Ready for My Close-Up!

29 Jan

Taking care of your face is something to start off doing young– make it your routine, learn that giving a little extra TLC to your face can really go a long way. The three things you should always do is clean, protect and moisturize your face!

  • Clean– find a mild cleanser according to your face type (dry, normal, oily or combo) and use it first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night.
  • Protect- always use SPF! even if it’s SPF 15 or 20, the protection will go a long way to help prevent wrinkles and sun spots, as well as more serious issues like melanoma and skin cancer
  • Moisturize- the skin on our face is fragile and incredibly sensitive and we put it through a lot! Replenish your skin with some moisture, a serum or day cream during the day and a night cream for PM, as well as a dab of eye cream for all hours! Your face will both feel and look refreshed!

While the previous 3 steps should be something you incorporate into your daily routine, there’s other steps to take to keep your face in tip top shape!

  • Exfoliate- use a gentle scrub every few weeks to get rid of dead skin and to make your face look seriously refreshed– for even better results slab on a rich cream so your healthy skin can absorb some much needed moisture
  • Masks- face masks are an instant dose of moisture. There’s all sorts of masks out there– ones with clay will cool any redness in your skin while moisturizing.
  • Facials- facials are a great way to get a professional examination of your face. While there’s lots of pampering involved (cleanse, toners, moisturizers, masks, extractions and lots of relaxation!) your aesthetican will also give you their opinion of your skin type and the things you can do to keep it in great shape!

Whether you’re interested in high-end face products or products you can find at a local drug store, there are plenty of green options to choose from! The best thing to keep in mind is to stick to what is good for your face– if scrubs usually make you turn bright red for hours, then it’s probably best not to use scrubs. But here are some of my favorite products, both expensive and non-expensive! Enjoy!

Cleansers:

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash, $32. My favorite face wash-- gentle and cleanses without leaving your skin feeling dry!

Burt's Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser, $10. Green, clean, and cheap this creamy formula is perfect for dry skin.

Burt’s Bees found at Target.

Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser, $25. Acne-prone or just really looking for a deep clean? This formula is perfect for you! Not sure if it will work? Try out their travel size version for $10

Clarisonic Mia, $149. Looking to give you face wash a boost? This tool helps clean 6x better than with cleanser alone. Comes in 6 colors.. love it!

Found at Clarisonic.com!

SPF:

Alba Facial Sunblock, SPF 20, $10. This sunscreen skips the greasy residue, feels very light, and is so great that it can also double as a moisturizer! Comes in plenty of natural fragrances and different levels of SPF!

Found at Alba.

Moisturize:

Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum, $65. Absolute favorite product for my face! The serum feels oily at first, but then dries and has a silky/powdery feel! It's fabulous and packs some serious moisture

Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer, $65. Love this extra moisture for when my skin really needs it! Also a favorite of my sissy, Eve!

Josie Maran Organic Argan Oil, $14 or $48. Not only is Argan oil the hottest product on the market right now, but this product is ORGANIC and purchased through a women's co-op in Morocco (where it's grown) in order to support their social & economic welfare. Good for you, good for the people growing it.

Found at Sephora.

Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel, $38; Word on the street is that a well-known reality star who has 8 kids, started using this gel, and the tabloids went crazy saying it was Botox. The truth? Not sure about her, but this gel must really do some good!

Found at Sephora.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, $30. It's award winning and can do some work on dark circles/puffiness.

Aveda Green Science Firming Eye Creme, $45. Created with Aragan oil from Morocco, this eye cream delivers some serious nutrients to your lids!

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins, $36. A night cream to help with discoloration and combo skin!

Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Night Cream, $25. Extra-gentle, non-sticky and seriously does work on wrinkles.

This green gem is found at Target.

Scrubs:

 

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, $85. This product is what Kate Somerville is known for and will give you immediate results!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle, $65; The gentle (and cheaper!) version of her signature scrub.

St. Ives Apricot Blemish Control Scrub, $3.30 at Target; Budget friendly and seriously great product! Scrubs away dead skin to reveal healthier skin!

Found at Target!

Masks:

Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque, $29. This mask recharges my skin with nutrients and moisture. A must-have during the summer for recovery after long days of sun!

Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask, $21. This mask literally sucks out the dirt, toxins, and debris sitting underneath your skin. Put a warm moist towel on your face beforehand to open your pores, then apply this miracle worker!

Facial/Intro Kit:

Kate Somerville Discovery Kit, $90. Great kit to try out all these KS products. Warning: you may become addicted!

A little info on these brands:

Aveda is basically the pioneer of beauty companies going green. They don’t test on animals, their formulas are created without the nasty stuff, they use renewable energy to create their products and this company is also the largest purchaser of organic ingredients among all beauty companies. Now thats green!

My go-to brand, Kate Somerville, not only makes great products that your skin will love, but the brand also refuses to test on animals, and their products are made without the crap usually found in other beauty items (parabens, sulfates, synthetics dyes & fragrances, phthalates, and GMOs).

Origins products are not tested on animals, made with renewable resources, and made from organic and natural ingredients. Basically doing good all over!

Found at Target and/or Walgreens: Burt’s Bees, Alba, Jason & St. Ives.

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Happy New Year!

5 Jan

Hello fabulous Green Tex readers! I hope that you had a great holiday season! I’m finally back to blogging after quite the hiatus– sorry about that!

In November, I finally caught a stroke of luck in the search for a job when I landed two jobs! The first is at Chapman Design, an interior design company in Houston founded by Cathy Chapman. My job entails creating her brand new website, making look books, scheduling professional photo sessions of her work and things of that nature. I love being in such a fun enviornment– our office is filled with beautiful furniture, fabric samples, custom-made upholstered items and all sorts of other goodies. And with it being such a small company and office, I’m often sent out on installs, deliveries and measuring which is fun! There are some gorgeous houses in Houston!

My second job is at Anthropologie, one of my favorite stores! I love being in the store and seeing everything it has to offer! We have our own visual team that creates the entire unique look and set-up we have! Their office in the back is like one giant arts & crafts room… it’s pretty amazing. One of the best parts is the people who work there though– Almost everyone is young and a recent college grad looking for a full-time job. We have great clothes, with new shipments coming in all the time and I love our home section… I definitely plan on decorating my future apartment with alllllllll anthropologieeee! Just like my wardrobe has turned into allll anthroo!

Needless to say, things got real busy real quick, especially with the holiday season wrapped in the middle of it all! But I’ve missed blogging and sharing great news stories and ideas on how easy it is to be green, so I’m excited to say that I’m offically back! Expect some great stuff coming soon!

Pretty & Polished

14 Nov

Nail polish is one of the best ways to instantly have a little ‘pick-me-up’. But whether you go to the nail salon or do your nails at home, that toxic chemical smell coming from the polish and remover is overbearing. So get rid of most of the chemicals with all these nail polishes & removers that are “three-free”. This means that they are free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DHB) and formaldehyde— all which are known carcinogenic ingredients. Getting rid of cancer-causing chemicals that are hard to pronounce? Total benefit!

 

Priti broke down what these nasty chemicals are:

TOLUENE which causes rapid, shallow breathing, chemical pneumonia, blurred vision,  dry, cracked skin, and drowsiness also effects the kidneys and the nervous system.  It may also cause an exaggerated feeling of well-being, headache, staggering tremors, and convulsions.
FORMALDEHYDE is a strong allergen and irritant to which humans have a very low odor threshold, also a known carcinogen.  It increases airway resistance when inhaled, probably because of local irritation and release of inflammatory mediators.  Additionally, formaldehyde is a strong contact allergen.  Acute and chronic dermatitis was once a common complaint in the beauty parlor industry because of using formaldehyde in fingernail finishes.
DIBUTYL PHTHALATE (DBP) is linked to reproduction system problems and underdeveloped genitals in newborn boys.

 

One-word summary? YUCK! Go for some clean and three-free polish. Not only will we make a safer, chemical-free environment for ourselves and salon workers, but we will also be doing a favor to pregnant women who are having boys. ENJOY!

 

 

Zoya (Vegan, Cruelty Free) $7

  • Zoya is the product of pregnant aesthetician and her chemical engineer hubby. After being exposed the smell of chemicals all day long, Zoya decided she wanted to use products without all the harsh ingredients. Together with her husband, they created the first line of vegan, cruelty-free and three-free nail polishes. Did we mention they’re very reasonable priced as well?

Zoya- Julieanne... such a pretty deep purple! Perfect for TCU games 🙂

Zoya- Veruschuka. A deep green matte color. The true meaning of green polish!

Zoya- Ibiza. Deep/dark blue. LOVES!

Zoya Remover, $10. Flip-top so you won't spill. Three-free and cruelty free!

 

 

Priti (Vegan, Cruelty Free, Organic Ingredients) $12.50

  • Another nail polish brand started by a pregnant woman, Priti became an emerging leader in luxury and eco-friendly nail polish. The company’s mission is: “to support organic farmers and todecrease the amount of chemicals poisoning the earth- and it’s inhabitants-one manicure at a time.” You can find out more about the company and their green initiatives here. Priti also has a recycling program for salon’s old nail polish. How awesome is that? Other favorites below.

 

MUST HAVE: Priti Soy Remover, 4oz for $22. 100% Biodegradable, Non-Toxic and Non Carcinogenic.

Priti Cooksbridge Giant Orchid

 

 

Deborah Lippman (Three-Free and No Animal Testing) $16- $20

  • Deborah Lippman’s nail lacquer collection is like the go-to for celebs. About half of her nail polishes were created for celebs, so they’re obviously going to bring the glam. She’s the queen of sparkle and everything pretty. Celeb’s she’s worked with? SJP, Mary J Blige, Kelly Ripa, the diva herself Mariah Carey, Rene Zellweger, Pat Benatar and designer Zac Posen to name a few.

 

Across the Universe, $18

Bad Romance, $18

Don't Tell Momma, $16. Mood altering color between blue & green!

 

 

OPI (Three-Free and No Animal Testing) About $8

  • Since 2006, OPI changed their nail polish formulas to be three-free, which I’m happy to hear because my nail polish drawer is full of OPI! They also don’t test on animals, and are always releasing new colors so you can spice things up!

OPI Bubble Bath- the perfect balance of pink & nude!

 

OPI Eiffel For This Color- Not quite as dark as 'Linkin Park After Dark' with purple and burgundy colors

OPI Elephantastic Pink- LOVE this color for the summer!

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress. Deep, shimmery red-- perfect for the holiday season!

 

 

Spa Ritual (Three-Free & No Animal Testing)

  • If my world revolved around nail polish, the Spa Ritual’s Quick Dry Topcoat would be a life changer! I’ve used tons of different topcoats that seem to never dry, goop up, chip, and basically not get the job done. But this top coats dries my nails quickly, leaves them super shiny, and keeps my nail polish on (and chip-free) for days on end. Its worth the money, especially since the bottle lasts a long time!

 

Spa Ritual- Quick Dry Topcoat, $15

 

 

Great 3-Free polishes that can be found at the drug store? Revlon & Sally Hansen!

Revlon

  • Although it bewilders us that Revlon doesn’t brag about banning animal testing throughout the company and having a nail polish line that is three-free, that seems to be the case. Besides being green with their products, Revlon is also easy to find at drugstores and is very reasonably priced.

Sally Hansen

  • Sally Hansen has started marking three-free nail polish, and according to their website they do not test on animals. They carry a must-have color for the military trend: charcoal!

Commander in Chic, $7

 

The National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance (yes– this really does exists) has created its own little wallet guide for you to print out and stick in your purse so that you never have questions about which brands are toxic, and which are three-free. It’s way too easy not to print out. So stick that sucker in your purse and never go to the salon without it!

 

Three-Free Nail Polish Guide

And if you’re curious if the above brands are cruelty free, check out the “Be Nice to Bunnies” app from PETA. Search by Product –> Nail Care –> Nail Polish, and then a list of cruelty free brands will appear.

Chicken Enchiladas

14 Nov

This is one of my favorite meals… EVER! It’s so delicious, and rather than being packed full of heaping amounts of cheese and excess fats (like you might find at some restaurants) this version is made with tons of veggies, chicken, cheese, corn tortillas and enchilada sauce. It’s very simple and the best part is that you can customize the ingredients to your own preference.

You will need:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, fire roasted (or Rotel)
  • 1 package of chicken breast (2 or 3 breasts)– or use leftover chicken
  • 1 package of cheese (I prefer Mexican blend but it’s your choice!)
  • 1 package of corn tortillas
  • 1 package of Frontera Enchilada Sauce
  • Cumin, Salt, Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Dice all the veggies and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Put in a large pan together with the canned diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper over low/medium heat.
  2. Chicken: For raw chicken, you can either cut it into small pieces, add to the veggie mixture, season with cumin and cook. OR for shredded chicken you can cook the chicken ahead of time (in boiling water with salt, in the crock pot, in the oven, etc) and then take the chicken breast and shred it. Using a fork, go from top to bottom (rather than side to side) and the meat should peel off in shreds. For chicken that has already been cooked, you can just follow the instructs to shred it.
  3. Once you have your cooked/shredded chicken, add it to the veggie mixture if you have not already done so.
  4. Heat your tortillas a few at a time in a pan so that they become more sturdy. Once heated on both sides, place the tortilla in the baking dish and fill with chicken/veggie mix. Wrap tightly and place the side with the exposed ends facing down. Repeat this process until you have made one full row of enchiladas.
  5. Top the row with cheese and enchilada sauce. Repeat the process to make a second row sitting on top of the bottom row. Top again with cheese and enchilada sauce.
  6. Bake the enchiladas at 350for about 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!!

WFC: Day 3

11 Nov

I’m surving!

I’m on day 3 of the wheat free challenge and so far- I’m holding in there! I don’t exactly miss bread, but I have had to start actually thinking about my meals ahead of time, and opt for bread substitutes. Instead of toast at breakfast I went for a sliced apple with peanut butter. All the fiber filled me up and I felt good! My bestie Claire has even joined in on the challenge and instead of having a sandwich for lunch, she made a few turkey & cheese roll ups instead.

It’s especially eye opening to go eat at a restaurant and realize how many wheat products are in everything! Croutons in the salad, noodles in the soup, bread baskets, pizza, cookies– the list goes on and on! But the wheat free challenge can be easy. I substituted corn tortillas in enchiladas rather than flour (recipe coming tomorrow!) and I’ve had great support from my cousin Meagan! She is the proud mom of 3 kids– and her two sons are allergic to gluten, soy, and dairy. Can you imagine trying to make a meal with those restrictions?! Well she does– all the time! She’s a great chef and has posted a month’s worth of gluten free meals on her blog!

In other news, I’ve found that my favorite replacement for beer is a bloody mary. Spicy tomato juice with some vodka– yum! And probably the closest you can get to having a “healthy cocktail”! And below, everything you ever wanted to know about the bloody mary. Enjoy!

History:

Bloody Mary was invented in the 1920s by an American bartender, Fernand Petiot at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. The original recipe called for equal parts of vodka and tomato juice In 1934, Petiot added black and cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and lemon juice to spice up the drink for New Yorkers when he moved back to the States and worked at the King Cole Bar, St. Regis. Petiot notes, “one of the boys suggested we call the drink Bloody Mary because it reminded him of the Bucket of Bloody Club in Chicago, and a girl there named Mary.”

Ingredients:
– 2 oz vodka
– 3 oz Tomoto Juice
– 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
– Black Pepper & Salt
– 3 dashes Worcestershire
– 2 drops tabasco sauce
– Garnish: Lemon Wedge, Celery
– Glassware: Highball Glass

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with the lemon wedge.

Thanks CocktailTimes.com!

The Wheat Free Challenge

9 Nov

For the next two weeks I will be challenging myself to a diet free of wheat. This sudden diet change is not to lose weight, but to find out if I’m allergic to wheat! My younger cousins Sawyer & Sander are allergic to wheat and it has prompted me to do some research, but I haven’t fully followed through with the actual testing because lets be frank here people– wheat tends to be in really delicious foods. Bagels, bread, pizza, crackers, cookies, cupcakes, banana bread, beer, pasta– the list goes on and on! But my holistic doctor Aunt & Uncle in Arizona have told me to the easiest way to find out if you are allergic to wheat is to go two weeks without it, then eat a bowl of your favorite pasta. They warn though, that when you do eat the pasta, be sure to be near a bed/couch because you could immediately fall asleep from putting the allergy back in your body.

It’s actually thought that a lot of people have a wheat or gluten allergy, but because wheat is in a lot of foods, it seems that our bodies just get used to it. One way our body fights off toxins is to flush them out of our systems. By doing this, our bodies hold onto excess water weight and water retention (also called edema) and our lymphatic system tries to flush the toxin out of our bodies. If you constantly feel somewhat bloated or have a few of the other symptoms below, you should consider trying to cut out wheat for two weeks!

Foods I’ll be AVOIDING:

• White and Whole Wheat Bread
• Wheat flour
• Cookies, Muffins, Cakes made with white or wheat flour
• Crackers
• Breading on “fried” foods
• Pizza crust and dough
• Pasta (semolina, whole wheat, artichoke)
• Soy Sauce
• Beer
• Whiskey and some Vodka’s
• Cous Cous
• Tempura
• Many packaged foods—check labels!
• Malt, malt flavoring and caramel coloring (which is in dark colored soda’s such as Coke)
• Wheat Cereals—i.e., Raisin Bran, Fiber One, Cheerios, Grape nuts, Lucky Charms
• Oats and Oatmeal (wheat free but not gluten free)

Instead, you can still eat startchy foods like corn, potatoes, white and brown rice, as well as corn tortillas, breads and pasta made of rice flour. A good place to find these is in your grocer’s freezer isle. Also look for foods labeled “gluten free” which means it’s safe for a wheat/gluten free diet.

SYMPTOMS OF WHEAT/GLUTEN INTOLLERANCE:
• Arthritis
• Water retention
• Gas
• Acid reflux
• Bloated stomach
• Constipation
• Trouble losing or gaining weight
• Chest pains
• Depression or mood swings
• Diarrhea
• Eczema
• Feeling dizzy or faint
• Joint and muscle aches and pains
• Nausea or vomiting
• Palpitations
• Psoriasis
• Skin rashes
• Sneezing
• Suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/similar effects
• Swollen throat or tongue
• Tiredness and lethargy
• Unexplained cough
• Unexplained runny nose
• Watery or itchy eyes

Even though this diet change is not for weight loss purposes, I did weight myself just to see how a wheat free diet affects the number on the scale 🙂 I’ll be posting some great gluten free recipes during these next two weeks, so stay tuned!

Any Green Tex readers out there who are already on a wheat/gluten free diet and care to share tips or stories? And if you’re joining in on the challenge let me know so we can share stories, post results, etc!

Andddd the Wheat Free Challenge starts… NOW!

Health Warning: Brazilian Blowouts

9 Nov

Good morning! Since it’s been all over the news, I thought I should update my fabulous Green Tex readers on the new hair phenom Brazilian Blowouts. The process helps to straighten, relax and de-frizz hair, and the results last up to 4 months. Some women swear by it, saying its the best thing to ever happen to their hair and they can now skip blowdrying and flat ironing their hair. It sounds like such an amazing process that I’ve definitely looked into it as well! But it’s been in the news lately because Environmental Health groups and Toxicology groups in Oregon and California tested the product, after stylists and patients complained of burning eyes, headaches, nose bleeds and trouble breathing.

The brand claims that it is free of formaldehyde but when the testing was done, the 4 different testing methods showed formaldehyde levels in the product between 4.85-10.6%. Formaldehyde can cause lung damage and increase you chances of cancer. Some salons are taking precautionary measures of wearing industrial use gas masks and having ventilators in the salon to reduce the air borne formaldehyde. But the main thing to be worried of is the formaldehyde in the product that is being put on your hair and being absorbed through your skin.

Green Tex is not discouraging anyone from getting the treatment done– instead we encourage you beauty mavens out there to use the internet to your advantage and do some research! Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic and the reports in the news are to make consumers aware of the potential dangers.

Would you still try the Brazilian Blowout if you had the means to? Or is sticking with the blowdrying/straightening routine a better option than compromising your health?