My Signature Summer Look Tag

The gorgeous Pemberley Jones tagged me to do Beautycalypse’s Signature Summer Look Tag (check out their beautiful eye looks!)–the rules are as follows:

  1. Link back to this post so I can include you + and title your post as I have.
  2. Only use make-up products that you own for 6 months minimum. No exceptions! And have a lot of fun creating, as though you were introducing your own collection.
  3. Please tag other 5 to 10 green beauty bloggers, making sure they notice 😉
  4. And the best part: if you’re not a green beauty blogger but like to join the fun, just do it following the rules 1-3!

Before proceeding, I must confess. I have not only used make-up products that I’ve owned for 6 months minimum. This is for several reasons.

  1. I only keep mascaras for 3 months top because I am not a fan of bacteria growing in mascara tubes.
  2. I’ve tossed several products that expired recently and replaced them.
  3. I fell in love with the bronzy look Shirley Pinkson gave me at W3ll People’s Beauty Cirque launch (read more about that here) and have been recreating it almost every day since with my own collection (plus several that I purchased at the event).

Onto the look:

1. I start off with a cleansed and moisturized (and depending on the day, sunscreened) face.

2. I even out my complexion with a tapping of W3ll People Altruist Mineral Foundation in 15 + W3ll People Kabuki Brush + confident downward strokes. I usually go for 1-2 layers of the mineral foundation depending on how much coverage I want–one for when I’m feeling pretty good about my skin or #YOLO about blemishes that peek through, two for when I have a little more blemishes or redness and want a fuller coverage. Here I opted for a lighter coverage.

Despite the hassle of loose powder and brushes, mineral foundation provides me with the best coverage with the lightest feel and the least fear of breakouts. When I sweat (which is a lot in the summer), I feel like my foundation looks even better as the minerals mix with my skin oils.

3. I bronze and blush up my face with a tapping of W3ll People Bio Bronzer + W3ll People Kabuki Brush held like a “kabuki taco” (Shirley, you genius) + brushing from ears to cheek apples along cheek bones + dusting on temples. I am pretty pasty and don’t have much intention of tanning. Bronzer is a nice way for me to add more dimension into my face.
That’s the complexion sans concealer done. The foundation nicely evens out my skintone, and the bronzer adds warmth to my skin without bringing back my ruddy cheeks.

 

4. I curl my eyelashes with my Shiseido eyelash curler to prep for mascara.

5. I apply W3ll People Expressionist Mascara by wiggling the wand at the roots and twirling through the rest of my lashes. My mascara’d lashes usually wilt back to their straight state within a minute after application, so I usually wait 5-15 minutes before re-curling them with my eyelash curler.

6. I conceal with W3ll People Narcissist 3 by warming the stick with my finger + tapping to blend + on the dark outlines of my undereyes + on my eyelids as a primer/conceal redness. I’m not in love with how this looks when I use it all over my face, but it is gold for these sorts of non-blemish spot concealing.

7. I turn myself into a cat with Benecos Natural Eyeliner in Black. Meow.

8. I illuminate my inner corners with Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance which is amazingly and beautifully radiant. Quickly comparing it to rms beauty living luminizer and La Bella Figura Highlighter in Brazilian Denise–this is the most obviously sparkly of these highlighters. I can use less product for more shine, and yet it does not look artificial or tacky at all. I also sometimes take it on the bridge of my nose, under my eyebrows, and on the tops of my cheekbones, but I love it best for my eyes.

9. Even though Altruist is a mineral foundation, I find it gives me a pretty dewy look, so I powder up my T-zone with rms ‘un’ powder because I am a sweaty beast.

10. Every other day when I don’t wash my hair, I tap One Love Organic’s Healthy Locks dry shampoo into my roots, massage it in, wait 5-10 min, and then brush it out. This is probably my favorite product from OLO’s summer collection (get it before September 15th!)–I find it absorbs my grease to the point where I look acceptable in public and it lightly perfumes my hair.

tl;dr And that’s the finished look. A bit bronzey, a bit catty, and very simple. A summary of products used:

I’m tagging:

And anyone else who would like to do the tag. What has been your signature summer look? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: I purchased all of the makeup used in this post. I have not retouched any of the pictures except for the flat lay in order to give a true representation of color. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post.

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The Going Green Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Kasey from Plein Vanity and sister duo Jennifer and Kathryne from Unsullied to do the Going Green Tag. As Kasey says, this tag was started by Rachel from All Natural Aspirations in her attempt to learn more about other bloggers’ experiences of “going green”. I never made an introductory post when I started blogging on how my green journey began, so thanks for tagging, ladies!

Pictured: Some cute succulents I picked up at Union Market, DC.

What started it all off for you?
It was a mixture of my on-and-off trench warfare with acne and a growing interest in makeup. In my acne-ful middle school and high school years, my makeup was eyeliner, mascara, eye concealer, done. Sometimes I would use concealer on my face, but a lot of the times I would forgo it (common conversation with myself: “Nah, you don’t need concealer today, that acne scar totally gives your face character”).

In the spring of my freshman year of college, I discovered the wonders of shopping online at Sephora and Asian BB cream. I started experimenting around and started breaking out more. I read that mineral foundation was acne-friendly, so I tried some BareMinerals, kept on breaking out, read that bismuth oxychloride was a skin irritant, aaand returned that in a blink of an eye.

In a flurry of fate, one of the order-with-samples was Josie Maran’s Argan Oil, the Birchbox of that month was the Earth Day Box, and I stumbled upon No More Dirty Looks. I played with the argan oil, checked out the mostly green products from the Birchbox (Juice Beauty, Egyptian Magic, not bad), read No More Dirty Looks, checked the back of my Philosophy Purity cleanser, and dropped it in horror after reading so many ingredient offenders that were poisoning me.

Pictured: No More Dirty Looks, Kindle edition. This book changed everything.

What was the first thing to go? (Ingredient or product)
Face cleanser/moisturizer. My first #greenbeauty products were One Love Organics Skin Savior and coconut oil, and I was so intrigued by products that could be a cleanser and a moisturizer at the same time. To be honest, I broke out even worse for a couple months after switching over, and it wasn’t until I changed to a simpler double-cleansing (jojoba, then honey), ACV-toning, and argan-moisturizing that my skin started to respond positively. Then I discovered Dr. Alkaitis, Vered Botanicals, yoga, eating green, and the rest is history. I’m not sure exactly what freaked my skin out at that time, but I’m attributing it to not double cleansing (*cringe), possibly not pure enough coconut oil (*double cringe), or possibly a sensitivity to coconut oil (*sad).

What are you/did you struggle to let go of?
Luckily, I wasn’t so attached to my skincare and makeup at the time, so I plunged into the world of #greenbeauty with absolute glee. I kind of did what NMDL advised not to do: freak out and throw everything away. Just knowing that there were inefficient or even harmful chemicals in my skincare and makeup repulsed me. I couldn’t put the products on my face after knowing what was inside them.

What has been your best find or change? (i.e. a green product or a tip that you’re really glad you’ve found/learnt)
Face oils!!! After years of oil-free brainwashing, I am now such a lover of face oils. The good ones give an instant glow, moisturize effectively, signal overreactive sebaceous glands to calm down, will often have great ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, omega fatty acids, and/or antioxidants. Also, their ingredients include some of my favorite foods: broccoli (similar feel as silicone), blueberry (antioxidants), raspberry (more antioxidants), and more.

Pictured from left to right: A couple of good face oils, including de Mamiel’s Spring Facial Oil (flower essences and moisturizing oils, smells just like Spring), YÜLI M.E. Skin Fuel (truly anti-inflammatory fuel for the skin, recently reviewed here), ED4OLO Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum (super moisturizing, reviewed here), MUN No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum (have yet to open this, but enjoyed the sample of it I ordered from Spirit Beauty Lounge)

What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest to transition or find an adequate green replacement of?
A lot of people say mascara, and this is where I have to thank my silly straight Asian lashes–even conventional mascaras never really worked for me. People also say deodorant, and this is where I have to thank my sweat glands–even that “prescriptive-strength anti-perspirant” deodorant didn’t work on me (can’t stop the sweat–stay tuned for a deo post). I think out of all of my products, it’s taken the longest time to find a mascara that works for me, period. The best part is that so many green beauty brands have been coming out with great mascaras made of natural ingredients and free of nasty preservatives, like rms beauty (defining is goooood stuff), W3ll People (@chinoisechic has good things to say about this one), and Alima Pure (tried it on my sis and looks good on her).

The worst thing about going green is watching other people continuing to use non-green products in ignorance. I think the absolute worst thing is when I’m watching a YouTube beauty favorites video, and the YouTuber says, “I don’t know what is in this product, but I love it so much!” (Though it was really funny when one YouTuber was commenting how Philosophy’s Purity cleanser wasn’t very pure, which I agreed with, but not because of the parabens or such, but because of various plant oils that I thought were actually decent. Awkward.) Of course, it is a completely personal choice to go green or not go green at all, and I just have to learn to accept that everyone has different opinions, tastes, and comfort levels. Or I can just slyly give green beauty gifts out for special occasions (and guess what. 100% satisfaction rate so far–booyah).

Pictured from left to right: Kjaer Weis Mascara (lovely rosey scent and nicely defines lashes for a natural look), rms beauty Defining Mascara (really packs on the definition and makes it look like I have eyelashes), Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara (also nicely defines and is layerable for a natural look, recently reviewed here)

Anything else to add? Any tips or tricks to pass on?
Be informed. You don’t have to go green, but as the consumer, you should at least know what is being absorbed into your bloodstream. There are so many great resources (No More Dirty Looks), lots of #greenbbloggers, lots of passionate green beauty store owners (Spirit Beauty Lounge, Follain, Clementine Fields, Eco Diva Beauty, Content Beauty, just to name a few), and lots of fabulous green beauty brands with inspiring stories who are committed to bringing healthy beauty to the world.

Being informed will also help you if you are an acne-sufferer like me. I think the knowledge is so empowering–instead of resorting to super full-coverage makeup or using drying and potentially harmful acne treatments, you yourself can try to pinpoint what is causing the acne–is it diet, stress, a product, hormones? You’re not helpless! Of course, if it gets really bad, see a derm, but you have the power to not only heal your skin but also make it as healthy and happy as possible.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how I went green! Now, I would love to hear Marcella’s (Naturally Marcy), Asti’s (Skjonnhet), Kathy’s (Beauty Palette), and your story of how you went green. 

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Spill It: Come As You Are Beauty Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Mary from Makeup by Mary B. to do the Spill It: Come As You Are tag by Katie from The Green Product Junkie. Here is some background on the tag:

Back in the 50s and 60s, they used to have something called, “Come As You Are” parties.  Now, if the name isn’t obvious enough, allow me to explain…

You’d receive an invite in the mail, and you had to show up at the party (whenever it was scheduled for) dressed exactly as you were when you received the invite.  Now, if you had any bit of personality, you showed up dressed completely ridiculously to make all of your friends laugh uncontrollably (and wonder what the heck was going on in your home).  My parents went to one and the pictures were hilarious, so now I’d love to single-handedly bring that back…in a green blogger kinda way.

My beauty tag is a “Come As You Are” party for the makeup bag.  This means that I want to see exactly what’s in your makeup bag AS YOU NOW READ THIS.  However…I don’t want you to add things, to run and go get something to make yourself look cooler (how would that be possible, anyway?) Just simply, SPILL IT. That’s right, spill your makeup bag on the table, the carpet, the couch and take a picture and then explain what you’ve got and what’s going on in there.  Have fun and remember…no staging, let’s keep this real.

I am a full-time student with a deep distrust of how good re-applied foundation can look, so the overwhelmingly majority of makeup in my “makeup bag” aka travel bag of tricks are lip products. While I trust my foundation, concealer, blush, and eye makeup (all of which sit on my bookshelf and dresser) to remain in place on my face all day, my lips are a free-for-all. I am constantly sipping on water and always wipe my lips off after a meal, so I am always up for changing up my lip color throughout the day (I am known to randomly sport a red lip come practice time). On top of all of this, lip products form the bulk of my makeup, so I try to carry some with me so I can use them before expiration (bam! Tips 3 and 4 for using up beauty products from here).

rms beauty lip shine in sublime
Forgive me for not showing the color–all for the sake of an authentic bag spill–but I did post on this pretty last summer (link here) and I still love its bright pop of fuschia. Totally inappropriate for winter, brought it out sometimes anyways for some cheery color, and now that the weather is finally looking like Spring, I’ll be wearing this one a lot. Besides its pretty color, I also love how moisturizing and glossy it is.

Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss in Evening Glow
I love Katey Denno, celebrity green makeup artist, and that she collaborated with Burt’s Bees on a color line. This is a shockingly pigmented, sparkly, true red. While the texture is not my favorite, it provides a nice gloss that is slightly sticky with a pleasant vanilla scent. I think of it as a dupe for my other favorite lip brand…

Ilia Beauty Lip Gloss in The Butterfly And I and Lip Crayon in Come Undone
This lip gloss is my go-to, non-fuss lippy. Its peachiness comes off as a my-lips-but-better-and-glossier color on me. The lip crayon is a very pretty nude that I’m still learning how to wear (any tips for a nude noob?).

Alime Pure Nourishing Lip Balm in Cranberry
This is my hands-off dupe for rms beauty’s lip2cheek in rapture when my hands are too dirty to stick in the pot (Instagram video here). Don’t let the “lip balm” part of the name fool you–this gives an intense burgundy-red color that is indeed nourishing. This has since been discontinued for Alima Pure’s Lip Tints in the same shades.

de Mamiel Altitude Oil
I received this as a gift from Shen Beauty last winter after an order mix-up and have appreciated its uplifting and perky scent in times of near-illness or drowsiness.

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Mist
In addition to always carrying a horde of lip products in my bag, it is an absolute must for me to have a mist on me at all times. This is the current mist inhabiting my bag, and I spritz this very fine and gentle mist (seriously the most gentle mister I’ve ever used) on my face throughout the day to replenish moisture.

Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
I am a super germaphobe, so I also always carry this bad boy from Whole Foods in case I have to touch money or dirty door handles, shivers. Doesn’t strip my hands of moisture and leaves a nice citrusy scent.

Contact Solution, Cleaner, and Eye Drops
I wear high-maintenance hard contacts so I carry solution, cleaner, and eye drops in case they decide to malfunction during the day. I am not really aware of any “green” products for contacts, so I use these conventional ones from Boston.

Limited Star Wars Edition Moleskine
I use this to jot down my practice schedule, to-do list, food shopping list, and blog ideas.

Baggu Leather Pouch in Persimmon
Love this little bag which perfectly holds all of my lippies and eye drops.

Computer Science Pouch
A bit of swag from a hackathon I attended at my school in January. Represent!

tl;dr Lots of lippies (rms beauty, Burt’s Bees, Ilia Beauty, Alima Pure), a perky-upper (de mamiel), a mister (ED4OLO), a hand sanitizer (Clean Well), contact stuff, a notebook, and cute bags.

That’s everything in my makeup bag. See any of your favorites? Girls from Unsullied and Call It Vanity, I tag you! 

The Skincare Tag

Thank you Marcella from Naturally Marcy for tagging me! Hope you enjoy~

DESCRIBE YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE IN 5 WORDS
My skin is the king.

WHAT’S YOUR SKIN TYPE?
Dry, acne-prone

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SKINCARE PRODUCT?

Oils. I love facial and body oils so much. I love how concentrated they can be and the nourishing benefits they can have! Never thought I would ever say this before I got into green beauty–I used to be all over oil-free.

For facial oils, I love YÜLI Skincare’s Cell Perfecto PM for night and M.E. Skin Fuel for mornings. The Cell Perfecto PM has drastically faded my acne scars and M.E. Skin Fuel fuels my skin with moisture and good-enough-to-eat ingredients (pomegranate, broccoli, um yum?). I like Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s Vitamin C Serum as an extra when I need an extra layer of moisture–it makes my face super soft and smells relaxingly of roses.

For body oils, I love Osmia Organic’s Sunset and Flower body oils. Sunset smells sultry and delicious, Flower like a fresh flower field. Lina Hanson’s Global Body Serum (see post here) also smells deliciously of citrus and vanilla. And they all are fabulous at moisturizing.

TOP BLEMISH ZAPPER?

Eating healthy, stressing less, exercising often, more sleep, and leaving those blemishes alone! I find my skin goes from not blemishy to very blemishy very quickly as soon I as up the snacks, the stress, and start going to bed regularly at 2. But when I’m on that yoga mat more mornings than not. drinking those green smoothies, chilling out, and sleeping, blemishes don’t even stand a chance. But when I am naughty and pop pimples, I do like the Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (see post here) to help with the healing afterwards.

I also love a weekly (or bi-weekly) mask treatment to ward off spots. May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver and YÜLI Skincare’s Pure are kicking blemishes off of my face like pros. The Problem Solver is spicier, more warming (like you actually feel a warming sensation), and takes more time (45 min). Pure is gentler, takes less time (10-15 min). Both are clay-based, leave my face soft, and suck the life out of blemishes.

FACE WIPES – YAY OR NAY?

Hail to the not necessary. I used to have face wipes on hand for a quick midday makeup removal, but I so much more enjoy my proper cleansing routine. I feel like green beauty does cleansers so well that face wipes are just not needed. Even if you’re feeling lazy, you can almost DIY a “face wipe” with a cleansing oil like the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (see post here) on a cotton round followed by a splash of water. But if you’re into real cleaning, I love the oil to remove makeup, followed either by YÜLI’s Halcyon (super gentle and floral) or May Lindstrom’s newly released The Honey Mud (chocolate honey).

TONER – YAY OR NAY?
Hail to the absolutely yay. I love toners. They’re great for that extra boost of moisture pre-moisturizing, post-makeup, or in the middle of the day.

Simple: Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin Spray (see post here)
Astringent: Vered Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner (see post here and here)
Acne-Prone: YÜLI Skincare Panacea Elixir (see post here)
Oily: Pai Orange and Rice Bioaffinity Toner
Extra moisture: YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir (see post here)

HIGH-END SKINCARE OR HIGH-END MAKEUP?
Taking high-end to mean quality–both. I think in general skincare should come before makeup, because you should take care of your skin before you start adding extra color to it. I banned myself from blush and bronzer until my cheeks healed from redness and acne, and now, I am having a ball experimenting with color.

WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL SKINCARE PRODUCT YOU’VE TRIED?
Well, my mom and my sister thought I was crazy when I brought One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm home and told them it was a cleanser and a moisturizer. Then when I broke out they were like, “Well obviously because you were using a cleanser as your moisturizer!” (True story: I did actually mix up a cleanser and moisturizer once, was breaking out for a month, and did not realize my mistake until my mom pointed it out to me)

YOU’RE IN A PHARMACY AND YOU CAN ONLY PICK ONE ITEM, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Quick, someone find me the jojoba oil! Makeup remover, face moisturizer, body moisturizer, you name it.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP SKINCARE TIPS?
I can sum it all up with a bit of Kant: treat humanity as an ends, not a means.

You are a part of humanity, so treat yourself, and therefore your skin with respect. You may want to try all sorts of awesome products, but resist! Don’t use your skin as a means. Listen to your skin and see what it needs first. Protect your skin! With sunscreen (or a wide-brimmed hat) and gloves in the winter. Keep dirty hands away from your face–blemishes don’t need anymore reasons to pop up!

I have had a lot of fun reading everybody else’s skincare tags, and I’d love to read yours, reader! I’d also love to read Garcy’s from Eco Diva Beauty and Asti’s from Skjonnhet.

Beauty Routine Tag

Thanks Asti from Skjonnhet for tagging me–my very first tag! Hope you enjoy~

1. Name a beauty routine you rarely do.

Filling in my brows. I am lucky to have inherited my dad’s caterpillar eyebrows, and while I could do some filling in where my eyebrows trail off, I am a bit lazy. I also just tell myself that it gives my eyebrows character.

2. Is washing your makeup brushes something you do regularly? 

I try to do it weekly or after I’ve dropped enough brushes on the floor by accident (I hate floor germs!!). But since I’ve been using more finger-painting makeup products (rms beauty, Kjaer Weis), I have barely touched my brushes, and thus have barely washed them in the past month.

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish? 

As long as I am lazy about it. I usually only paint my toenails (#pianistproblems) so especially in the winter when my toes are hiding half the time, I can last up to a month before I get fed up with the chips. But now that I’ve started using nail polish remover cloth wipes (priti NYC, RBG cosmetics) which are totally ingenious, fuss-free, and not messy, I will probably be more proactive when it comes to chipped nail polish for the upcoming season.

4. How long do you put off buying/replacing a product even if you really need it?

Like negative time…if I really need it, I am going to preemptively restock. Sometimes I am too late (ran out of OLO x BeautyBets oil cleanser and was distraught for a couple days) and other times I am way too early (preemptively restocked Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen and my current bottle is still going strong).

5. What is your worst beauty habit?

Popping pimples…when they come to a head and just sit on my face all day, they are asking for it! Luckily this doesn’t happen too often, and when it does, I make sure to treat it with Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel or lavender oil, and be very gentle with it afterwards.

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off all the time.

Homework? Just kidding. Cleaning and organizing. I go back and forth between needing a bit of clutter or complete spotlessness in my room for optimal performance. There is something comforting about a little bit of mess, but I am also a total sucker for a nicely-made bed.

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute or not? 

I give myself plenty of time to get ready to minimize stress and because I enjoy getting ready (I love love love slowly getting ready while listening to beauty-related YouTube videos), but I’ll do last-minute touch-ups before leaving, like re-curling my eyelashes and wiping away any smudges.

8. Can you commit to spending bans? 

Sometimes…though admittedly, I am a bit impulsive, especially when everyone is raving about a certain product, and when something like my birthday rolls around and No More Dirty Looks is running an awesome Friday Deal, I just can’t resist…and then they run two awesome Friday Deals in a row…my bank account sighs…

9. How organized are your make-up/nail polish collections? 

Fairly organized. I don’t have many nail polishes, so they all hang out in a acrylic tray together. I just got this silly cat-face-shaped dish that mostly houses my rms beauty and other beauty pots, and the rest of my makeup is currently chilling out next to it. I’m on the lookout for more silly dishes to keep my cat face company.

10. What is the longest time you’ve gone without writing a blog post? 

Probably about a month…not without good excuse! I really want to give whatever products I am using the best, unbiased chance to wow me, so I tend to use products for months or until they are empty before talking about them. Or sometimes homework or piano takes over my life.

I tag Marcella from Naturally Marcy, the girls at Call It Vanity, and you, dear reader!

The rules are:
-this tag was created by http://thebeaubow.blogspot.com
-tag other bloggers
-title  to show what the tag is about