BEAUTY

We All Have Issues

Girl with hair mustache by Shandi-lee Cox at Flickr.com

Last week we talked skin types and how knowing yours will help you to purchase the right skincare products for your skin. This week we are taking things one step further. Let’s talk issues.

Whether it is added dryness in winter or an ongoing issue, like rosacea or eczema, it is important to use products formulated to work on your skin’s needs.

This is also where allergies enter the picture. I happen to be allergic to aloe. It is a great ingredient (and widely used in natural skincare) but hives do not look good on me so I avoid anything that contains a lot of aloe. If you are sensitive to certain ingredients, scan labels to see if products include them. Easy enough.

Now name your likes, dislikes, and ideals.

Start with your likes and dislikes. Do you hate using anything even slightly greasy? Maybe you cannot stand the scent of rose. Some like a thick mascara, others like something a little thinner. If you purchase products that you feel you should like, but really cannot stand, you are not going to use them. I speak from personal experience, I’m sure you have been there too.

In this category also fall your ideals — gluten-free, vegan, cruelty-free. These will be marked on products or at the manufacturer website.

Now you know your skin type, your skin issues, and your likes and dislikes where skin care is concerned. Taking them into account when shopping will help you to buy the perfect product for your skin. You wouldn’t go grocery shopping without a list, would you?

Have questions? Ask them in the comments. That’s what I’m here for!

*Image by Shandi-lee Cox at Flickr.com, cc

What’s Your Type?

Girl in Sunglasses by Viktor Hanacek a tpicjumbo

Skin type that is.

Seems like a simple enough question, right? And you probably think you know the answer. But are you using the best products for your skin?

Here’s the deal…

Many women use the wrong skin care for their skin. Just because a product or line keeps your best friend/sister/favorite movie star looking gorgeous does not mean it will do the same for you. Maybe it will, maybe not. Rather than purchasing the most popular products, look at your own skincare needs. Most skincare creators design products for specific skin types or concerns and say so on the package. The stores I shop also sort by skin type, making it easier to search.

Not sure what your skin type is? Here is a snapshot of each skin type:

Normal/Combination – Normal skin type appears neither overly oily or overly dry, but balanced and supple with minimal breakouts. Normal skin that is oily, or becomes oily throughout the day, in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) is considered Combination skin. For combination skin you may need to use different products on the T-zone than you do on the rest of the face. Remember: even normal skin can become dry, irritated, and broken out.

Dry – Dry skin may appear dry, taut, flaky, dull, or irritated. This skin type usually has few breakouts, but tends to show signs of aging earlier than oilier skin types. Sensitive is often associated with dry skin, as is mature skin type because our skin tends to become more dry as we age.

Oily/Acne – Oily skin appears oily, shiny, and is prone to breakouts, though this skin type usually sees fewer lines and wrinkles. Oily skin is often associated with acne.

Mature – Mature skin is that over 40 which is beginning to show signs of aging – fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and increasing dryness.

Sensitive – Sensitive skin is usually, but not always, thin and fair. Prone to irritation, this skin type is often associated with dry skin but can be oily or normal.

*Image by Viktor Hanacek at picjumbo.com

A Sampling :: Vered, One Love Organics, Tata Harper…

Beauty sample basket

Want a peek at what’s in my samples basket right now? Chock full.

Brands and PR reps are always sending me green beauty samples. Which I love. But sometimes I get a wee bit behind.

So many yummy things to try. Not everything rings my bell, but some of these products have been on my to-sample list for a while. Like…

Anything Vered. I did include their Cacao Vanilla Bean Mask in this diy facial.

One Love Organics Discover Brand New Day. Have heard so much good buzz around this product. I’ve had a chance to use it once, and would say it is a cleanser meets scrubs meets mask that is both gentle and hard working. More on that soon.

Anything Tata Harper that I haven’t already tried. One of my favorite brands, I always love to see Tata products arrive in my mailbox. Have sun spots? I do, and plan to put that brightening serum to the test.

All natural lash enhancer! How sweet is that ?! BUT, I’m allergic to aloe, which is one of its main ingredients, so I will have to pawn this one off on someone else, which shouldn’t be too tough. Shucks.

While I wade through my testers, how about you tell me what’s on your green beauty wish list. Mineral sunscreen? Self tanner? New peachy makeup for summer? I’ll try to point you in the right direction. Who knows, maybe it’s in my basket right now.

Organic DIY Facial

DIY Organic Facial

Most of us have a love/hate with facials. Love because, well, they make your skin look and feel so gosh darn gorgeous. Hate because who has time to go get a professional facial? If you do get these little luxuries on a regular basis, I worship you. But if you are like me, you’d rather lie on the couch and catch the finale of Southern Charm if you have a few extra minutes than hop back in the car to drive across town yet another time.

So I decided to create a spa style facial right in my very own bathroom. And with all organic products, of course.

This 3-step facial goes like this: Exfoliate away dry dead skin cells, absorb excess oil and dirt from pores, and give skin a good boost of healthy hydration. The three luscious products I chose for this facial are listed below, and the sweeties behind these brands were nice enough to send them over to me.

For the exfoliation step I went with Vered Botanicals Cacao Vanilla Bean Mask. It is dark brown and smells like something you would want to taste. If you were a chocolate lover. Which I am. So I did. The mask does taste good, but what it does to your skin is even better. I massaged in a small amount with my fingers and a little warm water, then left it to dry for about 10 minutes. My skin felt warm, like the mask was doing something, in a good way.

After rinsing with warm water I moved on to the absorption phase with Wedderspoon Organic Raw Manuka Honey Active 16+. Yes, it is honey, and if you have not heard of the healing and softening properites honey has over skin, take my word for it. My skin was so soft after these first two steps I could easily have stopped there.

But I didn’t. The final phase was the super smoothing Amala Intensive Brightening Mask. This treatment goes on like moisturizer, and feels super soothing and pampering. Once removed, my skin looked plumper and had a serious glow.

Anyone can do this simple facial. If your skin is seriously sensitive you may want to leave each mask on for less time, and always go easy on the exfoliating. I followed these 3 steps up with my favorite moisturizer and a dab of facial oil. Can’t wait to do it all again.

Product Love :: Yuzen Beauty Box

Yuzen Box Review

You know how the subscription box is a big deal now? Snacks, clothes, beauty supplies…

Here’s my deal with a beauty box: It needs to be filled with products that are not easy to get samples of, stuff you super bad want to try, items that make you are excited to try.

That’s how I felt about Yuzen. I’ve sampled many of these beauty boxes, so when the folks at Yuzen asked if they could send me one I didn’t have high hopes for it being something new and different.

From the packaging down to the actual products, I was impressed. The contents are pretty and I did feel excited about the products. Two of the items were on my must-try list, and they are all absolutely nontoxic. Totally love that!

Here’s what the Yuzen box included:

Acure Organics Radical Resurfacing Facial Treatment – One of the items on my must-try list, but can’t use it because of the aloe allergy. My sister is testing it out (and excited to do so), so I’ll let you know on that in the near future.

Balanced Guru Balm Me Up – I tried this balm over the winter and it is a favorite around our house. Not sad to see another one show up.

Chocolove Cherries and Almonds Chocolate Bar – Chocolate doesn’t last long on my desk. T’was delicious and a fun addition to the box.

Lotus Wei Infinite LoveMist – I’ve been wanting to try this brand but, honestly, had kind of given up on natural perfumes/scents. They always turn out to be a let down. Other than my favorite by Tata Harper, that is, and now this one too. Lotus Wei manages to make a personal scent that smells fabulous, no overly essential oil-y or like it is trying too hard. I tried Infinite Love –a mandarin, rose, honey mix- which is light, delicate, and feminine. Try this spray! You won’t be sorry.

Sranrom Urban Wellness Calm Down Hand Cream + The Mindful Living Compassion Candle – Yummy smelling hand cream that softens skin. Not sticky or greasy. I am constantly burning candles at home and always on the look for ones that are less toxic. Fun to find one here.

Sumbody Bath Fizzer + Bath Melts – Have not tried yet, but they smell awesome. Will let you know…

Read more about each of these brands on the Yuzen brands page.

Bottom line: I really like this every 3 months-subscription beauty box. And guess what, Mother’s Day is coming up, so there’s your gift idea.

Product Love :: The New RMS Beauty Mascara

New RMS Mascara review

Last week I mentioned a brand new mascara from one of my favorite beauty brands. RMS Beauty came out with their own mascaras this month, and I got my hot hands on one to try out. Thanks, Kathleen from Purple PR!

RMS has long been one of my natural brands. Simple, pure products that operate like the glam-est of glam makeup and skin care + founder Rose-Marie Swift is just so gosh darn cool. Read my interview with Rose-Marie on Feelgood Style. Then check out my top-pick must-haves from RMS on my Brands I Love page.

RMS Beauty Mascara is what I call a wet mascara. As in it is more wet than dry. In my opinion, wet mascaras are where it’s at. I just don’t see how anyone can stand a dry mascara with all of that thick clumpiness. Nope, I’ll take a smooth, light, glide-able mascara any day.

I love the look of one simple coat to add a bit of spark to eyes, but you can definitely layer it for a more is more look. And still, no clumping.

Into the gloss featured a different take on mascara application last week with this three-layer look. The idea is rather than having to choose between volume, length and intensity mascaras, you add a layer of each type for the perfect lash. If I had to choose 3 natural mascaras for this task they would be:

RMS Beauty Defining Mascara for definition
Lavera Long Lash Mascara in black for length
Dr. Hauschka Mascara in black for volume and intensity

So, are you going to give it a try?

2 Top Organic Beauty Experts to Love

Ellen Holder and Spirit Demerson

Good products made by good people are easier to come by now than they were even a few years ago. Still, you have to read your labels and follow brands you trust.

One such brand is made by my awesome friend, Ellen Holder. I’ve talked about Ellen here before, who, until very recently, owned CarenOnline. Now she is fully dedicated to her baby, B Leaf Botanics.

Ellen does her research and is focused on making super clean, high quality products. All totally free from harmful ingredients and made with the most beneficial ingredients she can find. One of my favorites is her eye cream, plus I a little birdy told me she is working on new stuff, so stay tuned.

Another one of my faves has just had a birthday. Spirit Beauty Lounge is 5 years old and also one of my favorite places to shop. SBL carries some of the top natural beauty brands, has a terrific sample program in place, and gives you that true beauty experience with products you can trust.

As a special thanks for supporting them, Spirit Beauty Lounge is giving 10% off all orders through this weekend only with code TYSBL10. A great time to do your green beauty shopping.

Put your money where it counts. Support these businesses who are doing it right. It only means more of a good thing.

Why It’s Important to Choose Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral Sunscreens

If there is one item I look forward to stocking up on each year, it’s sunscreen. Why? It means warmer weather is almost here!

Choosing the perfect sun protection, on the other hand, can be quite tricky. It has to be effective and safe, of course. I also have to like the look and feel of the product. If it is too greasy or white, not going to use it.

In an effort to find the best sunscreens, I have tried many. Some I pass on to those less selective about their protection, others keep on coming back. No matter your level of pickiness where sunscreen is concerned, make certain you are using broad spectrum protection.

What, exactly, is broad spectrum?

There are two kinds of UV rays that cause damage to skin. UVB rays damage top layers of skin, responsible for sunburn. UVA rays penetrate to deeper skin layers, causing potential long term damage, like wrinkles and skin cancer. Broad spectrum means the product provides protection against both type of rays.

Which sunscreens provide broad spectrum protection?

Mineral sunscreens all the way! This type of sun protection forms a physical barrier on the skin, preventing penetration of UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, work by absorbing into the skin. This, of course, allows those nasty UV rays to reach deeper layers.

Another advantage to going with mineral sunscreen, they work instantly. Chemical sunscreens recommend allowing 30 minutes post application to be effective.

Mineral sunscreens made with other natural ingredients are the safest and most effective means of UV protection for the whole family. Yes, mineral sunscreen can be white and greasy. Some of my favorite natural cosmetics brands have worked to solve these issues, and create very wearable and easy to use formulas. Check the following list for my favorite natural mineral sunscreen brands and stock up for spring/summer.

True Natural – This line includes several mineral options, including a convenient Sport Stick and two new formulas. My favorite is the Caribbean Coconut.

Purple Prairie Botanicals – I can’t get enough of the Sun Stick from this line, and love the Sun Stuff Lip Balm.

Suntegrity – Probably the most wearable mineral sunscreen I have tried. Not at all white or greasy, and the Tinted Face Sunscreen is fabulous.

A French Fix for Dark Circles

Dark Circle Fix

Hey, how was your spring break? Or are you on it now?

Well, I must say mine was a much needed dose of sun, humidity, warmth, and relaxation. My fave stuff. I’m still dreaming of palm trees and sand from the Midwest.

But anyway, back to reality.

You know how your beauty issues change? Season to season, time of life, when you are under stress… All of these and more can goof up how you look and feel.

One issue I’ve been dealing with this past year or so is dark under eye circles. While I’ve used under eye concealer for years, I haven’t had a problem with truly dark circles until recently. Whether it is age (skin does thin as we become older), my diet, stress….who knows. What I do know is, those puppies are very hard to cover up.

Then I read this article.

Aside from her love/hate with exercise (which I, and most of you, can very much relate to) I am in love with her theory on dark under eye circles. French women can even chic up raccoon eyes? I mean, c’mon!

For now I am choosing to go with it, and haven’t broken out my beloved concealer since returning from paradise. Albeit, I am sporting a pretty sweet glow, so once that wears off I may not be so confident about flaunting my big ol’ circles in public. We shall see.

Do you have dark circles? Are you cool with them? Or do you work hard to cover them?

*Image by Cross Duck at Flickr.com

Spring Fever, Pretty Stuff + a Giveaway

Spring Fever, Pretty Stuff + a Giveaway

While spring may not be here quite yet, it is starting to feel like it’s peeking around the corner. I have the fever + can’t wait to add some spring-i-ness to my scene. Brighter colors for wardrobe, pretty makeup hues, floraly scents. C’mon Spring, we’re ready for ya!

So in the spirit of spring, here is what I’ve been writing about this week and last:

Want to smell yummy? Getcha some Tata Harper Love Potion. Cute name, cute bottle, beyond awesome smelling scent. And it’s all natural too! Gotta love the Love Potion. I wrote a full review at Feelgood Style about this too good stuff.

In sticking with the Spring Cleaning event theme at Crafting a Green World, I kicked the week off at FGS with product expiration and knowing when to chuck stuff. Do you even think about expired products? Many of us don’t, but natural products aren’t designed to have that turbo shelf life of synthetic loaded junk. So…read up on when to get rid o’ the old shiz in your beauty kit.

And, of course, I could not talk spring cleaning without covering my springtime makeup faves and the little items on my wishlist. Doesn’t the season just make you dream of bright pink lips, rosy cheeks, and lilacy lids? It sure as heck does me.

And lastly but not leastly, you have to get in on this ultra eco chic + healthy giveaway we are running at FGS. One lucky winner gets themself a bkr reusable glass water bottle. These are the prettiest reusable bottles you can find and this one comes in Cupcake. You are gonna love! Get yourself entered by tomorrow night and don’t forget to tell your friends!

I’m going to go play in my makeup drawer. Happy reading and spring break goodness to all of you lovelies.

*Image by Cas Cornelissen at Unsplash.com