How I found my happy place with my beauty routine
So much has changed with me on my long health journey, and even since starting this blog 2 years ago! Aside from my diet drastically evolving, I’ve adapted other aspects of my health and self-care routine, particularly my cosmetics regimen. I have gone from being totally uninformed on what is “healthy” for my skin, to being straight up persnickety, to where I am now, just going with the flow. The topic of a healthy skin and hair care routine is controversial, to say the least. Like many things, it can also be quite subjective. While I’m no stranger to the concerns with ingredients of cosmetics, as with anything, it’s important to evaluate whether the potential risks outweigh the benefits. It is also important to balance the very healthy aspects of life with less healthy choices.
I have always been a big fan of hair, makeup, skincare and beauty products in general. I actually had planned to become a cosmetologist and spent years reading books on it as a teen, but ultimately changed career paths. Over the years my priorities and routines have evolved and changed, bringing me to where I am at with my life and what works for me. As an older teen/young adult, I used a combo of high-end/fancy products and ones from the drugstore, rarely going a day without a slew of chemical face wash, lotion, creams, etc, plenty of makeup, scented lotions, perfumes, and multiple hair styling products. For a good while after that, I was very very picky with my skin, hair and body care choices. So picky in fact, that the idea of using any product that had any sort of remotely toxic ingredient would be a cause for concern.
During my strict healing diets, I was very close to 100% organic with my skin and body care choices. I rarely even used super clean commercial products like Pacifica, instead, I tended toward homemade makeup or artisan locally made cosmetics and body care products. I rarely deterred from this path at all and when I did, detoxed my body with detox baths and essential oils to counter the possible damage. I still do detox baths, just removed the “due to stressing about makeup” part.
I went on in search of a “cleaner” commercial makeup that ACTUALLY worked because I could not ignore the fact that there is a lot of junk ingredients in most makeup out there. There were plenty of options compared to years prior, but they didn’t match up with the quality I expected from my previous high-end favorites. A healthy mix of cleaner cosmetics or substitutes (ahem… coconut oil!) and the stuff that actually works (…Lancome mascara anyone?) is the ideal situation for me. If I could find ONE brand that works perfectly and could cover all of my makeup wants forever and ever… I might consider fully switching to it, but that also would take away the fun of trying new things.
One of my favorite cosmetic lines with the all-around best natural makeup I’ve used is no longer available to buy online, but she still has plenty of other products! I can’t begin to tell you how PERFECT that eyeliner I got was, and it lasted FOREVER! Check out the current MeMe Cosmetics stock here for some of the purest and highest quality cosmetics local to the PNW, and see the specials here, including free shipping on orders over $50!
I’ve almost always had long hair and learned the hard way that over styling, heat styling, using extensions of any kind, and chemically treating it is a recipe for disaster if you don’t give it some love. I follow the processes and recommendations of Private Label Extensions for taking care of long hair, and I can tell you it has made a huge difference in the health and manageability of my hair! The healthiest hair truly comes from the inside out, there is no denying that. I love when my hair is long naturally, and obviously, want to do my best to keep it healthy. I have tried ALL sorts of methods, products, and trends, but I have finally found what really works for me. It helps that I have a better understanding of the “why” and even more helpful that these steps can be easily implemented.
While I never ventured much further than a red or brown dye job, I went with henna solely for YEARS due to my 100% aversion to chemical dyes. After I realized how differently henna and chemical dyes work on hair, I have pretty much given up on using henna for hair dye completely. I figure I may find myself in a salon someday wishing to use a more natural/cleaner “conventional dye” since there are some good PPD free ones out there now. PPD is just not something I am willing to mess with, since the tiniest risk of a reaction to that stuff is really severe. I have always wanted to try going a little lighter, so even a semi-permanent darker dye would prohibit that from happening as easily. I have seen the lightness my hair gets from summers out in the sun and love it, but have never been brave enough to have it professionally done! That being said, I am sitting here writing this with coffee on my hair to hopefully darken it a little, very temporarily. Since I am not using chemical dyes at this time, I felt like trying for a change after stumbling upon this article. Even if there is no change to the color, there are supposed to be some benefits, so, worth a try because it smells delicious!
Stressing about all of my products rather than enjoying the process was not a sustainable way to be long term. I also really found myself missing the relaxing and enjoyable time I spent on myself doing my makeup and hair, and really missed the products that I’d used in the past. You know, the ones that worked like I wanted them too, despite the possible negative effects. I realized I’d given up doing something I really enjoyed that made me feel great, in the name of all things crunchy and pure.
Ultimately, I’ve realized that taking the time to do my hair and makeup was a stress reliever and something I felt was enriching my life. That is worth more to me than the inevitable toxins that I am going to be exposed to anyway in my day to day life. To me, there are far worse things than a little makeup and hair product that is not 100% clean and organic 100% of the time. I am well aware of the risks with putting things on my skin, and made the choice to stop worrying too much about it, and keep a balance in that aspect. It is something that I think differs from person to person based on their preferences and situation.
I’ve ended up finding a balance between cleaner cosmetics and face care, and ones that I enjoy using because they actually feel great and work for me. Some days I enjoy putting on a full face, highlight, contour, foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, brows, lippies… the works! Other days, I wear nothing, or just a little concealer around my eyes… since my dark circles are not flattering… ever.
I’m still always looking for natural ways to add some nutrients to my skin and hair, aside from what I eat. I still do the oil cleansing method, and regularly use items from the kitchen as skin and hair treatments. One of my favorite completely natural face masks is actually right here, and I loooooved the Majestic Pure line I reviewed a while ago. Even though my makeup/skincare is no longer 100% natural and organic all the time, I continue to balance other aspects of my health. I am mindful of my diet and make sure I am staying hydrated, regularly implement stress-relieving yoga practices and self-reflection meditation time, and *try* to get enough sleep. I do eat junk food and definitely could cut back on the coffee, but you may have seen the post about how I don’t stress about junk food anymore here, which is an important piece of the puzzle. I’m happy and healthier than ever living my life this way, and it feels so much less restrictive which is very empowering!
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