Trash Talk & Some Products I’m Getting Rid Of

Clean Beauty, Random

Another beautiful spring day, we’ve really been treated to fantastic weather lately. I’ve been enjoying the deck a lot, getting my urban garden off the ground – update to come. I don’t know if nature is just thriving with humans being in lockdown but has anyone else noticed some monster bees where they are? I appreciate the bees but I’m also allergic to them & they just seem massive this year. I’m excited that they are interested in my plants though, I hope this means that my garden will be a success. I’m still cleaning, organizing & reorganizing because what else is there to do?! I’ve got just a handful of empties & a few things I’m tossing because I don’t like them.

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream – There’s still a good blob to use up but almost there. I hate that I love this stuff but there are few creams this rich that don’t feel greasy. It smells like summer but in a refined, sultry way. I’m not repurchasing as it does seem overpriced & I have a LUSH body cream that I need to use up.

Pyunkang Yul Acne Patches – these were pretty good, I like how thin they were. Not terribly expensive & very effective at helping treat red spots.

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream – I like this stuff a lot & almost always have some on hand. It’s a simple cream that just hydrates but I think that ensuring the undereye area is properly hydrated can help with the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. It’s not very expensive but is decently effective.

Tula Eye Renewal Serum – I wasn’t crazy about this product. I like the consistency but I didn’t notice any change to the puffiness of my undereyes. I also think that it irritated my skin a bit. It’s overpriced at $52 for .5 ounces, especially as it did nothing for me.

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum – I felt like there was a good reason that I never bought into the hype around this product. This is a deluxe sample & there’s nothing special about this serum. I’m about halfway done with it, I haven’t noticed any changes in my skin texture. It feels nice but so does plain hyaluronic acid.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation – I’ve fallen out of love with this brand almost completely. I’ve used a lot of her products & while they’re good, I just don’t think that they’re magic or worth the price tag. I think you need to have really good skin & attractive features already to use her products successfully. Which makes sense as she is a celebrity makeup artist. This foundation is just a caky, clumpy, pore accentuating mess. I do enjoy the Magic Cream but the makeup just isn’t for me.

Good Molecules Priming Moisturizer – Actually a nice, lightweight moisturizer that does prep the skin for makeup but it broke me out! It’s almost 3/4 full & I’d love to pass it on but think those days are over in light of Corona.

Some keepers, some duds but they all can’t be winners. I hope you’re having a beautiful day & just doing the best you can πŸ’›

 

Hello From the Inside: Makeup Edition

Clean Beauty

In all honesty, I don’t think that we are in a true quarantine –Β  we are under a shelter in place order that seems a bit more flexible than what other states/cities are experiencing. Is everyone following it? I dunno, on the occasions that I’ve had to go out, there are an awful lot of people out and about. Minnesota is doing relatively good but who knows what this summer will bring. Anyway, I’ve worked from home before but under much more felicitous circumstances. The corporation that I worked for was undergoing a posh remodel of our new building and we all had to move home for 6’ish months. We also didn’t have videoconferencing capability so it didn’t really matter what anyone looked like πŸ˜› This new, depressing, shockingly invasive work from home circumstance has been a bit shocking. I feel like that I not only have to worry about looking presentable but also having my home look presentable with people suddenly being able to peer into it. It’s not like they are strangers but certainly not people who I would have over to my home. No offense to them. The first week at home, I could not be bothered to get ready because it was just a shit week. My close friend lost his salon, numerous others were being furloughed or facing reductions in income and I was worried about all of the unknowns. I’m feeling a bit better and very fortunate that I still have a job to even do at home – I also feel as though making the effort to keep my routine normal helps get through the day.

Buttey Honey Regular

I don’t really typically wear primer but I accidentally grabbed thisΒ tula brighten up smoothing primer gel the last time I was in ULTA thinking it was my face cream. Since I can’t return it, I’ve just decided to start priming again. I’ve never used a primer quite like this one and it does have a learning curve. The gel texture makes it prone to pilling, I let it warm up on my finger a bit and then press it in but only in areas where I have texture. I enjoy this product but not sure that it is a repurchase since I just don’t use a lot of primers.

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Buttey Honey Regular

I haven’t been wearing foundation because it’s expensive and I just don’t feel the need if I’m not leaving my home. My typical weekend ‘foundation’ is just concealer too, only applied to blemishes and discolored areas and then blended with a very damp sponge. I say this because I think a damper sponge gives a better blend when using a high coverage product that isn’t applied all over the face.

Buttey Honey Regular

Then I set my base with a powder foundation, this provides a little more coverage without adding more texture. I buff in a little highlighter too for a subtle glow and a little color.

Buttey Honey Regular

I’m pale already, sitting inside all day is not helping – I can’t use dark bronzers because that would look crazy so I’ve been using the Hoola Lite just on the perimeter of my face.

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And that’s about it, I might just keep doing this when we go back to the office because it only takes about 15 minutes. It probably looks that way too πŸ˜› I’m certainly wearing way less makeup than I am used to but at least I feel presentable and like I’m getting ready for the day. I’ve had a harder time keeping up on my skincare routine, my skin was a mess a couple of weeks ago and I really scaled back what I was doing. It’s mostly back to where it was sans the peeling, I’ve had to reintroduce tretinoin but can’t argue with the results.

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What am I doing with my hair? Absolutely nothing πŸ˜› Let me know how you’ve been keeping your life ‘normal’ and what helps you through the day πŸ’›

Some Spring Sprung Favorites

Clean Beauty, Monthly Favorites

Spring is here, you know how I know? I woke up with one of my eyes swollen closed due to allergies and it’s been a delight since πŸ˜› I don’t really enjoy spring but I think it’s a bummer that everyone seemingly forgot the changing of the season with everything happening in the world. I thought I would do a good ol’ favorites post for some distraction today, enjoy πŸ’›

Peaches For Breakfast Regular

 

 

hello radiance illuminating serumI don’t know if there is a single tula product that I haven’t enjoyed. This serum is brightening, hydrating, texture improving – it’s just all around pretty great. It is a little on the spendy side even for this brand but 1-2 pumps is all you need for a glowing complexion.

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nude nails – I haven’t been putting anything on my nails for a bit since they are doing this weird peeling thing, probably the damage from acrylics that I am sure will grow out. Anyway, I’ve been loving nude nail polishes – not from any brand in particular but essie has the cutest little jars & the formula is decent as well.

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galaxy swirl beautyblenderI haven’t used an actual beautyblender in a long time, these just looked so sunny & citrusy that I couldn’t resist. The one I’m using is obviously not as pretty looking but look at those swirls. Are they worth 20 bucks? I don’t know, they do apply my foundation pretty well but it always takes some convincing to splurge on one…or two…

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bareminerals Endless Glow HighlighterI don’t wear highlighter in the conventional way, not since discovering MAC’s skin finish products which are pretty much just subtle highlighters. I swirl my brush in highlighter then in my finishing powder and buff it all over my face. This won’t work with all highlighters but gives an all-over glow with most of the ones that I have tried. This one is smooth, has a lovely peachy tone and doesn’t look crazy all over the face – which is key πŸ˜€ I have to say, this brand has slowly been taking over my makeup bag again and I’m not mad about it.

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Gucci BloomThis is probably the first new fragrance that I have tried and fallen absolutely in love with. It’s just one of those powdery, floral fragrances that I tend to go for. I love the woodsy jasmine scent and longevity, it’s really lovely.

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Jergens Sweet Citrus Body ButterAnything citrus has been making me feel happy lately. I think it’s the bright, clean feeling associated with it. This body butter smells like a grapefruit, wrapped in a lemon poured into a glass of fresh squeezed OJ and I love it. Not to mention, it’s super hydrating & affordable.

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peach & lily all in one moisture padsSome days I do the whole skincare thing, some days I wipe one of these on and that’s just good enough. I love most any K-beauty moisture pads, CosRX makes great ones as well. They are drenched in soothing, nourishing goodness and do wonders for an irritated skin barrier.

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Peaches For Breakfast Regular

 

 

david’s tea teas – I’ve never been a fan of loose tea but I make an exception for David’s Tea because the blends are so unique. I’ve been drinking Grapefruit Rose Starburst and Eucalyptus Mint. Both are light, fresh and perfect hot or iced.

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Greenlife Pots & PansNot only are these pans pretty, they’re awesome to cook with. I don’t know what makes them different than other pans but ceramic pans are clearly the superior cooking vessels. I mixed and matched the bigger teal set with a small pastel pink set to match my kitchen. These were a birthday splurge purchase back in January and I don’t regret it.

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sapadilla Grapefruit & BergamotSticking with the citrus theme, these cleaning products make my kitchen smell like I scrubbed it with fresh grapefruits. They are also bio-degradable, plant based and naturally fragrant. They also bust grease and keep my kitchen sparkling. Sapadilla also offers ‘fill stations’ in select grocery stores so that you don’t have to purchase a new bottle.

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thinx pantiesSo, this purchase is a direct result of COVD-19 so thanks for finally getting me to try a period panty. Here’s the deal, I can only use sanitary napkins – I’ve tried a million tampons and they just don’t work for me. Not to get graphic but they feel like you have something crammed up there all day, same thing with those cups – can’t do it. To my horror, I walked into the drugstore to find that every sanitary napkin was gone. I don’t know why suddenly everyone is using them and preparing to have their period every single day for the next year but you can’t find sanitary napkins anywhere. I started Googling alternatives, I’ve heard of the period panty but thought they sounded gross. They aren’t though, they do have to be hand rinsed after each use which means you will need to purchase quite a few pairs to start but I like them so far. They feel like thin swimsuit material, really soft and they don’t feel like a diaper. I purchased a couple of pairs of the pee-proof panties since my size was out of stock in several styles (pictured) and they are mostly the same, I can use these on light days. I’m really happy to have finally found an eco-friendly alternative to sanitary pads. These are also FSA eligible if you have an account which took some of the sticker shock out of the initial purchase.

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That’s it for my spring faves – let me know what you’ve been loving lately! I hope you’re safe and healthy wherever you are. Happy spring πŸ’›

Current Shower Essentials

Clean Beauty

I say current because I often get bored with the products that I am using and only have 1 or 2 that I must have in my routine. Especially when it comes to body and hair products, I am not terribly fussy. I love Lush and trying new things from them, I’ve generally had really good experiences with their bath/body care. Lush has definitely received some bad press over the years, not all of the ingredients they use are natural, they use essential oils, many of their products are heavily fragranced – you might even call them a green-washed beauty brand. While all of their products are vegetarian, they aren’t vegan and you get into the grey area if that means they can be truly cruelty-free, and I certainly understand some of the skepticism. I choose to shop at Lush because they have a large variety of package free products and their pots are made in the US of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Also, I don’t believe that just because something is natural that it’s automatically good for you, I have used a couple of bath bombs that irritate my skin and tend to avoid those but most of their products work for me. They aren’t the most cutting edge products and they tend to be a bit costly, some are worth the money and some simply aren’t.

P1

Delicious Yellow Regular

This has been my go-to body cleanser, I have repurchased it twice now and it’s amazing for dry skin. It doesn’t get terribly sudsy but enough to feel like I’m cleansing my skin, it also leaves my skin feeling soft and soothed. It smells mostly like nothing but does have a bit of a tea tree scent to it, nothing luxurious but does what it’s supposed to. It is packed with skin-soothing ingredients like rose water, oats, cocoa butter and olive oil. The 8 ounce pot lasts me about a month, I actually wish it came in a larger pot but I feel it’s a pretty good value.

Delicious Yellow Regular

I haven’t tried a shampoo bar from Lush that I haven’t liked but this one has the most beautiful, long-lasting scent. I have normal hair, it isn’t dry and it isn’t oily – I can pretty much use anything on it and it’s fine. This bar cleans my hair without drying it out or leaving any residue behind and the lather is crazy amazing. Since these bars are concentrated shampoo, I think you get about 80 washes from them and there’s no plastic waste.

P2

Delicious Yellow Regular

This is a product that I have to have, I’ve used Karma Kream for years – I love the scent and it keeps my skin super moisturized. It’s is fragranced with just enough patchouli, subtle and smoky and so lovely. The texture isn’t too thick and goopy like other natural creams that I’ve used, it’s a very nice texture and a little goes a long way.

That’s my current shower routine, simple products that get the job done πŸ™‚ Let me know what your favorite Lush products are!

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

 

 

The Drunk Elephant Diaries P.I

Clean Beauty

What a crisp winter morning, it’s about 15 below outside and there are six inches of snow on the ground. If this was a Monday morning, I would be pretty annoyed but seeing as how I have nowhere to be, I am soaking in every bit of it. I think I will bust out the snowshoes later and see what the trails are looking like. Winter is truly my season, I just don’t like it when it gets scary like it has been the last two weeks. Also, can we talk about how tired of talking about the weather I am? Yet, here I am, yammering on about it. This post might be a bit rambling as I am still on the search for sustainable/clean beauty and replacing my beauty/skincare items has been the last part of my lifestyle change. Reason being, I had so much to use up that I didn’t want to purchase anything new and it’s a really daunting task. I’m nowhere near at a point where I need any new makeup and am just doing preliminary research on what brands to switch to. The reason that I have found this process to be so difficult is that there are so many trends and fads and buzzwords, it’s almost impossible to know what to invest in. Not to mention, some of these labels that brands use don’t have any industry regulation to back them up, not that they need to but it definitely makes things tricky. I don’t even love using the terms clean or green beauty because the standards are all over the place. But I had to start somewhere and when I set out, I had a few requirements in mind; simple ingredients, minimal packaging, sustainably/ethically sourced ingredients and accessibility. And apparently, real clever marketing because I got totally sucked into Drunk Elephant.

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So let’s talk about the brand, is it sustainable, effective, worth the hype, worth the freaking coin? To start, DE only has seventeen products and for a mass-produced brand that is available at Sephora, I think that is refreshing. Instead of constantly releasing trendy products to generate profit, they offer a small collection of products that claim to be the remedy to all skin woes. Now, the origin story got major eye rolls from me. The founder wasn’t able to find products that worked for her skin, she identified 6 ingredients that she calls the ‘Suspicious 6′ and started making her own skincare void of the Sus’ 6. If it was really that easy wouldn’t we all just be whipping up our own skin regimen? In the brand’s philosophy they state that ‘natural doesn’t automatically mean good’ and I really appreciate that because it’s so true, they also touch on the shortcomings of industry regulations. While the products are mostly natural, you will find some synthetic ingredients as well that are still safe and effective. Their ‘Break the Cycle’ mantra promotes a less is more beauty routine and overall, I find it fits well with my desire to have a more pared down skincare regimen. Let’s get to some of the products that I have been using.

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Like I said, I will never be one of those people for whom a jar of coconut oil will meet my every need but I don’t feel too bad about only having 5-6 staple products in my cabinet. I did purchase both moisturizers that they offer, the Protini Polypeptide Cream has become my daytime cream and the Lala Retro Whipped Cream I only use at night. I have read conflicting directions on how to use these from some major skincare authorities in the industry, each one can be used completely on their own per the brand’s website – don’t believe the beauty gurus. Protini is a lightweight gel formula which isn’t quite moisturizing enough for a night cream and Lala is a luxurious whipped blend of oils that doesn’t sit well under makeup which is why I have both. The Virgin Luxury Marula Face Oil I use both day and night since I have dry skin, it’s really nice and my skin just soaks it up. The ingredients of all three are what you’d expect from a self-proclaimed clean beauty brand but some of them do make me wonder about their sustainability. While the products are made in the USA, a number of the ingredients are internationally sourced. While they state that their ingredients are also ethically sourced, I still question if we should be using 6 rare African oils in skincare products. According to the brand, they do use sustainable farming and wind energy but there’s not a whole lot else about where the ingredients come from. I will be doing further research but I’d much prefer to purchase products that are made and sourced in the USA. The second strike against the brand is that their patented pump delivery systems make the components non-recyclable which is a total bummer. Finally, the cost of the products are definitely a barrier for some consumers and though I would rather support a US based company even if that means spending more it does make the brand less accessible. If one was to switch to a complete DE routine, the cost is nuts! The only redeeming factor here is that I am using less treatment products to manage breakouts and skin irritation, over time there could be some cost savings but the initial investment was painful.

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Does my skin look amazing? Yea, totally. Are there are many things to love about this brand and their mission? Of course, I think that they are definitely working to set an industry standard and are transparent about the faults in the current clean/green beauty trends. I will keep using the products and tracking down answers to some of my questions. Something else to note, the brand is cruelty-free but not all of their products are vegan, you can read more on that here. Final thoughts, I feel less guilty about supporting this brand than others currently on the market but there’s room for improvement. Let me know your thoughts on the whole clean/green beauty movement. Are we just being duped?

QuiteSimplyStella(1)