I will full admit that until recently, I have pretty much ignored the whole “toxic ingredients” chatter surrounding the beauty and personal care industry. I sometimes felt it was a bunch of scare tactics and honestly, didn’t have time to fret about what was in my deodorant. But recently the wife of a friend/vendor I adore chatted with me about her work with Ava Anderson and really opened my eyes about changes we can all make to create a safer environment for ourselves. I had no idea that Europe bans 1,371 chemicals from their personal care products and the US bans only 11!!! I know a lot of you are interested and focused on this too (having seen your comments on my Instagram about my Vaseline lip balm and such! so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you about this topic and what I’m doing to try to improve my health in this way.
In reality, I’m not going to get rid of every beauty product I own (long live Clea de Peau and my belief in moderation), but I have been making smarter choices and swapping out what I easily can for safer items- most notably my deodorant, body wash, body lotion, home cleaning supplies and face moisturizers. What I find interesting about Ava Anderson is that they are incredibly vocal about being more focused on educating the public about toxins than selling the product, in fact the owners of the company don’t even take a salary and instead to roll all the money back into the company and product development and education. Not to mention the company’s namesake and founder, Ava, started this company when she was just 14 (read more about it here, so interesting) !!! I love young, women owned businesses like this!
The temps have finally dropped around here and the heat has come on– which means dry winter skin and hair. But it also means holiday season, which is when you want to look your best. So Nordstrom asked me to select my winter and holiday beauty favorites from their huge selection of brands and I had so much fun curating this grouping for you. Because not all your summer products will work in the winter if you live in a place that has dramatic seasonal changes, it’s great to have an arsenal of seasonal favorites- so if you have one- comment!
I wish I could say in summer all I need to look presentable is a swipe of lip gloss and coat of mascara, but I turn 35 in a month and it takes A LOT more than a couple products nowadays. I try to keep it as simple as I can, but when it comes to skincare, makeup and hair I have a bit of an arsenal, as they say.
Here’s a round-up of all the products I use right now and LOVE. I hate it when I buy a fun new product and get home and decide it sucks and have to skulk back to Sephora to return it (why does that make me feel like a criminal every time I do it?) This is my core arsenal that works well for me (but if you have a favorite you are obsessed with PLEASE share! I love finding out people’s favorites!
Lately I’ve found myself less than successful when finding time to do a little shopping on weekends- maybe it’s because I’ve been shopping under pressure-frazzled and under the gun to find something for a specific event coming up. So when I went out this weekend with no agenda, I found a few AWESOME things that I see becoming staples in my life and had to share….
1) I’ve been loving the look of boyfriend jeans in images I’ve seen on Pinterest and on other style bloggers, but on me I’ve yet to find a pair I like. The thing is, I find the giant, baggy cut unflattering in real life. Enter the Madewell Skinny Boyfriend Jeans- I tried them on this weekend and snapped them up. The trick here though is, they run big. Really big. I went down two sizes in them (I’m typically a 27 in Citizens/Rag & Bone and I got a 25 in these). They are a little more fitted then I wanted at first but after a day of wear they have loosened into the perfect slouchy but flattering fit- cuffed I wore them with heels on Saturday night and with Converseon Sunday and loved them both ways! They are great!
2) As I get older I am more in more in need of concealer with insanely good coverage. I picked up Laura Mercier’s new Full Coverage Concealer and HOLY HELL this stuff is the Kevlar vest of concealers. Nothing is coming through this stuff- sunspots, dark circles- it’s crazy! You only need a TINY dab (which is why it comes out so slow) and it seriously covers better than anything on the market. I’m serious about my concealer, so trust me on this one.
3) As a busy gal who works with her hands a lot I am not the manicure type unless it’s a special event (and even then I rarely have time). I just like having clean, simple nails. I’ve heard good things about the new Dior Nail Glow- a super-shiny pink tinted nail polish that dries fast to a super-shiny finish- so I bought some and LOVE it. It makes the pinks of your nails look pinker and the whites whiter. One coat is super-duper subtle, two a little more pink and my nails feels crazy strong (true to life examples of the color in use here) ! I will be using this ALL THE TIME.
4) So this isn’t something I picked up in person, but I carried this new clutch from River Island out to dinner this weekend for the first time and love it. It’s roomy enough for lots of stuff and the tassel detail is killer. The giraffe print pony hair feeds my animal print love too. :)
As I get older I am finding I can’t put just anything on my skin and have it appear luminous and supple (uh, I kind of hate that word but it’s true). As I’ve been testing and sampling things I’ve fallen madly in love with face oils. I still swear by Shamanuti’s Charcoal Cleanser (also have been using Revive Gentle Cleanser and love it too), Creme de la Mer in the winter months (especially this past winter- my God) and I’ve added a prescription Retinol to my repertoire too. Apparently 34 is proving to be the age in which I have started noticing my age catching up to me (grey hairs, wrinkles, sun spots- oh my!) Over the past two years I’ve found face oils to be the best way to add either light or dramatic moisture to my skin depending on the type and brand- and even that hard to capture J.Lo “glow”. Even those with oily skin should try them! Here are a few of my favorites and a few I’ve been dying to try:
1. My new personal favorite- this really makes you glow and I feel like it feeds my skin all sorts of good stuff.
2. I’ve heard AWESOME things about this Tarte oil. Must try.
3. Josie Maran’s regular Argan Oil is one I keep in my vanity, but this version is great for those with oilier skin instead of dry like mine.
4. The cult favorite that so many celebs swear by. Another on my lust try list.
5. Nude is kind of the “king of oils” (their cleansing oil is also amazing). This has anti-aging qualities as well as good moisture.
6. This Bobbi Brown oil has so many superfans, it’s basic and it works well at really moisturizing your skin.
7. I adore the Plantscription line, I’ve used the serum a lot over the years, but this new addition is one I need to get a full size of!
8. I tried this L’Oreal version and also really liked it- and it’s at a good price point too!