Friday, December 13, 2013

A Review: BeautyCounter Lip Products

I had never heard of BeautyCounter before, so I was intrigued when one of their consultants reached out to me through this blog to ask if I would like to try their products.  In the blog article she commented on, I was specifically wanting to find a lip product that was non-toxic and didn't contain all of those nasty ingredients.  So, after some quick research on the company and their products, I agreed that I would try out their lip products and provide a review on them.  Thank you Heather Jadus for the product!

BeautyCounter has a selection process on what ingredients make it into their products.  It is honestly quite refreshing. Here's an explanation from their website:
Beautycounter has embraced a whole-­picture approach to product formulation. Our Ingredient Selection Process includes these three steps:

1) We eliminate over a thousand commonly used ingredients right off the bat because of concerns about their effects on people’s long-term health. We will not use the 1300 chemical ingredients that are banned in the European Union or the 11 that are banned or restricted in the U.S. Then we consult our own robust Never List, which includes dozens of cosmetic chemicals that are linked to cancer, reproductive harm and cell damage.

2) If a potential ingredient is not on these lists, we put it through our industry-leading safety Screen, which helps us identify any known or suspected safety concerns. Our Screen represents the most consumer-­conscious approach in the market today.

3) We check to make sure that we need the ingredient at all. Every ingredient in our products has a function; nothing is used without careful consideration for efficacy and performance. No unwanted extras, no dyes, no mysteries. Just ingredients with purpose.

We endeavor to lead by example to inspire true change in the beauty industry.
The product that I tried was their 'Quintessential Collection'.  It is a set that includes two lip sheers in Twig (lighter) and Plum (darker) shades, and a lip shine (gloss).

What I love:
- Goes on super smooth, very silky
- Color is buildable- the photo on the right is just one layer, you can apply more for a deeper color.
Wearing Plum with Lip Shine
- The lip shine is not sticky (I hate it when my hair sticks to my lips on a windy day!)
- No weird taste or smell - it actually smells and tastes delicious and vanilla-ey
- Doesn't accentuate the lines on my lips, they look smoother
- These two shades are perfect for a day shade and a night shade
- The company's values behind the product and how they decide what ingredients to include.

What I don't love:
- The wear doesn't last extremely long, however most my lip products do not last very long on me
- It's a little pricey, I'm used to spending anywhere from $10 - $18 on a lipstick, not $25.

I also had my mom try it out and she LOVED it.  I will most certainly use this stuff up and consider repurchasing when it's gone.  Check out their site, lots of fun gift ideas for those ladies on your list!
Here's a fun play makeup gift idea for little girls!

Monday, November 11, 2013

What is the main thing?

I've recently been reading some leadership books to gain a better understanding of what differentiates a leader from every-day 'Joes' in the work-place and society.  This has been a great area of fascination lately as I have been surrounded by more influential leaders that I look up to, and as personal development for myself.  I'm always looking for ways that I can improve my skills and positively affect those and the world around me. 

In my recent readings, I was recommended a book called "Monday Morning Leadership" by David Cottrell.  This was a fabulous quick-read (I read it in 1.5 days, during my lunch and other breaks at
work, I could hardly put it down).  I have to say this was the best ten bucks I've ever spent!  So many nuggets of information wealth are compressed in these pages. 

Perhaps one of the most profound and influential nuggets that I can use each day is asking myself- what is the main thing?  You can apply this question not only in your professional life, but also in your personal life.
  • What is the main thing you are trying to accomplish in your life?  
  • What is the main thing you need to do today?
  • What is the main thing your department needs to focus on?
  • What is the main thing for your family?
  • The main thing for your company?
 As you can see, there are a ton of ways this one simple question can impact your all aspects of your life.  I literally taped this question to my monitor at work so I would constantly be reminded of my "main thing".  It's so easy to be distracted or pulled in so many directions that you lose sight of your "main thing".

I encourage you to write down your main things for your family.  For your personal goals.  For your professional goals.  For your week.  For your year.  For your employees.  For your business.  Write it down and post it somewhere that you will see it each day.  I guarantee that doing this one action will change the way you work and live each day.

What are ways that you keep your life focused on your main thing?  Is this something you practice already today?  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Results of My 24-Day Challenge

I did complete the full 24-days of the challenge, however the last 3 days was spent on vacation.  I did not have a scale and did not measure myself, but before I left for my trip I was down just 1 pound.  I know that my body changed shape as my jeans fit differently now- looser in my thighs and buns, and one pair of jeans I loved that never failed to give me a muffin-top isn't so offensive now.  :) I think that since my diet was already so similar to the challenge's diet rules (eat clean, low carbs, low/no sugar) that is why I didn't see as drastic as a change as my husband and other did.

My husband spoke with the Advocare help line (whatever their official name is, I'm not sure) and they said that most people who are already lean and are looking to tone more than lose body fat should be taking the Catalyst supplement in addition to the challenge.  Talking with others who have done the challenge and taken Catalyst, as well as doing some research online, I think that would have helped my results along a little better.

So in summary, I loved how I felt on the challenge and it brought back some good eating and meal-prepping habits.  I have just ordered Catalyst that I will begin taking to help with my workout regimen, and I love Spark!  I have never found anything that takes away that pesky brain fog and keeps me awake and alert throughout the day without feeling jittery or that my heart was going to explode (think 5-hr energy).  I love the Advocare community and their foundational morals and desire to help other reach their health goals.

Shameless plug:  If you are interested in trying out the challenge, you can check it out and order it online here- 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Challenge: Day 15 & 16

Day 15:
Lunch: Rosemary baked chicken breast with broccoli and green beans. (work's cafeteria)

Dinner: Garlic Beef Stew with Savory Cauliflower Mash
This dinner was amazing!  So much flavor and my house smelled amazing.  The cauliflower I seasoned differently than the recipe as I HATE Turmeric.  I used my homemade Johnny's seasoning, a little pepper and garlic powder. 

Day 16:
Lunch: Big salad and a small vegetable soup (work's cafeteria)

Dinner: Egg scramble with tomatoes and a slice of Ezekiel Bread toast with peanut butter

Snacks: Popcorn with stevia and cinnamon, banana

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Challenge: Day 14

Lunch: Salad topped with cucumbers, carrots, black beans and hard boiled egg.  I used a balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.

Dinner: It was a pretty warm day, and I didn't have much time to make a big meal, so I whipped out my George Foreman grill and grilled up a natural burger patty.  I laid it on a bed of lettuce, with tomatoes, avocado and grilled onion.  I used mustard as it is low in sugar and fat (and I'm obsessed with mustard!).  It was much better and fulfilling than I expected it to be, especially since it didn't have a bun with it.  On the side I sliced up a fresh organic pear.  MMmmm!

Snacks: Mixed fruit cup, mixed nuts, brown rice cake with thin layer of peanut butter.