Inspired By Friday Vol. 2

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Inspired By Friday Vol 2

These two fellas just make my heart so happy! In the picture above, we went to see the Cowboys practice during training camp. It was my son's first "professional sporting event," and he LOVED it.

In other news, this palette by PUR Cosmetics may be my new fall palette. I love all of the warm tones in this palette, plus, it's talc-free and it won't break the bank.

This video by Jackie Aina, and this video by Too Much Mouth are my favorites this week. Finally, some suggestions for nude lipsticks for women of color! I get so tired of brands creating "nude" products that only come in beige. But that's another complaint for another day. I can't wait to try some of the Mented lipsticks that both lovely ladies mentioned.

I NEED to take a trip to Scotland to see this Harry Potter shop! If you didn't know, I love all things Harry Potter. It's my favorite book series of all time, and any Harry Potter experience I can have, I am down for it.

This outfit by Cara Loren is everything. I love everything about it. I love the boots, I love the dress, and the Louis, of course. Give me one of everything, please!

This skirt from the LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection is gorgeous. It's perfect for fall and it's not that expensive (and it's on sale!), so I may have to do a little shopping ;-)

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Current Beauty Favorites

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Life feels as though it's calmed down just a bit, and I finally feel like I can get back to this space and share the things I love.

The last couple of weeks and months, I've been using several products that I have come to love! I love the way they work for me, I love their formulation, I don't mind their ingredients. They are just all around good products and I'm so excited to share them.

Paulas Choice Earth Sourced Cleanser

1. Paula's Choice Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel

The name is a mouthful, but this cleansing gel works like a charm! It removes my makeup and effectively cleans my face without stripping my skin of its natural moisture. It's pretty gentle on the eyes, so you can remove your eye makeup with it as well. Plus, the ingredients are 99% natural, which I so appreciate. The only thing I don't like about this product is the packaging. It comes in a squeeze bottle, but I wish it came in a pump bottle. That may seem like an insignificant detail, I know, but with pump bottles, you get to know how many pumps give you the amount of product you need, so you end up wasting less product in the long run.

If you want to try it before buying the full size, you can purchase a sample for 50 cents from Paula's Choice, which I think is totally awesome, so give it a try if you're in the market for a new cleanser!

Mineral Fusions Eye Treatment

2. Mineral Fusion Revitalizing Eye Treatment

I first mentioned this cream back in my IBE Dallas Part II post, and at that point, I had only been using it for about a week. Now I've been using it for almost a month, and I really like it. It's hydrating, but it doesn't leave my under-eyes and eyelids feeling greasy or oily. Plus, I actually feel like it helps to decrease my under-eye puffiness, and that shocks me because this is the first cream to do that. It doesn't completely make it go away, but I've noticed that when I use the cream, the puffiness subsides a bit, which I appreciate.

I'm usually a skeptic when it comes to eye creams, because dark circles, puffiness, and even fine lines and wrinkles have a lot more to do with genetics than they do with the products you use. However, it is good to use a cream for moisturizing purposes, because the skin around our eyes has no oil glands and is also thinner than the rest of the skin on our face. So make sure you're moisturizing around your eye area, guys and dolls!

Smashbox Concealer

3. Smashbox Camera-Ready BB Cream Eyes with SPF 15

You guys. I have been on the hunt for a good concealer for over a year. I've tried the Glossier concealer, I've tried the Tarte stick concealer, and I even tried one from a brand called Onomie. BUT, I feel like I've finally found the one to bring home to mom.

I was at Ulta, and I was actually going to try the Nars Radiant Creamy or the Urban Decay Naked Skin, when a lovely Ulta consultant introduced me to this Smashbox concealer. I was skeptical at first, because I wasn't sure if she was just pushing a product or if she genuinely thought I would like it, but after she applied it to my under-eye in the store, I was sold.

I am not into the overly highlighted under-eye look that a lot of people go for these days. If you like it, you do you, but it's just not for me. I like for my concealer to be as close to my skin tone as possible. Plus, I like coverage but not like FULL-CAKE coverage, you know what I'm saying? This concealer does it for me. It evens out my under-eye skin tone, doesn't crease or settle into fine lines, and it stays put! Can you actually fall in love with a concealer? Because I feel like I have.

Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder

4. Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder in Medium/Deep

I know that everyone and their cat has been talking about this setting powder, but it truly is the bomb.com. It melts so perfectly into the skin, without looking heavy or powdery. And with it coming in two different shades, its suitable for everyone. Plus, it's talc-free and there's no flashback. Holla!

I personally use it to set my concealer most of the time, but occasionally, I'll dust it over my cheeks if I've been too heavy-handed with my bronzer or blush. And sometimes I'll use it on my eyelids as a transition shade. It's nearly invisible on my eyelids, but it helps eyeshadows to blend so well. Check it out and you won't regret it!

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick

5. Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Mars

This is one of those products where I totally bought in to the hype. One of my favorite YouTubers, Mariah, talked about it one of her videos just before it launched, and she had an early-access code, and I TOTALLY took advantage of it. I'm so glad I did, too, because I love this highlighter!

I'm not into the whole random-streak-of-color type of highlight on the cheekbones, it just looks weird and fake to me, but I totally appreciate cream or stick highlighters that give me that dewy glow. I just want to glisten in the sunlight, you feel me? This Holo Stick totally does that for me. It's got enough color to make you look cool and like you tried, but it's subtle enough for people to say "Man, she is looking radiant! Is she glowing?" 

100 Percent Pure Mascara

6. 100% Pure Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea

I've tried falsies, and I just have a hell of a time putting them on. I can put them on someone else, no problem. But applying them to my own eyelids is seriously one of the circles in Dante's Inferno. I love the look, but I hate wearing them. Since that's the case, I've tried finding mascaras that will give me both volume and length, since my lashes are sparse, short, and curly. 

This mascara...is life. I love the way it makes my lashes look. It's like a good bra. It lifts and separates them, without clumping up or getting flaky (end bra analogy here). It does transfer a bit after a long day, which I hate, but I've started layering it with other mascaras that give me volume, and I really love how my lashes turn out. Not to mention, this mascara is 100% chemical-free and nontoxic, and it smells like fruit :)

So there you have it, the products I've been loving and using on the daily as of late. What products have you been using lately? Let's discuss!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links*

Indie Beauty Expo-Dallas Part II: Brands I Loved

Hello, hello!

I've got part two of my Indie Beauty Expo recap coming at you today, but this time I'm sharing more info on the brands I discovered and the products that I now love. If you missed part one, get on it!

Without further ado...

Rootfoot Oils was the first brand I discovered when I walked into IBE. They make essential oil blend fragrances based on Spirit Animals. I purchased Lion, which is for "assertiveness, personal power, and strength."

When I walked up to the table, a lovely woman named Allison told me all about Rootfoot, which is her sister's company, and then she asked what type of scent I liked. I told her that I like food scents, like vanilla, and she introduced me to Lion. I've already worn it, and it has a spicy vanilla scent to it, with just a hint of earthiness. I love it! 

They also make a rose hydrosol, essential oil singles, and some jewelry. If you love essential oils, check out their site, and you won't be disappointed.

They were certainly one of my favorite brands that I got to visit with, if not my favorite. The ladies were so kind and personable, and we talked for a long time about all kinds of topics, including organic tampons. Yep, that's how deep we went (no pun intended).  

Another brand that I was fortunate enough to discover was Live Botanical. I got to talk to the founder, Carolyn, for a good while, and I loved learning how much of her heart and soul she puts into her products. Almost all of her ingredients are locally-sourced in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, and if they're not locally sourced, they're still ethically sourced. 

This milk bath is technically a bath soak, but I use it as a body scrub. As instructed by Carolyn, I just put a small amount in the palm of my hand and then wet it (just a bit) while I'm in the shower. It gets just coarse enough to become a body scrub, but still remains hydrating and softening. Plus, it smells like cake! Check out Live Botanical, you guys!

I've been in the market for an eye cream for quite some time, so when I walked up to the Mineral Fusion booth and mentioned this, Michelle (who's the Marketing Director) gave me this Revitalizing Eye Treatment. She also talked to me about their makeup, which was amazing! I didn't purchase any, but I certainly will in the near future because the Mineral Fusion eye shadows were pigmented ay-eff! A big thank you to Michelle and Mineral Fusion for the complimentary eye cream! I've already gotten a chance to use it, and so far, so good. 

By the way, Michelle told me that you can find their products at Whole Foods and Sprouts, so check them out next time you're picking up some groceries!

You guys, when I tell you it's a small world, I seriously mean that it is, indeed, A FREAKING SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL. When I met Jade, the founder of Prairie Bloom Body Care, I had no idea that we had something pretty significant in common. I walked up to her booth because of the cute packaging and how interesting her products looked. We got to talking and, come to find out, we delivered our babies with same midwifery practice!

Crazy, you guys. All that aside though, I'm a little upset that Prairie Bloom has been right under my nose in Norman, Oklahoma for the better part of two years and I only just discovered it a week ago. Jade has a lot of incredible products, and it was hard to pick something, but I decided on the Red One mask. This mask...is not...for sissies. Jade warned me this might happen, but the first time I put it on, I only wore it for about 3 minutes. You're supposed to wear it for 10, but it was itching so much that I couldn't take it. And no, it's not an allergic reaction.

This mask is meant to draw out impurities, so it was just doing its job. Plus, Jade said the itchy feeling goes away after you use that mask a couple of times, so I'll definitely try again. When I purchased it at IBE, it also came with at beautiful, handmade clay mixing bowl, which Jade has made specially for her by a local artisan in Norman. She also ethically sources all of the shea butter that she uses from Nigeria, feeding back into a village's economy there, which I think is totally awesome. 

Check out Prairie Bloom Body Care today!

Source Vital Apothecary was one of the booths that ALWAYS had a group of people in front of it. No matter how many times I walked past, it was always packed, so it wasn't until near the end of the expo that I got a chance see what all the fuss was about. 

Source Vital's claim to fame at IBE was their Make-Your-Own Facial Cocktail. You could tell them what you're problem areas were, and then choose some add-ins, and then voila! You would have your own little custom cocktail that was supposed to replace your toner, serum, and moisturizer. I'm going to be honest, I don't know if I believe that it can replace all of those products in my skincare regimen, but you're interested, you should check it out on their website.

They did, however, have quite a few body products that I was interested in, and one was this Sports Balm that I purchased. It is, essentially, a natural replacement for Icy Hot or Bengay. My husband and I are frequent users of Icy Hot these days. It's like...as soon as you become a parent, you start waking up with random aches and pains, no matter how old you are. I am, thankfully, ache and pain free at the moment, but I'll let you know how this works once I get a real chance to use it!

Honorable Mentions:

I happened by the Eden Bodyworks booth, and found out that, not only do they have affordable products for women with natural hair, but they also make bath and body products as well. I am in the market for some new natural hair styling products, since I'm a bit put out with Shea Moisture (more on that some other time). The Rep that talked to me about the brand said that they can be found in Sally's, and she gave me some pretty generous samples, so I'm excited to see if their products work for me!

Another brand that I was impressed by was Antonym Cosmetics! I am so mad at myself that I didn't get a picture of their booth, and I didn't buy any of their products, so you'll have to settle for my description. You guys, when I say their products are pigmented, I mean they are PIGMENTED. And they're completely natural! They're also rolling out some deeper shades for their newest foundation (which hasn't launched yet), so hats off to them for recognizing the need for diversity in eco beauty! I can't wait to get my hands on some of their eye shadows and blushes. The hubs may have to hold me back.

If you made it to the end, thank you for reading all the way through this post! It was a long one, but the brands mentioned are seriously some of the best in the Eco Beauty industry. Please go check them out, and if you're feeling really generous, tell them I sent you ;-)

Cheers,
LesLeigh J. 

RECAP: Indie Beauty Expo-Dallas 2017, Part I

 A cute sign and instant photo station

A cute sign and instant photo station

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Indie Beauty Expo!

It's a beauty expo for independent (and largely green) beauty brands. The Expo lasts a few days, with different sections depending on the tickets you purchased or how you were invited. I purchased VIP tickets for myself, and the entire event was well worth the $80 price tag.

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I would have like to. I was honestly just soaking it all in. This was the first beauty conference/convention/expo I've ever been to, so the whole thing was pretty exciting for me. Today, I'll be sharing some of the photos I did take, and on Wednesday for part 2, I'll share a closeup look at the products I purchased and the samples I was given.

Let's get started!

There were about 70 brands total at the expo, and though I did make it past every single table at least once, I didn't actually get to stop by and talk to every brand.

The above brand, Makeup America, was one that I did get to talk to. All of their products were red, white, and blue themed, which was honestly a bit much for me. But I did find it kind of cool that $1 of every product they sell goes towards paying down the national debt. It would be interesting to find out exactly how much they hope to give towards the debt, since the debt is in the trillions. And I don't mean that to be snarky. I'd really like to know, since that's a pretty big goal.

I only took pictures of the above brand, Beneath Your Mask, because I loved their display and their branding. In truth, I feel like their products were a bit overpriced for what they were, and it was incredibly difficult to talk to them because they were always trying to talk to someone else. But hey, kudos to them for being popular!

IBE Dallas 2017 Open Bar

There was an open bar at this shin dig, which was fantastic! VIP tickets got you two complimentary drink cards, though I don't know how much you actually needed those since it wasn't a cash bar. The bar tenders were on point, and my drink was delicious!

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I appreciate the design of this entire event. Everything was beautiful. They had purple lighting everywhere and beautiful floral arrangements. They had a flower crown station, which ALWAYS had a long line, so I didn't get a floral crown :(

They also had a photo booth station, which I didn't use because I went alone and there's really no fun (for me) in doing the photo booth solo. 

Overall, it was a really fun experience, and I would love to go again next year. I'll share more about the brands that I absolutely LOVED on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

I'll leave you with a recap of my Instagram Story from the night...

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Read the Ingredients: Propylene Glycol

Happy Thursday, friends!

Today, I'm beginning a new series called Read the Ingredients, where I will research and discuss common ingredients found in health and beauty products, as well as food. Basically, I'll pick an ingredient, let you know what I find out about it, and talk about whether or not it's a health risk.

First up to the plate: Propylene Glycol...

 Image of PG  via

Image of PG via

Propylene Glycol is a common ingredient found in liquid and cream products. It is technically an antifreeze, but the not the kind of scary antifreeze that comes to mind when someone says...well..."antifreeze."

1. Propylene Glycol is an antifreeze agent.

However, do not confuse it with its highly toxic cousin, Ethylene Glycol. Propylene Glycol is not immediately toxic when you come into contact with it. Ethylene Glycol is used in radiators to help them maintain a certain temperature. Veterinarians often see pets who have been poisoned by ethylene glycol, because it has a sweet taste and pets may drink it if it's spilled on the floor.

2. Propylene Glycol is a byproduct of fossil fuels.

It is known as what's called a "third product." Basically, it begins with propene, which is then converted to propylene oxide, and then water is added, and you get propylene glycol. If sustainability is really important to you, and you want to stear clear of the fossil fuel industry as much as possible, then you may want to skip Propylene Glycol.

3. Propylene Glycol has been classified by the FDA as safe.

The FDA has said that propylene glycol is "generally recognized as safe" for food and other products. The FDA isn't foolproof by any means, and they don't always have everyone's best interests at heart, so I would take their classifications with a grain of salt. But do what's right for you and your family.

4. Propylene Glycol has been given a score of 3 by the EWG.

I personally trust the EWG more than I trust the FDA, and even though 3 is more toxic than 1, it's still considered a "fair" score. The only rub is, there is little to no clinical research done on propylene glycol's safety for humans. Most (if not all) lab tests have been done on monkeys, rats, and other test animals. 

5. Propylene Glycol can be a skin and eye irritant.

It is also used as a penetration enhancer, meaning that if it is, say, in your moisturizer, it is used to make the other ingredients penetrate deeper into the body. This doesn't sound too bad, but if some of the other ingredients are causing your skin to be sensitized, then the propylene glycol is only helping them along.

6. Propylene Glycol could be toxic to Infants.

Our kidneys and liver do the work of ridding our bodies of toxins. Infants' kidneys and livers don't work as well as ours do, so they have a harder time ridding their bodies of toxins. So pregnant ladies, nursing mamas, and mamas in general, be on the lookout for this ingredient in your health and beauty products, as well as the products that come into contact with your baby. 

I'd also note that if you have poor liver or kidney function, you should be aware of potentially harmful products that come into contact with your body. Good apps to have that can help with this are the EWG app and the Think Dirty app. If your products are in their system, they will tell you what the ingredients are and if they're harmful or not.

As always, don't take my word as law. I actually like researching this type of stuff, so I'm happy to share what I find, but always do what works for you. If you happily use products that contain propylene glycol, more power to you. To each his own, as they say!

I hope this post has been helpful, and if it has, feel free to let me know of any ingredient you'd like me to research for future posts!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Clean Beauty Spotlight: Bio Seaweed Gel Polish

Clean Beauty Spotlight - BSG

Yo and hello, Pals! It's been over a week since I posted last, and for good reason. My husband, son and I were all sick last week, and when you're taking care of a sick baby and you're also sick, there's not much time or energy for anything else. 

Luckily, we're all through the woods, and I'm back today to discuss one of my favorite beauty finds. I discovered Bio Seaweed Gel last year, and I absolutely LOVE them! They're products are awesome, they work, and they allow me to do my own good-looking manicures at home. 

I don't know about you, but I've been to my fair share of nail salons, and pretty much every single one I've been to has bit the big one. They usually don't comply with the health code like they're supposed to, i.e. reusing emery boards and other tools and not cleaning stations after they finish with someone. Many times, they've been rude to me. And often, I'll bring in a picture of a design I want, which usually isn't difficult and I know full well it can be done, and they will tell me they can't do it. Not to mention, they almost ALWAYS cut my cuticles (both fingers and toes) when I go. Fun Fact: they aren't actually supposed to clip your cuticles because your cuticles are what protect your nail bed from infections and fungus. 

Anyway, I was pregnant, and I'd had enough of paying for crappy (and potentially hazardous) salon service, so I decided I would find a gel nail polish that I could use at home. That's how I found my hero, Bio Seaweed Gel.

Bio Seaweed Gel Starter Pack

BSG is Big 5-Free, meaning their polishes don't contain any formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, BHA, or solvents. To my knowledge (and correct me if I'm wrong), they are the ONLY 5-Free gel nail polish out there. If you've been following me for any amount of time, then you'll know that my motto is the less chemicals, the better. BSG works for me because they're healthier for my nails than traditional gel polish, but they're also effective like traditional gel polish.

Bio Seaweed Gel Unity All in One Polish

When I first started using BSG, I purchased their starter kit. They no longer sell the one I purchased, but it came with four polishes (of your choosing) and a UV/LED light. The four that I picked were all from their UNITY All-in-One collection. The intention behind that collection is that you only need to use the color polish, no base or top coat. I don't know what anyone else's experience has been with this collection, but the UNITY polishes last way longer with a base and top coat. I purchased the base and top coat before Christmas, and the difference in lasting time is like night and day! 

Bio Seaweed Gel Top and Base Coats

I purchased my base and top coat as a set (because it really will save you money). I got the No-Sanding Base and the No-Wipe Top. The base is true to it's name; you don't have to sand down your nail for it to grip. But the No-Wipe Top will definitely smudge (or pickup lint) right after it cures if you don't wipe it. I just use some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and give all of my nails a quick wipe down, and they aren't sticky anymore.

I'd like to try their nail lacquer, since they have some that coordinate with their gel colors. I'm also looking into sculpture gel, just to give my nails a little bit more durability.

This post is in no way sponsored by Bio Seaweed Gel, and I paid for all of the products mentioned with my own money. Sharing is caring, and I wanted to help a sister out if you're in need of an at-home manicure solution.

What's your experience with nail salons? Do you enjoy them, or do you prefer to DIY your manicure/pedicure? Do you like gel polish or do you prefer regular lacquer? Let me know!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains reward links. If you click on the link, you will get a discount on your purchase, and I will also receive a discount reward because you made a purchase.*