My Stay-Classy Essentials
What is it I cannot live without? What products get my skin (body, and soul) through the day!? This is where you can find all of my all-time favourites, and daily beauty-related essentials! Products in here will be updated and change regularly.
Organic Virgin coconut oil has been my life-saving moisturizer. I cannot rave about how fabulous this product is, because of it’s skin and nutritional benefits! After every shower, I moisturize from neck to toe (I no longer use coconut oil on my face) in a delicious layer of this stuff. Not only has my skin become extra soft, but it doesn’t dry out like it used to during the winter months. I currently use Nutiva’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, but any brand of organic coconut oil will do. The jar lasts 4-5 months, costs me under $15, and that is with applying it at least once a day! It’s also a plus if you enjoy the scent of coconut, and it is obviously free of any synthetic fragrance or harsh chemicals! Who doesn’t love smelling like a freakin’ tropical vacation? Read more about my thoughts on coconut oil, and how I use it here!
While I have heard of people breaking out from using coconut oil (literally two people have told me this was their experience), I have never ever heard of a bad reaction from jojoba oil. This oil is a fabulous multi-purpose oil, that seems to mimic the natural oils secreted by the skin. This oil can be used by those with all skin types (even oily types), because it works to establish a balance in oil production. As Acne.org states, jojoba oil is “non-comedogenic”, meaning it does not clog pores, and does not cause acne as a result. This oil can be added to (or even replace), your daily moisturizer to increase its longevity and effectiveness. I use the Now brand jojoba oil, for those who are curious!
Sources: 7 Ways to Use Jojoba Oil: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-ways-to-use-jojoba-oil.html, All about Jojoba oil: http://www.acne.org/jojoba-oil.php
Earth Science Almond-Aloe Moisturizer (fragrance-free)
**I used to use Origins VitaZing. I was informed, and later confirmed, that they are owned by Estee Lauder. Read about this here. IMO, Estee Lauder is an over-priced brand, and not in any way worth your money. They are not certified cruelty-free, and I prefer to steer away from brands that are that questionable in that regard. Thanks to this switch, I save a crapload of money! Thank you, readers, for keeping me on my toes!
Earth Science is a cruelty-free brand, that produces holistic-type skin care products. I am always impressed with the ingredients they use, and with my breakouts over the summer, I was looking for something free of fragrance with no irritating ingredients.
This moisturizer is light, so I add jojoba oil to it. But that means it works great for day time, and night time. It contains goodies like chamomile flower oil, panax ginseng root extract, lactic acid (hello alpha-hydroxy acids!), hyaluronic acid (hello hydration!), licorice root extract (helps soothe inflamed skin), and of course it has its own dose of jojoba oil!
This awesome product varies in price, but the best I have seen it for is $7.99 at Hannaford’s (a grocery-type store), in New Hampshire – no sales tax!! Vitacost currently lists it for under $6. Who knew finding a replacement daily moisturizer would be so affordable and so awesome! Suck it, Origins!
Acne.Org’s Treatment & AHA+
If you haven’t already, check out my thorough reviews of The Regimen: click here!. I began using these products in the fall of 2012, because my skin went from barely breaking out, to very frequently breaking out. The Treatment (2.5% benzoyl peroxide), and the AHA+ are my two absolute favourites from this line, and I plan to continue using these indefinitely. The Treatment is the smoothest, most effective benzoyl peroxide I have ever tried, and the AHA+ compliments it wonderfully as a nighttime chemical exfoliation treatment. All of Acne.Org’s products are vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free. They work well on all skin types (according to reviews and their claims). All you need is some patience and a consistent application!
Wash Your Mouth Out Soap Company’s Lavender Vanilla Whipped Shea Butter
Discovered at York, Pennsylvania’s downtown Central Market, this moisturizer has been a hand and cuticle saviour. It goes on thick and so rich, while the lavender scent provides a moment of relaxation. This product has three ingredients (shea butter, apricot kernel oil, plus their essential oil blend), and is certainly a treat for hardworking hands. The size I got is 120mls, and sold for $9. Check out their facebook page here!
Purchasing some organic apple cider vinegar was probably the best thing I have EVER done for my hair. At less than $4 for a medium-sized bottle, this works fabulous as a hair rinse. I measure about 1 TBSP to 1 cup of cold water, and use a lemon juice bottle to dispense it in the shower. I dish about how obsessed I am with ACV, here and here.
Check out this article on the Huffington Post, that gushes about the multipurpose nature of this gem! Here is an excerpt from the article that explains by I love it in a nutshell: “Apple cider vinegar removes clumpy residue and gunk in hair from product buildup. It also works as a natural detangler. When used regularly in your natural hair care routine, apple cider vinegar can revitalize your hair, leaving it soft and smooth. The vinegar also works by closing the cuticle of the hair, which makes light reflect off of it. In other words, it makes your hair super shiny!”
Got some greasy hair? Try a ratio of 1 TBSP of baking soda to 1 cup of lukewarm – warm water. Fill up a shampoo / conditioner bottle with this ratio, and shake it up! When you’re in the shower, squeeze some of this solution into your hair (enough to cover your roots – and then lather it in), and rinse!
Check out Care2′s take on the No ‘Poo method!
Sigma’s Vegan Mrs Bunny Essential Kit
Perhaps the most important ingredient in achieving a flawless, long-lasting, super-hot-fabulous-people-will-want-to-hit-that look, is a great set of makeup brushes. I wanted to find a set of brushes that were vegan/synthetic, but also great quality. I tried the E.L.F brushes (the professional and studio lines), and think they are great for someone who is just starting out in makeup, and doesn’t want to invest much. But they are not as long lasting as Sigma’s, and you can tell the quality is definitely not as great.
I ordered the Sigma Mrs. Bunny Essential Brush Kit (it was $99, at the time; I see now that it is $109 nearly a year later, but still this is a great deal for 12 brushes – Sigma also threw in a free E25 brush!) last Christmas. This kit is AMAZING. The bristles are amazingly soft, and have never caused any irritation on my skin.
Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Perhaps the most gentle, and easy to apply pencil liner I’ve ever used! My boyfriend was in NYC for work-related stuffs about a month ago, and asked me if I wanted anything at Sephora (are you kidding me? Uh, YEAH!), and I placed my request for the Urban Decay Triple Threat Travel Pencil Set! For $19, you get three smaller-sized eyeliners (which I find are easier to work with than the full-length versions), in three colours: zero (the blackest of blacks), rockstar (a fun deep purple for when you want something different), and demolition (a natural dark brown for the everyday eye). I wore my last two UD 24/7 eyeliners right down to the nub, and I’ve yet to find any eyeliner comparable. I <3 Urban Decay, and I can't wait to try more of their products!
ELF Cosmetics’ Contouring Blush & Bronzer in St Lucia
I used up my first compact of this blush and bronzer duo until it was falling apart, and ready to snap! Even if I spice up my look with a blush or bronzer that has more shimmer, I always begin my blush and bronzing routine with this! The bronzer is intense – but I have used it successfully on fair skin tones too (mine is a medium-olive-ish tone). It layers and blends well, and I find myself constantly reaching for it. At only $3 for the entire thing (I bought mine at Target, but you can also buy it on ELF’s website), this is a no-risk win-win purchase. There are three different shades – pick which one you think would work best on you!