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Clean Cosmetics: Favorites From My Beauty Bag – Part 1

[This post is part 1 of 2 on clean cosmetics and skincare (because I have a lot to say)].

You may have heard that we should be able to eat whatever we put on our skin. Think about it, skincare products and makeup seep in through your pores, so it is basically the same thing as eating it. Either way it gets into your body. This just means we should be a bit more aware when choosing our cosmetics. Many commercial products include toxic chemicals such as parabens (known to increase the risk of cancer) and heavy metals such as lead and mercury (which can contribute to neurological issues, digestive disorders, infertility, and cancer).

The ironic thing is, we put some of these things on our faces and bodies to make our skin look better, but overall they actually contribute to increased toxicity in the body which can promote dry skin, acne, or other skin conditions. When we use cleaner cosmetics, this is one less thing the liver has to filter out, reducing our overall toxic load and making our bodies healthier (read: glowing skin).

A couple years ago, I found that I had fairly high levels of lead and mercury in my body (thanks to a simple lab test). It was causing chronic fatigue and digestive distress. I went through a program called chelation designed to reduce the levels in my body. At that time, I made the decision to toss out toxic skin products and adopt some new, cleaner options. I was definitely worried that my new organic/natural products would not work as well as my former go-tos, but I was pleasantly surprised with the switch. The new makeup I found was equally as effective, lasted just as long, and actually smelled much nicer (think fresh essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances). I have also found several lines which offer a nice selection of colors and product offerings. The quality of my skin has definitely improved over the past couple years. I contribute some of this to a change in diet and lifestyle factors, but I also know that the switch to cleaner cosmetics has definitely helped.

Now I want to share with you some of my favorites from my beauty bag in case you are looking for recommendations. If you find any brands that you love, please feel free to share below in the comments section!

Beauty Balm


This is a product available through Green Pasture. It is a blend of fermented cod liver oil, butter oil, and essential oils. I don’t use this all the time because it is a tad bit greasy, but I try to use it at night once in a while (and it helps to put it on and then lay a hot towel over your face to help it absorb). It makes your skin like a dream. Helps with dry skin, acne, wrinkles, you name it. It does have a very slight fish smell, but it is not that noticeable. It also smells a bit like butter, which I don’t really mind. It seems weird to put oil on your face, but it is so good for your skin and doesn’t clog your pores like you might expect it to.

Tarte “Gifted” Mascara


This one is made with Amazonian clay, ooh la la! Mostly I was just concerned that it would work. It does, not too clumpy, lengthens lashes, and it lasts for a good amount of time. This is probably the best natural mascara I have used so far.

Bite Beauty Lipstick 


I was looking for a good red shade recently because, you know, I like to add a little sass to my fras every once in a while. I found this new brand called Bite. It is food grade, so technically you could eat it (not recommended). It is nice to know that something you put on your lips is technically edible, though. I was quite pleased: beautiful, rich color; smooth, creamy texture; and decently long-lasting (especially when put over a lip liner). It also seems to be quite moisturizing.

Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation (say that fast 3 times)


Love this foundation! It is very light and it actually adjusts to your skin color. You lightly brush it on and it blends naturally. I also like the little pump that it comes with. Some foundations come in a bottle and you always end up glopping (yeah it’s a word) too much out at a time. I also love that it is made with nourishing, organic Argan oil. My skin tends to have dry patches and this formula helps to balance my skin tone.

Coconut Oil


Those that know me well will tell you that I tout coconut oil as the cure-all for pretty much any problem. I am fairly sure it will bring around world peace at some point. Seriously, though, I use it a lot for my cooking, a few dabs in my hair, on my skin, to remove eye makeup and more. It is by far the best moisturizer and eye makeup remover I have found.

Due to it’s chemical structure, it is very easily absorbed by the skin. It also happens to be antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. Yay for the coconut! I use a small amount on my face before applying my foundation. I use it on my whole body when my skin is damp after a shower, and I apply a bit to wet hair before blow-drying it. I also sometimes put a few dabs on my hair after straightening it to ease frizz. To take off eye makeup, I rub a bit around my eyes, then use a wet cotton ball to pull of the makeup. Muah! Love you coconut oil! Just be sure to pick up an unrefined/extra virgin, cold-pressed variety. None of this expeller-pressed stuff.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I share my favorite eye shadow brand, blush, lip gloss, and more! Love your skin, and you’ll be in it to win! hehe

**I do not get any commissions from any of these brands. I just use them myself and like them!

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X-Ray Reveals…


Last August I wrote about thinking my foot had a stress fracture, here, but after running on it for several months without further injury had summed it up to something else… ‘Arthritis,’ said the chiropractor. ‘Bone spur,’ said he physical therapist. ‘Plantar fasciitis,’ said a fellow runner. Well with this Sunday finally being the CDA Marathon, I went to every doctor I could think of for a cortisone shot, even having co-workers help with trying to get this arranged, but to no avail.

Finally, I contacted my primary care doctor, he said he would only do the shot if I would FINALLY get the x-ray… Ignorance could no longer be bliss… There you have it, the moment of truth… So yesterday afernoon, after spending the day working at home with a sick kid, I went and got the x-ray. Today, got the call with the results, it is indeed a stress fracture. So no shot is going to help. Running will make it worse and could lead to a much worse break and healing takes 6-8 weeks of reducing the load, i.e. no running… Do I plan to stop running? No. Do I plan to skip the marathon this weekend? No.

What am I going to do? No idea… I continue to run on this fracture and it continues to get worse and even causing more stress fractures in the foot. Eventually the foot bones break, and that is a year off of running. But the only treatment is rest… And right now, it is 11 weeks until the Portland Marathon. Right now I have eight other runs that I want to run before Portland… Not to mention a pretty significant desire to CrossFit again…

Is it totally unrealistic to plan to race all the races and plan for Portland to be my last run and take 8 weeks then? Will my foot last that long? Is it worth the risk? Too many questions. Not enough answers…


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Strength in the Little Things

Hi #SweatPinkAmbassadors!  My name is Kimberly and I’m proud to represent #SweatPink!

I took up running 6 years ago to cross “running a marathon” off my bucket list and fell in love. I run to stay healthy, keep the weight off and to keep my sanity!

I pass on my love of running by volunteering for the Hartford Marathon Foundation coaching run/walk/run first-time marathoners.

July 8, 2013, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Because I had the BRCA2 breast cancer gene I decided to have a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction.  Recovery was tough, but I had the goal of getting to the start line of the Disneyland Half
Marathon weekend.  30 days post op I ran the Disneyland 5k, 10k and Half

During chemotherapy treatments I continued to run, completing two World Marathon Majors – the Chicago and New York City Marathons.  I also completed the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, the Goofy Challenge and the Dopey Challenge.

My “aha” moment” came during that time of undergoing treatment.  So many people reached out to me to tell me that I was so strong and an inspiration to them.  At first, I was embarrassed at the attention and even dismissed them.  But then I realized that they were right, I was strong and I began to own it.

I learned that you must find strength in the little things you do every day, be it walking around the block, or swimming the length of the pool or holding the yoga pose you never thought you could do.  All these little moments add up.  They help inspire yourself to keep trying to reach your goals and help inspire others to keep moving, keep growing and keep living!

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