beauty · Fashion & Beauty

Top Skin Care Picks for a Healthy, Bright Complexion

Sometimes, I am a ridiculous human being.

I find myself wondering what it’d be like if that perfect Snapchat filter could permanently make my face look smooth, golden, and flawless. You know exactly which filter I’m talking about, so don’t deny it.

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This is admittedly one of the most vain, petty thoughts I’ve had recently. Instead I should be thinking:

“What nutritious, and presumably leafy green foods, should I incorporate into my diet to promote healthy skin?”

 “Have I drank enough water today? Put the wine down.” 

“Better thoroughly wash off my makeup before I ‘rest my eyes’ one second longer during this action movie Benny picked.” 

If you read my post last week, you recall me mentioning having developed a skin care regime. Today I wanted to share with you the products I find beneficial in keeping my skin clear and bright.

Over the past year, I’ve worked to fill my beauty cabinet with more natural, organic, or food-grade items where possible. These changes have cut out a lot of parabens, toxic chemicals, and other members of the “dirty dozen” so often seen in beauty products. Interestingly enough, these changes have also brought about the clearest skin I’ve had in my adult life. Breakouts still happen occasionally, but it is a very rare instance that I find a straight up nasty zit on my face (last week is only instance I can recall since last summer).

Before I share my favorite products with you, I want to make an extremely important preface: while I believe these products have had a great impact on my overall skin health, in my opinion, the most important thing you can do for healthy skin is make sure you are eating a balanced diet. Drink water. Drink water. Drink water.

One more time for the people in the back:

DRINK WATER.

Also, it is 2017. You can make any nasty vegetable you hate taste good in a smoothie. I listened to a podcast the other day where this healthcare professional was discussing her recipe for a killer cilantro smoothie.

Cilantro. Smoothie. What a time to be alive.

Eat some green stuff.

Now, without further ado, I bring you:


My Top Picks in Skin Care Products for a Healthy, Bright Complexion:

Top picks for skin care products to promote a healthy bright complexion

1. Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser & Balancing Lavender Toner

Top picks for skin care products promoting health and bright complexion

Benny and I discovered Elemis at the spa on our honeymoon cruise. We both purchased Elemis products, and we are both still using Elemis. The Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser is my daily gentle cleanser. It is creamy, smells amazing, and is not harsh. The Balancing Lavender Toner is one of two toners I use. I normally use it in the mornings to refresh my skin. It is super light and gentle, and it gives a nice dewey quality to the skin.

These Elemis products are pillars in my daily skin care regime.

2. Lush Ocean Salt

Top picks in skin care products promoting healthy and bright complexion

Lush Ocean Salt is my single favorite beauty product of all time. When my aunt and cousins flew in for our wedding, they treated me with a huge gift basket of Lush brand goodies. Since then, Lush has become one of my favorite brands and I feel so confident in the quality of their products. Ocean Salt was truly a game changer for me. It is all natural, made from sea salt and vodka-infused lime, and I use is biweekly to exfoliate my face, and sometimes my back.

3. Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream & Intense Hydration Eye Cream

Top picks in skin care products promoting healthy and bright complexion

When I started researching the components of a good skincare regime, I realized that a moisturizer is crucial. Sometimes when dealing with breakouts, or a nice shiny mid-day T-zone, moisturizing seems a bit counter-intuitive, but what I have found is that it is actually quite important and can help contribute to preventing and smoothing wrinkles. You should pick your moisturizer based on your skin type, so I will let you [W]IT GIRLS do your own research there, but these two Burt’s Bees products have been great for my skin, which tends to be oily in the T-zone and dry everywhere else.

The Intense Hydration Night Cream is a thick butter consistency, and I work it into my forehead, my cheeks, and my neck. A little goes a long way. The Intense Hydration Eye Cream has a slightly thinner consistency, and I work it into my eyelids, under the eyes, and temples. I sometimes use it to blend in concealer under my eyes as well.

4. Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Top picks for skin care products promoting healthy bright complexion

This is the second of the two toners I use. This toner is a little more potent than the Elemis, so I typically use it at night before I use the night cream in order to prevent irritation or dry skin. I really use this in my problem areas: the nose, chin, and forehead. I also apply it to breakouts right away, and I’ve noticed that it acts fast.


There you have my top skin care product picks for promoting a healthy and bright complexion. I typically wash my face with the Elemis Lime Blossom Cleanser every night.  Twice a week I will exfoliate with the Lush Ocean Salt at night. After cleansing (and sometimes exfoliating), I will apply the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. Once the toner dries, I moisturize with Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream and Eye Cream. When I wake up, typically my skin is soft and smooth, so I just spritz with the Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner before applying makeup.

Shop my skin care regime:

Elemis Lime Blossom Cleanser

Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner

Lush Ocean Salt

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream

Mario Badescu Glycol Acid Toner

I hope this helps you in your journey to a healthy, bright complexion, [W]IT GIRLS!

xx-Lona

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty

4 Ethical Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

Happy Memorial Day!

May we gravely remember and honor those who offered the greatest sacrifice to protect our freedoms.

I hope your weekend has been restful and spent in good company. I started the weekend feeling a bit feverish and under the weather. It’s been a tough allergy season for me.

We had our first guests over to the new house for pizza and beers, and it was so fun to host and entertain in this space! We also partook in our share of housework–I finally painted our guest bedroom.

On Saturday we attended a beautiful wedding. We had a steamy, humid weekend, so I opted to don this cold shoulder dress from Pac Sun.

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

cold shoulder dress for wedding

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

The cold shoulder style seems to be here to stay for the foreseeable future. I loved that this dress was in one of the main colors of my capsule wardrobe–blush. Also, I loved the sort of handkerchief print on it. While this could be worn in a more casual setting, I dressed it up for the barnyard wedding with classic strappy black heels and an envelope clutch.

I typically don’t wear a full face of makeup to work or for daily activities. Since we’ve been so wrapped up in the house for the last month, I can only think of one other occasion on which I went all out on the makeup front.

I went for a dewey natural look to compliment the blush dress, and I used mostly natural and cruelty free products to get this look (namely Tarte, Bella Mari, and Fresh).

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40


Since we are entering summer, I thought I’d share some ethical cold shoulder dresses, all under $40!

1.

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

My blush cold shoulder handkerchief dress–shop here 

2.

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

Shop for this dress here

3.

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Shop for this dress here

4.

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Shop for this dress here


 

I hope you find this guide helpful for any weddings or events you may have coming up!

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

Cold Shoulder Dresses Under $40

 

xx-Lona

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty

Breezy Cotton Wrap Dress

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend, friends? Ours was simple, relaxing, chill. We mainly focused on cleaning up the house, bringing more over to the house from the apartment, enjoying the weather, and receiving our new couch. The couch was probably the highlight of sweet Benny’s weekend. He picked it out and has been anxiously awaiting  its arrival. We did our fair share of lounging.

I loved the sunny, breezy weather. It officially feels like my favorite time of year. Warm spring–everything is green, and there is just a touch of humidity hanging in the air…truly Southern, that aspect. An essential piece for this weather is a classic light cotton day dress. Coincidentally, this is also a great staple piece for those pursuing an ethical capsule wardrobe.

I love this organic cotton twilight grey wrap dress!

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In addition to this dress being perfect for this Southern weather, I love a great wrap dress. Wrap dresses are so feminine and dreamy. This dress is so soft, it’s to die for. It’s made by one of my favorite brands contributing to sustainability.

Get my dress here

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How was your weekend? How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?

[W]IT GIRL

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty

The Best Basic White Tee

Hi, friends!

Is it just me, or has this week flown by? It’s been a busy one for me, so nothing new there. However, it has been exciting, and tomorrow I’ll be updating you on a new adventure my little family is taking, so stay tuned in to my Instagram!

In my quest to establish a high-quality, ethically-made capsule wardrobe, I spent much time deliberating on which plain white tee I’d select. You see, this may see simple, but really it is quite challenging as the plain white tee is a truly foundational piece to any wardrobe! I’m quite pleased with my selection.

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In celebration of the beautiful spring weather Huntsville has been experiencing, I styled my new tee with some colorful skinnies passed down to me, my favorite pair of sandals, and some beautiful hand-made jewelry I purchased from an Etsy artist!

I am extremely pleased with the quality of this shirt. One of the things I was concerned about while exploring my options was too thin of a white shirt. I hate when white tees are too transparent. This one is extremely opaque and sturdy, yet light and breathable. It is made of organic cotton, and it is only $15!

Get my look

White tee (I ordered a Medium to allow room for shrinkage)

Sandals

Necklace

Pants (some similar ones in a pretty blush color)

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What’s your favorite basic white tee?

[W]IT GIRL

entertaining · Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Living

Easter Eggs and Flowy Pattern Mixing

Hey, y’all!

Happy Monday, and I hope that you had a Happy Easter! He Is certainly risen, and this is more apparent in my life than I give credit! Alleluia!

The weather yesterday, and the whole weekend in general, were amazing! We spent most of our weekend being productive…towards the exciting things we have brewing, which I will share later this week.

Easter was particularly great because we combined our Easter gathering with a surprise birthday party for my nephew, who is a tax day baby. We of course went all out with the egg hiding, including a super duper prize egg that my brother and sister sunk at the bottom of the pool for one lucky kiddo to discover!

I wore a breezy little number that I’ve had hanging in my closet for some time. I love the two pieces together, or separate. They are from Target, and more on Target ethics are below.

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A word on Target fashion ethics… If you’ve been following along, you know I’m pursuing a journey to a more fair, sustainable, and ethical wardrobe. I am exploring and sharing brands I find and love. I’m also trying to support brands I already love that are working to improve their manufacturing practices.

Target carries quite a few brands, and while I do not consider these to be participants in slow fashion, I do want to point out that Target has and continues to take initiative in more responsible practices. Here is Target’s webpage addressing its initiatives and projects. I have researched the Higg Index that the webpage mentions, and I support this project, as well as Targets progress towards more ethical manufacturing and practices.

With regards to my Easter outfit, I love the mixing patterns and the light flowy feel to both pieces. I think the top would look great with high waisted jeans, and the bottoms with a plain white tee. I love versatility, and I find these to be fun and interesting pieces to include in my functional capsule wardrobe.

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Shop my look:

Top

Bottoms 

How was your Easter?

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[W]IT GIRL

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Wednesday Wisdom

Fun and Fair Mesh Leggings Perfect from Workouts to Out & About

Hey, y’all!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone is feeling refreshed after the weekend. I sure am! Life can get so crazy all at once, and sometimes all it takes is a few days to breathe and remember what is actually important.

Today  I wanted to share a really fun twist on a classic black legging: ALO Yoga’s Epic Legging. ALO Yoga prides themselves in creating athletic wear that can easily transition to streetwear, and with this pair of leggings, they definitely accomplished just that!

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I think the mesh detailing is so fun! In the two weeks that I’ve had these leggings, I’ve worn them everywhere from teaching Pure Barre, to taking walks, going grocery shopping, and grabbing a quick bite! They are very supportive and opaque, yet extremely comfortable. They also come in several colors besides black.

I was hesitant to purchase these leggings at first because I struggled to find factual information on ALO Yoga’s manufacturing. I’d read a few blogs claiming they are made in the U.S.A., which is erroneous. Finally, I broke down and e-mailed ALO Yoga because I really wanted these leggings, but I just couldn’t make the purchase without knowing more about the origins of the garment.

They responded within an hour of my inquiry:

Thank you for contacting us at Alo Yoga!

Our items are made both domestically and internationally depending on the style. Goddess Ribbed Legging specifically are made internationally.

We have the same fair labor requirements for all of our vendors and factories no matter where they are located. As our Ethical policy explains (attached), our company goes beyond the “mission statement” and requires vendors to sign contractual agreements prior to working with us.

In addition to the contractual requirements, we are also working with a third party non-profit organization that audits our factories to ensure people and working conditions come first.
We were recently awarded the Platinum Certificate, which is the highest rank by the WRAP Certification Board.

Please feel free to visit their website and let me know if you have any further questions.
http://www.wrapcompliance.org/en/certification

I dug around the WRAP website, and I found that many other reputable ethical clothing lines work with WRAP. It was great to find out that ALO Yoga is taking great measures to ensure the ethics of their clothing, and maybe they will include this information on their website in the future.

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Get your ALO Yoga Epic Leggings here

What’s your favorite athletic piece to wear out and about?

[W]IT GIRL

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty

Delicate, Fair Trade Tagua Necklace

Hello lovelies, and hellloooo Thursday!

Full honesty: it’s been a bit of a hard week for me, but it’s all a breeze from here, and the piece I’m featuring today really puts a smile on my face. Amano Artisans was kind enough to offer me a discount, and I’m in love the necklace I selected.

Check out this beautiful, fair trade necklace


Amano Artisans hosts a darling selection of jewelry and timepieces crafted by Colombian artists. I chose the Milda Tagua Neclace because I love the statement the Tagua hexagons make while simultaneously creatinng a simple, polished touch to a look.

This necklace comes in two other colors. I chose the black, grey, and white because it best matches the essentials in my 5-Piece [W]IT GIRL Fair Fashion Capsule Wardobe.

Get my look:

Milda Tagua Neclace here

White V-Neck here

What’s your favorite artist-made jewelry piece?

[W]IT GIRL

Culture · Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · huntsville

Sustainable Staple: White V-Neck Cami

Hello and Happy Monday, friends!

I’ve checked off a box for my 5-Piece [W]IT GIRL Fair Fashin Capsule Wardrobe list! I ordered Aeon Row’s White V-Neck Cami, and I’m quite in love with its plunging necklines and versatility. They are currently out of stock in size small (an also in size x-large), so I went x-small. For reference, I’m 5’5″.

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Aeon Row is an awesome company working towards a noble cause. They make their clothes from recycled yarn, and for each piece of theirs you purchase, they provide shipping supplies for you to send them that number of old garments for them to recycle.

If you take them up on this, they will give you 15% off your next purchase!
For those that read my post about my massive closet cleanup (see here), you can imagine I’ll have no problems finding something to send to them. I’ve included the link to this cami at the end of this post, so happy shopping!

I hope this post finds you in good spirits, sipping strong coffee.

We had a chill weekend with lots of good food. I taught four Pure Barre classes over the weekend, so we did not make late night plans. On Friday we went to Taqueria El Cazador, the taco bus off Governors Drive. Benny went with tacos, I went the burrito route, and we shared Mexican Coca-Colas. It was sooo delicious!

High quality tacos, low quality lighting

After I spent my morning at PB on Saturday, we got lunch at Dolce Pan Bakery, also on Governors. If you’ve never ventured out to this quaint Puerto Rican bakery, you absolutely must! My favorite pastry is their quesito, and my favorite authentic dish is their Mofongo, made of plantains. Their sandwiches are bomb also!

Mofongo

Wishing you all the best vibes as we start a new week! Shop sustainable and eat local, friends!

Shop My Look

Aeon Row White V-Neck Cami here

Mild Tagua Steen Chain Necklace here

Lily and Laura Stacking Bracelets here

Pacific Sun High Rise Jeans here

ALO YOGA Epic Leggings here

 

What’s your favorite sustainable staple tank?

 

[W]IT GIRL

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Uncategorized

The “Good On You” App is a Great Tool for Consumers Supporting Fair Fashion

Good morning!

I hope you all have had a nice week so far–it’s Friday eve, woohoo! I’m currently home from work tired as can be and experiencing some allergy issues…the one downside to Spring. I’m not going to let it get me down though!

I’ve recently shifted focus on this blog towards conscious consumerism and ethical and sustainable shopping. I know that these concepts are a hard sell when put against today’s booming, exciting fashion industry.

At first glance, it appears there are no easy or affordable options for fair fashion, and at second glance it appears to be a whole lifestyle change.

It certainly is an adjustment; however, it doesn’t mean ditching every brand you’ve ever known and loved.

To put this into context, say you wanted to eat better for your health, and possibly also you had interest in the treatment of animals in the food industry. You wouldn’t become a vegan PETA chairman overnight, and truthfully, neither may be the degree to which you want to take your lifestyle adjustment.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.

You make a difference by becoming knowledgeable. When you grocery shop you purchase meat from places you know give their animals good living conditions; you participate in meatless meals when you aren’t sure about the meat served; and you give yourself permission  to enjoy Grandma’s beef stroganoff guilt-free without questioning her about her meat supplier because you are actively make conscious decisions in every situation that is in your control.

This is how change starts. This is how the difference is made. Small, deliberate decisions and discipline. Not every situation will be ideal. But if you have to power to make it ideal, then do so.

With that being said, today I want to share a really neat app with you: Good On You, an “Ethical Fashion App.”

This app allows you to search through a database of fashion brands to check on how ethical their methods are based on their practices for labor, environment, and treatment of animals. It gives you background on progress brands are making to become more ethical or reasons why they received a low score.

 



Additionally, the app serves as a database of brands you’ve probably never heard of that have great ethics ratings and allows you to browse through them based on article of clothing for which you are searching.

 


I think that Good On You is such a great app for pursuing ethical, sustainable shopping practices, and it is certainly a great place to start. I did notice that they don’t have information on a lot of brands on which I was interested in finding out more; however, they do have a field where you can submit suggested brands for them to add to the database. I’ve suggested a couple, so we will see what happens.

I am making a shift towards sustainable, fair trade, and ethical brands; however, I was pleased to see that some of my favorite brands fall under the rating of “It’s a start,” meaning that they are beginning to take action to become more ethical. Three brands I was happy to see fall under this category opposed to “Not good enough,” include Levi’s, Vans, and Mossimo.

As a consumer, I have made the decision that I will support brands in the beginning phases of progress towards ethical and sustainable practices; however, I will be monitoring their progress as information is available.

Friends, I hope you download this app and check up on your favorite brands. It’d be such a delight if you’d even consider making the decision to only purchase from brands scoring “It’s a start” or higher. You have an opportunity to make a difference; use it wisely.

What’s an example of a time you’ve used baby steps to reach  a lifestyle goal?

 

 

[W]IT GIRL

Fashion · Fashion & Beauty

The 5-Piece [W]IT GIRL Fair Fashion Capsule Wardrobe

Good morning!

I hope all of you lovelies had a wonderful weekend! Mine was busy and productive, yet fun and refreshing! A great weekend all in all.

Friday was my off day, so I used it to start a serious deep clean of my wardrobe. I have a bad habit of keeping clothes simply because there is nothing wrong with them…I just don’t wear them.

Over the past six months or so, I’ve been doing a lot of research on capsule wardrobe concepts.  The capsule wardrobe is not a new concept; however, it has taken me awhile to identify what it is I need for my lifestyle. 

The capsule wardrobe that I find most functional is often referred to as the “French Capsule Wardrobe” or the “5-Piece French Wardrobe.” It has specific basic essential items falling into five categories. The idea is that you establish the basics, and then each season, purchase 5 items to keep the capsule fresh and trendy. 

The overarching purpose of such a wardrobe is to buy quality items that you love wearing, no matter what. This steers away from the typical dilemma of having a closet full of clothes, yet not a thing to wear.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am really pushing to become a more conscious shopper. So I decided that I am going to work on building a French capsule wardrobe, but with a twist–the pieces I purchase to build this essentials foundation are all going to be from ethical and/or sustainable retailers. I’ve adapted the French wardrobe into my own, 5-Piece [W]IT GIRL Fair Fashion Capsule Wardrobe.

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On Friday, I cleared out 37 shirts, 5 jackets, 6 skirts, 16 dresses, 5 shirts, 7 pants, and 34 accessory pieces (mostly swimwear). It felt amazing and freeing to clear out so much! I kept only what I love, and most of what I love is not a basic essential. Aside from pants, I have almost nothing from the capsule wardrobe list!

Over the next few months, I’m going to build my basic capsule and try to only purchase between 5 and 10 seasonal items. For clothes that I kept from my clear out, but are not part of the essentials capsule, I am adopting a buy something/get rid of something policy to keep my wardrobe manageable. I mostly keep my career wardrobe separate from my other attire; however, after I get ahold on my capsule wardrobe, I may adopt a similar approach to work attire.

I hope my decision to pursue fair fashion inspires you to consider doing so on your next wardrobe addition!

What part of cleaning out your wardrobe is most difficult for you?


[W]IT GIRL