project use it up: August empties

Another month of empties. Some supplements (if you’re a repeat reader, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting with supplements to alleviate PCOS and thyroid symptoms. if you’re new, hi!), beauty, hair, and coffee related things.

August 2018 empties

  • OLLY Restful Sleep – after weeks of sleeplessness, restlessness, and insomnia, I was desperate. I heard that L-theanine could help, so I decided to try these gummies; they have melatonin, L-theanine, and herbs. And they WORK! I never liked the idea of gummy supplements, but there’s something about this particular medium that my body likes when it comes to melatonin. I’m currently using the VitaFusion gummies and separate L-theanine capsules, and I’m sleeping at last.
  • Solgar Vitamin E – I was taking these in conjunction with Selenium for my thyroid. I am currently taking a multivitamin that includes Selenium, but I may try vitamin E again (noticed that my skin looked great and my migraines seemed to improve – need another try).
  • Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle – liver support for PCOS.
  • AuraCacia Sweet Orange essential oil – I love citrus scents. One of my favorites.

August 2018 empties

  • ACURE day cream – so I use ACURE a lot… this is an old standard whenever I need a bit of extra moisture.
  • ACURE radically rejuvenating cleansing cream – probably my favorite evening cleanser. Very gentle. I use it as my first cleanse to get things off.
  • Juice Beauty Mineral Moisturizer, sheer – I prefer the tinted version of this, but the sheer is clear enough that I can get away with wearing it without makeup.
  • giovanni 2chic Ultra-revive conditioner – My ends became extra dry when I had some ombré put in, so I went back to using conditioner. I liked this one, but I’m currently trying the purple Repairing conditioner from the same line and find that I prefer that one.

August 2018 empties

  • Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee mix, Create with Lion’s Mane & Chaga – so I decided to try mushroom coffee. I can’t say I noticed a difference in my energy, but it was nice to try. I did, however, taste the mushroom. Maybe it’s just me—I am hyper sensitive to tastes and smells. Not unpleasant, just weird.
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer, coconut – I really wanted to love this, but the coconut milk just doesn’t dissolve very well. Still find that I prefer the basic collagen peptides mix.


project use it up: May empties

project use it up-2

Welcome to another round of “what I used up last month”

May 2018 empties

  • ACURE radically rejuvenating under eye hydrogel masks: I’ve posted these before. Love them and they’re easy to find at my local Target and Whole Foods when I need a pick-me-up.
  • California Baby Calendula Cream (for babies and sensitive adults… I’m def. a sensitive adult): one of my favorite creams when my skin is reacting or experiencing a psoriasis flare.
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (citron scent): Another good cream when I’m experiencing a flare. The active ingredient is Colloidal Oatmeal and the orange scent is lovely is you like a light citrus (fades quickly).
  • NEST fragrances in Dahlia and Vines: at the time of purchase, this was a Sephora exclusive scent. Light and floral, lasts a long time and didn’t give me a headache (always a win).
  • LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant, vanilla scent: When I’m not using Schmidt’s bergamot and lime, I’m using this. It works for me, but deodorant works differently on every body. If you’re new to natural deodorants, this might not be enough to cover the initial detox stank.
  • ACURE seriously glowing facial serum: This was a nice blend of nourishing oils, just what I needed when my skin was going through a dry spell. ACURE may have discontinued or renamed this since their rebranding.
  • Desert Essence spot treatment: one of my favorites.
  • Weleda Almond Lotion sample: Came in a sample baggie. I’ve used this before and continue to enjoy it. Very light moisturizer.
  • avatara Calm Down blackhead pore strips: bought these on a whim at Target, they really work.

May 2018 empties

  • Yogi Chai Rooibos tea: another tea successfully used up. Red tea with chai spice, no caffeine and no weird headaches (some chai blends give me a reaction)
  • Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night: for when I need a little help to fall asleep.
  • Solgar Zinc Picolinate 22 mg: part of my thyroid support protocol
  • Mr. Bubble Meltaways Bath Candies: part of a Target discovery box. They do what they do.
  • Kiss my Face Sensitive toothpaste, orange mint flavor: My favorite SLS/fluoride-free toothpaste. Been using it for at least 2 years.
  • Weleda salt toothpaste: This… was weird. Part of the same Weleda bag mentioned above.

lifestyle: mini haul – detox market and sephora

It’s my birthday next week, so I’ve been a little spendy…

I really wanted to try the Suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer sunscreen, but I didn’t want to spend $45 on another natural product that may or may not work for me, so I decided to try the Detox Market sample pack. For $9.99, the Detox Market lets you select up to 5 products to sample. Most of their products are high end, luxe, all natural, eco-concious beauty and skincare, which I’m all for… but I’m not willing to pay high end prices for something that may be all wrong for my skin. Their sample pack is perfect. I ordered the Suntegrity 5-in-1 in the shades Light and Golden Light, the RMS buriti bronzer, the Josh Rosebrook lift spray, and the Kahina eye serum.

Suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer

Neither the light nor the golden light work for me. Both shades have an orange cast on my skin and require blending down my neck to look natural… while I like to protect my neck and decollete from the sun, I don’t appreciate having to blend a tinted product into my neckline. My first impression was that it smells and feels just like the Andalou Naturals Anti-Aging BB cream, which I used up last year. That product was not as orange, but I hated the slick feel it left on my skin. Suntegrity reminds me of that. If you have dry skin that isn’t neutral with yellow undertones, this product might work for you.

Verdict: I’ll stick to my current sunscreen options and keep hunting for a natural, tinted product.

RMS buriti bronzer

I like the color of this, but I think it will work best as an eyeshadow rather than a bronzer. I like the coppery shade, but it’s a little too dramatic for my face. I like to keep it subtle and this looks too bronze for cheeks. I really just wanted to sample RMS to see if the formulation worked with my skin. They use coconut in their products and I sometimes have a bad reaction to it, bronzer felt like an easy way to experiment as I tend to be less sensitive along the sides of my face.

Verdict: going to play with it until the sample runs out

Kahina eye serum

Why!??! Why do I have to like this so much?!?! It’s the most expensive product in the batch and I only picked it on a whim because I figured I would never buy it, but I LOVE it. I’ve been using the MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream, but it’s not my favorite. I have a hard time finding eye products that don’t irritate my eyes and this one is perfect… except its $78.

Verdict: Wish list. I’m definitely getting this when I run out of the MyChelle.

Josh Rosebrook lift

Haven’t tried it yet, but the sample is so small I’m not sure it’s enough to make things happen. Will report back when I try it.

Also mentioned:

on my latest crunchy adventure

I’m a live simply sort of girl, so making the switch from dirty to clean beauty wasn’t terribly difficult. The hardest part has been finding a decent sunscreen option (still working on it, though I’ve tried some products that I do like.) and making the switch from commercial to natural deodorant. I’ve been doing a lot of research and live by the EWG’s skin deep database, but there’s nothing like actually trying something for myself. I started the switch to natural deo by weaning myself off Secret. Now, I can be a smelly girl… there are times when my cycle sets my hormones flaring and I need some serious protection, so finding something that works for my pH and won’t turn me into the office stinker is essential. I tried a few different natural brands that didn’t do much for me–the moment I started sweating, they quit. Then, I found Primal Pit Paste–which works a wonder! It seriously works (I used the lemongrass & thyme one with the regular strength) and a little goes a long way, but I wasn’t thrilled with the scent options. I wanted something less herbal. I decided to do a little experimenting and googled deodorant recipes based on the ingredients listed on the bottle… I also bought a similar, homemade deo I found on Etsy to test the strength of a home-brewed blend. The Etsy find worked.*  I was ready to give my own blend a try.

I decided to try the recipe from Wellness Mama first. It had the same ingredients as the Pit Paste and was easy enough to make. A little oily mess in the kitchen and there it is!

coco-deo! Yes, it is in my fridge...
coco-deo! Yes, it is in my fridge…

I tried it for a week and it worked just as well as the Pit Paste. Then my hormonal shift happened and I could smell myself! Ack! Not good. Involved a lot of avoiding people while I tried to freshen up, but I was determined to make it work. I left my deo out on the counter overnight** and added two extra tablespoons of arrowroot and one extra tablespoon of baking soda . The coco-shea blend was soft, so I folded in the powders. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand arrowroot and baking soda, which are both extra fine, making them very blendable. Back in the fridge and ta-da! It works just as well as the Pit Paste 🙂 just needed to be adjusted to my needs.

Now, a caveat for anyone embarking on the natural deo journey… you WILL have an adjustment period when you first make the switch. I was a bit smellier for about 3-4 weeks when I first started, so trying something like the Primal Pit Paste or similar may be a good option until your body gets used to the natural product. Because natural deo has no chemicals, it is NOT an antiperspirant–you will notice the sweat, but unless you have overactive sweat glands, it’s not that bad. Again, your body will self-regulate after a few weeks and you’ll notice the difference.

So that’s the latest in my beauty clean-up. It’s not perfect… there are some things I haven’t given up yet–the occasional terrible terrible perfume spritz, some less than stellar lipsticks–but finding cleaner, natural alternatives for most products has been simpler than I thought when I decided to make the switch. It’s not for everyone, I know, but it works for me and most of the products are cheaper and last longer than their department store counterparts.

*For any who want to give it a go, I used the Coconut Vanilla deo from Ollie + Max Soap Co., which smells divine! I still have some left and like to use it when I want some fragrance.

**It’s hot enough in my apartment that the coconut oil will melt unless I store it in the fridge, but it’s no biggie… that’s where I keep my toner and some of my oils, just a matter of starting a new habit.