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!

IBE-Flowers edited .JPG

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.

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was agonizing over what to get my mom for Mother's Day. It had to be the perfect gift; something to say "thank you for loving me all these years and for putting up with my crap from time to time!" Would it be flowers? A dessert of some kind? Jewelry?

Then, somehow, time fast-forwarded and now I'm the mama. I get to kiss and squeeze and hug my little boy for Mother's Day. And even though he's too young to say "thank you" or "I love you," I can feel it in every grab of my face, every nighttime snuggle, every slobbery kiss. I feel it when he's excited to see me when he wakes up for a nap. I can feel it when I hear his disgruntled "Mamamamamamama" when he's upset about something and he expects me to make it better. 

When he roams around the house and wants me to chase him, or he laughs at me while I dance around like a fool, I feel so incredibly blessed that God chose me to be his mama. I'm entrusted with his care and keeping for such a little while in the grand scheme of things, and I really do try to cherish every moment. 

I never understood the depth of a mother's love until I became one myself. I love that little boy more than my own life, more than anything. I get to see him learn, and grow, and change everyday. I get to witness his blossoming, and I just can't believe that I have the privilege of doing so. 

Some days (and nights) are hard. Sometimes he won't take a bottle. Sometimes, he thrashes around like a maniac because, in that moment, he detests getting his diaper changed. Sometimes, he throws his pacifier on the floor and laughs because he knows that I have to pick it up. 

But I wouldn't even trade those hard, impossible moments. They are far outweighed by the good moments and make them even that much sweeter. 

So here's to all the mamas out there! Let us love our littles as best we can, and then some. Let us teach them to be kind, loving human beings who treat others with respect. Let us show them the beauty and good in life, because they'll get the bad from everywhere else soon enough. 

And let's remind ourselves that there are no ways to be a perfect mom, but many ways to be a really good one.

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Let's Talk About Organic Feminine Hygiene Products

Organic Tampons.png

Ok, ladies. The time has come for this conversation. Yes, I am going there today. By the way, if there are any gentlemen reading this, you may just want to see yourself out now. No offense, but if you don't have a uterus and a vagina, this conversation isn't really for you. BUT...if you happen to have a preteen or teenage girl at home on the verge of puberty, then by all means, pull up a chair! 

So I don't know about you, but I've tried to cut out toxic chemicals from my environment wherever I can. I mean, we're talking deodorant, nail polish, skincare, etcetera. And it's no different when it comes to my downstairs mix up.  

Consider what's in regular tampons and pads: pesticides, chlorine, gmo's, dyes, fragrance, and that's just to name a few. 

Not to mention, the vaginal wall is extremely permeable, as is all skin, so it's incredibly easy for toxins to get into your blood stream through your vagina. 

So what's a gal to do? 

First, take back responsibility for your feminine care. Manufacturers are not required to tell you what's in tampons, so you have to do your own research to find good products to use.

Luckily, you've got a pal like me who's already done the research on and trying of organic products, and I'm totally willing to help a sister out! 

If you're a tampon and panty shield girl, then my favorites are Cora, Honest Company, and Natracare.  

Cora is fabulous because it's a subscription service. You can set how many tampons you need every period and how frequently you'd like to receive them. FYI, these are seriously the most comfortable tampons I've ever worn, and I feel like I've tried them all. Plus, when you buy from Cora, they send sanitary products to a girl in need around the world! Join Cora with my code, lesleigh2172, and you'll get one month FREE.

The Honest Co. is great for the same reason. I get my panty shields shipped with my son's diapers. Diapers for him, mini diaper for me. Win-win! ;-) 

Veeda was the first organic tampon brand I ever tried, and the reason is because it was hard to find an organic tampon brand that had plastic applicators. Something about cardboard applicators just rubs me the wrong way (both literally and metaphorically). They were a great intro, but the tampon was kind of uncomfortable, so I just keep them as backups now. But don't let my experience stop you from trying them. 

If you're more of a pad kind of girl, both Natracare and Seventh Generation make organic ones. 

If you're more of a menstral cup kind of woman, my favorite beauty vlogger, Jackie, has an entire video about her experience with the Flex cup. Many women are also quite fond of the Diva Cup. I, personally, have never tried either, but if you have, let me know what you think!

For my super green sisters, you can also buy reusable cloth pads, and sea sponge tampons. Yes, I said SEA SPONGE TAMPONS. I am not quite on that level in my hippie metamorphosis, but you do you!

Well, that's everything I have for you today on how to keep your vagina healthy. For more info on the toxicity of traditional tampons, check here and here

If you don't mind sharing, what do YOU use when Aunt Flo comes to visit? Let me know!

Cheers to freakin' weekend, 

LesLeigh J. 

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Essential Central: Thieves

Yo and hello!

So, in my first Essential Central post, I gave a very basic intro to Essential Oils. If you've never heard of or used essential oils, then you must be living under a rock. But seriously, go check out that post first, then come back to this one IMMEDIATELY because we're discussing my favorite E.O. blend of all time!  

Most E.O.'s come in two categories: singles and blends. For example, lavender essential oil is a single, meaning lavender is the only oil in it. The oil we're talking about today, Thieves, is a blend, or a combination of a few different oils. 

Thieves is exclusive to Young Living, but you may be able to find a similar blend from a different company if Young Living isn't for you. Thieves is made up of cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary essential oils. 

Why you need it:

1. Thieves is a purifying oil. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which makes it ideal for cleaning and diffusing. 

In my house, we diffuse Thieves during cold and flu season to keep the germs at bay. Because of its spicy scent, it's also great to diffuse around Christmas time. Mix it with some Citrus Fresh to get a really clean and uplifting scent going in your home.

2. Thieves can be taken as a supplement. 

With the addition of Thieves Vitality to the Thieves product family, you can now safely ingest it on the regular. Do your research first, and always use a carrier oil, especially if you're new to using it. I like to add a drop to a vegetable capsule (which you can get at Sprouts), and just take it like I would a vitamin.

3. Thieves can be taken as medicine.

Whenever I feel a cold or sore throat coming on, I'll put a drop of Thieves on a spoonful of honey and swallow it down. It doesn't have the most pleasant taste, but it severely shortens my recovery time, so I'll take it!

4. You can clean with the different Thieves products.

Young Living has a myriad of products in their Thieves line. Everything from toothpaste, to dishwashing liquid, to bar soap and laundry detergent. You want to clean something with it, they pretty much have a Thieves product for it.

Pro Tips:

1. Make a DIY carpet deodorizer by mixing 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of borax. Add 10 to 20 drops of Thieves (and whatever other oils you want) and let the powders absorb the oil. Sprinkle the mix on your carpets, wait for 10-20 minutes, then vacuum it up. You're good to go!

2. The Thieves wipes are kind of pricy, but you can make your own at home if you have the Thieves All-Purpose cleaner. Get some strong, durable paper towels and cut the roll in half. Put the half roll in a container and add two cups of water and a cap full of Thieves cleaner. Let them sit until they have absorbed all the liquid. Keep them sealed, and whenever you're in need a quick, antibacterial wipe, bust them out and get to cleaning. 

I am no E.O. expert, but I love what they've done for me and my family. They have improved our health, helped me out with cooking, and lifted my mood on more than one occasion, so they get an A+ from me. And Thieves gets an A++.

Which essential oils are you using regularly? Let me know!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Bits + Pieces: Easter and My Birthday

Man, it feels like it's been ages since I posted last!

We went out of town to visit my in-laws, and then came home and had my mom come to visit us, so I decided to take a mini vacation from the blog to really be present with my family.

Bits and Pieces Easter 2017

This little man has been growing like a weed and hitting every milestone on his way up! He's pulling up on EVERYTHING, and testing the waters at letting go of things to stand on his own. Soon, he'll be walking, and I feel like I'll never sit down again once that happens. He's also gotten his first tooth and is working on a second!

He is the busiest little guy! He has to investigate everything, leave no stone unturned. But he's at such a precious age, and I'm loving every (tiresome) minute of it!

Bits and Pieces Easter 2017.2

The hubs and I like to get slightly fancy for Easter, but we had a time of it trying to find a boy's shirt with any purple in it for Cayson. We finally found this collared romper (is it a romper if it's for a boy?) from Old Navy. Hey, clothing designers, men wear purple too, mmkay?

Last year on Easter, I was pregnant, and this year I had a 10-month-old baby on my hip! Exactly WHERE has the time gone?

Bits and Pieces Easter 2017.3

Above is me on my birthday. Another year older, and 10 years wiser, or at least it feels that way. I don't necessarily feel older physically. But emotionally, psychologically, spiritually...definitely!

In other news, I got my hair done for my birthday! I've always wanted multicolored hair, and I always see these girls (and guys) with lovely rainbow hair on social media, so I decided that this was the year I was going to give it a try. Peep the Instagram video below:

My hair stylist is AMAZING! If you're in the DFW area, look her up!

Currently:

Reading: I just finished The Girl On The Train, and it was REALLY good! To me, it didn't have as much of a twist as Gone Girl, but it was a great read. I'm still reading my mom's book, and I have yet to start Bossypants by Tina Fey. Anyone remember the 2017 Reading Challenge?

Watching: The Voice. This is the first time I've watched a full season of this show, and I like it. My husband says the shows seems to be more about the judges than the contestants, and I agree with him. I wish the people who won got more recognition in the industry. There are some really good voices on the show.

Planning: I'm still working on my in-laws' anniversary party. It's nice to be party planning, but I just really want this celebration to be amazing, so I'm a little nervous about it. I'm also in the beginning stages of planning my son's birthday celebration. He's coming up on a year...

Wanting: Clothes. Shoes. Nail polish. All the accessories. Help!

It's good to be back!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links.*