Good Saturday morning my dear readers!!!!! Listening to a little Bob Marley, drinking coffee, baby sleeping, time to blog a little! How is everyone today?
Okay, so I am caffeinated & about to launch into what could be either a revelation or a very touchy subject....for women mostly that is! The subject of makeup/cosmetics/beauty products & the multi-BILLION-dollar annual revenue it generates!!! Shocking, you say? I agree.
The global revenue in 2011 from the cosmetic industry was 38 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! What the h*ll is going on?! Why are we plastering garbage on our faces? Do we realize we are often *creating* our "problem skin"? Most of "us" started wearing makeup when we were teens with troubled skin. This often irons out as we mature, but the Industry certainly doesn't tell you this!!! They tell you the opposite. I cannot tell you how many things I have heard that make me laugh because I live the opposite. But we all have heard the sales ladies, the advertisements, the commercials, the insane amount of marketing telling women they are not beautiful enough without this or that product to "correct" themselves. Let's call it what it is, its disgusting. It is completely disgusting, and a lie. Is your husband or boyfriend saying the same thing? Let's face it, 99% of cosmetic use is going to be for sex appeal whether you admit it or not, right? So ask them what they think! 9 times out of 10 any man, even "city boys", are going to tell you they absolutely despise makeup & prefer a fresh face. They learn to put up with it because women wear it so often but they don't really like it. So WHY do we do this?! For other women? Or because the media tells us to? Ummmmmm..... we are now outspoken on every other type of media and we still punish ourselves like this? This is just another lie, loves. Think about it!
Then we get so used to putting chemicals (possibly mixed with a few "natural" things) on our skin/faces/hair etc. we think, even if we take a couple-day break, that this is how our skin IS. It is NOT!!!!!!! It is merely a vicious cycle more often than not.....
I used to wear makeup every day. I broke out like crazy when I did, no matter what expensive or inexpensive brand, formula etc. product I tried. Then what is often the case, women cover it up instead of washing off & letting their starving skin BREATHE. It is an endless cycle & the foundation especially, gets thicker & thicker over the years. They end up looking unreal or like china dolls- I have lots of sweet friends who do this even in the Bohemian/natural/health-obsessed world. I don't usually say anything because I would never want to hurt their feelings, but it looks awful & I cannot understand the concept behind what started all this! Wash that crap off, lol. Let your skin breathe for a day, a week, a month, a year! Seriously, can you believe we are wasting this much $$ globally for "Beauty"??????
WOMEN are beautiful, not makeup! PEOPLE are beautiful!!!!!!! Not foundation & fake colourings!!!!! Can you even SEE your gorgeous natural freckles & beauty marks? Can you feel the wind on your face or is your makeup drying out? Can you run out & play in the rain or did you forget the waterproof mascara this morning? Oh, my God!
And then, WHAT kind of message are we sending to our children?????? Our girls? Our teenagers???? Our "Tweens" now... its getting younger & younger??? "Everyone" at school is doing it....really? Do all women wear makeup? No! Why should all these lovely fresh-faced young girls start younger & younger poisoning their faces? Even if its "natural", anything beyond a pretty lipgloss or nail color for a treat maybe, why should they feel the need to "enhance" their sweet little faces?! To look older because television is sexualizing kids younger & younger & younger??? Is that a good reason, really? Because "everyone" is doing it? They aren't. Plenty of parents DO say no. Or highly regulate these subjects!
I don't have little girls (yet, anyway.... ;-)). I have three lovely little boys. They *love* beautiful "mamas" & "aunties" etc., ladies, fairies, princesses, all that stuff, traditional beauty in the storybooks & movies. But I had a fascinating, eye-opening talk with them about a year ago that they still remember after I forgot even, & it made a profound impact on them. I think they were kind of idolizing a few pretty lady movie stars they saw, I can't remember which ones, maybe like Angelina or J-Lo. Or faces in magazines, air-brushed to perfection... they were making remarks that those ladies were prettier than most people or something, I can't exactly remember. I was disturbed that they were getting caught up in the fake glamour of it all from media, ugh. But what happened next was the good part. ;-) I got the bright idea to Google a few stars WITHOUT makeup, for them, & explain what makeup & airbrushing ("like paint" lol) actually DOES for surface stuff & when they wash their faces, they look a LOT different.... sometimes horrifically so according to Google, LOL. They were so shocked & fascinated, we poured over search images for a good hour or so & talked about it at length!! The initial Dove "Campaign for real Beauty" video of a normal girl they glamourized & made over for about 12 hours or so, before computer-enhancing her face for a billboard, was another great one. Kudos to Dove for their campaign but they are still selling products & capitalizing now on that....for more "beautifying" skincare & etc. LOL! They are a business, not a charity (yes, they donate to charity a small percentage of proceeds, but they are making millions & millions of pure profit too), & they are pulling heartstrings of American women & girls to buy their product for "Real Beauty" now.... Oy vey... (((face-palm)))
For example: Here is a pic of Jennifer Lopez without makeup, compared to what we all know she looks like in the limelight-and I like her, I think of her as beautiful, but this is just a good example:
Actually I just saw this one of Miley Cyrus too, so I'm not providing just one example ;-)
(They look pretty average to me under alllllll that makeup & glamour!)
At any rate, to finish my little story, that simple talk & research, on that rainy Saturday with my small children (ages 6 & 8 now), made such a lasting impact, my eldest child actually brought it up the other day when we were watching a movie on TV & I said absent-mindedly, "Oh she is SO pretty, aww!!", about a cute little fresh-faced young lady. Demetri said, "Yeah Mama but remember, they are wearing heavy paint makeup for TV & don't really look like that under it in real life!!" Awwwww. My little sweetie! I totally had forgotten that talk and here it is almost a year later!! I hope he carries a love for wholesome fresh-faced girls without makeup into his adult life & can help his generation get rid of the fake, false glamour of heavy, toxic cosmetics once & for all. Also I am trying to teach them above all, the beauty of a good character & a loving kind heart, regardless of what the outside looks like. This is the most important thing regardless of race, religion or circumstance. A loving happy HEART will shine through in the bright eyes & smile of a healthy, kind-hearted, wholesome young adult regardless of what their face was born like, it will be BEAUTIFUL. There is no higher beauty than that.
Now let me backtrack a bit. I want to write about good health habits for your skin, and the importance of feeding & nourishing your skin & body. A healthy body, decent exercise, adequate sleep etc., is crucial of course.... but even if you cannot get that (such as long hours at work, college studies, or new parents etc.), why spackle your skin & cover it all up? Our skin TELLS us what it needs! Our eyes do, our skin does, our whole body does. I'm, not saying NEVER wear makeup, but seriously think about this please. If you eat moderately healthy, live a moderately healthy lifestyle, FEED YOUR SKIN edible ingredients to nourish, soothe & protect, you will glow. Period. You may have the occasional flare-up, but who doesn't?! I do once in awhile, but I haven't owned foundation or cover-up in many years!!!!! I get compliments all the time on my skin & complexion. Women ask me what I do. I feed my face & then let it CORRECT ITSELF. Our body is a temple of God. Its a beautiful, living, breathing creation. It is its own support system & if ALLOWED to work, will correct problems on its own or with very little help. I firmly believe this. If it looks dehydrated, flush yourself with water & fresh juices, steamed foods with a little healthy oils, etc. Take care of yourself instead of covering it all up & denying the problems.
Yes, I will readily admit, sometimes for severe acne sufferers or any skin problem, etc. it needs a little medicine or corrective care to alleviate, just like our insides do. But if women just take the time to RESEARCH what they are actually putting on their face & paying a price for, they may want to look into healthier options instead. And for Goodness sake don't plaster cosmetics over the blemishes & medication so they can't breathe.... I only used cover-up & foundation-type skin correctors for a few years in my early twenties & got some severe facial infections trying to hide pimples this way. I did find, however, tea tree oil applied directly to the acne or blemish & allowed to breathe in the open air without makeup, healed VERY fast, within a day or two. I have told lots of people about this if they ask me for natural acne & blemish treatments & its a 100% success rate from what I can think they ever said after trying it. Just a tiny drop will dry them out usually.
So,..... what to do instead of all that makeup....? My immediate response: "FEED your FACE", don't just starve it & cover it up. This is what I think of when thinking about a daily or weekly beauty routine. There are many, many lovely "skin smoothies" you can whip up right in your blender out of fruit & other food ingredients, apply as a mask & wash off.... pure coconut oil, emu oil by the drop etc., these are just terrific & will NOT clog your pores, contrary to common opinion. Ladies, experiment with the same amount of interest you did with makeup as a teen, & you will find what works for your specific skin type to make it glow & shine its best. I have a few personal favourites I'll list below in a bit.
Do you realize, not only the amount of money women are coerced into spending for "beauty" products alone (remember that 38 BILLION....uh, could we boycott it for a year & donate instead just to eradicate world hunger & poverty on a global scale?! Just a thought....), but really researching what toxic products are in things if you choose to continue to use them? I have made my own organic skincare, as do several of my other friends & family. You all know me as huge into the DIY movement. MOST "natural" (I'm cringing as I write that, ha!) skincare & cosmetic products are still FILLED with at best, inorganic substances & at most, downright harmful ingredients known to cause cancer!! Take Kiss my Face & Jason cosmetics/skincare for examples!! These are available at most health food stores for a very jacked-up, "organic"-feeling price. MOST of these products, turn over & read the back, they are still disgusting!! They almost all contain Methyl & propyl PARABENS.....found in breast cancer cells, & causing a host of problems. Most of the ingredients are still unprounouncable, & I'm not talking about when they spell out the Latin name of herbs & essential oils or vitamins like A (Tocopherol), etc. I'm talking about the exact same, harmful chemicals & preservatives you can find in dollar-store skincare & cosmetics, these companies are shamelessly putting in their product & marketing to unsuspecting, trusting people to make even more of a buck in the Natural industry. Its very sad!!!
Which brings me to, the MAKEUP/cosmetic industry labeling which is much worse than toiletries/skincare-type products, the latter of which at least requires ingredients to be listed on the label. (Think eyeshadow compared to shampoo-where are the ingredients? Many don't list it or are vague.) Ever wonder what is in that expensive "organic" or "99% botanically-derived" cosmetic contains? At least because of demand by consumers, the facts are starting to finally come out!! Many are cancer-causing or linked to very bad reactions, health issues of all types, & are often even downright carcinogenic. I beg you, do a little reading & re-evaluate just WHAT you are putting on your face, or your daughter's faces, & know there are options that are still fun, beautifying to the skin, & create a fresher, healthier, less flawless-obsessed, Natural Beauty. The natural world is so imperfectly beautiful. Should we all look like flawless marble cookie-cutter statues, or all be the individual, unique, brilliant, naturally beautiful people we were born to look like??
Some of the freshest, most BEAUTIFUL faces & pure, gorgeous complexions I have *EVER* seen in my entire 30 years have been among the Amish & Mennonites I grew up with who are forbidden to wear makeup, and likewise Greek nuns who often look a good decade younger than what their real age is. Etc., etc., etc! The latter don't use mirrors & don't even know what they look like after a while, its fascinating. They are smiley, rosy-cheeked, no blemishes, baby-pure skin, fresh-faced to the extreme! Its amazing! The common denominator in both of those groups is not wearing makeup. (Also they both eat home-grown food very often, as an interesting side note.) They look better than most ladies who do, it is really eye-opening. I firmly believe, more often than not, our skin CAN correct itself & bloom regardless of what type we have. The REAL YOU IS BEAUTIFUL!!!! Why not give it a try?
Of course now I am going to share with you all, my personal "Beauty secrets" for free, ;-) & they are very simple, actually. :) Besides drinking lots of water & good herbal teas, & getting adequate rest & eating healthy, getting exercise when possible, here is my list of actual ingredients, not products, I use:
(1) Water. LOL I know but, seriously. I rinse my face in the morning if I don't shower right away, with cool, fresh water from the sink. I do not generally ever use soaps or cleansers besides my shampoo & sometimes a bodywash. (I'm usually in a hurry so I pick a lovely-scented, as natural/organic/clean as possible but it changes according to my budget, safe for entire body, shampoo for showering whole body & even shaving usually.) I just rinse my face & wake up by splashing cool water over it, & pat dry with a towel.
(2) Rosewater. I don't make this, but I should learn how. I spray it on my face as often as I think to, between once a day & several x a day if its hot or etc. I let the mist dry on my face. It smells ravishing & edible to boot. REAL roses, rosewater, rose oil etc. has many beneficial & healing, beautifying properties & qualities. It is also known to be soothing & calming, and romantic/sensual.
(3) Pure edible oil(s) such as coconut, emu, carrotseed etc. I've used sunflower, grapeseed too etc. Only a drop or two. Coconut oil is awesome on your whole body too. I don't usually moisturize my entire body unless rarely in the dry winter months, or over sunburn perhaps on rare occasion, but I do my face, neck & collarbone area ("décolletage"). Sometimes if it feels dry I will use more, like a little palmful on the face & even pat the excess off once its drenched with oil. If it feels oily, I don't moisturize for a little while. Rosewater is sometimes soothing & moisturizing enough I've noticed, especially lately this past spring & summer. I used to use a lot more oil, now I use less.
(4) Pineapple. A little piece of fresh (or canned in a pinch) pineapple (or papaya too I've heard) contains enzymes that eat dead skin cells, its awesome! Like once a week or month, rub a little piece of it all over your freshly-rinsed or washed face (put your hair up first). Let the juice dry on your skin about 15 minutes, less for sensitive, a bit more perhaps for the first time). Then wash it off with a washcloth or simply rinse it off with warm or just cool water. You will see results, it is just lovely! Makes your face shiny-cute, rosy & reveals the fresh layer of new skin underneath. I love it! I haven't done it in a few months, I'll have to go grab some pineapple at the farmer's market next time, eat some & then rub a piece on my face for a little mini-facial! :)
(5) Pure essential oils, like from Mountain Rose Herbs or another reputable herbal source, are great to collect. Don't fall for over-priced blends from new companies springing up, however. They should only be about $5-15 an ounce/half ounce & contain only the pure essential oil. Unless it is PURE Otto of Rose, Rose Attar or other rare precious pricey famous oils (Ylangylang is another, etc.), I'm talking things like sweet orange, lavender, rosemary etc.
Pure essential oils are fabulous to have on hand to put a couple drops in a relaxing beauty bath with some baking soda or Epsom/mineral salts, very easy DIY bath products. You can blend them yourself & tailor them to what YOU like. I repeat, don't waste your money for blends someone else created if they look overpriced! Do the research (just Google it or pick up a book about aromatherapy) yourself, & save tons of money. They last forever, too. I get a vial of lavender oil once or twice a year & its no more than $6-15 usually depending on market price & availablility. Lavender pure essential oil is nice to wear on the wrists too & temples if you have a headache or want to relax. Keep away from the eyes though, like any other essential oil. Most of them need diluted, they are very potent.
(6) Baking Soda. I love having this around!! It is dirt-cheap too, ridiculously so. Makes your skin SOOOO SILKY IN BATHS!!!! Dump half a small box in.... at most you are paying thirty to sixty CENTS for a silky, sensuous, amazing bath. The beauty industry doesn't want you to know this, ha! You can also make a thin paste from it with couple drops water (or rosewater!) & use it for anti-perspirant too, although interestingly sometimes you can break out in a rash from using it, if your lymph nodes go into detox, which is normal. Discontinue use if uncomfortable on the underarms, or if you want to do a full lymph node detox, use it daily & watch the results. It eventually goes away & takes the junk your body has stored from previous toxic products, in your lymph nodes, away & many people find it to be an effective odor control & anti-perspirant, without the highly toxic "Cream of aluminum" as I jokingly call it, mainstream deodorants/anti-perspirants. I'm in the process of experimenting with DIY recipes of deodorants to find the "perfect" recipe that is easy to use & causes less heavy detoxification right away.... & I will let you all know when I find it!!!!!
Will you join me in washing that makeup OFF your face & letting your skin breathe & heal itself? Will you "feed your face" with me? Will you save *bucketloads* of money & look into simple, effective, DIY recipes & tricks from the grocery store or farmer's market to use in place of toxic "cosmetic" paints, basically? I'm not asking you to never wear makeup again. I'm asking you to let your face detox & actually get COMFORTABLE with the real you. (It even took me a couple years to get comfortable again, when I got caught up in makeup the few years I started wearing it, I thought I looked awful without eye makeup & blush to define everything....!)
And to be honest, I do still own a makeup bag, & its not even completely organic.... BUT I only use it maybe once every 6 months LOL.....just for pure FUN if I feel like wearing colorful eyemakeup for a special occasion or to dress up.... not every day, or every week, or even every month, but once in a blue moon, & its fun sometimes! I have to admit the last few times though, I didn't enjoy it & washed it off an hour later lol. My skin felt like it couldn't breathe even though I only had on blush & eye makeup, heh! But on a daily basis my skin is free, uncluttered, feels really healthy & wonderful, and I get compliments on my clear complexion like I said.... Use it for special occasions or just skip it altogether! :) If you want to slowly wean off if you have serious blotches or skin problems, start trying to just wear less & less every day & if you don't have to go out in public, don't wear it at all. Don't sleep in it obviously. Detox yourself from the habit, like quitting cigarettes almost. It can be a real habit or crutch! Don't let it be. You are so BEAUTIFUL without it & your skin WILL correct itself & glow by itself! "Feed your face," & shine!
If you feel "naked" without makeup, tempted to cover it back up for short-term effect instead of long-term investment, I'll tell you another thing that is REALLY fun to do to distract yourself & feel "pretty". I started getting really into awesome Bohemian, global accessories a few years back, to go with anything from jeans to a sundress. Instead of spending time on toxic makeup & focused on just the face which is silly anyways, I match some awesome bangles & a chunky necklace or pair of earrings to my outfits, & forgot all about makeup LOL. Voila! Think of the whole pic, not those pores only you can see (You don't know it yet, but no one is standing over your face with a magnifying glass. Step BACK from that mirror, lady! ;-)) Now I have lots of cool jewelry accessories I've made or thrifted (Or re-made from thrifted or broken pieces, its so fun & they look beautiful & ever-changing!!).... You can still have a *stunning* look without spackling your face & putting chemicals on your eyes & skin. And making & wearing a few adorable necklaces or bangles etc., or creating a few yummy DIY skin-nourishing recipes together, is a LOT healthier & cuter of an image to send to our little girls & teenagers than the whole cosmetic/media mess, aww. Join me, & the rising number of lovely fresh-faced ladies who are rejecting this cultural fake image, & feel the freedom!!!!
In conclusion: Just be YOU, & love yourself. Don't be afraid to go bare! "Going bare", for your face that is, is the NEW sexy!!!!! Big smile now! Xxo!
Warmly, with love,
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