Beauty Products, Pretty Well

June Product Reviews

IMG_4662.JPG

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

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.

featured1_grande.jpeg

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.

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!

IMG_2214
My favorite little yoga partner…Chewy Man!
Beauty Products, Health, Pregnancy, Pretty Well

Facial Moisturizer Tips

Moisturizers.

There are thousands of them out there, especially in the clean beauty category. It’s a product we look to as the holy grail of beauty…the product that will make the most difference for our skin. It was only three years ago that I started wearing a moisturizer. I was terrified to put it on my already oily skin and, instead, constantly reached for my medicated acne cream.  The day I started using a moisturizer made the most difference for my skin. I put away the acne medicine and started focusing on nourishing my face. My skin is not perfect these days, but it’s so much better. I haven’t touched the medicated creams since.

There are many different types of facial moisturizers and they go by various names: serum, oil, cream, moisturizer, balm, etc. There are several different specific categories within these names that point more specifically to how the moisturizer works. It can be very confusing and overwhelming to even get started. I am going to share what I have discovered works best for my skin and make suggestions for other skin types. Everyone is very different, though, so keep in mind that this is not a one size fits all post. For example, I have 4 sisters and no two of us can use the same routine.

My biggest piece of advice: stick to one brand at a time. 

Often, products within specific brands are meant to work together. You may actually do yourself a disservice by mixing several product lines together. As you make the transition to cleaner products, you will learn what can be mixed together. For now, I recommend sticking to one line. Keep it simple! I’ve tried several different product lines, and I always come back to these:

Favorite Safer Skincare Brands

Beautycounter

 Indie Lee 

One Love Organics

 Juice Beauty 

Another reminder, give products the time to work! It can take days to weeks for results to become visible.

My Current Routine 

My experience mainly consists of products to help combination-oily, acne prone skin with redness and discoloration.

Right now, I’m working on evening my skin tone, keeping breakouts at bay, and helping my skin age gracefully. Beautycounter is my go-to line during this season, and I am seeing great results with this combination. I was starting to develop a few pregnancy related skin issues, but they started cleaning up when I became a consultant and started using more and more Beautycounter products. I use the same combination both morning and night.

new-rejuvenating-toner-pads-40-padsRejuvenating Toner Pads 

new-rejuvenating-radiance-serum-600.png

Rejuvenating Radiance Serum 

bc_bc_3-balancingfacialoil_selling01_webBalancing Facial Oil 

bc_bc_3-balancingfacialmist_selling01_web

Balancing Facial Mist 

You could also just use the Balancing Collection without adding the Rejuvenating line in. I love Vitamin C, though, and use the Rejuvenating line to get some Vitamin C into my skincare routine.

My mom loves the Plumping Collection along with the Rejuvenating Day and Night Creams. My friends with dry and sensitive skin love various product combinations from the Nourishing Line. If you’re interested in Beautycounter, I am happy to help you develop a custom routine for moisturizing and treating your skin!

So, what are some of my other favorites?

Untitled_design_73_bbcddcf0-0972-4793-8637-3a542ec00e65_large

Squalane Facial Oil by Indie LeeUntitled_design_46_large

Skin Savior Multitasking Balm by One Love Organics

REDNESS-RESCUE-CREAM-_RRC_530x

Redness Rescue Cream by Fitglow

green-apple-brightening-spf-15-moisturizer-web-photo

Green Apple Brightening Moisturizer by Juice Beauty 

Please feel free to comment below with any questions or if you want any advice on the products listed in this post! Happy Moisturizing!

Beauty Products, Health, Pretty Well

My Beautycounter “Why”

Never in a million years did I see myself as a consultant for any product. I’ve dreamt off and on about opening a small, retail business whether in natural cosmetics, fashion, or a lovely store full of all things paper and journals. I grew up at my grandparent’s small business, and it’s definitely in my blood to want to connect people to products and provide an amazing customer service experience. Yet, I’ve hesitated to dive right in and run my own business largely because of financial and time commitments.

As I started researching safer beauty product lines, I discovered Beautycounter during their popup shop with Target and through browsing the Skin Deep website. I kept meaning to make a purchase, but I never did and time just slipped away. I later learned that I could not only purchase the products directly from the Beautycounter website, but I could also join the movement and become a consultant. I started the consultant signup process only to discover that I would have to choose a mentor, which promptly led me to close out of the page. To this day, I’m not sure why I was so opposed to the idea of having a mentor. I’m stubbornly independent at times so there’s your likely answer!

After I started Pretty Well, a friend contacted me about becoming a Beautycounter consultant. She felt that I was a perfect fit for the mission and the products. She no longer lives in Georgia, but I knew her and felt comfortable with her being my mentor. I took a few days to think about the opportunity and to weigh out the pros and cons. I determined that this was actually a great, relatively risk-free way for me to enter the cosmetic industry and be able to connect people directly to awesome products all in one place. And, in some sense, learn a few things about running a business.

Why I became a Beautycounter consultant: 

  • I have the most sensitive skin. I’ve yet to find a Beautycounter product that hasn’t been wonderful for me. It truly speaks to the awesome quality of the products. I LOVE THEM ALL!
  • I enjoy connecting people with solutions. Whether that’s beauty products or everyday advice, I am a solution driven person. Beautycounter gives me tons of solutions right at my fingertips.
  • The startup cost was low. There are several packages to choose from when getting started. You can choose your initial investment when getting started as a consultant.
  • I am a cosmetic nerd. Seriously, I love this stuff! Sending out samples, hosting socials, and giving people information is so much fun!
  • We deserve better! This is the most important part! I often feel like the cosmetic industry could care less about the impact ingredients are having on our bodies and health. Beautycounter has made safer products, continues to do research, and advocate for industry changes. That is a mission I love taking part in and sharing with others.
  • It’s nice to make a little extra money. Who doesn’t love making extra money doing something they love?

I truly believe everyone should give Beautycounter a try. There is a 60 day money back guarantee on the products. There are ways to try samples; I am always happy to connect you with some. And, if you love the products, then becoming a consultant could likely be your next step!

So, I am totally one of those consultant nerds now. I am loving it, though! And, perhaps, one day I will create a business of my own. For now, this is great training!

Shop Beautycounter by clicking here!

Interested in becoming a consultant or learning more about our products? Shoot me an email at prettywellblog@gmail.com or visit this link.

Follow my Beautycounter journey through Instagram and Facebook!

-Jess

Beauty Products, Health, Pretty Well

Redefining Beauty

My history with beauty hasn’t always been clean.

I held my breath as the doctor approached my forehead with a syringe. The waivers were signed. The possible outcomes were understood. Today was the day I would say goodbye to that pesky line between my eyebrows. I was 23 years old and a few years of looking at the computer screen and thinking too hard were beginning to show on my face…specifically right between my eyes. The line had become a catch-all for my makeup and a source of insecurity. I was much too young for this, and I knew there was already a solution in place. So, I called up my esthetician and scheduled a consultation and then an appointment. Within a few days, I walked out of the office with a shiny new forehead.

As I went to sleep that night, I felt a wave of panic come over me as I realized I could not exactly move my forehead. The connection between my brain and muscles had ceased, and it freaked me out! While I spent the next few months more confident in my looks (goodbye forehead crease!), I promised myself I would never go through the process again. I started to ask why this was the latest beauty craze. Sure, we want to look young. Sure, it can help with headaches. But, there was something that was now missing from me..from who I am…my ability to express myself felt completely stifled. Some people are perfectly okay with that, but I was not ready to let it go.

Today, my forehead line has returned. It’s a little deeper than before. I know that no cream or natural remedy will fix it. I even went through a few nights of trying to use wrinkle tape to help smooth it out. Lately, I’ve really been working through accepting the aging process and focusing more on self-care and wellness rather than just outward appearances. Putting something on my skin that is toxic simply is not worth it. I’m already dealing with a compromised immune system, and I am on a mission to give my body the best chance to be healthy.

And, the reality is, this injection was not my first attempt to look better. At a young age, I started having chemical peels and going through Retin-A treatments. I had acid applied to a scar on my chin to help it heal again in a less noticeable way.  My chemical peel journey ended after the peel refused to settle down…leaving me with the worst feeling face ever. All of these moments…all of these instances…made me look at myself and question the underlying insecurities.

What is beauty? Why is our society pushing so hard against the aging process?

And, you may ask, what is the difference between injections and simply using a natural cream with promises of brightening your skin? Honestly, I do often ask myself this question. Isn’t the motivation ultimately the same?

I think the difference ultimately lies within the risks we are willing to take in the name of beauty. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel prettier but…what happens when prettier means taking major health risks?

What is the definition of beauty? What value has our culture placed on that definition?

For me, I am in the process of redefining what beauty means to me and how I perceive beauty in others. I want to tell young girls that makeup does not define them. That perfectly shaped eyebrows and smooth skin are not necessary. I want to tell them that they are enough, and they are beautiful.

The quest for perfection is trickling down to younger and younger generations. It has to stop somewhere and it’s going to take a generation of young women standing up and saying…

“I’ve got some lines and that is just fine. My skin is not perfect, but I will not sacrifice my health in the name of beauty.”

No one will ever be perfect on this journey. I am surely not. What can we do? We can begin to redefine beauty, and we can begin to encourage our mothers and sisters and friends to trend toward wellness and health. One step at a time.

 

Beauty Products, Pretty Well

Eyeshadow Favorites

Let’s talk about eyeshadow. Eye shadow is one of my favorite beauty products. It’s versatile, affordable, and really sets the tone of a makeup look. I can barely walk away from a beautiful pink or gold shimmer. I had a nice collection of colors from one brand that I ended up setting aside for cleaner alternatives. I thought it would be hard to replace them, but I quickly found new favorites. The best part? The new ones do not bother my eyes! Ever. I am sharing with you my three favorite eyeshadows to date.

rms

RMS Beauty Eye Polish

This eyeshadow is creamy and full of pigments. A little goes a long way, and it’s super easy to apply even with your fingers. The end result is a subtle, glossy look that leaves your eyes looking fresh rather than heavy. The best part? It pulls double duty and moisturizes the eyes while being worn to help fight aging! If you do have oily skin, just make sure you use a minimum amount rather than using a normal amount. This product lasts forever!

Favorite Shades: Lunar, Myth

100%

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Eye Shadow

This eyeshadow is most similar to the one I said goodbye to for a cleaner alternative. So easy to apply and blend. You really can’t mess up the application process. Plus, it stays put all day. There is a great selection of shades to choose from…all free from synthetic dyes!

Favorite Shades: Star Bright, Sugared

vapour

Vapour Mesmerize Eye Color

The first day I wore this eyeshadow a coworker stopped me and said, “Your eyes look amazing today! What did you do different?” Well, the difference was the mesmerize eye color. It’s fantastic. It’s creamy but it also reminds me of a powered eyeshadow. It does not crease or run like your typical cream. The pigments in the product are truly amazing, and you are guaranteed to have a twinkle in your eyes! Fig and Flower has an awesome eye palette available with three awesome shades to get you started.

Favorite Shades: Sugar, Firefly

I hope you are able to find a clean shadow for your makeup collection. I think you will be happy with any of these!
-Jess

Beauty Products, Pretty Well

Review: One Love Organics

One Love Organics is a smaller natural beauty company based out of one of my favorite places–St. Simons Island, GA. The One Love Organic products are ECOCERT, non-toxic, all natural, gentle and effective for all skin types. They were one of the first companies I tried when transitioning to natural products, and I love everything about them! The packaging, the smells, the mission to provide safe products, and (most importantly) the fact that the products work. I’m truly impressed again and again. I recently purchased three new products from One Love Organics, and I want to share with you my thoughts after using them for a few weeks. When I set out on this journey, I promised myself that I would always try any product I share with you. Rest assured that any products you see on Pretty + Well have been in my hands first!

Untitled_design_46_1024x1024

Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm

Uses: Make-up remover & moisturizer

Why It’s Awesome: I was nervous to try this balm since my skin tends to be oily. Oil + oil could be a bad combination, but this has been nothing but wonderful. I’ve used Skin Savior at night and under my make-up in the mornings. You do want to have somewhat damp skin when applying it. My makeup has gone on really smooth without melting down by the end of the work day. I’ve actually had some breakouts clear and seen a reduction in redness. I can’t explain just how silky this product feels. If you have dry skin, you will love it even more! Oh, and the scent? It’s a divine citrus-vanilla.

Tip: I do plan to cut down to using it just at night as the months grow warmer. I don’t know that it will completely hold up during the day during the humid Georgia summers.

Untitled_design_28_83837830-d4b8-4653-b8cd-34fdfc3bd82c_grande

Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser

Uses: Facial cleanser that can also be used on your hair and as a body wash!

Why It’s Awesome: Seriously love this stuff! Face wash is my absolute favorite beauty product to buy. I’ve tried some great ones and some awful ones. The easy does it cleanser makes the top of my list. Again, the scent is lovely. It lathers just right and does a great job of removing all of my makeup. My skin is left feeling clean but not dry. It’s also a great one for your husband to use as well.

Tip: A little goes a long way!

Untitled_design_25_8d307488-cb7c-4fa3-b94e-5570c1877c1f_grande

Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Masque

Uses: Bi-weekly scrub & masque

Why It’s Awesome: I love a good scrub a few times a week. Brand New Day leaves my skin feeling refreshed and renewed. I mainly use it as a scrub since I am not always patient enough for the masque. I would say to try the small bottle (around $12) before making a larger investment.

Tip: I suggest using it at the sink or in the tub. Using it in the shower can risks getting the entire container of powder wet.

I hope you give one of these One Love Organics products a try. If I had to recommend just one, it would be the Skin Savior Balm. It’s such a unique product…and I am just still amazed by its texture. You can also explore more products by One Love Organics by clicking here.