[First Impressions] Beautycounter

B-E-A-utycounter. Does anyone else still use that iconic line to spell variations of the word “beautiful” correctly?

Recently, I invested in some Beautycounter products, and today I thought I would share a little more about the company and some of my first impressions of the products that I purchased!

Company Background

First, lets start off with a little bit about the company and what makes it stand out.

The company was founded by a woman named Gregg, who’s mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone.”

She noticed that there is a very serious problem in the United States, and I will summarize it in this one eye-opening fact, but there is so much more, I encourage you to do your own research, you will be amazed:

Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 11 to date.

Beautycounter is committed to providing healthier alternatives for the products that we put on our skin every single day by eliminating more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals in their products (see their “Never List”).

Their products are available for purchase online, and they have recently released a limited product line for sale at Target in stores and online!

First Impressions:

Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer $45

The first thing I picked out was the tinted moisturizer in shade “No. 2.” I was drawn to this product because it has SPF 20 and provides lightweight and sheer coverage.

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I have never been a fan of heavy face makeup. I would usually stick to powders because I hate the feeling of a liquid foundation sitting on top of my skin. The problem with powders is that I have very oily skin, so by the middle of the day my forehead becomes streaky, and that is just not a good look.

A few months ago, I tested out a bb cream from The Body Shop and really liked how it looked and felt on my skin all day, so I thought I would try out Beautycounter’s equivalent.

Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! Since it is a tinted moisturizer, I feel like it really sinks into my skin and provides nice and even coverage. It stays in place all day and my skin never gets too oily while I’m wearing it, even without setting powder!

Another pro: the packaging is magnificent! I love the little pump on the tube. It makes it so easy to get the right amount of product out without getting everywhere.

The product is also very buildable,  so if you need a little extra coverage it is really easy to obtain that look even with this sheer coverage formula.

TouchUp Skin Concealer Pen $32

To go along with the Dew Skin, I got the concealer pen in “Light.”

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The formula definitely provides extra coverage for under eye circles and any blemishes you need hidden.

Again, I love the packaging. There is a little pump on the bottom that pumps the product into a fine brush at the top. You can then brush the product on exactly where you want it and then blend it out with your finger, beauty blender or another brush.

The pen is amazing for brightening up my under eyes, but I think it is a little too bright to use on any blemishes (for my skin tone), so keep that in mind if you are looking into this product for yourself!

Lengthening mascara $29

This is the product that I was most excited to try! I have long been in a desperate search to find a good quality mascara and have tried a lot of duds along the way. Most recently, I tried a fruit-based mascara from 100% Pure and wanted so badly to love it, but the applicator brush was just not for me (even though I really loved their formula!).

This may be my favorite mascara to date! The formula is dark, long lasting, and really does wonders to lengthen my eyelashes. The wand is small and easy to apply to both the upper lashes and lower lashes without getting all over your eye lids. The formula doesn’t run or smudge and it doesn’t get dry or flaky by the end of the day.

I will tell you this, if you invest in this mascara, you will also want to invest in some oil-based makeup remover (or coconut oil!).

Oh, and you better believe I put a couple drops of lavender essential oil in there for extra lash growth power!

Lip Sheer $30

Lastly, I thought I would pick up a lip product, just to get the full experience. I choose a pretty fall shade called “Currant.”

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I was pleasantly surprised by this product. The term “sheer” made me a bit nervous that it would not provide much color at all, but that was not the case.  The color was amazingly buildable and ultra moisturizing. It definitely is not a lip stick, but more like a tinted, dewey chapstick.

The color isn’t very long lasting, so I carry the tube with me and reapply after eating and drinking, or just periodically throughout the day, but I almost prefer it that way. I feel like lipsticks tend to get kind of gross and crumbly when they have been on too long.

I’m really excited to pick up a couple more products to try out at my Beautycounter Facebook party, like the Lip Gloss (in Fig because Fall GOALS) and the Color Pinch Cream Blusher!

Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great week ahead!

 

~Positive Vibes~

 

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9/17/2016: Quick Life Update

Wow, it has been awhile since I last wrote a blog post here on Good Karma Living… about 5 months to be exact!

I have really missed having a creative outlet and am so thankful to have some extra time on my hands to get back into writing, creating and DIYs.

Just so we’re all on the same page here, I thought I would give you a quick update on what I’ve been up to these past months!

Last 5 Month Timeline:

  • I was laid off back in April/May when the company I was working for went out of business.
  • I spent about a month and a half in an interview process (this was the only company I was interviewing with at the time) for this amazing job that was going to provide higher pay, generous bonuses and a flexible work schedule. It was in the hospitality industry, an industry I am quite familiar with, and I was almost offered the position until…
  • I had a change of heart, and decided I needed to give the marketing industry another try and grow my skill set while I’m still young, flexible, and have no crazy expenses to worry about. SO, I interviewed with another great company and accepted a position with lower pay, a crazy workload, but still some awesome benefits.
  • Since landing my new position I have been CRAZY busy, i.e. leaving the house by 7am and usually not getting home until 6-7pm, at which time I walk my dog, make some dinner and pretty much crash! Weekends I spend catching up on house chores, catching up on sleep, and occasionally doing something fun and/or relaxing to unwind!
  • Now, about three months into this new job, I am finally feeling comfortable with my new routine and managing that crazy workload. That pretty much brings us back to presesent time where I am here, actually writing a blog post!

Clarifying Face Mask Recipe

Wow, what a month April was! I finally started Make & Take classes at Hobby Lobby, which have been SO fun, but extremely time consuming.  I also found out that the company I was working for was going out of business by the end of the month, so I’ve been preparing myself for the big job hunt.  Another bummer, that also means I had to give back my computer with Photoshop, but life goes on!

That hasn’t left a lot of time for me to blog or really check in with my website at all! As I have more free time on my hands for the time being (besides applying and interviewing for jobs!), I want to get back into the swing of things with my blog posts!

Today I bring you my favorite face mask recipe to date! An amazingly clarifying Activated Charcoal Mask, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Amazonian/Bentonite Clay
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablet of Activated Charcoal (found in the supplement section of most grocery stores)
  • 2 drops Aloe gel
  • 2 drops Young Living Purification essential oil
  • [Optional] 2 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil (when you’re trying to stop a spot in its tracks)

 

Directions:

Just mix the ingredient together and store in an air tight container to enjoy all week long!

**Note** You can change up this recipe in SO many ways just by adding different essential oils- some of my other favorites are Lavender, Frankincense or Geranium!

The Devil in the White City

CURRENTLY READING

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April’s Book: The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America

Note: Don’t forget to check out my updated review for last month’s book, The Good Neighbor, here.

This is a lot different from the books I would normally read! It’s a true story about an architect and a famous serial killer.  I cheated a little and started reading… it’s a bit slow so far, but hopefully it will speed up when Larson gets to the part about the murders.

Plot Summary: Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World’s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

My Thoughts: Stay tuned.

3/18/2016

birthdaycover

This past weekend I spent another beautiful day in sunny California with my love.  It was a special weekend though because we were celebrating my birthday, woo! My birthday was on Thursday, March 17th, but since we both had to work we decided to celebrate the following day.

When Michael and I hang out there is usually a lot of “I don’t know… what do you want to do today?” BUT, to my surprise, Michael had planned out the most awesome and spontaneous date day ever! While I was getting ready in the morning, he held out 4 folded pieces of paper and told me to pick one.  Written in black ink were the words BEIR GARDEN, one of my favorite little places to eat in Encinitas.

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BIER GARDEN has some amazing breakfast foods, but by the time we arrived, the sun was burning and it was lunch time.  I decided on the best Chef Salad (chicken substituted for croutons) I have ever tasted.  Not to mention it was HUGE!  We also ‘lucked’ out when Michael’s order was forgotten and the server ended up comping his plate (BIER GARDEN is not cheap!).

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After we were done with lunch we hopped in the car and Michael pulled out one of these middle school fortune teller contraptions! It was SO sweet that he put so much thought into the day *happy tear.*

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He was even willing to get a Mani/Pedi with me, like WHAT even is life!?!! Anyway, after I died a little from cuteness overload, we made our way to The Forum [mall] where I was allowed to pick out ANYTHING I wanted for my birthday gift.

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Of course, we had to make a stop into Victoria’s Secret where I picked out an awesome new PJ set and some new underwear (it was 7 for $27, how could I say no!). We walked around and browsed until we got tired and then we made our way home.

We spent the rest of the night relaxing and watching movies and playing with Gretchen.  It really was an awesome day! Thank you so much, Michael for making my birthday special. I love you! 🙂

 

Lavender Lemonade Recipe

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Ingredients:

  • 5-8 c cold water
  • 1 c raw honey
  • 6-8 fresh lemons, squeezed
  • 2 drops lavender Young Living Essential Oil
  • 1 drop lime Young Living Essential Oil
  • ice to serve

Directions:

In a small saucepan, boil 2 ½ cups water. Remove from burner and add raw honey. Stir until dissolved. Add 2 drops lavender essential oil. Squeeze lemons into glass pitcher. Add honey water to lemon juice in glass pitcher. Add another 2 ½ cups of cold water (or more to taste). Add 1 drop of lime essential oil. Refrigerate or add ice.

lavender lemonade cover

Learn more about purchasing your own Young Living essential oils at 24% off, here.

Lime Vitality Essential Oil

LimeGuac2

I have been loving Young Living’s new Vitality Line! It’s the same amazing oils, but in sleek, new labeling made specifically for ingestion. I also love that all the oils come in a 5ml size, making them so affordable!

One of the first oils from the Vitality line that I snatched up was LIME. I love using lime to add flavor to water, smoothies and vegetables.  The other day I picked up some avocados and tortilla chips to make some “guacamole” (aka smashed avocado because I don’t like adding in any extras like onions and cilantro). When I went to put it all together, I had a brain blast! I grabbed my lime oil and added two drops to my smashed avocado along with a sprinkle of himalayan sea salt and BAM, best snack ever!

I even made a little video to show my love to the avocado-lime-salty-goodness! 😉

The Good Neighbor

51DtjhH7PVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_March’s Book: The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

Note: I got this book free as a Kindle Unlimited monthly first pick.  Normally, I would think that Amazon is giving these books away for a free download because they aren’t high quality, but the last free book I read turned out to be really good, so I have high hopes!

Plot Summary: Shadow Cove, Washington, is the kind of town everyone dreams about—quaint streets, lush forests, good neighbors. That’s what Sarah thinks as she settles into life with her new husband, Dr. Johnny McDonald. But all too soon she discovers an undercurrent of deception. And one October evening when Johnny is away, sudden tragedy destroys Sarah’s happiness.

Dazed and stricken with grief, she and Johnny begin to rebuild their shattered lives. As she picks up the pieces of her broken home, Sarah discovers a shocking secret that forces her to doubt everything she thought was true—about her neighbors, her friends, and even her marriage. With each stunning revelation, Sarah must ask herself, Can we ever really know the ones we love?

My Thoughts: The Good Neighbor earns a solid 4 out of 5 stars. It started off a little slow and repetitive… I feel like every other sentence was the main character second guessing herself (i.e. “I really trust him! or do i really know him?”).  I understand the author was trying to set the scene for a thriller, but I felt like it was getting to the point where it was more comical than suspenseful. I enjoyed the story line enough to keep going though, and by the time I was about a third of the way through, it was hard to put the book down.  I think I ended up reading the book in about 3 days.

Without giving too much away, the story is about Sarah and what happens to her after a fire inexplicably burns her neighbors house down.  There are a few shady characters (including her own husband at times!) and a few pleasant friends and new neighbors who try to help her recover from the traumatic experience, but in the back of her mind, she can’t shake the feeling that something is still wrong.

There are a lot of thriller books where the end becomes somewhat to very predictable by the middle of the book, but I was actually very surprised by the climax and the resolution, I did not see it coming, and I did not even suspect the right people to be involved.

I am again pleasantly surprised by the FREE book of the month offered to Amazon Prime members… that’s two for two so far that have turned out better than a lot of the novels I’ve been purchasing recently! I definitely recommend this book for readers who like a good suspense story.

3/5/2016

Fullerton blog

Michael and I almost always go west for our date days.  Encinitas and Carlsbad are our go-to locations to hang out, eat some good food and walk around the beach town.  Today, we decided to do something a little different, we headed NORTH! We decided to make an impromptu trip to Fullerton to hang out with my brother and his girlfriend, and it was a blast!

Here is my brother, Brad, and his girlfriend, Michele in front of an awesome purple door we passed! Aren’t they cute? 😉

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We started the day out at a cute little brewery just a few minutes from Brad’s house.  The indoor area flowed out into a small patio area with a little succulent garden, large jenga pieces and best of all, puppies! We ordered pizza and garlic knots from the pizza place next door and oh man, it was delicious!

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Our second stop brought us across town to Phantom Ales. I’m not much of a beer person, so Brad brought us here because they have wine and ‘meed,’ which I had never heard of (and didn’t end up trying… next time!).  While we had our drinks we played a round of “Brewopoly.” It’s basically Monopoly, but you try to buy up breweries and you get sent to “Last Call” instead of “Jail.” None of us really remembered the rules for traditional Monopoly, so it made for an interesting game!

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[Notice how the pictures get increasingly worse as the night goes on (and the glass of wine goes down…lol)].


On our way home we stopped by Krispy Kreme Donuts and indulged in a little late night treat.  We also picked up a RedBox… The Night Before.  I had high hopes for comedy gold from Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon Levitt, but it was bad, really bad. And so another adventure day ended and it was back to reality on Sunday with work and chores!

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Hope you all had a great weekend!

Easy DIY Soy Candles

Soy Candle

Oh man, have you ever researched what exactly makes traditional candles smell so good? Well, as it turns out, the fragrances used in candles (and tons of other products that are “scented”), are actually HARSH CHEMICALS! [Read this article from TIME, if you don’t believe me… or if you just want to know more 😉 ].

When I started using essential oils, I began making a lot of my own products. It saves money and it’s better for me and the environment I live in.  I went from being a candle and room spray ADDICT to being a diffuser abuser (in a good way 😉 )! And don’t get me wrong, I still love all of my diffusers, but one day I just felt like making candles, so here’s what I came up with! It is super simple and straightforward.  They also make for some cute and inexpensive gifts!


 

DIY Soy Candle 2

Here’s what you’ll need (per candle):

  • 2(ish) cups Soy Wax (I got mine on Amazon. It’s 100% soy wax with no fragrance or additives and it’s already shaved into small, easy to melt pieces)
  • 1 Wick (Such as these from amazon)
  • 1 Small Tin (mason jars work too!)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Double Boiler (or a make shift one)
  • 20 drops Your Choice of Essential Oil
  • Labels, ribbon and other decorations of choice

Some of my favorite Essential Oil combos for candles:

  • Lavender
  • Lavender & Lemon
  • Peppermint (with a couple drops of vanilla extract or a teaspoon of cocoa powder)
  • Stress Away and Orange

Here’s how to make it:

Heat up about an inch of water in the bottom part of your “double boiler contraption” (i.e. an old metal popcorn bowl that fits nicely into a pan of boiling water). While your water is heating up, glue the wick to the bottom of your tin (I use a shorter wick and it seems to stand up on its own, but if you’re using a longer wick or yours isn’t staying up, use a straw and wrap the wick down until the straw rests on top of your tin). When the water is boiling, add the second piece of the double boiler and add the soy wax.  Melt it down into a liquid then turn off the heat.  Let the wax cool slightly before adding in your essential oils, mixing and pouring into your tin. Let it cool down and harden then cut the wick to the top of the tin and decorate with a label, wash tape and/or ribbon!


There you go! SAria_Diffusero simple and cute… the only downside is that is does take a lot of precious essential oil to make it scented. I tend to stick to my diffuser and make a couple candles for special occasions and gifts!