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

Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Box – Petit Voir

Hello Beauties! 

Long time no chat! I started a new job just over a month ago and have been swamped with getting used to the rhythm of being mom, seamstress, and taking care of myself, my children, and my home. Just I am finally feeling like I have found a good system for my job and have a few more minutes of time to sit down and write. 

I happened to come across this brand I believe while scrolling through Pinterest, and ended up ordering a box. Petit Voir says this about their boxes

Elevate or recreate your beauty routine with a subscription to Petit Vour’s luxury-curated, cruelty-free beauty box. Each month you’ll receive 4 products ($45-$60 value) of non-toxic and plant-based beauty, curated to your beauty profile for as low as $15/box.

I was able to find a code for about $5 off my first box, but I can’t find the same link I used previously! I will update this post if I can find the promo code again. 

I got my first box this past week, and have to say I like the products they sent. 

I have already tried the Rose Quartz highlighter and the Rosehip and Clay facial mask. I was excited to see that Formulary 55 is actually a company based in Colorado!

As I’ve been making the slow and sometimes tedious shift to more non-toxic and clean-er beauty and skin care products, it is nice to have an option of a beauty subscription box specifically designed for that purpose! It is more expensive, and the products themselves have higher costs, but at the very least, this will expose me to different brands and products I may never want to buy for myself, but I can try them. 

I don’t have a whole lot else to add, but let me know if you try out Petit Voir! 

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

Getting Lost in the Weeds – Herbal Edition

Hello Beauties!

Well, I finally have some space and time to share some of the projects I’ve been working on. About three weeks ago, I started learning about herbal oils and the health benefits that come from oiling. There are many benefits that come with practicing herbal body oiling, but also, herbal infused oils can be used to make healing salves and even lotions.

So I decided to go on a “foraging” mission and found a store here in Denver that has the most fantastic selection of dried herbs and flowers! Walking out $20 lighter, my hands were full of bags of dried herbs and flowers.  Having this be my first time making any oils, I did a little bit a research, then followed my gut. Look through the two articles I have pinned above. I felt they were the most comprehensive articles I found about herbal infused oils.

I made two different oils, and they are still sitting and infusing. Both oils have about 4 more weeks before I can open them up and strain the herbs and flowers out of them.

The first one I made, I am calling Aphrodite’s Oil. The reason for this is because two of the herbs/flowers I have in that oil have aphrodisiac effects. Not only that, but all three herbs/flowers I put in are good for anxiety and stress relief.

Now, I have written before about my struggle with hormonal imbalance (thanks endometriosis and hypothyroidism), so when I found out that damiana is helpful for hormonal imbalances, I immediately grabbed a package of the dried herb. Damiana is also an aphrodisiac, good for depression and anxiety. Jasmine is also a libido booster, and another anti-anxiety herb, as well as helps insomnia AND scars to fade. Lavender I almost feel is self-explanatory; headache reliever, anti-anxiety, stress reliever. I suspended all three herbs/flowers in 1/3 olive oil and 2/3 sweet almond oil. I would have preferred to do all sweet almond oil but I ran out. I have this jar sitting in a corner of my kitchen just soaking and releasing all that goodness from those herbs!

The second oil I made, I combined herbs specifically with the purpose of calming, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory herbs. This one turned out a little differently because of the oil I used. I used coconut oil and it basically turned solid within 3 hours of mixing up the herbs and adding the oil. Honestly though, I’m actually okay with how this oil is going because I’m planning on using the oil to make an anti-inflammatory salve or even my own homemade lotion once it’s done infusing.

I’m calling this oil Calm & Peaceful. I have four different herbs in this oil; Calendula, Lavender, Dandelion root, Motherwort. Calendula is an anti-inflammatory, calms muscle spasms and aches, and is even thought to be anti-microbial. Lavender again, relieves headaches, anti-stress/anxiety, and can even help with insomnia. Dandelion root is another good anti-inflammatory herb too. I wasn’t sure about Motherwort, but I felt like I needed to add it in. Motherwort is often used after a mother has given birth as it’s a good herb for re-toning and strengthening the uterus and healing the body post-birth. But Motherwort is also good for calming anxiety, regulating a rapid heartbeat (I assume associated with anxiety?) and is good for heart and nerve health. Because of the nerve pain I get from my fibromyalgia, and the pain I get from my endometriosis, I figured this really was a good herb to add in.

I am really looking forward to both of these oils being done! Still have to wait another 4 weeks, but I am just so excited about started to use the oils and reaping the health benefits of them!

I used some of the other herbs and flowers I got to start my own facial toner. I have been using pure rose water as a toner for the past few months, but that stuff can get pricey! So I decided to actually go ahead and make my own. But, I added a little twist to mine; I added jasmine and lavender to the toner. The other ingredients were the dried rose buds, obviously, then distilled water and witch hazel. I mixed these all in a small canning jar, and then let it sit for 2 weeks. I need to figure out how to get the flowers to stay below the surface of the liquid though. Just about ran in to trouble with the whole top layer of herbs molding. But that’s a problem for the next batch!

I strained out the herbs yesterday and I love the slightly cinnamon-y scent the toner has! I think it’s from the lavender and jasmine. I had more toner than I had jars for, so I made little ice cubes that will be nice to have when I have a bad acne flare up and need to calm my skin down!

I am keeping my toner in the fridge in an effort to make it last for as long as I can! My plan is to make another batch in two weeks, which means that I should have a new batch ready just as I run out of the current batch.

Another thing I decided to make was a good sized jar of bath salts. I used a base of Epsom Salts and Pink Himalayan Salts and used lavender and geranium essential oils. The herbs I used are Chamomile, Rose Buds, Passionflower, and Lavender. All of the herbs are dried herbs/flowers. I am still looking for muslin tea bags so use for when I want to take a bath. The goal is to put about 2 tablespoons in a tea bag and let the salts absorb into the bath water, leaving behind the herbs to soak in the warm water.

I usually use about 1 1/2 cups of epsom salt when taking a bath, so only having about 2 tbsps of salts in the water seems off to me. But the first bath I took with the bath salts was really relaxing and enjoyable.

Quick comment about Passionflower – I learned about passionflower as an herb a few years ago, and have used it off and on for nerve pain, insomnia, and anxiety. I kicked myself because it is such a powerful herb for nerve pain in particular. Taking it as a capsulated herb did make me feel a bit wound up, but using it as a dried herb in a bath or even an herbal infused oil has been a lot calmer. The Chamomile is so calming and relaxing that I felt like I had to use it!

So that’s a good part of what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. I am currently slowly gathering the materials I need to make my own mascara and eyeliner. I am moving towards a goal that I’m not ready to share just yet, but it is a slow burning passion within me. It’s easily combines my love of makeup and passion for cleaning up my makeup by removing toxic products. Not only that, it is moving towards a path I am very very excited and relieved to be on!

Until next time! Oh, and please feel free to ask questions about any of the things I’ve made here. I’d be more than happy to share actual recipes or any other information I have that you’d like to know.

 

All Things Beauty · Makeup · Products

Updates – projects coming!!

Hello Beauties,

Well, I’ve been busy. After the retreat a few weeks ago, I have been busy learning about herbs and flowers and creating some of my own herbal oils (more on that later!) and creating a rose flower, jasmine, and lavender facial toner which should be done in just three days!

I am finding a groove with including an herbalist practice with my daily life and also pursuing making my own makeup. I am hoping to make up my own recipes and then maybe, just maybe, find a way to create personalized makeup items with a very specific purpose. Again, more on that later!

Like I said, I’ve been busy. I’m still not 100% sure where I’m taking everything or where I will end up, but I will come back to this space soon with a lot more things to update y’all on, AAAANNNDDD! It’s almost time to get out those fall wardrobes! I am so excited!!!

Until next time!

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.