The Hunt for the Perfect Tinted Moisturizer

natural tinted moisturizers and beauty balms feat

I’ve been an ingredient-investigator for years now, but ever since I downloaded the Think Dirty app, I have been super vigilant about keeping my “bathroom shelf” rating low. This can only be achieved by using products that are “clean” or non-toxic, and therefore have low ratings. The hardest not-so-clean beauty product for me to let go of was my tinted moisturizer.

natural tinted moisturizers and beauty balms via @poorandpretty

I don’t typically wear heavy makeup or foundations, but I love tinted moisturizers and beauty balms because they give just the right amount of coverage and natural color. I’d been using Aveda’s inner light™ mineral tinted moisture in Aspen because it perfectly matched my skin tone, buuut it’s rated a 9 in Think Dirty (the second highest/worst possible rating!) I finally threw it out a few weeks ago and am now on the hunt to find its clean, low-rated successor. Here’s what I’m testing out:

1. derma e BB Crème, Light Tint.

2. Andalou Naturals All-In-One Beauty Balm Sheer Tint SPF 30.

3. Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer, Ivory.

4. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer, Creme.

5. Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream.

I’m evaluating them on toxicity (must be rated 4 or less in Think Dirty or EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database), color, coverage, texture, absorption, scent, and price. And it of course should not be tested on animals.

Did I miss anything awesome? Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear your suggestions/feedback in the comments!

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Outfit: My Scandinavian Sweater Dress

Scandinavian Sweater Dress winter outfit feat

Scandinavian Sweater Dress winter outfit 3 via @poorandpretty

Stan came home last Thursday with the surprising news that it had snowed in Israel. I had very little sympathy because of bone-chilling cold we had the entire time he was gone, but I’m so glad he’s back! We have done nothing but cuddle and watch House of Cards all weekend.

Scandinavian Sweater Dress winter outfit 2 via @poorandpretty

It’s March, but I can still get away with sweater dresses for another few weeks, right? This one reminds me of Scandinavian Fair Isle sweaters and my tights mirror the deep blue in the Swedish flag (did you know I’m part Swedish? And Danish, Irish, Italian, and possibly some small part Native American).

Scandinavian Sweater Dress winter outfit via @poorandpretty

Outfit Details: Fair Isle Sweater Dress: Pink Rose, Marshalls, $20 (similar, similar). Pink Bow Belt: Forever 21, $5 (similar). Blue Tights: Solid Lycra Tights In Navy, courtesy of We Love ColorsBeige Patent Wedges: Chinese Laundry Marcie Patent Wedge Pump via DSW, $40 (similar, similar).

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5 Ways to Relax at Home

5 Ways to Relax at Home feat

5 Ways to Relax at Home via @poorandpretty

I’ve been a little more frenzied than usual lately, maybe because Stan isn’t around to balance me out. (He comes back from his two-week trip to Israel on Thursday!!) I’m a fairly high-energy person, and I tend to juggle a lot of projects at once. One thing I have difficulty with is relaxing. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because I can’t shut my brain off. If you have this problem too, you’ve likely tried solving it by a weekend spa getaway or a massage, which do work, but they get a little pricey. Here are a few things that work for me, things you can do at home without spending any money.

Disconnect Your Tech

1. Disconnect your tech. I’m putting this first because it’s the hardest one to do! We are constantly connected — checking our email, responding to texts, tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking… and hey, I’m as guilty as anyone. But turning off everything — phone, TV, computer — for a few hours is just so peaceful. (That’s why I secretly love when we lose power for a little while.)

Meditate

2. Meditate or do Yoga. This one’s a bit more obvious, but it’s worth including. If you live with others, give them a head’s up that you need some quiet time. Go to your bedroom or any room that is secluded and has a door that can be closed — it can even be the bathroom. Close (and maybe lock) the door and lay out a yoga mat or towel. Light a few candles and turn off the lights, maybe put on some relaxing instrumental music or Enya. Go ahead and laugh, but her stuff is great for relaxing. Sit for a few minutes and just breathe, focusing on the rhythm of your breath going in and out of your body. If you want to do some slow, easy yoga stretches, go for it. But remember: your goal here is to relax, not to work out, so don’t push yourself. If you’d rather just meditate, I find that placing a candle in front of me and concentrating on the flame helps my brain stay present and focused. Try not to let it wander off into the realm of tasks and to-dos.

Read a book

3. Read a real book. Call me crazy, but I read actual paper books. I do not read books on my iPad, and I don’t own a Kindle (and never will). I love the feeling of immersing myself totally in a story and a big part of that for me is the literal turning of pages. Oh, and I’m a highlighter and margin-scribbler. When I read, I don’t want to feel like I’m using another tech product. It’s my anti-tech time. Plus, the white/blue light emitted by tablets and computer screens trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, thereby keeping it active (and making it hard to fall asleep). The soft yellow glow of a nightstand lamp or book light won’t do that.

Take a Bath

4. Take a bath. I’m all about baths. I can’t wait until Stan and I have a nice deep soaking tub in our bathroom (it’s on our wish list). When I need to relax, I fill our tub up with warm water, toss in my Lavender Bathing Salts, prop my head up on a folded up towel and just soak until the water gets cold.

Go for a walk

5. Go for a walk. I guess you technically need to leave your home for this one, but even if you just go for a walk around your neighborhood, it costs you nothing and it’s good to get outside and breathe some fresh air. If your to-do list keeps growing or you’re really stressed about a specific problem, it helps to walk away from it for a while and get a fresh perspective.

What are some ways you relieve stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

All photos are courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo. Every month, they email an assortment of beautiful high-quality photos they’ve taken themselves so that bloggers and other creatives have killer photos to use online. Isn’t that awesome? :)

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Recipe: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting feat

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting feat

Remember those gold star-spangled cupcakes I made for New Year’s Eve? They’re also perfect for Oscar Night this Sunday! When I first made them, I used my Cuckoo for Coconut recipe for the cupcake, but this time I went for vanilla bean. Both are equally delicious, but I’ll share my vanilla bean recipe today.

NYE cupcakes via @poorandpretty

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting — makes about 16 regular cupcakes or 75 minis.

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 tbs butter, softened
  • 2 tbs agave nectar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded (discard hull)
  • ½ cup milk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tbs champagne – any champagne will do!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • edible gold stars

NYE cupcake closeup via @poorandpretty

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line your cupcake tin(s) with paper or silicone cupcake liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Beat in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.
  6. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to your sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour, and blending in between each addition until completely incorporated.
  7. Scoop batter into cupcake liners until they are ⅔ full and bake for 10-13 minutes for minis or 16-18 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting via @poorandpretty

Frosting Directions:

  1. Cream butter with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) in a medium bowl, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times to get any devious clumps of butter.
  2. Pour in one cup of confectioner’s sugar and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Then, repeat with the other cup of confectioner’s sugar.
  3. Mix in your vanilla extract.
  4. Mix in your champagne on low, one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Add more confectioner’s sugar if necessary.
  6. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!
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Cinder + Salt is Makin’ Moves with their #LIKEABOSS Collection

cinder + salt - likeaboss collection feat

likeaboss with cinder and salt via @poorandpretty

You guys know how much I love Rachel DeCavage, right? She’s become a great friend and is a truly inspiring and tireless (seriously, girl, when do you sleep?) entrepreneur. When I helped her out with a photo shoot a few weeks ago, I got a sneak peek at her latest Cinder + Salt collection, and now I’m so pumped to officially share #LIKEABOSS with you!

cinder + salt - likeaboss

Inspired by the daily hustle of movers and shakers and lady entrepreneurs, #LIKEABOSS is just as energetic as Rachel herself. Says Rachel, “We designed our products for women who carefully balance their career and personal goals, and crave apparel and accessories that skirt the line. The designs are centered around inspirational phrases and are printed on items that can be worn at work, to the gym, and anywhere in between.”

cinder + salt - likeaboss collection 2

The motivational prints and tees are just as much a rallying cry as they are encouragement, especially the stayin’ hungry stayin’ foolish design, inspired by the famous Steve Jobs quote. There are five new designs in total, each printed with reclaimed inks on racerback tanks, slouchy pullovers, tote bags, and as 11 x 14 prints.

cinder + salt - likeaboss - go getter makin moves

I want one of everything, especially the pink Go Getter slouchy pullover!

cinder + salt - likeaboss pencils

Oh, and she’s even got a set of pencils, for everyday inspiration. Grab your favorites here before March 1st and get 15% off with code TAKECHARGE.

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