Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Tried and True Skincare Routine

So, if you've read any of my previous posts, ever, at all, you'll know I'm CRAZZZZZY about organic skincare.  My last post detailed some of my forays into the world of lipstick, and I sorta maybe promised I'd talk about my skincare routine.. I've been developing this routine for about four years now, ever since I delved into the world of sample boxes! Over the years, I've reviewed several products and lines, and here are my favorites.

My Tried and True Skincare Routine


- Pangea Organics Toner
- Kiss My Face Sunscreen
- Burt's Bees Day Lotion / Acure Day Lotion
- Makeup - mascara, lipstick, eyeliner
- Pacifica Tuscan Blood Roll-On Perfume


- Acure Organics Facial Scrub
- Acure Organics Shampoo and Conditioner
- Pangea Organics Toner
- Burt's Bees Night Lotion / Acure Night Lotion


Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel $10
My all-time favorite cleansing gel I have tested thus far, it has effectively kept my face nice and clean for years.  I've never broken out with it, and the hubby, prone to breakouts, uses it without issue. Acure Organics is my absolute favorite line, as you'll see I use a lot of their products. I typically use a silicon scrub pad like this, and dab a small bead onto it. I scrub in counter-clockwise motions across my face and chest.  
Target has also started carrying Acure Organics! Yay!

A great alternative to any typical toothpaste full of chemicals, this toothpaste can be found at Target.  My favorite one is Clean Mint.  


Acure Organics Day Cream $17
If I could buy this all the time I would. Unfortunately, it is on the expensive side.  But, it is the best day cream I have tested. Non-greasy, light fragrance and does not break you out.

Acure Organics Night Cream $18 (they also have a Oil-Control Cream)
This is also the best night cream I have tested, and bodes the same as Acure's Day Cream. It is a bit thicker and greasier (as it is meant to be being a night cream) and the scent is pleasant.  

Acure Organics Lotion $10
The only lotion I'll really use regularly, they have a couple of fragrances I love.  Goes on smooth, non-greasy and keeps you hydrated all day.

Kiss My Face Shave Gel $8 

So much better than your typical, foaming, environment-killing shave gel! It comes in many fragrances, including Cool Mint, Lavender and Shea and Fragrance Free. Also protects your legs from razor burn.

Pangea Organics Facial Toner $32 - expensive, but worth it. 
I'd say this is my splurge of the day.  At $8 an ounce, it is definitely expensive.  However, using a toner is important in your skincare routine, as it helps shrinks pores, keeps breakouts under control, moisturizes, adds a layer of protection under makeup, and is super refreshing. Four to six spritzes will do the trick.  It also smells super wonderful! 

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion $10
While not my favorite moisturizer, it is certainly my backup.  Readily available and much cheaper off-site (Target, Amazon, etc.) this moisturizer is non-greasy, light and hydrating.  The scent is pleasant as well.

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Lotion $12 - cheaper at Target  FYI
This is also not my favorite, but the same goes as above.  It is slightly more greasy (but typical for a night cream) and hydrating.  The scent is not pleasant, and the hubby hates it. But at $12, it is certainly your least expensive option.


Acure Organics Pure Mint Shampoo $10 

This has been my favorite brand since my No-Poo Shampoo experiment.  This particular scent is for volume control and dry to regular hair. It smells wonderful, and is much better than other brands.  It leaves my hair feeling and smelling great.  Many people have complimented how smooth and soft my hair is after using this shampoo.  They also have a curly/greasy Repair formula my husband uses.

Acure Organics Pure Mint Conditioner $10
As above, the same goes for this conditioner.  


Kiss My Face Sensitive SPF 30 $8
One of my favorite, most effective sunscreens, I typically mix this with a bit of moisturizer in the morning to put on my face.  By itself, it is typically greasy, but if mixed with moisturizer, it is less so.  I recommend using SPF 30 or higher DAILY on your face and exposed places, as sun-damage is no joke, folks.  


Gabriel Cosmetics Mascara $16

I have used this brand for years, and my only complaint is it is not water resistant.  Other than that, it goes on dark, smooth and does not clump.  I love the brush as well, because the brush applicator helps to eliminate clumps.  

Gabriel Cosmetics Eyeliner $12

Also another one of my go-to brands, I have been using this product for years.  When sharpened properly, it creates a smooth line and is fairly easy to create the cat-eye look everyone loves.  However, it easily smudges so do not rub your eyes!

Pacifica Water-Resistant Mascara $14

I think this is quickly becoming my favorite, as it is actually water-resistant (but NOT water proof!) It stays on better than my previous mascara, Gabriel Cosmetics.  A little bit more prone to clumps, it is easy enough to apply and remove clumps by simply pressing them out.  The applicator is different but not terrible.  And how cute is the packaging!?

Pacifica Makeup Remover Wipes $6

While it has a funky, baby-butt scent (not really a fan), it does get the job done and is great for travel. Always remove your makeup before bed, folks!

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Roll-On Perfume $12

I like this roll-on because it is easy to guide anywhere and leaves a light scent that is not overpowering like your typical, chemical-ridden perfumes.  Also, being a roll-on is better for the environment than a spray. No parabens, no "fragrance" blends that you have no clue what it's made of, and 100% natural using essential oils. Absolutely wonderful.   

*All products can be found on Amazon Prime/Target for slightly cheaper. ;) 

Here are the previous posts I've done on the following products:
Pangea Organics
Acure Shampoo and Conditioner 
Kiss My Face Sunscreen
Acure Scrub and Cream

Thanks for reading!

Organic Lipstick Reviews

If you've been reading my blog extensively, you'll know I am an AVID organic/eco-friendly lover. Especially of organic, natural makeup and beauty care.   In a nutshell, the products you put on your face are absorbed into the skin.. And if you learned that your food had nasty chemicals that caused all kinds of havoc on your body, would you continue to use them? NO! So, it's important that you stay conscious of what you put IN and ON your body. (Read my Why Organic Skincare Matters  and Proof Why Non-Organic Sunscreen is Bad for more information!)

I'll admit, however, that finding good, lasting, decently-priced organic skincare is a bit tricky. This kind of skincare really only came onto the market in the last six to ten years.  As a result, not everything you try is going to give you anywhere near the same results as other skincare products, like LASTS 48 HOURS! NEVER DRIES OUT SKIN! WATERPROOF FOR 12 HOURS! 
I mean, if you think about it, all those 'promises' are chemicals formulated to stick to your skin.  (And I sure as heck hope ya'll wash that ick off nightly! NEVER EVER keep makeup on overnight! Are you crazy!?)
Alright, so what am I getting at after ranting for a couple hundred words?

Organic/Natural Lipstick Reviews

Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard and Sedona Sands $9


From top: Burt's Bees Crayon in Napa Vineyard and Sedona Sands and Burt's Bees Lipstick in Soaked Scarlet

Burt's Bees has a whole line of beauty and skincare products that I'm a fan of for a number of reasons.  They use natural products and recycled containers and they're decently priced. You can find these at Target and beauty stores, so they're fairly easy to come across.
Personally, the Napa Vineyard is my favorite shade, while Sedona Sands blends in with my natural lip color.

- Vibrant colors
- Goes on smooth
- Natural ingredients

- Leaves feathering on lips/cakes quickly
- Not long lasting

Burt's Bees Lipstick in Scarlet Soaked  $9

- Vibrant colors
- Goes on smooth
- Keeps lips moisturized

- A bit more greasy than the crayons
- Lasts longer*
- Definitely comes off on drinkware

*Longer, as in more than a couple hours, but not all day

Pacifica Lipstick in Power of Love $10

Pacifica is another brand that is decently priced, readily available at Target and beauty stores, and is of course, chemical free.  They use 100% recycled packaging that is darn cute, and instead of beeswax, use coconut oil.  Coconut oil is incredibly moisturizing.   I like this tint, but I think I'd like to get a darker red next time.  

- Goes on smooth
- Non-greasy
- Keeps lips moisturized 

- Does not last
- Comes off on drinkware

Pacifica Lip Tint in Blood Orange, Sugared Fig and Coconut Nectar $5

From top: Pacifica Quench Lip Tint in Coconut Nectar, Sugared Fig and Blood Orange

I'm definitely a fan of Pacifica, just not these specific tints.  While free of beeswax, all the bad things, mineral oils and propylene glycol (the BIGGEST bad guy out there), they are incredibly drying to the lips, and sheer.  

- Cute packaging 
- Good price

- Sheer
- Smells funky
- Hard to get on 
- Dries out lips

DIY Wood Slice Art

Hi ya'll,

It's summer time, which means I'm going to catch up on all of my crafts I had planned.  Including this super cute wood slice art.  Super easy, fairly cheap, and cute for your walls or a great gift for someone!

When we got married last June, we used simple wood slices for our centerpieces.  My parents hoarded the 40% off coupons from Michael's and purchased about ten of them for nearly half off each.  Not too shabby. However, I have now had ten wood slices sitting around, collecting dust!

So, I started researching some craft ideas, and here's what I've done with three of them thus far.

Start off with a simple wood slice. You can pick them up at any craft store for less than $10 each.
Sand down any rough edges on your wood, and use a metal brush to remove loose bark from the edges.

I sealed my wood with polyurethane spray before painting.  This seemed to hold the color better.
Next, paint your wood in any color you choose. I liked the Vanilla Satin Acrylic paint, because it had a nice finish to it. I used a foam brush, and did about 3 coats to make it look really creamy.

Now, as you'll see below, I have a couple different designs I did.  This particular wood I added a Robin's Egg blue section.

For my writing, I used black and gold paint pens.  These run about $4 a piece. Some are freehand, but if you're not crafty at all, you can use stencils (either store bought ones, or make your own by printing out a design and tracing it).

You'll also want to add a picture hanger on the back. I got a 5 pack at Target for $3, which came with the nails, too.

To finish, I used this matte coating spray from Hobby Lobby to seal everything up. You can also find some here.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Updating the Flower Beds

Our flower beds are in need of some serious LOVE! They're overgrown and full of weeds.. And at some point, a previous owner seemed to have LOVED the idea of having an unfinished ROCK garden.... -.- Ugh. They weren't even cute rocks!

The nice thing about these beds is that they're already full of plants and flowers that I WANT to keep. Namely, our three white rose bushes, and a smattering of beautiful, purple irises.  These had gotten a little out of hand... So a little careful root-pulling, and I had a ton of irises to transplant!

Here's a before...

Just a huge group of irises.. Plus weeds. And rocks. 

Pulled out a bunch of irises and set them aside to use for later!

Transplanting and laying down the garden fabric.

Without mulch.

Done! Mind you, the irises look a little sad because they're done blooming and they needed a little water.

And here's the rest of the beds, all done! Took me a couple weekends, but we're done.  Don't our shutters look great?