Sunday, April 5, 2009

Swatches of the new SandCastle Kit

I got my Sandcastle kit by Everyday Minerals yesterday and some other sample colors and two free lippies in good colors. YAY!

Here you can see a pic of the four colors in the left corner and the lippies in Coffee Shop and Spring Berries along with the free eyeshadow brush that comes with the kit:
Free lipglosses and sand castle kit

Here are the swatches for the four colors. In order from left to right: Freckles, Board Walk, Funnel Cake and Drift Wood.
Freckles, Boardwalk, Funnel Cake & Driftwood

Here are the other colors that I received in order from left to right: Movie Night, Autumn Afternoon, Cliche, Spring Clean and Bouqet:
Movie Night, Autumn Afternoon, Cliche, Spring Clean & Bouquet

I absolutely LOVE Movie Night and Autumn Afternoon and Bouquet as a blush. I want a large Bouquet now and a mini Autumn Afternoon and Movie Night.

In case you are wondering how these colors compare to others. Cypress is at the top, Freckles is at the bottom. Cypress is more sparkle and less overall color, freckles is a very deep army green.
Cypress & Freckles 3

Autumn Afternoon (left) compared to Funnel Cake (right):
Autumn Afternoon & Funnel Cake swatch

Samba Lessons (right) compared to Boardwalk (left):
Samba Lessons and Boardwalk

Boardwalk is a more black brown with gold sparkle. Samba Lessons is a brown with silver sparkle.

The link to the thread is located here. This blog likes to cut off my pics.

My journey to natural skin care

I have always had really oily and acne prone skin and while it has kept me looking younger as I approach 30, it had been a hassle to deal with since I was 13. I really can't remember a day where my skin hasn't been a stress to me. Looking in the mirror first thing in the morning to see what new has popped up has been a daily ritual for about 17 years now...way too long if you ask me. About 7 years ago I went on Proactiv and can't say enough about it. It worked great for me for about 5 years and while I still had some acne, it was nothing like I had before I started using it. Then about 2 years ago I noticed it stopped really working for me, I was getting large cystic acne over and over and over again. So I started looking again and got the ever familiar feeling of buying tons of products to find out what works for me, only to be disappointed by each one. I decided since ProActiv was based off of Benzoyle Peroxide (BP), I would get something with Sacyilic Acid (SA) since my skin seemed to be used to the BP. I tried the Nuetrogena Acne Stress Control line and it worked ok, I don't think it had enough SA in it. I used that for about 8 months before I found Natures Gate Natural Results Acne System. This has worked really well for me, but can dry my skin out and is a bit expensive. It lasts about 3 months and is $30 plus tax a pop or if you order online $30 + shipping. Still cheaper then ProActiv and worked better for me, but I really want something more natural for my skin.

Now I have noticed over the last year my skin has started to dry out and the fine lines and wrinkles are popping up, mostly under my eyes but still scary. So I don't think I need such harsh products anymore but sm terrified to use something that doesn't control acne. I don't think it will matter how old I am, because of my struggles with acne I will always be worried about what I will wake up to. So lots of reading on the Everyday Minerals forum have convinced me that I can have nice skin with natural products, I only hope it is true. So here is where my travels have taken me, step by step:

1. It was recommended to me to try the GOW Tea Tree Oil cleanser. I bought the smaller size to try it out and am I glad that I did. It dries my face out so badly but so far no new acne since using it. I am going to use this up but am on the lookout for a better cleanser that won't strip my face. See item #4 below.

2. The GOW Pineapple Hydrating Mist was recommended as a toner and I totally love this stuff. It smells delicious and doesn't dehydrate my skin. The pineapple is supposed to help with acne.

3. A mixture of Aloe, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil and Tea Tree Oil (TTO) was recommended for a moisturizer and so far I am having little luck with this mix. It is drying me out badly so I need to add more oil and less TTO next time around. What was recommended was 1/2 oz Aloe, 8 drops of Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E oil and TTO into the mix, use after washing your face. What I have been doing since my face is so dry afterwards is wetting my face down and applying two drops of jojoba oil in and then wetting my hands again and going over my face to make sure it sinks in. This has been decent but my face tends to dry out after while.

4. Because I don't like how dry my face has been lately I went out and got some Alba Botanica products yesterday. I had $6 off at CVS (thank you Extra Care card!) and so I went and purchased the Alba Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser, the Hibiscus Toner and the Coconut Face Wash just to try them out and see how my skin likes them. I tried the Coconut Milk facewash as a makeup remover last night and followed it with the TTO face wash and the regular routine and my skin was dry. So this morning I tried the Coconut Milk facewash, followed by the GOW Pineapple Hydrating mist and my skin was so nice! I decided to try the TTO/Aloe mix and instanlty my face dried out, so I have the culprit for sure.

I have read that acne is caused by your PH balance being off, so I am wondering if I should start cleansing with the Coconut Milk cleanser in the morning and follow it with the Pineapple Hydrating mist and then spot treat with the TTO blemish stick that I have. This will cut out the dryness but I just hope I don't break out like crazy! I will keep you all posted on my results as I continue on my journey. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Every link you need to have for Everyday Minerals

Here is every link that you will need for Everyday minerals:

The Website:

Swatch and product pictures so you can figure out what you want to try:
Product Pics
Skin Swatches
The password for both of these is minerals
Forum Swatches

Everyday Minerals will run specials a couple of times a month. When you place orders over a certain amount of money you will get products free or sometimes a percentage of money off.
Specials Page

They have a wonderful forum where you can learn about the makeup, post for help if you need to find your foundation color or if you want to learn about all natural skin care. Very informative forum here.

They also have a cool blog here.

That about sums it up as far as the highlights of the site goes. Look at everything and just try to decide what you want...I bet you order way more then you intended too! :)

Apple Cider Vinegar...doesn't taste that bad really!

After hearing raves and reviews and reading up on Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) I decided to get some from Whole Foods. Here is a good website on the wonders of ACV:
If you click on all the different sections on the left hand side of the page, you can read up on how ACV can be used.

On Monday I started taking it 3 times a day, a tsp each time so it equals a TBSP. I personally cannot drink this in a cup of water like this website recommends without gagging, but putting some water in my mouth and then putting a tsp of ACV and swallowing follwed up by a water chaser gets it down fast and with little stinging. The taste has grown on me though and now I don't even need to plug my nose while taking it.

If you do want to try it in a cup of water, you can throw in some honey but since that isn't really vegan I threw in some Agave Nectar to sweeten it up. It was rough for me to get down but I think ater a few more weeks I will be totally used to the taste and be able to do this.

So why am I doing this? First I want to do a natural and very light detox. Second, I suffer from IBS and while I have that under control with proper diet and exercise and stress relief techniques, I find my digestion still isn't up to par and I have often wondered if I suffered from Candida. Taking ACV will help to remove the bad bacteria from your intestines which causes Candida and I plan on replacing the bad with probiotics to increase the good bacteria in my intestines and stomach. So for this week I am strictly taking the ACV and then next week I will start taking probiotics during the day to help increase the good bacteria in my system.

So what have I noticed so far while taking the ACV? Quite a few things:
1. I am always warm where as I used to be cold all of the time. I don't think I like this but I think the ACV is speeding up my metabolism and maybe my circulation? Not sure.
2. I go to the bathroom a lot more frequently and I am not talking about #1. Twice a day seems to be the norm since I started this.
3. My digestion is so much better! My food properly digests, I have way less gas then I used to have and I feel hungry as opposed to the typical way I used to feel: possibly hungry or is that an upset stomach?
4. I have a little more energy despite my insomnia issues. I am not sleeping the best yet I feel better during the day.

That is it so far and it has only been 4 whole days. I am very excited to see what ACV has in store for me down the road.

And I also got my fiance hooked on it as well. He hates the taste but wants more regularity in his life. So far so good for him!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Little Monsters

Ok, cats absolutely amaze me. They all have unique personalities and are so different! They are so funny and so strange and they make my life so much richer. I wanted to post some pics of my little monsters that I love and adore.

First off I have to give a little spot to my first boy Tigger. He is my little son who passed away last June. He actually passed away the day before my birthday and it was the worst birthday of my life. He passed away from cancer, it was the hardest thing I have had to go through in a long time. It started one morning where he couldn't stand. He was stumbling around the bathroom. I rushed him to the vet. they gave him fluids because he was dehydrated and I brought him back home thinking all would be ok. He spent the day throwing up and hiding behind my couch. I ended up rushing him to an emergency vet over night where he ended up spending the last week of his life. After numerous tests and mess ups he finally had to be put down on June 12, 2008.

He lived a long and healthy life. I got him when he was about 1. My neighbors next door were getting rid of him and asked me if I would take him. I got him when my parents were getting divorced so I was incredibly happy to get a little friend at my Dad's apartment. I went and got him without even knowing what he looked like and since that day we were best friends. he was my shadow, my little mischevious Tiger. We had the best 13 years together and I will never forget him!I love you so much and miss you so much Tigger:

Tigger in the box

Next is the hairy beast that doesn't believe she is a cat a.k.a. Panza! Panza is a beautiful long haired Tuxedo patterned cat. She is 10 years old, is totally convinced she is a princess that requires plenty of pampering, but she is also a total schizo. Since I moved in with Steve she has improved tremendously!

Panza Bear

here is the newest addition to our family, little Gizmo!

Gizmo 2

She is going to be 2 in July and she is the sweetest kitty with a feisty streak. I think it is the orange in her that causes the fiest since Tigger was orange and had such feist in him! Gizmo does have her own 4 story play toy, she requires one if we don't want to come home to broken items around the house. She runs laps around the couch and house. She is totally crazy but such a sweetie at the same time. She will grow up to be the lap cat I always wanted.

Those are the little monsters of my house. :)

Oh the wonders of Jojoba oil!

Ever since August of 2008, my skin has been funky. Incredibly dry, allergic reactions to products I could use before August and dermatitis over and over again. My arms, my neck and my legs will break out into angry red rashes if I use certain products, but what is really strange is my back, stomach and chest area will not, as well as my face. I just don't get it. I have been to the dermatologist at least 4 times and I went through patch testing and came out of that with an allergy to certain fragrance mixes and something they use at construction sites and also with dermatitis and possibly eczema. Strange. Anyway, since then I have been struggling to find products that work for my body. I find I can't really scrub my skin anymore so I had to toss my shower scrubbers. Then out went most of my lotions and even my sunscreens were causing allergic reactions!

So my challenge was to get off of the expensive $50 pre-mixed lotion that my dermatologist was making me use. It had cortizone mixed in with a heavy cream and works wonders, but $50 is extreme. On a trip to Michigan to visit my family in December, my mom had Aveeno Daily Moisturiszer. I decided to give it a whirl and didn't break out! YAY! Right after that trip I went to Sams Club and bought 10lbs of it. But it isn't vegan so I had more research to do.

A few months and after some more research and listening to some ladies on the Everyday Minerals forum I decided to try jojoba oil. I mix it in with my Aveeno right now to use it up, but eventually want to switch to purely jojoba oil for my moisturizer. What I do right now is pump the lotion into my hand about 7 times, mix about 10-15 drops of jojoba oil into it and use it all over my body. My skin feels so nice and soft now and I haven't had an allergic reaction to it.

I recomment this oil because it is vegan and organic:

Now you can also use this on your face. I put two drops in with my face moisturizer and use it that way. But I have recently started switching to an all natural face routine which I will save for another post and after I wash my face, tone it and put on the moisturizer mix (which has jojoba oil in it) if my face is still dry I wet my hands, put two drops on my finger tips and rub it into my face. Then I wet my hands again and rub them over my face and neck to get the oil to absorb. I recommend always applying jojoba oil with water or a moist face so the oil is absorbed. If you do not your face will be all slick and the oil will not absorb properly. Shiny face isn't really attractive no matter what anyone tells you!

Here are other uses for jojoba oil that I found interesting:

I will definitely be trying it as a eye make up remover, a cuticle moisturizer and a lip conditioner. My lips are so darn dry but that is a whole other post in itself!

Oh and one last thing, I have acne prone dry skin. Jojoba oil doesn't make me break out but can cause break outs initally. If you experience breakouts while using it, I strongly suggest you take a look at how you are applying it. Water is key to making it absorb properly.