Posts Tagged ‘non-toxic make-up’

Natural Beauty: Winter Routine + Why You Should Stop Eating High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Posted on December 20th, 2012 by Tonia 6 Comments

I can feel it happening–the itchy, tight feeling my skin gets as we enter winter and the air becomes dry and cold. I believe the not-so-scientific term for it is “winter skin”, and it can actually be painful. You know what I’m talking about–that feeling that you will die if you don’t scratch the itch immediately, only the problem is that everywhere itches!

Thankfully there are a number of ways to combat winter skin and keep yourself feeling and looking your best. Here is my recipe for success/winter beauty routine:


Olive Oil and Sugar Scrub: Follow the link and whip up a jar of this glorious scrub. Use it in the shower after your usual soap. It exfoliates dead skin and leaves you moisturized and protected. Hot water is very drying…But I love a good hot shower. The olive oil in the scrub will help keep the water from drying you out, and contains fatty acids that are great for your skin {You can also use it to make homemade hair conditioner!}

I also like this recipe. It’s more time consuming to make, but the ginger and coconut together smells amazing. I add a little bit of orange essential oil as well, which makes it smell like sherbet!

Coconut Oil: This oil improves skin firmness and elasticity, and conveniently hardens into a solid at any temp below 75 degrees. I keep it in the bathroom vanity and slather it on all over my body after showers. It’s very light and absorbs quickly. I even use it on my face and it does not make me break out, even though I have sensitive skin. I buy a tub of it {the organic kind} at the health food store, and it’s very economical.


Argan Oil: Rich in Vit. E and fatty acids, this oil gives your face a beautiful glow and smooth texture without sitting heavily on the skin. It’s perhaps a little too much for the summertime {unless you have dry skin}, but it’s perfect as a daily moisturizer in the winter. It’s pricey, so I use it only on my face.

I wear less make-up in the winter because it tends to dry my skin out {I use this in the summer. LOVE it.}. My daily winter make-up routine consists of a little eye-brow filler and some cheek color. Pretty easy!

I love the Argon Color Stick by Josie Maran because it is moisturizing, but recently I came across this blog post, showing how to make cheek stain from beet juice. I tried it, and I LOVE it! It works great and the color is really natural and pretty–like you just walked in from the cold. It also lasted all day without needing to be re-applied.

The only trick is to not cook the beets too long. The juice turns brown instead of staying that pretty purple-pink color if you do. I tried to make this cheek stain in large batches so I could give it to friends as a gift, and found that it was better done in small one-off batches. You don’t get much juice out of a couple beets, but since a tiny bit of it is enough to color your whole cheek, a little goes a long way.

Since I wear less makeup in the winter, I don’t feel the need to I wash my face every day. Sometimes I splash it with water in the morning to get the sleep out of my eyes, but I don’t wash my face with soap more than once every few days. Soap dries out my skin and the hot water expands my pores–two undesirable things. When I do wash it, I use a face soap with exfoliates in it to slough away dead skin. If I can feel a break-out coming on, I use a homemade mask like this one to draw out the impurities in my skin.

I used to have problem skin–zit break-outs happening on a regular basis with very little “clear” time in between–but I have seen a dramatic change in the past year and I believe it’s due to two things: Not washing my face more than a couple times a week, and avoiding high-fructose corn syrup like the plague. I discovered both by accident.

Mike and I went camping last fall with a couple friends, and I did not wash my face for a week. When we left home I had zits in the usual places: my chin and forehead. When we emerged from the woods, my face was dirty from hiking and camping but perfectly clear of acne! I decided to wash my face as infrequently as possible after that, leaving my skin alone to do its thing. It is, afterall, an organ. My skin is now capable of achieving a natural balance of oil because I’m no longer stripping it of its natural oil and then replacing it with different oil (from a moisturizer) all the time.

These days, when I get a zit here and there I know it’s because of keeping a poor diet that week (like around the holidays when I eat too many sweets). I’m especially sensitive to high-fructose corn syrup. Last summer Mike announced that he had read somewhere about how high-fructose corn syrup causes inflammation in the body and that we should purge our home of anything that contains it.

Into the trash went the katsup, the salad dressing, the crackers, the cookies, and more. I was shocked at how many things had it in it, especially because we try our best to keep whole, unprocessed, organic foods in the house. But it’s a sneaky ingredient and it really is in almost everything that comes in a package. Tossing out all that food was a great wake-up call.

Since then we haven’t eaten the stuff unless it’s completely unavoidable, like when you’re stuck on a plane and you’re super hungry and they bring you a packet of those little gingerbread cookies and so you eat them. Desperate moments of weakness aside, my skin thanks me for abstaining from high-fructose corn syrup. I’m sure there are many other health reasons you should not eat high-fructose corn syrup as well, but for me having clear skin for the first time since I was 13 is reason enough. I am so, so, so happy to have left the problem-skin era of my life behind me!

Natural Beauty: Avoid Toxic Make-Up

Posted on February 22nd, 2010 by Tonia 7 Comments

I don’t exactly consider myself a girly-girl. I ride horses {and have no problem mucking stalls}, I go camping {outside in a tent. I know some of you think camping means sleeping in one of these}, and from time to time I make un-ladylike jokes {“that’s what she said.”}

However, I enjoy a good facial/mani-pedi as much as the next girl, and I wear make-up almost every day.  Therein lies a teeny problem: my need {yes dear, it is a need, not a want} for occasional pampering and regular make-up usage conflicts with my ethics.36459As you may know, the majority of cosmetics and toiletries on the market today contain enormous amounts of toxic chemicals which have never been tested for safety by the FDA.  Not only are these toxins sitting on our faces all day long and being absorbed into our bodies, but when we wash them off we are washing them into our water system and the earth.  Some of the most common include:

  • Foaming agents such as sodium laureth sulphate, ammonium lauryl sulphate and 1,4-dioxane.
  • Synthetic colors and fragrances which are not always labeled or identified completely on labels and may be an amalgam of hundreds of chemicals.
  • Parabens, which are often used as preservatives and have been linked to breast cancer.
  • Propylene Glycol which can cause liver and kidney damage

{More information can be found at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which has one of the largest databases of products and ingredients online.}

True story: Recently I switched from using department store make-up to using Aveda products.  When I ran out of my Aveda stuff, I had to go back to using the department store brands for a little while, and I noticed that my eyes became red and irritated after wearing it all day long.  I quickly replenished my supply of Aveda make-up and never looked back.  Besides using natural ingredients, Aveda also manufactures using 100% certified wind-power.

{I am not paid/sponsored by Aveda at all.  I’m just sharing a good experience I had with their products.}

Aveda is certainly not the only option. Even Wall-greens carries all-natural brands of cosmetics and toiletries these days.  If you’re a make-up lover like myself, I challenge you to switch to an all-natural brand, and see what kind of difference it makes with your skin/eyes/allergies.  Even if you don’t notice any outward benefits like I did, at least you can feel good that you’re no longer washing those chemicals down the drain every day! If you already use natural cosmetics, please share you experience in the comments!

Check back later this week for more on the subject of natural skincare, including a recipe for a homemade facial!…