Why It’s Time to Give Natural Makeup a Try

Sure, we’ve all heard that we need to be cautious about what we put in, on or even near our bodies, but how seriously do you ever really pay attention? Yes, I switched my water bottle to glass, I eat organic and I stopped buying things made with parabens. All that made me feel pretty dang good about myself. Then I got pregnant.


Suddenly the stakes became a lot higher. When I saw that little pea during the first ultrasound I began to wonder how anything even slightly toxic might affect something so tiny. Turns out I was right to become a lot more concerned! Did you know that 60 percent of what you put on your skin reaches your bloodstream?? Needless to say, I went on a mad beauty product purging spree when I learned that, ditching all the offensive lotions, hair products, cleansers, sprays, body washes, gels, nail polish, nail polish remover – everything I could think of. Again I was feeling really good about myself. But I skipped one important step. I just couldn’t quit my tried and true makeup products. Having to give up wine, chocolate and my favorite concealer?? That just felt like too much.


Until I started doing even more reading. I was rather dismayed to discover that the European Union currently bans 1,328 chemicals from its cosmetics but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned or restricted only 11! Cosmetics made in the US include lovely things like plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). Petroleum-extracted cosmetics ingredients, commonly found in mascara, may cause contact dermatitis and are often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN recently released a report calling endocrine disruptors a “global threat” to fertility and the environment. propylene glycol, methylparaben, and propylparaben, all of which are considered endocrine disruptors and are often found in foundations. They say women eat 7lbs of lipstick in their lifetime. Most of that is filled with parabens, harmful dyes and petroleum. Joy.

Even though I loved the bag of makeup tricks I’ve gotten comfortable with over all these years, now that I’m breast feeding, I realized the easy way out is just not worth it. Thankfully, no less than three people recommended the natural, organic makeup line W3ll People. I’ve been taking the line for a test run these last few weeks and have to say I’m pretty happy with the results!


What I ditched:

> Mascara
> Tinted moisturizer / BB cream
> Lipstick
> Cream & Powder Blush
> Eyeliner
> Concealer

PICK0271 (1)w3ll-people

W3ll People is made of a botanical complex of aloe, chamomile and green tea intended to move and breathe on the skin and eliminate the creasing you get with a lot of makeups. It doesn’t contain any of the baddies; fillers, parabens or petroleum-derived ingredients. But enough about all that – I know you’re asking does the stuff work??


I give the line an enthusiastic two thumbs up! There are a few products I’m particularly smitten with. I’m far from a makeup aficionado so I like anything that’s fool proof – and that describes the Narcissist Foundation Stick to a tee. It offers just enough coverage but in that subtle, no makeup kind of way. It also doesn’t crease! For a mama with her fair share of exhaustion lines I really appreciate that. Similarly, the Brightener Stick offers its only little magic touch. A swipe across the check bones and down the bridge of the nose offer just the right amount of glow to make you look refreshed – not overly sparkly.


The Multi Sticks for Eyes, Cheeks & Lips are super convenient – no need to carry a ton of products. The Hypnotist Eye Pencil goes on really easily and stayed put pretty well. But if I had to pick, my favorite item out of the whole line is  Expressionist Mascara. Mascara is part of my daily uniform. I feel naked without it. The W3LL PEOPLE mascara still gives me the thick, dark lashes I crave. They also give you a nice little curl – love that. Sure, it might smudge a bit more than my old chemical laden waterproof mascara but the inconvenience of double checking the mirror once or twice a day is worth the peace of mind.

So I say to all of you holding onto your favorite makeup products for fear of not finding something “good enough,” consider your fears assuaged. You can get “eco makeup” that makes you feel just as lovely as the stuff stuffed with “baddies” as W3LL PEOPLE calls them. And because you’re doing something good for your health you’re going to feel and look good inside as well as out. That alone is worth making the switch!

How about you guys? Have you tried “natural” or organic makeup products? Have you found any clear winners? Now that I’m on this bandwagon I want to build out my entire makeup bag!


images 1 and 2 via here // original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick // styling by bianca sotelo

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Summer Hairstyle Help!

So now that I’m a…why can’t I wear the label of mom?? I still haven’t quite figured that out…but I digress. Now that I’m lady with a baby, I don’t want my hair to immediately give it away! For the last two months my hair has sat in the I-Can’t-Remember-the-Last-Time-I-Was-Washed topknot. And if I do manage to take it down, my hair just hangs there depleted of the pregnancy induced health and bounce it once enjoyed.

So I’m on a mission. Between the poopy diapers, squeaky toys and endless rounds of Wheels on the Bus, I’m determined to keep a little bit of my edge! I have a haircut appointment – tomorrow! – and I want some non-mom, lady-with-a-baby hair. What do I mean by that exactly? Well, for the mom-side it needs to be low maintenance, easy to look decent after not having been washed for an embarrassingly long amount of time, and preferably not grabbable by little freakishly strong hands. But it also has to look cool. A little funky even.

Here are my top contenders!



Cropped, piece-y, easy to disguise bedhead. Lots of options for your part. I’m liking it. But maybe a little short (short = mom to me). Probably can’t pull it back. Given my schizophrenic half curly, half straight hair I’d probably have to blow dry….hmmm…



This would let me keep a little more length and make a bit of dramatic statement. But would that longer piece in front just really start to annoy me after a while??



Kinda digging the super flat edge on this cut. Definitely works for a strong straight style. It could stay long enough to be pulled back in a pinch. It’s definitely a look. You like?



This is basically what I have going on now with a little bit more definition and a lack of split ends. It reminds me of early Rachel hair. But is that a good thing? This is kind of a non-style style. Is that a cop-out? Not different enough??

This is where you come in. I need your opinion friends – especially from you fellow ladies with babies!! What hairstyle do you love? Is short really the only way to go? Or can you keep your hair long and figure out how to avoid the topknot trap?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am the type that usually makes a game time decision when I sit down in the stylist’s chair, so be sure to watch Instagram to find out what the heck I decide to do!

images via here

An Organic Take on Skincare

It’s official. I think getting away to enjoy a spa day is going to be a foreign concept for awhile! I’ve entered newborn land. Between feedings and diaper changes, laundry and oh yea, remembering to bathe myself, it looks like I’ll have to wait a month or two until things feel normal and I can schedule some peronsal pampering time. That said, I am making a point to carve out a few quick and easy at-home spa-like moments {thank gawd for grandmas!}. You’ve got to keep your sanity somehow! With just 20 minutes once a week and some yummy organic skincare products, I can give my face that nice “I just had a facial” glow and I feel much more human! It’s these little rituals that can make the trials of daily life a little easier to handle – even when a newborn isn’t involved. Oh and spending some me-time in an insanely gorgeous bathroom doesn’t hurt either!


Currently, I’m experimenting with Target’s first all-natural skin care line SW Basics. I love that each product includes less than five ingredients {and they’re all organic!} meaning higher-potency and less chance of any additives irritating my skin. For the past year I’ve been trying to switch out all of my beauty products to an organic option {especially once I found out I was pregnant} and this line makes it super affordable to do that. Yay!


When I’m craving a healthy skin boost, I first steam bath my face to open up my pores. Simply simmer a pot of water, take it off the stove, and put your face above it with a towel draped over your head, making a tent to trap the steam in. Do this for about five minutes and then wash your face and neck. I’ve fallen in love with rosewater over the years and this rosewater and tea tree oil cleanser is so gentle and hydrating.

Next, I exfoliate to get rid of any dry skin and to really give my face a deep clean. This organic oat flour, almond flour and sea salt exfoliant is rich in vitamin E and just what my sleep-deprived skin needs! You can also use it as a mask just by adding organic plain yogurt or honey to the dry mixture – extra bliss time. I do both: exfoliate, then mask and it’s such a treat for the skin!


After the mask dries {about 10 minutes}, I rinse with cold water {important to close your nice and clean pores back up!} and smooth on toner. It’s a step I usually skip in my daily regimen so it’s nice to give my skin extra treatment. You could also try using SW Basic’s raw apple cider vinegar and witch hazel toner to balance out the pH levels.


Oh, but my favorite thing of all is body scrub! This SW Basics Body Scrub is the real deal. Use it everywhere from your neck to your elbows and it will leave your skin silky soft and smelling delicious! Seriously, this scrub smells so much like dessert, I want to eat it. Thing is, with only three ingredients in it: organic sugar, coconut oil and shredded coconut, you literally COULD eat it!

I can’t tell you how much the right products can change the health of your skin. Plus, knowing that you aren’t putting any crazy chemicals on or in your body just makes you feel good, ya know? I highly recommend stealing that all-too-critical me time once a week. You deserve to indulge in a little beauty pick me up. It makes the world of a difference for your skin and your mental health. I’m thinking maybe I should try to do this twice a week!

original photography for apartment 34 by Charles Redding // art direction by erin hiemstra

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