On Tuesday I experimented with the new Shiro Cosmetics pigments I received in the mail on Monday night as well as my (my secret weapon is out!)  - my Pumpkin and Poppy liner in 'Blue Ruin'. I'm not a huge blue/black liner fan as I've said before. BUT, when I was creating this look and used my Geek Chic pigment in 'As You Wish' over the blue liner, it created this beautiful lilac purple. The liner stayed all day, the color didn't fade, and it was my favorite part of the look. On the lid I have Shiro's 'Wandering Wizard', 'Chimera' in the crease, applied the Blue Ruin liner, then 'As You Wish' on the top of that. Then I applied Shiro's 'Alchestry' (?) over the lower lid as well (which doesn't show up on the photo much), but it is a GORGEOUS blue/purple sparkle. 


Wednesday I worked again with Blue Ruin and colored liner. I used Zuzu Luxe in Vixen (my favorite brown neutral right now), with Chimera in the crease. I used Geek Chic's 'As You Wish' and Shiro's 'Day of Reckoning' over the liner and blended in the middle to create a gradient. I wore this in my Skincare Routine video.


On Thursday I recreated my Valentine's day look that will be up very soon (this picture was from that day). I wore this in my January Favorites video after filming and got a lot of compliments on it - I absolutely love this look and think it's so romantic. Zuzu Luxe 'Vixen' on the inner lid, All Natural Face 'Rose Gold' on the outer lid and half of the lower lashline, and Geek Chic 'As You Wish' in the crease. A little white in the inner corner as well. 


Today's look was probably my least favorite. It unfortunately came out looking like I have a black eye (this photo is totally embarrassing)/ I used Pumpkin and Poppy's new cream shadow in 'Divinely Happy', a light taupe, as a base, with Zuzu 'Vixen' on top. I LOVE the color of Shiro's 'Day of Reckoning', but it didn't show up at all true to color on the lid. I tried 'As You Wish' in the crease, but thus it all ended up looking like a purple and brown black eye. It's raining today so I wore my Zuzu Luxe mascara in Navy instead of the Benecos Black I've been wearing all week. 

So those are the looks I wore this week as well as my favorite pigments! What have been your favorite natural shadows lately? Please share! Also, let me know if you liked this post!

I just made my first order with Silk Naturals last night for some beautiful colors, and I have an ANF order with more pigments coming in too. I can't wait to play! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My [Winter] Skincare Routine!

           This is my skincare routine, or more specifically, my winter skincare routine. It may look like a lot, but to me it feels pretty simple! Over the last few months I’ve switched almost everything out besides the RB Intensive Repair Cream, and I am so pleased with the improvement of my skin. As you will see from the prices, I prefer bargain items and have found lots of amazing skincare companies that offer amazing quality at a lower price. Using natural products DOESN’T have to be expensive (see my video on that!), and I love that my routine doesn’t break the bank! Every item I use daily I can find for $15 or under.

If you would like to hear about my current Hair Washing Routine, check out my video and blog post.

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt (Night)
I have completely cut out the use of makeup wipes with all nasty ingredients since using this mitt! Check out my first impression video and my favorites of 2012 where it was featured!

Really Raw Honey (Morning + Night)
16oz jar - $12  
I cleanse every morning and night with pure raw honey. I’ve been doing this since the end of November and have seen an immaculate change in my skin and my acne for the better. I used to have tiny black heads and bumps on my forehead, but after switching to pure honey – it’s all gone. I smear it on my face and brush my teeth while it sits on there for about 2 minutes. I get maybe 1 pimple a month on my forehead – and still a few on my cheeks and chin, but SO much less than with my earlier routines. The change has been crazy.
Important Side-note – I know that a large part of using natural products is indulging in pure oils. I myself love coconut (mainly on my body) and jojoba oil, but I usually stay away from mainly oil products on my face, especially olive oil. I find oils can be much too heavy on my face, and I’ve tried to incorporate them in many ways without a lot of luck. Aside from the Rainwater Botanicals healing salve I will occasionally use as a spot treatment, none of my skincare has olive oil. Olive oil is much too heavy of an oil for my skin and in multiple occasions has given me large, painful acne.
I know a lot of people swear by the Oil Control Method (cleansing with a mixture of pure oils and using a hot washcloth to steam the pores and wipe away), but that started the downward spiral of my skin about 2.5 years ago. 

George’s Aloe Spray (Morning + Night)
8oz for $4/$5
I picked this up after seeing a review from NaturallaBeauty. I use it after I wash my face morning and night for a cooling, refreshing mist. Applying products to a slightly wet face also locks in moisture, so I apply my serum as the mist is drying. Aloe is great for acne and redness, but the main reason I chose to try it is because it is very pure and simple and only has Aloe as an ingredient. I’ve read it’s good for a makeup base and setting spray, but I have yet to try it that way!

1oz for $15.
This is a newer addition to my skincare routine, but one of my favorites. I love the feeling of the Rainwater Botanicals serums. I used to use the Troubled Skin serum, but now in the winter when my skin needs some extra moisture, I chose the Nourishing Serum with carrot and pumpkin. It applies like a true serum (not oily), and absorbs into the skin within seconds.

2.5oz for $24 ($14 on Luckyvitamin/Vitacost!)
I started using this moisturizer right around the same time I started using honey. For over a year I had been using the Mexitan SPF 50 sunscreen, a thick, opaque sunscreen that was hard to blend alone – and I always mixed it with a cream to make it easier to spend (usually the RB intensive repair cream). The Devita moisturizer was recommended to me by many, and I definitely see why. It’s easy to blend, doesn’t leave a white cast (although, I will admit, I didn’t mind the white cast as it aids in color correcting my left over acne hyperpigmentation), and is a very nice base for makeup.
4oz for $12  - available in both jar and tube.
I use this as my night cream and it has been the item in my routine the longest. I absolutely love this cream as a face, body, and hand cream and raved about it as one of my favorites of 2012. It is a thick, white cream filled with antioxidants, yet doesn’t leave the skin feelings greasy or oily. I also use this on my arms and legs after I get out of the shower.

Waxelene (Morning + Night)
2oz for $7 (comes in a giant size too)
This has been my Winter skin-saving grace. It is a natural version of Vaselene, with the only ingredients being soy (non-GMO), rosemary, and . I concentrate this on my T-zone ,which has been the most dry for me this winter, and blend out so my cheeks get some extra moisturizer. It makes a great base for my makeup. This has also been my #1 choice lip balm for the Winter!

0.5oz for $10
*First off, this eye cream smells AMAZING. I would wear it as a perfume if Aaron weren’t allergic to raspberry. I love applying this because I love spelling it. The constancy is a little on the waxy side, but easily spreadable and doesn’t move once applied. It’s great for night-time and in the morning as an under-eye concealer base.

2oz for $15
-First impression review-
This quite possibly could be my favorite step of my skincare routine. I have a review/first impression post that I posted in December after first trying it, but I fall more in love with it every time I use it. It is a powder consisting of pure dried strawberries and coconut milk, so you can add whatever liquid to it you want – milk, water, honey, etc. I usually use the mix every other night/every 3 nights and leave it on for about 15 minutes. It has natural salicylic acid from the strawberries (great for acne and hyperpigmentation), is incredibly moisturizing (and leaves the skin SUPER soft), and reduces redness immediately. Not to mention, it smells good enough to eat. The face foods also come in a variety of “flavors”, so if strawberries aren’t for you, there are many powder to try. It also reduces active acne blemishes dramatically in size, and the next morning my skin looks radiant.  

4oz for $26
My video review
I find myself using this less and less since starting my PMD treatments, but before starting that, I used the Baobab face polish every other day/every 3 days in the shower. This scrub was also featured in my favorites video for 2012. The scrub particles themselves are incredibly fine, which makes for a deep treatment without cutting into the skin. It foams a tiny bit, but I love that I can control just how “harsh” I want the scrub to be. My face is left SO soft and fresh, and my moisturize applies with ease.

Rainwater Botanicals Healing Salve (Night)
.5 oz for $5
This is my spot treatment for the live acne that does pop up. Aside from being an acne treatment, it is also amazing as a universal "problem" balm. I've used it on cuts, Aaron has used it on a rash he had, I used it on my fresh tattoos last year - overall, this is another product I really recommend everyone has in their house (especially for only $5 that will last a long time!)

Between $130 and $190
I gifted this to myself for Christmas and overall I’m glad I did. I use the machine once a week, typically every 8 days or so, and it sloughs off a layer of my dead skin cells. My skin tone seems to overall be improving, but as for hyperpigmentation I can’t give a full account on that yet (although I am doing before and after video diaries for each treatment that I will compile into one video once I decide to do a full review).

So overall I have about 4 steps for each morning/night – Cleanse, Spritz, Serum, Moisturizer and then my eye cream! Once I find something that works for me, I always stick with it rather than trying out new products to review, because my skin is incredibly finicky!

How many steps do you guys have in your routine? Do you enjoy constantly trying new products and/or stick with that one amazing addition?