Sustainable Conscious Cosmetics

A big aspect of living sustainably and traditionally is being conscious of the impact you make on the environment. How can we be stewards of the earth if we’re only hurting it?

Did you know that a lot of the ingredients and packaging used in cosmetics are pretty harmful for the environment? Palm Oil, marine life, micro-beads, polluting chemicals, plastic packaging, and general ethics are just some of the ways the cosmetic industry hurts the earth.

I may be a bit biased when I say that The Body Shop has a great range of quality sustainable products. But they really strive to be as sustainable as they can when sourcing ingredients and packaging products. In the two years I’ve worked there they’ve completely removed micro-beads for natural or biodegradable exfoliators, created a plastic packaging from recycled methane gas, started rebuilding rain forests with Bio-Bridges, changed multiple ingredient suppliers because of more sustainable options, they even changed a fair trade supplier (because fair trade doesn’t always mean sustainable), AND right now they’re petitioning to end animal testing in cosmetics globally.

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Last year The Body Shop had their 40th birthday and they made a commitment to become the most sustainable company ever. The founder, Anita Roddick, believed that a retailer could be a force of good. Read about their commitment HERE.

I know there’s many other companies out there that also use sustainable practices, it’s just I’ve only really used and researched The Body Shop’s products. Lush has a great package recycling program, ethical practices, and vegetarian. Also a somewhat local company, Rocky Mountain Soap Co is dedicated to making their small-batch products as natural as they can.

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Anyway, today I’m going to share a few of my favorites from The Body Shop with you. These are the things I really can’t live without because I love them so much!

So starting with Body Care items…

The Body Shop tries to fragrance their products as naturally as they can using real oils and extracts, and will only use synthetic fragrance if it could harm the source. For example, the musk fragrance is synthetic because its natural alternative comes from a musk deer.

  • The best body scrub I’ve ever used, seriously, I like a really rough scrub and the Cupuacu Scrub is basically just salt with a light oil that leaves your skin sooo soft and it smells like some beautiful tropical flower.
  • Body Butters are my life, I have a giant stash under my bathroom sink and I just slather this stuff on all the time. Each Body Butter is based with Cocoa Butter which comes from a women’s Co-op in Ghana, there’s a large variety scents, each one having its own benefit for the skin. My favorites are the Shea and Peach, pictured is the Pinita Colada which is a limited edition summer scent. Another fun fact about the Body Butters is that the plastic packaging is made from recycled greenhouse gases.
  • The Showers Gels are actually a “soap free cleanser” so they’re more gentle and non-drying, which is so great because I’ve got such dry sensitive skin. There’s a lot of scent options, and I like to stock up when the limited edition scents come out.

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Next up are my skincare favorites, I’ve got a dry dull skin type so I’ve found these work for me. Also, I regularly use more then just these products but these are the products I can’t live without.

Most of the skincare products contain Community Trade ingredients, sourced from all over the world, each ingredient having its own story.

  • My go to day cream is the Vitamin C SPF moisturizer, it has a 30 SPF and Vitamin C is good for brightening and collagen production. For me sun protection is very important and I will teach it to my children.
  • The Himalayan Charcoal mask is phenomenal, this is great for any skin type and it gives the best deep clean for your skin. It smells refreshing and I am truly impressed with how “free” my skin feels after is use it.
  • I use the Pomegranate Face Wash and I’ve never loved another facial wash more then this one. It’s a gel formula so it cleanses deeper then a cream formula but it has a creamy feeling so it’s very gentle and it doesn’t dry out my skin. I think it’s being discontinued so I will be looking for a new wash soon, unfortunately.
  • This makeup remover is the best thing ever. The Camomile Cleansing Butter, is so gentle it’s ridiculous. It’s a balm that you put on dry make up and it just melts eye makeup away, and you rinse with warm water and your makeup is all gone. Traditional eye makeup remover always stung me and so I’m thrilled to have found this. And it’s great for travelling cause it doesn’t leak and I’ve never had a problem with it melting but I wouldn’t leave it in the car on the hottest days.
  • The Drops of Youth Concentrate is a best selling skincare product and I can say I’m totally obsessed with it. It’s a serum that helps with cell renewal because it has plant stem cells. I love it because it makes my skin look so healthy and fresh, I can’t not use it because I actually notice my skin looks dull when I don’t use it, oh and it’ll help with aging 😉

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Lastly, my favorite Makeup products. I am certainly not a Makeup expert, I like my morning routine to be quick and easy!

The Body Shop uses Marula Oil from a Women’s Co-op in Nambia in most of their makeup, and it’s all 100% vegetarian and cruelty free. They’re also making an effort to reduce packaging by creating refillable products and wrap single eye shadow colours in paper not plastic.

  • The Matte Liquid Lipsticks are fantastic. They’re so long lasting, I used them for my brother-in-law’s wedding and they lasted till dinner time! My favorite colours are Nairobi Camellia (Nude) and Sydney Amaryllis (Red).
  • Just this year the Body Shop came out with create-your-own eye palettes, this is so great because you can customize your colours. I love eye shadow because I feel like it brightens my eyes so being able to make my own palette is great.
  • The Fresh Nude Foundation is by far the best foundation I’ve ever used. In the past I could only use BB Creams because foundations would feel heavy or drying but these ones don’t at all. They’re great for smoothing the skins appearance but not looking unnatural or cakey.
  • This Contour Kit is a huge hit for me, because I love the colours (there’s 2 options for light and dark skin). The contour isn’t too orange and the blush isn’t too pink. I also use the contour and bronze colours for a natural eye shadow look and the highlighter on the brow bone. Seriously if I was stranded on an island all I would need is this Contour Kit and mascara.
  • And then my favorite brush is this Sun Luster Brush, it’s great to use with my Contour Kit. The Body Shop has a lot of quality make up brush, all made with synthetic hairs.

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I am by no means basic (clearly) when it comes to the cosmetic products that I use, which is why I think it’s even more important for me to be using sustainable options.

I do need to find a mascara that I love and I will soon need to find a new face wash. Also I’ll eventually need to find a new hair conditioner because the one I use has been discontinued but I’ve got a stash for now haha.

I am hoping to expand the range of brands I use, keeping in mind the company’s values and supporting more local companies, so if you have some favorites please share with me!

dawn

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One Thing You Absolutely Need in Your Home

Hey guys! How’s it going?! The typical BC summer has come at last, I can’t say I’m all that thrilled but I’m surviving haha. It was just Canada Day weekend, and I had a really good weekend. To celebrate Canada Day we went to a friends for a fire in the evening, we roasted hot dogs and played some hilarious minute to win it games. Then once it was dark enough we played sardines and we were all running around like kids and to end the night we had sparklers. I think the nesting bug has finally come for sure as I did some deep cleaning on Saturday morning and Sunday, which I’m very happy about, I was starting to worry it wouldn’t come haha 🙂

Anyway that’s not what I’m really sharing today! So moving on !

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Okay so, part of learning to live traditionally and sustainably means choosing a different way to clean your home. You need to find something that’s more eco-friendly and a little more versatile. And I’ve been using this one thing for almost two years now, and now I can’t live without it. You need to have it in your home, and a big bottle of it too!

Wanna know what I’m talking about?

It’s White Vinegar!

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Seriously guys, vinegar is the mostly magical thing ever. You don’t just eat it. It’s a fantastic antibacterial, great deodorizer, and many more uses which I’ll be sharing.

You ABSOLUTELY need to have it in your house. Vinegar is a modern-homesteader’s staple!

First off, vinegar is a mild acid that has been used in the past for industrial, medical, and domestic methods, but mostly just cooking now. You can get it at any grocery store, it’s so affordable, and it takes forever to expire. I buy a 4L jug for $5 and it takes me a few months to go through. There are many different types of vinegars but I find the white is the most versatile.

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Okay now, the many magical uses of vinegar… (There’s actually way more but these are my everyday uses)

  1. Freshen laundry, I always pour in a bit (about 3/4 cup) when I wash a load of towels.  It helps keep my towels smelling clean.
  2. Fabric softener, having a bit in your rinse cycle will help soften clothes so you don’t need a softener which actually clogs washers and dryers.
  3. Washing machine, if you pour some in an empty washer and run it, it will actually give your washer a nice sparkle and for front loaders help with the wet dog smell.
  4. Extra dirty dishes, pour some vinegar in your “pre-rinse” compartment of your dishes if they need some extra boost. Really great if you found something growing in a tupperware and you need the extra antibacterial properties.
  5. Dishwasher, if your dishwasher is getting a bit clogged up, pour some in and run an empty cycle.
  6. Sinks, if your sinks are clogged, pour some baking soda in the drain, add 1 cup of vinegar and let it sit 10 minutes then pour boiling hot water down the drain. Also, sinks are some of the yuckiest places in the kitchen, so I like spray them down from time to time with vinegar to get rid of any lingering bacteria.
  7. Coffee pot cleaner, coffee pots will often times have bacteria hiding around somewhere so I’ll like to run some vinegar through it to be safe. I always rinse twice to be sure that the vinegar is gone and you wont taste it in your coffee!
  8. Kettle cleaner, we have fairly hard water here and sometimes I get a mineral build up in my kettle. I fill the kettle with water and about 1/2 cup vinegar, make it boil and then let it sit for 20 minutes or so. When I pour out the water the build up is usually gone, if not I scrub the inside and do it a second time. And then of course rinse after!
  9. Cleaning counter tops, I’ve made an all-purpose cleaner using vinegar (recipe for it HERE) that really is all-purpose. Some people may forget that your kitchen is actually so gross, and needs a little extra cleaning power, vinegar is a great natural way to clean your counters. Good for stoves too! We have a glass top stove so it’s easy for me to wipe the whole thing down, but it works on basically any surface.
  10. Fridge, again an area people forget about. I just use my cleaner spray and then wipe down the inside. You should especially use vinegar as an antibacterial if you have meat juice spill in your fridge or even freezer!
  11. Bathroom, I use the all-purpose cleaner in my bathroom as well to wipe down the counter and sink, but also in the shower/tub.
  12. Toilet cleaner, I use my cleaner spray and wipe down the whole toilet with it, even inside the bowl. It’s great at removing any yuckies and bacteria.
  13. Washing produce, vinegar is good if you’re worried about pesticides or any bacterial on your produce. Fill the sink with cold water and a cup of vinegar and soak the produce. Some people say it’s helped berries last longer, I have not tested this but I use this method to remove the wax from apples.
  14. Colour stay for clothes, soaking your clothes in vinegar diluted with water will actually helps your clothes hold on to their colour longer.
  15. Fruit flies, this is probably one of my best tricks with vinegar. Take a drinking glass, pour in a little vinegar, squirt some soap in, and fill the cup with water. You want the bubbles to go over the rim of the cup, the flies are attracted to the smell and then get stuck in the bubble and drown! For this one you could use apple cider vinegar as well too.

There’s my somewhat long list on how I use vinegar all the time and why I could not live without it. It’s a huge part of my weekly routine and I will actually panic a little if my jug is running low.

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There are so many different uses that I didn’t mention, like ways to cook with it or cosmetic reasons because I mostly use it as natural cleaning agent.

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For my all-purpose cleaner recipe go HERE

 

Was there a method that I missed and you use all the time? Let me know by leaving me a comment!

dawn

 

DIY: Fall Wreath

Hey Guys! How’s it going!?

Are you decorating seasonally yet? Wreaths are a great way to decorate your home seasonally! I always love having one for each time of year!

I usually like to be a little crafty and make mine, they’re so easy I promise! With just a few simple supplies you can have a beautiful handmade wreath!

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So here’s what you need to do…

Gather Supplies (Either I already had some of these things or I bought at Michael’s and then the flowers I got at the dollar store, sometimes they have good quality fake flowers!)

  • 18′ Grapevine Wreath ($8 at Michael’s)
  • A Couple Bunches of Fake Flowers ($3 at Dollar Store, I used an orangey color for fall)
  • Burlap Ribbon ($8 at Michael’s, Mine is about 5″ wide)
  • Some Sort of Letter for your Initial (Already had this, similar ones at Michael’s)
  • String (Mine was burlap to match our rustic initial)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun (Warmed up!)

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Now Step by Step

  1. Tie a bow around the wreath, I had to try a few times before I was happy with mine but I got it figured out. It may take you a couple tries to get it right but remember placement matters. You want to place the bow around 10 o’clock so there’s balance with the end product 🙂 dsc_0076
  2. Take the flowers off their stems and place them where you would want them to go. I like to stick to one side of the wreath and scattered enough that it doesn’t look to busy. I also added in a little bit of the leaves from the bunches to balance the things out a bit. And then when you’re happy with the placement hot glue them in place and don’t let those babies budge! dsc_0077
  3. Next step is get your letter and pick where you want it to go, I prefer to place it opposite of the bow, so I tied it down with a matching string and then added glue for good measure. My sister actually made this “S” for me and I’ve used it for a few other wreaths but you can find similar letters at Michaels.dsc_0078
  4. And there you have it! Super easy, and quick, I think I got mine done in 20 minutes. Also, way more affordable than buying one! dsc_0079

 

What do you think? If you try it out share with me! I wanna see your wonderful works!

dawn

Do It Yourself: Houseplant Fertilizer

Okay so I have this problem, whenever a plant comes into my house there is a veeerrrry big chance that plant is not going to make it. Sad I know.

BUT I have found something that has really worked for me! Well at least prolongs my poor plant’s life 😉

I’m going to share my little tip with you guys! It’s a homemade fertilizer reusing an ingredient right from my kitchen. Which is great cause then it’s free and I’m not wasting anything!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE… duh duh duuuuuuh…!

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Okay so here’s how that works…

Whenever I make egg salad or do something with a bunch of eggs and I’ve got all the shells, I’ll throw them in a jar and fill it up with water, screw a lid on and then leave it for a week or two. And then when it’s ready I just use the water and not the egg shells!

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You would think it smells after that time but it really doesn’t, I was surprised! .

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This basically makes an “egg tea” and it’s got so many good nutrients in there for your plants. I’ve really been impressed by this one and it is for sure my go to if I’ve got some brewing!

 

Try it out see if works for you and let me know how it goes!

-Dawn (1)

Do It Yourself: All Purpose Cleaner

Hey guys, do you love the feeling of a clean house? I know I sure do! When house is a big mess with laundry everywhere and dirty dishes all over the kitchen counters I get crazy. It’s hard to explain but I actually start to feel anxious when the house becomes too messy. Once everything is all cleaned up I feel so much calmer and happier. It’s like they say “the state of your room is like the state of your brain”. I’ve been making some of my own cleaning products since I first moved out because I couldn’t afford to buy things in the store, and then when I did I found that I loved my own cleaner more then something store bought. So I continued to use my own All Purpose Cleaner, which I’m going to share with you guys today!

This All Purpose Cleaner is actually so great, I use it to clean everything! First of all as soon as I clear my counter of dirty dishes I spray it down and wipe it, also before I start cooking I’ll do a quick spray a wipe just to be sure. I also use it to clean my bathroom, sinks counter, toilet, and shower walls. It works for cleaning glass like windows and mirrors. I’ll use it to wipe out the inside of my fridge, my kitchen cabinets, clean up my stove, wipe off the kitchen table, I could go on forever. The best part is that its so easy to make and it only has three ingredients, and no yucky toxins!

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Liquid SoapVinegarWaterExtras Okay so here’s how to make it…

Step 1: collect all your things needed, I have them pictured above. I don’t have a funnel pictured, but you might want one to prevent making a mess.

Step 2: take your liquid soap and pour in about a cup (I didn’t measure because I rarely measure anything properly)

Step 3: pour in vinegar and make it double in the bottle, if that makes any sense. Basically you would use a cup of vinegar as well, but I wouldn’t know exactly.

DSC_0012 You can see where its darker pink that’s the line with the soap and then the lighter pink is the vinegar.

Step 4: add water, but when you add the water make it a slow trickle because if you pour it in too quickly it’ll bubble up and it’ll be hard to actually fill the bottle. I just used tap water and filled it slowly.

Step 5: after you’ve added your water put on your spray nozzle on and give the bottle a good shake and then you’re done! You can label your bottle as well, I just wrote on mine in sharpie because lets be honest I don’t have time to make a fancy label that’s going to be ruined in a couple weeks.

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There, all done! That was so easy, and you most likely had these ingredients already. If not you can get the soap and vinegar from your local grocery store, if you can’t find either of the products just ask someone 🙂

If you need a spray bottle you can either upcycle one you already have or you can find some at the dollar store for really cheap. The one I used I had upcycled from work years ago and it still work great!

For the Liquid Soap you can chose to have it scented anyway you want or use whatever type of soap you want. I just used Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel, I know it seems weird to use a shower gel but I use these in my kitchen all the time. I have a big pump that I’ll use to hand wash any dishes or I’ll use it as a hand soap. I really like them because I trust what’s in the soap, the Body Shop uses as many  natural ingredients as they can and they don’t have any parabens or bad sulfates, they’re also a sustainable company which I really appreciate. If I did buy a labeled dish soap I would use “Dawn”, because it’s my name and because I find it works the best out of all the other dish soaps.

Vinegar is just an unbelievable multi-use product, I use it all the time for everything! It’s a natural antibacterial which is good for kitchen and bathroom clean up, it helps with getting rid of bad odors as well. People have been using vinegar for thousands of years, obviously for a reason. Seriously, I’m not lying this stuff is amazing.

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Just a couple tips when using this stuff…

  • If you add hydrogen peroxide to the bottle it works well to clean up any mineral deposits in bathroom sinks, toilets, or showers. Here where we live the water is “hard” so very often we have a redish color built up in our sinks or at the bottom of the shower but this will clean it right up! Just be careful you don’t add to much or get it in your hair, hydrogen peroxide can potentially bleach things.
  • When you’re wiping down use a reusable cloth or scrubbie, that way you prevent waste. I use cloths that my grandma knitted for me and she also gave me these scrubbies (I’m not sure where she gets them) and I can’t wash dishes by hand without them! I rarely ever use paper towel, if I do its because its touching food (dry lettuce or wrap a burrito in the microwave) and then instead of throwing it in the garbage I throw it in the compost.
  • If you’re into Essential Oils you could add some if you wanted, I dabble a little into Oils but I don’t usually add them to my cleaning products.

 

 

Is there any cleaners that you make at home? Let me know by leaving a comment!

-Dawn (1)