The Holistic Chick Online

Heathy and Holistic Inside and Out…Don't Drink Coffee While Riding an Elliptical.

Going to the Gym When You’re Heavy.*

Elliptical vs Treadmill

Elliptical vs Treadmill (Photo credit: eskayisis)

This is my story about finally getting the guts to go to a gym.

It was something I struggled with for a while.  I was afraid I was too fat for the gym.  Which is stupid, because why do people go to the gym?  I had reached a point where I had to do something with myself, and even though I was out of shape, something had to get me back into shape, right?

So I got a membership (that’s a whole other story) and got myself going.  At first I was freaked out, self-conscious, and hypersensitive to my surroundings.  After two days, I decided I didn’t care what other people thought, I felt better than I had in years after only two days!

These are the things I figured out when it comes to going to the gym when you’re fat:

1. Get over yourself.  If you are all freaked out about what other people are going to think, then you aren’t ready to put in the money, time and effort.  Paying for a membership isn’t going to immediately change your outlook, or your behavior.  If you aren’t ready to walk into a gym squeezed into a compression sports bra with your head held high, then you aren’t ready for it.

2.  No one cares what you look like.  I found this to be a hard truth.  I figured I was making an absolute fool out of myself huffing and puffing and sweating , but not a single person noticed because they were all too busy concentrating on themselves.  This is the truth.  If you are in the weight area of your gym, struggling with a five pound weight, the person next to you is too busy staring at their form in the mirror to pay you any matter.

3.  Get workout gear.  I found working out in ratty shorts and a t-shirt didn’t do anything to boost my self esteem, so I went shopping.  I hit the plus-sized workout clothing places and got bras, capris, t-shirts, workout jackets, sneakers, a new iPod, a sports watch, a gym bag…oh yes, I went shopping.  It felt good to wear clothes I would only wear at the gym.  Workout clothes are much more comfortable to work out in, to be honest.  Also, it gives me a reason to wear a screaming lime green workout shirt, as well as neon pink socks.  When I put my gear on, I was ready to sweat!

4.  People watching in a gym is hilarious.  Hauling myself around on an elliptical while watching the Zumba folks come in the front door in all of their Zumba brand gear is fabulous.  I had no idea there were shoes especially for Zumba class.  Also, the guys who can’t stop feeling their own muscles, the ladies who come in with a face full of make-up…these folks are awesome.  There’s this one lady who puts make up on in the locker room right before she goes out onto the equipment floor, and takes a quick flat-iron to her hair.  There are the folks who grunt loudly when they lift weights, there are the show-offs, the folks who really don’t know how to use the equipment correctly, and we cannot forget the techno folks.  These are the ones who sit on equipment and text.  More than once I had to ask someone if they could sit somewhere else because I wanted to get a set in.

5.  Get a trainer.  I can’t say it enough.  Not only will they get you working correctly, they are also supportive and in my experience, protective.  My trainer told me if anyone gave me a bad time, to tell her and she would handle it.  She’s not someone you mess around with.  Really, though.  A trainer will get you on a scheduled workout, will guide you through the workouts that will help you, show you how to use the equipment, and will be your cheerleader.  There’s nothing worse than using cable-weights the wrong way.  If you’re going to sweat a lot, why not make it for a reason?  The money I have spent on my trainer has been some of the best money I have spent in my life.  Yeah, a trainer can be spendy, but if you find the right one, the money is worth it.  I found it helps to be accountable to someone who won’t take excuses.

These are some of the things I discovered on my own.  Mind you, when I walked into my gym I had no idea what I was doing and I felt like a fool.  I got over all that in a hurry.  I am there to get healthy, not to impress anyone.  No one has laughed at me yet…in fact, one person came up to me, as I was dripping all over an elliptical, and told me that he was happy to see me in there every day, and that I was an inspiration.

Nice!

*When I say “fat”, I am saying I walked into the gym over  300 lbs.  No joke.

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Finally Found the Best Insulated Travel Bottle

20 oz. Kleen Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle in Deep Purple-my action shot!

Insulated travel mugs have been the bain of my existence for quite some time because I have yet to find one that does everything I need it to do.  Finding cute mugs that hold a lot of coffee (meaning more than 16 ounces) isn’t too difficult, but finding a travel mug that kept my coffee hot was impossible to find.  No matter how long I preheated the cup, my coffee got cold before I could finish it.

Really.  This was something that stressed me out on a regular basis.  It’s the little things.

I purchased a Kleen Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Water Bottle  in the 20 ounce size in Deep Purple and got the Cafe Cap as well.  My purpose was to use this for hot drinks, so the loop cap that came with it is sitting…somewhere.  I have no idea where it is.  The nice thing about the Cafe Cap is that it snaps apart so it’s super easy to clean, but that’s not the best part.  The best part is my hot drinks stay hot.

For example, I made hot tea at work around 10AM.  I got home around 3PM, put my cup on the kitchen counter and forgot about it.  When my mother was doing the dishes at 7PM the tea was still steaming hot.  Seriously.  Then yesterday I got myself ice water around noon, and used my Kleen Kanteen.  Again, I left my cup on the kitchen counter and forgot about it until this morning around 9AM.

THE ICE WAS STILL IN THERE.  IT HAD NOT MELTED.

Kleen Kanteen Cafe Cap

Right now I am finishing the coffee I poured for myself hours ago.  Still hot.

So this is my product recommendation:  GET A KLEEN KANTEEN INSULATED WIDE MOUTH WATER BOTTLE, especially now the fall/winter months are approaching.  Hot coffee and tea are a must, and keeping your beverages for more than an hour is worth the $40 some bucks.  Best money I spent of a travel mug EVER.

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My First and Last Trip to Ulta

Pinky Swear by Ulta

Pinky Swear by Ulta (Photo credit: lindavisawesome)

I have this bizarre way of thinking:  if everyone else is doing something, I go out of my way to not do it.  If everyone else is doing something, then I know I won’t like what it is.

Case in point:  I walked into an Ulta for the first time today.  For those who don’t know, Ulta is the Costco of beauty products and brands.  They have everything, literally to make you look and smell better from the outside.  I have never seen a wall devoted to flat irons in my life.

So.  I was shopping with my mother who wanted to go to Michael’s craft store, and Ulta was two doors down.  I figured hey, I should probably check this out, finally.  See what all the buzz is about.

I should have kept walking.  There is a Peet’s Coffee at the end of the mall and I should have indulged in an iced coffee instead.

Mind you, its like 90 degrees outside.  I know many parts of the country have been dealing with heat waves since June, but out here we haven’t.  Also, in the Pacific Northwest 90 is HOT.  Anyway, so I walk into the store and immediately get slapped in the face with a deluge of perfumes.  There were a bunch of people in those aisles, spraying and spritzing from pretty little bottles.  Ugh.

So I start perusing the Smashbox, Stila and other high end brand cosmetic aisles.  I don’t know, I just wasn’t thrilled.  Probably all those testers that were in ruins in front of the sealed products.  I usually go insane over beauty products, even when I walked in the door I was doing a mental balance on my debit card, figuring I wasn’t going to get out of there without something.

I went into the back where all the hair brushes and flat irons were.  I could have delved deeper into the hair product section but I wasn’t interested.  I did find a really nice hair brush, but there was only one left and it wasn’t the color that the display was.  So I kept walking.

I ended up in the Bath section and they had big bottles of shower gel, buy two get one free.  That’s another weakness of mine, shower gels.  Love them!  I smelled one, something Lavender and Chamomile.  It smelled nothing like Lavender and Chamomile, instead it smelled like some cheap knock-off of what Lavender and Chamomile should smell like.  Then I looked at the ingredient list.

That’s when I realized I was in the wrong place.  I put the bottle down and got out of there.  On my way out the door I was slapped in the face again with the miasma coming from the fragrance section.  The whole experience was too much, really, but now I know why I never went in there.

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Owens Acres Holiday Line Up

Laura is way ahead of me, and has sent me an email with her Holiday Line Up.  Her website has been updated (check it out, she’s completely redone the entire layout) with all of the newest goodies.

Now I REALLY want soup.

Here’s the goodies:

New!  Organic Bean Soup Blends
New!  Poet Teas (4 new teas, gifts, and accessories named for famous poets)
New!  Gifts of Tea
New!  Products for Men
New!  Handstamped party favor and gift tags
New!  Travel Products (FAA approved sizes!)
New!  Herbal Teas
New!  Tea Balls with Charms (one of our hottest items paired with our herbal teas!)
New!  Goddess Butters
New!  Shabby Lavender Sachets (these are already flying out the door!)

Always popular as holiday gifts:

  • Lavender sachets, eye pillows, and gifts
  • Herbal Teas
  • Healing Salves
  • Home Spa Products
  • Handcrafted Artisan Soaps (new patterns)
  • Natural Solid & Roll On Perfumes
  • Gifts Under $10 & $20
  • Green Home Products
  • Natural products for pets

Don’t forget, my readers have their own discount code:  HOLISTIC.

Every year I give Owens Acres as gifts to friends and family (who doesn’t love one stop shopping without leaving the house) and get the most amazing compliments when the thank you notes come about.

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Nessa’s Naturals

Nessa's Naturals Frosting Body Cream

One of the greatest things about this “business” I am in is finding lovely little companies run by the most beautiful people, and what an experience to fall in love with the products and the person behind them.

Vanessa at Nessa’s Naturals is amazing, and so are her products.  I am now the proud owner a hefty four ounce jar of her “Frosting” Body Cream in her Fresh Pear Scent.  I’ve always been a bit leery of products labeled “frosting” because all I can think of is a thick, greasy lotion.  She proved me wrong.  Her Body Creme is thick, but its not greasy, and when I put it on my disgustingly dry legs this morning it vanished.  My skin soaked it up so fast I didn’t have to rub it in, and that horrible tight, dry feeling is gone.  I actually wore it to work yesterday and one thing I hate is having to reapply lotion to my legs in the middle of the day.  My hands sure, because I wash them over and over, but when it comes to my legs I don’t want to deal with ashiness in the middle of the afternoon.  Nessa’s Frosting lasted all day, and the delicious smell of pears didn’t fade or turn as the day went by.

Its think and luxurious. What a skin treat.

Nessa's Natural's Red Riot Lip Stick: Bold red with a slight orange tone

I also fell in love with her lip sticks, they come in the cutest little tubes and have this unique domed shape (well unique to me) and her colors are amazing.  They are kinda like a balm with sheer yet solid color.  Blaze’N is my all time favorite, but then she came out with Red Riot.  Apparently she knows how to keep me ordering.

So go check her out over at her website, check out her many other goodies and be impressed!  She uses only healthy, good for you ingredients, so you know you aren’t getting a tube full of prettily colored chemicals.

Nessa's Natural Blaze'n Lip Stick: gorgeous orangy red

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Scents.

Rose Geranium.

Rose Geranium

This post is rather indulgent on my part, since I am going to talk about my favorite and least favorite scents.  I am working on my second cup of coffee this morning, and after staring at the Badger Balm Soap Page on their website, my mind started mulling over the scents I like and dislike.

*slurps coffee*  So lets begin.

Lavender:  Hands down personal favorite.  If a product has Lavender EO, that’s almost an instant sell for me.  That being said, fake lavender scents just offend my nose.  One of the first natural products I ever purchased was a Lavender Lip Balm and I was hooked.  Lavender EO roll ons for stress and headaches is another product that gets me giddy.  My first one was from a company up in Washington State.  I purchased it a couple of years ago and loved it.  After trying to remember who the company was, I remembered:  Island Thyme Botanical Body Care and Artisan Soaps up in Orcas Island, WA.  I was completely and totally hooked with the idea of smearing lavender (and peppermint) all over my face.  From there I found Lil’s Lavender and discovered their awesome smelling lavender lotion.  They also have an amazing Lavender peppermint headache roll on.

I have to laugh at myself, here.  Back in the day I spent hours on-line trying to find local, lavender products.  My how times have changed.  I would still recommend both companies, and that Lil’s Lavender lotion is amazing.

Rose Geranium: for a soap this is my favorite.

Lavender Rose:  Kettle Care has an amazing fragrance oil I purchased several years ago and I still have a bit left.  Its packaged in an amber-colored bottle and still smells amazing.  (Side Note:  Their Joint Ease Lotion with Arnica is the absolute amazing product.  I have arthritis in my neck and this stuff eases the sickening pain I get).

Another side note:  Kettle Care was my first experience with a home based industry and the amazing, healthy products that comes from such an industry.  I have been hooked every since.

Peppermint:  I have a love-hate relationship with Peppermint EO.  I love how much it clears my head from headaches or sinus pressure, how peppermint tea makes my stomach feel better, but other than that, I am not a fan.  Its sad, because I have two huge containers of Heather’s Tummy Care Peppermint Tea for when the IBS starts.  I cannot stand peppermint tea, having drank way too much of it over the course of my life, but it works.  I deal with peppermint because it works.  Owens Acres Headache Balm (thanks, Laura!) is the best for my sinus and regular headaches (feels great on the back of my neck) and I use it all the time but still, peppermint.  *sigh*

That being said, I simply cannot stand lip products with Peppermint OR Vanilla.  OK, so I have a weakness for Owens Acres Peppermint Lip Balm but its super strong, strong enough to clear my nose; but a “flavoring” of Peppermint in a lip stick or a lip gloss usually makes me hit the “back” button on my browser.  I once found an amazing lip color.  I mean, amazing!  I had to have it, the color was the color, if you know what I mean.  I checked out the ingredients, realized it was flavored with a peppermint-vanilla “blend”, and moved on to something else.  Seriously, folks.  Can’t stand it.  I still have dreams of that lipstick color.

One more, and then I will stop.  I have an aversion to body products that smell like baked goods.  Chocolate cake soap?  Sugar Cookie scrub?  I just…no.

So there you have it.  My likes and dislikes.  I realize I am picky and maybe a bit shallow in my choices, but hey.  I’m set in my ways, and I can thank Mom for that.  So tell me, what scents do you like/dislike?

*slurps coffee*

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Juni by Xango Product Review

Juni Products by Xango

Blogger Disclaimer:  This review is solely regarding the Juni by Xango products.  I will not be talking about the business opportunity.  I am not, in any way, affiliated with Xango.  I simply tried the product.

I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity to try the Juni Body Care line by Xango.  We were discussing the line over at Healthy Beauty Social and I had visited the Xango website and was really impressed with the ingredient list, which was listed in full in the website.

Each Juni product contains mangosteen pericarp oil, an oil the folks at Xango are very proud of and is the core of their products. From what I could find, the mangosteen fruit has been used in Southeastern Asia for years, and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.  Xango has mangosteen juice, supplements, a meal pack plan to send to impoverished nations, a facial care line and Juni.

The Juni line consists of a Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion, Bar Soap and a Hand Refresher.  The Xango website claims “The Juni family of products is a family that embraces simplicity, purity and safety…very ounce of Juni is enriched with an exclusive blend of mangosteen actives, saturating your skin, scalp and follicles with phytonutrient goodness. Combined with pure botanicals and fresh lavender—the signature essential oil blend—Juni calms, cleanses, purifies and hydrates your hair and body…Juni offers wholesome hair & body products that blend the most powerful phytonutrients of the mangosteen with other family-friendly botanicals for a pure and simple revitalization that doesn’t go against nature. It’s a natural clean.”

The ingredients for each individual product is listed and even though don’t quite understand the mangosteen thing, the ingredients are pretty impressive.  You can find them here.  There is no doubt there are no sulphates or silicones or parabens, this stuff is pretty healthy.

I was most impressed at the availability of the ingredients of the products on the website.  These days ingredients are difficult to come by.  Some products list “Key Ingredients” only, leaving you wondering what’s the rest of them.  Based on that availability, and the fact the ingredients read as healthy, I was curious about the product.

I was most curious about the Hand Refresher, because I use hand sanitizers and the Juni Hand Refresher is considered a “plant based alternative to traditional hand sanitizers.”  This product works, smells amazing (due to the cinnamon in it) and leaves my hands feeling clean.  The bottle is a perfect size to keep in your purse (2 fl oz) and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky.  This is a great alternative to standard hand sanitizers.  If I was giving grades, I would give the Juni Hand Refresher an A+.

The Juni Body Wash was a real treat as the scent captivated my nose immediately, turning my shower into a very enjoyable experience.  Its very gentle yet cleansing, has a gorgeous foam and leaves your skin soft and clean.  Actually, once I smelled it I really didn’t care what it did, the fact that it smelled so good won me over.  I have super reactive skin, and this formula is gentle and soothing.  The Lavender scent comes through above the other scents, which makes your shower an uplifting, refreshing experience.  I give the Juni Body Wash an A+ as well.

The Juni Shampoo…let me start out by telling everyone I have thick, natural, ethnic hair, so two washes get good results for me.  Because there are no sulfates, this shampoo doesn’t have insane lather, it lathers gently and cleans and doesn’t bother my scalp.  In fact, my hair nicely clean but not squeaky clean, which tells me y hair wasn’t stripped of its oils.  The only negative thing is that if you have a lot of hair, it will take time to work this through your hair.  I give the Juni Shampoo a B.

 The Juni Conditioner was a shock.  This stuff is super thick, and when I leave it on for about five minutes it leaves my hair bouncy and soft but not heavy…and my hair does not bounce.  It does now.  I did not expect the conditioner to work on my thick, dry hair, but it did.  Be warned, as you go thru the bottle the stuff is so thick you really have to shake the bottle to get the product to the top.  I give the conditioner an A.

The Juni Lotion is my least favorite, but that doesn’t mean its not effective.  The Juni products are meant to be gentle enough to use on the entire family, and my skin is so dry I usually have to go hard-core with my moisturizers to be effective on my dry, reactive skin.  I have to apply this several times a day, it washes off easily, so there’s reapplying to your hands after washing, no doubt about it.  It works into my skin well, and it leaves skin soft and silky without being greasy or leaving a heavy residue, and the breakouts of eczema I had on my arms are diminishing (that I did not expect) but it doesn’t work on my legs very well, and about halfway through the day I feel the need to reapply.  I grade the Juni Lotion a B, because those patches of eczema are almost gone.  For sure I am not flaky and scratchy anymore.

Overall, I am impressed with this line of products.  Most importantly, I am extremely impressed with their website and how up front their product information is.  I have purchased products from direct sale companies before, but this is the first who had a website that seems dedicated to education.

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What’s Coming Up and What’s Already On the Web Page at Owens Acres

Hand of Fatima Beaded Necklace from Owens Acres

Laura over at Owens Acres has been a busy woman, which means more goodies for us.  Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new and what’s going to be new.

And if you couldn’t already tell, I am just so happy there’s more goodies!

Garden Jewelry:  along with her soap and lotion making skills, Laura beads like none other.  She’s working on her Garden Jewelry Pages and she’s always adding more.  I personally cannot wait for what she’s gonna come up with for the holidays, but in the meantime I am wearing this lovely Hand of Handsa necklace she made me.

There’s going to be a Beard and Mustache Conditioner that is also good for dry skin and ethnic hair.  Can’t wait to try this on my wild mop of hair.

Goddess Butters:  these are going to be awesome.  I am going to cut and paste what she wrote on her blog:    So sometimes our skin is just super parched and dry and regular ol’ lotion just isn’t quite enough to revive it.  Hello Goddess Butters!  Pure organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, and pure essential oils.  Will come in 8 divine goddess natural scents (not fake or perfumes!) including:  Rose, Coffee, Rosemary, Neroli (Orange Blossom), Chamomile, Bitter Almond, Orange, and Vanilla.  Each smells unbelieveable!  Can be used alone or mix some in the palm of your hand with your favorite Owens Acres lotion, for example:  Coffee Butter and Tangerine Lotion – OMG!  Hope to add Lavender to the lineup soon.  Will come in 4 oz. colbalt blue jar with aluminum lid.  $12 ea

I will be here all night if I go thru everything, but here’s a quick rundown:  we’ve got Serenity Travel Tea in a Tin, Hand-Stamped Muslin Sacks, an adorable 6 inch plush bunny stuffed with lavender, tea wallets…heck just  check out her latest blog post here, or go enjoy her delicious items on her web page at http://www.owensacres.com

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One of the Many Nice Things Regarding Natural Cosmetics

…the kind you eat

Image via Wikipedia

There are  plenty of reasons to use natural cosmetics, but I am going to focus on just one at this time:  you don’t have to chisel it off before bed. 

Back in my day of using OTC cosmetics (oh heck, I’ll say it, I was a fan of Mary Kay Cosmetics for about two years) I would come home and begin the process of getting all the product on my face off.  I used nearly the entire line each and every day for work:  after I washed, toned, moisturized and used the Day Solution for sunscreen protection, I used the foundation, the powder foundation, eye primer, eyeshadows, liner, mascara, lip primer, lip liner, lipstick and gloss.  I had horrible skin which I thought was oily, so I spend the day touching up with the powder.  By the time I got home I was caked in foundation.  Granted, my eyeshadow always looked as if it were just applied (their eye primer is amazing stuff, but my eyes watered miserably, oh how we suffer for beauty) but the rest of my face was caked in powder, so much so I had wrinkles around my eyes and around my nose I would get lines of powder from the oil in my skin.

The worst part was getting it all off.  The eye makeup part wasn’t a problem, I went through bottles of Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover.  The biggest issue was my face, getting all of that makeup off my face and out of my pores.  My face never seemed clean, I had a dark patch on my right cheek where the pores were clogged and I was breaking out on a regular basis.  When MK came out with their Mineral Foundation, I used the Eye Make up Remover on my face because I couldn’t get that stuff off my face.  Several uses later I was breaking out in blisters, so that was the end of my MK journey.

Now I use  less product that actually makes my face look good even after I take off my makeup, and its easy to remove.  Could be I am using better product, or I now know what kind of skin I have…regardless, I no longer have to chisel.

This morning I did the following to my face:

Washed with Clairvoyant Beauty’s Detoxifying Clay Cleanser with DMAE

Scrubbed with Sugared Beauty’s Happy Face (freaking out because my 2 oz jar is almost empty and this stuff is a MUST.)

Clairboyant Beauty’s Simply Rosewater Toner

Dabbed some Clairvoyant Beauty’s Gentle and Healing Rosewater Eye Cream around the eyes(with hayfever my eyes weep and the corners of my eyes get red and irritated, this solves that problem)

For Makeup I did the following:

Gluten Free Beauty’s 2-Step Foundation Set (I cannot say enough about this.  BEST. FOUNDATION. EVER.)

Sweet Libertine Eyeshadows in Cafe Au Lait and Freakshow

Gluten Free Beauty’s SunKiss Me Lip Gloss…the most amazing color and lip gloss ever.

and I was out the door.  I blotted three times over the course of the 10 hours I was out of the house.

When I came home I goofed around, then I realized I still had to take my make up off.  See, its good stuff if you forget you’re wearing it, right? So this is what I did to my face this evening:

All Natural Face Natural Oil Makeup Remover (BEST EVER) and a hot washcloth.  I rinsed several times then just let the hot washcloth sit on my face a couple times.

I will interject here about the glories of Gluten Free Beauty’s foundation:  my skin looked really good even after the foundation came off.  All those good oils she uses really makes a difference.  Now back to our regular programming…

Tones with The All Natural Face Non Alcohol Rose Petal and Elderflower Blossom Toner.

All Natural Face Argan Oil Roll On around the eyes.

Gluten Free Beauty’s Facial Moisture Serum (my face soaks this up like I soak up coffee in the morning.  This stuff is EXCELLENT)

And that’s it.  I think I spent 10 minutes “washing” my face with the oil makeup remover becaue I simply like to stand there with that hot washcloth on my face.  No chiseling, no scrubbing, no drying my face out to regulate the oil production.

Some Paranoid Writer Stuff:

1.  All the links for the stuff I mentioned is over on the right hand side of the blog page under Favorite Places to Shop

2.  Don’t know why I used the blackberry picture for this post, I thought it was pretty.

3.  Do what works for you and your face.  I just gave an example of what works for me, and believe me, it took months to find products that worked.  Several times I wanted to run to my nearest big box store and throw myself onto the highly waxed floor in the cosmetic aisle in front of the Cover Girl display, but I stuck it out.

Enjoy.  We can either be gifts to this world and the people in it, or we can be miserable wrecks.

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A Minor Rant

Colours - make up

Image via Wikipedia

I bet you all can already guess I love cosmetics.   A brand new tube of lipstick always puts a smile on my face, I am not ashamed to admit it.  I have tried all sorts of colors, types, department store, drugstore, expensive, cheap…I’ve tried it.

Over the past year I have devoted myself to educating myself and others about the dangers in typical over the counter cosmetics and beauty products.  I never thought beauty products were unhealthy, I believed in all the print ads and the pretty models when they said this one product is going to make a difference in your life.  I felt special when I raided the Clinique counter of their facial cleansers and toners, I loved the eye shadows at MAC.

Then a friend started selling a direct sales brand of cosmetics and I was in heaven all over again.  I had personalized service and she ran a tab for me as well so I could always have what I wanted, and believe me I used every single item that was offered:  cleansers, masks, microdermabraision, moisturizers, toners, eye cream, something to even out my skin tone…and all of this was before I actually put any makeup on.  Then came the color and primers and everything else.  I had the best eye shadows ever in my entire life, a whole selection of lipsticks and liners and glosses. I enjoyed doing myself up every day.

Then the line changed their formulation for their cosmetics:  they came out with a powder mineral foundation that was supposed to be the greatest thing, they changed the formulation of eye shadows from whatever they were to mineral, their lipsticks became scented with vanilla…suddenly cosmetics weren’t as fun anymore.  The mineral foundation was full of talc (which my face did not like) the eye shadows did not last on my eyelids, the eye primer made my eyes burn, the mascara made  the inside of my eyelids break out, and I cannot stand the smell of fake vanilla.

So I started my search for healthier cosmetics.  It didn’t happen overnight, I spent tons of time online looking for eye shadows, lipsticks, and especially foundation, and not only foundation, but there were veils and sheers and all this other stuff THAT WAS LOOSE.

Everything came in little jars, and you needed fluffy brushes to apply.  All sorts of brushes:  contouring, lining, blush, foundation and lets not forget the numbers of the brushes.  I can’t keep them straight.  Whatever happened to the little sponge applicators?  I liked the little sponge applicators, they work for me.  I never bought the line that brushes had to be used to get a more professional, polished look.

Lets go back to my issue:  everything is loose.  Loose foundations, eye shadows, blushes, veils, shimmers, bronzers.  Touch ups are no longer a simple compact with a little pad, now you have to carry around the container and the coordinating brush.  Even though there are those new “locking lids”, its really difficult to be discreet when you have to click open the container, shake product onto the lid, then take the kabuki brush and swirl it around, while not trying to shake the powder all over you and everyone else.

The eye shadows:  love the colors, hate the big mess, hate the brushes.  The days of clicking open a compact and having colors there in one place are long gone, now we have messy jars and brushes and mess.  There’s more glittery colors out there than matte, and I am of the age where I am not into glitter.  Also, for the most part colors come individually, so instead of having a set of colors together that compliment one another, you have to figure out on your own what color goes with which other colors.  Believe me when I say I once ordered from one shop four different times trying to get the right brown.

Samples are cool, but there still isn’t enough product to make a difference.  I have a collection of 20 different colors of foundation powders,   What I thought was the right color when I put it on turned out to NOT be the right color after the oils on my face broke through (which doesn’t take long, stupid skin)  so I turned to another sample.  I used almost the entire thing on my face so I didn’t have a whole lot to touch up with, so I used a lighter color, which made my face look as if I dipped it into a floured cake pan.

I got fed up.  I wanted to take all of my jars and dime bags and huck the whole entire wad into the garbage can…but then I found hope.  Hope in a plastic Petri dish looking container.  I finally came across a foundation that was not a powder, that did not need brushes, that didn’t change color over the course of the day and blended into my skin so flawlessly due to its yummy oils I didn’t need an exact color, the foundation came in three colors and the “deep” suited me perfectly. 

I did end up finding a pressed mineral powder, so I consider the face part of my makeup routine taken care of.  I am still looking for healthy pressed eye shadow.  I love eye shadow but I simply hate the mess that comes with all of the little jars.  Today, out of frustration and just to be pissy,  I went to the drugstore and actually bought a $2.99 pressed eye shadow trio in three very pretty colors.  Each color is imprinted with where the color should go:  Brow bone, Crease, Lid, and there’s a sponge applicator as well as a little brush for application. Eye shadow for Dummies.  Love it.  On the back of the compact I am promised “all day crease-resistant color, and the coordinating shades take the guesswork out of creating the perfect eye look”.  Hey, if its written it must be true, right?  I am going to get a lot for my $2.99, right? As soon as I got into my car I put it on, and as soon as I sat down at work my eyes started to water, but I didn’t let it bother me because I had product that was easy to work with.   I got a box of tissues and dealt with it, eventually it went away.

Fast forward to about 8 hours later, I am still at work, writing this article and looking at my new eye shadows in their pretty little black case.  I realize I have to peel away at some labeling in order to find the ingredients, which was a pain because I was supposed to separate the back label, not rip the entire thing off.  Eventually I came across the ingredient list.  I will only point out the ingredients I know are bad and there’s a word or two I can’t even pronounce:  Talc (that might ingredient that made me switch to natural cosmetics after my face broke out in an oozy, drippy rash), Dimethicone, Trimethylisiloxysilicate (a silicone derivative, the Cosmetics Database considers it a low hazard ingredient),  Nylon-12, (a bulking and opacifying agent, considered a clay alternative in reducing shine, is able to expand and contract with facial movements without filling in small lines, creating a full and smooth appearance, is considered hypoallergenic and sterile), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite all I can find is that it’s an artificial mica), Methyl and  Propylparabens,  Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Tin Oxide (I am just going to give the link to the OSHA listing for Tin Oxide and leave it at that http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heathguidelines/tinoxide/recognition.html ).And this is about half the ingredients.  MAY CONTAIN:  Aluminum Powder, Carmine, Ferric Ferrocyanide (inorganic pigments used as colorants.  Also known as Iron Blue, Prussian Blue, and is known as the antidote to chronic Thallium poisoning), among other things.

Seriously.  I think I can deal with the messiness more than an ingredient list such as the one I listed above.

I am on the hunt for healthy pressed eye shadows now.

 

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