The Body Shop phthalate free makeup: Part 2 of Skincare/Makeup

Recently I was given an opportunity to get a makeover at The Body Shop during “Beauty Live” event at the Galleria in Dallas.

Did you know that The Body Shop not only sells natural, sometimes organic, and phthalate-free makeup but that they also have skincare and makeup professionals that can help you tailor a skincare regimen to your skin and apply the makeup?

On the weekend that I visited The Body Shop in the Galleria, they had a special guest makeup artist visiting, Shalini Vadhera. I am not very savvy about celebrity makeup artists, but apparently SHE IS A HUGE DEAL and I should have been intimidated. Fortunately, I was too clueless to be nervous. She was very sweet and beautiful, and she did an amazing job on my eyes. You might not know it to look at me, but I LOVE eye makeup. My husband dislikes lipcolor so I actually do a lot of color on my eyes most days. I’ll usually match my eye makeup and liner to my clothing, and I always use more than one shade of shadow. I’m not super good at it, but it makes me feel more confident.

Here is what you probably want to see most: before and after. (apologies for my terrible camera skillz)
The Body Shop Makeover
They were gracious enough to send me a professional head shot which they took – much better than my point-and-shoot:

And some un-professional shots of my eyes specifically:
Makeover eyes

Makeover eyes
The products used were from the “Brush with Fashion” collection – each item comes with it’s own brush, which is genius because brushes are absolutely the best way to get a natural look. Those foam thingys that come with most eye makeup? Throw those things away! They do a terrible job. I never use them unless it is to wet the tip and use the shadow as liner. Even then, an eyeliner brush does a much better job. So I love that I can use the brush that comes with the eyeshadow.

The Body Shop Values and Campaigns
One of the best things about The Body Shop is how conscientious they are! The Body Shop is involved in a number of internal efforts to better our world, including a commitment to no animal testing, support of community trade, sourcing responsibly, respect for the environment, and treating their employees well. Externally, the company supports a number of campaigns to end sex trafficking worldwide, to stop HIV, and to end domestic violence.

Seriously, people, the fact that I could link to a page on their web site for each one of those individual efforts is AMAZING. I know very few companies who are that transparently and completely committed to ALL of those values and campaigns. I am so impressed.

And did I mention that all their products are phthalate-free!?

You might not have any idea how difficult that is to find, but take it from someone who actually asked their PR representative to delve deep into the company to confirm this – it’s not easy to find a company who has done this. Part of the reason their products don’t contain phthalates is because the company is based in the UK and the European Union has largely outlawed the use of phthalates in most products.

For an even better post than mine, check out another blogger’s post on She Is Dallas about the event I attended. Then come back here real quick!

I kind of have a crush on The Body Shop.

Next up, I’ll be trying out their skincare line. Please be patient with me, as I am still stalking the skincare specialist for her recommendations. Then, I want to give the products a full 14 days to work!

NOTE: I was given a free makeover and some products in exchange for an honest post about what I thought. These opinions are my own.

Part 1 of Skincare/Makeup: Homemade Acne Treatment

Now that I’m not pregnant anymore, my hormonal acne is back. Good times.

Being on oral antibiotics from the dermatologist does clear things up, but I can’t go on those until after I’m not breastfeeding anymore. Also I hate the idea of being on pills forever and ever. The minute I go off them it comes back.

Let me veer off topic for a moment and tell you about 2 new ways that I am making myself even more neurotic online. I promise we’ll come back to my skin.

First, the CSA co-op we joined has an online message board where the members exchange natural recipes and solutions for health and wellness. These people are way more crunchy than me. They make me look like I drive a Hummer and eat McDonald’s every day, they are so freaking green and organic. They are the kind of people who drink nothing but raw goat milk that they drove 2 hours to buy and make their own laundry soap. I am not making either of those examples up. I would love to be as holistic and organic and green as they are, but most of the time I just feel crappy about how I still use Cascade dishwasher detergent and shave my legs. Still, every day I wake up and read all the posts from the day before on the message board and try to figure out how I can be more like them.

Secondly, I joined the Natural Parents Network on Facebook. This is the most fascinating group. People submit questions about their kids – behavior, illness, ways they are diapering or things they are doing with them… and other people in the group answer. It can be really helpful. My daughter was doing this weird thing where she screams for an hour every night for no reason and the people in the group suggested Hyland’s colic tablets, wearing her in a wrap, and bouncing on an exercise ball. I did those things and she STOPPED. It was amazing. I feel good when I can also sometimes answer other people’s questions from my experience. However, this group also makes me paranoid. Because there are a lot of people on there saying everyone should cosleep forever, you should breastfeed until your kids are like 3 years old, all antibiotics are bad, anti-vaccination, anti-circumcision, and any other thing that I would normally consider just a tad bit extreme. It makes me feel like I’M the crazy one for making the decisions we’ve made so far with our kids.

Back to my skin.

I really wanted to find something amazingly natural to get rid of the acne. I checked the co-op discussion board. According to them, I should wash my face with raw honey and use food-grade hydrogen peroxide as a toner and spot treatment.

I went to the health food store and got both.

In case you haven’t seen raw honey, it’s not like regular honey – it’s semi-solid. It looks like this:

So I’ve been washing my face with raw honey twice a day and following it by a toner of food-grade hydrogen peroxide.

People on the health discussion board had great things to say about these two treatments.
“It made the skin really soft and the pores diminish (flatten out).”
“My friend who just turned 40 who has spent thousands on her cystic acne finally “resorted” to the raw honey as she knew I’d been pleased with it for years.  It cleared her up and she says her skin has only ever been that clear when on antibiotics.  She now tells people “I’ve spent thousands of dollars trying to cure my deep acne but now, I”ll stick with my $9 bottle of raw honey”.”

But how did it work for me?

I am sad to say, it didn’t.
I have been doing this for 2 weeks and I have to admit, my face is actually a bit worse.

I’m totally bummed because not only is my acne getting worse, but now I have failed at being green and organic. These people are over there making green smoothies and baking their kids homemade bread and I can’t get my acne to go away without medication.

The good news is, I have been working with The Body Shop recently.
Part II of my Skincare/Makeup posts will be about the makeover I received last weekend. While I was there getting my makeup done, one of the skincare specialists took a look at my acne and said she can clear it right up with their products in only a few weeks! I am optimistic. Stay tuned for Part II, The Body Shop : makeup.  I hope to follow it soon with Part III, The Body Shop: skincare.
Fingers crossed!

Skin care – giving up and getting help

This year has been The Year of Fixing My Face. When I turned 30, my face freaked out. I had been using Arbonne and loving it, but when I turned 30 everything stopped working suddenly and my face thought I was 13. (Ironically, when I was 13 I actually had great skin.) I decided that I am too old for severe acne, that is what dermatologists and health insurance are for, so I went to one.

I’ve been on the Retin-A, Duac, and an oral antibiotic for a few months and they’ve been working great so far.

Aside for half my face peeling off if I use anything too harsh to wash it.
Yes, that. That can be embarrassing. It has happened twice.

Meanwhile, I have run out of Arbonne and was trying to slowly replace it with other things. This became more complicated with the added risk of half my face peeling off again if I choose something too harsh for the cocktail of things I’m smearing on my face right now.

To add to the confusion, one of my friends is now selling Mary Kay, I am a Sephora Beauty Insider , another friend recommended Bath & Body Works skin care products, and of course there is always the Beauty Hacks section of BlogHer and I am addicted to Glamour and Real Simple magazines. I feel like I need to balance what people say works for them, and what is eco-conscious…
Then there is, again, the possibility of half my face peeling off…AAAAGH!!!

Finally, just as I did when the acne first popped up (no pun intended), I gave up and decided I need to pay someone to just tell me what to do. So I called the dermatologist again and found out that they have skin care consultants at their office I can go see who will help pick out products for me that will work with my meds. I was so excited!!!

I went today and it didn’t take long. She told me that Neutragena and Cetaphil are actually really pretty great for my super-medicated skin and in conjunction with those for moisturizers she gave me a cleanser from SkinCeuticals and a chemical-free 45 SPF day cream from Elta MD.

I know what you are thinking…are these green products?! Do they have parabens? Do they test on animals, are they vegan? As far as I can tell, no parabens. I need to do more research on that. I cannot tell if they test on animals or if they are vegan, even after visiting the web sites. But you know what is interesting is that they are both manufactured here in Dallas. Carrollton and Garland. Does that give me credit on the “buy local” side for local vs. organic? I don’t know. But I do know that something like a 100 gallon jug of Cetaphil was $11 at CVS. Compared to the tiny bottle of Arbonne moisturizer I’d been paying $79 for…sounds pretty great!

Requiem for Arbonne…I will miss the yummy smell, but I also learned from my skin care consultant that if I can smell something I am putting on my face, it is probably not going to react well with my Retin-A. So, here goes. I’ll let you know!