All Things Beauty · Green Witchery · Self Care

An Initiation into the Realm of Goddesses

{I know this is way outside of the normal things I write about in this space, but my heart woke up, and I felt this was important to talk about. The next post will return to the normal broadcasting, but all of this is behind the drive of this blog.}

Earth my body
Water my blood
Air my breath
Fire my spirit

These words are chanting around my head today as I settle back in to “normal” life after an incredible weekend spent with warrior goddesses. This is a side of myself I have not shared so far in this space and I think it’s time to stop hiding it.

I am an aspiring Green Witch and am finding the things that make my spirit sing. Paganism, worshiping and honoring the Goddesses, and learning about the things that are the roots of legends and myths are the things igniting a fire within me. I’m still wading through the information I was given this past weekend, but it was my initiation into the realm of Goddesses and I couldn’t be more thrilled and eager to learn more.

So what is a Green Witch? Well, basically it’s someone who works with the earth, their environment, the native plants and flowers around them, and creates meaningful things from those plants and flowers. (ssssuper basic description) I discovered a book called The Green Witch: your complete guide to the natural magic of herbs, flowers, essential oils, and more back in April. I started reading through it and realized that I had finally found a part of Paganism that was deeply speaking to me. I both like the singular nature of being a Green Witch. There are no high priests/priestesses in Green Witchery. There isn’t a leader you have to follow. It’s more of learning and using and respecting/honoring what you have around you. Learning about the natural states of your environment, using the plants and flowers available to you, and respecting and honoring Mother Earth (Gaia). This really calls to me because it’s that mindful living that I’m striving for.

This is the current running under my desire to clean out my makeup, skin care, food, and overall habits of toxicity. It’s the thing holding up my desire to honor and respect my own body, and then pass on that desire to those around me. It is what is feeding my longing for acknowledging and uplifting the natural beauty around me and IN me.

I spent about 30 hours with 17 of the most beautiful and inspiring and incredible women I have ever met. We went through initiation into the beauty of being Mermaids and were introduced/re-introduced to the Goddesses. We were given tools to help us stay grounded as we work through our traumas surrounding our femininity and our womb space. Being a childhood sexual abuse survivor, this was especially potent for me as I am deeply aware of massive trauma around my womb space.

We spent time cleansing our bodies and floating in a saltwater pool while experiencing Reiki to help activate the healing of our womb space and to bring back our power. Then returned to the pool the next day to move and shift in a Water Shakti dance.

We stretched and pushed our bodies and spirits through morning yoga out under the morning sunshine and refreshing mountain air. Then called upon the Goddesses to join us as we lifted each other up and rejoin our spirits.

I discovered multiple soul-sisters and am so excited to know them better and to finally, after years of longing for, found my family; my community; the place my soul/spirit can solely call home. There up on that mountain top, in the fresh air, surrounded by warrior goddesses, meeting the Goddesses who have been with me for so long, I found my heart opening and my body moving in ways I’ve never experienced before. I shed lots of tears as I felt the releasing of trauma tension I’ve been holding in for a long time. I was held as tears overflowed and space was held for the trauma; respecting and honoring the pain as it was released. I was honored to then hold space for those around me as their own traumas were released and I hope healing was then able to start.

We all came from different backgrounds, but a lot of us came from very similar places. We were all different, but those very differences were what brought us together. We learned about some herbs and flower essences that are good for calming anxiety, uplifting the spirit, and releasing/healing trauma responses.

I left the weekend feeling tired but also like I had received an immense boost to my drive forward. I learned a lot, gained a lot of answers to questions I had been asking, or wasn’t even aware I had asked. I have been given next steps to take as I move forward, as well as cautions against shrinking and going backwards. After the health struggles of the first half of this year, it is a huge breath of relief to feel like I can finally move forward instead of just barely being able to hold my head above water. I am excited to see what the next few months bring.

I am a red woman, a mermaid goddess, and an aspiring Green Witch.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled broadcasting!

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Capsule Wardrobe = Yes or No?

Hello Beauties!

We are closing in to my absolutely favorite time of the year; FALL!! I adore the cooler weather, the weather when I can comfortable wear jeans and a sweater, or start pulling out my leggings and longer tunic like tops. But as we get close to pulling out those fall/winter wardrobes, I wanted to take a minute to talk about capsule wardrobes.

Now, the people who know me know that I have thing against capsule wardrobes. I am equally for them and against them. But before I get in to my reasons, let’s talk about what a capsule wardrobe essentially is.

Capsule Wardrobe –

  • Focused on minimizing one’s wardrobe/closet
  • Typically neutral colors with the emphasis on mixing and matching 10x over
  • Includes accessories (hand bags, shoes, jewelry, outerwear)
  • Usually includes 25-50 pieces (clothing AND accessories…50+ if it’s a year round wardrobe)
  • Focused on having clothes and accessories you really love and actually wear

There are a lot articles praising the pros of a capsule wardrobe, and even one of the things that drew me to researching them was the idea of only having what you completely LOVE in your closet/wardrobe. One of the deepest, consistent ideologies that go with capsule wardrobes is this idea of using what you love and using it consistently. Basically, if you don’t like a piece of clothing or an accessory in your closet, get rid of it.

This mindset of the pin above is where I sit with capsule wardrobes. I don’t think it’s helpful at all to have a closet full of clothes that you never wear or are only keeping because you liked it once. Or even hanging on to clothes that most definitely do not fit or have utterly worn out. There are creative ways of keeping or hanging on to clothes that you adore but have worn out and are not longer wearable the way they are. But, I’ll do a post about that another time!

Minimizing your wardrobe down to pieces you consistently use and wear I think it a smart use of space. It certainly cuts down on time getting dressed in the morning if everything you see when you open your drawers or closet are pieces you love. But here’s where I differ with the idea of a capsule wardrobe.

Almost every sample capsule wardrobe I’ve seen in my research consists of pretty neutral toned clothes, and styles that just do not work for my body shape. Now, okay okay, the beauty of capsule wardrobes is that you can create a capsule wardrobe around pieces you love. But for people who need a visual of what a capsule wardrobe “should” look like, all they’re going to find are blacks, grays, and beige! I get that having a basis wardrobe of neutral colors means there is a lot of room to play and add in fun accessories, but what happens if the clothes you gravitate towards are brightly colored, not quickly so easily mixed and matched?

That’s where my gripe with capsule wardrobes begins and ends. Like I said above, I LOVE the concept of having a closet full of clothes that you adore and love to wear. That is such a good mindset to have. I find that if I love what I’m wearing then that only helps me feel good about myself and my appearance and helps towards having a positive outlook about your body. So how do you have a capsule wardrobe when your clothes just don’t quite fit the “standard” guidelines of a capsule wardrobe? Well here are some tips that I’ve come up with.

Maeve’s “Capsule Wardrobe” Tips 

  • Wear what you LOVE – if this means having super bright colors and patterns, then go for it!
  • But keep it limited to only pieces you wear consistently
  • If you haven’t worn a piece at all during that season, get rid of it
  • If you only wear one (or however many) piece at least once during a season, then hang on to it


Getting More Detailed – 

My current summer wardrobe consists of the following –

  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 5-6 tees and tanks
  • 3 t-shirt/swing dresses
  • flip flops
  • sandals
  • hiking shoes
  • Converse
  • tennis shoes that I can work out in or just wear

I do technically have 3 other short sleeve tops, but those work better in the winter as they are thicker material and don’t work so well with bralettes, which is what I’m wearing about every day right now. All three pairs of shorts can be mixed and matched all of my shirts. One of my pairs of short is literally falling apart at the hem, so I’m trying to make those last until the end of summer. Almost every one of my t-shirts has a pattern and certainly doesn’t fit the standard capsule wardrobe “guidelines. But that is what works for me. I am still whittling down my wardrobe and getting rid of tops I’ve saved from the past two summers, and now they’re going in the give away pile. I am constantly tweaking things and re-evaluating if I still wear something or if I haven’t worn it enough to warrant keeping it.

I read a tip once that said if you saw that certain piece on the shelf or rack would you grab it? If the answer is no, get rid of it. If yes, then keep it!

So I guess, long story short, yes, I recommend and love the mentality of wearing only what you love and what you feel comfortable in. But no, do not feel so rigid with your wardrobe. “Break the rules” and have those bright colors if they make you happy, or stick with the neutrals if those make you feel safe! Either way, whether capsule wardrobes are for you or not, I do strongly recommend going – at whatever rate is comfortable with you – through your closet and drawers and getting rid of the pieces that make you feel bleh, uncomfortable, or just never get worn. Not only is that a cathartic exercise, it also helps you see what exactly you like to wear and gives you the knowledge that you have clothes that you LOVE to wear.

Cheers, Beauties! I’ll see you next week.

 

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Bralettes – My latest *COMFORT* obsession

Hello Beauties,

Ugh, I just can’t seem to keep up with posting. This past break hasn’t meant bad things though. I have been doing fairly well lately and the month of July was actually “crisis” free with my health. Considering every other month this year has contained at least one crisis with my health, it was a welcome break.

I’m going to do double posts today because there is something I want to write about that has been on my mind for a while and I think I’m at a place now where I can comfortably write about it. But first, let’s talk BRALETTES!

When I was a young budding woman, I was so desperate to having bigger breasts, that I almost exclusively wore push-up/padded underwire bras. I picked out and tried on and bought all of my own bras, and because of that, ended up wearing the wrong size for many years. However, when I had my first child, nursing changed things a lot. And that’s when I found out that I had not only been wearing the wrong bra size, my bra size had also changed! I used to wear a 36B, turns out I’m a 34D, and was a DD when I was nursing the first time around. Second time, second kid, I stayed consistently a 34D. Even after having gone through the post-nursing deflation, I’m still a on-the-smaller-side 34D. One of the things I worried about as a young girl, was having even a smidgen of a shadow of a nipple poking through my bra. I will not elaborate on this, but I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and from a very young age, breasts, the female body, was over-sexualized for me and not feeling full “protected” around my chest made me feel not safe.

This was part of why I felt like I had to look bigger “up top” than I really was. It was difficult for me to accept my body shape and size and it’s only been in the past three-ish years that I have been able to get to a place where I not only am okay with the shape and size of my body, but I actually have a decent relationship with my own skin.

With the addition of several more chronic illnesses, having dealt with significant rib pain the past 4 1/2 years, I have found myself surprisingly drifting away from underwire bras. Which, okay let me see if I can get the significance of this across – as a young girl, and most of my current adult life, I have felt a deep drive to make sure that my breasts look big, or at least bigger than they possibly/probably are. So to feel 100% comfortable NOT wearing an underwire/push-up bra is kind of a really big deal. My mindset has shifted, and for the past year and a half, my sole focus on my body has been comfort; still adoring and loving staying fashionable, but comfort is definitely key.

I went to visit a friend in April and she mentioned that she wears just bralettes now. I was still wearing underwire bras, but the idea of wearing bralettes began to get more and more appealing. I had my gallbladder removed 2 1/2 years ago but my ribs still both me on the right hand side. I strongly suspect my endometriosis has crawled up there, but eh that’s a topic for another time.

Anyway, since April I have kept my eyes peeled for bralette sales and specifically kept a look out for padded bralettes. I absolutely cannot do unpadded. Which is a bit annoying since there are some gorgeous UNpadded bralettes out there! I have managed to find some really good and comfortable bralettes. I don’t believe I’ve spent more than $15 on one pair, most $10 or less (or even for a few, $5 and less). I used to feel really uncomfortable about having any bra lines showing through my shirt, but one of the things I really adore about the bralettes I have, is most have gorgeous lacy straps, and when those show around my neckline I feel like it doesn’t matter if a texture shows through my shirt.

Really quickly though before I start sharing links, there is something super annoying about sharing my joy of bralettes with you. Bralettes are made with A-C (and some D’s) cups in mind. Anyone really bigger than a D/DD will find bralettes aren’t supportive enough. This is really frustrating to me because I’d love for all of my friends to thoroughly enjoy the comfort I’ve discovered in bralettes. So keeping that in mind, I am always on the look out for a supportive AND pretty bralette for the bigger gals. 

Okay, so! Here are links and references for bralettes I’ve found that are super comfortable, easy to wear, and decently priced.

Let’s look at American Eagle Aerie first. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see some of Aerie’s latest ad campaigns. I’m glad to see more body types and presentations being shown in their ads. That being said, I kind of really hate AE’s clothes. I feel like their jean sizes are getting smaller and smaller. BBbbuuuttt, that’s a gripe for another time! I have had at least one Aerie bra in my drawer at almost all times. I really liked some of their older styles, but lately, I did get two bralettes and it was worth it grabbing them while they were on sale!

 

Aerie Bralettes (all images from American Eagle ae.com and all prices current of post time)

Product Image   Aerie Boho Padded Bralette – on sale for $17.97

(there are consistently deal codes, so I’d recommend waiting for one of those codes to show up)

 

Product Image    Aerie Lace Racerback Bralette – on sale for $14.97

– uhm, so the model wearing this one is definitely a much larger size than a C or D cup!! This makes me excited! I would love to hear if any of my friends who do not fit a typical bralette size can fit comfortably in this particular bra!

 

Image for the product   Aerie Softest Lace Classic Bralette – on sale for $13.77

– this one is actually NOT padded, but I happened to have extra removable cups I wasn’t using and cut two small slits on the lining of this bra and just wear it with cups. The cups do shift funny since the bra wasn’t made with removable cups, but I’m going to try to stitch something in place to keep the cups where they need to. BUT! I will say that this bra in particular is incredibly soft and comfortable. I really like that it is convertible – i.e. regular straight straps can be turned in to an “x” back.

 

Here’s the link to all of Aerie’s bralettes! I am loving the selection, and the one thing about AE or Aerie bras, they are made to last…at least for more than a year!

 

Target Bralettes(all images from Target.com and all prices current of post time)

   Xhilaration Longline Bralette – on clearance for $11 (but I did see several IN STORE for $4-5)

– I have this bra in a navy blue (found at a thrift store) and the mint. This bralette is very comfortable, but the only thing that can get annoying is because I’m short-waisted, the longline part rolls up when I wear it. Not enough for me to not want to wear the bra, but enough that I adjust the bra several times during the day if it bothers me.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Lack Back bralette – $14.99

– I do not have this bra right now, but I love the comfort/sleep bra look of it. It is padded, and looks like it would fit smoothly under a top.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Bralette – $16.99

– I will never need a nursing bra again, but for my nursing mama friends, I have LOVED Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras in the past!!!

 

  Xhilaration Push-up Racerback Lace Bralette – $12.99 with a 15% coupon code for online and cartwheel code in store

– I have this bralette in a gray and I should have gotten a Large instead of a Medium. It just doesn’t fit as well as my other bras. It is still comfortable, but I also feel like if I were to get a bigger size it would fit in the cup area, but the band would be way too loose.

Here’s a link to all of Target’s bralettes 

 

Aeropostale Bralettes(all images from aeropostale.com and all prices current of post time)

LLD Classic Lace Bralette  LLD Classic Lace Bralette – $12.00

– this bra runs small and it about the same quality as the Aerie bralettes

 LLD Geo Lace Racerback Bralette – $24.50

– I didn’t get this bra, but one similar to it, again, I’d say they run small, but are quite comfortable. Also, I’d say this isn’t worth spending almost $25 on. Wait till it’s on sale.

Here’s the link to all of Aeropostale’s Bralettes 

Those are all of the bras I either own, or have tried on in store. I know there are a few other that are considered “cult favorites” but when I realized that first of all, they’re not padded, and they’re pricey, I didn’t want to share a link to those. I am all about affordable fashion and paying over $30 for a bra that I wouldn’t even be comfortable in is not worth it. Let me know what you all think, or if you have an obscure place to get bras and would like to share!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Switching to Natural: Makeup Update Edition

Hello Beauties!

I’ve still been slowly working my way through my makeup products, switching out the ones I can find non-toxic alternatives for, or just simply not using a product anymore. I replaced my mascara with a non-toxic natural product, and today I just got what I had hoped would be an all natural alternative to eyeliner and blush!

My current favorite not-so-good-for-my-eyes eyeliner is from Neutrogena. It’s a smokey pewter color with a bit of sparkle to it. I discovered a few years ago that I really don’t like matte eyeliners, except for black. But then, I really don’t wear black eyeliner pretty much at all. I like chocolate or dark grey eyeliners. Because of having hooded eyes, I really don’t wear eye-shadow, so eyeliner and mascara are my daily go to’s. I wear either my b.b. cream or my Silk Naturals foundation stick every day. I like that both seem to have some form of natural sunscreen in them. But after that, my makeup go-to’s are eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, blush or bronzer, and finishing powder.

I’ve been eyeing a certain all natural makeup brand on Amazon. The brand is HoneyBee Gardens. I just ordered and received one of their eyeliners. Rated fairly well, and the grey seemed to have a bit of shine/sparkle to it. And boy does it have a sparkle! I have tried Physician’s Formula eyeliners before and while they lasted really well, I found them to be too “stiff.” That’s what I’ve liked about the Neutrogena eyeliners; they glide on to my eye and I never feel like the eyeliner is pulling across my eyelid. Now with the HoneyBee Gardens eyeliner, it is also really smooth, glides on, maybe almost too soft. I really like how it’s a dark grey but definitely not a black. The sparkle is actually a lot of fun to have around my eyes! We’ll see if it gets annoying though.

HoneyBee Gardens Eyeliner –$8-9 Amazon, $9 HoneyBee Gardens

HoneyBee Gardens has 7 different shades of eyeliners and even though I prefer twist up eyeliners, I really don’t think I’m going to mind having to sharpen the eyeliner.

Okay, let’s talk about blush. I have looked at Silk Naturals blushes, but I’m not terribly fond of loose powder ANYTHING. I’ve always just found that if something is loose powder instead of pressed powder, it makes such a mess! Silk Naturals also have cream blushes but those blushes look like they’re too illuminating for me. I have thought about making my own blush, but eh, with two kids 4 and under, wrestling with chronic illness flare ups, I certainly don’t have energy for that. I had my eye on another brand on Amazon called HAN Skin Care Cosmetics. They have an all natural cheek & lip tint stick. I’m kind of a fan of having a product that has multiple uses!

 HAN Skin Care Cosmetics Natural Cheek & Lip Tint in Rose Berry – $16 Amazon, $16 HANSCC (Amazon sometimes has sales on this product…I grabbed it for $9 last week)

Oh btw, HAN skin care has really good ratings and really good looking products! I just found that they also have samples too. I highly recommend looking around the Silk Naturals website too! They have Pregnancy safe options for some of their products as well.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome Monday!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Curly Curls · Hair Care · Products

Curly Girls! *Heads* UP!

Hello Beauties,

I guess it’s time to spit out a curly post considering “curly” is in the name of this blog!

My hair currently is an a-line bob that I am slowly growing back out. Up until about 7 years ago, I had waist length hair, didn’t know how to style it, never understood how to properly take care of my curls, and well, let’s just say it was a frizz bomb about 90% of the time. Then, a few months after I got married, I got it cut short. Still though, looking back at pictures, I didn’t get it cut very well for my curls. With my hair, I NEED layers, more the better. The more layers I have, the more my curls bounce up, literally. I even tried straight across bangs too for awhile, but eh, I was pregnant during most of that time, and I feel like my face was too round for bangs at that point.

I grew my hair out back to my waist again two years ago, this time, I knew better how to take care of it! I even figured out how to cut my own layers. With waist length hair, cutting my own layers was super easy. After my second was born a year and a half ago, I said forget this, and got my hair chopped off in an a-line lob with lots of layers. Fast forward a month and I got it cut even shorter, off of the back of my neck, and whoa boy, that was quite an adjustment!

I have done years of research on how to take care of curly hair before even narrowing it down to how to take care of MY curls. Feel free to take a look at one of my curly hair boards on Pinterest.

One of my favorite curly bloggers is Christina over at Hair Romance! Go check out her posts! I have found some of the best tips on her blog.

Anyway, when I had longer hair, my favorite curl products were cream/gels and argan oil. One specific product of oil in fact.

Marc Anthony Argan Oil Exotic Oil Treatment – Amazon

This oil is AMAZING. And the only place I’ve ever been able to find it is Amazon and every once in a while ONLINE Walgreens. It is not carried in stores, and in fact, besides Amazon and Walgreens, I’ve never been able to find it anywhere else. It is a very light oil, smells really good, and never weighs my hair down.

My other favorite cream/gel that I used all the time with my longer hair was from Tigi.

TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier – $10 Amazon
The thing with this curl cream/gel is that you don’t need much. I definitely relied on this product the most with long hair, but found with short hair it was way too much for my hair.

Now with the short hair I’ve had for the past year, I found mousse was one of the best products that worked with my hair. I hated mousse with long hair, but with short hair, not sure what made it different, it worked. Then I totally chopped up my hair a few months ago; took a pair of thinning shears to my locks, and holy cow, uhm, took WAY too much off. Que the biotin, hair growth vitamins, and strategic situating of my hair. It’s finally back to a manageable thickness, and when I was working on the personal care budget for this month, I stumbled upon a new product at Target.

A little backstory first; I’ve used Aussie brand curl mousse before and really liked it.

 Aussie 24 hr Curl Lock Mousse – $3.39 Target

This mousse has a very light hold, but does add some volume and definition. My curls are actually pretty thin comparatively speaking. The curls I do have are the only things that give my hair volume. Thanks to the hormonal imbalances I’ve been dealing with for years, and my thyroid being off, my hair is not as thick as it used to be. BUT! Having short hair definitely helps with creating that voluminous look.

I had run out of this mousse and wanted to switch back to a cream for my hair…IF I could find one that was affordable and worked. That’s when I discovered Aussie has a new line of products! Miracle CURLS!!! Needless to say, I was SOOOO excited since I already knew I liked the other curl products from Aussie. What made me most excited was that there is a co-wash included in this new line. I primarily use a co-wash for my hair nowadays, only using regular shampoo and conditioner maybe once a week or less.

And they’re all affordable!!! I grabbed the creme pudding and tried it out a few days ago. So here’s the thing, I have been wrestling with my hair trying to get the most out of my curls, and despite my best efforts, by the end of the day I washed my hair, my curls are fairly flat. I don’t really like it when a product makes my hair really crunchy, but I decided to go full bore with this cream. I thoroughly coated my curls, roots to ends while soaking wet, with the creme pudding. I immediately thought I had done something wrong and I was going to have to re-wash my hair. I kept going through because I could see that legitimate curls were forming.

Once I pulled out my hair dryer and diffuser, I really had a lot of curls going. One of the things I’ve learned over the year with my hair in particular is that I need to give my hair time to completely dry before I decide if I like it or not. The recommendation on the back of the miracle curls creme pudding is to air dry, but I always use a diffuser. This helps minimize frizz significantly, and I have a little bit more control over how my curls set.

Really quickly, before I get to the pictures of my curls, this is the diffuser I use. I HIGHLY recommend it. One of the best curl diffusers I’ve ever used. Plus! It’s collapsible, so doesn’t take up a lot of room, and you can really use it to direct the air flow and push curls up.

 The Curly CO. Collapsible Diffuser – $14.99 Amazon, $14.99 The Curly Co.

Okay, so now, here are pictures of what my curls look like!

I have some serious curl definition and even though my hair feels a bit crunchy (I’m continually fluffing the curls and crunching the molds) I have lots of volume and I’d rather have that then soft flat curls.

Overall, I 100% recommend at least trying the new curl line from Aussie. They are affordable products, and I think that warrants at least trying them.

Enjoy! and let me know what you think if you do try them! The co-wash is next on my list as my current Pantene co-wash is almost out.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Skin Care

Skin Care Routine…Ritual?

Happy weekend, Beauties!

My body feels like it’s been put through ten different wringers, but, I’m almost back to my usual normal. Which means that my level of fatigue is almost back to what it usually is, the bodily aches and pains, feeling like I have a constant low grade fever is just about back to how I usually feel. I’m not blogging today to talk about my body though! I mean yeah, in a way, but not to give too honest of a look into my day to day pain levels.

I’m writing today because a. I actually feel like it, and b. I figured it was time to talk about all of the natural skin care products I’ve switched to and what I think about them. Taking care of my outside is one of the ways I do self care. If the outside of my body feels somewhat okay, then I can handle the chaos of the inside of my body a bit better. Taking care of my skin has become almost a ritual for me. Every morning and every night, I do the same things. I used to feel so ashamed of how bad my face broke out as a kid and teenager. It is still a thorn in my side at times, but I am understanding better how what’s going on inside my body affects the outside. I understand and can have a little bit more compassion for myself because I know it’s one of my body’s ways of telling me that something’s wrong. Having a good skin care routine has helped too though. Having products and ways of consistently managing break outs has done a lot for my mental health.

So first off, cleanser! I’m going to list the products I use in the order I use them.

 CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser$13.99 Amazon, $13.99 Target

I honestly haven’t swapped this for a more natural option because I have been using this for 2 1/2 years and it works really well for me. I also get the 16 ounce container and it lasts me for 6+ months. So $14 for a bottle of cleanser that lasts for 6+ months? And it doesn’t dry your skin out? Check. I mainly only use this cleanser at night to get everything off my face from the day; makeup, dirt and oil from being out in the elements and having touched my face during the day.

I do however use an all natural facial scrub.

Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub$8.49 Amazon, $8.49 Target

I first got a little sample of this in an Ipsy bag years ago, and really liked it. It’s a pretty constant addition to my weekly facial routines. I found that if I exfoliate in the mornings (yes I know that’s the opposite of what is usually recommended) 3x a week, not only have I managed minimize the amount of random flaky dry spots I get, my makeup sits a lot smoother. Every time I wash my hair, I exfoliate my face. I do recommend this scrub for how gentle it is too. My skin has never felt irritated by this facial scrub. One tip though, I find that exfoliating at least 2-3 times a week is just right for my skin. If this is too much for your face, then definitely back off.

TruSkin Naturals Rose Water Toner$14.95 Amazon

I used to make my own rose water years and years ago, and while it smelled so good and I have no remembrance of it actually doing anything for my skin, I do remember it molding fairly quickly with each batch. I use rose water in the mornings to help my face kind of wake up. This one bottle lasted me for 2 1/2 months and when it was almost out, I just put witch hazel into the bottle and mixed it with the rest of the rose water. Both witch hazel and rose water are good toners and both of them are soothing to your skin. I’m really happy with the TruSkin Naturals brand, but I think once this bottle finally runs out I’m going to look back into making my own rose water.

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum For Face$19.99 w/$1.00 coupon Amazon (Target C serum options – $16, $19.59)

Okay, so this is one of those products that I’ve come to believe is a very good thing to add to your facial routine. I don’t really have an opinion on “anti-aging” products as I don’t believe it is a good or possible thing to try to stop  your face from aging. BUT! I think it is prudent to protect the skin you have been given, and nourish your body inside and out. I have used three different Vitamin C serums for the past 6 months, and I think I like this one the best. I have noticed less breakouts, and my skin feels smoother and calmer. With how much is going on with my body right now, the breakouts I do have around my jawline I have expected. But my forehead and around my nose have been clearer and haven’t felt as inflamed. I have had some “beauty experts” tell me that vitamin c isn’t good for acne, but I seriously beg to differ. I have done a fair bit of research on the effects of Vitamin C serum specifically for acne, and have heard and can attest to all good things. Vitamin C serum can break out your skin when you first use it, but I haven’t experienced that, and my skin is the type that breaks out almost the instant I try one new thing that my skin doesn’t like.

Christina Moss Naturals Facial Moisturizer$25.99 w/20% coupon Amazon, $25.99 +S/H Christina Moss Naturals

Do you know how darn expensive “non-toxic, all natural” moisturizers are?! When I got my estrogen dominance confirmed, I knew I needed to changed the things I use on my body. I know, I know, this is one of those sayings that crunchy mamas say, but your skin is the biggest organ, and with how badly my hormones are imbalanced and how sick my body is, doesn’t it make sense to pay attention to ingredients of the products I’m using? Which then leads me to the frustration I had with trying to find even one decently priced non-toxic facial moisturizer. Not only that, but from a brand that I knew wouldn’t make me break out. Besides the Rose & Abbott moisturizer (click here & here) I’ve used, this is the second one I would highly recommend. It comes in two different “scents;” unscented and anise or original scent. I got the one above and it is extremely concentrated, so I barely even need a half pump. Also, because of the design of the bottle, it is an airless pump which means even though there are very few preservatives in the moisturizer, it lasts for a long time. Some of the reviews even said a bottle lasted them 6 months.

LaMav Organic BB Creme$17.95 Amazon

So I use a bb cream just about every day, and I prefer one with SPF in it, but to find an organic/all natural one that didn’t break the bank and felt okay on my skin was nearly impossible. I tried Pacifica’s bb cream, cc cream, AND dream foundation, and all of those were too…luminous and drying. I tried Juice Beauty’s cc cream, and whoa, talk about feeling like a walking highlighter. I highly recommend Juice Beauty products, but dang, I’m not sure what’s up with their foundations and cc creams. Way too brightening I guess. I don’t actually remember how I stumbled upon this LaMav bb creme, but I liked that it was organic, has natural sunscreen in it, and I could actually use it as a moisturizer and bb cream combined. It is not drying, it is thin, but besides breakout spots on my jawline, I don’t feel like I have to hide under any foundation anymore. My only complaint is that it is definitely NOT for very fair skin tones. I wish there was an even lighter shade available, but I make this one work. Because it’s the summer time, my face is not quite as pale as it is during the winter. I will have to find a lighter bb cream for the winter, but I’ve got a handful of months to go before winter comes back around again. It also has no scent either, so that’s another plus.

I will do another post some time soon about all natural foundations. I have found a few that I mostly like, but I am waiting on one other brand to get here before I do reviews and give recommendations.

Night Time Routine

My night time routine is a little different and that’s when I will spot treat any breakouts I have. I usually use Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Tea Tree oils for spot treatments. I will apply this after I’ve washed my face and applied a toner. To apply the essential oils, I will put a few drops of each on a cotton ball and then dab on the breakout spots. I usually put the essential oils on a cotton ball in the order of the oils listed above. I’m not sure it really makes a difference, but I have had the best luck with those three oils clearing up raging breakouts fairly quickly.

Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner$4.69 Target

I prefer this toner, and both Phil and I use it every night. One bottle lasts us both for two months…I think? I don’t have to buy it very often and that’s with two people using it daily. I will use this typically at night, using the rose water in the mornings, and then will apply the essential oils. Once I’ve given the oils about 30 seconds to settle on my skin, I’ll then apply about a 1/3 of a dropper of the Vitamin C serum to my face. I will let that dry completely before putting on a night cream.

 Avalon Organics Wrinkle Therapy Night Creme$11.70 Amazon

I didn’t think I liked this when I first got it, but I am rather enjoying it now. I don’t actually notice a scent, and it is also an airless pump bottle. This means that there’s no “straw” inside the bottle, a little disc slides up with each pump of the top. This minimizes waste left in the bottle, and means you get about all that you can get out of the bottle. I honestly picked this night cream because it was not only the cheapest one I could find, but I hadn’t ever tried Avalon Organics before. The fact it’s a night cream for wrinkles doesn’t phase me, as I didn’t buy it for that purpose! It also does not have any added fragrances or parfums. That’s a hard thing to find and the product also be a reasonable cost.

So those are the products I’ve switched to and I got to say I feel like my face doesn’t get as inflamed as much as it used to, and I am noticing whenever I put something on my skin that isn’t “natural.” I guess that’s one of the frustrations of cutting out “bad” things out of your diet or skin care products – you try to add that bad thing back in, and your body/skin freaks out. Just goes to show how negative of an effect the body has when exposed to toxins and chemicals that aren’t good for it.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS

Chronic Illness Strikes Again

Hello Beauties,

I am now a week into dealing with strep and what I know now to be reactivated mono (Epstein Barr Virus…EBV) and CMV. I just found out yesterday, or rather got confirmation of what I strongly suspected due to my lab results, that I got sick with both of those viruses at some point in the past. And now, because of how compromised my immune system is due to stress and everything else going on with my health, both of those viruses have been reactivated.

I feel the most worn down and sick today than I did a week ago when I was hit with major sinus congestion. 6 days of antibiotics helped get rid of the strep in my throat, but my primary care believes that it has now migrated to my sinuses. yay. more antibiotics. I am doing a nasal antibiotic ointment, but I think it’s still messing with my stomach/gut. I feel a bit defeated with my health too since it’s going to take at least another 3-4 weeks of trying to rest (ha, ha, I have two kids 4 and under), and trying to bolster my immune system before we can retest my thyroid and hormone levels. AAANNND, the chances of me having chronic EBV are actually quite high.

I don’t really have the energy to do a long post today, merely because I think now that the strep is pretty much out of my system, I am feeling the effects of the mono and cmv. It makes me feel like a walking contaminate, even though I know I’m not contagious. Then, because of where I am in my ridiculously annoying consistent cycles, my endometriosis is flaring up and it feels like my body is trying to pretend I have another ovarian cyst. That ovary is gone, body! Add that endo flare up pain on top of my stomach already being ripped up from the antibiotics and let’s just say food and I are not meshing right now. Now that I can finally mostly breathe again, my taste buds are slowly waking back up, but geez, things taste so weird right now too.

So with antibiotics destroying any progress I had made with healing my gut, endo flaring up, food not sitting well with me, my poor abdomen/belly area is all swollen and sore and heaven forbid any sort of pressure from clothes be put on it. Thus a follow up from my last Curvy post; bralettes and swing/t-shirt dresses are my go-to’s right now because no tight bra straps around my ribs (yay endo pain!) and nothing touching or putting pressure on my abdomen (yay antibiotics damage and endo!).

I think I am going to take a break from posting over the weekend, but who know’s, maybe the muse will strike.

All Things Beauty · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Skin Care

Switching to Natural: Skincare by Rose & Abbott! Update

Hello Beauties!

I thought I’d take a break from my Curvy posts and do an update on the skincare I got from Rose & Abbott. First, here’s a little background on Rose & Abbott before I dive in to my review.

Rose & Abbott is a company that allows you to purchase customized moisturizer. As far as I can tell, it is only a facial moisturizer; facial and neck and decolletage. I really like that you can customize different skin issues you want addressed. Think beyond dry, oily, or combination skin. Things like big pores, rough texture, breakouts, redness. The only thing I didn’t like is that you can only pick two skin care concerns. Granted, the rest of the ingredients in the moisturizer have dual purposes. All in all, I don’t regret ordering a bottle of this moisturizer.

Alright, let’s start with how it arrived. I ordered my customized moisturizer on the evening of May 9th, it shipped on May 11th, and it arrived on May 14th. Honestly, I was impressed that it arrived so quickly!

My moisturizer arrived in a little purple box, and included the bottle of moisturizer, a little pamphlet with a full ingredient list on it and “instructions” on how to start your own skin care ritual. My initial impression was wow, that’s a really small bottle.

Rose & Abbott actually suggests using the moisturizer day and night. I originally started doing that, but suddenly felt like I had used more than half the bottle in only two days! The bottle is supposed to last 30 days if you’re using it for both day and night cream. Which I mean, only one product for day and night? Yes please! But, I was worried of using up the entire bottle in less than 30 days if I used it day and night. This is what I mean…

See? The bottle seems to be almost empty. That’s how it looked less than a week of getting the bottle in the mail and starting to use it. It is now what, three weeks after I got it? It’s still going strong and I use about four tiny pumps every morning. Rose & Abbott does recommend using up the moisturizer in 30 days as there are very few preservatives in the moisturizer and it can go bad. Which yay! You don’t want to use a product with a ton of preservatives in, but also ugh, I like longevity products. Products that last me longer than a month and I don’t have to reorder every month. I will say that this moisturizer is really concentrated, so I do not need much to cover my entire face and neck. I really enjoy the slight rose scent it has as well. That’s another big plus to using this company; you get to pick your own scent and how strong or light you want that scent! Or! Even better, you can pick no scent for those who are extremely sensitive to scents.

Alright so I would give this moisturizer a 4.5 out of 5.

Pros:

  • it doesn’t make my face feel oily
  • I swear it’s made my skin less red/inflamed
  • hasn’t aggravated any breakouts I have
  • Customized for your personal health concerns
  • Pick your own scent OR no scent

Cons:

  • a little bit pricey – I used a coupon code and got the one bottle for $23 shipped. Usually $29 regular, or $26 with subscription (which you can cancel at any time)
  • Only lasts 30 days
  • Can only pick *2* skin care concerns

I am going to message the company and see if I can get a coupon code for anyone who’d like one. Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for a link!

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

For All That Is Curvy – Jumpsuits, A-line, and Pencils

Hello Beauties!

Well, I think I have discovered something to keep me consistently blogging! Fashion! I adore fashion, it is something that makes me feel alive, and I love talking about it and sharing the things that have made dressing my body shape easier.

Alright, so before I jump in to some of the things I’ve recently came to a significant conclusion on, I want to share my review on the jumpsuit I just got! I purchased it off of a website called Zaful.com. I will say that the sizing is Asian sizing, so I would highly recommend paying attention to the measurements for each size.

 

 

I kept seeing this jumpsuit on my suggested pins on Pinterest. Every time I saw it pass by on my feed, I got this little starry-eyed feeling creep up in my chest. I LOVE the colors and style, but every time I went to click on the link I’d see that it was a jumpsuit. I have never owned a romper or jumpsuit, but decided to take the plunge with this one. As with several things I’ve gotten online before, this will require a few modifications, but for once I know exactly how I want to modify it and I just have to go get the extra material and things I need.

I am so thrilled with this outfit! The only thing I don’t like is that the back has this smocked elastic band at the top of the “pants.” That means it is easy to pull on, but there’s a lot of excess material there, and if it’s going to show off my butt, then it needs to be fitted! I’m planning on cutting off that elastic band, getting it fitted, putting in a zipper, and a wide black band at the top instead of the elastic. Being a seamstress, this is an “easy” project, and I know exactly what I want to do. I’m really excited because besides the extra material at the back, it fits really well and actually feels comfortable!

There is this weird stigma of sorts against women who are curvy and jumpsuits or rompers. Like for some reason, if a person has a wide butt and hips (hello, it me) and is short or wider than they are tall, then they shouldn’t wear rompers or jumpsuits. For some reason “no one wants to see your fat or cellulite.” Well, I say screw society’s ideas! Show your curves! Show your dimples! Or heck, cover them up if that makes you more comfortable. But please? Do what really makes you happy and love your own skin? Please don’t cover up if you’re only doing that because that’s what the culture around you says is best.  If there is something you have always wanted to try but have never felt brave enough to do so, here’s my hand, hold it, and you go for it! Me ordering this jumpsuit is a perfect example of just going for something I adored and have always wanted to try. You’ll hear me big a HUGE advocate for wearing whatever you want to wear.

Okay, so this space is not the place for me to talk about my past, but one of the things that still sticks with me today is having spent many years wearing long skirts and dresses. To call them fashionable would be a massive overstatement. They were long denim skirts, very a-line, swishy, and very “modest.” When I was my thinnest (thanks to constant severely high levels of stress) I had a very thin waist, but could never hide or get rid of my hips and butt. Do you know how hard it is to dress a curvaceous butt and hide its shape?! Nearly impossible to do so. Because of those years of wearing loose and non-form fitting skirts and dresses, I still find it hard to wear dresses and skirts in the present day. I went through a period of only wearing pencil skirts and sheath dresses, but even though were still triggering. I put a lot of effort into what I wear because I know that if I am comfortable, I like the garment, and it feels good, then I will feel better. So if I feel like something reminds me of the days that were my own personal hell, then I can never touch that garment again.

However! I believe I have found a work-around. But first, can we talk about something? Inner Thigh Chafing?!

This may be one of the biggest reasons I haven’t worn dresses or skirts over the past 10 years (outside of the association with my past). I would try to wear a dress or skirt in the past and would end up with painfully red and inflamed inner thighs because of that darn chafing. And let me tell you, ingrown hairs in that area are totally a thing! And chafing only makes ingrown hair and blisters even worse. So obvious solution, never wear dresses and skirts, right? Well, kind of wrong. The past two years I’ve done some experimenting with shaving and waxing and hair removal creams. I have discovered that if I wax my inner thighs, then I don’t get ingrown hairs and the chafing is significantly decreased. I purposefully don’t wax until I have plenty of hair for the wax strips to grip. Too much personal information? Oh well, it is so difficult to find solutions for this problem. Trust me, I’ve spent hours trying to find anything that would help.

I personally prefer Veet Wax strips (commissioned link).


It’s quick, easy, a little painful (not really though…but then I do have a pretty high pain tolerance…), and when the hair grows back in, it’s softer, thinner, and not prickly at all. And for something like me who has a pretty significant sensory intolerance, not being prickly or feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin as hair grows back in is a big deal.

Alright now that that is out of the way, let’s move on!

Having done the whole shapeless, unfashionable dresses and skirts, and slim fitting, form fitting skirts and dresses, I think I’ve found a middle ground; swing dresses. At least for the summer, t-shirt dresses are the perfect companion to the hotter weather. I have actually been wearing my two dresses more and more frequently. With my tip of waxing my thighs instead of shaving (because yay dark hair) I have discovered that wearing a dress or skirt that is looser around my legs and hips means that a. I don’t sweat at much and b. I have a significantly less amount of chafing. Also, big plus! The swing style dress conveniently hides my uncomfortably swollen abdomen from the antibiotics and hormonal imbalance that I’m dealing with right now.

 

Here’s the thing, I ADORE curvy beings in pencil skirts or sheath dresses. I think those styles were made for those of us with curvy bodies. But, they just aren’t very conducive for summer wear! At least that’s what I’ve found so far. So for the summer, it’ll be swing and t-shirt dresses when I want to just throw something one. Here are a few swing and t-shirt dresses on Amazon that are rated really well and decently priced!

BELAROI Womens Comfy Swing Tunic Short Sleeve Solid T-shirt Dress – commissioned link click on picture)

levaca Women’s Scoop Neck Pockets High Low Pleated Loose Swing Casual Midi Dress – commissioned link click on picture – this one has pockets!!!

Viishow Women’s Swing Dress Casual Loose T-Shirt Dress – commissioned link click on picture


Well, I’m going to wrap up this post and give myself a congratulatory pat on the back for having written it through an episode of antibiotics induced nausea. Gosh, I really hate that stuff.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

For All That Is Curvy – Starting out with Undertones

Hello Beauties!

Thank you so much for the response I got on yesterday’s post! Like I said yesterday, I have gotten so tired of trying to find fashion bloggers whose style I find inspiring. Not that I find the fashion bloggers I follow uninspiring, but they aren’t even close to my size. There is nothing quite so frustrating and disappointing than adoring a certain style only to find out that it is so not a style that works with your body type.

Same goes for colors! I am a huge advocate of knowing your undertones (warm, cool, neutral) and knowing what colors compliment YOU. This is not me saying you can *only*  wear the colors that go with your physical attributes. I think there is certainly merit to wearing the colors that make you happiest and feel the most alive, even if that means a wardrobe full of grays and blacks. That is 100% okay and if that makes you feel the most like yourself, then by all means do it! But, may I put a little bug in your ear? Something to think about? Do a little research and figure out the colors that line up with your undertones. Consider it an experiment and in no way something you absolutely have to stick with.

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered something called Dressing Your Truth. Yeah, yeah, I know, sounds super cheesy. However, their approach to colors and clothes and makeup is rather different. The founder of DYT uses a method similar to personality tests and she calls them energy types. There are 4 energy types, but each type has one of the other three types as a sub type. From what I recall of the tests that I went through to find my own type, I don’t believe a lot of consideration is given to undertones. And I was a bit surprised by some of the makeovers (and not in a good way). Honestly, I think it’s because of my energy type and personality. I don’t like super bright colors, I prefer to be a bit more in the background, and some of the makeovers on the DYT website are very very bright. But I think those actually matched the person who was made over. I personally believe that one’s fashion, beauty, style is reflective of a whole person, as cliche as this is, inside and outside. How you feel about your body and yourself as a whole being includes what you wear and how you feel in your clothes.

Okay, now, let’s move in to undertones. This is important, especially if you’re into wearing any colors other neutrals. Every person’s skin has an undertone, whether those be warm, cool, or neutral*, one of those three is present. Frankly, I think undertones when it comes to fashion and ESPECIALLY makeup because if you don’t have the right undertones in your makeup then you can looked very washed out and sick. I’m sure this seems overwhelming, so here are two examples of what I mean when I reference undertones.

Here’s a better visual of the colors the pin above is referencing

The veins on my wrists are quite prominent, especially when my carpal tunnel is flaring up. The colors of my veins tend more towards neutral, but I believe I’m halfway between cool and neutral undertones. This means that I gravitate towards colors that have blue and purple-ish tones to them. Please know that matching undertones is something that gets easier over time. I’ve been matching undertones of fashion and makeup items for years and even still I have trouble at times trying to see the undertone of a certain item.

Here’s an example of cool and warm undertoned colors

See how the warm shades have a more yellow undertone to them? I know this is only a small sampling of colors, but I don’t want to get in to seasons of colors! That’s a whole other ballgame, still fits under the cool or warm undertones category, I just feel it complicates things.

I hope this is simple enough. I know it can certainly feel overwhelming trying to add color to your wardrobe. I am speaking as one who had mainly blues, blacks, and grays in my wardrobe for a long time. When I added color,  deep cool colors in particular, I discovered an entirely new love of fashion. There are a few outfits I have that make me feel refreshed and awake merely because of the colors. Colors and how the clothes fit.

Next post I’m going to review the amazing jumpsuit I just got and talk about some of the things I’ve found work best for curvy fashion bottoms (skirts, dresses, pants, shorts…).

* quick note about neutral undertones. Neutral is basically the free for all undertone. If you are neutral, you can pick and choose colors that are on the cool side AND the warm side. However, take my own undertones as an example, as I am what I’d call a cool neutral, I tend to stay away from warmer tones.