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Happy #WellnessWednesday my friends! Thanks for being here. I hope that your 2020 is off to a great start! With winter upon us, I have to take extra special care of my skin, as I know so many of you do, too! I get dry, flaky, and cracked! UGH. So, when I went looking for a serum to solve my winter skin blues, I was pleasantly surprised to not only find an amazing moisturizing serum, but a new tool to help with inflammation and lymphatic drainage of my skin! Bye-bye puffiness and dull dryness! See ya never. If you’ve seen the jade and rose quartz rollers all over Instagram and Facebook, but haven’t a clue what the hype is about, I’m about to fill ya in! But, first let me tell you about where I found mine!

CYNAGLOW.COM

One of my favorite places to find clean beauty skincare that’s also cruelty free, is Cyna Glow! Cyna Glow has awesome brands for non-toxic self-care products. It’s owned and operated by my friend Cynthia, who is a pretty incredible woman! She’s totally into wellness in a natural, holistic way, which you know I support 100%. Cynthia started her clean beauty lifestyle after suffering from allergies, as so many of us do. She started researching the products she used, and while she was totally taking great care of herself physically, she realized that the luxury skincare and beauty products she had been using on her body weren’t all that healthy because they were filled with toxic ingredients. She quickly understood that what goes on her body is just as important as what goes in it. This inspired her to start her own non-toxic self-care store, Cyna Glow!

In addition to running Cyna Glow, Cynthia is a member of the National Wellness Institute and a certified wellness coach in training. She also recently became a Beautycounter representative, helping to further spread the word about accessible, clean beauty products. She is dedicated to educating people about holistic, non-toxic products and lifestyles. On her website, you will also find she writes a blog with many articles about ingredients to avoid and how the wrong beauty and self-care products can contain hormone disruptors and cancer causing agents. Cyna Glow’s mission is:

“I believe in a better lifestyle for everyone.

It is my goal to spread awareness for holistic, natural beauty. I truly believe that there is an easy way to incorporate a beauty routine that is both good for you and the environment.”

I love to support small businesses like Cynthia’s because she is a woman just like you and me. She has a vision and she is determined to see it through. She is so passionate about helping others be healthier while still providing incredible products that work! Be sure to check out Cynaglow.com!

ROSE QUARTZ JADE ROLLER:

While I was scrolling through Cynaglow.com, I decided to check out these rollers once and for all! I’ve seen so many people using them and I wanted to know what all the fuss is about. So, I ordered the rose quartz jade roller and honestly guys, I’m hooked! Here’s why…

Crystals Have Healing Energies:

If you’re not familiar with crystals yet, they have long been known to possess healing energies! People all over the world use them to balance chakras and heal the body from all kinds of ailments, both physical and emotional! Jade is known to help with anxiety and fatigue and protect against negative energy. Rose Quartz cleanses and opens the heart. It helps to promote peace, love, self-love, friendship, and deep inner healing. Sounds like something my face also needs! LOL. But for real, I love crystals and I keep them around me all the time. Plus, they feel really good when they massage your face!

Lymphatic Drainage and Increased Blood Flow:

I was recently watching a makeup tutorial video by this super famous, celebrity makeup artist. She said that if you massage the face enough before you put on makeup, you won’t need nearly as much foundation. So, when I saw that this roller is basically a lymphatic drainage massage for your face, I was instantly intrigued. Massaging the face helps increase blood flow, which gives you a nice glow! At the same time, it helps to drain lymph fluid from your face that can cause puffiness. I have trouble with puffiness around my eyes and my jaw line, so I was really wanting to give this a try. I use it for a few minutes with a serum at night before bed and in the morning before makeup and I can see a difference. My face looks less puffy and dull! A great tip is to keep it in the fridge or freezer to give your skin even more of an anti-inflammatory boost! Just like we ice our injuries, coldness helps the skin’s inflammation, too. It’s also been known to help with fine lines and wrinkles! Where do I sign up for life?

Acne:

The roller is also helpful for acne because of its anti-inflammatory effect. I struggle with acne on my chin and forehead sometimes, as well as my cheeks. So, having a tool to help with this inflammation is a welcomed concept! If you have a lot of inflammation around the acne, just make sure to sterilize your roller with a bit of alcohol or soapy, very hot water, and roll away from the troubled spots. Which brings me to my next topic…

How to use a Jade roller:

You want to start with a clean face! Make sure there aren’t any traces of makeup that you might be pushing into your pores. You can roll in the morning and evening! In the morning, I like to use a light moisturizer with the roller, and in the evening I love to use Luna Nectar Serum, which I will get to next!

After your face is nice and clean, take your roller out from the fridge or freezer. Apply your moisturizer or serum and begin with one section of your face. I typically start with my lower face and jawline and work my way up, using the larger end of the roller for the majority of the face, and the smaller end for around the eyes. You want to roll your face in an upward, outward motion. Roll away from the face, and never back and forth. Pick up the roller after each roll and repeat. I do each section of the face three times. Around your forehead, roll straight up, and around the eyes do the same. You can also roll your neck. Start at the center and roll upward and outward on each side.

It feels so good! Like a massage or facial right at home. I love it!

LUNA NECTAR HELIOPHILIA GLOW & FIX SERUM

So, I’d heard about this amazing serum from Cyna Glow and I had to try it out for myself! I was struggling with dry, flaky skin in patches and Cynthia recommended I give this serum a shot. I am so glad, because it really helps! It’s completely non-toxic, certified cruelty-free and vegan by PETA, all-natural, and made of mostly all organic ingredients! You might have guessed by it’s name that it helps to give your skin a great glow and fix troublesome redness, inflammation, and severe dryness! I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and already my dry patches have cleared up and my skin looks bright and feels so soft.

I use the Luna Nectar Serum at night because it is a heavier moisturizer than my skin can handle during the day. I have combination, thin skin, so if you have really dry, thicker skin, this could work for you during the day as well. But, for my skin type, it’s perfect at nighttime. It’s like a recovery drink for the skin! It has a subtle orange glow to it and makes me look like I’ve got a bit of a tan, which I love! Don’t be freaked out when you first apply it. Once you roll or rub it in, the orange-ness dissipates.

There are 15 active organic ingredients in the Luna Nectar Serum that make it so powerful! Some of them include Rosehip and Gotu Kola! What makes it work so well are the antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, essential fatty acids, Omega-6, and Omega-9. It’s a great serum for damaged, dry skin that needs some serious healing. It’s also so great if you’re just looking for a radiant glow! Added bonus: you can use it on your hair, too! It’s perfect for dry ends. Just add a couple drops to your palms, rub them together and smooth onto the ends of your hair!

Soooo… Great news, guys! You can use my code: DRESSWELL15 for 15% off of your purchase on Cyna Glow’s website! In honor of their one year anniversary, Cynthia would like to extend this special offer to you! I would highly recommend trying out the Jade or Rose Quartz roller and the Luna Nectar Serum. I’m really enjoying both of these items. But, she’s also got some other amazing self-care finds there that you should definitely check out as well. You can also give her a follow on Instagram here! The promo code is valid now through February 9, 2020.

Thank you to Cyna Glow for sponsoring today’s post!

As always, let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way!

XOXO,

Kelly

Happy Wellness Wednesday, everyone! Hope you are having a good week! I am so excited to share this post with you today. Many of you have been asking for more clean beauty product recommendations. Look no further, I have some amazing ones for you today!

Ever since I made the switch to clean beauty, I have been so fond of Ilia Beauty’s products. They are high quality and high performance! As you know from previous posts, I love their True Skin Serum Foundation. It’s one of my go-to’s! But, I was so lucky to have them send me some of their other makeup products to try out, too!

First up is this Tinted Lip Conditioner. This was Ilia’s first product and still one of their best-sellers! It’s a cult classic. It is very hydrating and has amazing color. The Tinted Lip Conditioner is also buildable, so you can use more coats for your desired level of color. It’s not overwhelming or goopy. So light and sheer. There are 12 colors to choose from that are really beautiful. I got it in the color Little Sister. Love!

This next product I am soooo happy I found! The Clean Liquid Liner. Oh my gosh. I know, it’s only eyeliner, but when it comes to clean beauty, it’s harder than you’d expect to find a liquid eyeliner pen! This one is so great! It’s easy to use and the color is strong and lasts. I feel complete now, lol!

I love a good multi-stick, anyone else?! It’s so convenient, makes getting ready easier and faster, and it’s perfect for throwing in your bag on the go to touch up your cheeks, lips, and even your eyes! This Multi Stick from Ilia comes in 8 beautiful colors. I love this dusty rose color called At Last. It’s a great one for everyday wear and the color looks pretty on any skin tone. This stick is so creamy, glides on smoothly, and gives you the perfect rosy glow. I love it when my lips and cheeks have the same color! It really pulls together your whole makeup look. The cream formula looks so nice on cheeks and eyes too because it blends smoothly and hydrates, too!

Finally, the prettiest eyeshadow palette you ever did see! It’s so hard to believe that these palettes are clean! They look and perform so much like the conventional ones. But, they’re much safer and healthier for you! The colors in this Warm Nude Necessary Eyeshadow Palette are sooo beautiful. They’re perfect year round, but I love the spicy browns and toasted oranges in this one a lot for fall and winter. They are definitely trending colors right now for eye makeup. This palette also comes in Cool Nude which features more colors in the purple family that are so gorgeous. I love how they balanced this palette with matte shadows and shimmer ones, too. Perfect for contouring and highlighting the eye. You can build a really pretty look with this palette!

I’m so impressed with these products! I will be sure to show you all the looks I come up with over on Instagram. Follow me there to see more clean beauty from Ilia!

I’ve linked these products below. The first four are the ones featured in this post. The rest are all products by Ilia that I would also love to try or already use and are definitely worth checking out! Have you tried Ilia before? Leave a comment below and have a wonderful day! 🙂

iliabeauty

Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Hope your week is off to a great start! It’s so rainy here in PA, but I’m sitting by my Verilux Comfort Lens light (see the end of the post to shop this) to give me some sunshine happiness indoors! If you have seasonal depression or don’t get outside too often, check it out! I just started using it, but I’ve heard great things.

Today I wanted to share this clean beauty brand with you because it has truly been so helpful to me. The Lina Hanson brand reached out to me to see if I would like to try their products. I checked the ingredients and they were very clean, so I obliged and they sent me a box of three of their best-selling skincare products.

I love clean beauty products and I think they can work just as well as their toxic counterparts. In fact, I often prefer them to the chemical laden products. But, I hadn’t yet found anything that worked well for my dreaded breakouts. I tend to break out on my chin and forehead. If I don’t use something for it, it will just happen all of the time. So, when I got this Global Trio from Lina Hanson, I was actually VERY surprised!

I started using the Global Trio every night as a cleanser and exfoliator. You can also use it as a mask by only adding a tiny bit of water, honey, or yogurt. But, I typically am late getting to bed and need a faster routine, so I just used it as a cleanser and exfoliator by adding a little bit of water and creating a paste. Then, I put it on and in small, gentle, circular motions, just massage it into my face. I ALWAYS take my makeup off first with a non-toxic makeup wipe. Yes, you have to be careful of the wipes you choose, many have nasty chemicals in them.

Within a week, I noticed that my breakouts were gone or barely existent! I will take a tiny bump over a huge acne cyst on my chin any day! But, for the most part, it’s been a lot clearer and brighter. I’m so relieved because I hate using acne products with harsh chemicals. If I can keep them at bay with natural ingredients, that is definitely the way to go!

I then follow the Global Trio up with the Global Face Serum. It’s so moisturizing and gives my skin a nice glow and noticeable plump! I tend to get very dry and need a great moisturizer. I love that it’s so clean and gentle.

Finally, I use the Global Treasures eye and neck cream. It was awarded the Best Eye Cream by Glamour Magazine in 2019! I dab a tiny bit under my eyes and around the top. Then, I put some over my neck as well because the first signs of aging are always on your neck! Whatever you are doing for your face, you should also do for your neck and decolletage!

If you’re looking for a great non-toxic skincare brand to try and you’re worried about investing in it because it may not be effective for you, I totally understand. They are not always cheap. But, the ingredients are always clean and properly sourced, so what you’re paying for is that purity. In my opinion, it’s worth it. Your health is worth more than anything you own. So, investing in taking care of it is what’s best. I would highly recommend this brand to anyone looking for a great, clean option, especially if you suffer from acne, large pores, or dry skin skin.

Final note, I do not get paid anything from your purchases of this product. It was gifted to me, but I had no obligation or financial incentive to write this post or promote their products. It is all my own volition and personal experience. I really like the products, so I want to share them with you in hopes that they help you, too!

Let me know if you end up trying them! Leave a comment below if you have tried Lina Hanson, or if you have other clean beauty product recommendations! I love hearing from you all 🙂

Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Today, I’m sharing my entire clean beauty makeup routine with you! Ever since I’ve been so sick, I’ve made a lot of changes to the way I eat, live, and what products I use in my home and my body. It’s important to remember that our skin absorbs what we put on it. It goes into our bloodstreams and can often be very harmful. The cosmetic industry in the United States is not regulated. You might think that because it is on a shelf in a store that it must have passed through some testing process to make it safe for consumers. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We as consumers are responsible for checking labels, doing research about ingredients, and making decisions about what is best for us and our families. If you want to learn more about why I choose clean beauty products, check out this post.

I love clean, non-toxic beauty products because I know that I am not causing any harm to myself with what I use on a daily basis. I spent a lot of time researching and finding quality brands that are made with natural ingredients and that PERFORM well! Check out my clean beauty makeup tutorial video on Instagram today where I show you step by step how I use each product! Here on the blog, I am going to list out everything that I used to create this look. These are not all of the clean beauty brands that I use and trust, but some of them. Stay tuned for more to come!

Primer and SPF in one:

I love this sunscreen because it gives you protection from the sun with safe, non-toxic ingredients, PLUS it acts as a primer for your makeup! Be careful with conventional brands of sunscreen because they almost always have harmful ingredients. I would recommend any of Suntegrity’s products.

Foundation:

I love this foundation by Dermablend because it has amazing coverage and lasts all day! I need a full coverage foundation because I have some skin pigmentation and this totally disguises it. It scores a 2 on the EWG’s SkinDeep website which is a great score! The lower the better. EWG is a great resource for checking whether products are harmful or not. There’s even an app you can put on your phone for convenience. This foundation comes in a lot of great colors. I use Bisque when I’m more fair and Sienna when I have a tan! I also want to mention that I really like this Ilia True Skin Serum foundation as well! It’s nice and lightweight when you don’t want or need full coverage. It lays really nicely on the skin.

Concealer:

Unfortunately, I cannot link this concealer through an affiliate, so I don’t have a photo for you, but you can find the concealer here. It’s by Uniful Beauty. I love this concealer because it also has great coverage, goes on smoothly, and brightens my under-eye area a lot. I use the shade Fair in the winter and Light in the summer.

Setting Powder:

This setting powder by Jane Iredale is awesome! It doesn’t leave you looking dusty and it sits so nicely over top of any foundation I have used. Most conventional (mainstream) brands have aluminum in their powders. Heavy metals are very toxic and dangerous to our health. They can lead to chronic illness and even cancer. It is very wise to toss all of your products that contain aluminum or other metals, including deodorants and antiperspirants. This powder really sets your makeup so it doesn’t smudge off and leaves your skin looking nice and flawless!

Eyebrows:

This eyebrow pencil by BeautyCounter is really great! I love the colors it comes in. I use the shade Medium. It is nice and ashy! Most of our brows are on the ashier side, so it’s good to use a pencil that matches. I’ve used ones with red in them before and it just doesn’t look right! These are nice and neutral. I love that it has a brush attached! Brushing before filling in is a must!

Contour:

This contour kit is awesome. It has a really nice ashy tone for your contour. It’s important when contouring to use an ash brown because if you use a more reddish-orange bronzer, it doesn’t look natural. Contours are meant to create a shadow. Shadows are more grey than orange or red. So, this color works perfectly. I love the formula. It goes on smoothly and evenly. There is also a highlight color here to use on the tip of your nose, forehead, tops of the cheekbones, and cupid’s bow.

Blush:

This blush by Alima Pure is so pretty! I love the color Antique Rose. It’s nice and natural and works all season long. This blush is so pretty and sheer, not too heavy. It blends beautifully for a fresh faced, rosy glow!

Eyeshadow:

I am blown away by this eyeshadow palette by Aether Beauty! It is so beautiful! The colors are extremely pigmented, and man, do they perform! They last all day. There are both matte and shimmer shadows in this palette. It’s perfectly balanced. The shimmery shadows in the palette are more amazing than conventional ones I have tried! They really stand out! Don’t let the name of this palette fool you, it is perfect for year round use. I love that it has both neutral, everyday shadows, and some for a more dramatic evening look, too! You can even use some of these as a highlighter as well. I am so impressed with this product, and it’s been worth every cent! I love to put a little dab of this gold shimmer shadow in the center of my eyelid for an extra pop! It looks so pretty! You can find this palette at Sephora! They now carry a lot of clean beauty brands. Just look for the green seal!

Eyeliner:

I love to use liquid eyeliner on my upper eyelids. In my tutorial on IGtv today, I use this ZuZu eyeliner. It is less toxic than other conventional brands. It gets a rating of 3 on the EWG SkinDeep Website. So, it’s not the cleanest option, but it is what I have to use right now. I will probably be replacing it with either Mineral Fusion Liquid Eyeliner or W3ll People’s liquid liner. These are better options. For my lower eyelids I use a pencil. This Lily & Lolo eyeliner pencil is great! It’s very pigmented, goes on smoothly, and lasts all day.

Mascara:

This mascara by W3ll People is one of my favorites! The brush is so good. It really helps to separate your lashes and coat them for a longer, fuller look. This formula never cakes or crumbles. It has my seal of approval!

Highlighter:

One of my favorite clean beauty highlighters that I use over and over again is from Gia Minerals. It’s called Candlelight Glow. It shows up so beautifully! It also works better than conventional brands I’ve tried. You can find it here along with my entire collection that I made with Gia Minerals earlier in the year! It’s an awesome combination of products that are great for everyday use. I love to wear neutral tones with a bit of sparkle and shine. This collection has it all! I love this highlighter because it really gives you a beautiful, golden glow! The name says it all. You look like your best self in candlelight!

Lipstick:

I love this Siren Lipstick by Vapour! It is certified organic, goes on smoothly and wears really well. I have the color Naive and it’s a really nice brown, nude color. They have lots of really great colors to choose from. Great for everyday wear!

Alright, guys! That’s it! My entire clean beauty regimen broken down for ya. It is so important to remember that what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them. Be an informed consumer and know that you have to do your own ingredient checking! Hopefully the laws in the U.S. will change to ban many of the ingredients that are restricted in other countries. By choosing better products, we can shift the direction of the beauty industry. I always tell people to replace old products with new, cleaner ones. You’ll feel and look good from the inside out 🙂

Hanncure kit

I get the Hanncure kit that includes four facials! I also got the brand new Nano Emulsion!

Happy Wellness Wednesday, ya’ll!! I am not from the South, but I lived there for 2 years in college, so I think I have a small right to say “ya’ll”. Plus, it is a very blogger thing to say, so call me a follower! Anyway, I hope you’re having a great week! I am so busy! Between blogging, keeping up with my meal prepping, cooking dinners, going to PT, and my other doctor appointments, I’ve been working from the moment I wake up to when my head hits the pillow. My hubs has been, too! We are just go, go, go! I think we need another vacation already! Yikes. But, I’m so thankful to be feeling well enough right now to do anything at all! Grateful as can be 🙂

I wanted to share this at-home facial that I’ve been using for almost a year now and it is seriously the most amazing skincare product I’ve ever tried! It’s called Hannacure, “The All-In-One Facial”. It’s from a company in South Korea and has taken the beauty world by storm in the last year! You may have already heard of it, but if you haven’t tried it, trust me, it’s a must! I don’t make any commissions or money from this post, this is just a pure recommendation of a product I love that I want to share with you! (As I always say, you can rest assured I will not share products on here that I don’t actually use and love – not going to ever lead you astray for a small payout and it’s not worth my time either!)

Hanncure kit

This is what comes in the kit which is a better value than buying them individually.

So, the Hannacure mask works so differently than anything you have ever seen! There are two components to it. The Gelling Solution and the Lifting Serum. You first open the lip of the Gelling Solution just slightly in the corner, not the entire way. Then, you open the Lifting Serum, pour it into the Gelling Solution, and close the lid back up. You hold it down with your finger, and shake it gently back and forth for 30 seconds. Then, you take the brush they provide in each kit and apply the mask to your face, neck, and hands! What happens after is SHOCKING! HAHA! No joke.

The Gelling Solution and Lifting Serum mixed together and ready to put on!

So, once the mask is on your face for a few minutes, you will feel things start to tighten up. You can fan your face to accelerate this. As it tightens, your face will start to contort and look incredibly different than you could ever imagine, but don’t panic! It goes back to normal! It gets so tight that you can’t move your face or even talk! My nose even gets distorted! I love seeing my husband’s face when I have the mask on, haha! He always tries so hard not to be weirded out but I can definitely tell he is freaked out by it. I was too the first time I did it! Here is a picture of Drew Berrymore so you can get an idea! Haha!

Home Facial Celebs

The Hannacure facial mask promises to get you immediate, visible results. I can tell after one use that my skin is tighter, my pores are smaller, my fine lines and wrinkles are very softened, and my breakouts get so much better by the next day! I also feel like my jaw line looks tighter and my skin looks overall brighter. It is an anti-aging, clarifying, lifting, firming, brightening, contouring, pore-tightening, and skin tone evening mask! All of that in one mask! YES PLEASE!

I used these twice a week to start with because I was having breakouts that I couldn’t get under control. I had read reviews about how this helped so many people clear up their skin. Sure enough, my breakouts very quickly got under control, and then I could go to using the masks once a week to keep them this way. The other benefits of the mask are obvious, too! My skin looks plumper and more hydrated! It also helps my brown spots look less intense. Any sagging I see definitely improves, too. I’ve seen photos of people who have had under eye bags that now look so much better!

Home Facial Celebs

This is a before and after of a first time treatment! I never took a photo of mine, I’m shooting myself in the foot right now! But, I can attest, this is the real deal.

You leave the mask on for 30 minutes, and then you can moisturize. The kits used to come with samples of their Nano Emulsion Serum, which I was obsessed with! I was upset when I realized they didn’t sell it. BUT, recently, they finally launched this product and it’s for sale. It’s like the icing on top of the cake! I woke up the next morning with the softest, glowing, baby skin I have ever had! All of the celebrities and bloggers (myself included) swear by this stuff and I can see why! You MUST check out their Instagram testimonial page here. I mean, WHAAAT?! It’s so good right?! It’s $110 for a kit of 4 treatments, so it’s not cheap, but I can understand why. This stuff seriously works.

Home Facial Celebs

A photo of a before on the left and after on the right from their Instagram Testimonial page!

So, how does it work? The brand hasn’t divulged all of their secrets, obviously, but the ingredients give us a little hint. There are four different peptides and lots of botanical extracts in it. Peptides are known for firming the skin. Botanicals are great antioxidants, help with redness, brightening, and moisturizing among other things. It has green tea, honeysuckle, and their logo, the lotus flower in it. It was inspired by the Lotus Flower, which is a Korean symbol for rebirth and purity!

While the brand keeps their formula private, we do know it contains four different peptides (known for their skin firming abilities) and several botanical extracts including green tea, honeysuckle, and of course lotus leaf extract.

Here is how Town & Country explains it: “As it is applied, the carbon dioxide in the air fuses into the formula, which they’ve dubbed the “OctoLift” technology. The reaction causes the mask to solidify onto skin, creating an intense tightening effect, which theoretically pulls grime and toxins out of pores.”

What’s even more exciting is that this a clean beauty option! It is free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. It is also not tested on animals and is hypoallergenic! Winning!

So, my final thoughts? It’s worth it! My breakouts are under control completely when I use this once a week. My skin is plumper, more moisturized, my under eyes look better, and my jaw line is firmer, which is an area that drives me crazy. It makes my skin feel fresh, not dry and flaky as it usually feels. I definitely notice it is brighter, too! Now, I’m just waiting for them to come out with a full body mask! LOL!

Have you tried Hannacure? What are your thoughts on it? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below!

References: Zollo, M. (2018, November 12). Hanacure: The Creepy Korean Facial Taking Over The Beauty World. Retrieved from https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/beauty-products/a12199303/hanacure-korean-all-in-one-face-mask-review/ .

5 Easy Clean Beauty and Self Skin Care Swaps

So, I am a bit behind and I didn’t get this published yesterday for Wellness Wednesday! Sorry guys! But, it’s really a just a day, so I’m sure none of you are livid about it, haha! 🙂

I wanted to share a couple of clean beauty/self care easy swaps you can start with to lessen the toxic load in your life! It can be a bit overwhelming to look at ALL of the products you use on the daily and think about having to replace everything at once. Instead, just start to switch over to better beauty as you run out of things! Here are 5 of my favorites that I use everyday and love a lot!

Schmidt’s Deodorant – I get a lot of questions about what my favorite natural deodorant is and this is hands down the best I have tried! And I’ve tried A LOT! It smells the best in my opinion, and it helps keep me drier than any other I have tried. I wouldn’t say that it keeps you completely dry in really hot temperatures, but our bodies are meant to sweat -that is how we detox things that don’t belong in our body. Most deodorants are full of nasty chemicals that add more toxins into our systems, and don’t allow us to sweat any toxins out. Most have aluminum in them to achieve this, and we all know by now that heavy metals in our bodies are a really bad thing and we have to eliminate these products we use that contain them. They can really do a number on your endocrine system which includes your thyroid, and trust me, you don’t want to mess with your thyroid. It is involved in so many of your bodily functions, including your metabolism and energy levels. Metals also feed pathogens in your body that make and keep you sick, so we gotta toss that conventional deodorant OUT, friends! (check your facial powders, too!)

Everyone For Every Body Lotion – I love this lotion! It smells delicious and is so moisturizing! It is scented with essential oils and uses natural moisturizers like coconut, sesame, and aloe oils. A lot of our lotions have fragrance in them, and fragrance is made with toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies, too! Sticking to lotions and scents made with essential oils is MUCH healthier!

Himalaya Botanique Tooth Paste – Natural tooth paste can be a tough one to get used to! I really like this brand, though. It tastes good and I still get the fresh clean feeling that I am used to with conventional brands. It doesn’t have the nasty chemicals that popular brands do. It is SLS, Gluten, Carrageenan, and Fluoride Free! You might think that fluoride is a good thing for you teeth, and that was long believed to be true. But, studies have found that continuous use of small amounts of fluoride over time can be hazardous to our bone, brain, thyroid health, and more. SLS is also known to cause a lot of skin irritations. If you are experiencing skin problems, I would highly recommend checking all of your products for SLS and replacing them with things that do not contain it. Carrageenan has also shown to be cancerous in studies, so that’s another one that you should be on the lookout for.

Jason Bodywash – I’ve been using this bodywash for years and I love all of the different scents it comes in! It is free from parabens, harsh sulfates, petrolatum, and phthalates! All things you do not need nor want in your soap! They are toxic and can cause skin irritation, too. I love that this comes in a big pump and lasts forever! It’s a great deal!

Alba Botanitcals 3-in-1 Cleansing Towlettes – These are a staple in my routine! I use them to wipe off all of my makeup before using my cleanser. They don’t have any texture to them, so they’re good for removing makeup on the eyes, too. They don’t have any synthetic fragrance, parabens, or pthalates. They are made with natural ingredients that cut through the makeup and really clean your skin off. They are great for sensitive skin!

I hope this helps you get started in cleaning up your self care routine! Let me know if you have any questions! I’d love to hear what some of your favorite better beauty brands and products are in the comments below! Have a great day! 🙂

Happy Wellness Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re having a great week! I’m so happy because the sun is shining and that makes life so much better, doesn’t it?! Spring is officially here!

I wanted to share some of my new clean beauty skincare finds with you guys! With the sun being out more, I have to take extra care of my skin. I always use sunscreen, but I need more help because of my fair skin and Irish freckles! I tend to get a blur of freckles on my face now that I’m older and it’s not as cute as it used to be! LOL. So, I use a retinol cream to help to achieve a more even skin tone. Retinol is also known to help with skin firmness, improving acne and scarring, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles (helps prevent them, too!). It also helps smooth the skin’s surface and resurface new skin! My esthetician swears by it and she looks so fabulous! I mean, we are talking decades younger than she is! So, I trust her advice completely.

I wanted to find a non-toxic retinol cream and was so excited when I found this one by Drunk Elephant at Sephora! Sephora carries a lot of great clean beauty brands now! (YAY!) The reviews were awesome, so I gave it a shot, and it definitely does the trick! But, I made the mistake of using too much too soon. So, when you start a retinol cream, you want to start very slowly. Use a little bit mixed with a moisturizer every two – three days before bed at first. See how your skin reacts. If it gets too dry and flakey, definitely back off and slow down a bit. Then as your skin gets used to it, you can increase the amount of days a week that you use it.

I found this Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face oil that was highly recommended to combine with the retinol cream. It is full of antioxidants, omegas 6 and 9, and helps to balance your skin. I love the glow it gives me! You only need a little bit. It goes a long way. It’s great on it’s own or paired with the retinol.

Another product by Drunk Elephant that I’m loving is their D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum. It’s a bronzing serum that gives your face and body the perfect amount of glow! If I don’t have time for self-tanning or spray tanning and I need a bit of color, I always use this on my face and chest. It’s great for putting on your shoulders and collar bone even when you do have color to give them a pretty highlight. This serum gives you a a nice golden tone, and then you can use your darker foundation that you would use when you have a tan on top of it without looking weird. You could even mix a little of this with your moisturizer for an even more subtle glow!

I also wanted to share this cleaner option for nail polish. I was devastated when I learned about how many awful chemicals are in nail polish, the acrylic and gel nails that we all have had, and even the nail polish removers! They can really mess up your endocrine system, which is something you do not want to do! Google this, I’m serious, I wouldn’t steer you away from your favorite relaxing manicures for no good reason. So, I looked for nail polishes without these harmful ingredients like
toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate). Zoya is a good option for this! It doesn’t contain any of these. I take it to my nail salon and politely ask for them to use this and the base and top coat that I bring as well. They are really nice about it, so don’t be afraid to just ask! Zoya has a million different colors and it’s on Amazon Prime! Score!

I’ve linked all of these things again here below, be sure to check them out! 🙂

toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) from its formulations,

Hope you all have a lovely rest of your week! I would love to hear from you about your favorite clean beauty products, too! Drop a comment if you have some to share <3

Hey, guys! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post! We just got back from Cartagena, Colombia and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida a week ago. It was an amazing trip! I’m so excited to start sharing some photos with you and make a travel guide, too.

Being in Cartagena was like stepping into another world in a different century! It was so beautiful. They are so creative with their interior decorating. Everywhere you looked was an Instagramable! The people were so beautiful and kind, the food was DELICIOUS, the energetic vibe was contagious, and we just had an incredible time! My cousin also married an amazing woman while we were there and we got to attend their fabulous wedding! It was a trip we will never forget 🙂

All that sun and sand made me think about how important it is to protect yourself from harmful UV rays! So, for this week’s Wellness Wednesday, I thought I would share one of my favorite non-toxic products that is super effective AND a time-saver, too! It’s the Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer by Suntegrity.

This moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup primer all in one is pretty awesome! I love how it deeply moisturizes my skin. It creates such a nice base for your makeup. My skin feels so smooth and soft, and makeup just glides right on on top of it. I hate having to use multiple layers of products. Sometimes it gets cake-y and then makeup will crumble on top of the layers. This is everything in one, so it’s quick and easy! It has SPF30 in it, which is a great strength for your face. I notice that SPF20 doesn’t protect me enough. My freckles come back when I use a strength that’s lower than 30. It does have a white color to it, but you just have to rub it in well and that goes away. It’s also full of anti-oxidants and amino acids which enhance your skin, too!

Suntegrity is an awesome company that was developed in honor the loss of the founder’s mother to melanoma skin cancer. Since then, Suntegrity has received the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG)
Champion Status for Safe Cosmetics! You know you are using a safe and quality, non-toxic product when it’s EWG approved!

I can’t share about my favorite sun essentials without including a self-tanner! I’ve currently been using NKD Gradual Glow Self Tanner and Moisturizer. I love it! Of course, it’s also naturally derived and non-toxic! It has no alcohol, perfumes, or parabens like so many self-tanners do. I love the gradual glow because you can apply it daily as your moisturizer and control the level of tan that you want to be.

I always use a tanning mitt when applying self-tanner to ensure that it goes on evenly and streak-free! A little tip – avoid your knees, elbows, feet and hands until after you’ve rubbed the majority of the product onto other areas. Then, use what small bit is left on the mitt to go over those areas. This will help keep them from absorbing too much product and looking too dark or splotchy. I use this tanner on my face as well and it looks natural and never orange-y!

Suntregrity and NKD have some other great products that I am linking below, as well as this cute leopard one-piece that was my favorite on my trip! You can’t go to the beach without a great pair of sunglasses (I’m obsessed with these Ray Ban’s!) and a cute bag, so I’ve added those, too! What are your favorite vacation essentials?

Gia Minerals Clean Beauty Mantra

Happy Wednesday, babes! I am so excited to finally be sharing about Gia Minerals with you! I’ve had this collaboration in the wings for a bit now, and it feels so good to be shouting out about this fabulous clean beauty brand!

So, first I want to take a minute to talk to you about collaborations. As a blogger, you get a lot of messages sent your way from different brands wanting you to promote their products. I can tell you with 100% honesty that I do not accept most of them. Sure, it’d be great to have a bunch of free stuff, but if it is not something that I would actually use in my day to day life, or something that I think would be useful or helpful to my readers and followers, I promise you I do not accept it. I would never want to lead anyone astray or cause harm in any way. I also do not want to waste your time or mine! So, please know that if I ever post about a particular brand or product, it is something that I myself love, use, and am really excited about!

That being, said, I actually stumbled upon Gia Minerals myself! I subscribe to a monthly clean beauty box. In that box they send you samples of different non toxic products like makeup, skincare, and sometimes supplements. In one of my last few boxes, I received a Gia Minerals Luminizer called “Candlelight”. As you might know, finding clean beauty products that look and perform like the chemical laden ones can be a difficult task. But, when I tried on this highlighting luminizer, I was FLOORED! It is seriously better than any conventional beauty brand I have ever tried! It has the perfect golden glow to it without being full of pieces of glitter that get all over your face! It has some serious glow to it, I can see why they named it “Candlelight”! If you watch my Instagram stories, you probably saw me freaking out over it when I first tried it out, I tagged Gia Minerals in that story, and then to my delight they messaged me and asked if I would like to be a part of their “Embrace Your Mantra” beauty campaign! Ummmm…. how do I say yes a million times?! I love this campaign because it is all about empowering women to see the unique beauty within themselves! It’s about embracing every part of yourself and loving it. Here’s a bit of what the founder of Gia Minerals says about the campaign herself…

“I want to help women to move forward in A BEAUTY REVOLUTION to Embrace their Mantra. I want them to use the power of clean cosmetics / skin care like Gia Minerals to express what they have embraced and maintain a balance of good thoughts. I want every woman to be in love with who they are and all their attributes…

The campaign A BEAUTY REVOLUTION – Embrace Your Beauty will define the link between self-confidence and how makeup / skin care can be used as a tool to distinguish ourselves and each other because flaws are beautiful and heck yes it’s about time we celebrate them. I want women to start using strong statements looking in the mirror and truly loving what they see… appreciating what they see.”

How awesome is that?! I love being a part of anything that empowers women and helps them see the beauty within them! So, I got to choose some products that capture the look of my own personal beauty mantra! My mantra is: I AM RESILIENT. If you have read my blog before, you know that I’ve had a long road with chronic illness. I’ve been to some pretty dark places physically and emotionally. Yet, every time I’ve been able to dig deep within myself and find the strength to pull myself up and make a comeback! It’s made me so much stronger and shown me how much courage I truly do possess. Life throws us some pretty wicked obstacles. We can either choose to let them make us bitter or make us better. I choose better every time. I hope you do, too!

Clean Beauty Mantra

After receiving the new products and trying them out, I am still so impressed with this company! The pigments are amazing and they lasted all day! They have so many shadow colors, blushes, lipsticks, highlighters, and more to choose from. I was also especially pleased with their mascara! The mascara lengthens and thickens and looks amazing. It’s also so easy to remove. The lipstick is super creamy! I love that there are different kinds of eyeshadows to choose from. I chose a really glittery one for fun nights out and one that’s a little less sparkly for a more casual look, too.

Clean Beauty

Along with choosing the products, I was asked to answer some questions about myself and my beauty mantra.

  1. Tell us who you are? My name is Kelly Bonner-Bibza.  I am a lifestyle blogger who loves fashion, clean beauty, clean eating, and travel!  I am a wife, a fur mom, and woman on a mission to find complete wellness.  I have had chronic Lyme disease, autoimmune disease, and other chronic illnesses for several years, and have found help and healing through holistic methods.  I have been down some dark roads with my health, but I’ve always dug deep to find the strength within myself to come back even stronger. It is my goal to share my story with other women to help empower them to take their health into their own hands and turn it around. 
  2. What is your beauty mantra? I AM RESILIENT 
  3. What do you hope your look communicates to the world? I hope that my look conveys strength, courage, and the will to keep fighting through difficulties in life.  I want it to communicate that women are capable of handling life’s obstacles and instead of them bringing you down, they can make you better and more beautiful!
  4. What is your favorite fantastic face feature? My favorite facial feature is my eyes.  I love that they are a mysterious color and that so much depth lies behind them!  I like to use different shadows to bring out the various colors within them.  
  5. What Gia Minerals clean beauty products were used to enhance your favorite features? I used Sparkle Sizzling Bronze on my eyelids and Sunlit Brown Shadow blended into the crease and smudged under the lower lashline.  I also used the Natural Lash Mascara, which is amazing to bring length and volume to my lashes.  I used Stunning Blush on my cheeks and Candlelight Luminizer on my cheek bones to give my face some serious glow!  And finally, I am wearing Naked Kiss Lipstick for a beautiful nude, natural lip.
  6. What is your favorite thing about yourself? My favorite thing about myself is my ability to empathize with others.  Although my illness have been hard to live with, it has given me a deep compassion for others.
  7. What is your favorite beauty trick? My favorite beauty trick is to run the mascara wand through my upper lashes on the top side of the lashes and brush them backwards towards my face.  This helps them to look darker and fuller, while curling them up at the same time!
  8. What advice do you give women to purify negative thoughts about their flaws and embrace their uniqueness? I advise women to look inside themselves and see the beauty that lies within.  It isn’t their body that makes them beautiful, it’s their heart and soul.  A warm and kind heart could never be ugly.  Beyond that, we are all so unique.  There is only one of each of us in this world.  So, I like to spend my time being the best version of myself because no one else can be that.  When you look at other women and see how uniquely beautiful they are, remember that someone else is looking at you and thinking the same thing.  <3

Clean Beauty Products

You can find my beauty mantra products on the Gia Minerals website here. Be sure to check out all of their beautiful products. They also have skincare which I’m dying to use next! You can use code KELLY15 to get 15% off of your order! While you are stocking up on some better beauty, try creating your own beauty mantra and instilling some positive thoughts about how uniquely gorgeous you are! 🙂

Clean Beauty

Several years ago when I was learning all about the right kinds of foods to eat to help decrease inflammation in the body and heal from disease, I started to pick up on the fact that not only do we need to be conscious of the food we put into our body, but also the products that we put ON our bodies, and the products that we use inside and outside of our homes.  Just like chemicals and additives in foods that are bad for our systems, products that contain chemicals are, too!  Remember that our skin is penetrable.  Although it acts as a shield it is also sponge-like and absorbs things that we put on it.  Think about it, we use things like birth control and vitamin patches that are placed on our skin.  Those alter our hormones and body chemistry, so wouldn’t the beauty products we use do the same?

I think so much of the time we tend to believe that our government agencies have our best interests in mind.  Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.  The FDA has no authority to regulate the chemicals that are found in the cosmetics that go onto the market in the United States.  They do not require testing for safety, nor can they recall a product once it is on the market.  There are only 11 banned chemicals in cosmetics in the United States, compared to The European Union’s 1,100! The legislation on cosmetics has not been revised since it was first included in 1938 because of a woman who was blinded by rat poisoning found in her mascara.  So, the companies that make cosmetics get to decide what goes in them.  They often use misleading words like “natural” or “organically made” when in fact there may only be 1 natural or organic ingredient in the entire product, leaving a lot of room for toxic chemicals.  We as consumers must be educated and aware of this, and know how to read labels to look for ingredients that are harmful to our health.  When we use several of these toxic products (even in small amounts) everyday, the toxins begin to build up in our bodies.  Our livers don’t filter them out like we might expect.  The Environmental Working Group did several studies on this which found these chemicals in umbilical cords, babies, teenagers, and adults.  So they’re even being passed on to our unborn children!

According to the Environmental Working Group’s studies, 34% of our country’s cosmetics contain carcinogenic chemicals, 25% contain reproductive or developmental toxicity, and 60% contain synthetic hormones that act like estrogen!  These toxic chemicals can seriously alter our health by damaging our immune systems and disrupting our endocrine systems.  They can alter our hormone levels, cause early onset of puberty, mental health issues, degenerative brain disease, weight gain, sensory impairment, immune dysfunction, testicular dysfunction, and more.  These toxic chemicals get into our systems and are food for pathogens such as infections, cancer, and parasites which make us sick and keep us sick.

So, what should you look out for?  Here is a list of the top 20 worst offenders from Dr. Trevor Cates, who is a renowned skin care expert.  You can read more about how each of these ingredients are specifically harmful here at Naturalnews.com.

  1. Fragrances/Parfum
  2. Formaldehyde
  3. Ethanolamines
  4. Mineral Oils
  5. Oxybenzone
  6. Parabens
  7. Hydroquinone
  8. Coal Tar
  9. Toluene
  10. Butylated hyrdoxyanisole
  11. Triclosan and triclocarban
  12. Mica, silica, talc, and nonoparticled titanium dioxide
  13. Heavy Metals
  14. Carbon Black
  15. P-phenylenediamine
  16. Resorcinol
  17. Methylisothiazolinone
  18. Teflon
  19. Phenoxyethanol
  20. Acrylamide

Now, since we probably aren’t going to have all of these complicated names memorized when we go to the store or are shopping online, I like to use the apps Think Dirty and Skin Deep.  Both of these apps have large databases of thousands of different cosmetics and home products that we use on an every day basis.  They give you ratings of how bad the product is and tell you which chemicals are the most harmful in that particular product!  They take the work out of it for you, so all you have to do is simply type the item in or scan the barcode and you have instant access to crucial health information about it!  Pretty awesome!  You can also go to their websites on your computer and type it in there if you are not an avid app user.  I’ve found these apps to be very helpful.

Some of my favorite places to shop for clean beauty products are Whole Foods, The Detox Market, The Organic Pharmacy, Goop Clean Beauty Shop, Credo Beauty and The Organic Bunny Shop.   There are many more out there, these are just a few of the places I frequent.

I can’t finish this post without giving you a few of my favorite non-toxic beauty product recommendations!  The first is my favorite finishing matte powder by Jane Iredale.  This was one of the first non-toxic beauty products I tried, and was happy to find that this powder is just as good as the ones I was previously using that were full of aluminum!  (YIKES!  So bad for you! Watch out for your deodorants and any other powder-like cosmetics you use, they will most likely contain this.)  I was also wanting to find a great contouring shade because contouring is like, the most important step in the entire makeup routine, right?!  I searched around and was having trouble at first because everything was too bronzey.  This contour and highlight kit from Lily Lolo has the perfect shade for creating those shadows you want.  It’s an ashey, grey-brown instead of an orange-brown, which is exactly what you want when contouring.  This blush by Bella Pierre Cosmetics is great, too!  It has a really nice pigment to it, and it lasts all day.  My current favorite lipstick is by Burt’s Bees!  I’m in love with this nude color.  It’s so natural and pretty, and goes on so smoothly.  My favorite mascara, and trust me on this, I am a lashes freak, I’ve tried them all, is hands down W3ll People’s Expressionist Mascara!  You won’t find a better natural mascara that gives you fuller, longer, spider leg lashes like this one does!  I’ve also linked some of my other favorites that I use on the regular.

Have you made the switch to clean beauty products?  If so, what are some of your favorites and which brands do you love?  I’d be so happy to hear from you!  I hope this gave you some helpful insights into making the switch!

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