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 & Abbot! 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 & Abbot. First, here’s a little background on Rose & Abbot before I dive in to my review.

Rose & Abbot 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 & Abbot 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 & Abbot does recommend using up the moisturizer in 30 days as there are very few preservatives in the moisturizer and it can go bad. Which yay! You don’t want to use a product with a ton of preservatives in, but also ugh, I like longevity products. Products that last me longer than a month and I don’t have to reorder every month. I will say that this moisturizer is really concentrated, so I do not need much to cover my entire face and neck. I really enjoy the slight rose scent it has as well. That’s another big plus to using this company; you get to pick your own scent and how strong or light you want that scent! Or! Even better, you can pick no scent for those who are extremely sensitive to scents.

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

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

For All That Is Curvy – Starting out with Undertones

Hello Beauties!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an example of cool and warm undertoned colors

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

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

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

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

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

Switching to Natural: Skincare by Rose & Abbot!

Hello Beauties!

Happy Hump Day! Truth be told, this feels more like a Monday to me than a Wednesday, but yay for the week being almost half over?!

Here’s a quick update on a new product I have decided to try! As I’m working on switching out my beauty routine products and skin care products, I opted to go for a company that makes personalized moisturizer. Yes, you read that right, they make moisturizer specific for your skin. The brand is called Rose & Abbot. As far as I can tell, they use natural ingredients and avoid toxic chemicals in their moisturizer.

I do like that they have a skin care quiz you go through before check out. The only thing I didn’t like about the quiz is that you can pick just two skin concerns. For someone who has combination skin, easily breaks out (thanks hormone imbalances…), and have uneven skin tone, I had to pick the two things that were the “biggest” concerns for my face. I picked large pores and uneven skin tone. I should receive my new moisturizer in a few days, I hope. I am going out of town in a week, and would love to get it before I leave!

In terms of how long a bottle lasts, their bottles are 1 oz in size and according to their FAQ section, using the cream morning and evening, 1 bottle should last 30 days. Sooo, if you only use it as day cream, it should last two months. There are 6 different scent options (the first being no scent) to pick from, as well as whether you want the scent to be Light – Medium – Strong. No scent, Roses, Bergamot & Lime, Plum, Neroli Flowers, and Unicorn. I picked Roses for mine.

I just got the ingredient list for my personalized moisturizer, and there is one ingredient that is not entirely preferable, but compared to the rest of the ingredients I’m not terribly upset about it. I am double checking to see what the “Rose Fragrance” consists of. I believe it’s essential oils, but I know that “fragrance” can really mean anything. (edited to add: just heard back from Rose & Abbot, all scents are created with only essential oils! yay! this makes me happy!)

Ingredients for Maeve’s Personalized Rose & Abbot Moisturizer

Water (Aqua); Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Coconut Alkanes; Coco-Caprylate/Caprate; Olive Oil Glycereth-8 Esters; Dicaprylyl Carbonate; Glycerin; Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer; Sodium Hyaluronate; Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Propanediol; Silica; Aminopropyl Kojyl Phosphate; Pureoxin; Burnet (Poterium officinale) Roots; Seaweed (Ascophyllum Nodosum) Extract; Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract; Licorice Root Extract (Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate); Water Lily Extract; Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia) Bark Extract; Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) Root Extract; Great Burnet (Sanguisorba Officinalis) Root Extract; Rose Fragrance; Disodium EDTA; Caprylyl Glycol; Chlorphenesin; Phenoxyethanol (<– this is the ingredient I’m not too thrilled about)

I’m excited about getting my new cream, especially since my current moisturizer is just about empty! I think this link will work, but try this link for an extra 10% off!

If I don’t like this moisturizer, I will be trying Christina Moss Naturals Organic and Natural facial cream. The Rose & Abbot moisturizer is roughly the same price as the Christina Moss Naturals cream – the price being $26-29 for Rose & Abbot and $26 for Christina Moss Naturals. The reviews on the Christina Moss Naturals cream say that because you don’t need a lot of the cream it lasts for several months with a shelf life of over 6 months. I really like the ingredient list for the Christiana Moss Naturals cream, but we’ll see! I am super intrigued with the whole personalized moisturizer that Rose & Abbot offers!

**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 · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Switching to Natural: All Natural Dry Shampoo!

Hello Beauties!

As I’m making the shift to using more natural products, I’m researching all of the products I typically use on a daily/weekly basis. One such product is dry shampoo. Now, with curly hair, dry shampoo can either significantly increase the life of my curls, or it kills them instantly and instead of second day hair, it’s back to the shower. I have tried many brands but never really really liked any specific one. When I made the switch from long waist length hair to a short jawline brushing a-line bob, dry shampoo became something I paid more attention to. BUT! I stumbled upon several articles talking about the ill-effects of dry shampoo when used consistently. I’d rather wash my hair every day (not necessarily a good thing with curly hair) than coat my hair with dry shampoos that aren’t working or making things any better.

So I went looking for an alternative. Just something to help bring volume back to my curls after a night of smashing them flat. I found this pin on Pinterest and followed one of the links through to Amazon.

Go check out Well + Good’s article about Natural Beauty Swaps for Drugstore Prices

I browsed around Amazon and checked out the Acure dry shampoo. I was intrigued by the idea that it wasn’t an aerosol dry shampoo. I discovered that Acure has one for brunette hair as well as for all hair. Because hi, brunette here, I’d rather not have white-ish powder showing up on my roots! However, as I looked around, I stumbled upon the dry shampoo I ultimately ended up purchasing – Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo Wanderlust For Sexy Brunettes by Handmade Heroes. There is one for blondes as well as brunettes!

The ingredient list is what made me decide to get this instead of the Acure dry shampoo.

Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo (brunette dry shampoo) Ingredients –

  • Rice Powder
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Charcoal
  • Rose Geranium Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Peppermint Oil

And that’s it!

I was a bit nervous about using a literal powder on my roots, but I liked that there wasn’t any extra dry shampoo residue floating in the air like when using an aerosol spray. It does take a little bit to get used to as the bottle needs to be squeezed to get any to come out. I think you could just shake it into your roots, but I’m not sure. I have used it twice so far and really like the refreshed and slightly tingly scalp feeling from the peppermint and eucalyptus oils! Besides, it’s a tiny little bottle with a large amount of powder inside! Easy to pack for travel and as far as I can tell, it does not stain clothes if it drops on your shoulders.

Let me know if you try it?

Have an awesome rest of your 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.

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Products

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation – Review and Compare

Hello Beauties!

Today is a day for leggings and fuzzy socks as it’s rainy here in Colorado. I can’t say I mind the rain, we definitely need it. But with such a dismally gray and overcast day, what better time is there to play with makeup! That and I want to take a break from the more serious topics I’ve been writing about lately.

I grabbed one of NYX’s Total Control Drop Foundation last night and was actually pleasantly surprised to see that it closely resembles one of my favorite foundations – The Ordinary Serum Foundation from The Abnormal Beauty Company. I discovered The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation a few years ago and it’s my go to whenever I want to switch from my daily BB cream. It’s runny, I wasn’t expecting the Serum Foundation to be so liquid-y, but somehow when it is blended in, the foundation has a velvety soft powdery finish. It is buildable and blends very well, especially when using a damp beauty sponge. My only complaint about the Serum Foundation is that does not cover dry spots very well. In other words, if you already have a dry spot on your face, this foundation will only make is drier. That complaint aside, I really like the liquid nature of the foundation and how powdery it is when it dries.

Another thing I like about The Ordinary’s foundations is the selection of shades. It is disappointing there are only 3 darker shades though. The foundation does give you options for different undertones, which is what I like. I technically have almost neutral undertones, but I tend towards cooler tones than warm. I have the 1.1 P Fair with Pink Undertones foundation. It matches my skin tone very well.

When I saw the new NYX drop foundation coming out, I wasn’t all that interested. It runs at about $13.99 (The Ordinary foundation is about $11 shipped) so I wasn’t planning on getting any. But I found some on a Target clearance rack last night and since I am almost out of my Ordinary foundation, I grabbed it. I am actually glad I did!

As NYX Total Control drop foundation is a liquid-y foundation, you don’t need much. It is actually silkier than The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation, and dries even smoother. I would definitely recommend using a primer under either foundation, but with the NYX foundation, I don’t feel like it dries out my skin as much as the Ordinary’s foundation.

 

The NYX foundation on the box looks like it has yellowish undertones. But when I opened it and looked at the shade, it is almost identical to The Ordinary’s foundation. I grabbed the shade 05 Light. Usually I’m the lightest shade in a foundation line, but was surprised to find that 05 is well, the 5th shade in the Total Control line. The NYX website says that it is Light with Neutral undertones, but I would call them more pink than neutral. I am really liking this foundation and I think it will replace The Ordinary! I used my usual primer (Wet n’ Wild primer) under the NYX foundation and then applied the foundation with a damp beauty sponge. It blended very smoothly, and even went over some tiny dry spots I have very well. The NYX foundation is a touch smoother than the Ordinary foundation and I feel like it is easier to build up than the Ordinary as well. Another big difference is the top of both bottles. The Ordinary foundation has a pump top and the NYX is an actual dropper top. The NYX foundation is only 0.43 fl oz versus the Ordinary’s 1 fl oz. I’m curious to see how long the NYX foundation will last for me. I maybe only wear actual foundation 2-3 times a month, otherwise I use my Skin79 BB cream daily.

 

So long story short, I am quite pleased with NYX Total Control Drop Foundation. I think it would work for combination skin, dry skin, and oily skin. I would HIGHLY recommended using a primer under this foundation, as I would with any foundation. A primer just gives the foundation something to grip on to and it helps keep your skin moisturized.

**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.

 

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

Let’s Talk Health and Beauty

Hello Beauties!

The theme of my life since the beginning of 2018 has been “How can I heal my body and feel better?” I got some lab results back this past week, and found out that my intuition was right; I have major estrogen dominance which feeds my Endometriosis and Hypothyroidism as well as my fibromyalgia. But I do not have PCOS. So yay? I started on a natural progesterone cream, and while I believe it’s already starting to affect my system, my estrogen dominance symptoms are rearing their ugly heads.

Along with getting answers to health issues I’ve had for at least a decade, most likely even longer, I’ve turned attention to what I’m using on my body – makeup, hair care, lotions, deodorant… – and am trying to figure out what I want to start transitioning to more natural and better for my body products. I spent an hour or so last night researching natural beauty brands and some skin care brands. Half of my skin care routine involves natural skin care (essential oils, rose water, witch hazel…) but the majority of my makeup products and hair care products do not. Now, I have no intention of going full bore with changing out all of the products I use! That would cost and arm and a leg and all of my favorite clothes, but I think it is feasible to slowly change out things purposefully. So today, I decided to switch from my spray deodorant to a Schmidt’s deodorant. I grabbed the Rose + Vanilla one. It has a delicate scent, and I’m eager to see if it will work! I’ve heard good things about Schmidt’s deodorants.

Let’s talk beauty though for a few minutes. I currently use a Korean brand for my BB cream and frankly quite love it! But I’m looking in to a few of the newer beauty brands coming to Target! I’m really excited about trying Hue Noir Foundation and HALEYS Beauty. Which, speaking of Target, I just applied to become an affiliate because I shop there frequently and am super excited about all of the new brands they’re introducing!!

I have officially been diagnosed with chronic illnesses – Endometriosis, Hypothyroidism, and Fibromyalgia. I have also been diagnosed with secondary conditions of adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, and unofficially/officially IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Not to mention depression (dysthymia) and anxiety as well. My eyesight is nearly perfect, but I have and get significant eye fatigue and now use 0.75 reading glasses when I’m using my computer. It actually does help my eyes rest and help some of the headaches and migraines I get.

With chronic illnesses, taking care of myself has become vital. It’s also been good for my mental health. Smelling, looking, and feeling good are all connected for me. My body is in such chaos and has been for a very long time that if there are even a few small things I can feel like I have control over the better I can function. There is something very validating in finally getting answers to why my body hasn’t felt good in a very very long time. I honestly can’t remember what it’s like to not be in pain of some kind, or not feel like I’m struggling against wave after wave of fatigue. This doesn’t make me as depressed as it used to though. I know how to function to the best of my ability and I’ve figured out the things that give me a little edge over the pain and fatigue. Things like doing eyeliner, eyebrows, and bronzer or a touch of blush almost every day. Things like wearing the clothes I want to that make me feel good and sexy on my short, short-waisted, and pear shaped body. Things like having to drastically remove foods from my eating-thing (I hate the word d i e t) even though it means I will most likely not be able to add those things back into my eating-thing. Now that I have gotten actual physical confirmation of what’s been going on with my body, I now have the tools to take even better steps towards getting my body to the best place I can health-wise.

What are some of the natural beauty or health-wise things you do? Have you found things that help you feel better? Or what are your comfort items/things/actions that you do when you’re having a bad day?

I’d love to hear from you!!

 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

Target’s Beauty Boxes!

*NOT a paid post! There are affiliate links though!*

Hello Beauties!

If I can get a good deal on a beauty box, I will jump on it. I love getting a box of different samples! It’s a great way to try new brands and products without spending money on a full sized bottle or box of something you don’t end up liking. I have tried Boxycharm, Birchbox, Ipsy, EarFleek (more specific for earrings), FabFitFun, but had never tried Target’s beauty boxes or Walmart’s. While I was at Target this morning with my littlest one, I ran across a display of 4 differently themed beauty boxes. For $7 and for 7(!!) products, I figured it was worth trying. I liked that there was a list of the product samples on the back of the box.

I chose the box Treat Yourself.

The brands included in the box are Bodycology, Dr Teals, ME!Bath, Luxe by Mr. Bubble, Burt’s Bees, Olay, and Honest Beauty. There are three bath products; two bath bomb/melts, and a foaming bubble bath product. I’m excited about using the Dr. Teals foaming bath product as it’s the same scent/makeup as the epsom salt I have from the same brand – Pink Himalyan Salt. This may just call for a bubble bath tonight!

I’m always looking for a good quality hand/body lotion. During the fall/winter/spring, my hands tend to get extremely dry and prone to cracking, so I am constantly applying lotion to keep my hands moisturized. With a 1 year old, changing diapers, washing bottles, and such like that means I wash my hands a lot. The Bodycology Free & Lovely Coconut Rose Body Butter sounds really intriguing. The smell doesn’t seem that strong, but I do smell the coconut and it smells like possibly rose water a lot more on my hands after applying some of the body butter. Hmm, it’s not as moisturizing as I’d like. I feel like I would have to apply two or three layers of the body butter before the moisture really soaked into my hands and my hands didn’t feel dry and scratchy.  So I’d say it’s a thinner body butter and I don’t think I’ll be getting a full sized container of this, unfortunately.

Ironically I had purchased a Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia about 5 years ago and have been needing to throw it out. So getting a new exactly same lip balm in the beauty box was a nice surprise! I love the creaminess but not overwhelmingly so of the Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. I’d say they’re comparable to Burt’s Bees regular chapsticks, but it’s a nice little splash of color for your lips. Especially when you don’t want to use a gloss, or keep applying a lip stick, this is a perfect alternative! I have never tried any other color than the Red Dahlia, but I do like that color. It’s a bluer toned reddish color, which with my skin tone (cooler undertones) works the best.

I have been hearing about the newer Olay Regenerist Whips products. While it is a specifically anti-aging focused product, I don’t have any qualms about using something like that now. I’d rather be proactive about protecting and taking care of my skin that reactive. The smell is really gentle, and I’m curious about using it tonight after I wash my face. The consistency seems to be closer to a gel/cream than an actual cream. I discovered a few years ago that I prefer gel/creams than actual creams when it comes to facial creams and skin care. From my experience, a gel/cream provides a lot more moisture (good for dry skin and combination skin!) and absorbs slightly better than a straight up cream. I will mention that this is the most expensive product in the entire box. I kind of hope I don’t like the cream! (I’m all about affordable skin care!)

Have any of your tried any Honest Beauty (Jessica Alba’s company) products? I have looked at them several times, but have never tried any of her products. I’m excited about this Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser! While this is a sample size, it looks like a full sized bottle has a pump top. I prefer facial cleansers to have a pump bottle top, it’s easier to get the product out that way than having to open a cap and squeeze the cleanser out. This gel cleanser has lavender, fir needle, palma rosa, geranium, and chamomile oils in it. I have been using geranium oil specifically for helping my incisions heal, but I know it is good for facial skin care as well!

I’ll have to review the bath bomb from ME!Bath and bath melts from Luxe by Mr. Bubble (I can’t find a link to these, so maybe Target is no longer carrying them?) later. I’ve never used bath melts before, but they look super cute and hopefully will work well!

I’m waiting for paint to dry on some curtain rods and I’m about to leave to go pick up my oldest from preschool! It’s supposed to get up to 75 degrees here today, so this calls for windows open and flip flops. Enjoy the rest of your day!

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

Beauty Favorites – Skin & Body Care Edition

Hello Beauties!

We’re almost to the end of March, and I thought now would be a good time to round up some of my favorite skin and body care products and techniques that I’ve used this past month. I hope to do something like this at the end of every month and it will be interesting to see how many and which products change from month to month. Being the young mama of two littles, 1 and almost 4, life can be and usually is pretty busy. Chaotic at times for sure, but I have found that by keeping with certain routines for my hair, taking care of my face/skin, and doing my makeup helps me feel calm and more put together and able to handle the busyness of having young kids. I’ll talk more about what it’s like being mama to young ones, and the specific things I do for self care in another post.

Let’s start with skin/body care! As I’m nearing 30, I really don’t want to be dealing with acne any more (thanks unbalanced hormones) and I want to get a head start on worry lines. Allow me to clarify though, I do not think there is anything wrong with fine lines and wrinkles! I think they are distinguishing and I think it is a natural part of aging. However, I do believe in hydrating your skin, taking care of your skin, and doing what you can for maintaining the integrity of your skin Within In Reason. I also believe that skin care is essential to any good makeup routine, and as I’ve been working on changing my eating and cutting out foods I’m reacting to, I’ve see a change with my skin through that as well. But, more on that in another post! Several of my favorites are essential oils, and others aren’t “natural” so much. I’d say that I have a fairly even mix of natural and not so “natural” skin care products in my bathroom. So some of my favorites are things you may already have (if you’re in to essential oils).

So, with that in mind, here are several body/skin care techniques and products that I have fallen in love with (and am not so in love with) from the month of March.

** Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links! That means I get a small percentage of any purchase you may make through one of these links. 

 

– Body Care I Love –

SheaMoisture African Black Soap with Shea Butter – I use this every morning in the shower with a pouf. My back has completely cleared up, and this is what I use on my face to wash off night cream and such. I love the smell, it’s very mild, and one 8 oz bar lasts 3-4 months.

Body lotion – I have always come back to one specific brand – St. Ives. It’s the only lotion I don’t react to, the smell doesn’t make me sick, and it actually makes my skin feel good! This one has been my favorite right now, St. Ives Revitalizing Body Lotion Acai, Blueberry & Chia Seed OilLiving in Colorado means really dry air and skin that prone to drying out really quickly. As long as I have a bottle of this on hand, then I’m good!

 

– Skin Care I Love –
I will list products in the order I use them!

{Daytime Skin Care}

 

Rose Water Toner – I used to make my own rose water about 15 years ago, but I think I stopped because I didn’t like the upkeep of having to keep making it. I found this one – Rose Water Facial Toner Spray – Natural Astringent Face MistI love that this is a spray, and it is so easy to put on. It smells very delicate, and this is what I use first thing after I’ve gotten out of the shower in the morning. I will usually spritz a couple times around my face after drying off after getting out of the shower. I’ll let it dry on my face, then put on the serum below.

Vitamin C Serum – I’ve always looked so kindly on serums for your face. Especially when it seemed to just add yet another step into a skin care routine. But, as I’ve been trying to keep my skin clear, and now that my hormones aren’t causing breakouts quite as much, I have put a lot more effort into learning how to take care of my skin. I got this one – Noche Y Dia Night and Day Vitamin C Revitalizing Concentrate Serum for Face with Bitter Orange, Lemon, & Kiwi Seed. So far it has lasted me two months, and I gotta say I have actually noticed a difference with it. My skin has become smoother, I haven’t had as many flaky spots around my nose, and I haven’t had any non-hormonal breakouts. This one is more expensive (I found a deal for it when I got it) but I’m planning on trying another Vitamin C serum when this one runs out. How I use this one is I’ll use about 1/2 a pump of the serum, gently massage it all over my face AFTER putting on a toner. Either the rose water (above) or witch hazel which I’ll use at night. This serum says to let it absorb into your face for about 5 minutes before putting on a moisturizer. So I’ll apply it, then get dressed, or finishing putting on lotion, and then apply my daily moisturizer or night cream.

Daily Moisturizer – My absolute favorite day cream isn’t carried anywhere any more which thoroughly sucks. I loved it because it was a gel moisturizer and kept my face from getting itchy or dried out. However, I did find this one – Olay Active Botanicals Moisturizing Day Lotion – and I like it. Not as much as my old one, but I love the gentle scent and it seems to do a fairly good job of keeping my skin from getting too dry (especially with the addition of putting serum on before this).

*bonus daytime skin care/makeup I use daily*

SKIN79 Super+ BB cream Triple Function Hot Pink SPF30 – I have been using this BB cream since July last year, and it goes on right over my daily moisturizer just about every day. There are four, I think, different shades of this BB cream (all of them pretty pale, I’m afraid, it is a Korean brand), but the Hot Pink one is the one that matches my skin tone the best. One bottle lasts roughly 5-6 months.

 

{Nighttime Skin Care}

Cleanser – I have used honey for cleansing my face, I’ve used acne prone skin cleansers, but this cleanser is the only one that hasn’t dried out my skin or made me feel like my skin is breaking out or reacting – Cerave Foaming Facial CleanserOne container lasts 4-5 months. I use only one pump every night and it usually does a really good job removing makeup too!

Witch Hazel Toners – Both my spouse and I use witch hazel as a toner after washing our faces at night. His skin care routine is literally wash his face off with water, put witch hazel on a cotton ball, then wipe it around his face, then apply a night cream. This simplified routine has actually cleared up his acne really well! Both of these toners I like – Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner, Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Toner with Lavender. I think I prefer the Dickinson’s though more than the Thayers.

Serum – I will alternate with the Vitamin C serum above or this one – Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum, Age-Defying formula for acne-prone skin with 20% Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid & Hyaluronic Acid for Blemish-Free, Soft, Radiant, Youthful Skin.

 Essential Oils – I will use a mixture of 3ish drops from Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Tea Tree Oils (in that order) on a cotton ball on the nights I’m not using the above tea tree serum. I will apply witch hazel first, then the oils, then add the vitamin c serum. I particularly like Now Foods Oils, Tea Tree, Lemon, EucalyptusEach bottle lasts roughly two months or more (or less). I use all three of those oils to make a homemade Vick’s Vapor rub for my boys to use when they’re sick.

Night Cream – my spouse and I use the same pot of night cream, but I recently found a night cream for $4 on clearance at Target. The bummer about that is that the night cream being on clearance means Target isn’t selling it on their shelves anymore! Our favorite night cream is this one by St. Ives – St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. My current favorite that I use most night is this one – Olay Active Botanicals Overnight Moisture Mask. It is a bit more gel like than the St. Ives one, but it sinks into my skin fairly quickly and doesn’t make my face feel greasy or oily at all.

Well, that’s about all I can think of for now! I’d say my night time routine (including brushing my teeth) takes me maybe 10 minutes at most night. Morning skin care routine takes even less. Enjoy and let me know about your favorite skin care/body care products!

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Curly Curls · Endometriosis · Fashion · Fibromylagia · Hair Care · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Makeup · PCOS · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

The Journey Begins

 

Hello Beauties!

Welcome to Chronically Curly! I am so excited you’re here, and am very much looking forward to what I can create in this space. I have had a burning desire to learn more about makeup, hair care, fashion, and beauty for several years now. The older I get, the more comfortable I am with my makeup, taking care of my curly hair, and being adventurous with my fashion and overall aesthetic. My dream is to become a makeup artist one day, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Something you will soon learn about me is that I struggle with two officially diagnosed and three suspected chronic illnesses. These are a HUGE part of my life, and during the bad weeks, I don’t always have enough spoons [more on this in another post] for doing a full blog post. So bear with me please. During those bad weeks, you will probably see posts about self-care, counting spoons, and how I’m functioning especially being mama to two young boys (ages 1 and almost 4).

I grew up very conservative Christian and didn’t get my first “stylish” haircut until I was 20. All of my teenage years, my hair touched my waist, and I often wore “modest” clothing and didn’t start really wearing makeup consistently until about 2 1/2 years ago (at 24-25 years old). I am no longer a Christian, my hair is in an jaw length curly a-line bob that is a dark brown and burgundy ombre, and I wear some sort of makeup daily. And let’s face the truth, most days I live in yoga pants or leggings and comfy, cozy tops! But! Stylish clothes are only what you’d see me in when I’m out in public. It’s all about balance, ya know?

Okay, let’s talk Chronic Illnesses quickly. My officially diagnosed illnesses are Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism. The three suspected are IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), PCOS, and Endometriosis. I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia February 2nd, 2009. Hypothyroidism was only officially diagnosed roughly a month ago on February 13th, 2018. I had surgery two weeks ago today (on March 8th, 2018) to remove my right ovary due to chronic cysts. Turns out my ovary was at least tripled in size, full of hemorrhagic cysts, and a large benign cyst. My surgeon also found a lot of scar tissue, including scar tissue binding my bowels to my abdominal wall. The scar tissue sounds a whole lot like endometriosis scar tissue, but I will have to get a second opinion about that.

Moving on!

I am short. Like 5′ 1″. So short. I wear typically a size 10/medium, but I have thunder thighs, a bubble butt, thick calves, and am short-waisted, and struggle with body image at times. When I’m in a lot of pain, or after both of my children were born, I have issues staying grounded and connected to my body. I started a habit a decade ago that each time I look in the mirror I will not leave until I have pointed out at least one thing I like. This has helped greatly with my self-confidence. That AND learning what clothes and styles look best on me and what I love and like the most <– that is important, I always tell anyone I’m giving fashion advice to, do not wear it unless you are comfortable and really LOVE it. Not just like, you need to LOVE the clothes and things you wear.

As I’m nearing 30 I have found skin care is becoming more important to me. So I will be sharing tricks and tips I’ve learned with taking care of my skin (more specifically my face). Also the makeup I use daily, the products I have found the easiest to use or cheapest, and hair care, let’s not forget about that! With my curls, I will be talking most about taking care of your own curls, so I apologize straight haired beauties! I don’t have as many tips for you as that is not something I’m as familiar with. But, I do know that several of my favorite hair care products are good for all types of hair, so keep an eye out.

Well, until next time! Stick with me as I continue to set up the blog and get it the way I want it looking. My hope is in the next few months to get my YouTube channel back up and running, but I am in need of several crucial pieces of equipment before I can start that again.

Hugs!