my natural makeup search – what I found and what I’m loving

100 Pure and Alima Pure makeup reviewI’m dubbing 2016 The Non-Toxic Beauty Makeover Year.  Apparently being pregnant makes me want to totally overhaul things.  In January of 2014, when I was pregnant with Hudson, I decided to quit thinking about trying essential oils for a household cleaning solution and use my Christmas money to dive in and get a kit (and if you’ve been reading here long you know that decision has made a huge impact on how we care for our health as well as our finances).  In January of 2016, when I was pregnant with Parker, I decided to quit thinking about ditching my old makeup and trying to find something more natural – so again I used my Christmas money, threw out all my old makeup, did a bunch of research, and bought all new stuff.

Yep.  For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup I sure had quite the stash!  It didn’t help that I never threw any away unless I completely used it up so I had stuff in there from high school.  I gathered it all up and into the trash it went.  I kept a few things that I had been using on a regular basis (and weren’t expired like 99% of what I owned) just in case all the natural things I tried bombed or I needed something for a special occasion (so far I haven’t touched the stuff I put aside so I’ll probably throw it away soon too).

2016-01-29_12.07.21 copy2016-01-29_12.11.44 copyLook at all these lipsticks!  I don’t even hardly wear lipstick.  I sure like to buy it though!

Obviously the most natural thing to do makeup-wise is to not wear any at all.  Back when I first started my journey toward natural things I said that I would change a lot of things but I’d never give up my makeup.  I’ve learned to never say never, so I guess it’s potentially possible that someday I might go makeup free but I really don’t see that happening in the near future.  However I really wanted to find a better alternative to what I was using.

Most makeup is full of hormone disrupting, cancer causing components.  I don’t want that on my face (or anywhere on my body), not to mention I don’t want it touching my kids when I kiss them or snuggle their faces to mine.  I’d switched out all my other personal care products to safer, more natural options but hadn’t done anything about my makeup and decided it was time to get it done.

I did a lot of research.  I made a list of several companies that I’d heard were good non-toxic, free of harsh chemicals, natural options.  I then began looking at each one to see if I liked the products.  Some companies got thrown out, quite a few looked like good contenders.  Then I started comparing similar products from all of the companies (foundation from each company, eyeshadow from each, etc.).

In the end there were several that I was impressed with.  I only bought from two but there are really a lot of good choices out there!  (and I’ve actually heard of a few more even since I did my initial researching that I haven’t checked out yet).  I’ll include a list of all the companies I liked at the end of this post in case you want to try them out.

I really wanted to buy a little bit from each company so I could try them all out but when I realized that the shipping costs to buy an eyeshadow here, an eyeliner there, some blush at a third place, etc. was going to be pretty steep so I decided to just stick to a couple.

The two companies that I chose were 100% Pure and Alima Pure.  Here’s why:

100% Pure

  • – TONS of options.  This was one of the biggest reasons.  There are a lot of great companies out there but many of them only carry a few things but not everything that you need.  100% Pure has every makeup item that I use and pretty much everything I could think of needing so you can do a one stop shop and not have to buy from multiple places.  Instead of just loose mineral powder they offer pressed powder, tinted moisturizer, BB cream, liquid foundation, and cream foundation.  The have primers, multiple types and colors of eyeshadows, tons of colors and types of lipstick and glosses, and so much more.
  • – Free shipping – no minimum order required
  • – Free returns.  This was a biggie too because I was making a huge leap buying makeup that I hadn’t tried before.  I wasn’t convinced that I’d find anything natural that actually worked so I liked that I could return anything if I didn’t like it (and I have since used that feature and it was an incredibly smooth process)
  • – Lots and lots of reviews on their website so I was able to get real feedback on products I was interested in.
  • – Organic, vegan, cruelty free products.  (I don’t care about vegan but I know that’s important to some people so I threw it in here for your info)
  • – Most of their products contain more than just minerals, they’re made with fruit and flower extracts too.
  • – Offered pressed powder foundation and eyeshadow.  I’m not a fan of loose powder and loose eyeshadow, I feel like it’s super messy.  But since most natural makeup companies use mineral makeup then it’s usually loose.  I liked that I could get pressed!
  • – They also have a rewards program where you get points for each purchase you make and once you’ve accumulated enough you can redeem them for free product (they did not have this when I placed my original order so it’s wasn’t a factor in my decision but they’ve since come out with it and it’s something that I really like so I thought it was worth noting!)

Alima Pure

  • – Another one that offers pressed powder foundation.
  • – Offers little sample sizes that you can buy to try the powder before you commit.  They also have sampler pack thing where you can try multiple shades.
  • – Good reviews
  • – A ton of foundation color choices, probably more than any other company I looked at
  • – Free shipping over $35.
  • – I had found a $10 off coupon that I could use on my order (and I have one for you as well at the bottom of this post!)

100% Pure makeup packagingI bought the majority of my new makeup stash from 100% Pure since they had so many choices!  Here’s a picture I snapped of my haul when it came in – the cardboard tube packaging is cute too!

Here’s what all I currently have and what I think about each one:100% Pure and Alima Pure makeup review

100% Pure luminous primerLuminous Primer – I had gotten used to using a primer because prior to my switch I was using Bare Minerals (not as natural as one might think…) – a primer with the powder foundation and mineral veil.  I loved that smooth feeling it gave my face and how easy my makeup went on so I was excited to find that 100% Pure had primer too!  It feels and works great too.100% Pure foundation powderFruit Pigmented Powder Foundation – I was worried about picking the right color (but since they have free returns I figured I could always switch if I needed to).  I chose the color Creme and it was perfect for me.  The coverage is a little lighter than what I was used to so that took a bit of adjusting but honestly it looks more natural on me and after the initial adjustment period now I like it better.  I don’t have major blemishes, my issues are more about splotchy redness and this does a great job of covering without being heavy.

At $39.00 it was expensive but comparable to what I had been paying for Bare Minerals so I was ok with that.  However, it does not last nearly as long!  I’ve been using it since the end of January (so 3 months) and I don’t even wear makeup every day (maybe 3-4 days a week) and you can already see the bottom of the pan!  That’s my biggest complaint.
100% Pure tinted moisturizerFruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer – I did not buy this in my original order, this is something I added just in the last week.  I’ve actually never used a tinted moisturizer before but I thought it might be nice as a very light way to even out my skin tone.  So far I like it!  It has a sheer coverage like the powder but goes on easily with my fingers.  I do have to put a light dusting of powder over it (once I’ve done blush, bronzer, etc.) otherwise it looks a little too dewey/greasy.  Even though I got Creme powder, based on the reviews I read I bought a shade lighter in the tinted moisturizer (Alpine Rose) and it is a great shade so I think that was the right choice.

100% Pure cocoa bronzerCocoa Pigmented Bronzer – This stuff is intense!  I just barely touch my brush to the compact and still have to use a very light hand as I apply!  You can still see the “100% Pure” words in the powder so I’ve barely used any of it.  I got this the same day I got my foundation powder and always use both products so you can definitely see a difference in how much I’ve used of this versus the foundation (actually I’ve used this more often than my powder since I sometimes use another powder or tinted moisturizer but always use the same bronzer – a little goes a long way!).  As long as I’m careful applying though it gives a nice warm bronzing color.

Alima Pure satin matte foundationAlima Pure offers pressed powder foundation as well but they have a crazy ton of color choice, which is nice for finding the perfect match but hard because there are so many options. I picked four colors that I thought were close to what I needed and I figured once I picked my color then I’d buy the pressed powder version.  I haven’t even tried them all yet but so far the coverage is good – light like the 100% Pure powder.  Of course it’s messier than I prefer since it’s a loose powder but really I can’t tell a difference in this versus other loose (not as natural) mineral powders that I’ve used.100 Pure eyeshadowI chose the Pretty Naked Palette that came with Pink Champagne highlighter, a blush (Pretty Naked), and three eyeshadows (Flax Seed, Toffee, and Chestnut) to save on buying a large individual blush, highlighter, and multiple eyeshadows.  I also bought individual shadows in the shade Ginger (with my first order) and Sugared (in a later order).  As you can tell I tend to stick to a pink and brown theme.  As I order more I’ll try to add some variety into my collection.

I was initially disappointed because the eyeshadows were not nearly as pigmented as what I had been used to (I was mainly using eyeshadows from the Urban Decay Naked palettes).  However, after using them I’ve come to actually prefer the more subtle shades – I think it looks more natural. Also, I apply with a brush, I think if you used an eye shadow sponge or even added a little water you could get much more pigment.

The highlighter is very pretty and the blush is not the color I would have picked on my own if I’d been buying it separately but I like it just fine.

Alima Pure eyeshadowI also tried out one of Alima Pure’s pearluster eyeshadows in Taupe.  They only have loose eye shadows and it can be a bit messy so I don’t reach for this one as often as I do the ones from 100% Pure.  However, this one is a lot more shiny so I like it when I’m trying to dress up my eye a little bit or want to brighten up the matte look some.

2016-04-19_09.23.40 copyIt came with this plastic piece with holes in it but (and maybe I’m missing something) I can’t figure out how to get it to work other than to shake some into the lid, which is messy.  So I just took the plastic piece off altogether.  I wish I could figure out how to get the eyeshadow through the holes though without making a big mess.100 Pure and Alima Pure eyeshadow swatchesI am by no means a beauty blogger or expert or anything but I did attempt to swatch the colors on my arm so you could see them in action.  However I didn’t do a very good job and they look a lot more similar on my arm than they do on my eyes (at least, I think so).  It’s hard to tell the difference but I promise they are all (subtly) different.100% Pure mascara and Alima Pure eye linerMascara was one of the products I was most nervous about.  I’d heard it is really hard to find a natural mascara that actually works.  But I must say that I have been incredibly pleased with 100% Pure’s Maracuja mascara.  It lasts just as long as my old mascara, is a good color, thickens my eyelashes, and smells nice and fruity.  It also comes off very easily with coconut oil (my eye makeup remover of choice).  It is not waterproof, which I don’t care about, but that might be important to you.

The eyeliner came from Alima Pure.  Initially I was not impressed because I could get a good, dark line on my lower lid but I could hardly get it to make a mark on my upper lid on top of my eyeshadow.  It did fine on bare skin but wouldn’t work on top of eyeshadow unless I wet the pencil and worked really hard to get it on there.  However, after I sharpened it the first time it started working fine.  I’m guessing there was some kind of coating or something on the brand new tip that caused it to not work as well.  It’s great now and I’m pleased.

Alima Pure, 100% Pure, and Young Living lip sticks and lip glossAnd finally, lips!

I got a lip tint from Alima Pure in the color Petal.  It is very sheer and pretty much the exact color of my lip so I guess that makes it the perfect nude shade.  I really don’t wear lip color often so I’m good with a barely-there color.  It also makes a nice base under lip gloss.

I tried 100% Pure’s lip glaze in Watermelon (not pictured) but it was the only product so far I haven’t liked (and so I used their fab return policy and sent it back).  The color was nice but the color collected in a line on my lips and settled in my lip creases so I wasn’t impressed with how it wore.

Then I tried 100% Pure’s creamstick in Perfect Naked Berry.  I used to love Clinique’s chubby sticks (like a big, fat lip pencil) and this looked very similar.  I wanted the Perfect Naked Pink (I tend to always choose pinks or corals) but it was sold out so I tried the berry.  It was darker than I tend to wear (although not dark by most standards) but I got several compliments on it (probably just because it’s unusual to see me in lip color at all!) so I think I’ll keep it and step outside of my makeup comfort zone.  This lip product did not settle in my creases or anything and actually stayed on much longer than most lipsticks (which is one of the reasons I don’t wear much lipstick – I don’t like having to reapply all the time).  Now that I’ve tried one of the creamsticks I want to get them all!  I hope the pink one comes back in stock.

I also already had two lip glosses.  Young Living doesn’t carry any other makeup but they do have three different lip gloss/essential oil blend combos (gloss on one end, oil blend to use as perfume on the other).  I have the red gloss/amoressence scent (that’s the bottom one with the yellow oil blend) and the pink gloss/summer scent (top).  I bought the red/amoressence becuase I loved the smell of the amoressence.  I was hesitant about getting red but it’s not red at all and it’s not dark either – more of a sheer berry color.  The pink gloss is definitely my favorite color though!  I like it best out of all four of my lip color options.  Since it’s gloss it wears off faster than lipstick but thankfully it wears off evenly (instead of settling in creases) and it’s not sticky like some glosses so I really like that.

2016-04-19_09.20.24 copyI did hang on to one of my old products – this Tarte concealer.  I honestly rarely use concealer (my issues are more all over redness rather than blemishes).  Tarte is more natural than many but still not quite what I would want, but since I rarely use it I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on another one so I’m going to keep using this for now.

Again, I am no beauty blogger nor am I much of a selfie taker so try to look past the awkwardness of these next pictures.  I wanted to show you what the makeup looks like on so that you could see that it looks just as good as what you might buy elsewhere.  I feel like that’s better seen in person but I tried anyway so maybe this will help!

no makeupNo makeup at all.

face makeup onlyFace makeup done (primer, pressed powder foundation, bronzer, blush, highlighter) but eyes and lips still bare.

makeup done with 100% Pure, Alima Pure, and Young Living makeupFull face of makeup.  I think the lip color is the 100% Pure creamstick in berry.

So in case you haven’t gathered from the post I’ll recap here: I have been incredibly pleased with the makeup I’ve gotten from 100% Pure and Alima Pure, both in the fact that it’s so much better for me than my old makeup and in how well it works.  Of the two companies 100% Pure is my favorite but both are great.

Natural makeup is, as with most natural things, more expensive than their counterparts.  I typically bought brands like Clinique, Mary Kay, Bare Minerals, Urban Decay, etc. so I was used to spending a little more on makeup than if I’d bought it from Walmart, Target, etc.  However that might be a little bit of sticker shock for you so I wanted to give you a heads up!

I wish I had a coupon for you for 100% Pure since that’s definitely my favorite but unfortunately I don’t.  However if you sign up for their emails or like them on Facebook and watch their sales they do run lots of good sales, as much as 25% off which is pretty good!

I do have a discount code for Alima Pure though and they have great stuff too so worth a try!  Click here to get a $10 off coupon emailed to you for your first order (I think I might get a credit on my account too so thanks in advance!).

In case you are curious here is a list of the other companies I looked at and some of my thoughts about them.  Most I would like to try at some points, it’s just like I said before that didn’t want to pay shipping for so many different companies so I had to narrow it down.

  • Beauty Counter – This was (is) in my top 3 compaines that I want to try.  I’ve heard great things about their makeup (especially their Tint Skin Foundation) and one thing that they have that the other compaines don’t (that doesn’t matter to me but I know matters to others) is that their makeup is not mineral based.  Still natural, but not minerals like most compaines.  I don’t have an issue with mineral makeup but I know it makes some people break out, so here is another option for you.  I haven’t tried this yet but it’s on my list to try in the near future.  When I originally started my research a family member had mentioned that she was thinking about becoming a Beauty Counter consultant so I wanted to wait until she decided so that I could order from her if she did.  I had also already spent quite a bit on my makeup overhaul so there was that too.  Their selection isn’t huge but it’s a decent size and I would guess they will add more as the company grows.  I linked directly to the website but fyi this is a direct sales company so if you decide to try their stuff find out if one of your friends is a consultant first and order through them to support them!
  • Root Pretty – I was very impressed with these products too.  Lots of options, offers lots of samples (more than just foundation samples) you can purchase to try colors before you buy, more budget friendly than some of the other companies.  This is another that I would like to try out in the future.  I was not impressed with their customer service when I reached out to them which is why I didn’t order from them during my initial order.
  • Juice Beauty – Pretty good selection, including liquid foundation.  Free shipping over $30.  According to their store locator our local Ulta carries Juice Beauty (although I’m not sure how much) so that’s a plus if you like to check things out in person rather than order online.  I don’t go to the mall much but next time I do I’ll go check out our selection.
  • Sweet Savvy Minerals – This is a relatively new company founded by a fellow Young Living distributor.  I defintely like to support a fellow YL colleague but their selection is still pretty small and they only offer the loose powders and eyeshadows so it’s something I’d like to try in the future but it didn’t make my initial order.

There were a couple of other companies I checked out that were not as natural as they claim or who have since (as in, since I did this research in January of this year) closed their doors and/or rebranded due to some internal scandals.  I’m not going to name names as my goal here is not to call out other companies.  These listed here are ones I suggest either from personal experience or my research as of a few months ago.  I’m sure there are other great ones out there, I just suggest you do some digging on your own to see if the makeup you are looking at is really natural.

And there you go!  If you read this far give yourself a pat on the back!  I know that was a lot of info.  I hope it’s helpful and that you’ll see that it’s a lot easier to switch to natural makeup products than you might have thought.

Disclaimer: I bought all of this makeup with my own money.  None of these brands know who I am and I didn’t receive any products for free.  This is my honest review based on what I purchased and my own experiences.  

Have you tried any of these brands?  What were your thoughts?  Do you have any questions about what I tried?

my weight loss tips roundup

tips

I don’t profess to know everything there is to know about weight loss, and I especially don’t pretend to follow all the tips that I do know (if I did I’d be much skinnier than I am now), however, I have had some success in the weight loss department in the past.

As the new year approaches many of us (including myself) are thinking about trying to eat healthier, detox from the holidays, and/or lose weight.  Since one of the most popular search terms that brings people to my blog is “South Beach Diet”, I figure there are many people out there with questions.  So I thought I’d round up all my posts about dieting, healthy eating, etc. into one place.

Start by reading about my weight loss journey: the background, the diet, the exercise, the results, the maintenance, the struggles, and the future.

If you’re interested in going with South Beach or some other similar low-carb plan, you might want to check out my posts about my South Beach phase 1 meal plans and following South Beach while eating out.  You should also look at my recipes – they aren’t all South Beach friendly, but many of them are (and I’ve included a note at the end of the South Beach friendly recipes that tells you which phase they would go with).

If you travel a lot make sure to read my tips on how to eat healthy while travelling and how to exercise while travelling.

Some other helpful posts for your journey toward healthy eating include tips for prepping your food in advancemaking sure you know how to find the best weight for your body, and the heart rate monitor that I use and love.

South Beach has been my diet lifestyle of choice for the past 7 or 8 years, but this year Michael and I took it a step further and decided to move away from highly processed food.  We did what we called a real food challenge, where we ate only local, organic, non-processed food for 100 days.  After we completed the challenge, we decided to maintain that way of eating with exceptions for special occasions.  You can read about our journey with that here: the challenge details, week 1, week 2, week 3, the results after one month, tips on eating real food while travelling, the busy girl’s guide to eating a real food diet, and the results after 100 days.

Like I said, I don’t know everything and I don’t follow these diets strictly, but I have had success with South Beach and eating real food in the past and it helps me to have all the resources in one post so I can reference them when I’m trying to get back on the wagon (aka right now).  I hope this helps you, too!

working out while traveling {Works for Me Wednesday}

Last week for Works for Me Wednesday I gave some tips for eating healthy while traveling.  This week I’m going to talk about how to get some exercise in while traveling.

Exercising can be hard when you are away from home.  If you’re like me, though, not exercising for a week can really set you back fitness-wise (that first trip back to the gym after a week away – ouch!) and not exercising might make you feel sluggish.  Plus if you’re like me you tend to eat a little more food and and a little less healthy when you aren’t at home so burning some calories each day is helpful.  Here are some tips:

If you are in a hotel or resort, you should be good to go.  I think every hotel I’ve stayed at since starting this healthy lifestyle (even shady hotels in Mexico) have had some sort of fitness center.  Most recently our hotels in Chattanooga and Nashville had little gyms with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, free weights, mats, and exercise balls.  I was able to get cardio and weight training in while we were there.  Sure, it wasn’t as great as the spinning, Zumba, and other group fitness classes I would have taken at home, but at least I was able to work out some.  The resort we went to two summers ago for vacation had a nice, (hot – no A/C!) fitness room that I used.  They even had Pilates and yoga classes on the beach in the mornings and evenings that I went to a few times.  Exercising with a beautiful view!

The gym at our hotel in Nashville (Doubletree) last week [source]

Let’s say your hotel doesn’t have a gym.  Or let’s say that you are not staying at a hotel – with the holidays coming up you might be more likely to be staying with family or friends.  That can be a little less convenient but we can still make it work (said in my best Tim Gunn voice).

Get some workout videos.  You can take these videos with you, pop them in to your laptop and work out anywhere.  I use this method a lot when we stay with my parents or Michael’s.  My favorite is Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred.  You can get it on Amazon for less than $9.00. (disclaimer – I tried the whole 30 day thing and didn’t see any difference at all.  This was not an effective way for me to lose weight.  Only doing one session really isn’t going to do much for you anyway since they’re so short, sorry.  Usually I do two sessions back to back when I use this video and it’s not any better than any ol’ session at the gym but it gets in cardio and strength and it’s convenient for when I’m not at the gym.) There are tons of other workout videos, too – Zumba, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, dance – whatever suits your fancy.

[source]

Another option is to get one of those stretchy band things (resistance bands?) and take it with you.  It’s small and light so you can easily pack it in your suitcase, plus you can get a really good workout with them.  I don’t own one (although I want one!) but I’ve used them in workout classes in the gym.  I’m sure there are tons of YouTube videos that show you how to use them if you don’t know.

[source]

If you like to run or walk, try to find a nice path or track you can use wherever you are.  There’s probably a park or Greenway of some sort nearby.  This summer when I stayed with my grandparents for a week there was a hospital right down the street that had a pond with a track around it.  I was able to go there and run several times during my visit.  If you can’t find an “official” track, there still might be places you run/walk (one year on Thanksgiving morning I ran up and down my grandparent’s driveway for 30 minutes).    You could also check to see if there is a community gym or fitness center where you could pay a small daily fee to use.

Maybe you don’t want to take the time during your vacation to have a formal work out.  There are other ways you can creatively work in exercise.  Last spring we went to Gatlinburg for a long weekend and on Saturday we went on a hike; we got a little exercise in while doing something different and fun.  You could plan a family bike ride, play tennis, or go swimming.  Play Wii with your nieces and nephews.  Go for a walk with the family after your Thanksgiving meal.  Challenge your cousins to a pickup basketball game.  Put on some music and dance.  Rake your grandparents’ yard.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you stay active while you’re traveling this holiday season.  Do you have a good work out while traveling tip that I didn’t mention?  Leave a comment so we can hear about it if you do!

Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.