Beauty Products, Pretty Well

June Product Reviews

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I ordered a box of five new goodies in early June (I seriously love mail a little too much), and I am finally ready to share with you my thoughts on each product! 

brighteningcleanser_indielee_608819407210_front_copy_grande-2Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser ($32) – I first used this cleanser several years ago when I switched to safer beauty products. I loved it then and love it equally as much now! The smell reminds me of  fresh strawberries! It has an awesome texture when it comes out of the bottle and lathers onto your skin with ease. The glass bottle packaging is also beautiful. My preference is the use this face wash only in the morning. I don’t love it as much for removing makeup, but it’s lovely for giving you a glowing start to each morning! It can also be used as a mask if you let it sit for 5-10 minutes on your face. Be careful, though, the product comes out of the bottle super fast!

Untitled_design_81_grandeCommon Goods Lavender Linen Water ($7) – Ironing is one of my least favorite chores (can I get an amen?), but this linen water makes it so much more fun. The smell is subtle and just enough to put a smile on your face rather than making you want to seek cover from some sort of fragrance bomb. I spray it on our clothes before ironing them, on our sheets a few times a week, and often on my clothes I wear for the day. It’s a happy, delightful way to spring some lavender into your life!

Untitled_design_26_a5f6b5ef-12b0-46ae-aad3-b7e9a38c23e6_grandeOne Love Organics Cleansing Sponge ($10) – This is a product I could take or leave. My biggest issue is consistently using a cleansing sponge. I’m definitely in the routine of using my hands to wash my face. This sponge dries hard but softens as your run it under the water. It does a good job when it comes to removing makeup and leaving your skin feeling super clean. If you love sponges, this is an affordable and decent one to try! And, seriously, the heart shape is a cute added bonus!

 

mediterranean_largeVapour Mediterranean Artist Eye Palette ($46) – I’ve used individuals eye shadows
from Vapour, but this is my first palette. I love the color combination and the texture of the eyeshadows. The palette is a little smaller than I expected, but the shadows seem to last a long time. It’s also super easy to pack when traveling. My favorite thing about the cream eyeshadows by Vapour is that they are basically foolproof. You can have zero skill and make these shadows look great! The colors are subtle once applied and last most of the day. The pink shade is definitely my favorite out of the three colors.

CC_2016_Product_grandeConscious Coconut Oil ($16) – I’m going to be completely honest here…I will not be purchasing this product again. It’s likely user error, but I’ve had the toughest time with the coconut oil in the tube. I am sure it’s wonderful for people who travel a lot or don’t like the idea of dipping into a jar. For me, I really struggled to use the tube. I ran it under hot water, squeezed it, and a forceful amount of coconut oil came out and ended up all over my bathroom. I decided to give it another try and the exact same thing happened. I haven’t been able to get anything out of the tube without warming it up, but I fail each time to warm up the entire amount inside, which create a strange amount of pressure in the tube. I love the company and the idea of the product, but it’s just not for me!

Questions? Feel free to comment below!

-Jess

Beauty Products, Pretty Well

Giveaway Time

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June 15 was a super exciting day for Beautycounter. A brand new product was released — the Countermatch Adaptive Lotion. This lotion, using Bio-Mimic Technology and harnessing the unique life-giving properties of plants, adjusts hydration levels throughout the day for a smooth look and a radiant glow. In short, it gives your skin precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn’t! This breakthrough beauty product SOLD OUT before the day was done. Due to the overwhelming popularity, I’ve decided to host a product giveaway for one of my lucky customers. Luckily, I ordered an extra bottle just for this purpose 🙂 Here’s what you need to do to be eligible for the giveaway:

  1. Visit www.beautycounter.com/jessicadeems 
  2. Make a purchase of any amount by June 30 and email me a copy of your confirmation to –> prettywellblog@gmail.com. 
  3. I will hold a drawing on July 1 to select the winner of the Countermatch Adaptive Lotion & then send it your way! 

I want everyone to try this awesome product but, for now, I will get to connect one lucky person to it! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

image1 -Jess

Beauty Products

The Charcoal Craze

Charcoal beauty products are popping up all over right now, and there is a perfectly good reason for it…CHARCOAL WORKS! It’s wonderful at absorbing, cleaning, and detoxifying. For these reasons, I cannot deny my love for charcoal based products. Even some of my friends and family most resistant to cleaner beauty products have jumped on the charcoal train! Here are some of my charcoal favorites…

pdp_charcoalcleansingbar_selling-shot_528_613Charcoal Cleansing Bar: If you told me I would be stuck on an island for a few months, this is the one beauty product I would grab. I LOVE IT! It’s the best at removing my makeup at night and cleaning my pores. It’s also my best selling product as a Beautycounter consultant. If that’s not enough proof, even my husband uses it now as both a face and body wash.

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Piperwai Natural Deodorant: This deodorant contains super-absorbent activated charcoal. It rubs in clear and  doesn’t discolor your clothes. I’ve tried more natural deodorants than I care to admit, and this one excels as my favorite. The only downside is having to apply it with your fingers. It’s a small price to pay for a safer deodorant, though.

bc_bc_3-balancingfacialmist_selling01_webBalancing Facial Mist: Another favorite! This mist preps skin, sets makeup, and refreshes throughout the day. Specially formulated with charcoal powder and kaolin clay, it absorbs excess oil, refines skin texture, and helps calm redness. I use it both morning and night to keep my skin fresh!

high-res-coloured-single-image-pic--510x510_grandePearlbar Charcoal Toothbrush: A 100% biodegradable charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrush! The charcoal infused bristols help absorb toxins in the mouth, reducing the growth of cavity-forming bacteria that may cause bad breath. Plus, charcoal naturally whitens teeth your teeth!

bc_bc_3-balancingmask_selling01_webBalancing Facial Mask: Can all my charcoal mask loving friends raise your hands? Charcoal masks work wonders, especially if you have issues with large pores! This mask contains activated charcoal, which helps minimizes the appearance of pores, and salicylic acid, which stimulates exfoliation. I use it 3 times per week.

Beauty Products, Pretty Well

10 Safer Beauty Favorites Under $30

Beauty and personal care products can be pricey, but you don’t have to break the bank to begin making changes. I’ve rounded up 10 lovely items from two of my favorite places to purchase safer products– Fig & Flower and Beautycounter.

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Pinkerton_480_1024x1024_f1a28e5d-4dac-40cd-b056-88e51806be6c_grande100% Pure Creamy Nail Polish ($12)

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Indie Lee Blemish Lotion ($26)

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Suntegrity Mineral Sunscreen for Body ($24)

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BC Hydrating Body Lotion in Citrus Mimosa ($24)

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BC Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa ($20)

 
 
Fashion, Pregnancy

Maternity Fashion Favorites

Maternity clothing has been more fun than expected. I’ve looked at my former wardrobe with sad eyes a few times, but I’ve been able to find great replacements for those pieces and even experiment with a few new styles while pregnant. There are several options out there and, like anything these days, sifting through the options can be overwhelming and expensive. It’s also a little more challenging for me because I am petite (which is just a nice word for short). Here are my favorite places to shop for cute, affordable, and, most importantly, comfortable maternity clothing!

LOFT: Prior to becoming pregnant, most of my closet was filled with items from Loft. I LOVE their maternity selection, too. New styles are added constantly, and you can pretty much always find a deal. The pieces are timeless and fit well. The shorts and white shirt pictured above are from the maternity line. Shop Here!

Stitch Fix: I order this clothing subscription box from time to time, and I recently discovered their maternity service. I was super excited to have a few surprise pieces arrive at my door. It’s always so much fun…like receiving a birthday gift every month! My favorite items from the boxes have been the shorts and pants. It’s definitely worth a try for a few months while pregnant. The jeans pictured above are from a Stitch Fix. Shop Here!

ASOS: This is a great option for super trendy maternity clothes. I hop on their website when I want a wardrobe shakeup. They also have petite (amen!) and tall sizing options for several of their items. I have a few new fun pieces on the way that I can’t wait to try! Shop Here! 

Poshmark: If you don’t know about Poshmark, you should grab your phone now and download the app. If you don’t mind gently used maternity clothes, then this is an awesome resource. It has also been a useful way for me to clean out several clothing items that I know I will not use after having the baby. I will also post several of my maternity pieces once I do not need them anymore. If you signup with the code “GFNED” you will get a $5 credit. Shop Here!

I also have a few great pieces from Old Navy, Motherhood, and a few items that aren’t maternity at all (although those are quickly coming to an end). I encourage you to shop around and checkout a few of the places mentioned above.

Where are your favorite places to shop for maternity clothing? I would love to hear what works for you!

Faith, Lifestyle

Saying Goodbye to Throw Pillows

Time and time again as I would sit on our couch, my sinuses would completely shutdown…leaving me struggling for oxygen. This was a brand new problem for me and left me scratching my head for answers. We finally put two and two together. The down decorative pillows on the couch had turned into allergy provoking pests, an unexpected development of pregnancy.  Naturally, I proceeded to go on a cleaning rampage throughout the entire house, stripping pillow cases off every pillow we owned until all the feathered ones rested in a pile out in the garage. I walked back in to access the damage. By damage, I mean accessing just how many pillows I had left without feathers. I knew I didn’t want to spend money on new decorative pillows with our baby on the way.

In true Marie Kondo* fashion, I decided to evaluate my need for the countless pillows. We had pillows all over the couch, the bed (which typically means on the floor), and backup pillows stuffed in closets. Who told me I needed to fill every flat surface in our home with pillows? Did I see it in a magazine? Are the pillows functional/necessary?

As I looked around our newly de-feathered home, everything felt more spacious and open. So, I decided not to replace them. My nightly question of where to pile the throw pillows while we slept had been solved. Making the bed the next day was easy and less dreadful than before. The couch now felt inviting rather than off limits. I could actually sit on it without having to move pillows to the floor. It was a nice, unexpected change.

Now, let me explain before I lose you. I am in no way saying that it’s wrong or unacceptable to have throw pillows. They do add color, style, and functionality (sometimes) to our homes. You best believe I kept the ones I love the most!

Unnecessary complications and expectations.

My throw pillow incident brought this idea back to the forefront of my life. Yes, they were just throw pillows, but by eliminating a large portion of them I was able to simplify a few aspects of our life. On a broader scale, I realized that there were several areas in my life still filled with unnecessary complications and striving to meet unnecessary expectations. It often comes in the form of social media, well-meaning advice, or even self-imposed habits.

So, here are my questions for you. What areas of your life are filled with unnecessary complications and expectations? How can you simplify those areas and give your mind and heart more room to breathe? What are the “throw pillows” in your life?

As I simplify my life more and more, I am finding more time for my faith to grow, less distractions invading my time, and the ability to focus on what is truly important. I invite you to do the same and pick just one area to simplify. I promise it will make a huge difference!

*Side Note: If you’re not sure who Marie Kondo is then you should click here and read about her book. We went through her method of decluttering over a year ago, and it changed our life. 

Beauty Products, Pretty Well

Quick & Easy Natural Makeup Look

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I am all about effortless, quick, easy, and light makeup routines. There was a time in my life when I wore heavy foundation, which always felt more like I was wearing a mask. If my eyes ever ran water or shed tears, it looked like the Red Sea had parted down my cheeks. I’ve also had seasons of contouring and attempting the great smokey eye, which looked more like a black eye. I’m not knocking it. I just don’t have the skills and the vast majority of women do not either. My sister, though, is a makeup prodigy, and she does amazing things with makeup on a daily basis. If you need some tips and trips on taking it to the next level, I will give you her contact information! If you are just trying to make it through a day of work looking put together and without melting down, then I am your girl!

This is an actual picture from this morning. Hello, Friday and long weekend! I go through various makeup routines from time to time, but this has been my go-to look for the past two weeks or so. I’m using a lot of Beautycounter products right now since I am a consultant. I’m really trying to decide which products will become staples in my own routine, but I am loving everything so far. Here is what I used!

Note: Just click on the product names for direct links to the products.

Foundation and Concealer: Touchup Skin Concealer Pen in Light, Tint Skin Foundation in Linen

Setting Powder: Mattifying Powder 

Eyes: Eyeshadow Duo in Shell/Malt, bareMinerals Pink Eye Color in Finesse, Color Outline Eye Pencil in Violet, Tarte Lights/Camera/Lashes Mascara

Blush: Color Sweep Blush Duo in Flamingo/Apricot

Lips: Lip Sheer in Rose, Lip Gloss in Opal

Setting Spray: Balancing Facial Mist (this stuff is seriously the bomb!)

That’s it! 11 products for a quick and easy, natural makeup look.

I hope you enjoy your long weekend with family and friends. As a military spouse, I will be holding my husband extra close and remembering his friends who are no longer with us. Thank you to all of our Veterans and their families for your service.

Health, Pregnancy, Pretty Well

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga has been such a blessing during my pregnancy. We are fortunate enough to have an instructor in Athens who works with moms to be and holds a class once a week for expectant mothers. I was very early in my pregnancy when I walked into the door for the first time, but I was determined to give my body the best care possible from the beginning. As the baby grows and my body changes, I am more thankful than ever for yoga and the difference it makes for my overall health and wellness. I don’t get to attend the class every week, but I have found many great online resources for prenatal yoga. I would just make sure you attend a class to understand proper technique before taking on a practice of your own from home!

Here are five ways I have personally benefitted from yoga while pregnant: 

  1. I get to connect with other expectant mothers at various stages in pregnancy. 
  2. I feel strong and empowered even as my body shifts and changes. 
  3. I get to have time to myself without any distractions (like the phone! Can I get an amen?). 
  4. It’s equipping me with techniques to use during labor. 
  5. And, most importantly, it helps me feel great both physically and emotionally. 

If you are a mom to be, I highly recommend checking your local area for prenatal yoga classes or even exploring online resources. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made during this pregnancy, and I think everyone (as long as your doctor gives you approval) can benefit from an hour focusing on you and baby!

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My favorite little yoga partner…Chewy Man!
Health, Pretty Well

Trending Healthy

I walked out of the Indie Beauty Fair feeling more overwhelmed than encouraged. The process of fighting the crowd, going from booth to booth, and hearing about countless products left me exhausted. I wasn’t sure how I could possibly know which product claims were true and, ultimately, which products would work best for me. I’m analytical to a fault at times, and my trip around the Indie Beauty Fair brought out my need for things to be black or white. I flew back to Georgia the following day with many questions still on my mind.

Green, organic, clean, natural, non-toxic. They are buzz words of our generation. We are valiantly attempting to reverse the effects of mass production and consumption while working to provide our children with more simple and cleaner lives. Mindsets and companies are beginning to make changes. It’s encouraging to see changes taking place and the many voices advocating for clean living. Yet, navigating this landscape proves challenging.

I sat reading a few research articles and blog comments on cleaner living the other night. I was shocked to find an absurd amount of hateful talk and fingers pointing here and there about who is right and who is wrong. I closed my computer, looked over at my husband and said, “This is more complicated than I realized. There is confusion surrounding certain ingredients and companies with no definitive answers in sight.” I sat thinking about different arguments swirling around individual ingredients in products labeled as natural or clean, and on a deeper level, I couldn’t help but think about my own life and perceived contradictions.

Like the fact that I occasionally eat the really unhealthy cereals (okay, maybe more than occasionally) or that I take medication for my autoimmune disorder. There is also the fact that my family is involved in conventional farming. Does that disqualify me from having a voice in this area? Does that make my experience less valuable? I felt concerned about products on my blog, figuring it’s a matter of time before the Green Police start disagreeing with my decisions.

My mom is full of wisdom and she makes an effort to live a more healthy lifestyle, so I decided to bring up my thoughts to her. “It feels like there are no clear answers when it comes to living a cleaner and more healthy life. How do I help make a difference when the answers are not clear?” I asked her. She reminded me of the many women struggling with self-confidence and skin issues, and she also reminded me of my own struggles leading to this journey.

Like the time in middle school when I was crying in her arms as we stood in front of the bathroom mirror. My acne was horrible. Kids were mean. There was also the time we traveled to see a prominent esthetician. The results were horrible and made everything about my skin worse.

I also remembered people constantly telling me that I, “need to wash my face,” as if I wasn’t doing that and it would heal all my skin problems.

Most recently, I remembered my first autoimmune disorder related sun rash and walking out of the doctor’s office with the autoimmune disorder diagnosis knowing my life was forever changed. I promised myself that I would make changes in order to give myself the best life possible.

All of these moments and many more are part of my story. It’s so important that we not let confusion or opinions hijack our sense of purpose and passions on any journey. It’s important to hold your story in the forefront so you’re not easily distracted by the many voices lining the road.

I believe, for the most part, we are all living life the best we can with the information available to us–whether that is related to food, children, or beauty products. One of my favorite ideas is the idea of “trending toward” something. That is how I like to think of my life and clean living journey these days. I don’t have all of the answers when it comes to ingredients and products, and I don’t know that anyone ever will. I know that some things are a big “No” while others are still in question. I know that opinions vary on different companies. Most importantly, I know what works for me and what to avoid to prevent autoimmune flares.

I am trending toward making better decisions for my family and personal health one day at a time. My goal here is to help you trend toward a better life. A life where you are confident in your beauty, decisions, and health. Yes, the choices can be overwhelming at times, but this is a journey rather than a final destination. You simply have to start somewhere.

These days I am giving myself some grace and extending that to others. It has helped ease the burden I feel to make the absolute best, right, cleanest, most perfect decision possible.

-Jess

Beauty Products, Pretty Well

Lip Perfection

I haven’t always been a fan of lipstick. Typically, I would put it on first thing in the morning and then forget to reapply during the day. All of that changed as I transitioned to cleaner products. I now actually enjoy wearing lipstick. Here are some of my favorites!

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  1. Lip Sheer by Beautycounter
    • Don’t let the name fool you. There is no shortage of color here! I have a major love for this lipstick right now. I like it so much that I’ve purchased it in three colors (Twig, Plum, & Rose). It’s silky soft, fun to wear, and the color selection is awesome! I can’t wait to collect them all. It’s one of the first lipsticks I actually reapply throughout the day!
  2. Lip C.P.R. by Suntegrity
    • Lip color plus sunscreen? Sign me up! This lipstick helps reduce the appearance of lip lines and wrinkles while protecting you from the sun!
  3. Lip Glaze by 100% Pure
    • This was my first clean lipstick product and it’s still a favorite. I used the same tube for an entire year! I’m not even sure that you’re supposed to do that. It’s nourishing and easy to apply!

What are some of your favorite clean lipsticks? If you haven’t tried any, these are a great place to start!