Friday, July 18, 2014

Green Beauty: my favourite cleanser in the entire world

You know that feeling you get post-vacation? The blues? Well, I have been in a slump since returning from a fantastic trip to Canada and NYC to see family and best friends. Since the return to Nashville, it's been part-time work, trying to get back into a healthy swing of things, and prepping for teaching/apartment hunting. Finally, I feel fit enough to blog again. Mostly, I was inspired while sitting pretty with one of my ultimate fave products slathered across my face while reading for work. As the product worked its magic I pondered, had I written about this before? Surely, I had already raved about its amazingness. In great detail. As it deserves. Turns out, I HAVE NOT! Hence, today's post about May Lindstrom Skin's The Clean Dirt.

As is the case with all of May's Products, this is not merely a cleanser but an experience. It is a cleanser, exfoliator, purifying mask, mood lifter, and mini-spa day all wrapped into one. Now, I know this is a pretty massive statement, but I am not mincing words here. If I was ever stranded on a desert island and could only bring five products with me, this would be one of the five. This is like the one. Somehow, she combined this insane combination of clays, herbs, salts, and vitamins into this earthy, spicy, and gritty magical potion that really works! I don't understand how she does it or who inspired her ingredients, but you cannot argue with the results. I have already repurchased this bottle of goodness twice. I love it so, so much.

If you are not familiar with masks, do not let the name or appearance of this powder scare you away. Inside are powerful and effective ingredients for tackling any skin issue. Applying it is also half the fun if you've been used to soap, foam, and bubbles your entire life. Just introduce water, your favourite hydrosol, or aloe to the dry "dirt", and the mixture bubbles and fizzes to life as its herbaceous scent envelopes your senses. You can also add honey, but I find it too tedious to spread that way. I use a foundation brush to spread the mask across my skin and let it sink in and sit far more than the prescribed fifteen minutes until the mask turns dry and hard. Removing it is fairly simple with the help of my Pai Organic Muslin Face Cloth, and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and thoroughly cleansed. The clays suck up the impurities of the day and breaks down any nasty buildup on the skin while antibacterial turmeric and other herbs purify. Although this product does tingle, I would still recommend it for those of you with sensitive skin. It does not leave my face red or irritated after use. It's totally appropriate to use in the morning without fear of a flush or discoloration when you waltz into work. It's insanely powerful, but gentle at the same time if that makes any sense. Like I said, May exists on some sort of higher plane and is able to make the impossible possible.

If you are prone to breakouts, and you've been using conventional cleansers for years or you've gotten into oil cleansing, but nothing has worked - TRY THIS PRODUCT. I am serious. You will not regret it. It is amazing. My only word of caution? The turmeric can stain clothing yellow! Make sure you aren't wearing your favourite white blouse while sporting this mask.

Stuck in the blues and feeling totally unmotivated, this warming, soothing slice of natural beauty heaven definitely helped pick me up. Aromatherapy has proven benefits and the therapeutic power of this spicy, invigorating mask is quite noticeable. Not to wax too philosophical, but May's products are also the type that inspire action and remind you to take care of yourself. Their undeniable luxury are reminiscent of a mini-vacaction, so they help ease a tired soul back in to the breakneck pace of reality. If nothing else, you will have really amazing skin when you return to work!

You can pick this up at spiritbeautylounge or May's website. Remember, she always provides generous samples if you inquire!

Have you tried my favourite cleanser of all time? Did it work as well for you as it does for me?

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Green Beauty: june favourites

I seriously cannot believe June is almost over. With the end of this month comes an end to all of my coursework and a good deal of my stress! I'm finally on vacation now in Toronto and then New York, and I've been visualizing this moment for weeks. Now, it's only a short month until the official beginning of my teaching career. Crazy!

Just like with the month of May, I have been able to keep things simple this month. Most of these products center around handling the powerful Tennessee sunshine or adding more punches of bright summer colour to the mix. Read on for my favourites from this month!

Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Hawaiian Smolder - I've posted on these possibly ad nauseam, but this pink colour is perfect for summertime and so affordable. Definitely a good dupe for the Ilia Lip Crayons with great colour payoff. It's also very moisturizing!

DIY Stick Deodorant - I picked up some deodorant tubes from amazon in order to try out my DIY deodorant in a stick because I've grown pretty tired of scooping it up with my hands and rubbing it in. Surely, I thought, this change in form would be simple and effective. So, did it work? For the most part, yes. Especially in the heat, it grows quite soft in the stick, so it is not at all the hard consistency of a conventional deodorant, but it does not melt completely and leak out of the bottom. That was my biggest concern. Application has become much simpler! A lot of product will smear off when I roll it on, so I have to be careful about that, but it is 100x easier than the scoop-and-rub method. Glad I gave this a shot! And this formula is still super effective even in the summer :)

Game of Thrones Season 4 - My brother and I have been pretty into this latest season. There are definitely choices made in the show (I've read all the books) that I strongly dislike, but I liked this season overall. I totally ditched season 3, watched maybe three episodes, despite the excitement of its finale. This time around, however, we've had a great time watching episodes and reviews and generally nerding out about everything. We even have show-related, matching shirts. Mostly because they are hilarious, but yeah, it's intense.

Butter London in Kerfuffle and Fruit Machine - Bright colours! Butter London was having a sale, and I'd been eyeing these two for a while. Kerfuffle is a great, orange pop of coral colour that compliments a summer glow. Fruit Machine is a fun, barbie pink that I'm currently sporting on my toes. They are from last year's spring collection, but I still think they're great and on trend. As always, the formula for both polishes is very good.

Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner - I first saw this on beautybyBritanie's instagram or blog and wanted it immediately. Aloe? Hyaluronic acid? Calendula? Now that I finally know what works best with my skin, it's easy to know when a product is perfect for me. I didn't buy this for a long time, but finally got some along with their earth box back in April. This stuff is amazing. It's so gentle, moisturizing, and soothing. I love applying it after a long day in the sun. Its silky, gel texture cools immediately and sinks into the skin leaving it refreshed, smooth, and clear upon waking. Clearly, I need to do a review. Love it!

Blissoma Amend After Sun Lotion - I've mentioned this product before in a review of my Blissoma goodies, but it's back again for summertime! Similar to the product above, this is perfect for smearing over sun kissed (or sunburnt) skin. Just a couple weeks ago, my boyfriend got a bit red on his shoulders and back, and I did not have aloe readily on hand. This cleared it up immediately by the next day! It's super gentle, it works, and it smells great. One of my must-haves for summer!

Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner in Jump - More colour! I snapped a swatch of this at the bottom of the post here and have been wearing it consistently ever since. It's a buildable, flattering shade of magenta pink perfect for this time of year. It's the latest release from the line and, as is always the case with Ilia's products, top quality. It works well with my skin tone, and I love that I can use a light hand for a light wash of colour or add layers for a bold statement.

Caribbean Solutions Sunscreen - Again, this sunscreen is no stranger to this blog. I have yet to find a natural sunscreen that is more affordable or easy to apply. It leaves no white cast and smoothes on so well. So many natural sunscreens are crazy thick; it's like trying to apply grout to your body. I want something I can smack on in under 90 seconds! This stuff is it. It smells great and is safe for fish too!

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper - I'm a little more than halfway through this book and am enjoying it immensely. It's a nice balance of funny and poignant with a little crazy family drama mixed in. Jason Bateman stars in the film adaptation coming out sometime this year, and it's kind of like Arrested Development...four siblings, three of which are brothers, and shenanigans. It's just a bit darker than the show in the wake of a sad time. Definitely recommend it! Plus, I'm so happy I have time to read for pleasure again. That's definitely a favourite!

What are you loving this month?! Make sure, if you haven't already, to enter my giveaway!!! Winners will be selected and posted tomorrow :)

Now I'm off to enjoy some summer Toronto time with the bf and fam. We are headed downtown, so I will be taking in all the green-ness of one of my fave cities to my heart's content. I want to check out the Love Husk shop for sure!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Green Beauty: griffin remedy volumizing shampoo & condition PLUS a giveaway!!!

In my humble opinion, haircare and mascara are the two most difficult products to find replacements for in the natural world. In terms of shampoo and conditioner, I've gone through high-end, no-poo, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and just plain dry shampoo and finally think I'm satisfied. This is no joke! The wrong haircare regimen can leave your locks limp, greasy-looking, dull, dry, brittle, and just blegh. And no matter how shallow it sounds, a bad hair day can really get you down! Overall, I want a product that aids in hair that is soft, clean, and moisturized. I don't expect it to work miracles, but some can leave your hair worse off than it began! I've used this duo for the past year and in conjunction with The Desert Essences Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner this is a favourite for me. I use the Desert Essences when I need a bit more moisture and these bad boys (Griffin Remedy Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner) when I want some Va-Voom Volume. When it comes to haircare, it turns out I'm a budget-brand kind of girl! No complaints about that here :)

GREEN JUICE APPROVED: Yes! Take a gander at the ingredients below.

TEXTURE: The shampoo is a nice, foaming gel, and the conditioner is an airy, thick lotion. I love the foaming action of the shampoo! It's awesome.

COLOUR: Both are colourless/white/clear. Nothing unnaturally bright blue here.

SCENT: A bright, lovely citrus, lemon-verbena scent. It does not linger and is not overpowering. I enjoy it a lot but am a citrus lover.

PRICE: Griffin Remedy is so affordable at only $8.00 a bottle and available on sites like Lucky Vitamin where they're often on sale. There's no excuse not to give these a try!!!

THOUGHTS: I first heard about this brand on no more dirty looks and was immediately intrigued. I always trust reviews from my girl Rebecca. When I spotted this at my local Whole Foods, I knew I had to give it a whirl. I'm so glad I did! Hair has always been tricky for me. I've got super thick, wavy/curly hair that looks dirty pretty quickly, but gets dry and frizzy on the ends. So many natural favourites left my hair way too oily-looking or heavy - I'd look even greasier post-shower. Not exactly the look I'm going for. This duo leaves my hair looking and feeling so clean and adds noticeable volume at the roots. Even when I straighten my wet hair, I have a ton of lift and body, which I love. I really cannot recommend this shampoo and conditioner or brand enough. It's clean, affordable, effective, and available in brick-and-mortar stores. I will definitely be repurchasing and trying out all their other offerings. Make sure to scroll through the site and check out their hand soaps, body lotions, and body washes.

VERDICT: A firm GGGG. There is no question about repurchasing, and these won't break the bank.

To make this rave review all the sweeter, Griffin Remedy has kindly agreed to giveaway a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to one lucky winner!!! This giveaway is open internationally and will last for seven long days. Be sure to enter in all the different ways to up your chances!!! Don't forget to like me on Facebook.

Tell me in the comments about your "HG" natural shampoo and conditioner because I'm nosy, and it will earn you some entry points!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 20, 2014

Green Beauty: orange, peach, & coral lips for summer!

Orange-toned, peachy, and coral lipsticks are so on trend right at the moment. Now that it's "officially" summer, it is high time to bust out these bold hues and rock some bright lips! I've tested out some of the popular offerings and wanted to share swatches and thoughts with all of you. These selections range in price, colour, texture, format...but there's definitely one in here to suit all of your summer lip colour needs.

These are organized in no particular order...

Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Niagara Overlook - One of the budget options of the bunch. It's a nice mix of coral/pink that runs almost on the brown/nude side of things. It's got a decent opacity, no fragrance, moisturizing texture that applies matte, and no shimmer. Definitely a good bet if you like your corals more on the neutral/pinky-peachy end.

Ilia Beauty Lipstick Crayon in Karma Chameleon - This is BRIGHT! Check out me wearing it here. It's a neon punch of color sure to add boldness to any look. It definitely leans more pink than orange on the coral spectrum and is perfect and fun for this season! It's matte, very opaque, but less moisturizing than the Burt's Bees crayon.

Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Perfect Day - This is a reddish-coral hued lipstick. Check out my full review of this lipstick and the tinted lip conditioners here.  This formula is more moisturizing than the lip crayons, and it's very opaque and smooth. All of Ilia's lipsticks have a vanilla, sweet fragrance to them, but the lip crayons do not. I think this color looks fabulous on tan, darker skin tones. It's perfect for summer or fall as it connotes the orange, red leaves of autumn. I can pull it off much better now that I've got a tan!

Ilia Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Dizzy - Without a doubt, this is one of my favorites of the bunch. It looks nude-toned in the photo, but it is a subtle, wearable orange. It's definitely opaque, it just isn't overbearing like some oranges can be. It's juicy and playful, like an orange melon colour. I find this particular conditioner super moisturizing and slightly more glossy in finish. My favorite, most-wearable shade of the Ilia selections.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile - In the picture, this comes off brighter and pinker than in life. I think it looks really nice in the pot and in this swatch, but on my lip is comes off sort of chalky in full force. This is the only RMS product with unnatural pigments, so maybe that has something to do with it? I love the natural colour payoff from their Lip Shines. When I wear this, I prefer it buffed out rather than at full opacity to avoid the chalky look. Sadly, it's not my favourite RMS product. I prefer it much more as a blush!

W3LL People Nudist Lipshine Stick in 1 - A sheer wash of coral color that is perfect for that subtle pop of peach. I wish this was more pigmented for the price, but it has a nice glossy texture with a peppermint flavor. Overall, I would recommend getting a cheaper tinted balm due to the low pigmentation of this product and invest in one of their other products, like the Universalist Multi-Use Color Stick, instead.

Kjaer Weis Lip Tint Compact in Sweetness - Aside from Dizzy, this is my other favourite of the bunch. As you can see in the swatch, this is the perfect mix of orange and pink goodness. The texture is awesome, the staying power is impressive, it is super moisturizing, and very opaque. In terms of Kjaer Weis, you really do get what you pay for!

Silk Naturals Lip Velma - You can't tell in the picture, but this is too shimmery for my liking! Sometimes mineral pigments can come out odd for me...too chalky or fake-looking. There are definitely Silk Naturals products that I adore, but this orange-toned lipstick worked the least for me out of all the lip products in this post. If you like shimmer though, you may like this! It is non-drying and fragrance free. I like the texture a lot, and the pigmentation is good.

HAPPY SUMMER!!! Cannot believe June is almost over! I'm enjoying long days and the opportunity to do some lounging by the pool. Have you hopped on the orange-lip bandwagon? Any favourites or new selections to add to your wish list?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Green Beauty: burt's bees lip colours review

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen my recent, impulse purchase at my local grocery store. Apparently, Burt's Bees has lip crayons! Who knew?! As a many times, self-professed lip product junkie, I could not resist snagging a couple, especially with the added appeal of a coupon. Before purchase, I attempted some research online about the lip crayons, but for some reason there is scarcely anything out there, and the crayons are not even available for purchase on the official Burt's Bees website. Hmmm... Since there is a lack of information out there, and I've been meaning to post about these goodies, what better time than now to do a full post on all of my Burt's Bees lip colour products? I've accumulated a fair amount (surprised?) and really like them. They are affordable, easy-to-use, and far more readily available than most green beauty products. You can find this brand at almost all drugstores, Targets, and even Walmarts. Read on for swatches and a review!

Aside from owning the infamous lip balm, my first foray into the tinted products was the Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms. I'd read multiple reviews, perused swatches, and was won over. Although they do contain dyes, they are leaping bunny approved (they do not test on animals), and all the other ingredients check out. Check out the ingredients list at the link above. I picked up four colours.

Sweet Violet - a universally flattering violet. It has a cool, pink undertone, and I find it very brightening. I kept this in my purse as a go-to colour for months last fall.

Rose - flirty, juicy "bee sting" wash of rosy red.

Pink Blossom - the perfect, uplifting pink. I keep this in my purse at all times. Imparts just enough tint.

Petunia - very pale, light, ballerina pink.

The packaging is the strangest thing about this product. At first glance, it seems like a jumbo stick of balm! Then, if you're like me, you unwrap the package to discover it merely contains an ordinary sized tube. Why the extra packaging? I have no idea. I decided to hold onto it, most people just discard it, because it has the benefit of making itself easier to locate the balm in a purse. There isn't much groping around needed with this massive tube floating in my bag! Perhaps this is an unintended plus. Otherwise, I really enjoy the texture of all four; the differing shades does not seem to affect moisturizing strength. They are glossy, softening, and subtle. Personally, I highly recommend all shades except Petunia. Petunia is a very pale pink, which didn't do much for me. The other three colours are gorgeous. Sweet Violet and Pink Blossom are more pigmented than Rose, but Rose imparts that perfect, just sucked on a popsicle red that I really like. Although these are far less expensive than their high-end counterparts, $8 for a balm is still a pretty penny, so I recommend waiting for a sale or coupons when picking these up. They also impart a light, sweet scent.

Burt's Bees Lip Shine -

Pucker - glossy, shiny, almost lacquer-like flirty red. Pairs perfectly with the tinted balm in rose!

Again, I am drawn to the subtle, flattering, flirty flush of red lips. This gloss pairs perfectly with the tinted balm in Rose. Together, they impart a glossy, seductive wash of red to the lips that is universally wearable. Just like the balm, this is moisturizing and imparts a subtle tint. The only difference is its very glossy texture that imparts a shine as the name implies. It does not contain any shimmer, and I prefer that.

Burt's Bees Lip Gloss -

Starry Night - a deep, sparkly burgundy.

Adreiana of True Beauty By Nature posted gorgeous pictures of this lipgloss, and I had to try it for myself. It's the darkest and vampiest of the collection, and I'm not quite sure I can pull it off, but I'm trying. It is more pigmented than the first two products, and it contains shimmer. I think it's slightly less moisturizing because it's more shiny and less oily, but it is not drying. I like the formula a lot and the colour payoff. Both the Lip Shine and the Gloss have the same sweet scent as the Tinted Lip Balms.

Burt's Bees Lip Crayons -

Niagara Overlook - warm, pink and peachy-toned coral.

Hawaiian Smolder - perfect pop of pink, neutral in tone and very flattering. Foolproof to apply!

Rockin' the ever fashionable single-painted nail

The most recent additions to my lip product collection! These are very similar to the tinted balms, but far more pigmented. After finding this awesome swatch post, I decided on the two shades above and am thoroughly enjoying both. They aren't as pigmented as the Ilia Beauty Lipstick Crayons, but they are definitely comparable and come with a lot of product. They are more glossy and less matte than the Ilia crayons. I'm happy I got my hands on them and hope Burt's Bees starts offering them online or other places soon! I think it's a great addition to their line. These do not have a fragrance.

Do you like Burt's Bees lip colour offerings? I've seen mixed opinions out there, but I've found nothing to complain about. They are definitely affordable and easy-to-find introductions to the world of natural beauty that also stand the test of a green product veteran.

Get them at Burt's Bees online or your local stores where beauty products are sold.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Green Beauty: bronzed goddess

Hey guys! Here is that bronzer overview I mentioned in my last post. When the weather's hot and sunny, my favourite makeup look consists of a bright lip and a bronzed flush. It adds that touch of summer gold that is both subtle and flattering. Plus, it keeps things minimal but still comes off polished. Today I've got products that vary in price and tone, and one you may be able to whip up in your kitchen right now! Read on to learn about my go-to bronzers for summer.

Ironically, my DIY bronzer is in an old, empty benzoyl peroxide container...hmmm, might have to repackage this...

DIY Bronzer  - I posted about this years ago, and I've still got my original concoction. It smells delicious like cinnamon and imparts a buildable, matte glow on par with any store-bought equivalent. It looks dark in the packaging, but you can buff on more or less until you reach your desired bronze level. When I first stumbled upon this recipe I had all the ingredients on hand. I cannot recommend throwing this together more. It is so incredibly easy, cheap, and effective. Look how much bronzer this creates in the first picture! Crazy! I love this so much because it is matte and very versatile. It is an excellent, posh contouring powder and bronzer.

Alima Pure Bronzer in Mauna Lao - This was the first natural bronzer I tried, and it is great during the fairer-skinned months or for fair-skinned gals. As pictured below, it is the lightest toned bronzer and also matte. It has an almost creamy texture for a powder and blends in very well with the skin. You won't encounter any streaky bronzer mishaps with this. Alima's full size products are great value, and the brand is affordable overall and very clean. If you've trouble finding the right shade of bronzer for your pale skin, definitely check this out! It's a favourite of mine when I yearn to add a bit of colour during the winter.

Indoor lighting. Top to bottom: Alima, Pure + Simple, Kjaer Weis, DIY

Pure + Simple Blush in Rose Gold - this is pink-toned, bronzy, and shimmery goodness. Like all Pure + Simple face colour products, the opacity on this is outstanding, and I adore a pressed powder. It's also unique because of the hint of rose-goldy hue. It's almost a cross between a bronzer with a hint of coral. The only word of caution, since it is so pigmented, beware of applying this with a heavy hand! It can definitely make you look clown-like if you're not careful. Otherwise, I love it.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Desired Glow - Ah yes, the high end offering. This is the sole cream blush of the bunch, and it comes off quite pink in the swatches. In reality, however, this bronzer is basically foolproof. You can smooth on layers, and it always looks good. Really good. I sincerely doubt, unless you are incredibly fair-skinned, that you could mess up this bronzer. It adds the subtle, beautiful, sun-kissed glow we all crave. Kjaer Weis also blends in beautifully and doesn't create any streaky effects whatsoever nor does it come off greasy. It also lasts all day and can serve as a beautiful nude lip in a pinch too :)

Outside lighting. Top to bottom: Alima, Pure + Simple, Kjaer Weis, DIY

Did I miss any of your faves? Are you as fond of the bronze glow as me? 

I'm off now to finish some coursework and pray this rain goes away! Happy bronzing! Be back to post again soon :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

may favorites :)

Hey! I have not posted in a while. This past month I've been enjoying graduating from grad school, getting a teaching job (high school!!), and finishing up three courses for teacher licensure purposes. It has been exciting and intense! The workload of these courses is heavy, so it has allowed me to step back from the internet and sort of...disconnect. Which is nice! I've been reading a lot of YA lit for a course, and it's been very enjoyable and enlightening. Nothing like being back in the teenage mindset in preparation for working with fifteen and sixteen year olds ;)

Reflecting the theme of this month, I've been keeping things extremely simple beauty-wise. My skin likes the sunshine and warm weather. It blossoms with freckles and tans very well. Since I'm finished student teaching and now working on these three online courses, I don't really need to gussy up for anything. I'm really loving it! I've been focusing on gentle cleansing, and let's face it sometimes not cleansing at all (bad girl), and sun protection. Also, I've had time to fit in some serious fitness and home cooking (and reading as mentioned above)! Here are my favourites for this month.

Thayer's Original Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera - I just cannot get enough of this stuff. I splash it all over my face/neck, let it sit for a hot minute, then scrub it off with my muslin face cloth. It is so gentle and effective. It takes off all the nasty sweat and sunscreen mess on my face every day. I've reviewed it and had a giveaway! There have been (several) mornings when I wake up, work out, and think eek I totally didn't wash my face last night, it was covered in residue, and now it's all sweaty, and there is totally no way I will avoid a breakout...but I do. And I give partial credit to this stuff. There really is nothing else to say. It is my go-to morning cleanser to start the day. I could not recommend it more highly.

Griffin Remedy Volumizing Shampoo - Ahhh shampoo. Still such a tricky domain in the natural world. I've nailed it down to a few favourites...and this will join the other two. I try to only wash my hair once a week (dry shampoo is my life) and I shampoo twice in the shower. First, with something I'm trying to use up and second with this. It lathers incredibly well, though this could be due to the fact that I've done a pre-washing...have you noticed a difference with this? I've started with just the Griffin before, and it doesn't lather as well. ANYWAYS, the lather is incredible, and my hair just feels so darn clean in a good way afterwards. They've definitely made a life-long customer of me; the shampoo is cheap, it works, and it's available in stores like Whole Foods. Did I also mention it smells great and citrusy?! Next, I'm going to check out their Restorative and Scalp Therapy shampoo varieties. They also sell Hand Soap, Body Wash, Body Lotion...oh dear, I'm in trouble...

Tom's One-for-One Sunglasses - a key part of sun protection, and another one of my addictions, is sunglasses. I've been eyeing this style for a while, but how great to incorporate charity when shopping! I have a pair of Tom's Shoes and am really enjoying these stylish and high quality shades as well. I've worn them every day this month!!!

Pai Organic Muslin Face Cloth - Again, this is a repeat, but in conjunction with the Thayer's it just works magic. It gently exfoliates, removes all my cleansers and masks, and I just stinkin' love it. As I've said before, it revolutionized my skincare and has gone a long way in eliminating my breakouts. Check out this post to learn exactly how I use it!

Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 30 - this was in my SPF post, and I had not yet felt comfortable to give the final verdict at the time. Well, the verdict is in. I've used this almost everyday this month and I love it. It does not break my out!!! HALLELUJAH! I apply it in the morning after cleansing with the toner and muslin cloth, applying my toner, my favourite clarifying serum, and pop it on top. Just one pump and done. This is an exciting win guys!!! Sunscreen was another one of this things I've found hard to cinch in the natural world. This is it!!!

Pure + Simple blush in Rose Gold - When I have had the opportunity to doll up, I like to accentuate the bronze I've developed. I was not able to pull out this gold, bronzy colour until now, and it is gorgeous. Like all Pure + Simple pressed powder blushes, the formula and colour payoff are fantastic. Just a few sweeps below the cheekbones, along the jaw, temples, and forehead, maybe a dusting on the d├ę adds the perfect, warm, sun-kissed hue. Lovely. In fact, I'm flirting with posting about bronzers next...

Brija Cosmetics Sugar Cream Shadow - Again, when I have the motivation or reason to dress up, I am keeping things simple and gold-toned. This cream shadow from the Brija Glamour To-Go collection is the perfect, foolproof champagne colour. I blend it easily into my crease, and the effect is gentle definition. I really like it. So easy to use, and it looks beautiful. No risk of ending up clownish!!!

The Tone It Up Bikini Series!!! - This month, you may have been annoyed by my daily tweets "checking in," with the Tone It Up community. That's because, IT'S BIKINI SERIES GUYS!!! It's when the workout duo Karina and Katrina get you fired up for eight weeks of focusing on fitness and SUMMER! It's the first year I've totally committed, and it's been great. I've connected with people from my city and have accomplished running/walking/biking over 80 miles so far. My goal is 150 by June 20, and I'm totally going to reach it! (My mile sheet is pictured, I haven't added this weeks miles yet though) It's such a positive, girl-power filled community that highlights summer fun and doesn't allow body-shaming or negative self-talk. It stresses stepping back and regaining control over your life and fun. You can commit to whipping up some (healthy) ice cream, dancing late with girlfriends, indulging in some beverages, catching a concert, taking a bike ride, hitting up an amusement reminds me that summer is fun and full of possibilities. Getting out and doing stuff is what makes life awesome. Some find them cheesy, but I adore them and their philosophy, and I've really made some exciting fitness gains these past five weeks. YOU CAN STILL JOIN HERE and it's FREE!!! There are still three weeks until summer!!!

See, it's been an easy, breezy, book-filled May. I hope you enjoyed this post, and that I've inspired you to indulge in the juicy possibilities of upcoming summer. If you've been feeling kind of down about it. What are you most looking forward to this summer?! Any favourites of yours mentioned here too?

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