Getting Dressed

10 Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Boxes 


We have all heard time and time again that choosing organic foods and beauty products would be doing yourself and the planet a great deal of good….about as many times as we heard our moms tell us that we need to eat all the food on our plates because there are starving kids in China.

    But how many of us have been taught about organic foods and beauty products when we were growing up in the Deep South…and how many of us have the time to actually study organic foods and beauty products now…

      Perhaps subscription boxes can provide the crash course that many of us need in order to fight the growing health concerns that more and more of us are having in regards to chemically-produced makeup.

        Organic subscription boxes can introduce women like you and me to those certified-organic skincare products that best cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize our skin without using any of these noxious artificial chemicals or additives. 

        1.  Bare Bliss Box

        • What it will cost you…$49.99
        • What you will get…four to six samples
        • What others like you are saying…


          2.  Glowing Beets

          • What it will cost you… $29.95 per month
          • What you will get…three or four deluxe-sized samples or full-size beauty products 
          • What others like you are saying…Review


          3.  Good Being Box

          • What it will cost you… $21 per month
          • What you will get…a mix of full and deluxe size samples customized to your profile
          • What others like you are saying…Review


          4.  Honest Beauty

          • What it will cost you…$50 per month
          • What you will get…three full-size items 
          • What others like you are saying…Review

          5.  LaRitzy

          • What it will cost…$24.99 per month
          • What you will get…a mix of full-size and deluxe sized samples
          • What others like you are saying…Review


          6.  Love Goodly

          • What it will cost you…$29.99 every other month
          • What you will get…full size “premium” products 
          • What others like you are saying…Review


          7.  Petit Vour

          • What it will cost you…$15 per month
          • What you will get…four samples, some of which may be full-size
          • What others like you are saying…Review


            8.  Terra Bella Box

            • What it will cost you…$37.95 per month
            • What you will get…5-6 small-batch natural beauty items 
            • What others like you are saying…

            9.  Vegan Cuts Beauty Box

            • What it will cost you...$18.50 per month or $39.95 per quarter
            • What you will get…four to seven products including at least one or two full-size products
            • What others like you are saying…Review


              10.  Yuzen 

              • What it will cost you…$33 a quarter
              • What you will get…full-sized samples along with a non-beauty item like chocolate 
              • What others like you are saying…Review

                Getting Dressed

                Saving Money on Body Care, Skincare, and Cosmetics–Things to Know

                Makeup, skincare products, haircare products, and everything else it takes to make you look good at the next Ole Miss game can add up to a pretty hefty sum…

                But are there actual tried-and-true ways to save money on those products you actually do use and love…and not waste money on products you will never use and might even hate…without losing that all-important Southern belle image?!

                1.  Know how much you are actually spending as compared to other similar products or sizes available in that particular product. Calculate how much a product costs per ounce/gram by dividing the product retail price by the number of ounces in the product.

                2.  Know what products have won awards, such as…


                 3.  Know your skin…The most important step in caring for your skin is understanding your specific skin type. To figure your skin type, gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face and hold the sheet up to the light. The five different skin types are…

                • a.  Combination SkinCombination skin is the most common skin type since there are so many more sebaceous, or oil-producing, glands around our noses than other areas of our faces, but people with this skin type have a consistently oily T-zone with consistent dryness in other areas of the face, such as the cheeks.
                • b.  Dry Skin...Dry skin is characterized by small pores, an overall feeling of tightness, more visible lines, less elasticity and a duller complexion.  Dry skin requires moisturizer throughout the day, especially when you first wake up or after you cleanse your face. Cleansing dry skin leaves it feeling taut and dehydrated.
                • c.  Normal Skin...Normal skin is not too dry and not too oily. Your skin usually has an even tone,  a soft texture, and little flakiness. You may get an oily T-zone in hot weather, but generally this area is oil-free. People with normal skin will feel clean and clear after cleansing…and might still be in need of a little moisturizer, but will not need to apply moisturizer very often throughout the day as the skin stays fairly moisturized on its own.
                • d.  Oily Skin...Oily skin types tend to have larger pores, a shiny and  thicker feeling complexion, frequent blackheads and pimples. Cleansing the face often and avoiding heavy creams and emollients help minimize the appearance of oil. Oily skin feels clean and oil-free after cleansing, but oil returns shortly after cleansing.
                • e.  Sensitive Skin...People with sensitive skin experience a low-level of discomfort-breakouts, rashes, red spots, stinging, swelling, flakiness, itching-at all times. People with sensitive skin have trouble finding products that do not irritate the skin and cause a reaction. Look for mild products without fragrance, harsh ingredients like alcohol and menthol, and harsh scrubbing agents such as crushed walnuts, pumice, and aluminum oxide crystals.


                4.  Know yourself...What kind of makeup wearer are you? 

                We apply makeup to help us project the image we want the world to see…as contrary as this may sound, to help us  be “our true selves.”

                Each of us has some sort of “beauty routine ritual” that really works for us as individuals….a routine or regimen that makes us feel fresh, grounded, whole and ready for the day…and propels us forward with confidence, grace and self-empowerment.

                 This image or “true self” will be individualistic, specific, and perhaps difficult to put into exact words…but each of us has an idea of the type of person she wants looking back at her whenever she takes the time to look in a mirror.

                Knowing yourself and the image that you wish to project will help you define your personal needs and aproach both the world of beauty and the world of fashion from the proper perspective.

                Starting to know yourself in this arena may be easier if you first understand the following five types of makeup wearers.

                  • a.  The makeup hoarder ..The makeup hoarder is an informed customer who feels confident shopping for beauty products and probably has a huge stash, but is uncomfortable actually wearing it.
                  • b.   The makeup junkie…The makeup junkie is an informed customer who feels very comfortable shopping for and wearing makeup…who reads the top makeup blogs regularly,  watch Youtube videos, frequent makeup counters. She appreciates and owns good quality makeup products and brushes.
                  • c.  The makeup know-it-all...The makeup know-it-all can be shown or told nothing that she haven’t seen or heard before. 
                  • d.  The makeup novice…The makeup novice is interested in, but also intimidated by makeup. She knows very little about applying makeup and has worn little to no makeup in her lifetime.
                  • e.  The makeup wearer…The makeup wearer is an informed consumer who feels comfortable with her makeup and skincare routine. Although she has a general knowledge of makeup and skincare and wears makeup daily, she does not consider herself an expert. 
                    Getting Dressed

                    Saving Money on Body Care, Skin Care, and Cosmetics…Things to Take

                    Take time to read blogs… There is a ton of information to be gathered from reading other people’s blogs. A few of the best beauty/fashion blogs are…  

                    Take time to read online reviews…


                    Take advantage of free samples. 

                    • Company Websites…Request samples directly from company websites.
                    • Coupons…Use coupons to get free beauty products at Target and drugstores such as Walgreens and CVS. 
                    • Department Stores…Request free samples from department stores like Macy’s, Clinique, Lancome, Benefit, Origins-give free samples when you ask. 
                    • Facebook…Find your favorite makeup companies and become fans of them on Facebook. 
                    • Online Shopping...A lot of the beauty stores-such as Sephora and Ulta-will send you free makeup samples if you place an order online. Just look for the option of requesting makeup samples during checkout. 
                    • Product Test Groups...Some companies-Allure Beauty Enthusiasts, BzzAgent, CrowdTap, Elle Inner Circle, Glamour Glam Spotters, Good Housekeeping Tester, House Party, Influenster, InStyle Trendsetters, L’Oreal, PinchMe, Redbook Club Red, Smiley 360, Swaggable, The Pink PanelToluna, Vogue Insiders-offer free samples in exchange for your writing reviews.
                    • Sephora…Ask a salesperson, and you should be able to get up to three free samples per type of product.
                    • Subscription…Sign up for beauty company subscription programs, such as Amazon Beauty Box and Walmart’s Beauty Box, that offer the first box free.
                    Getting Dressed

                    Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Lips


                      The right lipstick can take your makeup look from simple to splendid. 

                      Supposedly women with olive skin tone like mine can wear a wide range of lipstick colors-from subtle nude to electric orange-because our skin tones are generally neutral.

                      Yet choosing lip colors is a very personal thing that should take into consideration your skin tone, lip color, eye color, hair color, and personality…and it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and to pull out the same neutral color over and over again…instead of thinking as lip color as another way to accessorise your outfit.

                      Avoid falling into this rut by creating a lipstick wardrobe. Creating a lipstick wardrobe with several lip colour options, both basic and not-so-basic, is well worth both the time and money.

                      Having a mixture of lipsticks, glosses and hybrid lip stains can help you create different looks for both everyday life and special occasions.

                      Now for a few staples for your makeup table…

                      Most lip products fall into general categories, including…

                        1. Classic Red…Red lips have quite a reputation as the perfect go-to accent for the LBD. Look for a true blue-toned red with some serious pigment power and a slight satin sheen. 
                        2. Colorful…A brave color-a fuchsia pink, a bold orange, or a Joan Holloway-esque coral-is always fun. Look for a richly pigmented creamy formula which applies opaque in just one coat and is bright, bold, and brilliant 
                        3. Coral…Look for a coral shade that is basically an orange lipstick, yet very close to a neutral, that is super hydrating, has a fabulous colour pigment, and gives good staying power. 
                        4. Lip Pencils…Lip pencils can serve as both lipliner and lipstick, and are great for frequent commuters or women who regularly reapply lipstick throughout the day. Lip pencils will also add ease and speed to your on-the-go makeup routine. Look for a shade that is neither too dark nor too bright and that is rather sheer and glossy.
                        5. Neutral…This is the everyday lip warrior that you always keep close at hand and always make sure to keep in stock. A neutral or nude  lip should not be too matte or too beige. Look for a light peachy-pink with a creamy consistency and plenty of gold shimmer that you can apply even without a mirror.
                        6. Pinks…Pink lips supposedly make you look younger. and can be worn both day or night without distracting from a defined and smokey eye. Look for pinks with a hint of mauve.
                        7. Tinted Lip Balm ..Tinted lip balm is great even for women who avoid lipstick, because of its ease of use and subtle appearance. Look for lip balms that are are long-lasting and can be reapplied with ease. 


                          1.  Alima Pure Lip Tint 

                          • Founded by…Makeup artist Kate O’Brien created this 100 percent pure mineral pigment makeup line because she was reluctant to let her teenage daughter start wearing makeup because of her concerns with many of the ingredients…. 
                          • Ingredients…Our products are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, dimethicone, petroleum, talc, bismuth oxychloride, and nanoparticles  . They’re absolutely never tested on animals….
                          • Price Range…$14


                             2.  Axiology 

                            • Founded…Ericka’s holistic and vegan lifestyle emerged in her early twenties, when she became dedicated to creating raw vegan smoothies and natural beauty recipes. Once she realized that natural compounds were rarely used in her favorite beauty product—lipstick—she decided to get in her kitchen and give it a go. The result became a labor of love and passion-project, Axiology.
                            • Ingredients…vegan ingredients such as avocado, castor seeds, orange, elderberry, coconut, candelilla wax, grapes! and vitamin e oil
                            • Price Range…$28 

                            3.  Beauty Counter 

                            • Founded…by a wife and mom after she learned that when it comes to the personal care industry, companies are allowed to use harmful ingredients and make their own judgments about safety.
                            • Price Range...$30 


                            4.  Biba Lips

                            • Ingredients…rosemary, rose hip oil, jojoba, grape seed oil, Kokomo butter, green tea extract
                            • Price Range...$38 

                            5.  Dr Hauschka

                            • Founded…Dr. Rudolf Hauschka, a German doctor established this company in 1935.
                            • Ingredients…anthyllis, calendula, apricot, sweet almond, carrot, borage, St.  John’s wort, shea nuts, red clover, birch, quince
                            • Price Range...$17 


                            7.  Herbivore Botanicals

                            • Founded…”by Julia Wills and Alexander Kummerow in 2011 in their Seattle kitchen”
                            • Ingredients…natural ingredients, plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam-pressed therapeautic-grade essential oils, GMO free soy wax
                            • Price Range…$24

                            8. Hynt Beauty

                            • Founded…co-founded by Meryl Marshall after recovering from breast cancer
                            • Ingredients…free of everything unwanted and anything else questioned or known to be harmful to the skin or our environment…free of parabens, nano particles, artificial preservatives
                            • Price Range… $29


                            9.  Ilia Beauty

                            • Founded…launched its first collection of six tinted lip conditioners in Vancouver, Canada in 2011
                            • Ingredients…natural and organic, cruelty-free, certified bioactive organic ingredients sourced from organic farmers around the world and manufactured in an organic certified lab that hold certification with Gluten-Free, USDA Organic, and Leaping Bunny
                            • Price Range…$26 

                             10. Lippy Girl


                            11. Nudus.

                            1. Ingredients… • vitamins, A, B, C, D, E and K…antioxidants, including pomegranate, raspberry and kiwi cold pressed oils…colors made from flowers, fruits, herbs and minerals…free from parabens, petro-chemicals, lanolin, hydrogenated oils,fd&c and lake dyes, nano-particles, gmo, pesticides and fungicides…not tested on animals…gluten free
                            2. Price Range…$42


                            12. Pacifica

                            • Ingredients…
                            • Coconut Oil – Absorbs easily and keeps lips soft and supple. Helps to slow down the signs of aging.
                            • Shea Butter – Rich in essential fatty acids that are super antioxidants. Provides moisturization and hydrates lips.
                            • Jojoba Esters – Provides a buttery smooth application.
                            • Vitamin E – Helps minimize fine lines and fights free radicals.
                            • Price Range…$10


                            13. Tarte

                            • Ingredients…jojoba seed oil, shea butter, peppermint oil
                            • Price Range…$13

                            14. W3LL People

                            • Ingredients…jojoba/sunflower seed wax, candelila wax, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, red raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil
                            • Price Range…$14



                              Getting Dressed

                              Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Face



                                If like me, one of your main goals for the year has been to live a simpler and more minimalistic lifestyle and to start practicing more “intentional” shopping of quality both “nontoxic” foods and products, you’re on the upswing of a learning curve.

                                This learning curve involves finding more products and brands that are comparable to your favorites, but even better.

                                So in my own personal attempt to find “politically correct”  makeup, here are some of the “facial” products that seem highly recommended…


                                1.  Face Primer..


                                Primers seal in your skincare products, help fill in pores and fine lines, create a smooth surface on which to apply your foundation, and help your makeup last all day. Look for an oil-free, water-based primer…such as this Vapour STRATUS SOFT FOCUS SKIN PERFECTING PRIMER… a 3–in–1 moisturizer, primer, and no-color foundation. 

                                2.  Foundation..


                                Opt for an oil-free foundation. Oil-based products improve the risk of your makeup “sliding” out of place. Use a beauty blender to apply light layers to create a smooth, natural look. 


                                 1.  Alima Pressed Foundation

                                • Ingredients…made from a proprietary blend of all-natural essential oils—Sunflower Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Argan Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Lavender Oil, Sweet Orange Peel Oil, 
                                • Price…$34
                                • Shades Available…17
                                • Where to Find…The Detox Market
                                • Review..    The Vegan Crazy Cat Lady

                                 2. Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation

                                • Ingredients…include avocado fruit extract, jojoba seed oil, and sea fennel extract
                                • Price…$28
                                • Shades Available…6
                                • Where to find…Whole Foods, Sprouts
                                • Review… Influensters


                                3.  Ilia Vivid Foundation

                                • Ingredients…water, glycerin, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, rosehip seed oil, jasmine extract, lavender extract, clove extract, grape extract, orange peel wax, cranberry fruit
                                • Price…$44
                                • Shades Available…9
                                • Review…We We’re Raised By Wolves    


                                4.  Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation

                                • Ingredients…plankton extract, algae extract, pine bark extract, pomegranate extract
                                • Price…$44
                                • Shades Available…24
                                • Review…Makeup Alley    

                                5. Kjaaer Weiss Paper Thin Foundation

                                • Ingredients…sweet almond seed oil, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil
                                • Price…$68
                                • Shades Available…10
                                • Review…Organic Bunny    


                                 6.  Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Mineral Foundation

                                • Ingredients…mango juice extract, white tea leaf extract, sea kelp extract, rooibus red tea leaf extract, licorice root extract, pomegranate seed extract, aloe vera extract, cucumber extract
                                • Price…$33
                                • Shades Available…15
                                • Where to find…Whole Foods, Sprouts
                                • Review…Makeup Alley 



                                 7.  Nu Evolution Pressed Powder Foundation

                                • Ingredients… oregano leaf extract, thyme extract, cinnamon bark extract, rosemary leaf extract, lavender flower extract, lemon peel extract
                                • Price…$45
                                • Shades Available…6
                                • Review…Organic Beauty Lover

                                8.  Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation

                                • Ingredients…camellia seed oil, sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil, beeswax, tomato extract, myrrh gum oil, frankincense gum, holy basil leaf extract, lotus leaf extract
                                • Price… $50
                                • Shades Available…12
                                • Review… This Organic Girl


                                  3.   Concealor…

                                  Concealor should be lightweight and actually help get rid of undereye dark circles, allergy-induced redness, and occasional breakouts…not simply hide them…

                                  And of course, a natural concealor should contain no skin-irritating synthetics, chemicals, wax, preservatives, parabens, phthalates, or talc…all without looking dry or cakey.

                                  Choosing the best under-eye concealer depends on what you’re trying to cover up…

                                          • To cover bluish undereye circles, use a yellow-tone concealer.To cover brown or yellowish circles, peach-tone concealers are best.
                                          • To cover fine lines around your eyes, pat moisturizer all around the eyes, using your ring finger. Allow it to sink in for a few minutes before applying concealer. Creamy, hydrating concealers work best for the delicate and dry skin around the eyes.
                                          • To cover pimples, dot a pigment-rich, opaque concealer directly on the pimple. Sweep the brush around the base of the pimple, using tiny strokes in order to precisely blend the concealor without using your fingers. 
                                          • To cover redness, choose a concealer that matches your skin exact

                                          Never apply concealer to…

                                          • 1. Crow’s feet…this draws attention to them
                                          • 2. Eyelids…this makes them look heavy
                                          • 3. Undereye bags…this highlights them…instead press a touch of foundation on the bags, and then dot a highlighting cream (peachy for fair skin, golden on darker skin) at the inner corners of the eyes and just underneath the bags. 

                                          Using Concealor..

                                          .(1)Place three tiny dots of concealor under the eyes from the inner corners to the centers, using a synthetic concealer brush. A synthetic brush is best for applying concealor. Applying concealer with your fingers results in creasing and caking. Applying concealer with a natural bristles results in applying too much color..
                                          .(2)Blend in with your fingertips.
                                          ..( 3.) Apply a lightweight, loose translucent powder to set the concealor and prevent any shimmer and shine…Pressed powder can draw attention to fine lines by settling into creases.

                                          Here are a few of the best natural concealors currently on the market…



                                          1. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Brightening Concealer With SPF 20..

                                          • Ingredients…caffeine-rich green tea, green coffee, anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants, nourishing rosehip oil, and pigments from fruits and vegetables
                                          • Price: $25 per tube
                                          • Shades Available…six shades available, ranging from pale to medium

                                          2. Dr. Hauschka Concealer

                                          • Ingredients…antioxidant-rich carrot and calendula extracts, shea butter, avocado extract, mineral pigments 
                                          • Price…$25
                                          • Shades Available…three  


                                           3. Ecco Bella, FlowerColor Cover Up,

                                          •  Ingredients…castor oil, palm oil, candelilla wax, beeswax, organic calendula oil, organic chamomile oil, organic jojoba oil, 100iu Vitamin E, titanium dioxide, and flower wax iron oxides.
                                          • Price…$21.95
                                          • Shades Available…two


                                          3. Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer

                                          • Ingredients…avocado oil, aloe vera leaf, cuppacked seed butter
                                          • Price…$24
                                          • Shades Available…six

                                           4. Jane Iredale Circle Delete Under Eye Concealer

                                          • Ingredients…moringa butter, avocado oil, green tea extract
                                          • Price…$30
                                          • Shades Available…two    

                                          5. Jane Iredale Disappear Concealor 

                                          • Ingredients…jojoba, green tea, willow bark extract, radish root extract
                                          • Price…$30
                                          • Shades Available…five
                                          • Review


                                             6. Lavera Natural Concealer

                                            • Ingredients…shea butter, jojoba and coconut oil, licorice root and sea buckthorn extracts, Vitamin C 
                                            • Price…$21
                                            • Shades Available…two  


                                            4. Powder...A lightweight translucent pressed setting powder sets your makeup for longer wear and can easily be taken with you and used to soak up any excess oil throughout the day. A good option is this Jane Iredale pure Matte Finish Powder.




                                            5. Setting Spray...Setting sprays seal your makeup for a very natural look that lasts all day and refresh your makeup throughout the day. 

                                            Dr. Axe’s DIY Makeup Setting Spray with Lavender Oil

                                            1.  Mix together…

                                            • 1Tbsp aloe vera gel 
                                            • 1Tbsp witch hazel
                                            • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
                                            • 2½Tbsp purified water

                                            2.  Funnel into glass spray bottle. Shake well.

                                            3.  To use…Hold the bottle a few inches away from the face and mist the face with one or two pumps of this spray after applying your makeup…Allow it to air dry.

                                            6. Blotting Papers...Blotting papers may soak up oils during the day, but often take off more of your makeup than you would probably like. Try using Beauty Blender’s Bloterazzi Sponge instead.

                                            Getting Dressed

                                            Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Tools of the Trade


                                            Part of being the hostess of a bed and breakfast, or any other job, is looking the part…projecting an image that makes people interested in you and whatever it is that you are doing…

                                            So these next few posts are going to serve as a basic framework to build my professional image framework that will be tweaked in the days and months ahead as I learn more and understand what is expected in whatever changes my days hold in store…helping me to one day hopefully be…

                                            The Hostess with the Mostest

                                            Now that I’ve started upgrading my makeup collection, I want to be able to take better care of what I buy. Spending at least $35 for a foundation makes you think at least twice before having to replace it because it was somehow “contaminated.”

                                            After all, makeup that has not been taken care of properly can cause such gruesome things as breakouts, acne, pink eye, infections, the common cold, flu, cold sores, hepatitis…need I say more?

                                            And replacing the “better stuff” hurts alot more than replacing a $2 eyeliner that you can’t get to sharpen or $8 mascara that gets ooey and gooey.

                                            Treat your products with care and attention…and they will last longer and look healthier.


                                            1.  Hands…It may seem like common sense, but don’t bother cleaning anything if you don’t first wash your hands…it’s kinda pointless, right?!
                                            Washing your hands keeps you from transferring whatever bacteria may be having a field day on your hands…ever since you handed that Kleenex to the fat lady on the seat next to you in the plane or rummaged through library books that no telling who already touched…from being transferred to your face.

                                            Whether you prefer hand sanitizer or just soap and water, clean hands are the foundation of not only good makeup hygiene, but of a good life. 

                                            I always keep a medium hand sanitizer on my desk, in my kitchen, in my car, anywhere and everywhere else that I can think of…and one in every pocket of the outfit I am wearing and every section of my purse. That’s how obsessive-compulsive germophones function, right?!

                                            Anyway, moving onto your “stash”…


                                            2.  Lips…Some people freeze lipstick overnight to weaken and help get rid of any germs and bacteria. (The fact that you should let lipstick “thaw” a little before applying to your lips the next day probably could be go unsaid)..

                                            However, freezing only cripples the microorganisms to some degree without actually killing them.

                                            Instead, spray your lipstick once with a light mist of rubbing alcohol or use a cosmetic sanitizer wipe to remove the top layer.

                                            You would also be smart to use a lip brush perhaps.


                                            3.  Mascara…Mascara is one of the highest risk products as far as infections go. In order to avoid eye infections, consider using a disposable mascara spoolie instead of the wand that came with your mascara every single day and rubbing the same whatever-the-heck-that-was onto your eyelashes every single day.

                                            4.  Pencils…Sanitize makeup pencils by spritzing them with alcohol and sharpening each pencil after you’ve used it to shed the outer layer where the bacteria collect. Remember to clean your sharpener also.

                                            5.  Powders…(eyeshadow, powders, blush)…Powders do not harbor bacteria, and for this reason these products have the longest shelf life of all cosmetics.

                                            Once you are finished using the product, wipe the top layer off of your product with a tissue. Wiping down the first layer of your powder products removes any oil that has settled on the top of your product… meaning that the oil cannot collect on the product and produce harmful bacteria.

                                            Fill a small spray bottle with alcohol and mist the alcohol onto the surface of the powder to help remove bacteria and keep your products looking new. Just be careful that the alcohol does not compromise the texture of the product and allow the alcohol to evaporate from the product before putting the lid back on.

                                            Another option is Beauty So Clean, a cosmetic sanitizer mist whose main ingredient is alcohol.

                                            6.  Creams…Bacteria can form rapidly in any wet producr…so cream foundation, lipsticks, and blushes are all prime breeding ground for bacteria due to their dark, warm moist atmospheres. 

                                            Never dip a brush directly into cream makeup. Instead use a palette knife or disposable spatula to scoop these products out so that you will not contaminate your product’s container.


                                            7.  Brushes…Makeup brushes come into contact with your face on a daily basis and require proper cleaning to remove caked-on makeup, dirt, and bacteria…and to avoid infection, inflammation and irritation.

                                            Clean brushes last longer, stay softer, feel better on your face, and keep you from applying any extra makeup that has caked up on the bristles.

                                            High-quality brushes require special attention because the bristles may easily distort, curl, or become damaged. It is important to use a cleaner that gets rid of bacteria and dirt without damaging or altering the brush hairs. If your brushes are made of expensive natural fibers or hair, consider using a professional brush cleansing spray.

                                            After each use, lightly wipe your makeup brushes with an antibacterial wipe.

                                            Powder brushes, blush brushes, and foundation brushes should be cleaned once a week…eye shadow brushes, every other day.

                                            The longer you let bacteria and old makeup build up on your brushes, the more risk you’re exposing your skin to. The more regularly you disinfect your brushes, the quicker and easier they’ll be to clean and the safer they’ll be to use.


                                            8.  Tools…Clean tools…tweezers, scissors, sharpeners, spatulas, mixing palettes, eyelash curlers…with spritz of alcohol and a tissue.

                                            9.  Sharpeners…Soak sharpeners in hot water and some cleaner. Dry with a tissue. Use Q-tips to clean out any stuck sharpenings.

                                            10.  Eyelash Curlers…Use a lighter to remove the gunk of your eyelash curler. Light the lighter, gently put the fire into the curler for about five till ten seconds top. Clean the residue off the curler using tissue, and then you can clean your curler up thoroughly.


                                             11.  Sponges/Powder Puffs...Use liquid soap on your makeup sponge at least once each week to ensure that they are free from bacteria. Dip the sponge in water. Let soak for fifteen minutes.Be sure to get a nice lather and to clean it thoroughly. Rinse until it is completely clean. Let it dry. Squeeze any excess water out before putting it back into your makeup bag or organizer.

                                            12.  Beauty Blenders…Sanitize Beauty Blenders by running them through a wash cycle in the washing machine, or by soaking overnight in brush cleaner.


                                            13.  The Makeup Bag Itself...Finally, clean your makeup bag before putting your newly cleaned cosmetics and brushes back into it..

                                            Putting the brushes back without cleaning the bag re-contaminates the brushes before you’ve even zipped the case. The bacteria that the brushes may have picked up are still present in the case unless you clean and sanitize the bag also.

                                            Empty everything from your makeup bag. Flip the bag inside out. Gently use makeup remover wipes to clean the lining. Another option is to flip the bag inside out and simply wash the makeup bag in the washing machine along with your next load of dark-colored clothes.

                                              Getting Dressed

                                              10 More Beauty Subscription Boxes for the Rest of Us

                                              An important part of creating the minimalistic stash is to weed out products that do not belong in your capsule makeup bag and learn to choose only those products that you will actually use.

                                              Subscription boxes offer the opportunity to to explore new beauty and makeup products from a number of popular and up and coming beauty and cosmetic brands without cramming your drawers and cabinets full of products that you didn’t actually need to buy in the first, but just can’t manage to throw away because you spent good time and money on them…kinda like always eating that one last piece of cake because you can’t let it go to waste, right?!

                                              Many of these subscription boxes tailor your monthly samples on questions that you have answered regarding your skin tone, hair, and goals.

                                              Ten possible options are listed here…I’m still trying to decide which is the best option…so if you have any advice, let me know…

                                              1.  Allure Beauty Box

                                              • What it will cost you…$15 a month
                                              • What you will get…five or six deluxe-sized samples from major high-end brands like Benefit and Alterna and innovative newcomers all chosen by an Allure magazine editor…plus a special Allure mini-magazine
                                              • What others like you are saying…Review

                                              2.  Beauty Army

                                              • What it will cost you…$12 per month
                                              • What you will get…your choice of options targeted to your own goals, such as creating a natural look or all-out glam, based on your stated profile
                                              • What others like you are saying…Review
                                              • What else you should know…if nothing strikes your fancy one month, you can go ahead and skip it, at no charge

                                              3.  Beauty Box 5

                                              • What it will cost you…$12 per month or $30 per quarter or $99 per year
                                              • What you will get…four or five deluxe or full-size samples from a blend of under-the-radar brands such as Becca, Skyn Iceland, Supergoop…and green lines like Blum Naturals and Weleda
                                              • What other like you are saying…Review
                                              • What else you should know…samples tend to be more useful, such as  Smith’s Rosebud Salve and sunscreen wipes, instead of the trendy or ultraluxe?..also oxes are often customized for your stated skin tone, complexion issues, hair color, and beauty “personality”

                                               4.  BeautyFix

                                              • What it will cost you…$24.95 per month
                                              • What you will get…six or more deluxe travel-size to full-size makeup, skincare and haircare products usually valued around the $100 mark from dermatologist-approved skincare brands such as DDF, Glytone, Vichy…natural and organic choices…high-end makeup and hair care with a problem-solving slant, such as Peter Thomas Roth plumping mascara and Nick Chavez body-building clay for hair
                                              • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                                              • What else you should know… spin-off club of online giant

                                              5. Birchbox

                                              • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                                              • What you will get…four or five beauty samples, all picked to match your beauty profile, including one actually chosen by you yourself, from brands such as Dr. Jart+, Kérastase, Kiehl’s and Stila…along with one lifestyle item, such as stationery or tea
                                              • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                                              • What else you should know…referring friends and leaving feedback will both earn you purchase points good towards full-size products in the Birchbox shop…also selections are tailored to your responses to questions about hair or skin type and concerns and your stated level of makeup proficiency

                                              6.  Boxycharm

                                              • What it will cost you…$21 per month
                                              • What you will get…over $100 worth of full-size beauty and makeup products
                                              • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                                              • What else you should know…if you are not sure how to use a product, go to YouTube for tutorials and reviews…also, subscribers get “charms” for reviewing products and referring friends that can be redeemed for more products.

                                              7.   Glossybox

                                              • What it will cost you…$60 per quarter..$111 semi-annually…$210 per year
                                              • What you will get…five luxurious beauty products from more than 400 niche, high-end, and emerging brands…such as Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, and Fresh…personalized according to age, skin, hair type, and “overall style
                                              • What others like you are saying…Review

                                              8.  Ipsy

                                              • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                                              • What you will get…”Glam Bags” containing five full-size makeup samples and beauty “tools”…ranging from high-end, mid-range, and drugstore brands, including Benefit, Josie Maran, and Urban Decay…valued at $40 or more…selected at least in part according to your fave brands and the style profile you choose
                                              • What others like you are saying…Review
                                              • What else you should know…co-founded by makeup artist and YouTube star Michelle Phan…online video tutorials to help you re-create specific looks using that month’s picks

                                              9.  MUSTHAVE.POPSUGAR.COM

                                              • What it will cost you…$39.95 per month…$109.85 per quarter… $214.70 per 6 months
                                              • What you will get…a mix of the best of the best in fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food inspired by that specific time of year…the most recent box contained items like a fashionable scarf, coffee mug, lunch box, lip balm and more
                                              • What others like you are saying…Review

                                              10.  Play by Sephora

                                              • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                                              • What you will get…five good sized skin care, makeup, and hair care samples from high-end brands and some of their own branded products
                                              • What others like you are saying…Review


                                              Getting Dressed

                                              8 Reasons Even Southern Women Who Like to Fish and Hunt Should Consider Switching to Organic Cosmetics

                                               To a Southern woman, taking away our “beauty products” is similar to taking away firearms to a Southern man. We realize that “Even an old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint. We consider putting on a full face of makeup is actually part of putting on the “full armor of God…after all, the higher the hair, the closer to God.

                                              But even Southern women are becoming more and more concerned about the fact that many ingredients in our beauty and personal care products expose the wearer to a range of health concerns and may be linked to illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

                                              Even if most of us are not tree huggers…(after all, we love our bacon and fried chicken way too much to ever be vegetarians…the only reason we buy fabric shopping bags is so that our groceries won’t fall out of the bottom of the bag when we carry them into the house because the bagged at Walmart refused to double-bag them)…we do respect the idea that using certain products “harms the environment,” and we like river rafting and fishing way too much to simply stand by and let that happen.

                                              Here are ten good reasons that even Southern women should consider switching to organic cosmetics instead of simply using the Cover Girl foundation and Bonne Belle bright blue eyeshadow that we all grew up with.

                                              1. Organic 

                                              cosmetics will not harm the environment

                                              …and that’s one less thing to worry about while we’re getting dressed to go deer hunting or bass fishing….or watch some Bulldogs fight some Razorbacks.Conventional beauty products often contain aluminum and petroleum. Retrieving the aluminum and petroleum needed to make cosmetics requires a great deal of mining to be done in some of the world’s most beautiful and sensitive areas, such as the Amazon rainforest. Every year miles of land are destroyed and stripped of vital wildlife.
                                              Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hesitant to all ask ourselves about every single product that we use while getting dressed…

                                              • Is the packaging recyclable? 
                                              • Were the ingredients in the product grown with synthetic chemicals and fertilizers? 
                                              • What happens when those chemicals go down the drain? 
                                              • What will this do to our water supply and the local ecosystems? 

                                              2. Organic cosmetics contain no harsh chemicals...

                                              Conventional makeup often contains chemicals that can not only cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, but many of these chemicals are downright poisonous to the endocrine system. 

                                              For example, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72M of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades. 

                                              To make matters worse, The FDA has not formally regulated beauty ingredients since 1938.

                                              A few of the main toxic chemicals found in beauty and skincare products include….

                                              • Formaldehyde, often found in baby ‘no tear’ shampoos and haircare products, liquid soaps, nail polish, may be a contributing factor in cancer development if inhaled or absorbed through the skin for a prolonged period of time.
                                              • Lead, often found in lipsticks and toothpaste, can cause brain damage, seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction, and kidney dysfunction.
                                              • Nitrosamine, found in almost everything, can form when certain chemical ingredients are mixed together and are usually not listed as an actual ingredient….yet many studies link nitrosamine to cancer. In 1996, the FDA “suggested” that cosmetic manufacturers remove any ingredients that create nitrosamine when combined with other chemicals, but this suggestion has been pretty much  ignored. In fact, ten percent of cosmetics still contain combinations of ingredients that create nitrosamines.
                                              •  Parabens…such as propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben….are found in almost any beauty product that has water added to it. Parabens have been shown to disrupt hormones and have the potential to cause cancer. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics. 
                                              • Phthalates…found in nail polish, air fresheners, perfumes, body sprays, detergents, and soaps…are not commonly listed as an ingredient, but a study by, found phthalates in at least 72 products they tested. Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormones and decrease sperm count.

                                              3. Organic makeup is better for your skin...

                                              Products that are 100% vegan contain no artificial ingredients and are free of preservatives, parabens, additives and sulfates. USDA-certified organic beauty products only include organic ingredients that meet the same growing standards as organic food. Organic makeup is also free of mineral oils which can clog pores and cause skin irritation and breakouts.

                                              4. Organic makeup does not contain harmful, mysterious “fragrances.”… 

                                              Nearly all scented makeup products and perfumes list the word “fragrance,” but companies are not required by the FDA to list the actual ingredients that make up the “fragrance” in their products because that combination of ingredients is classified as a trade secret. 

                                              You may never know what harmful chemical components comprise those man-made scents that are actually behind that wonderful scent you so enjoy inhaling. You may actually be breathing in hormone-disrupting chemicals that could lead to infertility, cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.

                                              If a product is labeled as USDA-certified organic, each ingredient that makes up the “fragrance” will actually be listed individually on the packaging…and the product will include only 100% natural ingredients.

                                              5. Organic makeup can help your skin have a smoother, more youthful appearance

                                              Organic products often contains cocoa butter and various other nutrient-rich oils…such as extracts of white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds. Organic skincare products often contain oils…such as extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and olive oil. 

                                              These oils provide the essential fatty acids needed for healthy, youthful skin, act as an antioxidant protective barrier, and may inhibit the production of collagen and elastase, two enzymes that break down the integrity and elasticity of the skin.

                                              6. Organic makeup provides a certain level of sun protection

                                              The skin on the face is thinner and more susceptible to UV-related skin aging. Ingredients commonly found in organic cosmetics that can help protect your skin from the sun include…

                                              • Coconut oil 
                                              • Iron oxide
                                              • Titanium oxide
                                              • Vitamin C 
                                              • Zinc oxide 

                                              7. Organic makeup is better for sensitive skin...

                                              Chemical-based cosmetics are more likely to cause skin reactions such as dry rough patches, rashes, rosacia and breakouts.

                                              8. Organic makeup often performs better than traditional products…

                                              Certified-organic beauty products are made with superior ingredients…ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple. Just as the best meals are usually not made ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple, neither are the best beauty products. Better ingredients mean better results.

                                                Getting Dressed

                                                If You Are Going to a Bag Lady, First Choose the Right Bag

                                                Once you have begun assessing and streamlining your “Getting Dressed” routine…and melding together your minimalistic makeup menagerie… you should decide what products you should carry with you in your bag on a daily basis.

                                                For a minimalist, touch-ups during the day do not involve putting on a full face of makeup and lugging around a big Grandma purse complete with foundation, loose powder, eyelash curlers, and the bathroom sink. 

                                                Instead, carry a small bag filled with powder, lip whatever, at least some of your usual eye makeup, concealer, and/or brow tamer…(honestly even that is probably more than enough if you’re not Miss America).

                                                Anyway, the next step is to  decide how you’re gonna wag whatever  products you have decided to carry around with you all day, every day.

                                                After all, if you are going to be a bag lady, it’s important that you pick the right bag…

                                                Here are a few factors
                                                to consider when choosing the perfect makeup case for both the daily haul and the long haul.

                                                1.  Cost
                                                ….A makeup case, just like a purse or anything else, can run the price gamut from inexpensive to “oh my goodness, I just paid how much for that.”

                                                For example, there’s the following “designer” divas who want to pull out  very expensive bags filled with very expensive products mainly to impress people.

                                                2.  Lining..
                                                .Look for a bag with a waterproof liner. The last thing you need is to open your purse or suitcase and find the rest of your belongings covered in powder or liquid foundation because something leaked. Also, a waterproof liner is easier to wipe clean.

                                                3.  Material..
                                                .Transparent makeup cases allow you to easily and quickly find whatever lipstick or eyeliner you may be looking for, but often cloth bags are just plain better looking. Regardless of the material that you choose, just make sure that the fabric is durable and easily wiped clean. 

                                                4.  Pockets…
                                                Most people find a simple no-frills pouch to be most convenient…an outside pocket may allow you to slip a small item into your bag easily, but can also allow things to slip out…

                                                5.  Shape.
                                                ..a square or rectangular bag makes better use of available space than oddly shaped or rounded bags…a bag that is fairly flat and stiff helps prevent your makeup getting jumbled up in a corner. 

                                                6.  Size
                                                …When selecting a makeup bag, find one On the other side of the coin, there are women who could really care less about the actual makeup bag because they would rather spend their money on the contents of that bag. 

                                                • long enough to fit your pencils at full, just-bought length
                                                • tall enough for everything to fit without obstructing the zipper
                                                • wide enough for any bulky compacts

                                                A few designer options to consider include… 

                                                 1.  Kate Spade Classic Minna Nylon Travel Cosmetics Case 

                                                • Color…Black/ Clotted Cream
                                                • Price…$128.00
                                                • Size…9″W x 7 ½”H x 3″D

                                                  2.  Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Leather Cosmetic Pouch

                                                  • Color…Options
                                                  • Price… $98.00
                                                  • Size… 8″W X 4.5″H X 2.5″D 

                                                  3.  Large Blush & Brush Makeup Case, Vera Bradley

                                                  • Color…Options
                                                  • Price…$64.00
                                                  • Size… 10 ½” w x 7″ h x 4 ¼” d with 1 ½” handle drop

                                                  A few bargain bin options, on the other hand, to consider include…  

                                                  1.  Forever 21 Scuba Knit Makeup Bag

                                                  • Color…Options
                                                  • Price…$6.90
                                                  • Size… 4.5″x 8.25″x 4″

                                                  2.  Sephora Collection Baby, It’s Bold Outside Cosmetic Bag

                                                  • Color…Gold
                                                  • Price…$10.00
                                                  • Size…(not given on website)

                                                  3.  TARTAN + TWINE Micro Suede Small Organizer (Ulta)

                                                  • Color…Options
                                                  • Price…$ 5.97
                                                  • Size… 5.5″ x 2.75″ x 4″

                                                    A few options, arranged by size are…

                                                    1.  Fossil Small Pouch 

                                                    • Color…Taupe Metallic
                                                    • Price…$40.00 (currently on sale for $18)
                                                    • Size…7.38″ W x 4.88″ H x 0.5″ D

                                                    2.  Cole Haan Medium Cosmetics Case.

                                                    • Color…Black with blue trim 
                                                    •  Price…$50…(on sale now for $25)
                                                    • Size…7″ X 5.5″ X 2.5″

                                                    3.  UNION CANVAS TOILETRY CASE…Pottery Barn

                                                    • Color…(see picture)
                                                    • Price…$49.50
                                                    • Size…10″ wide x 5″ deep x 5.5″ high


                                                     4.  Cinda B Medium Cosmetic

                                                    • Color…Available in 11 patterns
                                                    • Price…$20
                                                    • Size… 10″ W x 4.5″ D x 5.5″ H
                                                    Getting Dressed

                                                    10 More Books Every Woman with a Lipstick or Two in Her Purse Should Read


                                                    Books are my passion…well, books rank right up there with Netflix and cooking. But just like movies, if I am not learning something, I usually find the book or movie to be a total waste of time…

                                                    And so books also play a role in this year’s resolution  to channel my inner fashion diva…(or at least to look pretty darn good to be a grandmother the age that I am)…

                                                    Fortunately there are more than a few books about fashion and makeup that have been written by makeup artists, passionate stylists, and beauty editors that are the best possible sources of advice anywhere.

                                                    These books can help you determine exactly what you want from your makeup stash and how to get there, such as my goal of creating an easier and faster everyday makeup routine…teach you what colors work best for your skin, eye, hair color, and lifestyle…tell you how to make application easier…and show you some of the most tried, tested and true fashionable looks.


                                                    1.  About Face...

                                                    • Author…Scott Barnes…makeup artists who has worked with A-list celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez
                                                    • Look for…plenty of good quality, beautiful pictures with various makeovers, showing before and after photos…how to contour the face using lighter and darker shades of foundation…how to apply foundation, contour, highlight…how to create the most gorgeous smoky eyes… must-have makeup items, beauty rituals and even inner preparations that every lady should know to radiate charisma and charm.

                                                    2.  Everything Eyes: Professional Techniques * Essential Tools * Gorgeous Makeup Look...

                                                    • Author…Bobbi Brown
                                                    • Look for…the tools she recommends…techniques for the very popular, sexy, smoky eyes to the eyes that must sparkle at the party…a must-have book that covers everything basic to eye care to that signature look behind specs.

                                                    3.  Express Makeup

                                                    • Author…Rae Morris
                                                    • Look for…makeup secrets and various techniques learned over the years of doing makeup looks for major international runway shows

                                                    4.  Face to face...

                                                    • Author…Scott Barnes
                                                    • Look for….unique and beautiful makeup looks suitable for various occasions


                                                    5.  How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous Without Breaking the Bank

                                                    • Author…Andrea Pomerantz Lustig
                                                    • Look for…tips for women who need to look ultra expensive while staying on a budget….secrets that help readers to achieve luminous skin, flawless makeup application, and a whole lot more…how to get expensive hair at an inexpensive salon

                                                     6.  Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success


                                                    • Author…Michelle Phan
                                                    • Look for…aimed at the girls who are 15 to 25 years old

                                                    7. Making Faces

                                                    • Author…Kevyn Aucoin
                                                    • Look for…the basics of makeup…the techniques of simple application…the fundamentals on how to create a wide range of looks…hints, tricks and techniques that cover beauty basics to advanced techniques on how to redefine your face, your eyes and your lips

                                                    8.  Makeup makeovers in 5 10 15 20 Minutes.

                                                    • Author…Robert Jones
                                                    • Look for…how to create different looks based on how much time you can spend


                                                    9.  Make-up Masterclass: Beauty Bible of professional techniques and wearable looks…Jemma Kidd …“

                                                    • Author…Jemma Kidd
                                                    • Look for…step-by-step instructions on how to enhance the features of the face and how to become even more beautiful and confident with the help of cosmetics…incredible makeup tips and tricks that you can use with confidence in your every day life…how she works with various color schemes and latest trends to create unforgettable makeup looks for any time of the day…how some intense, sophisticated and “extreme” looks can be toned down and adapted for everyday wear

                                                     10.  Makeup your mind, express yourself.

                                                    •  Author..Francois Nars
                                                    • Look for…amazing pictures of various makeovers…beautiful before and after photos of makeup looks with clear schemes of which products have been used on a model…signature looks…how to achieve them