CHOOSING TO USE MORE NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Let’s admit. Beauty is fun. Everyday brings on so many opportunities to maintain, enhance and improve the look of our skin. On average most women wear makeup everyday to some extent. Think about all the ingredients that touch your skin on a daily basis. A dab of foundation, spray of deodorant, shampoo, mascara; it all adds up. I can’t say that people are being harmed by his or her favorite body wash. But what if we looked a little deeper into what we’re putting on our bodies? We don’t want to only read labels; we want to become familiar with which ingredients are the best for us. Knowledge is power, we have choices and your skin is worth it!

When walking down the drugstore aisle in need of a full body cream, it’s easy to go for the popular most talked about kind. But if your goal is to go for a more natural approach to what’s getting absorbed in your body, look for simple recognizable ingredients. Natural products have been trending quite a bit and helping us become more aware of what touches our bodies. A super long ingredient list can usually mean there is a small amount of each item included on that list and that might not be so beneficial. Look for products with a shorter but clear list that defines what that product is best used for.

Let’s start with a full body moisturizer for example. Recognizable ingredients like the ones in the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Body Lotion is a great start. The first three ingredients are Shea Butter, Water and Palm Kernel. Can’t get more earthy than that. It’s a lot different than having to google the names or waste time trying to pronounce it correctly! With Shea Butter being the key ingredient, you’re getting a load of fatty acids and vitamins A and E, all of which moisturize the skin a ton. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps heal scars. An all around win. Other moisturizers you may consider are: Burt’s Bees Mango and Orange Body Butter, The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter and C.O. Bigelow Lemon Body Cream to name a few.

Body Washes may be another product we can look into since most people take one to two showers a day. A favorite body wash of mine is Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile liquid soap. I keep the following fragrances on rotation with this product; peppermint, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and almond. Dr Bronner’s not only serves as an amazing natural body wash but has multiple purposes; washing your face, hands, body and hair, shaving, washing dishes and mopping floors. This castile soap is USDA certified organic and ensures that not only are we getting a quality product but we’re contributing to environmental responsibility with each use. It’s a feel good product. Other products similar to Dr. Bronners are Jason Natural Satin Shower Body Wash and Nurture My Body’s Wild Eucalyptus Body Wash.

Those can be your first two steps to overall skincare improvement. We don’t have to be perfect, no one is. As women though, knowing more is doing more and our bodies deserve it. Take one or two extra minutes when purchasing your next beauty product. Think about what those ingredients mean for your body and make a choice for yourself. Whatever the choice is, the important thing is that it was yours.

Tell me what ingredients are important to you when choosing your favorite products.

xo IKA

Share

HOW TO SAVE WHEN YOU HAVE A BEAUTY ADDICITON

I’m a beauty junkie! Have you noticed? I won’t bore you with the super long list of products that have now made an organized space in my linen closet. And I won’t try to stop you from investing in what you love. What I will do is give you tips on how you can admire all things beauty and still be financially responsible about it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, overspending, but you don’t have to!

1. LEARN WHAT INGREDIENTS WORK BEST FOR YOU
First and foremost, know your skin! Oily, dry, combination, ALL THAT! This is a huge factor in making the best decisions for your beauty purchases. There’s no reason to by a cleanser for acne prone skin if you don’t get acne. Following beauty trends always seem fun but try to be more conscience of purchasing what’s truly best for you!

2. RETURN WHAT YOU’VE TRIED THAT DOESN’T WORK
This is something I wish I did more of. Many stores allow you to bring back products that were not to your satisfaction. I’m guilty of quickly picking up the wrong shade. Or purchasing a hot item that I end up hating. Stores like Sephora, major department stores, and even your local drug stores like Duane Read or CVS will allow you to bring beauty products back as long as you have the receipt. No need to add it to the closet of products that you probably won’t touch for years to come.

3. MAKE A NEED VS. WANT LIST
OK, so yea, I want the Urban Decay Naked2 palette. And yes I can just run to Sephora and buy it. No biggie right? Wrong! For a fact, I don’t need it! I have enough eye shadow to make it to the next century. This is what I mean. List out what you really need. Things that are useful to you regularly. If you have a specific moisturizer that you love, continue buying it when you run out of it, because it works. Hey on your birthday, get yourself a WANT. But this doesn’t have to be a habit. It feels so much better when you treat yourself once in a blue.

Simple right? Those three tips could save you a good penny! You don’t have to break the bank to have a killer beauty stash. I’m here so you don’t make my mistakes. I got nothing but LOVE for ya! What are some of your beauty money saving secrets? I’d love to know.

xo IKA

Share

REACHING FOR A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE – CAN IT BE DONE?

Minimalism! I need to get my thoughts out. I’ve been battling with this for a few years now. Yes, years! I can’t grasp the minimalist lifestyle in my own life. But I’m a minimalist enthusiast to the bone. I want it, and perhaps speaking it to existence is what I need!

“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” Theminimalists.com

Wait, what!?! Is it just me or does that sound like where we should all be? I want freedom! I want real freedom. And it’s not easy. I mean, the concept of being free; a piece of cake right? No, it’s not a piece of cake. It’s scary at first. It’s work. It’s consistency. It’s a lifestyle. And one day I want to get there.

My interest in living a minimal life started when I moved into my current apartment. I developed a somewhat obsessive need to keep everything in order. This is different from minimalism when you think about it. It’s a need for control. Every dish matches and belongs in a specific place. Pillows are fluffed to perfection. The bedding has to be white. The bathroom towels are not for my “use”. Saying this out loud even to myself makes me think I’m crazy lol. I’m not crazy, I’m particular lol. ANYWAY enough about my need for order! Have you ever desired to live with less material possessions? That’s where I am. I give too much meaning to “things”. If I could have less “things”, I could give more meaning to people, relationships and my health! Doesn’t that sound like a life you would want to live? To live a life that is driven by purpose? Then why is it so hard to let go of items that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things? I struggle with this. Not the concept, but how to apply it to my own life.

I started my career in fashion. Right after college I was a merchandising assistant in the buying office at Saks Fifth Avenue. I was exposed to luxury designer merchandise; the ins and outs of fashion. A real eye opener for me although I’ve always had a love for fashion prior to my first real job. I remember getting a Saks credit card as an employee and thinking LIFE COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT BUYING EVERYTHING! What it has left me with, 12 years later, is possession of the most amazing, beautiful, luxury meaningless merchandise that I don’t use and can’t let go of. It’s also left me with working really hard every day, and getting paid to buy more; more “things”. That’s just one piece of the puzzle; having a ton of “stuff”. There is so much more that we consume excess of. But my main point is to say, my dream is to have less, to make more room, not for more meaningless “things” but for more experience, love, growth, travel, etc. Ridding myself of the clutter, I believe will help me consume more of those meaningful truths. It may take another 12 years before this becomes my reality. Yet I’m hopeful and I’m keeping educated on the process of clearing my home and my mind of clutter and inviting freedom in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. How much meaning do you give to “things”?

xo IKA

Share

PACK THE PERFECT BEACH BAG!

It’s beach time guys! If you haven’t made the trip yet, I’m sure it’s coming soon. I’m all about preparation and the Beach is no exception. The Blazing hot sun, sand in between my toes and the potential for dehydration will not get me! I’ve got plenty for it all!

SUNSCREEN: Did you think I was going to start with something else? Well you thought wrong. This is my number one, always. I make countless mention of using sunscreen all year round, but at the BEACH you better come correct! You can use one of my favorites from Aveeno. Anything less than SPF 30 doesn’t count in my opinion. Protected skin stays healthy. Do yourself a favor and keep it in the beach bag, the handbag, the weekend bag; EVERY BAG!

SPECS: Sunglasses provide protection to your eyes. The eyes are sensitive. Not only do they keep your eyes safe but you also look bad ass. The bigger the better. Sometimes it’s all about the look too, let’s be honest.

LIP CARE: Last months obsession was the Aquaphor Lip Therapy Treatment. Guess what, there’s a version with SPF. Hello! Enough said.

AGUA: A cooler filled with bottles of water is a must. Staying hydrated while you’re out in the sun is crucial! The sun rays will get you dehydrated so quickly. Always remember to replenish. The way I keep the water flowing is to infuse it with strawberries, cucumber, lemon or my favorite, mint!

FRUITS: At the beach I like to have my Summer favorites like, grapes, watermelon, pineapple. Washing and pre-cutting in advance makes life easy and helps keep the day low-hassle.

SUMMER READING: A few hours at the beach make for great reading time. If a novel doesn’t interest you, try short stories or write in a journal. My new must have and awesome gift for friends is Kiss The Sky: Reflections of Becoming your Best Self by Carline Dumerlin-Folks. It’s a journal as well as a reference point that is sure to keep you motivated.

There it is. No big deal. You don’t need many things but you DO need a few essentials to make your trip to the sand fun and worthwhile. These are just to name a few; all in addition to your flip flops, beach chair, towel and bucket of fried chicken lol. What things do you feel you can’t go to the beach without?

xo IKA

Share