A Winter Staple Nail Polish

This is Presley by Zoya, originally released in their 2017 Fall collection, Sophisticates – which is honestly one of their best collections ever because I wear all the shades numerous times every year. Presley is one of my most used, all year long, but especially during cold months. This neutral dusty mauve can pull cool toned on warm skin tones, and warm toned on cool skin tones. It’s a pinch deeper than a pastel or a light mauve, without looking like a rich color. The formula is a two-coater creme, self leveling to a smooth surface manicure. In this photo I’m wearing a layer of Zoya Gelie Cure, Naked Base Coat, 2 coats Presley, Naked Glossy Seal Top Coat.

A Deodorant Review

I’m the type of person who has a hard time sticking to one deodorant, not because I like to try new things (well, maybe a little bit), but mostly it’s my high maintenance skin. My lovely armpits hate alcohol, hate fragrance, and have a weird on again off again relationship with coconut oil. On top of that, I’ve sworn off toxic deodorants, so the journey for natural and safe options has been long and unsatisfying… until now!

I’ve been using the Kosas AHA Serum Deodorant (2.4 fl oz, $15) in both the Serene Clean scent and the Fragrance Free versions. I bought these when they first released, and then bought more for my kids. We are very pleased with them. Unlike most deodorants that seem to wear off throughout the day, the Kosas deodorant lasts all day, all night, and even by the next morning you’re feeling dry and smelling neutral. It’s truly amazing to not feel hyper conscious about your underarms.

The product description: “Your pits need an AHA moment. This is a clean, stain-free deodorant with a unique blend of AHAs for the ultimate BO-fighting treatment. Bonus points: soothes skin, visibly brightens, and helps prevent ingrown hairs. No aluminum. No baking soda.” “Our specific AHA blend helps create a pH environment that minimizes odor-causing bacteria—leaving you feeling fresh and clean.” “The AHA blend keeps your BO in check, but it also visibly brightens and exfoliates to help with uncomfy ingrown hairs. Additional skincare ingredients also work to moisturize and soothe the sensitive skin of your pit.” “The lightweight serum dries quickly and doesn’t leave a residue or stain on your clothes. The cooling roller ball is also super easy and feels sooo good going on your skin.”

In my experience, this product is definitely as good as it seems, and the whole reason I’m typing up this blog post is to share it with my friends who want more non toxic options in skincare and hygiene. It’s definitely worth trying! 🙂

Check out their ingredient list here.

A Fall Nail Polish Combo

It’s officially fall, even though our temps here in CA are still 80s – 90s (our seasonal transition periods can get lengthy), so I’m in the mood for autumnal color palettes. I’m not ready for vampy shades just yet, but dusty hues are getting me giddy! I’m currently trying to talk myself out of buying the new Zoya Luscious line for fall, we’ll see how strong I am 😉 in the mean time I’m looking at my nail polish collection and zeroing in on the berries, taupes, and beiges.

One shade in particular I’ve been wearing all of September, a jelly lavender grey taupe ish color… called Vickie. I’ve worn it alone as a two coat manicure, as well as a jelly sandwich with the gold cellophane flakey Maria Luisa (one coat Vicki, one coat ML, one coat Vickie, one coat ML). The jelly sandwich gives off a cool dimensional effect, and also gives me major nostalgia of SinfulColors Prosecco, that dusty taupe with the golden shimmer that was a hotty in the nail polish circles like 5ish years ago.

My Non-Toxic Lifestyle Journey

Around the time I stopped blogging, mid-2017, I experienced a horribly uncomfortable case of dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin with symptoms such as itchiness, rash, scaling, and peeling. Unfortunately this was caused by a body cleansing product that I had been using off and on for years. It was a higher end brand, and formulated to be delicate on the skin. What I didn’t realize was that it included some known skin irritant chemicals as well as fragrance. I began to research what “fragrance” actually is and I was blown away by how unsafe these additives in cosmetics can be! Here’s a link to an article on safecosmetics.com on fragrance in products.

I’ve always considered myself to have sensitive skin, even as a kid, baby lotion and body wash and facial soap bars all irritated my skin – turning it red, raw, flaking, itchy, and tender. After I learned that these everyday cosmetics products (skincare, body cleansing, makeup, etc.) almost always have at least one known skin irritant included in their formulations, I had a moment of disgust. These brands don’t mention a warning that their products may have unsafe ingredients, even when they market products for sensitive or delicate skin issues (they love to use hot words like “natural”, “gentle”, “green”, “clean”, “clear”, and so many more manipulative terms). However, they still have harsh chemicals in their formulas.

I felt like I’ve been gullible all my life, assuming if something wasn’t safe they wouldn’t even allow these things to be sold in stores to unaware consumers. This even goes for unassuming products to be used on children, starting at the newborn stage. When my youngest child was born in 2012, I quickly noticed he was having mild to severe skin irritation from everything we used on him, from diapers and skin care to laundry detergents and textiles. I tried to switch to all the “gentle and delicate” baby care products, but they were still harsh on him. Thankfully I discovered The Honest Company when they first launched their diaper subscription service. It was actually in one of those boxes that I purchased Jessica Alba’s book, The Honest Life, and after reading her relationship with a safe and clean lifestyle, I knew this was something I had to do for the better health of my family.

In the years since, I have developed a passion to educate myself on what harmful chemicals in products actually are, researching the science and studies behind these chemicals, learning how to read ingredient lists on products, and understanding how to find natural or safer alternatives to the everyday items we use in our household, as well as on and in our bodies. Our cleaner lifestyle is so much more conscious and purposeful than before, we’ve even started looking into sustainable and biodegradable items for our home. Throughout this whole journey, I’ve made it a point to educate my children on why we research before purchasing, why we think about our needs before impulse buying stuff in stores, and why we want to surround ourselves with safe and healthy things. It’s much easier to do this lifestyle when those around you understand the importance of it, and can help think of ideas on how to improve our everyday living.

One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to share what I’ve been learning and how I’m implementing all of it into our life. I think, at first, this type of information can feel overwhelming and a little confusing on where and how to start making changes. So, hopefully, I can help others looking to take a similar journey to cleaner conscious living. It doesn’t need to happen all at once, you don’t need to go through your house and throw out everything unsafe right away. If you take the time to educate yourself on why something isn’t good for you or the environment, it’s much easier to see what you should do instead, plus it’s easier to feel proud of your choices when you’ve got the facts to lead you in the right direction.

It’s Me Again

Oh hello! It’s been about 2.5 years since I had a blog, and in the past few months I’ve been missing the creative outlet of writing and photography. I finally decided I’m just going to throw together a simple site and take it real casual 🙂 For those who don’t know me…

Hi! I’m Krystal! I’m 30-something, living in California, married mother of 2, super professional homemaker, and rabid reader. I used to be a hardcore beauty blogger from 2011-2017ish, I even did regular videos on YouTube, and had a couple additional blogs on the side for lifestyle and food. I get asked a lot why I stepped away from blogging when I was pretty successful and had a growing following on social media. I always answer honestly: it became a job instead of a passion, plus “influencers” became an explosive trend and it diluted the respect and expectations for online reviewers or “gurus” as we used to call them back in the good old days.

Even though I’ve dropped the persona of a blogger online, I still treat my Instagram like a micro blog. I’ve been sharing little things here and there about what makeup I’m liking, what nail polish I’m wearing, tiny hauls from new-to-me brands, decluttering my life of toxic chemical based products and learning to live a cleaner lifestyle. It’s been so much fun to interact with friends on IG about these topics, I’ve learned a lot and have helped others looking for more information on cleaner and safer products. I figured having a blog would be useful for topics that I get longwinded about, plus I can add in links for those looking to research more in depth.

This blog will be very casual for me, as in, I won’t hold myself to any standards or requirements like a traditional blogger, or more honestly, like how I used to perform as a professional and organized blogger. I just want to have an open canvas to share my thoughts and opinions on things I enjoy or have learned.