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’›

Best of May

Monthly Favorites

I can’t believe it’s June, spring sprung seemingly overnight after weeks of cool, rainy weather. I love the rainy weather but it’s nice to see the sun shining and we’re well on our way to Halloween πŸ‘» My deck is almost summer ready, I spent too much time and money in IKEA last weekend. I had this fantastic idea to change my master bathroom from beige to white because I love hotel bathrooms. Clean ones, that is with white towels and that subtle bleach scent. What I didn’t realize is that they get cleaned everyday, I’m pretty clean but it’s misery so far πŸ˜‚ I’ll post about my deck decor sooner than later. Anyway, here are some items that I was loving in May.

For the last year I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant, most of them have given me a rash. I picked this up recently and love it so far. It has a light, floral scent – not too rosy but just pleasant enough. The consistency is on the wet side but very moisturizing and dries down to nothing. It’s made my armpits so soft and cleared up the rash in no time. It’s on the expensive side but all of these natural deodorants are.

My skin tends to get congested as soon as the weather starts to heat up, this is a seasonal favorite since it dries my skin out too much during the winter. It’s a mild acid that keeps my back and chest clear. It smells funky like fermented fruit but it works and it’s pretty affordable.

This is one of those blue light therapy devices. It’s supposed to help kill bacteria and I could be nuts but I think it’s working. I had to stop taking oral contraceptive due to starting another medication so I’m getting some hormonal spots but I swear this is knocking them out. My skin is almost back to where it was before my change in meds. I use it for about 15 minutes each night, focusing on different quadrants. I like it because I’m not adding another chemical to my routine. I purchased this from my dermatologist but Amazon sells the exact same one.

Nature’s Bounty recently released a line of skin vitamins, I picked up this one and the moisture one. I really think that my overall skin feels firmer and smoother. I’m also trying the moisture one but can’t say that my skin feels any less dry than usual.

One day, whilst feeling sorry for myself, I ordered a bunch of Charlotte Tilbury because no brand makes me feel prettier 😝 These are the daily go-tos so far. The Peachgasm is this glowy, liquid blush that’s perfect for making pasty skin look flushed and glowy. The cream shadows in Rose Gold and Star Gold are easy to smudge on and go. Her entire summer collection is stunning.

And because I’m a total blush whore, this peachy Burt’s Bees blush has been my ‘bronzer’ of late. I like a bronzer that’s on the redder side because it looks more natural for me to be a bit burnt than actually tanned πŸ˜‚ I love this formula, not terribly pigmented but easy to build and blend.

I cannot get enough true crime as of late! Yes, I purchased some books but I’m on the hunt for an e-reader. I’m also hooked on the My Favorite Murder podcast and Buzzeed Unsolved: True Crime series on YouTube. I thought the Netflix Ted Bundy movie was pleasantly tame while still being super creepy. Finally, I cannot wait for Stranger Things season three and recently binged the first two seasons. What have you been loving recently?

These goslings were also a fave this month, look at how fat they are! There are spring babies all over the place, it’s lovely. Let me know what you’ve been up to!

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March Happenings

Random

Everyone is seemingly of the opinion that January is a long schlep of an uneventful month but March is that month for me. It’s still kinda winter, nobody knows what to wear, produce is terrible. I’m glad to see the end of it, I’ve been gone for a bit so let’s have a catch-up!

My new car is still the main event of this past month. I definitely like it and am happy to report that I sold the Mazda to someone who seemed excited to fix it. I think it will ride again 😭

I think that I found the most amazing burger replacement ever. I picked up these Beyond Meat patties randomly even though I’m not big into meat replacements and I’m so glad I did! They have a grilled flavor to them and the texture is perfect, not at all like a mashed bean patty. I definitely recommend!

I didn’t read a single book in March and I blame Desperate Housewives and BuzzFeed Unsolved for my lack of reading time. I do plan to read more in April but if the weather gets really good, I might whiff again 😝

Lent has been trying and we’re not even half-way through, I’m not having trouble sticking to my penitence but I’m getting burnt out on going to mass. I think I’m the only person under 60 at my church, where are all of the hot Irish Catholic guys?! It doesn’t bother me when I’m only going once a week but when it’s three times a week, I want some eye candy! I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Not much else to report, our busy season is ramping up at work but I have some fun excursions scheduled in the coming months. How was your month, what did you get up to?

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A Week’s Review

Random

Spring has sprung, I have officially started taking allergy meds again, have seen at least 3 dead squirrels in the road, I have no idea what to wear and am still recovering from the time change. Ahhhhhhh – Spring, can you feel it? The sunshine has been a welcome change but the rest of Spring can go straight to Hades. Here’s a little rundown of what I got up to this week.

One full week in the new car went mostly OK, it doesn’t feel like my car and still has that new car smell. My old car had a very distinct scent to it because I have a very distinct scent, I miss that familiar scent but I suppose the patchouli seeping out of my pores will eventually transfer to the new car πŸ˜‰

Some of the Lulroe leggings that I ordered have arrived and they are interesting. I didn’t realize that there was such a bustling market for these leggings on apps like Mercari and Poshmark but I managed to find quite a few Halloween prints that are awesome. It’s interesting how varied the pricing can be, some sellers will list certain patterns as being unicorns or rare while others don’t. Mercari I feel has less variety than Poshmark but sellers can offer their items at reduced prices for a limited time and some even offer free shipping. The leggings themselves are very unique feeling and remind me of the material that seamless undies are made of, they have the infinite stretch thing going on. They don’t provide a lot of support and I couldn’t see myself wearing these in public. I’m not a big leggings in public person anyway but these feel like you aren’t even wearing pants. The patterns also don’t stretch weird on the body, the Wolfman pair are so far my favorite. I have a few others on the way and kinda’ want to do like 31 Days of Leggings for October or something, I’m literally just sitting here waiting for Halloween πŸ˜†

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I started listening to the Serial podcast and am so hooked! I enjoy police procedural books and documentaries so it’s right up my alley. I just finished season one, I almost want to listen a second time over in case I missed anything.

My hair is slowly but surely getting longer, I’m almost to that weird phase where I’ll just want to cut it but so far so good. I don’t have plans to grow it out terribly long and will probably end up with super short hair again in the future but it’s growing for now.

Have you been following the Operation Varsity Blues bust?! First of all, who got paid to come up with that name? Second, I know that there were loads of wealthy people involved but it especially irks me that people like Olivia Jade got into a great school by lying. Like, what was the point? You’re already rich and pretty and that will get you a long way in today’s society. Didn’t anyone involved think at some point that they were testing their luck? Also, I had no idea who Felicity Huffman was and am now mired in season two of Desperate Housewives.

That’s about it, oh, I joined a bags league with some co-workers to get out of the house this summer. It starts in June, I’m already exhausted 😭 What’s new with you?

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TOMS Wishlist

Sustainable Living

Have you ever eaten something really disappointing and thought, well fuck, I wish I could get those calories back. I wish I was one of those people who could create recipes but I’m not and depend on the internet for most of my recipes. Usually this works for me but this one was a dud.

It was supposed to snow 10 inches today, it didn’t. Instead it rained for hours and only just started snowing about an hour ago. The rain put me in a panic because I need new rainboots. I wear rainboots from about April 1 to Thanksgiving, I wear out a pair a year. Does it rain everyday for 6 months in Minnesota? No, in fact it does not but a few years ago, I stepped in a puddle of slimy water and woke up with a rash all the way up to my thigh. I got a skin infection, I had a fever and now I wear rainboots all of the time because water in the city is wretched. I didn’t find a new pair of rainboots but fell in love with about 10 pairs of new TOMS that I don’t need. I like TOMS, I’ve been sporting them since they became available in 2006. Over the years though, I’ve become more skeptical of this for-profit organization and its good intentions. It’s a couple of things for me, the influx of donated shoes must disrupt the local economies, canvas shoes aren’t great for most terrain, 40 bucks is a lot to pay for some canvas shoes that have basically become the trendy footwear of hipsters and yuppies. Do I like the idea of One-for-One? Yeah, absolutely but it makes me wonder if local businesses struggle to compete with a foreign supply chain. The donated shoes are exported to Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Haiti. Now, their shoes are plenty durable for my pedestrian, desk job working life but that 1/2 centimeter rubber sole wouldn’t hold up to much more. Are they the best shoes for kids in these countries? Being a middle class American, the cost of the shoes is a bit prohibitive. I own about a dozen pairs that I’ve collected over the years but wouldn’t they sell more pairs if they reduced their profit margin and cut the cost of them? I mean, I’m just sayin’. I’ve also owned my TOMS for years so I don’t really consider them fast fashion or wasteful, I get a lot of wear from them. I know that the organization now supports other causes like vaccines, clean water and eyecare so trendy shoes were obviously a great gateway cause. Anyway, I still like the shoes and appreciate the effort and need some spring kicks πŸ˜‰

Also, I just noticed that the canvas classics are 54.95! Let me know your thoughts on TOMS. How much good are they really doing? They’d just be ugly ass shoes if they weren’t TOMS, right πŸ˜‰

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Dust to Dust

Random

And so it begins, 40 days of repentance, giving up all my favorite things and basking in all-around misery. But I’m Catholic and if I’m not suffering then I’m probably doing it wrong 😭 In all honesty, Lent isn’t so bad – I hated it as a kid but I have found some clarity and peace in making small sacrifices as I have aged. Lent is a period of reflection and rebirth that I’ve come to enjoy. It’s also free of my mother’s salmon patties which is probably a huge reason that I dreaded it in my youth. My mom was a lot of things, a good cook not being one of those things πŸ˜‚ Anyway, in addition to the usual fasting I chose sugar and social media as my sacrifices this year. Social media was a bit of a softball since I don’t love it anyway but I have a pretty serious relationship with jellybeans and I’m already jonesing for a bag. Oh, and porn, decided to cut back on that too. Not really but I always wonder how honest people are about what they are abstaining from for Lent. Like you never hear anyone mention giving up porn or smoking crack – are sugar and social media really my only vices or are they just the ones that I feel comfortable sharing?! Who can say.

People in my life are generally pretty surprised when they find out I’m a fairly devout Catholic and honestly, same. In the year or two after my mission trip and deciding not to be a nun, I didn’t participate in the church at all, it disgusted me. I still find Catholicism pretty problematic, the entire organization needs a rebrand and I’m not talking about tambourines in the choir because that’s blasphemy. All the geezers who have been responsible for covering up scandals have got to go – from the Pope down. I think that people my age are extremely disappointed and distrustful of our church leaders and these issues need to be dealt with before we can find peace in our faith. Could I convert to something else? Probably but like I said, tambourines.

This post was really just to announce my abstinence from social media (aside from blogging) and a plea for jelly beans πŸ˜‚ Do you celebrate Lent? Can it be referred to as a celebration? What are you abstaining from?

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Vegan Things I Can’t Even

Sustainable Living

March 1 marks two months since I jumped on the vegan train and I’ve mostly been loving it. As with anything though, there are some aspects of the vegan lifestyle that I just can’t get into. There are things I wouldn’t eat prior to my lifestyle change like caviar, frog’s legs or quail eggs – there are odd delicacies in any diet, plant-based being no exception. I don’t care how nutritious these items are, I just can’t even.

Nutritional Yeast – This deactivated yeast was a staple of my childhood nightmares. My dad used it as a popcorn topping and I’d forgotten about it until I needed it for a recipe recently. Once I cracked the seal, all of those years of foot popcorn came flooding back. Yack. Apparently it’s a staple ingredient in cheese substitutes which probably explains my aversion to them 😭

Black Bean & Most Plant Based Burgers – Now, I’ve tried some good ones but the vast majority of these burger substitutes have total gag-worthy texture.

Tofu Hotdogs – Another delicacy from my youth, tofu pressed into any unnatural shape is off-putting. It tastes delicious without having to masquerade as something else.

Cheese’ – Vegan cheese is literally the worst, how does it smell 100 times more like cheese than actual cheese?!

Kombucha – I don’t think this a vegan thing as much as it is an everyone’s lost their fucking minds thing. My first kombucha experience, I ended up with all the globs of fungus coming in the first swallow 🀒 Just gagged a little thinking about it.

Eggs – I’ve tried one soy egg product that was amazing and one that was just what you’d think soy eggs would be like. I’m steering clear for now, the good ones are incredibly hard to find.

Toona – Mostly because this plant-based tuna tastes like an old folks’ home smells – don’t act like you don’t know what that means 😝

There are loads of delicious recipes and vegan treats available, I find that I just don’t like the ones that are trying to imitate something else. I much prefer hodge podges of veggies and legumes to any processed stuff but it’s all about personal taste. Let me know what food aversions you have.

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February Favorites

Random

Before we get into the handful of favorite products that I have, has anyone tried Lularoe leggings? What’s the tea? Are they good quality? I’m down to my last couple pairs of workout leggings and need some that will hold up. Let me know!

My first favorites are these Blush Bomb liquid blushes from Flower Beauty. I’ve become more cognizant of fine lines which tends to happen when my skin is dry, I’ve been trying to use more cream products. These are awesome, super easy to use, I just press them on with a damp sponge and done.

Continuing with the anti-aging theme, I’ve not been wearing foundation and opting for this Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream instead. It doesn’t have a ton of coverage but enough to even my skin out. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t emphasize anything or settle in creases.

These are naked cleansing balms from Lush in Jade Roller and Tea-Totaler. I think they’re pretty new and are basically solid cleansing oils. Once you start to work them into your skin, they soften up. They remove makeup really well, smell lovely and are totally package free.

This cream shadow from Charlotte Tilbury is all I’ve been wearing on my eyes since getting my new lashes. It’s so creamy and long-wearing, I love that it has the appearance of being a whole eye look but it’s one shadow. I don’t know what the shade is because I’ve probably had it for too long and the label wore off πŸ˜‚

I’ve tried Schmidt’s deodorant before and didn’t love it. I gave it another shot because my psoriasis has been real bad on my underarms lately. Applying deodorant over broken skin is the worst and you aren’t supposed to do it anyway. I grabbed this out of desperation, this flavor is really good! I don’t think it feels nearly as wet as other ones I’ve tried and it doesn’t burn my irritated skin.

Already raved about it, still loving Karma Kream and waiting for a bigger tub!

Let me know what your you were loving this month, have you tried any of these?

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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)