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Beauty & Tutorials

9 Clean Beauty & Personal Care Products That Work

I've tried and tested a lot. These clean products have me never looking back to their toxic counterparts
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

I’ve been really interested in clean beauty and personal care products for awhile now.  And I know that’s a result of working for Waiting On Martha, which has led us to launch a sister wellness brand called The Well Code.  It’s also as a result of following a lot of wellness folks, and having a boyfriend who avidly researches “biohacking” on the reg.  I’m become a true believer that clean beauty matters in my everyday physical and emotional wellbeing.  

But I have to admit that I still struggle with finding a simple explanation to give to friends and family when they ask me WHY, and if it’s actually worth it.  I usually get a lot of “everything is bad for us at this point”-type jokes.  So literally, just last week, when I stumbled on this post by Colorful Eats on the Primally Pure Skincare blog, I was thrilled to find a clear explanation that summed it up well.  

In the post, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Caroline Potter explains that many of our well-known, been-around-forever beauty and personal care products include endocrine disruptors, or man-made chemicals or substances that interfere with the body’s endocrine system.  These endocrine disruptors cause hormone imbalances, which lead to problems with development, reproduction, brain health, the immune system and more.  Estrogen starts to take over, and estrogen dominance in our bodies can cause adrenal fatigue, severe menstrual cramping, hormonal acne, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, miscarriage, uterine fibroids, PCOS and just feeling “off” in general when it comes to your energy, emotions and hormones.  It’s really scary how much of our emotional and physical is affected by hormones…and especially when they’re all out of whack because of the products we’re putting into our bodies! 

Okay—whew—so with that being said, I’d be lying if I said it was all an easy switch in finding these solutions. It took a lot of trial and error…and some patience and faith that there were actual alternatives out there.  So today I wanted to share a few easy swaps that I’ve made recently, and literally have me NEVER looking back to their respective and toxic counterparts.  These are all safer, yet equally effective products.  

And a disclosure: I also know that I’ve probably had more patience than many to do the product trials; swapping out your favorite mascara and dry shampoo can feel like a lot of work, especially when you find some that don’t work!  Not to mention, it can put a dent in your wallet when you spend money on a lot of duds.  You may try a natural deodorant to find that it doesn’t work, then you wonder if it’s even worth it at all to try to find another one.  Which, P.S. I’ve FINALLY found a natural deodorant that works for me and doesn’t make me get stinky throughout the day from Primally Pure…listing it below but you can also find it here

I’m writing this today to hopefully give you a few shortcuts on effective, clean beauty products that are even better than their counterparts.  Good luck!  Cheers, Kat

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TARTE Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

Sephora, $23

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I have been using L’Oreal Voluminous mascara for years.  Any other diehard fan out there?!  It’s just the only mascara that gave my lashes enough shape without clumping them together.  Other mascaras even make them look THINNER than they regularly are.  

I figured mascara would be one of those things I could never find a clean swap for.  I was willing to give up and just use the toxic stuff.  After all, by then I had a pretty clean lineup for the rest of the products on my counter.  Well that was all until I found TARTE’s Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara.  

It’s considered a reparative AND volumizing mascara that’s infused with Amazonian clay. It’s said to deliver a 406 percent increase in lash volume, which I can’t deny.  And it helps to repair and rebuild the lashes for the long term.  Amazonian clay apparently is known for intuitively restoring hydration and the skin’s texture, and it works to hydrate and replenish dry and brittle lashes to prevent fallout.

Seriously, it’s good. It gives me the same effect as when I use that beloved grey Voluminous mascara with gold top. This one, however doesn’t have parabens, sulfates or phthalates. It’s also vegan and never contains mineral oil, sodium lauryl or gluten. 

Use this mascara instead of L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo

Sephora, $31

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I’ve tried a lot of clean, organic shampoos.  Man, I thought it would be an easy switch.  A lot of them, I’ve found, leave my hair feeling brittle, definitely a lot dryer, and just blah.  I have a lot of hair too; it’s thick, with a bit of wave and definitely lots of volume.  So finding a good shampoo that made my hair smell good, feel soft, and that wasn’t super toxic was a BIG challenge for me.  

Enter Bumble & Bumbler’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil line.  Typically most Bumble & Bumble products rate pretttttty toxic, not horrible but not good, because of their fragrances. But this one includes six natural oils that are super hydrating and can help dry, coarse, frizzy hair. 

This shampoo rates a 4 out of 10 in toxicity on the Think Dirty app (download NOW if you haven’t already). That’s a really good number for me when I take in all the factors of the good results compared to other alternatives.  No parabens, sulfates, phthalates or alcohol that dries out hair. 

Use this shampoo instead of Nexxus Therappe Luxurious Moisturizing Shampoo

Sensitive Deodorant in Lavender

Primally Pure, $12

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Oh my gosh, have I tried enough natural deodorants to give up!  I mean I’ve literally gone back to Secret deodorant several times after being so frustrated that I can’t seem to find a deodorant that doesn’t make me smell funky. 

I want to scream it from the rooftops now that I found Primally Pure, and the sensitive version to be exact, that has finally given me the protection I need during my day. 

One thing to note, however, is that it is NOT an anti-perspirant.  We’re supposed to sweat, and we’re hurting our bodies when we try to block that important daily process. That being said, once you use natural deodorant for a few weeks or months, you’ll find that you really aren’t sweating as much as you were before, because you most likely are on the road to detoxing your body from those funky chemicals that were making you stink in the first place!  
I know you might not believe me, but I’ve seen a huge difference in the past few weeks. You just need to be patient.  I can’t recommend this deodorant enough!  I have the Sensitive in Lavender because I get pretty bad razor burn there, but I know the other scents and variations are probably just as effective. 

Primally Pure’s ingredients include tallow from grass-fed cows and organic and fair trade coconut oil.  I also love that the product is packaged in BPA-free plastic twist tubes.  

Use this deodorant instead of Secret Shower Fresh pH Balance Deodorant.

One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

Waiting on Martha Home, $42

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It’s incredibly important to thoroughly wash ALL of your makeup off your face and neck every night in order to keep your face looking and feeling fresh, and to remove any lingering chemicals or added substances from your skin.  

My absolute favorite makeup remover is by One Love Organics.  In fact, I think the entire WOM team is obsessed with this very product.  It basically made me start to enjoy washing my face; it’s a luxurious, non-stripping oil that smells absolutely incredibly and it effortlessly lifts away all impurities and makeup.  

It also plays double-duty and restores your natural moisture barrier of the skin and pH balance.  I’ve found that a lot of cleansers, even organic ones, can leave the skin feeling really dry.  This oil has the absolute opposite effect. I’m OBSESSED.

Use this makeup remover instead of Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent.

Smith & Cult in Pillow Pie

Net-a-Porter

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Nail polish cannot be good for you with all those fumes, right?!  Yes.  Back in 2015, the EWG reported that most popular polishes contain a suspected endocrine disruptor called triphenyl phopshte, or TPHP.

I’ve tried several organic, all natural brands of nail polish and keep coming back to the only one that really works as well as my favorite OPI and Essie polishes…Smith & Cult.  But this brand is free from formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl, and it gives me peace of mind when I have it on my fingers 24/7, while also saving me a boatload of money by avoiding the nail salon. 

Use this nail polish instead of OPI Mod About You

Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo

One Love Organics, $29

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Ah, dry shampoo.  Many of us use this stuff A LOT.  So it should be a bit alarming that it usually comes with a long ingredients list. 

I’ve been using OLO’s dry shampoo for awhile now; it smells amazing but never overpowering, and it blends really easily in my brown hair.  It includes good ingredients too; think a unique blend of highly absorbent Georgia Kaolin Clay, hyularonic acid, and silica rich bamboo extract.  It successfully works to soften, strengthen and nourish your hair in between shampoos and whenever you need a little va-va-voom. If you’re putting it on your scalp every day, don’t you want it to be working double-duty for healthy locks, too?! 

Use this dry shampoo instead of Suave Professionals Keratin Dy Shampoo

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap - Baby Mild 32 oz.

Target, $15.99

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Body wash is a super easy switch, in my opinion.  Dr. Bronner’s is an age-old, super clean and simple solution that comes in several different scents.  I personally love this unscented, mild version as well as the Peppermint and also the Almond. All of the formulas  are made from natural ingredients, and it’s very gentle on soft skin.  Added bonus? You can use it for about 20234928304 purposes too.  Five generations and 150 years of soapmaking have proven the safest way to stay clean.  Read about the amazing Dr. Bronner’s story here

Use this body wash instead of Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

COOLA Unscented Matte Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Nordstrom, $36

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The majority of conventional sunscreens are toxic in that they literally place a chemical barrier on top of your skin to block the sun’s rays. They usually use chemicals like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

COOLA rates relatively low on EWG’s toxicity scales, just stay away from the scented products in the sunscreen line.  I especially love to apply this lightly tinted, broad-spectrum SPF 30 mineral sunscreen under my makeup in the morning.  It has antioxidant benefits and a matte finish that offers a bit of coverage without feeling too greasy or heavy.  It also has rose hip oil that’s rich in free radical fighting vitamin C and hydrating shea butter to help skin improve elasticity and retain moisture for an overall healthy complexion. COOLA is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, oxybenzone-free, cruelty-free and vegan.  Boom!

Use this face sunscreen instead of Neutrogena Clear Face SPF 30

Charlie's Soap Fragrance Free Laundry Powder

Amazon, $16.99

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Another really simple clean swap is with laundry detergent!  Even the seemingly safe option at Target or Walmart is probably laden with chemicals and fragrance that will disrupt your body’s vibes.  Think about how much time you spend in your bed sheets, wrapped in your towels and wearing your clothes!

This laundry powder is incredibly clean, and just as easy to use as all powder laundry detergents. Now that I’ve gone all natural with this step, I literally never consider going back.

Use this laundry detergent instead of Tide Mountain Spring Turbo Powder Laundry Detergent

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

End of Summer Hydrating Skincare & Hair Essentials

My current favorite products for a little much-needed TLC
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

End of summer always finds me with a renewed desire to give my skin and hair a little TLC after months of sun rays, humidity and what-have-you. Today’s list of products includes some of my favorite hydrating, detoxifying, clarifying and all around MVP products worth giving a whirl this time of year. 

We recently introduced Herbivore Botanicals into the shoppe.  And I’m already such a huge fan; the Phoenix Facial Oil, Blue Tansy gel mask and the Detox and Calm bath salts are already some of my favorites in my entire beauty routine. I’m finding that the Blue Tansy mask is the perfect soothing, cooling gel that my skin is craving right now.  

As for hair: I’m really digging Aveda’s line right now.  Made without parabens, sulfates and phthalates, the collection of products bring moisture, nutrients and body back into my strands, and at a relatively affordable price point too.  I’m sticking to the Damage Remedy conditioner to help repair dry, brittle ends.  Have you tried any of their products lately?  I’d love to know your go-to’s and favorites!

Read on about the rest of the products below, and like always, chime in with must-try brands and products I should know about!  Truly, MKR

P.S. Discover more of my favorite all natural products HERE. xo 

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Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask

Waiting on Martha Home, $48

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I’m all about the cooling nature of this resurfacing clarity mask.  The blue gel gently exfoliates, smoothes, and resurfaces skin’s texture, leaving it feeling and looking rejuvenated. Perfect for end-of-summer skin! 

Savvy Minerals Lipstick in Wish

Young Living via The Well Code, $22.75

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Young Living, my go-to for essential oils and nontoxic home products, just came out with an all natural makeup line!  I know, I know; great news.  I bee-lined to try this lipstick and I am such a fan.  It offers plenty of shine, plus nice and natural looking color, and it’s made of natural ingredients.  Since I basically eat lipstick, finding a nontoxic option is really important to me.  It’s been formulated without parabens, phthalates, fragrances, etc.  Added bonus: it moisturizes lips and is anything but dry; the creamy texture glides on so smoothly, and stays on for hours!

If you’re interested in joining the team over at The Well Code, aka receiving major discounts on YL products and learning about all natural skincare and nontoxic household must-haves, click HERE

Savvy Minerals Lipgloss in

Young Living via The Well Code, $27.50

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As I mention above, Young Living’s new natural makeup line is incredible.  I also tried out the new lipgloss, and it does not disappoint. Like the lipstick, itt’s been formulated without parabens, phthalates, fragrances, etc.  It gives me sheer coverage that looks great alone during the day or on top of lipstick. 

If you’re interested in joining the team over at The Well Code, aka receiving major discounts on YL products and learning about all natural skincare and nontoxic household must-haves, click HERE

Aveda Damage Therapy Restructuring Conditioner

Nordstrom, $30

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Quinoa in haircare?!  Yes, yes.  This conditioner includes a quinoa protein to bring life back to damaged hair.  It’s suitable for all hair types, and I’ve found that it helps to majorly detangle my hair.  Like all Aveda hair products, I’m super impressed. 

Aveda Thickening Tonic

Nordstrom, $29

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I like to apply this thickening tonic post-shower to towel dried hair.  It’s a great nontoxic formula, 97% naturally derived in fact) that’s paraben free, sulfate free and phthalate free.  I feel it gives my hair a little more ooph during a good blow-dry! 

Herbivore Botanicals Detox Bath Salt

Waiting on Martha Home, $18

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Bath time has become some sort of a ritual for me; it’s my time to relax, unwind and detox.  These are my favorite bath salts to do just that; the blend of lavender, eucalyptus and Cambrian blue clay works together to detox impurities and clear my mind. 

Erno Laszlo White Marble Brightening Face Mask

Nordstrom, $80

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I’ve heard a lot of hype about these face masks so I just had to try them.  The pair acts as a hydrating peel-off mask duo that promises to soothe, cool the skin and brighten your entire complexion. 

My verdict? The mask feels amazing, and it packs results you can literally see immediately.  Though a splurge, I’ll be masking up with these when I need a whole lot of hydrating TLC! 

Moon Juice Brain Dust

Waiting on Martha Home, $38

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Getting my hair, skin and mind right in the post-summer haze is important to me.  I’ve been mixing in a tablespoon of Brain Dust to my morning coffee and/or afternoon tea.  It includes an special blend of adaptogens that help promote clarity, creativity, alertness and the capacity to handle whatever stresses come my way. Seriously, a must-try!

Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil

Waiting on Martha Home, $88

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Here’s another current favorite from Herbivore Botanicals: Phoenix Facial Oil.  Not only do I feel a bit magical as I use this, I love the all natural ingredients and the luxe blend of botanical oils.  It packs some SERIOUS moisture back into my skin, dramatically rehydrating and rejuvenating it at a cellular level.  As a result, my skin feels silky and smooth.  If you’re looking for some concentrated moisture after a summer full of sun, this is your oil.

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Spot Treatment

Waiting on Martha Home, $22

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The Blue Clay Spot Treatment Mask is another favorite of mine when I need some quick spot treatment on blemishes or if I’ve feeling like pollution or other factors may have taken a toll on my skin.  It does the trick and diminishes breakouts almost overnight.  It is a bit drying, so I always follow it with an ultra-moisturizing cream or facial oil. 

Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts

Waiting on Martha Home, $18

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Another favorite blend of bath salts, this calming blend is incredibly soothing.  It has ylang ylang, natural vanilla and Himalayan pink salt crystals for ultimate relaxation and flora, mood boosting effects.  Love the idea of gifting these to a friend along with a candle or dry brush! 

Mini Fascia Blaster

Ashley Black , $60

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 I’ve written on here about the Fascia Blaster before; it’s a wonder tool to help “knead” the fascia, as it appears as cellulite, on the body.  This mini version has a convenient shape with a handle, 1 claw, and a nugget tip that allows for easy transitioning between FasciaBlasting and pressure point therapy for hard-to-reach areas in your traps, neck, upper back, deltoids, lower leg, and inner thighs. 

Healing Foot Butter

Waiting on Martha Home, $13

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I always find myself needing to give my feet a little extra TLC this time of year, and I’ve turned to our Healing Foot Butter from the shoppe.  It’s made of essential oils like grapefruit, patchouli and lemongrass, and works to soothe and soften dry and tired feet.  Paired with a Merben dry brush, it has the perfect healing effect.

James Read Tan Coconut Melting Tanning Balm

Dermstore, $35

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By now you know how fair my skin is, and that I probably don’t wear self tanner a lot.  Until I discovered this one.  It has a blend of organic virgin coconut oil and a hint of self tan, so it’s a deeply hydrating formula that gives a nice subtle glow. 
Not to mention, it smells amazing.  Most self-tanners smell like garbage but this one is all coconuts! 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

New Additions to my Natural Beauty Routine

Nourishing & Healing Must-Haves for Your Weekly Beauty Routine
Filed Under > Beauty & Tutorials

Glo Pro microneedling and more beauty must-haves on Waiting on Martha

By now you know how much I enjoy discovering new all natural beauty and personal care products.  And when I find good buys I want to sing it from the rooftops, like this Glo Pro microneedling tool and a completely clean and hypoallergenic perfume.  I just love the fact that so many clean, nontoxic brands are surfacing now that we’re putting a focus on the ingredients and processes behind them.  Today, I’ve included a few game-changers in my weekly beauty routine that nail all of the above.

Read more about all of the products below, and tell me if you’ve given any of them a try too!  I loved talking to so many of you at our grand opening of Waiting on Martha Home about natural beauty and skincare, and I’m thrilled to find so many of you enjoy the finds as much as I do and have interest in learning about new products.  We have more exciting brand launches coming to The Well Code collection soon!  Truly, MKR

P.S. For more all natural beauty must-haves and tools, be sure to browse HERE. xo

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Merben Jute Body Brush with White Handle

Waiting on Martha Home, $35

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I’ve written often about my love affair with dry brushing after learning about how potent this simple tool can be. It can help exfoliate the skin, while stimulating the lymphatic system for full-body health.

I love to dry brush in the morning before I take a shower; it helps to wake me up and slough off dry skin before cleansing. Always dry brush in circular motions, starting at the feet and moving over the entire body with light pressure in the direction of your heart. 

Essential for Women Vitamins

Ritual, $30/mo

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This convenient monthly subscription service makes taking your vitamins as easy as can be.  Ritual changed the game recently when it came on the scene, offering the nine essential nutrients that women lack the most, leaving out the common multi-vitamin ingredients that we don’t actually need. 

Ritual has taken the guesswork out of what vitamins to buy, keeping a monthly delivery plan affordable, and for that I’m definitely drinking the Kool-aid. 

EverCreme Deep Nourish Shampoo

L'Oreal, $7.99

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Really pleased to see the big dogs like L’Oreal come out with 5-free formulas that don’t include harsh sulfates, salts or surfactants that strip hair.  I’m always on the hunt for nourishing shampoo and conditioner that can help my dry and brittle locks after years of heat damage, and I’m thrilled to have this duo as part of my hair routine.  It’s especially gentle on color, and it smells divine. 

Merben Coconut Foot Brush with Healing Foot Butter Set

Waiting on Martha Home, $29.50

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This handmade foot brush is the secret to a great foot massage at home, and summer-ready feet!  I’ve found that it helps relieve aching feet, while also sloughing dry skin.  I follow the dry brush massage with the foot butter that’s included in the pack for maximum TLC. 

GloPro Microneedling Regeneration Tool

Nordstrom, $199

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Microneedling is a wonderful way to help your skin undergo the rejuvenation process, creating new collagen and restoring skin’s volume. It also helps your skincare products be absorbed 200x more!  

GloPro is definitely more of an investment than the microneedling tools found on Amazon, but it also includes a red LED light that helps cells grow 150-200% faster.  Also, once you buy the main device, the attachments aren’t too expensive to add on.  I recently purchased the body attachment for my décolleté area.

I’ve found that my skin feels firmer, smoother and altogether better after using this tool at night, usually 2-3 times per week. 

Coral: A Natural & Hypoallergenic Scent

Skylar

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Did you know that according to the EWG, companies that manufacture personal care products are required by law to list the ingredients they use, but fragrances and trade-secret formulas are exempt?  Your fancy perfume is most likely laden with toxic ingredients. And I recently read that fragrance can even be considered the new “second hand smoke” these days. #Yikes

Skylar, on the other hand, believes that amazing scents come naturally.  The brand offers all natural, cruelty-free and hypoallergenic scents that happen to smell beautiful.  

Satin Facial Scrub

Young Living via The Well Code, $16.25

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I picked up this mint Satin Facial Scrub as part of my Young Living Essential Rewards order last month, and I really enjoy using it a few times per week. It’s a water-based exfoliant that contains super nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil, mango butter, MSM, aloe, and revitalizing Peppermint essential oil.  It’s thought to minimize the appearance of pores and invigorate dull skin. 

Presence Essential Oil Blend

Body Mantra, $38

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Being present is one of my biggest focuses these days, especially with a million moving pieces going on at once for WOM.  I’m really taken by this all natural essential oil blend right now, and I’ve started to incorporate it into my morning ritual as I tell myself intentional mantras before I start my day. 

The brand also offers samples to help you test blends with your body chemistry before committing to full size products.  I found this to be a really helpful way to decide which one resonated the best with me. 

LURE Face & Eye Cupping Set

Amazon, $29.95

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The second that I watched this Instagram post, I knew I had to order this thing ASAP.  As you may know, cupping is known to reduce fine lines and deep wrinkles, while boosting collagen production and improving the overall look and feel of the skin.  And it only takes 3-5 minutes per day to see results…I’m hooked.

This simple cupping massage set can be found on Amazon under $30, and used in the comfort of your own home.  I’ve found that it calms me and even boosts my mind when I do it!  The set includes two face cups (face, neck, décolletage), two eye cups, and a free exfoliating brush. 

Woodlot Handmade Bar Soap

Waiting on Martha Home, $10.50

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These beautiful, handmade soap bars include a mix of nourishing and healing ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, shea butter and essential oils.  Each 4 oz bar has been traditionally air-cured for six weeks.

The nontoxic blend helps make bath time more intentional and simply more of a self care treat.  And not to mention, the bars make wonderful gifts for family and friends when paired with a sea soak or sea polish

One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Oil

Waiting on Martha Home, $49

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I LOVE this super-rich body moisturizer.  It actually has facial-grade ingredients that are blended specifically for the body, including an ultra-concentrated combination of vitamin C ester, papaya enzymes and organic shea oil. The mixture works together to deeply hydrate and gently exfoliate.  Not to mention, the oil leaves skin smelling amazing.

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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