Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere…You Can Even Use Them on Your Hair — October 31, 2020

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere…You Can Even Use Them on Your Hair

  • Hard to believe, but Halloween has already come and gone….and Thanksgiving and Christmas are just lurking around the corner. My, how this year has so quickly flown by.
    And for those of us who totally love SL, pumpkin Oreos, and anything else that has pumpkin flavoring in it, one of the most wonderful times of the year is drawing to a close as everything shifts from pumpkin to peppermint.
    But there are ways to enjoy that pumpkin vibe all year long.
    No, I’m not talking about the processed, packaged stuff that comes in a can and will probably be still sitting in your pantry this time next year, at least in time for holiday canned food drives.
    What I’m talking about is using pumpkin-scented health and beauty products and walking around smelling like you just carved, cooked, and ate The Great Pumpkin…smelling like pumpkin from head and shoulders…knees and toes.
    As far as the “beauty benefits” of pumpkins, pumpkins are packed with vitamins and minerals—such as the ones mentioned in the previous post Pumpkins…The
    Why?!
    Let’s take another look at a few of the nutrients contained in pumpkin, but this time from the view of what pumpkin can do for your skin and hair.

     

     

    Carotenoids…Carotenoids—such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene—are the antioxidants responsible for giving pumpkins their bright orange color. Pumpkins can help reverse UV damage and improve skin texture.

     

    Minerals…Minerals—such as potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron-that are found in pumpkin. Two of the important minerals as far as hair and skin are…

     

    Potassium…Potassium helps promote healthy hair and regrowth.

     

    Vitamin A…encourages hair growth

     

    Vitamin B…Pumpkin is a good source of most of the B vitamins—including niacin, riboflavin, B6 and folate. This makes pumpkin great for treating acne, improving circulation, and increasing cell turn over and renewal.

     

    Vitamin C…Vitamin C helps prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, promotes collagen production, and improves skin tone and elasticity….also strengthens hair follicles.

     

    Vitamin E…stimulates blood circulation in the scalp, which then promotes hair growth)

     

    Zinc,,,prevents and treats flaking, irritation, and itching scalp

Shampoo...Many companies have started adding pumpkin shampoo to their product lists claiming that the shampoo will help your hair grow, moisturize, and kill frizz. A few options to try that actually smell like pumpkin and might help with PSL withdrawals include…
  • Acure Organics Mega Moisture Shampoo
  • EcoLove Shampoo Orange Collection
  • Ecosevi Pumpkin Seed Shampoo
  • Good Earth Beauty Pumpkin Chai Restorative Shampoo.

 

 

 

Conditioner

As far as conditioner, one of your best options is to make your own. To make your own conditioner, combine the following ingredients…

  • 1/2C pumpkin puree
  • 1/4C yogurt
  • 2Tbsp honey
  • 1Tbsp coconut oil

A great store-bought option would be this conditioner by Sexy Hair Concepts.

 

Pumpkin Hair Serum…This hair serum helps you deal with dead ends and fly-away’ away hair.  The apricot seed oil is a lighter oil than the pumpkin oil and keeps the pumpkin oil from making your hair feel so “weighty.”

Here’s how…Combine one part pumpkin seed oil with two parts apricot seed oil. Lightly spritz water in your hair. Comb the pumpkin serum through your hair.

Pumpkin Hot Oil Treatment…Combine equal amounts of coconut oil and pumpkin puree. Heat on top of your oven over low heat. Let cool slightly. Apply to soaking wet hair, working from the ends to the roots. Wrap hair in a heot towel, Wait twenty minutes. Rinse well.

Pumpkin Oil Hair Vitamin Mist…Fill a spray bottle with two ounces of pumpkin seed oil and 1Tbsp coconut oil. Fill the bottle with distilled water. Shake before each use.

Pumpkin Puree Hair Mask…Believe it or not, the cinnamon that this hair mask contains is there not only because it makes the hair mask small awesome, cinnamon also helps with circulation and promotes better hair and scalp.

Mix together…

  • 1tsp argan oil
  • ½C pumpkin puree
    2tsp coconut or olive oil (unrefined)
    1tsp cinnamon
    1 Vitamin E capsule

Apply the concoction on your hair, making sure to cover your strands from tip to roots. Put on a shower cap to keep the goop from dripping all over while you wait. Wait at least 25 minutes before shampooing your hair. Use this mask once or twice a week to help make your hair soft, shiny and silky.

Pumpkin Seed Oil Hair Mask

1 Tbsp. pumpkin seed oil
1/2 apple puree
1 tbsp. shea butter
1 egg

Process half of the apple in your blender. Add shea butter and pumpkin seed oil. Whisk egg by itself. Stir the egg into the mixture. Apply to freshly washed hair. Leave in for twenty minutes. Rinse out.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin…Good for Your Skin — October 30, 2020

Pumpkin, Pumpkin…Good for Your Skin

I’m sure that I’m not the only one disappointed that Pumpkin Season has alreadty come and gone…

Soon to be replaced with Turkey Season and Peppermint Season…

Not to mention deer season, right?!…or make that Deer Season Widow season for many of us…

But anyway, what’s a woman to do while her husband is out shooting Bambi…yeah, I know that if I have any vegan or vegetarian readers out there, even the very thought of shooting Bambi has probably made you hurt…but I AM from Mississiippi and am being read.

Anyway, one thing that I do while he is out hunting or fishing or whatever it may be at this time of year is start to think of and make homemade Christmas gifts to give to neighbors, teachers, and whoever gives me an unexpected gift.

This year I have embraced the pumpkin season totally and completely, as you can probably tell by recent posts.

So to kill at least two birds with one stone I have decided to make jars of body scrub to give away as gifts this year.

I wrote a blog a while back about making your own body scrub…called   Rub-a-Dub-Dub…Why Use a Sugar Scrub?! with several different ideas as far as scents to use.

But this time, I wanted to focus only on pumpkins so that those of us who are watching our Most Wonderful Time of the Year—PSL season—walk away  could continue to enjoy the sweet aroma of pumpkin all year long…

And in a much more intimate way…

 

Homemade sugar scrubs are very inexpensive.

And not only that…

Homemade sugar scrubs contain ingredients that you actually know what are…and ingredients that offer benefits for your skin.

 

 

Ingredients such as…

Pumpkin Puree…Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene. When used topically, it promotes healthy skin and hair.

Coconut or Olive Oil…Coconut oil and olive oil moisturize the skin, act as an antioxidant properties, and keep your skin looking younger.

Spices…The aromatherapy of the spices are rejuvenating, awakening, warm, and comforting. Not only that, cinnamon stimulates blood vessels, brings blood to the surface of the skin, results in plumper skin with a healthy glow, and is an excellent natural treatment for eczema, and acne.

Sugar…Sugar helps the skin retain moisture and gently exfoliates dead skin away.

Vitamin E…Vitamin E not only benefits your skin, but also extends the shelf life of your ingredients.

 

Ingredients

  • 1C brown sugar
  • 1/2C coconut oil
    1Tbsp cinnamon
    1 vitamin E capsule
  • ½C pumpkin puree

 

Combine ingredients. Note that the coconut oil will be easier to mix if it is at room temperature. Scoop body scrub into an airtight container with a lid to store.

Storage…This scrub is best when used immediately because the longer it sits, the more the sugar will dissolve and the less exfoliating the body scrub will become.

The scrub will last for about two months as long as the airtight container hasn’t been opened. Store in the fridge and use within four days after opening.,

Before using, let the mixture come back it warm up to room temp and stir if needed.

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#4 — April 19, 2020

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#4



1. Queen Helene

  • Availability…Albertson’s
  • Focus…famous for their Mint Julep Masque
  • Founded…in 1930
  • Ingredients… ingredients like cocoa butter which is rich with vitamins and natural emollient properties, pomegranate oil for its antioxidant protection against the skin-aging effects of environment, and essential oils to help relax tired muscles and ease tension
  • Mission…to provide a full line of affordable and effective body care products that are passed on from generation to generation
  • Philosophy…
  • Price Range…$7 for body lotion

2. Renee Rouleau

  • Availability…spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas
  • Focus…effectively correcting every skin type’s concerns
  • Founded…established in 1996 by celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau
  • Mission…to help people maximize their skin’s potential with a propietary line of natural, high-performance products based on nine unique skin types
  • Philosophy…that the skin care industry’s one-size-fits-all approach was not in-sync with what the modern client wants, or needs, in their pursuit of balanced, healthy skin
  • Price Range…$46.50 for body serum

3.  Rodial

  • Availability…Nordstrom
  • Focus…famous for products like “Bee Venom” and “Dragon’s Blood”
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

4. Radical Skincare

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Founded…by Liz and Rachel, the daughters of Dr. Richard F. Edlich MD.PHD, world renowned Professor of Plastic Surgery
  • Ingredients…extract of paracress, seaweed extracts, macadamia and desert date palm oils, glycerine
  • Mission…to provide solutions that are as effective as possible for all skin types.
  • Price Range…$78 for body serum

5. S.W. Basics

  • Availability…Target
  • Focus…using as few ingredients as possible, usually 5 or less per products
  • Price Range…$20 for body oil

6. Suntegrity

  • Focus…offers sun care and nothing but sun care
  • Founded…in memory of all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer
  • Ingredients…only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide)
  • Mission… to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair
  • Philosophy… It doesn’t make sense to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer.
  • Price Range…$24 for sunscreen

7.  Sukin

  • Focus…Australia’s Number One Natural Skincare Brand
  • Founded…in Melbourne, Australia in 2007
  • Ingredients…the highest grade essential oils, antioxidants, and botanicals
  •  and 100% natural botanical extracts…naturally derived, cruelty free and vegan
  • Mission…to provide high efficacy, environmentally sustainable and affordable natural skincare products that restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair
  • Philosophy…producing the highest standards of natural skin, hair and body care products begins with sourcing quality ingredients
  • Price Range…$14 for body lotion


8.  The Wonder Seed

  • Focus…hempseed oil
  • Founded…by Theresa Ruiz-Hellings and her daughters Elena and Juliet and formerly known as The Healing Seed
  • Ingredients…100% natural, vegan, with no parabens, and no artificial colors or perfumes
  • Mission…to nurture, heal and protect skin and hair with a complete line of products rich in virgin organic hempseed oil, the most nutritious oil on Earth
  • Philosophy…From our families to yours, we wish you vibrant health for your most wonderful life!
  • Price Range…$17 for body lotion

9. Tatcha

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…based on the rituals of the Japanese geisha
  • Founded…in Japan by Victoria Tsai
  • Ingredients…complete list here
  • Philosophy…less is more
  • Price Range…$48 for body butter


10. Yes To

  • Availability…Ulta, drugstores all over the world
  • Focus…products in their carrot, blueberry, tomato, cucumber, and grapefruit ranges
  • Ingredients..95% NATURAL INGREDIENTS…no parabens…packaged in recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  • Mission…to make skin feel good while bringing a smile to your face
  • Price Range..$13 for body lotion.
Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#1 — April 15, 2020

Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#1

Not only are there more and more cruelty-free natural and organic cosmetic companies being started these days…but also a slew of cruelty-free natural and organic body and skin care companies popping up.

These products-which are good replacements for brands that test on animals…including Aveeno, Garnier, Olay, Neutrogena, and St. Ives…can more easily be found and are being formulated to address various skin type needs and concerns.

The next few posts will be a guide to cruelty-free skincare brands and the locations where they can be found.

1.   Alba Botanical

  • Availability…available in many drugstores, Amazon, iHerb.
  • Focus…acne-prone skin
  • Ingredients…high quality, 100% vegetarian products that overflow with botanical ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea and chamomile extracts
  • Mission…to Do Beautiful…to help fellow women look beautiful on the outside while feeling beautiful on the inside
  • Price Range… $10 for body lotion

2.  Athar’a Pure

  • Focus…ancient Ayurvedic skin care treatments and dosha types
  • Ingredients…the best natural and organic pure, plant-based ingredients found on earth…without the use of toxins, chemicals, parabens, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances.synthetics, alcohol or any other harmful ingredient or preservatives
  • Mission…providing you with high quality, luxurious, vegan beauty products that are cruelty free and never tested on animals
  • Price Range…$22 for body lotion

3.  Avalon Organics

  • Availability…Walmart, Kroger, Sprouts, Amazon, iHerb
  • Focus…anti-aging
  • Ingredients…plant-based organic ingredients from only trusted sources
  • Mission…founded on the deep-rooted belief that all beauty comes from the Earth…deep reverence for the Earth and a respect for all living creatures.
  • Price Range… $9


4.  Andalou Naturals

  • Availability…Amazon, iHerb
  • Founded…by Stacey Kelly and Mark Egide in 1999 as the very first certified organic personal care line
  • Ingredients…fruit and plant stem cells
  • Philosophy…Beauty is YOU – a simple and bold empowerment message to consumers and the industry at large. Beauty happens in the moments of the everyday (for individuals and organizations) – the little choices that we make along the way that all add up to monumental change: Commit to defining beauty one action at a time and be Empowered, Radiant and True. Beauty is YOU.
  • Price Range…$15 for body lotion

 


5.  Blissoma

  • Focus…demanding skin types, such as extremely sensitive skin and allergies
  • Ingredients…100% natural, Certified Vegan…a much stricter ingredient palette than even most “natural” brands…packed with certified organic botanicals, bioavailable vitamins, essential fatty acids, and skin-soothing seed oils
  • Mission…to provide true solutions to uncomfortable skin conditions…to help people develop a healthy, happy relationship with their skin… to bring forth a positive, loving vision of what beauty can be, embody inclusion, and enhance the dignity of all people
  • Price Range…$36 for body lotion

6.  COOLA

  • Availability…Sephora, Ulta
  • Focus…sunscreen
  • Ingredients…natural, organic, sustainable and locally sourced…vitamins and age-defying antioxidants…without parabens, paba and phthalates
  • Mission…Better for your skin, better for the environment.
  • Price Range…$32

7.  Derma E

  • Availability…Whole Foods, Sprouts, Ulta, CVS, Walgreen’s
  • Focus…the belief that skin health can be visibly improved through the right combination of potent vitamins, wholesome nutrients and exceptional ingredients.
  • Ingredients
  • Mission…to honor our customers with products that promote healthier-looking skin and business ethics that promote a healthier world.
  • Price Range…$13

8.  Dermadoctor

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Focus…problem-solving solutions for skin concerns ranging from anti-aging challenges to blemishes, chicken skin bumps and perspiration dilemmas
  • Founded…by Dr. Audrey Kunin
  • Ingredients…include Artichoke Bud Extract and Bayberry Fruit Extract
  • Mission… to provide effective solutions to skincare problems without the need of a prescription
  • Philosophy…DERMAdoctor is truly just what the skin doctor ordered.®
  • Price Range…$58 for body lotion
Making the Switch to a “Cruelty-Free” Lifestyle (without making it cruel to you yourself) — October 9, 2019

Making the Switch to a “Cruelty-Free” Lifestyle (without making it cruel to you yourself)



Legally
, laboratory animals form a special category of animals and are not currently protected from ordinary animal abuse and cruelty laws.

But if enough of us speak up loudly enough, perhaps this fact could be changed.

 

 

Making positive changes and choices--one decision at a time, one individual at a time–always impacts more than just that one individual. Any act of kindness, no matter how small, has a ripple effect.

Making the decision to change to a cruelty-free lifestyle–one product at a time, one individual at a time–eventually could have enough of an impact to convince large companies to stop animal testing altogether.

 
Make this lifestyle change gradually. Switching over one product at a time, instead of going all out and buying everything at once, will make the the transition more manageable and cost effective.

Take an inventory to see what products you already have on hand–makeup, skincare, shower essentials, toothpaste, deodorant–that are already “cruelty-free.” However, don’t feel like you need to replace everything all at once.

This will help you know which products you can continue to purchase and which ones you may need to re-evaluate for more conscious options.

…But instead of simply throwing everything isn’t found to be “cruelty-free,” replace particular product with a cruelty-free alternative as you are almost finished with it.

If you do find that one or more of your favorite products are made by a company that does still do animal testing, take the time now to find a cruelty-free alternative that works well. Researching brands and products before you’re desperately out of it gives you time to find the right brands, products, and shades.

Do not wait until the last minute to find an alternative for that product(s). If you do, you will probably end up reaching for the same non- “cruelty-free” product out of habit.

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas — November 6, 2018

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas

Hard to believe that Christmas is already here…again…

Seems like just yesterday that  we were putting the tree up and taking it down…

 

Also hard to believe that I’m turning fifty next week also…but more on that later…

 

Anyway, I recently sat down to start thinking about what to get my three daughters this year and remembered the list of  subscription boxes that I had compiled quite a while back…

So I thought that it might be a great time to look back at this list and see if things have changed since I first posted this…

 

Subscription boxes give you a chance 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 buy at full price only to find that their claims to fame just weren’t true.

 

Non-Vegan Options

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 Dermstore.com

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

 

 

Now for ten organic and cruelty-free subscript[ion boxes…

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

 

Cruelty-Free and Minimalistic Makeup for Fall — October 7, 2018

Cruelty-Free and Minimalistic Makeup for Fall

I admit, I’m definitely not a makeup artist or fashionista, but I am a woman from Mississippi…

And being a woman from Mississippi, there are two things that all of us, or at least all of us that were born in my generation in my neck of the woods were expected to learn…

First of all, how to cook…which I’m having to unlearn all of the bad habits and cooking techniques that I grew up with now that my husband has been diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes…

And secondly, how to always look your best….even when you’re simply going to Walmart…

After all, you never know who you might run into…

 

This year one of my main goals has been to live a simpler and more minimalistic lifestyle…in all aspects of my daily routine, starting with my daily makeup routine.

BUT…

I have found myself with three different trains of thought as to buying makeup…

  1. Brand Loyaty
  2. Cheap as Dirt
  3. Cruelty-Free

Regardless which of these three options I continue to pursue in the months, and even years, ahead…

There is one main thing that I want to be consistent…My one big “key word” for the year…

Minimalism

 

So in this post I am going to talk about what makeup trends I have spotted this fall,, the different stess involved in each category, and which products I am considering adding to my makeup bag sometime soon.

 

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…Cruelty-Free Pick…Vapour STRATUS SOFT FOCUS SKIN PERFECTING PRIMER

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…Cruelty-Free Pick…Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Mineral Foundation

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.

Which concealor you use depends on what problem you are trying to cover…

  • 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 redness, choose a concealer that matches your skin exactly.
  • 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.

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.

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….Cruelty-Free Option.. 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…Cruelty-Free Option …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.

7.  Blush…As far as blush goes for this fall, the two colors to look for are “earthy” tones”—more specifically peachy-pink and orange….This is great for those of us who want to embrace a “no-makeup” look.

To apply…Concentrate the color on the highest points of the cheekbones to give the face dimension and a more angular shape. Placing blush on the high points of the cheeks instead of the apples.

 

EYES

Eyeshadow

This year there seems to be several trains of thought as to eyeshadow…

  • Glitter
  • Pink
  • Shimmer
  • Statement
  • Tan

1. Glitter…Glitter eyeshadow may be the perfect way to transition from your everyday minimalistic makeup look to a more decadent look that is perfect for the upcoming holiday festivities.

2. Pink…Pink eyeshadow can range from a subtle and practical “neutral” to a wild statement piece. The best way to wear these, or at least for real women walking sidewalks instead of runways would be to think of this as if it were a tan eyeshadow and not a big deal.

3. Shimmer...Shimmer eyeshadow is another festive choice and is way more conservative than glitter eyeshadows.

4. Statement…Focusing on one area, such as your lips or eyes, and keeping the rest of your face with a neutral “no-makeup” look is almost always better than a full armor of makeup. This look offers a tension and contrast that adds interest to your overall look.

Just as higher hair doesn’t make you any closer to God, neither does a full face (“armor”) of makeup indicate that you have put on the “full armor of God.”

5. Tan….Another eyeshadow trend for this fall is tan shadow.  Tan eyeshadow is a practical and classier choice that flatters every woman,

These “tan” shadows offer several great options—such as deep golden tan, deep camel, golden brown, or pale cappuccino.

 

Eyeliner

Black

  • Black eyelinmeri is to eyes what classic red is—well, classic…
  • Black eyeliner has been used ince the days of Cleopatra and is always an excellent choice amd can run the gamut of looks—from dainty and sophisticated, to bold and daring000seductive.
  • Make sure that the black eyeliner that you choose is a deep midnight black.

Colored Eyeliner

  • For minimalists who actually take the time to still ut on makeup, there are two basic choices as far as eyeliner—black, obviously, and colored for those brave minimalists out there…
  • Colored eyeliners brighten your eyes and bring out your natural eye color.
  • Colored eyeliners are also an unexpected way to add some color into a minimalistic everyday makeup look.
  • As far as color, certain colors look better for certain eye colors.
  • Blue eyes look best with blue, pink, purple, and orange
  • Brown eyes look best with light purple, deep green, and navy blue….
  • Green eyes look best with purple, burnt pink, and light blue shades.

Waterlining

  • Waterlining and tighthlining your eyes will help define their natural shape.
  • Waterlining…Waterlining involves using eyeliner to line the tiny, little sliver of skin underneath your eyelashes.
  • Tightlining…Tightlining involves using eyeliner to line the skin above your lower lashes. Tightlining makes your lashes look even thicker.
  • These techniques can be done along with your normal eyeliner, or instead of your normal eyeliner.
  • BUT…
  • Waterlining and tightlining can both make your eyes look smaller….so if you want your eyes to look bigger, forget the idea.

White Eyeliner

  • Using white eyeliner to line your lower lashes, on the other hand, can make small eyes look bigger, and tired eyes look more awake.
  • Regardless if you are waterlining with a colored eyeliner or a white eyeliner, the product and technique will be exactly the same.
  • First of all, what type of eyeliner should you use?
  • Use either a waterproof pencil or waterproof gel/cream, not a liquid> Liquid  liners are too fluid and will not stay on your waterline.
  • If you’re brave, you could dip an angled brush into an eyeshadow that’s the same color as your liner, and press this over the liner that you applied to your waterline. Not sure as a contact wearer, that I’m quite that brave.

 

 

Mascara…As far as mascara for this fall, it run from one extreme to the other…

  • Colored mascara—such as blue or green—may seem a little bit of a very unexpected stretch for minimalists.
  • No Mascara…For minimalists, this is awesome news. ou don’t absolutely have to wear mascara to complete your makeup look. In fact, too much mascara can actually make your makeup look too “made up.”

 

Brows…Thank goodness that pencil-lined arches and bold painted silhouettes are now a trend that has come and gone. Fortunately the latest “trend” calls for undone, au natural, “textured,” bigger-is-better brows….filled in with an eyebrow combs and  brow gel.

 

 

Makeup Tips for Women Who Wear Glasses

Lately I have been walking around barely able to see. I ran out of contacts, so I had to wear my glasses…

But being cheap I had not ordered the bifocals that I should have ordered, and having glasses on, I obviously couldn’t put on reading glasses.

It took about three weeks for me to finally order my contacts and for them to come in.

But in the meanwhile I felt very self-conscious in my glasses, especially at first.

Eyewear makes your eyes the immediate focal point of your face, so it’s imperative to apply your makeup in a way that’s flattering to both your frames and your face.

Less is definitely more. Applying makeup to wear with glasses is not a matter of piling on more and more makeup. Instead it’s about using the right makeup and techniques…things like keeping your eye makeup simple, using a light hand, blending everything carefully, and keeping your makeup tidy, well-defined and as close to “perfect” as possible.

Yet putting on eye makeup can not be thought of as merely a waste of time because any makeup that you apply will simply be hidden behind your glasses.

 

 

LIPS

So in this second segment of trasitioning to  fall, I thought it would be fun to share a few tips on lips…

Even though choosing lip colors is a very personal thing…

When choosing your lip-whatevers, it’s important to consider at least five things…

  • Eye Color
  • Hair Color
  • Lip Color
  • Personality
  • Skin Tone

And being a minimalist, it would be so incredibly easy to stay stuck in a rut and simply wear the same neutral color of Burt’s Bees for the entire rest of my life…

So even though I am becoming more and more minimalistic with each and every trip that I make to Mission Arlington, I still feel a need to have more than one magic wand in my arsenal—including lipsticks, glosses and hybrid lip stains—to help create different looks for both everyday life and special occasions.

Typically lip “stuff” falls into the following four color groups…

  • Clsassic Red
  • Colorful
  • Neutrals
  • Pinks

 1.Classic Red…Bold red lips are the classic icon of everything from being the perfect go-to accent for the LBD to being the most-important accessory of Hollywood legends.

Red lips are magical and mysterious, are great for waking up a tired look, brightens up your smile, and giveyou the appearance of whiter teeth.

All that being said, my three choices for “classic red” lips this fall are…

2. Colorful…Bold and colorful lipsticks—such as fuchsia pink, bold orange, or coral—are always fun, sassy, and playful.  Look for a richly pigmented creamy coral lipstick that has the following characteristics…

  • applies opaque in just one coat
  • basically an orange lipstick, yet very close to a neutral
  • bright, bold, and brilliant
  • gives good staying power
  • super hydrating

One of the best ways to wear the look this fall would be with the rest of your makeup having that “no–makeup look” that all minimalists love. The bold lips serve as a stark contrast with your bare skin.

  1. Brand Loyalty…Best 7 Clinique Options
  2. Cruelty-Free…Pacifica Lipsticks
  3. Discount Bin…Best Drugstore Red Lipsticks

3. Neutrals

One of the biggest trends this fall as far as makeup is concerned is the neutral lip. This means that even Mississippi women can dare to go to Walmart without wearing any liner, gloss, lipstick, or anything like that at all.-

So how’s that for true minimalism?

Neutral lipstick—such as matte shades of browns, light pinks, mauve, tan, and caramel—are the go-to lip choice for everyday life.

And needless to say you always take your own lips with you everywhere you go—with or without makeup.

Make sure that the neutral lipstick that you choose is not too matte or too beige…and one that you can apply even without a mirror.

  1. Brand Loyalty….Clinique
  2. Cruelty Free…Best Cruelty-Free Lipsticks
  3. Discount Bin…Best Drugstore Neutral Lipsticks

4. Pinks…Pink lips supposedly make you look younger….So from now on, I think that I will simply always wear pink lipstick.

And if pink lipstick makes you look younger, why not go for pink hair also?

Pink lipsticks truly run the gamut—from blush to magenta to burgundy to purple and beyond. This fall the “pink” lipstick of choice is wine. Wine lipstick is compelling, mysterious, and intriguing. Wine lips work great with dark eyes and messy curls or bare skin and nude eyes…

So go ahead and invest in a quality wine lipstick….Brand Loyalty…7 Best Clinique Lipsticks

 

 

What’s In My…School Backpack of Our “Resident Four Year Old” — August 29, 2018

What’s In My…School Backpack of Our “Resident Four Year Old”

Today the “resident four year old” starts pre-k for the fall…a moment that any fifty year old chasing a four year old 24/7 looks forward to all summer long.

I imagine that I will drop him off and then come home and sleep until it’s time to pick him back up…I’ll let you know…

So even though he’s only in pre-K and doesn’t need too many things to take with him to school other than his lunch, a stuffed animal, and a nap-pad…(oh year, teachers…good luck getting him to take a nap)…this made me think about upgrading out school and office supplies to more environmentally friendly options.

Even school and office supplies can be unfriendly to the environment, as well as toxic…

A few of the toxic chemicals that are sometimes included in school and office supplies include…

  • asbestos (a known carcinogen) in crayons
  • benzene (a probable carcinogen) in dry-erase markers
  • lead (a neurotoxin) in children’s water bottles
  • phthalates (linked to hormone and developmental problems) in 3-ring binders

Not only that many of the companies that make school and office supplies are not cruelty-free.

So it’s important to think about things like that instead of simpy running to Dollar General and buying the cheapest items so that you can cross them off that dreaded back-to-school school supply shopping list this year…

A few trains of thought as far as shopping for school and supplies include…

1.Backpacks…As far as backpacks are concerned, the main train of thought should be to choose natural materials, such as cotton or hemp. Never choose PVC plastic at all costs.

2.  Crayons and Markers…As far as crayons are concerned, the main train of thought should be to choose crayons that are composed from beeswax and soy products. Always avoid cheap crayons which may be laced with asbestos.

3. Lunch Boxes…As far as lunch boxes are concerned, the main train of thought should be to choose reusable and durable, PVC-free lunch bags and lunch boxes that will last more than one season. Another great options, especially for adults, would be stainless steels. But whatever you do, avoid using plastic baggies and plastic wrap. Invest in a stainless steel water bottle….(I will look at a few more great options as well as ideas as to what to put in your lunch boxes in a future post).

4. Markers…As far as markers are concerned, the main train of thought should be to choose water based markers. Many permanent markers contains chemicals such as xylene, toluene, and other VOCs…which stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, my “one new thing learned at school today” for today.

5. Paper…As far as loose-leaf paper, notebooks, and binders are concerned, the main train of thought should be to shop for items made with recycled paper, and binders that either do not have a plastic cover or are clearly labeled PVC-free.

6. Pencils and Pens…As far as pencils and pens are concerned, the main train of thought should be to choose pencils that are made from recycled materials or wood from sustainably managed forest…and pens made from recycled plastic.

Thankfully there are sources for better school and office supplies that you would typically find at the local dollar store…sure, they may be more expensive…and honestly, these options might not be way more expensive…but depending on how committed you are or are not about the above concerns in all areas of your family’s life, you may want to get out your debit card so that you can buy some really cool new gadgets for the new school year.

Finally, some really great places online to shop or at least browse at these other options include…

Avocados—The Even More “How” — May 6, 2018

Avocados—The Even More “How”

IMG_4912

GuacamoleGuacamole, that traditional Mexican and Central American dip that we are all so familiar with, and that I could eat by the gallons, is another way to incorporate avocado in your diet. Here’s a great recipe to try…Vegetarian Guacamole Recipe by Jamie Oliver

 

Meals…For my non-vegan readers, avocados can be great meal starters. Fill avocado with tuna, shrimp, or chicken. Add avocado slices to hamburgers, tortas, hot dogs, and carne asada. Combine avocado with eggs to make scrambled eggs, tortillas, or omelettes.

These Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce from Oh She Glows have just been added to this week’s menu plan. In addition to serving the sauce over the enchiladas, you can also serve sauces such as this with chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs.

Pasta with Avocado SauceCook 18oz pasta according to directions. Blend together 1 garlic clove, 1/4C minced basil leaves, 1Tbsp lemon juice, 1Tbsp olive oil, dash pepper, dash lemon zest, 1 ripe avocado, 1Tbsp water, dash salt. Drain pasta. Serve sauce over pasta.

 

 

Salad…Avocados are best eaten along with other fruits and vegetables because avocados enhance the nutrients that are present in whatever fruits and vegetables you serve them with—at least tripling how well your body absorbs carotenoid, an antioxidant which helps protect the body against free radical damage.

Avocado Salad Recipe…Mix chopped onion, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and any other vegetables or meat you desire or that you have on hand. Add salt, pepper, lime juice, and drizzle olive oil over the salad. You may add

 

Salsa…Toss together 3 diced tomatoes, 2 diced avocados, 1 diced red bell pepper, ½ dicerd red onion, 1½C corn, 1 small can sliced black olives, 3 minced cloves garlic, ¼ of a finely diced jalapeno pepper, ¼C chopped cilantro or parsley, juice of one lemon, 1Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper. Refrigerate. Serve with whole grain or bean chips, tacos, burritos, or fresh veggies.

 

Sandwiches/Toast/Wraps…Avocado is a great vegetarian substitute for meat in sandwiches, as well as a better for mayonnaise in any sandwiches.

Avocado “Grilled Cheese” Sandwich…One great sandwich to try would be the following recipe for a vegan grilled “cheese” sandwich…

Lightly toast 2 slices of vegan whole wheat bread. Prepare the sandwich with 2Tbsp vegan mayo, 1/2 of a ripe avocado, 6 very thin slices of green bell pepper, 6 very thin slices of red onion, and 2tsp extra virgin olive oil. Brush sandwich with olive oil. Grill as you would a regular grilled cheese sandwich.

 

Smoothies...Avocado smoothies are a great breakfast treat or post-workout snack.great breakfast treat or post-workout snack. For the simplest avocado smoothie, blend together 1 whole avocado, 1C milk, 1C ice, 1⁄2tsp vanilla, and 2Tbsp sugar….using any milk or sugar substitutes that you choose (more on this later)

 

Soup…Any easy way to incorporate avocado into any other soup would be to use it as a garnish. This will add both flavor and health benefits.

Another option would be to try an avocado soup…such as this hot soup from Healing Tomato, or this cold soup from All Recipes.

 

Sushi…Avocado are akey ingredient in California rolls and other makizushi (“maki”, or rolled sushi). I’ve only tried making sushi once, but I’m seriously thinking about getting my sushi mats back out and trying this recipe from Plant Based U.

So with all these recipes on hand and both my interest and taste buds awakened, I have now added avocados to our family’s permanent grocery list. Not only will these avocado recipes make a filling addition to our future meals and snacks, they will also provide ourfamily with nutritious heart-healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamin A, potassium and more.

*****

 

Essential Oil of the Month—March 2018—Bergamot — March 12, 2018

Essential Oil of the Month—March 2018—Bergamot

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

When I first heard of bergamot essential oil and found out that it was a citrus fruit, my initial reaction was, “Gee, I’ve never heard of that before. Let’s go to Sprouts and go buy some bergamot oranges.”

But nestled among all the other citrus fruits, there was no sign of the bergamot orange.

Perhaps because the bergamot orange itself is inedible? Kinda like the penguin who can’t fly in the bird world, right?!

Anyway, bergamot essential oil is extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit that is the size of an orange and has a taste that is much sweeter than your typical lemon.

The bergamot orange is the most delicate of the citrus plants, requiring the special climate and soil found mainly in the Mediterranean. For this reason, most of the oranges used to make bergamot essential oil will have been harvested from trees located in the Ionian Sea coastal areas of the province of Reggio di Calabria in the southern part of Italy. Considering that the production of three ounces of bergamot oil requires one hundred bergamot oranges, there must be too many trees there to count(?!)…

 

If you’re like me, you’ve been enjoying the benefits and taste of bergamot for years without even realizing it. This is because an essence from the skin of the bergamot orange is extracted and used to give Earl Grey tea its distinctively citrus aroma and flavor.

And even though the bergamot orange is supposedly inedible, the bergamot orange is still used in Italian cooking to make Turkish delight and marmalade such as this recipe from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders.

 

 

 

As far as essential oils are concerned, bergamot has a very strong, very sweet citrus-based scent with a hint of florals and a strange spiciness. It is considered to be uplifting and relaxing, and blends particularly well with sandalwood, jasmine, and rosemary.

 

As far as the best uses for bergamot essential uses, here are a few of the best reasons to open the bottle…(no, not that bottle of whiskey or gin…the bottle of essential oil that you only spent how much for(?!))…

 

1. Aches and Pains...Bergamot essential oil stimulates the secretion of certain hormones which lessen the sensitivity of nerves to pain and help reduce the feeling of pain in the body. This makes bergamot essential oil an excellent choice for using topically when you are seeking quick relief from muscle cramps and headaches.

 

2.  Anxiety…Bergamot stimulates the activity of certain hormones in the body, like dopamine and serotonin, and improves blood circulation. This makes bergamot essential oil a good choice when you are looking for an essential oil that will help the most in relieving stress and anxiety, and soothing frazzled nerves…and helping to treat stress-associated ailments such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression.

 

3.  Cardiovascular Disease…The iconic coast of Italy in the Calabria region, where the bergamot orange is grown, is an area where people have experienced low incidents of cardiovascular diseases for generations. The soil in the region supposedly has some secret “fountain on youth” potion that results in the fruits and vegetables having been grown there, such as the bergamot orange, positively affecting your cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL and blood glucose level.

 

4.  Deodorants…The refreshing aroma and natural cleansing/disinfectant properties of bergamot oil make this an excellent choice whenever you are considering which essential oil to be used in deodorant or household cleaners and air fresheners.

 

5.  Digestive System…According to traditional Chinese medicine, bergamot essential oil is the best treatment for keeping your your digestive system work properly. So if you’re needing anything pertaining to your digestive system and pooping mechanisms—indigestion, gas, constipation—this is probably the essential oil of choice.

 

6.  Respiratory…Bergamot essential oil is one of the best essential oils for anyone suffering from respiratory problems or asthma…

Honestly, this is the one essential oil that I made a special trip to Whole Foods to buy as soon as we completed last month’s journey to Cook’s Children’s Hospital after the “resident four year old” had an asthma attack.

Much rather breathe in bergamot and cough up that phlegm and mucus, than breathe in a deep sigh of relief when you finally leave the pediatric ward and have to cough up enough to pay for an ambulance ride and two night vacation with room service.

Might be using bergamot in my diffuser for a long, long while now…

 

7.  Skincare…Bergamot is used extensively in such cosmetic and skincare products as creams, lotions, shampoos, soaps, cleansers, and perfume. In fact, about one-third of all men’s and about half of women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil.

One main reason that bergamot is used in these products is its ability to help more evenly distribute pigments and melanin when used to help heal marks on the skin, such as wounds and scars and acne. Using bergamot topically to treat such marks allows these marks to gradually fade away into a more even, attractive skin tone instead of leaving noticeable scars on the affected areas for many years.

Also, bergamot acts as an antiseptic agent that allows for fast healing of not only wounds as previously mentioned, but also helps heal cracked heels, ulcers, and eczema.

 

Bergamot Rollerball Stress Mess…Combine 3 drops grapefruit essential oil, 2 drops frankincense essential oil, and 2 drops bergamot essential oil in a dark rollerball bottle. Fill remainder of bottle with a light carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. Apply to pulse points as needed. Store in a cool, dark place.