Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where Am I Now? 8 Months After Retiring This Blog

It is just over 8 months since I officially announced I was retiring Beauty Au Natural blog.  It was a hard decision to come to but once I did it, I knew it was the right thing to do.  I wasn't as passionate about it as I once was and that wasn't fair to me or my readers. I was looking for more than I could get from this and my instinct said it was time to walk away.  No need to worry, I plan to keep this website up and running so you can still access the information I wrote over the years.

Where am I now?
I am still working full-time as a college librarian. I am also a design consultant for Madison Handbags and a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils. For more detailed info on Young Living Essential Oils, visit this guide. If you are interested in purchasing oils or signing on as a distributor, please use my link so I get credit for you signing up through me https://www.youngliving.com/signup/?site=US&sponsorid=1731495&enrollerid=1731495

I did a lot of soul searching and did the Artist's Way 12 week program. It was life changing.  I feel like I found myself again.  I finished my first quilt. I started to make art again. Not only that but I got asked to present at the college where I work on art, poetry and creativity for wellness and personal sustainability.  I also got a part-time gig teaching painting at a fun wine and painting place in my local area. This has all been bringing me the interaction, connection and sense of community I was longing for.

No worries though, I still love playing and discovering natural beauty products.  I think I have gone back to lippies being my addiction above all else.  I am enjoying a simpler eye look and bolder lip colors.  I started to shampoo my hair only 1-2x per week and simply massage my scalp in the shower daily and just apply conditioner. My hair has never looked better.

I have realized I am in overwhelm of how many products I own and decided it is time to downsize to stay tuned to Facebook for a big makeup virtual yard sale soon. I plan to keep lots of favorites and find good homes for the rest.  It feels right to simplify.  I kept missing that simplicity and now I am ready to try to get back to it myself instead of having drawers and drawers of makeup I can't keep track of.

I hope you are all doing well. Thank you again for all the support over the years I worked on this blog.

Peace, love & natural makeup!
~Heather





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Friday, September 13, 2013

A Fond Farewell

Dear friends & readers,

While it has been a wonderful ride creating and writing Beauty Au Natural, our time has come to an end.  For over a year now I have gone back and forth on my feelings about this and finally decided to take some time for myself to see how I feel.

What was I able to accomplish on my break?  I started a new business venture and signed on as a design consultant with Madison Handbags, a company whose products and mission I really believe in.  I took classes and learned to quilt. I went on fun day trips in my area.  I saw art exhibits. I read entire books.  I spent quality time with friends.  I watched a friend's kitties while she was out of town. I got back into meditation.  I did EFT Tapping. I signed up to be a brand ambassador for Liz Lovely. I had more time to cook and clean.  Meanwhile I still worked full-time with an hour-long commute both ways and dealt with the usual personal stuff too.

I am learning more about how important it is to take time for myself, to take care of myself, to just plain like and love myself.  Part of that involves letting go of what no longer serves you.

My blog no longer felt like fun to me.  It was starting to feel like a weight on my shoulders.  I didn't realize how much until I took a break from it.  The break was funny, at first I kept checking things and had to tell myself, no, you are on a break.  Then I kept thinking, I shouldn't quit, what if...what if... and then I didn't miss it at all.  That is when I knew, it was okay to let go.

For a time I tried various things to motivate myself.  I tried to get people to follow me, thinking more people following would make it feel better.  It didn't.  I tried to make money from blogging.  I did finally make a little money, it didn't make it feel better either.  What was it that I really wanted?

I had a longing for community and sense of interaction that I could not get here. I had a deep desire to be passionate about something and share it with others who might also enjoy it or fire up their passion too.  I wanted to be creative and express myself.  I wasn't getting that from my blog.

I do get decent amounts of traffic and most of it is unique visitors from Google searches which is exciting.  I plan to keep my blog up so that it can remain a resource for anyone looking for information or pictures relating to the products I have reviewed, makeup looks I have done or the baking, travel or health and wellness topics I have written about.

In my years of writing Beauty Au Natural, I have connected with some amazing people and great companies who provide natural products.  It is so exciting to be able to say that Leslie Blodgett, Alicia Silverstone, Indie Lee, Lissa Rankin MD, and many others have seen my blog.  I am honored that anyone looks at my blog, honestly. The fact that some companies seek me out to do reviews is really amazing but it became too much for me.

I also noticed another change as I took my break.  My desire to simplify became more and more clear.  I actually don't want all these cases and shelves of beauty products anymore.  I want a simpler beauty routine so it is easier to pick colors and have fun again.  I plan to keep plenty of it, don't worry, but I certainly don't need all of what I have.  I plan to gift, donate and sell what I decide to part with.

When I first had chemical sensitivities, I had no idea what I could use and now look at the amazing world opening up to us all.  There is actually so much that it is too overwhelming to keep up or even try to.  I feel like I am at a point where, yes, it is fun to try new things, but if I am really happy with what I am using now, why change?  Why spend more money?  Why try more new stuff?  There is so much available now that I feel like people need a bit less guidance.  There are also wonderful resources available that have experts who can really help you learn more. I feel that my voice is no longer needed in this area.

With all of this in mind, it is time for me to officially announce my retirement from Beauty Au Natural.  I may blog again, about what?  I am not sure yet. It is time for new adventures and discoveries.  My Facebook page and profile, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts will stick around, at least for now.  You can always reach me there.  I am always happy to talk.

My love and thanks to you all! I am so grateful for the past 4.5 years.







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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Blogging Hiatus

 

If you follow me and my blog closely, you will know that I have been going back and forth with things for about a year now.  I was in a rut, not sure about where I was going and decided to refocus, add more areas of life to blog about and redesign my blog last year.  It went well for a while but I am not sure what I need to do next.

A lot of time and work goes into blogging.  I need to do a lot of PR for myself, keep in touch with companies, respond to emails, send out emails, keep up with social networking on multiple sites, take photos, edit those photos and then watermark those photos so no one steals them without crediting me.  Then I need to schedule blog posts, write them, gather all of my info and more.  That is a lot to do for free. 

While I appreciate my loyal readers and followers and the companies that have believed in me and my blog, I am not getting what I need out of blogging anymore.  It is not growing as I would hope and I am not feeling satisfied.  I feel like I am at a point in my life where I need to cut down on things that weigh me down and burden me and embrace things that add to my life and make me happy and fulfilled.  I work full time and spend most of my job on a computer and feel it better if I get myself to spend more of my non-work time away from the computer.  I feel healthier and happier when I do this and feel I need more of it. 

To maintain a successful blog that is worth working on, I need to keep up with posting and social networking. I do this for a living so I know that blogging whenever you feel like it just doesn't work for me because it is not the right way to blog.  If I am going to blog, it needs to be up to my own standards and be kept up to date regularly.  I am not one to just post once in a while.  To maintain memberships in many of the blog groups/associations I am in, posting at least three times per week is mandatory.  It is expected in the world of blogging that you keep up with things. 

For now, I am undecided about what to do with my blog. I am going to take a month off from blogging and see where life takes me and what comes to me for this blog.  Should I quit while I am ahead?  Should I change it?  Should I keep going?  What should I do? I am not sure yet but I hope to take some time and reflect to decide what is right for me. 

Thank you for your support and understanding! I hope to see you all again in a month with an announcement of what I plan to do. 


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Book Report: Jessica Alba's The Honest Life

I am in an affiliate program with the Honest Company. I purchased this book myself. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I receive any items mentioned on this blog. 


When I knew that Jessica Alba was coming out with a book about her lifestyle, I was a bit hesitant.  Some celebs write books about their lifestyles and I find them to be a bit far fetched for the rest of us.  I decided to give the book a chance and looked it over in Barnes & Noble.  I read the story of why she opted to go for a more natural sustainable lifestyle while sitting in the cafe and felt I could totally relate.  Jessica Alba is like me...aside from the kids, how hot and famous she is and the red carpet stuff anyway LOL I ordered my own copy.

I carried the book around with me for a while, reading sections when I had time.  This book is great. The way it is broken down is wonderful.  You can read the whole thing, read just a section for what you want to know about &/or use it as a reference about certain things and go back to it.  For me, the food section was most informative.  She explains things well and in terms you understand.  I am a picky eater trying to learn about new foods, what they are like and how to cook them and she describes this all really well which works for me.  Picky eaters need info about what to expect.

The book is beautiful, which always sells me.  I love the pictures and design.  I love the layout.  I am an artist and librarian, I just can't help myself.  Then the content is great.  It is broken down into sections.  You get a section on honest food, honest cleaning, honest beauty, honest style, honest home, honest baby and honest inspiration.  She writes in a relatable way, gives good accurate info and she DOES NOT guilt trip you into her lifestyle.  I get very turned off by books by people who act like it is their way or the highway with an all or nothing attitutde. This is NOT a book like that.  This book makes me ask, why am I not friends with Jessica Alba?  She is very down to earth from the sounds of things.  She loves family and friends, she loves to cook and decorate, she just seems so real and I love that.

You can find the book at her company's website Honest.com (listed under Bath & Body) or at another retailer.  If you use the link here, they will know I sent you there.  If you want more info, check out the video below.

  Honest.com is your trusted source for non-toxic, high-performing, eco-friendly, and stylish products for your family.




I am in an affiliate program with the Honest Company.   I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Emani Minerals Loose Mineral Shadows

I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these items myself. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I receive any items mentioned on this blog. 

I had a work conference in Buffalo, NY during June and when I poked around looking for stuff to do there, I found a natural store that sold makeup like Alima Pure so I decided to go check it out.  When I was there, I spotted Emani Minerals and decided to give them a try.  I picked up a purple, a green and a more neutral shade.  These minerals are very nice, right on par with other mineral eyeshadows I have worn.  They look rich and pretty and last well.  They retail for $10.50 each which is a decent price for a good size jar of mineral eyeshadow.
applied dry first, then foiled (wet)
Info from the Emani Minerals Website
EMANI is a bold new standard in the world of eco-friendly, vegan make-up designed for the fashion-forward, eco-conscious, every-day woman who’s just as passionate about her Louboutins as she is about recycling.

Mission
Our mission is simply be the World’s leading Vegan cosmetic line where green & glamor happily meet. Most consumers that currently buy “green, natural or organic” have a subconscious acceptance that performance will not exceed mass-market products. We use our unique math balance of 99/1. Ninety-nine (99%) naturals/organic + one (1%) pure geek science to create our own trifecta balance of Perfect Product Performance.

Company Overview
Established since 1998 with one simple purpose - to provide a line of cosmetics for everyone that goes beyond the high standards of the professional make-up industry while integrating the benefits of mineral-based products. Since 2005, EMANI is completely Vegan and Gluten free.




 I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog. 

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Seventh Generation Boosts - Protecting Skin Boosting Serum

I am not affiliated with this company. This item was sent to me for review purposes only. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I receive any items mentioned on this blog. 

I was so excited to hear from Seventh Generation that they wanted me to test out their new skin boosting serum.  I thought that the Protecting serum sounded best for my skin type and have been using it morning and night for a couple weeks now.

This is like other facial oils in that a little bit goes a long way.  My skin seems to really like the combo.  I feel well hydrated and soft.  My skin looks great too.  Best thing about this...the smell.  Oh my, it smells divine.  Suggested retail is $14.99.  Not too shabby if you ask me!  If Seventh Gen continues to make products for personal care, I am really interested and excited to see what else they come out with.  It looks like you can find these at Walgreens!

You can find information on the boosts and figure out which one is best for your skin at: http://www.seventhgeneration.com/boosts  Not only that but if you scroll down on that page, you can get a $3 off coupon to buy one at Walgreens.


Info from the Seventh Generation Website

Protecting Boost is like your own personal defense system against everyday elements. Rich with Prickly Pear and Omega-3 fatty acids, Protecting Boost shields your skin from environmental damage and helps prevent natural moisture loss.
  • Highly concentrated – no water added
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Won't clog pores
  • Free of parabens, phthalates and synthetic  fragrances
  • Hypoallergenic
  • USDA-certified Biobased (100%)
Ingredients: 
Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, fragaria ananassa (strawberry) seed oil, ribes nigrum (black currant) seed oil, sambucus nigra (elderberry) seed oil, juniperus virginiana (cedar) oil, opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear) fruit extract, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower oil, cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass) oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, salvia sclarea (clary sage) oil, and rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.
Usage: 
Direct Treatment:
Apply 1 to 2 pumps to fingertips and massage into damp skin
Customized Boost:
Mix 1 to 2 pumps in your hand with any Seventh Generation lotion or cleanser and massage into skin.
Use daily, or as needed.


I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Beauty Au Natural Virtual Beauty Yard Sale - Summer 2013

I am ready for some major decluttering and if you know how my blog started, it was partly because of chemical sensitivities and partly because of a movement to wear all of my makeup or get rid of it.  I think it is very important to use what you own and honor those items or find a good home for them.  I am also experiencing some financial difficulties right now so what better way to help raise some funds to pay bills and get rid of stuff that isn't getting used that a Virtual Beauty Yard Sale!

Please click this link or the Beauty Au Natural Sale tab above to view my sale and email me if you are interested in anything listed.

I also have some free stuff listed because I either got them for free, do not  know of their value or would rather not sell them because they are used and I don't know of the fill level but someone might be interested. With the free stuff, let me know what you want and just send me some money to cover shipping.












 I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog. 


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Friday, August 2, 2013

The Honest Co. Premium Eco-friendly Baby Diapers

I am in an affiliate program with this company. These items were sent to me for review purposes only. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I receive any items mentioned on this blog. 

Honest Baby Products: non-toxic and stylish diapers and wipes



I was sent some items from the Honest Co to test out.  The Honest Co. is Jessica Alba's company that sells eco-friendly, gentle products for health & wellness, cleaning, bath & body and babies & kids.  I was invited to join their affiliate program and happily said yes since I strongly believe in their philosophy.  One of the first things I got to try out were baby diapers.  No, I haven't had a baby and forgotten to tell you all.  My good friend had her 2nd baby in June though so little Penelope was my diaper tester.

Penelope tested out Honest Co's newborn diapers.  Her mommy said they worked great, just as well as any other diapers.  No leaks, no issues.  Her only complaint was that the fit was a bit different.  She said they didn't come up as high as other diapers she normally uses. The prints are adorable, she said it was kind of sad to know they would just get pooped or peed on LOL   Beyond that, she said if the cost was right, she doesn't see why she would not buy these.

They had just diapers available, bundles with wipes.  They also have swim diapers and training diapers as well as diaper cakes for gifts.  You can also subscribe to a bundle and get it delivered automatically.

Click the links above or the image to the left if you would like to order or check out their products.  Using my links tells them I sent you there and helps me out.  There should also be a link to Honest Co. in the ads to the right.  Click any of those and they will know I sent you there.








Info from the Honest Co Website
Our ultra absorbent, eco-friendly diapers are extra soft, hypoallergenic, free of chlorine processing & risky additives (like fragrances, lotions, and latex). Oh, and did we mention how adorable they are?
  • Plant-based (PLA) inner & outer layers — gentle on your baby's bottom
  • Sustainably harvested pulp - NO chlorine processing or harsh chemical bleaches
  • Natural citrus & chlorophyll odor-inhibitors
  • Bio-based wheat/corn blend in super-absorbent core — less sodium polyacrylate
  • Yes, diapers can be fun too! Cute, stylish designs for girls & boys — updated seasonally!Never miss out.
  • Comfy-stretch side panels & soft, refastenable tabs for perfect fit & wigglability!
  • Securely fitting moisture barrier cuffs prevent leakage & blowouts — fewer accidents, less laundry!
  • Simply pure — NO risky fragrances, lotions, or latex
  • Gentle, safe, and non-irritating for the most sensitive skin



 I am in an affiliate program with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog. 

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tarte Friends & Family Time!

I am in an affiliate program with this company. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I receive any items mentioned on this blog.

Please shop through these links so they know I sent you!

30% OFF* all orders on tarte.com with code TARTEFF at checkout.
30% OFF* all orders on tarte.com with code TARTEFF at checkout.



*Only valid on www.tarte.com. Must enter promo code TARTEFF at checkout. Cannot be combined with any other promo codes/offers/discounts. Offer valid only on in-stock items, no rain checks. Offer not valid on previous purchases. Tarte can only process and ship orders within the US and PR. Free shipping applies to orders of $40 and up after any discounts have been applied. Free shipping applies only to FedEx ground shipping. Additional fees for tax and/or shipping may apply. Samples are subject to change at any time and without notice. Tarte has the right to cancel any orders due to unauthorized use of our website or violation of our Terms of Use. Offer begins on July 31, 2013 and expires on August 4, 2013 at 11:59pm ET.


 I am in an affiliate program with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Kahina Giving Beauty Argan & Aloe Set

I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these items myself. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I receive any items mentioned on this blog. 

I was so excited that I won a gift card to Kahina Giving Beauty from the Eco Salon Earth Day Chat I posted about a while ago.  They had a giveaway that if you entered and also participated in the talk and asked a question, your entry qualified to win a prize.  Lucky me, I won one of the prizes!!! I had wanted to try this brand forever.  Many of the natural beauty gurus out there rave about it.  I poked around the website and decided to go for the Argan and Aloe set because reviews were great and it was a good deal.  I always like to get the most for my money, even if I have a gift card.  I still had to pay the difference.

The set comes in a beautiful blue bag and I love the packaging, so simple yet striking. The bag contains their Aloe Toning Mist and their famous Argan Oil. I was very surprised by how nice the products were but I am addicted to the Aloe Toning Mist. I use it morning and night before I moisturize and find it compliments any face products that I choose to use.   I prefer to use the oil as a weekly treat instead of as a daily item, especially after doing a cleansing face mask.  The products can be a bit pricey, which is why it took me so long to try them out, but they are the highest quality you can get with natural skincare items.

Info from the Kahina Giving Beauty Website

KAHINA ARGAN AND ALOE SET


Refresh, replenish and restore radiance to skin with Kahina Argan Oil and Kahina Toning Mist. Infused with miraculous healing ingredients from Morocco's desert, these TSA-friendly products can go wherever your travels take you.
• Toning Mist provides soothing, weightless moisture and increases the absorption of serums and oils
• Argan Oil is a multipurpose, antioxidant- and vitamin-rich oil for face, hair, and body
• The ideal skincare duo for flight travel, beach days and warm-weather destinations
• For all skin types
• Iridescent blue bag is zippered, reusable, washable, and fits all your travel/beach beauty essentials
This limited edition set comes in a bag hand-loomed by seventeenth generation weavers in Fes, Morocco. The pouch is made from fibers of the aloe vera cactus plant, so it looks like silk but is 100% vegan and durable.

Usage: • After cleansing morning and evening, spritz Toning Mist, priming skin for argan oil application. • Apply 2-3 drops of argan oil (or as needed) morning and evening before optional moisturizer and sunscreen. • Toning Mist can be applied over makeup and sunscreen throughout the day as a refreshing weightless moisturizer. • Use versatile Kahina Argan Oil on face, body, and hair, especially before and after sun exposure and during flights. - 

Bag measures 7 1/2″ x 6 3/4″
CONTENTS: Kahina Argan Oil (30 ml/1 fl. oz), Kahina Toning Mist (50 ml/1.6 fl. oz)
A $100 Value
PRICE: $78.00
- See more at: http://kahina-givingbeauty.com/shop/kahina-argan-and-aloe-set/#sthash.CimAq8oy.dpuf



 I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog. 

***Please do not use the content or images from this blog without crediting the source and linking back to this blog. Doing so without permission and crediting the source is copyright infringement.Thank you.***

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