This post is part of a campaign with Mom It Forward Influencer Network - all my opinions are my own.
If I had to give you the top two questions I get asked most as a nutritionist and natural living advocate they would be...
1. What does your weekly meal plan look like?
2. What do you put on your skin?
Just like what we put IN our bodies, what we put ON our bodies is vitally important to our health. Toxic, unnatural ingredients can cause an array of health problems, both short term and long term, which is why it's important to be educated on what goes into what you're putting on your body. This is a message I convey to all my clients.
I have a few top favorite brands that I go to when it comes to hair, beauty and skin products and you've seen me touch on the topic from time to time. But there's a new kid on the block that is making waves in the organic beauty world and I wanted to introduce you all to one of my very new favorites.
With over 8 Collections to choose from to create your own specialized regiment, Organic Doctor utilizes organic ingredients from around the world. My personal regiment uses products from four of the collections which I will outline for you below.
The award-winning line offers both skincare and haircare products and is new to the U.S. The company, founded in Britain, scours the planet for the finest botanical and naturally inspired ingredients to ensure that the bioactive properties of the organic ingredients in each product are truly captured.
The products are now available in CVS throughout the United States, as well as on Amazon for easy online ordering.
I use a four-step skin care process that combines products from their Tea Tea, Rose Otto, Snail Gel and Coconut Oil collections. Living in a dry desert state, it helps with moisture retention, as well as anti-aging and deep cleansing. All of which I need.
My morning routine includes their Organic Tea Tree Face Wash and Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrating Radiance Elixir, to keep my skin feeling light and revitalized all day. The face wash is a gentle yet deeply penetrating facial cleanser, formulated with a proprietary blend of pure Tea Tree Oil, Mandarin Oil, Lemon Oil and Witch Hazel. I love its mildness and fresh, clean smell. While the elixir is light, fast absorbing and hydrating, it instantly penetrates my skin with and gives a subtle glow to this busy mama.
At night, I use the face wash once more, this time finishing with the Snail Gel Cream instead of the elixir. I like having something a little more decadent to put on a night, that can quickly absorb and restore the natural moisture levels of my skin. It also helps my skin feel firmer and more toned when I wake up in the morning.
And once or twice a week, or when I feel like I need a deep cleansing boost, I use the Rose Otto Face Mask. It makes me feel like I'm taking "me" time to pamper and take care of myself, which is so important during this season of motherhood. The bio active organic Rose Otto Oil is a hydrating and moisturizing essential oil blended with a mineral rich clay and offers renowned skin toning and healthy aging properties.
If you're curious as to what products would be right for you, check out their website or comment below and I can help point you towards the products that would fit your specific skincare needs.
Always remember, nosh clean and nurture your skin. It will thank you.
For more on Organic Doctor and to join the conversation:
It's taken me a long time to get here.
Even most of the people closest to me didn't really understand why it would've taken me so long to get here. But, it made sense to me and I probably held out too long, because I truly feel like "me" when I'm a blonde.
Back in 2011, when I started getting sick and had changed my diet to strict Paleo to start healing - I also cut out all traditional make-up (my face was breaking out with cold sores and sties from the chemicals), all chemical household products and I stopped coloring my hair. In hindsight, I still believe every one of these choices was the correct choice for me and our household.
And due to our infertility issues, I wanted to make sure I was as chemical free as possible to rule that out as a reason we were not conceiving.
Switching to my chemical-free beauty routine has proven to be amazing. My face is happy with the mineral, gluten-free makeup and of course nixing chemicals from the home is not only healthier for us, but for the baby in the long run as well. And learning about our food has been one of the biggest life changing paths I've ever taken.
But saying goodbye to my blonde locks was hard on me. I know that may sound vain, but I believe as women, doing our make-up, wearing clothes that reflect our style and taking care of our hair and nails makes us feel feminine and pretty. As wives, as mothers and in our community. And I think that as long as we are honoring God with our lives and don't put our vanity before Him or priorities or people in our lives, I think it is a healthy aspect of being a woman and embracing the fact that we are the fairer sex. (And I mean, how fun is all that girlie stuff we get to play with?)
But fear of the chemicals, fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of going against my new beliefs kept me from exploring the option of altering my hair in any way and I went back to natural for nearly 4 and half years.
It was recently that I spoke with my Naturopath and CBT Therapist about it and they spoke to me about calculated risks and the role psychology plays into our physical health as well. They both agreed that I can't obsessively live a life that is 100% clean, no one can in today's world, and that I needed to let go of the anxiety I carried around and decide where I was going to be more lenient with the boundaries I placed on my own life.
I know, to most, this sounds over-dramatic. But seeing what chemicals and processed foods and items was doing to me in my past, my anxiety and fear started to rule in my kitchen, outside my home and at my vanity.
With my pregnancy well under way and healthy, I spoke to my OBGYN about what I had spoken to my other team of doctors about and she agreed that it was safe for me to take this calculated risk. As my pregnant body grew, I wanted to connect with how I felt most womanly and beautiful, for myself and for my husband. And that was lightening my hair.
As simple as that sounds, it took great faith and leaps for me to arrive here. I was still cautious. Using only highlights where no dye would come in contact with my head, to protect baby. But I walked out of there feeling renewed, younger and more beautiful than I've felt in years. I felt like Mandi again.
Is there a part of your beauty routine that connects you with the woman you are? I'd love to inspire and lift each other up. We are all beautiful, no matter our hair color or what we wear, but finding those little joys that make us smile or light us up, I think those are special extras we can use to give us confidence in our day to day.
Irresistable Me sent me complimentary hair extensions in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
Styling hair has never been a strong talent of mine. Having worked in entertainment as a teenager into my adult years, anytime I had an event I had a professional help transform my hair into something fabulous. Which seemed great at the time, but it didn't teach me anything about styling or taking care of my own locks as an adult. On my time off, I was all about simple and easy, just wearing it straight or in a top knot for comfort.
When I found out I was expecting a baby this summer, I was excited to be one of those women who is blessed with long, thick, luscious locks. However, here I am, entering month five, and my hair is still.... my hair. Which on most days I'm completely happy with, and on others it leaves something to be desired. And though I stopped coloring it 4 years ago, it still has a hard time growing.
I'd always been curious to try hair extensions, so when I was approached by Madison of Irresistible Me to try some out, I jumped at the chance excitedly. In the photos below you can see my current natural hair length, falling just below my shoulders.
I received the package during my First Trimester and I was so sick I barely left the house and didn't have something to wear them for. So I must apologize to Madison and thank her for being so patient in me trying out this fabulous product.
A few weeks ago, I went out to Palm Springs to co-star in a music video for NVE/Universal artist Vernac on a song I featured on (I still dabble, music will always be a part of me) and I saw the perfect opportunity to try them out.
I chose the medium length and just based on photos of me on my blog Madison matched my hair color PERFECTLY. Like, it is crazy how close to my natural hair color the extensions are. Below you can see the fullness and length they provided and see them on set of our video.
Adding fullness around my face and length that isn't too long, they appear natural and are lightweight. They are also so easy to put in and take out, and aren't damaging to your hair. I've worn them to a family party, my magazines launch party event and to lunch with girlfriends. It's fun to have the long, thick hair I wish I had on a daily basis. They are also SUPER easy to style. I've straightened and curled them many times and they hold up beautifully. I have yet to wash them, as I've only worn them a few times, but by visiting Irresistible Me's official website you can get all the care information, as well as peruse the many options they have when ordering a set for yourself.
Right now they are also offering 20% off for first time orders. Already an affordable choice for hair extensions, they are a number one pick for me and those I know who were seeking better, natural hair improvement options.
Have you tried hair extensions in the past? What was your experience?
I've tried to get better about my shopping, I really have, and I've done very well since the days of my early twenties. I am now more methodical about what I need for our home, for my business, for my beauty cabinet and for my fashion wardrobe. (ok, so that last one may still cause problems, haha, but I am trying to do better.)
Taking inventory of what I needed for the New Year I headed to one of my favorite stores on the planet, Target. Of course it's Target, what girl doesn't adore getting lost in the aisles and filling her cart with a million things you don't need piled in on top of the few you do?
So, I was on a mission for a planner for 2016. And of course I found the cutest set by Sugar Paper. The neutral design matches my brand and my office and I fell in love. I had used their products last year and loved that it had exactly what I needed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for how I work.
After I got what I needed for the office to kick off the year right, I headed over to the beauty department, you know, just to look, and to my pleasant surprise, (OK, I was ECSTATIC), Target started carrying Derma E! My FAVORITE skincare line that I rave about ALL. THE. TIME. Having it at Target means I don't have to wait on shipping times and get my beloved Eye Life Creme anytime I need it! Seriously, through the holidays, we didn't get much sleep and it was a God send for my puffy, tired eyes.
For those of you new to Derma E, it's 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, and it WORKS. My best friend was here over Christmas and she even stocked up after using it at my house. She has super sensitive skin and loved the night cream and day cream. Neither being too heavy for her.
After I stocked up on my Derma E goodies and some new mineral make-up pretties that I didn't get in my stocking from my Santa this year, I of course, headed to clothes where I got a couple of cute wintery tops while we are still enjoying chillier temps.
What are YOUR favorite Target finds? #NoticeTheLotus at Target and try Derma E. I'd love to hear your favorite product from the line. I love spreading the word on healthy options that don't damage our bodies, but instead enhance it's beauty and health. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?
This post sponsored by Derma E and Brand Backer. All opinions are my own.
When I was younger my nighttime routine was anything but structured.
I washed my face, only if I didn't hit the pillow and doze off first, (much to my sister's, a make-up artist) chagrin). I didn't have any favorite products aside from the normal chemical-laden teen face washes some believe to be "beneficial" to our skin. In reality, these products strip our skin of what they need and can cause nasty long-term effects such as cancer, hormone disruption and more. I also would doze off thinking of a million things I needed to do the next day and would sometimes snack while falling asleep to T.V. A routine that doesn't feel so pretty anymore. And one I'm not proud to recount.
I now take great care in my nighttime and morning routines, and its so much more about balance than it is simply about products.
However, I've learned, now that I'm no longer a "young adult", that product, when chosen correctly, can be the best investment for the health of my skin. And, finding products that are free of toxic chemicals, GMOs, gluten and more, are also a good investment in my health overall.
I am so thankful to Derma E (get a coupon here!) for sponsoring this post and sending me their Hydrating Night Creme. I am a HUGE fan of their products, I use their eye cream, hair & nail oil and lotion on the regular, so when I reached out asking them if they had something that could help my skin overnight as the weather started to dry out and as I started traveling to various climates for often, they hooked me up with this amazing little pot of beautifying and replenishing goodness. You can find their affordable, vegan and healthy skincare line at most Walgreen's.
Below is my Nighttime Routine that I live by to nurture my skin, my body and my mind, ensuring a restful slumber.
My Nurturing Nighttime Routine
I would love to know your nighttime routine, and your favorite products as well! Again, a coupon for you to try Derma E's skincare for $2 off! Fall & Winter is a time that we all should be giving our skin extra loving care and hydration!
I adore nails. A fun, flirty, colorful manicure is one of those warm fuzzies in life that just makes me happy. Never one to have the longest or strongest nails naturally (even through increased vitamin intake and hormone balance) I always have to help them out a bit with faux extension.
No longer a fan of chemical laden acrylics at the salon, I wanted to find something that was durable, but safer for my skin and my nails. As someone who takes pride in cleaning her house, playing with my fur babies, doing archery, getting dirty in the mountains camping with Mr. Charming and constant travel, I always seek products that are durable, and imPRESS Manicure Nails have been my go-to since leaving the nail salons over two years ago.
My nail care routine is quite simple and starts with moisturizing with a good lotion after my shower and then applying a high quality cuticle oil to prevent cracking and dry skin. Once dry I then I apply my chosen imPRESS set and voila! Beautiful nails for a week.
One of my favorite accessories to pack when I travel, I like to mix it up with my nails and always keep a couple of looks on hand. As I head to Dallas, Palm Springs and Anaheim all before October hits, I want to make sure I have a mix of sophisticated styles for high-end dinners and writing meetings (for this I've got my Tweetheart red and Stalker french tips. For hitting Disneyland I packed my favorite fun pattern in the minty Bells & Whistles. (shown above in my first photo) - it's a regular go-to style because mint is swoon-worthy year round.
I've used many nail brands over time and I've never found one I've loved more. As you can see below in my nail gallery, I've been wearing imPRESS for a while now. From archery to cabin trips, beach life to typing for hours on end, they last and are practical for my lifestyle. I also love the way they elongate my tiny hands.
They are safe on natural nails and don't cause any skin or nail damage like salon acrylics & you simply peel and press. They last me, on average, seven to ten days and they have a mega gel shine, which is an important feature to me to help them look natural and elegant.
For those looking to save money, these little beauts saved me a TON switching from salon to shopping for nails. My gel manicures use to cost me $50-$65 every month. imPRESS nails are available at Walgreens, Walmart and Target for only $7.99 a package. For the price of one spa manicure I can get six imPRESS boxes. This fact in itself sold me on it in the beginning and sometimes I swap out nails midweek on a whim to match my outfit or event without feeling guilty.
I would love to know your nail care routine and your favorite nail colors & designs. I personally love to express my personality & accessorize my ensembles with fun, colorful nails.
This post was sponsored by imPRESS nails and I received complimentary packages of nails in exchange for an honest review. I welcomed the packages to my already large stash of imPRESS Manicure Nails, because as you can see above, I've been a fan for quite some time. All photos and opinions are my own.
As stated in my last Beauty Routine post on my teeth and body care post, I am just as careful as to what I put ON my body as to what I put IN my body. I can't stress enough that investing in high quality products that are gentle on your skin, hair, body, face & nails will help preserve the quality and health you are trying to obtain through diet, rest and exercise.
When Derma E approached me about their line, I fell in love with their concept and their line has since become my line. It's a 100% vegan & gluten-free beauty & skincare line that is approved safe for Celiacs, and upon their launch of their #ICANTWHEAT campaign I knew it was time to share what I love about them. You can read all about their formulations here to see all the goodness that's in there and all the nasty that's not.
While most products start in labs, Derma E started in a health food shop in Southern California, and as a resident beach girl, I love products that start in little shops seaside. It speaks to the entrepreneur in me who dreams of a nutrition office near the shore.
Their skin, hair and nail oil is one of my FAVORITE products because I love being able to get multiple uses out of a product for the best value. I use it primarily for my nails, because I adore soft, silky cuticles, but in the winter months I also add a drop with my lotion or moisturizer as well as a drop of my favorite essential oil for the richest and deepest moisturizing action when the weather is particularly dry and harsh on my skin. It's also comprised of three clean ingredients: argan oil, kukui oil & jojoba oil.
Though I am careful to use it on my hair (my hair is quite fine and too much oil of any kind makes me look like I need to shower & a good shampooing), I do use it in a mister with a little water to tame fly-aways when I travel to humid climates. As I'm heading to Texas in a week, it will accompany me for frizz defense.
Another MUST have in ANY girls beauty arsenal is a GOOD dark circle eye creme. I don't care how much sleep you get (and I ALWAYS get 8-9 hours) as we age our sensitive skin around our eyes take harsh punishment from makeup, washing, the elements, the sun and its better to invest in a good eye cream now.
And when it comes to my eyes, I am SUPER careful about what I put on them. In changing and cleaning my diet I started reacting to EVERYTHING I put on my eyes. From mascara, to moisturizer, eye shadow to cleanser, if its not pure my eyes will develop styes (I know, ew) or get red & itchy. When I find something that is gluten-free & gentle I embrace it. I hug it. I use it regularly and I recommend it to others who I know struggle with finding products for their sensitive skin.
In addition to being gluten-free and paraben-free, it is also GMO Free and full of beauty rockstar awesomeness.
And I saved the best for last. Well, ok, anything that is gentle and healthy and makes me feel pretty is the best. But as our skin is the largest organ, it makes sense to give it extra loving care. LOTION is one of my favorite things in this world. It's just something that has always made me feel pampered & pretty and it lets me know I'm taking care of my skin.
I travel, a lot. And plane rides, road trips, constant climate changes and varying weather BEATS UP my skin. Finding a gentle, vegan, gluten-free lotion is CRUCIAL when I'm applying it daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Derma E's Vitamin E lotion is such a Godsend. It's buttery soft and comes in Fragrance Free or a scented variation with natural oils. It's also gentle enough to use on YOUR FACE. Which totally blew my mind because I never in a million years put a traditional lotion on my face in fear of harsh chemicals or crazy breakouts.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I'd be happy to answer questions about any ingredients, practices or usage. Derma E did sponsor my post with product, but all photographs & opinions are my own. I'd been seeking a gluten-free & vegan beauty and skin line for so long and I am so happy to have found, and embraced, this beautiful company. The line offers an abundance of products from haircare to skincare, nail care to beauty. I was just highlighting the top three in my beauty cabinet because I don't use a ton of product. I know my go-to's and what has worked best to keep my skin balanced, healthy & glowing.
OK. I know I said that was the best part, but this next part is the BEST BEST part. YOU can save 25% of anything in the line using the promo code ICANTWHEAT in celebration of the #ICANTWHEAT campaign & they are doing an AMAZING giveaway.
Enter for you chance to win $150 of Gluten Free Natural Skincare by derma e.
One winner will receive a $150 gift certificate to shop at www.dermae.com
1,000 Runner Up winners win a Gluten Free Sampler kit (3 foil packs) + insert with coupon code
You can also head over and take the evaluation to find what's best for YOU and your skincare regiment. This is what I did originally to get started and I was matched with the PERFECT products missing from my beauty cabinet. You can put in your preferences and allergies to make the recommendations super tailored to your uniqueness.
I would love to know your favorite gluten free skincare products, and if you've tried Derma E, what's your favorite from the line?
I choose to use 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil daily, as I use it in everything already and had it on hand - plus I believe the health benefits of coconut oil outweighed the other oils in this case. Also, I get my coconut oil from Trader Joes.
Overall I haven't seen drastic changes except that my teeth feel REALLY clean
ALL the time.
Which in itself is worth it to me. You know that feeling after you come from the dentist and your mouth feels slick and super fresh? Oil pulling does that for me. My gum health seems to have improved slightly, though they were generally pretty healthy to begin with.
My second favorite perk is my teeth have become whiter, which is always a big plus!
Have you tried oil pulling? I would love to know what it did for you. And also, if you haven't what's your biggest question or why are you holding back?
A lot of people ask me about my beauty routine. Since I use all natural products from head to toe (it's not just what I put IN my body that's important) people are curious as to how my beauty routines differ from theirs.
So, I decided to do a short series that will start with my Body Skincare & Teeth and I'll work through my facial skincare, makeup and hair care routines as well.
4.) After my shower, I make sure to dry off good, using pressure to eliminate any extra dry skin I may have missed by brushing and exfoliating. I then apply either an all natural lotion (like Pacifica's Coconut Nectar) or Alba Botanica's tanning cream if I'm vacationing or have a big event and want to look bronzed. You can also use a little coconut oil or Vitamin E on extra dry areas.
5.) I finish by applying an all natural-deoderant (Honest makes a spray, or I use a aluminum-free roll on from Sprouts that works really well. Then I do a mani/pedi with safe nail polishes and Burts Bees cuticle creme. I find my nail colors at Sprouts or Whole Foods, the ones that are safe & approved for pregnancy are the ones I usually go for and they come in a wide array of vibrant colors!
3.) After oil pulling I brush really well. My hubs gets great deals on electric toothbrushes at dental conventions and I love how easy they make the tooth cleaning process. My top picks for healthy toothpastes are the Honest Company Toothpaste and Toms of Maine. I'm unfortunately allergic to something in Tom's, and my mouth gets tingly, and not in the good way. So I stick with Honest or the baking soda plain version of Colgate. As that one is always easiest to find when I'm traveling. I would like to try the natural clays or plain baking soda - but I'm working my way up to being that earthy, haha.
4.) I also steer clear of sugar, I only drink water and natural herbal teas, I don't ever consume tap water and I schedule my regular dental cleanings.
I would LOVE to hear your skin & teeth care routines. Do you have any special tips on staying clean & natural? I'd love to hear it i the comments below.
Or if you have any questions regarding my routine or products I use, leave those too!