Friday Finds: MooGoo and Dusty Girls [Review]

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I love trying out new products, especially when they are good-for-you!  MooGoo (what a cute name, right?) makes skincare/hair care items that are full of healthy oils and not full of unhealthy ingredients you can’t pronounce.  What are some of these ickies you won’t find?

  • Paraffin Oil (Mineral Oil)
  • Synthetic Preservatives such as Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Formaldehyde Donors. (We love Hops, although sometimes you can smell Hops.)
  • PEG’s and Synthetic Penetration enhancers.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate or harsh cleansers. (simply because there are gentler, natural alternatives.)

They also have a makeup division, called Dusty Girls, which offers great mineral makeup.

As you can see, I was given a large selection to try out and give my thoughts on!

Before I get into the actual products, I need to say a word on the packaging – it is so beautiful!  Clean, colorful, very smooth and has a very nice feel to the labels, and some of the MooGoo products come in adorable little milk box-like containers.

I’ve been loving every single one of these products, and I’m sure they’ll be making many more appearances on the blog in the upcoming posts.

HAIR CARE/SHOWER ITEMS

I was curious to try out the hair care products, especially the Protein Shot Leave-In Conditioner, as I had heard a lot of good things about that product in the curly hair community.  It is very smooth and makes my hair feel moisturized.  I think my hair loves protein right now, so I am very happy with how it is performing and helping my curls be defined. (((for those of you with curly hair, if you’re finding your curls are more limp or soft than you’d like, try a protein treatment – I did a gelatin hair treatment (Google or Youtube for instructions), and thenfollowing up now with protein-rich products like MooGoo’s.

Next of what I tried was the Cream Conditioner.  As a curly girl, I don’t “shampoo” my hair.  I don’t use sulfates, which is in most shampoos, and also with conditioners, I don’t use -cones, as they coat the hair and aren’t the best thing for curly hair.  So I use a lot of conditioner, and my hair is loving this Cream Conditioner.  It’s so… well, creamy!  But it’s not too heavy, and it doesn’t feel like it weighs my hair down at all.  I love all the yummy oils they use in their products!

A great multi-use product is the Milk Wash.  This is designed to be an all-over body wash, but it’s so gentle and creamy that I’ve been using it as a body wash, a face wash, and as a hand soap sometimes too.

FACE/SPECIALTY ITEMS

They really have a huge selection of products for different skin needs, which is great because, obviously, not everyone has the same skin type or skin concern.  I’ve always had dry skin and suffered for many many years with severe seborrheic dermatitis.  I tried nearly everything to help, and everything had been just a Band-Aid or did help some, but was very temporary.  When I found and started taking Plexus, I was blown away at how getting my gut health in order drastically improved my skin.  But when one has a tendency towards something, one can never be too careful or too proactive in keeping everything good, right?  That’s why I’m loving their Scalp Cream.  I’ve been using it along my hairline and my eyebrows, and just as an overall face moisturizer before bed. [Right now, I am washing my face with the Milk Wash, then a few times a week I’ll use a dab or two of the Organic Rosehip Oil, then top with the Scalp Cream as a moisturizer.  I’ve been using the Soothing MSM Cream also as a moisturizer in the morning or at night.]

 

DUSTY GIRLS MAKEUP


I have been using more natural/mineral makeup since around 2008?(ish? It’s been quite a while, I know that), and I love learning about and trying new-to-me brands.  Dusty Girls is such a pretty name, isn’t it?  I love their clean simple packaging, once again, and the feel of quality to their packaging.  I was able to try out 3 products:

Earth Cream – in the shade Light.  While this is said to be good for acne-prone skin, I’ve found it to be good for me as well, someone who isn’t very acne prone but more prone to dryness.  I got the Light, and as you can see on my arm swatch below, it’s a really good match and blends out very nicely.  Because it is on the sheer side, I think it really will match a lot of people.  I sometimes add a dusting of Everyday Minerals foundation in either Golden Fair or Ivory on top if I feel it needs to be just a tad lighter, but overall, it really is a great color match.  It is easy to apply and feels nice on the skin.  (I plan to do a makeup look soon featuring these products, so stay tuned).

Natural Mineral Blush in the color “Pink Ladies”

This is a gorgeous neutral pink shade!!  It’s not too cool and not too warm, but – to me at least – it is just that perfect neutral soft pink color that would look good on pretty much everyone.  There is also quite a lot of product.  My only suggestion with this is to be somewhat gentle, as it can break/crumble if it falls or gets knocked around too much (like any pressed product).  And again, such pretty design on the lid!

They also have a sense of humor/fun with their naming 😉  I just saw a new item they have now – a gradual natural tanning cream- called “How Now Brown Cow”, and they sign their correspondence with “Moo-Chews Grass-ias”.  How fun is that?!

If you’ve never heard of MooGoo or Dusty Girls, I hope this review was helpful to you and piques your interest in trying them out!  They do offer a variety of sizes on many of their products, perfect for trying before buying larger quantities.

*Products sent for review; but, as always, I only honestly review things that I personally love and that I think you will love as well!

Green makeup look for a New Year

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Are you all happy it’s 2017?  I am.  Not because I thought 2016 was the worst year ever or anything, but because a new fresh start is always a welcomed thing.  2016 taught me several things. I had moments of laughter, tears, friendships, hurt, joy.  It’s all mixed up, and I can’t separate the bad from the good.  If I wished away 2016, I’d also have to wish away those happy moments – and I dare anyone who is all gloom and doom to tell me there was absolutely nothing good about your year.  Yes, there was.  If you say no, you weren’t looking for the good.  So start 2017 off looking for the good, for the happy little moments you may have overlooked in the past.  Each year, each month, each week,… each day, really, is made up of highs and lows and some joys are worth searching for.  They’re not always so obvious, but they can be found if one is of the mindset to find them.

I don’t necessarily do “resolutions” each year, but I still kind of do – I just don’t call them that in my head, haha, so that I don’t have that mental pressure of keeping them I suppose.  (Anyone else do that?  Tell themselves whatever it is you want to work on isn’t really a resolution).  I have many many areas I want to improve on this year, but today I’ll just mention one of them – being a bit more organized.  I am naturally not an organized person.  I know some people are all about spreadsheets, schedules down to the minute, and folded socks, but that’s not me.  But I do believe being organized – whatever that looks like to you – is an important thing because it orders your life and impacts your whole outlook basically.  So since redoing my room (which has actually been amazingly simple to keep tidy – probably the longest I’ve gone so far without a huge mess that needed to be cleaned up), I have been looking at other areas I can organize.  A simple one is my makeup/beauty area.

I used to use those clear stackable small 3-drawer bins for my makeup.  I would try to organize it and make it look so pretty, but if you use mineral makeup that comes in the small round jars and try to organize it in one of these, you know that it doesn’t take long for things to get disorganized.  As soon as I took one jar out, the rest would cave in and roll around.  Before I knew it, everything was all a mess – the blush was mixed into the eye shadow, the mascara was swapped for the brushes (I know… end of the world problems, right? haha).  Enter the solution:

A few years ago, I got a beautiful jewelry armoire from my aunt and uncle and had used the sides and top for jewelry and the drawers for various things.  The drawers are flocked and some of them are divided up, which makes for the perfect solution because the dividers act as an organization system for me, and the flocking helps keep things secure and from always rolling around when something is removed.  I think an economical and easy solution for this if you don’t have an armoire would be to get shelf paper with a rubber/texturized surface – I would think that would have the same affect as the flocking.  I didn’t take a before picture, but here is a current picture of my makeup drawers (and bonus pic of my nail polish):

Makeup and beauty is definitely a fun, creative outlet for me.  I am not very artistic in the drawing/painting sense, and yet, playing with makeup makes me feel creative and artistic.

Here is a look I did recently, a green look:

Products used:

100% Pure primer (I have dry skin, but this still works amazingly; they do have one that’s not mattifying that I’d like to try sometime)

Everyday Minerals jojoba base in Ivory 1N

Honest Beauty Luminizer Powder in Midnight Reflection (under face category)

100% Pure cream eye stick liner in Black Pearl

Redeeming Beauty Minerals eye shadow in Honor

Korres shimmering shadow in Green White

100% Pure Maracuja Blackberry mascara

Silk Naturals brow gel in Medium Ash

Silk Naturals lippie in Winter Rose (discontinued) (last picture)

Hope you all are having a great start to 2017! 

How do you store your makeup?  Does it work for you organised that way?  (Some people have their makeup all mixed together in a cosmetics bag and that is organised for them – there’s no “right” way to organize!)

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Charise Noel Jewelry

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I’m so excited to share about this giveaway series – I’ve joined together with some other amazing bloggers and we will be having various giveaways over the next 12 days – each giveaway being open for 1 week, with the final giveaway ending on Christmas day!  Today’s giveaway is one I am super excited about because I am loving it and think so many of you will too, either for yourself or to gift to someone special in your life.

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I heard about Charise Noel from a friend, who heard about her from a friend,…  Her designs are just so pretty, classic, simple, and feminine, and I just love how easy they are to wear – no annoying tiny clasp that takes 18749 seconds to clasp.

Charise was kind enough to allow me to ask her some questions regarding her jewelry and her company:

Q: How did you get started with Charise Noel Jewelry? 

I never thought I would make jewelry as my passion and purpose in life.   Growing up I wasn’t interested in fashion.   I was interested in helping others.  However, I started making jewelry when I had both of my feet operated on at the same time and needed something to keep my hands busy since I couldn’t walk and was going crazy!  A friend gave me her tools and pearls because she thought she would make jewelry, but she found she never had the time.   As a 6th and 7th grade math and science teacher, I had put a mathematical equation together using the principals of the pulley system to eliminate the dainty clasp on delicate necklaces.  I had done this because my mom, who was a stage 4 breast cancer survivor, had lost dexterity in both hands and couldn’t wear her favorite jewelry any more.  I took the equation that I had already figured out and the tools and materials that my friend had given to me and thought I would see if my equation worked.  I sat and pieced the materials together and what I saw in my head I miraculously could make with my hands.  I made my first pearl necklace for my mom to try and the equation worked!

Q: Is there a creative process you go through to deciding what new designs are added to your collection?
Yes, I am a story teller with jewelry.  I make jewelry that is the easiest to wear and includes everyone.  The saying “the more the merrier” is a mantra for me.  I want everyone to be included in my jewelry, to find a necklace and say “this is me”.  If I have a purpose, a story, a cause, anything that is lovely and redemptive, then I get inspired from it and want to express that in my jewelry.  I draw inspiration for my jewelry designs from scripture and from people’s life stories, like my friend and actress Venda who has struggled with diabetes since childhood.  There are endless inspiring stories and causes.  I am blessed to be an artist who can portray the difficulties and hardships of life as beautiful jewelry.

I have needed a new creative perspective from time to time, like when ladies kept asking for a necklace that had charms.  And I would tell them “NO, I’m not a charm-y girl.”  I like individual charms, however when you put a cluster of charms together, it looks cluttered and makes noise . . . two things I don’t like.  So when I created my Magic line, it was my solution to the request of customers for charms.  I had to open my mind up to creating a charm necklace that I would like.  I don’t call them charms, though.  I call them Magic Endings, because they dangle off the ends but the individual endings are easily seen.  Now ladies get to collect Magic Endings that represent their favorite things in life, and I get to make a necklace that is elegant and simple.
Q: What is the most difficult thing about owning your own business? 

One word…Perseverance.  You make money and lose money, face obstacles and figure out solutions, and accept failures as graciously as you enjoy successes.  When you are building a business it can get messy.  There is no such thing as a perfectly happy story without mistakes and or tough lessons.  Although it is your own business, nobody can do it all on their own.  We need the help and support of others.  The decisions are yours and yours alone, because you have to be able to live with the outcome.  However, when there is a need, a calling, a purpose that is bigger than YOU, then you are not alone in it.  There is a need to work with others and allow God to do the impossible through you.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about owning your own business?

I am passionate about making jewelry that is the easiest you have ever used, regardless of your age or physical ability.  When I see a 3 year old who doesn’t know how to tie their own shoelaces, or a 93 year old with poor eyesight and trembling hands, easily put my necklace on and take it off by them self, my purpose is complete and that is success!  I just feel like screaming “SEE, YOU DID IT” but I don’t have to, because the first thing that comes out of their mouth is even more precious.  They look at me with wonder and say “I DID IT”!

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Charise sent me a Teresa Classic Beauty necklace (22″) as well as a Solitaire Magic Necklace with Magic Endings to review, and I am over the moon about them.  I have worn both, and they are so versatile.  Surprisingly, even though the Teresa has a pink/peach hue to it, it goes with so many outfits and has a beautiful mother of pearl/iridescent quality to it.  Here is the story behind the Teresa: “The Teresa necklace was designed for my Aunt who has crippling  Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for her to wear a dainty necklace every day that she can quickly do herself.  The pink color is for joy and the coin pearls lay flat because she is dear to my heart.”  Isn’t that just lovely?  I love hearing the inspiration behind the creations – makes them more meaningful.

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The Solitaire Magic Necklace is also so very versatile.  Because of the design, it can be worn in more ways – as a simple necklace without using any Magic Endings.  Or you can put it on just like the Classic Beauty necklaces, and then attach the Magic Endings of your choice to the magnets and get such a variety of looks.  Her Magic Endings also are used in her Magic Earrings, so even more functionality and swapability there!

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Would you like to win your own Teresa Classic Beauty necklace (22″) AND a Magic Necklace with 2 sets of Magic Endings?!?! Your Magic Set will come with the Solitaire Magic Necklace plus the pearl drop Magic Endings and an angel wing with blue gray bead Magic Endings, which equals 3 different necklaces plus the Teresa (plus who says you have to wear both the pearls or both the wings together – you could do one of each for a fourth look). Just enter the giveaway below for a chance to win big!  🙂  (here are pics of the actual Teresa necklace you will win, as well as the Angel Wings Magic Endings, the Solitaire Magic Necklace by itself, and the Pearl Magic Endings.)

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Also, as if Charise hasn’t been  generous enough, she has graciously given a code – LeafyNotBeefy – that is good for 72 hours from now for 50% off everything in her shop!!!  Yes, 50% off!!  These would make great gifts!

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Updated Skin Care Routine

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I’ve been meaning to do a post about my skincare routine for awhile now, but, you know… life!  I don’t use oodles of products or long, cumbersome steps, so this will be short and easy to replicate, should you be looking to update your own skincare regimen.

Before I go on to the actual routine, I’ll give a little backstory on my skin type, again, so perhaps you can relate.  I’ve never been acne prone (thankfully), but I have had dry skin pretty much my whole life.  What do they say – dry skin gets less acne, but oily skin less wrinkles? I don’t know, but living with dry flaky skin – though nice from the little-to-no acne standpoint – still isn’t at all fun.  I’ve tried a ton of products through the years that are specifically for dry skin – even things that I use now, but without the first step in my routine, and the results had only been very minimal/temporary.  My skin is also on the sensitive side – gets red easily and can be prone to rashes.  I also have a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis – or SD for short.  I was on prescription strength shampoo in the past (I hated it, and it made my hair even drier).

Okay, so here are what is working marvelously for MY skin.  My skin has never felt softer, smoother, more hydrated, less inflamed/red.

  • Probiotics. While I think all of these steps have resulted in my overall success of what’s working for my skin, I think this first step is the ULTIMATE for me – because I have done several of the other steps without this first one in the past without these good results.  Plexus. Probio5.   Amazing stuff.  It was all a matter of finding the best dosage for my needs – I had been taking the TriPlex for several months (Slim+Probio5+Biocleanse), but was not noticing any difference in my face (I noticed plenty of other great changes, though!)  I finally decided to try upping the Probio5 (and adjusting the Biocleanse to support that increase) and bingo, within a 2-week span, my SD cleared up big time!!  So that would be my NUMBER ONE step that I can’t live without. (and I had tried other brands – more expensive brands – in the past without as good of results)
  • Drinking more water.  So important for overall health, including the health of your biggest organ- your skin!
  • Konjak sponge.  You’ve probably seen them all over the place.  Having SD, I know exfoliation is really important.  This one does a bang-up job without causing my face to turn tomato red and hurt.  It makes my skin glow.  I got mine from 100% Pure and it lasts a few months (I’d say 3-4 max per sponge)
  • Oils.  I vary between what oils I use – I often use essential oils – usually a blend that is made for the skin from Rocky Mountain Oils or Eden’s Garden or Plant Therapy, but will also use coconut oil.  These just add to the softness and my face feels nourished and happy.  Again, though, I have done the whole drinking water, exfoliating, and oils thing prior and not had lasting results, so I think the probiotics is really key in longterm skin health.

So what does my actual skincare routine look like in practice?   Pretty boring and basic – I wet my konjak sponge, use it to remove makeup and get my skin clean, then massage a drop or two of an oil over my face.  Go to bed.  In the morning, I sometimes will repeat the process (but I also sometimes forget and don’t).  I have various cleansers, toners, masks,etc, that are fun to sometimes pull out and use, but I honestly think easy and fast is the best and if it’s easy and fast I am more likely to stick with it.

What does your skincare routine look like?

Elli Quark, Micro Nail, and more

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Creative title, right?  Oh well.

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Have you guys heard of Elli Quark?  Yes, it sounds strange, quark, but it’s very similar in taste to Greek yogurt, but with less tang.  A little while ago, Elli Quark sent me a pack to try out their flavors – – – I love that they have a good variety of flavors, and I really love that they use stevia and erythritol to sweeten instead of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.  Here is the description from their site:

Elli Quark is a spoonable FRESH CHEESE with a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt, but with a richer, LESS SOUR taste. It also has a better protein-to-carb ratio than Greek yogurt, with HIGH PROTEIN and NO ADDED SUGARS or artificial sweeteners.

So first off, a note about shipping/packaging – everything arrived neatly packaged and nice and cold.  Now onto the flavors and my actual opinions about the quark:  I did not dislike any of them!  I had a few I thought weren’t really my particular cup of tea carton of yogurt, but there were also some definite favorites.  My 3 favorites were Strawberry, Peach, and Pineapple, with Lemon coming in 4th.  I love chocolate and desserty flavors, but I guess I prefer fruity flavors for yogurt-type things.  But the dessert ones were still good.  I used the Plain to make a recipe (below), but ate what was on my spoon.  I dislike plain Greek yogurt (I always buy plain but then sweeten with NuNaturals stevia), but this plain Elli Quark was not bad at all and I could def. get used to, and enjoy, eating this plain.

The website is also fresh and easy to navigate.  Customer service was awesome.  What’s not to love?  Oh, yeah, and if you want to try a cup of Quark for yourself, you can – a voucher for a complimentary one of your choice!

I apologize in advance for these measurements being approximate…I’ve always been an approximate measurement kind of cook and forget that that doesn’t always translate so well for others, but I’m sure however you measure or if you put your own spin on this, it will be equally as good!

Elli Quark Alfredo Sauce

1 container of plain Elli Quark

1/2 C of cottage cheese

1/4 C or so of milk (I used almond)

garlic, sea salt, black pepper to taste

a few drops of stevia to taste

1 T butter (optional)

1/4-1/2 tsp of gluccomanon powder (or 1 T all-purpose flour) to thicken

Mix everything up in a blender until smooth and then heat over medium.  Add to a package of pasta and you’ve got a really great, simple, and healthier option than most alfredo.  (I’ve made this before and after with plain Greek yogurt and it tastes just as good, however often it does curdle a bit, but still tastes good, but with the Elli Quark it doesn’t curdle.

I added Dreamfields rotini pasta and apple chicken sausage to the Elli Quark alfredo and served green beans on the side:

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If you make this, I’d love to hear what you think!  🙂

While you’re cooking your pasta or waiting on the sauce, why not give yourself an easy manicure?  No polish or stinky fumes and no mess.  The Emjoi Micro-Nail was something else that’s been on my “to review” list.  So the claim is – well here – watch for yourself:

So, what do I think?  Here are my results:

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It was easy and fun to use, so fast, and I like how it looks.  They say it lasts 2 weeks, and I would say the smoothness lasts at least that long, but I found the shine to fade before then, but when it’s so easy to do, I just use the white roller to touch up the shine a bit when needed.

*Products above were sent to me for consideration.  Like always, that fact does not impact my opinion/review whatsoever – if it’s something I love and think you will too, I will share.

Next post:  Updated beauty routine