Fashion · Products

Let’s Talk Jeans!

Hello Beauties! While I’m sitting here sweating in 90 degree weather, my mind is already days ahead to the cooler weather and JEANS! Colorado weather is nuts, y’all! We had 70’s for about a week, then it jumped back up to 90. I was so ready to start pulling out sweatshirts, pullovers, and sweaters! Now, jeans, one of the topics I used to HATE as a young teenager, and up to the beginning of my 20s. Being a curvy being, and having a butt and thighs AND calves that are well endowed, finding pants/jeans that fit was nigh impossible. I believe my first pair of jeans was a size 6 (?) and that was around the age of 13. I wasn’t able to find anything else that fit my butt and thighs. I think my remembrance of the sizing is a bit off, especially since my parents (and consequently myself) didn’t believe in jeans being fitted or tight. I still remember how weird it felt to put on skinny jeans for the first time and how “exposed” I felt having pants that practically clung to my legs. Over the past 4 years, skinny jeans have become a major closet staple in my wardrobe and I’ve discovered some of my favorite brands and not only that, I know which brands will fit the more curvy shape! Okay, let’s start with one of the cheapest pairs of jeans I’ve bought [brand new] and that fit phenomenally well. Wax Denim Slim Fit Stretchy Jeans – $18 [average cost] I got a pair of these last fall/winter and boy oh boy are they quite comfortable, stretch well, and my only complaint is that the inner thigh area is starting to sort of wear thing. At the very least, that area is getting a little pilled. I typically wear a [stretchy] size 10, but since these seem to run in juniors sizing, I got a size 11.

TIP: if you add these to a wishlist on Amazon then turn on lightning deal notifications, you will get notified if these ever go on sale.

Me wearing the Wax jeans at the beginning of the year
So these next few brands are going to be pricey, but to be honest, I have never bought any of these brands of jeans full price. I find most of my jeans at the thrift store, or online thrift stores, or deeply discounted on places like Nordstrom Rack.
Articles of Society Carly Prague Cropped$64 [average cost] Bear with me, yes these are pricey, but it is possible to get them ridiculously discounted. I got my pair from Nordstrom Rack during their bi-annual sale (i think?) for $14. Having never tried this brand before, it was a risky move getting them. But I checked the sizing chart before hitting order, and wow I wear these jeans almost daily. That is, besides when it’s 90 degrees outside! They have a lot of stretch, but not too much as they still hold their shape even after multiple wears. My abdomen is really sensitive to pressure and I have found that I can comfortably wear these jeans for several hours without my stomach starting to both me. Because I’m so short, even though these are specifically cropped, they are literally exact ankle length jeans. I almost always have the hem rolled up though on my skinny jeans.

TIP: If you like to wear booties (short ankle boots) during the fall, always roll your skinny/straight jean cuffs up so there’s at least a half inch of skin between the top of your boot and the bottom of your jeans.

Kut From The Kloth Catherine Boyfriend Jeans $89 [average cost]  I fell in love with Kut From The Kloth jeans about 5 years ago when I got a pair in a Stitch Fix box. It was so exciting to find jeans that actually fit and were so comfortable! I remember spending hours browsing eBay looking for the same fit and style of jeans. I ended up getting three pairs of Kut jeans for about $35 for all 3. I wore those jeans constantly, but for some reason I got rid of them. However, I have come back around to Kut jeans over the past year and a half and have found a pair at the thrift store and a few pairs from eBay that are still in my drawer. What I love about Kut jeans are how well made they are. The material is on the thicker side (more durability) but there is still a bit of stretch to them. I will say that for these jeans, make sure to know your measurements well before trying to get a pair. Another note, if you like skinny jeans that are fitted around the ankles, these aren’t the jeans for you. Their skinnys are always way too loose/big around my ankles, and even rolling up the hem doesn’t really correct that issue.

TIP: if you find a brand of jeans that you REALLY like and fit you well but are super pricey, look them up on eBay, Swap, Schoola, ThredUp, and Poshmark!

American Eagle Skinny Jegging – $39 [average cost] I am hesitant to add AE jeans into this list, because as I mentioned in my bralette post, I have a very strong love/hate relationship with AE jeans. I do not feel like their sizing is very consistent nor is it reliable. I was so frustrated the last time I actually bought jeans from one of their stores. I had lost a bunch of weight post-pregnancy and yet instead of going down a size or two, I had to go UP a size! BUT! If you can find older styles in thrift stores or online, go for it. The two pairs I have currently of AE jeans are both thrift store finds and are older styles.

TIP: If you are dependent on jeans having a good amount of stretch in them like I am, avoid the Artist style at AE. Avoid any style that does not contain at least 20% or more of stretch or elastane. Stretch is an absolute must for any amount of curves.

Okay, before I wrap up this post, I want to talk a little bit about how to measure for online jean shopping. As I do most of my shopping for clothes online (I know, I know, it’s risky), I have had to get really competent with knowing my measurements and knowing how to look up different brands’ sizing charts to see where I fit. There are really only two measurements you need to know when buying jeans online, okay, well three measurements. Waist. Hips. Length – for if you’re really short like me.
Measuring the body is one of the most important things when making clothing. If you measure wrong or don’t measure at all chances are your item will not fit correctly. Below is a guide that…
Just pay attention to the bottom two measurement lines https://www.pinterest.com/pin/36521446960604469/
Once you know your waist and hips measurements, you can usually find both of those measurements on any sizing chart. For example my waist is about 29-30″ right now, and my hips are almost consistently 40-41″. This puts me almost always at a size Large for pants or a size 10 in most brands.

One last TIP: when looking for jeans at an in person thrift store, look for the material or color that looks like really good quality. You should be able to tell by touch too if the jeans are a good material. It also takes time and hands on tactile experience to figure that out, so don’t get discouraged!

I’ll add more in another post, but I hope this helps for now!   **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 · 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!

Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Breaking A Stigma – Health Edition

Hello Beauties (again)!

Most of my posts have to do with my chronic illnesses (yes, plural). But one of the things I have’t talked about are the supplements I take and the medications I have taken or am no longer taking.

With having fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and hypothyroidism, flare ups are sometimes hard to avoid. I have noticed that when I have multiple emotional/mental triggers, having a physical reaction or flare up is nearly impossible to avoid. I have been able to push myself physically more this past month than I have been able to in a long time. And I contribute that to one single supplement; CBD oil.

Now, hold on, before you start judging me, hear me out.

I was raised conservative Christian, the kind of christianity that doesn’t acknowledge mental health or that trauma is even something that would strongly affect the body/mind. I was raised to view pot and those who smoked as beneath me and irresponsible people. However, as I am no longer in that world anymore, AND considering I now live in Colorado (and no, there are not high people on every street corner…CO is considered one of the healthiest states in the nation….and it’s not because of all of the pot smokers), I started doing some research on CBD oil. I discovered something interesting, as long as there is less than 0.3% THC in the oil, it is 100% legal in all 50 states and multiple countries world wide. The THC is what makes someone high. But there is a lot of anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety/depression benefits to the CBD oil. Because my spouse works on a job that would mean he could very quickly lose his job if he had any contact with THC, I had to make sure that CBD oil would be okay to use.

Two months ago I was hitting a really low low, and physically was starting to feel so utterly defeated with my health. I was taking extra strong doses of Aleve (the only pain reliever that ever does anything for me) and I knew that was only destroying my gut/stomach even more. A friend uses CBD oil for Interstitial Cystitis and had told me how much the oil was really helping her. I was getting desperate so I ordered a bottle. My only hesitation with using the oil was the price. CBD oil in its purest form and from a reputable seller is pricey. Living in Colorado, I was able to find a seller with a highly concentrated formula with a bottle that would last 3-5 months for $89. Like I said, it’s pricey, and I didn’t want to start taking it, discover it works for me, and then try to figure out how to afford a bottle every month. Which is why I’ll be switching to this new seller in two weeks when my current bottle runs out.

Before I jump in to how CBD oil has helped me, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of the oil.

Adding in CBD oil to my daily supplements has significantly improved my quality of life. I had a really rough therapy session on Tuesday, slept terribly Tuesday night because of a BAD fibro flare up due to emotional/mental triggers. Woke up Wednesday feeling like crap, but had to run a lot of errands and keep the boys out of the house since some of our windows were getting replaced. Wednesday was even worse than Tuesday night. Woke up yesterday morning (Thursday morning) barely able to move without significant pain. I took a full dropper of CBD oil instead of the 1/3 of a dropper I usually take. Within a half hour, my pain levels had dropped from 7/8 down to about 4/5.

I have been using this website, ThoughtCloud.net, but because of how small their bottles are and because of how much they cost, I will be switching to another company I found at a local farmer’s market.

  Nature’s Best Relief – 2oz $89 (this is the bottle that’s supposed to last up to 5 months)

I am grateful for CBD oil, it’s made my pain a lot less and has had a positive effect on my anxiety and depression. So maybe put aside your negative connotations of CBD and consider possibly trying it? I am not a health nut, I am not a conspiracy theorists, I am only someone who’s struggled with chronic pain for a very long time, and when I find something that helps my pain and inflammation I want to share it. I also believe the CBD oil has helped my IBS too. That and eating very low carb, my IBS has seriously calmed down and I rarely have a reaction anymore. Which, okay, it’s been YEARS since I’ve gone this long without having almost daily IBS flare ups. It’s still weird to me that I can actually eat and not get sick anymore.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I know there are a lot of bad stigmas about CBD oil and I hope maybe this can help change some of them.

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. 

Beauty Favorites · Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Foody Stuff · Makeup · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Favorites for 1st Half of July – foody stuff and makeup

Hello Beauties,

Ugh, it’s been awhile again since I last posted. I realized yesterday that for the first time in about 6 1/2 months, I feel like I can finally take a breath and not worry that I’m heading in to another health crisis. I can definitely say that being in crisis mode and dealing with hyper-awareness physically hasn’t been good for adrenal fatigue and just over all stress levels.

My body is now in management mode, meaning I’m doing my best to listen to my body and let myself rest when I need to. I’ve added something to my supplements that I think is actually helping me wean off my anti-depressant. THAT IS NOT TO SAY I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD WEAN OFF THEIR ANTI-DEPRESSANTS! I have been on Zoloft for the past year and half, and I am actually feeling decent now. I’m curious to see if I can wean off of it, but trust me when I say if things start going downhill, I’m going right back to taking it. I guess this is testament to how much work I’ve done the past year. The fact that I feel stable enough to start decreasing my anti-depressant is HUGE.

But talking about depression and anxiety isn’t the reason for the post. I wanted to share some of the favorite things I’ve discovered AND eaten the past few weeks. I am still 100% on board with Keto WOE (way of eating) and in fact I am feeling better with my IBS and overall energy. I have found some of my go-to recipes and my new favorite drink. I used to do a glass of cold brew coffee every day with some dairy free creamer, but I don’t think my body responds very well to caffeine like that. So instead of coffee, I’ve switched to making my own version of Starbuck’s Pink Drink! And boy oh boy, is it yummy! Super easy to make, and I’ve honestly found that Torani Sugar-Free Vanilla syrup is actually really palatable. All I use in my drink is a cup or cup and a half of Tazo Passion Tea, a tablespoon or two of Heavy Whipping Cream, and a tablespoon or two of Vanilla syrup.

Honestly, I was a bit thrown off by using sugar substitutes with keto especially since I hate the after taste of almost every other sugar free substitute I’ve ever tried. Then I found out about Monk Fruit. Beauties, this stuff is amazing! It gives just enough sweetness without being overpowering, nor does it have any after taste. I really like Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener.


Highly recommend it if you just really need something sweet but don’t want to use sugar. Speaking of something sweet, this has been my go-to “snack” lately.

This is AMAZING. So creamy and delicious especially with the blueberries. It has a savory flavor that is still sweet and it’s really really yummy and super easy to make. I usually make three portions, give my hubby one, eat one for myself, and then have another one for the next day! I’ve tried doing different berries, including using cherries last week. I just made one with pureed strawberries too that was actually really yummy!

One of my favorite meals last week was making a big pot of this Keto Chicken Chili

OMG, so delicious, and I actually used canned chicken (all I had on hand) and canned jalapenos since I didn’t have any fresh. Even Phil liked this chili, and my little ones enjoyed it too!

Another favorite was this Meatball Casserole. I was so surprised the meatballs were so easy to make, and EVERYONE in the family loved it! I will say with the casserole though that it definitely tasted the best day of, still was okay for leftovers, but they didn’t taste quite as delicious.

I know kind of going backwards, but let’s talk breakfast really quick! I have actually been doing intermittent fasting most mornings now, I feel a lot better, I have less IBS flare ups on the days I do IF, and I have actually started feeling sick when I do eat breakfast at a normalish time. BUT, that’s besides the point. My oldest asked me for waffles the other day so I made Keto waffles with a base of coconut flour. I wasn’t sure if they would really turn out fluffy like the recipe said, but wow was I surprised! And my oldest? Yeah he ate at least 2 full waffles. Keep in mind, with the coconut flour, they are super filling, I could barely handle eating 1!!

Okay, so let’s move on from food to makeup! Yay! My favorite.

I’ve talked about before how I am trying to clean up my skin care and makeup. My skin care is, besides my facial cleanser, all non-toxic and/or organic now. My face is clearing up and I know now that when I do have breakouts its directly lining up with having a flare up of my endometriosis or hormones feel off. But one of the areas that has definitely been a lot harder to switch out has been my makeup. I discovered an all natural company called Silk Naturals. I was intrigued at first because they market their foundation as entirely customized….in other words, you can actually mix your powdered foundation to the exact shade you need! I’m really not a fan of powdered foundation so I hadn’t looked in to their website all that thoroughly. That is, until I realized that they carry stick foundations! Not only that, they have a cool toned section, a neutral toned section, and warm toned section! I ordered one of the cool toned sticks and wasn’t sure if I would really like the foundation. The ease of having foundation in a stick was really nice, but it wasn’t going on my skin very well. Once I used a more “slippery” primer, I have had really good luck with using the foundation stick! I can build it up for as much coverage as I need, or I can have just a thin coverage, more like a bb cream than foundation.

The other thing with my makeup I’ve been able to switch out is mascara. I got one mascara and wasn’t excited to try it, but was less than thrilled with it’s coverage on my lashes and with how thin the mascara itself was. Thankfully, the company worked with me and gave me a refund. Which I then turned around and spent on another mascara that was actually better rated. I am in love with this other mascara!

The brand is Naturally Rooted, and the formula is definitely thicker than the other mascara I got. It does require several swipes to get my lashes completely covered, but I get volume, and my eyes don’t itch, and so far, I haven’t noticed any flaking. Another plus? It comes off super easily with water when I wash my face at night! Definitely recommend this mascara for sure. Oh, and a price point of $14 for natural non-toxic mascara? I usually use mascara for about a year before replacing it (I know, I know, it’s supposed to only be 6 months or less) so $14 a year for mascara that’s good for my eyes and lashes, I’ll take.

alright, so that’s it for now. I’m hoping with feeling a bit better I will have more energy to kick out posts more often than once or twice a month! Thanks for bearing with me!

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 · 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!