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“Check It Out” Special Earth Day Post: BFree Organics!

Happy Earth Day!

Today, try to become aware of your impact upon the earth. Think of different ideas that can help you to create a lighter footprint. Something as small as bringing your own reusable bag into a store, or going meatless for just a few days a week, or taking a shorter shower than usual can really make an impact. These are the things that are immediately do-able for almost everyone; things that can become part of a lifestyle and therefore have an even greater impact on our beautiful planet. You can learn more about Earth Day and actions you can take to incorporate Eco-friendly living into your life here!

We have decided to start a new regular feature on our blog called “Check It Out” product reviews! Now these won’t be products that we are paid to talk about or anything. They’ll be products that we personally like, use and recommend or that we were just plain curious about so we figured we’d give them a try and write about what we thought-just in case you were curious too!

Today, being Earth Day, could not be more appropriate for our first product review! I’ll be talking about BFree Organics Eco-friendly skincare line! I’m not sure about you guys, but both my sister and I are on Instagram (kellidoussan and jenncab) and we love connecting with other plant-based bloggers, business owners, and veggie lovers on there! Come follow us! We feed (literally and figuratively) off of inspiration from food pictures and recipe suggestions! We also enjoy sharing our own food and lifestyle pictures on there as well! This is how I came across the small, family owned and operated company BFree Organics! I connected with Cassandra Davis through Instagram (bfree_organics) and knew immediately from her pictures and product shots that she had created a company that produced skincare products that I would be very happy to use and stand behind. I’m a simple person when it comes to my “beauty routine” and the more natural and organic, the better, in my eyes. You just never know what you’re putting on your face when you buy conventional/chemical-containing lotions and beauty products. Can you even pronounce those scientific names on the ingredient list? Madness I tell you! Stick with the “hippie stuff”, y’all!

bfree-products

(Excuse the water-logged labels. I took this picture after I had started using the products. I just couldn’t wait!)

What Cassandra has created is an all natural ,vegan, cruelty-free, Eco-friendly and organic skincare line-which falls right into alignment with my ethics and my no-fuss, yet girly, routine! I have been using her Fresh Facial Cleanser, Candy Cane Face + Body Sugar Scrub, Essential Elixir Rosehip Serum, and Daily Moisturizer. I have never used a more soft and gentle face wash before. It contains aloe vera and essential oils and Vitamin E. It isn’t oily and never leaves my face oily or dry-which is really nice.  The scent is also very calming. This would be a nice change for those of you who use conventional face washes that leave your face feeling dried out after washing.

As for the Candy Cane Sugar Scrub, now that was a treat! I rarely pamper myself in the shower or tub so this gives me a perfect excuse to do that! The peppermint extract scent is so clean and refreshing-and again-very natural!! I was a bit “iffy” when I first read “Candy Cane” as the name of the scent because I really have never cared for super scented lotions and scrubs. I’m probably the only girl who grew up uninterested in Bath and Body Works. The smells are just too fruity and fake for me. Bleh-headache. But this! THIS is a different story. This is the real deal and I was very pleased with this scrub and am using it sparingly to make it last as long as I can! And who doesn’t love a good scrub that leaves your body smooth and smelling great?

Speaking of feeling smooth, the Daily Moisture lotion is so silky on my face! I used it daily (until I recently ran out) as a moisturizer before I put on my makeup and nightly before bed mixed with a teeny bit of coconut oil. It’s made with Shea butter and essential oils and gave my face such a nice lasting, hydrated feeling without being oily. I think I’d bathe in this  very stuff if I could afford to.

And the Rosehip Serum, let me tell you, is too great! I rub a little on every few nights around the outside corners of my eyes where my “smile lines” are when I laugh. I don’t have wrinkles or anything but I can tell you that the next morning, that area feels more smooth and supple and my eyes look more awake than usual. I also love the smell of this product. It’s made with rosehip oil which is great for regenerating the cells in damaged skin (sunburns, acne scars, etc.) or troubled skin (eczema and psoriasis).

Overall, Cassandra has truly created great products that I highly recommend you try!

Earth-friendly, animal-friendly, safe, and beneficial for your skin-You can’t beat that!

Here are her website and Facebook page links!

www.bfreeorganics.com

BFree Facebook Page

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In Yo Face; My Beauty Perspective

Hey guys!

A friend of mine asked my advice about makeup and skincare recently-which reminded me that I wanted to post about the products I use. Now I have never really had troublesome skin. Every now and then something will pop up on my face, but overall-pretty decent. I also never really had a skincare regimen growing up. I’d wash my face in the morning (with or without whatever face soap I could find in my house) before putting on my makeup and maybe-just maybe- believe it or not-at night before bed. I had a bad habit of doing that-luckily I never really wore much foundation. Anyways, my point is, I never had any specific routine with face wash that I followed. And who knows, maybe that’s why I never had many skin problems. Did you know that over 60% of anything you put on your skin is absorbed? Therefore it makes sense that when you put chemicals ON your skin constantly, it will be unbalanced and will try to compensate and become too dry or too oily. I read somewhere a while back something saying that if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin. While I believe this, I still do use natural exfoliating products that I’ll discuss below. But anything full of chemicals-I try to avoid as much as possible.

The same goes for deodorant. I never liked the way it felt under my arms or the way it made me smell. I felt icky wearing it honestly. It didn’t feel natural to me. So I never wore it beyond trying it a few times-and guess what? I still don’t wear it and I still don’t feel that I need it. And trust me-I have asked many close people if I’m crazy for thinking I don’t need it and the reaction is always the same- “You always smell good to me!” or “I’ve never noticed anything that would make me think you weren’t wearing deodorant.” And while I realize I don’t ALWAYS smell like roses, I still feel better not wearing any. There’s a short little hippie inside me hehe Joking aside though, most deodorants contain aluminum-which is highly toxic to our bodies-so rubbing that under our arms near our breasts and lymph nodes just doesn’t fly by me. Many brands do make some that do not contain aluminum so my suggestion here is that if you feel you need deodorant -check those out. 2 popular brands that can be found in many drugstores and groceries make some that smell nice: “Tom’s of Maine” and “J/A/S/O/N”. LUSH (which I talk about below) also makes very nice all-natural deodorant bars! They even have a Patchouli-scented one. Eat your hearts out, my hippie friends. 🙂

Now back to my face. Last year, I ran out of my store brand “Clean n Clear” or whatever-it-was face wash that I had been using in the mornings. I got lazy and kept forgetting to buy more. A month or so went by and all I had been doing was rinsing my face off in the shower with just water and then using a clean wet towel afterward to really scrub it a little-And then quickly washing it before bed with just water and a clean towel. I noticed a difference in my skin-it felt healthier and looked clearer than before and I had zero zits pop up. So I decided this was what I was going to do from now on! Who knew beauty could come so inexpensively!?

Over the last year though, I felt I needed to exfoliate because I’d always loved how my skin felt after this. So I read online that taking baking soda and water and making a paste in your hand works great on your face. So I tried it and it honestly does. My face felt clean and smooth and I knew there were no harsh chemicals invading my pores. If you do this, always use Baking Soda that does not contain aluminum. Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda does NOT contain aluminum and does NOT test on animals. I have been using Whole Foods 365 brand but am having trouble finding out if they test on animals or not. I bought it assuming they do not, being Whole Foods, but am finding it hard to find info on it. If anyone knows anything about this-let me know! (After posting this, a friend of mine who works at Whole Foods tweeted Whole Foods asking about this, and they do NOT test on animals! Yay! Thanks, again Jess!).  Arm & Hammer does not contain aluminum, but they DO test on animals, from what I’ve read. So stay away from that for sure. Also, I try to avoid parabens. These are a preservatives used in cosmetics and by pharmacutical companies. They are linked to cancers such as breast cancer and are toxic to our bodies. I recently read an article about a study done where doctors inspected the tissues of breast cancer tumors from patients who died and confirmed that in ALL of them there were parabens in the tumors. Scary stuff.

Moving on, another friend of mine introduced me to LUSH about 6 months ago! Oh my goodness…heaven 🙂 (www.lush.com) Most of their products are made from natural ingredients that you will recognize like rose oil, sea salt, coconut oil, and avocado, to name a few. They do not test on animals and the majority of their products are vegan except for a few that contain honey. So I started out by buying “Dark Angels” face scrub. It’s charcoal black and feels like mud/sand. It smells amazing and exfoliates wonderfully! This is actually made for oily skin, but I have normal skin and I find it still works great! I also bought “UltraBalm” because my lips always seem chappy. This stuff rules. I use it for so many things! It’s like a clean vaseline. The cool part about it is it’s made with jojoba oil which is an oil that most closely resembles our natural skin oils. I use it as lip balm, eye makeup remover, and I put it on my heels after buffing and scrubbing them and on my elbows. Some people put it on their eyelashes before bed and swear it makes them fuller and healthier. If you buy this glorious stuff, google about it because you will find lists upon lists of the awesome things you can do with it.

Ok, moving on to my next LUSH product! Ocean Salt scrub. You can use it on your face and body so I keep it in the shower. It’s like a margarita on your face! It’s full of different salts and it has sweet and saltiness and as you rinse it off your face-you taste the salt and its just great! It also contains vodka as an astringent! Too fun! It feels great though.

LUSH also makes fun bath bombs! I personally didn’t want to buy each bomb for $3-$8 each, so I found recipes online and made my own! But I’m saving that for another post! Stay tuned!

And then there’s the beloved Organic Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil! I have read/seen countless blog posts, YouTube vids, articles, etc. about how great coconut oil is for your skin. So I bought some recently. I used it as yummy lip balm and plan on using it for my face in some way and on my legs.

Something else I’d also like to mention is that my skin again changed for the better once I gave up dairy around 5 months ago. This has to be the best my skin has ever been for an extended period of time. It’s more supple and smooth and I think I’ve had one minor zit pop up since-and whaddaya know-it was right after the holidays filled with sugary treats! It’s all connected my friends. What you put into your body, shows on the outside.

So there you have it. The fun products I use! If you guys use anything that’s cruelty-free, all natural, and vegan please let me know! I’m just a girl and I love fun beauty tips!

XOXO Kelli


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Dry Body Brushing 101

Hello again! So were you starting to think this blog was solely about recipes? Fear not, there’s much more to a happy healthy lifestyle besides amazing nutritious food!-although that’s a huge fun part! I want to know- have any of you heard of body brushing or dry brushing? I hadn’t until I started reading Kris Carr’s blog. She’s amazing by the way-you should check her out. (crazysexylife.com). You’ll be inspired to make a healthy change in your life! You might remember her from Oprah’s show or from her TLC documentary “Crazy, Sexy, Cancer”-which I totally, completely, and infinitely recommend. Kris’ spirit and attitude are incredible as she goes on a journey to health after being diagnosed with a rare Cancer that has no known cure.  On her website she has an entire community that you can join in and discuss life/love/health/food related things with her and others seeking a similar kind of positive energy! This leads to my topic-dry brushing! She dry brushes her body and swears that your skin will glow like never before! First-buy a loofa/shower brush/shower gloves or mitt etc. and you basically exfoliate your body in the morning before you shower. Here are some body brushes: here The technique is to start at the bottom of your right foot and work your way up with your gloves/mitt/brush in a circular motion towards your heart. Then you move onto the left leg up. Then your right arm, left arm, and in a figure 8 around your breasts (don’t brush your nipples! lol) and finally your belly button out in a circular motion, finishing off in stokes up towards your heart. Also, don’t brush too harshly on your skin-it’s supposed to be a comfortable amount of pressure and brushing-so if you’re skin is sensitive, take it easy-especially at first! There are books and techniques on this that seem to get very specific about how you are supposed to do this–but I basically do as I’ve told you and as Kris talks about in her article on it (http://crazysexylife.com/2008/dry-brushing/). The main idea is to have fun, get funky with your naked self, and get your brushing groove on! Some people put coconut oil on their skin afterwards and swear by it. I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds heavenly! Here’s another very helpful, detailed blog post by Vegalicious! (http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/benefits-of-dry-brushing-your-skin-detox/)

I’ve definitely felt the amazing benefits after starting this around a month ago! Dry brushing basically wakes you up (better than that coffee!) by stimulating your circulatory system and lymph nodes and therefore gets your immune system going! It removes the toxins that your body unloads each and every day off of you-hence the glowing smooth skin! This also opens up pores and allows your body to breathe! My skin has never felt naturally softer and I definitely notice a difference in my alertness in the mornings! I try to dry brush around 3-4 times a week to keep a consistency of removing toxins off my skin. All I can say is that every year I catch a cold when the weather changes but so far this Fall season at work, there have been 3-4 major colds that have swept threw our office in the last few months and I have yet to catch one of them! This is actually a goal of mine this year–to NOT catch the cold I usually do! So, I’m arming up my immune system through nutrition, dry brushing, and also this magic little Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis throat spray! Any time that I have felt any slight change in my body that signaled I may be catching something, I immediately sprayed this in my throat a few times that day as instructed. And so far so good! Let me know if any of you dry brush or if you try it!

Thanks, guys and gals!

-Kelli