Hello greenies! How was your Easter weekend? Hope it was full of love, friends, family and nature! I took a few days off; sometimes, you just gotta unplug a bit to reconnect elsewhere.
Your emails with questions keep on coming, and I appreciate them all. Today, I’ll answer a few of the questions that keep popping into my inbox from various readers.
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First, a question from Latvia about my makeup:
“I read that you like makeup that is looking natural. What kind of makeup do you use and what products.”
True, I like the natural look, especially during the day. I guess when in late teens and early 20s, most women like to experiment, and some even like to exaggerate when it comes to makeup; though that most certainly is true for, say, some of those in their 50s, hehe. I was never into stage-looking makeup, but before I started using natural beauty products, and therefore had a lot of problems with my skin, I used to wear more makeup than I do now; especially when it came to concealer and foundation due to acne.
Nowadays, I cringe every time I see the so called trends in makeup. From Youtube bloggers to reality tv shows participants (please note: I do not watch reality tv shows of any sort, nor do I watch TV at all; but that doesn’t mean I don’t see photos on line). The cartoonish eyebrows, which make no sense, to 17 blended (or not so blended) eye shadows in every possible color (from magenta, marine blue and added some gold glitter for a good measure). 3 layers of primer, foundation and concealer, pressed powder, heavy blush and some super bright lipstick, along with spider fake eye lashes. Oh, and don’t even get me started on contouring! – the whole world is a stage for some, apparently. The before and after photos look like two different people. Or rather: one human being and the other something made of plastic.
Makeup is suppose to enhance natural beauty while tastefully covering – not imperfections (those make us unique and beautiful) – but temporary issues: dark circles, redness, acne etc. A statement red lipstick (in Tuscan Tales) for a glam evening is perfectly fine for my taste, but slathering several layers of it when you go groceries shopping, screams of insecurity and need for attention, paradoxically together, along with poor taste.
So how do I go about my makeup? First, I prepare the skin by using toner (mostly hydraloates), followed by a good moisturizer. If I wear foundation, I use is very sparingly, but use it all over the face. While sometimes I apply it only with fingers, most of the time I use either a foundation brush or foundation blender. Mostly, I use a tinted moisturizer, and during summer, I usually use mineral powder, especially during the day – if anything at all. I use a tiny bit of concealer, if there’s some acne to be covered, and on the top, if needed, I use pressed powder – a tiny amount. I use pressed powder on eyelids as well; instead of using eyeshadow. Pressed powder under eyes is good if you don’t want for mascara to smudge. Alternatively, translucent powder is also something I use, even more so than colored pressed powder. All these products I use, I use them in very small amounts – barely there.
Benecos eyeliner in grey and brown // Green People mascara // Alverde lipstick in Dusty Nude // Zoya nail polish in Rue and Dove // Living Nature tinted moisturizer // Green People tinted DD cream // Suki correct coverage concealer // Lily Lolo eye shadow in Smoky Brown and Miami Taupe // Terra Naturi eye shadow in Mulberry // Benecos eye shadow in So what // Living Nature foundation // Lavera BB cream
One thing that I always keep presentable are eyebrows. I have naturally black hair and eyebrows therefore I have a bit of a more of a wiggle room when it comes to eyebrow colors as far as not having that artificial surprised look. I comb the eyebrows and with gentle and quick few strokes fill them in using mineral eye shadows/eye liners; I mix my own color, using one darker brown, one lighter brown and a bit of black eyeshadow. I keep a natural eyebrow line, plucking only a stray one here and there. I think that keeping your eyebrows groomed, shaped and nicely colored or filled in counts for half of makeup routine (having clean hair and a nice hair-do would be the other); everything else is just an added bonus.
As mentioned earlier, I have naturally black hair and hazel eyes, which alternate between brown and green-ish. I use various tones of brown eye shadows, along with skin-tone colors (again, pressed powder also works great). It’s important to know how to combine makeup colors with your hair and eye color, as well as the the color and tone of your skin. And an occasion, of course.
Currently, I am really liking Green People Mascara in brown-black, as it’s a subtle mascara, perfect for day-wear. From time to time, I fill in eye lashes with brown or black eyeshadow. As far as eyeliner goes – I love everything vintage, including makeup, so a thin eyeliner for a night out also finds its way on my eyelids from time to time.
I occasionally use blush, and when I do, I use mineral ones. As far as lips go, I rarely, if ever, use lip liner. I prefer lip balms and lip glosses (in English Rose) over lipsticks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wear them; I like nude colors (but not such that make you look dead), pastel colors, sometimes a bit of a mauve one and when going vintage glam for the night – a red one. But really, for during the day, a bit of a subtle lip gloss or just lip balm. Brown, fuchsia, magenta – these are the colors you won’ see on my lips. If there’s one word I’d use for such colors would be – cheap. Oh, and no glittery kitsch for me either.
In short, my daily makeup would look like this: a drop of tinted moisturizer, maybe a bit of pressed or translucent powder, eye brows in tact and maybe one coat of mascara. Less is more.
Back then, when I used conventional cosmetics, I had tons of all sorts of products. That drastically changed when I started using natural makeup, since natural makeup does not have as extensive shelf life as conventional, and therefore would sooner go to waste and along it precious natural ingredients. So you won’t find 30 lipsticks in my drawer (but you will find 2 of the same; I just recently bought not knowing I already have one), for example, or 10 different foundations and mascaras. I do buy more mineral eye shadows, since they can last for a long time due to their ingredients and if I’m honest, I tend to buy similar colors from different brands. Other beauty products that I stock more are lip balms and shampoos, as I use them a lot.
Am I tempted to buy way more than I have and need? Of course! My wish list seems like it’s never ending, especially when I see a good deal, a great discount etc. It’s not that I don’t buy (monthly, in fact) new beauty products or that I have just enough of what I need and not more; I am doing my very best to not go overboard with hoarding beauty products. After all, I am a woman, and we love our beauty products, don’t we ladies?
But, with years, I think, I’ve acquired discipline and with years comes maturity and setting your priorities straight. It’s about cherishing and valuing what you have, not throwing away the money as well as throwing away the ingredients, which always brings me to the conversation I had with Tiffany Psichopaidas about “responsible herbalism“; it’s just not green, not environmentally sound to be buying tons of natural beauty products, only to throw them away as their shelf life expires.
So, that would be my makeup routine in a nut shell.
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This question came from Spain:
“Have you heard or used Steamcream products?”
You mean parabens in a cute container? No, I’ve never tried them, and for as long as they’ll contain parabens, I won’t. How misfortunate they do contain some good natural ingredients, which are ruined by parabens. Ingredients – this is what it’s important to me. Not what a products claims to do, not how cute a package is, but ingredients.
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The following question came from Italy:
“Do you know Yours truly organics brand? Do you use it?”
I’ve heard about the brand, as I was approached by them, and upon taking the time to reply to them, they did not have the decency or any business sense to reply back. So therefore I will not use their products, because I truly do not have patience nor tolerance for such uncultured and ignorant customer/PR service. At this point in time I’m not even sure what’s worse: when businesses do not reply to you at all, or when they approach you themselves, all hyped about being included in my blog, only to not having the decency to reply back. Usually it’s due to not having any marketing and/or business sense in combination of expecting everything for free; if this is how low and little you value your business, do not expect me to value it either.
So, no, I haven’t tried it, I won’t try it nor would I recommend it. If you wish, I can recommend other brands and their products, which have a bit more sense and respect for customers who write about their experiences with brands, products and stores; luckily, there’s a lot more of those out there.
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Another one from Italy found its way to my inbox; this one does not fall under natural beauty category:
“What do you do to keep your body fit? Do you go to the gym?”
Absolutely and categorically – no! Fitness, to me, makes no sense and it disgusts me.
A while ago I saw this meme: Los Angeles, 4-lane highway packed with cars. It said something along the lines of: they’re sitting in a car for an hour to drive to the gym where they will run on a treadmill (or stationary bike) for an hour. This, I think, perfectly illustrates the absurd and nonsensical paradigm of a lost human being, with no meaningful destination, direction or purpose.
We are suppose to eat food in order to acquire energy so we are able to produce something worthwhile: clean the house, move boxes, run after kids, work in a garden, make wood. Suppose to. But nowadays, people eat, while counting the calories (instead of making sure they eat quality food), and then drive to a gym, packed with other people, putting on headphones and staring into TV screen broadcasting the latest reality show, while mindlessly and disconnected from themselves (and everyone around them) running on the same spot. I mean… if THAT makes any sense! All the equipment, dirty from being used by other people, using the same showers that numerous have used before you… Ugh!
So, what do I do as far as exercise goes? Well, given I used to practice gymnastics for nearly 10 years, I’m still incorporating gymnastics elements in my daily exercise routine; mainly for stretching and to keep my body flexible; I do this in living room when weather does not permit, but when it does, a meadow or the backyard is the best way to go. I occasionally run, but my main source of exercise is walking and hiking. I usually walk about 2 – 5km a day, alternating between fast walking and normal walking, and at least once a week, I hike for about 10 – 20km – through the forest. I love forest, I love trees. Truly – I love trees. No headphones, no cell phone – I fully connect with nature, soak in every thing and just… be. From time to time, I take a notebook or a book with me, sit under the tree and enjoy. Enjoy being with nature, in nature… one with nature. I am restless and tired if I don’t walk daily and especially through the forest; my body and soul simply need this. I am giddy like a child when I see a wild animal and peaceful as Tibetan monk when walking under the trees or sitting under the trees. And every season in the forest has its charms and beauty and so do various parts of the day, from early morning, afternoon, to the night (camping).
Please, cherish the trees and forests. It takes decades for a tree to grow, but it takes is an hour to chop it down
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So, my dear readers, what do you do to keep your body, mind and spirit fit? And, do you buy more beauty products that you currently need (I know, a bit of a rhetorical question, hehe).