20 Sep 2012

Beauty Tool Kit pt.2

When I emailed Dasha from Green Make-up recently, I also emailed Katey Denno from The Beauty Of It Is and asked if she could also give give me some advice/tips on products to use.

As Katey explained in her reply, I'd caught her at a very busy time so her reply is brief, therefor I will not copy her email but I will share her suggestions.

  • Checkout Spirit Beauty Lounge-she stocks all the best products such as Kjaer Weiss cream cheek colors and Revolution Organics, plus many other brands she uses.
  • Instead of using disposable tools found in many makeup artist's kits, she uses a metal mixing tool to scrape the products from the containers and onto the back of her clean hand or a clean mirror for blending.
  • Katey keeps a good number or lip brushes in her brush roll, remembering who she used which brush on, then uses an SLS-free shampoo to clean them and a natural conditioner to keep them soft. 
  • Katey recommends Vapour Organic Beauty primer, which she states doesn't contain silicon so it differs from usual primers as it doesn't give that perfectly slick feel for foundation to sit on but does keep makeup from sliding off.
Brands Katey has suggested using are: 
  • Tammy Fender, Ila and Dr. Hauschka moisturisers
  • Burt's Bees lip color products
  • Mineral Fusion Concealer
  • Honeybee Gardens nail polish remover and mascara
  • Zuzu liquid eyeliner
Between the information I have received from these two incredible ladies, my kit is going to be filled with the best products.

Thank you Katey.

14 Sep 2012

My new Love: Vitamix

A few weeks ago I finally bought myself a Vitamix and I have to say it is the best big purchase I have ever made! Every morning we make smoothies and sometimes we make a few each day, my kids have even started drinking green smoothies with things like Kale, Spinach, Avo and other veg in them. 

The first smoothie I made was Kimberly Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie, as it was the main reason I wanted a Vitamix in the first place, but we are always coming up with new ones based on what we have on hand. My partner is incredible at making up smoothie recipes but never remembers exactly what he put in them so I can't really share those recipes with you but I wanted to share this one I made the other day and it is incredible!

This is a rough guide and makes enough for two servings (or 4 small ones in my house).

1 1/2 - 2 cups coconut water
1 large banana or 2 small
1 avocado
1 handful fresh strawberries

Just add and blend. That simple. 

This recipe is so creamy and delicious, and although its not really a vegetable smoothie, it's a great one for the kids as a sub for store bought juice. 

I definitely recommend giving the GGS a try if you have a decent blender, it is so good for you and taste's great. 

There is also this post on Wellness Warrior that shows the basics for making the perfect green smoothie which I definitely recommend you check out, AND, if you have an iPhone there is a great app called Green Smoothies by Raw Family which has recipes, not only for smoothies, and a tab listing ingredients and their nutritional value.

Happy blending :)

12 Sep 2012

Beauty Tool Kit

I recently emailed Dasha from Green Make-Up asking if she could give me some recommendations or tips on products and essentials to put in my Natural Beauty tool kit. 

The reason for this is i've just signed up at Tafe to do a make-up and skin care course so I can get some qualifications and recognition behind me to start my own business. It's all very exciting and I cannot wait to start this journey. 

This is the reply I recieved: 

Hello Zara!

Thanks for passing by!
It's nice to hear that you are growing as an artist with green tools!
I'll try my best to answer you one by one to your questions:

A list of essentials to put in my tool kit?

If you meant a list in general I give you in attachment a general make-up kit checklist that I found very useful, especially at the beginning of my work. I still have it in case someone needs it.
It's a reminder checklist so that you don't forget anything before you go to work. 
Regarding my list of brands: are those that you have mentioned + those on my blog + some "older" brands that I have as a color referrer.
I hardly tell you the exact list of products, because it's full of different brands and products that I use intuitively, depending on the work. I also mix many products together and put them in palettes for instance. I also have some of my home-made products, like herbal balms, mix of essential oils, etc. 
Right now I am even upgrading it with some new products that I still have to check before and decide.

Many times, I also have to rearrange the kit depending on the work I do. (Marriage is not the same as video, fashion...). 
In short, I am and will be in constant update of my kit, especially with the evolving green products. 
I always advice to make-up artists that they should not stick just to one brand, as this way you don't grow as an artist.

Every make-up artist should know the general list of essentials, like that one that I gave you. Then during time and work, the job of a good make-up artist is to accurately search for new products, textures and finishes, to discover them. And just through this process everyone will find what works the best for him/her. 

Never buy something because someone just said that is good, it may not work so well for you. So I recommend you to use the products that YOU like working with and to constantly upgrade your make-up kit. This way you will also grow as an artist, your senses will sharpen, you will be more open to new things and you will broaden your horizons in every field.
For example, in my make-up kit there are different brands of products (even some of the past because they worked for me in color/texture) and I never stick to just one or two brands.
Another thing about the products: search for different colors and textures and so build your kit according to them: for instance: you may prefer mineral powders or creamy foundations instead of
liquid ones, so you will look after those more and build your kit with different colors and brands that have mineral powder foundations. I am not a fan of lip glosses for example and I don't have so much
of them in my kit, so building a kit depends also on your make-up artist style.

About disposable tools, sanitizing wipes & natural sanitizing products suitable for cosmetics:

With disposable tools I suppose you meant lip gloss/mascara wands? Or even sponges?
Anyway, I noticed in the past that in US there is a big need and also some kind of "law" regarding hygiene. Which is not bad at all, I care very much for the hygiene, too. What surprised me was their almost obsessed use of huge amounts of disposable wands and high percentage of cleansing alcohol. Years ago while in contact with some US artists I also started to use these disposables. 
But honestly, I don't use them all the time. I prefer to sanitize the product before. What is more important and not so reasonable for many people is that if you will have fear and paranoia that something bad will happen, it will. I never had any bad experience with this, but I must also say that I care very well for the hygiene in my make-up kit every time I use it. I'm not fearful that something bad will happen to anyone. You may have the cleanest kit in the world, and your client can get an infection anyway. Everything does not depend on you and the rational aspect of things. If you do your job the best you can, from your heart, if you care for your kit = clean it and have fresh products, because you love your work and you trust, then nothing bad will happen. I realized also that all that paranoia with the hygiene is due to huge attacks of the pharmaceutical industry that is scarring people all the time with new diseases, infections, and consequently with a tremendous amount of fear, which is the root and cause for every disease.
I use the following disposables: cotton tissues, cotton discs and q-tips. Unfortunately, I still don't have always an option to buy all the time organic so I use also normal ones. I don't like make-up remover wipes, because they are a breeding ground of bacteria’s, even though they are green. I don't like the wet tissue immersed in the old liquid. 

For sanitizing my hands I'm very green :) I use my mix of essential oils, a tea tree hydrolat or the Bentley organics hand sanitizer: http://greenmakeup.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/washing-and-disinfecting-hands/
It's still quite hard to find an effective green brush sanitizer and cleaner on the market. I do the following: I have a lot of make-up brushes and so I always use clean ones. After use, I wash them every time gently with an organic soap: http://greenmakeup.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/how-to-clean-your-make-up-brushes/ Before using them I spritz them with the natural hydrolat of organic Lavender and Tea Tree that has lots of antibacterial properties and a nice nontoxic, aroma therapeutic smell. 

Regarding other disposables like puffs and sponges, I have a lot of them from the time I wasn't green and I also bought eco puffs from EcoTools that are now discontinued. But anyway I don't use sponges very much.
As you said, I agree not to produce waste. I also recycle some nice jars and bottles and reuse them.

What brand primer and other essential products like that you use?

The same brands as you listed. Vapour has a great one: Liquid soft focus instant skin perfector. I also like Inika's primer and 100%pure, but I have to say that I'm not so much obsessed with primers at all costs, because I rather prepare well the skin with massage and a skin care ritual chosen on the skin type/condition. I like to use primers, especially when there is no time to prepare the skin and I also like to try and discover new ones, but as I said I'm not a fan at every cost. I love oils, especially for mineral make-up and new organic moisturizers. Pai has very good ones. I did a post about it: http://greenmakeup.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/my-new-discovery-pai-skincare/

Hope my answer was helpful :)

  I was ecstatic to receive this reply, not only was it quickly received, but it answered all of my questions and gave me a great base to start with. 
Thank you very much Dasha.

DIY Deodorant

Just a quick post I wanted to share with you about a deodorant I made myself yesterday, and yes, it actually works!

I have seen many recipes floating around on Pinterest lately about DIY deodorant using basic kitchen ingredients and since I'm obsessed with using coconut oil for absolutely everything, I thought I'd give it a try. I used this recipe which is as basic as it gets, the changes I made to suit what I had on hand were I used two drops of oil rather than the 10 it suggests and I switched the arrowroot powder for constarch. I would have preferred to use tea tree oil but I had none on hand so I used lavender because it has great properties as well. Adding just the two drops of lavender also ensured that I wasn't blown away by the intense smell of it, which probably wouldn't have been an issue had I used 10 drops of other oils like citrus's or tea tree which i'll probably try next time. 

The hardest part of this DIY was waiting for it to set as I'm not the most patient person, and I wanted to see how it worked while I was out in the arvo. It was warm yesterday and the usual task's that would have caused me to sweat a little didn't seem to be an issue. I didn't feel wet or sticky and no smell. Awesome! One more thing I feel I should mention is that I applied it straight after shaving which in my case usually causes irritation but there was nothing of the sort with this.

 To use it you just scoop a little out of the jar and rub it into your pit, it will melt from the warmth of your skin and your good to go.

Even if DIY deodorant isn't your thing, I recommend giving it a try just to see how great it actually works, and perhaps it may convert you. 

One more thing is I've read on heaps of pages that cornstarch tends to cause irritation in some people and although my skin is easily irritated it wasn't an issue for me. 

Happy DIY'ing!

4 Sep 2012

Daily Routine

Today I read The Green Product Junkie's daily routine (which I loved by the way) and realized its been a while since I did one, so naturally I was excited to share this as my products change all the time when I come across new ones.

First thing in the morning before eating or drinking I oil pull, with either coconut oil or sesame oil, for 20 minutes. Once I've eaten I brush my teeth with activated charcoal powder and I finish by rubbing my gums with a little coconut oil then wait at least 30 minutes before eating.

I usually just splash my face with warm water in the morning, no cleanser, and spray with a little toner, Pukka Herbs Rosewater Toner is my absolute favorite but I also like to use Acure Organics  Rose + Red Tea Toner sometimes. As far as moisturizing goes I tend to just use coconut oil but some days when my skin needs something lighter I use  Sukin Organics Facial Moisturiser

I'm not a big user of sunscreen (bad I know) but I apply Kora Organics Tinted Day Care Cream which doubles as spf and a beautiful light base that makes my skin glow. Generally I don't wear makeup everyday because I like to go natural but on days when I feel like prettying myself up a bit I wear rms beauty lip2cheek in Muse on my eyes because I like the natural-but-better look it gives, followed by rms beauty Living Luminizer applied to my cheekbones, brow bone, and cupids bow. I use Couleur Caramel Mascara for Long Lashes in Brown daily because it's amazing what a bit of mascara can do for you and this one is perfect.

 I have so many different lip balms and glosses that I switch between but lately I have been reaching for Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom or rms beauty Lip Shine in Bloom. When I just want some moisture without the color I go for Suvana Beauty Paw Paw & Honey Organic Lip Balm

On the odd occasion when I do need to be a bit more fancy, I use rms beauty "un"-cover up in 11 as a foundation because it conceals imperfections as well as making a great base and I add a bit of eyeliner and blush. I like the Couleur Caramel and Honeybee Gardens eyeliners, and for blush's I turn to Vapour Organic Beauty or rms beauty.

I almost always go for nudes, baby pinks and peaches.

After experimenting with powders for a while I have moved away from them and prefer to use cream based products because I prefer the glowing, dewy look.

At night I'm currently switching between Sukin Cream Cleanser and Acure Organics Gel Facial Cleanser, depending on the day, and if I need a little more oomph I remove makeup with coconut oil. 
After cleansing I spray toner all over my body, I just love the fresh feeling, then rub a few drops of Trilogy Rosehip Oil into my face, neck, and chest while its still moist as this helps it spread and follow with either coconut oil or Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream which  again, depends on the day and how my skin is. I moisturise my body with coconut oil or one of the Acure Organics Body Lotions, I love them all.

Other things I do which I believe help with my 'beauty' routine are using Australian Bush Flower Essences 'Womens Essence', meditating or chanting as I go to sleep and daily walks. I tend to be easily irritated so doing these peace-inducing, relaxing things helps my skin from flaring up out of stress.