I won Makeup Artist of the Year Chicago!

Hey guys! So….really exciting  news. I won Makeup Artist of the Year Chicago with RAW Artists! Man, I love how that sounds!

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What is RAW (from their website)? RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization, for artists, by artists.  We’re an international community made up of creative individuals across the globe.  Our mission is to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.  We welcome all genres of art including independent film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists and more.  We encourage the creative success of the many visionaries and storytellers of our generation. RAW currently operates in nearly 60 cities across the United States, Australia, Canada and, now London!

Earlier in 2013, soon after moving to Chicago, the art director for the Chicago location reached out and I ended up showcasing in March. (read more about showcases and what RAW Artists is and stands for…it’s amazing!) It was at that showcase I worked with a local hair stylist and fashion designer to put on a fashion show, each of us trying to showcase our individual work on the models. It was an amazing event full of artists of all genres including film, photography, painters, performers and more! If you live in a city where RAW is, attend an event…you won’t regret it!

Anyways, everyone who showcases in a year competes to win the title of their category for the year. Though I do both hair and makeup, my focus with RAW was makeup. So in October voting started, and this phase is where votes really count, and you’re up against everyone who showcased within the year. Voting is done online, and lasts for about a week I believe. You have to be in the highest number of votes to move to the next level.

After voting, I was in the TOP 2 nominees for Makeup Artist of the Year Chicago. Just making it to the top two was an honor! So from this point on, it’s up to judges basically deciding who wins but it’s based on many things such as your work, motivation and all that jazz. For the finale showcase, all the top 2-3 in each category showcase yet again like we did earlier in the year to compete for the title.

I live back in Ohio now, so I had to book models from a distance which was pretty easy, because we were working with a local model agency that made it simple. I got TWO gorgeous models who were total troopers!

I traveled into Chicago to do the showcase of course! Every single artist there rocked it out! Everyone did such an amazing job, and they are all sooo talented! After all artists genres were done showcasing, the winners were announced. When they were about to announce MUA I was sooo nervous!!!! Man oh man! Regardless, they called my name to stage because I was the winner, and Kara, the Chicago art director (who is epically amazing by the way), handed me bouquet of flowers, a RAW Artists logo bag filled with gift cards for local shops and a bottle of wine as well as my certificate! They had all winners give a mini speech…and I couldn’t tell you what I said, because I was so nervous and do not like spot light attention like that, haha! But it was an amazing experience and I am so honored to own the title of Makeup Artist of the Year 2013 Chicago! At the start of this, I never thought I’d make it this far…what an accomplishment!

So now, all the city winners are up against the other city winners in their category for a chance to go to Los Angles for the ULTIMATE title. I’m not getting too excited about it, but it would be awesome to make it even further. We will see what happens. I’ll post any updates!

If you’re an artist, check out RAW. Showcase with them. It’s a great organization. You can check out my raw profile here: http://www.rawartists.org/emilysiegel

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VICTORY! Walmart to remove toxins storewide!

September 12th, 2013: Walmart announces decision to stop selling cosmetics containing a hit list of toxic chemicals. This news is expected to send shock waves throughout the marketplace. Walmart will no longer sell cosmetics and cleaners made with targeted list of Toxic Chemicals! - This is AMAZING news!! It’s a process, but at least it’s a start. Heck ya!

FROM CAMPAIGN FOR SAFE COSMETICS:
In a move likely to send shock waves through the marketplace, retail giant Walmart has committed to targeting as many as 10 toxic chemicals for removal from products sold in its stores, including national and store-brand cosmetics, personal and beauty products, and household cleaners.

“Walmart’s decision to banish cosmetics and cleaners made with toxic chemicals will revolutionize the marketplace and help all of us live better by making safer products the new normal,” said Janet Nudelman, Director of Program and Policy for the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

“Kudos to Walmart for responding to growing consumer demand for cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, make-up and cleaners that don’t contain chemicals that are harmful to our health,” said Nudelman. “Eliminating as many as ten toxic chemicals from Walmart’s inventory is a big step forward, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We know there are many more dangerous chemicals linked to breast cancer and reproductive harm that should be removed from products, and both the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Breast Cancer Fund look forward to working with Walmart to ensure all of the cosmetics and personal care products they sell are safe for everyone.”

Walmart is poised to develop a comprehensive chemical policy that could extend beyond the 10 chemicals targeted for removal today. In addition to setting a timetable for removing the select toxic chemicals, Walmart will also ask national brands to disclose ingredients to the public based on guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program and the Consumer Specialty Product Association.

FROM RODALE NEWS:
In a major move announced on September 12, 2013, Walmart will soon start kicking toxic chemicals to the curb. At the company’s annual Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, Walmart officials announced that the chain is launching a chemicals reform policy that will require manufacturers of household cleaners, cosmetics, and personal care products sold in its stores to eliminate certain toxic chemicals from their products and be more transparent with the chemicals they do use.

The new rules, set to go into effect over the span of a few years, will require manufacturers to eliminate roughly 10 “high-priority” chemicals from their beauty products and to disclose all chemicals used in synthetic fragrances, which often contain dozens of potentially harmful chemicals that are protected under federal law as “trade secrets” and thus aren’t legally required to be listed on product labels.

Also part of the announcement was a requirement that all household cleaners sold under the retailer’s Great Value private label meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Design for the Environment program standards. “The objective of this policy is to help ensure that household cleaning, personal care, beauty, and cosmetic products sold by Walmart will minimize hazards to people or the environment,” the company said in a statement.

While the company’s announcement was long on ambition, it was short on details. Walmart isn’t releasing the list of chemicals being targeted, says its Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Andrea Thomas, in order to prevent “undue concern” among suppliers and customers. But she says that the list was developed with input from suppliers, academics, nonprofits, and the EPA. The chemicals were chosen based on known health hazards associated with them and their prevalence as an ingredient in products, says Katie Ware, a spokesperson for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a nonprofit that helped Walmart develop its policy.

It also appears that Walmart’s suppliers knew the shift was coming. Days before the announcement, Proctor & Gamble announced that it would be removing phthalates and triclosan from all its products; phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals linked to lower IQs, reproductive problems, and even asthma that are frequently used in synthetic fragrances, and triclosan is an antibacterial chemical linked to reproductive problems and suspected of contributing to the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Help take action today by checking out The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics! Read more here!

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X-TRAP+ Face Wash – Sircuit Cosmeceuticals

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X-Trap+ Daily Gentle Face Wash does wonders, and I think it’s safe to say I found a favorite in this one! This product is $38.00 for 4oz and you can buy it here! This product is a refreshing, baby soft daily facial cleanser that is gentle enough for post-laser and post-surgery cleansing. It is non-drying, mild cleansing agents (No Sodium Laurel Sulfates) restore balance, elasticity, and tone while optimizing the skin! Oh yeah – it’s GLUTEN-FREE too for all you gluten sensitive folks!

It is formulated with Organic Shea Butter to soften and smooth the skin and L-Alpha Bisabolol to calm, soothe, and help heal. Now SUPERCHARGED with Purisoft®, a peptide from Moringa Seeds, to help purify the skin and help protect it from daily enviromental pollution. Additional anti-pollutant boosters called Zeolites, were added to help capture the impurities so they are completely rinsed away. This cleanser will leave your face feeling smooth, clean, pH balanced, and hydrated.

BENEFITS
-Gently removes dirt, pollution, and make up.
-Leaves skin feeling purified and balanced.
-Contains emollients and skin conditioning ingredients.
-Prepares skin for optimal absorption of treatment products.
-Calms skin and restores comfort.
-Non-irritating to eyes and skin.
-Improves skin texture and tone.

WHO CAN USE IT? This face wash is suitable for all skin types including sensitive, post treatment patients, and those with rosacea!

HOW TO:
Splash your face with warm water, and apply a small amount of X Trap to your fingertips and massage in circular motions on your face and neck.

My Thoughts: Originally, I ordered The 7 Essentials sample collection, because I wanted to try out the products before spending the money on full size products (this brand is a bit pricey so it may not work for everyone). The X-Trap+ was just 1 of the 7 products.

I always get out of the shower looking like I have two fresh black eyes due to my mascara running down from the water. Products I was using before were just not removing the left over makeup. It’s annoying to have to get out of the shower and then use a makeup remover wipe to remove the left over makeup, when I just scrubbed and cleaned my skin. Sure it only takes a few seconds, but 1. I have yet to find safer option for makeup remover wipes and 2. I don’t want to have to do extra once I am out of the shower. Maybe that doesn’t annoy some of you, but it did me so I was looking for a facial wash that cleansed my skin and also removed ALL of my makeup in one step. Well, X-Trap+ did just that!

I really love this face wash, because it is so gentle and okay to use daily. My skin doesn’t feel dried out after I use it, and my skin is free of all makeup which to me is awesome! This is just a well rounded face wash that does everything I want and need it to do.

I’m sure if you’re use to buying drug store removers, the price looks a bit steep. Though, you get 4oz of product, and only need a small dab of product each time you wash. I definitely recommend this face wash! I will be repurchasing it!

5 star rating

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Locks of Fame Shampoo & Conditioner – Pristine Beauty

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Pristine Beauty’s shampoo/conditioner duo Locks of Fame is sulfate-free, available here, and is $16.00 each. This is a good, safe option for all hair types, but especially those with natural, uncolored hair. Keep in mind I’m also a licensed cosmetologist, so I am pretty picky when it comes to hair products. I am very use to popular mainstream salon brands, so trying this was a very different experience. But after much research about what was actually in my favorite shampoos and conditioners, I knew I had to find alternatives. Hair products have been my biggest battle during this entire process….switching from mainstream to safer options. I am addicted to my favorite salon brands!

So let’s get to the point. The smell was nice, but it was more of a fresh smell than it was a “yummy/girly/sexy” smell if you know what I mean? I am use to amazing smelling hair that is more like a perfume than it is of a fresh, clean smell. Of course that is all fragrance which is not good, but I still loved it. Man it sucks parting with your favorite products!

Did it clean my hair and scalp? YES. It does a great job at cleansing the hair and scalp, and it removed product build up from my hair (not that I use a ton of products daily, but I do use a couple). BUT, do not expect these to lather your hair like your mainstream brands. Toxic chemicals are what makes your shampoo foam up, making it easier to lather all of the hair. Safer options will be harder to lather through your hair, because they don’t include such ingredients. You have to adjust to this change, and be willing to work through it. This wasn’t an issue for me, I don’t mind the extra small effort to get the products throughout my hair.

I think this is a great duo for those who don’t chemically treat their hair often or at all. My issue isn’t with the products, it is with my hair! As you know, I am a licensed cosmetologist so I change my hair a lot…and have been for years. My hair is EXTREMELY damaged (though you can’t really tell after I style it and all), and I need a lot of moisture and re-partitive benefits from my shampoo/conditioner OR I would need a really great hair mask to do weekly to pair with this duo if I continued to use it. I’m not saying I won’t use it again, but I am still on the search for something better for my hair texture/type.  Most of you reading probably don’t have as damaged hair as I do, so this could be a great option for you. It cleans your hair, your scalp, smells fresh and is SAFE. I probably wasn’t the best candidate for this review, only because of the health of my hair…but I think for those out there searching for something safe and effective, this is a great option to try.

*Pristine Beauty® Products are free of sulfates, silicones, glycols, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and artificial dyes. They are certified VEGAN and Cruelty Free. They are proud signers of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Young Survival Coalition® and the Cancer Prevention Coalition—all year and for all products. This is awesome!

4 star rating

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Ultra-Moisturizing Organic Hand Soap – Nourish Organic

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This soap is only $7.99 and you can order this product here! Read more about this company’s story, and learn more about their seals pictured above here. I would definitely recommend this, and shipping was extremely fast too!

I found out about this brand when I was searching for new hand soap that was safe for both my work and home. Commercial soaps smelled chemically, and left my hands dry and irritated,
sometimes even itchy. Thankfully I found Nourish Organic!

I first ordered the almond vanilla, which worked great and smelled decent at first, but the after smell on my hands was odd. Not bad, just odd. After that was all gone I ordered the Lavender Mint, and I have to say I love this smell. BOTH soaps cleaned well, and left my hands feeling soft and moisturized rather than dry. So the soap works great, it is just a matter of finding what scent you enjoy most. So far, Lavender has the win. Though, I will continue to try a new scent every time I need to order more until I try them all! As of right now Lavender Mint is in my bathroom at home, kitchen sink and my office bathroom!

There’s not much to say about hand soap in general, but this is a great option for your bathroom, kitchen sink and work place that is much safer than those chemical filled commercial soaps lined up down the isles of your local grocery store. I will continue to order and use this soap…though I am always trying new products. The price point is spot on too. They have many other products, other than just hand soap, that I also plan on trying. Keep an eye out!

Benefits
-pH balanced to clean without drying hands
-Heals and softens dry skin with quinoa protein
-Replenishes moisture with a unique combination of aloe and shea
-GLUTEN  FREE for all those who are sensitive

Available Scents
-Lavender Mint
-Spiced Citrus
-Almond Vanilla
-Fresh Fig
-Pure Unscented
-Wild Berries

5 star rating

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Suga Suga Woo! Woo! Facial Exfoliating Polish – Pristine Beauty

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Suga Suga Woo! Woo! Facial Exfoliating Polish is AMAZING! The purifying blend of natural mint and vanilla makes for a Heavenly smell! Oh, and the Old Hollywood Glamour packaging is so adorable.
Fast shipping & it was packaged up all cute with lots of pink when it arrived!

This product is $30 and can be ordered here! This product is recommended for all skin types!

WHAT IT DOES:
-Re-hydrates dull, flaky skin
-Fights free radicals
-Combats premature aging

This facial polish is for all skin types to exfoliate and hydrate the skin instantly, revealing a softer, smoother and more radiant complexion. It over exceeded my expectations. 

HOW TO USE: First, you want to use the spatula it comes with to remove the amount of product desired. Keep the spatula sanitized after each use, and never use your fingers to remove the product (this prevents contamination)! Gently massage the product into the skin using light circular motions while concentrating on congested areas. Keep massaging until you no longer feel the exfoliating beads. Rinse with warm water and always pat, not tug, the skin dry. Always avoid the eye area when exfoliating…the thin skin under your eyes does not need to be exfoliated and they are way to delicate anyways!

What is great about this product is you can also use it as a mask! Just leave it on for 5-10 minutes then rinse.

I use this product in the shower at night. I shower at night almost all the time, and even if I didn’t, I would still use this product at night time, because like I explain next, I want to let the moisture part soak in, and not lather my face in a bunch of makeup afterwards. As you rub the product into your skin, you will start to notice a “film” that doesn’t come off with just water (I assume it’s the coconut oil but could be wrong). This is OK! Shortly after your shower, it will all soak in and your skin will be super moisturized. You won’t feel the film for that long, so just deal with it. It may feel weird at first, but trust me…your skin will feel like a babies butt after! You will feel the film on your hands, but just use soap and water to remove it if it bothers you.

I use this all over my body, not just my face! I use it as an all over body scrub about once a week, maybe once every 10 days or so, on my face about 2-3x week, and I use it on my elbows and legs after I shave at each shower. I haven’t had dry elbows since and my legs feel so soft.

Ingredients: Sucrose, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annus Seed Oil (Sunflower), Cocos Nucifera oil (Coconut Oil), Algae (Seaweed) Extract, Aristotalia Chilensis (Maqui Berry), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Rosa Canina Seed Oil (Rose Hips), Organic Mentha (Mint) Piperita Leaf Extract, Vanilla Fruit Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

small A portion of the proceeds will Benefit Young Breast Cancer Survivors and Cancer Prevention.

TypeWhoKnew

5 star rating

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DIY Deodorant

coming soon!

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Should you choose a safer deodorant?

The answer is probably yes. There are many known toxins and carcinogens in many mainstream commercial personal care products, including our deodorant, that easily penetrates our skin, getting into our blood supply. It’s even worse when these products are applied soon after shaving, because the tiny nicks in the skin provide an even easier way for chemicals to penetrate the skin.

Most conventional deodorants contain a slew of toxic chemicals, such as aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA, DEA, FD&C colors, Talc and more. Read in more detail about each of these are here. My advice to you is don’t just trust the label. Just because it says something is natural does not mean it’s true! Choose a natural deodorant with a third-party certification, because like I’ve posted about before, the FDA does not require safety testing for our personal care products and they also don’t regulate what labels companies put on products! (read here)

Just to show you an example of some of the ingredients that probably exist in your current deodorant: (read more in depth at the link above)

TEA and DEA – Both of these could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time where DEA can cause liver and kidney damage and TEA can cause allergic reactions. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects. Ummmm, no thank you!

Triclosan – This is another common ingredient included in commercial deodorants. It is utilized as the odor killing part of antiperspirants for its anti-bacterial properties. It is also commonly used in antibacterial soaps, hand wipes and gels. Triclosan is in many deodorants labeled as natural so buying at the healthfood store is no protection from this chemical. Read your labels! This is actually classified as a pesticide by the FDA. (WHAT?!) It is also classified as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. This classification has prompted some companies to remove it from their products. However, it still can be found as an ingredient in some formulas. This is pathetic. It should never of been allowed in our products to begin with.

Fragrance – Obsessed with how your deodorant (or any other of your products that contain fragrance) smells? According to Environmental Working Group (EWG), even natural smelling fragrances may be something else entirely.  The fragrance industry takes great care to hide from the consumer exactly how chemical fragrances are concocted using any blend of the 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that are available.   (source) Over 500 chemicals can be used under the umbrella term “fragrance” in products like “air fresheners,” laundry detergents, and candles, in addition to perfumes. Manufacturers are not required to reveal the ingredients that comprise the “fragrance” since they are protected as trade secrets. According to EWG, “Fragrance secrecy is legal due to a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts fragrance.”

EWG also reports that:

“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

So basically if your deodorant (or any other products that contain fragrance) has “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, you really don’t know what’s in it! This goes back to my post on the truth about the FDA that is linked above.

Aluminum ChlorhydrateThis is the chemical ingredient that is typically used in antiperspirants to reduce sweating. The primary ingredient used in most antiperspirants is aluminum. Aluminum is a metal, which is used in antiperspirants to help block the sweat from escaping the pores. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women and has also been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (source)

The thing to remember when switching is that your goal is to find something that prevents ODOR, not sweating.  We are naturally suppose to sweat, but that doesn’t mean we have to stink. Sweating is our way of getting rid of toxins, and anything that prevents it keeps those toxins locked in. It’s weird and hard to get use to, but worth it in the end.

The point of this blog post is to not necessarily change your mind because let’s face it, there will always be non believers and people set in their ways…but I want you to at least be educated about this issue. Do what you will with this information, but I made the switch to a safer option. Anything that puts me at any kind of risk for breast cancer and other disease, I’m staying away!

For a list of safer options that is constantly growing, click here! Or opt for a DIY deodorant here!

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Product Review: Take A Whiff! – Pristine Beauty

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I can’t remember how I found out about this deodorant, but I am glad I did. When I first started my search for something safer (I’ve been using Secret’s gel deodorant for years), I wasn’t that open minded. There were many reasons why I loved Secret’s Gel. I despise the normal white stick deodorant that is extremely common, and I had used this one for years so I wasn’t that excited to switch, though I know I needed to find something safer.

I came across Pristine Beauty’s line, and my attention was grabbed instantly due to its adorable packaging and website (yeah, I’m a sucker for cute packaging what can I say?).  I love the story behind the owner of Pristine Beauty (she’s a cancer survivor and that is what drove her to start this brand). Read more about it here! Anyways, I read great reviews about it so I decided to give it a try. I also bought one for my dad to try so I could get a mans perspective. (both experiences were positive) It worked great, and the smell of the product is pretty neutral. I would absolutely recommend this.

Aluminum Chlorhydrate is the chemical ingredient that is typically used in antiperspirants to reduce sweating, and that chemical is NOT used in this product. The primary ingredient used in most antiperspirants is aluminum. Aluminum is a metal, which is used in antiperspirants to help block the sweat from escaping the pores. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women and has also been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (source)

Your body is naturally suppose to sweat. Anything that prevents that from happening is not good news. When I read this through research I was like WHAT? I need something that prevents sweating, because I have my arm pits in peoples face’s all day at the salon in the shampoo bowl. I really thought it was not going to be possible for me to switch. And let me tell you, IT IS HARD to get use to. It honestly has been hard to stick to the safer option, because I am so use to the antiperspirant. This product contains organic sage which is a natural way to fight perspiration. You must always remember though that everyone’s body chemistry is different, so what works for one may not work for another.

The thing to remember when switching is that your goal is to find something that prevents ODOR, not sweating. I know… it’s so weird. We are naturally suppose to sweat, but that doesn’t mean we have to stink. If you still wish to reduce perspiration, then after you apply Take A Whiff!® simply use a powder puff and dust a bit of baking soda under the arm and you should be all set! The first few times I tried it, I sweated a little, but had no odor. It was weird and almost uncomfortable to feel semi wet pits, but it’s something you have to open your mind to and make yourself adapt to.

Please note that the it is not the intention of this product to completely eliminate sweating. Everyone needs to embrace some sweating because it is the body’s natural cleansing process necessary to release toxins.

*Note from Pristine Beauty: Keep in mind if you’ve never used a natural deodorant, you will probably experience some detoxifying effects. DO NOT give up on this product. You must commit for an entire month. It will be worth it.

This product is free of aluminum, parabens, phthalates, and proplene glycol. It is also cruelty free and vegan!

Ingredients: Glycerin (Plant Source), Purified Water, Sodium Stearate, Castor (seed) Oil, Salvia Officinals (Sage) Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Calcium Carbonate, Saccharomyces Ferment (Pro-biotic Vegetable Enzyme), Aloe Barbadenisis Leaf Juice, Ethyhexylglycerin (Vegetable based Preservative), Organic Alpine Lichen.

This product is $22.00 and you can order it right here. It seems a bit pricey for deodorant, but keep in mind how long this will last you…and you can’t put a price on your health. Try to look at value over cost. A little bit goes a long way with this product, and I feel much better knowing I’m putting clean products on my skin rather than toxic ones.

small A portion of the Proceeds will Benefit Young Breast Cancer Survivors and Cancer Prevention.

TypeWhoKnew

5 star rating

Considering making the switch? Read about why you should find a safer deodorant here.

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Summer Heat Protectant

The two most important things for your hair in the summer are HYDRATION & PROTECTION. Enjoy this simple DIY for a great Summer product to keep your hair healthy!

Here’s what you need:

•sunscreen
•water
•leave-in conditioner
•spray bottle

Mix equal parts of all three of those ingredients into an empty clean spray bottle until filled. Spray your hair every time you get it wet in the pool or give it a spray through out the day. Be sure to comb the product through with your hands or comb so that it is evenly distributed.

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