Earth Day 2015

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Happy Earth Day, Bare Beauties.  Every year, I get mixed emotions on this holiday.  On one hand, I feel very depressed, angry and guilty.  Laziness and greed are causing so much damage to our beautiful planet.  More and more of us are becoming conscious citizens, but there is always so much more we can do.  I feel sick every time I throw something away that isn’t biodegradable or cannot be recycled (#shamespiral).  On the other hand, I want to celebrate and express my gratitude for my beautiful home and this beautiful life.  I want to show my daughter the natural wonders of this world.  Indulge me for a moment, and hop on this roller coaster ride of mine.

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Recently, The Guardian published a short, informational slideshow that exposes the overpopulation and overconsumption burdening our planet.  It took my breath away.  See it for yourself.

When it comes to the environment, I am always thinking about what I can do better, especially now that I have given birth to the next generation.  We don’t have to give up consumerism altogether and go live in teepees in the wilderness, but we do need to make some serious changes.  The number-one change we all have the power to make is to consume less plastic.

  • Plastic is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that nations literally go to battle for.
  • Many types of plastic cannot be or simply are not recycled.
  • Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
  • Plastic waste pollutes our land, water and kills wildlife.
  • Consuming food and beverages from plastic containers is hazardous to our health, as it contains phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting toxins.

Stay with me…

One thing that’s been particularly haunting me is plastic grocery bags and plastic produce/bulk bags.  In Charleston, they are not recyclable – our facilities do not yet have the ability to sort them.  I do bring my own reusable grocery bags, but sometimes, I just don’t want wet lettuce in my cart and I grab a plastic produce bag… and later, when I’m throwing it away, I hate myself.

But, wait.  There is a solution.

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Enter: Bag the Habit.  They make reusable bags for groceries, produce and just about anything else with 100% recycled eco-textiles.  To celebrate Earth Day, they are offering 50% off their entire site with code EARTH2015.  A pack of 4 produce bags is normally $20, but for $10 this is seriously a no-brainer, people.

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Now, go outside, fit nature into your schedule, and celebrate this beautiful day.

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Bare Beauty X Ecodiva Giveaway!

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Get excited!  To celebrate Bare Beauty’s second birthday, I’m teaming up with one of my favorite retailers, Ecodiva Beauty to offer you a chance at winning an AWESOME giveaway (worth $180)!  It includes some of my favorite Green goodies, and because Ecodiva ships worldwide, it’s open to everyone!  To enter, just click on the link below, now through Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Enter Here

What’s included:

Good luck!

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You Need: Eye Serum: Laurel Organics

 

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Photo: Bette Walker

Friends and readers alike are always asking me about eye creams.  They are definitely important, but there are really only a few that I can recommend – why?  Because I am a devout believer in eye serum and I have been for years.  Yes, that’s right, I apply (plant-based) oil to the areas around my eyes.  No, it does not cause my eye makeup to run/smudge/smear.  No, my eyelids don’t look “oily” (okay, they do for one minute after applying, but that doesn’t count).  By the way, how many eye creams have you used that sting your actual eyeballs?  Don’t you want to find the manufacturer, shake them, and say, “What the #$%^ were you thinking?!”  Eye serums won’t do ya’ that way.

My latest obsession is Laurel Whole Plant Organics Eye Serum.  This cocktail of 21 antiaging, restorative and healing ingredients is just amazing.  Some notable, active components are Bilberry, (to brighten) Licorice Root (to reduce inflammation and puffiness) and Fennel and Chamomile (to soothe and rejuvenate). The star of the show, however, is Organic Iranian Steam-Distilled Rose Essential Oil – it takes 35,000 fresh roses to yield just one ounce of this oil.  Rose Essential Oil is in many of my favorite eye serums for a good reason: it truly softens fine lines.

All you need is one drop.  This eye serum is so rich and so thick that it stands still on your fingertip.  You’ll think that there is no way it could possibly sink right into your skin, but that is precisely what it does.  My concealer and eye makeup slide on effortlessly afterward and the skin around my eyes feels moisturized all day.  I also use it before bed so it can work its magic for eight to ten (I wish) whole hours.  Cost: $68 for 10 ml.

Ingredients: Jojoba Oil˚, Borage Seed Oil˚, Rosehip Seed Oil˚, Almond Oil˚, Grape Seed Oil˚, Pomegranate Seed Oil˚, Cranberry Seed Oil˚, Red Raspberry Seed Oil˚, Rosemary Extract˚; in-house biodynamic proprietary blend of Nettle˚, Bilberry˚, Rosehips˚, Chamomile˚, Licorice˚, Gotu Kola˚, Calendula˚, Comfrey˚, Fennel˚; essential oils of Rose˚, Roman Chamomile˚, Sandalwood˚ ˚signifies certified organic ingredient

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Don’t Forget! Pacific Deal Ends Monday!

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PACIFIC DESERT ISLAND DUET

Last Monday, I reviewed Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 by True Nature Botanicals.  Make sure you read it; this is the best daily tinted moisturizer with SPF I’ve ever used and TNB is offering an awesome deal through Monday, April 20!

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PACIFIC MIST

Purchase a Desert Island Duet, (which includes Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 in Light or Medium and Face Oil or Balancing Face Oil) and receive a full-size Pacific Mist (a $48 value) for FREE.  I’ve also reviewed the Mist; you can read that here.

Make sure you enter the code BAREBEAUTYSUN at checkout and include which oil you prefer in the comments section.

If you happen to be in a spendy-spend mood, you should also look into the Pacific Products that transformed my skin, the Anti-aging Wrinkle Duet.  This 1-2 punch knocks out both fine lines and acne in just a week.  I’ve never used anything like it.

It has been pretty dreary here in Charleston.  It’s rained almost every day this week and I am so over it!  Annabel and I had to make our own fun yesterday.  Since we both wished we were at Coachella instead of being stuck inside the house, I put the Coachella YouTube channel on, dressed her in hipster gear, and brought out every instrument I could find and we had a raging dance party.  I got zero work done, but I figure she is only young once, and we had so much fun.  I snapped a few pics, of course.

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Happy Weekend!

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How do you sleep at night?

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Good Morning!  So, how did you sleep last night?  Oh, I’m sorry.  Me?  I actually slept great, and I have been, ever since I discovered the perfect sleep-inducing cocktail – and I don’t mean a double vodka.  Like many people, I am guilty of too much screen-time before bed.  I am usually watching an episode (or three) of House of Cards with Richard or I’m here writing/shopping/checking email.  As you probably know, these activities overstimulate the brain and make it nearly impossible to wind down and fall into a deep slumber.  Want in on the recipe?  Read on, sleepyhead.

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I just started taking a teaspoon of Moon Juice Good Night Dust each night for the last two weeks.  I add it to a small mug of hot water and down it at the end of the night.  The gals at The Detox Market warned me, “take it right before bed – this nightcap is potent”.  They weren’t kidding.  Wildcrafted herbs like Chamomile and Lo Han Guo promote natural melatonin release and stabilize REM.  Cost: $55 for 25-50 doses (depending on desired potency).

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Until Annabel found the bottle and dropped in onto the marble bathroom floor, I was using Lotus Wei Quiet Mind Serum every night.  (I seriously almost cried, but then I realized that she was in bare feet and the bottle was glass. We are all okay.  #momfail)  Geranium.  Coriander.  Clove.  Mandarin.  This serum smells like heaven.  It just makes me happy and calm.  I apply it to my pulse points (behind my ears, on my wrists, some on my palms and even on the soles of my feet) and I kind of “huff” this goodness as it lulls me to sleep.  Cost: $50 for 50 ml (if used regularly, the bottle will last 6-8 weeks).

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I’ve been taking 400mg of Magnesium Citrate each night ever since I was pregnant with Annabel when my naturopath recommended it for sleeplessness and irregularity. It worked like a charm then and it still does.  Most Americans are Magnesium deficient, and this is one mineral that we don’t want to miss out on.  Read Dr. Mark Hyman’s short and fascinating blog post on Magnesium to learn more.  Just one little gelcap reduces stress, relaxes muscles and helps me sleep without giving me that hungover feeling that over-the-counter meds do.  Cost: $14 for 120 caplets.

Try adding these to your nighttime routine – I bet it will make a difference.  And, let me know what you think!  Okay, I’m going to stop staring at this screen and make my lil’ nightcap.  Sweet Dreams!

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Happy Birthday

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Today, Bare Beauty turns 2!  I want to thank you, my dear readers, for being so supportive, engaging and, of course, for reading my lil’ ole’ blog.  Over three years ago, I decided that I was going to make so many positive changes in my life, that my prayers for better health, a baby and a career that I was truly passionate about would just have to be answered.  It wasn’t easy and it did not happen overnight, but it did happen.

On this day two years ago, I wrote my first blog post.  I just re-read it and I think it is still relevant; there are so many people who are still trying to figure out how to switch out their toxic products for healthier options and I hope that my posts are helping you find those Clean replacements.  Clean, Green living is a movement, and it is not going anywhere.  I am so proud to be a part of it and I hope that you won’t just make a few changes yourself, but that you will spread the word to those you love because we all deserve good health and a safe place to live.

There are a lot of exciting things going on around here and I have so much to share with you in the next few months – I can’t wait.  Please stay tuned.

In the meantime, since it’s Bare Beauty’s birthday, I want to make your wishes come true.  Please leave a wish for what you would like to see covered on the blog in the comments section, below.

Again, THANK YOU!  You allow me to do what I love and what I feel I was meant to do.  I’m forever grateful!  xx

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Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20

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It’s that time of year…

When it comes to tinted moisturizer + SPF, there is a handful of Clean* choices out there.  To me, most of them seem more like “beach day” sunscreens; they just feel a little too thick and heavy for daily use, especially when applied over other skincare products and under makeup.  I finally found a tinted moisturizer with SPF that I actually want to wear daily, and not surprisingly, it is made by one of my absolute favorite skincare lines, Pacific by True Nature Botanicals.  I’ve been using it for months and I still can’t get over how much I love it.

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Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 is straight-up perfection.  I wear it every single day, and I love it’s coverage and finish so much that I even use it under my makeup for evenings out.  It’s texture is feather-light and almost watery; it sinks right into the skin and dries to a semi-matte, powdery finish.  The coverage is light, (it doesn’t cover up freckles) but this product’s star ingredient, pearl powder, evens out skin tone, minimizes imperfections and generally illuminates the complexion.  I also love that I can wear makeup over it without looking like I’m wearing a caked-on mask.  Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 comes in Light (which I wear in the Fall/Winter) and Medium (which I wear in the Spring/Summer).

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PACIFIC DESERT ISLAND DUET

I apply Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 after applying Pacific Balancing Face Oil (which I’ve reviewed before here).  The combination of these two products seems to moisturize and mattify my complexion simultaneously, which is a dream come true for my combination-oily skin.  (If your skin tends to be on the dry side, try using it under Pacific’s original Face Oil.  I have readers who are just as happy with that combination.)  This product works for all skin types, including those who are blemish or rosacea prone as well as those with very sensitive skin.

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PACIFIC MIST

Pacific is offering a great deal to Bare Beauty readers today through Monday, April 20th. With any purchase of a Desert Island Duet, (which includes Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 as well as your choice of Pacific Face Oil) you’ll receive a FREE Pacific Mist, a $48 value (which I reviewed before here).  When checking out, be sure to apply the code BAREBEAUTYSUN and specify whether you want the Original or Balancing Face Oil in the comments section.

Happy shopping and happy sunning!

 

*Why is Clean sunscreen so important?

Mineral oil.  Petrolatum.  Glycerin (the non-vegetable variety).  Synthetic fragrance.  Parabens.  Dimethicone.  Propylene glycol.  These ingredients have been proven to be endocrine (hormone) disruptors, carcinogens, skin irritants, and toxins that are difficult or impossible for the liver and kidneys to metabolize.  These are probably in your current sunscreen and these are just the inactive ingredients.  The active ingredients in most conventional sunscreen (benzophenone, homosalate, octinoxate, octyl-methoxycinnamate, oxybenzone, PABA, or padimate-O) are chemical blockers, meaning that they absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin. This sounds good, but these chemicals have scary consequences – they can generate free radicals which actually damage the skin.  Also, you’ll see that many sunscreens boast “PABA-free” on the front of the bottle. That is because PABA, or padimate-O, is a known carcinogen. Oxybenzone, probably the most popular chemical blocker currently used, is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor. It is easily absorbed into the body, and if you peed into a cup right now, it would be detected in your urine (even if you haven’t been using sunscreen lately).

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Good For You Friday: Quinoa Spoon Salad

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Leon’s Oyster Shop, one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston, has some of the best creative salads in town.  I couldn’t stop thinking about their Whole Grain Spoon Salad, so I made a gluten-free imitation, and it was a success.  Flavorful and satisfying, this salad makes a great side dish or lunch.  And, it’s EASY.

| Leon’s Quinoa Spoon Salad | (serves 4)

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup radishes, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (I used toasted pine nuts)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Place cooked quinoa in a bowl and refrigerate while preparing the other ingredients.  Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.  Lasts three to four days in the fridge.

Happy Weekend!

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My Favorite Everyday Luxuries

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Photo: Bette Walker

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of the same question from readers and friends alike: Do you really use that product you mentioned on the blog the other day?  The short answer is Yes.  I sample lots and lots of products, but you won’t hear about them on the blog unless I l-o-v-e them.

Full disclosure: I’ve made it my job to try products (for at least 2-3 weeks) and report back to you with the results, so I do have to rotate my beauty arsenal.  However, I only write about products that I would be excited to purchase for myself or for a loved one.

That said, I’ve updated my Essentials page to make your shopping experience a little easier.  All the products you see there are in my bathroom and on my skin/hair/face on a very consistent basis.  I’ll be updating it regularly, so check back often.

Hope that clears things up!  xx

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Oily-Skinned Girls: Rejoice!

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So, by now you’ve probably heard how bad sulfates* are for you, but I know many of you can’t live without a foaming facial cleanser.  I get it; you just don’t feel like you can get all your makeup off without it, you don’t feel truly clean unless you see bubbles, etc.

I like a foaming cleanser for Friday nights when I’m wearing extra makeup and feeling to lazy to double-cleanse at midnight, so I feel your pain.  Luckily, there are some really great Green foaming cleansers out there these days.  (Instead of conventional sulfates, they usually contain a saponified vegetable oil, like coconut to give you that luxurious lather you crave.)  I’ve rounded up my favorites for you to choose from.

Left to Right:

Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap: I’m not usually a fan of bar soaps, but this is a gem and I’ve blogged about it before here.  It’s great for oily or blemish-prone skin, as black Australian clay and Dead Sea mud balance, while organic almond, avocado, and castor bean oils condition.  It’s also effective for those with perioral dermatitis.  A plus: it doesn’t contribute to your ziplock bag of liquids while traveling and it lasts a long time.  Cost: $24 for 2.25 oz.

One Love Organics Chia Whip Fragrance Free Foam Cleanser: An Organic castille soap base effectively washes the day away.  Omega 3 fatty acids from supercritical chia oil, combined with organic aloe vera, olive and jojoba oils help soothe any redness or irriitation while moisturizing skin.  This cleanser is perfect for those who are blemish-prone, but sensitive.  Cost: $28 for 5 oz.

Medik8 Porecleanse Gel: . The powerful foaming formula thoroughly removes oil, dirt and bacteria while unplugging pores and balancing skin’s hydration levels.  Its exfoliating ingredients will help smooth fine lines and brighten.  This cleanser is wonderful for those who are fighting clogged pores and acne as well as aging.  Cost: $35 for 5 oz.

Naturopathica Aloe Cleansing Gel: Over 50% Organic Aloe Vera, this cleanser lathers beautifully and washes off everything, even stubborn sunscreen, but it doesn’t leaving you feeling tight or dry.  Gentle and refreshing, it’s great for all skin types.  I’ve blogged about it before here.  Cost: $28 for 5 oz.

Acure Organics Superfruit and Chlorella Growth Factor Cleansing Gel: This gentle foaming cleanser washes away dirt, oil and makeup while an antioxidant dense cleansing complex that maintains your skin’s natural acid mantle.  Great for combination-oily skin.  And you can’t beat the price.  Cost: $15 for 4 oz.

*Why Sulfates are bad: (For a quick summary, See This isn’t Pretty.)  Sulfates are listed as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Sulfate, PEG Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate, or Sodium Salt Sulphuric acid on an ingredient label.  These are the exact same cheap surfactants (foaming agents) used in industrial-grade detergents.  They strip the protective barrier of the skin, washing away good bacteria and causing oil glands to go into overdrive.  But, that’s the least of it.  Sulfates are skin and eye irritants (contact dermatitis, anyone?) and they are proven endocrine disruptors.  Aaaaand, your liver is incapable of metabolizing them.  Think about how many products you use each day that produce a lather….  Yikes!

I’ve also got posts coming on exfoliating facial scrubs and cleansers for dry/sensitive skin.  What else do you want to see?  Send me some requests!

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