Saturday, April 28, 2012

zero to crunchy: le face, pt. 2

Last time on zero to crunchy, I let you all in on my very favorite, only-a-teeny-bit-squeamy new way to wash my face. But as much as I'd like it to, my face cannot solely exist on oil + um... oil alone. The first few months, I was frantically searching for a way to replace every single thing I used to use in my skincare routine. Toner, moisturizer, spot treatment, weekly scrub-- I couldn't imagine not needing these things, so I went crazy trying all sorts of natural replacements. As time has gone on, I've realized that I only need a fraction of these things from time to time, but occasionally, replacements are necessary. Read on for my new favorite swaps!

regular astringent/toner : raw ACV+ water
I was never really a regular toner-user, prior to going natural with my face products. I usually always had a bottle on hand, but was terrible at remembering to use it, and it usually just sat untouched in my medicine cabinet. That being said, I do go in phases of feeling like I need a little extra cleanliness, so I wanted to make sure I had a natural replacement on hand. I will eventually write an entire post devoted to my love for Braggs' raw apple cider vinegar, but for now, let's just talk toner. Because my skin is a little bit sensitive, I mix it in a spray bottle with about four parts water to one part vinegar, store in the fridge, and spritz on a cotton pad to use whenever I feel the need to tone. Two important caveats: you may not want to make an entire bottle until you have the proportions correct-- everyone's skin is different, and may react differently. Also, you may be able to use regular acv, but braggs' is less tampered with, and therefore it's just going to be better for your skin. Trader Joe's also makes a raw acv that is comparable, if you can't find Braggs. 

notoriously scrubby apricot scrub : local honey (if you don't have local, just make sure it's good quality & not just honey-flavored syrup!) 

What's that, you say? Honey isn't even remotely close to that oh-so-terrible-for-yer-face-but-so-addicting apricot scrub?  I know. I feel ya. In the last few years I finally ditched my harsh exfoliators for something much more mild, but I still wasn't doing my skin any favors. I discovered the honey challenge on my favorite natural beauty blog, Crunchy Betty , and I had to give it a try. Honey is aaaawesome for your skin, and acts as a natural toner/exfoliator/moisturizer/glow-inducer (I know, right?). About once a week, I replace my morning water-only face wash with honey-- note: I do this in the AM because honey won't take your makeup off, but if you aren't a makeup wearer, go to town whenevah you feel like it. I just take a quarter-sized drop in my fingers, rub on my face, and wash off with water. You will be shocked at how easily the honey washes off-- seriously. I didn't believe it until I tried it. (disclaimer: pull all-- and I mean all-- your hair back off of your face, because honey doesn't wash quiiiite as easily out of those little baby hairs-- ask me how I know.) Seriously. Amazing. Look at your glowy, clean, bea-yoou-ti-ful skin, and thank me later. 

salicylic acid : raw acv on a cotton swab
This one is pretty basic-- although now that I've switched from chemical-ly products, I rarely have any spots to treat-- #miracle! But when I do (hello, stress spots, I hate choo.), all I do is dip my cotton swab in a bit of water, then in a bit of acv, and dab on my spot. The next morning, spot is either gone or considerably smaller. WIN. Note: do not do this on open spots, because OW. (again-- ask me how I know.) 

plain moisturizer : jojoba oil
This is one I struggled with a bit at first. My regular moisturizer was gentle enough to keep using, but still full of gunk. Coconut oil made my skin feel AWESOME, but it made me break out (if you don't have sensitive skin, though-- use it. SO. SOFT.) I've realized that I don't really need moisturizer anymore. If I give my skin a minute to chill out after I've washed it, I realized that it doesn't really need any excess moisturizer, it can take care of that naturally. And in the mornings, my skin is nice and fresh from sleep + the water I use to wash doesn't strip any of those good oils. So normally: I don't use it. (this coming from an ex-moisturizer junkie! for reals.) But when I get the random patchy dryness, I take a drop-- ONE or two is all you need-- of jojoba oil, rub in between my fingers, and pat on the dry spots only. Dryness = fixed. Voila!

What are your favorite natural face-product swaps? 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

new york blogger trip: a quick recap :)

I am about a thousand days late on posting this, loves, but I just had to give a quick recap of my most recent adventure! A few weeks ago, I took a long weekend trip to NYC to visit my super awesome friend, Bailey. We met a few years ago (one, two? I can't remember) through our blogs. Yes, that's right-- we are internet-turned-real-life friends. I just can't even describe what sweet, sweet kismet it is that she and I have gotten to know each other when we would clearly never have met sans internet. I started reading Bailey's blog, or maybe she started reading mine-- I honestly can't remember. And over the course of a while, we went from just comment posting to emails about real life and our shared love for Liz Lemon.  Bailey is also a recent college grad, and after college in an act of pure incredibleness, she packed up her entire life and moved to NYC. We had joked about me coming to visit her, but when it came that I had a few days off from grad school/work and a hot tip on cheap airline deals, I couldn't not--so off I went! 

Long story short: it was the greatest of all great-y great trips, and I had an incredible time just relaxing, enjoying the sunshine, and getting to see NYC through the eyes of a local. In an attempt to be better at documenting my life, I made sure to instagram-it-up over the weekend-- below are a few highlights :)

1. we took a trip on the staten island ferry to see the statue of liberty-- an awesome (and free!) way to sightsee, plus seeing the fog break over the city: incredible.   2. on the boat! aren't we cute?   3. & 4. hanging out in central park, enjoying the sunshine, gawking at puppies and laughing about something that was really funny at the time, but for the life of me I can't remember now.   5. hangin' out by the empire state bldg.   6. union square people watching, sucking down a jamba juice faster than I have ever eaten anything ever (we were thirsty.)   7. the greatest waffle I have ever eaten in my entire life (and I don't even really like waffles, let's be real)   8. the home of the greatest waffle I have ever eaten in my entire life (it's a waffle truck! i die.)   9. in transit/home sweet pancake :) 

not pictured: getting lost acquainting ourselves with the streets of astoria trying to find a st. patty's day party, said st. patty's day party, hummus wraps so big and delicious that I would (and could) like to just eat them forever and ever amen, making homemade macaroni + bacon (um, the best.), wandering around the world's biggest, most beautiful bookstore, realizing that your once-internet friend is totally now a real-life friend and you can call each other to talk about life and how ridiculous sheer skirts are (true story) :)

ps. bailey has the world's most adorable etsy shop, ever. i highly, highly recommend you check it out!

Monday, April 2, 2012

moral(s) of the story

Happiness is not by chance,
but by choice.
-Jim Rohn

I bought this dress at Target last spring with big, big ideas about basically wearing it every single day of my life, and wouldn't you know-- it's been sitting in the back of my closet all winter, just waiting for the temperatures to finally warm up! Even though we've had a pretty crazy spring thus far, I think it's safe to say I was ready to bring it back into my regular rotation :) 

In the space of time since my last post, I've been to New York to visit a blogger friend (recap to come, promise!) and have been cooking up lots of ideas for upcoming zero to crunchy posts, and basically just buzzing through life like a busy (but happy :)) little bee! Moral(s) of this quick story: there are good things on the horizon, and take it from me: one way to guarantee that you won't get sick of your clothes is to shove some old favorites way to the back of your closet for your future self to discover randomly a few months down the road :)