i finally got the perfume of my dreams

bb santal1santal 33…oh how i love you. ¬†now i previously thought that byredo gypsy water¬†was the scent of my dreams, but i’m not sure. ¬†lately it’s been seeming a little heavy for every day, but that could be because i’m spending every day at home!

santal 33 is light and fresh, with that delicious sandalwood touch that i cannot get enough of. ¬†i have used up a few samples of this and just couldn’t seem to bite the bullet for the $150 bottle, until i saw that the le labo site sells a 15 ml bottle for $78. ¬†now it’s still so expensive for the amount you get, but for the snail’s pace at which i go through perfumes, i think this little baby is going to be perfect. ¬†i’m so excited to actually have a bottle of this in my life!bb santal3bb santal5one of my favorite perfume oils – maison louis marie no. 4 bois de balincourt – smells pretty much identical to santal 33, so i highly recommend that one. ¬†there wasn’t really a point in me buying the le labo besides just wanting it! ¬†i also love having spray perfumes to layer with my oils or if i want to make a slightly larger scent impact. ¬†my perfumes are always very understated “skin scents” so sometimes it’s nice to have a little more intensity.

all in all, i’m so happy i splurged on this little baby. ¬†it’s absolutely a gateway drug to the larger bottle, but i don’t see anything wrong with that! ¬†what’s your favorite splurgy perfume?bb santal4bb santal2

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i finally got the perfume of my dreams

dealing with acne flare-ups

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if you, like me, have had acne in the past, you probably get the occasional flare-up – be it from stress, junk food, climate, travel, etc. ¬†i’ve been pretty much¬†acne free since june, but have had a couple sizeable acne-style breakouts since then. ¬†including last week! ¬†i recently tried this amazing sheet mask (more on that later) and it really got me thinking about how i deal with these breakouts. ¬†and i’m not talking about the rare pimple from your period or whatever. ¬†i’m talking those omg-do-i-have-acne-again situations. ¬†soooo long story short, here are my tips for handling those acne flare-ups, both physically and emotionally!

DON’T go in with the big guns // i think the first impulse whenever pimples appear is to go in with the strongest acne eliminating products available. ¬†but generally, this is not the best way to approach the situation at hand! ¬†i find that continuing with my normal routine with some additional, gentle treatments is key. ¬†for one thing, all of those drying, irritating, alcohol-y ingredients will completely dry out your acne areas and make them last for far longer, even though they might be smaller sooner. ¬†does that make sense?

if you are using any sort of topical acne creams (i use aczone – i’m sort of in love with their new packaging, is that weird?!), don’t feel persuaded to add more than your usual amount of product onto your skin. ¬†once you have gotten over the initial brutalities of these creams, they work with your skin, not against it. ¬†but by added an extra dollop all over, you’ll return to all the dryness and irritation you have put behind you.

DO use a good spot treatment for the first couple days // i’ve tried a good few of the spot treatments on the market – acnomel¬†(old school product my parents’ have used forever haha!), mario badescu drying lotion, and acne free terminator-10, and tea tree oil to name a few – but the one i’m loving at the moment is the indie lee blemish lotion. ¬†it looks and feels much like the mario badescu drying lotion, but with better, and less!, ingredients. ¬†it’s also far more gentle and easier to remove. ¬†i only use a spot treatment for the first few days, which is the optimum time to dry out the blemishes but not overdry them. ¬†if you use a spot treatment every single night you have a pimple, you are just going to dry out and irritate your poor little face. ¬†so don’t do that!!bb acne treatments3.jpgDO¬†use a mask every few days // i love masks! ¬†while i don’t always see results with masks, i love the process and the pamper time. ¬†for acne (and redness and inflammation) i usually use one of the following: origins clear improvement charcoal mask, glossier mega greens galaxy pack, or freeman feeling beautiful mint & lemon clay mask. ¬†i only use these masks on the areas that need them, followed by a thick layer of glossier moisturizing moon mask all over. ¬†i also don’t leave detoxifying masks on for their entire prescribed time, usually 10 minutes max, because of my dry skin. ¬†be sure to use a moisturizing mask or thicker moisturizer after your detoxifying masks, because even if you are oily your skin is probably dehydrated. ¬†moisture is key!

a very exciting mention is the leader’s brightening recovery mask. ¬†i don’t really like sheet masks, but i saw this at ulta last week¬†and thought it sounded like exactly what my skin needed. ¬†it toned down almost all the redness i had and helped to heal and relax my last couple active blemishes. ¬†my skin was in a completely different state the following morning. ¬†seriously impressed! ¬†one thing i do love about sheet masks is all the extra essence/serum they include, so i made sure to let that really soak¬†into my face, neck, and chest before continuing with my nightly routine (even if it feels sticky at first, give it time).bb acne treatments2.jpg
DO use makeup to your advantage // you guys know i’m not much of a face makeup girl. ¬†i never wear foundation if i can help it, and if i do wear something it’s a skin tint, tinted moisturizer, or light powder foundation at most. ¬†that being said, i am always compelled to pile on the high coverage bases when i’m acned-up. ¬†i try my best to avoid this, however, and just be strategic about how i’m doing my makeup. ¬†i usually keep some kind of medium coverage foundation on hand for these instances, and right now i have the l’oreal pro-glow foundation. ¬†it’s actually quite nice and glowy, but still medium coverage and buildable, so i get all the results i want.

i apply foundation only on the areas i really need it – you’ll need a good color match! – with one finger. ¬†yes that’s right. ¬†one finger. ¬†i find that by patting the foundation into the skin with my middle finger i really push the product in and make it look extremely natural. ¬†plus, you are concentrating the coverage where you need it only. ¬†it’s a little time consuming, but i highly recommend this method. ¬†do the rest of your face as you normally would, and use¬†lots of facial spray. ¬†i guarantee your acne will be undetectable (except to you of course, because it’s on your face!).

DO pamper yourself // acne sucks.  and when it comes back to haunt you, that sucks even more.  so take your time with your skincare, drink lots of water, and get some sleep.  your flare-up will be over in a few days and now you have a few more tricks in your arsenal for the next time those assholes decide to pop up uninvited.bb acne treatments4.jpg

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dealing with acne flare-ups

current lovelies

bb current lovelies 1.jpgbb current lovelies 2.jpgmy thich nhat hanh books // i am just a bundle of anxiety these days, resulting from months of living at home with my parents (love them and they are my best friends but oooooooh myyyyyyy), going back to school soon (my stomach just did a somersault), and¬†moving into my own apartment! ¬†don’t get me wrong, everything is good, but little old me is definitely prone to anxiety. ¬†my thich nhat hanh books, the miracle of mindfulness and making space, are helping me focus and come back down to earth. ¬†actually reading in general is helping me accomplish this, i can’t stop at the moment! ¬†my dad and i were having a really nice conversation yesterday morning about being clean and living in a positive environment and i brought up a buddhist concept and he looked at me and was like oh heavens.¬† oh dear dad, i’m sorry your wife and children are all bohemian-inclined!!

loose jeans // be it spring time or laziness, but skinny jeans are just not my steez these days. ¬†i’m living in my comfy denim and i cannot say i’m sorry about it. ¬†my favorites are my 501s (fitted through hips and booty, then straight down) and citizens of humanity¬†liya distressed jeans¬†(boyfriend fit, not sure what exact color i have¬†as i got them randomly on sale), and loft straight crops.¬†plus paired with a fitted long sleeve tee, i feel pretty sexy if i do say so myself.

chain bracelets // i haven’t been much of a jewelry wearer lately, but the other day i threw on some of my dainty chain bracelets and they have been living on my wrist every since. ¬†the arrow one is from madewell a while ago and the little horseshoe i got at a street market in new york.

newish blog reads // anyone else always on the hunt for interesting blogs? ¬†yeah, me too! ¬†some new-to-me favorites i’ve added to my bookmarks include troves and roses and thirteen thoughts. ¬†i’m also back in love with some old favorites, including the anna edit and beauty by kelsey. ¬†i don’t only read beauty blogs, but i’m pretty loyal to my fashion and lifestyle favorites – i don’t stray as often.

spring! // now i am not going to complain because chicago’s winter this year was easy as pie. ¬†i never consider myself much of spring person, i’m usually like let’s just get on to summer please, but with the occassional 60-70 degree days we’ve been getting, baby animals floating about, and trees full of buds and blooms, i am happy as a clam. ¬†of course it’s raining and 40 while i’m writing this, but i’m living for those quick days of bliss that have been popping up more and more frequently. ¬†actually, after surviving that winter from hell that we had in boston a few years ago, springtime is especially sacred to me. ¬†before that winter i never cared about flowers, but now i can’t get enough. ¬†after experiencing that much misery, i am all about the rebirth we get in the spring. ¬†also, happy belated Easter to those that celebrated!

harry styles for rolling stone // ok i don’t know what it is about harry styles but i am seriously in love with him. ¬†oh dear, please don’t leave my blog yet! ¬†i am not one to have celebrity crushes or really keep up with new music, but ever since i went to that one direction concert for my summer internship years ago (yeah i know, how cool is that?!) i have been seriously in love with that kid. ¬†his recent interview with rolling stone was, in a word, refreshing. ¬†i can honestly say that he has a beautiful mind and i was very impressed reading that article and listening to his new music. ¬†i urge you to read, but if you fall in love, i’ve got dibs.

tell me, what’s been keeping you sane lately?

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current lovelies

the lipstick that bohemian dreams are made

this bohemian’s dreams, at least. ¬†it’s called stardust. ¬†need i say more? ¬†MY PERFECT LIPSTICK IS CALLED STARDUST.bb kosas stardust5.jpgok moving on from how happy that makes me. ¬†i have been wanting to try a kosas cosmetics lipstick since they came onto the scene about two years ago. ¬†they are full of great ingredients and don’t use any of the bad ones, including parabens, pthalates, mineral oil, phenoxyethanol, fragrance, petrolatum, and more. ¬†all of kosas’ colors are natural-looking and understated, even the darker or brighter ones. ¬†they are not only beautiful but unique, and a true staple for anyone, makeup lover or not.

so back to the colors. ¬†i was pretty set on getting rosewater, which is described as a blushing rose, with a hydrating finish. ¬†and then kosas released more shades for s/s 2016, including stardust. ¬†and i was sold! ¬†how could i resist a name like that? ¬†stardust is described as a sheer neutral nude with pink and brown undertones, like a summer tan. ¬†ok, now how could i resist THAT?bb kosas stardust2.jpgbb kosas stardust1.jpgbut in all seriousness, stardust is exactly how kosas describes it. ¬†it is the perfect neutral brown pink, with not too much brown but not too much pink. ¬†it is truly my lips but better. ¬†it’s also the perfect level of color, so it doesn’t make it too obvious that i’m wearing lipstick. ¬†the finish is hydrating but not slippery, and extremely long lasting. ¬†honestly it really is like a summer tan – i just feel better with it on.

at $24, these lipsticks are expensive, but also in the exact price range of other natural and conventional lipsticks. ¬†they are packaged in a beautiful black tube with white writing – i did hope it would be metal packaging but it’s plastic. ¬†that was kind of disappointing but it also means that it is a lot lighter to carry around. ¬†this is the first lipstick that i have wanted to wear every day and that doesn’t make me feel overdone – it’s just the perfect amount of oomph for me.bb kosas stardust3.jpgmy only question is, why did it take me so long to bite the bullet? ¬†pun very much intended.stardust1.jpgbb kosas stardust4.jpg

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the lipstick that bohemian dreams are made

current nail polish picks

i go through phases with nail polish – sometimes i hate wearing any, sometimes i only wear red. ¬†but lately i’ve been into some funkier colors and unique brands.bb nail polish picks 1.jpgj. hannah ghost ranch // the j. hannah polishes are exactly what you would expect them to be if you are familiar with the minimalist jewelry designer – understated, unique, and extremely wearable. ¬†made up of mostly nudes with a few pops of color, the collection is definitely one to check out. ¬†the one i have is ghost ranch, which is the perfect rust shade that i didn’t even know i wanted – described by the brand as a rich, southwestern red. ¬†i think it’s a touch more on the orange side, but overall that’s an accurate description. ¬†it’s one of those colors that just looks gooood. ¬†the formula is amazing and the best part is that these polishes are 7-free. ¬†they are pricey at $19, but i definitely want to pick up more shades.

lauren b. beauty vintage on vine // this is my first lauren b. polish, but they are all the rage in the eco beauty world and for very good reason.  this color is so me Рthe perfect purple taupe that i want to wear every day forever.  the brand describes this as a true mauve with a chameleon effect which is i think is true.  great formula and great brand!  again pricey at $18 but worth it for a special treat, in my opinion.

opi don’t bossa nova me around // i’ve had this polish for 2 years or something, but i never really liked it until recently. ¬†it’s a beautiful light pinky-beige with a hint of grayness. ¬†it looks different depending on the light, but this is my new favorite nude. ¬†it’s completely opaque in 2 coats which is rare for a color of this type, but it has that classically amazing opi formula. ¬†a new staple for me.

rms diabolique // the formula on this polish isn’t the best ever but this is the perfect deep plum color i’ve been looking for. ¬†it seems like most vampy polishes are that deep wine shade that i just don’t always love, so i’m always looking for a cool-toned version if that makes sense. ¬†three thin coats were needed for opacity, but i didn’t find it made it puffy or more chip-able.

smith&cult bitter buddhist // i finally bit the bullet. ¬†i’ve been wanting this polish for a while, i mentioned it here, and i finally got it! ¬†it’s a stunning pale, dusty turquoise that is just perfect. ¬†i love pastel polishes but sometimes want them to be slightly more neutral, and i feel that bitter buddhist accomplishes that. ¬†as with all smith&cult polishes i’ve tried, this formula is excellent and pretty long lasting.

nails inc. nailkale superfood base coat // you all know i’m in love with the nails inc. kensington caviar top coat. ¬†so lately when i was in need of a new base coat, i had no doubts that i needed to try to the coordinating base coat. ¬†though i love my opi nail envy matte, i’ve just been feeling like it isn’t working as well lately. ¬†admittedly i haven’t tried this base coat yet, but i know i’m going to love it.¬†bb nail polish picks 2.jpg

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current nail polish picks

naturally inclined

bb eco faves.jpgas i get older, i’m figuring out more and more how i want to treat and take care of my body. ¬†from exercise (work in progress) to wearing sunscreen to figuring out some medical stuff, i’m trying to cherish this body i am in and help myself live my best life. ¬†i’ve come to realize that there are certain things in my life that are nonnegotiable – acne and antidepressant medications, at least for right now – and¬†that’s ok, as long as i do my best to balance it out. ¬†one huge area for me in that regard¬†is beauty and skincare (bet you didn’t see that coming…). ¬†i spoke on my efforts to go more natural in this post last june, and wanted to do a little follow up.

as i’ve mentioned 1000 times, i’m very low key when it comes to makeup and skincare, but really enjoy the process of wanting, trying, and buying products. ¬†while i’m always trying to cure this crazy need to consume, i’m really making an effort to consume more consciously. ¬†so basically, if i have to buy a new blush, i’m making sure it has clean ingredients, rates well in terms of non-toxicity, and is not going to harm my body in the long run. ¬†this can be tough and there are certain areas where i will not budge – almost anything nars obviously – but i think that is completely fine.

basically, i just want to do what is right for my body.  there are always circumstances in which we need a little outside help, but i believe so strongly in doing what we can to help ourselves, even just a little bit.  of course there are a million variables we cannot control, but why not do something about the variables we can control?

it can be extremely overwhelming to look at the makeup in your bag and the food in your fridge and think all of this is bad, so don’t look at it like that. ¬†start when you can and where you can. ¬†it doesn’t have to be everything. ¬†any changes you can make to live a healthier lifestyle will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine. ¬†and to help get you started, i’m going to be my middle-name-instigator self and fill you in on my favorite eco beauty and skincare products.

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skincare

trilogy makeup be gone cleansing balm, used with eco/organic baby washcloths :: it’s all about the cleansing balms, guys. ¬†my dry skin feels so much healthier and more hydrated, and i need less oil and moisturizer after using a balm cleanser.

go-to face hero oil :: i’ve waxed poetic about this many a time so i won’t bore you, but…best face oil ever. ¬†jampacked with delicious ingredients – think no synthetics, parabens, petrochemicals, etc.

desert essence organic jojoba¬†oil :: i’ve used this for a loooong time as both an eye makeup remover and face oil. ¬†jojoba oil is one of the best matches to our skin’s natural sebum so it’s an excellent moisturizer. ¬†you can also add this to make up for a more moisturizing and dewy look – basically it’s a great all-rounder.

kiss my face sensitive skin sunscreen :: my favorite facial sunscreen. ¬†it’s very hydrating so best for dry to normal skin, but i love the moisturizing boost. ¬†there is some debate because this contains the chemical octinoxate, but it is at an accepted amount as decided by the fda. ¬†also it rates a 3 on ewg (a grading resource for product’s toxicity and health levels), so i’m ok with that for now and will just get something else when i run out.

evan healy lavender hydrosoul :: again, won’t bore you. ¬†best facial spray of all time. ¬†bye!

weleda skin food :: an amazing all over cream. ¬†i use this under and on my eyes, around my nose when i’m dry, on my hands and cuticles. ¬†you get it. ¬†also it smells like a gin and tonic in the best way.

weleda hand lotions :: i love the sea buckthorn and am currently using the regenerating pomegranate.  non greasy and really beneficial if you have dry hands like me.

dr. bronner’s bar soap :: my favorite in-shower soap. ¬†really simple and gets the job done, plus there isn’t any plastic packaging to deal with so that’s a big eco thumbs up (wow that was painfully dorky). ¬†my favorites are eucalyptus and the baby/unscented version.

shea moisture body wash :: so luxe, so lathering.  filled with natural and organic ingredients and without parabens and sulfates.  not strictly eco, but the majority of their products, besides their hair coloring-system line, rate between 1 and 3 on ewg, which is pretty great.

body lotion :: this is more of my summer moisturizer but i adore the mountain ocean skin trip coconut lotion, which i’ve mentioned many a time. ¬†it’s just a little too light for these dry chicago winters.

hair :: i’m not using any eco hair products right now but i love, and have repurchased multiple times, the acure ultra-hydrating shampoo and conditioner.

others :: i’m still on the hunt for a moisturizer to replace my beloved cetaphil and a good natural deodorant that actually works. ¬†i just ordered the meow meow tweet baking soda-free jar deodorant and the ursa major deodorant stick to use together, and am currently doing a deoderant-detox before those arrive. ¬†i’ve learned that layering¬†is the best way to have success with natural deodorants, so i’ll keep you posted. ¬†also an eye cream, but i have some contenders that i mentioned here. ¬†also not mentioned, but you all know my weleda lip balm is my best friend.

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makeup

w3ll people narcissist foundation stick :: in shade 0 this brightens my face and covers any redness with a few quick swipes.  blends out into almost nothing or definitely something depending on what you want.

w3ll people bio brightening powder :: the best setting powder, basically hourglass ambient lighting powders in mineral and nontoxic form.  a little glow and a little less shine.

w3ll people bio bronzing powder :: gorgeous bronzing powder for us bronzer addicts. ¬†i wasn’t sure about mineral powder bronzer, but this is so perfect and lightweight. ¬†it’s a great universal shade that can be applied very sheer and then built up.

tata harper volumizing lip to cheek :: i’ve had very charming since last summer and it is the perfect blue-based pink to add a natural flush and perkiness to the face. ¬†i recently picked up very nice which is the light glowy pink of my dreams.

mineral fusion blush in flashy :: the prettiest slightly shimmery peach blush. ¬†very subtle and very natural. ¬†a hint of shimmer is there but not overpowering or obvious on the cheeks. ¬†i don’t have it anymore, but i think this would be similar to hourglass dim infusion blush.

rms living luminizer :: a cult product for a reason. ¬†the only highlighter i own and want. ¬†it’s an icy dewy shimmer that gives that wet look to the cheek without being obvious at all.

rms eye polish in myth :: pretty much the only eye shadow i use these days.  very sheer taupe that looks glossy but stays.

pacifica stellar gaze mascara :: right now i’m using stardust (brown), but i had supernova (black) prior to this tube. this is my favorite mascara, eco or otherwise. ¬†it’s natural but both volumizing and lengthening. ¬†most importantly? ¬†it conditions your lashes and gives them the attention they deserve!

gabriel eye shadow in sable :: the gabriel eye shadows are so nice!  very pigmented and smooth.  i only have this shade which is a taupey light brown that i love all over the lids and in the crease a little bit.  i thought it would be similar to urban decay naked, but it has a touch more purple/rosiness to it, in the best way.  very natural and very beautiful.  i want to get more of these eye shadows, maybe a dark brown next.

jane iredale eye shadow in cappucino :: i don’t have this at the moment because mine shattered and it is about $22 to replace it. ¬†but this is one of my all time favorite eye shadows and is a great dupe for urban decay naked (that is my favorite “conventional” eye shadow so i compare everything to it!). ¬†a staple for me! ¬†i actually think i am going to pick up this palette of 5 shadows instead of just a new single shadow in cappucino – i don’t actually have any shadows in those colors/that are eco and it will be a great staple product.

pacifica enlighten eye shadow palette in mystical ::¬†although i just picked this up, it’s already a favorite. ¬†this 4-shadow palette has a stunning combination of shades and the formulas are incredible. ¬†they feel as buttery and pigmented as lorac shadows, seriously! ¬†and at $14 it’s a beautiful thing!

gressa lip boost in bare :: the prettiest almost matte tinted balm.  a light pinky nude that can also be worn on the cheeks!  quite similar to the tata harper very nice actually, but i prefer that formula as a blush.

ilia lipstick crayon in kharma chameleon :: i don’t know what’s better, the name or the shade. ¬†this stunning hot coral has a satin finish and is perfect on a hot summer night. ¬†i wore this to my sister’s rehearsal dinner and got many a compliment. ¬†i can’t wait to brig this baby back out!

bite beauty matte lip pencils and multisticks :: now there is some debate over these because of some of the color dyes that they use, but to me these are ideal. ¬†they are natural and actually food grade, and the color pay off and color options are incredibly. ¬†i love the matte crayons – i have a couple mini ones in cafe and glace¬†– because they aren’t totally matte but you can smudge them in to look like a stain, kind of how i use the nars matte lip pencils as well. ¬†the multisticks are really cool and i have the color gelato which is a super cool toned light pink almost veering on lilac which is gorgeous on the eyes and cheeks and patted in lightly on the lips.

nail polish brands :: smith&cult (8-free), pacifica (7-free), rms (6-free), zoya (5-free),¬†nails inc (5-free), and opi (3-free and i believe their infinite shine line is 5-free but i can’t find a definitive answer). ¬†and frankly most polishes are 3 free!bb eco nail faves.jpg

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so there you have it, the eco products that i own and love. ¬†please note that these are not all recent acquisitions and it has taken me a few years to get to this point. ¬†again, i just want to reiterate that my switch to eco products is a work in progress. ¬†i don’t think that i will ever be all the way there. ¬†if i can even get to 50/50 i will be so happy. ¬†and i don’t want to be over here making you feel like you need to throw away all your non-eco products either, because you KNOW i’m always going to be spending too much money at sephora! ¬†all in all, we do what we can and what feels right for ourselves. ¬†so¬†let’s take it one day and one eco deodorant at a time, shall we?

ps: ewg is a great resource to learn about products and what chemicals make them better or worse in terms of safety. ¬†they have a rating system with a¬†catalogue of almost 65,000 products and you can always submit something if you don’t find it on their site. ¬†it can be super frustrating when they don’t have a product or brand listed, but you can also search by particular ingredients and learn about a product that way. ¬†if a product is rated a 1-2 it is of low hazard, 3-6 is¬†moderate hazard, and 7-10 is high hazard. ¬†they also have a list of products that are ewg verified¬†and i think that products are going to start carrying this mark on their actual packaging. ¬†these are products/companies that are free of any concerning ingredients, have ingredients fully disclosed, and follow good manufacturing processes. ¬†i have the app on my phone and use it while i’m shopping for¬†both food items and products.

also pps: do your research! ¬†actually more mainstream products than you think are more eco friendly than you think – a lot of too faced products, for example, rates extremely well on ewg. ¬†it always helps to do your research before making any decisions. ¬†plus a lot of sites like sephora will tell you when a brand is formulated without something – like parabens or sulfates. ¬†it’s a bragging point for sure so you can usually find it mentioned!!

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naturally inclined