How It’s Done :: Double Cleansing

Double Cleansing How To

By now you’ve most likely heard the term “double cleansing”. Do you know what it is, why it is beneficial, and how to make it happen in your life?

Okey doke. Let’s start with the what. Double cleansing is a method of cleansing the skin using two products – one to remove makeup, debris, and impurities, the other to clean the skin. Most often the 1-2 punch comes in the form of an oil and a foaming cleanser, but can also be tailored to your skin type.

As for why…because a foaming cleanser alone may leave skin feeling clean, but may not actually be removing all of your makeup and clearing pores. Do you notice a sallow complexion? Have trouble with clogged pores? Dealing with acne? Feel like your skin looks old? These can all be helped with a little double cleanse action.

Exciting, huh? Here’s how it is done. At night, prior to washing skin with your usual cleanser, use an oil or balm cleanser. Warm a small amount in hands and massage gentle into skin, using a circular motion to remove makeup, toxins, and dirt. This not only gets skin cleaner, but offers a blood pumping mini massage too. Next, cleanse as usual with whatever cleanser works best on your skin.

I said this cleansing method could be tailored to you specifically. Mix and match here to get the best results for your skin. If you tend to be oily, you may want to sub out an oil cleanser in the first step for something lighter that also exfoliates. For dry skin types, a straight up oil followed by a cream cleanser offers intense night time moisture while you sleep. I often use an oil serum as a cleanser in winter months and have been known to use straight olive too. Love it!

Here are my product combos for all skin types to get you started with double cleansing:

For Oily or Acne Prone Skin :: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser + Acure Organics Cleansing Gel Facial Cleanser

For Dry or Mature Skin :: De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm + Lavera Basis Cleansing Milk

For Normal Skin :: Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser + Living Nature Purifying Cleanser

Reconstructed :: Angelina’s Vanity Fair Cover

Angelina Vanity Fair Cover December

Love Angelina’s look for the December cover of Vanity Fair. If you haven’t seen the issue, that’s it at top. Warm and natural, this simple look is polished enough to work for day or night. Perfect!

Angelina is one of my favorite high profile women. She is dedicated to what she does, loves a good mission, and comes complete with that awesome touch of badassery I so admire in a gal. I’m currently reading Unbroken, the book from which she just made a movie of the same name. Have you read it? If you need a good dose of buck up this story will def do the trick.

Anyway…back to the look. Here are the products I’ve chosen to do the reconstruction au naturel.

1 Lavera Beauty Balm (BB Cream)

2 Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer

3 Benecos Natural Baked EyeShadow duo in Celebrate

4 Benecos Natural Eyeliner in Black

5 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea

6 Benecos Eyebrow-Designer in Brown

7 RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

8 Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow

9 Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Funnel of Love

Hormonal Balance + Weight Loss

Hormonal Balance + Weight Loss

I never thought it would happen to me. My entry into womanhood was and has always been pretty smooth, hormone-wise. Until lately.

Starting last year things went out of whack. As in a twice monthly period (joy) and, worse still, a monthly migraine. My Mom was sick and passed away, so I chalked it up to major stress. But while my cycle has gotten back to normal ( or a new normal, shall we say) I’m still getting the headaches. Sound familiar to anyone else out there?

I’ve changed my diet pretty drastically, cutting out almost all sugar and refined carbs, cut back on caffeine, and have incorporated more soy (a natural estrogen balancer, not the estrogen booster as previously thought) and tons of fruits and veg. While I ate pretty heathy before, I’m now on the very straight and very narrow.

Then there are the supplements. I wasn’t taking any before. Now I’m on a daily dose of magnesium, fish oil, turmeric, zinc, vitamin C, and glucosamine. I’m not saying you should run out and buy these supplements. These were something I came up with after much research and, yes, a chat with my doc.

I’ve been reading my perimenopausal ass off on natural hormone balancing. It’s definitely a science and that research, along with making sure I get all of the stuff I need into my body daily, has been taking up a huge chunk of my life. Which begs the question: Should it really be this painstaking just to feel decent?

Dr. Christiane Northrup is always a fountain of great info on women’s health, and I’ve been eyeball deep in her book The Wisdom of Menopause. I highly recommend you pick up a copy if you are perimenopausal, approaching perimenopause, post menopausal, or are a women of any age that lives on planet earth. For real. The woman knows her shiz. I’ve also pulled some useful info from The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried and I’m Too Young for This! by Suzanne Somers.

I do feel the whole hormone thing, and how crappy you do or don’t feel, has to do with how much attention you pay to it. And right now I am paying a lot. Maybe too much. Still, no matter what any doctor or regular person tells you, these symptoms are very real and you need to listen to and trust your own body. We are all individuals, afterall, and this is not a one size fits all kinda deal.

One side benny that has come of all this has been weight loss. I gained 5 lbs over the course of a year or so and couldn’t seem to get it to come off. I have barely thought of it in months and was surprised to find out that the sneaky fiver had vanished. Guess the whole more protein/less carbs thing truly pays off in that way. Or was it because I wasn’t obsessing over it anymore. Hmmmm……

SW Basics Now at Target

SW Basics Now at Target

You know how you are always asking me for great organic beauty items on the cheap? Well, SW Basics is one that fits into that category. Super awesome products that don’t cost you a bundle.

Even better news…you can now get them at Target. Yay! SW Basics can currently be found on Target.com (with free shipping, I might add) and will soon pop up in select aisles in March of 2015. Sure hope mine is one of them.

My favorite from the SW Basics brand has to be the Cream. We practically drink this stuff around here. Use as facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, lip balm, hand cream, eczema treatment, makeup remover. You get the picture. There’s even a Mini Cream so you can take some with ya.

Can’t wait to try the Body Scrub. Gonna pick those up at Target.

Product Love :: Wild Honey Apothecary Indigo Magic

Wild Honey Apothecary Indigo Magic

Precursor to this post: I know it seems I rave about almost every product that pops up on this blog. But here’s the deal, I do love everything I share with you. If I try something I don’t like so much, it’s not gonna end up here.

With that, I bring you something super spesh today…it’s gonna make your dried out, lack luster, transitional season skin look like a million bucks!

My own skin has been going through a rocky phase lately. It never loves the change of season to cooler (ie, drier) weather. That and a busy week and feeling kinda under the weather, my skin was not only sapped but decidedly un-glowy. Let’s just say I could’ve gone trick or treating as a character from the Walking Dead with no extra help from makeup. Not good.

My pal Janet from Pure Living Boutique had sent me a couple of interesting looking face masks to try by Wild Honey Apothecary, and since nothing gives instant results like a mask, I decided to put one to the test. I slapped Indigo Magic onto my skin post bedtime wash and, WOW!, results like crazy. Holy resuscitation. This stuff made my skin look like I’d taken a brisk jog in crisp weather after a good 9 hour sleep (and that definitely didn’t happen). All glowy and, might I say, dewy. Not from the healthy living and good vibes I haven’t been feeling. This was the mask talking. The results even carried over to this morning. Possibly, the best thing I did for myself this week.

These masks are super fruity and smell delicious. That’s because they are made with seasonal fresh fruit and honey. You know how honey is so good for the skin? Softening, calming, antibacterial. The fruit acid and pinch of buttermilk lend the exfoliating benis, which removes that layer of dead skin cells you don’t want sitting on top of your face. Here’s the super cool part…this mask also contains indigo kyanite crystals to attune “with a peaceful + higher vibration”. Love that. And how nice to know there’s a skin fixer in my cold weather beauty arsenal.

What is a Balanced Diet, Really?

balanced diet

Are you confused by the enormous amount of information on balanced diet and healthy eating? I know I am. Health and wellness is a huge area of interest for me, so of course I love reading all about foods and ways to stay balanced. And there is definitely a wealth of info out there on the subject.

But how do we decipher what is best? Namely, what is best for ourselves.

You hear that avoiding animal protein keeps you healthy, living long, and free from issues like heart disease and cancer. And the evidence does seem to back this up.

You also hear that carbs are bad and more protein is the answer. While this argument usually leans toward refined carbs being the evil culprit, some believe avoiding most carbs (including whole grains and fruit) is the best way to go. Carbs are said to lead to inflammation and protein keeps blood sugar balanced. This makes sense too.

Oh my gosh, overwhelmed yet?

Enter Dr. Christiane Northrup. My god, I love this woman. Not only is she a huge advocate for women’s health, but also believes in the being as a whole. Dr. Northrup prescribes a bit of everything, in moderation. She states that we need healthy grains and even animal protein in our diet, but we need to balance each serving of those with 4-5 servings of vegetables. Namely healthy greens, like kale, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, and watercress.

Ok, that does seem like a lot of veg and on this program you would be eating primarily veg-based. But that is the whole thought behind the moderation thing. You eat mostly healthy but still get a little of what you want. I, personally, like meat but don’t miss it when I don’t have it. But, at least for me, nut butters only go so far. Sometimes you have to mix it up. If you are strictly veg or vegan, great! You don’t even have to worry about the meat thing. Another note: If you do consume meat and dairy, be sure you are buying products made without hormones. Those suckers cause all sorts of problems. That article coming soon.

Obvs, good health and feeling great are the driving force behind eating well. But there is another super important component that goes along with this whole thing. You pass that good stuff on. As in, when we women feel great, our husbands are more satisfied, our children are happier, and the world around us is a better place. There is so much of this juicy info (and more) in this interview. Do yourself a favor and go read it now.

Seasonal Inspo :: Time for a Makeover

Seasonal Makeover

Change of season can mean it’s time for…

a MAKEOVER!

Don’tcha feel the need for change when transitioning from summer to fall? It may be as simple as a new pair of shoes or switching your nail polish. I’ve also been feeling some bangs and have some cute ones pinned if you feel like taking a look. We shall see about that.

I’m also fixing up a few things around my house, which I always love to do. If you are ever in need of some hot home inspo take a look at one of my fave interiors gals, Amber Lewis. This girl has mad style and a get ‘er done ‘tude.

Am working on another surprise unveiling. I know, hate it when a blogger leads me on like that. Here’s a sneak peek. Promise I’ll let you in on it super soon.

How are you keeping it fresh for fall? Share your ideas so we can copy!

Organic Cleansing Oil :: why you may want to get some, pronto!

Cleansing Oils

Are you lubing your skin to grease slick status and still seeing dry skin or redness? Could be your cleanser.

You may switch out your moisturizer or add an extra moisture-boosting product for the dry season, but cleanser is oft overlooked. I mean, it just cleanses, right? Wrong. A foaming cleanser can strip away the skin’s natural oils leaving you with a parched canvas and maybe irritation. No amount of lotion, cream or oil is going to combat over cleansed skin.

Don’t treat the symptoms, fix the problem. Here’s how…

An oil used as cleanser is a very good thing for dry or irritated skin. How could oil possibly cleanse the skin? Oil binds to dirt and debris, removing it from skin. It’s also excellent at removing makeup. Simply warm a small amount of oil in your hands and gently massage into skin. Rinse with a warm water.

My skin is never as happy (perky, plumped, and glowing) as when I use an oil cleanser. You can opt for an oil combo made for cleanser or use something straight from your kitchen. My favorite, hands down, is olive oil. If I have to use a foaming cleanser, say after a workout, I’ll often apply a layer of olive oil to my face once I hop out of the shower and give it a quick rinse. Skin is back to happy and redness disappears.

If you’d rather buy than use good ol’ olive oil, here are some oil cleansers to try:

Avapure Citrus Cleansing Balm

One Love Organics Skin Savior

Suti Cleanse Organic Facial Cleansing Balm

Product Love :: May Lindstrom Skin

May Lindstrom Skin

Hey! This week has been short and sweet, following our mini fall break. But…I did make time to do some sampling.

I can always tell when cooler weather starts to affect my skin. Slight redness and drier skin appear, along with uneven texture.

Enter May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt. I’d heard good things about this product. Spirit Demerson, of Spirit Beauty Lounge, loves the stuff. So it has to be good, right? Well, it is. Cleanses and exfoliates, super gently, and makes your skin feel like it’s been rolled back a few years. Evens out bumps and imperfections, and gives the complexion a nice glow. I’m seriously using this twice weekly for, possibly, ever.

The Clean Dirt is a powder scrub. Just add water and apply to skin, cleansing gently. Made with Moroccan rhassoul clay to absorb impurities and anti-inflammatory turmeric.

I also tried the much heralded Blue Cocoon. Doesn’t the name just sound so mysterious? Like, I gotta get me some o’ that! That’s what I’d been thinking since I first heard about he product and finally did something about it. Blue Cocoon is a balm meant to fix anything cool/cold weather could do to your skin. The aforementioned redness and dry spots were the test subjects for this product. I dabbed on a bit of the balm (a-little-goes-a-long-way type product) and went to bed. It noticeably reduced the redness. The balm has a slight cooling feeling, which you’d think would be counterproductive for somewhat irritated skin, but is so healing and gentle and protective. Cocoon-like, you might say.

The Blue Cocoon is made with natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatories. The balmy texture makes it perfect for dry skin, but it is said to work on cystic acne too.

I know these two products are on the pricier side. If you’d like to try before you buy, and I would recommend it, don’t forget about the Spirit Beauty Lounge awesome sample program. Choose 6 product samples from the SBL store for $25. I use this option regularly to try new stuff. Love it!