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Finding Cruelty Free Beauty

There is a lot of conflicting information and contradictory advice out in the big, bad beauty world. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, none of it works for everyone…and most of it is ambiguous. Words and phrases like ‘clean beauty‘, ‘natural’, ‘sustainable’…they all mean different things to different people.

Cruelty free is no different. Some companies will say they are cruelty free because they do not test their finished goods on animals…but they don’t say anything about their ingredients. Some will say they do not test on animals, and then contract other companies to do the testing. And some (like us) verify that everything from ingredients to finished product is not tested on animals. So what is a conscientious consumer to do?

Well, other than read claims printed on labels, which are not always clear, you can look for certifications from independent organizations. Certified Vegan and Leaping Bunny are two such organizations. Both require proof that there is no animal testing on any of the ingredients or finished products that they certify. Certified Vegan appears to be limited to the US, and will only certify individual products, while Leaping Bunny is internationally recognized and will certify companies.

Besides looking for logos on labels (because let’s be real, how often do you have time to scour the label when running ten million errands in the 42.3 minutes you have between appointments and activities?) Leaping Bunny also offers an app that helps you find brands, promotions (yes! saving money), and make shopping lists.

So, even though the beauty world is still a bit of the wild west, there are tools that can make it easier to find cruelty free products. Download that app, look for the bunny logo, and enjoy indulging guilt free. (of course, you can always shop with us too…)

Do you search out cruelty free products? We’d love to hear your experiences and any tips you want to share!



A Wish For You

The holidays are here once again, and the frenzy is upon us. Cooking, baking, wrapping…oh my! So as we run around, trying to create the perfect, memorable day I have just one wish for you.

I wish you peace.

The peace of being surrounded by love ones.

The peace of a quiet evening by the tree.

The peace of sitting on the couch and watching your favorite movie.

The peace found when you take a step back, let go a little, and breathe.

The wrapping doesn’t have to be magazine picture ready. One type of cookie is fine. And let all those people who offer to help with dinner actually help. Because what gets remembered isn’t the trappings. What gets remembered are the moments of quiet. The feeling of peace.

May you have a holiday surrounded by those you wish to spend time with and full of memorable moments of peace.

Merry Christmas!

Fabulous Fridays!

Every wonder what products and routine a woman who owns a personal care business uses? Is it crazy complex with multiple steps, or a 2 minute splash and go?

Let’s take a peek behind the curtain.

Now, first things first…there is the routine I WANT to follow, and then there is real life. We’ll start with the ideal routine – after all, we’ve all got goals!

     Saturday – Thursday

          Morning routine:

          Wet/Rinse hair and massage scalp

          Cleanse face with 2 part CEK system

          Cleanse body with a loofa and  handmade soap

          Pat dry

          Apply CEK bi-phase moisturizer

          Apply lip balm

          Apply body butter

          And, of course, apply Stink Stopper natural deodorant

This, including getting dressed, only takes me 20 minutes and leaves me feeling pampered and ready for the day. I don’t dry my hair or apply make up, but if I did it would probably add another 20 minutes to my morning routine.

     Evening wind down:

          Cleanse face with 2 part CEK system

          Apply CEK night serum

          Apply lip balm

          Thoroughly brush hair

          Once or twice a week, soak in a warm tub with foaming bath salts.

Again, this only takes a few minutes and leaves me feeling relaxed and pampered before bed.

And then, there’s Friday. Fabulous Friday. Make-me-feel-like-I’ve-been-to-the-spa-and-am-a-glorious-goddess Friday. I scrub. I mask. I (yes, tmi) shave. I am polished and glowing from head to toe.

     Morning routine:

          Wash hair, taking time to massage scalp.

          Condition hair, focusing on ends – leave in during next steps

          Cleanse face with 2 part CEK system

          Apply facial masque – leave on during next steps

          *whispers* here’s the tmi part…

          While my hair deep conditions and the facial masque does its work, I shave my legs.

          Rinse/wipe off masque

          Rinse conditioner out of hair

          Cleanse body with a 3-in-one body polish

          Pat dry

          Apply CEK bi-phase moisturizer

          Apply lip balm

          Apply Stink Stopper natural deodorant

If the weather is particularly dry, apply body butter (I usually don’t need to do this because the 3-in-1 polish is also a moisturizer)

This obviously takes me a bit longer…but not much (I don’t have that big of a hot water tank). Even with the added steps and including getting dressed, I still only spend about 30-40 minutes getting ready for the day. And I feel fabulous!

     Evening wind down:

          What wind down? It’s Friday and I feel like a queen! I’m out with my husband having a grand ol’ time.

                               – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, let’s be real for a minute. Do I really do all that every day?

No.

We all have days where we are lucky to have the time to wash our face and brush our teeth, or days where you just don’t feel like doing some of the steps. As for a warm soak….well, at least I get to it every couple of months…

But, I’ve been able to streamline a routine that leaves me feeling pampered and refreshed with minimal time investment. That means that I am more likely to stick to it.

And Friday? That ALWAYS happens. Ok…sometimes it happens on Saturday…but it happens. I need Fabulous Friday – that time to myself, to pamper and refresh, to reset and let my stress wash away, to remember the good things and anticipate more.

And so do you.

So, what does your routine look like? What do you do to refresh and reset? Let me know in the comments!

How’d I wind up here?! (pt. 4)

Wow. Who knew I could talk about myself for this long? If you’ve made it this far, Congratulations! You are patient, determined, and most likely have a bottomless beverage and well trained bladder.

We’re on the home stretch now. You’ve read about how even as a kid I messed around with trying to improve products, about the Bathtub Epiphany, and about the dangers of browsing the internet while bored. Now it’s time for the really important question.

What up with tea?

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How’d I wind up here?! (pt. 3)

The story continues with a cautionary tale about boredom and browsing the internet.

No…not THAT kind of internet browsing! Sheesh.

It’s been several years since the great Bathtub Epiphany. Life has gone on, kids have grown, and I now somehow find myself a homeschooling mother to kids ranging from upper elementary to high school. The super intensive, kid on the hip, no privacy ever years have turned into the ‘is your schoolwork done?’, multiple activity, taxi driver years.  I am simultaneously busier than ever and bored. Yup, bored. Turns out you do a LOT of waiting around at this stage of life. Waiting for the homework to be done. Waiting for  _insert activity here_  to end. Waiting for them to get done with work. Lots and lots of waiting.

So what does a mom with an internet connection and large quantities of waiting time on her hands do?

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How’d I wind up here?! (pt. 2)

Otherwise known as “The Bathtub Epiphany”.

Yup. It deserves capitals.

Let’s set the scene. I’m now a sleep deprived mom of young kids who hasn’t used the toilet or taken a shower alone in years. My decorating style is early fisher price, and my clothing is chosen based on what will best withstand the various bodily fluids deposited on it by runny noses and leaky diapers. In other words, I’m a tired, sloppy, often cranky, hot mess.

One night,

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How’d I wind up here?! (pt. 1)

Ever ask yourself that? I have. Oh, not because I’m unhappy with where I am. Quite to the contrary, I’m loving every minute of it. (ok…not every minute. Bathing the dogs after they roll in something disgusting isn’t high on my list of great moments. Neither is dusting.) But I have had to wonder just how I wound up here, because it’s usually the first question

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