Tag Archives: Natural

Quick and Easy Cat-Eye Liner

“Perfect Eyeliner” by Garann is licensed under CC-BY SA 2.0

 

My favorite way to wear my eyeliner is the “cat-eye.” I find it really opens my eyes, and gives the illusion of larger-looking eyes. I also like that its a more classic and refined look.

In finding a way to create the perfect cat-eye look, there are two major issues:

  1. Finding natural products that actually work (they won’t run or smudge and will hold all day).
  2. Finding the right method to creating the perfect cat-eye that doesn’t take 20 minutes out of your morning routine.

 

Before I switched from using toxic makeup to clean beauty products, I relied on my trusty Maybelline Gel Eyeliner. It was easy to apply using the tiny brush, was waterproof, and lasted all day. Since then, it’s been a challenge to find a natural alternative that works just as well.

 

For a while I was using Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven. This eyeliner applies like a traditional liquid eyeliner, so it requires a very steady hand – which I do not have! I almost always had to rely on using a q-tip with a tiny bit of One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil to clean up any mistakes. Although I loved the polished, sleek look of this eyeliner, I found it was taking a very long time to apply it. It also tends to run easily when getting wet. However, I still enjoy using this eyeliner for more special occasions.

 

Which brings me to my new favorite way to create a cat-eye – it’s fast and easy!

Here’s the trick:

  • Black powder eyeliner
  • An angled eyeliner brush.

That’s it! Simple, right? The powder I use is Nvey Eco High Definition Cake Eyeliner. It’s really pigmented, so even though it is a powder, the color still stands out. The angled eyeliner brush I use is from Sephora. You can pick one up at any beauty store.

 

 

Here’s what I do:

  1. I dip the brush into the powder.
  2. Begin applying along the lash-line (where the pupil begins) and work toward the edge of the eyelid, using short quick strokes.
  3. Pull the outer corner of the eyelid taut, and angle the brush so that the long end of the bristles are pointed toward the outer corner of the eye, and the shorter end is pointing toward where the eyebrow ends. 
  4. Use short, quick strokes to create the line of the “wing.” You can make the wing as long as you would like. Sometimes I dip just the tip/pointy part of the brush in the powder and use only the tip to gain more precision.
  5. Lastly, fill in the wing area, making the liner closest to your eye thicker, and gradually thinner as it connects to the tip of the “wing.”

 

It may sound tricky, but trust me, this is the fastest and easiest way to do a cat-eye! The whole process only takes a couple minutes. The benefit of using a powder, is that you don’t need to be as precise. The powder has a softer look, so mistakes aren’t as noticeable compared to using liquid eyeliner. It also has incredible staying-power, and seems to hold up well to humidity. You can even wet the brush and mix it with the powder to get a liquid before applying. I have not tried this method, as I prefer to apply eyeliner as quickly as possible. I only apply eyeliner to my top lash-line, but you could certainly use a smaller eyeliner brush to fill in your bottom lashes as well.

 

Have you tried powder eyeliner? What is your favorite way to achieve the cat-eye look? Please share!

 

 

DIY Natural Perfume Oil

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Gingerbread and Fir Natural Perfume Oil” by Tara Aveilhe is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Most commercial, synthetic perfumes are loaded with harmful toxins, some of which have been shown to be cancer-causing. Since I have tried to live a more natural and healthy lifestyle, I have not worn synthetic perfume for several years now. To be honest, I don’t miss it – at all! I actually love experimenting with different natural perfumes. My husband teases me, because I frequently order samples from various organic companies, trying to find my perfect perfume. I am often waving small perfume samples in front of his nose, asking for his opinion.

The pros to wearing natural perfumes: you smell lovely and NATURAL. When I smell synthetic fragrance on other people now, all I can smell is chemicals, and I want to sneeze. The essential oils used in natural perfumes is much easier on the nose, and depending on the type of oils used, will bring healing effects to the body as well as influence your mood. Synthetic fragrances can’t do that!

The cons to wearing natural perfumes: they can be pricey, especially if you’re buying high-quality perfumes. They also do not last as long as synthetic fragrance, so you have to reapply more frequently. This means that you will go through perfume more quickly, and with the high price-tag, it can really start to add up.

So, I decided to take a whack at creating my own natural perfume in order to cut down on the cost, yet still enjoy the benefits of natural essential oils. I decided to try making my own version of Misaki by Tsi-La. I absolutely love the smell of this perfume! You can read my review of Misaki here. At a whopping $128 per bottle, I rarely have the budget to splurge on this award-winning perfume.

I looked at the listed ingredients for the perfume and did some research on the proportions each ingredient would typically have in a perfume. I learned about top, middle, and base notes used in perfumes. It sounds complicated, but it only required identifying which ingredients were either top notes, middle notes, or base notes and then doing some basic math to determine the amount of each ingredient I would use.

Here are the ingredients I used for my Misaki dupe:

Top Notes (10-30%)

  • Bergamot
  • Mint
  • Tea

Middle Notes (30-60%)

  • French Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Honey

Base Notes (15-30%)

  • Vanilla

There were some ingredients listed in Misaki I did not use such as green tree moss, juniper berry, clary sage, or ylang ylang.

Misaki is a perfume infused into sugar cane alcohol in a traditional spray bottle. I decided to infuse my fragrance in jojoba oil instead and use a roller ball applicator.

Misaki Perfume Dupe:

Break open tea bags and put tea leaves into the mason jar.Place vanilla bean, essential oils, and honey into the mason jar. Pour jojoba oil into the jar and stir. Store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks. Pour the mixture through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to extract the perfume-infused jojoba oil. Pour into the roller ball bottle. The dark cobalt will help preserve the essential oils, and allow your perfume to last longer. Apply to pulse-points as often as you would like and enjoy!

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I was AMAZED at how great this perfume came out. When compared to the actual Misaki perfume, the scent came pretty darn close! The toughest part was having the patience to wait a few weeks for all the ingredients to infuse into the jojoba oil. It was much cheaper to make this perfume myself, and I won’t feel guilty reapplying as often as I want. The small roller ball bottle is also much more travel-friendly compared to the larger spray bottle.

There are enough leftover ingredients to make this perfume several times over, so it’s totally worth the cost of the ingredients. I will probably experiment with some of the other ingredients I left out so see if I can get the scent even closer to Misaki perfume.

Overall, I am extremely happy (and surprised) with how well this turned out. You can try this technique with any of your favorite natural perfumes as long as the main ingredients are listed. Have fun experimenting and share your perfume recipes with me!

Three Natural Deodorants that Actually Work

“Homemade Deodorant” by Megan Myers is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Living a healthier lifestyle requires not only taking a look at what you put into your body, but also what you put on your body. Many deodorants, specifically antiperspirants, are filled with toxic ingredients such as aluminum, parabens, synthetic fragrance, and phthalates – just to name a few. These ingredients are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, fertility problems, and seizures.

Sweating is one way our body releases toxins. Antiperspirants block the sweat glands. If you stop your body’s natural ability to sweat, your body will end up reabsorbing those toxins – leading to numerous health issues.

Ditch the antiperspirant and allow your body to do what it is naturally designed to do – sweat out unhealthy toxins! It’s actually good for your body to sweat!

Although you may sweat more when you quit using antiperspirant, there is no need to worry about body odor. There are many natural deodorants you can use that provide long-lasting odor protection.

When I initially quit using antiperspirants, the search for a nontoxic deodorant that actually worked turned out to be an arduous journey. I started with several store-bought deodorants (such as Tom’s of Maine, Thai Crystal, and Jason)  and was quickly disappointed with the results. They did not seem to prevent body odor – but rather poorly masked it.

After lots of trial and error, I am happy to say that I have found several nontoxic deodorants that truly get the job done!

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Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

This is probably one of the most popular deodorants among the green beauty community. It’s become a cult favorite! This deodorant is the most powerful in odor protection. It requires finger application. It provides a lavender-citrus fragrance. My only issue with Soapwalla is that my skin can become irritated if used right after shaving. If you have sensitive skin, this deodorant may be too strong for you.

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Green Body Deodorant

Many natural deodorants require finger application. If you love the convenience of a stick deodorant, this is the deodorant for you – and it really works! The best part is that is comes in six different scents!

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Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream

This is my holy grail deodorant. It provides powerful odor protection, yet is sensitive enough to use after shaving. It does require finger application, but is worth the nuisance due to the simple yet effective ingredients. It comes in two scents: lavender and tea tree. You can also order a mini size for travel or sampling the product.

Have you quit using antiperspirant? What is your favorite nontoxic deodorant that actually works? Please share!

The Best Natural, Nontoxic Sunscreens

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Marilyn Monroe con bañador blanco en la playa” by Antonio Marín Segovia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There’s a big debate happening over whether sunscreen is actually causing more harm to our health than we realize. We already know too much sun causes cancer and accelerates aging – thus, protection from the sun is a must! But is the sunscreen your using potentially just as harmful? More research is indicating that certain types of sunscreen are linked to increased inflammation, aging, and cancer.

There are two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone are absorbed into the skin and cause a chemical reaction that is believed to prevent UV damage. When these ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream, they are considered endocrine disruptors . Endocrine disruptors interfere with our natural hormones. They tamper with estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and thyroid. Endocrine disruptors can cause undeveloped testicles in small boys, early puberty in girls, low sperm count and infertility, and breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer…. Hmm, no thank you!

Physical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens include the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These ingredients sit on top of the skin and block/deflect UV light. Physical sunscreens can also be dangerous if the minerals are in a form called nanoparticles.  Nanoparticles are small enough to be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.

The best, safest form of sunscreen is a physical sunscreen in non-nanoparticle form. Microfine zinc and titanium dioxide are small enough to apply smooth and even on the skin, but not so small that it will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Zinc oxide is also known for being a little more gentle on the skin compared to titanium dioxide, especially for those who suffer from acne and need a sunscreen for the face.

A common complaint when converting to natural sunscreen is that they frequently give a thick, whitish film on the skin. This is especially common in less expensive brands that do not use microfine zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. I have tried NUMEROUS natural sunscreens before finding some that apply smooth, even, and clear – and I am happy to say that they do indeed exist!

Here are my favorite natural sunscreens:

Grahams SunClear Natural Sunscreen:

This is my favorite body sunscreen for those days I spend at the beach or outside at a BBQ. The main ingredient is microfine zinc oxide, SPF 30. It applies more like a body oil, and is a little shiny at first. However, it absorbs into the skin quickly. It leaves no white film at all! It also contains skin-yummy ingredients such as rose hip oil, grapeseed oil, shea butter, and vitamin E. It is also water resistant. This is truly a sunscreen gem!

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BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Sunscreen:

This is my favorite facial sunscreen. It is SPF 35, and applies clean and clear to the skin with a matte finish (which is perfect for under makeup). It is designed for sensitive skin, so it is great for anyone battling with acne! I carry this sunscreen with me in my purse for times when I am unexpectedly in the sun and need protection on my face and body. It is fragrance free, biodegradable, and affordable compared with other high-quality sunscreens!

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Have you tried these sunscreens? What are your favorite natural, nontoxic ways to protect yourself from the sun?

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