Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar Review

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     If you have been active on social media lately, you have probably heard about Beautycounter.  If you have not heard of it, Beautycounter is a skincare and cosmetics brand in the U.S. that creates safer products while also educating and increasing awareness about toxic chemicals in the skincare and cosmetics we use.   Their mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone.” More than 80% of their ingredients are organic, natural and plant-based, which I love!  If you would like to learn more about them click here. )

The U.S. has not passed any major federal laws to regulate the safety of ingredients that are used in personal care products since 1938!  That’s insane!  Your skin is the largest organ of your body and you would think there would be more regulations put into place regarding what we put all over our bodies and what gets absorbed into our body by our skin.  Beautycounter bans 1, 500 questionable and harmful chemicals; 1,400 of which are banned or restricted already in Europe and Canada.  I have made the change to use products and cosmetics that are cruelty free but did not put much emphasis on all of the other chemicals that are actually in them; until I came across a post by one of my friends on Facebook.

Just like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are all the rage, so is charcoal.  Some of the benefits of charcoal:

1.     Absorbs excess oil and dirt from your skin

2.     Draws impurities away from your pores and prevents product build-up

3.     Aids in the treatment of acne and removing toxins

4.     Makes skin firmer and tighter;  stops premature aging and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

5.     Suitable for all skin types:  It moisturized and nourishes dry skin while also extracting oil from oily skin and treating skin allergies and redness.

6.     Treats psoriasis and eczema, dry, cracked skin and helps prevent dandruff

     Some of the products can be a little pricey, so I decided to start small with one of their most popular products;  the charcoal cleansing bar (pictured above).  It’s $24 and is about the same size as your standard bar soaps.  I have had mine for three months now and the bar is almost the same size it was when I got it and I use it one to two times per day.  The “B” logo on the bar of soap is still visible, if that tells you anything.  All you need is a tiny bit of water to get a little lather on the bar.  I wash my face in the morning using just the bar and I love it.  My skin literally feels squeaky clean, but doesn’t get dry or oily.  I have combination skin so parts of my face are dry and certain parts are oily;  so this bar is perfect for absorbing the oily parts, but moisturizing the dry parts.  After using it for three months, I am happy with the results the bar gives me and love that just a little bit goes a long way and the bar is holding up very well.  I didn’t know how I would like using a bar soap, but it really hasn’t bothered me.  Beautycounter carries numerous cosmetics and skincare for all skin types and skincare needs and even has a line for babies.  I highly recommend checking them out, if you haven’t already.  If you have used any of their products, I would love to hear which ones you have tried and which are your favorites!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Photo credit: Beautycounter.com

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Dream Home

Recently, I have been brainstorming and surfing Pinterest and pinning to my Home Sweet Home board and just going crazy on designing/decorating my dream home.  I keep a small notebook for blog ideas, but I also have another notebook for lists and things that I want to purchase someday and that notebook is filling up fast.  I had already started the process of going back to graduate school to get my MBA, but lately I have been thinking if maybe I would be happier with a job in some kind of interior designing or decorating. I am fascinated by all of the different design styles there are and just seeing the history of design.   As I mentioned in my previous Design Style post, check it out here, my tastes have changed from modern/contemporary style to a combination of french country / rustic farmhouse.  I have come up with a list of what I want in my dream house…

  1. Shiplap walls –  These are so cool and the look of the exposed wood just adds so much character to a neutral color scheme; which brings me to item 2 on my list…(Source) shiplap1
  2. Neutrals – I love the simplicity of whites, creams and exposed wood accents in a space and what better wood accent than a shiplap wall. (Source of left photo  & of right photo)neutralsfrenchcountry
  3. Farmhouse sink – A must for my kitchen is a farmhouse sink.  (Source of photo.)        farmhousesink
  4. Annie Sloan Paint – No DIY project for a rustic, french country look can be complete without Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Luckily, for me, they sell it where I live!!  My favorite colors are Paris Grey, Old White and French Linen.  My current project is to find an old dresser that I can repurpose and repaint to use as a t.v. stand. (I smell a D.I.Y. project coming soon.) (Source )               anniesloan
  5. Outdoor Space – I love spending my evenings outside reading a book or spending my mornings on the weekends drinking my coffee outside.  An outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing is high on my list. (Source of photo.)outdoor

Besides Pinterest, I have a few blogs that I love to browse along with Country Living magazine.  If you haven’t checked out these blogs, head on over to them and check out their design style.

Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper (my favorite designer) – http://magnoliahomes.net/blog/

A House And A Dog – http://www.ahouseandadog.com/

Whimsy Girl – http://whimsygirldesign.blogspot.com/

Shanty 2 Chic – http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/

The Other Side of Neutral – http://www.theothersideofneutral.com/

My Design Style

 style

As the years have gone by and I have gone through so many different experiences, I have found that my tastes and styles have changed.  What I never wanted to eat before, I now love; what I didn’t like to listen to in music before, I now love to listen to and what I liked in design and clothing style previously, that has changed as well.  Today I’m focusing on my design style because I have a passion for interior design (possible career change?).

In my late teens and twenties, I loved a mix of contemporary and modern design.  Clean lines, smooth surfaces and bold colors were something that caught my eye.  But as I’ve grown up, I have found that what I like now has completely changed.  I’m drawn to rustic farmhouse styles and french country styles.  In high school I absolutely despised history and did not find it interesting at all.  After my visit to the Biltmore Estates last year and my recent obsession with Downton Abbey, I have become more intrigued with historical fashion and design.  The images that I find inspiring now have mixtures of neutral colors, weathered wood and succulents as accents.  I know you’re probably thinking that the designs of Downton Abbey days are nowhere near the designs of a rustic farmhouse, but I still find all of that history so interesting.

As soon as I discovered Fixer Upper on HGTV, I absolutely fell in love with the designer’s (Joanna Gaines) style.  If you have never seen this show and love rustic design, you should check this show out.  There has not been one home they’ve redone, that I did not like. When I finally own my first home one day, I really look forward to designing and decorating the interior space how I have envisioned it in my head (including shiplap, a farmhouse sink and lots of weathered wood).  For magazine inspiration I am loving Country Living and House Beautiful and on Instagram some of my favorite accounts for design are bentleyblonde, whimsygirldesign and rusticcharmhouse, aninspirednest, and rusticlittleroost.  Check them out.  Below I have included some of my favorite rooms and designs from Joanna Gaines.  (For the record, when I envision a home office, I love the look of black and white with gold and pink accents, more of a contemporary style, which sounds contradicting but what can I say…pink is my favorite color.)

Who is your design inspiration and what are some of your favorite design magazines and blogs?  Leave a comment below; I would love to check them out.

Arm Candy

I’m not a huge jewelry fan and tend to just go with a pair of earrings and a ring or two, but when I discovered these bracelets, I fell in love with them.  They’re simple and classic, yet you can layer them and get a really cool look.  My current collection is below, but I’m not stopping there.  I am hoping to purchase more so I can get my collection growing.  These are from a company called Alex and Ani.  Check our the story behind their brand here.  I love that they make Eco-friendly jewelry with positive energy that is all designed and made in America.

 airforce anchor image3(2)    feather

The Air Force charm is self-explanatory as that’s what brought me to where I am currently in my life.  The anchor is a symbol for hope, tranquility and stability.  The Feather is a symbol of truth, light and virtue.  The paw prints are for compassion, optimism and appreciation and is in honor of my black lab, Max, that I no longer have, but was my baby.

I’ve also recently discovered bracelets called Mantrabands.  If you know me well then you know I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes and that’s exactly what are on these bracelets. There are inspirational mantras for happiness, love, peace, strength and journey.   I don’t currently have any of these bracelets, but that will change soon.  I’ll post a photo of some of them below.  Check our their page here.

mantraband

I should also include my bracelet and beads that I got from Brighton.  Check out their bead collection here.  They’re similar to Pandora and other beads that you find at other jewelers, but these are a lot more affordable.  Below is my current bracelet.

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What’s In My Home?

Happy Tuesday readers!  Or as I like to call it #TUNEINTUESDAY.  I follow a lot of blogs and a lot of interior decorators on Instagram and for some reason I seem to gravitate more towards all of their gorgeous homes and decor hauls and photos.  So today I thought I’d share a little bit of what’s in my home.  I’ve had a slight obsession with the color combo of gray and white, but something was always missing so I decided to add one accent color.  Years ago I was always into more modern/contemporary home decor with it’s clean lines and simplicity, but in the past few years my tastes have changed and I love vintage decor and older looking wood on my furnishings.  I have a friend that owns The Purple Chateau and I bought my coffee and end table from her (which I helped paint).  I don’t like a lot of clutter so I try to keep things simple.  Below are some of my pieces that I’ve picked up recently to decorate my living room. image7This little birdhouse I found at Target in the dollar bins and was only $3.00.

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I purchased two indoor plants that really finished the space and the one above is a Schefflera plant, which is an air purifier, from Lowe’s along with the teal pot it’s in and the white, outdoor table.image2(1)

I am not a fan of Wal-Mart.  I will go into Target and spend extra on anything they have in there if it means not having to go into Wal-Mart, but I happened to stop in one day and found these pillows for my couch.  They came in a 2-pack along with a plain teal colored pillow in a 2-pack that is on my loveseat.  I don’t know about you, but I have the worst time trying to find the right pillows for my room that don’t cost over $20 per pillow.  These 2-packs were less than $20!image3(1) This cute little bird came from T.J. Maxx for $3.00.  Anytime I go into T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s or HomeGoods, it is hit or miss, but this little guy fit right into the color scheme I wanted and I just too cute.

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This ceramic lantern was a Lowe’s find for only $10.00.  It’s part of their outdoor line, but who says I can’t put it inside?image6

This lantern I actually made a return trip to T.J. Maxx just to get.  I had been wanting a rustic lantern to replace the black one that I did have in my living room and I saw this one when I was specifically looking for curtains (which I did find for $20.00 for two panels).  I think this was only $12.00 and you can turn it on to make it look like the candle is lit.

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This little tea candle holder was also a score from T.J. Maxx.  And yes, I happened to find all of this in one trip.  I think this one was only $7.00.

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These two beauties were from my talented friend over at The Purple Chateau (Check out her Facebook page).  She refinishes older furniture and sells vintage decor.  i actually helped her paint the coffee table and then ended up buying them from her.  I love the white color, the distressed paint finish and the adorable crystal knobs on them.  Check out her etsy store here. (I apologize for these photos; my computer and camera have a love/hate relationship right now).

This or That Tag

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I’ve never done a tag post on my blog so I decided to give it a try and found this one on The Simple Beginner’s blog.  I’m nominating my fellow bloggers Simply Kara and Style, Strollers and Sweet Tea to join me in this tag.  It was supposed to post yesterday for #TUNEINTUESDAY, but of course that didn’t work so here goes…ENJOY!

M A K E U P
Blush or bronzer?
Bronzer in the summer and blush in the colder months.

Lip gloss or lip stick?
I prefer Revlon Lip Butters because I don’t wear a lot of dark or bright lipstick colors.

Eyeliner or mascara?
I never leave the house without eyeliner.

Foundation or concealer?
I’ve never found a concealer to cover up my dark undereye circles so I don’t even try it anymore.  I’ll wear foundation in the cooler months and B.B. cream or tinted moisturizer in the summer.

Neutral or color eye shadow?
Neutral all the way.  I swear by my Naked 2 pallette and NARS Guy Bourdin pallette that all have neutral colors.

Pressed or loose eye shadows?
Both, but I use pressed more than I use the loose.  I save those for special occasions.

Brushes or sponges?
I’ve got beauty blenders and brushes.  I use Real Techniques for my foundation and Sonia Kashuk brush set for the rest.

N A I L S
OPI or China Glaze?

OPI but I prefer Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure!

Long or short?
I like mine longer otherwise i look like I have stubby hands!

Acrylic or natural?
I like the look of a french manicured acrylic on my nails but it’s too expensive to keep up so I go natural.

Brights or darks?
I like darks in the winter and brights in the summer, but for the  most part I don’t wear polish on my hands because as soon as it chips, I pick it all off.

B O D Y
Perfume or body splash?
Typically body splash.

Lotion or body butter?
Lotion after every shower; body butter in the winter when i’m really dry

Body wash or soap?
Definitely body wash; i hate using bar soap

Lush or other bath company?
Lush had great products, but it can be pricey and there isn’t one near by so I get whatever smells the best 🙂

F A S H I O N
Jeans or sweat pants?
Definitely a jeans kind of girl, but when I’m relaxing at home I prefer my Victoria’s Secret boyfriend pants.

Long sleeve or short?
both

Dresses or skirts?
Both as long as it’s a maxi dress or maxi skirt

Stripes or plaid?
Neither.  My style is pretty casual and classic so I don’t try any prints normally but I do have one plaid shirt and one striped shirt.

Flip-flops or sandals?
I could live in flip flops if the weather permitted.  I wear flip flops more often but sandals are all wedges so I wear those only for special occasions.

Scarves or hats?
I love both, but tend to wear scarves more than hats.

Studs or dangly earrings?
Depends on the occasion.  I wear studs for every day workwear, but when I go out I like to wear dangly ones.

Necklaces or bracelets?
Definitely wear more bracelets than necklaces.

Heels or flats?
I prefer flats because I’m already tall and I hate to feel like Amazon Woman.

Jacket or hoodie?
Hoodies all the way.

H A I R
BOTH.  I love having the luxury of being able to wear it both ways.

Bun or ponytail?
Messy bun

Bobby pins or butterfly clips?
Bobby pins…i have entirely too many laying all over the place

Hair spray or gel?
Believe it or not I don’t use any product in my hair except heat spray

Long or short?
i like it long because it’s more versatile, but in the fall I like having a short, angled bob.

Light or dark?
Dark.  Brunettes have more fun ( I don’t care what the quote says!) 🙂

Side sweep bangs or full bangs?
Side swept bangs

Up or down?
Down, but it will end up being pulled up at some point because it drives me nuts being in my face.

R A N D O M
Rain or shine?
Shine preferably, but I love a good rainy day.

Summer or winter?
I prefer Summer but I love the winter and Christmastime.  .

Autumn or spring?
Autumn is my favorite season!

Chocolate or vanilla?
Haha this is entirely too difficult to answer because it’s depends what it is, but for the most part CHOCOLATE is my weakness.

East coast or west coast?
I’m a Midwestern girl so I’m closer to the East coast and have been there more but I still want to travel to the West Coast and see Laguna Beach, San Francisco, Napa Valley…

Vogue or InStyle?
In Style is my favorite magazine

Kim, Kourtney, or Khloe?
None of them.

Coffee or tea?

I like my coffee in the morning and tea in the evening, but lately I’m loving Starbucks’ 3 scoops of matcha powder shaken in ice water!! 🙂