May 18, 2018

Revant

Sorry to have been M.I.A lately. I've had a lot on my plate with a few big consulting projects, my new  "side hustle"/Beautycounter business (have you checked it out yet?), my family...oh, and a side hustle to my side hustle (more on that in another post). I promise to be back to blogging on a regular cadence in the coming weeks.

Now to business...

Let me introduce you to Revant Optics. They believe that "beat up eyewear is not a tragedy. It’s a badge of honor. It’s proof of life well-lived, risks taken, and challenges accepted. Optically speaking however, scratched lenses are not ideal."

For the past 9 years Revant has been making replacement lenses for sunglasses. You know those glasses that you (or your small, clumsy child) dropped on the ground, scratched the lens and haven't worn since....or wear with said scratch? Well, Revant is the solution to this all too common problem.

When you scratch your lenses, and there is still life left in the frames, Revant will replace them for you. There are all sorts of lenses to choose from...polarized, prescription...they do it all. Not only does Revant provide you with high performance lenses for your favorite frames, but they also increase the lifespan of your sunglasses and therefore decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. A win for you and for the environment.

I've had the privilege to work with Revant on a few projects over the last 6 months. Not only do they make awesome product (made in the USA), but they are also exceptional people, which makes me extra excited to spread the word about this brand and their latest venture, a line of performance eyewear!!!

I had the privilege of taking the new the new S1L for a roller ski a few weeks ago, and they are awesome! Revant has perfected their lens technology over the last 9 years, and now the frames are the icing on the cake. I totally dig the white!

Check out their Kickstarter campaign  to learn more. When you support their campaign you will get early access and great pricing on their new performance eyewear! This would make a great father's day gift!



Or a belated mother's day gift!

Or just a "I need the latest and greatest" in performance eyewear gift! :) 

May 12, 2018

My Top 5

I promised in my recent "Keeping it Real" post about my new business venture with Beautycounter (post here) that I would share some of my favorite products. Given the fact that I've been using their products for 3.5 years and that I've tried a very large portion of the collection, it's REALLY hard to choose just five, but I've forced myself to do it.

So here they are!

Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage- This is my "go-to" everyday, when I wear face makeup. It provides sheer coverage without being thick. It gives my skin a fresh and natural appearance and mostly importantly it has SPF 20. There's a reason it's a Best of Beauty winner.


Touchup Concealer Pen- This is one of my most favorite products. It provides smooth and even coverage of spots and blemishes AND the perpetual dark circles under my eyes. (check the C&C Instagram for a video of how you apply it)

Rejuvenating Night Cream- I've used all of the Beautycounter moisturizers, and while I like all of them, this would be the one I would choose if I was forced to make a choice. It just feels amazing and truly moisturizing. 

One-step Makeup Remover Wipes- I don't use these that frequently, but there are a few things I truly love about them. 1) They are biodegradable. You can put these in your compost and they will biodegrade. AMAZING! 2) Not only do they clean your face but they moisturize. 3)They are perfect for travel. 4) They can last a long time if you tear them in 1/2 and only use one side at a time. 

Lip Gloss- This is one of the products that I use almost everyday (in this color, opal moonstone). It moisturizes and gives my lips a little sheen/color because I'm not really a lipstick kind of gal. 

Turns out I can't limit it to 5 because I can't talk about my favorite products without mentioning the new sunscreen, especially the spray which I recently tried! It goes on white so you can see where you've sprayed it, but rubs in clear! The can is aerosol free and the sunscreen is free of oxybenzone and other ingredients that are harmful for you and the environment. Try it, and you won't be sorry. It's AMAZING !





May 8, 2018

2018 Met Gala

I wish I had time to go through all of the looks from this year's Met Gala, but I don't. Here's a quick summary with photos courtesy of Huffington Post

Tonight's Met Gala marked the opening of the Costume Institute’s latest exhibition, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” which also dictated the theme of the night’s dress code. And, I have to say...this year's "costumes" were by some of the most "on-theme" I've ever seen. Sometimes the "costume" nature of the ball goes too far for me, but this year I LOVED it. It was a show of all shows for sure! 

Katy Perry is to this year's Met Gala what Claire Danes was to the 2016 Gala. 

Like a virgin...or not...

Anne Hathaway is a little "Queen of Hearts" for me in this dress, but I kind of love it.




Anna Wintour is stunning in this gown. It's still chic and simple and "Anna" but enough costume to be outside of her everyday look. I LOVE this!


This dress is INCREDIBLE! Not the most on-theme of all the gowns, but a big, big winner in my book! That draping is to die for.



SJP always knows how to make an entrance...

Amal Clooney's dress is not necessarily on-theme either, but stunning none the less.

J. Lo is fierce as always. The train is longer than it appears in the photo, and I appreciate the subtlety of her "costume".

I'm not usually a Kim K fan, but I think this one is a winner.

There were so many other beautiful gowns and elaborate costumes...too many to share all of them. The NY Times had a really good photo summary (here). 

May 7, 2018

Nomadic Friends

On my recent trip to Mexico I met a woman who was wearing one of these beautiful kaftans from Nomadic Friends. 

Unfortunately, most of them are sold out, but I will definitely be watching their website for a new collection. 




May 4, 2018

Sunscreen Showdown

Did you know that what you put "on" your body is just as important as what you put "in" your body? Your skin is the largest organ of your body and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it. Just think about how many things you put on your body in a day, even if you don't wear makeup....shampoo and conditioner, face lotion, body lotion, sunscreen....

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage. Other studies found the face to be several times more permeable than broad body surfaces and an absorption rate of 100% for underarms and genitalia. And another peer-reviewed study showed 100% absorption for fragrance ingredients.

Given the frequency you apply sunscreen and the fact that you put it ALL OVER your body, you should probably know what's in it. "In theory, sunscreen should protect us from UV radiation without irritating our skin, causing allergies, losing their effectiveness or forming potentially harmful products. However, most sunscreens today fail this basic criterion which raises major concerns for our health." (source)

So, what's really in your sunscreen?

On our recent trip to Mexico I was applying sunscreen on myself and the Mini every two hours. I've used the Beautycounter sunscreen for a while now, and I really like the products, but I decided to try a few new ones to compare.

Here's what my sunscreen showdown looked like!

1. Beautycounter All Over Sunscreen- Overall this is one of my favorite "safe" sunscreens. It's definitely thicker than most sunscreen, but the good ones are. That's why they're good. :)

2. Blue Lizard Sport Sunscreen- This Blue Lizard was far superior to the other Blue Lizard I tried (see below). It's very similar to the thickness of the Beautycounter, and while it still takes some work to rub it in, it's not such a workout. However, according to EWG it contains oxybenzone, so this one might be out for me. 

3. Blue Lizard Face Sunscreen- This one was also a winner for me. The price is good, it's not too thick, is relatively free of scent and performs well. 
Blue Lizard Face Sunscreen SPF 30+-5 oz

4. Beautycounter Protect Stick and Beautycounter Protect Face Stick- I love these sunscreens for their portability. I keep them in my car and in my purse for those unexpected moments when I realize I left the house without applying sunscreen. They go on easily and rub in nicely. 
 

5. Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen- I really wanted to like this, but it was so thick. It felt like a workout just to apply the sunscreen. I like that it has little to no scent, but that doesn't make up for its other shortcomings. The Beautycounter out performs this one for sure. 

I do really like the fact that the bottle turns blue when exposed to UV light, so you know even if it's cloudy or if you are in the shade if you are being exposed. 


6. Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Spray-  I thought I'd throw a spray in the mix, even though I know they aren't as effective at fully covering your body. I love Babo Botanicals shampoo/conditioner for the Mini, but the sunscreen fell short. Since I know spraying doesn't provide full coverage, I tried to rub it in which created this terrible film on my skin. I won't buy this one again. 
Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc SPF 30 Natural Continuous Fragrance Free Sunscreen Spray, 6 Fluid Ounce


7. Alba Botanica Sport Mineral Sunscreen- This one is also a big "no" for me because of the thickness. It's as bad as the Blue Lizard.
Alba Botanica Sunscreen Sport Mineral SPF 45, 4 Ounce
If you're looking for a way to identify harmful ingredients in your sunscreen, the EWG has a great "Guide to Sunscreen" that lists the ingredients and the level of concern for each one. Check it out here!

May 2, 2018

Scout & Cellar

I've been a headache sufferer since I was 13 years old. I can remember the first time I got a Migraine...it lasted 2 days, and I had to go to the Emergency Room for a shot of morphine to end it.

Fast forward 25+ years, and I still suffer from Migraines. They are brought on by a variety of triggers, including alcohol. So, when I recently learned about Scout &Cellar, I did a little happy dance.

Scout &Cellar was started by sommelier and migraine sufferer, Sarah Shadonix. Ironically, it started while she was studying to become a sommelier. What started as a glass of wine to accompany long nights of cramming would eventually materialize into an unbearable headache the next day. Sarah knew something was off. A single glass shouldn’t lead to pain of this magnitude. So she began doing some research of her own. She spoke with renowned naturopathic physicians, and she consulted with vintners. Eventually, she discovered the source of these headaches: the up-to 300 chemical additives imbued in almost all mass-produced wine. Yeah. 300. Crazy, right?

This is where the fun began. Once Sarah stumbled upon the truth about mass-produced wine, she promised to discover and deliver a cleaner, healthier, better option. “Chemicals belong in a swimming pool,” she’d say. “Wine should be as natural as possible.”

Scout &Cellar delivers clean-crafted wine,  "wines that are grown naturally—without the use of synthetic pesticides—and bottled consciously—without added sugars or non-organic chemicals to modify texture, flavor, color or aroma. The result is natural and delicious wine that won't give you a migraine!

You can shop by the bottle or join as a member and receive a curated collection of wines.

Drinking wine is like playing Russian Roulette for me these days....I never know when the wine might give me a headache, so I am really excited to try the wines from Scout & Cellar. 

I also really like their mission to make the product as natural as possible. It's a lot like Beautycounter, but drinkable! ;) 

May 1, 2018

Keeping it Real: Outside of My Comfort Zone

Nearly 8 years ago I left Nike to start my own business. It took a lot of guts and a little bit of crazy to step away from a salary and such a well known brand, but I did it, and I haven't looked back since. In the past 8 years years I've learned that life is best lived with a little bit of guts, a little bit of crazy and a little outside of my comfort zone.

Today, on the nine year anniversary of starting this blog (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? NINE YEARS????), I'm once again going outside of my comfort zone and trying something new.

Over three years ago I started using Beautycounter. Beautycounter, which you should know if you read the blog regularly, is a skincare and cosmetics company committed to education and activism for safer products and regulations in the beauty industry. Today, I use their skincare, cosmetics and other products almost exclusively, and now I’ve decided to join the movement and sell Beautycounter. EEK (insert crazy/scared/excited face)!

My friend and C&C reader, Evie, has been encouraging me to sell Beautycounter for years, and I've been politely declining for years. About a month ago I decided to get a little crazy and say "yes."

As you know from reading C&C, I care a lot about about health, be that through exercise, diet or the products I use on myself and my family. Over the past three years as a Beautycounter customer, I have become more educated about the products I use on my body.

Did you know products labeled as natural and organic may still have harmful ingredients in them, both natural and chemical. The same thing that makes mascara black is used in car tires and that many of the blushes sold in the US have lead in them??? In fact, there are over 1500 ingredients that are restricted from beauty products in Europe but only 30 in the United States?

The beauty industry is regulated by the FDA but with very little oversight. Even when personal care products are recalled, they are not required to remove them from the shelf.  As an education-first, B corporation (like brands such as Patagonia and Seventh Generation), Beautycounter is in Washington D.C and our state capitals lobbying to change this.

So why is this outside of my comfort zone? Despite being a natural salesperson, the idea of hosting "parties" or asking my friends to host "parties" is a little scary. I don't want friends to avoid me in fear that all I want to do is try to sell them moisturizer and mascara.

That said, I come from an authentic place in my support of this brand, and I intend to keep it that way. I have been using these products a long time. I believe in the products, and I believe in the mission of the company. It's about more than just skincare and makeup. It's about safer and better beauty.

I promise I won't bombard the blog with all things Beautycounter.

If you want to learn more, you can check out my FB page, Beautycounter and Beyond. I'll be posting information about Beautycounter as well as other resources and articles related to health and well being. You can also visit my Beautycounter consultant page (here), send me an email (cardicouture@gmail.com), or look out for a post in the coming weeks where I'll be sharing some of my favorite products here on the blog.