What I’m Reading

shopaholic

Wow, this is a big novel!  The literary world’s favorite shopaholic is back in style- and in Hollywood. In Sophie Kinsella’s new book, Shopaholic To The Stars, Becky Bloomwood Brandon temporarily relocates with her husband and daughter to the land of the rich, famous and beautiful- Los Angeles!

Naturally Becky can’t wait to join the ranks of Hollywood’s elite and the best way to do it is become a stylist. She has her sights set on Sage Seymour, the famous actress with whom her husband is working. While Luke helps manage Sage’s career, Becky gets busy trying to figure out how to launch her new career.

When Becky’s friend Suze comes to Los Angeles with her family for a visit, Becky inadvertently blows her best friend off in favor of trying to further her career and when Becky gets a taste of the limelight, she seriously causes rifts between her and everyone she knows.

This book is quite hefty- maybe the biggest, longest Shopaholic book to date! I enjoyed Becky’s misadventures,  and thought the book was entertaining. Its light, fluffy and fun, just what you’d expect from a Becky Bloomwood (Brandon) book.

Throwback Thursday! Shopping for Natural Products at Sephora

 

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I recently went into a place that used to make my heart stop and my wallet weep. I’m talking about Sephora. Before going natural, I’d grab a little basket and happily toss products in without giving ingredients and chemicals a second thought.

I trusted the safety of the cosmetics.  I knew makeup and skincare and haircare all had chemicals in them but didn’t realize the toxicity of those synthetics and fragrances. Keep in mind that if a product claims to be natural and organic, it doesn’t mean there is an absence of toxic ingredients.

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It wasn’t  until recently that I learned about ingredients in makeup, as I’ve written about before. Today, knowing what I know, shopping was a completely different experience. Let’s take a look at the natural products that Sephora offers.

KORRES boasts the NATURAL label but looking at the ingredients, I put every cream and  lotion back on the shelf. Filled with chemicals, this was not a product line I was interested in putting on my skin.

BEFORE YOU BUY: “Blatantly dishonest claims; several products contain irritating ingredients, including volatile fragrance chemicals; the foundation primer contains potent irritants;  some of the plant extracts are from endangered species of plants.” {source} Yikes. I’ll pass.

TARTE is one of the brands I used to gravitate to. I was under the impression that they were one of the more healthy brands. If you ask the girls working at Sephora to point you in the direction of natural makeup, they will lead you right to Tarte followed by Korres and Josie Maran. Now, I like these products and have had great luck with many of them. But if you want to be natural and avoid toxins, you will want to pay close attention to the ingredients.

BEFORE YOU BUY:  Ingredients include the following toxic chemicals:  isododecane, imidazolidinyl urea, butylene glycol, parabens, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate. {source}

JOSIE MARAN  I admit to loving her powder and foundation (review coming soon) and this brand is probably one of the better ones you will find at Sephora. Argan Oil is in almost everything here which is Josie’s gimmick. Not completely natural, although I wish she would go this route and even add some nice certified organic ingredients. Her beach hair spray contains Dimethicone but I tested it quickly and found it made my hair wavier without frizz. Since I am staying away from all Dimethicone products, I did not buy it. But I liked it.

BEFORE YOU BUY: There are plenty of synthetic ingredients present, including silicones and a synthetic film-forming agent. Those are not bad for skin, but it just shows that you can’t trust the company’s claims. {source}

FRESH This brand offers products that smell amazing and the packaging looks  pretty and natural. It is not natural.

BEFORE YOU BUY: Fresh scores in the HIGH HAZARD zone according to the ewg. Unfortunately these products contain parabens, fragrance, and other skin irritants. Click here for more info. I stay away from parabens for this reason: “Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.” {source} And that is a risk I cannot afford to take.

BARE ESCENTUALS/bareMinerals I’ve been using Bare Escenturals for years. I did not immediately jump on the Bare Minerals bandwagon back when it was the first powder to bust on the scene with powder foundation, back when it called itself the  “healthiest, purest makeup in the world.” There are some products from this company I like a lot including the whole Buxom lip line which unfortunately contains toxins and is rated as High Hazard on Skin Deep.

BEFORE YOU BUY: According to some older reports on Skin Deep, bareMinerals was considered low on the hazard scale. On Beautypedia, they report that bareMinerals/Bare Escentuals contains “bismuth oxychloride, a major ingredient in the powder formulations, can cause skin irritation, while the other minerals can be drying (Source: www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Bismuth_oxychloride-9923103). Regarding bismuth oxychloride, it is interesting to note that bismuth (a metallic element) seldom occurs in nature. Instead, it is a by-product of copper and lead refining, or is manufactured synthetically. Chemically, it’s similar to arsenic, a fact you won’t see in any advertising for bareMinerals.”

LAVANILA Here’s a brand that is actually natural and scores low on the hazard scale via Skin Deep. FINALLY. You can use this line of products with a clear conscience. I use their Vanilla fragrance oil, body lotions and shower/shave gel which all smell fantastic.

BEFORE YOU BUY: Some products do score a rating of a 4 which equals a moderate hazard as far as toxins go but this is from an older report. I do love the deodorant and think its one of the best natural ones on the market however  people may be concerned over some corn by-product  ingredients.

 ORIGINS I remember when this brand was introduced and even back then I was excited for what I thought was natural beauty. Its not natural so don’t be fooled by the green on the labels and boasting of using plant based ingredients.

BEFORE YOU BUY: Many of the products contain ingredients known to be harmful and irritating, they also use synthetic ingredients. Plant ingredients that are used show no proven benefit for skin according to Beautypedia. According to Skin Deep, products contain BHT which can cause  Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity.

I looked on the Origins website but they do not include a list of ingredients for each product. What they do include are the plants and fruits that go into the makeup and skincare, but all the toxins and chemicals are missing. I’m really on the fence with this brand! I know its not totally natural and definitely not organic.

Check PETA.org for companies who are cruelty free.

Since I’ve gone the natural route and made up my mind to never turn back, shopping for makeup, skincare and haircare is not as…fun?  I carefully read labels on everything and whoever is shopping with me is subjected to my rants about toxins. I skip over almost all the brands, knowing that they contain the very ingredients that may be hazardous to my health.

If you ask a sales associate for help, like I mentioned, they will lead you to brands that on the outside look innocent enough but dig around and you will probably find some undesirable ingredients in the products. Either do your research before you go or shop at Whole Foods and other health food stores (still check labels) or stay home and shop online.

Your Deodorant is Probably Toxic! Here’s What To Do

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One of the best changes I made regarding health is swapping deodorants. I never thought I’d use a natural one and have it actually work but after reading the potential dangers and risks of conventional deodorants, I found one I liked and I never looked back.

According to health expert Dr. Mercola, the aluminum in deodorant is highly toxic and linked to disease.

“Aluminum has been long known to be neurotoxic, with mounting evidence that chronic exposure is a factor in many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.”

Surprisingly, it’s found in:

  • Foods such as baking powder, self rising flour, salt, baby formula, coffee creamers, baked goods and processed foods, coloring and caking agents
  • Drugs, such as antacids, analgesics, anti-diarrheals, and others; additives such as magnesium stearate
  • Vaccines—Hepatitis A and B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), pneumococcal vaccine, Gardasil (HPV), and others
  • Cosmetics and personal care products such as antiperspirants, deodorants(including salt crystals, made of alum), lotions, sunscreens, and shampoos
  • Aluminum products, including foil, cans, juice pouches, tins, and water bottles

“Aluminum is to your central nervous system as cigarette smoke is to your lungs. Scientists are clear that toxic metals damage brain tissue and lead to degenerative disease by producing oxidative stress—and aluminum is one of the worst offenders. With Alzheimer’s rates skyrocketing, today’s multiple avenues of aluminum exposure are of great concern. Just as with particles in the environment, once aluminum is in your tissues, your body has a difficult time releasing it. This toxic metal serves absolutely no biological purpose, so the less of it you ingest, the better.

Once in your body, it travels around easily, unimpeded, piggybacking on your iron transport system. It crosses biological barriers that normally keep other types of toxins out, such as your blood-brain barrier. Over time, aluminum can accumulate in your brain and do serious damage your neurological health—regardless of your age. Aluminum toxicity may be doing as much damage to our children as to our seniors.”

You can read the full article here.

I like deodorants from Blissoma, Lavanila, and Green Body Deodorant but its easy to make your own using coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder. Look at this super simple recipe!

Tell me, what natural deodorant do you use?

 

Glowing Skin with Clarisonic and Reviva Labs

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Get glowing fall skin with the Clarisonic Radiance and products from Reviva!

I am addicted to my Clarisonic- it deep cleans like no other and I always feel that the vibrating bristles relax and rejuvenate my face and complexion. The new Sonic Radiance does an even better job than the older Clarisonic! The newly redesigned brush improves skin texture..in other words, kiss those enlarged pores goodbye! You can opt to use the Brightening Activator Serum and Skin Renewing Peel Wash that comes with the Clarisonic or use your fave green beauty wash. Either way, its the Clarisonic that stands out for deep cleansing all skin types.

You are going to love these three products from Reviva:

Nasolabial Fold Multi-Peptide Cream is designed for those annoying marionette lines on each side of the mouth.  This advanced combination of peptides helps increase the volume of skin resulting in plumper skin. Whenever I use this I do see a difference, I can only imagine that regular use will help turn back the clock!

I dab a little bit on each side of my mouth, not too much. For deep lines and wrinkles, try the “Three Step Layering Process” which includes the above mentioned Multi-Peptide Cream, Skin Energizing Gel and the Glycolic Cream. These products work together,  boosting the power and working together.

The Skin Energizing Gel features a pure seaweed extract that helps revitalize skin. I find that its very light and can be worn under makeup with no issue.  The Glycolic Cream helps to exfoliate and eliminate dead cells resulting in brighter skin. This cream also aids in smoothing out the texture of the skin and is known to help with large pores and soften wrinkles.

For glowing skin, I use the Clarisonic as often as I can, I then use my various oils and serums and layer these Reviva products over pronounced wrinkles.

 

Get an **Organic Facial** at Bombshell Skincare & Lashes

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I rarely take the time to get a facial or get my nails done or have a massage but recently I had the chance to go for a facial at a brand new place, Bombshell Skincare & Lashes located in Temecula, California and I decided to go for it! For an hour I pushed aside all that I needed to do and allowed myself a treat. Just this once.

When you walk in, you are instantly surrounded by soft light, warm red walls and you feel like you are in a cocoon of relaxation.

Kristen, the owner, makes you feel so comfortable. She has a light touch and she’s very gentle. If you’ve had facials in the past, you know sometimes an esthetician can be rough, digging into your skin with a bit too much zeal but not Kristen.

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She cleansed my face, applied the warm steam, worked some magic with various potions and when I left (and for several days after) my skin was glowing!

Here’s what is super special about Bombshell- Kristen offers an Organic Facial using green, clean, non toxic products! This is hugely appealing for those who are steering clear of harsh chemicals in favor of pure and natural products derived from nature. Kristen uses products from Hello Dollface favorites Josh Rosebrook and Laurel Whole Pant Organics as well as Eminence Organics.

Kristen is also a lash specialist and can give you the thick, voluminous lashes of a true bombshell glamour girl!

I highly recommend Bombshell Skincare & Lashes and be sure to ask for the Organic Facial! Mention Hello Dollface for a special rate. Get ready to glow.

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By Hello Dollface