Review of Everyday Minerals

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I had finally taken the plunge and purchased some products from EveryDay Minerals to replace my less ideal make choices.

My big item on my list was the “No Makeup Makeup Kit” in Light to Medium shade.

I liked most of the products that came with this set. I definitely liked all the power varieties. The Natural was a very neutral and really does look like you are barely wearing makeup. The Viki’s Radiant Creation has a little more color to it and is better if you want more coverage and a darker look. The Bamboo Powder Light works great as a finishing powder. I like the colors of the Raw Sugar blush and Happiness Bronzer, but I can’t seem to figure out how to properly apply to blush. I usually prefer a more pink or peach blush but these work fine. I’ll be happier when I can figure out a technique to blend these better because so far I can’t get them to look right, I always end up with blotches during application. I love the Flora Eye Shadow and the Fauna Lip Tint. Though the Fauna lip tint is very neutral I’ve discovered that applying a little bit of blush or eye shadow between layers of it adds some nice colorful accent and still keeps the same smooth appearance. The Baby Bamboo flat top brush is easy to use and I already prefer it over my existing makeup applicators, though I’m already getting lazy about cleaning it regularly.

Beauty Serenade Kit

Both the Song Bird and New Leaf eye shadow shades are darker and less colorful than they appear online. The Song Bird especially leans too close to black and not nearly enough purple for my taste. The Prim & Proper and Taj Mahal eye shadows while nice were also a little disappointing. I was hoping they would be more pink than they actually turnout in person. Both are still very neutral. The eye kabuki junior brush is better for blending than application. Which leads me to a problem I’ve had with all travel size eyes shadows from Everyday Minerals. I hate the applicators. The eye shadow does not just glide on. It takes a while to start and the plastic applicator is abrasive. I wish I could break open the applicator and just apply with a brush, though the junior kabuki brush wouldn’t be the right one for it. I wish they offered eye shadows in the mini-size containers as with powders and blushes. It really is a shame because these are good quality products, but I’m hesitate to try a new shade of eye shadow in full size until I’m sure I like it and the travel applicators are so disappointing. Fortunately you can get tiny free samples via the custom kits Try Me feature, but there are a limited number of choices.

Brow Defining Kit

I will admit that I don’t really use this as a brow defining kit, but I was looking for good eyeliner choices. I don’t usually use eyeliner, but since EveryDay Minerals doesn’t seem to have a substitute for mascara I decided this would have to do. Both the liners are a little darker than I had hoped, but I like that they are shades of brown rather than black. The angled bamboo brow/liner brush does work well for lining my eyes, even for someone as unskilled as I am. The Rare Silk eye shadow is also a neutral but nicely complementary color. This eyeliner goes a long way. The tinniest little bit on the tip of the brush seems to be enough. I imagine that these will last me a very long time.

So far I found the Everyday Minerals products and prices to be on par with decent quality cosmetics. The selection of lip colors is sadly lacking but I’m hoping this will improve as they expand their new line. The fact that you can try certain shades of blush, eye shadow and varieties of powder for free is also a great feature. Selection is limited, but it is certainly a way to get started.

Turn Baby Turn

Yesterday my ultrasound showed that my son is finally head down. Well, kind of.  The first ultrasound showed that his head was on the lower left side of my uterus, but the rest of his body was arched across the top of my uterus with his shoulders on the upper left, behind on the upper right and feet on the lower right. So technically head down, but not in a great position. Then they asked to do a second ultrasound ten minutes later because the doctor was concerned about the position of the placenta. After several minutes of panic, they concluded that my placenta was fine, but now the baby was perfectly centered and head down, though not engaged. (Not necessarily a big deal since my daughter’s head didn’t engage until after I was in labor). I left the doctor’s office feeling better, but still uncertain. The doctor tried to assure me that the chances of the baby turning back are less than 5% but since he is so mobile and on the small side it could still happen. Other than this issue, he looks healthy. My gestational diabetes does not appear to be affecting him since he is currently in the 33rd percentile, much smaller than my 8 pound daughter with the 95th percentile head. When I visited my chiropractor later the same afternoon she was so excited to hear that the baby was down. She gave me a big pep talk about how I’m doing all the right things and to keep doing them. She told me that I’m such a trooper and I should be so proud of myself. It was nice to hear and I definitely left her office feeling more optimistic. Now I can’t wait for this baby to arrive. Quick, before he gets any crazy ideas about turning back.

A Short Break from 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge

I wanted to apologize for my short break in the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge. The last couple of challenges as well as this week’s task are things that I have recently tackled anyway. That coupled with my frequent doctor’s appointments as I enter the last month of my pregnancy have kept me from blogging about the last few challenges. Hopefully I’ll be back on track in the next few weeks and if not then sometime after the new baby arrives. Those of you following my posts, please feel free to continue to tackle the challenges on your own and comment here about them.

 Week #5 Organized Home Challenge Organize Recipes And Cookbooks

 Week #6 Organized Home Challenge Trash And Home Recycling Center

 Week #7 Organized Home Challenge Organize Coupons

 

Not Necessarily Cheaper, but Definitely Healthier Toiletry Options: Why I Love California Baby Products

I love California Baby products. I first discovered the calendula cream as a diaper rash treatment before my daughter was born when I was researching cloth diaper safe rash creams. For some reason, I bypassed the California Baby diaper rash cream altogether and just began using the calendula cream. It was expensive, but fortunately it went a long way. I still love this for my daughter’s ultra dry skin and I like to use it on my face as well. I also love their Aloe Vera cream and I’m hoping to try the botanical Calming Cream too. While these products aren’t specifically marketed to adults (though apparently a more adult line is coming, including an ultra moisturizing night cream), many of them work quite well. They are definitely more expensive than some of the cheaper options our there, but compared to the expensive lines from Aveeno, Clinique or even Mary Kay, they aren’t too bad.

Other products I recommend include the shampoo. After my daughter was born we used the traditional Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo that we were given as a gift. It does smell lovely. But after doing some research I was concerned about levels of unhealthy chemicals and numbing agents in it. The corresponding body wash and lotion also seemed to leave my baby daughter’s skin overly dry. The shampoo certainly did nothing to help her severe cradle cap. Even my pediatrician mentioned that while J&J products are popular (and given out as free samples at the hospital) they aren’t necessarily the best for some babies’ skin. So we tried the California Baby Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash and Conditioner. These products are naturally no-more tears. No numbing agents needed. We soon discovered that our daughter’s hair didn’t really need to be washed every day or even every other day. Sometimes we would bathe her and just condition her hair, without shampooing. I also discovered that a little bit of conditioner with a spray bottle with water makes a cheap conditioning spray which has made brushing her hair much easier. Now I don’t like to use anything else on her but California Baby.

For myself, I also like the Tea Tree Oil & Lavender Shampoo. It’s definitely not as strong as regular shampoo so it will take some adjustment, but alternating the Tea Tree Oil shampoo with the baking soda and vinegar combination definitely helped my hair transition better when I first tried the No Poo method. The Tea Tree Oil shampoo also makes a great face wash, especially if you are a little acne prone. Hopefully I’ll soon have my husband converted to using it. It is very concentrated so it lasts a long time. While I haven’t tried it for myself, some people recommend using Tea Tree Oil & Lavender shampoo followed by the Calming Diaper Area Wash and then the Calming or Calendula Cream as an acne prone skin treatment regimen for teenagers or young adults.

I don’t love how expensive these products can be, but they are definitely easier to find. Our grocery store, Target, Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath and Beyond / Harmon Drug carry these products in varying varieties. I especially love purchasing items at Bed Bath and Beyond / Harmon Drug and Buy Buy Baby because I can use coupons to make them more affordable. There are also several cloth diaper retailers including Cotton Babies, who also carry a nice selection of California Baby products. So if you are looking for a low toxin level toiletry product for yourself or your children. Give California Baby a try.

 

These reviews have not been solicited or paid for by California Baby. Though I would love to test and review new products for them.

Operation Turn That Baby

So in light of my recent news of a transverse/oblique positioned baby, I saw my chiropractor yesterday to talk about the Webster Technique. Based on my simple understanding of the process it involves making adjustments to my pelvis, spine and hips so that the baby can more easily turn into the correct position. It will probably require several appointments, two or three times a week. But I’m hoping it will be worth it as most practitioners claim a very high success rate. Today she sent me home with a stretch to do, one that I actually had already been doing. Basically I get on the floor on my hands and knees and alternate arching and flattening my back. (Also call Cat and Camel stretches). The hard part will be making sure I sit properly. Ideally I should be standing on lying on my side most of the time. But when I do it, I can’t recline back the way I have been, while it does help with my SI joint inflammation, it will apparently only encourage the baby to remain in his current position. I go back again tomorrow and then three times next week. Each appointment I’ll be getting new exercises to do at home. My hope is that my ultrasound scheduled for next week will show some progress. But the best part is how positive the chiropractor was. She said she couldn’t offer me any guarantees but that she wanted me to keep thinking positively and remember that the baby is probably going to turn. So hopefully I’ll get some good news next week and we can get this pregnancy to term without any more problems.

Being Cheaper and Greener, Possibly Weirder Too

In the last year I’ve made some significant changes in my personal hygiene routine, particularly the products I use. After doing research I was concerned with the various toxins in products as well as the overall cost. I wanted to find ways to use products that would be healthier for my body, but also less expensive. I discovered that many of them could actually be found in the grocery store. While my husband is all for saving money, he thinks this whole process has also made me a little weirder.

Coconut Oil: This has become my moisturizer of choice, as well as a great diaper rash cream. It is greasier, but if applied sparingly works quite well.

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: For now this has been my go-to winter nighttime moisturizer. I don’t usually use it during the day because it is heavier.

I have been somewhat concerned about the lack of SPF in these natural moisturizers so at least in the warmer weather when I’m outside more I’m consider substituting the California Baby SPF lotion, if I can find a more budget friendly price on it somewhere.

The Oil Cleaning Method– Mix any favorite essential carrier oil (such as Extra Virgin Oil Oil or Almond Oil) with Castor oil. Apply to face. Wet a wash cloth with steaming water, ring out and apply to face. Let wash cloth sit on face until cooled. Repeat and wipe any residue off of face. My husband still laughs at me when I do this, but I’ve found that it actually works rather well. The whole process of deliberately putting oil on my skin seemed counter intuitive after years of acne issues, but this doesn’t seem to cause any additional acne problems (though it is a little hard to tell during pregnancy) and my skin is definitely less dry than when I was using acne washes. I’ve stuck mostly with Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it is easy to find at our regular grocery store and relatively inexpensive. For more on the oil cleansing method check out this article on Simple Mom and the included links.

HoneyWash– Ideally I should be using raw honey or some other organic equivalent, but instead I grabbed what I had in my cupboard which is quite old. I had to dilute it just to get it into a manageable texture so I’m probably not getting the full benefits of this wash. I apply it to my face and then rinse off and dry with a wash cloth. But I alternate it with my OCM and it leaves my skin feeling dry in a few spots (which, frankly, every single face wash I’ve ever tried has done), but mostly gives my skin a nice texture. But if I leave any on, it does leave sticky spots.

No Poo Method

When I first heard about this I thought it was crazy. But I decided to give it a try. It was a process of trial and error that certainly wasn’t helped by my pregnancy hormones. (My hair gets very strange during pregnancy, including a very flaky scalp that even strong dandruff shampoo can’t get rid of).

My current method is to boil two cups of water and then add 1 TBS of baking soda. I let it cool and make sure it is completely dissolved before I pour it into bottles to store in my shower. I discovered that our hard water makes it necessary to boil the water while mixing in the baking soda, otherwise it leaves awful white residue in my hair. I still get flakes sometimes, but it’s mostly the result of my pregnancy scalp or if I measure wrong when creating the mix. Sometimes I experiment a little bit with the mixture to see how it affects my hair.

I started out using lemon juice as my “conditioner” because I thought vinegar would make my hair greasy. But as my hair adjusted I began using diluted white vinegar, and now finally diluted apple cider vinegar. I still use white vinegar if my hair has gone too long between washes other wise I’ll end up with greasy hair. But I find that the apple cider vinegar helps prevent flakes and gives my hair nice texture and color. I currently wash my hair every two to three days. This is a huge breakthrough for me, since I was lucky to be able to go 24 hours without washing my hair before. But it has been a long road. There were definitely times when my hair drove me crazy during the last year or so, and a few times I wanted to give up. I occasionally alternated my routine with California Baby Tea Tree oil shampoo, since it’s non-stripping and sometimes I would still wash my hair every day. But the vast majority of the time I’m pretty happy with my hair now, assuming that the flake problem continues to improve postpartum. I didn’t struggle with any hair problems during my No Poo method transition that I wasn’t already dealing with. The current dandruff shampoos weren’t working. Other shampoos didn’t leave my hair clean for longer than 24 hours. So I figured I might as well stick it out, since I was saving huge amounts of money (especially considering the supply of half full bottles of shampoo in my cabinet that I abandoned during the last few years when they stopped working, including the lovely smelling Organix tea tree oil and peppermint shampoo. Unfortunately it worked no better than the others). For more info check out Simple Mom and her recommended resources on this topic.

So there it is. Most of my toiletry products are now purchased as basic ingredients at the grocery store. I haven’t bought myself traditional shampoo or conditioner in over a year, even longer since I purchased moisturizer and I haven’t even had to repurchase any of my new greener ingredients, though I’m about to buy more apple cider vinegar, which is quite inexpensive. It has definitely saved money, probably made my body and household a little greener and to my husband’s credit, perhaps made me a little weirder too. But I think I’m OK with it. After all, after transitioning to cloth menstrual pads, it doesn’t get much stranger than that.