Experiment with Color: Kjaer Weis

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Oh my, how Kirsten Kjaer Weis never disappoints.  First of all, her packaging is so pretty, you’ll never again want to scurry to the ladies room to touch up your lips; these compacts are meant to be seen.  And kept – they are all refillable.

I have to be honest, Kjaer Weis’ new colors didn’t seem like they would work for my skin tone.  The pale creamy-rose blush and forest green shadow seemed better suited to the fair-skinned, platinum haired wood nymph-type than my olive skin and brown eyes.  But, after being a fan for years, I’ve experienced first-hand how universally-flattering all Kjaer Weis cosmetics are, and these proved to be no different.

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I had an event to go to tonight, (Hampden Clothing’s Fall fashion show and cocktail party, always so fun) so I jumped at the chance to dress up and actually spend more than five minutes on my makeup.  The Kjaer Weis Green Depth Eye Shadow really intimidated me; it seemed so intense in the compact.  However, like all Kjaer Weis’ eyeshadows, it went on like a sheer color wash (not too warm, not too cool) and I was able to build the intensity to my liking with a few layers.  Instead of fumbling with the contouring nightmare of five colors, I used the same color on the lid, in the crease and to line the eye – so easy!  Cost: $45 with the compact, $27 without.  Purchase it here.

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I cannot believe how much I love the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Embrace.  Instead of looking too pale, it looked real, like I wasn’t wearing blush at all.  I decided to wear it on my lips, too.  This is the perfect product for when you want to achieve a monochromatic, no-makeup look, or when you want to play up your eyes, like I did.  Cost: $56 with the compact, $32 without.  Purchase it here.

Forgive my hasty iPhone pics.  I had an 11-month-old at my ankles literally pulling my skirt down during my “photoshoot’.  Next time, I am going to go this route when getting ready:

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Happy weekend!

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Meow, wow!

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So, in case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In my opinion, to protect your health, one of the top three products you absolutely MUST switch out is your deodorant.  (Read all about why conventional deodorant is so bad for you in this prior blog post.)

There are a lot of natural deodorants out there, and different formulas work for different people.  Be prepared to try a few before you find “the one”.  In my case, I’ve tried about seven.  Two of them were awesome.  They kept me smelling good, even after vigorous exercise.  However, their baking soda-heavy formulas gave me a red, itchy rash on my underarms.  I was so bummed.  I’ve been on the hunt ever since.

Meow Meow Tweet came to my rescue: they developed a baking soda-free deodorant cream in a light grapefruit scent.  If you have sensitive skin, this is for you; their new formula is super-effective and so gentle.  I’ve used it directly after shaving with no problem and the protection lasts a full 24 hours.  It even stands up to hot yoga classes (while I am sure I don’t smell like I just stepped out of the shower after a 90-minute class, I don’t smell like bad B.O. either).  Bottom line: this stuff works and it’s become a Bare Beauty staple.  My search is over!  Cost: $13 for 2.4 oz.  Purchase it here.

Ingredients: arrowroot powder*, shea butter*, magnesium hydroxide, virgin coconut oil*, jojoba oil*, grapefruit*, bergamot*, lemon* and sweet orange* essential oils.  *Organic

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Good For You Friday: Fall Favorites

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Isn’t Fall  just so darn seductive?  While I’m a summertime gal at heart, I really love this season and all its cozy, spicy goodness.  Here are a few of my favorite seasonal recipes from past posts.  (They are all cleanse friendly (!))

Creamy Turmeric Tea

In case you missed this one last week, here it is again.  It is SO good and you absolutely need to try it.

Gwyneth’s Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

Tastes like it’s really bad for you – meaning it’s really delicious.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

No protein powder.  Just whole fruits and veggies.  Super-yum.

Hearty Autumn Salad

Also a la Gwyneth.  Very satisfying.

Butternut Squash Soup

Much better than it sounds.  I make this Giada recipe all the time in the cooler months.

Now, get cookin’.

Happy weekend!

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The Natural Beauty Files: Spirit Demerson of Spirit Beauty Lounge

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Spirit Demerson at SBL HQ

Way back before Green Beauty was a movement, and before almost anyone but the hippie set analyzed the ingredients in their beauty and personal products, there was Spirit Demerson.  A former model, business and cosmetology student, store manager, artist, and even computer programmer, Spirit is a sponge for information and loves to learn about and research whatever she can get her hands on.  Studying each of these passions fittingly prepared Spirit for her true calling: the launch Spirit Beauty Lounge, the first multi-brand luxury online destination for Clean beauty, in 2008.  There, she set the bar for us all, and still maintains the very highest standards for health, efficacy and aesthetics.  We met up while I was in New York a few weeks ago and she is seriously even more stunning in person – her skin is, like, whoa, I’ll have what she’s having…  But more importantly, she is warm, kind and gracious.  Her name fits her perfectly.

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A soon-to-be-released perfume…

BB: What inspired you to begin and what kept you going when it got tough?

SD: Pure passion for the products inspired me.  When it gets tough, invariably someone calls in or sends a card in the mail to thank us for doing what we do.  Women who’s lives we can make better by cultivating the products we do – they inspire me to keep going through the tough times. 

BB: What is your number one piece of advice for women who aspire to become an entrepreneur?

SD: If you even want to, you’ve probably got the DNA to do it.  It’s a gutsy, driven, hard-working, passionate person who wants to be an entrepreneur.  If that’s who you are, you will probably be rewarded with some level of success and accomplishment in whatever you do – so do it!

BB: Your skin looks immortal!  How do you keep it looking so good?  Are there rituals or products that you swear by?

SD: Aw shucks thank you! I’ve reached the age where my friends keep asking if I’ve botoxed. I have to furrow my brow to prove to them that it’s not frozen, it’s just preserved!  I’ve been using organic anti-aging skin care, and sunscreen religiously  for over 12 years now. I still struggle more than anything with dark circles and hyperpigmentation ( hence the extreme sun avoidance) but the skin care really works! There are so many products I find very effective. The important thing is remembering to use them – not occasionally, not when your skin starts to look bad, but every single day – and if you can, start young.  I’ve found the MUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum to be awesome at reducing my dark circles, the Yüli Cell Perfecto PM to help noticeably with pigmentation, and the Amala Advanced Firming Complex to literally make forehead lines and laugh lines disappear. They’re among the most potent, effective products in my routine, which does include several more!

BB: What else do you do to take care of yourself?

SD: Green juice is a big part of my health routine. I started a diet of 3-4 juices or smoothies and one meal a day a couple years ago and it’s really great for me for feeling energetic and nourished and balanced. I know it’s not for everyone and I think there is something to your Ayurvedic dosha where it may be better for you to eat other types of foods and not just have green juice all day, but for me it’s awesome.  I also take the Pure Synergy Organic Prenatal  daily supplement.  I go to Crossfit 4 times a week and regretfully don’t do nearly as much yoga or meditation as I know I should. 

BB: What does Green Beauty still need?  Anything you wish existed?

SD: We’ve come so far – I honestly never have the conventional beauty “cravings” I used to have.  I would like to see more cleansing oil options and more hair oils, and a luxury body care line, but I have a feeling they’re all coming :)

BB: If you only have time to apply one cosmetic, it’s:

SD: I’ve been wearing my signature berry lip shade since I was 14!  Same with nails and toes. I know it’s bad to get stuck in a beauty rut but it’s me – it’s my color and I’m rarely caught without some version of it on.  Everyone who knows me knows my lip.  I also think lipstick is so transformational.  If it’s a bad hair day and all my good clothes are in the laundry, it’s jeans, tshirt, ballet flats and a bold lip = instant glamour.

BB: What is next for SBL?  Anything in the works that you can tell us about?  Any launches you are excited for?

SD: You know I always try to be like Apple and wait for the Big Reveal rather than say anything but we do have a new content website launching where you’ll be able to get all the tips, tutorials, inspiration and education for living an elevated, beautiful green lifestyle.  I’m really excited about it.  We also have a few new lines creating exclusive capsule collections for SBL. It’s going to be wonderful!

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Some of my favorites

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Dressing table-worthy packaging from Vered

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And if you don’t know about SBL’s sample program…

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Now you know.  It’s AWESOME.

By the way, if you are unsure of what color will suit you, whether a moisturizer will be too heavy, etc. try SBL’s sample program: 6 generous samples for $25.  I’ve found some of my favorites this way.

Thank you, Spirit, for letting us take a peak into the “lounge”!

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Bare Beauty Post Summer Round-up

Happy Wednesday, Bare Beauties!  Head on over to the Marysia Swim blog this morning to read my guest post.

Summer is over, which brings a new set of beauty challenges.  It’s time to tackle sun damage and dry skin; your summer makeup is probably not looking so fresh anymore, either.  It’s time to switch it up!

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  1. Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum fades stubborn sunspots and melasma in six weeks flat, just in time for holiday parties!  (use AM and PM for best results)
  2. Yuli Skincare’s Metamorphic Elixir contains naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, which pulls moisture deep into the skin.  It amps up the power of any moisturizer or serum you’re already using and it smells amazing.  The perfect toner.  (use AM & PM immediately after cleansing)
  3. Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen and Primer is great under makeup.  Just because it’s not summer doesn’t mean you can go unprotected!
  4. Kjaer Weiss Eye Shadow in Magnetic is the perfect neutral for all skin tones and the gorgeous compact is refillable.
  5. Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Nights is the fool-proof way to a berry lip that won’t dry out – looks like lipstick, feels like lip balm.

 

Thanks for having me, Marysia! xx

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The Perfect Tool for Perfect Skin

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I don’t normally write about beauty tools, but just in case you don’t already swear by it, I am going to do you a solid and tell you all about the The Pure Beautyblender.  I started using this magical makeup sponge about a month ago and it has totally changed the way makeup looks on my face – as in, you can’t really tell that I have any on when I use it.

I thought that would get your attention!  What sets this makeup sponge apart from the rest is that it doesn’t have edges, so it doesn’t leave streaks or lines on your pretty face.  And, unlike using your fingers, it doesn’t “smear” makeup on or leave it sitting on top of the skin.

Suggested Usage:
– Remove your dry Beautyblender from its canister.
– Saturate your Beautyblender with a lot of cold water until full size is achieved.
– Gently squeeze excess water out and dry with clean towel.
– Dip damp beautyblender into skincare or makeup of choice.
– Stipple or “bounce” motion onto skin until you achieve desired coverage.
– Store beautyblender pure on top of its reusable canister.
– The beautyblender pure will shrink, and when it is dry, you can put back into open canister.

Other tips:  You can use the Beautyblender with liquid, cream or powder makeup and I also love using the small tip to clean up the eye area when I’ve finished doing my eye makeup.  The round bottom portion is perfect for applying makeup to larger areas, like the forehead.  Wash your Beautyblender after every single use, ladies.  Bacteria ain’t pretty!  Cost: $20.  Purchase it here.

The Pure Beautyblender is free of synthetic dyes and it’s also latex-free.  This sponge lasts forever, but at the end of its life, you can send your trusty lil’ guy to be recycled:

Rea.deeming Beauty, Inc./beautyblender
3864 Courtney Street, Suite 280
Bethlehem, PA 18017

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Healthy Chocolate?

 

IMG_2287I’m going to make this short.  If you love chocolate, but you feel like you can’t stop at one piece, you need to try Living Raw Organic Chocolate Truffles.  They are rich, delicious and they are dairy freeeeeee!!!  (And raw, vegan, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free.)  There are only three in a package and they aren’t cheap, ($5) but that combined with the fact that they’re so satisfying gives me some kind of magical willpower.

I mean, look at the nutrition facts.  There is no reason to feel guilty for eating one of these.

  • Calories: 60
  • Total Fat: 3.5g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 9g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 1g

Ingredients: Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Agave, Organic Vanilla, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

Your skinny ass can thank me later :)

Bye-Bye Summer, Bye-Bye Sunspots

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So, does anyone out there over the age of 25 not have sunspots, acne scars, melasma or some other form of hyperpigmentation?  I love me a bronze-goddess-glow, but Summer is over.  Now is the perfect time to get to work on uneven skin tone if you want to look luminous in time for holiday parties.

I’ve been using Yüli Cell Perfecto PM almost every night for a month, and my sunspots and melasma have already begun to fade.  This serum contains oxygen-activated organic ingredients that increase cell turnover, refining the complexion.  Over time, it even remodels many types of scar tissue.

Science: High-Potency concentrates of Asiaticocide (derived from Gotu Kola), plant peptides, and live botanical cell derivatives rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and phyto-nutrients diminish dark spots, repair skin damage, and increase wound healing.

Good things (and Green things) take time: With daily use, in a week you will have a more radiant complexion, and in two months you will see reduced discoloration.  Don’t give up!  Many users say it took them using a whole bottle before their discoloration or scarring significantly faded.  Cost: Less than a laser treatment.  $98 for 1 oz.  Purchase it here.

P.S.  This serum contains time-released compounds and contains sediment, so it is best used at night when your body is naturally repairing itself.  Three drops are all you need; you can spot treat or apply to the entire face.

Ingredients: Bioregenerating Botanical Infusion (Botanical Glycosides, Sea Minerals Complex), S. chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, M. integrifolia (Macadamia) oil*, O. ficus-indica (Indian Fig) seed oil*, C. inophyllum (Tamanu) oil*, H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) oil*, A. uva-ursi (Bearberry) extract*, H. italicum (Helichrysum)* extract, G. glabra (Liquorice) extract*, C. asiatica (Gotu Kola) extract*, Renew Minerals Complex (Methysulfonylmethane (MSM)* Derived from Pine Lignin, Phytosterols derived from Flax), A. linearis (Rooibos) extract*, B. carterii (Frankincense) extract*,D. carota (Carrot) seed extract^^, G. lucidum (Reishi) extract*, L-arginine, L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), L-Gluconic Acid (Derived from Kombucha Tea Ferment)  Organic  ^^ Wildcrafted

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Manuka Honey: Supernatural Skin Savior

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The single most effective product I’ve used to treat my hormonal breakouts is  Wedderspoon 100% Raw Organic Manuka Honey Active 16+ (as a mask or spot treatment).  I leave it on for no less than 30 minutes; if I can, I’ll leave it on for a few hours while I’m cleaning up the house, working on the blog, taking care of the baby and generally solving the world’s problems.  I rinse it off with warm water and I can immediately see a difference in my skin, but the effects are even more noticeable the next day: existing blemishes are less inflamed, less red and smaller.  Blemishes that were broken are miraculously healed.  My skin is softer, moisturized and more even.  My pores look smaller.  I’m not exaggerating.  It’s crazy-good and tons of beauty insiders swear by it.

Cost: $40 for 11.5 oz.  Purchase it here.

So, how does it work?  Glucose Oxidase, an enzyme found in manuka honey, releases a natural form of hydrogen peroxide (a natural antiseptic) when applied to an infected site.  This oxygenates pores, drawing out impurities and bacteria.  Manuka honey is also high in antioxidants, which neutralize the free radicals that cause aging.  Lactic acid in the honey gently exfoliates the skin and prevents scarring.  However, unlike other masks, it will not irritate or leave skin overly dry, as manuka honey is a great humectant (it pulls in and seals in moisture) and it has a low pH.  So, it’s pretty perfect for your pretty mug.

 

Aaaaand for the science nerds:

Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush.  All raw honey contains varying levels of the enzyme Glucose Oxidase. This enzyme, which is introduced into the honey by bees, will slowly release antiseptic Hydrogen Peroxide effectively into the site of infection, whether in or on the body, killing harmful bacteria without damaging body tissue.

However, manuka honey also contains an additional antibacterial component called methylglyoxal (MG).   MG comes from the conversion of another compound – dihydroxyacetone – that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.  MG is thought to give manuka honey its superior antibacterial power. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect.  When shopping for manuka honey look for a rating of at least MGO™100 or UMF®10+ if you are looking to fight a serious infection.  In my experience, Active 16+ is plenty powerful when dealing with acne or a sore throat.

It’s so good at healing infection that in many hospitals around the world now, manuka honey is used when nothing else works for treatment of antibiotic resistant MRSA super bugs and Staphylococcus Aureus ( the most common cause of wound infection).  Manuka honey also works wonders for eczema, dermatitis, burns, cuts, scrapes and burns.

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Fall is Here: Creamy Turmeric Tea

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The air is crisp and the leaves are falling (okay, it’s 66*F and rainy in Charleston, but still) so I just couldn’t wait until Friday to post this recipe for Creamy Turmeric Tea.  I know that it sounds kind of gross, but it is anything but.  This “tea” is warm, spicy, creamy, sweet and comforting.  I first learned of this recipe from my naturopath, Dr. Sherri Jacobs – If you are cleansing or just trying to stay away from sugar/dairy/caffeine, it is the answer to your cravings.  You have to try it!

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Turmeric comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant and it has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.  In fact, even Western medicine is jumping on board in researching and acknowledging its benefits.

|Creamy Turmeric Tea| (serves 1)

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2-inch wide round slice of ginger root, grated
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or stevia to taste)
  • Optional addition: a small pat of unsalted, organic, grassfed butter butter (turmeric is a fat-soluble spice, meaning it it more effective when consumed with a little healthy fat)

Gently warm the almond or coconut milk on the stove.

In a mug, combine the remaining ingredients.

Drizzle a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the mug and mix until the liquid is smooth with no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and mix well.

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