Clean Drugstore Brands To Transition To

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If you have to desire to go clean and green with your products, the transition can be tough. Especially if you live in a small town or area that doesn't support sustainable products. Fortunately, there are some brands out there that you can transition to fairly easily. These brands are not necessarily for the "purist" types but these brands will be better for you in the long run.

clean drugstore brands

I picked brands that you can find at Target, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens because they seem to be the stores that most people can access. My preference is Target as they carry the most green products. If you still can't find these brands, I highly recommend drugstore.com (it's where I shop the most). I live in a bigger area and still have a hard time finding clean brands. The majority of my shopping takes place online.

Avalon Organics
Boot's Extracts
Burt's Bees
California Baby
Dr. Bronner's
J.R. Watkins
Kiss My Face
Physician's Formula Organic Wear
Tom's of Maine
Yes To!

Avalon Organics
Burt's Bees
California Baby
Dr. Bronner's
Physician's Formula Organic Wear
Tom's of Maine
Yes To!

Avalon Organics
Boot's Extracts
Burt's Bees
Dr. Bronner's
Kiss My Face
Physician's Formula Organic Wear
Tom's of Maine
Yes To!

Avalon Organics
Burt's Bees
California Baby
Dr. Bronner's
J.R. Watkins
Physician's Formula Organic Wear
Tom's of Maine
Yes To!

*I personally have not seen most of these brands at my stores but their website says they are available. I usually only see Burt's Bees, Yes To!, SheaMoisture, EOS and EcoTools at these stores. You can ask your store manager to keep any of these brands in stock, though.

As the tides shift in perception, I'm hoping drugstores will start carrying more green and clean products-particularly in the makeup department.

What are your favorite clean drugstores brands?

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.


Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner Review

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Most of the year, I am pretty ghostly. Even in the summer, my skin barely sees the sun. I prefer to have a glow to my skin year round because I look healthier and it's easier to find a foundation shade that matches. I rely on "fake tan" products for this.

Prior to my transition to clean products, I religiously used Banana Boat self-tanning products. Unfortunately, they are full of nasty ingredients. I stumbled upon Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner on another green blog. I then read some reviews on drugstore.com and decided to give it a shot.

Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner

Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner can be purchased from online retailers like drugstore.com or iHerb for $8.99. It is touted to be cruelty free and formulated without parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrance. It is made with moisturizing botanicals and claims to give a natural looking tan.

EWG and GoodGuide both gives it a rating of 4 (moderate concerns). So as far as ratings are concerned, it's not what I would prefer.

Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner

The first time I used it, I immediately noticed the strong tanning smell. It's not unlike any other I have used but either way, I really hate it. Shaking it up throughly does help, though.

I also noticed that it takes a while to develop. When you apply, you cannot see where it's going. This had me really concerned about streaks. Nevertheless, I have not experienced them but there have been times where I have over applied on an area. I scrub a little and it blends into the rest of my skin.

The color is really very nice. Perfect for the winter when you just want a glow but don't want to look like you've been in a tanning bed. I have never been orange from it. The color is also buildable. I suggest if you need a deeper tan, to apply at least two coats with each application. Unfortunately, it does fade quickly. I apply every 2-3 days but for best results I would recommend every 1-2 days.

Nature's Gate Sunless Tanner


To combat the smell, I apply it before bed. This way, I can wash in the AM and it's developed enough. I apply 2 layers at the beginning of the week then one layer every 2-3 days thereafter. I apply without a mitt and wash my hands throughly.

  • very natural looking tan
  • no orange color or streaks
  • buildable tan
  • free of some nasty ingredients

  • very strong smell
  • fades very quickly
  • small amount of product in bottle
  • cannot see the color while applying

What is your favorite clean self-tanner?

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.


Target Beauty Box Naturals Review

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A few weeks ago, Glamorable! posted about the Target Beauty Boxes. I had never bought one myself because they were always sold out by the time I would try to. Plus, they didn't have a naturals box until recently. This time I was able to snatch one up.

Target Beauty Box

This time around they launched 3 different boxes: for her, naturals and for him. The boxes range in price from $5-10 with free shipping. I ordered the naturals box for myself for $5.

The shipping takes around 2 weeks. Unfortunately, they are now sold out but I want to show off my box and quickly review so that when these come around next time, you know what to expect.

You will see a preview of each box before ordering, so you will know exactly what's in there before. I think this helps in the decision making process of whether or not to buy.

The naturals box had 6 products that were a $25 value.

Target Beauty Box

SoapBox Argan Shampoo
Skinfix Hand Repair Cream
Burt's Bees Facial Wipes
SheaMoisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Borghese Facial Scrub
Acure Organics Facial Scrub

Target Beauty Box

I was really happy with this box. All of the sample sizes were ample. I've received subscription boxes in the past where the sample was a dot on a card or a tiny bottle (either of which have no use to me). Plus, everything in it is something I will at least try. I mean, who can't use face wipes or a travel hand lotion?

My only complaint is that it was all body products. Having said that, currently Target has very little in the natural makeup department. I'm hoping they will expand ASAP. I think when they do, these boxes will include that too.

Compared to other subscription services I have tried, it's on par with my favorite (which was Ipsy) and better than all the others I tried. There are a few reasons behind this: far better prices, they have 3 different types of boxes to choose from, the size of samples is larger and you can preview the box to decide if you want it. The crappy part is they sell out very quickly. I suggest the moment you see them, bite the bullet and buy it.

When this box comes around again, I'm totally jumping on it. I wish I would have ordered a few more as stocking stuffers because they are a very good deal.

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.


My Morning Routine...Exposed!

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Since I began my green journey, I have been following No More Dirty Looks. One of my favorite series of theirs are morning routines exposed. They ask readers and bloggers about their morning routine and which products they use. I thought it would be fun to throw in my own!

Skin type: Fair, cystic acne prone
Hair type: Fine, straight and short

I wake up daily at 5 am. I like to piddle around. Usually, I meditate, catch up on blogs then do some yoga.

I'm also a morning shower person. In the shower, you can find me using Hugo Naturals Vanilla and Sweet Orange volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Once a week I deep condition with DermOrganic Masque Intensive Hair Repair. I wash my face with Niora Alpha Clear Cleanser. I'm using Basis bar soap with 100% Pure Vanilla Bean body wash. I shave with Giovanni Moisture Shave and Preserve razors.

Once I'm out of the shower, I slather Just Natural Peppermint foot lotion and Just Natural body lotion on. I use Niora toner. Then I dab on some Red Bird Naturals Eye Opener and slap on Yes To! Carrots moisturizer. I apply a few swipes of Pacifica perfume and Bubble and Bee deodorant. I also take a daily vitamin, Fish Oil with vitamin D and Turmeric.

The makeup department gets a little dicey because I constantly change up what I'm using. There are some consistent products, though. I stick with bareMinerals Prime Time. For foundation, I'm going between 3 right now: bareMinerals, Tarte and Organic Wear. If I'm using a cream foundation, I lightly set with Tarte Amazonian Clay. I'm using (and loving) au Naturale blush and highlight. I contour with bareMinerals bronzer. I always fill in my brows with Santé and prime my lids with Korres. I just picked up this bareMinerals palette for my eyes. I also apply a bit of Alima Pure eyeliner and coat my lashes with Organic Wear mascara. I rarely use a lipstick so I just swipe on some Vault Lip Balm.

On my hair, I'm very minimal. I blow dry and usually curl. Then I spritz on some Giovanni hair spray. I get dressed and am out the door!

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. Some products mentioned were sent by the company or the company’s PR group. All opinions are my own.


Niora Naturals Giveaway

Last week, I brought you a review of the Niora Naturals Alpha Clear Adult Acne Treatment+ Alpha C Serum. Since then, Niora has graciously decided to host a giveaway for my US readers! They are including the entire Acne Treatment + Alpha C system, the Silk Basic Emollient Makeup Remover and the Eye Therapy Anti-Aging Serum for this giveaway. Happy entering!

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Niora Alpha Clear Adult Acne Treatment + Alpha C Serum Review

Several months ago, I put out a plea to readers about the best natural acne system. One reader suggested Niora. I promptly googled them, liked what I saw and ordered. 

I chose the Niora Alpha Clear Adult Acne Treatment + Alpha C Serum only because I have this weird thing about using one brand only in my skincare regime. This system includes the wash, toner and moisturizer for $49.95. There’s also an option to just purchase the wash and toner for $23.95.


Niora is a Portland based company that specializes in natural acne care. They make their products cruelty free and vegan. Their products are formulated without parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphates, petrochemicals, silicones, PEGs, TEA or DEA, propylene or butylene glycols or synthetic dyes or fragrances. Their products are available online.

If you purchase the system you receive the Alpha Clear Cleanser, Exfoliant and Alpha C Serum. The acne treatments claim to clear adult acne and reduce skin conditions that cause acne. It also claims to balance oil and dry levels, minimize pores and fight aging. The serum claims to moisturize while while fight aging.

I’m not going to break down each product for the review, as I find it impossible to tell what is doing what. I will say that I did not think the serum was worth spending the extra $26 on, so I will only be ordering the wash and toner next time.  In this case, I think a basic moisturizer from the brand of your choosing will suffice. 

How I use Niora: Twice daily, once in the AM and PM. In the AM I use the wash and let it set on my skin while I shave (I do this with all cleansers). I then spray on the toner, allow it to dry and apply a moisturizer. In the PM, I use the cleanser with my Clarisonic, apply the toner then a serum.

As for the acne products, I have had mixed but good results. Some months my skin has been absolutely banging. Seriously, no cystic acne. Others, not so much. I’m cannot completely pinpoint what has casused the inconsistencies. Some of it could be medication (coming off the pill) so that’s why I’m not going to completely fault Niora. I think I’m experiencing something internal that a topical solution can’t totally fix. Having said that, when Niora works, it works well. I certainly plan to repurchase and continue using. My face only exploded with cystic acne twice over the past several months of use, so I feel that is an improvement. 

There is one negative I would like to remark on (that’s a bit nitpicky) which is the packaging on the toner and serum. The toner comes in a spray but I have to spray 5+ times to get it cover my face. When I transferred it to a misting bottle, it coated my skin within a pump or two. As for the serum, the packaging pushes the product up (kind of like a push pop) causing it to become too top heavy. It fell off my shelf more times than I could count.  

I plan on repurchasing once I run out of the wash and toner, as I am having some good months with Niora. Their website has a lot of great reviews, too. I’m also a big fan of what they leave out of their ingredients.

xo, arielle 


L'eggs for the Holidays

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The holidays always seem to be a time to dress up. I love to wear dresses and skirts during this time but unfortunately, it gets a bit too chilly. One way I solve this problem, is using tights.

I know, tights were what our moms made us wear when we were six. They would bunch and were uncomfortable but I'm telling you these things have come a long way. L'eggs makes some of my favorite tights to wear under dresses. They also launched tights that convert into leggings, which I find amazing!

L'eggs Convert-a-tight

I created 3 holiday looks using the L'eggs Convert-a-tight. They're really easy to add to your holiday ensembles or to convert into leggings to pair with your ugly Christmas sweater.

What is your favorite accessory for the holidays?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by L'eggs. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are in this post which may result in a commission for me when clicked.


Clean Holiday Gift Guide

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Looking for some clean beauty products to hand out during the holidays? I have some picks that are all $25 and under but full of product! Most of these can be found at Ulta and are available online.

Montagne Jeunesse Fruity Gift Pack | $3.99 | Buy Online

Target Beauty Box Naturals | $5.00 | Buy Online

Essie Luminously Luxe Manicure | $13.00 | Buy Online

Tarte Eye Opening 12 Pc Eye Liner Set | $25.00 | Buy Online

Pacifica Hand Cream Trio | $18.00 | Buy Online

Real Techniques Starter Kit | $12.49 | Buy Online

EOS A Ray of Holiday Sunshine Rachel Roy 3 pack | $7.99 | Buy Online

Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit | $12.99 | Buy Online

bareMinerals Greatest Performers | $22.00 | Buy Online

What gifts are you lusting after for the holidays?


Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links, which can result in a commission for me.


Are you a Bella?

Have you heard of Bellashoot? If you haven't, and you're a total beauty junky, you need to go sign up now. Bellashoot is basically the beauty version of Pinterest. There are thousands of beauty related reviews, tutorials, inspiration and giveaways posted. Its a fun site to be part of. As a blogger, I have found the site extremely helpful in driving new traffic to my blog as well.

Bellashoot recently launched their iPhone and iPad app, which I wanted to share. Since most of us will be waiting in long lines on Black Friday, what better way to pass the time than with their fun app?!

Here's a sneak peek of what you can expect:

Join us bellas by downloading their app and follow me!

xo, arielle


Empties: All Natural Products I Used Up

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Curious about the products I have used up? Watch my latest video for some quick reviews!

Kirk’s Coco Soap | Buy Online

VaniCream | Buy Online 

Giovanni shave | Buy Online | Full Review

100% Pure Vanilla Bean lotion | Buy Online

Organic Wear Mascara | Buy Online | Full Review

Bye Bye Blemish | Buy Online | Full Review

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Eye Cream Buy Online | Full Review

Garnier Fructis pomade Buy Online

DermOrganic Shampoo & Conditioner | Buy Online | Full Review

Hairfinity | Buy Online | Full Review

The Natural Dentist mouthwash | Buy Online

Tom’s toothpaste | Buy Online

Jason Seafresh Toothpaste | Buy Online

Face Razors | Buy Online | Full Review

Rainbow Light multivitamin | Buy Online

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. Some products were sent by the company or the company’s PR group. All opinions are my own.


Hairfinity Review and Results


My most popular post to date is hands down, my secret to hair growthwhich includes taking biotin and folic acid. It's easy enough to take but I had no idea that there were pills out there that were specially formulated for healthy hair until I was introduced to Hairfinity.

Hairfinity is apparently a celebrity's secret weapon as its used by Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Taraji P Henson and more.


Hairfinity is a nutritional supplement formulated with essential nutrients for healthy hair. This hair specific formula contains Vitamins A, C, and D, a B-Vitamin Complex, Biotin, MSM, and more.  Hairfinity is clinically proven to increase the hair growth rate by 155% while decreasing shedding.  Two capsules are taken per day, and each bottle contains a one-month supply.

I posted a while back about donating my hair. The cut was a bit short for my taste, so I knew I was going to start taking something to help it grow out. I have been taking two Hairfinity capsules every morning for 6 weeks now and am pretty happy with the results.

Hairfinity results

At the two week mark, above, I went to get a trim. My hair was uneven and I had some layers that were way too short. A lot of the length was chopped off when my hairdresser evened things out. I had her avoid the short layers, though.

At the six week mark, I haven't seen incredible length but all of those uneven short layers did grow quickly and now blend into my hair better. I'm really happy with that. As for overall growth, I'm not noticing much but one of my friends mentioned that she thought it was looking a lot longer. 

The reason I have been happier with Hairfinity over the biotin/folic acid method is because, for me, the less shedding claim has been absolutely true. I noticed at about two weeks in, my shower drain was not getting nearly as clogged with my hair. Plus, I'm not finding strands all down the back of my shirts. 

I also noticed my hair looks incredibly healthy. I think chopping off the dyed part and taking this has returned it to it's virgin glory. My hairdresser could not stop talking about how healthy my hair was.

I think I need to take it a bit longer to get the full growth effects but overall, I am pleased with Hairfinity. I gifted a bottle to my friend and I'm curious to hear her thoughts on it!

xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Hairfinity and TapInfluence. All opinions are my own.


Busy Girl Nails: Gold

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We are to the fourth week of #BusyGirlNails! This challenge always seems to fly by. This week's prompt is gold.

I used the Zoya Pixie Dust Collection in Bar as my topcoat and Jules as the base. I purchased a few of the Pixie Dust polishes months ago but wasn't impressed with the opacity. When I matched them with a similar color base, though, they look beautiful! Unfortunately, these chip pretty quickly.

Zoya Pixie Dust Bar

Zoya Pixie Dust Bar

What is your favorite gold polish?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post which may result in a commission for me.


If You Could Only Use One Makeup Brand for the Rest of Your Life...

A few weeks ago, I asked all of you if there was only one piece of makeup you could use for the rest of your life what it would be. This time, I want to know which brand.

I know some of us are very brand loyal. I'm not one of those people but there is one brand that stands out of the pack for me and it's bareMinerals.

bareMinerals was the first high end brand that I ever purchased. I'm hooked on their foundation. I currently use their primer, foundation and bronzer. I have yet to try a bareMinerals product I don't like. Plus, they lean towards clean ingredients and my skin responds incredibly well to their products.

Now it's your turn! If you would only use one makeup brand for the rest of your life, which would it be?

xo, arielle


Giovanni Moisturizing Shave Cream Review

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For a few years, I had been making my own shaving cream. I no longer make it, only because some of the ingredients are not very clean and it's more expensive to make than buy now. So, I decided to start purchasing it again.

I started off with VaniCream and I just really disliked it. I then picked up Giovanni Moisture Shave Cream while I was shopping at Fresh Market. 

Giovanni Moisturizing Shave Cream

Giovanni is one of those brands that is easy to transition to when you're looking for clean products. They are not the most pure but they are much better than most products out there. Plus, they are available in drugstores at that price point. 

"The complete range of products consists of only the most carefully selected blends of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, herbs and oils. These unique products contain no parabens,  sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or animal by-products. Cruelty-free-never tested on animals, pH Balanced and biodegradable formulas with recyclable packaging. The range consists of shampoos, conditioners, repairing treatments, styling, finishing products, and body and skin care products."-From the Giovanni website

The shave cream rates as a 3 on EWG (moderate hazard). I purchased it for $4.99. Here is what the packaging says about the product:

Giovanni Moisturizing Shave Cream

I'm liking this shave cream because it's very close to my DIY version in terms of consistency and shave. I liken it to shaving with lotion. It's a very moisturizing product and I don't get nicks and or razor burn.

If you're used to canned shave creams, this isn't at all like those. I prefer these type over canned, anyway, because it lasts much longer.

What is your favorite shave cream?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in the post which can result in a commission for me.


Busy Girl Nails: Leaf Week

We're on the third week of #BusyGirlNails which is leaf week!

So, free handing leaves is a lot more difficult than I though. I was trying to emulate this pin but it didn't quite turn out as planned. I think I need to get some better nail brushes.

leaf nails

leaf nails

Can't wait to see your leaf nails!

xo, arielle


Kiss My Face Olive Oil Bar Soap Review

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I know soap is an odd thing to review but I felt it was important to share my weird experience with Kiss My Face Olive Oil Bar Soap.

Kiss My Face Olive Oil Bar Soap

I bought this 3 pack on drugstore.com for $4.99. I was attracted to this soap due to the short, clean ingredient list and the EWG 0 rating (low hazard). I felt you really could not get more clean than this.

There are only three ingredients: Saponified Olive Oil, Water and Sodium Chloride. Simple enough.

The soap has been a very popular Kiss My Face product. They tout that it is 100% Biodegradable, vegan, gluten free, paraben free, phthalate free and SLS free. It is unscented and 86% olive oil. They also claim that it is a moisturizing soap.

Ok, so why was my experience weird? Well, this soap went completely goopy on me. There were strings and strings of goop. My husband flipped out and refused to use it. I tried to make it work and even bought a travel soap container to keep it from getting wet. This didn't help at all. So, I threw out the first bar thinking it was just that bar. Nope. The second bar did it, too. I gave up and it all went in the garbage. I am truly questioning if I got a bad batch. I also didn't think it did much on helping with cleaning erm, nether regions smells.

Needless to say, I won't be repurchasing this. I'm not sure what the goop deal was but it was strange.

What's your favorite clean soap?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in the post that may result in a commission for me.


If You Could Only Use One Makeup Product for the Rest of Your Life...

I was thinking about all of the products I use in a single day and thought about what if I was told I could only use one for the rest of my life, what would it be?!

It's really tough, especially with my makeup. Since each product has a particular purpose, I didn't know what I could live without. When it comes down to it, though, there is one thing I never go without and its mascara. Mascara is the one product that I think does the most for me. When I don't wear it, I feel like I have a dead look to my face. Mascara opens up my eyes, makes me look awake and I think it finishes off a look. Plus, it can double as eyeliner (is that cheating?!).

I wanted to pose this question to my readers, too. Comment below: if you were only allowed to use one makeup product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

xo, arielle


How To Apply Blush with this Easy Trick


When I'm reading a magazine my favorite section is shockingly beauty. In particular, I love when makeup artists share their tips. Some of my best beauty secrets were learned from beauty editors in various magazines over the years.

A few weeks ago, I was purusing Yahoo! Beauty's online magainze reading Bobbi Brown's 'Ask Bobbi' articles. She writes about her tips and tricks to common problems like covering undereye circles or how to rock a red lip for fall. This got me thinking about how I struggle with blush application. So, I took to beauty gurus to be schooled on perfect blush application. I learned the easiest trick that I'm now using every single day. I'm telling you it's genius. If you struggle with blush application, try this (it just might be life changing)!

Have your foundation and HAC-ing done before you begin.

Select the blush brush that works best for you. Some people love big fluffy round brushes others like fan brushes. Personally, I'm a fan of an angled brush.

how to apply blush

Depending on how pigmented your blush is will determine how much product you need. Typically, I dip once and tap off excess. I then apply my blush and redip as necessary. Some blushes, I only need one swipe, some I need up to 4.

Now here is where the magic comes in. Place your finger on the side of your nostril and at a 45 degree angle (see below):

how to apply blush

Apply your blush from the edge of your finger and swipe up. You will place the blush at the edge of where your contouring ends. If you don't contour, smile and only apply to the apples (where your cheeks prochude when you smile) and upward .

how to apply blush

I have realized that blush goes much lower than we all tend to apply it. It's almost on top of the bronzer. I do a bit of blending with the blush and bronzer.

how to apply blush

I really hope this helps your blush woes!


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Yahoo! and I was compensated for producing this content. All opinions are my own.


What I've Been Reading

I haven’t updated my reading list in a few months and I have finished quite a few. Since my list is so long, I’m going to keep these short and sweet.

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky 
This was a straight lifetime movie. Not my type of read. It is our book club book for November. 
This I Believe: Life Lessons ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
I really enjoyed this book. People wrote in 600 words or less their beliefs and what they have learned. Very heartwarming. 
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert ⋆⋆⋆
If you went gaga over Eat, Pray, Love this is nothing like that. It was more of a history lesson on marriage and how Liz comes to terms with getting married. 
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands by Chelsea Handler ⋆⋆⋆
So, this was pretty funny but I almost questioned how much of it was true.  I enjoyed it but I’m glad I listened to it instead of reading it. 
Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project and Ties that Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
If you enjoy StoryCorps on NPR, you will love these books. They warmed my heart and I had to stop myself from going into full blown ugly cry. 
Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar ⋆⋆
This book thoroughly annoyed me. I work in healthcare and I agreed 100% with what he had to say about the healthcare system and have seen it myself. What was annoying was how much he complains about not having money when he chooses to live in an apartment in NYC, send his child to private school and his wife is a SAHM (she’s a MD, too). I mean, I don’t want to work either but I gots bills to pay.
Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill ⋆⋆⋆⋆
Before reading this book, I knew literally nothing about Scientology. Boy, were my eyes opened. I had no idea the atrocities that occur. It was shocking. 
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
I loved this book (and the movie). It was our October book club book and I could not put it down. 
The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel ⋆⋆⋆
I recently began working with the military and have no prior experience with this population. I’m really glad I read these books because it provided me some insight into what service members face during deployments and when returning home. I highly recommend reading these if you are at all interested in working with the military. 
How to Catch a Frog: And Other Stories of Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival, and DIY by Heather Ross ⋆⋆⋆⋆
I related to this book much more than I would have liked to. If you had a weird childhood, I think you will enjoy this book thoroughly. 
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
I loved this book. If you are a 20-something, add it to your reading list right now.
Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein ⋆⋆⋆
I love Gabby B books but this was probably my least favorite of hers. Her tips are straightforward but it’s a little all over the place for me.
xo, arielle


#BusyGirlNails: Sponging

Welcome to the fall round of #BusyGirlNails! We are kicking off this week, so you still have time to join us. Here is the info post with all of the details.

This week is sponging. I had to ask my co-hosts what it was because I had no idea. Once they filled me in, I realized I had done sponging before but with a lot of struggle. This time was no different. 

Every tutorial I see says to paint the polish onto a makeup sponge and apply. But my question is how are you all getting the colors so dark and vibrant?! This attempt was three layers and it's still not opaque. Any tips would really help a girl out!

sponged nails

Hope to see some of you hop in on #BusyGirlNails!

xo, arielle


Clean Up Your Makeup - High End Edition

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A few weeks ago, I brought you a list of drugstore makeup products that were less toxic to your health. This time, I'm bringing you clean high end products. I have listed specific products that rate as a 0-2 by EWG (low hazard). Unfortunately for our pocketbooks, it's much easier to find clean high end brands.

These products can be found at Sephora, Ulta, makeup counters or through the brand's website.

clean high end makeup

bareMinerals Prime Time, $24, EWG rating 1

Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation, $50, EWG rating 2
Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation, $28, EWG rating 1
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream, $39, EWG rating 1

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, $24, EWG rating 2
Jane Iredale Disappear Concealer with Green Tea Extract, $30, EWG rating 1

Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder, $34, EWG rating 1
bareMinerals Mineral Veil, $21, EWG rating 2

bareMinerals blush, $19, EWG rating 1
CARGO ColorStick, $28, EWG rating 1

bareMinerals READY Bronzer, $24, EWG rating 1
theBalm Bahama Mama Matte Bronzer, $19, EWG rating 1

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, $24, EWG rating 1
Lorac TANtalizer Highlighter & Matte Bronzer, $32, EWG rating 2

bareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer, $18, EWG rating 1
Jane Iredale Lid Primer, $18.50, EWG rating 1
Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-aging Eye Primer, $21, EWG rating 1

theBam Meet Matt(e), $34.50, EWG rating 2
theBalm Nude'Tude, $36, EWG rating 2

Tarte skinny smoulderEyes Amazonian Clay waterproof liner, $19.50, EWG rating 1
Jane Iredale Eye Pencil, $13, EWG rating 1
Jane Iredale Liquid Eye Liner, $21, EWG rating 1

bareMinerals Flawless Definition Waterproof Mascara, $18, EWG rating 2
Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara, $33, EWG rating 1

Jane Iredale PureBrow Gel, $17, EWG rating 1
Laura Geller Beauty Brow Marker, $24, EWG rating 1

Jane Iredale Chocoholicks Lip Gloss Palette, $35, EWG rating 1
Jane Iredale Lip Fixation, $30, EWG rating 1

When it comes to high end brands Jane Iredale is where you're going to find the most clean products, followed by Tarte and bareMinerals. Be sure to still look into ratings of specific products within the brand.

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.


My Au Naturale Lip

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One of my goals this year has been to keep less products in my collection and use them to the last drop. It's not an easy feat for a makeup hoarder. In doing so, I only picked up two lip products: a gloss and a lipstick, both by Burt's Bees.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Fig was my go to product in high school. Since I knew how great the product was, I knew I waned to go back to Burt's Bees lippies in my switch to natural products. Since my Fig days, Burt's Bees has launched a plethora of lip products including glosses, crayons and tinted balms. I also recently learned that Burt's Bees is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year!

Since I last purchased Burt's Bees, I noticed they are now more widely available. I see their products at major drugstores and box stores, including Walmart. I'm really happy that mainstream stores are beginning to embrace natural brands, like Burt's Bees. In my transition to natural products, my biggest roadblock has been the accessibility. 

When I shopped for my lip products, I picked up Burt's Bees Lip Shine in Blush and Lip Shimmer in Watermelon. I chose them for their contrasting shades and because I felt they would be wearable all year long. Luckily, they have absolutely served their purpose and I have been using the heck out of them!

Burt's Bees lip

Burt's Bees lip

One day, I decided to combine the two together and was pleasantly surprised by how they were the perfect au naturale lip for me. Any of the recent videos or photos of me have been using this lip combo.

Burt's Bees has also become cleaner since I last bought their products. Their lip products are now 100% natural (as opposed to the 97% they used to tout). On EWG the Lip Shimmer is rated as a 2 (low hazard) and the Lip Shine is a 4 (moderate hazard). Since we consume several pounds of lip products in our lifetime, I would rather they be clean, natural products than chemical filled.

What are your go to lip products to achieve a natural lip shade?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Burt's Bees and I received monetary compensation for writing this post. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are present in this post. If you click a link I may receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.